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Free Tiger Woods [Part 2]

The buzz is that Tiger's in a sex addiction clinic in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. We're told that over the course of six weeks or so he can purge his demons, get himself back on the right behavioral track, save his marriage, keep his family together, and become a better man.

My concern is: What will this do to his golf game?

Caring, sensitive, thoughtful people around the world are furious at the serial infidelities of Tiger Woods. I, however, could not care less.

I want to watch sports on television in lieu of having a life, and my main interest here is that Tiger get back out there on the PGA tour and play at the top of his game and drive the ball 350 yards and take a long iron over the trees to the green and then sink a pressure putt to beat some quivering wannabe who will never again be able to break 80. Some say golf on TV is boring, but you should see the rest of my life.

The argument has been made a million times in the past two months that Tiger held himself up as a great guy and squeaky-clean family man, and earned all that endorsement money, and has now been exposed as a fraud and deserves whatever humiliation and agony he has endured. Weirdly, despite spending a fair amount of time staring at the TV, I somehow missed all the Tiger Woods Christmas Specials where we joined the Woods family as they sipped eggnog and discussed what's going in the stockings. I barely knew the guy had kids. The one thing for sure is that he hasn't faked beating the crap out of Phil Mickelson and everyone else for the last 13 years.

Top-level athletes thrive when they follow a certain ritual. Watch a basketball player prior to shooting a foul shot: Dribble, dribble, spin the ball around the back, dribble, shoot. Repeat ever time. This is a system, a physical habit as characteristic as a signature. Mastery comes through repetition.

So, too, will a baseball pitcher go through a warm-up ritual, using the same number of pitches, the same mix of fastballs and curves, the same wandering of the mound and kicking of the clay and handling of the rosin bag.

This kind of physical preparation is invariably supplemented with mental rituals that often begin long before the game itself. Some athletes meditate. Some don't eat. Some will only wear a certain type of garment, or will carry a lucky charm in a pocket. Greatness is not improvisational; it's the result of a long, hard slog, full of practice, discipline, and -- to repeat myself -- repetition of what has worked in the past.

We do not know what it is, precisely, that Tiger Woods does when he prepares mentally and physically for a big tournament, but there is mounting evidence that it involves cocktail waitresses.

I know there may be those with other opinions on this, but I'm just worried that if Tiger gets "cured" it'll be like sending him out there to play golf without a putter.

All athletes must get in a zone of sorts when they compete. It just so happens that, for Tiger, the zone overlaps with those that are typically considered erogenous.

This is a golfer who, when he stands over a crucial putt, with a tournament on the line, says to himself: "This one's for Bambi."

We've seen him countless times in big tournaments staring down a flag that's 280 yards away, unreachable for mortal golfers. He and his caddie will confer, consulting what the TV announcers say is his yardage book. But no: Tiger will be looking at his girlfriend roster, trying to remember if the blonde at the Golden Corral is named Fifi or Fiona. "It's F-something," he'll say to his caddie. Only after they've resolved the issue will Tiger be able to relax and strike that 3-iron to within 5 feet for the easy birdie.

Here's a typical conversation for Tiger during a tournament:

Caddie: You want to be below the flag here. Remember you've got a headwind. What club are thinking of?

Tiger: How about Cheetah's?

Who are we to mess with a system that has won 14 majors? I know this comes off as selfish, but I really don't want to watch golf if the only people playing are Phil and a bunch of zeroes. I want Tiger back! And I want the old Tiger, the predator Tiger, the stomp-on-the-opponent's-neck Tiger. And that may call for drastic measures. I'm thinking we need to free the guy from whatever they're putting him through.

Tiger -- dude -- it's all about priorities.

Think of your golf.

--

This is interesting: A poll shows Obama losing to a "generic" Republican in 2012. But an actual, living, breathing Republican that has a name? Obama clobbers him or her.

Also, via Memeorandum, a good blog item from Nate Silver: "...it would be hard to overstate just how demoralizing this particular sequence of events has been for base Democrats. And when people get demoralized, they tend to dig in and make their problems worse."

Good stuff from Ezra Klein:

If Democrats abandon health-care reform in the aftermath of Brown's victory, the lesson will be that they can't govern. No majority within the realm of reason will give them the votes to move their agenda swiftly and confidently. Even the prospect of the most significant legislative achievement in 40 years, an achievement that will save hundreds of thousands of lives, will not keep them from collapsing into chaos when they face adversity.

At that point, what's the pitch for voting for Democrats? That they agree with you? A plumber and I both agree that my toilet should work. But if he can't make it work, I'm not going to pay him any money or invite him into my home. Governance isn't just about ideology. It's also about competence and will. That's where Democrats are flagging.

A quick thought on this: The Constitution is not set up to make big moves easy. Consider that the Senate and the House BOTH passed health care reform. If we didn't have a bicameral legislature, Obama would have signed a new law by now. Making life complicated and difficult for government is kind of the whole idea of the Constitution. What's the Bill of Rights but a list of what the government can't do? So it's always an uphill battle for any party wanting to effect major change.

--

From StoryLab, how a couple of reporters found a missing family in Haiti.

--

Interesting interview with Cornel West in the Princeton Alumni Weekly. Excerpt:

Q. Can justice come from within the institutions of power?

A. We've seen it with Lincoln. We've seen it with F.D.R. We saw it with L.B.J. on the domestic front. Presidents who are courageous and visionary can really make a fundamental difference toward justice. But usually they are pushed. There would have been no Lincoln without the abolitionist movement -- at least not the great Lincoln. L.B.J. was made great by Martin Luther King putting pressure on him. And, of course, F.D.R. responded to the labor movement.

--

On Planet Krugman, Obama's a failure.

Meanwhile, we read in Politico that Hill Dems are spitballing Obama. Excerpt: 'California Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who supported Obama's $787 billion stimulus a year ago, says the president needs to be much more forceful about how, where and why the money was spent if Democrats are going to get credit for attacking the recession in an era of double-digit unemployment.' Good point: Voters say Obama has done nothing in the past year. Obama and Pearlstein say: What about that stimulus package? But people conflate the stimulus with Bush's TARP. Solution: Get Obama on a bulldozer or a backhoe forthwith. I'll bet you dollars to donuts we'll see a photo op of Obama in a hardhat before the month is out.

--

Just realized what this kit was missing: Some good undersea volcano footage.


By Joel Achenbach  |  January 22, 2010; 10:01 AM ET
 
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Next: Conan O'Brien: Don't be cynical

Comments

Boss is right. The DSBs play havoc with everything else in life.

Posted by: byoolin1 | January 22, 2010 11:24 AM | Report abuse

bc: (repost)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=86IpU3g-S8Q

Posted by: russianthistle | January 22, 2010 11:24 AM | Report abuse

(First? Mein Gott!)

Posted by: byoolin1 | January 22, 2010 11:25 AM | Report abuse

This is brilliant.

I'm one of those who felt disillusioned with Tiger. But this is because my interaction with Tiger has been almost exclusively through commercials and advertisements. That he is a real good golfer was almost secondary.

But I guess the analogy, for me, would be someone like, Richard Feynman, the late great Physicist who revolutionized our understanding of Quantum Mechanics and wrote the definitive treatment of undergraduate physics. Because, believe it or not, he was something of a horndog himself. Yet I still cherish reading his words.

So I guess I can see why Tiger's golf genius trumps all for a true fan.

But really. Golf?

Posted by: RD_Padouk | January 22, 2010 11:26 AM | Report abuse

byoolin!!! We can run around and play while the others are distracted by terrorist manatees

Posted by: russianthistle | January 22, 2010 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Tiger Woods is a golf prodigy and, as such, he should have a lucrative career, winning tournaments, endorsing golf products and such. The fact that he ventured far beyond those venues was a testament to his universal appeal and his clean cut image.

Those further ventures are now closed for a time being. That should not prevent him from returning to a more natural, albeit less lucrative, career.

Judging him is a tricky business. Taking vows in front of family and friends, then breaking them is a moral failure but how many young men could pass the test that was set before Tiger Woods? It is only those lacking self reflection or the memory of the insistence of the little head in youth that can pass judgement quickly.

Indeed, free Tiger Woods.

Posted by: edbyronadams | January 22, 2010 11:28 AM | Report abuse

JA-you don't spend enough time in the club house. I cannot count the number of times I've seen golfers browsing through the newest clubs and muttering, "Yeah I know he used this at Augusta, but what shape's his marriage in?"

Besides, I want to talk about bears. (I-mom, I'll watch so you don't have to)

Lily may have her cubs today!
http://www.bear.org/website/visit-us/lily-den-cam.html

Posted by: frostbitten1 | January 22, 2010 11:28 AM | Report abuse

reposting:

Next, let's move on to the evolution of breasts via the 2009 book about the little known field of biogeography, "Here Be Dragaons: How the Study of Animals and Plant Distributions Revolutionized Our Views of Life On Earth," by Dennis McCarthy. I assume McCarthy is European because of some of the measurement conventions that he uses in his "Dragons" book, and because the book is published by Oxford University Press, although McCarthy currently works as a scientific researcher with the Buffalo (NY) Museum of Science.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dan-agin/book-review-emhere-be-dra_b_405310.html

The very attractive McCarthy:
http://www.4threvolt.com/

McCarthy discusses the difference between monotremes, marsupials, and placentals, pp. 100-101.

Let's jump right to monotremes, since they are the most primitive forms of mammals and provide the jump or segue from Shubin's information very easily.

"Monotremes do suckle their young, but not from teats. Nursing mothers sweat milk along their bellies [think Shubin's skin and hair], and the young suck it up from their tufts of fur. Recently, a team of evolutionary geneticists headed by David Brawand has concluded that the common ancestor of monotremes, marsupials [who keep their immature young in a pouch or maternal pocket with the teat in the pouch or nearby], and placentals [no explanation needed] also lactated and that it was this evolutionary adaption that helped promote the switch from egg-laying to live birth. In other words, the mammal line shows a steady switch from yolk to milk as the primary nutrient of the offspring. Thus, on the evolutionary trek toward warm-bloodedness, lactation, and live births, the [monotreme] platypus still seems stuck in the middle:

Brawand's research:

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080318094610.htm

-more-

Posted by: laloomis | January 22, 2010 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Hee Hee. Joel said "mounting evidence."

Posted by: RD_Padouk | January 22, 2010 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Ach du lieber. byoolin bin furst geposten! Er ist disbelievengeheitlichmeinshaft haben. Er is haben der getimingshlaft wunderbarlich.

I left out a ton of umlauts. So sue me.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | January 22, 2010 11:31 AM | Report abuse

That should be süe, Mudge, which I think is German for turning you into swine.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 22, 2010 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Which seems excessive for not using umlauts...

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 22, 2010 11:38 AM | Report abuse

McCarthy points out that the father of taxonomy, the Swede Carl Linnaeus, got the naming of mammals a bit wrong. Why? Because the monotreme platypus wasn't brought to the attention of Europeans until 1798, when one was shipped to England. At the time, many believed the body of the playpus to be a crude hoax, a duck's bill sown on some mammal. It was only 40 years earlier that Linneus had come up with the word "mamma"--or breasts--a trait that Linneus thought was shared by all mammals. Had Europeans gotten to Australia just a bit soomer and stumbled on the teat-less, milk-sweating platypus, it would have dawned on the taxonimist Linneaus that not all mammls have "mamma," though they do all produce milk. So, if Linnaeus had gotten the naming convention correct, it's possible that we'd all now be referring to ourselves as "lactals" rather than "mammals," as McCarthy explains.

This is the A part of what I want to share, the Z part I hiope to tackle later.

Posted by: laloomis | January 22, 2010 11:38 AM | Report abuse

You know, Barbra Streisand once said that she hated her nose but was afraid fixing it would mess up her voice. And there is certainly no shortage of anecdotes about creative people who feel that they work best when a little snockered, even if their livers were protesting. Further, of course, who among us hasn't sacrificed a diet because we just can't think when hungry.

Don't get me started about my love/hate relationship with coffee.

So there is no shortage of precedent for Joel's joyfully absurd claim that for Tiger random sex is a prerequisite for good golf. I just can't help but think that there must be some other approach he could take. You know, like, um, like pottery.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | January 22, 2010 11:40 AM | Report abuse

But seriously. Golf? I mean the courses are pretty and all...and they wear those stylish trousers...

But it's still, you know. Golf.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | January 22, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Funny Joel. I have enjoyed watching Tiger play golf since he started on the Tour and was fascinated by how my girls quickly decided he was their favorite player. Think his age had a lot to do with that. My eldest was quite disallusioned when all the news came out.

Unlike drugs in sports, or illegal activity he actions would in know way prevent my enjoyment of watching his incredible golf skills.

Posted by: dmd3 | January 22, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse

ya know, joel, sex addiction is not a joke. putting yourself and your spouse at risk for serious stds is not a joke. ruining your marriage and family life is not a joke.

sorry, but this kit really bothers me. it's just not funny.

Posted by: LALurker | January 22, 2010 11:45 AM | Report abuse

After all the thrashing about with the New Republic, Scott Brown, and the end of life as we know it, it's sometimes good to see Joel with tongue firmly in cheek and channeling Salley Jenkins.

Posted by: ebtnut | January 22, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

p.s. i do get the narrative stance. nevertheless...

Posted by: LALurker | January 22, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Adultry, golf, bears in labor and the evolutionary explaination of breast development. There's a correlation here somewhere, but I just can't put my finger on it...

Posted by: WhackyWeasel | January 22, 2010 11:48 AM | Report abuse

I found this Kit funny, because I appreciate the over-the-top quality.

Also, I never really understood why people thought of Tiger as a great guy and squeaky-clean family man. Perhaps this is because I don't really pay attention to sports figures. I know of Tiger only through Ivansdad, who has been an avid golfer (some might say obsessed, at some points) since his teen years. Thus I, like Joel, think of Tiger as an inhuman and frightening opponent, with skills beyond those of normal professional golfers, who intimidates through his natural skills accompanied by single-minded focus. Didn't he also occasionally toss a club? Given the amount of time the man has spent living and breathing golf, I'm frankly surprised he has any left for dalliance.

Posted by: Ivansmom | January 22, 2010 11:57 AM | Report abuse

LALurker, I understand your position. I guess, for some of us, it is about creating a little bit of cognitive disconnect for the sake of humor. You know, like how I really, really like the humor of Cheech and Chong without endorsing the underlying worldview.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | January 22, 2010 11:57 AM | Report abuse

MrJS retired early and took up the dreaded G-game.

Day after day I would come home weary from hunting and gathering to hear him wax poetic about the 8th green this and the choice of club that. And, being the dutiful spouse, I would smile and say, "That's nice dear."

Those days are over.

Golf has threatened or spoiled many an otherwise decent marriage. It tempts God-fearing people to skip church on Sunday morning. It's been documented elsewhere that it spoils good walks. It consumes acres of land that could be used for the people, things like public parks or strip malls. I've seen folks wear clothing they wouldn't otherwise touch with a stick in its name. It is a plague on both Houses, as well as on 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

In short, golf is an ominous threat to God, the nation, the family, and civilized society as we know it. Tiger's problem isn't his sex addiction, it's his golf addiction. And I pray that someday he frees himself from this wicked malady and opens The Tiger Woods Golf-aholic Clinic so others made be freed as well.

Mark my words, humankind will not be wiped out by swine flu, global warming, hunger, earthquakes, or storms, but rather by the dimpled ball.

Posted by: MsJS | January 22, 2010 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Oh my MsJS. That is wickedly clever.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | January 22, 2010 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Methinks a nerve may have been lightly touched.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | January 22, 2010 12:14 PM | Report abuse

It is sort of like the old joke about a fun drunk who becomes a preachy sober-sides when dry.

Posted by: Yoki | January 22, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, no one rants better than you. I humbly bow before the master.

Posted by: MsJS | January 22, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

At think freeing Tiger is feasible. The clinic set-up is shown here
http://www.radaronline.com/category/tags/dr-patrick-carnes
and here http://blog.al.com/live/2010/01/sex_addiction_clinic_lines_fen.html


With coqui watch-amphibian (squeak co-quee if the cops are coming!) and a few fast manatees for the get-away it would be a piece of cake.

By the way you got the coqui recipes all wrong the other night. There is nothing like coqui legs lightly coated in flour and fried in garlic butter. I'm hungry for a gross or more just now.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | January 22, 2010 12:30 PM | Report abuse

No rants today. I am trying SOOOOO hard to be good. But Pearlstein has started a good one for me, tho' I fear he trailed off at the end. Promising start, though:

People, let's get a grip!

Column | We've heard more nonsense in the past few days than we normally do in a year.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/01/21/AR2010012104873.html?hpid=topnews


Abandoning health care after the Brown election, and other Washington nonsense

By Steven Pearlstein
Friday, January 22, 2010

People, let's get a grip!

Okay, so Massachusetts voters elected a hunky, unknown Republican to fill Ted Kennedy's Senate seat. That's no reason to ignore the result of a national general election, throw out a year's worth of hard work on a range of important issues and rush to embrace a bunch of simple-minded solutions meant to mollify an angry electorate.

Honestly, in a city that thrives on nonsense, we've heard more of it in the past few days than you normally do in a year.

One of my favorite bits of Monday morning quarterbacking is that President Obama should have put health care and Afghanistan and climate change and everything else on the back burner for the past year and insisted that he and everyone else focus exclusively on jobs, jobs, jobs. What do you call a $787 billion stimulus package of tax cuts and increased spending, a $50 billion auto industry bailout, a $1 trillion prop to the housing sector and nearly another $1 trillion in old-fashioned monetary stimulus -- chopped liver? And how exactly do you square the idea that the president and Congress should be working 24-7 to "create" jobs with that other nugget of conventional wisdom, that Americans are demanding smaller government, less spending and lower budget deficits?

-----

and then it kinda fades away.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | January 22, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Front page alert.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | January 22, 2010 12:45 PM | Report abuse

The Tiger analysis is so funny because there might actually be some (sad) truth in it!

Posted by: Areopagus | January 22, 2010 12:49 PM | Report abuse

I used to think sex addiction was a made-up thing, but I've been educated, so now I know it is serious and causes real pain to people who suffer from it (and their families, of course.) However, my favorite sex addict is also a comedian, and I agree with him that there is no subject that can't be seen in a humorous light, so long as you aren't meanspirited about it.

A good book about addiction in general, written by a sex addict, is "America Anonymous," by Benoit Denizet-Lewis. Another one is the previously-plugged "My Booky Wook" by the above-referenced Russell Brand.

Posted by: kbertocci | January 22, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse

kb- Thought of RB immediately when I read this kit.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | January 22, 2010 1:00 PM | Report abuse

kb! How's work (said Maynard Crebs style)?

MsJS, very good. I don't get the golf obsession either, and the proliferation of golf courses is a sign of creeping evil to me. I much prefer horses in a pasture to combed, clipped lawns. As for Tiger Woods, he is dead to me. I'm with LALurker.

Posted by: seasea1 | January 22, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse

I know it's kind of pedantic, but I hate the term sex addiction. I prefer the term sex compulsion.

I hate the term addiction because, following the example of alcoholism, it implies that the appropriate approach is to wean the addict off of sex and them make sure that he or she never has access to it again.

Now, while this approach might be emotionally satisfying to Mrs. Woods, is it really an appropriate treatment? Are we really suggesting that what Tiger must do is become eternally celibate?

It seems to me that what someone like Tiger needs is behavioral help to keep normal desires within bounds. You know, like the way one treats compulsive hand washing or compulsive counting.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | January 22, 2010 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Any historians here? Is there a past civilization that had an activity popular with so many elites that provided absolutely no indication of skills that would make one's survival more likely? I know cavemen had good hunters... but the hunt brought food. Other societies probably had great canoe paddlers or swimmers or runners, etc. Those all show survival skills or skills used to get important stuff for your family.

I can't come up with a scenario where having the ability to hit a small ball with a stick so that the ball lands accurately a long ways away gives benefit to the hitter.

Is is all about bragging to your fellow men?

Posted by: steveboyington | January 22, 2010 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Nate Silver is one of the few other bloggers I read. He is one smart fellow.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | January 22, 2010 1:23 PM | Report abuse

The breathless headlines about how the Scott Brown election has changed everything kill me. Does anyone here feel different? I figured that now that some folks in a different state voted for someone that I don't know I must be radically different. I ran an experiment to test this hypothesis. I figured I would look at the headline of the Krauthammer piece today and see if I got the urge to read it. Maybe now I would! Sadly, nope. The loathing welled up into my esophagus just like always.

Posted by: steveboyington | January 22, 2010 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Now, let's be fair, steveboyington. I'm not a golfer myself, so I have no stake in this. However, good golfing requires good vision, particularly long sight. This is also a useful hunting/gathering skill. It requires a certain amount of strength, even with the modern super-clubs, to be able to hit the ball for long distances. Strength comes in handy in other arenas too. Less tangible requirements go into the decision of how to play a whole, what clubs to use, what type of stroke, how to get out of a bad lie. These include some discernment and good judgment, a fairly developed level of strategic thinking, patience and the ability to see things through, even short-term. Long-term, the game rewards anger management and self-control. In addition, observing a golfer's temperament (phlegmatic? excitable? angry?) may give valuable clues to a mate's prospective behavior under stress.

Posted by: Ivansmom | January 22, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

"Hole". How to play a "hole". How a golfer plays a "whole" would refer to "whole lotta golf" and then we're back to MsJS's fine exposition of the effects of golf on society and the family.

Posted by: Ivansmom | January 22, 2010 1:37 PM | Report abuse

War, death & religion aren't jokes either, but there are some pretty funny anecdotes & books about them. If you don't think there are some pretty funny stories about addiction, you just haven't been to enough A.A. meetings.

Posted by: bobsewell | January 22, 2010 1:38 PM | Report abuse

I will say again, Women play golf as well people!

Posted by: dmd3 | January 22, 2010 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Some years ago, a friend said she was a sex addict. I never thought much about it, until the Tiger thing happened.

Thinking of rituals, the University of California Press provides the first chapter of "The Pilgrim Art: Cultures of Porcelain in World History". It's a vivid description of the Chinese city, the world's first major industrial center, where porcelain was made. Incredible quantities and some astonishing quality, for many centuries.

Firing porcelain in wood-burning kilns was a high-stakes art. Make a mistake and months of hard work would perish. Or the fires might create monsters that would need to be smashed. So kiln operators had lots and lots of rituals.
http://ucpress.edu/books/pages/10381.php

I'm appalled at the House Democrats' apparent collective decision to ditch health care reform. This means another quarter century of holding bake sales for people with expensive injuries and diseases. Would it be possible to deluge members of Congress with cupcakes?

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | January 22, 2010 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps it is just another game he plays? And wins at?

Golf is a way to display your superiority. Winning is power. Power equals strength and strength equals greater opportunity for reproduction, a force among all living things.

Same game. Only the sphere of influence has changed.

Posted by: --dr-- | January 22, 2010 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Oh yes indeed dmd. It was a condition of our marriage that I learn to play golf. I cheerfully agreed.

He didn't say when.

Posted by: Ivansmom | January 22, 2010 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Carl Hiaasen, who discovered golf after exiting the Florida Keys, has funded his new habit by making fun of himself.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | January 22, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

I agree completely with RD on the addiction\compulsion thing.

Many years ago I served on a jury in the trial of a man accused of, among other things, peeping and flashing dozens of women. He mounted a mental health defense. The expert witnesses for the defense explained at great length why this guy had no control over his behavior- he would go running at night and then jump out at lone women wearing only Nikes and a ski mask and start to solo hike the Appalachian Trail while they ran away in terror. The prosecutor ripped that "no control" idea to bits with a single question: "Why didn't he ever do this in January and February?"

Posted by: kguy1 | January 22, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Compulsively, I've added a few linky bits to the kit...just fyi...

Posted by: joelache | January 22, 2010 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Tiger Woods plays golf? Who knew?

I thought Mr. Woods merely drove Buicks, shaved with Gillettes, accented with Accentures and otherwise shilled for a living, because those were the images I was bombarded with every time I turned on the television or went to the airport, and because nobody (besides, apparently, Mr. Achenbach) actually watches golf.

Posted by: Itzajob | January 22, 2010 1:51 PM | Report abuse

That Ezra Klein, he's a smart fella.

I was talking to a high school sophomore last night - a budding political chief of staff, I swear - and even he grasped the idea that governance means finding a way to get something done, not collapsing when circumstances change.

Posted by: Ivansmom | January 22, 2010 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Being a resident of MA who did not vote for the boy pin-up, I have been using the mute button freely. I think the noise over this has gone way past crazy. I don't think he'll be reelected in 2012.

Golf, I've played it but not in some years. I enjoyed it when I played, as long as I remembered that it was a 'game' and I shouldn't get upset when I 10 putted. It's a worse addiction than tennis because it takes so much longer to play. Anyone who doesn't play a sport for a living should have some perspective on the importance of it. Exercise, social interaction, working on skills are good reasons to play but if it starts to consume you, maybe it's time to rethink your priorities.

Tiger will always be a great golfer, even if he never plays again. Why do we expect anything else from our sports stars? The intensity and time it takes to become that good usually doesn't leave a lot of time to develop other, rather necessary people skills.

Posted by: badsneakers | January 22, 2010 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Complex useless skills:

visual art
sculpture (tactile art)
Calculus (until you develop a technological society that can use those skills)
music (auditory art)
Astronomy
Astrology (and it's *still* useless!)
writing well (as opposed to deadly dull denotative writing, aka "list-making.")
sarcasm

All these skills bear some connection to skills with a genuine survival value, but they are themselves no less useless than golf. No more useful. No gooder than.

Phrases like "no less useless" take me a considerable while to evaluate as to accurate interpretation. I share that entertainment value with you.

Posted by: ScienceTim | January 22, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Tim, just my luck, and I'm dripping with it.

Posted by: russianthistle | January 22, 2010 2:07 PM | Report abuse

I never watched golf before Woods started playing. I won't watch it again until he comes back. His personal life, as long as he commits no felonies, is his personal life.
Waiting to watch the best of the best again........

80 year-old newly-minted golf fan.

Posted by: m_richert | January 22, 2010 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Sarcasm useless? Maybe, but what about irony? Litotes? Snark, for God's sake!

Posted by: kguy1 | January 22, 2010 2:12 PM | Report abuse

I just read Krugman's commentary. I see it differently: I think that what Obama is trying to get through is a bill founded on principles so solidly accepted that no credible person can run in opposition to it in the future. He's trying to find bedrock on which to build,so the good work won't be undone by the next administration, or the one after that, or the administration 30 years hence.

Posted by: ScienceTim | January 22, 2010 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Sarcasm a useless skill? *Tim, this wounds me deeply. Not only do I find it useful, I would dare say it is just about my *only* skill.

MsJS, that was a truly impressive rant.

And boyohboy do I agree with Ezra Klein.

Posted by: Raysmom | January 22, 2010 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Survival skills? It's a complete, total, inexplicable fluke that someone with my skills ever got to be 986 years old.

Truth be told, I can't begin to count the number of times rank cowardice saved my bacon.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | January 22, 2010 2:17 PM | Report abuse

I'm used to getting a giggle or three of your Kits, Joel, but this one damn near made me pee my pants.

"I, however, could not care less."

You not only took the words right out of my mouth, but published them. With gusto, even.

(the bit about Cheetah's was good, too, which is why I'm changing my pants)

Posted by: martooni | January 22, 2010 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone have any suggestions for local theatre (central Maryland) to which I could get a ticket for, like, tonight or Sunday night?

Posted by: ScienceTim | January 22, 2010 2:27 PM | Report abuse

Robert Reich's take on SCOTUS ruling
http://robertreich.org/post/347547700/its-time-for-a-shareholder-protection-act

Posted by: Jumper1 | January 22, 2010 2:28 PM | Report abuse

No, sorry, Tim. But if you want to come to my house tomorrow night we'll feed you dinner and then we'll do "The King and I" in the living room.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | January 22, 2010 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | January 22, 2010 2:35 PM | Report abuse

"Free Tiger's Wood"
Admit it, Joel, it crossed your mind.

Posted by: Jumper1 | January 22, 2010 2:35 PM | Report abuse

You're on Mr. A!

I bet a half-dozen donuts that we will not have a hardhat POTUS photo op by the end of this month.

Said photo must appear in a recognizable MSM publication, online or dead tree, other than The Post or its corporate kin.

Posted by: MsJS | January 22, 2010 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Stock market starting to act badly.

Posted by: russianthistle | January 22, 2010 2:43 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps Mr. Woods could be introduced to this woman. Sounds like she could cure anybody's addiction.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/wear/8473974.stm

Posted by: kguy1 | January 22, 2010 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Since I don't watch television, I've never seen Tiger Woods play. And anyway minature golf is the only iteration of the sport that has ever appealed to me.

Generally, I have to have a personal interest to watch a game, any game. That is, I have to know somebody who's playing and care enough to go. Mr. T has taken me to a couple of Carolina football and basketball games, but fortunately it's too far and too expensive for those to be habitual.

I do pity Tiger for the mess he's gotten himself in, and I hope he can extricate himself and play golf well again. But I still won't watch.

Posted by: slyness | January 22, 2010 2:50 PM | Report abuse

The stock market always acts badly. It's probably just reacting today to the fact that the sun went behind a cloud.

Meanwhile, from yesterday, this just in: God weighs in on health care debate: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/01/20/AR2010012004767.html?nav=hcmodule

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | January 22, 2010 2:51 PM | Report abuse

For those who missed it, a clip of Lily the black bear giving birth this morning. Birth of second cub unconfirmed.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VBNtANbW5vE

Posted by: frostbitten1 | January 22, 2010 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Sorry mudge, I forgot.

Posted by: russianthistle | January 22, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse

I get invited to a lot of charity golf tournaments. People offer to pay my way, they tell me it's best ball captain's choice and that it doesn't matter if I can't play. I still refuse. There is the chance however slight that I may like. I just can't take the risk that I may end up throwing away all my time and money and perhaps may marriage on a life style change that requires total commitment and focus to the exclusion of all other aspects of life. I just can't jeopardize every thing I have worked for like that.

It's the same reason I've never tried heroin.

Posted by: yellojkt | January 22, 2010 3:37 PM | Report abuse

When it comes to weaponized aquatic mammals, nobody has topped 'Day Of The Dolphin'.

Spoiler warning:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dvRNe-I2YAI&NR=1

Fa luv paaaa!

It's got some great quotes like:

"Goodness no... I'm just an average person with an above average curiosity... and of course I don't make make friends easy."

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0069946/quotes

Posted by: yellojkt | January 22, 2010 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Yello, I've been around a few golf junkies and a few heroin junkies. Both groups were pretty tiresome to listen to and neither seemed be having much fun.

Posted by: kguy1 | January 22, 2010 3:48 PM | Report abuse

This just in: today is another palindrome: 01-22-10.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | January 22, 2010 3:49 PM | Report abuse

yello, you have articulated why I tried, and gave up, golf. I realized that the amount of time and effort it would take for me to play decently (heck, even the amount it would take to not suck) was time I didn't have.

I admit, though, I do like to watch golf, especially a close, hard-fought match like Tiger's PGA loss.

Posted by: Raysmom | January 22, 2010 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Another admission: I usually don't root for Tiger. One of the lasting effects of having grown up a Bills fan is a tendency to root for the underdog.

Posted by: Raysmom | January 22, 2010 3:59 PM | Report abuse

I had my bachelor party at the Cheetah. But the most famous Hotlanta one is Tattletales immortalized by Motley Crue (sorry for the lack of umlauts):

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x15z8g_motley-crue-girls-girls-girls-uncut_music

Posted by: yellojkt | January 22, 2010 4:00 PM | Report abuse

In honor of the day, a palindrome:

I maim nil in Miami.

Posted by: MsJS | January 22, 2010 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Madam I am Adam.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | January 22, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

indeed dmd - I PLAY GOLF *insert umbrage aqui* like yello it's mostly tourney golf/best ball - but i have to say i'm not all that bad! i get to tee off from the female tee and have often gotten best ball. tho i suck around a water hazard! (gotta get my clubs shortened to get a better swing - just haven't done it yet)
i find golf very relaxing - of course, i don't take it too seriously. there's something so relaxing about focusing your attention on such a precise activity and riding around a beautiful course on a nice day. and it's also quite a workout - if you get in all 19 holes...

Posted by: mortii | January 22, 2010 4:14 PM | Report abuse

scc - 18 holes... one too many

mo

Posted by: mortii | January 22, 2010 4:15 PM | Report abuse

A man, a plan, a canal: Ipanema!

No, wait, that's not right...


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8TqLmDhOdEc
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gghq6pvtQHY

Posted by: ScienceTim | January 22, 2010 4:18 PM | Report abuse

One of my cars is a palindrome. It's "a Toyota".

Posted by: kguy1 | January 22, 2010 4:21 PM | Report abuse

SciTim, what type of production?

Musicals: Toby's Dinner Theatre (www.tobysdinnertheatre.com) has good food, and there's locations in Columbia and Baltimore. Columbia is doing Annie right now, and Baltimore is doing Ain't Misbehavin'. Shows Friday and Saturday night, Sunday Matinee (brunch) and Sunday night. I used to work box office there, and Toby always puts on a good show.

Other: Unfortunately, RepStage and Olney's new shows don't start until February, but the Montgomery Playhouse (http://www.montgomeryplayhouse.org/) is showing "The Tale of the Allergist's Wife" in Gaithersburg. Shows Friday and Saturday nights, Sunday matinee. I've never been there to personally recommend it though.

Posted by: MoftheMountain | January 22, 2010 4:23 PM | Report abuse

geez yello - that clip of day of the dolphin was SAD!!!

mo

Posted by: mortii | January 22, 2010 4:26 PM | Report abuse

I definitely play at a skill level that makes the 19th hole (that's the beer at the bar afterward) the whole point of the endeavor. If I had to count on the satisfaction I gain from my excellent play, well... I wouldn't. I can usually expect to make a several pretty good shots per round, and once or twice per round to string the shots together to play a hole well. But it would be wild exaggeration to claim that I've ever played anything like a decent round of golf.

As mentioned by others, I'm not prepared to spend the time & money that would be required for my performance to improve much, but I'm at peace with that.

Posted by: bobsewell | January 22, 2010 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Annie is already sold out for the whole weekend. We have tickets to see the St. Mark's Players do "The Lion in Winter" at 8PM tonight. It will be fun to compare with the movie, which starred that obscure O'Toole fellow, and the little-known Katharine Hepburn.

Posted by: ScienceTim | January 22, 2010 4:27 PM | Report abuse

My initial sarcastic reaction to the Haiti disaster has borne fruit... it appears that they ARE going to be sending their love down the well again! I hear there is a We Are The World remake to help Haiti in the works. I can't believe it.

Posted by: steveboyington | January 22, 2010 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Another excuse to see the YouTube clip from the Simpsons.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B4zO7-rt71k

Posted by: steveboyington | January 22, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

To go back on kit, a comment about one of Mr. A's linky bits.

I don't care how many prizes or honors the man's won, I find Dr. Krugman's flip-flop-flip on President Obama more humorous than anything. He was first anti, then pro, and now he's back in the anti camp.

He's certainly entitled to his opinion, but that doesn't mean I gotta read it. And, except via the occasional link, I don't. The man has no stomach for the political process, preferring to change his mind about people when things get messy or don't go his way. It's funny at first, but then grows tiresome and predictable.

Guess that's why I gave up reading him. After the two sentences I can practically write his columns myself.

Posted by: MsJS | January 22, 2010 4:33 PM | Report abuse

ok - following kb's recommendation i will post this b/c it cheered me up!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g4mXZ2FSlUo

(potentially nsfw - unless you have headphones)

mo

Posted by: mortii | January 22, 2010 4:34 PM | Report abuse

I am no fan of Krugman. He seems to want to pass a terrible bill just so he can say he passed something. He also wants to spend literally trillions more in stimulus... right on the national credit card. He never has a plan to pay down the deficit. He seems not worried. He, in effect, is the perfect baby boomer. He wants stuff now. He cares not how much it costs, or where he is getting the money. He has no ability to plan long-term. He is atrocious.

Democrats that want to spend more and more without balancing budgets are no better than Republicans that want to cut taxes more and more without balancing budgets. They both achieve the same thing: fiscal destruction. That both parties seem willing to accelerate toward the day of reckoning is the single biggest reason many Americans are very very cranky.

Posted by: steveboyington | January 22, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Not a shock, Annie is extrememly popular, and she's pretty much the only dinner theatre in the area anymore.

If it's a good production, I usually like the play more than a movie, but I haven't seen a ton to compare. Sounds like fun! I hope you have a good time!

Posted by: MoftheMountain | January 22, 2010 4:36 PM | Report abuse

SCC: extremely. Geesh. The one time I don't preview...

Posted by: MoftheMountain | January 22, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

I've avoided all Tiger Woods pieces like the plague, but I have to admit this one was pretty funny. Count me in with the sceptics on the addiction. Stealing a line from that clever DA, how come none of the girlfriends have lazy eyes or buck teeth.

Posted by: qgaliana | January 22, 2010 4:38 PM | Report abuse

I broke the golf spell at about the same time I broke the professional sports spell: I'd say at age 28. Neither gets my blood boiling any more. I used to play and was pretty poor. In a typical round I'd hit five or six terrible shots, and those shots would drive me crazy. Now, when I rarely play, I am much worse. However, I hit five or six good shots and those shots put a bounce in my step for a couple days. THAT is turning the tables. Same with sports. I like certain teams. They win I am happy. They lose I am sad. At no point do I feel the need to make a big spectacle over any single game. I rarely watch or attend them any more. I CERTAINLY don't participate in juvenile "my team is better than your team" banter. I have moved on.

Life is much better now.

Posted by: steveboyington | January 22, 2010 4:39 PM | Report abuse

i've now decided i *heart* russell brand

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PWVqoRDHVVU&NR=1


mo

Posted by: mortii | January 22, 2010 4:48 PM | Report abuse

"Democrats that want to spend more and more without balancing budgets..."

steve, please: name some of these guys for me. That is, some Democrats who are more guilty of this than the next randomly-selected politician. Might I remind you, the last President to submit a balanced budget was a Democrat, so your broad-brush derogatory remark is not powerfully convincing. My impression is that the Democrats are so scattershot because each one actually has some political principles (whether he lives his own life according to those principles is a different matter), but none of them hold the same principles. Hence, there is no "mainstream" of Democratic thought and they argue with each other and interfere with each other. Seems to me that the current form of the Republican party has just one ruling principle that guides all actions: it is better to sink the ship than risk a Democrat sailing it successfully.

Posted by: ScienceTim | January 22, 2010 4:49 PM | Report abuse

Undersea volcano footage added to end of kit. Because it just seemed like the right thing to do.

Posted by: joelache | January 22, 2010 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Steve, you need a bit of historical background. First, regarding not caring about the deficit. This was a concept pioneered by Ronald Reagan, who was certainly no baby boomer. So you're connecting disregard for the deficit isn't a baby boomer thing; it is an arch-conservative thing.

Further, the notion that "deficits don't matter" (the mantra of the Reagan administration, when Dems were calling for deficit reduction) was picked up and carried on by the 8 years of the Bush administration. So you've got 16 years of Conservatives ignoring the deficit. And you know what? As much as pains me to admit it, they were right. Because, much as I hate to say it, nothing happened. Not a single damn thing. So Reagan was right. Deficits don't matter.

Second, you've picked up that by-now-totally-bizarre notion that Dems want to spend money, while Republicans don't Apparently you slept through the Bush years. So please update your iPod.

Now, spending trillions more on the stimulus. What you just can't seem to get into your head is that the only way to get out of a recession is to spend lots of money. Yes, there really is a problem in the real world where the correct (and only) answer is " Trow money at it. So get used to the idea. It is basic Keynes. As much as I hate the notion that Reagan was right and deficits don't matter, you've got to get it into your head that the way to get out of a recession is to throw trillions of dollars at it. You may hate the idea, just as I hate the defcit idea. But get used to it.

Just don't even come within a mile of "balancing budgets." It's a cliche, a bumper sticker idea. It's not an economic or political idea, and hasn't been in decades. Only one president in my lifetime balanced a budget, and you ought to know who that was: Clinton. So the notion of balancing budgets is almost as arcane as the notion of deficit reduction.

No, I don't like it either. But I have to accept it as reasonably proven theory. Deficits don't matter. Spend your way out of a recession. Forget balancing the budget (CERTAINLY not until the economy recovers and reaches something like normalcy; then we can talk). But not now.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | January 22, 2010 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Ah, the mysteries of what lies beneath the surface. Many thanks, Mr. A!

Posted by: MsJS | January 22, 2010 5:02 PM | Report abuse

Undersea volcano footage is always appropriate on any occasion. Kinda like bringing flowers to your date, or faxing chicken soup to a sick person it couldn't hurt.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | January 22, 2010 5:06 PM | Report abuse

I am not persuaded that "deficits don't matter." It seems to me to be an incomplete statement, and a more complete statement would be "deficits don't matter right away." Eventually, however, they do matter, and the longer you wait to deal with them, the more they matter. Unless, of course, you simply declare bankruptcy and default on all debts. Which carries its own problems.

Posted by: ScienceTim | January 22, 2010 5:07 PM | Report abuse

Watched the undersea volcano a while ago, it is great thanks for adding it.

Posted by: dmd3 | January 22, 2010 5:08 PM | Report abuse

mo, you're in good company.

Posted by: seasea1 | January 22, 2010 5:09 PM | Report abuse

Personally I think Krugman is relatively consistent; he just changes his opinion to adapt to changing circumstances as he is aware that politics is the art of the possible.

He is for a second stimulus not because of "deficits don't matter" but rather because he is concerned about a "lost decade" as Japan suffered in the 90s.

He is for passing the health care bill after being on the record for universal health care because he sees it as the best deal possible.

Posted by: engelmann | January 22, 2010 5:15 PM | Report abuse

Mudge: "So Reagan was right. Deficits don't matter."

My $0.02: only because the USD is the world's reserve currency. If all the talk about a basket of reserve currencies does anything, the US will feel more consequences from high debt (as other countries already do).

Posted by: engelmann | January 22, 2010 5:22 PM | Report abuse

That underwater volcano footage helps redefine the term "a steamy video."

Posted by: RD_Padouk | January 22, 2010 5:22 PM | Report abuse

Joel, thanks for the undersea volcano footage. Very hot. With that, the bear in labor (I looked) and Scottynuke's pigeon movie, I have lots to show the Boy.

In national politics, nothing says leaders have to balance the budget or worry about deficits, so mostly they don't. In state politics, most states require balanced budgets and suffer consequences for deficits, so governators of all political stripes think about it all the time.

Posted by: Ivansmom | January 22, 2010 5:31 PM | Report abuse

Don't matter?

I thought the whole idea behind Reagan's deficit was to "reduce" government.

Posted by: -TBG- | January 22, 2010 5:43 PM | Report abuse

If the golf courses around here were to turn into anything, it wouldn't be parks... it would be hundreds of houses.

Posted by: -TBG- | January 22, 2010 5:55 PM | Report abuse

I thought government was supposed to be starved in the bathtub. Or crushed in the shower, or something.

Posted by: Boko999 | January 22, 2010 6:07 PM | Report abuse

Countercyclical concerns about deficits are stupid.

Posted by: Jumper1 | January 22, 2010 6:08 PM | Report abuse

Dorks would prefer a 1% return on their investments to a thriving stock market with a 9% return and a tax rate that reduces that to a "mere" 7%. Dorks.

Posted by: Jumper1 | January 22, 2010 6:10 PM | Report abuse

I want to add to the Krugman discussion - one of his columns which made the biggest impression on me was "http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/29/opinion/29krugman.html," in which he worries that even though no modern president, with the example of Herbert Hoover before him of what to avoid, would try to balance the budget during a severe recession, most states are cutting their budgets to get them in line with declining revenues. So even if national policy throws money at this crisis to try to avoid catastrophe, there are 50 states deepening the crisis by their cuts. He often argues that we must reduce deficits (and maybe build surpluses) during good times, but must spend during a recession. I believe him. Right now the interest we're paying on the debt is trivial. That will change, and it will change right around the time we'll be able to throw money at reducing the deficit instead of stimulating the economy. Unless, of course, in Bush's words, this sucker goes down.

Posted by: Wheezy1 | January 22, 2010 6:19 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, that link was supposed to show the title of the article, "50 Herbert Hoovers."

Posted by: Wheezy1 | January 22, 2010 6:21 PM | Report abuse

Happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy birthday that many times, CqP.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | January 22, 2010 6:34 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, I'll see your Happy, happy, etc., and raise it ten more times. Happy Birthday CpP.

Posted by: badsneakers | January 22, 2010 6:43 PM | Report abuse

Birthday bunny hops!

Wheezy, Oklahoma has a balanced budget requirement. All Oklahoma state agencies, from all three branches of government, began 5% across-the-board cuts in August. In December and January this increased to 10% cuts, monthly, across the board. That's cumulative, per month: 5% in August, another 5% in September, and so on. They expect this to continue for at least another month, probably two; if the Legislature can find a way to work this out, then perhaps we can go back to the equivalent of 5% cuts until the end of the fiscal year. It took a while for the recession to hit here so we started in a pretty good place, but things are going bad quickly. Most agencies cut pretty deep during the last bad times, after 2001, and didn't add a lot back as times got better. People talk about waste in gummint, but they're well through the fat and making a meal of the lean now.

Posted by: Ivansmom | January 22, 2010 6:44 PM | Report abuse

I'm all in:

Happy (to the googol power) Birthday to CquaP!! :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | January 22, 2010 6:58 PM | Report abuse

Wow, I-Mom, those are some cuts! I haven't heard of anything anywhere near that drastic here. I know Illinois is having pretty drastic problems, with businesses that provide services to the state going bankrupt waiting for payments. I thought a lot of the stimulus money was supposed to be going to the states to prevent these kinds of cuts. Maybe California's getting the lion's share?

It's bank failure Friday! Over at Calculated Risk they turn the waiting and the announcements into a party. Pathetic and sad, but virtually social.

Happy Birthday, College Parkian!

See y'all later - gotta go chauffeur.

Posted by: Wheezy11 | January 22, 2010 7:03 PM | Report abuse

mo-Russell is a bit addictive, watch out.

I enjoy playing golf, and a few times in our married life Mr. F and I have both had jobs that didn't require enormous amounts of after-hours dedication, or young children in the house. With that and the stars aligned we were able to play a round, or two, every week for year. I couldn't even tell you where my clubs are now.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | January 22, 2010 7:23 PM | Report abuse

Thank goodness I resisted the siren song of Brand, as I really have to get ready to go out to dinner; a "bistro" but with lobster corn dogs and other non-rustic delights. Perhaps a glass of wine? Yes, I think so.

CquaP, I hope your birthday evening is lots of fun with loud music and, listen, not too rough in the mosh pit, OK?

Have a great evening, Boodle. Don't say anything interesting while I'm gone.

Posted by: Yoki | January 22, 2010 7:34 PM | Report abuse

Lobster... corn... dogs????

*vacillating bewteen drooling and crying* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | January 22, 2010 7:38 PM | Report abuse

No need for tears, Scottynuke. Rich, lucious fresh lobster with a very light (almost tempura) corn batter and a spiced handmade mayonnaise. On a stick, for fun. Really good and respectful to the crustacean.

Posted by: Yoki | January 22, 2010 7:44 PM | Report abuse

Frosti, that's the thing about golf, it takes up so much time. When I first learned to play, I was on the Cape all summer and could play once or twice a week (nine holes usually) with friends. It was fun and I did see improvement in my game - not enough to be any good, but enough to keep me playing. But working full time and having a life, it's pretty hard to find the time to play enough golf to be any good at it. Plus it's not cheap. I hope eventually, when I'm retired for real, rather than this unemployed thing I've got going now, I'd like to start playing again. But always just for fun. I learned from my long ago tennis addiction that I'll never again try to equate my sports skills with my self esteem. ;-)

Posted by: badsneakers | January 22, 2010 7:49 PM | Report abuse

Oh, that's plenty tear-worthy, Yoki, considering my current distance from said confection... :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | January 22, 2010 7:58 PM | Report abuse

Well, the invitation was issued...

Posted by: Yoki | January 22, 2010 8:03 PM | Report abuse

You have no idea how much respect I have for crustaceans. I respect the hell out of 'em. Especially tempura-battered.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | January 22, 2010 8:04 PM | Report abuse

Anybody want to render a guess on how much this Haiti fundraiser on all 128 TV stations is gonna raise in the next two hours? Twenty mil? Thirty? I have no idea.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | January 22, 2010 8:06 PM | Report abuse

A Sort of a Song

Let the snake wait under
his weed
and the writing
be of words, slow and quick, sharp
to strike, quiet to wait,
sleepless.
--through metaphor to reconcile
the people and the stones.
Compose. (No ideas
but in things) Invent!
Saxifrage is my flower that splits
the rocks.

William Carlos Williams

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 22, 2010 8:07 PM | Report abuse

Anybody know who these guys are? First up was Alicia Keyes, right?

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | January 22, 2010 8:07 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, I get the feeling I'm going to know about 20 percent of the performers. I do of course know that this is Bruce.

Posted by: badsneakers | January 22, 2010 8:12 PM | Report abuse

Eating Poetry

Ink runs from the corners of my mouth.
There is no happiness like mine.
I have been eating poetry.

The librarian does not believe what she sees.
Her eyes are sad
and she walks with her hands in her dress.

The poems are gone.
The light is dim.
The dogs are on the basement stairs and coming up.

Their eyeballs roll,
their blond legs burn like brush.
The poor librarian begins to stamp her feet and weep.

She does not understand.
When I get on my knees and lick her hand,
she screams.

I am a new man.
I snarl at her and bark.
I romp with joy in the bookish dark.

Mark Strand

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 22, 2010 8:15 PM | Report abuse

Um... Paul Harvey and J. Edgar Hoover. WOW.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/01/22/AR2010012202602_2.html

:-O

Posted by: Scottynuke | January 22, 2010 8:15 PM | Report abuse

Hopefully it raises a lot Mudge, American show was preceded by a one hour show here in Canada, they did note that one donor gave 100,000 in the Canadian show.

Posted by: dmd3 | January 22, 2010 8:15 PM | Report abuse

The Republican/neoconservation idea of starving the federal government never has made a lick of sense to me. What do you cut out? IIRC, three-quarters of the federal budget is entitlements like SS/Medicare/etc. So you cut defense? Farm bill? National parks (they've been starving for years and years and it shows)? Immigration services? Take your pick and see where it goes...

Here in NC we also have a constitutional requirement to balance the budget, which led to a "temporary" increase in the sales tax. We'll see how that works out.

I was reading a newsletter from the retirement system the other day that said in the recent past 80 percent of their income was from investments. That isn't going to happen again for a while, at least, so member jurisdictions are going to have to up their contributions. They didn't have to send much in the good years, now they have to pay for that. (We public employees all contribute something like 7-8 percent of our gross pay to the system, so the jurisdictions only have to put in what's necessary to keep the system actuarily sound.)

Posted by: slyness | January 22, 2010 8:19 PM | Report abuse

At the risk of appearing unsympathetic, I'm gonna skip the concert. Not my thing.

As to the Politico article, I'm not into either party or chamber complaining about the enormity of their workload. If they were facing potential reductions-in-force, unpaid furlough days, or pay and benefits cuts, maybe they'd be more willing to hunker down and do the job taxpayers paying them to do.

I'll save my sympathies for the homeless, the unemployed, and those without medical coverage.

Posted by: MsJS | January 22, 2010 8:32 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, I have to disagree with the idea that deficits don't matter. They are sometimes necessary, and are certainly manageable, up to a point, but they do matter in one important way. We currently spend $450 billion every year on interest payments on the debt (90% racked up under Republican presidents). Half of this is money that the government owes to itself, mainly for money "borrowed" from the social security trust fund, but even ignoring that, there is still over $200 billion every year that is not being used for anything productive. Less than half of this would pay the entire cost of the Senate's health reform bill.

Posted by: rashomon | January 22, 2010 8:50 PM | Report abuse

Happy birthday, CqP! I await a report of the Celebration.

In answer to inquiries many hours ago, I am here to report that I am loving my new job. They need me, and I have been able to do everything they need me to do so far, so I'd say it's a good match. The internet policy is pretty strict, though, so I'll be boodlin' only on my lunch break or at home. Here's an example of how strict: today I overheard a conversation about YouTube videos; people were just describing them to each other. At my old job they would have been gathered around someone's monitor, watching.

Another big difference from my previous job: mostly Democrats at this one. Compassion for the less-fortunate is not a target of scorn. People are concerned about something besides making money. I'm happy, yes I am.

I'm also giggling about being the main thing that connects Joel Achenbach to Russell Brand. I'm laughing to think of the two of them in the same room, but yet they occupy my brain simultaneously, don't they. When I read the first sentence of the kit, "The buzz is that Tiger's in a sex addiction clinic in Hattiesburg, Mississippi," I remembered that Russell calls sex rehab "winky nick." That's so British I bet it gets by the dirty word filter with no problem.

I'm currently downloading an audiobook about a different kind of compulsion: the protagonist of "The Unnamed" can't stop walking. I thought that would be perfect for my long run tomorrow morning. If it's any good I'll be back recommending it to the walkers among us.

Posted by: kbertocci | January 22, 2010 9:04 PM | Report abuse

We dipped into the concert/fundraiser. I don't know who sang the "Hard Times" but she was awesome. That song appears infinitely versatile in style.

Slyness, thanks to certain legislative and constitutional amendments not too long ago, essentially the Oklahoma gummint can't raise taxes in bad times. It is spending cuts, new sources of revenue or nothing.

Posted by: Ivansmom | January 22, 2010 9:05 PM | Report abuse

Kber, so pleased to learn that you are happy in your new job. It sounds wonderful. Nice to work with compassionate people, doesn't always happen.

Posted by: badsneakers | January 22, 2010 9:11 PM | Report abuse

Half the US debt is owed to the government itself; a bit more than a quarter to foreign lenders and the other quarter to state and local governments, businesses, insurance companies and pensions and individual investors here in the U.S.

Posted by: -TBG- | January 22, 2010 9:11 PM | Report abuse

Me, just now: "I remember watching Live Aid."

16-yr-old Daughter: "I don't know what that is."

Posted by: -TBG- | January 22, 2010 9:15 PM | Report abuse

Coldplay was the group after Alicia Keys. The lead singer (Chris ...something...) is married to Gwyneth Paltrow. I saw about the first half hour, then switched to CBS news, then switched back. It's live here on CNN and MSNBC, tape delayed later. Sometimes being in the west is very weird, TV-wise.

kb, so glad the job is working out!

Posted by: seasea1 | January 22, 2010 9:17 PM | Report abuse

I think Madonna is ready for her close-up, Mr. Demille.

Posted by: -TBG- | January 22, 2010 9:20 PM | Report abuse

I hear Madonna now...Shakira was on in the first half hour. And Broooce, singing We Shall Overcome.

Posted by: seasea1 | January 22, 2010 9:22 PM | Report abuse

Glad to hear you are happy with the new job, Kber. As my momma used to say, things work out.

I'mom...ouch. Yeah, raising taxes is never easy or popular, but jeez, services do matter!

HBTY, CqP!

Cassandra, please check in and let us know that you're okay.

Posted by: slyness | January 22, 2010 9:22 PM | Report abuse

You can get Live Aid on DVD now. My favorite part - U2, of course. I remember trying to tape it on cassette from the radio - unfortunately I had shorter tapes than I realized at first. Still, I caught some good bits.

Posted by: seasea1 | January 22, 2010 9:25 PM | Report abuse

Hallelujah.

(Who is that?)

Posted by: rickoshea1 | January 22, 2010 9:32 PM | Report abuse

Oh, crap. Who is that singing "Hallelujah"? Jason Mraz? Whoever it is, he's doing a credible job.

Rasomon, you can disagree all you want, but then you have to explain how two administrations running 16 years can get away with doing what they did.

But yes, I agree with you that somewhere down the road the crap will hit the fan. When I said Reagan was right I was being partly cynical, meaning that both he and Bush got away with it. (Their own party certainly never called them on it.) So yes, did they leave a mess for someone else to clean up? Absolutely. But they were "right" in the sense that they could utterly blow out the deficit with impunity, at least in their own terms in office. B@st@rds? I think you know my feelings about Reagan and Bush.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | January 22, 2010 9:34 PM | Report abuse

ros-Justin Timberlake

Posted by: frostbitten1 | January 22, 2010 9:35 PM | Report abuse

Missed it...I was listening to The Hooters from Live Aid on youtube:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JQF2VWMwoTA
They played in Philly, despite the intro. They were Cyndi Lauper's band, I think.

I need a laptop so I can live blog better.

Posted by: seasea1 | January 22, 2010 9:36 PM | Report abuse

Anybody know if there's a Web site naming each performer in real time?

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | January 22, 2010 9:36 PM | Report abuse

Feeling guilty but I switched away to one of the few channels not showing the Haiti show, Breakfast Club is on.

Posted by: dmd3 | January 22, 2010 9:37 PM | Report abuse

Is this Jennifer Hudson? She's doing a fantastic job.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | January 22, 2010 9:38 PM | Report abuse

twitter is probably your best bet Mudge

Posted by: frostbitten1 | January 22, 2010 9:38 PM | Report abuse

Jennifer Hudson singing about her "times of trouble" is just too much for me.

Posted by: -TBG- | January 22, 2010 9:40 PM | Report abuse

seasea, U2 and Simple Minds were 2 of my favs from Live Aid, like you we tried to tape the show.

Posted by: dmd3 | January 22, 2010 9:40 PM | Report abuse

I have fifteen hours of Live Aid on VHS including some performances not on the DVD. Ihope I can play them in ten years. Concert for Kampuchea anyone?

Posted by: yellojkt | January 22, 2010 9:40 PM | Report abuse

And that was Jennifer Hudson

Posted by: frostbitten1 | January 22, 2010 9:41 PM | Report abuse

If that beard isn't for a movie role then Brad Pitt needs a makeover, fast.

Posted by: badsneakers | January 22, 2010 9:42 PM | Report abuse

Rihanna, Jay-z and Bono. Nice to have a teenager nearby.

Posted by: -TBG- | January 22, 2010 9:47 PM | Report abuse

And they're GREAT.

Posted by: -TBG- | January 22, 2010 9:48 PM | Report abuse

dmd - love the Breakfast Club! That's where my attempted-humor line earlier about "pathetic and sad, but social" comes from. Except I just looked it up and it's "So it's sorta social, demented and sad, but social. Right?"

Posted by: Wheezy11 | January 22, 2010 9:52 PM | Report abuse

Who is that with David Crosby? (I think.)

I feel like a fossil.

Posted by: rickoshea1 | January 22, 2010 9:54 PM | Report abuse

Dave Matthews and Neil Young I believe

Posted by: frostbitten1 | January 22, 2010 9:55 PM | Report abuse

Or do I mean Neil Young?

Posted by: rickoshea1 | January 22, 2010 9:56 PM | Report abuse

Ros, Dave Matthews and Neil Young.

Posted by: badsneakers | January 22, 2010 9:56 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Frosti.

Posted by: rickoshea1 | January 22, 2010 9:57 PM | Report abuse

Is Don Mclean on tonight? I heard American Pie on my way to work for about the millionth time.Does everyone know all the words? and sing at the top of their lungs?
the car next to me at the light thought i was crazy,a bunch of teenagers and i was glad to give them a good laugh.....

Posted by: greenwithenvy | January 22, 2010 9:59 PM | Report abuse

Used to know them, green.

Way to go! I would have done the same thing had I been there.

Posted by: MsJS | January 22, 2010 10:03 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, I agree with you that Republicans seem to be able to get away with running huge deficits without paying a political price, although I think that George the Lesser's record low poll numbers were in part due to fiscal conservatives disillusioned by his irresponsibility. I think that they were able to get away with it because the same right-wingers who are screaming about the deficit now were willing to give them a pass on it as long as they heard the right things about other conservative shibboleths, like abortion, immigration, and national security.

Posted by: rashomon | January 22, 2010 10:06 PM | Report abuse

And Wyclef Jean at the end - very good.

Would have been nice to have names, or intros.

Do not like the straggly beards, and apparently Julia Roberts still has not found a comb. (sorry to be snarky for a charity event, but still)

Posted by: seasea1 | January 22, 2010 10:06 PM | Report abuse

Wheezy,
Just like the boodle. But who is the brain, the Jock, the basket case?

Posted by: yellojkt | January 22, 2010 10:07 PM | Report abuse

I'll be the basket case!

Posted by: -TBG- | January 22, 2010 10:11 PM | Report abuse

Quite a few folks could be the brain...or the basket case...what about the jock? Oh, Scotty or Yoki (for their mad skiing skilz).

Posted by: seasea1 | January 22, 2010 10:16 PM | Report abuse

Four-foot standing leap
Outrun all major boodlers
Steel thighs--dibs on jock!

-Wilbrodog-

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 22, 2010 10:17 PM | Report abuse

Or the jock could be kbertocci or yellojkt or CP, bikers all.

Posted by: seasea1 | January 22, 2010 10:17 PM | Report abuse

Only on the boodle could somebody think I qualified as a jock.

Posted by: yellojkt | January 22, 2010 10:20 PM | Report abuse

Tennis ball haikus
All too soon forgotten--woe.
Jocks got feelings, too

-Wilbrodog-

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 22, 2010 10:21 PM | Report abuse

I've torn footballs--
Tug o' war beats opera,
I'm not foot-impaired...

-Wilbrodog-

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 22, 2010 10:25 PM | Report abuse

I'm actually LOL right now, thinking of yello's (and my) jockitude. Only on the boodle, is right.

Posted by: kbertocci | January 22, 2010 10:26 PM | Report abuse

Lion hearts come with brawn
And beat full of world's passions
thus jocks must poem, too.

-Wilbrodog-

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 22, 2010 10:27 PM | Report abuse

It's like the kids I know who are jocks and cheerleaders at TJ, the Science & Tech magnet high school around here. They would never have those roles in a regular high school.

Posted by: -TBG- | January 22, 2010 10:28 PM | Report abuse

Where's the breakfast club?
I must be invit'd to table
And feast like a jock.

-Wilbrodog-

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 22, 2010 10:30 PM | Report abuse

Methinks Wilbrodog wants to be the Jock.

Funny, I don't hear anyone volunteering to be the Princess.

Posted by: MsJS | January 22, 2010 10:37 PM | Report abuse

I was just trying to figure out what I was, confused comes to mind, nerdy princess is probably the closest.

Sixteen Candles is now on, some sort of Molly Ringwald-a-thon.

Posted by: dmd3 | January 22, 2010 10:44 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of Jocks: Serena Williams has sailed though the first three rounds of the Australian Open, beating her opponents by a combined total of 36 games to 9.

Some sort of Basket Case/Brain/Jock blend for me. Criminal was appealing, but I was too chicken. Then, as now, I looked terrible in tiaras, so definitely not Princess material.

Posted by: MsJS | January 22, 2010 10:52 PM | Report abuse

Sixteen Candles! Where?

Congratulations on the new job, kbert, and I hear you about the more restrictive Internet policies. That's why I went Blackberry, so I could at least read the Boodle and my other usual suspects.

Posted by: -dbG- | January 22, 2010 11:15 PM | Report abuse

Brawny tongue kisses
Coat MizJayess's wisdom
Fur fills up her lap.

-Wilbrodog-

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 22, 2010 11:16 PM | Report abuse

One of my many favorites from the telethon: Stevie.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=385x426501

Wasn't that choir wonderful too?

I'll nominate myself for the Brain (tongue in cheek). Hyperlinks weren't working on my Blackberry today, I fixed it by removing the battery to reboot. Duh!

Posted by: -dbG- | January 22, 2010 11:19 PM | Report abuse

One of the movie channels here dbG.

Posted by: dmd3 | January 22, 2010 11:20 PM | Report abuse

Not that I can stay awake though all of Sixteen Candles, but Ferris Bueller is on after - darn.

Posted by: dmd3 | January 22, 2010 11:22 PM | Report abuse

**scratching W-dog behind ears while enjoying fur in lap*

Posted by: MsJS | January 22, 2010 11:26 PM | Report abuse

Yep, Serena's looking good. So is Federer, although he may run into problems soon. I was surprised that Justine Henin is back, and doing pretty well so far.

Posted by: seasea1 | January 22, 2010 11:31 PM | Report abuse

You can stay up through at least 10 candles, can't you, dmd?

Posted by: -TBG- | January 22, 2010 11:37 PM | Report abuse

Bonzai! :-)

Posted by: dmd3 | January 22, 2010 11:46 PM | Report abuse

Ach du lieber. byoolin bin furst geposten! Er ist disbelievengeheitlichmeinshaft haben. Er is haben der getimingshlaft wunderbarlich.

I left out a ton of umlauts. So sue me.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | January 22, 2010 11:31 AM

****

Since Mudge posted this, I've been to the public libraries in Wheeling & Pittsburgh, the WVU library in Morgantown, Google Translate and Babelfish, and I think I can say this with some confidence:

You have the wurst German accent I've ever seen.

Posted by: byoolin1 | January 22, 2010 11:53 PM | Report abuse

Frpm Conan's farewell "speech" tonight...

"I hate cynicism. For the record, it's my least favorite quality. It doesn't lead anywhere. Nobody in life gets exactly what they thought they were going to get. But if you work really hard and you're kind, amazing things will happen."

Posted by: -TBG- | January 23, 2010 12:41 AM | Report abuse

I hate popcorn bags that turn into smoke bombs instead of food.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 23, 2010 12:55 AM | Report abuse

Oh, and I love Conan's quote. That's a money quote.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 23, 2010 12:56 AM | Report abuse

Morning all! I'd say the current holder of the Football Tiara (TM) is our Jock Princess. And JA is obviously the Brain, no?? :-)

Learning that Michelle Rhee has done lost her fool mind is not how I want to start the weekend:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/01/22/AR2010012204543.html

I mean, if you can't back up sweeping statements with facts (and in most cases the details of personnel actions can't be made public), don't make the generalization in the first place! :-O

Couldn't watch the whole telethon, but I have to agree with the AP article in that it seemed pretty downcast for a "Hope" event. *shrug*

R.I.P., Jean Simmons...

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/01/22/AR2010012205323.html

And it's really starting to bother me that people keep trying to extrapolate the Mass. Senate race to the entire country. From the Balz/Cohen poll article:
"The findings do not provide a political portrait of the entire country in the opening weeks of the 2010 election year. But given that Massachusetts has been reliably Democratic in presidential elections, the results of Tuesday's special Senate election and the reasons voters sided with Brown over Democrat Martha Coakley speak to broader shifts that have taken place across the country over the past year." (Translation: We'll say whatever we want to hang an article on.)
*SIGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH*

*Oh-well-it-is-still-the-weekend-let's-make-the-best-of-it Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | January 23, 2010 6:25 AM | Report abuse

Good morning boodle! For some reason, I am going to stand out in the cold all day today. Wish I had a good excuse. Should be doing many other things, but just trying to be supportive and nice.

Happy morning, all!

Posted by: russianthistle | January 23, 2010 6:29 AM | Report abuse

Scotty!
I think the Mass thing is a news cycle issue. Its bright and shiny. Half the polls I see are improperly constructed in that they construe that there are only two political realities and that there are multiple permutations--the least specific of which is that people are angry at government... ok, but why.

If you ask both those who voted and who didn't vote in the special election, but did vote in the last Presidential election, then, I think, you get a clearer and calmer picture, especially if you add in platform items (for or against--like health care).

A large number of folks voted for Brown who also voted for Obama and who also support the Congress' health reform bills in one form or another.

Again, the guy is a Bob Forehead candidate, in my view. They get elected.

Posted by: russianthistle | January 23, 2010 6:36 AM | Report abuse

People who deliberately live in the cold.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/21/garden/21cold.html

How did our Yoki miss the cut? They must have dismissed Canuckis out of hand.

Posted by: yellojkt | January 23, 2010 6:41 AM | Report abuse

What's up with Eugene Delgaudio in Loudoun County?

http://wonkette.com/413328/loudoun-countys-great-anti-gay-crusader-meant-nothing-with-his-hilarious-slurs

"...this county is on a course of freakiness."

I would have thought that was a good thing.

Posted by: yellojkt | January 23, 2010 7:11 AM | Report abuse

Morning, all.

When I turned on the computer, I was reading WaPo and noticed there was a Windows update. So I shut down and did the update, then Explorer didn't work. So I'm on Firefox and will stay there, I suppose. How ridiculous is that?!

My, we've wandered far from the kit, not that that's unusual. The underwater lava explosion is kewl.

Mr. T is spending the day at the firefighters entrance written exam, building comp time. They had 1600 people sign up, which is a sure indication of the problems with employment. Of those, the department may hire 60 or so.

Posted by: slyness | January 23, 2010 7:24 AM | Report abuse

Best of luck (and skill and courage) to the applicants, Slyness...

And perhaps rational thought is catching on!

http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2010/01/22/a-double-military-victory/

:-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | January 23, 2010 7:37 AM | Report abuse

Good morning!

Joel, thanks for the underwater volcano video. We worked on Scratch animations of plate boundaries this week. I'll share the clip with the students on Monday.

Wilbrod, that is some poem about poetry, the one with the dogs. Thanks for sharing.

And the pigeon animation. The kids loved it.

Posted by: abeac1 | January 23, 2010 7:43 AM | Report abuse

Oh, Jean Simmons passed away. Sad.

Posted by: abeac1 | January 23, 2010 7:45 AM | Report abuse

Here's something my sister just sent to me. Startling empirical evidence that something you always knew to be true (but thought you might have been merely cynical) is, actually, true: Incompetent people think they are really good at things they are incompetent to do, while competent people think they are perfectly ordinary and maybe even below average.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunning–Kruger_effect

Posted by: ScienceTim | January 23, 2010 8:53 AM | Report abuse

Thanks--I think, Joel, for the underwater volcano pretty picture. And WHAT a pretty picture sequence it is! Too bad in putting it up on your blog, you didn't turn the pretty video footage into a teachable moment.

The NOAA-NSF clip could have had the cutline in the Kit, "Volcanic rocks that [eventually] sprout from beneath the waves, at first lifeless and forbidding, soon begin to green and buzz and chirp." This sentence is from McCarthy's 2009 book about biogeography, "Here Be Dragons.

Darwin didn't find [that God had put] exactly the same lifeforms on all the islands of the world. No, far from it. It dawned on Darwin that island lifeforms differed by regions and reflected the nearest landmasses, coupled with how far each island, or island cluster, was from the nearest continent.

There were no frogs, or coqui (laughing), on Hawaii, as example. Hawaii was spectacularly diverse in birds and flora, but so lacking in things that walked and crawled, slithered and hopped. McCarthy succintly explains it in the first chapter "Galapagan Ephiphany," in his book:

"While these Magellans of the organic world continue to populate the oceanic islands, those not disposed to transport by wings, wind, or waves must reamin confined to the continents."
***

The article at the top of the page in today's religion section in the San Antonio Express-News is about the British movie about Darwin, "Creation," starring Paul Bettany. The third graf said that the movie opened Friday, so I immediately turned to the S.A. Life section for movie listings and times. Nada. Then I immediately realized that the article was not written by a local writer, but someone not from here. (There is a blog at our paper by the same name, Not From Here, which is a young something's romp through Alamo City retail. She's not from here, so each retail spot she hits is supposed to be a novelty. I'm disgusted by it. Her ideas are a big yawn.)

I fear it will be weeks before the distribution of the Creation" movie (and evolutionary ages longer for the scientific ideas within) evolves to our part of the country.

Posted by: laloomis | January 23, 2010 9:58 AM | Report abuse

Morning! Tim... thanks for the info on the Dunning-Kruger effect. I always thought that, but, you know, in my typical ordinary and below-average way I wasn't really sure.

Daughter and I watched only the last half hour of the Hope for Haiti Now telecast, but I told Dr G this morning that I thought it was too melodramatic for a concert about hope. Nice to see Scotty and the rest agree.

That's why I loved the Rhianna, Jay-Z and Bono mashup. Lively and a showcase for some real talent.

We also watched the final Tonight Show w/Conan O'Brien and it was hilarious, as always. The finale, with Will Farrell et al (and it was quite an *al*) doing Freebird was perfect!

Hope y'all have a great Saturday. And remember... more cowbell!

Posted by: -TBG- | January 23, 2010 10:12 AM | Report abuse

I know a lot of sufferers of the Dunning Kruger Effect. Meanwhile I continue from Impostor Syndrome dreading the moment people realize exactly how incompetent I am.

Meanwhile I am at a conference in a clime that grows palm trees. Feel free to guess exactly where.

http://livebythefoma.blogspot.com/2010/01/where-is-yellojkt-winter-getaway.html

Posted by: yellojkt | January 23, 2010 10:23 AM | Report abuse

I definitely suffer from that effect. I got a job posting from a recruiter the other day. Lots of qualifications, experience listed. The recruiter wanted to know if I was "completely comfortable" with all of them. I felt like saying, no, of course not. I'm a terrible judge of my abilities, I don't like saying I can definitely do something when really, I have no idea, and I'm too danged honest for my own good. But I said yes.

Posted by: seasea1 | January 23, 2010 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, y'all.

One of my fave books on this topic is "Everyday Irrationality : How Pseudo- Scientists, Lunatics, and the Rest of Us Systematically Fail to Think Rationally", by Robyn Dawes.

Dr. Dawes has spent most of his professional life studying this stuff. For more on him, visit http://sds.hss.cmu.edu/src/faculty/dawes.php

Disclosure time: He and MrJS go way back.

Posted by: MsJS | January 23, 2010 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Nuke it!

Posted by: MsJS | January 23, 2010 10:44 AM | Report abuse

Wow. Tim. Thanks. Now I have my first day of classes topic: DK effect definition.

Birthday celebrations continue -- did I mention that I think the entire 12 months is the proper fest-zeit? -- this morning at PTSA mtg. Sigh. School has more than 780 Haitian or half Haitian students or staff affiliations. Such grief and energy about the losses and response. I am humbled.

Off to more driving duties and errands. Lovely sun and high blue skies but crisp -- a perfect day.

Oh yes. Love the volcano visual morsel. Thanks, JA for your knowledge-as- vitamins approach this kit. Of course, now that I write V.i.t.m.i.n.s I see in my mind's eye the Lucy episode about VitaMeatVegimins. "Spoon your way to Health."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WrjWtPhO54s

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | January 23, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Who knew: A JANUARY National Pie Day

http://www.piecouncil.org/Events/NationalPieDay/

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | January 23, 2010 3:31 PM | Report abuse

'Afternoon, Boodle.

I think I invented something at lunch (although I suspect 10 million people will now say they heard of this before, and there will be ample documentation going back to 1932). Here it is:

I was making a standard can of Campbell's tomato soup for lunch. Really difficult: add one can soup to one can water or milk or combination thereof totally one can.

As I was gazing into the cupboard mine eye fell upon a box of Lipton onion soup mix (what could possibly be more prosaic?). What would happen, I asks meself, if I added some of that to the tomato soup? So I did, one teaspoon of the dry mix stuff.

Ya know what? Pretty durn good. Of course, it does jack the already horrible salt content from about 710 mg to over 800 mg-- but then, I'm a raving saltoholic anyway. I have saltlicks installed at several locations around the house so I can stop as I'm walking by and get a couple licks in.

So at any rate, there you have it, Curmudgeon's Enhanced Tomato-Onion Medly.

Tomorrow: a sandwich combining peanut butter and, lessee, what might go good? How about a fruity, jelled type of product? Hmmmm.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | January 23, 2010 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Mudge -- a new kit some time ago...we a mudged together.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | January 23, 2010 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Tim! That just went into More Best of Wikipedia. Grateful
http://morebestofwiki.blogspot.com/

Posted by: Jumper1 | January 23, 2010 4:23 PM | Report abuse

New Acronis backup software for new external drive. I crave a "for Dummies" version. Confusing. But regardless, by golly I'll be backed up in case of crash, fire, lightning.

Posted by: Jumper1 | January 23, 2010 4:25 PM | Report abuse

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