Wednesday’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. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    G’day, everyone. Happy Wednesday.

  2. de stijl says:

    I had a kinda profound realization last night.

    I was trying to drum along to a favorite song of mine – Kokopelli Face Tattoo by Ajj, fka Andrew Jackson Jihad.

    I can sorta do 90% adequately, serviceably. I no longer entirely suck. I’m never gonna be good, but I’m having true big fun trying to be semi-decent. Why did no one tell me how fun drumming was before now? Godamn, you need to concentrate hard! Or flow hard. Both.

    There is a section about 2 minutes in I cannot do. Will never ever be able to. That’s above my level and always will be. Utterly incapable. How can a human do that? That is insane!

    I could practice a billion years and still not be able to do that. And that’s pretty intermediate in drumming skills projection. Good song.

    But then again I have SQL skills that would stun that drummer.

    We all have potentiality. We can be extremely great at certain things. And suck at others.

    I highly recommend trying to get better at something you suck at. It will change your brain in surprising ways. I have enjoyed it, anyways. Songs are now rhythmic interlocking blocks.

  3. OzarkHillbilly says:
  4. OzarkHillbilly says:

    A driver who was pulled over for speeding and appeared to officers to be drunk tried to switch places with his dog in an attempt to avoid arrest, police in Colorado are alleging.

    An officer watched the motorist maneuvering inside the car before he got out on the passenger side on Saturday night in Springfield, a town of about 1,300 people on Colorado’s Eastern Plains, police said in a Facebook post on Sunday.

    Clearly showing signs of being drunk, the man said he was not behind the wheel, police said. He ran from the officer when asked about how many drinks he had before being pulled over and was caught within about 20 yards (18 meters), police said.

    I want to know how many drinks the dog had.

  5. OzarkHillbilly says:

    From US attorney for Massachusetts to step down after ethics investigation

    The inspector general examined a trip to California that was paid for by an outside group: justice department employees are not supposed to accept payment for travel.

    Yes, only Supreme Court justices are allowed to do that! She should have known better!

  6. de stijl says:

    Drums make great big noise. Controllable noise if you kinda know what you are doing and pay attention. It’s addictive. I still suck, but I’m getting better.

    A great resounding din.

  7. Lounsbury says:

    I should think the ongoing bit of South African arms dealing with Russia kerfuffle should attract rather more attention, although so far it seems Financial Times is paying rather more attention than USA land press.

  8. Mu Yixiao says:

    @de stijl:

    If you ever get the chance, go see Kodo live. Drumming is like a religion to them.

    I had the opportunity to work one of their shows. At one point, 6 drummers sat across the front of the stage. I was 15 feet from the closest–and I couldn’t hear them!

    A little while later, they registered 100 dB at the back of the house (OSHA slow-response metering). And they had no microphones.

    Oh… and go see Stomp live. Their percussion work is absolutely wonderful (and so fun!)

  9. MarkedMan says:

    @Lounsbury: It’s been in the US papers.

  10. MarkedMan says:

    @Mu Yixiao: Second you on Stomp. It’s a show that is fun to see as an adult and you can also bring really little kids to it. Another recommendation: Mickey Hart’s Plant Drum. Hart was one of the two Grateful Dead drummers, and this is a collection of a whole bunch of percussionists. Saw them live and was just blown away.

  11. OzarkHillbilly says:
  12. Sleeping Dog says:


    I guess the sympathetic profile in the biz section of the Sunday NYT’s a week ago didn’t sway that hard hearted judge. Guess the court didn’t believe Liz is simply a young mother who made a mistake.

    I do feel bad for her kids though.

  13. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Keith Olbermann↙️

    May 15
    BREAKING: sexual abuse suit against Rudy Giuliani includes bombshell allegation

    Giuliani told alleged victim he was “SELLING PARDONS” for $2,000,000 each “which he and Trump would split” AND SHE HAS RECORDINGS AND EMAILS

    Olbermann is prone to hyperbole, but if she really does have recordings, this is gonna be so much fun.

  14. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Sleeping Dog: The children are always victims.

    I can’t help noticing that she got married after her indictment and subsequently had those children. I also can’t help thinking that she had those children in an attempt to make herself a more sympathetic figure at sentencing.

    “Think of the children!”

    She’s a master of manipulation and I doubt she has changed her ways. Maybe they are better off with her in prison. My sons were.

    eta, to be a little more explicit, she did this to her children when she decided to get pregnant while staring down a 20 year sentence.

  15. CSK says:


    This news has been on CNN, Fox, NBC, AP, and Reuters, for starters.

  16. MarkedMan says:

    I went off on a tangent yesterday in the subscription car features thread. Apologies for that, but I think it’s worth highlighting separately: We are going to have a lot of cars that will be unrepairable in the next few years, as startups fail (as most inevitably do). Virtually everything in them is proprietary and irreplaceable due to their heavy dependence on firmware. Your gas pedal is no longer connected to a carburator by a cable but rather to a highly specialized microprocessor driven fuel injection system by a highly specialized micrprocessor driven pedal sensor. And this applies to virutally everything in the car. GM, Mercedes, Volkswagens keeps spare parts for these things for decades, but if Rivian goes belly up no one is going to make them.

  17. CSK says:


    You’re absolutely right about Holmes. She had the kids in an attempt to stay out of prison.

  18. Kathy says:


    eta, to be a little more explicit, she did this to her children when she decided to get pregnant while staring down a 20 year sentence.


    I think she had the first child close to the start of her trial, before it was delayed due to COVID. I know she had the second as she awaited sentencing.

  19. Sleeping Dog says:


    One thing to remember is that those sub assemblies are seldom proprietary hardware, since they come from a supplier. It is even the case that the firmware that operates the sub assembly is owned by the supplier with the vehicle manufacturer, say Rivian, only provided IP that executes how the assembly functions and that can be duplicated fairly easily.

    More difficult will be cosmetic and appearance of visible parts such as headlamps and other lighting, wheels, even body work and glass. 3D printing will provide a large number of the parts needed to keep those cars running, but at a cost.

  20. CSK says:


    Could the dog walk a straight line?

  21. CSK says:

    Another one of Trump’s lawyers, Timothy Parlatore, has bailed on him.

    And there’s this:

  22. Kathy says:


    I wonder what this guy was doing so far from Florida.

  23. Jay L Gischer says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: This particular claim does not appear to have any bearing on the rest of her case. I’m hard-pressed to see why it is included in the lawsuit. I’m hard-pressed to understand why she didn’t turn her material over to law enforcement, and instead included it in a civil suit.

    And what I’m wondering is whether the cat is now out of the bag or not? Can an investigation be opened with this aa a predicate, since selling pardons is taking bribes, which is manifestly illegal, and the material cited be subpoenaed?

    This story seems bound to be highly sordid, and highly entertaining. And also puzzling.

  24. inhumans99 says:

    Kevin Drum has a post up wondering if the world has gone insane while he was pre-occupied getting treatment. One of his comments is that Biden seems to have informed the GOP he is open to negotiations and now the floodgates are opening and the GOP is throwing all sorts of crazy and unrealistic demands at the White House.

    The thing is, I do not think this is the mistake that Drum thinks it is. Biden can now wait a week or two and tell the world, see, I tried to work with the GOP but they first demanded that any agreement includes my being upside down walking on my hands singing La Traviata. These guys are certifiable and cannot be reasoned with.

    We already know to write off a certain percentage of folks who are in the tank and will never abandon Team Trump or Team GQP, but the rest of us who have not completely lost our minds, we will start to nod our heads and say yup, Biden tried to reach across the aisle, but they did not even try to meet him 10% of the way, which is the GQPs problem, not President Biden’s.

  25. MarkedMan says:

    @inhumans99: I thought the same thing. McCarthy is unlikely to be able to get his loonie toons to agree to anything. Biden just needs 5 Republicans to peel away.

  26. gVOR08 says:

    @Jay L Gischer: Atrios points out that NYT reported on part of this pardon selling two years ago.

  27. Beth says:


    I was starting to wondering if it was just to get the Republicans start shouting loudly that their opening bill was the floor and that they not only would not make any concessions, but that they would also demand more. I suspect that Biden has determined that he has to at least appear somewhat conciliatory in order to get the press to stop making it seem like he’s the problem. I’ve noticed that the stories are starting to shift, at least subtly, that oh wait, the Republicans are the problem.

    My guess is the reason is that all along he was going to do something like the 14th amendment option and force their hands. He just has to look like he’s doing something to play nice. It’s so stupid.

    For what it’s worth, I’m of the camp that we have to nuke this particular ploy even if it tanks everything. I think that as a society (Americans) have decided that we can’t actually confront anything. The effects of everything are diffuse enough to hide or make look like it’s someone else’s fault. I think we need to start showing the actual effects of school shootings. Show the dead kids blown apart. Rub people’s faces in what happens with abortion bans, show the dead women. Things are untenable for so many people but we have gotten so use to it that it feels normal. The frog is already boiling, put it out of its misery.

  28. Mr. Prosser says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:You’re right, stunning photo. Nuoc mam factory. Got a whiff of those when I was in-country. Amazing how a very good basic condiment starts out.

  29. MarkedMan says:


    I suspect that Biden has determined that he has to at least appear somewhat conciliatory in order to get the press to stop making it seem like he’s the problem.

    I’m hopeful that Biden is ignoring the press on this. I think his audience is any set of five Republicans in districts in danger of going blue.

  30. Beth says:


    Same. I actually hope he’s more or less ignoring those Republicans too other than telling them he’ll give them some cover to do what has to be done.

    I mean, seriously, what is there to negotiate? Especially since we all know that once it’s time for budget talks they are going to shut down the government anyway? Republicans don’t negotiate in good faith and are fundamentally liars.

  31. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: @Kathy: My ex was a very intelligent person but as dumb as a box of rocks. She could have been any # of things if she had just applied herself. Instead, the only thing she ever applied herself to was scams. Holmes is an echo of that type and like my ex, always will be. A leopard can’t change it’s spots. My ex did 7 years, Holmes is gonna do more.

  32. Scott says:

    @inhumans99: @MarkedMan: My Congresscritter, Chip Roy, of the Klown Kaucus (Sedition Caucus, etc, whatever you want to call it, anything but Freedom Caucus) is already moving the goal posts of the negotiation, demanding the debt ceiling get tied to the passage of their border bill also. Good luck with that.

  33. CSK says:


    I’m profoundly sorry you had to endure such misery.

  34. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Beth: Show the dead kids blown apart.

    I understand the impulse, but I’ve seen bodies blown apart. I’ve seen dead children. No parent should be subjected to that and if there is one thing certain in this world it is that Alex Jones and his acolytes will torture the parents of murdered children with those photos.

  35. Kathy says:


    Holmes and Balwani are on the hook for around $450 million in restitution. Much of it owed to people who wouldn’t care if they got it or not. Exhibit A: over $100 million owed to Prince Rupert of Faux News. Exhibit B: around $40 million to Walgreen’s.

    Now, the latter should sue itself for being so stupid as to invest in a company that had nothing of value to offer. I wonder what became of the executives who decided to partner with Theranos…

    What’s funniest, in an ironic kind of way, is that Liz could have set up Theranos as an R&D company with a realistic shot at revolutionizing blood analysis. She’d probably have failed after a few years, as she had no clue how to implement her idea. But that wouldn’t have been fraud.

    The funny part is this: around when Theranos was defrauding investors and patients, companies like Moderna and BioNTech were doing R&D in mRNA therapeutics. Yes, it took a global pandemic, but they scored billions in sales over a short period of time. The other way to look at it, is that the techniques and manufacturing base were in place when they were desperately needed, and this saved literally millions of lives all over the world.

    It gets better in irony. Holmes pitched and presented Theranos as a tech company, when it was a medical diagnostics/devices company. The mRNA vaccines, and the virus vector vaccines like J&J and AZ, are vaccine platforms, which is more a tech company kind of thing.

  36. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: Meh, I survived. My eldest did too. I’m still keeping my fingers crossed for the youngest. She really did a number on him. A couple weeks ago he told me (and his brother) that he had finally come to the conclusion that he needs counseling. I encouraged him of course, told him I did it (as had his brother) and that for me, I found group counseling to be the most therapeutic (tho mileage will vary). He poo poohed the idea of GC but for me it was just knowing I wasn’t the only one and that I could talk to folks and they would get it w/o explanation.

    He also suffers from depression, something he can blame me for. I am one of a long line of depressed hillbillies.

  37. de stijl says:


    Any good boy or girl would gladly take a DUI rap for a decent human companion. That is not a problem for them.

  38. Thomm says:

    @MarkedMan: there is federal law dealing with your concerns re: parts availability. Manufacturers must produce parts for 10 years after a model is made. Some are better about this than others. For example, Ford and Toyota cut part production as fast as possible, while Mercedes can still provide many parts for an 87 300E through a dealership (and has a separate heritage parts division for all models they have made from the beginning). Rivian and others do not make those parts you are concerned with themselves and their suppliers are held to the 10 year law.

  39. Kathy says:


    Some states are gerrymandered to the hilt, others have competitive districts. All use much the same primary system, the major difference being on what kind of registration is required to vote on which primaries.

    This results in Congress in a kind of legislative manslaughter. You know, Congresscritter A will say they support policy X, but can’t vote for it because they’ll be primaried and lose to an extremist, whom would never in a million years support policy X.

    I wonder if gerrymandered states elect either more people like A, who are reasonable but don’t vote for reasonable policies. Or more extremists like Gazpacho Peachtree Green, who plainly vote for crazy policies if given the chance.

  40. de stijl says:

    I was riding shotgun home from a night out once when I was maybe 22. Bob was driving.

    We got pulled over on I-94 halfway between Minneapolis and St. Paul. They ran him through field sobriety rests and decided to run him in to the station to blow (this was the mid 80s and our cops didn’t have field BAC units).

    The junior officer told me to get so I got. Walked home about 6 miles or so at 1:30 in the morning. Hey, I’ve done longer walks, but not in boat shoes with no socks. That sucked. Many blisters.

    Bob wasn’t legally drunk so they charged him with impaired driving. Between the lawyer, the fine, and the impound lot fee it cost him maybe a couple thousand bucks all told. Which was big-ass money to us at the time, to Bob a little less so because of his parents, but big money and a huge pain the ass hassle for him.

    The dumb thing was we talked about it before leaving the club and we both decided he was cool to drive.

    Nowadays I don’t even begin to fuck around with that. If I know I’m going to have more than two drinks I either taxi / Uber home or suggest a place I can walk home from.

  41. Stormy Dragon says:

    @de stijl:

    They ran him through field sobriety rests and decided to run him in to the station to blow

    One thing to remember: in some states, you’re required to submit to the breathalyzer or blood test, but not the field sobriety test. There’s no reason to voluntarily take the sobriety test, because if you pass, they’re just going to make you take the breathalyzer anyways and taking it has the potential to create evidence for an impaired driving charge if you pass the breathalyzer.

  42. MarkedMan says:


    Manufacturers must produce parts for 10 years after a model is made.

    Yep, that’s why I said, “GM, Mercedes, Volkswagens keeps spare parts for these things for decades”, and instead focused on all the startups that didn’t exist five years ago. Five years from now, I bet 2/3 of them will be gone and so will any hope of getting a spare part.

    The aftermarket has supplied a lot of these things long, long after the manufacturers stop, but let’s face facts – a distributor cap or even a carburetor is easy to knock off and once you’ve set up the tooling you can run a line once a year and keep stock forever. The precise display that serves as your Rivian speedometer? Not so much. Even if you create one the right size and with the same electrical connections you would have to reverse engineer the protocol. So you are betting your resale value that Rivian survives.

  43. daryl and his brother darryl says:

    @de stijl:
    Especially in Minnesota – they do NOT fuq around about DUI.
    My brother got pinched there. Subsequently he moved out of state. They still made him do his 7 days in jail, in Florida, where he had moved to.

  44. de stijl says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    I was at once at a gig that was extremely loud. Sugar (Bob Mould) touring for their album Copper Blue at First Avenue.

    I always stash a set of cheap-ass foam earplugs just in case, and, man, were they needed that night! I was really close up at the edge of the stage.

    My innards resonated. My liver and kidneys jiggled and throbbed to the beat. My whole chest cavity. Which is pretty disconcerting, actually. It is a novel thing to have your torso and inner organs resonate. That show was really freaking loud! I’d guess 125-130 dB in the sweet spot. An actual full body experience.

    I loved it! It was literally stunning. That was intense.

    Thank Freya I had earplugs or I would have taken long-term hearing damage that night.

  45. gVOR08 says:

    I’ve been aware that the debt ceiling was created in 1917, not to limit the debt, but to facilitate the issue of war bonds without congress having to separately authorize each bond issue, as had been the law. I wasn’t aware of a bit of history Atrios points out,

    In 1979, noting the potential problems of hitting a default, Dick Gephardt imposed the “Gephardt Rule,” a parliamentary rule that deemed the debt ceiling was raised when a budget was passed. This resolved the contradiction in voting for appropriations but not voting to fund them. The rule stood until it was repealed by the Republican-controlled Congress in 1995.

  46. daryl and his brother darryl says:


    I think we need to start showing the actual effects of school shootings. Show the dead kids blown apart. Rub people’s faces in what happens with abortion bans, show the dead women.

    Beth is right.
    Ozark is also right.
    But there is a huge difference between saying that they had to use DNA to identify bodies…and showing people what that really means. It’s far easier to normalize the abstract. It’s far more difficult to deny hard evidence. The fact that some asshole is going to abuse it for their own perverted purpose is inevitable.
    Beth is more right. Show the slaughtered kids. I’m sure many parents would gladly do it if it meant their precious child can help save other kids.

  47. Gustopher says:

    @de stijl: Learning to play tha banjo was eye-opening for me. Or ear-opening.

    Suddenly, I could see the faint outlines of what makes music work. And building the different types of memory so that doing a chord goes from the conscious brain manipulating fingers into something that just happens while the conscious brain struggles with timing (which should also become automatic). It was a type of learning that I hadn’t done in decades (learning to type or drive was probably the last time, but banjo is more complicated)

    I was also learning to meditate at the same time, so sometimes I was trying to make things that were conscious automatic, and other times I was trying to make things that were automatic conscious.

    (Also, I can now live happily with a song stuck in my head. Because there’s always a song stuck in my head.)

    Lately I’ve been doing digital art (all the fun of non-digital art, but no mess to clean up, and the house isn’t littered with bad paintings) and the learning process isn’t the same — almost everything is conscious, and it’s more building the knowledge of techniques than making those techniques unconscious movements.

  48. Gustopher says:

    @Beth: We probably need to show the misery. I understand Mr. Hillbilly’s argument, but we just end up sanitizing things when we don’t.

    I think HIPAA laws were a problem at the height of the pandemic, because they prevented photographs of covid wards. It allowed the people to be abstractions, and made “covid isn’t real” an easier thing to believe at least on an emotional level.

    People are dumb. They’re stuck in their belief systems even when it is harmful to them. They need trauma to knock them out of it. Photos and video do that.

    Watching police kill black people got half the country agitated and demanding change. It hits a wall of racism at about 50%, and isn’t quite effective — there are a lot of people who see the videos and go “a-yup, that n-word had it a-comin’”.

    There’s no wall at 50% that says “a-yup, those kids had it a-comin’”. Probably 20% with “mah guns! mah beaootiful guns!”

  49. Just nutha ignint cracker says:


    I’m of the camp that we have to nuke this particular ploy even if it tanks everything.

    I’d prefer that we NOT go that direction given that I don’t live anywhere that I’d be able to get land to subsistence farm. (And am not good at growing things as well. 🙁 )

  50. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @de stijl: Most of my “serious drinking” days were in Korea–always a neighborhood bar or travel by taxi. Didn’t own a car. The other time for me was in the 70s, so it was before sobriety checkpoints. But in those days, taking Theophylline 4 times a day made me the equivalent* of too impaired to drive 24/7. It’s amazing what you can do if it’s part of your “normal.”

    It’s another “do not operate machinery until…” medication. I started taking it at too young to remember, so I was already at “until…” before I was even walking probably.

  51. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Gustopher: “(Also, I can now live happily with a song stuck in my head. Because there’s always a song stuck in my head.)”

    Yeah. Exactly! Earworms are different for someone who for whatever reason is engaged in actually making music rather than just listening.

  52. Thomm says:

    @MarkedMan: that electronic portion of the part you are referring to is made by a supplier that falls under the 10 year law. Rivian, and most other makers, only really make the basic platforms, body panels, and engines. In Rivian’s case they most likely make their own motors and battery packs, but the battery packs may be a third party supplier as well. As an example you can still get bits an peices for a Fisker and they flamed out rather quickly and still have a decent resale value (just saw one sell for 33k). Heck, my 1992 Mercedes 300TE’s gauge cluster might have a MBZ part number printed on it (in plain view…back when they were designed by engineers and not marketers), but was made by VDO, as printed on the gauges themselves. Yes, there is a risk of parts supply running out or being nonexistent, but you can still get NOS parts for Studebakers which haven’t been built since 1964. Not easily mind you, but they are out there. This is a risk with any small or boutique maker and always has been. I don’t get why there is a sudden concern now with these start ups. I don’t remember hearing this concern in the early days of Tesla as an example.

  53. Kathy says:

    Following on the idea of making chicken with potato flakes “breading,” I’m leaning towards a topping for the chicken rather than a sauce.

    I’m thinking sauteed mushrooms with onions and garlic, with wine/sherry and a bit of broth as a reduction (if I’ve the right term). This would goon top of the chicken after it’s cooked. I figure this adds some flavor, so it’s not just plain chicken milanesas, but not so much as to overpower the chicken and breading.

    Except I’ve this feeling I should add beans, which frankly makes no sense. So, I thought more about it, and wondered: how about bean broth? That would be the liquid where the beans were cooked. This is odd, but it kind of makes sense.

    The problem then would be what to do with beans bereft of their own juices. I figure the larger can, 865 grams net, has about 400 grams of liquid. Half of that would be plenty for the topping. the rest I could use in a side dish, as soon as I figure one out. Maybe beans with rice and tomato and mustard sauce.

  54. de stijl says:


    I have always sucked at percussion. Can’t tell you why. When I try I think I am too conscious as a natural state. I can be kicking and ticking along fairly okay in my book, and then suddenly become aware of my left arm and the complicated thing it is doing, and once I’m in that focus my left arm inevitably fucks up like ten seconds later. Learning how to not focus is hard.

    It is a process of letting go. Of not thinking. When I think about it my brain freezes up and I abruptly whang about randomly way off beat. I am early still in the process / practice of learning how to let go and just flow with it.

    Like you I meditate daily. I live on a busy street so I sit at the bottom of my basement stairs, look at the drain in the center, and breathe ritually. Try not to think about it and just do it.

    The “try not to think about it” is the bit I often stumble on. My conscious brain seemingly enjoys interrupting my flow state unannounced and unwelcome. It adds nothing and fucks up the flow / being thing going on in the background.

    My conscious brain is undoubtedly my biggest asset and has served me well in life. Simultaneously, it is also my biggest liability.

    I need to get better at letting go.

    This reminds me. I am way overdue for a psilocybin camping trip.

    As to my current endeavor, drumming, I think a lot of it just practice and repetition, and the elusive letting go. I’m never going to be good, but I’ll settle for not sucking.

  55. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @de stijl: I’m not good a percussion either, but I know why–poor motor control. Can’t touch type well either.

  56. de stijl says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    I was probably 16 or 17.

    I was on 3 or 4 different meds to try to control cluster headache pain. So, serious stuff. One was a benzo. One was an opioid. Serious fuck with your decision-making process shit.

    I was driving. At a red, wanting to make a left turn. The light went green so I made a left. Directly in front of everybody else at the other side of the intersection waiting to drive forward. My brain saw green and went for it.

    Horns blared and tires screeched braking in front of me. I realized what I had done a few seconds in. My forebrain kicked in a few seconds too late. I scooted through unharmed, but, man, that was stupid and spooky. I screwed up a lot of people’s drive home and inadvertently gave them a huge sudden dose of adrenaline.

    When the label says “do not use if operating heavy machinery” pay attention. I zoned out in heavy street traffic and nearly got t-boned.

  57. Mister Bluster says:

    @CSK:..Could the dog walk a straight line?

    Dogs can’t drive. Cats however are smarter than dogs.See Toonces Drives Ms Daisy!

  58. CSK says:

    @Mister Bluster:

    Not that well, it seems.

  59. de stijl says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    The only way to cure an earworm is with another earworm. Hopefully, one less intrusive.

    A-B-C-1-2-3 by The Jackson Five running in a loop inside your head continually is not adaptive and is distracting and infuriating.

    You have to kill it by introducing a new, less intrusive loop. Pick your poison. My go-to is Marin Marais. Tout les matins de le monde soundtrack. Works for me, anyway. Big double-bass cello style music.

    It is one of those practice / repitition things that you get better at over time.

    A hard earworm is so annoying.

    I bet there is interesting neuroscience in earworm research.

  60. steve says:

    In Pittsburgh turning left as soon as the light turns green is normal.


  61. steve says:

    Florida passed and Desantis signed a Medical Conscience Act. It allows providers to opt out of care if they decide their sincerely held religious, moral or ethical beliefs would conflict with caring for a pt. In practice this means that, per the Hastings Center, an EMT arriving at the Pulse Club could have refused to care for pts known to be gay if the EMT thought being gay conflicted with their religion. I read over the bill. It has lots of other stuff I think is bad but unless I missed it there is no provision for an emergency situation that says in an emergency care should be provided until another person can be found. I am semi-shocked by that. I guess with states refusing to put in anti-abortioin exemptions for the life of the mother I should not be.


  62. Kathy says:


    In Mexico City and metro area, you’re supposed to wait for the green arrow pointing left in order to turn left at an intersection. It varies where people respect this or not.

    An intersection right by the office lacks the green arrow or signage allowing a left trun on green. Those who drive here often know not to wait in vain, but newbies often obstruct traffic.

    For a while, right turns on red were allowed. All too many people failed to understand this had to be done 1) cautiously, and 2) when traffic permitted. Now you have to wait for the green light, unless there’s a sign next to the traffic lights that expressly allows right runs on red.

    The Mythbusters once tested the notion that avoiding left turns where possible makes for a faster drive, even if it means going around the block sometimes. The “myth” came from parcel delivery service practices, many of which ban left turns.

    As I recall, the no left turn policy was a bit faster. But they only ran the routes one time each. That’s insufficient data for a valid conclusion, even if they took Lombard St. in San Francisco both times.

  63. de stijl says:


    I learned guitar when I was pretty young. I don’t remember that as difficult. Thor bless youthful brain neuroplasticity! I’m not great, but I don’t suck. And I’ve always sung along to songs (poorly) since I was a wee laddie.

    One of the many good things about punk is you can sing poorly and no one gives a shit. Singing badly is an asset, actually. You do have to scream well, though. Dodgy, basic guitar skills? No one really gives a fuck.

    As a guitar person and a bad singer, my first intuition / insight / read into a song is via lyrics, vocal performance, and the guitar bits. It’s what my brain hears.

    Getting into basic drumming has opened a whole other eye and I am starting to see songs differently. Like I said earlier – rhythmic blocks interlocking. See is the wrong word – interpret, hear, feel. You know what, “see” also applies, that word works fine there.

    It’s given me a new avenue of appreciation, insight, and respect.

    Highly recommended, btw. Try it.

  64. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @de stijl: As I noted, for me, they aren’t earworms; they’re only music.

  65. MarkedMan says:

    @Thomm: That’s interesting and is causing me to rethink my doom saying

  66. DrDaveT says:


    In Pittsburgh turning left as soon as the light turns green is normal.

    It’s a cultural norm — everyone understands that if you let the first leftist go before any of the straight ahead traffic goes, everyone is better off in the long run. Unfortunately, it’s not written down anywhere, so visitors and newbies run the risk of T-boning someone before they learn the ropes.

    I was noting to my wife recently that I’ve started seeing this in the Virginia suburbs of DC. Not in Maryland; only in Virginia. I have no idea whether it will catch on, but in the meantime it’s the Wild Wild West at every stoplight.

  67. Franklin says:

    @de stijl: Just FYI, I’m digging your description of this process. I’m also an amateur singer/guitarist and have had a similar experience when trying out drums. If you don’t think too much, you can sound plausible. Unlike you, I haven’t put in the effort needed to go beyond some basic beats.

    But I find an analogy to singing and playing something with a wildly different rhythm on the guitar at the same time. Meaning, the guitar and vocal rhythms are significantly different. I usually have trouble in this case, but get better if I just let my lower body get into the groove of the guitar. In other words, I consciously think about the words and singing melody, and let the subconscious handle the rest.

    Of course, practice makes this (and everything) easier over time.