Saturday Afternoon Open Thread

El Clasico, Barca v Madrid, coming up in a few minutes.

I like Madrid. Line is pick or win bet (+140.)

Open Thread.

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    Commie Rats (5.00 / 0) (#1)
    by Edger on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 03:06:29 PM EST
    In an experiment carried out by University of Chicago neuroscientists, pairs of rats that normally shared a cage were placed in a special area, where one was confined to a closed tube with a door that could be opened from the outside while the other remained able to roam around freely. The researchers observed that "the free rat acted more agitated when its cagemate was restrained, compared to its activity when the rat was placed in a cage with an empty restrainer."

    This kind of "emotional contagion" had been observed previously in tats - but what happened next was more unexpected. As described by Science Daily, "After several daily restraint sessions, the free rat learned how to open the restrainer door and free its cagemate. Though slow to act at first, once the rat discovered the ability to free its companion, it would take action almost immediately upon placement in the test arena."

    "We are not training these rats in any way," one of the designers of the experiment explained. "These rats are learning because they are motivated by something internal. We're not showing them how to open the door, they don't get any previous exposure on opening the door, and it's hard to open the door. But they keep trying and trying, and it eventually works."

    Further variations on the experiment appeared to confirm that the rats were acting out of pure empathy. For example, they would not bother to open the door when a toy rat was placed in the tube. However, they would open it even if it released their companion into a separate area, meaning they were not just looking for company.

    RawStory: Study shows lab rats would rather free a friend than eat chocolate

    Gee, you'd think if these rats had any real brains, they'd let the free market take of this problem for them, and just be happy with any chocolate crumbs the researchers would toss them...

    Gotta wonder how many millions of rats (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by Mr Natural on Sun Dec 11, 2011 at 12:24:26 AM EST
    they'd have to run through those experiments to find a as cruel as some humans.

    - to find one as cruel as some humans. (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by Mr Natural on Sun Dec 11, 2011 at 12:25:18 AM EST
    Make Them Watch Fox News (5.00 / 1) (#52)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 11:12:18 AM EST
    And the rats will be eating each other and then complaining about the taste.

    Well, I'm totally (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by Zorba on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 06:00:11 PM EST
    ticked off.  My boy Albert Pujols signed a ten-year contract with the Los Angeles Angels.  He is no longer "my boy" Albert.
    My brother, who still lives in the St. Louis area, had a comment on the whole thing, though:  
    Multimillionaire accepts more multi-milions of dollars from multibillionaires to work for them instead of some other multibillionaires. Many hundredaires and thousandaires upset.

    That's a good'un (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 07:07:08 PM EST
    Well, that's the way it is, jim (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by Zorba on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 07:12:09 PM EST
    in professional sports, after all.  ;-)

    The Cards can blame themselves for this (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by rdandrea on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 08:37:33 PM EST
    They could have signed Pujols to a long-term contract last off-season.  They chose not to.  Instead, they let him play all season without a contract for next year.

    He helped them win the World Series.  Made him that much more valuable.

    Oh well.  Look at how that worked out.


    Yep, they sure can blame themselves (none / 0) (#37)
    by Zorba on Sun Dec 11, 2011 at 07:01:27 AM EST
    They didn't want to pay Pujols what LA did, and now he's gone.  

    A '1' rating? (none / 0) (#4)
    by jeffinalabama on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 06:28:27 PM EST
    MKS must be a SERIOUS Angels fan.

    Meh. (none / 0) (#5)
    by Zorba on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 06:51:44 PM EST
    He doesn't like me, and I don't like him.  F*ck him and his ratings, frankly.  Two can play at that game.

    Zorba, please (5.00 / 2) (#14)
    by The Addams Family on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 07:57:51 PM EST
    don't get caught up in a stupid ratings war with a twit

    that's a banning offense in BTD's threads & i don't want you to go anywhere


    Very wise, AF, thanks (5.00 / 3) (#45)
    by Zorba on Sun Dec 11, 2011 at 02:30:50 PM EST
    You're right.  He just got to my Greek temper.  Henceforth, he's on my "totally ignore" list.  No ratings, no responses, nada, rien, τίποτα.

    Works for me (none / 0) (#50)
    by MKS on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 02:14:35 AM EST
    I wish they would just let it all (none / 0) (#26)
    by MKS on Sun Dec 11, 2011 at 12:02:16 AM EST
    go without any banning at all.

    You sure have fired off a lot of junior high school insults.....I would have no problem discussing these with you....


    no, thanks (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by The Addams Family on Sun Dec 11, 2011 at 12:09:40 AM EST
    Ah, good point (none / 0) (#35)
    by sj on Sun Dec 11, 2011 at 01:30:26 AM EST
    We do have his permission to note that MKSblowsalot.  So there's that.

    You do rely on that (none / 0) (#49)
    by MKS on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 01:27:29 AM EST
    Any ideas of your own?

    For folks who are all about reason you do go on......


    You are my New Year's Resolution (none / 0) (#51)
    by sj on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 10:55:54 AM EST
    You and ABG jointly.  For one week a month I will ignore you completely, no matter how foolish, arrogant or provoking you try to be.

    I'm going to go practice now.


    But you can't help yourself the other (none / 0) (#53)
    by MKS on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 12:36:43 PM EST
    three weeks a month?

    You like to jump in with venom, then cry foul when a little blows back on you.  Staying out may your best option.

    As I say, let it all roll, no whining, no running to mama bear and papa bear.


    Must be the margaritas (1.00 / 2) (#6)
    by MKS on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 07:01:11 PM EST
    really uncalled for (5.00 / 3) (#8)
    by The Addams Family on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 07:08:38 PM EST
    what a peevish little man you are

    Not uncalled for at all (none / 0) (#10)
    by MKS on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 07:19:27 PM EST
    given the circumstances......

    You think I'm wrong?


    what the hell are you talking about? (5.00 / 3) (#11)
    by The Addams Family on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 07:25:17 PM EST
    you effectively call Zorba a drunk & then you claim that the insult was "not uncalled for at all given the circumstances"?

    f^cking "circumstances"?

    You think I'm wrong?

    i think you're behaving like an immature, thin-skinned little a-hole

    if that makes you wrong, then, yeah, i think you're wrong

    & i hope you're only 12 years old


    Blame it on my Mom (none / 0) (#16)
    by MKS on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 08:03:49 PM EST
    Seemingly eons ago, as a psychologist, Mom was a clinical director of an experimental drug and alcohol unit in a state prison.  Walked the block every day.

    Ted Bundy tried to get into the drug and alcohol unit because it was easier time (before he was suspected of any murders), but she tested him with MMPI etc, and flunked him.....Not a drunk but really "off," was her conclusion.

    In order to gain the respect of the inmates, she entered the bull riding event of the Prison rodeo.  Facing your fears, etc.  Most everyone was shocked she would actually do it, and she did.

    But to your point about what Zorba was doing, I assume that it is plain for all to see--that after not participating at all in the conversation, she comes by and troll rates very single comment of mine, even the one inviting a substantive discussion.  After a couple of cathartic "ones," you would think that would be it, and we could all move on.

    It was so over the top.  So, I put out a half-joking theory....and I do not know Zorba so I have no inside infor so to speak.

    As to insults and the rest, I say let it roll.  But if you guys really want a substantive discussion, it would be really helpful for you to drop the insults and sarcasm.  If you do that, I'll do likewise.  If not, I am my mother's son.


    It is clear as glass (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by sj on Sun Dec 11, 2011 at 01:17:25 AM EST
    what Zorba is doing.  Since you can't seem to figure it out, I'll tell you.  She is following your lead.

    You cast troll ratings like fairy dust and insults like priests do blessings.  She finally had enough.  Apparently you don't like the taste of the medicine you dispense so freely.

    It's within your power to end it.  You can stop accusing others of doing what you are, in fact, doing.  If you choose not to?

    ::shrug:: Instant karma is a b!tch.  


    I am fine with the whole thing (1.00 / 1) (#32)
    by MKS on Sun Dec 11, 2011 at 01:22:58 AM EST
    Just let it roll.....

    Sorry couldn't resist (1.00 / 1) (#33)
    by MKS on Sun Dec 11, 2011 at 01:26:07 AM EST
    You guys take this too personally.

    Well (none / 0) (#18)
    by lilburro on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 08:18:08 PM EST
    since ratings don't matter here, at all, I would suggest that you, Zobra, and anyone/everyone else just ignore them.  Rating wars and flame wars are dumb.  And not all that interesting for others to read.

    The story about your mom is quite interesting though.  She sounds like a very cool woman.  To deal with Ted Bundy...yeesh.


    Ted Bundy (none / 0) (#19)
    by The Addams Family on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 08:26:34 PM EST
    a friend of mine in Seattle served with Ted Bundy on a task force whose mission was to find . . . the serial killer who turned out to be Ted Bundy

    and my late former mother-in-law once worked with Ted Bundy's mother in Tacoma - she said his mother was a lovely woman, in no way to blame for her son's actions - my late former MIL was a middle-school counselor, so i think she would have spotted signs of trouble in the mother if any had been there


    Ha. I knew someone who (none / 0) (#36)
    by observed on Sun Dec 11, 2011 at 04:12:58 AM EST
    worked in the Seattle Crisis Clinic phone room with Bundy and Ann Rule.
    He said he couldn't stand Ann Rule, but thought Bundy was alright.

    six degrees of separation... (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by Mr Natural on Sun Dec 11, 2011 at 10:28:03 AM EST
    I never thought I'd know, however vaguely, anyone who knew Ted Bundy.

    well, this is creepy---I also am (5.00 / 2) (#40)
    by observed on Sun Dec 11, 2011 at 12:17:06 PM EST
    two degrees of separation from Jeffrey Dahmer.
    Heck, I'm two degrees of separation from Pope John Paul II, two different ways.
    If only I could have narrowed that down to 0---I would have given him a piece of my mind about condoms and AIDS!

    Here's my odd couple degrees (none / 0) (#48)
    by CoralGables on Sun Dec 11, 2011 at 08:08:58 PM EST
    In 1977 I ran in a 10k Race in Perry, Florida. The winner of that race was from Tallahassee and a 3-time All American track star for Florida State, the site of the Chi Omega murders. His name was the name Bundy gave to police when he was arrested. (leaving the name out purposely as I'm sure he's happy it's almost disappeared from common knowledge).

    By comparison to today's televised rulings (e.g. The Michael Jackson doctor trial), the televised ruling by Judge Edward Cowart in the Bundy case was an amazingly brief, extremely sincere eight sentences never to be forgotten by me.


    Well, now that you mention it. (none / 0) (#30)
    by MKS on Sun Dec 11, 2011 at 12:40:16 AM EST
    He'll still be wearing red, as if this matters to (none / 0) (#17)
    by oculus on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 08:12:49 PM EST
    a Cards fan.

    Anyone up for a change of subject? (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by Anne on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 09:03:38 PM EST
    What kinds of things do you and your families do to get the holiday - Christmas or Hanukkah - underway?

    Today was the day we went to get the tree.  Since the girls were little, we've always gone to the same place to get our tree - a small, local nursery with a great Christmas shop filled with unusual ornaments, gifts, candles and greenery.  And cookies and warm apple cider for a little pick-me-up.

    Always find an ornament or three I can't live without, something that reminds me of someone I care about; I almost always buy ornaments to give around the office - I mean, who can't use an unusual ornament to hang on the tree, right?

    Then, it's home to rearrange furniture so the tree can go in the right spot - then hauling all the decorations up from the basement, getting out the lights and turning the house into Christmas.

    And just to prove this isn't just like a Currier and Ives painting, we almost always have the same little arguments, too...which side of the tree should face forward, whether there are enough lights on the tree, who hid the box with the stockings...seriously, every year!

    Most of our tree ornaments are not the usual colored balls - they're all different, and, it seems, each has its own memory or story that we share each time we put them on the tree.  Some have come from now-deceased relatives, and they evoke memories of their own.

    The tree is up, the mantel decorated, a nice fire going in the fireplace; it's been a good day.

    Hope you all have had the same.

    I always make it a point... (5.00 / 2) (#42)
    by desertswine on Sun Dec 11, 2011 at 01:00:34 PM EST
    to listen the the cd recording of David Sedaris reading "Holidays On Ice."  It seems that I can never get enough of the "Santaland Diaries" and "Six to Eight Black Men."

    David Sedaris (5.00 / 2) (#44)
    by Zorba on Sun Dec 11, 2011 at 01:51:32 PM EST
    is an absolute scream.  I never get tired of "Santaland Diaries."

    We make (5.00 / 1) (#43)
    by Zorba on Sun Dec 11, 2011 at 01:50:13 PM EST
    (well, I make) Greek butter-almond cookies sprinkled with powdered sugar (Kourabiethes).  The tree goes up about a week and a half before Christmas (and stays up until a day or two after Epiphany).  The menu for Christmas Day is somewhat flexible, but must always include Greek rice, raisin and chestnut dressing.  New Year's Day, which is also St. Basil's Day for us, must include a Vassilopita, St. Basil's Bread, which is a sweet bread in which a coin is hidden.  Whoever gets the coin in their slice of bread will have good luck and blessings all year.  

    We just celebrated Santa Lucia night (5.00 / 0) (#46)
    by Towanda on Sun Dec 11, 2011 at 03:24:59 PM EST
    last night (a couple of nights early) with the loveliest feast of lussekatter and glog and so many more goodies laid out by a Swedish friend and his spouse.  They also had loads of lovely daughters of friends there who arrived in white dresses and got to process around with candles and glittery haloes, learning a bit about how holidays are celebrated elsewhere.

    I refrained from the lecture on St. Lucy being overlaid onto the lore of Lussi, about this being another admixture of Christianity and paganism.  Whether a celebration going back only a couple of centuries or thousands of years, I'm all for celebrating the end of ever-shorter days and the bringing of light to bring on longer days and shorter nights!


    What fun! (none / 0) (#47)
    by Zorba on Sun Dec 11, 2011 at 04:04:40 PM EST
    Sounds great!  We have visited in Sweden in early December, and I must say, the days were certainly very short- I can't blame them at all for the glögg, the aquavit, which was also much in evidence when we were there, and the celebration of looking forward to the upcoming winter solstice and the days starting to get longer.  And yes, the food was wonderful, too.

    According to the BBC (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by Edger on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 09:17:44 PM EST
    Reindeer in the Arctic have some rather unusual tastes, that may be related to the origins of the Santa Claus myth

    youtube, well worth 1:59 min :-)

    Santa Claus a myth? (5.00 / 2) (#34)
    by sj on Sun Dec 11, 2011 at 01:30:03 AM EST
    Now you've gone too far!

    Santa is an angram, of course, (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by DFLer on Sun Dec 11, 2011 at 11:06:31 AM EST
    for SATAN!!!!!!!!!!!!

    DHS or ICE (5.00 / 0) (#41)
    by Edger on Sun Dec 11, 2011 at 12:27:21 PM EST
    will probably grab him and send him to gitmo forever with no trial.

    some perspectives on Occupy (none / 0) (#2)
    by The Addams Family on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 04:45:50 PM EST
    from commentators in Oakland, New York & Mumbai

    from the latter:

    I know that you are preoccupied (no pun intended) with `saving' slum dwellers, with `saving' poor third world women workers -- yes that's who they are in your eyes, nothing more, nothing less -- and with the new fad of "occupying" things, you just want to #occupy mumbaislums; let's just pause to think how bad an idea this is. I was at the meeting when people of the #occupymumbai movement (a few mumbaiites and many westerners) devised the plan to ABANDON SWEATSHOP LABOUR!11!11 by persuading women in the Dharavi slums to stop working, because such imperialist exploitation should come to an end now!11!!

    I was only present at your meeting because I work with a collective that works with the workers you are trying to `save'. It was pathetic to see you go on and on about how the leather industry from the Dharavi slums is booming and that most of it is exploitative sweatshop labour, because the point isn't shutting down businesses, it is to fight for wages that will help the workers to earn more than just subsistence money. Leaving jobs is not their option, boycotting the products they manufacture will just put them out of work.

    Relegating all discourse around slums to be one of violence, exploitation, abuse is nothing but a form of erasure, of painfully re-drawing, re-framing these workers in solely the victim narrative. Yes, these are their realities. So are networks and connections among most women workers, them organising and forming a trade union, links between the main hub of Mumbai slums (i.e. Dharavi) to other slums. Sure, they don't have a manifesto or pamplets, don't even try to pretend their work is worth any less than what it is -- a powerful network of labourers all across Mumbai, don't you see, they are already `saving' themselves? If you want to help, go to their meetings, don't invite a member of the English-speaking collective working with these women to be your bridge to them. Engage with them, they have so much to say and teach you.

    meanwhile, apparently it's Burn the Heretic Day over here, where we have the spectacle of the blog owner making a front-page post out of plucking a comment from an earlier thread & hysterically attacking the commenter for giving her reasoned opinion - wow, way to, um, "come together"

    [v]ictory dance (none / 0) (#12)
    by Edger on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 07:29:21 PM EST
    Robin Koerner at HuffPo on the 2010 National Defense Authorization Act...

    American citizens are celebrating in the streets as their government snatched final victory in the War on Terror on 1 Dec. 2011 -- through a maneuver that used legislative brilliance rather than bullets.
    The moment of victory came when 61 senators passed a version of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal year 2012 that allows the indefinite military detention on American soil of American citizens who are merely suspected of having connections to terrorism. To understand the genius of this legislation, some background is necessary.
    What Senators McCain (R, Arizona) and Levin (D, Michigan), and those who voted for the legislation that they sponsored, cleverly realized, however, is that since the terrorists are attacking America for its freedoms and "way of life", the only sure way to win the war is to eliminate all of those freedoms and way of life so that the terrorists will have no further reason to fight. (This is why the comprehensive laws that already exist in the USA that make the aiding and abetting of any terrorist organization or activity a crime, but leave untouched the inalienable rights of American citizens, simply do not suffice.)
    We should be glad that we no longer have to wait for the smoking gun to come in the form of a terrorist food hoarder's giant mushroom: the National Defense Authorization Act now permits the feds to lock her up forever on suspicion alone, without all the difficulties that attend a trial.

    God Bless America.

    America Wins War On Terror (9-11-01 To 12-1-11)

    How can we oppose it, Edger? (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by Mr Natural on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 10:13:17 PM EST
    After all, Al Franken voted for it!

    But - there's more.  Not satisfied with legalizing Dubya Dubya Obama's liberal interpretation of Dubya Dubya Dubya's policies, Franken is also sponsoring the entertainment industry's Return the Internet to the Rich bill, PIPA.

    What most don't realize is that our government maintains a humungous database of suspicious behavior, into which local, state, and federal destroyers of freedom are encouraged to report anything suspicious, resembling suspicious, or, more to the point, what to their dense unimaginative, otherwise unemployable little heads passes for suspicious.


    Well yes, but.... (none / 0) (#24)
    by Edger on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 10:31:29 PM EST
    Don't forget now, they do all that to keep you safe from those who would rob you of your freedoms.

    I mean, ummmm, uhhhh, well, you know what I mean?

    Security Trumps All after all is said and done. Right? ;-)


    But never fear (none / 0) (#13)
    by Edger on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 07:30:06 PM EST
    Obama will veto the act. Heh.

    No (none / 0) (#15)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 08:02:52 PM EST
    is that since the terrorists are attacking America for its freedoms and "way of life",

    The attacks are based on the desire of the Muslim radicals to establish Shariah law worldwide.

    So they attack any country who opposes them. India, Spain and even Muslim countries who do not bow to them.


    Tebow... (none / 0) (#25)
    by Addison on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 10:41:13 PM EST
    Some more highbrow Tebowphobia analysis, this time from Salon.

    My theory is that, among the people who dislike him, non-football fans and football fans dislike him for two different reasons.

    Non-football fans who dislike him are driven mostly by the culture wars.

    Football fans (both well-known and not) who dislike him are driven by their bruised egos; they thought Tebow would flop spectacularly and they made a lot of jokes when Orton was benched that live on forever in the Twitterverse, ESPN YouTube clips, and in the collective memory of the sports bar.

    For football fans, the religious stuff is a fodder for jokes -- friendly ones if you like what he's doing as a player, barbed ones if you don't like it. It's not something that they actually are utilizing to analyze Tebow.


    Tomorrow it's the Mile High Messiahs vs. the Hurtin' Haniebears at 4pm EST. We'll see what happens!