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Atom Smasher Still in the Shop

You recall that the Large Hadron Collider has had some major issues. We try to keep track of this stuff here on the A-blog, because if they discover the secret of, or accidentally annihilate, the universe, we want to be among the first to flag it. Imagine the Twittering you could do on the end of the world! That could finally put this blog on the map, albeit with that one downside of total obliteration. [Kidding, natch. It can't happen. See this.] In any case, here's the latest from CERN:

'CERN* management today confirmed the restart schedule [translation: announced another delay] for the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) resulting from the recommendations from last week's Chamonix workshop. The new schedule foresees [not that you'd want to bet your life on it] first beams in the LHC at the end of September this year, with collisions following in late October. A short technical stop has also been foreseen over the Christmas period. The LHC will then run through to autumn next year, ensuring that the experiments have adequate data to carry out their first new physics analyses and have results to announce in 2010. The new schedule also permits the possible collisions of lead ions in 2010.

'This new schedule represents a delay of six weeks with respect to the previous schedule, which foresaw the LHC "cold [sic?????] at the beginning of July". The cause of this delay is due to several factors such as implementation of a new enhanced protection system for the busbar and magnet splices; installation of new pressure-relief valves to reduce the collateral damage in case of a repeat [explosion] incident; application of more stringent safety constraints [no more drinking contests in the tunnel]; and scheduling constraints associated with helium transfer [because the scientists can't resist making their voices sound funny] and storage.'

Truth is, it's hard to get a big atom-smasher up and running. Something always goes wrong. Here's a wild prediction: There will be more delays. And eventually they'll get all the bugs out and find some cool stuff that will make the theorists scratch their noggins and say, "We're gonna need a bigger smasher."

By Joel Achenbach  |  February 9, 2009; 3:49 PM ET
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Next: Obama's First Prime-Time Presser


numero uno?

Posted by: Gomer144 | February 9, 2009 4:31 PM | Report abuse

A bigger one? Maybe that one can go in Texas. It sure seems to be the biggest state around, and proud of it.

Posted by: slyness | February 9, 2009 4:35 PM | Report abuse

I think we're going to need a bigger boat.


Posted by: yellojkt | February 9, 2009 4:36 PM | Report abuse

A lot of this crap wouldn't have happened if they'd just listened to me. I proposed that before they go straight to collision mode they do a little preliminary testing and build a Large Hadron Fender-Bender, in which particles didn't slam into each other at high speeds, but just sometimes kinda nudged each other at slow speeds, like in parking lots.

But would anyone listen to me? A bitter "Hah," say I.

Anyway, I think all this stuff is way too violent. We need to teach hadrons how to negotiate their differences peacefully. I think some Zen wouldn't hurt, and perhaps visits by the Dalai Lama and Deepak Chopra. The we could have a Large Hadron Meditator.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | February 9, 2009 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, I want to hear what SciTim has to say about what the Large Hadron Meditator would teach physicists about the universe. Maybe that it's soft and cuddly?

Posted by: slyness | February 9, 2009 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Good thoughts to KBoom. This too shall pass.

Posted by: engelmann | February 9, 2009 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Okay, let me see if I can add anything to this kit or at least comment on it. I'm thinking, I'm thinking, hold on ......, I got nothing.

Don't you hate it when that happens? A few brain cells ignite, but alas, they go dead again.

Time to call it a evening. Been a long day. Have a good evening, boodle.

Posted by: cmyth4u | February 9, 2009 5:08 PM | Report abuse

yellojkt 1:23: "Maybe someone can find evidence that Emma was a free-thinking wimmin's-libbing evolution-preachin' feminist. Knock yourself out."

Found out that I couldn't go back to the pages where I left off in Desmond/Moore book about Darwin and read the next pages about phrenology, but used my reading time this afternoon to use the index and look at the passages about Emma Wegdwood Darwin.

I should pull out the passages about her Unitarianism (and Darwin's 20-year headstart over Wallace, plus Darwin's and Wallace's common mentor), but am popping in just to note that the Darwins and Wedgwood sisters--and brother Erasmus in particular, were good friends with the fiery, deaf, cigar-smoking, atheist and immensely popular journalist Harriet Martineau.

So, does this mean that Joel is sourcing Wikipedia?

Posted by: laloomis | February 9, 2009 5:09 PM | Report abuse

Indeed. Good thoughts to KBoom, I'm sure the dog gods are taking notice of the new foster puppy.

DNA_Girl, Raysmom, great news.

It's been a comparatively warm day here, and the boys next door will be playing basketball right under my bedroom window for another few hours. Time to switch to the guest bedroom for tonight.

Have a wonderful evening, everyone.

Posted by: -dbG- | February 9, 2009 5:10 PM | Report abuse

Hang in there KBoom.

Posted by: Raysmom | February 9, 2009 5:12 PM | Report abuse

SCC: brother Erasmus [Darwin] in particular

Posted by: laloomis | February 9, 2009 5:22 PM | Report abuse

Add me to the list of congrats to DNA-girl and Raysmom. And a huge buncha karma to KBoom.

Can't make the BPH tonight, either, but then I don't make most of them. But I'll be there in spirit.

After my completely lost weekend due to an overload of work, today was much the same -- and, no, I'm not complaining, but I am feeling pretty exhausted right now -- as if I was in the path of a collider....

Yep, gonna call it a day.

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | February 9, 2009 5:23 PM | Report abuse

LOL, Cassandra. I know just what you mean!

Posted by: Yoki | February 9, 2009 5:23 PM | Report abuse

I got nothin' either. Just went around with another doctor (my third in 10 yrs.) about wanting me to come in every 6 mos. for routine checkups. My thyroid has stayed the same for 10 blinking years. Why don't they pull up the old records and just look at the things? Oops, that's because they barely KEPT records.

Not only can't I afford health care, I am not even sure if it exists anymore. And they laugh at me when I say I don't like hospitals because people die there. Like I'm superstitious or something. No, it's because I read about medical errors.

Posted by: Jumper1 | February 9, 2009 5:32 PM | Report abuse

I could have commented on the importance of breaking symmetry in computer models of operational stresses of superconducting magnets. Naaah.

Posted by: Jumper1 | February 9, 2009 5:34 PM | Report abuse

Colliders? Colliders? Man, and all I have to offer today are a few brain cells thinking about Emily Dickinson and "The Little Prince."

I don't suppose Emily Dickinson wrote about subatomic physics?

Oh, DNA girl, congratulations! I have a few funny stories about flying Aeroflot through Moscow too... funny NOW.

Let's just say being marched to hotel rooms under armed guard wasn't too funny at the time.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | February 9, 2009 5:35 PM | Report abuse

Raysmom, a little late with my congratulations - but way to go!!

Kboom - hoping a great job comes your way soon.

I have nothing of any value to add to the kit, or even non-value :-)

Posted by: dmd2 | February 9, 2009 5:35 PM | Report abuse

Congrats to DNA_Girl and Raysmom! Nice to hear good news.

KBoom, I know how you feel, or I fear I will in a couple of months. Tough day for me today...going to be a long week.

Posted by: seasea | February 9, 2009 5:48 PM | Report abuse

A-Rod admits it, but will the baseball fans give him a pass?

Posted by: joelache | February 9, 2009 6:12 PM | Report abuse

"which foresaw the LHC 'cold [sic?????] at the beginning of July'"

The LHC uses superconducting magnets in order to control the particle beams. "Cold" simply means that the accelerator's magnets have been chilled to the proper temperature. Cooling down the large amount of material in an accelerator can be a complex process.

Posted by: JEFO | February 9, 2009 6:22 PM | Report abuse

Oh sure. I know what they say. You know, that those magnet splices are just as strong as the original magnet. But don't you believe it. One good snowstorm and you've got bits of broken magnet all over the place. And it ain't pretty.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 9, 2009 6:36 PM | Report abuse

I thought magnets are attracted to cold. My fridge is covered in them.

Posted by: Boko999 | February 9, 2009 6:46 PM | Report abuse

JEFO, that makes sense. Years ago I did work with cryogenic sensors. They couldn't be rushed, and these are far, far bigger.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 9, 2009 6:46 PM | Report abuse

Well of course one day they will need a bigger atom smasher. Energy to a particle physicist is like cowbell to Blue Öyster Cult.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 9, 2009 6:49 PM | Report abuse

Only certain ones, Boko. Magnets aren't attracted to the front of mine, which is supposed to be stainless steel, but they do adhere to the sides. Otherwise, I'd have no phone numbers, recipes, or photos.

Posted by: slyness | February 9, 2009 6:53 PM | Report abuse

*faxing CERN more cowbell*

Am now devastated at missing the BPH, having learned CqP is/was there.
Bwaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! [Lucy crying]

Yoki, you there? I'll keep you company.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | February 9, 2009 7:06 PM | Report abuse

*faxing CERN more cowbell*

Am now devastated at missing the BPH, having learned CqP is/was there.
Bwaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! [Lucy crying]

Yoki, you there? I'll keep you company.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | February 9, 2009 7:07 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: Curmudgeon- | February 9, 2009 7:08 PM | Report abuse

Congratulations to DNA girl and Raysmom. KBoom, I’ve been where you are and it isn’t fun at all. Sending good thoughts to you.

I don’t have a clue about this Kit. I didn’t understand the Collider when it was first turned on and nothing has happened to make me any smarter in the interim.

Posted by: badsneakers | February 9, 2009 7:14 PM | Report abuse

badsneaks, the short version of the kit and boodle is to always put your magnets in the fridge for at least two hours before serving. Unless the fridge is covered in photos, which act as a thermal layer and will set off the cyrogenic sensors. And then you've got the frozen brain of Howard Hughes to worry about.

Also, Raysmom is up, DNA Girl is in, and KBoom is in holding.

Posted by: engelmann | February 9, 2009 7:26 PM | Report abuse

I'm here, 'Mudge, and I have a wee glass of me favourite tipple just ready to tip!

So let's all be charming and witty and all. RD, you in? Weed? yello? Slyness? Cassandra? Wilbrod? Everybody?!

Posted by: Yoki | February 9, 2009 7:44 PM | Report abuse

Yes I am here as well. Just hanging out with the sleeping daughter and hyped up son. For tomorrow he becomes a legal adult.

Which is even scarier than a defective atom smasher.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 9, 2009 7:57 PM | Report abuse

Sort of here, helping younger one with Math homework, please fax large quantities of alcohol - I'll need it.

Posted by: dmd2 | February 9, 2009 7:57 PM | Report abuse

Hey, we can live-Boodle during Obama's press conference! It starts now.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | February 9, 2009 8:01 PM | Report abuse

dmd, I have Prosecco, Semillon-Sauvignon, Shiraz on the civilized side, and plenty of Irish Whisky and Vodka on the not-so. What's your preference? If we get crazy later, there is also a bottle of Aquavit in the freezer, but I don't recommend it on a school night.

RD, aren't (what? 18/19/21?)-year-olds pretty much defective atom-smashers in and of themselves? The prototype, as it were.

Posted by: Yoki | February 9, 2009 8:02 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, I passed from witty to witless around 30 minutes ago.

I think I'll take a brain break to recuperate some energy, see if I'm back later on.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | February 9, 2009 8:03 PM | Report abuse

Major American Network reference please, 'Mudge?

Posted by: Yoki | February 9, 2009 8:05 PM | Report abuse

Prosecco!!!!!!!!!!!! Oh, yummy! And yummier still with a melonball scoop of lemon sorbet and half a shot of vodka!!

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | February 9, 2009 8:06 PM | Report abuse

NBC, Yoki.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | February 9, 2009 8:07 PM | Report abuse

Here, 'mudge, is a large goblet of Prosecco, vodka and lemon sorbet. Go nuts.

Posted by: Yoki | February 9, 2009 8:09 PM | Report abuse

Someone has to help him figure out where the camera is. I know he is talking to the press corp, but still, even those in the cheap seats like a glance now and again.

I will have to excuse myself from this party for a bit. Need to help remake a bed.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 9, 2009 8:09 PM | Report abuse

Think I will stick with Vodka Yoki, no bubbles allowed for me until they chop out my gall bladder.

Posted by: dmd2 | February 9, 2009 8:12 PM | Report abuse

I got a big bowl of chips and dip left over from the Big Game to watch Obama tie Dubya's record for press conferences.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 9, 2009 8:15 PM | Report abuse

Ken I have dmd's bubbles, pleesh, Yokiyokiyoki?

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | February 9, 2009 8:16 PM | Report abuse

I've got so lightly salted almonds I can share!

Posted by: MiddleofthePacific | February 9, 2009 8:18 PM | Report abuse

Barack practically called out Amity Shlaes by name.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 9, 2009 8:18 PM | Report abuse

I was just thinking as I listened to the President take five minutes to answer the first question, it would be amusing to have a split screen showing the difference in how he answered a question (detailed and at length, intelligent), with GWB's stumbling and bumbling.

Posted by: dmd2 | February 9, 2009 8:19 PM | Report abuse

*Handing dmd a small glass of chilled vokda, pouring dmd's glass of Prosecco into 'mudges wine glass*

Posted by: Yoki | February 9, 2009 8:23 PM | Report abuse

Hey, MotP! So glad to see you, and do you know, almonds are one of my sustaining foods? Love 'em. Come on in! Can I pour you a drink?

Posted by: Yoki | February 9, 2009 8:25 PM | Report abuse

shenk you

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | February 9, 2009 8:25 PM | Report abuse

Who hid the good Shiraz?

Glad to see that Obama seems to have settled down.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 9, 2009 8:28 PM | Report abuse

Oops, 'mudge, here is a glass of water and a bit of cheese on a nice slice of baguette. We must watch your blood sugar!

Where is that spiky guy? We need one of his quick intelligent comments.

President Obama is talking about the sub-prime mess, and he actually understands it!

Posted by: Yoki | February 9, 2009 8:29 PM | Report abuse

He is really letting his inner wonk fly.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 9, 2009 8:31 PM | Report abuse

Sorry RD, the Shiraz is on the games table. Good wine glasses too. Help yourself!

Posted by: Yoki | February 9, 2009 8:31 PM | Report abuse

shenk you

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | February 9, 2009 8:32 PM | Report abuse

bubbles tickling my nose

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | February 9, 2009 8:34 PM | Report abuse

We got any vodka for an appletini?

Posted by: yellojkt | February 9, 2009 8:37 PM | Report abuse

*snort!* I just love you, Curmudgeon.

Come sit down and we'll have a little chat.

Posted by: Yoki | February 9, 2009 8:39 PM | Report abuse

Frozen vodka, yello. But I don't know what an appletini is, so I hope you brought everything else.

Posted by: Yoki | February 9, 2009 8:43 PM | Report abuse

inner wonk inner wonk

wonkie wonkums


mayhaps I consum consum con sue drank that las proseccie a might too quickledums

must go sit next to Yokums

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | February 9, 2009 8:44 PM | Report abuse

My wife asked how many presidents Helen Thomas has questioned.

My answer is "All of them."

Posted by: yellojkt | February 9, 2009 8:50 PM | Report abuse

This is some party. 'mudge just fell asleep!

Posted by: Yoki | February 9, 2009 8:55 PM | Report abuse

Ohmygosh, I'm sorry I'm late! But I went to Trader Joe's and got all the cheese we need. I skipped 3 buck Chuck, though. This crowd deserves better.

How long do we let Mudge slumber, Yoki? Till he snores?

Posted by: slyness | February 9, 2009 9:06 PM | Report abuse

Nah, I think he'll stir and then we'll get him up again. He's some fun!

Cheese! I love cheese. I feel like Wallace (on kit, see? see?). What's wrong with Wendsleydale?

Hi, slyness. What's your preference? I'll put out this lovely cheese tray if you want to circulate.

Posted by: Yoki | February 9, 2009 9:09 PM | Report abuse

Get out the Sharpies. Time to draw curly mustaches on mudge.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 9, 2009 9:12 PM | Report abuse

I was having the strangest dream. I was at Trader Joe's with Helen Thomas, and we were slathered in cheesewhiz.


Yoki, got any coffee?

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | February 9, 2009 9:13 PM | Report abuse

I bought some Guyere and some cheddar, Yoki. They didn't have any Wensleydale, darn it, but I did get the Stilton with cranberries. I prefer Stilton with ginger and mango, but TJ's doesn't carry it. Oh, and some Brie.

The goat cheese is in the freezer, if you're interested.

Posted by: slyness | February 9, 2009 9:16 PM | Report abuse

No coffee! As my late (and deeply missed) father in law used to say, coffee doesn't sober you up! It only makes you wide awake drunk.

Many tall glasses of water, a painkiller, and some sucrose and grease (another friend in the throes recommended a mult-vitamin, but that's just crazy-talk). such as a piece of buttered cinnamon-raisin toast, and you're good to go.

Don't you feel better now? Wanna dance?

Posted by: Yoki | February 9, 2009 9:17 PM | Report abuse

Brie? Brie?! That's my all-time favourite, slyness *nudging everyone else away from the tray*

Posted by: Yoki | February 9, 2009 9:19 PM | Report abuse

I'll have to remember that, Yoki. I like it too, especially the full cream versions. The more fat, the better.

Posted by: slyness | February 9, 2009 9:25 PM | Report abuse

Precisely! *sigh*

Posted by: Yoki | February 9, 2009 9:30 PM | Report abuse

Daughter is sleeping soundly, and the house is cleaned up. When a child is ill the well-oiled machinery that is our household collapses.

bc - put away that EVOO. I was speaking metaphorically.

I have a weakness for cheese as well. As Mudge can attest, PA Dutch country is a wonderland of dairy products. My Father In Law and I used to love making interesting purchases. Well-aged cheddar. Something called "cup cheese." Rich Brie. And even the infamous Limburger. It really does smell like old socks. But it tastes very good.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 9, 2009 9:42 PM | Report abuse

I have a fresh pot of mud, and some large mugs, courtesy of Sid Luck, ca. 1997. Perfectly seasoned. If there is any vodka left, I'll have a double in my cup, top it with whipped cream, and enjoy a Polish coffee. I'm faxing you a mug, 'Mudge, but before I do, would you like it black, light, or regular? I'm not surprised that A-Roid is coming clean about his recreational chemical use. Keelhauling seems an appropriate penance. I'm watching the WKC show, aand Peter Green just finished with the terriers. I was once in the ring with one of the Green team. This fellow ran up on my dog and spooked it. Not like we would have walked with a ribbon, but it was dirty pool. I might have to accidently stomp the top of his foot the next time I see him. I took care of the internment this afternoon, facing the dog westward for no particular reason other than I Shall Be Released ran through my head while I was working.

Posted by: -jack- | February 9, 2009 9:54 PM | Report abuse

Mr. President,
Did the United States--or did it not--transport suspected terrorists to foreign locations for the purpose of interrogation and torture?

(And the only question the Washington Post correspondent could ask was about A-Rod? What a softball!)

I see that John Schwartz is reporting the legal side of the story tonight at the New York Times, but fails to mention the name of the Boeing subsidiary, San Jose-based Jeppesen Dataplan, as mentioned in a NYT op-ed just five days ago. Time to keep our eyes on Eric Holder at Justice. Good job on the Prez.'s part on the stim sell debate, now some honest answers would be appropriate about the crim cell torture question.

LA Times also has the today's story:,0,6909985.story

NYT Feb. 4 op-ed:

...More profoundly, the argument that any litigation touching upon foreign intelligence operations is categorically off limits to judicial scrutiny is an affront to the constitutional separation of powers.

It is also contrary to Mr. Obama’s stated views. To put them into action, Mr. Holder should immediately ask the court for time to rethink the government’s position and to file a new brief. Instead of trying to automatically shut down any judicial review of these issues, the Obama administration should propose that judges examine actual documents or other specific evidence for which the state secrets privilege is invoked, and redact them as needed to protect legitimate secrets.

Should Mr. Obama decide against pursuing criminal cases for the torture and abuse of prisoners, taking any chance of an effective civil case off the table would give a pass to such misconduct and leave its victims without any legal remedy. That certainly does not fit principles that the new president has so often articulated.

Posted by: laloomis | February 9, 2009 10:03 PM | Report abuse

jack, I'm watching WKC, too. That was a beautiful Scottish Terrier, wasn't it?

Yes, I'm home from the BPH. Brag, Rickoshea, CqP, omni, bc, LiT, TBG, and Son of G were there. A good time was had by all, and might I add CqP has some stylin' boots!

Posted by: Raysmom | February 9, 2009 10:06 PM | Report abuse

When did you become an international civil rights and constitutional lawyer?

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | February 9, 2009 10:06 PM | Report abuse

My sympathies Jack. #2’s Great Dane is under her favorite tree watching over the cranberry bog in back of her house.

I was quite impresses with our president. How refreshing to listen to someone who has cogent multi-part answers. And Mudge was right about our president being a chess player. I’m pretty pleased so far.

I love cheese, but hardly ever eat it anymore, gotta watch those calories, alas!

Posted by: badsneakers | February 9, 2009 10:07 PM | Report abuse

Regular would be great, Jack. By way of thanks, here's something comin' atcha:

New RNC Chairman Michael Steele says Obama's stim package "won't create jobs, only work." And I thought I was the one who had too much to drink.

Yoki, last night when I was complaining about the difficulty I was having writing a specific poem I was inspired to write a poem about the difficulty of writing a poem, which I just now finished and e-mailed to ya.

Still having trouble with the main pome, of course.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | February 9, 2009 10:08 PM | Report abuse

Oh my god, a Brag & Boots BPH...

*sobs quietly in her water*

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | February 9, 2009 10:08 PM | Report abuse

Ever have one of those days when you just can't seem to throw enough tools at the walls fast enough?

Tomorrow's project will be removing the claw hammer embedded in the garage door and working on my Zen breathing exercises.

Posted by: martooni | February 9, 2009 10:13 PM | Report abuse

There was a Scottie that delighted in chasing me whether I was cycling or motorcycling. Doing that terrier thing. Doin' that rag. I liked the wolfhound. We've decided that will be our next big dog, and have started our search for a breeder. We're being particularly mindful that the line we choose is relatively clear of heart issues.

Posted by: -jack- | February 9, 2009 10:13 PM | Report abuse

jack, why do Standard Poodles win the non-sporting group so often?

Posted by: Raysmom | February 9, 2009 10:18 PM | Report abuse

BTW, congratulations to the two of you, Raysmom and DNA_G. KBoom, rest assured that you have boodle mojo working in your corner. 'Mudge, your regular is hot on the wires. Best of luck with your pending boat work, and your laundry room. Our HOH heater started getting funky this weekend, and may need replacing. If so, I may inquire about one of those tankless things. Be aware that if you're at a Chock Full of Nuts in Spanish Harlem and ask for a regular, that it'll have three sugars, not two.

Posted by: -jack- | February 9, 2009 10:20 PM | Report abuse

Because they have five figure show budgets. Along with a few well placed licks.

Posted by: -jack- | February 9, 2009 10:22 PM | Report abuse

So that "they're judged against the breed standard, not each other" thing goes out the window, jack?

Posted by: Raysmom | February 9, 2009 10:24 PM | Report abuse

Yeah. Nuts. We feel like our dogs are pretty true to the Cuban morph, but in our area the breeders are going small and walking with every ribbon imaginable. These dogs are too froofroo for my tastes. The standard says that the Havanese are sturdy and the dogs that are being put up are small boned and more like something that is fit for a handbag.

Posted by: -jack- | February 9, 2009 10:32 PM | Report abuse

I believe I'll eschew the luggage gag.

Posted by: Boko999 | February 9, 2009 10:54 PM | Report abuse

Just caught the last 45 minutes of a 2-hour show called "Old, Weird America: Harry Smith's Anthology of American Folk Music," on something called the Ovation channel, for those of you with cable or sat TV. It is pretty much for the hardcore folkie of the 50s and 60s. The title is pretty much self-explanatory. It is being repeated at midnight and a couple more times in the next week or so. Quite an excellent documentary, with lots of guest talking and performing heads ranging from Alan Ginsberg to Elvis Costello, plus a lot of people you never heard of.

Bedtime beckons. 'Night, Boodle.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | February 9, 2009 11:06 PM | Report abuse

Boko!! Fellow big-dog person!

Posted by: Yoki | February 9, 2009 11:33 PM | Report abuse

well done, Boko. You crack me up.

Posted by: -jack- | February 9, 2009 11:39 PM | Report abuse

Full moon tonight...

Onset of lycan...


I... think.... I can... fix.... LHC... once...I... have... opposeable... thumbs... again.

Now, though... I'm *hungry*
[Lock up your cats]



Posted by: -bc- | February 10, 2009 12:08 AM | Report abuse

i noticed the moon tonight while doing a couple of errands. the moon's craters conjure up a face image to me, and the expression of it is part concern, part dismay. i wonder sometimes if that is the cosmic attitude toward the human race.

Posted by: LALurker | February 10, 2009 12:20 AM | Report abuse

Nicholas Wade at the NYT has a nice appreciation of the difficulty of embracing Darwin, who was indeed ahead of his time.

Even natural selection has been elusive. Here's a quote:

"It is clear...that natural selection is ubiquitous enough to be found in a wide variety of organisms, and that strong selection is by no means uncommon in natural populations. Yet its importance to evolution, and to the maintenance of genetic variation, is a matter of opinion and extensive longstanding debate. Much of this debate is based upon varying emphases on different aspects of evolution by various people..."
--John A. Endler, Natural Selection in the Wild. Monographs in Population Biology 21. Princeton University Press, 1986.

These days, you might read Peter R. Grant and B. Rosemary Grant, How and Why Species Multiply: The Radiation of Darwin's Finches. Princeton Series in Evolutionary Biology. The authors are based at Princeton.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | February 10, 2009 12:22 AM | Report abuse

Lunar rabbit, Lurker. At least in Japan.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | February 10, 2009 12:24 AM | Report abuse

Bc, please take my cat....i'm sure he is very tasty with all the food he eats everyday.

It is a pretty moon tonight,although clouds are rolling in.

How was the BPH folks?

Posted by: greenwithenvy | February 10, 2009 12:26 AM | Report abuse

[From bc in an alternate non-lycanthropic timeline]

The LHC being cold is like your oven being cold - you don't just flip a switch and have it go to 450 deg F in an instant. It needs time to warm up to 14 Tera-electronVolt collisions (7 in each direction, right?), ya might crack the block or sumthin' if ya lean on it too hard when everything's not up to operating temp.

And you don't want to leave it on all the time, even on low. That'll run the electric bill *way* up. Plus, that'd make it really hard for me to work on - if I accidentally cross a wire with that much energy, I'll have a problem I can't address by smooshing a little aloe on it.

The person that comes to check on me - once they flip the breakers to restore power to France - won't need a stretcher, they'll need a broom and a dustpan.


Posted by: -bc- | February 10, 2009 12:30 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, Boodle. Looks like I'm the first one up, so I'll put the coffee on, and throw some muffins and croissants in the microwave, and any bagels if there's any left.

Sounds like you all had a good BPH -- and CqP had her marchin' boots on, so I hear.

Don't bother reading the lead story, about how the bailout could cost $1.5 trillion; the story is just about completely unsourced, and you have no idea where the figures are coming from or who is talking -- and the weird thing is, there's no reason for these people to be so anonymous. All in all, a pretty crappy story riding under a pointless scare headline.And it treats a "guarantee" like it was actual money spent.

Gene Robinson's column has had it with bipartisanship and the moderate GOPers (all three of them): roll over the opposition, he says.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | February 10, 2009 6:09 AM | Report abuse

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

Morning, friends. Kboom, prayers said, and blessing sought for you and yours. Hang in there.

DNA girl and Raysmom, congratulations and good thoughts your way.

RD, hope the wee one is feeling better.

Mudge, haven't read either one, but will try and read Robinson later. I missed the news conference last night. It was watching me.

Everyone needs to read the "marriage prescription" under the health news. It is funny, with bits of truth tacked on that comedy. All of this is written as a prescription for long life. At the end it does quote some stat that married people live longer than us single folks.

Slyness, Scotty, Yoki, Martooni, and all the gang, have a great day. *waving*

It is foggy here this morning, so I'm going to wait for light before stepping out for the walk.

I want to read the op-ed piece about A-Rod and the steriod mess. It does ask an interesting question about why so many folks are up in the air about steriod use in baseball, but it is not an outrage in football. I've often wondered why more wasn't said about the McGuire guy that admitted using enhancers for those home runs he made at the peak of his career. Did he admit to using them, I can't remember now?

Time to walk.

Posted by: cmyth4u | February 10, 2009 6:53 AM | Report abuse

You got me beat this morning, Cassandra. I didn't hear Mr. T get up and I overslept, but only by 15 minutes. I'll be behind all day!

I'm with Gene on the need to move forward. Let's get this baby moving and get some help to people!

Okay, lots to do, so I'll get moving. I'll check in later.

Posted by: slyness | February 10, 2009 7:21 AM | Report abuse

Thanks, y'all. Boy, I sure seem to be Queen of the Gaffe these days.

I think Obama kicked butt last night. Plus ... DANG! That man is good-lookin'.

Do you think that the Repubs are aiming their message at the 92% of Americans who still have jobs ... and who think their jobs are safe? I'm having a hard time figuring their audience ... or their game. It'll be interesting to see what 538 has to say when the polls come out in a few days.

Posted by: KBoom | February 10, 2009 7:24 AM | Report abuse


You are so correct. President Obama is one good looking dude. I did say more, but, forgot, he's the President. That said, I hope no one is heading to Washington with any equipment.

Posted by: cmyth4u | February 10, 2009 7:35 AM | Report abuse

Hmmmm... I seem to have missed quite a BPH and equally enticing alternate activities last night. But a "quiet night in" is a rare thing these days, too... :-)

bc, I gotta keep better track of the moon phases so I can have you cat-sit the entirely meshuggenah Midnight at the appropriate times.

'Mudge, you got something on yer cheek...

*pointing-discreetly-while-planning-the-daily-foray-into-Caffeineland Grover waves*


Posted by: Scottynuke | February 10, 2009 7:46 AM | Report abuse

Good morning Al!

Posted by: russianthistle | February 10, 2009 7:47 AM | Report abuse

Morning all.. the BPH was great last night, but it looks like y'all had a fun time here, too. That's the way it should work!

We feted Brag and, with great sadness too, sent him off on his new life adventure. We're lucky to have found such a nice, interesting and funny guy here in the boodle. His stories are great... they always start off with something like, "When I was in Africa..." or seem to mention "the entire Jordanian Mafia." The perfect words to draw you closer and ready to listen.

I'm hoping our new configuration of cubes and desks at the office will allow me to position my computer so I can boodle more freely. This is driving me crazy, having to backboodle every morning and never being part of the conversation.

Time to start getting ready for work... my long, 6-minute commute is beckoning.

Posted by: -TBG- | February 10, 2009 7:52 AM | Report abuse

TBG... I am really sad to have missed the BPH. Your point about the cube situation gave me an idea for a web site possibility that is akin to the CBS college basketball tourney web site with a special "boss" button.

Posted by: russianthistle | February 10, 2009 8:00 AM | Report abuse

Wasn't there a dark and disturbing movie starring John Garfield and Lana Turner called "When Hadrons Collide" ... ????

Posted by: russianthistle | February 10, 2009 8:04 AM | Report abuse

Nice to see some Boodle-denizens. Brag is brave and sanguine about his big adventure. Thanks for flagging the boots. Some days a gal from the West just needs her pointy-toed S&!^-kickers. We all have a thimble-full of the West in us; some of us a pint or two.

I did not know I was heading out for the skazzy-gathering until ten minutes before I biked over to the Metro.

Son of TBG has a big adventure underway too, which involves moving deeper below the Mason-Dixon line.

RickoShea/shay/chet graciously drove me home in her conveyance, which most commodiously accepted my bike in the back. 'Twas door-to-door service and felt so much a treat. That handle makes me think on the fabulous one-horse shay or "whisky" buggy because the nimble rig permitted a whisking about the country on errands.

Here is a link to the Oliver Wendell Holmes' poem, illustrated by Howard Pyle:

In economics, a "one-hoss shay" describes a long but abrupt depreciation: a durable product delivers steadily throughout its lifetime before failing -- typically as a sudden-event -- with zero scrap value. The classic example is a wooden chair with a cane seat: the rot underneath fails under the press of, say, a Santa-jolly endowed relative.

Is our economy in a one-horse shay moment? Sudden failure event, that we know understand better as a fraying within?

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | February 10, 2009 8:10 AM | Report abuse

Although I'm assiduously avoiding any TV coverage of "OctoMom," the L.A. times is continuing to provide solid news reporting of yet more disturbing aspects of the case:,0,6284789,print.story

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 10, 2009 8:12 AM | Report abuse

Hey Sneaks, how's this for a revoltin' development:


Posted by: Scottynuke | February 10, 2009 8:17 AM | Report abuse

I have to say that Octo mom is, by definition, a whack job. Personally avoiding stories at all costs.

What did hit the news that is really bazaar?

"CIA made Rolling Stone satire into dirty bomb plot: report" by John Byrne at Raw Story

How a foreign national ended up in Gitmo for admitting to reading a piece of Satire.

AND, you wonder why there have been a number of military prosecutors resigning from their positions at Gitmo.

You know, this is completely off-topic, but since Joel is smart and I'm not, I spend a lot of time in the off-topic realm. In a funny way, however, this just shows, if you give the government billions to comb through all data everywhere, this is what you get... not only do we violate our own civil rights as Americans, but we spend literally millions tormenting folks around the world just to "protect" our safety here.

Millions, if not billions will be spent on this--all this cloaked in secrecy. The secrecy is primary there to protect us from knowing how absurd this all is. Better, we just spend it on splattering Hadrons, or health care, or food stamps for the poor.

Good on Vermont to start drafting criminal charges against Dick Cheney. And good too that Patrick Leahy, also of Vermont, is pushing forward on the investigations in this area and many others.

Watch at your own risk... I know that there must be some people who saw this and are not in Gitmo, just based on the numbers. (of course, they may be in CIA safe houses around the globe)... sorry, Evan Johns fans.

Posted by: russianthistle | February 10, 2009 8:50 AM | Report abuse

And Raysmom was there too. Don't forget to count yourself dear. Though nine is not a prime number, it is odd.

Meanwhile, before I get insanely busy again... could we forget to raise a toast to Marley...born Feb 6th 1945

Good article by Du Lac

and this:


Posted by: omnigood | February 10, 2009 9:18 AM | Report abuse

New Kit!

Posted by: -dbG- | February 10, 2009 9:26 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, Boodle!

Great BPH last night! A bit sad to know won't be seeing Boodlers for some time.

Today, trying to catch up with Iforgotto dothisandthat list.


Posted by: Braguine | February 10, 2009 9:37 AM | Report abuse

the truth.....

Over the past two weeks we have heard nothing from the Republican party except complaints, and attempts at cajoling the American populace into believing that the same failed policies that got us into this mess are the answer to getting us out of this mess. They've attempted to paint the Recovery Plan as a failure before it is even implemented. They've used the word spending, they've pointed at certain programs in the Recovery plan as wasteful spending, programs that involve aiding the Education, by building schools and higher pay for teachers. Republicans have called this wasteful spending. Imagine? Improving education in the minds of Republican politicians is wasteful.

The truth is Republicans continue to lie

Posted by: need4trth | February 10, 2009 8:23 PM | Report abuse

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