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The Rocky Folds

A sad day for American journalism: The Rocky Mountain News is no more.

Lots more at Romenesko.

[More to come...]

By Joel Achenbach  |  February 27, 2009; 7:47 AM ET
 
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Comments

Another death:
Philip Jose Farmer, author of The Fabulous riverboat series and other SF.

http://www.pjfarmer.com/

Posted by: wiredog | February 27, 2009 7:54 AM | Report abuse

Very emotional pictures on the Rocky web site last night of staffers getting the news. Just short of the 150th birthday, ouch.

Morning boodle! Only -9 here this morning, the NOAA forecast said -21 last night so I've decided to go with "could be worse" as a mood this morning.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | February 27, 2009 8:21 AM | Report abuse

Farmer is gone? Crud.

Posted by: ScienceTim | February 27, 2009 8:23 AM | Report abuse

No, he's just going to show up on another part of The River.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 27, 2009 8:35 AM | Report abuse

Who had Rocky Mountain News in the Newspaper Death Pool? All my money was on the San Francisco Chronicle.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 27, 2009 8:37 AM | Report abuse

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2uU--sHMb14

From a conversation reference from late last night... turned out we had mutual friends who were close to Pam Bricker. Here is a decent little piece of video posted by Bill Holland of DC fame who is playing w/ a couple of my favorites, Pete Kennedy and Wade Matthews on bass. Pam's loss was a terrible blow, but I have to say that one of the kindest and wonderful musicians in the area was Wade. He too passed several years ago.

It's funny how my own personal recession came at a time that I could just sit for hours and listen to music like this down at City Blues (also gone). The person who brought up the connection used to hang out at Mr Henry's at Tenleytown and hear Bill Holland. Today, there really aren't too many places where you can listen to live music.

Some people read books and some watch movies, but for a few of us, nothing beats listening to a live performance, often, it makes no difference what the music is, but just that you are sharing a moment.

One of the great things is that folks are putting these moments up on the web.

Posted by: russianthistle | February 27, 2009 8:52 AM | Report abuse

Cassandra, the Evangeline Lilly thing appears to be a mistaken rumor. All her people have denied it.

She and I have never even remotely discussed the possibility, so neither of us knows how the silly idea got started.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | February 27, 2009 9:00 AM | Report abuse

Don't know how many of you saw this: http://www.politico.com/blogs/michaelcalderone/0209/WaPo_merges_Opinion_staffs.html

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | February 27, 2009 9:22 AM | Report abuse

Back in the day, I was a paper girl (or as the creepy guy on the route called me, the 'paper doll' who he wanted to play dress-up with...yuck). I delivered the Washington Star, an afternoon paper (don't you miss afternoon papers?). They folded long after I stopped being a paper girl, but I still remember the sadness: a feeling that something important had been allowed to wither on the vine and die.

The Washington Post bought up the assets (such as they were) and snagged up a few journalists. From the ashes was born The Washington Times. Even if you disagree with their viewpoint, there's something comforting....downright democratic...about a two-paper town. Perhaps when the economy recovers, Denver will be so lucky.

Posted by: LostInThought | February 27, 2009 9:27 AM | Report abuse

Good morning y'all. This is sad news about Rocky Mountain News. I relied on that paper during our Colorado visits. Good reporting. Alas.

Here in Oklahoma we have two major metropolitan areas, OKC and Tulsa. In my youth each had a morning and afternoon paper. For years each has had one paper, and they were polar opposites. Although the OKC paper has been getting better technically (at one point it won recognition from the Columbia journalism school as among the worst in the country) and has eased up some on ideology, it still has a strong conservative outlook. Tulsa's was always better in terms of writing, etc., and was close to what passes for liberal here.

Lo and behold, the two are now for all practical purposes one. The OKC paper (still family-owned and operated, but it is the Gaylord family and they're not hurting) laid off a bunch of reporters etc. this fall. Immediately afterward the two papers entered into a resources-sharing agreement; by resources I mean reporters. Each now relies on the other for stories from that part of the state. The Tulsa paper does have one reporter covering the Capitol during session.

For many of us, our minds boggle at the thought of these two newspapers, once in fierce competition, now relying one one another.

Posted by: Ivansmom | February 27, 2009 9:31 AM | Report abuse

Ivansmom,

Sort of like we have in the offing...

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/24/business/media/24paper.html

Posted by: russianthistle | February 27, 2009 9:38 AM | Report abuse

I'd rather the story were about the folding and crumpling that created the Wyoming basins. The Big Horn Basin is something like 20,000 feet deep, not far from Cody.

Which brings to mind Colorado's Piceance Basin and an odd smell near my desk, which turns out to have been due to some ant activity.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | February 27, 2009 9:39 AM | Report abuse

Hey, Mudge, you should read that Robinson column, even if you're not interested in golf. The subtext is all heroism and optimism in the face of adversity, and nicely done.

Posted by: Ivansmom | February 27, 2009 9:41 AM | Report abuse

This is sad news. It looks like a great paper.

I still think newsies will land on their feet. They may not land for a while but they are still needed, needed more than ever. People still crave solid reporting, solid writing and the view of how the other side thinks.

Is the newspapaer problem a worldwide problem, or is it a North American problem?

Posted by: --dr-- | February 27, 2009 9:44 AM | Report abuse

Yello, you were wondering why nobody was accessing your photo from the IBPH - I think you posted Rick O'Shea's twice, and no link to the one of you. Although I am easily confused and befuddled.

Posted by: JustSaying5 | February 27, 2009 10:00 AM | Report abuse

Completely off-topic, there's some excellent news for Everglades restoration. Retired Army colonel Terrence "Rock" Salt, who has been working for years on Everglades restoration for the US Department of the Interior, is returning to the Corps of Engineers.

http://www.palmbeachpost.com/storm/content/local_news/epaper/2009/02/26/0226salt.html

Lately, it's been looking as though restoration will end up as lots of planning and very little restoration.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | February 27, 2009 10:10 AM | Report abuse

http://www.rarediseases.org/

Not all states (including California and Texas in the "not" category) have issued proclamations in observance of Rare Disease Day tomorrow, but many around the D.C. area have (Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, West Virginia, New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Kentucky, Tennessee, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire).

A counter has been installed on the website of the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) at www.rarediseases.org to count the days, hours, minutes, and seconds until the first-ever Rare Disease Day to be observed in the United States.

“The theme of this day is that rare diseases are an important public health issue,” said NORD President Peter L. Saltonstall. “Although each disease may affect a small number of people, when considered together these diseases affect between 25 and 30 million Americans. And people with rare diseases share certain challenges such as difficulty getting a diagnosis, lack of treatment options, and problems related to reimbursement.”

[Gee, Ben Bradlee's first wife was a Saltonstall--wonder if there's any relatedness...?]

Posted by: laloomis | February 27, 2009 10:12 AM | Report abuse

I think JustSaying5 is right. I saw yello's picture because there was a nice little link to all three of them at the site itself, but when I cut n' pasted I came up with ricko'shea twice too.

The problem with newsies landing on their feet is they may be caught flat-footed. I agree that there is a need for what they do, but their skills have been honed for a disappearing employer. All trends indicate fewer news outlets, particularly in print, are available to pay reporters full-time to do what they do best - investigate and report the news.

Posted by: Ivansmom | February 27, 2009 10:13 AM | Report abuse

So I did, person of the mysterious alias. Far be it for me to deprive TBG from her stalkerish lurking fans. Here she is:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/42627063@N00/3313159930/in/photostream/

Posted by: yellojkt | February 27, 2009 10:16 AM | Report abuse

dr, it's a worldwide problem.

In France, the government is subsidizing some of the news organizations in that country in order to keep them afloat.

I, too, remember the Star, and like the idea of having a second paper in town. Seeme so me that counterbalances and natural competitors for a city newspapers - or any organizations, really - improves the quality of both.

Unforunately, with news organizations having to compete with all of the resources of the Internet - including those in far-off cities - makes for an rather unbalanced business model.

bc

Posted by: -bc- | February 27, 2009 10:32 AM | Report abuse

My dad covered city hall for the afternoon daily for the better part of forty years. It folded in the late 70's; somewhere around here I still have a copy of the last edition.

If this is creative destruction, I'm ready for whatever is going to take the place of the newspaper to go ahead and appear. We gots lots of folks who have great skills and need a place to exercise them.

I literally cannot remember a time that I didn't read the newspaper. Every morning, I read the Charlotte Observer and then go online to read WaPo. But the Observer comes first, it's the one that's on the kitchen table. I cannot imagine a world without news and newspapers. I'm obviously stuck in the old paradigm. Sosumi.

Posted by: slyness | February 27, 2009 10:34 AM | Report abuse

I'm sorry to see that Farmer has passed - though I wonder if To His Scattered Body He's Gone and in his personal timeline, he's waking up naked on the banks of a river with a container attached to him.

When I think about it, he might have been the last guy who was fluent in Esperanto.

Oh, my misspent youth.
Well, *spent* youth, anyway.

SCC: "I, too, remember the Star, and like the idea of having a second paper in town. Seems so me that counterbalances and natural competitors for city newspapers - or any organizations, really - improves the quality of both."

I was lucky that even though my family was not well to do financially, we subscribed to both the Post and Star, and I was able to see news covered from different editorial perspectives.

bc

Posted by: -bc- | February 27, 2009 10:42 AM | Report abuse

When I was about 10, I began to read the paper, which at that time was the Chicago Sun Times. There was an occasional Tribune around but I sure don't remember it like I do the Sun Times. I think my father had something to do with it. I should ask my mother.

I was actually surprised that Denver had been up to this point a two-paper town.

It's odd that no one seems to remember Just Sayin's prior comments here. Unless it is a strange alias. But in any case, JS has been here before.

Posted by: Jumper1 | February 27, 2009 10:51 AM | Report abuse

On a final note, yello, I await your theory about the IBPH picture hits with - trepidation, really.

bc

Posted by: -bc- | February 27, 2009 10:55 AM | Report abuse

I am sad today. The Rocky Mountain News was the paper I grew up reading.

Posted by: Moose13 | February 27, 2009 11:01 AM | Report abuse

I love living in a two newspaper "town," but how long that can be said of the Minneapolis/St. Paul market is a mystery. My guess is "not long."

Here in Our Fair City we are just now becoming a two blog town-as of last Saturday. Some dissatisfaction with the local commercial site (someone had the foresight to park on the cityname.com domain) finally bubbled to the surface with an advertising free blog. snit hit the fan, feelings were hurt, but for the time being we're a two blog town. A good thing I think.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | February 27, 2009 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Ooohhh, what a picture! Long hair does come in handy, yanno! It was great fun last night at the IBPH. And YOKI, YOKI, YOKI -- you are such a dear. It was terrific to see you and all others who gathered. I was the first to leave, alas, but the knee told me it was time to attempt to rise from the chair.

Loomis -- you are indeed right about the first ever Rare Disease Day! Yay, NORD!!!! It's a tremendous organization and I truly love it to absolute pieces. Really, Honest, Truly!

Time to go back to lurking and getting other things actually done. cya later.

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | February 27, 2009 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Moose-I am so sorry. I remember the day Life announced it was ceasing weekly publication and it was like a knife through my young heart. Losing the paper you grew up with must be worse.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | February 27, 2009 11:05 AM | Report abuse

bc,
My theory involved you being the clearly more handsome between the two of us, but I seem to have pooched the double-blind integrity of the experiment.

And ftb, while not quite under a bushel-basket you are clearly hiding your light. Don't be so modest. All the distaff boodlers are radiant flowers in their own way, but Yoki's leather jacket was the headturning fashion statement of the night. Zehr chic.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 27, 2009 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Yoki, neglected to comment on the lovely leather jacket - very stylish, my rather beaten leather jacket is a sad affair next to yours.

Feeling a little like a glutton with the number of reasonably local papers I have to choose from (4 Toronto - of various quality and perspective) plus small local and another daily from Hamilton. Not sure how long this will continue but I grew up with having a lot of choice in reading various papers and would hate to see that go away.

Posted by: dmd2 | February 27, 2009 11:43 AM | Report abuse

England's Prime Minister Gordon Brown has a child with cystic fibrosis, cystic fibrosis on the list of rare genetic disorders that NORD has helped to explain in language geared to those who are not physicians.

However, Brown and his rare-genetic-disorder son are mentioned in a brief graf in a story about about Ivan Cameron, the six-year-old son of David Cameron of Britain's opposition Conservative Party. Ivan died early Wednesday, having suffered from a severe form of epilepsy called Ohtahara syndrome as well as cerebral palsy. Researchers are still uncertain whether Ohtahara syndrome's basis is genetic or if it's caused by some form of brain injury in utero.

NYT's John F. Burns has the story (first two grafs below):

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/26/world/europe/26ivan.html?scp=1&sq=Cameron%20child%20died&st=cse

LONDON — Ivan Cameron was just 6, a boy with a lovely smile who was born with cerebral palsy and a severe form of epilepsy that deprived him of the ability to walk, talk or feed himself. He spent much of his time in the hospital, sometimes with his parents sleeping on the floor beside him, helping care for their “beautiful boy.”

Early Wednesday, when Ivan died after another late-night dash to the hospital, the news resonated deeply in Britain. The BBC made his death the lead item on its main news bulletins for much of the day, ahead of the world financial crisis. For the first time in 15 years, the House of Commons canceled prime minister’s questions, the 30 minutes of pugilistic politics that is Parliament’s main weekly attraction, and devoted the time instead to tributes to Ivan by Prime Minister Gordon Brown and other party leaders.

Posted by: laloomis | February 27, 2009 12:17 PM | Report abuse

I well remember my first opportunity to access the internet. My daughter and I went to an open house at a local middle school computer lab. We sat down at the computer and the internet was there, waiting. (Yahoo!) And I couldn't think of anything to search for. Should I be embarrassed to admit that? All these years later, I am more familiar with what the internet has to offer but I'm no more imaginative than I was. When I surf the web at random, what I mostly do is peruse the newspaper sites. New York Times, first, but also Chicago Tribune, LA Times, Village Voice, Sydney Morning Herald, Dallas Morning News, Tulsa World, Miami Herald. And then there's the Washington Post, of course, but that's not surfing, it's my home page.

Posted by: kbertocci | February 27, 2009 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Pictures? There are pictures?! This is what I get for jumping into the current kit & boodle without reading the previous boodle first. When will I learn. Thanks for continuing the conversation so I could get the clue.

Posted by: kbertocci | February 27, 2009 12:51 PM | Report abuse

yello, your nefarious experiment has made me into a bit of a Frankenshteen's Monster.

Which is probably accurate.

bc

Posted by: -bc- | February 27, 2009 12:53 PM | Report abuse

On a quick note, I hope everyone's having fun at Lunch today (and you know who you are).

I'm heading up to Beantown this afternoon to visit some old friends for the weekend, so I won't be Boodling much.

With some luck, I'll try to bump into Scottynuke at some point. Some sort of lobster will be involved if so.

bc

Posted by: -bc- | February 27, 2009 1:05 PM | Report abuse

Wow. I kind of expected to read about geology when I got here.

Great pictures from the IBPH. I'm still going to get to one of those sometime.

Posted by: Sara54 | February 27, 2009 1:05 PM | Report abuse

Blame the shutter lag, bc. I always do.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 27, 2009 1:13 PM | Report abuse

arête (plural arêtes)

(geology) A very thin ridge of rock

Posted by: omnigood | February 27, 2009 1:20 PM | Report abuse

awreety (adverb)

(1950s "Zoot Suit" slang) All right, OK, i.e., good. Not to be confused with allarooty.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | February 27, 2009 1:42 PM | Report abuse

This is a really sad day in Denver...this has been the newspaper my family had delivered since the 60's

Posted by: RockiesFan | February 27, 2009 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Arete: Queen of the Phaeacians

Posted by: omnigood | February 27, 2009 1:52 PM | Report abuse

http://encarta.msn.com/media_681514227_761574629_-1_1/Glacial_System.html

Posted by: omnigood | February 27, 2009 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Sunday is my wife's birthday. You guys all know what a flaming Romantic I am. This is what I'm getting her for her birthday this year.

http://www.wentworthnursery.com/pages/the_project_center.cfm?SubCategory=Project%20Catalog&page=ProductDetails&ProductID=158&CategoryID=60&CFID=300238&CFTOKEN=84823776

Hey, I swear, it's what she asked for.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | February 27, 2009 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Mudge I think I would like your wife a lot. I have asked for Mother's Day/Birthday, garden hose, garden utensils, mulch, plants etc. Received them all, loved them all and in particular appreciated receiving something that I coveted.

Quite jealous of your wife's garden composter as I have been wanting one for a while - particularly that kind.

Hope she enjoys her day. Nothing says romance like good compost :-)

Posted by: dmd2 | February 27, 2009 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Be still my beating heart! That is a perfectly romantic gift Mudge and the pic is already winging its way over the intertubes to Mr. F as a Mothers Day hint.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | February 27, 2009 3:07 PM | Report abuse

I got something similar for my 50th, Mudge. I can't say it has been my favorite gift of all time, but then again, I didn't ask for it.

Posted by: slyness | February 27, 2009 3:10 PM | Report abuse

She's been looking forward to this thing for so long it's beginning to look a little bit...well...weird.

By the way, if I ever turn up missing, you guys will tip off the cops the first place to look, right?

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | February 27, 2009 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Looks like a great present to me, too. I especially like the days of the week on it, I suppose so you know where to turn it to. Kewl.

For all you mountain climbers, and for those interested in retail company comeback story:
http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/business/401693_eddiebauer27.html

Oh, and on Kit, Mark Andreeson, who developed Netscape, said on the Charlie Rose show that he thought newspapers (the NY Times in particular) should stop publishing the dead tree editions and go all-online. Jeff Bezos (Amazon) alluded to something similar with book publishers - they need to embrace the technology, not fight it, or they will wind up like the music industry. I still like the hard copies, but I'm an old fogie.

Posted by: seasea | February 27, 2009 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Mudge,
Are her favorite movies 'Fargo' and 'Sweeney Todd'? If so, I'd take that gift request as a warning sign.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 27, 2009 3:22 PM | Report abuse

She's never seen either of them; she'd probably hate them both. When it comes to murder and mahem, Law & Order and Murder, She Wrote are about her speed. She'd get grossed out by the woodchipper scene.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | February 27, 2009 3:32 PM | Report abuse


Hola, Boodlers!

Just a quick note to inform things are well with the southern Boodle Wing. Getting keys of apartment tomorrow. Hope to be comfy and online soon.

Brag

Posted by: Braguine | February 27, 2009 3:38 PM | Report abuse

Detective: Yes, it's a tragedy, Ma'am. These boating accidents are especially sad when the loved one's remains can't be found. Let us know if there's anything more we can do. My, what a lovely garden you have.

Posted by: engelmann | February 27, 2009 3:44 PM | Report abuse

What about a more efficient way of printing dead-tree newspapers? Subscription newspapers already are paid for, but they also have papers in grocery stores and newsstands. What fraction of the print run is prepared in hopes of sale and then remaindered? Perhaps some form of print-on-demand at properly-equipped newsstands. If it could be extended to magazines, it would allow a newsstand to 'stock' newspapers and magazines from all over the world.

A project that materials-science and computer-sci types continue to work on is true digital paper. Not a brick like the Kindle (however thin, it remains a slab device), but a flexible sheet seen in reflected light with embedded electronics. Attach it to an interface or use WiFi to download the newspaper, then you can have a large sheet of 'paper' that reproduces the most pleasant aspects of newspaper reading -- viewing a complete layout, with pieces that you would not have thought to look for -- while maintaining the convenience of text searchability and no waste paper. Not so good for lining bird cages, however.

Posted by: ScienceTim | February 27, 2009 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Brag:
Araucaria. Southern ecological equivalents to pines, but morphologically much more primitive. Good for dinosaur gardens. The genus is named for Original Chileans, of course.

Nothofagus. "Southern beech". Basically the same trees in southern South America, New Zealand, Australia. They almost certainly represent the flora of ancient Gondwana, the long-ago great southern continent (the rest of the world was Laurasia).

Fuchsia magellanica. A hardy semi-bush that thrives in places like Portland, Oregon.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | February 27, 2009 3:49 PM | Report abuse

My wife just got a Kindle. I haven't quite warmed up to it yet. You can get subscriptions to WaPo, NYT, WSJ, et. al. for it. Some internet guy figured that it would be cheaper to buy everybody with a two year subscription to the Times a Kindle than to actually deliver the paper.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 27, 2009 3:50 PM | Report abuse

When we bemoan the death of dead-tree newspapers, we tend to think it's the costs of physical production that really weigh down the operation. Is that true? There are obvious materials costs with paper and ink, capital costs in the presses, human costs in operating the printing plant. But how much of the cost of the newspaper operation is in the printing, and how much is in the production of content?

I remember Mudge explaining to us how a newsroom of one editor with a few hobbyist free-lancers could produce a weekly community newspaper using wire-service stories. That suggests that a very large fraction of the cost in a dead-tree paper is in the manpower for reporting and writing. If so, journalism as a multitude of voices presenting an attempt at describing objective reality is essentially dead, because the thing that newspapers are unable to pay for is their essential reason for being.

We already have (here, for example), a few on-line operations serving essentially as national newspapers. With continued contraction, each world language group could be satisfied with a handful of "newspapers" worldwide. As automatic translation technologies improve, you won't even be able to maintain independent newspapers in disparate languages. "Journalism" likely will devolve into nothing but arranging the (poorly copy-edited) press releases from government and corporate entities, until the inevitable societal collapse brought on by the inevitable malfeasance and breaking of the social contract occasioned by a lack of any independent oversight whatsoever. After that, newspapers can have their come-back.

I look forward to reading the Post-Apocalyptic Post. Especially the comics pages.

Posted by: ScienceTim | February 27, 2009 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Just as the nice warm rain has washed away all the nasty snow the weather mavens have issued a "Flash Freeze Warning." I've never heard of a "Flash Freeze Warning" and while I think I can figure out what it's about, I'm not sure how I'm supposed to respond. Cut up some vegetables, shoot a moose?

Posted by: Boko999 | February 27, 2009 4:01 PM | Report abuse

My last comment got held for review, so here it is piecewise to find the problem:

SciTim,
One of your predictions is already here. I subscribe to two services that e-mail me comics every morning. Right now I only pick the ones I can't read in the DTE (dead tree edition), but I could pick up the entire line-up pretty easily.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 27, 2009 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Tim, I don't think my small 3-person staff example scales up to the big papers. And in any event, my 3-person example was just for editorial staff. In overhead and salaries ya gotta count advertising sales peeps, telephone ad-takers, if any, and a lot of other staff. Also the boss. Then there's always pressroom peeps.

I suspect in large papers the major cost isn't the printing, it's the staff, only about half of which is editorial. The business side often has a very large but invisible staff, too.

Joel might have some numbers to back me up or shoot me down, but I'm betting the major expense is warm bodies, not ink and paper.

It's very hard to compare smalltown weeklies with major urban papers in just about any category. They are almost two different businesses. They both share the word "newspaper," but very few things apply to both types the same way.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | February 27, 2009 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Part 2:

And not to disparage our fine hosts here, but the Houston Chronicle is generally acknowledged to have the best online comics website.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 27, 2009 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Boko, your proper response to a flash freeze warning is to hose down any flashers running across your garden. The cops'll find them easy to catch after that.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | February 27, 2009 4:20 PM | Report abuse

So far, so good. Part 3:

I also think I read somewhere that the production costs of a Sunday paper is about ten bucks and it sells for less than two. I have no idea how much of the 'talent' that includes. Here is a blogpost with some better numbers:

http://adrianmonck.com/2008/12/newspaper-cost-structure/

Posted by: yellojkt | February 27, 2009 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Yes, I immediately thought of a fairly notorious criminal case where the victim was run through a wood-chipper. I was remembering the wife as the perpetrator but upon reflection she may have been the victim. I think it was the husband who returned the rented wood-chipper suspiciously clean.

Posted by: Ivansmom | February 27, 2009 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Since advertisers are the primary revenue stream, getting them to buy into killing the print edition is key.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 27, 2009 4:25 PM | Report abuse

"online distribution" is the wirty dird that kept my 4:25 from going through.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 27, 2009 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Strange, yellojkt. It must have been how lewdly you typed it.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | February 27, 2009 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Was that online distribution going through Mianus? That might have had something to do with it.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | February 27, 2009 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Within that link from above is a much better longer article on newspaper economics.

http://www.mondaynote.com/2008/09/29/the-economics-of-moving-from-print-to-online-lose-one-hundred-get-back-eight/

It even uses WaPo as a case study:

///Take the Washington Post Company ($4bn in revenue in 2007, $477m in operating profits). The flagship products, the main brands are its publications : the Post itself and Newsweek. But its Kaplan Inc. unit, an education services company for students and professionals acquired 15 years ago is the big cash-cow: in 2007, it accounted for 49% of revenue (annual growth of 21%) and in 2008, it will surpass all other business units combined (publishing, TV, broadcasting). The newspaper operation accounts for less than a quarter of the total revenue but, even if it remains marginally profitable, it is ailing. Two figures summarize the problem: in 2007, the Washington Post lost $77m in print ad revenue and got for a slim increase of $6m in online advertising. That’s a 100:8 ratio! Fortunately for the group, most its shares (60%) are controlled by insiders. But Wall Street punished the stock, it dropped by 30% in a year. Even though the group presents itself as “a diversified education and media company” (in that order), analysts sees “media” as a red flag.///

Posted by: yellojkt | February 27, 2009 5:00 PM | Report abuse

Bodies are the biggest cost in every industry, and you do have to have quality pay for quality people. ADvertising supports those good people but the cost of the adds goes up and the number of advertisers and the amount of money they can afford to spend on advertising is shrinking.

If the online knitting magazine industry is any indication, if you build the right audience, they will come and so will the advertisers. 08 was a big expansion year for online knitting publications.

Posted by: --dr-- | February 27, 2009 5:30 PM | Report abuse

Wow! It froze fast! Sorry Wilbrod, I wasn't quick enough. Anyway, no one runs around naked here since the warning.
The running around naked warning, not the fast freeze one.

Posted by: Boko999 | February 27, 2009 5:31 PM | Report abuse

December 1, 2009 headline:

Washington Post Bought Out by Knitting Quarterly

New name to be KnitPicking Post

"An Independent Newspaper full of Yarns"

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | February 27, 2009 6:05 PM | Report abuse

Coming out on e-Quipa soon...

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | February 27, 2009 6:22 PM | Report abuse

*snort*

Thanks, DC-area Boodlers. for one of the best-ever BPHs in my experience. It was great to see everybody and I had a *lot* of fun.

Posted by: Yoki | February 27, 2009 6:30 PM | Report abuse

What? The "Post-Apocalyptic Post" gets no love? Man, I was really proud of that one. I imagine a masthead using the Chicago font (because in the future, no type-setters will survive), flanked by mushroom clouds. Poignantly amateurish. "Printing all the news that's within a day's ride by mutant donkey." What a motto! Box scores on Mutant-League Baseball, however, will be very challenging to read, what with the dramatic variations in extremities among players.

Posted by: ScienceTim | February 27, 2009 6:32 PM | Report abuse

Sport League, surely?

Posted by: Yoki | February 27, 2009 6:33 PM | Report abuse

Lol Yoki.

Only flaw with that scenario, SciTim, is that we'd all be eyeless cave dwellers hiding out from the radiation.
Kind of makes newspapers extinct right there.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | February 27, 2009 6:50 PM | Report abuse

*bowing head for the RMN*

*drive-by Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 27, 2009 6:51 PM | Report abuse

Howdy, scottynuke!!

ScienceTim, I loved the PostApocalyptic Post. I envision the ink of vegetable (vegetal?) dyes, making the paper edible. All the news that's fit to eat!

In the near term I liked the KnitPicking Poast as well, wilbrod. Of course, that'll only last as long as the Net is up. Come the end times, we'll fall back on ScienceTim's enterprise.

Posted by: Ivansmom | February 27, 2009 7:07 PM | Report abuse

Just listened to David Brooks say that Obama's budget is wildly liberal ... so much for my niggling thought that Obama is more conservative than he lets on. I still don't think it was *that* stupid an idea ... I mean, Nixon did some things that were so lefty that a modern Dem would blush. Or at least fear for the next election.

I don't know what to say about all of these newspapers going out of business. I've always disliked reading paper versions ... too unweildy. I read a ton online and would happily pay for the priviledge (is there a d in that?), but that doesn't seem to be feasible.

Posted by: KBoom | February 27, 2009 7:12 PM | Report abuse

There’s something comforting about seeing the newspaper in the driveway every morning. I like to read it while I eat my breakfast. Of course I then abandon it in favor of the Wapo online and you guys. But I’d miss the comics in hard copy, and the editorial page and op eds. And the Sunday paper is a must ‘cause there’s actually time to spend reading it. That said, I realize that newspapers are struggling and I don’t have any answers except to charge for online use.

I hope bc and Scotty are aware of the nasty weather we have coming for Sunday and Monday, sleet, snow, wind.

Posted by: badsneakers | February 27, 2009 7:23 PM | Report abuse

Nice video interview with Peter Matthiessen about Zen Buddhism here:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/video/2008/04/16/VI2008041602291.html

Posted by: seasea | February 27, 2009 7:42 PM | Report abuse

Been a busy few days, and am still entertaining the in-laws. Which means I need to type quickly before the Rum and Coke my wonderful Mother in Law made for me takes effect. So just a couple of scattershots.

The budget scares me simply because it is based on an economic recovery that is not a sure thing. Of course, if the economy is still in the dumps two years from now we will have bigger problems than an obsolete budget. This is a case where I simply have to trust that Obama knows what the heck he is doing.

He does, right?

I think shipwrecked Conservatives is a wonderful description. I just hope that when the inevitable cannibalism begins they keep track of those with the gamy legs

The fall of the Rocky Mountain News saddens me, not only because of the many fine journalists who are now out of a job, but because I really do believe that profession journalism, and the standards so required, is an essential part of a successful democracy.

Finally, I had a wonderful lunch with TBG, son of TBG, Yoki and (better late than never) the very charming rickoshea0 (who will always be Maggie O'D to me.)


Oh my. My MIL does mix a most exsheptionally gut Rum and Coke...


Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 27, 2009 8:01 PM | Report abuse

Careful, RD. The sugar in the rum & Coke will go right to your brain.

Posted by: Ivansmom | February 27, 2009 8:16 PM | Report abuse

Donsha worry. The Coke's diet.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 27, 2009 8:22 PM | Report abuse

Cooking on a budget: the new craze.

http://buzz.yahoo.com/buzzlog/92321?fp=1

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | February 27, 2009 8:29 PM | Report abuse

Good, RD. That's very sensible. No sense consuming all those empty soda calories. Have another.

Wilbrod, that piece makes me wonder, who regularly cooks at home these days who doesn't cook on a budget? By "cook" of course I mean "prepare food from a raw or piecemeal state" as opposed to "pick up a precooked dish in the takeout section".

Ivansdad chimed in on the death of newspapers. In his opinion, it has nothing to do with the rise of the Internet. He's taught at the college level for several years now. Based on his students, he believes we are moving towards a Society of the Illiterate. His students don't read, even if he requires it. He has had no sign that they turn to the Internet for information they are missing out on in newspapers; he thinks they are happily missing out on it.

Posted by: Ivansmom | February 27, 2009 8:55 PM | Report abuse

Yoki, you still out there? Check your e-mail.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | February 27, 2009 9:03 PM | Report abuse

John McCain is still making fun of alleged pork barrel projects. This is from his Top Ten Porkiest Projects Twitter:

///#5. $650,000 for beaver management in North Carolina and Mississippi///

At least he isn't picking on bears anymore.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 27, 2009 9:42 PM | Report abuse

And another one:

///#2. $2 million “for the promotion of astronomy” in Hawaii - because nothing says new jobs for average Americans like investing in astronomy///

We got some boodlers that might disagree.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 27, 2009 9:43 PM | Report abuse

Astronomy is, in fact, one of the big industries on the Big Island. It is a motor of innovation, and is pretty much the only civilian high-tech industry. It is also a major source of support for science education reform on the Big Island.

Not that I'm biased, of course. And not that I wasn't the inaugural speaker in a major component of that science education reform on the Big Island. Or something like that.

http://www.astroday.net/JTTUfamSci.html

Posted by: ScienceTim | February 27, 2009 11:09 PM | Report abuse

There are beavers living a half mile from here. They have surreptitious dams. I hope no one comes and "manages" them. But what do I know. Maybe they need management. John McCain does.

Posted by: Jumper1 | February 27, 2009 11:10 PM | Report abuse

Good article for Sunday on a book I hate, David Denby's 'Snark':

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/02/26/AR2009022604221.html?hpid=artsliving

And my review of it from earlier:

http://livebythefoma.blogspot.com/2009/02/snark-attack.html

Posted by: yellojkt | February 28, 2009 7:00 AM | Report abuse

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

Morning, friends. Well, it's raining here, and so matching my mood this morning. And reading Courtland Milloy this morning on his critique of Tyler Perry's new movie didn't help one bit. Let's just say he didn't find the movie funny, and I suspect he left the theatre with a bad taste in his mouth. I've never cared much for movies that make fun of African-American women, especially those by Martin Lawrence and Eddie Murphy. It's almost as if they hate African-American women. Every movie that Lawrence has been in lately carries that hateful theme. I've often wondered where is their mother? I haven't seen Perry's latest contribution on Madea's(?)Goes to Jail, but I've seen some of the other ones. I don't think Perry means these films as insults, yet it is a fine line, and I don't think Courtland got any of the jokes.

Mudge, Yoki, Martooni, Scotty, and all, have a great weekend. *waving*

JA, our local paper is still in the works, although many call it the "daily rag", I'm happy it's still around. And hope that it can survive whatever one wants to call this. I keep thinking, didn't the news media see this coming? Did they really get caught blindsided? And what can we do to save our newspapers? I know we get all sorts of news from the Internet, yet I still like a newspaper. Perhaps that's a luxury we can't afford anymore.

Slyness, they're talking snow here the weekend. And rain, and more rain. Even a thunderboomer at some point. How can we have all these weather conditions during a two day time?

It's wet, as my grandsons used to say about their food, so no walking. Enjoy your weekend everyone.

Time to swim.

Posted by: cmyth4u | February 28, 2009 8:12 AM | Report abuse

Good lord, this place is dead this morning. Anybody up but Yello and me?

Heavy rain in the High Country, to turn into snow by tomorrow morning. Should be interesting.

I'm going to wander off in search of breakfast. If any gets up, let me know.

Posted by: slyness | February 28, 2009 8:14 AM | Report abuse

Morning Cassandra,

Me too on those movies. Humor is interesting and I think, sometimes, a way to hurt and harm under the guise of "you don't get it? this is funny. What is wrong with you?" A colleague of mine, black and about 35, said of some of those movies, this, "one last acceptable area of insult is middle-aged black women... by some black men in the entertainment biz." You two called it.

No swimming today for CPBoy as the season is done. Will we perhaps have snow later today? Will Sunday to Monday see a frosted slush or perhaps ONE.LAST.SLEDDING chance? I hope so. Please put your pajamas on inside out the next two days. We must appease the snow gremlins.

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | February 28, 2009 8:19 AM | Report abuse

Good morning boodle. I've been up for a while, but slow to get moving. It's -20 here this morning and though it's warm inside just thinking about getting out to do anything is chilling. It's sunny though, and this time of year we'll get some warmth out of the yellow orb as the angle is finally high enough to convince that spring will come one day.

Off to get a hair cut this morning, right here in our fair city. The local shop now has two stylists! I will stick with the owner, but do hope the new person can build the clientele to justify moving out of her kitchen (and the shadow economy).

Posted by: frostbitten1 | February 28, 2009 8:53 AM | Report abuse

I'm off to the Newseum. We were going to try to go last weekend but we had too many other things to do on our birthday weekend to fit it in.

Good article today on how the MD-NoVA area leads the nation in test scores among English as Second Language learners.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/02/27/AR2009022703186.html?hpid=moreheadlines

My wife just finished her ESOL certification.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 28, 2009 9:00 AM | Report abuse

Good morning all, beautiful sunny day here, but cold.

So I was wandering around the internet and in a circular fashion found the new (reasonably), National Film Board of Canada website, full of archive films from the last seventy years. For people who grew up in Canada so many of these films are familiar from TV, and from viewing in schools. Some incredible stuff on a hugh range of topics. Currently watching the Changing Forests of Laurentian, Canadian Shield.

Warning serious time suck one you enter the site.

http://www.nfb.ca/explore-by/title/

Posted by: dmd2 | February 28, 2009 9:18 AM | Report abuse

Good morning all. The in-laws just left for Lancaster PA to tend to some issues with my wife's grandmother, but they will return in a few days on their way back to Myrtle Beach. The Padouk household has become a waystation on these trips. This delights me as they are great people. I just need to make sure I keep up the supply of rum.

And all those who get the WaPo should check out Richard Thompson's Poor Almanack today. It makes a wonderfully compelling case for newspapers.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 28, 2009 9:24 AM | Report abuse

Good morning y'all. I indulged in the groggy aftereffects of Benedryl this morning. Usually I force myself up and on with the day just about the time everything kicks in; today I could sleep a few more hours. Luxury. The rabbit and I are quietly communing - she, lying on the floor and I with a mug of tea - before beginnings our adventurous day. Laundry, recycling, grocery store, and if I am lucky I may get some of next week's classes prepared. What a wild life!

I think I'll try picking a bunch of daffodils to bring in. See if I can avoid sneezing. We now have hundreds so plucking a few blooms won't hurt the overall picture.

Posted by: Ivansmom | February 28, 2009 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Good Morming all
Bare with me as my mouse has died and need to get reaquainted with using my mouseless laptop.

I had a wonderful time at the bph,lotsa fun seeing everyone and hanging out.Now I know why the cheeseburgers are so fondly talked off.Mine was yummy.The metro trip back to shady grove was an adventure,standing room only on train and after a few brews,hanging onto a hook is well,just a little scarey.

Been at Mom's the last 2 days,a few more chores today and then back to west by god tomorrow.Although I may be right back this week for an interview.

Nice to be able to read a paper here in Baltimore,although it has gotten much smaller.

Nice to have Domonique Foxworth a raven,we will see what else pans out in the next few days.I think I may head down to UMBC and catch this afternoon Lacrosse game with Colgate.

Well,it was nice to see Yoki and the rest of the gang at the bph.I may catch the next one too.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | February 28, 2009 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Having not checked out this site in a while, (the most famous being "frozen grand central station"), I returned to it and liked this prank a whole lot:
http://improveverywhere.com/2008/04/07/best-game-ever/

Posted by: Jumper1 | February 28, 2009 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Jumper-thanks for the reminder to check out improv everywhere, that was a really sweet prank. I like "frozen grand central" too, but Best Buy is my favorite by far.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | February 28, 2009 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Since I know all important people read the boodle I would lime to make the following statement.

Yes, I am an active participant in the democratic process as evidenced by my consistent voting in local elections. But, fercryinoutloud, if I get one more call about the Braddock Supervisor race I shall go quite mad.

Thankyouverymuch

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 28, 2009 10:56 AM | Report abuse

SCC: like. But as long as I have that lime, I might as well get the gin and tonic.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 28, 2009 10:57 AM | Report abuse

But just wait, RD... if Mr Moon wins, we'll have a school board seat to fill and get to do this citizenship thing all over again!

Posted by: -TBG- | February 28, 2009 11:32 AM | Report abuse

So, Tim, are you aware of historic sites within the Astronomy Precinct on White Moauntain/Mauna Kea?

http://www.westhawaiitoday.com/articles/2009/02/08/local/local02.txt

Graf toward the article's end:

Another way to address cultural concerns would be a plan to monitor the condition of identified historic properties within the management area. Creating new inventories of areas not yet surveyed would be a priority in the plan. Already, more than 300 sites have been recorded. Buffers would be established around known historic sites in the Astronomy Precinct [How many "known" sites?].

First two grafs:

The draft environmental assessment for the Mauna Kea Management Comprehensive Plan claims following the plan will not have a significant impact on the mountain and its environment.

Community members have 30 days to submit comments on the plan, which lays out potential mitigation for the growing number of visitors ascending to the mountain's summit, as well as for the possibility of additional telescopes and observatories.
***

So, Tim, are there plans for additional observatories and telescopes? Are there smaller observatories within Astronomy Precinct besides Keck?

Posted by: laloomis | February 28, 2009 11:48 AM | Report abuse

the improv everywhere people are funny. didn't know about the website but had seen videos of the riding the subway in your underwear stunt on youtube or somewhere.

Posted by: LALurker | February 28, 2009 12:01 PM | Report abuse

TBG - This brings a whole new meaning to the term "Domino Effect."

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 28, 2009 12:04 PM | Report abuse

In more wandering saw this press release for the AuroraMax project scheduled to be online in September to capture the Aurora Borealis (new cameras?).

The link to Astronomy North has some great photos - but noticed they were not full colour hoping the new technology will allow for that.

http://www.asc-csa.gc.ca/eng/media/news_releases/2009/0225.asp

FYI did anyone else see the story about the mom who was driving, breastfeeding and talking on the cell phone - puts a whole new meaning to the term multitasking mom - she is being charged - D'oh!

Posted by: dmd2 | February 28, 2009 12:10 PM | Report abuse

dmd and the Film Board of Canada are now officially responsible for everything I don't get done this weekend.

That is all.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | February 28, 2009 12:17 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of Canada, I heard on NPR this morning that Canadian banks are still making profits and are the strongest in the world now. Good on you! You'll take us Muricans in, won't you?

Posted by: seasea | February 28, 2009 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Ivansdad is probably onto willful illiteracy. Quite a few years ago, I thought it odd that I could have the Big State University's copy of the Sunday NY Times to myself. I had this strange romantic notion that a place with 25,000 students would see the Times spread out like a dead groundhog, surrounded by turkey vultures.

Later on, why was it so easy to obtain the Post shortly after it showed up around 10 am, bearing the latest on Watergate? This was at a university that did things like hold a symposium on "The Mind of the South".

A friend, recently retired from teaching English at the local State College, says his students had no interest whatever in the outside world. Just like Ivansdad's students, apparently.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | February 28, 2009 1:02 PM | Report abuse

TBG - this "domino voting" is just madness. What we need are "Contingency Ballots." That is, when we voted for House Representative, we needed a few extra screens that asked, "Assuming Connolly wins who would you want to take his current position as Country Supervisor?" Followed by, "Assuming Bulova wins County Supervisor, who do you want to be Braddock Supervisor." Followed by,"Assuming Moon wins Braddock Supervisor, who do you want to be on the school board?"

Granted, this would greatly expand the amount of time needed to vote, what with all those nested if-then statements and all, and might, conceivably, confuse certain segments of the electorate. Further, it would require all potential candidates to declare prior to November. But think of all the time and money we would save in the long run.

Makes sense to me.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 28, 2009 1:10 PM | Report abuse

Or you could just have Blago pick the next school board member from the highest bidder, RD.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | February 28, 2009 1:15 PM | Report abuse

(This brief silence is because Blago is currently selecting the next boodle comment from the highest bidder.)

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | February 28, 2009 1:41 PM | Report abuse

quite a few of my close college friends were international students. a friend from india just wrote us an email about the pink chaddi campaign. has anyone mentioned it? (dna_g?)

anyway, a right-wing indian group was attacking women who wear jeans, go to pubs, celebrate valentine's day with their boyfriends or do other things deemed too liberal or western. in protest to these attacks and threats, a facebook group ran a campaign to gather and send pink underwear to the conservative group leader for valentine's day (the group had made threats about attacking couples who celebrated valentine's day). it's pretty funny. you can google this really easily, so i'll just link to the campaign poster:
http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=1493427&op=11&o=all&view=all&subj=49641698651&aid=-1&oid=49641698651&id=647445957

Posted by: LALurker | February 28, 2009 1:47 PM | Report abuse

DoC -- students DO have interest in the outside world, however, it must be mediated to them by personal contact. They are very social about everything: they want the Facebook link, which means tis vetted by a friend. The curious ethos of lemming linkages.....and this is NOT going away anytime soon. Peer sourcing, crowd sourcing, Wikipedia-reality, referral vetting...part of

Society 2.0, remediated in part by Web 2.0.

In other words, the world has meaning in a freindster way.....

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | February 28, 2009 1:50 PM | Report abuse

All politics is local-- and so is news, I guess.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | February 28, 2009 2:29 PM | Report abuse

laloomis, I'm not totally up on the historic sites near the summit of Mauna Kea, in the sense that my personal awareness includes only four of them -- the historic adze quarry (whose location is not precisely secret, but not widely circulated, either), Lake Wai'au (highest altitude lake in the U.S., where traditional Hawaiians might deposit umbilical cord and placenta), Pu'u Poliahu (the cinder cone recognized as the home of the mountain's own personal goddess), and the true summit (named for Poliahu's paramour and site of a small hei'au, or temple). The other summit cinder cones also have names, representing companions of Poliahu. The paramour's name is too difficult for me to remember. At various places, there are ahu (small stone cairns that declare "I was here"), and small hei'aus.

An irony is that modern Hawaiians almost never go to the summit, while astronomers go all the time. Astronomers are the subject of a lot of vilification from the native-Hawaiian sovereignty groups. However, when it snows, locals (and tourists) drive to the summit en masse and they are the ones who endanger a lot of the historical and archaeological sites through ordinary human indifference. Of course, the road wouldn't be there if it weren't for the astronomical sites, so it's not entirely unfair to partly blame astronomers (us) for that damage. I think the real problem is that there were several decades of astronomers and astronomical facilities acting with indifference toward cultural sensitivities. Now, there's payback.

New telescopes: the Keck Observatories had planned for a long time to build multiple outrigger telescopes to help with optical interferometry. That work has largely been tabled. The Smithsonian Submillimeter Observatory is still installing new radio-telescopes. The big one -- or, The Big One -- is site-preparation for a planned 30-meter Extremely Large Telescope (3 times as wide as the Kecks, 9 times the collecting area). The planned site is actually one or two hundred feet downhill from the summit ridges that host the other telescopes.

Posted by: ScienceTim | February 28, 2009 2:41 PM | Report abuse

That's just scary, demanding a Facebook link for news. But then again Facebook is scary to me. It's all so pointless, and reminds me of '90s era AOL when they discouraged the "real" internet. For the life of me I can't see what it's good for, except for making it look like people "get" the internet. Which I don't think they do. It's limiting. And it's not even new technology: it was all do-able by opening multiple webpages, instant messaging, email, and any variety of free personalized websites anyway.

I will also continue referring to Twitterers as "twits."

Posted by: Jumper1 | February 28, 2009 2:45 PM | Report abuse

My memory is that the Keck telescope project did a great deal to demonstrate the feasibility and usefulness of gigantic telescopes, leading to the Extremely Large Telescope and others.

The one and only big astronomical facility I've seen is the Arecibo radio telescope, which was not entirely completed at the time. It was amazing. But for some reason, I was more impressed by tropical plants at the USDA facility near Mayagüez.

Back to youthful curiosity: locally, vacation pictures of surfing in places like Puerto Rico and Costa Rica (not to mention pictures-of-the-day from Sebastian Inlet) are always popular.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | February 28, 2009 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Hmmm -- the Boodle seems to have taken a nap. Perhaps I should, too. Been grocery shopping and otherwise rummaging around in the piles of stuff I have around. Should do what my mother used to call "book work" -- getting the final numbers to put in the book for my accountant to be ready to mail next week, and then get my bills in order and ready to write checks for when the checks my clients owe me come in (somehow, the former always seem to surpass the latter), get ready to start drafting a software maintenance agreement (I think tomorrow), get February billing ready to prepare and send out.....and, I guess, wait for copious amounts of snow to fall, or, well, not....

It's that kinda day. I spoke with a friend in Sweden today, who told me that some municipalities over there are laying off workers and that the economy is starting to stink pretty much country-wide.

I'm so glad we've got Obama as president instead of McCain. But, then, I am preaching to choir, eh?

Gonna go do some more rummaging. Do Not Disturb, please. Well, if you must .....

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | February 28, 2009 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Squirrels run up trees;
At window bed for spying--
Watch dog's on dutyzzz

-Wilbrodog-

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | February 28, 2009 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Just a quick howdy. The whole family went on the grocery trip. This is always dangerous. However, we managed to get out without a lot of junk in the cart. They did, however, find a Wii Fit on sale. We'd looked for one at Christmas without success. With any luck soon We be Fit with Wii Fit.

The Boy's making me get on it now. It begins by assessing your health. I must prepare to cringe.

Posted by: Ivansmom | February 28, 2009 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Heading into the city in a few minutes to see comedian Patton Oswalt at Lisner Auditorium with Son of G. Should be a fun evening. I sure hope it's proper mother-son fare. :-)

Looks like we've got the ol' Winter Storm Watch going on around here. Hmmmm... better go stock up on lots of food before the hoarders get to it all.

Posted by: -TBG- | February 28, 2009 4:46 PM | Report abuse

That was an outstanding post SciTim. Huzzahs all around.

Ivansmom - I am curious what you think about the Wii Fit. Every once and a while I get this urge to get in contact with my inner Rocky. But I find that with enough effort I can ignore it.

Anyway, I am sitting here sipping some lovely Shiraz and indulging in some crackers and Gorgonzola so intensely flavored it makes me all woozy. 'tis good stuff.

Is red wine good for you this week? I can never keep up.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 28, 2009 4:52 PM | Report abuse

Bread. Milk. Toilet Paper.

And just to be on the safe side, red wine and cheese.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 28, 2009 4:53 PM | Report abuse

Red wine is always good for you, RD, no matter what they say. Your snack sounds scrumptious. I myself will soon trade my Diet Dr. Pepper for a white Spanish Albarino, to go with the chicken currently roasting in the oven.

I am so far fascinated by the Wii Fit and think I will enjoy it. The Boy set me up with my own little avatar or whatever they are, which weighed me and calculated my BMI (shudder), then gave me a lovely balance test. I then returned to my perusal of federal courts law (speaking of shudders), but have been in to watch the Boy tackle the various exercise options. They look pretty cool and I look forward to trying it myself. I have to give the Boy points: he was very gracious throughout my set-up experience; no jeering, smart remarks or even offhand comments. I think he's trying to encourage me.

Posted by: Ivansmom | February 28, 2009 6:07 PM | Report abuse

Sometimes those offspring can surprise you that way, Ivansmom.

Speaking of things court-like, my son is spending this evening memorizing a bunch of important federal court cases for a test on Monday. As my own knowledge of court cases is embarrassingly "Palinish," I have been enjoying going over them with him.

And the Gorgonzola is, indeed, most excellent. I would fax you some but it always gets the machinery all gummed up whenever I do.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 28, 2009 6:18 PM | Report abuse

Kathleen Sebelius for HHS. I really know little about her, but I assume her tax records are in spectacular shape.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 28, 2009 6:20 PM | Report abuse

"Palinish." Giggle.

The worst thing about all these good Democrat governors being appointed to Cabinet slots is that the states are losing some good governors. I expect she has all her ducks lined up. As a Democratic governor in a Republican state she is used to strict scrutiny.

Along the same lines, putting Elena Kagan in as Solicitor General is great for the country, but a real loss for Harvard Law, where she has been an invigorating Dean.

The Padouk offspring is talking about federal court cases in a high school class! That's pretty impressive. I hope the Boy's future holds such interesting topics. My high school experience certainly didn't.

Posted by: Ivansmom | February 28, 2009 6:25 PM | Report abuse

Ivansmom-when I was in the classroom I always used the first Monday in October as a springboard for a unit. Sometimes it was just a simple introduction to the branches of government for 3rd graders, but in Hawaii (where I taught 7-12th graders in a day treatment center) we argued Rice v. Cayetano
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rice_v._Cayetano
and it was the most exciting time I've ever had in a classroom. Kids swapped sides as they delved deeper and deeper into the case and the lower court decisions that led to the SC appeal. They wrote some surprisingly moving, and literate, persuasive essays to support their positions. When the case was decided in February two kids bought the newspaper on their way to class and we had to stop everything to discuss it again. Good times.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | February 28, 2009 7:40 PM | Report abuse

In my high school senior-tear civics class, we were supposed to do a moot court, debating some particular case. However, I don't think anyone had a very clear idea of what we were supposed to actually do, including the teacher. In particular, we obtained the general parameters of the case and what it was about, but no clear idea of the evidence. So, we made it all up. I got to be a G-Man! I was very proud of this. I took the stand and extemporized one persuasive lie after another. It was very liberating. After class, my teacher told me, with some awe in his voice, that he would never believe another word I said. It was heart-warming.

Posted by: ScienceTim | February 28, 2009 7:40 PM | Report abuse

"senior-tear"? Um, "senior-Year".

Posted by: ScienceTim | February 28, 2009 7:42 PM | Report abuse

I see XX-Files is missing from this Sunday's Washington Post Magazine. Has anyone heard if it is being discontinued? I hope not, especially since Caitlin Gibson and Rachel Manteuffel were occasional contributors.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 28, 2009 7:57 PM | Report abuse

Good evening, Boodle.

Hop Yoki has made it back to Canuckistan OK.She's probably gonna hit the mattress right away, too--poor thing didn't get much sleep while she was here.

Well, my wife is just delighted with her new composting barrel; you'da thought we'd got her diamonds or something. We had it home about two minutes this morning when she started putting some yard waste in it-- cut-down decorative weeds from a big weed plant we have near the driveway. And then she said, "Let's have stew for dinner -- so we can have potato skins, and onion peels and all kind of stuff for the barrel.

(Turns out we had a couple of steaks and baked potatoes, with fried onions, so there were potato skins and onion peels after all.)

They're talking about the possibility of snow tonight or tomorrow. So tell me this: why isn't there a pro football game on tomorrow?

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | February 28, 2009 8:25 PM | Report abuse

Paul Harvey has died, one of Grandma Frostbitten's favorites.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | February 28, 2009 9:05 PM | Report abuse

Um, because the Super Bowl was a month ago, Mudge?

Still raining in the High Country. We have been very lazy today. Mr. T watched Carolina beat Georgia Tech (sorry Yello!) and I've just laid around.

Snow is forecast for tomorrow, so he has to get me home before it starts.

Wii Fit, Ivansmom? That sounds intriguing. The Geekdottir has a Wii, but I don't know how much she uses it these days. After she fell off the pads playing DDR and sprained her ankle, I think she's been a little leery. Maybe I should consider getting one, but I'm sure we'd have to purchase a flat panel TV first. Well, that would stimulate the local economy.

Posted by: slyness | February 28, 2009 9:06 PM | Report abuse

Joel's high on the front page:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/02/28/AR2009022801724.html?hpid=topnews

Posted by: slyness | February 28, 2009 9:09 PM | Report abuse

Interregum. Nice word, Joel. And I congratulate you for the hard work covering that conference.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | February 28, 2009 9:25 PM | Report abuse

Indeed, Wilbrod, he listened to (and quoted) Ann Coulter. That deserves combat pay.

Posted by: slyness | February 28, 2009 9:49 PM | Report abuse

Cousin Mitt the forerunner in 2012? Note that the Romneys are downsizing and simplifying--selling two of their four homes, but the Romneys have decided to keep their $12 million beach condo in La Jolla. La Jolla, 12 mil, who knew?

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/02/17/romneys-sell-homes/

Times must be tough in Utah because the Romneys recently had their on-the-market Deer Park, Utah, residence burglarized, the robber taking off with 20 pieces of jewelry.

The Feb. 6 issue of the Christian Science Monitor proposed that Obama select Romney as his health care-reform czar, given Daschle's withdrawal.

http://www.csmonitor.com/2009/0206/p25s07-coop.html

Posted by: laloomis | February 28, 2009 9:54 PM | Report abuse

That was a nice article indeed. If I didn't disagree with virtually everything those folks appear to stand for, I'd almost feel sorry for them. I think, though, it is time to stop calling the right-right-wing folks "conservative". They're not, never have been. They're reactionaries. [Just like extra-ultra liberals are actually radicals.] I think just applying the correct label would help with a lot of the inevitable political correction which is in the process now.

I'm sure I'll have to repeat something like this when that article becomes a Kit, but at least this way I won't forget.

The dinner is cooked and consumed and the dishes done, the laundry is mostly done and folded and the beds almost re-made, the dog is fed, the rabbit is fed and hopping about like a mad thing; I will see how much longer I can concentrate on the ability of state courts to apply federal law before sleep overpowers me. I can't say before sleep calls; it is calling now.

Posted by: Ivansmom | February 28, 2009 9:58 PM | Report abuse

I need to time my illness better. Weekends are not to be spent in bed sick, but that’s what I did. Last weekend and this weekend. Well, and in between, too. I had gone to a private clinic, spent B$40 (locals will probably pay half the amount) for consultation and medicine. I was given some antibiotic, pills for muscle spasm and cough medicine. None worked. I never had medication that doesn’t work before. Yesterday, I went back to the clinic and she referred me to the general hospital. For the same amount of money (locals only need to pay B$5 for consultation and medicine at the GH) I got the same medicine, just different brand and the dosage is double. I hope this time the medication works. I’ve been coughing my lungs out. I have to go lie down, now.

Posted by: rainforest1 | February 28, 2009 9:59 PM | Report abuse

Hope you get better soon, rainforest. I hate going to the doctor and not getting relief. I've had my series of routine medical and dental checkups this week. Everything's fine...sure wish they'd get the Star Trek tricorder working soon...

Posted by: seasea | February 28, 2009 10:20 PM | Report abuse

rainforest-nice to see you, but wish you were feeling better.

RD-really think you need to risk gumming up the fax with that gorgonzola. I am so hungry for a good strong cheese but there isn't any to be had for 40 miles and I'm not going to town until Monday. I'll drown my sorrows in a glass of pinot, then it's off to relax with proposed changes to shoreline development regulations.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | February 28, 2009 10:21 PM | Report abuse

Good evening, Boodle dear! Just walked through the door at home (did that Mary-Tyler-Moore-Hat-Toss [hereinafter "MTMHT"], 'mudge).

I poured two fingers of Irish Whisky and called the family and checked for important personal email, and you are my fourth thing.

It was a very quiet day here, wasn't it? I'll have to ginger us all up tomorrow by being shallow and frivolous!

And now I am tired, but must eat something (tarnation, I could use some of RD_P's cheese and wine right about now!) and then sleep some.

Thanks again to all the DC-area Boodlers; I feel well-visited and well-friended, and what more could an old woman wish for?

Good night, Boodle!

Posted by: Yoki | February 28, 2009 10:30 PM | Report abuse

Note to self: overindulgence in exclamation points indicates that the comment should never have been written or at the very least, posted.

Just so darn happy to back in the fellowship.

Posted by: Yoki | February 28, 2009 10:37 PM | Report abuse

Welcome home, Yoki. Enjoy your rest. Time for my rest, too.

Vaya con queso, fondue, and buenos gnocchis to all.

Posted by: Ivansmom | February 28, 2009 10:51 PM | Report abuse

The Achenrepublicans are nice and colorful.

I'm off to bed after assembling and erecting three huge wardrobes from Ikea. They've cut back hours a little bit due to weaker than anticipated sales.

Spring is upon us. Nesting bald eagles and great horned owls, flowering bush mints, blue lupine and blue-eyed grass.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | February 28, 2009 10:53 PM | Report abuse

We're happy you're here, too, Yoki.

Posted by: -TBG- | February 28, 2009 10:56 PM | Report abuse

i enjoyed joel's article and agree some sort of extra compensation for sitting through coulter and limbaugh is in order.

rainforest, hope you feel better.

yoki, rest well.

Posted by: LALurker | February 28, 2009 10:56 PM | Report abuse

I read an interesting psychological profile of Milosovec today.

Posted by: Jumper1 | February 28, 2009 11:21 PM | Report abuse

Drove past TBG-land today and missed meeting with her, due to complications on the Maryland side of things. But, report very interesting precip. Either the teeniest of hail or pinprick snowballs....from heaven, could we please have snow, snow, snow?Watching Time Bandits and drinking a bit of merlot. Alas, RD bought the last hunk of buttery gorgonzola. So, I am gnawing on a st-rip of string cheese.

Jumper: not Facebook solely. Just that the young ens believe in referrals of knowledge as a means test of importance. In other words, the Washington Post article does not mean much standing in cyperspace. But, if a friend suggests the link is worth reading, then the vetting hath happened.

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | February 28, 2009 11:33 PM | Report abuse

I was watching some the the Limbaugh speech with the sound off at The Source and he was sweating like a pig in a sauna.

Joel is right that Rush is the defacto head of the conservative movement. He whipped everybody back in line when the started bad mouthing Jindall.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 1, 2009 12:20 AM | Report abuse

hey, boodle, whassuuup?

having trouble sleeping again.

Posted by: LALurker | March 1, 2009 4:02 AM | Report abuse

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

Morning, friends.

I've read Marc Fisher this morning, and he's talking about bloggers taking the place of real newspaper reporters. He also states that the lobbying folks have their people watching government, but the man on the street is getting left behind because of the condition must newspapers are in now. Having to lay off people and even newspapers shutting down will have a dynamic effect on the average citizens according to his story. I hate to bring this up, but didn't the newspaper industry kind of bring this on themselves? I know, I know, the economy is in the tank, but newspapers seemed to have gotten away from giving us those kinds of stories anyway. I mean they were into the easy stuff, one that didn't require going out talking to people or getting the inside dope. Everything had become to some extent fluff? I mean how many of us really want to know what some starlet feels is important? In tracking down news stories, the public needs to know how stuff is going to affect them in the long run or how else will they make good decisions concerning their families or even business? I'm not the enemy of newspaper, I certainly hope they can stay afloat, because without them, we, as in the public, will become null and void. And JA, I'm not kicking you or your colleagues, just wondering out loud if Fisher's article has any truth to it, and the real reason for the decline of newspapers. Fisher tends to think that bloggers' news is bias because if it's politics, they have someone they're pushing to win, but all news has some bias, so that's not the exception, but the rule, right?

I want to go to church this morning, and the weather is looking frightful. We're suppose to have sleet and snow later today, and I'm so hoping not much. Please be careful if that's the case where you are, and don't forget to check on the elderly.

Mudge, Scotty, Martooni(where are you?)Slyness, and all the gang, have a great day, and try to include God. *waving*

Yoki, good to have you back. I didn't read all of your comments, but saw a little. I'm running late this morning, and trying to have a headache on top of being late.

Time to swim.

Posted by: cmyth4u | March 1, 2009 7:21 AM | Report abuse

Morning all (and Al). Rainforest, hope you are feeling better. Yoki, glad you got back safely.

There is a suspicious white powder all over my lawn and driveway. I may have to investigate.

I bought a used copy of "Watching the Dark: The History of Richard Thompson" that I'll listen to while I snark on the Maureen Dowd column that includes a Star Trek reference.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 1, 2009 7:47 AM | Report abuse

Joel's story is the New Kit!

Posted by: frostbitten1 | March 1, 2009 8:08 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, Boodle, Cassandra, Al. How is everyone this morning?

Such a contrast in our weather, last night it was Very Cold Indeed, and today it is supposed to hover just below freezing, on its way up to positive numbers all week. Amazing.

I feel exceptionally well, which is all to the good as I've got a busy day, with the highlight having breakfast with #2 before she gets on the plane to go back to Montreal.

And then all the mundanity that comes with Sunday; cleaning, laundry, grocery shopping. Those have their own charm (if I say it often enough...).

Later, peeps.

Posted by: Yoki | March 1, 2009 8:14 AM | Report abuse

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