Increasingly Tending to Non Sequiturs

My immune system is built of sturdy Icelandic draft ponies. It must be; why else would my roommate’s entire respiratory system be riddled with one-way portals from the Plane of Snot, while I am blissfully healthy? Perhaps there’s some sort of snot portal exclusion principle at play here, but that wouldn’t explain my desire to stand outside in the rain and whinny.

My uterus, on the other hand, is built of pain, and spicy enchiladas.


If you have a subscription to Science, check out this week’s article on the intersection of myth and geology:

Myths can sometimes alert researchers to previously unheeded geohazards; in other cases, where science has demonstrated the danger, legends “enrich the record” and reinforce the fact that people lie in harm’s way, says paleoseismologist Brian Atwater of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in Seattle, who has spearheaded many studies of seismic events in the Pacific Northwest. The trick is teasing out which myths carry kernels of truth that can be connected to hard data.

The actual success rate of myths as fruitful starting points for geological investigation is easily overstated; it’s usually easier to go the other way, and “validate” a folk tale by finding some relevant local hazard to match it with. “Validate” is in scare quotes here because I think examining the realityland truth value of myth is often severely missing the point, and nearly always irritatingly rationalist.


Apropos the recent girlcott of everyone’s favorite racist, sexist, and classist clothing retailer, the Countess is having a contest! Best t-shirt slogan wins some penis-shaped chocolate. I like your lascivious gaze validates my existence, but I’m also weirded out by the number of supposedly feminist-friendly slogans that basically boil down to hey look I’ve got boobies!. Sure, it’s a better message than I’ve got boobies and I’m stupid, but that’s a pretty low bar.

I’m no artist, but you know the cartoon:

What we say to the patriarchy: The fact that I have boobies doesn’t mean I want to have sex with you or any other man passing by; it also doesn’t mean that I don’t. My boobies have nothing to do with my intelligence or my (un)willingness to play along with your obnoxious male dominance games. Please don’t stare at my chest unless specifically invited.
What the patriarchy hears: Blah blah blah BOOBIES blah blah SEX WITH YOU blah blah SEX blah blah BOOBIES

For this, of course, I blame the patriarchy, and not the wearers or appreciators of cleverly boobie-besloganed t-shirts. My own entries, for the record:

Blondes have hair. Brunettes have hair. Tyrannosauroids have protofeathers.
[picture of a tyrannosaur stomping on some girls]

I’m too pretty to be a model


  • Hugo Schwyzer on relationships: refusing to set boundaries is not the same thing as being easy-going and nice.
  • Nick Kiddle on almost being raped: can the comments on such stories ever devolve into a dead-horse-beating-fest about the (potential) rapist’s poor decisionmaking? No. Assholery is unquestionably present at a constant level in the population, and there’s nothing we can do to change that, but imprudence can be eliminated from the human race by the simple process of hectoring.

Below the fold: I’ve been memed!

The Blog Archives and Hidden Meanings meme. Instructions:

  1. Delve into your blog archive.
  2. Find the fifth sentence (or closest to) of your 23rd post (or closest to).
  3. Ponder it for meaning, subtext or hidden agendas.
  4. Post the text of the sentence in your blog along with these instructions.
  5. Tag people to do the same.

Ahem cough cough:

I’ll need a script for it, though, since I’m a lazy bum.

Meaning and subtext these days all seem to be pointing to the same place: you’re too lazy to be an academic! Go do more research! Exclamation points containing imitation whip noises! I’m not sure how much of this is the prevailing climate of grad school, and how much is just me freaking out because semesters are really long – in a quarter system I’d have imploded from finals by now.

Anyway. I hereby pass the meme to Kerrick, because I’m stealing these instructions from him, and passing them on to you, my loyal commenters:

Comment with a fake memory of me. (I absolutely insist that your memory be of something that never actually happened, as everything that has happened is probably either boring, embarrassing, or unbelievable.) Then post this in your own journal.


  1. Anonymous wrote:

    Need more information on the staring thing. What exactly constitutes a stare? My personal guidelines are
    0 – 0.5 seconds = GLANCE (Involuntary response)
    0.5 – 2 seconds = LOOK (Neutral)
    Over 2 seconds = STARE (Rude)
    However, other guys think these time limits are too short. Some would say the LOOK/STARE boundary is at 4-5 seconds.

  2. yami wrote:

    I’m going with “longer than necessary” on this one, with the understanding that complicated t-shirt slogans generally increase the amount of time people must spend looking at your chest in order to read them. But why don’t you ask Miss Manners?

  3. LDH wrote:

    I thought we discussed the quarter/semester issue back when you dropped by my place with Kat, Ester and William on your way to some seminar on verifying the existence of unicorns through sedimentary analysis. We ate ridiculously large amounts of Mexican food at Pancho’s as we talked about reviving Hesitant Firmness, and I made the mistake of imbibing way too much tequila and got caught staring at your chest (sorry about that again…)

  4. yami wrote:

    LDH, if I recall correctly, you were far too drunk at that point to even move your eyes at all. When I walked out of the room you were stuck staring at the Thomas Kinkade limited edition cuckoo clock William had picked up at Goodwill as a gag gift, while the rest of us terrorized your nice new sofas. No wonder you haven’t touched tequila since!

  5. LDH wrote:

    Sooner the tequila than the Thomas Kinkade, m’dear (I get the shakes just thinking about that image getting seared, SEARED into my brain engrams — brrr!…)

  6. bitchphd wrote:

    I’ve got the same immune system. It’s annoying, b/c PK and Mr. B. are sick, and they whine around the house and I have to do everything. Damnit, I want to be sick.
    I agree with you about the tshirts. Yours is the best slogan.

  7. yami wrote:

    It’s not even funny how much I think winning the X-rated chocolate would validate my existence.

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