Ten years ago, you might have thought that we'd tumble into a depression when hell freezes over.
So it's troubling news today on two fronts: Government economists confirm that, yes, we're in a recession and have been in one for quite a while.
And, contrary to what scientists once thought of a young Earth that was hot as Hades, that hell could very well have been ice-cold.
As the New York Times points out this morning in one of its regular, sweeping science stories about events millions of years ago:
Geologists now almost universally agree that by 4.2 billion years ago, the Earth was a pretty placid place, with both land and oceans. Instead of hellishly hot, it may have frozen over. Because the young Sun put out 30 percent less energy than it does today, temperatures on Earth might have been cold enough for parts of the surface to have been covered by expanses of ice.
The only American who was alive back then, Senator Robert Byrd, couldn't be reached for comment on the Times's assertions.
Adding to this morning's chill is the saga of Plaxico Burress, who mistakenly thought that happiness is a warm gun and instead found himself and his career in the chilly Tombs.
Make sure you don't shoot yourself in the foot. Keep your hands on your computer ...
NO PARTICULAR ORDER:
AP: 'Panel warns biological attack likely by 2013'
McClatchy: 'Economic researchers say recession started a year ago'
No kidding. What's been obvious for months became official Monday: The recession is here. In fact, it's already a year old.
ABC News: 'In New Role, Clinton's Former Experience Won't Help Much'
When running against now President-elect Obama in the Democratic primary, Hillary Clinton asked voters who they would want in the White House answering an emergency call at 3:00 a.m.
The voters resoundingly chose Obama to be on the receiving end of that phone call. But with her nomination Monday to become secretary of state, the Democratic senator from New York will likely be the one dialing the phone and waking the president with news of an international incident.
Clinton made an effort during the campaign to portray Obama as inexperienced on matters of foreign policy, while touting her own thin credentials during her time spent as first lady.
Washington Post: 'A National Security Team That Looks Like the Nation' (Al Kamen)
N.Y. Post: 'PLAX IN COURT AS MIKE TAKES SHOTS: DEMANDS JAIL TIME, RIPS GIANTS AND HOSP IN COVERUP "OUTRAGE" '
The Giants, the NFL and the prestigious New York-Cornell Hospital shamefully shielded Super Bowl hero Plaxico Burress from cops after he shot himself in the leg with an illegal handgun at a nightclub, Mayor Bloomberg and the NYPD fumed yesterday.
Wall Street Journal: 'Delinquent Mortgages Set to Nearly Double in 2009'
McClatchy: 'Florida, banks halt foreclosures for 45 days'
N.Y. Times: 'When Hell Cooled Down'
Geologists now think Earth quickly became a cool place of land, seas and perhaps even life.
McClatchy: 'Obama's "team of rivals" also has some rival ideas'
Obama's future national security adviser quite possibly voted for McCain. His future secretary of state once said the United States should consider the "obliteration" of Iran, a country Obama has advocated talking to. His future defense secretary directed the military's surge in Iraq, which Obama opposed. Can Obama possibly rein in so many diverging views?
N.Y. Times: 'Officials Vow to Act Amid Forecasts of Long Recession'
Wall Street Journal: 'China Fears a Reverse Migration'
China's roaring industrial economy has been abruptly quieted by the effects of the global financial crisis. A wave of reverse migration to rural areas has the potential to shake the stability of the world's most populous nation.
Washington Post: 'Automakers Assemble Make-or-Break Case: Executives Return to Congress to Plea for $25 Billion in Loans'
McClatchy: 'Dozens killed, scores wounded in spate of Iraq attacks'
Wall Street Journal: 'Goldman Faces Loss of $2 Billion for Quarter'
Wall Street Journal: 'New Strategy Drives Obama Picks'
New Yorker: 'Hendrik Hertzberg hums a tune about the "Clinton people" '
N.Y. Post: 'BUS DRIVER SLAIN'
A deadbeat passenger who boarded a Brooklyn bus without paying became enraged when he was denied a free transfer yesterday — and then fatally stabbed the driver as horrified passengers looked on, police said. "The driver said, 'I can't [give the transfer],' and then a moment later, the guy pulled something out of his pocket and ...
N.Y. Post: 'REP. SAYS "NO THANKS" TO HILL SEAT: NITA OUT, MALONEY IN'