He’s better off out of the Cub Scouts

A young man got to participate in some civic engagement with his scout troop, and was given an opportunity to ask a question of Colorado state senator Vicki Marble. He asked, “An issue that I’m concerned about is common sense gun control. I was shocked that you co-sponsored a bill to allow domestic violence offender to continue to own a gun. … Why on Earth would you want somebody who beats their wife to have access to a gun?

Man, that kid did his research ahead of time, looked into the legislation Marble sponsored, and actually asked a cogent question. Do they give badges for that?

I guess not. The scout leader kicked him out of his cub scout den.

How is this guy popular?

Did you know the way to deal with a man? Debate is only a prelude to punching his lights out.

I know how to stand up to a man who’s unfairly trespassing against me, and the reason I know that is because the parameters for my resistance are quite well-defined … We talk, we argue, we push and then it becomes physical. Right?

You see, if that’s how an argument is supposed to reasonably progress, then it becomes problematic to argue with a woman, because you know that eventually, according to the rules, rational dissent must culminate in socking her in the jaw, and that’s not nice to do to a woman. Perfectly OK to do that to a man, of course.

In case you’re wondering who would make such a ludicrous argument, it’s from Jordan Peterson, clinical psychologist, darling of the alt-right, and Canadian. I’ve never been in such a situation, except for that time in 7th grade when I was beat up for my lunch money, and even then, I didn’t get to do any punching because I was on my back with the wind knocked out of me.

I don’t know, man, that’s such an un-Canadian attitude Peterson has got, they might have to revoke his citizenship.


Speaking of horrible people, you might want to read this post about Joshie Berger, formerly a popular participant at the Amazing Meeting, loud skeptic, and apparently an acolyte of Peterson. It seems his way of dealing with his girlfriend was to smash her face. If that has already ruined your breakfast, here’s another problem person: DJ Grothe. Grothe didn’t punch anyone, fortunately, but in his role as the TAM organizer at the time, he reportedly silenced people who complained about Berger’s general behavior. Because, I guess, that was his job, to keep everything running smoothly for abusers.

Fuck it. I’m going to Minneapolis today, to hang out with good people and get off the internet for a while.

Positional information and morphogens

Here we go again — I said I’d try to make a youtube video about developmental biology every week, and I’m keeping that promise. I’m thinking, though, that my last couple of efforts were too big and indigestible, weighing in at 40 minutes each, so I’m going to try instead to present brief introductions to basic biology, and see if those are more interesting to people. I aimed for 10 minutes, but hit 12 instead — sorry, I’m a college professor, wind me up and let me go and I won’t shut up.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yz1bsfneMTk&w=560&h=315]

Let me know if this format is easier to stomach, and suggestions are welcome.

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I could take ’em

I watched that terrible Giant Robot Duel. They were slow, clumsy, and stupid, with nothing but ginned-up drama to add some fake excitement to cumbersome machines poking at each other in slow motion. It was like old television wrestling slowed down to a tenth of the usual speed.

At least I realized something. An old flabby guy in glasses, like me, could easily defeat these monsters. All I’d need is a pair of cable cutters to go in and hack random wires and tubes while they plod around, and victory! I’ll say this for the old FAF wrestling nonsense, I know that Rowdy Roddy Piper or Hulk Hogan or any random luchador would flatten me in a heartbeat and with a laugh. These robots were contrived and pathetic.

Also, we already have manned fighting robots. They just aren’t poorly designed to appear anthropoid and aren’t equipped with feeble weapons like paintball guns or chainsaws. Here’s one:

We’ve been working on battle bot technology for about a century now. These things aren’t pathetically awkward and inefficient and useless.

I also don’t think I could take an M1A2 with my aged nimbleness and some wire cutters.

Domestic Terrorists Arrested For Attempted Homicide After White Nationalist Rally

Three domestic terrorists are under arrest after making Nazi salutes before opening fire on protesters in the aftermath of a white nationalist rally in Florida. Police in Gainesville, Florida arrested three domestic terrorists following a rally featuring white nationalist leader Richard Spencer at the University of Florida campus in Gainesville on Thursday, October 19. According to […]

Trump Pick For Top Job Calls Global Warming ‘Paganism’ For ‘Secular Elites’

President Trump’s pick for a top environmental post claims that belief in global warming is a “kind of paganism” for “secular elites.” Kathleen Hartnett White is Trump’s pick to be the White House senior adviser on environmental policy. As such, she will head the Council on Environmental Quality, a powerful position which oversees environmental and […]

The Bog that Ate Brainerd

Just wait until it gains a primitive sentience and ambulatory appendages. A giant bog has come adrift and is wandering about demolishing docks in a Minnesota lake. It’s so big it has trees growing on it.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IHELCyicUZY&w=560&h=315]

We could also wait for The Blob solution: winter will be here soon and will lock it down in a cage of ice. Except that might be the final incentive it needs to break free of its aquatic limitations and rampage across the prairie. We’ll keep you alerted, but in case Pharyngula suddenly goes silent, it may be because I’m imbedded in a slimy matrix of muck and cattail roots and algae.