Thursday’s Forum

Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter


  1. de stijl says:

    I watched Spiderman: No Way Home yesterday.

    I am a bit bit freaked by a certain aspect.

    All in all, a solid movie in the MCU oeuvre. Quite clever. Nice payoffs. Solid movie of that type fairly well done. Nice twist I truly enjoyed.

    What freaked me was the Dr. Strange stuff where nothing is as it seems.

    I have a quirk where I am super cool with Newtonian physics, but however, some aspects of newer understandings freak my brain out.

    I truly do not appreciate knowing that macro, tangible stuff like my table and all the rest of it mostly consist of empty space between atoms. It creeps me out on a fundamental level knowing this is true. “Creeps me out” is just the tip, a layman’s description – I feel profoundly untethered and unmoored when I consider the fundamentals of stuff. Of me. I try not to think about it. Mostly successfully until reminded.

    The multiverse / Dr. Strange stuff that I thought was cool and interesting to see in a movie did not bother me at the time, but since I feel slighly unmoored by it. It is markedly uncomfortable.

    I am super cool with Newtonian physics. But when it gets to contemplating the very large or the very small my brain and or psyche does not enjoy it.

    Really BIG and really small cosmology freaks me out. Universe scale or down to quantum weirdness. I wish it didn’t. It’s fascinating stuff I enjoy learning about that is also this weird psychological trigger.

  2. Scott says:

    Why Russian generals keep getting killed in Ukraine

    Russian generals have a long tradition of leading from the front, dating back to Tsarist times when Prince Pyotr Ivanovich Bagration was fatally wounded at the battle of Borodino in 1812. Two role models for modern-day Russian general officers are Generalissimo Alexander Suvorov, who always placed himself at the most exposed position on the battlefield, and Marshal Georgy Zhukov, who frequently visited the front.

    The Ukrainian military claims it has killed at least five Russian general officers since Russia formally invaded the country last month, the highest-ranking of which is Lt. Gen. Andrei Mordvichev.

    In Ukraine, Russian senior commanders have been forced to operate on the front lines because they don’t trust their subordinates to fight competently and their communications system has broken down, leading to grim results.

    Another reason why senior commanders may be on the frontlines of the Ukraine war is the Russian military has a very centralized decision-making process. The units are smaller, and so officers have responsibilities that in the U.S. military are done by NCOs. They have far more officers in the military than we do. They don’t have a strong NCO corps. As a result, officers make more decisions.”

  3. Michael Cain says:

    @de stijl:

    I have a quirk where I am super cool with Newtonian physics, but however, some aspects of newer understandings freak my brain out.

    Electron-slit experiments — if you’re not looking, the electron goes through both slits — made me decide I’d rather study computers than physics to go with my math degree. With any luck, I’ll be dead before quantum computers reach common desktop use :^)

  4. Slugger says:

    Technology changes warfare. The Ukrainian war may be showing us a big increase in the effectiveness of a single infantryman. Shoulder borne weapons appear to have the potential of making a single soldier a neutralizer of a jet or a tank. Advances in technology are going to make the next generation of Stingers or Javelins very impactful. The equation for battlefield success is changing. Any small nation may become essentially unconquerable.

  5. a country lawyer says:

    Watching the theatrics of the Republican Senators in their questioning of Judge Brown Jackson I was struck by the singular, overt misogyny of Senator Grahams in his so called questioning. With his screaming, finger pointing and over the top gesticulating at the Judge, followed by his storming off the dais in outrage you would have thought he was raging against Hirohito following Pearl Harbor.
    This was a mirror image of his performance in the Kavanaugh hearings when Dr. Christine Ford was the object of his rage. Somehow, it’s only a woman that is the object of Graham’s outrage, directed at them from the protection of the bench.
    Can you imagine Graham behaving in such a manner against a male witness such as Army General Miley or Marine General Dunford?
    What a cowardly little Man!

  6. becca says:

    The gop senators are trying to tie child porn to Ms Brown. The undercurrent is very Q. The pedophilia angle is a new low, but I guess Trump made it inevitable. Projecting Trump’s nasty proclivities onto the Democratic Party has been obvious for sometime, but not mentioned much.

    Anyway, the zoo crew on the right really do seem to be protesting way too much, like they got something to hide.

  7. Sleeping Dog says:


    Watched a video on the Switchblade drone yesterday and in the summary an analyst talked about the effect that small, relatively inexpensive drones are having on the battlefield. That it has a leveling effect on combat capability between opposing forces, which he interpreted as being something that US defense planners need to be concerned about.

    Something that I think is interesting, is that there hasn’t been much discussion about the use of drones by the Russians.

  8. Kathy says:

    The cockpit voice recorder of the crashed 737 was found. It was described as being damaged but complete, whatever that means. It was sent to a lab in Beijing for analysis. That is, they’ll try to download the contents of the memory card. The flight data recorder remains to be located.

    More important, Patrick Smith at Ask The Pilot points out the data from flight monitoring software, things like FlightAware or FlightRadar 24, show the plane descended steeply from cruising altitude, then leveled off at around 8 thousand feet and perhaps even climbed a little, and then plunged to the ground.

    This suggests a control issue. This includes everything from faulty or damaged controls, to the crew fighting over the controls. It doesn’t rule out damage to the stabilizers, but ti does point to a partial damage rather than total loss if that was the case.

    there’s much data still missing.

    Lastly, I wouldn’t rule out some design flaw. It would be odd for a plane with such a long track record to show such a thing now, but it’s not impossible. Issues with the MAX and MCAS aside, an earlier iteration of the 737 had rudder issues that resulted in two crashes and several near accidents. More recently, fatigue cracks have been fund in wing structures in some of the earlier 737 NG production models.

  9. de stijl says:

    @Michael Cain:

    I know exactly what you mean.

    That experiment unsettled me when I read about it. It is demonstrably true. Yet, it should not be possibly true. But it is.

    It gives me the willies. My brain simulantaneously accepts it as true as it is demonstrably true and can be replicated, and also rejects it as that could not possibly be true and saying so is crazy talk.

    I like sight, sound, smell, touch. Explainable things. A straight logical path. Quantum stuff freaks me out. My fundamental self cannot handle it well.

  10. Kathy says:

    @de stijl:

    I’m not sure whether to recommend Gamow’s Mr. Tompkins books to you, or recommend you stay away from them.

  11. de stijl says:


    The photo of the plane falling vertically straight nose down was deeply unsettling. I pictured myself inside before impact.

  12. de stijl says:


    There had to be control issues. The shape and form of the structure wants it to be basically a glider absent inputs. Some series of incidents put it into a 90 degree straight down plunge.

    I guess they lost all forward velocity and became a missile. There had to have been a total loss of all flight controls. Gravity is inevitable.

  13. KM says:

    Another victim of COVID shortages has reared it’s ugly head: not only can I not find spray foam insulation for my renovation project, nobody is carrying Midori so my cocktails supplies are dangerously low. Can anyone recommend a replacement melon-flavored liquor that you can actually find a bottle of?

  14. gVOR08 says:

    @Slugger: It does seem as though Russian tanks and other armored vehicles serve to gather a handful of troops into a prominent target.

    Russia has invested heavily in a new, high tech, T-14 Armata tank. It’s well into the inevitable …anti-anti-missile missile missile … cycle. I’ve read that part of their supply problem is that they’ve slowed production of existing tanks and other vehicles anticipating the Armata. Which is also supposed to be the basis for a new generation of IFVs and APCs and will enter service mañana.

    Meanwhile I’m unaware that the U. S. Army has more than updates to the M1 in the works and the Marines have said they’re dropping tanks from their future plans. Ukraine does seem to be showing that tanks have reached a dead end. And the Ukrainians are doing this without the really nasty attack helicopters we and others have.

  15. gVOR08 says:

    @de stijl: Indeed. Major structural failure almost inconceivable on a 737-800 unless there’s a bomb or sabotage. Or a case of suicide by pilot or hijacker.

  16. JohnMcC says:

    @Sleeping Dog: Compulsively watching videos and panel analyses of the war so cannot give you a link or good idea where I heard this but the Russian essentially are not in the drone business except artillery spotting. It seems each of the Battalion Combat Groups has an artillery component with spotter UAVs to coordinate with grunts.

  17. CSK says:

    Bols and DeKuyper have melon liqueurs that are acceptable substitute. I can’t help you with the insulation.

  18. de stijl says:


    Re: your kind suggestion, but I think I might be a quantaphobe. (HEY! I just coined a neologism!)

    I am conflicted. Part of me always wants to know more – to develop a better understanding; how does an internal combustion engine work or how does a database work?

    Things with a knowable end point. You can figure out in your head how it all works and fits together. Some bright person went down that road before me and figured it out and then wrote it down. A lot I could have gotten with my own brain poking at it, but someone beat me to it and authored a guidebook. I like guides. Makes life easier.

    I delight in knowing the what, the how, and the why. I am extremely curious. And I really like the fact I am. It gives me enormous pleasure on a fundamental level. The Brits have a colloquial slang word “chuffed” – I really love that word.

    Figuring things out is fun and gives me great pleasure. I love it.

    Pointing my head at quantum stuff unnerves me to the core. The photon slit experiment Michael Cain referenced earlier freaks me out at a core fundamental level. I cannot figure it out. It cannot be figured out. It just is. Demonstrably there – taunting me.

    Thinking on such matter unnerves me. I feel untethered, unmoored, adrift with no way home. Give me understandable, grokable Newtonian physics. I get those. I can work it out in my head. Cause and consequence.

  19. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @KM: Dekuyper and Hiram Walker make melon liqueur if that helps any.

  20. de stijl says:


    Melon squeezins + yeast + proper container + time would do the trick.

    The lack of easily obtainable Midori is a prime example of a First World problem.

    I feel you. I couldn’t find Kahlua last month when I wanted some. I wanted an ironic White Russian.

  21. Beth says:


    I initially read “a replacement melon-flavored liquor” as “a replacement melon-flavored spray foam” and was confused, but also a little interested.

  22. Kathy says:

    @de stijl:

    Some part of the Mr. Tompkins books deal with relativity.

    Richard Feynman has been quoted as saying “If you think you understand quantum mechanics, then you don’t understand quantum mechanics,” or words to that effect.

    I won’t claim I understand quantum mechanics, but I don’t feel anything but occasional frustration about it.

    Except for one thing. Measurement. I take “measurement” to mean any particle interaction, not the active action by a human being of observing such interactions. That is, when a photon strikes a chlorophyll molecule, it gains the definitive state of spin and such that a wave function collapse dictates, regardless of whether or not anyone knows about it.

    This makes sense to me, and I don’t care if I’m wrong.

  23. de stijl says:

    My other defensible neologism besides “quantaphobe” was “paterophagy”.

    Paterophagy arose during the early mid aughts when it became told that Keith Richards purportedly snorted his dad’s cremated remains. I am vaguely proud enough of that to semi-remember that until now.

  24. CSK says:

    This just in from Reuters:

    Donald Trump is suing Hillary Clinton and other Democrats because they “maliciously conspired to weave a false narrative that their Republican opponent, Donald J. Trump, was colluding with a hostile foreign sovereignty.”

  25. Kathy says:


    Let’s see him file a request to quash a subpoena to testify in a deposition for a lawsuit he filed.

    Can we convince him lying under oath in such a scenario is not perjury? He’d be in prison in short order.

  26. CSK says:

    If it gets to discovery, Trump’s deposition will be thigh-slappingly funny.

    It might even be…hilarious.

  27. de stijl says:


    I’m okay with relativity. I can picture it in my head. I can see the illustration of the heavy ball distorting the rubber sheet and push that image from essentially 2D to 3D pretty easily and understand how mass creates gravity. Gravity is basically the trump card you cannot best if you have mass.

    I do not pretend to understand the underlying math, but I can see the effects in my head.

    Some of the timey-wimey stuff is a bit opaque, but if I squint hard, I kinda get it.

  28. KM says:

    LOL all. So that’s two votes for Dekuyper – let’s see if I can find it. It’s not even for me – sibling is assisting with some of the smaller repairs and demanded a drink. I’ve been living off chocolate PB creme whiskey for a while so when I checked the cupboard, it was bare 🙁

    The spray foam thing is a PITA though. Nobody has it and we’re finally to the stage where we need it to seal up the walls.

  29. senyordave says:

    One of the the ADA’s in New York who quit speaks out:
    In the letter, published Wednesday by The New York Times, Mark Pomerantz told District Attorney Alvin Bragg there was “evidence sufficient to establish Mr. Trump’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt” of allegations he falsified financial statements to secure loans and burnish his image as a wealthy businessman. “The team that has been investigating Mr. Trump harbors no doubt about whether he committed crimes — he did,” Pomerantz wrote.
    Of course you would need a DA with an actual backbone to indict.
    And even if he is ever indicted I assume it would take years. Ken Paxton, Texas AG, was indicted in 2015 and the case is till ongoing.

    Don’t worry, they are moving on the real criminals:
    From today’s headlines: A 71-year-old Denver man is facing a felony charge after city officials say he made a pickleball court without permission. With prosecution on the table, some believe the punishment doesn’t fit the crime.

  30. CSK says:

    I can’t figure out what Alvin Bragg’s motives are in all but dropping the case against Trump. He has a background in white-collar fraud. He’s a Democrat, so he’s hardly out to protect a fellow Republican.

    Prosecutors don’t like to take cases where they don’t stand at least a good chance of winning. Is that it? If so, why?

    The pickleball guy sounds like a real fiend. Lock him up!

  31. de stijl says:


    A buddy of mine gifted me a bottle of his homemade coffee liqueur. It was pretty damn good. DIY works for certain stuff.

    I know for a fact that they can blow in spray foam insulation after the wall is sealed. It requires a few holes drilled into the wall or from above if the rafters allow, but it can be done. You most likely will want to repaint unless you like the look of random two inch sheet mortar dots. But it can be done pretty easy.

    If you can hold off for a bit until it becomes available again, it can be retrofitted in.

    Is fiberglass batting a no-go for you?

  32. Kathy says:

    @de stijl:

    That part’s easy.

    It’s the time dilation effects and such that trip people up. I still don’t get the non-simultaneity in special relativity.

  33. Kathy says:


    To paraphrase Mike Duncan: It’s easy to depose the king, but who dares execute him?

    The English Parliament managed. The French had little trouble, past taking a very long time detailing their reasons for separating Louis from his head.

  34. Gustopher says:

    @de stijl: drop something in vodka, wait a bit and then filter out the chunky bits. Flavored vodka is wonderful.

    Not sure it could replace a melon liquor, but worth a try.

  35. de stijl says:


    Imagine a 737 at standard cruise speed and suddenly you lose all control surfaces. Do flaps remain where they were prior to loss or do they revert to neutral?

    At that speed wouldn’t a 737 essentially glide to a gravity impact given the form and wings?

    If you have no power and no control surfaces wouldn’t you glide? The wing surface wants you to keep aloft. Semi-glide.

    Coming in at 90 vertical no arc like a long range missile or a dart dropped from the hand of God requires all loss of forward momentum relative to ground, right?

    A saboteur pilot could do it, I reckon. That would be one sick puppy. Straight vertical nose down.

    I kinda want to unsee that photo. What is the terminal velocity of a 737 pointed straight down?

  36. JohnSF says:

    Tanks have always been enormously vulnerable if not handled properly.
    The long range infantry missile makes them rather more so.
    But similarly, infantry are very vulnerable to “beaten ground” machine gun fire, mortars, artillery shrapnel and near-misses, grenade launchers , mines etc etc.

    You can compensate by armouring the vehicles they us for movement and supply.
    And then maybe it makes sense to enable firing from the vehicle, and etc…
    voila a tank!

    And helicopters are vulnerable to light SAMs themselves (nasty little drone-SAM hybrids are an obvious next step).

    There are no magic resolutions; everything is rock paper scissors cubed and turned up to 11.
    And artillery is arguably still the real lynchpin of the battlefield.

  37. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    Piping in late, but three things I love about Pdx, and one thing I hate ’bout the world I’m currently residing on/in/at:

    1. Local long-time strip club DV8 (actual name) is still advertising “Gluten Free Lap Dances.” So glad they’re providing entertainment for the gluten-intolerant!

    2. Local Korean restaurant BiBimBar has what I’m assured is some of the best Korean food. Astoundingly excellent hot pot; the idea of spring pickled cucumber and quartered Brussel Sprouts… insanely delicious! Leftovers were great for breakfast. And until now I considered B.S. only marginal food products (YMMV), even broiled… but pickled are another thing entirely!*

    3. Tulips are blooming. Ditto daffodils. Cherry trees blooming. Time to go out hunting with my camera.

    Driving around SE Portland last night, looking at all the Hoovervilles, I once again pondered how the f*** h*** the (arguably) richest nation in the history of history can be taking such abysmal care of its people? I’m deeply appalled at the idea that 1% of the people own/control 99% of the wealth. I don’t think we’ve seen the like ever, although maybe during the time of Carnegie? While I console myself with the thought that I won’t be around to see the wheels come off, I’m afraid my progeny will.

  38. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    @KM: We’ve got lots of spray foam at our local supply stores. Didn’t find any melon flavored, but then again, I’m the guy who drank wine (and spirits) made from fermented grapefruit. I’m still blind from that experience, so maybe I missed it.

  39. KM says:

    @de stijl:
    For this, yes. It’s in a place with a lot of moisture – we had to tear down the existing structure due to rot and the pink stuff inside was moldy AF. TY for the info on later installation – we weren’t gonna paint just yet so it can wait if we have to.

    @Flat Earth Luddite:
    If it’s the multi-tank insulation kind for walls (not the Great Stuff single cans), for the love of god let me know. It’s almost worth it’s weight in gold right now due to scarcity.

  40. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    Well, our local Homer (Tigard) has 1 on the shelf. Oregon City has 2.
    Oregon City Lowes SAYS it has 4 of this . Guy on the phone says he thinks they’re still there…

    Do you know anyone out here besides Luddite and Cracker? And if I pick it up, how do I ship this?

  41. KM says:

    @Flat Earth Luddite:
    Let me check with the contractors to see if that’s what I need but that might make my day 🙂

  42. de stijl says:


    I lived in a rental that was gutted when I was a pup and my income stream was very limited.

    Second floor of a house where the ran out of rehab money. Of the places I could afford this was by far the weirdest, so of course I bit on that one. I think I confused them when I said yes. “Really?! Um, okay. We’re gonna need a security deposit.”

    The process was pretty effing funny.

    I had kitchen appliances – a four top stove and a fridge and a bunch of vertical 2x4s vaguely suggesting where kitchen should be.

    Ditto on the bathroom.

    It was an empty 2nd floor. Maybe 7-800 square feet. Definitely not to code. But all I needed and cheap to boot. A shitty place in a decent neighborhood.

    I went to the fabric store, bought some tacks and jury rigged a space for myself.

    The bathroom was very weird until I tacked up fabric “walls”.

    I kinda liked the place actually. Cheap as dirt for the neighborhood. I’m naturally pretty ascetic. I kinda don’t care about fancy stuff like walls.

  43. MarkedMan says:

    @CSK: One word: Discovery.

  44. CSK says:

    Yes; I suggested that Trump giving a deposition would be sidesplittingly funny.

    If it gets that far.

  45. Kathy says:

    @de stijl:

    At cruising altitude, the flaps would be retracted. they’re used only in takeoffs and landings. Seat behind the wing next time you fly, you can see the flap action (and the speed brakes as well).

    To the rest, it’s hard to say without knowing what happened. A plane without power can stall easily. When you stall, you fall, not glide.

    Fe crashes involve a dive, because usually the pilots are trying to control the plane to the end.

  46. Kathy says:

    Biden has said NATO would respond if Russia uses chemical weapons.

    Unless there’s some special kind of sanctions kept in reserve, I fail to see what that could look like. Maybe the EU could ban imports of Russian oil and gas, which IMO cunts as a kind of sanction held in reserve.

    Past that, non-military options would involve things like expelling all Russian diplomats in NATO countries, expelling Russia from all possible international institutions, maybe even booting it off its seat at the UN Security Council.

    I don’t see much else that’s not a military intervention. And one of those can escalate quickly.

    given Russia’s performance against Ukraine, I don’t think even Mad Vlad would want to fight NATO troops. So it may be possible to, say, bomb an air base or naval base once, either with aircraft or cruise missiles. the hope is Vlad would take the bloody nose and stop suing chemical weapons, and I’ve this bridge I’ve been meaning to sell.

    Mor likely Putin would do something similar to a NATO base, or to Japan or South Korea. And things tend to escalate when that happens.

  47. de stijl says:

    @Flat Earth Luddite:

    The best strip club in Duluth is so corny.

    This huge horseshoe bar and kinda itty bitty stage. No fooling, they have a massive and very cool horseshoe bar set up.

    If you walk around the outside walls they have dioramas with stuffed chipmunks playing cards and shooting pool and generally monkeying around in a tiny version of the bar you are in. The taxidermy dioramas alone are worth the cover. Club Saratoga. A local jazz combo plays their jam on Saturday and Sunday brunch where they do up a decent spread. I recommend the waffles. (No dancers during brunch.) It is so wholesome for a t!tty bar.

    Took my buddy Art there for his bachelor’s party. It was great because no VIP room, no lap dance bull-shit. Look only. My speed. Art’s speed. He wanted nothing doing with carnal temptation and good on him because Angie is the coolest sweetest person you’ve ever met, and Art is a lucky, lucky man to have Angie as his bride. She’s a peach and a half.

    I basically don’t even look – in my mind I have not earned the privilege. Public nudity is not my thing. I don’t like it.

    With no doubt whatsoever Club Saratoga in Duluth, MN is by far the coolest nudey bar in existence. Of this, I am damn sure. They have 8 or 10 chipmunk dioramas, ffs.

  48. gVOR08 says:

    @de stijl:

    I’m okay with relativity.

    Every several years I read a book and feel like I’m OK with relativity for a while. Enough that seeing Star Trek do the “Stardate 99826.08” thing always makes me ask, “Where?”

  49. CSK says:

    OzarkHillbilly picked a hell of a week to go to Louisiana. The governor declared a state of emergency because of tornadoes yesterday.

  50. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    @de stijl:
    Puddletown (and Oregon in general) has a long history of strip clubs, featuring varying degrees of contact/no contact/clothing/etc. Many women owned/operated. One down the road from the “gluten free” used to celebrate “Stripper History Month.” Oregon courts ruled decades ago that stripping was under the umbrella of “freedom of speech/expression.”

    A hilarious story here was a suburban club lost their liquor license because they discovered (after 20+ years in operation) that the owner had backers with felony records (big no-no in Oregon/Washington). So, they thought yanking her license would shut her down. Nope. She merely changed it to 18-and-older, extended the operating hours past bar closing time, and really raked in the $$$. $5 sodas and $20 table dances. Local town gnashed their teeth but couldn’t do anything until she sold out to make way for a Cabela.

  51. Jen says:

    This was one of those stories that about had me tearing my hair out. Some @ssh0le in North Carolina dumped his dog at a shelter, saying he didn’t want a “gay” dog. (The male dog had mounted another male dog, which can be anything from a sign of dominance to play, and–importantly–is just normal dog behavior.)

    Thankfully, a happy ending, the dog has been adopted.

    And this is why I believe so strongly in a national animal registry. The idiot who dumped this poor dog should never be allowed to own an animal again.

  52. dazedandconfused says:

    @de stijl:

    This highly knowledgeable guy walks through the basics of what is known at this point and shows some comparative incidents.

    Nutshell: The only thing that can hold the nose down like that is the horizontal stabilizer. Without that it would go down something like a maple leaf. It generally points to a run-away trim scenario with something breaking along the way, so he spends a significant amount of time dealing with the jack-screw.

  53. CSK says:

    I can’t begin to tell you the number of times my sister’s miniature dachshund has sexually assaulted one of my legs. Or a bedspread. Or a chair. Or a…oh, never mind.

    Glad the poor dog went to a loving home. He’s much better off.

  54. gVOR08 says:

    @CSK: Does it look Trump on a flag?

  55. de stijl says:


    I was assuming an aerated vacuum which was stupid. (I.e., an air space close to the ground but absent wind) A really bad assumption.

    An unpowered, no control surface big plane would most likely gravity glide to an ignomious impact in my stunted scenario, but in the actual real world where there is headwind, I could easily see where said plane stalls out and plummets like a dropped dart.

    That must have been fucking terrifying.

  56. CSK says:

    No. The dog is much better looking, admittedly not a difficult feat.

  57. dazedandconfused says:


    The Alpha Centurians response to adopting a date system base on the birth of Jesus was, I believe, “Who?”

    If you really want a baked noodle dig into Quantum Entanglement being recently proven. The story there is at the quantum level there is no such thing as space. The distance from the end of one’s nose and the furthest galaxy is precisely the same. Our brains aren’t structured to handle it but there it is. Couldn’t help but remember Frank Herbert’s concept of “folding space”, “going across the universe without moving at all”.

  58. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    the “Stardate 99826.08” thing always makes me ask, “Where?”

    On the ship, DUH!

  59. de stijl says:

    One of my favorite movies from the 90s is Fearless starring Jeff Bridges directed by Peter Weir.

    First act is Bridges (Max) on a doomed passenger jet going down inevitably. No hope… this is it… It is one of the most beautiful scenes I have ever witnessed. Such beautiful cinematography and editing.

    Max has epiphanies and breakthroughs as he is plummeting to his death.

    The plane crashes, but he survives. A lucky bastard in row 14 seat A.

    The core of the movie is how Max deals with being alive when he had fully accepted he was going to die. He is somehow alive after the epiphanies and the acceptance of his death.

    Max deals with it by going very experiential. He rents a car and drives through the desert to Bakersfield.

    I learned about beauty of The Gypsy Kings because of this movie.

    The rest of the movie goes on. Watch it if you want to.

    The movie haunts me because I found out I react like Max / Bridges. It’s easy to assert yourself against one dude. But if a whole system breaks you I go primal and experiential. Think deep psilocybin reverie – I do that. It’s my go-to move.

    I crave just walking around and looking at things as empty as I can possibly be and just experience things openly and naively. I very much like watching ducks in a still pond. Bonus emptiness points if little ducklings are paddling behind. More bonus points if there is a breeze.

    Push comes to shove, I tend to want to opt out and decide that watching ducks paddle about for three hours is the appropriate response.

    It isn’t, but it is very pleasant. I enjoy ducks a lot. Hard calls and acting through that in real life sucks.

    Fearless ends stupidly. This man has been sporting about since the crash as if he were already dead and was a quasi-ghost. I know enough now to stop it with about 2 minutes left.

  60. Jax says:

    @de stijl: I’m still exploring this band, but this song has been my earworm for today.

  61. Kathy says:

    @de stijl:

    I recall two cases, at least, where either decompression or some air system malfunction killed all onboard due to lack of oxygen*, and the planes kept going on autopilot until the fuel ran out. When all engines flame out, the autopilot loses power and quits flying the plane.

    I don’t recall how they crashed, whether on a gradual descent as lack of thrust caused decreased airspeed, or whether they stalled and plummeted. In a stall, though, the plane won’t necessarily dive, but ti will plummet.

    *It sounds horrible, but a gradual loss of air first renders people unconscious. Most of the passengers and crews involved probably never knew what happened.

  62. Mister Bluster says:

    @de stijl:..Max has epiphanies and breakthroughs as he is plummeting to his death.

    Damn. Reminds me so much of some film I saw who knows when. (I sure don’t.)
    My hazy memory of the beginning is a guy in a boat fishing out in the middle of nowhere when he hears a sound from the sky. As the sound gets louder and more terrifying he realizes that he knows what it is. Someone is screaming as they fall out of the sky!
    He recognizes the shrieking sound as the howling he made when he once fell out of a plane (?) and survived. Before you know it a man lands in the water near his boat with an explosive splash!

    That’s it. That’s all I remember. Can’t vouch for the accuracy of my memory.
    Movie? TV show? Dunno.

  63. de stijl says:


    Check with your general contractor to be certain.

    But don’t let them charge you super extra for the thru the wall spray foam installation. Any crew worth their salt has pointable sprayers. It’s not rocket science.

    It’s slower and harder than just spraying foam into an unsealed wall, but relatively easy. Maybe a 30 – 50% surcharge over rate. In that range. Maybe not as a surcharge, but just as billable time.

    In and out in an afternoon. Ptetty easy all in all. Make sure that the holes are plugged level to the wall or slightly above.

    Sanding down is easier than filling in when you paint. Someone has the make the hole plug flat to the wall surface. Them, you, or your future painting crew.

  64. Gustopher says:

    Not that anyone would be surprised, but Ginni Thomas is a Q-tinted freak:

    “Watermarked ballots in over 12 states have been part of a huge Trump & military white hat sting operation in 12 key battleground states,” she wrote.

    During that period, supporters of the QAnon extremist ideology embraced a false theory that Trump had watermarked mail-in ballots so he could track potential fraud. “Watch the water” was a refrain in QAnon circles at the time.

    In the Nov. 5 message to Meadows, Thomas went on to quote a passage that had circulated on right-wing websites: “Biden crime family & ballot fraud co-conspirators (elected officials, bureaucrats, social media censorship mongers, fake stream media reporters, etc) are being arrested & detained for ballot fraud right now & over coming days, & will be living in barges off GITMO to face military tribunals for sedition.”

    I’m not surprised, just disappointed.

    How do people with any degree of access to real power believe this Q shit?

    I can sort of see how someone might believe that all the news is fake, that birds aren’t real, and that reality is radically different with a secret cabal far away battling another secret cabal far away.

    But, the MyPillow Guy, Ginni Thomas and Michael Flynn all have had regular access to Donald Trump and people in that circle. Do they seriously believe Trump was saving children from pedophiles between his golf games?

    Also, the fact that I have had to include the MyPillow Guy in a list of people with regular access to the President is terrifying. Kid Rock was apparently consulted on North Korea, but we don’t know that he is Q-pilled. Oh, for fucks sake, is Kid Rock the sane one?

  65. Sleeping Dog says:

    @de stijl:

    That place is still there? Figured it would have been gone long ago.

  66. Gustopher says:

    @de stijl:

    My other defensible neologism besides “quantaphobe” was “paterophagy”.

    I’ve been using “homophonophobia” and it’s variants for decades. Basically since first encountering the word “homophobe”.

    I claim that as my neologism, even if it has been independently discovered elsewhere.

  67. CSK says:

    With respect to the top-secret info about North Korea, Kid Rock apparently said to Trump, “Maybe I shouldn’t be seeing this stuff.”

    So yes, perhaps he is the sane one.”

  68. Gustopher says:

    @Gustopher: That should be “its” not “it’s”.

    Fucking homophones.

  69. de stijl says:

    @Mister Bluster:

    How recent?

    It kinda sounds like it could have been from Preacher season 1 iirc.


    No fooling. Fearless is pretty bad-ass. It will put into a interesting headspace. Bridges totally kills it. It has the best realistic sound design. When you are in that hotel corridor in Bakersfield, it sounds like a real hotel corridor.

    Highly recommend. I very much dislike the filmed ending. I think it is flat out wrong for the character and story beats. It was a bad choice. Opposite of what I would have chosen… Thankfully, The ending is basically the last minute of the movie. Just stop.

    The second (and first) time I saw the movie was in a theater. I just walked out with like a minute left. Told my friends before hand so I didn’t freak anybody out.

    I prefer my head-canon ending.

  70. KM says:

    Updates: ya’ll are some good luck charms!

    Found not only an acceptable Midori alt for sibling but snagged a tasty choco-cherry creme whiskey. Guess what coffee concoction I get for my Fri morning meeting?

    Mentioned the spray foam issue on the after-work Zoom social call and it turns out a co-worker lives near a Home Depot that had some. She was willing to bring it up to the in-office meeting in a few weeks so I managed to score enough to finish the project! Thanks to @de stijl for the advice and @Flat Earth Luddite for the offer as well as everyone with the liquer suggestions.

    This site has such great people!

  71. Gustopher says:

    Pulling this from the “Michael Reynold’s Wrote Stereotypical Native Americans And Then Killed Them Off” thread, because honestly it is just way too fun to live there.

    Fun Fact: On Star Trek: Voyager the character of Chakotay was carefully crafted with the input of a Native American consultant to make sure that the writers were respectful of the cultural aspects of the character.

    This link pretty much tells the story:

    The article inside is probably fine. I don’t remember where I first learned of it, and there are dozens of articles about it now. The Native American consultant was just making it up as he went along.

  72. Jax says:

    @Gustopher: The less I see of the “Cancel Culture” posts, the better, personally. I just rolled my eyes and didn’t even bother, just kept the Open Forum open because it’s been cancel culture free. (rolling eyes emoji)

  73. Kathy says:


    How do people with any degree of access to real power believe this Q shit?

    There’s so much wrong with all that, it’s hard to know where to begin. Which, not coincidentally, is what makes it hard to refute.

    I’m familiar with security features on printed matter, due to a minor interest in numismatics. Typically bank notes have a host of features to deter counterfeiters*. Other types of documents require fewer. Ballots typically have a serial number, usually engraved or stamped individually at the printer’s, and they may have a bar code or similar machine readable item.

    But in the first place, ballots are designed, printed, distributed, and processed at the county level. If Benito had placed watermarks on all mail ballots, why do only a few conspiracy theorists know about this? And how do they square such interference in the electoral process?

    See? Too much wrong stuff.

    *I need to indulge a brief rant: printing bank notes on cotton-linen paper or these days on plastic, should be enough deterrent for most counterfeiters. Cotton-linen paper simply doesn’t look or feel anything at all like common wood paper stock, and neither does plastic. Poeple just don’t pay attention.

    Ok, there are ways to bleach a cotton-linen note and print something else on it. Buying large amounts of devalued currency is cheap. This, too, is why mints all over the world destroy or burn tons of used-up bank notes every year. So a few more security features can be used. But the current arsenal of them is, IMO, overkill.

    Not that they aren’t interesting to look for and examine.

  74. de stijl says:


    Payne Stewart was a US pro golfer. Pretty big name and rep. Enough dosh to own his own private jet – a Lear.

    There was a decompression event shortly after initial ascent. Everyone died. Hypoxia.

    The plane flew on and kept ascending with six corpses aboard for four hours and later crashed near Aberdeen, South Dakota when the plane ran out of fuel. The flight plan was Orlando to Dallas.

  75. mister bluster says:

    @de recent…
    At least 30 years ago. Not familiar with Preacher.

  76. de stijl says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    Still there as of last year. Club Saratoga continues to rock on. The chipmunks are still playing pool.

    I came thisclose to buying a house just across the liftbridge from there on the point. The very north end. 3 houses down from the bridge.

    Super bad water damage throughout. I passed.

    I was an idiot. Such a effing idiot! I could have owned on a house on Minnesota Point. I could have fixed it up for 30k and be sitting on a million dollar lot. I kick myself daily over that bone-headed call. Man, that was stupid. I coulda stole it. I passed. Fuck me!

    I video toured. I flew up and personally toured. I passed. Man, that was stupid of me. Yeah, it was a project house with big time water damage, but still. I wish I could go back in time and tell my past dumb-ass self to go for it.

  77. Bob@Youngstown says:


    ballots are designed, printed, distributed, and processed at the county level

    I was under that impression also, however I subsequently learned that my county actually contracts a commercial printer to print (including serial #) and mail all the absentee ballots. They county provides the printer with a list of voters, their addresses, and the precinct number (because ballots may vary by precinct). The commercial printer then prints and mails them to voters. This came to light because it seems that the printer was unable to fulfill the contracts that he held for several counties in Ohio and Pennsylvania. Consequently many voters (like myself) never got their absentee ballot, while other voters (like my wife actually received two).
    Following up on this…. there is a printing company in (IIRC) the Phoenix AZ area that claims to be the printer-distributor (mailer) of about 33% of the nation’s absentee ballots.
    Runbeck Election services

  78. de stijl says:


    Paterophagy was basically a one off. It only makes sense within a very limited circumstance. No one in the 21st century west consumes or ingests their father’s remains either ritually or on a weird whim. No legs on that one. No long tail. It was clever and grammatically and linguistically correct – literally “father eating” or “the act of eating / consuming / ingesting one’s father”. A good word for one day. But just for that one specific Keith Richard’s day. Most likely apocryphal story as well. There is no definitive proof.

    Quantaphobe might have bigger legs, but is still extremely limited. How many people are like me? Aware of and read up on quantum theory and also freaked out about the implications or lack thereof. Me. Some small handful more. Perhaps a dozen?

    I’m still pushing it. It describes what I truly feel. It is not ironic at all.

    “Cremains” is one bad-ass word, though. Whoever thought that up is a genius.

    I stand by “quantaphobe” / “quantaphobia”. It describes a real thing. Perhaps not very widespread, but still real and definable.

  79. de stijl says:

    @mister bluster:

    Preacher is really good TV and fun. Season 1 especially. Haven’t read the comic books, but I know people tout them highly.

    The Jeff Bridges character did not fall out of the sky and miraculously survive. He was in a plane the crashed and he happened to survive.

    If I were to guess the crash in Fearless was modeled on the UA 232 crash outside of Sioux City where many folks died and many folks lived by random chance alone. This is not Unbreakable or in that realm at all. Just a dude surviving by random chance. Following him after. Observing his choices.

    Indeed, a big chunk of the movie deals with survivor guilt, especially for Rosie Perez’s character. The way that gets resolved tells us a lot about both characters. It is spooky and heartbreaking and really memorable. Well earned catharsis.

    I’m blanking on your falling from the sky memory reference. Sorry.

  80. de stijl says:


    Forgot to mention – and this is a pretty big deal, the retrofit spray foam insulation will not be as insulating as you would wish it to be. They will miss corners on the top and bottom in some spaces. Not on purpose mind you, just everyday foul-ups or rushing too fast. Spritzing into the corners properly even during open wall unimpeded is not a rookie’s job.

    I can’t put a hard number on it, but if I were to hazard a guess, I’d peg you get about 10% less insulation than you wanted and paid for. There are going to be some spaces and voids in the upper and lower corners. That foam shit is super fiddly.

    Best luck to you. Project houses are a project. It always takes 3 times longer than you budget for, and twice the money.