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Bulletin: Male Fish Turning Feminine

I so totally relate to this story about the male fish in the Potomac that are filling up with eggs and, you know, fussing with their scales constantly and saying things like, "Does this dorsal fin make me look fat?"

Because I, too, find that lately every time I get together with Angus in the grotto, the mancave behind his house, we spend the entire time discussing whether or not our friendship is growing. He says lately I've been passive-aggressive and not a good listener, but the truth is, Angus has been defensive and refuses to express his real feelings, and this creates a palpable tension between us that all the other men have noticed and has cast a real pall over the book club. We nearly came to blows arguing over whether the next book should be "Sense and Sensibility" or "The Red Tent."

Good lord, what's happening to us???

--

Interesting situation: Jared Diamond sued for libel

Here's Dirda on the last Updike poems. Updike on snowbirds: "Now, agèd, average, dullish, lame, and halt,/we claim our due, our fun doom in the sun."

Ben Franklin letters found.

By Joel Achenbach  |  April 23, 2009; 8:18 AM ET
 
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Next: 100 Years of Suckitude

Comments

We are not men, we are ...

Posted by: russianthistle | April 23, 2009 9:47 AM | Report abuse

I just gotta say, Joel, this is one of the wittiest, sly-est (is that a word? most sly?) sentences I have ever read. Snort-worthy as well as Pulitzer-worthy:

"He says lately I've been passive-aggressive and not a good listener, but the truth is, Angus has been defensive and refuses to express his real feelings, and this creates a palpable tension between us that all the other men have noticed and has cast a real pall over the book club."

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | April 23, 2009 9:53 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, all.

I've brought my youngest daughter to "Take Your Child to Work Day," so I'll have less time for Boodling than usual.

After getting her dressed, then breakfast and a snack, we talked about school, friends and the family on whole drive in.

Now we're working dilligently at my newly-cleared, cleaned, disenfected and organized desk.

Maybe we'll go shoe shopping at lunch.

And maybe a tea later, we'll see.

Wish I had time for a book club, what with running the kids around to after-school activities and all.

And Joel, maybe that new car you're considering should be a minivan...

bc

Posted by: -bc- | April 23, 2009 9:54 AM | Report abuse

It durn well better be some sort of hybrid...

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | April 23, 2009 9:57 AM | Report abuse

Mudge, are you suggesting that hybrids are icky?

Posted by: russianthistle | April 23, 2009 10:25 AM | Report abuse

What the boss doesn’t mention in his reference to the fish story is that scientists are flummoxed about why the guy fish are doing what they are doing. To mix metaphors, those scientists are barking up the wrong tree, thinking that the cause is us bad humans putting our junk in the fishies front yard. No way.

If this is only happening around Washington, it is clearly the result of these lady fishies hanging out with the distaff DC workforce. They’ve gotten wise to their hubby’s lazy-arsed behavior, and have said, “Look, if * I * have to make that miserable, long commute all the way down the Potomac River, just to play slap-and-tickle with some city-slickin DC fisherman, the least YOU can do is raise the kids!!!”

Posted by: Don_from_I-270 | April 23, 2009 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Quite the contrary, weed.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | April 23, 2009 10:44 AM | Report abuse

I'm just hoping that this isn't a result of changes in the fish sentencing guidelines in DC. We all knew that "throwing the book at" fish for doing what they do in our water supply would have ramifications, but this is absurd.

Posted by: russianthistle | April 23, 2009 10:50 AM | Report abuse

good morning all
Male fish with eggs hmmmmmmm if they figure out how to birth them and lay those eggs then bring it on,more FISH is always a good thing. Who cares if they have a 3rd or 4th eye,big fangs and they themselves get so big they decided to start fishing for humans.I guess it will all be a moot point if and when the Snakeheads get involved.

I fish for fun,I take my friends,my family and my little fishing buddy fishing for fun.More fish means more fun.I guess when she asks what kind of fish in that mr.gwe,I will say "oh honey that is a small mouth bass with a 3rd eye and fangs" or i could say it is just a really big fish,let's take his or her picture,throw them back and catch some more!!!

Posted by: greenwithenvy | April 23, 2009 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Low Tech/Hi Tech uses of the web... now that much radio is considered "content" I really appreciate being able to listen to stations like WGBH for free. I also tend to watch more "TV" in the computer than on a real cable connected TV.

Posted by: russianthistle | April 23, 2009 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Oh man, girlie male fish. That's got to be part of the "gay agenda". Anita Bryant was right all along. As for me ladies, I. Am. Not. Having. Your. Babies.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | April 23, 2009 11:11 AM | Report abuse

Endocrine disruptors...

Most interesting call-in yesterday on the Diane Rehm show first-hour Earth Day program, was from a researcher, female, who studies endocrine disruption in dolphins. Wonder who this modern-day Rachel Carson is?

Bottom line: If millions of women are on birth control, don't drink their diluted pee and passed-through hormones! Fish, well, they don't have much choice.

Perhaps your book club should be reading "Silent Spring" or "Our Stolen Future"? Perhaps a better choice for you and Angus would be "Feeling Fat, Fuzzy, or Frazzled?"

Posted by: laloomis | April 23, 2009 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Joel, I had no idea you were so piscean.

When I used to drive a minivan I felt like a fish out of water resulting in me drinking like a fish. A man needs a minivan like a fish needs a bicycle.

Posted by: yellojkt | April 23, 2009 11:12 AM | Report abuse

I didn't catch that show, laloomis, but did the scientist really claim that it's human birth-control that is the source of endocrine disruptors in the water supply? Our waste water (in this country, at least) is heavily processed before release. I would be surprised that complex molecules could survive. My understanding is that most of the endocrine-mimic chemicals that end up in environmental water are from a source that is much more difficult to control: runoff with insecticides and other agricultural chemicals.

Posted by: ScienceTim | April 23, 2009 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Joel, I have to agree with Mudge, this cracks me up every time I read it!

"He says lately I've been passive-aggressive and not a good listener, but the truth is, Angus has been defensive and refuses to express his real feelings, and this creates a palpable tension between us that all the other men have noticed and has cast a real pall over the book club." Your humor is delightful.

Posted by: chloebug | April 23, 2009 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Just wondering then about seahorses, the male of which -- IIRC -- incubates the eggs of the female, gives birth and nurtures, too. Not that there are seahorses in the Chesapeake (I would be stunned to learn that there are any), but would that particular set of characteristics suddenly become female duties?

Otherwise, back to the grind here at work. Cya later.

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | April 23, 2009 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Like W.C. Fields, I don't drink water because fish [have sex] in it.

Posted by: yellojkt | April 23, 2009 11:30 AM | Report abuse

This is my favourite Kit in a while.

*Tim, I'd need to do a little research to cite specific studies, but it is my understanding that indeed hormones and many drugs are ending up in water systems all over the world. The feminization of water life has been reported for several years now.

Posted by: Yoki | April 23, 2009 11:32 AM | Report abuse

These chemicals may be making it into the water as the result of lax wastewater oversite over the manufacturers.

http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/green/271-Million-Pounds-of-Pharmaceuticals-Dumped-into-Water-Ways.html

It seems there are multiple vectors for complex chemicals in the water supply.

Posted by: yellojkt | April 23, 2009 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Okay, one more post.

I wonder what impact this would have on cultures which favor males over females (China, India, certain African communities), should further water contamination means that more children are born female than are born male. Of course the surplus of male children now in China, due to abortion or adoption of female children appears to be the intended or maybe even unintended consequences of such cultural policies.

And now I *really* have to go. *grump*

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | April 23, 2009 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Re. minivans: many years ago some friends and I raced a minivan (nicknamed Mini Me), and won a fair number of trophies with it.

'twas a junkyard salvage beast that we picked up because it was one of the rare factory Plymouth Voyager models equipped with a turbocharger and a high-strength manual transmission from the factory. We added an intercooler and nitrous-oxide injection, lowered it and added performance shocks and struts, adapted/fabricated some anti-swaybars, with the whole shebang coming in at less than $1500.

People didn't know exactly what to make of a 'van that ran 12 sec. flat quarter miles and smoked it's front tires like "Big Daddy" Don Garlits between autocross cones.

But we did get a lot of applause and caused a few drivers to yell at their crews about being beaten by a *#$%@ing minivan.

Plus, it was grey with silver racing stripes.

bc

Posted by: -bc- | April 23, 2009 11:40 AM | Report abuse

I recall that we used to be told to take any unused medications remaining after a course of medication (e.g., antibiotics) and flush them down the toilet. A better disposal method would be to put them in a self-cleaning oven (or just bake'em really hot, if your oven doesn't self-clean). Energy-wasteful, yes, but at least it avoids chemical pollution. Or, y'know, just plain incineration.

Posted by: ScienceTim | April 23, 2009 11:41 AM | Report abuse

But isn't incineration bad, Tim? Puts smoke and byproducts into the atmosphere? Anyway, most places have ordnances against various and sundry incineration.

The answer is, there is no answer.

Except maybe if women would, yanno, just *hold* it, as it were.

Personally, I'm just happy as all git-out that there's a problem we cannot blame on us men and our testosterone. Man, oh man, I feel like I've dodged a bullet, for once.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | April 23, 2009 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Tim, I tried to flush the self-cleaning oven down the toilet with little success.

Posted by: russianthistle | April 23, 2009 11:55 AM | Report abuse

All right. Enjoying the privilege of anonymity, and in the interests of full disclosure, which makes the Boodle the fount and repository of all knowledge, I will state the obvious. Like the Canuckistani invasion, the answer here is hiding in plain sight. Women, do not shun me for this.

We're doing it on purpose. Although our percentage of the population is slowly rising, and now tops 50% in some parts of the world, it is a slow climb. In addition, cultural development has significantly lagged behind our increase in numbers. How to speed up the process of world domination? Clearly, the biological feminization of males. Social change has not proven effective. We've had to turn to biological and chemical methods.

It is for your own good.

Posted by: Ivansmom | April 23, 2009 12:00 PM | Report abuse

It's not only fish, it's humans too. I've noticed a huge increase of girlymen inhabiting the area surrounding the Potomac/DC metropolitan area in the last 10 years and their breasts continue to enlarge.

You can bet it's something in the water and it seems to be trickling in from our neighbors from the northeast.

Posted by: Mako2 | April 23, 2009 12:02 PM | Report abuse

I just *knew* it had to be something like that!!

But jeez, chem/bio warfare! Your gender will stop at nothing!

(On the other hand, I suppose I should be grateful you haven't nuked us...yet.)

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | April 23, 2009 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Upon deeper reflection, I suppose this explains why I do the vacuuming and most of the cooking.

So much for the illusion of free will.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | April 23, 2009 12:06 PM | Report abuse

You start singing "I Feel Pretty" Mudge, we're gonna have to take action.

Posted by: Raysmom | April 23, 2009 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Yanno, Raysmom, I'm starting to kinda appreciate all those doilies in the bunker...

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | April 23, 2009 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Look, if ya wanted more foreplay and cuddling, ya coulda just said something.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | April 23, 2009 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, just be careful as to where you plant your tulips.

Posted by: Mako2 | April 23, 2009 12:14 PM | Report abuse

But how do you feel about the Kinkades?

Posted by: Raysmom | April 23, 2009 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Well since the men and the fish are getting in touch with their feminine side, I think this painting will be the perfect touch for the bunker.

http://i3.iofferphoto.com/img/item/669/010/26/o_H7bJ9P5sipLHRyb.jpg

Posted by: dmd2 | April 23, 2009 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Repaint the dog black
with suavely masculine air
and we have a deal.

-Wilbrodog-

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | April 23, 2009 12:29 PM | Report abuse

You're gonna have to up the dosage until I look and sing like Dolly Parton before I accept the Kinkades.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | April 23, 2009 12:40 PM | Report abuse

It's the golf courses turning the fish into hermaphrodites.

Posted by: Jumper1 | April 23, 2009 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Tim, you can probably go to Rehm's website and get the audio of yesterday's program for the anonymous researcher's comments, about 45 minutes into the hour.

Joel,
I have a great idea for the book club. Why not open your wallets a little and go as a group to see the much-nominated-for-film-prizes movie "Revolutionary Road"? Not exactly a Revoltionary War patriot movie like the older Gibson-Ledger one, it'll have akll of you talking for hours.

Of course, for the book club, there's also the gender-bending "Misfortune." I picked it up around New Year's for a buck--maybe two. The price was so right after encountering British author Wesley Stace above that tattoo parlor in Austin at the 2008 Texas Book Festival.

Haven't read Misfortune" yet, although my intentions are good. Too engrossed now in the quick read (173 pages) of Bacevich's superb "Limits of Power." To be followed by either Sarah Lyall's "Anglo-Files: A Field Guide to the British"--I'm still dreaming of getting over there about two years from now. And Gerard Koeppel's "Bond of Union." In perusing "Bond," I noticed Koeppel detailed the close family ties of other principals/builders on the Erie Canal to family member-by-marriage Canvass White.

I had seen "Bond" at out newest B&N at the new La Cantera mall. Very attractive store, new location, but when someone strolls near the second-floor reading area with its overstuffed chairs, the floor shakes like a 4.2 earthquake. Forget the atmospherics and give me a solid floor that doesn't vibrate like heck and violently shake me from my perusing.

I phoned our close-to-home B&N to see if they had "Bond," once I had made the decision to purchase. They don't. However, when Vince, the bookseller/clerk, couldn't find it in the database, he asked me if Erie is spelled "eerie." The American education system is dead.

Posted by: laloomis | April 23, 2009 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Heat damages sperm quality or is the male fetus more fragile?

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/7972993.stm

Posted by: laloomis | April 23, 2009 12:47 PM | Report abuse

That is scary in the "canary in a coal mine" sort of way. As that article points out, though, the precise cause has yet to be determined.

Still, drugs in the water are obviously bad. I have been told that the best way to dispose of left-over pharmaceuticals is to see if the pharmacy will destroy them for you. They have ways.

If this isn't an option, then you are supposed to remove them from their labeled containers, mix them up with used coffee grounds, seal them up, and toss them in the trash.

Yet another good reason to drink coffee.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | April 23, 2009 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Or flame-retardants.

Posted by: Jumper1 | April 23, 2009 12:55 PM | Report abuse

I suddenly realized that as soon as my son leaves for college I shall be the only male in our house. Even the pets are female.

I mean, I've only heard of such things.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | April 23, 2009 1:02 PM | Report abuse

I'm stuck on the concept of 'extra' prescription medication. People put it down the drain? Why? Who has extra? First, you're supposed to finish *all* of that antibiotic prescription even if you are feeling better. So no leftovers there. Pain killers are like meatloaf...they're better the next day, so they get saved for when they're really needed. Like when you wrench your back doing something silly to make someone else laugh. Or the next time family comes for a long visit.

Posted by: LostInThought | April 23, 2009 1:06 PM | Report abuse

I'm stuck on the concept of 'extra' prescription medication. People put it down the drain? Why? Who has extra? First, you're supposed to finish *all* of that antibiotic prescription even if you are feeling better. So no leftovers there. Pain killers are like meatloaf...they're better the next day...save them for when they're really needed. Like when you wrench your back doing something silly to make someone else laugh. Or the next time family comes for a long visit.

Posted by: LostInThought | April 23, 2009 1:10 PM | Report abuse

Ooops. I thought I only hit submit once. Guess not. But it could be my computer. It's had a bad virus, but no prescription medication. I'm thinking a big old magnet might do the trick.

Posted by: LostInThought | April 23, 2009 1:12 PM | Report abuse

I'm looking for companies that manufacture flame-retardant clothing near the Potomac. There's one big outfit that's got a bunch of fake addresses it seems... sell to the military, etc.

Posted by: Jumper1 | April 23, 2009 1:14 PM | Report abuse

>It's the golf courses turning the fish into hermaphrodites.

Not just fish. Everyone wants to play off the red tees.

Posted by: engelmann | April 23, 2009 1:20 PM | Report abuse

LiT – when it comes to antibiotics you are quite right. There should be no left-overs. And although, technically, you should always dispose of all left-over pain medicine, that Tylenol C can come in handy now and then.

Alas, there is still a vast plethora of other pharmaceuticals where this is not always the case. Pharmacology is not at all an exact science. As anyone who has ever had a chronic condition, or lives with such a person, there is a whole lot of trial and error involved.

The doctor will prescribe something for you to try, and as co-payments are often quite large, it is in your financial best interest to get as many as the insurance company will allow in case this drug is a winner. Which presents the problem of leftover drugs when it turns out that this particular prescription fails to perform as hoped.

Then, of course, there is the issue of side-effects. If three days into a new prescription the unexpected appearance of a rash, extra limb, or sudden urge to fly emerges, most physicians suggest that the regimen be altered.

Do this enough and a family can easily end up with a shockingly-large number of miscellaneous pills with names like “Percloxamine” or “Mexomesanole” for which it has no use.

And for which there is no appreciable street value.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | April 23, 2009 1:21 PM | Report abuse

LiT -- me too on the eat them all or save for excruciating moments later. I was without old med coverage for the blasted and broken ribs....but a neighbor gave me a blessed pill left over from a tooth moment.

But, we do excrete these molecules, if we take them as directed. Pharmaceutical residues are under the microscope now. Most environmental problems are multi-focal and in situ, concerning pollution. And, in situ means, within the setting. In a watershed, animals (we included) are exposed to a variety of pollutants at the same time or serially. We can assess their toxicity or teratagenic effects within laboratories or in models. But, we cannot really approach the interaction or synergistic effect.

Let's assume that long chains of estrogens, parts of ED molecules, atrazine molecules, antihisimines, antibiotics, oil run off, nitrogen/phosphate run off, acid rain droplets, mercury and lead metal accumulation.....in the soup ain't good for us.

Pollution Soups are
not health for
children and
other
living things. -- to paraphrase.

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | April 23, 2009 1:21 PM | Report abuse

A hammer and a lot of swearing always works for me LiT,though it never seems to fix the problem,it sure makes me happy.

Off to work

I will be looking for those cross dressing fish over the weekend.

Have a Great day everyone!!!!

Posted by: greenwithenvy | April 23, 2009 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Ivansmom! We asked you so nicely not to tell! I hope you'll not spill any more beans.

Oops.

Posted by: slyness | April 23, 2009 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Those legumes were made for eatin'

Posted by: russianthistle | April 23, 2009 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Is it me or did we just go to the Post Format? My Achen heart.

Posted by: russianthistle | April 23, 2009 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Joel,
If the book club picks Sense and Sensibility I would love an invite. I've been meaning to read it ever since PBS did the Complete Jane Austen series a while back. Tell the fellas I mix a mean appletini.

Posted by: yellojkt | April 23, 2009 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Testing comments.

Posted by: Bob Greiner | April 23, 2009 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Wow, I refreshed and the whole screen changed. I am so easily confused. Speaking of confused, I was assuming that Joel wasn't speaking of an actual book club to which he and Angus and the Guys belong; I figured it was part of the humor involved in getting all squishy and touchy-feely and doing girly things like book clubs.

Besides, yello, if they pick a Jane Austen clearly they'll be reading "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies".

Sorry, slyness, but these guys are just so persuasive.

Posted by: Ivansmom | April 23, 2009 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Sigh. We are now merged into the WaPo borg....with the skinny san serif font the evidence.

Ivansmom -- let's step up the Pinkification Borge assimilation of the guys. NO BLUE IN OUR LIFE TIMES....Psst. Don't tell.

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | April 23, 2009 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Now we'll all be reported for abuse.

Polluted Lake Apopka west of Orlando has long been famous for its feminized bull 'gators. Orlando's drinking water is from deep wells and ozonated rather than chlorinated, so parents taking their kids on vacation need not buy bottled water (which in Florida is likely to be from the same Floridan Aquifer). On the side, it's frightening to see that Jacksonville is running short of Floridan water and may have to desalinate. They're apparently already having trouble funding the reconstruction of water supply systems.

One of my Jacksonville neighbors distrusted city water and insisted on drinking shallow-well water instead. The neighborhood was built about 1950, so there must have been Chlordane, DDT and other early pesticides in his water.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | April 23, 2009 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Ivansmom,
So you're telling me I read all those Nicholas Spark books for nothing? Dang. I was hoping I could talk the guys into going over to Joanne's after the meeting for some scrapbooking supplies.

Posted by: yellojkt | April 23, 2009 1:58 PM | Report abuse

At least the comments are still in chronological order rather than reverse like on the news stories.

Posted by: yellojkt | April 23, 2009 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Hey, CqP, I feel so, dirty.

Like I'm nothing more than a sports poster wanting to replace your random quarterback with a fresh face.

Posted by: russianthistle | April 23, 2009 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Oy.
Resistance is futile.

LiT, I'd say that like meatloaf,those leftovers go nicely with a good red wine.

bc

Posted by: -bc- | April 23, 2009 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Oh no, feminized bull gators... sounds like shoes and handbags to me.

Posted by: russianthistle | April 23, 2009 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Hm. This will take some getting used to. I *don't* like this kind of change, that I didn't have any input to.

The zinnias and bells of Ireland are planted. I'm pacing myself so I don't overdo and get exhausted. Next up: getting the oak blossoms and weeds out of the mongo grass. At least that's in the shade.

CqP, I think I'll wait till the first of the week to try the moonflowers. I won't have time to plant tomorrow, so I'll wait and soak them Saturday or Sunday.

Posted by: slyness | April 23, 2009 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Can't say that I care for this font. No sir. Cannot honestly say that I do.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | April 23, 2009 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Do we have italics though?

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | April 23, 2009 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Nah.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | April 23, 2009 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Hey SD, we may not have italics, but we do have certain misgivings.

Posted by: russianthistle | April 23, 2009 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Not sure I am liking this new format.

I will have left over anti-inflammatory meds to get rid of I was given a 14 day supply but after two days not seeing a requirement for them.

In good news just spot the small lilac buds on my standard lilac I planted last fall, with a few very warm days to follow plants should really start growing.

Sunny and just a little cool now - early tulips are out and daffodils are beginning to flower.

Posted by: dmd2 | April 23, 2009 2:19 PM | Report abuse

What exactly is different. I can't completely figure out what happened other than that I now have trouble Googling old A-blog items.

Posted by: joelache | April 23, 2009 2:20 PM | Report abuse

The Palm Beach Post and AP (at the Post) have new information on the dead polo ponies. Looks like a Florida pharmacy is in big trouble.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | April 23, 2009 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Joel, that's what happens when the beans become spilled.

Posted by: russianthistle | April 23, 2009 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Joel, on my machine the font suddenly shifted to this austere sans-serif thing. I can still see the old kits and boodles, though.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | April 23, 2009 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Sheesh. I go to lunch and come back to find the Kit and Boodle horribly re-fonted and looking like a piece of industrial hardware. Could this redesign possibly be any uglier?

The more WaPo works on its online Web site, the worse it gets. You'd think they were trying to save money by going from a black typeface to a gray one, and eliminating some of the other colors, and chipping off all the serifs. And hasn't anyone told them that blue and orange are clashing colors on the color palet (see top logo with blogosaurus)?

Liz, are you lurking? 'Cuz this is pretty ugly.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | April 23, 2009 2:28 PM | Report abuse

That is, I can find old kits via Google just fine.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | April 23, 2009 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Yes, You can still Google for "Legume Humor" and find the boodle. What a relief.

Posted by: russianthistle | April 23, 2009 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Although is Joel Googling the Post site or the Internet. Maybe some intern just found the Post's copy of GoLive?

Posted by: russianthistle | April 23, 2009 2:34 PM | Report abuse

A long time ago I crashed a polo match in Palm Beach, actually Wellington, and a polo pony died right on the field. They brought out the flat bed tractor-pulled stretcher and rolled him onto it and resumed the game. Polo ponies have always been rather disposable. The eyebrow raiser here is the quantity. The entire sport is inhumane, we're now just quibbling over degree.

Posted by: yellojkt | April 23, 2009 2:41 PM | Report abuse

A smaller font means less bandwidth needed. I learned that when Dilbert convinced the pointy-haired boss of it.

Posted by: yellojkt | April 23, 2009 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Joel, I may be wrong, but it looks like the Post is moving directories around for the Archived items. The "Search this blog" now seems to only have 2009 boodles indexed.

Posted by: russianthistle | April 23, 2009 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Maybe the fish got feminitized but they benefit from reduced LDL cholesterol and blood pressure.

“The quantities of bezafibrate and enalapril detected in the raw wastewater, treated wastewater and surface water at the treatment station outlet are respectively 50 nanograms per litre, 35 ng/L and 8 ng L for bezafibrate and 280 ng/L, 240 ng/L and 39ng/L for enalapril.

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/136820.php

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | April 23, 2009 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Yello, soon, the Post will just print everything in Woodstock scratch. Maybe they will pop for the Cuneiform script font.

Posted by: russianthistle | April 23, 2009 3:00 PM | Report abuse

I forgot to mention earlier: I liked "The Red Tent". Well, mainly liked the first half, the second half wasn't as engaging.

Posted by: ScienceTim | April 23, 2009 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Wellington in Palm Beach County is filling up, so there seems to be a bit of polo migration to Indian River County, where the Windsor development on the barrier island has a vast polo field. Years ago, I flew over the thing and was absolutely amazed that so much valuable real estate was being used for a monster lawn.

The pharmacy that admitted to a formulation error is reported (by the Sun-Sentinel) to be a large, reputable company. Or it was.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | April 23, 2009 3:05 PM | Report abuse

To see the difference, just go to the original kit at the top of the page -- very strong and vigorous. Now return to the boodle to see a font and ink totally in need of Geritol because of iron deficient anemia.

I don't like it at all. No sirree.

Posted by: rickoshea0 | April 23, 2009 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Ivansmom, I owe ya a royalty check. Dottir#3 just texted me asking what's for dinner. I replied, "Mice."

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | April 23, 2009 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Actually, I meant to say, "No sirree, Bob."

(Ask Mudge; he'll know what that means....)

Posted by: rickoshea0 | April 23, 2009 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Obituary to share with the boodle...

Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, 'Common Sense', who has been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was, since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape. He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as:

Knowing when to come in out of the rain;
why the early bird gets the worm;
life isn't always fair; and maybe it was my fault.

Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don't spend more than you can earn) and reliable strategies (adults, not children, are in charge)

Common Sense was preceded in death, by his parents, Truth and Trust.

His wife, Discretion, his daughter, Responsibility, his son, Reason.

He is survived by his 4 stepbrothers; I Know My Rights; I Want It Now; Someone Else Is To Blame; I'm A Victim.

Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone.
-----
too true!

Posted by: MissToronto | April 23, 2009 3:10 PM | Report abuse

I love the new look. Hope I don't need to leave town.

Posted by: Yoki | April 23, 2009 3:16 PM | Report abuse

I am deeply distrubed about the possibility of this feminized sealife thing. Who needs a giant squid with boobs?

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | April 23, 2009 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Book of the moment: "The Parting of the Sea: how Volcanoes, Earthquakes, and Plagues Shaped the Story of Exodus" by Barbara J. Sivertsen (Princeton Univ. Press).

It's a remarkable mixture of oral tradition, geology, interpretation of ancient dates, and so on. The rather precise dates suggested for things like Moses ascending an erupting Arabian cinder cone (i.e. Mt. Sinai) seem awfully sketchy but it's a fun read.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | April 23, 2009 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Not fond of the font, either. This stuff is hard on the eyes.

Off to more surreal meetings with Budget.

Posted by: Raysmom | April 23, 2009 3:22 PM | Report abuse

A great white shark with PMS. Charlene the Tuna. Captain Ahab and his crew going out to harpoon ovary whales. Orca the negotiating whale. Dolphin shows at SeaWorld that have to shut down for two or three days every month because the dolphins are testy and snappish, and need to lay down. Dead sailors going down to Debbie Jones' Locker. Changing the spelling of "koi" to "coy."

The mind boggles at the possibilities.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | April 23, 2009 3:26 PM | Report abuse

BTW, happy birthday, little Billie Shakespeare. Ya done good, kid.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | April 23, 2009 3:33 PM | Report abuse

So good to be home, even in san serif...

:-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | April 23, 2009 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Welcome back, Scotty! *Hugs*

Posted by: Yoki | April 23, 2009 3:39 PM | Report abuse

'Mudge, we already have a giant squid wid boobage.

I speak of Ursula from "The Little Mermaid," of course...

Posted by: Scottynuke | April 23, 2009 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Thank you, Yoki! *HUGS* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | April 23, 2009 3:48 PM | Report abuse

We do? I never saw it, Scotty. (That's what happens when ya become an old fart. Ya miss these cartoon things.)

Ursula, huh?

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | April 23, 2009 3:50 PM | Report abuse

Common Sense didn't just die, he was murdered! Weakened by a series of crippling headaches brought on by listening to Ann Coulter and Glenn Beck, stupified by attempting to follow the logic of Michelle Bachmann, he was immobilized by Rush Limbaugh sitting on his chest and finished off when Bill O'Reilly sucked all the air out of the room.

Posted by: kguy1 | April 23, 2009 3:52 PM | Report abuse

mudge,
This one:
http://images3.wikia.nocookie.net/kingdomhearts/images/thumb/d/d8/KH-Ursula.jpg/300px-KH-Ursula.jpg

Not this one:
http://www.perfect007.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/02/ursula-andress-dr-no-1b.jpg

Posted by: yellojkt | April 23, 2009 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Yello, you better be careful. Somebody will clean you out if you keep making comparisons like those.

Hey Scotty! Glad you got back safe and sound.

Posted by: slyness | April 23, 2009 4:02 PM | Report abuse

I like shells, too.

Posted by: russianthistle | April 23, 2009 4:04 PM | Report abuse

AND, if you hold them to your ear, you can hear the ocean.

Posted by: russianthistle | April 23, 2009 4:05 PM | Report abuse

I dunno. I did a little research, and I think you guys are a bit off the mark. I don't think Ursula is a giant squid, or even close. Here's what Wiki says:


"Ursula is based on the "sea witch" and "sea sorceress" character in Hans Christian Andersen's story "The Little Mermaid". In the original story the sea witch is a neutral enabler, but for Disney's animated adaptation, the character was modified into a full-fledged antagonist and plays a larger role in the overall story. Ursula is a cecaelia sea witch who "helps" unfortunate merfolk to achieve her own goals. Her appearance is of an obese purple-skinned, white-haired female human with a facial mole, but from the waist down she has six black tentacles. Her overall design is based on the drag queen Divine ...

"During planning for the film, Ursula was not originally designed as a cecaelia. It was thought that she would be another sea creature, such as a rockfish-like mermaid[1]. The production team then saw a documentary about octopuses, and decided that their multiple arms and overall imposing appearance would be perfect for the character they were creating...

"According to actress Sherie Rene Scott who recreated the character for the Broadway version, the film's lyricist Howard Ashman had been inspired by Divine and Joan Collins in developing Ursula[3]."

----

Joan Collins???? Bwahahahahaha.

But anyway, I'm not seeing the squid thing here.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | April 23, 2009 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Uncer "cecaelia" we find:

"A cecaelia (pronounced suh-SAY-lee-uh, IPA: /sə'seɪliə/; though unrelated to the Latin-originated name Cecilia) is a composite mythical being, appearing occasionally in art (notably from Japan), literature, and multimedia; combining the head, arms and torso of a woman (more rarely a man) and, from the lower torso down, the tentacles of an octopus or squid as a form of mermaid or sea demon. The term derives primarily from the distorted mispronounced name of a character/story title from a black-and-white comic in Vampirella Magazine featured in the early 1970s which shows a woman/octopus hybrid character called "Cilia"[citation needed].

Other common terms used are "octopus-mermaid", "octo-mermaid", "octo-girl", "octopian", and variants thereof. While the broader term mermaid (Latin- "sea maiden") would otherwise apply, cecaelia are generally considered a separate unrelated species. Also, more commonly, cecaelia are referred to as "sea witches" (see below).

----------

Granted, the reference to "squid" is there, but clearly octopus is what they were going for.

Either that, or Octomom.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | April 23, 2009 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Did something break?

Posted by: slyness | April 23, 2009 5:15 PM | Report abuse

I always thought Ursula was part-octopus. Common octopi are purple, y'know.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | April 23, 2009 5:18 PM | Report abuse

Common octopi are purple

... at least when washed, lightly steamed and served in japanese restaurants. Delish.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | April 23, 2009 5:20 PM | Report abuse

This just goes to show what happens when you give too much power to computer geeks who have no appreciation for the rich history and proof of neurological excellence that has gone into the development of seriffed fonts. Generations of frogs, rats, and mollusks died in neurology labs so that we could understand the power of the evolution of serifs. Their use speeds up reading.

These naifs have come across something they should have known earlier. Much as I should have researched the dramatic travails of those who have fought previously colossal battles against a foe I have only recently encountered: ice cream. But no: I fight the battle against "strawberry cheesecake" ice cream naively, as if this is the first time the battle has been fought. I lack the wisdom of history.

Posted by: Jumper1 | April 23, 2009 5:22 PM | Report abuse

My (lack of) vision can't handle sans serif. So I guess this means adios.

Posted by: laloomis | April 23, 2009 5:23 PM | Report abuse

Hmmmmmm. Not sure I like this new font. Nope, not sure a'tall.

Octopi, on the other hand, are suitable to be thrown on the ice at hockey games in Detroit, or wherever the Red Wings are playing in the playoffs. *busting buttons so far over my guys*

The Pistons, OTOH, shall predictably throw themselves under the bus. Ah, well.

I think in hono(u)r of the b'day of Wm. Shakespeare, I oughta start reading those plays again. So many books, so little time.

Catch up wit ya on the morrow. So to speak. Although I just know that I'm going to open one of those boxes I've been hoarding and it's gonna be chock full of serifs. Dang!

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | April 23, 2009 5:31 PM | Report abuse

Wow. Did *not* see that coming. Good luck out there laloomis. And keep 'em guessing in Texas.

Posted by: LostInThought | April 23, 2009 5:32 PM | Report abuse

I think we have problem with the font size primarily. Some evidence suggests that san serif fonts are easier to read than serif fonts in digital or backlit environments.

I wish that whatever was happening here was a larger font size. Jumper? Did you say this helps with band width?

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | April 23, 2009 5:33 PM | Report abuse

ScTIM!!!!!!!!!
I will be working at MD day too. Come on down to the ARHU tents. I will look for you in Physics....more details as my boss reveals them to me.

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | April 23, 2009 5:38 PM | Report abuse

You can control how large the font is on your screen, CqP. In IE, click on page, then text size, and pick what appeals.

Posted by: slyness | April 23, 2009 5:39 PM | Report abuse

You can increase the size in FireFox with ctrl +

Posted by: RD_Padouk | April 23, 2009 5:41 PM | Report abuse

Like the famous saying, Jumper, those who forget repast are condemned to re-eat it.

Posted by: engelmann | April 23, 2009 5:51 PM | Report abuse

Monsieur Padouk -- you are a WONDERFUL resource of all sorts of things, not the least of which is font size. I've got it ratcheted up where I can see it without squinting and swearing. How great is *that* I ask you????

And, yeah, Mudgie, it's difficult being an old f@rt, ain't it?

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | April 23, 2009 5:55 PM | Report abuse

Is it me, or we being encouraged to Report Abuse?

Interestingly, if you click on that link, you get the individual message id that you'd like zapped or whatever.

Hmm. I'm going to try an experiment later.

bc

Posted by: -bc- | April 23, 2009 6:04 PM | Report abuse

Had to come see if it was true.

New font. Wow!

HI EVERYONE!!

Posted by: abeac1 | April 23, 2009 6:09 PM | Report abuse

Apparently we can report abuse with abandon. I like the new look, too, Yoki. I also like the links at the top (especially the "What Else Joel Writes.")

Aahhh... my weekend is here. A Friday tomorrow with absolutely nothing on the agenda. How the heck did that happen? I know it'll fritter away quite on its own.

Posted by: TBG- | April 23, 2009 6:22 PM | Report abuse

I like the font, too. And I like how fast the page loads. This may not be new, though. I have not visited in a while.

Posted by: abeac1 | April 23, 2009 6:25 PM | Report abuse

Golly. Thanks, slyness. I both enlarged and zoomed up to 125% and darn - y'all are writing some incisive, witty, interesting stuff. I shoulda done this years ago.

Weed, I hope that "spill the beans" comment wasn't a reference to my admitting the Female BioEngineering and Chemical Feminization Plot to Take Over the World. I'd hate to think I was responsible for changing the Boodle font.

Mudge, you honor me by using the "mice" response. To have inspired a casual reference is either high praise or an indication that the Boodle is much too firmly embedded in your brain.

Also thanks for the cecaelia lesson. I had no idea. Once again I have learnt new stuff from the Boodle.

Posted by: Ivansmom | April 23, 2009 6:27 PM | Report abuse

I think these things are all related. Aren't women men sans serif?

Posted by: engelmann | April 23, 2009 6:34 PM | Report abuse

I'm frenvious of your free Friday, TBG! You just know it will fill up in that mysterious way.

Such a day at the office! I'm awfully glad to be home.

Posted by: Yoki | April 23, 2009 6:44 PM | Report abuse

Men sans sherif are lawbreakers, I thought, SoC.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | April 23, 2009 7:21 PM | Report abuse

I remember Simon & Garfunkel singing about cecaelia, I think...

*REALLY-glad-to-be-'home'-home-and-noting-the-irony-of-the-comment-box-displaying-serif-type Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | April 23, 2009 7:42 PM | Report abuse

Engelman, do you mean to invoke the angelness of serifs?

Those little ticks and curls are the wee angels that help the eye track across the line from the end of one letter to the beginning of the next.

So, women are men sans serifs? Without their angels? Or do you mean angles? As in men are triangles; women are curves.

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | April 23, 2009 7:53 PM | Report abuse

CP, excellent. It used to drive me nuts when I was having girl babies, that people thought we knew they were girls on ultrasound because of some absence. Absolutely not. They were positively girl-babies.

Posted by: Yoki | April 23, 2009 8:05 PM | Report abuse

I won't be with Physics, I'll be with Astronomy -- or, maybe, Mission Madness (I'm not sure if that will be separate or not).

Posted by: ScienceTim | April 23, 2009 8:18 PM | Report abuse

Testing comment Abuse Report.

bc

Posted by: -bc- | April 23, 2009 8:33 PM | Report abuse

Here's a really excellent web page laying out all the claims and counterclaims of serif versus sans serif: http://www.alexpoole.info/academic/literaturereview.html

The conclusion: despite decades of argument and testing, it is inconclusive which type of font is more legible and/or readable. Which itself is a pretty fascinating conclusion. I note however, two things. First, there is some indication sprinkled throughout that serif fonts are "old" technology, and that those people who prefer them tend to do so because they are used to them.

Fair enough: we like them because we are used to them. So what should be the proper takeaway from this observation? (1) That because this preference is just "learned" behavior and therefore irrational, we can ignore it? Or that (2) because people have this irrational preference we should go with it?

Well, guess what? It's the "traditionalists" (serif) versus the techies (screw 'em; we wanna use the modern sans serif font whether they like it or not).

Here's my second observation: when you go through that web page andf look at all the claims you will find one thing: nobody has done a study correlating font preference against age. And I'm bet a dollar to a donut that older readers prefer serif (because that's what they are used to), and younger people prefer sans serif.

So what it boils down to is us old farts are being dictated too by the preferences of young IT techies. It's that simple.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | April 23, 2009 8:37 PM | Report abuse

Well, I'm *ancient* but I love sans serif fonts, chrome and glass and leather low-lying furniture, black and white everything, fancy food. So I don't think your correlation of age and traditional fonts really works anecdotally, 'Mudge. But, probably, there haven't been any studies that say that I'm not just weird. I'd like to think I have a cohort.

Posted by: Yoki | April 23, 2009 8:48 PM | Report abuse

I'm not so sure. I prefer serif fonts for lengthy reading, and sans serif for other things.

The problem is that the A-blog is definitely lengthy reading with complex thingies called words, with actual vowels and spelling and punctuation and such.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | April 23, 2009 8:49 PM | Report abuse

This font, now I look at it, is not completely sans serif-- the T has a little curl, ditto for the y, so it's actually a compromise-- like Courier New (which I like when I must sans serif).

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | April 23, 2009 8:51 PM | Report abuse

Niow, the next question: why is the font dark gray instead of black? I'm not sure I agree with this theory, but basically here it is:

"Dealing with computer screens and their refresh rates may also include certain phenomena found in film, since there is "flicker": graphic artists know a higher refresh rate on their screens decreases eyestrain considerably, so colour alone is not the only factor. If we can generalize from film and animation, the higher the "edge contrast," the greater the flicker effect and eyestrain. Graphic artists know this, and usually use raster images that are "antialiased," giving a blended edge between the two colours, which decreases Simultaneous Contrast, as noted by Chevreul in the 1800's, and has been confirmed by Faber Birren, and the experience of people working with graphics. Vector images, though great for printing, are harder to look at on the screen, since the screen will always break them into pixels, and without the softening effect of antialiasing, lines and edges are sharp and cruel.

"Since text on screen is usually displayed based on vector fonts, it seems best to diminish the contrast between text and screen, to minimize the strain caused by the flicker."

In short, what this is saying is that if the font is gray, the flicker isn't so bad, and there is a tad less eye strain.

What is probably unmeasurable, at least to my mind, is whether the increased eye strain I experience looking at gray typefaces isoffset by the eye strain the gray is supposedly lessening due to flicker.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | April 23, 2009 8:52 PM | Report abuse

Niow, the next question: why is the font dark gray instead of black? I'm not sure I agree with this theory, but basically here it is:

"Dealing with computer screens and their refresh rates may also include certain phenomena found in film, since there is "flicker": graphic artists know a higher refresh rate on their screens decreases eyestrain considerably, so colour alone is not the only factor. If we can generalize from film and animation, the higher the "edge contrast," the greater the flicker effect and eyestrain. Graphic artists know this, and usually use raster images that are "antialiased," giving a blended edge between the two colours, which decreases Simultaneous Contrast, as noted by Chevreul in the 1800's, and has been confirmed by Faber Birren, and the experience of people working with graphics. Vector images, though great for printing, are harder to look at on the screen, since the screen will always break them into pixels, and without the softening effect of antialiasing, lines and edges are sharp and cruel.

"Since text on screen is usually displayed based on vector fonts, it seems best to diminish the contrast between text and screen, to minimize the strain caused by the flicker."

In short, what this is saying is that if the font is gray, the flicker isn't so bad, and there is a tad less eye strain.

What is probably unmeasurable, at least to my mind, is whether the increased eye strain I experience looking at gray typefaces isoffset by the eye strain the gray is supposedly lessening due to flicker.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | April 23, 2009 8:54 PM | Report abuse

Taken aback by the font change, but will get used to it I imagine. 75 degrees today! the worms arrived and are in their new home, eating food scraps as I type (at least they should be). Off to back boodle. Then an early lights out. Toodles and sweet dreams.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | April 23, 2009 8:58 PM | Report abuse

I have a LED screen so there's no flicker. I think the eye strain is more from the small size font.

I do agree that the grey could stand to be a tad darker.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | April 23, 2009 8:59 PM | Report abuse

I'm just glad the comment section works!

Posted by: MiddleofthePacific | April 23, 2009 8:59 PM | Report abuse

Hey, I want to report abuse!! Some idiot made my post appear twice!

Um...er...ah...

No, Officer, i swear I have no idea who could have done such a dastardly thing.

Thing.

Thing.

Thing.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | April 23, 2009 9:02 PM | Report abuse

Hey, it does look better when it's not in that blasted grey.

IT: use focus groups, internet personas before implementing any changes, please-- don't actually use live readers as guinea pigs.


Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | April 23, 2009 9:05 PM | Report abuse

And speaking of grey... isn't Grey's Anatomy on?

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | April 23, 2009 9:09 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, I've been looking at the Boodle test, the text in a couple of other papers, and in Word, and they all seem to have an equal amount of blackness. Could the grey you see be a product of your computer or browser?

Posted by: nellie4 | April 23, 2009 9:09 PM | Report abuse

I think the specific font may look different on each computer.

I favor sans-serif fonts, too, Yoki. AND I'm one of those "IT Techies" Mudge is talking about--at least for web design.

And from that design standpoint, the lack of serif isn't the problem to me... it's that the line spacing (leading) is too tight.

Posted by: TBG- | April 23, 2009 9:10 PM | Report abuse

The type is most definitely gray on my screen. Compare the boodle text with the word "Comments:" above the comment box.

Posted by: TBG- | April 23, 2009 9:13 PM | Report abuse

I ok with the new font too. Its appearing larger than the old font did on my computer, for who knows what reason. And I really really like the 'What Else Joel Writes' link. Its about time for that. A guy shouldn't have to flog his work on his blog. Well unless he wants to.


Posted by: --dr-- | April 23, 2009 9:32 PM | Report abuse

Just killed my first copperhead of the year. Hope it's the last.

Beer, please!

Posted by: KBoom | April 23, 2009 9:40 PM | Report abuse

I worried about the typeface leading, kerning, sizing, coloring etc, until a great big old CopperPlate bit me.

Hi Kboom. Beer and a whiskey chaser...the good and expensive stuff usually saved for snakebite and field amputations....

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | April 23, 2009 9:43 PM | Report abuse

I've taken a couple of classes lately from a guy who's a graphic designer, and he insists that you should use a mix of serif and sans serif fonts in a doc...So you pick a serif font for the title, headers, and a sans serif for the body text. I'm one of those people who picks a boring font and stays with it, and most of the time I can't tell if a letter has a serif or not...so his approach was news to me...I think in general I like the clean look of sans serif...probably in a few days I'll be used to the new look here...

Posted by: seasea1 | April 23, 2009 9:53 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the reminder, CquaP. Maker's Mark, here I come! (Well, close enough.) GAWD! I hate pit vipers!

Posted by: KBoom | April 23, 2009 10:10 PM | Report abuse

Oh, CP, better a CopperPlate than a copperhead! Kboom, I would not live where I had to kill copperheads. When I was a kid in western PA, we lived where there were copperheads, but not where we saw them or had to kill them. (My sister says my snake phobia originates from a snake crawling over my toes when I was a wee babe, and my mother being appropriately freaked out. I don't know or want to know what kind of snake, how big, etc.) So, good for you, and be careful!

Posted by: seasea1 | April 23, 2009 10:14 PM | Report abuse

Call me a techie - when I send my email or write memos, I always use sans-serif fonts.

I prefer the cleaner look of sans-serif to the classical typeface-style serif fonts, but I think that's a personal preference, like Stewart Weitzman *MPs over Jimmy Choos, or Sean Connery over Roger Moore.

Having said that, I prefer a healthy black ink/rendering over the grey.

bc

Posted by: -bc- | April 23, 2009 10:19 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Mudge & everyone. I find it completely typical of the Boodle, and charming, that when the appearance changed the Boodle began a serious discussion of typeface, serif v sans serif, color etc., finding sources to support the argument (from both sides). Way to go, Boodle. To quote a friend, "Those other blogs - they don't have that!!!"

congrats to KBoom, and I trust you were appropriately careful. I'm very fond of snakes but copperheads are not our friends. If it is close enough that you need to kill it, it is way too close.

G'night, Boodle. Fondue, buenos noches and vaya con queso.

Posted by: Ivansmom | April 23, 2009 10:21 PM | Report abuse

I don't mind serif fonts, mind you, just as I'm comforable using an old ribbon-ink Underwood as a laptop with an ink-jet, or pencils, french curves and t-squares as I am with Visio and AutoCAD.

bc

Posted by: -bc- | April 23, 2009 10:24 PM | Report abuse

I'm a Times New Roman woman myself. Hmm, I'd have to think about mixing serif and sans serif types in one document. I've often changed the font for headings and such, but never between serif and sans serif. Dunno if I'd like that or not.

What was the name of the sans serif typeface I liked so much when I used a Selectric? Courier New? Yes, that really dates me, but I don't care. I typed all my papers in graduate school with that particular ball...

When I worked in the library technical services division (in the media center of the local community college), I had a Selectric with a library keyboard. It was weird, the characters and diacritical marks that were on it. The diacritical mark keys were "dead" in that they didn't advance when you pressed them.

One of my duties was to type and file cards in the card catalogue. I lasted eleven months in that job; it was the job that sent me screaming back to graduate school.

Posted by: slyness | April 23, 2009 10:29 PM | Report abuse

Been lurking. I prefer the old format. LiT, your 5.32 cracked me up. Cool story about the turbo/nitrous mini-van, bc. Hermaphroditic fish started showing up in the Potomac basin in'05-06. I used the WaPo story as a current events assignment in class. Went to the ENT to solve the knob conundrum, and the Doc found something in the thyroid. Thus, another scan next Wed.. Dunno why, the pix they took last week showed enough to make a believer out of me. No news about last Friday's chest scan. So, just knocking along, with the after effects of our son's bout with the GI bug. Everyone has stayed home this week, except me. BTW, I wouldn't know sans serif font if it bit me in the hiney.

Posted by: -jack- | April 23, 2009 10:39 PM | Report abuse

'scuse me...the story about the fish appeared in the paper in '05 or '06. The problem had been noted and researched since '03. Says so in b/w, in TNR font, I think.

Posted by: -jack- | April 23, 2009 10:42 PM | Report abuse

Sending good karma down to you Jack.

Posted by: dmd2 | April 23, 2009 10:44 PM | Report abuse

Hey, I don't have to sign in each and every time to post a comment! I like that!

Ivansmom, my thoughts ran that way too, that we're off on a font tangent, typical, and very civilized.

Oh, and I saw this article last night, about toy and telekinesis, by the "other Joel (Garreau):
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/story/2009/04/22/ST2009042204139.html?sid=ST2009042204139

bc, you gotta get one of those.

Oh, and this on the sad story of the polo ponies:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/04/23/AR2009042303210.html?hpid=artslot
Apparently it was the supplement that they were given that was bad. yello, not sure if you were serious, but I'd hardly call polo inhumane. There is risk and injury with any horse sport - but polo ponies, especially at the elite level, live a pretty nice life. And I'm not sure that are non-elite levels of polo.

Posted by: seasea1 | April 23, 2009 10:45 PM | Report abuse

Oh, I can't stop my urge to be an environmentalist purist. Unless the snake has gotten itself to a place where there is a significant risk of biting a desirable creature (like, a pet, or a child, or Eurydice), please just let them be. Snakes want to leave you alone, because their tiny hard-wired brains are able to tell them that you are too big to eat and that if there is a fight between you, the snake will lose. As a result, they just want to stay the hell away from you and do what they do best: kill and eat undesirable creatures ("vermin"). So, please, let them be unless you have no choice.

Posted by: ScienceTim | April 23, 2009 10:46 PM | Report abuse

Good night with this handwriting website:

http://www.drawyourworld.com/dnealian.html

I am Palmer by training but became italic over the years. Lefty CPDot still does not write cursive. CPBoy was happiest of the three, learning by Writing without Tears method.

My younger sibs learned D'Nealian....not a Zane-Bloser among us.

Sleep tight; don't let the CopperPlates bite.

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | April 23, 2009 10:51 PM | Report abuse

Gettin' ready for Maryland Day. Today I bought: 2'X2' plywood panels, flat black paint with roller and paint tray, light fixture, low-watt spherical bulbs, a piece of narrow aluminum tubing, and an N-gauge train set. See if you can figure out what I'm making.

Posted by: ScienceTim | April 23, 2009 10:52 PM | Report abuse

Jack. About the thyroid news, even bad t-news is relatively OK. I am a queen of thyroid trivia. Others here too. So, we will bury you with knowledge and advice and comfort and muffins and full fat cheeses and even the Jameson's, if need be. Breath deeply and keep us informed.

(Typed in the imaginary Underwood Keys way, that like being 27 inside...is my ideal instrument.)

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | April 23, 2009 10:55 PM | Report abuse

...breathing deeply...thanks for the DHK. Groove to this, and check out the butterfly collar...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2sw8bvZJkRU

Posted by: -jack- | April 23, 2009 11:02 PM | Report abuse

Sci Tim, I would imagine that the copperhead was too close for comfort in Kboom's case. One of the great pluses of the Pacific Northwest is that there are no native poisonous snakes here, and I take comfort in that. My reaction when I do see a snake is to go very fast in the opposite direction (kbertocci can confirm that). I would not have the nerve to tangle with one.

Posted by: seasea1 | April 23, 2009 11:03 PM | Report abuse

I remember typing a lower-case "L" for a digit "1." When did typewriters finally get a number 1?

Courier is not a sans-serif font--New or not. Letter Gothic... now that's a nice typewriter font.

My mother went to a teachers' college (Wilson Teachers' College in DC, to be exact) and learned the Palmer method of handwriting. I could always tell the Christmas cards and other correspondence that came from her college chums... all in the same neat "teacher" handwriting.

Posted by: TBG- | April 23, 2009 11:05 PM | Report abuse

Sorry to skip out on Maryland Day, SciTim, but the wife and I decided to take an overnight getaway to Wellsboro and see the Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania. If anybody knows of anything else we should do there, let me know. And no, mudge, I won't mow the cat.

Posted by: yellojkt | April 23, 2009 11:09 PM | Report abuse

S'Tim...a porn flick?

Jack, glad I made you laugh. Good luck on the medical stuff.

Time to take out the last load of laundry, and then slumblerland for me. Goodnight all.

Posted by: LostInThought | April 23, 2009 11:32 PM | Report abuse

Oh, jack. You totally rawk the links.

Posted by: Yoki | April 23, 2009 11:42 PM | Report abuse

"Gee, SciTim, what are we going to do tonight?
The same thing we do every night, Yello - try to take over the world!


Posted by: yellojkt | April 24, 2009 12:04 AM | Report abuse

Howdy all
I like the new look,pretty quiet ride home and a bit chilly when I got in the house,so I have a fire going,hopefully the last one for a week or so,as temps are supposed to rise.

I saw another large cat run across the road,but way up ahaead of me,so not sure what it was.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | April 24, 2009 12:28 AM | Report abuse

My dad used to teach the Palmer handwriting method. He travelled all over western PA. We had a blackboard in our dining room - not sure if it was so he could practice - but I remember him kind of "showing off" what he taught. He was a character.

Pretty funny, my dad taught handwriting, my mom taught cooking and sewing, and I'm terrible at all 3!

Posted by: seasea1 | April 24, 2009 1:17 AM | Report abuse

I like the new look in the kit AND the boodle.

I thought this was an interesting article when first published, so I'm on boodle if not kit.

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/12/magazine/12fonts-t.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=highway%20signs%20+%20font&st=cse

Early dawn patrol: There's homemade potato salad in the fridge. Can anyone say "breakfast of champions?"

Posted by: -dbG- | April 24, 2009 1:37 AM | Report abuse

Nah. I want eggs and scrapple!

Posted by: Yoki | April 24, 2009 1:57 AM | Report abuse

I'll eat anything anytime anyone wants to fix something for me.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | April 24, 2009 2:07 AM | Report abuse

Snakes! Yikes!

I prefer serif fonts. My letters are all in Times New Roman.

I was taught the Palmer method of handwriting in primary school. In college it became modern cursive, and it has been modern cursive since.

Posted by: rainforest1 | April 24, 2009 3:06 AM | Report abuse

"Yello, are you pondering what I'm pondering?"

"Well, I think so, SciTim, but first you'd have to take that whole bridge apart, wouldn't you?"

Posted by: yellojkt | April 24, 2009 6:12 AM | Report abuse

Scrapple? Yoki, when did you learn to eat scrapple? I may have to make you an honorary Fuldullphyan yet.

'Morning, Boodle. Looks like it's going to be a nice day today for the Dawn Patrol. And dbG has left us some potato salad for breakfast. Hope it's the yellow kind, Penna. Dutch style, with a tad of mustard in it. But I can eat the other kinds, too, and either hot or cold is fine by me. (Padouk will know about pot. salad served hot, Pa. Dutch style. Yum.)

*************
Today in Nautical and Aviation History

April 24, 1967: The Soviet Union’s Col. Vladimir Komarov becomes the first person indisputably known to have died during a space flight, as the parachute fails to cushion the landing of his Soyuz 1 spacecraft after a 25-hour flight. Western experts suspect Russia may have lost one or more cosmonauts on earlier missions.
1971: A tsunami tidal wave 278 feet high is recorded off Ishigaki Island in the Ryuku Island chain, Japan.
**************

Okay, Dawn Patrol, pull the wheel chocks and let's get airborne. Last mission of the week!

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | April 24, 2009 6:15 AM | Report abuse

Rainforest, my handwriting was taught to me by a team of medical doctors.

Posted by: russianthistle | April 24, 2009 6:17 AM | Report abuse

Mudge, I am assuming that there were very few if any surfers in wet suits waiting for that wave--intentionally. Was that called by an island or a part of an island collapsing into the sea?

(clearly, I suffer from watching the discovery channel too much).

Posted by: russianthistle | April 24, 2009 6:20 AM | Report abuse

please substitute the word "caused" for "Called" ... too early... though your cosmonaut story has me considering ham and eggs for breakfast.

Posted by: russianthistle | April 24, 2009 6:23 AM | Report abuse

Good morning!

My boss is a font fanatic. He can name almost any font at conferences. He glances up at the slide show for a few seconds, and can tell me the name and sometimes who designed it. Drives me crazy.

I use Myriad (nice Mac font) on my slides. Everywhere else I've set my default to Helvetica. I don't see a difference between Helvetica and Arial, although my boss says there is.

Still, as long as it is not Comic Sans, I usually don't complain.

Off to school.

TBG, enjoy your day off.

Posted by: abeac1 | April 24, 2009 6:53 AM | Report abuse

Letter Gothic! That's it, TBG! Thanks for the memories!

I knew somebody here would know.

G'morning, everyone. Since dbG did potato salad, I'm foregoing biscuits this morning.

Another busy day ahead, but the Geekdottir and I are going up the mountain this afternoon. It will be nice to be there with her, and the weather is supposed to be spring-like.

Maybe the first of the week I'll wash and put away all the winter coats. Now that's a happy thought.

Good thoughts headed your way, Jack. Like CqP says, we are experts on thyroid here, just let us know if you have any questions.

Posted by: slyness | April 24, 2009 7:11 AM | Report abuse

'morning all. April is a silly month. I had to scroape frost off the windshield of the car yet a very nice 20C/68F is expected today.
Fonts. Don't get me started on the gunmint inforced Times Roman. Blech. Boring.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | April 24, 2009 7:25 AM | Report abuse

Friday already? Fine by me, especially with a weekend forecast calling for sun and high 80s! Of course, that means the A/C has to be lugged out of the garage, but it's a fair trade.

'Mudge, I assume you'd been warned in 1971 not to do cannonball dives from the poop deck off the Japanese coast, right?

jack, there is indeed much thyroid knowledge in Boodleland, we'll see you through.

*uncrowded-Dawn-Patrol-and-looking-for-more-caffeine Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | April 24, 2009 7:33 AM | Report abuse

IBM Letter Gothic was my bureaucracy's standard in golfball-typewriter days. When PCs arrived, WordPerfect's default was courier--impossible to entirely suppress. Footnotes, headers, whatever would pop up in Courier.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | April 24, 2009 7:36 AM | Report abuse

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

Morning, friends. I'm suppose to be sleeping in this morning, but old habits die hard. I must say I like the new look, although the grey is a bit much. I don't have to get dressed for school this morning so that's a bonus.

Yoki, Mudge, Scotty, Martooni, and everyone here, have a beautiful day. *waving*

Slyness, is there smoke in your part of the world? According to television news, the fire in Myrtle Beach is really big, and the winds may blow some of that(the smoke) your way. Of course, this area would probably get more of it. I hope it blows toward the ocean.

Enjoy your day, and have a great time over the weekend. I'm going to attempt to rest and do absolutely nothing. And I say that knowing that accomplishing such a thing is on the same plane as me becoming rich(moneywise) overnight.

I have one rose on the rose bush. It is a deep, dark, red, looks really beautiful, and it smells even more beautiful.

Posted by: cmyth4u | April 24, 2009 8:05 AM | Report abuse

Growing up I lived in a world divided cleanly between Elite and Pica. It was a simple place.

Then the original Mac came along and suddenly I felt obligated to use six or seven fonts in each document. Because, you know, I could.

Order was imposed in my workplace by royal decree. All was to be Helvetica. Helvitica Uber Allles.

Where I work now most people use Arial, because it tends to be the first font on the list and a lot of people can't figure out how to change it.

I'm a Times New Roman feller myself. It's close enough to the typewriter font of my youth to make me feel all warm and fuzzy. (True, I once had a brief flirtation with Garamond. But then the Harry Potter books came out and the font started putting on airs.)

I really like serifs. They make the letters seem more, well, elegant and fancy-like. They add a sort of gravitas to the document that I find pleasing.

Of course, in my ideal world all documents would still be in Illuminated Old Gothic Woodcut and feature lots of gilded angels.

But the parchment would be optional.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | April 24, 2009 8:06 AM | Report abuse

'morning Cassandra.

Canadian scientist Natalia Rybczynski’s team finds an early pinniped ancestor in the high Arctic, on Devon Island. It looks like something between an otter and a seal. A 3-D model will be on display at the Canadian nature museum this summer.

http://nature.ca/puijila/index_e.cfm

The beeb has made a blurb on it.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/8012322.stm

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | April 24, 2009 8:07 AM | Report abuse

Casasandra - my in-laws tell me that although they are far enough south to be out of danger, the acrid smell of smoke is everywhere.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | April 24, 2009 8:08 AM | Report abuse

DotC, I think Gates bought up the rights to Courier shortly after founding MicroShaft.

Posted by: Scottynuke | April 24, 2009 8:13 AM | Report abuse

Sure Shriek neglect the Carleton students that were part of the team, my alma mater gets no respect I say! :-)

Posted by: dmd2 | April 24, 2009 8:18 AM | Report abuse

Scotty, that was a bit unkind towards Bill.

Posted by: russianthistle | April 24, 2009 8:47 AM | Report abuse

Fantastically wealthy rapacious plutocrats need hugs, too?

Posted by: ScienceTim | April 24, 2009 8:57 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, all.

SciTim, are you making some sort of rocket sled/mining car system for small rodents?

jack, glad you liked the minivan stuff, and please add my best wishes to those you've already received as you go through the medical gauntlet.

RD, I'm glad your ILs are OK (aside from everything they own smelling like smoke?). There are a lot of people down in SC affected by those fires - dry pine burns like crazy and the burnt sap throws a lot of really bad stuff into the air, IIRC.

Have a good day, all.

bc

Posted by: -bc- | April 24, 2009 9:07 AM | Report abuse

I'm sure I cut him to the quick, RT...

Posted by: Scottynuke | April 24, 2009 9:07 AM | Report abuse

Oh, I see how it is with the new software. Once you sign on, you don't have to do it again. That's on the plus side.

No smell of smoke here yet, Cassandra. I'm sure the firefighters in Horry County are having a rough time. Wildland firefighting is a whole different beast compared to structure firefighting, with different techniques, equipment, strategy, and tactics.

Can you imagine fighting fire in a swamp? And the fire is fueled by the peat in the swamp? As Mr. T noted to me last night, they won't put it out, they can only hope to surround and contain it till it burns itself out. That make take days and weeks.

Posted by: slyness | April 24, 2009 9:09 AM | Report abuse

SCC: MAY take days and weeks.

Posted by: slyness | April 24, 2009 9:10 AM | Report abuse

Zipidy do da, zipidy dae. My, oh my, what a wunderful day...

Oh yeah, my daughter got accepted into a top Virginia college of her choice - George Mason University. Hurray!

This is cause for celebration, I'll be partying and bragging about my daughter all weekend.

Plenty of sunshine headed my way…

Posted by: WhackyWeasel | April 24, 2009 9:14 AM | Report abuse

I think *Tim's making that flash-tube photomultiplier eye dazzling thingy to communicate with the Gileseans...

Posted by: Scottynuke | April 24, 2009 9:17 AM | Report abuse

Congrats, WW! *confetti*

Posted by: Scottynuke | April 24, 2009 9:23 AM | Report abuse

WhackyWeasel, congratulations to your daughter and the fine parents who raised her.

Posted by: dmd2 | April 24, 2009 9:25 AM | Report abuse

Yes, hugs for the uber-wealthy. Speaking of which, check out the 2nd segment of Bill Moyer's Journal with Simon of Wired. This was a thought provoking comment. AND, I know, everytime I mention this something happens. My comment on the topic also provokes new kits.

One must be in the offing.

Posted by: russianthistle | April 24, 2009 9:28 AM | Report abuse

Weed, I think I got that tsunami factoid from the Guiness Book of Records, but see also page 7 of this: http://nsgd.gso.uri.edu/ncu/ncue90001/ncue90001chap14.pdf

Here's an interesting site on tsunamis, http://www.pac.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/sci/osap/projects/tsunami/js/decades.pdf which includes this interesting graf:

"North Atlantic tsunamis include the tsunami associated with the 1755 Lisbon earthquake that caused up to 60,000 fatalities in Portugal, Spain, and North Africa. This tsunami generated waves of up to seven meters in height into the Caribbean. Since 1498 the Caribbean has had 37 verified tsunamis (local and remote sourced) plus an additional 52 events that may have resulted in tsunamis. The death toll from these events is about 9,500 fatalities. In 1929, the Grand Banks tsunami off the coast of Labrador generated waves of up to 15 meters in Newfoundland, Canada, killing 26 people, and the waves were recorded along the New Jersey coast. Smaller Atlantic coast tsunamis have been generated in the Norwegian fjords, Iceland, and off the coast of the New England states of the United States. Major tsunamis have also occurred in the Marmara Sea in Turkey associated with the Izmit earthquake of August 17, 1999."

Couldn't find anything on what caused the Isigaki tsunami, but presumably an underwater earthquake.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | April 24, 2009 9:31 AM | Report abuse

Alligator Alley from Ft Lauderdale to Naples is closed for a second day due to smoke. The fire season is upon us.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | April 24, 2009 9:31 AM | Report abuse

Howdy and many congratulations to WhackyWeasel. First choice college acceptance is a great thing. I just hope to see the Boy through seventh grade at this point.

I'm sure KBoom's snake was dangerously close, ScienceTim - if only because it doesn't soundas if she seeks out pit vipers to kill for fun. I ambled across a lovely snake while hiking this past Saturday. It was a teenager, so I know it wasn't a rattler (no rattle). I was looking to see if the head was wedge shape when the snake ran away. Moved very fast.

When I moved to California and was unemployed (and younger) Ivansdad and I would try at least one recipe from Julia Child's "How to Cook" book every week. We made scrapple from scratch. Once. It was good, but not good enough to do that every week. The ratatouille recipe was great too, but took hours.

Posted by: Ivansmom | April 24, 2009 9:45 AM | Report abuse

New Kit!

Posted by: dmd2 | April 24, 2009 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Comeon, SciTim, quit teasing us. Just what is it that you're building? I've put those pieces together in my mind a thousand different ways, and still got nuttin.

Whacky, congrats, and BZ to the daughter. I hope that you will be singing that tune when it comes time to pay the piper (as in scholarships, etc.).

Slyness, you made a comment the other day that really really piqued my interest. I'd like to discuss it further on the Backboodle.

Posted by: Don_from_I-270 | April 24, 2009 9:51 AM | Report abuse

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