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Time Running Backward

Why does time run forward and not backward? Why is there an "arrow of time"? This is a major conundrum in the world of physics and cosmology. You could argue, perhaps, that scientists are overthinking the matter, but they'd say the rest of us are underthinking it. The equations that underpin the laws of physics work the same in either direction. Yet we never see broken china fly up into the air and reassemble itself into a plate.

Another fundamental problem with the idea of time running in reverse is that it would create, for me, some intolerable situations. Just for starters there's the horrid thought of being forced to move back to Gainesville and start wearing bellbottoms. Working in the plant nursery would be fine, as would going to the beach and the springs, but I shudder to think of how those orthodonture students at the university would put metal bands on my teeth to make them crooked.

These thoughts are incited by this SciAm story by Sean Carroll on whether time runs backward in other universes. His conclusion:

'The dramatic time asymmetry of our observable cosmos seems to be offering us a clue to something deeper--a hint to the ultimate workings of space and time. Our task as physicists is to use this and other clues to put together a compelling picture.

'If the observable universe were all that existed, it would be nearly impossible to account for the arrow of time in a natural way. But if the universe around us is a tiny piece of a much larger picture, new possibilities present themselves. We can conceive of our bit of universe as just one piece of the puzzle, part of the tendency of the larger system to increase its entropy without limit in the very far past and the very far future. To paraphrase physicist Edward Tryon, the big bang is easier to understand if it is not the beginning of everything but just one of those things that happens from time to time.

'Other researchers are working on related ideas, as more and more cosmologists are taking seriously the problem posed by the arrow of time. It is easy enough to observe the arrow--all you have to do is mix a little milk into your coffee. While sipping it, you can contemplate how that simple act can be traced all the way back to the beginning of our observable universe and perhaps beyond.'

Lots more physics, movie reviews and brainy stuff at Cocktail Party Physics.

And Wired Science has a great blog item on What Does It Mean to Be Human (inspired by the World Science Festival event organized by my friend Kyle Gibson just fyi).


Is Google making us stupid?

That's the question posed by this new piece in The Atlantic.

Of course I haven't read it yet because ... well, because Google has made me stupid. But it looks good at first glance!!

Nicholas Carr writes:

'Over the past few years I've had an uncomfortable sense that someone, or something, has been tinkering with my brain, remapping the neural circuitry, reprogramming the memory. My mind isn't going--so far as I can tell--but it's changing. I'm not thinking the way I used to think. I can feel it most strongly when I'm reading. Immersing myself in a book or a lengthy article used to be easy. My mind would get caught up in the narrative or the turns of the argument, and I'd spend hours strolling through long stretches of prose. That's rarely the case anymore. Now my concentration often starts to drift after two or three pages. I get fidgety, lose the thread, begin looking for something else to do. I feel as if I'm always dragging my wayward brain back to the text. The deep reading that used to come naturally has become a struggle.

'I think I know what's going on. For more than a decade now, I've been spending a lot of time online, searching and surfing and sometimes adding to the great databases of the Internet.'


Here's another column saying it's virtually a one-man presidential race.

By Joel Achenbach  |  June 12, 2008; 11:34 AM ET
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Next: Weed Season Again


First? Is everyone else still reading The Atlantic link?

Posted by: Raysmom | June 12, 2008 12:16 PM | Report abuse

These kits make my head hurt, but in a good way.

Posted by: slyness | June 12, 2008 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Sometimes it is difficult to concentrate, I will admit. And I remember that for about five years after I finished law school, I could not, under any circumstances, pick up a book and read for pleasure. Did you find it that way for you, Ivansmom?

Now, I can't wait to plow (plough?) through books for pleasure. There's not much on television worth seeing anymore, and I've started re-reading books that I haven't read in decades. I've already told the boodle about my navigation through John LeCarré's Karla Trilogy. Into The Honourable Schoolboy now, which is so far quite delicious. After I finish Smiley's People (coming up next), I intend to re-read Dr. Zhivago. And then, I think, Pride and Prejudice. I've got so many books, and many I've never read. Gotta get on it.

One thing I also notice is that it's so difficult to write in cursive style now -- we are so used to the keyboard. I find that my fingers sort of get cramped, and I can't write as quickly as I can type. Hey, Mudge, do ya think it's our age??? (deferring, of course, to my "elder" (by how many days?)).

Time to get some lunch. Brain food needed.

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | June 12, 2008 12:24 PM | Report abuse

ftb, when I was in business school, we used to talk longingly about some day being able to once again read for pleasure.

And, to prove Mr. Carr's point, I only read the first page of his article.

Posted by: Raysmom | June 12, 2008 12:32 PM | Report abuse

How do we know doesn't work backwards? Maybe you started out with straight teeth. Who knows?

Ouch. My brain hurts.

Posted by: TBG | June 12, 2008 12:33 PM | Report abuse

I can't write cursive any more, either, and my attention span

oh, look, a butterfly!

Posted by: Curmudgeon | June 12, 2008 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Oh jeez. Does this mean I gotta do the Civil War and the bubonic plague years again? Freezing my --- off on all those sea voyages? All that crummy food?

On the other hand, there *were* those serving wenches....

Posted by: Curmudgeon | June 12, 2008 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Happy Birthday, Cassandra!

Maybe time is running backwards here in the Pacific NW, and that's why we have winter again after spring. I don't have trouble with a circular motion of time, backwards is harder to deal with. It's not right! Or maybe it's like recursive programming, which I never understood.

(Oooh, there's a hint of sunshine - huzzah!)

Posted by: mostlylurking | June 12, 2008 12:45 PM | Report abuse

My attention span seems to be okay, but my handwriting went to he!! after I started wordprocessing. Even with a fountain pen, it's just so hard to write legibly by hand.

Posted by: slyness | June 12, 2008 12:48 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: nall92 | June 12, 2008 12:50 PM | Report abuse

It's all the fault of Maxwell for letting his demon get away.

Posted by: yellojkt | June 12, 2008 12:52 PM | Report abuse

I don't know the answer to the question, "Why does time run forward and not backward?"

But I suspect it's analogous to the answer Peter gave B.C. when B.C. asked, "Why don't our fingers bend all the way back?"

"Don't be silly. Who'd want to carry anything on the backs of their hands?"

Posted by: byoolin | June 12, 2008 12:53 PM | Report abuse

I cannot think of orthodontia without remembering Darlene. She was the assistant in my orthodontist's office, long dark hair, dark eyes, mid 20''s, a little crinkly in her starched white uniform and soft in all the right places. I was 14 when I got my braces and about once a month for three years I went in the Medical Arts Building in downtown Fort Worth to see Darlene and get my bands tightened and my springs adjusted. I would lean back and open wide, attempting to stay perfectly immobile while Darlene leaned over me (with some incidental contact!) and did her job. The 20-30 minutes of teenage fantasy which this yielded was paid for with a 48 hour headache from the dental procedure. I was content with the transaction.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | June 12, 2008 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Oh sure, some use flimsy arguments like entropy and causality to explain why time only moves forward. But I think time moves forward because the universe would be too depressing otherwise.

I mean, imagine you spent all day painting your living room a soothing shade of "oyster," to pick an example at random, only to awake the next day to discover that time had unraveled in the night and you had to do it all over again.

Of course, some of the things to be repeated would be pleasant as well. You know, like that party where you did all those tequilla shots and met that fascinating woman from the other college. (Another *totally* random example.)

But I think the depressing stuff would out weigh it. Besides, even if it didn't would a universe like this really be stable? Wouldn't it degenerate into everyone just doing crazy fun stuff in the hopes of a temporal redo?

And here's another question. If time sloshed around, wouldn't our memories do to? So for all we know we really are repeating stuff over and over again, and we just don't realize it.

Which really does start to explain an awful lot.

Posted by: RD Padouk | June 12, 2008 1:02 PM | Report abuse

I would give anything to have a Mulligan (a do-over) on the years 1962-72.


Posted by: Curmudgeon | June 12, 2008 1:10 PM | Report abuse

You can't fool me. I know you're all over at the "Sex & Senility" chat.

*eating lunch and feeling totally abandoned*

Posted by: Curmudgeon | June 12, 2008 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Hi, all.

Firstly, Joel, Bob S. posted a link to this article in the Boodle a couple of weeks back. I certainly read it, as did a few others. Good stuff. I think there was even some riffage on entropy there, as well.

The Universe as one of those things that happens from time to time, indeed.

As far as time running backwards, there's a lot to dislike about it - as you point out, but if you think having your teeth slowly made crooked would be bad, think about the visits you made to the bathroom over the past 24 hours. Yeesh.

(Though the idea of pinching off little universes does seem to fit right here.)

A couple of quick things related to that:

Einstein cleary showed that time is relative, and - I think - a property of mass interacting with spacetime. Another good reason to use the LHC to find the Higgs boson woudl be to see if there are little watch hands on it, if it's like an egg timer, or has red LEDs counting down like something Jack Bauer would yell into a cell phone and start torturing someone over.

When the Big Bang happened and cosmic inflation started, we had weird asymmetries of matter and anti-matter and an apparrent one-way flow of spacetime emerge as cooler heads prevailed. Coincidence? I think not.

Also, as has been pointed out many times by folks other than I: The Big Bang started out pretty much perfect, then something Went Terribly Wrong, and has been getting worse ever since.

And here we are, the culmination of Everything Gone Wrong.

If you buy into Entropy (that is, disorder from more orderly states) as a bad thing. I've mentioned previously that my kids argue that their bedrooms are actually Universal Entropic Nature Preserves, like parklands allowed to return to their natural states. Think of it as the Evolution of the Universe in action, they say.

I'm Multiversal Park Ranger bc, and I'm having none of it.


Posted by: bc | June 12, 2008 1:24 PM | Report abuse

SCC: "If you buy into Entropy (that is, disorder from more orderly states) as a bad thing, that is."

I would also add that if I had do-overs or multiverses to play with, I'd just make *other* mistakes via the Many Mistakes Intrepretation, as I noted in my Guest Kit a few weeks back:

Sometimes, Time is Not On My Side.


Posted by: bc | June 12, 2008 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Good for you, bc. *Somebody* has to stand up for order and rule of law!

I'm here, Mudge! Did you read the story at Slate about the couple with dementia? So sad that his family insisted on separating them. One of my friends had to have the discussion with her dad about being discreet in his sexual behavior in the nursing home. Fortunately, or unfortunately, his partner's family moved her to another facility, giving as the reason that she needed more intense care.

I'm sooo glad it won't be an issue for me!

Posted by: slyness | June 12, 2008 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Yes, I did read it. Pretty sad. Yeah, I doubt I'll make it that far, either.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | June 12, 2008 1:39 PM | Report abuse

I like the idea of time moving in a circular fashion, but only glacially, or historically, or spiritually or something. On a day-to-day level I prefer the kind that goes forward. There are too many days with too much going on that I'd just hate to repeat, or even leave that possibility floating around.

firsttimeblogger, I didn't have much problem reading for pleasure after law school. However, I graduated from undergrad having spent a year fulfilling the requirements for a philosophy degree. Not only couldn't I read for months, I couldn't think. It was a good thing I had a few months off before law school began.

Posted by: Ivansmom | June 12, 2008 1:43 PM | Report abuse

slyness, that line about needing "more intense care" caused an Earl Grey Tsunami on my keyboard.

Thanks for that.


Posted by: bc | June 12, 2008 1:43 PM | Report abuse

I just wanted to thank all of you for the lovely birthday wishes, and to tell you that I think all of you are a great bunch of people. I'm so glad I stopped in here.

And Loomis, when I read your birthday wish it just made my heart feel so happy. I still have the tears in my eyes, and I do so appreciate you thinking of me on my special day. Thank you so much.

Posted by: cassandra s | June 12, 2008 1:47 PM | Report abuse

yep bc, that's a very good family right there, shopping around to find just the "right intensity of care" for Granny.

We should cut it out on that time discussion or else the WaPo Blog's infamous Temporal Insanity will be back with a vengeance. We will have to hunt for fresh postings not only in this kit but in the previous and the next one as well.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | June 12, 2008 1:56 PM | Report abuse

Always happy to accomodate, bc, even if unintentionally.

Hope the keyboard is okay.

BTW, I like your taste in tea.

Posted by: slyness | June 12, 2008 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Smoking in bed with all those oxygen bottles around may lead to an embarrassing-to-explain Thermal Incident.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | June 12, 2008 2:09 PM | Report abuse

If you want to see time flow backwards, all you gotta do is post something to the Boodle on one of Hal's "bad" days. Boodle time has a tendency to go both backwards and forwards in unpredictable ways.

If you really want to blow your mind about time concepts, read Alan Lightman's "Einstein's Dreams". I think he covered every angle of time ever imagined by glaucoma med test pilots worldwide (and did a pretty darn good job of it, too). It's a relatively thin book and a quick read, but lots of food for thought packed in there.

And speaking of time...

I'm trying to save some. Anybody know of a company with CNC and/or laser-etching capabilities that might be interested in helping a very busy gnome grow his little door business? Seriously.

Posted by: martooni | June 12, 2008 2:10 PM | Report abuse

martooni - isn't "Einstein's Dreams" a great book? The neat thing about it is that the dream that accurately described our universe seemed neither more nor less bizarre than the dreams that described imaginary ones.

Posted by: RD Padouk | June 12, 2008 2:14 PM | Report abuse

And what really p1ssed Maxwell off was that the stupid demon took the silver hammer with him.

Posted by: yellojkt | June 12, 2008 2:25 PM | Report abuse

RD... exactly.

I thought one scenario was a particularly good extrapolation of where modern society is heading -- where everyone and everything (including buildings) are constantly moving since time moves slower the faster you go, so the more you're on the move, the slower you age.

I wonder what the gas mileage would be for my little house?

Posted by: martooni | June 12, 2008 2:31 PM | Report abuse

There are days when I fantasize about pushing my way through the continuum to an earlier time. To somehow occupy my physical self as I was in an earlier age. Not only would this allow me to relive past pleasures, but, in this fantasy, I could undo past mistakes as well.

This is a very satisfying fantasy, but, alas, it gets bogged down in the details. The contingency of existence means that foresight born of future experience would quickly fade. Life in a retread universe would be just as fraught with uncertainty as before.

It's like that wonderful Zen movie "Groundhog Day." Sometimes you can't recapture a perfect moment no matter how hard you try. And sometimes you cannot prevent a painful one no matter the foresight.

So I have abandoned this fantasy. To return to a youthful self would guarantee nothing and risk everything. Better to just indulge in my memories.

Now, if technology could just do a better job of making these more salient and interactive. Well, then you'd be cooking with canned heat. 'cause some of them are pretty good.

Posted by: RD Padouk | June 12, 2008 2:32 PM | Report abuse

There are days when the Boodle warms the cockles of my heart.

Seeing the phrases "SCC," "Glaucoma Test Pilot" and "Thermal Incident" used - and understood - in the space of a few comments...

That makes me happy.

Personally, I don't think I want to go back in time. If I can't take my memory with me, fuggetabout it. It wouln't be a do-over, it'd be a replay.


Posted by: bc | June 12, 2008 2:41 PM | Report abuse

If you're tired of films because you're just getting the next installment in a franchise film series or bored with improbable comic-strip-hero fantasy flicks, may I recommend a movie we saw last weekend, "Sangre de mi Sangre". That translates to "B1ood of my B1ood," but film buffs probably know that it took the grand jury prize for drama at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival, released at the time under the title "Padre Nuestro." (Our Father)

The biblical theme titles? Because of the Cain and Abel story.

Posted by: Loomis | June 12, 2008 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Canned Heat rocks (and boogies, too). ;-)

Posted by: martooni | June 12, 2008 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Of course, the good news out of the latest Indian Jones movie, other than the fact that the location crew used Chandler Field in Fresno to shoot the Mexico City airport scene (*l*), is "particle simulation."

"The whole film for us has been really big on particle simulation, which is creating an environment inside of a computer and telling the computer the rules of the world," said Helman, who also worked on two of the "Star Wars" films. "You give the computer this gravity, this mass, this amount of wind and see what happens."

That means instead of crafting movement for every vine and leaf that Indy & co. hammer through, visual effects artists were able to drag and drop virtual vegetation programmed to react to the vehicles' presence and actors' movements. It's an application that's long become de rigueur for video games, and come full circle to the big screen.

Even though they were going for something organic, Helman said the filmmakers took some liberties with the laws of physics -- more gravity, more mass, more wind -- to "make it more cinematic."

Posted by: Loomis | June 12, 2008 2:57 PM | Report abuse

bc... not to overheat your cockles, but clouds are hard. ;-)

Posted by: martooni | June 12, 2008 2:57 PM | Report abuse

I'm about to go get sawdusted (and no, that's not what the kids today call "that" [or I'd be happy about it]), but bc's post got me to thinking...

It would be cool (to me, anyway) to see a kit with a collection of all the "Boodle-isms" we've all come to know and understand.

- glaucoma test pilot
- clouds are hard
- blue bottom
- etc., etc., etc....

Just think of the value our mutating and evolving lexicon would be to linguists and ethnographers!

The A-Blog could be famous!

{* ripping off exclamation point key and brushing hair and beard to look good for the inevitable rush of paparazzi *}

Posted by: martooni | June 12, 2008 3:20 PM | Report abuse

If time were to go backwards, how could you tell? Our perception of time is a perception of the sequential occurrence of events (including the event comprising the act of observing). A moment of no events would not be perceptible. Similarly, a reversal of time also would be a reversal of observability -- the observation of the event would unhappen, just as the observed event would unhappen. Maybe there are lots of time-reversals happening, re-editing the movie, and we never know because our awareness reversed along with everything else, so we perceive only the forward process.

A different, and possibly more sensible question, is: what if time has more than one dimension? How could you tell? My instantaneous reaction is to expect that events would occur with no precedent, and objects and events would disappear just the same. Could this really be happening? Could this be an explanation for the concept of particle pair-production, in which particles pop into and out of existence all the time? Particles may actually have a persistent existence, but only if your time line is parallel to and coincident with the particle's timeline.


Posted by: ScienceTim | June 12, 2008 3:30 PM | Report abuse

adding to martooni's and bc's glossary of Boodleisms:

It's dead, Jim.
*faxing ....[X] to [Y]*
The bunker
The shop steward
First! First?

Posted by: Curmudgeon | June 12, 2008 3:51 PM | Report abuse

1,000,001 steps forwards, 1,000,000 steps back, eh?

Here's what the universe is telling us: I am not symmetrical, I am not symmetrical, I am not symmetrical.

On the hurriedness of reading, I am the opposite. I used to read fast, now I try to read as slowly as possible. I half page of Bellows's "Mr. Sammler's Planet" can give me food for a good ten minutes of thought.

Posted by: Jumper | June 12, 2008 3:51 PM | Report abuse

The previous kit on the sun led me thinking in this direction:

Posted by: Jumper | June 12, 2008 3:55 PM | Report abuse


fly-away hair
porch, back porch, Boodle porching hour
Higgs boson, Higgs ocean (I still have no clue WTF these are)
(No, bc, don't try to educate me.)

Some of these are already in the FAQ mo put togther; anybody know if that link is still good?

Posted by: Curmudgeon | June 12, 2008 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Mudge... don't forget...

Error in '08

Posted by: TBG | June 12, 2008 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Didn't mo mention that she had let the website go?

Maybe someone should fax bc a fire extinguisher. If his cockles are getting too warm...well I can see bad things happening.

Posted by: dr | June 12, 2008 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Yep, good one, TBG.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | June 12, 2008 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Staying on-kit: (now pay close attention, kids, and do not try this at home) If time were flying backwards, I said something earlier that made everybody P.O.'d, and I wished that I hadn't said it. So, *now* I take it back, and thus never will have said it. And you never got mad, and there we are.

Talk about the ultimate SCC, this backwards time stuff is OK by me.

Posted by: Don from I-270 | June 12, 2008 4:14 PM | Report abuse

And there's always Mianus.

Posted by: Raysmom | June 12, 2008 4:17 PM | Report abuse

Yes, there is. Always.

Posted by: ScienceTim | June 12, 2008 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Here are the Achenblog FAQs:

Posted by: Raysmom | June 12, 2008 4:28 PM | Report abuse

Will somebody please advise mo to update the list with Mudge's terms? Then it will be up-to-date. Oh, we gotta include Mianus.

Posted by: slyness | June 12, 2008 4:41 PM | Report abuse

I think the link I provided is the wiki that Kbert set up. Paging, paging...

Posted by: Raysmom | June 12, 2008 4:46 PM | Report abuse

I think the proper way to say it, Raysmom, is "We'll always have Mianus."

Posted by: TBG | June 12, 2008 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Ugh. It was bound to happen...

Posted by: TBG | June 12, 2008 4:49 PM | Report abuse

kbert's page is a wiki page... that means anyone can edit. Just click on the "Easy Edit" button at the top. I've gotta run or I'd do it myself.

Posted by: TBG | June 12, 2008 4:51 PM | Report abuse

Hey, I just realized this coming Sunday is Father's Day. I wonder if I'm gonna get feted. (Which is better than getting feta-ed, unless you're in TBG's household.)

Posted by: Curmudgeon | June 12, 2008 4:51 PM | Report abuse

dr... Not speaking from experience, of course, but warm cockles lead to hot ones.

"Hot Cockle Syndrome" ultimately leads to the "Mattress Spring Symphony", which is embarrassing enough for a kid trying to sleep in a bedroom within ear-reach of their parents', but even worse for a kid who stupidly invited friends over for a sleepover thinking pop and potato chips, a little MTV (when it was still a music channel), maybe a neighborhood toilet papering or some midnight cow tipping -- but ends up with said Symphony drowning out a 100 watt surround sound system. Don't ask, I've already told my therapist.

TBG... a *very* good Boodle-ism there. If this election weren't so important and I didn't live in Ohio (where every vote is definitely going to count) I'd vote "Error" in a heartbeat. Never met him in person, but I miss him none the less.

I also think he'd have made one hell of a reluctant but competent President.

If he were to win, we would probably have had to hold a double super secret BPH at Home Depot so we could gather up enough duct tape and chains to deliver him to the White House kicking and screaming.

Best. Candidate. Evar.

Posted by: martooni | June 12, 2008 5:00 PM | Report abuse

If someone has quoted this already, I apologize, but I always remember this adage about time:

Time flies like an arrow, but fruit flies like a banana.

Posted by: pj | June 12, 2008 5:05 PM | Report abuse

Or. . . .Time flies. You cannot. They fly too fast.

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | June 12, 2008 6:02 PM | Report abuse

How about
"Backward, turn backward, oh Time in your flight
Make me a child again just for tonight."

and lots more

Elizabeth (Akers) Allen. 1832-1911

Posted by: nellie | June 12, 2008 6:27 PM | Report abuse

Mudge... getting feted (or feta-ed) is much better than getting tied.

Unless, of course, you're into that sort of thing. In which case I think we'd rather not know details, if ya know what I mean.

Personally, I'm hoping to the wind that I'll get a new sander. I burn through them like crazy whether I spend big bucks or low bucks. Maybe I'm just too rough on them, maybe they don't like my deodorant... I dunno. All I know is the average life of a sander in my workshop is about two to three months (or less) and the one I have is starting its death throes.

The girl (well, actually she's a very classy lady) who hosts the noon-time show for my local classic rock station *hinted* about what Dad's *really* want to get this Sunday. I was like, "Sheesh... sander prices are gonna go through the roof! Better go get mine now before they run out!" But Mrs. M said "Unh-uh... No way... Nope. Get back to makin' your little doors."

Story of my life.

Posted by: martooni | June 12, 2008 6:43 PM | Report abuse

Popping in to say...

Happy Birthday Cassandra! I hope have smiling faces around you all day.

Posted by: LostInThought | June 12, 2008 6:47 PM | Report abuse

'Tooni, I also miss Error, that's why I had Wilbrodog blog on groundhog invasions.

They're going to be back tomorrow while we're out. My dad's nervous as a longtailed cat in a rocking-chair factory.

My handwriting HAS worsened, but I think that's carpal tunnel and disuse. I try and take a little time now and then to practice that archaic skill... it took me years to develop decent handwriting, and I'd like to keep it up.

I do read books a-plenty. Mostly fluff fiction. I think the challenge in reading stuff on the web is that you have no idea how long it takes. An introduction can start off nicely and the article seems to be short, and your attention span instantly gears itself for say, 1000 words. Then the said article actually is more like 20,000 words.

So, somewhere after the endlessly earnest tone threatens to take you through the entire history of the 20th century more than once or twice before the fifth paragraph, your attention frantically signals you that you had better bail or you could wind up reading a novel in an "article" format.

If you think I'm joking, try printing some of those articles out in hard copy. Even a "short" article often prints out in at least 7 pages.

My cousin once gave me a wonderful article about phone cables across the oceans and how internet load has increased the need for putting down more cables all over, and also the risks to it. It'd have made a great documentary, very vividly written.

Well, that was printed out from Wired Magazine and it was over 30 pages long. That's a LOT of readin'. I think National Geographic is now only 152 pages long, with lots of pictures to break up the text (and increase page count accordingly).

I think when we complain about our lack of attention spans, we often overlook that a "paragraph" or so on the internet may often be 500-1000 words nowadays. We honestly have no idea how much we are reading.

The toughest thing about reading on the PC is not just the monitor-eye interface, but also all the hypertext to fat webpages. Sometimes after a very linky kit n boodle, I feel like I've consumed over 250,000 words-- equalivent to a Rowling novel, but instead... it's all earnest, disjointed, and not always well-copy edited.

I think we are suffering from web bloviation and attention overload, not lack of attention span. This post: 415 words.

Posted by: Wilbrod | June 12, 2008 7:27 PM | Report abuse

I just read that Atlantic article and think it makes some very good points. The impatience and short attention spans spawned by technology are clearly problems.

Yet, I am far more concerned by the intellectual laziness and chronic impatience fostered by the pervasive cultural notion that being Incredibly Busy is a synonym for being a Incredibly Important. This fallacy seems especially prevalent here in the Nation's Capitol.

This, to me, is where the real danger lies. In a rational world the most important people should focus only on a relatively small number of issues, which they would then study thoroughly.

Instead, they just rush through the "Executive Summary." As a result, the least informed and most poorly nuanced opinions often end up being the most influential. And, in my opinion, this has caused the world no end of hurt.

Posted by: RD Padouk | June 12, 2008 7:31 PM | Report abuse

I was gonna say som...

Ooo! Something shiny!

And another one!

Sparkles are your friends.

Umm... why is everybody looking at me?

Oooo! Something shinier!

Gotta run now... something even shinier shined...


Posted by: martooni | June 12, 2008 7:39 PM | Report abuse

Every time you guys start talking about Mianus I want to mention a village of a town hereabouts, but I always forget. So here's another one for you to have fun with - Assinippi.

Posted by: Bad Sneakers | June 12, 2008 7:44 PM | Report abuse

Here's the Wired article written by Neal Stephenson about undersea cables.

A lot of his research ended up as background in 'Cryptonomicon' which had an important subplot about undersea cables in and around the Philippines.

Posted by: yellojkt | June 12, 2008 7:51 PM | Report abuse

Some of those arguments in that Atlantic article also remind me of Edward Tufte's rants against Powerpoint. They also seem reminiscent of criticisms of the rapid pace of modern life, which, I believe date back to The Reformation.

And these should all be taken seriously. But since Lamarckian evolution has pretty much gone out of style, I think their influence can be overstated. Our brains are not being rewired, just mucked with a bit.

Everyone simply needs to work hard to shake off outside influences and reach that state of Zen-like bliss in which hours can be lost in the deep concentration of a book.

And people must have the intellectual integrity to recognize that such leisure is important and not indicative of insignificance.

I recommend, of course, happy bunnies to facilitate the process.

But, in a pinch, bunny slippers have been known to work as well.

Posted by: RD Padouk | June 12, 2008 7:56 PM | Report abuse

Yes, looks like that, Yellojkt. Great stuff but it prints out much longer than you'd assume from a quick scrollthrough. I exported it to WP and it was 62 pages there, and over 42K words long.

Glad I read it in hardcopy, very interesting stuff, and I'm glad he wrote a novel based on it.

Posted by: Wilbrod | June 12, 2008 8:01 PM | Report abuse

'tooni - are you talking a belt sander or a stationary unit? I recently bought a Ryobi, which I know is not a well-regarded brand - but I am just a hobbyist. I am having an insane amount of fun with it. When you are used to hand sanding, the power of, well, power can be quite stimulating.

My wife gets annoyed by the maniacal laughter coming up from the basement.

Posted by: RD Padouk | June 12, 2008 8:03 PM | Report abuse

Where are my manners? I have forgotten to wish Cassandra a very happy birthday. Consider it done.

I've been playing with the AchenWiki and added a birthday calendar and added "Mianus" to the glossary.

Joel mentioned an example of entropy as adding milk to coffee. But Maxwell's Barista can just separate the cold milk and the hot coffee back out and everything is as good as new.

Posted by: yellojkt | June 12, 2008 8:05 PM | Report abuse

All I want for Father's Day is a nice bottle of Shiraz and some pancakes.

Not, necessarily, at the same time.

Posted by: RD Padouk | June 12, 2008 8:07 PM | Report abuse

There's a birthday girl around here? Many happy returns, Cassandra!

Posted by: Wilbrod | June 12, 2008 8:08 PM | Report abuse

My attention span isn't what it used to be, not sure if it's the computer or age or what. I've been reading 'A Team of Rivals' for months. I am truly enjoying it, but it is such a heavy book, and I mean weight-wise, that I can only read it when I'm lying down. On the other hand, I picked up a book last week called 'Stiff' which is about dead bodies, and I read it in a few days. It was very interesting, if a bit gruesome in parts, or should I rephrase that...

I think I'd generally read more steadily if the subject was fiction because I'd be looking forward to finding out the ending. Non-fiction books are slowing me down.If we could fast forward thru time, I could finish what I've started but if time goes backwards they'll be way too much reading to do. As to Tim's 'particle pair production' I might have just the vaguest notion what that all means but I know if I try to think about it my brain will seize up.

Posted by: Bad Sneakers | June 12, 2008 8:20 PM | Report abuse

Bad Sneakers... I'd rather find myself in Assinippi than Penissnippi. Just sayin'. ;-)

(no way this post is getting past the filter)

RD... the sander I currently have is the Ryobi you speak of... a palm sander (though I rarely work with wood from palm trees or do *anything* with coconuts). But for $30, it's been one hell of a trooper for the past two months and it ain't dead yet. Just in the throes. It keeps telling me it feels like dancing, but I don't believe it. The $70 Ridgid I had before it lasted about two weeks before its base literally flew off while I was sanding a piece.

In other words, never lend me your power tools. (unless they're insured and you want new ones)

Posted by: martooni | June 12, 2008 8:39 PM | Report abuse

A while ago on the Chris Matthews show I saw my very first "" ad, featuring John Cusack superglueing McCain to Arbusto. A pretty effective ad, I thought (considering I thought most of MoveOn's stuff counterproductive).

And now watching self-same J. Cusack in "High Fidelity." Didn't realize Annie Lennox's "Waiting in Vain" was part of the sound track.

yello, yer guy Ron Paul finally threw in the towel. Quitter. (Just kidding about the "quitter" part.)

Posted by: Curmudgeon | June 12, 2008 8:43 PM | Report abuse

It made it through! I can't believe it!

Did somebody slip Hal a Mickey?

Posted by: martooni | June 12, 2008 8:48 PM | Report abuse

Just wanted to pop in to say I had a lovely day. We're getting ready for the summer program with the kids, and we got some stuff worked out with that. Then, I went to a Bible study later on and enjoyed that too. On the way back, lost my hub cap, and rode around trying to find it, but did not. I found another hub cap so I might just use that.

The g-girl called me this morning and said happy birthday, and showed up this afternoon on the bus. She didn't stay long, but did get some cake. I haven't heard from my grandsons, but I'm suppose to see them the weekend.

All in all, a good day. Once again, thanks for the birthday wishes.

Time for bed. Night, boodle. Sweet dreams.

Posted by: cassandra s | June 12, 2008 8:56 PM | Report abuse

Wait! Cassandra, before you go, Happy Birthday!

Posted by: Maggie O'D | June 12, 2008 9:05 PM | Report abuse

Did anybody else happen to catch Keith Olbermann's broadcast tonight?

My God did he give McCain a reaming.

I was with him all the way, but even I got a bit squeamish at certain points and thought "you go, guy... I thought I had cajones, but you got *caJOnes*. And thank you for having them."

Posted by: martooni | June 12, 2008 9:10 PM | Report abuse

I said "High Fidelity." I meant "Serendipity."

Posted by: Curmudgeon | June 12, 2008 9:21 PM | Report abuse

Slyness, yes! I get way too much nonfiction on the 'net... or fiction masquerading as nonfiction, leastways.

Fiction rubs that cramped part of the brain for me.

Posted by: Wilbrod | June 12, 2008 10:01 PM | Report abuse

martooni, the re-run of Keith Olberman's show is coming on now and you've whet my appetite for the slashing he's gonna give McCain.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | June 12, 2008 10:04 PM | Report abuse

Happy birthday, dear Cassandra. Blessings to day and each day.

Still ribby; hard to sit and type. Thinking of all you you. Pondering this kit: brain expanding and contracting in response to ideas.

Hey, the only direction that matters for me is forward, forward, forward, as in sally forth. Sal comes from latin, and means "jumps up!" "Salire" in military speak was originally a sudden rush out of a besieged position. The move was to surprise the enemy. "Sally" in this original sense first appeared around 1560,

Posted by: College Parkian | June 12, 2008 10:12 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: Anonymous | June 12, 2008 10:16 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: Boko999 | June 12, 2008 10:18 PM | Report abuse

Iirc Dildo's quite near Come By Chance hard by Conception Bay

Posted by: Boko999 | June 12, 2008 10:29 PM | Report abuse

Cassandra, I hope your birthday day was wonderful!

Posted by: nellie | June 12, 2008 10:41 PM | Report abuse

That Atlantic article about Google was way too long to read all the way through. Don't they have editors? Gotta run and text. Ciao.


Posted by: bill everything | June 12, 2008 11:05 PM | Report abuse

Watched Keith Olbermann for the first time.

I liked what he had to say regarding McCain's flipflopping and lack of attention on Iraq, although I couldn't resist thinking Jon Stewart would have done a better delivery.

It's labelled "news" but it seems to be more a newsmagazine with opinion. That said, Dick Cheney redux in a McCain administration is scary.

Posted by: Wilbrod | June 12, 2008 11:06 PM | Report abuse

Thinking back to time, Science's new issue has a focus on forests (some very interesting stuff on China, where a former grad-student friend gets to study the flora). Probably not by coincidence, a short paper on the germination and growth of a date seed also appears in the issue.

The seed has been convincingly dated (from fragments obtained after it germinated) to the Roman period in Judea. The seed was one of a number found at the fortress of Masada.

This is far and away the most ancient seed ever to produce a plant. The young palm was in the news a while back and was discussed at the International Palm Society's web forum, but it's great to have the information formally published in a prime journal.

Genetic testing is consistent with the notion that it came from a local cultivated palm. At the time, the region was famous for its dates (the report cited Pliny the Elder), but a few centuries later, essentially none were left.

Nice news stories at the Guardian and New Scientist.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | June 12, 2008 11:18 PM | Report abuse

Christmastime. At a theater near you. Brad Pitt. Ages backward. "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button."

First trailer released in Spanish on YouTube.

Posted by: Loomis | June 12, 2008 11:22 PM | Report abuse

I don't think you'll be disappointed, Mudge.

He didn't just make a point, but damn near a Supreme Court case based on a history of McCain speaking, "mis-speaking" or "just not getting it". Or all three. And even gave him the benefit of extended clips to show context.

Curious to hear your take on it.

I don't despise McCain in the way I do Bush and Cheney -- what the hell... this guy didn't buy his way out or use family connections to keep himself out of war or harm's way. But the "straight talker" seems to be more of a "sidewinder" to me, especially after Olbermann's well-informed and extremely well-packaged F-U to him tonight.

Which has me thinking (which can be dangerous)...

If we were to all pitch in and get Joel some stylish glasses (rectangular wire frames) and a nice suit and haircut, maybe, just maybe, we could get him his own show on MSNBC. They got every other WaPo writer and editor on there 24/7, why not the guy who really knows how things work? ;-)

Posted by: martooni | June 12, 2008 11:23 PM | Report abuse

McCain did some nice votes in the Senate, including the bipartisan American with Disablities Act.

I'd have liked to have seen him win the nomination in 2000, but now? That ship's sailed. 8 years is a long time.

By the way, speaking of the ADA 18 years later.... news concerning a common accessiblity issue:

Posted by: Wilbrod | June 12, 2008 11:52 PM | Report abuse

Very late birthday wishes to Cassandra!

Posted by: frostbitten | June 13, 2008 12:00 AM | Report abuse

Olbermann is definitely opinionated. He has a snarky, Tom Snyder-like edge to his delivery. He's gotten a lot more overtly anti-Bush over the years, and a bit more serious, with his special comments. I used to watch him when I couldn't stand the real news - and I try to watch him most of the time now, but he's on at a time that is harder for me to catch.

Posted by: mostlylurking | June 13, 2008 12:10 AM | Report abuse

bill e - cracked me up!

I like the time forward time backward thing. Very good daydream material.

I don't know...I've always liked Olberman, but lately the hubby and I have this feeling that he's becoming what he beheld...way too much bombast, too many special comments, no dissenting views, perhaps too enamored of the sound of his own voice? Don't get me wrong, I don't necessarily disagree with any of his views but...he seems a little too...too. I saw an ad today that he was going to have a special comment and I winced....hmmmmm.

Leaving for Deep Creek Lake in Maryland tomorrow. My entire family (12 adults, 15 children) except my son will be spending a week in the hills of western MD. My son is one of the Boy's State reps for his school and their weeklong camp coincided with our family vacation. I'm happy that he was chosen, but it doesn't seem right to go on vacation without him.
I think he'll have fun and he might meet Tim Kaine, VA's wonderful governor, so I'm chalking it up to the growing-up-and-mom-better-get-used-to-it narrative.

Anyway, take care everyone!

Posted by: Kim | June 13, 2008 12:15 AM | Report abuse

Belated happy birthday to Cassandra!

Thanks to bc for the shout-out of my earlier reference to the Carroll article in Scientific American. But I made it on a night when hockey and Obama/Clinton issues were paramount. It wasn't gonna get much traction then and I certainly didn't feel a proprietary interest in the subject.

It's one of those subjects that I can spend dozens (or hundreds) of hours reading, thinking, & writing about, but fully understand why it's less-than-enthralling to others of my acquaintance. The nuts & bolts of biological evolution; energy production & conservation; and the history of my distant cousins, the Loomis family...

OK, forget that last one. I usually leave THOSE discussions to someone who knows the subject even better than I.

Posted by: Bob S. | June 13, 2008 1:35 AM | Report abuse

I just knew there had be to hoss thieves and ne'er do wells in the Loomis family tree but we never got to hear about them. So now we know.

Posted by: Boko999 | June 13, 2008 3:29 AM | Report abuse

Belated Happy Birthday, Cassandra.

Congratulations to your cool new home, frostbitten.

Kim, sounds like a fun vacation. Hope you gave a great time.

Frankly, I don't want to go back in time. Too many difficult times, embarrassing moments and stupid mistakes made.

Posted by: rainforest | June 13, 2008 3:49 AM | Report abuse

Good morning all! When I think of time going backwards, I think of all the dreams I've had lately about getting stuck back in high school. I can't sit still and behave. The dreams are more like nightmares.

Yeah! It's the last day of school for all 4 of my kids. They stayed up until midnight and my youngest daughter had a friend sleep over. I'm predicting one heck of a summer vacation.

Posted by: DandyLion | June 13, 2008 5:36 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, Boodle. TGIF.

I saw the Olberman re-run and I agree with martooni that he ripped McCain a new one--not that McCain himself will ever see it. I think the most effective (and devastating) line was something like, "Senator, you sold them [our troops in Iraq] out."

But I also agree with Kim that he can be a bit over-the-top and bombastic. But then, so are all the right wingnuts on the other side, so a little Olberman going over the top is fine by me.

Gotta run.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | June 13, 2008 6:06 AM | Report abuse

I've been watching Olbermann since he started Countdown. It's the only thing on TV that I try not to miss. I do agree he's very close to the edge at times these days but considering what goes on at Faux News, I can't fault him much.

Speaking of MSNBC, I got a notice from Comcast that they are switching that channel, along with four very obscure ones, to digital. This means a new box, or more likely boxes, and more money. I was going to wait until Fios became available here to switch over but this has finally pushed me to Direct TV. I'll be ordering it real soon. Leaving Comcast will be cause for celebration.

Posted by: Bad Sneakers | June 13, 2008 6:49 AM | Report abuse

You have to remember that Olberman comes from a sportscaster background and trademarked that Sports Center fast patter, pun heavy delivery. He bounced around traditional format talk shows for a while until becoming MSNBC's answer to OReally?

He frequently goes way over the top and is a serial violator of Goodwin's Rule.

Posted by: yellojkt | June 13, 2008 7:04 AM | Report abuse

G'morning all. I hope Cassandra is sleeping in a bit after the exertions of yesterday.

Sneaks, Mr. T has Direct TV and is happy with it. The only time we've had problems is when we have a thunderstorm that comes up from the southeast. I guess that's where the satellite is.

Today's agenda is a morning at the fire museum, then we're riding up the mountain for the weekend. I'll check back in this afternoon. You all behave, you hear?

Oh, and Mudge, I hope the repairs to the shop steward's office will be done by then.

Posted by: slyness | June 13, 2008 7:13 AM | Report abuse

I wonder whose rule BBC Radio broke when they compared Rome's new Mayor to Mussolini.
At least the Italian facsists made the trains run on time before leading their country into a disastrous war. Compared to them the American brand resemble Gong show contestants.
And we all know where that ends.

Posted by: Boko999 | June 13, 2008 7:21 AM | Report abuse

Morning all! Last day of school. At 11:30, my daughter becomes a high schooler. Yikes. She survived middle school just fine; in fact, I think she had a pretty good couple of years. Of course, when she looks back, she's the one who'll be saying 'yikes.'

Kim.. that's way cool about your son going to Boys' State. That's a big honor for him and he'll have a great experience. Those kids he meets will be the movers and shakers in a few year--of course, he will too!

A cousin sent this YouTube link. Watch it and think about it if you're thinking of staying home on Nov 4--or voting for McCain...

It's called "I'm Voting Republican!"

Posted by: TBG | June 13, 2008 7:36 AM | Report abuse

TBG. One of my favourite bloggers put that "I'm Voting Republican!" video (I can't watch it, sigh) on his site last night. I'll be interested to campare the boodle's reaction with his commenter's.

Posted by: Boko999 | June 13, 2008 7:45 AM | Report abuse

Happy Friday the Thirteenth!

Posted by: TBG | June 13, 2008 7:54 AM | Report abuse

Great link TBG. And double congrats to you and daughter for making it through middle school. That was not an easy time in my house. Both daughters turned into aliens overnight and I remember trying to determine if me running away from home was better than locking them in their rooms for a few years.

Posted by: Bad Sneakers | June 13, 2008 8:11 AM | Report abuse

Congrats on surviving middle school TBG (and to your daughter too). That is when all the Mean Girls/Queen Bee behavior starts and if you can navigate it successfully in middle school, high school will be a breeze.

Can't watch the video at work, but 30 Rock had an episode where ultra-Republican Jack Donaghy talked Tracy Jordan into doing political ads aimed at African-Americans with the theme "Just Stay Home". They figured that actually appealing to black voters was too hard, so the best they could do was drive down voter turn-out. Just like real life, only funnier.

Posted by: yellojkt | June 13, 2008 8:17 AM | Report abuse

i'm going back home to bed

Posted by: omni | June 13, 2008 8:40 AM | Report abuse

Folks in downtown DC are having problems today. Reports of smoke at Metro Center are slowing down trains. And according to the Post...

"A power outage at a Pepco substation on 10th Street NW has cut electricity to about 10,000 customers in the center city, including Pepco's own headquarters on 9th Street, and at several Metro stations near downtown.

"Power is out at the Dupont Circle, Farragut North, Farragut West and Shaw stations--means that those stations are using emergency lighting, Farbstein said. Trains are still moving, but the fare card machines, elevators and escalators may not be working, Farbstein said."

Posted by: TBG | June 13, 2008 8:49 AM | Report abuse

Aaahhh... which explains why omni is going back home to bed.

Posted by: TBG | June 13, 2008 8:55 AM | Report abuse

Forgot to mention this yesterday, but for Boko and Shriek - McCain is coming to Ottawa to speak about Free Trade - get your tickets early :-)

Posted by: dmd | June 13, 2008 8:58 AM | Report abuse

Kim, I am green with envy (not to be confused with said boodler of the same name) about you going to Deep Creek. What a great place.

Martooni, I got two words about sanders: Porter-Cable. Yeah, they're pricy, but when you consider the number of op-hours you are getting out of the cheap ones, its worth it.

For those boodlers who are soldiers (rather than sailors), happy 233rd birthday to the US Army. Thank you for your service. (I hope I haven't screwed this up like I did the Navy's birthday )greetings.

Posted by: Don from I-270 | June 13, 2008 9:00 AM | Report abuse

Don, this Army vet thanks you for your thanks.

Who asked me about driving tanks? It's quite fun, actually, particularly the M1A1, which can get its 65+ tons up past 40 mph with relative ease... :-)

Back in the offce, but hopefully not for the whole day. Comp time for travel can be a marvelous thing.

*TGIF-even-if-it's-the-13th Grover waves*


Posted by: Scottynuke | June 13, 2008 9:10 AM | Report abuse

Friday the 13th has started off as advertised for me. Lots of water outside a boat is lucky, usually. When you cut huge holes in the bottom for various maintenance actions, and then open the wrong valves on the drydock, not so much.

*Running away, screaming, swearing, and shaking my fist.*

Posted by: Don from I-270 | June 13, 2008 9:15 AM | Report abuse

Was it really George Will who stopped by the Boodle this week to tell us that oil is fungible?

Definition of fungible from the Web:

1. Law: Returnable or negotiable in kind or by substitution, as a quantity of grain for an equal amount of the same kind of grain.
2. Interchangeable.
Something that is exchangeable or substitutable. Often used in the plural.

Today, local columnist Mansour O. El-Kikhia argues that oil isn't fungible in an op-ed titled "Rants on gas prices turn Middle East into scapegoat." This columnist also takes on Bill O'Reilly as doofus in his first graf.

Third, oil is an inelastic commodity, meaning it can't be replaced easily with something else, and prices of scarce, inelastic commodities have nowhere to go but up. And they will rise even higher when the demand increases. The world's new economic powers increased the demand for oil.

LL: As El-Kikhia pints out, if only we had been smarter thirty years ago. Far too late to roll back the clock, i'n'it?:

The developed world was put on notice 30 years ago that an energy catastrophe was in the making and it needed to start acting wisely by investing in new technologies to reduce dependence on fossil fuel. The message fell on deaf ears, resulting in years of irresponsible policies, while misplaced confidence in market forces gave the world gas-guzzlers and inefficient dwellings as well as metropolises lacking efficient non-polluting public transportations.

Posted by: Loomis | June 13, 2008 9:16 AM | Report abuse

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

Good morning, friends. You are so right, Slyness, I did sleep longer. I woke up at the same time, but turned over and decided to get more shut eye. It looks like it's going to be another hot one.

Morning, Mudge, Martooni, Scotty, and all.*waving*

I think I will stay in today. I was out in the heat yesterday, starting early in the morning. The heat drains. It just takes everything.

Keep cool today my friends. Today is Friday the 13th, yuck. The good news, the weekend is almost here. We're suppose to have cooler weather. Now that I can look forward to.

Congrats, TBG, now the work really begins.I've found the water, so it's time to find the kitchen. Breakfast. Have a lovely day all.

I don't want to go back in time. There have been nice times, but it seems the bad times overshadow those good times. The bad times played the lead roles, with moments of nice times in the picture. Small moments. Forward is the way, and although there's the possibility of doing the same things over again, and I certainly hope not, going back isn't an option I care for. And it's not like I don't take responsibility for those things in my life, because I do, they didn't just happen to me, I played a leading role in most of them, but some came from other sources, and I did not ask for them, nor did I want them. Some were experiences that I could have lived without. Oh, but, God is good, and He loves me, and His Son loves me, and one cannot beat that, it is better than anything the world has to offer. It is love in it's highest and best form.

Posted by: cassandra s | June 13, 2008 9:18 AM | Report abuse

Hope you're not all infused with paraskavedekatriaphobia today.

Some say it's superstition (only in Western, Christian-dominated cultures), but the story does remain. Blame Friday the 13th phobia on my distant great- grandpappy Philip the Fair and those Knights Templar?

Posted by: Loomis | June 13, 2008 9:24 AM | Report abuse

Morning all!

Forgot to say congrats on the new digs, frosti!

Very quiet in the office today. Only three of us here. Maybe a good day to muck out my files.

Instead of telling Raysdad about the garage door, I just had him read yesterday's 8:38. He tried to re-create the issue, but couldn't. And it worked fine this morning.

Posted by: Raysmom | June 13, 2008 9:27 AM | Report abuse

If i go back in time, I want to do it Peggy Sue style, knowing what I know now. There have been some high school reunion revelations that could have been quite handy but had I known at the time.

Uh-oh, tune cootie attack:

Wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then
Against the wind
We were runnin' against the wind
We were young and strong, we were runnin'
against the wind

Posted by: yellojkt | June 13, 2008 9:27 AM | Report abuse

People of DC and vicinity, your man Ovechkin just had a banner year:
-Lester B. Pearson Award (NHL Players' Association's most outstanding player)
-Hart Trophy (MVP)
-Maurice Richard Trophy (goals scored) and
-Art Ross Trophy (points scored).

It's the first time a player has won all four of the awards in one season.

Clap, clap, clap, clap!

I'll add that he his the most spectacular player of the league too but there is no trophy for that.

Boko, the video is funny. "I vote Republican because I feel I don't deserve health insurance."

Posted by: shrieking denizen | June 13, 2008 9:30 AM | Report abuse

yello, I've had the same tune cootie all morning. What a Rod Serling moment!

Posted by: Raysmom | June 13, 2008 9:30 AM | Report abuse

Omni, I want to go home and back to bed myself. Though the darkness doesn't bother me, the headache I got from getting through the crowds at Metro Center has me frazzled. I did survive another Metro trip, and my goal for today is to get back to my waterbed.

Posted by: DandyLion | June 13, 2008 9:31 AM | Report abuse

Mornin' Boodlers...

Oi-yoi-yoi... Why must mornings hurt so much? And I'm wearing me own underpants (dang).

Second cuppa tea kicking in... ok now.

Yeah, Olbermann has kinda become the anti-O'Riley. Just as over-the-top, but spilling from the other side -- and with a sense of humor. That said, I too almost always agree with him and try very hard not to miss his show.

His piece last night regarding McCain... I hope somebody in the Obama camp Tivo'd it, because everything the Countdown staff tracked down and put together is just campaign gold. Manna from Election Heaven.

I hope this election doesn't devolve into lobbing Swift Boat ads at each other. It would be so refreshing to see the candidates stick to the issues and their plans for the future. The one proposal McCain has made that I would support is that the two of them do the town hall circuit while traveling together. If nothing else, it would encourage voters to carpool to the voting booth.

Oi-yoi-yoi (again)... just look at the time! So much to do, so little of me to go around. I feel like that rabbit in "Alice in Wonderland".

Peace out and be cool... :-)

Posted by: martooni | June 13, 2008 9:32 AM | Report abuse

Don, your recommendation of the P-C sander is a good one, however, be aware that the seals on the dust collector wear rather quickly and can cause the collector to suddenly pop off, releasing a cloud of dust. The latter is usually accompanied by a verbal tirade. I replaced my P-C with a DeWalt random orbital sander. The dust collector is quite sound and mine has been fairly abused. The upstairs shower is framed and I've started to rough in the plumbing. If you ever take on a project like this, expect the unexpected. The space was formerly occupied by a claw foot bathtub, and the drain line has to be moved. Since this is being stick built, I now have to figure out a way to fabricate the tray above the floor about five inches and simultaneously pitch the tray floor from 1/2" to zero, in order that the shower drains properly. Then, the water lines have to pass through two ceiling joists before proceeding through the existing floor and bottom plate into the wall. Finally, I have to install all of the appropriate wall coverings and tile the inside of the unit to eight feet. The entire unit is hidden with a pocket door and we decided to add a glass block transom above the door for atmosphere. 100 year old pine joists are hard. My body hurts to the roots of every hair follicle.

Happy belated birthday, Cassandra! *faxing a gazillion red and yellow roses because the boodle loves you and you are a dear imaginary friend*

Posted by: jack | June 13, 2008 9:33 AM | Report abuse

Here's a look at the presidential campaign from the St Petersburg Times. Could Obama win the popular vote by a substantial margin but still lose the election?

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | June 13, 2008 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Seems the Friday the 13th curse has struck downtown DC: fire on the tracks near the Dupont Circle metro, plus "massive" power outage in central downtown area. Red Line metro route affected.

Over here on the banks of the bonny Anacostia, we are unaffected. Only downtown peeps are omni, TBG and mo, I think. And my youngest daughter. (Maybe power's out in her building; she hasn't e-mailed me 27 times, as she usually does.) (No, she'd have called me 27 times on her cellphone.)

Posted by: Curmudgeon | June 13, 2008 9:48 AM | Report abuse

btw, the DeWalt in question is a 420 series random orbital sander and if you're cosmologically inclined, you might be able to figure out the cosmological constant linked to the annual shedding of dogs' and cats' coats and the summer solstice. We have hair tumble weeds all about the house. Excuse me while I hack up this hair ball...*huck...huck...huck...aaaaaakkk...*

Posted by: jack | June 13, 2008 9:49 AM | Report abuse

Last post this morning, but most important, in my opinion.

Did any of you catch the guest-appearance of NYT op-ed columnist Gail Collins on MSNBC's Morning Joe program this a.m.? I came in half-way during the segment, I believe. No Internet link to Collin's remarks on the Morning Joe show are avilable yet.

Collins was on the show to discuss the article in the NYT this morning by Katherine Q. Seelye and Julie Bosman titled "Media Charged With Sexism in Clinton Coverage." (For those interested, Seelye did another fascinating bit of reporting on May 25, in The Caucus, about Obama and Olbermann.)

Today's NYT reporting hints at this video op-ed by Katie Couric, now available on YouTube:

Did any of you watch, immediately following Clinton's concession speech last Saturday, the commentary by competing cable networks? Candy Crowley and John King of CNN were gracious and intelligent; Olbermann and Matthews just the opposite--then Tim Russert cut them off.

Posted by: Loomis | June 13, 2008 9:50 AM | Report abuse

Some of you Boodlers with new babies (or grandbabies, which are the best kind to have, given a choice) may want to be aware of this:

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is alerting consumers of a recall Chicco announced on June 2, recalling 18,000 Key Fit and KeyFit 30 car seat bases manufactured between Feb. 26, 2008 and March 17, 2008. The bases covered by this recall are sold with the KeyFit, KeyFit 30, and Contina Travel System as well as separately. Click on title for more information.


Posted by: Curmudgeon | June 13, 2008 9:55 AM | Report abuse

happy belated birthday, cassandra!

Posted by: L.A. lurker | June 13, 2008 9:56 AM | Report abuse

And on a totally different topic, have you noticed how everyone on the boodle has a unique "voice" that's just as recognizable as if you had spoken. Usually within a line or two I know exactly who's posting. Which is why I could never post anonymously or as a sock puppet. I'd out myself.

Posted by: Raysmom | June 13, 2008 9:59 AM | Report abuse

Nostalgia, bc...

Posted by: jack | June 13, 2008 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Happy belated birthday to Ms. Cassandra!

I know it will likely expose the extreme geek in me, but "random orbital sander" sounds like something found on the Wandering Monster tables in D&D.

DM: You hear a buzzing noise coming closer.
Players: We ready our weapons -- are they vorpal wasps?
DM: No -- it's a random orbital sander heading straight for the wizard's staff.
Players: NO!

Posted by: CentrevilleMom | June 13, 2008 10:06 AM | Report abuse

jack... 100 year old pine got nuttin' on 150 year old oak. I worked for a buddy of mine that bought an old building (and the antique store that it housed). It used to be a general store back in the 1850's and was constructed of green oak timber -- was actually golden oak, but they put it in while it's still fresh and let it cure in place. Talk about hard wood. My God... I can't count how many blades we burned through trying to turn the top floor into apartments.

I did salvage some of the larger scraps and tried ripping them down on my table saw. Two blades later, I had a small (very small) pile of 3/8" x 4" oak boards that were absolutely beautiful (but nearly impossible to work with). I ended up making jewelry boxes out of them, but dang... that stuff killed more than a few tools. Was like trying to saw through granite with a nail file.

On the 420 sander... I bet that's one "kind" smokin' tool every glaucoma test pilot would love to have in his kit. "Dood! This'll give you one *smooth* buzz!" ;-)

Posted by: martooni | June 13, 2008 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Jack and martooni, now you know why they used to build those warships out of that stuff (oak) and how "Old Ironsides" got her nickname.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | June 13, 2008 10:17 AM | Report abuse

I do little art boxes in Oak and Mahogany. Mahogany is easy to cut and sand. Oak will break your heart. And your blades.

Hey - taking off early for the weekend. The Mrs. and the Son are heading down south to check out this place called "William and Mary."

So I will be at home for about 32 hours with a 13-year old daughter with issues.

It's been good knowin' ya.

Posted by: RD Padouk | June 13, 2008 10:23 AM | Report abuse

jack... regarding your 9:33 AM post... will you marry me?

Raysmom... Yes! I can usually tell who's written in just a line or two.

Do you also have an urge to reply to a commenter personally on other blogs? I always have to stop myself from doing it. Somehow I think anything I direct at a commenter somewhere else won't quite be taken the way I meant it.

Posted by: TBG | June 13, 2008 10:24 AM | Report abuse

No, no, no,! TBG -- I am asking Jack to marry me and mess about in my bathroom infrastructure.

Posted by: College Parkian | June 13, 2008 10:35 AM | Report abuse

I think a Command Electrical Elemental spell would work on a random orbital sander...


Posted by: Scottynuke | June 13, 2008 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Sorry ladies you have competition - please see yesterdays post about hubby's skills around the house. Although he is good entertainment.

Posted by: dmd | June 13, 2008 10:44 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, all.

I've had a busy morning already, and am still without Internet at the house due to the storms earlier this week. I hope it will be fixed by the weekend...

Kim, I've spent lots of time camping out near Deep Creek; it's a great place. I know you'll enjoy the weekend.

jack, thanks for that link to that article. I'm an olde tyme Mopar guy, and that's a good 'un. Love those old B body-B/RB-engined cars. That piece makes me miss my old Road Runners...(maybe I'll call my friend with the '69.5 440 Six-Pack 4-spd Road Runner, see if he'll let me take it for a spin soon).

As has been pointed out, Friday the 13th is starting off badly for DC and the Metro system... oy vey.

Scottynuke, glad your trip went well, hope you aren't too jetlagged.

RD, I hope you have a good Father's Day weekend with The Girl. I suspect you'll actually have a lot of fun.

I have the girls this weekend myself, and it's going to be busy but fun, concluding with a big cookout on Sunday afternoon.

jack, don't forget the 24 Hours of LeMans is this weekend, starting at 8 AM on Speed. I hope my digital cable is fixed by then, I'd love to catch some of the race - the turbodiesel sports car battle between the super-quick Peugeots and the highly-developed Audis should be a good one in the top LMP1 class, and the Chevy Corvette/Aston Martin battle in GT1 should be fun to watch as well as the Porsche/Ferrari fight in GT2.

Good stuff.

More later, folks.


Posted by: bc | June 13, 2008 10:52 AM | Report abuse

Mercy! You're making me question the wisdom of introducing you to Raysdad. He redid our kitchen a coupla years ago.

Posted by: Raysmom | June 13, 2008 10:56 AM | Report abuse

re the 10:17

Well, gee, the story of Old Ironsides bumps right into the family tree (and another of my distant great-grandpappys) Thomas Dewey of ancient Windsor, Conn., who is the antecedent not only of George Dewey, but Sam Dewey (my cuzs). *laughing out loud*

Having escaped the fire, Constitution ("Old Ironsides" is the nickname) temporarily found herself in an anticlimactic frying pan: the figurehead affair. In her long life she has borne eight or nine bow adornments, starting with a wooden Hercules who, demigod or not, was no match for Moorish cannon balls at Tripoli.

Neptune, his successor, gave way before 1812 to a nonrepresentational carved scroll known as a billethead, or fiddlehead. This went ashore at Constitution Dock, since yard commander Jesse Elliott planned to refit her with a figure of President Andrew Jackson. Maritime Boston, strongly Federalist, thought otherwise.

On the night of July 2, 1834, a young mariner, Samuel Dewey (cousin of one George, who would later command Constitution before moving on to Manila Bay), rowed out, climbed up, sawed off Jackson's head under the noses of the Marine guard, and escaped. Great and even more furious hubbub ensued, but beneath it all everyone except minor officialdom seems to have kept the affair in perspective as a political prank, and Dewey was not arrested when he brazenly and in person returned the head to the Secretary of the Navy some months later.

Even Old Hickory himself, although he was ailing at the time, is said to have viewed Dewey's impudent exploit with amusement. Meanwhile, the offending effigy had received a new head at New York, which Old Ironsides bore for nearly a quarter century until it was supplanted by a rather more elegant image of the old Indian fighter. This second Jackson figurehead is the one preserved at the Naval Academy today. Since its removal the ship has worn less controversial bow scrolls.

Posted by: Loomis | June 13, 2008 11:00 AM | Report abuse

bc, which cars are James Garner and Yves Montand driving?

Posted by: Curmudgeon | June 13, 2008 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Here's a tune cootie I've had since getting into the office and opening up this boodle...

Time keeps on slippin', slippin', slippin'
Into the futuuuuuuuuuuure.....

No... no.. don't thank me! The pleasure was all mine! Mwah ha ha ha ha...

Posted by: TBG | June 13, 2008 11:01 AM | Report abuse

And to think I was on the verge of giving Jack a suggestion on how to build the base of the shower stall so it slopes down to the drain. Glad I kept my mouth shut. (No offense, ladies, but I'm saving myself for Evangeline Lilly.)

Posted by: Curmudgeon | June 13, 2008 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Mudge... I already knew about Old Ironsides. In fact, I seem to remember reading a book... what the heck was it {* googling *}... doh... nuttin'. But I did find the USS Constitution homepage. "Owned and operated by the U.S. Navy since 1797."

Now that's a ship in it for the long haul.

It's amazing how much oak hardens as it ages. Hard as rock, but never gets brittle. Kinda like you, buddy. ;-)

Posted by: martooni | June 13, 2008 11:06 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: Curmudgeon | June 13, 2008 11:12 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: Curmudgeon | June 13, 2008 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Just about to disappear for the day, but before I do, a coupla things to interject.

First, Cassandra -- your bd came and went and I didn't acknowledge it, so now I am. After all, sweetie, you do get (as do we all) the entire year to celebrate and today is one more day. So, abundance of joy and happiness for your year (however, um, many it may be).

Second, Jack -- I'm in line, too, babe. Men with tools -- who know what to do with them -- much, *much* better than a man in uniform. Right, fellow female boodlers???

See y'all. I could be lurking over the weekend, but I've gotta take my house guest back over to Dulles tomorrow afternoon (let us hope before the scheduled storms get in gear).


Posted by: firsttimeblogger | June 13, 2008 11:15 AM | Report abuse

The front page of yesterday's WaPo "express" had a large photo of National Guard members in Vinton, Iowa waist-deep in flood fighting efforts. The caption read, in part, "Officials warned new rainfall would boost expected record crestfalls across the state."

"Crestfalls"? Is that a word? If it is, then (in the immortal words of Inigo Montoya) I do not think it means what they think it means!

On the other hand, I certainly understand that the flooding will cause many to feel crestfallen.

Posted by: Bob S. | June 13, 2008 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Bob S., I believe you are correct: on a quick search for "crestfall", I turned up a theatrical work, a punk band, and a ser of gauntlets for World of Warcraft, but nothing related to flooding.

(Admittedly, I'm tickled at the mental image of thousands of actors filling the streets, monologuing at the top of their lungs. Much nicer than the reality.)

Posted by: CentrevilleMom | June 13, 2008 11:33 AM | Report abuse

It's not in my big desk dictionary, nor on several online dictionaries I checked, including Oxford. Rivers and floods crest, but they do not crestfall, so far as I'm aware. I think somebody screwed up.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | June 13, 2008 11:34 AM | Report abuse

"ser of gauntlets"? Sorry, that should have been "set of gauntlets". And is "monologuing" a word or did I leave out an e?

Posted by: CentrevilleMom | June 13, 2008 11:35 AM | Report abuse

Mudge, Garner and Montand are not driving at LeMans, but Steve McQueen and Jean-Claude Bercuq are.

BTW, this is possibly the best racing movie ever made. It certainly is right there next to "Grand Prix," that's for sure. Far more existential than GP, very "Vanishing Point," in fact.

McQueen made this movie pretty much by force of will, which the studios supported as a vanity project for him.

From the movie:
Lisa Belgetti: When people risk their lives, shouldn't it be for something very important?

Michael Delaney: Well, it better be.

Lisa Belgetti: But what is so important about driving faster than anyone else?

Michael Delaney: Lotta people go through life doing things badly. Racing's important to men who do it well.

When you're racing, it's life.

Anything that happens before or after is just waiting.


For guys like me, that's deliciously over-the-top dialogue, roughly equivalent to the "I love the smell of napalm in the morning" bit from Apocalypse Now.

Sadly, in both cases, there are people who may actually feel that way.


Posted by: bc | June 13, 2008 11:37 AM | Report abuse

bc.. I always thought that was just a movie about a Pontiac.

Posted by: TBG | June 13, 2008 12:06 PM | Report abuse

bc, I see a few familiar names in the leading teams for the "24 heures du Mans". Wurz, Villeneuve, good old Ricardo Z, Montagny, Klien, etc. Let me make a prediction, one set of Peugeot 908 drivers will be on the podium. Ha!
(4 of the first 8 teams are on 908s. 8 of the 12 fastest times were set on 908s as well.) It would be nice to see Peugeot back in North America one day.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | June 13, 2008 12:12 PM | Report abuse

{* brushing off sawdust *}

ftb... Being a "handy" kind of guy, I would like to wholeheartedly stand behind your observation that "handy" men are much more useful than "dandy" men (not implying that uniformed men are "dandies", but they do spend an unnatural amount of time polishing stuff).

However, I think Mrs. M would wholeheartedly disagree, solely on the point of the perpetual presence and volume of sawdust that gets tracked in or blown into the house.

I try to help, but dusting and sweeping when covered in the stuff is kinda counterproductive.

Posted by: martooni | June 13, 2008 12:16 PM | Report abuse

If you were ever lucky enough to see Frankenheimer's "Grand Prix" on the big screen in 70mm Cinerama, you will never forget it. The. Best. Racing. Film. Ever.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | June 13, 2008 12:31 PM | Report abuse

TBG, I always thought it amusing how American auto manufacturers' marketing departments - particularly GM - used European racing cues for product names to lend an exotic sporty image.

Especially when the cars were not exactly sports cars. Monte Carlo, Monza, LeMans, Grand Prix, GTO (amazingly cribbed from Ferrari without a whimper), I'm sure I'm forgetting even more.

Domestically, we had Bonneville, Daytona and Sebring just to name a few...

sd, speaking of Sebring, Peugeot brought a 908 over to run the 12 Hour this past March, as a way to gauge themselves against the Audi R10s. Interestingly, the bumpy Florida WWII-era airbase and the slower class traffic (several classes are racing at the same time) was too much for the Audis and Peugeot, and one of Roger Penske's (yes, *that* Roger Penske) LMP2 Porsche Spyders took the overall win with a relatively trouble-free run. The 908 turbodiesels are super-fast, but seem to be somewhat fragile. 7-time LeMans winner Tom Kristensen's driving for Audi, teamed with speedy Scot Allan McNish and Dindo Capello - a *very* experienced team and the guys to watch in the last 6 hours, IMO. In order to finish first, first ya gotta finish, eh?

I don't think we'll see Peugeot in the US anytime soon, but for an Italian boy like me, seeing Alfa Romeo back on these shores soon will be nice.

And martooni, Mudge isn't brittle, he's ossified.


Posted by: bc | June 13, 2008 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Hmmmmmmmmmm. Interesting. We could have the makings of a Thunderdome death match here: bc in his gladiator outfit claiming "Le Mans" is the best racing film ever, versus K-guy, wearing his Seven Samurai outfit, arguing for "Grand Prix." Ladies and gentlement, boys and girls, two men enter, one man leaves.

Me, I'd think seriously about tossing "A Man and a Woman" into the mix, although I have to admit it's less of a "racing" movie than it is a love story. But it clearly has the best music -- and best "driving" music -- of the three.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | June 13, 2008 12:48 PM | Report abuse

I'm not a particularly handy guy, but my wife did seem duly impressed and quite appreciative when I replaced a can light over the mantle with a track fixture.

If I can get the ceiling fan in the bedroom replaced without destroying anything it could really be my lucky day.

Posted by: yellojkt | June 13, 2008 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Exhibit "A":

Posted by: Curmudgeon | June 13, 2008 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Oh. Sure. Now I see the truth. Women *say* that what they want is a sensitive kind of fellow. You know, one that will help do the dishes and then sit around talking about feelins' and stuff. But what they really want is a chiseled stud-muffin with a special aptitude for the hydraulic nail gun and wardrobe limited to duct-tape thongs.

Fine. Be that way.

Posted by: RD Padouk | June 13, 2008 12:54 PM | Report abuse

No discussion of racing movies can neglect that Carradine/Stallone classic, Death Race 2000. 'Nuff said.

Posted by: yellojkt | June 13, 2008 1:00 PM | Report abuse

bc's right about me being ossified. If I took a calcium supplement I've have skin like a clamshell.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | June 13, 2008 1:00 PM | Report abuse

RD, Pssst. The answer(s) to your question(s) are in the Christine Lavin Song

Song Lyrics:
Who like to talk about their feelings?
(Sensitive new age guys.)
Who's into crystals, into healing?
(Sensitive new age guys.)
Who like to dress like Richard Simmons?
(Sensitive new age guys.)
Who are hard to tell from women?
(Sensitive new age guys.)
Who like to cry at weddings?
Who think boxing is upsetting?
Who tapes "Thirtysomething" on their VCR,
Who's got "Baby on Board" stickers on their cars, oh,
(Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh)

Whose last names are hyphenated?
(Sensitive new age guys.)
Who like, "Three Men and a Baby", a movie I hated?
(Sensitive new age guys.)
Whose consciousness is constantly raising?
(Sensitive new age guys.)
Whose tax free income is amazing?
(Sensitive new age guys.)
Who thinks that red meat is disgusting?
Who's into UFO's, channeling, and usting?
Who believes us when we say we've got premenstrual syndrome?
Who doesn't know who plays in the Seattle Kingdome?

Who likes music that repetitious?
(Sensitive new age guys.)
Who likes music that's repetitious?
(Sensitive new age guys.)
Who's concerned about your [brass ring, bedside; begins with o}? (silence)
Well, I guess it's more important that they have 'em.
(Sensitive new age guys.)
Who carries the baby on his back?
Who thinks Shirley MacLaine is on the inside track?
Who always sings on sing-alongs,
Even when they can't stand stupid sing-along songs?
(jammin DIA)

Christine, with regular-Joe audience participation here.

Posted by: College Parkian | June 13, 2008 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, you placed a murderous "cha bada bada, cha bada bada, ba da ba" tune cootie in my head. It needs to be surgically removed NOW.

Trivia: Jean-Louis Trintignant wanted to be a race driver like his uncle, as a young man. Instead; he spent three years in Algeria on the République's dime.
Maurice T. won the Mans in 1954.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | June 13, 2008 1:09 PM | Report abuse

RD.. we'll take little, bald, skinny guys in jeans and t shirts or shirt and tie if they can redo a bathroom or a kitchen.

Posted by: TBG | June 13, 2008 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Didn't know all that, Shriek. This from wikipedia: "From a wealthy family, he is the nephew of race car driver, Louis Trintignant, who was killed in 1933 while practicing on the Péronne racetrack in Picardie. His other uncle, Maurice Trintignant (born 1917), was a Formula One driver who twice won the Monaco Grand Prix as well as the 24 hours of Le Mans."

And I didn't realize he had the lead opposite Bardot in the famous/infamous "And God Created Woman." I guess it was because nobody was looking at *him.*

Posted by: Curmudgeon | June 13, 2008 1:24 PM | Report abuse

TBG, I can get you an overweight, bald, beerbellied, smelly guy with terminal plumbers crack. He *does* do kitchens and bathrooms. (Nailgun sold seperately.)

Posted by: Don from I-270 | June 13, 2008 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Sensitive New Age Guys is my anthem. I'm trying to keep it from becoming Bald Headed Men.

Posted by: yellojkt | June 13, 2008 1:50 PM | Report abuse

YJ -- Even if the Bald Headed Men song applies more than you wish, over the years, you can always sing the Cold Pizza for Breakfast song.

Posted by: College Parkian | June 13, 2008 2:02 PM | Report abuse

New kit!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Curmudgeon | June 13, 2008 2:09 PM | Report abuse

sd, I actually did know that about the Trintignant family. Interesting bunch, IIRC.

Mudge, I can't see that YouTube Link from here, and my Internet at home might be out for awhile...

Having said that, k-guy, "Grand Prix" is a great film, but a little hokey from a real racer's perspective. "LeMans" did not have anywhere near the budget of GP, but captures more of what racers and long distance racing was/is really like than GP did of real GP racing.

You'll have to trust me on that last, I suppose.

OK, I have to check out now, if you don't see me in the Boodle over the weekend, it's not that I don't want to be here, it's that my internet connection isn't all that Comcastic.


Posted by: bc | June 13, 2008 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Hi, my name is Natasha Chamberlin, I have designed an online magazine, and I wondered if possible if you could kindly share some of your helpful information with the magazine, and if you would like to advertise your business in my magazine?

I have designed the magazine in hope of helping people in many way's, I have created an helpline section, aliens and different dimentions, supernatural and lots of other sections, but am finding it hard to find helpful information which is not copy right. Please feel free to take a look, advertise or leave helpful information if you like.

All contributing and advertising is free of charge.

Many Thanks

Natasha Chamberlin

Posted by: NATASHA CHAMBERLIN | June 25, 2008 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Time can't run backward because it doesn't move. Does distance move? No. Seriously, we move, not time. Time in physics is a quantity, like volume or weight, so it can be added or subtracted, but that's not the same as moving. It makes me feel crazy that people smarter than me are confused about the nature of something so elementary as time.

Posted by: jhbyer | June 27, 2008 11:24 PM | Report abuse

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