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Hysterics On the Loose

Is it my imagination or in recent years has hysteria become the default response to anything even slightly controversial or offensive?

So the head of Whole Foods says in an Op-Ed that he doesn't like the health care reform proposals. Liberals are aghast. The company must be boycotted! We'll make Whole Foods sorry it ever tried to mess with us! I'm with Michael Pollan on this one.

Via Memeorandum -- a very useful site that unfortunately is turning into Hysteria Roundup -- we see this kerfuffle over a print ad invoking 9/11, supposedly associated with the World Wildlife Fund, officials of which say they know nothing about it. The ad ran in an obscure newspaper -- in Brazil. Conservatives are going bonkers over it.

Here's another: the White House collaborated with the Education Department on some kind of instructions to ask schoolkids to write essays on how they could "help the president" on something or other -- clearly Orwellian! Who's running the country, Chairman Mao???? The White House is now playing clean up.

We need an Anti-Hysteria Czar in this country. Someone whose job it is to say "Move along folks, nothing to see here."


In the Times piece on Ted Kennedy's memoir (the Times always nabs these books in advance -- wonder if it's the same publishing source every time), there's this passage on a meeting betwixt Kennedy and Ronald Reagan:

The senator said it had been difficult to get Reagan to focus on policy matters. He described a meeting with him that he and other senators had sought to press for shoe and textile import limits.

The senators were told that they would have just 30 minutes with the president. Reagan began the meeting, the book said, commenting on Mr. Kennedy's shoes -- asking if they were Bostonians -- and then talking for 20 minutes about shoes and his experience selling shoes for his father. "Several of us began conspicuously to glance at our watches." But to no avail. "And it was over!" Mr. Kennedy said. "No one got a word in about shoe or textile quota legislation."

That's classic Reagan, and it's never clear if he's as clueless and out to lunch as he comes off, or simply has no interest in doing what Kennedy wants him to do. What happened to that quota legislation?


Washington Monthly has put out a set of college rankings, an attempt to compete with U.S. News. Here's the Monthly's criteria:

"We rate schools based on their contribution to the public good in three broad categories: Social Mobility (recruiting and graduating low-income students), Research (producing cutting-edge scholarship and PhDs), and Service (encouraging students to give something back to their country)."

Fine -- these are important virtues -- but what about teaching? What size are the classes? What's the social life like? What percentage of students graduate? If I'm college-shopping with my kid, I'm going to be more focused on what my kid's experience will be like than on whether the school cranks out a lot of PhDs (when you're checking out schools at the age of 17, who cares about the grad programs?). And, no, this is not simply me being sniffy because my alma mater got hosed. Too often universities focus so much on having academic superstars and Nobel laureates that they forget to pay attention to the basics of instruction. Teaching and whatnot.


I say they should have picked George Stephanopoulos. Nothing against Diane Sawyer. It's great that the evening news is turning into a matriarchy -- I'm all for that. But George would be a more dramatic pick, someone who would shake up that time slot. He's the future over there. Why not give him a chance -- he might look green at first, but he'll figure it out.

By Joel Achenbach  |  September 3, 2009; 8:16 AM ET
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Next: Astronauts in Sweat Pants


Wow, I wouldn't have thought of George, but you may be right boss. It's not like Sawyer is going to be around long enough to build a franchise.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | September 3, 2009 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Let the listeria hysteria begin

Posted by: frostbitten1 | September 3, 2009 10:10 AM | Report abuse

I think Joel is doing a pretty good job as anti-hysteria czar.

Posted by: Yoki | September 3, 2009 10:22 AM | Report abuse

What's Joel got against Def Leppard, anyway??

Oh, sorry, wrong Hysteria...

Posted by: Scottynuke | September 3, 2009 10:25 AM | Report abuse

I was Mudged. From last Boodle:

"Happy Birthday to Scottynuke!!!

A quick glance at the Boodle reveals Mudge, standing Adonis-like and waving his crab and lobster claws like some sort of movie monster octopi gone mad, pursued by hordes of Boodle women waving little hammers and mallets. Okay.

Last night the Boy belatedly discovered the joys of fireworks sparklers. I may have delayed this important developmental milestone but let it not be said I neglected it entirely. Much joy was had by all."

I agree that there is way too much free-floating hysteria. Often I think of my job as saying "move along folks". I'm also fond of telling people who get very exercised over something or other that [whatever it is] is not about them, so they should take a deep breath. Where appropriate, of course. I keep having to give myself the same advice. Hysteria is catching.

Posted by: Ivansmom | September 3, 2009 10:26 AM | Report abuse

Actually, I think E.J. has already got the post, per his op-ed today. E.J. ends by essentially saying that the media isn't as liberal as most folk think. As noted in his piece, more and more media types are looking for the salable photo op or sound bite. A pan shot of a civil town hall meeting doesn't sell the cereal; Four or five shouters saying evil things to some congressperson makes the 6:00, and that is what 30 million people see and may be swayed that this is a "big deal". I've come around to the opinion that there is no such thing as jouralistic ethics in cyberspace, and that term is rapidly becoming an oxymoron in broadcast media as well. There may be some ethics left in the print media, but as we've all noted, fewer and fewer people care about that any more.

Posted by: ebtnut | September 3, 2009 10:32 AM | Report abuse

I almost got mudged.
Here on the left coast crab means Dungeness.

The season begins just before Thanksgiving. Big meaty two pounders, one per person. Boil, pull off the back and rinse. pull off the legs, break the body in half. Give all the legs a rap with a mall, hammer, screwdriver handle, etc. Break off the point of one of the smaller legs and starting picking out luscious chunks of meat. Some like to drizzle a little lemon juice. Break the half body into pieces of rich white buttery meat.
Of course served in a pile on newspapers. Big bowl for discarded shell pieces. Save the claws for last best pieces. Slight cracking will allow the pulling out the whole pieces with your claw point.
This is often served in lieu of turkey for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner. Doesn't put one to sleep during the football game after.

Posted by: bh72 | September 3, 2009 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Oh, and I predict that George S. will get the job when Diane steps down. The ABC suits probably think he needs some more grey hair to have the "gravitas" to be a network anchor.

Posted by: ebtnut | September 3, 2009 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Happy, happy birthday, S'nuke Overindulge, I say!

Mmmmm lobster roll! Just NOT at McDonalds!
(backboodling like crazy)

Have a wonderful day, Al. It's cool and overcast in Tidewater. My daughter and I were supposed to go to the beach. I guess we'll just have to shop instead.

Posted by: Kim1 | September 3, 2009 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Oh, I forgot, A couple loaves of crusty San Francisco french bread, with real butter.

Posted by: bh72 | September 3, 2009 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Bugs! You people are talking about eating bugs! This makes me very hysterical!

BTW, I will not be able to attend the IBPHCF. Enjoy the devastation that you will be wreaking upon the crustaceans, treyf bug-beasts that they are.

Posted by: ScienceTim | September 3, 2009 10:50 AM | Report abuse

I've been boycotting Whole Foods for years... not over their CEO's opinions but in protest against their insanely high prices.

And I don't think that WWF ad actually ran in anything. It was a comp done by an ad agency in Brazil and the WWF said NFW to it.

OK, then... move along everyone.

Posted by: -TBG- | September 3, 2009 10:51 AM | Report abuse

"Mudged." I've become a household word. My mother would be so proud.

(And secretly I'm proud I didn't mudge myself this morning, after about three kits in a row.)

Just finished my work, will probably have nothing to do for the rest of the day. Which is good. I can always find a novel to write, or something.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | September 3, 2009 10:51 AM | Report abuse

Well, I think Pod People have taken over the Boodle. Someone drops a line like "I've only had crabs once, and truly, I didn't really enjoy it" and... NOTHING. No reaction at all! tsk, tsk...

Posted by: Jumper1 | September 3, 2009 10:56 AM | Report abuse

I think this column is a scandal and its author must be flayed alive. Who does he think he is to say we can't be hysterical 24-7. Yes we can!

bh72 obviously had a better experience than mine with the Humongous West Coast crabs.

Speaking of West Coast, I'm trying to schedule a trip to Lewiston ID and I'm laughing. Here are a few examples of itineraries some helpful website has pulled for me:
The Capital Run

The Long March to the West
Ottawa-Chicago-Las Vegas-Salt lake City-Lewiston

All the way left, then down then back to the right.

I think I'll try Spokane next.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | September 3, 2009 10:59 AM | Report abuse

It's a question of stature. Diane Sawyer is 5'9". George Stephanopoulos is 5'6". In order to get to sit at the anchor desk, you must be able to see over it.

Posted by: kguy1 | September 3, 2009 11:01 AM | Report abuse

"I'm trying to schedule a trip to Lewiston ID"

Well... that's your first problem, Shriek.

Posted by: -TBG- | September 3, 2009 11:02 AM | Report abuse

I got to Lewiston by flying to Seattle, then Pullman, then driving to Lewiston.

Yes, I've really been there. I think. Not much there to distinguish it, unlike Moscow, ID, which has the Slurp 'n' Burp.

Posted by: ScienceTim | September 3, 2009 11:06 AM | Report abuse

*Hysterically shouting out a GINORMOUS HBTY to Snukes*

If you all promise not to tell anybody, when I was in law school -- around 30 years ago (*gasp*) one of my friends made brownies. You know -- *brownies*. One of my classmates and I were driving my car back to Michigan from New Hampsha after both having eaten said brownies. In one complete trip, IIRC. He was driving. We were on the Ohio Turnpike by this time, perhaps just over the border from Pennsylvania, and I was sleeping most of the time. When I woke up from any of my naps, I was laughing hysterically. Really. And then we came upon an accident, whereupon I sobered up really, really fast, almost to the point of shedding a tear. And, once we were immediately past the accident I burst out into hysterical laughter again. I will never, never forget that.

Brownies simply haven't tasted the same since. And I never indulged in *brownies* again after that.


Had a firm conference call this morning. Our paralegal is in her first year of law school at a nearby Northern VA law school, known for its occasional Nobel Prize winners and other things. So, she's in her law-and-economics class where the professor is spouting out about the health care plans being bandied about -- AND - talking all about the "death panels" and how Obama wants to kill everyone's grandmas. She said that the students were predominantly Repubs, as are the professors. She hates it, but will hunker down for 3 years and "blend in" as she calls it.


Posted by: -ftb- | September 3, 2009 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Not to mention the home of the Appaloosa Horse Club, Tim.

*faxing Scotty a cupcake with one of those candles you can't blow out* Happy Birthday!

Sorry about the mess (and the fire) in the fax machine.

Posted by: Raysmom | September 3, 2009 11:09 AM | Report abuse

I'm outraged at CBS' discrimination again Greek-Americans!

Posted by: -TBG- | September 3, 2009 11:13 AM | Report abuse

SCC: against


Posted by: -TBG- | September 3, 2009 11:14 AM | Report abuse
Chapulines. I once fried a grasshopper in butter, and offered it to my friend's chow-shepherd cross. That dog smiled at me and "said" "there's no way I'm tasting that thing."

Posted by: Jumper1 | September 3, 2009 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Boodle Challenge:

Take any headline from the WaPo and manufacture some ire about it. Such as:

FAA Orders Replacement of Airbus Sensors

What? Another unfunded government mandate? I suppose this means another increase in airfares or those ridulous luggage fees. Why can't the pilots just judge their speed by looking at landmarks like everyone else? I suppose it serves the airlines right for buying those POS French airplanes in the first place.

Posted by: Raysmom | September 3, 2009 11:15 AM | Report abuse

ftb... when my uncle died his family requested donations be made to a chair in that law school. We sent our money to a different chair at the University instead. Just couldn't bring myself to follow his wishes.

Posted by: -TBG- | September 3, 2009 11:16 AM | Report abuse

"Suspect Walks Out of Hospital"

What?!? You mean his insurance actually paid for his recovery?!?

Posted by: -TBG- | September 3, 2009 11:19 AM | Report abuse

We do not need any Czars; This is not Russia !!!

Posted by: nahcotta7 | September 3, 2009 11:22 AM | Report abuse

HWCC's tasted similar to Maryland Blue Crabs (which are more likely to be from South Carolina or Louisiana depending on the season) but much more filling. I heartily endorse bigger crabs. A nice plate of king crabs is the ultimate in lazy picking.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 3, 2009 11:22 AM | Report abuse

Why don't you mention the mob hysteria at townhall meetings? The daily spectacle of enraged people -- who cannot even articulate why they are so enraged -- screaming insults at Obama, the speakers, and participants, is a sad commentary on the state of American education and political discourse.

Posted by: Gatsby10 | September 3, 2009 11:24 AM | Report abuse

I think that the hysteria is because of information overload. When you have more and more voices talking at the same time you need to speak louder and louder in order to be heard. Of course, the way out is to recognize that some voices really are more important than others, even if they speak in soft measured tones. But this isn't the way the world works anymore, as Memeorandum clearly indicates.

I used to really enjoy that site, but now it is like looking under a rock. I don't know if it is being deliberately gamed or if we are seeing an innate weakness in its sorting methodology, but the end result is the same. Stories end up ranked by the number of sites that regurgitate them.

Speaking of rankings, I think that listing of colleges is absurd for the reasons Joel points out. If all kids were the same then such rankings might make sense, but different kids have different educational wants and needs. What matters is if there is a right fit.

I mean, it's like finding a date for the Prom. Maybe some guys want the bubble-headed cheerleader who giggles a lot. But others lads fancy the brilliant young lady who talks constantly and favors dark clothing.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | September 3, 2009 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Speaking of hysteria (and lack thereof)...

How many swine flu cases did it take to close schools last year? According to this article there have been over 1600 cases at colleges and universities and classes have just started.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 3, 2009 11:33 AM | Report abuse

As far as colleges getting hosed. Look. My alma mater doesn't even have a graduate program. As far as I can tell it didn't even make the list. But I think it does a pretty bang-up job for the kids that choose to go there.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | September 3, 2009 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Oops, I just noted that my college is on the "Liberal Arts" list. And that it ranked extremely high. So clearly I was wrong in indicting this list. Clearly it is speaking truth because it tells me what I like to hear.

And this is what is wrong with 'merica.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | September 3, 2009 11:40 AM | Report abuse

I'm with Gatsby10. I'm outraged that Joel didn't mention a specific outrageous example of the outrageous hysteria gripping the country.

Posted by: Ivansmom | September 3, 2009 11:41 AM | Report abuse

An FB friend has expressed concern that the following would not be understood as satire:

Death is the economics of nature. You should die if you cannot afford health care. However, if you kill someone else for money, you should get a fee that covers your health costs -- it's only fair. Going broke due to sickness is a natural motivator to get better and go to work.

Followed by a comment on the complementary arithmetic of child-birth, to which I replied:

You should be denied health care only if you yourself cannot afford the costs of giving birth, or if you are a sentimental poor person and insist that the child live post-partum. The possibility of execution is something that poor women should consider before sinfully getting knocked up. Paid neonatal care for the newborn child is possible but, of course, it is liberal coddling. If a newborn baby really deserved care, he or she would have the resources to pay for it. Out of consideration for the child's immature status, perhaps he could receive a loan for deferred repayment, at current market rates.

This discussion prompted a citation of "numerous" free clinics in major cities as indicating that poor people have access to all the free health care they require, which provoked my last response (so far!) on this thread:

(1) We have many non-major cities. Do they have free clinics?
(2) Are the free clinics demand-limited, or resource-limited? I believe they are resource-limited.
(3) It still takes time to go there and wait through triage -- difficult for a low-wage worker who doesn't get paid sick leave.
(4) The U.S. is still a largely rural nation, and cities do not have a monopoly on poverty.
Urban free clinics are a Band-Aid™ over a gaping metaphoric wound. Better than nothing, but not a meaningful solution without vastly greater resources. Which is the point of health-insurance and heath-care reform.


So, can we summon a little hysterical outrage here? Or has everyone used up their lifetime supply?

Posted by: ScienceTim | September 3, 2009 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Europe Eyes Oracle, Sun Deal

What! No wonder our health care system is so much more innovative they're still consulting frickin' oracles and sun dials. Oh, that was deal, not dial. Never mind.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | September 3, 2009 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Well, Gatsby, you just did. . . . .we are not inclined to do it for you, as you have shown terrific capability all on your own. The boodle is dependent on everyone contributing his/her own where there might be apparent gaps. Or not. . . .

BTW, front page alert. Did anyone mow the lane to the bunker? I almost said "grassed over lane to the bunker" but in light of my earlier post, I decided not to.

You know. . . .

Posted by: -ftb- | September 3, 2009 11:42 AM | Report abuse

I like your idea Raysmom, but unfortunately it’s not that far from what actually happens these days. Between mentions of Hitler and people freaking out about the use of the word ‘Czar’ (which, by the way, was a usage not started by Obama but by I believe either Nixon or Reagan-can’t remember), hysteria is the only word that fits these outbursts by people with brains the size of gnats. I’ve given up wondering why people don’t look at these foolish claims with some logic, they can’t or won’t, much more exciting to get in a lather and maybe get to see themselves on TV. Ugh!

Posted by: badsneakers | September 3, 2009 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Awright, awright. [insert way too late only-had-crabs-once joke here]

Speaking of hysteria, if this isn't on-kit I don't know what is:,0,1692968,print.story

Man's Finger Bitten Off in Scuffle at Health Care Rally


4:08 AM PDT, September 3, 2009

THOUSAND OAKS -- A 65-year-old man had his finger bitten off Wednesday evening at a health care rally in Thousand Oaks, according to the Ventura County Sheriff's Department.

Sheriff's investigators were called to Hillcrest and Lynn Road at 7:26 p.m.

About 100 protesters sponsored by were having a rally supporting health care reform. A group of anti-health care reform protesters formed across the street.

A witness from the scene says a man was walking through the anti-reform group to get to the pro-reform side when he got into an altercation with the 65-year-old, who opposes health care reform.

The 65-year-old was apparently aggressive and hit the other man, who then retaliated by biting off his attacker's pinky, according to Karoli from DrumsnWhistles.

The man took his finger and walked to Los Robles hospital for treatment.

Neither man has been identified.

Sheriff's officials are investigating the incident.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | September 3, 2009 11:48 AM | Report abuse

References to the Energy Czar in my Doonesbury collections go back to the Nixon Administration.

Posted by: ScienceTim | September 3, 2009 11:48 AM | Report abuse

I participated in a couple of protest marches during the GWB administration. My fellow marchers were from Sunday School classes in New Jersey, grannies from Chevy Chase, all kinds of Very Normal People. And we behaved ourselves very well. Then you would see the news coverage on TV that night and it was all kids with green hair and full-body tattoos, and they were screaming obscenities the whole time. Much more exciting I suppose, but very misleading. I propose that the new Anti-Hysteria Czar must have extensive experience in untwisting knickers and unwadding panties.

Posted by: n_mcguire | September 3, 2009 11:49 AM | Report abuse

*faxing combination knicker untwister/panty unwadder to the bunker*

Hope it doesn't get covered with too much cupcake frosting.

Posted by: Raysmom | September 3, 2009 11:58 AM | Report abuse

My monster undergrad university did nicely on the Washington Monthly ratings, but so did a couple of Liberal Arts places that turned me down. I wonder how you'd go about comparing undergraduate programs at monster state universities. An awful lot of grad students at the Unversity of California seem to come from California State campuses.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | September 3, 2009 12:05 PM | Report abuse

According to AP, a pro-health reform demonstrator in California bit off the finger of anti- yesterday. Who says all the irrational anger is on the right?

Posted by: Yoki | September 3, 2009 12:09 PM | Report abuse

“Stacked In Our Favor
A Vertical Salad Wins The 3rd Recipe Contest”

WHAT! This is an OUTRAGE! The no-minds in the Food section are at it AGAIN. A stacked tomato salad wins?!?! It would be nice if these silver spoon culinary dilettantes could occasionally GET OUT and see how tomatoes are SUPPOSED to be prepared. DON'T even get me started on the stacked salad format.

Maybe they should try using the cooking wine for cooking FOR A CHANGE before they make more stupid decisions like this one.

This stinks of the influence of Big Pecan. Follow the money.

Posted by: engelmann | September 3, 2009 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Here is a good example of insane hysteria:

Apparently, the President of the United States speaking at a high school is an attempt to indoctrinate students into extreme socialist ideology when the President happens to be a black Democrat. Whereas a President who is a white faux-cowboy Republican is exactly the kind of speaker that any high school would love to have. Keep in mind, this is a reaction to an appearance that Obama is scheduled to make -- it is not a reaction to anything he actually has said at such an event.

Posted by: ScienceTim | September 3, 2009 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Oh, wait. I see that that is part of Joel's reference to Orwellian thought-control.

Posted by: ScienceTim | September 3, 2009 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Catching up on the previous Boodling:

Now the secret's out as to why I wear the Gladiator gear.

With the olive oil, I'm not so much eye candy as eye caprese - a cheesy appeal to basil instincts and saladacious thoughts by drawing attention to my sun-ripened tomatoes.

If anyone's willing to read this short vinagrette all the way through, maybe they'll realize I'm also a man of lettuce and that I have a real head on this trellis, too.

I'm more than just a tasty plate and a fancy garnish, though some say I've just gone balsamic.


Posted by: -bc- | September 3, 2009 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Hey, I just saw Raysmom's boodle challenge at 11:15. I'll try to put something together.

Once I calm down from the stacked tomato with umbrage salad.

Posted by: engelmann | September 3, 2009 12:25 PM | Report abuse

ACtually the article adds this:
"Ventura County Sheriff's Capt. Frank O'Hanlon says the man had Medicare."

Posted by: Jumper1 | September 3, 2009 12:27 PM | Report abuse

TBG, the back story on the ad was listed on MSNBC (I think Olbermann had the AGENCY as the villain). ... worst people in the world.

It was explained that the Brazilian Ad Agency put the ad forward as an example of their work in a competition for a WWF of Brazil agency cattle call.

It was not accepted.

Then the agency in Brazil submitted the piece, still with the WWF logo, to an advertising competition, from whence it gained its public viewing.

WWF then made a statement explaining what happened and publicly explained that the message was not appropriate and that this reason is why they never considered the ad.

Still, WWF got "painted" by the controversy.

Posted by: russianthistle | September 3, 2009 12:27 PM | Report abuse

How about those fans that renege on the commitment to buying over-priced tickets to see the under-performing Washington Ethnic Slurs?

I say throw the book at them, fine them, jail them, whatever. How will ever have the finest criminal athletes if we can't fill the stands with indigent businessmen that chose to void a perfectly valid CONTRACT (and plenty of boodlers know how important a contract is) just to pay their employees or feed their families.

How dare they prioritize anything higher than football? The least they could do is give their unused tickets to the needy government employees who have had their offices absconded with for dubious government programs.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 3, 2009 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Joel, right on. I'd vote for you for Anti-Hysteria Czar in a heartbeat.

(And then frantically boycott or slam anyone who said differently.)

Posted by: TheGeans | September 3, 2009 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Hysteria is a bad thing. That's why Republicans recently have THINOs. (Town Hall Meetings In Name Only)

I would say that the press isn't more conservative than we think as much as they are just plain lazy. They find it makes better teevee to have a 50/50 battle when there is no 50/50 debate.

Then there is FOX which doesn't even approach being close to the middle.

I say lazy in that you hear the press mentioning that Obama's positive ratings are dropping. What they don't say is that he is losing the support of the left... not people swinging to the right, as might be happening a bit, but not reflective of nearly the total loss in support.

In fact, I have suggested that there are more leftwingers, both young and old these days, than possibly the remaining right wing ideologues.

The true test will come when traditional teevee press stop arguing with Paul Krugman about his understanding if economics and start agreeing with him.

Posted by: russianthistle | September 3, 2009 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Oyamel in the Penn Quarter serves Oaxacan style Mexican food including chapuline tacos. They don't have much of a distinctive flavor other than the sauce they are in, but they are plenty crunchy. And much smaller that I had imagined. But unlike blue crabs you don't need to hammer at them to get to the meet. They just go down whole.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 3, 2009 12:35 PM | Report abuse

I would be kinder than "lazy". My hypothesis is that the correct interpretation is "trying to stay employed." If irrelevant controversy is what the customer (the network) is buying, then irrelevant controversy is what the customer shall have. The "media" are perfectly capable of doing better reporting, but the Powers That Be are not interested (or, perhaps, capable) of providing the necessary resources for that coverage.

Posted by: ScienceTim | September 3, 2009 12:40 PM | Report abuse

"The U.S. is still a largely rural nation, and cities do not have a monopoly on poverty."

The Census Bureau does not agree with the first part of that statement, Tim. According to their analysis of the 2000 census, over 79% of the country's population is considered urban. You may argue with their definition of ''urban" of course-

"Urban areas include all urbanized areas (over 50,000 population) and Urban Clusters (2,500 to 49,999 population) as defined by the Bureau of the Census in the 2000 Decennial Census."

Personally I think that the true urban centers are the ones with the dark chocolate filling and the urban clusters are mostly composed of nuts.

Posted by: kguy1 | September 3, 2009 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Afternoon all
Hysteria,I have been known to go a little crazy from time to time.One of the reason I liked west by god so much is I could yell and scream at nothing in particular and no one would hear me.

I'm sorry i missed last night's discussion on crabs.I bought a couple of lbs of claw crabmeat and was looking for recipes.Looking through a Maryland seafood cookbook.The instruction to get into a crab claw was"find a hammer,nutcracker,big knife and or a big rock and smash on the claw." I always found that a well placed butter knife would open any crab claw without any shell damage.I ended up cooking Crem of crab soup and crab cakes,both from previous recipes stuck in my brain.

Off to the park today,maybe a walk by the river,maybe 9 holes of frisbee golf.

Oh, and Happy Birthday Snuke!!!! and many more my friend!

Posted by: greenwithenvy | September 3, 2009 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Yes, SciTim, the rural (country & western)/farm folks would much like you to think they are both a statistical as well as cultural majority, "the real America" -- but the truth (which never much bothered them) is that they ain't.

This is an urban/suburban country, and has been for some decades. They can sing "Like a Rock" all they want to.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | September 3, 2009 1:03 PM | Report abuse

the mistake is with the spelling


Posted by: omnigood | September 3, 2009 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Thistle, you said "press" and then spoke of "TV." In the name of decency, I HOPE there is still a difference...

Posted by: Jumper1 | September 3, 2009 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Hey, omni. Been missing ya, buddy.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | September 3, 2009 1:15 PM | Report abuse

I'll play the Headline ManufactIre Hysteria game:

"Levi Johnston, Giving the Palins a Mud Bath"

How elitist those Palins have become, taking mud baths!

I -- ya know, I can't really manufacture ire, umbrage, hysteria or anything about this right now.


Posted by: -bc- | September 3, 2009 1:15 PM | Report abuse

This from the McCartney chat-
D.C.: How do I know if I'm a "fornicator". What does he mean by that? Is an anti-fornication candidate going to appeal to men? I think I'm pro-fornication, my wife -- less so. So, maybe he's more pro-woman than it might appear.

Robert McCartney:
Yes, well, my view is that McDonnell loses for sure if the fornicators all vote for Deeds.
I've said it before and I'll say it again. I'm a fornicator and I vote!

Posted by: kguy1 | September 3, 2009 1:20 PM | Report abuse

I'm having a problem with the Washington Monthly metrics as well. One of the categories is upward mobility. Stanford University ranks 147 on this score because 95% of their freshman 'should' graduate and 95% do. Harvard and MIT do even worse. I'm not sure how you get to 101% graduation rates, but the stats say that is Harvard's goal.

On the other hand, South Carolina State cracks the top ten solely on the strength of their upward mobility score. They have a 'predicted' graduation rate of 22% and double that to 45%.

Sorry, but I'm not sending my kid to a school where half the kids don't finish.

Penn State also makes the top 10 by having a high social mobility score. And I will seriously argue any ranking that it puts it higher than the school, say, 31 spots behind it.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 3, 2009 1:22 PM | Report abuse

bc, I wonder how many of Levi's teachers could have predicted he would be the first in his class to be published in Vanity Fair.

Posted by: engelmann | September 3, 2009 1:23 PM | Report abuse

I accidently forgot to tell you all to get a copy of the Post's food section yesterday. One of the best ever.

Click on these titles for my faves:

Too Many Cooks? No Such Thing.

Gut-Check: Nostalgia Aside, Advances in Food Technology Can Be Good for Us

Then at the bottom:

Going Wild for Brett

And yet another hottie from Canada, this time Winnipeg:

Posted by: omnigood | September 3, 2009 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Well, there are degrees, then there are honorary degrees.

I saw that there is a discussion about doing away with cheerleaders in the NFL. And I tried, really I did, to get hysterical about that. But, alas it is just not in my nature.

Someone help me out here, and I'll just stand behind you pumping my fists in the air.

Posted by: omnigood | September 3, 2009 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Oh. My. God. Someone in the office has printed out and is passing around that WWF ad. I'm so glad I knew the facts to be able to explain.

Poor WWF. This is going to set them back something awful. I'm not quick on the litigation trigger, but I think they may have cause for some sort of defamation suit. I mean, it's bad enough people think they're the World Wrestling Federation.

Posted by: -TBG- | September 3, 2009 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Mudge and kguy, thanks for the census update. I confess that I was too lazy to look it up -- when I said "largely" rural, I consciously avoided "majority" rural, which I knew to be untrue despite not knowing the numbers.

There is the problem of what one means by rural vs. urban. We recently moved from Bowie, a "city" of 100,000 or so, a city which is really just a bedroom-community and strip-mall mecca for neighboring true urban centers. Bowie has a (paid) health clinic and some doctor's offices, but no hospital, no taxi service, only one or two decent non-chain restaurants (and the chain restaurants are all pretty much indecent), no manufacturing or extraction or tourism industry, and few other services that one would associate with urbanity. It has one museum, which is open only a few days each month. The tallest skyscraper is 5 floors, and therefore not a skyscraper. The closest thing to a uniquely Bowie business is the old Bowie racetrack, which closed two (or more?) decades ago as a race venue but is still used as a training facility. Bowie has a minor-league Orioles farm team.

If this is what qualifies as a "city" for census purposes, then I suspect there is a strong possibility that the urban population is highly over-estimated. Bowie is suburban, and includes parts that are quite rural. It definitely is not city-like in the services available to the poor and uninsured, which was my central point.

For health-care debate purposes, we can have an informed discussion only when we can estimate the fraction of the nation's uninsured who are within one hour's transit of a free clinic that has sufficient resources to provide preventative care services. I have no time to do the estimate right now, but I imagine I could work up something reasonable with an hour or two of effort.

Posted by: ScienceTim | September 3, 2009 1:44 PM | Report abuse

We deal with this urban/rural stuff all the time in our (excellently edited) reports, SciTim. Here's where the definition comes from:

"For Census 2000 [and after], the Census Bureau classifies as "urban" all territory, population, and housing units located within an urbanized area (UA) or an urban cluster (UC). It delineates UA and UC boundaries to encompass densely settled territory, which consists of:

* core census block groups or blocks that have a population density of at least 1,000 people per square mile and

* surrounding census blocks that have an overall density of at least 500 people per square mile

In addition, under certain conditions, less densely settled territory may be part of each UA or UC.

The Census Bureau's classification of "rural" consists of all territory, population, and housing units located outside of UAs and UCs. The rural component contains both place and nonplace territory. Geographic entities, such as census tracts, counties, metropolitan areas, and the territory outside metropolitan areas, often are "split" between urban and rural territory, and the population and housing units they contain often are partly classified as urban and partly classified as rural.

Good luck figuring out what that says.

In my opinion, the Census Bureau effed up about 60 years ago by not going to a third classification, "suburban." The urban/rural binary has long been a useless discriminator. There ought to be three categories, not two.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | September 3, 2009 2:12 PM | Report abuse

We all need catharsis, hence the hysteria. It just feels good. I try to get hysterical a couple of times a day, just to maintain my equilibrium.

My alma mater beat UVa - haHA! However, the school my son is leaning towards is well down near the bottom of the list. Gee, and the admissions people said such nice things about it.

I feel an hysterical episode building up, so excuse me while I go scream at someone.

Posted by: mat00 | September 3, 2009 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Also, a certain agency I know of just did a major report on traffic crashes that includes (for the first time, to my knowledge) the concept of "buffer" areas around cities (which, essentially, means suburbs). The buffers are located by distance from urban boundaries, such as 2.5-mile buffer, 5-mile buffer, 7.5-mile buffer, and 10-mile buffer.

When you look at crash and fatal crash patterns you see that "rural" areas have disproprtionately higher crash rates by very significant amounts. But when you crunch all these same numbers using these very small buffer zones around cities, then the numbers swing dramatically the other way. In other words, a tremendously large number of crashes happen "near" urban areas but not actually "in" them. Why? Well, the report doesn't say this, but it's because that's where people with cars are.

Crash rates are lower in cities for a number of reasons, but mainly because density means there are many fewer high-speed interstates and freeways, and people necessarily drive slower. So there may be a lot of accidents, but they aren't fatal accidents because there are so many fender benders and low- and moderate-speed crashes.

Rural crashes tend to be fatal for a variety of reasons: higher rate of drinking, less use of seat belts, winding, twisty country roads, lots more pickups and SUVs, etc., which are more likely to be in rollovers or to have ejected passengers, or both.

The single most-at-risk person on the road is a white male 18 to 24 years old driving a pickup on a country road on a Saturday night (i.e Sunday morning at 2 a.m. or whatever). Invariably he's had too much to drink and he's not wearing a belt ("nobody gunna tell me what ta do"). If he doesn't put that pickup in a ditch, he'll roll it, or rear-end it, or find the only telephone pole in 12 miles. What's that? 18- to 20++ year-olds aren't allowed to drink? Do tell. If he gets ejected from the crash (pretty high probability), he's got a 75 percent chance of dying. Ejection and partial ejection is what kills you. If you can somehow stay inside the frame, your chances go waaaay up. (If the roof stays intact.)

This cohort distorts the number in favor of rurals. But when you do the buffer numbers, you find that's where high-speed roads are, and it collects of lot of the cowboys.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | September 3, 2009 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Penn State was obviously in the upward-mobility business back around 1970. As best I could tell, there must have been a social stigma against well-paid professionals and such sending their kids. I supposed that today, PSU would be stuffed with kids from prosperous households of PSU alumni.

They must still be doing the upward mobility thing.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | September 3, 2009 2:34 PM | Report abuse

When I lived in Wyoming, pickup/car crash fatalities peaked in the summer. Early morning drivers would spot the wreckage at the side of the road.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | September 3, 2009 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Wow, the Redskins are suing fans who can't pay their contracts for season tickets. That's a hardnose tactic!

Posted by: MiddleofthePacific | September 3, 2009 2:37 PM | Report abuse

That Washington Monthly ranking strikes me as deeply flawed in many ways. To take just one, they rank schools on research expenditures not as a percentage of total budget but by number of dollars spent. This is worse than useless.

Posted by: kguy1 | September 3, 2009 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Oh wow, that "finger" story has completely overtaken Memeorandum. It is, like, catnip for the right. This is hysteria at its best. Or worst.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | September 3, 2009 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Yup. And Dave, yet another reason for rural fatalities is the distance from hospitals and the time it takes EMTs to get to you. When you've been lying in that cornfield three or fours hours before the milkman finds you, your chances go way down.

That Wash Monthly list i so flawed it's hardly worth discussing.

And for the life of me, I wouldn't want to be part of the Redskins' PR department right about now. Between hard-ass lawyers and corrupt ticket clerks...

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | September 3, 2009 2:45 PM | Report abuse

You are most likely to have a car accident within tell miles of your house, which means you really ought to move to a safer neighborhood.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 3, 2009 2:47 PM | Report abuse

SCC: 'within ten miles', I'm telling ya!

Posted by: yellojkt | September 3, 2009 2:48 PM | Report abuse

I'm going to get hysterical about this keyboard. No, wait. . .

What looks urban to the Census through numbers often don't look like it on the ground. Oklahoma has two cities. Folks from real big cities (Houston, Chicago, NYC) are reluctant to admit them into "city" league, but call them cities. With Census additions of the surrounding suburban, exurban and nearby rural areas, we have two multi-county metropolitan areas. One spans easily a hundred miles. However, most of those "urban" areas are rural and look very much like the rest of the state (definitely rural).

Most of our state has no close health care, for instance. There may be a hospital in the county seat, or clinics, but many towns have nothing. Specialists? Drive two or four or six hours to a city. Tribal health care picks up some of it, depending on location.

Western Oklahoma really has very little in the way of services. We used

Posted by: Ivansmom | September 3, 2009 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Darn keyboard. It ate this post once already, too. Anyway: We used to laugh at school-choice and school-voucher activists (hysterics?). There is no private school in most western Oklahoma towns, not even a parochial school. It is public school, homeschool or nothing. Rural living is all about resources these days, which is why so many people move to the city.

Posted by: Ivansmom | September 3, 2009 3:04 PM | Report abuse

It's the pedestrians and cylists that pay the price of crashes in urban area.
The former Attorney General of Ontario got hisself a bike courier the other night.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | September 3, 2009 3:07 PM | Report abuse

and yello, sometimes accidents happen right at your fingertips.

Speaking of which, how ironic about that poor guy giving and then getting the finger at that Health Care Town Hall?

Sad and a little scary, but not at all hysterical.


Posted by: -bc- | September 3, 2009 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Well, no one can accuse that guy of knuckling under.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | September 3, 2009 3:13 PM | Report abuse

bc, I follow the caprese line of thought, and I hesitate, yet ask...capers?

Posted by: LostInThought | September 3, 2009 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Is that what they call the Digital Divide?

Posted by: kguy1 | September 3, 2009 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Here for all you gourmands and Texas lovers-

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

Here is a great non-story from CNN --

Posted by: nellie4 | September 3, 2009 3:36 PM | Report abuse

I'll take that gambol -- double or nothing, lady.


Posted by: -bc- | September 3, 2009 3:50 PM | Report abuse

"Hysterics On the Loose"

"Is it my imagination or in recent years has hysteria become the default response to anything even slightly controversial or offensive?"

I believe this to be an anti-woman statement and anyone who understands the origin of the word "hysteria" will be right with me. I am OUTRAGED. Achenbloch should be fired and then slow roasted over a fire of burning brassieres.

Posted by: edbyronadams | September 3, 2009 3:52 PM | Report abuse

I received a fair amount of umbrage the last time I ridiculed the size of the three 'cities' in North Dakota, none of which would qualify as a good sized suburb here on the Bos-Was corridor.

The urban/suburban/rural continuum really depends on what you are trying to do. And whether you have a car or not.

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

Shriek, that car/bike courier story is really awful, protests downtown are continuing (from the bike couriers). One of those stories with so many confusing things. Courier was in a police car before the crash, his girlfriend asked that he be driven home as he was drunk. Driver of said car may have been grapped by the courier, or had his steering wheel grabbed. Of course why he wouldn't have breaked is beyond me. Strange story.

That said you could not pay me enough money to be a bike courier in downtown Toronto, between the weather and the traffic (pedestrian and vehicular) it is crazy. There was a restaurant around the corner from where I worked downtown, a hangout for the bike couriers - interesting crowd.

ftb, love the brownie story.

Posted by: dmd3 | September 3, 2009 3:56 PM | Report abuse

edb...that's a leap. Word origins aren't the kicker here. Think about it. Ruthless is a good example of the growth curve of definitions...from without faith and kindness to without pity and compassion. Awful...this word has been used to describe only one sliver of the original meaning for so long, it means only that now. There's not only specificity in language, there's specificity in the slices on the continuum of language. Also, as a writer needs to know his audience, it helps if the reader knows the writer. Your conclusion misses the mark.

Posted by: LostInThought | September 3, 2009 4:08 PM | Report abuse

I'm guessing edbyronadams has his tongue in his cheek, right?

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | September 3, 2009 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Ya think? I considered it, and even considered a sock puppet. Maybe. I hope you're right. But I thought just in case that wasn't the case, I should speak up. Because lately, I worry when I don't speak up. (Not fun being in my head sometimes.)

Posted by: LostInThought | September 3, 2009 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Merely trying to contribute in good faith hysteria.

Posted by: edbyronadams | September 3, 2009 4:13 PM | Report abuse

I certainly took it that way, 'mudge.

Posted by: Yoki | September 3, 2009 4:13 PM | Report abuse

I hope edbyronadams had tongue firmly in cheek because I laughed.

As a person born and raised, and currently living in the suburbs I am upset that there is any doubt we are urban. If you smell manure in the mornings it is rural :-), and I do not mean the smell of improper sewer pipes.

But seriously I am Canadian we really do not do hysteria - think it is in the constitution.

Posted by: dmd3 | September 3, 2009 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Okay. Good. I'm glad. (Ya ever feel like someone didn't stick up for you when you were right, and then you feel the need to stick up for someone else? And maybe go a tad overboard? That's my head today. Just across the road from the asylum.)

bc...I can fracture that one step further, and say I may gamble, but going all in is another matter entirely.

Back to the numbers game. Have a happy night all.

Posted by: LostInThought | September 3, 2009 4:17 PM | Report abuse

You want hysterical?

It's an office tradition that everyone kicks in a little something to buy the birthday boy (or girl) a cake. I made my preference known, and when the time came everyone sang and handed me the knife.

Which immediately became stuck in the near-frozen solid cake.

Now THAT'S hysterical... :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | September 3, 2009 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Hoping it was an ice cream cake Scotty, and if so, I have been out in the sun all day a piece of that cake would be so good right now.

Posted by: dmd3 | September 3, 2009 4:21 PM | Report abuse

And, dmd3, your highways up there over the border are immaculate, too. Such a change. When I used to drive over the Ambassador Bridge from Detroit to Windsor, halfway over I could immediately tell the difference.

Well, mostly, anyway.

Posted by: -ftb- | September 3, 2009 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Well, jeez, Scotty, I TOLD you there was something in the refrigerator.

Nobody listens. Nobody.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | September 3, 2009 4:22 PM | Report abuse

I appreciate your contribution, edbyronadams. I like the description of the Kit as a thinly veiled misogynistic rant. In fact, hysterical!

A colleague, innocent of the Achenblog, discussed today the pervasive nature of hysteria in the media and citizenry. He was prompted by a local hysterical-and-inaccurate reporting case. Joel's the cutting edge yet again.

Two do-overs, two new tabs, five or six extra "help" or "save" or "open" windows. Sigh.

Posted by: Ivansmom | September 3, 2009 4:22 PM | Report abuse

We just cover our highway garbage with non-stop construction crap in my area.

Posted by: dmd3 | September 3, 2009 4:25 PM | Report abuse

I think of this kit less as a thinly veiled misogynistic rant and more as a burka bedecked Princetonian panegyric.

Posted by: kguy1 | September 3, 2009 4:33 PM | Report abuse

I have the opposite reaction when I cross the Maryland-Pennsylvania border. Every time I see roads being paved I think "Thank goodness my taxes are paying for something.'

In the spirit of the kit I should be thinking "What sort of socialist make-work government give-away are we running just so a bunch of over-paid loly-gaggers can smooth the roads so people don't have to replace their suspension as often. If our founding fathers had wanted us to have smooth roads, they would have spelled it out in the Bill of Independence!"

Posted by: yellojkt | September 3, 2009 4:34 PM | Report abuse

If 'hysterical' is misogynist wouldn't it be spelled 'hersterical'?

Posted by: yellojkt | September 3, 2009 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Or as Edith Bunker once said, "If women go through menopause, why don't men go through womenopause?"

Posted by: kguy1 | September 3, 2009 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Well, I see the spineless twits running Loudoun County schools have caved to the hysterics and will not show Obama's speech on Tuesday. Since when is encouraging kids to do well in school "political?"

Posted by: Raysmom | September 3, 2009 4:40 PM | Report abuse

For ViJay, bc, and others,0,3794576.photogallery

Posted by: nellie4 | September 3, 2009 4:46 PM | Report abuse

The population density of Medford, Oregon is only 3184/SqMi. but it has two major hospitals with all the latest in MRI, heart surgery, alhesimer treatment etc. and the hospitals have outlying 'big' clinics in the surrounding cities/towns plus innumerable clinics and assisted living facilities. plus free or low cost clinics for those without health insurance like my wife uses. I think because southern oregon is a destination for retiring California folks. Kim Novac has a ranch here as well as other aging stars.
The state's pop density is only 39/SM. Hawaii is 200, California 284 and it has the most federal national forest area and mile sand miles of desert.
DC, while not exactly a state PD is 9581.

Posted by: bh72 | September 3, 2009 4:54 PM | Report abuse

scc, miles and miles
also lots of sand

Posted by: bh72 | September 3, 2009 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Ivansmom -- just to let you know that it were the dreaded "Vista" which pushed me over the edge to get a Mac. It is really, really gruesome. In fact, it could possibly use the "panegyric" drug which kguy recommended -- oh, wait. . . I'm thinking of something else (the drug which induces purging). Close, though.

You have my condolences, OS-wise.

Posted by: -ftb- | September 3, 2009 5:12 PM | Report abuse

I'd say that those who protest the most about other people's sins are trying to hide their own.

Misdirection. This smacks of an organized campaign to get every last alienated nut in America back into the GOP-- no matter their political ideology.

Don't discuss that fine detail, nah. Just hit that high G note and hold it, hold it, hold it until the tenor explodes from sucking his lungs dry, and thus is unable to complain when the GOP do their dirty tricks as usual (see previous administration).

I think any anti-hysteria czar will need to work with the ATF, the secret service, and maybe a few black helicopters just in case.

If Joel's up to taking to guys in suit, ties, and heavy weaponry on a daily basis without breaking a sweat, well then I cast my vote for him.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | September 3, 2009 5:21 PM | Report abuse

ftb, I have no problems with Vista, but then I probably got a later version-- I heard the horror stories, but found them unfounded.

I suppose my computer sings softly at nights in an effort to brainwash me, but I've always slept soundly.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | September 3, 2009 5:25 PM | Report abuse

SCC: talking to, not taking to.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | September 3, 2009 5:27 PM | Report abuse

Whew! What a day. I am acting-Big-Boss while the real big boss is on vacation, and my goodness, all you hear about are problems. And are expected to do something about them! I used to be aspiring to this position, now I'm not so sure.

A nice glass of cold, gold wine, I think.

Posted by: Yoki | September 3, 2009 6:05 PM | Report abuse

How many carrots, Yoki? *snort*

Posted by: -ftb- | September 3, 2009 6:30 PM | Report abuse

Many many. And a big stick.

Posted by: Yoki | September 3, 2009 6:32 PM | Report abuse

For my many american friends, the Blue Angels are in Toronto this weekend for the airshow, this video is on the Stars website, reporter goes up in the skies over TO with a Blue Angel.

The planes being in the area might explain the very loud plane noises I heard at some point yesterday. Could not figure out what would be making such a noise - probably one of the visiting planes of some sort.

Posted by: dmd3 | September 3, 2009 7:12 PM | Report abuse

Just how meta can we get?

A story about how hard it is to get a libelous comment removed from a WaPo story page. Which of course repeats the libelous comment. Can you say Streisand Effect?

Posted by: yellojkt | September 3, 2009 7:12 PM | Report abuse

Interesting comparison of headlines

The Toronto Globe and Mail

The Post

Posted by: dmd3 | September 3, 2009 7:16 PM | Report abuse

Sorry it was my Igoogle, Post headline, which was shortened to, Emissions reverse Arctic Trend that threw me. However, I did have to reread the Post headline several times til the lightbulb went on - guess I had too much sun today.

Posted by: dmd3 | September 3, 2009 7:20 PM | Report abuse

What? You want to force my auntie to have a hysterectomy in her Z-car?

Oh, I got it wrong? Well, I'm still mad. About something else! And you have to guess what it is! Jerk... don't make me come over there and bite your finger off and run away.

By this time, I'm starting to believe that those people should all get about a ton of medical marijuana. In fact, let's pile bales of it all around them just for soundproofing.

Posted by: pressF1 | September 3, 2009 7:32 PM | Report abuse

pressF1, that was truly funny. Thanks.

Posted by: Yoki | September 3, 2009 7:35 PM | Report abuse

Aw, just go make them some brownies. . . . . .

Posted by: -ftb- | September 3, 2009 7:39 PM | Report abuse

The *last* thing we need is some crazed left-wing running dog commie follower biting off a finger and then laughing uproariously, then sobbing, then laughing again as s/he walks off into the embrace of the first-responders. Eh?

Posted by: Yoki | September 3, 2009 7:47 PM | Report abuse

I like Vista. It took a little getting used to, but even before I felt like I was using anything XP couldn't give me I didn't have any trouble with it. Hmmm, my computing standards must be too low.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | September 3, 2009 8:26 PM | Report abuse

Going all in, eh? Absolutely -- but remember that Gladiators *will* call the buff.

Nellie, thanks for that link - the LA Times' Dan Neil is one of the deans of Automotive writers, IMO. I've driven most of the cars on that list and for the most part concur with the findings.

How great is this, with both the Washington NFL Franchise and the Baltimore Ravens playing their last preseason games at the same time tonight? Well, it might be better if Washington weren't down 21-0 half-way through the second quarter - can we get the lads in burgundy and gold a football with a handle on it?


Posted by: -bc- | September 3, 2009 8:42 PM | Report abuse

I am almost ashamed to admit it, but I have had no problems with Vista that I can attribute to it. Since my new computer is an order of magnitude or two faster than the old one, A lot of would-be problems get lost in the haze.

The only real hassle is that since it has 8GB of RAM it has to run in 64-bit mode and not all programs, especially the drivers for odd pieces of hardware, have versions for that.

I am strongly considering doing an inline upgrade to Win7 after the first service pack.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 3, 2009 9:11 PM | Report abuse

*There* speaks an engineer!

Posted by: Yoki | September 3, 2009 9:18 PM | Report abuse

Yello, whaaa?

Posted by: mm_donovan | September 3, 2009 9:22 PM | Report abuse

I'm starting to think that Ted Kennedy has taken over George Will's body...

Posted by: seasea1 | September 3, 2009 9:25 PM | Report abuse

I use Vista as well, and IE 7, I do not like the Beatles or seafood (yes including crabs, lobster, mussels, clams etc).

Let the hysteria begin.

And while I am confessing, all those over the top showtune numbers at the Oscars, Emmys etc - hate them.

Posted by: dmd3 | September 3, 2009 9:26 PM | Report abuse

I've been feeling a little antsy tonight, and it isn't from that second coffee with Kaluha I poured at halftime.

The hair on the back of my neck is stirring and I have the sneaking suspicion that therrrrrgrrrs a full mooooOOOOOOOonnnn tonight. I suspect it'll be a long one -- I bought an extra can of pet-stain RRRRRrrrrrresolve carpet cleaner, just in case.

And yello, I understand way too much of what you said there.


Posted by: -bc- | September 3, 2009 9:38 PM | Report abuse

That's hysterical.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 3, 2009 9:40 PM | Report abuse

The moon was bee-yoo-ti-ful last night - my calendar says it's full on the 4th (not sure what time).

I understood *what* yellojkt said, but not *why*.

Posted by: seasea1 | September 3, 2009 9:42 PM | Report abuse

Moon is gorgeous here tonight.

Frightenly, I understood Yello's computer post.

Posted by: dmd3 | September 3, 2009 9:46 PM | Report abuse

Wow dmd, no seafood at all? Sounds like my #2, husband does charter fishing and brings home beautiful tuna, she won’t go near it. More for us! I do agree about the Beatles more or less. I like some of their songs, but was never a huge fan. About those over the top showtunes, have you seen Spamalot? There’s a great song in the show called ‘The Song That Goes Like This” that is a perfect take off of all those overblown show stopping, applause begging production numbers. You ‘d love it.

Posted by: badsneakers | September 3, 2009 9:47 PM | Report abuse



Posted by: ScienceTim | September 3, 2009 9:48 PM | Report abuse

The only thing I'm hysterical about these days is my new Kindle. I LUV this thing! Ca-RAZY luv!

Posted by: KBoom | September 3, 2009 9:52 PM | Report abuse

Pretty noncommittal about the Beatles myself.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | September 3, 2009 9:55 PM | Report abuse

There are times I feel my dislike of the Beatles are as big as Weingarten's issue he will not speak of because of the umbrage it would cause.

My limited palate is another sensitive issue, it embarrasses me but so many food I cannot eat because of the smell or taste, goofy tastebuds I guess.

badsneaks, Spamalot started in Toronto and I thought of going but it generally takes something important to get me in the city these days.

Posted by: dmd3 | September 3, 2009 9:56 PM | Report abuse

Laughing, seasea. Yes, Will has been channeling Sen. Fulbright the last few days.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | September 3, 2009 10:00 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: Yoki | September 3, 2009 10:01 PM | Report abuse

OK, so I need to check out. I *lobe* the Beatles. Reely I do. I can forgive almost any other transgression, but this.

I am *all about* the Beatles.

Posted by: Yoki | September 3, 2009 10:04 PM | Report abuse

Hola, Yoki!

Posted by: KBoom | September 3, 2009 10:09 PM | Report abuse

The surprising thing to me about people (especially people younger than me) who don't like the Beatles is that their music is so wide-ranging. I love, love, love the early pop songs, and the more mature songs like Yesterday and Eleanor Rigby. The B side (ha!) of Abbey Road remains to this day one of my favorites. Have you listened to Revolver and Rubber Soul? The White Album is forever linked to Manson and the breakup in my mind, but there are great songs there.

Of course, the Beatles take me back to my youth and the 60s right after JFK's death...

Posted by: seasea1 | September 3, 2009 10:14 PM | Report abuse

Hey, KBoom!

Posted by: Yoki | September 3, 2009 10:15 PM | Report abuse

If your community has a lot of places to live, and schools, but no where to actually work, it's called a "bedroom community."

Or "The U.S.A"

Posted by: Jumper1 | September 3, 2009 10:15 PM | Report abuse

Poor dmd. You've done it now. They will somehow try to talk you into liking the Beatles. I know people who don't like liver. No matter how I talk to them, I have no illusions that they are going to start liking liver. I know this.

Posted by: Jumper1 | September 3, 2009 10:19 PM | Report abuse

"Woke up, fell outta bed, dragged a comb across my head"


I heart the Beatles.

Posted by: KBoom | September 3, 2009 10:20 PM | Report abuse

Seasea, I cannot explain it, I have a really wide variety of music I like, classical, opera, blues, jazz, rock (pop not so much), and love a lot of sixties music, Stones and The Who I love, love Motown.

Just a quirky oddity, and you definitely do not want to know what I think of Paul McCartney and Wings :-). Beatles broke up when I was 9, which probably explains a lot, my daughter has a friend who loves the Beatles though.

Posted by: dmd3 | September 3, 2009 10:21 PM | Report abuse

Something tells me that the translated subtitles to this Bollywood musical number are just a little less than faithful.

Perhaps one of our desi (Am I allowed to use that word or is it like Michael Richards using the n-word?) boodlers can confirm this for me.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 3, 2009 10:25 PM | Report abuse

Growing up I had no ides Paul McCartney was in a group before Wings. That older stuff is okay, but it's no "Band On The Run". Or even "Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey".

Posted by: yellojkt | September 3, 2009 10:28 PM | Report abuse

Here is the thing. We cannot persuade a dear friend to love what we do. We can only love what we love, and let them be, those that we love.

I didn't love Michael Jackson but for a short time. And when people tried to change my mind, a dear friend of mine with whom I shared this, said, "That is like trying to persuade someone to like to eat fish! Or appreciate Monty Python!."

Well, I like to eat finny fish, and to listen to Python. But not Jackson, and not sea urchin, sushi-wise.

What we don't understand is very important.

And our friends forgive us our idiosyncrasies, our particularities.

Posted by: Yoki | September 3, 2009 10:31 PM | Report abuse

OY! I am am so old.

Posted by: Yoki | September 3, 2009 10:32 PM | Report abuse

This video doesn't need translating, but I suspect that both Warner/DC and Disney/Marvel may have some trademark issues with it.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 3, 2009 10:33 PM | Report abuse

No, Jumper. That will never happen. It would be like someone trying to persuade you that you like the taste of ginger. I don't like eggplant (or tofu). dmd doesn't like the Beatles. Why would any of us try to persuade her otherwise?

Posted by: Yoki | September 3, 2009 10:36 PM | Report abuse

No, we've had this discussion before about dmd and the Beatles (and other silent dislikers). It's fine, just a tad puzzling.

Sorry, I was already cruising youtube tonight.

The thing that struck me about Joel's fine essay about Teddy Kennedy was that he is too young to "get" the Kennedys, and yet he does. And he deconstructs the Beatles nicely, too:
(Thanks again, kbertocci!)

Posted by: seasea1 | September 3, 2009 10:37 PM | Report abuse

As long as I don't have to try and listen to music-- I like music.

Unless the performers themselves just plain turn the stomach, this is the attitude I adopt to a lot of music.

I have no opinion on the Beatles. Some of their lyrics work, others are just surrealistic gibberish. Sometimes both at the same time.

As for Beatlemania-- for me, 'tis caviar to the general, or liver to little kids (Thanks, Jumper).

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | September 3, 2009 10:42 PM | Report abuse

I say age doesn't have the final word on these things. I like some older crooners from before my time, and dislike others from the same era. Same with jazz. Some performers long gone, I like. Some not so much. I like Beethoven.. I am not a member of that generation...

Posted by: Jumper1 | September 3, 2009 10:46 PM | Report abuse

Well the rain exploded with a mighty crash as we fell into the sun.
And the first one says to the second one there 'I hope you're having fun.'

I've been trying to teach myself this song on Guitar Hero, but I don't have the mad skilz needed.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 3, 2009 11:05 PM | Report abuse

Wait a minute, Weingarten is one of "the four great American writers of this century" (20th?) who were continually drunk?

The same Weingarten Joel knows?

Gene must have been drunk to let that slip through his editing radar. Or agreeable to Joel marketing him. If it worked for the Beatles...

Gosh, this might be why Gene has the Pultizer, and Joel doesn't.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | September 3, 2009 11:06 PM | Report abuse

happy birthday, scotty-n!!!!

hope you had a great day.

*diving back into a deep pile of work*

Posted by: LALurker | September 3, 2009 11:06 PM | Report abuse

Aeolian cadences, indeed.

It's got a good beat and you can dance to it.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 3, 2009 11:16 PM | Report abuse

How is this for a hysterical reaction, Wow. Remind me not to visit Jericho, AK

Posted by: dmd3 | September 3, 2009 11:20 PM | Report abuse

Many happy returns on your birthday, Scotty. and now for a motown cover

Posted by: -jack- | September 3, 2009 11:32 PM | Report abuse

That fantastic Beatles article fits very well in with the Malcolm Gladwell thesis that ultra-extraordinary sucess = talent + practice + timing. The Beatles had it all in spades.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 3, 2009 11:34 PM | Report abuse

seasea, your 9:25 was hysterical. I laughed, and then had to explain the joke to my kids. Oldest daughter (upon being told who George Will was) said, ~"well, if you don't have a soul, then any soul floating around can take your body over, right?"~

Posted by: Wheezy11 | September 3, 2009 11:35 PM | Report abuse

dmd, that Arkansas story was very strange. There's a whole lot more going on in that town than just shooting unarmed public officials in court.

Posted by: Wheezy11 | September 3, 2009 11:37 PM | Report abuse

"It's unclear exactly what happened next, but Martin said an argument between Payne and the seven police officers who attended the hearing apparently escalated to a scuffle, ending when an officer shot Payne from behind."

Is "from behind" a Canadian euphemism for "in the behind?"

The scandalous part of the piece is 7 police officers for a town of 174. That's 7 more than we have in Our Fair City.

Toodles boodle and sweet dreams.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | September 3, 2009 11:39 PM | Report abuse


I will consume darn near anything if it were once alive and I can mentally and ethically accept that it's a food of some sort. Meats, fish, plants, insects, mollusks and crustaceans - no problem. I draw the line at primates, endangered species and some pets as generally accepted in western culture (e.g. rabbit-yes, cats & dogs - no. Not intentionally, anyway.). Never been presented with civet cat coffee, so I've never had to decide about that.

Umi is yumi. Octopus, oh, yes. Cicadas - can be OK with the right prep.

Beatles are wonderful.

FWIW, I've jazz, rock, classical, pop, sports and news stations programmed on my car radio (good thing it allows 18 stations).

The great thing about being at the top of the food chain is that the world is my oyster. And concert hall.

Home cooked Italian is my soul food, though.

Grrrr... that moon looks great in the sky with Jupiter nearby... grrrRRrrrowl... feeling like full moon's tonight, as midnight apprrrrrrroooaches...


Posted by: -bc- | September 3, 2009 11:49 PM | Report abuse

Well, I really wanted to provide pithy comments on an earlier post, but for the life of me, I can't remember what. I back boodled but nothing struck me.

I do remember that I want to commend those WHO post these late night music links. They are wonderful!

I also note that in just a few moments (8 minutes), I join Mudge and ftb in geezerhood. My mother often joked that because I was born on Labor Day, I was born lazy. In fact, I was born tired. (from all that work.)

I grow old … I grow old …
I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.

Shall I part my hair behind? Do I dare to eat a peach?
I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach.
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each.
( t.s. eliot [fragment])

Posted by: mm_donovan | September 3, 2009 11:54 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Yoki | September 4, 2009 12:03 AM | Report abuse

Thank you, Yoki, that was wonderful. I grow old, I grow old. Did I ever tell you that I knew James Taylor (very, very slightly) in Harvard Square while he was being treated at McLean for depression? He was at the Club 47 occasionally, and he all the buzz?

Posted by: mm_donovan | September 4, 2009 12:29 AM | Report abuse

I was just checking in on facebook and saw that a friend had this status: "No one should die because they cannot afford health care, and no one should go broke because they get sick. If you agree, please post this as your status for the rest of the day."

My gut reaction: I agree, and I might yet echo it, but it still somehow feels like peer pressure ordering me around, almost chain-letter-like.

Further down the page, I saw that another friend had the same status, with the addition, "R.I.P. [her decade-long boyfriend]"

And I'm tearing up again typing this.

He had issues with various internal organs, died two years ago at age 40. Musician. No insurance. Medicaid paid for some, not for lots. They never got married explicitly because he didn't want to saddle her with medical debt.

In the middle of all the politics, it's good for me to be reminded that it's personal.

Posted by: -bia- | September 4, 2009 12:35 AM | Report abuse

Maggie! I too grow old. And sad. You never told me you know James Taylor. He and I share a tenor range; the only folk songs I can sing are JTs. Bless your heart. You know James Taylor!

Posted by: Yoki | September 4, 2009 12:38 AM | Report abuse

The Medford, Oregon area was long a refuge for those who thought a nuclear war was likely. It seemed about the least likely area in the US to receive heavy fallout.

Population density of Oregon is a bit misleading. There's that vast unpopulated area west of the Cascades, then the Cascades themselves and the Coast Range are not terribly conductive to dense populations. But Portland is stuffed with people.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | September 4, 2009 12:56 AM | Report abuse

Glad I made a couple folks laugh tonight. Nice to return the favor. Wheezy, your daughter has the right idea!

Maggie, Happy Birthday! And Yoki, I started out with James Taylor tonight on youtube because I'm seeing him in a few weeks at the fair. Maybe if I mention Maggie's name...

bia, sorry about your friend. I saw those phrases various places today too.

Posted by: seasea1 | September 4, 2009 1:15 AM | Report abuse

Belated Happy Birthday, Scotty.

Happy Birthday, Maggie.

Bh72, thanks for the AltaRock link. I think Nellie’s daughter is breathing a big sigh of relieve.

This country needs hysteria and it’s not getting any.

Posted by: rainforest1 | September 4, 2009 2:40 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, you all.

mm donovan, I have never heard the mermaids singing,
each to each,
although I have listened,
as I walked along the beach
they are just beyond
my ear's reach.

Hugs to all birthday boodlers for last and this and next week. (like to keep things covered here)

Something I read tells me I'm missing a crab picking bph? I just love picking crabs, cracking lobster, steaming clams, shucking oysters, all good. The bi valve shell fish are my favorite, yes...raw oysters are what's for breakfast this morning in the bunker cocktail sauce with plenty of horseradish on the side; we are back in the R month, donchaknow?

Maybe slyness will offer a sweet southern breakfast for you landlubbers. ;-)

Posted by: VintageLady | September 4, 2009 4:16 AM | Report abuse

More food for thought, actually a clam bake. Have never been to a clam bake on the beach, but I love the idea of it. Saw a Martha Stewart TV clip for the Today Show like 20 years ago, (before her crime wave).

Martha staged a clambake on the beach on Long Island, near her house/cottage. Dug a hole, coal and wood piled on bottom. The food, wrapped and placed in the hole were chicken, corn on cob, potatoes, lobster, clams, maybe some kind of firm fleshed fish, too. Possibly shrimp, as well. Anyway, later in the day she had a gang of people there, eating all that food, piled on plates, with drawn butter and all kinds of beer and beverages. Sure looked like my kind of party.

Posted by: VintageLady | September 4, 2009 4:29 AM | Report abuse

Forgot to say seaweed was piled on top of food during the cooking process. Seaweed not fit to eat, tho.

Posted by: VintageLady | September 4, 2009 4:32 AM | Report abuse

'morning all. The good weather is holding, we've had more sunny day in September yet than all of July.

It's war.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | September 4, 2009 7:29 AM | Report abuse

another question for the Mac gurus

Look at this:

on the delete key you see a symbol that looks like an x in a sort of arrow. in the graphic I linked to the arrow points to the left. on my keyboard it points to the right. And it doesn't work as advertised.

Q: how do I delete a file with a keyboard shortcut?
A: ???

Posted by: omnigood | September 4, 2009 7:35 AM | Report abuse

Arrrghhh! I fell for yello's youtube trap, that #@$!%%! madherchod (insert bleep)! (Omni ya standing by me with the shaking fists?)

Children DO NOT try to translate that word!
Naughty adults (i.e., yello) may revel in learning a new one.

To my great surprise Asif Mandvi (sp?) used it on the Daily Show a couple of weeks? ago. To my greater surprise it was (mostly) bleeped out!

Is this a great country or what? Foreign cusswords have to be bleeped out. Love love love it!

Posted by: DNA_Girl | September 4, 2009 7:39 AM | Report abuse

Had a thought this morning... (dangerous, I know)

Wouldn't it be cool if all the parental (and adult) yelling about "Kids shouldn't listen to Obama" taps into that "if grownups are opposed, I want some!" kinda vibe?? ;-)

And may I say carrot cake makes for an excellent breakfast? *urp* :-)

Huge thanks to all of you for helping ensure a good birthday yesterday!!!

*TFSMIF-and-for-a-long-weekend Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | September 4, 2009 7:47 AM | Report abuse

I have it on very good authority that the English speaking world is shockingly deficient in profanities. When it comes to cussin' much of the world is like the fox, who knows many things, while we speakers of English are more like the hedgehog. We know just one big thing.

Of course, there is a lot of flexibility to it. I mean, that one word can be used as a noun, verb, adjective, adverb and free-floating invective depending on context and intonation is really quite impressive.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | September 4, 2009 7:52 AM | Report abuse

Happy happy birthday to Maggie. In about four months I'll be joining you, Mudge and ftb. Beautiful day here again. Like SD, we are having the weather now that would have been appreciated in July. It's great for house painting.

Posted by: badsneakers | September 4, 2009 7:54 AM | Report abuse

Snuke - I think you are on to something. It's like those anti-smoking commercials funded by tobacco companies that essentially encourage you to nag your children mercilessly about not smoking.

I have always suspected the tobacco companies realize that this approach might just conceivably encourage rebellious teens to light up.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | September 4, 2009 7:55 AM | Report abuse

And HAPPY BIRTHDAY MAGGIE!!!!! *slightly belated HUGSSSSSSSS* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | September 4, 2009 7:58 AM | Report abuse

Indeed RD, we who are from countries where English is only one of many languages are unendingly grateful for that word.
It makes for perfect accompaniment to hysteria. In all languages.

Last minute request:
Any restaurant suggestions for Toronto, especially the York U area?

Posted by: DNA_Girl | September 4, 2009 8:06 AM | Report abuse

Oh, and another odd thing...

Checked the Boston Globe's mobile Web site on the way in, and under "Sports" they had a column about the Tampa Bay Rays' troubles, written from Tampa's perspective...

Excuse me? *RCA Victor dog kinda look*

Posted by: Scottynuke | September 4, 2009 8:07 AM | Report abuse

Morning, all. Since Mr. T and I are in the hills, we are on mountain time, i.e. late to breakfast. Will scrambled eggs and bacon do?

Posted by: slyness | September 4, 2009 8:08 AM | Report abuse

sd! Are those pictures from after you fixed the pole?

The raccoons were back last night but stayed off the porch this time. Why would they need to be on the porch when they have the bird feeder to raid? Deer are pruning the tomato plants just about nightly. It might be time to have the electric co-op come out and put a new bulb in the yard light. I've been enjoying the darkness and the stars since it burned out, but my forest neighbors all seem to be criminals.

bia-I saw that facebook status too, and copied it from a cousin. It generated a long conversation on her page. She has a much more varied, politically, set of friends but the statement that no one should die or go broke does seem to be a good starting point of agreement for all but the lunatic fringe.

Morning boodle! TGIF and all that. Fog on the river this morning, time to get the boats out of the water.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | September 4, 2009 8:15 AM | Report abuse

DNA_girl, check out the area on Yonge St, between Shepperd and Finch - used to be some good restaurants there, not too far from York - three major intersections away to the east.

Good restaurants all over, pick a nationality and explore. Some nice restaurants with lots of variety in the Theatre District downtown, the Distillery district is becoming popular restaurants and galleries. Queen St West also has some fun places, or Greek Town on the Danforth.

Yorkville/Bloor Street area also has some great restaurants - although TIFF (film festival) is on now and that area is usually really busy around there.

When are you coming? I am available for a IBPH if you are interested.

Have fun.

Posted by: dmd3 | September 4, 2009 8:32 AM | Report abuse

Sorry, DNAGirl. I assumed that since Bollywood was so prim in a Hays Code way that there would be no wirty dirds and that the subtitles were just nonsensical phonetic transliterations. That seems to be a common meme among these videos. The tunes are catchy and the women tend to be rather attractive, so what's not to like?

Posted by: yellojkt | September 4, 2009 8:32 AM | Report abuse

The Distillery district info,

Posted by: dmd3 | September 4, 2009 8:33 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, Boodle. Happy birthday, Maggie. Welcome to Geezerhood. Are you warm enough? Would you like a shawl?

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | September 4, 2009 8:46 AM | Report abuse

Happy Birthday Maggie.

Posted by: dmd3 | September 4, 2009 8:51 AM | Report abuse

My wife was in heaven when we went to Toronto about ten years ago. Their Chinatown had tons of great Vietnamese restaurants. She went rapturous when she found some bahn mis just like she used to eat as a girl. Since then we have found lots of Falls Church places with good Vietnamese sandwiches, but finding them in Toronto was an unexpected delight.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 4, 2009 8:57 AM | Report abuse

Hi, all. Wilbrod, I tried to figure out what the reference was to Weingarten and drunk writers, and I'm stumped. Where was it from?

I read this comparison of today's healthcare fight to 1994 in Brad DeLong's blog this morning and I think it's well thought out and calm. As in, not-hysterical.

Posted by: Wheezy11 | September 4, 2009 9:07 AM | Report abuse

Very large asian population in Toronto, at last count about 5 different Chinatowns now (a loose term encompassing various nationalities).

Also very large south asian population so many Indian, Thai, etc restaurants.

The reason there are good ethnic restaurants.

Posted by: dmd3 | September 4, 2009 9:10 AM | Report abuse

Happy birthday, Maggie, and may there be many more delightful ones for you!

Posted by: slyness | September 4, 2009 9:13 AM | Report abuse

I figured out the answer to my 7:35 AM quest. It's the other delete key. D'Oh!

Posted by: omnigood | September 4, 2009 9:27 AM | Report abuse

We have a blessing of birthdays this week. Congrats on getting older Maggie. It beats the alternative.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 4, 2009 9:34 AM | Report abuse

The standard delete key on a Mac keyboard is the functional equivalent of the backspace key on a PC keyboard. This new Mac key must do what the Delete key on a PC keyboard does.

As a bi-OS person, it's probably the biggest mental adjustment I need to make between computers. Besides remembering how to right click on things.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 4, 2009 9:37 AM | Report abuse

Actually, stasis would be a perfectly good alternative, no? :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | September 4, 2009 9:39 AM | Report abuse

A huge HBTY Maggie!!!

The Chinatown I remember in Toronto is way downtown (no more details, as it was incredibly long ago, even if I have been back in Toronto several times since) -- and I had my first encounter with Hot and Sour Soup. It was dang-good. I find that if the clientele has more Asians than Anglos in it, the food is bound to be good.

And, BTW, I *heart* the Beatles, too. Rubber Soul is one of my favorites.

Posted by: -ftb- | September 4, 2009 9:40 AM | Report abuse

Oh, and put me down for one to attend the IBPHCF.

My research reveals that the 61B ART bus from Court House Metro (or something like that) can get us to within a couple of blocks of the restaurant. Unfortunately it doesn't run late enough to take us back.

So let's figure out the time and car pooling logistics.

I'm still catching up on the some of this Boodle and want to say I'm voting for car #2(2009 Audi R8), #3(2009 Mazda MX-5 Miata) and #5(Ford Shelby GT500). [those are place numbers, not pic numbers, by the way] But I have to say the Ford is my fave. All I need now is a winning lotto.

Posted by: omnigood | September 4, 2009 9:42 AM | Report abuse

Thanks yello. I took another look at my link and noticed the length of the delete key was longer than the key I was trying to use, then took another look at my keyboard. Thing is, there is plenty of room on the delete (PC backspace) key for that other symbol. In other good news, the symbol for the option key that I see all over the place in my Mac book, but no explanation in the book that I can find for what that key actually is... now I know.

Posted by: omnigood | September 4, 2009 9:50 AM | Report abuse

The Mac keyboard shortcut for trashing a file is Command("cloverleaf")+Delete.

Posted by: ScienceTim | September 4, 2009 10:01 AM | Report abuse

Don't even get me started on the differences in functionality between the Command, Control, Appple, Option, Alt, and Windows keys.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 4, 2009 10:03 AM | Report abuse

Wheezy, I'm now lashing away in the self-castigation club.

The reference is to an old article by Joel.

"The thing that struck me about Joel's fine essay about Teddy Kennedy was that he is too young to "get" the Kennedys, and yet he does. And he deconstructs the Beatles nicely, too:
(Thanks again, kbertocci!)

Posted by: seasea1 | September 3, 2009 10:37 PM"

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | September 4, 2009 10:07 AM | Report abuse

Happy Birthday to Maggie!!

While the Boodle is answering computer questions, here's one for you iPhone users. I have a 2nd generation iPhone, which currently has all my addresses and contacts on it. Hundreds of entries.
I am starting all over with Outlook on a new computer, and its address book currently has three entries.
I need to sync my phone. However, I desperately do NOT want the contacts on iPhone to disappear when it is synced with the almost empty Outlook. Thus I hesitate, even though I know I need to check for updates etc for iPhone.
How do this work? When I sync, does Outlook absorb the iPhone contacts, or does iPhone get absorbed by Outlook?
I'm trying to find someone at Apple to anser this, but thought I'd ask the Boodle too.

Posted by: Ivansmom | September 4, 2009 10:07 AM | Report abuse

I decided to get back on kit and research "hysteria" as Freud saw it. Oy, it is painful.

Along the way I discovered "Extraordinary Popular Delusions And The Madness Of Crowds" is very old and available free on the internet

Posted by: Jumper1 | September 4, 2009 10:21 AM | Report abuse

The exact quote from Section 5 of Joel's Beatle article is:

"This is an unfashionable way of looking at creativity but it has impressive anecdotal support. Samuel Taylor Coleridge wrote the poem Kubla Khan while semi-conscious on opium. The four great American writers of this century, Hemingway, Faulkner, Fitzgerald and Weingarten, were constantly drunk."

Talk about sucking up to your editor.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 4, 2009 10:32 AM | Report abuse

DNA Girl, pretty much all of Scarborough is "Chinatown". There is plenty of all-Chinese mini-malls with good restaurants. If the walls are covered with menus and specials in Chinese ideograms only it's a good sign.
This summer we had an excellent meal at the Divine Wok. Their specialty is seafood. You get to be acquainted with your food before you eat it as they usually catch and present the living fish (including eels) or crustacean to you before they cook it. The meal was fabulous and cheap, about $85 for one appetizer, 5 entrees and a couple of beers at $2.95 each.
And there are plenty more like that sprinkled around the city. TO is a great place for all kinds of Asian food.

Yes Frosti, the $%*!! bear took down my new and improved set up. The good news is that it couldn't break or bend the support, it's the fence post buried in the ground that bent. I'll replace it with a piece of 2in. pipe. Let's see if the b@stard can bend that.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | September 4, 2009 10:34 AM | Report abuse

You're definitely right, Shriek, about the menus with ideograms only. Great food.

In regard to the acquaintenceship with the food prior to the, well, devouring it, I go by the old standard: "Don't want to greet it before I eat it".

Posted by: -ftb- | September 4, 2009 10:42 AM | Report abuse

You can quit with the lashing, Wilbrod. Thanks for the link, it was a little trip outside time to read an older, somewhat less careful Joel. Very strange to try to locate *when* one had that perspective on the former Beatles ... after John had died, before we started forgiving Paul and thinking of him as that adorable old guy. When Ringo was still kind of a creep. You know.

Posted by: Wheezy11 | September 4, 2009 10:49 AM | Report abuse

You know, getting back to that "college list" I was talking to a coworker who pointed out that what would really be useful is a monster spreadsheet that contains all available stats on places of higher education. (Including, for example, male to female ratio and availability of Chinese take out.)

That way, a prospective student (or parent) could rack&stack potential schools according to the criteria that matters to them, and not the editors of some magazine.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | September 4, 2009 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Shrieking, just go with the 4" pipe from the start. No sense working up. Use the early force and save later effort - kinda like shock & awe, I guess.

The 4" pipe has kept our mailbox standing for thirty years now, even though the box itself has been crushed by baseball bats (and replaced) once or twice.

Posted by: Ivansmom | September 4, 2009 11:13 AM | Report abuse

Mere numbers cannot fully communicate the life experience that is college. Regarding the male to female ratio, one of my daughter's male friends who goes to Wm & Mary told us, "The odds are good, but the goods are odd."

Posted by: kguy1 | September 4, 2009 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Shrieking D, that's what we used to say at Rice. Back in the day the man:woman ratio was 3:1. A third of the guys were deeply geeky, a third had girlfriends or were engaged - so the women all dated from the same 1/3 pool of guys, at about a 1:1 ratio.

I like RD's idea of the omnivorous, multiversal college spreadsheet. I think some start-up online group was doing something like that, but I can't remember who they are now. They had basically unlimited information from any student or alum who cared to comment.

Posted by: Ivansmom | September 4, 2009 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Whoops meant kguy on the college quote. That's what happens when your post gets eaten.

Posted by: Ivansmom | September 4, 2009 11:34 AM | Report abuse

"The odds are good, but the goods are odd" is used at GT as well, but with the gender ration reversed. It's also tough to refute.

This video sums up The Ratio:

Posted by: yellojkt | September 4, 2009 11:37 AM | Report abuse

That quote, I think, originated in regards to Alaskan men. Never heard it applied to W&M.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | September 4, 2009 11:39 AM | Report abuse

That list is a bunch of carp when it puts the University of South Dakota above the U of North Dakota. However, as others have mentioned, it can't be all bad. North Dakota comes in much higher than some of Minnesota's "elite" private schools.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | September 4, 2009 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Don't know if anyone here is aware of it, but there was just a massive Internet outage in the general Washington region for the past hour or two, apparently linked to Verizon (according to rumor). The system is back up now. Our IT guys (in whose department I now sit) have been basically paralyzed for the last couple hours.

In an unrelated matter, re: "The four great American writers of this century, Hemingway, Faulkner, Fitzgerald and Weingarten, were constantly drunk," is a very typical Joel witticism and hyperbole, with a bit of inside joke re Weingarten, and not to be taken seriously. Yes, the other three guys drank like fish, but they seldom or never wrote while drinking/drunk. As most people ought to know. Very, very few artists have ever produced much while drunk or stoned. The few that have have created an untrue stereotype.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | September 4, 2009 11:45 AM | Report abuse


I used to regularly eat lunch with a group of co-eds (I love using that quaintly 50s Playboyish term for female college students) at GT and they began your lament about the depth of the dating pool despite the favorable Ratio. Since I fell into Group B (outside girlfriend), I had to back off on my "quit yer b1tchin'" rant.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 4, 2009 11:46 AM | Report abuse

We just had a fly pass of about six planes from the Toronto Airshow - think it was the Snowbirds but not possitive - they went pretty fast :-).

Gorgeous day here and a fantastic weekend ahead, long weekend, a party and Ribfest, as good as it gets.

Posted by: dmd3 | September 4, 2009 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Oh, terrif. Krauthammer is going to do a live chat at 1:30 on the decline of Obama. Be still, my colon.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | September 4, 2009 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Gene does have his much vaunted heroin addiction. Maybe he was just envious that the era of literary salons with opium hookahs was long gone.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 4, 2009 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Frosty, where did the University of Southern North Dakota at Hoople come in on that list?

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | September 4, 2009 11:52 AM | Report abuse

/Praying for the quietitude of Mudge's colon, as well./

Good one-liner.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | September 4, 2009 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Have you submitted your question Mudge?

Posted by: dmd3 | September 4, 2009 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Alas, Mudge, despite a school song composed by PDQ Bach, USND Hoople didn't even make the list. Overlooking the annual Hop to Hoople as a vital quality of student life indicator puts the list back in the carp category. Thanks for pointing it out.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | September 4, 2009 11:57 AM | Report abuse

SCC- spilled the comma shaker. Rearrange or delete as needed.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | September 4, 2009 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Don't forget to toss a few commas over your shoulder for good luck, frosti...

Posted by: Scottynuke | September 4, 2009 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Six men to every woman.

But there was a woman's college next door.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | September 4, 2009 12:07 PM | Report abuse

RIP, Francis Rogallo

Father of Hang Gliding Dies

Francis Rogallo, 1912-2009

Updated: Thursday, 03 Sep 2009, 2:42 PM EDT

[excerpts, from Rogallo Foundation release:]

OUTER BANKS, NC - Francis Rogallo, inventor of the flexible wing passed away September 1st in Southern Shores, NC next to Kitty Hawk, NC. [not really--it's a few miles away] Francis and Gertrude Rogallo invented the flexible or Rogallo wing in 1948 which led to a genie's bottle of flying machines and allowed millions of people around the world to experience the joy of flight. The invention led to the development of the hang glider, paraglider, ultra lights (light sport aircraft), sport parachutes, delta kites, stunt kites, parafoil kites, sport parachutes, and kiteboarding kites.

In 1948, Francis and Gertrude Rogallo invented the flexible wing at their home. Their dream was to build a wing that would allow inexpensive personal flight. The couple experimented at home using a homemade wind tunnel that was constructed from cardboard and a window fan. The first successful prototype was made from Gertrude's kitchen curtains.

The Rogallo wing is considered one of the simplest airfoils ever created. A wing using the airfoil could be used to carry payloads, tanks, jeeps, or pilot-control assemblies. For years the couple tried ceaselessly to attract both government and industry interest in their flexible wing, and they licensed a manufacturer in Connecticut to sell a kite based on it. When the DuPont Company announced the development of Mylar in 1952, Rogallo immediately saw how superior it would be for his kite, and the five-dollar toy "Flexikite" became one of the first products to use the plastic material. The Rogallos found themselves traveling to kiting events around the Northeast to fly and promote the toy.

It was on October 4, 1957 ...[that] the Rogallos gave their patent to the government so that it would be used for public good, and with Francis Rogallo's help at the wind tunnels, NASA began a series of experiments testing the Parawing (NASA renamed the Rogallo wing the Parawing. Modern hang glider pilots still refer to it as the Rogallo wing).

In 1963 NASA awarded Mr. Rogallo the highest cash award to date for his generosity of freely giving the government the use of his patents. He was inducted into the NC Sports Hall of Fame in 1987, and on May 11,1997, the NASA Langley Research Center recognized Mr. Rogallo "for (your) many contributions to flight."

Rogallo has also been recognized by the National Air and Space Museum of the Smithsonian Institute "for outstanding achievement in aerospace technology."

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | September 4, 2009 12:12 PM | Report abuse

The following was in an email I just received. There were many issues in the message -- this was just one:

"The [county]PSS Office of School Administration has given principals discretion regarding the showing of the President’s message. We will not be showing the President’s message at [this school] because it conflicts with previously scheduled activities."

Posted by: ScienceTim | September 4, 2009 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Princess Sparkle Pony for President?
Why not.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | September 4, 2009 12:24 PM | Report abuse

rainforest -- bh72

Thanks for the link to the AltaRock drilling project being halted. My daughter and family are coming down for the Labor Day weekend and I have saved the link for her. They should be delighted!

Posted by: nellie4 | September 4, 2009 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Roam around Mars to your heart's content:

Images released from HiRISE, the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment on Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO).

Posted by: ScienceTim | September 4, 2009 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Oh my...

Is Joel aware of this?

Posted by: Scottynuke | September 4, 2009 12:37 PM | Report abuse

By the way, from the "what could possibly go wrong dep't", our embassy will be setting off explosions in your capital.

We're totally going to get kicked out. I think we're already on double secret probation.

Posted by: engelmann | September 4, 2009 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Happy Birthday, Maggie.

Sorry to hear about Rogallo, I used his wing design many times as a kid, when I was desiging and building aircraft at home.

Hmmm. He gave the design to NASA on Oct. 4, 1957? Um, correct me if I'm wrong, but wouldn't that be the day that the Soviets launched their first Sputnik into Earth orbit? Interesting. Ya gotta wonder what *those* conversations were like -- if alcohol was involved, and a possible "I love you, man," or two.


Posted by: -bc- | September 4, 2009 12:43 PM | Report abuse

So they'll be throwing shawls at the embassy? Are they cold already?

Posted by: Scottynuke | September 4, 2009 12:44 PM | Report abuse

When you drill down to the pages for the individual images, some of them are offered as anaglyphs (3D images). I happen to have a small supply of red-green 3D spectacles sitting on my desk. The 3D images are neat to zoom into, then slide around all over the place to look at details. There are some extremely clear water-erosion gullies in the one I just looked at.

Posted by: ScienceTim | September 4, 2009 12:47 PM | Report abuse

No, no, hairy dogs Scotty.

Posted by: engelmann | September 4, 2009 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Call Washington Monthly! They'll surely want to re-do that rating for the University of Florida once they see the quality of work those folks are doing.

Posted by: kguy1 | September 4, 2009 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Yoki, just listened to Boch's B Minor Mass. Add it to the list.

Posted by: russianthistle | September 4, 2009 12:58 PM | Report abuse

I think I'll have to get hysterical over engelmann calling me a hairy dog (no offense, Wilbrodog).

I mean, I AM hirsute, but really!!!

Posted by: Scottynuke | September 4, 2009 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Scotty, Wilbrod, E-mann, don't know if this helps or not:

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | September 4, 2009 1:20 PM | Report abuse

SCC: meant Scotty, Wilbrodog, and E-mann.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | September 4, 2009 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the tip. That was a slam-dunk for No Duh News.

Another reason I call Gatorland Florida's premier four-year theme park.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 4, 2009 1:27 PM | Report abuse

OK, Boodle, I need some help here. I'm cooking dinner for four guests on Sunday, and I need something new, different, interesting, and maybe just a slight bit summer-y, but maybe OK if autumnal. Perhaps something seafoody, but not necessarily.

Ideas? Recommendations?

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | September 4, 2009 1:39 PM | Report abuse

You should read a little farther into the article -- the authors agree that it is pretty obvious, but bars (especially campus bars) defend themselves the same way that the cigarette industry defends itself against charges that it is trying to induce minors to smoke -- "We are not trying to create new smokers/drunks, we are trying to induce brand/bar-switching." This study provides the solid data to support the obvious hypothesis and to empirically contradict the self-serving hypothesis offered by bars.

Posted by: ScienceTim | September 4, 2009 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Hi Mudge.

We are attempting to make Brazilian Coconut Shrimp Kabobs at our cookout tomorrow.

The recipe is from Stephen Raichlen of Primal Grill/Barbecue USA fame. Here is a link:

Posted by: Moose13 | September 4, 2009 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Oh that's easy, 'Mudge...

Bacon-wrapped watermelon.

Posted by: Scottynuke | September 4, 2009 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Shrimp and watermelon cocktails.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | September 4, 2009 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Wow! If I combine the two...

Bacon-wrapped watermelon-and-shrimp kabobs...

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | September 4, 2009 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Obviously CMudge's Texaphobia prevented him from reading my post the other day.

Sweet Jalapeno Corn Dog Shrimp- seafoody and summery!

Posted by: kguy1 | September 4, 2009 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for that link, Moose. Some interesting recipes there. I like the "asparagus rafts" (I can do that!!) as well as the red snapper in banana leaves. I was thinking, I don't have any banana leaves, but I wonder if I wrap it in corn husks...

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | September 4, 2009 2:09 PM | Report abuse

I call shenanigans on at least three of these so-called "burgers"...

Posted by: Scottynuke | September 4, 2009 2:14 PM | Report abuse

O.M.G., kguy, ya wanna kill me? Deep-fried *butter* fer crying out loud? Deep-fried peaches-and-cream? Fried peanut butter cup macaroon. Country friend bacon (the mind boggles).

Two of my coronary arteries just went into spasm as I read it. I've got plaque salivating and doing high fives. I'm gonna need a double-Plavix heart enema to clear everything out.

Gotta say, though, that shrimp corn dog idea is making me think...

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | September 4, 2009 2:18 PM | Report abuse

...the Voodoo Doughnut Burger... hmmmmmm

Scotty, what does "I call shenanigans" mean?

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | September 4, 2009 2:25 PM | Report abuse

In this example, it means they ain't burgers!!! Sticking the equivalent of a side of beef in an oven for 14 hours is barbeque, if anything...

Posted by: Scottynuke | September 4, 2009 2:37 PM | Report abuse

I just skimmed the Krauthammer chat, and I've gotta say he seemed much more human than usual. His opinions were typically boneheaded, but the amazing number of typos somehow ameliorated my usual gag reflex where "Upchuck" Krauthammer is concerned.

Posted by: kguy1 | September 4, 2009 2:48 PM | Report abuse

I see. Yes. And I think the Double Coronary Burger and the Hot Fudge Burger were basically gimics, as was the $175 Richard Nouveau pate-in-truffle-oil monstrosity was over-reaching it a bit, too. (Is "nouveau" the French word for "highway robbery"?)

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | September 4, 2009 2:48 PM | Report abuse

New stuff from Joel on the NASA report!!

Posted by: Scottynuke | September 4, 2009 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Which is the college they DON'T drink at, again?

Posted by: Jumper1 | September 4, 2009 3:13 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: Scottynuke | September 4, 2009 3:14 PM | Report abuse

The Vortex, which has been featured on Man Vs. Food, is one of the favorites of my son and me. The double coronary burger is real and fairly popular and has been featured on Man Vs. Food. I had my son nearly talked into the DCB on our last visit but calmer heads prevailed. I have had both the Big Blue Buffalo Burger and the Black and Blue Burger with Bison, which are two very different things.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 4, 2009 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Presumably at Regents U, they don't f0rnicate.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 4, 2009 3:21 PM | Report abuse

btw, the first page of the Vortex menu is a riot. Worth checking out.

And the drink menu should be required reading before your 21st birthday.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 4, 2009 3:25 PM | Report abuse

It's true, like the Palin clan they don't fornicate but they sure keep the Holy Ghost busy.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | September 4, 2009 3:31 PM | Report abuse

It's either the Electoral College or the college of cardinals, Jumper. Probably the latter.

Hey, Joel, why did you say in your article it would be "much easier" to send a manned mission to Phobos, rather than to Mars itself? Isn't it approximately the same difference? Why's Phobos "much" easier?

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | September 4, 2009 3:32 PM | Report abuse

No, yello, at Regents U. they do it into their elbow. Like coughing, it satisfies the reflex yet prevents the spread of disease.

Posted by: kguy1 | September 4, 2009 3:33 PM | Report abuse

New kit! I swear I thought you knew.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | September 4, 2009 3:35 PM | Report abuse

"and it's never clear if he's as clueless and out to lunch as he comes off.."

I do not know about him, but I do know that Eisenhower did it on purpose. On occasions he would say "Let me talk to the Press. I will get them confused."

Posted by: GaryEMasters | September 7, 2009 8:21 AM | Report abuse

I'm sorry, but the "Menu of Classroom Activities" for Obama's address tomorrow (this one here: has got to be one of the strangest things conceived by Americans since the weird 1950s. So incredibly, I find myself siding with the right-wingers on this one -- it is indeed straight out of Pyongyang.

Posted by: kristopher1 | September 7, 2009 1:28 PM | Report abuse

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