03/30/09 Public Square

The temps are rising, the wind is still blowing but is warmer, the melting should finish today — so can we have spring now?


What’s on your mind today?


Filed under The Public Square

87 responses to “03/30/09 Public Square

  1. prairiepond

    Hi Iggy, hope you had a good weekend. Well, as good as working weekends can be. I hope everyone has an easy commute today, with no slip sliding away, as Paul Simon would say.

    I’m up early to feed the chickens and get my truck unloaded of chicken feeders and such that I picked up for the babies who arrive this Friday. I forgot to do that in my rush on Thursday to get ready for the blizzard that wasnt on Friday. Baby chicks are a sure sign of spring to come.

    Waaaaaaaaaaa. I hate getting up and having a job on Monday morning. I know the rest of you must be thinking “cry me a river”. I’m thankful to have employment, but the ol’ gray mare aint what she used to be.

    I have to write my column this morning too, so I’m wondering which of this weekend’s ramblings I can recycle for it.

    Thanks again to all who make this bloggie fun and interesting.

  2. fnord

    Today is my last day off this week — that recurring every four weeks “obligation” has rolled around again. To a bum one week every four seems a lot! Guess that sounds braggadocio, but I did work to earn my bum status.

    Baby chickens. Remember when they dyed them pastel colors and sold them to children? Those babies were usually doomed — they don’t do that anymore do they? I hope not!

    Another live animal sold to children unmercifully were chameleons. Little lizards with the remarkable ability to change colors. They put a tiny leash on them with a small safety pin that was pinned to the child’s clothes so the lizard couldn’t get away. Today I cringe at this cruelty. Back when I was a child I wanted one of those badly. The circus was held annually at The Forum in downtown Wichita (located roughly where Century II is today). Children who worked safety patrol got in free, we were bused on a school day afternoon to see the circus.

    The circus was glorious! The ladies in diamond underwear, the elephants and lions and tigers, the courageous people who flew through the air and made me hold my breath out of excited fear that they would fall.

    Those tiny lizards on a leash sold for a dollar each. A dollar was a lot of money! I hate to admit that I spent even a second being envious of those children who could have a lizard, but I did.

    Today when I think of the circus I think of animals in cages who should be free, and other not so pleasant thoughts.

    It’s good children are innocent and care free!

    • wicked

      Oh, my gosh! I had one of those lizards! Yes, I got it at the Forum. I loved that old building. The first time I saw the Beach Boys was at the Forum, and all those circuses, and the Ice Capades… Wow, what a memory.

      fnord, you’ll like my lizard story. I was taking a French class with some older girls. One of the mothers was teaching it in her home over on University. I wore my lizard pinned to my shirt that day. Everything was fine until about halfway through the “class” when one of the girls let out a shriek. My lizard had moved. Sadly, Lizzy the Lizard died some weeks later. Probably from starvation. 😦

  3. fnord

    For anyone wondering — our visitor late last night named “The Flash,” was in a previous knowing called C a p ‘ n.

    Welcome Flash! Come back often and share what you’re thinking!

  4. A look around this morning now that the snow has all but melted away reveals a substantial amount of damage to trees, at least on the East side. My hypothesis is that the weight of the ice that accumulated on the branches, made even more heavy by the flowers and early leaves, combined with the high winds caused branches to snap. There are some older trees with much damage along East Central, North Rock Road, and on some side streets.

    The combination of sleet and snow has also resulted in more pavement damage on some streets; new chuck holes have appeared to damage the suspension, alignment, and tires of the unwary.

    While the storm wasn’t as bad as it might have been, it was bad enough. I would have preferred to have some additional snow rather than the sleet which preceded it. Wondering what the snow equivalent to the 2+ inches of sleet would have been?

  5. fnord

    I know this isn’t accurate, but we had turned our rain gauge over a few days before this storm, when in all our wisdom we decided spring was here to stay, and after the ice melted the rain gauge showed 2 inches.

  6. annie_moose

    Here are your ideological polar opposites. The guy who runs this blog is an econ. professor from George Mason university. IMHO truly the mothership of wingnut econ thinking. If you can stand it read the whole post and some of the comments. If you are familiar with Larry Kudlow this is where he steals some of his material.


    little tiny snippete

    Liberalism recognizes that people are part of families and friendships and a variety of different kinds of associations. Liberals encourage, or at least tolerate, any and all forms of voluntary associations, from marital ones to religious ones to trading ones. Liberals reject the romantic nonsense that demands that each person “love” or “care for” everyone in the same way that that person loves and cares for himself, his family, and his friends.

    But liberalism rejects the notion that there is anything much special or compelling about political relationships. It is tribalistic, atavistic, to regard those who look more like you to be more worthy of your regard than are those who look less like you. It is tribalistic, atavistic, to regard those who speak your native tongue to be more worthy of your affection and concern than are those whose native tongues differ from yours.

    For the true liberal, the human race is the human race. The struggle is to cast off as much as possible primitive sentiments about “us” being different from “them.”

    The liberal is fully aware that such sentiments are rooted in humans’ evolved psychology, and so are not easily cast off. But the liberal does his or her best to rise above those atavistic sentiments……continued at the link

  7. annie_moose

    I love gears they fascinate me

  8. annie_moose

    more gears

  9. annie_moose

    reposted from last nite


    Off to the races enjoy your day

  10. fnord

    Good morning am!

    This site will really turn you on:


  11. prairiepond

    Kudlow is an azz. I hear he is thinking of running for the senate. I hope he does, and gets his azz whipped.

    And along the lines of wingnut thinking, I’d have to look it up, but isnt Hayek one of the big proponents of Austrian Economics? I think he may have even won the Nobel for it long ago?

    I know, I know, the google is my friend. I’m in a hurry today, so just posting off the top of my head.

  12. annie_moose

    cool site fnord,

    fake video but its funny


  13. The DJIA is lower this morning. According to some talking heads, this is due to the administration’s rejection of the GM and Chrysler reorganization plans.

    I’ve not reviewed these plans in any detail, but from what I’ve ascertained from listening and reading, the plans didn’t really reorganize the two companies in any meaningful ways. Some superficial changes were proposed, but the core problems of the two were not addressed in any meaningful way.

    I suspect the market disappointment flows from the fact that without government dollars, the companies are going under. I further suspect that the holders of the stock felt that if the government accepted the plans and pumped more money into these companies, their dividend stream would continue uninterrupted. What these folks didn’t want to recognize is that the plans, as proposed, just delayed the true reorganization that needs to occur. Their hopes, I further suspect, centered around the government being forced to pump even more money into these failing companies, keeping them alive, albeit on life support, long enough to get out of their investments therein.

    That said, I believe the companies can reorganize effectively. It just won’t be on terms and conditions which will make the holders of the stock happy. I agree with an observation attributed to a member of the administration as to GM: bankruptcy (the Chapter 11 kind) may well be a piece of the total puzzle as to it, but GM has to take steps that will be painful to its shareholders to get to the point that a Chapter 11 filing will be beneficial.

    As to Chrysler, a merger with Fiat makes sense, and is a “market based” solution to its problems. Chrysler and Fiat have been, as I understand it, having discussions about such a merger. The government’s response just encourages it to happen faster.

    Will there be layoffs? Of course there will be. Will the layoffs hurt? Of course they will. Will the pain resulting from the layoffs be greater than if both companies go out of business? No.

  14. lilacluvr

    But in the end, won’t GM and Chrysler be in better positions for what they need to do, which is retool their manufacturing lines and produce vehicles which will be in demand in the next few decades?

    The days are gone for the Detroit gas guzzlers and when that fact sinks in, do you think people will be on board?

    Another issue I am thinking about is what will this asking the GM CEO to resign do to President Obama’s overall approval rating?

    Is it going to bite him in the end because it looks like he is picking on only one industry and not the Wall Street banks CEO’s with all those bonuses issue we just went through?

    Americans don’t like having to do the right thing. We’ve been able to run up the credit cards with no thought of tomorrow for a long, long time. Even George W. Bush told Americans to ‘go shopping’ when 9/11 happened.

    Do we as a society even have the guts to fix our problems – or are we too fragmented along political lines and only out for the almighty dollar for ourselves?

  15. annie_moose

    Ms. Pond I am impressed at the range of subjects and knowledge you are familiar with.

    “The days are gone for the Detroit gas guzzlers and when that fact sinks in, do you think people will be on board?”

    Maybe we have entered into a world which can consume 10 million new vehicles vs. 20 million aided by the credit bubble. Readjustment will be a bitch.

  16. iggydonnelly

    Hi all. Business was slow on Saturday due to the travel problems, but Sunday was a different story.

    I guess you have not been reading on the other blog where Obama is compared to Hitler for his interference in free market economics. I do believe my head would be filled with less crud if I stopped reading over there. I am cutting down though…

    • lilacluvr

      I try to not go over to the other blog, if I can help it.

      But weren’t these the same people that were bellyaching a few months ago that the Detroit automakers should just be allowed to fail? You would think they would be happy to see one of our American traditions going down.

      • fnord

        Lilac, Yes, it should be the way you state, but that discounts their true agenda — being against. They really have become the party of NO and It doesn’t appear they are even aware of it.

      • I do not go there anymore; my sanity is too important to me.

        Seems like those in opposition are consistent, though; they wanted the companies to fail back when Bush the lesser was in charge, and were against it then. Wondering if they recall who was in charge when the restructuring plans were required?

  17. Any economy based on hyper-consumerism cannot be sustained.

  18. I don’t know the answers to your questions, Lilac.

    What I think is:

    GM, in particular, will be in a better position than Chrysler. Chrysler has been “looted” (perhaps too strong a term) by prior owners, and the remaining shell is not strong enough to continue as a stand-alone company, regardless of how much capital is invested. GM needs relief from its liabilities; thus the bankruptcy concept. To this point in time, the existing creditors have shown no willingness to renegotiate the debt, and in light of that, the government should not come in and reward these creditors.

    Gas guzzlers; I fear the “average American” consumer would still rather have the big vehicles. Only continued higher gasoline prices will curb that enthusiasm and feeling of entitlement. One thing I would insist upon with reference to GM is it gets rid of the Hummer consumer line.

    The GM CEO resignation could bite the president. Only time will tell.

    Americans have been conditioned over the past twenty plus years to go for the dollar for themselves; that will take some time to change, if at all. The existence of the continuing calls for tax cuts illustrates this. Unfortunately for those who see tax cuts as the panacea, more and more are realizing that tax cuts really provide any real benefit to only a limited number, and those benefits don’t accrue to the majority notwithstanding the mantra of the “supply siders”.

    A problem I see is what I call the “full employment dream” which began after World War II. A grateful nation wanted to provide employment to those who went to war and sacrificed for the common good. The release of the pent up demand following the war, which was added to the suppressed demand resulting from the Depression, did require more employment to meet it. This requirement lasted, IMO, through the late 1950s. By then, the “full employment” mantra had been embedded within our conscience.

    The revisions in the Internal Revenue Code begun in the Kennedy administration were designed to encourage new investments in plant, property and equipment to modernize factories, etc., to lead to the need for continued employment. This occurred to a large extent. However, as technology evolved, it became apparent to many that the need for labor in the form of workers would be diminished, and labor unions fought this, as would be expected. I recall the fights against “automation” during my youth, a bad thing, as that reduced the number of employees that would be needed to produce goods.

    This has been shown over time as the national economy has changed from a production economy to a service economy. What this has created, IMO, is the environment where we are now; the financial industries creating exotic securities to generate more revenue to support those working in these industries, whose jobs are really not needed, but are there to continue the fiction of need for employment. The growing number of lower wage jobs in the food and entertainment industries is further evidence of the shift.

    I feel that at this point, there are more people in the country seeking employment than there are are jobs requiring this number of people. Stated differently, even in a good economy, the optimal level of employment needs fewer workers than there are folks looking for employment. Part of this has resulted from efficiencies realized from mergers and acquisitions; part of this is due to the increases in technologies allowing each individual worker to become more productive in his or her job. I do not believe we will or should turn the clock back to eliminate the effects of technology. Thus, new avenues of employment need to be created; but what these are, and how to do it, are without my competence.

  19. Iggy, I don’t read over there and my head doesn’t seem to be any clearer.
    I hope I’m not permanantly scarred. HA!

  20. fnord

    As we well know, we on the left aren’t of a single mind, and we’re more difficult to get control of. But this op-ed piece author just plain bends facts to suit his agenda. He makes partisanship the desired objective, and the lack of it a fault.

    Do we have to quit thinking, and fall in line in order to get anything done? How then, can we know we won’t be as ineffective, as dangerous as bush the lessor was? How can you set a course and maintain it without caring whether it’s taking you off the edge of a cliff?


    Why the Democrats Can’t Govern
    by Jonathan Chait
    Look who’s killing Obama’s agenda now.

    “Congress, and especially the Senate. At a time when the country desperately needs a coherent response to the array of challenges it faces, the congressional arm of the Democratic Party remains mired in fecklessness, parochialism, and privilege. Obama has made mistakes, as did his predecessors. Yet the constant recurrence of legislative squabbling and drift suggests a deeper problem than any characterological or tactical failures by these presidents: a congressional party that is congenitally unable to govern.

    George W. Bush came to office having lost the popular vote, with only 50 Republicans in the Senate. After his disputed election, pundits insisted Bush would have to scale back his proposed massive tax cuts for the rich. Instead, Bush managed to enact several rounds of tax cuts that substantially exceeded those in his campaign platform, along with two war resolutions, a Medicare prescription drug benefit designed to maximize profits for the health care industry, energy legislation, education reform, and sundry other items. Whatever the substantive merits of this agenda, its passage represented an impressive feat of political leverage, accomplished through near-total partisan discipline.

    Obama has come into office having won the popular vote by seven percentage points, along with a 79-seat edge in the House, a 17-seat edge in the Senate, and massive public demand for change. But it’s already clear he is receiving less, not more, deference from his own party. Democrats have treated Obama with studied diffidence, both in their support for the substance of his agenda and (more importantly) their willingness to support it procedurally.”


  21. It is indeed unfortunate that the Democrats in the Senate are using their majorities to promote their own ends. President Obama may well find himself hamstrung by members of his own party in getting his agenda enacted.

    This is what happens when someone is elected President who is viewed as affecting “business as usual” in the Congress. See, e.g., Jimmy Carter.

    Politics as usual; that’s what they want.

  22. tosmarttobegop

    Sorry for the lack of being here, last Friday my mother-in-law went back into the hospital. Sadly to report yesterday (Sunday) she lost her battle with the effects of her illness. But here being as I do is what I have written this morning about it:

    By XXXX

    WHEN my dad passed in 2004 I learned two things, one being the truth meaning of the saying
    “Life it too short”. See it does not matters how long someone lives or how short, in the end it was not long enough. The second being that the last moment is added to a gathering of moments in life, the lost of someone is described as feeling like it leaves a hole in your life. But it would be better described as there is a vacuum that bring back select moments from the collection of memories moments with that persons. It is not like a movie, but suddenly you are at that moment no matter how long ago.

    With dad one of them I was eight years old and I had went with him to the bank. While he tended to his business in the building I went to a pile of dirt and bricks at the edge of the parking lot. Until he called for me and I ran back to get into his pick-up. That moment happen in 1968 and again while stepping out side of that same bank in 2004 when mom and I was finish out dad’s affairs. You do not view it you relive it feeling the sensations as you did that day in the past.

    Last Sunday Dee Williamson my mother-in-law lost her battle with her illness. Perhaps the better term to describe her in my life is really my other-mother. My family and my wife’s had been family friends since as long as I can remember. My wife’s brothers and sisters feel more like my own, lives intertwined with that of an only child. For some in our community they knew her as “Dee” one of the clerks at the old Town and County convenience store. Or maybe simply Paul’s wife who they would meet when they would be out shopping.

    But for me, the moments gathered are many the first being suddenly I am five years old and in the living room of the Bryans’. Shirley Bryan is hemming a dress while Dee stands on a stool. Us kid’s are playing around the room and being kids. Suddenly when Shirley notices that the hem is not straight she rips the dress off of Dee while shouting her anger! I as shocked at the outburst and the sudden appearance of a woman standing there in her slip. Dee’s face showing the shock and dismay of the moment.

    Then suddenly I am there setting on the front room floor of the house in Lyons Kansas. My than girl friend setting beside me as we all watch TV. My future mother-in-law without warning tells her daughter that I will be a unemployed, no good cycle bum and will leave her with 12 kids when I meet some younger chick.
    From that day I set out to prove her wrong and so far after 32 years she was!

    I am then in a hospital room in the distract hospital, having had one of those stupid arguments that boyfriends and girlfriends do. Over of all things the length of my hair, having said things and done things I am ashamed of! I thought I had committed a mortal sin that would cost me the best thing in my life. And I end up going to talk with my future mother-in-law who was recovering from having surgery. When my future wife learned of this she exclaimed “we have a fight and you ran to my mother?”.

    The moments come and go to be replaced by another moment where I am not just remembering but alive in that moment. Feeling the air on my skin and the sensation of the sound and sights of air long spent and sounds and sights long gone. And joys as I felt not too long ago, Dee suffered greatly from the effects of the illness and the effects of the attempts to aid her. Her mind and body had endured so many tests of their strengths. It had reached the point where there was little if any hopes left. The time before that I had visited her she did not know me and reacted to what I said with thoughts that were not about what I had said. But then the next time I visited she awoke, smiled and said “Oh hi Rick!” We talked and it was like
    Nothing had change and she would come back to once she was. I was overjoyed, she was making progress on the road to recovery and would once again be there for future moments.

    Last Friday they took her back from Lake Point nursing home to the hospital, it was thought that the end would come within hours. But she held on till yesterday when finally the decision was made to shut off the machines. I received the word from my wife in a text, “mother has gone to be with our Lord and Savior”.
    My own mother was setting on the couch with me when I got the message and I tried to read it to her.
    I could not get the words out for choking on them.
    Life really is just gathering moments, to be relived when there are no more moments to be gathered with someone. And like a magical time machine to take you to those moments in time. To be lived and experienced as they were when they were made. Dee Williamson accomplished great things in her life though few would be read about. She gave to this world seven children and as is the main profession of any parent. Made those children worth the knowing, whenever you see or meet any of the seven you are meeting in a sense her. My father-in-law often refers to my wife as “Dee junior” and yes life can be quite interesting because of that. She was friend to many and mentor to some, I am a better man from the sharing of moments with her.

  23. fnord

    What happened? And is it only me who is in this ‘pickle?’ (I just knew when I saw that funny sign at the church I would be able to work in pickle.)

    If I hit ‘HOME’ I lose all of the info from the right-hand side — the lists of posts and comments, etc. Once I go into any post I have them back.

    Am I alone in an alternate universe? Or is someone not seeing what I’m not seeing?

    • Sorry, fnord; when I hit “home”, I still have the right hand column of which you post. Where does your cursor go when you hit the home key? Just wondering.

      • fnord

        Nothing else changes, just all info to the right is gone. Maybe I don’t understand your question. My cursor? 😦

  24. fnord

    I’m so sorry to hear of your loss. Pass along good thoughts to Ms. tosmart! Hold on tight to your loved ones while you get through this initial hurt together. I can tell from what you wrote she will go on in your heart forever.

  25. Tosmart,

    My sincere condolences to you and your wife on the loss.

  26. fnord, when I “hit” the Home key, my cursor, iconized as an arrow on my monitor screen, goes to the top of the “page”, where I see the name of the blog, the books in the illustration, etc. Immediately below is the search window, followed by a list of recent posts, etc. That is the behavior of which I posted.

  27. Duh; just figured out that about which you were posting. Yes, when I “click” on HOME at the top of the screen, the right column does not appear until selecting a thread, at which time the column once again signifies its presence.

  28. fnord

    So, 6, you’re in this alternate universe with me? OK, then if it isn’t just me we can call off the men in white jackets. And, somehow, somewhere we can fix what isn’t seen so it can be seen again.


    This seemed to happen when your post about that most-fascinating sounding book appeared. Any suggestions or thoughts?

  29. fnord,

    I’ve found that when that happens, hit the “End” button to take you to the bottom of the page. Then, scroll up (“Page Up” button), and you will see the kinds of things normally seen on the right side at the bottom. Just try it and see if that’s what’s happening with you, too; it’s easier to see than to explain. 😦

    • fnord

      I’ll be damned. There are keys on my keyboard that read “end,” and “page up.”

      shaking head and going away quietly…

  30. fnord

    Yep! I don’t know where the “end,” or “page up” buttons are, but while looking for them I scrolled all the way to the bottom of the page and there they were! Under all the posts, directly below instead of to the right where they belong, were all those bits of info.

    I find this to be the case both when I click “Home,” and when I click on the name of our blog. In fact, I logged out, logged back in and there was nothing on the right hand side. This means a visitor wouldn’t see those things either.

    Any thoughts on a fix?

    • None, but then again, I don’t have “the book”. 🙂

      Best guess; this is the default behavior of the home page, which likely might be altered with appropriate commands (or not). I’m no html programmer (I presume that’s what’s involved) so have no realistic thought of whether my guess has any validity.

  31. lilacluvr

    toosmarttobegop…..so sorry to hear of your loss. Sounds like your mother-in-law was a wonderful woman and she left behind some special memories.

  32. fnord

    Did you also notice that when the right-hand info is listed at the bottom rather than where it belongs, the type is all bigger than after you click on any thread? It’s like the bigness is too big and crowds out the info on the right.

    the book. Ok. the book. Wonder what in the world I will look under. Don’t pay the ransom if I’m gone a long time. 😉

  33. Yes, noticed that, too. I thought that might be because of my screen resolution settings, but now that it has been brought to my attention that I am not alone, it may well be due to the default display settings for the fonts when “Home” is selected.

    If one wishes to ascertain whether there are new comments after posting, one might just “hit” the F5 button for a reload to see if anything new shows up “to the right” as it were.

  34. annie_moose

    inspirational music

  35. wicked

    Hugs to you and yours, tosmart, on your loss. One of my best friends (the one who lives in Wacky, TX [Waco], lost her mother late last week, too. It’s a tough, tough time, a time when family is important.

  36. wicked

    Did any of you see the article in the paper yesterday about douglasandmain.com, the new blog connecting local bloggers? Very interesting! And so is the Douglas and Main blog.


  37. fnord

    Yes, wicked!

    I suggested we put our heads together on a missive that would catch his attention. No one responded. But you and I could do it! I’m telling you, I’m on a roll. I am the little engine who CAN. 😉

  38. fnord

    A very interesting article on a newly discovered difference between embryonic and adult stem cells.


  39. wicked

    Ah, fnord, I’m sorry I missed your suggestion. I’ve been trying to get caught up, but multi-tasking today isn’t going well.

    Hey, we might as well put our heads together and anyone else who wants to contribute. I have to put one together for our writers group blog, too. It goes live on Tuesday. April Fools Day. Ha! “Team Members” are shaking in their boots, having never blogged before. Oh, well, it’s high time they learned. If I have to, they have to. And that’s why I’m wicked. ::evil grin::

  40. Very interesting, fnord. It does make sense to the untutored me, however.

  41. fnord, the Home key is invaluable on these longer threads and comments.

    I’m concerned that my wife may be having further vascular problems. She’s already lost one two on the left foot, the next one in line seems to be getting asphyxiated. Ain’t life grand?

  42. lilacluvr

    fnord ….interesting reading. I have always been in the school of thought that we need to be researching both embryonic and adult stem cells to help our fellow mankind in treating diseases.

    What I find hypocritical in the Pro-Life movement is that these embryonic cells are those already in these fertility clinics and destined for destruction, aren’t they? These pro-life people see nothing wrong with throwing these cells in the garbage but have a problem with using them for research.

    One pro-life supporter actually told me he would rather see them have a decent burial in the garbage than be used for scientific experiments.

    I walked away in bewilderment thanking God I wasn’t one of his family members.

  43. fnord

    Yeah, it makes so much sense to save those blastocysts from research. And, of course, it’s much easier to ignore their destruction when they’re burned out back in the incinerator. /sarcasm

    A burial. For goodness sakes, while it’s fine and dandy to kill in war, kill in prisons, and forget or ignore the many needs of living people.

    You probably don’t want to get me started. 😉

    One scientist I know has never used a left-over blastocyst from a fertility clinic until the owners have given written permission. I think this is the protocol for all scientists.

    What many who want to tout adult stem cell success over what they cry is the lack of success with embryonic stem cells either forget or conveniently leave out, is that adult stem cells have been studied since the 1940s, embryonic stem cells only since 1998. And during those not quite 11 years they’ve had to fight for the money and resources needed.

    Yes, we will all benefit from the study of all stem cells. Even those who are against the research.

  44. It is said that among all physical processes, time is the only one which cannot “go backward”. It is, I understand, possible to convert energy back to the mass from which it comes; mass back to the energy; but it has yet to be shown that time may be reversed, and from some light reading I’ve done, many physicists believe that same is impossible. Is CLOCK further evidence of this?

    Note the relationship proposed between two otherwise facially distinct areas of the natural sciences; physics and biology. Does anyone else ponder the possibility that in fact, there is only one “natural science”, and that the distinctions heretofore made are artificially created by humans?

    Thanks to #1, I’ve learned that the new areas of scientific research are often interdisciplinary, or, if one prefers, multidisciplinary. There are some areas of mixed scientific inquiry which have been with us for a while, e.g., biochemistry, biophysics, physical chemistry; but it seems to me that as we progress, the lines between the branches become ever more blurred. Is the day fast approaching when those not able in higher mathematics no longer choose biology as their scientific specialty, it being necessary to be able to handle the math to do the needed work in the multidisciplinary areas involving biology? These are some of the things I ponder when taking a break from the mundane. Anyone else do the same?

  45. By higher mathematics, I am referring to that devil Calculus and its progeny. I am quite aware of the application of the area of statistics to biology, perhaps most prominently displayed when one is involved with the study of genetics.

    However, when #1 told us that her internship between her Junior and Senior years of college involved working in a lab with a Ph.D candidate in Physics and a Ph.D candidate in Biology, working on arriving at a statistically based prediction of the outcome of certain biological processes that involved investigation at the quantum (sub-atomic particle) level, this caused me to start pondering some of those things appearing in my prior post.

  46. annie_moose

    beware liberals they’re out to git yew

  47. fnord

    Yes, but I brag too often. I try not to. But I’m really proud. 😉 I wish you all could meet him and just talk to him. He explains it all so well. Someday, when he is home we’re gonna have to get together and ask him to tell us what he does, what seems promising, what his hopes are…

    I think this is the latest ‘news’ report of his work.


    And here is an announcement of a pharmaceutical company giving money that will further the work of several scientists. Chad is the second listed in the ‘bullets.’


    And, here’s one with a picture of him:


    He has a paper at Nature right now, that he expects will be published in May. It’s the first work of his lab. His lab has worked with other labs and had results that were published. He didn’t actually get started as a Principle Investigator until 2007 —


    Anyway, enough! See, once I get started I don’t stop so it’s best not to get me started.

  48. Uh, fnord, should that not be Principal Investigator? Which, BTW, is why I always say PI when referring to someone in your son’s position.

  49. fnord

    Yes, of course, you are correct.

    But I think he has principles too. 😉

  50. Oh, I’m sure he has principles. 🙂

    “The principal investigator headed up the scientific inquiry into the essential principle involved with cellular division in embryonic stem cells.” How’s that for a sentence? And, folks wonder why English is such a tough language to learn as a second language (when those of us who are “native” speakers manage to not learn it well; see me as Exhibit A).

  51. wicked

    “The principal investigator headed up the scientific inquiry into the essential principle involved with cellular division in embryonic stem cells…having learned his personal principles from his principal.”

    Sorry, I couldn’t help it.

  52. ‘sall right, wicked. Good job and all that.

  53. fnord

    You guys crack me up.

    Iggy, thank you again for the nice place to be with and learn from these great people!

  54. wicked

    Ditto that, fnord. What a wonderful son you have! And a wonderful mom HE has. You’re both very blessed.

  55. Changing topics, a_m’s post of the Alice’s Restaurant video reminded me of a conversation with #2 last night. We were conversing about a variety of things, when she suddenly looked at me and said “Why did you never tell me about Country Joe and the Fish?”. Scratching my head over this inter-generational accusation, I said that surely I had. Her response was to the effect that no, (I) hadn’t, and what about the fish cheer, too? This did get me laughing, a response I’m sure she had not expected.

    It seems to me, upon reflection, that the last time I thought about the “fish cheer” and Country Joe and the Fish was when Bush the Lesser was preparing the country for the Iraq invasion. I don’t know about you fellow wanderers in the search for truth, but neglecting to inform a high school junior or senior ( I don’t recall) about that part of my youth seemed appropriate. If I had (especially the Woodstock variation thereon), I’m sure I would have received a call from a certain principal about her standing on stage at some drama presentation exhorting the audience “Give me an F”, and so on. I wonder if she will accept that explanation? Likely not. 🙂

  56. fnord

    You know how much I hope to meet both your daughters, but I have to admit, I think #2 and I are gonna get along really great! She seems not just talented and well educated and informed but just plain fun! Like the person you really would want to sit down and talk with over a beer. She and I should coordinate our next trip back east…

  57. Speaking of the Fish cheer, does anyone really know (no, not what time it is) the title of the song to which the cheer was prelude? It seems to me it went by a variety of names, e.g., Vietnam Rag, Feels Like I’m Going to Die Rag, but I’m sure it has (had?) an “official” title.

  58. wicked

    “Feel Like I’m Fixin’ To Die Rag” is the official title, at least that’s what my download says. Yes, I dled it. No collection of Vietnam protest songs could be without it. Alternate title is “Next Stop Vietnam” and a few others.

    Darn, I missed the link? to the Alice’s Restaurant video. I heard today that the movie will have a special showing at the Orpheum. It’s tempting…

  59. fnord

    the fish cheer-I-Feel-Like-I’m-Fixin’-To-Die Rag

    and many more…

  60. Yes, I think you and #2 would really get along. Be aware that while she’ll enjoy a beer once in a while (Sam Adams Summer Ale is a favorite; and she is also one who will have a Guinness from time to time) her tastes run more to a mixed drink.

    I’ve a feeling #1 and you would get along as well, however, she would pick your brain on all the details you could muster about Chad’s work. She did that to one of her cousins whose husband was in Antarctica with a research team from KU studying neutrinos, as I recall. Her poor cousin basically knew 1) he was in the Antarctic 2) studying neutrinos and that was it. I’ll say this about #1; based upon her 10 minute direct examination of her cousin, she has the makings of one heck of a litigator. Never mind that her cousin was a psychology major, and had avoided as much hard science as was possible; she was married to a physicist, and by golly, was expected to know all about the research.

  61. wicked

    Thank you, “6”. I’ll go check it out. I never did make it through everything and am now back to slicing and dicing what I hope will be a book.

  62. Speaking of beer (one of my favorite topics). What is anyone’s favorite brew at Granite City? Mine is the Bavarian Bock; the seasonal brew for March (Irish Red Ale, I think) is darned good as well.

    My favorite microbrew that I’ve had without regard to locale was “Pig’s Eye” which I enjoyed in MN a few times. Unfortunately, the brewery that produced that fine elixir went bankrupt. FYI, Pig’s Eye was the original name of the city now known as St. Paul.

  63. thanks fnord I’ll send the linkies to my pa.

  64. annie_moose

    fnord just for you,

  65. fnord

    smithicks is a beer I enjoy, “6.”


    take leak in his out basket

    repeat conversation and hope (A LOT!)

    ask what position she plays or the amnesia pretense, can’t decide on this one.


  66. iggydonnelly

    Late arriving on the douglas&main blog question. That might be a good place to attract new people. I am not seeing a downside. We can deal with any riffraff (is that really a word?).

    Do we ask to be looked at by them? Do we submit something? I will re-read the article.

    We have had a record number of views today (I don’t believe these are independent views – i.e., could be multiple views by the same people). Those in the dashboard are not counted as viewers.

    We are heading toward 2500 hits since inception. I think it might be time to buy more space. I don’t know if wordpress gives you a warning when you are running out. I will look in the book.

    I hope you resolved the technical problem you mentioned earlier. I was not completely sure I understood it. I was lurking here from work this weekend on Saturday when it was so slow at work. A problem I had, by not being signed in, was that I was not seeing any “new” – within the last few days content – I am not sure why that was, either. I will dig out the book.

    Thanks to all for making this an active place. I.D.

  67. annie_moose

    every sperm is sacred

  68. prairiepond

    Wow, I cant keep up with you all.

    Tosmartobegop, I am SO SORRY for your loss. I love the part about “we had a fight and you ran to my mother”.

    Your tribute was beautiful. She was lucky to have you as a son-in-law and you were lucky to have her as a mother-in-law. Me thinks your Mrs. is lucky to have you both.

    And we’re damn lucky to have you as a friend.

  69. prairiepond

    Anniemoose, I dont want you to think I’m ignoring your video posts. For some reason, I cant do audio/video on Mozilla, only on IE and I dont like switching browsers all the time. I think IE is blocking Mozilla and the plugins some way. But just because I dont comment on them doesnt mean I dont go back later and take a look.

    And Anniem, thanks for the complement on my “mile wide and inch deep” knowledge of subject matter. I’m just filled with USELESS information.

    Useful information, not so much.

  70. prairiepond

    Fnord, I didnt comment on the douglasandmain linkup before because I wasnt sure if it would draw bad actors from the blogthatshallnotbenamed.

    But if Iggy says we can handle disrupters, then I say go for it. Bring ’em on. Why should we hide our light under a bushel basket?

    Singing “this little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine” hehehehe!

  71. prairiepond

    Oh, and Jammer? If you are reading here, I hope you got your tooth pain taken care of.

    Biting bullets is so 1800’s and all.

    Hope you are feeling better.

  72. iggydonnelly

    I am inclined to think that people we would rather not see are going to very seldom visit the connector site we were talking about. (Such an action would be similar to reaching out for a change – it would involve openness to new experiences – you get what I mean…). They are way too busy ranting about socialists, Nazis and Obama. I think the threat is low, but I will read up on banning people, too. But for the reasons listed above, I am reasonably sure we will be okay.

    It sounded from the article that the guy helps increase traffic and we might even get some nice new people, too. It could happen.

    fnord and I think Wicked have volunteered to put together an invitation to the guy.

  73. iggydonnelly

    Thanks to whomever fixed our authors list. It looks much better now. Please come out and take credit for this very good deed. I.D.

  74. fnord

    I’ll take that pat on the back. I’m getting pretty good and feel kinda proud of myself. 😉 Maybe you can teach an old dog new tricks.

    Oh, I also put the Blogroll on the front page. Is that OK?

    We can have those widgets (bits of info on the right hand side) in any order we choose. Do you want them listed differently?

    • iggydonnelly

      Your wish is our command. Seriously, as you would like. We appreciate your help. Please check your email, if you haven’t recently.

  75. iggydonnelly

    Come out, come out, wherever you are and meet the young lady,
    who fell from a star.
    She fell from the sky, she fell very far and Kansas, she says,
    is the name of the star.
    Kansas, she says, is the name of the star.
    She brings you good news. Or haven’t you heard?
    When she fell out of Kansas
    A miracle occurred.

    It really was no miracle. What happened was just this.
    The wind began to switch – the house to pitch and suddenly
    the hinges started to unhitch.
    Just then the Witch – to satisfy an itch went flying
    on her broomstick, thumbing for a hitch.
    And oh, what happened then was rich.
    The house began to pitch. The kitchen took a slitch.
    It landed on the Wicked Witch
    in the middle of a ditch,
    Which was not a healthy situation for the Wicked Witch.
    … Who began to twitch and was reduced to just a stitch of what was once the Wicked Witch.