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Nothing Fishy About It

[Just getting organized here, making my list of things to do, which, sadly, always overlaps with my list of things I will never accomplish. It occurs to me that I need to buy a new car. Mine has 103,000 miles on it. This morning I would describe its mood as sluggish, petulant and strangely wheezy. Like it had water in the tank. (Or am I describing myself??) I should go buy a car, but new or used? And could I get a loan? What's my credit score? What score do you need these days to get a car loan? Would the bank view me and my portfolio more favorably if I explained the dramatic improvements I've made, crab-grass-wise, in my lawn? Since I went to the corn gluten?

Also I can point out the brightening of my long-term financial picture since I abandoned my dreams and aspirations. There's financial stability in despair: You take fewer chances that can blow up in your face.]


[I'm going to spend the morning reading the fine print on the bailout bill. And the footnotes. And the appendices. Not that I am suspicious of it - I simply don't know how the Treasury secretary will be able to make a judgment on the value of malodorous securities, or how the purchase of such things will either loosen up credit or stabilize housing prices or help people restructure mortgages or anything like that.]

Now for something completely different, my story in the Style section today:

The new Ocean Hall riots with so much nature that you feel like you're snorkeling through a coral reef. You could swim in the place -- in a grand old room at the National Museum of Natural History -- for hours and still not see all the marvels.

Just the shells are amazing, each as pretty as its name: queen conch, triton's trumpet, shinbone tibia, sea butterfly, Atlantic deer cowrie, wavy clio, Reeve's turban, purple bubble-raft snail.

You'll come across the skull of Dunkleosteus, jaw bones sharpened like teeth. This is a creature that doesn't appear safe to approach even though it's been dead for more than 350 million years. A few feet away gapes the maw of Carcharodon, the giant great whale shark, a term that doesn't seem so redundant when you see it in person.

Five years in the making and opening to the public today, the Sant Ocean Hall, named after philanthropists Victoria and Roger Sant, may never become as popular as the dinosaur hall (what can compete with that?), but it is a vast improvement over the old ocean hall, demolished a full decade ago.

The museum needed its ocean back. Museum Director Cristián Samper had an overriding directive as he supervised this, the first major project in his five-year tenure: "I said this couldn't be a hall just about fish."

Click here to keep reading.

By Joel Achenbach  |  September 29, 2008; 9:12 AM ET
 
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Next: 'The Real Economy'

Comments

Speaking of dinosaurs, the car I have with the fewest miles on it has 157,000, and that's a cheap domestic compact.

Do the proper maintenance, and it'll last, Joel.

Reposted from previous Boodling:

"The overseas markets were down a lot last night, and the Dow's down over 200 after less than an hour of trading.

Granted, as volitile as things have been lately, it's entirely possible that the market could be up 500 at the end of the day.

I think people remain skeptical of the Bailout Stone. Probably would have been better if someone other than the President announced it this AM. Like Paris Hilton or Lindsay Lohan.

bc"


Posted by: bc | September 29, 2008 9:59 AM | Report abuse

bc,
I see all those anti-bailout polls and I wonder what people are really thinking. I don't like the bailout, but I know that the current banking environment is choking business. Lacking an alternative, what can we do? If a better plan comes up and/or an additional approach, I am all ears.

Right now, there is no working capital that may be borrowed regardless of credit scores. One of the things that we talked about is how the corporate takeover guys have spent last last decade raiding the bank accounts of the large corporations and then loading them up with debt.

We don't have that many healthy corporations around right now.

Posted by: Dolphin Michael | September 29, 2008 10:07 AM | Report abuse

From Joel's article.
"The ocean's current situation is hardly a laughing matter."

The ocean's 'current' situation is a laugh riot.

Posted by: Boko | September 29, 2008 10:15 AM | Report abuse

DM, I agree something needs to be done, but this Administration's track record on having good plans for big efforts out of the gate is, well, poor.

Certainly not confidence-inspiring, anyway.

I don't have a better idea, and I agree that it ought to be passed and signed wth provisions for modification down the line.

Actually, there's a very good chance of that sooner rather than later, with at least a 50/50 chance of a new Administration come January 20th, and who knows how different the composition of the House and Senate will be at that point?

bc

Posted by: bc | September 29, 2008 10:20 AM | Report abuse

That place looks pretty cool,how far is it from the site of the mega BPH? and can I take my pole?

I was intent on going fishing yesterday,especially after we lost power.I went to the river and it was flooding and muddy,usually not good fishing conditions....but I figured what the heck. As soon as I got the boat to the river,it started pouring and I mean pouring. By the time I got it back on the boat rack and back to my car I was soaked to the bone.

I am sure the river is even higher today,but it is sunny and warm....hmmmmmm

Posted by: greenwithenvy | September 29, 2008 10:21 AM | Report abuse

"This is an ocean planet."

Continuous showings of Waterworld, anyone?

Posted by: yellojkt | September 29, 2008 10:22 AM | Report abuse

One other thing to add, Joel -

Your petulant car may simply need at tune-up. New fluids, plugs, wires, and filters (gas, oil, and air), might wake your sled up.

At 103,000 mi. I hope to goodness you've changed the timing belt. That drivetrain in your car is famous for tossing them at 90k or so - if you haven't addressed that you're living on borrowed time [insert your own joke about the current econofinancial crisis here].

bc

Posted by: bc | September 29, 2008 10:25 AM | Report abuse

The Wachovia story is a fast-mover, journalistically, and certainly all the details aren't known. As far as my husband's job, who knows? (And yes, Wachovia is the banco du jour.)

I suggested to him that it probably depends on the type of data he manages...if it's banking retail, then that would appear to be safe(r). It's it's the loan data, then that would appear to perhaps be iffy(ier)...and that's a huge guess or speculation on my part.

We have sketchy info this morning...husband heading into the "reassuring phone call" I think--or hope (I know he'll have the phone conference and simply assumne his manager will attempt to be reassuring)--this morning. The deal probably won't be completely finalized until later this year. The retail brokerage ops HQ (formerly A.G. Edwards) will remain in St. Louis. Wachovia's retail banking ops HQ will remain in Charlotte, N.C.

Scuttlebut (and again, I certainly don't know how reliable or unreliable the source) is that Citi paid a $1 a share; note that Wachovia shares were trading at about $10 a share on Friday. For anyone who is a Wachovia stockholder, you'll sadly acknowledge that Wachovia has had a big tumble in its stock price since the start of the year.

I do know if my husband were let go--unlikely, I think, by any stretch of the imagination--by Oct. 1, Wednesday, he still would qualify for the earlier generous severance package provided by World Savings. Thereafter, the severance amount would be halved. I'm certain my husband will have more information for me when he comes home tonight, if I don't try to wrangle something out of him earlier, during his lunch hour.

Posted by: Loomis | September 29, 2008 10:26 AM | Report abuse

What a wonderful article, Joel, and a great distraction from the market which, as I write this, is starting to enter the Mariana Trench , where it will doubtless disturb the sea monsters rumored to therein reside.

As I've mentioned before, one of my best friends at work has a degree in Oceanography. She keeps telling me that although the Seas shall survive, they will be different. And, perhaps, not as friendly to us land critters.

When I was a kid the Oceans seemed a lot trendier. Remember Patrick Duffy's star turn as "The Man From Atlantis"? Or "Primus" ? No? Well, probably just as well.

But who can deny the cool factor of Jacques Cousteau, what with the diving saucers and all those croissants? We loved those specials. My older brother, though, really went off the deep end and tried to learn French just so he could hang with the crew of the Calypso. Although he gave up on this, he did learn to scuba dive and has taken thousands of pictures of the watery depths. I know, I have seen them all. There is a lot of life under the water.

And I guess that's what it all comes down to. The Oceans are all about life. Prolific life. Sorta like that United Airlines commercial they showed during the Olympics, but without the creepy factor.

I mean, sure, outer space is cool and all, but inner space provides a lot more company.

Posted by: RD Padouk | September 29, 2008 10:30 AM | Report abuse

The Washinton Post trio reporting the Citi and Wachovia merger has the scoop:

"Citigroup will pay the Charlotte-based Wachovia about $2.16 billion, or $1 per share, for its banking operations. Wachovia will retain its wealth management and brokerage operations."

Posted by: Loomis | September 29, 2008 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Good story, Joel. I just wish you hadn't sullied it with references to that horrible George person. (No, not Washington. The other one, who didn't grow up near the ocean, except for the time he was born in New Haven, CT [distance to saltwater: mebbe a mile], went to school in Andover, MA [distance to saltwater: 28 miles] and time spent in Kennebunkport, ME, where he had a Maine driver's license until his DUI [distance to saltwater: 15 to 20 feet, sometimes less].)

As it happens, just lat evening I was touting the splendors of the Ocean Hall to a Boodler who is coming to town for the MegaBPH.

However, I must needs pick a nit over "We are, indeed, terrestrial creatures, naturally biased toward the land, the atmosphere, things that run and things that fly." Ahem. To the extent this is true, it is more by chance than by choice. Leaving that nice, comfortable amniotic sack wasn't my idea, buster, and I'm still a bit chuffed about it; and I've been trying to get back to the sea and saltwater ever since. As for "things that run," well, running was never exactly my forte, so to speak, except for my nose and the float valve in the downstairs hall toilet. And when you mention "things that fly," I'm thinking mostly: "food fight!"

Other than that, good article.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | September 29, 2008 10:32 AM | Report abuse

I really liked Waterworld Yello,I could watch it over and over again. I thought Dennis Hopper(head of the Smokers) as the deacon was great.A crazy leader with a sense of humor.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | September 29, 2008 10:36 AM | Report abuse

RD,
Around the time I was watching Sealab 2020, everybody I knew wanted to be a marine biologist. That's before they figured out the entry level position in that career is throwing fish at the Marineland dolphin show.

Some people think back on childhood promises of the future and want their jetpacks or flying cars. I want to know where all the undersea cities we were promised went.

Perhaps with global warming, we'll get them yet. Start building that dome over Miami.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 29, 2008 10:37 AM | Report abuse

The comments at Comics Riff have HTML links.

Just sayin'.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 29, 2008 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Not that there's anything remotely funny about the financial situation, but it makes me laugh that WaPo has the current market listings at two places on the homepage, and they don't match.

Posted by: slyness | September 29, 2008 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Verbal Communication and Politics

Word frequencies found in boodle comments for past week:

3 stutter
5 Biden
5 shout
6 communicate
8 argue
10 blink
12 mega
15 voice
16 democrat
16 fight
25 BPH
33 discuss
37 republican
54 Bush
71 Palin
82 talk
150 Obama
226 McCain

* "mega" and "BBH" were thrown in the mix for the heck of it.

Posted by: kitchen counter | September 29, 2008 10:53 AM | Report abuse

yello - Oh yes, I recall SeaLab 2020 very well. (And not just as the cultural antecedent so Sealab 2021 which is quite altogether different...)

Whatever happened to that Marine Biology mystique? Sure, it pops up now and again (Remember Castanza fake-out on Seinfeld?)

I dunno. Maybe Waterworld killed it. Too much hostility.

But I'm totally with you on the underwater city fantasy. And where, I must demand, are our personal submarines? As a little kid I used to dream about zipping around under the waves in such a vehicle.

Of course, As I got older these fantasies did involve a few more mermaids.

Posted by: RD Padouk | September 29, 2008 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Mornin' all...

Been busier than a cat on fire in a room full of nuns with shovels.

Joel... go used. Let someone else take the instant depreciation hit. And go pre-1970 and cool. Like a Mustang or GTO or something. As long as you don't wrap it around a tree it'll increase in value (or at least not depreciate as much or as quickly as new cars do) and it'll turn many more heads than a brand new anything under $20K.

I'm still trying to figure out my position on the bailout thing -- as if my position would matter, but still. The more I hear about it, the less it sounds like a mass-dumping of chum into the waters to make the sharks happy and more like salmon farming (how's *that* for an on-kit tie-in?). Of course, salmon farming has its own issues, but there aren't enough wild ones to satisfy our appetite for them. Sounds like what they're doing is creating a farm of sorts where all those holdings -- good, bad or whatever -- can mature in a less volatile environment until being harvested or released back into the wild to live or die on their own with beeping electronic monitors.

I'm still not happy with the fact that this even needs to be done. I still cannot fathom (another sea reference!) how such supposedly smart people can lose billions of dollars. If I lose ten bucks I'm pissed off and gosh-darnit I'm gonna retrace my steps until I find it. To lose billions? That takes more than just plain old stupid.

If they do nothing else, I hope they learn from their mistakes on this -- and learn them well. Because if they come back in 2 or 5 or 10 years and say they need another $750B (or even another dime) they're going to find themselves faced with pitchforks and torches and a bunch of gallows adorned with the nameplates from their corner office doors and desks.

Peace out (and good luck doing it)...

Posted by: martooni | September 29, 2008 10:55 AM | Report abuse

bc,

so true. The fear that I have is that we won't actually help folks in need in this economic downturn. Unfortunately, this is the time that we should be deficit spending to assist those in need. We are focusing on the problems of the corporations and not enough of those who are jobless.

I keep hearing people make the point that we need to address the energy crisis and the opportunities to build a green(-er) energy industry in the USA. Once Bush steps aside, he could join up with McCain and create a Better Battery Company.

-- Dolphie

Posted by: Dolphin Michael | September 29, 2008 10:55 AM | Report abuse

The Hall has my favourite fish, the beautiful Mola mola (sunfish) suspended from the roof. I've seen one or more in a couple of Aquariums I visited but now I've got to add the Ocean Hall to my to-visit list.

I dream of seeing a sunfish (theyv are called moon fish in French and Spanish, to keep the astral theme going) in the wild one day, but the darn things are pretty rare even where they are the most abundant.

It looks like pretty soon when we say "I've got to go to the bank" we'll mean "I have to go to The Bank".

Posted by: shriking denizen | September 29, 2008 10:59 AM | Report abuse

RD, I've been thinking about finances and the Marianas Trench, too.

"...Personally, I think I could use a sub to recover my 401k and other financial instruments. Actually, I'd probably need to get the Trieste out of mothballs and convert her to a salvage bathyscaphe if I want to assess the debris field of my financial future.

bc

Posted by: bc | September 17, 2008 10:12 AM"

bc

Posted by: bc | September 29, 2008 11:02 AM | Report abuse

I found this link to a lucid but detailed explanation of the bail-out bill:

http://www.clusterstock.com/2008/9/analyzing-the-bailout-what-s-in-it-anyway-

Still sounds like a pig in a poke (lipstick optional).

Posted by: yellojkt | September 29, 2008 11:08 AM | Report abuse

yellojkt reminds me of a Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra concert a decade or so ago. During intermission, I wandered over to the stage for a better look at the big "kitchen" of percussion instruments that had been assembled for the second half. A young percussionist noticed and came over. After explaining that the huge, exotic-looking drum was a very-expensive new one, deployed only when the old one wouldn't do or when two drums were needed (which was the case), the two of us compared vocational notes.

I expressed delight that he'd landed an actual, cool, performing job with a competent orchestra. He pointed out that his college major had been biology and was just as amazed that I was working for a conspicuous program in an environmental agency.

There are some real environmental-professional needs out there. I'd suggest environmental contaminants, hydrology, and ecological modeling. Modeling is of course mathematical, but the math involved is not necessarily difficult. After an intro, you wonder how you ever got by without being in the habit of making simple models--Xcel is extremely useful. Two little books by Anthony M. Starfield introduce the modeling mindset.

The annual open house at the Fish and Wildlife Service's National Conservation Training Center near Shepherdstown, W.Va. is on October 18, 10 am-4 pm.

http://training.fws.gov/featured.html

By the way, their course catalog says quite a lot about needs.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | September 29, 2008 11:08 AM | Report abuse

Bathyscaphe!!!

Yes, That's the Magic Word!!!!!

Posted by: Dolphin Michael | September 29, 2008 11:11 AM | Report abuse

I'm late with this but I just found it, Tom Wolfe weighs in re: Masters of the Universe--

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/28/opinion/28wolfe.html?em

My favorite part was after the article: the information that Wolfe is "at work on a novel about immigration in Miami." I'll start looking forward to that now.

Posted by: kbertocci | September 29, 2008 11:19 AM | Report abuse

The Trieste may have been mothballed, but Alvin is still in service. Of course, it's as original as George Washington's ax, but still diving.

http://www.thespacereview.com/article/1202/1

I would have thought that in the three decades since I was drawing exotic submarines in my spiral-bound notebook that something newer and cooler would be around.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 29, 2008 11:19 AM | Report abuse

yellojkt, I agree.

We need newer, cooler subs.

When are they going to commission the Seaview and the Flying Sub (who brought that up last week?).

Let's not wait until the Van Allen belt catches on fire, eh?

bc

Posted by: bc | September 29, 2008 11:27 AM | Report abuse

kb,
A Man In Full had a long section about how Buford Highway in Atlanta has become a Little Saigon/Havana. When I was going to school in the 80s, there was one Vietnamese restaurant and one place to get get Cuban sandwiches in all of Atlanta. Now the northeast part of the city is all immigrant communities and the associated markets and restaurants.

I saw this first hand last year when I stopped at a Hispanic bakery that was also a Baskin Robbins franchise and I needed a customer to translate my order for me.

Clearly this has set Wolfe going. Some of his ideas simmer for years in various forms. I Am Charlotte Simmons had its roots in a screed called "Hooking Up".

Posted by: yellojkt | September 29, 2008 11:31 AM | Report abuse

psst, Mudge. Being 'chuffed' means you're happy about something.

Posted by: Boko | September 29, 2008 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Thetre were a couple of gems in Waterworld, I liked in particular the picture of Saint Joe (Hazelwood) behind the throne.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | September 29, 2008 11:39 AM | Report abuse

bc,
Not to mention Roy Scheider and Seaquest DSV.

Whatever happened to all those great Irwin Allen schlock sci-fi shows? I couldn't get enough of Land Of The Giants.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 29, 2008 11:39 AM | Report abuse

bc, the intrepid Seaview managed to once again extinguish the van Allen belts yesterday on one of the Encore channels. I was seized by a momentary madness and couldn't help clicking between the movie and the Packers/Bucs game.

Doesn't a current road course league use vehicles that rather resemble the Flying Sub?

And don't I recall a recent article about retrofitting the Alvin with a tougher titanium personnel chamber?

And shouldn't I answer my own questions, dagnabbit?

*barely-under-control-celebratory-for-yesterday-and-practicing-for-the-MBPH Snoopy dances*

:-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | September 29, 2008 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Dave: If Bush and McCain want to create a "Better Battery Company" here's an opportunity. EEEI stock has fallen from over 5 bucks a share to only 10 cents. They just went into production at their Gainesville, FL facility this year and are now dead in the water (on kit) so to speak. My chunk of the company is essentially worthless because of the current credit crunch.

DOW JONES NEWSWIRES

Electro Energy Inc. (EEEI) on Thursday said a convertible note holder sent it a notice of default.

According to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Quercus Trust told the Danbury, Conn., company it will pursue all its remedies, including enforcement of the security agreement that secures the obligations under each debenture.

Last week, the battery manufacturer said it suspended its operations because it has nearly depleted its cash reserves and has been unable to raise additional capital.

-By David J. Reynolds; Dow Jones Newswires

Posted by: Shiloh | September 29, 2008 11:54 AM | Report abuse

The Van Allen belt's on fire again? Sheesh. Those space firefighters have just got to buckle down. (Get it? Belt...buckle down...? Bwa hahaha.)

I'm beginning to think we've got either a methan leak from Titan or it's got something to do with the smoldering Helotes mulch mountain.

The Trieste has been mothballed? Bonjour, Trieste. One of Carl and Francois Sagan's greatest movies. And loved Jean Seberg, a great diving belle, in it. (A joke sooooooo obscure and convoluted only the late, lamented Kurasawa guy might fathom it.)

(Fathom? Get it? Diving bell? Oh, never mind.)

Posted by: Curmudgeon | September 29, 2008 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Hmm. You're right, Boko. I had it completely backwards. Good catch. Thanks.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | September 29, 2008 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, I actually thought Joel had bagged a real gem in W's quotes.

Number one, he got enthusiastic about the exhibit, he was hooked. A perfect example of what the curators hoped to accomplish.

Number two, "I didn't grow up in the ocean" is funny.

And where do you get 15 miles being "close" to the ocean?

15 miles'd have been a day's full walk in George Washington's time.

A little kid'd have to bum a ride or run away for 2, 3 days to get to the ocean, assuming he knew which direction it was.

Joel hit a hydrothermal vent on that quote. Well done!

Posted by: Wilbrod | September 29, 2008 12:29 PM | Report abuse

I didn't say 15 miles, I said 15 feet. (I *did* say 28 miles, which in my book is quite close to the ocean. Anybody who is 28 miles from it is bound to have visited it from time to time, seen it swam in it, walked along it, etc. Its culture and influence certainly have crept inland a lot more than 28 miles.

Unless, of course, one is practically brain-dead.

Oh, wait. Never mind. Now I see your point.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | September 29, 2008 12:39 PM | Report abuse

hummm, Françoise, I think Mudge.. Beautiful Jean was the muse of my favorite two-headed author, Romain Gary/Émile Ajar. He never fully recovered from her self-inflicted death even though they had been separated for years when she died.
I just re-read "Les racines du ciel"/The roots of heaven a few months back. What a masterpiece, probably the first eco-novel and it won the Gongourt in 1956. I realized this time the super-bad guys in Chad are the same Jinjaweed the Soudanese gummint is using to massacre the non-muslim tribes. Plus ça change...

Anybody ever seen John Huston's 1958 movie based on it? Is it any good? IMDB rates it 6/10, and the NYT gave it a 3/5 back in the day. Maybe it aged well, I'll see if I can get it somewhere.
I've got a problem with Trevor Howard as Morel but Juliette Gréco as Minna and an older, tired Errol Flynn (who would die within a year of making the film) as Forsythe should work.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | September 29, 2008 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Ah, Scottynuke, *that's* where my Flying Sub neuron had been tickled recently - your comment last weekend when we caught parts of that Grand American prototype sportscar race during football timeouts.

Yeah, we need more Stingrays, don't we? Forget Thunderbird 4, that thing was an ugly little johnboat.

Seaquest DSV? Never saw it. I'd managed to have a life by then.

And Mudge don't know from 'chuffed,' as he only speaks English to the best of my knowledge.

bc

Posted by: bc | September 29, 2008 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Somewhere in a storage box in our basement, I have a photo album from my childhood with pictures of the Alvin from 1976, complete with its original support vessel, the Lulu. And let me note, I grew up approximately 1000 miles from the ocean.

Posted by: ScienceTim | September 29, 2008 12:51 PM | Report abuse

I meant to add that Joel's piece is just chock-full of great little nuggets as others have pointed out, including GWB's fabulous Norm Crosby-esque quotes.

I liked this one, too: "The big goal here, he says, is to hook people,..."

This one's a keeper, as they say.

bc

Posted by: bc | September 29, 2008 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Nothing like throwing in a pun just for the halibut.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 29, 2008 1:03 PM | Report abuse

And aweigh we go.

Posted by: Boko | September 29, 2008 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Nothing fishy? I'm sure I smelt something.

Posted by: Boko | September 29, 2008 1:12 PM | Report abuse

I haven't read the latest version of the bail-out bill, but a friend did and sent me this email:

"Interesting fact of the bailout plan on golden parachutes: the parachutes provision does not affect standing contracts, so if they fire anyone in the C suite, they’ll still get it, its the guy coming in that wont get it when he’s canned."

Is true? Apologies if this has been covered already ...

Posted by: KPage | September 29, 2008 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Holy carp! I just took a peek at the ticker on the TV and saw that the DOW is down over 300 right now.

Of course, 300 points either way doesn't amount to much these days. Lost a billion? Made a billion? Eh... that ain't nuttin'. Wake me up when they start talking trillions.

Oh, wait... never mind.

Posted by: martooni | September 29, 2008 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Cod we just stop now?

Posted by: yellojkt | September 29, 2008 1:16 PM | Report abuse

yello, these fish puns are just a fluke, but as I recall, you started it, chum. Me, I'm just floundering around looking for a pun of my own, just something to octopi my time.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | September 29, 2008 1:25 PM | Report abuse

That would be atoll order, yellow.

We'd at least have to hold a herring.

Posted by: martooni | September 29, 2008 1:26 PM | Report abuse

The Boy shad be in school with the other clowns but his allergies made him feel crappie, so I let him perch on the bed.

Posted by: Ivansmom | September 29, 2008 1:26 PM | Report abuse

At least we haven't sunk to Monty Python quotes.

Posted by: martooni | September 29, 2008 1:28 PM | Report abuse

I seem to have lost my plaice.

Posted by: jack | September 29, 2008 1:29 PM | Report abuse

At that herring you could ask for a seas and desist order.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | September 29, 2008 1:30 PM | Report abuse

"St John's Wood" is the only station on the whole London Underground with no letters in common with the word "mackerel".

Posted by: Jumper | September 29, 2008 1:30 PM | Report abuse

You know what song those fishmongers at the Fulton Fish Market used to sing when they unloaded those sockeyes and cohos from the truck, don't you?

"Salmon Chanted Heaving," from South Pacific.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | September 29, 2008 1:33 PM | Report abuse

House vote in progress on EESA

Posted by: Shiloh | September 29, 2008 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Oh buoy... this is getting deep.

We just can't kelp ourselves, can we?

Posted by: martooni | September 29, 2008 1:38 PM | Report abuse

I egret starting this.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 29, 2008 1:43 PM | Report abuse

No, martuna, we can't, alas.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | September 29, 2008 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, I grew up in the DC area, which I assume is less than 30 miles from the open ocean. Only visited the ocean 6 times in my life. I'm just not that fond of beaches.

(Now, of course, I've visited the Chesapeake Bay a bit more often than that).

The water bodies I prefer to visit just happen to be lakes, rivers, and such.

I suspect anybody from the Midwest could probably rack up a better record by vacationing on the coast just once.

Just like I've racked up more Great Lakes visits than somebody in Detroit might have done.

I'm not sure how the ocean affects the DC area, other than that seafood is much more available (crabs, etc.), and we have lots of seafood shacks compared to the middle of nowhere. My stomach is cultured enough, I guess.

The only time I hear people talk about the ocean, unless it's their profession, is when people complain about bad traffic to the beach.

But the beach is not the ocean. You gotta sail the ocean to really pay attention to the ocean for itself, not as a source of splash fun.

Posted by: Wilbrod | September 29, 2008 1:45 PM | Report abuse

And yet "Holy St. John's Wood, Batman!" somehow never made it to the telly. Perhaps in a special edition edited for the British market.

Posted by: ComicsGeekTim | September 29, 2008 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Now you've done it. I had to go track down the lyrics to "Wet Dream" by Kip Addotta... (you can all keel me later)

It was April the 41st, being a quadruple leap year
I was driving in downtown Atlantis
My Barracuda was in the shop, so I was in a rented Stingray, and it was
overheating
So I pulled into a Shell station
They said I'd blown a seal
I said, "Fix the damn thing and leave my private life out of it, okay
pal?"

While they were doing that I walked over to a place called the oyster
bar -- a real dive
But I knew the owner, he used to play for the Dolphins
I said, "Hi, Gil!!!"
You hafta yell, he's hard of herring

CHORUS:
Think I had a wet dream
Cruisin' through the Gulf Stream
Oooh-ooh-ooh-ooh
Wet dream...

Gil was also down on his luck
Fact is, he was barely keeping his head below water
I gullied up to the sandbar
He poured the usual
Rusty snail, hold the grunion, shaken, not stirred
With a peanut butter and jellyfish sandwich on the side -- heavy on the
mako
I slipped him a fin -- on porpoise
I was feeling good
I even dropped a sand dollar in the box for Jerry's Squids -- for the
halibut

Well, the place was crowded
We were packed in like sardines
They were all there to listen to the big band sounds of Tommy Dorsal --
what sole
Tommy was rockin' the place with a very popular tuna -- "Salmon Chanted
Evening"
And the stage was surrounded by screaming groupers
Probably there to see the bass player

One of them was this cute little yellowtail
And she's giving ME the eye
So I figure, this is my chance for a little fun
You know -- a piece of Pisces

But she said things I just couldn't fathom
She was too deep, and seemed to be under a lot of pressure
Boy, could she drink
She drank like a... she drank A LOT...
I said, "What's your sign?"
She said, "Aquarium"
I said, "GREAT!!! Let's get tanked!"

CHORUS

I invited her up to my place for a little midnight bait
I said, "C'mon baby, it'll only take a few minnows"
She threw me that same old line
"Not tonight -- I got a haddock"

And she wasn't kiddin' either, 'cuz in came the biggest, meanest looking
haddock I'd ever seen come down the pike
He was covered with mussels
He came over to me, he said, "Listen shrimp -- don't you come trolling
around here"
What a crab
This guy was steamed -- I could see the anchor in his eyes

I turned to him, I said, "Abalone -- You're just being shellfish"
Well, I knew it was going to be trouble, and so did Gil, 'cuz he was
already on the phone to the cods
The haddock hits me with a sucker punch
I catch him with a left hook
He eels over
It was a fluke, but there he was, lying on the deck, flat as a mackerel
Kelpless

I said, "Forget the cods, Gil, this guy's gonna need a sturgeon"
Well, the yellowtail was impressed with the way I landed her boyfriend
She came over to me, she said, "Hey big boy, you're really a game fish"
"What's your name?"
I said, "Marlin"

CHORUS

Well from then on, we had a whale of a time
I took her to dinner
I took her to dance
I bought her a bouquet of flounders
And then I went home with her
And what did I get for my trouble?
A case of the clams

Posted by: martooni | September 29, 2008 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Oh why did I have to go peek at the news again...

The bailout is currently failing by 21 votes and the Dow just dropped another 150 or so in reaction... 450 total when I looked.

Posted by: martooni | September 29, 2008 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Closest ocean to Washington is about 140 miles away, Wilbrod.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | September 29, 2008 1:55 PM | Report abuse

I lived for two years less than two miles from the Lake Worth (which is neither) Fishing Pier (Body Heat, Kathleen Turner, William Hurt...). I went once a year just to make sure the ocean was still there. Never got in deeper than my ankles. Just not a beach person.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 29, 2008 2:02 PM | Report abuse

martooni - The song was great or terrible. I'm not sure which. :)

Posted by: astromom | September 29, 2008 2:06 PM | Report abuse

BILL FAILS 205:228

DOW DOWN 480
NASDAQ DOWN 130

MOTION TO RECONSIDER BEING DISCUSSED

Posted by: Shiloh | September 29, 2008 2:07 PM | Report abuse

motion to reconsider tabled.

Posted by: Shiloh | September 29, 2008 2:09 PM | Report abuse

My favorite fish name is "sarcastic fringehead." And I'm not being koi.

Posted by: ac in sj | September 29, 2008 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Took both ScienceKids to see the Ocean Hall on Saturday. My impression was of a collection of random facts, without a consistent narrative to tie it together - much like the Mammal Hall.

Maybe it will come across more favorably another day, without opening-day crowds blocking the exhibits.

Posted by: The ScienceSpouse | September 29, 2008 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Life IS a beach, yanno...

Posted by: Scottynuke | September 29, 2008 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Hi Everyone.

My roommate got married on the weekend. It was nice and it distracted us from very sad news.

A former co-worker of ours (my roommates former foreman) was stabbed on Thursday. He bled out in hospital and died in the wee hours of the night on Friday morning. He was the nicest fellow you could ever meet. He lived in a bad part of town, and was always willing to help out his fellow man. He would offer people on the street a place to spend the night, have a shower and a meal and sober up if necessary. He was always available with a quick smile and a dirty joke to get you laughing if you were having a bad day.

Everyone here is in a somber mood as the realization begins to sink in that we'll never have the chance to see Dave again. To laugh with him over a beer. To waste away a work day talking.

Dave O'Donnel Here's to you.

Posted by: Kerric | September 29, 2008 2:14 PM | Report abuse

I guess it's impossible to not watch train wreck in progress... Dow down 574 a couple minutes ago.

Time to start raising chickens and pigs, people. If you can't trade'em for something else, you can at least eat'em.

Posted by: martooni | September 29, 2008 2:15 PM | Report abuse

All this Cousteau talk makes me think of the bizzare and flawed but enjoyable
The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou

I love the Natural History Museum in all its incarnations.

Posted by: College Parkian | September 29, 2008 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Figures you'd have counted every last mile to the open ocean, Mudge. That Bay and the eastern shore keeps getting in the way, doesn't it?

The DC metro area is on the Chesapeake bay watershed, which reaches up all the way to NY.

http://www.chesapeakebay.net/wshed.htm

It's mindboggling how people far away can impact bodies of water close to us.

And now I'm on the Missisippi river watershed. I'll have to do a message in a bottle for them Texans sometime.

Posted by: Wilbrod | September 29, 2008 2:18 PM | Report abuse

I'm very very sorry to hear that, Kerric. We need more Daves, obviously. :-(

Posted by: Scottynuke | September 29, 2008 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Kerric,
That is terrible news. Sorry to hear about your friend. What a note to start a marriage on. Hope the wedding went well.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 29, 2008 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Oh, no, no, no. The Hall of Mammals has a definite narrative, and the story is "I'm Kenneth Bering, and I shot all these critters (even the endangered species) because I am a true conservationist and I wanted to preserve them for you, the American People."

The Ocean Hall, on the other hand, I have not seen (as the ScienceSpouse knows, of course). I was too busy looking at pictures of the Earth... from... Spaaaaaaace!

Posted by: ScienceTim | September 29, 2008 2:21 PM | Report abuse

SCC: Louisanans, unless the bottle reaches the oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico.

Posted by: Wilbrod | September 29, 2008 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Upon my sole! The whole grouper you should be coraled and barracuded and whaled for pun-ishment! Especially Martooni the turbot!

Posted by: DNA Girl | September 29, 2008 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Sounds like the first bail-out vote is to give people cover so they can be against it before they were for it.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 29, 2008 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Kerric, very sorry to hear this: good about the wedding -- joy -- then, sigh, punctuated by a funeral.

Posted by: College Parkian | September 29, 2008 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Kerric, such a sad story, I'm so sorry to hear this.

The bailout is a no go. Watch the stocks tumble.

Posted by: Aloha | September 29, 2008 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Kerric, I'm sorry to hear about your friend.

bc

Posted by: bc | September 29, 2008 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Robin Givhan earlier today on SP's style:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/discussion/2008/09/26/DI2008092602151.html

HIghlights:

Ruby-red, open-toed shoes lack gravitas for a VP berth.

SP does not wear hose often, which is both an age preference and a coastal preference (Women on the coasts do not wear hose in professional settings....me too.)

Men of many ideological stripes find SP $exually attractive. SP is likely aware of this effect and is able to use it to subtle effect agree.

Posted by: College Parkian | September 29, 2008 2:31 PM | Report abuse

O boodle-pundits, why did the House defeat the bail out?

Posted by: College Parkian | September 29, 2008 2:33 PM | Report abuse

Kerric, in honor of your dirty joke telling shiny friend:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/2479730/The-worlds-oldest-jokes-revealed-by-university-research.html

Let's hope he's swimming with angelfish.

Posted by: DNA Girl | September 29, 2008 2:34 PM | Report abuse

CP,
My pet theory is it wasn't loaded with enough pork yet. Wait until the next version.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 29, 2008 2:38 PM | Report abuse

I wasn't fleet enough to keep up with all these puns in a roe.

I'm gettin' schooled over here, absolutely paddled. Think I'll just slap a fin on the deck rail, wave goodbye and bob on outta here.

Someone's going to dock me for this, and then I'll have to figure how to make money on the float and keep my head above water while I'm dancing - castin' nets, as it were - for a new job. Hope I find one that suits me in a speedo fashion, one where I can scale the corporate ladder, otherwise everthing will tank and I'll be living out of my trunks.

I'm knot done with this line yet, but with the market sinking like a stone, that's aballast I'm likely to have time for a squall.

bc

Posted by: bc | September 29, 2008 2:42 PM | Report abuse

I've been busy watching the Boodle's six o'clock. Here's is something ya'll wanna know:

It sounded like the plot of an action thriller. A U.S. Senate subcommittee held hearings Thursday on how UBS/Switzerland, the world’s largest private bank, and LGT (Liechtenstein Global Trust), owned by the royal family of that micro-tax-haven state, organised complex tax evasion schemes for U.S. clients, and used spy-type tactics to avoid being detected.

Full article:

Corruption Laundromat Royale

http://thekomisarscoop.com/2008/07/18/corruption-laundromat-royale/#comments

Posted by: Brag | September 29, 2008 2:43 PM | Report abuse

What is this about coherent narrative? Science is fact, not fiction.

A museum is NOT supposed to be linear. It's 3-D. You are the explorer, you write the story of what you are interested in.

Everytime you visit a museum, you should have an entirely different experience if you want to.

I don't want to be marched through a museum A-Z in a narrative fashion.

1) A exhibit has to stand on its own-- understandable to the viewer.

2) An exhibit has to be localized by some kind of logic or visual/thematic clarity that will bring interested people to it. This does not need to be a PBS documentary kind of narrative.

3) We are web surfers those days. We skip around. We don't want to sprain our necks reading tons of narrative when interesting things are catching our eye. We also don't want to have to read 10 exhibits to understand the 11th that really caught our eye.

Electronic rhetoric on the internet is also not about "coherent narratives", but enabling people to find what they are interested in and go learn. Most information is at an introductory level, assuming all different levels of understanding in the audience.

If you look at a museum as a kind of kinetic form of the internet, you will see that "overall" coherence isn't needed as much as the ability to spot interesting exhibits and grasp what they are.

If that is a problem, then it is a problem. I'm guessing the new one is an improvement on the old-- the Old Ocean Hall was very cluttered and byzantine and it was difficult to be sure where the exit was, and you had to do it very linearly.

Posted by: Wilbrod | September 29, 2008 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Seems the market is dropping like the port side anchor.

Heading out to visit with some friends before we watch tonight's game. Ravens vs Steelers.I expect a low scoring defensive battle.Boths teams like to try and run and have great defenses. Should be Fun.

Hoy Hoy!!!

Posted by: purplewithenvy | September 29, 2008 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Dark woman in the water drowning
Sinking in a funny way
Black footing for a face exploding
Mimicking our final days
The ocean will have us all
The ocean will have us all
Dark woman in a cupboard burning
Woman, what have they done
Dark woman like a panther breathing
Woman, what can be done
The ocean will have us all
The ocean will have us all
Cold cost of the death of nothing
Slipping just like nothing did
Burnt scarecrow in the wind was choking
Smoking in the summer heat
Barracuda, barracuda
Wont you lay down your life for me
Won't you love me barracuda
If you always need to bring out the worst in me
Tin horns with their whistles blowing
Howling like a winter gale
Dark woman like a crow a-crowing
Crowing for the carrion meat
The ocean will have us all
The ocean will have us all
Dark forest with the moon arising
Smiling at you out of reach
Cracked window in a chapel dreaming
Hoping that the twain'll meet
Barracuda, barracuda
Wont you lay down your life for me
Won't you love me barracuda
If you always need to bring out the worst in me -John Cale (Barracuda)

Posted by: Jumper | September 29, 2008 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Happy B-day, Dear Jumper; Was it a good day for you yesterday? Hope so.

On Parening now requires WaPo registration. 17 civil and on-target comments, including atlmom...hope she comes back. DandyLion, stay here, too. Pretty please with tomato sauce on top.

Posted by: College Parkian | September 29, 2008 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Belated many happy returns, Jumper! :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | September 29, 2008 3:03 PM | Report abuse

CP - It seems clear to me that the Bailout failed because it was less a consensus and more a compromise. The left perceived it as welfare for the rich, while the right perceived it as naught but socialism. And Pelosi made a speech that annoyed some Republicans, although why hurt feelings should influence votes on such an important bill is beyond me.

I really do not know if the failure was a good thing or a poor thing. Yes, the market is *way* down, but volatility has ruled the market for so long I have a hard time viewing it as a rational indicator of anything.

Posted by: RD Padouk | September 29, 2008 3:03 PM | Report abuse

So this aint the end -
I saw you again today
I had to turn my heart away
Smiled like the sun -
Kisses for real
And tales - it never fails!

You lying so low in the weeds
I bet you gonna ambush me
Youd have me down down down down on my knees
Now wouldnt you, barracuda?

Back over time we were all
Trying for free
You met the porpoise and me
No right no wrong, selling a song-
A name, whisper game.

If the real thing dont do the trick
You better make up something quick
You gonna burn burn burn burn it to the wick
Ooooooh, barracuda?

Sell me sell you the porpoise said
Dive down deep down to save my head
You...i think you got the blues too.

All that night and all the next
Swam without looking back
Made for the western pools - silly fools!

If the real thing dont do the trick
No, you better make up something quick
You gonna burn burn burn burn it to the wick
Ooooooohhhh, barra barracuda.

-Heart

Posted by: yellojkt | September 29, 2008 3:07 PM | Report abuse

A coherent narrative doesn't imply fiction (ask David McCullough), and without one, anything science-y is lost on me.

This type of museum is to educate the interest and informed, but more importantly the uninformed and the uninterested (ever take a child to a museum? First two rooms, they're hot, tired, and hungry. Probably looking for a bathroom too. By the third room, they're good to go, dragging you along to the next exhibit before you've grasped the meaning of the current one).

Even when looking at a bunch of van Goghs, it's nice to know about absinthe, lead poisoning, miscellaneous trips to various 'health spas', the hookers...without it, you'll miss the name of the boat, or the the significance of the chair, or the lonliness of the bedroom). Putting a few pics up on a wall is nice and all, but the narrative is what makes it touch the viewer so deeply.

Posted by: LostInThought | September 29, 2008 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Wilbrod, there are elements in which you are right, and elements in which you are not so right. Modern museums are trying to come to grips with an audience that has been tutored to jump from topic to topic based on whim and momentary fancy, expecting to understand a topic at whichever point they enter the story -- like movie-goers who arrive halfway through (in order to avoid all the boring exposition before the explosions), then ask everyone around them to explain the situation. It is possible to create a museum exhibition that can fulfill this style of interaction, but it is not easy. My reaction to the report from the ScienceSpouse was exactly along these lines.

You are only half correct to describe science as fact, not fiction. Science is fact interconnected by a web of interpretation. Museums that consist only of 'facts' -- case after case of artifacts, denoted by a tag that designates identity but not meaning -- are museums of the past. They are basically useless and dull unless accompanied by an informed and interested scholar. That worked all right, in the days when the number of museum staff outnumbered the number of visitors in a day. That does not work today.

And finally: you are totally incorrect in stating that narrative is not necessary in science. On the contrary, narrative is absolutely critical. You may notice that Joel's science articles have a definite narrative flow. Scientific papers that consist of a recitation of fact and algebra are tiresome and useless. Things happen because of prior circumstances. The environment, possibly created by distant effects, controls the progress of events. An event results in future effects whose general character can be predicted. The interconnection of events and processes in science is the very essence of narrative. The only difference between nonfiction and fiction narrative is that nonfiction is subject to the empirical examination of its observable underpinnings and quantitative predictions. Any other difference is a matter merely of style.

Posted by: ScienceTim | September 29, 2008 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Plus, fiction can have cuss words and sex.

Just postulatin'.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | September 29, 2008 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Sorry about your friend, Kerric.

Posted by: Boko | September 29, 2008 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Yes, exhibit text is important.

ScienceSpouse seemed to imply that the coherent narrative problem was that the exhibits were not coherent to each other, rather than having sucky text per se.

Narrative that throws off readers can happen because the curator has chosen to make that group of exhibits part of a theme/greater narrative, rather than really focusing on the exhibit itself.

Leastways that's how I interpret it.

Let us imagine a Dutch Painters exhibit, of which Van Gogh is part of. You want the coherent narrative, the sweeping picture, the theme. Thus, you'll learn about Van Gogh and his impact on other painters.

You might not learn what the paintings are about at all-- such as "what is absinthe", and such. What are you going to tell your kids about the paintings?

Or imagine a theme of "Painting material and textures". You'd be learning about egg tempura, al fresco, and the particularly textured approach Van Gogh took to the painting. You wouldn't learn what the paintings actually show, but it might be more interesting to tell a kid.

Your taste for specific information on what you're actually looking at-- "what, who, when, where, and why"-- could be interpreted by ScienceSpouse as "disjointed facts" without coherent narrative.

I DO agree with you, it's good to have information about what you are actually looking at. That's what I mean by "exhibits standing alone." Every item in it should have a clear identity.

So if your kids say, "mommy, what's that?", then you can explain right off from looking at the exhibit, or you can move the kids off to something else even more interesting if you don't want to reply ;).

Posted by: Wilbrod | September 29, 2008 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Facts have no meaning outside of narrative. Power rests with those who can tell a compelling story consistent with what is known. The tricky bit is figuring out which of many possible stories is, in fact, the true one.

Posted by: RD Paoduk | September 29, 2008 3:30 PM | Report abuse

I had the "Daddy, what's that?" moment in the Boston Museum of Science human reproduction exhibit. I hope my answer didn't scar him too badly.

There are two styles of museum exhibits, the linear narrative and the random access. Both have their advantages. It depends on the effect being sought. The Holocaust Museum is very linear. The Hall of Mammals, not so much.

Not having been, but from Joel's description, the new Ocean Hall seems very similar to the also recently updated exhibit at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. Only they have a blue whale statue hanging in the middle.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 29, 2008 3:34 PM | Report abuse

At last check, Dow is down over 700.

I thought the exchange had some sort of auto mechanism that kicks in to basically shut the market down when it sinks too much, too quickly.

Posted by: martooni | September 29, 2008 3:35 PM | Report abuse

It thought so too, martooni. Perhaps we haven't reached this level yet?

I'm trying not to get too worked up over the market. Yes, I have lost a big chunk of my retirement/custodial care fund, but that's only on paper. I'm not selling anything and I still have many years to come back. Things should be much better in 25 years.

Right? Right?

Posted by: RD Padouk | September 29, 2008 3:39 PM | Report abuse

The Smithsonian's downfall as a museum is in failing to deliver what you desire about self-contained exhibitology: Smithsonian exhibits generally do a very poor job of establishing context. At NASM, for example, you can discover specs for engine performance, airspeed, and armaments of an aircraft. You can find out when it was deployed. They might even tell you that it turned the tide of battle. They generally won't tell you WHY or HOW. The exhibits don't tell you that the P-51D Mustang was 90 days from conception to deployment and that it was the fastest single-prop aircraft of the WWII European theater. You can find out Germany's Me-252 A1A Swallow was the first jet aircraft deployed in combat, but you will NOT find out why Germany deployed its first jet fighter at the end of the war instead of the beginning, or why the Me-252 was ineffective in combat and failed to turn the tide of anything, despite its apparent performance superiority to the Mustang or any other Allied fighter aircraft. You need to ask Mudge for that.

The reason why the Smithsonian does not tell you these things, according to my sources, is a matter of conscious style. It is pretty much mired in museum fashions of the past, while everyone else moves forward -- the Field Museum in Chicago, for example, is a great example. Partly it's a matter of intellectual snobbery (you will understand when you DESERVE to understand); partly it's an attempt to avoid exhibits that can get dated quickly and require updating; partly it's an attempt to avoid repeating the Enola Gay debacle -- there are too many people in Washington that have an affection for a particular historical narrative and don't want to see it disturbed. Too many people, that is, who have a vote in Congress and can mess with the Smithsonian's budget.

Posted by: ScienceTim | September 29, 2008 3:40 PM | Report abuse

SciTim, "This does not need to be a PBS documentary kind of narrative."

I'm familiar with the discussion of science as narrative, as well. It is how we tend to organize things mentally-- cause and effect.

This is why I said "You are the explorer, you write the story of what you are interested in."

Your very travel through the museum is a narrative of sorts. It may be "Oh, this is so boring, where's the dinosaurs", or "This is interesting, I wonder what happeed back then?"

The audience has the power to skip much or all of the overall narrative.

Even if the person craves the full narrative, this person may not be physically able to, due to light glaring on the exhibit, neck, back, or leg problems, or kids whining.

So per exhibit, the narrative must be clearly organized. This does not have to be linear.

Let us take an exhibit of a beehive (which the Museum used to have, last I was there). You can see the inside of the hive, you can see the bees leaving. You can also see a bee much magnified under a lens, you can get information on how bees raise their young.

All of this can be conveyed visually with only a few lines of text per "point of interest."

Above all, you can choose to just watch the bees if you want, study them directly.

Joseph Campbell said about myths:

"People always say what we are looking for is a meaning for life…I don't think that's what we're looking for. I think what we're looking for is the experience of being alive."

This is why we like narratives, rather than facts jumbled together-- it paints an experience.

Still, the experience itself trumps narrative. As the old saw goes-- "Show, don't tell."


Posted by: Wilbrod | September 29, 2008 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Unfortunately RD, the answer is 42.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 29, 2008 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Rep. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) blames Pelosi for swinging the vote against the bailout. Wow, I had no idea she had that kind of power! Woulda made some running mate for a Presidential candidate, huh.

Posted by: Aloha | September 29, 2008 3:43 PM | Report abuse

SciTim, I do tend to concur that the Smithsonian has a long way to go to a new style of exhibition.

Part of the problem is that there is just SO MUCH of it to reorganize. Also, the Smithsonian has visitors from all over, and new changes do need to "work" for everybody-- including those who may not read English that well and will relate to the objects directly, and may want minimal facts.

Let us not assume that story is the only way to convey information in a vivid manner.

Posted by: Wilbrod | September 29, 2008 3:46 PM | Report abuse

martooni, move your puter to the shop or are you watching and waiting while the sawdust settles?
enjoyed you watery deversions. you kept casting them out and reeling me back in to the boodle when i should be doing something more productive.
Ivansmon, the strawberys are coming on big here in the northwest. the grocery stores are using them as lost leaders and the quality and size are frist class.

Posted by: bh | September 29, 2008 3:51 PM | Report abuse

A museum hall, by the way, certainly can have a theme that frames the kind of narrative presented at each station. The NMNH Hall of Dinosaurs, for instance, is now the Hall of Ancient Life. It includes side galleries that portray episodes in the evolution of life on Earth, divided conveniently by geologic epochs. The Hall of Mammals, on the other hand, just has mammals scattered about and does a poor job, for instance, of conveying particular predator-prey relationships, or comparing/contrasting responses to similar environmental constraints in different species.

My favorite museum exhibit was at the Field Museum, where you enter a supposed research installation burrow by means of a shrink ray (a forgivable narrative device) which then introduces you to the subterranean world of the prairies at a specific size scale. You tour through this 'facility' along a definite narrative path, which ultimately delivers you to an exit in a nicely laid-out large hall (no longer playing at being shrunken), with research materials, copious specimens, signage at three different levels of complexity depending upon the interest of patrons, and so on. The 'research facility' provides a model experience that tutors the audience in the essential issues of soil ecology, then delivers its prepared audience to a hall extolling the real thing in an unstructured environment that favors independent investigation. Without the narrative entrance, however, the casual visitor would be lost among the specimen collection.

Posted by: ScienceTim | September 29, 2008 3:53 PM | Report abuse

I'll tell you the answer to Tim's 3:40 for a dollar.

CP< don't know if this will answer your question or not: http://voices.washingtonpost.com/capitol-briefing/2008/09/why_the_bailout_bill_failed.html?hpid=topnews

Posted by: Curmudgeon | September 29, 2008 3:58 PM | Report abuse

DOW <748 @ 10394 <6.71%

NASDAQ <199 @ 1984 <9.14%

S&P 500 <103 @1111 <8.41%

Further declines may continue in after hours trading. Tomorrow will also probably see declines as end of quarter hedge funds are redeemed.

Posted by: Shiloh | September 29, 2008 4:12 PM | Report abuse

"Will explain historical context for food."

Posted by: ScienceTim | September 29, 2008 4:15 PM | Report abuse

What the Smithsonian needs to do is, like, hire a writer and an editor (who can copy edit).

Narratives are provided by us narrationalists, not cureositors.

OK, here it is in a nutshell. The P-51 Mustang was b1tchin' airplane, and could out-maneuver the Me 262 (not 252, Tim). although it wasn't as fast. Also, Hitler, as was his customed, dicked around with the design, delaying it from getting into larger, faster production earlier in the war. Then there weren't enough of them, and we learned how to shoot them down. Bad guys kaput. End of story.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | September 29, 2008 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Also, they had crappy engines.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | September 29, 2008 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Good grief! The box to fill in one's name has disappeared!!!

A friend of mine at NAS Pax River claims there is an old ME 262 corpse in a thicket on the station, but he wouldn't ever tell anybody where it was (including me). It was brought over right after the war for testing. (I have photos of it at Pax.) I kept asking him to either write a story on it, or give it up and let me do it. He wouldn't do either one.

--- Curmudgeon

Posted by: Anonymous | September 29, 2008 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Finally! Enough about fish and more about military aircraft. (Tomorrow will be needlecraft day, I promise). Here is the Me-262:

http://flickr.com/photos/yellojkt/199985099/in/set-72157594214456827/

And the P-51:

http://flickr.com/photos/yellojkt/199984697/in/set-72157594214456827/

Both at the Air Force Museum in Dayton, Ohio. Presented with very little narrative.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 29, 2008 4:28 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, we're really up the creek tomorrow. I just know it.

--C

Posted by: Anonymous | September 29, 2008 4:32 PM | Report abuse

In all my years doing museum exhibitions, one thing is certain. No matter how you approach it, you can't please everyone. Some people like to breeze through historical and science exhibits and just look at visuals (photos, figures, specimens, artifacts, video, graphics, etc.). Some people want to read every piece of text and label available and then want more. Museums who are successful (whatever that means) usually do something that falls in between. Being in the business, I usually like to peruse an exhibit on my own without a docent explaining everything to me (I'm horrible on guided tours). But, for some people that's what they want.

I think it depends on the story, the visuals available, the genre and the target visitors. No one answer to how it should be done, just a lot of interpretations and approaches. Sometimes it works best in a linear format, sometimes it works best in stand-alone modules. And yes, there are all kinds of variables impacting what goes into an exhibit - political issues, donor wishes (I hated this part), budget size, material and expertise availability, maintenance issues, as well as the format of the space (some too small, some too big, some too straight, some too crooked). There's also a fundamental difference between what a curator wants the exhibit to say (usually lots and lots of mostly written info) and what the designer thinks looks good, works with people and the space and says graphically (usually very little written info).

My take on exhibits is that it's a starting point. It can't tell you everything important there is to know about the subject but it can get you interested enough so that you want to go find out more. That, to me, is the whole point of an exhibit.

Just my worthless 2 cents.

Posted by: Aloha | September 29, 2008 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Most of the anthropological exhibits in NMNH were curated in the 1950s and are wincingly embarrassing by modern politically correct standards.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 29, 2008 4:36 PM | Report abuse

And here's the F-82, which was two P-51s joined at the hip.

http://flickr.com/photos/yellojkt/199974997/in/set-72157594214456827/

Posted by: yellojkt | September 29, 2008 4:39 PM | Report abuse

Here is a picture of a P-40 in Flying Tiger colors. Notice that in the foreground there are informational panels that tell more about the aircraft and put it in historical context within the World War II exhibit area.

http://flickr.com/photos/yellojkt/199983749/in/pool-ak987/

But it also looks so cool.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 29, 2008 4:48 PM | Report abuse

The Canadian stock echange is tanking too. Everything is interwoven.

http://www.canada.com/ottawacitizen/news/story.html?id=79e67ade-a7d6-4be9-9514-179af9e1c69b

Posted by: shrieking denizen | September 29, 2008 4:52 PM | Report abuse

6! 6! 6! Not 5! 262! 262! 262! Not 252!

Dang!

The aircraft in the Milestones of Flight Hall that really bugs me is the Aircobra or Aircomet or Airjordan, or whatever the heck it is, precisely because it seems somehow to have escaped me in any prior reading. The plane is there as a Milestone. They tell you about its performance characteristics. But there is nothing about why it mattered, how it compared to competing aircraft of the day and in that theater, what makes it a Milestone. Nothin'. It bugs me. Then I never remember to look it up on my own, because the display is so unmemorable that I completely forget about it until my next visit to NASM.

(Alternate Air-jokes considered and rejected: Air-noun, Air-cojones).

Posted by: ScienceTim | September 29, 2008 4:54 PM | Report abuse

History International had a great show last night on the P51. Including naratives by three living pilots that had sucess with them in dog fights including one guy that took on two of the german jets alone and hit one. Seems the early jets were somewhat poorly guided missles. When I worked(?) at McClellan AFB they were cutting them up and tossing the pieces over the fence to salvage dealers. Guys were putting the pieces back together. We always knew when there was sucessful restoration when we heard that great throaty sound of one taking off.

Posted by: bh | September 29, 2008 4:55 PM | Report abuse

"Trailblazing detective pays with her life
Taliban gunmen silence voice for Afghan women."

http://www.thestar.com/News/World/article/507984

Posted by: Boko | September 29, 2008 5:00 PM | Report abuse

Aloha, Aloha. That's one of the reasons I was pleased with the Field Museum and the Shedd Aquarium (also in Chicago). They managed to arrange written text so that there was a satisfactory top-level bit of written text, but also a deeper level, and a yet-deeper level, arranged so that you didn't feel like a slacker and a moron if you quit before reaching the Level of Ultimate Depth. Really, a very impressive example of exhibit design. My three favorite museums, so far, are the Field, the Shedd Aquarium, and the Children's Museum of Indianapolis. And, a hidden fourth, the NASM's Garber Restoration Facility, which is no longer open to the general public since the opening of the Udvar-Hazy Center out by Dulles Airport.

Posted by: ScienceTim | September 29, 2008 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Yellojkt,

I like yer pitchahs!

Posted by: Brag | September 29, 2008 5:06 PM | Report abuse

The Florida Museum of Natural History in Gainesville has a stunning exhibit on the Calusa people, who thrived in coastal southwest Florida and were big on infrastructure--canals, meeting halls, mounds (useful in case of storm surge).

The museum's big fossil room is nice, but I wish it could have been given some more space so the mammoth and mastodon could join the party.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | September 29, 2008 5:10 PM | Report abuse

I did some projects at Garber about the time the Enola Gay was being restored. Their boneyard is just incredible. It's like the warehouse in Indiana Jones. It's good to see all those planes on display. The Udvar-Hazy is minimalist in the extreme. I have tons of pictures from there too.

http://flickr.com/photos/yellojkt/sets/1553268/

Posted by: yellojkt | September 29, 2008 5:13 PM | Report abuse

The ex and I did a tour of the Garber years ago. Fortunately, it was a rainy July afternoon, and what was supposed to be a two-hour event lasted about three and three quarters. The docent was a commercial jet pilot who really enjoyed the stuff and made the tour fascinating and fun. We got to see the front section of Enola Gay as they were working on her. I enjoyed that afternoon more than I have ever enjoyed visiting Air & Space.

Posted by: slyness | September 29, 2008 5:14 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, brag. I used to build a lot of airplane models as a kid, so it's cool to see the real thing.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 29, 2008 5:15 PM | Report abuse

Yep, everything I know about the Me-262 (262! 262!) I learned from building a plastic model when I was a little fellow.

Posted by: ScienceTim | September 29, 2008 5:19 PM | Report abuse

I need a diversion, and this helps.

http://www.xkcd.com/

Posted by: slyness | September 29, 2008 5:36 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, slyness, very lifting, actually.

Posted by: College Parkian | September 29, 2008 5:39 PM | Report abuse

bh... if I were to put my 'puter out in the shop, I'd get absolutely *nothing* done. As it stands, I just bounce back and forth between shop and home office like a deranged furry blur.

I do get some much needed exercise, though.

I also have a nice and comfy leather chair at my desk to assuage my weary bum.

Assuage my bum... hehehe... isn't that illegal outside of Nevada?

Posted by: martooni | September 29, 2008 5:44 PM | Report abuse

What I know about airplanes:

* Before you get on one, the employees make you fess-up if you have a butler/lady-in-waiting (Who packed your bag? Has it been in your possession since it's been packed?) They're very interested in my compact mirror case, my cool chain link belt, my grandmother's necklace, and my sister's underwire bra (men have always noticed that about her). With men, it seems to me they're interested in something called 'Loose Change'.)

* Many employees have second jobs as magicians, and they practice using their wand on small children.

* While the rest of the market is geared toward really big televisions, on airplanes the goal is to make them as small as possible.

* Time doesn't work the same way when you're in one.

* Sitting in the front is way more comfy than sitting in the back. Unless it smacks into something.

Posted by: LostInThought | September 29, 2008 5:58 PM | Report abuse

Kerric, just getting caught up on the boodle, so very sorry to hear the news of your former roomate.

Posted by: dmd | September 29, 2008 6:19 PM | Report abuse

Okay, okay, I'll put the flipping "w"s back on the keyboards. Uncle.

Posted by: Jumper | September 29, 2008 6:27 PM | Report abuse

A while back, I idly speculated that the financial crisis might leave London a stronger financial center. So today, a columnist manages to say roughly the same thing, with reasons why:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/comment/damianreece/3104945/What-we-must-learn-in-order-to-profit-from-Washingtons-lust-for-vengeance.html

"If the US goes too far in its lust for vengeance, then New York will never recover its place in world finance. The UK, having achieved top spot, cannot afford a similar result."

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | September 29, 2008 6:27 PM | Report abuse

Here's a neat article on "surrealistic techniques."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Surrealist_techniques

Posted by: Jumper | September 29, 2008 6:31 PM | Report abuse

http://www.marketwatch.com/news/story/spacex-successfully-launches-falcon-1/story.aspx?guid=%7B81414ECC-B53F-4EF2-84CF-1AE5960C29EE%7D&dist=hppr

World's first private spacecraft reaches orbit.

I've got something in my eye.

Posted by: Jumper | September 29, 2008 6:42 PM | Report abuse

http://www.marketwatch.com/news/story/how-rejecting-700-billion-bailout/story.aspx?guid=%7B32B3D375%2D5D32%2D4DEA%2DB3F8%2D6DDA3FD54E79%7D

In total, more than $1 trillion was wiped off the value of the entire U.S. stock market Monday, as measured by the Dow Jones Wilshire 5000 Index. Asian markets will certainly plunge tonight, followed by the European markets Tuesday morning -- and many of the latter suffered their worst losses ever Monday.

..............................................

The House of Representatives today cost every American household an average of about $10,000 lost in their retirement plans, savings, borrowing power, and job security. The rolling effect will be another two million home foreclosures, a glut in the real-estate market and further decline in home values, adding further losses to households.

Unemployment has been projected to increase by as much as 50% and both the consumer economy and local government spending, as tax revenue declines, will retract. Small businesses will struggle to stay afloat, but closures will increase dramatically. Underemployment, as struggling employers unable to fund cash flow reduce hours and cut payroll, will exacerbate the problems. Inflation, now at a 5.4% annual rate, will further erode household buying and bill paying power.

Nobody in government will yet admit a recession, but this is as close to the cusp of a depression as I ever want to see in my lifetime. And it is because 95 Democrats and 133 Republicans voted to allow it to happen.

Posted by: Shiloh | September 29, 2008 6:52 PM | Report abuse

LIT, I think there *could* be an association between men fishing around in their pockets for "loose change" and their noticing your sister's underwire bra.

Everything's smaller on airplanes, too. Drinks, meals, pillows (what is that, a folded-up tea towel?), the bathroom, personal space (the maybe the "a little-too-friendly skies"), patience, headroom, etc. [Please note that I did not mention the Mile High Club here.]

Like that comment about sitting at the front of the plane, too. If anything goes wrong, you're among the first to find out about it.

I was at the Garber facility years ago, too. Saw Enola Gay, and all of that crazy/cool NASA hardware. Funny to see Apollo capsules stacked up in a garage like snow tires.

bc

Posted by: bc | September 29, 2008 6:59 PM | Report abuse

And I'll say that in my opinion, a lot of the damage has already been done in the last 6 years. We just noticed a few weeks ago.

Posted by: Wilbrod | September 29, 2008 7:08 PM | Report abuse

Yes Shiloh, but the Republicans had no choice because Pelosi was being a big meanie to them...


I was thinking earlier about how my family's share of the market loss exceeds the 700 Billion estimated price tag. But that isn't, technically, a fair argument. Market losses only become real when people sell. I haven't sold anything, so I haven't lost anything. (Yet.)

What really worries me near term, of course, are other aspects of the economy - like inflation. Those problems you can't hide from.

But I am an optimist. I think that eventually Congress will restore consumer confidence. All of this does, however, make me realize that the person elected to be your local congressperson is just as important in many ways as the person elected to be President.

Posted by: RD Padouk | September 29, 2008 7:17 PM | Report abuse

I agree. A few wack jobs in Congress can really mess up deal-making. But I don't think it was Pelosi, really.

I bet Ron Paul led the Republican revolt.

Posted by: Wilbrod | September 29, 2008 7:22 PM | Report abuse

I have a problem understanding why Peolsi would choose that particular moment to state the obvious.

I also have a problem understanding why any House member upset at the obvious being spoken would take out their anger on the economy and the public.

But of course I'm just a simple-minded boob.

*shrug*

Posted by: Scottynuke | September 29, 2008 7:22 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, frostbitten and other Twins fans, the White Sox just used 4 walks, three wild pitches and a grand slam to take a 6-2 lead over the Tigers.

Posted by: Scottynuke | September 29, 2008 7:26 PM | Report abuse

Aloha, well said. I never expect a museum to be 100% coherent in its approach. That requires a lot of decision-making.

The important thing is that everybody may be able to get something, even if they can't get everything.

The Rainforest House at the zoo is actually a very nice "narratively" designed exhibit, and I like it, but the narrative stuff tends to be split from the aquarium stuff, and the first time I just went for the aquarium, then to the rainforest exhibit, while wondering at all the "fake Indiana Jones" stuff. Later visits, I actually went to the other areas.

That said, the one museum I want to go to in NYC is the Met, because of "The Mixed Up Files of Basil E. Frankweiler". The book describes old French furniture as being near suits of armor, and mummies nearby. The theme is of constant surprise around the corner.
That and the image of children actually running away to the museum, which is funny in itself.


Posted by: Wilbrod | September 29, 2008 7:33 PM | Report abuse

Chris Cillizza's got a very obvious explanation for the rescue bill failing:

poll-driven cowardice

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/thefix/2008/09/the_failure_of_the_financial.html

*SIGH*

Anyone have a couple extra copies of "Profiles in Courage" we could send to the Hill?

*SIGHHHHH*

Posted by: Scottynuke | September 29, 2008 7:37 PM | Report abuse

Kerric, I am terribly sorry about your friend. My deepest sympathies to all who knew and cared for him, sounds like he was a great guy.

I too think that eventually they’ll have to vote on something, but maybe this is a blessing in disguise as I don’t think too many of the non-involved experts thought much of this bill.

I’ve decided not to worry about money anymore. Of course this means I won’t be opening any of my investment statements anytime soon. But we’re two days away from our trip and nothing is going to spoil my anticipation.

Posted by: Bad Sneakers | September 29, 2008 7:38 PM | Report abuse

Hi Tim,

I have not had the opportunity to see the Field Museum first hand but from what I've read and seen at conferences, they do a really amazing job. I have a hard time picking out the BEST museums. I think that depends on what you're looking for. I think children's museums are great in concept and the ones in the bigger cities (Boston, Seattle, etc.) do a terrific job. But it takes a lot of money to maintain these and smaller cities tend to fall short when they run out of money.

I like the Holocaust Museum mostly because while they've built an incredible exhibit for adults, they've also done a spectacular job in creating one for children that can do well for adults who can't handle the tough stuff. Daniel's Story does a great job of getting the message across with all seriousness but w/o taking it so far that the sensitive types get turned off.

Can't contribute to the airplane talk except that we now have the Pacific Aviation Museum here at Pearl Harbor. I haven't been there yet myself (too busy workin') but it's gotten good reviews so far.

Posted by: Aloha | September 29, 2008 7:43 PM | Report abuse

Wilbrod,
I've seen the Met only once in my adult life. For a long time, getting to and from the airports was a forbidding proposition. Now that's OK, but hotel prices have to be among the world's worst.

Anyhoo, the Met had a single director and a single architect for a very long time, during which the entire facility was rebuilt. I've never seen art so comfortably settled in its settings. I mentioned to a guard that the Egyptian collection was far better displayed than its counterpart at the British Museum. The response was that the collection itself wasn't as grand as the BM's, but it was acquired much more ethically.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | September 29, 2008 7:48 PM | Report abuse

PZ Meyers has figgered out a way to use your museums to save the economy.
http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2008/09/were_all_going_to_be_rich.php

Posted by: Boko | September 29, 2008 7:54 PM | Report abuse

Kerric... I, too am sorry to hear about your friend Dave. I've been lucky to know a few people like that and am only able to type this (as in being *alive* to type this) because of them.

The world can always benefit from another Mother Theresa, but it's people like your friend we need more of.

Peace out...

Posted by: martooni | September 29, 2008 8:03 PM | Report abuse

Kerric - I'm sorry to hear of your friend's death. I hope your happy memories of him bring you some comfort.

A friend of mine is a marine biologist that works at the Natural History museum. We used to be neighbors and our sons are the same age. We used to put them in their strollers and go to the museum for the day. I got to go behind the scenes many times, which was great. I am hoping that I am going to be able to see her after the MBPH on Sunday and catch up. I called the other day and her husband said she was out shopping for a new dress for the opening of Oceans Hall. We laughed because she is so not into dresses!

Mudge - I am just catching up, I had family here all weekend. I was at the Norfolk No Frill Grill on Friday for lunch...I took my niece there for her birthday. I'm glad you liked it, it's one of our favorite places. I'm also glad you enjoyed the Neptune festival. We usually go but it was WAY too humid and neither of my kids were in the sand castle competition, so the men golfed and the women shopped.

Looking forward to the MBPH! I'm sorry that all boodlers can't be there. I can't wait to discover the identities of the surprise boodlers. And wings, YUM...

Posted by: Kim | September 29, 2008 9:25 PM | Report abuse

Get lost!

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080922135227.htm

Why teaching the scientific method might not work before age 12:

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080925104309.htm

I think this also ties to past commentary on the boodle about how even the most brilliant math students may need time to mature into their math abilities.

The more advanced the math, the more that mistakes occur, and also the less time that students have to practice the skills to get them right before moving on.

Posted by: Wilbrod | September 29, 2008 9:30 PM | Report abuse

Kerric: I'm saddened by the news of your friend. His altruism is something that many people should strive to put in their behavioural repertoire. This quality is not lacking among the folks that frequent this corner. Peace we with you.

I have no idea what Speaker Pelosi said. I find it irresponsible, however, to use the excuse of offensive language to provide cover for voting against the bill hat failed this afternoon. I heard a Rep. Sanchez from California state that she voted against the bill on the basis that it didn't have enough language written into it that would provide enough oversight regarding how the funds are spent. It sounds as if the motion to bring the vote to the floor was premature. Regardless, it was cited earlier that the bill's failure cost taxpayers that have retirement investments an average of 10K. If the bill was unsatisfactory, negotiations should have continued, until it was apparent that there was consensus regarding the bill's provisions. All of this political grandstanding *stinks*. I'm going out to find my torch and pitchfork.

Posted by: jack | September 29, 2008 9:35 PM | Report abuse

They've postponed the Hubble Servicing Mission. But this may be a good thing. Seems HST has an issue with data transmission and NASA is waiting on SM4 just in case they need to send up some extra stuff.

WaPo take:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/09/29/AR2008092901133.html?hpid=moreheadlines

NASA press release:
http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2008/sep/HQ_M08-187_HST_Telecon.html

Posted by: astromom | September 29, 2008 9:36 PM | Report abuse

Kerric, so sorry to hear about your friend.

Bob S, thanks for putting my mind to rest about the LHC. Now if you could just explain House Republicans to me...

Posted by: mostlylurking | September 29, 2008 9:36 PM | Report abuse

Joel, my God, at a time like this, with only 103K on a car, why would you buy a new car? (Why would Washingtonians buy $800K condos also comes to mind?)

Fix it.

Darn. Any American car will go 200K even made by the drunk on Monday. A car from a country hating America (your Saab or Volvo) ought to come close. And a good Japanese model will go 250K.

At the very worst, buy a good used car, 2-4 years old at least. And pay cash. Buy an SUV (the horror!!!!!) and use your savings to buy gas. (Do the math, read the real science on it (gas is a sunk cost), and think. Would you rather a non-EMC Chinese beater burn it?

Look at what Warren Buffet drives. And he's buying Goldman at 10% return. Has the same old house. Get it?

You and 95% of Americans need to read Dave Ramsey. (I have, I have) Maybe we could add this to the required reading list for our "bright young things."

Betcha if you call his nephew Marshall, the editorial cartoonist, down in "hick" Jackson, Mississippi he'll get you a free copy.

It's simple:

Don't do debt.

Live today like a pauper so you can live like a king tomorrow.

Hmmm, no subprime lending, no "complex derivatives," no panic, no LBOs, or CDOs, or hysteria. Novel idea.

I'm sure that book, coming from a mere UT grad, and most evangelical publications, are banned as "divisive" and "extremist" in the Bos-NY-Wash corridor, but, perhaps someone can smuggle one in. Brown paper package and cover no doubt.

Might have been good for the MIT/Harvard "financial engineering" crowd in Greenwich to have read, but, how can you retire at 35 without private equity money, and plenty of debt for the middle class?

Me? House paid for, cars paid for, pension, college savings, mutuals well diversified, drive a minivan with 150K on it. LMAO.

But, hey, I'm a troll and a hick. Lotsa clothes from WalMart. Maureen Dowd would be horrified (to my delight).

I can live (well) with that.

Posted by: Troll | September 29, 2008 9:49 PM | Report abuse

Jesus saves his money in the Bank of Montreal
Jesus saves his money in the Bank of Montreal
Jesus saves his money in the Bank of Montreal
Jesus saves, Jesus saves, Jesus saves.

Posted by: Boko | September 29, 2008 10:00 PM | Report abuse

" Any American car will go 200K even made by the drunk on Monday."

True, and on-topic to boot.

Posted by: Jumper | September 29, 2008 10:02 PM | Report abuse

Nancy Pelosi is a waste of human flesh.

Posted by: Greg | September 29, 2008 10:02 PM | Report abuse

Barney Frank is a blubbering idiot!

Posted by: Greg | September 29, 2008 10:03 PM | Report abuse

While those on Main Street may begin to lose jobs - We on Main Street should elect all the bumbs in Congress and the Senate out of office for new and fresh ideas. This includes Nancy "How Does My Hair Look Today" Pelosi!

Posted by: Greg | September 29, 2008 10:06 PM | Report abuse

Wilbrod-if you loved the Mixed Up Files you must make a visit to the Met. You can't possibly see it all in one trip, but seeing the bits mentioned in the book is as good an introduction as I can think of (if a bit eccentric).

My favorite museums all happen to be smallish art museums. The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City is at the top of my list, but I haven't seen it since the new modern addition was built. The Abbie Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Gallery in Williamsburg, VA is also superb and better than the American Folk Art Museum in NYC (IMHO).

Posted by: frostbitten | September 29, 2008 10:09 PM | Report abuse

slyness,
Here I am trying to pay bills and you distract me with xkcd. Here's the one I like:

http://www.xkcd.com/468/

That comic somehow evokes Rule 36.

Someday I'm actually going to finish GEB.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 29, 2008 10:11 PM | Report abuse

I see the MN delegation was evenly split 4-4 on the vote today. Didn't fall out along party lines either. Hmmmm. I don't know about the other districts but our Rep. is in a reliably safe seat and voted for the bail out bill. He's been in Washington longer than McCain and we're pretty much fine with that.

Posted by: frostbitten | September 29, 2008 10:16 PM | Report abuse

You know, Greg

It might surprise you to learn that many or even most of the East Coast dwellers you revile so much are hard working, God fearing, Dave Ramsay reading Americans JUST LIKE YOU.

I've lived all over this great nation and deep down the folks aren't any different in Texas than they are in Boston. They're just trying to make it, to save a little, to buy a house, and to put their kids through college.

It would be nice, if in a time of hardship for many of us, we could put aside the partisan holier-than-thou bickering and actually come together as one nation to do what's best for us all. How about it? Care to try?

Posted by: astromom | September 29, 2008 10:18 PM | Report abuse

On the museum discussion -

frostbitten - I agree with you about the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. I particularly remember the Asian collection, and of course the lawn darts.

In Boston, I like the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum for the building itself as much as the art. Very cool. Plus there's the robbery story.

When I was in Paris, I went to Louvre one morning (I only had a couple of days). Limited myself to the antiquities and a quick pop up to see the Mona Lisa. So much more to explore there. Another of those where the building is itself a work of art.

Posted by: astromom | September 29, 2008 10:28 PM | Report abuse

Hehehe, yello. I'm all for distraction, it's either that or I spend my day huddled in bed with my pillow over my head.

The representative from my district (I have never voted for her, and never will) voted no.

The rest of the world will blame it all on us. And rightly so:

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/article4832934.ece

Posted by: Anonymous | September 29, 2008 10:31 PM | Report abuse

SCC: 10:31 was me.

I'm going to bed now.

Posted by: slyness | September 29, 2008 10:31 PM | Report abuse

Hi Boodle... Dr G and I are on a mini road trip and just had a great time at a mini BPH with our own Byoolin and the Lovely Mrs Byoolin.

Lots of fun was had by all. Pictures to follow, but now it's time for bed.

G'night.

Posted by: TBG | September 29, 2008 10:36 PM | Report abuse

Greg's so well-informed and eloquently presented insights aside...

Pelosi's comments were actually very tame by either party's standards. She basically prefaced her statement about the bill with a comment that the reason the bill is necessary is due to the failure of the Bush administration's (and ultimately the GOP's) policies for the past 8 years. She didn't make a big stink about it, just stated the obvious and moved on to the big points that might have shaved a few hundred points off of today's Dow losses if the bill had passed.

She didn't name names or say anything nobody didn't already know by looking in the mirror. She also didn't call anybody a waste of human flesh.

But if you want to talk about a waste of human flesh...

A previously barely known Representative to me -- Eric Cantor -- is expressing much umbrage over Pelosi's statement. Just saw him on the news (again) acting like a spoiled brat blaming someone else for pooping his pants and calling him a pants-pooper.

I'm thinking that any Boodlers living in the 7th District of Virginia should call his office and let his staff know that pots calling kettles black is not as effective a political strategy as it used to be, especially when the entire US economy just "contracted" by several percentage points because Eric's (and at least eleven of his GOP buddies') wittle feelings was hurt by Speaker Pelosi doing her job.

He's just the type of self-absorbed climb-the-ladder-at-all-costs type that needs to be voted out. All he's capable of is looking pretty and getting in the way. Kinda like Palin.

I thought I've seen petty before, but this Cantor jacka$$ and his cohorts have just redefined it.

"Oh noes! The nasty Democrats blamed our party in a surprisingly polite way (considering the circumstances) for crashing the economy! It's not like *we're* the ones who've been in power for the past 8 years! It was the Oompa-loompahs what done it! And Nancy Pelosi controlled them even *before* she became Speaker! The evil Liberals implanted chips in the brains of every Republican representative and controlled their every move from a fatcat rock music producer's limo in the parking lot!"

They have no real power any longer and know it, so they've over-extended what little leverage they have just like the Wall Street dummies did. What they seem to forget is that there is a limit to their leverage and power and if they keep poking voters in the eye (while stealing their wallets) they *will* get poked back.

Karma doesn't apply to liberals only.

Posted by: martooni | September 29, 2008 10:40 PM | Report abuse

And I would do anything to sneer
Run through good folk and not look back
I would hate everything they hold dear
I'd laugh at them and that's a fact
And I'll never forget how good it feels right now
Oh yea
Come what may
And I would do anything for a sneer
Look down on others and raise a cheer
I would hate everything I fear
But I won't do debt
I can live (well) with that

Posted by: DNA Girl | September 29, 2008 10:51 PM | Report abuse

astromom- you have superb taste, the Isabella Stewart Gardner is another favorite of mine. I have not seen the Louvre, it and the Tate are on my see before I die list. Mr. F once spent 2 weeks in Paris and never even considered going to the Louvre, lived in England two years and said "Tate who?" when I asked him if he'd seen that.

Posted by: frostbitten | September 29, 2008 10:53 PM | Report abuse

It boggles the mind that neither the sitting president, nor the nominee of his party, have enough political capital to make things happen on a day like today.

Posted by: frostbitten | September 29, 2008 11:06 PM | Report abuse

Kerric,

I'm so terribly sorry. So very sorry.

Posted by: Yoki | September 29, 2008 11:13 PM | Report abuse

My god! The Oompa Loompas did it. That explains everything.

Have you ever noticed that a certain senator looks like a Oompa Loompa, by the way?
http://www.ouvidopenico.blogger.com.br/oompaloompa.jpg

(go to 0:40)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-CazKanlYDg


Posted by: Wilbrod | September 29, 2008 11:17 PM | Report abuse

Kerric, thank you for sharing what a cool guy Dave was with us.

As somebody once wisely told me over a cigarette chain, "The good die young" PUFF PUFF ..."and we're stuck with the rest of the slobs."

Posted by: Wilbrod | September 29, 2008 11:28 PM | Report abuse

Boko, I hope that, thanks to his father, J-C doesn't need to withdraw cash from a BoM ATM on a regular basis. Them BoM free cash point are an endangered species.

This credit thing has to come to a conclusion. Legitimate businesses are suffering. One appliances company I know well can't get new credit to extend those "don't pay until ..." plan to their customer. As they pay off the existing commercial credit the frikking banks won't extend new ones. What kind of business behavior is that when a bank won't lend to long-term customer in good standing?

Posted by: shrieking denizen | September 29, 2008 11:41 PM | Report abuse

SCC: wrong oompa loompa image.

http://farm1.static.flickr.com/84/240252456_4900ab2f85.jpg?v=0

Posted by: Wilbrod | September 29, 2008 11:41 PM | Report abuse

20-20. Another late night.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | September 29, 2008 11:43 PM | Report abuse

Please don't dominate the rap, jack, if you've got nothing new to say.
If you please, don't back up the track this train's got to run today.
I spent a little time on the mountain, I spent a little time on the hill
I heard someone say "Better run away", others say "better stand still".

Now I don't know, but I been told it's hard to run with the weight of gold,
Other hand I have heard it said, it's just as hard with the weight of lead.

Who can deny, who can deny, it's not just a change in style?
One step down and another begun and I wonder how many miles.
I spent a little time on the mountain, I spent a little time on the hill
Things went down we don't understand, but I think in time we will.
Now, I don't know but I was told in the heat of the sun a man died of cold.
Keep on coming or stand and wait, with the sun so dark and the hour so late.
You can't overlook the lack, jack, of any other highway to ride.
It's got no signs or dividing lines and very few rule to guide.

I saw things getting out of hand, I guess they always will.
Now I don't know but I been told
If the horse don't pull you got to carry the load.
I don't know whose back's that strong, maybe find out before too long.

One way or another, one way or another,
One way or another, this darkness got to give.

Posted by: pigpen | September 29, 2008 11:44 PM | Report abuse

And the boss is on the front page, again.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/09/29/AR2008092903325.html?hpid=topnews

Posted by: shrieking denizen | September 29, 2008 11:45 PM | Report abuse

Kerric-Yoki reminded me to backboodle to your sad news. I wish I had comforting words at the ready, but all I have are the warmest thoughts for you and all who are feeling the loss of your friend.

Posted by: frostbitten | September 29, 2008 11:46 PM | Report abuse

astromom,
A while back, I took advantage of a ridiculously cheap air fare to visit the National Palace Museum in Taipei, which was having a spectacular re-opening after vast renovations.

Chinese paintings and calligraphy can't be exhibited too often (sensitivity to light), so it would take a Taipei resident a long time to see most of the best items. The exhibition that the Museum sent to the US over a decade ago had been the single best opportunity to see the cream of the collection.

Anyway, the National Palace's re-opening gave pride of place to a grand painting from the Nelson-Atkins.

In London, the Courtauld Institute of Art has sufficiently intimate galleries that it's possible to get a good look at the surface of a Van Gogh. London's stuffed with small museums. Possibly my favorite is Dennis Sever's House, itself a work of art.
_____________________
Steven Pearlstein has another fine column for Tuesday. "They Just Don't Get It"

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | September 29, 2008 11:52 PM | Report abuse

I just might have to catch one of Robin Givhan's chats live sometimes. I don't follow fashion at all but I have always enjoyed her writing. Here's a snippet from the chat on Sarah Palin that CP linked earlier to day-

RG: I believe there is clearly something about her style that appeals to some voters.It is plain-spoken style. However, I don't think there are any garments dynamic enough to invalidate what is or is not coming out of her mouth.

Posted by: frostbitten | September 29, 2008 11:54 PM | Report abuse

Hey, pigpen. Dude.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sVsSKuxyaro

Posted by: mostlylurking | September 30, 2008 12:00 AM | Report abuse

Good graf here, Joel:

"To a degree that few Americans could have appreciated just a few weeks ago, the economy runs on credit. But politics runs on a form of credit, too, generically known as trust, and trust has been a scarce commodity recently in Washington."

Word.

Posted by: Wilbrod | September 30, 2008 12:02 AM | Report abuse

Those poor House republicans. Nancy Pelosi says something unkind about them and they let go of the rope. Can anyone summarize what she said that so offended those delicate flowers?

Posted by: LTL-CA | September 30, 2008 12:07 AM | Report abuse

I would say the core of the discontent comes from these two paragraphs early in the speech:

"$700 billion. A staggering number. But only a part of the cost of the failed Bush economic policies to our country. Policies that were built on budget recklessness. When President Bush took office, he inherited President Clinton’s surpluses — four years in a row, budget surpluses, on a trajectory of $5.6 trillion in surplus. And with his reckless economic policies, within two years, he had turned that around.

And now eight years later, the foundation of that fiscal irresponsibility, combined with an anything goes economic policy, has taken us to where we are today. They claim to be free market advocates, when it’s really an anything goes mentality. No regulation, no supervision, no discipline. And if you fail, you will have a golden parachute, and the taxpayer will bail you out."

Read the full text here, among other places no doubt: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/30/washington/30pelositranscript.html

Posted by: Fifty | September 30, 2008 12:14 AM | Report abuse

Here's the transcript, LTL...

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/30/washington/30pelositranscript.html

Like I said earlier, I think what she said was pretty tame compared to what we've become accustomed to from either side of the aisle.

Posted by: martooni | September 30, 2008 12:17 AM | Report abuse

Fifty... we googled the same thing almost simultaneously.

Should we exchange medical cards or something? ;-)

Posted by: martooni | September 30, 2008 12:21 AM | Report abuse

Jack Layton is on The Hour in a cardigan sweater and jeans. Canukistanis, is the NDP a viable federal party?

Posted by: frostbitten | September 30, 2008 12:22 AM | Report abuse

The Pitts win in OT, the yin and yang are back in equilibrium after a hard weekend.

Pearlstein's point: Bush couln't lead a horse out of a burning barn these days. When he say white everyone knows black is the word.

The economy will pay the price. Mind you that the m/billionaire in the Bush family shouldn't hurt too much. The man is a despicable fraud.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | September 30, 2008 12:23 AM | Report abuse

Look at the time. I can't hang with the big dogs at this hour so I'm calling it a night.

Toodles boodle and fondue! I start my mega BPH journey tomorrow evening with a drive to St. Paul.

Posted by: frostbitten | September 30, 2008 12:25 AM | Report abuse

Until today, I regarded 7 as my lucky number.

Seeing today's 777-point drop in the Dow, I'm thinking - 7 are lucky? Well, maybe not so much.

The Steelers beat the Ravens 23-20 in OT, a pretty good defensive battle.

I wonder how the economic crises and political turmoil will look in the light of a new day?

Might have to read Joel's article one more time.

bc

Posted by: bc | September 30, 2008 12:26 AM | Report abuse

Agreed, Pelosi gave a temperate speech. Outside the paragraphs I quoted, I suppose a Republican congressman could feel slighted because Pelosi barely mentions the work and support of the minority.

An analysis in Slate says the measure found significantly more support among Republican members not seeking reelection.

Note, however, Pelosi reserves her scorn for the administration and spares all of Congress. That likely mirrors the campaigns of Republicans running for reelection.

Martooni: let's drag race Google for library cards!

Posted by: Fifty | September 30, 2008 12:27 AM | Report abuse

I'm no big dog, frosti... I may bark a lot, but I'm basically an overfed chihuahua with very long hair.

Back under the porch for me until morning.

But with my low center of gravity and sharp teeth, the well-heeled ankles out there should expect a little snappin' action. ;-)

Posted by: martooni | September 30, 2008 12:36 AM | Report abuse

frosbitten, not really. The NDP are sympathetic loons. Layton himself is immensely likable and knowledgeable (PhD in political science: eastern elitist to the cube) but the party’s socialist agenda is a major drag on his style. His granfather was in the faith-based Union Nationale party, his father ( acrazy scientist type) was a minister in a Tory gummint. There is much to like about him. He is the great grand-nephew of a father of confederation, you can't beat that.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | September 30, 2008 12:38 AM | Report abuse

The NDP can't win the election but they stand a fair chance of forming the official opposition for the first time.

Posted by: Boko999 | September 30, 2008 12:43 AM | Report abuse

Bob Rae in '13! (unless Harper gets a minority and breaks his own law again, then it might be '11, '12)

Posted by: Boko | September 30, 2008 12:50 AM | Report abuse

Frosty, the NDP as viable is the BIG question. They are ahead of the Liberals but a lot of people are wondering. This morning the pundits were disscussing about a percieved pull back and falling polling numbers as the day sweeps closer. I have no idea who I will vote for because I am not happy with any of them. No one is talking about the things I'm concerned about. the politicians are not talking about this financial crisis. It is almost as if they feel it is never going to touch us, but so far as I can see, our economy does not end at our borders.

Way back in the kit, Joel says

"There's financial stability in despair: You take fewer chances that can blow up in your face"

Like all seriously great humor, there is a depth of truth in this lovely silly little line. I am laughing so hard, I am crying and I am crying so hard, I am laughing. For the last twenty years I have been searching for a way to explain how losing has touched everything since, and here it is at last.

Posted by: dr | September 30, 2008 12:54 AM | Report abuse

Are you sure he broke the law, Boko? My understanding is that there is a clause for calling an election in a minoritiy parliament.

Posted by: dr | September 30, 2008 1:02 AM | Report abuse

dr, that kind of explains the last 20 years or so of my life too. You're right - that's a great line. Why we've tried very hard to live within our means...and I'm afraid it will all go poof. I feel like the country is going to h e l l in a handbasket - without even the handbasket.

Posted by: mostlylurking | September 30, 2008 1:12 AM | Report abuse

DNA Girl - Very nice! I guess I know what I'm having for lunch tomorrow.

Posted by: Bob S. | September 30, 2008 1:19 AM | Report abuse

Bob, in case you miss my earlier comment - thanks for easing my mind about the LHC - srsly.

Posted by: mostlylurking | September 30, 2008 1:25 AM | Report abuse

Shriek: "What kind of business behavior is that when a bank won't lend to long-term customer in good standing?"

Unfortunately, this is where the actual consequences play out. If a bank's mortgages are devalued because the underlying properties have lost significant value, then the assets which they can claim to control shrink, and they have no option but to hold onto cash until they reattain their required reserve levels. Thus, very tight credit. It's got little or nothing to do with willingness or desire to lend.

Posted by: Bob S. | September 30, 2008 1:27 AM | Report abuse

The good part about having been there before, mostly, is that we know we can do it. We don't want to but we know we can. I'm not worried, really, just a little naseous at what it will mean.

Which is why I have this strong urge to stock up on legumes.

Posted by: dr | September 30, 2008 1:29 AM | Report abuse

mostly - Glad I could help, even a little.

Posted by: Bob S. | September 30, 2008 1:29 AM | Report abuse

if this financial meltdown had to happen, let me just say i'm glad it happened on dubya's clock. a bit of justice there.

kerric, sorry to hear about your friend.

Posted by: L.A. lurker | September 30, 2008 1:44 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, Boodle. We live in scary times, huh? I'm gonna report the link to Joel's front-page piece on why the bailout failed, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/09/29/AR2008092903325.html?hpid=topnews that shriek posted last night, so the Dawn Patrol can find it right away. It's a good piece...but I hate the hed, since it can be read two ways, and I read it the wrong way at first: "Distrust of the Average Joe" meaning that somebody or other didn't trust you and me. The actual intention was exactly the opposite: the Average Joes don't trust the Pres. and a lot of Congress.

Millbank's piece says the lunatics are running the asylum, a common enough metaphor, but one I've never liked very much because of its inaccuracies. First the country and/or Washington isn't an asylum, metaphorically or otherwise, and second, the inmates aren't really running it; no one is. The lunatics have been running the gummint for the last eight years, and finally thea major piece of their own party has had enough of them.

Somebody somewhere pointed out that neither the president nor the Republican nominee for president have enough clout in their own party to carry their own legislation. Jeez, Louise, what does that tell you.

What I still cannot get a good handle on is whether that EESA bill was very good or not (meaning would it work without selling out the Constitution), OR whether it would have done the trick. What that boils down to is having enough faith in Barney Frank to have negotiated it into an acceptable condition.

OK, the pantrymen have scrounged up a few crusts of bread, and the mechanics have found some aviation fuel. Let's get the Dawn Patrol fed and launched into the air.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | September 30, 2008 6:13 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, Boodle. We live in scary times, huh? I'm gonna report the link to Joel's front-page piece on why the bailout failed, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/09/29/AR2008092903325.html?hpid=topnews that shriek posted last night, so the Dawn Patrol can find it right away. It's a good piece...but I hate the hed, since it can be read two ways, and I read it the wrong way at first: "Distrust of the Average Joe" meaning that somebody or other didn't trust you and me. The actual intention was exactly the opposite: the Average Joes don't trust the Pres. and a lot of Congress.

Millbank's piece says the lunatics are running the asylum, a common enough metaphor, but one I've never liked very much because of its inaccuracies. First the country and/or Washington isn't an asylum, metaphorically or otherwise, and second, the inmates aren't really running it; no one is. The lunatics have been running the gummint for the last eight years, and finally thea major piece of their own party has had enough of them.

Somebody somewhere pointed out that neither the president nor the Republican nominee for president have enough clout in their own party to carry their own legislation. Jeez, Louise, what does that tell you.

What I still cannot get a good handle on is whether that EESA bill was very good or not (meaning would it work without selling out the Constitution), OR whether it would have done the trick. What that boils down to is having enough faith in Barney Frank to have negotiated it into an acceptable condition.

OK, the pantrymen have scrounged up a few crusts of bread, and the mechanics have found some aviation fuel. Let's get the Dawn Patrol fed and launched into the air.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | September 30, 2008 6:13 AM | Report abuse

Sorry for the double post, but...there's SNOW on Mars??? http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/09/29/AR2008092903068.html?hpid=topnews

Posted by: Curmudgeon | September 30, 2008 6:18 AM | Report abuse

Kerric, I'm sorry to hear about your friend.

In my field, there're many certifications, and one earned by passing the exam without having the experience to back it up is called a "paper" /insert cert name here/. So you have paper MCSEs, who know a lot of theory, but they've never run a network--when you're hiring, this is the MCSE of last choice .

I know Sarah Palin is studying really, really hard.

She may even pass, but she's the paper VP candidate. The film _Born Yesterday_ also comes to mind.

Posted by: dbG | September 30, 2008 6:23 AM | Report abuse

Curmudgeon, when I read the headline 'Snow on Mars' I thought 'Mars is in Canada, uh?'

Posted by: shrieking denizen | September 30, 2008 6:52 AM | Report abuse

Morning, all. I just hope it turns out to be good. After yesterday, who knows?

Joel put together a good story. I'm glad to hear what other people on the street think. We all need to pull together and handle this, now.

And NOT elect a Republican president.

Posted by: slyness | September 30, 2008 7:15 AM | Report abuse

Good morning , Boodle.
Rolling for takeoff. Thanks for the link, Mudge.

Posted by: Brag | September 30, 2008 7:28 AM | Report abuse

I really like that article by Joel and Ashley Surdin. I love this sly line:

"But distrust of the nation's leaders, from the leaders of Congress to the president of the United States, foreclosed that possibility."


Posted by: RD Padouk | September 30, 2008 7:31 AM | Report abuse

Seven other writers contributed reporting to Joel's article. Someday I want minions too.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 30, 2008 7:36 AM | Report abuse

yellojkt, I hear Rick Redfern's available...

:-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | September 30, 2008 7:42 AM | Report abuse

Kerric, so sorry to hear about Dave. He sounds like a remarkable human being.

Unlike the chicken-hearted, soundbite-seeking, afraid-of-doing-the-right-thing-'cuz-it-might-p!ss-off-the voters members of the House who voted down the bailout yesterday. And then tried to pin it on Pelosi. According to Paul Kane in the Post, Boehner knew hours before Pelosi made her speech that he didn't have the votes. And as a result, 10% of my (and many, many more Americans') retirement savings went poof, with more likely to follow.

After spending last evening being apoplectically PO'd, I'm trying to figure out what to do. Write my Congressman? He voted for it. Write every single wingnut who voted against it? If I'm not in their district, would they care?

Posted by: Raysmom | September 30, 2008 8:35 AM | Report abuse

This piece in the Telegraph explains the financial mess succinctly:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/comment/edmundconway/3105965/Financial-crisis-Western-world-will-become-significantly-less-wealthy.html

Good companion to Pearlstein's piece today.

Here's hoping President Bush will do well with this morning's speech.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 30, 2008 8:35 AM | Report abuse

Just in case anyone needs an old scandal to distract from the current one...

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/30/washington/30usattorney.html

*shrug*

Posted by: Scottynuke | September 30, 2008 8:44 AM | Report abuse

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

Morning, morning, friends. I did not have the heart to post yesterday after looking at the news. I spent the afternoon with my father and the g-girl, trying to take care of my family. My father is an 80-year old man that watches the news all day on television and worries about his Social Security. His needs are in line with the five year old g-girl. They both need lots of love and stability in their lives. My daughter spent most her day in the emergency room, and the rest sleeping off the medications given her.

That's the kind of affect this has on the underclass in America. We don't have anything. Everyday is bail out day for us. Getting food may be the bail out. It could be getting to the hospital, and after getting there, someone treating whatever ails. Our bail outs are simple everyday needs.

What in the world happened to us, to America? Why are we going through this? Why don't we love our country anymore? We used to be a people, not perfect by any standards, but a people that did not fear. As bad as the Civil Rights Movement was here, there were people that stood up for right. And when I say "bad", I mean the fighting and the killings, not the outcomes. Why are we allowing our young people to see this carnage? And don't think they aren't taking notes because they are. And who is going to tell them it's not suppose to be this way? We are Americans. All of us, not some, but all. I cannot believe what I'm seeing. And I don't see the half. Living on the very bottom, I can barely see sunlight, seldom feel the warmth. I thank God that He knows where I am.

Kerric, sorry to hear about you dear friend. Wouldn't the world be a nicer place if we had more like him?

Yoki, I haven't read the whole boodle, just wanted to say I hope you're okay, and whatever is going on with you, you know we love you and are here for you. You too, Kerric.

Scotty, Slyness, Mudge, Martooni, good morning to you, and to all.*waving*

Time to swim.

Posted by: cassandra s | September 30, 2008 8:51 AM | Report abuse

To me, partisan politics isn't making a partisan speech, it's changing your vote out of partisan spite. If, indeed, this is what some Republicans did, well, shame on them.

Posted by: RD Padouk | September 30, 2008 8:51 AM | Report abuse

I'm not sure anyone really changed their vote because of Pelosi. There are reasons and there are excuses.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 30, 2008 8:54 AM | Report abuse

Kerric, I was sorry to read about what happened to your friend.

Posted by: byoolin | September 30, 2008 8:57 AM | Report abuse

I just want to let everyone know that I can often see Mars from my back porch.

Posted by: Dolphin Michael | September 30, 2008 8:58 AM | Report abuse

yellojkt, further, I checked the libretto and, though it happened way back in act 1, Scene 2, "the PLAN" was a Republican derived approach.

It may be that the folks that voted against it are not Republicans, but members of that new group showing up on ballots out west, the "GOP Party."

Posted by: Dolphin Michael | September 30, 2008 9:02 AM | Report abuse

I'll just repeat my conviction (ha!) that stability will be achieved when some folks go to jail. I've been watching the FBI lately. Here's what makes me say all this:
http://news.google.com/news?hl=en&q=fbi%20mortgage&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=N&tab=wn

The TV has been blathering on and on and on, but they won't actually talk about the fine details of this legislation. In fact, no details at all, nitty, gritty, or anything. TV people are mindless dupes.

The only other thing on my mind is "October Surprise." I'm thinking most Dem districts in the important states won't have any gasoline. It'll just be a sort of unfortunate coincidence. It won't really mean anything at all...

Oh, and the pardons. I think about them, too. Think Bush can't pardon himself? There's a way around that, too.

Posted by: Jumper | September 30, 2008 9:04 AM | Report abuse

Good morning.
dr, you're right. I'll try(italics) to be fair from now on.

I liked Joel's article ending with the musings of the funeral directors. When people in their line of business are worried about the economy you know it's in trouble.
Martooni, have you considered retooling from Fairy Doors® to plywood caskets?

Posted by: Boko | September 30, 2008 9:04 AM | Report abuse

Happy New Year, Mudge -- as well as all other MOTs.

Kerric, I join the others in offering my condolences about your friend.

Let's hope things calm down soon -- although I'm not holding my breath. The cognitive dissonance coefficient is much to high for me to pay attention. I'm gonna wait until the dust settles (and for those who like to play such games, see how many metaphors I just mixed up for you. . .).

Later.

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | September 30, 2008 9:09 AM | Report abuse

New Kit!

Posted by: shrieking denizen | September 30, 2008 9:34 AM | Report abuse

New Kit!

Posted by: Boko | September 30, 2008 9:35 AM | Report abuse

Third! New Kit!

Posted by: dbG | September 30, 2008 9:55 AM | Report abuse

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