April Fools’ 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. CSK says:

    In an overview of books about Trump in The Guardian, the reviewer describes him as an “obese, superannuated popinjay.”


  2. Jon says:

    I just read an article where somebody was quoted calling the DC Trucker thingy

    a sort of Gathering of the Juggalos for grandparents and uncles who’ve had their brains turned to taffy by Facebook.

    and man that started my morning off better than expected.

    ETA: h/t Balloon Juice

  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Police responding to one of Canada’s worst mass shootings nearly shot the wrong man, officers have said during a public inquiry examining the attack and authorities’ chaotic response.

    Testifying on Monday at a public inquiry into the 2020 attack in the town of Portapique, Nova Scotia, which left 22 dead, three Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers said the scene resembled a “war zone” and that they were unprepared for the number of casualties.

    At one stage, amid the sound of gunfire and with thick smoke pouring from burning houses, they pursued a man fleeing into the forest.

    But the man was not the perpetrator, Gabriel Wortman. Instead, the officers were mistakenly pursing Clinton Ellison, who had just discovered the body of his brother, Corrie Ellison, lying dead on the road. The pair had been in Portapique visiting their father and had ventured outside after hearing a gunshot.

    Wait a minute… A public inquiry into a mass shooting and the police response? What the hell, it’s like Canadians actually expect their govt to do something about mass shootings.

  4. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Police officers in America continue to kill people at an alarming rate, according to a data analysis that has raised concerns about the Biden administration’s push to expand police investments amid growing concerns about crime.

    Law enforcement in the US have killed 249 people this year as of 24 March, averaging about three deaths per day and mirroring the deadly force trends of recent years, according to Mapping Police Violence, a non-profit research group. The data, experts say, suggests in the nearly two years since George Floyd’s murder, the US has made little progress in preventing deaths at the hands of law enforcement, and that the 2020 promises of systemic reforms have fallen short.

    Police have killed roughly 1,100 people each year since 2013. In 2021, officers killed 1,136 people – one of the deadliest years on record, Mapping Police Violence reported. The organization tracks deaths recorded by police, governments and the media, including cases where people were fatally shot, beaten, restrained, and Tasered. The Washington Post has reported similar trends, and found that 2021 broke the record for fatal shootings by officers since the newspaper started its database tracking in 2015.

    “The shocking regularity of killings suggests that nothing substantive has really changed to disrupt the nationwide dynamic of police violence,” said Samuel Sinyangwe, a data scientist and policy analyst who founded Mapping Police Violence and Police Scorecard, which evaluates departments. “It demonstrates that we’re not doing enough, and if anything, it appears to be getting slightly worse year over year.”

  5. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Strung out in the icy reaches of our solar system, two peaks that tower over the surface of the dwarf planet Pluto have perplexed planetary scientists for years. Some speculated it could be an ice volcano, spewing out not lava but vast quantities of icy slush – yet no cauldron-like caldera could be seen.

    Now a full analysis of images and topographical data suggests it is not one ice volcano but a merger of many – some up to 7,000 metres tall and about 10-150km across. Their discovery has reignited another debate: what could be keeping Pluto warm enough to support volcanic activity?

    Sitting at the southern edge of a vast heart-shaped ice sheet, these unusual surface features were initially spotted when Nasa’s New Horizons spacecraft flew past in July 2015, providing the first close-up images of the icy former planet and its moons.

    “We were instantly intrigued by this area because it was so different and striking-looking,” said Dr Kelsi Singer, a New Horizons co-investigator and deputy project scientist at Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado.

    “There are these giant broad mounds, and then this hummocky-like, undulating texture superimposed on top; and even on top of that there’s a smaller bouldery kind of texture.”
    All of this is speculation. “I will freely admit we do not have a lot of information about what’s going on in the subsurface of Pluto,” said Singer. “But this is forcing people to come up with some creative ideas for how [ice volcanism] could happen.”

    Whatever the explanation, the old idea of Pluto as just an inert ball of ice is looking increasingly improbable.

  6. Mu Yixiao says:
  7. Sleeping Dog says:

    No one should be surprised as everything TFG touches, dies.

    Trump’s Truth Social App Plummets in Traffic, Sees 93% Drop in Signups Since Launch Week

    The article goes on to note the signups for Gettr and Paler, both of which, are but microbes in the world of internet traffic.

  8. Mu Yixiao says:

    Russian convoy stopped by 30 people with quad-bikes and home-made drones.

    But the convoy of armoured vehicles and supply trucks ground to a halt within days, and the offensive failed, in significant part because of a series of night ambushes carried out by a team of 30 Ukrainian special forces and drone operators on quad bikes, according to a Ukrainian commander.

    The drone operators were drawn from an air reconnaissance unit, Aerorozvidka, which began eight years ago as a group of volunteer IT specialists and hobbyists designing their own machines and has evolved into an essential element in Ukraine’s successful David-and-Goliath resistance.

    Where are Eddie and WR? They need to scoop up the movie rights to this! 😀

  9. CSK says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

  10. MarkedMan says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I’m not a big defender of the police but I have to wonder if this really proves much, given the absolute avalanche of guns pushed out into the population these past few years and the subsequent rise in murders.

  11. MarkedMan says:

    @Sleeping Dog: Just confirmation that this was a typical Trump scam, which is a kind of Cargo Cult lite thing. Rather than build a sham in order to get people with wealth to drop some off on him, he gets the money just by proposing to build the most amazing thing in the world, then builds the crudest of shams, declares bankruptcy or simply lets it die, and walks away with the money.

  12. Sleeping Dog says:


    In the not too recent past, I had occasion to conduct business with various chiefs of police. At a trade show one year, I was in a conversation with 3, one I knew, the others I’d just met.

    Recently there had been a couple of high profile civilian killings by police and that came up in the conversation. I asked the question, did the number of guns on the street and prevalence of people carrying them, make the officers’ job more dangerous. All agreed that it did, the oldest who was a few months from retiring, went on to say that when he was a young patrolman, the possibility of an armed individual was there, but he worried more about getting hit by passing traffic when conducting a traffic stop at night than being shot. All believed that the prevalence of guns contributed to the number of civilians shot by police.

  13. Kathy says:


    “Canada, you did it again! You even managed to ruin this! Why? Why do we even let you be a country?” Barney Stinson.

  14. EddieInCA says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    When I read the story initally a few days ago, the first thing I said to my wife is “Someone is going to make a great movie about this group when all is said and done, and I would go see that movie.”

  15. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Mu Yixiao: Revenge of the nerds.

  16. Michael Cain says:

    @Sleeping Dog:
    So far as I can tell, all of the right-wing social media — including Trump’s grifts — believe in the “build it and they will come” theory. None of them seem inclined to do the work to become a real social medium. A simple example: I’ve never seen any of them included in the collection of share icons at a web site. None of them seem to be among the available choices when setting up a site on WordPress. Twitter and Facebook (and lesser social media setups) aren’t just about their users jotting down random thoughts. They’re about making it easy for the users to share things from other sites. But that’s a lot of work.

  17. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @MarkedMan: Pre covid the biggest threat to cops was vehicles. Covid is #1 now with vehicles being #2.

    The bureau of Labor Statistics says being a cop is no more dangerous than being a carpenter and if I had to bet I suspect we get hurt a lot more often. Hell, it’s more dangerous to be a crossing guard. (again, that whole stupid driver thing)

    I’m not saying they don’t face dangers the avg American doesn’t, just that those dangers are wildly overblown and are used to justify behaviors we would never accept from anybody else.

  18. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    All believed that the prevalence of guns contributed to the number of civilians shot by police.

    Obviously. A bad guy with a gun, or a suspected bad guy with a gun, will be shot by cops. The more guns in the environment the more people who’ll be shot by cops. 1 + 1 = 2.

  19. wr says:

    What a shock. Deficit hawk Joe Manchin, who is desperately desperately desperately desperately concerned about the deficit, has just announced he’ll torpedo Biden’s proposed minimum tax on people making 100 million dollar a year.

    Because apparently the only proper way to decrease the deficit is to take health care, food and schools away from poor people.

  20. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Yeah, but the interesting thing was 3 chiefs admitting to a civilian that it was true and they did so in no uncertain terms. The conversation that followed was interesting as well.

  21. MarkedMan says:

    @wr: And can we just head off the nonsense that he is motivated by his conservative voters? As if taxing millionaires and billionaires would have been a tough sell to the average Joe.

  22. CSK says:

    Well, Trump says he has no interest in being Speaker of the House, a possibility that some of his more avid fans have suggested.

    Of course he’s not interested. Being Speaker involves work.

  23. Kylopod says:

    @CSK: Of course there’s just one reason it was put forward. It’s the only remotely conceivable way he could become president again prior to 2025, though it would require Joe & Kamala both vacating their offices more or less simultaneously.

  24. CSK says:

    Oh, yeah. I believe the plan was to make Trump Speaker, then impeach Kamala and Joe, so that Trump could resume his rightful place in the Oval Office.

  25. Kylopod says:


    Oh, yeah. I believe the plan was to make Trump Speaker, then impeach Kamala and Joe, so that Trump could resume his rightful place in the Oval Office.

    Of course impeachment itself wouldn’t be enough–they’d also need 2/3rds of the Senate to convict, which they know ain’t happening. I think even Trump understands that. The only conceivable plan is assassination, or else just hoping that by some miracle they both croak.

  26. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    Bruce Willis has been diagnosed with aphasia and is retiring from acting.
    A form of brain damage that makes communication difficult.
    Not the greatest actor by any stretch…but fuq…he sure has been in some damn entertaining movies.
    Die Hard, the greatest christmas movie ever. Red, with Mary-Louise Parker. Pulp Fiction. The 6th Sense. Armageddon.
    Not to mention his breakthrough in Moonlighting.
    Really sad news.

  27. Kathy says:


    Oh, but wait till they see the EVIDENCE!* It’s conclusive. it’s devastating! we’ll get all six thirds of the Senate to convict!

    *I’m sure they can conclusively prove both Biden and Harris are Democrats.

  28. Mu Yixiao says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:


    Okay… Hudson Hawk is on the playlist for this weekend.

  29. CSK says:

    “…they’d also need 2/3s of the senate to convict.”

    I think the Trump Fan Club is assuming that a red tsunami wave will sweep the vast majority of Democrats out of the House and Senate this fall.

  30. Kylopod says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl: One play I would have liked to have seen is Misery with him and Laurie Metcalf.

  31. Kylopod says:


    I think the Trump Fan Club is assuming that a red tsunami wave will sweep the vast majority of Democrats out of the House and Senate this fall.

    If they want to wallow in reinstatement fantasies, they hardly need the Speaker scenario. Mike Lindell has made this very clear. I only brought up the Speaker scenario because there at least the mechanism for him to become president again prior to 2025 actually exists in reality, however unlikely it may be that everything falls into place. They don’t need unlikely when they’re perfectly fine with impossible.

  32. Sleeping Dog says:


    One of the problems with living in a deeply red or deeply blue congressional district is that it is easy to fall into the trap that everyone thinks like your friends, particularly if you have no idea how parties and elections work.

  33. Mu Yixiao says:

    I present to you…. The Dyson air-purifying headphones.

    (One step closer to Power Rangers)

  34. Kathy says:

    The best argument for admitting Ukraine into NATO now, is that who in the West would want even the possibility to fight against Ukrainian troops?

  35. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    April Fools day isn’t till Friday.

  36. CSK says:

    @Sleeping Dog:
    Quite so. Pauline Kael made herself a legend in 1968 by remarking that no one she knew (in Manhattan) had voted for Nixon.

  37. Mu Yixiao says:


    There are issues with the “billionaire tax”. Primary among them is that it doesn’t tax income (which is what the 16th Amendment allows). It seeks to tax “increase in assessed value”–unrealized income vs. realized.

    The second issue is that it would essentially require a full audit & assessment of assets every year–which is a logistical nightmare, and one of the reasons that other countries which have tried what Biden is proposing ditched it.

    Here’s a pro talking about the issues (this is from last year).

    It should also be noted that, unlike how the headlines push it, the mega-rich would only be taxed on “income” (increase in wealth), not on total wealth–so it’s going to be a lot less than people think, and it won’t come anywhere close to solving the budget problems we have.

    There are plenty of other loopholes that could be eliminated and complexities that could be simplified to get more in taxes from the ultra-wealthy without the problems that Biden’s plan has.

  38. MarkedMan says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    There are plenty of other loopholes that could be eliminated and complexities that could be simplified to get more in taxes from the ultra-wealthy without the problems that Biden’s plan has.

    While that may be true, the exact same people will find faults with all of them if they get proposed. “Experts” are mostly paid for their work, certainly in the tax area. I would be skeptical of the expert opinions of those paid by billionaires to help them avoid taxes.

  39. Kylopod says:


    Pauline Kael made herself a legend in 1968 by remarking that no one she knew (in Manhattan) had voted for Nixon.

    Misleading story bordering on urban legend. It’s true that she once remarked (in 1972, not 1968) that no one she knew voted for Nixon. However, contrary to what is often implied, she never suggested she was surprised by Nixon’s victory. And the ’68 vs. ’72 distinction is important here, as the former was a close election whereas the latter was a blowout. The whole point of the story as it’s normally told is that she was living in such a bubble she actually believed McGovern was winning. The fact that her social circle included no Nixon voters may be interesting in itself, but the frequent claim that it led her to delusionally believe a guy losing in a blowout was actually winning is pure horseshit.

  40. Kathy says:


    The whole quote, according to Wikipedia, is: “I live in a rather special world. I only know one person who voted for Nixon. Where they are I don’t know. They’re outside my ken. But sometimes when I’m in a theater I can feel them.”

    That’s far less memorable than the misattribution.

  41. Kylopod says:

    @Kathy: Thank you for the whole quote. I didn’t feel like looking it up again. I should add that there are plenty of people I know where I have no idea who they voted for in the most recent election, and Kael may have been the same way. I don’t think she was saying (though her wording is ambiguous) that it was a fact that only one person she knew voted for Nixon, simply that she’d only confirmed one person she knew to have done so; there could have been others whose vote she was in the dark about.

  42. CSK says:

    I never (nor said) I thought the story meant Kael thought McGovern was winning. I thought it meant what it said: That she didn’t know anyone* who voted for Nixon. That’s all.

    *Okay, one person.

  43. Kylopod says:


    I never (nor said) I thought the story meant Kael thought McGovern was winning. I thought it meant what it said: That she didn’t know anyone* who voted for Nixon. That’s all.

    That’s fair. The story has just been so misleadingly told for so long that I think it’s important to clarify that she wasn’t making an electoral prediction. Even when the quote is presented more or less accurately, the idea that she was surprised by Nixon’s victory is often implied. That was the case with a NYT article last year, which presents the story in the following way:

    The film critic Pauline Kael once said that she lived in a “rather special world” because she only knew one person who voted for Richard Nixon.

    People in the Bay Area, the country’s most Democratic metropolitan enclave, may have felt similarly after Donald Trump won in 2016.

    Residents of Gillette, Wyo., where about nine out of 10 voters are Republicans, might have been equally shocked by President Biden’s victory.

    Even though the paraphrase of Kael’s statement is basically accurate, the two paragraphs that follow make it clear the writer was assuming Kael was saying she was surprised by Nixon’s victory, as it immediately compares her statement to the reaction of voters who allegedly were surprised by election results that didn’t go according to their preferences.

    It’s kind of like if you accurately quoted Al Gore saying he “took the initiative in creating the Internet” without clarifying that you aren’t furthering the legendary belief that he claimed to have invented the Internet.

  44. Kathy says:


    Gore seems to be a good sport about it.

    He appeared in an episode of Futurama where his head (see the show) chairs a global conference on a climate emergency. He gives himself a grand introduction, including “Inventor of the Environment.”

    He was on another ep as well, but playing himself as VP and overseer of the space-time continuum, as is stated in the Constitution. That one also featured Nichelle Nichols and Steven Hawking.

  45. Sleeping Dog says:

    Those Ukrainians are getting cheeky. From Yahoo.

    Ukraine envoy: Demilitarization of Russia ‘well underway’
    The demilitarization of Russia is “well underway,” Ukraine’s U.N. Ambassador Sergiy Kyslytsya told the U.N. Security Council on Tuesday as the conflict in Ukraine entered its second month. Russian President Vladimir Putin has claimed his invasion sought only the “demilitarization and de-Nazification” of Ukraine. But according to Kyslytsya, Russian forces have lost over 17,000 military personnel, over 1,700 armored vehicles and almost 600 tanks in the invasion.

    Russia announced Tuesday that it would scale back military operations near Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital. But Ukrainian military officials said they distrust Russia’s announced withdrawal, and American officials remained skeptical.

  46. Kylopod says:


    Gore seems to be a good sport about it.

    From what I’ve seen, few politicians are so insecure they can’t make fun of themselves. In fact it’s often been a sort of rite of passage that you go on SNL to meet your impersonator or otherwise participate in self-deprecating humor. Even those who are privately bothered by it usually know how to suck it up, because they think it’s seen as a positive trait by voters.

    Obviously, Trump is an exception. Palin was borderline; while she did go on SNL with Tina Fey, it was clear she was pushed into it by her handlers and was extremely uncomfortable the entire time. It was one of the most awkward moments I’ve ever seen on the show. Toward the end of the campaign McCain returned to SNL with Fey, but the real Palin was nowhere in sight.

  47. Neil Hudelson says:

    For the past 19 months or so, I’ve had pretty consistent tachycardia arrhythmia–my heart kept adding beats, because it’s generous, and then later taking them away because it’s fickle. When it wasn’t doing that, it was racing up to 130 bpm’s just for shits and giggles.

    A few blood tests, two heart monitors, and enough nagging my doctor to tell me that I’m not about to drop dead, and I was just put on a beta blocker.

    Two hours after taking it and, my God, I had no idea what peace is. No more troubles catching my breath. No more heart about to escape out of it’s chest. No more thoughts of “is my heart going to start again, or is this extra long pause a little too extra long?” I could weep.

  48. CSK says:

    Trump wasn’t sufficiently secure to laugh off the ribbing Obama gave him at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner in 2011, either.

    This is the sure sign of an arriviste. You’re supposed to treat these things with aristocratic good humor, even if you’re seething inside.

  49. wr says:

    @Mu Yixiao: “There are plenty of other loopholes that could be eliminated and complexities that could be simplified to get more in taxes from the ultra-wealthy without the problems that Biden’s plan has.”

    That must be why Joe Manchin is rushing forth with so many ideas about how to get more in taxes from the ultra-wealthy.

    Oh, wait — he isn’t?

    Can’t imagine why.

  50. wr says:

    @Mu Yixiao: “Here’s a pro talking about the issues (this is from last year).”

    I actually clicked your link. And this is what the wise man had to say:

    “Then too, incentives do matter. If you tax long-term wealth creation, it stands to reason you will get less of it. If you tax entrepreneurship, you will get less of it. Most of all, if you make an heir pay taxes on a deceased individual’s long-term gains, you are taxing that deceased person’s discipline, patience, careful planning and faith in the American capitalist system. ”

    In other words, you can’t tax rich people — not even dead rich people — because they are the people who count in this society, not the grubby little parasites working for wages. We should tax the hell out of them, because they don’t have the discipline, patience, careful planning and faith in the American capitalist system — if they did, they would be rich to, instead of nasty little takers. Now let me invest your money!!!

    He’s just another parasite sucking up to the rich. Like Joe Manchin.

  51. wr says:

    @Kathy: “He appeared in an episode of Futurama where his head (see the show) chairs a global conference on a climate emergency. He gives himself a grand introduction, including “Inventor of the Environment.””

    I believe his daughter was a writer on the show…

  52. MarkedMan says:

    @Neil Hudelson: I’m no where near as bad off as you, but I can’t go to sleep on my life side because I can hear my heartbeat and the irregularity keeps me from drifting off. Thump…thump…thump…thump……..thump…thump……..thump.

  53. MarkedMan says:


    He’s just another parasite sucking up to the rich. Like Joe Manchin.

    Heh. Thanks for doing the background. As I said above, most tax experts are paid by the wealthy, and you should be suspicious of their motivations in the advice they give.

  54. Kylopod says:

    @CSK: Some years back Trump did appear at a Comedy Central roast of him. I remember one of the lines: “When Donald Trump is bangin’ a supermodel, he closes his eyes and imagines he’s jerking off.”

    Seth MacFarlane claims Trump didn’t seem too bothered by that line. But that shouldn’t be surprising. I don’t think he’s stung by being called a narcissist, when they’re essentially propping up the myth of him as the awesome superman who’s always scoring with the ladies. It was later reported that he only agreed to the roast if they didn’t make jokes related to his wealth.

    I didn’t see his 2015 appearance on SNL, but I assume it was softball as hell; that’s the only explanation for why Trump said Darrell Hammond was a much better impersonator of him than Alec Baldwin.

  55. CSK says:

    Well, it makes sense that Trump wouldn’t be bothered by a joke about using a woman as a masturbatory tool, because he’s never loved anyone but himself.

    I read Michael Cohen’s Betrayal, and Cohen reports that when Cohen thought that the Stormy Daniel affair should be kept from Melania, Trump shrugged it off and replied, “I can always get another wife.”

    Bravado? Maybe, but I doubt it. To Trump everyone’s a disposable commodity. Perhaps especially a trophy wife.

  56. Kathy says:


    This part is absolutely right:

    “Then too, incentives do matter. If you tax long-term wealth creation, it stands to reason you will get less of it. If you tax entrepreneurship, you will get less of it. ”

    But what we should take from that is: If you tax excessive capital accumulation, you will get less of it.

  57. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl: And the 5th Element, which is just so much fun (Chris Tucker really steals the show). Sorry to hear this.

  58. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kathy: And there’s a problem with that?

  59. Kathy says:


    Yes. It would totally expose trickle-down economics as a sham.

  60. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kathy: DOH! What ever was I thinking???

    In other “Have You Had Your Laugh For The Day” 10 seconds,

    thank you Rex Chapman.

  61. Kathy says:


    Reminds me of the time I got off my car at home with a half-consumed cappuccino in one hand, and some trash in the other. I went on to dump the coffee in the trashcan. Then the trash, too. Why hold on to it?

    Back on topic, the flip side of taxes are subsidies. There’s a belief that the more you subsidize something, the more you get of it. We saw this is not true with the Paycheck Protection Program. But the feeling is out there that if you subsidize poor people you get more poverty. the opposite is often the case.

  62. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Jon: I think it’s unfair to compare MAGAts with the fans of Insane Clown Posse.

  63. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kathy: the opposite is often the case.

    Give poor people some extra money and they will spend it on things they need, fueling the economy. Give rich people money and they will horde it because wtf else are they going to do with it? They already have everything they need, and everything they could ever possibly want.

  64. Slugger says:

    Hey, I voted for McGovern in 1972; it wasn’t only people known to Pauline Kael. I never had any reason to regret that vote. In 1968, I voted for Eldridge Cleaver and have had some second thoughts.

  65. Kathy says:


    I think the “subsidize the poor and you get more poor people,” actually means “give poor people money and they won’t die of starvation, or diseases exacerbated by malnutrition and lack of access to healthcare and stress over their condition, and then you get more poor people.”

  66. MarkedMan says:
  67. ptfe says:

    A. Fools and this forum are easily parted (by a day)

  68. Kylopod says:

    In some states there are laws against April Fools pranks started in March.

  69. OzarkHillbilly says:
  70. OzarkHillbilly says:

    The UN atomic watchdog is investigating Ukrainian claims that Russian soldiers occupying Chernobyl nuclear power station left after receiving high doses of radiation. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said it could not confirm the claims by Ukrainian state power company Energoatom and was seeking an independent assessment.

    Energoatom said the Russians dug trenches in the forest inside the exclusion zone at the site of the world’s worst nuclear disaster, and that the troops “panicked at the first sign of illness” which “showed up very quickly” and began preparing to leave. The Ukrainian deputy prime minister, Iryna Vereshchuk, also made the claim that Russian troops who dug trenches in the forest were exposed to radiation, but it has not been independently verified. Some reports have suggested the soldiers are being sent to a special medical facility in Belarus after driving tanks through the “dead zone” around the nuclear plant, kicking up radioactive dust.

    Russian forces also retreated from the nearby town of Slavutych, where workers at Chernobyl live, Energoatom said.

    The IAEA said it was preparing to send its first “assistance and support mission” to Chernobyl in northern Ukraine in the next few days.

    So, fighting a war at the sight of the world’s worst nuclear accident turns out to be not such a good idea. Who’da thunk it?

  71. Sleeping Dog says:

    Dr. T, I see what you did there.

    Molly Tuttle and her band played in Portsmouth last night. That young woman has magic fingers, it is amazing the number of notes that burst from her guitar and her fingers never leave her hands.

  72. Sleeping Dog says:


    Now I wonder who gave the orders to operate in the exclusion zone and dig up the ground? Half a world away, and people know that it is unsafe to enter that area, except for short times under specific protocols.

    Besides having its share of Covid deniers, Ruskie troops must not believe in radiation, cause they can’t see it.

  73. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Sleeping Dog: Because of artillery, digging in is the first thing troops do when taking up a new position. So whoever decided that attacking and possessing Chernobyl was a good idea (to control the power generation I assume) is the person who needs a good slap upside the head.

  74. OzarkHillbilly says:

    ‘Magnetic turd’: scientists invent moving slime that could be used in human digestive systems

    Scientists have created a moving magnetic slime capable of encircling smaller objects, self-healing and “very large deformation” to squeeze and travel through narrow spaces. The slime, which is controlled by magnets, is also a good electrical conductor and can be used to interconnect electrodes, its creators say. The dark-coloured magnetic blob has been compared on social media to Flubber, the eponymous substance in the 1997 sci-fi film, and described as a “magnetic turd” and “amazing and a tiny bit terrifying”.

    Prof Li Zhang, of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, who co-created the slime, emphasised that the substance was real scientific research and not an April fool’s joke, despite the timing of its release.

    The slime contains magnetic particles so that it can be manipulated to travel, rotate, or form O and C shapes when external magnets are applied to it. The blob was described in a study published in the peer-reviewed journal Advanced Functional Materials as a “magnetic slime robot”. “The ultimate goal is to deploy it like a robot,” Zhang said, adding that for the time being the slime lacked autonomy. “We still consider it as fundamental research – trying to understand its material properties.”

    Everybody who had “Magnetic Turd” on your April Fools Day headline card, raise your hands.

  75. Jen says:


    And here I just thought everyone got up earlier than usual.

  76. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Summer 2018 was devastating for European farmers. Rainfall levels across much of central Europe were up to 80% less than normal, and temperatures soared to record-breaking levels. Wildfires broke out in Nordic countries and across much of the European continent crops produced their lowest yields in decades.

    But this wasn’t the end of it. Parched conditions and soaring temperatures returned to much of Europe in summer 2019 and 2020 too. Now a new study reveals that this multi-year drought has set a new benchmark, gaining itself the unwelcome crown of being the most intense drought event for Europe in the past 250 years.

    Poring over climate records dating back to 1766, researchers discovered that the 2018 to 2020 European drought was unprecedented in its intensity, covering more than one-third of the continent for more than two years. Using climate model simulations the researchers show that Europe needs to brace itself for increasingly long and similarly intense droughts, persisting for as long as eight years under the intermediate emissions scenario and a terrifying 25 years in the worst-case scenario. Mitigation and adaptation measures are going to be crucial.

    Some hoax, eh?

  77. de stijl says:

    Test for timestamp.

    What the hell is going on?

  78. CSK says:

    @Jen: @de stijl:
    Okay, cue the theme from The Twilight Zone.

    Doo doo, doo doo, doo doo, doo doo….

  79. Jen says:

    @de stijl: Dr. Taylor pulled a fast one on us. On Wednesday, he posted that day’s forum had disappeared (link). He has resurrected it on today’s April Fool’s day forum.

    I much prefer this over the strangeness that others are posting. Jamie Oliver had a “placenta burger” post that had me gagging.

  80. CSK says:

    Well, that just ruined my breakfast for me.

  81. Jen says:

    @CSK: My apologies. It did the same for me.

  82. CSK says:

    Thank you, but I’m sure I’ll recover.

    So…do we get a real April Fool’s Day forum, or what?

  83. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    This is all I’ve got. Sorry, but I’ve got a zoom call with my friend who moved to Hattiesburg in a couple of minutes.

  84. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    BTW, nice prank, Mein Host!

  85. Mu Yixiao says:

    Russia’s Brain Drain

    VILNIUS, Lithuania (AP) — Russia’s tech workers are looking for safer and more secure professional pastures.

    By one estimate, up to 70,000 computer specialists, spooked by a sudden frost in the business and political climate, have bolted the country since Russia invaded Ukraine five weeks ago. Many more are expected to follow.

  86. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    Well, that was interesting…
    Apparently Hattiesburg is all that and a bag of chips. Who knew?
    Maybe Ozark can ‘splain the appeal to me.

  87. CSK says:

    @Flat Earth Luddite:
    I’ve heard from several people that Hattiesburg is quite nice. It has two universities, which can attract a lot of amenities.

  88. Kathy says:

    Mexico has a similar day to April Fools’, but it’s on Dec. 18th.

    Years ago, a paper ran a gag piece on Volaris. The feature was the (then) low cost airline would acquire A330s for transatlantic flights to Europe, using the low cost model and offering low fares. The whole thing was appropriately absurd.

    Damn me if not a few years later Iceland-based WOW Air started doing just that, with A330s, albeit from Iceland to North America, and offering connections to the rest of Europe. For that matter, so did Norwegian Air but with 787s.

    WOW went broke, and Norwegian pretty much scaled back to regional operations within Europe. So, the whole thing still is appropriately absurd.

    The model can work full service, as Iceland Air shows. Low cost, never mind ultra-low cost, might work with smaller planes. We’ll say as another airline bases in Iceland, PLAY, will attempt just such a thing.

  89. Mu Yixiao says:

    Amazon warehouse workers vote to unionize.

    I’ll be interested to see how this plays out.

  90. Mu Yixiao says:
  91. CSK says:

    @Mu Yixiao:
    At the risk of sounding stupid…why is it funny? It’s a guy dressed up like the American flag while clutching two bags of ice.

    What am I missing?

  92. Mu Yixiao says:


    It’s Vanilla Ice.

    And the picture shows: ice, ice, baby.

  93. just nutha says:

    @Jon: Again, I will note my objection: it’s demeaning to Juggalos to compare them to MAGAts.

  94. just nutha says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I wonder if is really a fighting a war at a defunct nuclear plant or more of a lack of paying attention to details on the map sort of a thing. Still, both are equally bad, I guess.

  95. just nutha says:

    @CSK: I had a chorizo and egg english muffin for breakfast. I’m glad I’m reading the forum last today (but as I us).

  96. CSK says:

    @Mu Yixiao:
    Oh okay. I’ve heard of Vanilla Ice, sure, but I doubt I’d recognize him if I fell over him. Still, the hilarity eludes me.

  97. just nutha says:

    @Flat Earth Luddite: Sure. But remember who’s telling you it’s all that and a bag of chips. (Not that I don’t suspect that SWMBO would find it quite nice once she adjusted to the climate–assuming that would happen.)

  98. just nutha says:

    @Mu Yixiao: I don’t get it either. There’s nothing funny about Vanilla Ice. I guess the Ice, [Van. Ice] Ice, baby part is clever in sort of a geezerish “okay boomer” sort of way, though.

  99. Mu Yixiao says:


    His big song was “Ice, Ice, Baby

    (And… having to explain the joke, it’s no longer funny)

  100. just nutha says:

    @just nutha: And yes, I’m the guy who, when his friends take him to a comedy club, asks “when are the people who tell jokes coming on.”

    @Mu Yixiao: Be open to the possibility that it wasn’t as funny as you thought to begin with. Sorry. 🙁 [Wishing I could make the emoji with the teardrop in one eye.]

  101. Kathy says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    Reminds me of a relative who attended a costume party wearing a 3-star general’s uniform, adorned with small, lit leds, including a bright red one at the center of each star. When asked what he was supposed to be, he answered “General Electric.”

  102. wr says:

    @Kathy: “Damn me if not a few years later Iceland-based WOW Air started doing just that, with A330s, albeit from Iceland to North America,”

    They sure did. A good friend spent several days and a lot of money trying to get home from Reykjavik when the airline shut down hours before her flight…

  103. Matt says:

    @Mu Yixiao: I laughed way harder than I’d like to admit. I recognized who it was and the look on his face struck me as funny.

    Humor is of course subjective.

    Also not a boomer I was rather young when the song was released.

  104. CSK says:

    @Mu Yixiao:
    I know it’s his big song. But the photo just didn’t strike me as particularly funny. Different strokes for different folks. That’s all.

  105. gVOR08 says:

    I’ve seen two items this morning saying the new target at RW sites is sports, particularly sports fans. I don’t know if it’s a problem with too many Blacks, acceptance of gays, kneeling, whatever. And I don’t know how seriously to take it. But I’ve always been puzzled how conservatives manage to maintain even a 35% or whatever it is following. They hate on LGBTQ, minorities, people who wear masks or get vaxxed, immigrants, school teachers, people who don’t like having guns around, Democrats, anyone in favor of reproductive rights, city dwellers, government workers, college professors, medical personnel, journalists, and apologies to everyone I forgot. Now they’re going after Disney and sports fans? How can there be anybody left they haven’t attacked?

  106. de stijl says:


    I’ve flown Iceland Air many times. Both for vacations there and for work. The fares were ridiculously cheap comparatively. I could fly non-stop MSP to Reykjavik for a couple hundred bucks roundtrip. (And the work trips were free after reimbursement.)

    I don’t know how they did it. Super competent multilingual cabin folks and pretty top-notch service at a bargain rate. Are they state owned? State subsidized?

    A comparable flight to Heathrow on another airline was multiples of that fare. Not exactly comparable as the flight time was slightly more and included the layover at JFK, but if you do math, the flight to Reykjavik was ridiculously cheap. Either everybody else was super over-charging, or Iceland Air was running at a huge loss.


    BTW, if you have not been, Iceland is stupifyingly stunning. Get out into the boonies or along the coasts and prepare to have your mind absolutely blown by the simple raw beauty. The sky. You will feel insignificant.

  107. CSK says:

    I know what you mean, but I think the kind of people you’re speaking of–the MAGA loons, to be precise–constitute a far lower percentage of the populace than 35.

  108. Sleeping Dog says:


    Keep in mind that RW tollosphere is mostly bots controlled by a pudgy 30 yo living in his parents basement.

  109. Mu Yixiao says:
  110. de stijl says:


    I used to hang with a guy. Pretty good dude. Our politics did not agree, but whatever. In company, I never bring that up.

    After Kaepernick and the knealing stuff, dude went off and would not shut up. Disrespect. Un-American. Parasites… racial shit. Wouldn’t watch NFL games on principle. Would proudly tell every random stranger he met the what and the why of it.

    Told him straight up do not point that energy at me. I have no interest in debating this with you. Please stop. I will walk away if you continue harping on this. Let’s talk about our current Vespa re-builds instead. Anything else. I do not want to hear that from you. Red line. I am not going to listen to that anymore.

    Dude would not stop. Possibly could not stop. He was too far gone into performative perpetual grievance and self-righteousness. Fox News rots your soul if you let it into your heart. Former friends start to look like enemies. Quasi-cultish a bit, in a way.

  111. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Flat Earth Luddite: I’ve never been there. not sure why I would go.

  112. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @just nutha: Well for starters it’s not defunct. There were 4 reactors but only one blew up. The other 3 are still in operation. I know I know, you’re thinking the same thing I am. I know there is a new town set up especially for the plant workers and that they rotate out after a specified length of time. Still couldn’t pay me enough.

  113. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Mu Yixiao: I’m so sorry for you and your state. 🙁

  114. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I didn’t know that about Chernobyl. With that perspective, attacking the site makes some sense. Not enough sense to do what the Russian Army did though. I’ll stick with lack of paying attention to the details, but not paying attention is something all armies seem to do with astonishing regularity.

  115. Kathy says:

    It strikes me there aren’t 90 minutes flight time between SLC and Denver. The flight diverted after the windshield cracked.

    What ticks me off is the statement from Delta: “Out of an abundance of caution, the flight crew diverted into Denver and the plane landed routinely.”

    It’s not an abundance of caution. It’s plain common sense. Odds are a cracked cockpit windshield will hold for months, but there’s a chance that it could blow out (remember the pressure differential inside vs outside the plane), and a bigger chance it would leak enough air to decompress the cabin.

    Aircraft windshields don’t regularly break or leak, no, but they don’t crack, either. If one cracks, it’s serious.

  116. MarkedMan says:

    I answered my office telephone yesterday. Like, the thing that sits in the far corner of my desk and has a handset and sometimes makes beeps. I looked up and there was a name on it I knew so I picked it up. It was the receptionist telling me I had a package in the other building and they were locking up. May be the only time I’ve ever answered it. Don’t even check the voice messages. Why do they still exist?

  117. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: attacking the site makes some sense. Not enough sense to do what the Russian Army did though.

    Exactly. As I said earlier, “Because of artillery, digging in is the first thing troops do when taking up a new position. So whoever decided that attacking and possessing Chernobyl was a good idea (to control the power generation I assume) is the person who needs a good slap upside the head.”

  118. EddieInCA says:

    I sold off my 2,000,000 ruble investment today. My IRA made a 26% profit on the trade. Not bad for less than month. I wish I’d have had the guts to go much bigger. I spent $18,400 buying it after commissions, and sold today for $23,300.


    The Dow Jones was up about 2.7% in the same time period.