Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

Space Is Filthy

As I write, the shuttle is creeping up on the Hubble and will soon get a look at the old telescope and let us know if it's as battered and bruised as NASA suspects. The odd thing about space is how dirty it is. Forget all that "emptiness" talk. If space is a vacuum, it's a vacuum full of dust that desperately needs a replacement bag. One of my sources at Goddard says "atomic oxygen" has been tearing the thermal blankets covering the telescope and is the main culprit behind its deteriorating condition. When we see the Hubble today, it may look like it's been sleeping under a bridge.

[I forgot to ask where the atomic oxygen comes from, but here's a journal article (via Google) suggesting that it comes from "photodissociation" of molecular oxygen in the upper atmosphere. Basically, it's leakage from Earth as the atmosphere is pounded by sunlight.]

Meanwhile, there's the hazard up there of space debris. At higher orbits, the schmutz doesn't fall to Earth very fast and can linger for years, which is just one reason this mission is dangerous. Dennis Overbye, the excellent NYTimes science writer, has a piece stating that there's a 1 in 229 chance of a catastrophic collision.

For really detailed, granular coverage of the mission, check out CBS Space Analyst Bill Harwood's reports. There's a great passage in his 6:40 a.m. dispatch where shuttle commander Scott Altman discusses how hard it is to get a good bead on the Hubble, which just passively floats there in space and does nothing to help with the orbital rendezvous.

This is Altman's second Hubble visit in a row and "at one point last mission we talked about putting a reflector on Hubble to make it easier for the next guy, but I thought, well, you know, it was hard for me; let it be as hard for the next guy. Now it turns out I am the next guy so I realize that was shortsighted of me!"

[more to come]

By Joel Achenbach  |  May 13, 2009; 10:01 AM ET
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: From Jars to Stars
Next: The Astronaut's Dilemma


Howdy, all.

Posted by: bobsewell | May 13, 2009 11:11 AM | Report abuse

I not only remember the article on space junk, I remember some excellent Boodling about it, too. This is not something that can be counted upon.

Hey, bobsewell

Posted by: Yoki | May 13, 2009 11:18 AM | Report abuse

When do we get to do the space opera boodle?

It seems to me that debris has a lot of rhymes...

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | May 13, 2009 11:22 AM | Report abuse

Ack. I mean, one can't count on my remembering. One can count on excellent Boodling.

Posted by: Yoki | May 13, 2009 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Again with the schmnutz...

*faxin' Atlantis some Windex and a little Comet*


Posted by: Scottynuke | May 13, 2009 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Morning all
I think this rescue mission is so cool,I hope everything runs smoothly and these men come back home safely.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | May 13, 2009 11:32 AM | Report abuse

A slight caveat to the rather sweet rocket boys pamphlet: It isn't technically against the law to build rockets that can go as high and far as the rocket boys did, but it does require advance planning & permits. Model rocketeers do it regularly.

(The FAA does require that the trajectory be suborbital, and that prior agreements be in place before foreign airspace is entered, darn it.)

Posted by: bobsewell | May 13, 2009 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Joel, what you call "schmutz" some people call "Gene Roddenberry."

Posted by: byoolin1 | May 13, 2009 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Presoviet. Duh. Now I feel dumb. I will grant "Russian" as synecdoche.

Posted by: Jumper1 | May 13, 2009 11:45 AM | Report abuse

byoolin - Nice one!

Posted by: bobsewell | May 13, 2009 11:45 AM | Report abuse

The upper atmosphere is just stinkin’ with chemical reactions. After all, you’re talking about rarified gasses being bombarded with high energy radiation and spun about by all sorts of magnetic fields.

And the effect of all this chemistry isn’t just molecules being kicked up into orbit to do mischief with satellites. What goes on way up there clearly affects stuff down here as well.

Climate change, increased UV levels, and the ability to communicate with satellites are all scarily dependent on chemicals that are getting it on, right now, far above our heads.

Further, the conditions keep changing. There’s the people-caused stuff (of which we have all heard tell) as well as other factors, like sunspots and volcanic particulates. Really, it truly is kind of a mess. But that’s the way real-world chemistry often is.

Which is part of why I’m a physicist.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | May 13, 2009 11:48 AM | Report abuse

The retro-reflector comment made me laugh. In many of the early "strategic defense" experiments, where they tried hitting a missile with a missile in orbit, they attached retro-reflectors to the targets.

Now, there were legitimate scientific reasons for doing so because many of the tests were about what happened when the missiles collided, not if they would. But, as often happens, this subtlety sometimes got lost in the aftermath of a successful collision.

At the time the joke was that "strategic defense" would work just fine so long as we tricked the Soviets into putting retro-reflectors on their ICBMs.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | May 13, 2009 11:55 AM | Report abuse

I was being provincial above. Canada has a pretty vibrant model rocketry community. One of my buddies is probably going in September to a meet outside of Lethbridge, AB that gets clearances from Transport Canada up to about ten miles of altitude. Serious toys!

Posted by: bobsewell | May 13, 2009 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Sorry to create a mini Slavic storm and run - just one of those morning thoughts that made me curious. As a history major it bothers me a little to adjust facts to modern situations - but this is not a black and white rule so find all the discussion interesting - with so many people mobile these days makes for interesting scenarios.

Had a good friend in University, born in Malaysia, raised in Singapore and Canada and identified himself as ethnically Chinese - nationality is not so easy all the time to determine.

Have to go off again - enjoy your afternoon all.

Posted by: dmd2 | May 13, 2009 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Scottynuke - I thought one of the Hubble's missions was to watch for little Comets?

RD - In a previous life I use to inspect a lot of Russian made equipment. Rockets, missiles, computers, farm equipment, airplanes, space shuttles, what-have-you. Most of their "advanced" stuff was copied from our designs. Getting the Soviets (old term?) to add reflectors to their ICBMs would be dead simple. Just add them to the drawings for our ICBMs. In a few months all the Russian ICBMs will sport reflectors. Call them "anti-missile defensive deflectors" or something similar. Done deal.


Posted by: DLDx | May 13, 2009 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Thank you, DLD, I was afraid no one had noticed that reference.


Posted by: Scottynuke | May 13, 2009 12:27 PM | Report abuse

You mean an amateur can't just put something into orbit without a stinking permit? Gimme a break here. We gotta get these gummint regulators off our back. Just another way to try an raise funding.

I can see the air space thing. Other countries tend to get testy when you fire rockets into them. (The Israelis in particular get seriously pissed.) Who wants a bunch of other folks' rocket debris all over your lawn? But straight up and into orbit? Feh.

I'm guessing this may be why Luxembourg doesn't have a space program.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | May 13, 2009 12:29 PM | Report abuse

I'm bummed - Looks like no "Screen on the Green" down at the Mall this year.

Posted by: bobsewell | May 13, 2009 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, I,m sure the FAA and TC are happy to grant those rocket permits. It provides an additional motivation for the General Aviation folks to actually stick with the flight plan they have filed.

RD padouk, it seems that everybody does it. I've seen pictures of rust buckets being towed for target practice and I've counted 4 of those octohedral radar reflectors on one particular small boat, a tug-boat I think it was.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | May 13, 2009 12:46 PM | Report abuse

I'm sure they noticed Scotty, they just had too much class to say anything.


Posted by: DLDx | May 13, 2009 12:50 PM | Report abuse

And still both participating navies missed that particular target. Mind you they were trying fancy stuff, but still.

The boat was finally sunk the old fashion way, with a 76mm gun. It worked.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | May 13, 2009 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Thought maybe the space Joel was talking about is my daughter's room.

Which reminds me of our favorite hymn... "Jesus Christ, Look at This Place."

Posted by: -TBG- | May 13, 2009 12:55 PM | Report abuse

No doubt, DLD, no doubt.

Posted by: Scottynuke | May 13, 2009 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Come to think of it though, wouldn't a little comet applied to the Hubble be a BAD thing?


Posted by: DLDx | May 13, 2009 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Depends on the point of application, I'd say.

Posted by: Scottynuke | May 13, 2009 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Uh-oh, Bruce fans...

Posted by: Scottynuke | May 13, 2009 1:08 PM | Report abuse

CNN's Zane Vergie had an interesting and clever take on the Hubble mission the other day--she said that the crew was going up to perform surgery in space and to give the Hubble a hug. Another example of anthropomorphizing.

Note that the attractive Vergie has previously reported about goings-on above the Earth's surface. I recall her segment about nuts on Northwest Airlines. Seems she had problems pronouncing peanuts--not once but twice--substituting a portion of the male anatomy for the popular legume. Video of her slips-of-tongue here:

Posted by: laloomis | May 13, 2009 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Good thing I didn't spring for the premium seats! How 'bout you yello?

Posted by: -TBG- | May 13, 2009 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of space, on the homepage is the headline for Ruth Marcus's op-ed about how we need more [U.S. Supreme Court] justices from Venus, accompanied by a photo of Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

I can't disagree with Marcus on this subject, but I wonder if Ruth is aware that there are individuals or mutants who are XXY (the condition known as Klinefelter Syndrome), so, in the interim, perhaps some emergency genetic engineering would bring more balance or gender "order in or to the court?"

Posted by: laloomis | May 13, 2009 1:28 PM | Report abuse

I'll just through this out there:

Posted by: bobsewell | May 13, 2009 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Point taken well in advance of your actual nudge. I'm just biased against those silly smileys. If people can't figure out when I'm not serious they shouldn't ever take me seriously.

As a former Model United Nations geek, I find it amusing that the former Russian empire invented (or recreated) entire republics out of whole cloth solely to pack the house in their favor. Then when things fell apart, it gave these erstwhile independent countries far more legitimate claims to existence than they would have had otherwise. Including nationalist pride for former residents when said country did not exist at the time.

All those Eastern European countries (and I use 'eastern' to mean everything beyond the Pyrenees) have had such fluid boundaries over the years that you can make a case for about any nationality at any location you want.

The Middle East has the same problem which I call the High Tide Theory of Sovereignty. If you overlap the greatest extent of Persia, Syria, Mesopotamia, Egypt, Israel, or any other ancient empire you can see that about anybody can claim anything. I used to have long arguments with a former Syrian coworker that would tell me of the Zionist expansionist schemes while at the same time patiently explaining that traditionally Lebanon was part of Greater Syria and should become so again.

As for me, I self-identify as Irish even though I am only 1/4 Hibernian. It's my patriarchal lineage as well as my general genetic disposition.

Regionalism is alive and well in the United States. Plenty of bumper stickers south of the Mason Dixon line say "American by birth, Southern by the grace of God." Usually on a rusted pick-up truck with NRA stickers and a confederate flag in the rear window.

Posted by: yellojkt | May 13, 2009 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Throw, dammit, "throw this out there."

Posted by: bobsewell | May 13, 2009 1:30 PM | Report abuse

As a Virginian (although I typically self-identify as a Georgian. Me & Stalin!) I'm trying hard to convince myself that I want to vote for someone in next month's governor's race primary. Thus far to no avail.

Posted by: bobsewell | May 13, 2009 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Michelle Obama to visit recession-battered Merced, Calif., this Saturday to make a commencement address. If cow-tipping isn't her idea of exciting night life, maybe she can slip down Highway 99 to Modesto and cruise McHenry Ave., made famous in George Lucas' "American Graffiti."

Since Mr. Lucas attended Thomas Downey High School, class of 1962, Modesto has grown from a farm town of 30,000 to a city of 160,000. By the time he wrote and directed ''American Graffiti,'' Modesto was already so built up that the filming had to be done elsewhere. ''The era they were trying to depict didn't exist here anymore,'' Chief McKinsey said.

The biggest blow to joy riding as Mr. Lucas knew it was the redesigning of downtown Modesto, where 10th and 11th Streets used to run one way, forming a perfect cruising loop. When the streets were converted to two-way traffic, the cruisers moved to McHenry Avenue, which is lined with used-car lots, motels and fast-food restaurants...

LL: I'm actually fond of Merced since it's the gateway to Yosemite.

Posted by: laloomis | May 13, 2009 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Bob, It's O.K., we know you're affected or touched a little by Melon Distraction Syndrome...

Posted by: laloomis | May 13, 2009 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Over on the food chat was this:

"A regular go-to winter meal in our house is roasted sweet potato, topped with kale sauted with onions and garlic, topped with black beans that I cook with whatever seasoning I'm feeling at the moment."

Maybe my palate isn't adventurous enough, but this sounds like the Worst. Dinner. Ever.

Posted by: Raysmom | May 13, 2009 2:32 PM | Report abuse

It does to me, too, Raysmom!

Posted by: Yoki | May 13, 2009 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Actually, Raysmom, that doesn't sound too dang bad. I can guarantee that the title of Worst Dinner Ever can be held only by foods that include instant onion dip mix. Or, of course... Salmon Mousse! (if you buy canned instead of fresh)

Posted by: ScienceTim | May 13, 2009 2:40 PM | Report abuse

Good afternoon, all.

Oy, what a day.

Seems to me that one of the problems in dealing with LEO environments - and one way to possibly deal with the atomic oxygen problem - would be through applications of electric charges and magnetism.

One of the reasons that Earth hasn't been stripped bare of it's atmosphere and bombarded by lots of hard radiation at the surface over time is because of our planet's magnetic field. Mars has very little magnetic field these days, and very little atmosphere (and a pretty good amount of radiation from the Sun, IIRC).

I don't have time to do the homework, but wouldn't a spacecraft with a correctly charged magnetic field of sufficent size and strength be able to shield itself from much of that free oxygen in LEOs?

It may not be practical in all circumstances, where such a magnetic field could affect scientific instruments could not be tuned to filter out or resist the field or whatever the instruments are attempting to detect, but there could be some situations where it could be useful.

I've long thought that person-rated deep space craft or outposts (such as on the Moon) would need some sort of signifcant magnetic shielding component to protect the crew.

I think *Tim and RD and I had some Boodlage on the topic some time back, but I can't remember how it went...

A final thought: if we're talking space opera, what kind of shielding (ablative or otherwise) would comprise Brunhilde's outfit?

A space helm with Norse horns, naturally, but...


Posted by: -bc- | May 13, 2009 2:58 PM | Report abuse

The Salmon Mousse!

[bc sees a bony finger pointing at him]

Forgot to mention that in dealing with the vacuum of space, perhaps we should look to the Dyson company.


Posted by: -bc- | May 13, 2009 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Oh, SciTim, you bring back memories of my mom's salmon loaf. Made with canned salmon. It was everything you can imagine it would be. As a kid, there was many a time I wished I could make "space trash" out of it (thus tying loosely back to the kit).

Posted by: Raysmom | May 13, 2009 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Ohboy. At 4:00 I get to meet (again) and explain to someone that I cannot give her money until she submits a satisfactory project plan. Hilarity ensues.

Posted by: Raysmom | May 13, 2009 3:10 PM | Report abuse

*faxin' Raysmom the venerable 16-ton weight to hang over the 4:00 visitor's chair*

Posted by: Scottynuke | May 13, 2009 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Oh, Scotty, how very Wile E. Coyote of you.

Posted by: Raysmom | May 13, 2009 3:17 PM | Report abuse

*producing business card*

Scott Y. Nuke
Sooooooooooooooooooooooooooper Genius


Posted by: Scottynuke | May 13, 2009 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Who's going to participate in the Post Hunt on Sunday? That would be a super BPH. Maybe next year I could be there...not that I'd be much help in solving puzzles or running from one location to the next.

Posted by: slyness | May 13, 2009 3:27 PM | Report abuse

UP highway 99 to Modesto.

Posted by: nellie4 | May 13, 2009 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Raysmom, I had to endure Salmon meatloaf as well, I have no idea if it came from a can, but the smell of salmon to this day makes me feel queasy.

Does kale get slimy and gooey when it is sauteed - I am picturing slimy green stuff on top of a sweet potato - not very appetizing.

Posted by: dmd2 | May 13, 2009 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Had an accident last week on my way home from work (what is that statistic about most accidents being close to home?). A dark and rainy night (I worked late for a meeting) and got slammed into on the driver's side while turning left. I got a little banged up, but other than some ugly bruises I'm really fine. It was terribly scary, though.

Just got a "nice to meet you" email from my insurance company claim agent today with the heading "Total Loss." No other details.

I guess this means I'm getting a new car.

Posted by: -TBG- | May 13, 2009 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Very glad you're OK, TBG!!!! *HUGS*

And in the Weird News of the Day Dept. --


Posted by: Scottynuke | May 13, 2009 4:12 PM | Report abuse

TBG: Bad news on your wreck. Glad you're OK. Well, you will be getting a "different" car. Depending on how much the insurance company depreciates your loss, you may have to settle for pre-owned, rather than "new". Oh, and of course you might also be getting a new insurnace company. These days, many of them seem to have a way of cancelling you right after they settle your claim.

Posted by: ebtnut | May 13, 2009 4:26 PM | Report abuse

What kind of wusses go to the hospital because of a stink making them nauseated? I'm pretty sure you can't graduate from Starfleet Academy with that sort of behavior. And they better finish their salmon croquettes too, by golly.

Posted by: Jumper1 | May 13, 2009 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Dmd, kale takes a lot of cooking to wilt it. It's not like canned spinach.

Think of it like a cabbage type of broccoli. Huge long green leaves.

Sauteed kale might as well be like a crispy stir fry for all I know, or at least lightly cooked so it doesn't taste too much like eating raw broccoli leaves (which is what it IS).

I wouldn't do the onions and garlic with kale though.

So, steam and cut the kale into fine strips, like cabbage for salads, myself, use small quantities, and hope it doesn't taste like a ton of fiber going down.

And maybe once cooked digestably, I'd try it as a partial lettuce subsitute for black bean tacos

Kale and sweet potatoes, no. Not even with a gallon of sour cream. (Black beans and sweet potatoes aren't too bad together, but kale is the party pooper.)

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | May 13, 2009 4:38 PM | Report abuse

What?! Onions and garlic are absolutely classic with kale. A few (in my case, lots of) chili flakes too.

Posted by: Yoki | May 13, 2009 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Wow, that is bad. Using different disinfectants can be dangerous. Vomiting, not good.

For some reason, the smell of bleach makes me feel sick. When I was a kid, I fainted a couple times in school - somehow the smell of bleach is associated in my head with that - not sure if it was the cause or an after-effect. Mr seasea sometimes uses bleach, or a cleaner containing bleach - for him, it's cleanness, for me, it's nausea. I saw the movie Dances With Wolves in an old theater, which had a bleach smell in it. The Civil War amputation scene and the smell nearly did me in.

Posted by: seasea1 | May 13, 2009 4:45 PM | Report abuse

My dad squirted lemon on all greens. That is a taste I do not care for. I didn't know I liked cooked greens until I moved out on my own.

Posted by: -TBG- | May 13, 2009 4:46 PM | Report abuse

With sweet potatoes, Yoki?

I was thinking the onions and garlic should be in the black beans myself...

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | May 13, 2009 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Poor TBG. Lemon butter is one thing, lemons on all greens is another.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | May 13, 2009 4:54 PM | Report abuse

Seems to me someone at NIH might want to think this hire,

Posted by: dmd2 | May 13, 2009 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Sounds fairly normal for a biomedical researcher. I've heard stories of highly pathogenic bacteria being taken on planes (way before 9/11 of course), and the material in question wasn't even dangerous.

Theft, though, is a eye-raiser.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | May 13, 2009 5:02 PM | Report abuse

Scc: eyebrow-raiser.

Or eye-widener. The eyes have it anyway.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | May 13, 2009 5:07 PM | Report abuse

Mmm. Kale....

Posted by: RD_Padouk | May 13, 2009 5:45 PM | Report abuse

Popping in after finishing my draft of (yet again) another summary judgment motion. It's fun, really it is, especially when the defendants help out by not doing what one would expect them to do if they were, well, um, smart.

So sorry to hear about your accident, TBG. If you are sore and you already have an orthopedist, you might want to see if you can get a prescription for a number of massages -- especially if you have whiplash. That happened to me more than 9 years ago (my one and only accident outside of a fender ding now and again) -- someone rear-ended me on Independence Ave. right across from DOE. I was stopped at a light and he didn't. Anyhow, I had bad whiplash and my orthopedist at the time prescribed (at my insistence) 6 massages within 2 weeks. Man did I *never* want to stop that! The first massage was, however, exceptionally painful; the others were increasingly wonderful. And now I have no effects from the whiplash at all. The sooner after the accident you can do it, the better. I'm glad, however, that you don't appear to be seriously hurt.

Kale (on the other hand) is one of my favorite veggies. It's extremely good for ya, and when it's young and tender it doesn't take long to wilt at all. The guys who run my farmers market grow it in the greenhouse and occasionally during the winter/early spring months they bring some over.

Yoki, one of these days I *do* want to eat at your house. And Jacques Pépin's house, too. Onions, garlic and hot pepper flakes on wilted kale sounds scrumptious. And my stomach is growling in appreciation of that fine food. A bit of Sockeye salmon from last summer's harvest (has been in the freezer since July) for tonight's dinner, with some fresh asparagus, a small parsnip, green onions, a small Yukon gold potato (cut up) and some fresh spinach -- nuked in the microwave and then to the plate. Yumsers, I say.

Tomorrow, I get to start discovery requests in another case. May my fingers and my brain be nimble.

Cya later.

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | May 13, 2009 5:46 PM | Report abuse

Raysmom, that doesn't sound good. However, I think my ex came up with the worst dinner ever. He started cooking for himself when I was in grad school--beans & spaetzle with a can of tuna dumped over it, sprinkled heavily with crushed saltines and microwaved until steaming.

TBG, as long as you weren't included in that total loss, we're happy.

I detoured to Cinnaminson today, and picked up Amish Paste, Moreton, Ramapo and Brandywine tomato plants today. In honor of Ivansmom, I also bought some Purple Cherokee.

I know how to get the G family to visit this summer!

Posted by: -dbG- | May 13, 2009 6:12 PM | Report abuse

Belated $0.02 on the Ukraine/Russia issue. We have an paralegal here with a law degree from Kiev. So I asked him whether he thought someone of Sikorsky's era would care whether they were called Russian or Ukrainian. I think Brag said something to this effect, basically the answer was that it depended on where the person was from; the further west you go the more offence would be taken. Being from Kiev, he said he would be indifferent.

This result actually surprised me; we have a large Ukrainian population here going back to the early 20th C that self-identifies as NOT Russian.

So Sikorsky probably wouldn't have cared, FWIW.

re yellojkt and SSRs: my understanding is that it was the British Empire during the League era with all its pretend countries like Canada that prompted the demand for all the extra recognition.

Posted by: engelmann | May 13, 2009 6:34 PM | Report abuse

TBG, fetaaaaa, cuuuukeeeecccuuumbrrz, tomatoeeeeees, lam.

Posted by: -dbG- | May 13, 2009 6:35 PM | Report abuse

Well, EYE'll come for that, dbG! Or, just your good company.

Posted by: Yoki | May 13, 2009 7:02 PM | Report abuse

Game 7 - Caps/Pens how great is this.

Posted by: dmd2 | May 13, 2009 7:06 PM | Report abuse

Ivansmom, was this your pick a couple of weeks ago?

Posted by: nellie4 | May 13, 2009 7:14 PM | Report abuse

dmd - Well, it's very great. Unless, of course, it turns out to be painfully terrible. But we'll hope for the best.

Posted by: bobsewell | May 13, 2009 7:14 PM | Report abuse

So when did Canada and Australia get home rule? As I remember Canadian forces in WWII were their own command structure as opposed to Ukraine or Georgia. The members of the British Commonwealth had a lot stronger claim on true independence than any Soviet republic had. I still find it ironic how badly that gambit backfired on the Rooskis.

And the continual remapping of Europe continued well into the Yalta Conference where in order to make Poland the same size it was pre-war it had to take a big chunk of eastern Germany, including what is now Gdansk, to compensate for the area the Soviet Union had become emotionally attached to. This land is now part of Belarus and Ukraine, so a fat lot of good the Curzon Line did them in the long run.

Posted by: yellojkt | May 13, 2009 7:16 PM | Report abuse

Yello - Confederation for Canada 1867, however, true home rule is considered to begin in 1931 with the Statute of Westminster

In WWI we went to war when the Brits declared war (same with Boar war), in WWII, we declared war after Parliament debated the question - which was done in large part - because we could. There was a Canadian Military command but not sure how autonomous they were, I tried to avoid military history.

Posted by: dmd2 | May 13, 2009 7:24 PM | Report abuse

Aaah, yes. The Boar War. That was the first great stand against the Swine Flu, yes?

Posted by: bobsewell | May 13, 2009 7:59 PM | Report abuse

Summer began this morning as a thundershower doused the yard and incited the vegetation to riot and the young live oak to royal pretensions.

The coonties are mostly flushing. Like all cycads, they put out leaves in bunches, never one-at-a-time.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | May 13, 2009 8:04 PM | Report abuse

Funny bob.

Posted by: dmd2 | May 13, 2009 8:11 PM | Report abuse

Nope. It was the Bore War. Everyone just got fed up and eventually left for more interesting climes.

Posted by: Yoki | May 13, 2009 8:12 PM | Report abuse

This was the Boer war. Let's just say that French Canadians were a little tepid about being conscripted to defend the colonial British empire on the other side of the world against people they didn't know. In the end Laurier had to send units of volunteers to carm down the rabid imperialists.
The Catholic church was forever grateful, as he showed he wasn't his people's real leader.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | May 13, 2009 8:14 PM | Report abuse

LL, Mr. Lucas filmed the cruising scenes in Petaluma, CA. Then got so fond of the area that he founded Lucas Skywalker Ranch nearby.

Posted by: bh72 | May 13, 2009 8:15 PM | Report abuse

I've been on the losing end of too many battles in the Boor War.

Posted by: bobsewell | May 13, 2009 8:15 PM | Report abuse

Quick what were they fighting about - that was the war in "The Power of One" and "A Little Princess" correct?

Were we the good guys?

Posted by: dmd2 | May 13, 2009 8:19 PM | Report abuse

Atlantis has grappled the telescope.

Posted by: bh72 | May 13, 2009 8:20 PM | Report abuse

Holy carp, the pilot flying the plane makes less than the guy punching tickets at the gate.
"Under questioning from the board, Mary Finnigan, Colgan's vice president for administration, reported that Rebecca Shaw, co-pilot of the crash plane, drew an annual salary of $16,200 a year."

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | May 13, 2009 8:22 PM | Report abuse

I saw that, Shriek. Craziness. I don't make a vast amount of money, and commercial passenger planes DEFINITELY don't need to be crewed by folks making less than half of what I make. If she was only making a few flights per year, resulting in the low salary, that's a problem right there, I think.

Posted by: bobsewell | May 13, 2009 8:29 PM | Report abuse

Reminds me of the old Bob Newhart bit, "The Molly L. Ferguson Airline & Storm Door Company."

Posted by: bobsewell | May 13, 2009 8:31 PM | Report abuse

Darn think I just remembered it was not the Boer war in Power of One (crappy memory strikes again).

SD has reminded me why I remember so little about the Boer War, those crazy Quebecers thinking we shouldn't be involved in a useless foreign war - outrageous :-).

Posted by: dmd2 | May 13, 2009 8:34 PM | Report abuse

Well, aren't I embarrassed? It's the "Grace L. Ferguson..."

Posted by: bobsewell | May 13, 2009 8:34 PM | Report abuse

dmd, I think The Little Princess was the Crimean war?? Of course, she started out in India, but then her father was sent somewhere. I'm completely uncertain here, but I don't remember it being the Boer war. Second-guessing myself, the whole diamond mine thing was probably in Africa, so maybe it was. Or maybe her father wasn't actually sent to war -- he just sent her to England because that's what you were supposed to do, and we think it's about a war because the movie adaptations added wars. Her father died of fever, not war wounds, IIRC.

The Power of One had lots of people still bitter from the Boer war, but it took place during WW II.

The number of times I've read those books, you'd think I'd know for sure. Time to read again.

Posted by: -bia- | May 13, 2009 8:35 PM | Report abuse

We rise regally though weakly from the fainting couch where We are suffering from (surely) swine flu to state that We were the first to name Elena Kagan, which we learned from extremely confidential and certainly reliable source from Our kingdom.

And by the way, We are feeling even worse. Prepare all of Our subjects, who were privileged to accompany Us to the Star Trek BPH to prepare the Tamifu.

Posted by: rickoshea0 | May 13, 2009 8:35 PM | Report abuse

Sadly bia I have read those books many times as well.

I do know the American movie version (and a fabulous one at that) changed the war to WWI and located the boarding school in NYC - can't count the number of times I have viewed that movie - a wonderful wonderful childrens movie.

Posted by: dmd2 | May 13, 2009 8:39 PM | Report abuse

Science's new interview with CDC's flu chief, Nancy Cox.

Over at Nature: "Erupting gas may cause lunar flashes: eyewitness reports of flickering Moon lights stand up to scrutiny"

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | May 13, 2009 8:42 PM | Report abuse

Oh my! Our most felicitous wishes for a prompt and complete recovery from your present discomfort.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | May 13, 2009 8:42 PM | Report abuse

dmd. The boer war was a nasty, bloody affair. To a man, the Canadians involved finally told themselves "what the f to I do here"?
And left eventually. And probably became fans of the Westminster statute. ;)

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | May 13, 2009 8:43 PM | Report abuse

Maggie, I am awed by your foresight and saddened by your illness. You've sure got a nice fainting couch there, though.

Posted by: -bia- | May 13, 2009 8:44 PM | Report abuse

Maggie hope you feel well soon.

Posted by: dmd2 | May 13, 2009 8:46 PM | Report abuse

dmd, I broke down and googled. In the Little Princess book, there's no war involved, but in the Shirley Temple movie version (oh, so wrong, but I guess I shouldn't judge without having seen it), it is in fact the Boer war. So maybe you were having Shirley Temple memories?

Posted by: -bia- | May 13, 2009 8:57 PM | Report abuse

But Ivansmom knows the possible Supreme from law school, I believe. Hope you feel better soon, rickoshea. Have you been to the doctor?

Posted by: seasea1 | May 13, 2009 8:57 PM | Report abuse

Greetings boodle. Thank you CP for putting out the plain scones this morning.

Salmon croquettes, yumm-mine anyway. I haven't made them in years but I daresay even the haters would like them better than sweet potato with kale and beans. I nominate as the worst dinner ever-milk toast. Lightly toasted and buttered bread with warm milk poured over. You know the toast was buttered just right if there's a little yellow oil slick on the milk. I didn't exactly loathe it as a kid when Grandma Frostbitten made it, but I think my adoration for her disabled my gag reflexes.

Mr. F #2, who flew the Sikorsky Sky Crane in Vietnam, met Sikorsky and had him autograph a photo of the crane in flight with #2 at the controls. The former Mr. F said Igor was pretty interesting-well duh.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | May 13, 2009 8:58 PM | Report abuse

bia you are correct with the "oh, so wrong" about the Shirley Temple version.

Posted by: dmd2 | May 13, 2009 9:00 PM | Report abuse

Much better film adaptation - and a great sound track - loved the way they focused on Sara's story telling ability.

Posted by: dmd2 | May 13, 2009 9:02 PM | Report abuse

Maggie, we are much distressed to learn you are ill, and we hope all of you get better real soon.

Well, folks, the Caps are down 6-1, but there's lots of time left. Hope, not so much. But time, sure.

The "Lost" season finale is in progress. "Lost" doesn't even begin to explain my current understanding of wehat's happening. There was just a scene with 10-year-old Kate shoplifting, and now she and Sawyer/Lafleur (as adults) are aboard a German submarine. Well, not German, except that it's a clip of an old German sub. If Curt Juergens shows up, I'm changing the channel.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | May 13, 2009 9:10 PM | Report abuse


I knew Lucas and crew filmed scenes for "American Grafitti" in Petaluma--as told at this website. I didn't know that Petaluma was the reason that Lucas set up the Skywalker Ranch in Marin County. I have a book about Lucas that I need to pull out and read again. Thanks!

Before we left California for Texas, Modesto had built a new Mel's drive-in on McHenry Ave, rollerskating waitresses and all. If Michelle Obama wants to cruise McHenry, she'll have to slip up Highway 99 (north from Merced), not down (south), as I mistakenly said earlier. If I were she, I'd forget the Valley (San Joaquin) and slip east up past the gorgeous at-this-time-of-year Merced River to the Yosemite Valley and the park's Happy Isles.

That's what I'd do on Sunday if I myself had the opportunity, on my 58th birthday. Instead I have only wish for a gift--rain, water, falling from the skys to ease our exceptional drought. Skywater Ranch, if you will.

Posted by: laloomis | May 13, 2009 9:10 PM | Report abuse

6-2 Flightless birds against the Caps. Satan is on their side, unfortunately.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | May 13, 2009 9:15 PM | Report abuse

It's not over yet but it doesn't look good.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | May 13, 2009 9:16 PM | Report abuse

Maggie! Sorry to hear you're under the weather (now there is a strange idiom)! I hope you recover quickly; no doubt you picked it up from Mudge or bc or Scotty, who simply aren't fessing up.

Posted by: slyness | May 13, 2009 9:36 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for your concern, everyone. I am exaggerating for effect. I am sick, and I'm sure I picked up a bug from Saturday's thrilling expedition to the STBPH, but I was just having fun (if that's allowed) from the recent hysteria over swine flu.

I haven't had a cold in years, and it's no fun at all.

Mudge, I'm enjoying the season finale of Lost, but I had suspended belief/disbelief at the beginning of the year. Nothing surprises me any more.

Posted by: rickoshea0 | May 13, 2009 9:41 PM | Report abuse

Oh, it's over. Perhaps (like Dave Barry) the waterbirds sold their souls to Stan?
(Reference today's pretty funny Post Hunt chat w/ Dave & Gene & Tom:

Posted by: bobsewell | May 13, 2009 9:59 PM | Report abuse

I think it must be broken, or perhaps, swine flu rampaged through the boodle...

Posted by: rickoshea0 | May 13, 2009 11:29 PM | Report abuse

Sovereign Lady, We learn with regret of your present indisposition. We send you not physic, but hope of better days and comfort to Your heart. Our sympathies are strong and We grant you dispensation to withdraw from company for some suitable interval to recover your strength and good spirits.

Posted by: Yoki | May 14, 2009 12:08 AM | Report abuse

Tonight was "Red Dwarf" and popcorn Wednesday at my friend Allen's house. Much fun was had by all.

Only when I came away did I discover that I am rather elderly to be having fun on a week night. Good night, Boodle dear.

Posted by: Yoki | May 14, 2009 12:19 AM | Report abuse

Anyone still here?

Posted by: russianthistle | May 14, 2009 12:37 AM | Report abuse

The ScienceFamily now has seen the new Star Trek movie, IMAX version. We approve, time travel and all -- one of the few times that a science fiction movie has handled time travel properly, and with consistency.

General opinion is that "Little Spock is freakin' adorable!"

Posted by: ScienceTim | May 14, 2009 1:01 AM | Report abuse

Lots of people up late tonight!

Yoki, anytime. Stay for the whole harvest.

rickoshea, take to the couch with a knitted afghan, we'll fax soup!

Posted by: -dbG- | May 14, 2009 1:22 AM | Report abuse

So, they need to design a collection device for orbit to gather up all this material or divert it into the atmosphere. That should be a worthwhile exercise.

Posted by: GaryEMasters | May 14, 2009 5:08 AM | Report abuse

my 2 cents on the russian-ukrainian question. first of all, the languages are different, not just different dialectical variants of each other. they're in the same group, so like spanish and italian, you can pick up some things.

ukrainians and russians are racially the same, but don't downplay the fact that the western part of ukraine was part of poland and became predominantly roman catholic. that is a huge difference, especially since the biggest marker of russian identity for many is russian orthodoxy. that's not to say that all who self-identify as ukrainian are catholic, but it's indicative that identity issues the are not trivial.

sikorsky's obviously not a clear-cut example because of a mixed background. but if you asked anyone in the soviet period about stalin, they would have identified him as a georgian and not a russian. and his georgian nationality (in the sense of ethnicity) would have been in his soviet passport regardless of where he lived, the same way if you were jewish, your jewish ethnicity/nationality was in your soviet passport (and the cause of much discrimination).

there are two words that mean russian in the russian language: russkii, indicating ethnicity, and rossiiskii, meaning related to the russian federation or state. in the russian language, you would never say you were russian, using the word russkii, unless you were ethnically russian.

all that said, there are highly assimilated ukrainians or people with russian backgrounds in ukraine who would identify or not mind being identified as russians.

however, if someone was a non-russian (as stated in the passport), no one would call that person russian. plenty of non-russians lived in the russia, and plenty of ethnic russians lived in other republics. and still do. russia issued russian passports to pretty much anyone who had the russian ethnicity/nationality line in their soviet passport when the soviet union ended, regardless of where they lived.

russia kept the nationality line in the russian passport, so you could still be rossiiskii but not russkii. don't know where the policy stands now, but old habits die hard.

ok, time for bed.

good morning, al.

Posted by: LALurker | May 14, 2009 6:08 AM | Report abuse

'morning all. The last leg of my mini stimulus package gets completed today. The door and windows are supposed to be installed this afternoon.

It's mild but grey this morning. Better than the snow that is in the forecast for Calgary next Tuesday. What kind of wretched life those people live to deserve that?

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | May 14, 2009 6:47 AM | Report abuse

G'morning all. Assorted scones with cotted cream and jams and real butter in the ready room this morning. It's just not a biscuit day. That happens sometimes.

Still cool here in the South. I'll wear my jacket on the walk, but it's supposed to warm up this afternoon. I'll have to water the veggies, I suppose.

Today's major event is Bible study. We're into Solomon. I'll be leading the group starting in June, after our associate pastor leaves. That makes me nervous, but it's something I want to do. Sitting around a table to read and discuss a chapter or two of scripture is interesting, fun, and enlightening.

Posted by: slyness | May 14, 2009 7:01 AM | Report abuse

Morning, Al. Went to see Christopher Guest, Michael McKean and Harry Shearer perform their "Unwigged and Unplugged" show. Excellent comedy and music and a fun night altogether.

I'm still recovering from late nights with Yoki, though, so I'm pretty tired this morning.

I'll be attending a funeral for a much-loved uncle, whose quality of life has been poor for the past few years. It's even sadder, it seems, when the death is a blessing for all. But it will be nice to see the extended family and to spend the day with my sisters.

Posted by: TBG- | May 14, 2009 7:34 AM | Report abuse

Oh... I meant to add... LALurker... the level of expertise in so many subjects is one thing makes this such a wonderful place. Thanks for your explanation of the Russian/Ukrainian controversy.

Posted by: TBG- | May 14, 2009 7:36 AM | Report abuse

Sorry to hear of your Uncles passing TBG.

Posted by: dmd2 | May 14, 2009 7:45 AM | Report abuse

Shriek, at least you can get contractors to do some work. I'm afeared the NukeAbode's needs are casting doubt amongst even the hardiest handymen... *SIGH*

SciTim, glad the SciBrood enjoyed the movie as much as the BPHers did!

*not-terribly-energetic-today-for-some-strange-reason Grover motions* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | May 14, 2009 7:48 AM | Report abuse

My condolences, TBG. *HUGS*

Posted by: Scottynuke | May 14, 2009 7:50 AM | Report abuse

Only one late night, TBG! So sorry about your uncle.

Posted by: Yoki | May 14, 2009 8:04 AM | Report abuse

Morning Everybody.

TBG - I know the complex feelings that the loss of one in such bad shape can cause. The solution, I believe, is to do just what you are planning.

Also, I must admit I am experiencing the deadly sin of Envy over that whole "unplugged and unwigged," show. I hope it had moments of being "unhinged" as well. I love them guys.

And how 'bout them....Caps....

Now,I'm gonna snag me one of those tasty scones from the ready room (I live *such* a dangerous life) and head into the Laboratory of Darkness.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | May 14, 2009 8:06 AM | Report abuse

Morning all
a late shift last night,then early today,whew I am tired even before i go to work.

The Caps? what happened? Maybe later i can read the sports page.

tbg,sorry to hear of your uncle's passing,my 3 surviving uncles are all in the 80's,my aunts the same.My latest relocation allows me to spend more time with them,along with being able to drive Mom to see them.

Off to work

Have a Great day everyone!!

Posted by: greenwithenvy | May 14, 2009 8:16 AM | Report abuse

Sorry to hear of your uncle's passing, TBG.

And what a massive deflation the Caps game was last night. Two goals scored against them in 8 seconds--it was like all the air was sucked out of the Verizon Center, it got so quiet. But then, they should never have let the Flightless Birds back in it when they were up two games to zero.

On to cheer for the Bruins.

Posted by: Raysmom | May 14, 2009 8:35 AM | Report abuse


Just in case you didn't know.

Posted by: russianthistle | May 14, 2009 8:44 AM | Report abuse


Just in case you didn't know.

Posted by: russianthistle | May 14, 2009 8:56 AM | Report abuse

What an application!

Posted by: russianthistle | May 14, 2009 8:56 AM | Report abuse

Ahhh, yes, the salient stimulus of scones loaded and larded with lots of fat and sugar:

Former FDA commissioner David Kessler in his interview about overeating with Gourmet online editor Christy Harrison:

Food is more powerful than we realize. It is a very salient stimulus. I mean, if a bear walked into your office right now, you would stop paying attention to me and focus on the bear. Our brains are wired to focus our attention on the most salient stimulus in our environment. What that stimulus is can vary. It’s based on our learning, our memories, our experiences. It could be gambling, alcohol, sex. For many of us it’s food. The power of food comes from our ability to anticipate its reward. ...

It’s what makes us human—our ability to focus on the most salient stimulus in our environment. It’s what has allowed us to survive as a species so successfully. But now we have these powerful stimuli—the trifecta of fat, sugar, and salt—available on every corner, 24/7. We’ve made [constant eating] socially acceptable.

Posted by: laloomis | May 14, 2009 8:59 AM | Report abuse

Stupid wireless modems.

Posted by: russianthistle | May 14, 2009 9:03 AM | Report abuse

but I was just having fun (if that's allowed) from the recent hysteria over swine flu.

Your hysteria, other's people's desire for accurate information, a May 13 op-ed from the Beaumont, Texas, Enterprise:

Several grafs:

What the public deserves to know are basic facts, like which schools are attended by the children who have it. Moreover, the public deserves to know these things as quickly as possible - not have it dribbled out to them in bits and pieces.

By withholding some of these details, public health officials make some people wonder if the problem is worse than they are letting on. Officials may think they are maintaining control, but they are undermining it. When facts are in short supply, rumor fills the void.

So far, two-thirds of the test samples from the region have not been analyzed by labs in Houston. Frankly, many questions remain unanswered.

Posted by: laloomis | May 14, 2009 9:04 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: TBG- | May 14, 2009 9:13 AM | Report abuse

yes, agreed, TBG.

Posted by: russianthistle | May 14, 2009 9:16 AM | Report abuse

Lincoln's boots--in today's Washington Post, B section, a story by reporter Ruane, about a California bootmaker who is examing them. The relevant graf:

The Park Service says it acquired the boots in 1947 from a Massachusetts woman whose grandfather, Justin H. Hatch, had been given them by William T. Clark. Lincoln died in Clark's rented boardinghouse room, and historians think Clark used the boots as collateral for a personal loan from Hatch.

First, who made the boots? Was it Lincoln's African-American shoemaker in Springfield, Ill, killed in the Aug. 14-15 race riots in Springfiled. Ill.?

On the second day of rioting, the rioters began targeting high-status African-Americans. The mob's first target was an 80-year-old retired cobbler and real estate dealer named William Donnegan [who lived with his white wife]. An excerpt from In Lincoln's Shadow describes the crowd's horrific actions:

The old man was dragged outside to the front yard and beaten with bricks torn up from the sidewalk. One rioter produced a razor and cut Donnegan's throat. Dragging the dying man to the street, the rioters tied a small cotton clothesline around his neck and tried to hoist him to the limb of a small maple tree in front of the school across the street. When the militia and police arrived, most of the crowd had already fled, and the authorities could do nothing but cut William Donnegan down and carry him off.

Was the William T. Clark who allegedly received the pair of boots from Peterson's boarding house, across from Ford's Theater, the same Clark for Norwalk, Conn., who later settled in Galveston, Texas?


Posted by: laloomis | May 14, 2009 9:20 AM | Report abuse

Sigh indeed, TBG. I visit our mutual hairstylist Saturday, and I *know* what the topic of conversation will be.

Posted by: Raysmom | May 14, 2009 9:21 AM | Report abuse

TBG, so sorry about your uncle. Between him and the car, I think you're done for a while.

Only back-boodled a little, but wondering....

Remember Chicken Pox Parties? Since there's concern that this flu virus is going to come back stronger, if you're in reasonable health, wouldn't you be better off catching it now?

About our eating habits, aren't we supposed to eat all day? I think the big issue isn't what we eat or how often we eat, but portion control. More small meals is a better plan than fewer bigger meals.

RT, thanks for the link. Cool stuff. But the occassional bings remind me of Pong. Or a really old silver ball machine...the kind that had only a very few targets to hit, flags to drop. And boy that thing looks banged up. Which reminds me...if it gets hit so often, what's to stop the astronauts from being beaned with something?

Off to do some actual work. Have a happy day all.

Posted by: LostInThought | May 14, 2009 9:27 AM | Report abuse

I do love me them salient stimuli.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | May 14, 2009 9:31 AM | Report abuse

I'd rather eat scones than crow.

Posted by: -larkin | May 14, 2009 9:35 AM | Report abuse

Shriek to your earlier comment about the snow forecast for Calgary - check your weather for Sunday/Sunday night we are not a lot better.

Just dropped the eldest off at her High School orientation, she and a friend from her school are among only a handful of students attending the high school, the majority are going to the high school across from their grade school.

Feeling very proud at my daughters decision to attend a high school that is very much suited to her and also a great school but means leaving behind so many close friends she has spent the last nine years with - why didn't someone warn me they grow up so quickly.

Posted by: dmd2 | May 14, 2009 9:35 AM | Report abuse

That little conversation about "Russia" got me to thinking about various human development patterns and ... did a bunch of reading also about Mudge's comment about Bulgaria and that led me to looking into Haplogroup R1a1 ...

Very interesting stuff. It was followed up by a great conversation with a couple concerning the relationships, both in DNA and certain traditional and religious patterns held in far flung areas, like Scotland, Poland and the Indian sub-continent.

Scythian... Are those guys Russians? Ukrainians? Franks? Celts? The higher castes in India... and their origins?

Hey, even the Macedonians. Alexander or before?

Posted by: russianthistle | May 14, 2009 9:39 AM | Report abuse

What was the relationship between William T. Clark and Justin H. Hatch, so that Clark would seek a loan from him? What's left out in the reporting is that Hatch was from Lynn, Mass., where many shoes were made in the early 19th century:

In his Sketches of Lynn (1880), David Johnson recalled the masculine work culture and small-scale setting of the shoe industry in early-19th century Lynn, Massachusetts. With transportation improvements and growing commercial activity, manufacturing moved from small shops engaged in custom work to larger-scale production of ready-made goods. No area experienced greater dislocation than Lynn, where shops multiplied, the division of labor increased, and some masters opened larger central shops.

LL: Was there any family connection between Justin H. Hatch and Lincoln's very close friend, Illinois Secretary of State Ozias Hatch?

From "The History of the Early Settlers of Sagamon County, Illinois": Ozias Hatch was born in New Hampshire in 1814. His father, Dr. Reuben Hatch, moved the family to Pike County, Ill., in 1835, and young Ozias folowed in 1836. Ozias once jokingly said that he was born in New Hampshire, educated in Massachusetts, and graduated in Pike County. He married Julia R. Enos, daughter of Pascal Enos, Pascal born in 1770 in Windsor, Conn.

In establishing the Lincoln Association in the 1920s, the Hatchs of Springfield assisted:

In 1925, [Logan] Hay persuaded a number of civic-minded Springfield families that went back to the Lincoln era—Bunn, Hatch, Pasfield, and Humphrey—to donate the initial funding for the Association endowment.

LL: Given that the Hatch family of Scituate and Marshfield area of colonial Massachusetts were probably well-acquainted with Lincoln's antecedent Moredecai Lincoln of nearby Barnstable, it seems either the National Park Service or reporter Ruane could, with a little effort, tease out the story a little bit more.

Posted by: laloomis | May 14, 2009 9:43 AM | Report abuse

If you search news on the web (Google News), you'll see that health officials strongly advise against swine flu parties, formerly known as chickenpox parties. See also the NYT.

I think the Washington Post reporter sent to cover the flu cluster at St. Francis in New York City (Queens) and then caught the flu and walked around as a possible Typhoid Mary afterward, was both careless and thoughtless. Her ridiculous story was online at either yesterday or the day before. Where's the quality reporting from this paper?

Posted by: laloomis | May 14, 2009 9:49 AM | Report abuse

TBG - I'm sorry to hear about your uncle. I hope you have lots of laughs over happy memories today.

dmd - oh my! You should be proud. Girls at your daughter's age are so often RULED by the group so it's wonderful she's got that independent streak. If I haven't warned you before, I'll tell you fast as all these childhood years have gone by, high school goes by at some kind of warp speed. My son, crafty kid that he is, gets that I'm all nostalgic and weepy and bittersweet that he's going to school soon. He has been getting away with all manner of infractions and generally living the life of Reilly lately! Leaves a path of destruction in his wake, no problem. Want French Toast for breakfast every day, Mom will do it. Want a snack, Mom scurries for the oatmeal raisin cookies. 6 foot pile of dirty clothes in room, oh don't worry about it...and on and on. I did draw the line when he floated the idea of calling in sick to work because all of his friends were going to the beach, so I haven't completely lost my mind.

mudge and rick o - I liked the season finale of Lost....I can't say I understood it all, but it was a fun ride. rick - hope you feel better soon.

Posted by: Kim1 | May 14, 2009 9:53 AM | Report abuse

Holy Moley! Nick Wade at the NYT this morning, "Chemist Shows How RNA Can Be the Starting Point for Life":

First two grafs:

An English chemist has found the hidden gateway to the RNA world, the chemical milieu from which the first forms of life are thought to have emerged on earth some 3.8 billion years ago.

He has solved a problem that for 20 years has thwarted researchers trying to understand the origin of life — how the building blocks of RNA, called nucleotides, could have spontaneously assembled themselves in the conditions of the primitive earth. The discovery, if correct, should set researchers on the right track to solving many other mysteries about the origin of life. It will also mean that for the first time a plausible explanation exists for how an information-carrying biological molecule could have emerged through natural processes from chemicals on the primitive earth.

Posted by: laloomis | May 14, 2009 9:59 AM | Report abuse

A few days ago my neighbor reported seeing foxes in the yard. Long ago when I lived in another place, but on the same creek about two miles away, there were also foxes. Over the years various canines have occupied that niche, wild domesticated dogs, which I suspected had displaced the foxes. And coyotes have moved into the Carolinas in large numbers. So I asked my neighbor if maybe he saw coyotes. He said he didn't know on sight.

The very next night I heard foxes barking at just after nightfall.

Posted by: Jumper1 | May 14, 2009 10:01 AM | Report abuse

John Grunsfeld just put a rivet in his trashbag.

... I think he also recycles. Joel, what does this do to your point here?

Posted by: russianthistle | May 14, 2009 10:03 AM | Report abuse

He found the gateway? Was it in an old abandoned carnival (a la Scooby)? Were there clues in artwork, maybe Da Vinci's Last Supper?

Posted by: LostInThought | May 14, 2009 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Awwwwww, poor Caps. I was really, really hoping they'd get to the finals. But let's look at it this way: they all got their feet wet in the post-season playoffs (even if some of them had done it before and even took Stanley home with them (like Federov)), and with Ovechkin and the new guy in goal (whose name escapes me temporarily) and some of the others on the team, I think they'll be a force to be reckoned with next season.

The Red Wings play their 7th game tonight in Detroit against the Ducks. So, whaddya say, eh? Let's give an *enormous* Boodle shout out to my team!

GO RED WINGS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Of course, if they catch the Caps' disease, I am requisitioning in advance (and, of course, in triplicate) a tremendous amount of Boodle sympathy. Ya gotta reach out, yanno?

TBG, I, too, extend my condolences on the passing of your uncle. Meaning absolutely *no* offense whatsoever (and you do know that, don't you???), are Greek funerals anything like Greek weddings? Not that I've been to either, but I did watch that movie and thought it was cute. And, no, funerals are not cute, but still .....

Hmmm. I seem to have dug myself a hole from which I cannot escape with any semblance of dignity. So, I bid y'all adieu and will now start to prepare discovery requests. That oughta do it.

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | May 14, 2009 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Not uncommon to see foxes in my area Jumper - lovely red foxes - there was one that would appear from time to time while I was waiting at the commuter train station. Coyotes are pretty common as well, big news in the Beaches area of Toronto where a coyote had jumped a fence and grabbed and killed a homeowners dog. With all the d*amn raccoons around you would think they wouldn't need to go after pet dogs or cats.

Posted by: dmd2 | May 14, 2009 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Petaluma is having a big American Graffiti event Saturday with an era car show and replica of Mels Drive In and re-enactments of Wolf Man Jack playing requests. Some of the original cast will be on hand.

Posted by: bh72 | May 14, 2009 10:15 AM | Report abuse

Good morning boodle.

Exciting morning Chez Frostbitten trying to get ahead of the frost. It was 35 when I got up, just 30 now with intermittent rain/sleet/snow. Dragged the big pot 'o annuals into the garage but there's no sense covering the tender spring growth of perennials-rain sodden sheets would just make things worse. I will be inconsolable if the peonies are set back yet another year.

dmd-congrats on the dott's strength in breaking away from the pack.

TBG-enjoy the day with family despite the cause (but you know to do that). If it's any consolation, when frostdottir's car was nearly totaled by a deer she was only 9 miles from home-after driving more than 1,000 miles to get there.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | May 14, 2009 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Nearly forgot.

I have a request for the boodle garden help desk. Our after school program has the $ to buy a vinyl greenhouse. Any recommendations born of personal experience would be most appreciated- specific model recommendations are less important than must have/not worth it opinions of features.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | May 14, 2009 10:30 AM | Report abuse

frostbitten1--really hope your flowers make it. What frustration! I so look forward to my peonies, too.

TBG--sending my sympathies but as you said the silver lining is reconnecting with distant family.

It cold and very windy (and I like a point). But it should warm up.

Posted by: Windy3 | May 14, 2009 10:48 AM | Report abuse

frosti, a must-have feature for me would be a mist bed, a thing my father built. He had a 3 feet x 3 feet box about 8" deep, set on legs at waist height, full of perlite. It drained from the bottom; water did not accumulate. He covered rear, top and sides with clear plastic and worked through the open front. With a solenoid water valve, a misting fixture at the inside top, and a programmable electrical timer. He had it set to mist the bed for one minute every ten minutes. The most difficult plants to root from cuttings were growing roots in a matter of days.

Posted by: Jumper1 | May 14, 2009 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Thanks so much, bh72! Gosh, the Petaluma activities sounds like fun! I can't go, obviously, but perhaps my friend in Escalon, the one responsible for coordinating with the Modesto community in her role as Convention and Visitors' Bureau manager, to host the annual "Modest a la Carte" to celebrate Lucas and "Grafitti" (when I worked at the Modesto chamber and some years beyond), might be interested in attending.

For Bob S:
Blatant sexuality in early homo sapien art. An important discovery. Watermelons, indeed! Calling Venus...

Bonb S., so sorry to hear about your pitched battles in the Boor War. Boor from the Dutch, meaning "childish rude peasants." *l* I have two interesting "war" stories involving Obama and Cheney and another about Cornelius Vanderbilt--maybe later today.

Posted by: laloomis | May 14, 2009 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Actually, LiT, I think the clues are in C M Coolidge's classic painting, "Friend in Need."

I have my personally annotated reproduction I'm willing to lend out if someone's interested.


Posted by: -bc- | May 14, 2009 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Frosti is it possible to cover the peonies with a large pot - may provide enough insulation to protest the plant, I have often used pots to cover plants when we get frosts/frost warnings. One of my peonies will flower in days - on projection for Sunday has the temps going to -2c - hoping the water in the pool will have a micro climate affect to protect the plant - it is within a few feet of the pool.

Solar cover is on the pool so not sure if that will make a difference - anyone?

Posted by: dmd2 | May 14, 2009 11:06 AM | Report abuse

SCC protect the plant, peonies are too lovely to be protested :-)

Posted by: dmd2 | May 14, 2009 11:08 AM | Report abuse

bc, I think to be as thorough as possible in our search, we should get a copy of all the paintings in the series. A visit to Frat Row should be enough to round them up. Maybe CqP can help out.

Posted by: LostInThought | May 14, 2009 11:11 AM | Report abuse

Nice that the Post has a live video feed and I can get it on NASA, but not from Comcast. Are they anti-USA? Seems that way to me. They used to have NASA, but dropped it for a Spanish language station. But even when they had it, much of the time the audio was not on. I do not think they ever checked the signal quality. What a joy to have such a munificent company to deal with.

Posted by: GaryEMasters | May 14, 2009 11:13 AM | Report abuse

Frosti, did a quick check for you for greenhouses and among the top of the list of things I wouldn't have considered was - snow load, if it is outside and exposed also wind resistance.

This Canadian example is designed for snow load - you may need to check what requirement your area has - I am sure it is not insignificant.

Very frenvious of your after school program - need a volunteer - commute would be brutal but what fun.

Posted by: dmd2 | May 14, 2009 11:15 AM | Report abuse

Water is a great frostproofer. You'll get a better microclimate effect from removing the cover. A small bucket of water under the big bucket with the plants will also work well.

Posted by: Jumper1 | May 14, 2009 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Live feed, working in my Windows Media Player
Also tools, options, always on top

Posted by: Jumper1 | May 14, 2009 11:43 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, Boodle. Just got home from the ER. This morning on the way to the Ready Room I did something to my right knee--thought maybe I'd finally blown out my ACL, or torn a tendon ligament or something, and the pain was excruciating. Wasn't the ACL, but I'm on crutches and vicodin, wearing an immobilizer, and can't go to work for a week or two (though I can telecommute). They have me a shot of delaudid for pain, and a shot of something for nausea from the delaudid, Xrays showed no bone damage, so I didn't chip anything.

So, better late than never:

Today in Excruciating Leg Pain History

May 14, 1607: Capt. John Smith establishes the first permanent English colony in the New World, at Jamestown, Va. It serves as the capital of the colony from 1616 to 1698.
1908: Aviator Wilbur Wright takes Charles W. Furnas up for an aeroplane ride of about 2,000 feet distance and lasting 29 seconds; Furnas thus becomes the world’s first aircraft passenger. He gets a second ride of about 2.5 miles later the same day.
1926: Arctic explorer Roald Amundsen’s Italian-built dirigible Norge becomes the first airship to fly over the North Pole, in a flight from Spitsbergen, Norway, to Teller, Alaska.

Now, will backboodle to say what mischief you guys are up to. (FYI, that "Obama Corruption" hed on the home page reaaaaaally pissed me off something fierce this morning.)

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | May 14, 2009 11:45 AM | Report abuse

JA's on the beat...

Posted by: Scottynuke | May 14, 2009 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Owwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww, 'Mudge!!!

*faxin' ice packs, soft pillows and a Segway*

Posted by: Scottynuke | May 14, 2009 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Ouch Mudge! Were you playing Super Hero this morning? I told you...not only do you have to wear your drawers on the outside, you've *got* to put on the cape.

Posted by: LostInThought | May 14, 2009 11:51 AM | Report abuse

RT....are you listening? Did he just cut himself?

Posted by: LostInThought | May 14, 2009 11:54 AM | Report abuse

note to self: "never go in space without a squirter of Liquid Wrench"

Torque limiters are for ninnies. There were no stuck bolt in the navy, someone would always reach for a longer pipe or a bigger sailor.

Mudge, ouch.

There are two guys ripping out the backyard door. Should I be worried?

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | May 14, 2009 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Hope your knee heals quickly, in the meantime you may want to take advantage of the pain killers to get some great writing done - something like a Xanadu or Alice in Wonderland type story :-)

Posted by: dmd2 | May 14, 2009 11:57 AM | Report abuse

OUCH, mudge...sorry to hear this. The silver lining is that vicodin is a wonder drug (used properly, of course) and should keep you comfy and mellow.

Posted by: Kim1 | May 14, 2009 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Best wishes for a fast-recovering mudgeknee. About a decade ago, I dislocated a kneecap (I think during a not terribly successful attempt to learn how to roll a kayak). The injury was minor; the pain and restrictions on movement (no bicycling!) lasted...

The national list of Chrysler dealers to be shut has been released. Looks like the Auto Nation dealerships (Maroone) in southeast Florida and elsewhere are being dumped en masse. Lots of familiar names from elsewhere around Florida.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | May 14, 2009 12:14 PM | Report abuse

uuuuuuuuuuhhhhhhhh look at the pretty starzzzzzz

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | May 14, 2009 12:14 PM | Report abuse

LiT, I took a much needed nap. AND my computer was freezing up watching the stream. Too many streams going on.

Posted by: russianthistle | May 14, 2009 12:18 PM | Report abuse

*tethering 'Mudge to the fainting couch so's he dun float away*

Posted by: Scottynuke | May 14, 2009 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, sorry to hear about your knee! Hope you feel better soon.

frosti, I am very pleased with my little greenhouse. We got the Backyard Beginner Greenhouse on this page:;gs1_hobby_greenhouses.html
It helps a lot to extend the season here, and give heat-loving plants more of a chance. Without a heating system, I suppose any greenhouse in MN would be more like a big coldframe, but it seems like it would help you get seeds started earlier and protect plants later in fall.

Posted by: seasea1 | May 14, 2009 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Noooo, seasea1! /Covering my eyes and refusing to look at the little greenhouse./

Lunch? How about udon with Thai vegetables and chicken. It's on now. Mudge has already had his vicodin hors d'oeuvre.

Posted by: -dbG- | May 14, 2009 12:30 PM | Report abuse

This NASA TV thing gets addictive. I'm becoming like a cat; working fascinates me I can watch people doing it all day.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | May 14, 2009 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Quick news flash--new Vonnegut fiction in the new Harper's ("Little Drops of Water," p.64) and a new collection of previously unpublished stories (_Look at the Birdie_) due out in October...

Here's a quip from the story, which I haven't read yet: "...I like women, but am a bachelor by choice. While bachelors are lonely people, I'm conviced that married men are lonely people with dependents."

Posted by: kbertocci | May 14, 2009 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Sorry for the typo, please change to "convinced" when you read it.

Posted by: kbertocci | May 14, 2009 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, sorry to hear about the knee, hopefully the Doc won't have to go in and do anything. Hopefully you won't have to stay on the Vikes too long, otherwise your writing may begin to resemble a Klingon translation of "Jabberwocky."

LiT, I believe that there are clues to a whole secret religious Dogma whispered in Coolidge's series of paintings, and a New World Order may be unleashed soon.

s_d, I suspect that a problem with Liquid Wrench squirters in space might be that unless you're sure you have the correct capillary action to get it where it's supposed to go and that the components aren't too bloody hot or cold for it to behave properly (and not freeze, evaporate/boil off or simply float away), it's just going to get everywhere except where you want it to go.

I wonder if NASA engineers accounted for the temperature and pressure differences in setting the torque-limiters? 20 years of freezing and heating with no atmospheric pressure might have locked those puppies down *tight.*

I don't see anyone getting in there and drilling or tapping a new bolt or stud should they shear one off in sheer exuberance. Or frustration.

My suggestion: turn the Hubble so that whatever they want to loosen is in the sun and continiously check the temp with a infrared thermometer. When it's the hottest possible, *then* try to loosen it.


Posted by: -bc- | May 14, 2009 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Ah, looks like they got the bolt off to facilitate the camera replacement, yay.

Out comes the Kodak Brownie, and in goes the Canon SureShot.

Or something like that.


Posted by: -bc- | May 14, 2009 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Wilbrod, you see the front-page teaser for Milbank's column? "The Roaming Gnome Visits the Hill"

Posted by: Yoki | May 14, 2009 1:03 PM | Report abuse

I bet some of that oil they use in vacuum pumps would be good for freeing stuck bolts in space.

Posted by: Jumper1 | May 14, 2009 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Whew, I think the freeze crisis is over for today. Back up to 34 on the way to 50? (longshot I think) Saturday could be touch and go, but then we should be home free until August.

seasea-that's the size we need, and it was a contender but at least until we figure out a diy solar solution it will be unheated, and thus a big cold frame. Looks like we'll be going with a local guy who does vinyl houses. Then we can just take the vinyl down in the fall.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | May 14, 2009 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Becoming drearily literal for a moment -- bc's right, the big problem with using Liquid Wrench or oil in space is to get it to go where you want it to go. There's no gravity to make it flow in a particular direction, so you need to depend on capillary action, which needs to overcome the diffusion to space driven by direct evaporation.

I gather there is/was a stuck bolt? More than likely, it's a bimetallic weld. The bolt is surely steel, whereas it probably was driven into aluminum. The threading in the aluminum would deform to match the steel under torque, then weld in vacuum due to the contact potential between the two different kinds of metal. None of this is a problem if you intend to never turn the bolt again, which is typically the case for things space. Heck, it's a benefit.

Sounds like manly muscle managed to fix that delicate piece o' space hardware.

Posted by: ScienceTim | May 14, 2009 1:52 PM | Report abuse

DIY solar? How about putting some cheap mirrors on the ground around the greenhouse (aluminum foil on a plywood board probably would be good enough -- and replaceable), oriented so that they beam sunlight into the greenhouse from below. Put black surfaces where the light falls, and you have instant solar heating (in the daytime).

Posted by: ScienceTim | May 14, 2009 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Well, I depend on nothing BUT capillary action when squirting a stuck bolt. The bimetallic weld does add some unknowns. Some unknown unknowns to coin a phrase. What the heck do solar charged particles do to accelerate electrical complications between two alloys? Nothing good, I'll bet. I used to cringe when a CAD tech would plug in average wear values on a bronze-to-steel bearing design. Noooo!

Posted by: Jumper1 | May 14, 2009 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, I feel your pain! It's a b*tch to have to spend so much time thinking (and feeling) about your physical being. Your injury sounds so much worse than knee replacement surgery. I hope you won't stint on the pain killers; they really are life(and mind)savers.

I'm listening to The Talk of the Nation on NPR, and later in the hour, JJ Abrams will be on the program. Tune in and enjoy!

Posted by: rickoshea0 | May 14, 2009 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Mudge! I was worried about you this morning when you didn't check in. I hope the knee mends as quickly as an 800 year old knee can. Yeouch.

Posted by: slyness | May 14, 2009 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the props, *Tim.

Only have time for a flyby at the moment, but a couple of quick items:

I'd be curious to see the composition and charcateristic of the fasteners used on Hubble -- or other long duration spacecraft, come to think of it. The difference in expansion and contraction rates of different materials (such as aluminum and steel) can cause more problems than just those bimetallic welds we spoke of. Those expansion and contraction rates in an environment as extreme as space (with very large temperature changes with every orbit) could cause a steel bolt to crack an aluminum frame, for example.

Jumper1, good point about capillary action. Here on Earth, I try to use gravity to assist it where possible by adding the fluid to the highest possible point and encouraging it to flow downwards through the threads. I think we're all on the same page that with weird magnetic charges and odd microgravity situations in an orbital environment, who knows what's going to flow and how?

Suddenly I'm put in mind of those fancy toilets on the ISS and of the scene in 2001: a Space Odyssey where Heywood Floyd considers the Zero Gravity Toilet instructions. Carefully.


Posted by: -bc- | May 14, 2009 2:50 PM | Report abuse

You might be on the same page, but I'm still in the stacks looking for the right book.

Posted by: LostInThought | May 14, 2009 2:57 PM | Report abuse

What are "props" anyway? Proper attribution? Proper respect? Use "proper" caution because a spinning "prop"eller may chop you in two?

I wonder these things.

Posted by: ScienceTim | May 14, 2009 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Ouch Mudge. Hope the knee feels better soon.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | May 14, 2009 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, maybe tomorrow morning you could favor us with the first installment of Adventures in Vicodinland?

Posted by: Raysmom | May 14, 2009 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Mudge is probably sitting there watching "House" re-runs as a way to bond with a soul mate. And maybe learn what went "pop" in his knee. ;-)

Posted by: ebtnut | May 14, 2009 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Kim is the third nurse I've heard rave about the wonders of vicodin -- two nurses told me I *must* take it after gall blader surgery.

So I did, for about 36 hours, then I just wanted to stop floating about four feet above the ground with no focus. No pain, but no brain.

Posted by: nellie4 | May 14, 2009 3:52 PM | Report abuse

*Tim, it is the 21st century! Use Google, the all-knowing --

proper respect; "I have to give my props to the governor for the way he handled the problem" - Definition in context

Posted by: nellie4 | May 14, 2009 3:55 PM | Report abuse

I like Vicodin, even without the pain. I like it even better with a one-beer chaser.

Posted by: Gomer144 | May 14, 2009 3:55 PM | Report abuse

Ohhhhh, poor Mudgekins. My *expletive* knee sends you beaucoup sympaki, and my shredded cartilage likewise. Be careful of those industrial strength pain killers -- no driving tractors or other machinery ('cept in your mind).

Gotta get back to that what pays my mortgage.

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | May 14, 2009 3:55 PM | Report abuse

Get better soon, Mudge. A hearty seafood dinner promotes healing in my experience.

Posted by: Jumper1 | May 14, 2009 4:55 PM | Report abuse

Great news! ScienceKid#1 and I will be heading for Wyoming in June for a week of digging dinosaurs with Dooley. Woo-hoo!

Posted by: ScienceTim | May 14, 2009 5:36 PM | Report abuse

California continues to promise eight times more water that is available to the San Joaquin farmers. Meanwhile they don't regulate how much underground water they can pump so the valley has subsided over 36 feet.

Posted by: bh72 | May 14, 2009 5:39 PM | Report abuse

Back when I used to put my '64 Corvair back together, A can of graphite grease was essential to lube steel bolt threads to prevent growing them into the aluminum castings. Never got the 'unsafe at any speed' over 80 mph but airborne sometimes.

Posted by: bh72 | May 14, 2009 5:56 PM | Report abuse

Tim, how cool! Say howdy to Dooley from the Boodle.

I took Vicodin for a kidney infection - took away the constant pain and didn't make me throw up. I didn't notice any other effects, but maybe that's because I'm naturally loopy. YMMV

Posted by: seasea1 | May 14, 2009 5:57 PM | Report abuse

Is Joel still in the 'tool corral' trying to figure out what to put back from his shopping basket to match the limits of his visa card?

Posted by: bh72 | May 14, 2009 6:00 PM | Report abuse

SCC "NASA" tool corral

Posted by: bh72 | May 14, 2009 6:05 PM | Report abuse

You're providing some interesting material about California in the last several days.

I've been following the writing of Jesse McKinley at the NYT, you might say. I find stories that interest me and then--voila--his name seems to be attached.

Since the start of the year, McKinley wrote the story about the drought in south Texas from Beeville--south of us; the story of the fierce drought in central California--and I heard from a source in Madera who confirmed it days later; the story about Fresno's "tent cities," one under Highway 99, IIRC; the story about Michelle Obama speaking Saturday at the commencement for the first class to graduate from the California state university in Merced. McKinley seems to be a roving reporter of sorts for the NYT.

For me, bh72, news about home--the West Coast--is always welcome.

Now I'll have to open the link you provided to see who in California government is doing the promising to the farmers.

Posted by: laloomis | May 14, 2009 6:05 PM | Report abuse

Hey, Dooley, may I tag along to Wyoming in June?

Posted by: laloomis | May 14, 2009 6:07 PM | Report abuse

That subsidence photo accompanying the story that you linked to is incredible. I couldn't believe my own eyes, so visited a USGS website/California to confirm that there are dropping land elevations because of water (over)use. I wonder where in the San Joaquin Valley that accompanying photo was taken?

Posted by: laloomis | May 14, 2009 6:13 PM | Report abuse

LL, the Chronicle doesn't give a photo credit. I would assume on the West side as they were the last to get CV Project water. Or maybe the old Kern lake area.

Posted by: bh72 | May 14, 2009 6:24 PM | Report abuse

Breaking--CNN (Dobbs said the man is reportedly near death) and the first several grafs from the NYT:

In the first serious case of swine flu in New York City, the assistant principal of a Queens middle school has been hospitalized and is on a ventilator, officials announced Thursday. The city closed that school, and two others with large clusters of flulike symptoms. All three schools are to remain closed through next week.

The assistant principal worked at Intermediate School 238, in the Hollis section of Queens, and was said to have become critically ill. The authorities would not immediately disclose his name, but Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said at a City Hall news conference on Thursday evening that the educator “may have had other health problems” — “pre-existing conditions” that would have made him more vulnerable to the flu.

The new outbreak raised the possibility that the virus may have mutated into a more severe form than has been seen yet in New York.

LL: Apparently not much truth-telling in New York City/Queens either. Details from the article hint that officials knew of the assistant principal's illness since Monday. What gives? And the pre-existing conditions? Makes me think of Steve Trunnell and the lack of truth her supposed "underlying chronic health conditions."

Posted by: laloomis | May 14, 2009 7:14 PM | Report abuse

SCC: lack of truth about his wife's (Judy Dominguez Trunnell) supposed ...

Posted by: laloomis | May 14, 2009 7:16 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, I am so sorry to hear of your knee injury. Vicodin makes me nauseous but apparently most others in the Boodle tolerate it. I had percocet (sp?) for may back which gave me the same floaty effects. I'm tempted to take a half one now as we have dancing lessons tonight and the back is being a bit cranky. If I do tho,' I won't be very light on my feet, so I guess I'll tough it out. But enough about me! Please take care of yourself and be a good patient so you can 'run for the bus' again soon.

Posted by: badsneakers | May 14, 2009 7:21 PM | Report abuse

SCC 'my back' altho' it is May. No, I didn't take any meds!

Posted by: badsneakers | May 14, 2009 7:32 PM | Report abuse

sneaks, and anyone else who has what my grandmother called "a back!" This is just miserable. My Grandma had a back, and so did my Dad. It seems to me to be the worst thing; you can't move at all without spine/muscle/back involvement, and so it is really debilitating.

I'd much rather have a broken leg that can be more or less isolated, than back-pain.

Sympaki to all of you who do suffer from this.

Posted by: Yoki | May 14, 2009 7:44 PM | Report abuse

Joel's story on the front page about swapping out cameras is kewl.

I'm back from supper with the Geekdottir; it was her Mother's Day present to me. A chicken and veggie stir fry with sweet soy glaze, a fruit smoothie (yum!) and homemade bread. We gave her a bread machine for Christmas; this is the first time I've had some she's made. I've gorged myself on warm goodness...

Posted by: slyness | May 14, 2009 8:18 PM | Report abuse

*Tim, that's great news, and sounds like a great way to spend some time this summer.

Er, does Dick Cheney know you're coming to his state?

On a couple of other notes, I'm not sure what to make of the press conference and media coverage re. Nancy Pelosi's knowledge of "enhanced interrogation techniques" [um, *torture* is "enhanced?" Wha?]. I see that media outlets are saying that Pelosi claims the CIA mislead her, but in the video I've seen, she puts it all on the Bush Administration.

I haven't seen and heard everything on the story, but I'm confused.

I'm also confused - and somewhat amused - by reports that Karl Rove will testify behind closed doors to prosecutors and Congress investigating the DOJ's infamous firing of federal prosecutors during the Bush Administration.

Though I guess much of the real workings of the Bush Administration seem to have been behind closed doors from Day One. Perhaps Mr. Rove is most comfortable there.


Posted by: -bc- | May 14, 2009 8:29 PM | Report abuse

I meant to add that if one would be comfortable sleeping in a coffin, then working comfortably behind closed doors - and drawn shades, perhaps - could be a natural extension.


Posted by: -bc- | May 14, 2009 8:35 PM | Report abuse

First death from swine flu in Maricopa County, Arizona. Underlying lung problem.

The thing to watch for in the reporting about the new cluster of cases (the middle school only two miles from St. Francis--the site of the first cluster) and the deathly ill assistant principal Mr. Weiner is how long Weiner has been hospitalized.

The NYT blog has removed the graf about how the virus may be mutating to a more severe form. If (I emphasize if) this novel form of virus A(H1N1) is sickening individuals or killing them more quickly--as reporting has yet to indicate or not indicate--then that would leave one to possibly conclude that the virus is increasing in lethality and possibly mutating. Depends a lot upon what Weiner's underlying health condition(s) are and when he was hospitalized and placed on a ventilator. More reporting and facts are needed.

Newest iteration of the blog post at the NYT about the new cluster of swine flu cases in Queens also reports that there were problems because of the lack of communication with Spanish-speaking immigrant parents with ill school children in the Queens schools where the virus was spreading and the assumption that this group of parents doesn't have Internet access.

Posted by: laloomis | May 14, 2009 8:43 PM | Report abuse

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

Good evening, friends. TBG, sorry to hear about your uncle, and the wreck. Maggie and Mudge, get well soon. Kbert, we've missed you. And Loomis, you're still Loomis.

I've been busy for the past two days. I planted some flowers, don't ask me what kind. They're pretty. That's enough for me. I hope they don't die. We're helping the kids get ready for the end of the year tests. And I'm trying to check on my dad. A lot on this plate. I'm just too, too, tired.

Slyness, I love Bible study, and I always have. Now that I try to teach it, I'm still in love. Glad to hear that you're enjoying it also.

Yoki, Scotty, Martooni, and everyone, love to all. *waving*

Just wanted to pop in and say hello. It is now time for me to hug the bed. Have a good evening my friends. Sweet dreams. Night, boodle.

Posted by: cmyth4u | May 14, 2009 9:06 PM | Report abuse

May the bed hug you back, Cassandra. But not too tightly.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | May 14, 2009 9:19 PM | Report abuse

Sleep well, Cassandra.

New kit!

Posted by: Moose13 | May 14, 2009 9:22 PM | Report abuse

A new nocturnal kit. A rarity.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | May 14, 2009 9:26 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company