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Achenblog to Take Over Washington Post Radio Studio?

The WaPo radio studio is, no kidding, only five steps from my desk. The radio station goes off the air in just a few weeks and I'm going to snap up the space faster than a frog can tongue-snag a dragonfly.

Already I use the radio studio covertly for private meetings, phone calls, and naps. It's fantastic for a private conversation about a sensitive subject. Because the room is soundproof, you don't have to worry about anyone overhearing, unless, of course, you are accidentally On The Air. I hate it when my confidences are inadvertantly broadcast across the entire metropolitan area. And let's not even get into the snoring. Yeah, that was me. Sorry.

In any case, it's the best office, potentially, in the entire newsroom, and a huge improvement from my current soulless, drab, spirit-crushing cubicle. The studio has a TV monitor that is currently tuned to cable news; I'll reset that to ESPN. There are several excellent swiveling chairs. I'll keep the consoles with all the buttons, just because they're fun to play with (in case I get a chest cold, it'll be nice to have the "Cough" button handy).

The microphone booms can be used, if necessary, for drying wet swimsuits or hanging a tuxedo fresh from the cleaner. Obviously I'll need to put up some black-light posters (heavy on the Frazetta) [like this image of my editors attempting to trim one of my stories], hang some dangling beads at the entrance, and add a bean-bag chair, a kick-butt sound system, a Lava Lamp and a beer fridge.

But no computer. I might even rip out all the phones. I don't want my new office to remind me too much of work.


I like this Jack Shafer column on already-chewed news (another example of which, by the way, was the Tuesday morning headline about Gonzales resigning -- news that broke 24 hours earlier):

"Blessed with insomnia, I rejoice when I wake up at 12:30 a.m. because I know that the complete Page Ones for the New York Times and the Washington Post will be awaiting me when I sneak downstairs.

"I noodle around on those pages, check for the baseball scores and Associated Press write-up of that night's Detroit Tigers game, flip over to for the left coast's take on events, and after saying goodnight to the BBC, the Washington Times, BoingBoing, the Guardian,, and a couple of blogs, I tiptoe back to bed."

One quibble: He writes, "Newspapers once had a one-way relationship with their Web sites, shoveling content to their dot-com versions while rarely accepting Web-produced stories. That's a thing of the past now, as tons of quality Web content ends up in print." Tons? I don't know. I think "reverse publishing" has yet to be fully embraced. We're evolving in that direction, but possibly too slowly.

Speaking of websites to check: I'm probably going to add a blogroll at some point (I've been saying this forever, I know) and am eager to hear suggestions. Bill Powers recently pointed out a favorite aggregator, and it's one I've always liked, too: Arts & Letters Daily. Today we see this take-out from New York magazine about Matt Drudge. (A companion piece, sort of, to the excellent story by Joel Sappell in The Los Angeles Times a few weeks ago, which I quoted from in my page views article.)


Here's a blog that makes an interesting point about DC schools.


Risky behavior, parsed.

"In all domains, men were significantly more risk taking than women."

By Joel Achenbach  |  August 29, 2007; 11:15 AM ET
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Larry Craig: "I have never been in a restroom in Union Station having sex with anybody"
Next: Is America Rome? Plus Fukuyama vs. Huntington


Me, me, me!

Posted by: Kim | August 29, 2007 12:13 PM | Report abuse is a great site. I check it out every day. That's where I would read Molly Ivins's columns. I miss that woman.

Posted by: pj | August 29, 2007 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Ok, Joel. You've succeeded in giving me cone-of-silence envy.

Posted by: jack | August 29, 2007 12:26 PM | Report abuse

That was a very interesting article on Drudge...can't say I'm a fan, but if Donna Brazile likes him, he can't be all bad.

Arts and Letters - what a great link, except what am I going to do with ANOTHER must read site? I've got a job, I've got a family, a dog, I have to sleep sometime!

Posted by: Kim | August 29, 2007 12:34 PM | Report abuse

> "faster than a frog can tongue-snag a dragonfly."

Isn't that what gets senators from Utah in trouble?

Posted by: martooni | August 29, 2007 12:40 PM | Report abuse

I added a couple of Frazetta links. I really do love that guy!

Posted by: Achenbach | August 29, 2007 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Oooh, oooohh. I was just checking out the roster of authors for the Texas State Book Festival to be held the first weekend of November up in Austin.

There'll be Bill Minutaglio, who I mentioned yesterday, along with Kristin Gore, Jenna Bush and Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison.

Carl Bernstein (will he recognize me from Uvalde?), and Jeff Toobin writing about the Supremes. Joseph Ellis on the founding fathers. Doug Brinkley at the fair as well as the black-tie gala the Friday night before. The only way I'll get there is if I win the contest I just entered. Wouldn't that be cool?

Marlee Matlin and Alice Waters.

Lots of Texas locals, including Lou Dubose, speaking of Molly. And Kinky, of course. San Antonians Stephen Kellman and Rick Riordan, David Liss.

Michael Connolly. Josh Dorfman. The Onion editors. The list goes on and on. It's gonna be one helluva great time.

Posted by: Loomis | August 29, 2007 12:52 PM | Report abuse

You mean Orrin Hatch and Bob Bennett are getting in trouble now? *l*

Posted by: Loomis | August 29, 2007 12:55 PM | Report abuse

SCC: Minutaglio, whom

Posted by: Loomis | August 29, 2007 12:56 PM | Report abuse

"In all domains, men were significantly more risk taking than women." Bowlspit! Women marry men, don't they?

Posted by: kurosawaguy | August 29, 2007 1:03 PM | Report abuse

A sound proof room in the middle of a newsroom has much more potential than just a phone booth. I'm thinking Jack Lemmon in 'The Apartment'.

A friend that went to Furman, a very conservative school, told me that the music department's practice rooms were very popular with couples because it was one of the few places men and women could be together unsupervised. Sometimes they even brought their instruments.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 29, 2007 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Sure, they call them puffins NOW. But I was the first European to ever see them, there on the shore of Boffing Island, and I gave them the name "penguins" (since the word wasn't being used by any other species, at the time). Then, when later explores went to the Antarctic, they saw these birds and said (mistakenly), "These must be more of those penquin critters that Curmudgeon wrote about in his 'Book of Global Exlporation.'" So the nisnomer stuck, and then some idiot went back and renamed the puffins puffins, to keep the confusion down to a minimum. I coulda straightened 'em all out if they'd only come and asked me, but nooooooooooooooooo, they didn't do that, now, did they? So now ya got puffins at the North Pole and penguins at the South Pole, when it darned well shoulda been the other way 'round.

Go figure.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 29, 2007 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Joel, you can never really have too much Frank Frazetta. I really have to get to the museum, it's under a 2 hr. drive from here I think.

I highly recommend a room full of Frazetta drawings, a dog-eared copy of "Conan" and Brian Auger's Oblivion Express on repeat.

Not to mention a bowl or two of hash, but it's been more than 20 yrs. since I saw any of that so you may have to substitute.

Posted by: Error Flynn | August 29, 2007 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Sorry EF, the only music worth listening too while admiring Frazetta is Molly Hatchett.

And Joel, can we have the broadcast booth as the Boodle Clubhouse? The Bunker is being remodeled and we need somewhere for the Sunday Tea.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 29, 2007 1:37 PM | Report abuse

I cannot shake the feeling that polar bears (Ursus Maritimus) would be a poor choice as a draft animal.

Thank you, Curmudgeon, for that valuable taxonomic clarification. I stand corrected.

I disagree with the Pun Salad blogger: Joel said, "you get what you pay for." In DC public schools, they do not pay for major renovation of the physical plant. It would break the bank, because there are too many elements that are too far gone. They pay for band-aid measures to keep the buildings from collapsing. And, of course, they have to pay for metal-detectors and security guards and security systems at the doors. That's a lot of money before you even get around to discussing teachers and textbooks and lab supplies. Per-pupil spending in DC is not expended in the same fashion as per-pupil spending in Montgomery County or in the Pun Salad blogger's own state of New Hampshire.

I met a DC middle-school principal who said that what he really wanted for opening day would simply be bathrooms that are 100% functional. In most schools, the bathroom fixtures are about 50% functional. You know, but you don't want to think about, what happens when students test to see whether a fixture functions. A good teacher can make up for poor or missing textbooks, bad lights, and so on. There's nto much they can do about toilets that won't flush, no toilet paper, and an inability to wash your hands after using the restroom. Ask yourself -- how seriously would you take your own work place if they attended to most things, but left every bathroom stinking, filthy, under-supplied, and only half-functional? Unlike students, you have a choice -- you can go to where you are valued enough to provide you with working toilets. Is it any wonder that students do not take school seriously? With a few wonderful exceptions, the physical plant of DC schools is like a poster that says "We don't really care about your education." Students read subtext better than we give them credit for. They may be ignorant, but they aren't stupid.


Posted by: ScienceTim | August 29, 2007 1:51 PM | Report abuse

I still think Hanno saw (if not ate) penguins.

Those Carthaginians would have been busy shipping tin from Cornwall about the same time, so I suppose they knew about puffins, too.

Risk taking? I kinda like

Then there were the two mycologists at the University of North Carolina. One (son of a famed theater professor) was known for his elaborate lectures. Wouldn't think of eating a wild mushroom. The other one, a quiet and conservative individual, ate Caesar's amanita.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | August 29, 2007 1:54 PM | Report abuse

As I remember it, the Achenblog already took over Washington Post Radio once, just over a year ago.

I have the documentation here on my blog:

That was a really good day.

And I can vouch for the proximity of Joel's desk to the studio. If Joel stood on the stack of books and papers covering his desk, he could jump right into the studio door (after getting a good view of who's in the studio first).

Joel, I'd suggest:
a: that you open the door first,
b: that you wear a cape that matches your outfit. Personally, you can't go wrong with a Little Black Cape. The Larry Craig FMPs are optional.
c: leave the "On the Air" lights, have them come on when the room lights go out. It might keep you from being bothered while you're snoozing, er, working, on a deadline.

Like the Frazetta stuff myself, seeing his art on those pulpy Burroughs novels I read. Frazetta alwasy rendered a nice Dejah Thoris, IIRC.


Posted by: bc | August 29, 2007 1:57 PM | Report abuse

"Sorry EF, the only music worth listening too while admiring Frazetta is Molly Hatchett."

I don't know.. I think Rox Diamond might be a good choice, too.

Posted by: TBG | August 29, 2007 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Dave, I had no idea there were so many species of mushrooms in Orange County, NC. Of course,that explains quite a bit.

Posted by: Slyness | August 29, 2007 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Here's a story on a onetime UNC student who taught her lab classes how to "bait for chytrids" using paspalum grass (which despite the exotic-sounding name, was what grew in the lawn).

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | August 29, 2007 2:15 PM | Report abuse

And may I say that Joel is looking mighty buff (if cold) in the "Defense Against the Editors" image.

Posted by: Dooley | August 29, 2007 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Cool story, Dave, thanks for sharing!

Posted by: Slyness | August 29, 2007 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Fresh from that august journal, Nature:

Flying insects threaten to deafen Japan.
Cicadas cut off Osaka's citizens from their Internet connections.

Dating the origin of the Orchidaceae from a fossil orchid with its pollinator.
(news story, )

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | August 29, 2007 2:41 PM | Report abuse

"And may I say that Joel is looking mighty buff (if cold) in the "Defense Against the Editors" image."

Dooley my thought was nice buns.

Posted by: dr | August 29, 2007 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Gee Mudge, you really missed out. Had you gone to Gjoa Haven, you'd have seen this harbour.

The photo is Mr dr, circa June or July 1973, standing on the shores of Gjoa Haven, displaying his Arctic Char. He figures he's standing in the general area of where the ship is in the 1960 photo. You can see how deep the harbour is by looking at the 1992 pictures. He said the fish used to swarm in and the fishing was very, very good. (He said another very, but I digress)

In mr dr's picture you can see a red boat behind him? That boat was parked there the winter before by a gent who was following the path of the St. Roche, the RCMP ship, and the first ship to circumnavigate North America.

Posted by: dr | August 29, 2007 3:01 PM | Report abuse

In an attempt to teach the concept of polar molecules, I drew the hydrogen to oxygen bonds in water. One of the students was quick to point out that "That looks like my Grandma when she bends over". Feh.

Posted by: jack | August 29, 2007 3:12 PM | Report abuse

1:51 post of Science Tim is correct. We have a mayor here in New Haven, CT, along with the Board of Education that has figured out that the school system's physical plant does indeed affect how children in public schools feel about learning. Many improvements to old buildings have been taking place, and new ones are being built.

Makes one hopeful that the new generation will build knowledge and be engaged in learning by being encouraged by an atmosphere and buildings that welcome one to sit down and learn.

Posted by: aroc | August 29, 2007 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Cool Frazetta pics. I am especially impressed by the one with the young woman and the two very large kitty cats. Such amazing brushwork.

Posted by: RD Padouk | August 29, 2007 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Whew! I saw this headline and was worried my father had had malfunctioning videocam lights... (long story)


Posted by: Scottynuke | August 29, 2007 3:29 PM | Report abuse

I hope Mr. d smoked dem char dr.

Posted by: Boko999 | August 29, 2007 3:30 PM | Report abuse

I'll bet Joel spits nickles when he finds out that Weingarten gets the studio for HIS office.

Posted by: jus sayin... | August 29, 2007 3:49 PM | Report abuse

After Burning Man became Son of Soot, a spokesperson said "people are disappointed about that, but spirits overall are pretty high." Hmmm, I'll just bet they are.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | August 29, 2007 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Aug. 29, 2007 -- A creature believed to be the rare Chinese white dolphin has been sighted in the Yangtze river, an expert said Wednesday, renewing hope for a mammal recently declared as probably extinct.

Video footage by a resident of eastern Anhui province purportedly taken this month appears to show the critically endangered white dolphin, known in China as the "baiji", frolicking in its native Yangtze habitat, said Wang Ding, one of the world's leading authorities on the species.

Posted by: Boko999 | August 29, 2007 3:55 PM | Report abuse

I think all men have a desire for a place to call their own. I suspect it's a primal thing. It starts with having your own room as a kid. A place that you can trick out with as much cool stuff and as many posters as you can get away with. As a kid my room was filled with vintage sci-fi posters (Metropolis was my favorite) and homemade gadgets. The best was the chaotic pendulum suspended from my ceiling. (My mom helped.)

Away from parental constraints, this nesting tendency sometimes finds its fullest expression in your college dorm room or first apartment. But, just as often, these spaces represent the beginning of certain compromises of vision. For, theoretically at least, females might enter into the equation. This drives the decor and ambiance in a direction away from solitary contemplation and towards other goals. The impact on poster selection is especially notable.

So begins the slippery slope of aesthetic compromises. Those that work in an office typically discover that the burning of incense and construction of intricate kinetic sculptures are discouraged. Those who marry and reproduce are further doomed. The need for nurseries, playrooms, and guest bedrooms drives you further from any kind of truly personal space. You know that rock bottom has been reached when you look covetously at the room of an offspring.

But, of course, eventually things change. Playrooms become abandoned and turn into great places to keep psychotic rabbits. (This might not, in fact, be a universal development.) Garages accumulate so much stuff that their usefulness as automotive shelter becomes diminished, and hence can evolve into carefully designed workshops.

And, slowly, without even realizing it, the middle-aged male begins to recapture the youthful wonder of his very own space.

You know, someplace that you can trick out with as much cool stuff and as many posters as you can get away with

Posted by: RD Padouk | August 29, 2007 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Wow, picky, picky, picky. Three REPUBLICAN senators are calling for Craig's resignation. *background chorus breaks into a couple verses of "Stand by Your Man"*

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 29, 2007 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Boy. So many potential comments, so little time - I haven't even been able to read the links yet. But I must know, what is a blogroll? It sounds tasty, in a hearty and filling kind of way. Perhaps washed down with a stout beer or a glass of red wine.

I agree with *Tim's observations about schools and capital investment. As I've mentioned, OKC invested heavily in district-wide capital improvements, as well as curriculum, a few years ago and it has made a world of difference. Students are prouder of schools with working bathrooms, electrical systems, air conditioners, roofs, etc., and do take their edumacation more seriously.

I also enjoyed RD's paean to space. Women, too, cherish and jealously preserve a space devoted to our cool stuff and posters. And no, having the whole house doesn't count. Besides, as RD notes, it is my experience that at least for some time, where offspring are involved, the place is fundamentally theirs.

That said, I think Joel should move in NOW. Plug in an espresso machine, start the wine refrigerator, generally make it clear whose space this will be when the radio clears out. I'm sure Boodlers will volunteer to stake the space out overnight, so nobody sneaks in. If we can use it as a backup bunker.

Posted by: Ivansmom | August 29, 2007 5:00 PM | Report abuse

Ivansmom, I wonder if Joel would sublet it as a bunker annex? The soundproofing aspect makes it especially attractive; we all know how it can get when Scotty's in there partying, and we find underwear all over the place the next morning.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 29, 2007 5:02 PM | Report abuse

Access is a concern for me. Is there an elevator directly to the studio? I'm sure Don Graham will let us have the space, if we invite him to participate. Wonder if he lurks?

Of course, he may be one of us!

Posted by: Slyness | August 29, 2007 5:12 PM | Report abuse

dbG is, of course, Donald Beauregaard Graham.

Posted by: College Parkian | August 29, 2007 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Beauregard? Really? Not my favorite 'B' name: Bucephalus?

Posted by: HistoryTim | August 29, 2007 5:21 PM | Report abuse

paean? Why I am shocked, Ivansmom. Shocked.

(sound of dictionary being consulted.)

Oh. Right. That's okay then.

And since tomorrow is looking a little crazy for me, let me wish you a early Happy Birthday.

Posted by: RD Padouk | August 29, 2007 5:26 PM | Report abuse

I laughed so hard I frightened the dog.

Posted by: Boko999 | August 29, 2007 5:30 PM | Report abuse

My favorite B name is Bocephus!!

Posted by: greenwithenvy | August 29, 2007 5:48 PM | Report abuse

I've always been fond of Boadicea. But then again, it doesn't take much for a bare-breasted warrior maiden to get my attention. (I told her those Roman dudes weren't to be messed with and to get the he11 off Watling Street, but would she listen to me? Well, you all know how that sad song goes.)

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 29, 2007 5:59 PM | Report abuse

Hey boodlers -- I just got flowers!!! From the guys I work with. It was, indeed, difficult to get *any* work done today, what with all the calls and emails -- tomorrow will be different, I know. Back to, harumph, reality, or the semblance thereof.

Ivansmom -- is it your b'day tomorrow? If so, you share it with a cousin of mine (if he's still around (don't ask)). And a very HBTY.

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | August 29, 2007 6:08 PM | Report abuse

I would have read that link Boko. but was heart broken to read this...

Oh the humanity.

Posted by: dr | August 29, 2007 6:21 PM | Report abuse

Thank you, RD and firsttimeblogger, for those early but welcome wishes. I'll be 47 tomorrow, defying a prophecy made by the spirits of magic writing in my childhood. They said I'd only make it to 40. Of course, I later discovered that my cousin wasn't really the medium for spirits who wrote through her in her trance. She'd practiced writing with her left hand and her eyes closed after everyone was asleep. This made me doubt that prediction long before I proved it wrong.

Posted by: Ivansmom | August 29, 2007 6:22 PM | Report abuse

Welcome to my cohort, Ivansmom. We are either the last of the babyboomers or perhaps the nameless ones too vintage to be gen-xers.

Posted by: College Parkian | August 29, 2007 6:43 PM | Report abuse

A sad story indeed, dr, but hardly unexepected. Ever since the Kenndys made brylcreem unfashionalbe the bottom was sure to fall out of the antimaccasar market sometime.
The fate of my own town, Smith's Falls Ontario is inexplicable. Sure, new opportuinites in the homeless and street person sector diminished the need for the mental hospital but I know from personal experience that people are driven mad all the time. Couldn't we have imported the unstable from less progressive areas of the country and locked them up here?
As bad as the closure of a perfectly good Bedlam is, the descision to move the Hershey Chocolate factory to Mexico has ripped the heart from this lovely town, splayed along the banks of the United Nations World Heritage, Rideau Canal.
Do they seriously believe there are more obese people in Mexico? Are Canadians less skilled at swirling nuggets of creamy comestibles. I think not.

Yes it is sad for the people of Honeysuckle Corners and in my heart of hearts I feel they should go stuff themselves.

Your friend,

Posted by: Boko999 | August 29, 2007 7:00 PM | Report abuse

Not choclate, Boko? I'm well and truly saddened by this sorry state.

Posted by: dr | August 29, 2007 7:13 PM | Report abuse

Today's Toothpaste for Dinner comic is more appropriate for yesterdays' boodle I suppose...

Posted by: TBG | August 29, 2007 7:16 PM | Report abuse

Oh gosh.. yesterday's comic is also Boodle Appropriate...

Posted by: TBG | August 29, 2007 7:18 PM | Report abuse

CP: //dbG is, of course, Donald Beauregaard Graham.//


Actually, it's just a prime example of a diva'd nose-in-the-air technologist who works with self-styled *network gods*:
database Goddess

Posted by: dbG | August 29, 2007 7:34 PM | Report abuse

Every time I said I wear a suit to work, I lied. It's a toga.

Posted by: dbG | August 29, 2007 7:35 PM | Report abuse

At least you are suitably attired for a Goddess. Heck, we know some people who go about pantsless (not that I'm pointing fingers or anything)!

Posted by: Yoki | August 29, 2007 8:27 PM | Report abuse

Happy birthday ftb, and prospective many happy returns to Ivansmom!

Posted by: Yoki | August 29, 2007 8:31 PM | Report abuse

Happy birthday to all the August birthday people! I know there are a bunch of us.

And please forgive me for just dropping in like this and issuing a All Points (Birthday) Bulletin. I should swing by more often...

Posted by: ac in sj | August 29, 2007 8:40 PM | Report abuse

I think Google Ads are trying to tell me something, but what?

Phone Recorder Outlet
We Have Phone Recorders For Any Phone Recording Need. Spy Store.
Call Recorder Card
Record ceIl phones and land lines Buy online or call toll-free!

Phone Recording Devices
Phone recorders and recording jacks for taping phone calls.

Posted by: ac in sj | August 29, 2007 8:43 PM | Report abuse

This would come perilously close to a self-serving commercial usage, except that the following event is free, Free, FREE! So, it's just egoistically self-serving, not financially so.


Come see and hear the personable, amusing, and itchingly attractive StorytellerTim (performing under another name) in live performance, telling "Cinderella - a Rough Sailor's Tale" at the Kensington Row Book Shop on Wednesday, September 5. Really. I can be funny. I swear.

Posted by: StorytellerTim | August 29, 2007 8:46 PM | Report abuse

Goodness! I just got my New Yorker for Sept. 3-8; it is the annual Food Issue! So much good reading by some superlative writers about a Very Important Subject. Food peeps (you know who you are), if you don't subscribe, go buy it from the news-stand, but read slooooooowly (you may use the phonics method out loud, as I do), since it has to last two weeks.

Posted by: Yoki | August 29, 2007 8:47 PM | Report abuse

Hey, Storyteller Tim, when will you come to the hinterlands? I know a place you can stay, complete with 11-year-old built-in audience (or critic, depending on how close to a teenager he feels that day).

Posted by: Ivansmom | August 29, 2007 8:48 PM | Report abuse

Yoki, I am so far behind on my New Yorkers I just started the first part of August. Maybe I'll have to skip ahead.

Posted by: Ivansmom | August 29, 2007 8:55 PM | Report abuse

Or, Ivansmom, you could go to the website and see if any of the articles interest you, print them immediately, and then get to them when you do. Keep the backlog on a FIFO basis, I always say.

Posted by: Yoki | August 29, 2007 9:00 PM | Report abuse

Frazetta has lovely artwork. That'd have been so much better than all those cruddy rock n roll posters I saw growing up.

Only one note regarding the appropriate creation of a healthy working environment:

Those women he draws look dangerously unbalanced. I'd be distracted by them because I'd be continually expecting them to fall over on their faces any moment.

RD, you're so right on the personal space thing. When my mom was ill, my parents moved and my dad had free reign of his hammer and decorating tastes. I swear, the ceiling and carpet was the only thing not slathered with photographs of family, friends, and causal passers-by.

Visitors would jump when they came in the door because of all the glazed eyes and shiny smiles snarling at them. It made the place feel... crowded.

He has since been persuaded that moderation is a virtue.

Posted by: Wilbrod | August 29, 2007 9:03 PM | Report abuse

The Boy has seen some Frazetta work, a result of Ivansdad's early fascination with sci-fi. So far he has glanced at it without particular interest. I await with trepidation the day when he studies those Frazetta pictures and even asks whether they are available off the Net for print-out.

Posted by: Ivansmom | August 29, 2007 9:10 PM | Report abuse

Now ScienceTim, you know you're just taking advantage of what Mudge told you one night when he was drunk and talking about who REALLY got Cindy that outfit and how after the wedding the "godmother" would keep visiting for a while.

Boy, Mudge was really insulted when he found out people in those parts didn't know what a kilt was. Or was it an elegant toga?

Anyway that's when he developed the famous saying "When in Rome do as the Romans do-- and when you leave, quit dressing so sissy, or be sorry."

Posted by: Wilbrod | August 29, 2007 9:12 PM | Report abuse

Have you ever been more proud of a post you didn't submit than any you ever had? Based on my experience with four brothers, I nearly advised Ivansmom when trepidation would really be called for, and then thought better of it.

*pats herself on the back*

Posted by: Yoki | August 29, 2007 9:19 PM | Report abuse

Good for you, Yoki! I was thinking with so much else for all sexual tastes on the internet nowadays...

But never mind that. Really.

Posted by: Wilbrod | August 29, 2007 9:24 PM | Report abuse

Zackly. What the gnome said.

Uh, I got a few questions about "Cinderella --a Rough Sailor's Tale," StorytellerTim. This here story doesn't involve, like, Ron Jeremy as the sailor and Jenna Jamison as the wicked stepmother, or anybody in that line of work, does it? Cuz I don't exactly remember any rough sailors in the version Walt Disney released a couple decades ago.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 29, 2007 9:25 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, who needs Ron Jeremy when "LeChat Orion" is narrating the story, complete with gestures?

Admit it, you're dying to know if the Rough Sailor's name is Ming Wyoming.

Posted by: Wilbrod | August 29, 2007 9:32 PM | Report abuse

Trust me, y'all, I realize the next few years will be filled with opportunities for trepidation of all stripes. Fraught, in fact. Frazetta provides one variety. I'm just trying to be alert to as many signposts as I can. I know that, although it may feel like they'll all be in neon lights, some won't. I'm really watching for those.

Posted by: Ivansmom | August 29, 2007 9:38 PM | Report abuse

Jeez, this is pathetic. I couldn't remember who the he11 Ming Wyoming was, so I had to Google it to find out. The original source appears to

Who'd a thunk?

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 29, 2007 9:38 PM | Report abuse

Re: trepidation, any help, including stories based on experience, will be gratefully welcomed as the months (or, perhaps, days) roll by.

Posted by: Ivansmom | August 29, 2007 9:40 PM | Report abuse

Well, it was a very shortlived porn career, Mudge.

Posted by: Wilbrod | August 29, 2007 9:45 PM | Report abuse

Time to get the Boy moving towards reading and bed. Vaya con queso. Fondue.

Posted by: Ivansmom | August 29, 2007 9:46 PM | Report abuse

Fondue! Ivansmom

Posted by: Yoki | August 29, 2007 9:50 PM | Report abuse

Well, I suppose the good news is that Ming Wyoming isn't a Googlenope.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 29, 2007 9:50 PM | Report abuse

Finally read the "Pun Salad" link that Joel posted. The blogger criticizes Joel for the 2 Aug kit in which Joel complains about the air conditioning in DC schools. "Pun Salad" criticizes Joel for stating that "You get what you pay for." The blogger points out that poor allocation of money, and not a lack of funding, is the problem. Pun Salad then asserts that this observation invalidates Joel's point, and further asserts that Joel is somehow advocating even higher spending.

I disagree. I didn't read it this way at all. I don't think Joel was making a case for simply "throwing money at the problem." I think he was advocating throwing money at the right problem.

I assert that the existence of poor allocation as indicated by "Pun Salad" actually reinforces Joel's point. What "Pun Salad" is saying is that by spending money foolishly, we are not spending it on worthwhile things like essential infrastructure. And, therefore, important things like air conditioning are inadequate. Or, in other words. "You get what you pay for."

Posted by: RD Padouk | August 29, 2007 9:50 PM | Report abuse

Somehow I don't think Mudge's memories of paleolithic puberty will be helpful with dealing with The Boy. Some things concerning mammoths and the origin of the word "first crush" are so much better forgotten.

Posted by: Wilbrod | August 29, 2007 10:00 PM | Report abuse

Gosh, Joel could forge a fortune (and increase his page hits exponentially) by deliberately setting himself up to be misunderstood by some bloggers and all French citizens.

A business model that works for the new bosses of journalism, the bean-counters! Joel, you may cut me in on finders' fees when you grow rich.

"How is your French toast, dear?"

"Smelly and ungrateful. But this American toast is delicious!"

Posted by: Yoki | August 29, 2007 10:02 PM | Report abuse

OK, I'm actually going to be on topic for once (brace yourselves!):

I worry that Gene Weingarten's desk may be just a tad closer to the soon-to-be-defunct WAPO-Radio studio (who knew English was so reversely-alliterative?) than Joel's.

'Mudge, bc, Joel, anyone, please go squat in there before GW fills it up with horribly self-rightous fumes.

Posted by: Yoki | August 29, 2007 10:12 PM | Report abuse

trepidation - when a parent wakes up with the sunrise and the car that had been in the driveway at bedtime...isn't in the driveway.
I had five younger brothers and before his death, my sweet father always maintained that was his worst nightmare come true. Apparently it came true on a couple of occasions. Not, I might add, when his daughters lived at home.

It's those stories that alternately make me laugh and then make me fervently hope that it won't happen to me.

Posted by: Kim | August 29, 2007 10:19 PM | Report abuse

Oh yes...dbG - what a great boodle handle acronym! Or is it a great acronym for a boodle handle? Whichever, very impressive.

Posted by: Kim | August 29, 2007 10:25 PM | Report abuse

The article Pun Salad was referring to:

I don't think that PS was trying to say anything negative towards JA. He was noting one aspect of the problem, teacher union contracts that may calcify the ability of school districts to change. Not that I don't understand why teachers unionize.

Those contracts alone, though, are but one extremely tiny aspect of the problems that face these school districts. The families that can economically afford to go away, do. The children left behind need more services, like special education. Like in DC, many city schools here in Indy lack AC.

As a nation, we have politicians boldly speaking out about eliminating crime, drug use, poverty, yada, yada, yada. As a nation, as we close off communities to a cycle of poverty through inadequate educational facilities we, as JA noted, get what we pay for.

Posted by: bill everything | August 29, 2007 10:28 PM | Report abuse

Well now, bill everything, if you are going to go get all rational on us...

Posted by: Yoki | August 29, 2007 10:32 PM | Report abuse

New Scientist reports a scientifically plausible reason to avoid high fructose corn syrup--a reason why the stuff might possibly cause diabetes:

Right now could be a good time for a switch. Corn prices are at record highs as ethanol refineries open up, while we have good economic reasons to import cheap ethanol from Brazil. Why not import cheap Brazilian sugar, too?

(I never met any Mings in Wyoming. Did visit Ferretland near Meeteetse)

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | August 29, 2007 10:44 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Kim. You've gotta laugh all the time when you work in tech! But you know that. . .

Posted by: dbG | August 29, 2007 10:45 PM | Report abuse

I've always wondered about the phenomenon of posts being eaten by the filter monster. Now I know. I'll abbreviate. Yoki, I, increasingly, have fewer moments of lucidity. Please oblige me when I'm "in the zone."

Posted by: bill everything | August 29, 2007 10:45 PM | Report abuse

Er, Yoki, if you encourage Mudge to squat in the studio chances are it *would* become filled with fumes.

That probably will keep GW at bay for a little while, anyway.

IIRC, GW's desk may be slighly closer to the studio, but I'm pretty sure that JA's is closer to the studio door. And JA's pretty spry - he can probably jump to block it faster that Gene could get in.


Posted by: bc | August 29, 2007 11:05 PM | Report abuse

bill e, I enjoy all your moments, lucid or pedlucid or occult. Carry on, do.

Posted by: Yoki | August 29, 2007 11:23 PM | Report abuse

SCC: pelucid

Posted by: Yoki | August 29, 2007 11:24 PM | Report abuse

I doubt it, bc. Our Curmudgeon could not offend in his person or manner, surely?

Posted by: Yoki | August 29, 2007 11:27 PM | Report abuse

Hey Yoki, long time since I wasted cyberspace with a poem. Was thinking today about Gary Snyder, anthropology student at IU in the 50's,
memorialized as Japhy Ryder in Kerouac's Dharma Bums. Lead poem to his 1975 Pulitzer Prize winner Turtle Island:


tucked up in clefts in the cliffs
growing strict fields of corn and beans
sinking deeper and deeper in earth
up to your hips in Gods
your head all turned to eagle-down
& lightning for knees and elbows
your eyes full of pollen

the smell of bats.
the flavor of sandstone
grit on the tongue.

at the foot of ladders in the dark.

trickling streams in hidden canyons
under the cold rolling desert

corn-basket wide-eyed
red baby
rock lip home,


Posted by: bill everything | August 29, 2007 11:27 PM | Report abuse

Please forgive dear Boodlers, all. I have been working from 3:30 am to 6:00 or 10:00 pm for days. I fear I may have overstepped the bounds here tonight. Attribute it to sleep-deprivation and the taking of liberties. I solemnly vow not to post again until I've had a good night's sleep, roughly Saturday, the oneth of Sept.

Posted by: Yoki | August 29, 2007 11:31 PM | Report abuse

*breaking my own rule to give kudos to bill everything*

That is an outstanding pome, bill. It has everything bill. Do you remember the way we used to be taught to know the difference between poetry and prose?

And it circles back to the encarta quiz-of-the-day some days ago.

Thank you. A good way to be seen off to bed.

Posted by: Yoki | August 29, 2007 11:35 PM | Report abuse

Richard Jewell, the man wrongly accused of the Atlanta Olympics bombing died today at age 44. His obituary appears here...

It reminds me of another recent wrongly accused person; I don't remember who it was, but I think he said something like.. Even though I was cleared of these charges, when I die my obituary will lead with "the man accused of..."

Posted by: TBG | August 29, 2007 11:41 PM | Report abuse

Among the many things I love about the Boodle is that there are people here, many people, who like poems, appreciate them.

Goodnight, all.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 29, 2007 11:41 PM | Report abuse

Sky Report:
We just had a semi-isolated small thunder storm roll through the last hour and half. Lots of thunder and a few sprinkles but what a finish.
A pinkish orange sky that lit up the weeds and trees like bright orange ice cream with a full 180 degree double rainbow frameing the mountain across the way. Then everything went to pitch black. The last few nights the moon has been bright enough to read by. But alas it went behind the mountain on the east side before the eclispe (sp). Now hoping the clouds clear before tonight's moon rise.

Posted by: bh | August 29, 2007 11:42 PM | Report abuse

We watched a huge orange moon make its appearance this evening peeking over the Atlantic Ocean.


G'night all. Back to the Real World tomorrow.

Posted by: TBG | August 29, 2007 11:48 PM | Report abuse

I took my trash out by moonlight, it is still hoy here, My purple peace sign looks good from the road.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | August 29, 2007 11:55 PM | Report abuse

SCC- Hot, although I do like Hoy, Hoy

Posted by: greenwithenvy | August 30, 2007 12:24 AM | Report abuse

happy birthday to ftb and ivansmom!

Posted by: L.A. lurker | August 30, 2007 1:13 AM | Report abuse

*almost caffeinated Grover waves*


Well, one more workday to struggle through before a long birthday weekend... I think I'll survive.

And the radio studio's mike booms WOULD be perfect places to fling underwear onto, 'tis true... *L*

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 30, 2007 5:03 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, Boodle. Happy birthday to 1stTB, Ivansmom, and (coming up) Scottynuke. Watched "The English Patient" for the second time last night--it was on one of the cable channels. Managed to thoroughly depress myself before going to bed.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 30, 2007 5:55 AM | Report abuse

Morning, everybody. Hey, Cassandra!

Happy b-day to firsttime, Ivansmom, and Snuke!

This story caught my attention because we have had several accelerant detection canines from the program in Front Royal here in Charlotte. Very cool what they do with the animals:

Posted by: Slyness | August 30, 2007 6:37 AM | Report abuse

The story that goes along with the video:

Posted by: Slyness | August 30, 2007 6:45 AM | Report abuse

Morning all, Happy Birthday Ivansmom - enjoy your day.

Saw the orange moon myself last night, here it was a little hidden at time behind the haze and clouds but beautiful anyways.

Heat has broken thankfully - very hot yesterday.

Posted by: dmd | August 30, 2007 7:13 AM | Report abuse

'Morning all. Birthday good wishes to ftb, Ivansmom and S'nuke..The weather here is beautiful and promises to continue through the holiday weekend. Good news but for the lack of rain. Weatherpeople are talking about drought conditions. Our lawn, which had been green all summer, has now turned to beige. Quick garden update, we still have tons of green beans and cukes. The tomatoes are gorgeous this year, nicely round, meaty and tasty. However, I wouldn't plant a Mr. Stripey again. The fruit isn't striped, it's small and tends towards rotting on the vine before I can pick it. Maybe it doesn't like New England growing conditions.

Posted by: Bad Sneakers | August 30, 2007 7:19 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, all. Birthday greetings to ftb, Ivansmom and "Snuke!

The Password for today is...exergonic...*bing*

Posted by: jack | August 30, 2007 7:54 AM | Report abuse

Happy current birthday to Ivansmom, belated birthday to ftb, and advance birthday to lurker.

RD, it sounds like you have an abundance of tomatoes. If so, how do you keep the birds away from them? The little &*$#@s keep pecking at mine. I see one that's just about ready, and think "I'll pick that one tomorrow" only to find little (or big) holes drilled in it the next day. The only solution I've found is to pick them before they're fully ripe and ripen them in the kitchen window. Which sort of defeats the purpose of home-grown 'maters. Sigh...

Posted by: Raysmom | August 30, 2007 8:25 AM | Report abuse

Belated thanks for the NW Passage stories Mudge. Sgt Henry Larsen's St-Roch made two NWP firsts: made it from the West to the East in about 2 years and then did it again in a single season from the East to the West. Larsen was a Norwegian like your buddy Amundsen but he adopted British citizenship to enroll in the RCMP and navigate the Arctic. I visited the schooner St-Roch, it's on display in the Vancouver Maritime Museum. The museum was actually built around the 100ft, 300 tons boat.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | August 30, 2007 8:49 AM | Report abuse

Jack, AskOxford doesn't have exergonic. Please define.

I'm back from the walk. It's still hot, but the high summer, sweat running down the back into the crack intensity is gone. Now if we could just get some rain...

I'm waiting for the delivery of a new dishwasher and still trying to decide if I should be annoyed that I had to talk to the store manager to ensure that it got delivered this week. If this one doesn't work properly, I'm telling Lowe's goodbye.

Posted by: Slyness | August 30, 2007 8:52 AM | Report abuse

Stephen Dubner at his Freakonomics blog at the NYT is having an aptonym contest. Of course, over there, they have an editor looking at *everything*. Has to be a real person, BTW.

Given my reading this morning about the Sen. Larry Craig scandal, I submitted the following:

the late Rep. Gerry Studds, D-Mass.

Need I say more? Will it pass muster with the editor? Will it rise to the occasion of being one of the three best submitted so that I can win a either a copy of Freakonomics or a Freakonomics yo-yo? *l*

Posted by: Loomis | August 30, 2007 8:59 AM | Report abuse

SCC: The name submitted for the aptonym has to be a real person,...not the editor. *l*

Posted by: Loomis | August 30, 2007 9:01 AM | Report abuse


Nick and Rob will be crushed...


Posted by: Scottynuke | August 30, 2007 9:03 AM | Report abuse

Good morning all. Happy Birthday wishes to all the August boodlers.

Posted by: LostInThought | August 30, 2007 9:15 AM | Report abuse

OK, I just read GW's 8/30 update. He's officially gone from funny guy to insufferable blowhard.

Posted by: Raysmom | August 30, 2007 9:37 AM | Report abuse

Agreed, Raysmom. I know how meat is produced, I've even watched the process with pigs I HELPED RAISE. I'm fine with eating meat, I'm fine with someone else processing it since I contribute to society in other ways, and I'm fine with anyone else choosing to be vegan. I notice he and/or Liz decided not to address my statement about how he must be talking about all those vegetarian hot dogs he doesn't put ketchup on. *shrug*

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 30, 2007 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Slyness: Exergonic is one of those words that someone coined as a synonym for exothermic. I don't particularly favour the former term because the latter is much more descriptive: a chemical reaction that releases energy. My teachers taught me exothermic. Whenm I started teaching, exergonic was embedded in the textbooks. Its opposite is endergonic/endothermic: chemical reactions that store energy. Chemical hot packs and thermonuclear reactions vs. chemical cold packs.

The new Password is...frass...


Posted by: jack | August 30, 2007 9:51 AM | Report abuse

Thank you, Jack. I was afraid my cultural ignorance was showing in a big way.

Posted by: Slyness | August 30, 2007 9:54 AM | Report abuse

Thank you, Loomis. I'm not interested in the book, but I kind of like yo-yo's, so I posted the name of astronomer Sumner Starrfield,

Posted by: ScienceTim | August 30, 2007 9:54 AM | Report abuse

Ug... frass! One of my favorite words, along with 'krill.'

Posted by: TBG | August 30, 2007 9:55 AM | Report abuse

hummmmmmmmm, krill.

Posted by: shrieking whale | August 30, 2007 10:00 AM | Report abuse

jack, thanks. Now I know another word for bug poop.

Posted by: Raysmom | August 30, 2007 10:01 AM | Report abuse

there is John Tory, the boss of Ontario's Conservative Party. It may be a little little obscure to non-Canadian though.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | August 30, 2007 10:05 AM | Report abuse

There are two varieties: microfrass and macrofrass, depending on the size if the insect. I've heard that the volume of frass that falls from the canopy in a rainforest is enough to sound like fine raindrops if you happen to be in a tent. Regardless, frass is one of the major contributors to the nitrogen sink in forested ecosystems.

Posted by: jack | August 30, 2007 10:07 AM | Report abuse

Loomis, everyone knows editors aren't real people.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 30, 2007 10:11 AM | Report abuse

Raysmom, about 'maters. There are several ways I keep the birds away. The first is to locate the garden next to a busy street. This seems to discourage avian loitering.

The second is to periodically release a highly-strung little dog. This gives the place a bad reputation among the local birds.

Should you not have these options available, there are two other approaches that usually work.

I create a "bird scare" by painting a plastic milk jug black and gluing on two huge owl-like eyes. Then I keep moving it around so the birds don't get used to it.

Finally, be sure not to let *any* of the tomatoes get over-ripe. Once there is even a single squishy smelly over-ripe 'mater on the vine, the birds will come swarming.

Posted by: RD Padouk | August 30, 2007 10:14 AM | Report abuse

Someone took the concise little matrix describing my group's process-improvement recommendation and formatted it into an "Executive Presentation." I just received it for review. It's 29 pages of Powerpoint. *sobbing quietly in corner*

Posted by: Raysmom | August 30, 2007 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Raysmom - I feel your pain. May the spirit of
Edward Tufte give you strength.

Posted by: RD Padouk | August 30, 2007 10:19 AM | Report abuse

I know what frass is. I feel proud. Such happy success, considering my last biology class was 30 years ago (and, of course, whatever I squeeze out of my Dad, the ScienceGrandpa, who is a retired biophysicist).

I think you may be missing the point about Weingarten and the meat discussion. He is not a vegetarian, and he is not on a crusade to make others into vegetarians. He is on a crusade to promote rigorous self-examination. Either you are completely at ease with the morality of slaughtering and eating a living creature with a complex central nervous system, or you are not. If you are at ease, then feel free to eat what you like. If you are not at ease with it, then either you are a vegetarian or you are rationalizing actions that you suspect are wrong. Weingarten puts himself in the latter camp, which he labels "hypocrites." To the extent that he is moralizing, he is stating that there is a moral judgment to be made in eating meat, but he does not claim to tell you what is the correct moral judgment: he argues that each of us is responsible for defining our own moral stance. He DOES enunciate his own stance on the morality of meat, but I did not perceive him to be claiming papal infallibility. The claim that eating meat is a moral issue is not the same as stating that there is only one correct moral choice.

Vegetarian vs. vegan is a different level of nuance in the same debate. Contrary to the reductio ad absurdum argument, it is not inconsistent with ethical vegetarianism to eat plants (living things that lack a nervous system), to kill microbes (which lack a nervous system or anything like it), or to squoosh ants. Evolution and reality have equipped us with neither the ability nor the desire to survive by completely eschewing foods that come from living things. Ethical vegetarian diet is a balance between ethical intention and pragmatism. For instance, in the ScienceHousehold, we eat vegetarian at home (the ScienceSpouse and I have been known to stray when eating out -- we are in the same moral zone as Weingarten). However, we have no qualms about leather shoes, because natural leather is simply so much better than alternatives. Alternatives to leather in shoes are not good enough (in performance and reliability), even though we are predisposed against leather for moral and ethical reasons.

Posted by: ScienceTim | August 30, 2007 10:24 AM | Report abuse

RD, I appreciate the 'mater advice. Unfortunately the first two excellent tips aren't available to me. But I might try the milk-jug thing.

*sniff* Thanks for the Tufte boost. I knew this was coming, but being right doesn't help in this case.

Posted by: Raysmom | August 30, 2007 10:26 AM | Report abuse

Raysmom, if it makes you feel any better, I have a 580-page report accompanied by an 80-page PowerPoint in my "In" box.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 30, 2007 10:26 AM | Report abuse

But if it is not unethical to use the leather - wouldn't it be unethical to waste what is underneath the skin?

Posted by: dmd | August 30, 2007 10:28 AM | Report abuse

>He is on a crusade to promote rigorous self-examination. <

I'm aware of that, Tim, but my point still remains: that's NOT what I go to a chat labeled "Funny" for during my lunchtime leisure reading.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 30, 2007 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Oh Raysmom, I feel your pain. I hate when Powerpoint is used for evil.

I have a theory that Powerpoint is indirectly responsible for many of our current military missteps. A generation of folks have been subjected to and learned to emulate "poor plans, brilliantly briefed."

Posted by: frostbitten | August 30, 2007 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Sadly, even I, a die hard Weingarten fan, think that this is not his finest hour. By his definition of "sentience" it is immoral to kill rats, mice, shrews, and, for that matter, termites. For who knows how "sentient" a termite is.

Still, I respect Weingarten very much and think we should give him a little slack. I think his heart is in the right place.

Posted by: RD Padouk | August 30, 2007 10:29 AM | Report abuse

I agree with Mudge that the key point is, rightly or wrongly, Weingarten is no longer entertaining. And he is losing people because of this.

Posted by: RD Padouk | August 30, 2007 10:32 AM | Report abuse

I don't dispute Weingarten's right to do/write whatever he wants. But there's a point where his chat begins to approach Lenny Bruce's last years of performances, where Bruce forgot what his act was supposed to be about, and he just read from his trial transcripts, etc. No doubt Bruce was getting a raw deal--but I wouldn't go to a nightclub on a Saturday night to listen to Lenny Bruce rant about his case.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 30, 2007 10:36 AM | Report abuse

At one point, I was presented with the opportunity to suggest that our state prohibit PowerPoint presentations from its criminal courtrooms, on the grounds that they are an abomination to thought and consciousness. Unfortuntately, the issue had been waived.

Posted by: Ivansmom | August 30, 2007 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Happy Birthday Ivansmom!

Posted by: RD Padouk | August 30, 2007 10:44 AM | Report abuse

Who doesn't love the chance to vote on a slogan?

Posted by: TBG | August 30, 2007 10:53 AM | Report abuse

You know, some of us have a new Kit!

Posted by: Bob S. | August 30, 2007 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Mudge says:
"I have a 580 page report accompanied by an 80-page PowerPoint in my In-box"
This is for a 20 minutes presentation, right? Our Director General sends you his PowerPoint "decks"? I'm all confused.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | August 30, 2007 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Good day, all.

Also a belated bravo to Mudge on yesterday's Northwest Passage post.

I say that moon last night myself, driving eastward on Rt 70, started blood red, then faded to orange and yellow as it rose into the night. It was beautiful to watch.

Happy birthday to all those celebrating their Day of Days (to quote Dr. Seuss).


Posted by: bc | August 30, 2007 11:04 AM | Report abuse

I guess that is the point where I get hung up on the food question. I don't see food as a moral issue, but then again, I was raised and lived much of my life a lot closer to the source.

Posted by: dr | August 30, 2007 11:11 AM | Report abuse

dmd -- as I said, pragmatism. I do not claim it is possible to live in a state of moral and ethical perfection. You have to make compromises. There is no alternative.

If an animal were killed for its skin alone, I would be troubled by it. However, I feel comfortable that the very small amount of leather that I use is a mere byproduct from the choice made by others to eat meat. I cannot eat meat without choosing to conspire in killing the animal, but leather (at the minimal level that we make use of it) is a mere by-product of others' choices. If I bought a lot of leather, it would be different, because an animal has more meat than skin. If leather were rare or unavailable in commercial quantities, I would not buy leather. Instead, leather is pretty much a waste product of meat-production.

I recognize that this is a rationalized argument. If I withdrew my money from the market for leather, there would be less profit in it, and less motivation to slaughter animals. Even if my moral choice did not slaughter the animal, I am complicit in profiting from the act. What can I say? I can find durable, comfortable, and attractive leather shoes at a price I can afford. The same is not true of non-leather shoes. So, I make my ethical compromise and get on with life.

Posted by: ScienceTim | August 30, 2007 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Too late, Joel. We've already finalized plans to flood the Post Radio studio with water, fill it with exotic fish and charge Post staffers five dollars each to look at them. We believe this will both generate revenue and enhance the mood of the staff -- unless the glass breaks and floods the newsroom. YOU may be able to make some money there at your desk by selling snacks and sodas. And possibly diving equipment.
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