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Gore Testimony; Hillary as Big Brother

[The Boodle attacks the Washington Post looking for text formatting. Our invasion plans are coming to fruition! The Boodle blogs. TBG & Yoki, *signing off*]

[Sorry. Security breakdown. We now return you to our regularly scheduled program.]

Now, as promised (though as always I'm so late -- I used to get things published more quickly when I worked in print), here are some excerpts of Gore's Senate testimony:

"This is not a normal time. We are facing a planetary emergency --
and I'm fully aware that that phrase sounds shrill to many people's ears --
but it is accurate. The relationship between humankind and planet earth has
been radically altered in a very short period of time."

"There are some times in history when a small number of people in one
place have to make difficult decisions that will affect the future for
everybody. One of the most popular movies out there is "300." I haven't
seen it, but the young people love it, and it's about the battle of
Thermopylae in 480 B.C. when -- Senator Warner, you're a great military
historian and I would love to hear you talk about this some time. As you
know, 300 saved the future of Western Civilization against 10,000 -- one of
the great stories of courage when a few made a decision for the many."

"We've got too much partisanship. Every one of us, myself at the
front of line, has contributed too much to it. But a time will come, I
promise you -- a time will come when a future generation will look back on
2007, at this hopeful time, and they will ask one of two questions. Either
they will ask, 'What in God's name were they doing? Didn't they see the
evidence? Didn't they hear the warnings? Didn't they see the mountain
glaciers melting in every part of this Earth? Didn't they see the North
Polar ice cap melting? Didn't they hear the scientists say it may be gone
in as little as 34 years? Didn't they hear the seismographers telling them
that the Earth is shaking because of the glacial earthquakes on Greenland'
-- 32 of them this year, up to 5.1 on the Richter scale. 'Didn't they see
the evidence of nature being on the run?'"

[He makes a number of suggestions...]

"...the creative power of the information revolution was unlocked
by the Internet. And when the scientific and engineering pioneers came up
with ARPANET and this Senate empowered them with the legislative framework
and research and development funds, all of a sudden people just developed
it amazingly. We ought to have an "electranet." And we ought to encourage
widely distributed power generation by homeowners, by small business
owners. And here's the key: You ought to take off the cap, let them sell as
much as they want to into the grid. And remember that the flip side of a
monopoly is a monopsony, the tyranny of a single buyer. Don't let the
utility in each area decide how much they're going to pay homeowners and
business people for selling the electricity. Set the rate the way a public
utility commission does now. Have a tariff that reflects the market price.
You may never have to build another central generation power plant. You
watch -- you give them the ability -- individuals out there, families,
small businesses -- they're going to go to town with this -- an

[Skipping ahead to the lowlight of the hearing: Sen. Inhofe, who believes GW is a hoax, badgering Gore, trying to get him to pledge to use no more energy in his home than the national average.]

GORE: ...You know, one of the
other recommendations that I would have is that you also set standards for
green energy produced by utilities. And one reason I say that in response
to what you're saying here is that that's what we purchase. And we pay more
for it, because it's still relatively uncommon.

SEN. INHOFE: Senator Gore --

MR. GORE: If I could just --

SEN. INHOFE: Well, you can't --

SEN. BOXER: If you could allow -- you've asked the senator an
important question. He's answering it. Give him a minute or so to answer.

SEN. INHOFE: All right, if you could stop the clock during this
time, that's all right.

SEN. BOXER: No, I'm not going to stop the clock. He has a minute to
answer. How can you ask a question and not give the man a minute to answer?

MR. GORE: We purchase wind energy and other green energy that does
not produce carbon dioxide. And that does cost a little more now, and that
is one of the reasons why it costs a little more....We're also in the process of renovating an old home. And we live not far from where Lamar and Honey Alexander live, and we --

SEN. INHOFE: Okay. Senator Gore, you've had so much more time --

MR. GORE: Could I just make one --

SEN. INHOFE: -- I'm going to have to get my --

MR. GORE: Could I make one other point, because a lot of communities
actually have laws preventing the installation of solar photovoltaic cells.

SEN. INHOFE: So I assume the answer is no. Let's go to the next

MR. GORE: And if I could continue, I don't believe that there should
be a federal provision that overrides any local restrictions on --

SEN. INHOFE: All right, Senator Gore, I'm very sorry. I don't want
to be rude, but from now on I'm going to ask you to respond for the record
in writing since you're not going to respond --

MR. GORE: Well, if I choose to respond to you verbally here, I hope
that'll be okay too.

SEN. INHOFE: If it's a very brief response.

All right, I'm sure you read the New Yorker's article that
quoted the scientists -- I mentioned this in my opening statement -- about
their criticizing you for some of your being too alarmist and hurting your
own cause. Now, I'll ask you to respond in writing for that one because
that would be a very long response, I'm afraid.

Now, it seems that --

MR. GORE: Well, I would like to respond --

SEN. INHOFE: -- everybody --

MR. GORE: May I respond?

SEN. INHOFE: -- on global warming in the media joined the chorus
last summer --

SEN. BOXER: Excuse me. Senator Inhofe, we'll freeze the time for a
minute. I'm just trying to make --

SEN. INHOFE: Take your time. We're freezing the time.

SEN. BOXER: No, no. We're freezing the time just for a minute. I
want to talk to you a minute, please. (Laughter.) Would you agree to let
the vice president answer your questions? And then, if you want an extra
few minutes at the end, I'm happy to give it to you. But we're not going to
get anywhere --

SEN. INHOFE: Why don't we do this? Why don't we do this? At the end,
you can have as much time as you want to answer all the questions.

SEN. BOXER: No, that isn't the rule of -- you're not making the
rules. You used to when you did this. You don't do this anymore. Elections
have consequences. (Applause from audience.)


More politics:

Here's the YouTube attack ad on Hillary, really well done from a technical standpoint. Funny how the first woman to be a presidential frontrunner winds up portrayed as Big Brother.

Arianna unmasked the creator. His name is Phil de Vellis. Here he is explaining on the HuffPo why he made the ad. His grandiose conclusion:

"This shows that the future of American politics rests in the hands of ordinary citizens....[T]he underlying point was that the old political machine no longer holds all the power."

Well, gee. This from a fellow who just a couple of days ago was working for the company that designed Obama's website and "provides technology" (his term) for a couple of other campaigns. He is, by any definition, a professional media person. Doing stuff like this is something he does for money. So let me suggest he is not exactly the prototype of the "ordinary citizen."


Kennecott doesn't like the new Imax film about Katrina and the bayou country. Didn't someone around here once say "Follow the money"?

"Why does a film that seems so insistent on decrying the loss of wetlands end with little more than an anodyne lament and some empty hope? Roll the credits: The film was made with money contributed by Chevron. And Dow Chemical. And Dominion Exploration and Production, a major power company."


Vermouth makes a comeback. What next, MD 20-20?


[Midday update: Politico blogger Ben Smith has a great scoop: "Edwards to Suspend Campaign." Flagged big-time on Drudge. Minor problem: It's not true.] [Ben Smith apologizes, and very quickly and forthrightly. Move along folks, nothing to see here.]

By Joel Achenbach  |  March 21, 2007; 3:39 PM ET
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Next: Horrifying Food; Plus Stuever on Anna Nicole


Great pictures from the BPH. Looks like a good time was had by all.

Has anyone heard this ridiculous argument that "Clinton fired ALL the U.S. Attorneys" and, therefore, W did nothing wrong or unusual? Just looked around to find out what that's all about. Found that every incoming administration routinely fires the previous admin's U.S. Attorneys, and puts in their own. Who are then expected to serve the full term of the administration which installed them. So Bush fired Clinton's US A's also, which was OK. It's the mid-term replacement of 8, for political reasons, that is unprecedented.

I just figured I'd share my spot of research.

Posted by: Wheezy | March 22, 2007 9:49 AM | Report abuse

I've added some material to this and I'll try to get the formatting to look right.

Posted by: Achenbach | March 22, 2007 9:53 AM | Report abuse

I got a complimentary copy of An Inconvenient Truth on Monday, and I was impressed that even the DVD packaging encourages recycling. The outer wrap was corn-based, the cardstock that the sleeve was made of appeared to be recycled paper, and on the inside there's even an encouragement to pass the movie along to someone else after you've watched it. Good stuff.

Posted by: jw | March 22, 2007 10:11 AM | Report abuse

What you just pointed is clear, concise and common sense. A horde of wingnuts with talking points have tried to muddy this issue. Rove&Co have been trying to dismantle at least a hundred years of civil service tradition and return to the pre-Teapot Dome days of patronage.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 22, 2007 10:12 AM | Report abuse

Most modern martinis aren't even made with gin, let alone vermouth. That weenie James Bond popularized the vodka martini which is a little like a tofu turkey. It may look the same, but it isn't.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 22, 2007 10:14 AM | Report abuse

Someday I hope to return to a BPH. Maybe later this summer when the current work crunch is "supposed" to ease. Re: The US Attorney flap, what Wheezy said. A new administration routinely asks for the resignation of ALL of the appointed officials, especially when there is a change of party. Routine stuff. No Big Deal. The Republican enablers of this administration keep shouting about the 93 Clinton firings like it was something new. But I suspect that all of those US Attorneys did their jobs with no interference from White House politicos who wanted to wanted to hinder investigations of "good" guys or go after "bad guys" (of the other party).

I think the House and Senate committees probably ought to take the chance on interviewing the White House staff, and hold public hearings with the fired attorneys. Otherwise, we might wind up in a protracted court battle over executive privelge that will run past the end of this adminstration (when the new President will fire all 93 attorneys and appoint new ones!).

Posted by: ebtnut | March 22, 2007 10:15 AM | Report abuse

As a future law student, Wheezy, I have to add my completely uninformed opinion on the whole attorney-firing issue. The way I see it, every political appointee knows that they serve at the pleasure of the administration, and full expect to lose their positions when there's a change. But once an administration puts you in that job, your first loyalty should be towards unbiased justice, not your party's platform. This firing sets a really bad precident, and also sends a message to all current and future US attorneys--pursue the party's interests above all others or your job is in jeopardy. It's nothing less than blackmail, and in my opinion a federal attorney can't do their job if they are constantly looking over their shoulder to make sure that the White House is happy.

Posted by: jw | March 22, 2007 10:19 AM | Report abuse

"You don't do this anymore. Elections have consequences."

I love this line. Absolutely love it.

Posted by: Tim | March 22, 2007 10:24 AM | Report abuse

I have a question of political tactics. What's to stop the members of a minority party from all changing party affiliation over night, so that suddenly they become the largest bloc within the majority party? Could the Democrats have used this technique to form a voting bloc with the few moderates within the Republican contingent in the previous Congress and thereby control who became Speaker, Majority Leader, etc? Does the existing party caucus have a right to decide who will be admitted to the caucus?

Posted by: Tim | March 22, 2007 10:27 AM | Report abuse

Sorry I hijacked the boodle in the first comment. I appreciate the supporting comments - realize that you D.C. people probably know all of this already, but lots of us need to find out to avoid being conned by wing-nut arguments.

Gotta go work now.

Posted by: Wheezy | March 22, 2007 10:27 AM | Report abuse

Could there ever be a Big Sister? If so, what would she be like post-Orwell? Is there any historical precedent--say, the likes of Q. Lizzie I or Q. Vicky, perhaps Maggie Thatcher?

As Joel says, the creation of the Hillary-bashing and Apple-knockoff ad by its creator--the ad a takeoff from a now-ancient Apple Superbowl ad (didn't they describe the ad's actors as portraying a pack of lemmings back in the day, the 80s--I'm really straining those brain neurons trying to remember, or am I thinking of yet another Apple Superbowl ad? Do you remember how talked about the Apple spots were when they were originally broadcast?)--is hardly the digital derring-do of your average citizen!

And Sen. Boxer of California--all 4'11" inches of her, showing her moxie during Gore's presentation. Did you know she uses the Boxer box for height when speaking at a lectern? Not to mention the marriage between her daughter and Hillary's brother--very much in keeping things in the tight-knit Democratic family and Clinton axis...

I'm thinking of another woman involved in politics this morning, Elizabeth Edwards. She is quite in my thoughts. I have a story about Elizabeth Edwards, but shall save it for after the Edwardses' announcement at noon (I wish for good news but fear otherwise) and for later, as I have errands to run.

Posted by: Loomis | March 22, 2007 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Interesting (well, intersting might be too strong a word) little factoid, but that Apple/Hillary ad is actully a knock-off of the knock-off that Apple Inc. did of its own ad. You can tell because the sledgehammer-weilding woman is listening to an iPod.

Posted by: jw | March 22, 2007 10:36 AM | Report abuse

Vermouth? MD 20-20? I just found out, to my shock, that Everclear has been outlawed--when did that happen? I'm surprised the anti-prohibition forces aren't vigilant like the gun nuts are. You know, today they take away your Everclear and the next thing you know you won't even have Bud Light. Doesn't the 21st amendment guarantee our right to drink?

It's so funny that I would be trying to buy grain alcohol because I am the most total of tee-totallers, but you know it burns clean and it's good fuel for backpacking stoves. (Plus, you can use it for first aid if you fall off a mountain and have lacerations or something. Can't do *that* with butane.)

Posted by: kbertocci | March 22, 2007 10:38 AM | Report abuse

fired USA Iglesias wrote a letter that was published in the NYT yesterday, basically making your points.

Martini&Rossi isn't the only good vermouth. Noilly-Prat makes one that is good in martinis and even better in sauces. I find vermouth a convenient cooking wine when you need to addd just a dash to a sauce as it keeps 2-3 months in the fridge. At any rate:

Posted by: Shrieking Denizen | March 22, 2007 10:44 AM | Report abuse

Re. your idea regarding minority party members switching sides to become majority bloc within the majority party:

I don't see that working for very long, other than pushing some sort of short-term agenda.
Who would trust the people that did that?
Who would contribute money to their next campaigns?
How much support would these flippers expect to get from their new party (Not to mention the old one. Someimes you do need help from across the isle.)?

Seems like it would be group kamikaze politics to me.

There's the old saw about an honest politician being one who stays bought. Someone who know more about politics than I could make some salient commentary here, but I'll leave it to people who know what they're talking about.


Posted by: bc | March 22, 2007 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Not that some average Jill Schmoe couldn't create this type of ad with Photoshop or other digital software tools...The ad mentioned in today's Kit (if you've seen it) just seemed too pointed, too clever, that's all.

I don't know about the rest of you, but I have decided to enshrine (you know, frame in gold and place it next to my computer) the Feb. 26 column by NYT Paul Krugman, "Substance Over Image"--despite Joel's writing about the style or image of the '08 presidential contenders to the contrary.

Several grafs from Krugman:

''Presidential elections are high school writ large, of course,'' declared Newsweek's Howard Fineman last month. Oh, my goodness. But in fairness to Mr. Fineman, he was talking about the almost content-free rivalry between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama -- a rivalry that, at this point, is mainly a struggle over who's the bigger celebrity and gets to lock up the big donors.

Enough already. Let's make this election about the issues. Let's demand that presidential candidates explain what they propose doing about the real problems facing the nation [Al Gore, anyone?], and judge them by how they respond. ...

The point of these questions isn't to pose an ideological litmus test. The point is, instead, to gauge candidates' judgment, seriousness and courage. How they answer is as important as what they answer. ...

Over the last six years we've witnessed the damage done by a president nominated because he had the big bucks behind him, and elected (sort of) because he came across well on camera. We need to pick the next president on the basis of substance, not image.

And I thought NYT Judith Warner's column about Hillary and the important, related issue of questioning the need for the female "schmaltz" factor was a terrific rebuttal of sorts to Joel's Kit about Hillary in Nashua and Keene. (S'nuke, you know the history of England's Keene--and New Hampshire's Wentworth?)

Posted by: Loomis | March 22, 2007 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Good kit, Joel--what a horse's [expletive] that Inhofe is. Unbelievable. And good to see Sen. Boxer boxing his ears back.

For the life of me I do NOT understand what the hell de Vellis must have been thinking with his mash-up [new technical word added to the Internet vocabulry: for the uninitiated, that was what is called a "mash-up," taking an existing advertisement or movie trailer and re-cutting it and otherwise altering it to make something else]. Of all the possible anti-Hillary things to slam her about, he picks the one that's pretty much meaningless and pointless. And his explanation is even dumber than his mash-up. Guy clearly has his head up his own digestive tract. And the Obama campaign is well rid of him. I fear one of the new trends in modern campaigning thanks to the likes of YouTube and its ilk is the completely idiotic distraction event (CIDE)like this one.

Wheezy, all that business about Clinton firing attorneys is the purest smokescreen. But here's the one single statistic that's interesting: Not count changes of administration, ever since the beginning of the Reagan administration 27 years ago, you know how many U.S. attorneys have been removed or fired? Three. Three in 27 years. And the law firm of Arbusto, Gonzo and Karlito want to fire 8 of 'em and pretend to claim it's all routine.

OK, back to the truly important stuff: Scotty, great pix of the BPH. Great to see Yoki had a good time, and that you all weathered the severe language translation barrier so well.

Regarding the resurgence of vermouth, when I was about 15 or 16 and "discovering" the joys, pleasures, hangovers and vomiting of alcohol (for "discovering" read: stealing from my father's liquor cabinet), the first one I ever tried was my father's Martini & Rossi vermouth. Didn't like it, didn't understand why he did (he was generally a Manhattan drinker at the time, as well as a loyal Pabst Blue Ribbon man). So I can truthfully say I haven't drunk any vermouth in maybe 43 to 45 years. But given that interesting article, I'm going to have to try it. (It's take me half a century to like gin, so I suppose there's an outside shot I could become a martini drinker sometime between now and when senility sets in. I'd call that "Just in the nick of time.")

Posted by: Curmudgeon | March 22, 2007 10:51 AM | Report abuse

What's the word?


Posted by: bc | March 22, 2007 10:51 AM | Report abuse

There was a funny bit on Jon Sterwat last night. (This is from memory)

STEWART- John, why can't Rove just go to the hill put his hand on the bible and tell the ******* truth?
OLIVER- Well Johm, we all know what happened the last time he testified.
* cut to image of bible with the imprint of a (human?) hand burned into it.*
OLIVER- The committee room smelled of burnt pork for a week.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 22, 2007 10:54 AM | Report abuse

I saw that Jon Stewart bit...very funny. Every time I think of the Rove bit about Republicans brandishing steel and Democrats wanting to give the terrorists therapy I can literally feel my blood pressure go up. That pasty faced fat boy and "brandishing steel"- As IF!

Posted by: Kim | March 22, 2007 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Sorry, the 10:54 was me. I wasn't bragging about about my memory, just providing myself with an out in case someone consults a transcript.

Posted by: Boko999 | March 22, 2007 11:00 AM | Report abuse

The Post today covers a report on New Orleans levees. Here's the final paragraph:

'The Corps "now estimates that between $2 billion and $4 billion will actually be required to achieve the minimal 100-year level of protection," the report said. "The level of protection that this will achieve should not be confused with the much higher Category 5 hurricane protection now being studied. . . . That will cost much, much more." ' (story by Peter Whoriskey)

So inadequate "100-year" protection might cost $4 billion. Maybe it really would make more sense to organize an orderly retreat from some of the less-protectable portions of the city. How much new city could you build for, say, $15 billion?

Also related, a bit, to hurricanes, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel (from Fort Lauderdale, Broward County) reports some complicated demographic goings-on. People are leaving the county to escape a rapidly rising cost of living (including hurricane insurance), crowding, etc.). These emigrants tend to go to Georgia, Tennessee, and the Carolinas. At the same time,immigrants, many of them highly skilled, are coming from the Caribbean and Venezuela.

And there's some indications that immigrants get started in Florida, then move elsewhere.,0,4975509.story?coll=sfla-home-headlines

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | March 22, 2007 11:02 AM | Report abuse

Of all the things that came out of the justice dept. emails, what really got my goat was the way that White House guys and Bushies are so concerned about spin and talking points.

Here we have the President CLAIMING that the Democrats in congress are just politicizing the situation and the emails show that the White House could possibly be characterized as doing very little else.

I just don't know how the talking points and the whacked-out logic make it right to FOX and many of the White House lay-spokespeople so quickly and in such a coordinated fashion.

At any rate, if Congress really wanted to go after Gonzo, they would focus on the WH-ended investigation by an internal Justice Dept group looking into the mis-use of Warrantless Wiretapping. The 'audit' was ended by Bush, some say, at the request of Gonzo and it is now rumored that Alberto was one of the targets of the internal investigation.

I find it telling that the we got to see the Boxer "handling" of Inhofe and Pelosi's skills displayed in the other house. Both are that pretty considerate and intelligent women who are starting to allow sunlight to hit what, until the past month, has been just fuel for rumors.

I just wonder how long Tony Snow can keep up his routine. I think that, at some point in the near future, we are going to see him go off to spend "more time with the family."

Posted by: Dolphin Michael | March 22, 2007 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Just a quick comment: Pretty cool that TBG and Yoki actually wrote the beginning of today's Kit sitting at the Boodle's Center Chair.


Posted by: bc | March 22, 2007 11:12 AM | Report abuse

I was wondering about that BC, but didn't want to appear stoopid. Where is the Boodle Center Chair and how did they get there?

Glad everyone had fun. I hope to attend a BPH someday.

Posted by: Kim | March 22, 2007 11:13 AM | Report abuse

If I'm invited, that is....
Do I sound needy?

Posted by: Kim | March 22, 2007 11:19 AM | Report abuse

Seems like a case of warrantless blog crashing. TBG/Yoki, did you see Joel's holo-glasses?

Posted by: Dolphin Michael | March 22, 2007 11:21 AM | Report abuse

What does BPH stand for? I get the context, but not the abbreviation.

Posted by: Gomer | March 22, 2007 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Since the subject of Torqueberto has come up, here is my satirical take on the man:

His well documented malfeasance is in a league of its own. Even by Bush Administration standards.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 22, 2007 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Dave, how can they tell that people are actually leaving South Florida? Isn't it possible that most of them are just stuck in traffic?

Posted by: Dolphin Michael | March 22, 2007 11:23 AM | Report abuse


Of course you're invited! :-)

BPH = Boodle Porching Hour

Posted by: Scottynuke | March 22, 2007 11:26 AM | Report abuse

I'm pretty sure BPH is Boodle Porching Hour, right? I loved that porching hour kit.

Posted by: Kim | March 22, 2007 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Time to post the links to the FAQs again:

and more info is available here:

Posted by: kbertocci | March 22, 2007 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Saw a BMW Tuesday w/ the old Nixon line on a bumper sticker:

"Well, when the president does it that means that it is not illegal."

Posted by: Dolphin Michael | March 22, 2007 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Instead of subpoenas, maybe the Dems should send some pretzels over to the WH. And maybe have some staffer jump out of nowhere to scare Cheney into having a heart attack.

It just makes me laugh when I see George and the others complaining that the Dems are playing "partisan politics". What the hell were George and Co. doing for the past six years?

Poor wittle babies.

As Boxer said, "Elections have consequences."

Posted by: martooni | March 22, 2007 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Oh sorry, BOO. I got distracted mid-sentence by actual work.
*heaving a sigh of relief* I wondered what I would do if no one invited me.

Posted by: Kim | March 22, 2007 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Loomis writes: 'I thought NYT Judith Warner's column about Hillary and the important, related issue of questioning the need for the female "schmaltz" factor was a terrific rebuttal of sorts to Joel's Kit about Hillary in Nashua and Keene.'

The Judith Warner piece was quite good but I think her point -- pulling from memory here -- is that female politicians are expected to behave a certain way, give off certain feminine "signifiers," somehow show that they have a soft edge. My point was different: That she doesn't tell anecdotes. That she doesn't use narrative. She delivers themes. I'll blog again about this at some point and give you more examples.

Posted by: Achenbach | March 22, 2007 11:38 AM | Report abuse


I know the history of the N.H. Clarks, but that's about it.

Posted by: Scottynuke | March 22, 2007 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Joel, I agree with you. I find Hillary hard to listen to... She seems to be a Democratic student of Frank Luntz. She is an emotion evoker... no facts. It could be just the sound bites, but getting actual policy facts from Hillary is about as satisfying as getting a good/worthy dessert from a health food store.

Posted by: Dolphin Michael | March 22, 2007 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Martooni... there is also the humor gap. To fully appreciate it, you almost have to laugh at it.

Jon Stewarts take on Gonzo and the eMails subject matter... warning, this may contain sentences that may make you laugh inappropriately. So... be warned. martooni, the timing on the Cheney reference is priceless.

Posted by: Dolphin Michael | March 22, 2007 12:01 PM | Report abuse

John Edwards about go on TV with wife to talk about her medical news. Doesn't sound good.

Posted by: Achenbach | March 22, 2007 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Haven't seen "300" and hate to spoil the ending for Gore if he intends to, but didn't the Persians win at Thermopylae?

Posted by: Audentes | March 22, 2007 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for re-posting the faq, KBertocci. I knew it was out there somewhere and it's really very helpful. I was too lazy to look for it, so us boodle slackers thank you! I know I'm not alone.

Posted by: Kim | March 22, 2007 12:20 PM | Report abuse

DM... the more I think of it, the less my dig about Cheney makes sense -- it implies that he has a heart.

Posted by: martooni | March 22, 2007 12:26 PM | Report abuse

Sad! What a struggle. My prayers go out to the Edwards all those people facing a similar challenge.

Posted by: Dolphin Michael | March 22, 2007 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Mrs. Edwards' cancer is back but the presidential campaign will go on, fyi.

They're being courageous about it, optimistic. She seems to have the world's best attitude even though it's not a great prognosis (not as bad as they initially thought yesterday, though).

Meanwhile blogger Ben Smith on The Politico had a scoop this morning:

"Edwards To Suspend Campaign."

It's always good to get something first. But it's even better when it's actually true.

Posted by: Achenbach | March 22, 2007 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Here is Ben Smith's entire item as of noon:

John Edwards is suspending his campaign for President, and may drop out completely, because his wife has suffered a recurrence of the cancer that sickened her in 2004, when she was diagnosed with breast cancer, an Edwards friend told The Politico.

"At a minimum he's going to suspend" the campaign, the source said. "Nobody knows precisely how serious her recurrence is. It'll be another couple of days before there's complete clarity."

"For him right now he has one priority which is her health and the security of the two young children," said the friend.

As for the campaign, "You don't shut this machine off completely, but everything will go on hold."

UPDATE: Edwards staffers are pushing back very hard.

"Anything you are getting from someone claiming to know right now is not true - anyone claiming to know something right now is making it up. There is no information from this campaign until John and Elizabeth speak at noon," says spokeswoman Kate Bedingfield.

Posted by: Achenbach | March 22, 2007 12:38 PM | Report abuse

JA - he's batting .500, then. His other post was "Achenblog To Mock Me If Wrong.

Posted by: byoolin | March 22, 2007 12:39 PM | Report abuse

byoolin!!!!!! So funny!

Posted by: Dolphin Michael | March 22, 2007 12:48 PM | Report abuse

The Persians won by the classic technique of completely overpowering the enemy. Won big time. Themistocles at the Battle of Salamis later demonstrated the difference between a "noble sacrifice" and intelligent strategy. But one could argue that the Spartans provided the inspiration to prepare for serious war.

Also, Herodotus reputed the Persian army to be 2 million men, no mere 10,000. The significant 10,000-man army in history is in Xenophon's "Anabasis", the March of the 10,000 (not that I've ever actually read it. I think I'll get a copy). You know, a book about a noble warrior brotherhood of professional mercenaries fighting their way out of a country in which their employer was the losing side, leaving them surrounded by angry people who consider them to be, you know, mercenaries.

I didn't care for Gore's suggestion that Thermopylae was a decision for the many, made by the few. That smells like an endorsement of oligarchy. But one could argue that the Battle of Thermopylae is an apt symbol for a conscious sacrifice by a few in order to inspire the many towards a wise choice. It remains in the hands of the many to decide which choice truly is wise, but the inspirational character of the sacrifice still inspires SOME sort of decision. A sacrifice of far lesser proportion is demanded from us in order to lead the world toward a rational response to global warming.

Posted by: HistoryTim | March 22, 2007 12:49 PM | Report abuse

byoolin... that was great! Thanks for the laugh.


I am saddened by Elizabeth Edwards' news, but I'm glad her husband will keep on with his campaign.

I'm thinking she was "the decider" in this issue, as wives often are.

My sister fought breast cancer twice and won, as she goes into her 19th healthy year since the second occurrence. I hope that Mrs. Edwards has the same outcome.

Posted by: TBG | March 22, 2007 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Tim, 10,000? to 2 million? maybe there was a surge.

Posted by: Dolphin Michael | March 22, 2007 12:53 PM | Report abuse

byoolin, that was quick. The link is to a page that is no longer there...

Posted by: Slyness | March 22, 2007 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone remember the name of the anti-virus program that Cassandra uses?
Thank you for your attention.

Posted by: Boko999 | March 22, 2007 1:13 PM | Report abuse

I'mk suprised no one jumped on this little tidbit from Gore's testimony:

"...the creative power of the information revolution was unlocked by the Internet (which I created). And when I came up with ARPANET and this Senate empowered me with the legislative framework and research and development funds, all of a sudden I just developed it amazingly."

That's what he really meant, right? Ha ha.

Posted by: jw | March 22, 2007 1:31 PM | Report abuse

I also thought that Thermopylae was an odd reference. No victory of course, but an "inspirational loss", maybe like the Alamo. Maybe when Tuvalu dips beneath the waves it will become GW's Thermopylae.

Really too bad about Edwards' wife and campaign.

Great BPH pictures.

Posted by: SonofCarl | March 22, 2007 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Gore never said he invented the internet. The claim that he did is just a Republican slur.

Posted by: Boko999 | March 22, 2007 1:45 PM | Report abuse

The news is sad, but the Edwards couple seem ready to move on. Good wishes for them both.

I love that comment from Senator Boxer. You go, girl.

Where is Ivansmom? I'll bet you are busy, Ivansmom, but we would love to hear from you.

I don't know anyting about global warming, not anything, but I would love to know more, and what I can do to help. I think we should all be interested, and more than interested in global warming. I don't believe it to be an issue taken lightly or to be in denial about. And for those that think no matter the disaster if they have money all is right with the world, think again.

After the Imperial fire here, some of the workers at that plant had to travel to Washington to answer questions from a panel of senators. My question, why is it these citizens from a small rural town had to show up, but people in the present administration don't? Maybe two questions, is this the same thing or something different? I guess what I'm trying to find out is aren't we all accountable at some point, and if that is true, don't we have to answer? I've only heard one person in Washington say the bucks stops here, and I believe that was a woman, Janet Reno during the Waco incident?

Posted by: Cassandra S | March 22, 2007 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Can you tell me the name of the anti-virus program that some boodlers recommended?

Posted by: Anonymous | March 22, 2007 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Hey, Boko - if you have a Yahoo login (or can get one) they have a pretty good anti-spy and anti-virus program you can download written by Computer Associates. I have one old computer that gets sorely infested occasionally and usually their stuff cleans it right up. It's not infallible, but it works a lot better than Norton.

Posted by: Wheezy | March 22, 2007 2:09 PM | Report abuse

AVG by grisoft is what i use

Posted by: tonk | March 22, 2007 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Come now, Boko999, slur is a strong word, isn't it? I know plenty of democrats, myself included, who have had a good chuckle at Gore's expense. He did host SNL once after all, right? And one of his "Rejected Gore-Leiberman Campaign Slogans" on Letterman was, "Remember America, I gave you the internet and I can take it away!"

Posted by: jw | March 22, 2007 2:11 PM | Report abuse

No, sorry, Tim, but your take on the Battle of Thermopylae is incorrect. Thermopylae was a classic holding/delaying action, and there was no expectation that the Greeks were going to ever win it. King Leonidas of Spart and his 300 men (aided by 700 Thespian volunteers, who never get a mention in the movies, for some reason, so it really wasn't 300 against whatever, it was 1,000 against whatever). But yes, the Spartans were vastly outnumbered. Leonidas smartly chose a narrow mountain pass to block the Persian assault, and held it for three days, delivering disproportionate casualties on the enemy. His small force finally "lost" when a Greek shepherd traitor showed the Persians a small path around the blocade, so the Persians were finally able to come up behind Leonidas and "win" the battle. The Persians didn't win simply by overwhelming brute force of numbers, although they would have, eventually. The point was the delaying action allowed the Athenias to get their navy and ships together to turn around and beat the Persdians at the naval Battle of Salamis. With most of his fleet devasted, Xerxes had no choice but to retreat back into Persia.

So Gore's analogy in a way is pretty much correct: a small handful of men knowingly made a decision that saved not only their nation (the only part they were concerned with) but had they known it, Western Civilization as we know it today. So yeah, 300 guys saved the world, more or less, and knowingly sacrificed themselves to do so.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | March 22, 2007 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Sorry for yelling and not identifing myself, I was rushed. Strange loonys waving their arms around and shouting can be a little startling. It was just me, not a strange loony.
Thanks Wheezy and tonk, I'll check those out.

Posted by: Boko999 | March 22, 2007 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, just for clarification, your role in the battle was...

Posted by: jw | March 22, 2007 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Actually, Tim the graphic novel "300" as well as the movie *does* use the premise that the Spartans' sacrifice at Thermopylae inspired the rest of Greece to unite and defeat the Persians at Platea.


Posted by: bc | March 22, 2007 2:21 PM | Report abuse

"And when the scientific and engineering pioneers came up with ARPANET and this Senate empowered them with the legislative framework
and research and development funds..."

This is Gorespeak for "I didn't actually invent the internet, but it wouldn't exist if I hadn't spent your money on it." He clearly claims some level of paternity for it wouldn't be such a mockable concept.

Now he wants to save the planet by allowing any moonshiner burning corn squeezings to hook to the grid. We could do a lot better if we just continued ratcheting up air quality standards and approving new nuclear reactors.

We will never meet our current power needs without blowing dead dinosaurs in the air or burying waste that lasts bazillions of years. Wind farms, switchgrass, solar collectors, and cow farts combined will never be a fraction of the energy we want.

Senator Windbag was clubbing EnviroAl with some half-baked Ditto-head talking points, but the kernel of truth is that everytime Al flies across the country to show his mastery of Powerpoint, his carbon footprint stomps all over all the savings of the hippies weaving hemp bags to take to the grocery store.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 22, 2007 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Biased a wee bit, aren't we, yello?

Not that I disagree.

Posted by: Slyness | March 22, 2007 2:30 PM | Report abuse

-to cast aspersions on; calumniate; disparage; depreciate: The candidate was viciously slurred by his opponent.
-A curved line connecting notes on a score to indicate that they are to be played or sung legato.

jw | It's pretty funny now, but the Republicans used the false claim to paint Gore as a liar. Typical disgusting tactics.
I've heard that Lee Atwater was a fine musician.

Posted by: Boko999 | March 22, 2007 2:32 PM | Report abuse

From Wikipedia, re Vint Cerf and Robert Kahn who DID invent the Internet:

"Cerf and Kahn issued the following statement on 2000-09-28 in response to the controversy:

[A]s the two people who designed the basic architecture and the core protocols that make the Internet work, we would like to acknowledge VP Gore's contributions as a Congressman, Senator and as Vice President. No other elected official, to our knowledge, has made a greater contribution over a longer period of time.
Last year the Vice President made a straightforward statement on his role. He said: "During my service in the United States Congress I took the initiative in creating the Internet." We don't think, as some people have argued, that Gore intended to claim he "invented" the Internet. Moreover, there is no question in our minds that while serving as Senator, Gore's initiatives had a significant and beneficial effect on the still-evolving Internet. The fact of the matter is that Gore was talking about and promoting the Internet long before most people were listening. We feel it is timely to offer our perspective."

Certainly he could stay in Tennessee and just do everything by video, but so could everyone else, right? So it's just him that's wrong to show up in person for speeches?

Posted by: Error Flynn | March 22, 2007 2:43 PM | Report abuse

Vinton Gray Cerf (born June 23, 1943) is an American computer scientist who is commonly referred to as one of the "founding fathers of the Internet" for his key technical and managerial role, together with Bob Kahn, in the creation of the Internet and the TCP/IP protocols which it uses. -Wikipedia

Al Gore and the Internet
By Robert Kahn and Vinton Cerf
Al Gore was the first political leader to recognize the importance of the
Internet and to promote and support its development.

No one person or even small group of persons exclusively "invented" the
Internet. It is the result of many years of ongoing collaboration among
people in government and the university community. But as the two people
who designed the basic architecture and the core protocols that make the
Internet work, we would like to acknowledge VP Gore's contributions as a
Congressman, Senator and as Vice President. No other elected official, to
our knowledge, has made a greater contribution over a longer period of time.

Posted by: Boko999 | March 22, 2007 2:43 PM | Report abuse

Hey yellojkt!
Help me understand... Is the primary problem with Necular Energy that we have no state of the art reactors in the USA?

Are all the current, in-line and active reactors one-offs? or pretty close?

Is spent waste easier to handle?

I, for one, would love to be able to truly sell back energy at a reasonable wholesale/small seller rate. I really don't care if there is only the current potential of a percent, why not. It is almost like changing the tax code to hurt financial savers because, as a rule, Americans don't save.

Finally, Kurzweil in INC had the following to say:

There's another wrinkle to keep in mind. When I say that information technology doubles in price performance and power each year, remember that the rate
itself is expanding at an accelerated rate. It took three years to double the price performance of computing equipment in 1900, two years in 1950, and
we're now doubling it every year. At today's exponential rate, doubling every year means multiplying by a thousand in 10 years and a billion in 30 years.
But with the rate of acceleration continuing to grow, we will actually hit the billion mark in only 25 years. Consider the pervasive influence of information
technology in today's world and multiply that by a billion in a quarter century--while we shrink the size of both electronic and mechanical technology
by a factor of 100,000 in the same time frame--and you'll get some idea of how revolutionary information technology will be in the future.

All sorts of industries will be affected, beyond what we think of conventionally as computing. Take energy for example. Today, it seems like an area of
grave concern, with implications from global warming to pollution to geopolitical instability. The fact that demand for energy is projected to triple within
20 years heightens our worries. Based largely on the 19th-century technology of fossil fuels, energy is not what we would consider an information technology.
Not yet anyway. But when we have fully programmable nanotechnology, through which we can reorganize matter and energy at the molecular level, then we will
see a revolutionary transformation.

Here's what I mean: Today we produce 14 trillion (about 1013) watts of power, 78 percent of which comes from fossil fuels. We have, however, plenty of
energy in our midst. About 1017 watts of sunlight fall on the earth, or roughly 10,000 times more energy than we regularly consume. Solar panels today
do a poor job of capturing this energy because they are inefficient, expensive, heavy, and difficult to integrate with building materials. Today production
of solar power costs on average $8 per watt, much more than other energy sources.

The economics of solar power are poised to change dramatically, however, as a new generation of solar panels made with nanomaterials comes of age. Developed
by a series of venture-backed companies eagerly jockeying to disrupt that $1.9 trillion worldwide oil industry, these innovative panels are projected to
drop in price within a few years. And whether or not any of the known businesses now developing them are successful, once we have full-scale molecular
nanotechnology-based manufacturing, we'll be off to the races.

At this point, energy will become an information technology dominated by massively parallel, computation-controlled molecular manufacturing processes.
In 20 years, I believe solar panels will be as inexpensive as a penny per square meter. We will be able to place them on buildings and vehicles, build
solar energy farms, and incorporate them into clothing for powering mobile devices. Converting 0.0003 percent of all sunlight hitting the earth, which
will be feasible at that time, will let us meet 100 percent of our energy needs two decades from now. In yet another welcome change, we will be able to
store the energy in nanoengineered fuel cells that will be tiny and widely distributed, a great improvement over the centralized, dangerous energy storage
facilities we rely on today, such as liquid natural gas tanks.

Most discussions of global warming make no mention of the ability of nanotechnology to solve this problem within 20 years. Al Gore's movie An Inconvenient
Truth never mentions nanotechnology, which in my view is a rather big oversight. The inclination to project the current rate of change into the future,
what I call the "intuitive linear view," is hard-wired in us. The reality is that transformative changes happen faster and faster today. The telephone
took 50 years to be adopted by a quarter of the U.S. population. The cell phone did that in thirteen years. Only five years ago, most people did not use
search engines. Just three years ago we did not hear the terms "blog," "podcast," or "social network." And three years ago, people thought that it was
impossible for a business to make money on Internet advertising. Today, we have Google, a company with a $157 billion market cap that does just that.

The pace of change is already so fast that the world will be a very different place by the end of the three-year planning cycle of typical business projects
currently under way, let alone the six- or seven-year venture capital horizon. In my own technology projects, we bake into our development and business
plans projections that call for the rapid advancement of technology, on a quarter-by-quarter basis. One pleasant result of doing this is that we often
find that today's difficult tradeoffs dissolve within a short period of time. With the doubling of price performance each year in every kind of information
technology, you just need to wait a short while to find that you can have your cake and eat it too.

The past is an accurate guide to the future only if we take these exponential progressions into account. But relatively few people do. We see what is right
in front of us and expect that pace to continue. But a studied look at history shows that progress is exponential, not linear, and the difference is profound.

I am working my way through the book The Singularity is Near by Kurzweil, which is sitting on my Kurzweil keyboard. He tends to be right a bit more often than Richard Perl (before Perl re-writes history).

I very little here, but wonder why we might in about a dozen years be creating energy all over and cost effectively.

Posted by: Dolphin Michael | March 22, 2007 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Ouch! Watch you head Error

Posted by: Boko999 | March 22, 2007 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Had actual work for all of this morning and am just now caught up. Had a great time at the BPH last night. It was nice meeting two new boodlers I hadn't met before along with all the others who were able to make it, and missed those who couldn't. I have my new BPH sticker up on my cubicle tack board, just below the Achenblog Hilarity ensues bumper stick and above a picture of the AchenMascot Tai Shan. On the way home I lost my toothpick flag, but still have the cloth flag and the friendship pin. BPHs are like christmas.

Posted by: omni | March 22, 2007 2:54 PM | Report abuse

This picture:

Posted by: omni | March 22, 2007 2:55 PM | Report abuse

That is I KNOW very little here, but wonder why we might in about a dozen years be creating energy all over and cost effectively

Posted by: Dolphin Michael | March 22, 2007 2:56 PM | Report abuse

No, this picture:

Posted by: jw | March 22, 2007 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Why are we postng baby bear pictures?

Posted by: jw | March 22, 2007 3:00 PM | Report abuse

I didn't know this:
Vinton Cerf
He has a hearing impairment, and serves on the board of Gallaudet University, the first school of higher learning for the deaf and hard-of-hearing; he received an award from the Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. He and his family currently reside in Virginia.- from Wikipedia

Posted by: Anonymous | March 22, 2007 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Vint Cerf is a great guy and a good interview. :-)

yellojkt, so much to say, so much to say... *restraining self*

Posted by: Scottynuke | March 22, 2007 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Stop with the baby bear pictures! Don't you know they grow into viscious killers with huge nasty teeth.

Posted by: StephanColbert999 | March 22, 2007 3:09 PM | Report abuse

HELP! Where do I find the transcript of Gore's hearing? I've had no luck in the Senate website.

Posted by: MxWPFan | March 22, 2007 3:11 PM | Report abuse

You mean like this?

Watch out, seal!

Posted by: jw | March 22, 2007 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Was that a copy of The Grand Idea on the bookshelf located behind Bush at the last press conference?

I don't know about you, but I found the President's proposal to be REASONABLE.

Posted by: Dolphin Michael | March 22, 2007 3:17 PM | Report abuse

skimming the boodle...great pix, scotty...*waving to tonk*

Posted by: jack | March 22, 2007 3:20 PM | Report abuse

DM, are you sure you don't mean you found his proposal MODEST?

Posted by: jw | March 22, 2007 3:20 PM | Report abuse

I think the Internets would have been a lot more fun if it had been invented by Bennett Cerf instead of Vint.

And a lot more dangerous if HTML had been invented by Bruce Lee instead of Tim Berners-Lee.

Posted by: byoolin | March 22, 2007 3:22 PM | Report abuse

no, jw, it was reasonable. I don't know why that word popped into my mind... it could have been because Bush said it 12 times during his press conference.

He also proclaimed that the proposal was a ... proposal.

Just in case we didn't know what kind it was.

Posted by: Dolphin Michael | March 22, 2007 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Dolphin Michael writes: Today we produce 14 trillion (about 1013) watts of power, 78 percent of which comes from fossil fuels. We have, however, plenty of energy in our midst. About 1017 watts of sunlight fall on the earth, or roughly 10,000 times more energy than we regularly consume.

In the 3rd sentence (1017 watts) do you mean this amount of sunlight is daily, or hourly. Otherwise, I don't know how 1017 watts is 10K more than we use when you said above we use 14 trillion watts. Do we need a "kilo" or two in there somewhere?

I know NOTHING about this, but was trying to puzzle through your posting to find out more.

Posted by: Wheezy | March 22, 2007 3:29 PM | Report abuse

byoolin, yes, Bennett Cerf's version would have been much better. Instead of Domain Name Servers, we would have had Kitty Carlisle and Dorothy Kilgallen to figure out where we needed to go to get the answer.

Posted by: Dolphin Michael | March 22, 2007 3:31 PM | Report abuse

I think he meant 10 to the power of 17. Like, 100,000,000,000,000,000 watts. Maybe he had a carat in there and the blog software kicked it out.

Posted by: jw | March 22, 2007 3:31 PM | Report abuse

jw - thanks. Makes sense now.

Posted by: Wheezy | March 22, 2007 3:33 PM | Report abuse

The actual slur on Gore was more subtle than just calling him a liar. By pinning the "invented the internet" meme on him, they were branding him as a blowhard and an exaggerator. He was painted as an over-reaching smarty-pants. The dorky valedictorian president of the honor society that nobody likes. Nothing in Joel's quotes contradicts this preconception.

Trust me, I would much rather have had Al in office on 9/12/2001 than Generalissimo Chimpo, but the pin-point slandering and vilification of their opponents is a singularly majestic Republican skill.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 22, 2007 3:35 PM | Report abuse

That was my take as 10**13 is a trillion, so 10**17 is 10,000 times more than 10**13 (foru more zeros).

but 14 trillion would really be 14*10**13 (or 1.4*10**14)

Posted by: omni | March 22, 2007 3:37 PM | Report abuse

DM, did you read the National Geographic article about nanotech a few months back? I got so scared I actually couldn't sleep that night. Amazing stuff, but allowing unregulated capitalism to manufacture it (and flush the waste products downstream, where it can't be cleaned up) is just too scary. And especially since they're using it in sunscreen and fabrics, cosmetics, instead of for important societal purposes.

Posted by: Wheezy | March 22, 2007 3:37 PM | Report abuse

SCC:ACK missing words and a missspeling...

Posted by: omni | March 22, 2007 3:39 PM | Report abuse

MxWPfan, I don't know where there's an online transcript of the Gore hearing. Possibly it takes a day or two for the Senate to post it. I took this excerpt from a private transcription service the Post subscribes to.

Posted by: Achenbach | March 22, 2007 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Wheezy... I was quoting Ray Kurzweil's piece in INC. there is something wrong about that statement as he/editor are missing some pers.

I think that point is that there ... here I found this at a page at

Incident Solar Energy on the ground:

Average over the entire earth = 164 Watts per square meter over a 24 hour day

Posted by: Dolphin Michael | March 22, 2007 3:42 PM | Report abuse

DM, the Kitty Carlisle reference made me chuckle. Thanks.


Posted by: bc | March 22, 2007 3:44 PM | Report abuse

DM, bc, how many people under the age of 45 would catch the reference? I did, but then I remember watching the show.

Posted by: Slyness | March 22, 2007 3:49 PM | Report abuse

no Wheezy, I didn't see it.

On several people's posts about the republican treatment of Gore, it has been beyond anything appropriate. I heard that one congressman showed up and, after asking his questions, sat and read the paper while sitting on the committee.

I am wondering how many 10,000's of hours they spend coming up with ways to seem pompous or offensive.

Posted by: Dolphin Michael | March 22, 2007 3:49 PM | Report abuse

New Yorkers trying to reduce their carbon footprint, reported in a snarky NYTimes article:

Posted by: kbertocci | March 22, 2007 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Slyness, I'm under 45 but not by much.


Posted by: bc | March 22, 2007 3:57 PM | Report abuse

I like Gore's idea to allow anyone/everyone to sell energy to the grid.

What would make it a reality is if the govt set up some sort of deal where those in sunny climes could get subsidized solar panels, those in windy climes could get a cheap windmill-thingy, and those in areas suited for geo-thermal could get some sort of device that collects that energy -- and then make it worthwhile/profitable to divert excess energy into the grid.

My Dad makes his living building power plants, so I'm not anti-centralized generation -- but if we all generated a little power (even if not enough to offset our own consumption), that would be one heck of a load taken off the current system.

They could also hook up all those stationary bikes at the health clubs to the grid. Even if they didn't generate that much energy, maybe society would have a greater appreciation for gerbils and hamsters.

Posted by: martooni | March 22, 2007 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Another thought... decentralized power generation would mean that if a grid goes down it wouldn't leave everyone in the dark. In fact, I think it would be harder to bring the grid down (less outages) if there were multiple sources of power to keep it running.

Kinda like that internet thing.

Posted by: martooni | March 22, 2007 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Here is an example of how not to get people to conserve. The Hydro company in Toronto is requesting an increase in its rates, WHY, in part due to lower revenues as a result of people converving energy. Not exactly an incentive for people to keep conserving.

martooni, there is a program here to sell energy generated by means of small solar, wind power etc. It is relatively new and in the early stages.

Posted by: dmd | March 22, 2007 4:17 PM | Report abuse

When I read the reference to MD 20-20, my addled brain initially interpreted it as WD-40. Which, come to think of it, isn't that far off.

Posted by: RD Padouk | March 22, 2007 4:18 PM | Report abuse

I remember Kitty from my youth very well. the cute one between Orson Bean and Bill Cullen.

The problem with solar energy is that it is very diffuse and of terrible quality thermodynamically. It is also only any good when the sun is shining unless you have a storage medium. Also the sun shines where it is needed the least. Hamburg gets half the sunlight that Albuquerque does.

The best solar cells are about 30% efficient. At 167 W/ft^2, the world needs cover an area of Colorado with high efficiency photovoltaic cells. Never mind the area needed, how long will it take to make 100,000 square miles of PV cells.

Outer space is a much better place to catch sunlight. The extraterrestrial solar flux is 1350 W/m^2. If we had one hundred percent perfect collection and distribution, we could power the world with a giant satellite 60 miles square. Figure the fuel cost of launching that and then determine the payback.

I'm sorry, solar is a nice tool to have in the quiver, but it will never be the sole solution.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 22, 2007 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Yello why the reliance on "one" solution. Wouldn't a mixture of clean technologies be good.

Posted by: dmd | March 22, 2007 4:29 PM | Report abuse

I didn't mean to imply that the Greeks at Thermopylae were in any way expecting to win, in the classic sense of taking control of the field of battle and deciding whether to kill their enemies or merely spank them and send them home. They definitely intended only a holding action, with the possible length of the hold being somewhat indeterminate when they started, and the possibility of retiring from the position after a time. That latter element did not work out. The inspirational aspect was not a strategic decision, I think; it just turned out that way.

I always loved Leonidas' line, in the classic version of the story of Thermopylae, regarding the vast flights of Persian arrows: "So much the better; we shall fight in the shade."

300 definitely plays up the heoric sacrifice angle, conveniently ignoring things like the notion that "free men" (which Frank Miller's Spartans perennially proclaim themselves to be) are not ruled by hereditary monarchs or military dictators; plus, it's easier to be "free" in a day-to-day sense when you have an historically enslaved city next door (Helos) to provide an hereditary slave class; and being a professional soldier is hardly the acme of occupations. Not dishonorable, but wouldn't it be better if the job didn't have to exist? For the Spartans, it was a noble aspiration to become a professional killer of other men (with a strong dose of institutionalized violent homoeroticism thrown in), creating wars, if necessary, in order to show one's superior moxie. I'd rather be a potter or a farmer. I love Frank Miller's art and storytelling skills, but he has this disturbing fixation on the moment of physical aggression, specifically between men, to a rather pornographic extent.

I always preferred the Roman approach to war, as a business-like matter that must be tended to. Forget honorable modes of combat, coming back with your shield or on it, and all that rot. The point of war is to win, and winning is accomplished by rational planning and competent execution. Winning is what you call it when you get to make the decision about what happens next. Romans would have replied to the arrow line with a more terse "That's why we train to use our shields." Romans would have engineered an instant fortification at Thermopylae (and none of this foolishness of building it using human bodies -- that would make for an unstable foundation). Romans would have engineered fortifications on the secret goat path, and built artillery pieces from popsicle sticks and olives in order to stand-off the Persians and take them by attrition. The victims of Roman wars were just as dead, but the Romans did not generally trump up a war in order to compensate for sexual inadequacy (except for Cassius, and look what the Parthians did to him). (Obscure historical footnote for the day).

Of course, they still had gladiatorial combat. But they had no patience for that kind of foolishness when territory was at stake.

Posted by: HistoryTim | March 22, 2007 4:31 PM | Report abuse

The exchange with Inhofe shows how politically charged Climate Change has become. And I don not think that it's due solely to commercial influences on the Republicans. I suspect that part of it is simply because many of the Republicans despise Gore, and are loathe to accept that anything he says might be true.

Although I have nothing but admiration for Gore, I also wish someone other than an ex-politician (if such a thing exists) had taken up the cause.

Posted by: RD Padouk | March 22, 2007 4:33 PM | Report abuse

Hey, martooni! Hope you are doing well.

Posted by: Slyness | March 22, 2007 4:33 PM | Report abuse

Tim, as opposed to OUR strategy, which would have been to arm the goats on the goat path...

Ultimately, Alexander fought them over there so he didn't have to fight them over here.

Posted by: Dolphin Michael | March 22, 2007 4:35 PM | Report abuse

I think Alexander fought them over there, so he could enlist them to do more fighting over there.

Posted by: HistoryTim | March 22, 2007 4:39 PM | Report abuse

I suspect that the only reason that the Persians attacked Greece at all was to control their olive oil.

Posted by: Dolphin Michael | March 22, 2007 4:39 PM | Report abuse

RD... I made a similar connection regarding "Mad Dog" and the popular lubricant.

True Mad Dog 20/20 story...

I was a member of the "Unmentionable Country" club in high school (it rhymes with wrench) and we went on a field trip to Montreal, Quebec (as in Monrayal, Kaybeck). Across the street from our hotel was a liquor store, so we gathered up our fake IDs and headed over as soon as the chaperones weren't looking.

One kid insisted on buying two bottles of MD 20/20 for himself even though he could have had his pick of the store. Later that night, after we were all pretty well toasted, he was laying on a bed and announced "I think I'm going to be sick". We were not surprised.

That said, if you've never seen a person go from laying flat on their back to standing upright in 0.0005 seconds, it was amazing. He went straight to the bathroom and proceeded to expel the MD 20/20 in a ballistic/spewing manner that resulted in a dripping purple pinstripe that hit all four walls and before leading to the toilet.

Needless to say, we took pictures and blackmailed him for his lunch money the rest of the year.

Posted by: martooni | March 22, 2007 4:39 PM | Report abuse

Didn't those of us old enough to remember Kitty Carlisle do this all before during the "Energy Crises" of the 1970's?

Bottom line is that even if consumers are might be willing to pay more money for "clean" energy, those who invest in power infrastructure are hesitant to take that risk in a competitive environment. This is one of those problems that government was set up to solve.

Posted by: RD Padouk | March 22, 2007 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Tim, you are so right. In the course of his lifelong campaign, he trained more soldiers than we have trained Iraqi Police.

Somewhere, I heard that we have trained every third Iraqi to be a policeman. I think I heard that the problem stems from the fact that the Iraqi Police get paid every 4 weeks and after they get paid, it takes the policeman 5 weeks to walk home and cash his check before returning.

It was something like that.

Posted by: Dolphin Michael | March 22, 2007 4:42 PM | Report abuse

So one of the official tests of the boodle is the Kitty Carlisle test?

Posted by: Dolphin Michael | March 22, 2007 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Re: the Kitty Carlisle test. I believe Peggy Cass rounded out the foursome.

Posted by: Raysmom | March 22, 2007 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Slyness... I'm hanging in there -- thanks for asking. I'm on the waiting list for a local rehab clinic and hoping to get in soon. Unfortunately, the number of people with my "condition" greatly outnumber the available beds.

(Note to the paparazzi: I will not be shaving my head or wielding a green umbrella, but I may drop my pants or make obscene hand gestures, so stay tuned.)

Posted by: martooni | March 22, 2007 4:53 PM | Report abuse

Wasn't Paul Lind in a square somewhere?

Posted by: Wheezy | March 22, 2007 4:53 PM | Report abuse


That is my point. You will eventually power your house with solar cells. It makes since to. Your roof ought to do something other than keep the rain out. Someday you might run a small office building with PV. You will never power a factory from the solar energy available onsite.

We will sooner or later run out of dead dinosaurs just as we ran out of trees to chop down. If all you are worried about is climate change and carbon footprint, nuclear power is the way to go. You may regret that call in 10,000 years. Biodiesel is a scam perpetuated by ADM. Every technology has a downside.

My beef with off-grid production is that it is potentially more wasteful and polluting than the current centralized grid model. Picture 20 of your neighbors all burning leaves to power their homebrew Honda generators.

There are no easy answers. People have a hard time understanding numbers with as many zeroes as DolphinMichael was throwing around. Six billion people would love to live the life of an average American/European/Japanese. Five billion don't. Yet. When they do, crunch those numbers yet again.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 22, 2007 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Yello, you get in big trouble for burning leaves where I live!! :-)

Posted by: dmd | March 22, 2007 4:59 PM | Report abuse

jw, to answer your question earlier, I personally played no role in Thermopylae, battle-wise. As you may know, the Spartans were a highly militaristic society, and practiced extreme physical fitness and fighting skills contantly. They demanded physical perfection in themselves. I, being a generally lazy slackard and indolent, wise-a$$ kinda guy as well as a total coward, wouldn't have lasted in Spartan society for more than 34 seconds. As for defending lonely mountain passes against a hundred thousand berserk Persian dudes with swords and bad attitudes--yeah, right. My mother didn't raise no idiots. (I was an early role model for my friend the great Sir Harry Flashman, about whom you may have read).

At the time of Thermopylae, I was a stringer for the Port of Piraeus Picayune and I was the only guy still in the office (sleeping off a bender in a corner) when the Persians invaded, so the city editor kicked me awake and sent me out to cover the story. (City editors, then as now, were not exactly the icons of sensitivity.) As it happens, I was able to watch the battle from a crag high up on the hillside for the first two days. Late on the evening of the second night, long after my supply of popcorn and flagons of wine had run out, I wandered off into the darkness to answer a brief call of nature, stumbled, hit my head, and rolled unconscious into a dark crevice. This turned out to be quite fortunate, because a few minutes later that traitorous Greek shepherd came by leading a couple thousand Persians around behind the Spartans. I awoke and had the good sense to lie still and quiet as the Persians marched by not 20 feet away. In the blackness of the night I could hear their footsteps, crunching along and making a funny sound with their feet as they tramped over the unpopped popcorn widows I had strewn about my lookout post. When the moon came out from behind a cloud, I could see that the Persians were carrying makeshift ladders and ropes made from willow branches and climbing vines--I surmised correctly they were going to use these to climb down the mountainside the next morning. And wouldn't you know it, right in front of me a squadron of these guys stopped to rest for a few minutes, piling up their equipment right in front of the very crevice in which I was hiding!

Well, there I was, trapped behind enemy vines. It was all I could do to keep from answering yet another call of nature, if ya know what I mean. After half an hour, the troops moved off, and shortly before daybreak I managed to sneak away from the scene of the battle. I suspect it wasn't pretty.

Like many foreign correspondents, I had brought along with me some support staff, in this case a very young long-distance runner/copyboy named Phidippides. I'd write up my dispatch on a handy piece of goatskin and yell that time-honored newspaper call, "Copy!" and Phidippides would come trotting up. I'd hand him the story and off he'd go to Piraeus or Athens or wherever. Ol' Phidip wasn't real smart, but man could that boy run. He was kind of the Forest Gump of his day. Looked a little like Steve Reeves, he did. Some talent-spotter got sight of him and took him away from the Port of Piraeus Picayune, and Phido went on to make quite a name for himself running messages back and forth between Athens and Spart right prior to the Battle of Marathon, and then of course you know the story of how he ran from the battle to report the great victory, and then collapsed and died. (I'd told him to try and pace himself, but he never listened very well to good advice.)

At any rate, I found him camped out where I'd left him a mile or two away from the mountain pass. Late that day when I saw this horde of Persians coming down the road I knew it was curtains for the Spartans. I hurriedly composed a few lines for the top of my news story, and sent Phidippides off to Athens to tell the Athenian big shots what had happened. Then (not being a runner) at a somewhat more leisurely pace, I rode a donkey to Piraeus to report back to the city editor.

Wouldn't you know--I get to the Port of Piraeus safe and sound a couple days later (there was this roadhouse, the Retsina 6 [motto: "We'll leave the flaming torch on for ya."], along the way near a lovely olive orchard on the sunlit hillside, and this serving wench [she was one of the Gibsonoupodoponopagus gals, IIRC]...but maybe I should hold that story for another day, like I used to tell Sheherazade. But let me just say I was always a sucker for a nice set of dimples), and there was Admiral Themistocles rounding up ships and shanghaing men for crews all over town. He had some half-a$$ed notion of going out to Salamis to oppose the entire Persian Navy.

"But Your Admiralitude," I protested, "you're outnumbered four to one! And besides, I have a press pass from the Port of Pireaus Picayune, so I can't very well---."

But he cut me off. "Tell ya what, Curmudgephleides [my Greek name]. "How'd you like to be embedded with my fleet? You'll get a front row seat and everything, and ya see that galley over there with the big pointy bow? She's setting off in half an hour. Here, you give the float attendent this boarding pass--you're in seat 22F. That's a window seat on the starboard side near the bulkhead. We start boarding in 10 minutes, beginning with Zone 4."

Well, I didn't have a lot of choice, and an hour later we we're pulling out of the harbor. You undoubtedly guessed by now what I was too stupid (or I like to think it was because I was a wee bit hungover, and uh...saddle-sore, so to speak --I think I had somehow wenched my back a day earlier) to figure out at the time: Seat 22F was indeed the window seat, alright, but on a galley you pretty much do your own locomotion, and its a couple of days before they send the snack cart down the aisle with the beverages, let me tell you. I was chained to Seat 22F, and with no damn SkyMall magazine, either. I had one third of an oar, and the "float attendent" was this mean hulking Macedonian dude who looked like Tony Little with a bad haircut. That ship was like being stuck on the runway at LaGuardia aboard a US Airways jet for three weeks. We're like, 20 minutes outside of Piraeus, and there they are: something like 600 to 800 Persian ships compared to our 166, including the leaky scow of an Airbusius 380 I was riding in. Man, those guys had remes, they had triremes, they even had a few biremes (not that there's anything wrong with that; and the Greco lads sure had nothing to whine about themselves; that was one bad place to drop the soap in the shower).

So yeah, I saw the Battle of Salamis. I ROWED the fording Battle of Salamis, thank you very much. It was nothing but row, row, row, row, THUNK! as we rammed a Persian ship. "All back!" that Little Tony s--t [pardon my Greek] would yell, and we'd throw her into reverse, and then row, row, row, row, put yer backs into it you swine, and then THUNK! we'd take out another enemy barge. It was like a high school parking lot during a condom run on prom night. Jeez, what a zoo.

So there ya go, jw, my role at the Battle of Thermopylae, in a nutshell.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | March 22, 2007 5:00 PM | Report abuse

Oh Wheezy. That was Hollywood Squares. Paul was in the middle right above Charlie Weaver.
Kitty was the Queen of "What's My Line" and "To Tell the Truth."

I like the idea of distributed power, but I just don't see it happening any time soon. I just don't think the technology is there.

As I have said before, I think the answer, at least for the next 50 years or so, is increased efficiency combined with Nuclear power. Anything else is wishful thinking.

Posted by: RD Padouk | March 22, 2007 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Of course, it will only take one brilliant breakthrough in either solar-cell or fuel-cell technology to make this whole thing moot. But I'm not betting on it. Global Warming scares me more than nuclear waste.

Posted by: RD Padouk | March 22, 2007 5:04 PM | Report abuse

No one has yet to explain to me why conservatives feel the need to pooh-pooh global warming. I mean, the solution is to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels, right? Like, that stuff that the Middle East has lots of and we don't? So what's the downside? I really don't understand it.

Posted by: Raysmom | March 22, 2007 5:15 PM | Report abuse

RD... I'd bet on it, but only if we can get the oil guys out of positions of power.

I can only imagine where we would be if the half-trillion spent on wars were diverted to finding that solar or fuel-cell breakthrough.

Posted by: martooni | March 22, 2007 5:18 PM | Report abuse

SCC: "wars" should have been "elective wars"

Posted by: martooni | March 22, 2007 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Well Raysmom, first I think a lot of conservatives have a knee-jerk reaction against anything that smacks of environmentalism because they associate the term with pot-smoking long-haired atheistic draft-burning hippy-types.

Second, of course, may of them are closely tied to industry and there is a legitimate concern about the short-term economic pain of some of the proposed solutions.

Third, Even if it wasn't an environmental issue, Gore and those Hollywood Liberals are for it, so, naturally, they are agin' it.

Posted by: RD Padouk | March 22, 2007 5:26 PM | Report abuse

Mudge... you mentioned a wench with dimples in your Thermopylae report. I'm a sucker for a well-turned ankle myself, but curious/dirty minds want to know which set of cheeks those dimples graced and whether they were part of the "bottomless mug of metaxa" special.

Posted by: martooni | March 22, 2007 5:32 PM | Report abuse

I am so embarrassed - I've flunked the Kitty Carlisle test thoroughly. Will I be allowed to post anymore?

Posted by: Wheezy | March 22, 2007 5:33 PM | Report abuse

I agree, in principle, martooni. But the most inconvenient word in the English Language is "if."

Posted by: RD Padouk | March 22, 2007 5:33 PM | Report abuse

Wheezy - I think we can let it slide just this once. But just to be safe I would commit this to memory:

Posted by: RD Padouk | March 22, 2007 5:38 PM | Report abuse

martooni, your 5:32 question reminds me of that story of the Lady or the Tiger, the one where you never get to find out which ending it is (so to speak). Well, this is one of those times.

Posted by: Curmudgephleides | March 22, 2007 5:39 PM | Report abuse

ohmygawd. I didn't realize that she is still alive. Looks like *I* flunk the Kitty Carlisle test...

Posted by: RD Padouk | March 22, 2007 5:39 PM | Report abuse

RD... "pot-smoking long-haired atheistic draft-burning hippy-types"

Is that why I wasn't invited to the Inaugural Ball?


Almost cut my hair
It happened just the other day
It's gettin kinda long
I coulda said it wasn't in my way
But I didn't and I wonder why
I feel like letting my freak flag fly
Cause I feel like I owe it to someone

(CSN&Y rock, but really... I was thinking about it and almost did it yesterday. Thank the FSM, I came to my senses before I came within range of scissors.)

Posted by: martooni | March 22, 2007 5:40 PM | Report abuse

Not only that, but Kitty Carlisle was featured in the Marx Brothers' classic "A Night at the Opera" -- she was quite a good soprano in her day. Of course, I remember quite fondly watching Orson Bean blowing on her boa (so to speak...) on the game show. They certainly did get all dressed up in those days.

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | March 22, 2007 5:44 PM | Report abuse

Mudge... "which ending"? Did you mean "which end"?

I do respect your gentlemanly silence/ambiguity on this. The site of the lady's dimples will remain a mystery.

Posted by: martooni | March 22, 2007 5:48 PM | Report abuse

Thank you Achenbach! I will look for the transcript later then.

Posted by: MxWPFan | March 22, 2007 6:04 PM | Report abuse

I'd like to see a small solar furnace attached to a steam engine\tubine spinning up a kinetic battery. You could scale that to almost any residential scale.

Posted by: Boko999 | March 22, 2007 6:07 PM | Report abuse

I made it to the boodle in time to catch Mudge's epic of the battle. I at least caught the important stuff.

On the going 'postal' front, I spoke with our intrepid recetionist when she was in the morning. I spite of a heinous flu she is suffering from, she told me that she knows this fellow I am worried about from previous attempts to enter and utilise the building. She said he has always given her the whillies but she thought it was just her chicken self (she worried a great deal about white powder back in the day), and so kept it to herself. We now have in place a fully fledged action plan should he come by. It basically goes, shout the word, and call 911. The Boss is considering a restraining order, or making the entrance to the buidling one where you have to be buzzed in. We will be disscussing the going postal when we do our next fire drill.

Really we should do more of this stuff. We are about a block from the Strathcona Refinery, and you never know what could happen over there. Thanks to all of you for your very good advice.

Posted by: dr | March 22, 2007 6:28 PM | Report abuse

May boring days at work be yours, if you know what I mean. Take care and perhaps not put the iPod on high?....a student near my building last summer took a bullet in the bottom (really and he survived and is doing well) because he DID NOT HEAR THE ROBBER-DUDE BEHIND HIM SAY, "Excuse me, please, but give me your money, please, oh kind sir."

Raysmom -- about 30 blackbirds at the lake but not a one peeping their pipes of love. However, and this is even better: spring peepers out in force!
Spring Peeper (Pseudacris crucifer, sometimes called Hyla crucifer)
Scroll down to see the pix of spring peepers....darling wee laddies and lassies of spring that are seldom seen but often heard.

Also, Raysmom: I counted more than 25 turtles sunning themselves, both mud turtles and sliders (red "ear"- marked).

Doglet wanted to jump out at the bad, btrapped into the basket. I wonder how doglet would fare against a crabby, testosterone-high gander.

Posted by: College Parkian | March 22, 2007 6:43 PM | Report abuse

Scaleable photovoltaic (meaning if we bought it by the quarter-acre at Lowes it would get cheap pretty quick) is technically feasible right now for about 10 cents per kilowatt hour. I pay about 7 cents right now. And the pollution from the coal plant blows right into town! So I guess I'm paying a bit more if you count intangibles. Such as I don't get to talk to my elderly neighbor in the yard because he's hiding inside on "code orange" ozone days. He finds it hard to breathe outside on those days. I was just looking at a Scientific American article before I joined the boodle.

Nuclear power has four problems: the still not-dealt-with waste problem, proliferation of bomb materials into unsafe hands, costs, and safety. Some radically new thinking will have to be done before we expand its use. I personally have hopes for it, but it's a tough one.

I sympathize with Gore. He really ought to find a way to cut down his total kilowatt-hour usage. He has a big family and probably security equipment he doesn't need to talk about, but still...

I kept abreast of his fine efforts to fund internet research through the years. He did yeoman's work and should rightfully be praised for that work.

I used to work for a coal-burning power plant (moral quandary, anyone?) and after that a transformer company so I know a bit about electrical power distribution. I never "got" calculus until I started analyzing alternating current. Any questions, and I will try to answer. But please, not about the calculus! Well, maybe a little.

The idea about orbiting solar panels, beaming power down to microwave conversion stations, is alive and well. It's one good idea to keep on the table. I still promote Jumper's law: all asphalt will be covered with a roof structure holding photovoltaic cells. We could all drive electric cars on electrified highways. Granted, the power would have to be augmented by off-road power plants such as we now have.

Posted by: Jumper | March 22, 2007 6:44 PM | Report abuse

Whoops: Should read like this --

Doglet wanted to jump out at the bad, bad, bad and invasive Canada geese preening and P%^#@@*ing everwhere. But she was strapped into the basket. I wonder how doglet would fare against a crabby, testosterone-high gander.

Posted by: College Parkian | March 22, 2007 6:46 PM | Report abuse

"wenched my back"

I'm going to steal that someday. It's a shame I don't play D&D anymore.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 22, 2007 6:51 PM | Report abuse

I knew there was a reason I liked RDP and yellojkt...


Posted by: Scottynuke | March 22, 2007 6:52 PM | Report abuse

I like the idea of roads as power generators. Eveything should have two uses and heaven knows we have enough asphalt in this country.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 22, 2007 6:59 PM | Report abuse

I'm still looking for an article in SciAm (last year sometime?) about a power grid composed of a super conducting cable surrounded by liqiuid hydrogen. Power could be imputted anywhere in the system. Electricity and fuel for your coolrod. The article was a little geewhizzy, Popular Mechanicish but seemed plausible. The first step for any sensible solution is to get the continental power grid under one authority.

Posted by: Boko999 | March 22, 2007 7:00 PM | Report abuse

Until an electricians strike shuts down all highway transportation and pulls the plug on the internet.

OOHR: The Roads Must Roll

Posted by: yellojkt | March 22, 2007 7:01 PM | Report abuse


Spent fuel is already stored properly at every operating reactor (and even a couple of places where they've torn down the reactors). There are sites not too far from DC where spent fuel has been in steel and concrete casks for 20 years and it's just fine, thank you. The science of safely storing the stuff, even for thousands of years, is not in question. Politics is the problem, not the spent fuel.

As for proliferation, why is that an issue in the U.S.? Every reprocessing plan I've come across includes proliferation-resistant fuel types. And frankly, nuclear power plants can and already do USE warhead material, once it's blended down with some U-238.

Cost? It's six of one, half a dozen of the other. You have high up-front costs and very low operating costs for nuclear, and almost the reverse for fossil fuel (except if you start talking about "clean coal" plants, muy dinero to build).

Safety? More than 100 reactors in the U.S. and the ONLY accident we've had here was Three Mile Island, where all the available data shows next to no radiation dose to the public. Incidents? Yes, many of them, but the public's safety has not been affected. Let's all remember that "safe" and "zero risk" are not synonymous and never will be.

Nuclear power is one (perhaps the bedrock) of many reasonable methods of continuing modern society while addressing greenhouse gas emissions.

I'm posting this from home, using my personal property, in case anyone's interested.

Posted by: Scottynuke | March 22, 2007 7:05 PM | Report abuse

I will never go here. I've been to the canyon, and that was bad enough, but this. I've always been a toes in the dirt kind of person.

The BPH photos were wonderful. Yoki, nice stuff. Do you think they are falling for the invasion idea? Looks like a good time was had by all, and more.

Posted by: dr | March 22, 2007 7:11 PM | Report abuse

The problem with lots of these way cool futuristic technologies is that they are decades and decades away. Even such a neat idea like C02 injection is not very mature, and doesn't even begin to address the problem of foreign dependence.

Sure, if we put bazillions into some of these concepts development could be enhanced. But I know from first hand experience that even with shockingly generous funding, a technological development program can only be accelerated so fast. There is no substitute for experience.

And besides, if funding were available for such a crash program, why not devote the money to further refinement of the most mature technology out there - nuclear.

Posted by: RD Padouk | March 22, 2007 7:24 PM | Report abuse

Wow ScottyNuke - it's like, you know, you're some kinda *expert* on this or something.

Sure glad you're on the job.

Posted by: RD Padouk | March 22, 2007 7:26 PM | Report abuse


Job? Me? Uh....

It's a hobby. Yeah, that's the ticket!


Posted by: Scottynuke | March 22, 2007 7:32 PM | Report abuse

Costs of nuclear tend to get forwarded to the future. As far as I know, no containment walls have been disposed of yet, and the tonnage is formidable. But, Scotty, I am not really a sort to fear nuke power for silly reasons. I eat my naturally radioactive bananas with glee, like a good techie should. And you are right that "problems" exist for any system. I personally wish my own local power company would build a new generation liquid-metal reactor which is far more efficient, at least according to my reading as an interested layman. I am afraid their thinking is too stodgy. However, I don't ever recommend underestimating the willingness of sociopaths, both present and future, to do horrible things with some of the truly dangerous nuclear waste. Or ignorant denizens of the future, either.

Posted by: Jumper | March 22, 2007 7:34 PM | Report abuse

Scotty I do agree with nuclear power, it has provided my father with an income for the last fifteen years.

I would just like it to be OK for there to be innovation and experimentation without industry screaming we are trying to wipe them out.

Perhaps I believe too strongly in alternative methods as an addition to existing sources but I do not see the problem with reducing our footprint as much as we can even if it doesn't provide a complete solution. Not a big fan of using corn for ethanol but I hope work continues on biomass, read an article today about using the spent orange rinds to create ethanol - limited in production but of some use.

Posted by: dmd | March 22, 2007 7:36 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, that one rates up with the sonic disturber, or what ever it was. Bravo!

RD, Scotty, yello, I hope the breakthrough comes soon so we can can yell, "Eureka!" and enjoy the fruits thereof.

martooni, you are in my prayers.

Posted by: Slyness | March 22, 2007 7:41 PM | Report abuse

Pax, Jumper? We're on the same page. :-)

And try Trojan and Maine Yankee for disposed-of containments. Both sites completely decommissioned apart from the small area where the casks are stored.

Why not a pebble-bed or high-temp gas reactor? *L*

Posted by: Scottynuke | March 22, 2007 7:41 PM | Report abuse

dmd - I agree that the quickest thing we can do is reduce our energy usage. Heck, I have been sneaking these twisty bulbs into our home while nobody is looking.

Posted by: RD Padouk | March 22, 2007 7:45 PM | Report abuse

Hmm with a handle like "scottynuke" it's almost like he planned this in advance eh?

We can't go for a strong nuclear program - we'd have to get help from the French. But it would help for sure. Put them where it makes sense, that's all.

I still remember Three Mile Island because I'm downwind of it and we spent some time wondering whether we were getting dosed or not. No smell, can't see it... The whole area is too dense to be evacuuated, so faghedaboutit as far as that goes. So there's no doubt that still hangs over the industry.

The other thing is Homer Simpson works in a nuke plant. But I don't know of that helps or hurts!

Some places solar makes sense. It would help here (there's actually a house in the area that went all the way ) but for me wind would make more sense because I have a fairly consistent wind coming over the fields.

The problem in common is the storage when the units aren't generating. Which is the same problem with the electic car implementations. So I say we should be on a Manhattan Project of battery technology.

Posted by: Error Flynn | March 22, 2007 7:46 PM | Report abuse


Me, plan?? Surely you jest.


Posted by: Scottynuke | March 22, 2007 7:48 PM | Report abuse

I have twisty bulbs too, and outdoor solar lights - which work great in summer, winter is tough - not a lot of sunlight here in winter, short days lots of clouds.

Posted by: dmd | March 22, 2007 7:51 PM | Report abuse

Clouds are hard dmd. Hey you American type fellows, wanna buy a nice Canadian Candu reactor? We sold some to India and they loved them.

Posted by: Boko999 | March 22, 2007 8:42 PM | Report abuse

Hey, did you guys see the story that Queen Elizabeth is coming here to the colony of Virginia for the Jamestown thing, then going to the Kentucky Derby, and then sharing beans and Franks with Arbusto? If she makes us a halfway decent offer to re-join the Empire ["bygones"] and get rid of the incumbent clown, I think we ought to give it serious consideration.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | March 22, 2007 8:42 PM | Report abuse

I think the first person killed by a nuclear accident was a Canadian under the bleachers.

Posted by: Boko9999 | March 22, 2007 8:48 PM | Report abuse

1989 US patent awarded to American physicist Paul M Brown for a Betavoltaic battery which provides direct conversion of nuclear energy into electricity. (Betavoltaic battery doesn't sound nearly as threatening as Nuclear battery, does it?).
Nuclear batteries were first demonstrated by Ohmart in 1951. During the 1950's nuclear batteries were developed by the US DOE and been in use by NASA since 1961. They were designed to meet the long life, high-voltage, high-current draw requirements of electrically powered space probes and satellites however the batteries used by NASA mainly use thermocouples to generate electricity indirectly by using the heat, rather than the nuclear radiation, emitted by radioactive Plutonium-238. In 1971 a patent was awarded to Sampson for the Gamma Electric Cell which converted the nuclear energy directly into electrical energy.
I'll stop achenhogging and go back to painting.

Posted by: Boko999 | March 22, 2007 8:50 PM | Report abuse

dmd... I had twisty bulbs once, but with the right antibiotics you too can be free of this malady.

Posted by: martooni | March 22, 2007 8:57 PM | Report abuse

Weren't the Spirochettes a fiftied Motown group?

Posted by: Boko999 | March 22, 2007 8:59 PM | Report abuse

backboodling (is that word?) a little.

Cassandra: Ivansmom said that she is on the road and might not maintain control of her laptop. I am sure she is counting the days until she can boodle once more, as are we.

Also thanks for the nice words about my poem. I have been known to compulsively compose verse during long meetings.

Posted by: RD Padouk | March 22, 2007 9:02 PM | Report abuse

Oh heck - no CSI again. Some manner of "basketball" still going on.

Time to read with the bunnies.

(Sounds like some kind of Mob Slang.)

Posted by: RD Padouk | March 22, 2007 9:04 PM | Report abuse

The CBC is raising a stink about the safety of the twisty bulbs. I'm looking for a link but am only getting rude sites when I google 'twisty blubs.'

Posted by: Boko999 | March 22, 2007 9:11 PM | Report abuse

Darn, I found it.
Faulty light bulbs pose fire hazard, officials say.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 22, 2007 9:15 PM | Report abuse

Error - If I recall correctly, the French are mere striplings compared to the U.S. in nuclear power production. The last time I looked at the numbers (and it wasn't more than a few months ago), there were a few more than half as many operating plants in France, producing a little more than two-thirds as much energy.

I'm all for giving proper recognition to the fact that they've built more newer, bigger plants, and integrated them into their power structure in a much bigger way. But when it comes to nuclear power, the U.S. is definitely the big gorilla.

Posted by: Bob S. | March 22, 2007 9:16 PM | Report abuse

Nuclear power plants aren't built in a day, either. A couple of years ago Congress passed rules which would allow nuclear plants to be planned, sited, built, and indemnified much more easily--and there is still little or no progress toward new nuke plants.

I kinda hoped Republicans in power would eliminate the gridlock that makes changing our society so difficult. Didn't get it. Won't get it.

"More than any other time in history, mankind faces a crossroads. One path leads to despair and utter hopelessness. The other, to total extinction. Let us pray we have the wisdom to choose correctly."

...Also, according to actual historical records, the Curmudgephleides that worked for the the Port of Piraeus Picayune was quoted as having "other priorities" during the Persian wars. There are always more heroes after a war than there are during one. Some years later Curmudgephleides got Athens involved in a war of choice against Syracuse, and the Greek experiment in Periclean democracy faded into oblivion, despite the defeat of the Evil Empire from the east. You can look it up.

Posted by: MedallionOfFerret | March 22, 2007 9:17 PM | Report abuse

I don't know if the twisty bulb danger of which the CBC alarms is one of disposal, but that is an issue here in the frozen north. They are not supposed to be disposed of in the usual trash. However the county transfer station that will take them is 40 miles away and then you must pay. It's a fair bet they're ending up in the regular trash. Don't know which heavy metal is the culprit but when are we going to start considering disposal as part of the cost of everything (not just nukes).

Looks like our first wildflowers on the roadsides this year are televisions. As of 1 July last year it costs a minimum of $15, and the same 40 mile trip, to dispose of properly. Too bad kudzu doesn't grow up here. At least in the summer the south doesn't have a washing machines in the woods problem.

Posted by: frostbitten | March 22, 2007 9:18 PM | Report abuse

Look, Ferretface, that was my cousin Nick Curmudgephleides, okay> I had nothing to do with that mess. Although I did indeed have "other priorities," namely saving my butt. But the Athenian-Syracusan War? Not me. I was outa town at the time in Nubia covering the grand opening of the Valley of the Kings tricentennial museum and Nile RV Show (I had the reed watercraft exhibit).

Posted by: Curmudgephleides | March 22, 2007 9:23 PM | Report abuse

Yes Bob, but approx. 80% of their power is from nuclear energy. Thats pretty good.

Posted by: dmd | March 22, 2007 9:33 PM | Report abuse

Throwing around the Nubia excuse again?

Posted by: Dolphin Michael | March 22, 2007 9:40 PM | Report abuse

Great BPH pictures - felt like I was there (no, not really, but it looked like a lot of fun). But I still don't understand how TBG and Yoki got to blog...

Snuke, maybe you can come to Hanford sometime and help out? I understand it's quite a mess. Also, the nuclear plants out here were run by a company called WPPSS (woops!) - apparently they did not inspire confidence. And we've got the whole earthquake/volcano thing going on too. Hydroelectric, that's the ticket - those are controversial too, since they disrupt salmon runs. No easy answers, I guess.

Posted by: mostlylurking | March 22, 2007 9:52 PM | Report abuse

Here's a little something for Joel. No real reason. Really.;_ylt=AgM.vo62_3W8W52iB.D8LvwXIr0F

Posted by: TBG | March 22, 2007 9:59 PM | Report abuse

A spiritually inclined person explained to me that when Jesus went into the desert on his 40 day crash diet and spirit quest he didn't confront the devil, he was wrestling with himself. I don't know why that popped into head. Funny.

Posted by: Boko999 | March 22, 2007 10:04 PM | Report abuse

Ha! "something just exploded in that room"

Heard this about "distributed journalism" and the US Attorney story on NPR tonight:

Posted by: mostlylurking | March 22, 2007 10:09 PM | Report abuse

frostbitten |Those twisty bulbs are lousy with mercury.

Posted by: Boko999 | March 22, 2007 10:12 PM | Report abuse

Frostie, I adapted your Haupia (did I get that right) cream filling, scheming with Yoki to send some coconutty goodness to Error Flynn. So, you were part of the extended Pi Day festivities.

SPRING PEEPERS IN MY YARD, so I feel better about the bog that is here, but was not here last year. My yard is an amphibian island sanctuary within the Beltway. I will sit outside a bit longer to hear them sing: pick me, pick me, pick me, pick me....or if you like it with a late Medieval twist, think:

1)Sieze the day;
2)Had we but time and May;
3)...darling buds of May;
4) Gather ye rosebuds, while ye may;
5)Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die;
6)Youth's a stuff will not endure...

Frogs. They are very much like us.

Posted by: College Parkian | March 22, 2007 10:21 PM | Report abuse

Lousy wasn't a good choice. According to Wikipedia a compact fluorescent lamp has 1/5 the mercury content of a watch battery.

Posted by: Boko999 | March 22, 2007 10:23 PM | Report abuse

Me? I like my twisty bulbs with Ranch Dressing.

Posted by: TBG | March 22, 2007 10:24 PM | Report abuse

Obviously Al Gore has been editing Wikipedia.

Posted by: mostlylurking | March 22, 2007 10:28 PM | Report abuse

Wonderful off topic (frequently) boodle today. I always assumed the Battle of Thermopylae was a "heated" battle, but I had no idea. [groan]

Is anyone else not happy that people can "see" 'This American Life?' I don't have Showtime but feel like this intimate little audio world is leaving home for the big bad world. Can't believe it will succeed in multi-sensory view.

Posted by: bill everything | March 22, 2007 10:29 PM | Report abuse

Mostly, to follow a thread in the discussion, I believe Al Gore once stated he invented Wikipedia.

I just want everyone to know I kid. I admire the winner of the 2000 presidential election.

Could anyone have imagined the consequences of the sordid aftermath of that election?

Posted by: bill everything | March 22, 2007 10:33 PM | Report abuse

This story about "This American Life" on TV was in the paper over the weekend -

I don't listen to the radio show much anymore - the gardening show moved to Saturday morning. And I don't get Showtime, so will miss the TV show. Ira Glass is so funny - will have to try to work him into my schedule again.

Posted by: mostlylurking | March 22, 2007 10:36 PM | Report abuse

Pill Stops Cow Burps and Helps Save the Planet
Kate Connolly in Berlin
Thursday March 22, 2007
Guardian Unlimited

The fist-sized pill is meant to help reduce the methane produced by cows.
Cut down on flying, sell the car and recycle your bottles. But if you really want to tackle global warming, you should stop your cow from burping.
According to scientific estimates, the methane gas produced by cows is responsible for 4% of greenhouse gas emissions. And now, German scientists have invented a pill to cut bovine burping.
The fist-sized plant-based pill, known as a bolus, combined with a special diet and strict feeding times, is meant to reduce the methane produced by cows.
"Our aim is to increase the wellbeing of the cow, to reduce the greenhouse gases produced and to increase agricultural production all at once," said Winfried Drochner, professor of animal nutrition, who has led the ground-breaking project at the University of Hohenheim in Stuttgart. "It is an effective way of fighting global warming."
Prof Drochner wants to use the pill to trap some of the energy from the methane, which is naturally produced in the fermentation process when a cow digests grass and is later mostly burped out through their mouths. Until now it has been wasted.
"We could use the energy to boost the cow's metabolism," he said. The idea is that the cows would use the methane to produce glucose instead of passing it as wind. In turn this should help them to produce more milk.
"The fist-sized tablets mean that microbiotic substances can slowly dissolve in the cow's stomach over several months," said Prof Drochner.
Over the past 50 years the concentration of methane in the atmosphere has increased six-fold. With meat consumption growing, it is set to rise further.

Posted by: Boko999 | March 22, 2007 10:40 PM | Report abuse

re: TBG's "messiness" link:

I'll make the observation that there's a heck of a difference between my ability to navigate MY mess and my ability to navigate some else's mess.

Posted by: Bob S. | March 22, 2007 10:45 PM | Report abuse

Ick, ick, ick... "Someone else's mess"

Still not very elegant, but probably more correct.

Posted by: Bob S. | March 22, 2007 10:52 PM | Report abuse

Bob... I would guess that if you visited all the boodlers' offices, you'd find a great majority fit that "explosion" description.

As someone told me yesterday, "That's my filing system!"

Posted by: TBG | March 22, 2007 10:52 PM | Report abuse

I believe "Fist-Sized Pill" is available as a Boodlehandle. I think Torqueberto is about to find out how it feels to swallow one.

Posted by: bill everything | March 22, 2007 10:57 PM | Report abuse

By the way - I don't think that anyone was losing much sleep over it, but I'm really, really bummed out over missing the BPH last night. I had a fairly serious cold kick in on Tuesday, and (while I was physically capable of attending) thought that it might not be greatly appreciated if it was later discovered that I'd passed it on to most of the Porch!

Posted by: Bob S. | March 22, 2007 10:58 PM | Report abuse

bill everything - I was carefully avoiding even THINKING of "fist-sized-pills", let alone mentioning them again. Thanks!!

Posted by: Bob S. | March 22, 2007 11:00 PM | Report abuse

I think a suppository would be more appropriate bill.

Posted by: Boko999 | March 22, 2007 11:00 PM | Report abuse

Boko - Oh, yeah, that's MUCH better!

: )

Posted by: Bob S. | March 22, 2007 11:02 PM | Report abuse

bill, Torqueberto is himself a fist-sized pill.

No, wait. That was John Ashcroft I was thinking of.

Never mind.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | March 22, 2007 11:06 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, I have tbis vision of John Ashcroft in a rented RV traveling the country, feverishly covering naked bosoms on statuettes, desperately trying to deny the reality of what, quite frankly, is one of the first things we see up close and personal in our nascent lives.

I remain in favor of the concept, frankly.

Posted by: bill everything | March 22, 2007 11:18 PM | Report abuse

I still think Torqueberto looks and sounds like Ernest Angley. About as ethically challenged too.

Posted by: Boko999 | March 22, 2007 11:19 PM | Report abuse

Filed under "Better to Boodle late than never," Mudge, your Greek war memoirs are really, really good.

I didn't note if TBG has read it yet...


Posted by: bc | March 22, 2007 11:51 PM | Report abuse

Except for one thing... wasn't the Battle of Marathon, like, several years prior to Thermopylae?

Well, You can't expect Mudge to remember all that stuff perfectly. He HAD been at the wine and popcorn pretty heavily.

Posted by: HistoryTim | March 23, 2007 12:02 AM | Report abuse

Tim, Tim, Tim...
Yup, a decade or so is easily misplaced amongst the wine & popcorn.

(You nitpicker, ya!)


Posted by: Bob S. | March 23, 2007 12:16 AM | Report abuse

The main waste line in the house clogged AGAIN...I'm biding time and running the washer to be sure the line is clear. I have acqired the elusive rotorooter skill. My wife and I shared a lighthearted moment while crossing paths in the media center this a.m: one of our students was using a computer and happened to be suffering from plumber's butt. It was the first thing that caught my eye. I glanced up and saw my wife and uttered "Eeewww...", casting a sidelong glance in the general direction of the affected student. "You're sick." was my wife's retort. Mudge, you should have won any number of Pulitzers for your wartime correspondents. I'm incredulous with respecct to this egregious oversight and will make my feelings known to the appropriate committee members on your behalf.

Posted by: jack | March 23, 2007 12:22 AM | Report abuse

jack - I think it's awesome that you and your wife get to share "Eeewww... plumber's butt!" moments together at work!
bill everything - re: "Is anyone else not happy that people can "see" 'This American Life?' I don't have Showtime but feel like this intimate little audio world is leaving home for the big bad world. Can't believe it will succeed in multi-sensory view."
(Posted by: bill everything | March 22, 2007 10:29 PM)

I've got a sneaky little suspicion that you're not NEARLY as concerned about this as is Ira Glass!

Posted by: Bob S. | March 23, 2007 12:32 AM | Report abuse

Actually, that's a "sneaking" little suspicion.

Posted by: Bob S. | March 23, 2007 12:33 AM | Report abuse

Thought of you earlier this evening, bc, while watching American Muscle Car. The episode detailed Amercan Motors' foray into muscle cars: AMX, SC Rambler (American), Javelin, Matador and (ugh)Gremlin. My favorite was the AMX. Think of the possibilities...a 454/500 Pacer.

Posted by: jack | March 23, 2007 12:33 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, Bob. Well, the line is clear. I think I'll retire. TGIF.

Posted by: jack | March 23, 2007 12:36 AM | Report abuse

Hmmm... I generally hold back on praise 'cuz I'm not a pandering kinda fellow. In particular, I tend to hold back on praise for 'mudge because he's been around long enough to have a pretty good sense of how good he is without too much outside input.

But - no holding back here! The first-hand account of (one corner of) Thermopylae was sweet!! If facts should get in the way, then "so much the worse for the facts"!

Posted by: Bob S. | March 23, 2007 12:45 AM | Report abuse

I haven't seen any mention of power from fusion. It probably won't be ready for commercial use for a couple of decades or more, but it certainly seems to have promise of producing lots of energy with minimal side-effects. In North America we might be able to hold out until then simply be being more efficient. Don't know whether that would apply to India and China, though.

Posted by: LTL-CA | March 23, 2007 1:46 AM | Report abuse

I gotta stay on the Boodle longer at night, obviously... *SIGH*

Morning all!! *routine Grover activity*


Posted by: Scottynuke | March 23, 2007 7:34 AM | Report abuse

Well, LTL, here's a report of bogus fusion...hopefully there will be a the breakthroughs that RD and scotty have spoken of in the near future.

Posted by: jack | March 23, 2007 7:48 AM | Report abuse

SCC strike the ..a...*heading for the coffee maker to gain some semblance of consciousness*

Posted by: jack | March 23, 2007 7:49 AM | Report abuse

CP-I hope Yoki will post the Chocolate/Haupia recipe modifications in Yoki's Kitchen. I'm all for someone else taking the time to refine and improve!

If not here yet, Spring is on the way. Inside I'm awash in a sea of pet hair. Every once in a while a tumbleweed of dog hair from the deceased Alex will catch a breeze and drift out from under a bed and join the drifts of cat hair. I believe their prodigious shedding is intentional to get me to end their long captivity and open the door to the screened porch.

Outside the mud is about what one would expect after snow melt and rain meets frost depths greater than two feet. After seeing the boots I must wear to deal with this mud Robin Givhan would bow down in humble, groveling apology to the DC women she critized for wearing running shoes to and from work. In "town" it's worth changing for business, but here at home they stay on, even for city council meetings.

Geese honking with the sunrise. It's not all bad. (But I'm still out of here for Tampa on Sunday.)

Posted by: frostbitten | March 23, 2007 7:57 AM | Report abuse

Frosttitten -- not an improvement, but a downsizing in volume so that the coconut cream layer would travel to the land of Error Flynn. I will have her post it, as flying pie.

Tampa, would that mean Mr. Frostie is at MacDill? One brother is there when he is not slaying dragons.

Posted by: College Parkian | March 23, 2007 8:09 AM | Report abuse

Morning all! This is a weird story today...

Jamaican Police: Pakistan's Cricket Coach Was Strangled to Death
Friday, March 23, 2007; Page E02

Pakistan cricket coach Bob Woolmer was strangled to death in his hotel room after the team's shocking World Cup loss to Ireland, Jamaican police said yesterday in Kingston...


Bob S... we did miss you the other night at the BPH. I thought you said you were going to be there. Hope you feel better!

Posted by: TBG | March 23, 2007 8:24 AM | Report abuse

CP-He is at MacDill, wtih SOCOM. Could it be we have a Kevin Bacon factor of just 3?
I don't normally share Boodle secrets with outsiders but I will be forced to mention flying pie. I have always maintained that if one is in Hawaii for a few days on the army's dime the least one should do is attempt to bring home a Ted's Bakery pie for the family.

Posted by: frostbitten | March 23, 2007 8:28 AM | Report abuse

TBG - Regarding messy desks and offices.

The sectarian conflict between those with neat cubicles and those with messy cubicles sometimes threatens to explode into all-out civil war around here.

The messy folks claim that a disordered cubicle is an indication of importance. It is a symbol that they are responsible for such a huge amount of really, really important stuff that they simply do not have the time for such trivialities as organization.

Those with neat cubicles claim that a neat and tidy workspace presents the proper Professional Image appropriate for such a Really Important Place. Further, without proper organization they assert that it is all too easy to misplace important documents like nuclear launch codes.

As with many issues, I am an unrepentant centrist. My desk is cluttered, but obsessively organized. Further, I am compelled to fill all available space in my cubicle with stupid artsy things I have made. These include a fountain, a magnetic sculpture, an Automated Zen Generator (it's kinda complicated) and, of course, lots of little wooden boxes.

As a result of exhibiting neither uninhibited squalor nor constipated austerity I have managed to avoid the sectarian schisms of the office. Indeed, I have managed to create one of the things that everyone can agree on.

My cubicle is just plain weird.

Posted by: RD Padouk | March 23, 2007 8:31 AM | Report abuse


My brother is with SOCOM but on"loan" to the State Department. So our Bacon number is quite low. Perhaps they know each other.

We never know where he is, if you take my meaning.

Posted by: College Parkian | March 23, 2007 8:33 AM | Report abuse

I apparently inherited my chaotic cubicle habits from my father, who got a caricature of himself among stacks of paper upon retirement, with the inscription, "A Clean Desk Is the Sign of a Sick Mind."


Posted by: Scottynuke | March 23, 2007 8:41 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: Anonymous | March 23, 2007 8:41 AM | Report abuse

TBG, I knew folks take their cricket pretty seriously, but yikes!

RD, thanks for trying to answer my 5:15 question. I'd try to ask my in-laws, but believe much spluttering would ensue. Also, I believe I join you as an unrepentant centrist. While tasks are in progress, they remain in piles. Once complete (OK, maybe 6 months after they're complete) they go into files. We may differ on office decor, though.

CP, your peepers are ahead of mine. Not a peep from them yet.

Posted by: Raysmom | March 23, 2007 8:45 AM | Report abuse

My dad worked for the predecessor of SOCOM at MacDill in the early 80s. The work load was light and he got a lot of time to improve his tennis game. Real pilots would kid him about when he was going to rejoin the Air Force.

He was also a vice base commander of something at Aviano in Italy before that became the centerpiece of our efforts in Bosnia.

He seems to have a way of staying a couple of steps ahead of trouble.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 23, 2007 8:53 AM | Report abuse

CP-we may be down to a factor of 2. I am spending my solo time in MN as the retirement advance party because once again the "I won't travel much in this job" was a big fat miscalculation.

Posted by: frostbitten | March 23, 2007 8:54 AM | Report abuse

Hey, jack.

I do like the AMCs; a guy I know restored a S/CRambler he found in an old lady's garage (her late son's car).

I was offered a 4-speed AMX a couple of years ago for a pittance, I should have bought it, and held on to it for a little while. I think I could get 10x what I would have paid for it now. Plus, it was a sweet ride.

As far as little cars with big engines go (like the 454 Pacer), a good friend of mine crammed a 450+ hp small block chevy into a Honda CRX (converted to RWD), just to prove that he could. Thing weighs 1600 lb, and even though he stretched the wheelbase to 90", it's still a handful to drive when you get on the gas.

Good morning, everybody.


Posted by: bc | March 23, 2007 8:55 AM | Report abuse

Fusion power was just a few decades away when I was reading Popular Mechanics about the coming nuclear powered cars. I'm putting that in the same file as personal jetpacks and videophones.

Technologically, fusion requires a pretty plentiful source of heavy water and lots of EM containment, both of which are serious parasitic loss.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 23, 2007 8:57 AM | Report abuse

yellojkt-The difference between the "green army" and SOCOM is similar to your dad's experience. It's even more pronounced at MacDill where the Air Force Base amenities are so much better than one finds on most army posts.

Posted by: frostbitten | March 23, 2007 8:59 AM | Report abuse

Does anyone else think the rear of the Suzuki Outback has just an air of Pacer about it?

Posted by: frosbitten | March 23, 2007 9:00 AM | Report abuse


I wonder if on the other side of the family -- Norwegian and Swedish-Finn inlaws -- other Bacon numbers are possible. But, as I think you know, this silent crowd seldom talks about relatedness. Bemidji still contains those relies.

I have a bunch of wild Irish cousins who married into sensible Germans, all clustering in St. Paul and Minnie-apples. Cousins at the third, fourth and so-on level emerge often through the internet.

The silent Scandias don't interact so much. During the Lilliehammer Olympics -- 88? A Norwegian skier sailed down the slopes and waited for his time to come up. The camera focused on his face. I noted that he looked a lot like Grandpapa So-and-so. The name flashed on the screen. This name was one of the more obscure Norwegian names, which happened to fit. I asked a relative about it. She said, I'll think on it. About ten years later, she wrote me a note, saying, yes, he was a cousin. The note was in a blank Hallmark card, with one line of say ten words. The signature said, "Mrs. F...."

In my family, that connection would be an excellent and compelling reason to head to the pub and buy a round of drinks honoring the bold relation who could ski so well....Ireland has yet to make its ski-ing mark on the world.

Posted by: College Parkian | March 23, 2007 9:09 AM | Report abuse

CP - isn't just about anything a compelling reason to go to the pub?

Posted by: dmd | March 23, 2007 9:14 AM | Report abuse

Either the pub or confession.

Posted by: College Parkian | March 23, 2007 9:16 AM | Report abuse

Isn't it pub Saturday night, confession Sunday?

The movie "Waking Ned Devine" was on here last night, love that movie.

Posted by: dmd | March 23, 2007 9:21 AM | Report abuse

In case it was missed at the end of the last boodle, mad props to College Parkian, frostbitten and Yoki for conspiring to fill Chez Error with tasty coconut confections. The Boodle Rocks.

>I haven't seen any mention of power from fusion.
LTL-CA, that's just as well, because it's still decades away and probably always will be. I worked on the TFTR tokamak at Princeton, so I'm sympathetic, but I just don't see it happening.

Maybe they need to put some cocunut in there.

Posted by: Error Flynn | March 23, 2007 9:23 AM | Report abuse

Mass on Sunday, pub on Saturday night; confession typically Saturday afternoon....All of life is somewhere in between sacred and profane...apply pub or confession as needed.

Are you Canandian? I get mixed up. Reading yesterday's paper, I see that Leslie Nielson is also Canukie. Will wonders never cease.

Posted by: College Parkian | March 23, 2007 9:24 AM | Report abuse

Perhaps a little lime too, Error?


Posted by: Scottynuke | March 23, 2007 9:26 AM | Report abuse

Not quite pie related, but almost. My son sent me this link with the message "best invention ever" ...

Posted by: TBG | March 23, 2007 9:28 AM | Report abuse


Would that pan fit lasagna noodles? That would be awesome.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 23, 2007 9:30 AM | Report abuse

TBG, that is awesome.

CP - yes Canadian (mostly Irish background and apparantly forgetful of my catholic background).

Leslie Neilson is indeed Canadian and the brother of a former Parliamentarian.

Posted by: dmd | March 23, 2007 9:35 AM | Report abuse

Yesterday I was at the nursery after the delivery truck arrived earlier in the morning--the situation being like the proverbial kid in a candy factory, and I was working in the yard planting until last light. Far too busy and tired to contribute to the Boodle yesterday.

I have yet to share my sweet story about Elizabeth Edwards and will postpone it as there are plants that I want to get into the ground early this morning while it is still cool, before the rains that are anticipated this weekend, and before the temperature jumps into the low 80s next week.

But there is a difficult question that I would like to ask about Elizabeth Edwards, one that has never left the back of my mind since John Edwards teamed up with John Kerry for the presidential race three years ago. When I did the math, I was more than surprised.

Elizabeth Edwards gave birth to her last two children at the age of 48 and 50. Yes, I am aware that their son Wade died in an automobile accident. But Elizabeth Edwards was carrying children when most women see a major decline in their fertility.

I have a friend in D.C. who remarried and who had no children in his first marriage. He and his second wife had arranged for a donor egg and she was carrying their first child, she at the age of 50. She was also was self-injecting daily with hormones to sustain the pregnancy.

I wonder if the story of my friend and his slightly older wife and their overwhelming desire for a child--and the lengths they would go to to achieve it--in any way parallels the Edwardses' own story?

This is, in part, my own story--but a an much earlier age and for a relatively brief period of time. Would the daily injection of hormones such as estrogen and progesterone have contributed in no small way to Elizabeth Edwards' breast cancer, if she indeed were taking them? There is also no mention is the BRACA1 or BRACA2 gene is involved in Elizabeth Edwards' diagnosis?

Of course, the news isn't good any time cancer metastizes to the bone. The Edwardses are putting on a brave face. Only they can make the decision about whether John should pursue his presidential bid.

But I think perhaps reality has not set in for the Edwardses, just as it has not truly set in that my husband has lost his job. My mother's brother's wife, Aunt Ginny--she a heavy smoker, had the same diagnosis as Elizabeth Edwards, and now Ginny's daughter, my cousin Shirley--she a heavy smoker, faces precisely the same battle as Elizabeth Edwards. It is an extremely difficult path; Elizabeth Edwards is in my thoughts.

Posted by: Loomis | March 23, 2007 9:38 AM | Report abuse

I haven't run all the numbers yet, but there is a possibility that The TBG Twisted Pan Design (TTBGTPD), when initialized with coconut and lime filling, might actually produce nuclear fusion.

Look, I didn't say it was a *big* probability.

Posted by: RD Padouk | March 23, 2007 9:39 AM | Report abuse

>Perhaps a little lime too, Error?

Yeah, nevermind that neutral beam, throw in a wedge of lime with the tritium.

These guys just have to learn how to think out of the box.

Posted by: Error Flynn | March 23, 2007 9:41 AM | Report abuse

The never-ending dramatic series that is The Los Angeles Times continues:

I thought Gene Robinson had a good column on the Edwardses; yes, they gotta keep going and not "cower in a corner."

Did anyone see this gossipy piece about Mrs. Guiliani?

Posted by: Achenbach | March 23, 2007 9:48 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, bc. Someone here in town did the 454 trick with a pre-67 Beetle. Our windows shake when it passes the house. It reminds me of those old Ed Roth stickers.

Posted by: jack | March 23, 2007 9:48 AM | Report abuse

TBG, great invention! Now if they just had a similar one for mac and cheese...

Posted by: Raysmom | March 23, 2007 9:55 AM | Report abuse

My first thought on seeing the pan was, wow, I could ruin the whole thing, and not just 4 outside edges. I'm fairly certain Kerric will back me up on this.

Last night the girlfriend of broken leg boy was cooking. There was a strange beeping coming from the oven. I asked her why the stove was making that noise. She said she used the timer. My reply? "It has a timer?"

Posted by: dr | March 23, 2007 9:55 AM | Report abuse

Loomis, I think your question about Elizabeth Edwards falls squarely in the realm of "none of our beeswax".

Posted by: jw | March 23, 2007 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Since someone mentioned baking, I made the english muffin recipe in the WaPost food blog last night and they were super easy and much better than store-bought. I had two with orange marmalade fir dinner (not that healthy, I know).

Posted by: jw | March 23, 2007 10:00 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: omni | March 23, 2007 10:00 AM | Report abuse

Great. Just great. One step closer to bringing to reality the horrifying nightmare that is "Pink and The Brain."

Posted by: RD Padouk | March 23, 2007 10:01 AM | Report abuse

I think that any possible connection between hormones and breast cancer is important, but I feel, with extreme ferocity, that the proper way to do this is from anonymous and statistically significant aggregate data - not anecdote.

Posted by: RD Padouk | March 23, 2007 10:06 AM | Report abuse

jw, you must be quite a cook to call that recipe "easy." To me it sounds like the procedure to get a poinsettia to re-bloom. Glad the end result was enjoyable for you, though.

Posted by: Raysmom | March 23, 2007 10:06 AM | Report abuse

SCC That should be "Pinky and the Brain."

Boy, am I in for it when the revolution comes.

Posted by: RD Padouk | March 23, 2007 10:07 AM | Report abuse

Omni, that is the other name for spring peepers! 1000 points for you.

Posted by: College Parkian | March 23, 2007 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Not that I've ever been there, Martha's Vineyard.

Posted by: omni | March 23, 2007 10:11 AM | Report abuse

Every now and then, the ScienceSpouse and I will begin singing the Pinky and the Brain theme song.

Posted by: ScienceTim | March 23, 2007 10:11 AM | Report abuse

Raysmom, anything involving dough is usually pretty foolproof. The only really tricky part is getting the right consitancy so I alway undershoot the flour by about half a cup and add more as neccessary. But besides that dough is really easy to make. I make my own pizza dough and the worst part is twiddling your thumbs waiting for it to rise.

Posted by: jw | March 23, 2007 10:13 AM | Report abuse

jw, I admire your skills and your patience. But then, I did learn to cook from my mom. As I told CP, she's not a great cook, but something of a pie savant.

Posted by: Raysmom | March 23, 2007 10:19 AM | Report abuse

SciTim - As do people of high culture everywhere.

Posted by: RD Padouk | March 23, 2007 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Joel, didn't you think the whole LA Times Grazergate thing was a vast over-reaction? I did. I think they've begun to carry naval-gazing a little too far.

Yes, Robinson's colum was good--and so is David Ignatius's column, at

I wish the "Opinion" box on the WaPo home page god rid of that &^%$# On Faith tab, Post Global, and Live Debate crap, and went back to listing the three or four Opinion columns it wishes to highlight. The Live Debate isn't in fact "Live" right now--it happens at 2. So it's just an ordinary promo that ought to go down with the chat promo stuff. I've never gotten the "Post Global" thing, and as for the "On Faith" tab--I've NEVER had any use for that, and consider it the worst sort of pandering, the Post trying to play a kind of catch-up by pretending it is suddenly on-board with a certain segment of religiously oriented readers. I don't object to the Post covering religion, by any means; but religious articles ought to be judged on the same basis as any other kind of news story: new angle or topic, general newsworthiness, specific applicability to some aspect of current events, or whatever. But to just listen/read about a bunch of people babbling about their own notions of religion (and I don't care which one it is: Protestant, Catholic, Muslim, Jewish, Shinto, ba'hai, Hindu, whatEVERRRRR)--that isn't news, it isn't feature-worthy, and it isn't interesting. It's what I originally said it was: faux-goody-two-shoes pandering.

Interesting that the Iranians have seized 15 British Royal Marines apparently in Iraqi waters after they board a merchant ship suspected of smuggling. The marines were attached to the frigate Cornwall--everyone's lucky the Cornwall didn't start to open fire on the Iranians. Iran will probably give the limeys back--but if they don't there's gonna be big trouble. I hope it doesn't turn into some damnfool casus belli. The story didn't give technical details, but I have a hunch the skipper of the Cornwall didn't do a very good job of giving his men adequate cover and support--should never have let a couple of unknown speed boats surround his men like that and whisk them off.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | March 23, 2007 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Mudge, I liked Ignatius's column a whole lot too. But then, I'm probably a little biased.

Posted by: RD Padouk | March 23, 2007 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Talk around the scuttlebutt today is that this is an old trick for the Iranians (and no, I don't mean the US Embassy). Can't exactly say when it's been done before, but apparently they pull this kind of nonsense whenever they feel like they're not being treated like they should, politically.

Posted by: jw | March 23, 2007 10:26 AM | Report abuse

Padouk, regarding bias, you need to learn how to achieve Olympian Detachment, like I have. (But loved the "extreme ferocity" of your 10:06)

You may all resume your pedestrian lives now.

--The Mighty Favog

Posted by: Mighty Favog | March 23, 2007 10:28 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: Boko999 | March 23, 2007 10:30 AM | Report abuse

More proof that Charles Krauthammer does not live on the same world, read the same newspapers, or subscribe to the same moral and ethical codes as practically anybody: "Alberto Gonzales ... [is] a decent and honorable man..."

Granted, this is in a column where the "..." covers some words in which Krauthammer says that Gonzales must step down, and I actually have not yet read past the first 2/3 of the first sentence (I'm getting there, I'm getting there; keep your shirt on). Still, it's incredible to me that a person who claims to highly value the rule of law and the value of the Constitution -- not to mention, a man who has sworn to uphold the Hippocratic Oath -- could call "honorable" a man who claims that physical and mental torment are legitimate tools to use in the pursuit of justice.

Posted by: Tim | March 23, 2007 10:32 AM | Report abuse

bc and I have a long running debate over who is Pinky and who is The Brain in the White House.

bc's take:

my response:

My special State Department version:

btw, it seems the two link barrier has been broken.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 23, 2007 10:33 AM | Report abuse

jw, really applaud your entirely correct usage of "around the scuttlebutt," noting that "scuttlebutt" refers to an object around which one gathers, as well as the derivative meaning of the gossip that occurs around same. Excellent.

Yes, I know the Iranians do this on occasion--they grabbed a couple of Brit sailors a few years ago. But after the Cole incident, I would think every warship would be on VERY high alert, and to have a couple of high-speed "unsub" [watching too much "Criminal Minds"] patrol craft zipping around your location is sooner or later going to result in somebody getting trigger-happy and blowing away one of those little buggers. Glad the skipper kept his nerve, and I don't know what his rules of engagement are. But whenever something like this happens I go into tight-sphincter mode thinking just how tetchy these things can get. Of course, I've been in mental "Gulf of Tonkin mode" for a couple decades, now, so maybe that's why.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | March 23, 2007 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Okay, I read the rest of Krauthammer's column. He trots out the firing of all 93 US attorneys by Janet Reno in 1993, giving the poor dears only 10 days to clear their offices, conveniently ignoring that this is a ritual enacted by every Adminsitration in its first months. Bush fired all 93 and appointed new ones in 2001 (so I'm told), Bush 1 did the same thing at the start of his administration -- well, maybe not, since he inherited them from Ronald Reagan.

Chuckie K also notes that the position is inherently political -- one has to make political choices about which categories of crime to pursue most vigorously. I'm with ya, Chuck. Do we most vigorously go after white-collar crime or street prostitution? Somebody has to choose. However, under Bush, those US attorneys were retained who already knew the identity of the defendant before determining whether there was a crime to investigate: the political affiliation of the target determined whether any crime would be probed, rather than evidence of a crime leading to a particular defendant. The fired attorneys followed evidence (what were they thinking?) to whomever it pointed, even including Republicans. In other words, they helped the President to fulfill his oath to faithfully uphold the laws and the Constitution. What a "quaint" notion, to use Torqueberto's own word.

Posted by: Tim | March 23, 2007 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Speaking of the Constitution, Tim, did you read the anonymous letter about the FBI searches and the gag order? Wow.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | March 23, 2007 10:51 AM | Report abuse

>SciTim - As do people of high culture everywhere.

So it's possible I'm not the only one with a 12" high statue of The Brain prominently displayed in my living room?

Posted by: Error Flynn | March 23, 2007 10:55 AM | Report abuse

*** indeed.

Sorry about the redaction.


Posted by: Scottynuke | March 23, 2007 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Actually, I suspect that Sen. Boxer may be a closet "Pinky and the Brain" fan. I swear I saw her lean over to Sen. Inhofe and whisper, "Be quiet, or I shall have to hurt you."

Posted by: RD Padouk | March 23, 2007 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Sorry to go off-topic here, but does anyone know if WaPo has a page listing html commands that allow punctuation (hard returns, quotation marks, apostrophes, colons, and semi-colons)? I am sick and tired of appearing like an ignoramus when posting responses to the news articles.....

Posted by: nat | March 23, 2007 11:07 AM | Report abuse

As a loyal ACLU member, for some time I have been vaguely aware of the story about the National Security Letter gag orders.

I should say "formerly loyal." I'm actually letting my ACLU membership lapse this year. Reasons:

(1) We're buying a new house, and we need to keep our own money. It's all I can do to restrain myself from giving away large amounts of money to my various bleeding-heart causes. According to TurboTax last year (I haven't checked for this year), we have 2-3 times the charitable donations of the average within our income range. What can I say, I'm more moral than the rest of you highly-paid losers.


(2) I am seriously getting the willies about ACLU's current executive director and the way that he represents the organization. I dislike the fact that he routinely poses an adversarial relationship between the ACLU and specific identified persons of the Bush administration. I don't disagree with the claims as a factual matter, I disagree with the style. It paints the ACLU as exactly what its critics claim: a leftie poltiical organization with a party bias. The ACLU needs to stay above that fray, by using rhetoric that makes clear that its brief is the protection of civil liberties of ALL Americans against encroachments by the state, regardless of whomever happens to be occupying the official desk at the time, regardless of which policies they want to promote. Lefties should be able to heckle their President at his rallies, where he can respond to their intemperate speech (if he can). Klanners should be able to wear their repugnant uniform in public, where they can be mocked. Jehovah's Witnesses should have the right to refuse to swear a political loyalty oath (the Pledge of Allegiance) as an oath before God (ACLU's founding case -- Mudge can tell us all about it, I'm sure). Atheists should be able to send their children to school without having to explain why they're going to burn in hell for not loving Jesus. And so on.

Posted by: Tim | March 23, 2007 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Tim, I'll have you know that I donate quite a significant portion of my salary for the betterment of disadvantaged children. It isn't my fault that I happen to be related to them.

Posted by: RD Padouk | March 23, 2007 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Tim, I agree...the ACLU needs to be more libertarian, less liberal. They lose credibility and power when they become a lefty/pinko/bleeding heart organization, or whatever the conservatives always portray them as.

They should take up the DC gun control fight just to restore balance to the force...heh heh.

Posted by: jw | March 23, 2007 11:18 AM | Report abuse

...and I strongly support the efforts of agricultural farm workers in the Sonoma and Napa valleys and the fine agricultural products and byproducts they produce and bottle, just as I support their international brothers and sisters in certain valleys and regions of Italy, lower Germany, and parts of Australia. As well as Virginia, upper New York State, and whatever part of Washington State Chateau Ste. Michell is in.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | March 23, 2007 11:27 AM | Report abuse

nat, I left a message for Hal asking for guidance on punctuation. Will report back.

Posted by: Achenbach | March 23, 2007 11:32 AM | Report abuse

People wonder why there is a slow creep of people away from the Republican party. Well, sort of fun to remember Sen. Moynihan's old line:

"Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts."

As you may have heard, Jon Stewart had our true American statesman John Bolton on, then was so astounded that, the next night, he did a re-check on facts with Doris Kearns Goodwin.

As we all know, Stewart is just a comedian. He is not very smart... nor does he remember anything of any import.

Here he sets the table and then calls Doris Kearns Goodwin on her misrepresentation of the facts.

I found it sort of humorous.

Posted by: Dolphin Michael | March 23, 2007 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Blogger Garance Franke-Ruta on the LATimes flap:

"All I can say is that if that standard of disinterestedness with regard to writers and editors were applied here in Washington...every single opinion magazine in town would immediately have to spike itself."

Posted by: Achenbach | March 23, 2007 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Tim: //What can I say, I'm more moral than the rest of you highly-paid losers.//

No offense taken, Tim!

Posted by: dbG | March 23, 2007 11:34 AM | Report abuse

jw writes:
Loomis, I think your question about Elizabeth Edwards falls squarely in the realm of "none of our beeswax".

It does and it doesn't. On a personal level, it doesn't. Alas, presidential candidates live lives under a microscope in more ways than one. I agree to a point, but disagree more strongly.

On a medical level, the Edwards issue or question is very important newswise--as medicine gallops furiously forward to the point that the industry can and does implement modern technologies and new-found knowledge against our imperfections, decrepitude and weaknesses. These include invasive procedures, replacement parts, new drugs, proteomics, etc., that enables us to extend lives, extend and enhance fertility, enhance or restore body parts such as skin, restore some body functions such as sight and hearing, curtail others functions such as gastric bypass.

Elizabeth Edwards' scenario that I postulated, IF it's correct, has everything to do with risk-benefit. Certain women may delay childbearing or may choose another round of it in their 40s or late 40s, but at what cost to the woman--and also quite possibly the child? If you think that these issues are not important, especially to women, and especially as larger and larger numbers of women are choosing early careers and postponing childbearing, then I am left scratching my head.

Posted by: Loomis | March 23, 2007 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Lots of comments to be found here on the NIH funding:

Posted by: Achenbach | March 23, 2007 11:44 AM | Report abuse

I came across an interesting analysis of US attorneys. Apart from beginning of term housecleanings only 5 of appoximately 500 have been fired for cause over the years. I wish I had posted when I found it but my natural reticence dah de dah dah dah...

Posted by: Boko999 | March 23, 2007 11:44 AM | Report abuse

I object to this "conflict of interest" because it implicitly assumes that all journalism is propaganda. That a reporter might attempt to honestly report the facts as he sees them, even if such reporting goes against his personal biases, seems beyond the ken of some. This is a very cynical way of viewing journalism best left to people like Hugh Hewitt.

Posted by: RD Padouk | March 23, 2007 11:48 AM | Report abuse

SCC : I meant, of course, that I object to this *accusation* of conflict of interest.

Posted by: RD Padouk | March 23, 2007 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Mudge... I'm sure you didn't mean to, but it appears you left out Ohio in your listing of wine-making regions:

Our wines have a distinct flavor made possible by the unique combination of heavy metals and other steel industry byproducts that season our waterways and sometimes make them flammable (especially in Cleveland).

Speaking of our rivers, you haven't had trout until you've had one of our two-headed six-eyed glow-in-the-dark rainbow trout from the Mahoning River. They're superb when accompanied by a glass or five of Youngstown Paisano.

Posted by: martooni | March 23, 2007 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Chateau Ste. Michelle winery is just north of Seattle. It is beautiful and well worth a visit. I once spent a delightful afternoon there sipping samples by the fish pond with a redhead in a purple dress. But that was half a lifetime ago.

Posted by: RD Padouk | March 23, 2007 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Not to mention the fine Canuck wines of BC and Ontario!

Posted by: dmd | March 23, 2007 11:55 AM | Report abuse

After re-reading what I just posted I just want to make it clear that the redhead was the one in a purple dress.

Just wanted to clear that up.

Posted by: RD Padouk | March 23, 2007 11:56 AM | Report abuse

But RD, you'd look so nice in purple!

Posted by: Raysmom | March 23, 2007 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: omni | March 23, 2007 11:58 AM | Report abuse

RD... does that mean you were the one wearing the hot pink short shorts and silver go-go boots?

Posted by: martooni | March 23, 2007 11:59 AM | Report abuse

I predict rain for DC in 2.5-3 hours. Just about the time I'll be headed for home, demmit.

Posted by: omni | March 23, 2007 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Just about every state has a winery of some sort or another. I've been to wineries in Grand Junction, CO (good!) and Lakeland, FL (not so much so), for example. Fun stuff. The key, I believe, is to keep your expectations low and be ready to just enjoy the scenery.

Posted by: Raysmom | March 23, 2007 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Yeesh... Some animals have no respect for people!!! :-O

Posted by: Scottynuke | March 23, 2007 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Raysmom's Winery Strategy.

Posted by: Dolphin Michael | March 23, 2007 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Linda, Elizabeth Edwards had assistance in conceiving her younger children. That's not a secret. As to her current diagnosis, I thought this article in Slate was illuminating:

Posted by: Slyness | March 23, 2007 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Me in hot pink shorts? That's preposterous. Absolutely crazy.

I'm a winter.

Posted by: RD Padouk | March 23, 2007 12:57 PM | Report abuse


Is this thing on?

Check. Check. One, two, three.



Please open the hatch, Hal.

Posted by: martooni | March 23, 2007 12:58 PM | Report abuse

omni - you are an evil person. But in, you know, a real real good way...

Posted by: RD Padouk | March 23, 2007 12:59 PM | Report abuse

I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that.

Posted by: HAL 9000 | March 23, 2007 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Yep, that's me, a regular oxymoron.

Posted by: omni | March 23, 2007 1:10 PM | Report abuse

SonofCarl or any other of you persons of a legal persuasion: I need an emergency decision: is it correct to say a prosecutor can "plead" a case down to a lesser charge when deciding what charges to appply to a case? (I'm question the verb "plead"; I thought it was the defendent who got to plead, not the prosecutor. I would have used the verb "reduce" or "drop" or "lower" or some such.

martooni, don't think I've ever drunk an Ohio wine (never been that desparate). And no offense to you Canucks, but don't recollect ever having drunk a Canuck vintage, though I certainly have no moral objection. I mean, if Aussie swill is drinkable (and a lot of it certainly is), there's no reason yours wouldn't be. The Youngstown Paisano I'm not too sure about. (martooni, is that Youngstown grape grown on the north side of the rusted steel mill and gently washed by melting Lake effect icebergs, or downwind on the southern slope near the refinery, and watered by the run-off? Just asking for my own education.)

Posted by: Curmudgeon | March 23, 2007 1:12 PM | Report abuse

RD "I'm a winter." See? I knew you'd look good in purple.

Posted by: Raysmom | March 23, 2007 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Programming note:

If any boodlers or lurkers pick up the Baltimore stations, my son is on "It's Academic" on WJZ channel 13 at 10 am tomorrow. I've posted a YouTube sneak preview.

This is the Baltimore edition of the franchise, not the DC one. The Baltimore winner eventually battles the DC one.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 23, 2007 1:16 PM | Report abuse

Mudge until the last twenty years, Ontario wine was pretty much cheap swill, they changed the grapes to Pinot Noirs, Chardonnays etc and now there are some very fine wines - many award winners - they are however expensive.

An example,

I don't know much about the BC wines but I have heard they are good.

Posted by: dmd | March 23, 2007 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Jumping in w/o looking to see if this has been mentined, but there was a time when Bully Hill vineyards, near Bath NY was quite the place to go. Walter Taylor (the black sheep of the Taylor wine family) was looney and would come out to vent to the crowd in the midst of a tour. Nowadays, I understand that it's not unheard of for law enforcement to have license checks on the roads near vineyards. Just to check if one's papers are in order, I'm sure. Kind of takes the fun out of a day at the vineyards.

Posted by: jack | March 23, 2007 1:19 PM | Report abuse

I thought I was the colorful one...

*adopting a certain Rodin pose*


Posted by: Scottynuke | March 23, 2007 1:19 PM | Report abuse

I will vouch for the drinkability of Canucki wines. I bought several bottles while touring the Niagra on the Lake area. I nearly got into some customs trouble because I had some Finger Lakes wine in the car too and I kept crossing and recrossing the border without letting the wines wait three days on each side of the border. I still can't figure out what or whose rules I was breaking, but I was terrified the wine was going to get confiscated.

Not surprisingly, the NotL area specializes in ice-wine (not ice-nine) which is very sweet and very expensive.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 23, 2007 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, I can also vouch for the Canucki wines (both the BC and Ontario varieties). Especially Rieslings and Chardonnays from a place called Thirty Bench.

Posted by: Raysmom | March 23, 2007 1:22 PM | Report abuse

jack, Bully Hill is indeed a fun visit, and their labels are great. As to their wine...I enjoy the scenery.

Posted by: Raysmom | March 23, 2007 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Just heard on the radio that Tony Snow will be spending time with his family. Some sort of stomach problem.

Posted by: bh | March 23, 2007 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Joel just got a mention on Lisa de Moraes' chat:

Post TV columnist Lisa de Moraes will be online Friday, March 23, at 1 p.m. ET to break down the latest "reality" TV twists, explain the TV Academy's new "no Ellen Burstyns allowed" rule, and maybe even address the fatwa The Post's Joel Achenbach has issued: Bring Me the Head of Sanjaya Malakar.


Posted by: Raysmom | March 23, 2007 1:31 PM | Report abuse

For those of you who enjoy cooking and wine, the Niagara region, and I would think other wine regions have started cooking schools. I am thinking of sending my husband and his friend on one for fathers day. They both love wine and cooking so it is a perfect fit, and I might add they are already pretty good cooks who have expressed a big interest in doing something like this.

Posted by: dmd | March 23, 2007 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Thirty Bench Winery is a small vineyard and winery in Beamsville, Ontario, Canada. This Niagara region producer specialtizes in Cabernets, Merlots, Rieslings, Gewuztraminers, and icewines.

The vintage 1998 Benchmark Blend won second place in a field of 16 wines at the St. Catharines Wine Tasting of 2005.

Posted by: omni | March 23, 2007 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, not being a criminal lawyer or a criminal/lawyer, I stand to be corrected, but the usage of "plead" is on the part of the accused, as in "plead guilty to a lesser charge". The process is "plea bargaining"

In the context you referenced, I think it would properly be "the prosecutor accepted a plea to a lesser charge" or the "the accused offered to plead guilty to a lesser charge".

On BC wine, I will vouch for it. Here's one good one:

Posted by: SonofCarl | March 23, 2007 1:37 PM | Report abuse

And here's a new word for the Boodle: Garagista - One who makes wine in a garage (or basement, or home, etc.) An amateur wine maker.

Posted by: omni | March 23, 2007 1:38 PM | Report abuse

omni, that's the one! Spent the better part of a cold, rainy afternoon there.

dmd, that class sounds great!

Posted by: Raysmom | March 23, 2007 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Dear Canuckistanis: Thanks for the recommendations. A whole nother country's wines to try!! O joy! You've restored (OK, just boosted) my will to live.

Thanks, SoC: that's kinda what I thought.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | March 23, 2007 1:44 PM | Report abuse

It is a great area Raysmom but as nice as it is it is nothing compared to the beauty of BC's wine region.

SoC that place looks amazing, I will look for their wines and try it.

Posted by: dmd | March 23, 2007 1:46 PM | Report abuse

No praises for the fine wines of North Dakota? I have 2 fine bottles of Pointe of View's rhubarb wine waiting for just the right occasion.
Visit the web site of ND's first winery.

And no smarty pants, it isn't the only. Here's the second ND winery

Posted by: frostbitten | March 23, 2007 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Well frostbitten I am thinking you can't go wrong with a winery that has a penny sale!

Posted by: dmd | March 23, 2007 1:49 PM | Report abuse

dmd, I've been to BC but didn't get to wine country. (I'm so ashamed...) You've convinced me I must go back.

Posted by: Raysmom | March 23, 2007 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Mudge... the grapes used in Youngstown Paisano are not technically grapes. They are more in the family of "fruits" called "rustius bulbous guanomus" (rusty balls of poop) which only grow in the many brownfields designated as "Superfund" sites in this region.

When fermented and mixed with kerosene, then aged in 55 gallon steel drums for at least 12 hours, these "poopies" (as us locals call them) make a highly intoxicating and sometimes fatal beverage that tastes like something you would normally wish you hadn't stepped in.

The Italian community here (of which I am 25% related to on my mother's side, so I had to leave town to date anyone who wasn't my cousin) are particularly fond of this drink and many of them make their own.

They will often insist that guests to their homes try a glass of the stuff (an offer that "can't be refused", so to speak). The local fire departments know that Italian basements are particularly hazardous and the poison control center has antidotes readily available.

In other words, Youngstown Paisano is an "acquired" taste not intended for those with weak hearts, taste buds, stomaches, or anyone with liver problems or does not want to become pregnant.

Posted by: martooni | March 23, 2007 2:01 PM | Report abuse

There is a BC Ehrenfelser wine that I cannot get out of my mind. Cedar Creek Ehrenfelser, I believe, but well worth it.

Next time we head to the coast, we are going to take home much more wine.

Posted by: dr | March 23, 2007 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the link. I Googled and saw much of the topic of Elizabeth Edwards and her fertility treatments, specifically hormone therapy--but, as sorted by Google, only in very recent blog posts and a mention in a NYT article last Friday. Perhaps I wasn't paying attention to previous, earlier coverage?

I've been thinking about this subject (and related topics) I broached earlier while working in the yard.

First, the two children conceived so late in life by the Edwardses really raises the issue or question of being desperate to have a son, a namesake. There is a very hard-to-get two-volume set of female Loomis descendants without biographical information whatsoever--the women are seen through history merely as breeders--with perhaps a handful of exceptions. Primogeniture and desire for a male offspring have been around for hundreds of years, no revelations there--sadly, in a modern way.

Second, IF the Edwardses used donor eggs, why not be forthcoming about it? My D.C. friend, the male, certainly was, because in the same breath he mentioned the tremendous dollars associated with this effort, costing him and his new, slightly older second wife a good chunk of their combined live savings.

There are two related topics here. We know that John Kerry and John Edwards in their presidential bid came out in favor of embryonic stem cell research. IF the Edwardses are using new fertility technology of donated ovums, why not say so? Would tht be a difficult thing for voters to hear in certain parts of the country?

Then there is the cost issue. Edwards plays up big the theme (Joel promises to blog more on Hillary's themes) of Two Americas. There are many infertile couples who would like to try to start a family with donor eggs or in vitro but find the cost of these procedures prohibitive. Articles have been written about this. I would have liked to have given in vitro a whirl if possible, but we knew better than to raise the subject because of finances. There wasn't much talk back when we were trying of using donor eggs.

And the question still remains of whether Elizabeth jeopardized her own health by having the hormone treatments. I met Elizabeth Edwards, and having chatted with her, I hold her in high esteem. She made an extremely positive first impression on me. But the question and its answer are important for women who may be considering late-in-years pregnancies.

Posted by: Loomis | March 23, 2007 2:37 PM | Report abuse

I simply will not make an "Alien" reference with regards to Tony Snow.

You can't make me.

I will, however, admit to humming the Michigan J. Frog tune one hears at a certain point in "Spaceballs."


Posted by: Scottynuke | March 23, 2007 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Loomis, I don't think the Edwards need to say whether they used donor eggs or not, it just isn't the publics right to know.

As for the hormones, I used them as well, did I risk my health? Cancer is a crap shoot, there are things we can do to avoid undue risk, but even if we do all of them if doesn't guarantee you won't get cancer.

Posted by: dmd | March 23, 2007 2:46 PM | Report abuse

HAL 9000--

You wouldn't by any chance be able to give me the HTML codes for punctuation that are recognized by WaPo? (If you do, then I promise not to take anymore memory chips out of your motherboard.....)


Posted by: nat | March 23, 2007 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Linda, since you seem to be an expert in how people cause their cancer why don't you enlighten us as to how you caused your own miscarriages?

While we're at it, as a committed feminist I'd think your husband's job loss would be a perfect opportunity to use your advanced education, plethora of family and professional connections and well-known interpersonal skills to become the breadwinner in the family.

Then you can pick the city you live in and won't have to put up with substandard indigenous population of wherever they send your spouse.

Posted by: Error Flynn | March 23, 2007 2:48 PM | Report abuse

dmd | The is an excellent biker bar in Beamsville. Not a lot wine drunk there but some nice domesticated beers are available.
If you like nurseries Beamsville is seventh heaven.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 23, 2007 3:03 PM | Report abuse

martooni, I was most enlightend (to say nothing of highly edified) by your 2:01 on the joys and heartbreak of Youngstown Paisano, though unfortunately certain questions remain.

1) Would it be correct to ask if a wine that requires use of a respirator has an "interesting nose"? Or is "nose" even the proper term? I'm thinking here of either "snozzola" (as in "Kee-rist, but this stuff has an amusing schnozzola") or would "gag" or "gag reflex" be more useful?

2) Does one order this fine vintage from the sommelier, or from the HAZMAT department down at the firehall? Can it be

3) Does it have a "long finish," or do you go into seizure pretty much right away?

4) Does it contain any notes of, say, pear, cinnamon, cherry or chocolate? Or notes of, say, dioxin, 7-benzohezamethyl-3-dichloro-9-iambicpentameteroleum, mercaptans [see previous kit] and/or skunk cabbage?

5) During that impressive 12-hour aging cycle you mentioned, are the steel drums gently laid on their sides and turned every four hours, or are they shaken but not stirred like a James Bond martini or a can of Sherman Williams? [Is the steel 401 or 402 stainless, or simply the inexpensive kind imported from East German breakers' shipyards in the Danzig corridor?)

6) How long do you let it breathe? And is it OK to have an open flame nearby? In the event of "an incident," will it extinguish with a CO2 fire extinguisher, or do you need some special airport runway foaming agent to put it out?

7) Does it come in actual bottles with corks, or just the cardboard boxes and pop-top cans? If so, upon drawing it out, do you inspect the cork, and if so what does one look for? Shipworm? Toredos? Dutch elm disease? Termites?

8) Is it served best at room temperature, mildly chilled, in a frosted root-beer mug, or in a cryogenic containment vessel such as the one housing Ted Williams' head?

9) What does it pair with? Peanut brittle? Medallions of ferrets? Roasted lagomorph? North Florida roadkill? Ham-and-cheese HotPockets®?

10) Should it be served in a tall, fluted crystal glass? A tall, fluted Mason jar? Is it styrofoam-safe?

11) When you hold it up to the light, what color should it be? Ultraviolet? Day-glo blush? International Distress Burgundy? Is it reasonably transparent, cloudy, murky, sedimentary? How long will it take before it hardens and you can paint over it? Wash up with soap and water, or do you need turpentine or mineral spirits?

12) Do you eat the worm in the bottom of the bottle? (Uh,...that IS a worm, isn't it?)

Posted by: Curmudgeon | March 23, 2007 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Linda, I disagree with you regarding Elizabeth Edwards.

I think she's entitled to her privacy in this matter. Her health is not an issue that affects the governance or security of this country.

She has the right to publicly disclose or not disclose information or matters regarding her body and her health as she sees fit, and I don't think it's fair to her or her family to speculate openly about details if she chooses not to share them.

My $.02.

yellokjt, I'm going to have to check IA out tomorrow on channel 13.



Posted by: bc | March 23, 2007 3:06 PM | Report abuse

SCC: #2 above should conclude: Can it be transported across bridges and through tunnels without a police escort?

Posted by: Curmudgeon | March 23, 2007 3:07 PM | Report abuse

I think that any possible connection between hormones and breast cancer is important, but I feel, with extreme ferocity, that the proper way to do this is from anonymous and statistically significant aggregate data - not anecdote.

Posted by: RD Padouk | March 23, 2007 10:06 AM

I violently agree with RD. Knowing the whether Elizabeth Edwards got hormone shots provides only anecdotal evidence, not proof of causation (or even a correlation, since I believe we're talking about 1 or 2 data points). And whether the Edwards' used in vitro, donated eggs, or a turkey baster is TMI for me.

Posted by: Raysmom | March 23, 2007 3:08 PM | Report abuse

// East German breakers' shipyards in the Danzig corridor?//
'Mudge. This is just the kind of thing what causes unrest.

Posted by: Oscar999 | March 23, 2007 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Raysmom I am with you, if they used a turkey baster I do not want any details.

Posted by: dmd | March 23, 2007 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Basting a turkey turns out to be shown to be a pretty useless technique. Much better to brine the turket overnight. How brining effects in vitro fertilization I don't know.

My wife and I solved our fertility problem by importing the results from three foreign impregnated ovums (OK, ova, I suppose) after they'd hatched. They were delivered to BWI airport already molted.

But seriously, I have enough respect and sympathy for infertile couples (having taught several hundred of them how to adopt) to leave the matter between the husband and wife. Ain't my role to second-guess anybody on something like that, even if I happen to think adoption is a "better" route to go.

The money issue is TOTALLY nobody's business, and anyway irrelevant.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | March 23, 2007 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Ah, here's something interesting.

An apology for 51 seconds of inaccuracy.


Posted by: bc | March 23, 2007 3:31 PM | Report abuse

SCC: affects. Jeez, it's hard to believe I make a nice living correcting this stuff.

Posted by: Curmduegon | March 23, 2007 3:31 PM | Report abuse

During the panic over Cox-2 inhibitor anti-inflammatory medications, my internist, a very bright individual who was fascinated by pharmaceutical stuff, strongly defended Bextra, which now seems to be turning out to be relatively innocuous compared to other Cox-2 and NSAID drugs. The bad news is that the whole bunch of them now seem to be rather bad for you, which is bad news for those who get through the day with a big bottle of ibuprofen in a desk drawer.

What I noticed during the Cox-2 episode was that clinicians--doctors and such who actually deal with patients--seemed more than a bit leery of the statisticians.

The statisticians have their own viewpoints. I'd guess that the short version could be "large sample size (almost) always triumphs."

Anyway, for a good taste of the statistical viewpoint, check out Bandolier, an oddly-named shoestring newsletter run out of Oxford University:

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | March 23, 2007 3:37 PM | Report abuse

On a side note, Mudge, sir, you have been in excellent form this week.

I will salute you with a big glass of Prestone antifreeze later this evening.


Posted by: bc | March 23, 2007 3:37 PM | Report abuse

Joel thanks for linking the NIH comments. I have been mentioning this amazing disaster in our country's scientific behavior for a while.

Just like Mudge's link to the FBI probes, we also have seen Billions pulled from real science. If you know anyone trying to get a project funded by NIH, they have probably told you that research almost has to be earth saking ot get funded... and even then. We need to really break through the White House's noise machine and focus concern about how our government has both abandoned our civil rights protections AND stopped many programs that improve our health and education programs. Indeed, I think that, once deep auditing is done on agencies like NIH, we will find that serious amounts of money have been sneaking out the back door to support the war effort.

Here is something I mentioned here before, if you see who is getting funded at NIH, you will see that it would be tilted towards the existing contracts against the new projects and the younger researchers. What we have seen is that many of the fresh new faces are reluctantly leaving the research fields causing long lasting harm to our research progress here in the USA.

What's more, many researchers are leaving hte USA to go overseas. Of course, they are chasing both the money and, in some cases, the freedom to study areas that are "frowned upon" by this administration. Needless to say, these are critical business research areas. (such as stem cell)

Posted by: Dolphin Michael | March 23, 2007 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Why, thank you, bc.

Will that be the -34-degree Prestone, or the -84-degree? Pre-diluted? The Dex-Cool®?
Or the Dex-Cool® Pre-diluted?

Posted by: Curmudgeon | March 23, 2007 3:48 PM | Report abuse

I think Linda has a point.

She did not blame Elizabeth Edwards for causing her own cancer, but she did ask whether the hormone therapy required to have the Edwards' later children may be related to her current illness. Probably not, but there is a lot about the long-term consequences of medication, particularly for women, particularly associated with pregnancy, that simply is not known. Hormone-replacement therapy has been shown to have long-term costs, in some cases. Because it's probabilistic, you can hardly point to some action or choice and say "That there, that's the cause." I doubt that there is any significance to asking about the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes. The significance of these genes is mainly that they can be tested for. I believe that they are associated with only a relatively modest fraction of breast cancer incidences.

It is fair to ask whether the extraordinary efforts that many persons apply to having their own genetic offspring constitute a social ill. After all, there are a lot of parentless children out there who could benefit from adoption. Do your children absolutely have to look like you? Is it all just about replicating yourself? (Not, one might notice, that we have adopted any ourselves. But I have mentioned it to the ScienceSpouse, on occasion. And I am fond of my nieces (by adoption)). This is a discussion that has been in progress for a while. Elizabeth Edwards' story is another element in the debate.

I think it is fair to ask whether there is a personal cost in those efforts that is disproportionately borne by the woman. Elizabeth Edwards, individually, has no responsibility to answer these questions, but they are questions that society in general should ask and seek to have answered. With answers, happy or unhappy, Elizabeth Edwards could rise to become the leader of a new social consensus.

There is a whiff of hypocrisy about the Edwards' financial access to procedures like in vitro fertilization that are unaffordable to persons of ordinary means. However, I think that whiff is incorrect. Do we expect that they will drive a crummy car with no airbags, because that's all that many Americans can afford? No, we expect that they will spend a little of their wealth and buy something good (but socially conscious -- hybrid, anyone?). So, it should be no surprise that they use some of their wealth to gain access to opportunities that are barred from ordinary people. The hypocrisy here is on the part of the viewier -- me, in this instance -- imagining that the Edwards' should deny themselves a "luxury" that we would grant to ourselves under similar circumstances, if we could afford it.

Posted by: ScienceTim | March 23, 2007 3:48 PM | Report abuse

In light of discussions that have occurred here, the experts agree with Boodlers:

Posted by: Slyness | March 23, 2007 3:54 PM | Report abuse

What the heck is going on here?

It would be very helpful and perfectly fine for Edwards to participate in a study on the suggested outcomes study, but I am uncomfortable with speculation.


Posted by: Dolphin Michael | March 23, 2007 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Dolphin Michael,
It's in the nature of things that support goes to those who already get support.

I was reminded of how things have changed when a prominent botanist at Ohio State University retired a year or two ago. He'd hurried to get his undergrad degree, got a fast PhD from a hurry-up (and wildly successful) prof at the University of Texas), and landed a job as a tenure-track assistant professor at OSU at the tender age of 24. It would never happen today.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | March 23, 2007 3:59 PM | Report abuse

The gummint has issued new security standards for computers using Windows software.

My favorite line is "The White House has proposed spending roughly $64 billion in fiscal 2008 on federal information technology projects. The OMB estimates that the new security requirements have the potential to produce cost savings between $18 billion and $29 billion over the next 10 years."

IIRC, savings due to computer technology (be it government or private sector) never materialize. Of course, that could be self-serving IT folklore, too.

Posted by: Raysmom | March 23, 2007 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Mudge... since I am not Tony Snow, I will try to answer your questions truthfully and on the record (Hal, start up the transcriptionizer).

#1: "snozzola" would be "shnozzola" and NO, you should not sniff this stuff directly, but rather with the "wafting" technique that *Tim or some other Boodler recently mentioned.

#2: Hazmat is often served with this beverage, but is not always necessary (if you have more than 300 cousins).

#3: Seizures are normally limited to "stuff that fell off a truck" and "no, I don't gotta receipt for the stuff that fell off the truck", but are not uncommon.

#4: The only notes are in a minor key and played slowly, like a dirge.

#5: The aging process (in the 55 gallon drums) does not involve timed rotation or any other regular movement. Basically, the good stuff floats to the top and the dead two-headed six-eyed trout and cement-shoed Mafioso settle to the bottom of the drum. A sophisticated filtration system (dirty socks, usually) separates the wheat from the chaff.

#6: Breathing is not recommended and is often stopped when around this stuff. Open flames and sparks are also considered a no-no. If combustion occurs, I advise that you have a bag of marshmallows and very long pointed sticks ready.

#7: Unless you are unfortunate enough to be where the stuff is made, it is available only in 55 gallon drums with a skull and crossbones label.

#8: Youngstown Paisano is best served at any temperature after you're already blasted on some other drink.

#9: It pairs well with the two-headed six-eyed trout I described earlier.

#10: I suggest a stainless steel vessel.

#11: When held up to a light, the beverage should be purple or at least a lavender. Do not be concerned if it glows in the dark -- it's not done if it doesn't glow. Also, do not be surprised if your hair falls out after dinner.

#12: Never eat/swallow anything from the bottom of a bottle/barrel of anything. Unless it's lobster. Or marinated leg-o-lamb cubes. Or chocolate.

Posted by: martooni | March 23, 2007 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Oh, Slyness, both you and Dave have burst my bubble. First my Motrin, then my wine.

Posted by: Raysmom | March 23, 2007 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Although I'm pretty sure I want to stay away from Youngstown Paisano.

Posted by: Raysmom | March 23, 2007 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Yes Dave hurt me with the Ibruprofen as well, but since it is the only substance that works for me I am not planning on giving it up.

Posted by: dmd | March 23, 2007 4:09 PM | Report abuse

I wonder how long it will take the right wing barking dogs to accuse John Edwards of exploiting his wife's illness.

Posted by: Boko999 | March 23, 2007 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Dave, yes, I know that is the process, but at least the good and best younger new researchers would pick up something. Now, that isn't the case, so we are slicing away a generation of researches. I think we will pay a price.

Posted by: Dolphin Michael | March 23, 2007 4:17 PM | Report abuse

Boko, judge from comments I read yesterday there were quite a few people, doing just that - these were comments from the rabble so allowances must be made but many seemed to act as if Elizabeth was not given a say in the matter.

Posted by: dmd | March 23, 2007 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Linda brings up a very good point, and Sciene Tim adds more than I could.

I just am going to keep that family, and so many many others going through the same sort of thing in my paryers today. I don't think there is one of us who is not going to be affected in some way by this disease.

Posted by: dr | March 23, 2007 4:27 PM | Report abuse

I was really annoyed by how much of the press, that Kurtz quoted on his blog, addressed Elizabeth Edwards' illness as a matter of political strategy. It will certainly have an effect on how Edwards is interpreted by the public, but the tone of the news stories suggested that Edwards is playing this for politics. As if he chose to make this public in order to get political benefit. (Do they want to imply that he chose to give his wife cancer, somehow? Talk about Machiavellian!)

He absolutely HAD to come out with an announcement. Elizabeth E's illness will become apparent over the next two years. If Edwards treated it as a wholly private matter (as most people would want it to be, in their own lives), it would eventually arise as part of opposition research, and he would be painted as unfeeling and heartless to continue campaigning "when she needed him." His candidacy would be over. He could have terminated his candidacy to spend time with her in private. However, the immediacy of death is not a reason to end life; it's a reason to embrace it. Edwards is a man of commitment and strong beliefs, I think, regardless of whether I would vote for him (I haven't decided yet). This is how the two of them choose to embrace life, because their beliefs and commitment are what brings him to the candidacy. Good for them.

Posted by: Tim | March 23, 2007 4:28 PM | Report abuse

Having recently gone through a major medical situation in my own family, I can say that playing the "how did this happen, did I do something to bring this on" game is natural, but only for a very short time. Pretty quickly you realize that not only is it an exercise in futility, there are other, more pressing issues that get the brain time...what do I do now, what about the kids, what can I do to stop this runaway train?

Thankfully, our situation is looking good. I wish as much for the Edwards family.

Posted by: LostInThought | March 23, 2007 4:34 PM | Report abuse

I happened to see a little Fox yesterday (yeah, I know - lost a few thousand brain cells, but I've got extra) and they were questioning Edwards's taste and "humanity" for not quitting the campaign.

Posted by: Wheezy | March 23, 2007 4:34 PM | Report abuse


I caught the affect/effect switch and at first thought this was the tell-tale fingerprint of an impostor, but the questions were too dang funny to not be yours. Of course, the Code of the SCC prevented me from mentioning it.

By the time stamps, your error stood uncorrected 26 minutes as opposed to WaPo's 51 second error.

I propose we institute a Boodle Error Magnitude Scale where the value is the logarithm of the product of three factors:

Seriousness of Error
Duration Error Stands Uncorrected
Number of People Misled By The Error

As a test I present three errors:

WaPo incorrect headline:
Seriousness of Error - 100 (complete inaccuracy)
Duration of Error - 51 seconds
Number Duped - 1000

Curmudgeon Affect/Effect Swap
Seriousness of Error - 1 (minor grammatical slip, no change in meaning)
Duration of Error - 26 minutes (1560 seconds)
Number Duped - 10

Saddam Was Involved In 9/11
Seriousness of Error - 1,000 (deliberate falsehood)
Duration of Error: 5 years and counting (157,680,000 seconds)
Number Duped: 100 million

So in our test case, the following have committed the following sized errors as measured on the BEM scale:

WaPo Web Headline Writers: 6.7
Mudge: 4.2
Dick Cheney: 19.2

Remember, these are logarithmic like earthquake magnitudes. The WaPo error was 316 times as bad as Mudge's and Dick Cheney's mistake is 3 trillion times the mistake of that WaPo writer.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 23, 2007 4:36 PM | Report abuse

LiT, I hope the sitution in your family continues to improve.

Yello - that was brilliant.

I must say I have been at home today not feeling well, but all the laughs on the blog have helped a lot - Thanks.

Posted by: dmd | March 23, 2007 4:39 PM | Report abuse

Just imagine (god forbid) the boost old Silky Pony will get if his wife does succomb while he's campaigning? That'll wrap up the "feel your pain" vote right quick.

just saying....

Posted by: Ctullu | March 23, 2007 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Holy c**p, are we on the front page? I think the hoi polloi have arrived.

Posted by: Wheezy | March 23, 2007 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Silky pony?

I choose to believe that Ctullu's 4:40 (did you mean Cthulhu?) was sarcasm directed at Fox and its ilk. Please do not tell me otherwise -- it would confirm my faith in human nature, and then I would have no reason left to live.

Posted by: Tim | March 23, 2007 4:45 PM | Report abuse

yellojkt, I'm welling up here over your 4:36.

Just beautiful, man.


Posted by: bc | March 23, 2007 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Thank you, yello--I think. It's nice to be let off the hook so easily. But on the other hand I'm not sure how I feel being in a comparison chart with Darth Vader, even if I get the better end of it.

"Silky Pony" threw me for a loop, too, but I goggled it and discover the rightwingnuts have been using that as a standard Edwards nickname for a while. Apparently Laura Ingraham coined it.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | March 23, 2007 5:22 PM | Report abuse

SCC: Actually I think I just Googled it. I don't normally goggle very much unless I'm riding shotgun with BC during road races.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | March 23, 2007 5:23 PM | Report abuse

Road trips are always fun. Can I come along? Not only would I bring the snacks, I'll gladly sit in the back, and I won't complain about leg room (or lack thereof). Not even once will I ask if we're there yet.

Posted by: LostInThought | March 23, 2007 5:40 PM | Report abuse

œrsted was ¼ crazy.

Posted by: Jumper | March 23, 2007 5:43 PM | Report abuse

Actually, Oersted was not 1/4 crazy. This was a test of the Emergency Non-Standard Character Service. Of which I are one. We now return to our regular programming.

Posted by: Jumper | March 23, 2007 5:45 PM | Report abuse

I think Florida's fast-growing state universities are picking up extraordinary young faculty simply because they have jobs on offer. If the State set up its own mini-NIH and/or NSF, our bright young scientists would soon be whupping the elders at the University of California (even considering that the sneaky UC renovated its faculty a while back--big early retirement thing).

I haven't checked it out, but I suspect that Florida International University is something of a hotbed of ecological research because there's funding from Everglades restoration and other water management sources. Not to mention that an FIU researcher discovered a decade ago that vegetation on the lower Florida Keys had been seriously affected by sea level rise since 1930 (which is roughly when the rate of rise accelertated). Now that sea level rise is a climate-change concern, the Keys are a microcosm.

The problem of government support for "safe" science by "established" researchers is getting really serious.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | March 23, 2007 5:45 PM | Report abuse

Posted for you perusal - from the Twilight Zone.

Posted by: Jumper | March 23, 2007 5:49 PM | Report abuse

Something is dreadfully amiss with this machine. The fonts are as helter skelter as I've ever seen. Pages have overlapping print, the names at the botton of the posts are of a magnitude that I don't need my bifocales to see them, and the cursor's movement is seriously time delayed. And I haven't, I swear, been imbibing Youngstown Piasano. Maybe it's the ether


Posted by: jack | March 23, 2007 5:49 PM | Report abuse

Pablo, he broke the President!â„¢

Posted by: Jumper | March 23, 2007 5:54 PM | Report abuse

Jack, maybe the net is affected by the fumes from our in office painting today. Most offices would purchase new file cabinets. We are big into recycling, and reusing, so we are painting using good old meatal paint. The fumes are rife in the building. For a couple of secretarial types, we were flying high there for a while.

You want to see a building clear out fast on a Friday afternoon? It sure worked here.

Posted by: dr | March 23, 2007 6:39 PM | Report abuse

Yellojkt's 4:36 deserves immediate enshrinement in the boodle FAQ and mention in the next obviously overdue kit.

"Obviously overdue" because we have hit that point where mean spirited comments, often thought, but thought better of before pressing enter are not being thought better of.

A little update from the land of the underground weirdness magnet: Tonight the Largo, Florida city council is having a public hearing on Steve, soon to be Susan, Stanton's status as city manager.

We are too nice to publicly display our surperiority , but with my boodle handle at the ready I'd like to mention Minnesotans got over this a long time ago. St. Paul's former city council president (circa mid '70s), and former man (early '80s), Susan Kimberly served quite ably as deputy mayor (2000) after gender reassignment. I wonder if she's the highest ranking American city politico to hold significant positions as both a man and a woman.

Posted by: frostbitten | March 23, 2007 6:45 PM | Report abuse

dr... every place I worked at was extremely easy to clear out on a Friday afternoon.

Sometimes all it took was the mere mention of Taco Bell burritos.

Posted by: martooni | March 23, 2007 6:49 PM | Report abuse

Looks like Joel took off for a long weekend research project.

Posted by: bh | March 23, 2007 7:01 PM | Report abuse

I gotta toss in my kudos for a fellow former Techie... yellojkt, that formula's a thing of beauty! Obviously, arguments will ensue as to the proper magnitude of the various constituent variables (much like the Drake equation, some things can only be approximately estimated) but you've finally brought an analytical tool to the examination of B.S.! (And, for reasons that should be obvious, I take my B.S. very seriously!)

Posted by: Bob S. | March 23, 2007 8:45 PM | Report abuse

LiT, you're welcome to come on the road races with Mudge and I as long as you don't complain about his navigation or my driving.

There will be times Mudge and I will recommend closing your eyes, typically because that's what we're doing, too.


Posted by: bc | March 23, 2007 8:57 PM | Report abuse

BTW< Joel's probably glued to a TV somewhere, as his beloved (and defending national champion) Florida Gators men's basketball team is having a close game with Butler in the NCAA tourney. Yes, that same Butler.


Posted by: bc | March 23, 2007 8:59 PM | Report abuse

Joel can breathe easily. The Butler didn't do it.

Posted by: pj | March 23, 2007 9:19 PM | Report abuse

Oh yeah. It's too late for that "twit" Gatorborn, but if anyone is interested in some lottery numbers I will be happy to let some of my bracket luck rub off. Lucky that Georgetown won, and that I didn't have a heart attack watching them do it.

Posted by: frostbitten | March 23, 2007 9:39 PM | Report abuse

Evening,friends. What a day! The g-girl and I got up and went to the laundry room, and that took up half the day. Had lunch after that, and then, the g-girl got sick. Spent the rest of the day in the emergency room. It's a virus, and the doctor wants her to eat and drink nothing for twenty-four hours.

We get back to the apartment, which is already covered in throw-up, and lo, and behold, the hot water heater is on the blink and the apartment next door and mine got water where you would not believe. Call the emergency number for the housing folks, and the guy tells me to turn something on the heater to stop the water. Pleasssssssssssssssse, no way. Luckily my neighbor was here, so she did it. The maintenance guy shows up and says he thinks he has a part for it, but if not it will take four to five hours to replace the heater, and not until Monday. And in the meantime we can boil water.

My daughter has arrived, and the g-girl is sick, still throwing up, but seems to be okay in spurts. We will take her back if the medicine doesn't clear that up.

I am so tired, but God is good, and so is His Son, Jesus. I just wanted to touch base in case anyone just might be a tad worried because I did not show up this morning. I hope all of you have a lovely weekend. I'm off to bed, after I make it up. Just want to sleep a little bit.

We all do stuff that hurt the body in one form or the other. Some intentionally, others not so. These bodies were not made to last forever. We're just passing thru. Of course the case can be made that we can, and should do better, and that's true, but in the final analysis we're a done deal.

Have a good evening, everyone. It always good to talk to all of you.

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

Posted by: Cassandra S | March 23, 2007 9:47 PM | Report abuse

I'm lucky enough to have a buddy who's a Georgetown alumnus with season tickets and who recruited me to attend games with him when nobody else was available for the past few seasons. [Not so often this year, not surprisingly!] It's been fun watching them come alive. Since Georgia Tech didn't have the legs this year, I'm definitely having fun rooting for Georgetown.

Posted by: Bob S. | March 23, 2007 9:50 PM | Report abuse

Cassandra - It's hard to lend strength to others, but please know that I send you what I can. It's so hard sometimes, when so many things go wrong at once, ain't it? But somehow we generally muddle through with faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love!

Posted by: Bob S. | March 23, 2007 9:55 PM | Report abuse

"We all do stuff that hurt the body in one form or the other. Some intentionally, others not so. These bodies were not made to last forever. We're just passing thru. Of course the case can be made that we can, and should do better, and that's true, but in the final analysis we're a done deal."

Ted Koppel said something similar tonight on NPR, though Cassandra was more eloquent. He was talking about Elizabeth Edwards, and his wife who has emphysema. He pointed out that having an incurable illness that is treatable is not an immediate death sentence. As he put it "life is terminal."

Posted by: frostbitten | March 23, 2007 10:00 PM | Report abuse

Oh for heavens sake, Cassandra!

Isn't it amazing how sick kids can be in just an instant? I hope she will feel better tomorrow.

And no hot water till Monday? That's unreasonable!

I'll be thinking and praying for you!

Posted by: Slyness | March 23, 2007 10:01 PM | Report abuse

Cassandra hope the little one is better soon, and that you get some rest.

Posted by: dmd | March 23, 2007 10:14 PM | Report abuse

Forgot to mention, he had the part, I have hot water. Thanks, folks. Goodnight.

Posted by: Cassandra S | March 23, 2007 10:19 PM | Report abuse

Cassandra, I'm glad you have hot water again. Sometimes it seems like it doesn't rain but it pours.

Good thing you wrote! Remember a few months ago? The Boodle would have assumed the worst and arrived to bail you out of jail.

Posted by: dbG | March 23, 2007 10:29 PM | Report abuse

That talk about wine earlier makes me feel like having a glass. I probably do a border run later since I'm out of it.

Sale of alcohol is prohibited in Brunei. If I want liquor I have to go to the nearest Malaysian town at the border (about half hrs away) to get some. Up until last month, non-muslims here do daily runs or a few trips a day to the border to get their liquor. Non-muslims can bring into the country 2 litre bottles of liquor and 12 can of beer per entry. This month the law changed. There has to be a lapse of 48 hours between trips. Too much liquor in the country, they said.

Non-muslims are not allowed to drink alcohol in public but you can cheat the law. Some non-muslim restaurants will let you pour your liquor into a teapot and you drink your liquor from little teacups. I was amused when I first learned that. The thought of drinking liquor from teacups is still funny to me after all these years.

Posted by: rain forest | March 23, 2007 10:54 PM | Report abuse

My prediction that Torqueberto would be toast by the end of the week turned out wrong but I think this may seal the deal:

Now he can't just claim he was asleep at the wheel but actively lied to Congress (albeit, not under oath).

Or it seems to me. Maybe Rove can spin something.

Posted by: bill everything | March 23, 2007 10:57 PM | Report abuse

>>> the next obviously overdue kit.

"Obviously overdue" because we have hit that point where mean spirited comments, often thought, but thought better of before pressing enter are not being thought better of. <<<

Frostbitten, you are quite correct.

Posted by: nellie | March 23, 2007 11:03 PM | Report abuse

In honor of the Canuckistanis, the Three Stars of today's Boodle:

1. Yellojkt's 4:36

2. Martooni: "Youngstown Paisano"

3. 'Mudge: take your pick

Posted by: bill everything | March 23, 2007 11:04 PM | Report abuse

Cassandra, that sounds like a heck of a day.

Glad you have hot water, and can get some rest tonight.

frostbitten, I say that life is invariably fatal.


Posted by: bc | March 23, 2007 11:04 PM | Report abuse

I'm not sure that I'm entirely comfortable with the obvious misogyny implicit in the title "city manager".

Posted by: Bob S. | March 24, 2007 12:00 AM | Report abuse

rain forest - Riyadh in the mid-80's was a fascinating mix of officious pomposity and practical winking-and-nudging when it came to the issue of outlander's alcoholic intake. Ya just had to be there, I think. It's not handled nearly so pragmatically now. Like in many of life's situations, the loudest voices have outshouted the most reasonable voices.

Posted by: Bob S. | March 24, 2007 12:08 AM | Report abuse

Aww, heck, since I'm the only one talking, I may as well continue...

It's generally conceded (by the economists who study these things, anyway) that money flows toward the greatest perceived utility. So what's with all the moaning and wailing and gnashing of teeth about MIT, and NIH funding? Hey, if India can do it better and cheaper, then MIT & NIH should stop whining and open branches in India, right? Money flows where money flows, but knowledge is forever!

Posted by: Bob S. | March 24, 2007 1:03 AM | Report abuse

If I correctly understand the gist of this story:

It goes like this: Uneducated parents encounter difficulties while trying to raise educated children.

Ummm... Fascinatingly obvious, but (to paraphrase Tina Turner) "What's Latino-ness got to do with it?"

Posted by: Bob S. | March 24, 2007 1:27 AM | Report abuse

In my last comment, I think I was trying to make the point that a more powerful story was left by the side of the road in a misguided attempt to play to a particular set of sensitivities. Like knowledge, ig'nance is universal.

Posted by: Bob S. | March 24, 2007 1:30 AM | Report abuse

Someone IS going to interrupt me eventually, right? (I'm calling out for help here!)

Posted by: Bob S. | March 24, 2007 1:31 AM | Report abuse

Bob S, I read that and it meant something to me, having a 3 YO granddaughter who splits time between Anglo (or Aryan?) and Latino parents/grandparents. What I thought might be Latino-specific (or Somali-specific, etc.) is the Presbyterian Preschool not making its existence known to the Central Americal apartment complex, because it's not really aware of it.

Posted by: LTL-CA | March 24, 2007 1:55 AM | Report abuse

A quick observation, then unconciousness for me!

If the disdain is just as likely to be applied to Somalis as to Latinos, then it's definitely not culture-specific to the targets of the disdain. Must be something bigger going on, I reckon.

In the long run, that which works will beget that which works. That which don't, won't. I've noticed that ignorance doesn't pay well, and outright discrimination is illegal and tort-worthy. Some stuff just don't work!

Posted by: Bob S. | March 24, 2007 3:09 AM | Report abuse

\\Like in many of life's situations, the loudest voices have outshouted the most reasonable voices.\\

So true, Bob.

Posted by: rain forest | March 24, 2007 3:38 AM | Report abuse

Spring report: so much bird twitter this morning that the thickets and yard are truly x-rated. Shield your eyes.

Three-inch shoots -- grey felted -- on the clematis will yield dark purple flowers in about six weeks.

Crocus, daffies, and squill all up. Day lily shoots are the most astonishing green at the two-inche height. This poem seems about right:

Song, from Pippa Passes

The year's at the spring,
And day's at the morn;
Morning's at seven;
The hill-side's dew-pearled;
The lark's on the wing;
The snail's on the thorn;
God's in his Heaven -
All's right with the world!

-- Robert Browning

Posted by: College Parkian | March 24, 2007 7:51 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for that CP, I noticed when I walked the dog the other day neighbours bulbs up several inches, not bad since the last of the snow just left.

Posted by: dmd | March 24, 2007 7:55 AM | Report abuse

DMD, about ten years ago, I drove north and west in mid May. Destination: Mitchell, South Dakota. Driving through spring again was the unexpected gift. I saw the combination of

early roses that smell of rose-ness

again, and again, and again.

Peonies here in the near South of Maryland lay down and wilt in the heat.

For the 300 and Thermopylae fans, the iris leaf is swordlike. The famous killing short sword was named for this leaf shape: gladius.

Posted by: College Parkian | March 24, 2007 8:04 AM | Report abuse

The cherry trees in the neighborhood have bloomed. I didn't notice them when I walked Wednesday morning; Thursday morning, they were in full bloom. When she was little, my older daughter called them snow trees, which is quite apt. My daffodils are beyond their peak and the camellias are almost done. The periwinkle is up and cheerfully blooming.

Must get a move on for the day. We are meeting my brother and his family for a concert at 11. Peter and the Wolf is the featured work; the six year olds will love it.

Happy spring Saturday, all!

Posted by: Slyness | March 24, 2007 8:10 AM | Report abuse

Bob S.-it happens to Native American children too and for most of them English is a first language. I taught in a school in Woodbridge VA not far from the day laborer 7-11 hangout that got so much press. In the same county where some parents were in the kindergarten teachers' shorts and competing for helicopter parent of the year awards, we had parents who expected their children to work hard, behave, do what the teachers said, and do all their learning at school. It was a joy to teach kids who believed it was their job to learn, and that it was an important one.

But the vast majority of schools aren't equipped to overcome children's lack of social capital. RANT STARTS HERE: Unfortunately every time a teacher or school is successful it is assailed from all sides-Your parents self selected. You're tearing children away from their heritage by inculcating middle class values. Your results aren't replicable. Your kids know a lot of facts but aren't critical thinkers. You spend too much time on thinking skills and your kids don't have enough backround knowledge...RANT INTERRUPTED TO FINISH THOUGHT

Our best hope for improving the school performance of children living in poverty is for parents to take on the role of teacher as early as possible. (And follow the Surgeon General's advice to not allow any television viewing before age 2. I'll save that rant for another day.)

Posted by: frostbitten | March 24, 2007 8:10 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, friends. dmd, I hope you're feeling better. cp, love the poem. And I, my friends, have a sore throat this morning, probably from kissing the g-girl. She is asleep this morning, and the night was good. Thank you for your kind words.

Inspectors(HUD) are due here Monday, probably the rush for fixing the heater. We all have our crosses to bear. And it works out good for some.

Just getting back to the Edwards. I always have a soft spot in my heart for people that have lost their children. I heard Mrs Edwards tell a reporter that she talked to her son that morning, and that she told him she loved him. I also talked to my son that morning. It was around ten o'clock, and he had eaten his breakfast and sounded good on the phone. In closing the conversation, it came to me to say, I love you, but I didn't, thinking I was going to see him and say it in person. At five thirty that same day, my son was dead.
That little voice is always there, and so many times we ignore it.

I am an African-American with very little means, and John and Elizabeth Edwards are people of means, and even running for the office of President of the United State of America, yet we share something very much in common, and can understand that sharing whether sitting in a mansion or sitting in public housing.

Have a good weekend my friends. Try to get out in this lovely weather, and I am hoping the weather is lovely where you are.

Ivansmom, hope you're not overdoing. Look forward to hearing from you soon.
And Nani, where, oh, where are you? I hope you're still telling those wonderful stories.

Morning, all. *waving*

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

Posted by: Cassandra S | March 24, 2007 8:20 AM | Report abuse

For Slyness, whose trees are blooming, and all those further north who will be seeing the blossoms soon:

A. E. Housman (1859-1936).
A Shropshire Lad. 1896.

Loveliest of trees, the cherry now
Is hung with bloom along the bough,
And stands about the woodland ride
Wearing white for Eastertide.

Now, of my threescore years and ten,
Twenty will not come again,
And take from seventy springs a score,
It only leaves me fifty more.

And since to look at things in bloom
Fifty springs are little room,
About the woodlands I will go
To see the cherry hung with snow.


I have a big day today, literary events in Fort Lauderdale AND Coral Gables. May possibly have something to report tonight or tomorrow.

Posted by: kbertocci | March 24, 2007 8:28 AM | Report abuse

I am discovering even a heathen can feel guilty for wishing ills on others. Though quite successful with banishing envy of CP's spring splendor I find myself hoping the garden I sold in NoVA is suffering (ok, I really mean dieing) from my absence. I'm sure the new owners are enjoying the house that came with the garden, but they didn't seem to know a redbud from a dogwood or day lily sans bloom from liriope. One day they'll wake up and realize they fell in love at first sight because they toured the house in early April, when the perrenial border was one big floozy. Shameless tulips gave that "buy me" wave and they were sunk. Humph, they'll never be able to orchestrate the spring performance that was.

There is no spring in Tampa, not really unless you count the oaks shedding their brown leaves just to trade them in for gray green. But the husband claims this morning was wonderful and I should get some good porch time in upon my arrival tomorrow.

Posted by: frostbitten | March 24, 2007 8:28 AM | Report abuse

CP - I am not tormented by the sounds of avian promiscuity in the morning because they are all afraid of the vicious wolf-like creature that prowls my property. At least she thinks she is a vicious wolf-like creature. I've tried to tell her that she is really just a wee little doggie who shouldn't bark at the nice birds like that. But, like most everyone else in this house, she has learned to ignore me.

Wet and gray outside. Makes me homesick for the land of my youth. Perhaps I will venture out later and prune back the grape vines in anticipation of new growth. But first I need a few more cups of coffee. For I spent two and a half hours last night watching "Pokemon" with my daughter. And that leaves a nasty hangover.

Posted by: RD Padouk | March 24, 2007 8:47 AM | Report abuse

Good morning all!

Spent last night watching Eddie Izzard doing standup on a DVD called Dress to Kill. My sides still hurt from laughing. I'd never seen him before. What a funny, funny guy.

I'll have to check out his new TV series, with Minnie Driver, on FX called The Riches. I'm pretty sure he dresses like a man on this show.

Posted by: TBG | March 24, 2007 9:06 AM | Report abuse

TBG, I have seen Eddy Izzard before, can't remember what show, but he was very funny. I am hoping one of our channels picks up that new show as I don't think I get FX here.

Cassandra I am indeed better, thank you, it is raining here now which ironically takes away my headache.

Your story about your son this morning was so poignant - big hugs to you.

Posted by: dmd | March 24, 2007 9:23 AM | Report abuse

New Kit! Joel's column plus some other observations.

Posted by: frostbitten | March 24, 2007 9:24 AM | Report abuse

KB, Perfect poem for spring. AEH's poem about the earling morning hanging is one of his best (sorry for the mood swing).

Frostie: enjoy the porch with Mr. F. Anyone associated with the military needs peace in whatever form: flowers, bacon and coffee, poems, smell of laundry hung to brother requests stupid jokes, the kind fourth graders tell:

Why did the turtle cross the road?
To fill up at the Shell station, silly.

RD, funny about your dogs strong inner wolf quotient.

Off to check out another rec soccer program and watch boy scrimmage half-asleep. He will get out of bed to the smell of bacon, and nothing else.

Despite the rain, the air is spring-soft, fresh and quite dear.

Cassandra, you are in a special fellowship of those who bury children. My, my. Let spring touch that tender spot, gently. You have my affection and admiration.

Posted by: College Parkian | March 24, 2007 9:25 AM | Report abuse

Thanks, kber, for sharing that. Lovely.

Posted by: Slyness | March 24, 2007 9:44 AM | Report abuse

dmd, my guess is you're allergic to mold. You have headaches and feel unwell with the change of temperatures (which is classic), but the rain-ease is a major indicator. If your head starts to hurt again a little while after it stops, . . . well, I'd give you the name of my allergist, but it'd be a long trip!

Posted by: dbG | March 24, 2007 9:48 AM | Report abuse

I like a little wildness now and then, but on the other end, why be only a wolf when you have the power to turn on the mind-control and get perfect strangers to pet you, just because.

I suppose if you're a wolf, the food could be better, but I've never seen wolves using stoves in the wild. And you sleep on sticks instead of nice blankets or mattresses.

Gotta stop... Wilbrod is calling me a sheer metrosexual right now. Is that good?

Posted by: Wilbrodog | March 25, 2007 12:33 AM | Report abuse

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