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OK, so maybe it wasn't only where the M happened to be.


Donald Trump is apparently doing such a great job of draining the swamp (and piping its denizens straight into his administration) that the lawn of the White House is developing a sinkhole. That, or it's the opening of an actual Hellmouth, and with Buffy off the air for years now, that could mean trouble. Voice Of America White House bureau chief Steve Herman was the first to call attention to the sinkhole this morning:

“It was noticeably bigger between Sunday and Monday,” Herman said. “It’s more than a foot long right now,” he said. A second sinkhole has opened up right next to it, he said.

Quartz notes that, what with some parts of DC being built atop actual swampland, subsidence is a real thing, just like subsidies, and this is far from the only sinkhole in the city:

Sinkholes have opened up across the city in recent years. They forced two residents to abandon their homes in March, and swallowed up a school bus last year. This is the first report of one on the White House lawn.

Over the long term, the combination of sea-level rise -- or perhaps mountains being tossed into the oceans when nobody's looking -- and a geological phenomenon known as "forebulge collapse" may leave big parts of the District quite marshy, marshy, marshy. The land in the area may sink as much as six inches in just the next century, plus however much Chesapeake Bay rises due to climate change. Yes, even if Congress insists it can't do that because it's not real.

Also, Trump has been trying to cover his collapsing forebulge with hairspray and a comb for decades.

Assuming the phenomenon isn't Satan coming to collect on a deal, a symptom of the Earth itself trying to rectify a terrible mistake, or simply a metaphor demanding to become literal, there's also this disappointingly prosaic explanation at science blog Inverse:

There’s no official cause for the White House sinkhole yet, but if previous D.C. sinkholes are any indication, it too is likely caused by a water leak from an aging pipe system. The current residents of the White House should be used to this kind of thing by now, though: In May 2017, a new, leaky water main outside of President Donald Trump’s Florida estate at Mar-a-Lago similarly caused a gaping hole to suddenly appear in the ground.

Well, of course. It's Infrastructure Week again. Now all we need is for not-a-geologist Ryan Zinke to show up and proclaim it a great place for an oil well.

And now it is your open (but not sinking) thread!

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[Quartz / Science Daily / Inverse]

Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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