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Are These the Hills You Want to Die On?

[ 318 ] April 19, 2014 |

Amanda Marcotte has an interesting entry up about comics editor, Janelle Asselin, who had the temerity to point out that maybe giving a teen girl comics character the body of a porn star* wasn’t such a great idea.  This was received as well as you might imagine in the geek community. Male geeks everywhere were like “You know what? You’re right. She looks kinda ridiculous and not age-appropriate.” HA HA HA!!! I’m just joking. That’s not what really happened. What really happened is…guess!:

A.) She received flowers and candy and from admiring feminist men?

B.) She was harassed.

C.) She received rape threats.

D.) She received year’s supply anal lube, because, well why not?

If you guessed B and C, congratulations! You’ve just won a year’s supply of anal lube because you are incredibly smart and I’m an incredibly thoughtful prize-giver.

Now, this story is, in and of itself, like, super-boring, because shit like this happens to geek girls/women ALL. THE. TIME. I mean, crap, I check my watch (because let’s pretend for this sentence I am 70 years old) every 2 minutes and I say to myself “Some geek girl somewhere is getting shit for being anything other than a chill girl.”

But Amanda asks a really really interesting question I thinks she gives short shrift, and it’s this: Would it be so bad if women had more say in/control over the geek world? Would it really be bad if there were fewer super-sexy (I guess), busty characters in video games and comics?  If comics and and video games were less chauvinistic would that really be bad? Would it harm these mediums in some way? I’m asking. Seriously.

*Some people in the comments objected to Amanda pointing out how ridiculously busty the girl was, noting that some young women are very busty. Well, no. Not really. The truth is that the amount of women–young or old–who are that busty are fairly rare, and the vast majority of those women also have fat elsewhere on their bodies–it hasn’t all been miraculously deposited into gravity-defying breasts. Sorry. It just doesn’t happen. OK, it does happen, but it really is–sorry to burst your bubble–INCREDIBLY RARE.

Friday Creature Feature

[ 103 ] April 18, 2014 |

Meet Dimetrodon, a meat-eating reptile from the Permian period. A typical Dimetrodon was around 11 feet long and had a big sail on its on back it may have used for temperature regulation and/or display.

I find these guys interesting because I’d always thought evolution followed this simple line that went reptile—->mammal. I didn’t know what came before. (Amphibians, DUH. But that’s another entry.) So I had no idea these “mammal-like reptiles” were around long before the reptilian dinosaurs.


I love these pre-pre-historic monsters. 

It should be noted that Dimetrodon are often included in Dino-related toys and apps. Dimetrodon was not a dinosaur and made its mark long before dinosaurs were just a gleam in Mother Nature’s eye. If anybody tries to tell you Dimetrodon is a dinosaur, please respond by beating him or her soundly about the head and shoulders. Or you could just do what my 2-year-old son does and say “You say it WONG. Dimeetrodong is a weptile. Not a dinocore.” (He cannot say “s’s.”)

Also not a Dimetrodon

Greg notes, in the comments:

Also, more time passed between the stegosaurus and the T. rex than between the T. rex and the present.

OK, now tell me that doesn’t blow your mind.

Divorcing Design from Money

[ 150 ] April 17, 2014 |

I love fashion, I love interior design. I gave up on fashion magazines years and years ago because I think women’s magazines are pretty awful for women. But beyond that, I think the world of fashion is too wedded to money. It’s too wedded to that cadre of socialites you see in the back of “Vogue.” Fashion–let’s face it–is made for people who can’t be rich or thin enough.  And it breaks my heart because I love beautiful clothes. Fashion designers are artists–I want to just enjoy their art…but, c’mon, I can’t afford their art. And, like interior design, the socialite and celebrity-infused culture of fashion feels very far-removed from my life.

I’ve yet to give up interior design magazines. However, I’ve given up on the articles attending the spreads. Fawning, vapid articles about uber-rich people who don’t seem to have anything resembling normal lives. I don’t want that. I just want to hear from the artist–why did you choose that couch? How do you make a tablescape? And, you know, there’s some of that, sure. But, again, even that can feel alienating for a middle class/upper middle class (I don’t know) layperson like me. I simply couldn’t afford to  make the design choices that you see in “House Beautiful” or “Elle Decor.”

So, where do you go from here if, like me, you enjoy great design but you don’t enjoy its attendant money-infused snootiness?

One Pot, One Skillet

[ 94 ] April 16, 2014 |

Last night I made one of my favorite quick, easy one-skillet meals:  Browned Italian sausage simmered with big chunks of bell pepper and onion in a little beer (or wine), chicken stock, and tomato paste. I also threw in some cherry tomatoes and let them burst. It was yummy; it always is.

What are your favorite easy one-skillet or one-pot meals?

I Dedicate this Post to Scott Lemieux

[ 23 ] April 16, 2014 |

You’re welcome, Scott!!

[SL]: Thanks! (“Bestowed Upon You by Aaron Sorkin,” perfect.) Amazingly, despite being right in my wheelhouse and superbly executed it’s not even my favorite sketch from this year so far:

Comedy Central doesn’t have to look very far to find an eminently worthy replacement for Colbert.

Friday Night Creature Feature

[ 23 ] April 11, 2014 |

If you’re like me and you enjoy exploring our horrifying roots, please check out the BBC’s “Walking with Monsters.” IT’S AWESOME.

See also.

Jonathan Chait Writes Bible-Length Treatise on the Obama Presidency and Race: Comes to the Exciting Conclusion Obama is Leaving Office in a Couple of Years

[ 151 ] April 10, 2014 |

Thanks so much to our own DocAmazing for calling attention to this

If anyone can make heads or tails of this article, I’d be mighty obliged. I certainly could be misreading this, but it seems an awful lot like Chait is trying to make it seem as if the occasional misguided charge of racism by liberals is somehow comparable to racists finding refuge in modern conservatism for decades.  Please tell me he’s not doing that.

Trailer Park Boy

[ 30 ] April 10, 2014 |

Via our own Origami Isopod…

So, I guess I don’t get what’s going in Canada these days. Have Canadians decided that the position of mayor of Toronto is purely symbolic or is there something else going on? This isn’t Japan, so I assume the office hasn’t secretly been automated and the city is now being run by a sexy robot. Unless Toronto’s idea of a sexy robot is Rob Ford, in which case MAJOR FAIL, TORONTO.

Wingnutism in a Wingnutshell

[ 154 ] April 9, 2014 |

Listen to what Dana Perino has to say about the new film,  ”Noah.” She basically says “This film does not mirror my ill-informed, misty, water-colored childhood memories therefore it’s wrong.” Can there be a better distillation of wingnutism around? I mean, is wingnutism anything more than ill-informed nostalgia for a world that never existed?


[ 50 ] April 9, 2014 |

Yet another depressing article about women in technology. If you value your sanity, don’t read the comments section, which is a compilation of petulant hand-waving and mansplaining.


[SEK] In other news, The Other Madison on my cul de sac asked if I had “let Jesus into my heart.” Kinda grossed out that her (otherwise very nice) mother didn’t immediately tell her that that was inappropriate. [/SEK]*


*This is an SEK-like experience; SEK did not interject here.

Focus Group

[ 4 ] April 6, 2014 |



[ 47 ] April 6, 2014 |



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