Saturday Morning Open Thread: Will the Eclipse Confuse the Beasts?

You think it drives just animals nuts? It’s causing thousands of otherwise sane humans to visit Hopkinsville, KY — WaPo commentor

Per the Washington Post, “During the solar eclipse, animals will be extremely confused“:

Margarita Woc Colburn’s childhood memories of a July 1991 total solar eclipse in Central America are of a social gathering for excited adult relatives who spent hours waiting for an event that was over in minutes.

But the future veterinarian’s gaze was drawn earthward.

“I was looking down on a valley in Guatemala, and I just remember the flock of birds, this massive thing going down to the trees getting ready for nesting, just like what you see at night,” Woc Colburn said, describing a short span when the moon completely obscured the sun. “Then, it felt like a new day. Birds came out and were singing.”

Today she is an associate veterinarian and researcher at the Nashville Zoo at Grassmere — which is in the path of totality. During Monday’s total solar eclipse, Woc Colburn’s primary concern once again will be on the animals she has made her life’s work. She predicts birds are likely to provide the greatest spectacle this time around, too.

“We might see something similar with the starlings,” she said. “I’m interested to see whether they go to roost. It will get very noisy if they do.”

Woc Colburn thinks additional bird species and other zoo animals such as lemurs, clouded leopards and kangaroos may also begin to exhibit nighttime habits when totality hits, whether that’s waking up, going to sleep or lining up for a feeding.

It’s all speculation, however, which is something Woc Colburn finds quite surprising.

There is scant research on animal behavior during solar eclipses, owing primarily to the rarity of such events and the difficulty of recording enough observations. That’s poised to change…

Observers nationwide, including visitors to the Nashville Zoo, are being encouraged to join an ambitious and unprecedented attempt at crowdsourced scientific research by using the California Academy of Sciences’ iNaturalist app to document animal reactions.

Nashville researchers also plan to scrape social media postings that tag the zoo. Spokesman Jim Bartoo said researchers will accept any analog observations that are submitted…

Eclipse watchers are bracing for a major bummer should clouds obscure their view. While Woc Colburn agrees that would be a serious letdown, she also noted that clouds shouldn’t affect how animals react, so those who choose to spend the eclipse at the zoo won’t be wholly deprived of a unique experience…

From the earlier WaPo story on the iNaturalist app:

Created by the California Academy of Sciences, iNaturalist allows anyone to take a picture of an animal (or plant or fungi or whatever) and make an attempt to identify it. Then others, including experts, weigh in on whether your ID is correct or not…

On the day of the eclipse, the app will feature a special drawdown menu that allows you to record observations leading up to, during, and after the astronomical event. Simply keep an eye out for any interesting or unusual behavior and snap a few pics while you enjoy the show…

I’ve never tried to download any apps to my second-hand Galaxy S6, but I may have to encourage my ombraphilic Spousal Unit to do so for the big event. Since he plans for us to observe the partial eclipse from our back yard, this will put him into a Virgo dilemma — on the one hand, he could record any unusual behavior on the part of our little rescue dogs; on the other hand, he’ll be terrified that they’ll damage their retinas…

(For the record, I predict even Sydney, who is the youngest and most nervous of our pack, will pay absolutely no attention whatsoever to the Great Event. And even were he to notice, dogs don’t stare at the sun. But if I’m gonna be dragged out to watch the show, I might as well enjoy whatever side benefits I can derive.)

Apart from eclipse-watching preparation, what’s on the agenda for the day?

175 replies
  1. 1
    Keith P. says:

    I’m watching the Colbert-Mooch interview thinking that this guy would have actually made a good communications director. It would have been a lot of bull-in-china-shop stuff, but he’s thoroughly engaging and has a very good TV personality. Would probably work with just him and Trump, though, since any chief-of-staff is going to hate him.

  2. 2
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    Awww damn: The smoking lamp is out: Chief Wana Dubie dead at 58

    Chief Wana Dubie (born Joseph Bickell) died in his hometown of Salem, Mo., about 130 miles southwest of St. Louis. He was 58. Saying he was a man who “devoted his life to being a perpetual thorn in the side of the man,” a memorial column in the Salem News reported that Dubie “died at peace on Thursday.”

    Dubie’s biggest hit occurred last year when he staged the “Dubie vs. Blunt” campaign to unseat incumbent U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, a Republican. His platform focused on term limits and 100 percent legalization of marijuana.
    Dubie also was the subject of a documentary in 2011, “Wana Dubie’s War,” which carries the blurb “When the Government Declared a War on Drugs, Chief Wana Dubie Declared War Back.”

    He was a character. RIP

  3. 3
    BC in Illinois says:

    Agenda for Saturday and Sunday – – continuously monitor “

    Forecast for Monday in St. Louis:

    Intervals of clouds and sunshine. High 92F. Winds S at 5 to 10 mph.

    In other words, “chance of eclipse.”

    The same for the part of Illinois that I used to live in. We shall see. I may be standing on Monday on the front yard of my house, in the area of total totality, drum circle at the ready (djembe, bodhrans, and various hand drums), gazing at the clouds.

  4. 4
  5. 5
    rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone 😐😐😐

  6. 6
    Felonius Monk says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Sad news indeed. RIP Dubie.

  7. 7

    @Keith P.: Yeah, he came off as surprisingly affable and earnest. Despite my natural inclination to dislike anyone associated with this shitstorm of an administration, I came out of the interview somewhat liking him.

  8. 8

    @OzarkHillbilly: I didn’t know much about him before, but that’s a shame. He sounds like a good guy. R.I.P.

  9. 9
    Baud says:

    @rikyrah: Good morning.

  10. 10
    Greg Ferguson says:

    First good one I saw was in Chicago, late 70’s – and, yes, birds flew and sang as if for twilight. Not total, but the air changed, clouds formed…quite astonishing. Wherever you are, look at shadows – the crescent sun will appear under every tree’s leaf pattern.

  11. 11
    Keith P. says:

    @(((CassandraLeo))): He’s a natural for television…he’ll probably have his own nightly show soon. He really is everything Trump wishes he was (Mooch’s sense of fashion gets a big thumps-up for me, a former fine menswear employee; Trump’s look has about 5 things wrong – minimum – and only 1-2 things I can spot right)

  12. 12
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    In reading your last post Anne, you finally got me to scratch an itch that had been tickling my brain for a while.

    Steve Bannon sounds like a James Bond pseudonym;

    Mainly, where do I know that name from? So I looked it up and Yep, Johnny Quest: Race Bannon His bio reads,

    Roger T. “Race” Bannon is a special agent, bodyguard, and pilot from Intelligence One. Governmental fears that Jonny could “fall into the wrong hands” resulted in Bannon’s assignment to guard and tutor him.[12] Race was born in Wilmette, Illinois, to John and Sarah Bannon.[13] He is an expert in judo, having a third-degree black belt as well as the ability to defeat noted experts in various martial arts, including sumo wrestlers. The character was voiced by Mike Road, with his design modeled on actor Jeff Chandler.[14] The name is a combination of Race Dunhill and Stretch Bannon from an earlier Doug Wildey comic strip.[3] The surname Bannon is Irish (from ‘O’Banain’) meaning “white”.[15][16]

    Not being Irish, I was completely ignorant of this.

  13. 13

    Since it’s only like 60% here, I may just sleep though it and concentrate on taking pics of the Milky Way and attempting to get a good pic of Andromeda. I found out that some of my attempts at taking panoramas of the Milky actually captured a blury star that’s actually the Andromeda Galaxy.

  14. 14
    bystander says:

    Watching the Rachel Maddow rerun from last night. She does the best job of bringing events together and showing the patterns that tell the truth. She’s analyzing Trump’s entourage of campaign people he had never had anything to do with in his life. Can’t watch her at night because I get too torqued.

  15. 15
  16. 16
    JAFD says:

    If I may ask:

    Have you read Stephen Crane’s _The Red Badge of Courage_?
    Yes, it was assigned reading in junior high or high school
    Yes, because I wanted to

    I think it is:
    A Really Great Work Of American Literature
    Not That Great, but…

    There should be a marker or plaque at Stephen Crane’s birthplace:
    Who cares

    As his birthplace is a few blocks from my home, and is not currently marked, am thinking of writing letter to Mayor Baraka about it, so “running idea up the flagpole” here. Thanks for your thoughts about this.

  17. 17
    rikyrah says:

    Morning Poco, Ivan and John Lennon. Glad to hear that Poco is on the mend.😄

  18. 18
    Kristine says:

    @rikyrah: 😊 Good morning!

    I downloaded the app, Anne. Looking forward to using it. Not sure about Monday, though. Odds of cloud ☁️ cover increasing here in far NE Illinois.

  19. 19
    rikyrah says:

    Sister update: she had been moved from ICU to a regular room.She still has issues that they have to get under control, but she’s out of ICU and that is a positive step.

  20. 20
    Mary G says:

    @rikyrah: Wonderful news! Hope they can get her home soon.

  21. 21
    p.a. says:

    @rikyrah: good! One step at a time.
    Also too, good morning.

  22. 22
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @rikyrah: Getting out of ICU is big. Just mentally, emotionally, it’s a relief. Good news indeed.

  23. 23
    Baud says:

    @rikyrah: I am pleased.

  24. 24
    gene108 says:


    Good news. I hope she remains on the mend.

  25. 25
    TriassicSands says:


    That’s great news. Step-by-step…

  26. 26
    Lapassionara says:

    @rikyrah: Good news. Thanks for letting us know.

    Also, thanks for this post, AL. I was considering watching the critters in my neighborhood during the eclipse, and now I know what to look for.

  27. 27

    @Keith P.: Mooch handled the Colbert interview well, I thought, as did Colbert. I laughed at the gift of a “front stabbing” knife.

  28. 28
    Betty says:

    @JAFD: A marker sounds like a good idea to me. His book certainly should remind people about the horrors of the Civil War.

  29. 29
    Quinerly says:

    Good morning from a recovering Poco (surgery went w/o a hitch, waiting on test results) and his kitty advisers! His tribe is sending positive and healing thoughts to your sister. Hoping things are improving each day.🐾🐾

  30. 30
    Emily68 says:

    @Greg Ferguson: In Seattle in maybe the late 70s there was an almost total eclipse & it got pretty dark. We in the office had been speculating about whether the birds would sing or not sing or whatever, but what really happened was all the people hushed up & we just looked outside at the darkness for a couple of minutes with our mouths agape.. Nobody went to bed, though.

  31. 31
    Quinerly says:

    It was an excellent show last night. Must see tv. I thought she nailed the stuff about Tillerson…sure, Trump was listening to Gates and C. Rice with that appointment….give me a fucking break.

  32. 32
    Betty Cracker says:

    We’ll have about an 80% eclipse where I am, but I’ll be watching to see if my hens roost. They don’t wait until full dark to do so — they file in around dusk, so it’s a possibility.

  33. 33
    Quinerly says:

    He was pretty stoned last night from the drugs. Mouth hurts this AM but he’s a trooper. I hope he feels well enough for doggie daycare on Monday for the eclipse. I’m going to be at an eclipse birthday party. Poco freaks during most weather events. Don’t know about eclipses but don’t want to leave him alone with only his kitty advisers.🐾🐾

  34. 34
    debbie says:

    @Keith P.:

    And that would be why he’s a great salesman. He’ll be better off slithering back to the hedge fund he oozed out of.

  35. 35
    Quinerly says:


  36. 36
    debbie says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    86% here and mostly sunny. I figure there will be plenty of photos and video of the sun, so I’m instead going in search of strange shadow patterns.

  37. 37
  38. 38
    David 🍁Canadian Anchor Baby🍁 Koch says:

    @Keith P.: Meh. Hitler was a good dancer. And a great painter — he could paint an entire apartment in one afternoon; two coats.

  39. 39
  40. 40
    RedDirtGirl says:

    @rikyrah: So glad to hear that!!!!

  41. 41
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Betty Cracker: With 80% occlusion it doesn’t even look any darker than usual–brightness perception is logarithmic. The one thing you might notice besides funny shadows of the trees is that the heat of the Sun is pleasantly diminished.

  42. 42
    Barney says:

    I watched the 1999 eclipse in Britain on a beach with fields behind us. There was total cloud cover, so things crept up on you a bit – at first, it was just like darkening when black clouds quickly obscure the sun and sky in late afternoon (though this was a summer mid-morning). Cows in the fields started to moo noticeably as the onset of darkness became quicker, and about the point at which totality started (according to watches, and when it was properly dark), a flock of birds flew out to sea. No idea what kinds of birds, of course, since it was dark. But roosting isn’t a universal reaction by birds.

  43. 43
    David 🍁Canadian Anchor Baby🍁 Koch says:

    Even the liberal Wall Street:

    Traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange erupted in cheers and applause Friday, as White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon’s departure from the Trump administration was announced.

  44. 44
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: Thanx for that.

  45. 45
    JPL says:

    Thanks for the handy information about pets. I was planning on watching with neighbors, but now I might stay closer to home.
    If Finch gets scared, he normally goes to his crate. My son is venturing 100 miles north so he can see 100 percent coverage.
    That means he’ll be stuck in a traffic jam when it happens. lol

  46. 46
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Matt McIrvin: Well, rats. I was going by the ZIP code eclipse preview animation on Vox, which definitely shows the sky darkening considerably. Glad you told me now so I won’t be disappointed on Monday.

  47. 47
    satby says:

    @rikyrah: Good morning and yay for your sister! 🎉

  48. 48
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Betty Cracker: Pay attention to the shadows. It’s pretty cool to see little eclipse crescents everywhere.

  49. 49
    MomSense says:


    Good news! Hopefully she will continue to improve. Hope you are caring for yourself, too.

  50. 50
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Betty Cracker: It does not darken much but there is a different quality to the light. Really hard to explain and you might not even notice it at first, but it is definitely there.

  51. 51
    Schlemazel says:

    I have never heard of him before, I feel poorer for that.

  52. 52
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    Cities across the country are debating the best response to planned rallies by white supremacists following the deadly “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, VA. A white nationalst rally planned for San Francisco has frustrated elected officials as the planned site of Crissy Field is part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, meaning Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has legal jurisdiction.

    With government efforts to stop the rally stymied by the Trump administration, San Francisco residents are organizing to have the rally site covered in dog feces. “Leave a gift for our Alt-Right friends,” suggests a Facebook event that has gone viral. “Take your dog to Crissy Field and let them do their business and be sure not to clean it up!”

    There are over 700 people who have said they will be attending and over 4,000 more are interested in the event. A dog feces response could be overwhelming in city famous for having more dogs than children. Less than 38,000 San Franciscans voted for Donald Trump, but there are an estimated 120,000 dogs in the city.

    Pretty much the perfect response.

  53. 53
    Baud says:

    @David 🍁Canadian Anchor Baby🍁 Koch:

    From what I’m reading, Bannon may well have been the one person who lived up to the fact that “socialist” was right there in the name. It explains Wall Street’s reaction.

  54. 54
    JPL says:

    @Matt McIrvin: I have 98 percent coverage. I have friends in Seneca, SC who will have full coverage, but I made the decision not to be stuck in traffic traveling that way.

  55. 55
    JPL says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: What a great idea!

  56. 56
    Yarrow says:

    Good morning, everyone.

    @Matt McIrvin: That’s what I’m planning to do. Just look at shadows and look for the crescents.

    And here’s some good news:

    President Trump and first lady Melania Trump have elected not to attend the annual Kennedy Center Honors in December amid a political backlash among those who will be feted at the event.

    The first family will not participate “to allow the honorees to celebrate without any political distraction,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement Saturday morning.

  57. 57
    Baud says:

    @Yarrow: A lie. Trump doesn’t want to go so they created this excuse to make him look gracious.

    Along with being disinterested, he is probably afraid of getting booed.

  58. 58
    Schlemazel says:

    Sorry, I missed what happened to her but I am glad to know she is on the upswing, Hope she has a speedy recovery

  59. 59
    ThresherK says:

    @Yarrow: Bout fckin’ time.

    Used to be winning a title, then going to the White House (even during the Shrub years) was a PR opportunity and a respect-the-institution thing you did as an athlete–even the guys and gals riding the pine! Joining some meaningless “Presidential Commission on whatever” was a thing someone does. Maybe it makes a semi-useless statement or issues a white paper, but it’s not exactly in the planning room for D-Day.

    Not any longer.

    Everything Trump touches turns to shite, dudden it?

  60. 60
    Amir Khalid says:

    A President of the United States, shunned by polite society in his own country. I never thought I would see the day, but then again I never thought I would see a POTUS deserve it.

  61. 61
    Schlemazel says:

    I have not read it since Jr. High. At the time I was deeply into sci-fi (that is just the right age for Heinlein, particularly his juvie works) so I started out being pretty bored with it. I remember getting into it and enjoying it though. Your comment has got me wondering if I should pick it up again.

    As for a marker, sure, why not? His work is still read today which is more than you can say for many authors. He wrote a novel with merit and that should be recognized

  62. 62
    Victor Matheson says:

    @JPL: please reconsider! I have never seen a full, and I am missing this. But my uncle, an astrophysicist who will be viewing his sixth full one, says there is nothing like the full eclipse. The difference between 98% and 100% is, literally, night and day. 98% will be cool, but 100% is spectacular. The sun is so bright that even 2% remarkably changes the experience fundamentally.

    I am already planning on 2024 in Montreal.

  63. 63
    Cheryl from Maryland says:

    @JAFD: I think it is a great idea. Many critics consider “The Red Badge of Courage” a forerunner to 20th C modernism — it is not a straight narrative, but more anecdotal; it is cinematic and visual; it is about a change in psyche rather than a conventional hero’s journey; it has no specific references to time (think about the film Dunkirk). It is nothing like any book written in the 19th C and very few now. It was admired by and influenced Hemingway and Salinger, among others. As Mayor Baraka’s father was both a WWII serviceman and a poet (also born in Newark), perhaps your suggestion can emphasize Mr. Crane’s art in portraying the realities of battle as well as the book’s importance in the development of contemporary literature, poetry and film. Heck, Mayor Baraka’s father deserves a marker as well. Highlight the arts in Newark.

  64. 64
    Schlemazel says:

    cheese! Poco too? I know I have been away a lot but I didn’t know about that either. good to hear things went well those results will be good news

  65. 65
    Yarrow says:

    @Baud: I’m sure he didn’t care about going, but that’s not the whole story. Five honorees said they would boycott the traditional White House reception. Since Trump probably didn’t care about any of it, it wouldn’t surprise me if Kelly or someone like that just decided to cancel it to avoid another PR hit.

    In any case, the good news is he’s not going.

  66. 66
    Schlemazel says:

    @David 🍁Canadian Anchor Baby🍁 Koch:
    One of my all time favorite movie lines. From the original Batman
    “Now it’s true what they say about Boss Grissom, he was a murderer and a fiend. On the other hand he had a lovely singing voice.” – the Joker

  67. 67
    p.a. says:


    Cities across the country are debating the best response to planned rallies by white supremacists

    Firehoses are a traditional response. Of course, they have benn used to being at the other end. Things change…

  68. 68
    Schlemazel says:

    Now there is a plan I could get behind! We don’t have a dog but if I lived there I would be collecting it from neighbors for a week just to leave it

  69. 69
    Yarrow says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    A President of the United States, shunned by polite society in his own country.

    Indeed. And I guess that makes those rabid crowds at this rallies not members of polite society.

  70. 70
    Schlemazel says:

    No, those crowds at his rallies made themselves not part of polite society. Hell, they are barely members of society let alone polite

  71. 71
    MattF says:

    @Amir Khalid: Are you suggesting that we’re polite here? I beg to differ.

  72. 72
    Baud says:

    @Amir Khalid: He thinks he’s entitled by virtue of the office and doesn’t have to respect the office in return. He was mistaken.

  73. 73
    eclare says:

    I just plan to give my dog a treat, and I predict the cat won’t care. I think my area (Memphis) is around 90%.

  74. 74
    Baud says:


    Are you suggesting that we’re polite here? I beg to differ.

    That’s how polite society says “fuck you.”

  75. 75
    A Ghost to Most says:

    Beautiful day here – the sun is up, and shining off North Table Mtn.

    Off to the farmers’ market and the Golden Arts Festival.

    The Kenn Cen honors should be headed by Americans, not Russians.

  76. 76
    eclare says:

    @Keith P.: Thought the same about Mooch, and that he has a sense of humor, which seems lacking in so many.

  77. 77
    Viva BrisVegas says:

    @JPL: Bad move.

    98% doesn’t cut it. The light gets a bit eerie, but that’s it. Nothing special.

    Go get the 100% and stuff the traffic. If the sky is clear it will be worth it.

  78. 78
    eclare says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Sounds like it, RIP.

  79. 79
    El Caganer says:

    Went to Virginia Beach with some buddies in the early 70’s (?) to catch a total eclipse. Don’t remember it too clearly since we were all trashed on acid. Probably have some great memories – I just can’t access them. Oh, well….

  80. 80
  81. 81
    germy says:

    Scheme To Get Republicans a 53d Senate Seat Collapses As Manchin Stays Put

    Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) is quashing speculation that he’ll leave the Senate to become President Trump’s Energy secretary.

    The Democratic senator, who is facing a tough 2018 reelection bid, said at a town hall that he would not be jumping to the Trump administration.

  82. 82
    MattF says:

    @germy: So… what’s his name is leaving the Cabinet?

  83. 83
    eclare says:

    @rikyrah: So glad to hear.

  84. 84
    germy says:

    We’ll have about 66% eclipse here.

    The way the local news anchors are hyping it, though, there’ll be a lot of disappointed people on Monday, I imagine.

  85. 85
    Baud says:

    @germy: Give it 4 weeks. That rumor will be back.

  86. 86
    germy says:

    @MattF: Icahn?

  87. 87
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @El Caganer: If you remember the ’70s, you weren’t there.

  88. 88
    MattF says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Or, in my case, the ’60s.

  89. 89
    Yarrow says:

    @germy: Even if Manchin was considering it last week (no sign he was), he has to know after this week that jumping aboard the Trumptanic would be a disaster for him.

    Who would choose to join the Trump administration now?

  90. 90

    @JPL: If it was 90% here, I’d fire up the Prius and fight the traffic. I’ll never see one, you have a chance.

  91. 91
    rikyrah says:

    I liked her opening segment. She tried to answer questions and connect the dots. I think that we all know that the Secretary of Exxon was chosen by Putin.

  92. 92
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Cheryl from Maryland: @JAFD: You might reach out to the Rutgers-Newark English Dept. as well.

  93. 93
    Wapiti says:

    @JAFD: I read the book in school; I can’t tell you if it’s great literature, but it was a fine book for a young reader. It’s definitely an American classic.

    I sort of can’t believe there isn’t a plaque at Crane’s house already. Someone should tear down a Confederate statue if you’re short on bronze.

  94. 94

    @germy: About 60% here, tend to agree. I’m probably going to go to Lockwood Valley again, this time Andromeda. I blame Baud.

  95. 95
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @MattF: There 3 secretaries supposedly leaving: Tillerson, Mnuchin, and…. and….. and….

  96. 96
  97. 97

    We’re going about 4 hours south to where the eclipse will be total. Mr IOL made the reservations months ago. I’m worried about the traffic though.

  98. 98
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @MattF: I forget, did they come before or after the 70s?

  99. 99
    Yarrow says:

    I missed this yesterday.

    Politico says McMaster blocked Bannon plan for Erik Prince to pitch privatizing Afghan war at Camp David today; w/ Bannon out so was Prince— Andrea Mitchell (@mitchellreports) August 19, 2017

    Erik Prince is tight with the Mercers, as is Bannon. If McMaster blocked Prince, that’s not going to make the Mercers happy. I wonder if they’ll go to war with The Generals in Trump’s administration.

  100. 100
    MattF says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Don’t quite remember.

  101. 101
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    And yet again, Trump takes his ball and goes home.

    You’ll recall that yesterday — was it only yesterday? — the members of the Presidential Arts Commission resigned en masse in a letter sporting an acrostic: the initial letter of each paragraph spelled out RESIST. Well, this morning we learn:

    In a statement Friday, a White House spokeswoman said that Mr. Trump was going to disband the panel anyway.

    “While the committee has done good work in the past, in its current form it simply is not a responsible way to spend American tax dollars,” the statement read.

    (By the way, the Honorary Chair of the Arts Commission is … Melania Trump.)

    The committee never convened under Mr. Trump, members said, and the president has not appointed members so far. The 16 who resigned Friday were appointed by President Obama and had elected to stay on under Mr. Trump, several said, to try to have an impact in his administration. More than a dozen additional committee members had resigned earlier rather than serve under Mr. Trump.

  102. 102
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: I can’t believe forgot the “Oooopps.”!!!!

  103. 103
    Schlemazel says:

    What? Are you angling for Energy Sec? Probably need to add the glasses that make you look smart

  104. 104
    Yarrow says:

    @Schlemazel: Gotta be willing to put on frilly shirts and dance, too.

  105. 105
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Schlemazel: It’ll take a lot more than glasses to make me look smart.

  106. 106
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes says:

    I hear that tropical scuba diving is VERY interesting during an eclipse. The day fish are confused and the night predators come out. Then it shortly turns into time for the night fish to stumble into the day predators.

    A lot of unexpected meals happen.

  107. 107
    Schlemazel says:

    DIdn’t work for ol numb nuts either

  108. 108
    germy says:

    Trump, first lady to skip Kennedy Center Honors over concerns of ‘political distraction’

    The announcement comes as three of the five honorees — television producer Norman Lear, singer Lionel Richie and dancer Carmen de Lavallade — said they would boycott the traditional White House reception related to the celebration. As for the other two, rapper LL Cool J has not said whether he would attend, and Cuban American singer Gloria Estefan said she would go to try to influence the president on immigration issues.

  109. 109
    Tenar Arha says:

    @JAFD: I read the Red Badge of Courage in middle school. Wasn’t for class, but off a recommended list. Not really one of those novels I got obsessed with so much that I ended up re-reading it enough to internalize the plot. (At that age I did that a lot). However I’m sure there were lots of kids who did appreciate it that much. I agree his birthplace should have a marker, because that one novel has never been out of print since it was published.

  110. 110
    Baud says:


    Cuban American singer Gloria Estefan said she would go to try to influence the president on immigration issues.

    If Ivanka couldn’t moderate Trump, why does she think she’ll be more successful?

  111. 111
    Schlemazel says:

    BTW – for those of us on the tundra
    The Mdewakanton are having their annual Wakipi today and tomorrow at Mystic Lake. The dancing & drumming are spectacular. There is a grand entrance of all the dances at 1 & 7 today. It takes almost an hour for them all to pass.

    If you have seem native dances you know some of the variety of regalia from traditional to fancy but you have not seen as large a gathering of the highest quality. It is well worth the time

  112. 112
    Tenar Arha says:

    @Iowa Old Lady: So cool! Knock wood or whatever the electronic equivalent works for good luck with traffic. 😊

  113. 113
    opiejeanne says:

    @JAFD: Read it because I wanted to, Great Literature, a plaque should be placed at his birth place.

  114. 114
    Laura says:

    @rikyrah: Good morning. Keeping your sister close in my thoughts and hoping for more getting better.

  115. 115
    Betsy says:

    @Keith P.: let’s hear more about that! Details!

  116. 116
    Ken says:

    @Baud: Either that, or “Well bless your heart.”

  117. 117
    Schlemazel says:

    There is an old joke about a young woman who was seated next to some guy who kept telling tall stories to which she would reply “OH MY!”. The gentleman was impressed and finally complimented her on it. Her reply “Well, mommy sent me to charm school and I learned to say “OH MY” instead of “BULLSHIT!””

  118. 118
    Laura says:

    @Quinerly: Greetings to your groggy doggie. Scritches all around the good spots!
    Fingers crossed for good lab reports Q.

  119. 119
  120. 120
    Ken says:


    So… what’s his name is leaving the Cabinet?

    Not as far as he knew…

    You notice how for a guy who said “You’re fired” on TV a lot, Trump usually lets someone else break the news in reality? Sometimes those fired find out from the news.

  121. 121

    Is big brother watching me, I got sent into moderation for offering a critique of the CinC’s style or the lack thereof.

  122. 122

    @Betsy: Not Keith P but here goes

    1. Overly long ties
    2. Taping the said tie
    3. Suit jacket that doesn’t fit well, too big around the torso and pulls at the shoulders
    4. Hair and makeup
    5. Gestures and expressions

  123. 123
    hedgehog mobile says:

    @rikyrah: Wonderful news!

  124. 124

    @rikyrah: That’s good news, keeping my paws crossed for both of you and wishing your sister a speedy recovery.

  125. 125
    Mike in NC says:

    @germy: Trumps to boycott Kennedy Center Honors because non-white people will be present. QED. Sad!

  126. 126
    Yarrow says:

    6. Actions
    7. Beliefs

  127. 127
    Chyron HR says:


    Because she knows Trump can’t control himself any long-a.

  128. 128
    Nelle says:

    @Emily68: I was there then. My wild and rambunctious high school freshmen got very still and silent (probably the only time all year for them to behave). I’m at 99.5% totality here in Lawrence, KS but will go to the totality zone (if I can get there. The hype around this is unbelievable and people are streaming in.) What I most want is to find a back country road and a herd of cows near the road. But I’m likely going to go with my Sikh friend to watch with her friends, the Benedictine sisters of Atchison. If traffic is bad, though, we may end up on the side of a road, hopefully with cows nearby. I’ll pack food, just in case.

  129. 129
    germy says:

    respect wood

  130. 130
    Nelle says:

    @Iowa Old Lady: I suggest a good road atlas and alternate, back road routes marked in advance. That’s what we’re doing and we’re only going an hour north. Though it will likely take more than an hour. Nice thing about most roads being on the Jeffersonian grid pattern. You can eventually work your way to where you want to be, even by back country roads. We’re departing at 5 am…..

  131. 131
    Mike J says:

    College punk complains that people are calling him a nazi just because he traveled 500 miles to go to a nazi rally.

    I’m not a neo-Nazi,” he insisted. “I don’t belong to a German workers’ party from 1933. I’m a moderate Republican.”

    Number one, he thinks you’re not really a nazi if you weren’t in the beer hall, and B, he thinks there’s a difference between “moderate Republican” and nazi.

  132. 132
    Mike J says:

    @Iowa Old Lady:

    We’re going about 4 hours south to where the eclipse will be total. Mr IOL made the reservations months ago. I’m worried about the traffic though.

    Washington DoT is telling people to expect traffic like a winter storm, ie, hours long wait to get over Snoqualmie pass.

  133. 133
    Kelly says:

    Anyone have an opinion on eclipse watching apps? Solar eclipse timer for 2 bucks at the google store seems to get good reviews. Give you voice info of what phase you are in. When you can have glasses off.

  134. 134
    Kelly says:

    We will have 2 minutes of totality here.

  135. 135
    james parente says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: They did not mention that “Race” Bannon sued Dr. Quest, his “longtime companion” for cutstody of Johnny and Hadji.
    Dr. Quest was represented by Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law.

  136. 136
    Mike J says:

    @Kelly: seems to like eclipse safari, free on android and other platforms.

  137. 137
    Kelly says:

    @Mike J: Thanks!

  138. 138
    2liberal says:


    dear god, if you want us to impeach trump, give us a sign. Like, blot out the sun…

  139. 139
    Amir Khalid says:

    Liverpool hanging on to a one-goal lead at home to Crystal Palace. Fingers crossed we don’t drop another two points to a last-gasp equaliser.

    ETA: And this time we get the three points. Whew.

  140. 140
    trollhattan says:

    Of many, many things that make Republicans Republicans, going to a for-profit military is the most Republican thing I can name. Let the Free Markets ™ decide when, where and how to fight!

    President Ryan would approve, as would SecDef DeVos.

  141. 141
    efgoldman says:

    No posts since before 600 this morning? Is everyone at counter protests?

  142. 142
    Another Scott says:

    The BBC is reporting from Boston. “A few dozen” Nazis are rallying, and they’re showing an overhead view of “thousands” (looks like more to me) of good people marching down the street as counter-protesters.

    Good, good.


  143. 143
    RandyG says:

    @David 🍁Canadian Anchor Baby🍁 Koch: Best film comedy of all time. No comparison. :)

  144. 144
    trollhattan says:

    Here’s NASA’s eclipse app list. Lots of options, including one for the visually impaired.

    We’re in the 80% band so a partial, but am taking the day off and heading for the mountains for clear, unsmoggy viewing. Bought an absurdly costy solar filter for my tele lens and a viewing filter for my spotting scope. Practicing with them led to finding out how tricky it is to get the sun in the scope’s field of view–you’d think it would be simple because it’s RIGHT THERE.

  145. 145
    trollhattan says:

    Day drinking. I blame Trump.

  146. 146
    Cheryl Rofer says:

  147. 147
    Kelly says:

    @trollhattan: Thanks, we’re just gonna kick back and watch. Thanking our lucky stars we don’t have to drive anywhere. Weather looks good. Winds should blow the forest fire smoke somewhere else.

  148. 148
    Another Scott says:

    @Cheryl from Maryland: Thanks very much for that. I can’t recall if I read it before, but I’ve put it on The List.


  149. 149
    efgoldman says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: Both the Boston Globe and WCVB are reporting “thousands”, but neither is specific as to which side drew the big crowd.
    Nothing at either place about physical confrontations

  150. 150
    bluehill says:

    Any one see this. Guess we’re getting an idea how far people will go to stay in power.

  151. 151
    sukabi says:

    @Yarrow: hopefully it’s a moot point, drumpfs’ not attending. He probably won’t be in office in December. He’ll either take a prolonged vacation in some non-extradition country or be removed from office for something breathtakingly moronic.

  152. 152
    Cheryl Rofer says:

    @efgoldman: The numbers I’ve seen are 3000-4000 for the counterprotesters, 50 for the Nazis.

  153. 153
    Cheryl Rofer says:

  154. 154
    Yarrow says:

    @bluehill: I didn’t click through but the link title: Israeli Minister: Relations with Trump are more important than calling out Nazis. Okay, then….

    This article caught my eye:

    Trump-linked oligarch’s company goes bust as intrigue grows


    Two mysterious companies owned by the Russian oligarch who bought Donald Trump’s Palm Beach mansion filed for bankruptcy in North Carolina Friday, adding to the mystery about the firms and the rich Russian behind them.

    Dmitry Rybolovlev has drawn attention not just for his 2008 purchase of Trump’s palatial home for close to $100 million, but also for the fact that his tricked-out Airbus 319 intersected with Trump’s plane on U.S. airport tarmacs on multiple occasions last fall. McClatchy revealed in March that his plane had been in the Charlotte area twice during the 2016 presidentical campaign at the same time as Trump’s. Rybolovlev’s spokesman first called the crossings coincidental, later confirming McClatchy’s reporting that he was the main shareholder of a high-tech battery plant in Concord, N.C., just outside Charlotte. (Trump and Rybolovlev deny knowing each other.)

    Also, too:

    Alevo’s management team had a few American energy veterans but was dominated by Russian cronies of Rybolovlev with no background in power generation, electricity markets or the grid. Few of the large batteries were delivered to clients: The Maryland city of Hagerstown is the only publicly acknowledged recipient of a GridBanks battery.

    It’s Russians all the ways down.

  155. 155
    FlyingToaster says:

    @efgoldman: Adam Gaffin (@universalhub) is down there reporting; it looks like about 100-1 on the State House protest, and when the Roxbury march gets there, about 1,000-1.

    The Nazis were walking through the crowd of counterprotestors looking for a fight; however, they avoided the BlackBloc nerds for some reason.

    One lady holding a flag hit a guy who pulled her flag back; local FoxNoise tried to say she was attacked by the guy, but the video starts with her arm coming back. Jeebus.

  156. 156
    Origuy says:

    There was an eclipse when I was in junior high during school. The gym was an old building with windows painted black. Where the paint had flaked off, the pinholes made lenses that cast crescents all over the place.

  157. 157
    FlyingToaster says:

    And the rally ends after 49 minutes. Fucking Cowards.

  158. 158
    FlyingToaster says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: The march hasn’t reached the Common yet; NBC Boston is estimating 20K coming in.

  159. 159
    Shalimar says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: So what we’re saying is that Bannon is one of the few people on earth who can claim that White is actually part of his ethnic heritage.

  160. 160
    lgerard says:

    Nazis run away and now local news is down to interviewing marchers about their pets


  161. 161
    Yarrow says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: YAY! Glad to see Boston showing up.

  162. 162
    efgoldman says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    “free speech” rally is a tiny group on bandstand

    Which means, if you know the layout of Boston Common at all, it’s very, very easy for the police to surround and cage them there.

  163. 163
    Cheryl Rofer says:

    Here’s another view that is kind of interesting.

    Of course we know Fox’s narrative. But
    1) It’s not at all clear to me which side the woman with the flag is on; I’ll guess the rightwing side.
    2) Nor is it clear who grabbed the flag; he was marching with black-clad people who presumably are Antifa, but he’s not black-clad.
    3) At the end of the video, it appears that Antifa people are helping the woman.

  164. 164
    A Ghost to Most says:

    Johnny Quest was the first tv show I ever saw in color.

  165. 165
    Another Scott says:

    @bluehill: The BBC had a piece on the attacks in Charlottesville with some segments on reactions in Israel. One part of it was an interview with Ruthie Blum – a JPost writer and Trump supporter living in Israel. She said similar things on the radio as at that link:


    In Politico, for example, Joshua Zeitz argued that “What Happened in Charlottesville Is All Too American.”

    To put things in perspective, however, conservative (and Jewish) political commentator Ben Shapiro — whose own criticism of Trump has turned him into a target of anti-Semitic vilification on the web — explained that the “Alt-Right” is neither “conservative” nor particularly widespread in America, in spite of its trying to create the impression that it is growing exponentially.

    “They fill up comments sections at sites like Breitbart, and they email spam, and they prank call people, and they live on 4chan boards, but the vast majority of alt-right anti-Semitic tweets came from just 1,600 accounts,” Shapiro wrote, citing Anti-Defamation League (ADL) statistics.

    In a separate report, the ADL listed examples of events held by white supremacists to mobilize and spread a culture of hatred, yet referred to them as a “fringe movement.”

    This is not simply due to their relatively infinitesimal numbers in the United States, but to American culture as a whole, which is overwhelmingly liberal.

    Well before college, children in the U.S. are treated to heavy doses of progressive ideas in their schools and on television. It is not racism and xenophobia with which they have been bombarded, particularly in the last decade, but rather with “identity politics.” American kids are taught to respect people of different ethnic backgrounds, religious affinities, gender identities and sexual preferences — as long as those meet “victimhood” criteria.

    They are told that “white privilege” is an evil to be eradicated. In this context, “white” is a misnomer, of course, because Jews and Asians who excel in school are included in the derogatory category. Still, the principle is understood, and it both emanates from and is disseminated by left-wing groups.

    It therefore beggars belief that the most vocal supporters of the Palestinian Authority — an entity whose leadership purposely fosters a culture of hatred, racism, gender-abuse and anti-Semitism – hail from those same groups.


    And on and on. “It’s just a tiny problem in the USA. The Nazis don’t have any power in the USA. Trump isn’t the problem. Besides, the Left is much, much, much, worse. …”

    She’s deranged. :-/

    But she’s yet another example of people who will support any policy, and trash any opponent, if they think it helps them expand their own political power. Double-think is a real thing and it’s incredibly appealing to too many people.



  166. 166
    GregB says:

    So much for Blight Supremacy.

    I hope everyone remains calm.

  167. 167
    trollhattan says:

    Maybe they thought they were riding a wave. Wave’s ovah, morans. How long before Trump tweets a rally pic to claim Patriots ™ outnumbered Loser Libs ™?

    Saw an interview with one of the Charlottsville morans who bemoaned not attending Boston “because I can’t open carry.” And that, my friends, is the #1 argument in favor of gun control laws.

  168. 168
    Yarrow says:

    @Another Scott: She’s a prime candidate for seeing what happens when she votes for the Leopard Eating People’s Faces Party.

  169. 169
    sukabi says:

    @Yarrow: wouldn’t the investigations into Princes’ foreign activities keep him from getting any gov’t contract work? Or have the ptb decided that potential traitors are not a big deal?

    But good on McMasters & Kelly for shutting that shit show down

  170. 170
    Yarrow says:

    @sukabi: One would think. But who knows how things work in this crazy new world we’re in. Clearly the GOP thinks traitors are just fine since the President along with top GOP leadership are all in that group.

  171. 171
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Another Scott: American culture is so overwhelmingly liberal that… last year we elected a belligerent moron because we liked how openly racist he was!

  172. 172
    bluehill says:

    @Another Scott: Thanks for the insight. We have those folks here, but was surprised to see that headline over there.

  173. 173
    James Powell says:


    I read The Red Badge of Courage for the first time when I was in junior high, not for class but because it was the first time I became obsessed with the Civil War. I’ve probably read it six or seven times since. I try to avoid arguments like “what is a classic?” because all taste is taste, but any novel that is still in print over 100 years after it was published has something going for it.

    With respect to his birthplace, I wonder if you have seen this – It’s a report that concludes that since he only lived in the house for three years, the house wasn’t worth saving. Then says that the site will be made into a park to be named the Stephen Crane Memorial Park and Skating Rink. It’s not dated, but refers to the park as a WPA project.

  174. 174
    No One You Know says:

    @schrodingers_cat: My son works in fine men’s wear. He says Trump dresses as if he is a bigger man.

  175. 175
    JAFD says:

    Hello again,

    Thanks for your thoughts and suggestions!

    I’m going by the information in _New Jersey, a guide to its present and past; compiled and written by the Federal Writers’ Project of the Works Progress Administration for the State of New Jersey _*, which locates Stephen Crane’s birthplace at 14 Mulberry Place, and says that (in 1936) it was abandoned and dilapidated.

    Mulberry Place has been leveled, and the site is now a parking lot for Post Office ‘mail jeeps’. It’s east of Mulberry St, W of McCarter Hwy (NJ 21), N of Kinney, S of Walnut – right across the street from ‘Federal Square’ – the MLK courthouse, the Rodino office tower, and the WPA-era Main Post Office (the customer lobby is done in salmon-pink marble, and worth a look.)

    With the end of steam locomotives, the neighborhood within walking distance of an Amtrak and PATH station has become desirable housing. Will take some pictures in near future.

    * It’s online at

    PS If you’re interested in local history, geography, etc, you should check if the ‘WPA Guide’ for your area is online. Lotsa interesting stough therein

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