back to article EARTH was a BAKING LIFELESS DESERT for 5 MILLION years

Boffins have discovered that "lethally hot" ocean temperatures kept the Earth devoid of life for millions of years after the mass extinction that occurred 250 million years ago. Cracked earth The global wipeout that ended the Permian era, before dinosaurs, wiped out nearly all of the world's species. Mass extinctions like …

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  1. hplasm Silver badge
    Boffin

    Hopefully future global warming won’t get anywhere near temperatures of 250 million years ago-

    But If it did- we'll get over it.

  2. QuinnDexter

    Tatooine

    A long time ago in a galaxy not very far away at all

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    And some twit will say it was put there by a deity to fool us all.

    Mine's the one with the carbon dater in the pocket.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Sounds like something Mitt Romney would say. Doesn't he believe the world is only a few thousand years old?

      1. NomNomNom

        Mitt Romney believes the Earth is at least 4.5 billion years old and no more than 6000 years old.

        1. Evil Auditor Silver badge

          Mitt Romney believes that 47% of the species profited from the warming.

        2. amehaye

          That's an easy one

          The universe was created old. It came into being about 6000 years ago, with all the galaxies etc. already baked in. Now give me another one while I'm hot.

        3. John Smith 19 Gold badge
          Unhappy

          "Mitt Romney believes the Earth is at least 4.5 billion years old and no more than 6000 years old."

          Remind me again of what his strengths as a candidate are.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Twit, Mormons aren't "young earth" creationists.

    2. I think so I am?
      Thumb Up

      Not a deity

      just a bunch of aliens who deal in the plant construction racket.

    3. Armando 123

      And some would say ...

      ... that it was caused by the industrialization of the gorgonopsids.

      And according to Clarkson "Some say he nearly wiped out all life in the Permian when he opened his visor."

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      > And some twit will say it was put there by a deity to fool us all.

      No deity required.

  4. pompurin

    Snowball and a Desert

    So in the past the earth has been to the two extremes of a Snowball and a Desert.

    It begs the question, is MMGW just speeding up the natural process?

    I can imagine an alternative reality where the earth is cooling down and there are tax breaks on producing as much CO2 as possible to keep the planet warm.

    1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

      1. Bumpy Cat
        Happy

        Re: Snowball and a Desert

        Wow. I assume someone is glad it's Friday.

    2. indulis

      Re: Snowball and a Desert

      "I can imagine an alternative reality where the earth is cooling down and there are tax breaks on producing as much CO2 as possible to keep the planet warm"

      Yes that is great, imagination. Laudable. But it isn't science. Right now the science says that any cooling that may happen is thousands of years in the future. So in the meantime between now and then we are making the planet inhospitable, edging ourselves closer to "uninhabitable by our current civilisation". Maybe a race of evolved cockroaches will thank you for your continued CO2 emissions.

  5. TRT Silver badge

    Baking dessert.

    There, fixed that for you. It does look a bit like the top of a chocolate soufflé.

  6. Spoonsinger
    Pint

    Re "It begs the question, is MMGW just speeding up the natural process?"

    What are you going to do in the time saved. Just wondering like, as it's Friday and could do with a beer. (so only short answers).

  7. Joe User
    Trollface

    Global warming in the Permian

    Darn those synapsids and their hydrocarbon-based industries!

  8. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah!

    What about life around the deep-water thermal vents? Is there any evidence of when that started up?

    1. Mike Richards

      Re: Bah!

      'What about life around the deep-water thermal vents? Is there any evidence of when that started up?'

      The last time I was trawling the literature the evidence from genetic studies of the various species found around hydrothermal vents is that none of them are older than 100 million years and all have links back to well-established species found in more 'normal' conditions.

      There are about half a dozen known vent provinces around the world with very little commonality of species between them. Instead it appears that different species evolve to occupy the same niches in different places.

      Whether life started there remains an open question.

      1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
        Boffin

        Re: Bah!

        "There are about half a dozen known vent provinces around the world with very little commonality of species between them. Instead it appears that different species evolve to occupy the same niches in different places."

        Interesting. One option would have been that if they *had* evolved when the whole ocean was at 40 C they would be fairly similar as the ocean cooled and they had to retreat back to these hot pockets.

        That suggests they evolved at their sites *after* the global hot period.

        Thanks for the info.

  9. Chris 3
    Headmaster

    Lifeless - well except that it wasn't

    Sorry to pedantic, but clearly the earth wasn't lifeless, unless you're claiming that life re-evolved from scratch. Which it didn't.

    1. Fibbles

      Re: Lifeless - well except that it wasn't

      Indeed, not sure how they can reconcile these two statements;

      "EARTH was BAKING LIFELESS DESERT for 5 MILLION years."

      "In the dead zone, the tropics would have been very wet but with almost nothing growing, no forest, only shrubs and ferns, no fish or marine reptiles, just shellfish and virtually no land animals. Only the polar region would have offered any refuge from the blistering heat."

      1. DaddyHoggy

        Re: Lifeless - well except that it wasn't

        A desert means it doesn't rain (thus Antarctica is a desert). I suppose it is possible that the tropics were very wet in the sense there was lots of water but perhaps it never rained. If this is what they meant in the article they need to explain it better.

        1. Tom 38 Silver badge
          FAIL

          Re: Lifeless - well except that it wasn't

          Parts of Antartica is desert. Other parts, not so much. Where the fuck did you think all that snow comes from?

    2. Armando 123
      Coat

      Re: Lifeless - well except that it wasn't

      Perhaps not absolutely lifeless, but clearly it was along the lines of Denver on a Saturday night.

    3. MondoMan
      Thumb Down

      Re: Lifeless - well except that it wasn't

      Yep, yet another case of scribe not reading paper, or scribe not understanding what he/she read. Perhaps the next one assigned to the science desk will work out better.

    4. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      Re: Lifeless - well except that it wasn't

      This just in: Reg commentators discover figurative language, fail to understand it.

  10. Anomalous Cowshed

    The day before yesterday it was cold. Yesterday, my friend and I were walking along a busy road, and the sun was shining. It felt nice and warm. "There's loads of cars here" said my friend. "That's what must be causing the heat". From there we walked into a shady, wooded area where there were no cars, and it felt much cooler. My friend was thus able to prove to himself and to me that it was indeed the cars and their exhaust that had been causing all the heat by the roadside. Was he missing something? He certainly didn't think so.

    1. Trevor 3

      I was stood

      In a room the other day full of people.

      It was really hot

      I went into the room the next day when there were no people, and it was cooler.

      People must have heated the atmosphere!

    2. DJ Smiley
      Facepalm

      Roads are black.

      Trees have green leaves.

      Lrn2scienc.

      (This is a stupidly simplified explanation.)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Lrn2scienc.

        Lrn2Albedo : ) it depends on what the roads are made out of:

        Fresh asphalt: 0.04*

        Worn asphalt: 0.12*

        New concrete: 0.55*

        New white portland cement concrete: 0.7-0.8**

        Old concrete: 0.25**

        Conifer forest (summer): 0.08-0.15*

        Deciduous trees: 0.15 to 0.18

        If it were as simple as that, we could cool the planet by bulldozing the forests and replacing them with concrete parking lots. Furthermore, clear-cutting forests for crops or grazing would also be expected to cool the planet ***

        Please note, I'm not advocating any such ridiculous action... just pointing out that your simplified explanation is oversimplified to the point of being somewhat misleading. Canopy effect, pervious vs. impervious (absorbed heat transferred into the atmosphere as water vapor instead of ΔT), and surface area (a topographic 1m² of concrete/asphalt is essentially 1m² - while a topographic 1m² of tree leaves is actually much more than that when you look at the surface area exposed to the atmosphere) - just to name a few.

        There is a quite reasonable explanation why the temperature at 2m on an asphalt parking lot > concrete parking lot > field > forest... but albedo, by itself, is not it.

        * http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albedo#Terrestrial_albedo

        ** http://www.concretethinker.com/technicalbrief/Cool-Communities.aspx

        *** http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=File:Albedo-e_hg.svg&page=1

    3. Armando 123

      I blame the government. Afterall, they run the schools and prevent eugenics ..

  11. St3n

    Luckily for us, everything alive today is related to animals that survived it, along with the other mass-extinctions... We could probably survive the next one too...

    1. Anonymice
      Thumb Down

      Re: St3n

      Complex life doesn't tend to fare so well in extreme conditions.

      By the same logic, you wouldn't have any issues adapting to being dumped in a big fish tank. We crawled out of the sea after all...

      1. MondoMan

        Re: St3n

        Actually, according to the Wiki (yes, I know): "The groups with the highest survival rates generally had active control of circulation, elaborate gas exchange mechanisms, and light calcification; more heavily calcified organisms with simpler breathing apparatus were the worst hit."

      2. St3n
        FAIL

        Re: St3n

        Re-read the article then. Polar regions were quite survivable at that time.

    2. Tom 7 Silver badge

      re Luckily for us, everything alive today is related to animals that survived it

      are you sure your brain doesn’t come from one that didn’t survive it?

  12. John Latham

    Permian squirts

    "In the dead zone, the tropics would have been very wet but with almost nothing growing, no forest, only shrubs and ferns, no fish or marine reptiles, just shellfish and virtually no land animals."

    I'm not surprised the land animals were all dead with nothing to eat but shellfish served at 50C.

  13. Obvious to me...

    Fishes?

    Really?

    1. Gr0nk

      Re: Fishes?

      And eggses too?

      1. NomNomNom

        Re: Fishes?

        and tricksy hobbitses

        1. Robin

          Re: Fishes?

          @NomNomNom

          "and tricksy hobbitses"

          Thankyou for my first out-loud laugh all day!

          1. Esskay
            Coffee/keyboard

            tricksy hobbitses

            Gold. Pure Gold.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Fishes?

      Yes fishes not fish. Fishes being multiple species of fish.

  14. MrCymatics
    Angel

    That is until our "Ancient Geo Engineers" showed up, read all about it in"Pyramid Gravity Force"............Stop drinking the Kool Aid.......and learn about the biggest discovery of the 10 thousand years..........OMG......! Who is in charge on this Planet..........? Stop drinking the Kool Aid and learn how the Earths temperatures are controlled in the Book "Pyramid Gravity Force" available on Amazon, find out how mans penitration in Cheops the great pyramid of Giza, disabled the great pyramid of Giza which controlled the Hawaiian Island vocanic activity. Yes the Giza pyramid was the Earths thermostat until crazy humans broke it, read how the Earth has missed a few crucial mini ice ages and how we have a chance of saving the planet by getting the Giza pyramids back on line. Ancient Geo Engineering is real......And we still have a chance to save planet earth from the massive tectonic plate movements that are coming to blast us all back into the stone age. Regardless of why the temperature rises on planet Earth, The pyramids are here to cool the planet down. We can't afford to do stupid anymore..............!This technology is written in all the ancient text.........Hello is anyone out there..............?

    1. Trokair 1
      Trollface

      I tried to resist feeding the troll but the insanity.....clawing...... me in.......AHHHHHHHHHHHHHOK I'LL BITE, HOW ARE THE PYRAMIDS SUPPOSED TO SAVE THE PLANET????

      Sorry everyone, I feel dirty.

      1. Naughtyhorse

        easy...

        not so much save the planet, but preserve civilization. cos as any fule kno pyramids store time (duh) and slowly leak it out into whatevers inside them, this way razor blades can be placed in pyramids, taken back in time to when they were sharp, which allows men to be clean shaven, which is the mark of civilization (see anywhere-stan for proof)

        simples

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I just want to know what a 'mans penitration' is

      Along with 'vocanic activity'.

      And I do wonder why people who've been given access to the world's inner secrets can't spell or punctuate.

    3. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      Thumb Down

      Not a patch on AManFromMars

      1. John Angelico
  15. Mike Richards

    Conodonts

    Conodonts are an extinct class Conodontophora; conodont elements are the hard microfossils which are used for stratigraphic purposes. They may or may not be teeth.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    We are so...

    ...fleeting and utterly irrelevant and inconsequential.

    Reminders like this always put that into perspective.

  17. Tom 38 Silver badge

    Sensational extrapolation

    It was damn hot in South China - where-ever the fuck that was at the time - at that point, but that tells us little or nothing about the planet globally. Perhaps that part of Pangea was more like an extreme version of Yellowstone at that point.

    1. Tom 7 Silver badge

      Re: Sensational extrapolation

      An extreme version of Yellowstone at that point? What with huge visitor centres and RV parks?

    2. Arbuthnot Darjeeling

      Re: an extreme version of Yellowstone

      the ranger's not gonna like that, Yogi

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    More science

    Yeah yeah yeah, I have yet to meet a scientist that knows what they are talking about. Unless they were there it is next to impossible to know what really happened back then. Articles like this make my blood boil because they are meaningless. I know I have got one for you: "10 million years ago lived a race of ninja turtles that were far more intelligent that us humans are today and did talk BS all the time"

    1. asdf Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: More science

      >Yeah yeah yeah, I have yet to meet a scientist that knows what they are talking about.

      Guess its bad luck you didn't meet the men that invented the antibiotics that very likely saved you or a loved ones life. Obviously science did invent it or half our children would die before 5 like has happened to humans all throughout history until about 50 years ago. Its ok though you can continue to reap the benefits without even realizing as you criticize evil science in you bible school class in a few days.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: More science, @asdf

        Don't forget scientists invented electricity too, so we have computers!

    2. Naughtyhorse

      Re: More science

      goto www.foxnews.com and dont come back

    3. Grubby

      Re: More science

      You have yet to meet a scientist that knows what they're talking about? And you chose to make your point on the internet... using a compute? Not a smart move.

      Makes your blood boil? Did your book tell you what that liquid that runs through your body is, and how it works, or how to measure the temperature of said fluid?

      Ninjas 10 million years ago? But your book says that is impossible as it all happened about 6000 years ago, and 'ninjas' have only been traced back as far as 1500 years ago, which means they too must have been made by the big man in the sky.

      Finally, you mentioned how intelligent us humans are today, it's we humans. How intelligent we humans are today.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
        FAIL

        Re: More science

        "Finally, you mentioned how intelligent us humans are today, it's we humans. How intelligent we humans are today."

        No. In his case, he meant to say "you" humans.

  19. NomNomNom

    "Nobody has ever dared say that past climates attained these levels of heat."

    Not true, a few years back someone did dare to say this on an public IRC channel, but it only resulted in the IRC channel being shut down and the individual was taken out by a CIA drone.

  20. Majid
    Devil

    Omg, we've done it before!!!

    We messed it up before, causing fumingly hot temperatures that wiped out life, destroyed nearly all life, which then restarted, created land-animals, dinosaurs which were wiped out again by a meteor, then we got the chance for our species to strive, and now we are succeeding at it again, we are completing the cycle!!!

    How many times have we destroyed the earth before? We must be getting pretty efficient at it by now right? It's the bloody Matrix!!

    Ok all fun things aside, Lets get things in bloody perspective: We are COMPLETELY insignificant!!:

    -- We can't diverge a meteor by sending Bruce Willis in a space shuttle to confront it (Armageddon 1998) (Ps .the space shuttle we scrapped because it was costing too much money to maintain, money we would rather use starting silly wars over living habits/religion).

    -- We can't reignite the sun by nuking it.. (sunshine 2007) Think of it: If you line up a 100 earths its even smaller than the diameter of the sun. So do you really think that a nuke coming from earth is going to have an effect?

    -- We can't create a black hole to suck up the earth, by making a grownups kid racing track under the mountains of Europe that collides stuff (Large Hadron Collider 2011) (really believe me on this, I did this when I was young, and it was a lot of fun, and I actually managed to break the window once by ramping the powered up racecar to jump, and it broke the window. But it never created a black hole..)

    The only thing we do at the moment, is shit in our own bed. I am happy to discuss, how it is not smart to be shitting in your own bed, but concluding that we will end all life on earth for a million years is silly. We might be able to wipe ourselves out, but even that is pretty difficult, because next to roaches we might be one of the hardest species to exterminate: We are everywhere on this planet, and we can adapt to lots of different temperatures/threads/infections/diseases, so it probably will take something pretty nifty to destroy all of us..

    And even if we do survive, is that our goal? To be some ever living organism on some planet? Maybe at some time we just got to make place for the new. Stop fighting it and embrace the inevitable, that's what evolution is about.... ;-)

    One thing is pretty certain: The earth will be here, long after we are gone.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Omg, we've done it before!!!

      Would you please go and embrace your inevitable somewhere else?

  21. 57nomad

    Who did it? Who were the selfish Permians driving around in their gas guzzlers spewing CO2 into the atmosphere and killing all the little kittens and polar bears? See, see this is what happens when we allow all those greedy bastards from Permia to chop down the old growth redwoods, and foul the air with their coal burning, smoke belching smokestacks.

    It's not too late. Put our troops on their assault bicycles, charge the batteries in our sustainable industry army tanks, and invade Permia (no lead for the bullets though). I'm pretty sure Romney has some offshore accounts there, so make sure you get any papers you find lying around. And don't try to use the term "lying around" as a dog whistle for "lying about Libya," you racist SOB's.

    Anyway, gather up all the Permian environment befoulers and get a rope!!

  22. fcnewt

    Climate change

    Wasnt this already supposed to happen, like last year. Maybe I misunderstood Al Gore, I'm sorry; maybe it is next year? Help me out here, did I beef up my A/C for nothing? Rats.

  23. sciguybm

    are our researchers dumber today than 50 years ago?

    I am appalled at the level of idiocy that passes for 'research" and "researchers" today.

    Maybe it is just me, maybe the media edits wordage to "get the point across" or something because I am just dumbstruck at what passes for peer-reviewed research today.

    The premise: "....Boffins have discovered that "lethally hot" ocean temperatures kept the Earth devoid of life for millions of years ..." is so without merit that it lacks any note what-so-ever, let alone publication, let alone grants or financing.

    It is like saying, without any real proof; "solar flares wiped the earth clean of life 5.5 billion years ago and could do it again..."

    ??????

  24. Tom 35 Silver badge

    What?

    "Boffins have discovered that "lethally hot" ocean temperatures kept the Earth devoid of life for millions of years after the mass extinction that occurred 250 million years ago."

    So your saying everything died and life started out again from scratch?

  25. Dazzl
    Thumb Down

    Stinkin Permians

    Once we start letting these Permians into the country this is exactly what is going to happen again. Godless wonders will destroy all life on our extremely wet tropical desert planet where nothing lives unless it does.

  26. Jim Lewis

    body temperature in mammals

    I wonder then if that is why we are designed to function at 37.5deg C? Maybe mammalian life developed at ambient temperature and then just had to work to maintain it as the global temp dropped?

    1. Tom 7 Silver badge

      Re: body temperature in mammals

      enzymes mate! enzymes what is good for mammals works best around that temperature.

    2. Grikath
      Boffin

      Re: body temperature in mammals

      Ummm no... Our body temperatures are maintained at that level because it is a balance point between optimum speed of cellular reactions v/s speed of denaturation of proteins at higher temperatures v/s energy expenditure and a couple other minor factors.

      From a biochemical point of view, we're actually running so hot we're just short of the disaster curve where denaturation becomes so much of a problem we wouldn't be able to replace the things that break down this way fast enough.

      [/simplification]

    3. Maxson

      Re: body temperature in mammals

      If external temperatures were that much higher, we'd have difficulty losing heat and probably all die of overheating. You see this effect in people with lower constitution when it gets a bit hot in Britain, now imagine it being twice that hot and even the thick skinned and well hydrated are going to be struggling.

      But it's been covered below by someone who knows a bit more than me as to why we remain that hot (and how close we are to disaster) a dangerously high fever is only about 6 degrees C above what we comfortably tick along at.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Misread it again

    I thought it said "Bacon in a lifeless desert" and I thought how bad could it get because I'd want the bacon but would be even more thirsty afterwards.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Damn, I've just lost a major bet because of this.

    And I mean major.

  29. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Thumb Up

    Well done

    Another interesting point for the climate modellers to incorporate

    And the equally interesting factoid

    "Ummm no... Our body temperatures are maintained at that level because it is a balance point between optimum speed of cellular reactions v/s speed of denaturation of proteins at higher temperatures v/s energy expenditure and a couple other minor factors."

    Which implies an environment where you can *dump* heat to IE << 37 c. Which suggests that *if* the *minimum* global temperature hits 40 c we're *all* stuffed. I don't say it will, I don't think it should, but if it *did* homo sapiens would probably be out of business in a fairly short time.

    Well done for more field work and a *much* longer baseline.

    1. indulis

      Re: Well done

      "Which implies an environment where you can *dump* heat to IE << 37 c. Which suggests that *if* the *minimum* global temperature hits 40 c we're *all* stuffed."

      Actually it is worse than that. The human body creates heat output. We rely on sweating in a dry climate to dump that heat out. In a humid climate sweat doesn't work as evaporation slows.stops. This is why heat seems worse in a humid climate, why 33C in Singapore is awful hot, but 33C in the Australian desert is a nice day out.

      Corollary- as the planet heats, and air is better at carrying moisture as well, the tropics may become uninhabitable with only a few degrees C rise. From Wikipedia (with references)

      "Humans may also experience lethal hyperthermia when the wet bulb temperature is sustained above 35 °C (95 °F) for six hours"

      "In Darwin [tropical Australia] the number of days over 35°C is expected to increase from 11 per year currently experienced to up to 69 by 2030 and up to 308 by 2070 without global action to reduce emissions. Coupled with the extremely high humidity that Darwin experiences during the wet season, higher temperatures are expected to adversely affect levels of human comfort."

      So, we are building a planet where it will be impossible to survive in the tropics without air conditioning.

  30. Local G
    Trollface

    Does the relativity of simultaneity

    explain today's global warming?

    It lets us off the hook.

  31. Jtom
    FAIL

    Overly Simplistic

    What are the temps oceans now, and what is the range of temperature on land? Our oceans average about 17 degrees C, with a great variation. The range is from -2 degrees C to 26 degrees, with variation depending on depth as well as latitude. Even if some parts of the ocean reached high temps, it does not follow that all, or even large parts of it would, just as oceans today vary considerably from the average ocean temp. It is not reasonable to believe that polar ocean temps would be too high to support life. Equatorial temps would be hitting the boiling point.

    But just consider this obvious observation: Let's say oceans and the land at sea level were too high to support life. Land temps depend on a great many factors, not just ocean temps, that create an area's regional climate.What about higher elevations? There would be a great many places where the temps were tropical temps (or colder!), and with the added rainfall, life would abound. How much colder is the top of Mt. Everest than Death Valley? How about Antarctica? You just can't make the jump from South China being hot to the entire world being too hot to support life. The heat could just as easily been limited to a China Sea.

    Give these guys an F for not considering the diversity of earth's climes, and making grandiose, sweeping conclusions not supported by their evidence.

  32. NorthernCoder
    Go

    Nominative determinism strikes again?

    Someone named Sun researching baking hot climates.

    The rest of the list:

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/10/12/turtle_research/

  33. Franklin Newton-Steyn

    huh?

    Why'n hell are you boys gettin' into these type stories about astronomy and whatnot? I come to this hear site

    to read about new tech and such, not old rocks and the universe, cripes.

    1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      Re: huh?

      Our apologies for accidentally conveying any unwanted knowledge. We won't require you to read this sort of story in the future. If you're still not satisfied, you may cancel your subscription to the Register for a full refund.

  34. Potemkine Silver badge

    Netiquette 101

    "Another rule is to avoid typing in ALL CAPS or grossly enlarging script for emphasis, which is considered to be the equivalent of shouting or yelling."

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I really don't understand all the fuss. We're all condemned to non-existence in 60 days anyway, apparently.

  36. jukejoint

    I confess. I am Permian.

    My family and I have been waiting for the right time to reveal ourselves. The only thing we haven't been able to figure out is how to hack a Yahoo group which the admins refuse to grant us permission. Other than that, this has been a great vacation and we've been enjoying great weather. You all are awesome.

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