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January 31 2018








look: our neanderthal ancestors took care of the sick and disabled so if ur post-apocalyptic scenario is an excuse for eugenics, u are a bad person and literally have less compassion than a caveman

Yes but they also when extinct which implies whatever they were doing at the time wasn’t fit for their environment.

So, it’s been awhile since I took a human evolution course, so some of this might be a little out of date, but

1) Whether or not Neanderthals went extinct is still kind of up for debate, and seems to hinge largely on whether you think that Neanderthals are a H. Sapiens subspecies or not, which often seems like a mildly pointless argument to me since it’s largely a fight about which definition of “species” to use

2) Even if we argue that Neanderthals are our direct ancestors and never went extinct, several Neanderthal *traits* (like their noses and their forheads) *have* left the population. Care for the disabled is not one of them.

Saying “Neanderthals cared for their sick and injured and are now extinct, therefore care for the disabled is maladaptive” is like saying “Dodos are extinct therefore beaks are a terrible idea”

Statements about “less compassion than a caveman” still stand.


I teach human evolution to college students, so in addition to that, here’s what we know. There’s some citations (and footnotes) behind the cut, if you’re interested.

So Neanderthals aren’t our direct ancestor- more like a branch of the family tree that didn’t lead to us. Close cousins- close enough to breed- but they evolved outside of Africa about 400kya, while our species evolved in Africa about 200kya*. This is important because it means that altruism can’t possibly be a Neanderthal trait that left the population during the evolution into modern humans; we didn’t evolve from them, so it’s not like we can say “well, this was maladaptive in our ancestors.” This is a behavior you see in two temporally coexisting species (or subspecies), and I do mean two, because it wasn’t just Neanderthals practicing altruism. We did it too.

We have really good evidence that early Homo sapiens sapiens (i.e., us, just old) also took care of their injured, elderly, and disabled. At Cro-Magnon in France, a few individuals clearly suffered from traumatic injury and illness during their lives. Cro-Magnon 1 had a nasty infection in his face; his bones are pitted from it. Cro-Magnon 2, a female, had a partially healed skull fracture, and several of the others had fused neck vertebrae that had fused as a result of healed trauma; this kind of injury would make it impossible to hunt and uncomfortable to move. This kind of injury can be hard to survive today, even with modern medical care; the fact that the individuals at Cro-Magnon survived long enough for the bones to remodel and heal indicate that somebody was taking care of them. At Xujiayao, in northern China, there’s evidence of healed skull fractures (which would have had a rather long recovery time and needed care); 

This evidence of altruism extends past injured adults, as well. One of the most compelling cases is at Qafzeh, which is in Israel. Here we see evidence of long-term care for a developmentally disabled child (as well as a child who had hydrocephaly and survived). Qafzeh 11, a 12-13 year old at time of death, suffered severe brain damage as a child. Endocasts (basically making a model of the inside of the skull, where the brain would be) show that the volume of the brain was much smaller than expected; likely the result of a growth delay due to traumatic brain injury. The patterns of development suggest that this injury occurred between the ages of 4 and 6. They very likely suffered from serious neurological problems; the areas of the brain that were injured are known to control psychomotricity. This means that the kid may have had a hard time controlling their eye movements, general body movement, keeping visual attention, performing specific tasks, and managing uncertainty; in addition, Broca’s area might also have been damaged, which likely would have affected the kid’s ability to speak. Long and short of it, without help, this kid wouldn’t have survived to age 12-13. 

But they did. They lived, and they were loved. When they died, they were given a funeral- we know this based on body position and funeral offerings. Mortuary behavior was common among both Neanderthals and archaic Homo sapiens, and this burial was particularly interesting. The body was placed on its back, its legs extended and the arms crossed over the chest. Deer antlers were laid on the upper part of the chest; in the archaeological context, they were in close contact with the palmar side of the hand bones, meaning it’s likely that they were placed in the hands before burial. This points to Qafzeh 11 being valued by the community- why go to the effort for somebody you don’t care about? Compassion is a very human trait, and to call it maladaptive is to ignore hundreds of thousands of years of human experience.

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“Compassion is a very human trait, and to call it maladaptive is to ignore hundreds of thousands of years of human experience.”

Would you be alright with me borrowing your words when someone poses the above comments’ line of thought to me?

Of course! (And feel free to use anything else in my anthropology tag.)

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French illustrator/cartoonist/writer/filmmaker/painter/actor…—well, surrealist, Roland Topor (1938-1997).

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Working on science

This is so true its not even funny!!!

October 25 2017


CoMC 17 Catchup

Pyramus and Thisbe/ Toxicology

wow, this is the first time in a while that I’ve felt Nervous about what’s going to happen–since Edmonde got rich, I think, or since the Morrels got saved, at least.   Edmonde’s clearly setting up Mme Villeforte to do his dirty work, but I wonder if Valentine is Acceptable Collateral Damage on that front. She clearly wouldn’t be if he knew about her love affair with Maximilian - the Morrels and their happiness are Not Acceptable Losses–but if he doesn’t, (and he’s definitely not as omniscient as he likes to think he is)  she’s clearly set up to be in a Bad Way if her stepmom’s left  the head of household. That’s assuming that Mme. V doesn’t poison a different target than Edmond has in mind D:  

I feel really bad for Valentine  and her grandfather–money isn’t actually worth much if you’re legally or physically stuck depending on the will and control of people who openly hate you. But I’m also seriously wondering about M. Villefort now– his first wife was clearly genuinely in love with him , at least when they were engaged– I wonder if things were always so different in his second marriage?   Did his decades of Acting Like a Jerk Through the Law wreck his personality like they wrecked so many people’s lives? 

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Uhhhh I don’t know what to do with this anymore…



If you want to get in on the craze without, y'know, dying, then certain kinds of chai taste EXACTLY like pumpkin spice. Add caramel and it’s even better!

I don’t really have any particular interest in joining in;“pumpkin whatever” holds no enticement for me, for the obvious reason, even as a concept. It’s more the issue of suddenly having to Avoid The Festive Everything >_<

(I mean,it’s Halloween. There’s also buckets of candy and cookies, I ain’t Deprived, I know, I’m just looking forward to all the Specialty Whatever being edible XD)
The word décarade, which expresses the departure of heavy vehicles at a gallop, is attributed to Villon, and it is worthy of him. This word, which strikes fire with all four of its feet, sums up in a masterly onomatopœia the whole of La Fontaine’s admirable verse:—
Six forts chevaux tiraient un coche. Six stout horses drew a coach.

Victor Hugo, Les Misérables, Saint-Denis Book Seventh Chapter II, Hapgood translation

I love how Vic loves words.


I love Halloween but I’ll be so glad when Pumpkin Season is over and Peppermint Season starts 


@aporeticelenchus replied to your post “@aporeticelenchus replied to your post: oh wow…”
I think we would all like to read a novel starring Eugenie Danglars, Unimpressed Lesbian.

And her Disreputable Musical Friends! 


CoMC 17 Catchup

Edmond:  I am an unstoppable force, a being beyond mankind, the hammer of god, the judgement of providence,proof against all mere human machinations   let all fear me for I fear none 

The Morrels : *are basically nice human beings*

Edmond:  *literally runs away crying*



dark AO3 show me the fic that meets my exacting and kind of weird specifications


CoMC Catchup




Edmond seems to be goin’ a bit Raskolnikov, all Burdened With Glorious Purpose. I was practically expecting him to start talking about Sheeple. 

And honestly I find my suspension of disbelief in the reality of these characters really strained by Villefort being all Impressed and Stunned and Rattled by this…frankly BS nonsense ego talk from Edmond. I’ve heard similar speeches from men who thought they were Very impressive; I did not feel my philosophy was being challenged, I felt they were rather dull and arrogant.  Maybe this read better in its era?  I realize we know Edmond’s had a Hard Go and is Very determined and all, but… yeesh. 

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I think it’s interesting that Dumas’s grandparents were a slave and a slaveowner, and maybe this is the kind of story he had to tell himself about that kind of thing to make it ok somehow. Bc it’s fucked up.

Yeah, knowing that bit of his family history made reading it even more Unsettling? not gonna judge how someone’s dealing with Family Trauma but as a narrative trope that Happiness in  Love Slavery thing is  just unavoidably  uncomfortable . Especially with all the “you’re basically my dad, but a dad I can fall in love with :D :D” addition , just…yeah,I’m really hoping the Haydee thing improves somehow because right now it’s like Borderline Villainy here, and I get the impression it’s not supposed to be?? 





pilferingapples replied to your post “So I was listening to Judy Garland on the subway today, and as I often…”

It could be great! :D Besides Fantine singing “The Man That Got Away,” Little Cosette could sing “Over the Rainbow,” and Eponine could sing “The Boy Next Door,” and “Dear Mr. Gable/You Made Me Love You” could be Marius’s letter to Cosette, and there could even be some songs that Judy Garland didn’t sing!

“Strike Up The Band” takes the place of DYHTPS

–wait what’s the era of musicals we’re looking at here, are we stopping with 30s-50s or moving through the 60s too

Gavroche and a gang of gamins sing “Babes in Arms!”

I figure throw in whatever works, and figure out the rules later.

Okay I went and watched Gay Purr-ee and I am now holding out for “Paris a Lonely Town” for Eponine 

it uh 

it has a verse about how awesome it would be to clean into the river  and End It All , so I don’t know how this got into a kid’s movie?? But definitely points for an Eponine Song, there >_< 

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Spent the evening learning a new skill, ft. a rudimentary moth & some extremely mediocre cursive
“—Sonner à travers l’histoire une fanfare de titans, conquérir le monde deux fois… et qu’y a-t-il de plus grand?
—Être libre, dit Combeferre.”

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Robespierre’s speech on the assassination attempts on the representatives of the people (6 Prairial, Year II)

On 1 Prairial Year II, Henri Admirat, after having looked for Robespierre the whole day (presumably with the intention of assassinating him), fired two shots on Collot d'Herbois, without harming him, however. On 4 Prairial, a young woman, Cécile Renault, was arrested when she sought to enter the house of the Duplays (where Robespierre lived), armed with two knives. These assassination attempts, besides reviving Collot’s popularity, aroused a tremendous current of emotion: in the eyes of the sans-culottes, they demonstrated the ongoing existence of an “aristocratic plot”. In the evening of 6 Prairial, Collot d’Herbois and Robespierre were welcomed cordially at the Jacobin Club. Following a speech by Collot d’Herbois, Robespierre appeared at the tribune, received with lively applause ; at the suggestion of Bentabole, he was given a fraternal embrace by Voulland, who presided over the session, and after several interventions, Robespierre finally took the floor.

I am one of those who have to be the least interested in the events which happened ; yet, it is not allowed to me not to consider them from the point of view of the public interest. The defenders of liberty may be confronted with the rage of the factions and with the daggers of tyranny, this is a truth which all patriots have always foreseen. They never believed to have to live for a long series of years, they know the tyrants and their accomplices too well to not have foreseen the villainies which these have to use in order to destroy them. Two months ago, I said: if we fight our enemies, if we thwart the conspiracies which they have created through their corruption, we will be assassinated. The satellites of the tyrants have bitten the dust, the traitors have perished on the scaffold, and the assassins have sharpened their daggers against us. I do not know which impression the crimes of tyranny have to make on the perverted ministers of their atrocities, but I cannot help give you an account of what I have experienced myself.

I felt that it would be easier to assassinate us than to overcome our principles and to subjugate our armies. Assassination is a dreadful crime, the tyrants use it without difficulty, because it is the means [that is] the most conform to their weakness. 

The more uncertain and precarious the life of the defenders of the cause of the people and of humanity is, the more they have to hurry to render all services to their patrie which it has the right to expect from their energy and from their enlightenment, and to fill their last days with deeds [that are] useful to liberty. When the tyrannical powers of Europe conspire in order to suffocate our immortal revolution, an ardent partisan of the sacred rights of man must not imagine that he has to live for a long time. 

Me, who does not believe in the necessity of living, but only in virtue and Providence, I fund myself placed in the state wherein the assassins wanted to place me ; I feel more independent than ever from the maliciousness of men. The crimes of the tyrants and the blade of the assassins have made me freer and more redoubtable for all enemies of the people, my soul is more prepared than ever to unveil the traitors and to rip off their masks with which they still dare to cover themselves! 

Feeble agents of tyranny, despicable supporters of the oppressors of humankind, leave your dark lairs, appear as you are to the eyes of a people [that is] outraged by your crimes! see us exposed to your murderous daggers, our chest uncovered, not wanting to be surrounded by guards. Strike, we expect your blows. Calculate with how much ease a few hundred assassins can thrust the deadly blade into the heart of a good man, who is only defended by his virtues, by the surveillance of the people and by Providence. But on the other hand, measure the depth of your villainy and the pains which the enormity of your perfidies has to attract. Expect the judgement of the people and of Providence, you will escape neither of the one, nor the other. 

Frenchmen, friends of equality, rely on us for the task to use the little bit of life which Providence grants us to fight the enemies which surround us. We swear, by the daggers reddened by the blood of the martyrs of the Revolution, and since sharpened against us, to exterminate, to the last, the crooks who would want to rob us of our happiness and liberty. 

Unanimous and repeated applause follows this energetic speech, wherein the true bravery, the greatness of the republican soul, the most generous dedication to the cause of liberty and the most distinct philosophy shine.

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Gay Purr-ee

95 in x of animated feature film history
Release: Oct. 24th, 1962
Country: USA
Director: Abe Levitow

Gay Purr-ee features the voice of Judy Garland in her only animated-film role, as well as Robert Goulet in his first feature film.

The story begins on a farm in rural Provence. The lovely housecat Mewsette and the accomplished but shy mouser Jaune Tom are in love. Inspired by the human Jeanette’s stories of glamour and sophistication in Paris, Mewsette runs away by taking a train to the big city, where she encounters the slick con-cat Meowrice. Taking advantage of the country kitty’s naivete, he puts her in the care of the sultry Madame Henretta Reubens-Chatte, who promises to turn Mewsette into a dainty debutante known as ‘The Belle of all Paris.’ Unbeknownst to Mewsette, Meowrice is grooming her to be the mail-order bride of a rich American cat in Pittsburgh. Meanwhile, Jaune Tom and his sidekick Robespierre arrive in Paris, searching for Mewsette.

Gay Purr-ee was the second and final feature film, following 1001 Arabian Nights with Mr. Magoo, produced by UPA (United Productions of America), a studio which had revolutionized animation during the 1950s by incorporating design and limited animation.

The script for Gay Purr-ee was written by Dorothy Webster Jones and her husband, Warner Bros. Cartoons veteran director Chuck Jones. The latter Jones also ultimately produced the project, moonlighting for UPA in violation of his exclusive contract with Warner Bros. One of the former animators from his Warner Bros. unit, Abe Levitow, directed the film. According to the production notes on the DVD edition, it was Garland who suggested that her Wizard of Oz songwriters, Harold Arlen and E.Y. Harburg, should write and compose Gay Purr-ee’s eight songs. Garland has stated that the song ‘Little Drops of Rain’ was one of her favorite songs. 

When Warner Bros. picked up the film for distribution, they discovered that Chuck Jones had worked on the film. After a long debate with management over the details of Jones’ exclusivity agreement, Warner fired Jones in July 1962 and laid his staff off after they had finished their next cartoon.

The film was theatrically released in October, 1962 to indifferent reviews and low box-office receipts. The Hollywood Reporter declared it to be ‘one of those inexplicable projects involving people of the highest talent that just doesn’t come off.’ The technical achievements of the film, however, drew universally high praise, with Variety deeming the artwork to ‘rank with the finest ever manufactured in the specialized realm of the animated cartoon.’”


Gay Purr-ee is available online here.

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does this mean that dracula as he ended up written CAN’T tell the difference between a dead body and an alive one

Bram Stoker: so there are all these things that, because he’s a vampire, he either can do really well or can’t do at all

Henry Irving: like what?

Bram Stoker: he can’t go through doorways without help or he’ll just like,,completely eat shit

Bram Stoker: he can super tell if a person is dead or not

Bram Stoker: all of his paintings look like paintings of other people

Bram Stoker: he can make you sad as dicks whenever he wants

Henry Irving:

Henry Irving:

Henry Irving: this is the character you based on me??




Enrollment for 2018 Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) starts on November 1 and ends on December 15. The current administration has cut the funds to announce when people can enroll. Please reblog and #Resist

they have also scheduled some 12-hour “maintenance sessions” to occur on sundays during the enrollment period so be aware of those as well.

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