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That's Not Porn: It's Anthropology

The National Science Foundation doles out grants for research in a variety of fields, but now we know that NSF takes a particular interest in human anatomy, the reproductive system, mate competition, gender dimorphism, and the cross-cultural manifestations of -- and the many variations on -- human pair-bonding:

one senior executive spent at least 331 days looking at pornography on his government computer and chatting online with nude or partially clad women without being detected, the records show.

When finally caught, the NSF official retired. He even offered, among other explanations, a humanitarian defense, suggesting that he frequented the porn sites to provide a living to the poor overseas women. Investigators put the cost to taxpayers of the senior official's porn surfing at between $13,800 and about $58,000.

"He explained that these young women are from poor countries and need to make money to help their parents and this site helps them do that," investigators wrote in a memo.

Okay, but it's not like it was 331 days in a row! It was just, like, 54 days, then a day off for a visit to the eye doctor, then 125 days, then another break because it was Christmas, then 152 days in a row, but a couple of those days involved just a random hour or two here and there.

Come on, people, don't pick on NSF, there's porn-surfing all over the government. You think they don't look at porn at the Department of Agriculture? What do you think they do all day in the Cantaloupes Division???

I also worry that the investigators of this alleged wrongdoing are asking overly harsh questions of government workers, to wit:

Another employee in a different case was caught with hundreds of pictures, videos and even PowerPoint slide shows containing pornography. Asked by an investigator whether he had completed any government work on a day when a significant amount of pornography was downloaded, the employee responded, "Um, I can't remember," according to records.



That's a trick question. That's like asking what's the capital of Myanmar.

--

Tell me I'm wrong, but Obama going to Copenhagen to make the case for a Chicago Olympics seems like an unforced error. That's the perfect mission for the first lady. It's not just that it seems a little small-bore in a time of huge domestic and foreign issues, and exposes Obama to charges of manic multi-tasking. It's also that Chicago may well lose out to one of the other cities and it'll go on the scorecard as a defeat and a waste of time at a delicate moment. Does the president really think Chicago will get the Olympics with his help but won't get the Olympics if he stays home?

From Peter Slevin today in The Post:

Obama appears to be taking a calculated risk. He is setting up the Olympic bidding process as a measure of his powers of diplomatic persuasion while simultaneously confronting issues such as health care, Afghan policy and Iran's nuclear ambitions -- potentially raising questions anew about whether he is doing too much at once.

This is normally a mayor's job. Chicago's Olympic bid has a special boost because its leadership team is practically identical to Obama's innermost circle. These are Obama's closest friends. But the friends, in this case, should do the president and the country a favor and let Obama stay home to manage the more important stuff (recession, health care, world gone mad, etc.).

Come on, let Michelle -- or Oprah -- handle this one!

By Joel Achenbach  |  September 29, 2009; 10:14 AM ET
 
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Comments

First?

Posted by: Scottynuke | September 29, 2009 11:23 AM | Report abuse

The Chicago Olympics bid is a no-win situation. Rio is the acknowledged front-runner and many feel that this sort of high power arm-twisting will actually turn-off many of the rather prickly IOC officials. But if he doesn't make the effort he's seen as being unsupportive. Either way, unless Chicago does get the bid he will be criticized for either doing too much or too little.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 29, 2009 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Oprah will extend her mighty, manicured hand towards the IOC and then pause, considering. With a slight flick of her pinky finger, she will silence the jibber-jabber of trivial negotiation and horse-trading. And then -- oh glorious day! Sweet scented air, so fortunate as to carry the compressions and rarefactions of her voice! -- and then, she shall speak. And the IOC shall shrink before her, and the will of Oprah shall be done. For Oprah wishes to vacation in Rio. And the citizens of Chicago shall sigh, and smile, and every one shall agree "It's better this way."

Posted by: ScienceTim | September 29, 2009 11:41 AM | Report abuse

That reminds me. I have a bunch of pictures from the Philadelphia Museum of Art I need to upload. Some of them show naughty bits. At least I think they do. With the Picassos it's tough to tell.

Perhaps the NSF guy can say he was just a fine art aficionado.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 29, 2009 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Joel, Arbusto spent more than 900 days of his presidency in Crawford, Texas, chopping down sage brush. So if Obama wants to go to Denmark and lobby on behalf of his hometown (which is part of the U.S., unlike, say, Texas), then it's fine with me.

You realize that the word "p0rn" is gonna raise holy hell with the wirty-dird filter, doncha?

I don't know how that NSF guy did it, but *my* gummint computer won't even let me look at my Yahoo football prognostication site and half the YouTubes and harmless comix sites people on the Boodle link to.

I just hope I'm not being trascked right now. (You wouldn't consider getting that headline rewritten to "p*rn" wouldja?)

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | September 29, 2009 11:47 AM | Report abuse

The FDIC is talking about getting banks to pre-pay their insurance premisums. As though the rest of us don't pay *our* various premiums up front. Because, yanno, we wouldn't want the insurance companies to have to wait to get their money.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | September 29, 2009 11:51 AM | Report abuse

I'm willing to let Obama do his home-town loyalty thing. I assume the Games will go to Rio de Janeiro on grounds that this time, they need to be in a time zone similar to the US. But the selection committee won't want athletes to deal with US security. Beside, Chicago will be perceived as a burned-out failing city, while Rio will be seen as a representing a new world economic power (nevermind gangs vs. militias in the slums, as explained by Jon Lee Anderson in this week's New Yorker. Rio sounds as tough as any of his assignments).

Could we offer to hold an event or two at Fermilab?

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | September 29, 2009 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Wait till they find out about the Boodling.

Posted by: seasea1 | September 29, 2009 12:02 PM | Report abuse

So the robotic snoops will spark on just the word "Porn" even if there is no trace of actual naughty bits etc.? We can't even use the word?? Jeepers. [Is "Jeepers" okay???]

Posted by: joelache | September 29, 2009 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Why should Rio get all that business? Aren't we trying to re-build the U.S. economy? Don't we want to pump lots of construction and other money into *our* economy?

Screw Rio.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | September 29, 2009 12:05 PM | Report abuse

I don't know how fine-tuned the WaPo wirty-dird filter is right now, Joel, but it has held up my posts before just for that one word, an nothing else. Which is why I always use that p0rn work-around.

I dunno; somebody want to test it?

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | September 29, 2009 12:07 PM | Report abuse

I don't care if someone surfs the net and looks at porn. In fact, I am more concerned that government tracks such activity; that's the real issue these days anyway: the Orwellian "Big Brother" police state that technology has helped us to form.

I think the way you measure a person's job performance is by their work outputs. If those are satsifactory, then who cares what they look at on their computers

Posted by: RealTexan1 | September 29, 2009 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Yup. Front Page alert. What would you expect with the word "P0rn" in the hed? It's right under Cohen's piece. Think it'll get page views?

Oy.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | September 29, 2009 12:25 PM | Report abuse

porn porn porn

Posted by: seasea1 | September 29, 2009 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Sweet cheeses.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/opinions/pundit-contest/index.html

Posted by: seasea1 | September 29, 2009 12:33 PM | Report abuse

btw, the correct 1337 spelling is 'pr0n' which actually may be a worse red flag.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 29, 2009 12:36 PM | Report abuse

That's leet speak for shrimp, yellojkt.. prawn...

At least that is how I've seen it used-- as a pun on both prawn and p0rn. Crustacean erotica, ew. This is why I don't do 1337 speak.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | September 29, 2009 12:46 PM | Report abuse

seasea, that contest is what ebtnut and I were talking about in the previous Boodle.

And yes, Joel, text filters will find that.
Gotta jump out too, lest we be in the next NSF report.

bc

Posted by: -bc- | September 29, 2009 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Wilbrod,
You are going to get me fired putting those sorts of google searches into my head. Rule 34 and all.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 29, 2009 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Pörn. P0rn. Porn. Pórn. Pørn. Pôrn.

Posted by: ScienceTim | September 29, 2009 1:00 PM | Report abuse

{sung to the tune of The Spam Song}

Posted by: yellojkt | September 29, 2009 1:06 PM | Report abuse

As a gummint employee, when people call or visit and apologize for taking my time, I smile and say it is their tax dollars at work. As a taxpayer I strongly object to my money funding another gummint employee's private and personal enjoyment of something they should be doing on their own time. I don't think gummint employees should have affairs on the office dime or time either.

While I appreciate RealTexan's openmindedness, I can't share it. Also, I think it is misplaced. Anyone downloading and, presumably, enjoying that much pornography is unlikely to be getting much work done. At some levels and in some jobs, it is hard to measure whether you're keeping up with your work. These guys apparently took advantage of that.

Also, and I'll try to put this delicately, the computer is not necessarily the only stae resource affected by porn at the office. When a local judge overstepped the bounds of his office a few years ago, on a regular basis, they ended up replacing the chair, the carpet, the desk. . .

Posted by: Ivansmom | September 29, 2009 1:08 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if they made him clean his cubicle before left.

Posted by: alstl | September 29, 2009 1:11 PM | Report abuse

EWWW, Ivansmom. I'm glad I wasn't on the crew having to move the furniture and replace the carpet!

Posted by: slyness | September 29, 2009 1:50 PM | Report abuse

I don't know what "1337" means. Am I supposed to know that?

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | September 29, 2009 2:01 PM | Report abuse

No, mudge, you most definitely are not supposed to.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 29, 2009 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Then why did you use it?

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | September 29, 2009 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Because some folks know what it means, Mudge. This may help...

http://lmgtfy.com/?q=1337

Posted by: -TBG- | September 29, 2009 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Because when you do find out what it is, that is when it becomes funny. Ask TBG, she'll tell you.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 29, 2009 2:18 PM | Report abuse

I'm with curmudgeon on this. My computers are automatically blocked from any domain that has what the gov considers questionable material, even though only one site in the domain may be truly smutty the whole thing is blocked.

On a side note I'd like to say a word in defense of all my anthropologist friends. Playing electronic Whack-a-Mole with some Cybermonica in Bangkok could have just as easily been characterized as medical research, linguistic analysis, or even journalistic inquiry as anthropology, so let's be fair. Let's see the records of Weingarten's computer searches, hmm?

Posted by: kguy1 | September 29, 2009 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Here's my other obscure internet arcana reference for today:

http://lmgtfy.com/?q=Rule+34

Posted by: yellojkt | September 29, 2009 2:30 PM | Report abuse

I don't know either, Mudge.

Posted by: Ivansmom | September 29, 2009 2:35 PM | Report abuse

Is this column just information porn?

Posted by: anarcho-liberal-tarian | September 29, 2009 2:51 PM | Report abuse

I don't know! You should ask your colleague, Ann ApplePedoBaum. She is the expert on Pornography, albeit the kiddy kind!!

Posted by: Peaceful2009 | September 29, 2009 2:52 PM | Report abuse

The two gigantors, Ofrah and Michelle with her giant choppers and man-hands, should be scary enough to the judges to award to Chicago. Or else...

Posted by: DaMan2 | September 29, 2009 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Wow. Someone noticed the front-page link.

We don't need a p0rn filter for this Kit; we apparently need a coherence filter.

Posted by: Ivansmom | September 29, 2009 2:55 PM | Report abuse

That reminds me. Front-page drive-bys are all very well, but Joel needs more posts. That long-lasting elevator Kit didn't even break 300.

C'mon, everyone. Lurkers, occasional posters, regulars, everyone write something and hit "submit". The Pioneer Woman gets more comments writing about doing the dishes than Joel does about p0rn on the gummint dime. Let's fix that!

[No disrespect intended to The Pioneer Woman, a splendid site, but really now.]

Posted by: Ivansmom | September 29, 2009 3:03 PM | Report abuse

The classic xkcd on the topic:

http://xkcd.com/305/

Posted by: yellojkt | September 29, 2009 3:03 PM | Report abuse

From the linked article:

"Another employee who stored nude images of herself on her computer told investigators she mistakenly had downloaded the pictures."

The mistake was not in downloading the pictures. I hate to be the prude here, but the rule of thumb is to never take pictures you wouldn't want your grandmother (or boss) to see.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 29, 2009 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Have no idea what xkcd means, either, but this is getting quite tiresome.

Heading out early today; see yuns in a while.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | September 29, 2009 3:14 PM | Report abuse

My gunmint computer gets all Southern Baptist when the ad frames show too much skin. The darn thing would probably explodes if I were stupid enough to surf for prawn on it. That is if the McCoffee SitePolice didn't send in the SturmTrooperz to kick down the half walls of my cubicle before.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | September 29, 2009 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Okay Ivansmom, I'll comment. As others have said, I don't understand why there aren't filters on all gov't computers so p0rn can't be accessed. I don't begrudge President Obama pitching Chicago for the olympics, it's just one day. Although, if his sales pitch fails, I hope we don't have to listen to Faux news go on and on about it for weeks.

I finished planting daffodils after pulling out 2 1/2 carts full of violets from one of the gardens. Those things are worse than any other weed I know and I've never owned a house with so darn many of the things. The sad thing is that they'll be back, even tho' I got them by the roots with a pitchfork.

Posted by: badsneakers | September 29, 2009 3:16 PM | Report abuse

I'mom, I'd love to help support Joel's post-count, but I seem to be suffering from Comment Deficiency Syndrome. And I don't even feel like going into my People-In-The-Private-Sector-Waste-Time-At-Work-Too rant. (That would be Raysmom Standard Rant #67 for those of you keeping track.)


Posted by: Raysmom | September 29, 2009 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Aw, Mudge... xkcd is a favorite and much-linked-to comic on the Boodle.

When you get home tonight, make sure to chase those darned kids off your lawn.

:-)

Posted by: -TBG- | September 29, 2009 3:28 PM | Report abuse

I'll comment too, Ivansmom. ... Trying desperately to think of something to say.

Hi, Raysmom!

I'm going to *force* spaghetti on my kids for supper tonight. Two vegetarians. You'd think pasta dishes and bean dishes would be de rigeur. So to speak. But *no* - I spent literally, minutes giving birth to them (this is harder for those of us who had easy births, you see) and are they grateful? No. My vegetarians don't like "vegetarian" food. The only two meals they both like are home-made pizza and cheese garlic bread. We eat pizza three nights a week. Well, forget it. I like spaghetti, and we're having it tonight. Those who want to complain get a can of beans and a can opener.

Posted by: Wheezy11 | September 29, 2009 3:29 PM | Report abuse

And another thing -

I'm waiting to hear how a visit this morning with a college admissions officer went for my eldest. I've been thinking about it - this elite West Coast school sends one of its admissions officers halfway across the country to my kid's school just to chat with interested students. Did she then go downtown to one or two inner-city schools to talk to kids there? I imagine not. And that bothers me quite a little. The school has a wonderful pledge to admit without attention to ability to pay, and offers full financial aid to any admittee who needs it. But they don't seem to mind searching for applicants from the elite pool. Makes that pledge easier, I guess. Well, I'll show them. My income is so low they'll pay through the nose.

Posted by: Wheezy11 | September 29, 2009 3:36 PM | Report abuse

I'm done. Your ball, Ivansmom.

Posted by: Wheezy11 | September 29, 2009 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Send 'em to live in a foreign country on a limited budget, Wheezy. Before her study abroad, Kchick was semi-picky. After six months on her own in Denmark shopping and cooking for herself there was NOTHING she wouldn't eat as long as someone else prepared/paid for it.

Posted by: kguy1 | September 29, 2009 3:45 PM | Report abuse

One last thing - has anyone else noticed how the spread between the price of gold as a stock (GLD) and the price of actual, physical gold (the spot price) has narrowed from its usual $10 to about $1? Does anyone know what, if anything, that means? Do I even care?

Really, desperately, trying to pass the conversational baton here.

(BTW, the above is a joke. I REALLY do not care.)

And now I leave to go make spaghetti sauce.

Posted by: Wheezy11 | September 29, 2009 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Daffodils already? I recall calling a reputable vendor about my not-received-order in late October, back when I lived in western Oregon. The explanation was that they shipped by hardiness zone, so I could expect the bulbs in early November or whatever. I explained that Pacific Northwest weather generally deteriorates into rain and that smart Northwesterners get bulbs into the ground FAST, unless they're like me and wait for half-price sales.

Anyway, the small-stemmed narcissi thrived, triandus (Hawera), cyclamineus (Jetfire), tazetta. These little ones looked great en masse, and didn't produce the huge volumes of daffodil hay.

The local squirrels failed to discover that crocuses are food items, so it was worth buying species crocus bulbs like so many little onions.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | September 29, 2009 3:49 PM | Report abuse

I do not know what 1337 is either, once again proving my total lack of pop culture knowledge.

In a rare almost on kit comment, the 2010 Vancouver/Whistler Winter Olympics start in just over 4 months. Commercial bombardment has begun here, I would complain but I love the winter olympics (IOC and all it's crap not so much).

I would love to see Chicago get the Olympics but I believe it is time for a South American nation to be host, am also still bitter about Atlanta cheating Toronto of the games.

Posted by: dmd3 | September 29, 2009 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Hi Wheezy!

Posted by: Raysmom | September 29, 2009 3:55 PM | Report abuse

Tomorrow's kit will be on Foreign Policy Quagmires -- or somesuch fun topic. Since porn has sent people fleeing and/or made them clam up.


Here's a question: Any boodlers want to participate in this America's Next Top Pundit thing that dot.com has cooked up? I have nothing to do with it, fyi. I'm almost a tiny bit squeamish about it. Call me crazy but I don't think punditry should be a competition, exactly. Seems to me the contest should also note the need for reporting, research, knowledge, so that it doesn't become too much of a style competition. I like to read opinion pieces by people who actually know something. A good starting point for anyone wishing to write an opinion piece is to understand that no one cares what you think, at least initially. No one gives a hoot. You have to bring something new to the table. I'm busy. Don't waste my time. Does that make sense?

Posted by: joelache | September 29, 2009 4:01 PM | Report abuse

It is my understanding that many Government Computers have a long list of Forbidden Sites, many of which involve various combinations of Naughty Words, but I have never put that perception to the test.

Nor do I plan to.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | September 29, 2009 4:03 PM | Report abuse

Yellojkt, xxx pr0n is a monster in a online text-based video game that among other things also makes fun of 1337 speak.

http://kol.coldfront.net/thekolwiki/index.php/XXX_pr0n

Beware the puns...


Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | September 29, 2009 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Anyone trying to get around government or other employer Internet blocks would do well to ask their high school kids how to do it. They are usually only one heartbeat behind the blockers.

Posted by: -TBG- | September 29, 2009 4:07 PM | Report abuse

I'm intrigued at the America's Next Top Pundit competition. Will the contestants be voted on by viewers (readers)? Will we get to text in our favorites?

We're on tsunami watch out here in the middle of the pacific. If it comes, it's supposed to hit at 1:11 p.m. How they decided on that particular minute, I don't know, but clearly they're all about details. Should be an interesting afternoon...or not.

Posted by: MiddleofthePacific | September 29, 2009 4:11 PM | Report abuse

You're right, TBG. The kids know sites you can go to which allow you to get to the sites blocked by the school.

K'guy, I'm hoping that works for my kids. The amazing EWCS (elite West Coast ...) also has study abroad which is completely covered by their financial aid. I'm assuming I have to pay for the plane tickets. Or a rowboat. But maybe not - they cover books and fees, so maybe airfare, too? Have to find out.

Posted by: Wheezy11 | September 29, 2009 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Joel:

"Why Bald Leaders are Untrustworthy...?"

"A guy who's too bald to get the girls has a lot of hate built up-- testosterone-triggered hate..."

(Discussion of male hormones and aggression follows, vs age-caused baldness)

No, I'm not entering. The prize is to comment on politics twice a week? Pass.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | September 29, 2009 4:20 PM | Report abuse

MotP, best wishes being sent your way. Are you near enough to the ocean to be in danger?

Joel, I neither write well enough nor know enough to be a pundit. I am content to just yell at the TV whenever Pat Buchanan or one of his ilk is bloviating.

As for planting daffodils, I got them in the ground now because the weather was good and I had the time. I don't think they care a lot wether they get planted now or in Oct. but November is way too late around here, I'd be in danger of frostbite planting then.

Posted by: badsneakers | September 29, 2009 4:23 PM | Report abuse

You be careful out there, MiddleofthePacific!

Posted by: -TBG- | September 29, 2009 4:26 PM | Report abuse

SCC: 'whether' - see what I mean?

Posted by: badsneakers | September 29, 2009 4:26 PM | Report abuse

And before every balding guy objects-- I was kidding.

Nobody's too bald to get the girls.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | September 29, 2009 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Sneaks. My office is right near Honolulu Harbor so if the tsunami comes from the south, it'll probably affect my building. I'm supposed to go to a meeting further inland by 1 p.m. so I'm sure I'll be out of the flood zone by then. I was just wondering what they're going to do about the ginormous cruise ship that's sitting at the dock right across the street from me...

Posted by: MiddleofthePacific | September 29, 2009 4:27 PM | Report abuse

The key to a good pundit, I assert, is that you shouldn't be able to predict what he or she is going to write. This implies something about both the topics chosen and the tone of the analysis. If the topic is always the Hot Issue of the Day sometimes there is very little new to be gleaned that can't be found a dozen other places.

Then there is the matter of tone. A good pundit should provide honest analysis and not ideological spin. If you already know how a pundit will lean on any given issue, why bother reading him or her? There is nothing new to be learned from doing so.

Alas, I fear that the way most readers evaluate pundits is on how frequently the pundits confirm what the readers already believe. Instead of true analysis what many people really crave is the warm security of unquestioning validation.

In which case it is simpler to just get a dog.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | September 29, 2009 4:31 PM | Report abuse

Let it never be said that when a call for comments went out, I shirked. Hi, ivansmom. My Okie hometown was mentioned in the New York Times magazine this Sunday, across from a full-page photo of the athletic field behind the middle school I attended (it was a "junior high" then.) (p.37)

By coincidence (?) the subject of the article is gay teenagers. This is the same subject that got my hometown featured in the Washington Post a couple of years ago.

Also by coincidence, the author of the Times article, Benoit Denizet-Lewis, is someone I've met--at a book-signing for his book on addiction entitled "America Anonymous.

Posted by: kbertocci | September 29, 2009 4:32 PM | Report abuse

Here's the close-quote for the above comment: "

Now, yellojkt, o thou font of information: I enjoy that xkcd webcomic quite a bit but it never occurred to me that "xkcd" might mean something. Does it, and if so, what?

Posted by: kbertocci | September 29, 2009 4:34 PM | Report abuse

I got one word for you Wilbrod- Ghandi.

Posted by: kguy1 | September 29, 2009 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Today's hot topic:
An unfair lack of sniff porn
For canine workers.

-Wilbrodog-

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | September 29, 2009 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Al Franken's Fingers:
Magic on a tired dog's back--
Less so in Congress

-Wilbrodog-

(Hey! that money could buy a lot of steak, right?)

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | September 29, 2009 4:37 PM | Report abuse

And in the personal reporting/boasting category, I shall report that I have done a mucha macha deed today. The postal service notified our neighborhood that all our mailboxes would have to be moved close enough to the street that the carriers can deliver the mail without leaving their vehicles. So I dug our mailbox out from where it was on our side of the sidewalk and then I dug a hole next to the street and installed the mailbox per USPS specs. Now that I've typed that up, it doesn't seem all that impressive. But I did feel pretty butch out there with my shovels.

Posted by: kbertocci | September 29, 2009 4:40 PM | Report abuse

xkcd are (is?) just random letters. Or so the artist claims. From the xkcd FAQ (don't make explain FAQ, mudge):

"What does XKCD stand for?

It's not actually an acronym. It's just a word with no phonetic pronunciation -- a treasured and carefully-guarded point in the space of four-character strings."

http://xkcd.com/about/

Posted by: yellojkt | September 29, 2009 4:40 PM | Report abuse

We are a nation
that eats meat, hunts, thus stays safe
From evil wildlife.
Anyone who says different
believes grizzlies are teddies.

-Wilbrodog-

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | September 29, 2009 4:41 PM | Report abuse

There, now, i-mom, I've done my part to boost the comment numbers. I feel like I should issue a challenge like they do on the NPR fundraisers.

Lurkers, shy people, "he who hesitates" -- just type and click on "submit," there's nothing to it.

Posted by: kbertocci | September 29, 2009 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Joel... I disagree, sir.
This is to fetch more readers,
not make them think more.

-Wilbrodog-

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | September 29, 2009 4:46 PM | Report abuse

The radio was reporting that the American Somoa Islands were hit hard by a tsunami. They were something like 200km away from the epicenter of a very strong earthquake (a 8.3R).
Hawaii is thousands of km away, that shouldn't make a very big wave out there.
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090929/ap_on_re_au_an/as_pacific_earthquake

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | September 29, 2009 4:48 PM | Report abuse

kguy-- read a few biographies on Gandhi.

You'd be surprised at how many young women he was sleeping with.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | September 29, 2009 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Good luck and be careful, middleofthepacific (aloha!).

Thanks, y'all, for stepping up, and howdy to kebertocci.

Okay, everyone else, time to hit "submit". "Howdy" will do, if you haven't got a comment on the Kit. Let's have a continuing, daily motto: "Darn the Kit! Just Hit Submit!"

Or something like that.

Posted by: Ivansmom | September 29, 2009 4:50 PM | Report abuse

The porn kit cracked me up. What were these people thinking? I always assume my employer (when I have one) is reading every email and recording every site I visit. It is safer that way.

I'm surprised at the lack of outraged drive-by trolls, though.

I can't imagine why there would be a competition for punditry. It doesn't seem to be something you can be appointed to, so much as it just grows organically out of some knowledge/reputation/self promotion nexus.

Posted by: Yoki | September 29, 2009 4:56 PM | Report abuse

The government agency for which ScienceTim and I are contractors doesn't block any websites, AFAIK.

Which means I am free to pursue my own style of pr0n, on an incidental, non-interference basis. Fortunately there's nothing in the ethics training that covers the Make blog or Ravelry.

Posted by: ScienceSpouse | September 29, 2009 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Draws words out of bones:
"Excalibur! Hail the King
Of Pompous Writing!"
The once and future pundit
Still needs Merlin as tutor...

-Sir Wilbrodog-

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | September 29, 2009 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Ivansmom! The tsunami watch has just been lifted and we're now under an advisory. That pretty much means that the chances of a tsunami for us are very minimal.

Shreik - in our history the most destructive tsunami that have hit the Hawaiian islands have come from very far away. Peru and Alaska sent us some doozies in the 40s and 60s that did some major damage to Hilo. These things tend to pick up momentum across the ocean so when there's an earthquake somewhere in the Pacific Rim, we try to pay attention.

Thankfully, today turned out to be a non-event for Hawaii. Samoa on the other hand...they've got some cleaning up to do.

Posted by: MiddleofthePacific | September 29, 2009 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Long ago I quit caring if my boss is tracking my web use or not. I will probably suffer some consequences someday from my persistent web addiction, but my habits are Achenblog, gmail, celebritology, Gawker, and Wonkette. Not work related, so what does it matter whether it's porn or not.

I do clear my cache every now and then, but it's a PITA to re-seed all my hot searches.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 29, 2009 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Street rep: big tough dog.
Self-promotion: Yes! I'm male.
Knowledge? I got friends.

-Wilbrodog-

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | September 29, 2009 5:09 PM | Report abuse

I'm appalled by the pundit contest. Seems more like something a small town newspaper would do. But maybe that's the new business model - hey, we'll have the readers write the articles too! The Seattle P-I is having readers blog, for free (the P-I is only online now and laid off most of its staff).

I know for a fact that my former very large corporation tracked what websites folks visited, and fired people who got into pornography, or even large downloads (movies).

kb, I read the David Carr book - very, very good indeed.

Posted by: seasea1 | September 29, 2009 5:12 PM | Report abuse

MoT, I'll just betcha that the surfers are excited about an incipient tsunami. *cringing at the consequences*

As for bald guys -- I always had a crush on Yul Brynner.

Posted by: -ftb- | September 29, 2009 5:14 PM | Report abuse

Patrick Stewart was voted sexiest man alive once, too.


Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | September 29, 2009 5:18 PM | Report abuse

No matter how many muscles I think I'm using to do things like paint the house, I find new ones when I dig holes in the ground. My shoulders and back are already hurting from gardening, but at least my hip feels okay. KBertocci, sounds like you may have some shoulder aches too.

I got the Guernsey book today and also one on digital photography. They should keep me occupied for a while. I've always wanted to take better photos and with the leaves ready to change and my free time I thought trying to take some good shots of fall would be fun.

Posted by: badsneakers | September 29, 2009 5:23 PM | Report abuse

Back in my investment-journalism days, it was better to be a guru than a pundit.

Senate Finance committee votes down the public option. Hmm... grrrr... According to a NYTimes poll, more people believe in UFOs than oppose the public option. Maybe we should try for covering extraterrestrial aliens instead of illegal ones.

http://mediamattersaction.org/blog/200909290001

Posted by: -TBG- | September 29, 2009 5:27 PM | Report abuse

I'm a lunch guru!
Food's my meditation;
Drool, holy water...

-Wilbrodog-

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | September 29, 2009 5:31 PM | Report abuse

Wilbrod,
By whom? I don't recall that issue of People. The full list (two of whom I saw last Saturday):

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/People_(magazine)#Sexiest_Man_Alive

Stewart was at best a token sidebar runner up.

http://www.people.com/people/archive/article/0,,20126784,00.html

Posted by: yellojkt | September 29, 2009 5:36 PM | Report abuse

1) TV Guide, I think, Yellojkt.

2) Wikipedia isn't perfect.

This was back when ST:NG was still making new shows.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | September 29, 2009 5:38 PM | Report abuse

Ah, Sexiest man on TV in 1992, by TV Guide

-- Warner Bros.com

My grandma used to read "People" magazine, I don't.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | September 29, 2009 5:42 PM | Report abuse

Heaven knows that the WaPo needs new pundits!

(That was a fine rantette, Joel; fire it up a notch or two.)

Posted by: rickoshea1 | September 29, 2009 5:43 PM | Report abuse

Pornography is one of the few types of original content available online that actually pays. If the Washington Post's news room was funded from online ad revenues, then it would be one tenth the size it is now.

Posted by: blasmaic | September 29, 2009 5:43 PM | Report abuse

You mean that the WaPo is currently running online ad revenue for free?

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | September 29, 2009 6:05 PM | Report abuse

I think s/he means that 10 times as many people will go to a "Debby Does Dallas" site than read the WaPo online, Wilbrod. Or maybe people who look at pr0n online are just wealthier, big-spender types who will make higher ad charges worthwhile. You know, not like us trailer trash.

Posted by: Wheezy11 | September 29, 2009 6:18 PM | Report abuse

Howdy Yoki. I agree - I always assume my employer tracks my Internet viewing and email. I never use gummint email for personal stuff, not even state work which could in fact be justified. I do read the paper online but toggle between it and work-related stuff. Actually they almost certainly don't track our Internet use but they could.

Posted by: Ivansmom | September 29, 2009 6:23 PM | Report abuse

I think I'm gonna try something for the punditry contest. Probably won't even get "thanks, but go away forever." I don't get any respect (I just can't bring myself to utter an ungrammatical catch-phrase. Just part of what disqualifies me for punditry).

Plus, there's the element of becoming a lightning-rod for one's employer. It's impossible to say anything interesting without offending SOMEONE's preconceived notions. Especially if you say something interesting about something that matters.

Did I just talk myself out of it? Did I just talk some of YOU out of it, and thereby lessened the breadth of the competitive field?

Posted by: ScienceTim | September 29, 2009 6:28 PM | Report abuse

"I do clear my cache every now and then, but it's a PITA to re-seed all my hot searches."
Posted by: yellojkt
* * *
My question (if I may drag us back to the topic du jour for a moment): is the above porn? 'Cause it sure sounds like it could be. . . . Hope you didn't post that from a government office, yellojkt.

-The Poster Formerly Known as Snarky Squirrel

Posted by: 7900rmc | September 29, 2009 6:31 PM | Report abuse

It is alleged that this NSF employee cost the taxpayer up to $58K. I assume this was calculated based on lost productivity - you know the same way that it is claimed that a federal snow day costs taxpayers millions of dollars.

In general this kind of financial analysis always bothers me. Such an analysis assumes that federal workers are producing widgets at the maximum possible rate on an assembly line. Shut down the line, the thinking goes, and those widgets are lost forever.

Of course, this isn't really the truth. Most federal workers, like most white collar workers everywhere, don't work that way. Missed time really can be made up through a surge of increased productivity.

So yes, I can understand how taxpayers are miffed that a civil servant is perusing forbidden websites, and the number of hours this individual wasted is certainly heroic enough to warrant serious censure, but it is important to understand that such behavior doesn't necessarily directly translate into wasted taxpayer dollars.

I mean, I hate to think of the time I spend attending meaningless meetings on things like potential plans to reorganize and optimize meeting metrics.

During which I might as well be surfing "www.ladiesinscandalousfripperies.com."

(Which isn't real. I checked.)

Posted by: RD_Padouk | September 29, 2009 6:33 PM | Report abuse

You could spin tales about people who spin fairy tales about science for political purposes.

Just don't yank any O-rings off anybody who might be in a power to call people to call people that could eject you bodily from your job.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | September 29, 2009 6:34 PM | Report abuse

7900rmc, I have a strange feeling those "hot searches" qualify as porn only if you enjoy superheated lubricant and engineering diagrams.

Buy hey, whatever greases your gears, man.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | September 29, 2009 6:36 PM | Report abuse

It is hard to balance left-overs. I have some Indian dishes from the other night, but no dahl (of which I am extremely fond). So I make dahl, and now I've got way more of that than anything else, so there will be left-over lentils after everything else is eaten.

And that means idli for breakfast!

Posted by: Yoki | September 29, 2009 6:37 PM | Report abuse

Wilbrod:

(a) the contest is to comment on news, not necessarily politics.
(b) You should acquaint yourself with the lyrics of Christine Lavin's song "Bald-Headed Men".

Posted by: ScienceTim | September 29, 2009 6:37 PM | Report abuse

I don't have enough opinions to be a pundit. Yanno, I'm okay with that.

Hey kber and Raysmom! Good to hear from you! Hope all's well!

Pron was a problem in fire stations until the department promulgated a policy forbidding surfing to such sites. I assume it still happens, but folks have made sure they don't get caught. If they do, consequences are fairly severe. Suspension, IIRC, but not termination. Of course, what normally gets firefighters fired is the stupid sh!t they do off-duty, not the stuff they do on the job.

Sneaks, you'll enjoy Guernsey.

Posted by: slyness | September 29, 2009 6:39 PM | Report abuse

Snarky Squirrel!!!

How's Morose Mole?

:-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | September 29, 2009 6:40 PM | Report abuse

That's why dogs exist, Yoki. For balance.

I'm not that fond of idli, the ones I've eaten taste like cream of wheat, but I really like a good dal.


Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | September 29, 2009 6:41 PM | Report abuse

That's OK Yoki, you'll just have to fart your day away doing online job searches. I advise against face time on a two lentil meals day.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | September 29, 2009 6:41 PM | Report abuse

b) Duly done, SciTim.

a) But what is this thing called news?

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | September 29, 2009 6:44 PM | Report abuse

Unless you are a crop-dusting expert that is. A skill I doesn't possess, unfortunately.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | September 29, 2009 6:44 PM | Report abuse

You obviously have not explored the wonder that is asafetida, shriek. The original gas-X, and all natural.

Posted by: Yoki | September 29, 2009 6:46 PM | Report abuse

Newsflash! Walk time's now!
Rapid coverage of trees
to follow. Stay tuned...

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | September 29, 2009 6:47 PM | Report abuse

Yoki, I find adequate cooking of dal (and presoaking if needed) is often sufficient for the gas issue-- carmatives such as ginger, turmeric, garlic, chili, etc. help too.

Asafoetida-- my, you have a fully Indianized palate. I will never, never learn to like that spice.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | September 29, 2009 6:53 PM | Report abuse

Asafetida, do they make dog food with that stuff?

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | September 29, 2009 6:54 PM | Report abuse

You could simmer some up in some chicken broth and pour it over the VLP's food. Who knows if it works on dogs? Probably.

Posted by: Yoki | September 29, 2009 7:16 PM | Report abuse

yellojkt, thanks for that xkcd info. Looking in the FAQs for me is so much like "let me Google that for you" that I would be embarrassed if I had any pride at all.

I am gratified to know that it doesn't mean anything. I had assumed as much. It took me ages to be able to remember it. But I found that if I Googled "webcomic" it would be at the top of the list. [Pausing to check. Yep, it still works] So that meant I didn't try too hard to memorize it.

seasea--Yes, _The Night of the Gun_ was a fascinating read, one that is still rather haunting months later in retrospect.

Hi, slyness.

Posted by: kbertocci | September 29, 2009 7:40 PM | Report abuse

Yoki, I feel like such an Ontarian (old school) after reading your posts about food, I have never heard of any of those items.

Note to Frosti, New Rick Mercer begins in 20 minutes - eastern time. Will have to flip between SYTYCDC and Mercer.

Posted by: dmd3 | September 29, 2009 7:41 PM | Report abuse

Science Spouse! kbertocci! This is cool.

The first government computer I had with Web access only allowed a few .com sites. This site was there and the New York Times, but not USA Today's site. In my current job, I'm in charge of this and there are no limits to what my small group of employees can access. My power is limited, however, because if I tried to place some limits on it, I'd probably get fired.

Posted by: -pj- | September 29, 2009 8:30 PM | Report abuse

I remember one day at my old job when I couldn't access any WaPo blogs. I asked our IT director if any sites had been blocked and he just laughed and said, "why would I do that?"

Posted by: -TBG- | September 29, 2009 9:09 PM | Report abuse

Everybody, stop and listen up!

Cassandra just called to say that she's fine but her computer is in the shop and she stopped the cable till she gets it back. She said to tell everybody that she misses us and wants to be back as soon as she can.

I told her that we've missed her terribly and love her and she said she misses and loves us.

SUCH a relief! It was wonderful to hear her voice, and I'm grateful to know that she's okay.

Posted by: slyness | September 29, 2009 9:17 PM | Report abuse

Yay, Cassandra! Thank you so much, slyness!

My past 3 jobs have run the gamut. Academia, no Internet restrictions whatsoever, financial institution, lots of restrictions (but not on news sites, financial sites), hospital, well, people have noted my mad Blackberry skillz in the past weeks because recreational Internet access on the work computers is highly discouraged. Everyone I work with has a BB or iPhone to compensate.

When *I* ran work networks back in the dark ages, it wasn't uncommon for hundreds of people to be sharing a few hundred Gb. Most of that would end up entailed to 1 or 2 people downloading a lot of pr0n. We'd run out of space, I'd ask people to delete personal files and one contacted me a day later to say he'd deleted his pr0n by mistake and could I restore all 70 Gb of it? Um, no.

One can debate *wasted* time, but companies also regularly buy more hardware, software, bandwidth, etc., to compensate for employees' surfing. Not that there's anything wrong with that (I'd like to be in pj's shoes again), but it adds into overall cost.

Posted by: -dbG- | September 29, 2009 9:36 PM | Report abuse

Wonderful news Slyness, I got a little teary eyed.

Posted by: dmd3 | September 29, 2009 9:39 PM | Report abuse

Great news, Slyness! Thank you!

Posted by: -pj- | September 29, 2009 9:43 PM | Report abuse

Thank you, slyness. That is great news! It may seem odd that so many of us were so concerned, but I don't actually find it odd at all. Not only are we used to hearing from Cassandra regularly, I think she's an important Boodle voice. Ivansdad and the Boy will be glad too - they were also worried.

Posted by: Ivansmom | September 29, 2009 9:44 PM | Report abuse

In addition to being such a great soul, Cassandra has a unique way of reducing a difficult, complicated situation to a few clear words - and being completely right. I miss her wisdom.

Posted by: slyness | September 29, 2009 9:50 PM | Report abuse

Slyness, you said it perfectly. I am so happy that she called you, I felt my heart lift up when I read your post.

Posted by: badsneakers | September 29, 2009 9:56 PM | Report abuse

Good evening, all.

Just a couple of notes about accessing the Web at work. You can clear your browser caches all you want to, but if you're going through a corporate or government firewall, everything you access will be recorded and logged *there,* even if certain accesses are not just out-and-out blocked from a reference file/list of sites constructed by the IT and security folks (usually the user receives a "Site Verboten!" message.)

And many log analysis tools can scan those files for such things as the word "p0rn," and autmagically flag and forward such incidents to an analyst, who could investigate and determine if further action is warranted. The real trick is to not get their attention at all, and trigger an investigation like that guy at the NSF.

The word "porn" in a filename (see the address above) is one way to trigger a firewall log flag, if the firewall manager and compliance/security analysts have configured it that way.

Done enough work in that area myself to have some understanding of what's possible and how it can work.

And I have no interest in being on the business end of it.

bc

Posted by: -bc- | September 29, 2009 9:58 PM | Report abuse

Whew, getting home too late for Rick Mercer (thanks for the attempt dmd!) would be a lot harder to take if we hadn't had news of Cassandra.
Thanks Slyness!

Just got home from a "Community Literacy Summit" that's been 6 months in the planning by a small team of reading zealots. I managed to make the closing remarks without passing out, which is success in my book. I did rather like my opening line - "My interest in literacy comes from being intimately involved with the subjects of a 30 year + longitudinal study. My husband prefers to call them our children..."

The pundit contest seems more reasonable than some ways people become pundits. After 9-11 it seemed like everyone from Mr. F's War College class was approached by some network. Very disconcerting to see someone whose opinion you never bothered to listen too much at a cocktail party appearing on TV as an "expert."

Off to back boodle thoroughly.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | September 29, 2009 10:05 PM | Report abuse

whew! Thanks for the Cassandra sighting, Slyness. We were all so worried.

Cassandra, Don't do that again!!!

Posted by: rickoshea1 | September 29, 2009 10:13 PM | Report abuse

By discussing government porn and Obama together, you have given amunition to the vast right wing conspiracy. The right wingers will say that the Washington Post closely associates Obama with government porn; that Obama is mired in government porn; and that Obama gets an extra charge from competitive athletics when it is mixed with porn.

Posted by: esch | September 29, 2009 10:21 PM | Report abuse

Good news about Cassandra. It's funny how familiar voices are so conspicuous when missing. I hope she is back online soon.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 29, 2009 10:27 PM | Report abuse

Having some good news from Cassandra is a very good thing.
I'm just back from walking the dogz an I regret not having worn gloves. It's not that cold (8C/high 40sF) but it's been wet and the night is windy. The baseball cap/tilley hat season will soon be over as well. *sigh*
I've got to say logging on porn sites from work is so dumb it rates as one of those Darwinian obstacle to having a life. We HAD a lawyer in our section doing that a few years back. The sad SOB was soon gone in a cloud of dust. Good riddance, who needs a dumb lawyer?

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | September 29, 2009 10:27 PM | Report abuse

Thinking a bit about the Post Pundit thingy, and, well... it's interesting.

Joel, I'm somewhat amused by your "don't waste my time" position. I agree with you, but it seems to me that an awful lot of the Internet is consumed for just that reason.

Granted, that's not at all what the Post is about, but the competition for online eyeballs isn't always about news and information -- sometimes it's about other stuff like (sing it, yello!).

Should the Post be considering all of the Internet their online competition, or just news/information/content sources and aggergators?

And if so, why *not* have a competition? I understand the credibility concern, but how big an issue is that versus bringing in advertising dollars?

Perhaps call it, "So You Think You Can Write?"

bc

Posted by: -bc- | September 29, 2009 10:29 PM | Report abuse

I like your "So You Think You Can Write?" idea bc. I'm not sure it would generate much TV ratings though.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | September 29, 2009 10:31 PM | Report abuse

So in my continual effort to wine and dine my wife on the cheap I sign up for this wine tasting sponsored by WaPo and featuring fine Australian wines (bouquet of an aborigine's armpit and all that) but it's upstairs from Joel's office which is a push for me to get to from B-more.

Traffic's dreadful and to give myself more time to let the blood alcohol lower on the way home we take the Orange Line from New Carrollton (and just where the frak is Old Carrollton anyways?) to McPherson Square.

The original plan was to grab a quick bite on the way but it's now way past McCormick and Schmick happy hour and the Cosi on 15th is already locked down. I say that surely they have some noshes at WaPo World Headquarters to help wash down the grapes. We get there at 7:30 one hour into the event and there is not a tray to be seen. One guest has a small plastic plate full of cheese. I ask him where he got it and he gives me a piece out of pity.

(more)

Posted by: yellojkt | September 29, 2009 10:33 PM | Report abuse

Very reassuring to have word from Cassandra.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | September 29, 2009 10:35 PM | Report abuse

So I wander back to the check-in desk and ask where the munchies are. The very nice young lady droops her shoulders in resignation and says, "Everybody must have come hungry. We ordered TWICE as much as we needed and we ran out."

I have no idea how much twice as much is for a wine tasting but if you run out half way through your event perhaps the estimate was a little off. I figure that the wine is being fronted out of the marketing money for the winery.

That leaves the rest of the overhead as being the overtime for the receptionist and the salary of the two (did I mention they were very nice?) people manning the front table. They sure didn't spend anything on decor, because believe me, the WPWH lobby could use a fresh coat of paint and can't be in much demand for catered events no matter how cool the Herblock retrospective is.

For ten bucks a person I can do a pretty nice Subway/Chick-Fil-A spread that will last longer than sixty minutes. So we do the circuit of the wines. To stay conscious on our empty stomachs we do the spin and spit unless the wine is really good. We concur on the pinot grigot and the syrah, but after thirty minutes we have milked it for all its worth.

(more)

Posted by: yellojkt | September 29, 2009 10:45 PM | Report abuse

"I just want to say that with Pee-Wee Herman's arrest and all this stuff going on now, that pornography has really gotten a bad rap lately and I want to say for the record: I LOVE PORNOGRAPHY! LOVE IT! I got tapes that are pure f%$#ing art! I LOVE IT!"

- Bill Hicks

Posted by: revbookburn | September 29, 2009 10:49 PM | Report abuse

At that point we both concur that a pit stop at Georgia Brown's on the way back to the Metro is in order. The place is still hopping on a Tuesday night long after the sidewalks would have been rolled up in HoCo. We are able to snag a high top table and we count our blessings that smoke-free bars are nearly universal north of Tobacco Road.

Needing to watch my girlish figure I order light and go with the appetizer order of deep-fried catfish fingers with tartar sauce and bleu cheese slaw. Just so I don't starve, I get a side of mac and cheese as well, which is very good but not in the neighborhood of Art Smith's (yes, I am both jaded and spoiled).

My wife gets some sort of low country variation of jambalaya that goes by another name. The serving is large enough to sate her and still leave a doggie bag big enough for lunches for the rest of the week.

Having made a success of the evening, I read the smutty City Paper advice columns all the way back to the end of the Orange line and head home.

While I am intrigued at WaPo's valiant attempt to broaden their market base by entering the vino huckstering market, somehow I think the horsey doovers might have lasted a little longer if I had ponied up for one of Kate's (I can call her Kate, can't I?) influence peddling shindigs. Such is life.

(finis)

Posted by: yellojkt | September 29, 2009 10:59 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps the boodle should enter the punditry contest as a syndicate. Topics could be addressed according to expertise and interest. Think about the breadth and depth we have here folks. Every time you refresh the boodle you never know if you'll get astrophysics explained or a support group meeting for Gleeks.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | September 29, 2009 11:01 PM | Report abuse

You're such a man of the world yello. I admit I could survive on wine alone for a few days or more though. Genetics and extensive training help.

A 507 carat stone. It looks good too.
http://www.canada.com/business/fp/Gleam+returning+diamond+sector/2047885/story.html

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | September 29, 2009 11:05 PM | Report abuse

yello, that multi-post serial was great. Really. Pity you didn't have any cereal.

Posted by: Yoki | September 29, 2009 11:14 PM | Report abuse

Good we will soon be hearing from Cassandra again!

Posted by: nellie4 | September 29, 2009 11:24 PM | Report abuse

Daring to go back on topic, I promised some pictures of nekkid wimmin I got from some place where people continually run up and down the steps shaking their hands over their heads.

This one has not one but three chicks that have forgotten their clothes.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/yellojkt/3968149482/

It's a collage of four separate photos so you really owe it to yourself to look at the original size version as well.

And then there is this topless babe:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/yellojkt/3967309042/

And finally, this is a long-time favorite of mine that I find absolutely riveting. I just can't take my eyes off of it:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/yellojkt/3966533511/

All you gummint workers, enjoy.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 29, 2009 11:46 PM | Report abuse

Yup, I killed it. Good night.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 30, 2009 12:58 AM | Report abuse

Yes, yello, you sure did. Looks very dead to me. :-)

On kit : Are IT people able to block websites that are not in English but in some other European languages or Asian languages?

Posted by: rainforest1 | September 30, 2009 2:19 AM | Report abuse

I'm baaack.

Cross-post from the Moraes on TV blog:

"Because viewers -- who do the other half of the voting -- have absolutely no idea who Ireland is. Bye bye, Kathy Ireland."

That sentence has made me feel far far older than my 45-year-old body is. How can anyone not know who Kathy Ireland is?

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/tvblog/2009/09/dancing-with-delay-tango-trip-.html?wprss=tvblog

Posted by: yellojkt | September 30, 2009 6:26 AM | Report abuse

Maureen Dowd wrote a tribute to Bill Safire that mentioned a lot of unmentionables.

http://dowdreport.blogspot.com/2009/09/safire-on-lingerie.html

Posted by: Mo_MoDo | September 30, 2009 6:31 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, Boodle. Not much opportunity to Boodle today--the gummint is giving me a new computer and I have to take my old one in to my company HQ. Will be there most of the day, no idea what computer access I will have, if any. See ya when I see ya.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | September 30, 2009 6:50 AM | Report abuse

Make sure to clear your browser cache first, mudge. More than one civil servant has been brought down by images on his hard drive he didn't know he had anymore.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 30, 2009 6:53 AM | Report abuse

Morning, all. Maybe I should clean out the browser cache on my home computer. You never know who will be looking.

It's Bible study day, so last night I read over the first three chapters in I Chronicles that we will look at today. OMG, I have to read the geneaology out loud. From Adam to David to the fall of Judah in 586 b.c. I will NOT get the pronunciation right on even a minority of these names.

A cool 48 in the Piedmont this morning. That calls for long pants and a jacket for comfort during my walk. It's time, I'm not going to complain.

Like Mudge, I'll be mostly out today but will check in when I can. You all behave yourselves.

Posted by: slyness | September 30, 2009 7:05 AM | Report abuse

I don't know why anyone looks at pr0n, anymore. All you have to do is go to work or the mall and you'll see plenty of skin. There's so much mam on display out there I feel like I'm in the dairy barn at the State Fair every day.

MoooOOOOOO! ! !

Posted by: KBoom | September 30, 2009 7:20 AM | Report abuse

bc,
Re: your 9:58 PM yesterday.

I am just beginning to grok the irony of risking detection by The IT Crowd (obscure Britcom call-out) for continually refreshing an article about people getting fired for surfing pr0n at work.

And it also reminded me that nobody has namechecked my second most favorite Avenue Q song yet.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cNARJPNz2CA

The Sesame Street characters really take this version over the top.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 30, 2009 7:31 AM | Report abuse

To state what is probably obvious, bc's comments about the router log apply to anyone who has a wireless router at home. One of the settings is to create a periodic log of all websites visited. I discovered this several years ago after my teenaged son had crashed the system with malicious viruses for the second time.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | September 30, 2009 7:47 AM | Report abuse

OK, I'm somewhat surprised my office PC can get to this Kit...

Slyness, thanks for passing along the good word about Cassandra!

*sorta-kinda-glad-to-be-back-in-the-office Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | September 30, 2009 7:53 AM | Report abuse

Probably my fourth or fifth favorite Avenue Q song is "If You Were Gay". It came as no surprise that there was a Bert and Ernie mash-up of it, but I really had no idea there were Spongebob Squarepants and Ed, Edd n Eddy versions as well. Which is why I was late to work (but not much later than usual) and didn't have time to read the dead trees WaPo today. I can bring a not tomorrow if I need to.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 30, 2009 8:18 AM | Report abuse

slyness, thanks so much for the Cassandra update. I've been lurking lately and was concerned about her.

Posted by: Raysmom | September 30, 2009 8:34 AM | Report abuse

Supply your own punch line...

"A Canadian circus tycoon, an American astronaut and a Russian cosmonaut blasted off in a spacecraft from the Kazakh steppe Wednesday on a journey to the International Space Station."

:-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | September 30, 2009 8:38 AM | Report abuse

yellojkt--bring on the BBC refs because I'm onto all of them. The IT Crowd, I've seen all the episodes; my boy Noel Fielding played vampiresque Richmond in the first series (that's Brit for season). Which leads to another connection => If You Were Gay, Avenue Q to Bert & Ernie to Noel, who is one of the gayest (and most beautiful and glamorous) heterosexual men on the planet. Here's the Youtube video that someone put a lot of effort into making, as homage to Noel's character Vince Noir:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WGAxkyp406M

I have not yet seen all the episodes of The Mighty Boosh, but I'm working on it, in my "spare time," as it were. Also, at my daughter's behest, have been working through "Black Books," and on general principles have watched most of "Little Britain." And I have discovered Catherine Tate, she's a right laugh, dead funny, as I would say if I were English. Hey, English is my native language, I guess I can speak it in any vernacular I choose. Blimey, I ain't half independent and that, bein' American and all.

Now I'm off to bicycle to library and grocery store. Ta-ta, all--

Posted by: kbertocci | September 30, 2009 8:38 AM | Report abuse

I forgot to mention, in support of my above claim about Mr. Fielding, that there is a cute song by the band known as Federal Drugs Administration--the song is called "Androgynoel." The first verse starts, "She wishes her boyfriend looked more like Noel Fielding" and the last verse starts, "He wishes his girlfriend looked more like Noel Fielding..."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V481Z-EIXYk

And now nobody in the boodle can say he's never heard of Noel Fielding.

Posted by: kbertocci | September 30, 2009 8:50 AM | Report abuse

And here I was thinking I was the gayest straight man in America. Well, if Noel is British I may still be able to hold the title.

I make this claim on the strength of my Saturday trip to New York where I:
∙Had brunch in Chelsea
∙Saw 'Next To Normal' (which is not gay in and of itself, but getting Alice Ripley to autograph the prop I got hit with pushes it)
∙Caught a cabaret show at Don't Tell Mama (could be gayer since the performer was a Latina lady but we did meet the Judy Garland impersonator sans drag while waiting at the bar)
∙Saw 'A Steady Rain' with previous and current Sexiest Men Alive Daniel Craig and Hugh Jackman
∙Took stalker paparazzi photos of Jude Law.

Hmmm. That is pretty gay. Maybe I need to rethink a few things.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 30, 2009 9:00 AM | Report abuse

New Kit!! :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | September 30, 2009 9:13 AM | Report abuse

Your comment submission failed for the following reasons:

Too many comments have been submitted from you in a short period of time. Please try again in a short while.
I Mom, I tried to 'hot and submit' twice and got this nasty response. seems Wapo isn't interested in the number of posts.
Been too busy working to post. Only get to boodle early in the morning and off in the outdoors the rest of day. Then too tired to face the puter in the evening. just watch the DVD of David before retiring.

Posted by: bh72 | September 30, 2009 12:08 PM | Report abuse

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