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Can You Hear Me Now?

The biggest news of the morning, and most likely the day, is a massive earthquake that shook Peru at around 6:40 last night. The quake, which registered a 7.9 on the Richter scale, killed at least 330 people and injured more than 800.

Lucien Chauvin's story in the Washington Post suggests all hell has broken loose in the affected region:

In Ica, one hospital partially collapsed while others overflowed with victims. The National Police reported incidents of looting of homes and stores in Ica. Rescuers struggled to reach Ica from the capital, because portions of the Pan-American Highway, a key coastal route, were impassable, Reuters said.

In Chincha province, 100 miles south of Lima, inmates at the Tambo de Mora prison took advantage of the chaos to escape, according to the state news agency Andina.

Peruvian President Alan Garcia, perhaps worried that Peruvians will blame the government's incompetence on the government, has already started pointing fingers: "In a speech to the nation, Garcia offered his condolences to the families of the dead but also berated the telecom companies for the failed service. The quake was a lesson, he said, and the government would not let the phone system collapse again." He may as well have added: "Peru will soon be switching to AT&T, the company with the least dropped calls."

P.S. The BBC has a very helpful and cool slideshow about how earthquakes happen. Check it out.

P.P.S. This YouTube video was allegedly shot during the earthquake last night:

-- Rob Anderson

By Rob Anderson  |  August 16, 2007; 11:30 AM ET
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This man is unstoppable. Two kits in one morning!

Posted by: shrieking denizen | August 16, 2007 11:38 AM | Report abuse

First? And I just gotta report this from the previous:

*sitting in back row but waving hand in air wildly to get substitute teacher's attention*

Hey, Mr. Anderson! Mr. Anderson! It's 11:30. Mr. Achenbach sometimes let's us go to lunch early on Thursdays. Can we go to lunch now, huh, huh, puhlease, huh? I wouldn't kid you about this, really. I swear, it's OK with Mr. Achenbach! You can call him and ask. Huh, huh, Mr. Anderson?

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 16, 2007 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Aw, rats. I thought I was first.

Guess I hafta go and read the new kit now.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 16, 2007 11:39 AM | Report abuse

I checked with friends who have family in Peru (around Lima). It was very difficult for them to get through, as the infrastructure has, well, disappeared for the moment. That being said, the family was safe and well. My friends (along with another friend) will be going down there on a long-planned vacation on Labor Day. Hope Macchu Pichu hasn't gone under by that time.

These natural (so to speak) disasters are so horrible. Someone sent me a bunch of pictures from the site of the bridge disaster in Minnesota. What I found remarkable, besides all the people trying to help, there were *tons* of people standing on the parallel bridge watching. It seems to me that if one bridge went down, the last (the *very* last) place I would want to be would be (1) on another bridge; and (2) in a position merely to *watch* instead of doing something productive.

But, maybe that's just me.

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | August 16, 2007 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Look away, bc, just look away...;_ylt=AqbjjXBohqNiUPqvtvVRE7FsaMYA


Posted by: Scottynuke | August 16, 2007 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Scotty, so if Duct Tape Boy is "not guilty" how does he explain his headgear? Crude hair-removal technique? Ran out of tin foil?

Posted by: Raysmom | August 16, 2007 11:53 AM | Report abuse

All I can say Scotty is ouch....twice.

I guess duct tape is cheaper then stockings

Posted by: greenwithenvy | August 16, 2007 11:57 AM | Report abuse

it looks like the peru video was supposed to be about the anniversary of elvis presley's death.

Posted by: L.A. lurker | August 16, 2007 11:58 AM | Report abuse

It's stopped raining in Ottawa and the radar is clear. That means I can change the hoses on the pool filter and pump as soon as I finish installing the new drapes on my sister's patio doors and dining room window. At least the rain has relieved me of the plant watering duty so there won't be a repeat of last year's tragic die off.
It's a good thing dogs can ask to be topped up. Stupid plants.

Posted by: Boko999 | August 16, 2007 12:01 PM | Report abuse

firsttimeblogger, I agree with you about standing on the bridge. There is another way to think about the watchers, though. First, I doubt the authorities wanted a bunch of untrained volunteers tromping all over the rescue effort, so watching was all they could do.

Second, instead of seeing the watching as morbid voyeurism, you could see it as bearing witness and honouring the injured and dead.

Just sayin'.

Posted by: Yoki | August 16, 2007 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Curmudgeon, you are free to go.

Posted by: Rob Anderson | August 16, 2007 12:06 PM | Report abuse

OK, for Boko especially, but look what moved into my backyard, after Martooni/Dang Hippie send me my fairy doors.

Martooni -- we will never tell your buds at the hardware store about how you spend your days in the shop.

Posted by: College Parkian | August 16, 2007 12:09 PM | Report abuse

SonofCarl, my guitar lessons are temporarily on hold as we get settled into our new house. I will have to find a new teacher, as I am too far from my old teacher to make it to lessons in a practical time.

Posted by: ScienceTim | August 16, 2007 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Yoki, you make a very good point.

You know, one really great thing about this blog is that we're all so *^*(%)%^$ civil when we disagree (grinning).

Time for lunch.

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | August 16, 2007 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Joel might want' to start worrying. This guy is good.

Cabinet shuffle? Is that like a dance where you change partners but don't ask anyone new onto the floor? Were they as well dressed as Mudge?

I'm not sure I understand the need for a shuffle, but I have a feeling that wherever Peter MacKay goes, he will do well. I also think he will be a serious contender down the line, which probably explains the whole shuffle.

I don't think that Harper is trying to take away the ability of his ministers to speak so much as to stop the politics of the scrum. His modus operandi seems more to be to cut journalists out of the loop, take them out of the hallways, and put them back into the press galleries and committees and hearings where they can report on the actual work of the nation's government, not just the fluff of the nation.

I never considered the talent pool of the previous 2 governments to be very deep. They were good at the off the cuff remarks,I'll give them that, but I want more from those in charge then witty repartee.

Posted by: dr | August 16, 2007 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of lunch, I feel the need to get something I really *want* . . . so what's it to be?

The perfect diamond studs at Blue Nile or a couple of slices from Ant'ny's down the street?

WWDD? (What Would dmd Do?)

Posted by: dbG | August 16, 2007 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Thanks CP. Love the door and visitor. I like the video of the moonflower opening though there's no sound on this 'puter (one more thing to fix while I'm here) so I couldn't hear if it was saying, "Water me."

Posted by: Boko999 | August 16, 2007 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Dang, the student showing up the teacher. Nice touch with the YouTube, Rob. (Joel, perhaps you'll rethink this maneuver next time you go traipsing across the world on a vacation while we're all stuck working ... or at least giving every appearance of working.)

Posted by: jlessl | August 16, 2007 12:32 PM | Report abuse

I was talking with someone about the video, and we thought the same thing: curious that we'd see it today, the 30th anniversary (IIRC) of Elvis' death.



Posted by: bc | August 16, 2007 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Some interesting points derived from the BBC earthquake slide show, of no interest to people who are actually recovering from an earthquake right now:

(1) The term "p-wave" always confuses me, because it is a pressure wave as well as being the primary wave. It is a longitudinal wave, like sound waves, so the wave travels by compressing and rarefying the medium in the direction of travel. It's confusing because there's no alternate expression consistent with s-wave.

(2) p-waves travel quite happily through fluids, whereas s-waves (secondary waves) are damped in fluids. Mapping out the arrival times of seismic waves and modeling the propagation of the waves through the Earth's interior is how we know that the Earth has a solid core (which could support both p- and s-waves), surrounded by a liquid core (which can support only p-waves), surrounded by a hot, soft (relatively speaking), and ductile mantle which is nevertheless not liquid, so it can support both types of waves. Surrounding that is the lithosphere (the sphere of rock) and the crust, with continents sitting on it like, um, like scabs... no, like globs of foam..., um, like barnacles on a boat. Like water-lilies?

"Side-to-side waves" is the mnemonic I use for s-waves, though it isn't a very clever mnemonic.

(3) Perhaps Dooley could clarify this for me/us: the BBC slide show seemed to show mantle material injected at the subduction margin where one plate is squooshing beneath another. However, my understanding was that the magma at subduction zones actually is melted continental rock formed where the plate surfaces scrub against each other.

(4) It's not kinetic energy that is stored where plates lock up against each other, it is potential energy. The potential energy is converted to kinetic energy when it is released, creating earthquakes and seismic waves and moving rocks.

Boy, I hope I got this all correctly. Dooley, if I said something wrong(ly) slap me down fast. It's like tearing off a band-aid, better to do it quickly and get it over with.

Posted by: ScienceTim | August 16, 2007 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Cool pics CeePee (made me grin). But I feel the need to point out the your element still says [Your Site Name]

Posted by: omni | August 16, 2007 12:35 PM | Report abuse

dbG, to answer your perplexing question - Food over Diamonds any day!!!!

Posted by: dmd | August 16, 2007 12:41 PM | Report abuse

So how do you say "You're doing a heckuva job, Brownie!" in Peruvian? I have a hard time snarking when lives are being lost tragically.

Vietnamese coffee is awesome! I frequently order, but since it's drip brewed espresso, I get very impatient waiting for it all to brew so I can add it to the condensed milk.

As a protectionist measure, Vietnam has kept most US fast food chains out, so a chain called Trung Nguyen has stepped up and put a store everywhere a Starbucks should be.

Out of respect for my gastrointestinal system I only drank bottled water in Vietnam, so I can't categorically tell whether domestic Vietnamese coffee matches the native stuff.

My fears were confirmed one morning when I walked past a guy on the rather grubby sidewalk attacking a large block of ice with a hammer and chisel to make the morning's supply of ice cubes.

A reasonable facsimile is the canned Vietnamese coffee. These little 4 ounce cans can keep me buzzed all morning.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 16, 2007 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Yikes, Toronto Stock Exchange down 499 points at the moment.

Posted by: dmd | August 16, 2007 12:45 PM | Report abuse

>a couple of slices from Ant'ny's down the street?

mmmm, dbG THAT sounds good. But go ahead and get the diamonds on the way back!

Posted by: Error Flynn | August 16, 2007 12:46 PM | Report abuse

ScienceTim, please try not to talk about P-waves when there are old people present. And I'm on three diureteics as it is and I

Oh crap. Be right back.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 16, 2007 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Darn Canadian wouln't take the NASA scientists at their word. Data he said we need data. Apparently the 1930's were scorching hot.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | August 16, 2007 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Darn Canukstani wouldn't take NASA scientists at their word. Data he said, we want data. The 1930's were scorchers apparently.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | August 16, 2007 1:05 PM | Report abuse

I just happened to be watching the telly the other night and there was a bit on civet coffee. I think that bc mentioned it sometime last week during the unmentionable acts with goats thread. The comment about the coffee was that " has such a long finish...". Not to mention an inauspicious start.

Posted by: jack | August 16, 2007 1:08 PM | Report abuse

BTW, did we all witness "A Moment" back there on the previous kit at 10:56 when Helen dropped in to say hi to Rob, who once was in her poetry class at G-town?

[cue background music with many violins swelling]

[cue gauzy fuzzy wobbly gizmo that makes camera indicate flashback scene is coming]


[camera stabilizes as violins fade]

In the background, an older teacher wearing a coat with elbow patches and a bowtie is droning on at the blackboard, and occassionaly making reference to lines from the poem written on the blackboard. The poem is something old and revered, possibly "Stopping by a Woods on a Snowy Evening to Tinkle on a Tree and Mark My Territory" by Wilbrodog Curlos Wilbrodog, or maybe it's just Tennyson's Ozymandias, it doesn't matter.

In the foreground, Rob, a college junior, is day-dreaming and idly doddling in his notebook. Suddenly he feels that someone is staring at him. Camera pulls back as he looks up and around, and across the room reveals Helen, also a sophomore, who was looking at him but who quickly looks down at her own notebook just as Rob's scan gets to her. He's not sure if it was she or not.

ROB'S VOICE-OVER: Was she...? Hmm. And what's her name? Harriet? No, not Harriet. Helen. That's it, Helen, like Helen of Troy. Maybe...maybe I should speak to her. Nah, she'd never be interested in an Internet geek and Achenbach protege like me...or would she?

Just then the bell rings and class is over. Rob gathers up his books and intends to go speak to Helen--but she is gone!

[cue violins, which swell to dramatic crescendo]

[fade to black]

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 16, 2007 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, you're on diuretics? I never would have taken you for the sort to fall for that Scientology crapola.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | August 16, 2007 1:12 PM | Report abuse

Sci Time said subduction and squooshing in the same sentence. Man can he make pointy topics hot, hot, hot.

Get a late start and look what the sub has done. Multiple posts, video linkiness. Almost enough to subdue envy of his youth and promise.

To our hoser friends-a few links to some backstory on the CA cabinet shuffle would be most appreciated. I have been watching back to back episodes of Scrubs when I should be listening to As It Happens and am woefully lost in what I'm sure is an erudite analysis.

115 hours 49 minutes until Starbucks opens in our county seat. Just 45 minutes away!!!!

Posted by: frostbitten | August 16, 2007 1:13 PM | Report abuse

A P wave is a Primary Pressure wave.
A S wave is Secondary Shear wave.

Both travel straight through the earth. The time delay between when one sees a P wave and when one sees a S wave determines the distance through the earth between a seismograph and the source of the earthquake.

The destructive, though short range, waves that travel on the surface are called L waves (Love waves). Interestingly, these are "retrograde waves" which means you will be thrown upwards and backwards from the direction of the wave motion.

(I knew that geophysics class would come in handy one day)

Posted by: RD Paoduk | August 16, 2007 1:14 PM | Report abuse

LOL, K-guy.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 16, 2007 1:15 PM | Report abuse

SCC- 45 MILES away.

Posted by: frostbitten | August 16, 2007 1:15 PM | Report abuse

frosti, here you go the Cabinet shuffle in the CBC view, look on previous kit for a more humourous take on the shuffle (Kady O'Mally).

Posted by: dmd | August 16, 2007 1:24 PM | Report abuse

The USGS quickly put up a ShakeMap of the Peruvian earthquake (now rated 8.0). It gave good warning that the most serious damage was south of Lima.

A day or two ago, Hawaii was urging tourists not to scrap their vacations because of the nearby tropical storm. The same would almost certainly apply to most visitors to Peru. The ShakeMap indicates that areas up in the Andes should be fine, and it seems that damage in Lima was limited.

Thinking of Mr. Anderson, I suspect that Joel learned a bit from John McPhee (Princeton) as well as from Dave Barry (Miami Herald). So Anderson was exposed to a couple of potent traditions . . .

Funny that back when I was in high school in Delaware, I thought Howard was an important university (especially because of its professional schools) while Georgetown et al. seemed kind of small-town compared to what existed in, say, Baltimore, Pittsburgh, or Philly. Not that any of those academic hot spots would have admitted me.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | August 16, 2007 1:25 PM | Report abuse

All this coffee talk is reminding me that for the good of your nation, we boodlish Cancuks really should be writing to Tim Horton's encouraging faster expansion into the US. For heavens sake it is our duty to help put these people out of their misery. They need great coffee, not Starbucks.

Frosty, the cabinet shuffle was really just like watching back to back epiosodes of scrubs. Oh wait, that would be more interesting.

Posted by: dr | August 16, 2007 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Good choice, dmd & Error.

I can't resist--Caro. From your mines? :-)

- Last night you were, unhinged. You were like some desperate, howling demon. You frightened me. Do it again.

- Life is not all lovely thorns and singing vultures, you know.

Morticia Addams

Posted by: dbG | August 16, 2007 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Dave, you probably could have gotten into Georgetown - they let me in - you just had to be judicious in picking a major (like Russian). I knew of Georgetown for its language and foreign service schools. It was funny to me when it became famous and fashionable for basketball. Having said that, welcome, Rob, and other Georgetown alums! Hoya saxa.

My husband decided to rip into the bathroom himself, because he's tired of waiting for the contractor who never shows up or returns phone calls or emails. He got part way through ripping out the tile on one wall, then realized he really can't do this himself. So now we have a lovely shower curtain with duct tape playing the part of a wall. Sigh.

Posted by: mostlylurking | August 16, 2007 1:35 PM | Report abuse

We are having a food drive charity car wash at my work place today. The imagery that ensues is filled with pretty girls scantily clad, you know the standard male imagination of such an event. The reality is far from that.

Unfourtunately the only people willing and able to volunteer their time for this were 45-60 year old computer techs(and they aren't small boys either). But they are being good sports about the whole afair. I dont think I will ever forget the horror I just witnessed; the cry from one of the managers "oy I'm losin' me bleedin' skirt!" and the sight that came with it as his grass skirt tore apart. I know it's all in good fun but I hope they don't wear the bikinis next time.

Posted by: Kerric | August 16, 2007 1:36 PM | Report abuse


The installer started the dishwasher before he left and noticed that it leaked. So he took it back and I have to wait for a new one to be ordered.

Of course, I'd rather be inconvenienced for a week or so than have to spring to fix the floor when it rotted out because of a leak I couldn't see.

Posted by: Slyness | August 16, 2007 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Hoya saxa? Is that like regular saxa, only with a bulldog?

Posted by: Anonymous | August 16, 2007 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Slyness, did he re-install your old dishwasher or are you now without?

Posted by: Raysmom | August 16, 2007 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Duh, that was stupid. The old one was *broken* right?

Posted by: Raysmom | August 16, 2007 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Oops, that was me at 1:40. I seem to be channeling Emily Litella today.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | August 16, 2007 1:49 PM | Report abuse

He left a hole, but that's okay with me. It'll make installation of a new one easier and quicker. He did fix the drain so I can use the sink, which I appreciate.

Posted by: Slyness | August 16, 2007 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Saving Soviet Jewelry, Endangered Feces, Flea Erections in China, Making Puerto Rico a Steak, Presidential Erections, Pouring Money into Canker Research, the Eagle Rights Amendment, Busting School Children, Conserving our Natural Racehorses, Youth in Asia, and Sax and Violins on Television.

Posted by: Emily | August 16, 2007 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Are you sure the guy in the Peru video isn't *blaming* the earthquake on Elvis?

Posted by: nellie | August 16, 2007 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Never mind.

Posted by: Emily | August 16, 2007 1:56 PM | Report abuse

I'm all shook up
Mm mm oh, oh, yeah, yeah!

Posted by: Elvis | August 16, 2007 1:59 PM | Report abuse

YAY, CeePee fixed her title...

Posted by: omni | August 16, 2007 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Georgetown seems to have gotten a lot more applicants after the basketball team gained prominence. Sort of like the way applications to the University of Chicago allegedly doubled after the first Indiana Jones movie came out--Dr Jones was a UC prof.

After I arrived at Penn State, I quickly realized that I shouldn't have taken for granted admission to the main campus for fall term. My freshman roomate's a distinguished neurologist, after all.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | August 16, 2007 2:04 PM | Report abuse

I don't know about the college, but I can't say enough good things about G-town Hospital. I have all my work done there. Seriously.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 16, 2007 2:09 PM | Report abuse

From the last kit-- maybe more properly called a kitten....

I'm enjoying the mental image of 'Joel cavorting on the riveria'... to the tune of gunfire hitting around his feet and being denounced as "le porc chauvinistic yanquis!" by le mob furiouse.

Kilometres Deboutish would declare it a scene for a great Art Buchwald column, no doubt.

Nothing much to say except what a devasting earthquake and how glad I am that the life toll wasn't as high as it could have been-- it could have hit at 2 AM.

Posted by: Wilbrod | August 16, 2007 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Jeez, the market drop has gone from -249 to -79 and the headline still says Rattled Market Continues Sharp Decline. Hello?

Posted by: Slyness | August 16, 2007 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Curmudgeon, I haven't finished

"Stopping by the Woods On A Snowy Evening To Hear Deer and Sniff At every Tree" YET.

Life's more like "Stopping by the Woods on a Sweaty Morning" right now.

I just finished an original pome about a dead elk, but I'm keeping it all to myself to roll in over and over again, mm!

Posted by: Wilbrodog | August 16, 2007 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Changing topics for a second, I posted a long-overdue blog item/transcript re. a conversation about Karl Rove's resignation over at the 10thcircle:

Why is he doing this, and why now?


Posted by: bc | August 16, 2007 2:27 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Murdock's TV network has a new reality show in the pipes. People are hooked up to a polygraph and asked various things. Sounds like something Dr. Venkman would cook up.

Posted by: jack | August 16, 2007 2:32 PM | Report abuse

bc, Rove is doing this because he's going to viciously attack Hillary and they don't want it linked directly to the White House.
Just a guess.

Posted by: Ivansmom | August 16, 2007 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Jenna's engaged

Posted by: Anonymous | August 16, 2007 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Many universities are med schools with other stuff attached. When I was a student at UNC-Chapel Hill, half the budget was for health sciences. The University of Miami must be even more lopsided. Med School, Rosentiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences, football team, and miscellaneous stuff.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | August 16, 2007 2:50 PM | Report abuse

I didn't even know she was pregnant.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 16, 2007 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Re. the duct tape guy: maybe he was thinking he was giving himself the equivalent of a facial wax, in addition to a Master Disguise for the holdup attempt.

Two birds with one stone.
Wile E Coyote, Super Genius.

A thought about the 1930s temperatures; the temps might have been driven up by all of those folks who had to start outdoor fires to stay warm at night. I suppose it's a convenient time to have a Depression, when the weather's mild.


Posted by: bc | August 16, 2007 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Umm, correction. That's the Rosenstiel School. I left out an "s". It hosts the AOML--Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory operated by NOAA. The Rosenstiel headquarters is a beautiful waterside building on Virginia Key that ought to be featured in the next James Bond movie. The rest of Virginia Key's looking pretty good, too. Back before integration, the Key was Miami's "separate but equal" beach. The facilites fell into disuse afterward, but the City government has done a great job of restoring native vegetation, and I think they're working on park facilities, too. Amazing to have such a natural spot so close to the skyscrapers and port.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | August 16, 2007 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Just heard the tune "Shine on you Crazy Diamond"

Wildlife report: Stopped and watched two Turkey Vultures work on some road kill. They left nothing. Those things are scary!!

Posted by: greenwithenvy | August 16, 2007 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Just back from the dentist (always worries me when the hygenist looks in and exclaims "Oh my God!".)

To answer ScienceTim's questions,

As RDP noted, p-waves are primary waves and s-waves are secondary waves. P-waves are compression waves that move very rapidly. S-waves are sine waves that move more slowly--they produce side-to-side and up-and-down motions. Because they move more slowly than p-waves, s-waves arrive slightly later (hence, "secondary".)

There are other types of waves associated with earthquakes, Raleigh waves and Love waves. Raleigh waves have a circular motion similar to water in an ocean wave, while Love waves have a complex form that moves through multiple axes. Rayleigh and Love waves only occur close to the Earth's surface (collectively they're called surface waves), they travel relatively slowly by seismic wave standards, and their strength drops rapidly with distance from the epicenter. Close to the epicenter they tend to do the most damage.

SciTim is also correct in noting how these waves travel through the Earth's interior. Surface wave are, well, on the surface, and don't go deep. P-waves can travel through essentially any Earth materials, although their speed will vary depending on the material. S-waves can only travel through solids. This is actually our main source of information about the structure and composition of the Earth's interior. On the opposite side of the Earth from an earthquake you get an S-wave shadow, indicating that part of the Earth's interior is liquid; the size of the shadow tells us the diameter of the liquid component. The different arrival times of p-waves in different locations tell the composition and thickness of various layers, including the fact that only the outer part of the core is liquid, while the inner core is solid again.

SciTim is also correct in questioning the apparent mantle injection in the BBC video; this is not the source of subduction zone magma. As the dense ocean crust subducts, it takes down with it a lot of seawater-saturated sediments. As the subducting plate reaches greater depths (and pressures), it doesn't actually heat up very much (rock is a terrible heat conductor). However, the presence of water dramatically reduces the melting point of these rocks, and so you get a lot of melting along the subduction zone. The magma is a combination of melting the subducting ocean crust, the over-riding continental crust, and the seafloor sediments carried down the subduction zone.

One other note--the suggestion in the graphic that the ocean crust is being ripped apart by upwelling magma at spreading centers is no longer as widely accepted as it was only a few years ago. It appears that plate movements are caused when cooling ocean crust becomes so dense that it sinks back into the mantle, pulling the rest of the plate behind it. Therefore, plate motions are "subduction-driven" rather than "rift-driven".

Posted by: Dooley | August 16, 2007 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Loomis, you'll find this interesting, I think:

Our museum librarian was pulling books for me to put on reserve for my upcoming class. As I was going through them, I notices that one of them is a rocks and minerals field guide by F. B. Loomis.

Posted by: Dooley | August 16, 2007 3:04 PM | Report abuse

So when someone says they "feel the earth move" that's the Love waves at work, right?

Posted by: kurosawaguy | August 16, 2007 3:05 PM | Report abuse

dmd-many thanks for the CBC link. You know Canada would not seem so quaint if you had more hubris and perfidy in your government.

mostly-there is no such thing as "can't" in doing a bathroom reno, only a lack of time and $ for more tools. The lack of time is not so much a matter of having a regular job and obligations but is driven by the desire to use the fixtures again some time in your lifetime, x100 if it is the only bathroom in the house.

Posted by: frostbitten | August 16, 2007 3:07 PM | Report abuse


[Rob walks toward camera, looking content and relaxed]


That Harriet was quite a hottie. I thought to myself, I'm going to have to see if I can cross paths with her again. We had some good times in that poetry class. No wait, Helen, right, Helen.

[A student chasing down a football collides with Rob from the side. Books and papers fall to the sidewalk - the student apologizes and runs off. Rob picks up papers, including his transcript. Close up of transcript. Close up of Rob's face, brows narrowing. Long pause.]


I looked at my transcript, and for a moment it seemed like I was standing to the side watching myself.

I've never taken a fording poetry class in my life.

Then it all came flooding back.

Posted by: SonofCarl | August 16, 2007 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Ha, frosti. Yes, I'm glad he had the sense to stop before ripping out anything functional. This is our only facility, after all. I've been stressing out about this all week, because:
He hates to do plumbing.
He's not as young and strong as he used to be.
I was forced to go shopping and spend time crocheting in the back yard (thus staying well out of the way). My husband talked to a contractor doing work across the street (which I suggested a week ago). So I'm hopeful this will be done...sometime in my lifetime...

Posted by: mostlylurking | August 16, 2007 3:21 PM | Report abuse

mostly, I think you just need to look more forlorn about this. Pitifulness would be good too.

I'd send mrdr, but mrdr is well known for plumbing avoidance. He does really well with posts, and concrete though.

Posted by: dr | August 16, 2007 3:24 PM | Report abuse

> "I didn't even know she was pregnant."

yello... are you channeling Dorothy Parker again?

Posted by: martooni | August 16, 2007 3:28 PM | Report abuse

>Rove is doing this because he's going to viciously attack Hillary and they don't want it linked directly to the White House.

I'm right with Ivansmom on that. This way they can go waaaay beyond the pale and the WH can just shrug it off. For 2008 Rove & Co. will make the Swift Boat guys look like hippies living on a canal barge in Amsterdam.

Dooley, one of the things I read often when this kind of quake happens is "oh and it had NOTHING to do with the one that happened yesterday in 'fill in nearby location' ". What's your take on that? I find it a little hard to buy.

Posted by: Error Flynn | August 16, 2007 3:30 PM | Report abuse

ML -- were you doing need work or where you crotchetty-ing? You can do both at the same time.

Posted by: College Parkian | August 16, 2007 3:30 PM | Report abuse

I think Ivansmom has nailed it, that was my first thought.

Posted by: nellie | August 16, 2007 3:39 PM | Report abuse

"You can lead a horticulture.."

Posted by: yellojkt | August 16, 2007 3:40 PM | Report abuse


RON's hand takes the book, and opens it. It plays a voiceover as camera zooms to face and background and music plays...

"Your Mission, should you choose to accept it, begains with establishing visual contact with Helen at 2 PM Wednesday poetry class at Georgetown university and slip a tracer in her hair without detection or sexual harrassment charges.

At 5 PM in the cafeteria, obtain your dinner. Agent M will identify herself by dropping a large nasty pile of mush on your plate or down your shirt. Notify her of your success by saying "Mr. Stripey is dating Helen."

Agent M will give you another mission. This book will self-destruct in 5 minutes. One............."

Posted by: Wilbrod | August 16, 2007 3:40 PM | Report abuse

To ML -- neeDLEwork.

I have a new browser and I swear, if you over over a button, the action is a done deal.

YK -- how dare you enter that sacred chamber. Besides, conservative gals are not like that. ;)

0 0

(Me, google-eyes in my peepers)

Posted by: College Parkian | August 16, 2007 3:47 PM | Report abuse


hover over

I will now undo this new browser option!


Posted by: College Parkian | August 16, 2007 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Rayleigh waves, no? Raleigh deposited the Roanoke colonists, who disappeared.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | August 16, 2007 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Rob, aren't you glad you guest blogged?

In just one short day here on the blog, you are now a secret agent, and Helen is a famous femme fatale. This is almost as good as the time Joel was going to be the president in the movie we were writing.

Good times.

Posted by: dr | August 16, 2007 3:56 PM | Report abuse

"oh and it had NOTHING to do with the one that happened yesterday in 'fill in nearby location' "

If the quakes are close to each other in both space and time, they are almost certainly related. The initial earthquake occurs because stress builds up in rocks as two rock bodies try to move past each other. The sudden release of that energy is the earthquake, and the two rock bodies suddenly move very rapidly past each other. However, neither rock body exists in isolation; that movement can cause stress to increase somewhere else on the fault, causing a quake in the new location.

Posted by: Dooley | August 16, 2007 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Dooley writes:
Loomis, you'll find this interesting, I think:

Our museum librarian was pulling books for me to put on reserve for my upcoming class. As I was going through them, I notices that one of them is a rocks and minerals field guide by F. B. Loomis.

Dooley, am I to assume from your post that you're referring to this author of the book on minerals and rocks as F. B. Loomis--the same Frederick Brewster Loomis, the Amherst paleontologist we have previously discussed? I'm assuming "Yes."

While we're on the subject of Loomis, I want to ask Science Tim a question. It has to do with Loomis Dean. I snagged an autograph in July connected to Loomis Dean, but not in the place I so wanted to snag it. Long story, trust me. But part of Loomis Dean's bio (and it's only a sentence. Dean died in December 2005, BTW.) states:;c=252/1;s=149;d=17;w=720;h=300;t=III-INTERACTIVE

He was based at Wright Field under Colonel George W. Goddard who was in charge of aerial photographic research. Again, he was exposed to a new facet of photography.

On George Goddard:

Given Science Tim's long and interesting post last week about what current space photography does and doesn't detect on Earth's surface, I was meaning to ask if there is any family relationship between George Goddard and Robert Goddard that Tim is aware of?

I have come from across town and back. Light when I started out this morning, progressing to heavy rains by noontime. Lots and lots of street flooding, but the amount of flooding and depth of the water varies by neighborhood. I imagine barricades may go up later today at the most dangerous low-water crossings. From what I see on radar and hear on the radio, the Houston area is getting the brunt of the storm. Interestingly, there is another big orange blob out in the Gulf Coast, trailing Erin, that looks like it's coming our way, looking like it'll be sucked into Erin's vortex, although the vortex is weakening over land.

Apparently the rain here is in as much freefall as the stock market in NYC.

Posted by: Loomis | August 16, 2007 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Yes, Rayleigh not Raleigh, and I see that I misspelled it every time. How embarressing, especially considering that I had it written down right in front of me.

Posted by: Dooley | August 16, 2007 4:02 PM | Report abuse

SCC: Here's the correct link for the Loomis Dean obit:

Posted by: Loomis | August 16, 2007 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Thinking of Rayleigh, there's also the crucial distinction between Newark (Newerk) and Newark (New Ark).

And in Florida, the UF Libraries are named for "Gorgeous George" Smathers, the loquacious senator who allegedly accused his opponent, Claude Pepper, of being an extravert. Maybe even of drinking Doctor Pepper, which of course was odd Dallas stuff, not to be trusted like the stuff from Atlanta.

On the political side, AP reports that Senator McCain says he received an unprecedented flurry of death threats and general nastiness due to his sponsorship of immigration legislation. A congressman not far from us, Mr. Feeney, is busy explaining his vote against health care for kids as an essential move to prevent tax dollars being spent on Illegal Immigrants who deserve nothing from the US other than deportation. My guess is that anyone who tries to support the kid-health legislation will be smeared and defeated.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | August 16, 2007 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Hope Bayou Self is doing ok! Lots of rain and flooding in Houston. They have "bayous" (man-made or at least concrete reinforced) that take a lot of water, but it's amazing how quickly they fill up.

CP, I was crochet-ing, in the shade, thinking positive thoughts. Or rather, trying not to think about what was going on inside the house. Trying to salvage my vacation, which I was hoping would be stress free. Ha!

Posted by: mostlylurking | August 16, 2007 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Are we playing "Naked Came The Guest Blogger"?


[SciTom enters wearing a floral print shirt]

SciTom: (talking to video screen): Midge, how is the surveillance going?


[Madge is perky and over 1000 years old, but doesn't look a day over 400. Madge is wearing a rain-soaked pink taffeta prom dress.]

Madge: Our sleeper agent is in place. Once Helen shows him the queen of hearts, he will move to take out Achenhack and we can rule the Doodle.

SciTom (off-screen): And then Pinkie, we shall take over the world!

[Both cackle evilly.]

Posted by: yellojkt | August 16, 2007 4:14 PM | Report abuse

SCC: Change all references to "Madge" to "Midge". Any resemble to any person, living or virtual is all in your sordid imagination.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 16, 2007 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Midge? Madge? 1,000 years old...I wonder if he means...


Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 16, 2007 4:21 PM | Report abuse

There is definitely something going on in the Pacific Rim. Earthquake in L.A. today, Peru yesterday, Hawaii a bunch in the last three or four days (although, I'm sure ours are directly related to our active volcano). Busy seismic week, I say.

Posted by: Aloha | August 16, 2007 4:23 PM | Report abuse

All I know about Robert Goddard's family, I learned from Wikipedia just now. No mention of a George Goddard, so far as I could see.

"What shall we do tonight, ScienceTim? Narf!"

"The same thing we do every night, Pinkie: watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer DVD's!"

Posted by: ScienceTim | August 16, 2007 4:32 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 16, 2007 4:36 PM | Report abuse

According to the linked Goerge Goddard biography, he was born in England. Robert Goddard was born in Worcester, MA. Any connection between them is probably tenuous -- cousins, maybe. Big deal. A familial connection might be intriguing, but probably of no great significance.

Posted by: ScienceTim | August 16, 2007 4:37 PM | Report abuse

What earthquake in L.A.?

Posted by: Ivansmom | August 16, 2007 4:38 PM | Report abuse

As in taffeta.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 16, 2007 4:43 PM | Report abuse

There was a 3.5 quake in the San Fernando Valley just after noon today L.A. time.,0,2970955.story?coll=la-home-center

Posted by: Aloha | August 16, 2007 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, aloha. I didn't know about the August 9 quake either. Thanks to Dooley and ScienceTim for those excellent explanations. Although L.A., Hawaii and Peru seem far apart, are they close enough on the same geological plane or whatever for these recent quakes to be connected? Or is this more of Dick Cheney's evil plan?

Pinkie and the Brain. Although the Brain has the, um, brain, Midge/Madge, I wouldn't be insulted. Pinkie usually winds up looking on as the Brain is somehow injured by his own plans. Also, the rain-soaked pink taffeta lends you a certain aura.

Posted by: Ivansmom | August 16, 2007 4:49 PM | Report abuse

Hello everyone.

I wanted to share this about my home town. I hope the outlook is just as rosy when I'm there with my kids in December.

Posted by: a bea c | August 16, 2007 4:51 PM | Report abuse

Unlikely that Peru, LA, and Hawaii are related. Earthquakes in each place are caused by different, unrelated processes (plus a 3.5 earthquake is nothing--there are something like 50 of those per day; I could probably cause a 3.5 just by throwing a tantrum after reading the latest White House antics.)

Posted by: Dooley | August 16, 2007 4:58 PM | Report abuse

BTW, the answer to that Spanish question is, "Buen trabajo, Brownie"

You could also say the truth. That would be, "La cagaste, Brownie"

I'll let you guys use the online translator for that one.

Posted by: a bea c | August 16, 2007 5:00 PM | Report abuse

Ivansmom, yes. The Pacific is narrowing as the Americas move west, subducting or whatever it is on the oceanic plates.

Volcanoes form when the cracks in the plates fill up-- there's a Rim of Fire in the SW Pacific that forms a lot of volanic islands.

For a short animation of how the continents have been moving--

This wiki pictures how the plates are aligned. You can see that if the south american plate collides with the pacific plate, it could easily cause some upward motion against the Northern american plate.

Posted by: Wilbrod | August 16, 2007 5:00 PM | Report abuse

Oh yeah, I got the pink taffeta reference, but...well...Pinkie?

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 16, 2007 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Dooley, they may be scientifically unrelated but I suspect, after this week of all kinds of near-miss disasters, we have po'd the Earth in some way. I'm just sayin'...

Posted by: Aloha | August 16, 2007 5:03 PM | Report abuse

So Fox has this classy new reality show in production in which you have to answer truthfully to 21 questions, tested by a polygraph, in front of your family. The things is, who gets to decide whether you really were being truthful? The questions are intended to be increasingly embarrassing and humiliating. It seems to me that even if I were telling the truth under such circumstances, I might well show many of the same quirks and patterns as a person who is lying. Certainly, for a moment, I would consider lying before answering -- would that be enough to instigate a reading of falsehood? Polygraphs already are highly suspect and subject to the skill and/or ethical character of the operator. Now, you promise to put the moment of humiliation on TV, and you demand that these awful questions be answered in front of the persons most likely to be injured by an unfortunate answer. Can a contestant appeal a ruling? Sue? "I stated on this program that I had had an affair, but the polygraph operator felt it was a lie. Not at all, I simply was trying to decide how many incidents to admit. The production company owes me my half-a-million dollars for my veracity, plus 2 million dollars for emotional damages, plus legal fees. Oh, and I'd like an ice cream sundae, too."

Posted by: ScienceTim | August 16, 2007 5:04 PM | Report abuse

What, no new kit? . . . Joel often posts 3 new kits a day.

Rob, aren't you sorry you signed on for our abuse?

Posted by: dbG | August 16, 2007 5:05 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Dooley. I didn't think they were connected, but I know so little about these things.

Hello, a bea c! That article is wonderful. I guess you and bayou self (if he isn't swimming by now) are about to start new school years, along with jack? Good luck to you all. Common-education teachers (as we call the pre-K through 12 folks here) have really hard jobs and you all have my eternal respect.

Posted by: Ivansmom | August 16, 2007 5:05 PM | Report abuse

Dooley has spoken. They're probably not directly related as in "a bump one place causes another bump elsewhere", but it's part of an ongoing process that forms the mountains in the West.

I saw LA and wasnt surprised it was earthquake prone-- the hills and mountains extend nearly to the beach-- it's clearly the spot of a lot of tectonic tension.

Posted by: Wilbrod | August 16, 2007 5:05 PM | Report abuse

That sounds great, a bea c. Hope you have a wonderful time.

Here's the link to the US Geological Survey for the Peru earthquake:
What scientists have said in the past here, is that earthquakes don't trigger other ones (aftershocks excluded). There are lots of quakes every day - and I admit it makes me nervous when there is a large one in the Pacific Rim.

Posted by: mostlylurking | August 16, 2007 5:09 PM | Report abuse

"Pinky, are you pondering what I'm pondering?"

"I think so, Brain, but how do we teach the dog to write poetry"

Posted by: yellojkt | August 16, 2007 5:17 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Ivansmom. I started work early this week, along with all the other teachers new to the district. It is a very young bunch. The people leading the orientation tried very hard not to scare anyone, and my group tried to make the technology non-threatening. I hope they beat the statistics and stay in public education longer than 3 years.

Posted by: a bea c | August 16, 2007 5:17 PM | Report abuse

>Oh yeah, I got the pink taffeta reference, but...well...Pinkie?

Mudge, for what it's worth I have a 12" high statute of Pinkie in a position of great importance in the living room.

Posted by: Error Flynn | August 16, 2007 5:35 PM | Report abuse

Welcome Rob, isn't it fun here! Speaking of which - I was without the Internet for most of the day at work. It was horrible. I experienced the same sort of thing you go through when the power is out and you keep hitting the light switch anyway. I couldn't check my spelling on line, the weather, the latest news, or do the crosswords or the jigsaw puzzle but mostly, I couldn't keep up with the Boodle. I am so addicted to this place it is scary. I knew you were all having fun and I couldn't read about it. At lunchtime I read a fishing magazine (it's all we have in the reception area besides a book on lighthouses and I didn't want to drop food on it). So glad to be home and catching up.

Posted by: Bad Sneakers | August 16, 2007 5:39 PM | Report abuse

Faxing Bad Sneakers ANYTHING else to read. Not that there's anything wrong with fishing magasines. I'm sure Scotty won't mind.

Posted by: dr | August 16, 2007 5:44 PM | Report abuse

I just collect 'em, folks.

Posted by: Jumper | August 16, 2007 5:50 PM | Report abuse

So, um, when Jenna gets married, is she gonna, um, wear (shhhhh) *white*?

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | August 16, 2007 5:55 PM | Report abuse

I'm willing to loan her my pink taffeta (something borrowed...).

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 16, 2007 5:59 PM | Report abuse

swinging thru again! LOVE the boodle today - i was snorting all over the office - they already think i'm nuts (a wise theory i might add).
random thoughts:
mudge - you ever think of black taffetta? black is so forgiving on the midsection you know... and it's so - what's the word - mysterious... (made me think of this circa 40's dress i wore to my prom that i got at a vintage store - i can't remember the material but it wasn't silk - it was a matte finish but flowey - i wore it afterward to my graduation cuz it was quite demure - not a cinderella dress - as IF! sheesh! - and it rained on us during our procession - we continued our graduation in the gym and as the dress started to dry, well, it began to shrink right there on my body - i tried pulling it down only to rip the fabric - good thing i had that dang robe on huh?)

i don't drink coffee and i think krispy kreme donuts are made with crack - if you eat 'em while they are still warm? ORGASMIC!

and who is this rob anderson guy? i unwillingly defer my attention away from the boodle to WORK and you let it get taken over by some STUDENT??? some LACKEY??? *sigh* and come on - do you really believe joel is only going to france for TWO DAYS? (he did say he was subbing for two days right? i want to make sure my umbrage is correct)

did kbert tell you we had a traveling BPH in ft. lauderdale? well, we DID! :) (sorry, i was swamped when i got back so i couldn't boodle) kbert - can i show them the pics??? puweeeezzzzzzzzzzzzzzeeeeeee?

Posted by: mo | August 16, 2007 6:05 PM | Report abuse

Jenna can wear whatever color, and someone please make sure she wears appropriate undergarments. I don't want my students discussing her online pictures again.

Posted by: a bea c | August 16, 2007 6:08 PM | Report abuse

hey, mo! kb even blogged about you and your mom:
I'm still sad that we missed you in Falls Church when I was there.

Posted by: mostlylurking | August 16, 2007 6:11 PM | Report abuse

*Sniff sniff* Hi, Mo! Give me some pet therapy???

Posted by: Wilbrodog | August 16, 2007 6:11 PM | Report abuse

Mo, I wish you would leave out the closeups, but in the spirit of the polygraph reality show mentioned above, I will not restrain you.

Aside to the boodle: Mo is being very honorable here, more than most people would. We both took pictures and I made her promise to give me the right to censor hers before they went on line. Then I came right home and put mine up on my blog without giving her the same privilege. I was keenly aware of the irony.

Posted by: kbertocci | August 16, 2007 6:23 PM | Report abuse

hey my darling wilbdrodog!!! *scratching your big ole head and giving you big smooches* sorry i haven't left any scents at your blog - been busy you know!

ack - she blogged about us! i didn't even know! we had a total blast besides the fact i was sooo sunburned (sunburnt?) which is why i had the hat/shades and tried to keep mainly to the shade... i LOVE artist alice - she's me 15 years ago! (god, that is soooo sad!)

Posted by: mo | August 16, 2007 6:28 PM | Report abuse

As long as I can smell what you had for lunch, all is forgiven, Mo.

Posted by: Wilbrodog | August 16, 2007 6:40 PM | Report abuse

Sorry I didn't email you the link, mo! I assumed (oops) that you would at least skim the boodle for references to your bad self.

Posted by: kbertocci | August 16, 2007 6:42 PM | Report abuse

And of course I mean that in the best possible way--Mo, you are the best, and after meeting your mom I understand why.

Posted by: kbertocci | August 16, 2007 6:45 PM | Report abuse

My Mom used to say that ladies shouldn't have a picture taken with a drink or a cigarette in hand.

Posted by: jack | August 16, 2007 6:50 PM | Report abuse

Mo! *hugs* and then *more hugs*

Posted by: Yoki | August 16, 2007 7:19 PM | Report abuse

SciTim - I agree that this is a stupid show. Polygraphs are an extremely coarse tool. They register emotional response, not truthfulness. So if someone asks you about drugs, and, say, your best friend had just died of an overdose, your strong emotional response would show up as an anomaly.

Further, if you are a hyper-analytic person prone to finding the exception to every rule, you would immediately respond to this question by thinking about the time you used your son's prescription acne medication, which would also show up as an anomaly.

The real power of a polygraph is the post poly "interview" when they ask why you thought you responded strongly to such a question.

The correct answer to this question is the following, and I quote: "I haven't the foggiest idea. It's your Fording test."

Posted by: RD Padouk | August 16, 2007 7:22 PM | Report abuse

mo, actually I kind of like this person known as "Rob Anderson." This is the interweb, you know. He could be anyone!

"Rob Anderson" could even be "Joel Achenbach" pretending to be "Rob Anderson" since, as we know, "Joel Achenbach" had a meeting with a supreme top editor about the future of the blog, but *never told us* what was decided.

I rest my case.

Posted by: Yoki | August 16, 2007 7:26 PM | Report abuse

Well once again I have failed another "lady" test.

Hey Mo - good to hear from you.

Posted by: dmd | August 16, 2007 7:27 PM | Report abuse

I see than Jenna's groom-to-be is an ex-aide of Rove.

Maybe the question of whether she should wear white would be better phrased as should she wear a hazmat suit and a veil of pre-nups?

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

Me too dmd. I've accepted that I am no lady; I must be an old broad!

Posted by: Yoki | August 16, 2007 7:37 PM | Report abuse

dmd... I have *never* passed that test. But then again, being male, I was never expected to.

I do, however, always make sure that my shoes match my purse.

Posted by: martooni | August 16, 2007 7:38 PM | Report abuse

Me, too, dmd. Although my mother did teach me proper manners and I have never smoked...

martooni, it's Jenna's first wedding, so she gets to wear white, if she wants to, regardless of the state of her hymen. *cough cough*

It amazes me to see second-time (and greater) brides in formal white gowns and veils. When Mr. T and I wed, I had a lovely pink gown. And don't get me started on what passes for a formal invitation these days. No wonder Miss Manners doesn't get out much any more.

Posted by: Slyness | August 16, 2007 7:41 PM | Report abuse

And, I would add, what is wrong with an elegant suit (with a peplum, if you insist) for second and subsequent weddings? I hold the "bridal industry" to account for many travesties.

Posted by: Yoki | August 16, 2007 7:53 PM | Report abuse

kbert - i never thought i would be a topic in the boodle!

yoki *hugs* and *hugs* again! and to dmd! and kbert and martooni and slyness and rd and wilbrod/dog and grandpa joe!

i have NEVER been accused of being a lady! but my purse always matches my shoes... helps that i only wear black! :)

Posted by: mo | August 16, 2007 7:59 PM | Report abuse

Hey mo! How ya doin'?

>I see than Jenna's groom-to-be is an ex-aide of Rove.

I'm thinking she heard something one night and now she's GOT to marry him so she can't testify against him.

But then, I'm such a romantic....

Posted by: Error Flynn | August 16, 2007 8:13 PM | Report abuse

and a BIG HUG AND SMOOCH for your error!!! (i hate to brooch the subject but how are the insurgent gophers getting on?)

who is this jenna????

Posted by: mo | August 16, 2007 8:19 PM | Report abuse

and i'm a romantic too - and error you are my favorite leading man!

Posted by: mo | August 16, 2007 8:20 PM | Report abuse

Well I missed the matching purse/shoes as well. I believe I am hopeless.

re Jenna's fiance being an ex-Rove aide. Isn't that the role model all young brides would want for their fiances. Scary.

Posted by: dmd | August 16, 2007 8:28 PM | Report abuse

*Sigh.* Don't you just love this place? I do.

Posted by: Yoki | August 16, 2007 8:28 PM | Report abuse

I feel the need to explain my sigh. It wasn't a sigh of ironic resignation (as Scotty's are) but the sigh of a Romantic who has had her breath taken away by the romanticism. A *good* sigh.

Posted by: Yoki | August 16, 2007 8:30 PM | Report abuse

yoki - do you need me to kick mudge off of the fainting couch?

Posted by: mo | August 16, 2007 8:38 PM | Report abuse

Jenna is the sister and possible Secy of Education of our 47th president.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 16, 2007 8:40 PM | Report abuse

I don't know how many of you were on Liz Kelly's chat today, but I laughed out loud when a 'nut posted Jenna's finance's father's web site. The father has that rather brutal/dangerous/heavy-jawed look as a young man (Stanley!). His son is the same. But if you scroll down, you find a current picture of Henry's very mature father, and oh my! It is not auspicious. If (as I have heard) young men should look to the mother of their young beloveds for a window into the future, then I think young women should do the same, only conversely.

Of course, I looked at pictures of Jenna today too (for the first and only time), and I see a distinct resemblance to her father. So they might be happy Republican families, forever and ever.

Note: I am talking about the windows to the soul, not drawing any correlation between that which is defined as generally-accepted physical attractiveness and ultimate loveability.

Posted by: Yoki | August 16, 2007 8:42 PM | Report abuse

d'oh! yello - how long do i hafta sit in the corner with the dunce cap on?

Posted by: mo | August 16, 2007 8:42 PM | Report abuse

No, mo. No mo. I wouldn't dream of inconveniencing Mr. 'Mudge.

If you could just bring the vial of smelling salts a little closer to my organ of sensibility, though, I will avoid a fit of the vapours.

Posted by: Yoki | August 16, 2007 8:44 PM | Report abuse

*faxes yoki a vial of smelling salts* um... it's american strength... is that ok? i know how you canucks are...

Posted by: mo | August 16, 2007 8:55 PM | Report abuse


I don't know the focus of the school. I hope to visit my grandsons before school starts. I hope they like the school.

Mudge, don't you love those diuretics?

Anybody know where Dreamer is? Haven't seen a comment from her in awhile.

Hi, mo.

The earthquake was bad. I guess in a situation like that one does not go inside buildings? I wonder if people will sleep outside? I would be scared to stay in a building.

Two kits in a day. Is Joel leaving us? Will he be coming back?

Night, boodle.

Posted by: Cassandra S | August 16, 2007 9:01 PM | Report abuse

Hey, mo. Just wandered in to the Boodle and discovered I am accused of swooning somewhere? Don't worry; it wasn't the suggestion of a Goth look in black taffeta. I was just discussing various and sundry matters with the Missus and catching up on events of the day (and the doings of our children, alas).

Oh, man, Cassandra. Diuretics. Every 20 minutes. That Lasix -- they need to take that stuff off the market before people's equipment breaks down under the workload.

I always knew Yoki was a romantic; was never a doubt in my mind. And of course mo (whom Scotty has nicknamed "Again with the hugging!").

Um, there's room for more than one of us here on the fainting couch. Yoki? Mo?

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 16, 2007 9:15 PM | Report abuse

*big bear hugs to cassandra*

hey - is anyone else watching "so you think you can dance"?

Posted by: mo | August 16, 2007 9:15 PM | Report abuse

(man i thought i was done with the hugging!)


(who would i be if i didn't hug everyone?)

Posted by: mo | August 16, 2007 9:18 PM | Report abuse

>and error you are my favorite leading man!

Aw shucks... (blushing and kicking at a feaher on the ground)

The g-hog insurgents have spread to the surrounding properties but keep sneaking back into the Big Pine Tree. I saw the new Maximumum Leader in my neighbor's backyard the other day because apparently it's a bit inconvenient to move a few tons of dirt and concrete from the old garage HQ.

I've cut off their subscription to the Wall St. Journal too, what with Rupert owning it now. So at least they know I'm serious.

Posted by: Error Flynn | August 16, 2007 9:24 PM | Report abuse

If mo comes with me, I will take you up on your invitation. It is sort of like going to the ladies room (without the lasix) but not exactly. mo? Mrs. Mudge?

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

Error, LOL!

Gotta go. 10 teen-agered movie-night party here. G- and PG-rated DVDs, lots of pizza, lots of chips and dips, lots of cakes, lots of pop (soda?). Gotta supervise. Gotta really, reely supervise.

I'm happy they like to come to our house.

Gotta go supervise.

'Night all.

Posted by: Yoki | August 16, 2007 9:33 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, it's illegal to give Lasix to horses about to race (except in NY state) because it tends to reduce bleeding and improve respiratory performance.

Or so that was the story I learned. Now based on your comments, I'm wondering if the horses just run harder because they need to go-- badly.

Posted by: Wilbrod | August 16, 2007 9:34 PM | Report abuse

EF : each night I watch for moonflowers and then take PoodleParkian (unclipped sheeplet of a dog)toward the woods. I carry a huge maglite, the Bobby-police size, I happened to shine it on a pair of groundhogs. Big Daddy turned and lumbered away. The size of his progeny-business end was not to be believed; the jewels jiggle-drooped two seconds behind him. Wow. He noted the maglite, but did not even blink.

Posted by: College Parkian | August 16, 2007 9:35 PM | Report abuse

Oh no, they were out at night!? I thought they preferred the snug burrow after 7 or 8 pm... I may need night vision goggles now.

Be careful out there CP! You will not forget it if they show you those teeth.

Posted by: Error Flynn | August 16, 2007 9:40 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, once upon a time, after a wee bairn came to my house in the usual way, I promptly got verrrra sick. Ended up back in the Krankenhouse, where instead of glucose/saline, I was hooked up to lasix by mistake. Niagara falls does not begin to describe the leaking of the ship.

Posted by: College Parkian | August 16, 2007 9:40 PM | Report abuse

Just a few things before I head out to work.

It sure has been a lively boodle today/tonight. Mo, you sure brighten the boodle when you are around.

Error, I was talking to the WV department of agriculture the other day about gypsy moths and somehow the conversation ended up on groundhogs. His suggestion and he says it works is to pour a dirty cat liter box down the hole and they won't be back.

Finally there is an Elvis movie marathon on TCM, it is funny the Elvis may keep me awake tonight.

I may chime in later at work.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | August 16, 2007 9:43 PM | Report abuse

EF, you have DAYLITE groundlings? I never see them here until dusk. Is that because you live on a country estate, with weeds and trees all around you? I may have a tiny woods near me, but I live in the close-in burbs, that are more urban than most. Are they shy?

And my little wee woods, ignored by a DC GotRocks family for years, is on the development block/planning timetable. If I tell the ground hogs, perhaps they will rise up as a force for good?

Posted by: College Parkian | August 16, 2007 9:44 PM | Report abuse

Drive carefully, GWE, and though you sent it my way, the rain was a big fat nothing. Try again.

Posted by: College Parkian | August 16, 2007 9:45 PM | Report abuse

>pour a dirty cat liter box

Fine, now I just have to find a dirty cat.

Why yes CP, they come out around 7am, hide a bit while I muck about, and then come back out when I leave for work. There's an afternoon feeding and then dinner, and they seem to turn in around 7 or 8pm. I think they watch a lot of network TV.

There have been times I came home unexpectedly or just forgot something and I'll catch them looking VERY surprised and running like the dickens.

I had a co-worker bring me home after dropping a car off one day at about 9:30am. The loook on his face was priceless when he saw Maximum Leader right in the driveway. His eyes got as wide as could be.

In your best Indian accent: "Oh my goodness what is THAT Bub?! It is so BIG!"

Posted by: Error Flynn | August 16, 2007 10:03 PM | Report abuse

error - i got LOTS of dirty cat litter - but it's that recycled paper litter "yesterday's news" - global warming and everything ya know... i think he means that clay litter (which smells worse than the waste of the cat!)

i'm off line for the nite - i THINK i should be able to boodle tomorrow - but just know, even when i'm not here in typeset, i'm here in spirit! HUGZZZZZ

Posted by: mo | August 16, 2007 10:13 PM | Report abuse

The boy is launched. What a wonderful day, despite the temperature reaching 110°. That's not a "real feel." That's what the thermometer in my car read as the outside temp as we were driving along, not sitting in the sun.

They know how to get the kids engaged at Queens. The evening ended for the parents with a ceremony at which the incoming Class of 2011 pledged the honor code and signed the honor code book. The kids were required to dress up (the directions stated Sunday clothes, but I don't think they meant Son of G should wear his typical Sunday outfit: PJs.) and it was a very celebratory, but solemn event, complete with candle lighting and singing of the Queens Hymn.

Tomorrow we will join him for lunch and then he's on his own. His sister and I have gotten a little teary a couple of times, but I imagine the tears will flow when we actually leave town. (We're having dinner with Slyness and Mr. T tomorrow night!).

The boy's got two great roommates in a huge triple room in the Freshman dorm. Thanks to Facebook, many of the kids were already good friends. It was amazing to see kids from all over the East Coast greeting each other like true friends and classmates on their first day on campus.

It's kind of like they already had a boodle of their own.

Posted by: TBG | August 16, 2007 10:21 PM | Report abuse

Wonderful about the launch! Now you can have that sewing room you always wanted...

I'm not envious of the 110 degree weather though.

Today was in the 70's and an actual cool breeze up here.

Posted by: Wilbrod | August 16, 2007 10:28 PM | Report abuse

Good luck and Godspeed, Son of G.

Hey, any of you Canuckistanis watch "Men in Trees"? Cuz the cast is lousy with Haute Mainers, I think five of 'em: Sarah Strange (born Vancouver), Suleka Mathew (born in India, raised in Vancouver from the age of 2), Cynthia Stevenson (born in Calif., raised in Vancouver), James Tupper (Dartmouth, Nova Scotia), and Ty Olsson (Ottowa).

I mean jeez. The only Canadian (besides Boodlers) who ain't in it is William Shatner, fer cryin' out loud. Of course it's filmed in Vancouver and some place called Squamish, BC, but it's like they went down to the local Starbucks and hired the cast off the street.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 16, 2007 10:35 PM | Report abuse

>>pour a dirty cat liter box
>Fine, now I just have to find a dirty cat.

I volunteer my indoor brood. I've got my own private fax at work so I can fax assistance anywhere where it is requested.

My two kitties have refused any and all of the ecology friendly brands and types, and instead demand clay with blue crystals for multiple cats.

In a desperate situation I could even send ammunition by snail mail.

Posted by: Pacifica | August 16, 2007 10:35 PM | Report abuse

King George the Incompetent should learn a lesson from all of this. I can hear him practising: Fellow Americans times are tough in Iraq. Of course, we have no one to blame but the telephone companies. You know what I mean.

I'll tell my local politician to remember this one.

Posted by: Robert James | August 16, 2007 10:35 PM | Report abuse

I'm just fine, folks. High water around here is in the usual places. And I stay in unusual places, I guess. (It's really not that bad. And I swim pretty well.) What happens is that it floods in one of the usual places, the video gets on the news, somebody sees it somewhere and they figure I've been swept out to sea with my family and my belongings. We're high and dry. Or at least dry.

Posted by: Bayou Self | August 16, 2007 10:36 PM | Report abuse

>I've got my own private fax

Paciifica that's very kind of you. Please give me some time to get a fax setup, eh, in the burrow, my office is crappy enough.

The mail thing though, I dunno. I don't think I want to do that to my poor mail man!

Posted by: Error Flynn | August 16, 2007 10:40 PM | Report abuse

You done good, TBG.

Posted by: Yoki | August 16, 2007 10:43 PM | Report abuse

EF... I've heard from reliable sources that tiger poo (or better yet, tiger pee) will repel just about anything.

They get one whiff of it, think "WTF!", and then run like he1l.

I know it works for deer and have heard it also works for coyotes. Might be worth a trip to the zoo.

Posted by: martooni | August 16, 2007 10:43 PM | Report abuse

I think we warned you of the invasion plan, Curmudgeon.

First the comedians, and then the Canadians. Actors? Actors?! They are only acting like actors.


Send in the clowns.

Posted by: Yoki | August 16, 2007 10:46 PM | Report abuse


Thanks, but you know it's the concern for unintended consequences that always makes me nervous about those things. I mean, the tiger smells might also cause the elephants to stampede, and then where would I be?

Posted by: Error Flynn | August 16, 2007 10:47 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: martooni | August 16, 2007 10:48 PM | Report abuse

The great thing about Squamish, BC is that it isn't particularly squeamish.

Posted by: Yoki | August 16, 2007 10:48 PM | Report abuse


Indeed. Or co-starring in Jumanji II.

Posted by: Error Flynn | August 16, 2007 10:50 PM | Report abuse

Saw this story about war dogs.

Boy, I'm glad they no longer have the draft. I don't think I'd like the heat and being shot at very much.

But as they say, Semper Fido...

Posted by: Wilbrodog | August 16, 2007 10:55 PM | Report abuse

Error fantasy:
When I was a youngster we would sit on the hill overlooking the large pasture on my uncle'S dairy farm and whistle as loud as we could. The groundhogs would pop out of their holes and we'd pop one with my uncle's old WW I Lee Enfield. The front of the groundhog would vapourize leaving the back end intact in its burrow. Wait 5 minutes, do it again. A strike at over 75 yards distinguished you as a marksman.

Posted by: BOKO999 | August 16, 2007 10:56 PM | Report abuse

Verne Grant, a very distinguished emeritus professor of botany at the University of Texas (born 1917) died at the end of May. His best-known book was "The Origin of Adaptations." He worked hard on speciation in plants, which, according to a commentary in this weeks "Science" is still a hot topic. Here's a bit of the tribute to him in the newsletter of the American Society of Plant Taxonomists. The story is by his equally celebrated colleague Billie Turner (who's also a celebrated raconteur):

. . . And animals; he loved them like children, and what else? People. At least those who had the temerity to challenge his hygienic hegemony came to know an exceedingly interesting conversationalist who enjoyed his moment on the pedestrian podium. This was brought home to me by a response he made to a question I posed of a sudden. Out of the blue, I asked, "Verne? What might have been the most exceptional adaptive strategy you exhibited of a moment in this living?" His response startled me, so much so that I recorded it for the interested bio-historian (Aliso 17:189-200. 1998.)

After having been awakened by a rifle shot in his buttocks by a stranger intent on killing him while he lay sleeping along the roadside in Mexico as a young man, he figured the only way to keep from meeting his ultimate fate at that moment was to do something exceptional. And he did. He rose suddenly from his sleeping bag, totally naked and skeletonlike, blood oozing from his wound, brandished a machete in one hand and a knife in another, and charged his adversary with a blood-curdling scream at the top of voice, like some wild banshee. And it worked. The intruder was bewildered by this extraordinary behavior, so much so that he dropped his rifle and took off running, thinking, I'm sure, that Verne was hot on his tail. "So," said Verne, "I take that to be my best adaptive strategy of a moment."

I recounted this event at his graveside because his telling of the venture seemed so unlike the man that I had first come to know.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | August 16, 2007 10:57 PM | Report abuse

I know the box-office take for Jumanji II would be next to nothing, but once you factor in the DVD rentals, McDonald's Happy Meal(tm) royalties, etc... all you need is a good agent.

Posted by: martooni | August 16, 2007 10:57 PM | Report abuse

Question - Outside of Tiger urine - what repels skunks?

Husband was told mothballs and Hershey's Kisses - but after a full box of mothballs and on the second bag of kisses - we now have skunk babies at the back door begging to be let in to join my cats for dinner.

Error - do let me know when you have the fax set up. On the snail mail front - we had a delivery at work encased in some loverly Styrofoam boxes with a bit of duct tape can product the mailperson from unwanted biological effluent.

Posted by: Pacifica | August 16, 2007 11:00 PM | Report abuse

Hee hee:

Bush can't fire him; he won't resign. Continued amusement is sure to follow.

Posted by: bill everything | August 16, 2007 11:02 PM | Report abuse

According to this site,, there is no such think as a skunk repellent.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 16, 2007 11:06 PM | Report abuse

'Mudge, what about a possible contempt of Congress? Seemed to get Rove out of town. Repellant indeed.

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

Pacifica... unfortunately, my Great Grandpa passed on quite a few years back and took with him the secret to his Olfactory Bombs. We think it had something to do with a combination of four large eggs swimming in bacon grease for breakfast, followed by a helping or three of Great Grandma's baked beans and several pints of homemade beer for lunch, topped off with stuffed cabbage for dinner and another several pints of homebrew as a "constitutional".

Having "experienced" the results firsthand (my therapist ensures me I'll eventually get over it), I have no problem believing the stories of entire skunk families (as in immediate, extended and friends of friends) exiting their neighborhood with little white flags tied to their tails.

Posted by: martooni | August 16, 2007 11:15 PM | Report abuse

I should add that Great Grandpa lived to be almost 100.

I think even germs feared him.

Posted by: martooni | August 16, 2007 11:20 PM | Report abuse

Mothballs worked for us, for the skunks under the porch. They were "relocated." Right.

If the skunks and raccoons are climbing up your siding to get under the eaves and into the attic: Murphy's Oil Soap, liberally applied to the exterior walls.

Unless, like me, you liberally applied Murphy's and then realized that the mother coon couldn't climb up the walls to feed her babies who were crying in distress *right over your bed,* in which case you take some strong dish soap and scrub it all off, and wait until the wees have grown up and moved out, and *then* you reapply the Murphy's so that Mama doesn't have another litter in your attic.

Just sayin'.

Posted by: Yoki | August 16, 2007 11:25 PM | Report abuse

Mudge - No repellant indeed - we will have to show that skunk family that this neighborhood is still a can-do neighborhood. One neighbor is constantly bathing his black lab, the other neighbor remodeled the deck to remove hidding places. We will just have to remain vigilant at dusk to determine friend or foe. Friend = numerous feral cats I feed. Foe = Skunk, Racoon, and some nasty birds

Posted by: Pacifica | August 16, 2007 11:29 PM | Report abuse

Yoki... that sounds like a lot of work to get out of making a pot of stew.

(*sorry... going to bed now... will wear a hairshirt tomorrow... i promise*)

Posted by: martooni | August 16, 2007 11:30 PM | Report abuse

Error - cracking me up, as usual. Elephants...what will you say next?

CP - geez, please tell me that the person who gave you Lasix instead of saline is no longer practicing. Please tell me that.

DotC - your 10:57, what a great story!

Cassandra - finally got the chance to backboodle and I was very impressed with your letter. Straightforward, clear, to the point...

bill everything - I am not sure we can call Torqueberto's continued employment amusing. Frightening, ghastly, troublesome, counterproductive, alarming, horrifying I can go along with...amusing...hmmmm.

Rob Anderson - very nicely done.

Posted by: Kim | August 16, 2007 11:35 PM | Report abuse

Martooni, you may be insane, but you are not stupid or humour-impaired. Well done sir. I'm laughing.

Posted by: Yoki | August 16, 2007 11:35 PM | Report abuse

>If the skunks and raccoons are climbing up your siding

I had the opposite - Momma Skunk ripped open a vent and climbed into the under house crawl space and had her spring litter under my bathtub.

We did wait until Mom and litter went out on a hike, and husband and son slithered under back deck, and nailed plywood over the compromised vent.

Then Mom Skunk and clan returned and she ripped our feeble 9 nail plywood board off, and she and 'wee ones returned to the warmth of under the tub.

Two days later, we saw them leave and as many butts as could slithered under the deck to 15 nail the plywood piece back on, and then place a 6 x 8 up against the plywood, braced against one of the deck pilings. This as so far held as of last weekend's inspection.

Posted by: Pacifica | August 16, 2007 11:41 PM | Report abuse

Does that mean I don't have to wear the hairshirt tomorrow? I will if I have to, but the dang thing rides up and it makes my butt look big.

I need a new haberdasher.

And a smaller butt. Preferably one made of steel.

Posted by: martooni | August 16, 2007 11:45 PM | Report abuse

I feel a bit like martoon; I should probably go to bed. But..

Pacifica, this is the delight of living in a frigid clime. We have basements; concrete foundations sunk and poured 6-12 feet into the ground. Even skunks and raccoons cannot dig into those.

We would not dream of putting a house on four-foot pilings over a crawl-space on the permafrost.

I knew there was something splendid about being Northish.

Posted by: Yoki | August 16, 2007 11:51 PM | Report abuse

Martooni- Olfactory Bombs indeed.

My late f-i-l always said "pull my finger", then he told my child it was an elephant crossing.

And I'm attempting to figure out how methane gas can be used as a skunk and gopher repellant.

Posted by: Pacifica | August 16, 2007 11:51 PM | Report abuse

There is this electronic watch hidden in this desk with an alarm that sounds randomly EVERY day. I've torn the desk apart numerous times over the past 6 months or so, to no avail. The watch is quite hidden. The only mania that rivals the watch search is the incessant pacing I engage in then I've misplaced my keys. Harumph.

Posted by: jack | August 16, 2007 11:53 PM | Report abuse

I absolve you, martooni, of wearing the hair-shirt tomorrow. After that you are on your own.

Posted by: Yoki | August 16, 2007 11:54 PM | Report abuse


Finally heard back from my brother down in Lima (Dad had been in touch and gave the "all clear", but nothing beats hearing it firsthand).

Lima itself is shaken and cracked, but not falling down (though parts may do so soon). The areas to the south of Lima are another story... bodies laid out on roadsides, several hundred dead, God knows how many injured, a local reporter compared it to Iraq... in other words, not good.

Phones are mostly back up and power is stable where it's still on. Areas without power will probably be that way for at least a week -- some key high tension towers crumpled, several power plants incapacitated. My Bro works in the power biz and apparently there are some "issues" between the local (as in Lima) providers and the "national" grid. National is up, but their links are down. Local (Lima) is trying to compensate and get back online (actually, trying to bring up some new plants prematurely). In other words, not as bad as it could have been, but many challenges ahead.

Posted by: martooni | August 17, 2007 12:03 AM | Report abuse

Yoki - The last time it was seriously cold here was either 88 or 89 - and then it was a killer cold front down from Alaska - froze motor oil type cold. That was the year we lost all of our sprinkler systems, drip irrigation, and all the outside hose bibs.

Usually when/if it get below freezing here is it for only a matter of a couple of hours.

Basements are wonderful - but they just don't exist here due I think to water tables.

Last of the ferral cats has dined - CSI & Men in Trees beckon.

Posted by: Pacifica | August 17, 2007 12:05 AM | Report abuse

Pacifica... think "matches". Methane is highly underrated (probably due to its prevalence) until combustion enters the picture. Think "Saint Elmoo's Fire".

In Great Grandpa's case, combustion was not necessary. His emissions were known to strip trees of their bark and cause paint to peel on barns twelve miles away. To quote Cheech and Chong: "It's like a green fog..."

All I can say is "Thank God he didn't smoke".

Posted by: martooni | August 17, 2007 12:13 AM | Report abuse

It appears that there have been 20 aftershocks ranging from 4.7 to 6. Wow-zer

The aftershocks could well destroy fragile building structures that survived the initial quake.

The nightly news teaser is talking about quake relief from the SF Bay Area. A lot of folks gave aid in 1989 during our last big quake.

Posted by: Pacifica | August 17, 2007 12:14 AM | Report abuse

Just another sign that I really need to go to bed and/or sit on my hands (or see a psychiatrist or exorcist)...

I just had this thought: "Achenblog, Rescue Squad"

Or, "The Ache-Team"

I'm picturing Mudge in his two-toned taffeta (pink on top, blue on the bottom) with the stub of a cigar hanging out of his mouth, yelling something about torpedoes and steam and dangling participles. Error would be our pilot, mumbling about groundhogs as he safely crash lands us in a bog in NJ. BC would be draped in several pounds of "bling", complaining about the woeful state of the brakes on Error's Caddy before going off on a tirade about how NASCAR could redeem itself, if only it would quit touching itself. Boko, of course, would be our "Face"... futilely attempting to charm the pants off of Loomis (our historian), who, busily documenting the genealogical relations of everyone in the Western Hemisphere to the Loomis clan, could care less that he's not wearing pants, let alone what the significance of "999" is. Yoki (and the rest of the Northern Contingent) would be in charge of providing pies and other yummy foodstuffs, as well as constant reminders that we 'Mercans should never have dumped all that tea in Boston.

I've obviously not included everyone in this fantastical vision, but it's late and I'm tired (not to mention severely buzzed), so feel free to expand, expound, or tell me to p!ss off and go to bed.

Oh... and Rob could be the guest star. Maybe we rescue him from some of Joel's flyaway hair that actually flew away and started a militant separatist commune in, say, Waco. Or Tyson's Corner.

Posted by: martooni | August 17, 2007 1:03 AM | Report abuse

Where has this Rob guy been all day? Have we scared him away already?

Posted by: Aloha | August 17, 2007 3:29 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, friends.

Well the news isn't good this morning concerning that rescue efforts for the miners. Some of those doing the rescue were killed, and some hurt. CNN has been running the story most of the night. I've been up too long. I do feel for those families, and pray for them.

Mudge, I take the g-brand of lasix. That cheaper substitute which is just as bad. Read Eugene Robinson's piece this morning on Iraq. I wish we could resolve Iraq. The place has to be a nightmare for those living there, and especially our soldiers.

Thanks Kim, for the nice comment. And mo, love the hug, back at you.

Scotty, Slyness, and all, what's up this morning?*waving*

I don't know much about geology, but the land that we live on, and there is word for it that begins with a "p", but don't know it, isn't it all connected together except when there is water between them? And if that is the case, when something happens at one location, doesn't it impact the other land masses? I mean if we're having earthquakes on one side of the world or any other frightening situation, would it not behoove the other land masses perhaps just to take notice and not do certain things, maybe like going in caves and mines. Doesn't it all impact each other, even if we can't see it? And I realize this isn't very clear, but is there someone out there that can understand what it is I am asking? Isn't there an "interconnect-ness" to things on this planet?

I believe we see it all the time, but totally disregard it unless it shows up at our door in a big way. You think? I need coffee.

We're still fighting those triple digits in temps.

RD, I had the towel yesterday around my neck, not wet, but dry to wipe the sweat. It was so hot. The heat just drains you. It zaps you.
Today is predicted to be 104.

Have a great day, folks. Try to keep cool, if possible. Don't forget to check on the elderly and those that live alone. My vacation is winding down and I haven't done anything. I mean in the form of going somewhere or doing something different. Hopefully, God willing, I will still get to go see my grandsons and their new school.

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

Posted by: Cassandra S | August 17, 2007 4:00 AM | Report abuse

Wow Cassandra! You just woke up and I'm ready to go to bed. This time zone thing is really weird.

Posted by: Aloha | August 17, 2007 4:33 AM | Report abuse

\\ This time zone thing is really weird.

It gives me jetlag just thinking about it. G'nite Aloha.

Morning Cassandra. You're very early. Normally, I'd see Scotty 's grover waver at around this time. We're hot here (mid 90s for a few hours and then it goes down) but not like what you are experiencing. It's not easy but try and keep cool.

Morning Scotty, don't work too hard.

I'm saying good nite and good morning in the same post. It's weird.

Posted by: rain forest | August 17, 2007 4:54 AM | Report abuse

SCC : wave

Posted by: rain forest | August 17, 2007 4:56 AM | Report abuse

G'night, Aloha and rain forest; 'morning, Cassandra. Yes, I take the generic lasix, too, called furosemide. I take 18 pills a day, and the lasix is the smallest one, a tiny little white thing. But out of all 18 pills, it's the only one I "feel," and grumble about all afternoon. And I tend not to take it on weekends if I'm gonna be in the car for any length of time. It's the only pill I take that I have to plan around and think about what I'm gonna be doing before I take it.

Is the word you were trying to think of "piedmont"?

Yes, good Robinson column. And a hilariously pathetic Charles Krauthammer column: he's trying to get "street cred" as a baseball fan (even openly kissing George Will's butt by citing one of his basbeall books) with a column devoted to "The Natural"--and never once mentions that book's author, Bernard Malamud.

I simply cannot bring myself to read Gerson's column on what a warm, fuzzy, wondergul guy his good bud Karl Rove really is, not the Devil Incarnate, but I can't do it. My gag reflex is set too high, I suppose. I've tried to give Gerson a fair run as the "newbie" columnist, but can't do it any more. I usually try to read a column before I criticize it, but I either have to break that rule or just not talk about the column. But I've had it with Gerson. I think he's joined my Robert Novak/Chuckie Krauthammer list of people I read only twice a year and only then under protest.

Ya gotta give FBI director Mueller props for backbone and standing up to Torqueberto by in effect calling him a flat-out liar.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 17, 2007 5:30 AM | Report abuse

Jeez, ya gotta read this story from Reuters:

CIA, FBI Computers Used for Wikipedia Edits

By Randall Mikkelsen
Thursday, August 16, 2007; 6:43 PM

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - People using CIA and FBI computers have edited entries in the online encyclopedia Wikipedia on topics including the Iraq war and the Guantanamo prison, according to a new tracing program.

The changes may violate Wikipedia's conflict-of-interest guidelines, a spokeswoman for the site said on Thursday.

The program, WikiScanner, was developed by Virgil Griffith of the Santa Fe Institute in New Mexico and posted this month on a Web site that was quickly overwhelmed with searches.

The program allows users to track the source of computers used to make changes to the popular Internet encyclopedia where anyone can submit and edit entries.

WikiScanner revealed that CIA computers were used to edit an entry on the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003. A graphic on casualties was edited to add that many figures were estimated and were not broken down by class.

Another entry on former CIA chief William Colby was edited by CIA computers to expand his career history and discuss the merits of a Vietnam War rural pacification program that he headed.

Aerial and satellite images of the U.S. prison for terrorism suspects at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, were removed using a computer traced to the FBI, WikiScanner showed.

CIA spokesman George Little said he could not confirm whether CIA computers were used in the changes, adding that "the agency always expects its computer systems to be used responsibly."

The FBI did not have an immediate response.

Computers at numerous other organizations and companies were found to have been involved in editing articles related to them.

Griffith said he developed WikiScanner "to create minor public relations disasters for companies and organizations I dislike (and) to see what 'interesting organizations' (which I am neutral towards) are up to."

It was not known whether changes were made by an official representative of an agency or company, Griffith said, but it was certain the change was made by someone with access to the organization's network.

It violates Wikipedia's neutrality guidelines for a person with close ties to an issue to contribute to an entry about it, said spokeswoman Sandy Ordonez of the Wikimedia Foundation, Wikipedia's parent organization.

However, she said, "Wikipedia is self-correcting," meaning misleading entries can be quickly revised by another editor. She said Wikimedia welcomed the WikiScanner.

WikiScanner can be found at

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 17, 2007 5:41 AM | Report abuse

You all need a good elephant dog like me. yellojkt hasn't had any trouble with rampaging elephants since I've been on the job.

Posted by: yellojktdog | August 17, 2007 6:26 AM | Report abuse

Congrats on getting SoG's first stage launched. I'm sure he will thrive just like the website says they will.

I think he will have some culture shock particularly vis-a-vis Sunday as an adjective. Nearly all private schools in the south have some vestigal relationship with organized religion. Since Queens was once Presbyterian Female College, that DNA is there.

My wife sometimes feels her time at Garnder-Webb University was like foreign studies. Still, I'm sure SoG will get a good education and even meet a girl or two.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 17, 2007 6:53 AM | Report abuse

I pick the worst evenings to be too damn busy to Boodle, now don't I?? *SIGHHHH for Yoki* ;-)

And I paid for my mistake too -- I was so discombobulated last night I forgot to put the coffee pot in the coffee maker. I think the cats decided to sample the spill this morning... *looking at the paw prints on the ceiling*


TBG! *congratulatory HUGSSS and a faxed hearty "go get 'em" handshake for little G*

martooni, you forgot SciTim and I having a very pointy debate over who's the ranking science officer.

*entirely appropriate TGIF Grover waves*


Posted by: Scottynuke | August 17, 2007 7:31 AM | Report abuse

Morning! Doing a quick drive-by before heading off to errands and the country house.

*faxing Scotty IV equipment to mainline his belated coffee*

Lasix? Holy cripes, Mudge. Isn't that the stuff they give race horses? I believe it's also illegal to do so in New York. (no time for Wiki search) Perhaps that's where the phrase "P1ss like a racehorse" comes from.

Posted by: Raysmom | August 17, 2007 8:32 AM | Report abuse

I think we should give Joel a Wiki-Pulitzer. He must feel so inferior working with so many people that have real ones. It's a shame one has been give out for fashion reporting, because a few stories about the care and cleaning of taffeta could really impress the committee.

Robin Givhan (and I can't read her name without getting some pleasant 'Head Of The Class' flashbacks) is either attacking high fashion today or defending it.

I was too busy ogling Laura Linney to care.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 17, 2007 8:41 AM | Report abuse

"I'm sure SoG will get a good education and even meet a girl or two."

Considering the enrollment is about 70% women he's got a pretty good shot at that. In fact, every time I saw him yesterday he was surrounded by 'em.

Thanks for all the kind words and thought, friends. I saw a woman in the grocery store last night doing that "putting baby into the seat and strapping her in" dance and I wanted to tell her that next week she'll be taking her to college.

Posted by: TBG | August 17, 2007 8:43 AM | Report abuse

Hey Kids,

'High School Musical 2' premieres tonight. Order some pizzas, pop some popcorn and invite your favorite twelve year olds over for a pajama party. My wife was listening to the soundtrack on the internet last night and it sounds just as perky, wholesome, and Up With People-ish as the first one. The mix things up. In this movie they sing about baseball instead of basketball.

Meanwhile my kid is now old enough to see R-rated teen sex comedies without dragging the old man along. The buzz for 'Superbad' is really good and all his friends want to see it. They grow up so fast. Maybe I should go rent 'Porkies' for old times sake.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 17, 2007 8:54 AM | Report abuse

Morning, everybody, happy Friday!

Today's walk wasn't quite so hot as yesterday's. Maybe there is hope for autumn!

Amazing how time flies with kids, isn't it, TBG? My third child - she who got married last November - dropped by earlier in the week to tell me she's pregnant. Another stage in life starts anew. Now I'm really going to be my mother all over again!

Posted by: Slyness | August 17, 2007 8:56 AM | Report abuse

Someone go wake up Rob and tell him it's time to feed the KitMonster. His 'All About Eve' coup isn't going to work if he can't keep up the pace.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 17, 2007 8:57 AM | Report abuse

Congrats on the upcoming grandkid, slyness. Now the fun really begins. Or so I'm told. I'll hold off on that stage as long as I can.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 17, 2007 9:00 AM | Report abuse

Does anyone else get those silly PostPoints e-mailed to them? Today's was this:

"The Coupe Mondiale, the prestigious international accordion competition now celebrating its 60th anniversary, is back in Washington for the first time since America's bicentennial (that's 1976 for the historically challenged). Run by the Confederation Internationale des Accordionistes, the annual gathering explains why you may be seeing people toting accordions all........"

That's as far as I got before my head hit the keyboard.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 17, 2007 9:04 AM | Report abuse

Morning boodle. There is indeed hope for autumn, our temp this morning just 45. Summer is on the way out.

yello-I think Givhan is defending fashion, sort of. Not one of her better pieces, to my mind anyway.

Posted by: frostbitten | August 17, 2007 9:05 AM | Report abuse

Our staff meeting was so short that... I feel like...singing!

Posted by: jack | August 17, 2007 9:07 AM | Report abuse

No new kit yet? That's the problem with the young ones, they're all excitement at first (2 kits in mere hours!) but they get bored easily and have no stamina.
Boko, pulverizing groundhogs with a .303 British is evil. Got to be fun though. My brother and I used a 22-250, it's much more sportmanlike.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | August 17, 2007 9:09 AM | Report abuse

Slyness, that's great news! Now you know why you retired.

I'm more in the yellojkt camp, not in any hurry to get to that phase. As my offspring swears she will *never* get married or have kids, I'm mellow about it now. I tell her, that is a very good attitude to have at 20, and at 30 everything may well look completely different. Speaking from personal experience.

So where's our guest blogger of the day?

:-) Feed the blog! Feed the blog! :-)

Greetings to Rob; good job yesterday. If you're still on duty, I look forward to your next entry.

Posted by: kbertocci | August 17, 2007 9:12 AM | Report abuse

Slyness, fall is coming. This morning the temperature dropped below 10°C (50°F) for the first time since June. So single digit night temperatures are with us.

I enjoyed the s, p, L, and Rayleigh waves discussion. I know nothing about the earth crust and quakes but the same wave terminoly is used in the world of non-destructive examination by ultrasonic methods, something I know a bit about. A solid is a solid after all, whether the waves are sub or ultra sonic.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | August 17, 2007 9:18 AM | Report abuse

I'm glad to see our new buddy Rob (I think of him as a co-worker rather than another boss) hasn't fed his own blog today, either.

I do think he's got a better forum here as he really did a good job learning from The Master and is a very good writer.

Anyway... Welcome Rob! Thanks for sitting in for the boss. Now... get back to work!

Posted by: TBG | August 17, 2007 9:22 AM | Report abuse

I think we scared the kid off. Here he thinks this is gonna be a piece of cake, filling in for Joel, and next thing he knows he's starring in a screenplay of his own jaded college sex life. Kid's probably off putting a snort of Jamison's in his coffee just to face the morning, and wondering how it all went so wrong so fast. Heh heh.

Yes, Raysmom, THAT lasix. Fortunately my desk is only half a furlong from the men's room and I can canter down there any time I want to.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 17, 2007 9:29 AM | Report abuse

OK, make that a sixth of a furlong.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 17, 2007 9:36 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, Boodle. Kit is on its way. Sorry for the delay. Can anyone spare a cup of coffee?

Posted by: Rob Anderson | August 17, 2007 9:40 AM | Report abuse

Does that canter ever break into a gallop? And when the urge isn't as strong do you singlestep or Tölt?

Posted by: yellojkt | August 17, 2007 9:40 AM | Report abuse

Compare or contrast Givhan's latest fashion ramblings with this article from London's Mirror, below. Better yet, since Bush is presently in Crawford, on vacation, do a compare/contrast of Brown with Bush.

(Locally, more than 99 street closures within San Antonio city limits. Huge numbers of minor fender benders yesterday, major accidents, some tragic drowning deaths, including a caged dog in one of the homes flooded with three feet of water, dramatic high-water rescues, record number of high-water rescue calls. A young woman swept away this morning and still missing on streets--Thames and York--that I traveled yesterday to get to North Star Mall. We ate at our favorite Mexican restaurant in Helotes last night. The restaurant turned into a holding area for stranded motorists--those who could not reach the nearby Iron Horse Canyon subdivision [across the farm-to-market road from the infamous Helotes Mulch Fire] or those who could not travel Highway 16 to Pipe Creek because San Geronimo Creek was out of its banks. The guy stuck in the tree for four hours on last night's national newsfeed--about five miles west of our home. Houston may have been clobbered yesteray morning, but we were inundated yesterday afternoon. Weather Channel recording 9.6 inches of rain for South San Antonio yesterday.)

Brown's made one hol of a difference

Brian Reade 16/08/2007

It's August 1997 and shocking images of a car being relayed back from France leave a nation sad and confused.

Something precious has been taken away from us, our youthful innocence lies shattered, and heads are thrust into hands as we yell: "Why, why, why?"

That's right. Tony and Cherie Blair, fresh from a fortnight on the cadge at Geoffrey Robinson's Tuscan estate, are chauffeured into the 12th-century chateau of High Court judge Sir David Keene, for another free week of opulence.

This was their first holiday after Blair told us: "The people are the masters now. We are the servants of the people." And there they were, masters of all they surveyed, being waited on by servants in baronial surroundings.

In the years that followed, the Blairs would save an estimated £775,000 staying at the mansions of the dodgy (Silvio Berlusconi), the cheesy (Barry Gibb) and the Tory (Cliff Richard). So many times did Blair negotiate gratis holidays in Italy the media nicknamed him "Lo Scroccone". The Scrounger.

Now contrast Blair's first summer break with Gordon Brown's. Four hours in a Dorset cottage, then back to Chequers and up to his Scottish constituency to graft.

We're told that the nation is impressed with Brown's ability to handle crises, but I'm more impressed with his determination to shun the perks of office and focus on work. We saw it in Washington, when he refused to reciprocate George Bush's flattery, preferring to talk about foreign policy.

We saw it with foot-and-mouth when, instead of touchy-feely photo-ops with farmers, Brown sat at his desk and got it sorted.

Obviously he's going out of his way to distance himself from jollies in rich men's mansions, but you sense he would still have holidayed in Britain regardless. And if he had gone back to his old Cape Cod haunt in the USA, it would have been a low-key, paid-for affair.

It's why I feel better about the leadership of the Labour Party than I have for a decade. There's a gut feeling that Brown is one of us. Whereas the Blairs always wanted to be one of them.

They saw free chateaux and villa holidays as their reward and believed filling their boots with the trappings of power was their right. Whereas Brown hates the shallowness of celebrity and loathes having to be chummy with the rich and famous. He'd rather be getting on with his job.

I was going to suggest this slogan for Labour's next General Election campaign. Above pictures of Major, Hague, Howard and Cameron, the words: "We've seen off the Bland, the Bald, and the Bloodsucker. Now bring on the Blue-blooded Bullsh*tter."

But I've changed it to: "Tough on exotic freebie holidays, tough on the causes of exotic freebie holidays."

Or maybe these words, next to a photo of the last Prime Minister in Armani shorts, playing air guitar on a Caribbean yacht: "Brown. He's not Blair."

Posted by: Loomis | August 17, 2007 9:43 AM | Report abuse

*Faxing Rob some special Friday blend/dark roast with extra caffeine and cream and sugar on the side...*

Posted by: Anonymous | August 17, 2007 9:45 AM | Report abuse

Slyness - that's wonderful news. Do you live close to her? I'm with yellojkt - hopefully a long way from that stage, my kids are 16 and 14. But I'm trying to lay the groundwork (hubby says I'm going to scar them for life) by telling them to settle near us and I will take care of the kiddies while they work. I will be an awesome grandma, I just know it. Hubby hasn't signed on to the whole grandparent's day care plan, so we're going to have to work out some compromise.
Anyway, congratulations.

TBG - I thought of you often. I'm glad it went well.

Mudge - I'm with you on Gerson. I was initially lukewarm about him because it didn't seem as though he always joined the Republican echo chamber, but lately - feh!
And I can understand people perhaps trying to make the point that Rove may not be the anti-Christ, but to try to say he's not a cynical political operator... what a JOKE.

Do you think Rob is hiding somewhere? Overcome with the pressure?

Posted by: Kim | August 17, 2007 9:45 AM | Report abuse

One aspect of Rob A's tenure is this: he is in the coveted age bracket for emerging brand loyalty. Good move, Joel A. Rob, bring your Facebook friends along to the party. First, lurk. Later, emerge. Like caterpillar-chrysalis-butterflies.

As a teacher, I love the "hire a former student, who was clearly brought up right."

May I brag thusly: a former student -- engineering geek -- sent me an email this AM about how his Ivy-league colleague sent him a white paper on MATERIAL X with five references, three of which where WIKIPEDIA...lightly acknowledged as WikiPEE. The Ivy-guy did not even identify the WikiPEE links as sources.

Sheesh. And, said-student said, Thanks for saving me in advance. I woulda coulda done the same thing except for how you beat it into us about the ethos of sources.

Victory wave.

Posted by: College Parkian | August 17, 2007 9:46 AM | Report abuse

Great, now *everybody* knows about Material X.

Posted by: RD Padouk | August 17, 2007 9:55 AM | Report abuse

Gee, Rob, wouldn't it be great if some company would open a chain of stores that serve nothing but an endless variety of exotic types of coffees and locate stores so that it is practically impossible to go from your residence to your place of employment without passing one?

Or maybe stores where milder but hotter coffee is served along with a wide assortment of toroidal sugar glazed snacks? It could be named after a Shakespearean character.

Or perhaps employers could create stations in their office so that employees could have access to freshly brewed caffeinated beverages all day to keep their employees productive. At government offices, the employee could all chip in to share the cost so that the taxpayer isn't subsidizing anybody's mild beverage addiction.

Or people could but machines that brew their own coffee to their own taste in the comfort and privacy of their domicile. These machines could even have clocks and timers to brew the coffee at a preset time everyday while one's daily grooming and hygiene tasks were being performed.

But we live in a society that can regularly endanger the lives of schoolteacher with multi-billion dollar defective rockets but can't find a way to deliver caffeine to people who have stayed up too late Googling old classmates and are now late updating their blogs for people that rely on a steady flow of textual miscellany to kepp them amused at their soul-sucking jobs.

Sorry, can't help you Rob.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 17, 2007 9:56 AM | Report abuse

SCC: Change "but" to "buy" in the next to penultimate paragraph. I'm a little cranky, maybe I should go get a drink.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 17, 2007 10:00 AM | Report abuse

I'd fax you a coffee from Tim's but these days the lines are long and strangely agressive. don't mess with people when they haven't had their coffee.

So I will fax you a Tim's coffee maker, Tim's coffee. All you have to do is add water. Wait, check that, I'll fax you some water too, so you get the full Canadian experience.

Sheesh, now there's a line up at the fax.

Posted by: dr | August 17, 2007 10:03 AM | Report abuse

SD - I think it is cool that you know about ultrasonic testing. When not herding them pesky contractors, I, now and again, actually do some real technical work. Lately I am researching something called "ultrasonic time reversal." Wickedly interesting stuff.

Posted by: RD Padouk | August 17, 2007 10:03 AM | Report abuse

Sorry to have outed you, RD, re the material that shall not be named.

I guess they BOTH work for you; of course, you are more impressed with the Terp who went through my boot camp, than the other lab rat....right?

0 0
( o )

As you can see, I am now brave enough to use emoticons.

Posted by: College Parkian | August 17, 2007 10:06 AM | Report abuse

*faxing Rob a sesame bagel and schmear of cream cheese (lite) to go with his faxed coffee.*

I'd fax you some Novi lox, a slice of Bermuda and a slice a' tamatter if I had some.

But then I'd have to fax you some Rolaids or Tums, too, I suppose.

And some breath mints.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 17, 2007 10:14 AM | Report abuse

Hi folks, hi Rob.

Just checking in, noticed that martooni suggests I wear bling as part of the Ache-Team.

Can I make it out of polished bicycle chains and automotive hood ornaments (thinkinkg it would be cool to have a real "Spirit of Ecstasy" hanging around my neck).

I pity the fool who tells me otherwise.

bc Bareassus

Posted by: bc | August 17, 2007 10:16 AM | Report abuse

RD, time was flowing only in one direction in my days. Happy to see things are changing.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | August 17, 2007 10:17 AM | Report abuse

WaPo running a strong third in dead-media web traffic. I like to think we are all doing our part.

We are rather unique visitors.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 17, 2007 10:19 AM | Report abuse

About your Editorialist blog yesterday. You linked to Gail Collins. Sure, it's nice to have another woman among the op-ed writers at the NYT, but Collins can't hold a candle to Dowd, who, like Joel, is on summer vacation. I think, if it was so important to bring Collin's column about Fred Thompson to the fore, to the attention of Washington Post readers, wouldn't it have been even better to mention Thompson's family ties to lobbyists, a story done earlier by David Kirkpatrick at the NYT? That Thompson feature by Kirkpatrick is worthy of closer scrutiny:

In 2002, Daniel quit to work full time as finance director of his father's re-election campaign. When Senator Thompson decided not to seek re-election, Daniel, too, was out of a job. So his father stepped in to help out. Giving a speech to a charitable group associated with a Kentucky military base, Senator Thompson suggested to the group's fund-raising consultant, Douglas M. Lawson, that he consider hiring his son, Mr. Lawson recalled. Daniel now runs an office of Mr. Lawson's charitable fund-raising firm in Nashville, his father's home base.

The elder Mr. Thompson helped Daniel through his political action committee as well. In the last two elections, the committee paid Daniel Thompson more than $170,000 in consulting fees, compared with less than $70,000 it paid toward supporting Republican political campaigns.

And didn't you think it snooty of Collins to make fun of Iowa's butter scultures when she was out there in the heart of the Midwest covering the Iowa Straw Poll? One of Loomispouse's coworkers and his wife hail from Iowa, but it would be a real test of our friendship if I were to make fun of Iowa's butter sculptures.

I guess you're not the Rob Anderson blogger who covered San Francisco's District Five? Any chance you're the descendant of the more famous Rob Anderson?:

In 1887 Robert Anderson became the Secretary of the Prison Commissioners until August of 1888, when he replaced James Monro as Assistant Commissioner of the Criminal Investigation Department, which was then just starting the investigation into the Jack the Ripper murders.

Posted by: Loomis | August 17, 2007 10:20 AM | Report abuse

Found this tasty little blurb on the Editor and Publ;isher link bc posted above: must watch.

Preview of Moyers Ripping Rove on PBS Tonight

By E&P Staff

Published: August 17, 2007 10:15 AM ET

NEW YORK At the conclusion of his Friday night PBS program tonight, Bill Moyers bids farewell to "my fellow Texan" Karl Rove with a strong critique.

After opening this edition of "Bill Moyers' Journal" with laudatory TV clips from this week (Chris Matthews: "Where there's brains there's Rove"), he observes that Rove "knew how to win elections as if they were divine interventions....With church pews as precincts he used religion as a battering ram....Rove knew to bet in politics on fear and loathing" and "coarsened both relgion and politics" in the process.

But that's not all, Moyer asserts: He "shook down corporations for campaign contributions" and ultimately "left the U.S. government in shambles...mired in war, debt and corruption." Now "enmeshed in some of the scandals" he is "riding out of Dodge City as the posse rides in...."

Moyers closes by wondering what those on the Christian, who he "manipulated," now think of Rove confessing to a friend "his own agnostism ....On his last play of the game, all Karl Rove had to offer them was a Hail Mary pass while telling himself there was no one there to catch it."

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 17, 2007 10:24 AM | Report abuse

Wow, Loomis, your connect-the-dots skills always amaze.

Of course, this is easier when the names are


or as Frosti knows, any ol' Finnish name:


Posted by: College Parkian | August 17, 2007 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Reeling off-topic here for a second, if anyone's going to be down (or up, depending on where you're coming from) at Politics & Prose on Conn Ave in NW DC this evening to see William Gibson, you're likely to see me there.

Without the bling.

bc Bareassus

Posted by: bc | August 17, 2007 10:52 AM | Report abuse

Er, that'd be yellojkt's link there, Mudge.

As much as I'd like to drive a titanium flag into it and claim it for my own, I can't.


Posted by: bc | August 17, 2007 10:54 AM | Report abuse

SD - I have to keep telling people that ultrasonic time reversal doesn't really reverse time. But perhaps I shouldn't point this pesky fact out. Funding would be much easier to secure.

Posted by: RD Padouk | August 17, 2007 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Don't you need to fly around the world in the reverse direction to earth's rotation or do a Warp Drive slingshot to travel backwards or reverse time?

Even I know ultrasonics won't work for time reversal, because in space no one can hear you scream.


Posted by: bc | August 17, 2007 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Oops. Sorry yello. Thanks, bc. Brain cramp.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 17, 2007 11:09 AM | Report abuse

I had a battery operated wall clock once, that when you put the battery in backwards the clock would run in reverse. That would occasionally freak some friends out when .

Posted by: omni | August 17, 2007 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Oh sure. Make sport of Ultrasonic Time Reversal. But the day may come when one of you is diagnosed with kidney stones. Then you shall be happy to light a candle to Mathias Fink.

Posted by: RD Padouk | August 17, 2007 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Thanks, Kim. She's actually my older daughter's best bud and lived with us during the summers while they were in college, so I claim her as my own. She and her husband live in the next county over but it's less than a half hour's drive. This is one lucky kid. In addition to two real grandmothers and me, he/she also has three great grandmothers.

Posted by: Slyness | August 17, 2007 11:15 AM | Report abuse

The Editorialist blog addresses that day's hot topics, editorials, columns, etc. To link back to other articles would be an exercise in futility...where would it end? Besides, comments about that blog probably would be better addressed on that blog.

Give the new kid a break.

Posted by: LostInThought | August 17, 2007 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Prime Minister Brown's disdain for perks extends to dumping his official weekend residence, Chequers, which will be used for meetings and such. Wasn't it Jimmy Carter who got rid of the presidential yacht?

On the other hand, Blair traveled to vacations on commercial flights. Privacy was maintained on one to Miami until the plane blew a tire (or something similar) while landing. Blair also traveled by Underground and rail within London.

On an entirely different topic, it turned out to be a good thing that I'd bought two copies of a poster. Despite being framed with anti-ultraviolet glass, the yellow pigment faded. So the replacement's being slipped in. Now I've got to order some more backups [it's my multi cultural poster: a 1919 Japanese print based on artwork by a British artist who had lived in Tokyo and suppled quite a few drawings to be made into new and interesting prints. The subject is surfers at Waikiki. The actual print is very rare because the print-making company's facilities burned in the great fire of 1923.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | August 17, 2007 11:38 AM | Report abuse


Hus = house
Kvarna = mill
(to the best of my knowledge)

Don't know how the "q" got in there...

That's why Dick always hated it when his mum's friends called him Richard Husqvarna Nixon--"Husky" for short.

I posit itthat my teasing of Rob is a lot more gentle than some others here yesterday. And if you don't know the info in the Kirkpatrick article about ol' Fred Thmpson, you should.

Posted by: Loomis | August 17, 2007 11:38 AM | Report abuse

LiT, ~sound of a standing ovation.~

Posted by: dbG | August 17, 2007 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Or should we just all post the *wave*.


Posted by: dbG | August 17, 2007 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Somebody broke the new kid? What???


Posted by: Scottynuke | August 17, 2007 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Lemme see, poor Rob's blog only had one post when I read it yesterday morning a Ms. Megan.

A little controversy always generates more interest. I say, let's help the fella out! Nice of him to repost the Chinese pig virus story at the NYT (that I mentioned yesterday) to his Editorialist blog today.

How many other Achenbloggers have visited the Editorialist today? Hmmm. Just what I figgered.

Posted by: Loomis | August 17, 2007 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Loomis, I'm not surprised about the close lobbying link with Thompson. He was a lobbyist according to his bio. Lawyer, lobbyist, actor, senator, a very busy man. No matter how much he is portrayed as an ordinary guy, no matter how well a denim shirt suits him, he is not just Joe Ordinary.

But then none of the guys who chooses to run is a Joe Ordinary. I don't think you can be to aspire to high public office.

Cool stuff about Gordon Brown though. He's not going to be ordinary either, no matter what else he might be.

Posted by: dr | August 17, 2007 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Yes, Dave, it was Carter who got rid of the presidential yacht Sequoia, for which I've never forgiven him. I've been on the Sequoii, though not in the past 10 or 12 years. A beautiful, beautiful little yacht, and in the grand scheme of things, not all that expensive to keep or maintain.

Of course, had they kept her, after 9/11 she'd have been armor-plated, bullet-proofed, weighted down with 9 gazillion tons of electronics, and Arbusto (that veteran seaman of the mighty Kennebunk River) would have installed a bunch of fishing rod holders on the stern, and a &^%$# tuna tower. But the Sequoia does have a nice little forward chain locker that would make a dandy undisclosed location/brig for Cheney.

I think the Williamsburg is still in DC, over in at the Anacostia Navy Yard Annex somewhere. She's much bigger, and would do nicely for a presidential yacht. And instead of clearing brush at Crawford, Bush could get his exercise scraping barnacles and varnishing the taffrail.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 17, 2007 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Mudge, I don't know why but Sequoia sort of looks Rooseveltian. Is there such a thing as a presidential descriptive tense?

Posted by: dr | August 17, 2007 12:02 PM | Report abuse

How can you determine who's visited the blog, Loomis? You can see comments, but that doesn't equal the number of visits by A-bloggers or anyone else.

Are you unhappy today?

Posted by: Yoki | August 17, 2007 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Here's something I don't understand: a while back everybody was talking about how the web statistics, number of page views and so on are kept top secret and are somehow different from circulation numbers, which have always been widely reported. I thought that seemed weird, because to me they are the same thing. Now today we have this article that compares all the newspapers' respective web traffic, average length of visit and so on. I'm so confused. What is secret?

Here's something else I wonder about: the counters are apparently set up to measure "visitors"--that is, people who log on, read something, maybe go to multiple pages, and then log off. That's the way I visit the New York Times. But it's not how I interact with I typically stay logged on to the site 24/7 on my home computer, and at work I log on in the morning and stay connected all day. I have Windows; I have tabbed browsing, so just because I'm logged on doesn't mean I'm actually viewing the site, but the computer doesn't know that (does it?).

This may be a case for yellojkt's statistical analysis. The way I have it figured, they are saying they had 9,157 unique visitors in July, and the average total time per visitor was roughly 18 minutes. That comes to 164,826 visitor-minutes for July. One person logged on 24 hours a day for the month would be over 40,000 minutes. Are they correcting for that? Yellojkt, help me out here.

Posted by: kbertocci | August 17, 2007 12:09 PM | Report abuse

That's a good question, kber. Your description of how you read WaPo mirrors mine. If I have Achenblog up all the time, and also have the homepage open in another tab, how do they count that?

Posted by: Slyness | August 17, 2007 12:17 PM | Report abuse

New kit has arrived!

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 17, 2007 12:19 PM | Report abuse

It is so hot out there that sane people are staying inside. Which means I had our wooded jogging trail all to myself. That is, except for the doe, two fawns, box turtle, three skinks, groundhog, and fox I observed.

At least I think it was a fox. I mean, it didn't have that typical fox-like coat, being more wheaton colored with no markings, but it had those fox-like ears.

Hmm, perhaps it was a *mutant* fox.

Which would, of course, explain everything.

Posted by: RD Padouk | August 17, 2007 12:26 PM | Report abuse

Red foxes have many colors, RD Padouk.
But no white tip does mean its unlikely to be a RED fox.

I've seen golden/wheaten canines in Va too-- either they're red foxes or coyotes, or other fox species moving into this area.

"The white tip on the tail will distinguish this fox from other species, regardless of its color phase. Red is the most common color, but the hair may be from light yellowish to deep auburn red. Several color phases can occur in one litter.
...Red foxes displaying a distinct color pattern are referred by the name of that phase (i.e., red, cross, silver, black). The cross fox, for example, has a black/brown cross on the back and shoulders. The silver and black phases are similar. However, the black does not have the silver-tipped guard hairs characteristic of the silver fox. The occurrence of black-silver phase appears to increase toward the north and the northwest of Alaska."

I liked this site full of red fox pups playing..

Posted by: Wilbrod | August 17, 2007 1:57 PM | Report abuse

And thus I killed the boodle with a collective AWWW?

Posted by: Wilbrod | August 17, 2007 2:55 PM | Report abuse

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