Blown to bits.

Today’s theme? Massive mutilation of the human corpus. You’ve been warned.

First, from the world of journalism, one of my Facebook network posted this story. Tell me what you think:


Monica Thayer had been on the job just six days when she got scalped. Literally.

Her long brown hair caught in a machine at an auto parts plant in Barberton, Ohio, the Akron Beacon Journal reported, pulling her in and ripping off her scalp from her eyebrows backward to her neck.

The story’s by an L.A. Times-er, but a read indicates it wasn’t so much reported as read, rewritten and packaged for a new kind of news consumer — one who sees a grievous injury suffered by an $8-an-hour factory worker, new on the job, with no health insurance not as an outrage, but as a freakish event to make a person say Eeeeeewwwww!

Let’s see if we can write one even worse. I’ll go first:

The Indians are long-gone from northeast Ohio, but an unlucky factory worker learned the hard way that their harshest punishment is very much alive.

Who can top that? The woman, by the way, is still in the hospital. We need another revolution in this country, goddamn it. I nominate the writer of that travesty, one Connie Stewart, as cannon fodder.

But let’s move on. Because we’re not done yet. Fireworks injuries in Macomb Oakland County:

A paraplegic man’s leg was blown off as he sat in his wheelchair setting off explosives on the Fourth of July.

“I believe he had been lighting fireworks on his lap then setting them down on the ground before they went off,” said Hazel Park Police Chief Martin Barner. “He lit one device that then slipped between his legs and went off.” The force of the explosion severed the man’s left leg just below the knee and blew it about 50 feet across the street where it hit a neighbor’s house.

There were “many beverage bottles” at the scene, but the cops were unclear on whether alcohol was a factor.

I really don’t know what to say about this, except that the one story I covered in my career that involved people being blown to bits — and I never went to a war zone — involved fireworks.

The guy lived, as far as I can tell.

Finally, not exactly a human-mutilation story, unless we’re talking about pulling your own hair out, but your tax dollars at work:

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, a scientific agency that typically studies weather, climate change and other environmental matters, recently posted a statement on its website denying the existence of mermaids.

The post, titled “No Evidence of Aquatic Humanoids Has Ever Been Found,” states that “the belief in mermaids may have arisen at the very dawn of our species” and details a short history of mermaid mythology.

Neither NOAA nor any other federal agency has ever issued a statement about a mythical creature before, so what prompted this public denial?

A two-hour Animal Planet special called “Mermaids: The Body Found.”

Isn’t that nice? Don’t you feel comforted?

Two more days of this heat, and with any luck Sunday will be bearable.

Posted at 12:38 am in Current events |

74 responses to “Blown to bits.”

  1. alex said on July 6, 2012 at 7:23 am

    Dang, those stories read just like those you’d see in the “Darwin Awards” that used to circulate via e-mail. My all-time fave was the one where some frat boys were trying to blow up an aquarium with a blasting cap. When it wouldn’t detonate after repeated tries, one of the guys took the thing and bit into it and blew himself to smithereens.

    Quite startling to consider that “documentaries” about mermaids and UFOs are still worth anyone’s while to produce. (Although if you’re good at it I suppose there’s a bright future awaiting you as a Republican PR flack.) I think we’re living in what should rightly be called the Low-Information Age.

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  2. coozledad said on July 6, 2012 at 8:26 am

    If there had been any actual mermaids there’d have been considerably less ass-fucking on those galleots and galleasses. “Foame borne sexe savages” would have sapped the energy of Portuguese sailors, and possibly interdicted the hunt for slaves and raw materials that fueled the spread of Eurotrash to these shores.
    Columbus would have been less of an historical footnote than William Bligh, and if we talked about him at all, it would be for “The Tuna Mutinies” of 1492.
    Maritime Calvinists would have abjured their god mid-voyage, perhaps reverting to the COE, and the industrial revolution would have been calibrated toward the construction of massive fish tanks.

    That’s my theory, anyway.

    EDIT: My wife instantly debunks my theory with a pragmatic question: “Where’s the hole?”

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  3. alex said on July 6, 2012 at 8:37 am

    So where, exactly, do you fuck a mermaid? Darryl Hannah didn’t have a twat or an ass that I can remember.

    On edit: I see Cooze’s wife and I think alike.

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  4. Prospero said on July 6, 2012 at 9:00 am

    Alex, Even the Hitler Channel can’t be All Hitler, All the Time, and meerkat interest wanes. I knew a kid, a relative of my ex-wife’s, who blinded himself leaning over a Roman candle to see why it wasn’t going whoosh.

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  5. brian stouder said on July 6, 2012 at 9:01 am

    I’m on the safety committee at my place of employment, and that story induced a sick feeling. This passage, from the linked news article, really captures something:

    Monica Thayer, a Norton High School graduate, lives with her mother. She is single and has no children. Her new job pays $8 an hour and does not offer health insurance. Workers are required to assemble parts, and temperatures inside the Ninth Street Northwest factory are often warm.

    “temperatures inside the Ninth Street Northwest factory are often warm”.

    I bet.

    And when the heat gets turned up on this company, and OSHA figures out how many violations-upon-violations there were (Machine guarding? Training? Personal protective gear? Supervision?), I wonder if the cry of “job-killing regulation” will arise.

    (Actually, I don’t wonder at all; the only question is how quickly that will happen)

    Aside from that, it’s exceedingly good to see Danny back aboard the good ship nn.c!

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  6. Sue said on July 6, 2012 at 9:04 am

    Ouch, what is that sudden pain in my neck?
    Oh, hi Danny! I see you’re back! We’ve missed you.

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  7. nancy said on July 6, 2012 at 9:19 am

    Still early, but I don’t think anyone will top Cooze. Once again. “Foame borne sexe savages” — snerk.

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  8. Connie said on July 6, 2012 at 9:30 am

    This is my favorite fireworks disaster story for this year. An entire show blows up en masse and leaves behind a huge crater. Due to stupidity of course.

    Fireworks for Bainbridge Island’s Fourth of July show, along with fireworks for neighboring Poulsbo’s show, were packed, organized and stored ready to go in a container at an auto-wrecking yard a few miles away. Then, authorities say, the operator of the wrecking yard decided to go outside and try out his new rifle.

    Nancy a few years ago you shared a story about a Detroit setting of fireworks who went to check why one hadn’t gone off at which point it blew up in her face.

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  9. Deborah said on July 6, 2012 at 9:45 am

    Welcome back Danny!

    Bad news at our place. Our remaining kitty is having urinary problems. My husband is taking her to the vet today… Hopefull, but she is nearly 15 yrs old.

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  10. Danny said on July 6, 2012 at 9:46 am

    Okay, here are some pretty pictures of the San Diego fireworks show (as it were) that I scavenged from around the internet superhighway.

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  11. Danny said on July 6, 2012 at 9:57 am

    Brian/Sue/Deborah/all, thanks. Missed you guys too, but it’s doubtful I will be able to participate much. My professional life has blossomed/mutated into a hydra of responsibility (even more than before). Though I’m thankful to have a career and do love my work, I sometimes glimpse brief, unsettling images of Scrooge and Marley when I look in the mirror. “Ahhhh! ‘Tis a ponderous chain!!!”

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  12. Peter said on July 6, 2012 at 10:24 am

    That poor woman. To trivialize it by implying it’s no worse than hitting a knot while you’re brushing your hair is repugnant.

    I’ve been around long enough to remember some gruesome accidents at construction sites; they would still occur as often today were it not for the mandatory weekly job site safety meetings.

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  13. Bitter Scribe said on July 6, 2012 at 10:34 am

    Cooze and Alex: Magritte did a painting of “mermaids” with fish heads and torsos but human legs and feet. That would solve your problem, although not very pleasantly. But I guess on a long sea voyage, you take what you can get.

    Regarding the industrial accident: I’d be interested to know how much training the victim received. My guess is little to none. Training is one of the many ways companies cheap out these days, and when it doesn’t literally maim their employees, it costs them in lost productivity. And yes, that writer should be spanked.

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  14. Prospero said on July 6, 2012 at 10:44 am

    Magritte mermaid:

    Internet doomsday:

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  15. Danny said on July 6, 2012 at 10:50 am

    Brian, we have had a sea change at my company over the last decade with respect to workplace safety. It is most welcome and has yielded tangible results in the shop and in the field.

    I still do a little bit of an internal eye roll when during a presentation at something like a corporate board meeting, the person decides to have their first slide be an identification of all the emergency exits and first-response safety officers in the room… and then goes on to identify all of the phone-cord type trip hazards around the meeting room. Geeze, Louise! Let’s not get a papercut!

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  16. Danny said on July 6, 2012 at 10:56 am

    You guys are sick. Stop it. Everyone knows that this is what mermaids look like!

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  17. Deborah said on July 6, 2012 at 11:19 am

    Danny, I agree about the ridiculousness of pointing out all of the exits and hazards in a conference room during a corporate meeting. I worked on a project for a well known British company with an office in the Chicago loop area and every time we met we had to go through the drill. When you have meetings in the same room time after time it is really silly. Truly a time waster. Note that this British company had a catastrophic explosion in the gulf of Mexico because of safety issues during the the time of the project I was working on (guess which company anyone?).

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  18. beb said on July 6, 2012 at 11:50 am

    Hey, fish have “holes” where do you think they release their eggs? It’s just kinda small, but it’s there.

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  19. Icarus said on July 6, 2012 at 11:55 am

    “The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, a scientific agency that typically studies weather, climate change and other environmental matters, recently posted a statement on its website denying the existence of mermaids.”

    Any word on Unicorns or Minitaurs?

    After reading the link, I can see why they posted this statement. They are trying to be proactive and hoping that it will alleviate some of the calls they get from people who watch the Animal Planet piece.

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  20. Julie Robinson said on July 6, 2012 at 12:01 pm

    And the Friday silliness begins. Not that we couldn’t use a little levity, after the week we’ve had. But all is now right in my world; I just got my first local sweet corn.

    Deborah, I’m sorry to hear about your remaining cat. You’ve had a lot of loss lately, with your other cat dying and Little Bird moving. I hope we can be your remote support group.

    I know I’ve written about this before, but my dad lost an arm in a corn harvester when he was 10, and I sure wish there had been better safety guards on the equipment back then. He coped pretty well but carried deep emotional scars which he would never, ever discuss.

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  21. Jolene said on July 6, 2012 at 12:47 pm

    I agree about the ridiculousness of pointing out all of the exits and hazards in a conference room during a corporate meeting.

    Interesting, I’ve never heard of this practice. But, you know, simple-minded ideas can have big effects. Atul Gawande’s writings on checklists have had a big influence on surgical practice around the world, and now the Gates Foundation is now funding a project to see whether using checklists will help to reduce death in childbirth in India. I love hearing about simple ideas that make a big difference.

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  22. Jolene said on July 6, 2012 at 1:16 pm

    I’d be interested to know how much training the victim received. My guess is little to none. Training is one of the many ways companies cheap out these days . . .

    Over the last few months, I’ve heard several reports bemoaning the fact that, despite high unemployment, employers can’t find people with the skills they need. My question: Why don’t they find some reasonably bright people with a favorable work record and teach them what they want them to know?

    Often, these reports have involved some kind of manufacturing, where the relevant skills involve using some kind of machines to perform a physical task or using digital systems to control machines. Is anyone involved in this kind of work? Is it really so complicated that a short, intensive training program wouldn’t suffice?

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  23. Jakash said on July 6, 2012 at 1:34 pm

    We saw the new Woody Allen movie last night (probably at the same place you did, BTW). I was hoping that your review the other day was a bit harsh, but found that I have to pretty much agree. I think I’ve seen every WA movie and was assuming he wouldn’t be able to follow up Midnight in Paris with another classic. Alas, he didn’t. I still enjoyed it for what it was, though, and it was a fun cast, as always.

    I liked this quote, highlighted at the Rotten Tomatoes website, where the film clocks in at 45% positive reviews: “Allen’s real art form is the perpetual production schedule… It plays like a first draft, or even a handful of random notes grabbed at random from a drawer.” –Nell Minow, Beliefnet

    Moonrise Kingdom sounds like a winner. I saw Bill Murray on Letterman promoting it weeks ago and I’ll just say that the clip they chose to show didn’t entice me very much. But the reviews here and pretty much everywhere are very strong (94% at RT), so I guess we won’t wait to Netflix it, as we had intended…

    A movie is a fine way to stay cool — but you still have to get back and forth to the theater. I felt like I’d run a half-marathon by the time we got home last night. I do appreciate the fact that we haven’t had the power problems experienced by so many of y’all, and really empathize with what a nightmare the outages must be in this heat.

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  24. Jolene said on July 6, 2012 at 1:35 pm

    I think we’re living in what should rightly be called the Low-Information Age.

    There is no better evidence of this than a recent Pew poll showing that 45 percent (45 percent!) of respondents either didn’t know what the Supreme Court decided re the ACA (30%) or thought the Court had overturned the law (15%). I didn’t know there were enough rocks in the world for all those people to live under.

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  25. beb said on July 6, 2012 at 2:13 pm

    “I agree about the ridiculousness of pointing out all of the exits and hazards in a conference room during a corporate meeting.”

    I wonder if this isn’t some sort of sarcastic dig at OSHA regulations, ridiculing them by going overboard on the obvious stuff. Factory owners have always complained about OSHA many rules and stipulations then you read about some woman getting her hair caught in machinery and you wonder why there were shields keeping away away from moving parts, or why hair nets weren’t required to prevent just this sort of thing.

    Farmers are another group that long has had problems with OSHA, partly because there are no easy ways to protects workers from some kinds of moving equipment. Corn pickers are particularly bad since they are designed to tear arm-size lengths of corn from their stalks, and since corn isn’t in the habit of standing tall and straight at harvest time, they clog and jam and have to be cleaned out by hand… It’s a terrible dilemma.

    Danny: FYI, Nancy has mentioned in the past that more than two links in a post sends the post to moderation. Your post @10 probably was delayed because of that.

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  26. nancy said on July 6, 2012 at 2:20 pm

    Yes, that is exactly why Danny’s post was held up. Was away from the keys for a while. Two links max, or moderation.

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  27. MarkH said on July 6, 2012 at 2:52 pm

    RE: Corporate meeting room safety and hazard awareness lectures. One word: LIABILITY (OK, two words – LITIGATION).

    As Brian in his acknowledged safety position is no doubt aware, there is no end to the possibilities of being sued for the most trivial of incidents if a victim can prove there were not sufficient warnings in place.

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  28. Danny said on July 6, 2012 at 2:57 pm

    beb, at my company it is not a sarcasm with regard to OSHA, but more a manifestation of corporate-drone-syndrome. The people who do this are typically up-and-comers (or so they think) who are trying to climb the corporate ladder by being Stepford managers. In one way or another, most of them are deficient (usually in intelligence) and they are compensating for the deficiency through overly-demonstrable adherence to corporate protocol.

    To misquote Devo: We are not men, we are Dilbert

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  29. Suzanne said on July 6, 2012 at 2:58 pm

    Ah, workplace training, or the lack thereof. I could write a freakin’ book. No, the common mentality in the workplace today is that they hire you for they don’t know what and hope you figure it out. Why waste money on training when they can just fire you a few months later when you can’t figure it out, and hire another body who may or may not figure it out? Sooner or later, you might just get lucky and get a really intelligent self-starter who really can figure it out! I don’t remember even being able to get anybody to show me how to use the fax, or the phone, or copier at the last few jobs I’ve had, much less actual job training.

    I think, for all the talk about the entitlement mentality now and how it’s ruining the good old USA, what’s left out is the entitlement mentality of businesses who want someone else to take the responsibility for training the employees who will then help the business make money.

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  30. Sherri said on July 6, 2012 at 3:15 pm

    Suzanne, I think your book would pair well with the book I’ve wanted to write, How the MBA Ruined America. Back in the 80’s, it was extremely popular for engineering types to get an MBA, rather than an masters in engineering. From what I can tell, other than teaching them how to read a P&L statement, it just ruined everything their engineering curriculum had taught them about how to think.

    Of course, now, they skip the engineering degree and go straight to the business degree…much easier.

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  31. Jim Neill said on July 6, 2012 at 3:32 pm

    The industrial accident story notes that the incident happened at about 11:00 PM. I’d be willing to bet that it happened at the end of her shift. When you’re hot and tired and you want to get the machine turned over to the next shift (or shut down at the end of your shift) or you need just a couple more cycles to make your quota, it’s easy to drop your guard when the d@*n thing jams again. Not saying it’s right, but it happens.

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  32. Deborah said on July 6, 2012 at 3:49 pm

    I’m going to mangle this but there is a quote out there that goes something like this: In the US when new regulations come out a corporation hires 10 lawyers to try to get out of it. In Germany (or insert name of other country) when new regulations come out they hire 10 engineers to figure out how best to comply.

    edit: Jakash, the New Yorker gave the Woody Allen movie a great review. It was entertaining, don’t get me wrong, just not great by any means. Midnight in Paris was better, but Vicky Christina Barcelona was excellent.

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  33. Connie said on July 6, 2012 at 4:08 pm

    It’s not just industrial workplaces that have to deal with OSHA. I had to deal with an OSHA surprise inspection a couple of years ago, and there was no question that they were called by a disgruntled employee. I was written up for three things: emergency plan was not adequate, not enough eyewash stations,and employees did not seem to know where the MSDS – material safety data sheets – were located. This was an urban public library mind you, and the MSDA sheets were for things like cleaning products and industrial glues. It all seemed like a meaningless hassle to me, but I complied and reported. In 30 years of library work that was the only time I ever ran into OSHA.

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  34. Sue said on July 6, 2012 at 5:03 pm

    My county is very blue:

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  35. David C. said on July 6, 2012 at 5:09 pm

    What you see is the norm Suzanne. Most companies pay little or no attention to training. I’m fortunate to work for a company that does. So far this year they have spent in excess of $8000 in training for me and a similar amount for everyone in my department. If they switch CAD software to satisfy a DoD requirement, they’ll likely spend that amount again for each of us.

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  36. Deborah said on July 6, 2012 at 6:09 pm

    David C. are you an architect?

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  37. Candlepick said on July 6, 2012 at 6:17 pm

    In the church or beer graphic, were any of the results skewed by “church key” as beer opener?

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  38. Jolene said on July 6, 2012 at 6:23 pm

    Interesting map, Sue. Seems like whenever I see a data map of some social phenomenon, the negative (or, at least, the less appealing to me) circumstances are clustered in the Southeast. Perhaps we need some kind of resettlement program–incentives to get liberals to move there, buy beer, and vote Democratic.

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  39. Sherri said on July 6, 2012 at 6:58 pm

    Relevant to yesterday’s thread, Thaddeus McCotter is “embracing [his] promotion back from public servant to sovereign citizen.”

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  40. David C. said on July 6, 2012 at 7:09 pm

    Deborah, I am a mechanical design engineer working on military trucks.

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  41. Connie said on July 6, 2012 at 9:42 pm

    David, are you in Warren, MI? I have a friend that is an engineer at the Army tank place there.

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  42. Crazycatlady said on July 6, 2012 at 10:37 pm

    NOAA has got to be wrong! I saw real live mermaids at Weekie Watchee Waterpark near Clearwater in Florida!! They were swimming and drinking soda underwater! That’s real all right!!!

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  43. Deborah said on July 6, 2012 at 11:34 pm

    Not great news about the kitty but will know more tomorrow when the blood work comes in. In the mean time she’s getting a bunch of loving attention.

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  44. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on July 7, 2012 at 12:48 am

    Hey y’all — five days w/o power or phone or cell (or wifi), and then a cross-country trip (already planned) to Zion & the North Rim. Best to all, cats and people and those still without electricity (gotta love the Facebook meme with three Amish guys staring out of the frame saying “Sorry about your loss of electricity, LOL.”), and it’s time to hydrate. Springdale UT is not far from Colorado City, but they don’t roll all that Mormon, either, so both good coffee & locally brewed beer is in good supply.

    Prospero, you need a helmet! Danny probably has some old cracked ones to spare that would be better than nothing, and he’d only want one lobster for it, I’m sure.

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  45. Dexter said on July 7, 2012 at 2:17 am

    I can’t quit thinking about the Louie Show on FX Thursday night. The topic of adult oral sex in a pickup truck was a strange topic for a prime time show. Louie CK is a different kid of guy, and this show gets raves by mature critics, but even though I have no problem with profanity, usually, Melissa Leo’s lines were really on the edge for a prime time show. Anyone else see it? I also like the preceding show, “Wilfred”.

    Kirk, Drew Stubbs of the Redlegs got a hit, last time at the plate, a ringing double to right center. Bronson Arroyo was superb. I guess the trade for Willie Moe Pena was a winner for the Reds.

    Bicycling in this heat is too much for me. In 1980, it was OK. I was on vacation near Charleston, SC that year, I was thirty years old , and I rode a ten-speed bike 25 miles and the temperature was something like one hundred seven degrees, and all I needed then to recover was a twelve-pack of lager and a shower. Today is was one hundred one degrees and I made it one and a half miles and had to rush back inside for direct contact with cold blowing air and I had a Co’Cola and two bottles of water.

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  46. David C. said on July 7, 2012 at 5:56 am

    Connie, I am in Oshkosh, WI. The company (Oshkosh Corp.) also has offices in Warren because TACOM is located there. I hope to some day transfer to Warren to be closer to my ageing parents in Grand Rapids.

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  47. Dexter said on July 7, 2012 at 6:08 am

    Enjoy the scorcher today. My dog woke me up to go outside at 5:15 and it is hot.

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  48. Connie said on July 7, 2012 at 10:25 am

    David, I am in Oakland County with an aging parent in Zeeland, and it just isn’t as close as I had hoped.

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  49. Danny said on July 7, 2012 at 11:34 am

    David, at least your company does commercial/non-defense too. I could not imagine tying my fortunes to a company that does solely defense. All my friends who became engineers in defense got out of it. Every week was either a layoff or a rumor of one. The motto was, “Keep your bags packed!”

    Jeff, we must catch up when you get off the dusty trail! Your trip sounds like an absolute blast. I’ll probably email you and Nance and Alex in the next few weeks to tell you how things have been going for me over the past year or so. No suspense, it’s been good, just very busy per usual.

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  50. beb said on July 7, 2012 at 1:36 pm

    Here’s an amusing little infographic. What to know how hot it’s been this summer. These two charts show you all the locations in the US where record temperatures have been logged. One chart is for June the other for July.

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  51. beb said on July 7, 2012 at 2:16 pm

    Since it’s too hot to go outside today, here’s some bloggage to mull:

    Conservative judge Richard Posner writes “I’ve become less conservative since the Republican Party started becoming goofy.” Posner is a well regarded, frequently quoted judge so his comment is a black eye for the GOP

    Nancy’s favorite local idiot, Thaddeus McCotter has resigned

    Ron and Rand Paul have decided that the worst thing that could happen is for the Internet to remain neutral since that thwarts the efforts of capitalists to monetize their control of infrastructure.

    Meanwhile Ted Nugent, another from Michigan idiot, has suggested that maybe it would have been better if the South had won the Civil War. If but for all the Blacks who would still be slaves I sometimes feel the same way. Especially after reading where a Louisiana legislator discovered that the bill that provides school vouchers to “religious” school might include Muslim schools. ‘I thought’ she cried, ‘that “religious” schools meant “Christian” schools.’ This is a sentiment espoused in Colorado where a State Senator wants to ban the construction of Mosques. Maybe last years fires in Texas and this year’s fires in Colorado is God’s way of saying STFU! And don’t get me started on the “whites only” “Christian conference in Alabama that is supposed to end with a cross-burning. Which we’re assured is a traditional religion practice and in no way related to racial intimidation. Honest to God, I think Apes are smarter than these people.

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  52. MichaelG said on July 7, 2012 at 2:23 pm

    Good to hear from you, Danny.

    Prospero, Sacramento has been known for years as “The Big Tomato”. The area used to produce more canned tomatos, soup and concentrate than any other place in the US. But with all the cannery closures in recent years, I don’t know if it’s still so.

    Here’s a great video of an Air Guard C-130 dropping retardant on a Colorado fire. The comments are also excellent and informative.

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  53. Deborah said on July 7, 2012 at 2:42 pm

    Things are looking up in Chicago, it’s only 88 degrees now down from 93 earlier and definitely cooler by the lake. A nice breeze. We also got semi-good news from the vet today, blood work shows no abnormalities with kidney, liver or thyroid or anything like that. Just a raging urinary infection.The kitty started antibiotics yesterday so hopefully she’s on the road to recovery. She’s still not peeing in her litter box but she’s using it to do the other elimination so she’s probably still in pain. Poor thing.

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  54. beb said on July 7, 2012 at 2:44 pm

    When commenting about the Rand’s objection to Net Neutrality I wanted to offer a link to a post I saw, but couldn’t remember where about “Bleeding Heart” libertarians and how they either become weak liberals or authoritarians.

    The place I was thinking of was Lawyers, Guns and Money

    Which was observing and commenting on a post from:
    Requiring call center workers to wear adult diapers because you let them use the bathroom when they need to isn’t libertarianism, it’s petty tyranny.

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  55. Kirk said on July 7, 2012 at 3:42 pm

    Dexter, the Reds need to get rid of Stubbs. He has turned out about as I expected when they drafted him.

    We’ve been without power since Thursday night. Not that long, but when it’s 100 degrees, it sure seems long. But AEP trucks were sighted in the neighborhood today, and I have the pleasure of working in an air-conditioned office. By the time I get off at 1 tonight, things should be back to normal at home. It’s 99 now; supposed to hit 104.

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  56. Jolene said on July 7, 2012 at 6:43 pm

    A song by overheated, frustrated DCers. Helps to know that the name of the electric utility is Pepco. Decidedly NSFW.

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  57. Dexter said on July 7, 2012 at 11:35 pm

    Kirk, a few days ago in San Francisco, Jay Bruce (Reds right fielder)stopped running and jumped up and missed a ball that ended the game. He was about fifteen feet from the fence but he thought he was against the fence, and he just messed that up…just now in San Diego he dropped a fly ball that he had in his glove and the game is tied because of it. Yet the announcers keep saying he is the best right fielder in the business. I must be his personal Jinxy McJinxerson. He always goofs up when I watch him.

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  58. Prospero said on July 8, 2012 at 7:33 am

    Dex, I’ll take healthy Andre Ethier in right, and then there is Ichiro, who is Spiderman Magician in right, and a greater hitter than the Bad Haircut, who nobody ever figured out how to hide in the field in the NL, not even at 1B. Bastard was a butcher. And hooray for Serena, jumping up and down with that dish was way cool, but I will always like Venus better.

    Great song Jolene. Is anybody sure in the midst of these outages that there isn’t some new version of the smartest guys in the room involved? And you know the AC is pumping in the Raeburn Building. That is capitalism on juice and down like some 40 year old guy fighting Klitschko. And those cage fighting tough guys? Anybody want to try the gigantic Russian? Didn’t think so. That guy is Ronald Niederman:

    And The Girl That Played With Fire was ruined for me when Salander applied the Taser to Niederman’s gonads and he didn’t go down. I think Tasers screw with the body’s electric system to disable. Is that not correct?

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  59. alex said on July 8, 2012 at 9:33 am

    Fun song, Jolene.

    What a relief this cooldown is. I actually cut down an effed-up spruce tree this morning and hauled the remains to the fire pile while barely breaking a sweat. Hated to lose the tree but it was growing into overhead wires and a sewer contractor who’s going to be doing some work in that area wanted it out of the way. It certainly changes the atmosphere so I’ll be replacing it soon with something lower-growing, maybe red-osier dogwoods.

    I’d continue working outside but it looks like we’re about to get some rains.

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  60. Prospero said on July 8, 2012 at 12:04 pm

    We just watched Zelda on TMC. What a great movie.

    Wimbledon? Andy Murray is an obnoxious bastard. He’s Scots for Christ’s sake, no Brit. GB’s answer to Leyton Hewitt and the Teabangers. He was deliberately rude to James Blake. He’s also a creep that makes fun of opponents and tries to hit them with balls.

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  61. Dexter said on July 8, 2012 at 1:28 pm

    In case you missed it, if you are like me and are using a pc, you should run the simple test from this link to see if your computer is likely to go dark at midnight or you are clear and clean and have no worries . I just heard an expert on a talk show imploring all pc users to run this test.
    This is from a website … will state if you are or are not infected.

    No software is downloaded. The tools do not need to to load any software on your computer to perform the check.

    No scanning… The “are you infected with DNS changer” tool does not need to scan your computer.

    If you think your computer is infected with DNS changer or any other malware, please refer to the security guides from your operating system or the self -help references from our fix page (

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  62. Dexter said on July 8, 2012 at 1:51 pm

    Sorry about the three links. 🙂 🙁
    Forty years ago I was working in a factory when word spread than a newly-hired woman had gotten her long hair caught in a power drill press and she had been scalped. The truth was she lost some of her hair and she needed a trip to the hospital but she was not scalped. I often wondered about factory safety after that…who in the world turned this woman loose on a power drill press with no orders to tie her hair up somehow to keep it away from that big drill bit.
    In my department we had just one operation that used a power drill press, a small, high speed one. The rule, posted right on the drill press said “NO TERRYCLOTH GLOVES”. My pal was lazy and didn’t want to use the rubber cloves and was working with the cloth gloves, and the spinning drill bit grabbed that cloth and broke and twisted his hand horribly. He was off work for months and had a permanently deformed hand to show for it. Of course, since I worked many years running punch presses, I witnessed the outcome of more than several fingers and one hand being severed by the punch presses. After Vietnam service, the gore didn’t scare me and I was able on three occasions to administer primitive first aid until an ambulance arrived.
    One time a milling machine pinched a guy’s hand against the piece-part just as I drove a forklift past. I stood there patting him on the back and talking to him as help was summoned. That guy stood there without passing out for 45 minutes before the guys could figure out how to reverse the machine and free him. I just kept up with the encouragement for him and was he ever glad to get out of that jackpot.
    After I retired a man stuck his head in a press to figure out why it wasn’t working, when just then it worked. It crushed his head and killed him. He had survived a hard tour in Vietnam and a goddam press killed him.

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  63. brian stouder said on July 8, 2012 at 4:50 pm

    Dexter – wow. An effective lock-out/tag-out program, plus compliance, may have gone some way to prevent that.

    Many years ago (late ’70’s), when I was a teenager and had a head full of hair, I worked at a supermarket*, and aside from an occasional meat-cutter sustaining a knife-related injury (or a deli person slicing themselves with the ham slicer), the single worst thing I saw happen involved the box crusher/compactor.

    The machine had a maw the size of a garbage truck, and did much the same thing – hydraulically smash cardboard boxes into bails, which ultimately would be picked up and recycled. It had been named “Igor”, and we’d routinely toss boxes in there and then, when it was pretty full, hit the green button and it would (slowly and noisily) smash things down nicely.

    Behind the machine, there were two hooks, which traveled up and down with the smashing mechanism (chains could be attached to them when it was time to remove the bail).

    One day, someone had thrown some pallets behind the machine (for whatever reason). Later, one of the carryout boys had thrown some cardboard boxes into the machine and hit the green button, and walked away as Igor’s upper jaw slowly and noisily began bearing down on the load.

    When those hooks behind the machine got to the pallets (out of sight, behind the machine), the machine levered itself forward and it took out a bank of fluorescent lights, while pitching forward and smashing onto the floor.

    You could hear and feel the rumble across the store; the scene in the backroom was an odd mixture of eery and humorous, with the dramatically darkened sight of Igor laying face-first on the backroom floor, in a pool of hydraulic fluid and amidst a hazy cloud of dust.

    But several people could have been killed or badly injured, just that quickly.

    *Remember locally owned supermarkets? We had two large, locally owned chains in Fort Wayne – Maloley’s and Rogers – and they held A&P and Kroger at bay for years. The coming of WalMart probably did them in, although one notes that, at least hereabouts, Kroger (with a recognizeably old-fashioned business model) seems to be able to hold their own against WalMart…

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  64. Joe K said on July 8, 2012 at 5:06 pm

    Working at Dana on state, when we welded axle tubes into carriers the weld wire fed automatically,one night the guy welding with me turned a axle and started to weld a hole shut, he pulled out the red hot wire and missed the axle and jammed it in to his wrist and drove the wire almost thru the arm. I held a rag over the spurting blood, it looked like a fountain, got him sitting and held the rag until the medics got him.
    Pilot Joe

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  65. Bitter Scribe said on July 8, 2012 at 6:50 pm

    I read about a guy who was inside a cement truck, clearing out hardened bits of cement with a jackhammer, when some doofus got into the cab and started up the truck. Luckily the poor guy had the presence of mind to punch a hole in the side of the rotating barrel with the jackhammer before the razor-sharp interior fins had a chance to slice him up.

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  66. basset said on July 8, 2012 at 7:27 pm

    A pretty tame story next to those above… I used to work in a plant which cracked, separated, and processed eggs. We’d get semi-truck loads of whole eggs in, run them through the machinery and produce five-gallon tins of various egg products for sale to food manufacturers… whole eggs, whites, whites with sugar, there were probably a few more.

    Shoveling eggshells out of a truck at the dump was pretty bad, but bearable as long as you didn’t slip and fall into the layer of decomposed egg material and maggots at the bottom. Every once in awhile, though, we’d get a truckful of “rots” in – shelled rotten eggs in gallon plastic tubs, dyed pink so we didn’t mix them in with the human food and we’d strain out the solids and sell what was left to dog-food factories. Dump a head-high skidload of those out on the dock in August and it would definitely get your attention.

    We would dump the “rots” into a screen-wire tube about seven or eight feet long and two across, rotating slowly around the long axis, solids stayed in, slime ran out.. When the line shut down about two in the morning, the college boy – that would be me – got to clean the machine with a hoe and a steam hose. I would finish up, get home about dawn, take my overalls off in the yard, hang them on the fence and wash down with the garden hose before I could go inside to shower.

    Didn’t see anyone hurt there, wasn’t unusual for the guys filling the cans to spit tobacco juice into them before sealing up though so probably someone got sick down the line somewhere.

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  67. Deborah said on July 8, 2012 at 7:44 pm

    Yes even people with desk jobs have gory experiences. Once years ago we had a temp secretary who used an ever present exacto (graphic designers) knife to open letters. Somehow while slicing a letter open she managed to slice her wrist open at the same time. The blood spurted out about 6 -8 feet in a perfect arc that matched her pulse. She instinctively lowered her arm into the trash can to keep the blood from going everywhere, which was the worst thing she could do. Someone in the department had the wherewithal to grab her wrist and hold it high above her head and get her to the emergency room. We all will never forget the sight.

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  68. nancy said on July 8, 2012 at 8:07 pm

    Alan was the “college boy” on a few of those jobs, basset. It’s why we can’t have frozen pizza in our house, nor Campbell’s soup of any sort. As the college boy in residence at these places, he was frequently called upon to describe the sexual habits of college girls. One guy said, “I hear those college girls fuck like snakes.” How does a snake fuck, anyway? It doesn’t strike me as a particularly libidinous animal. (Alan didn’t say that, lest he end up face-first in a load of dough.)

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  69. coozledad said on July 8, 2012 at 8:36 pm

    Yeah. The reply “They fuck about as often as you guys do” would have been sufficiently oblique to qualify as an indirect compliment to some of the dumber ones, but a lot of those guys in the low-tier trades are equipped with a kind of Charlie Starkweather radar and they’ll kick your ass for using a compound sentence.
    The ones who’d hit their mid-thirties were pornography-dependent. The younger ones were still working out their confusion of sex with violence. I’m just grateful none of them decided to chickenfuck me before I got the hell out of there.

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  70. Prospero said on July 8, 2012 at 9:13 pm

    Back way back working for Terry Construction in Athens, my brother and I had gradiateted to a making messes job as opposed to cleaning up messes job. We were knocking down seven wythe thick brick walls in the basement of an old federal building being remodeled into a bank. We had long hair, but we didn’t take shit from our cheap redneck trick coworkers, who called us Duane and Gregg. And those old boys loved them some Allmans. The way to knock the walls down was to put a ring nut in the ceiling and sling a jackhammer from it and just lean into that sucker and undercut. One day, Chris caught his hair in the jackhammer. Hilarity ensued. But it wasn’t funny. When my brother was freed, I aimed the hammer at the cheapest redneck trick, name of Jerry Crawford, Salander style, right at the nads. Nobody continued to think it was funny.

    And Nancy, you mean Campbell’s Salt, right?

    The ones who’d hit their mid-thirties were pornography-dependent Or they’d been elected to Congress and had bottomless blue pills from their Pharma connections.

    I believe some snakes can fuck themselves, like worms. But I think most snakes just wind up in mating balls:

    In my experience, them college girls just did it normal. Snakes do it twice a year, college girls more often, in my experience.

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  71. basset said on July 8, 2012 at 11:05 pm

    Frozen pizza or Campbell’s soup? Do tell.

    Heat is finally breaking here in Nashville, didn’t get much over 90 today and we had a few thundershowers; one going on right now, total for the day .35 inch on the backyard gauge.

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  72. Joe K said on July 8, 2012 at 11:41 pm

    Ernest Borgnine,
    Pilot Joe

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  73. brian stouder said on July 8, 2012 at 11:54 pm

    I heard a tidbit sometime this weekend, regarding Morgan Freeman and thought it was baloney -and then I Googled it up and found this:

    The nut-paragraph of the article:

    He was especially interested in talking about President Obama, and why Freeman thinks he should not be called America’s first black president. “First thing that always pops into my head regarding our president is that all of the people who are setting up this barrier for him … they just conveniently forget that Barack had a mama, and she was white — very white American, Kansas, middle of America,” Freeman said. “There was no argument about who he is or what he is. America’s first black president hasn’t arisen yet. He’s not America’s first black president — he’s America’s first mixed-race president.”

    What a truck-load of “rots” (thanks, basset!); I think Morgan Freeman is deep into the land of “distinctions without differences”.

    “America’s first mixed-race president”??

    Michelle Obama won’t pass the Freeman test*, either, given her enslaved ancestry, and “white” slave-owning branches of her own family tree. As far as that goes – what does “white” mean, and who is to say that any “white” person – including all of our presidents before President Obama – doesn’t have “mixed race” origins, too?

    So – skipping past an utterly pointless (and genuinely fraudulent) discussion about “racial purity”, the question I’d have for Freeman is this: if Barack Obama had taken a seat at the lunch counter in Greensboro, North Carolina in 1960; or if he had gotten onto that bus they have at the Henry Ford museum, along with Rosa Parks in the mid 1950’s; or if he walked down the street in Charleston, South Carolina in 1855 (or 2012, for that matter) – what would have happened?

    Would his exact racial pedigree have mattered, at all?

    Truly and honestly, I cannot see what point Freeman was trying to make; and now we have a furtherance of the Fox News faux narrative: The president isn’t a “real” Christian, nor a “real” American, nor even a “real” black.

    I say – Piffle.

    *Watched Rachel Swarns talk about her book American Tapestry on Book-TV, and that book is now on top of my “get” list

    edit: Wow – didn’t hear about Ernest Borgnine; always liked Quinten McHale. And Borgnine could play a convincing “heavy”, as for example the character he played in the movie Willard

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  74. jerry said on July 10, 2012 at 4:16 am

    Sorry this is a bit late but there’s the time difference etc to account for – and the fact we’re off to Australia on holiday today.

    Prospero @60 – Murray may be all the things you said about him except that he is a Brit as well as a Scot. Me I’m a Kentish Man AND English AND a Brit.

    As for Michelle Obama being black or not people draw the boundary wherever it suits their purposes – and it’s pretty much totally meaningless as far as I can see. Someone on the BBC commenting on the Britain’s DNA project said we’re all immigrants and most of us have a mix of all sorts of ancestry. They’re finding Brits with Berber and Touareg markers – where the hell did they come from?

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