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AP is getting my hopes up!

A Goldilocks planet is one which orbits in the sweet zone of distance from the sun with regard to life-friendly temperatures – basically those temperatures which would allow for an abundance of liquid water.

While there are literally billions and billions of such planets, this is the first to be confirmed by us.

The image comes from USA Today, and generated by Zina Deretsky, NSF.

Addendum: In other science news, it turns out that killing wolves deprives a region of water.

Lots of debating tonight, locally and elsewhere.  Unfortunately, I’m moving my office and missed them all.

Any reports?

Undocumented that is – a former housekeeper of nine years claims she was fired just before Whitman kicked off her campaign.  Attorney Gloria Alred will be filing a claim for back wages and mileage reimbursement.  If Whitman knew about her undocumented status as the woman claims – ouch!

Whitman’s people are already on damage control.

How many times have we been through this?  Feinstein did survive her undocumented help controversy, but other pols haven’t fared so well.

Addendum: When the going gets rough, blame it on your opponent.

FYI, Gloria Alred and Brown have actually never been friends.  She actually protested outside his office one time.

She once held a press conference in the office of California governor Jerry Brown to cast media attention on his threat to VETO a bill authorizing payroll deductions for child support payments. When the news media arrived, Allred and a group of women and children had hung diapers across the governor’s office. Brown reversed his position and signed the bill.

I bet Brown plays this one cool, and cruises into office.  It’ll be especially devastating if he says he doesn’t believe it’s an issue, kind of like what Coons is doing in Delaware.

Second addendum: Meanwhile, in the latest poll Brown is breaking it open.

Third addendum: Whitman denies she knew and that she was “shocked” when she found out after 10 years of employment.  She says that the social security number didn’t match her housekeeper’s name.  She’s going to have to elaborate on that.  Kos has the following:

According to a spokeswoman at the Social Security Administration, all employers are required to verify Social Security numbers before hiring someone, and that it “has been the case for ten years or longer.” Further, the Internal Revenue Service requires employers to use Social Security numbers to report wages.

If Whitman is already lying about this, it’s going to become a much bigger deal.

Down for good.

It’s a question of education.  I got 14 out of 15 right and I think anyone with a Bachelor’s Degree should be able to do the same or close.  I missed the last one, and I probably shouldn’t have.

Take the test.

With 50 percent representing the population mean, the following are the results according to religious affiliation.

Here are the individual question results breakdowns for each religion, and what is interesting is how poorly Christians did with the 10 Commandments question.

The first D.A. race debate of the cycle took place last night, focused on domestic violence.  According to Heraldo’s report, the moderation wasn’t entirely balanced in terms of enforcement of debate rules, although it should probably be regarded as a minor slip rather than any indication of bias.  I didn’t find any coverage in the Times Standard.

A CLMP-sponsored debate will take place at 6:00 p.m. tomorrow night at the Vets Hall, and will be aired on KMUD.  Questions will be fielded from the audience for the second half.  They will hold a Hospital District candidates debate from 7:00 to 8:00


Unfortunately, on the same night, the Fortuna City Council candidates will hold their debate at the River Lodge from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Jannelle Egger will be registering voters at various locations on these dates.  She is asking for letters to the Beacon editor in support of her campaign.


Brown and Whitman will be debating tonight, and the media is already acting weird about it.  I’m not sure if other debates are scheduled.  Republicans around the country are dodging debates because they perceive the climate as in their favor and they won’t want the boat rocked, and Whitman, who is deathly afraid of the media, may like being called to the mat by an opponent even less.  Then again, she is falling behind in polls and may need more debates to mix things up.

I’m not sure what time or which stations on which it will be aired.


Boxer and Fiorina have already debated once (video clips through this link).  While some of Fiornia’s Republican supporters liked what they saw in the debate, she is falling behind.

I actually don’t think the anticipated “Second Republican Revolution” will reach California this year, but everything is in flux all over the country.

I’ll let the youtube-posted info speak for itself.

Jennifer Shahade’s submission for YouTube Play Biennial: Project with Guggenheim Museum. Hulachess explores themes of multitasking, the feminine, circular side of chess and the surprising parallels between chess and hooping. The chess moves are based on a game Duchamp lost against the Romanian master Davidescu. The video features a possible improvement by Duchamp, which would have led the game to perpetual check.

The video, created by chess champion and artist Jennifer Shahade and filmmaker Daniel Meirom, features Shahade playing red and choreographer & dancer Gabrielle Revlock playing White. Cinematography by Blake Eichenseer.

I initially found the video at Ms. Shahade’s blog.  She was twice the US Woman’s Champion.

I saw it at the Museum few weeks ago, and I didn’t realize it was going to be over so soon.  But if you happen to be in Santa Rosa today, it’s your last chance.  It provides a fascinating history of communists in Sonoma County, including the Jewish immigrants who started the Petaluma chicken industry, the Apple Pickers Strike of 1935, vigilante responses such as the one reported in the Press Democrat image here, the Sonoma County residents who were hauled up before investigation committees in Congress, and of course Jack London’s time in the county, during which time he wrote The Iron Heel.

The vigilante episode was particularly chilling.  A group of socialists was kidnapped and brought to City Hall where they were instructed to kiss the flag.  Three of the five refused, and they were tarred and feathered and paraded around the city.  But they continued to organize, or try to anyway, afterward.

I know Eureka has a history of socialists, not necessarily communists, being elected early in the 20th century.  I wonder what else would turn up in a Humboldt County exhibit.  It would probably include something about Jack London who got into a bar fight in Eureka with one of the logger barons.  Somebody around here made a post about it, but I can’t find it.

Addendum: I found the reference to Jack London in this Times Standard article about Old Town’s history containing this paragraph:

“In the early days of Eureka there was a favorite little drinking bistro across from the Vance Hotel named The Oberon,” Waters wrote. “Marble floors, tapestries, pictures of beautiful girls in the raw, etc. Writer Jack London, a confirmed Socialist and Stanwood Murphy, a conservative Republican met in the Oberon. They argued over politics and started throwing punches. The bartenders locked the doors and they fought for over an hour. After the fight they were both in the hospital for a couple of days licking their wounds.”

By now most of you have heard that my partner Les Scher has retired and I am opening my own office on Locust Street.  I am taking some office items with me, but we have needed  a new typewriter for some time (among other keys the small “L” doesn’t work, so we’ve typed the number 1 in its place for months now).  I expected to find the widest range of choices at Staples, and once again encountered my not-so-inner quaintness about technology.  I guess nobody is buying typewriters anymore.  But I still run into many  hard-copy forms which either aren’t easily available online or I just don’t know where to find them.  Sure, I can probably scan them in, but sometimes it’s just easy enough to type the damn things out.   But I’m wondering if it’s going to be an option in five years.

Staples had two models, one which had a dictionary and a number of features I don’t need.  So I asked for the more basic model.  But it turns out that they had none in stock and they had concerns about the display item.  So they went to order one for me on their site, but there were none in stock at any of their warehouses.  They had a few of the more expensive model, so I ordered one.  The young woman informed me that there just isn’t demand for them.  But if there isn’t demand for them, then why are they out of stock?  Somebody is buying them, or did demand precisely meet exactly what they happened to have in stock?


The best clam chowder in Humboldt County?  I love chowder and I’ve tried it in restaurants all over the county.  If you were to ask me for the second best I would have a hard time answering.  Candidates would include the Sea Grill’s, Curly’s, and the Eel River Brewery.  But the best bowl of chowder I’ve had around here I had last night at the Cutten Inn.

Of course, I really miss Keith’s down in Richardson Grove.  Every meal incorporated both soup and salad and I was often ended up taking most of the entree home.  He made killer chowder!   Keith’s daughter Brandy waitresses at the Cutten Inn.


Literal signs that Bonnie Neely has an uphill fight.  I saw one lawn in Eureka with both a Kuhnel and a Bass sign.  Ron Kuhnel is one of the progressives running for City Council in Eureka and would generally be considered closer to Bonnie’s politics than Virginia’s.  And on Harris there were a couple of lawns bearing Bass and Mike Thompson signs.  I have yet to see a Neely sign sharing a lawn with a conservative with the exception of one lawn bearing a Rodoni sign, but the Assessor’s race is based on issues which transcend the ideological divide, and there are plenty of Mari Wilson signs sharing lawns and fences with conservative candidates.  For reasons I will go into another time, I will be voting for Johanna.


The Grocery Outlet has several copies of Spike Lee’s Malcolm X for $4.99.


My son’s soccer team yesterday suffered a rare defeat against a new team from Petrolia.  All but two of their players were girls, but these girls were big, strong, and mean!  Nearly all of my son’s Under 10 team moved up from our Under 8 team last year, and they have only one kid whom I would call a “power player” and many of our kids are on the smallish side.  But they do something many of the other teams don’t do.  They pass.  Problem is, so did these Petrolia girls, and especially one “Meadow” often tore through our players for a couple of goals and many close calls.

I do have to brag however.  My son got two goals and assisted in their third with a great pass to his friend Dezi.  And he blocked a hard shot by one of the girls, taking it in the stomach and briefly having the wind knocked out of him.  But he kept his focus and took the ball from an opponent moments later.

I am also proud of my daughter by the way.  She didn’t get any goals yesterday, but in four games she’s made seven of them.  We’re not supposed to keep count actually, but, well, I’m bad.  I’m coaching her team this year and having a ball, though I do miss the older boys who are being coached excellently by Dan Kulchin.

On that Petrolia team was a funny exchange between one of the girls and one of the boys.  They have black jerseys and as we didn’t have a ref handy I was drafted from the sidelines.  I didn’t know where they were from, but when I looked at the card and saw names like Meadow, Maple, and Cedar, I know they weren’t from Fortuna or Ferndale.  I asked them their team’s name and the following exchange took place.

Boy:  We’re the Black Bears this week.  We vote on a different name each week.

Girl:  No (name I can’t remember), we are the Black Thunder and only the Black Thunder.

Boy: Nuh uh.  Coach said we can vote on it…

Girl:  Just because you don’t like the name doesn’t mean you can change it when you want!  We’re the Black Thunder!

Boy:  No, not this week.

And it went on until kick-off.

This is the first year that Petrolia is sporting its own teams.  They hope to have a field with home games next year.


Addendum: Forgot to mention, we bought a half a cow from Michael Evensen (maybe he can sponsor a soccer team next year!) which we are sharing with the neighbors.  The Ferndale butcher cut it up for us and I have liver, the heart, and kidneys (but no spleen!) to cook up.  Does anybody have a good recipe for kidney pie?  And how about a heart recipe?


September 2010