Re: From the mailbag

1

Regardless of Gitmo and torture and secret CIA prisons, the guy planned 9/11 and I would be horrified if he were released.

Shooting from the hip here, but generally a voluntary guilty plea waives other errors. (Subject, I'm sure, to qualifications that I'm too busy to look up or think about along with the rather obvious qualification that "voluntary" is a tough question when you are talking about torture.)


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 12-12-08 11:44 AM
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Scientists have been in charge of DoD before. First Sec Def to be a scientist was Harold Brown, I think.


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 12-12-08 11:56 AM
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The caveat with scientists being that it's very possible be an excellent scientist but a shitty manager. But if the guy's run a national lab successfully, that ought to count for something.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 12-12-08 12:01 PM
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Current Energy Sec Bodman has a D.Sc. from MIT in chemical engineering and was an MIT cheg prof for a while.


Posted by: bill | Link to this comment | 12-12-08 12:01 PM
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1: But what if they take back their guilty pleas, which I don't believe have been accepted by the judge yet?


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 12-12-08 12:01 PM
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There's at least one person here whose opinion on the guilty pleas should be worth considering, no?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 12-12-08 12:05 PM
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MIT cheg prof

So he's a scientist for some made-up word? Figures.

All the MSM types kept using that "keep your enemies closer" cliche when HRC was nominated for SecState. So it shouldn't be an issue if Obama makes KSH his White House Deputy Chief of Staff (or whatever), should it?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 12-12-08 12:05 PM
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it's like going to Mensa after spending eight years in the flat earth society

I'm not sure this would be an improvement, to be honest.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 12-12-08 12:07 PM
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4: I had no idea! This reminds us that cabinet secretaries don't necessarily have any power.

All the MSM types kept using that "keep your enemies closer" cliche when HRC was nominated for SecState. So it shouldn't be an issue if Obama makes KSH his White House Deputy Chief of Staff (or whatever), should it?

KSH? You mean KSM? Khalid Sheikh Muhammad?

Anyway, that's a bit too much of an enemy to keep close, would be the conventional wisdom.


Posted by: Cryptec nid | Link to this comment | 12-12-08 12:08 PM
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Come on, Goneril, they're smarter than 98% of the population!


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 12-12-08 12:08 PM
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5: Yes, that would be a problem.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 12-12-08 12:08 PM
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3: This article certainly claims that he knows how to run an organization, though I don't know how its size compares to the far bigger DOE. The piece in fact makes Chu sound positively messianic. He probably shouldn't stand too close to Obama; the combined glow of their halos would be blinding. On the other hand, free light source.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 12-12-08 12:10 PM
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I'm kinda singleminded, and even though I've been glad for and liked the picks I've seen so far, it is KILLING ME that he's taking so long announcing his pick for Interior. That is the one cabinet position I care about more than all the rest, and he's taking FOREVER. The position that matters to me second-most is agriculture and he isn't telling us that, either.

I'm sure all those other topics matter to other people and I'm happy that they know who will be working for them. But if he doesn't announce Interior soon, I'll die of anxious anticipation.

(Also, I opened the climate change blog I'm gonna write. Whether you check it out or not, you should totally go look at these pictures, because they're all dramatic.)


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 12-12-08 12:13 PM
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7: So sorry: "Massachusetts Institute of Technology chemical engineering professor"

nuf sed, k?


Posted by: bill | Link to this comment | 12-12-08 12:13 PM
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it is KILLING ME that he's taking so long announcing his pick for Interior. That is the one cabinet position I care about more than all the rest, and he's taking FOREVER.

He's just teasing you, Megan. It's like he's pulling your pigtails. He likes you.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 12-12-08 12:15 PM
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13: Wow. Mount Shasta. Are those pictures really matched for season? Same time of year, that much difference in snowpack? Wow.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-12-08 12:18 PM
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What's the Ursula K. LeGuin book about the guy with the dreams? It has exactly those two pictures of Mount Shasta in it -- one in a timeline like ours (in a book written in the 70s), and the other in a dystopian timeline with a destroyed climate. (This will make no sense unless you've read the book.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-12-08 12:21 PM
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I wondered if they are matched for season. Don't know. I particularly like the transition from slide 67 to slide 68.

They've been teasing me all week. "Obama will announce his environment team today." Then what do I get? EPA and Energy. WhatEVER. Interior, Interior, Interior or I'll DIE.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 12-12-08 12:21 PM
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Also, I opened the climate change blog I'm gonna write.

Yeah!


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 12-12-08 12:22 PM
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Haven't read that book, I don't think, but the exciting thing is that we personally will get to see both timelines!


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 12-12-08 12:23 PM
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13: I'm the same way with Labor. He's got 4 or 5 other domestic appointments left, I think.

Mr. Almost-President, what about the workers and the water?! And the trains! For the love of god, what about the trains?


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 12-12-08 12:23 PM
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The book I'm thinking of is The Lathe of Heaven.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-12-08 12:23 PM
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21: Will the Liberal Fascist make the SUPERTRAINS run on time?


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 12-12-08 12:26 PM
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I know I'm not supposed to be worrying about global warming based on the local weather, but I was out in the rain the other day in NY in December without a coat on and it felt nice, kind of fresh and cooling. That's really, really, screwy.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-12-08 12:28 PM
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Wow. Mount Shasta. Are those pictures really matched for season? Same time of year, that much difference in snowpack? Wow.

Based on the photos of San Luis Reservoir, I'm inclined to take those pics with a giant grain of salt. "Look! At the tail end of the rainy season, the reservoir was nice and full! And in the middle of summer, it wasn't!"


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 12-12-08 12:30 PM
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25: I just looked at the pretty pictures -- was there enough text to figure out that that was what was going on?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-12-08 12:32 PM
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March 1995 & August 2008. So yes would need more info on seasonal variations.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-12-08 12:34 PM
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Hrm. Looking at this 2008 AP story saying that Mt. Shasta's glaciers are growing, rather than shrinking, I now feel that my initial reaction was somewhat hysterical. The presentation probably included a verbal explanation of what the pictures meant.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-12-08 12:35 PM
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KSH? You mean KSM? Khalid Sheikh Muhammad?

Uh, yeah.

So sorry: "Massachusetts Institute of Technology chemical engineering professor"

Oh, now I get it.

nuf sed, k?

Couldn't get hired at Carnegie Mellon, huh?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 12-12-08 12:36 PM
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Sir Kraab understands.

Josh is right that there is always drawdown over the summer. But those pictures still show that it the reservoirs are unusually low. If you want a reference for how low it usually gets, check out the boat ramps (70, 74). In most years, the concrete reaches all the way to the water. I also love slides 76 and 77, where the spillways are very far from the water.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 12-12-08 12:38 PM
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18, 28: If Megan would just come out and confirm that she's Obama's pick for Interior, we could start getting somewhere on this Mt. Shasta issue.


Posted by: bill | Link to this comment | 12-12-08 12:40 PM
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If Megan's blog about bureaucratic response to climate change doesn't get her laid, nothing will.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 12-12-08 12:41 PM
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Do you have a candidate you're hoping for at Interior? (And same to Kraaby at Labor.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-12-08 12:42 PM
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||

Ooh! a few wispy snowflakes have begun to drift past my window, on their way to join the bare coating laid down last night! Huzzah for pretty winter!

This morning Iris' school did this beautiful/sweet/hokey Winter Spiral ceremony. I was glad it occurred on a cold day with snow, not in a 55 degree rain like we had Monday.

|>


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 12-12-08 12:43 PM
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32: You have to admit that anyone who finds that blog attractive would be perfect for her. (Barring the fact that I'm married and straight. But single men!)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-12-08 12:43 PM
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That'd be awesome. Serious people would be all "I'd need more managerial and political experience or I could do some real damage.", but when Pres-elect Obama calls me, I'll be all "Hell yes! How hard could it be?"


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 12-12-08 12:43 PM
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You know, I honestly don't have any dedicated notion of who should run Interior. I've read profiles of the candidates and they seem good. It'd be nice to have someone who stopped shafting Native Americans. I'm not rooting for anyone in particular, but I do want to know who it'll be.

32 - I'm beginning to fear it is the second option. But the masthead picture is good, right? I like it so much.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 12-12-08 12:48 PM
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37.1: It'd be nice to have someone who stopped shafting Native Americans.

Like maybe a Native American.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-12-08 12:58 PM
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37: If Megan's cute chicks don't get her laid that nothing will!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 12-12-08 1:03 PM
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But the masthead picture is good, right? I like it so much.

Is it, in fact, from your office (narrowly or broadly defined)?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 12-12-08 1:07 PM
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36: You know Barack will green light your projects when you run them past him, and then get all upset when he actually sees how they turn out.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 12-12-08 1:07 PM
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Megan's personal office could never look like that. She would be much more organized.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 12-12-08 1:07 PM
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Like maybe a Native American.

I'm surprised Bush didn't find a self-loathing Native American to screw over Native Americans.

PS - Apparently Canadians, when referring to individuals of the First Nations, call them Native Canadians. This seems to reinforce what I always thought was a peeve of Canadians, that we've appropriated the term "Americans." I don't actually think the term "Native American" is limited to the aboriginals between the Rio Grande and the 49th parallel.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 12-12-08 1:09 PM
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42: Hence "broadly defined."

Megan probably keeps reports in 4' high stacks just so she can show off her ability to dead lift them.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 12-12-08 1:10 PM
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Do you have a candidate you're hoping for at Interior? (And same to Kraaby at Labor.)

David B/o/n/i/o/r. He's pushing the head of American R/i/g/h/t/s at W/o/r/k, Mary Beth M/a/x/w/e/l/l, who is fantastic, but probably needs a few years' experience with a big bureaucracy. I'd love to see her succeed Bonior at some point.

(The google-proofing probably seems excessive, but there's a lot of news & noise swirling around Mary Beth at the moment.)


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 12-12-08 1:12 PM
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but when Pres-elect Obama calls me,

"Megan, I was pretty bummed when you shut down FTA, but I've been enjoying Rhubarb Pie quite a bit. I think that it's time that you moved to this coast."


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 12-12-08 1:12 PM
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The google-proofing probably seems excessive

No, it's totally working. I just googled "Mary Beth M/a/x/w/e/ll," and this thread didn't show up at all.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 12-12-08 1:14 PM
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From LB's link in 28: "Warmer temperatures have cut the number of glaciers at Montana's Glacier National Park from 150 to 26 since 1850, and some scientists project there will be none left within 25 to 30 years."

What would the new name be, I wonder?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12-12-08 1:15 PM
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This seems to reinforce what I always thought was a peeve of Canadians, that we've appropriated the term "Americans."

It really depends on the Canadian. Personally, it strikes me as belonging in the category of "inventing offensive things."


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 12-12-08 1:15 PM
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But it will now!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-12-08 1:15 PM
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Bonior would be a good choice for Interior. I was really surprised (in the best possible way) when they announced Steven Chu for Energy. It's not just a great pick. It's an inspired pick.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12-12-08 1:19 PM
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34: That sounds lovely. I'm quite envious.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 12-12-08 1:19 PM
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By midmorning Cao was interrupting an interview to take a call from former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who offered good wishes and, Cao said, counseled him "to reach out to the African-American community." Cao said Gingrich offered to act as a go-between.

That's just boggling. Cao was elected in a black district.

Gingrich must be thinking something like "When I came down from Pennsylvania I didn't know how to talk to those people, but I learned, so maybe I can help this Asian boy out a little."

Just when you think you've seen the worst.......
|>


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12-12-08 1:20 PM
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48: The National Park Formerly Known As Glacier? Moraine National Park? (There's a Moraine State Park in Pennsylvania.) Mosquito-Ridden National Park?


Posted by: bill | Link to this comment | 12-12-08 1:24 PM
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Sigh. I can't have John Edwards at Labor, can I?


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 12-12-08 1:29 PM
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55: When Salon fantasized about the Obama administration, the put Elizabeth Edwards at HHS and said that John "guards the castle at Isengard and hopes one day to run for president of Mordor."


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 12-12-08 1:38 PM
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I can't have John Edwards at Labor, can I?

In Puritan America sex scandals are much worse than public corruption scandals. Live boy, dead girl and all that.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 12-12-08 1:42 PM
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I think I already said here somewhere that Chu for DOE makes me very, very happy. I've heard good things about his leadership at LBL.

Megan's climate change blog also makes me happy. I mean, climate change makes me sad, but having another well-informed place to read about it is nice.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 12-12-08 1:42 PM
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34: That sounds lovely. I'm quite envious.

Actually, last Saturday was also weather-suitable. It was the Winter Fair, which is half-activity, half-fundraiser, but included horse-drawn carriage rides in the snow outside, baked goodies and hot cocoa and soup inside, plus candle-dipping and making little felted animals. It's really incredibly idyllic, as long as you can tolerate some anthroposophy.

Iris once said, "Waldorf School feels like... my mother." We can hardly wait to send her to Soulless Public School next year (dictated by finances, alas).


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 12-12-08 1:43 PM
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Megan and Kraab should be glad that Obama is taking extra time to make sure that he picks just the right people for Interior and Labor, unlike those rushed slapdash apointments for Justice, State, Treasury, etc.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 12-12-08 1:50 PM
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Anecdatally, it's been a few years since I've flown to and from California, but over several years beginning in the 90s, I noticed how drought conditions changed the landscape around Mt. Shasta, and it's been dramatic. (No conclusions intended or implied.) Also, from here you see Mt. Hood, Mt. St. Helens and Mt. Adams all the time, and it's pretty plain that the summer snowpack is down these days compared to 20 or so years ago.

I've heard pretty much nothing about Secretary of Transportation, but I'm kind of hoping for my rep, who's apparently under consideration. If he does get tapped: Get on your bikes and ride! Or else!


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 12-12-08 1:53 PM
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Soulless Public School? Don't you live like a five-minute walk from this? And it's public too.

Maybe it's impossible to get in, I don't know.


Posted by: Cryptec nid | Link to this comment | 12-12-08 1:57 PM
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62: Those test scores are surprisingly (to me at least) unstable from year to year. Were Pittsburgh kids just really fucking stupid in 2005 and 2007?


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 12-12-08 2:02 PM
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Sorry for the coarse language and insensitivity in the above. I care deeply about Pittsburgh elementary education. Just joking around.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 12-12-08 2:04 PM
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Maybe it's impossible to get in, I don't know.

It is, indeed, impossible to get in - we've already been wait-listed twice. Furthermore, it's mostly Montessori in name only - 5 M-certified teachers on the entire staff, although a dozen more are in process and should be certified by 2010.

But it's a lot more like public school than it is like Waldorf School.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 12-12-08 2:04 PM
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Those test scores are surprisingly (to me at least) unstable from year to year. Were Pittsburgh kids just really fucking stupid in 2005 and 2007?

And this is the whole problem with the test-heavy approach. Longitudinal testing would tell you loads more about what kind of job the schools are doing, but isn't done; I'm not actually sure why not.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 12-12-08 2:06 PM
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If Blumenauer follows in Neil Goldschmidt's footsteps, lets hope he keeps it in his pants.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12-12-08 2:06 PM
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Hmm. "The whole problem with this test-heavy approach." Test-heaviness in general is problematic, for lots of reasons, but the specific method we've chosen is absolutely torpedoed by testing ages/grades, not students-in-development.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 12-12-08 2:21 PM
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Presumably there is longitudinal testing to some extent, in that the same kids who take the 5th grade tests eventually take the 8th grade tests, so the 2004 5 grade population is largely the same as the 2007 8th grade population, no? It's just that it would be nice to find out sooner than 8th grade that your child's school isn't doing the best job of helping him or her learn.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 12-12-08 2:27 PM
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Is it, in fact, from your office (narrowly or broadly defined)?

Not my office, but from my floor. I had many choices of similar pictures, and may rotate it out. My office isn't quite that bad, but not consistently neatly kept.

Megan probably keeps reports in 4' high stacks just so she can show off her ability to dead lift them.

In fact, I wear muscle shirts on all occasions, so that bystanders get the most benefit out of my lifting stacks of reports.

Thanks, essear. Thanks, peep.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 12-12-08 2:33 PM
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It's really incredibly idyllic, as long as you can tolerate some anthroposophy.

I'm glad it's a good place for Iris, but wasn't Steiner totally nuts? Not just spiritual but believing in elves or some such?


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 12-12-08 2:35 PM
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71: More importantly, the crazy ideas influenced his education system, so that learning to read is postponed in order to improve the child's reincarnation, or some such.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 12-12-08 2:40 PM
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Sigh. I can't have John Edwards at Labor, can I?

I feel your pain, but, besides the political impossibility, if I were him I'd want to be spending as much time as I could with my kids and their dying mother. He's got plenty of time for a long political career later.

I wouldn't go so far as to say that the uncovering of the affair was a blessing in disguise, but it kinda sorta maybe was.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 12-12-08 2:42 PM
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learning to read is postponed in order to improve the child's reincarnation, or some such.

Um, maybe I should read some more, but I don't think it has fuck-all to do with reincarnation. The idea is that children below a certain age (7 or 8, I think) are supposed to be learning through means other than text. Indeed, Modern Science says IIRC that 7 is the Age of Reason, so to speak, at which kids start to think more like adults (or perhaps more like humans), which maps onto Steiner's notion. Further, I've read a fair amount of stuff relating to juvenile crime suggesting that kids below 14 or 15 don't think like adults, which also maps onto Steiner's beliefs about how to transition from teaching 2-7 graders to 8-12 graders. I can't recall his terms - it's something like Intuitive Learning, Sentient Learning.

That said, Steiner was absolutely nuts, but I find that the resulting system seems to work quite well (for Iris, anyway). One of the things we learned in architecture school is that you can choose your organizing principle for a design almost randomly; the important thing is to have a principle that will guide you to harmonious results (because your decisions are all coming from the same place), plus of course the practical grounding that gets the actual function right.

That's more or less my view of Waldorf - Steiner started from observation, created a framework that he thought matched what he'd seen, then went forward to implement the framework as an educational system. Similarly, there's a new environmental charter school here, but it's mostly a regular public school; the environmental thing just provides a framework to help the whole thing work better, because everyone can get on board with this concept. Waldorf is more of a complete environment than that, which is why it's not for everyone, but it suits us.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 12-12-08 2:59 PM
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I don't think it has fuck-all to do with reincarnation.

This is a truly excellent example of a double negative.

"Modern Science" sounds a lot like Jean Piaget.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 12-12-08 3:12 PM
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I don't know much about Steiner, either. I threw in the "or some such" to indicate my level of certainty on the issue.

I know slightly more about developmental psychology--or rather, the state of developmental psychology in the mid 90s, when I was in graduate school. People were still respectful of Piaget style stage thinking, but the focus was far more on identifying mechanisms that guide the interaction between nature and nurture. The idea of a fixed developmental path was downplayed.

None of this is to say that your Waldorf school wasn't good for Iris. In a field like education, personal fit trumps most theoretical concerns.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 12-12-08 3:22 PM
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69: That only works if the student population is relatively stable. In districts with a fair amount of student turnover, the group of students tested in eighth grade may be significantly different from the group that was tested 3-4 years earlier.

Also, there can be a self-reinforcing aspect here. In our district, where there is a significant drop-off between elementary and middle school scores, a bunch of the better-off parents pull their kids out in sixth grade to send them to another district or private school. Since these kids are likely to be among the better-performing kids on the test, that tends to pull the middle school scores down (though I don't think anyone knows by exactly how much).


Posted by: Dave W. | Link to this comment | 12-12-08 3:25 PM
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I recall the pamphlets saying that GNP isn't named for the glaciers there now, but for the glagiers that formed it. Sounds totally bogus to me, but maybe there's some transcript from Lewis Hill or something.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 12-12-08 3:26 PM
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||
Any extended multi-person discussion of high voltage interlock system design will eventually involve mention of pants-shitting.
|>


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 12-12-08 3:27 PM
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Also, I don't think the "any organizing principle is good as long as you have one" theory applies to education.

Education is an area where very little is known. In situations of high uncertainty, diversity and flexibility are key. Bets must be hedged. A range of learning styles must be anticipated. If a child or adult student happens to show interest in one area, you should follow up with it.

Doctrinal organizing principles are hurtful in such situations.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 12-12-08 3:29 PM
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Doctrinal organizing principles are hurtful in such situations.

Surely you're not suggesting that modern American public education is more flexible than Waldorf? Just because there's not comprehensible underlying doctrine doesn't mean it's not doctrinaire.

Anyway, to be clear, I'm not an advocate of anthroposophy or Steiner - AB and I continue to joke that Waldorf high schoolers are illiterate. But I'm seeing it be (extremely) effective in action, and therefore feel obliged to give credit where due. I expect Iris to be more or less miserable when she goes to public school, as was I, as was my grandfather (who dropped out and ended up an electrical engineer, when such things were still possible). For now, at least, she loves school.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 12-12-08 3:40 PM
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78: you're thinking of Glagier National Park, in Texahoming.


Posted by: Cryptec nid | Link to this comment | 12-12-08 3:50 PM
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82 -- At least I pronounce it correctly.

The right Secretary of Interior could replace English language names in Glacier with Kootenai language names: McDonald Creek --> Yakil Haqwilnamki. (A good place to dance).


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 12-12-08 5:19 PM
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It's so quiet here tonight. Too quiet...


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 12-12-08 8:02 PM
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84: Nobody told you about the big party? Aw, man. That sucks.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 12-12-08 8:04 PM
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Story of my life, Stanley. Story of my life.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 12-12-08 8:25 PM
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You want news? There was a big freaking ice storm in New England: my mom in NH is, along with many others, without power. Mom's also without heat because the motor on her pellet stove burned out or something, wouldn't kick in -- I'm unclear on that.

So they have something like 1 inch of ice on the trees, many trees down, no power anywhere. Mom says she's going to move things off the coffee-table and set up a blanket-tent thingie for her and the cat to sleep under to stay warm tonight via body heat.

Jesus, mom! What's wrong with the generator? Isn't working, uncle and cousins came over to get it going, unclear unclear. Jesus, mom! She's heating water for cocoa and such over a little camping propane thing and has her kerosene hurricane lamps for reading. She could stay at my uncle's but she won't leave the cat alone. Woman's 70. Jesus, mom! Couple days before power is restored, probably.

I suppose I shouldn't ask her about the pipes freezing.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-12-08 8:32 PM
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I suppose I shouldn't ask her about the pipes freezing.

I thought you were supposed to let a faucet or two drip a bit to prevent this. Perhaps this is just a Midwestern myth passed down through generations.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 12-12-08 8:38 PM
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89

Oh, also the ice on the trees is beautiful during the day in the sunshine. I bet it is!


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-12-08 8:39 PM
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90

I don't suppose she could bring the cat with to your uncle's? I'll sen warm thoughts, anyway.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 12-12-08 8:41 PM
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88: Right, I assume she's doing that. Forgot about that; my brother had mentioned the pipes freezing, which freaked me out a bit.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-12-08 8:42 PM
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90: No. Cripe's sake, my aunt can't stand cats, and my mother refuses to leave the cat alone (which is silly, but there it is). I'll have a conversation with my aunt, maybe, if the power continues to be out beyond tomorrow, say.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-12-08 8:45 PM
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88: No, it's the right thing to do. It won't help you much in a really hard freeze, but it can save pipes.

The other night it actually snowed here a little (snow on palm trees, weird). The property management people were all freaked out about losing pipes, but it didn't get cold enough to really worry about I suspect.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 12-12-08 8:46 PM
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he's heating water for cocoa and such over a little camping propane thing

Worrisome, and she has my sympathy. I hope she's aware of the dangers of carbon monoxide, which I'm pretty sure those propane camp stoves produce. If it's a good sized house and she hasn't sealed hrself in a small room with the stove it should be ok.

Yes, dripping faucets saves pipes. Pipefrost demons, like vampires, won't cross running water. Or maybe that's werewolves.


Posted by: Michael H Schneider | Link to this comment | 12-12-08 8:51 PM
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It won't help you much in a really hard freeze, but it can save pipes

Soup? What do you mean by a hard freeze? It's in the 'teens up there in NH at night.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-12-08 8:55 PM
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43: 49th parallel. This is one of few western-centric idioms used in Upper Canada.


Posted by: Econolicious | Link to this comment | 12-12-08 8:56 PM
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Okay, the pipes will be alright. The camp stove won't be a problem -- anyone who's been raised in hardcore New England isn't too stupid (except when they let the generator become fucked up).

I'm a little perturbed because the damn pellet stove she wanted so much -- rightly so, it saves a great deal in heating expense -- required blocking off the gorgeous stone fireplace. If she had the damn fireplace still, she'd be alright!

Stoopid pellet stove.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-12-08 9:00 PM
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Soup? What do you mean by a hard freeze? It's in the 'teens up there in NH at night.

Dripping pipes won't help you much in -40 if it gets into the ground. 'course, most places that will ever see that are set up for it. When I said really hard freeze, I wasn't suggesting it would be a problem for them in this situation.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 12-12-08 9:12 PM
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It would not be wise for her to fall asleep with the camp stove running: she either needs to crack a window (two windows) or shut it down at bedtime. Carbon monoxide, before it kills you, makes you stupid.

As for the pipes, if they run through the ceiling of the basement will be fine as long as the temp doesn't drop below freezing. Otherwise, flooded basement.

max
['In the teens is definitively a hard freeze.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 12-12-08 9:18 PM
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In Frozen River the kid used a blowtorch to keep the pipes from freezing and bursting. It didn't burn the house down, but it damaged its resale value severely.


Posted by: Cryptec nid | Link to this comment | 12-12-08 9:21 PM
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||

The Griz game is as exciting as any game ever. There's a minute and a half to play, and the Dukes have the ball, and all the momentum. But are down by 8.

|>


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 12-12-08 9:22 PM
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102

Apparently there's a playoff football game on national TV!

And...that turns out to be what Charley was going on about!


Posted by: Cryptec nid | Link to this comment | 12-12-08 9:24 PM
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and now it's over


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 12-12-08 9:26 PM
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So, tomorrow the other semi. Northern Iowa vs. Richmond. I'm torn. On the one hand, KUNI is a great campus radio station, or at least it was last time I drove 'cross Iowa. Against the Spiders.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 12-12-08 9:43 PM
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99: max, she's not using the camp stove to heat the place with. Only to boil water. And it's not even a camp stove, just a propane bottle with an attachable thing on top that you balance a pot of water on. I believe. Which things are actually kind of cool. I've never used one indoors.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-12-08 9:52 PM
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93: The other night it actually snowed here a little (snow on palm trees, weird). The property management people were all freaked out about losing pipes, but it didn't get cold enough to really worry about I suspect.

Not sure exactly where you are, but they are probably remembering some of the hard freezes in the past. In December 1983 I was in Houston when it got down near 10-15 and stayed below freezing for about 3 days. The amount of damage from frozen pipes was astounding; some estimated it as more than from Hurricane Alicia which had struck earlier that year. A lot of pipes ran through (and probably still do) uninsulated attics. Dripping helps, but is no guarantee.

At least in NH there is better insulation, but unfortunately as is usual following a coastal storm/nor'easter, the temperatures will be quite bitter for the next day or two (will moderate on Sunday).


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-12-08 10:05 PM
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Also from the great interactive map site for snow cover and snowfall provided by National Operational Hydrologic Remote Sensing Center (NOHRSC), here are the snowfall amounts for the last 2 days. Zoom in for detail. (As I kid I used to dream about being able to get maps like these.)


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-12-08 10:18 PM
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unfortunately as is usual following a coastal storm/nor'easter, the temperatures will be quite bitter for the next day or two

whimper.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-12-08 10:24 PM
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||

That's no moon.

|>


Posted by: feldspar | Link to this comment | 12-12-08 11:08 PM
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110

what is the name of the mouse shadow in the second moon?


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 12-13-08 12:57 AM
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111

Hey, I'm up at the same time as alameida is commenting!


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 12-13-08 1:14 AM
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hi ben! [waves vaguely in the direction of california]


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 12-13-08 2:37 AM
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Despite never having maintained a Singapore-appropriate sleep schedule in Singapore, I'm jetlagged into one here in California. Annoying.


Posted by: Neil the Ethical Werewolf | Link to this comment | 12-13-08 5:38 AM
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112: Micronesia is waving back.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-13-08 7:38 AM
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The amount of damage from frozen pipes was astounding;

Yeah, the potential was there, it just didn't actually happen. The real problem with a place like Houston is the entire infrastructure isn't set up for freezes. Lack of insulation is just the start, the city pipes are probably too close to the surface, the gauge may be too small in places, etc.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 12-13-08 8:03 AM
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Around here, you just come to have a fatalistic attitude about the pipes freezing. Sooner or later, it happens to everyone. Now, hot water heaters exploding, that's something worthy of comment.


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 12-13-08 8:19 AM
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115: Yeah, the potential was there, it just didn't actually happen

Yes, the exceptional thing in December, 1983 was its duration, per the National Weather Service it never got above freezing for 5 consecutive days. This year's snow and cold also continued an interesting pattern of harsh winter weather in southeast Texas during the winters following hurricane landfalls.

Yet, if you look at the weather records it seems that every time a big hurricane hits the Houston-Galveston area it snows during the month of December following the hurricane. It snowed in southeast Texas after Hurricane Carla in 1961, after Alicia in 1983 and after Jerry in 1989. Now we can add Hurricane Ike to the list as well. Furthermore, the December following Hurricane Jerry in 1989 was the coldest on record! The second coldest December on record was in 1983, following Hurricane Alicia.

Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-13-08 8:37 AM
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a fatalistic attitude about the pipes freezing

Oh man, that sucked when it happened to me in D.C.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 12-13-08 2:37 PM
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I always thought that Sir Kraab was a dude, because of the "Sir" bit. Next you'll be telling me that Dame Edna is a man.


Posted by: Gaijin Biker | Link to this comment | 12-14-08 8:59 AM
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