11.23.2014

And what if life on other planets is just like us? How freaking disappointing would that be?

XKCD

Don't bother us with details, Dude

This tone-deaf cartoonist forgets that Thanksgiving is about immigration - Vox

"Remember, the classic Thanksgiving story is about Pilgrims — a.k.a. immigrants — who showed up on American shores uninvited, and in precarious economic circumstances. Thanksgiving is a celebration of the fact that the native-born Americans who lived in the area welcomed these newcomers, shared their food with them, and helped them make the transition to their new home."

Anyway those native-born Americans pretty much got screwed in the end, which…errr…wait…

Ouch, that's gotta sting

Obama: Americans Will Want 'New Car Smell' in Next President | The Weekly Standard

"You know…they want to drive something off the lot that, that doesn’t have as much mileage as me."

Ain't nothing sacred any more?

Sunday morning used to be the perfect time for laundry. I’d have the place to myself, or pretty near. No muss, no fuss. no bother.

But for the last two weeks it’s been packed on Sunday morning. The laundry place. How did they all find out at once?

I wonder if I can wear these socks until Wednesday.

Tweeting in the tunnel

This is how you make phones work 100 feet underground | The Verge

It’s “leaky coax” in a place where “leak” is a word you don’t want to hear.

I don't quite understand the physics of this but maybe that's because txting has r…oops, ran out of characters there

‘Text neck’ is becoming an ‘epidemic’ and could wreck your spine - The Washington Post

"The human head weighs about a dozen pounds. But as the neck bends forward and down, the weight on the cervical spine begins to increase. At a 15-degree angle, this weight is about 27 pounds, at 30 degrees it’s 40 pounds, at 45 degrees it’s 49 pounds, and at 60 degrees it’s 60 pounds."

Seems like a minor detail, really

Naked man assaults 84-year-old at Boston Logan Airport - Chicago Tribune

"Police did not say if drugs or alcohol might have played a role in the incident."

11.22.2014

Siri (allegedly) raps



Noted by Some Guy from Seattle

I stand in the checkout line…

…and it occurs to me, all of a sudden, that what I’m holding is a great big basket of carbs. Except for a can of Spam and a half-dozen eggs. But by then, there is somebody behind me in line and I don’t want to go back and buy broccoli because I would lose my place. Partly. Not partly lose my place, I mean.

So I get a chocolate bar from the chocolate-line rack instead.

We are running out of chocolate and so we need to eat as much as possible while we still can.

But don't worry. it won't last

Lawfare › The Immigration Imbroglio as (Pretty) Normal Separation of Powers

"It has been instructive during the last six years to watch President Obama and most Democrats evolve from Executive power critics to Executive power apologists, just as it has been instructive to watch many Republicans evolve from Executive power apologists (or quiet fence-sitters) to Executive power critics.  It has also been instructive to watch President Obama’s transformation, in less than three weeks, from an irrelevant lame duck to an overbearing threat to our constitutional order."

This must be one of those days

Divorce lawyers see uptick in ‘pet prenups’ - Lifestyle - The Boston Globe

"In the end, the family member who often suffers most in a divorce is the dog, say several experts."

What happens to the Internet with no cats

You can now video chat with your dog | New York Post

"All you’ve got to do is attach a tablet to the free-standing iCPooch, which is a rectangular box with a dispenser. Not only does it let you and your pet get some FaceTime, but the app even lets people control when their pup or kitty gets a treat."

But not backing out of backing out

Obama expands US military role in Afghanistan | New York Post

"The earlier plan would have only allowed attacks on Taliban if they threatened US forces or gave direct support to al Qaeda."

Pig out in Indianapolis

More than 2,000 piglets pulled from crash on Ind. highway - NY Daily News

"The Wayne Township Fire Department snapped pictures and videos as the squealing piglets were rescued and ferried to safety along an assembly line. The porkers were taken to the Indiana State Fairgrounds to spend the night before continuing their journey."

11.20.2014

An exercise in comparative TV

Watch the first episode of the new NBC show, State of Affairs, and then watch any episode of CBS's Madam Secretary.

You won't need me to tell you what you've seen.

Do I look green to you?

Let's not overwrite here, Dude

Britain's First Poop-Bus Leaves the Station

"Toilet humor aside, biomethane gas is a legitimate source of renewable energy. Governments should not constipate the efforts to introduce new forms of energy into public transit systems."

Oh don't trouble us with this really hard thinking

The curious case of GOP objections to executive action | TheHill

"The question is: Why is Congress taking up a weaker case by arguing that President Obama is unrestrained by law in the domestic context while ignoring the real problem of presidential overreach in the realm of national security? Congress ought to insist on its constitutional role in the area of national security, beginning by voting up or down on legislation to authorize military action against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS)."

So lighten up, Buffalo; it could be cold.

2014 Is on Track to Become the Hottest Year on Record - NationalJournal.com

"The worldwide combined average land and water temperature for October clocked in at 58.43 degrees Fahrenheit—the warmest recorded October since record-keeping started in 1880. "

Wait, what?

Poll: Nearly half oppose executive action - Kendall Breitman - POLITICO

"Nearly half of Americans do not support President Barack Obama’s plan to take executive action on immigration, a new poll finds."

“Nearly half” is the new standard now? We need to go back and revise the pipeline vote. the NSA vote, the…hey, that probably reverses some of those elections the R’s recently “won,” too. 

LOL…shoulda checked the schedule first

White House hits TV networks for skipping immigration address - POLITICO.com

"The White House is exasperated with the major broadcast networks – ABC, CBS and NBC -- for skipping out on President Barack Obama’s Thursday primetime address on his executive actions on immigration."

(See below.)

I'm thinking, why bother watching this on the TeeVee?

And So The Immigration Uproar Begins - Esquire

"Constitutional infamy!!!!

"And this is before he does anything. This is pre-emptive high-sterics, the warm-up pitches, as it were. The really unmoored rhetoric is just now being uncrated and dusted off, as the Republicans once again try to conjure up a Watergate of their very own. (They've been mad for one for over 40 years.)"

It’s going to be written about endlessly for weeks, maybe months. No escape.

11.19.2014

Hey, don't be all mean to the strippers, Dude

Senate Of Attention: : Keystone XL Pipeline And NSA Bills Defeated - Esquire

"So I watched in barely concealed glee on Tuesday evening as the Mary Landrieu Preservation Act of 2014 sank to the bottom of the oily muck in which it belongs. Give ol' Dead Career Walking her due, though. She went down in a towering blaze of pure bullshit. She cited the '40,000 jobs,' which, once again, is accurate only if you count temporary workers and itinerant strippers."

Worlds collide

Could Obama cut deal on Keystone pipeline? Don't rule it out | Reuters

"(Reuters) - President Barack Obama might be open to using the Keystone pipeline as leverage with Republicans if they cooperate on other aspects of his long-stalled domestic agenda, such as investing in infrastructure, closing tax loopholes or reducing carbon emissions."

We give up. We have no position on this particular pipeline but how authorizing its construction is compatible with reducing carbon emissions escapes us.

Also, we find it somewhat amusing a theater in England devoted to reproducing an authentic Shakespearean experience is now selling (or renting) videos of its productions that can be purchased (and streamed) online. That said, if they will except money instead of pounds (pounds of what?) we might try one or two ourselves. Those Brits do know how to do the Bard.

A crisis of sorts

By some strange happenstance I got everything I needed to do yesterday done (there wasn’t much of it) and today I find myself with no work to avoid.  Clearly, finding some work would be, well, work. Fortunately I have a good book handy.

Nothing like an improvised hospital to make you feel all warm and safe

Hospitals improvise Ebola defenses, at a cost

"In Newark, New Jersey, a hospital dealing with a space-crunch and staff anxiety moved its Ebola operation out of its main building and into a mobile medical shelter ordinarily used during natural disasters. In Dallas, Texas, three hospital systems pooled resources to create a treatment center in a defunct intensive care unit sitting empty since the spring. In Kansas, a hospital hastily built walls and hung plastic sheeting to create an isolation suite. A New York City hospital put together one unit, decided it wasn't optimal, and is finishing work on a replacement."

11.18.2014

We are way beyond being amused by these guys

Red Bloom
iPhone art: Phil Compton




Keep your eye on the fine print

Lawfare › The Navy’s Scary New Death Ray

"The use of lasers in military settings is the subject of a specific treaty, namely the Protocol on Blinding Laser Weapons, to which the US has been a signatory since 2009.…[but] it appears that while blinding someone is a no-go, setting someone on fire might be okay."

W00t

Our day so far

And these guys are in charge


Pick good passwords and keep your software up to date

Cybersecurity expert puts focus on training people, not developing technology - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

"Speaking to hundreds of information technology professionals, security expert Reg Harnish did not once mention ‘malware.’ Nor did he delve headlong into the complexities of firewall protections. Not one of his eight pieces of advice had anything to do with technology."

11.17.2014

How to make a good thing boring

Love bugs: How many bacteria in a single kiss? - CBS News

"To help make the science more accessible to the public, Micropia assembled a 'Kiss-o-Meter' - a machine and multimedia display that records people kissing. Depending on how long the couples kiss on camera, the display rates the affectionate act from an average 80 million bacteria-and-above exchange as a 'steamy kiss,' down to quick smooch registering only about 1,000 bacteria transferred as 'prude.'"

Where is that General Custer when you need him?

House approval of Keystone XL is an ‘act of war': Tribe - NY Daily News

"The GOP-led House voted on Friday to approve the Alberta-to-Nebraska pipeline — but Cyril Scott, president of the Rosebud Sioux tribe in South Dakota vowed to block it.

“"Scott has threatened to close Rosebud's borders if any attempt to build the pipeline is made."

It's hard to find a holiday when you don't do anything to begin with

Like today. Yesterday, I woke up with quite a substantial list of things to do and managed to avoid all of them. Every one. I figure today would be a perfect day to celebrate. Declare a holiday. There was a a holiday last week but it came on a Tuesday. What’s the point of Tuesday holidays unless you take Monday off too? I didn’t take last Monday off, but I could take off today.

Plus, it’s raining. Who could do anything on such a rainy day? What do you want, wet feet? It’s barely above freezing out there. I’m staying here.

A shock in the night

I had this extremely upsetting dream last night…I looked at myself in a mirror and my head was all covered with hair. Ewww. And I really, really needed a haircut, too.

Ghastly

Do we call this a lie too?

Obama: Illegal Immigration Hurts 'Blue-Collar Americans' | The Daily Caller

"President Obama once declared that an influx of illegal immigrants will harm ‘the wages of blue-collar Americans’ and ‘put strains on an already overburdened safety net.’"

11.16.2014

Bears win; Seahawks, Broncos lose



For color commentary…

Wherein I beseech the seer

Siri likes the Bears over the Vikings by 2.5 points.

At least somebody does.

The spin (as in, around)

Report: Losing GOP Candidate Now Wants To Lead O-Care Agency

"The newspaper reported that Wehby, who like most Republican candidates campaigned against Obamacare, called Democratic Gov. John Kitzhaber and inquired about the unfilled position of director of the Oregon Health Authority."

Nobody ever said anything about ballet slippers, did they?

Obama: Situation May Change Where U.S. Must Send Troops To Fight ISIL

"BRISBANE, Australia (AP) — President Barack Obama reiterated his desire not to send U.S. combat troops to fight Islamic State fighters, but said there are always circumstances where the U.S. might need to deploy ground troops."

Ballet slippers on the ground. See? No boots.

Dude, who cares about oil? We need to frack for this!

The world’s biggest chocolate-maker says we’re running out of chocolate - The Washington Post

"Already, we are in the midst of what could be the longest streak of consecutive chocolate deficits in more than 50 years."

Good news: That lot you own might be beachfront property yet

Mitch McConnell vows war with President Obama over coal

"He pledged that he and his fellow Republicans would combat the White House 'in any way that we can' in the next Congress and signaled that a primary weapon will be using spending bills to limit funding of the Environmental Protection Agency, which wants to reduce carbon emissions."

And now a musical interlude from the long-ago year, 1967.

1929, however…

What Happened the Last Time Republicans Had a Majority This Huge? - Josh Zeitz - POLITICO Magazine

"Since last week, many Republicans have been feeling singularly nostalgic for November 1928, and with good reason. It’s the last time that the party won such commanding majorities in the House of Representatives while also dominating the Senate. And, let’s face it, 1928 was a good time."