Foggy Open Thread

The fog has burned off now, but it was thick this morning:

Nobody was catching anything that I saw:

Except maybe this heron:

Please feel free to discuss whatever.

PS: Go Bucs!

66 replies
  1. 1
    Mnemosyne says:

    I wasn’t joking as much as I thought about my holiday craft sweatshop — I screwed up my lower back and aggravated an old sciatica injury just by sitting and knitting for way too long yesterday. I’m probably going to need to stand while I operate the Xyron to glue my tags together. Ouch.

  2. 2
    dmsilev says:

    Now that yesterday is over, my weekend (such as it is), can begin. We had ~600 visitors at work yesterday, and I was chief volunteer-wrangler and principal photographer and…

    I was dead on my feet by about 7 PM. Still, no major catastrophes, so I’ll take that as a victory.

    ( For the vaguely curious: . We’re a physics/chemistry department at the University of Chicago, and this is our annual Open House)

  3. 3
    Linda Featheringill says:

    Nice fog.

    I’ve lived on the East Coast for about a month now and we’ve had some really nice fogs in the mornings. Love ’em. Soft, mysterious, romantic in the literary sense.

  4. 4
    RobertDSC-PowerMac 466 says:

    Just because:

    Fuck you, Willard.

    Fuck you, GOP.

  5. 5
    Xenos says:

    I lived in Northern Florida for a couple years way back in the early 90s. I really like the place, but moved on to colder and busier places. Winter was just weeks upon weeks of lovely weather.

  6. 6
    Ben Franklin says:

    Novel idea; Jail the Bankers and bail out the people.

  7. 7
    Betty Cracker says:

    @dmsilev: Wow, that looks like a very cool event! And fraught with opportunities for catastrophes, so you’re right to take their absence as a victory!

  8. 8
    Alison says:

    @RobertDSC-PowerMac 466: There is never a wrong time for these sentiments, indeed.

  9. 9
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Xenos: The only season that sucks is summer.

  10. 10
    Hawes says:

    The Gill’s Got Heron?

    That revolution will not be televised.

  11. 11
  12. 12
    dmsilev says:

    @Betty Cracker: We’re pretty careful about the physically-dangerous stuff. No visitors are allowed to play with high voltages or liquid nitrogen or vacuum pumps or whatever without close supervision. The usual catastrophes tend to be logistical (i.e. last year, we ran out of lunches for the volunteers. Tragedy. Horror. Hunger.)

  13. 13
    jeffreyw says:

    Oyster catcher. We will be having pasta in a mushroom cream sauce tonight. h/t Yutsano

  14. 14
    Mnemosyne says:

    Also, though I will not claim to have the hippest taste in music, I’m really enjoying CeeLo Green’s Christmas album, CeeLo’s Magic Moment. How can you not love a Christmas album that includes classics (“Silent Night,” “The Christmas Song”), modern classics (“This Christmas,” “What Christmas Means to Me”) and the Muppets?

    You can’t. That’s what I’m saying, you just can’t.

  15. 15
    Amir Khalid says:

    Liverpool have come back from being 2-1 down at West Ham with fifteen minutes left (no thanks to an own goal by captain Stevie Gerrard) to leading 2-3. Can they hold on and win?

  16. 16
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Amir Khalid:
    Yes They Can!

  17. 17
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    Congratulations and thank you for the link to the pics. If just one of those youngsters takes up science then your very good deed will outlive us all.

  18. 18
    Mandalay says:

    Well another black passenger has been killed by someone shooting into a car. This time a WalMart security guard shot and killed a female passenger who was fleeing after apparently being caught shoplifting.

    The usual phony justification: the security guard (killer) “feared for his safety and opened fire”.

    One news video is blatantly hostile to the shoplifters, and flippant about the incident: “Shopping – uh, I mean shoplifting – can be deadly”. The report fails to mention that there was no need to fire the gun, there were kids in the back of the car, and that the woman killed was a passenger rather than the fleeing driver. The video ends with the comment “Just a reminder: crime doesn’t pay”.

    This country is so fucked up.

  19. 19
    Schlemizel says:

    We have 4 inches of snow so far & it is still coming down pretty hard.

    Dragged my sick behind out & ran the snow blower up & down the driveway & sidewalk. I live in a neighborhood where a lot of people walk, I feel like making that easier is something I have to do. Got back in & had a hot drink, now I think I’ll go back to bed for a couple of hours

  20. 20
    dmsilev says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate: That’s the basic idea. We work with local schools and community groups and so forth and try to bring in as many kids as possible and do as much as we can to engage them. Takes a hell of a lot of effort to bring off, but hopefully it does some good.

  21. 21
    Alison says:

    @Mandalay: Jesus fuck :/ And yeah, that is some bullshit. He was standing next to the open door of the car and she put it in reverse to “try to run him over”? How do you run over someone standing to the side of the car?

    Fucking trigger happy bastards. They think absolutely nothing of killing a person over any tiny thing. Shoplifting?? And you’re going to shoot to kill? What the fuck :(

  22. 22
    Amir Khalid says:

    Last I heard, shoplifting wasn’t a capital crime anywhere in America. And store security guards weren’t empowered to mete out vigilante justice. That guy should be looking at a manslaughter charge.

  23. 23
    Corner Stone says:

    @Mandalay: Where did you find the info about kids in the car?

  24. 24
    Corner Stone says:

    @Ben Franklin: I never get tired of reading this story. One of the better parts, IMO:
    “Although a number of bankers fled the country to avoid prosecution”

  25. 25
    scav says:

    “the greatest enemy to freedom is not the tyrant, but the contented slave”
    Kitty Marion, Suffragette

  26. 26
    Corner Stone says:

    @Amir Khalid: The surviving suspects are not being charged with shoplifting.

  27. 27
    IowaOldLady says:

    Beautiful pics.

  28. 28
    Mandalay says:


    How do you run over someone standing to the side of the car?

    Good question. Looks like the cops need to sort out their lies on this pretty quickly:

    Instead of stopping the car, the woman put it in drive, revving forward and dragging the deputy.

    “She threw it in reverse and tried to run over the deputy,” said Thomas Gilliland, a Harris County sheriff’s spokesman.

    So was the cop dragged forward, or was he run over when the driver reversed? How about neither?

    And I bet the woman the cop murdered is hindering the investigation by refusing to answer their questions.

  29. 29
    Alison says:

    @Mandalay: Well, obviously the woman was a magical wizard, and was doing both at once, and therefore was clearly a threat to the poor Muggle cop.


    And who has two stupid thumbs and made the mistake of reading comments at the Chron link? THIS LADY. Ugh. Humanity sucks.

  30. 30
    Mandalay says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Where did you find the info about kids in the car?


    Though Wilkerson said there were two young children in the car during the shooting, she said they were not her daughter’s children.

    The murdered mom had two kids, including a two year old daughter with sickle cell anemia. But looking on the bright side, Walmart always has low prices.

    I’ll say it again: this country is massively fucked up. It is sick.

  31. 31
    MikeJ says:

    @Corner Stone:

    The surviving suspects are not being charged with shoplifting.

    As soon as a civil suit is filed against WalMart the criminal charges against the victims will pop up.

  32. 32
    bemused says:

    Tom Coburn told George Snuffle today that SS/Medicare are not absolutely necessary. Some group should send every one of his constituents especially the seniors a transcript of that gem.

  33. 33
    Mandalay says:


    As soon as a civil suit is filed against WalMart the criminal charges against the victims will pop up.

    But surely there is some time limit on the authorities deciding to file or not file charges?

    My guess would be that Walmart would want to pay off the victim’s family pretty quickly, and end the matter. However, I doubt that the cops will be so willing to overlook the driver allegedly attempting to run over the cop.

  34. 34
    Maude says:

    I bet you’re right.

  35. 35
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @Ben Franklin: @Corner Stone:

    I couldn’t agree more with both of you. The argument that no laws were broken in our financial meltdown has always suggested to me that no one seriously looked to see if there were (cough, Geithner, cough). It warms my cinder of a heart to think that at least some bankers somewhere had to flee to avoid prosecution.

  36. 36
    Mandalay says:

    And here is another example of Walmart’s ruthless devotion to always having low prices:

    According to the DeKalb County police report, a man stole two DVD players from the Walmart on Fairington Road in Lithonia. The report said two Walmart employees and a security officer caught him in the parking lot. During a scuffle, the report said, it appears the man was placed in a choke hold.

    When police arrived, the man was unresponsive and bleeding from the nose and mouth.

    Walmart loves its customers to death.

    This country is sick and fucked up.

  37. 37
    J. Michael Neal says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate: The question isn’t whether laws were broken; some were, though fewer than a lot of people seem to think. It’s whether it’s possible to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a specific person broke a specific law. The DoJ did prosecute some people. They lost in court.

    It is very difficult to get convictions on financial crimes. In one case, for fraud in putting together a CDO, the prosecution had emails in which the defendants bragged to each other about how they were putting one over on the buyers. The jury acquitted. Henry Samueli was acquitted of options backdating despite basically admitting what was done.

    So, before complaining, incorrectly, that no one was prosecuted, explain *who* should be prosecuted, on *what* specific charges, and *how* the crime would be proved to a jury.

  38. 38
    scav says:

    re: WalMart. For many, it’s not the infant in the manger they worship in practice but the proverbial dog.

  39. 39
    The Red Pen says:

    Best Wingnut freak-out in a long time:

    Worth the click if you like gawking at wingnuts.

  40. 40
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @J. Michael Neal:

    So, before complaining, incorrectly, that no one was prosecuted, explain who should be prosecuted, on what specific charges, and how the crime would be proved to a jury.

    Well, J. Michael, other than the inhibiting factor of pursuing a career on the ocean (And not being omniscient) rather than in corporate law, I don’t have the answers to your questions. Non-lawyer, even non-sea lawyer that I am, I would suggest that fraud may have been involved.

    I would add that your demand to know who (And I’ll leave out your bold bolding as well as the notion that it should be “whom will be prosecuted”) should be prosecuted is evocative of the joke that has St. Peter asking one aspirant to entry into heaven to name the greatest maritime disaster of all time and then asking the next to name all of those who were lost.

  41. 41
    Msskwesq says:

    Hey everyone: I love reading your posts about your local comings and goings, the weather, etc. but sometimes I cannot figure out where you are generally. It would be great to give a location in your posts so I can know where it’s snowing and where photos are taken and so on. Thank you for all the interesting posts!

  42. 42
    gbear says:


    CeeLo Green’s Christmas album, CeeLo’s Magic Moment.

    Does it have a song called ‘Fuck Snow’? I would have that song on non-stop repeat today. We’re getting hammered in the Twin Cities. (well, not so much hammered as blanketed. no high winds yet).

  43. 43
    J. Michael Neal says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate: In other words, you don’t have a clue. As I said, the DoJ has prosecuted for fraud and the defendants walked. So your vague statement that fraud may have been involved is worthless. You can’t prosecute the passive voice.

  44. 44
    gene108 says:


    Coburn isn’t seeking re-election.

    He’s sticking to whatever term limits were set down in the Contract on America he signed onto in 1994.

    He’s served 3 terms in the House. This is his second term in the Senate, after which per the Contract’s terms he should not seek re-election.

  45. 45
    WaterGirl says:

    @dmsilev: Nobody ditched a bunch of visitors in a tunnel in some building somewhere?

    Apologies if my recollection of details from last year is completely wrong.

  46. 46
    Brachiator says:


    Great photos. Looks like everyone had a wonderful time.

  47. 47
    dmsilev says:

    @WaterGirl: Good memory! It wasn’t strictly speaking a tunnel, but it was the subbasement. And no, we didn’t have a repeat of that particular oopsie.

  48. 48
    Corner Stone says:

    @dmsilev: Did anyone accidentally shrink their kids?

  49. 49
    WaterGirl says:

    @dmsilev: It’s really best if all the screw-ups are new each year. Helps keep the whole thing fresh!

    The university of illinois used to do an engineering open house and an agricultural open house. The engineering one was pretty cool, with some kind of robot competition. They stopped doing the agricultural one – to save money and all that time and effort. I thought that was a very short-sighted decision. Hoping engineering didn’t ditch theirs, too, but too lazy to google.

    Anyway, that’s probably why I recall your open house so vividly, because I can relate.

  50. 50
    bemused says:


    Ah, that explains why he doesn’t care if he shows what’s in his shriveled heart.

  51. 51

    @gbear: Wrong genre, but I lol’d anyway.

  52. 52
    dmsilev says:

    @Corner Stone: We didn’t get any complaints along those lines, so as far as I’m concerned, any such events didn’t happen. Even if they did actually happen. Which they didn’t.

  53. 53
    Gus says:

    Ha! Six inches of snow and still falling in Minneapolis. It’s absolutely beautiful.

  54. 54
    Yutsano says:

    @gene108: Pfft. That’s a PLEDGE. This year they’re all given free passes out of any and all pledges made becuz Grover.

  55. 55
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @J. Michael Neal:
    I have, at least, the certainty that you’re an asshole. So, no one did anything that was illegal. Right.

  56. 56
    WaterGirl says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate: Not sure if you saw it, but I left a comment for you on the marauding hens thread from this morning (#129).

    @J. Michael Neal: I saw a comment from you in the past week or so about another job interview. Last thing I saw was “I want this job”. Any activity on that front?

  57. 57
    J. Michael Neal says:

    @WaterGirl: I haven’t heard back yet.

    Yet. Let’s keep thinking that word.

  58. 58
    J. Michael Neal says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate:

    So, no one did anything that was illegal. Right.

    Of course, I said nothing of the kind. Try again without making shit up.

  59. 59
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    Thank you. I replied.

  60. 60
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @J. Michael Neal:
    Umm, two failed prosecutions so everything’s cool? In Making shit up, you’re a Master Class.

  61. 61
    WaterGirl says:

    @J. Michael Neal: Crossing my fingers. Seems like it would be really great if you could get this job.

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate: @J. Michael Neal: If this argument is a good outlet for job-seeking stress & stress of a loved one with serious health issues (respectively), more power to you, carry on. If it’s adding to the stress for either or both of you, I hope you’ll walk away.

  62. 62
    J. Michael Neal says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate: I never said that, either. What I said is that prosecuting financial crimes is a lot harder than you seem to think that it is and that if you have no idea what’s involved, bitching about the DoJ not engaging in prosecutions that have little chance of success is pretty damned pointless and also a good example of blaming entirely the wrong people.

    On the other hand, if you can point to an instance of financial crime that should be prosecuted because a conviction is likely, I’m all ears.

  63. 63
    J. Michael Neal says:

    @WaterGirl: Having people blame the administration for a lack of prosecutions when they don’t understand what it takes to actually secure a conviction is one of my big pet peeves. Pursuing cases in which a conviction is unlikely is both a waste of resources and deeply unethical on the part of the DoJ.

    If you want to change this, then what you need to do is to tell your congressman to change the laws as to what constitutes a financial crime. If you do that, though, then you need to make sure you understand the legislation that gets passed. The hyperventilating on the part of much of the left that Dodd-Frank didn’t do things that it really did do was embarrassing.

  64. 64
    WaterGirl says:

    @J. Michael Neal: JUMP! You fuckers pretty much describes where I stand on the bankers, but I am not getting into the discussion.

    It’s stressful enough for me to just watch it. Since you are still at it, I am closing this tab. :-)

  65. 65
    J. Michael Neal says:

    @WaterGirl, or anyone still reading: If it makes you feel better, that’s how I feel about the bankers, too. It would certainly make the world a better place. That doesn’t mean that they’re prosecutable, though.

  66. 66
    nellcote says:

    What’s the DoJ Fraud Division been up to lately? Let’s see:

    News for December, 2012

    Former Rochdale Securities Trader Arrested in Connecticut

    December 5, 2012 | External Link

    Justice Department Recovers Nearly $5 Billion in False Claims Act Cases in Fiscal Year 2012

    December 4, 2012 | External Link

    Return to Top

    News for November, 2012

    New Jersey Man Sentenced to 54 Months in Prison for Half-Billion Dollar Fraud Scheme with Thousands of Victims Worldwide

    November 30, 2012 | External Link

    Former Director of Accounting and Outside Auditor of American Mortgage Specialists Inc. Plead Guilty to Roles in Fraud Against BNC National Bank

    November 30, 2012 | External Link

    Two Former Stock Brokers Charged In New York For Insider Trading Scheme That Netted $1 Million

    November 29, 2012 | External Link

    Former Executive at Florida-Based Lender Processing Services Inc. Admits Role in Mortgage-Related Document Fraud Scheme

    November 20, 2012 | External Link

    Residential Mortgage-Backed Securities Working Group Members Announce Charges Against Credit Suisse

    November 20, 2012 | External Link

    Former Hedge Fund Portfolio Manager Charged in New York for $276 Million Insider Trading Scheme Involving Alzheimer’s Disease Drug Trial

    November 20, 2012 | External Link

    Department of Justice Announces $15 Million Settlement with Delaware Bank Accused of Consumer Fraud

    November 19, 2012 | External Link

    Rhode Island Estate Planning CEO & Employee Plead Guilty to Obtaining Millions in Death Benefits and Investments in the Names of Terminally Ill Individuals

    November 19, 2012 | External Link

    SEC Charges J.P. Morgan and Credit Suisse with Misleading Investors in RMBS Offerings

    November 16, 2012 | External Link

    Justice Department Announces Sweep of Criminal and Civil Business Opportunity Cases

    November 15, 2012 | External Link

    Las Vegas Woman Convicted for Role in Mortgage Fraud Scheme

    November 9, 2012 | External Link

    Hedge Fund Principal Arrested for Allegedly Stealing Over $1 Million in Investor Funds

    November 9, 2012 | External Link

    President of Investment Fund Pleads Guilty in Manhattan Federal Court to Perpetrating $2 Million Ponzi Scheme

    November 9, 2012 | External Link

    North Carolina Real Estate Investor Pleads Guilty to Mail Fraud Scheme for the Purchase of Real Estate at Public Foreclosure Auctions

    November 8, 2012 | External Link

    Former Vice President of Investor Relations for a Georgia Company Indicted in Long-Running Insider Trading Schemes

    November 7, 2012 | External Link

    Three Are Convicted of Fraud Involving Recovery Funds

    November 7, 2012 | External Link

    Northern California Real Estate Investor Agrees to Plead Guilty to Bid Rigging at Public Foreclosure Auctions

    November 1, 2012 | External Link

    Return to Top

    News for October, 2012

    Denver Insurance Executive Indicted for Insider Trading

    October 26, 2012 | External Link

    Expert Networking Firm Consultant Sentenced in New York to One Year and One Day in Prison for Insider Trading Conspiracy Charge

    October 25, 2012 | External Link

    Former Chairman Of Consulting Firm And Board Director, Rajat Gupta, Sentenced In Manhattan Federal Court To Two Years In Prison For Insider Trading

    October 24, 2012 | External Link

    Seventeen Members of a North Carolina Racketeering Enterprise Indicted on Investment Fraud, Mortgage Fraud and Related Charges

    October 24, 2012 | External Link

    Bank of America Sued in New York for Over $1 Billion for Multi-year Mortgage Fraud Against Government Sponsored Entities Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

    October 24, 2012 | External Link

    President of Costa Rican Company Sentenced to 60 Years in Prison for Half-Billion Dollar Fraud Scheme with Thousands of Victims Worldwide

    October 23, 2012 | External Link

    Former Officers of American Mortgage Specialists Inc. Plead Guilty in North Dakota to Conspiracy in $27 Million Fraud Against Bnc National Bank

    October 19, 2012 | External Link

    Three Former Financial Services Executives Sentenced to Serve Time in Prison for Roles in Conspiracies Involving Investment Contracts for the Proceeds of Municipal Bonds

    October 18, 2012 | External Link

    Connecticut Man Sentenced to Serve Two Years in Prison for Running Investment Fraud Scheme

    October 16, 2012 | External Link

    Attorney General Eric Holder Speaks at the Southeastern Regional Investor Fraud Summit

    October 12, 2012 | External Link

    Justice Department Settles with Florida Bus Companies Over Accessibility Violations

    October 11, 2012 | External Link

    Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force Members Reveal Results of Distressed Homeowner Initiative

    October 9, 2012 | External Link

    Attorney General Eric Holder Speaks at the Distressed Homeowner Initiative Press Conference

    October 9, 2012 | External Link

    Arrests Announced of Two Sales Brokers in Broker-dealer Mark-up Scheme

    October 5, 2012 | External Link

    Ponzi Schemer Sentenced to More Than Eight Years in Federal Prison

    October 4, 2012 | External Link

    Software Company CEO Charged in New York for $2 Million Securities Fraud Scheme

    October 3, 2012 | External Link

    Residential Mortgage-Backed Securities Working Group Members Announce First Legal Action

    October 2, 2012 | External Link

    U.S. Attorney for the District of Colorado John Walsh Speaks at the Residential Mortgage-Backed Securities Working Group Press Conference

    October 2, 2012 | External Link

    Acting Associate Attorney General Tony West Speaks at the Residential Mortgage-Backed Securities Working Group Press Conference

    October 2, 2012 | External Link

    Florida Businessman Pleads Guilty in Connection with $13 Million Fraud Scheme Involving Phony Shares of Facebook and Groupon Stock

    October 2, 2012 | External Link

    Investor Fraud Summits Across the Country Arm Consumers with Information to Protect Retirement Funds and Life Savings

    October 1, 2012 | External Link

    Additional Charges Filed Against Former Employees of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC

    October 1, 2012 | External Link

    Pennsylvania Foreclosure Rescue Scammers Sentenced to Serve Time in Prison

    October 1, 2012 | External Link

    Indictment Filed Charging Financial Executives with Fraudulent Schemes

    October 1, 2012 | External Link

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