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Reviewing the decade in review

Now, a quick roundup of the Decade In Review stories.

Here's Time's Decade From Hell story. Loved the cover. The author's point is that we created our own problems through greed, deferral of responsibility, and various other sins:

It was almost as if we as a nation said in previous decades, "Why do today what we can put off until the first decade of the 21st century?" But we didn't rise to those challenges. What we just lived through, then, was the chickens coming home to roost.

And here's a similar note from Richard Ford in the New York Times:

'2000, if it looks like anything now, looks like a year in which we proved ourselves not to be a completely thriving democracy but rather a dangerously ambivalent and inattentive one -- willing to let its presidential election be decided not by the voters but by a politicized court, willing to be apathetic about the outcome of our constitutional acts, willing to feel insulated from violence by our own putative rectitude in the world, willing to define life, liberty and pursuit of happiness as our right to bury our noses hubristically in our personal lives and public irrelevancies and do whatever we please.'

Troy Patterson in Slate offers up a decade of cultural highlights (I think I missed all of them!).


Krugman says the decade was a big, fat zero. Um, yeah, it was bad, but did we really learn nothing at all?

Howie says it was a great decade for information, but awful for Old Media. See also, for extra credit, Jack Shafer's review of the Ken Auletta book on Google.

You saw my story on the decade. There's also an interactive graphic for the kind of people who like to play with their food. Via that graphic you'll find some interesting links to stories in the Post over the past decade, including:

Bart Gellman's eyewitness account on 9/11.

Bush started planning the Iraq war 3 months after 9/11.

Google knows everything (and fyi I did not intend for that piece to come out as anti-library -- I'm a library junkie).

Has Facebook jumped the shark (and has "jumped the shark" jumped the shark?).

By Joel Achenbach  |  December 28, 2009; 12:30 PM ET
 
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: The 2000s: Don't try this at home
Next: Washington's four seasons

Comments

So, do I have the hono(u)r of being first?

Posted by: -ftb- | December 28, 2009 1:39 PM | Report abuse

First from India?!?!

Posted by: DNA_Girl | December 28, 2009 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Repost to the NYT pictogram decade in review for those who don't like too many words:

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2009/12/27/opinion/28opchart.html

Posted by: yellojkt | December 28, 2009 1:54 PM | Report abuse

The Troy Patterson listicle is opaque even by Slate standards. The only item I am really familiar with is Tom Wolfe and Charlotte Simmons. I highly recommend it to anybody with college-bound kids. And Tom Wolfe is quickly eclipsing Andy Rooney as the most ridiculous grumpy old man out there. He is a very good writer, just not as good as he thinks he is and especially not as good as he thinks everybody should think he is.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 28, 2009 2:01 PM | Report abuse

yello: from prior kit...the Palin thing. I sit corrected. Heard it on Osgood and assumed Palin had said it. Merci.

Posted by: MsJS | December 28, 2009 2:03 PM | Report abuse

My summary was better. None of the others mentions Charlie Sheen and Denise Richards.

I rest my case.

Congrats, yello. Now you and MsJS are both wrong.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | December 28, 2009 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Are they mumbling in Mumbai? A city with dabbawalas providing hyper-organized lunch delivery has to be a neat place.

I spent much of election day 2000 flying from Florida to Oregon, finding out about the big mess only upon arriving at my friends' home. At the moment, Palm Beach County's ballot was getting the attention. Somewhat later, it came to attention that large numbers of people in Jacksonville who thought they were voting for Gore somehow hadn't. White kids in Jacksonville listening to black-oriented radio got quite a different perspective than their TV-watching parents.

At the New Yorker, Rebecca Mead discusses the namelessness of the decade.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | December 28, 2009 2:10 PM | Report abuse

I'd say you had a reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeely good chance in that category, DNA-Girl. Travel safely! :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | December 28, 2009 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, my being wrong is hardly news. Happens many times daily. Ask MrJS.

As these things go, I do like your list of the decade's highlights.

Krugman and Patterson are...interesting.

Time is onto something in that we create our own reality, but that's hardly a decade-worthy event as we've been doing that since the cave days.

To me Facebook became passe the day I joined three years ago. I'm usually a tech laggard.

Posted by: MsJS | December 28, 2009 2:16 PM | Report abuse

DNA_Girl, India! Pictures, please (when you have time). Detailed descriptions would be fine, too.

I have to say that I hate those interactive graphic pages.

Posted by: seasea1 | December 28, 2009 2:17 PM | Report abuse

http://www.savetheguac.com is the University of Florida's information page on saving Florida's avocado groves (which had a banner sales year) from a horrific beetle-fungus combo that's been destroying red bays and avocado trees. At present, the only plausible preventive is a costly insecticide procedure that involves exposing the trees' roots. Happy guacamole. (News story at the Miami Herald)

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | December 28, 2009 2:22 PM | Report abuse

I'm used to it. In fact, being habitually wrong is one of my badges of honor.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 28, 2009 2:23 PM | Report abuse

yello, I'm a huge Tom Wolfe fan but found Charlotte Simmons to be a major downer. "Grumpy" is right; Wolfe has always been that way but in the past the grumpiness was overwhelmed by his general fascination with life and keen sense of humor.

Posted by: joelache | December 28, 2009 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Charlotte Simmons is a downer in part because some of what TW writes about is true.

I did not like the book, but it made me sad more because it reeked of and read like nonfiction of a difficult and dark subject.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | December 28, 2009 2:34 PM | Report abuse

This glimpse of the future is way cool!

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/27/books/review/Saletan-t.html?ref=books

Posted by: rickoshea1 | December 28, 2009 2:35 PM | Report abuse

jk's PictoGram link is great. Get thee there. Aloha.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | December 28, 2009 2:36 PM | Report abuse

msjs, you are wrong. Facebook waited for me to join before it truly jumped the shark. I have a real thing about avoiding the "hot" things. I just cannot abide hype. Music, movies, the New Coke. Hype makes me want to crawl into a hole and hide. I am likely to do so except when hype makes me mad. And the older I get, the more often that happens.

Speaking of movies (which we weren't), I watched 'Up' 3 times on the flight back home. Then I had to go buy it. Paid full price too. I love this movie something fierce.

Posted by: --dr-- | December 28, 2009 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Good afternoon, all.

I understand that the Clerk of the Cosmic Course is considering calling the last decade a Mulligan.

bc

Posted by: LostInThought | December 28, 2009 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Well, that's bizarre. bc, are you at LostinThought's place now? (not to get nosy)

Posted by: seasea1 | December 28, 2009 2:48 PM | Report abuse

It ought to be noted that the only reason I joined Facebook was to communicate with people I love on the other side of the world. For this it is superior.

Posted by: --dr-- | December 28, 2009 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Talk about defining your own reality. Time seems to think the levees failed because of something other than contractor malfeasance when the soil levees were built.

The should-we-still-be-gushy Facebook article was rather dim. But then again, as Bailey sez, "Facebook turns everybody into an 8th-grade girl."

Posted by: Jumper1 | December 28, 2009 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Are we STILL talking about the last decade? Man, that is so . . . 2009. Really, dudes.

Yello, that was the best description of Tom Wolfe I've ever read. I used to like his stuff but the more "important" he got the less interested I've been in reading him.

Facebook is very useful for keeping up with extended family and distant friends. I'm not a good Facebook denizen, since I never post anything personal and almost all my info is highly restricted. I just use it to peek at my friends.

Posted by: Ivansmom | December 28, 2009 3:07 PM | Report abuse

dr, we received a couple of copies of Up for Christmas, last night dmdspouse and the kids watched it downstairs - I wasn't in the mood for a sad movie so I passed, 3 of the four came upstairs crying.

Posted by: dmd3 | December 28, 2009 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Alas, I think LostinThought has turned into bc.

(He really shouldn't be nipping people like that, even if it's two full days before the full moon.)

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 28, 2009 3:08 PM | Report abuse

I love Charlotte Simmons because what he wrote was both so spot on accurate and yet completely wrong all at the same time. By amalgamating Gatorland and Dook together and making his protagonist the most naive ingenue since Pollyanna he does this incredible expose on both the mundane and the shockworthy.

And CS is such a clear outgrowth of the 'Hooking Up' essay you can almost see the plot points develop. He never quite catches on that 'hooking up' is deliberately ambiguous just so that it will confuse fuddy-duddies like him.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 28, 2009 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Hmmm. Isn't that interesting. But I'm all alone at my humble abode.

The first thought that popped into my head about turning into bc was 'My shoes!!!'

Hope everyone is still enjoying the holiday season, even if, like me, you're at your desk going through stacks of paper.

Posted by: LostInThought | December 28, 2009 3:25 PM | Report abuse

And speaking of grumpy, Andy Rooney needs to retire. I usually switch the channel before he comes on, if I've been watching 60 Minutes, but last night I didn't, unfortunately. What a downer. 30 or 40 years ago, I thought he was funny at times, but he's lost any charm.

Posted by: seasea1 | December 28, 2009 3:28 PM | Report abuse

As the pictogram shows, Moms On Facebook is very 2008. As we speak, our kids have all migrated to something we won't even hear about for another year or two.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 28, 2009 3:30 PM | Report abuse

I-mom, what would you like to talk about now that the Ooozies (Aughts) decade is so last week? I'm sorta ready to move on myself.

I like Facebook and am grateful to be able to keep up w/ folks in that way. But I don't do anything there that translates into $$$$$$$ for the company. If FB relied on people like me for its revenue, it'd be virtual toast by now.

Posted by: MsJS | December 28, 2009 3:33 PM | Report abuse

I love Tom Wolfe if only for his defense of "A Co-Ed in Full" or whatever it was called.

Not to upset anyone (cuz I know this is unwelcome subject here) but there's an interesting description of Sarah Palin's book and her appeal in general in the NY Times Review of Books (http://www.nybooks.com/articles/23532). I'll let you guess where their sympathies lie. Apologies if this has been called out here previously.

Posted by: Fifty | December 28, 2009 3:33 PM | Report abuse

If I weren't so determined not to be lame & talk about the last decade, I'd say that nyt pictogram is pretty way cool.

Dudz, i admit i m lame, but nyt pictogram iz way kewl. itz gr8.

Posted by: Ivansmom | December 28, 2009 3:36 PM | Report abuse

hi 50!

dunno, MsJS. Not talkin bout Palin. Lame. So 2000 & l8. [as a popular hip-hop song sez]

readin a gud bk - 1st in "peculiar crimes unit" mystery series. Thnk itz "A full dark house" or sumpin like that. Smart. Well-plotted. Got Gail Collins latest 2. Not lame!

ftb, re Stieg Larssen - 2 me glimpz of Swedish gummint red tape wuz scary, not sure he meant it that way but livin like that wld drive me nutz

Posted by: Ivansmom | December 28, 2009 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Stepping into English briefly, here's a multi-part piece on the U.S. health care system and recently passed bill by my friend David Blatt, economist & explainer extraordinaire and Director of Policy for the Oklahoma Policy Institute, a private nonpartisan think tank which tries to keep the state honest about its money. As he explains, he wrote this for a French friend.

First Part:


Health Care Reform for Dummies... and the FrenchShare
Today at 1:08pm
Every year or two, I get an e-mail from my former housemate in France asking me to help make sense of some raging American political issue - impeachment, the electoral college, superdelegates - that is getting regular coverage abroad but which is wickedly hard to make sense of if you're not immersed in our political system. On Christmas eve, after the Senate's passage of the health care bill, the latest e-mail came from Maxime, saying that if I had a few minutes (ha!), could I help him understand the stakes in the health care reform debate. "What will change if there's a public option?", he asked. "If there isn't a public option?" "Who will become insured, and who won't?". My response only touched on a small portion of the provisions of the bill and oversimplifies in all sorts of ways, but tries to at least explain the crux of what the bills would do in ways a non-expert can follow. Assuming this may be of some value to one or two of my American friends as well, here it is

In the US, there are three ways that people get health insurance:

* about half are covered through private insurance provided through their employer;
* about 1/3rd are covered through the government - primarily through Medicare, a program for the elderly, or Medicaid, a program for the poor;
* about 1/10 buy insurance for themselves on the "individual market". Individual insurance tends to be expensive and there are a lot of restrictions on the coverage.

Posted by: Ivansmom | December 28, 2009 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Part the Second of David Blatt, Oklahoma Policy Institute, on Health Care Reform:

The rest of the population - about 15%, or almost 50 million Americans - has no insurance. The uninsured are primarily low-income adults who are in jobs that do not offer health insurance and who make too much to qualify for public insurance (Medicaid).

What health insurance reform would do - under both the Senate and House versions - is provide coverage for most of those who are now uninsured. They would do that primarily by: 1) making more people eligible for Medicaid; 2) providing subsidies to purchase insurance on the individual market. Most people would now be required, or mandated, to have insurance. At the same time, the bills reorganize the individual market by creating "exchanges" where people could go to compare and purchase insurance. In addition, they'd require that insurance in the individual and group markets cover more services and do away with certain practices that are common in the industry - such as not covering people for "pre-existing conditions".

Alors - what is the public option? This refers to whether or not these new health insurance exchanges where some people would go to buy their insurance (but not everyone - 85% of people would still be covered by their employers or by government programs) would include a government-operated insurance product. The House bill would require a public product to be available, along with private insurance options. Under the Senate bill, there would be no government product as a choice on the exchange - you could only purchase insurance from privately-operated companies. The huge battle over the public option between liberals and conservatives was highly symbolic and political. In reality, very few people (maybe 3% of the population) would be insured by the new public product even if the House bill becomes law.

Posted by: Ivansmom | December 28, 2009 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Part the Third, David Blatt, Oklahoma Policy Institute, on Health Care Reform:


The real importance of the bill is that it makes affordable coverage available to tens of millions of those currently uninsured through the expansion of existing public programs (Medicaid) and through public subsidies for private coverage. Given the huge toll that the lack of insurance takes on people's health and finances, that's huge. It also does a whole bunch of other good things - such as prohibiting insurance companies from not covering necessary services or canceling your coverage if you get sick. The bills take a less comprehensive approach to bringing the cost of medical care under control, but contain a variety of promising approaches that many believe have the potential to create a health care system that produces better outcomes at lower cost. And since the bills include substantial new revenues to pay for the expansion of coverage, they will not add to the federal deficit.

All in all, the bills would represent enormous progress. Of course they are far from perfect, and I can tell you a lot about what could make the bills better (the public option would be on my list, but not #1). The biggest drawback to this reform is that it works within the broad architecture of the current system, whereas many would say that it would've been better to tear down the system and rebuild entirely (with a single-payor system or something completely different). That approach was rejected by both the President and Congress, who believed (rightly, in my view) that they could never succeed in passing fundamental reform. Given the decision to work within the existing system, and given the political realities of needing 60 votes to pass anything through the Senate, this will be an amazing accomplishment.

*That is all.*

Posted by: Ivansmom | December 28, 2009 3:52 PM | Report abuse

"A Co-Ed in Full"!! I am so going to steal that. It's better than "Bonfire of the Cheerleaders".

Posted by: yellojkt | December 28, 2009 3:52 PM | Report abuse

I like hearing about good books. Thanks to I-mom and others who've been mentioning their recent reads.

All gummint red tape is scary if it's you that's stuck in it.

I'm feeling quite abundant today. Lots of things to be grateful for. Had a long chat w/ a friend who's been homeless for a while, and she's very upbeat and enthusiastic. If she can be happy, most of us can, or at least I can.

Posted by: MsJS | December 28, 2009 3:59 PM | Report abuse

*tip o' the hat to David Blatt for an exceptional summary* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | December 28, 2009 4:19 PM | Report abuse

But it isn't sad at all, dmd. Its quite UPlifting.

The first 10 minutes will make you cry but after that its sort of like watching Curmudgeon if he was in a Lew Grant phase. (Though the more I watch it, the more I see dear Mudge in Russell.) Sweet, charming and seriously heartwarming and we cannot help but fall in love.

And if that doesn't get you, watch the video about the making of it. This is why I love dvds.

Posted by: --dr-- | December 28, 2009 4:25 PM | Report abuse

*Cookie Alert*

The 2nd Annual Cookie-thon will be held on January 4. Four kinds of cookies in one afternoon.

Suggestions are welcome and may be submitted by morning of Jan 2. Decision of the judges (me and 18-yr-old niece) is final. Those entries not selected for the Jan 4 event may be used at a later date.

Samples will be placed on the Boodle table as soon as they cool.

Posted by: MsJS | December 28, 2009 4:28 PM | Report abuse

The guys at jib jab did a fairly funny year end review, just saw it on the TV machine.

Posted by: badsneakers | December 28, 2009 4:30 PM | Report abuse

I'm a loyal Tom Wolfe reader. I was initially impressed by his skill when I read a short story--or was it "new journalism"--called "The Truest Sport: Jousting with Sam and Charlie" in high school. I appreciated his take on modern art in The Painted Word. I respect his ambition to make big, complicated fiction, even as I find it hard to respect the copious italics and exclamation marks--Dickens managed without italics, didn't he. I loved Bonfire of the Vanities but was disappointed in Charlotte Simmons. I will definitely not give up on him before I read his upcoming novel set in Miami--that is bound to be juicy and fun.

http://www.literanista.net/2009/11/tom-wolfes-upcoming-book-explores.html

Posted by: kbertocci | December 28, 2009 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Ivansmom -- well, it certainly did drive me nutz. And, strangely enough, perhaps (or not), I got bored. Too much homogenation and too little that was unpredictable. Probably the main reason I came back home.

As I said -- a lot of passive-aggressive behavior among the peasants.

Posted by: -ftb- | December 28, 2009 4:54 PM | Report abuse

I still contend that the last decade was nothing but a big ol' hangover from an especially bodacious (does any one still say bodacious?) party ringing out 1999.

Gotta admit it makes sense.

But don't mind me. I've been on the road for eight hours. Besides, I'm just overwhelmed with relief that the sump pump held. The basement is dry.

Bless you Patron Saint of hydrological pumps. Whoever you are.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | December 28, 2009 5:26 PM | Report abuse

Good evening, all.

Had a busy day -- even took a little nap this afternoon, and had the weirdest dream.

I ended up wearing women's shoes (great ones, I might add) and somehow lost my cookies.

Weird.

bc

But I think things are back to

Posted by: -bc- | December 28, 2009 5:35 PM | Report abuse

RD_P:
http://www.catholic-forum.com/saints/patron00.htm

This is an index of patron saints by topic. I couldn't find hydrological pumps among the H's. Maybe you can find something reasonably close. Maybe under the A's for 'against flooded homes.'

Posted by: MsJS | December 28, 2009 5:47 PM | Report abuse

My experience is that I am completely flabbergasted by the current teen-to-twenties sexual mores, and apparently I am completely out of touch for considering it to be a coarsening in personal development and one's ability to pursue intimate relations. I am happy to report, however, that the ScienceKids seem to be equally curmudgeonly as me regarding this subject. Or, at least, they understand that it is necessary to appear so, so that my head will not explode.

Posted by: ScienceTim | December 28, 2009 5:51 PM | Report abuse

MsJS... I'm not a baker and the folks here can provide you with many good cookie recipes to try.

But I'm very good company and can bring the wine... can I help?

Posted by: -TBG- | December 28, 2009 5:57 PM | Report abuse

SciTim: I expect it's a combination of both. SciKids wouldn't want your head to explode.

What was the name of the exploding head movie? "Scanners"?

TBG: We start baking at approx. 1pm central time. We love company. Beverages are always welcome, thnk you for the offer.

Posted by: MsJS | December 28, 2009 6:10 PM | Report abuse

must be the upcoming Blue moon,or blue's moon,blues man moon.

I know a few wicans who will be in circle for it.

blue man group moon

Posted by: greenwithenvy | December 28, 2009 6:10 PM | Report abuse

MsJS, cookies, hmmm. Ishl tartlets are good, ginger cookies (not gingerbread), chai sugar cookies, regular sugar cookies, Mexican wedding cakes, all good.

Tomorrow I'm going out to buy a tennis racket and sneakers. Haven't played in 20 years so am taking lessons starting next week. Should be fun. Of course we will have zero degree wind chill tomorrow, so that part won't be fun.

Posted by: badsneakers | December 28, 2009 6:19 PM | Report abuse

sneaks: Thanks for the suggestions. I'm definitely leaning toward chai sugar cookies or ginger cookies. Something w/ a zip to it.

Enjoy the tennis lessons!

Posted by: MsJS | December 28, 2009 6:27 PM | Report abuse

Thanks MsJS for that interesting link. There are a whole lot more patron saints out there than the nuns ever let on.

And, like, wow. A Blue Moon on New Year's Eve.

Man, that can't be good.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | December 28, 2009 6:39 PM | Report abuse

MsJS, the recipes Moose has for both Chai Sugar Cookies and Ginger Molasses cookies are really good, if I can bake them and have them edible they are failsafe. Not to mention tasty.

Posted by: dmd3 | December 28, 2009 6:53 PM | Report abuse

GullibleTim,
One of the SciKids is involved with the theater department, right? Thought so. Just checking.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 28, 2009 6:58 PM | Report abuse

Hey! Some of those theater kids are all just talk, y'know.

BSidz, theater kidz get +++ Xamplz of what not 2 do.

Posted by: Ivansmom | December 28, 2009 7:00 PM | Report abuse

I know it's sick and twisted, but I'm amused that some in the media are calling him the Undie Bomber.

http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/northwest-airlines-bomb-photos/story?id=9436297

Posted by: rickoshea1 | December 28, 2009 7:04 PM | Report abuse

Good evening, all.

*Tim, I think that when kids raise Cain, they tend not to signal their parents about it.

Though I'm sure this did not stop Adam & Eve from expressing displeasure about it. Particularly about 'other people's kids.'

bc

bc

Posted by: -bc- | December 28, 2009 7:17 PM | Report abuse

With all these decade in review articles, I feel bad for poor 2009 getting short changed. After all, it was the year of the Inauguration, and uh, well, uh, something must have happened.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 28, 2009 7:32 PM | Report abuse

I-Mom,
That is a glass half-full way of looking at it. Besides it's the chorus where all the drama is.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 28, 2009 7:37 PM | Report abuse

Niece has decreed ginger molasses cookies are in. Also the chocolate temptation cookies that I posted a week or so ago.

Off to a Vikings-Bears viewing. I predict a more lopsided Viking victory than last night's Cows-Skins game, though I'm guessing da Bears will manage at least a field goal.

Posted by: MsJS | December 28, 2009 7:41 PM | Report abuse

At the risk of over-sharing, the honor roll kids involved in lots of adult approved activities can get away with sooooo much. (The only reason I can think of to be grateful that school achievement never much interested the dott.)

Imom-thanks for sharing the health care bill summary.


Posted by: frostbitten1 | December 28, 2009 7:43 PM | Report abuse

ros, yes, that's not a very macho or heroic image, is it? What an idiot. And here come the full body scans and explosive-sniffing dogs and strip searches - oh joy. Not to mention the government database, which on the one hand we don't want, but on the other we do. Sigh.

Posted by: seasea1 | December 28, 2009 7:49 PM | Report abuse

Just noticed another new flight rule for flights to the US effective immediately = no carry on luggage. I am very glad I am not travelling this holiday season - some things are just not worth the trouble.

Posted by: dmd3 | December 28, 2009 7:54 PM | Report abuse

Yanno what I think? That "Special Interests" work to our favour sometimes.

I think The Vast Worldwide Airline lobby is hard at work at this very moment, and some of these unreasonable restrictions will be lifted within a few weeks or months. I'm all for prudent precautions, really I am. But when everyone on earth is treated as suspicious based on a few (and let us face it, it is a very few, at least that we hear about) incidents (and most countermeasures are a sort of barn-door/horse exiting thing), it just isn't sustainable. So things will be loosened, security-wise, from what they were today, but they will never go back to what they were three months ago, and never never again to what they were pre-9/11. That is prudence.

But, I have no plans to fly except in emergency situations (by which I mean imminent death in a nuclear family-member), until there is a relaxation of this extreme response. And it will happen. It has to.

Posted by: Yoki | December 28, 2009 8:02 PM | Report abuse

On a happier note, just came in from outside, the moonlight is lovely tonight, clear and cold outside.

Posted by: dmd3 | December 28, 2009 8:12 PM | Report abuse

Frostie -- Amen to that observation. CpBOy is 17. I am not yet breathing totally free. However, some of his ultra "good" friends and colleagues get such a pass from their parents that, well, this bargain BEGS to be exploited.

Teens are like toddlers -- they look for the edges, and push the envelopes.

YMMV -- just, saying.


As for the year in review, I still recommend YJ's link earlier that I will place here:
http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2009/12/27/opinion/28opchart.html

The "Couple" and "Culture" and "Fad" rows are funny -- all in b&w icons. I may teach a class on Visual Rhetoric next year. We will begin the class with this graphic.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | December 28, 2009 8:19 PM | Report abuse

As someone with two titanium knees, I'm subjected to the wanding and hand patting every time I fly. It's irritating and demeaning, and I worry that someone is going to snatch my purse while it sits unwatched at the end of the xray belt. No one seems to care and most of the examiners are annoyed that I insist that I turn to watch over it. Why can't my name be put on an 'okay to fly' list after being put through a more investigation?

It's obvious (to me at least) that I'm no terrorist. And it should be to the government.

Rant over.

Posted by: rickoshea1 | December 28, 2009 8:24 PM | Report abuse

yj, it looks like Dave Barry is doing his regular "year in review" instead of going with the crowd and doing "decade in review." I'm posting it here even before reading it, but read it I shall, forthwith.

"It was a year of Hope--at first in the sense of `I feel hopeful!' and later in the sense of `I hope this year ends soon!'"
--Dave Barry

http://www.miamiherald.com/living/columnists/dave-barry/story/1397654.html

Posted by: kbertocci | December 28, 2009 8:49 PM | Report abuse

Can't tug or fetch wands,
or give nuzzles for patdowns
and surprise goosings...

-Wilbrodog-

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 28, 2009 8:50 PM | Report abuse

The Search Decade?
http://www.tampabay.com/news/humaninterest/looking-for-a-name-for-the-past-10-years-it-was-the-search-decade/1061069

Posted by: Jumper1 | December 28, 2009 9:37 PM | Report abuse

Dave Barry is so funny. Somali pirates!

Preview of the Kennedy Center honors Tuesday night:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/12/28/AR2009122802059.html?hpid=moreheadlines

Posted by: seasea1 | December 28, 2009 9:51 PM | Report abuse

CqP-thanks for reposting that link.

KB-thanks too for that Dave Barry piece.

Have turned away from Monday Night football lest I jinx the Vikings any more than I already have. Watching an American Masters episode on Louisa May Alcott on PBS instead.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | December 28, 2009 9:55 PM | Report abuse

I'm looking forward to the Alcott show - meant to mention it earlier.

Posted by: seasea1 | December 28, 2009 10:02 PM | Report abuse

I think Brett looks old and cold tonight and who'd da thunk Da Bears would be up 16-0. But don't mind me I am still p***ed about the Ravens game yesterday. Geesh isn't football grand!!!!

Posted by: greenwithenvy | December 28, 2009 10:06 PM | Report abuse

Coupla thoughts...

Teenagers and sexual mores? I wouldn't know a whole lot about that. In my day, I was looking to score, but I was looking to score something else. Something.....aromatic.

About flights coming into the US. I've got a fair amount of experience with this. I haven't seen and don't see the US of A dictating anything to foreign carriers like Lufthansa. Yeah, we might say X + Y = Z, but that doesn't make it so. Europe's experience with terrorism is very different from ours, and, consequently, their approach to security is very different. You can say that an apple and a tomato are both fruits, they're both red, but other than that...

Off to watch the second half. Have a happy night all.

Posted by: LostInThought | December 28, 2009 10:11 PM | Report abuse

kb,

Thanks for reminding me about the Dave Barry Year End Wrap Up. I had been saving for when I could give it the attention it deserves. As always, it was hilarious and my wife had to ask me what I was giggling so maniacally over. Per form, Dave relies on the running gag, this year's including Somali pirates and hiking the Appalachian Trail. The obligatory Tiger Woods joke managed to combine both.

Alas, Barry only made one Al Gore joke and it wasn't about inventing the internet, instead harping on the hypocrisy of one of the largest landowners in Tennessee being an environmental crusader. But he's a Pulitzer Prize winning comic genius and can get away with stuff like that.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 28, 2009 11:05 PM | Report abuse

I like Hank Stuever praising the Kennedy Center for going after the youth audience by honoring Robert DeNire (66) and Bruce Springsteen (60) with presenters like Meryl Streep (60), Martin Scorsese (67), Sharon Stone (51), Sting (58) and Edward Norton (40, practically a baby).

Posted by: yellojkt | December 28, 2009 11:16 PM | Report abuse

I already had the KSH show set for on the DVR, but knowing that a Glee-member is doing Mel Brooks numbers seals the deal.

And speaking of Hank Stuever, there was this last minute gift idea by none other than sex advice columnist Dan Savage:

///'Tinsel', my friend Hank Stuever's brilliant and hilarious new book about America's Christmas present"///

I know of Hank from WaPo and listen to Savage's Savage Love podcast, I was a little surprised by the synchronicity of the endorsement. Kinda like the time I found out that Carl Hiaasen wrote a song for Warren Zevon.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 28, 2009 11:29 PM | Report abuse

Enough boodle hogging since my house has been invaded by college students that had left Atlanta at 10 this morning.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 28, 2009 11:30 PM | Report abuse

dr...so glad you liked "Up." I bought it too. The kind of movie you can watch over and over. Reminded me of my grandfather.

Seasea...I thought Dave Barry's year in review was hilarious. A good laugh for a bad year.

Posted by: Windy3 | December 29, 2009 12:03 AM | Report abuse

I think certain members of the youth audience could tolerate seeing more of Sharon Stone...

Posted by: ScienceTim | December 29, 2009 12:13 AM | Report abuse

Viking lose to Bears, 30-36 in overtime. Surprisingly enough, I actually watched it from the 3rd quarter onwards.

This is a disturbing first for me. All I can say is that the Bears seem to have signed Usain Bolt as a player.


Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 29, 2009 12:23 AM | Report abuse

Ah, Usain Bolt changed his name to Devin Aromashodu-- his nom de field, no doubt.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 29, 2009 12:37 AM | Report abuse

The Louisa May Alcott episode was very good. Geraldine Brooks was in it - if you haven't read March, you should.

I'm watching A Tale of Two Cities (Masterpiece Theater version from many years ago), and this seems appropriate:
"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way – in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only."

Posted by: seasea1 | December 29, 2009 1:35 AM | Report abuse

It makes me sad, but I have no place here, now.

Posted by: Yoki | December 29, 2009 3:06 AM | Report abuse

Yoki?

I recall that my first overseas tourist jaunt was in spring 1990, when air fares were for some reason incredibly cheap. It was troubling in later years to revisit the same airports, encountering increasingly fussy security. On the other hand, today's smoke-free planes are a blessing (I did witness a smoking-in-the-restroom incident, once).

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | December 29, 2009 3:52 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, Boodle!

Osama Bin Ladin's fashion trend for the next decade:

First casme the Shoe Bomber, now: the Underwear Bomber.

My stock of fashionable silk suicide bomber vests remains untouched. Terrorists lack good taste in fashions.

Meanwhile, The Dakar Motor Rally, the toughest motor event, has shifted from Africa to Argentina and Chile, creating a tourist boom for cities like Antofagasta.

At less than four bucks a bottle, sparkling wine has reached Chile's lowest socio-economic strata. This will lead to the biggest bubbly swilling party ever as hundreds of thousands will gather for New Year Facing The Sea. Fireworks will be launched from nineteen locations in Valparaiso and extend for seventeen miles along the coast to the north.

Cheers, Gang

Brag

Posted by: Braguine | December 29, 2009 7:22 AM | Report abuse

Hey Yoki!

Morning...

Have to go back to work early after closing yesterday. Gig is over today and it came just at the right time. I'm fried just like a breakfast egg.

Posted by: russianthistle | December 29, 2009 7:26 AM | Report abuse

'morning all. The cold (and sunny!) weather has descended upon us. The ice-covered branches will be pretty in the sun.
Yoki? indeed.
The reaction of the Security Industrial Complex is embarrassingly predictable. Buy all body scanners for all airport, cut access to the twice-scanned cabin luggage in the last hour of flight, etc.
It's well known the first hour of flight is harmless (see what happen on September 11, 2001) and having access to your own underwear is not a problem either (see December 25, 2009). Gawd.

I'm planning to make a decapod and fish soup for the in-laws we are having (as guests!) for dinner. Lobster at those prices is unheard of in these parts at this time of year. The ad was about a lobster festival but come to think of it the beasts have very little to be festive about the event.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | December 29, 2009 7:55 AM | Report abuse

This crisis calls for ....


SUPERMAN!

Posted by: russianthistle | December 29, 2009 7:57 AM | Report abuse

How much more of Sharon Stone is there to see?

Posted by: yellojkt | December 29, 2009 8:04 AM | Report abuse

Yoki??

Yes, the bright and clear chill is upon us. Finally. :-)

I can think of more than a few oncologists who will take great umbrage at this NYT piece:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/29/health/research/29cancer.html

Researchers haven't already been paying attention to angiogenesis and all sorts of tumor/body interactions? Poppycock. *SIGHHHHHHHHHHHHHH*

Brag!! Those wacky Somalis are at it again:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/30/world/africa/30piracy.html

Shriek, you're cruel, parading lobsters in front of me like that... ;-)

And nefarious goings-on in the hard disk drive industry? I'm shocked, shocked:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/29/technology/companies/29seagate.html

*done-Boodle-hogging-for-now-but-gimme-a-couple-minutes Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | December 29, 2009 8:17 AM | Report abuse

Sorry to miss Dawn Patrol but my house has been invaded by college kids. Four of them showed up late last night after a twelve hour drive from Atlanta. Two of my son's 'brothers' were of the female variety which shamed me into putting out real bed linens and bath towels. They claimed to not be hungry but when I woke up this morning the deli rolls had been broken into and half the brownies I had baked were eaten.

I couldn't even get to my computers to check e-mail this morning since one kid (of indeterminate gender) was asleep on the futon in my den and another was curled up on the love seat. I have no idea where the other two were. We'll see if they are still there this evening. My wife is setting a lasagna trap. My son teases her for never cooking and this is her rebuttal.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 29, 2009 8:20 AM | Report abuse

jkt, always enough...

Posted by: russianthistle | December 29, 2009 8:29 AM | Report abuse

Good Morning everyone.

I'm still getting used to the idea that it has been a full decade since the Y2K scare. I should probably toss those MREs (military survival food) sitting in the basement. But I will hang on to my copy of "Getting Ahead in the Post Apocalyptic Wasteland." Because, well, you never know.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | December 29, 2009 8:40 AM | Report abuse

Snuke, that looks like a very nice case. Courts seem to be ruling for the plaintiff in such cases, these days. Not a good thing for Seagate and ... does this come out of Carly's pocket?

Posted by: russianthistle | December 29, 2009 8:41 AM | Report abuse

RD, looking back, I think the decade is summed up by Dick Cheney's efforts to send a team of analysts to Victoria's Secret just to see exactly what she knew about 9/11.

Posted by: russianthistle | December 29, 2009 8:43 AM | Report abuse

Regarding the Bloomer-Bomber.

This is turning into a textbook case of how our society deals with shocks. The first response is to clamp down on everything - whether it makes sense to do so or not. This is the reflexive crouch. Next comes the search for a Deeper Meaning, because of the belief that everything *must* be indicative of some larger trend. Then comes the closely-related phenomenon of political posturing. Finally, look for the establishment of some bureaucratic mechanism whose main purpose is simply to indicate that Something Has Deen Bone.

Look, the bottom line is that unless we all want to be strip-searched, or at least tolerate THz imaging, then it is impossible to completely prevent bad mischief in the skies. Unfortunately, these intermediate efforts do nothing but make it more difficult, not impossible, for terrorists.

So at some point we may have to accept that, unless we are willing to accept truly draconian measures, perfection isn't an option. That once in a rare while bad things will happen.

And why is this so psychologically unacceptable?

I mean, last year it is estimated that nearly 12,000 people were killed by drunk drivers on American roads. That would be equivalent to hundreds of plane crashes. But has this caused mandatory alcohol breathalyzers in cars?

No, because our culture accepts these deaths as normal. Just part of modern life.

It's like when a shark kills someone and they shut down the beach. But nobody shuts down the road when a kid walking to the beach is hit by a car.

All of which is just saying that there must be some sense of balance. You have to make sure the cure is not worse than the problem.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | December 29, 2009 8:49 AM | Report abuse

Scotty!

Those pirates are right out of the pages of an Emilio Salgari (the father of the modern adventure thriller genre) novel.

These guys are challenging the world's navies, generally don't hurt the ships' crews. One can't help but admire them.

Aaaarrrrggghhh.

Posted by: Braguine | December 29, 2009 8:52 AM | Report abuse

'Zactly, RD_P. The bad guys aren't necessarily trying to succeed in blowing us up (although they'd like to), because they know that even "failures" will paralyze whatever transportation mode is involved, at least for a little while. *SIGH*

Posted by: Scottynuke | December 29, 2009 8:53 AM | Report abuse

As usual RD, you have nailed it. #2 and SIL are flying to Costa Rica next week. I wonder how annoying the experience will be for them.

I've lots of errands to run today so intend to wear many layers as it is very chilly and windy out there.

Posted by: badsneakers | December 29, 2009 9:00 AM | Report abuse

Yesterday in my office, we decided that far more effective from a terrorist objective than actually blowing anything up would be to have for a week one guy a day caught TRYING to blow up a plane. The point is terror, panic and needless frantic activity. They don't need to kill people to 'win.'

Just like The Master would orchestrate it.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 29, 2009 9:04 AM | Report abuse

I agree with R.D. There's a continuum of weirdness and badness, with overlapping Venn diagrams and all. I was mad at what the administration said about this being a success but in once sense, whittling it down to Joe Blow Your D*** Off may be about as much as we can get. (which phrase made the unflappable Bailey crack a smile yesterday)

At some point it becomes like some half-schizophrenic nobody moves to Kansas City and starts telling people he's a made man in La Cosa Nostra, when it's all a figment of his angry imagination. He's capable of just as much damage, it's just that in the end his imagination becomes almost irrelevant to his behavior. Just another psycho.

Posted by: Jumper1 | December 29, 2009 9:13 AM | Report abuse

Reporting on Saturday, Dec. 19, by Washington's Post's Karen DeYoung, several paragraphs into the article:

U.S. officials refused to comment Friday on a report by ABC News [Charlie Gibson's last night at the anchor desk, investigative reporter Brian Ross is the one who communicated the story] that U.S. air-launched cruise missiles had been used in two of the [very recent] attacks [in Yemen]. The network said that the launches had been approved by the White House and that President Obama had called President Ali Abdullah Saleh to congratulate him on Yemen's efforts against al-Qaeda.
***

Officials couldn't comment the day after Brian Ross' reporting on ABC's evening news porgram? Why not? Ross certainly had the story the evening before? For all the reluctance to mention Yemen in mid-December, there certainly has been a lot of reporting about Yemen since.

As for the Explosive-carrying Crotch Bomber, we had the following clues and did nothing?

Reported by his Nigerian father as having been radicalized while living in London.

On a watch list, AND banned from entering England by the British government.

Paid for his trans-Atlantic ticket with cash.

Carried no luggage onboard.

Shoebomber Richard Reid also flew on Christmas.

Certainly, it's a failure of the lack-of-intelligence community. And Janet Napolitano's comments on the Sunday talk shows were ridiculous (about as bad as her press appearances regarding swine flu less than a year earlier).

And I'm so glad that Obama could break away from surfing, golf, and tennis during his Hawaiian vacation to make a statement about the plane with the bomber that headed into Detroit on Christmas Day. Lucky for the Bidens, Joe and Jill could continue to enjoy their vacation in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Perhaps Obama will some day truthfully say that we now have a new, third front in the GWOT, given U.S.'s mostly covert activities in Yemen during the past year.

Posted by: laloomis | December 29, 2009 9:19 AM | Report abuse

Here is a first person account on pirates. It happened in 1982.

http://www.authorsden.com/visit/viewarticle.asp?AuthorID=79124&id=37040

Brag

Posted by: Braguine | December 29, 2009 9:20 AM | Report abuse

Better said than me:
http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/2009/12/odds-of-airborne-terror.html

Posted by: Jumper1 | December 29, 2009 9:28 AM | Report abuse

Just found the Eugene Robinson op-ed on the homepage and think Robinson summarizes the dilemma summarizes well in his last thre grafs:

According to reports of Abdulmutallab's statements to authorities after his arrest, he claims to have gotten the bomb -- and instruction on how and when to use it -- from al-Qaeda operatives in Yemen. As noted previously in this space, and illustrated by a sobering report Monday in The Post, Yemen features prominently in al-Qaeda's expansion plans. Abdulmutallab's story suggests that an infrastructure for indoctrination, training and bomb-making is already in place, and that this ambitious young branch of al-Qaeda is confident enough to launch an attack on what the George W. Bush administration infelicitously called the "homeland."

Our enemy apparently sees its future in places such as Yemen -- or perhaps Somalia, a failed state for almost two decades, where militant fundamentalist Islam is on the march. The enemy's leadership is believed to be ensconced in remote areas of Pakistan, beyond the government's reach. Yet the United States will soon have about 100,000 troops chasing shadows in Afghanistan, where al-Qaeda's presence is now minimal.

I understand and appreciate the fear that if the Taliban were to take power again, it could invite al-Qaeda back into Afghanistan to set up shop. But I can't escape the uneasy feeling that we're fighting, and escalating, the last war -- while the enemy fights the next one.
***

I feel fortunate to have read three books this past year about people who were in the field (geology/paleontology) who were see-ers: Brits William Smith and Mary Anning and American J. David Love. We can look at the year in review or the decade in review--which I pretty much consider a waste of time if one has been reading the news for the past decade. But who can see into the near-future, into the next decade?
(I think of the index case of the first drug-resistant case of TB, found very recently dicovered-and reported--in Florida in a young Peruvian man.)

Al Qaeda is certainly moving on, yet we'll pour billions into ramping up to fight a land war in Afghanistan? What kind of resources do we have for monitoring al Qaeda's hopes, plans, movements as expressed on the Internet? Is the depth of our response a small corps of translators, a few in-country CIA personnel, a small handful of Special Forces teams (I think of my ex, in these situations), predator drone strikes? To what degree are we playing catch-up?

Posted by: laloomis | December 29, 2009 9:43 AM | Report abuse

Four; five.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 29, 2009 9:49 AM | Report abuse

The number of teens versus the number of meals to be provided today, yello?

Posted by: Scottynuke | December 29, 2009 9:59 AM | Report abuse

Will Tom get the promotion? Will Dick's wife have an affair with the pool boy? Will Harry continue to gamble with the kids' college funds? Tune in next time....

laloomis, while your questions might be what keeps you awake at night, my guess is that the answers would be part of covert activities. You know...not for public consumption.

I'm also amazed that you were able to somehow or another make it seem like BO should have done something other than make a statement. What is it that you think he should have done? And yeah, he was in Hawaii. What's the big deal? If he were born and raised in Gunmetal GA, would you have been able to put the same sneer into his holiday destination? I don't get it.

And what a nice slap to JA about reviewing the decade being a waste of time. That's like going to a dinner party at someone's home and telling them the tablecloth is ugly.

But on to happier things. What should be on my doorstep this morning but a tiara! I'll have it for New Year's Eve! What a great reason to buy some new silver FMPs, maybe a blue dress.

Have a happy day all.

Posted by: LostInThought | December 29, 2009 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Ah, the lasagna trap. I understand this and have used it in the past. Second only to the pizza trap.

Posted by: --dr-- | December 29, 2009 10:07 AM | Report abuse

LiT... you look maaaaahvelous.

Posted by: -TBG- | December 29, 2009 10:11 AM | Report abuse

Redskins wins next year?

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | December 29, 2009 10:15 AM | Report abuse

Need a strong jolt of Joe this morning, then heading into a cold rain to do errands.

The San Antonio Express-News readers, myself included, picked the drought as the top story of the past year.

The newspaper's editors picked the struggle about the [lack of] truth of the costs of providing more nuclear power on the Texas coast as the top story, the drought coming in second place among editors. News of our extremely severe drought is very bad for economic development activities...IIRC, local business reporter David Hendricks wrote an op-ed to that effect this past summer.

The summary in the paper this past weekend about the nuclear controversy about costs didn't do the story justice, since it omits the details, reported earlier. It wasn't NRG Energy that came forward with the true costs, but the energy company's attorney or proxy, and Democratic activist in town, Frank Burney. (Burney is now managing partner for Martin, Drought, and Torres--not mentioned in the reporting done by the San Antonio Express-News--which is where I came to learn of Burney when I temped briefly at the law firm back in '95.)

http://www.mdtlaw.com/att.php

http://www.livinggreensa.com/CPS_partner_told_mayor_of_higher_price.html?c=y

At issue is why NRG tipped off the mayor’s office while CPS [local energy utility] executives were keeping knowledge of contractor Toshiba Inc.’s higher cost estimates from their own board.

“We wanted to make sure the mayor’s office knew what was happening before the analysts,” NRG spokesman David Knox said Friday.

NRG did that through Frank Burney, a longtime City Hall lobbyist and attorney who represents NRG in San Antonio. Burney, who supported Castro in his mayoral bid this year, alerted Castro’s office in late October that CPS Energy’s cost estimate was significantly lower than Toshiba’s.

Knox said NRG officials already had told the CPS nuclear team that Toshiba’s number would be shared at the upcoming analysts’ meeting Nov. 19, which would be reported by the media.

Posted by: laloomis | December 29, 2009 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Congrats LiT.

Yello, they are university students, if they don't have to pay for it/cook it they will eat it, why waste cooking/fresh food, put out all the about to spoil foods, leftovers, stuff you don't want.

Posted by: dmd3 | December 29, 2009 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Dammit, TBG just beat me to it. I even had the sme number of a's.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | December 29, 2009 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Look, to be on a watch list just requires a single person to make a complaint. It doesn't require any kind of validation. Would you want to be banned from flying because a single person accused you of being a radical or being mentally unstable? I assert no.


But let's say we banned anyone from flying into the United States who doesn't check luggage, pays cash, travels on Christmas, and has had a single unsubstantiated complaint about him or her.

Heck, why stop there. Let's just ban all those suspicious looking people with dark skin and funny names who come from scary places like, you know, Africa.

Of course, this would clearly paralyze travel and allow for gross injustices. But wouldn't such efforts make absolutely sure that bad things like this would never ever happen?

Again, of course not. None of these things are sure-fire preventatives.

The only way to prevent this is to institute intrusive *physical* inspections completely

Now as I mentioned, this is going to be used as some kind of broad-brush indictment for those with a well sharpened-axe that still needs grinding. Is it at all productive and helpful?

No.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | December 29, 2009 10:23 AM | Report abuse

No. Just a secret statistic I've been tracking.

But the meals/teens ratio is a good guess. They just might not all be teens. I need to get better intel on my houseguests. My son had a friend from UMD over so there were a half dozen of them altogether and it all began to blur since their active hours and my sleep hours tend to coincide. I crashed at midnight, but the party was just starting.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 29, 2009 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Why Mudglles,all the boodle women look maaaaaarrrrvvvaaaalus. Any time; any day.

And, while we are at it, the men are above average.

I think I mashed up Billy Crystal-Garrison Keilor with my complimentaries.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | December 29, 2009 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Hey everyone. I have two *hearts* to bestow: one on Padouk and one on LiT!

One other matter in regard to the underwear bomber wannabe -- at no time have I heard or read about the fact that the security should have been stronger in Lagos, Nigeria and/or at Schipol Airport in Amsterdam! This guy was on his way over here from over there! Does the US President have the obligation (not to mention the jurisdiction) to be responsible for the security mechanism in all international airports around the world? Should he? What would be the underlying rationale for that (not to mention how to pay for it and from whom the gummint should get the money for it)?

For all those gummint haters over here (typically white males, but some (typically white) women), if you are alarmed at this guy for trying to blow up a US plane over a US city (not that Detroit doesn't need to rebuild, but that's a detour to my remarks), then *why* *WHY* were you not equally alarmed at the likes of Timothy McVeigh? Because he wasn't Muslim?

Ah, yes, I was in the mood for a rant. Thanks for the playing field.

Posted by: -ftb- | December 29, 2009 10:23 AM | Report abuse

David Hendricks' late July op-ed in the Express-News about the drought:

http://www.mysanantonio.com/business/Drought_raises_economic_development_questions.html

First several grafs:

When the San Antonio Water System earlier this week staged a presentation to business customers, some in attendance were worried about something other than the damage to the region's farms and how businesses could conserve water.

They wondered if the city's economic development image was drying up and blowing away.

High taxes, unavailable skilled workers, uncertain energy supplies and bad schools are all brick walls against business investments. The lack of long-term availability of water can kill the prospects of businesses moving to San Antonio just as fast.

Water has been an economic development issue for San Antonio since the seven-year drought in the 1950s.

Posted by: laloomis | December 29, 2009 10:24 AM | Report abuse

David Hendricks' late July op-ed in the Express-News about the drought:

http://www.mysanantonio.com/business/Drought_raises_economic_development_questions.html

First several grafs:

When the San Antonio Water System earlier this week staged a presentation to business customers, some in attendance were worried about something other than the damage to the region's farms and how businesses could conserve water.

They wondered if the city's economic development image was drying up and blowing away.

High taxes, unavailable skilled workers, uncertain energy supplies and bad schools are all brick walls against business investments. The lack of long-term availability of water can kill the prospects of businesses moving to San Antonio just as fast.

Water has been an economic development issue for San Antonio since the seven-year drought in the 1950s.

Posted by: laloomis | December 29, 2009 10:25 AM | Report abuse

Thank you. I wear this for all the little people who have the occassional stellar week, but generally go down in flames.

It's got that new lipstick color quality to it. You know...maybe no one notices, but it makes the day seem special anyway. Takes so very little to make me happy.

Mudge, I think the only win that would matter for the Skins next year would be a new owner, and I don't see that coming down the pike. It's too much like a Corvette to Mr. Snyder.

Posted by: LostInThought | December 29, 2009 10:27 AM | Report abuse

Take a look at Ann Telnaes' cartoon today. She just made my point (or maybe I made hers).

Posted by: -ftb- | December 29, 2009 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Decade in Review: let's run with this and recall fads. Not in any order but

Tamagouchi (sp?) and the like
(Later, much later) Neopets
Dogs as fashion accessories

Questions:

Was the Mullet part of this decade?
Ultraskinny stovepipe jeans? Did I dream this abomination?
Is John Tesh still composing ultra-technicolor, to-be-performed-outside huge neo classical poppy symphonies?


Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | December 29, 2009 10:28 AM | Report abuse

In order to be pulled off a plane, all you have to do is have a funny name that other terrorists have used. And you don't have to be all that swarthy because I am about as pasty a suspected terrorist as you can get and the last time we went through this hysteria I got caught in the dragnet.

http://livebythefoma.blogspot.com/2006/08/terrorist-in-name-only.html

I have another European vacation planned this summer and I travel loaded for bear with several hundred dollars worth of photo and video gear on my person. I am loathe to check that stuff because expensive electronic equipment does tend to disappear. If necessary, I will use one of those magic shrink wrap machines the European airports have and hope the whole ensemble doesn't vanish.

Besides, wasn't the Lockerbie bomb in the cargo hold? So what barn door are we closing by banning electronic carry-ons?

Let's not get our non-flammable undies in a knot and try to live life on our terms, not theirs.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 29, 2009 10:35 AM | Report abuse

You make a valid point about the collective maaaaaahvelousnisitude, CqP.

I used to have a crush on Tamagouchi when she was ice-skating.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | December 29, 2009 10:36 AM | Report abuse

CqP,
All the women are strong, all the men are good looking, and all the children are above average.

The Boodle IS Lake Wobegon.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 29, 2009 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Unsubstantiated complaint? You mean that there aren't enough personnel to check out helpful, useful tips? Certainly the Nigerian banker father knew of the changes in young son. Or are you implying that names go on the watch list when the assertion is unsubstantiated? Holy cow! Heaven help us! Clearly, a better system is needed after spending $40 billion to improve the airport screening system.

To profile or not to profile, that's the question. A lot of innocent Americans are going through many time-consuming procedures at airports. Or should we just lead our travel lives and pack like George Clooney and the Japanese as depicted in the current film, "Up in the Air?"

http://www.salon.com/entertainment/movies/review/2009/12/03/up_in_the_air/print.html

During the course of the movie, [Clooney's character] Ryan will sail breezily through airport security checks, offering us tips for doing the same: Avoid getting in line behind old people and couples with children; look for the Japanese guys, who travel light and wear slip-on shoes. ("I'm like my mother, I stereotype -- it's faster," Ryan explains plainly.
***

A thorny issue debated at short length with Dan Harris as moderator on this morning's GMA show. Not all Muslims are terrorists, but the majority of terrorists have been Muslims. It's not racial profiling since Muslims are comprised of people of man races, but more a profiling by religion. Having watched "Inglourious Basterds" last night, profiling by religion can get tricky. Do we really want to introduce Janet Reno into the conversation?

The bottomline is that our current system failed. The issue is how to improve it. Al Qaeda is still striving for the dramatic incident, obviously. It's still recruiting isolated, angry, impressionable young men. So, to whom do we look for answers? Tom Friedman, Nicholas Kristof? Read their columns. Schooling and education is long-term. Short-term, what?

Posted by: laloomis | December 29, 2009 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Couple of fad/themes/memes of the last decade that I've really noticed.

1) The rise of reality shows. While some of these are harmless, some, I assert really have made exhibitionism and voyeurism into lucrative commodities.

2) This fascination with Forensic Science: Newsflash. You can't enhance a differentiated blob into a hi-res license plate. Call your Congressmen and tell them this, will ya?

3) The CGI revolution: Anything that can be imagined can be expressed in imagery. Pixels can be manipulated with alarming accuracy. This also means that just because you see, say, Sara Palin with a gun or JFK on a boat with nekked ladies doesn't make it so. This is going to get even more confusing as time goes on.

4) Information Overload. Too much information is sometimes more confusing than too little. Because with enough information it is easy to pick and choose to make whatever argument one wishes.

5) Make-Believe Journalists: The internet, blogs, and the comments sections of tolerant bloggers (like Joel) have allowed anyone to pretend to be a pundit. No longer must people be content to rant and lecture their cats.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | December 29, 2009 10:51 AM | Report abuse

mudge,
Tamagouchi is cute, but I once had Katerina Witt (in a red cat suit) skate within five feet of me. It's a life changing event.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 29, 2009 10:52 AM | Report abuse

After Eight Years, Terrorists Still Fly:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/29/opinion/29ervin.html?_r=1&hp

What does "insufficient derogatory information available" mean? Seems it's more governemt jargon for failure.

Posted by: laloomis | December 29, 2009 10:54 AM | Report abuse

On what planet are the majority of terrorists Muslim? Holy cow woman, try looking at bigger pictures, not just tiny slices.

Let's start with the word terrorist. Who is one? IRA memebers? KKK? Aryan Republican Army?


Posted by: LostInThought | December 29, 2009 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Eight. It's a red letter day.

Buried in the hysterical tale of my encounter with the jack-booted bureaucrats even more inept than the TSA is this link to a column by Joel that is even more timely now than when it was written.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/06/02/AR2005060201588.html

Posted by: yellojkt | December 29, 2009 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Thanks, Jk.

But, Billy Crystal might give us this:

The women are maaaavelus;
the men don tiaras and salmon-pink shirts without flinching;

and the children, oh my goodness, the marrying, fencing, swimming, hash-slinging, SAT-slammin', 'puter programmin, music-making, scholaring, community servicing, sweet-faced tweetering, fbooking, texting, webloggin, etc.

The children are jewels in the tiaras of life.

(sorry for the sentimentality; I will back away from the computer slowly and make my errands of the day by bike. Chilly out there, but somebody has to do them.)

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | December 29, 2009 10:57 AM | Report abuse

rd,
You mean that security cameras don't work like this?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KUFkb0d1kbU

A Red Dwarf reference is never too obscure or geeky.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 29, 2009 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Enhance is the very best tool in the lazy screenwriters box of technical magic mcguffins.

http://tv.gawker.com/5429091/the-oldest-tv-police-trick-in-the-book-enhance

Posted by: yellojkt | December 29, 2009 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Padouk -- I'm with you on the CSI-types of shows. Now juries expect this kind of examination. And, so, whose budget is bigger and more sustainable? Movie studios' or state and local gummints'?

Posted by: -ftb- | December 29, 2009 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Thanks, RD.

I notice now that the virtual pets started in the 90s. So, sigh, not part of the Oughties. That is what I will call them, BTW FWIIW.

Here is a fashion note: birds are back in pins, fabric, wallpaper, pillows, etc. The birdies are stylized to be sure, but they all make me think of the Partridge Family opening scene.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LOiKa51ll-k

And, the fashion birdies:
http://www.spoonflower.com/fabric/78351

BTW -- spoonflower allows you to upload a design and CUSTOM PRINT YARDAGE. I like this trend toward customizable content.

Now, really, off to errands. Play nice boys and girls.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | December 29, 2009 11:06 AM | Report abuse

And how does one determine which tips are helpful and useful and which tips are not? You can't, really, except in the rear-view mirror.

The short-term solution is increased physical security. This costs money and is intrusive. And even that would never be 100% accurate. So if anyone demands perfection, they are going to be disappointed.

And to imply that because one failure on a flight originating in Nigeria means all the money spent on increased security was "wasted" is dumb.

It's like saying that all that money we spend on hospitals is wasted because, you know, sometimes people still die.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | December 29, 2009 11:07 AM | Report abuse

I have the solution, but nobody likes it, perhaps because it would cost on the order of hundreds of billions of dollars: reconfigure all passenger aircraft so that piloting crews are physically separate from the rest of the plane, and separate the passenger compartments (plural intentional) so that groups of passengers are in separate pods on the order of no more than 100 per pod. Re-rig the hydraulic and electronic communications lines so that no plausible explosive device operated within one of the passenger pods could disable the aircraft. Downside: expensive refurbishment of all aircraft, increased crew sizes (need large crew in pilot compartment to provide redundancy and all in-flight services, need separate attendant crews in each pod, need separate galley in each pod). And, of course, you have to accept that bad people will occasionally get into a passenger pod and do bad things, but they will be unable to bring down the whole plane.

The less-expensive alternative is to take sensible steps such that passengers cannot take over the controls of a plane nor bring the airplane down, and then live with risk regarding the possibility of harm to the passengers. Terrorism only works if the population is terrorized. Right now, it works, because we scurry about in terror when they even *try* to do something bad. A little cold rationality and understanding of statistics will go a long way towards undermining the effectiveness of al Qaeda and its ilk.

Posted by: ScienceTim | December 29, 2009 11:08 AM | Report abuse

Cqp... Spoonflower! What an amazing site. Thanks for pointing it out.

I love this place!

Posted by: -TBG- | December 29, 2009 11:11 AM | Report abuse

RD, your posts today have neatly encapsulated the problems surrounding an event like the recent attempted bombing.

Part of the difficulty is that, when people's expectations of a system or process differ from reality, oftentimes they prefer the expectations. In the courtroom this is called the "CSI effect". For instance, one would assume that a watch list would include only verified or at least substantiated names. Not so. Presented with the contrary fact, it is much easier to insist that action *should* be taken based on the more reasonable assumption.

I have a friend who's worked in enough gummint capacities to know better, who mentioned that since *they* can now just plug a name into the criminal database, why not do that. Well, because it ain't true. There is no comprehensive national criminal database. There aren't even comprehensive statewide criminal databases. There are separate fingerprint and DNA repositories, but even they aren't comprehensive.

It is much easier to assume we have crime prevention capabilities we do not have, than it is to craft solutions which balance our technical limitations with privacy expectations. And it is much, much easier, as RD says, not to admit the existence of risk as a constant, no matter what protections we devise.

Posted by: Ivansmom | December 29, 2009 11:14 AM | Report abuse

When is someone a terrorist? Don't they have to commit (or at least attempt or conspire to commit) an act of terrorism first? I'm not asking for jury-of-my-peers legal burden of proof, but I think our current data gathering methods have proven that the signal to noise ratio is just too staticky to rely on.

I can't wait until every disgruntled family member, coworker or ex-lover (especially those swarthy Persian ones) can make my life a living hell with a phone call or anonymous e-mail. It's gonna make Oceania look like Woodstock. I bet there are plenty of unemployed Stasi workers that can help us set up the database.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 29, 2009 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Jeepers, "insufficient derogatory information available" means exactly what is says. Again, this isn't tricky conceptually. It's a trade-off.

If I were to call the police and say that my neighbor should never ever be allowed to drive a car because I think he or she sometimes drinks before 4PM does this means they should come and impound her car? I assert no. It means you right down the name and keep an eye on things.

I cannot really believe that anyone wants a person to be subjugated to gross injustices because of a single accusation. This is Stalinist stuff. Not only is it wrong, it *doesn't* work.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | December 29, 2009 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Indeed, Ivansmom. If only there was such a person as Abby from NCIS. Or even Penelope from Criminal Minds.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | December 29, 2009 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Hmmmm. We may need to be keeping a sharper eye on certain boodlers:

"(Dec. 29) — Of all the biographical details that have emerged about the Nigerian man who allegedly tried to blow up a Northwest Airlines jet on Christmas,
perhaps the least surprising — at least to
those who study these things — is what
he studied in college.

"The terrorist suspect, Umar Farouk
Abdulmutallab, earned a degree in
mechanical engineering from University
College London in 2008, just over a year
before he tried to demonstrate his skills
by detonating an explosive device aboard
the Detroit-bound plane. Among violent
Islamic extremists, that puts him in
familiar company. Indeed, the propensity
toward engineering studies is an aspect
of the terrorist profile that has drawn
increased scrutiny of late from scholars,
who have been advancing theories about
the high correlation between the two.

"In a study published this year, European
sociologists Diego Gambetta and Steffen
Hertog researched more than 400 known
violent jihadists since the 1970s, including
the 25 men involved with the terrorist
attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Nearly half
were known to have received some level
of higher education, and of those, 44
percent were engineers — including eight
of the 9/11 plotters and hijackers.
Engineering was by far the most popular
field; the percentage of terrorists who had
pursued it was more than twice as high as
the second-place field, Islamic studies.
“The bottom line is that while the
probability of a Muslim engineer
becoming a violent Islamist is minuscule,
it is still between three and four times that
for other graduates,” Gambetta wrote in
an article in the New Scientist that
summarized the pair’s findings, which
were published in August in the European
Journal of Sociology."

from http://h30405.www3.hp.com/print/pdf/WN0UAWVJLHXT/news_large

Now I'm wondering if "four, five" wasn't some kinda diabolically clever code.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | December 29, 2009 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Sorry for the typos in the 11:20. My dander is rising, and I promised myself I wouldn't do that.

Time for some nice soothing noodles and a walk.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | December 29, 2009 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Good morning!

Congrats to LiT. The tiara is sooo you.

Another glorious upset to end Week 16. Not that it was da Bears on the upside, but just for the chaotic fun an upset produces this late in the season.

I'm with you RD_P on the reality show thing. More of 'em now than Heinz has varieties.

Also the whole photo enhancement thing. I, an avowed non-techie, have made a slew of videos putting people in places they've never been. I give them as birthday or holiday gifts. Loads of fun.

As to airport screening, wheelie people get patted down every time. I'm sure the rest of you wake up every morning feeling a whole lot safer as a result.

Niece3 has decided on cookie recipe #3 for next Monday's cookie-thon, but is keeping it a surprise. That leaves one more recipe to fill the schedule (chocolate temptation and ginger molasses are the first two). Suggestions welcome.

Posted by: MsJS | December 29, 2009 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Yello - that clip is beautiful! Perfect! And it is, even as I type, making many a coworker laugh.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | December 29, 2009 11:36 AM | Report abuse

**snort**

Where do I turn myself in?

Posted by: yellojkt | December 29, 2009 11:36 AM | Report abuse

One possible quick, easy and inexpensive solution: make everybody fly naked.

Yeah, sure, there'd be a few (pardon the phrase) wrinkles to deal with. Things like, men on the left side of the plane, women on the right side. Seating by age, youngest to oldest. Instead of business and regular class, showered versus unshowered, etc.

I don't know why I have to think of all the answers to these things.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | December 29, 2009 11:36 AM | Report abuse

I am enjoying these first-person accounts of encounters with pirates and security agencies. Thanks, Brag, and to yellojkt both for your own story and the links to Joel's pieces.

Yello, I've been following your secret statistic count for a few Boodles now. I think I've got the general idea though not the details. It's a good brain teaser for me.

And heaven knows I need more things to distract my brain.

Ooh! Shiny!

Posted by: Ivansmom | December 29, 2009 11:36 AM | Report abuse

I imagine that engineers are attracted to terrorism (or vice-versa) simply to satisfy the urge to show that smug certainty in the effectiveness of the system is misplaced. I must admit that I, myself, respond to all "security" precautions by immediately starting to consider all the very effective ways by which the security precautions could be foiled. Really, it gives you some faith in basic human decency when you consider how easy it is to smuggle weapons and other unpleasantries aboard passenger aircraft, and yet how rarely people actually do it.

Posted by: ScienceTim | December 29, 2009 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, all.

Interesting. Apparrently there were only droughts in Texas this past decade. Didn't know that - I thought it was a national issue. Florida, California, the Mid-Atlantic, much of the Midwest, etc. endured droughts during the '00s as well, AFAIK. Huh.

*Tim, the aircraft pod idea is interesting, and makes sense in the 9/11 scenario of armed attackers taking control of the aircraft, but I'm not sure how effective that strategy would be with the scenarios we're seeing now involving explosive devices. Any sufficiently powerful explosive applied correctly could damage or cripple control of the entire platform (and I assume terrorists would study how to inflict max damage), pods or not.

And I think redesigning and reimplementing the entire US airline fleet to such platforms would be trillions of dollars worth of investment, probably not billions. Heavier and less aerodynamically efficeient aircarft would likely be less fuel efficient, too. Much of these costs would be passed onto customers, for sure. And then there are the foreign carriers who would probably not even consider these new aircraft, especially since their costs would suddenly be far below that of the US carriers' and they would win business purely based on lower fares.

bc

Posted by: -bc- | December 29, 2009 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Well, if we'd all just bite the bullet and go back to crossing the Atlantic in Spanish galleons we wouldn't have this damn problem. Let Franco and the Spaniards deal with it.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | December 29, 2009 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Flying neckid...hmmm.

*envisioning Mudge on a plane landing at a small jetway-free airport in Montana during a snowstorm*

Posted by: MsJS | December 29, 2009 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Oh, SciTim, I continue to *heart* you for your imagination. I've always wanted to become a "pod person."

Posted by: -ftb- | December 29, 2009 11:45 AM | Report abuse

How do I get the image of a plane full of naked people out of my mind, and why is it the first image is not full of people who would look good naked but the terrifying images, would make the crying baby seem like a pleasant distraction though.

Posted by: dmd3 | December 29, 2009 11:56 AM | Report abuse

I think Quantas is already working on the flying nekkid (tho bodypainted) thing... Or was it New Zealand Airways?

Posted by: Scottynuke | December 29, 2009 12:00 PM | Report abuse

No worries, MsJS. No way in hell would you find me aboard a plane tryong to land anywhere close to Montana, and sure as hell not in a snowstorm.

Cancun is somewhat more problematic.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | December 29, 2009 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Not nekkid, per se, mudge, but full body THz scans offer the next best thing:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/12/28/AR2009122801973.html


So what is worse, naughty bits or blown to bits?

Again, it's all about trade-offs.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | December 29, 2009 12:01 PM | Report abuse

C'mon, people, use some imagination. We could make everybody wear speedos.

That would just drive the cost up, however.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | December 29, 2009 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Begining to wonder what kind of security checks our mail is going through, just opened the mail and received a lovely card from the US mailed Dec 7. Even given the pathetic reputation of Canada post that is awful, postmarked Dec. 16 receipt in Canada.

Is there a rash of nefarious Christmas card mailings? Return of the pony express :-)

Posted by: dmd3 | December 29, 2009 12:04 PM | Report abuse

I'm with Mudge. No, not flying nekkid. Not really with galleons, either.

However, it is terribly difficult to protect national security and ensure safety when dealing with air travel. Why not just ban it? No more air transportation. If there is no air travel, then we don't have to play the never-ending game of catch-up to the inventive terrorist mind in that arena.

It could be done. Really, air travel is only a little over a century old. We got along fine with other, slower, methods of transportation. The passenger transportation industry has never stood on its own, without massive gummint subsidies, and is not profitable. Let's divert all the subsidies and resources from airports and planes to (a) ports, for overseas travel, and (b) the rail system, for domestic and intra-continent travel. This diversion of resources might mean we finally have enough to begin realistic policing of our ports, which would take the place of airports as the destination point of entry into the country for most overseas travelers.

But, you protest, we need quick timely air transport for delivery of goods. Perhaps we could continue the air delivery transportation system, confined to a few remaining airports and supplemented by rail delivery from those locations. As there would be no passenger component, we could increase and improve security for air delivery, to alleviate concerns about remaining terrorism by air. This would also make it much easier to track what planes are in the air and if they are where they should be.

This solution also aids in prevention of the global spread of infectious disease. If an infected passenger travels by ship, the infection is more likely show up during travel and the passenger can be quarantined.

You want to work outside the current system? Ban air passenger travel.

Posted by: Ivansmom | December 29, 2009 12:13 PM | Report abuse

And if yu still are unhappy with that plan, we can revisit the Spanish galleon thing. Refreshing salt air; rum and tacos 24/7/365; the charm and ambience of 'tween-deck romance (some of it heterosexual and possibly consenual); the savoire faire of never quit knowing when you'll arive or where, exactly; finding your way to the head in a screaming nor'easter while shipping green water over the bow; the trill [sic] of castenets on the poop deck during coffee break; listening to the singing of whales all night long on moonless nights; the lovely long shimmering phospherescent wake, replete with scenes of sharks devouring the ship's garbage; hands of whist and cribbage in the game room; playing follow-the-leader and "last one to the mast truck's a rotten egg"; the occasional sea monster sighting; and of course, falling off the edge of the earth.

OK, who's coming along? A show of hands, please!

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | December 29, 2009 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Don't all rush up at once.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | December 29, 2009 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Ah, but the pods could be equipped with strategic weak points so that the momentary over-pressure of an internal explosion would blow out the walls at known strategically-chosen points. Route the hydraulics and electronics sufficiently far from the surfaces of the passenger pod, and far from the pressure-relief points, and you can make them effectively unreachable. Yes, of course, a sufficiently powerful explosive could do it, but it is possible to estimate the mass of explosive that could be smuggled aboard by one or a small number of persons and design accordingly.

One could, of course, imagine smuggling teams aboard, with one or a few in each pod. We cannot guard against *every* possibility, but we can make them prohibitive in terms of the required degree of coordination and the size of the conspiracy.

Pods could be constructed of carbon-fiber composites to save weight (most of the weight will be in redundant fittings, I imagine -- separate pressurization and air-handling systems, separate galleys and toilets, etc). An advantage is reconfigurable interior space. For example, a flight that is all-first-class or all-coach, a charter flight with additional luggage/equipment space, an undersold flight (does that even *happen* any more?) with the excess space sold for cargo.

And, of course, the pods could be ejectable, with independent parachute recovery systems.

Really, am I the only person considering these things?

Posted by: ScienceTim | December 29, 2009 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Single file.

Plenty of room, still.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | December 29, 2009 12:21 PM | Report abuse

OK, I can you're all waiting to see who's gonna go first. I understand. It's tough being an early adopter.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | December 29, 2009 12:22 PM | Report abuse

First customer wins a toaster-oven.

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

C'mon, it's karaoke night up in the fo'c'sle. I'm gonna be singing that new Randy Travis C&W hit, "I've Got 80 Grams of Lovin' Hidden in my Shorts."

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | December 29, 2009 12:28 PM | Report abuse

I'll go, Mudge. Of course, if I were to continue doing astronomy in Hawaii with an instrument of our own, it might make more sense for me to simply move there.

*sigh* Science is a tough master.

Posted by: ScienceTim | December 29, 2009 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Attaboy, Tim! For being the first to sign up, we'll let you have complete use of the ship's astrolab, our state-of-the-art GPS system.

The Dixie Chicks will be doing a special matinee today on the boat deck, singing their hit, "I'l Put the Boom-Boom in Your Fruit-of-the-Loom-Looms."

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | December 29, 2009 12:38 PM | Report abuse

I assume, of course, that this Galleon *will* have wifi.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | December 29, 2009 12:38 PM | Report abuse

I bought my ticket by PayPal on ClassicCruisingDOTCALM. Wow. Mudge, fast from envelope scribble to web-enabled bizzyness.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | December 29, 2009 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, what about intra-US travel? How would 'home for the holidays' work, say from Washington, DC to Boulder, CO?

Posted by: MsJS | December 29, 2009 12:44 PM | Report abuse

What about the pirates?!?

Posted by: seasea1 | December 29, 2009 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Not to mention the sharks...

Posted by: seasea1 | December 29, 2009 12:46 PM | Report abuse

SciTim, I think that what you have invented is called a "train". And they aren't particularly air worthy. Speaking of trains, Anne Applebaum wants to know where her Bos-Wash Bullet Train is.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/12/28/AR2009122801713.html

Her DC-NY trip in under an hour is as fanciful as SciTim's flying boxcars or bc's Popular Science dirigibles. Last time I took Amtrack to NY, the trains were so late, I caught the 4:30 am on at 5:45 and still got to Penn Station 45 minutes later than the 5:30 train was supposed to arrive.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 29, 2009 12:46 PM | Report abuse

If I book early will you throw in the scurvy for free Mudge.

Posted by: dmd3 | December 29, 2009 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Wifi? Pirates? This ain't Princess Lines, ya know. Do I look like Capt. Stubing?

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | December 29, 2009 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Don't answer that.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | December 29, 2009 12:48 PM | Report abuse

RD's argument, made in defense of intelligence agencies regarding the Crotch Bomber, that driving a car is analagous to being a passenger in an airplane is weak. Consider, too, that the hero in this Christmas Day terrorist story is not some gummint employee, but a fellow passenger, with quick wits and action-hero reflexes, in seat 20J.

It's also not the job of international airports, per se, to perform the job of intelligence, but the job of *cooperating* international intelligence agencies to share information and pass it on to respective airlines. Certainly each business-entity airline has its own reputation to protect, one would think.

As far as ftb's argument, I immediately think of liberal Gore Vidal and his 2002 book, "Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace." McVeigh is mentioned in the first paragraph of the introduction, again on page 11 (about how Clinton neatly nullified the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 by signing into law the Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act in April 1996), as well as the entire second chapter titled, "How I Became Interested in Timothy McVeigh and Vice Versa." Using a facile Telnaes cartoon to bolster an argument is too easy, I'm afraid.

Let me give you some of Vidal's introduction in "Perpetual War." Paragraph one talks about two important dates in recent history--the dates of 9/11 ands the Oklahoma bombing, noting the words used by media to depict McVeigh and bin Laden. In the second paragraph of the introduction, Vidal writes, "None of these explanations ["crazed monster" and "evildoer"] made much sense, but our rules for more than half a centiry have made sure that we are never to be told the truth about anything that our government, not to mention, in McVeigh's case, our own."

The question that still resonates most significantly for me is the one Bill Maher asked right after 9/11: Why do they hate us so much?

And isn't religion funny? Obama didn't want to be photographed in June 2008 during his campaign with women standing behind him waearing hijabs in Detroit in the summer 2008, but now Obama has to deal with cultures that wear head scarves. French and Swiss governments are grappling with Muslims and their national identities. American soldiers hand out Bibles in Iraq and Afghanistan.

http://scienceblogs.com/dispatches/2009/05/soldiers_handing_out_swahili_b.php

And the latest article I know of about the American military mixing war and religion--rebuilding a Christian church near Mosul, in Iraq, St. Elijah's, the reconstruction effort done with the help of no less than Army engineers. It boggles the mind: certainly a story that could be a field day for Chris Hitchens:

http://www.gainesville.com/article/20091219/ZNYT03/912193013/1014/ENTERTAINMENT02?Title=G-I-x2019-s-in-Iraq-Hope-to-Heal-Sacred-Walls

http://www.nytimes.com/slideshow/2009/12/19/world/1219-MONASTERY_index.html

Posted by: laloomis | December 29, 2009 12:49 PM | Report abuse

SCC Vidal: "None of these explanations ["crazed monster" and "evildoer"] made much sense, but our rules for more than half a centiry have made sure that we are never to be told the truth about anything that our government has done to other people, not to mention, in McVeigh's case, our own."

Posted by: laloomis | December 29, 2009 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Also in today's WaPo is a lovely dissection of "Luncheon Of The Boating Party" by Blake Gopnik. It's a delightfully detailed essay, but the visual accompaniment falls flat even in the dead trees edition.

Compare this:

http://media3.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/photo/2009/12/28/PH2009122802108.jpg

with this (bandwidth hog warning):

http://www.flickr.com/photos/yellojkt/3968188622/sizes/o/in/set-72157622485058124/

Admittedly, the detail that he waxes eloquent on probably surpasses the quality of my handheld picture taken in available light, but it still doesn't do justice to the original:

http://media3.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/photo/2009/12/28/PH2009122802254.jpg

I could just stare at that painting for hours.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 29, 2009 12:56 PM | Report abuse

I wouldn't worry about the pirates. In these modern, enlightened times, each ship will be equipped with one of these: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Phantom

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

Action-hero pasenger 20J, Jasper Shuringa, with an agenda to make some money with his cellphone photo of Abdulmutallab on the Detroit-bound aircraft?

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/29/business/media/29cnn.html?hpw

Posted by: laloomis | December 29, 2009 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Found this on making airplanes resistant to explosives:
http://www.federallabs.org/news/top-stories/articles/?pt=top-stories/articles/1007-02.jsp

Not as easy as it would seem, I assume. And I take heart in the fact that the 737 which had its roof peeled off due to metal fatigue landed and had "only" one fatality.
http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,149181,00.html
Also this more recent incident:
http://snafu-ed.blogspot.com/2009/07/southwest-airlines-737-300-lands-safely.html

Also, there is the matter of pressurization. I'm wondering why the underwear bomber waited till landing rather than at high altitude to detonate the explosive.

Oh, and I believe the cockpit doors have been reinforced and have locks on them now.

Posted by: seasea1 | December 29, 2009 1:02 PM | Report abuse

RD's comment:
5) Make-Believe Journalists: The internet, blogs, and the comments sections of tolerant bloggers...have allowed anyone to pretend to be a pundit. No longer must people be content to rant and lecture their cats.
***

Or airline passengers hoping to cash in on a quick buck during their flights with alleged terrorists? New media--anything that pixelates what's happening now? Gives a whole new meaning to "reach out and touch someone"--even if their underwear is on fire. Does one gather the image and then reach out and touch soneone, or reach out and touch someone, then gather the image? That Jasper seems to have had a jump on more than flaming briefs...

Interviews, a book, movie of the week?


Posted by: laloomis | December 29, 2009 1:10 PM | Report abuse

Not trains in the sky -- pods installed within the aircraft's shell, similar to current cargo containers in cargo versions of jumbo jets.

I believe that RD's comparison of air travel with car travel was with respect to the perception of risk: we are blasé about the considerable risks of automotive travel, while terribly skittish about the comparatively small risks of air travel. The differences, of course, are that (a) we all imagine that our *own* auto travel is terribly safe, due to our implementation of various magic charms that we imagine are safety measures; (b) in aircraft, we have to depend on the effectiveness of someone else's safety measures, which we know to be mere mummery; (c) *when* aircraft kill people, it tends to be a whole lot of people at once, whereas cars must do their evil work piecemeal; and (d) aircraft do have the attribute of being more effective as weapons against persons outside the vehicle, so long as one is not too picky about precisely which people one wishes to kill.

Why do they hate us so much? Because their own lives are so wretched and here we sit, casually flouting all the rules and restrictions they choose for themselves and yet not being smited by G-d. It's enough to make anyone feel a tad bitter.

Posted by: ScienceTim | December 29, 2009 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Loomis - you say my argument is weak yet you do not refute it. This is called "shifting," and is what people who are losing an argument do when they want to change the topic.

As far as who the hero was, I never mentioned this. Nor did I mention sharing of information. The problem isn't sharing, it's determining when the information is worthy of being shared. And after the fact justification is not useful.

You want to hold this out as some massive failure of institutions and politicians you dislike, but refuse to acknowledge that, to a large extent, it is a result of decisions people have made, both here and abroad, regarding the proper ratio of intrusion, both physical and otherwise, and security.


Posted by: RD_Padouk | December 29, 2009 1:20 PM | Report abuse

loomis - regarding your 1:10. Why quote me when what you followed with has nothing to do with my point? I have tried to engage you because I feel you were making points that could rationally discussed. But you've lost me now.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | December 29, 2009 1:26 PM | Report abuse

I, too, began thinking about trains after that description. Either high speed land trains or more fanciful dirigible trains.

One of the things I keep trying to get at and failing is that "membership" in a "group" such as al Qaida is going to be squishy. There must be many wannabes in that part of the world. If a small group gets together and declares they are al Qaida, does that make it true? Or do they remain mere wannabes who are posers even if they begin wreaking havoc? If one declared to be a Crip, or an Aryan Nation member would that make him one?

While looking at our own collection of kooks who turn to violence in this country, I found this interesting paper on "Idiot Legal Arguments" lawyers and others may find interesting.
http://www.adl.org/mwd/suss1.asp

Posted by: Jumper1 | December 29, 2009 1:33 PM | Report abuse

So the answer is to give all those flying cars we were promised. Since in our Wobegonian minds we are all above average drivers, flying our own planes would make us *feel* much safer as actual air fatalities skyrocket.

And the envy-bitterness theory makes a lot of sense. You just think that could be channeled far more productively.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 29, 2009 1:39 PM | Report abuse

"Action-hero pasenger 20J, Jasper Shuringa, with an agenda to make some money with his cellphone photo of Abdulmutallab on the Detroit-bound aircraft?"

Well, why the hell not? There's big money in it for Viacom, for Comcast, for News Corp. and for The Tribune Company. I have no problem throwing a bone to a guy who could have been killed by Mr. Balls-On-Fire. He deserves it more than Brian Williams or Katie Couric, I'd say.

Posted by: byoolin1 | December 29, 2009 1:41 PM | Report abuse

Woebegonian! Thank you jk, for the word treat of the day.

The resentment argument could -- and should -- be reframed to some version of this old but useful instruction:

If you want peace, work for justice.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | December 29, 2009 1:43 PM | Report abuse

The tricky thing is that the resentful parties will resent you more if they see you helping them. You have to do it covertly, with no expectation of recognition, out of enlightened self-interest. The Obama administration has shown the kind of self-control required to accomplish this (whether or not they are *actually* doing it -- the whole point is that I really have no way of knowing). It's been a long time since a previous administration was capable of working quietly and not taking credit for it.

Political historians -- please identify one previous US Presidential administration found to have worked with such subtlety.

Posted by: ScienceTim | December 29, 2009 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the refinement, SciTim. Yes, work toward this as a matter of course, always and everywhere, without a trumpetting of "See me. See me do justice. For who? Why YOU." and then blech...

"Acknowledge me and my goodness."

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | December 29, 2009 1:52 PM | Report abuse

I like Telnaes's and ftb's references to McVeigh. I don't understand what appears to be some sort of inference that McVeigh wasn't a "real" terrorist, or that security measures against such homegrown terrorism are or should be different or less important than those against presumed foreign terrorists. I'm also completely confused by the "what the gummint did" argument re: McVeigh. Hereabouts we've heard that pretty much ad infinitum, in all its not-so-infinite variety, since 1995. McVeigh targeted a gummint building, rented a truck, made a bomb, and blew the building up. The gummint caught him, tried him and executed him.

He had a couple of friends help (Terry Nichols, anyone?) but there has been absolutely no credible evidence that McVeigh was a front for anything else. Believe me, people have tried to provide that evidence. Some people just can't accept that a true-blue patriot, former serviceman, could, out of a misguided sense of patriotism, blow up a building, a bunch of people, and a day care center. It happened and it could happen again. Life isn't comfortable.

Posted by: Ivansmom | December 29, 2009 1:52 PM | Report abuse

I wonder, too, if people such as Abdulmutallab are really driven by religious fervor or if religious fervor takes hold because of some psychological need. I know this is sort of a chicken and egg thing, but it is an important distinction.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | December 29, 2009 1:53 PM | Report abuse

I'd love to continue being cranky (I've had professional experience with what the 1996 AEDPA actually does, as opposed to what effect non-lawyers think it might have had) but have to go to a funeral.

Save me a seat on the galleon. I want a bunch of beer too.

Posted by: Ivansmom | December 29, 2009 1:54 PM | Report abuse

MsJS - have been thinking of trying the chocolate temptation cookies for New Year, but have been wondering what I will do with the 4 egg yolks. Any suggestions? I hate to waste anything, but don't want them sitting around the refrigerator (which is still full of turkey and related goodies).
I think I'll vote for sniffer dogs for explosive detection. Beats checking people to see what they have in their Depends (for safety's sake in that no-bathroom hour before landing). That is, of course, until we have those pods installed. Now to figure out how we're going to have screening on incoming overseas flights.
IMom, like you idea of switching to train travel. It's fuel efficient, you can drink and ride with no ill effects, and it is great for going almost anywhere if you are willing to go by way of Chicago. When we checked into going from East Texas to visit in-laws in Alabama; we found out we had to go through Chicago which was (probably still is) the passenger rail hub. Most rail lines apparently aren't good enough for passenger service.

Posted by: km2bar | December 29, 2009 1:56 PM | Report abuse

IMom/RDP:

Do not forget the movie lesson of the Sixth Sense:
Cole Sear: I see dead people.
Malcolm Crowe: In your dreams?
[Cole shakes his head no]
Malcolm Crowe: While you're awake?
[Cole nods]
Malcolm Crowe: Dead people like, in graves? In coffins?
Cole Sear: Walking around like regular people. They don't see each other. They only see what they want to see. They don't know they're dead.
Malcolm Crowe: How often do you see them?
Cole Sear: All the time. They're everywhere.

For "dead people" substitute "crazy people": they walk and talk and pay their taxes. Yet. CRAZIES, each.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | December 29, 2009 1:57 PM | Report abuse

We need a pome to round out this discussion about how to manage outlikely events (outlying and unlikely : dibs, you saw me type this here).

So, enjoy this one/one/half minute animated poem by Billy Collins

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8xovLpim_1s&feature=related

The poem is "The Country." Other bone fides: Billy Collins, former US Poet Laureate and one of America's best-selling poets, reads his poem "The Country" with animation by Brady Baltezor of Radium.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | December 29, 2009 2:03 PM | Report abuse

*faxing IM her seat confirmation, a voucher for a brewski, and a booster shot of cranky from my own personal (some might say imfamous) climate-controlled, 600-bottle walk-in cranky locker*

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | December 29, 2009 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Oh Ivansmom. I can think of so many more pleasant ways of spending an afternoon. I hope the funeral gives those in attendance a sense of peace.


Quite true, CP. Sad really.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | December 29, 2009 2:04 PM | Report abuse

About those crazies. We cannot control or legally fence the odd and random and evil-psychologically sad yet driven events. Thinking that we can is another kind of insanity.

So, we must do what is reasonable. Then, we must -- like our ancestors and indeed the majority of the world's people -- deal with ambiguity, danger, nature, stock market crashes, crime, hijacking, terror, etc.

I am not saying give up; I am saying, that realism about events out of our control would be refreshing.

In the meantime, we may as well be kind. (Thanks yJk for the Vonnegutian reminder) AND

mow our lawns,
make dye from cranberries,
fly kites,
pay taxes,
boodle a bit,
donate time and treasure and talent
read pomes,
caramelize onions,
make jewelry beads,
build cunning little boxes,
canoe in WbyGodViginia

etc.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | December 29, 2009 2:10 PM | Report abuse

A omey slam, CqP? I'll be your huckleberry. I'll see your country mouse and raise you:

Distressed Haiku
by Donald Hall

In a week or ten days
the snow and ice
will melt from Cemetery Road.

I'm coming! Don't move!

Once again it is April.
Today is the day
we would have been married
twenty-six years.

I finished with April
halfway through March.

You think that their
dying is the worst
thing that could happen.

Then they stay dead.

Will Hall ever write
lines that do anything
but whine and complain?

In April the blue
mountain revises
from white to green.

The Boston Red Sox win
a hundred straight games.
The mouse rips
the throat of the lion

and the dead return.


Posted by: curmudgeon6 | December 29, 2009 2:10 PM | Report abuse

mudge,
Sign me up for "A Pirate Looks at 40" for karaoke night. Or perhaps "Coconut Telegraph". I can do either equally untunefully.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 29, 2009 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Oh my, Mudge. That is Mr. Hall missing Mrs. Hall something fierce. Mrs Hal would be Jane Kenyon, making Donald Hall also Mr. Jane Kenyon.

Here is Ted Koosier, that Nebraskan we learned about when he was elevated to P. Laureate status a few years back:

Screech Owl

All night each reedy whinny
from a bird no bigger than a heart
flies out of a tall black pine
and, in a breath, is taken away
by the stars. Yet, with small hope
from the center of darkness,
it calls out again and again.

--
Tis kit-tey like, as in hope. That feathered thing.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | December 29, 2009 2:15 PM | Report abuse

SCC: pomey

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | December 29, 2009 2:16 PM | Report abuse

LittleBrownDruid is available for a Boodle handle.

Posted by: seasea1 | December 29, 2009 2:23 PM | Report abuse

It occurred to me after reading today's Boodling that the objective of some terrorist acts is to draw attention or sympathetic response to perceived plights, victimizations or wrongs, typically through the use of what societies consider irrational acts, injurious or offensive spectacle in order to foment fear or anger. I think that sometimes it is also used by the perpetrators to establish a sense of intellectual or emotional superiority by humiliating or belittling the target. Typically, it only amounts to irriation of authorities, organized resistance of the target audience and ostracization of the perpetrator and the views they believe they are advocating, such as recent events described here.

Underwear bombers and others, take note.

bc

Posted by: -bc- | December 29, 2009 2:23 PM | Report abuse

CP - your 2:10 was truly beautiful.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | December 29, 2009 2:27 PM | Report abuse

Jasper Schuringa. Hmmmm... Some here would say that with a name like that, he should be on a terror watch list.

Posted by: -TBG- | December 29, 2009 2:27 PM | Report abuse

When we think about it, RDP, doing it "right" yields a pome of natural beauty.

JA thinking, then typing, and then what happens here:

tiki bars in the sunset
click training doggies
a haiku appears, perfectly on-kit
oil changed handily and environmentally benignly
cookies made, Chicago recently and MA always
walks in the AM
Prayers, Cassandra specially
reports from the Banana belt
overnight flares from the middle of the Pacific/rainforest
pho sightings
reports of snowfall and windchill
weather/precip reports
knitting triumphs
wedding reports from the land of Dr. Zhivago
wild rice reporting

What am I missing? Lots. But y'll get the pixes.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | December 29, 2009 2:35 PM | Report abuse

CqP, I clipped this one out of Book World's Poet's Choice column many years ago because I so loved the rhythm of the first line:

TO JOHN KEATS, POET, AT SPRING TIME
(For Carl Van Vechten)
by Countee Cullen

I cannot hold my peace, John Keats;
There never was a spring like this;
It is an echo, that repeats
My last year's song and next year's bliss.
I know, in spite of all men say
Of Beauty, you have felt her most.
Yea, even in your grave her way
Is laid. Poor, troubled, lyric ghost,
Spring never was so fair and dear
As Beauty makes her seem this year.

I cannot hold my peace, John Keats,
I am as helpless in the toil
Of Spring as any lamb that bleats
To feel the solid earth recoil
Beneath his puny legs. Spring beats
her tocsin call to those who love her,
And lo! the dogwood petals cover
Her breast with drifts of snow, and sleek
White gulls fly screaming to her, and hover
About her shoulders, and kiss her cheek,
While white and purple lilacs muster
A strength that bears them to a cluster
Of color and odor; for her sake
All things that slept are now awake.

And you and I, shall we lie still,
John Keats, while Beauty summons us?
Somehow I feel your sensitive will
Is pulsing up some tremulous
Sap road of a maple tree, whose leaves
Grow music as they grow, since your
Wild voice is in them, a harp that grieves
For life that opens death's dark door.
Though dust, your fingers still can push
The Vision Splendid to a birth,
Though now they work as grass in the hush
Of the night on the broad sweet page of the earth.

"John Keats is dead," they say, but I
Who hear your full insistent cry
In bud and blossom, leaf and tree,
Know John Keats still writes poetry.
And while my head is earthward bowed
To read new life sprung from your shroud,
Folks seeing me must think it strange
That merely spring should so derange
My mind. They do not know that you,
John Keats, keep revel with me, too.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | December 29, 2009 2:35 PM | Report abuse

Pitying suicide bombers would really irritate the hell out of them and their puppeteers, wouldn't it?

Posted by: ScienceTim | December 29, 2009 2:35 PM | Report abuse

Kayak, CqP. We kayak in WBG. I mean really, how do you go over a dam in a canoe? In a kayak, you start with saying damn it's a dam and wondering who forgot to draw it on the map.

Also, why is Ozzy leading the tune cootie parade in my head today? Talk about going off the rails on a crazy train. Sheesh.

bc, some might argue that terrorists are really just armies without states. But that would make thieves shoppers without cash.

Posted by: LostInThought | December 29, 2009 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Mea culpa oh LiT, the tiara-sporting Queen of the waterways in wbGOD's country.

Pardon me but I am old school as in canoes plied the waterways of Montana somewhat dangerously, before kayaks went mainstream.


I own a canoe: plus 50
But, not on it since 1996, so minus a big fat 1000 points.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | December 29, 2009 2:40 PM | Report abuse

Also: Hijacking as a form of terrorism, coercion, or even as a means of advocacy for media attention almost never works. After the destruction, fear and confusion are gone, anger and distrust remain.

bc

Posted by: -bc- | December 29, 2009 2:40 PM | Report abuse

Mudge -- you must see Bright Star when it goes to video. Really. And, thank you for this C.C. masterpiece.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | December 29, 2009 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Gee, pitying suicide bombers would be like turning the other cheek. Who could possibly advocate such a radical policy?

Posted by: yellojkt | December 29, 2009 2:50 PM | Report abuse

"Who could possibly advocate such a radical policy?"

The Doctor, of course.

Posted by: ScienceTim | December 29, 2009 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Bright Star is available on DVD now. I'm waiting for it from the library (now #68 - they have 75 copies). Suppose I could read some Keats in the meantime.

This on the Daily Dish about the contempt for the failed terrorist attempt:
http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2009/12/the-loony-with-his-pants-on-fire.html

Posted by: seasea1 | December 29, 2009 2:59 PM | Report abuse

km2bar: Here's another version of awesome chocolate cookies that leaves no yolks homeless:

Chewy Chocolate Cookies

Makes about 24

6 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped up
1/4 cup butter
1/3 cup flour
1/4 tsp. baking powder
pinch salt
2 eggs
1 + 1/4 cups superfine sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
4 oz. semisweet chocolate, chopped coarse (chips are fine)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment.

Melt the bittersweet chocolate and butter using a double boiler. Allow to cool slightly.

In a separate bowl, sift flour, baking powder, and salt together. Set aside.

In another bowl, beat eggs, sugar, and vanilla extract until thick and pale. Stir the melted chocolate/butter mixture into the eggs and sugar, followed by the flour mixture, followed by the semisweet chocolate chunks.

Drop tablespoons of the batter onto the parchment-lined baking sheets and bake for 8-10 minutes. Slided parchment onto wire racks to cool.

When completely cool, store in airtight container.

Posted by: MsJS | December 29, 2009 3:00 PM | Report abuse

"When completely cool, store in airtight container."

That's assuming there are any to store! :-)

Posted by: -TBG- | December 29, 2009 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Has The Doctor ever risen from the dead?

Posted by: yellojkt | December 29, 2009 3:04 PM | Report abuse

I say we put lots of gummint tax dollars into the 'beam me up, Scotty' technology. Press a lever, cue the fizzy lights, and zap!

Posted by: MsJS | December 29, 2009 3:06 PM | Report abuse

While I don't agree much with B.F. Skinner, his completely behavioral schema is still a useful tool sometimes. When it comes to trying to evaluate the "intentions" of terrorists, or conspirators, or groups of nuts, sometimes I just cut to the behavioral analysis and avoid the fuzzy mystical psychopathologies altogether. Makes life easier.

Posted by: Jumper1 | December 29, 2009 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Just saw a great hooters 2010 calendar...

Had an arctic owl, great horned owl, barn owl, etc...

:-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | December 29, 2009 3:29 PM | Report abuse

There is a lot of discussion going on between the trade-off between physical security and procedural security. That is, between instituting measures like full-body scanners verses less tolerance to those who might conceivably have "terrorist ties."

Both are expensive and compromise certain privacy issues. But, to me, the more moral, and probably effective, approach is clearly to rely more on physical security. Because once we start identifying potential terrorists with too much eagerness, the world could get pretty dark pretty fast.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | December 29, 2009 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Yep, the all-knowing gummint database scares me, especially when it seems to get people with similar names confused. But there has to be a way to share certain info to make connecting dots easier, too.

Posted by: seasea1 | December 29, 2009 4:03 PM | Report abuse

Here is secret footage of the underwear bomber sneaking through security:

http://livebythefoma.blogspot.com/2009/12/spinal-tap-inspired-undie-bomber.html

Posted by: yellojkt | December 29, 2009 4:17 PM | Report abuse

Just got a memo saying that we'll be upgrading to Word 2007 soon, and that one of our peeps is "beta testing" it now.

LOL.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | December 29, 2009 4:35 PM | Report abuse

First question asked by every user of Word 2007:

"Where the f@&k is the f%$king Print button?"

Posted by: yellojkt | December 29, 2009 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, I can only hope they don't mean a fish.

Posted by: LostInThought | December 29, 2009 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Let me know if you can't find something, Mudge.

I was forced to become the "Ribbon Master."

What's the ribbon, you ask? Bwahahaha!

Posted by: Moose13 | December 29, 2009 4:54 PM | Report abuse

Hate to say this but I really like Word and Excel 2007.

Posted by: dmd3 | December 29, 2009 4:55 PM | Report abuse

They probably do, LiT.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | December 29, 2009 4:58 PM | Report abuse

They are okay (now that I know where to find things I need).

Posted by: Moose13 | December 29, 2009 5:01 PM | Report abuse

One could do worse.
http://jumpersbloghouse.blogspot.com/2009/12/thai-soup.html

Posted by: Jumper1 | December 29, 2009 5:07 PM | Report abuse

I tried to download the beta Office 2010 and didn't have space, till the Geekdottir came home and did her magic. Still haven't tried the software but figured I'd better, because my Office 2003 is getting way obsolete.

Am enjoying the Mitford sisters' letters. What incredible lives they led! What a shame about Unity, poor child. A great book to read on a boring ride down I-81 and I-77.

Posted by: slyness | December 29, 2009 5:23 PM | Report abuse

"Action-hero pasenger 20J, Jasper Shuringa, with an agenda to make some money with his cellphone photo of Abdulmutallab on the Detroit-bound aircraft?"

Well, why the hell not? There's big money in it for Viacom, for Comcast, for News Corp. and for The Tribune Company. I have no problem throwing a bone to a guy who could have been killed by Mr. Balls-On-Fire. He deserves it more than Brian Williams or Katie Couric, I'd say.

Posted by: byoolin1 | December 29, 2009
***

Well, where does one draw the line on checkbook journalism? I'm glad that David Goldman was reunited with his son from Brazil. But I grow sick and tired of ongoing coverage of the story, especially in light of the fact that NBC chartered the private jet to fly reunited father and son home from Brazil and is the only news outlet to have access to the pair post-reunion.

I'm sure New Media--or Old Media--will figure out where to draw the line some day...

Posted by: laloomis | December 29, 2009 5:51 PM | Report abuse

I'm so glad you like the letters, slyness. There's only one of the sisters still alive now and she's way over 80, if not 90 by this time. That they each went such entirely different ways shows to me that there are all sorts of ways of coping with dysfunction (family-wise). I'm not sure that Unity could ever have been convinced of another path, nor Diana. I found Diana -- even in later years -- to be both fascinating and abominable. When I was younger, and was sort of familiar with Jessica, I liked her. But when I read her letters, I decided that she was one with whom I would keep my distance.

It's a treasure of a book, I must say.

You're also lucky, slyness, that you can read in a car. Not me, man!

Apart from putting backhoe to office for the rest of the week (apart from celebrating the new year) I'm going to try to read more than I have been doing. Or, take out the last knitting project or embroidery project (counted cross-stitch from Eva Rosenstand in Copenhagen -- if I can find it, of course). I figure that if I start *thinking* about spring cleaning, spring will be just around the corner. . . . .

Before I got my Mac, I got Word 2007 and I must say that I really liked it after fighting with the 2003 edition for so long. It didn't take that long to figure out where things were. It took a little longer to figure out the Mac version of Word, but I'm pretty much in sync with it now.

Ivansmom, I think that people over here (i.e., in the US) seem to forget about the home-grown terrorists, perhaps because in their heart of hearts (should they have one) they don't necessarily disagree with him that gummint is bad -- and not only bad, but so horrible that it must be overthrown. They are the terrorists who scare me the most and make me want to move to Canada or New Zealand or back to Sweden or somewhere, anywhere else. They don't appear to understand that countries without governments (like Somalia) are not pleasant to live in. That such countries would disabuse them of their fantasies, and their lives, as soon as look at them. "Be careful what you wish for" echoes in the trashed up atmosphere of the universe.

And, of course, on that note, I bid thee all adieu (or adiewwwwww, depending . . . .). Don't forget to watch the Kennedy Center Honors show on CBS tonight. I wanna see the Mel Brooks tribute. I'm prepared to laugh my veritables off, I tell ya!

Cya.

Posted by: -ftb- | December 29, 2009 5:52 PM | Report abuse

Something to think about next time you listen to that friendly voice on your GPS and wonder is that correct?

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/technology/couple-stranded-after-gps-leads-them-astray/article1413965/

Posted by: dmd3 | December 29, 2009 5:59 PM | Report abuse

dmd,
My wife saw that story yesterday and it reminded her of the time our GPS tried to take us through a river.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 29, 2009 6:12 PM | Report abuse

Flashing back to the kit (remember the kit?) I think this says much about the state of writing. I defy you to read this without laughing. Or crying. Or both.

http://www.mcsweeneys.net/2009/4/20lanham.html

Posted by: RD_Padouk | December 29, 2009 6:14 PM | Report abuse

Whoa, murderous GPS you had there, yello. Many blind or deaf-blind use GPS as a way to get around new cities, so this isn't funny.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 29, 2009 6:27 PM | Report abuse

"[W]here does one draw the line on checkbook journalism?"

- laloomis


Well, Loo, in the Oakland neighbourhood of Pittsburgh there's a five- or six-foot long section of what used to be the outfield wall of Forbes Field, where the Pirates last won the World Series in 1960. I daresay there's more left of that wall than there is of the line that used to fence off checkbook journalism.

CNN's parent, Time Warner, had a market capitalization at market close today of $34.39 billion. THAT'S checkbook journalism. The <$10K they paid Jasper for his photo isn't even chicken feed in comparison.

Posted by: byoolin1 | December 29, 2009 6:52 PM | Report abuse

The GPS built into my phone once directed me on to Pittsburgh's Liberty Bridge and then said, "Make a U-turn."

The speed limit on the Liberty Bridge is 60mph.

Posted by: byoolin1 | December 29, 2009 6:54 PM | Report abuse

Obviously your GPS was programmed in Montreal byoolin.

Posted by: dmd3 | December 29, 2009 6:57 PM | Report abuse

I see that Obama is pointing out specific errors that were made. Specific errors are different from innate problems with predicting threats. And specific errors clearly need to be specifically addressed.

My concern is both that we will end up simply instituting some additional mechanism that really doesn't help, and that we will believe that this is all we need to do.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | December 29, 2009 7:00 PM | Report abuse

A different spin on the decade in review, a quiz on How Cool is Canada. Need help with the vote on question three, because the answer should be overwhelmingly COOL.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/technology/couple-stranded-after-gps-leads-them-astray/article1413965/

Posted by: dmd3 | December 29, 2009 7:07 PM | Report abuse

dmd, if my GPS had been programmed in Montreal, then it surely wouldn't have pronounced the name of the street in front of the Igloo as "Mario LEE-mux Boulevard."

Even the yinzers, who can't pronounce "down," "out," or "sandwich" correctly, know how to pronounce Mario's name.


Posted by: byoolin1 | December 29, 2009 7:07 PM | Report abuse

Mar ee oo (like bar?) or
Mare ee oo (like the horsey?)

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | December 29, 2009 7:10 PM | Report abuse

Horsey.

Posted by: byoolin1 | December 29, 2009 7:15 PM | Report abuse

Does it say "Turn dwat" or "Turn a goosh"?

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | December 29, 2009 7:15 PM | Report abuse

The <$10K they paid Jasper for his photo isn't even chicken feed in comparison.

Posted by: byoolin1

byoolin1, the details are significant. According to the NYT, ABC and the New York Post also ponied up for the blurry photo, and Jasper arranged for the Dutch photo agency WFA to sell photographs of himself to news media outlets.

On to other aspects of the story...One Brit is PO'ed that that England's visa application process is outsourced to private companies in the U.S. and India, yet the Brits, as reported, denied Abdulmutallab's most recent visa request, while Americans sat on their hands regarding the young Nigerian's American visa. (Number 3 in the reporting)

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1239301/ANDREW-GREEN-10-reasons-visa-rotten-core.html

Number 3
In most cases, the Immigration Officer in the British Consulate abroad never even sees the applicant, so he has no means of judging whether he or she is genuine. If you want a visa for Britain, you no longer apply at the consulate. Instead, you go to one of two commercial companies, one American-owned and the other Indian. They have the contract to take your photograph and fingerprints and check over your 41- page application form.


The best op-ed I've seen so far about the Obama-called "systemic failures" regarding Abdulmutallab, is written for the Huffington Post by Thomas Lipscomb, senior fellow at the Annenberg Center for the Digital Future, and is titled, "The Trouser Bomber Effect: Watching Government Cure Incompetence with Idiocy."

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/thomas-lipscomb/the-trouser-bomber-effect_b_405416.html

Excerpts:

It is really simple, the American Embassy in Lagos, Nigeria screwed up bigtime. ...

There is no evidence that any attempt was made to contact British authorities where the young man had lived in a 4 million pound flat while on a student visa to the UK. His American visa had been issued in London. If they had, they might have learned the British had already pulled Abdulmutullab's visa last May.

Apparently no one ever considered the easiest, simplest step to review the multiple entry visa and associated travel records to see if something had changed that might lend credence to the father's concern. ...

Incompetent State Department consular officials and poor enforcement of visa procedures that have been in place long before the personal computer, the Xerox machine or even the jet airliner are the problem here. And we aren't hearing a word about it.

Better the American public should be forced to endure another blizzard of press releases announcing another round of ridiculous indignities by dazzling Rube Goldberg technology rather than have our press and our government demand an accounting from the employees at a government bureaucracy who can't even comply with their own time-tested procedures.


Posted by: laloomis | December 29, 2009 7:46 PM | Report abuse

Now that I've seen those two phrases spelled that way, they sound much dirtier when I speak them.

Posted by: byoolin1 | December 29, 2009 7:47 PM | Report abuse

Surprise, surprise--Jasper Schuringa's aunt and uncle have been 30-year residents of Visalia, not far from Bakersfield. And the Dutch Shuringa is a documentary filmmaker--this explains a lot: no wonder he was quick to grab a camera after he subdued Abdulmutallab. ABC's Fresno bureau has the story:

http://abclocal.go.com/kfsn/story?section=news/local&id=7191829


Posted by: laloomis | December 29, 2009 7:59 PM | Report abuse

laloomis, you do realize that chequebook journalism is viewed differently outside the US, no?

About the other part of your cut-and-paste. What? Governments contract out work and don't do every last bit of it themselves? Surely you jest.

Posted by: LostInThought | December 29, 2009 8:04 PM | Report abuse

What is a Dutch Shuringa - is that a pastry?

Posted by: dmd3 | December 29, 2009 8:05 PM | Report abuse

Thanks to the Boodle. The lovely, sane, thoughtful and original commentary since I left has been very soothing for catch-up. Thanks for the ticket, Mudge, I'll turn in my grog voucher now and thanks for the cranky shot.

It was a good funeral, as funerals go. Despite the extreme sadness of pretty much everyone in the packed church, it was truly a celebration of Jim Chastain's life. Because he was a poet, there was poetry. Because he was funny, there was laughter. Because he had the rare gift of seeing clearly, then using humor and words to express deeper truths, there was faith and thought and reflection. At least a couple of hundred people were in attendance, all of whose lives had been touched by Jim in some good way. Jim was determined not to let cancer define him, and taught us all a lot about how to live joyfully and fully. He made us realize that we're all dying; most of us just don't know when. It is what you do with the life you have, every day and every moment, that counts.

Posted by: Ivansmom | December 29, 2009 8:10 PM | Report abuse

Hey all the single ladies... there's someone new back on the market now...

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/34622544/ns/politics/

Posted by: -TBG- | December 29, 2009 8:10 PM | Report abuse

Beautiful, Ivansmom. Thanks for sharing that. It does sound sad and wonderful.

Posted by: -TBG- | December 29, 2009 8:12 PM | Report abuse

See, now we are getting somewhere. Specific individuals at specific locations made specific errors. Specific procedures were not followed.

This is how progress is made. By uncovering specific facts and dealing with them.

But then the Lipscomb goes and ruins it all at the end with a metaphorical broadside. He generalizes from the specific to castigate that nasty "Government bureaucracy."

And what's the bit about "Rube Golberg technology" Seems to me we should try to advance on all fronts, yes?

And my, perhaps biased, view is that technological screening is a very productive front.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | December 29, 2009 8:14 PM | Report abuse

TBG, that's mean.
Just because we're uncommitted doesn't mean we're crazy enough to be committed-- or date him.


Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 29, 2009 8:14 PM | Report abuse

Yes, Ivansmom. That was beautiful. And much appreciated.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | December 29, 2009 8:15 PM | Report abuse

My Christmas Eve startled deer made me think of this poem but I didn't have a chance to post it then. In honor of today's Boodle poetry, and our nice quiet snowfall, here's

Roe-Deer by Ted Hughes

In the dawn-dirty light, in the biggest snow of the year
Two blue-dark deer stood in the road, alerted.

They had happened into my dimension
The moment I was arriving just there.

They planted their two or three years of secret deerhood
Clear on my snow-screen vision of the abnormal

And hesitated in the all-way distintegration
And stared at me. And so for some lasting seconds

I could think the deer were waiting for me
To remember the password and sign

That the curtain had blown aside for a moment
And there where the trees were no longer trees, nor the road a road

The deer had come for me.

Then they ducked through the hedge, and upright they rode their legs
Away downhill over a snow-lonely field

Towards tree-dark -- finally
Seeming to eddy and glide and fly away up

Into the boil of big flakes.
The snow took them and soon their nearby hoofprints as well

Revising its dawn inspiration
Back to the ordinary.

- Ted Hughes

Posted by: Ivansmom | December 29, 2009 8:17 PM | Report abuse

I-Mom, thanks for that. I meant to tell y'll that during the ice melt of Monday, I rode into the woods and saw a piebald deer until Route One....the white parts glowed in the dark, scaring me a bit.

http://www.buckmanager.com/2007/07/17/piebald-deer-what-are-they/

For Bc and GWEnvy and other TerpieTrivia people, was spitting distance from Town Hall Lounge/Liquors and packege goods to go.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | December 29, 2009 8:21 PM | Report abuse

TBG -- that almost made me lose my dinner!

Beautiful take on the funeral, Ivansmom.

Posted by: -ftb- | December 29, 2009 8:22 PM | Report abuse

Such a nice tribute Ivansmom.

Posted by: dmd3 | December 29, 2009 8:24 PM | Report abuse

Under Route One....sigh. Cannot find my computer peepers at the moment.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | December 29, 2009 8:25 PM | Report abuse

I enjoyed Jim Chastain's website when IMom gave us the sad new.

http://jimchastain.com/fr_index.cfm

How to live? How to live? As he did.
He woulda be a great boodler; and my goodness gracious, I would think he would be at the TikiBar in the sky with ErrorFlynnCaddylacBoy.

I will take a wine spritzer with a twirley umbrella; and some coconut creme pie.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | December 29, 2009 8:31 PM | Report abuse

Words to live by, Ivansmom. I am sorry for your loss.

Great poetry here today. Interesting juxtaposition to the Underwear Bomber posts.

Posted by: badsneakers | December 29, 2009 8:51 PM | Report abuse

BPH on the 30th, anyone? I'm in DC with the alphabet famy.

Posted by: abeac1 | December 29, 2009 8:57 PM | Report abuse

Family. Sorry. iPhone typos galore.

Posted by: abeac1 | December 29, 2009 9:00 PM | Report abuse

I guess the person in charge of the State Department will have to resign in disgrace and abdicate from all future political activity.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 29, 2009 9:06 PM | Report abuse

That's some inspired understanding there, CqP. I can absolutely see Jim & Error Flynn at the TikiBar in the Sky (always open!), sipping on drinks & twirling the little umbrellas. That actually is very comforting. Thanks.

Posted by: Ivansmom | December 29, 2009 9:20 PM | Report abuse

OK, enough kidding around with this frivolous stuff. We need to live-boodle the Kennedy honors. Now, who is that sitting next to DeNiro, and WHAT THE HELL IS SHE WEARING? CqP? We need an emergency costumerian opinion here, stat.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | December 29, 2009 9:23 PM | Report abuse

It's the opera singer Mudge. Sorry, not into opera so that's all I've got. Nice tribute to DeNiro but how much work has Sharon Stone had done to her face, yikes!

Posted by: badsneakers | December 29, 2009 9:25 PM | Report abuse

What a nice website Jim Chastain had. He must have been a special person.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 29, 2009 9:26 PM | Report abuse

Grace Bumbry looks like she has one of those cones they put on dogs to keep them from chewing their stitches.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 29, 2009 9:29 PM | Report abuse

Herbie,
The Largo High School Class of 1983 called. They want their prom jacket back.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 29, 2009 9:31 PM | Report abuse

Dave Brubeck as a Jewish cowboy. Who knew?

Posted by: rickoshea1 | December 29, 2009 9:32 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, just found this program. WIll try to help. Jazz cool ended and Take Five begins.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | December 29, 2009 9:33 PM | Report abuse

Meryl Streep in black portrait collar. Nice upswept do.

Michelle O in pleated purple/violet voile

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | December 29, 2009 9:34 PM | Report abuse

Watching Obama listening to Brubeck hard not to believe he is the coolest President ever. Hope I am that sharp when I am Brubeck age - Wow.

Posted by: dmd3 | December 29, 2009 9:35 PM | Report abuse

I know the Army Jazz band drummer.

And, darling Dave Brubeck. My parents ran into him in SF in the Carvansary Coffee shop/rest. BOught him a large cuppa joe.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | December 29, 2009 9:36 PM | Report abuse

*laughing* They introduced Brubeck's four sons playing on stage, apparently as a surprise, because Brubeck just mouthed the words, "Son of a b1tch!"

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | December 29, 2009 9:36 PM | Report abuse

That would be Grace Bumbry in the eccentric dress. Opera diva (soprano). Born in St. Louis, has lived in Europe for years.

MrJS has gone to the hospital with what may be a hip fracture or partial dislocation. Hope to know more tomorrow. Please hold him in your heart tonight. Thank you.

Posted by: MsJS | December 29, 2009 9:36 PM | Report abuse

Brubeck's four sons. Wow.

Posted by: rickoshea1 | December 29, 2009 9:36 PM | Report abuse

Great to see the whole audience grooving to the music. Wonderful that he has four sons in the business.

Posted by: badsneakers | December 29, 2009 9:37 PM | Report abuse

Is Bruce not wearing a tie? He is the neo Johnny Cash look?

Ohh, a jazzy cello. Very nice.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | December 29, 2009 9:37 PM | Report abuse

Hope all goes well for MrJS.

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

Oh my Mudge I just spotted that space like monstrosity that invokes Queen Elizabeth the First. I am blanking on the name of this, but the "rules" then meant that the Virgin Queen's dimensions could not be exceeded by others ....

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | December 29, 2009 9:39 PM | Report abuse

Thinking good thoughts MsJS.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | December 29, 2009 9:39 PM | Report abuse

Oh, yeah, Coolest president ever. By several orders of magnitude.

Can't wait for Mel and the Boss.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | December 29, 2009 9:39 PM | Report abuse

MrJS! Best thoughts and wishes. That sounds both painful and alarming. I hope you are well, MsJS. Take care of yourself - worry and stress can sneak up on you, and this sounds worrisome and stressful.

Thanks for the live-boodling. I might get in to see some of it. Grace Bumbry!!!

Posted by: Ivansmom | December 29, 2009 9:40 PM | Report abuse

MsJS,how awful for you and for him. I will certainly keep him in my thoughts and prayers.

Posted by: badsneakers | December 29, 2009 9:40 PM | Report abuse

Yello I am still giggling at your description of that dress.

Posted by: dmd3 | December 29, 2009 9:41 PM | Report abuse

Brubeck and his wife have been married for over 65 years. Wow!

Posted by: MsJS | December 29, 2009 9:42 PM | Report abuse

Ms. Grace B! Well, my goodness gracious. That looks to be gold lame lace bonded to a buckram infrastructure. Has a space-like effect.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | December 29, 2009 9:42 PM | Report abuse

mudge,
The guy who stole your 2,000 year old man schtick.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 29, 2009 9:43 PM | Report abuse

I love Mel Brooks and Cal Reiner.

Posted by: dmd3 | December 29, 2009 9:44 PM | Report abuse

Here is the QEI standup collar treatment:
http://www.historicalclothing.net/english/Renaissance/Elizabethan/ELIZABETHAN_WHEEL.JPG

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | December 29, 2009 9:45 PM | Report abuse

I love that Leachman line, 'he was my boyfriend!"

Posted by: badsneakers | December 29, 2009 9:48 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, CqP!

Ladies, try getting into an airline seat wearing that getup.

Posted by: MsJS | December 29, 2009 9:49 PM | Report abuse

The ribbons are odd looking this year, with the three huge metal tie tacks or clothespins.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | December 29, 2009 9:49 PM | Report abuse

I forgive him. For that boychik, anything.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | December 29, 2009 9:50 PM | Report abuse

Everybody is wearing rainbow ribbons because at the end of the show they are going to have a Moonie style mass gay wedding. Good thing that stuff is legal in DC now.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 29, 2009 9:50 PM | Report abuse

I don't think they'd let you on a plane now in that get up!

Posted by: badsneakers | December 29, 2009 9:51 PM | Report abuse

This is the modern use for the E-collar; the doggie mommies and daddies among us may have experience:
http://blog.lib.umn.edu/joanh/dogblog/IMG_5365.jpg

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | December 29, 2009 9:51 PM | Report abuse

Bumbry's next. Then close with Springsteen.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | December 29, 2009 9:54 PM | Report abuse

Herpes of the eye? I don't even want to know how idea you get that.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 29, 2009 9:54 PM | Report abuse

Dracula -- Frank L just arrived. He can talk-sing or Sprech-stimme. Wow.

Here is the split or Valentine style E collar worn in Shakespeare in love.
http://londonist.com/2009/04/its_oscar_season_again_at_the_roxy.php?gallery0Pic=8

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | December 29, 2009 9:55 PM | Report abuse

In tribute to Mel Brooks, Michelle Obama is wearing her hair Bride of Frankenstein style.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 29, 2009 9:56 PM | Report abuse

Ahh. BLue cheerleader satin fringed cowgirls.

and Leather jerkins. The large shirt was very long, serving as both underwear and nightwear.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | December 29, 2009 9:57 PM | Report abuse

I never have gotten Harry Connick Jr.

Posted by: rickoshea1 | December 29, 2009 9:58 PM | Report abuse

Harry Connick still has the gelled tousled I have just been in bed look.

Bedroom hair rather than the eyes. Eyes too.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | December 29, 2009 9:58 PM | Report abuse

Oh my -- mashup of Cardinal Red plus line of Capuchin friar. Like Vegas meets Assisi.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | December 29, 2009 10:00 PM | Report abuse

GleeK!!

Posted by: rickoshea1 | December 29, 2009 10:00 PM | Report abuse

Such shield panniers and the obligatory horned helmut. On my and the the sausage/pretzel treatments.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | December 29, 2009 10:01 PM | Report abuse

Glee does Springtime for Hitler. The world has just slipped off its axis. So to speak.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | December 29, 2009 10:01 PM | Report abuse

Young Frankenstein is playing DC. See it if you can. It's pretty funny show and it's even in color.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 29, 2009 10:01 PM | Report abuse

Who knew that commedy would skewer the insanity inanity....but we needed the 40 year interval to even begin to stomach it.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | December 29, 2009 10:03 PM | Report abuse

It's good to be Mel.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 29, 2009 10:04 PM | Report abuse

Oh my, inside Grace B's collar is a metallic necklace treatment resting upon the dellacalatage.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | December 29, 2009 10:05 PM | Report abuse

What an excellent show this is, I can't remember a better one. Of course, with this group of honorees, it would be hard to have been anything but good.

Posted by: badsneakers | December 29, 2009 10:06 PM | Report abuse

I've seen The Producers on stage three times, once with Nathan and Ferris. It never fails to break me up.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 29, 2009 10:08 PM | Report abuse

I like Aretha in a sari. Lovely cornflower blue satin.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | December 29, 2009 10:09 PM | Report abuse

I guess someone told her to put down the collar!

Posted by: dmd3 | December 29, 2009 10:09 PM | Report abuse

Arethea,
Cavalia called. They need their tent back.

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

Grace B's inner necklace is the ribbon -- with the three metal clips.

Aretha has Velma glasses -- how cool!

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | December 29, 2009 10:10 PM | Report abuse

Lvoing the opera stills of the costumes!

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | December 29, 2009 10:12 PM | Report abuse

Sorry. I can't hear 'Bumbry' without having a 'The Importance of Being Ernest' flashback.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 29, 2009 10:12 PM | Report abuse

Jackie in orange -- sack-back was controversial at the time. Grace B in lovely lace sheath....both in classic 60s formal wear.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | December 29, 2009 10:14 PM | Report abuse

I like Grace's off center rhinestone buttons. Satin tuxedo suit - nice. With a smaller collar, this suit would be regal. The large collar is costume-like, which fits I guess with her personna.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | December 29, 2009 10:16 PM | Report abuse

Angela G -- in peekaboo lace bodice......

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | December 29, 2009 10:17 PM | Report abuse

Did part of that costume get left backstage? Not that I'm complaining.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 29, 2009 10:18 PM | Report abuse

Angela G-- skirt is modified mermaid layer tail. Looks perhaps to be underskirted with midnight blue taffeta -- for a contrast and depth on stage.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | December 29, 2009 10:19 PM | Report abuse

I guess when you are competing with Sharon Stone, you have to pul out all the stops.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 29, 2009 10:19 PM | Report abuse

I love Grace B's natural hair -- here's to women letting nature just be.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | December 29, 2009 10:20 PM | Report abuse

If the fat lady sings, does that mean it's over?

Posted by: yellojkt | December 29, 2009 10:21 PM | Report abuse

I have it on very good authority that Grace's great hair is a wig. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Posted by: rickoshea1 | December 29, 2009 10:22 PM | Report abuse

Angela's voice was gorgeous and I loved the dress. I stand in awe of anyone who can sing, especially like she just did.

Posted by: badsneakers | December 29, 2009 10:22 PM | Report abuse

Only see 'Nine' if you are willing to endure seven of the hottest women alive sing songs while dressed in skimpy revealing costumes. Including Judi Dench.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 29, 2009 10:23 PM | Report abuse

It'll be interesting to see how they treat Bruce--whether they could find somebody good enough to do his numbers-- or whether they'll bail out, and use clips plus commentary. Who can sing Bruce even close to Bruce?

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | December 29, 2009 10:23 PM | Report abuse

Here is the back of Michelle's dress:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/whitehouse/4190850653/sizes/l/

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | December 29, 2009 10:24 PM | Report abuse

Broooce!

Posted by: yellojkt | December 29, 2009 10:25 PM | Report abuse

RickO -- well, then! She still went naturalistic.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | December 29, 2009 10:25 PM | Report abuse

Wonderful lines. "...but I am from Newe Jersey."

"And I believe James Brown and Bob Dylan had a baby..."

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | December 29, 2009 10:27 PM | Report abuse

Oh John S.: Sorry about this but the windsor plus four tie with the tux is not the best look.

And, BRUUUUUCE is channeling Johnny Cash -- white pearl buttons on the black shirt. Perhaps his mother is wishing he wore a tie.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | December 29, 2009 10:27 PM | Report abuse

And, the soul patch.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | December 29, 2009 10:28 PM | Report abuse

Your lucky he didn't show up in jeans and a white tee shirt.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 29, 2009 10:30 PM | Report abuse

Screen door and Mary. Sigh. Roy Orbison....

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | December 29, 2009 10:30 PM | Report abuse

He can rock a bolo tie.

http://static.rateyourmusic.com/album_images/29e2ce69c286ee678eb832a2cebe0e53/3828.jpg

Posted by: yellojkt | December 29, 2009 10:31 PM | Report abuse

Never forget that Silvio Dante sings at the right hand of Bruce.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | December 29, 2009 10:32 PM | Report abuse

Patty on 'Working On A Dream.' It takes a red-headed woman...

Posted by: yellojkt | December 29, 2009 10:34 PM | Report abuse

That was quite moving about Bruuuuce.

Posted by: rickoshea1 | December 29, 2009 10:35 PM | Report abuse

I think Melissa Ethridge will do Springsteen proud.

Posted by: dmd3 | December 29, 2009 10:35 PM | Report abuse

Melissa sings a mean Springsteen. I can't wait.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 29, 2009 10:37 PM | Report abuse

I agree dmd, not so sure about the other two. I can't see Sting without wanting to throw him in a shower - to get clean, not for any naughty reasons.

Posted by: badsneakers | December 29, 2009 10:38 PM | Report abuse

Jane and Judy Jetson sport a lycra-moderne version of Elizabethan collars:

http://www.shinystakeout.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/04/photo_jane1.jpg

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | December 29, 2009 10:39 PM | Report abuse

I called it: they bailed. But my god, that was one of the finest testimonial speeches I've ever heard.

Yes, CqP. Thunder Road.

"Hey what else can we do now
Except roll down the window
And let the wind blow back your hair
Well the night's busting open
These two lanes will take us anywhere..."

"There were ghosts in the eyes
Of all the boys you sent away,
They haunt this dusty beach road
In the skeleton frames of burned out Chevrolets."

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | December 29, 2009 10:39 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Mudge. I think John Cougar has bonifides to play Brucie things.

Would like to see Pete Seeger there to invoke Woody and simply be his amazing self.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | December 29, 2009 10:43 PM | Report abuse

Re Mellencamp - should have stuck with a Bruce clip.

Posted by: dmd3 | December 29, 2009 10:43 PM | Report abuse

Drummer has the most mafiosi white tie of such lengths ever.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | December 29, 2009 10:44 PM | Report abuse

From Bruce's official website:

///A BRIEF STATEMENT FROM BRUCE
Like many of you who live in New Jersey, I've been following the progress of the marriage-equality legislation currently being considered in Trenton. I've long believed in and have always spoken out for the rights of same sex couples and fully agree with Governor Corzine when he writes that, "The marriage-equality issue should be recognized for what it truly is -- a civil rights issue that must be approved to assure that every citizen is treated equally under the law." I couldn't agree more with that statement and urge those who support equal treatment for our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters to let their voices be heard now. ///

And a picture of Barack Obama officiating the ceremonial wedding between him and Robert DeNiro:

http://www.brucespringsteen.net/photos/miscphotos/gallery-whitehousedec16.jpg

Posted by: yellojkt | December 29, 2009 10:44 PM | Report abuse

John CM is the mid westie farm aid singing smokie gravel voiced guy. Works for me. Bruce is Bruce, though. I hear you. But Bruce being Bruce would not want us to BRUCIFY him. I shall stop.

Melisaa's silver houndstooth suitjaacket is quite nice.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | December 29, 2009 10:46 PM | Report abuse

Jennifer Nettles also played the pre-inauguration Obama concert. She must be the token country liberal chick when Natalie Maines isn't available.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 29, 2009 10:47 PM | Report abuse

The memo to the backup band read in part:

Blackwear is de riguer; as are the iridescent shimmer white ties. Jackets your choice.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | December 29, 2009 10:48 PM | Report abuse

Ok, I'm late to the KCHs - meant to record it but compeltely botched it.

This "I'm on Fire" duet's nice.
And Melissa doing "Born to Run," who doesn't like Hemi-powered drones screaming down the boulevard? And Melissa herownself?

I wonder what Sting's going to do?

bc

Posted by: -bc- | December 29, 2009 10:49 PM | Report abuse

TRAMPS LIKE US!!!

MARRY ME, MELISSA!

Posted by: yellojkt | December 29, 2009 10:49 PM | Report abuse

Why did they seat Sharon in front of Meryl? Seems like it should be the other way around. Melissa was excellent.

Posted by: badsneakers | December 29, 2009 10:49 PM | Report abuse

Presidential seal on the guitar is a nice touch.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 29, 2009 10:50 PM | Report abuse

Sting is auditioning for Sherlock Holmes II.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 29, 2009 10:52 PM | Report abuse

Sting is wearing Prince Albertian format wear; my goodness, he looks like a Christmas Caroler lost in tine.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | December 29, 2009 10:52 PM | Report abuse

Plus he has a seasonal gig as Father Christmas.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 29, 2009 10:53 PM | Report abuse

CP Stings outfit??

Posted by: dmd3 | December 29, 2009 10:53 PM | Report abuse

Well, well! Sting VERY credible on "The Rising."

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | December 29, 2009 10:53 PM | Report abuse

I keep hearing a bit of ska in the soundtrack of my brain. I like the choir assembly in the backgound.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | December 29, 2009 10:54 PM | Report abuse

I've always liked this video, not only for the song, but for the snaps of a young Bruce.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6fw-S0_dq2w

Posted by: LostInThought | December 29, 2009 10:54 PM | Report abuse

the chorus is a lovely touch.

The audience is going wild!

Posted by: rickoshea1 | December 29, 2009 10:54 PM | Report abuse

Look at Obama rawk.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 29, 2009 10:55 PM | Report abuse

From the yellojkt peanut gallery: Sting took a break from his job as a logger.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 29, 2009 10:56 PM | Report abuse

DMD -- Sting is in Victorian-like garb. Thought the fullness of the tie -- cravat -- is earlier. Byronic.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | December 29, 2009 10:56 PM | Report abuse

Although god help us, Sting looks JUST like James A Garfield.

I used to work with a woman who loved Sting so much the mere mention of his name would...well, never mind. I wonder what she'd think of him in the beard. The same, most likely.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | December 29, 2009 10:57 PM | Report abuse

Eddie Vetter doing "Rise Up," cool.

Sting, dressed like he's a character in the "Sherlock Holmes" movie (or maybe another remake of "Wild Wild West")with "The Rising," backed by the full choir.

Good to see him playing base, too.

Nice big finish.

Liked the video tribute, and wow, Ron Kovic (sp?), and gotta give it to Jon Stewart -- that *was* wonderful, Mudge.

I'm going to have to track down YouTubage of the rest of it.

bc

Posted by: -bc- | December 29, 2009 10:58 PM | Report abuse

DMD -- the temptation for performers to go COSTUME rather than style is understandable. The exaggeration "reads" better in the light, etc. Costume historians are always frustrated, though, that our impression of what people wore long ago, is based on art and artiface.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | December 29, 2009 10:58 PM | Report abuse

And if you can't get enough of "The Rising" with the full gospel choir, here is my most popular YouTube video ever:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sSf7_5YC2Go

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

Wow. Tired from typing. But, I do love my gig as the official boodle costume opiner.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | December 29, 2009 11:00 PM | Report abuse

Great show, loved seeing the Obamas enjoying themselves. They are cool, aren't they!

Posted by: badsneakers | December 29, 2009 11:00 PM | Report abuse

abeac, is that the 30th of December (tomorrow) or of January? Amazingly, I could be free on both dates.

Posted by: ScienceTim | December 29, 2009 11:06 PM | Report abuse

I caught "What Darwin didn't know" before watching the Kennedy Center Honors so came in right at the Mel Brooks tribute and stayed until the Broooce had booonced.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 29, 2009 11:14 PM | Report abuse

Tomorrow. We got to DC today. It took some serious work convincing my shy husband to attend a potential BPH.

Posted by: abeac1 | December 29, 2009 11:51 PM | Report abuse

"It's Complicated" features the most incredibly perfect vegetable garden imaginable. Not even Japanese veggie gardens could ever look so immaculate.

Florida's attorney general is looking to challenge the constitutionality of the health bill's requirement to have health insurance.

Needless to say, southern Florida has the most expensive health care in the US (presumably the most expensive in the world, unless perhaps you figure the cost of providing first-world care to elites in places like North Korea). Florida also has an exceedingly large number of uninsured people.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | December 29, 2009 11:56 PM | Report abuse

MsJS, best thoughts to you and MrJS, hoping for the best possible outcome and sending all the mojo I've got.

CquaP, of course you are the Official Chief Costumarian. And lucky we are to have you.

Posted by: Yoki | December 29, 2009 11:59 PM | Report abuse

abeac, I would BPH with you if I were there!

Posted by: Yoki | December 30, 2009 12:01 AM | Report abuse

I would BPH with y'all anytime-- but alas, geography and lack of travel forbids.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 30, 2009 12:30 AM | Report abuse

I'm sure shy Mr. beac will have a good time, abeac. Enjoy!

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 30, 2009 12:50 AM | Report abuse

Halfway through the KCH on the west coast. Things missed:
Donald Sutherland (audience)
Laura Dern (audience - who was next to her?)
Ben Stiller
Horses!
Eddie Vedder (audience)
Carl Kassel announcing (I think)

I would BPH too - hope it comes together.

Posted by: seasea1 | December 30, 2009 12:56 AM | Report abuse

MsJS, best wishes to Mr. A hip is not a good thing to mess up, no matter the clever things orthopaedists can do.

I haven't seen Brubeck since about 1983, when there was a quickly-arranged concert in my small town. What took the Kennedy Center Honors so long to get to him?

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | December 30, 2009 1:38 AM | Report abuse

Very good show - thanks for the preview, everyone. I thought the Springsteen tribute was great - I heart Jon Stewart and Eddie Vedder.

MsJS, hope the Mr is doing ok.

Posted by: seasea1 | December 30, 2009 2:14 AM | Report abuse

Good morning Les Boodleurs!

Not at all surprising that American intelligence and security services failed to spot the terribly amateurish Underwear Bomber.

With fifteen intelligence organizations in place, the only result possible is a Keystone Cops commedy.

A very expensive production of a laugh a minute.

Contact! Vroom, vroom. Off into the deep blue summer sky.

Brag

Posted by: Braguine | December 30, 2009 7:01 AM | Report abuse

Good morning.

We are off to see DC, very bundled up.

Bea

Posted by: abeac1 | December 30, 2009 7:24 AM | Report abuse

Good morning all. Hey Cassandra. I'm sorry I missed the show and commentary last night, it makes great reading. However, I took the cold to bed early and feel somewhat better this morning. It was a gift from Mr. T, one I'd rather not have.

Posted by: slyness | December 30, 2009 7:53 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, all.

A big, busy day today, and a lot to do, but it'll be fun.

Remember, when it's time to do a tribute to me, don't forget the flaming arrows.

bc

Posted by: -bc- | December 30, 2009 8:07 AM | Report abuse

Good morning everyone. I really enjoyed the commentary on the Kennedy Center Honors. I need to go look up some of those words, though.

Clearly there were more major mistakes made all throughout the government with regard to the bomber than what I originally thought. But here's the thing. You need to let specific facts guide decisions and not biases and gross generalizations. You can't get ahead of the facts as did some of the commentary linked to yesterday.


Because even if some of the conclusions biases lead you to turn out to have validity, this doesn't mean that the biases are reliable or fair.


Posted by: RD_Padouk | December 30, 2009 8:13 AM | Report abuse

Of course, there'd be talk of a BPH on the one day this year I get to officially telecommute... *L* We'll see.

Best wishes to MrJS for a swift recovery!

And I'm quite miffed I missed the live Boodling of the KCH.

*toddling-over-to-the-coffeemaker-in-my-nightshirt-and-how-the-coffeemaker-got-in-my-nightshirt-I'll-never-know Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | December 30, 2009 8:20 AM | Report abuse

Ooooooh!!!! Video discussion with the ISS crew this morning!!

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/discussion/2009/12/24/DI2009122402582.html

:-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | December 30, 2009 8:24 AM | Report abuse

Ron Charles in Book. World makes fun of people that quote Monty Python. I resemble that remark.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 30, 2009 8:48 AM | Report abuse

'morning all. To be on kit for a second. I got sucked in the year/decade review of the NFL over at SI. I'm sorry to report that "my" Lions were named the worst franchise of the decades and their 08-09 season the worst one of the decade. Perfect score again.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | December 30, 2009 8:48 AM | Report abuse

SCC Decade.

One silver lining for the Warshington Snyders fans: at least they are not the Lions.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | December 30, 2009 8:50 AM | Report abuse

I f@rt in BookWorld's general direction, yello.

Posted by: Scottynuke | December 30, 2009 8:52 AM | Report abuse

In case anyone missed it a great profile on Dave Brubeck from the Post a few weeks back.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/12/04/AR2009120400122.html?hpid=topnews&sid=ST2009120402859

Posted by: dmd3 | December 30, 2009 8:58 AM | Report abuse

In case you missed it while you were amusing yourselves to death (refer to Neil Postman), there was some penetrating reporting done last night by Richard Engel on the NBC News broadcast. Engel obtained a preliminary 25-page study, dated mid-December, about the readiness of the Afghans and the Afghan National Army to take combat to the enemy, Engel's segment titled "Afghan army flunks Pentagon report card."

Here's the video segment:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3032619/ns/nightly_news#34624999

An amazing, amazing program last night on Nova on PBS, about "What Darwin Didn't Know." I'm so glad that I caught it and avoided the Kennedy Center show. Much rather know about significant switches in our junk DNA, than being amused by entertainment junk.

Richard Clarke on ABC's GMA pretty much laid the blame for the failed bombing attempt on the Northwest Airlines flight to Detroit squarely on the CIA and the new National Counterterrorism Center. Did you catch the news here and at the NYT about a similar incident, involving explosives and a syringe, originating in Somalia about a month ago?

Posted by: laloomis | December 30, 2009 9:03 AM | Report abuse

Snuke, Thanks!!! Try to be a bit more specific, could you?!

Posted by: russianthistle | December 30, 2009 9:04 AM | Report abuse

*sigh* RIP to a very good writer -- and a guy who knew EXACTLY the best way to die, and what to do with his remains. The full obit:

'Friendly Fire' author Bryan dies in Conn. at 73

By STEPHANIE REITZ
The Associated Press
Friday, December 18, 2009; 3:50 PM

HARTFORD, Conn. -- C.D.B. Bryan, whose 1976 book "Friendly Fire" about the accidental death of a soldier in Vietnam struck a chord with disillusioned Americans, has died at his Connecticut home. He was 73.

Bryan died Tuesday of cancer at his home in Guilford, said his wife, Mairi. He was holding one of his iconic shaken martinis when he died, she said.

Although Bryan wrote extensively for several magazines throughout his career, he was best known for "Friendly Fire."

The book, which started as an article for The New Yorker, is based on the 1970 friendly-fire shrapnel death of Iowa soldier Michael Eugene Mullen. It chronicled his parents' doubts about the Army's official account of the death, their quest for answers and the transformation of his mother, Peg Mullen, into an ardent anti-war activist. She died in October.

"He was very proud of the fact that he exposed the friendly fire issue, and the fact that the government was lying to people who were as very patriotic as the Mullens were," Mairi Bryan said Friday. "Of all of his works, 'Friendly Fire' was the one of which he was most proud."

The book was turned into a 1979 Emmy-winning television movie starring Carol Burnett, Ned Beatty, Sam Waterston and Timothy Hutton.

C.D.B. Bryan, whose full name was Courtlandt Dixon Barnes Bryan, was born in New York City in 1936. He always enjoyed writing and credited his stepfather, novelist John O'Hara, with nurturing his interest in fiction.

Bryan, known to friends as Courty and Courtlandt, especially liked good conversation and good martinis - always shaken, never stirred, Mairi Bryan said.

"He was one of the great conversationalists of his time. He could really hold a room," she said.

Bryan used those storytelling skills in several magazines, including The New Yorker, Harper's and The New York Times Book Review, for which he did scores of reviews.

Bryan graduated from Yale University, was an Army veteran and was author of several books in addition to "Friendly Fire."

In addition to his wife, survivors include two daughters, a son, a stepson and a stepdaughter.

A memorial service will be scheduled after the holidays. His son, St. George Bryan, said he will be cremated and his remains will be stored in martini shakers until his memorial.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | December 30, 2009 9:09 AM | Report abuse

RIP indeed, 'Mudge. I just hope they don't shake the shakers too much before the memorial.

Weed, more specific regarding what?? :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | December 30, 2009 9:15 AM | Report abuse

What's the Ron Charles link? There is no "Book World" any more. Surely not in his Jane Austen review?

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | December 30, 2009 9:20 AM | Report abuse

laloomis, Entertainment junk? Springsteen is widely considered to be the voice of a generation. He wrote about subjects that touched us all...war, AIDS, love, life, death, broken dreams and hope. Growing up.

You ever see Born Yesterday? "You're dumb Harry."

In my opinion, entertainment junk would be Dan Brown. Where's the social significance there?

Posted by: LostInThought | December 30, 2009 9:21 AM | Report abuse

I noticed some wafting...

Posted by: russianthistle | December 30, 2009 9:25 AM | Report abuse

"You can have Jesus or Dan Brown. But you can’t have both." *snicker*

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/19/opinion/19douthat.html

Posted by: laloomis | December 30, 2009 9:39 AM | Report abuse

Just as a point of clarification. The National Counter Terrorism Center (NCTC) is the clearing house that is supposed to "connect the dots." It is part of the new National Intelligence bureaucracy imposed by Congress after 9/11. The idea is that information will flow into the NCTC from all the intelligence agencies, as well as other sources such as State Department. Then, it is supposed to put out warnings. This is what didn't happen.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | December 30, 2009 9:41 AM | Report abuse

Good morning boodle! Was on the road from Chez Frostbitten to St. Paul during the KCH. Reading the live boodling was a real treat for breakfast reading.

Heading to Tampa tomorrow. Can't wait to get there, but am not looking forward to the airport.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | December 30, 2009 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Health Alert: drumming and anthrax

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/12/29/AR2009122902130.html?hpid=sec-health

Wow. We take our lives in our hands each day! Already had several email 'lerts from friends and relatives about the drum head as a vector for disease.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | December 30, 2009 9:53 AM | Report abuse

Have a good trip Frosti, hope your airport is better than this, three hours early for a flight to the US - that is crazy.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/toronto/toronto-airport-tops-list-of-worst-delays/article1414543/

Posted by: dmd3 | December 30, 2009 9:54 AM | Report abuse

From Mudge's article:

his remains will be stored in martini shakers

Today's teezer-all-comers-take-a-stab (giggling) is simply this: how should your cremains be stored?

Mine could be handled thusly:

mixed in one of those meadow-in-a-can wildflower thingies

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | December 30, 2009 9:58 AM | Report abuse

Compost me!

Posted by: dmd3 | December 30, 2009 10:02 AM | Report abuse

No question-a coffee canister.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | December 30, 2009 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Oh CP, that is easy. I don't want no fancy funeral. Just one like old King Tut.

Seriously, (sorta) I'm a big fan of being cremated. I don't want to be laid out and have my many, many thousands of mourners (go with it) walk by and say "Doesn't he look natural."

And after a cremation (preferably close to mid-century) I want my remains placed in a modest wooden box of my design. Whose resemblance to a pyramid is totally illusory.

Then I want it passed from descendant to descendant as a talisman of remembrance and festive centerpiece.

Or, as I like to think of it, haunting by proxy.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | December 30, 2009 10:08 AM | Report abuse

The CPDots would be ground into the resin box at a ballet studio. To provide traction to the next generation of bunheads

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | December 30, 2009 10:12 AM | Report abuse

Words used about Brown and his writings in the article provided...libel, dishonest, slurs, anti-Catholic, false from start to finish.

Words commonly used about Springsteen and his writings: emotional truth, intense, anthems, voice of a generation, hope, honesty, clarity.

See the diff?

Attempting to defend Dan Brown while slamming entertainment as junk is glaringly inconsistent.

But thanks for playing.

Posted by: LostInThought | December 30, 2009 10:12 AM | Report abuse

My dad would ask for course ground. He would then like to be placed in the upstream salmon spawning pool of a tiny creek near the best unknown beach in the world: Montana de Oro. We will ignore the Diablo Canyon nuclear plant near by.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | December 30, 2009 10:14 AM | Report abuse

My cremated remains should be stored in a lead-lined canister decorated with pretty purple and yellow trefoils. :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | December 30, 2009 10:15 AM | Report abuse

I've already boodled on this: I want my ashes scattered behind home plate on the field where I did most of my umpiring. Seriously. My wife knows this. It'll probably have to be done surreptitiously some night, so nobody knows it's being done (the county probably wouldn't approve). And somebody will need to take a rake to rake me into the general dirt between the plate and the backstop, so no one knows I'm there.

Meanwhile, sometime after, on a day when the weather is good (i.e., in case I die in mid-winter), there will be a memorial service/crab feast, a kind of open-air Chesapeake wake in a big tent someplace. There will be much music, all my favorite stuff, and much storytelling and much laughter. Everyone will tell stories about me, the more outrageous the better. Some may even be true, who knows, but that's not the point. The point will be to assemble all those bunches and clusters of people I know and introduce them all to each other.

There might be valet parking, I dunno.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | December 30, 2009 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Mudge -- the stealthly boodlers will appear at your door as if by magic to help or stand guard or fall on their swords to be arrested in a civil disobedience sort of way so that the Mudgian clan can escape the indignity of jail etc. Besides, somebody has to post bail.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | December 30, 2009 10:19 AM | Report abuse

If I recall correctly, our resident cynic Whackyweasel said the other day, "why bother with truth? So few people want to hear it."

Truthiness, on the other hand, sells, and some people think anti-anything is "truthy"...

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 30, 2009 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Scotty -- here is your box's conveyance:
http://beatcrave.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/02/mg_brm_022309.jpg

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | December 30, 2009 10:23 AM | Report abuse

I'll go out whatever way is greenest (and hopefully least biohazardous). Either way, I want to be rose fertilizer.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 30, 2009 10:24 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, y'all.

Thank you for all the great prayers, thoughts, vibes, and other assorted wonderfulness sent MrJS' way.

The bad news is hip fracture.

The trif news is no surgery, no hospitalization. It'll be 6-8 weeks of 24-hour home care for him so it'll be a bit zooey and chaotic here. But as anyone who has tried to recover in a hospital can attest, one is sooooo better off doing that under one's own roof.

Deep, deep gratitude again to you all.

Posted by: MsJS | December 30, 2009 10:25 AM | Report abuse

Oh my, Ms.JS -- let your friends ply y'll with cookies and movies and whatever. I am so glad you had the fajita-fest early since this NY's Eve with be quieter.

I will fax oyster chowder with real O-crackers; Scotty will beam up two perfect lobster tails. Mudge will send something divine. Yoki's deserts are simply melting...and, we will all shovel your walk and drive....

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | December 30, 2009 10:30 AM | Report abuse

Good morning. MsJS, I'm sorry about the broken hip but very glad that MrJS can heal at home. As you say, with an extended hospital stay the cure might be worse than the injury. I'll send a roast chicken later this week (fax the leftovers back & I'll make chicken soup, it couldn't hurt) and some pie. The Boy will help with the shoveling and I will sing soothing songs.

Cremains, huh? I like RD's idea of haunting by proxy. I have a nice old vase my grandmother got at the Chicago World's Fair. Let's use that, keep it on the piano. When eventually the haunting no longer has effect, scatter them outside on the garden. The soil is so acidic, it can't hurt.

Posted by: Ivansmom | December 30, 2009 10:44 AM | Report abuse

MsJS... Here is a little something I hope will brighten up your home and MrJS's day just a bit...

https://www.jaysonhomeandgarden.com/files/images_main/FLO00032.jpg

Six to eight weeks of 24-hour home care. Yikes. And out of this will come a healthy hip--and I hope a still-decent relationship!

I'm glad you found us here because we'll be here during your periods of craziness and stillness. I hope the cookiefest still goes on this weekend!

Posted by: -TBG- | December 30, 2009 10:45 AM | Report abuse

MsJS, I'll fax you several one-dish frozen meals, if that will help calm some of the chaos. And lots of nice thick books to keep MrJS amused.

I would like to be cremated, and half my ashes sprinkled in the foothills of the Rockies -- my favourite landscape. The other half would, ideally, be mixed into the pulp for beautiful handmade paper, which should then be folded into a paper airplane for you all to play with.

Posted by: Yoki | December 30, 2009 10:46 AM | Report abuse

Oh MsJs, sorry about MrJS. I hope the time goes by quickly.

I'd like to be cremated and put in a conch shell, it could be sealed with candle wax, then I could shine on everyone. I've already mentioned that I'd like my titanium hip made into a desk lamp.

I gave oldest granddaughter a cookbook for Christmas and she's cooked three meals in a row for her parents, not counting tonight's repast.

Posted by: badsneakers | December 30, 2009 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Wishing MrJS a speedy recovery. If he's not allergic I'll fax some kitty lovin's. The fur gums up the fax, but so worth the effort.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | December 30, 2009 10:58 AM | Report abuse

*faxing MsJS some of my killer made-from-scratch vegetable beef soup, a comfort food good for this occasion and this application*

I am impressed with how many of us seem to favor cremation. I don't even want a dime wasted on a casket. If the state law requires some sort of box to go into the oven, I've got a big, wooden shipping crate I use to store tools in. Stuff me in that.

I'm guessing many of us are organ donors as well? I say let 'em take whatever I may have left that's usable. If somebody else can benefit from a leftover part, I say mazel tov. My only regret is I don't what I've got left is much good to anybody. But they are welcome to try. (I've never heard of an arched eyebrow transplant. But who knows.)

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | December 30, 2009 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Yokiplane! I'm picturing a whole Boodleplane of cremainpaper - or perhaps an origami Boodletree, courtesy of MsJS. With just a few ashes from each of us, we could create a thing of beauty and frolic. What a splendid thought.

I was sorry to miss the Kennedy Center awards and glad to see the liveBoodle. I'm proud to say that Oklahoma has embraced arts education fully, over several administrations and differently constituted legislatures. The political and business communities have accepted the many studies showing that arts education can help with math and science proficiency as well as general academics. In addition, many of the leaders active in the arts here are business or community leaders, not themselves artists, who understand and appreciate the importance of the arts to everyday life. This is one of the ways in which Oklahoma is truly progressive. I've always appreciated the similar, and equally bipartisan, Presidential decisions to honor the arts and artists publicly and nationally. Thanks for letting me virtually share in the latest celebration.

Posted by: Ivansmom | December 30, 2009 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Damn. Now I want soup for lunch. Made myself hungry. And it's only a little after 11.

Maybe another cup of coffee will hold me over for a while.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | December 30, 2009 11:08 AM | Report abuse

I have not been doing much here, but reading and snickering at "and with" some fun stuff. Last night I had dinner with an old friend who spent several years inside CCNV and "the movement."

Are parents lived about a half mile apart and we shared many friends, but his view was driven from the spiritual angle, while mine was in the political side. My friend was the joker of CCNV and I was a wise a$$ on the other side.

We had the memorable trip to California where we waited and waited for Nixon to resign, and he didn't... so we hit the road and the darn fool quit when we were two days out. There we were in my VW Bus going up and down the hills of South Dakota trying to catch the last remaining radio signals reporting the event. My friend and I and another friend were in the bus, and there we were right next to a another VW Bus, with three girls doing the same thing. Somehow, the two buses pulled off at the next campground and we broke out the cooking ware and make a good spaghetti dinner...

That was also the night where we learned about the Sturgis rally at about 2 am.

Needless to say, we were outta there by 4 am, getting an early start. We are on a long mission to make it to the Denny's from Five Easy Pieces.

Anyway, one thing for sure, there is still a lot to laugh about, both on the lighter side and the dark.

What we did find was that kids today don't have any serious causes, or at least not like we did. Also, they don't seem to be motivated to just take off for an adventure. Well, I guess it just isn't as easy as it used to be. Or, is it that we have so much darn information at our fingertips.

One thing for sure, we are drowning in truthiness.

Posted by: russianthistle | December 30, 2009 11:08 AM | Report abuse

Ohhh, TBG, they're gorgeous!

Thank you all for the support. We live in a condo, complete with shoveling service, thank goodness.

All else will be received with immense gratitude.

MrJS and I have been married for 21 years and have weathered a lot. 24-hour home care will be a new experience, but we already have a lot of outside help on account of my being in a chair.

As to what shape his hip will be in by March, stay tuned to this station for further episodes.

Definitely want to be cremated. There are three bodies of water that are candidates for the cremains: Southold Bay, NY; off the Chicago coast of Lake Michigan; or in the North Fork of the virgin River outside Zion Nat'l Park in southwest Utah.

Have set aside a few grand for the party. To be held outdoors in good weather, probably in Lincoln Park, Chicago.

Posted by: MsJS | December 30, 2009 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Please correct obvious errors. I must be tired. (I am tired).

Posted by: russianthistle | December 30, 2009 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Plans for making the Yoki 797, a.k.a. The Spirit of Calgary. http://www.zurqui.com/crinfocus/paper/airplane.html

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | December 30, 2009 11:13 AM | Report abuse

How to fold the C-122 Curmudgeon: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vw8SSuSU6K4

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | December 30, 2009 11:19 AM | Report abuse

That really is my plane, 'mudge! Not too skinny :)

Posted by: Yoki | December 30, 2009 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Love it, Mudge.

In the origami dep't, I can make a frisbee out of 8 U.S. bills. It flies beautifully. Looks like a flying saucer. Perfect for intergalactic travel.

Posted by: MsJS | December 30, 2009 11:21 AM | Report abuse

And here's how I want the Boodle to arrive at my memorial service. Something respectful, dignified. A funeral procession to remember: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4-94JhLEiN0

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | December 30, 2009 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Are those origami frisbees for sale? I'd gladly pay $5 or even $6 for one.

Posted by: kguy1 | December 30, 2009 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Mudge, for some reason, the Curious George newspaper boat seems more appropriate for you.

MsJS, best wishes to your husband for a speedy recovery.

Posted by: LostInThought | December 30, 2009 11:37 AM | Report abuse

I am in for that Mudge, I will be the rythmically challenged one in the line.

One of the songs I would want played, it would be an odd mixture of music, classical, opera, jazz and rock.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1PK2R0IwCiY

Posted by: dmd3 | December 30, 2009 11:42 AM | Report abuse

kguy1: Just for you, no charge.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/christine42/2327491169/in/photostream/

Posted by: MsJS | December 30, 2009 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Back to the KCH for a minute or so -- I loved it all last night. Not only have I *hearted* Dave Brubeck for centuries (I have "Take Five" as the absolutely *BEST* tune cootie of them all), I thought he was simply adorable last night. I just knew he wanted to be onstage with the gang and riff the night fantastic. What a guy!!!!

And Grace Bumbry has also been one of my favorites. I thought she looked gorgeous, and I don't care if she were wearing a wig or a dress with wings. If Aretha can score with that magnificent Inaugural hat (which I screamed at with pure love on that extremely frigid day last January, and which I could only hope that I could wear with the same utter panache as she), then Grace can score with that dress. And Visi D'Arte is such a gorgeous aria -- did you all see the woman with tears rolling down her cheek at the end? Wowie-Zowie!!! And I do remember Grace Bumbry from her early days. *SIGH*

Mel, Mel, Mel. Such a cutie pie. And Carl Reiner. Of course! I do need to get the CDs of the 2000-year old Man. "Hey, there's girls here!" I simply adore Mel Brooks and I think he is the epitome of Jewish humor. Definite life-long hugzzzzzzzz to that man!

It was so great to see Meryl Streep at the beginning loving on Bobby de Niro. I almost thought that she would start weeping. I haven't seen a lot of his movies (I'm not a regular movie goer), but I did see Taxi Driver in Geneva with an Italian guy who tried really, really hard to pick me up. He was short (came up to maybe, maybe my upper veritables) and was working in Switzerland illegally. Anyway, the movie was presented with subtitles in French and in German, which took up the lower third of the screen -- great way to see that movie (um, no). But I like de Niro's intensity and his smoky eyes.

And then there way Broooooooooooce. I rawked right along with everyone. He had a whole 1/2 hour to himself. Cool as, you know, he ll!!!!!

Great night all around. Yeah. Bruuuuuuubek rawks, too.

Posted by: -ftb- | December 30, 2009 11:59 AM | Report abuse

SCC: there *was* Broooooooooooooce.

Now, the way I got rid of the Italian guy . . . After the movie let out, he suggested that I come home with him. "I'll give you wonderful memories of Geneva," he said. I thereupon pointed to my camera slung across my shoulder, and stated: "Got 'em" and I turned on my heel, and left. I do remember him, though. This was in 1976, when I still had knees and could actually turn on my heel without undue injury.

And speaking of undue injury, MsJS, do kindly accept my offer of chicken soup laden with a truly profound amount of hot sauce. That should get his fracture cooking! May he get better without an undue and unduly amount of time.

Posted by: -ftb- | December 30, 2009 12:06 PM | Report abuse

*faxin' the JS clan a big box o' patience and forebearance, along with the aforementioned lobster tails* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | December 30, 2009 12:08 PM | Report abuse

My intention is for my remains to be unrecoverable. At least, in significant quantity.

Posted by: ScienceTim | December 30, 2009 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Ow for Mr Js! I'm glad it's not bad enough to require surgery, but having had hip trouble myself I know turning over in one's sleep will be a real pain.

Hope there's a plan in place to help prevent bedsores, etc.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 30, 2009 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Awesome! Thank you all! It's perfect!

Posted by: MsJS | December 30, 2009 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Please consider body donation for medical education. This relieves your family of all funeral expense and, in Virginia at least, you can request return of cremains after study if you're into the whole ash scatterin' thing. The only drawback is that you cannot donate organs (corneas excepted), for obvious reasons.

I believe I have mentioned before my intention to enter myself post mortem in the Tennessee Forensic Anthropology Center AKA Body Farm program. That has the added benefit of allowing organ donation prior to study. Maximum usage of the ol' meatsack moi!

Posted by: kguy1 | December 30, 2009 12:37 PM | Report abuse

good afternoon, boodle. vacation keeps me busier than normal. good to hear that mrjs will recover at home. I have finally started to tile the shower. 'bout time, I reckon.

Posted by: -jack- | December 30, 2009 12:40 PM | Report abuse

When you're done, Jack, will you come redo my front bathroom? That is the ugliest tile in the world and needs to go AWAY.

So sorry to hear about MrJS, I hope the recovery will be smooth and quick. Much better to do it at home, there's nothing as good for healing as one's own bed.

My cremains will fertilize the azaleas and rhododendron in the scattering garden. As I see it, the choices are slow oxidation and rapid oxidation. Take anything usable, burn the rest. It might as well go back to dust quickly; that's more efficient and a lot less smelly.

Posted by: slyness | December 30, 2009 12:57 PM | Report abuse

at the city home, or on the mt.? if the latter, a trip to the biltmore house winery is a must. if the former, lupies.

Posted by: -jack- | December 30, 2009 1:22 PM | Report abuse

New Kit!

Posted by: seasea1 | December 30, 2009 1:35 PM | Report abuse

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