They Paved the Lily Pad and Put up a Parking Lot

Like building a house on an Indian graveyard. Your car is haunted by the toad who lived here.

It saddens me greatly to report the demise of my second-favorite blog.

Happy Jihad’s House of Pancakes is no more.

Bing McGhandi has announced that his fiery, flamboyant assault on the self-stupid has ceased production.

He is shifting focus and will be starting a new blog under his real name. The new blog will cover a somewhat-related topic.

I wish him well and hope the new blog is as good as the old. If I’m correctly reading between the lines, I fear that the new blog will be toned down a bit. However he writes it, you can be sure it will still be good reading. I’ll post the link when he formally announces it.

28 Responses to “They Paved the Lily Pad and Put up a Parking Lot”

  1. 4ndyman Says:

    This was up near the Hogwarts daycare center, right?

  2. Jeff Says:

    If I’m correctly reading between the lines, I fear that the new blog will be toned down a bit.

    Why?

  3. Parrotlover77 Says:

    I’m not getting the “toned down” impression at all. It almost sounds like he’s about to announce some sort of partnership with an established skeptics blog. Similar to when PZ moved to ScienceBlogs or Phil Plait went to Discovery. Although probably not quite that epic (unfortunately, since Bing is Teh Awessome… So awesome, in fact, that MS had to steal his name for their search engine).

    Anyway, who knows what the future will hold. Although I will miss the toad.

    Also, too, it’s pretty ass that his anonymous personal life ventures on the Tubez has to be any cause for concern from his employer. This is becoming a sad all-too-common modern phenomenon.

    Jeez, I’ve said some pretty nasty things around these parts, and it’s not too hard to suss out my real name since I direct link back to my website in every post. lol. I hope I don’t get cyber bitch slapped by my employer one day…

  4. Ron Britton Says:

    Jeff & PL:

    The whole incident with someone being upset with what he wrote anonymously leads me to suspect he won’t be so fiery in his new home.

    I have already seen the new blog. There is no content yet, other than a test post and the About page. On the About page, he gives his real name and identifies his employer (partly to prove his credentials).

    In a private email, he has also given me a bit more information about the new blog’s content. It seems to me that he will discredit some of the more serious content he is planning if he uses the same enthusiastic rhetoric.

  5. Jeff Says:

    I’d like to see what he wrote that upset someone. I always appreciated his acerbic tone. The only reason I stopped reading his blog was that he never responded to me when I left comments, even when I addressed him. I know he was consumed by a job search for a while, but he responded to others – so I figured it was personal, and I just stopped going.

  6. Troy Says:

    They should have done spell check and they’d see that car to toad polymorph spells don’t work very well.

    Reminds me when my mom got stung (actually it was a yellow jacket wasp) the nurse wasn’t sure how to spell “Bee”.

  7. Parrotlover77 Says:

    Ah, I didn’t know you had some inside news on Bing’s future ventures.

    Whether or not HJHOP-gate happened, it may have been time for a change and for him to move forward. If he’s going with a more serious tone, the fiery takedowns will be missed, but he is a top-notch blogger. His writing style is great, his humor is top-notch — it could end up being a great change.

    Yea, Jeff, basically I’m a glass half full motherfucker in ever situation.

  8. sue blue Says:

    I hope to see more fire and brimstone from him. It takes a high-heat setting to get real screams of pain from the numbnuts and wingnuts, and he knew how to crank that knob all the way to the right. Hope the new website can measure up!

  9. CriticalThinking1 Says:

    Wow, I am Trooooley impressed by the level of “Incontinence” shown by the author of the above displayed sign… With teachers like this teaching our future leaders, America is sure to “SUBMERGE” to the very bottom of the world’s Industrialized countries, noted for lack of education. That person should be “Toad” by his balls out to the middle of the Ocean…. and left there to die……….

  10. CriticalThinking1 Says:

    Wow, “Leerning” Academy, YOUSE is not impressing anyone. Sure, I’d send my grand-children to youses school…. and right after that I’d give Hitler the Nobel Peace Prize!! Bwa-hahahahaha

  11. Lindsay Says:

    CriticalThinking, I had a friend over for Christmas dinner (sans religion…I just like the eating aspect of the holiday) who is chair of Neuroscience Ph.D program at a very prestigious university. Hearing him talk about how far the American students are lagging behind, especially in the sciences was disheartening. He said of the 11 professors tenured in his department this year, only 2 were American and every year they see fewer and fewer American born people who qualify to be admitted into the program. The state of education in this country is already miserable, and the fundies are intent on dragging us back into the Dark Ages even further.

  12. Parrotlover77 Says:

    CriticalThinking1 went from zero to Godwin in 2.3 second flat. Congratulations!

    Lindsay – Not to detract from your point that the teaching of the sciences need a major uplift in the USA, but I’m not entirely sure fewer Americans being admitted to a program necessarily indicates a problem with the student’s qualifications. It could be that the culture of the USA primes kids more effectively to go into different fields.

    It just rubs me the wrong way when enrollment stats are used to grade the system. If fewer Americans are interested in the sciences, that’s a different problem from them not being adequately prepared for a career in the sciences.

    Still, science education needs more emphasis, no doubt.

  13. Ron Britton Says:

    PL:

    College professors have told me our kids are uneducated compared to their foreign students, and not just in the sciences.

    That might be somewhat self-selecting. Maybe only the best foreign students come over here, whereas except for the very top schools, our colleges will take just about anybody.

    You’re right about fewer American kids being interested in science. That explains part of that problem.

    One defect I know of is we do not properly teach biology in American public schools, because we gloss over evolution. It’s like trying to teach physics without math. You can’t do it.

  14. Jeff Says:

    PL, you’ve said much the same thing before to me as well. This is not what I hear from others. What I hear is that our system is going to the dogs (who did NOT evolve from wolves; they just didn’t!), and that we’re graduating more and more creationists and IDiots from secular universities with each passing year.

  15. Parrotlover77 Says:

    Ron – Good point on the biology aspect. I didn’t get a proper biology education until college, and that was in the early 90s. I fear it’s worse now (sounds like it is).

    Still, failings in the education system’s ability to educate aside, I think there is a major enthusiasm gap in the sciences that has to be part of the problem. I don’t have any ideas on how to fix it, I just know that a country that graduates as many unemployed lawyers, and as few scientists as the USA does has to mean something in terms of enthusiasm vs intelligence. Law is fricking hard. If you can graduate law school, you have the aptitude to get a master’s in some realm of the physical sciences.

  16. Jeff Says:

    If you can graduate law school, you have the aptitude to get a master’s in some realm of the physical sciences.

    Meh, not necessarily. To be a scientist, you have to be curious about stuff and be able to do independent work (if you want to get a PhD, which most do). To be a lawyer, you just need to be able to memorize. Some do more, but they ain’t all Clarence Darrow.

  17. Parrotlover77 Says:

    And the sciences don’t have a lot of memorization? Have you ever taken a biology or chemistry class?? lol

  18. Jeff Says:

    Yes, but my point is – with the law, it’s pretty much all you need to do, in order to make a living. There are a lot of half-assed lawyers out there.

  19. Bob Blaskiewicz Says:

    I’m sure Bing, may he rest in peace, appreciates all of the kind words above.

    I know I’m taking a risk by switching gears a little, and it’s tough to pull away from a site that has meant a lot to me (you may have noticed that I had an overwhelming amount of fun there). I want to be on record, however, and I feel that as an educator, which I swear I am, I can put my experience and strange expertises to better use. With a name behind my posts, I’ll be able to gain more traction for the ideas, I think.

    I don’t think I really can be as combative now, but that’s OK, because it means that the smack-downs will have to be supercharged with evidence. At any rate, that’s the idea. No more “Those pigfucking pigfuckers fuck pigs pigfuckingly” style of insults.

    I would very much like the huge amount of time I spend writing to be an asset to my career rather than the frickin Sword of Damocles it seemed to have become. It was a great thing to do while in graduate school, honestly, and the daily commitment to writing got me past a fierce, years-long case of writers block (I know, who’d have thunk?). I simply can’t simply stop blogging, but I need to focus. Ultimately, I want to be taken seriously.

    Actually, the real reason I quit was that there was this one guy, Jeff, who bugged the shit out of me. HAHA! Just kidding. I’m sorry I didn’t reply. I made a conscious effort to try and talk to everyone who commented at some point, and if I thought that I was seriously dissing someone, I would have addressed it. Totally not personal. I shall always think of you as the one who got away, Jeff.

    At any rate, I keep finding myself wishing I could write about some of the ol’ standbys, like AiG and others who still dog me sense of…all things correct. And I still have that mental habit of thinking, “Aw, snap, that’s going on the website.” After an appropriate amount of time, maybe some of that will creep back in. I am no less fascinated by it, I assure you.

    This new site is a self-started project, however, and I do not have many collaborators yet. Just a good friend from graduate school who is hella smart and shares my interest in the strangely bad. I would like to bring some people on board to write about topics in the humanities, and I may invite them to contribute at their leisure. Skeptics love science, and from the stuff that I read about the humanities from the POV of the sciences, you would think that we were all a bunch of…theater school drop outs, whatever that means (I should know since I just made it up and used it). There is rigor in the humanities; there are increasingly reliable conclusions to be drawn from the practice of accumulating evidence and application of reason. This is the connection I am trying to make with the more visible skepticism-and-science topic that is really popular.

    At any rate, now I know what my first navel-gazing post will be about! :) Stay tuned!

    Bob

    (BTW, I do appreciate your support, Ron! You will be linked as soon as I figure out how WordPress does blogrolling)

  20. Jeff Says:

    That’s okay, Bob; I’m just glad it wasn’t personal. I actually did leave a couple of comments the other day, one of them being my wishes for success in your new venture (my Blogger name is cipher).

    I plan to read the Shakespeare posts when I have time to go through them fully.

  21. Bob Blaskiewicz Says:

    You’re cipher? Oh, you were totally in like gin!

    Bob

  22. Jeff Says:

    Then how come you never spoke to me?

  23. Bob Blaskiewicz Says:

    I honestly have no idea. I’m stunned to hear I didn’t! My sincere apologies.

    Bob

  24. Ron Britton Says:

    BTW, I do appreciate your support, Ron! You will be linked as soon as I figure out how WordPress does blogrolling

    Go under LinksAdd New. You can create links there. Assign them to the Blogroll category (which should exist by default).

    (It looks like you’re using WordPress.com. They may have it set up slightly differently.)

  25. Jeff Says:

    Bob, it’s okay. Don’t worry about it. I’ll just hit you up for money at some point.

    BTW, whatever happened to that puppy you found – looked like some sort of pit bull mix?

  26. Lindsay Says:

    Good point PL77, I probably should have added a bit more of my friend’s point of view. He did go on to say the US born students that do apply are often underprepared, or in his mind they’ve been “coddled” by what he sees as a school system that is afraid to tell them that their work is shit and they need to try harder. He did mention a story where he actually told a student who was unhappy with a low grade on a paper that it was quite literally, shit and they burst into tears. Now this is all just his opinion and it could be biased against Americans (he’s British), and Ron has an excellent point that the pool of qualified applicants could be skewed since it could be just only the best and brightest from abroad are coming over. But the fact is that as mentioned, there seems to be little enthusiasm in the US for the hard sciences. How do we fix this problem? We’re up against fundies and schools that for the most part, are chronically underfunded.

    Personally, I think we need to start re-airing Mr. Wizard, Bill Nye and Beakman’s World. I miss those shows. I’m not up with what the kids are watching these days, but are there any science shows on TV anymore?

  27. Bob Blaskiewicz Says:

    I never found out what happened to the puppy. We took him to the only open animal shelter, and they identified him as a pit bull mix, and took him in back. He was up on their site for a while, I believe, and I can only hope that he was adopted. That’s what I tell myself. He was a sweetie and only needed a chance to show it to someone. But they don’t give out information about animals that have been turned over to them. I believe you sign away the right to know when you drop them off. I remember bringing in a totally adoptable cat once to that same shelter, and trying to follow up on it a few weeks later, but they gave me nothing.

    B

  28. Parrotlover77 Says:

    Lindsay – Fundies, underfunded schools, and entrenched conservative interests that don’t believe promoting, funding, and guaranteeing access to education is a legimate part of the government.

    I agree, though, that we need more good kids-oriented science shows. I wouldn’t be surprised if there were actually a bunch floating around here and there, like on PBS, and reruns of the classics like Nye on some obscure cable channel, but we need something better than that.

    Those three programs you mentioned were just so damned entertaining. So good production values are needed. This is good stuff to get kids into science, so it can’t be half-assed.

    But then again, Scotty from Star Trek bred an entire generation of Engineers, so maybe a quirky, quotable, memoriable SciFi roll model is all we actually need? :-)