Now My Bones Are Chilled

Over on IO9.com they have posted a thread asking about the scariest short story you’ve ever read. I have made the tragic, tragic mistake of reading some of these bone-chilling, spine-tingling, skin-crawling short stories and I have scared the ever living shit out of myself.

Right there on the post was the short story was “Harold” from Alvin Schwartz’s Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. That should have been enough; I should have stopped. But no. I have been fool enough to read F. Marion Crawford’s “The Upper Berth,” which written in 1894 and is still scary as hell. I read “It’s A Good Life” by Jerome Bixby and have been shuddering ever since.  I read this stupid Goatman story and creeped myself all the way out. Then my brain decided to remember the scariest short stories it had read before, like Stephan King’s The Boogeyman and The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allen Poe.

What’s worse is that none of these short stories is as terrifying as the two-sentence horror stories that are haunting (see what I did there) my brain. Some of the gems that have me quaking:

“My sister says that mommy killed her. Mommy says that I don’t have a sister.”

“I can’t move, breathe, speak or hear and it’s so dark all the time. If I knew it would be this lonely, I would have been cremated instead.”

“I woke up to hear knocking on glass. At first, I though it was the window until I heard it come from the mirror again.”

“”I can’t sleep” she whispered, crawling into bed with me. I woke up cold, clutching the dress she was buried in.”

“After working a hard day I came home to see my girlfriend cradling our child. I didn’t know which was more frightening, seeing my dead girlfriend and stillborn child, or knowing that someone broke into my apartment to place them there.”

It’s only AFTER I have freaked my nerves to pieces that my parents (who are visiting) decided to run over to the mall AND my Sweet Babou headed over to Spock’s preschool to help with a computer emergency. Now, I am all alone in an empty house. Sure, it is broad daylight. Nevertheless, it is windy and the wind makes the house creak. Or the leaves rustle outside like someone is walking around. I can hear that shit even over the sound of my typing. Other than the spooky wind sounds and the click-click noises from the keyboard the house is completely silent.

My wee dog just barked at a squirrel and I shat myself. 

No more eerie reads for me!!

Posted in I've been thinking too much, irony set on "stun", life as I know it | 1 Comment

Members of the “Roast Busters” Rape Club Will Not Be Punished

The criminal investigation of the teenaged gang rapists from New Zealand known as the Roast Busters, “a group of young men in West Auckland who picked up girls (most of whom were underage, some as young as 13), gave them alcohol, and gang raped them, only to brag about it on social media” has closed without pressing a single charge against any of the admitted rapists. The sacks of dog shit are getting away with rape, just like 97% of all rapists

Pardon me whilst I rage and vomit.

None of the five Roast Busters are going to be charged, despite having raped almost 3 dozen victims. The Auckland police didn’t feel this was worth prosecuting. The police say they don’t have enough evidence, and the girls didn’t want to give formal complaints. However, the police claim that there were not enough reports filed may be a bit misleading, since in realityfive girls approached by police did make formal statements. Those five joined two girls who had already contacted police but whose complaints had languished until media attention brought the case to prominence.” Seven complains = zero in Auckland Cop math? Good to know.

But why didn’t all the victims file a complaint? Perhaps it had something to do with the fact that the girls who had reported the rapes to the police in 2011 and were ignored? Worse, one of the victims who did report the rape was chastised for wearing a skirt before her attack and was thoroughly slut-shamed by the investigators.  What good does it do to file a complaint? Nothing will be done except to victimize you further, so why bother? 

Moreover, girls that reported the rapes have been bullied incessantly, with a group on Facebook called Roast Busters Appreciation Page: who declared that they were dedicated to “Appreciating the roast busters, putting bitches in their place since ages ago. Outing the sluts giving them the treatment they deserve. Any sluts keen to get put on the spit or ganged feel free to comment everyone loves a good slut.” Basically, to “tell” on the rapists is to get symbolically raped again and again by online and public harassment. 

Golly, why don’t women line up to report rape?

Even if the police are ignoring the seven formal victim complaints, why haven’t they acted based on the admissions of the boys themselves?? For the love of God, the rapists bragged about their crimes on recorded public media, yet the police claim “their hands are  tied” and that they just cannot press charges. One pustule-ridden warthog’s taint, 17-year-old Beraiah Hales, boasted that he told victims, ”Go ahead, Call the cops, They can’t un-rape you.” Later, in an abrupt about-face, the boys started claiming the sex, even the gang rape of an unconscious girl, was consensual. Hales also has a big sad that people ‘hate’ him now, just because he raped a few drunk and underage girls and then bragged about it. Hales blames the media, of course. He declared that “It’s not what the girls say that I care about, it’s what (the media) have said … As I said before, as long as I know the truth I’ll be fine.”Beraiah Hales also says his activities were “not rape,. I had sex with one girl who is 13 when i was 16.. She wanted it and thats all that matters”.

It just so happens that in “New Zealand, it’s illegal for anyone to have sexual contact with a person under the age of 16, no matter how much they indicate that they “want it.” It’s also illegal for anyone to have sexual contact with a person who is incapacitated by alcohol.” That means Beraiah Hales is an admitted rapist. That is the truth, whether he likes it or not.

So, tell me again why have the police done nothing? Perhaps their unwillingness to press charges against the boys has something to do with the fact that one of the Roast Busters is the son of a local police officer? Nah, the police have insisted that the fact that one of the Roast Busters was a cop’s son has had no effect on the investigation whatsoever!

Meanwhile, newspapers have reported that “Police Minister Michael Woodhouse says he understands the Roast Busters decision would disappoint some people, but he believes there are things to learn from the case and hopes it would not deter women from coming forward in future.”

I’m sure the fact that they know that they will be slut-shamed and their rapists will get away with the crime will in no way impact a rape victim’s decision about “coming forward in future”. They’ll ride their flying pigs to their police station, too. 

Posted in are you kidding me with this shit?, Feminism, shit I think y'all should know, slut shaming, victim blaming | 2 Comments

If you have to lie, you’re the bad guy

Here’s the thing about being in the right: you don’t have to lie about what happened. The facts of the event demonstrate to all and sundry that your behavior was correct and just. That is what being in the right means. Thus, knowing that the Ferguson Police Department and the St. Louis Dispatch released information about Michael Brown’s death that was UNTRUE, makes me suspect that officer Darrin Wilson murdered an unarmed teen without provocation – just like the witnesses said he did.

Dr. Melinek, the forensics expert that the St. Louis Dispatch quoted in order to “prove” Michael Brown was struggling for Officer Darrin Wilson’s gun when he was shot, has “blasted the St. Louis Post-Dispatch for their complete misrepresentation of her statements and went on the record with her [real] findings based on the autopsy report.”

What is most curious, to me, is that the newspaper didn’t bother to mention that the autopsy report noted a bullet wound to Michael Brown’s head wherein there was an entrance wound in the middle of his forehead which “pairs with” an exit wound from the right jaw.  Hmmmm. That makes it seem as though Brown was shot in the forehead by someone who was shooting from an angle above his head, so that the bullet traveled down and out of the jaw. Brown was 6’4” tall. Unless Darrin Wilson is more than seven feet tall, it surely looks like Mike Brown was on his knees or falling when he was shot in the forehead.

Huh.

Moreover, the autopsy report clearly states that the manner of death was homicide. Funny how news sites are not reporting on that as much. I guess they don’t want to inadvertently prejudice the public against Officer Darrin Wilson.

It should come to no surprise that “At this time, no apology from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch over their gross misrepresentation of the statements given has been released, and it is quite probable that none will be.” I guess they are afraid of backlash, or afraid it would make them look bad.

Turns out the editors and reporters of the St. Louis Dispatch are as yellow as their journalism.

Posted in are you kidding me with this shit?, irony set on "stun", racism, shit I think y'all should know, victim blaming | 1 Comment

A Noisy Penis in the Linguistic World (A Guest Post From Alis)

(Alis has done did a guest post, and Imma liked it.)

The Linguistic “noisy penis”. No, I’m not talking about my Linguistics 211 professor. I promise. Please don’t sue. Remember–if you don’t acknowledge the similarities, no one will notice them. Really.

**crickets**

Ahem. Where was I? Right. Linguistic “noisy penises.” Those fascinating little things. Those twisty bits of language that make the Word Nerds amongst us quiver with excitement. Just thinking about them makes me smile. The lacuna. The squinch. The eggcorn…

I know, I know. You think I’m making that last one up, but I’m not. And while they are fascinating (at least to me, and hopefully I am not alone in this) the concept is new and relatively unknown. This is no Oxford comma. You’re not going to hear some hipster at a martini bar embracing the eggcorn. (Yet. I may change that.) As a matter of fact, the term “eggcorn” didn’t even exist until University of Edinburgh linguistics professor Geoffrey Pullum coined it in 2003. Another linguist noted on his blog, Language Log, how a woman misspelled the word acorn, replacing it with eggcorn. Upon Googling the words, he found 400 cases of the use of eggcorn, and 400,000 instances of acorn. So, if you do the math, out of 400 million native English speakers, there could be 400,000 who might believe, “mighty oaks from little eggcorns grow.” The phenomenon had no name, and so Pullum suggested using the term itself as a representation of the concept.

Now, the eggcorn isn’t a pun, or a malapropism. Puns are intended to be funny, and malapropisms don’t make sense, but eggcorns—while sometimes striking one as funny—are seriously intended and somehow make sense, even in their incorrectness. For example I give to you: the preying mantis. It’s supposed to be praying mantis, but we all know how carnivorous those little beasties are, so preying makes a lot of sense. Then there’s “after all is set and done,” making almost MORE sense in some cases than the actual “said and done.” And there are hundreds of them! Who knows where these little variances will take us! We could eat cold slaw in the summer and put holiday sauce on our eggs.

We could discuss our deep-seeded resentments of prisoners being denied do process, or agonize over the death throws (love this one) of civilization as we know it. The garbledygook on the internets could get even more difficult to understand, and from there it would only be a hare’s breath away from being star-craving mad. (Wouldn’t you love to be star-craving mad? The agonies of staring into space, suffering a longing for the unattainable that drives you absolutely ‘round the twist? The poetry practically writes itself.)

I could go on (and on and on) but you probably get the picture by now.

Think about this: 600 years ago it was insulting to be called nice—it meant foolish, or stupid—and today, while it isn’t sometimes the compliment we hope it to be, it’s usually meant positively. We, as a culture, are communicating visually and textually more than ever, and the verbal miscues of the past are finding their way into print. From there, it isn’t a far-gone conclusion that with Fox News and its elk adding to the constant commentary, it’s a mute point to argue against it and, ironically, that religiously sticking to the old ways may end up making you a social leopard when the chickens finally come home to roast.

Until then—enjoy your eggcorn.

Posted in shit I think y'all should know | 5 Comments

Pimp My Read

This post is entirely self-serving, and by self-serving I mean I am trying to entice people to spread the word about my books so that more of those said books will be purchased and I can then use the proceeds to purchase frivolous things like food. I am greedy like that.

There are days when I wonder why in the hell I write. Do I just like the sensation of hard-working poverty wages? I’m a Liberal, we are all about the underclass.

Not that you have to buy my products just because I am pitiful and sobbing. Chuck Windig, an author whose writings and wits I admire, says it best when he points out that no one is obligated to buy your book so stop your whining. He’s absolutely right.

Nevertheless, I have no advertising budget and thanks to my Asperger’s I have piss-poor “executive functioning” so my ability to self-market is nil. Thus, I am clutching your ankles desperately and pleading you to share this post in the hopes that someone, somewhere, will be inspired to invest a handful of change into my art.

For one thing, you can subscribe to my blog for $.99 a month. That is less than the cost of a candy bar, people. If you don’t subscribe you are tacitly telling my blog isn’t worth ~ $.04 a read. Why? Why would you do something so cruel? Don’t you love me anymore? Don’t I give you enough relevant information about insect dongs? *flings herself on the bed weeping*

You can also buy my book Feminism, Fat, and Fokking for a mere $2.99. It is a compilation of the extended dance mix of my most popular blog posts on the topics of feminism, fat, and fokking. Since these posts have been heavily rewritten it is not something you can just read on my blog anymore. It is MORE Fokker. Of course you want more Fokker!

Then there are the publications under my nom de plume of Sylvia Ketrie.

Tempted by Infamy — It’s the first century in Trajan’s Rome, and reputations rise and fall like Empires. Octavia, a Patrician widow, must find a man to satisfy her body’s needs or suffer the rages of hysteria, but no one has inspired her since her beloved husband passed away leaving both her bed and her heart empty.  Torr, a once-enslaved Gladiator, needs a patron to advance his hopes of becoming a citizen of Rome, and an appreciative woman of standing could just be his ticket to true freedom.  So, Octavia believes she’s using Torr, and Torr believes he’s using her, but in reality, they’re both being used–by Cupid.

Courted –Two marriages, and two divorces have left Anthea older and wiser. Finally free again, she knows what–and who–she wants. Lucillus, her lawyer, is a master in the courtroom, but is he as talented in the bedroom? Courted is a tale of desire as ancient and powerful as the Roman Empire in which it is set.

Cupid’s Arrows — The great philosophers claimed that, for a woman, fulfilling ones place in society was its own reward. Cassia disagreed. Her whole life she’d been everything she was supposed to be–a biddable daughter, a responsible member of society, a loyal wife–but her life was anything but fulfilling. Now, faced with the insult of divorce on top of years of restraint and deprivation, she decided–maybe it was time to be bad. For a year she’d denied her desire for her soon-to-be-ex-husband’s handsome archer, Thracius, and she’d be damned if she was going to be sent back to her father’s house in disgrace without at least experiencing a moment of excitement in his arms–even if it meant suffering through archery lessons just to be near him. There’s more pleasure in being targeted by the God of Love than in learning to shoot paper targets, though, and the heat in her archer’s eyes made it clear that she wasn’t the only casualty in this particular war.

See? Lots to chose from. Lots of CHEAP things to choose from. Lots of things you really, really want to buy. Your heart cries out to own at least one of these magnificent opuses! 

Unless you don’t really like my writing.

pleading

Posted in Asperger's and Autism Spectrum, life as I know it | 10 Comments

Roundup Information

I am frequently subjected to mild scoffing from my scientist/scientific friends, because I want GMOs to be labeled. They pooh-pooh me and say there is no evidence that GMOs are harmful. I argue that there is also no conclusive proof GMOs, either in total or by plant, are safe for human consumption. I also point out that, contrary to myth, there ARE studies showing harm resulting form eating GMO crops. There is scientific peer-reviewed evidence that GMO crops are harmful to animals and there is similar evidence that GMO crops are not harmful.

You would think scientists only had access to half the data on GMOs. When discussing the safety of eating GMO’s, scientists who support GMOs maintain that they:

“have established that the level of safety to consumers of current genetically engineered foods is likely to be equivalent to that of traditional foods. At present, no verifiable evidence of adverse health effects of BD foods has been reported, although the current passive reporting system probably would not detect minor or rare adverse effects or a moderate increase in effects with a high background incidence such as diarrhea.”

That’s great, except for part where they are wrong. The fact is that there IS verifiable evidence of adverse health effects. For one thing, “A study published in 2009found clear negative impact on liver and kidney function in rats consuming GM maize varieties for 90 days” (Key S, Ma JK, Drake PM. Genetically modified plants and human health. J R Soc Med 2008; 101(6): 290-8.) These are not anecdotal findings by fringe tree-huggers; these are peer-reviewed studies with replicable data. 

Moreover, all GMOs are not the same type of GMO and it may be that growing GMO crops are causing a “perfect storm” of effects based on clustered – not individual – data sets.  No one is really, really certain; there are simply not enough studies yet. Call me a bluff old traditionalist, but I would like the option of avoiding foods that have not be conclusively proven (not just “likely”) to be non-harmful.

However, there is one thing that we can be fairly sure about – the Monsanto created herbicide glyphosate, AKA Roundup,  is bad news.  GMO crops sold by Monsanto are modified to be “glyphosate resistant”, enabling farmers to spray hellish amounts on their fields yet only kill the weeds. The glyphosate sticks to the food and if you eat “conventional” food, then you get to eat a dollop of Roundup with every bite. Monsanto researchers assure us that Roundup is safe for humans, but non-Monsanto funded research indicated otherwise. In tests of the glyphosate, and not just the individual chemical composing glyphosate, researchers found that “Despite its relatively benign reputation, Roundup was among the most toxic herbicides and insecticides tested. Most importantly, 8 formulations out of 9 were up to one thousand times more toxic than their active principles. Our results challenge the relevance of the acceptable daily intake for pesticides because this norm is calculated from the toxicity of the active principle alone. Chronic tests on pesticides may not reflect relevant environmental exposures if only one ingredient of these mixtures is tested alone.”

Multiple studies have shown glyphosate’s ill-effects on animals. Just recently, yet another study has been added to the fold. When sows were given feed containing Roundup residue (i.e conventional feed) the rate of piglet malformations increased significantly. The authors of the study noted that this was not a fluke:

“The predominant uses of glyphosate are for stubble management, pre-sowing weed control and pre-harvest application (desiccation) [2]. Glyphosate is also used for weed control in fields of genetically modified (GM) crops like soybean, rapeseed, corn, cotton, sugar beets, alfalfa, etc, where it is directly applied to the plants [3]. The rapidly  growing problem of glyphosate-resistant weeds is reflected in a steady increase in the rate of glyphosate used on crops. Stems, leaves and beans of glyphosate resistant soy are contaminated with glyphosate. Moreover, because of the extensive use of glyphosate, it is frequently detected in water, rain and air [4,5]. Recently, glyphosate residues were tested in urine and different organs of dairy cows as well as in urine of hares, rabbits and humans in different concentrations [6]. Glyphosate and its commercial herbicides severely affect embryonic and placental cells, producing mitochondrial damage, necrosis and programmed cell death with doses far below the used agricultural concentrations. Paganelli et al. [7] found congenital malformations in chicken embryos with glyphosate at a concentration of 8-12 μM glyphosate in the injected side. The molecular phenotypes were correlated with a disruption of developmental mechanisms involving the neural crest, embryotic midline formation and cephalic patterning induced by the active principal of glyphosate not by the adjuvants due to impairment of retinoid signaling. The authors gave an overview of reports of malformations in children of families living few meters from where this herbicide was sprayed. The risk of malformation in human embryos is very high when their mothers are contaminated at 2 to 8 weeks of pregnancy. The detected glyphosate concentrations in organs, gut walls and meat of these piglets suspect correlation to glyphosate. Daruich and co-workers [8] concluded that glyphosate causes various disorders both in the parent female and in the progeny. Paternal exposure to glyphosate is recognized to be a cause of birth defects by pesticide mediated alterations of germ cells [9,10].”

 

Clearly farm animals are effected by Roundup residue, but what about humans? Bad news there, I’m afraid. Studies have shown that “glyphosate was significantly higher in urine of humans with conventional feeding. Furthermore, chronically ill humans showed significantly higher glyphosate residues in urine than healthy population. The presence of glyphosate residues in both humans and animals could haul the entire population towards numerous health hazards, studying the impact of glyphosate residues on health is warranted and the global regulations for the use of glyphosate may have to be re-evaluated.” (Krüger et al., J Environ Anal Toxicol 2014, 4:2)

Mysteriously, almost all the studies showing glyphosate’s harmful effects have taken place outside the USA. These studies are NOT subject to attempted replication in the USA after publication. It is almost as if Monsanto controls what scientists are allowed to test. American scientists continue to insist that, based exclusively on published information in American scientific journals, that there is no evidence to suggest GMOs are harmful.

Huh.

Posted in are you kidding me with this shit?, health, irony set on "stun", shit I think y'all should know | 2 Comments

Not that TMNT

My daughters are going to be cute for Halloween. Lilo is dressing up as the Queen of Halloween. Stitch is going as a black cat, probably because she is aware she is adorable with a wee black nose and whiskers. Spock is going as a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle, but NOT this one:

sexy TMNT

Those are the “sexy” TMNT costumes available. Seriously. I am not making this shit up.

OMG NO

Posted in are you kidding me with this shit?, daughters, Feminism, motherhood | Leave a comment