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Iron Man vs. the Hulk


Who would win a fight between Iron Man and the Incredible Hulk?

"Dude, you know Hulk would easily win," Achenbach writes in an e-mail from Australia. "Iron Man is more of a natural opponent of, say, Ant-Man, or Captain America, or Spider-Man."

Ant-Man? Please. Maybe ants are menacing in the Antipodes, but this is a serious question. Serious enough to set forth before the brilliant minds of the Achenblog Institute. Not just because it is a question of the pop culture moment -- the new Iron Man movie has rocked the box office, and yet another rebooting of the Hulk franchise is opening next month -- but because it speaks to deeper issues. What is stronger: Hulk's blind anger, or Iron Man's ingenuity?

Clearly, this is more than just a clash of comic-book superheroes: It is brains versus brawn, reason versus rage, ego versus id. If the Hulk can easily win, what does that mean for humanity?

There's no question that in the comic-book universe, Hulk is the more popular character. He's had three animated series made about him and even a television show. But on closer examination, it gets more complicated. Hulk's Wikipedia entry is 4,890 words to Iron Man's 4,815. (Ant-Man's is a laughable 553 words -- though that's still better than Achenbach's measly 295-word entry, and my own nonexistent one. There is a margin of error on these counts, because Wiki entries are constantly changing.)

The Incredible Hulk is Bruce Banner, a physicist who, when caught in the blast of a gamma ray bomb he had created, develops the power to turn into an indestructible, green-skinned monster. Superhero experts rank his raw physical strength in the top tier. But the transformation from Banner to Hulk is triggered by his emotions. The madder he gets, the stronger he gets. And the stronger he gets, the more out of control he gets, to the point where he is as mighty as a hurricane and as blindly destructive.

When you think about Iron Man's abilities -- the power to fly and shoot missiles, among other things -- consider this: When Hulk gets mad, he can practically jump into orbit. And there's little doubt that, were he to get his meaty green fists around Iron Man, he'd crush him like a can of Budweiser in the hands of a roaring drunk frat boy. (Roaring Drunk Frat Boy: Could he be a new superhero?)

But here's the rub: Iron Man's superpower is his mind. Tony Stark, the man behind the Iron Man suit, is a genius engineer. He likes his booze and his women; he even has a stripper pole in his plane, if you believe the movie. Sure, he's impulsive, but he doesn't have the anger issues that plague Banner, and he is also smart enough to build his first suit out of scrap metal in a cave and then extract a cold, calculating revenge on his captors. He is a superhero not by accident, but because he chose to be one.

Iron Man's powers are governed by reason, and he can learn, while Hulk is ruled by the whims of his unstable personality. For all his problems, Tony Stark is a man with a developing moral sense -- a hero in the old-fashioned sense, one who helps mankind -- while the Hulk is a force of nature and can never be anything else.

So who would win?

If they ran into one another on the street, the Hulk. Given time to prepare for the battle, Iron Man.

I find this to be a comforting answer, and it appears to be backed by precedent. (Spoilers ahoy.) In the "World War Hulk" series of comics, Hulk wins a first straight fight. Continual combat leaves New York in ruins. But Iron Man turns things around by using satellite powers to get him to revert to his harmless Bruce Banner form. Ol' Hulk is then locked up three miles below the Mojave Desert to keep him from another rampage.

The two superheroes also battled one another in 1980, comic acolytes say. In that fight -- the reasons for which don't really matter -- Iron Man focuses all of his suit's power into a single punch, knocking the Hulk unconscious. But the effort of the blow fuses the electronics in Iron Man's armor, leaving him unable to breathe. Guess who comes to Iron Man's rescue, fixing the fallen superhero's circuitry?

Ant-Man. Game, set, Achenbach.

-- Nelson Hernandez

By Editor  |  May 20, 2008; 6:00 AM ET
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Next: The Wiki Fame-o-Meter



Posted by: Curmudgeon | May 20, 2008 6:38 AM | Report abuse

The things I learn here! Achenblog is an incredible window into popular culture. I am much less of an ignoramus because of this place.

G'morning everybody!

Headline in today's paper is that we may see the persistent drought ease somewhat this summer. Good news, that.

Posted by: slyness | May 20, 2008 7:08 AM | Report abuse

Way to go, Nelson...

We're going to be deluged by doilies, Kincaids and knitting now.


Posted by: Scottynuke | May 20, 2008 7:26 AM | Report abuse

Good thing I am off to start my new job today as here is the total sum of my contribution to Achenblog Institute, Who's Iron Man? Is he new, the youngest superhero on the block?

And Ant Man - is that real?

Not sure I can comment or read the kits at work so everyone have a great day and hopefully I can get caught up at night if I can't read during the day.

Posted by: dmd | May 20, 2008 7:29 AM | Report abuse

Ant-Man is just one of many incarnations of Hank Pym, another super genius, who has also been Gi-Ant Man, and Yellowjacket. He had to resign in disgrace from the Avengers and continues to be a bit of a pariah. And, no, I am not Yellowjacket.

The Hank Pym Wikipedia entry is 3,143 words long not counting the footnotes and references.

Just sayin'.

Posted by: yellojkt | May 20, 2008 7:45 AM | Report abuse

The Hulk will always be my favorite because he was Frostson's favorite when he was a wee boy. His dad had an old flannel shirt that was ready to go to the rag bag when in a moment of playing "Georgia Championship Wrestling" the shirt started to rip. In an inspired moment of father/son bonding this became the Hulk shirt which ripped on demand with the simple act of posing like the Hulk and flexing a few muscles. In a few weeks the shirt was just shreds of plaid flannel but the game continued until the television show was canceled. That was a difficult time-before we had a zillion channels and endless syndication parents actually had to explain to kids why their favorite TV shows weren't on any more.

Have to run, long, long day of meetings today. If coffee prices were rising at the same rate as gas I'd be in a world of hurt.

Posted by: frostbitten | May 20, 2008 7:59 AM | Report abuse

Nifty fun kit, and a great way to start a rainy Tuesday. Like many Comic Book discussions, there is much more here than just cool pictures for arrested adolescents. For as all the right sort of people know, there are fundamental psychological and philosophical issues embedded in these stories.

As Mr. Hernandez points out, the contrast between The Hulk and Iron Man is between righteous anger and dispassionate rationalism - one of the great fundamental dichotomies.

Let's face it, righteous anger is a heck of a lot of fun. There are few primal emotions more satisfying than the desire to inflict grave harm upon those who have done us wrong, or have done wrong to those we care about. Heck, whole movie franchises have been built upon this. Not to mention a few political careers.

Yet anger can easily morph into uncontrolled rage. It can become a firestorm that destroys everything in its path. Students of history understand this all too well.

Cold rationalism, on the other hand, although in possession of superior strategy and means, can fail to inspire the emotional intensity needed to bring great plans to fruition. The most magnificent policies and processes and reforms will fail unless a little passion is thrown into the mix.

Which suggests to me that neither would truly win. Neither The Hulk nor Iron Man have what it takes for ultimate victory. The battle would oscillate back and forth forever - much like the history of civilization.

Clearly, rather than envisioning a battle between the two, it is better (though, admittedly not nearly as cool) to consider the power of synergy. An entity that combines great passion with great intelligence.

Something like the Really Big Green Hulking Contemplative Person of Iron. I think that this would be, like, a totally epic new paradigm.

Of course, the name might need some work.

Posted by: RD Padouk | May 20, 2008 8:00 AM | Report abuse

This kit also brings back the nature inspired superpowers issue. Insects seem to be popular sources. We have Spiderman, Spiderwoman, Ant Man/Yellowjacket who was the abusive husband of Wasp. On the DC side, they have Blue Beetle.

Another thing, Ant Man's powers are a rip-off of Ray Palmer, nuclear physicist and The Atom.

For the ComicGeeks: Name five superheroes named after birds.

Posted by: yellojkt | May 20, 2008 8:02 AM | Report abuse

RDP, wasn't that Titanium Man?


Posted by: Scottynuke | May 20, 2008 8:03 AM | Report abuse

Thanks, yellojkt - I was with dmd in wondering if Ant-man is a REAL super hero or a fake one. Give me Jane Austen movies and books any day. I know it's a failing in me, but the superhero genre just doesn't float my boat. I certainly appreciate Nelsonator's perspective though! These are weighty matters, to be sure.

Wow, Scotty, that was quite a pic you posted in the previous kit. I am pretty sure I wouldn't have had the presence of mind to photograph my own javelin piercing. That guy has some work ethic!

Good luck on your first day, dmd.

Posted by: Kim | May 20, 2008 8:06 AM | Report abuse

Kim, you are quite right. Comic Books aren't for everyone. In fact, I have actually only read a few in my life. The underlying mythologies and themes are what I like. I mean, both Peter Parker and Mr. Darby can teach us something about angst.

Posted by: RD Padouk | May 20, 2008 8:15 AM | Report abuse

The Hawk
The Raven
The Crow
The Sparrow
Tweety Bird.

To easy yello

(OK, I totally made up the even ones)

Posted by: omni | May 20, 2008 8:16 AM | Report abuse

SuperHEROES, yello?

Well, we have HawkMan (HawkGirl is redundnant), Vulture (villian), Deathbird (X-Men Shi'ar villian)...

Angel has wings but is not a bird...



I'm out.

Posted by: Scottynuke | May 20, 2008 8:25 AM | Report abuse

Frostbitten, a guy in my office just dropped by consuming a $4 cup of Starbucks coffee and complained about the price of a gallon of gas. OK, to be fair he probably had a 16 oz cup of coffee, but still, I resisted the urge to call him Irony Man.

Posted by: DandyLion | May 20, 2008 8:43 AM | Report abuse

Um, Scotty has it, Hawkman, not The Hawk...

Need more caffeine

In other news, who new that dancing was a cure for sore thighs. I feel 90% better after dancing to Kirstie for 15 minutes.

Now, I just need to awake up...

Posted by: omni | May 20, 2008 8:46 AM | Report abuse

Gah, I hate when I do that: new=>knew

Posted by: omni | May 20, 2008 8:49 AM | Report abuse

Why, it IS the Nelsonator. Agreed, perfect frothy kit for a bleary day.

I always thought that Peter Parker was admirable for marrying and living in such an ordinary way. Of course, my comic book knowledge is a bit thin. I walked past them, rather than read them. Osmosis, really.

In my house growing up, we had five or so tattered Comic Shakespeare plays...comic books were thought to be vulgar by my saintly grandparents. The lurid colors supported that idea.

Posted by: College Parkian | May 20, 2008 9:08 AM | Report abuse

The guy with the most amazing power is obviously the tailor who makes David Banner's pants, you know, the ones that don't ever rip above the knee.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | May 20, 2008 9:11 AM | Report abuse

CP and I must be twins separated at birth. The only comics we were allowed were Classic Comics. There I first "read" Shakespeare and Dickens and, I think, the Brontes. How very odd.

Back to work today, then to Quebec for the partners' retreat, then I fly home only in time to get on another plane and go back east to Picton for the big family reunion. So except for popping in and out, I'm gone from this place until June 3.

And that is a good thing, since I know nothing of superheros.

Posted by: Yoki | May 20, 2008 9:20 AM | Report abuse

DandyLion-I hear you. Was it you who posted that gas is still cheap on the last boodle? Had to agree with that as even here, where it takes a gallon of gas to get anywhere worth going, most people are still driving alone in very big vehicles. I'll be driving about 500 miles solo myself in the next two days-car pooling and mass transit not an option here in the middle of nowhere but at least these are rare obligations not a daily commute grind. Ah for the days of my Geo Metro convertible- 46-50 miles to the gallon (just couldn't run the AC and drive up a steep hill at the same time).

Time to run. Does driving 27 miles to present a workshop on early literacy to low-income and "underserved" parents even out in the grand scheme of things? I mean if the kids grow up to be readers will that be worth spoiling their planet with my carbon emissions and depletion of fossil fuels?

Posted by: frostbitten | May 20, 2008 9:22 AM | Report abuse

Absolutely, Frosti, you're on safe ground. Why, one of those kids may grow up to be the scientist who finds the solution for the energy crisis and global warming!

Posted by: slyness | May 20, 2008 9:28 AM | Report abuse

I think I saw one of those "SMART" cars yesterday. It was French's mustard yellow and looked like a roller skate -- much like the Fiats in Italy. It was kinda cute, actually, but I'm skeptical about the safety-ability of it.

But, again, this rising price issue is the perfect way to boil a frog. If you put a frog in boiling water, it jumps right out. But if you put it in cold water and slowly and gradually raise the temperature -- voila! Boiled Frog. And everyone is complaining, but they're used to it. And they're still relying on energy-inefficient travel.

Sorry for the snark, but, well, you know. Now that I'm off the grump, I'm going on with my day.


Posted by: firsttimeblogger | May 20, 2008 9:34 AM | Report abuse

I'm with Kim; I was never into superheroes, either. When I was a younger kid, I read all the Donald Duck/Daffy/Bugs/Looney Tunes comic books, but as I got a little older I never transitioned into the superheroes thing; went directly to books instead.

But what the heck, I'll give it a try: five superheroes named after birds:

(1) DodoMan. Stupid and extinct, whenever there's injustice he comes back from extinction only to get clobbered on the head by the bad guy. An entire episode is only three panels long.

(2) The Incredible Hummingbird Peeper: he uses his fantastic ability to hover in mid-air to hover outside the 34th-floor windows of attractive women so he can watch them...OK, never mind that one.

(3) The Parakeet: A small, inoffensive budgie who has no known superpowers except for the ability to soil the newspaper at the bottom of his cage. That's all he does: that, and eat, and get sick and die on you. (A very dark, very existential superhero for the near-suicidal. Kind of like a SuperSoren Kierkegard.)

(4) The Roadkill Ravager: Basically a turkey buzzard who was exposed to radioactivity as a small buzzard-chick and so went from being the world's ugliest bird to the world's ugliest flying superhero, who doesn't stop crime or eliminate bad guys; rather, he flies over other superheroes and waits for them to off their bad guys, and then he becomes the Roadkill Ravager, disposing of the evil bad guys' bodies in a thoroughly disgusting manner.

(5) The Fantasic Roasted SquabMan: A small single-serving-size superhero who is much too much effort for what you get out of him, what with his teeny-tiny little drumsticks and his teeny-tiny little thighs and his teeny-tiny little darkmeat breasts, who frustrates the bad guy supervillains just by being not worth their time and energy to dispatch. Possibly of French origin, which explains quite a lot.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | May 20, 2008 9:42 AM | Report abuse

dmd, have a great day, a wonderful first.

I always think my mom was the ultimate super hero. She managed to get us to do our chores including doing the dishes with hardly a wimper out of us. she'd have whupped the Hulk and Iron Man, if they even thought about messing with each other.

Posted by: dr | May 20, 2008 9:51 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, all.

Thanks for an amusing blog item, Mr. Hernandez, and starting my morning with a smile.

The Achenblog Institute?
Mmmm. I think of it more along the lines of the Boodle Academy (similar to those for aspiring Bartenders or Diesel Mechanics).

Iron Man vs. The Hulk... hmmm.

Based solely on the movies, I'd say Iron Man is ahead for the moment, but I have hopes for the new Hulk with Edward Norton. Ang Lee's Hulk from some years back just didn't do it for me.

I think you've (we've?) hit the nail on the head in the classic strggles of brains vs. brawn, rationality vs. emotion, David vs. Goliath, Beouwulf vs. Grendel, Gore vs. Bush, etc., as an expression of the duality of humanity and of our internal stuggles. Sometimes one wins in a given situtation, sometimes the other. Sometimes we humans are remarkably rational and noble, other times astonishingly cruel and downright stupid. But as has been pointed out here, we all really need them both to make us whole. Those of us who can draw on both in pressure situations are the kinds of people that are probably the most effective in tough spots. The bridge of the Enterprise is best when Kirk *and* Spock are on it, right?

I'd add that I read lots of comics from 1968-1980 or so, and my favorites were Iron Man, Hulk, Swamp Thing, Conan the Barbarian, Silver Surfer, John Carter: Warlord of Mars, and the one nearest and dearest to my heart; Thor: God of Thunder.

That last should be a heck of a movie in 2010, even if it stinks to high heaven.

And dmd, have a good first day.


Posted by: bc | May 20, 2008 10:10 AM | Report abuse

CP, I have to agree with your sainted grandparents. Not only for the colors, but why do so many of the superhero men wear bikini underwear on the outside of their costumes? Sort of creepy if you ask me, but if the chicks like it, I suppose it's ok.

Then there's Wunderwoman. Does she dress like a prostitute, or is it the other way around? I'm too young to make that determination.

Posted by: DandyLion | May 20, 2008 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Nova didn't wear his underwear on the outside

Neither did Spiderman, he wore pajamas

Wonder Woman wore only underwear, teehee

Posted by: Anonymous | May 20, 2008 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, everybody, and thanks for all the great comments. You guys are so cheerful it really brightens a dreary Tuesday.

Posted by: Nelson | May 20, 2008 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Hey now, some of us just WISH we could have dreary Tuesdays!

I'm not gonna say it's supposed to rain here, that would ensure that it won't. But we would welcome it!

Posted by: slyness | May 20, 2008 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Howdy y'all. I like RD's amalgamation of the Hulk and Iron Man into Really Big Green Hulking Contemplative Person of Iron. Though I think Turtle Boy or Gammera could take him.

I was never allowed to read comic books. My dad's Depression-honed sense of thrift would not allow him to countenance expense of a quarter for something that would take me ten minutes to read. On reflection I can't blame him.

I did, later, develop a passionate affection for the Godzilla-era monster movies, however. I've tried my best to pass this along to the Boy. Now those radiation-fueled beasts had some superpowers, and the later incarnations of Godzilla had compassion as well. I'd put Mothra up against the Hulk any day. [Let's all sing the Mothra song along with the tiny girls. Come on. You know it.]

Posted by: Ivansmom | May 20, 2008 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Great superheroes, mudge. You better trademark them and license the action figures quick.

My favorite bird-inspired superheroine was the Black Canary. She wears a black leather merry widow-type costume with fishnet stockings. Her powers are, uh, I wasn't paying attention.

And Howard the Duck was actually a real waterfowl. And a superhero movie so bad that not even Lea Thompson could save it.

Posted by: yellojkt | May 20, 2008 10:42 AM | Report abuse

The Hawk and the Dove (DC Comics; a lame two-fer)
Hawkman and Hawkwoman (DC Comics; from Thanagar)
The Falcon (Marvel; a rare black superhero)

That's 5 already, but let's keep going...

Hawkeye (Marvel; almost a bird; very lame)
Nighthawk (Marvel; modest super-strength (in the dark), a very quiet jet-pack, some money but not billions, some brains, but not a genius. A working stiff, as super-heroes go).
Night-Owl and Nite-Owl (DC; Watchmen; super-optimism (1st edition) and super-gizmos (2nd edition). Also, martial arts)
Phoenix, both Dark and original flavor (Marvel; super-duper-ultra-powerful)
Robin, the Boy Wonder!

By the way -- there already is a character who combines problematic strength with human intelligence and a moral sense: Benjamin J. Grimm, the Thing. Ben often faces character-building situations in which he starts to fall prey to the Bush Doctrine of pre-emptive war (it's Clobberin' Time!), but reins in his anger and does something a bit more clever.

Also, the Mighty Thor already has appeared in a motion picture: Adventures in Baby Sitting.

Posted by: ComicsGeekTim | May 20, 2008 10:42 AM | Report abuse

At last, sufficiently recovered to be able to backboodle and report in! A touch of Yoki-diagnosed altitude sickness sent me to bed earlier than the rest of the group every night, and on our return day I was beeped throughout the day, initially at 6 in the morning, as well as 2 am (half an
hour after my return, 15 minutes in bed) yesterday. I'd say I love my job,
but I can honestly say it wears me down.

Yoki, her family, TBG, dmd, dr and Kerrik are wonderful! I had a fabulous time in Calgary, Yoki couldn't have been more welcoming or a better hostess. Himself spent more time escorting us around Banff (gorgeous) and Calgary than can be believed, #1 and #2 were kind, funny and very, very smart. The dogs? As beautiful as everyone else. I fear the family is
exhausted now because of their superhuman hosting, or at the very least they're saying, "I thought they'd never leave!"

I'd spent time with my good friends Yoki, TBG and dmd before, but who knew that dr was such a gifted storyteller? Or Kerrik so easy-going and such a golfer? :-) It was so like a family or old-friend reunion, where you all catch up and laugh together, with the ease of shared experience. I'm grateful for the time and connection. And that while we were there, we had the opportunity to watch all the trees and lawns green up, magically.

I'd left my car in a self-created space at Philadelphia International because 1/2 hour of driving up and down each aisle wasn't enough time to find a real space. After I saw dozens of cars that had been parked in similar, desperate circumstances, I gave up. I'd hoped to find my car still in the lot, and did, and view the $31 ticket as a minor inconvenience
((($31/4 days) + ($9*4days)) < other Philly Int'l. airport parking). The
city needs all the money it can get, and my guess is they make almost as much in tickets as they do for the 6,000 regular spaces they have.

dmd, so clever of you to find the requested Webkinz. Son of G, congratulations! Daughter of G, we loved the video communication with you. Yoki, safe travels!

Nelson, great kit.

On the question of Wonder Woman dressing like a prostitute, if she did, I'd have to say the same of all the non-female superheroes.

If I ever get the video downloaded, will let you all know!

Posted by: dbG | May 20, 2008 10:43 AM | Report abuse

The Black Canary had one super power: The "Canary Cry"

Posted by: omni | May 20, 2008 10:51 AM | Report abuse

Couple of quick comments:
firsttimeblogger, the Smarts are designed and built by Mercedes engineers (much as BMW does MINI), and are amazingly safe for their size. Much of the car is steel cage safety structure and is far safer than a Geo Metro convertible, for example. Still, f=ma, and in a collision with a three-ton Belchfire Dreadnaught SUV, you're going to be very much a passenger.

I cannot believe you forgot the superhero Jacques le Pidge, Mudge. You know, the one with the transdimensional p00ping ability and the beret. Able to coat foes with centuries' worth of pidgeon p00p in a second, and the ability to deliver same to getaway car windshields from several miles away using the dreaded Pidge Manuver.


Posted by: bc | May 20, 2008 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for the Kit, Nelsonator (Or Mr. Hernandez). I liked Mudge's bird Superheroes and they got me thinking.

MockingBird: Superhero power of mimicry drives villians insane. He finds and repeats villains' favorite phrases until all sound feeble and hopelessly lame, demoralizing the bad guys.

Cowbird Prankster: Where villains have offspring, replaces with her own, who will sit around the house playing video games and drinking soda, and drive the villains to distraction. Otherwise, waits until they're out evildoing, then slips into their lairs and changes the locks.

Scissortail EvilCatcher: With superpowers in her divided tail, flies next to villains and snip! snip! strikes a blow for Justice and Freedom.

The Magpie: Specially designed to combat evildoers who rely on gadgets, this superhero flies off with any shiny or interesting weapon or implement and hoards it in his own nest.

Posted by: Ivansmom | May 20, 2008 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Great report, dbG.

That sounded like a lot of fun. And that was a bargain for parking. At BWI they have a special lighting system that lets you know which levels and rows have available spaces. Very convenient.

Posted by: yellojkt | May 20, 2008 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Missed "Adventures," *Tim, though there's a good reason to check into it now.

You can call Thor Mighty, he'll always be god of thunder to me.


Posted by: bc | May 20, 2008 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Ivansmom - I too was a great fan of those Godzilla movies. What they lacked in special effects they made up for in atmospherics. (At least they did when I was 10.)

I was dreadfully disappointed in the remake. It seemed so sterile. And I sorely missed that iconic scene in which the Reptilian beast emerges from the sea illuminated only by a futile hail of gunfire and the electrical sparks from mashed power lines.

Also, in the remake there was a conspicuous lack of singing.

Posted by: RD Padouk | May 20, 2008 11:09 AM | Report abuse

But my heart will always belong to Gamera.

For he was the friend to children.

Posted by: RD Padouk | May 20, 2008 11:11 AM | Report abuse

Sound-based superpowers are always the lamest. Watching someone scream while ghosted sound waves comes out of their mouth was always pretty hokey. The Dazzler had disco-music based powers. We need a hip-hop superhero with a supervehicle that can shake adjacent cars at stop lights.

Posted by: yellojkt | May 20, 2008 11:11 AM | Report abuse

The only avian superhero I could come up with was Pigeon Man. His superpower is best left to the imagination.

Today, my goal is to become Meeting Man, capable of enduring a three-hour meeting without falling asleep or becoming excessively insane.

Now I must retreat into the Cubical of Solitude so as to prepare for the coming ordeal.

Posted by: RD Padouk | May 20, 2008 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Ivansmom, you should check out the goofy Korean monster flick "The Host' if you like Godzilla. It bears a certain resemblance to "Alligator" from 1980 wherein Robert Forster battled the ultimate urban legend, the giant alligator in the sewer. This latter is a guilty pleasure of mine, partly because I've always liked Forster despite his wooden acting style, and partly because the screenplay is by John Sayles, who can do no wrong as far as I'm concerned.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | May 20, 2008 11:19 AM | Report abuse

Chickenman, RD?

A smattering of photos. Yoki's Dog L was adamant about the no pictures thing. It's hard being a superstar!

All the terrace pictures were at the Hotel Banff; lunch on the terrace was surreal, but I'm not accustomed to mountains!

Posted by: dbG | May 20, 2008 11:20 AM | Report abuse

No Superheroes for me as I was raised on a steady diet of comics in the Franco-Belgian tradition. No superheroes there unless Tintin is SuperReporter,
Obélix, SuperEater with incredible strength
Michel Vaillant, SuperF1Driver with ethics (i.e. no Schumi)
Tanguy and Laverdure, SuperKnights of the sky, pilots with incredible flying abilities
Achille Talon, SuperVerbose Man of fantastic rhetorical skills
Gaston Lagaffe, SuperOfficeDestroyer and inventor extraordinaire
The Schtroumpfs, SuperSmurfs of extraordinary hiding power
Blake and Mortimer, SuperScientist and SuperSpy, dodging bullets years before the Matrix
Lieutenant Blueberry, SuperCavalry Man, a man of extraordinary sense of justice
Philémon, SuperExplorer with the power to jump into maps and books and
Romuald, the SuperRam with the power to self-manage his flock of eccentric ewes.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | May 20, 2008 11:21 AM | Report abuse

*slapping forehead*
There is SuperDupont of course! The master of the savate! Fighting off Anti-Français while wearing a bérêt and charentaises! He who could fly with a baguette under one arm!
How could I forgot him? My brain has become a sieve.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | May 20, 2008 11:30 AM | Report abuse


While technically not a comic:

Super Chicken.

Some of you are now singing the Super Chicken theme song to yourselves,

others looking for some Super Sauce (I always imagined that it tasted like Buffalo).

The rest of us familiar with the show are muttering to ourselves, "You knew the job was dangerous when you took it, Fred!"


Posted by: bc | May 20, 2008 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Just finished a fairly big job, the last thing in my in-box. Got nothing else to do today, so I'm in my twiddling-my-thumbs mode unless something new comes in. Fortunately, I have a place to hang out-- plus some poems and novels to work on, all those Internets to surf, music to listen to, etc. (This is the part of the job I love the most.)

Posted by: Curmudgeon | May 20, 2008 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Didja check the double-secret-probation inbox, 'Mudge? Coulda sworn I left you the minutes of the last shop meeting.

Posted by: Scottynuke | May 20, 2008 12:03 PM | Report abuse

RD, I thought of Gamera, too.

I could blame this on being a UMD guy.


Posted by: bc | May 20, 2008 12:16 PM | Report abuse

I am woefully ignorant on the subject of superheros -- but I see now the meaning of omni's turtle, er, Gamera collection.

Posted by: nellie | May 20, 2008 12:39 PM | Report abuse

dbG - I totally forgot about Chickenman! I feel so shamed.

bc - I too fondly remember Super-Chicken as part of that brilliant "George of the Jungle" and "Tom Slick" trilogy. Some of the best gosh darn theme songs ever written.

Posted by: RD Padouk | May 20, 2008 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Sigh, RD, thanks a lot for that tune cootie. "George of the Jungle," I mean, the whole two lines that I know ("George, George... tree"), on a repeating loop. It is cheery, I suppose, but it's likely to wear out its welcome pretty fast.

Posted by: bia | May 20, 2008 12:54 PM | Report abuse

'Mudge, do you mean to say that you are wasting tax dollars by writing novels instead of keeping your nose to the taxpayer-funded grindstone, putting out government publications paid for by your fellow citizens? My word, man, what's next? I suppose you'll have lunch in a taxpayer-subsidized cafeteria, ride home on a transit system paid for with tax dollars...

You wastrel, you.

Posted by: Yoki | May 20, 2008 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Kinda in Mudge's boat today. Just sent one product to the printer and will wait for the other to be completely written. I'll get the pages one by one during the day, but I'll be here until probably midnight or later. Get paid by the hour, though, so I'm happy to do it.

The good thing is that the woman who insists on changing our shared thermostat that keeps my office at about 81°F during the day is out for the day, so I'm enjoying a chilly 77° and falling.

I wanted to encourage comic books, but when Son of G was little they were SO expensive. Whatever happened to the 25¢ comic book or even 75¢ Mad Magazine ("Cheap!")? I think comic books were well into the $3 range when the boy was little, so he forged on through boyhood without them. We were already spending plenty on satellite TV and cable Internet. He was happier reading computer manuals anyway.

Posted by: TBG | May 20, 2008 1:11 PM | Report abuse

i think the real question is who would win in a fight between edward norton and robert downey, jr.

my vote is downey. i'm sure there was some kind of fight training that norton had for fight club. but i have a feeling that downey wouldn't have a problem fighting dirty. he survived prison(s?). also he seems like the kind of guy that could talk his way out of getting hit in the face (what charm!).

And a quote from my favorite superhero, the Tick:

"Well, folks, there you have it. A day in the life of a superhero and his sidekick. It's a very long day, the tights are uncomfortable; I think we covered that before. Map light, convenient and essential. A lot of working of villain motifs. Crime has a Bossa Nova beat. Leap before you look. Remember denouement. Other French words: inconvenient, nonessential--oh, I could go on and on. But time's a-wasting and evil's out there making hand-crafted mischief for the swap meet of villainy. And you can't strike a good deal with evil no matter how much you haggle! We don't need to look for a bargain--goodness is cheap because it's free and free is as cheap as it gets."

Posted by: will | May 20, 2008 1:13 PM | Report abuse

TBG: most comics aren't geared toward kids anyway. they're geared toward developmentally stunted adults.

still, there's plenty of good stuff to read and it's likely available for free at your local library:

Bone by Jeff Smith (fantasy/adventure/humor)
Strangers in Paradise by Terry Moore (political intrigue/soap opera)
Scott Pilgrim by Brian Lee O'Malley(action/soap opera)

...pretty much anything by Joe Sacco (journalism) is good too.

Posted by: will | May 20, 2008 1:25 PM | Report abuse

I am a big fan of the Tick. For my birthday, one year, the spouse & sprouts made a Tick-decorated cake for me. Weirdly, my actual exposure to the Tick does not include the prime source for most folks: I have seen only one or two episodes of the animated series. I have the two bound volumes reprinting the original run of Tick comics, and I am a huge fan of the live-action show. I idolize Bat-Manuel.

And now, I must go to drink the bitter urine of my coffee-maker.

Posted by: ComicsGeekTim | May 20, 2008 1:28 PM | Report abuse

will, it's a tad unfair for you to deride "most" comics as geared towards "developmentally stunted adults", unless you give it a Sturgeon's Law twist: most of any genre of fiction is geared towards developmentally stunted adults.

Billions of people have lived before our time (not *many* billions, but a few billion). In any given generation, there might be (guessing wildly here) perhaps 1% of them who are some stripe of writer -- novelist, essayist, ad copywriter, report-writer. That makes for, say, around 100 million writers who ever lived. If, on average, every writer has just 0.1 percent of a book in him (equivalent to estimating that 1 writer in 1000 actually gets *something* published in permanent bylined form), then that makes for 100,000 potentially classic works that a well-read person is required to read to understand his society. I posit that the actual number of "classic" works that a reader might be required to read is more on the order of 1000. Ergo, 1000/100,000 = 1% of the inherited literature of the world is considered "classic" (in any given society), while the other 99% is also-ran material or worse. By this standard, comics are right there along with everything else published at any given time. Maybe a little worse, but probably not shockingly so.

Posted by: ComicsGeekTim | May 20, 2008 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Looks like Teddy Kennedy has a malignant brain tumor; a glioma. I guess surgery/biopsy will tell if it's the glioblastoma my mom had.

I hate to see anyone--and his family--go through what's coming next.

Posted by: TBG | May 20, 2008 1:44 PM | Report abuse

ComicsGeekTim: You realize you just backed up my statement. But, you're right. Comics certainly aren't different from any other medium in that regard. 99% blah, 1% genius.

The nice thing about comics right now (to offset the lame-o price point) is the trend toward diversity in subject.

Posted by: will | May 20, 2008 1:56 PM | Report abuse

Yoki, "wastrel" is an occupation that I am so ideally suited for that when you look in the dictionary, there's my photo (under an assumed pen name:

And, yes, I am not only wastrelling the day away, I am indeed doing so at taxpayer expense (which, if one is determined to be a wastrel, is the best way to accomplish said deed). On my more noble days, however, I like to think of myself as a one-man 1930's Works Project Administration (q.v.) writer-in-residence. Of course, if a piece of actual work comes in, as it threatens to do from time to time, I shall promptly abandon my wastrelality and knock that bad boy right out of my inbox. Such is the wayward life of being "on call."

Actually, instead of eating lunch in a taxpayer-subsidized cafeteria (and believe me, the cafeteria here is sooooooooooo far from being govt. subsidized; it is vastly overpriced and underperforming, which is why it is easily confused with a government-run establishment) that I am so poor today that I only have three dollars in my pocket and am about to go across the street to sup at the curb from victuals sold by the hot dog lady (mustard and relish only; $1.50, which is half my beggar's purse). Which, one has to admit, is perfectly suited for a starving artist. If they served thin, watery gruel, I'd probably have a bowl of that, too. Good for the ol' wasteline.

I can't remember my French wastrel poets; which one was the wastrel, Rimbaud or Baudelaire? I may needs consult wikipedia upon that question. (Rimbaud died young, didn't he? That kinda let's me out.) (Actually, both of them died young. I guess wastrels don't have much life expectancy. I may have to rethink my occupation, if that's the case.)

My hot dog awaits. Back in 10.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | May 20, 2008 2:02 PM | Report abuse

TBG - I saw the news about Ted Kennedy and had the same reaction, I just feel terrible that anyone to have to go through that nightmare. And you have a more personal perspective on it than I do, so I'm sure it gives you a sick feeling.

On a happier note, it's good news about Son of G's first sale and I loved dbG's pics, especially of dog Y. What a great shot!

I think Edward Norton would win the Robert Downey/Edward Norton smackdown. He scared the dickens out of me in American History X. Way tough! Plus, he took the Red Dragon (Ralph Fiennes) down and that was no easy feat!

Posted by: Kim | May 20, 2008 2:08 PM | Report abuse

I like that Bone comic. I found some books in the library book sale and think they are charming. The Ivansclan also is very fond of the Tick, the animated series. Thanks for the quote, will.

I think it is more anime that is for developmentally suspect adults - and I say that as a fan of Full Metal Alchemist.

Posted by: Ivansmom | May 20, 2008 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Oh, I agree with you, will. I just think it's unfair to imply that comics somehow expressly deserve such criticism in preference to other areas of human endeavor. We all stink.

Posted by: ComicsGeekTim | May 20, 2008 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, just my luck: she was all out of thin, watery gruel. Tim, ya got any of that bitter urine left? I need something to wash down my hot dog with.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | May 20, 2008 2:14 PM | Report abuse

My money's on Norton. Downey is all mellowed out now that he's found his serenity (and I say bless him and I hope he stays on that path). He told Dodson Rader in the Parade cover story that he now understands that "life is 80% maintenance." My husband and I were both inspired by that quote, which sounds like an AA saying but we hadn't heard it before. It's our new family motto. Anyway, Ed Norton is incredibly disciplined and intense, but I think he, like Downey, is an artist who would rather pretend to fight than really do it. And I'm all for that, too.

Joel's link to the Australian radio personality's website led me to discover, or re-discover a terrible, ultimate time-waster of a website,and I've spent (wasted) untold minutes yesterday and today going through it one photo at a time. I've even emailed some of the pictures out, and worse, have saved some to my hard drive. Here are some examples, you'll see what I mean:

Posted by: kbertocci | May 20, 2008 2:42 PM | Report abuse

I had the impression that will used "developmentally stunted adults" as a term of endearment.

Kind of like how "nerdy" is a compliment both here and in my house.

Posted by: TBG | May 20, 2008 2:43 PM | Report abuse

No new postings for 18 minutes. A software problem, or the intrusions of actual productivity?

Posted by: ComicsGeekTim | May 20, 2008 2:43 PM | Report abuse

Sneaks, if you're watching, would you agree with me there's a very high likelihood of Jon Lester paying Sen. Kennedy a visit in the immediate future?

Posted by: Scottynuke | May 20, 2008 2:54 PM | Report abuse

18 minutes of nothing, then 3 posts within 1 minute? Sounds suspiciously like some kind of computer problem, to me.

Posted by: ScienceTim | May 20, 2008 3:07 PM | Report abuse


I just heard "The Princess Bride" is coming out with a 20TH ANNIVERSARY DVD.

How time flies...

Posted by: Scottynuke | May 20, 2008 3:10 PM | Report abuse

I met a guy in grad school who believed you really couldn't understand him until you had read "The Princess Bride."

Condolences, jack. Congrats Son of G.

Posted by: Raysmom | May 20, 2008 3:27 PM | Report abuse

No, Tim... like women living or working closely together we are beginning to "cycle" as one Boodle.

Posted by: TBG | May 20, 2008 3:30 PM | Report abuse

So old Teddy has a brain tumor? If I was him I'd find me a pretty, young girl, get drunk, and go for a long drive over the nearest water way, on a narrow bridge.

Oh... wait...

Posted by: Uh-hu | May 20, 2008 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Uh-hu, I think I'm going to violate every standard of civility we've long established here on the Boodle, and just say, "You're a jerk."

Posted by: Curmudgeon | May 20, 2008 3:38 PM | Report abuse

Uh-hu, yes, he messed up seriously 40 years ago. If you're feeling bitter about it, you could make an argument about whether the legal consequences that he faced were appropriate, although that argument would also be somewhat dated. If you mean to imply that he now deserves a brain tumor for his sins, that's just mean-spirited. And if that's not what you're implying, why even bring it up?

Posted by: bia | May 20, 2008 3:45 PM | Report abuse

'Mudge, that was remarkably civil, considering...

Posted by: Scottynuke | May 20, 2008 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, you said it more succinctly. But then, you're the editor.

Posted by: bia | May 20, 2008 3:47 PM | Report abuse

And in the Useless Gesture department...


Posted by: Scottynuke | May 20, 2008 3:59 PM | Report abuse

And in the Darwin Awards department...


Posted by: Scottynuke | May 20, 2008 4:02 PM | Report abuse


If you had two extra bucks, you could have had my favorite taco truck meal.

For $3.50 you could have gotten the one quesadilla version.

Posted by: yellojkt | May 20, 2008 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Nelson, sweetie*, get with the program or news cycle.

Film critcs are flocking en masse to the screening of Clint Eastwood's film, "The Changeling," starring Angelina Jolie, who plays Christine Cooper.

When you have an uppity woman who refuses to go along with authority, what do the authority figures do? She's off to the psychopathic ward.

*refers to last week's Sweetiegate

Posted by: Loomis | May 20, 2008 5:06 PM | Report abuse

SCC: The screening is in Cannes.

*waving hi to superfrenchie*

Posted by: Loomis | May 20, 2008 5:07 PM | Report abuse

SCC: Christine Collins

Posted by: Loomis | May 20, 2008 5:09 PM | Report abuse

Geez Louise Loomis. Get with the program? Now there's a first impression to make...slam the boy. What do you think he'll think...that those of pearls of wisdom dripping from your mouth? Or will he think rabid foam?
Ya get more flies with honey than vinegar.
BTW, dearie, the 'sweetie' just adds to the tone of condenscension.

Posted by: LostInThought | May 20, 2008 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Am still up to my arse in black helicopters, so I've just now gotten around to back boodleing. And what do I see? My old shipmate, the wee Tiny Mudge-ster, is dying o' hunger, just a brisk walk down the block.

Had I known this, I would have told my boss, who was circling my cubical all the day long with his hair on fire for one reason or other, to just go sit in the corner, and wait for me to run this errand of mercy. Then I would have profered the poor, bedraggled little waife a meger bit of gruel for him to sup on.

Life is so cruel. Say, Mudge, Thursday is Maritime Day. We're having some kind of "do" over in Building 70, WNY. Come on down. If nothing else, they usually serve some cake, or cookies anyway. Bring your own insulin.

Posted by: Don from I-270 | May 20, 2008 5:26 PM | Report abuse

SCC 'that those are pearls....'

Posted by: Anonymous | May 20, 2008 5:30 PM | Report abuse

Don... Mudge... you ever eat at the Quizno's at 8th & M (and Potomac Ave)? My dad was born in that building.

Posted by: TBG | May 20, 2008 5:38 PM | Report abuse

PEARLs, did you say? Here is a Shakespeare moment: I love this song, a sad sea dirge that Mudge and Cap't Don might like.

Full fathom five thy father lies;
Of his bones are coral made;
Those are pearls that were his eyes:
Nothing of him that doth fade,
But doth suffer a sea-change
Into something rich and strange.
Sea-nymphs hourly ring his knell:
Hark! now I hear them -- Ding-dong, bell.

(William Shakespeare, The Tempest, Act I, Scene ii)

Posted by: College Parkian | May 20, 2008 5:52 PM | Report abuse

I too am a taco truck afficionado. Man, you can get some awesome food from them. It's funny watching some of the Mexican guys ordering hamburgers and fries and the anglos ordering the luscious tacos, charbroiled meats chopped fine with plenty of pico de gallo and charred jalapenos, with various sides.

Poor Bouncing Boy. Drummed out of the League of Super Heroes for having a lame power: he could bounce. I mean, yes, it was a pretty lame ability. But to just kick him out like that... cold, baby, cold.

Posted by: Jumper | May 20, 2008 5:55 PM | Report abuse

Duh. I meant "Legion of Super Heroes" of course.

Posted by: Jumper | May 20, 2008 5:56 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Jumper | May 20, 2008 5:58 PM | Report abuse

I never did superhero comics as a kid, but I've thought about it, and my favorite comic hero is Mike Doonesbury. His superpower, I suppose, could be longevity. After, what, coming up 40 years, Trudeau still has a deft touch that amazes me. The Complete Doonesbury will be a classic of our age.

Posted by: slyness | May 20, 2008 6:25 PM | Report abuse

I'm exhausted. The jury I was on found the defendant not guilty. We didn't feel the state proved the case. We wrestled with it though - we had lots of questions that we couldn't get answers to. Not something I would want to be involved in every day, that's for sure. Oh wait, I have to go back tomorrow and could get picked for another trial. The young guy in the jury thought the process was pretty cool. He was also fascinated by the microfiche machine in the corner of the jury room. He had never seen one before.

I know nothing about comic books except for the Donald Duck variety.

Posted by: mostlylurking | May 20, 2008 6:25 PM | Report abuse

Donald Duck's manner of dress, or undress, was a topic of conversation at the Calgary BPH.

Kerric and #2 thought it was hilarious that even though Donald doesn't wear pants, he wraps a towel around his waist when he comes out of the bath.

Of course, these are the kids who were raised on Mr. Dressup and Hammy the Hamster.

Posted by: TBG | May 20, 2008 6:29 PM | Report abuse

I'm with Kim on Edward Norton. Dangerous in *Primal Fear* as well, although taking down both Hannibal Lecter and the Red Dragon in the same film is pretty impressive. . . where does Indiana Jones factor into this equation? (Calling College Parkian. What is the marginal utility for superheroes?)

Yello, just went in for a routine checkup, my doctor is giddy because his son is going to Georgia Tech for biomed. He was admitted everywhere, thought your alma mater was the best fit and deal. They really liked that his son could learn to row for in-house competition. :-) (He did concede my AM was always on the best buys/best education in public college lists. He began the conversation by trying to recall where I got my M.S.).

Posted by: dbG | May 20, 2008 6:30 PM | Report abuse

Back at home now, had a chance to get caught up on the comments late in the day but not post.

I hereby nominate Yoki as my Superhero of Cuisine - fight the scourge of fast food, and poor nutrition.

I have also been given an excuse for not getting comics as I too was raised on Mr. Dress-Up and Hammy Hamster.

Posted by: dmd | May 20, 2008 6:41 PM | Report abuse

How's the new job, dmd?

Posted by: TBG | May 20, 2008 6:42 PM | Report abuse

Loomis - I am shocked at the way you seem to be unpleasant to newcomers. First Caitlin and Rachel, and now Mr. Hernandez. What, all so you could express some sour grapes over Obama?

Have you left no sense of decency?

Posted by: RD Padouk | May 20, 2008 6:48 PM | Report abuse

I got paid :-). Vacation and pay only two days in - hard to beat that.

Day went well thanks TBG - it is a bit of a strange week to start as there is a large meeting on the weekend so all the focus is pretty much on that.

There are several bakeries and deli's in addition to quaint shops - I am in so much trouble.

Posted by: dmd | May 20, 2008 6:53 PM | Report abuse

Oh, oh! I know the answer to that one! *Waving frantically to attract RD's attention*

Posted by: Yoki | May 20, 2008 7:02 PM | Report abuse

Yoki - LOL

Posted by: dmd | May 20, 2008 7:06 PM | Report abuse

"you ever eat at the Quizno's at 8th & M (and Potomac Ave)? My dad was born in that building."

TBG, that's one helluva lunch line.

Ed Norton. Just because I'm not a Downey fan.

And the contrast between the incredible hulk and the iron man could be seen as a allegory of Nature vs Machine; Reason vs Passion.

If it's a duel to the death, my money is on the Hulk every time.

If it's by Queensbury Rules, IronMan will declare victory and strut off to get some upgrades.

That Ant Man helped rescue IronMan shows the ancient wisdom-- fight fire with fire; can't deep six nature without allying yourself and helping cultivate another part of nature if you want to survive.

Other than that, I'm not into superheroes. Spiderman is the only one I've read anywhere regularly.

However, I did cut my literary teeth on comic books-- Looney Tunes (I miss those), and Disney comics. My dad would buy around 5 every week, bring them home and have some peace and quiet while we all fought over the comic books.

However, The Tick IS funny, my cousin showed me some Tick comics and he's like the Inspector Clousceau of Superheros.

Manga and graphic novels ARE the new face of comic books. I think there's a lot of room for native comic book writers to adopt and surpass those comic formats. I still love my "THE Cartoon History of the Universe."

"American Born Chinese", a graphic novel was picked as one of the 50 top books of 2006, and won a National Book Award for Young People.

For catholics, he has also written a Rosary Comic book, including the luminous mysteries, highly recommended by its buyers.

Posted by: Wilbrod | May 20, 2008 7:15 PM | Report abuse

Very jealous and sorry to have missed the Calgary BPH. Great photos all around.

TBG, you don't know the half of it. In addition to being raised on a show where the title character's son is a puppet (explain THAT one, Mr. Dressup, if that is your real name), we also had story time from a giant who kept a rooster in a bag on the wall. No wonder we're so odd.

Scottynuke, did you ever read The Haunted Tank comics?

Posted by: SonofCarl | May 20, 2008 7:19 PM | Report abuse

Slam Dunk RD and LiT!!

When I first saw Iron man vs Hulk, for some reason all I could think of was Cal Ripken, growing up in Baltimore he was the Iron Man. I guess to many kids and adults alike, he was considered a Super Hero!

As for the comics,I never was really into them,but I am glad they are making a comeback in the movies. It seems to spark a lively discussion amongst our regular boodlers so it is cool. I heard that Iron Man is very good and I may have to go check it out before the video comes out by Christmas.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | May 20, 2008 7:21 PM | Report abuse

Rosary Comic Book? Egads, or rather, bless my little old plaid and paten-leather soul.

Posted by: College Parkian | May 20, 2008 7:22 PM | Report abuse

Just a quick drive-by to say that I think Mighty Mouse could kick both their arses.

Even if they joined forces to gang up on him.

"Here I've come to save the day..."


Posted by: martooni | May 20, 2008 7:23 PM | Report abuse

SD and other TinTin fans, here is a very naughty dubbed TinTin with very f-laced Irisher accents.

Posted by: College Parkian | May 20, 2008 7:49 PM | Report abuse

Knock knock.
Who's there?
Hulk who?

Posted by: DNA Girl | May 20, 2008 7:52 PM | Report abuse

What a day, work was very stressful, daughter #2 threw her back out quite badly, and just spent half an hour on the phone with daughter #1 and the granddaughters who were chatty as all he11. Too rainy to walk tonight so I'm headed to the cellar to do some exercising.

All I know about comics are Little Lulu and Archie. I admire how much many of you remember of all the superheros.

S'nuke, it sure would be a nice thing if Lester visited Teddy. We have unbelievable coverage of the situation here and from the looks of the street by MGH, I wonder if anyone besides the Kennedys can even get to the hospital complex. You'd think that the whole family has suffered enough, ah well.

Posted by: Bad Sneakers | May 20, 2008 7:54 PM | Report abuse

They finally found all the hanging chads from 2000.

(Okay, not really.)

Posted by: Wilbrod | May 20, 2008 8:34 PM | Report abuse

Loomis' #1 hater here. Jeez what a B....!

Posted by: omni | May 20, 2008 8:38 PM | Report abuse

OK, maybe the B.... comment was out of line, but I really am fed up. Even in my foulest moods I'm nicer than that (um, irony...yeah).

I really just wish she'd take her sorry excuse for being to some political blog and leave us kind folk alone. dang

Posted by: omni | May 20, 2008 8:51 PM | Report abuse

Yes, CP, I've always loved "Full Fathom Five," too. And it's amazing how it has spread through the culture: Jackson Pollack named one of his earliest drip paintings "FFF," Sylvia Plath wrote a poem of that title, and Pete Seeger (a hero of mine, as I may have mentioned) recorded it. (It was also a fair thriller novel made into a fairly bad movie.) But the song is also the source of where we get the phrase "a sea-change" to indicate a sizable shift or change in something (usually a person).

More curious to me is the actual nautical meaning of "full fathom five," i.e., why did Shakespeare chose that phrase. I've Googled my brains out, and cannot find anything significant on it. Here are some ideas:

(1) WS chose it/"created" it simply for its phonics and it met his proximate requirements for the deep. (I don't especially believe this notion.)

(2) It was a common nautical phrase or concept signifying a significant depth of water (we know the word fathom was in use long, long before 1600). But why "five" fathoms? I would speculate that "five" was a good round number, and that matched with "fathom" five fathoms is a good, useful round number that met many anutical requirements. Five fathoms is deeper than any ship of that era would draw (being 30 feet of depth). I am comfortable speculating that sailors of that era would consider five fathoms to be deep enough to sail safely, while anything less than five fathoms started to become problematic. The problem is, I can find nothing that "says" sailors used this rule-of-thumb. Outside of WS, we'd need to find some nautical document that mentions it in that context.

(3) Modern nautical charts use contour lines as well as (or in combination with) shaded areas to delineate shallow water. The first and most common delination is the five-fathom line, which distinguishes deep from shallow water. The major problem is I cannot find out when the earliest nautical charts used such contour lines, but I doubt they go earlier than the 18th century. (But they might.) In any event, sailors took sounding in fathoms or other units of measure for at least two thousand years, so the practice of measuring water depth easily predates WS. The question in my mind is, was "five fathoms" known to be a specific touchstone or concept.

If I had to bet, I'd bet "five fathoms" was a common nautical concept, and that WS used "full" as an intensifier for it, so that "full fathom five," in additional to its wonderful sound and poetic usefulness, took on the meaning of "very deep," i.e., deeper than the draft of any ship. (One has to remember Shakespeare's audience; he couldn't very well use a term the audience wasn't familiar with and had no idea what it meant.)

Posted by: Curmudgeon | May 20, 2008 8:55 PM | Report abuse

Mudge... without sounding sarcastic, I'd like to say I very much enjoyed that deep post.

Posted by: TBG | May 20, 2008 9:01 PM | Report abuse

We tend to forget that our political leaders (and nonleaders) are real people and then we read something like this...

"Sen. Christopher J. Dodd (D-Conn.), Kennedy's closest friend in the Senate, joined Reid and Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) at a news briefing after the lunch. He began to speak about Kennedy, predicting that Kennedy would return to the Senate in good health, but stopped and turned away from the microphones. He stood to one side crying while Reid and Kerry spoke to reporters."

Posted by: TBG | May 20, 2008 9:04 PM | Report abuse

It's funny to read these same words twice in the same day on two separate blogs. This below is from "Jesse's Cafe Americain," an economics blog whose author I know of only as "Jesse":

On June 9, the 30th day of the McCarthy Army hearings, Army Defense Counsel Robert Welch challenged Roy Cohn to provide McCarthy's list of 130 Communists or subversives in defense plants "before the sun goes down."

McCarthy stepped in and said that if Welch was so concerned about persons aiding the Communist Party, he should check on a man in his Boston law office named Fred Fisher, who had once belonged to the National Lawyers Guild, which Attorney General Brownell had called "the legal mouthpiece of the Communist Party." Welch responded, "Until this moment, Senator, I think I never gauged your cruelty or your recklessness..."

When McCarthy resumed his attack, Welch interrupted him: "Let us not assassinate this lad further, Senator. You've done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?" When McCarthy once again persisted, Welch cut him off and demanded the chairman "call the next witness." At that point, the gallery erupted in applause and a recess was called.

Until this moment I think I never gauged the cruelty or recklessness of some conservative economists, politicians and their masters, the Pigmen. They have created a wreckage of financial devices and led us on the edge of a societal precipice. Have they not done enough? Have they no sense of decency left at long last?

The words still fit after all these years, to those without basic integrity, who thrive on conflict, and who will say or do almost anything in their pursuit of the will to power.

Posted by: Wheezy | May 20, 2008 9:23 PM | Report abuse

Wheezy! So good to see you. Such good words, too.

Posted by: TBG | May 20, 2008 9:26 PM | Report abuse

Thanks TBG - those words are all Jesse's, not mine. Well, Mr. Welch's and Padouk's and Jesse's.

Posted by: Wheezy | May 20, 2008 9:30 PM | Report abuse

Curmudgeon, I have always thought

"Full fathom five thy father lies;" was just for the wonderful sound. Four "F"s in five words, and "thy f" echoing the "five." One can't write any better.

Posted by: nellie | May 20, 2008 9:40 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, do I remember correctly that a fathom is 20 feet? So 5 fathoms are 100 feet? Been a looong time since I read Hornblower.

TBG, I can understand how Teddy's situation hit you so hard. I hope he and the family make good decisions so that he enjoys a good quality of life. There are many things in life worse than death, and what your mother went through sounds like one of them.

Good to hear from you, Wheezy! Thanks for sharing those good words.

Posted by: slyness | May 20, 2008 9:40 PM | Report abuse

The Tintin clips dubbed in Irishspeak were quite funny CeePee.
Mudge, five "brasses" or about 30 ft is also the deep enough/shore-shoal limit in French nautical terms. A brasse is the length of space between a man's fingertips while standing with his arms (bras) extended, so it's pretty much a fathom.

We had a fire on the 24th floor of our building today, we were sent home after evacuation at 15:15. I'm actively wishing for a free day off tomorrow to do some seeding while they deal with "water damage". They are a little too fragile to be faxed but I have 3 Juliets, one Tomande, one Cuor di bue tomato plant and one tomatillo plant to give away. I'm incorrigible, I always make too many.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | May 20, 2008 9:40 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Slyness. We were fortunate that we didn't have the world press announcing the awful prognosis. We were kindly allowed to let each bit of news sink in before we knew the worst.

And she never wanted to know, so it's nice that at least it happened to her before the word "glioma" became so well known today.

("so it's nice that it happened to her before..." reminds of me of the nurse telling me then how we were so lucky that my husband is a neuropsychologist. We didn't feel very lucky.. I'll tell you that!)

Posted by: TBG | May 20, 2008 9:45 PM | Report abuse

Let's see, Edward Kennedy used to take skinny dipping romps in the White House pool with brothers Jack and Robert, along with secretaries given the nicknames Fiddle and Faddle. Poor Joan.

Ed was ushered into the Senate in the midterm election of Nov. 6, 1962, nine days after the Cuban Missile Crisis ended. The Dems gained four seats in the Senate--Ed's was one of them, he had finally turned 30 and could run for the seat being held for him--and lost four seats in the House.

What I'd like to know is what administration officials and members of Congress were asking at the time: The American government had 15 Jupiter missiles in Turkey and when precisely--and especially why--were orders given for their withdrawal? What did Alexander Haig know and when did he know it? Perhaps Americans have forgotten about Ex Comm, Operation Mongoose and Task Force W.?

Chappaquiddick happened two months after I graduated high school. I heard Ted Kennedy speak in D.C. to our Teacher Corps program five summers later. He would have been the nightmare of any mother's daughter in the program. No young, single female intern in the program wanted to be caught dead in a hallway with Ted Kennedy or to socialize with him.

(Lostinthought, you might want to acquaint youself with Sweetiegate.)

Posted by: Loomis | May 20, 2008 9:46 PM | Report abuse

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

Good evening, my friends. Just getting here. I read the news about Senator Kennedy, and was very sad, still sad.

Nelson, enjoyed the kit, although not that familiar with the super heroes of the comic books. I do like Tick, the cartoon on television. I think this guy is funny, funny. I don't see much of it now.

I have not seen Iron Man, but I would love to see it. I like the Hulk, the television version.

It has been a long day, and I am tired. I will now go to bed, and dream dreams. Slyness, we had one nasty thunder boomer a little while ago. A lot of rain, which is very good.

Night, boodle. Sweet dreams.

Posted by: cassandra s | May 20, 2008 9:47 PM | Report abuse

It is sad about Kennedy. I'm kind of hoping he resigns to allow someone to be appointed, or whatever they do in MA. So he can spend time how he wants, away from the spotlight. Hopefully it will be more than a few months. Strange to hear all the R's talk about what a great senator he is, when they've villified him in campaign literature all these years.

SD, I haven't grown tomatillos in a long time. I managed not to go overboard with tomatoes this year - ok, we have 8, when we have enough room for maybe 2. But there have been years when I put seedlings out by the sidewalk with a "Free to good home" sign.

Posted by: mostlylurking | May 20, 2008 9:53 PM | Report abuse

Slyness, a fathom is 6 feet, so five fathoms is 30 feet. The word fathom derives from a word meaning either "bosom" (in the sense of a man's chest, not the rather more interesting connotation) and/or the distance across a man's (person's, to keep Loomis off my back) outstretched arms. (It's how you measure rope comfortably.)

Yes, shriek, a "brasse" is basically the same thing. However, we know that the Old English word easily predates the French term; I'm reasonably certain the French adapted the concept from the English fathom, not the other way around. "Brasse" dates to 1409, and the French used an earlier term for the same thing, "toise," which dates back to about 1150. There are similar sounding words in various Scandinavian languages, too. I suspect it is pointless to figure out who "invented" the fathom as meaning 6 feet, because seafaring in medieval times was "international," with everybody doing it, and so the use of outsretched arms to measure rope and distance would have been "universal" all across Europe, without regard to nationality (which often didn't even exist as such back then, at least in modern terms).

I agree, Nellie, WS used "full" to get that fourth "f" sound, as well as using it as an intensifier. I don't think it was "one or the other"; it was "both," and hhappened in a split second of creation. For me, there always comes a point in Shakespeare that just defies and transcends rational analysis; he was just so lyrical that one stops dead about every tenth or fifteenth lines over something that takes your breath away. And the worst part is (speaking as a writer) he makes it look so d@mn simple, when it ain't.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | May 20, 2008 10:05 PM | Report abuse

In case anyone's interested in Obama's addressing a woman reporter as "sweetie":,0,6146874.story

At least he didn't call her "hon". Or something truly derogatory or belittling. Or, with all due respect, do something that Bill Clinton would have, if you catch my drift.

Posted by: mostlylurking | May 20, 2008 10:05 PM | Report abuse

Popping in for a minute. But I'll find some time again later.

Hiya Loomis. You've caught me in rare form today. Lucky you.

My guess is you found the useage to be condescending at best. As I was just saying, it's beyond my comprehension that you would think that and then decide to *use* it.

Posted by: LostInThought | May 20, 2008 10:11 PM | Report abuse

hahahaha. At least one female person who considers herself somehow connected with journalism (though I have no evidence that she actual practices that art) need have no fear that anyone, ever, will refer to her as 'sweetie.'

Posted by: Yoki | May 20, 2008 10:15 PM | Report abuse

The cool thing is that "Full fathom five thy father lies" is SO MUCH BETTER than "Five full fathoms thy father lies" and it takes a genius to come up with it in the first place.

Kinda like "little old lady got mutilated late last night."

Posted by: TBG | May 20, 2008 10:18 PM | Report abuse

Hey Cassandra, we had a storm too, just after I finished watering my veggies and flowers. Mr. T said there was .4 in the rain gauge. We had .2 Sunday evening, so just over half an inch in two days. Not really enough, but we'll take whatever we can get.

'Night all...sleep well.

Posted by: slyness | May 20, 2008 10:20 PM | Report abuse

I guess the Oregon primary results will be out sometime tomorrow morning. I was surprised at Obama's big crowd in Portland, Oregon, the largest political event in the state's history. Oregonian columnist Steve Duin commented:

"On Sunday, Portland gave him 72,000 reasons to believe Oregon's door is always open, not because we're convinced he can succeed in uniting us, but because we're enthralled that he's willing to try."

Um, yes. Portland is inhabited by cats.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | May 20, 2008 10:23 PM | Report abuse

Loomis, sweetie, go fly a kite

In a lightening storm

Posted by: omni | May 20, 2008 10:24 PM | Report abuse

Yoki, would a wastrel who is also a minstrel be considered a winstrel, or a mastrel? Even more to the point, would a wastrel who writes poetry be a pastry?

I may need to go to bed now. I'm getting a charley-horse in my cerebellum.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | May 20, 2008 10:24 PM | Report abuse

I need a mood lifter:

Yes, Mutya Buena: "A Real Girl" again...

Though parts make so happy I tear up...I feel lifted up, again, and...

Posted by: omni | May 20, 2008 10:31 PM | Report abuse

In better mood now, only slightly, then I read 10:24 and laugh. Thankee Mudgee

Posted by: omni | May 20, 2008 10:42 PM | Report abuse

Slyness, a fathom is six feet.

I suspect Shakespeare picked that sea-measure for its symbolic potential.

"Five" could also allude to how many men were needed to put the body over.

As for the distance of 30 feet that mudge muses on, I always figured that maybe Elizabethian anchor line generally only went to 30 feet past the sea-line, so the fullness of the distance would indicate deep sea (but not too deep for coral).
"Of his bones coral are made..."

I suspect a specific shipwreck inspired Shakespeare. The Tempest itself has some allusions to America, and Caliban is loosely based on the sound of Carribean.

I found a mention of the Sea Venture having been shipwrecked at Bermuda on its way to Jamestown in 1609 by a hurricane.

The Tempest was written in 1610.

Bermuda's history (before the "Bermuda triangle" was named such) was notorious from the start because of multiple storms making settlement difficult.

For a copy of William Strachey's account of the shipwreck, thought by most Shakespearan scholars to have inspired the Tempest (warning, opens in Word).

"before we were aware (a casualty more desperate then any other that a Voyage by Sea draweth with it), was growne fiue foote suddenly deepe with water"

"the Boateswaine sounding at the first, found it thirteene fathome, & when we stood a little in seuen fatham; and presently heauing his lead the third time,
had ground at foure fathome, and by this, we had got her within a mile vnder the South-east point of the land, where we had somewhat smooth water. But hauing no hope to saue her by comming to an anker in the same, we were inforced to runne her ashoare, as neere the land as we
could, which brought vs within three quarters of a mile of shoare, and by the mercy of God vn-to vs, making out our Boates, we had ere night brought all our men, women, and children, about
the number of one hundred and fifty, safe into the Iland."

He treated V and U's the same, willy-nilly, which makes it interesting to read.

He describes sea-fire leaping from mast to mast, shroud to shroud, which the seamen took as an omen of a great tempest to come. And it did.

Posted by: Wilbrod | May 20, 2008 10:45 PM | Report abuse

LL: One foot on a banana peel,the other on a slow boat to china.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | May 20, 2008 10:47 PM | Report abuse

I stepped away for a few hours and return to find the Boodle has become somewhat unfathomable.


Posted by: bc | May 20, 2008 10:56 PM | Report abuse

Oh, stop bc, I'm already laughing

Good one though, and tanks

Posted by: omni | May 20, 2008 11:04 PM | Report abuse

Decided to stay up long enough to see if we'll get a quick result out of Oregon, about 12 minutes from now.

Wilbrod, rope (and later, chain) for anchor lines is measured in a unit they used to call "shackles," whose length tended to vary from 12.5 to 15-foot units. Sailors have known for millenia (at least two of 'em) that anchor line needs to be at very minimum at least three times the depth of water in calm weather, and at least 7 times water depth in rough weather (to say nothing of putting out additional anchors). An anchor line of only 30 feet would be completely useless. Any reasonably equipped ship, even back then, would normally expect to anchor in water up to, say, a hundred feet without blinking an eye, which would mean a line of at least 300 feet dead minimum, and more likely something on the order of 600 feet or better (although granted they could add additional lengths of rope as needed. But routinely, ships carried not dozens of feet of anchor line, but hundreds and hundreds.

When an anchor is dropped, it does not "set" straight down; it gets its holding power from the flukes digging in, and that can only be done when the anchor lines lays a a pretty good non-vertical angle, hence three times water depth in calm weather.

Further, modern anchors hold much better than the old-fashioned "traditional" kinds of anchors they used back then; the "three-times" rule tends to apply to modern anchors. Back then, I'd guess a four- or -five-times water depth might have been common. In any event, the length of anchor line is called the "scope."

In order for an anchor to do its job, it must lie relatively flat; the accomplish this, the first couple of feet of scope is always made of chain, because it is heavy and its weight makes the head of the anchor lie down. If an anchor used nothing but rope, the rope itself wouldn't be heavy enough to make the head lie down.

Sounding lines back then commonly were marked at 2, 3, 5, 7, 10, 13, 15, 17, and 20 fathom intervals.

The preferred burial-at-sea-depth was 6 fathoms (36 feet), from which we get the term "the deep six." Typicall, the body had a length of chain, called a "shot," wrapped about the ankles to weight the body down and keep it from ever surfacing. So when a body went over the side and landed on the bottom, it would remain essentially "standing up." Six fathoms (36 feet) would therefore ensure at least 30 feet of clearance from the top of any body to the surface, meaning there was no chance of a ship somehow sailing over and hitting a corpse. Sailors were amazing practical people, and thought of all the smallest details, including how deep the water had to be to bury somebody.

Coral exists mainly in shallower water, and sailors don't like it; it is invariably dangerous. And it is what reefs are made of, and sailors generally hate reefs as nothing but dangerous obstructions to navigation.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | May 20, 2008 11:18 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, well... don't make waves, bc.

Posted by: TBG | May 20, 2008 11:28 PM | Report abuse

I knew that a fathom was 6 ft., roughly a person's height, but I never knew why.

Thanks for that bit of education, Mudge.


Posted by: bc | May 20, 2008 11:33 PM | Report abuse

Obama wins Oregon by about 3 to 2. And he has enough pledged delegates to have a clear majority, even counting Florida and Michigan for Hillary. He's gonna get about 45 delegates out of today.

Chuck Todd had an interesting number: he figured there were 212 unpledged superdelegates left. Of those 116 are in states Obama won, versus 86 Hillary won (some haven't been decided yet). His point is that few if any of those delegates are going to go against the vote totals *in their own states.*

Posted by: Curmudgeon | May 20, 2008 11:37 PM | Report abuse

More sad news...

Hamilton Jordan, President Carter's chief of staff, dies at 63 after long battle with cancer

05-20-2008 10:46 PM
By WALTER PUTNAM, Associated Press Writer

ATLANTA (Associated Press) -- Hamilton Jordan, a political strategist from south Georgia who helped propel Jimmy Carter to the White House and served as his chief of staff, died Tuesday after a long battle with cancer.

Jordan, 63, died at his home in Atlanta about 7:30 p.m., said Gerald Rafshoon, who was Carter's chief of communications.

Posted by: TBG | May 20, 2008 11:38 PM | Report abuse

Loomis dear,
Your passive-aggressive hostility towards the guest bloggers is completely unwarranted. They have managed to capture the tone and wit of this blog in a way that you have always been deaf too.

Take a clue, hon, your constant clumsy attempts at threadjacking around here are tiresome and irritating. Nobody gave a darn about sweetiegate, Kennedy-bashing, or art films you want to flaunt your knowledge of. Normally, nobody would be more willing to discuss Angelina Jolie than me, but until she dons some tights as Saturn Girl she was off-topic.

We have a community here, toots. A loose, factional, fractional, and disparate community, but a group nonetheless. At one time you were a quixotic and mildly amusing (in a laugh-at not laugh-with way) member but your antics and obsessions over oddly random arcana has gone well beyond annoying.

So in summary, doll-face, please take this drivel elsewhere. I have often none too subtly suggested that you should channel your name-dropping, obsessive compulsive research, and crackpot genealogy into your own blog where you may find others with some semblance of shared interest. It's a big blogosphere and odder things have happened.

I rant like this not in any hope of it penetrating your self-absorption in any way, but out of weeks and months of pent-up exasperation. I am the last pot that should be calling anyone black, but please, please, please try to be less confrontational and uppity. We know what happens to those kind of women.

Posted by: yellojkt | May 20, 2008 11:39 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of taking umbrage, our local paper's Pulitzer-winning cartoonist questions why the midwest is the heartland:

The crowd for Obama the other day was astonishing.

Thought he gave a good speech tonight in Iowa.

Posted by: mostlylurking | May 20, 2008 11:41 PM | Report abuse

Faxing some medication for Mudge.

Last I checked a good first aid kit for you sailor types should still contain some bracing medicinal beverage. Brandy ought to fit the bill. It works nicely on those pesky charley horse(s) of the cerebellum.

Or so I have heard.

Posted by: dr | May 20, 2008 11:48 PM | Report abuse

Which of course should also be noted to mean that I hope to have you in fine form again tomorrow, Mudge.

Posted by: dr | May 20, 2008 11:58 PM | Report abuse

So Mudge, an anchor rope's length would have to be more like full fathom fifty... wait.

Hope you liked the link to the shipwreck of the /Sea Venture/ Mudge, although you probably have already read it. It's considered to be the basis for The Tempest, so maybe the clues are there.

TBG, not to pick a fight with an editor (brrr, don't want a newly repaired red wagon-- I don't even own one..)... but er, I'd never write "Five full fathoms."

Not unless I wanted people to visualize five burping fat-hommes.

So, it'd have to be "full five fathoms thy father lies".

In that case, you can just hear the actor saying. "Thod, Make fathomth-thy father eathier to say, Thakesthpeare!"

Then Shakespeare would scratch it out with a quill, saying "oh, right, it's not even good iambic either."

Then he just does the Elizabethian thing and switches it around-- "Full fathom-five", pretending all sailors speak like they're thinking in drunken French, just like he does on occasion.

Voila! Now the line flows, the beat's on "full" and on the long vowel of "hoooom"; "full fathom five" now echoes "thy father lies" and hey ding dong, literature is written.

I always thought Shakespeare wrote so well because he had a troupe of actors complaining up front if they didn't like how a line tripped off their tongues in rehearsal.

Posted by: Wilbrod | May 21, 2008 12:01 AM | Report abuse

Two comments started and erased for lack of coherence. I had no idea there were that many people in Oregon, and mostly I must agree with the ?s about the so-called heartland.

I hope for the best for Ted Kennedy, but also hope that Hilary will graciously give up the race and concentrate on taking up the liberal/progressive yet bipartisan mantle he's worn so well.

How have I missed the Tick? I was never much of a comics fan but I try to stay at least a little acquainted with popular culture.

Time for lights out with a long day of mayor business meetings tomorrow. A racially motivated spat broke out at the monthly food pantry today so I'm glad to have a long drive ahead of me. Good time to think.

Toodles boodle.

Posted by: frostbitten | May 21, 2008 12:31 AM | Report abuse

Regarding the 11:39 PM post...
Wow, yellowjkt. I like your spunk. Iron Man versus the Hulk? Take that LadyLoo! Baam Baam.

Posted by: eidrib | May 21, 2008 12:42 AM | Report abuse

This seems an appropriate column by Andy Borowitz to link to here:

Posted by: mostlylurking | May 21, 2008 1:23 AM | Report abuse

mostly... great Borowitz link.. perfect for our forum here, I believe, although Hillary may not have the majority of these imaginary votes.

Posted by: TBG | May 21, 2008 1:37 AM | Report abuse

He's everywhere!
He's everywhere!


Posted by: Boko999 | May 21, 2008 2:19 AM | Report abuse

Did anyone mention Underdog today?

Posted by: TBG | May 21, 2008 2:43 AM | Report abuse

The only comic books I've read in my pre-teens were the ones my older sister bought every 2 weeks. There were stories of a little Japanese girl drawn and written for teenage girls. The character was very well drawn despite having a disproportionately big head and big eyes. My sister would generally leave it out for about 2 weeks and after that she would lock it up with the other issues that were kept together with her personal "treasures".

The comic books were kept pad-locked in a 1'x2' wooden box that milk cans and other canned foods came in. The box were made of soft wood and held together with short nails. I was a home alone kid always looking for something to do. When I wanted to read those books again, I would pry the top panel off the box with a flat screw driver. Since the nails were short and the wood soft, I never had any problems prying it open. After 3 - 4 prying, I don't even need a screw driver to open it. I don't think my sister ever found out what I did since she had never yelled at me for that action.

Posted by: rainforest | May 21, 2008 3:37 AM | Report abuse

I hope there is a fat lady scheduled to sing the Star Spangled Banner at the start of the DNC. Seems that's the only way a lot of people will get the message it's over at last.

Posted by: Wilbrod | May 21, 2008 4:37 AM | Report abuse

Sorry Senator Clinton didn't drop out when you felt she should. :-)

She's been a strong candidate and still retains a lot of support. The question remains whether Obama will win those voters over or not. I'm not so sure, but that may be because I'm a dyed-in-the-wool Yellow Dog Democrat myself and not happy about voting for him myself.

In other news, how will the Loo react to justified, negative reactions? Will she ignore them and change the topic to something only she is interested in, or attack another Boodler's child, background or occupation? Have I missed a third option?

Posted by: dbG | May 21, 2008 4:56 AM | Report abuse

Bon jour, you all,

Ten days in France is not enough for our first trip there, could have stayed for a month, if time and money would have allowed. I see all is well here and Joel is still in Australia. I have much to share, particularly with bia, but first I have a little bit of a story that I hope someone reading the boodle can help me with.

Our tour guide, Francis Paz, a young frenchman, a native of the Normandy area, is also a member of a volunteer organization who share a passion for the history of the Normandy Invasion and the D-Day park and museum, etc. This group found a C-47, the SNAFU Special, parked in Bosnia. Through efforts they convinced the government there to let them take it back home. They put it back together, looks like a big restoration job from the pictures and got it in running order. Then, they contacted families of the plane's pilots and crew and some of the para troopers this plane dropped behind lines in preparation for D-Day. They invited them to come to the museum to view the airplane and stay in the region for five days in order that the families could tour the beaches and parks of WWII, and could learn of the gratitude of the French people to our nation for our part in restoring their liberty. The trip is a gift, all free.

More, with a few links to follow....

Posted by: VintageLady | May 21, 2008 5:37 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, Boodle. I see some of you are still in fine fettle this morning.

A couple of good editorials and op-eds this morning. Broder and the WaPo editorial are both good views of Ted Kennedy and his famous senatorial influence. Good Meyerson piece. Haven't read the Miller thing on making Hillary a Supreme. It's not necessarily a bad idea, but this isn't the time to bring it up.

VL, sounds like you had a good time in France. What is it that you need help with? I've always been very fond of the ol' C-47 (known as a DC-3 in its civilian life). My wife and I got to fly in one once, on our honeymoon 25 years ago. The small airline on Martha's Vineyard had one in regular service (yes, think the TV show "Wings") and flew us over to Nantucket. A great, great airplane, it was also one of the mainstays of the Berlin airlift. At the risk of incurring yet a further doily barage, I'll add for the aircraft-impaired that the C-47 is the one most often shown in movies about D-Day, as in the series "Band of Brothers."

OK, gotta run.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | May 21, 2008 6:06 AM | Report abuse

Hey 'mudge,

My second post, with old links, has been held for approval by the "owner of the blog", hopefully it will go through, otherwise I will try to repost. Bottom line, I would like to see publicity of this event in USA, none so far, only in France.

Posted by: VintageLady | May 21, 2008 6:20 AM | Report abuse

The C-47 stayed in service long after WWII. When I lived at Clark AFB in the Philippines, my friends and I made a hobby of visiting as many nominally off-limits parts of the base as possible. This often resulted in encounters with other kids just a few years older than us, the only difference being that they wore uniforms and carried M-16s.

Our favorite place was a small airplane graveyard on the far side of the flight line accessible only by bicycle or MP jeep. It had the rotting fuselage of a P-38 and a few other harder to identify skeletons, but the centerpiece was a DC-3 painted in the livery of the South Vietnam Air Force.

Legend had it that it was the plane that Nguyễn Văn Thiệu had fled Saigon in. Wikipedia says that Thiệu fled to Taiwan before settling in the US, so it may have been some other dignitary that had left in this plane. In any event, the Philippines had become its final resting place. An abandoned piece of detritus in the Vietnamese diaspora.

You could get up into the cabin through the luggage compartment. The cabin had been thoroughly ransacked over the years by looters but it had been arranged in a flying lounge arrangement that Tony Stark would have approved of.

So this workhorse plane had survived well into the 70s serving as a flying living room until it had become the victim of falling dominoes. We quit visiting it after a dispute with some guards over the legality of our presence resulted in temporarily confiscated bicycles. And as far as I know it sits there still.

Posted by: yellojkt | May 21, 2008 6:31 AM | Report abuse

New kit.

These guest bloggers sure do keep early hours.

Posted by: yellojkt | May 21, 2008 6:33 AM | Report abuse

Goodmorning! There is always work that needs to be done, and that's a good thing, or what else would we do all day? My daughter just informed me that the garden plot has more weeds, namely dandelions, than snap peas. I've heard, from friends, that these type of weeds make for good wine, or fine wine should I say.

Where's handyman? I have gutter damage that needs attention, and if Handyman doesn't show up soon, I'll be on a ladder giving the neighbors something to talk about this evening.

Posted by: DandyLion | May 21, 2008 6:41 AM | Report abuse

Sylar would open the Hulk's head and eat his brain and take all his powers. And then he would just stab Ironman in the back while he wasn't paying attention.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 5, 2008 3:55 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: MAUI | June 5, 2008 9:07 AM | Report abuse

it's a tie

Posted by: jay | June 10, 2008 8:23 PM | Report abuse

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