Monday’s Forum

James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Researchers rethink life in a cold climate after Antarctic find

    The accidental discovery of marine organisms on a boulder on the sea floor beneath 900 metres (3,000ft) of Antarctic ice shelf has led scientists to rethink the limits of life on Earth.

    Researchers stumbled on the life-bearing rock after sinking a borehole through nearly a kilometre of the Filchner-Ronne ice shelf on the south-eastern Weddell Sea to obtain a sediment core from the seabed.

    While the boulder scuppered their chances of obtaining the core, footage from a video camera sent down the hole captured the first images of organisms stuck to a rock far beneath an ice shelf.

    “It’s slightly bonkers,” said Dr Huw Griffiths, a marine biogeographer at the British Antarctic Survey. “Never in a million years would we have thought about looking for this kind of life, because we didn’t think it would be there.”

    A silver lining inside their cloud.

  2. Jen says:

    The title here threw me for a beat…I suppose Presidents’ Day is a second Sunday of sorts.

    @OzarkHillbilly: Scientists had previously discovered life in heated thermal vents where they didn’t believe it could survive, so this doesn’t quite feel like a huge surprise. We still have so much to learn about our own planet. Thanks for sharing!

  3. MarkedMan says:

    @Jen: maybe this is the forum from 6 days in the future? If so can someone please post the lottery numbers?

  4. de stijl says:

    It’s -11F. High yesterday was -6F.

    I can feel it if I walk within 3 feet of an outside wall. It leaches in.

    -20F tomorrow morning.

    Worst I’ve seen at this latitude.

  5. de stijl says:


    “Scuppered” is one hell of a verb.

  6. OzarkHillbilly says:

    The remora speaks:

    WASHINGTON – Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said Sunday he thought Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s speech blasting former President Donald Trump would be used against Republicans in campaign ads in 2022 when the party fights to reclaim the Senate.

    McConnell, R-Ky., slammed Trump for potential criminal conduct moments after he voted for acquittal in the 57-43 vote Saturday in the Senate impeachment trial. The vote fell short of the two-thirds majority needed for conviction.

    McConnell, in a roughly 20-minute floor speech, said Trump’s “crescendo of conspiracy theories” caused the Jan. 6 Capitol riots for which he was “practically and morally responsible.”

    Graham, a staunch defender of Trump, said on Fox News Sunday that McConnell’s words would be used against Republicans in campaign advertising next year, when the party hopes to pick up enough seats to retake control of the Senate.

    “He got a load off his chest, obviously, but unfortunately he put a load on the back of Republicans,” Graham said. “That speech you will see in 2022 campaigns.”

    Well, you gutless sycophantic lickspittle, if you didn’t want to carry the weight of trump for the next 15 years or so, you could have just voted for conviction. But that would require principles, of which you have none.

  7. Mu Yixiao says:

    @de stijl:

    I have a 100-year-old stucco/plaster house with no insulation–and almost no heat in the basement*. It can handle normal Wisconsin winters very well, but… right now things are a bit chilly on the first floor. The open stairwell assures that upstairs is damn toasty, though. 🙂

    Last weekend I fired up the wood stove in the basement to stave off the worst of the “cold floor syndrome”. It barely kept up.

    *I have a steam boiler (steam heat rocks!), and when I had the new furnace put in 15 years ago, I intentionally left off a bunch of the pipe insulation so that there would be some heat down there.

  8. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jen: Yeah, it’s not really a surprise. On this planet, anywhere life can possibly exist, it does. Including places so extreme we think it is impossible for life to exist.

  9. MarkedMan says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: When I see these pieces about life surviving at such extreme conditions, it immediately brings to mind the question: Could life have arisen in these conditions rather than evolved to meet them?

  10. de stijl says:


    Graham is today’s weathervane.

    He neither looks back nor forecasts.

    In 2015 he was fairly vigorous Trump critic and decried his evident bad traits. Now, he is Trump’s #1 fan. Is it because he thinks he needs those votes next election?

    Toady, lickspittle, bootlicker.

    I’ve never wanted a job enough to debase myself and surely not in public.

    I find it creepy and unseemly. Grow a fucking spine, for your own sake. I pity him for his lack of spirit.

    Born follower.

  11. de stijl says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    Do you use radiators?

  12. Kathy says:


    There’s also a bacterium that thrives in ionizing radiation. So, I think the limits of life on Earth are: so long as there’s nutrients and a usable energy source, and not much else.

  13. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @MarkedMan: More than a few evolutionary biologists are asking that exact question.

    @de stijl: In construction there is a breed of foremen/riding bosses/superintendents that think screaming is a viable form of communication. I’ve picked up my tools and gone home more than once.

  14. de stijl says:


    McConnell votes to acquit and a half hour later delivers a speech that says Trump caused 1/6.

    Wants his cake and eats it too. I would prefer he not get away with that.

    I declare shenanigans.

  15. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kathy: @Jen: A good read:

    New Life Found That Lives Off Electricity
    Scientists have figured out how microbes can suck energy from rocks. Such life-forms might be more widespread than anyone anticipated.

    The Rock Eaters

    Though eating electricity seems bizarre, the flow of current is central to life. All organisms require a source of electrons to make and store energy. They must also be able to shed electrons once their job is done. In describing this bare-bones view of life, Nobel Prize-winning physiologist Albert Szent-Györgyi once said, “Life is nothing but an electron looking for a place to rest.”

    Humans and many other organisms get electrons from food and expel them with our breath. The microbes that El-Naggar and others are trying to grow belong to a group called lithoautotrophs, or rock eaters, which harvest energy from inorganic substances such as iron, sulfur or manganese. Under the right conditions, they can survive solely on electricity.

    The microbes’ apparent ability to ingest electrons — known as direct electron transfer — is particularly intriguing because it seems to defy the basic rules of biophysics. The fatty membranes that enclose cells act as an insulator, creating an electrically neutral zone once thought impossible for an electron to cross. “No one wanted to believe that a bacterium would take an electron from inside of the cell and move it to the outside,” said Kenneth Nealson, a geobiologist at the University of Southern California, in a lecture to the Society for Applied Microbiology in London last year.

  16. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @de stijl: I would prefer he ate shit and died.

  17. Mu Yixiao says:

    @de stijl:

    Do you use radiators?

    Yep. And I love them. They give off a more steady heat, and they vent some of the steam into the air to help keep it from drying out so much. I’ve build caps for some of them that are slatted wood–so the heat can still rise through them,, but I can put stuff on their to dry. I also use the one in the kitchen for raising frozen bread dough.

  18. Kathy says:

    Well, another COVID case at work.

    Meantime, well under 1% of Mexico’s population has received any kind of vaccine. At current rates, we’ll finish vaccinating the whole population in a decade or two, barring mayor delays.

    I’m definitely getting a passport at the first opportunity I have, and will look for a vaccine north of the border. Because I don’t think I’ll get one here in April as the programmed schedule says I should.

    Sometimes, I get the notion that humanity is too stupid to live.

  19. de stijl says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    I have not dealt with radiators since I was a renter.

    Design-wise they make a lot of sense. Big chunks of iron hold and radiate heat even after direct energy is no longer applied.

    I have too many weird memories where my only crude thermostat was opening or closing radiator valves. Opening and closing windows. Trying to roughly balance.

    Obviously that was stone age tech compared to today’s boilers and temp regulation.

    Once, the boiler went kaput in my building and they needed to have the correct part shipped in. Took four days. Old school brick building with walls 16 inches thick so it only went down to mid 50s.

    Mid 50s is sweater weather and my favorite time of year, but sustained 50s gets really damn cold if you are just hanging out inside reading or watching tv. Proper layering covered it, but still remember it vividly from 25 years ago.

  20. OzarkHillbilly says:

    “I Don’t Trust the People Above Me”: Riot Squad Cops Open Up About Disastrous Response to Capitol Insurrection

    Over the last several weeks, ProPublica has interviewed 19 current and former U.S. Capitol Police officers about the assault on the Capitol. Following on the dramatic video of officers defending the building that House lawmakers showed during the first day of the impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump, the interviews provide the most detailed account to date of a most extraordinary battle.

    The enemies on Jan. 6 were Americans: thousands of people from across the country who had descended on the Capitol, intent on stopping Congress from certifying an election they believed was stolen from Trump. They had been urged to attend by Trump himself, with extremist right-wing and militia leaders calling for violence.

    Many of the officers were speaking to reporters for the first time about the day’s events, almost all anonymously for fear of retribution. That they spoke at all is an indication of the depth of their frustration over the botched response. ProPublica also obtained confidential intelligence bulletins and previously unreported planning documents.

    Combined, the information makes clear how failures of leadership, communication and tactics put the lives of hundreds of officers at risk and allowed rioters to come dangerously close to realizing their threats against members of Congress.
    The interviews also revealed officers’ concerns about disparities in the way the force prepared for Black Lives Matter demonstrations versus the pro-Trump protests on Jan. 6. Officers said the Capitol Police force usually plans intensively for protests, even if they are deemed unlikely to grow violent. Officers said they spent weeks working 12- or 16-hour days, poised to fight off a riot, after George Floyd was killed by Minneapolis police — even though intelligence suggested there was not much danger from protesters.

    “We had intel that nothing was going to happen — literally nothing,” said one former official with direct knowledge of planning for the Black Lives Matter demonstrations. “The response was, ‘We don’t trust the intel.’”

    By contrast, for much of the force, Jan. 6 began like any other day.

    “We normally have pretty good information regarding where these people are and how far they are from the Capitol,” said Keith McFaden, a former Capitol Police officer and union leader who retired from the force following the riot. “We heard nothing that day.”
    “It was business as usual,” said another, who has been on the force for more than 15 years. “The main thing we were told was to be on the lookout for counterdemonstrators.

    Because everybody knows those commie antifa black lives matter protestors are the real threat to America.

    One sergeant gave officers a final warning. “If this goes good, then we’ll laugh about it,” he told them. “But if it goes bad, it’ll change your life and you’ll never forget about it. They’ll talk about this for years and years and years.”

    Yeah, we’re not laughing.

  21. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Mu Yixiao: I miss having radiators.

  22. MarkedMan says:

    @de stijl: I hear you. I think less of the people in his home state because they put him forward to represent them and their values in the Senate. Love Trump or hate him, Graham is an insipid little toady.

  23. MarkedMan says:


    so long as there’s nutrients and a usable energy source,

    It’s hard to believe (but obviously true) that there is a source of nutrients and energy beneath a mile thick sheet of ice

  24. de stijl says:


    Shouty bosses who demean their workers eventually get a crew they deserve – those who cannot get hired on elsewhere.

  25. Kathy says:


    Sometimes they’re the same thing. Warm-blooded animals, for example, get almost all their energy from food, though some external energy is needed to synthesize things like vitamin D.

    On other things, I’m reading Pale Blue Dot by Carl Sagan (assuming Scribd doesn’t fail me again). I don’t usually look up who narrates a book, so this time I was pleasantly surprised to find most of it is narrated by Sagan himself.

    He recorded the reading for the audio book back when they were books on tape. The tapes went out of print, but the recordings were still around. Some had decayed, so those were re-recorded by Sagan’s wife, Ann Druyan. The rest is the man himself reading his own work. That’s really cool.

    It’s odd to read an old science book, because developments tend to render older works outdated quickly. Sagan kind of generalized a lot in some works, like The Demon Haunted World, so that still works. But at one point he mentions extrasolar planets, and comes up with three known ones.

    This was in 1994, which was like the Pleistocene period of extrasolar planet discovery, long before the Kepler probe. It was sufficient to make his point of demolishing geocentrism, by having data to prove planetary systems are common.

  26. de stijl says:


    White Americans would never invade the capitol building. That’s preposterous!

    The stated goals and easily available and accessible intelligence on numbers, tactics, and goals was dismissed by leadership because of the whiteness of the planners. They declaimed blue lives matter.

    BLM protest!!? All hands on deck!

    The disparity in preparations is starkly illuminating.

  27. DrDaveT says:


    When I see these pieces about life surviving at such extreme conditions, it immediately brings to mind the question: Could life have arisen in these conditions rather than evolved to meet them?

    IIRC, that’s the current leading theory. Conditions on earth at the time the first life appeared were a lot more like the conditions where extremophile organisms currently live than the conditions we think of as “temperate”. Free oxygen was rare — there were no plants to crank it out. I have a vague memory that DNA sequencing of extremophile bacteria suggests that their genomes (after you correct for random mutation over time) are significantly older than those of more familiar bacteria.

  28. sam says:

    Hacked Florida Water Plant Found To Have Been Using Unsupported Windows 7 Machines And Shared Passwords

    By now, you have likely heard about the recent hack into a Florida water treatment plant which resulted in the attacker remotely raising the levels of sodium hydroxide to 100 times the normal level for the city’s water supply. While those changes were remediated manually by onsite staff, it should be noted that this represents an outside attacker attempting to literally poison an entire city’s water supply. Once the dangerous part of all of this was over, attention rightfully turned to figuring out how in the world this happened.

    The answer, as is far too often the case, is poor security practices at the treatment plant.

    According to an advisory from the state of Massachusetts, employees with the Oldsmar facility used a computer running Windows 7 to remotely access plant controls known as a SCADA—short for “supervisory control and data acquisition”—system. What’s more, the computer had no firewall installed and used a password that was shared among employees for remotely logging in to city systems with the TeamViewer application.

  29. de stijl says:

    McConnell’s path is like the aftermath of the sap in The Prisoner’s Dilemma who got ratted out, but chose not to be a rat.

  30. de stijl says:


    IANABiologist, but that is my understanding too. What we would now call extremophiles were our most likely progenitors. It’s where life on earth most likely started.

    I’ve watched NOVA.

    I remember a special on PBS when they had the first footage of undersea vents and the flora and fauna surrounding them back in the early mid 70s.

  31. Sleeping Dog says:

    David Frum, the solution to America’s problems is more democracy.

    Democracy Is the Only Solution
    The countermajoritarian institutions of the United States are holding us back.

    The United States in the 21st century has reached a point where the best way to attain the stable and solid qualities of government most valued by anti-majoritarians is, ironically, to increase the power of voting majorities wherever that is constitutionally permissible and politically feasible. States would be better governed if a majority of the voters elected a majority of the legislators. Congress would legislate more effectively—and better protect its prerogatives against the executive branch—if the filibuster were abolished. Reducing the many barriers to registration and voting faced by poorer and minority citizens would reduce the number of extremists in state and federal legislatures. Bringing the Electoral College more in line with the popular vote would better safeguard the country against another corrupt and authoritarian presidency than the present system of over-representation.

    Here at OTB, this is speaking to the choir, but it is nice to see another conservative taking up the cause.

    Like the fissures that are evident in the R party, among conservative thought leaders with some like Frum and the folks at the Bulwark coming down on the side of democracy and participation while other’s and maybe a smaller cohort advocating further steps to strengthen minority rule, an example being Yuvel Levin’s advocacy of a filibuster for the HoR.

  32. de stijl says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    It doesn’t matter if 20 states pass laws restricting voting.

    Which they are now doing.

  33. Sleeping Dog says:

    Two cheers for the USofA

    The U.S.’ vaccine rollout is world-beating
    That doesn’t mean it’s good enough. But let’s take a moment to appreciate it.

    It should be acknowledged that one reason the US looks good in comparison to the other countries, is that so many countries have effed up. But look at the Seychelles! Guess there are benefits to being a matriarchal society.

    Take that boys.

  34. Kathy says:

    About the DoJ opinion that a sitting president cannot, or should not, be indicted, much less prosecuted, during their term, what can be done?

    First, the DoJ could change the rule. Second, legislation could be passed that makes the president no different from any other citizen or resident when it comes to criminal prosecution. Third, an amendment can be passed mandating succession if the president is indicted in office, which takes care of the “distraction” rationale.

    The justification for the last is that a sitting president should not involve themselves in criminal activity, either before or after an election, and thus should not serve if they are under indictment. This could be temporary, with the president reinstated if they are acquitted.

    Of course this kills the whole idea of presidential impeachment, which at this point seems to me like no loss at all.

  35. DrDaveT says:

    @de stijl:

    I remember a special on PBS when they had the first footage of undersea vents and the flora and fauna surrounding them back in the early mid 70s.

    In the early-mid 1970s, I was a pre-teen who was mad for two things: space exploration and oceanography. I collected everything I could find about the Glomar Challenger and FLIP and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute and ALVIN and Project MoHole, and sat glued to the (black and white) TV whenever Jacques Cousteau specials aired. I remember when the first thermal vent ecosystems, and later the black smokers, were discovered, and the crazy excitement in the oceanographic community.

    Recently, I was on a cruise to Iceland where divers from the ship’s crew explored a white smoker. I believe its the only known white smoker at a depth humans can scuba dive.

  36. DrDaveT says:


    Of course this kills the whole idea of presidential impeachment, which at this point seems to me like no loss at all.

    I have concluded that the impeachment language in the Constitution is aimed directly at crimes that only a President (or Congressbeing) is in a position to commit, and that there will thus be no formal laws passed to prohibit. I think Trump’s extortion of Ukraine is the perfect example of such a crime — the canonical impeachable offense.

    Nothing has killed the idea of impeachment; it is alive and well. What terrifies me is that the GOP has now learned that there is no downside to divorcing the mechanism from the underlying purpose. The next time the GOP has a majority in the House under a Democratic president, impeachment will become routine weekly business. Should the GOP take back the House in 2022, I expect Biden to be impeached a dozen times.

  37. de stijl says:


    The base will demand it. Deranged payback.

  38. de stijl says:

    There was a percussion heavy music entry to those PBS science specials.

    Buppa a dum dumx2
    Boppa a ba a boppa a ba a bopp a boppa pa ba

    I can hear it.

    You cannot Google that unfotrtunately.

  39. de stijl says:


    I really wanted to be a marine biologist when I was 10. On the Great Barrier Reef.

  40. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Kathy: If our experience in Washington State is representative of El Norte, you won’t find any vaccine here either. I’m on week four of being urged by school districts and my doctor to contact the DoH and having them tell me “make an appointment with your doctor.”

  41. Kathy says:


    No question they’ll impeach Biden at least three times, just to get the stink off trump ( a futile endeavor).

    By the second, though, no one on the democratic side will take it seriously.

  42. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @de stijl: Hot water radiant floor heating was really the bomb in Korea, but only to the extent that you had a good source of inexpensive fuel. In the place I lived where I had to heat with diesel fuel and private company gas, my heating bill would have been over $500 a month, had I continued to heat my house. Municipal gas was a boon for people who had it.

  43. Kathy says:

    Brief update:

    I saw the hematologist just a few minutes ago. he says the blood analyses are all normal (whew!). he then took my blood pressure (normal, much to my surprise*), and checked the lymph nodes in the neck and armpit area. All normal.

    He does want a biopsy of the nodes in the abdominal region, because they did take up some of the radioactive glucose on the PET CT, but I’m no longer even worried about that.

    So, next up, I’ll set up an appointment with the surgeon and see when we can schedule surgery. I assume he’ll want some other analysis beforehand…

    *I drink lots of coffee and I smoke, so I expected at least kind of a higher end, kind of borderline reading. But no. I’ll assume it’s the low sodium, low sugar, low(ish) fat diet.

  44. de stijl says:


    If this 1/6 were in Benghazi, Rs would be all over this shit.

  45. de stijl says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    I think I don’t get it.

    $500 a month for heat, or no heat?

    I eventually got it – you weren’t served by muni gas lines.

    How cold did it get?

  46. de stijl says:


    When I was a working adult I smoked like a fiend and drank coffee by the gallon.

    In retrospect, clear avoidance behavior.

    Feeling stressed? Go downstairs, light up, and watch the world walk by from your private calm bubble.

    Feeling a bit down? Grab some coffee. Best is when you have to wait for it to brew so you can just chill and space out a bit waiting for it to finish.

  47. de stijl says:


    Be well. I hope you get good news, or a good result.

    If karma is a real thing, you get a clear pass.

    You do in my book.

  48. Mister Bluster says:

    @DrDaveT:..The next time the GOP has a majority in the House under a Democratic president, impeachment will become routine weekly business.

    Republicans are still trying to get even for the resignation of Richard Nixon. They will continue to attack Democratic Presidents until one is removed from office by a Senate trial or resigns. Even after all the Republicans who were alive when Tricky Dick quit in unique disgrace are dead and gone their perpetually petulant progeny will continue the crusade. Like a tick on a dog they can not let go.

  49. Kathy says:

    @de stijl:

    In retrospect, clear avoidance behavior.

    Feeling stressed? Go downstairs, light up, and watch the world walk by from your private calm bubble.

    Well, I drink coffee because I like it, and because it keeps me alert, not to mention awake, though the barbaric long hours we work.

    As to smoking, yeah, that’s pretty much it at work. But it’s a chance to take a break, too.

  50. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @de stijl: In Yong-in, where the house in question was, that winter started in November and ended in late March and daytime temperatures were about -7 Celsius (so about 20). The house was about 10 or 12 Celsius (about 50-55) unheated. I got used to it and had a good quilt on the bed. Not too much wind in the area, so it wasn’t miserable or anything. That winter was long, but mostly pretty mild.

  51. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @de stijl: I should note that Yong-in was a small farming community–population only about 850,000–so NO ONE was served by muni gas lines that I knew of.

  52. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    New announcement from DoH regarding the Covid-19 mass vaccination site:

    “Starting Wednesday, Ridgefield is only offering second doses.”

    Our long national Covid-19 nightmare must be over.

  53. Kathy says:

    @de stijl:

    Thanks. But I’m an introvert, and shy, and that often gets me branded a terrible person, because I seldom show much interest in other people.

    Though if I understand Karma, giving others the privacy I want must be ok 🙂

  54. de stijl says:



  55. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @sam: Its far worse than that at many of these small places. Windows 95 anyone? Utilities this small are below the radar of DHS and other regulators. They can reach out for assistance but very few do. Why? $$$$$.

    Most of these kinds of place are ‘ain broke don’t fix it’ type operation. They will ride legacy software and equipment until it literally dies. Security through obscurity offer a little bit of protection from people throwing a wide net across the web to find common vulnerabilities to exploit. If you are targeted specifically and have legacy software. You’re done. Hackers continue to find vulnerabilities in software after it stops being supported. Since there will be no update to fix the vulnerability–its wide open. This is what happened in Baltimore when they got ransomwared. IT upgrades are expensive–many public and private organizations simply don’t have the money to update their IT every 5 years. Frankly, they really need to move to the most barebones of remote access possible to mitigate their risk.

  56. de stijl says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    I could deal with 50s at night with good covers. I like it a bit brisk when I sleep.

    But constantly abiding the cold can be burdensome. Did you have a place in the evenings where you could get warm?

    Dealing with constant cold is an endurance event.

  57. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kathy: So… Don’t uncross them yet but I can relax a little?

  58. flat earth luddite says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    “Starting Wednesday, Ridgefield is only offering second doses.”

    I’d feel a lot better about this if the 650,000 people in their service area had all gotten the first dose.

    In the Portland area, where we’re running (supposedly) around 10% vaccinated. SHMBO’d was watching BBC news today(!?) and asked how Britain could be so far ahead of us in vaccination when Boris the @#*&@ is leading them.

  59. Kathy says:

    @Jim Brown 32:

    Before we had a pandemic, and before we had to throw Trump put, 2020 was marked in my mental calendar as the year Win7 support ends. I forget the exact years, but my home PC is Win7 OEM, since upgraded, for free, to Win10, which has no end of support date yet. My personal laptop was Win8.1 OEM; also since upgraded to Win10 (and before then corrected with Start8).

    At work, most machines now run Win10, a few Win8 (or WINDOS as I call it, for Windows 8 Is Not a Desktop OS), and none, so far as IT will admit, Win7 or earlier.

    I guess if you are going to be stuck with an old Windows version, it might as well be Windows Vista. It’s doubtful any hackers will show interest in it, since only a fool would still have it.

  60. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: Yong-in was a small farming community–population only about 850,000–

    Goats, cows or sheep? Because 850,000 people is about 5 times Springfield MO and that ain’t no “small farming community”.

  61. Kathy says:


    I assume you mean your fingers. And yes, uncross them and relax.

    I kind of suspected things would be ok, as most of the blood test results were within normal ranges as reported by the lab. honestly, I’m more concerned about a very low level of HDL cholesterol. LDL and triglycerides are within limits, but the HDL is low.

  62. flat earth luddite says:

    @de stijl:
    According to the credits on NOVA for “The Planets, Inner Worlds,” the music was Muse, and I believe was performed by Andrew Christie for Bleeding Fingers Music.

    I know this is a much newer production, but the beat reminded me of my memories being glued to Channel 10 in Seattle. Then again, that was a galaxie long ago, and I’ve fried far too many brain cells over the decades. You may want to haunt Goodwill for a VHS copy of an old show to review the credits, if your Google-fu isn’t cooperating.

  63. flat earth luddite says:

    “In the early-mid 1970s, I was a pre-teen who was mad for two things: space exploration and oceanography.”

    I was a college student majoring in Ocean Tech at that time. Lots of field time diving and on small boats. Worst memory – 120′ down in Puget Sound (on He02) in a wetsuit with about 2″ visibility, IIRC. Best memory – watching one of Mr. Cousteau’s divers going into the same water in a speedo and skin in late July (hint, the water never ever ever gets above about 47°F). Nothing but admiration for those exploring those areas.

  64. Mu Yixiao says:


    Just for you: obligatory xkcd

  65. de stijl says:

    @flat earth luddite:

    That was cool and I will watch it, but not it.

    Zachary Quinto as narrator is cool.

    I’m thinking mid 70s. Quite percusive. Not a bumper or interstitial, but tonight on PBS we will see….

    It was the preview music theme.

    No worries. It’s not important.

  66. Kathy says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    IMO, that was even funnier than his recent scale world cartoons.

  67. MarkedMan says:

    I haven’t watched commercial television for decades (Super Bowl excepted) and so am not very familiar with what commercials are playing. But I’ve become addicted to Brooklyn 99 as my workout video of choice and I’m not willing to shell out $35/season for 7 seasons, and so can only stream them on the commercial version of Hulu. I watch them on the iPad and turn the sound down whenever a commercial comes on, which also blurs the screen. (I really, really dislike commercials). But I’m now through five seasons and depending on where I am in my workout I may watch 10-20 seconds of a commercial before killing it. Over the past few months I’ve come to realize just how many commercials there are for things that are obviously scams. The saddest one seems to portray itself as some kind of benefit for veterans but I think is just a way to rip them off. There are also scams for high interest car loans and bad financial “counselors”. Is this what all commercial television is like now? It’s depressing me.

  68. de stijl says:


    Btw, Brooklyn 99 is tremendous. Good choice!

    Online ads and tv ads are different.

    On-line ads are either super personalized based on your profile or super random if Google Ads hiccups which is fairly often.

    For two months Youtube was convinced I was Spanish speaking male in Omaha. It was a blip I truly enjoyed cuz I got served amazing ads I never would have seen otherwise. Understood one word out of ten and I took four years of Spanish.

    When it stopped I was kinda bummed. Those were cool ass ads.

    Btw, the reason you can skip after 5 seconds is that for ad sales purposes, if you see an an ad for 5 seconds you are officially a viewer – eyeballs on ads makes the internet go ’round.

    We are all profiles and our actions are data points.

  69. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @flat earth luddite: . Best memory – watching one of Mr. Cousteau’s divers going into the same water in a speedo and skin in late July (hint, the water never ever ever gets above about 47°F).

    Fuck that shit. Spent a lot of time in a wet suit in waters between 50 and 59 and that shit sucked. Would have been way worse without the wetsuit. Speaking from personal experience, hypothermia sucks donkey f’n dick.

  70. Kathy says:


    I’m struck by the amount of prescription drug ads I see on CNN and NFL Network. The side effects listing at the end, though, often give me the impression that “Our Wonder Drug will cure your arthritis and kill you!”

    Also how many auto insurance companies offer lower prices. Going by commercials alone, you ought to be able to get Progressive or The general to pay you if you get their insurance.

  71. de stijl says:


    Most nations do not allow drug ads. The very concept seems very alien to visitors I’ve known. Enough so, to ask about it.

    Besides, who are the ads for? Doctors or patients? We all know the abuses of pharm companies sales reps and medical “conferences” at high end resorts.

    It is a blatant market distorting effort.

    Patients cannot write their own prescriptions. It is an attempt to force doctors to prescribe meds just to get certain patients out of their face with their demands.

    I’ve invented a new medicine name big pharma has to pay me for: Utrixia

    It’s sleazy and cheesy. Apropos.

  72. de stijl says:


    Cold water is shockingly cold. 25x worse than air for body heat loss.

    We were scraping / sweeping off the ice on Lake Harriet for hockey and dude went in to his chest thru some scrappy ice. Tommy W

    We got him out fairly quick, but I thought he might die from hypothermia until ambulance showed up.

    Cold water can kill you very quickly. Just getting someone out of trouble puts you in extreme danger.

    My ex-boss nearly died because he was wearing cotton / denim in a canoe in the Boundary Waters in July.

    Polar Bear jumps are fine if you have folks to look after you.

    Myself, I like a quick dip after a sauna. It’s really invigorating. I love it when you see steam roiling off someone’s body. Dry yourself quickly and completely and hie your fool ass to a warm place indoors asap.

    Get warm before you enjoy an adult beverage.

    I’ve never been down with birch branch flagellation. It is performative bs that does nothing.

    Get hot. Cool down. Simple process.

    Jumping in a snow bank works as well as cold water. Plus, you look bad – ass as hell when the snows just falls and slumps off you like icing put on too hot.

    You can always get a companion to pour a bucket of cold water over you. That works too.

    After the abrupt cool-down your brain is just absolutely flooded with feel-good electro-chemical goodness.

    You are a great golden god for 15 minutes or so.

  73. MarkedMan says:

    @de stijl:

    On-line ads are either super personalized based on your profile

    I’m watching on my 24 year old daughters profile which might explain the scams geared to young people. And diaper commercials. Fortunately they won’t work on her. She researched for a month before getting a credit card and now pays it off every month. (Proud Papa).

    But the ones that look like a wholesome pitch to ex-soldiers really bummed me out. We take these kids at 18 and when they come back people are using their service to scam them?

  74. Jax says:

    @de stijl: At one point in time I lived in an “in the works” remodel that had one of those fancy steam showers, one bedroom, a hotplate kitchen, and nothing else. The shower had steam, rainfall showerhead, jacuzzi jets/tub, a tv and beer fridge.

    The rainfall shower and the steam were freakin wonderful. I should’ve been a mermaid. 😉

  75. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    That’s what made it funny. Mid 80s°F day, French divers were laughing at us in our wetsuits, calling us not manly men, etc. We tried to tell them this ain’t the Med. Nope they were “frogmen” not p**** American boys. They flipped into the water and about snapped back up into the boat screaming. Of course they had a similar reaction to ‘ze nobel octopus’ ze met, as apparently Med octopi average 18″. Puget sounders were closer to 60″. We laughed at them a lot. Badass swimmers when properly geared though.

  76. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @flat earth luddite:

    I’d feel a lot better about this if the 650,000 people in their service area had all gotten the first dose.

    So would I. 🙁

  77. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Rice. And no, it’s not really a farming area anymore, but it’s still considered one. Technically, it’s a suburb of Seoul.

  78. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Kathy: I’ve wondered the same thing. I see the Progressive add telling me that I could save as much as $765/year and think “that would be pretty hard to do, I don’t pay $765 for a year of auto and homeowners’ (apartment dweller) combined now.

  79. Jen says:


    But the ones that look like a wholesome pitch to ex-soldiers really bummed me out.

    Those must be regional, targeted to locations with large bases. Literally the only commercials I’ve seen in NH that target former military are USAA insurance commercials.