Quick Note

I have now shut down the blog functionality entirely. I’m still getting the occasional comment notification telling me how wrong I am in one way or another and though I could just turn email notifications off, I’m not thrilled about the idea of letting comments go completely unchecked. So no more comments. The articles will remain (for now) in case people still might like to read them.


Well I haven’t written here in a while and I don’t think I will any time soon. I’ve moved onto other skeptical projects outside of this blog and unfortunately I find that I no longer have time to post here.

Other than the time factor, though, I also find that I no longer have any desire to participate in recent online slagfests and bust-ups. I could have said a lot of things about the strange vitriol Rebecca Watson has been receiving after she politely suggested that men not corner women in an elevator alone, at night, in a foreign country because it’s creepy (particularly the latest inexplicable heap on the Skepticblog post about the 24 hour SGU episode calling for her resignation) or about any number of bickering incidents that seems to happen now on a regular basis (particularly when either involving women or women’s issues) mostly instigated by a singular loud group with an apparently limitless amount of free time, but why would I bother? What would it add?

Commenters might show up to either agree (and though that feels good, no offense, but so what?) or vehemently disagree while calling me a femenazi, accusing me of having a secret feminist agenda, or some otherwise depressing bullshit keeping me from wanting to even bother with this anymore. People tend to come out of these things even more entrenched in their view than they were at the start and there are hundreds of other places they can go to do that. My commenting on the issue wouldn’t resolve anything and might even make it worse by providing yet another target for the loudest and most obnoxious assholes out there.

Also (this will seem like an aside, but I have a point, I promise) weirding me out a bit was that I blog under a different name elsewhere where a commenter, who also comments here, apparently despised everything I ever wrote on that blog at the same time as praising me on this blog. I am the same person with the same opinions and essentially the same writing style. Surreal.

But I realize this commenter did show me how easy it is for people to get a fixed view of bloggers or other skeptical personalities and then squeeze everything they do into their predetermined narrative. I think that is what is happening to people like Rebecca. Some skeptics are apparently incapable of considering a person as a sum of their actions and expressions, agreeing with some things they do and not other things (for example, though I thought Rebecca’s reaction to Dawkins non sequitur was appropriate, saying she was done buying his books etc just exemplified the thing I’m currently complaining about!). I am guilty of this, too. I met a certain someone at TAM7 who seemed like a complete douche, later confirmed by other issues, and have not been able to listen to their podcast since. Though lately I have been better able to disagree with certain people on some key issues yet support them on others (for example Rebecca and Dawkins) and that’s fine for me, mostly due to becoming aware of the issue in the first place, for some reason I can’t seem to get past my emotional aversion to this particular person. So I’m not trying to be all superior here, I just think that the skeptic propensity to act like a 4chan message board while at the same time acting we’re above such things doesn’t contribute to meaningful discussion.

So though I’m done here, I will continue to participate in the skeptical movement in my other projects and from now on I have no opinion about the latest childish nonsense that’s got everyone in a snit and I have no interest in people who are going to reduce me to my vagina. Those people I just feel sorry for. And while I’m sure at least one person reading this (if he does read it, and because I’ve seen him do this elsewhere) will admonish me for not sticking around and trying to educate, particularly on feminist issues, I shouldn’t have to point out that it isn’t my job to make sure that supposedly critical-thinking grown adults in the year 2011 are not racist, sexist, or any other bigotous -ist. Either they won’t listen or, like I said, there are hundreds of other places where they can find that out.

This all maybe came out sounding a big high and mighty, which was not my intent so with this last bit I will hopefully clarify. I am moving from a level of discourse, in which I feel I was participating in unproductive way, to one that is more skeptically active in the real world, in my professional life, and in my government. I hope that we can, as a movement for those who choose to call it that, move from this distasteful adolescence of useless bickering online and try to give each other the common courtesy of assuming that everyone here is a human being deserving of understanding and patience rather than vitriol and, in rare but highly publicized cases, what basically amounts to hateful propaganda. Yes, I have opinions, but that doesn’t mean have to publish every one of them online, inviting assholes to come piss me off. I just don’t have room for it in my life anymore.

I didn’t intend to leave on such a negative note, but the positive is that I will have more time to participate in real-life activism — without the bother of anonymously being called a whore, bitch, or other asshole nonsense — and I will be happier doing it.

Thank you for reading and commenting to every genuine contributor to adult, sane discourse in the comments. I will see you elsewhere on Twitter, Facebook, etc.


There’s the occasional ad that will be witty enough to fool consumers into sharing it around all over the internet, there are well-made ads that get the point across, there are terrible ads that don’t resonate well with viewers, and there are even ads that change something perfectly acceptable to something racist depending on what country it appears in.

I think what I don’t like about ads (and what subtle product-placement successfully avoids) is that they have usually 30-90 seconds to convince me to buy a product. This same 30-90 seconds will air several times a day to attempt to establish a permanency in my mind so that when I go to the store, I will think about their product. And whether I like it or not, advertising works.

However, it’s unfortunate that because of this short medium, messages tend to be given in short stereotyped ways. They are trying to drive their point home, and an easy stereotype can be an effective way to do that. But there are several examples of this that are just plain silly – most notably in gender categories. Products are gendered in a way that are generally unnecessary and then, after the “gendering” process, some are sold in almost the most sexist way possible. Ads tell us not only what we want, but who should want it.

There are thousands of essentially indistinguishable products vying for our attention. Advertising agents simplify things by splitting some products along certain categories, which makes some sense – for example, many products in the “family” category don’t appeal to me, as I don’t yet have a family. Women get household contraptions, cosmetics, scented house products (Febreeze etc), food (chocolate, yogurt, etc). Men get fast food, steak, cars, beer, video games, etc. There are exceptions, of course, but there are obvious trends. More…

I’m the worst blogger ever

Where have I been? To arsing lazy to write anything, that’s where. I’d say I was “too busy”, but what that really means is that I had other things to do and they ranked higher on priorities. I dunno, is anyone still reading this thing? I do still have opinions. Or should I just pack it in? Because who cares about yet another anonymous blogger’s narcissistic opinions?

BSG Reflections

I just finished re-watching the entire BSG series. My thinking was that maybe watching it a second time would give me a new appreciation for the ending, which I hated the first time around, given that I now had the opportunity to look for details I may have previously missed.

Well, that was a fit of optimism that didn’t pan out. But I think I know why I will never like the end of BSG. Warning, there are some mild spoilers ahead (but seriously it started 7 frakking years ago, just watch it already).

The finale has a lot of character-driven story that is very moving (for example, Laura, Helo et al, Apollo’s self-actualization, etc), but they failed by making the only plot a philosophical message. In doing that, they ensured that they would displease anyone who didn’t agree with their post-modern, anti-technology drivel. Almost the entire story arc before the last 2 minutes was fine (save the needless determinism and some minor points about how the humans arranged themselves at the end, but those are other cans of worms).

They could have gone with a neutral character-driven (like they intended – assuming they were telling the truth in their obnoxiously self-serving, navel gazing “Last Frakkin’ Special”) ending and probably not pissed anyone off. I mean, of course you can’t please everyone, but when you get preachy you’re taking a huge risk with a potentially lifelong loyal fan base. Though judging from that special, they practically thought they were as gods. Seriously. Watch it. It’s just ridiculous.

Holy shit, I just figured out the ending. The divine force controlling the universe is the writers!

Seriously though, the one thing that kills me every single time is Six saying the phrase “technology run amok” and then cut to that frakking montage. The writers don’t defend that position at all. They imply that technology is bad, that humans are inherently irresponsible, and that the cycle of destruction might begin again – oh but they’re hopeful that it won’t. Except that “hope” is just the writers going “See what we did there? If you do, then you won’t own robots or something, I guess.”

No, I lied. The other thing that kills me is the mitochondrial Eve pseudoscience they perplexingly tacked on with an almost throw-away line. A simple phone call to an evolutionary scientist may have resulted in a much more plausible way to quickly get across the same idea that the entire 4th season was already sledgehammering into our faces.

Well, there’s no sense whining about it now I suppose, it’s not like we go back and change it. Though perhaps a fan edit with the bullshit philosophy edited out would elicit some nerdy squees. I guess if I watch it again I’ll either stop at episode 11 or so (if I’m feeling bleak), or just don’t watch the last 2 minutes (if I’m feeling less bleak and able to ignore “all technology is bad” nonsense).

I only hope that one day science fiction and fantasy programming can break the cycle of sucky, preachy endings (sigh, Lost).

All of this has happened before, and will happen again…


Well I was going to have a nice Christmas weekend, but I thought “How can I do that with a non-steamy vagina?” So I steamed it. I steamed the living frak out of it.  And you know what? Once you’ve had words like “mugwort” and “wormwood” steamed into your genitals, you’re never quite the same.

I knew it would work because it’s ancient and Korean. We all know that they are consistently a people of reason and would never hold an utterly bizarre and completely unsupported belief that has no basis in reality. Unlike every other society in the world, they got their shit right the first time.

Now when my husband and I have sex, I can proudly show off my newly-steamed vagina and he can say “Um, why did you do that?” and I can say “I don’t know.”

What a wonderful time to be alive. It’s like an autoclave in there. $330 well spent.


Did you know that there was a need for non-toxic baby bedding, subtly implying that some baby bedding is, in fact, toxic? (Otherwise, what is the point of a product specially advertising that? “Buy my new non-toxic baby carrier!” See? You can do that with anything even remotely already non-toxic.)

Anyway, Jenny McCarthy thinks there’s a need and she’s got the solution.

It’s one thing to advertise as “green”, it’s another to use scare buzzwords like “non-toxic”.

Happy holidays, suckas!