On hols, so here’s a resurrection from 2008.

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Discussion (37)¬

  1. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    “Meddlesome retard” is definitely going on my list of go-to insults for when His door-to-door arseholes come knocking.

  2. HelenaHandbasket says:

    I used to think I was an expert on the Dunning-Kruger effect…

  3. Trevor H says:

    HH – an expert or someone who thinks they are an expert?


  4. Len says:

    Excellent comic today, author. One to bookmark and enjoy again and again. Thank you 🙂

  5. Gotta love our barmaid, eh. Thanks again, Author. You encapsulated the problem quite precisely back in 2008.

  6. Nassar Ben Houdja says:

    There is no end to magic books
    All of them peddled by crooks
    The koran is the worst
    It steals from the first
    Its writer, thinks its readers are schnooks.

  7. MattR says:

    I completely understand the Derning-Krieger affect. In fact I am the world’s pre-eminent expert.

  8. Burning Pine says:

    Another gold medal for you, Barmaid. Have you been reading more of Confucius Analects?

  9. Son of Glenner says:

    Has J&M really been running since 2008? I’ve only been following it about half that time – wish I’d got into it sooner! The new J&M is one of the highlights of my week (sad old git that I am!).

    I love the barmaid’s tirade! Unfortunately the sort of people it’s addressed to will only turn a deaf ear.

    Enjoy your holiday, Author.

  10. Smee says:

    Unfortunately those of a religious persuasion are not the only retards opposed to a world based on clarity. There exists a significant number of retards who oppose clarity based not on mathematical based logic or evidence, but on nothing more than gender based bigotry or moronism!

  11. Michael says:


    There’s also common or garden bigotry based on despising the “other” for racial, ethnic, homophobic, etc. reasons.

  12. Anonymous says:

    An expert is someone who knows more and more about less and less.
    Just a Quote.

  13. wrinkel42 says:

    An expert is someone who knows more and more about lessand lell.
    j&m tell me more.
    Thanks A.
    Lov u Barmaid.

  14. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Son of Glenner, make that 2005. Some of my underwear isn’t even that old.

  15. Son of Glenner says:

    AoS: 12 whole years! Well done, Author!
    Smee: Was your last word a mistype for Mormonism?

  16. Someone says:

    I’ve said it before, religion is the truest example of mental retardation.
    I’m sure others have, as well.

  17. HelenaHandbasket says:

    Smee has a point. Ideology is not about clarity, it’s about values–espcially about broadcasting values. But sometimes these will interfere crucially with facts.
    This is obviously true in the case of religion (because the giant magic sky fairy doesn’t exist and doesn’t give toys to the good boys and girls).
    But religion is hardly the only example of humans thinking that “wishing makes it so”. It’s easy for atheists to forget this and think that they are super-rational just because they haven’t drunk that particular kool-aid.
    But take a few minutes on (e.g) P Z Myers site, then look me in the eye and tell me that this is a place where reason flourishes.

  18. FreeFox says:

    Looks Helena square in the eyes.
    PZ Meyers site is a place where reason flourishes.
    Keeps it up for about 2 more minutes, before breaking down in a fit of giggles and ordering a drink of Helena’s choice for her/him.
    Cheers, mate. ^_^

  19. Illwill says:

    When children have imaginary friends, it can sometimes be a little cute…but the older the child gets, the more upsetting it gets. When adults have imaginary friends and those friends are indirectly depicted as pure evil, and the adults are willing to oppress and murder in the names of their imaginary friends…then “mental retardation” barely begins to describe the insanity.

    Or to quote Steven Weinberg: “Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.”

  20. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Illwill, as I like to say, when even your imaginary friend hates you, maybe it’s time for some new friends.

    FreeFox, two minutes? I’m impressed, fella. My composure didn’t last beyond Helena’s last line.

  21. HelenaHandbasket says:

    FF. You did better than my last challenger. They looked at Pharyngula, said the words “This is a place of reason and sanity” and it took 37.5 seconds before tears were running down their legs.

  22. Laripu says:

    The phrase “meddlesome retard” is such a great insult that I plan to steal it and use it myself. I will only use it about public personalities not physically present, for my own safety.

    I expect the first use will be for a television evangelist or a religious-right-wing politician.

    Hey Author… Thanks for the wit-loan!

  23. Son of Glenner says:

    I didn’t know about the Dunning-Kruger effect, so I looked it up.

    I can’t really make much sense of it – I think it’s too complicated for my simple mind.

  24. Eclipsey says:

    A href=>Checkmate, atheists. Or maybe, checkmate, theists?

  25. Eclipsey says:

    And that, as the poet said feelingly, was Life. You post a message just in time for the start of the thing, hoping to get the J&M crowd interested and it goes into moderation until it’s well over.
    I should have tried much, much earlier. Mea culpa.

    {Really, Spellchecker? You argue with “mea” but you’re happy with “culpa”? You don’t mind “J” but “M” ain’t in your dictionary? Who wrote you? Lovecraft?}

  26. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Eclipsey, whilst your efforts are appreciated I would think that the interested regulars here who were in the path of the eclipse will have had their viewing spots picked out long ago, and web sites already chosen by those who weren’t.
    Amazing really that what amounts to a thing moving in front of another thing can cause so much excitement, wonderment, fear, and woo in the 21stC.

  27. two cents' worth says:

    AoS, I (thankfully) haven’t heard anything regarding fear and/or woo caused by today’s solar eclipse, but I admit I’m one of the many people feeling excitement and wonderment. After all, Earth is the only planet in our solar system with a moon that’s the right size so that viewers in the darkest part of its shadow on the planet’s surface can see it completely block out the sun. Also, most people don’t experience many solar eclipses over the course of their lives. I’ve never witnessed a total solar eclipse, and today’s solar eclipse was just the 2nd one I’ve seen for myself (rather than on video). Where I live, about 75% of the sun was blocked at the peak of today’s eclipse. I made sure that my son saw it with his own eyes (protected by appropriate lenses), so he knows that it was for real, and not just a special effect. At work today, we held an eclipse viewing outdoors, complete with swag bags containing eclipse viewing glasses, a fact card, an “August 21, 2017 total eclipse” button (with a picture of a total solar eclipse replacing the 0), a small bottle of water, a Moon Pie (a sandwich made with two small, flat, yellow cakes and marshmallow filling), and some Eclipse chewing gum. (By the time the organizers thought of including Sun Chips, it was too late to get them.) If nothing else, an eclipse is a great excuse for a party 🙂 .

    Since the eclipse viewing happened in the middle of the work day, the only beverage offered was water. But here at the Cock & Bull, I can virtually enjoy the many eclipse-themed cocktails I’ve heard about. Barmaid, I’d like to try a Total Solar Eclipse Cocktail ( Would anyone else like one? I’m buying!

  28. two cents worth, since you’re buying I’ll have a Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster please. I include the mixing instructions here:
    Cheers, mate and thankee kindly.

  29. Eclipsey says:

    Acolyte, the NASA site was for those too distant, poor or scared of the TSA to go see it for themselves. It was live TV webbed-up images.
    The very small jest was that no one would see the link until it was all over.

    And I messed up the HTML for the link, too.

    two cents’ worth, total solar eclipses are, as everyone knows, temporary things. Some time ago, Luna was so close that she covered far more than Sol and her corona. Some time in the future, she’ll be so far away that only transits, such as Mercury does, will be seen. It is exceedingly strange that we live in the era of “the Moon is just the right distance” solar eclipses.
    Coincidence? Incredible luck? “Check mate, atheists”?
    It is also rather improbable that many of us will live while scores of them happen but we’ll never see one with our own eyes.
    Cosmic karma? Divine punishment? Tantalus style tortures? Blind luck? Or maybe the cosmos hates us?

  30. FreeFox says:

    Whoah, Eclipsey, careful who you abuse for your wordplay. Howard Phillips Lovecraft certainly knew his letters, and his Latin, and English. He may have had an idiosyncratic style, but he diligently worked on it, and the final stories are exactly as he wanted them. Y’all may mock holy texts to your heart’s content, but besmirch the writings of the Hermit of Providence at your own peril.

  31. jb says:

    Where I live in New York the eclipse was 71% of totality, and I have to say I wasn’t that impressed. If I hadn’t know there was an eclipse I could have walked around outside through the whole thing and never noticed, unless I happened to glance up when when the sun was behind a cloud of just the right thickness to let me see its outline. 29% of the sun is still a lot of light!

    However I know someone who was in the path of totality, and that was quite different. Even the last sliver of sun was pretty bright, but when that went away it was almost like turning off a light switch, and it was basically night. Definitely something to catch your attention.

  32. Jim Baerg says:

    FWIW I got outside with a colander & a camera near the maximum partial eclipse here. The colander provided multiple pinholes to project the crescent sun. Also every tree shadow provided multiple pinholes between the leaves to project more crescents.

    Jim Baerg 51 N 114 W

  33. HelenaHandbasket says:

    From where I live I can’t see the spectacular rings of Saturn, unless I use a telescope–technology invented by Hans Lippershey who died on 29th September. The exact same day of the year that Henry Morse (whose technology allowed us to communicate these facts) married Lucretia Walker. Coincidence?


    Littlewoods principle: One in a million chances come up about once a month for everyone.
    HHs principle: Thinking that you are gods special little flower singled out for special attention happens every second of every day for narcissists.

  34. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Oh boy! Over at the bastion of flourishing reason we are informed that a solar eclipse is a social construct. Hmmm, not sure about that.

  35. machigai says:

    I can see the new comic (sing) but commenting is not available.
    Why is that?

  36. Walter says:


    RE: Unable to comment.

    Glitch in the web server. Go back one and come forward and you should be able to comment. This works for me, and I have seen references to this from other commenters.

  37. Walter says:

    A Modest Proposal


    Jesus and Mo should (both) be banned as international terrorists.


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