Lives of Quiet Desperation


WC can’t complain. Since law school, it’s been an indoor job, out of the weather, with pretty good pay. WC has been lucky in many ways. Not everyone is so fortunate. America has an underclass, folks trapped in a cycle of misery. People who are trapped working two jobs, both mind-numbingly boring, and still barely…

Remember Civil Discourse?


Alaska gubernatorial candidates Les Gara (D) and Bill Walker (I) held a debate last week. Gara, a long-time member of the Alaska Legislature, and Walker, former governor and former Mayor of Valdez, appeared before the Alaska Municipal League. The AML is a voluntary association of many of Alaska’s municipalities – towns, cities and boroughs. It…

Rep. Giddings Will Now Step Forward for the Ceremonial Slap on the Wrist


The Republican majority – excepting its extreme, right wingnuts – of the Idaho Legislature is congratulating itself on censuring Rep. Priscilla Giddings (R, White Bird) and kicking her off of House Commerce and Human Resources Committee. That’s the Idaho House legislative committee in charge of, among other things, supervising state employees. WC has written about…

Donnie Loses Again


But Presidents are not kings, and Plaintiff is not President. He retains the right to assert that his records are privileged, but the incumbent President “is not constitutionally obliged to honor” that assertion. U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan, Memorandum Decision, Trump v. Thompson, Civil Action No. 21-cv-2769 (TSC), p. 18. Stop WC if you’ve heard…

A Few Words About Ingenuity


Ingenuity was an afterthought, at most an experiment approved by doubtful NASA brass, a proof of concept by a few smart NASA engineers. It’s become the little helicopter that could. An unqualified success that has exceeded even the most optimistic hopes of its designers by orders of magnitude. Ingenuity, of course, was the specially-designed helicopter…

In a painting titled “In My Dreams I Can Fly,” Spinney depicted the traditionally flightless Big Bird soaring above the countryside.CreditCody O'Loughlin for The New York Times

A Brief Message to Ted Cruz


U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R, Texas), a man on the shortlist for Most Embarrassingly Ignorant Man in America, recently tweeted: Background: Big Bird, the iconic Sesame Street character, has been urging children get vaccinations since at least 1972. Big Bird’s tweet last week about the recently-approved COVID-19 vaccination for children was just the most recent…

Moore’s Law Still Rocks


Most of us have heard the tale in one form or another.1 WC first heard it in Joe Oden’s AP Calculus class, his senior year in high school. An Indian philosopher invents the game of chess, and demonstrates it to his emperor. The emperor is so impressed he tells the philosopher to name his own…

Oh, Deer


There are two recent studies, one out of Michigan and a more recent one out of Iowa, showing that White-tailed Deer in those states have high levels of antibodies for COVID-19. That strongly implies a human-to-deer jump of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 in humans, SARS-CoV-2, as well as transmission between deer. In the Michigan…

Alaska's economy under Dunleavy (not to scale)

Governor Dunleavy, Reality Calling on Line 3


Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy issued an Administrative Order November 2 which provided, among other things, [T]he Dunleavy Administration is ordering: 1. The Attorney General to review any federal vaccine mandate issued by the Biden Administration and determine whether there are legal grounds to challenge such mandates in court. 2. To the extent allowable by law,…

Infernal Engines


Boise, Idaho is officially classified as having the Køppen Climate Classification subtype “Csb,” Mediterranean Climate. That means there’s not a lot of rain, although it isn’t a desert landscape. In fact, it’s raining as WC writes this blog post. And one of the delights of rain here in the North End of Boise is that it…

North Pole Refinery, a/k/a Flint Hills

Gaslighted by Big Oil


When dragons belch and hippos fleeMy thoughts, Ankh-Morpork, are of theeLet others boast of martial dashFor we have boldly fought with cashWe own all your helmets, we own all your shoesWe own all your generals – touch us and you’ll lose. Morporkia! Morporkia!Morporkia owns the day!We can rule you wholesaleTouch us and you’ll pay. –…

Examining the Stupid: Microchips in Vaccines


We’re lunaticsWith microchipsEmbedded in our butts Capitol Steps, “Loonies of the Right,” 2002 WC encountered a conspiracy theory recently that links two crises facing the world today: public resistance to the COVID-19 vaccines and the world-wide microchip shortage. The conspiracy theory proposes that there is a shortage of chips because the chips are all being…

Testosterone Levels Plotted Against Age, Human Males

Re-Run: The Steinkruger Principle Explained


Jamie Lauren Keiles recently has a long feature story in the New York Times on his love of motorcycles and his first trip to Sturgis, South Dakota for the gigantic motorcycle rally there. That story and a recent conversation with a friend brought to mind an older blog post which explains, far better than Mr.…

Looking Back

Following Up and Following Down: October 2021


So much for October. WC is still trying to recover from a sugar-rush haze that’s a consequence of left over Hallowe’en candy. But here’s the usual month-end summary of followup, overlooked and discarded info that’s made its way into WC’s short-term attention span. As ever, no journalism has been committed in writing this blog post.…

Harrison Avenue Hallowe’en, 2021 Edition


There is a tradition in Boise of a pretty much over the top Hallowe’en along Harrison Boulevard in the North End. In normal years, the road is closed to accommodate the crowds of trick or treaters and folks looking at the yard decorations. The pandemic pretty much shut the event down last year. For 2021,…

Return of Bird of the Week: Chopi Blackbird


Yes, another blackbird, this one found in eastern South America, in Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, Bolivia and Brazil. The Chopi Blackbird gets its name for its primary call, a sharp, shrill “Shop-WEE!” which it gives frequently. Like its cousin, the Scarlet-headed Blackbird, it is monotypic, the only species in its genus. While it looks like a standard black-colored…