lies: cumdealer: reaperkid: The year is 1995, congress member…

Friday, January 22nd, 2016




The year is 1995, congress member Bernie Sanders stands in opposition of a homophobic statement said by Duke Cunningham. Cunningham derisively refers to “homos in the military” to support his argument while (strangely) discussing the Clean Water Act. Sanders, having none of it, quickly rises to the defense of thousands of men and women everywhere. Sanders ire is such that he repeatedly disrespects the Chairman by speaking over him in order to say his piece. [Video Source]

What does this say for Sanders? Well, that’s for you to decide. But to me, it says that for 20+ years strong he has shown his public support for LGBT+ persons everywhere, even in the face of ridicule and disrespect. Unlike some, Sanders has always been vocal about his beliefs concerning the LGBT+ community, and he has always held them. Key word always, and not just when doing so might garner him support for his campaigns. 



BOOM roasted

Kelsey’s tag: #WHO IS THAT WOMAN THO

Not sure, but she looks like Geraldine Ferraro.

Heh. Geraldine Ferraro had been out of office for 10 years when this debate took place. That’s actually Rep. Patricia Schroeder of Colorado.

Believe nothing you read on this blog! NOTHING! It’s _all_ lies!!!!

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How Stories Deceive

Tuesday, January 5th, 2016



A young woman fooled the governments of three countries. What does her con reveal about how we see the world? Read an excerpt of Maria Konnikova’s new book, “The Confidence Game: Why We Fall for It…Every Time.”

Illustration by Boyoun Kim

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Heh. I’m not sure if it’s intended to be hilarious or not, but…

Tuesday, January 5th, 2016

Heh. I’m not sure if it’s intended to be hilarious or not, but I’ll take it.

I think this was the show I saw a bit of a few years ago (if it wasn’t this one it was essentially the same thing) where they were in a creepy old house at night ghost-hunting. And at one point they captured a horrifying sound.

“Dude! Did you hear that? Did you hear that? It was the ghost! I think I got it on tape!”

Followed by multiple playbacks, tightly cropped close-ups of their excited night-vision faces, and dramatic music. Like, that was the climax of the episode.

The sound was also unmistakably the scream of a hunting barn owl. We used to hear them all the time until we lost some of the big trees in our neighborhood where they liked to roost.

There were some other low-grade reality shows that my son, especially, was really into that I used to catch from time to time. Call of the Wild Man (with “Turtleman” Ernie Brown, Jr.) was similarly fun.

I think it’s probably useful training for a modern media consumer to watch some low-budget reality shows. The high-end shows do the same sorts of things in terms of constructing deceptive (but entertaining) narratives with staging and editing, but it’s much more obvious when it’s a couple of guys with a camcorder, as opposed to some high-end product like Deadliest Catch or Project Runway.

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smdxn: Why We Have to Act on Climate Now – In One…

Monday, December 21st, 2015


Why We Have to Act on Climate Now – In One Chart

The precipitous rise in carbon pollution is what’s driving climate change, leading to rising sea levels, more extreme drought, superstorms, wildfires, and public health problems across the world. No nation is immune to these consequences. Humans caused this rise in pollution and temperature, and it will take all of us to actually do something about it.

Also: why we are failing.

I find this chart both interesting and depressing. Not just for the data.. For the evidence it contains of the human shortcomings that stand in the way of our solving the problem. Because this chart is a lie.

I noticed it after a few seconds, because I’ve seen honest versions of this chart before. But the difference is subtle.

Hint: If you click through to the source page at the lie isn’t there. It was introduced in the Tumblr version of the chart, presumably by the person running @smdxn, presumably because they thought it made the image more impactful, more motivating. This version does a better job of promoting fear and concern, but it does so by deceiving you.

Did you find the lie?

It’s the label circled in red at the center of the chart. On the original version of the chart it says “Carbon Dioxide Levels”, because the red line it is labeling is the line with the Mauna Loa carbon dioxide readings. That’s the number that has trended steadily upward for the last century as humanity has systematically pumped CO2 into the atmosphere. (The chart smooths out the annual wiggle in the data as Northern Hemisphere foliage sucks up and releases carbon, but that’s a legitimate simplification that helps visualize the underlying trend.)

The gray bars represent the ice-core-derived global temperature readings, sometimes up, sometimes down, but generally upward. But that data is messier, reflecting the many complexities, some of them not yet fully understood, of the global climate system. It’s still trending upward, and we’re still fucked. But it’s not quite as obvious. Also, it doesn’t have that sexy red color that we’re evolutionarily predisposed to react to emotionally: bright red = scary/important.

So for this version of the chart @smdxn switched the label so it reads “Global Temperature.” They also removed the red coloring from the numbers along the right side of the chart, presumably because that helps sell the deception that the red line refers to temperature rather than to CO2. So now, at least from a quick glance, it looks like the red line shows global temperature tracking steadily and scarily upward. Omg! We need to do something!

For a committed partisan, that deception probably seemed justified. The fact that global temperature has been climbing in fits and starts means that dishonest people on the other side like to cherry-pick particular slices of time in which temperature has held steady or even fallen for a few years and make a big deal about it. If you’ve ever come across an Internet commenter attacking the comments section of an article with references to “the hiatus”, that’s what they were talking about. And that’s clearly dishonest and deceptive. You don’t do that kind of cherry-picking on accident. But neither do you re-label a graph to switch the meaning of the two sets of data it shows on accident. The person who did that here intended to deceive.

Why does it matter that some activist decided it was okay to make this chart deceptive rather than communicative? That it was more important that the person viewing it be alarmed than that they understand?

It matters because of the scale of the problem. As long as we’re fighting politics-as-usual battles with each other, we’re losing this war. There’s just no way to make the kinds of changes we need to make unless we have not just a scientific consensus, but a societal consensus. The kind of partisanship that @smdxn is engaging in by deceptively relabeling the chart works against achieving that consensus.

There’s a reason why a scientific consensus on this issue exists. Science has rules, and a process, and when you do it right it allows the truth to win out over noise and human bias and self-interest. Society as currently constituted doesn’t have that rule. Or it does, but it’s more of a fragile guideline, one that gets trampled underfoot as soon as partisans start doing their rugby scrum back and forth over it.

Partisans think it’s okay to lie as long as they’re lying in the service of their cause. That’s why Peter Gleick thought it was okay to forge a sexier, more evil-sounding “strategy memo” to be released along with the internal documents he’d stolen from The Heartland Institute. That’s why Roger Pielke, Jr., gets maligned as “one of them” for saying top-down carbon pricing solutions can’t work given political economy as it currently operates. That’s why Naomi Oreskes recently called it “denialism” for climate scientists to say nuclear power needs to be part of our strategy. In each of those cases, partisans are stooping to deception precisely because they are partisans, because they are engaged in battle, because the people on the other side are doing it too, and that gets them upset and clouds their judgement.

For a committed partisan, lies become just another tool in service to the cause.

It’s a mistake. As long as there are two sides to this issue, we lose. We need to understand each other, to listen to each other, if we’re going to solve this. Lying won’t get it done, and those who engage in it are deluding themselves. They’re not part of the solution. They’re part of the problem.

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lookatthisbabybird: A Virginia Rail Fledgling by prairiedog on…

Friday, December 11th, 2015


A Virginia Rail Fledgling by prairiedog on Flickr.

Reblogging out of a sense of obligation after all the times I’ve railed (hah!) against the “OMG look at this cute baby crow!” post.

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letthemachinesspeaktoyou: “we’re not at the mercy of your shimmers and spells (mmmm) we are of the…

Sunday, December 6th, 2015


“we’re not at the mercy of

your shimmers and spells


we are of the earth

to her we do atone

and the future’s not silent”

–these would be the lyrics that are ruining my night–

I’m actually hearing the lyric as “to her we do return / and the future is inside us”. But I could totally be wrong. And either way, yeah.

I’m going to upload the version of the song I’ve been listening to, which I made by merging the audio of a couple of different youtube videos, along with my best guess on the lyrics. Looking forward to hearing it in finished form.

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nomorelittlewhitegloves: A crescent Moon being photobombed…

Sunday, November 22nd, 2015


A crescent Moon being photobombed by a crescent Venus

(Image by Pál Váradi Nagy)

Attention Tumblr: The photographer has emailed me to complain that his caption for the original image is not being distributed with this version. This is problematic in that the caption reveals that this is a composite image, in which Venus has been moved much closer to the moon than the two bodies actually were in the original. See: A Brief Notice About My Crescents Picture.

It’s an interesting example of the “Tumblr lies” thing, in that it’s tough to spot the deception, since there’s no particular reason to be suspicious that this doesn’t depict an actual close conjunction/occultation. But still; a post with a cool-but-deceptive caption wins out over the truth. Again. For shame @nomorelittlewhitegloves (unless you were yourself deceived by someone upstream from whom you took your caption, though in that case you’re guilty of not crediting whomever that was, so for shame yet again).

But also shame on me for passing it on and adding to global wrongness.

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coelasquid: uglyfun: HOW TO FACT-CHECK ON TUMBLR A few…

Wednesday, November 11th, 2015




A few notes:

  • Do this for every informative/news-related post you want to reblog. The fewer reblogs a false report gets, the less it spreads.
  • The best thing you can do for a false report is not reblog it at all, OR start your own post to debunk it, with a link to the original. If you reblog to debunk it, your reply will get lost in the huge amount of notes, and you will just end up spreading the misinformation further.
  • Sometimes a totally unlikely story turns out to be true! It’s even more fun to reblog it when you’ve confirmed that it’s real.

We all slip up sometimes but hey do what you can folks. Only you can prevent Tumblr fires.

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foxnewsofficial: david: wizardries: Can Tumblr make it so we can reply to people’s posts…

Monday, November 9th, 2015




Can Tumblr make it so we can reply to people’s posts again? 

Yes! Replies were admittedly way too limited and barely used. (Only a few thousand blogs a month were even receiving them.) They’re down for upgrades but will be back and much improved! Thanks for your patience. 🐬

just because some nerds didn’t get any replies doesn’t mean we, the popular kids, should be punished

Maybe the thing I’ve been missing in @david’s reply is the significance of the word “receiving”. Maybe he means there’s some metric they have that says that while many people were _leaving_ replies, only a few thousand people were ever bothering to actually _read_ them. Because you’d have to look at notifications, or at the notes on a post, to see the replies, and most people weren’t doing that?

Nope, p. sure that doesn’t work either. David’s statement is either just flat wrong, either because he’s accidentally misconstruing the asker’s question or misspoke in his answer, or he’s just lying, and doing so in a weirdly obvious way.

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btw, I was wrong. It wasn’t a Vandenberg launch. It was a missile launch from a navy sub off the coast. Sorry to spread disinformation!

Sunday, November 8th, 2015

Haha you are just living up to your username then…

For a while it seemed like there were multiple official explanations, and when there are options, it’s kinda like… why not pick aliens! It’s the most fun one. Until the evil alien overlords exert their power over us and the dystopian future is nigh.

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imaginarycircus: andrewfreudwebber: calloffyourghosts: lesbian…

Saturday, October 17th, 2015

















Nothing could make me more curious about your taxidermy than this.

I need this as a t-shirt as “zoologically improbable and/or terrifying to small children” sums me up.

Finally I know what I want inscribed on my tombstone when I die.

I remember the news article, this is the lion that was removed:





I can’t remember the last time I actually laughed this hard at something on tumblr. Oh my shit.


I’ve reblogged this before, but not with the lion attached. OH GOD THAT LION



Oh god, I recognize that lion.

It’s mentioned in Still Life:Adventures in Taxidermy by Melissa Milgrom (which I recommend).

This reminds me of that meme cat that’s like “how you feel when you’re wearing socks and step in water” that I spent 15 minutes trying to find a picture of on the internet but cannot.  

Nope. The Museum of Natural History is down the street. That sign was for a special art project This Object Has Been Removed. (Which is pretty neat.)

Here is the photo album for the sign project.

That terrifying stuffed lion is the Lion of Gripsholm Castle in Sweden. Where it still resides. It is not at the Harvard Museum of Natural History where the sign project took place. The signs were ironic or playful like this:


Photo: whale skeleton with sign that says “This object is still buffering.”

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azzandra:butchcommunist:kropotkitten:thejesusandmarxchain:do tumbleweeds actually blow around in the…

Saturday, July 25th, 2015





do tumbleweeds actually blow around in the southwest or is that a myth…?

!!! They do!!!

Tumbleweed is actually an invasive species from Siberia. What happens is when the soil gets too dry the roots come out of the ground and the plant curls up into a ball so that it can blow to a new spot. When it comes into contact with wet soil its roots will unfold and it will settle down. 

That is ten times more fucked up than I thought. They plant themselves again? That’s neat. I always thought they were just dead leaves and twigs in a bunch.

I like this. Tumbleweeds just fuck off when they don’t like a place, they are not like other plants who have to respect your plant rules, they are rebels.

Omfg tumblr.

Invasive species from Siberia: True

When soil gets too dry the roots come out of the ground and the plant curls into a ball: Not quite. The plant grows in the ball shape from the beginning, and when it’s fully mature it dies and dries out, with the part above ground eventually breaking off and rolling off. The roots stay behind.

When it comes in contact with wet soil its roots unfold and it resumes growing: No. Just no. kropotkitten is messing with you. The broken-off tumbleweed distributes seeds. It doesn’t replant itself.

This post is a tumbleweed that rolls across the wasteland of Tumblr, bouncing from dash to dash, driven by the hot wind of breathless credulity and lols.

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potato-nigga: lies: Snuxsa Stark She’s not actually saying…

Monday, June 22nd, 2015



Snuxsa Stark

She’s not actually saying that…….

Kids on the internet are so darned smart. Can’t slip anything past them.

In related news, my son has informed me that Emilia Clark laughing and pointing at her laptop screen is a meme. The original:

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mastersofphotography: LETHAL & BEAUTIFUL – ANATARCTIC…

Thursday, May 14th, 2015



Frank Hurley (Australian,1885-1962)


Australian photographer, Frank Hurley embarked on a dangerous and obscure adventure on Ernest Shackleton’s Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition from 1914 to 1916. This journey is one of the most remarkble stories of survival in history. On an open boat, navigating over 800 miles in mountainous seas by Shackleston and his crew, Hurley had the honor of documenting this beautiful but lethal experience. Surprisingly, no lives were lost. Only 120 of the 520 negatives from the expedition survived. The remaining 400 negatives were smashed so Hurley would no attempt to reboard Endurance, the sinking ship. 

[images via Royal Collection Trust]

Hurley’s iconic photographs are wonderful, but the caption has some errors. Hurley wasn’t on the open-boat journey; he stayed behind with the rest of the crew on Elephant Island. See Voyage of the James Caird for details.

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sailseaplymouth: sailingshots:yachtgasm:Dongfeng Race Team…

Friday, April 3rd, 2015




Dongfeng Race Team cruising the Southern Pacific en route from New Zealand to Itajai

Not anymore… They broke their mast this morning.

plus this is Mapfre…

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camillavirgil:I am but the heir of Isildur, not Isildur himself….

Friday, April 3rd, 2015


I am but the heir of Isildur, not Isildur himself. I have had a hard life and a long; and the leagues that lie between here and Gondor are a small part in the count of my journeys.

lies I am ashamed to have to ask – but is this an actual Tolkien quote? 

It is! It’s from a key moment during the Council of Elrond, just after Frodo has revealed the Ring, and Boromir’s questioning leads to Aragorn revealing some of his backstory.

I love the passage. I was amazed by how successfully the Council of Elrond was condensed for the movie; Peter Jackson has said it was the hardest part of the book to adapt. That they could turn what was, essentially, a 100-page, 20,000-word account of a staff meeting into a compelling scene is mind-boggling to me.

But so much was left out. Anyway, here’s more context for the quote, after a cut for the non-obsessed.

    ‘Behold Isildur’s Bane!’ said Elrond.
    Boromir’s eyes glinted as he gazed at the golden thing. `The Halfling!’ he muttered. `Is then the doom of Minas Tirith come at last? But why then should we seek a broken sword?’
    ‘The words were not _the doom of Minas Tirith_,’ said Aragorn. `But doom and great deeds are indeed at hand. For the Sword that was Broken is the Sword of Elendil that broke beneath him when he fell. It has been treasured by his heirs when all other heirlooms were lost; for it was spoken of old among us that it should be made again when the Ring, Isildur’s Bane, was found. Now you have seen the sword that you have sought, what would you ask? Do you wish for the House of Elendil to return to the Land of Gondor?’
    `I was not sent to beg any boon, but to seek only the meaning of a riddle,’ answered Boromir proudly. `Yet we are hard pressed, and the Sword of Elendil would be a help beyond our hope-if such a thing could indeed return out of the shadows of the past.’ He looked again at Aragorn, and doubt was in his eyes.
    Frodo felt Bilbo stir impatiently at his side. Evidently he was annoyed on his friend’s behalf. Standing suddenly up he burst out:

         All that is gold does not glitter,
           Not all those who wander are lost;
          The old that is strong does not wither,
           Deep roots are not reached by the frost.

          From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
           A light from the shadows shall spring;
          Renewed shall be blade that was broken:
           The crownless again shall be king._

    `Not very good perhaps, but to the point – if you need more beyond the word of Elrond. If that was worth a journey of a hundred and ten days to hear, you had best listen to it.’ He sat down with a snort.
    `I made that up myself,’ he whispered to Frodo, `for the Dúnadan, a long time ago when he first told me about himself. I almost wish that my adventures were not over, and that I could go with him when his day comes.’
    Aragorn smiled at him; then he turned to Boromir again. `For my part I forgive your doubt,’ he said. ‘Little do I resemble the figures of Elendil and Isildur as they stand carven in their majesty in the halls of Denethor. I am but the heir of Isildur, not Isildur himself. I have had a hard life and a long; and the leagues that lie between here and Gondor are a small part in the count of my journeys. I have crossed many mountains and many rivers, and trodden many plains, even into the far countries of Rhûn and Harad where the stars are strange.
    ‘But my home, such as I have, is in the North. For here the heirs of Valandil have ever dwelt in long line unbroken from father unto son for many generations. Our days have darkened, and we have dwindled; but ever the Sword has passed to a new keeper. And this I will say to you, Boromir, ere I end. Lonely men are we, Rangers of the wild, hunters – but hunters ever of the servants of the Enemy; for they are found in many places, not in Mordor only.
    `If Gondor, Boromir, has been a stalwart tower, we have played another part. Many evil things there are that your strong walls and bright swords do not stay. You know little of the lands beyond your bounds. Peace and freedom, do you say? The North would have known them little but for us. Fear would have destroyed them. But when dark things come from the houseless hills, or creep from sunless woods, they fly from us. What roads would any dare to tread, what safety would there be in quiet lands, or in the homes of simple men at night, if the Dúnedain were asleep, or were all gone into the grave?
    `And yet less thanks have we than you. Travellers scowl at us, and countrymen give us scornful names. “Strider” I am to one fat man who lives within a day’s march of foes that would freeze his heart or lay his little town in ruin, if he were not guarded ceaselessly. Yet we would not have it otherwise. If simple folk are free from care and fear, simple they will be, and we must be secret to keep them so. That has been the task of my kindred, while the years have lengthened and the grass has grown.’

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“‘Do you remember when we first met?’ ‘I thought I had wandered into a dream.'”

Friday, March 27th, 2015

‘Do you remember when we first met?’

‘I thought I had wandered into a dream.’

J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring (via bl-ossomed)

Nope. Not Tolkien. This was written by Jackson, Boyens, and/or Walsh, for the movie. The relationship, and the back-story Aragorn is recounting in the scene: that’s Tolkien, sure. But the language is so much not his. It’s 100% movie-LOTR (which I love), not book-LOTR (which I also love, and loved for a long time before the movies existed). They’re different things.

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hoaxoffame: Fake? YesWhen [?]: – 1950 (Marilyn Monroe)- 1948…

Monday, February 16th, 2015


Fake? Yes

When [?]: – 1950 (Marilyn Monroe)
– 1948 (Elizabeth Taylor)

Where [?]: – Griffith Park, Los Angeles, California, United States (Marilyn Monroe)
– Probably Hampstead, London, United Kingdom (Elizabeth Taylor)

Source [?]: – Ed Clark / Time & Life Pictures / Getty Images (Marilyn Monroe)

– Mark Kauffman / The LIFE Picture Collection / Getty Images (Elizabeth Taylor – see photo #3)

Hoax: Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor have been photographed separately, by two different photographers, on different years and even on different continents. This is a photo manipulation.
Note regarding the location of Elizabeth Taylor’s photo. The whole series of photographs can be seen on Google Cultural Institute. One of them is described by Time as taken in front of West Point (photo #6) though it is much more probably the Palace of Westminster, in London. The photographs taken in front of the house clearly picture the British childhood home of Liz Taylor.

[Debunked by Hoax of fame]

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boneswith-hairbows:ambulancing:androdjinni:scary-monsters-and-davesprite: lonelyinsomniac: samsaranm…

Friday, February 13th, 2015








Orbital path of asteroid near miss in 2002. Yeah, that’s how close we came to nuclear winter and possible total destruction.

A visitor.

It’s like it’s trying so hard to hit us and it just can’t do it

It is fucking awesome how the moon helped slingshot it out of orbit!!

Holy sHIT

The moon got our back

Funny that I was just looking at this the other day. Noting that yeah, near-earth asteroids are no joke, as it turned out this object ended up being the leftover booster rocket from one of the Apollo missions, such that if it had entered the earth’s atmosphere it wouldn’t have done any appreciable damage.

More details here; previous discussion on this blog here, with many thanks to janenx01 for setting me straight.

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stunningpicture: Two happy owlets Also, sadly: fake….

Thursday, February 12th, 2015


Two happy owlets

Also, sadly: fake. They’re not real owlets. They’re figurines.

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