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Why the Harvest Mouse Is So Popular, etc.

Best science press release of the week:

'Promiscuity is common among female rodents, leading to competition between the sperm of rival males over who fertilizes the eggs. It now seems that possessing a longer penis may give males an advantage in this competition, according to new research to be published in the March issue of The American Naturalist. Dr. Steve Ramm, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Liverpool, UK, compared the relative size of the penis bone in several mammal groups: "The data for rodents seem pretty clear cut. Species where sexual competition between males is most intense also tend to have the longest penises. But, interestingly, a similar pattern was not detected in either primates or bats." Understanding the reasons for these differences will require a better understanding of the precise mechanisms through which male rodents benefit from longer penises, something which comparative data alone cannot address.

'Overall, the rodent with the longest penis bone relative to its body size in the study was the Western harvest mouse, Reithrodontomys megalotis. "Everything's relative of course," explains Dr. Ramm, "so although big for its body size the penis bone in R. megalotis is still only 7 to 8 mm long. I don't think the phrase 'hung like a harvest mouse' will be catching on any time soon."

'The study of genitalia has a long history in evolutionary biology. Because genitalia evolve very rapidly compared to other body structures, they are often the only means through which scientists can tell two closely related species apart. Since their primary function is essentially the same in all animals, this great diversity in genital structure has been something of a puzzle. The new research in mammals adds to a growing body of evidence that sexual selection - competition between males and potentially also choice by females - is the driving force responsible.'

--

Nice Angelina Jolie piece on Darfur. Speaking of which, a reporter who has done really intrepid, brave, brilliant work in bringing the tragedy of Darfur to light is Emily Wax of The Washington Post. Here's one of her stories. And here's another. Here's what she said in an interview a while back:

"My husband [the Boston Globe's Raymond Thibodeaux] and I traveled with the rebels into rainy season Darfur. We rode in a machine-gun-loaded truck, swam across swollen rivers and at one point had to walk across the Sahara to get back over into Chad. We hired a donkey to carry our luggage at one point. The area was demolished, with burned villages and bomb craters. But it was also very beautiful and we slept under the stars as we traveled."

She wrote that terrific piece today about her battle with breast cancer.

--

If you didn't see the excellent Bob Woodruff special last night, here's the story with pictures.

By Joel Achenbach  |  February 28, 2007; 12:00 PM ET
 
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: More Oscar Madness, etc.
Next: Early Vegas Line on the Pulitzers

Comments

All I can think of right now is that ditty from the South Park gang, "Isn't It Great to Have A Penis?". *wiping the coffee out of my nose from laughing through it*

Posted by: jack | February 28, 2007 12:28 PM | Report abuse

So if Reithrodontomys megalotis has a huge lotis I should be receiving spam offering painless enlargement solutions to my small lotis problem. And I ask, how do they know?

Posted by: Shrieking Denizen | February 28, 2007 12:40 PM | Report abuse

All I can say is that if my high school had taught stuff like that in science/biology I may have paid more attention.

Posted by: dmd | February 28, 2007 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Somehow, I think penis length might not be the best possible kit-and-boodle topic to stay on-topic about all day.

Hey, just a wild guess. (Assuming this post even gets by the Wirty Dird filter.)

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 28, 2007 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Heh heh.
The penis scientist is Dr. Ramm.

Posted by: byoolin | February 28, 2007 12:47 PM | Report abuse

I'm worried about the pop-up ads.

Posted by: kbertocci | February 28, 2007 12:47 PM | Report abuse

And...uh...I don't seem to be handling the sudden transition from "hung like a harvest mouse" to Angelina Jolie and Darfur very well.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 28, 2007 12:48 PM | Report abuse

So size does matter? But only if you are a harvest mouse? And I need to do more veterinarian anatomy research. I thought "bone" with respect to penises was just a metaphor. When did humans lose this part of the anatomy? Man, we are going to trip over the Worty Dird Filter all day now.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 28, 2007 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Joel: Thanks for linking to Emily Wax's piece about breast cancer. I read it this morning before it got above the fold on the home page. Between that story,the one of the boy that died of septicemia, after having an abcess go untreated, and the Woodruff thing last night, I think we all have someting to be thankful for.

Posted by: jack | February 28, 2007 12:48 PM | Report abuse

I'd like to welcome all the new Boodlers who have just arrived, courtesy of their Google search for '"Angelina Jolie" + penis'.

Welcome, and be advised that while "boodle" can be a verb, it's not *that* verb.

Posted by: byoolin | February 28, 2007 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Well you should be worried, kb. My Google ad says: "Find Lasting Love in DC With Match.com's New Dating Service."

Somehow I am not encouraged by the fact that among us primates "size doesn't matter; it's how you use it" seems to be shared by bats. Have you ever heard how girl bats talk in the girl-bat locker room?

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 28, 2007 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Reasonably on topic is this article about alternative lifestyles among female koalas:

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/category/story.cfm?c_id=500834&objectid=10425714

I found it while reading Andrew Sullivan's Daily Dish. I swear.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 28, 2007 12:53 PM | Report abuse

"Have you ever heard how girl bats talk in the girl-bat locker room?"

I thought the only people who could hear that were teenagers, and they thought it was a cellphone ringing...

Posted by: byoolin | February 28, 2007 12:55 PM | Report abuse

So it would be OK to post my paean to Erector sets?

Posted by: Boko999 | February 28, 2007 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Oddly enough my google ads have completely been eradicated.

Posted by: dmd | February 28, 2007 12:57 PM | Report abuse

My Google ads are to get my Free Credit Score. Google knows what the ladies like.

Posted by: byoolin | February 28, 2007 12:58 PM | Report abuse

SCC:

"Google knows what the ladies like. And I, for one, am a disappointment to adherents of both Dr. Ramm and of Google."

Posted by: byoolin | February 28, 2007 1:01 PM | Report abuse

I think this is a kit for the ages...I'm with 'Mudge, ruminating on these topics creates a swirling disconnect for me. But, everyone should be swirling and disconnected at times, I suppose.

Posted by: Kim | February 28, 2007 1:09 PM | Report abuse

No doubt, many boodlers had exactly the same first thought I did when reading the kit, which is the famous Mae West remark: "Is that a Reithrodontomys megalotis in your pocket, or are you happy to see me?"

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 28, 2007 1:12 PM | Report abuse

...and here's the inevitable reference to "Reithrodontomys megalotis" being a real mouthful.

Posted by: byoolin | February 28, 2007 1:15 PM | Report abuse

"the penis bone in R. megalotis is ... 7 to 8 mm long"

Brag, brag, brag.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 28, 2007 1:16 PM | Report abuse

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Westernharverazorback.jpg

Posted by: omni | February 28, 2007 1:21 PM | Report abuse

The Western Harvest Mouse breeds from early spring to late autumn, with reduced activity at midsummer. The gestation period is 23 to 24 days. Repeated fertilization often occurs immediately after giving birth. It is not uncommon for a female to have ten to fourteen litters per annum, with a typical litter size of two to six individuals; however, litters of up to nine offspring can occur. Thus an annual production of forty to sixty young per female is normal. The newborn mice weigh approximately 1.0 to 1.5 grams.

Posted by: omni | February 28, 2007 1:22 PM | Report abuse

T'would it have been better to have been born a female Western harvest mouse? Think of all the potential harvesting to be done...

Posted by: Loomis | February 28, 2007 1:22 PM | Report abuse

That mouse release has left me somewhat ossified.

So, if you're a rodent at least, size *does* matter?

Gads, I'm busy, but I need to refelct and comment on this later.

Reposted from earlier, with SCC Correction on:

"Jolie's piece was good. She's much better than what I've seen on Britney's and Lohan's blogs."

I see we've found the theme for the day from Mr. Life Affirming, whose name graces this blog.

I wonder if folks across the country and the world have noted that there's a bit of
Spring in the air around Washington DC today?

As for myself: guilty as charged. It's a beautiful day, and will be more beautiful when I get off.

Work, I mean.

bc

Posted by: bc | February 28, 2007 1:23 PM | Report abuse

T'would be better to have been born a Western harvest mouse...with birth control.

Thanks, I think, for the added info, omni...

So you say they're more prolific breeders than proverbial rabbits? I guess if you can get the inseminator--bone and all--even closer to the eggs...then larger litter sizes will ensue? Science data on this, anyone?

Posted by: Loomis | February 28, 2007 1:25 PM | Report abuse

This really happned in Pakistan last week, according to an article in the NYT...

Just hours after Vice President Dick Cheney delivered a stiff private message to President Pervez Musharraf....

hmmmmmm.....

Posted by: jack | February 28, 2007 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Do the sperm compete or is it the mice who compete (first sentence of the best science press release of this week).

Do the sperm line up on starting blocks? Is there a little cap pistol that gets shot off? Do they all dive in the water about the same time to start swimming? Do they give Olmpic medals to the winners--brainze, silver and gold?

Posted by: Loomis | February 28, 2007 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Reproductive competition isn't limited to animals. Here's a book from 1983. The frontispiece drawing shows pollen grains strutting like tiny male sage grouses, competing to be chosen.

Mate Choice in Plants:
Tactics, Mechanisms, and Consequences. (Monographs in Population Biology-19)
Nancy Burley and Mary F. Willson

http://press.princeton.edu/titles/2193.html

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | February 28, 2007 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Doing some back of the envelope calculations, and converting from metric to Standard, an equivalently sized penis for a 6 ft man would be.... 11,765 miles long.

Oh wait, carry the one... got it.
He'd be packin' 9 inches.

And I don't think the mice cheat and measure from the beneath the, er, um, attachments the way some men do (*cough*).

I love the Boodle.

bc

Posted by: bc | February 28, 2007 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, lots of animals have those bones (called Bacula-- insert your Star Trek joke here).

Marsupials don't have them, though. However primates do have them. However the Great Apes have very small baculas and humans simply represent the extreme of that-- no bone altogether. Now if we could lose our appendix that easily...

I guess the Great apes evolved smaller baculas etc. since it's not fun to whack them on branches.

In many primates, sperm competition is based on who's the biggest male.... or in species that need to keep a limited weight for best tree-swinging, it's who has the biggest balls.


Posted by: Wilbrod | February 28, 2007 1:41 PM | Report abuse

teehee - wilbrod said balls...

Posted by: mo | February 28, 2007 1:44 PM | Report abuse

You guys crack me up.

However, Goggle ads didn't come through for me. Here's what I've got:

Neulasta (pegfilgrastim)
Be proactive. Protect yourself right from the start of chemo.

Posted by: Slyness | February 28, 2007 1:44 PM | Report abuse

The bacula's probable advantage is simply to hop in the sack quicker and stay there longer with receptive females.

For all we know, female harvest mice might have a fertility period of minutes or a hour, so thoughtful romance might not pay off.

Posted by: Wilbrod | February 28, 2007 1:46 PM | Report abuse

hey bc - where's snuke when ya need him? sheesh!

Posted by: mo | February 28, 2007 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps it's time to insert the Gerhard Schroder joke from last night:

Herr Kanzler:

Wilkommen in San Antonio.

Heute habe ich gelernt--via Google, dass Sie sind viermals geheiratet! Und Rudi Giuliani (former mayor of New York City who's running for president) ist NUR dreimals geheiratet. Sehr Spass!

Former Chancellor Schroder:

Welcome to San Antonio.

Yesterday I used Google to discover that you've been married four times! (And tongue-in-cheek), Rudi Giuliani (former mayor of New York City who is running for president) has been married ONLY three times. What do you make of this?

Schroder: His (multiple) marriages will give him great difficulties!!!

And then I moved on to serious questions and he, Schroder, gave serious answers. Thank goodness that Schroder has a sense of humor!

Posted by: Loomis | February 28, 2007 1:46 PM | Report abuse

I'm pretty sure Bon Scott has the biggest balls of all.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 28, 2007 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Loomis, for every sperm that makes it, there are lots of sperm that don't make it. Some of them can "help" out in various ways.
Generally sperm competition between males is based on sheer volume, and secreting toxins that affect the females. Many species also have their semen form plugs to prevent other males' seed from entering. It could be that the long bacula helps disrupt such plugs and establish plugs deeper in.

If I remember aright, research done on societies that promote monogamy vs polygamy (in humans) are quite interesting in the terms of sperm competition and general effect on females' reproductive health. Sperm competition issues are why women who sleep with many males during pregnancy are prone to preeclampsia-- its partly due to toxins in the sperm.

Posted by: Wilbrod | February 28, 2007 1:51 PM | Report abuse

the url is: why_the_harvest_mouse_is_so_po

Um if any body had 40-60 babies a year they'd definitely be po' too.

Posted by: omni | February 28, 2007 1:52 PM | Report abuse

For the bacula, I'd rather go with a Quantum Leap joke.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 28, 2007 1:52 PM | Report abuse

Yellojkt, same difference. We all know it's the same bacula meant, although Capt. Archer was a bit of a pr**, wasn't he?

Posted by: Wilbrod | February 28, 2007 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Well, it's refreshing to see that even female rats encounter the same problems as we - females of the human species - do!

Posted by: trailingbegonia | February 28, 2007 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Huh, what???

Posted by: Anonymous | February 28, 2007 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Oh, sure we get onto this topic, and *poof*; mo appears. (hi mo!)

Yeah, where's Scotty?

Following the Bacula thread, the idea of applying quantum uncertainty to penises amuses me.

You can know size, state, or location, but you can't know all three at once?

bc

Posted by: bc | February 28, 2007 2:02 PM | Report abuse

No wonder all those candlelight dinners, Tony Benmnett albums, and blowing gently in her ear haven't worked.

I'm always the last one to get the damn memo.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 28, 2007 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Giant SCC: my 2:07 should have read:

*Generally sperm competition between males is based on sheer volume, and secreting toxins that affect the females.*

No wonder all those candlelight dinners, Tony Bennett albums, and blowing gently in her ear haven't worked.

-----

Jack, your 1:28 made me spit coffee.

I'm always the last one to get the damn memo.

bc and gang: Scotty's on vacation all week, skiing up in New Hampshire. But yes, I'm sure he would have had some wise, mature, sophisticated remarks on the subject at hand. He'll be so disappointed.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 28, 2007 2:12 PM | Report abuse

IIRC, the largest testes, relative to body size, in any mammal is found in the right whale (even as big as they are)--about 1 ton, I believe. Female right whales are bigger than the males, and don't easily submit to mating (they beat the crap out of the males), so the only way the males can successfully mate is for a group to gang up on a female and take turns. The males compete with each other by producing huge amounts of sperm, to try to dilute that of their competitors.

The evolution of whale penises (peni?) is always a favorite topic when I lecture on evolution. Nothing like describing a 9-foot-long, prehensile blue whale penis to keep a student's attention.

For several years, at the annual Society of Vertebrate Paleontology fundraising auction, one of the items for sale was a cast of a walrus baculum, as big as my....forearm, which had been broken in half and rehealed during the life of the animal. Don't know what he'd been doing with it.

Posted by: Dooley | February 28, 2007 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, your courtship strategy is great (although ear-blowing isn't always the turn-on men think it is, so exercise discretion.)

Besides, the problem with the quickie strategy is that there's no second date as a rule.

Posted by: Wilbrod | February 28, 2007 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Dooley, those walruses are notorious party animals.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 28, 2007 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Doesn't Weingarten have a walrus bacula? It must hurts like he11.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 28, 2007 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Dooley-- frustrated romance with an nuclear submarine?

Posted by: Wilbrod | February 28, 2007 2:26 PM | Report abuse

bc, not necessarily sure you want to say "cough" in this context...

Posted by: Raysmom | February 28, 2007 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Raysmom, that was intentional.
I'm getting all teary here that you caught it.

bc

Posted by: bc | February 28, 2007 2:29 PM | Report abuse

And yesterday someone was complaining that the HAL filter wouldn't let him say the name of Mary Tyler Moore's co-star of the 60s. I just tried, too, and it wouldn't let me.

How about Penis Van Lesbian? Will that work?

Posted by: TBG | February 28, 2007 2:36 PM | Report abuse


Pretty much all males are "secreting toxins that affect the females" negatively, bad breath and bo.

9ft, sheesh.
brag, brag, brag

9ft/90ft is like a 7.2incher on a 6ft male human or 7-8mm on a 70-80mm harvest mouse. Pretty much to scale but the prehensility would be a big plus, I admit.

Posted by: Shrieking Denizen | February 28, 2007 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Peter van Butch?

Posted by: Wilbrod | February 28, 2007 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Courtship, Wilbrod? Who said anything about courtship? That's what I have to do to get my weekly lunch money.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 28, 2007 2:39 PM | Report abuse

What I want to know is, how do you get "Penis Van Lesbian" from Ed Asner?

Posted by: byoolin | February 28, 2007 2:41 PM | Report abuse

byoolin, you are showing your youth!

Posted by: dmd | February 28, 2007 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Did Dr. Ramm take the individual...uh... "measurements" or were they self-reported by the mice? Results would differ, you know.

Posted by: Raysmom | February 28, 2007 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Whale dorks. Ha!

Posted by: Boko999 | February 28, 2007 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Not to spoil your joke, byoolin, but MTM Show debuted in 1970.

And I would go with Dong Van Carpetmuncher.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 28, 2007 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Raysmom,

Self-reporting reminds me of why they say women make poor engineers: All their life, they get told (stretch thumb and forefinger reasonably far apart) >>> is twelve inches.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 28, 2007 2:55 PM | Report abuse

All that effort evolving away the bacula to avoid tree whacking and Shreiking wants a prehensile er, um, ah, you know down there.


Dick York?

Posted by: Boko999 | February 28, 2007 2:59 PM | Report abuse

hey, bc - i was here yesterday too... oscar talk doncha know! i don't always appear just during the dirty talk! *pout*

Posted by: mo | February 28, 2007 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Robert "Rob" Petrie

Posted by: omni | February 28, 2007 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Clitoris Boilman?

Posted by: Boko999 | February 28, 2007 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Hmm, I don't seem to have a problem...hehehe.

Posted by: omni | February 28, 2007 3:04 PM | Report abuse

wildly off-topic and actually work related... anyone here planning on going to FOSE?

Posted by: mo | February 28, 2007 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Nope, that got through.
Is this another one of those pie day gags?

Posted by: Boko999 | February 28, 2007 3:05 PM | Report abuse

A nickname for Richard
Van
A slang slur for a butch lesbian

String them together and you have it. The name of an actor that starred in a self titled TV show that aired from October 3, 1961 to September 7, 1966.

Posted by: omni | February 28, 2007 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Richard Van Dam, Jean-Claude's older brother.

Posted by: Shrieking Denizen | February 28, 2007 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Morey Amsterdamn had his own show?

Posted by: Boko999 | February 28, 2007 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Oh, you mean when she played "Mary Petrie"...

Who CARED who her costar was then? Hubba-hubba!

Posted by: byoolin | February 28, 2007 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Here I am successfully tiptoe-ing around the Worty Dird Filter and I get trapped by the HTML stripper. The punchline to my unfunny and very sexist joke should have read:

All their life, they get told (stretch thumb and forefinger reasonably far apart) {{{THIS}}} is twelve inches.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 28, 2007 3:12 PM | Report abuse

PALIN: Now let's try something RUDER.

CLEESE: Shoe. [pause] Megaphone. [pause] Grunties.

Posted by: byoolin | February 28, 2007 3:14 PM | Report abuse

I thought something was fishy yello, but I'm sure we all still got it.

Posted by: omni | February 28, 2007 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Wankle Rotary Engine

Posted by: Boko999 | February 28, 2007 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Dick Van Dike?

Posted by: omni | February 28, 2007 3:23 PM | Report abuse

only susbtitue dike with the British variant...

Posted by: omni | February 28, 2007 3:24 PM | Report abuse

OK, I think I've done enough damage. I'ma eddin ome.

Posted by: omni | February 28, 2007 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Boko, the whole sketch is now running on a loop in my head. It's all I can do to keep from laughing and there are tears in my eyes.

Posted by: byoolin | February 28, 2007 3:26 PM | Report abuse

byoolin | You're confusing Python sketches and funerals.

Posted by: Boko999 | February 28, 2007 3:34 PM | Report abuse

yellojkt, trapped by a stripper does not sound so bad to me.

Joel: See what you started?

Promiscuous use of the word "penis".

Promiscuous penisage, for short.

bc

Posted by: bc | February 28, 2007 3:38 PM | Report abuse

Doesn't the Cleese line go first???

Posted by: Anonymous | February 28, 2007 3:38 PM | Report abuse

If Peter Pecker picked a peck of pickerels, how many pikes did Peter Pecker pick?

Posted by: omnibad | February 28, 2007 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Anonymouse | It's people like you what cause unrest.

Posted by: Boko999 | February 28, 2007 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Someone needs to add the following site to the syllabus of required boodle reading:

http://www.phespirit.info/montypython/

Boodler applicants will have to present a signed certificate of completion from an authorized video store rental clerk or the president of their high school chess club.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 28, 2007 3:44 PM | Report abuse

The Inuit word for a walrus bacula is "oosick". Fitting.

Posted by: Gomer | February 28, 2007 3:48 PM | Report abuse

mo, I'm just giving you a har-

Um. Oh.

Never mind.

bc

Posted by: bc | February 28, 2007 3:50 PM | Report abuse

I kinda liked that Jolie article on Darfur. She explained the situation in a clear and concise way.

Regarding the breast cancer story. My sister-in-law died of breast cancer in early 1999. The thing is, when she got the disease she wanted to neither be inspired nor to inspire. She just wanted to live, and be a mom to her two small kids.

There is a lot of peer pressure, of sorts, on women with this disease to react in the correctly scripted manner of the age. She didn't want to play along and was, well, kind of shunned by some in the cancer community.

So when I read about all this positive energy and the like, I must wonder, what about the woman who doesn't want to proudly show of her body, or wants to wear the wig, or just wants it all to go away. Is there still support for an iconoclastic cancer victim?

Posted by: RD Padouk | February 28, 2007 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Anonymouse is right. Consider me banished to the Institute of Going A Bit Red in Helsinki, but which is in reality lovely Wheeling, WV.

But I will be thinking of words like "T--s, winkle and vibraphone" all the way.

Posted by: byoolin | February 28, 2007 3:53 PM | Report abuse

I have read a few posts from boodlers who welcome the part of their teaching curriculum when they get to teach about sex because of the way their students snap to and pay close attention. Where and what age are you teaching? My 8th grade students get all giggly and I lose them when we cover the mineral properties of "hardness" and "cleavage." They really start chortling when we actually get into actual, animal sex.

Of course, dogs humping makes me giggle inwardly, the way they just go at it with a fervor... now, rhinoceros love... that's just downright comical.

Posted by: Gomer | February 28, 2007 3:54 PM | Report abuse

I'm pretty sure this kit and boodle is not going to be linked on the front page.

Posted by: Yoki | February 28, 2007 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Come back byoolin, it was my bad. I can never resist a chance to type Wankle Rotary Engine.
Lord, will I never be cured?

Posted by: Boko999 | February 28, 2007 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Gomer, the lovely Mrs. byoolin and I once took the Kid, then about 7, to The Wilds animal park in Ohio, where she was extremely amused by a very-recently post-coital male rhinoceros.
All I could say was, "If I had *that* it wouldn't matter if I was nearly blind, either."

Posted by: byoolin | February 28, 2007 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Quite right RD, Mrs. Jolie says it in a simple and effective way.
I can't resist linking Darfur to the recent Natty Geo article on elephant poaching in Chad. The same janjaweed/arab tribes used by the racist government of Soudan to hunt down the black populations are poaching elephants on a big scale in Chad and in Soudan. The customers for ivory are in Asia, China in particular. The same China that will built a nice new palace for that nice Soudanese gubmint. Sigh.

Posted by: Shrieking Denizen | February 28, 2007 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Yoki, at least we hope not. The Wirty Dird filter would explode with all those submissions.

Posted by: Wilbrod | February 28, 2007 4:01 PM | Report abuse

RD, your post about your sister in law brought tears to my eyes, I think many who discover they have cancer are more like your sister in law than the *heros* the community tends to focus on.

Posted by: dmd | February 28, 2007 4:01 PM | Report abuse

//They really start chortling when we actually get into actual, animal sex.//
And you're still still teaching?
Where?
Cleared for the old roarkchortle.

Posted by: Boko999 | February 28, 2007 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Emily Wax, in her article about having breast cancer before the age of 40, said that her bones ache.

I would like Emily to know (she may already be aware) that many breast cancer patients experience hypercalcemia, the same thing that I experience genetically, thanks to my rare disorder. Imagine my surprise after being diagnosed with FHH and Googling hypercalcemia around 1999 to find this association.

http://www.meb.uni-bonn.de/cancer.gov/CDR0000062810.html


Hypercalcemia occurs in 10%-20% of people with cancer, although it occurs much less often in children. The cancers most often associated with hypercalcemia are cancer of the breast and lung, as well as certain cancers of the blood, particularly multiple myeloma. Early diagnosis and treatment with fluids and drugs that lower calcium levels in the blood can improve symptoms in a few days, but diagnosis may be difficult. Symptoms of hypercalcemia can appear gradually and may resemble symptoms of many cancers and other diseases. Early diagnosis and treatment are not only lifesaving in the short term, but may also increase the patient's ability to complete cancer therapy and improve the patient's quality of life.

The main causes of hypercalcemia due to cancer are an increase in the amount of calcium absorbed from the bones, and an inability of the kidneys to excrete excess calcium. Some cancer cells secrete substances that cause calcium to be absorbed into the bloodstream from bones.

Most patients do not experience all of the symptoms of hypercalcemia, and some patients may not have any symptoms at all. However, most patients with high calcium levels in the blood do have symptoms. Some patients develop signs of hypercalcemia when calcium levels are only slightly high, while patients who have had higher calcium levels for a long time may show few symptoms.

The most common symptoms of hypercalcemia are feeling tired, difficulty thinking clearly, lack of appetite, pain, frequent urination, increased thirst, constipation, nausea, and vomiting.

Posted by: Loomis | February 28, 2007 4:02 PM | Report abuse

And then there's the old standby (so to speak) -- do you know why it takes at least 800,000 sperm to fertilize one egg? They refuse to ask for directions. . . .

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | February 28, 2007 4:03 PM | Report abuse

Boko, I think Dr. Felix spelled his last name "Wankel", FWIW.

It's still funny, though, and rotary Wankels powered the RX-2s and RX-3s jack and I were talking about earlier.

Noisy as heck, sucks down fuel like crazy, but revs like mad and makes a lot of hp for small displacement. No torque to speak of, tough due to that lack of displacement.

bc

Posted by: bc | February 28, 2007 4:05 PM | Report abuse

This is one h*11 of a kit-boodle combo to stumble into at the end of a long day. . .

*can't stop laughing*

(yellojkt, many thanks for the link - I'd long forgotten any Python quotes past the parrot sketch, Holy Grail and Life of Brian)

Posted by: sevenswans | February 28, 2007 4:09 PM | Report abuse

I think Joel's pruient animal kit today was a desperate measure to increase pageviews and incoming links to enhance revenue. It seems WaPo's finances are sinking faster than Chinese common stock.

http://www.editorandpublisher.com/eandp/news/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1003551426

Smutty humor will be the savior of Katherine Graham's legacy.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 28, 2007 4:12 PM | Report abuse

bc | They scream. I woke up hungover near the track during CanAm qualifying. The piston engines were bad enough but the Matra-Simca(sp?) took the top of my head off.

Posted by: Boko999 | February 28, 2007 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Yellojkt, if so then you'd think Weingarten would be working 80 hours a week on the Chatological humor stuff again.

Gene, Gene, the whole newspaper's fate weighs on your shoulders... We know what a man has to do.

Posted by: Wilbrod | February 28, 2007 4:29 PM | Report abuse

on a more serious note, RD, I wish your sister hadn't had to go through that. The insensitivity involved just boggles. I hope the reactions didn't upset her too much. Some extroverts publicly embrace their disease in an effort to control it, and then they want to control everyone else, too.

(I speak from experience - I've got ****popular debilitating media-saturated disease #45, name deleted**** and I'm an introvert. I strenuously avoid support groups both on- and off-line)

Posted by: sevenswans | February 28, 2007 4:33 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of bat sex (and we were, we were), if any of you are dating a lady bat, lady vampire, or lady flying squirrel, here's a sexy piece of lingerie that might make a nice gift, at http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/photo/gallery/070228/GAL-07Feb28-66284/index.html

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 28, 2007 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the reminder, RD, that sick is sick. Nearly rhymes with sh*t is sh*t.

A friend who died just shy of her 43rd birthday wanted nothing more than to be a mom to her two children: girl of 13 and boy of 7. Toward the end, she called four of us together, asking us to spread the word: "I am really sick. Don't think I will make it. Help me the way I need to be helped. Stop telling me to fight harder. Just gonna live until I drop. Mow my grass. Rake my leaves. Take my kids to soccer. BTW, be grateful for ordinary problems."

She was so hurt by the "cancer personality thinking." What is up with that victimology variant: People can invite cancer by not living "rightly." Sheesh.

Life is just very unfair, sometimes. Lightning bolts are rather random, really. Cancer happens. Like birds dropping the contents of their drawers on your new hat. Wash it out. Problem solved.

(If) (When) Cancer happens. Do your best. Sometimes nice people get sick and die.

By the way: she loved lemon pie without the merange. Somehow this taste and texture worked on bad days. She hated banana bread. We spread the word. Lots of pie at the most bittersweet wake I ever attended.

Pie. Apply liberally.

Posted by: College Parkian | February 28, 2007 4:35 PM | Report abuse

In science news:

Today, an article in the NYT about two new drugs to fight HIV and AIDS.

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/02/28/health/28hiv.html?

From the NYT article information about the portals the virus(es including mutations) use to gain access to a human host in order to replicate:

Pfizer's drug works by blocking a protein on human immune system cells that H.I.V. uses as a portal to enter and infect the cell. It would be the first drug that targets the human body rather than the virus.

The portal, known as CCR5, was discovered in 1996 by several groups of scientists, and there has been a race to develop drugs to block it.

Some experts said they were a bit cautious about maraviroc, in part because it blocks a human protein instead of a viral one, with possible unknown long-term effects. One CCR5 inhibitor that was being developed by GlaxoSmithKline was dropped because it caused liver toxicity, and a second being developed by Schering-Plough appeared to possibly raise the risk of blood cancers. ...

Experts are also encouraged that about 1 percent of Caucasians have a particular mutation in both copies of their CCR5 gene that knocks out its function. These people are resistant to H.I.V. infection and apparently live otherwise normal lives.

Yet another issue is that some viruses use a different entry portal called CXCR4. Before getting maraviroc, patients will have to be tested to see which portal their virus uses, which would make the drug an early example of "personalized medicine" tailored to the patient.
***

The link below is to a very technical and scholarly article from Nov 1997 Journal of Virology about CCR5 genes of African Green Monkeys. In the Acknowledgement section at the end, you will notice Helotes Mayor (Mulch Fire) Jon Allan's name listed first.

http://jvi.asm.org/cgi/reprint/71/11/8642.pdf

Posted by: Loomis | February 28, 2007 4:50 PM | Report abuse

NYT said Caucasians. Hee Hee Hee

Posted by: Boko999 | February 28, 2007 5:43 PM | Report abuse

So I curtailed my Walpoling activites, sallied forth, and infiltrated your place of purveyance to negotiate the vending of some cheesy comestibles.

Posted by: mo | February 28, 2007 5:45 PM | Report abuse

I am one who delights in all manifestations of the Terpsichorean muse.

Posted by: sevenswans | February 28, 2007 5:49 PM | Report abuse

Well, how did you rate? (a) Embarrassed (b) Hello (c) Good evening.

Posted by: sevenswans | February 28, 2007 5:51 PM | Report abuse

I think I skipped a few beats in this boodle.

Posted by: Wilbrod | February 28, 2007 5:55 PM | Report abuse

That's why the boodle is so special.

I went from crying because I was laughing so hard at the bat fashion to crying for lemon pie, hold the merangue.

Dying from a terminal disease, is a very deeply personal thing. There is no one size fits all style except that we'd all like to stay and have just a few more really good days.

Posted by: dr | February 28, 2007 6:01 PM | Report abuse

Wilbrod, I am also bamboodled.

About the spicy words of this day, I am reminded of a friend's first job in the 80s: censor button babysitter at LA TV station. During the live hearings about Anita Hill and Clarence Thomas, she started bleeping out the words....the station manager roared into the room, saying. "what the *^#*$&^#*&IH are you doing?"

All the word were on the list. He told her to ignore the list.

My, how times have changed.

Posted by: College Parkian | February 28, 2007 6:04 PM | Report abuse

mo, guess where my boss is right about now? Panama! He is cruising the canal. Last reports he is having a good time, or maybe it was that the beverages were good. It was kind of hard to read his email.

Posted by: dr | February 28, 2007 6:07 PM | Report abuse

DM presents this month's Vaseline Award to this Kit and Boodle.

Posted by: Dolphin Michael | February 28, 2007 6:41 PM | Report abuse

Re: The Wilds

byoolin, had you come off the I-70 exit, turned right instead of left, taken an immediate right, gone past the .06 miles of farmhouses and crossed the little wooden bridge, you would have been at the house I had when I was married. The back yard was a former stockyard for the RR and I could have planted bare sticks and had them grow into mighty oaks. :-)

Posted by: dbG | February 28, 2007 6:48 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for that link to the Post financial report, yellojkt. Seems to me the company is still quite profitable. How much is enough?

Via that link I saw this on the Pulitzer favorites:

http://www.editorandpublisher.com/eandp/news/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1003551456

Achenblog overlooked AGAIN.

Posted by: Achenbach | February 28, 2007 6:54 PM | Report abuse

Joel, the sign of a large company is one that neither you nor I could bring to its knees. It is a comforting fact that we can go unnoticed... We are just commas.

Posted by: Dolphin Michael | February 28, 2007 6:57 PM | Report abuse

I thought the Bob Woodruff story on ABC was pretty amazing last night, a tear-jerker. And so interesting in the way that the brain re-wires itself: the footage of Woodruff remembering words, how to say them, how to name the object in an illustration, was really fascinating.

Here's more:

http://news.aol.com/dailypulse/022807/_a/a-reporters-brush-with-death/20070228104409990001?ncid=NWS00010000000001

Posted by: Achenbach | February 28, 2007 6:58 PM | Report abuse

I was held for review, so let's try again--

The famous broken walrus baculum:

http://www.skullsunlimited.com/graphics/bc-17-lg.jpg

Compared to a normal walrus baculum:

http://www.skullsunlimited.com/graphics/bc-200-lg.jpg

Posted by: Dooley | February 28, 2007 7:01 PM | Report abuse

The Woodruff piece was the amazingly the most talked about today in my little world, even on the heels of the Stock Market Plunge and the USA's willingness to sit down and talk with Iran and Syria about Iraq.

The story was so amazing and interesting for many reasons--adding in the personal story.

Posted by: Dolphin Michael | February 28, 2007 7:04 PM | Report abuse

My sister tells about watching my dad in rehab after his first major stroke; he held a carrot close to his chest and while trying to come up with its name said, "Oh... this is a hard one."

Posted by: TBG | February 28, 2007 7:07 PM | Report abuse

Now I wish I had seen that Woodruff piece, we are at the stage with Dad that his brain is in the process of re-wiring and we are looking for things we can do to help.

Posted by: dmd | February 28, 2007 7:11 PM | Report abuse

Imagine what would have happened if he had been asked to name clouds, TBG.

Posted by: Wilbrod | February 28, 2007 7:11 PM | Report abuse

Joel, the Achenblog might not be popular with all the people, but gosh darn it, it's popular with the right sort of people.

Also, didn't mean to bring the boodle down with my story about my late sister-in-law. If there is an up-side to my sister-in-law's story, it is that she had the time to say goodbye to everyone, and everyone had some time to prepare for the end.

Ironically, her death brought about a rather special memory. For right after the memorial service all of my siblings and I went out to a movie. We realized that it was the first time that we had all been together, just the four of us, in many years. We went and saw some ridiculous stupid movie, laughed ourselves silly, and emerged feeling just a little bit better. Everyone handles tragedy in a different way.

Posted by: RD Padouk | February 28, 2007 7:26 PM | Report abuse

This is for all of you who are taunting anyone who lives north of you, and is talking spring.

There is a strange yellow thing shining in my eyes as we speak. I am sitting at my desk trying desperately to see the computer. It is 5:30 and the sun is still up. The other sign of spring - in the morning, as I leave my home, just after 6:30, the light has that early morning version of crepuscularness.

And you thought flowers were the first sign of spring.

Posted by: dr | February 28, 2007 7:30 PM | Report abuse

TBG - When my wife's Grandfather had a mild stroke I remember him telling me that he kept forgetting the word for "nine."

Posted by: RD Padouk | February 28, 2007 7:33 PM | Report abuse

*walrus baculum*

Is it, like, possible to um *purchase* one of these things? I'm redecorating.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 28, 2007 7:45 PM | Report abuse

RD, your story reminds me of when my grandmother died several years ago. Between the two scheduled viewings, my three sisters and I piled into Dad's car with him and Mom to go somewhere to have dinner.

My little sister, who was probably around 30 at the time, took her old spot between my parents in the front seat and declared, "Let's go to Ocean City!," the locale of our yearly vacation.

Posted by: TBG | February 28, 2007 8:12 PM | Report abuse

dr-I know what you are speaking of. We are up to 11 hours of daylight now!

Posted by: frostbitten | February 28, 2007 8:13 PM | Report abuse

A broken baculum has GOT to hurt.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 28, 2007 8:45 PM | Report abuse

RD, we laugh, we cry. We cover it all here on the A-blog.

Some of the boodle comments today make me think of the very lovely Marjorie Williams. Here's the top of one of her columns, from 2002:

"A cancer patient learns to see them coming, the ones who want to ask you (or tell you) just how you managed to give yourself this illness, and why you have failed so far to cure it. It is your toxic anger. It is what you eat, or fail to eat. It is your neglect of your third chakra, or your stubborn refusal to take coffee enemas. They would never be so foolish.

"These conversations have given me a new, if irritated, respect for the human animal's drive to explain away the random fact of bad fortune. "

Here's the full column:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A10070-2002Oct10.html

FYI, McCain chooses Letterman to announce for president (according to this pretty darn good NYTimes politics blog):

http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/tag/john-mccain/

Posted by: Achenbach | February 28, 2007 8:56 PM | Report abuse

Joel... thanks for posting that Marjorie Williams column. Boy, she was really good.

Posted by: TBG | February 28, 2007 9:00 PM | Report abuse

That column is very insightful, I think. The other thing that *drives me into a rage* is when healthy people assure sick people that "you will be fine" and "you are sent nothing you cannot bear" (implying of course, that the sick one is so strong that they should be inspirational, and that the speaker is so very very delicate that such a thing could never happen to him). Arghghgh! How about asking a) how the person feels (instead of projecting) and b) what you can do to help.

I loved (whose?) comment about "drive her kids to soccer," etc. I had a very close friend who died of breast cancer when she was 43; she had four kids, 1 older girl, 1 boy, 1 set of very young girl twins. We were actually a set of three friends, and us two healthy ones washed Mary's floors, and cooked all dinners (delivering them daily) and did all the kid-activity driving we could (as well as other practical duties). We also had 'girls' movie night at Mary's' about twice a month. We all hopped up on her hospital bed and drank the alc bev of our choice (hers were very weak Margueritas) and watched videos. Oh my, did we ever laugh, and cuddle, and weep, and celebrate. It was very painful, but very very sweet. Good times, and good memories.

Posted by: Yoki | February 28, 2007 9:06 PM | Report abuse

I can understand how a person might believe cancer is caused by toxic anger, diet, neglect of one's third chakra, etc. What I *don't* understand is how that person would actually have the insensitivity to convey that belief to a cancer victim. It's one thing to espouse a general view that we create our own reality, or a belief in the power of positive thinking. It's quite another thing to target specific individuals and tell them they created their disease -- which is basically the same as telling them they deserve to be sick.

There are times when it's best to keep our unorthodox beliefs to ourselves -- not so much for our own sake, but for everybody else's.

Posted by: Dreamer | February 28, 2007 9:13 PM | Report abuse

But it is not uncommon, is it Dreamer? Even here.

Posted by: Yoki | February 28, 2007 9:16 PM | Report abuse

Completely off off-topic. The Pi Day rules (ha!) are now up at http://yokiskitchen.blogspot.com Let the game begin!

Thanks College Parkian for this chance to play, and mo for your great suggestion (received and executed).

Posted by: Yoki | February 28, 2007 9:18 PM | Report abuse

Excellent blog, Yoki! Love the phrasing of the rules. AND the photos of Yeoman, etc.

Posted by: dbG | February 28, 2007 9:35 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the Python link, Yello. My favorite episode was "The Bicycle Tour." I laughed nonstop for fifteen minutes after thinking of it the next morning. The character is riding a bike through the South of France, and in the first scene, which is real lame against an obviously fake background, he rides in slowly and steadily and falls over. Period. It builds from there, and when you think it can't get any crazier and they're going to switch to something else, somehow it does get crazier. By the end the bicyclist rides into a rally where Mao is addressing roughly 2 million Chinese (IIRC) -- and falls over, of course.

I'm hearing on NPR that homosexuality can be "overcome" by prayer and devotion to JC. The all-purpose therapy.

Posted by: LTL-CA | February 28, 2007 9:37 PM | Report abuse

SCC: Oops, slowly and unsteadily.

Posted by: LTL-CA | February 28, 2007 9:38 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the link to the Majorie Williams article. I went to "About Achenblog" to see how much humour is too much and this article by David Von Drehle caught my eye. He observed that the Kerry campaign had ignored Red America. I'll try to keep this article in mind when bashing conservatives.
I wonder if Dean read this article causing him to come up with the 50 state stategy.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A1881-2005Jan11?language=printer
Joel mentioned Ms William's last article but didn't provide a link. That ommission has been rectified.
This is Mr. Von Drehle's tribute to Ms Williams.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A14297-2005Jan16.html

Posted by: Boko999 | February 28, 2007 9:44 PM | Report abuse

Yes yello, thanks for the Python link. I was reassured that I remembered the 'Are You Embarassed Easily' sketch correctly.
When the synapes encoding that stuff blow I'll be finished.

Posted by: Boko999 | February 28, 2007 9:51 PM | Report abuse

Mr Pither. HA!

Posted by: Anonymous | February 28, 2007 9:58 PM | Report abuse

Does pizza pie fall into the savory category, does dessert pizza fall into the sweet? Or is 'za not considered a pi for the purposes of this RFS?

Pi Day is also Albert Einstein's birthday.

Posted by: dbG | February 28, 2007 9:59 PM | Report abuse

I would say (but it is College Parkian's call, really) that pizza does not qualify, and neither do casserolish-things like chicken and dumplings. I'd even be tempted to remove shepherd's pie, but I caught myself out on that one by not editing the epicurious definition yesterday.

My thinking is, if we include everything that is conveyed on a bread-like substance, and say that is a crust, we'll have quesedillas and fajitas and other completely un-pie-like recipes entered. And why do I object to that? Because I am lazy and pressed for time. But mostly lazy.

Posted by: Yoki | February 28, 2007 10:04 PM | Report abuse

Trenchermen need not apply.

Posted by: Boko999 | February 28, 2007 10:09 PM | Report abuse

Dreamer said, "I can understand how a person might believe cancer is caused by toxic anger, diet, neglect of one's third chakra, etc. What I *don't* understand is how that person would actually have the insensitivity to convey that belief to a cancer victim."

Just about two years ago I had a very old friend state that she got so upset when she found out her husband was having an affair, that she "got breast cancer." So the believers in this stuff are from both sides of the discussion.

(This woman is/was one of the brightest people I have ever known ---)

Posted by: nellie | February 28, 2007 10:12 PM | Report abuse

That is a really good column by Marjorie Williams. kbertocci mentioned her book a while ago - The Woman at the Washington Zoo. I am struck so often that people get what they don't deserve - the tyrants that live long lives, the wonderful people who die young, although that's too simple, I suppose. My friend's son was killed in a car accident recently - he made a left turn at a busy intersection on the way home from work, on a clear day. There was no alcohol, drugs, speed involved - which was sort of a comfort, but in the end, it doesn't matter so much how he died, just that he did.

Posted by: mostlylurking | February 28, 2007 10:23 PM | Report abuse

Did I mention my hovercraft is full of eels???

Posted by: bill everything | February 28, 2007 10:23 PM | Report abuse

Or you're too close to a volcano at the wrong time:
http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2003592844_rainier28m.html

Posted by: mostlylurking | February 28, 2007 10:30 PM | Report abuse

Stress can weaken the immune system, but to assume it's all about the rage... nuh-uh. Cute berner video. I've never had a puppy that small and fuzzy.

Posted by: Wilbrod | February 28, 2007 10:35 PM | Report abuse

I think that's the key, nellie: a person's *belief* that she can "give herself" a disease -- or cure herself of it, for that matter. Example: the placebo effect. Perhaps it really is possible for the mind to heal the body, if only we knew how to do it, or believed we could do it? And I do think it's possible for people to believe -- or at least be open to -- these ideas and nevertheless be bright, like your friend.

I'm fascinated by stories of spiritual healers, from "primitive" shamans to Jesus to this Brazilian guy I recently saw on a National Geographic documentary called John of God. You have to wonder, are people actually cured by the healer, or by their own beliefs in being cured? Or maybe a bit of both?

But as I said, it's insensitive to suggest these things to people who are sick and who have not expressed an interest in hearing about them. (On the other hand, if the person brings it up herself, it could be insensitive to tell the person she's spouting drivel.) It's unproductive to tell people they've neglected their third chakra if they don't believe in chakras -- or if, like me, they're not exactly sure what a chakra is. Similarly, to use LTL-CA's example, it's downright insulting to tell a gay person that his homosexuality can be "overcome" by prayer and devotion to Jesus when he -- rightly so -- has no interest in "overcoming" his sexual orientation and perhaps has a totally different concept of JC's role in history and in his own life.

Posted by: Dreamer | February 28, 2007 10:50 PM | Report abuse

I was so lucky. I saw Yeoman when he was two days old still in the whelping box, and then every two weeks until he came home with me at eight weeks. He's the only beloved dog I ever had that whole-life experience with.

Though come to think of it, 48-hour-ld Berners are not that cute, more sort of larval. After five days, they look like the wee ones in the video. And that is cute.

Posted by: Yoki | February 28, 2007 10:52 PM | Report abuse

Yoki rules on the Pi questions. She IS the Contessa of Alberta, lately too, the Contessa of Pi-Boodle.

The Pizza-slingers among us should propose a perfect pizza Pi contest on another day.

The same universe that bestows beauty, wonder, perfect love, Fibonaci sequences, sunsets, rhubarb pie, Northern lights, Harvest mouse appendiges also yields death by left turn, cancer, affairs, SARs, Dafur, and other conditions that ruin the day.

And yes, I think that unhappiness or grief or jealously can tip the immune system away from stasis into crisis. Still, bad stuff happens without much justice or remorse or meaning.

I am flashing on the police roll captain from Hill Street Blues, "Let's be careful out there."

Thanks, Yoki for playing Pi. God bless and sleep wel. Tomorrow might be hard; but I predict more crocuses and robins, etc.
Cuckoo, loudly singeth,
Spring is sprung anew.
Well singst though Cuckoo
Oh cease thee never, now.

Posted by: College Parkian | February 28, 2007 10:55 PM | Report abuse

So Hull and Priest are examing Kiley at Walter Reed and it's going A-1 for tomorrow's dead-tree version of the Washington Post. Good.

See my post on Kiley at the A-blog last Saturday under "Don't Anger Queen Hillary [Updated]."

Posted by: Loomis | February 28, 2007 10:58 PM | Report abuse

It's kinda too bad it's been happening in February, but Anne Hull and Dana Priest have been writing next year's Pulitzer winner for the past few weeks. And did you catch the latest, at http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/02/28/AR2007022801954.html.

Other Pulitzer predictions: Ivins will edge out Robinson, which is kind of OK, since Robinson will undoubtedly win one in the next few years, and this year is Ivins' only shot. Weingarten will win one for "The Great Zucchini." Ricks will win for "Fiasco." The Pulitzer for theater will go to a play no one ever heard of. The Pulitzer for poetry should go to Billy Collins, whether he had a book last year or not, but will instead go to a poet who no one ever heard of and whose last work was 26 pages of blank verse about winter. Trudeau will win for Doonesbury (he's got a Jennifer Hudson lock on it).

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 28, 2007 11:05 PM | Report abuse

Do I detect a certain discontent with winter, Mudge?

Posted by: Wilbrod | February 28, 2007 11:08 PM | Report abuse

Newborn dachshunds I saw when I was a kid looked like litte rats but hey, PUPPIES! Their Mom almost took one of fingers off but she allowed me to get close after a half hour or so of sitting quietly. When Detour the Saint Bernard had 13 little ones she already knew me so I had no problems handling them. She had given birth under the outside stairs and we had missed one when we brought them in. She knew and wouldn't settle down until we clued in, checked, and discovered the missing pup. St. Bernard pups are born looking adorable. Human babies are cute too but they're not PUPPIES!

Posted by: Boko999 | February 28, 2007 11:12 PM | Report abuse

Wilbrod, I think the complaint was against blank verse, not winter. You can't get a tune cootie from blank verse . . .

And was your allusion to The Bard or Steinbeck?

Posted by: bill everything | February 28, 2007 11:16 PM | Report abuse

There's something wrong with that link 'Mudge.

Posted by: Boko999 | February 28, 2007 11:17 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of tune cooties (sort of) "Cat in the Hat" turns 50:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cat_in_the_hat

A few things still a little older than I am; a subset of reality that diminishes quicker than I like.

Posted by: bill everything | February 28, 2007 11:22 PM | Report abuse

Catching up on the evening's Boodling, but had to say "Yeah, TERPS!"

The MD men's basketball team sweeping Duke during the regular season is a cause for celebration 'round these parts.

Unfortunately, sometimes the celebration gets a little too exuberant. Hopefully, College Parkian will keep a fire extinguisher handy in case she notices any furniture on fire in the streets over there...

bc

Posted by: bc | February 28, 2007 11:29 PM | Report abuse

Hmm. You're right, Boko. Well, it was supposed to be the link to the top story about Walter Reed officials being aware of the problems for three years. Just one more thing to get quietly pi$$ed about.

The complaint was with the general state of poetry, both the writers and (lack of) readers. Billy Collins excepted.

Jon Stewart had Jake Gyllenhall on, and pointed out Jake was "the kid" in the movie "City Slickers." And then Stewart says, "So, technically, 'Brokeback Mountain' wasn't your first gay cowboy movie."

Earlier on Bill Maher's show, he had a line about Britney Spears shaving her head: "Finally, the drapes match the carpet."

OK, bedtime.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 28, 2007 11:29 PM | Report abuse

Despite the fact that the Terrapins beat IU in the 2002 final I am always supportive of any team that beats Duke. This "Cameron Crazies" phenomenom which has, unfortunately, spread elsewhere is beyond idiotic.

Posted by: bill evrything | February 28, 2007 11:34 PM | Report abuse

// I think that's the key, nellie: a person's *belief* that she can "give herself" a disease -- or cure herself of it, for that matter. Example: the placebo effect. Perhaps it really is possible for the mind to heal the body, if only we knew how to do it, or believed we could do it? //

When I was 24(?) I overcame what I think was a developing case of mono in 12 hours with acid. That's not why I took it, but that was the effect. I could also hunt mosquitos by throwing a baseball from 50 yards, including anticipating their movements. Or so it appeared to me, at least.

Posted by: LTL-CA | February 28, 2007 11:38 PM | Report abuse

Dreamer, I think you put the whole subject in a nutshell in your 10:50.

Then I had to look up "chakra" and find it fits nicely into the pie Boodle --

chakra

in yoga sense, from Skt. cakra "circle, wheel," from PIE base *kwel- "wheel" (see cycle).

Posted by: nellie | February 28, 2007 11:40 PM | Report abuse

Oh, one other Pulitzer prediction: bc will win for the Harriet Myers resignation letter.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 28, 2007 11:41 PM | Report abuse

The Walter Reed article.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/02/28/AR2007022801954.html

Thank God the current administration is putting our troops first. Good God (or god, depending on your orientation).

Posted by: bill everything | February 28, 2007 11:52 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, if I were going to win for that, it would have been last year. Thanks for remembering it though.

Boko, I never heard one of the Matras, and I've heard lots of classic and modern race engines, including the 3.0L V-10s turning 20,000 RPM, but the two that really got me were the 3.5L Lamborghini F1 engine at full chat (circa '89) (Made the hair on the back of my neck stand up), and standing at the starting line when a pair of 7,000 HP Top Fuel dragsters leave. Not so much a noise as a concussion.

Dreamer, thanks for bringing up chakra.

Great Boodling today and this evening, folks.

bc

Posted by: bc | February 28, 2007 11:55 PM | Report abuse

Re: Walter Reed from the latest installment on page A1
"These people knew about it," Wilson said. "The bottom line is, people knew about it but the culture of the Army didn't allow it to be addressed."

mudge is right, Pulitzer material for sure.

Posted by: frostbitten | March 1, 2007 12:09 AM | Report abuse

Bill everything, is that true about the tune cooties and blank verse? "This is the song that never ends..."

When deciding whether to Bard the Lion in Winter or not, always go with Shakespeare. "And if 'tis to be done, 'twere best it be done quickly."

If you make a mistake and plummet to the rocky bottom with shame, just remember that "full fathom five your father lies, of his bones are coral made...."


I've only read a few Steinbeck novels. "Travels with Charley" is great Canine-American Literaure. I can't think of a single Steinbeck quote.

Posted by: Wilbrod | March 1, 2007 12:13 AM | Report abuse

Hospital Investigates Former Aid Chief
Walter Reed Official Had Own Charity

You're doing a heck of a job Brownie
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/02/19/AR2007021901113_pf.html
Think we'll discover that the reno and management of Bldg. 18 is a politically connected contractor?
I wonder were the bulk of political donations from the Temp agencies go?
The people who gutted the professional civil service?

Posted by: Boko999 | March 1, 2007 12:15 AM | Report abuse

From the above linked WP article - the reprisals are in full swing:

Last October, Joyce Rumsfeld, the wife of then-Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, was taken to Walter Reed by a friend concerned about outpatient treatment. She attended a weekly meeting, called Girls Time Out, at which wives, girlfriends and mothers of soldiers exchange stories and offer support.

According to three people who attended the gathering, Rumsfeld listened quietly. Some of the women did not know who she was. At the end of the meeting, Rumsfeld asked one of the staff members whether she thought that the soldiers her husband was meeting on his visits had been handpicked to paint a rosy picture of their time there. The answer was yes.

When Walter Reed officials found out that Rumsfeld had visited, they told the friend who brought her -- a woman who had volunteered there many times -- that she was no longer welcome on the grounds.

Last week, the Army relieved of duty several low-ranking soldiers who managed outpatients. This week, in a move that some soldiers viewed as reprisal for speaking to the media, the wounded troops were told that early-morning room inspections would be held and that further contact with reporters is prohibited.

Posted by: Wheezy | March 1, 2007 12:20 AM | Report abuse

I once believed with all my heart that I had a buildup of gas. Regretably...

Posted by: Boko999 | March 1, 2007 12:24 AM | Report abuse

It wasn't a buildup, it was a leak?

Posted by: Wheezy (baffled) | March 1, 2007 12:27 AM | Report abuse

Wilbrod, you said you didn't know Steinbeck quotes off-hand. Found I didn't either, so I googled. I like these:

If you're in trouble, or hurt or need - go to the poor people. They're the only ones that'll help - the only ones.

In the souls of the people the grapes of wrath are filling and growing heavy, growing heavy for the vintage.


I don't think John Steinbeck would have liked Jim Cramer.

Posted by: Wheezy | March 1, 2007 12:33 AM | Report abuse

Sorry I was working while this good boodle was going on.

Oh Yea BC Baby,Dickie V(aka Dukie Lover) couldn't shut up tonight as the Terps swept The dukies.I love it when they win there on Senior Night.That has happened a couple times in recent memory.

I can't wait to watch Sports Center.

Cool night ride home tonight,Moon out with snow cover still,I also saw a three legged deer bolt across the road.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | March 1, 2007 12:37 AM | Report abuse

Busy day?

Busy! I've spent four hours burying the boodle.

Four hours to bury a boodle?

Well..yes. It wouldn't keep still. It kept wriggling around. Howling

Posted by: Mrs. Conclusion999 | March 1, 2007 12:46 AM | Report abuse

Hi, Greenwithenvy! Hi, Boko - love "Mrs. Conclusion." Not getting the "four hours to bury" reference - sounds like Arsenic and Old Lace.

Went to bed, couldn't sleep. Am allowing cat to pummel me with her claws in crude accupuncture attempt. Not working.

Nite, all.

Posted by: Wheezy | March 1, 2007 1:09 AM | Report abuse

Garry Trudeau can't get too many awards, as far as I'm concerned. He's getting my award for today's comic of the day:

http://www.doonesbury.com/strip/dailydose/index.html

Posted by: kbertocci | March 1, 2007 5:59 AM | Report abuse

Good morning,friends. Kb, love the comic strip, and it is funny, and not funny.

What a kit and boodle we had yesterday. I was real busy, but read some of the comments this morning, and what can I say, an unusual kit, but an interesting one. I think the ladies could add so much more to the conversation, but perhaps they're being "nice". I'm taking the "fifth".

The kids yesterday did multiplication tables and I read a story. And they really liked the story. I enjoyed it too, and enjoyed them even more.

RD, sorry about your sister-in-law(?). I had a breast cancer scare last year, but the doctor says everything is fine. I have to take the test every six months. It is worrisome, and I don't exactly feel immuned. There is a family history on my father's side. People react to illnesses in very different ways. I think those of us close to them or just acquainted with them should be kind. Kindness is never out of place, it really isn't, because it puts the other person's needs ahead of your own.

As to the religious question concerning sickness, kindness works well with that too. I believe, many of you here don't. I am judged on what I do, not what you do. I can be kind to you, and love you, and lose nothing in the doing of it.

Good morning, everyone, *waving*. Mudge, the music and blowing in the ear had me laughing. I can just picture you doing that. Of course, I agree with the poster that stated "blowing in the ear" is not all its put up to be. There are other means, but we won't go into that.

Have a good day, friends. I thank God this morning through His Son Jesus for my life.

God loves us so much more than we can imagine through Him that died for all, Jesus Christ. Peace.

Posted by: Cassandra S | March 1, 2007 6:51 AM | Report abuse

//There are other means, but we won't go into that.//

Cassandra... I love you, girl. I often save some of the stuff you write, but that's one of my faves.

Have a great day everyone! [said to the sound of roofers pounding above me]

Posted by: TBG | March 1, 2007 7:45 AM | Report abuse

'Morning folks. I normally don't get in to work until 9, but this morning I was here at 7:05, and let me tell all you earlybirds, this is one pretty disgusting time of day. The sun is barely up (and it was full dark when I got on the bus an hour earlier). How do you get any work done at this hour?

You can probably guess I'm not a morning person.

Cassandra, I threw in the "blow in her ear" line because that was the ol' classic piece of advice in junior high school on how to turn a woman on. I often wonder how many girls got earaches back in the day. Jeez, we were stupid. I sometimes wonder how we even managed to procreate the next generation.

Wilbrod, I agree there aren't many great Steinbeck quotes, but the Tom Joad speech (delivered by Henry Fonda) at the end of Grapes of Wrath will make your hair stand on end (starting at "Then it don't matter."):

Tom Joad: I been thinking about us, too, about our people living like pigs and good rich land layin' fallow. Or maybe one guy with a million acres and a hundred thousand farmers starvin'. And I been wonderin' if all our folks got together and yelled...
Ma Joad: Oh, Tommy, they'd drag you out and cut you down just like they done to Casy.
Tom Joad: They'd drag me anyways. Sooner or later they'd get me for one thing if not for another. Until then...
Ma Joad: Tommy, you're not aimin' to kill nobody.
Tom Joad: No, Ma, not that. That ain't it. It's just, well as long as I'm an outlaw anyways... maybe I can do somethin'... maybe I can just find out somethin', just scrounge around and maybe find out what it is that's wrong and see if they ain't somethin' that can be done about it. I ain't thought it out all clear, Ma. I can't. I don't know enough.
Ma Joad: How am I gonna know about ya, Tommy? Why they could kill ya and I'd never know. They could hurt ya. How am I gonna know?
Tom Joad: Well, maybe it's like Casy says. A fellow ain't got a soul of his own, just little piece of a big soul, the one big soul that belongs to everybody, then...
Ma Joad: Then what, Tom?
Tom Joad: Then it don't matter. I'll be all around in the dark - I'll be everywhere. Wherever you can look - wherever there's a fight, so hungry people can eat, I'll be there. Wherever there's a cop beatin' up a guy, I'll be there. I'll be in the way guys yell when they're mad. I'll be in the way kids laugh when they're hungry and they know supper's ready, and when the people are eatin' the stuff they raise and livin' in the houses they build - I'll be there, too.
Ma Joad: I don't understand it, Tom.
Tom Joad: Me, neither, Ma, but - just somethin' I been thinkin' about.

Steinbeck seldom wrote about articulate people, that's all.

Very sad to hear the news that one of my all-time heroes, Arthur Schlesinger, has died, at 89. His "1,000 Days," the story of JFK's administration and Camelot, was one of the greatest, most inspirational books I've ever read (turned me into a Sorenson wannabe). He was both the conscience and historian of a generation.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | March 1, 2007 7:57 AM | Report abuse

I'm watching The Daily Show on Tivo from last night. This is a great quote from Jon Stewart...

"For those of you who live in Washington, you may have noticed a subtle difference this week in D.C.: the air a little crisper; food a little more tasty; homeless people weren't being discovered drained of blood.

It could only mean one thing: Vice President Dick Cheney was out of town."

Posted by: TBG | March 1, 2007 8:06 AM | Report abuse

Mostly: I'll remember your 11.38 the next time I feel like momo is coming on. I have always wanted to hunt mosquitoes with a baseball. *cleaning the keyboard of coffee*

Posted by: jack | March 1, 2007 8:20 AM | Report abuse

Mudge, thanks for digging up that Steinbeck passage. The genius of Steinbeck is that he can cover the Big Issues without getting all high-falutin' about it.

Posted by: kbertocci | March 1, 2007 8:20 AM | Report abuse

TBG, your 8:06 had me laughing, and I'm still laughing. That my friend is so funny. Are you writing for Jon Stewart?

Posted by: Cassandra S | March 1, 2007 8:41 AM | Report abuse

Y'all are making me thirsty...and am missing Sara.

Posted by: omni | March 1, 2007 8:42 AM | Report abuse

Morning!

I've been buried at work, and just catching up quickly. Sorry to have missed discussions of puppies and pie--two of my favorite things!

Yoki, can I send a recipe without the real thing? My mom makes a killer black raspberry pie (and shared the recipe), but those berries are out of season. I refuse to use those humongous, seedy things that are in the stores now.

I wish I had seen The Wonder Dog when he was a tiny puppy--with all that hair, he had to have been adorable. By the time we adopted him, he was an 8 month old gawky adolescent (with attention deficit issues).

Posted by: Raysmom | March 1, 2007 8:50 AM | Report abuse

-Hung like a harvest mouse..- What a great quote. My question is what are the qualification for the job of measuring harvest mouse peni, and who would actually apply for it?

Posted by: cssch2 | March 1, 2007 8:53 AM | Report abuse

-Hung like a harvest mouse..- What a great quote. My question is what are the qualification for the job of measuring harvest mouse peni, and who would actually apply for it?

Posted by: cssch2 | March 1, 2007 8:54 AM | Report abuse

SCC: mono...chuckling too much whilst typing

Posted by: jack | March 1, 2007 8:58 AM | Report abuse

Of course you can, Raysmom. You know what they say about rules.

Posted by: Yoki | March 1, 2007 9:19 AM | Report abuse

Yoki, can I submit the Kit and Kaboodle as a recipe for 'Pie in the Sky'?

Posted by: omni | March 1, 2007 9:50 AM | Report abuse

A new staff member is joining us today, so in about 15 minutes I have to pretend I know stuff. My quandry is how do I pretend to know stuff when I cannot find it, and haven't seen it in years? I mean, I am pretty good at 'looking' busy, but to actually 'know' stuff?

Posted by: dr | March 1, 2007 9:51 AM | Report abuse

Even more very current science (genetics) news:

From science reporter Nicholas Wade at the NYT, the strong probability--in fact, great likelihood--that President Thomas Jefferson inherited and carried an unusual Y chromosome from the Middle East:

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/02/28/us/28jefferson.html?ref=science

Piggybacking on that story and the recent story about the Sharpton-Thurmond family connection, San Antonio Express-News columnist Cary Clack (whose genealogy is quite mixed, as he has written in the past)writes today in an article titled "No Secret--We're All Mixed Up" about his slave background and family's historical connections to Sheriff "Wild Bill" Hickok.

http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/columnists/cclack/stories/MYSA030107.01P.clack.2cd064c.html

Last night I finished Brisitish geneticist Bryan Sykes' "Saxons, Vikings and Celts: The Genetic Roots of Britain and Ireland." In the Isles, it's titled "Blood of the Isles: Exploring the Genetic Roots of Our Tribal History."

This is the only solid thing, other than my purse, that I was carrying with me when I decided to ask former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroder for his autograph when he was passing between buildings on Tuesday evening at Trinity University here. Schroder had no qualms about signing this book (good thing it wasn't "Mein Kampf"). Perhaps it is because Schroder himself hails from Saxony, having grown up in an extremely poor family there.

This German Saxony is where my paternal grandmother's mother is from, they having settled in the German section of Kings on Long Island. Could I ask Schroder for help with my genealogy there, I wonder?

I would only recommend Bryan Sykes most recent book if you're interested in this sort of thing--but then again, I loved reading Sykes' first book. In perusing this third book by Sykes--somehow having missed his second "Adam's Curse", I found enough of my own family's names to pique my interest.

The first 100 pages review material from Sykes' two earlier books and gave a basic run-through on genetics. But the last 200 pages are the meat. Sykes explores many origin myths of the Isles, the very early history and archaelogy and communities(proposing that history as it's now taught pay as much attention to the culture of the Celts as it does to ancient Greece and Rome), some geology, and the very early warfare and battles in the Isles.

Through genetic evidence, painstakingly collected, Sykes determines settlement and immigration patterns of Ireland, Scotland, Wales, and England--in that order. Since these are islands, all settlement is by emigrants--mostly seafaring. Without giving away any spoilers, Sykes looks at the DNA evidence of Picts and Celts, of the Vikings, of the Norman French--who are Norse, and the Jutes, Angles, and Saxons. Some of the movement patterns of early peoples--and the accompanying logic of it--will surprise you. Sykes also delves into the "Gengis Khan effect" repeated from Mongolia on the Isles, but with different clan leaders and Y chromosomes (than ol' Genghis, of course). The geneticist spends an equal amount of time examining matrilineal DNA, mitochondria.

The headline over Clack's column really, truly says it all: "No Secret--We're All Mixed Up."

Posted by: Loomis | March 1, 2007 9:52 AM | Report abuse

Ah, man, Al Gore had his Oscar taken away...

http://www.borowitzreport.com/archive_rpt.asp?rec=6704&srch=

Posted by: omni | March 1, 2007 9:57 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Kurtz's column is worth reading, regarding the dangers of flaming in the context of a blog. Thank goodness the Ablog displays at least a modicum of decency. I can't recall seeing another collection of postings discussing the trait confers advantage during reproductive competiton with such civility.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/linkset/2005/04/11/LI2005041100587.html

Posted by: jack | March 1, 2007 10:00 AM | Report abuse

Mudge, another example of good and powerful dialectical writing? Alice Walker's "The Color Purple":

"When I see Sofia I don't know why she still alive. They crack her skull, they crack her ribs. They tear her nose loose on one side. They blind her in one eye. She swole from head to foot. Her tongue the size of my arm, it stick out tween her teef like a piece of rubber. She can't talk. And she just about the color of a eggplant."

Posted by: Loomis | March 1, 2007 10:11 AM | Report abuse

omni, from your link, the last graf from Borowitz was pretty good, too:

Elsewhere, after foreigners received a record number of Academy Award nominations, CNN anchor Lou Dobbs proposed building a 12-foot high fence around the Kodak Theater.

Posted by: Loomis | March 1, 2007 10:13 AM | Report abuse

Yeah I liked that too. Sometimes the last graf is better than the rest.

Posted by: omni | March 1, 2007 10:46 AM | Report abuse

Omni, I typically think of the last bit as the punchline.

bc

Posted by: bc | March 1, 2007 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Jim, (pause) it's dead.

Posted by: Shrieking Denizen | March 1, 2007 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Shrieking, I am hunkered down for the "big storm", is it expected your way? Watching the waves on the local webcam they are starting to put on an impressive show.

Posted by: dmd | March 1, 2007 11:40 AM | Report abuse

righto, bc

and something cool this way comes:
http://sunearth.gsfc.nasa.gov/eclipse/OH/OH2007.html

total lunar eclipse this saturday

Just so you know: 23:20:56 UT is 6:20:56 PM EST

Posted by: omni | March 1, 2007 11:48 AM | Report abuse

CompUSSR, er ah, I mean CompUSA just announced it's closing more than half of its stores (126 of 129). In the DC area 6 of 7 will close leaving only the store in Columbia.

Posted by: omni | March 1, 2007 12:07 PM | Report abuse

BC! No flames on the block last night, but you are right to warn me. I have lived through several events, shall we say, including a sofa in flames high enough to melt phone wires. The sofa-aflame was three houses away from me. That was after a Duke game circa 2002.

I did hear the hum of helicopters above me, last night. One year, mounted police but not the Canadian sort, used our block as a staging ground. Apparently, drunken college girls melt into submission around steeds. The horse-girl connection. Not sure what the presence of horses does for drunken college boys.

---
Three lawns on the block are thick with snow crocus: More purple than green! Lovely! And here come the riot of purples and yellows of spring, followed by more mellow blues and pinks in May and June, then the long stretch of flowers that struggle in the heat sporting mostly yellow and orange hues, finally in fall the blues and purples of asters and mums Every year, again, and again, and again, and again.

I miss reading Henry Mitchell, gentleman gardener and writer at the Post.

Posted by: College Parkian | March 1, 2007 12:08 PM | Report abuse

http://www.jerrygreerphotography.com/images/Snow_Crocus__LG.jpg

Posted by: omni | March 1, 2007 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Stop, stop, stop with your garden talk. Nothing brings out the worst kind of coveting in me like talk of gardens where crocus bloom this early.

It has been snowing for a few hours and we expect anywhere from 7-19 inches by the time this "snow event" is over. While I am on the umpteenth graph paper rendition of the planting beds I plan to install this spring, which will occur in the second week of June perhaps, CP speaks of crocus.

Posted by: frostbitten | March 1, 2007 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Omni -- thanks. BTW, I always think of the science mag, not the Dodge make of car, when I read your name.

Posted by: College Parkian | March 1, 2007 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Frosty, I did my purgatory in MT and I hear you on the friable ground envy. But do you have paper-bark birch trees? If so, I covet you those right back.

Repeat the tenth commandment and go and sin no more:

Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's snow crocus however lovely and early and silvery-belled as if a fairy chalice......

Print Omni's pix and bless the boodle for comfort.

Posted by: College Parkian | March 1, 2007 12:25 PM | Report abuse

CP, your right to think of the Magazine.

Dodge Omni: Yuck.

Posted by: omni | March 1, 2007 12:38 PM | Report abuse

I am with Frostbitten, I envy your weather today (yesterday was glorious), today we expect, snow, freezing rain, ice pellets followed by rising temps, rain and possible thunderstorms, followed by dropping temps rain/freezing rain or snow. Plus gale force winds. From my webcam I see the storm is hitting home, for once they were correct, luckily school bus were cancelled today so kids are at the sitters safe and sound.

Frostbitten hope you and anyone else affected by the storm stay safe.

Our current weather warning - kind of like including everything but the kitchen sink :-)

http://theweathernetwork.ca/weather/alerts/warnings.htm?region=WWCAON0029

Posted by: dmd | March 1, 2007 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Wow.. dmd.. that weather is awful! I looked at your town's webcam and the lake looks like the ocean!

Take care of yourself.

Posted by: TBG | March 1, 2007 12:44 PM | Report abuse

I will TBG we are leaving early before the snow changes to freezing rain, snow is easier to deal with than ice.

Just looked back at my towns webcam and someone is skating on the rink, just a little nuts it is really windy out.

One a warmer note the snow reminded me of this the Beluga cam at Vancouver Aquarium, I love Belugas - spent a long time watching them when we visited the Aquarium years ago.

http://www.vanaqua.org/belugacam/index.html

An the crocus picture was nice, it will happen here soon enough, March is usually a month of crazy weather but on the other hand in like a lion out like a lamb!

Posted by: dmd | March 1, 2007 1:00 PM | Report abuse

The storm is indeed coming our way dmd. We expect to play the Name-That-Precipitation game all day tomorrow. We were supposed to walk the poneys late in the afternoon tomorrow, so I guess we will have to do it today. I have this urge to buy toilet paper and milk before though...

Posted by: Shrieking Denizen | March 1, 2007 1:15 PM | Report abuse

*faxing this graphic to Dan Froomkin*

http://www.global-vision.org/dream/dreamgifs/scream.gif

Posted by: Loomis | March 1, 2007 1:34 PM | Report abuse

dmd,
belugas can easily be observed in the wild around the Baie-Ste-Catherine/Tadoussac ferry run at the mouth of the Saguenay. It's about 50 km from where my parents live so I make the visit pretty much every year. There are some whale watching cruise based in both Tadoussac and B-S-C as well. There are other species of whale to see, usually some mink whale and right whales are fooling around. One time, about 30 years ago I saw a blue whale while camping on the beach in Tadoussac. They usually come in the second half of August, for about a month. Because the deep water is right along the coast the beast was probably only a couple of hundred yards away. Close enough to hear the "vents" clapping open and shut when she blew.
Also, the kids used to call me the beluga when I lounged around the pool, because of my (past)size and glow-in-the-dark complexion.
I

Posted by: Shrieking Denizen | March 1, 2007 1:39 PM | Report abuse

We are just expecting this whole storm to be rain,but a lot of it.Flash flood watches are in effect.

With all the snow melting,the ice still on the river and 1-3 inches of rain that is expected.It could be a major flood of ice and water.It should be an awesome sight.......but from a distance.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | March 1, 2007 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Ah, springtime! My daffodils are blooming, crocuses have been going at it for several weeks. Still have camellias to open, and the Lenten roses are at their peak.

Of course, spring also means severe weather, which is predicted this afternoon and evening. It's early for tornadoes, I'm thinking. Global warming again...

I expect I should mow the grass this weekend, as the spouse is flying back to the Left Coast for yet another meeting tomorrow. We shall see if I get around to it. There are also many weeds calling me to pull them, and that may take priority.

Posted by: Slyness | March 1, 2007 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Canadian Govt. radar shows Kitchener about to get walloped.
http://www.weatheroffice.ec.gc.ca/radar/index_e.html?id=WKR
The sky is just clouding over here near Ottawa.
How does the emergency list go again? Beer, TP or TP, Beer?

Posted by: Boko999 | March 1, 2007 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Shrieking I am married to a man nicked named for the amazing lack of pigmentation in his skin.

I have only seen killer whales in the wild, on the ferry from Vancouver to the island - it is quite a sight.

Posted by: dmd | March 1, 2007 1:50 PM | Report abuse

dmd said "in like a lion out like a lamb!"

Have you ever been kicked by a lamb?

Especially one of the little buggers raised in the Baaad Lands.

(rimshot)

(so sorry... blame the meds)

Posted by: martooni | March 1, 2007 1:50 PM | Report abuse

WaPo radio now reporting the CO of Walter Reed has been relieved of command (the military euphemism for "fired" though they may just transfer him to Antarctica or someplace.)

Posted by: Curmudgeon | March 1, 2007 2:01 PM | Report abuse

NPR with same report. Relief will be followed by retirement at that level.

Posted by: frostbitten | March 1, 2007 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Tell them to send him here were pretty close to antarctica conditions at the moment, see Boko's radar.

Posted by: dmd | March 1, 2007 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Omni, before you besmirch your namesake too much more, I've won more trophies with Dodge Omnis than any other cars that I've driven.

It's a great feeling to have a bunch of racers standing around at the trophy award presentation, guys who brought Vipers, Corvettes, BMWs, etc. have to applaud unenthusiastically for the overall winner and fastest car of the day, a recovered salvage yard Dodge Omni that is probably worth less than the Viper's wheels.

Granted, a 400+ hp Omni with all the knobs turned up to 11, but still.

It's a hoot to drive. And a bit of a handful, of course.

bc

Posted by: bc | March 1, 2007 2:10 PM | Report abuse

My namesake is the magazine, not the car, and the yuck only refered to what I remember they looked like, and the fact that it's Dodge (its personal, and I don't want to get into it).

Posted by: omni | March 1, 2007 2:13 PM | Report abuse

The Omni was a great teaching car. My brother had for for a couple of years when he was a student (the simili-Rabbit one, not the "sporty" 2-door TC3)and pretty much every week the car was providing a new opportunity for learning something about a particular component or subsystem. All he knows about auto mechanics he learned from that car.

Posted by: Shrieking Denizen | March 1, 2007 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Yeah ! The sleet, freezing rain and ice pellets forecast has been cancelled ! We are only getting 8-12in. of snow !

Posted by: Shrieking Denizen | March 1, 2007 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Just did a google image search on dodge omni, and I must say I remember correctly. The car is ugly to my eyes, but the cars converted to racing to look quite a bit better, all those decals are an improvement I guess.

Posted by: omni | March 1, 2007 2:38 PM | Report abuse

yikes:SCC:to look=>do look

Posted by: omni | March 1, 2007 2:39 PM | Report abuse

SD, never said they were reliable, but I drove a couple of the Shelby GLHS and Dodge GLH versions as daily drivers for years ('83 - '93), and once I figured out how to address the weaknesses, they were reasonably bulletproof.

GLH really does stand for "Goes Like Hell"
The Shelby S version is "Somemore". Really.

bc

Posted by: bc | March 1, 2007 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of pale folk and pale whales, I'm going to see Johnny Winter play in Ottawa on Mar 24. I'm sure he'll wail.

Posted by: Boko999 | March 1, 2007 2:45 PM | Report abuse

but, is "Goes Like Hell" a good or bad thing?

Posted by: omni | March 1, 2007 2:52 PM | Report abuse

never mind, I just wikied it. good thing

Posted by: omni | March 1, 2007 2:57 PM | Report abuse

forgot the link (bc wasn't kidding about the initials)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dodge_Omni#GLH

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shelby_GLHS

Posted by: omni | March 1, 2007 2:58 PM | Report abuse

omni, let me be clear here.

They're NOT pretty cars by any means. Part of the charm of racing one is reenforcing the adage, "Don't judge a book by its cover."

However, the architecture is pretty good - note that on the 4 door (well, 5 if you count the hatch) the wheels are pushed all the way out to the corners of the car. It's got a 99 in wheelbase, which is rather long for a small car, This helps out a lot when you're approaching 150 mph (on a racetrack, don't get excited. Well, the car felt like it was going to fly off the ground going that fast, so I was a *little* excited), and is very stable in transition during competition.

Anyway, is the CO of Walter Reed the right guy to be taking the fall for this? Military medical facilites have inspections, don't they? Just thinking out loud here.

bc

Posted by: bc | March 1, 2007 2:58 PM | Report abuse

This all comes from the top. Abu Ghraib, Walter Reed, lack of armored vehicles, whatever. I am sure that guy did the best he could with the funding he had. The real responsibility lies with the bean counters.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 1, 2007 3:04 PM | Report abuse

bc, the best part of the Walter Reed situation is that there will be more inspections ... "of the troops." Moral of the story: never complain.

Posted by: Dolphin Michael | March 1, 2007 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Slightly off-topic (well, way off "topic"), can someone tell me if it's common practice for other countries to label their ordinance in English?

Like, aren't Iranian affairs conducted in Farsi? If EFPs were being sent to Iraq wouldn't they be labeled in Arabic, or is every jihadi in Iraq bi-lingual?

Or is it easier to make your point when faking things to label the bombs in the language of the people you're trying to fool?

Posted by: Error Flynn | March 1, 2007 3:32 PM | Report abuse

Howdy all. I have been lurking while nursing the Boy through strep throat. That is this week's illness (last week's "crud" is, well, SO last week). Fortunately, the Medical Professionals can fix strep throat so he is back at school and I'm at work. I've enjoyed this peculiar, entertaining and ultimately rewarding Boodle, polyglot as it is.

I'm deciding on my Pi entries now.

Posted by: Ivansmom | March 1, 2007 3:32 PM | Report abuse

Somehow I never quite managed to publish the kit I started this morning. Hang on. Stand by. Let me find that thing...[rummaging]...[documents scattering]...here we go...give me a few minutes to dust it off and put it into the deelybopper.

Posted by: Achenbach | March 1, 2007 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Deelybopper...I like it!

Posted by: Slyness | March 1, 2007 3:51 PM | Report abuse

OK. There it is. New kit. A little frayed around the edges, but it'll work.

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