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Cabins for Haiti

krisse cabin.jpg

Following up on my story on housing in seismic zones: My friend Krisse Pasternack, a Miami artist, helped paint this cabin, one of the low-cost (and earthquake resistant) cabins designed by architect Andres Duany to shelter homeless people in Haiti. See this story in The Miami Herald (by my old college/Herald friend Andres Viglucci '81) and the accompanying video. More on the project here.


I'm still working on an infrastructure-related project and this morning got to ride about in a bucket truck and wear a hard-hat and a jump suit and a heavy fireproof coat. This is going to become my permanent look. I'm done with the kangaroo-leather Outback hat.


I can't watch the health care summit, but I am checking the live analysis, such as this perceptive comment by my colleague Alec MacGillis:

11:19 a.m. | There is some irony in Tom Coburn's emphasis on the amount of fraud in Medicare. The Democrats' legislation relies to a huge degree on savings to be obtained from reducing Medicare fraud and waste. Skeptics, including many congressional Republicans, have noted that past claims to ferret out Medicare fraud have produced little savings. But Coburn seemed to be inadvertently backing up the Democratic case that much money could be made up in this area. Steny Hoyer took note of this in his remarks following Coburn, praising him for drawing attention to Medicare fraud while noting, there is a "very substantial investment in [the Democratic legislation] in doing just what you suggest."

[more to come...]

By Joel Achenbach  |  February 25, 2010; 10:59 AM ET
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Next: Chilean earthquake


Hmmm, how will that little sucker perform in a hurricane? I guess it will be better than being out in the open.

Posted by: edbyronadams | February 25, 2010 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Wow, a hardhat *and* a jumpsuit? Pretty cool!

Thanks for linking to that story in the Miami Herald. (Two guys called Andres?) And I really enjoyed seeing the blueprints and diagrams on that other site. They helped me to understand just what was going on. I liked the implication that the design takes into account the weather and other specific characteristics of Haiti.

Let's hope these help.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 25, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

edbyronadams, the article says they can withstand up to 156 MPH winds. Pretty tough little cabins.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 25, 2010 12:12 PM | Report abuse

I heard Duany on NPR talking about it. The material is pretty similar to that from which the Boeing Dreamliner's fuselage is made, so it can certainly handle some wind.

Posted by: bobsewell | February 25, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Poor Senator McCain, now the most irrelevant Senator in America. I can't even listen to his posturing. Especially, since he was exposed telling fibs about George Bush telling him to rush back to Washington DC and solve the banking crisis.

Posted by: russianthistle | February 25, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

I look forward to some "Joel the Hardhat" photos, Mr. A.

I don't look forward to the analyses of any political event with the word 'summit' in its title. But I've gotten really good at ignoring things I don't want to be bothered with, so please don't let my snarky distrust of 'summits' deter you from updating everyone else.

Posted by: MsJS | February 25, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse

I like the cabin design. I would have liked it with a shed roof -- no matter how wonderful a material it is made from, the integrity of a flat roof will fail eventually. Is there a mode of use that permits stacking them? All the pictures I have seen of Port-au-Prince suggest that the housing standard is a 2-3 storey structure. Unless deeds are obviated, new structures will have to house the same number of people on the same amount of land, which could be a problem.

I've actually been pondering a similar concept since Katrina, but of course I lack the requisite knowledge to make it a reality. My "pondering" was fated never to go beyond that stage. My fantasy of a flexible modular-house concept would permit stacking them and butting them in various configurations, with pre-defined regions suitable to cut out and make a door or steep staircase.

The need for waste-disposal is an obvious problem, but I'm not certain that the solution proposed for this project really will fill the bill. The composting plan means that there will still be some kind of package of (composted) human waste that must be physically removed from the cabin. Will that require replacement materials? if the composting container is reusable, how will it be transported to a disposal site? I question whether an impoverished community of ill-educated persons will invest in a labor-intensive procedure. I think a solution to the problem can be engineered, but the article does not mention that solution.

And a final worry -- the walls of the structure are made of a composite "space-age" material. One of the side-effects of Katrina emergency housing was the exposure of many people to sick-building syndrome, because the composite materials tend to out-gas formaldehyde and other unpleasant substances. The cabin is better than nothing, but it is likely that anything that is deployed will remain in use for decades to come. I would love some assurance that this problem has been considered and addressed by materials engineers.

Posted by: ScienceTim | February 25, 2010 12:34 PM | Report abuse

BTW, clearly, the White House and leadership left out about 1/2 for ideas of Congress when they didn't include any or at least many proponents of Universal Health Care. I would just like to point out that, with Universal Health Care solutions, all these small business discussions would be mute.

Brother Mitch started right off with polls showing the displeasure of the American public with the current Senate plan. Unfortunately, in his zeal to score dissatisfaction points, he neither mentions or maybe is unaware, that a good portion of the displeasure with the Senate bill comes from the left.

I think Mitch should put his little pop gun back in its holster.

Posted by: russianthistle | February 25, 2010 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and, Eric Cantor is a fool.

I don't think he actually has taken Economics 101.

Posted by: russianthistle | February 25, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

I have the same concerns about sanitation and permanence as SciTim. I'm assuming the structures have been tested for sick-bldg emissions, given the post-Katrina experience.

Yes, the shelter issue has to start somewhere. I hope that, whatever the starting point, there are subsequent steps being planned and funded so Haitians don't get left in the lurch, as was the case for many post-Katrina.

Posted by: MsJS | February 25, 2010 12:46 PM | Report abuse

They must anchor them to the ground in some way not seen in the photo to resist the wind. They "earthquake shacks" put up in San Francisco after '06 were not much different. They did have a peaked roof though.

Posted by: edbyronadams | February 25, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Here's a link to that NPR chat with Andres Duany. Text, with audio available.

Posted by: bobsewell | February 25, 2010 12:53 PM | Report abuse

The articles about the cabins mention several anchoring modes, one of which includes essentially attaching it to the ground with a big screw.

I like some of those housing ideas for myself, as an option for a near-instant cabin in the woods. If I ever buy land with some woods in need of a cabin.

Posted by: ScienceTim | February 25, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Quite so edbyronadams. And this need for securing to the ground, and several options for meeting this need, are described in the article Joel links to.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 25, 2010 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Heck, SciTim, I want one for my back yard.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 25, 2010 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Canadian and Swedish women are leading their respective semi-final curling matches after 3 ends.

Posted by: MsJS | February 25, 2010 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Nice for a little Writers' Retreat and Bunny House for the backyard, isn't it? And I bet those organic-material composite walls are perfectly transparent to the reception of your neighbors' wireless network signal, too.

Posted by: ScienceTim | February 25, 2010 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Yes, a quick read-through of the article left me with the same questions about the cabinettes: ability to withstand hurricane-force winds, limited plumbing into the cabins, and the question of human wastes and their disposal. Little stoves for cooking, powered by what? Hopefully not charcoal. Electricity? Bed/sleeping footprint? And only 1,000 available for immediate habitation?

I'm thinking back to Diamond's talk and Q&A at Trinity. Diamond said that there was something that we could do to help the Haitians and do it inexpensively: bednets for an outlay of $40M. Other than talk about his chapter on Hispaniola, that's all that Diamond said about Haiti's future.

Rwanda? Despite the horror of the genocide, a very positive outcome, Diamond said, was that it reduced overpopulation.

Diamond spent some time emphasizing--calling out in particular--that societies of dark-skinned people were hardly the only ones to collapse. He spent a lot of time on the Vikings that Monday night that he spoke not long ago, also subject to overpopulation problems. Rome, in the briefest summary: Diamond said the jury is still out for all the contributing factors to its collapse.

I think, in part, of these collapses because of the op-ed in today's NYT by Piers Brendon, author of "The Decline and Fall of the British Empire," a take-off on the earlier "The Rise and Fall of the British Empire" by Lawrence James.

SCC: Sherman Alexie, not Alexie Sherman. Brain fried by too much Madonna too late at night.

*nice to havea shipbuilder in the house*

Posted by: laloomis | February 25, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse

They look interesting, and remind me of the shelters you can sleep in if you do a ski trip in a National Park. Not exactly luxurious, but better than a tent.

My one nit about creating a factory there is what is this fiber material they're made from? Sure they're easy to assemble but if the country is going to have to import large amounts of some space age composite they aren't a long term solution.

Posted by: qgaliana | February 25, 2010 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Rainy season is coming to Haiti, which means that mosquitos will threaten with malaria and other diseases.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | February 25, 2010 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Weed, I've decided to turn off the HCR summit. I think it's futile. I now believe it is a "See we tried." And then go to Reconciliation.

No one's mind will be changed today.

Posted by: rickoshea1 | February 25, 2010 1:16 PM | Report abuse

I do like the idea of those prefab structures composed of composite materials. *Tim has an excellent point about the FEMA trailers used on the Gulf Coast and emissions from those materials under prolonged exposure to heat and sun. The flat roof does not bother me so much, though I can see that the anchoring of such small slab-sided structures would be very important in hurricane conditions, lest they become mobile homes.

Hard hats 'n bucket trucks - reminds me of work I did for power and communications companies during summer breaks from school a long, long time ago. Always check twice to see if that line's live...

Respect those high voltage/big amperage lines, kids.


Posted by: -bc- | February 25, 2010 1:23 PM | Report abuse

They're everywhere: (Wiki) InnoVida has operations in USA, Germany, the Middle East, Africa, Central and South America (stop: Wiki).

I mean Yao Ming even visited their factory in Miami!

I guess that if British schoolchildren can't ride a camel to Egypt, Egypt can come to them, thanks to InnoVida.

I'm with this blogger (third post) about how butt-ugly that InnoVida pyramid painted by a Brazilian artist is. Too bad they had to junk up London's Hyde Park with crass commercialism.

First it was Anubis up the Thames. Now it's a 45ft tall pop art pyramid at Speaker's Corner in Hyde Park, created by Romero Britto from Brazil, where the nuts come from. Will the owners of the O2 Bubble stop at nothing to promote Tutankhamun And The Golden Age Of The Pharaohs? What about a touch of Stargate? A flying saucer with the boy king at the helm?


Posted by: laloomis | February 25, 2010 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Forty-five foot pyramids in Haiti. Yup. That's the answer. Each pyramid could accommodate a lot more folks than those little cabinettes--a more communal lifestyle, less privacy, but bigger living space footprint. The Brazilian artist wouldn't have to travel as far, either. No problems with (possibly collapsing) flat roofs, either.

Posted by: laloomis | February 25, 2010 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Yes, rickoshea.... think you are right. The part that is totally missed in the discussion is that we have made it a disincentive to hire workers over the age of 45. We have also lost the fact that most people working for themselves or for small companies cannot get insurance at anything resembling a reasonable price.

I could go on and on. This is just brutally bad for America and all they do is toss back and forth anecdotes. With millions of folks in "the boat," we don't need anecdotes.

Hey, I would rather pay the government for health coverage than an insurance company. It is just that simple. I don't care in which state the private insurance company is domiciled. I would also prefer to use the word "WE" rather than the government. It makes it so much easier to understand. We need to manage this like we manage Medicare. Except, charge or tax for it (or a combination of both).

Posted by: russianthistle | February 25, 2010 1:27 PM | Report abuse

I'm starting to have trouble with Moveable Type. Maybe I was just trying to post something overly long?

Posted by: ScienceTim | February 25, 2010 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Me too, SciTim; lost several posts this am.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | February 25, 2010 1:55 PM | Report abuse

laloomis, some of your questions are answerable by deeper reading, but of course that leads to new questions:

(1) hurricane-force winds: the articles claim they can stand them. The company's web site is more nuanced -- the PANELS have been tested to withstand 156 mph winds, but they do not say the same for completed structures.

(2) Input plumbing is from gravity-fed roof storage. Only one of two tanks is stated as being rain-fed, while the other is for "potable" water -- suggesting an unrealistic belief that a supply of clean water is available. I think they need to equip it so that a filtration or purification system can be interposed in the line.

(3) Human wastes go into a Poopee bag (I am not making this up) for some kind of rapid composting. But then what? No guidance on how to deal with the composted material. You probably want to discourage dumping it on the ground outside the cabin, as it may not be entirely composted.

(4) You raise a good point on stove fuel. Charcoal would be a good fuel ecologically because it only recycles atmospheric CO2 instead of taking it from fossil fuels; however, the pH of ash is a problem, and of course Haiti already is deforested because of existing demand for charcoal. Haiti clearly must move to another fuel. Dried seaweed? It could be farmed... or one could burn composted-and-dried bricks of human waste.

(5) Electricity is not mentioned. Some of the other mini-houses on InnoVida's web site look like electricity would be a requirement for interior lighting.

(6) The cabins are specifically cited as sleeping 8. Keep in mind, these are emergency housing that is only a step up from tenting, needed to meet the hurricane problem. They are not desirable solutions for permanently housing that many people, so crowding is understandable.

(7) With a displaced population that has been estimated of order 1 million, you would need of order 125,000 cabins to house everyone. The company is donating 1000. The inadequacy of the donation does not negate its importance -- 8000 more people can be housed who would otherwise be sleeping outside in hurricane season.

(8) Suggested cost in the Miami Herald article is about $3500 to erect a cabin (I assume that covers everything), meaning a total cost of $437.5M for 125,000 cabins. The company has donated 1000 cabins, a donation equivalent to $3.5M, mighty good for a private donation. The company's stated intention is to build a factory in Haiti that can build 10,000 per year -- meaning another 12 years to fully meet the current need if it started manufacturing now. Fortunately, the company claims only to be an element of the solution to Haiti's housing problems, not the whole solution.

Posted by: ScienceTim | February 25, 2010 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Actualkly, anchoring stuff into the ground is probably the easiest part of thios whole matrix. Essentially, screw-pile technology has been around for two centuries, and it works pretty well--many of the lighthouse in the Chesapeake use it, as do all those North Sea oil rigs. So anchoring things to the ground -- IF YOU DO IT RIGHT-- isn't difficult. It's the "if you do it right" part.

Also, the fiber in the fiber composite isn't going to be the problem; it's the matrix that encapsulates it. Here's the lecture I didn't give yesterday on "what is a composite material":

Up until the 20th centure (effectively, until WWII), materials engineering was essentially monolithic and linear/additive; that is, you took a material and figured out its properties, and that was it: compression strength, gtensile strength, hardness, softness, bending strength, whatever property you were interested in. So, if you had a hunk of wood 6 by 6 inches, and it still wasn't strong enough, you'd put a wrought-iron strap on it. The engineering properties then became the addition of the metal strap to the wood beam -- linear and additive. But you still had two seperate materials.

With the invention of plastics early in the 20th century, a new kind of product came along. The earliest commonly known example was "fiberglass," they stuff they now build boats out of, plus car bodies, and a thousand other things. So this is a composite material. A composite is a material in which neither component part has significant engineering properties, but when you put them together (i.e., mixing resin with fiberglass mat cloth, roving, whatever), you have a whole new material with properties much different than the parts. The cloth or mat is like a burlap bag, or a cotton table cloth; who wants a boat built out of burlap? The resin, even when hard, all by itself is brittle as hell, clips, fractures, has no flex, etc. But if you make a thin panel of matt and resin together, you get something that is strong, flexible, not brittle, chip resistant, etc., etc. Yiou could NOT derive the nature of these properties by adding together the numbers of the components.

After WWII as these kinds of products came to be invented, the old fogey materials scientsis at first claimed there was no such thing as a "composite"; it was just some made-up mumbo-jumbo. It took a few decades before they came around to erealize there was some new thing in the world, and that their old math and old formulas didn't explain it. Nowadays, of course, the field has exploded, with all kinds of high-tech examples: football helmets made out of kevlar cloth and special resins, etc. They build parts like fuselages of aircraft out of super-high-tech resins and cloth/fabrics.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | February 25, 2010 2:20 PM | Report abuse

This still may be too much of a Cadillac solution. I guesstimate that with current commercial pricing about $800 would enable one to build a primitive cabin with 2X4's, particle-board for sheathing, no insulation, and band the whole thing with steel strapping like a shipping crate for wind resistance. No kitchen or toilet -- have to cook under an awning roof and use latrines. Maybe $1000 when you throw in the cost of anchoring the structure. This still means $125M to house everyone, and you have the public-health hazard of thousands of latrines. No way could unemployed people who have lost everything be able to afford such a price, so it will all have to come from donations. There is no small solution that can possibly be adequate.

Posted by: ScienceTim | February 25, 2010 2:23 PM | Report abuse

THese interim solutions are important for a number of reasons but primarily that the malaria risk of the rainy season looms. Very bad for children and infants, but everyone!

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | February 25, 2010 2:32 PM | Report abuse


Someone will point out that in this case, composites have been around for thousands of years: using straw and mud to make stronger brioks, adobe, covering thatch walls and roofs of Tudor house with wattle and pargeting, etc. And you'd be dead right. It's just that nobody ever looked at a stupid mud/straw adobe brick and said, hmmm. I wonder why this is a superior brick? Is some kind of straw or flax or reed better than another? How can I improve the mud? Is some mud stronger than others? Is clay better than a sandy loam? Instead, they simply built with what was available. After all, they were only freaking Geico cavemen. Give 'em a break.

So: the Haiti houses. The fiber isn't described, but they are using the word "organic," so that either means it has lots of vitamin C or else it is some sort of plant material, rope-like, hemp, banana leaves, flax, who knows. But being essential organic, it isn't going to outgas and is almost certainly safe and as inert as can be. The problem is going to be the "resin" part of it that makes it into a composite panel. Perhaps the "organic" may apply to that, too, but offhand I can't think of any inately organic material that it could be: honey, pitch, bat poop, bee's toejam, whatever. So it is probably some sort of "better things through chemistry" product, perhaps made from a petrochemical or maybe some coal-tar thing, or who knows, some devilish brew concocted by Dupont or Shell or Jenny Craig. So it is this stuff, plus the insulation they are using that will be the problem (if there is one).

The notorious FEMA trailers had outgassing problems not becasue of the material (wood) but because of the glues and retardants and formaldyhyde goop they used. Said goop wasn't strictly a part of the construction, as far as I know. But it was there for a reason, and it also outgassed. Bad idea.

There are some glues (my father and I used one in the 1970s, before epoxy was invented [widely available]) that are formaldyhyde-based.

But given the widespread bad press given the FEMA trailers, I'm willing to bet the Miami people have looked into this problem. But until we learn exactly what that compoite is made of, we won't know.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | February 25, 2010 2:33 PM | Report abuse

Update on Medicine for Peace mentioning the tent city that is PortaP

Lots of diarrheal diseases afoot now especially in children, not a surprise; the sanitation piece is important.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | February 25, 2010 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, I've been pondering -- could one make an "all-natural" composite board material out of cotton fabric and crappy ol' woodworking varnish? For better water-proofing, I'd suggest "non-natural" polyurethane, but it has a reputation for failure after prolonged UV exposure.

Posted by: ScienceTim | February 25, 2010 2:40 PM | Report abuse

Wind gusts beginning in College Park.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | February 25, 2010 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Tim, particle board won't last 45 minutes in the weather. By the time you infuse it with enough stuff to make it waterproof and structural, it'll outgas like a 1971 rock concert. Particle board (of just about any time) is OK for interior uses, but nothing where weather is a factor.

(Oh, the reason trailer homes in the midwest gdet tossed about by tornadoes like matchsticks isn't because anchoring them to the ground is difficult; it isn't. It's just that people simply don't doo it enough, or at all. Like anything else, it takes a certain amount of money to buy the right materials and equipment, and the right amount of know-how. But in lots of trailer parks, nobody knows or cares, or does an inadequate job. So when the next twister comes along, Sally Jean and Jo-Bob get their home blown into the next county. They don't call them "mobile" homes for no reason. If you don't bolt 'em down, yes, they'll blow away.)

Regarding building stackable modular housing units, the guy who wrote the book on it is an Israeli architect named Moshe Safdie, who design Habitat '67 up in Montreal, wherever that is. and many other sites. But once again, it requires a certain amount of skill and technique. You can't just throw stuff together.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | February 25, 2010 2:43 PM | Report abuse

CquaP, I don't see how cabins will make much difference to malaria, unless they are equipped with bednetting over the apertures (which is do-able), but you still have a problem if you go outside when mosquitos are active. I suspect the big malarial hazard is the collapsed buildings of the city, which will now furnish millions of stagnant breeding pools for mosquitos, once the rains come.

Posted by: ScienceTim | February 25, 2010 2:45 PM | Report abuse

I had in mind coating the particle board with a sealant, or use plywood. But I figured that outgassing just from the glues in the particle board or plywood would already be a big enough problem. If I recall correctly, "safe" and "natural" traditional hide glue emits formaldehyde like a sweaty undertaker.

Posted by: ScienceTim | February 25, 2010 2:48 PM | Report abuse

scTim -- yes. Nets on beds; beds in some kind of shelter: better tent, module we are discussing.

Even now, partly due to fear about enclosed spaces, many people are living out in the open. Or moving out to sleep because of not wanted to be "caught" if an earthquake happens.

And, I think that these modules might be securable; many women and children are being muscled out of their tents, if they leave for food distribution, etc.

The thuggery and expected competition continues, whatever the structure.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | February 25, 2010 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Yes, scTim on ponding in the rubble; need integrated effort on layer of oil on the water in addition to mosquito dunks and probably widespread spraying....

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | February 25, 2010 2:54 PM | Report abuse

A friend of mine spent a lot of time in a refugee camp in Thailand. He says what he wished for most while there was a mosquito net.

Posted by: seasea1 | February 25, 2010 2:58 PM | Report abuse

ScTim -- you are right to remind about the problems too with "natural" materials. My rejoiner to the unexampled preference for natural items:

Snake venom and poison ivy leaves are natural, and often, organic.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | February 25, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Yes, Tim, you could, easily. But both materials have very poor surival in weather, and begin to degrade quickly (You have to varnish a boat's exterior about once a year. Very few things degrade faster than cotton. So yes, it is possible. But then by the time you got done adding all the stuff you need to preserve and strength it, you might as well just have started out with better components in the first place.

Sometime in the late 1800s to well into the 20th century, boatbuildings began to use canvas cloth well bedded and coated in paint or bedding compound as a waterproofing layer between the plys of a boat-- an early pre-cursor to plywood. Many boats had wood plank decks with were then covered with canvas, and then painted. Many canoes even today are wood covered with a canvas that has been soaked in paint to form a kind of waterproof sealed shell. These are kinda-sort composites, but not exactly, because it is the paint that is doing all the work of waterproofing. The canvas exists simply as a fine-weave matrix to hold the paint skin in place. It's structural worth is negligible, which is why it isn't a "true" composite. It's effectively a raincoat.

(Have you ever looked at the material in an old-fashioned rain slicker? A heavy canvas-like material with a highly rubberized kind of coating embedded into it. Almost a composite, but not quite.) Ditto the plasticy red-checkered tablecloth in a 1960s bungalow: a cloth that holds a plasticized resinous waterproof material (with a fuzzy felt-like lining).

Varnish: until recently was made almost exclusively from tung oil (yello, keep it zipped), which is pressed from the seeds from a Chinese (Burmese, Vietnames) tung tree. In modern times, it is made synthetically. Even with the nest chemistry, it still suffers from UV degradation and weathering, so its use is mainly "cosmetic," unless you are willing to re-varnish once or two a year, maybe two years tops.

Varnish was invented to replace what came before: shellac, which is made from the the secretations of some kinda creepy bugs somewhere in Asia. So basically, your high-gloss magnificently shellaced Chinese jewelry box that your grandmother left you in her will is coated with bug sweat and other glandular stuff neither of us wants to think about. But shellac has zero weather resistance, which is why it is only ever used on interior stuff. (Gives you a really wonderful buzz, though, if you are 12 years old and making a Christmas gift basket out of popsicle sticks. Or maybe that's just me, before I discovered model airplane dope. Why I have any brain cells left is a major mystery.)

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | February 25, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse

The panels used in the houses aren't organic, mudge. It's fiberglass/epoxy sheathing over a foam core:

Posted by: rashomon | February 25, 2010 3:04 PM | Report abuse

*Out pulling weeds that have infested our drought-dead, global-weirding back relieve the tension in my muscles.*

Look at the photo of these cabinettes, painted by Miami's Krisse Pasternack, augmented by paint to look like "living" amid the elements of land and sky, not much different situation than the tents many Haitians now live in.

Pick up the "clue" that basketball player Yao Ming from China has visited InnoVida in Miami. A, it's a great publicity stunt. B, it may just be a "tell" that China, with its huge population may be interested in cheap little stackable boxes for its poorer citizens.

The pyramids--resting places for the elite pharoahs of Egypt. Where do you think the slave labor who built the pyramids lived? What kind of housing for these workers? As I read last night, in the mill boarding houses of New England, built for by the mill owners, the young women slept two to a narrow bed, six to a room, until it was upped to eight a room. Are these InnoVida boxes future habits for the teeming future, additional billions of humans who will inhabit Earth, particularly the ones who live in societies that don't offer contraceptives nor regulate family size and who have little opportunity for much education?

Any government or NGO isn't going to spend many bucks to house the poor outside their own borders. No sand, no gravel, and especially no expensive lumber that would have to be imported, no marble, nothing but the most utilitarian of fixtures. Where has Japan gotten the bulk of its lumber over the past handful of decades? And the stewardship of our forests? Harkens back to the two paragraphs from Tom Friedman's p. 69 that I posted at the end of the last Kit. And the white oak? At the botton of Britain's harbors, as mentioned earlier.

Y'all are looking only through the lens of Haiti. I see a bigger global picture. InnoVida is everywhere.

I also can't help but think of Kristof's column in the NYT today where he posits the possibility that chemical exposure(s) may be the cause of increasing cases of autism.

Are Friedman and Diamond the modern day Cassandras (Cassandra taken in the classic sense)?

*husband declares it's now time for lunch, so I'm finished for the time being*

Posted by: laloomis | February 25, 2010 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Couple of quick comments -

Mudge, I didn't think the technical part of anchoring would be a problem - it was actually *doing* it that I was thinking of. Rebar-reenforced concrete's been around a long time too, right?

Also, I'd think the resin (and adhesive/glue, as you point out) was more likely to outgas noxious stuff than the actual fiber mat material itself.

One other item to note on composites; the weave of the mat is important to structural rigidity of the component, and should be designed and tested to be able to take the torsions and stresses at the force levels *in the directions that are expected.*

Carbon fiber is an excellent example of this - light as can be and stonger than steel when made properly, it can also be brittle as a matzoh when force is applied in directions it wasn't made to take. Multi-layered fiber mats can be arranged by aligning the weaves to provide multi-directional strength as they're being impregnated with resin (in layers or coats). Composite materials engineers do this for a living.

One other thing to note: many composites delaminate when exposed to direct UV radiation (as in, like, sunlight), so one would want to paint them with something resistant to UV (note that the cabin's painted...).

Forgive this post if Mudged.


Posted by: -bc- | February 25, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Mudge,darling, come and sit over here by me and keep talking the


Said in a Mata Hari/Mae West voice; soupcon on top of Blossom Dearie too.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | February 25, 2010 3:13 PM | Report abuse

About those "secretions of some kinda creepy bugs somewhere in Asia," didja know that shellac (under the name "confectioner's glaze" is used as a coating on candy, including Reese's Pieces, Skittles and Thin Mints?

All together now: "Eeeeewwwwww..."

Posted by: rashomon | February 25, 2010 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Seasea, your friend may be in a great position to provide valuable insights into what's really needed.

Posted by: MsJS | February 25, 2010 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Wish I had a buck for every time I've left off a closing parentheses

Posted by: rashomon | February 25, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and it's Junior Mints, not Thin Mints, which are, of course, everyone's favorite (and shellac-free) girl scout cookie.

Posted by: rashomon | February 25, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Get a room. All of y'all.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 25, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Don't be dissing Junior Mints.

"Who's gonna turn down a Junior Mint? It's chocolate, it's peppermint-- it's *delicious*!"

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 25, 2010 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Is that all it is, rash? Just plain old 'glass and epoxy? Nothing special (and certainly nothing organic) about that. I was kinda hoping for something cool. "green," and interesting. Now I'm disappointed (not your fault, tho').

OK, CqP, another materials science factoid. There are, in general two kinds of "common" resins used in fiberglass work. (Let's not get into the high-tech stuff like the carbon fibers bc mentioned.)

The first kind you are all familiar with is what goes under the name "fiberglass"'; when somebody is talking about a boat, or a Corvette car body, or whatever. The cloth/mat/roving is made from spun glass (think Corning, think insulation) made is made into strands made into cloth or mat or roving (mat is mish-mash, like felt, random direction, no weave; roving is coarse weave like burlap, even coarser).

The resin in "fiberglass" is polyester resin, which is a long-chain polymer. To make it, you take a unit of resin (say, a pint) and mix it with, say, 10 or 20 drops of the catalyst methyl ethyl ketone (MEK). This makes the resin "harden." A polyester polymer is essentially a long chain of carbon atoms, maybe 8, 10, or 12, wheveter: think of a short chain of a string of 8 or 10 or 12 pearls. The catalyst has no structural use, but in chemistry it "opens" the ends of the polymer chain, so that these short chains can join together into longer ones. So you may have, for instance, 6 chains of 8 carbons each, suddenly joining to become one long chain of 48 carbon "pearls." And there are bunches of these longer ropes all intertwined, and that's what makes the panel strong: all the "spaghetti" becomes "rope."

And as bc said, this reaction is highly exothermic; if you put a shotglass full of MEK into a quart pot of resin, after 5 minutes it would begin to smoke and sizzle, and perhaps burst into flame. (This was great sport amongst us boatbuilders.)

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | February 25, 2010 3:35 PM | Report abuse

In Beijing there are many neighborhoods of low slung residences called hutongs (which as best I can tell loosely translates as 'slum'). They traditionally don't have indoor plumbing, so to rid the streets of raw sewage the government has built communal toilet facilities within the neighborhoods in a style somewhere between Chinese Peasant Home and Socialist Brutalism. Here is a picture of one:

A typical arrangement for the mens room would have two urinals, two trench toilets and one seated toilet (marked by a pictograph of an old man with a cane). Levels of cleanliness varied, but the convenience couldn't be beat. No need to fake a purchase at a Starbucks or to beg a doorman to let you in. Bring your own toilet paper just in case.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 25, 2010 3:36 PM | Report abuse

rashomon, the bug-related nature of many candy coatings and red dye is why those things are not kosher -- the only bugs that are kosher to eat are the orthoptera (locusts, grasshoppers, crickets, katydids).

Posted by: ScienceTim | February 25, 2010 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Another view of a hutong toilet building in a slightly upscale neighborhood. Note the car parked across from a gaggle of bicycles and the air conditioners hung next to the windows of the houses.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 25, 2010 3:38 PM | Report abuse

The picture:

Posted by: yellojkt | February 25, 2010 3:40 PM | Report abuse

rashomon - how many rodent hairs, dirt, insects & arachnids, animal and human waste, chemicals, etc. does the FDA allows Americans like me to eat every year, much less stuff like melamine and lead that sneak in there beyond my daily allowances?

Personally, I'm not worried about a little shellac on my candy. I'll take my oysters raw, my pickles in natural brine (don't even ask what's in there...) my beef medium rare, my cheeses stinky, my crickets & other insects chocolate-covered (preferably), and if I'm worried about something I'll deep-fry it or soak it in alcohol, and when my number's up, it's gonna be up.

And if I don't have a choice at the End of the World, I'll just eat whatever anyway.

Actually, I think I'll make a h3ll of a zombie.


Posted by: -bc- | February 25, 2010 3:45 PM | Report abuse

I'm not quite bc, but I think I can learn not to care particularly about bug goo on my candy, especially given how rarely I eat any. I'm glad for the SCC away from thin mints, though. I just received my two boxes from the brownie-father down the office hallway, and I'm keeping my enjoyment of them uncomplicated. And no, I'm not reading the label. Once a year, we can do without being aware of ingredients.

Posted by: -bia- | February 25, 2010 3:55 PM | Report abuse

I kinda dislike polyester resin; people who work in boatbuilding factories used to fry their brains working with it in the 70's and 80's, until OSHA and ventilation got into it. And it has many flaws as a boatbuilding matyerial.

Now epoxy is a whole 'nother kettle of fish. I love epoxies. They are orders of magnitude "better" than polyester resins. In 1979-80 I did a major research project on boatbuilding epoxies and wrote several quasi-learned technical papers on them.

An epoxy starts off similar to a polyester resin in that it, too is a long carbon chain, say, 14 carbon atoms in a string. You then mix it with a hardner, of which there are many types and "families" of types, mercaptans, for example. If you buy an epoxy at home depot and the hardener smells foul and rotten-eggy, that is a "mercaptan" type and the smell comes from the sulphur molecule, which distinguishes all mercaptans. If there is no smell, or maybe only a mild smell, it's not a mercaptan, and is most likely a variant of a chemical called bis-phenol A, which has been getting bad press lately because it was used in baby bottles and such. Bis-phenol A hardeners have a faint smell that we boatbuilders thought smelled vaguely like popcorn. The resin had no smell at all.

Here's how epoxy is stronger than polyester: when you mix the resin and hardener, the chain "opens" up at the ends, and it forms strings, like the polester. But each "pearl" opens up on the sides of the chain as well, and bonds to similar chains with hydrozy bonds (an oxygen and a hydrogen atom bonded together. So epoxy forms "ladders" like DNA molecules, which bond to adjacent ladders and also end to end, forming what is effectively a "net" of pearls rather than a simple string of pearls.

Chemists can engineer epoxy and hardener thousands of ways to vary the properties. It can be tougher, or flixible, even rubber like, it can be harder or softer, more weatherproof, whatever. Sometimes you "cure" it by "baking" it in a high-temperature oven called an autoclave. Sometimes they will cure underwater. You buy a stick of it that looks like a playdough tootsie roll and knead it in your hands.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | February 25, 2010 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Edible insect secretions aren't really a huge worry for me either, bc. Although the fact that honey is regurgitated by honeybees is one of those things that I prefer not to think about while I'm eating it.

Interesting that locusts are kosher, SciTim. I suspect that that exception was a matter of necessity in North Africa and the Middle East, since there were probably times when locusts were the only source of food left.

Posted by: rashomon | February 25, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse


But the reason people still use polyester to build boats is simply that it is much cheaper and to some extent "easier" to use. But epoxy is so much better I simply refuse ever to use polyester. I'm sure bc uses polyester in autobody work all the time, and in that industry it is the standard and makes sense.

The same company that I worked for that hired the two cement experts from England also hired a woman scientist (from U of Md.? I forget) who was one of the world's leading experts on glue, on why things stick to each other, essentially why glues and stickies do what they do. Learned a bunch from her, too. (Horrendously oversimplified answer: because every surface in the world is essentially velcro, nooks and crannies into which other hooks and crannies fit. The variables are how far apart, how deep, how slick, how good the velcro "hook" is, etc. But it is why you sand a painted surface before you apply the second coat: to rough it up and make good hooks and crannies for the next coat to stick into.)

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | February 25, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

I love Junior Mints -- but for many years I refused to buy them because the owner of the company was the infamous Robert Welch (grape juice fame), who was a prominent member/supporter of the John Birch Society.

Fortunately, York Pepermint Patties came along, so it wasn't a difficult choice. Now York is gone, and I am bereft. There's still Mason Mints, thank goodness. But it is getting harder and harder. After Eight used to make a reasonable choco-mint candy bar, but they seem to have disappeared, too. Now you get the Starbuckian snooty, high-end chocolates that brag about their cocoa content and cost as much as silver ingots. Just ain't fair.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | February 25, 2010 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Y'all realize that you have been on-topic for three hours now? Where's the knitting, the recipes, the Olympics for heaven's sake? ;)

I'm glued to the screen reading, though. With building interest.

Posted by: Raysmom | February 25, 2010 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Those polyester boats just look a little too Leisure Suit Larry for me.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 25, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

yello, a good many wooden boat enthusiasts are wont to look down upon (polyester) fiberglass boats with disdain, and refer to them snobbishly and disdainfully as "tupperware."

Unfortunately, I'm one of those snobs.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | February 25, 2010 4:18 PM | Report abuse

I've had the grasshopper tacos at Oyamel in the Penn Quarter. Just proof that anything is edible with enough hot sauce on it and some sangria to wash it down with. The chapulines where much smaller than I expected (I guess my point of reference is the crickets I used to have in my basement) but every bit as crunchy.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 25, 2010 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Did it taste like chicken, yello?

Posted by: rashomon | February 25, 2010 4:36 PM | Report abuse


Tasted like taco sauce.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 25, 2010 4:41 PM | Report abuse

You established the crunchiness of your basements crickets how?

Posted by: qgaliana | February 25, 2010 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Tupperwares, even ships like the RN's Hunt class minesweepers or the USN's Ospreys, are still better than margarine tubs. These polyethylene injection-molded utility boats, canoes and kayaks give me the creep.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | February 25, 2010 4:48 PM | Report abuse

shriek, a company called Mad River makes canoes out of kevlar cloth and epoxy resin, The things are like gossamer brick ---houses. Very nice, pretty expensive. But way cool. No SheddSpread/Mrs. Butterworth boating for them.

The Hunt class and Osprey calss really aren't tupperware; the quality of the glass work is significantly higher.

Back in the 70s a company called Uniflite used to build fiberglass boats that were overbuilt and used a high quality resin; they were great boats and tough as nails. Then various companies began using a cheaper grade of polyester that turned out to cause "blistering," in which the surface of the boat developed what were basically boils that had to be lanced and filled. What an industrywide nightmare.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | February 25, 2010 4:55 PM | Report abuse

Our western fringe boodlers are getting white stuff. Take care and shout out when you can.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | February 25, 2010 5:02 PM | Report abuse

OK, one more “What’s Baking at The Olys” installment.

I’m selecting snowy crescent cookies. There are a lot of variations, depending on what your tastebuds prefer.

Adapted from the Vanilla Crescents recipe in “500 Cookies” by Philippa Vanstone.

The basic recipe:

1 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
1/2 cup butter, softened a bit
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup ground almonds
2 tbsp. superfine sugar
1 cup confectioners’ sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Cut the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add vanilla, almonds and sugar. Work with your hands until the mixture forms a soft dough.

Roll small amounts into lengths about 1/2 inch thick and 2 inches long. Curve into crescents. Bake for 20 minutes until pale golden.

Remove from sheets and cool on wire racks. Roll in confectioners’ sugar.

Makes about 20 cookies.


For a totally almond flavor, use 1 tsp. almond extract and 1 tsp. vanilla extract instead of all vanilla.

For a lemon or orange kick, use 3 teaspoons of freshly grated zest instead of the vanilla extract.

If you like hazelnuts or pecans, substitute them for the almonds.

Chocoholics often dip half the cooled cookie in melted bittersweet chocolate. Or so I've been told.

Posted by: MsJS | February 25, 2010 5:05 PM | Report abuse

York Peppermint Patties are gone, Mudge??? I saw some in the grocery store last week (and demurred, with bated breath and probably an insufficient degree of smugness). Unless you mean the York company is gone. Never heard. Do you know who bought them out?

*and, now, I'm hungry* *thanks a lot, Mudgie*

Posted by: -ftb- | February 25, 2010 5:08 PM | Report abuse

What's on tap for the Olys tonight, and what channel (besides NBC) is it on? I'm starting to get irritated missing the ice hockey and curling.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | February 25, 2010 5:09 PM | Report abuse

Just checked, Mudge. York Peppermint Patties are made by Hershey's.


Posted by: -ftb- | February 25, 2010 5:10 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, US/Canada women's hockey finals for sure. Not sure about curling, but if there is any it will be on CNBC/MSNBC. Women's figure skating finals on NBC.

Posted by: Raysmom | February 25, 2010 5:14 PM | Report abuse

Just checked: men's curling semifinals CNBC 5-8 p.m.

Posted by: Raysmom | February 25, 2010 5:17 PM | Report abuse

I forgot to note this in the last kit: "Then we suppress a snort of derision".

So JA was ahead of the curve even on snorting, though I have to say I'm glad to be living in a time where a good snort need no longer be suppressed.

Posted by: engelmann | February 25, 2010 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Sweden verses Canada in curling on CNBC even as we speak. Or, er, type.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 25, 2010 5:21 PM | Report abuse

Also Norway vs. Switzerland in men's curling semi-final just getting going.

Sweden vs. Canada women's curling finals tomorrow.

Finland wins bronze in women's hockey over Sweden.

Posted by: MsJS | February 25, 2010 5:29 PM | Report abuse

This Northeastern boodler reports melting snow and rain. The same wintry mix is in the forecast for the next 4 days. Got drenched by a tsunami of slush from a speeding frikking school bus on my walk from the bus stop. !#*%#

CanAm ladies play hockey at 18:30 EST. I'll have nothing to do with that "ice" hockey thing.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | February 25, 2010 5:29 PM | Report abuse

And, engelmann, in a community where most of us do not fail to emit a snort when appropriate (which is mostly always).

Yep, a snort and a smile goes a long, long way.

Posted by: -ftb- | February 25, 2010 5:33 PM | Report abuse

For those not watching, Norway and Canada are each up 1-0 after 2 ends.

Posted by: MsJS | February 25, 2010 5:38 PM | Report abuse

Women's figure skating. Tonight Korean favorite Kim Yu-Na and the Japanese girl Mao Asada (younger than my son, where did I go wrong?) refight World War II on the ice. Canucki Joannie Rochette is currently third. Miki Ando from Japan is holding at fourth while the top Americans, Rachael Flatt and Mirai Nagasu, are dark horses at fifth and sixth respectively.

The NBC 'Up Close and Personal' feature on Kim Yu-na casually mentioned that she makes 8 million dollars a year. My wife blames Kristi Yamaguchi who can be seen doing embarrassing TurboTax commercials.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 25, 2010 5:39 PM | Report abuse

Thank goodness topic has move to curling I can be on topic, a good article for new curling fans, or even experienced curling fans. A learning curve for the fans at the event in Vancouver and the media.

Posted by: dmd3 | February 25, 2010 5:40 PM | Report abuse

Oddly, there were no curlers in the Forbes list of the Top 10 earning winter Olympic athletes.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 25, 2010 5:44 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, my ride is three-layer polyetheylene, as weight is an issue for me (she weighs in at 41.5). The foam core gives it additional stiffness, and the flared beam allows me to toss DC in and out with a tad more ease. So while technically still tupperware, she's a good choice for me.

Posted by: LostInThought | February 25, 2010 5:55 PM | Report abuse

But after Kristi won her gold (1992), she wasn't offered all sorts of commercials/endorsements, IIRC. I presume she did well on the skating tours. And it was 1994 when the skating TV ratings went wild with the Harding/Kerrigan incident.

Kim Yu-Na also sings.

Hope it's a good competition tonight - hope they all skate well.

Posted by: seasea1 | February 25, 2010 6:01 PM | Report abuse

This Swedish -vs- Canadian curling match is great. Canada up 2 to 1, but wow, have they had to work for it.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 25, 2010 6:13 PM | Report abuse

Thanks dmd for that link! Very funny.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 25, 2010 6:15 PM | Report abuse

Wow! I never, ever thought I'd agree with John Kass, the republican Mike Royko-esque columnist at the Chicago Tribune.

Am I turning into a reactionary or a pragmatist?,0,3431927.column

Weed, what do you think?

MsJS, you probably know Kass's work. What's your reaction?

Posted by: rickoshea1 | February 25, 2010 6:35 PM | Report abuse

Tight match between the US and Canadian women so far.

Posted by: dmd3 | February 25, 2010 6:49 PM | Report abuse

Kass likes muscle. He likes 2x4s and baseball bats used as weapons. He likes to barbecue ribs the old fashioned way.

Kass is not Mike Royko-esque. No one is.

Kass likes Chicago. He does not like Washington, DC.

Kass forgets to tell out-of-towners that the city, like the county and state, is rife with corruption. Always has been.

That's the Chicago Way, too.

Posted by: MsJS | February 25, 2010 6:54 PM | Report abuse

Canada has just scored the first goal in the womens game, but this game will not be over til the final buzzer, teams evenly matched, and they dislike each other a great deal to put it mildly.

Posted by: dmd3 | February 25, 2010 6:56 PM | Report abuse

Shriek you scoring the dives in this game?

Posted by: dmd3 | February 25, 2010 6:59 PM | Report abuse

MsJS, I agree with almost everything you say, but I have disagree with your statement: "Kass forgets to tell out-of-towners that the city, like the county and state, is rife with corruption. Always has been."

He's been going on about The Combine, the Illinois Democratic and Republican corrupt politicians who collude to get theirs, since he took the gig formerly held by Royko (May God rest his soul.)

Posted by: rickoshea1 | February 25, 2010 7:03 PM | Report abuse

it's hard to believe this is not the onion:,0,7464631.story

Posted by: LALurker | February 25, 2010 7:17 PM | Report abuse

A friendly wager on this game by our governments, but I have one question, our PM's spokesperson briefs the press - really, not sure I have ever seen him.

Posted by: dmd3 | February 25, 2010 7:17 PM | Report abuse

Curling rules question: why won't the Swede, Edin, shake hands? Does shaking hands mean a concession, like tipping over your king in chess?

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | February 25, 2010 7:25 PM | Report abuse

ROS: Yes, that is true. I meant he doesn't mention corruption here.

Here's his ribs video.

Posted by: MsJS | February 25, 2010 7:26 PM | Report abuse

I think it does mean concession Mudge, but dr can confirm. Also means time for beer :-)

Posted by: dmd3 | February 25, 2010 7:36 PM | Report abuse

Altho' I am routing for the US women in the hockey game, I won't be upset if we lose to the Canadian women. Their goalie has been awesome so far!

Posted by: badsneakers | February 25, 2010 7:41 PM | Report abuse

badsneaks, I was just thinking the reverse, not happy with the stick work by either team, but the refs need to let them play, both teams are used to this type of play.

Posted by: dmd3 | February 25, 2010 7:47 PM | Report abuse

Anybody seen Padouk? Has anyone apprised him that the Swiss and Canadian women's curling teams now playing each feature a comely redhead? Methinks Canada's Bernard is quite a stunner.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | February 25, 2010 7:53 PM | Report abuse

The curling attitude towards concession makes sense, to me, from a social standpoint. If the day is clearly lost, why waste everyones time?

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 25, 2010 7:53 PM | Report abuse

Ah, there you are.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | February 25, 2010 7:56 PM | Report abuse

Yes, I did take note. I must admit being smitten with all the curling women. They come in a refreshing variety of body types and ages. And, wow, that intensity really draws you in.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 25, 2010 7:59 PM | Report abuse

Congrats to the Finnish women who today, captured their first Olympic medal in hockey.

Also congratulations to the US nordic combined athletes - very impressive.

Posted by: dmd3 | February 25, 2010 8:05 PM | Report abuse

It is indeed a sign of concession.

Watch the eyes when they are throwing the rocks. Intensity barely covers it.

Collen Jones, one of our finest curlers, now retired, used to look like she was coming out of the hack and would have no problem going right over you if you should get in her way. Bernard looks a little like that too.

Posted by: --dr-- | February 25, 2010 8:21 PM | Report abuse

Sad news: they found Andrew Koenig's body today in a Vancouver park. Don't know if you were following but Twitter's been full of folks putting out messages trying to find him. He not only played "Boner" on "Growing Pains," but is Walter Koenig's son. Walter is better known as Chekov from the original Star Trek.

Posted by: -TBG- | February 25, 2010 8:24 PM | Report abuse

On a sillier note, and a little more on kit, did anyone else happen to hear on Wait, Wait Don't Tell Me the strange fact of who "invented" the construction hard hat?

Posted by: -TBG- | February 25, 2010 8:26 PM | Report abuse

I saw that TBG, and many of the headlines through the week, they were asking people to look out for him as he was reported to be despondent by friends.

Also saw a report that on of the US 4 man bobsled crew was arrested last night, allegedly for assault and uttering threats to his common law spouse. May be charged, but his is still slated to compete tomorrow, that bothers me.

Posted by: dmd3 | February 25, 2010 8:29 PM | Report abuse

Good evening, all.

Wow, it's windy here -- probably 35-40 mph gusts.

For me, wood boats are pretty, but I wouldn't care to own one myself. Boats are hard enough for me without making them even more high-maintenance than they need to be.

Congrats, Canada.


Posted by: -bc- | February 25, 2010 8:35 PM | Report abuse

Wow, dr, that is an intense look! I've enjoyed listening to both her and Don Duguid doing commentary for NBC.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 25, 2010 8:47 PM | Report abuse

Fans honouring the US women with chants of USA during the medal/flower ceremony.

Posted by: dmd3 | February 25, 2010 8:59 PM | Report abuse

I'm a lumberjack and that's okay...

Posted by: yellojkt | February 25, 2010 9:13 PM | Report abuse

I sleep all night and I work all day.

Posted by: -TBG- | February 25, 2010 9:22 PM | Report abuse

I didn't realize they were doing the commentary. Good commentators can make or break an event if you don't know a lot about the sport.

There is actually a better picture of her in the ether from a few years later. In that one she looked like she ate the tiger and was gunning for the rest of the pride. (Do tigers have prides?). Seriously scary on ice.

She may be intense but she is a knowledgeable commentator and she was a heck of a weather person.

Posted by: --dr-- | February 25, 2010 9:22 PM | Report abuse

Bob Costas stole my line.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 25, 2010 9:22 PM | Report abuse the Lumberjack Song. I'm trying to write, and also watch the Olys, I can't afford to have THAT tune cootie in my head...


*runs screaming into the night*

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | February 25, 2010 9:24 PM | Report abuse

I'm bassackwards,working all night and sleeping all day,well i get some sleep.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | February 25, 2010 9:34 PM | Report abuse

Oh, absolutely dr. Both Jones and Duguid have done a great job of educating the curling audience in a natural way. And it is fun to watch them diagram out possible approaches.

They have been known to disagree.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 25, 2010 9:34 PM | Report abuse

Now I'm all hungry for buttered scones.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 25, 2010 9:37 PM | Report abuse

Kristi Yamaguchi ushered in the era of the waif-skater. Katarina Witt, a formidable woman by any definition, won the two Olympics before her. Witt would have a hard time even qualifying now.

You mention Kerrigan, but she silvered to the 16 year old Oksana Baiul that year. Competition today requires small compact bodies for the multiple triples and tight spins.

The American contender can't legally vote and I bet neither weighs more than 100 pounds soaking wet. Figure skating hasn't reached the extremes of gymnastics, but it's close.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 25, 2010 9:38 PM | Report abuse

They are great commentators RD, always enjoy the broadcasts they do.

Posted by: dmd3 | February 25, 2010 9:39 PM | Report abuse

Yaa Kafka!

Posted by: Boko999 | February 25, 2010 9:48 PM | Report abuse

I getting tired of figure skating. There, I've said it and I'm glad.

Wind is howling here, may be gusts to 50 mph, I bet the ocean is boiling!

Posted by: badsneakers | February 25, 2010 9:53 PM | Report abuse

Yaa Boko! You win the prize.

Carl Kasell will be over shortly to record your answering machine message!

Posted by: -TBG- | February 25, 2010 9:56 PM | Report abuse

The official Figure Skating Drinking Game:

Posted by: yellojkt | February 25, 2010 10:10 PM | Report abuse

BadSneaks, we have the wind here but only the occasional flake. I am sleeping down stairs now because if a tree falls....etc.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | February 25, 2010 10:17 PM | Report abuse

The wind is making scary noises. I don't even know what's banging against the house and I'm gonna go look right now.

Thank goodness there's a foot or so of snow still on my porch furniture to keep it from flying around the neighborhood.

They say we're supposed to have sustained winds of 40 mph and gusts of 60 and the warning lasts until tomorrow evening. Yikes.

Posted by: -TBG- | February 25, 2010 10:25 PM | Report abuse

Figure skating is almost over for 4 years, sneaks. In fact, if you go to bed now, I bet you won't see it at all!

I always liked Kristi Yamaguchi. Tara Lapinski is the one who was so young and tiny when she won - I think the minimum age was increased after she won (and almost immediately retired from skating). Katarina Witt was a bit too obvious about using her other assets, for me. I was a Debi Thomas fan. And I loved, loved, loved Oksana Baiul, especially when she outdid Kerrigan (who always looked so graceless to me). I liked Tonya Harding too, because she wasn't a skinny little stick, and she did a triple axel. But then she turned out to have lots of problems.

Sorry, sneaks!

Posted by: seasea1 | February 25, 2010 10:27 PM | Report abuse

Strangely, to me, boat hull designs are copyrighted, not patented.

Posted by: Jumper1 | February 25, 2010 10:29 PM | Report abuse

Ah, I see the problem Yello, I don't drink.

CqP, falling trees, yikes, I hadn't even thought of that. Ah well, we live in a ranch so I won't worry. If it's still howling in the morning I may take a ride to the beach with my camera.

Posted by: badsneakers | February 25, 2010 10:30 PM | Report abuse

That's because, for the most part, they are "only" designs, jumper, and don't represent anything new or different in terms of "invention." But in fact, there are some patented boat hulls, or features of boat bull hulls. But few and far between. Specific construction methods, however, are patentable.

In 1914 (or maybe 1915, I forget, though I have it in my files) Irwin Chase, chief naval architect of the Elco Company got a patent for his design of the first Elco Cruisette, a 32-foot cabin cruiser that beacame for several decades, the most famous, most popular powerboat cruiser in history. (See my article on the history of the Cruisette in WoodenBoat magazine, issue 102, October 1991, Chase's Cruisette was patentable because it was the first of its kind, essentially a "new invention."

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | February 25, 2010 10:42 PM | Report abuse

Oh please don't apologize seasea. I like figure skating well enough, I'm just feeling overloaded with it as all the skaters seem to be doing pretty much the same moves and jumps. I do appreciate it, really I do :-)

Posted by: badsneakers | February 25, 2010 11:01 PM | Report abuse

Hmm. I wonder if the Aussie's winged keel from the America's Cup way back when was a patentable design...?

want to Rock and Roll all night
and Party Every Day!

Sorry, I won't apologize for any tune cooties that may have caused.


Posted by: -bc- | February 25, 2010 11:22 PM | Report abuse

Wow oh Wow!

Posted by: dmd3 | February 25, 2010 11:26 PM | Report abuse

I met a bunch of outlaws who take surreptitious molds of many hulls and then duplicate them, selling them on the copyright-infringement boat-hull black market. A new sort of piracy.

Posted by: Jumper1 | February 25, 2010 11:41 PM | Report abuse

I have a hero and her name is Joannie.

Posted by: dmd3 | February 25, 2010 11:44 PM | Report abuse

I was trying to hold this back, but I gotta let it out: 'mudge, there's nothing wrong with polyester resin. It's just that the sort of folks who work with polyester resin aren't our kind of people.

Posted by: bobsewell | February 26, 2010 1:43 AM | Report abuse

On a slightly more serious note, I am sick unto death of hearing media outlets use the phrase, "(Group X) has taken responsibility for (reprehensible act Y)."

These are inherently irresponsible acts. In some cases, the individual actors may well have shown bravery as they went to their fates (although I recall that Bill Mahre was savagely criticized for acknowledging that possibility after September 11th) but M*A*S*H taught us years ago that suicide is painless.

How about we start demanding that our favorite media announcers switch to revelations that various groups have "taken the blame" for their reprehensible acts? Seems more appropriate, somehow.

Posted by: bobsewell | February 26, 2010 2:02 AM | Report abuse

Going back to the idea of "organic" composites, here's an idea: bakelite and silk. Probably not a material that has any applications today, but I wonder if it might not have been useful decades ago (let's say as a substitute for aluminum quonset huts, or even airframes) if composite technology had begun to flower at the time. Mudge?

Posted by: rashomon | February 26, 2010 2:20 AM | Report abuse

Sounds like it might have had possibilities, except that I believe Bakelite needs/needed some fairly high curing temperatures, which would have compromised the silk matrix.

Posted by: bobsewell | February 26, 2010 2:25 AM | Report abuse

Never mind. I just thought back a little further, and realized that some of the first "modern" composites were the linen/dope materials used in WWI era biplanes (which, I think, could certainly be classified as organic composites). If bakelite had been a useable material, it probably would have been tried in the '30s.

Posted by: rashomon | February 26, 2010 2:38 AM | Report abuse

Haitians living in high-tech designer shacks while housing in the US is to some extent an ultra-conservative part of our culture?

I'd somehow be impressed if Americans could buy safe, cheap, attractive doublewide trailers. (In fact, Dwell magazine seems to be pointing to a Prefab Fad). Or how about a modular, integrated residential utilities system, some way to install conduits for water, TV cable, electricity, gas, sewage...all in one bundle?

This month's Bioscience journal has a boxed story on solenodons, primitive insectivore mammals that live only on Cuba and Hispaniola. Weird. Why had I never heard of them, or at least never remembered them?

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | February 26, 2010 3:01 AM | Report abuse

The skaters did well. I think Kim Yu-Na is almost too perfect for me to appreciate - will have to watch her again. Miki Ando used a Loreena McKennitt song in the last part of her program - nice touch. Nice to see 2 good triple axels from Mao Asada. I like Mirai Nagasu a lot, nice to see her do so well. And what can you say about Joannie Rochette? She did an amazing job to focus and skate so well - glad she medaled.

Posted by: seasea1 | February 26, 2010 3:45 AM | Report abuse

Happy Friday all, good morning Cassandra! I went to bed early because I was tired and missed the figure skating. I'll be sorry about that later.

Mr. T is going to the mountains this afternoon and dragging me with him. I'm not excited about going into blizzard conditions. Not excited at all.

In the meantime, I have to go deal with little old ladies who haven't been getting along well. We'll see if I can make peace.

Posted by: slyness | February 26, 2010 6:54 AM | Report abuse

I almost forgot! Ham biscuits on the ready room table. Enjoy, folks!

Posted by: slyness | February 26, 2010 7:01 AM | Report abuse

'morning all. 4 inches of slush on the ground. Bleeechy.

The International Olympic Committee will investigate the women Canadian hockey team celebration on the ice. I don't know why an investigation is necessary. They were drinking beer and champagne and smoking cigars in the open, just watch the tape. Hey, they may be women but they are hockey players first; having "class" has never been a requirement. I've seen enough mullets and players driving Trans-Ams to know that.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | February 26, 2010 7:46 AM | Report abuse

Sd, you are mixed up. One rule of life: Rock the mullet.

You, sir, Mock the Mullet. Typo? Substandard coffee?

Prepare your excuse carefully.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | February 26, 2010 7:58 AM | Report abuse

I'd rather be bald than don the Full Mullet. I've been through the eighties you know.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | February 26, 2010 8:00 AM | Report abuse

Okay, I saw a rerun of Yu-Na and Rochette's skates and they were wonderful. Watching reruns was better for me as I didn't have to sit thru' all the hype and other skaters. My heart breaks for Rochette because now that her event has ended, all the emotion and pain she held in will hit her hard. But her mom was obviously a strong influence on her and she will draw on that love and support. Yu-Na is plainly the best by far right now, loved that she skated to Gershwin.

The sun is out here, big surprise and I'm sure it won't last but nice for now.

Posted by: badsneakers | February 26, 2010 8:03 AM | Report abuse

dmdspouse is in Ottawa today, guess he is slogging in the slush. So far storm has not materialized here, just a dusting but traffic is mess anyways (surprise, surpise).

Posted by: dmd3 | February 26, 2010 8:07 AM | Report abuse

I saw the pics of the rambunctious hockey women, and was easily able to contain my shock.

Perhaps to have cavorted thusly while still wearing the uniforms and the gold medals might be interpreted as slightly disrespectful, but I think Sport shall survive.

Of course, if that place ends up smelling like stogies all bets are off.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 26, 2010 8:10 AM | Report abuse

I am not shocked at the hockey women either, the stoggies were not good though. Beer in the locker room a long, long hockey tradition.

Posted by: dmd3 | February 26, 2010 8:14 AM | Report abuse

Hmm. I just read that some of the women weren't of legal drinking age. I guess that could cause a few problems.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 26, 2010 8:19 AM | Report abuse

At least they were drinking the beer, of the sponsor for Hockey Canada.

Posted by: dmd3 | February 26, 2010 8:32 AM | Report abuse

Unless any of those ladies celebrated by stripping down to their sports bra ala Brandi Chastain, I'm not interested.

Besides, isn't the drinking age in Canada 18? I doubt there were any figure skater-age wingmen on the team. Churchill, Manitoba needs to better market themselves to the Spring Break crowd.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 26, 2010 8:44 AM | Report abuse

19 in in BC. Smoking inside a building is probably a bigger fine, underage drinking just by itself normally gets your beer confiscated, maybe a ride home in a police car. Smoking in a building around here $1000.00 fine.

Posted by: dmd3 | February 26, 2010 8:49 AM | Report abuse

The drinking age is probably 19 in BC, like in the most provinces/territories of Canada. It's been pointed out in a famous rant that the suggested drinking age is 18 in Quebec, and so it is. Lest just say that most Canadians have a more relaxed attitude toward "underage drinking" than most Americans. There are exceptions, of course.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | February 26, 2010 8:52 AM | Report abuse

One more thought about Haitian housing. There's a principle called "appropriate technology" that dictates that a technology will be useful only if it integrates well with the existing environment.

Obviously, something that requires electricity requires that there be electricity. And something that requires specialized training to use and repair requires expertise within the community.

Finally, of course, something that is considered "cheap" in the developed world isn't necessarily cheap elsewhere. A friend who used to work in this area once told me that for much of the world a $40 device might as well be a million. (But he has a tendency to overstate.)

And if you just *give* people expensive things they have a habit of being stolen, cannibalized, or can become the source of resentment and violence.

The thing is, it isn't enough to look at something like these cabins in isolation. You have to look at the whole system. Now, I am far, far to ignorant to make a judgment about how these cabins will fare. I just know that, sometimes, good engineering is the easiest part of a solution.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 26, 2010 9:00 AM | Report abuse

Hard to believe young people,having just won perhaps the most prestigious prize in the entire world in their particular domain, might celebrate a bit exuberantly. Shameful, shameful behavior.

And in public, too. Why, if this trend keeps up, we;ll have women soccer players removing their shirts and celebrating on the field in their sports bras.

Oh, wait...

Well, I just guess we need to have the Liquor Control Board send a representative to all sporting events to card the players after the game to make sure no one swallows a mouthful of cheap champagne, thus setting a bad example for the youth of the world.

Meanwhile, Gerson has finally written a halfway intelligent column:

'Morning, Boodle.

bc, the Australian winged keel is/was theoretically patentable; that said, however, the wing keel was already tied up in a large patent dispute, because it wasn't clear who invented it. A Dutch fellow may have been involved in the design, and there was already an existing patent, No. 4,193,366, on something very like it. It all got messy, and I don't know what the eventual outcome was, though it appears the Australians dropped their patent application in the face of the counter-claims. But yes, in theory, such an invention was patentable. Here's a Web site that goes into it, for anyone who is interested:

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | February 26, 2010 9:01 AM | Report abuse

I am sorry but I can't help but smile at this picture, soaking up the emotion - Canadian hockey style.

Posted by: dmd3 | February 26, 2010 9:09 AM | Report abuse

Re: the hockey women celebrating-"not exactly uncommon in Canada" or anywhere else. Much ado about nothing.

A little news video from our local ski jump facility. A young friend is shown very, very briefly.

Have a great Friday boodle!

Posted by: frostbitten1 | February 26, 2010 9:29 AM | Report abuse

This AP article about Haiti ran in our paper this morning, as well as the Washington Post:

Rains in Haiti enabled people in tent camps to finally get a shower, since the current camps have no bathing facilities.

Releif officials have changed their minds about the best way to proceed on a plan for housing the homeless, giving up on building big camps outside Port-au-Prince, and telling Haitians to pack up their tents and return home.

Home, where weakened structures still threaten to give way and the hillsides are barren. (I don't understand why the hillsides are barren, unless its deforestation--or rubble has been removed where the shanties that were built up the hillsides have been removed, either by deliberate attempts or force of gravity?)

Where water ponds in large depressions, clogged by trash that has been swept along gutters by the rain.

[I see that our paper ran a much shortened version of this reporting. So typical.]

I see now that machinery for rubble removal is a problem, as is time. So, the goal is to have people in these large camps either return to their old neighbors, such as they currently are, or hope to create many more smaller camps, from 50 to 100 tents.

Plenty of misery still lies ahead.

Posted by: laloomis | February 26, 2010 9:30 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, y'all.

Warm muffins, coffee and OJ on the table.

I see the Canadian women's hockey team was drinking the official beer of Team Canada. Was the team smoking the official Team Canada cigar?

For me the celebration falls into the 'option seven out of a hundred' category. There were more sensible options available, but it didn't cause harm to others or destroy property.

The IOC will 'investigate' because it makes them look good. We all know from their investigation of the 2008 Chinese girls', I mean women's, gymnastic team how thorough and objective they are.

If municipal or provincial laws were broken, then those governmental units will have to decide how to proceed. Could be interesting.

Posted by: MsJS | February 26, 2010 9:33 AM | Report abuse

Don't think provincial authorities will do anything, Jon Montgomery chucked from a pitcher of beer while walking through Whistler after his win, technically drinking in public is not allowed, you must be in a licensed area - however, the three policemen escortng him, did not react. The hockey arena would be a liscensed facility - alcohol should only be permitted within certain areas (depending on local laws) but really don't think they will pursue any charges/fines.

Posted by: dmd3 | February 26, 2010 9:41 AM | Report abuse

And now for something completely different-

Posted by: kguy1 | February 26, 2010 9:45 AM | Report abuse

How did Michael Hunt and Benjamin Dover miss that list?

Posted by: yellojkt | February 26, 2010 9:48 AM | Report abuse

Speakin' of ice.

You know, there was a time when an article that contains the phrase "iceberg the size of Luxembourg" might have surprised me.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 26, 2010 9:52 AM | Report abuse

Here's my tease for the morning...

When David Liss read from some of the first chapter of his upcoming novel, "The Darkening Green," Liss holding the manuscript copy in his hands last Thursday night at Trinity University, a thought or image bubble immediately erupted from my head. Here's what was in the thought bubble:

Now, what does a very, very recent and very, very nice former director of the U.S. National Park Service (I met Mary when she made a stop in Alamo City to gather comments from the public about our national parks) have in common with David Liss's novel, yet to be published and distributed?


"My story is an American story and a story of immigration. My family owned a large hosiery manufacturing company in Leicester, England. I was very fortunate to be raised by wonderful parents with four brothers and one sister. My love of preservation came from living in lovely villages in the English countryside. My family had a true love of historic preservation."

*Keep that thought in mind for awhile. My husband is on his morning call with North Carolina, and he has yet to shower and dress. I've got to make his lunch. I'll be back when he's safely out the door.*

Posted by: laloomis | February 26, 2010 9:53 AM | Report abuse

kguy: Odd names pop up all over the world.

Later, I will upload a video I created for a boy with a unique middle name. ROS, I hope you like the background music.

Posted by: MsJS | February 26, 2010 9:59 AM | Report abuse

yello, those two were Otto Towne when the list was made.

Posted by: kguy1 | February 26, 2010 9:59 AM | Report abuse

I want to see the Canadian district attorney (or whatever you guys call 'em) who is going to prosecute an 18-year-old girl Oly gold medal winner, in Canada, for drinking a swallow of Canadian beer. I suspect jury selection alone will take about 400 years just to find 12 people (how does your jury system work? Have no clue) who won't carry the poor girl out of the courtroom on their shoulders.

Jeez. People need to get a life.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | February 26, 2010 10:11 AM | Report abuse

*groan to kguy*

Posted by: MsJS | February 26, 2010 10:12 AM | Report abuse

Mudge, I agree. If normal Western teen behavior is offensive to part of the international audience, just don't broadcast it internationally. They're athletes, not reality stars in Big Brother.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | February 26, 2010 10:18 AM | Report abuse

MsJS-my thoughts exactly about property damage and injury to persons.

I mean really, they call this a celebration? Yes, and more teams could stand to savour victory in this sedate manner. Somehow I doubt that three weeks hence we will be treated to interviews from two young men who were stripped of their clothing and assaulted while the goalie and a childhood friend shot up the place with their illegal firearms.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | February 26, 2010 10:19 AM | Report abuse

The story of the Canadian women's hockey team makes me enjoy their gold even more. I'm sure if the men had done it, there would have been no mention. The arena was closed? No fans were there? Bah! Who cares? They won the friggin' gold medal!

Tonight is my night to host my ladies' bunko group, but street parking is still at a premium around here, so we've decided to make it dinner at our local wing joint. Yeah... there was a lot of arm twisting over that. No husbands or kids PLUS pitchers of beer.

And... I don't have to clean my house today. Gold all around.

Posted by: -TBG- | February 26, 2010 10:20 AM | Report abuse

Cute sports video for today:

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | February 26, 2010 10:22 AM | Report abuse

I agree with you all, much ado about nothing. Let the women enjoy the moment.

How nice TBG, friends and drink and no dishes. I will spend my evening with two furry granddogs. We are supposed to go to Maine tomorrow for a birthday celebration, I hope the weather cooperates.

Posted by: badsneakers | February 26, 2010 10:32 AM | Report abuse

We will be celebrating with friends tonight as well, but we are hosting the hockey viewing party, so I will be cleaning, shopping and preparing food all night. Adults and kids will descend on our house to watch the game (3 TV in separate rooms) - this party has been moving around all week, different house each game - hoping it gets extended to Sunday, and yes beer is consumed.

Posted by: dmd3 | February 26, 2010 10:40 AM | Report abuse

RD, your comment about $40 might as well be a million is correct. Taking care of the Haitian population is a Gordian problem and while this one is so acute, it stands for other cultures that tend to outstrip the carrying capacity of their environment through overpopulation.

The cabins reported by Joel might be a fine partial answer but the fact that they are lightweight and can be moved practically guarantees that many will be moved and not reanchored to the ground because the cost might be a few dollars. Then there is the problem of ownership and the value someone puts on something they get for free.

It is an intractable problem. I think the English use to call it the Irish problem. Populations living on the edge of the carrying capacity of their environment or beyond are subject to the vagaries of nature and international generosity and the only way out is internal change. Don't hold your breath.

Posted by: edbyronadams | February 26, 2010 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Here's the thing about the hockey celebration. This is a case when there is a huge difference between the way things should be and the way things are. It shouldn't be an issue, but, for many, it is.

The reality is, because of these events, many people are talking about this silliness instead of that wicked-good goalie. And whether this is justified or not is kind of moot. I mean, there isn't some ubercop who can enforce the "Move along folks. Nothing to see here." rule. It's very hard to argue away subjective perceptions.

So, yes, I agree enthusiastically that it is a lot of fuss about nothing. But the fact that the commotion *exists* should, I think, make athletes think carefully about such celebrations.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 26, 2010 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Here's the first 90 seconds of the video I did for a kid with a unique middle name.

I *heart* Henry Mancini!

Posted by: MsJS | February 26, 2010 11:07 AM | Report abuse

MsJS... I love it! And I do love the middle name. It's just "normal" enough to be "normal" but he can still say it, can't he?

What a cutie!

Posted by: -TBG- | February 26, 2010 11:18 AM | Report abuse

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

Morning, friends. May God bless the peace making duty, Slyness. That's not an easy job.

I hope you folks in the District and surrounding areas don't get a whole lot of snow. I know everyone in the area is probably weary of snow. It's just really cold here, and real windy.

My daughter surprised me and took me to lunch yesterday. She spent half of the day with me, and we didn't argue, so it was nice. I was stuffed when I left the restaurant, probably won't need to eat for a couple of days. And my dad came by this morning, and he's finally getting things together. He seemed happy, and I'm happy for him.

By the time I get home in the evening, I'm too tired to watch the television. I haven't seen any of the Olympics. I turn the TV on, but its watching me, and I'm knocked out.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone, and be careful in the snow.

Posted by: cmyth4u | February 26, 2010 11:23 AM | Report abuse

I have little to say re. the Canadian women's Hockey team celebration, other than to say that I would likely have done the same thing myself at their age.

Hopefully, nothing will come out of this other than a reminder for future athletes to keep this kind of celebration out of general public view.

And yes, that Canadian goalie was stellar.

Mudge, thanks for the update on the winged keel, I did go look that stuff over. Funny thing is, I remember hearing about it (when it was still Shrouded), and thinking "What, people have been putting planes on sub conning towers for years. This is a similar idea upside down, isn't it?" I know, not 'zackly, but close...

And yello, don't forget Richard Hertz and Harold Nads.


Posted by: -bc- | February 26, 2010 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Padouk, do you think asking a teenager to "think carefully" under ANY cicumstances (let alone that one) is really doable?

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | February 26, 2010 11:29 AM | Report abuse

EBA, agree so much with your 10:50 a.m. psost. So well stated.

It's not deliberate on my part to tease and not deliver, but at this stage of the morning, other things are more pressing than talking about Liss's new book. One of them is a trip to the veterinarian's office.

Sorry. Later.

Posted by: laloomis | February 26, 2010 11:34 AM | Report abuse

MsJs, love the video, he's very adorable and you are very talented.

Cassandra, so happy to hear that you had such a good day with your daughter and that your dad is happy. You deserve a lot more days like that!

Posted by: badsneakers | February 26, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse

I had the same reaction in '82, bc. In particular, there used to be a great little Canadian boatbuilding company called Westerly that I was a great fan of that once build a boat (I think with the rather unfortunate name of "Nimrod") that had a kind of flange on the bottom of the keel, tho' for a different purpuse: it help the boat sit flat on the ground or when it shoaled. I've thought for years that was a great idea.

Westerly also build some sailboats that had twin keels, enabling the boat to sit flat on them. Another great idea.

I don't have enough fingers and toes to count all the great Canadian boatbuilders I admire. Really. In my all-time top ten favorites I bet five are Canadian. You peeps sure do know how to design a boat.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | February 26, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse

SCC: Jeez, why can't I spell "built" today.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | February 26, 2010 11:54 AM | Report abuse

We've become a one paper town as of yesterday. Sad day in journalism.

Posted by: MiddleofthePacific | February 26, 2010 12:02 PM | Report abuse

That purchase may not be a bad thing, MotP: at least it won't be owned by Gannett any more. That can only be good for Hawaii.

I liked the photo of the newsroom peeps: always wanted to work in a city room where everyone is wearing loud Hawaiian party shirts.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | February 26, 2010 12:14 PM | Report abuse

MsJS, loved the video. Great to hear Peter Gunn again, especially as we discuss hockey. I do love it.

Posted by: rickoshea1 | February 26, 2010 12:47 PM | Report abuse

There's something about the Peter Gunn Theme that lights up my soul. I have no idea why.

I await with great anticipation for the arrival of Danger's baby brother (3-4 weeks). The parents are so far silent, name-wise.

Posted by: MsJS | February 26, 2010 1:15 PM | Report abuse

I'm sure I'll be mudged here, but, the video here on shows Obama pwning Virginia's own Eric Cantor at the healthcare summit yesterday...

John Amato writes...

"Eric Cantor wanks away about the 2000 page bill and complains that some people might have to change coverage, the usual government interference with big business stuff and whatnot.

"Obama called him out on his 'props' mentality while trying to discuss health care and the proper role of government oversight. Democrats have done a horrible job on explaining government's role in our lives can be a great thing instead of the republican line that government is the problem."

Obama: We could set up a system where food was cheaper than it is right now if we just eliminated meat inspectors, and we eliminated any regulations on how food is distributed and how it's stored. I'll bet in terms of drug prices we would definitely reduce prescription drug prices if we didn't have a drug administration that makes sure that we test the drugs so that they don't kill us, but we don't do that.
We make some decisions to protect consumers in every aspect of our lives.


I wish these analogies were made more often and much more visibly.

You gotta see the video here:

Posted by: -TBG- | February 26, 2010 1:19 PM | Report abuse

You know TBG, even when I get frustrated with the President, I still just love listening to him talk because he has an excellent mind and he makes compelling arguments. Don't want to take that for granted! Thanks for the link.

Posted by: badsneakers | February 26, 2010 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Forget about Deep Throat, an even greater mystery has been solved...

Posted by: -TBG- | February 26, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse


A great mystery solved...

Posted by: -TBG- | February 26, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Still laughing... glad I got to share the other link, too!

Posted by: -TBG- | February 26, 2010 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Hmmm. I know it was the wrong link...but maybe I should get me one of them undergarments. I have the same problem.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | February 26, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Poor Warren Beatty. He'll be crushed, poor lamb.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | February 26, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

TBG... I love Eric Cantor. I think that he always makes sense.

Posted by: russianthistle | February 26, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

TBG - but that still doesn't explain why she believed the yacht/apricot rhyme would work.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 26, 2010 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Jeez, how many gay record producers have not one but TWO major songs written about them? First Mitchell's "Free Man in Paris," and now "You're So Vain." Geffen's wiki write-up has already been updated to include the YSV thing--in the very first graf, no less.

"Free Man" is no. 470 on Rolling Stone's list of the 500 greatest songs of all time. As it should be.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | February 26, 2010 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Yes, I too think Eric Cantor makes scents.

Posted by: kguy1 | February 26, 2010 2:16 PM | Report abuse

*applauding kguy*

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | February 26, 2010 2:18 PM | Report abuse

come on, kguy! Little Eric knows how many pages are in each Democrat bill. That way, he knows enough about it to be against it.

Posted by: russianthistle | February 26, 2010 2:22 PM | Report abuse

I think Eric Canter makes nonsense.

Posted by: rickoshea1 | February 26, 2010 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Forget Warren Beatty - *I'm* crushed.

Seriously, I read the piece, while talking with a friend and we agreed that this seems like a "Paul is dead" situation.


Posted by: -bc- | February 26, 2010 2:27 PM | Report abuse

Reality basis... I made it all the way yesterday watching the discussion at Blair House, until Little Eric, who, bless his little heart, was smeared by his own party until he got elected... and then I just had to shut the show off and go back to Classical Music. I get it another shot and watched for a while until John McCain started speaking and it just was so wrong.

Time to retire.

For me, it was time to turn it off again.

Posted by: russianthistle | February 26, 2010 2:27 PM | Report abuse

Is there any truth in the report that Desiree Rogers has resigned?

Posted by: rickoshea1 | February 26, 2010 2:32 PM | Report abuse

The Apology Cometh

Posted by: MsJS | February 26, 2010 2:33 PM | Report abuse

ROS: Lynn Sweet of the Sun-Times reports Ms. Rogers has told her that very thing.

Posted by: MsJS | February 26, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Yup, WaPo has it as the "Breaking News" story.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | February 26, 2010 2:39 PM | Report abuse

True, Mudge, probably a good thing to get Gannett out of here. Still, the lack of any competition in journalism can mean bad things for us. Still, there is hope:

Maybe this new venture,, will be a start in a new direction for journalism? Maybe...

As for the shirts, yeah, the aloha shirt is considered business attire here. Long sleeves and ties don't sell well in this town.

Posted by: MiddleofthePacific | February 26, 2010 2:39 PM | Report abuse

kguy, I didn't trot on over to see your 2:16 until later.

OK, I'm laughing though.

How many times did we see the headline "Cantor off-key at Health Care Summit?"


Posted by: -bc- | February 26, 2010 2:51 PM | Report abuse

The 'apology': "...regrets if its impromptu celebrating offending anyone or embarrassed the International or Canadian Olympic Committee".

To translate from Canuckistanese:

We're sorry you are so puritanically uptight and bitter that entire lemon groves shrivel when you pass by and that any public display of joy is an affront to the misery you feel the world should wallow in or that the mere sight of an alcoholic beverage cause dark sweat stains to appeared on your drab grey suits as you struggle with your desire for a brief moment of happiness or an instant of release from your obsessive rectitude.

We recommend exercise for a salutary decrease in blood pressure and a brief endorphin rush. Cold beer helps too.

Posted by: qgaliana | February 26, 2010 2:58 PM | Report abuse

*now also applauding qg. Most excellent!*

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | February 26, 2010 3:00 PM | Report abuse

I, myself, am an expert at the shearing of pins.

Posted by: Boko999 | February 26, 2010 3:01 PM | Report abuse

qg, clap, clap, clap and bravo!!

Posted by: badsneakers | February 26, 2010 3:02 PM | Report abuse

About YSV - if we're to believe the purported object of the song is Geffen, and he's gay, what's with the "wife of a close friend" line? Not that I have a tune cootie or anything.

Nice apology, qq. Are you now, or have you ever been, Canadian?

Posted by: Wheezy11 | February 26, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Mudge's 2:14 reminds me that the Post's very own Carl Berstein has been played in the movies by Dustin Hoffman AND Jack Nicholson.

Pretty good for a guy with flyaway hair.

Posted by: -TBG- | February 26, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Merikans 1, Finns 0 in the first period of their semisweet final in men's hockey.

Posted by: MsJS | February 26, 2010 3:12 PM | Report abuse

And TBG, you must recall the classic portrayal of Carl Berstein by Bruce McCulloch in that 1999 cinematic triumph "Dick"

Also, note that McCulloch is a Canadian.

See? It all makes sense now.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 26, 2010 3:16 PM | Report abuse

qg, very funny, well done.

Put a fresh pot of coffee on otherwise I will not make it through the hockey game tonight - late night last night watching the hockey and figure skating. I was misled as to the game time this evening.

US 2 Finns 0, Finns need to get it together soon or the Americans will win in a rout.

Posted by: dmd3 | February 26, 2010 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Make that 3-0.

Posted by: MsJS | February 26, 2010 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Apparently the Finns are not listening to me (as if anyone does).

US 3 - Finns 0 1st period

Posted by: dmd3 | February 26, 2010 3:20 PM | Report abuse

MsJS or anyone else watching the US/Finn game, the Finn Socks is it just me or doe they look skeleton like.

Oh my US 4-0.

Posted by: dmd3 | February 26, 2010 3:23 PM | Report abuse

dmd... you are rooting for the Finns? Really? I thought we were friends.

Posted by: -TBG- | February 26, 2010 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Do I hear 4-0? Yes!

Posted by: MsJS | February 26, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

No not routing for the Finns, just surprised by how poorly they are playing - some talented players on their team.

I almost put in my last post that I was beginning to anticipate a US/Canada gold medal game, but there is that whole counting your chickens before they are hatched, jinx, superstitious stuff. :-)

5-0 after the Finns pulled starting goalie, going to be a loooong game for them.

Posted by: dmd3 | February 26, 2010 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Can you believe this 6-0, baby Stastny scored.

Posted by: dmd3 | February 26, 2010 3:29 PM | Report abuse

dmd, the Finns are not good playing short-handed.

They also haven't figured out that you need to shoot the puck at the goal in order to have a chance of scoring.


Posted by: MsJS | February 26, 2010 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps the Finns were celebrating with the Canadian women's team last night, playing like they are hungover. US taking full advantage.

Posted by: dmd3 | February 26, 2010 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Sounds like they are Helsunk in Helsinki.

Is there a mercy rule? I hate "Please, sir, may I have another" matches.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | February 26, 2010 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Those Finns could use a desires fork.

Posted by: -TBG- | February 26, 2010 3:45 PM | Report abuse

6-0 at the 1st intermission. Shots on goal are 13-4 in favor of the Ewe-Ess.

No mercy rule, 'Mudge.

Posted by: MsJS | February 26, 2010 3:50 PM | Report abuse

I like this bit from Milbank's piece on the 'health summit':

After several such moments, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell ((R-Ky.) spoke up. "Republicans have used 24 minutes; the Democrats, 52 minutes," he said.

Obama made McConnell look small in his chair. "You're right, there was an imbalance on the opening statements," he said, "because I'm the president."

I know it's not conciliatory, but it's so satisfying to dope-slap those presumptuous nitwits. I think his point is not that he was being favoritist towards the Democrats, but that the President's own opening statement is independent of any claim that there must be parity in party representation. Furthermore, if *I* were moderating a discussion on how to craft a solution to a problem, I would be more inclined to grant time to people who are offering suggestions for how to solve the problem, than people who use their time to enumerate all the things they don't like about the currently-proposed solution rather than offering their own ideas for what they think would actually correct the problem.

Posted by: ScienceTim | February 26, 2010 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Interesting but inconclusive Carly Simon remarks. She may be fibbing still. The clue is in the line "To see the total eclipse of the sun"
Now someone in a new org with an old clippings service, surely online for a fee, could date the song and then look backwards for the eclipse, which as I recall prompted some rock stars to travel for an eclipse party. Find the people mentioned in the article, and you have a list of suspects. I think the Nova Scotia line may be a red herring.

Posted by: Jumper1 | February 26, 2010 3:55 PM | Report abuse

After attempting to to post this directly and having it "held for consideration", I've found a link-

Posted by: kguy1 | February 26, 2010 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Here's everything you might want to know about eclipses:

and also here:

I leave it to others to identify the year of the song and associate it with a particular eclipse expedition.

Posted by: ScienceTim | February 26, 2010 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Wheezy, I'm a Montrealer.

Posted by: qgaliana | February 26, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Carly once said that the subject of 'You're So Vain' had an 'e' in his name. Sorry to disappoint you, but I'm still in the running.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 26, 2010 4:04 PM | Report abuse

If this were curling, the Finns would be shaking hands by now.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 26, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Already been done, jumper: "Two solar eclipses ("Then you flew your Learjet up to Nova Scotia to see the total eclipse of the sun") were visible from Nova Scotia in the early 1970s. The first eclipse, on March 7, 1970,[9] was visible in the USA, but the second one, on July 10, 1972, was not.[10] Warren Beatty's mother was born and raised in Nova Scotia."

See the YSV entry in wiki.

I don't think it's worth parsing too much. First, writers take artistic license, and it's a bit foolish to attempt to find dead-factual bases for things. Second, sometimes she has said the guy was an amalgam of three different men. So it can still be Geffen with a little Warren and a little Mick thrown in here and there.

I'm just damned grateful she never wrote about that time she and I...uh...never mind.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | February 26, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Wow... we have active boodlers from Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa, Calgary and Edmonton. Not to mention the Canadian ex-pats in the US.

Posted by: -TBG- | February 26, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

It's a damn invasion, I tell ya! They're coming!

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | February 26, 2010 4:18 PM | Report abuse

There are no ex-pats. Only agents.

Posted by: ScienceTim | February 26, 2010 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Looking like a winter postcard, big fluffly white flakes clinging to everything, of course it means dmdspouse is sitting in Ottawa airport trying to get out.

Posted by: dmd3 | February 26, 2010 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Forget the eclipse... I wonder if David Geffen's ever been seen dancing the gavotte.

Posted by: -TBG- | February 26, 2010 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Didn't you see the NBC profile on Canada at the opening ceremonies? 90% of Canadians live within 100 miles of the Boodle.

Posted by: byoolin1 | February 26, 2010 4:23 PM | Report abuse

You're So Vain debuted on the Billboard Top 40 on December 16, 1972.

From her official website:

"I was in London, it was 1972 and he happened to call at the studio while I was doing the background vocals with Harry Nilsson. Mick [Jagger] said "Hey, what cha doin'?" and I said "We're doing some backup vocals on a song of mine....why don't you come down and sing with us?""

On July 10, 1972, there was a total eclipse that passed over Nova Scotia:

Finding out who flew up to see it may be a more difficult task. There are four articles in the New York Times from July of 1972 which mention both 'eclipse' and 'Nova Scotia' but the Gray Lady wants $3.95 each to read them and I'm not willing to shell out good money to chase down a red herring.

If it was that easy to figure out, it would have been done years ago.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 26, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Gary Bettman (sp) is such a weasel, just had to get that off my chest.

Posted by: dmd3 | February 26, 2010 4:31 PM | Report abuse

Still 6-0 at the 2nd intermission. Shots on goal over 2 periods 22-11.

At least the Finns got the shooting mojo up and running.

Posted by: MsJS | February 26, 2010 4:32 PM | Report abuse

Wow, what a game! I was out doing errands and WTOP kept updating the hockey score. When I went into the library, the game was just starting. I came out of the library and the US had just scored their second. Five minutes later I got home, turned on the TV and the score was 4-0. I go out to unload the car, and when I came back in it was 6-0.

Apparently to the Repubs bipartisanshp means everything goes their way or they pick up their toys and go home. I thought they ended up looking pretty childish in comparison to the Pres.

Posted by: Raysmom | February 26, 2010 4:34 PM | Report abuse

The 1970 eclipse:

But I think that is a long shot.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 26, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Bettman is such a nitwit. He couldn't figure out how to take advantage of the interest in hockey after the 2002 Olympics, and I'm sure it will be the same this year.

Posted by: Raysmom | February 26, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

O.M.G. My daughter may be in school until July. From an FCPS press release...

"Based on feedback from parents and employees, the Superintendent [Jack Dale] is recommending that FCPS follow the original 2009-10 calendar, which includes a full day of school on Monday, April 12, and school on June 23, 24, and 25, to make up the four-day deficit, and allow the use of June 28, 29, and 30 as subsequent makeup days, if needed, due to future school closings this winter."

Fortunately, it continues...

"However, Dale also recommends that the School Board allow him to seek a waiver from the Virginia Board of Education for the last three days in June, plus any future days that may be lost due to inclement weather."

Let's hope the supernintendo gets to seek that waiver. Can you imagine the last day of school being June 30? Yikes.

Posted by: -TBG- | February 26, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

dmd: Every time I see Bettman talk I just want to shoot pucks at his head. Alas, there are only so many pucks...

Posted by: byoolin1 | February 26, 2010 4:40 PM | Report abuse

They can't afford to let the Finns off lightly if they expect to defeat the Canucks.

Full Power!

(you're doomed)

Posted by: Boko999 | February 26, 2010 4:42 PM | Report abuse

HoCo schools will run until June 23. Summer session begins June 28 so further pushback is unlikely. Since any future snowdays are unlikely to made up, my wife has taken to wearing her pajamas both inside out and backwards since opinions vary on which arrangement is most successful at attracting snow.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 26, 2010 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Tim... ZACTLY to your 3:54.

Have a great evening guys. Off to the center of commerce.

Posted by: russianthistle | February 26, 2010 4:45 PM | Report abuse

I think we'll get that waiver, yello. It happened in '96 if I remember correctly.

Posted by: -TBG- | February 26, 2010 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Last day of school is June 30th here this year (grade schools).

Posted by: dmd3 | February 26, 2010 4:52 PM | Report abuse

If Julianna Smoot is going to be the new social secretary, she'll need a logo for her stationery. I'd suggest this:

Posted by: bobsewell | February 26, 2010 4:53 PM | Report abuse

LOL bob!

Posted by: -TBG- | February 26, 2010 5:00 PM | Report abuse

If Smoot or any other woman wants to be East Wing Party Planner, she had better make nice with Robin Givhan, Sally Quinn, and Maureen Dowd, just to name three rather vocal critics of the previous tenant. [Make your own cat-fight remark here.]

Posted by: Mo_MoDo | February 26, 2010 5:06 PM | Report abuse

It's sunny and nice in Ottawa dmd, it must be the crappy weather in Hamilton/TO that's holding him up.

I had to scoop at least half the slush out of the driveway. The snowblower was not up to pump that stuff out. It was more liquid than solid.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | February 26, 2010 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Think it is more Toronto than here in the west end, not bad here but I hear it is much worse in the big smoke, but for them that could mean a few centimetres :-)

Posted by: dmd3 | February 26, 2010 5:21 PM | Report abuse

"Think it is more Toronto than here in the west end, not bad here but I hear it is much worse in the big smoke, but for them that could mean a few centimetres."

I thought Canadians in Ontario spoke English.


Posted by: -TBG- | February 26, 2010 5:23 PM | Report abuse

i have a good friend whose last name is Hunt. He had a child two years ago and was honestly thinking of calling him Michael. he has an evil sense of humour. fortunately, his wife laid down the law... i think they ended up with Connor...


Posted by: mortii | February 26, 2010 5:25 PM | Report abuse

Are earthquakes like celebrity deaths, required to come in three-ways?

Posted by: ScienceTim | February 26, 2010 5:30 PM | Report abuse

SciTim -- huzzahs and *hearts* from moi, as well, for your 3:54 post.

The Rethuglicans are acting like little bratty spoiled children. The Obama girls can teach them a lesson in how to comport oneself.

Hockey, eh? Whatta game! And (belated) congratulations to the Canadian boodlers (and my non-boodler Canadian friends) on the gold last night in the women's game.

Gonna go prepare myself for tonight's Chinese take-away. I'm in the mood for some hot & sour soup, and I think some spicy shrimp in black bean sauce. Nice and spicy and wholesome.

Posted by: -ftb- | February 26, 2010 5:31 PM | Report abuse

yeah TBG - what are these "centimetres" that dmd speaks of????


Posted by: mortii | February 26, 2010 5:33 PM | Report abuse

I'd rather not have things in threes, but since we have smoke and earthquakes, it's a good time to remember Raymond Chandler's "Red Wind", 1938:

Red Wind, 1938:

"There was a desert wind blowing that night. It was one of those hot dry Santa Anas that come down through the mountain passes and curl your hair and make your nerves jump and your skin itch. On nights like that every booze party ends in a fight. Meek little wives feel the edge of the carving knife and study their husbands' necks. Anything can happen. You can even get a full glass of beer at a cocktail lounge...."

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | February 26, 2010 5:35 PM | Report abuse

I especially like the carving-knife line.

Posted by: ScienceTim | February 26, 2010 5:43 PM | Report abuse

Mo_MoDo, regarding your 5:06 post:

The new White House Party Planner is ultimately responsible to POTUS and FLOTUS. Unless he/she is going to be paid by Dowd, Givhan, et. al., special treatment is not a requirement unless at the request of POTUS or FLOTUS.

Dowd, Givhan, et. al. are free to respond as they see fit.

Posted by: MsJS | February 26, 2010 5:52 PM | Report abuse

NYT posted news about 30 minutes ago that NY's Gov. Paterson will drop out of the campaign--for his re-election.

Intersting synergy btween Olympics and the film "Shutter Island."

Small San Antonio shout-out regarding "Shutter Island." San Antonio's Jackie Earle Haley plays Noyce in the Scorsese thriller. Small, but pivotal role. The only time I've seen Haley around town was at John Cleese's lecture at Trinty University. I've mentioned Trinity so many time I guess it's the de facto cultural center of San Antonio. *w*

There was a mad scramble for seats that night when Cleese was on the stage, as I wrote here some time ago. We got seats in the nosebleed section. Haley, IIRC--in a baseball cap and sunglasses, arrived later than we and not alone, surveyed the nosebleed seats for anything available, and breezed right past us in our seats. Next thing I noticed, he was schmoozing at the entrance to the university donor section and he and party got seated in the middle of the section, close to the stage. Hollywood rank has its privileges, I guess.

Posted by: laloomis | February 26, 2010 5:58 PM | Report abuse

The thing is, I REMEMBER the news item about the elite eclipse party at the time, and only noticed it was probably relevant to the Simon song later on. And since the general public doesn't have a connection to Lexus Nexus or whatever and won't pay the fees, and reporters' memories are no better than anyone else's, and no one has researched it as far as I know, I think it's a hot lead still. Individual reporters don't pay those fees, though, the paper does. Hint hint.

Posted by: Jumper1 | February 26, 2010 5:59 PM | Report abuse

I'm not getting the Michael Hunt joke, sorry.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | February 26, 2010 6:00 PM | Report abuse

From Joan Didion, "The White Album":

"...I imagined that my own life was simple and sweet, and sometimes it was, but there were odd things going on around town. There were rumors. There were stories. Everything was unmentionable, but nothing was unimaginable. This mystical flirtation with the idea of "sin"--this sense that it was possible to go "too far," and that many people were doing it--was very much with us in Los Angeles in 1968 and 1969...."

And Roman Polanski's new movie looks like a critical success and might do well commercially.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | February 26, 2010 6:11 PM | Report abuse

Howdy y'all.

A Smoot running the White House social scene? Wonder if she'll use the Smoot measure of distance (so-and-so to be seated two Smoots from the Presidential table). The Smoot Bridge was my favorite at Harvard - measured by the height of undergraduate Smoots it took, lengthwise (heighthwise laying down), to cross the bridge.

Posted by: Ivansmom | February 26, 2010 6:33 PM | Report abuse

Schools here were scheduled to let out in late May. After the Terrible Snow Adventures, They decided to add 45 minutes per day to each remaining school day, with a new end date of May 21. This leaves them wiggle room to add whole days if they shut down school again. Normally we go from mid-August to late May. I'd rather see after Labor Day to mid-June; it is too hot in August for the kids to learn anything anyway, and they'd save money on air conditioning if nothing else.

Posted by: Ivansmom | February 26, 2010 6:36 PM | Report abuse

Best news about Sally Quinn I have heard:
"The Washington Post has decided to end Sally Quinn's column, dubbed "The Party."
From Media Notes today, toward the end -

She'll still be doing On Faith, but I find that easy to ignore.

I have an irrational dislike of her, which has grown over the years. The only thing that tempered it was reading her son's book, where he manages to make her human and vulnerable.

Posted by: seasea1 | February 26, 2010 6:43 PM | Report abuse

Will Sally Quinn's column be back? Only time will tell.

Congrats to US mens hockey. I'd say something else, but there's chickens to be hatched.

Posted by: engelmann | February 26, 2010 6:56 PM | Report abuse

Wilbrod - you aren't missing anything. But take the diminutive of Michael, drop the last two letters of the resulting first name and the H of the last name (all of which are essentially silent) and think of terms highly offensive to women.

Like I said, you aren't missing anything.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 26, 2010 6:59 PM | Report abuse

Crazy good curling game between the Swedes and the Canadians!

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 26, 2010 7:01 PM | Report abuse

You know the Olympics are coming to an end when you find yourself becoming sick to death of the commercials. I mean, the one with the athletes as little kids was cute the first 12 times.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 26, 2010 7:23 PM | Report abuse

For me it is the Quebec tourism commercial, beautiful shots, but cheesey music, almost seems like rather than do an english commercial they simply removed any voice over. Bombardier commercial promoting their design of the torch has always bothered me, a man smoking a pipe (or trying to) in a house with children in some sort of S. American perhaps country.

Posted by: dmd3 | February 26, 2010 7:30 PM | Report abuse

*sigh* I don't know whether to curse you guys or thank you, but I am now a major curling fan. I love the strategy, the angles. It's kind of billiards on ice.

And wow: Canada steals a deuce!

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | February 26, 2010 7:59 PM | Report abuse

Exactly Mudge! With a little bit of golf thrown in for fun.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 26, 2010 8:01 PM | Report abuse

Ohmygosh, TBG, we are planning to attend the graduation of Mr. T's niece on June 18. Will exams even be over by then? (She got her first acceptance this week, to Virginia Tech. It will be interesting to see where she actually ends up.)

Biiiggg mistake this evening. When we got to the mountain place, Mr. T backed down the driveway. It took us half an hour and much shoveling to get back up said driveway. Even putting the little red truck in four wheel drive didn't work to get us out. On our return from supper, he parked at the top and we walked down.

Posted by: slyness | February 26, 2010 8:34 PM | Report abuse

Cheryl Bernard has the most amazing eyes-- a smokey gray. Part huskie, part timberwolf.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | February 26, 2010 8:41 PM | Report abuse

Wow. Wow. Going to 11. I'm rooting for our Northern friends, of course, but wow. What an exciting game!

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 26, 2010 8:48 PM | Report abuse

My daughter had just commented on her eyes.

Posted by: dmd3 | February 26, 2010 8:51 PM | Report abuse

Oh my! I feel dreadful for the Canadians. But wow, what an exciting game.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 26, 2010 9:08 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | February 26, 2010 9:08 PM | Report abuse

The all time champion name belongs to a gentleman named Harold Beaver. Yes, he did go by the diminutive form of his name, and (I'm not making this up) was an OB/GYN. He practiced for many years in Falls Church.

Posted by: rashomon | February 26, 2010 9:08 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, where is the future I was promised:

Posted by: yellojkt | February 26, 2010 9:59 PM | Report abuse

I smuggled it out of town in the trunk of my flying car, yello.

Posted by: rashomon | February 26, 2010 10:08 PM | Report abuse

The apology I've been waiting for:

But it still doesn't excuse Justin Bieber.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 26, 2010 10:33 PM | Report abuse

Oh no, I just got home from dog sitting and realized that the Swedes beat the Canadians in curling - darn! I am so sorry you guys.

I have a funny feeling that #2's dogs weren't treated very well by the guy who was taking care of them. This, in addition to the condition of the house, makes me really angry. We've already decided that I'll take one of the dogs on Sunday and keep him til #2 comes home and a friend of #2's will care for the other dog.

Looks like I missed some great discussions and funny stuff this afternoon and evening.

Posted by: badsneakers | February 26, 2010 11:05 PM | Report abuse

I just got home from work, but I noticed that the roads were weirdly quiet. Then I remembered the hockey game.

I tell you, if someone wanted to invade...

Speaking of invasions I am so pleased that you are enjoying the curling.

Posted by: --dr-- | February 26, 2010 11:28 PM | Report abuse

Diggin' the US 4-man bobsled #1 "Night Train" setting two consecutive track records on their runs to take their lead into the overnight, and the bit of swagger during the interview afterward today's runs.

Looks like the Men's Canadian Hockey team has its' hands full with 3 minutes left here, too.


Posted by: -bc- | February 26, 2010 11:39 PM | Report abuse

dr, I was thinking of you while I was watching the Canadian/Swedish game. I thought the Canadians were going to win for sure. And I'm almost starting to understand what's going on.

Posted by: seasea1 | February 26, 2010 11:41 PM | Report abuse

Yikes, that was close. What am I saying! Now we have to play Canada for the gold medal, oh dear.

Posted by: badsneakers | February 26, 2010 11:43 PM | Report abuse

As to winning the silver medal, the rest of the world has some really really great curlers. Nordberg and her team deserved the win.

China took bronze which is fantastic.

Well done on the short track tonight. And more good things to come if I read the event right.

Posted by: --dr-- | February 26, 2010 11:46 PM | Report abuse

Those last few minutes were scary, but on to Sunday - that will be interesting and hopefully and exciting game start to finish. As our guests said this evening going back to watching the Toronto Maple Leafs is going to take some adjustment.

Glad for the short track skaters, but have only seen short clips so far.

Feel bad for Bernard but a great Olympics for her.

Posted by: dmd3 | February 27, 2010 12:10 AM | Report abuse

The great subduction earthquake that just struck Chile is a true monster, but so far looks tiny, at magnitude 8.3, when compared to the largest earthquake of the twentieth century, 1960, an incredible magnitude 9.5. Its epicenter was farther south. Here's a link to 1960.

Best wishes for the country and its new president.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | February 27, 2010 2:38 AM | Report abuse

We're under tsunami advisory. If it comes to us it'll be tomorrow (Saturday) at about 11:19 a.m. our time. Guess I better sleep upstairs tonight.

Posted by: MiddleofthePacific | February 27, 2010 3:16 AM | Report abuse

USGS upgraded the quake to 8.8. AP is reporting collapsed buildings in Santiago, which is some 300 km or more from the epicenter.

The president-elect hasn't been inaugurated. My mistake.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | February 27, 2010 3:21 AM | Report abuse

Sounded like a doozy, DotC.

Posted by: MiddleofthePacific | February 27, 2010 3:28 AM | Report abuse

BBC is getting accounts from witnesses. USGS already has 347 reports from witnesses and a "USGS Community Internet Intensity Map".
The map also provides a crude appraisal of where communications may have been knocked out.

This map says a lot for our Geological Survey's technology and for its worldwide reputation.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | February 27, 2010 4:20 AM | Report abuse

My fellow Americans,
Be careful. This is what too much watching of the Olympics can do to you:

Posted by: yellojkt | February 27, 2010 6:44 AM | Report abuse

To use MotP's phrase, that earthquake sure was a doozy. And as always, it's the ancient cathedral in the middle of town that gets it first.

I was in Assisi last year and they had displays of the before and after and after-after. It's amazing the damage that can be done and the fidelity to which things can be restored.

But first, it is the hunt for survivors and meeting the needs of the displaced. I have a sense of deja vu. As long as it's not a symptom of compassion fatigue onset.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 27, 2010 7:18 AM | Report abuse

it's raining cats and dogs here, but we're burbling, so all is good.

i decided to check the weather because i have to be in a location about 60 miles from here at 9am, which i'm so not looking forward to in this weather. (californians suck at driving in the weather.)

so i look at the online weather, and under special alerts there is *tsunami* alert for los angeles, and i'm like wtf? so i checked the news and saw the chilean earthquake. wow.

Posted by: LALurker | February 27, 2010 7:53 AM | Report abuse

New kit!

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | February 27, 2010 8:17 AM | Report abuse

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