Farewell. The Flying Pig Has Left The Building.

Steve Hynd, August 16, 2012

After four years on the Typepad site, eight years total blogging, Newshoggers is closing it's doors today. We've been coasting the last year or so, with many of us moving on to bigger projects (Hey, Eric!) or simply running out of blogging enthusiasm, and it's time to give the old flying pig a rest.

We've done okay over those eight years, although never being quite PC enough to gain wider acceptance from the partisan "party right or wrong" crowds. We like to think we moved political conversations a little, on the ever-present wish to rush to war with Iran, on the need for a real Left that isn't licking corporatist Dem boots every cycle, on America's foreign misadventures in Afghanistan and Iraq. We like to think we made a small difference while writing under that flying pig banner. We did pretty good for a bunch with no ties to big-party apparatuses or think tanks.

Those eight years of blogging will still exist. Because we're ending this typepad account, we've been archiving the typepad blog here. And the original blogger archive is still here. There will still be new content from the old 'hoggers crew too. Ron writes for The Moderate Voice, I post at The Agonist and Eric Martin's lucid foreign policy thoughts can be read at Democracy Arsenal.

I'd like to thank all our regular commenters, readers and the other bloggers who regularly linked to our posts over the years to agree or disagree. You all made writing for 'hoggers an amazingly fun and stimulating experience.

Thank you very much.

Note: This is an archive copy of Newshoggers. Most of the pictures are gone but the words are all here. There may be some occasional new content, John may do some posts and Ron will cross post some of his contributions to The Moderate Voice so check back.


Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Solar Storm

Commentary By Ron Beasley

Hang on BJ there is a solar storm headed your way.

A powerful solar flare Tuesday evening caused the surface of the sun to shudder. A second smaller flare followed about an hour later, and the blasts caused by those flares have hurled a �big blob of magnetized material� toward Earth.

So says Alex Young, solar physicist at NASA Goddard, who spoke with The Times on Wednesday about the flares and their predicted impact.

The good news and the bad:

The results of the coming geomagnetic storm may be pleasant -- auroras as far south as Illinois -- or unpleasant, such as GPS and communications problems, according to Young.


When the material from the coronal mass ejection hits the Earth�s magnetic field -- or magnetosphere -- it causes the field to �ring like a bell,� or oscillate, Young said. This generates electrical currents that move around in the upper atmosphere and, when strong enough, causes electrical currents on the ground.

That means possible disruptions in electricity distribution -- �severe storms can knock out power grids,� Young said. GPS and radio communications can be affected, and electrical currents can even be picked up by oil pipelines, contributing to their corrosion.

So with a little luck we may see some lights in the sky and it won't be our only source of light.


  1. I'm actually looking forward to the views for the next couple of nights, though too cold to be spending too much time outside enjoying it, and of course losing all communication to the outside world due to a satellite malfunction won't be very much fun if it happens, again. We really need some redundancy there.

  2. If the high clouds go away we may actual be able to see some action down here at the 45th parallel.