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Gliese 581g

Finally, astronomers have found a planet in the Goldilocks position -- not too hot, not too cold, not too big, not too eccentric, not too young, not too stupid, not too self-involved, not too prone to staying out until 3 a.m. with unsavory characters, etc. A nice little planet in a good neighborhood. This is pretty huge, and congrats to Vogt and Butler, the astronomers, for teasing this thing out of the data.

But can I just point out that there's a difference between "habitable" and "somewhere you, or anyone else, or any creature, would actually want to live."

This would not be like Earth. For one thing the sun would always be on the horizon, just hanging out. (You call it a sunset, but I, the optimist, say it's a sunrise.)

We don't know the atmospheric chemistry (assuming it has an atmosphere). We don't know if it has plate tectonics to recycle the carbon. We don't know if it has water (though wouldn't it, just from comets?).

As I understand planet-hunting technology, it's not possible to get a spectrum of this planet to learn anything about it directly. We see it entirely though Doppler shifts in the light of the parent star. It's like backpacks, shoes and empty lunch bags in the foyer: You know the kids are home from school even though you do not actually see them.

The biggest thing we don't know is how life originates. That's a question you can argue round or square. Seems to me it emerges naturally from the chemistry of the universe, but Paul Davies thinks not. (See my discussion of Davies vs. Morowitz.)

The fact that Gliese 581g is relatively close and was found relatively soon in the process does suggest strongly that the galaxy is lousy with Goldilocks planets.

So it's a good day for the Sagan scenario. If life is common (big if), and habitable planets are common, then you're looking at night into an extremely biological universe.

By Joel Achenbach  | September 30, 2010; 8:07 AM ET
 
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Comments

If only we knew of an astrophysicist with knowledge of planetary atmospheres...

Posted by: yellojkt | September 30, 2010 9:45 AM | Report abuse

If it's not too stupid and not too self-involved it doesn't sound habitable to me at all.

OK.. everyone's here. Instructor is ready to begin. See y'all later.

Posted by: -TBG- | September 30, 2010 9:49 AM | Report abuse

[that does it - mudged three kits in a row - shameless reposting]

Soggy good morning, y'all!

yello, I was just waiting for *someone* to post a link to Hooters Football. No comment.

TBG, sorry to hear about your ongoing (and diverse) problems with the basement. Did you ever check into that concrete staining? Sometimes procrastination does have it's brighter sides.

*Listening to the gurgle and whirr of the sump pump*

Posted by: talitha1 | September 30, 2010 9:51 AM | Report abuse

So, we don't know whether this place has breathable air and we don't know if there's any water, but it's deemed "habitable"?

Posted by: MsJS | September 30, 2010 9:52 AM | Report abuse

Terrific -- the beings on this planet would have even more problems than we do.

Us: Hello brothers and sisters! Can you use your advanced alien wisdom to help us stop warfare, generate clean energy, and get rid of these bedbugs?

Them: First can you help us get our planet to rotate so we don't all have to live in this twilight stripe?

Posted by: fallschurch1 | September 30, 2010 9:54 AM | Report abuse

Glad to oblige. It's a dirty job, but somebody has to do it. I'm very frustrated because the link to the accompanying gallery requires a Flash player upgrade that I don't have administrator rights to install. How do I get the IT guy to do that for me?

Posted by: yellojkt | September 30, 2010 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Well, it looks like the new planet may be just a perfect place for the Tea Baggers. I'm thinking that there probably is little or no government; most likely no taxes. They would even be able to see their own doctors.

Posted by: russianthistle | September 30, 2010 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Gliese 581g, as has not previously been reported, is currently tied up in foreclosure proceedings. Although it is still not clear who actually holds the paper on Gliese 581g, Ally Financial appears to have handled the proceedings most recently, leading to speculation that the legalities may in fact have just been put on hold. Further, exhaustive research has led at least one speculator to point out that Congress has no reporting requirements for property only visible through doppler shifts, and Charlie Rangel was recently observed wearing a "Gliese 581g Chamber of Commerce" t-shirt.

Posted by: veritasinmedium | September 30, 2010 10:10 AM | Report abuse


Earth is a special place and finding another won't be so easy. Terra and Luna form a binary planet at a felicitous distance from a well behaved star. When counting your blessings, don't forget the bonanza of living here on this world of wonders.

Posted by: edbyronadams | September 30, 2010 10:15 AM | Report abuse

I got the gallery to work.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/gallery/2010/09/29/GA2010092903470.html

If you study Picture 17 closely enough (and trust me, I have), you will see that that poor girl is one hook away from a uniform failure.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 30, 2010 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Because I'm always curious about name and word origins I just had to research Gliese ---

Wikipedia English - The Free Encyclopedia
"Wilhelm Gliese (June 21 1915 – June 12 1993) was a German astronomer.
He worked at the Astronomisches Rechen-Institut, first in Berlin and then in Heidelberg. He is best known for his Gliese Catalogue of Nearby Stars, and some stars are best known by the catalogue number he gave them, such as Gliese 581 and Gliese 710."

I'm sure there's more to be found elsewhere but I've dawdled enough!

Posted by: talitha1 | September 30, 2010 10:20 AM | Report abuse

eba,
I've always wondered how much the Moon contributes to the anthropic principle. But that is just the closet Intelligent Designer in me coming out. It would be wasteful to create such a huge universe if our little dancing dual planet minuet were the only way to do it. There must be some other combination of freak astronomical conditions capable of evolving life to the level of at least Rush Limbaugh.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 30, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Joel's kit fails to mention one salient point mentioned in the article -- that the astronmers who discovered Gleek 581 did so while working at a certain observatory perched high atop a certain volcano located upon a certain tropical island in a state in which a certain president was born -- and that these two astronomers, Butler and Vogt, might just be known to a certain Boodler. Thus, we may all have a Bacon number of two (if I'm doing this correctly) to them. I mean, for all we know at this moment, they may even have cameo appearances in parodies of Eagles' songs.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | September 30, 2010 10:31 AM | Report abuse

veritasinmedium,
Good material. Don't hide your talent under a bushel basket and chime in more often.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 30, 2010 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Well, if they ultimately detect two moons orbiting Gliese and the presence of sandworms beneath the surface we'll have at least determined that Herbert's dreams weren't all spice-induced nightmares.

Posted by: talitha1 | September 30, 2010 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Isn't the Goldilocks position illegal in the Commonwealth of Virginia?

Posted by: wiredog | September 30, 2010 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Moon is indeed a marvel, not so much for itself but what it does for Earth. Helps stir the broth.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | September 30, 2010 10:55 AM | Report abuse

yellojkt, there are many musings available about the Moon. It and the the Earth are the only binary planets that we know of and the only home of sentient or, at least semi-sentient beings. Whether that is coincidence or not is unknown. My own Buddhist beliefs state that life will arise at every place it is possible to arise but the evolutionary path to consciousness is not so easy.

Posted by: edbyronadams | September 30, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Well . . . I, for one, welcome our new Goldilocks overlords.

Posted by: cowhand214 | September 30, 2010 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Am I the only one that keeps seeing the blog title and thinking it is some sort of oblique Buffy the Vampire Slayer reference? I thought so.

I was so disappointed to learn that Mercury's day did not exactly match its year. All my Lucky Starr scenarios of manned colonies living exactly in the twilight band got smashed. Perhaps there is hope for Gleick182.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 30, 2010 11:36 AM | Report abuse

I've seen that 'Goldilocks Overlords' movie. If you don't eat your porridge, you get punished. And there are some very naughty bears in it.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 30, 2010 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Perhaps being a moon is as good as having one.

Posted by: Jumper1 | September 30, 2010 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Garage has been de-water'ed. Something like 140 gallons. Drain cleared. I can sense that I need to get back to work based on unusual Doppler shift of laptop.

Posted by: russianthistle | September 30, 2010 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Perhaps our Goldilockian Overlords visited earth many hundreds of thousands of years ago, which now explains the presence of blonds among the human species.

Now, if we only figure out where redheads came from.

Although the article did say that Geek 581 was a red dwarf.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | September 30, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Only since Cuccinelli became Va. attorney general, wiredog.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | September 30, 2010 11:54 AM | Report abuse

If Iceland and Alaska around the summer solstice are anything to go by Gliese 581g must be quite the party place. Happy hour at all hours.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | September 30, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Maybe all red heads evolved from a single Irish retriever stuck on a time-warped space ship. Hey, it could happen.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ipm9xe5HXNU

Posted by: yellojkt | September 30, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Referring to the previous kit, I have partaken of the waters of Radium Hot Springs twice. Once with my son after a week of warm september weather trudging around the nearby mountains looking for them really big mule deer. Wonderful way to soak off the grunge and open the pores. The next year took the wife along on a November hunt. Nice to sit in the big warm steaming pool with the snow all around. Haven't noticed any unusual effects. Although did see some very large elk with glowing red noses along the highway between there and Banff.

Posted by: bh72 | September 30, 2010 1:10 PM | Report abuse

Instead of us going there, wouldn't it be easier to just send all the stuff we don't want anymore? Spent fuel rods, plastic bags, old tires, Sarah Palin.

Or it could be somewhere to send the Snake Plisskin's of the world. LiLo can have an acting job there...she can play Adrienne Barbeau.

Posted by: LostInThought | September 30, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse

I keep coming back to Fermi's Paradox. If life is so gosh darn common in the Universe, where is it? That is, why don't we see evidence of intelligent life blasting out something like the Cephalopod version of "Glee?" Why has SETI been such a dud? I know these questions bothered Sagan a lot.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | September 30, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

I agree that the term "habitable" is misleading. The term makes me think of verdant hills of triple-trunked trees with giant bird people living in the branches. Or something.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | September 30, 2010 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Which reminds me of yet another fabulous book for dmd's daughter to read: "Green Mansions"

It was made into a move with Audrey Hepburn (of course).

I read it when I was a teenager at the suggestion of my mother. It was breathtakingly gorgeous then. I wonder how I would look at it now (*note to self -- try and get hold of that book cheaply and take another read*)

Posted by: ftb3 | September 30, 2010 1:44 PM | Report abuse

RD, I think Fermi failed to account for the probability that ETI broadcasts into the Universe were unfortunately at the same frequency used by syndicated tv stations carrying the latest "Two And A Half Men" reruns.

Besides, we've only been able to receive Cephalopod Glee over the airwaves for less than a hundred years. Blink of an eye, easy to miss, if you're a wave/particle from millions of light-years away. Maybe the message arrived here in 1850, didn't get a signature and now the Interstellar UPS Driver is down the road a piece. Better hope the Universe is curved.

And then you get drowned out by that darned Charlie Sheen.

Posted by: byoolin1 | September 30, 2010 1:51 PM | Report abuse

This "Green Mansions"?

Free at Gutenberg project!

http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/942

Posted by: byoolin1 | September 30, 2010 1:55 PM | Report abuse

My definition of habitable is more flexible. It has to support human life, but just barely. I think more of New Caprica, which was a dusty forsaken h@llhole easily found by the Cylons. Or any of those desert-filled Star Trek planets covered with styrofoam rocks with belligerent aliens hiding behind them. Or southern Florida in the summer.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 30, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse

Joel, I gotta tell ya, this here discovery hath aroused the Muse, who hath come to me yet again and inspired me to pen this following little ditty

and it goes a little somethin'

like this:

Gliese (Is the World)

I climb Mauna Kea and I see the light
It’s coming from a star, we got to read it right
There ain't no danger we can see too far
We start retrieving how many planets there are

Gliese is the world

They thought our planet was the only game
Now we think there’s more, it's just a crying shame
Ptolemy was lying, a d0uche for real
He’d stop the search right now, bein’ alone ain’t no big deal

Gliese is the world, is the world, is the world that you heard
It's got air, it's got steaming
Gliese is the zone, out in space, is the orbit
Gliese is the star we are watching

Vogt took the pressure and he blew away
Conventionalitly belongs to yesterday
There is a chance it’s a livable star
Twenty light years, no, it’s not very far

Gliese is the world, is the world, is the world that you heard
It's got air, it's got steaming
Gliese is the zone, out in space, is the orbit
Gliese is the star we are watching

581 could have life, in profusion
Right ascension seems right, lacking rotation
What are they doing?

Vogt took the pressure and he blew away
Ptolemy’s theories, he don’t have no say
Butler thinks it’s a livable star
Twenty light years, no, we can’t get there by car

Gliese is the world, Goldilockian Overloards holding sway
They got air, they got hot-water heating
Gliese is the place, out in space, notify Twitter
Gliese is the star we are friending on Facebook

Gliese is the world, is the world, is the world that you heard
It's got air, just not very worth breathing
Gliese is the zone, out in space, is the orbit
Gliese is the star we are watching

Gliese is the world
Is the world
Is the world
Is the world

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | September 30, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

I'd make some crack about the three bears, but I can't. There are only two left now!

Be on the lookout for a 300-lb bear.

http://www.wmur.com/news/25225012/detail.html

Posted by: baldinho | September 30, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

"Green Mansions" appears to be free for the Kindle.

Unfortunately, I read the book when I was too old for it and found it -- not what I'd heard it would be.

Posted by: nellie4 | September 30, 2010 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Much to my horror,I went to the basement to find the sump pump had jammed and stopped working.I waded through 6 inches of water and fiddled with the pump and got it to work.Then I bailed the rest of the basement with the pump.
Now it is getting windy,please keep the power on today and the pump running.

Off to work today,we are celebrating our green hotel today,all the bigwigs will be there.I sure hope I don't blurt out how badly we all need a raise.

Or I might be wishing I was heading to Gliese.I wonder if they have TV there,so I could watch Ravens vs Steelers!!!

Posted by: greenwithenvy | September 30, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Yikes, gwe. I hope you had picked all your vintage collectible National Geographic back issues up off the floor.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 30, 2010 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Sorry guys, I've been out doing the good work of science and did not get to sign in earlier.

Habitable: we define habitable according to what we know and what we are able to know:

(1) We know that life on Earth requires liquid water, and where there's liquid water on Earth, we tend to find life. Therefore, one of our basic requirements for habitability is that liquid water be conceivably possible. It might be possible to have life in other environments, but we don't know. Certainly, one of the things we WANT to know is whether environments like Earth's are common or rare, so we still want to know about habitability by this criterion, in order to know whether we are weird or normal. It's just like high school, that way. The "Thermally Habitable Zone" is the range in which it is at least possible that a bare rock could be cooler than boiling and warmer than freezing. We do the calculation for a bare rock because it is easy to do. We are open to deviation from this model.

(2) "Habitable" does not mean habitable by you or me. Such chauvinism. There is plenty of life on Earth in environments that would us, more or less instantly, plus all the ones that would take a little longer to kill us, and the ones that are just unpleasant (we are such sissies). The earliest identified micro-fossils on Earth (within my non-geologist's knowledge) are about 3.7 billion years old. The Earth gained significant oxygen in the atmosphere about 2 billion years later, but still not enough for our modern monkey bodies to cope. Land plants came along within maybe a billion years in the form of mosses and lichens and that sort of thing, then plants with stems and so forth (help me out here, Dave of the Coonties!) showed up only about half a billion years ago, bringing the oxygen concentration up to a breathable minimum of about 15% and sometimes up to about 30%, occasionally. The current 23% is not particularly special. That makes roughly (3.7-0.5)/4.6 = 76% of Earth's history, and 95% of life's history on Earth, in which the planet was demonstrably habitable but not habitable by organisms similar to us.

(3) This planet is about 3.1 Earth mass, but that is not 3.1 Earth g's at the surface because the surface is farther from the center. Gravity will be cube root of 3.1 = 1.46 times greater than on Earth. Uncomfortable, but survivable -- especially for aquatic organisms.

Posted by: ScienceTim | September 30, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse

YAY, Tim!

*I feel so much safer now*

Posted by: ftb3 | September 30, 2010 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Very nice ditty Mudge. If this is just the beginning of finding habitable planets, the next few years should be very exciting or scary or something.

Have a day off today and spent the morning walking cranberry bogs with #2 and the granddogs. The bogs are flooded now for harvest and the dogs love to swim amongst the berries and little green frogs. On the way home I was a bad girl, shopped at Marshall's and bought some clothes. In my defense, most of them are highly practical and necessary (fleece jackets, turtle necks).

It is very humid and windy here, I believe we are going to miss the worst of the rain but will see tomorrow some of what you all have today.

Posted by: badsneakers | September 30, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

*Tim, number three above. If this shades of Lonesome No More! I want Daffodil for a middle name.

Posted by: LostInThought | September 30, 2010 3:21 PM | Report abuse

So the most likely kind of life form on Gliese is some sort of cube root? Could we make rhubarb pie out of it? (I bet Yoki could; she could make a scrumptuous pie out of anything organic.) I only wonder if 3.1 cube roots is going to be enough. (Unless, like, the darn things are ginormous.)

Allow me to sum up what we've got so far: a planet a couple times larger than earth where I weigh 46 percent more than I do now (jeez, thanks a lot for that, Tim) which has a narrow band of habitable land in a ring going from pole to pole, and which doesn't roate. Growing in that habitable zone are a bunch of red dwarfs with long blond tresses who exist on three gigunda, gnarly cube roots.

I don't think I'm going to like it there.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | September 30, 2010 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Og course, I admit I am looking at it as thought the Gliese was half empty, not half full.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | September 30, 2010 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Cool, SciTim! I follow, thanks. But what we really want to know is if you know Vogt and Butler, when the next song comes out and will they be featured artists?

Posted by: talitha1 | September 30, 2010 3:39 PM | Report abuse

SCC: should be "not half fuel."

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | September 30, 2010 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Does this thing, this world, have a habitable atmosphere, by any stretch of the imagination? We don't know.

(1) The mass is low enough that it's probably not a giant, not a Uranus or Neptune, not even a little one. It probably has a rocky surface, and it certainly has enough mass to hold onto an Earth-like (or Venus-like...) atmosphere.

(2) BUT: if it doesn't rotate, it's conceivable that the atmosphere can condense, snow out, and solidify on the ground of the night side. Air would rise on the sunlit surface, whoosh around the planet, and freeze on the night side, eventually giving it a polar cap. BUT, what if the atmosphere carries enough heat energy that it doesn't freeze, it just cools and recirculates back to the day side? We don't know. We can make models, but we have no observable examples to test the theories. Anything that requires continuous behavior across hundreds of degrees of temperature is prone to error. The only slowly-rotating bodies in our solar system are Venus and Titan, and they are not much like each other and not much like Gl581g. Venus, by the way, is inside our star's thermally habitable zone, so you can guess how much emphasis we place on that concept -- it's good enough to be a rough guide to what's worth investigating further, but it has major limitations.

(3) Did it ever have an atmosphere, even if it doesn't have one now? We don't know. Three out of four rocky planets in our solar system have atmospheres, so it seems likely. But we don't know for sure. We don't know exactly where the atmosphere of rocky planets come from -- does the gas seep out of the ground during the process of accreting rocks and its aftermath, or does that primordial atmosphere escape completely because it's too hot, and later get replaced by cometary influx? Are we breathing Earth's second atmosphere (after life replaced the previous atmosphere with oxygen and nitrogen) or is this Earth's third atmosphere?

(4) When I say that "we don't know these things" how can I presume to speak for these guys? I know the method they used to detect this thing, and I know it can't answer any of these questions. These planets do not transit the star (go between us and the star), so we can't see the atmosphere against the back-light -- which isn't easy, but might tell us whether it has any atmosphere at all. At least, I have not heard of them as transiting planets. It seems likely, after taking 11 years to do the work, that Butler and Vogt might have recruited someone to investigate whether any of the planets transit the parent star.

For this project, directly sensing the atmosphere, you're looking at technologies that are probably 20 years (or more) in the future -- although the right motivation and an understanding of the situation can provoke amazing feats of cleverness.

Posted by: ScienceTim | September 30, 2010 3:44 PM | Report abuse

The author claims:
"The fact that Gliese 581g is relatively close and was found relatively soon in the process does suggest strongly that the galaxy is lousy with Goldilocks planets."

Maybe Paul Davies doesn't know the extent of the "Goldilocks Enigma" but they have a very long way to go to prove that this planet is actually a Goldilocks planet, because life as we know it enjoys an unbelievably large number of precariously balanced conditions that are all absolutely necessary to our existence.

The fact that this planet is only about 20 light years away tells me that there likely isn't already intelligent life there or we would have picked stuff up over the air waves from them by now, so it probably is not a habitable planet or that would not be the case.

Posted by: Ryals | September 30, 2010 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Nope, I am not personally acquainted with Butler or Vogt. I know what Butler looks like.

Posted by: ScienceTim | September 30, 2010 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Or ... maybe they have already picked up on us, and really don't want to have anything to do with us.

Posted by: ftb3 | September 30, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

But why would you assume we'd have picked up transmissions by now, Ryals? You are assuming they'd be at least as advanced as we are. Maybe they are 30,000 years behind us. Or they just read a lot.

Tim, you haven't answered that most pressing question: do you know V&B?

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | September 30, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

I don't blame them, ftb.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | September 30, 2010 4:04 PM | Report abuse

(1) Paul Davies knows his stuff; I would not make an argument based on his ignorance, Ryals.

(2) The precariousness of life is a giant uncertainty. Life on Earth is actually pretty tough, and consistently amazes us with life found in new and ever-more unexpected places. Life in hot springs is precariously dependent on those conditions; life in glaciers is dependent on those conditions; life in black smokers depends on that, and life in a warm and comfortable and nutrient-rich pond depends on those conditions. All of those things are alive at the same time, on the same planet, each in conditions that would kill all the others. Perhaps one of the most important things we have learned in the past 30 years (or so) is that the fragility of life is highly over-rated. Individual species and individual organisms are fragile, yes (which is why global warming and chemical climate change is such a huge problem); "life" as a general condition is quite durable and adaptable.

(3) The importance of the Moon to life on Earth is pretty much unknown. Folks used to think that Earth must have formed with a Venus-like atmosphere, stripped off by gravitational interaction with the Moon. We now know that nearly every aspect of that concept is nonsense, and we have pretty good evidence that the Moon was formed after the Earth took such a zetz that the Moon gravitationally self-assembled from the debris. Chances are, if there were any life on Earth before that event, the Moon's formation reset the game.

(4) The Fermi Paradox remains an important philosophical framework for evaluating our notions, but I don't think that you could usefully reject a proposition because the Fermi Paradox objects to it.

Posted by: ScienceTim | September 30, 2010 4:12 PM | Report abuse

1) I have spoken with Paul Davies and I have a pretty good idea what he thinks and knows about this...

2) No, you missed the point that balanced conditions that define the Goldilocks Enigma make falsifiable predictions about where life will and will not be found... so there you go, prove your bogus assumtions.

3) We'd die without the Moon.

4) The goldilocks enigma says that all life evolved at approximately the same time as we did, and that is the only reason that we haven't heard from ET... yet.

Get a clue before you babble:
http://knol.google.com/k/the-anthropic-principle#

Posted by: Ryals | September 30, 2010 4:21 PM | Report abuse

We never did see what happened to Earth after Martin Landau and Barbara Bain stole the Moon away back in 1999. Perhaps we lived, perhaps we didn't. Seems like a pretty unknowable hypothesis.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 30, 2010 4:28 PM | Report abuse

Bob Mondello says the future just ain't what it used to be.

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=129325793&ft=1&f=3813466

Posted by: yellojkt | September 30, 2010 4:31 PM | Report abuse

I think Andrew Cuomo might have just won the governorship of New York. http://voices.washingtonpost.com/44/2010/09/carl-paladino-gets-in-fight-wi.html?hpid=artslot

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | September 30, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Orbiting a red dwarf star, if there were intelligent life there, it probably would not be behind us technologically, because RD's last so long. It probably goes back farther than we do, as the galaxy is not yet old enough for any of its original red dwarfs to expire. No matter what, the chances are remote that a civilization at any particular star would be inclined and capable of communicating with us during the short window that we have ben paying attention. Our capability and willingness to detect artificial signals goes back only about 50 years. Be patient.

SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) often is incorrectly described as "bad science" because its hypothesis is supposedly "there is life and I will detect it someday." Since you can always argue that life is at the star that you have not yet examined, this would indeed be bad science. The actual hypothesis of SETI is the pessimistic proposition "there is no other radio-transmitting life in the galaxy." We can then make certain assumptions and from them calculate the probability that any particular star has life (this is where the Drake Equation comes in). The cumulative probability that I would not have found any radio signals from any star that I have found, helps me estimate the confidence with which I can accept my null hypothesis. We need to carefully examine an awful lot of stars before we can say that the probability is high that we WOULD have detected such a civilization if it existed. A typical calculation of the Drake equation would give you an extant population of perhaps 10 such civilizations in the galaxy right now. My calculator is not good enough to calculate the necessary probabilities with such long odds, and I have to get back to my paid work (which involves procedures for remote investigation of exoplanets).

Posted by: ScienceTim | September 30, 2010 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Wow Ryals. What a winning personality. I'll bet you just floated up the management ladder, didn't ya?

Posted by: LostInThought | September 30, 2010 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Whoa! The comment thread below the Paladino post is certainly a haven for high minded discourse.

I'm going to go wash my hands.

Posted by: cowhand214 | September 30, 2010 4:52 PM | Report abuse

...the importance of the moon to the earth Tim... how about it takes the hits from most of the real heavy crap flying around in belts, orbits, and clouds out there, balances the rotation of gravitational, magnetic, and electrical fields so WE don't fly off somewhere over the...oh, that's right without the moon there would be nothing for the cow to jump over, not to mention all the cwazy wepublicans, wayward, whino's, and Independents who ('tho not crazy, just unpredictable) are going to Right the Ship, adrift Right now, and send a lot of De......rats scurrying Right back to the land of fun-employment, and they would have nothing to blame such lunacy on. Ha Ha.

Posted by: RichNomore | September 30, 2010 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Ryals, all I'm saying is that I would refrain from actively insulting your colleagues. Will you be at the DPS next week? I'll be in session 57. I'm the one named 'Tim.' Perhaps we can cool the rhetoric with a beer. I took a moment to skim your article on the anthropic principle. I don't have time to really get into it, as it's rather long, and I think you spend a lot of time on preamble. I suppose what I mean is that it's not very tightly argued. I get the impression it would make more sense to me in spoken word. On the other hand, if you're inclined to declare that that marks me as stupid and unable to understand your genius, then I think we're not likely to get along very well.

In the meantime, "we'd die without the Moon" is an unproven assumption. I don't recall any definite predictions on the subject that have withstood the test of time. Perhaps I have missed something.

Posted by: ScienceTim | September 30, 2010 4:56 PM | Report abuse

...beer summits under a full moon...that could be the key to peace WE all are looking for.....wonder if Einstein would have benefited from one of those... WE hear he was a bit of a loner and did not take criticism well.....

Posted by: RichNomore | September 30, 2010 5:00 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for your contributions, RichNoMore. Assuming he's still reading, I'm sure Ryals really appreciates your help.

Posted by: ScienceTim | September 30, 2010 5:03 PM | Report abuse

...there you go again, stirring up those old piles, that never smell any better the second time around:

Gad-Zooks, here comes the parallax and red shift. Can alien contact (from out there) be far behind, or maybe they are already in the opaque smoking tent at 1600 Penn. Ave., hiding out with Big 'O' and his incredible disappearing advisooors?...

Where are you? Anybody in There?

Happening Now....

Cuomo vs Paladino

The return to real fair and balanced, normalcy in dirty Politics (lay down with Polls, get up with tics[(sic) sick ticks]. Positively Trumanesque ("write one more thing about my daughter's Musical Talent and you will need a new nose", See WaPo Music Critic Paul Hume's December 6, 1950 column)....

Paladino says: "I have a daughter, she was not conceived under the most admirable circumstances, but she is off-limits in this election cycle.

NYPo Fredric Uberall(es) "Fred" Dicker (what would WE expect from a ******?) says: "Everythings on my plate and on my table Pal....., you have been sayin' some pretty stern things about our guy, and by golly, by gosh, Republicans are supposed to just sit down, shut up, and rotate on it when it comes to your families, etc.

"Paladino says: "Dicker, any more goons show up at my daughter's location, I will take you out."

After that Real Clear Politics exchange, there was the suggestion that there is more to the story of Andrew-Dumptey's great fall from Cuomo-lot, specifically just who was cheating on whom in the parlor at the end of the Cuomo-Kennedy/like Immaculate Union of two Real Famous Rich People.

Hope Bart's there for that News Conference. Should be way more entertaining than most Blago News Shows: and, and.....don't forget Andy (not as Hardy as his dad) Cuomo, is up to his eyeballs to the wall, in the Fannie-Frank's 'n Beans with a IRS Big Mac present in every big-time Dethugmocrat's War Chest Scandal (that's been deemed a Not-A-Scandal), the three monkey's syndrome.


Posted by: RichNomore | September 30, 2010 5:05 PM | Report abuse

curmudgeon the 6th,

Don't Blame US, as others do, unless you expect it to be done to you.

No simple way to describe it, to quote a famous line from "JFK" the Movie by Oliver Stoned, "...f***(sic) man! It's a mystery! It's a mystery wrapped in a riddle inside an enigma! The f***in'(sic)..." (Joe Pesci as David Ferrie), the bribers don't even know who the bribee's are!

....BTW Obama-Care now responsible for 30,000 MDC flippers losing their health insurance in advance of the new taxes kickin' in daily. Sure they'll soon be calling for nationalization of Big hamburger, so these poor people relegated to jobs Americans won't do, that do not have a living wage by GWB and Halliburton, can be safe again, in our own good time, and not have to wait for Castro-Care 2014.

How's that for a plateful?

Posted by: RichNomore | September 30, 2010 5:11 PM | Report abuse

...leaving what the three money's are doing to some of y'all's vivid imaginations.

Posted by: RichNomore | September 30, 2010 5:17 PM | Report abuse

Heaped and steaming

Posted by: Jumper1 | September 30, 2010 5:26 PM | Report abuse

Meanwhile, archaeological evidence in Papua New Guinea shows that people had arrived by 43,000 years ago, perhaps as early as 49,000 years ago. Previous evidence puts people in New Guinea-Australia (they were united) about 41,000 years ago.

The new report might be of some interest to those wondering what happened to the Australian big animals.

Thinking of Australia, Robert Brander's "Dr. Rip's Essential Beach Book" showed up today. It's based on this geomorphologist/lifesaver's community talks in Sydney and his "Science of the Surf" website. Haven't had time to read it, but layout, topics, and illustrations (many annotated) look like he really has put together a book for all Australian beach goers. Publication day is tomorrow, just in time for Austral spring.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | September 30, 2010 5:29 PM | Report abuse

You know, RNM, every now and again, your posts indicate that perhaps there's a light on and someone's home. Maybe it's just a nightlight or a table lamp on a timer, but sometimes it seems there's some viable thoughts hidden deep within your posts. I might not agree with those thoughts, but that alone doesn't mean we can't discuss them, gain from the exchange. But the blatant meanness in your posts is a major turn-off, and makes it really hard to continue to care that perhaps someone *is* home but trapped under a giant bottle of pills.

Posted by: LostInThought | September 30, 2010 5:33 PM | Report abuse

Frankly,
If Mickey Dee's can't pay health benefits to their workers, perhaps the Dollar Menu needs to go to a buck-fifty. It's bad enough that food service workers don't take sick days because they don't have any. If they don't work, they don't get paid.

http://dinersjournal.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/09/30/restaurant-workers-dont-stay-home-when-sick-study-finds/

Posted by: yellojkt | September 30, 2010 5:35 PM | Report abuse

...sometimes I feel like the liberal guy Rush Lamebaugh praises on his show for getting it Right, and then has to go back to where he lives and works, wondering if he will ever be invited to dinner at his 'friends' parties again.

Posted by: RichNomore | September 30, 2010 6:07 PM | Report abuse

...really, all is not lost. There is way more appreciation and heart-feeling in the hills and valleys of middle America, than maybe most people know.

Posted by: RichNomore | September 30, 2010 6:17 PM | Report abuse

Dana Milbank's column on Glenn Beck is a preview of his book on Beck coming out on Tuesday. "Tears of a Clown: Glenn Beck and the Tea Bagging of America". An entire book on Beck! Milbank's a good enough writer to pull it off.

Maybe a chapter on Newt Gingrich's hatred of Theodore Roosevelt to help explain why Beck hates Woodrow Wilson? Do Newt and Glenn both admire Boss Tweed? What about that strange ultra-super rightwing professor at Brigham Young University?

Does Beck think that JP Morgan Chase should issue currency once the Federal Reserve is abolished? Should I actually watch Beck once in a while?
_____________
The right wingers are claiming that millions of Americans are losing their health insurance because Obamacare made it unaffordable or downright illegal.

So how is it that Hawai'i has managed to require essentially all employers to provide health insurance for their employees? That includes McDonalds.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | September 30, 2010 6:39 PM | Report abuse

Do you drink heavily Richie boy? Your thought process is just like mine after a few stiff vodkas, half a bottle of wine and a nice snifter of brandy or two.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | September 30, 2010 6:40 PM | Report abuse

yellojkt,
Thank you for your kind words this morning. I promise to boodle when the noodle moves me.

Posted by: veritasinmedium | September 30, 2010 6:47 PM | Report abuse

RNM last two post make sense to me and I agree with the last one about decent people in the hinterlands and other places.

DoCounties, butTR is my fave pres ever and so too of my conservie relies. Wow. who IS mr Beck anyway?

Welcome Vmedium

Mudgie -- another great poem. And, wow on the planet that is warm and fuzzy and medium in a good way.

I am imagining: coziness itself, with warm MayPo in darling pottery bowls, rush seated chairs, and puffy eiderdowns on the spool beds.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | September 30, 2010 6:52 PM | Report abuse

I hear that famous pollster Dean Wormer has the latest percent chance that Paladino will win the NY governorship.

Dean Wormer: zero point zero.

I only wish that I had a year or two to work on my a hole bona fides. I coulda been a tea party star.

Posted by: baldinho | September 30, 2010 6:52 PM | Report abuse

I'm working on a thesis that the 2010 midterm elections are just a 30-year old rerun of the laff-a-lympics. The Scooby Doobies are on the defensive as the Yogi Yahooeys have merged with the Really Rottens.

Posted by: baldinho | September 30, 2010 7:05 PM | Report abuse

Here's a pic of the Tea Party... uh, the Really Rottens.

Can we all agree that Dick Armey from now on can be known only as Muttley?

http://www.flickr.com/photos/29235310@N07/3202302565/

Posted by: baldinho | September 30, 2010 7:13 PM | Report abuse

Dang, I want a reuben now. No cheese, of course. And with sauerkraut -- it's clearly superior to the version with cole slaw.

Posted by: ScienceTim | September 30, 2010 7:14 PM | Report abuse

CqP,
Theodore Roosevelt was an utterly amazing individual. No idea how he did so much in a relatively short life.

I'm going to start on Douglas Brinkley's "The Wilderness Warrior" after a couple of other books are taken care of. In this area, apart from wondering about all that hunting, he's wonderful. In foreign affairs, there's questions about his dealings with Japan, and he seems to have been fairly racist, though I recall that he infuriated southerners by inviting Booker T. Washington to dinner at the White House.

No present-day President can regulate or do executive orders the way Roosevelt did.

I expect that within a decade, there'll be a serious effort to transform his face at Mt Rushmore into a likeness of Ronald Reagan (please don't suggest this to Mr. Beck).

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | September 30, 2010 7:21 PM | Report abuse

Tim, when I used to eat "meat" I would cherish a reuben -- a real, actual, true to itself reuben -- the one with sauerkraut! A like-minded wich with cole slaw is faux, indeed, and would not (I tell you *not*) have passed my lips.

Posted by: ftb3 | September 30, 2010 7:22 PM | Report abuse

SciTim,

Have some MayPo. I ladled some in a bowl marked: Just Right for the Science Boy.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | September 30, 2010 7:30 PM | Report abuse

Reubens all around. True blue with kraut for me, too. I like a touch of mustard.

Alas, just some clam chowder for me tonight. I threw out my back picking up a large plant to move inside late this afternoon and can barely walk, let alone cook. If I drop something on the floor and can't pick it up with my toes it has to stay there ... pretty comical.

Posted by: talitha1 | September 30, 2010 7:31 PM | Report abuse

Well, I exhaustively displayed my feelings about reuben sandwiches a while back (I like 'em!) so I'll leave that alone.

I will suggest that the 30-year-old NFL player Kassim Osgood may wish to reconsider the whole 'hanging out with 19-year-old girls' thing. And even if he can't see his way clear to giving up that sweet young stuff, he might want to find a crowd that doesn't pack so much iron.

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/early-lead/2010/09/jaguars_wide_receiver_kassim_o.html

Sheesh! Don't these guys even read stories about crap that happens to other guys in their own league? I guess they probably do, then laugh about what dumbasses the other guys must be.

Posted by: Bob-S | September 30, 2010 7:43 PM | Report abuse

Bailey said Olbermann ought to go on Colbert. "They'd probably start talking about science fiction stuff."

Posted by: Jumper1 | September 30, 2010 8:07 PM | Report abuse

*faxing some liniment and other soothing stuff for talitha's back*

And some Eva Cassidy songs, too.

That outta do it, eh?

Hey, Yoki, hockey season starts very, very soon, and aren't we glad -- as in Woo-Hoo Glad!

Bob-S, there are so many people who even in adulthood have adolescent brains, as in: they won't get caught; nothing bad will ever happen to them; rules don't apply to them (especially if they're making bazillions of dollars basically doing nothing); and they're narcissistic entitlement freaks.

*sigh*

Posted by: ftb3 | September 30, 2010 8:09 PM | Report abuse

SCC: "oughta" *not* "outta*

Time to go read the dead tree version.

Posted by: ftb3 | September 30, 2010 8:11 PM | Report abuse

Eventually, if we visit the Goldilocks planet, bears will return, and they will be pissed. So Olbermann said.

Posted by: Jumper1 | September 30, 2010 8:57 PM | Report abuse

Completely off topic, I picked up Anthony Bourdain's Medium Raw today. It is a great read so far.

Incredibly windy here and still very humid (dew point of 70) with heavy rain coming tomorrow. Hope all of you with wet basements and garages are coping. You have my empathy.

Posted by: badsneakers | September 30, 2010 8:57 PM | Report abuse

Frosti will like this planet, she is such a bear hugger.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | September 30, 2010 9:10 PM | Report abuse

Bourdain? I'm going through Frank Bruni's "Born Round: the secret history of a full-time eater". His experience of a Chapel Hill full of edible food seems to post-date my food-desert experience by about a decade.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | September 30, 2010 9:53 PM | Report abuse

The first thing I thought as i read the kit was 'Earth that was could no longer support our numbers...'

We are a smart species. We need to figure out how to keep this planet healthy to live on. That way, when we go to visit Gliese 581, the inhabitants won't think we are the evil outsiders come to take over their world.

Posted by: --dr-- | September 30, 2010 9:57 PM | Report abuse

Slate's Explainer column weighs in on how we would travel to our new-found friend Gliese 581g:

http://www.slate.com/id/2269244/

Posted by: -pj- | September 30, 2010 10:00 PM | Report abuse

Howdy y'all. I'm sure our Goldilockian Overlords will be pleased with the overall fine quality of Boodling today. Mighty fine, even.
Mudge, the pome and other suggestions were magnificent.
ScienceTim, thanks for some actual knowledge-type information.
veritasinmedium, keep it up. I hope the spirit moves you again soon! You'll notice most of the rest of us don't wait for inspiration to post.

The Overlords might even enjoy the chaotic gibberish in which RNM appears to still rejoice. I mainly gather this through responses, as I still can't read RNM's posts. It is that language thing.

My Thought for the Day, professionally inspired: If you routinely carry a sawed-off shotgun because you never know when you might need it, don't be surprised if, when you find yourself in an alarming situation, you shoot someone.

Posted by: Ivansmom | September 30, 2010 10:02 PM | Report abuse

Ivanmom's Shotgun Corollary to Chekov's Pistol

Posted by: yellojkt | September 30, 2010 10:36 PM | Report abuse

The requirement for a moon comparable to ours for the evolution of biology, as pointed out in my book "The Goldilocks Effect" (awaiting publication), is a vexing question. For those having reasonable attention spans and and interest in such matters my previous, more comprehensive work, "Unusual Perspectives" is available for free download at the eponymous website.

Posted by: PeterGKinnon | September 30, 2010 10:43 PM | Report abuse

Ivanmom's Shotgun Corollary to Chekov's Pistol is exactly why I don't carry a sawed-off shotgun with me. I have to make do with changing people's passwords then affecting innocence when they can't access their accounts.

"eponymous website" well done!

Posted by: -dbG- | September 30, 2010 10:58 PM | Report abuse

Backboodling and sending thanks to
ftb for linement ... I think this backstrain is very serious ... functionally. Just beginning to remember, after many years, what living mateless truly entails. Problem is that there is much physical work to do tomorrow that, if left undone, may have longlasting consequences. DO send that "other" healing power. ;~]

Back to "kotching up" since SciTim's wonderful posts.

Posted by: talitha1 | September 30, 2010 11:29 PM | Report abuse

deny moonless thoughts
her push expels the hopelosts
but pulls our hearts all

Posted by: talitha1 | September 30, 2010 11:48 PM | Report abuse

Guess I kilt it.

Posted by: talitha1 | September 30, 2010 11:51 PM | Report abuse

PG Kinnon is perhaps a little too cute for my tastes, but at least he's interested in some interesting things.

Posted by: Bob-S | October 1, 2010 12:02 AM | Report abuse

PGKinnon - Did Martin Gardner *really* comment upon your book, or are you just having a little fun with us?

Posted by: Bob-S | October 1, 2010 12:13 AM | Report abuse

Egad, someone had to do it ---

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SLuW-GBaJ8k&feature=related

Nice ending. Within our own habitable little solar system I choose this to say goodnight.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Og4-RqDgRO0&feature=related

Wake you up with Jupiter!

Posted by: talitha1 | October 1, 2010 1:10 AM | Report abuse

Boodling late. Busy day.
Deadlines met. Brain hitting pillow,
Body won't follow.

Brain asks for divorce.
Domestic quarrel occurs.
Dog wonders: call cops?


-Wilbrod/og-

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | October 1, 2010 1:20 AM | Report abuse

Speaking frankly, Wilbrod ...
if you need to, don't hesitate.

Wanta spill?

Posted by: talitha1 | October 1, 2010 2:04 AM | Report abuse

Never mind.

Posted by: talitha1 | October 1, 2010 2:06 AM | Report abuse

http://xkcd.com/386/

Posted by: Jumper1 | October 1, 2010 3:27 AM | Report abuse

Jumper! Toothpaste on the keyboard is very hard to clean!

Posted by: DNA_Girl | October 1, 2010 5:26 AM | Report abuse

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

Good morning, friends. Mudge, I can't seem to get your comment out of my head, the one were you talk about people rejecting change because society has become too complex for them to manuever. In so much of what you say, I agree, but can't seem to fit the "hate factor" in there, and with some of these folks, hate is the basis for what they feel. Oh, they don't come right out and say this, they cover it up with so many other situations or events, but it all goes back to that.

Just about every true blood Republican I've ever talked in my neck of the woods blame all society's ills on the Kennedy-Johnson administrations. The Civil Rights Era, if you will. And in many of those converstations they try to convince me that all was well until then. They want me to see the light, and join them in that premise, but I can't very well do that. You've seen my face! Why would I agree that discrimation of my people and myself is a good thing? Perhaps some people did sleep better at night, but I don't want to go back to that time.

I think change is hard for any people regardless of their skin color. And you are right, society today is complicated and there so much many of us don't understand. That is scary for a lot of us, yet I don't think the United State of America is a country that celebrates fear. Perhaps those doctored up history books have given me the wrong perception, but I've always envisioned us as a country that kicked butt and moved forward, and never bowed down to fear, whether that fear came in the form of man or ideas.

Have a beautiful day, folks, and love to all.

Slyness, what you doing?

Posted by: cmyth4u | October 1, 2010 5:42 AM | Report abuse

I had a whole lineup of music for Jumper ... But here's the one that survived.

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

Happy Friday, y'all.

Posted by: talitha1 | October 1, 2010 5:58 AM | Report abuse

Here's how NOT to handle people that upset you on the internet:

" The arriving officer found 25 year-old Breana Danielle Greathouse of Kansas City, Missouri with a gun in her hand and threatening to shoot Forrest Jamison of 1308 Center Street Place. The preliminary investigation shows that Greathouse traveled from Kansas City [to Ottumwa, Iowa] earlier in the day to kill Jamison because she believed that he made derogatory postings about her on the Internet."

http://www.heartlandconnection.com/news/story.aspx?id=518903

Posted by: yellojkt | October 1, 2010 6:11 AM | Report abuse

But then, there are even sillier reasons to kill people.

Owner Killed After Dog Leashes Are Tangled

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/01/nyregion/01leash.html

Posted by: yellojkt | October 1, 2010 6:21 AM | Report abuse


Get information on how to reduce your debt by filing for bankruptcy http://bit.ly/avB0jI

Posted by: chloemia01 | October 1, 2010 6:29 AM | Report abuse

Who is Revere America? I watch almost no TV, but when I do, these guys are running ads against all the Democrats up here. From their web site:

"Revere America is a new organization dedicated to advancing common sense public policies rooted in our traditions of freedom and free markets that will once again make America secure and prosperous for generations to come.

Our purpose is to promote national awareness of emerging federal law.

Our mission is to harness and amplify the voices of the American people to give them a greater say in fighting back against the threats to freedom posed by Washington liberals.

Our drive to collect one million signatures of like-minded Americans who want to repeal and replace the health care reform bill is designed to make the voice of the people heard and inspire our leaders to heed the will of the people."

If I had to guess, I'd say lots of private health care companies and an amalgam of business organizations.

Funny. If they were so patriotic and loving of America, why won't they tell us who they are?

We live in interesting times.

Posted by: baldinho | October 1, 2010 7:12 AM | Report abuse

100% Grade-A astroturf, baldinho. Emboldened by recent Supreme Court decisions on the monetary value of free speech. I'm actually not opposed to it in principle, being an Anonymous-American myself. These guys, however, are a much greater test of my First Amendment absolutism:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/story/2010/09/30/ST2010093006341.html?hpid=artslot

What they are doing is disgusting and reprehensible. Easily on the level of Nazis marching in Skokie.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 1, 2010 7:20 AM | Report abuse

I see it is headed by Pataki, and claims to not take corporate money. They say they have raised maybe 5 million and have about 200 donors.

We have yet to see the heavy rain, but we are getting a lot of wind.

We had a "leaner" tree adjacent to the house that was broken during a storm last winter. It was about 60 feet tall and maybe 40 feet from the house, but was leaning so that it would fall parallel to one side of it.

It came down last night during the wind storm, and fell perfectly parallel to the house. Phew!

Hope everyone deals well with the weather we have been and continue to get.

Posted by: baldinho | October 1, 2010 7:21 AM | Report abuse

And in a hard-hitting poll on the web front page is this burning question which must have been mined from the Boodle:

"Bird lovers are worried about feline attacks on their feathered friends. Whose side are you on?"

http://views.washingtonpost.com/post-user-polls/2010/09/are-you-a-cat-or-bird-person.html?hpid=talkbox1

I think they are stooping to this idiocy just to aggravate mudge.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 1, 2010 7:23 AM | Report abuse

Interesting times, indeed, baldinho. Sometimes I think boredom would be nice for a while.

Good morning, Cassandra! We've had the walk and I'm going to craft class at church in a little while. Today we put the three pieces of the quilt together. I've got one of them, so I have to show up. I brought it home last week to finish the hand quilting, which I did...

Yesterday was a stellar day on Achenblog, in more ways than one. I love reading you folks!

I hope everyone has a great Friday!

Posted by: slyness | October 1, 2010 7:24 AM | Report abuse

George Pataki is the figurehead of Revere America. No telling who the puppetmasters are.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 1, 2010 7:25 AM | Report abuse

Maybe we can start our own advocacy group? All we need is a great name and a cause.

Healthy Patriots for America..... we could advocate for increased consumption of fatty and sugary foods.

Patriots for Peace...... we could advocate for the mass beatings of everyone we don't agree with.

Protectors of All Americans.... we could push to protect the wealth of the top 1% of Americans.

Posted by: baldinho | October 1, 2010 7:27 AM | Report abuse

baldinho, how about "Dangerously small-minded Reactionaries for a Better America"?

Truth in advertising strikes again!

Posted by: cowhand214 | October 1, 2010 7:42 AM | Report abuse

5 mill from 200 donors. That comes to $25k per person on average. Talk about your grass-roots campaign. Their fund-raising efforts must be dipping way down into the investment banker demographic.

The Revere America campaign seems largely aimed at overturning health care reform, so I suspect some large insurance executives and sleazy for-profit hospital owners are the real bugs under the rocks.

I'm just having a hard time picturing an alarmed Paul Revere riding through streets screaming "Universal coverage is coming! Universal coverage is coming!"

Posted by: yellojkt | October 1, 2010 8:11 AM | Report abuse

Idiots Against Literatsy
The Stock Broker Bonus Preservation Alliance
Founding Fathers For Hedge Funds
The HFCS Apple Pie Coalition
United Mineral Extractors Of The World.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 1, 2010 8:18 AM | Report abuse

Well, the Dawn Patrol only had to put its hip waders on this morning... Flash flood warnings along the flight path, however. :-O

baldinho, d'ya think Revere America might be interested to learn the TARP bailout could actually be a success? (Yes, I've considered the source):

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/01/business/01tarp.html

Hey cowhand!

*TFSMIF-and-hoping-it's-a-very-boring-one-too Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 1, 2010 8:18 AM | Report abuse

Yellow: see, they don't take corporate donations. I bet there are lots of the patriotic 200 who are executive-level officials in the healthcare companies, but they are NOT, NOT! corporate donations.

Posted by: baldinho | October 1, 2010 8:22 AM | Report abuse

Just concerned average Americans. With seven (or eight) figure paychecks.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 1, 2010 8:25 AM | Report abuse

George Pataki, where have I heard that name before?

Excuse the misspellings and other errors in my morning comment. Too many to list, don't you think?

Slyness, did the defendant ever talk?

Posted by: cmyth4u | October 1, 2010 8:25 AM | Report abuse

I really liked DotC's comments about the great piece from Milbank addressing Glenn Beck's fascination with Hitler, Wilson and all the other mythical figures in "his" history. It's a nice long piece that scoops up many of Beck's faux historical references.

My only challenge was to wade through the Oil Industry ads about "JOBS" ...

Here is some video of Governor Arnolt going all Conan on Certain members of the Oil industry including the Koch brothers ....

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3036677/ns/msnbc_tv-countdown_with_keith_olbermann/

jkt, the segment from Olbermann has some great stats in it. There is extended snippets of Conan's speech.

Posted by: russianthistle | October 1, 2010 8:34 AM | Report abuse

No, he didn't, Cassandra. Obviously a very disturbed young man.

The case we are talking about is the trial of a man who was convicted yesterday of killing two police officers in 2007. He shot both of them in the head. He was convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to life in prison without parole. The judge took capital punishment off the table when the investigating detective admitted he lost his notes about the case.

Posted by: slyness | October 1, 2010 8:44 AM | Report abuse

Doncha jes hate it when the day's forecast spawns a tune cootie from "Windy," The Association's 1967 hit?

Ok, so that's actualy a nice tune cootie. :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 1, 2010 8:49 AM | Report abuse

Snuke! what a great band!!! I saw them at Disneyland in about 1974.

Posted by: russianthistle | October 1, 2010 8:54 AM | Report abuse

And I think Windy's eyes would be flashing a whole lot listening to political ads these days... *SIGH*

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 1, 2010 9:00 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, y'all.

Warm muffins, coffee and OJ on the table.

Cassandra, Mr. Pataki was governor of NY for 12 years in the 1990s and 2000s.

As to the neo-Nazis marching in Skokie, there's actually a play about that running at a TWC theater.
http://chicago.metromix.com/theater/theater_event/the-invasion-of-skokie-river-west/1933203/content

We're sunny and dry today, much cooler weather heading in for the weekend. Those with wet and wind today, take care.

Posted by: MsJS | October 1, 2010 9:03 AM | Report abuse

The 'fairness' links at the bottom of the Milbank excerpt link to this article:

Is Conservatism Brain-Dead?

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/10/01/AR2009100103889.html

Another laughably obvious rhetorical question.

Cleverest line so far:

"We've traded in Buckley for Beck, Kristol for Coulter, and conservatism has been reduced to sound bites."

He needs to make explicit that he is referring to Irving Kristol The Elder and not the habitually incorrect current monthly denizen of the WaPo Op-Ed page.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 1, 2010 9:04 AM | Report abuse

George Pataki is a former Republican governor of New York.

Mind you slyness, just about now is a good time to be scheduled for an execution. It looks like the world is fresh out of the magic powder the states use to kill their badly misbehaving citizens. Personnally, I think the sodium pentothal should go to the anesthesiologists in priority, not to the state executioners. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/30/us/30drug.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=sodium&st=cse

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | October 1, 2010 9:10 AM | Report abuse

This morning's low temperature was 65, the coolest since April (there was a 66 in May).

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | October 1, 2010 9:14 AM | Report abuse

sd,
A more important priority for thiopental sodium would be the various secret black ops organizations (as documented by Nikita, Undercovers, 24, et. al.) who use it to get terrorists and spies to talk. Otherwise these agencies will have to resort to their standby interrogation protocol, rusty dental instruments.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 1, 2010 9:30 AM | Report abuse

New kit.

On the GoM disastrahoochie.

Posted by: MsJS | October 1, 2010 9:35 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, Boodle.

Irritate me they have, yello. 13 question heads above the fold, four below it, one of them being that incomparably stupid "Are you a cat person or a bird person" thing you correctly cited. Somewhere in their graves, Walter Lippman and H.L. Mencken are spinning in their graves like turbine engines.

Meanwhile, an addendum: Yesterday's ditty, "Gliese (Is the World)" was based upon the theme from "Grease" ("Grease is the word, it's the word," etc.). This works quite well ... but only if one mispronounces Gliese, which I have since learned is pronounced glee-suh, rhymes with Lisa and Mother Teresa. I believe this problem is what has kept "Gliese (Is the World)" from going viral and making me a bazillionaire.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | October 1, 2010 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Anyone catch Maddow last night? She called it all "money laundering," ("Revere America") repeatedly. I agree. She pointed out their website doesn't actually "do" anything; a shameless front for anonymous - who?

Posted by: Jumper1 | October 1, 2010 11:35 AM | Report abuse

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