I’m posting this to prove a point, on top of the obvious squee and funny factors.
That point is, human beings can be complete monsters sometimes. Treating cute little turtles as sport, as though there was any contest between the turtle and an automobile. For shame. Look at that turtle, having trouble eating a raspberry! Look at its raspberry beard! They are adorable and nigh helpless and people still swerve to hit them.
Maybe humanity doesn’t deserve to survive this global warming nonsense we’ve brought on ourselves. Bah.
Trigger warning for frank discussion of bullying and PTSD.
When I was young, I was bullied. A lot. Maybe not more than other kids who’ve been bullied, but I was definitely the target of my grade for many years running in my tiny grade school and middle school. It started to let up a bit in high school after I attacked one of my bullies physically. It’s not something I’m particularly proud of, but I had been at my wits’ end that there were exactly zero consequences for harassing me for years on end.
I was wrong to attack that person. And yet, I was able to breathe easier afterward.
Continue reading “Sympathy for the devil”
Not sure if I’ll be able to write a post I’ve got brewing in my head immediately, with all the various things that need doing this weekend, so I’ll put this up for now. Actually, I have two posts in mind, but both of them will take some doing to set to e-paper.
I’m sure this is a book you’ll all rush out to buy immediately. Doug Giles has apparently written a book on how to raise boys who are Manly Men cut from the Manly Mold without any of that pussification that comes from caring about other human beings’ autonomy or self-direction. But what I like best about this video is Giles’ amazing oral skills.
This guy is just grand. “A rouged and giddy American Idol hopeful”? “Feministas” (paging Paula Kirby, someone’s an inch away from biting your style!)? “Leading this country back to God and greatness”? And all the gratuitous Clint Eastwood and Sean Penn movie clips of yesteryear are icing.
But wait, you can download a Kindle? Interesting! Maybe it’s a 3D printer file so you can home-fabricate your own Kindle? Or maybe the guy doesn’t have the first sweet clue about technology, public speaking, or really anything but raising kids exactly the same way that our modern society has always raised kids — with rigid gender roles and a disdain for difference.
Limbaugh’s at it again. Even using his linguistic creation, to boot. This time, his unevidenced postulate is that feminism shrinks penises. Because feminism has only existed for the last 50 years. Or something.
Rush Limbaugh on Thursday lashed out at feminists — who he called “feminazis” — over the news that male genitalia are shrinking.
The conservative radio host pointed to an Italian study which found that the average male penis was 10 percent smaller than 50 years ago. Researchers cited weight gain around the waist, smoking, stress and environmental pollutants as factors.
If anything’s an environmental pollutant, it’s feminists and their bra-burning ways, AMIRITE?
Continue reading “Rush Limbaugh: Tiny penises are feminazis’ fault”
It’s war once there’s casualties, right?
Jen McCreight and her commenters dubbed the necessity for a third wave of atheism — a wave that actually gives a shit about people who are getting forced out of the movement by a cloud of vile hatred just because they’re not cis males — as “atheism plus”. A forum is built and a thousand members join within a week. Organizations form to shore up some social justice movement intersections with the atheist community. We built something good. Something energizing. Something that portends a great swamp-draining. A way for movement atheism to heal itself.
Then a whole antifeminist and anti-woman wing of the atheist movement rallies to show us why we can’t have nice things. They amp up the hatred, the vitriol, the vileness. They steal Jen’s resources and leave her drained and incapable of contributing, by making her clean up rivers of bullshit aimed at tarring her personhood, slut-shaming her, and threatening her job by taking the same bullshit to her employers. They make her dread contributing her writings to this movement. This movement which she loved. This movement in which she gathered fans of her writing as easily as some people breathe.
Continue reading “Congratulations to Team Douchebag on their first major victory”
I met Amy Davis Roth, also known as Surly Amy, two years ago at CONvergence 2010 – SkepchickCON 2. Jodi and I were on our honeymoon — yes, we spent our honeymoon at a geek convention. Couldn’t have picked a better venue. Amy had a table in the dealer’s room, selling her ceramic Surly necklaces, and I picked up a green atom necklace so I could wear science iconography where so many others wear their religious iconography. Her partner Surly Johnny was a bad influence on me and I drank too many Buzzed Aldrins. The experience was a bit of a whirlwind one, but I got a sense from everyone working the Skepchick party room that they were passionate, committed, and principled, even when they were doing their damnedest to make sure everyone had a good time.
My already favorable impression of Amy was redoubled when I found out that she’d nearly singlehandedly sent dozens of women to TAM over the years, organizing and running fundraisers and committing resources from her Surlys to that end. She had a great deal of help, but she was almost certainly the lynchpin. And she writes timely and important rallying cries when the movement needs them the most — and that’s what a leader does, even if they don’t necessarily want or accept that mantle.
I met her again at SkepchickCON 4 a month and a half ago, and her enthusiasm and pink Darth Vader costume put her over the top for me — I have a ton of respect for the lady. If we ever disagree, it’ll be on good terms. She’s earned quite a bit of goodwill with me.
So I guess it comes as a bit of a surprise to me that a mainstay of the skepto-atheistic blogosphere, who’s done so much to promote skepticism and atheism, and to foster inclusiveness of women in our communities, is under concerted attack.
Continue reading “The campaign against Amy Davis Roth”
Example #645,257,329 of why one must always sanitize every piece of user input that your code has to process. Doesn’t matter how foolproof or dead simple you think the action will be, or how safe or sane your users — someone will try to buffer overrun, break out of the current SQL statement and inject their own code, or just generally find any way imaginable to deface or destroy your work. Especially if your work is a direct confrontation of a particularly entrenched bit of misogyny amongst a terribly entitled and relatively tech-savvy audience, and that audience is inclined toward trollishness to begin with.
A group of social justice advocates in the video gaming community put together a pledge website called Gamers Against Bigotry (WARNING: Chrome reports malware!), asking people to sign onto the following statement:
As a gamer, I realize I contribute to an incredibly diverse social network of gamers around the world, and that my actions have the ability to impact others. In effort to make a positive impact, and to create a community that is welcoming to all, I pledge to not use bigoted language while gaming, online and otherwise.
Bigoted language includes, but is not limited to, slurs based on race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, and disability.
Read more about the pledge, including what is and isn’t included, and the overall purpose here.
Read why you shouldn’t use the word “rape” casually here.
All in all, it’s a simple statement, and a rather unobjectionable one at that. The only way one can end bigotry within a community is to “be the change you want to see” — to never engage in bigoted behaviour, and to challenge it when one is able.
The response, however, was in no way proportionate to the pledge, especially given its entirely voluntary nature.
Continue reading “Gamers Against Bigotry hacked repeatedly by computer-savvy bigots”
There are a number of relatively new phenomena in the server world that Microsoft has been rather slow to catch up on. Server virtualization is one of them. Where companies like VMWare and Sun (now Oracle) had pretty much already built the defining server virtualization software, with a robust hypervisor (software that lets you run multiple virtual machines on a single physical server) in ESXi, and a great general-purpose software-based virtual machine in VirtualBox, Microsoft made their own hypervisor.
And in traditional Microsoft style, their server virtualization implementation required modifying the Linux kernel to get it to play nice. Rather than emulating the system hardware in such a way that the Hypervisor does all the heavy lifting, they chose to use OS-level drivers to “get the most out of” the hypervisor’s features.
This isn’t generally a bad decision, honestly. VMWare requires guest OS tools to be installed in order to do some stuff too. Microsoft’s actual failing, in this case, was in employing juvenile dudebro programmers who submitted kernel code that included a constant for the upper limit for virtual server guest IDs defined as 0xB16B00B5.
Continue reading “Microsoft adds “Big Boobs” to Linux; apologizes”
I noticed something shortly after the very well-received Don’t Feed the Trolls panel at CONvergence’s SkepchickCON, once ZOMGItsCriss posted the video. People who otherwise have never seen the level of anti-Watson hatred that her mere existence incurs, were surprised and angered by the fact that the comments on Criss’ video largely ignored the fact that there were five other panelists present. As such, Watson only comprised a smallish fraction of the discussion — and yet, some folks’ comments ran along the line of “why would I listen to That Skepchick bitch whine hysterically about nothing for an hour? She should get raped so she loosens up, the prude whore.” (This is, of course, a composite of real comments on that video. Edit: For skeptics of this exceptional claim, like “…” in the comments, click this to see a Youtube comment that’s very, VERY similar.)
That sort of shit was exactly our point, and it appears to have catalyzed at least one bystander to radicalize against that sort of trolling.
The last night I spent in Minneapolis, Skepchick Kammy held a barbecue at her place for the participants of the SkepchickCON track. At one point, Kammy’s son pressganged his parents into moving the attendees into their driveway so they could set off the remainder of the fireworks (left over from the celebration a few days prior, when Minnesotans celebrate Three Days After Canada Day in a sweet, but odd, gesture to your neighbors to the north). We pulled our chairs out from their back yard and set them up to watch the firework display, and I found myself setting my chair up near enough to Watson to pronounce loudly:
“Well, I was really looking forward to seeing this firework display, but now that I’m stuck here next to Rebecca Watson, it’s just ruined for me. I mean, who wants to listen to her sit quietly for an hour?”
Continue reading “CONvergence: Rebecca Watson ruins everything”
In his interview with Russia Times, Doug Stanhope, who will be part of The Amazing Meeting’s entertainment at 9pm Friday night, gives full-throated defense of Daniel Tosh’s right to make rape jokes — which right nobody has actually denied.
But not just rape jokes — also the right to suggest that it would be humorous if five men suddenly started raping an audience member who dared to say that rape jokes aren’t actually funny.
Continue reading “Doug Stanhope: more irresponsible messaging for DJ to rebuke”