The Watering Hole: December 28 – The Very Early Universe

Barlow is a picture of the Universe at Time minus 0:

In the beginning there was nothing. Science and the Bible agree here. After that…

This is our Open Thread. Please feel free to add your thoughts on this, or any other topic that comes to mind.

75 thoughts on “The Watering Hole: December 28 – The Very Early Universe

  1. Good morning all.

    A friend posted this on their facebook page. It’s a site showing the life’s work of photographer Vivian Maier:


    Sorry for the all caps, that’s from the banner area of the site itself. Some very interesting photos.

  2. The funniest thing I’ve seen this morning: Sarah Palin caught in another lie, this time, about her use of the word ‘refudiate’. On her Alaska show, she claimed it was only a typo in a tweet, and she meant to type ‘p’ instead of ‘f’. Aside from the fact that they’re nowhere close on either a keyboard or phone, this explanation gets blown up by the fact that she said ‘refudiate’ verbally on Sean Hannity’s show, four days earlier!

    • House, that is hilarious. Falin is such a hyfocritical liar, and she’s fathetically bad at lying because she assumes every ferson on earth is as stufid as she is. πŸ˜‰

  3. My house feels like that big black nothing now that my youngest and her family have completed their visit and after spending a few days in the center of the State, will be heading back to the West coast.

  4. “…they’re now concerned that he’s going to use his honorary status as a Crow Tribe Indian to return the United States to Native Americans.”

    It’s about time! If he can set THAT up, he’s got my vote!

  5. β€œmeans that others will have to get used to the idea of being exposed to people who may be sexually attracted to them.”

    Good thing none of that was happening before. Clearly that was why people joined the military in the past. That’s why all military personnel have been neutered, like dogs and cats in the pound. ‘eye roll’

  6. The rewards of Christmas: my daughter and her husband brought us three dozen freshly-made tamales (uncooked and frozen), made by hubby’s mother a couple of weeks back when she visited them in Colorado. I have my tamale pot currently loaded and sitting on the stove, gently steaming the whole lot of them. So tonight, for our dining pleasure, it will be Guanajuato-style tamales alongside of my own (not quite yet famous, but delicious in any case) Sopa de Fideo. Have to run to the store, though. We forgot to buy green sauce the last time we were there. And such a hassle — the store is a block from here and they don’t deliver!

    Oh well.

  7. There were ebb, there were. I got one of those pillow pet things that was a giant bee and plunked it on top. Between that and a computer game in which he gets to be a tornado, he’s very happy. Have I mentioned lately that this little boy delights me in ways none of my other children ever did?

  8. Outstanding – the love for your son exudes in every word/expression you write of him!

    Do hope he’s still hugging trees! I relayed your story to family and friends who all hailed and clapped at his response and literal interpretation! The innocence is his insulation!

    “He gets to be a tornado.” LOVE IT~

  9. Well, if you don’t already have a mole verde recipe, I like this one.

    1/2 pound dried hulled pumpkin seeds
    1 cup cilantro leaves
    1 whole avocado
    1/2 pound canned green tomatillos and their juice *
    1/2 head of lettuce
    4 to 8 green serrano peppers
    salt to taste

    Run all ingredients through a blender then bring to light boil in a sauce pan, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.

  10. Gosh, I’m so provincial. I’ve never even seen a tamale. Are they wrapped in corn husks? Do you eat the husk? I grew the peppers used for mole a few years back and hardly sold any.

  11. Outstanding, unless you have four stomachs I don’t think corn husks are edible. But they add flavor and moisture to tamales.

  12. With my sister and her eldest up from Tampa I am doing a double batch of chicken enchiladas tomorrow night. One batch is pretty dairy intensive. The other will be more tomato based. Spanish rice and home made refried beans for sides.

  13. oooooooooooooooooh – all this talk about tamales and enchiladas I’m on my way to Taqueria Eduardo’s. All cooking done on premises and the best menudo (sadly only served on Sunday)
    in the world!

  14. I was hoping somebody would cover this so I could post it here.

    Air Force Falcon Video: Watch Mascot Fly to Freedom

    Air Force and Georgia Tech entered Monday’s Independence Bowl with the top two rushing attacks in all of college football. So naturally you would expect most of the action in that game to take place on the ground, right?

    Wrong. The biggest play of the day was through the air. Prior to kickoff, the Air Force Falcon mascotβ€”an actual falcon rather than a college student dressed in a suitβ€”took flight.

    The falcon traditionally flies through the stadium before returning safely, but this time it flew right out of the stadium.

    Where did that falcon go?

    Well, it was gone for the entire game but was later recovered in Shreveport, La.

    I did some research, and apparently the falcon carries a small radio beacon on one leg, and a bell on the other, for just such an occurrence. They showed the falcon back on the cadet falconer’s arm before the game ended, which contradicts this story, somewhat.

  15. My favorite taqueria was originally a very funky little place with virtually no amenities, and no written menus. If I left work early and stopped in well before the dinner rush, they would have tamales on demand (never on the menu), that were made at home and brought in to the restaurant once a day. When they were gone, they were gone. It’s a sign of La Serenita’s success that tamales now appear on the menu. And, thankfully, they’re still excellent.

  16. House – THANK you for that video. I wasn’t aware of this until your posting.

    That’s my cousin –

    What the hell do falconers expect – things with wings: fly ~!~

    If you watch the video closely – (at around 18 seconds) the falcon appears to go into a stoop – which is indicative of hunting! Amazing that a species acts like the species is supposed to.

  17. There was always a raptor show at the Bristol Ren Faire, though different folks presented over the years. It is quite a sight to have a hawk come right through the stands, 8 ft. from your head, on a straight line attack at a lure.

    Hawks are notable for their maneuverability, and can literally corkscrew around the trunk of a tree to pick off a squirrel. Falcons are speed hunters and hit their prey in the air from above.

    Traditionally, the falconer would have a dog and be on a horse so as to locate and catch up with their hunting birds.

  18. I knew you’d enjoy hearing about that 2ebb! I only just caught the 4th quarter of the game, and they explained what happened to the falcon, then just before the end, they had found it. By then, I was fading too fast to come on here and tell about it. I can’t stay up late very well these days. Maybe it’s the cold, dry weather, because I wake up with my throat so dry about four in the morning, that I end up staying awake to drink enough coke or tea to soothe it.

  19. Back from the store, catching up:

    FALCON: If I’d have located the falcon before anyone else, I’d have found the means of removing the bell and the transmitter, and then found it a new home in a safe wild place. Sorry, but things of beauty like that do NOT belong at silly-assed football games. They should be free. Always.

    MOLE VERDE: Nice recipe, hooda. I’d never used pumpkin seeds before, but can ‘taste’ the virtue in doing so.

    Big surprise when I got back from the store: the front cover artwork for my book arrived via email for me to evaluate! Basically, the guy did a FINE job, and I only have a couple of little suggestions for him. After I approve comes the printed galley proof, then when I approve that it’s off to the races.

    Scary scary!

    But what’s REALLY scary is when they tell me I should do facebook. I have no idea as to why; my daughter tried to explain what it’s all about and I STILL don’t get it. Old and slow, that’s me. She did tell me about a young lady on facebook that she knows, one who is very proud that her facebook “friends” can follow her progress when she reads a book. Every time she turns the page, facebook makes due note, somehow.

    It would be every bit as interesting, to me, if facebook would record every time a “friend” farted. Which means, thankfully, not very interesting at all.

    I have a lot to learn, sounds like.

  20. frugal, as far as I’m concerned, avoid Facebook. I suspect your book will sell just fine without it. Lots of other authors did so prior to the advent of it.

  21. That’s exciting, frugal…step by step slowly it turns – into a BOOK!


    Gary, thought of you the other day. In order to keep the, wild, birds straight (we’re observing about 10) we give them ‘place names’.
    Some have taken to calling The Campbell pair: Lady and Lord/Laird of the Tower!
    [Giving me the mental image and half expecting a charger on a horse to appear upon the road!] Giving me the Ren Faire imagery!

  22. As memory serves, the Campbells can generate considerable antipathy amongst Scots, as they betrayed Bonny Prince Charley at a critical moment.

    (Actually, they read the tea leaves and realized that the Stewart was about to have his arse wrapped in his breeks and mailed home via parcel post. So rather than get nobly massacred with the other clans, they switched sides and aided the English.)

  23. I think Facebook can be useful for an author, but only if frugal is comfortable with it. It can be useful to reach out to a fan base, who are interested in upcoming publications or events, or others with a shared interest. One “friend” is a British writer of historical fiction, who mixes news about upcoming books and covers with photos of her dogs, but she’s a very social person and most of those commenting are fellow or would-be writers. I’ve actually picked up some new authors from the group.

    If it’s not comfortable, though, you can end up sounding desperate.

  24. Frugal: I got onto FB because it was easier to communicate with my sister there than via email (which she now seldom checks — email is *SO* 2005!) regarding family issues, especially with my dad.

    It later developed into its own form of amusement, and I now rather enjoy it. I maintain a much higher level of connection with my philosophy friends than I ever could have otherwise, and those contacts have radiated out to a number of other people (2nd and 3rd degree separation) whose musing are now added to my own.

    Oh! And I’ve also gotten back in touch with a number of friends from my Bristol Ren Faire days. (Some of them need to be slapped, while some just want to be spanked … )

    You might consider developing FB for its own sake, and then as your publications come forward mention them in a manner that seems appropriate in the context. Jumping in with the pre-defined purpose of marketing might well come off as gratuitious and strained. But if you go in cautiously and just noodle with it for what it is, it can become much bigger and more interesting than you ever expected. Once “you are there”, and it is real, then leveraging it for your own chest-thumping (and other legitimate chimpanzee purposes) no longer seems forced or phony.

    By the bye, I am working on a piece I hope to market with Kindle Singles; barring that, I’ll still have the Amazon base for self-publishing. And yes, when that time comes, I will be making announcements on FB. I might even consider ponying up some cash for an advert there, but I’ll not cross that bridge until it is a meaningful issue for me. But the only reason I will consider these steps as available to me is because I have — quite accidentally — already established myself there.

    And — oh yeah! — I’ll let you folks know as well; no way any of you are off the hook.

  25. Hmmm…if Obama gives the United States back to the Native Americans, would they want it? Would they end up being responsible for the National Debt? Would they have to clean up all the pollution?

    Could he even return the lands we got from Spain, Mexico, Russia and France?

    But, I guess, it does make for heated water-cooler discussions amongst the Fox-watchers.

  26. Dear gawd, please, please make it stop.

    Orly Taitz, a prominent birther based in California, said that even if Abercrombie produced everything she would be suspicious of his motives. “To me this sounds like a very coordinated effort. As soon as a friend of the Obama family gets into the governor’s office he has access to all the documents. I would put nothing past this establishment.”

    Taitz said she would only be satisfied if she and a private detective she works with were granted access to all the original paper work and allowed to carry out tests.

  27. Blizzards to the east blizzards to the west – gosh and all we get are torrential rains. It’s expected to rain heavily all through the night. Not certain the ground can handle much more water!
    We need the rain – but not like this …

  28. I’d demand to see Oily Taintz birth certificate, but reptiles hatch.

    We’re looking to get our first round of real winter here in Prescott the next couple of days. For all intents and purposes the Lows for the next two days will be the Highs of the days following. And we’re looking at 5+ inches of snow.

    • Looks like you’ll be getting our weather, Gary. 😦

      I need to make sure I get out there and shovel the snow before the temps plunge into the teens and lower. Fun times…

  29. There’s a story — possibly apocryphal — of some fellow in Chicago carefully clearing out and then marking a spot for himself to park his car in the winter. Some other assbite came along and stole the spot. This citizen reconnected his hose to his water, and meticulously watered said parking vulture’s care down until it was an iceblog that effectively remained in place until Spring.

    One of those tales that, if it did not happen, it should have.

    • If that happened, I don’t blame the perpetrator one bit.

      I always try to park in the same spot in our parking lot, and when it snows I always dig around it so I can get in and out easily, driving and walking. It royally pisses me off when I find someone has taken my spot. Luckily, the students are away for Winter Break, and we’re the only ones in this building right now. I haven’t had to contemplate criminal activity for a couple weeks.

    • Yeah, people should get some, right? Instead of thinking they’re entitled to just take advantage of someone else’s hard work, without so much as a second thought.

  30. Zooey, when I was a bit younger, I would stuff snow into the offender’s tailpipe soon after they stopped. Properly packed, the offender would remain in that parking spot until the next thaw.

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