I scream, you scream

Ice Cream, originally uploaded by tedcompton.

So why don't we just forget about science and get into something else?

Newsweek reports...
Nearly half (48 percent) of the public rejects the scientific theory of evolution; one-third (34 percent) of college graduates say they accept the Biblical account of creation as fact. Seventy-three percent of Evangelical Protestants say they believe that God created humans in their present form within the last 10,000 years; 39 percent of non-Evangelical Protestants and 41 percent of Catholics agree with that view.

So that pretty much settles that.

OK, why not take up art? That sounds like fun.
Cavallaro [that would be Cosimo Cavallaro] is best known for his quirky work with food as art: Past efforts include repainting a Manhattan hotel room in melted mozzarella, spraying five tons of pepper jack cheese on a Wyoming home, and festooning a four-poster bed with 312 pounds of processed ham.

On second thought, why don't we just forget the art and eat that house in Wyoming? Got crackers?

Links: MSNBC, Yahoo! News

Yeah, I have days like this

Days like this, originally uploaded by tedcompton.

The power

The power, originally uploaded by tedcompton.

Good morning. You're toast.

Washington- At least 45.7 million customer credit and debit
card numbers have been stolen from major US retailer TJX after the
company's computer system was hacked, the company said Thursday.
The numbers were published in TJX's annual report to the US
Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

It was "the biggest breach of personal data ever reported," The
Boston Globe said in its online edition Thursday.

The news isn't new but the number is.

I'm beginning to wonder if there's anybody left who hasn't had their credit card hacked.

Link: Raw Story


Woohoo! Alberto!

Gonzales sought to explain weeks of inconsistencies about how closely involved he had been in decisions to dismiss the eight U.S. attorneys. He said he had been aware his staff was drawing up plans for the firings but did not recall taking part in discussions over which people would actually be told to go....

Asked why he had not resigned, as some Democrats and Republicans have demanded, he said: "I am fighting for the truth."

Oh wait. I thought.... Alberto, what happened to the kiddies? I thought you were fighting for the kiddies? That all over now?

These guys are spinning so fast they're all turning into one big blur, aren't they? It's kinda fun to watch. They oughta be in a circus somewhere.

Link: Yahoo! News

Ever feel like you've come to the end of the line, Bunky?

End of the Line, originally uploaded by tedcompton.


Video games gangbusters with geezers

PopCap Games in Seattle ... says its games have been downloaded more than 200 million times since the company was founded in 2000. A spokesman said that the company was stunned by results of a customer survey last year: 71 percent of its players were older than 40, 47 percent were older than 50, and 76 percent of PopCap players were women.

It turns out that older users not only play video games more often than their younger counterparts but also spend more time playing per session. Pogo.com is a Web site that offers “casual” games, easy to play and generally less complicated than the war, sports and strategy games favored by hard-core gamers. According to Electronic Arts, the game publisher that runs the site, people 50 and older were 28 percent of the visitors in February but accounted for more than 40 percent of total time spent on the site. On average women spent 35 percent longer on the site each day than men.

Wake me up when there's a game called Nap.

Link: New York Times



The US has lost its position as the world's primary engine of technology innovation, according to a report by the World Economic Forum.

The US is now ranked seventh in the body's league table measuring the impact of technology on the development of nations.

A deterioration of the political and regulatory environment in the US prompted the fall, the report said.

The top spot went for the first time to Denmark, followed by Sweden.

Link: BBC

Well you'd have to have some snacks in the fridge, wouldn't you?

Around the country, investigators are increasingly seeing suburban homes in middle-class and well-to-do neighborhoods turned into indoor marijuana farms. Typically investigators find an empty home, save a mattress, a couple of chairs, some snacks in the fridge and an elaborate setup of soil-free growing trays.
Oh never mind. I'm just guessing here. But whatever - pot farming has moved upscale.
Grow houses have been a problem for years in California and Canada, but investigators are now seeing scores of them in the South and New England. In the past six weeks alone, more than 70 have been uncovered in northern Georgia...

Indoor pot farms also have been discovered in recent months in residential areas of New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, New York, North Carolina and Florida.
Gives new meaning to the term, "housing bust."

Link: Yahoo! News

River Ice

River Ice, originally uploaded by tedcompton.

The remains of winter in Vermont drift down the Connecticut River past Northfield, MA

Cold Duck

But tough, those Michigan ducks. Or, well, yeah, OK, maybe not too bright. You don't see the Harvard duck in the frozen pond, do you?

Not your average bake sale

Two Boston-area teens raise money to buy phone cards for troops overseas.
[Brittany Bergquist, now 16, and her brother, Robbie, 15] pooled $14 from their piggy banks and collected another $7 from classmates. The opening of an account at a local bank, which donated $500 to the cause, was followed by a bake sale, a yard sale and a car wash outside Town Hall.

Their plan...broadened when the pair heard that recyclers paid for used cellphones. They began by asking friends for old phones. Within weeks, Brittany, Robbie and their parents had persuaded local shops, police stations and government offices to set out recycling bins.

Three years later, the Bergquists’ recycling network spans more than 4,000 drop-off sites located in every state and in England, Canada and Japan, and yields some 20,000 cellphones a month, which fetch an average of $5 each from a Michigan recycling company that refurbishes them for resale.

They've raised $1 million so far.

Got an old phone? Look for a drop-off point near you on the kids' web site, cellphonesforsoldiers.com.

Link: New York Times

A threefer!

Dave Barry, lunatics, and Homeland Security all in one post:
The Department of Homeland Security is moving its headquarters to a lunatic asylum. As Dave Barry is fond of saying, I am not making this up.

Under a plan projected to cost $3 billion, beginning in 2011 DHS will begin moving most of its 60 Washington, D.C.-based offices to a new building it will construct on the grounds of St. Elizabeths Hospital, an insane asylum still in operation in Washington.

St. Elizabeths Hospital holds the dubious distinction of being the first federally sponsored mental hospital in the country, according to its web site.

I'm not making this up either. Really.

Links: Homeland Stupidity, ShortWoman

Has Tony Blair gone senile on us or something?

Tony Blair the other day flashed back to the quaint ole-Europe days of...the Geneva Conventions.
Before the video was broadcast, a spokesman for British Prime Minister Tony Blair said any showing of British personnel on TV would be a breach of the Geneva Conventions.
Or maybe it was just his spokesbimbo there, momentarily off his meds. Or on.

Welll at least it wasn't Trickshot Dick or the DOOFUS. That would be really freaky, man.

Links: The Aristocrats, Yahoo! News


Disturbing news from Pottersville

I don’t know if this is a hoax, paranoia dressed up as serious journalism, the classic echo chamber or the straight and skinny but Naomi at God Is 4 Suckers emailed me this link that indicates we’re attacking Iran. The story was relayed to our shore by Webster G. Tarpley, co-author of the book George Bush: The Unauthorized Biography....

According to Russian journalist Andrei Uglanov of the Argumenty Nedeli, we’re launching an assault on Iran on April 6th in a massive, 12 hour air strike called Operation Bite. Of course, this story, while it may be fairly new (March 25th), is hardly news. I’ve been saying for months now that we’re going to hit Iran anytime now and Global Research and the Arab Times have been saying the same thing since at least the middle of January. What’s notable is that the April date has remained intact all this time, which indicates a specific timetable and an unshakable, longstanding agenda.

This is not the first time I've heard this speculation and I don't know either if there's any substance to it. But if I had a hat, I'd hold on to it.

Link: Welcome to Pottersville

What a wimp, that Harvard duck

Yeah of course, the Harvard duck is the one with the little sailor hat. And it's too windy for the Harvard duck, I guess, because it keeps blowing down to the end of the puddle lake and tipping over. The pure-bred Michigan racing duck (that's the one with the shades, man) is doing fine but the Harvard duck can't handle it. And I'm gonna have to give it a bath before it poses for the official calendar portrait, I'm afraid.

The Ducks of March

The Ducks of March, originally uploaded by tedcompton.

So now they can be fighting, videoblogging, and checking email all at once

"Outfitted with the Dominator, each soldier can send and receive information in real time, view an up-to-the-minute common operational picture on personal displays, as well as live video from either external or on-body sensors and transmit images and positions back to the command post and colleagues," Elbit consultant Shuki Shihrur tells Jane's. "The whole system weighs only several kilograms."

Military multitasking, you might say.

Link: Danger Room

Somehow, Bunky, "evidence" just isn't what it used to be

Earlier Wednesday Britain increased pressure on Iran, releasing evidence it said showed the group was operating in Iraqi waters and freezing bilateral contacts until the crisis is resolved. Iran insists the group was inside its territorial waters.

Is it? How much "evidence" have we seen in the last five or six years that turned out to be total fabrication, or at the very least blatant spin? And some of it was even - oh yes, it's true - from the Brits.

So maybe they were and maybe they weren't, maybe they do and maybe they don't, blah blah blah. They do have some really nice maps, though.

Link: CNN.com

There'll always be an England.

LONDON (Reuters) - A man who filmed himself skiing down the longest escalator on London's underground rail network was branded "dangerous, stupid and irresponsible" on Wednesday.

Link: Yahoo! News

Let us now observe a moment of silence...

How do these two statements square?:

  • "I was not involved in the deliberations over whether or not the US attorneys should resign…"

  • "I know why I asked these United States attorneys to leave and it was not for improper reasons…"
...to reflect upon the proposition that little Alberto Gonzales was once a "Justice" serving on the "Supreme Court" of "Texas."

Link: Crooks and Liars

Not any colder but...

Ice, originally uploaded by tedcompton.

...extremely nice.

At home in the fog

Tree in Fog, originally uploaded by tedcompton.

birdhouse morning fog massachusetts tree

(Yeah, keywords. It's an experiment, is all.)


"Hello, I must be going"

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales dashed out of a Chicago news conference this afternoon in just two and a half minutes, ducking questions about how his office gave U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald a subpar rating.

Gonzales, who increasingly faces calls for his resignation, was here to promote a new ad campaign and had planned a 15-minute press availability. He left after taking just three questions over a firing scandal consuming his administration.

Before leaving, Gonzales said he wanted to "reassure the American people that nothing improper happened here."

Link: Chicago Sun-Times

Did it for the turtles, Doood

MADISON, Wis. - Willow trees lining the Mazomanie nude beach on the Wisconsin River have been removed to reduce alleged sexual activity and provide more sun for nesting turtles, the state Department of Natural Resources says.

Link: Yahoo! News

No! Not that!

Traffic officials in a Swiss city are hoping to stop men using parking spaces reserved for women drivers by painting them pink and adding flowers.

Link: Ananova

Trying their best to provoke an incident in the Gulf

ABOARD THE USS JOHN C. STENNIS — American warplanes screamed off two aircraft carriers Tuesday as the U.S. Navy staged its largest show of force in the Persian Gulf since the 2003 invasion of Iraq, launching a mammoth exercise meant as a message to the Iranians.

The maneuvers with 15 warships and more than 100 aircraft were sure to heighten tensions with Iran, which has frequently condemned the U.S. military presence off its coast and is in a faceoff with the West over its nuclear program and its capture of a British naval team.

Link: Huffington Post

Welcome to the Republican's America

Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales’s senior counselor yesterday refused to testify in the Senate about her involvement in the firings of eight U.S. attorneys, invoking her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination....

The decision means a senior aide to the nation’s top law enforcement official is in the remarkable position of refusing to testify for fear of implicating herself in a crime.

Link: The Carpetbagger


A milestone!

OK, degreestone. Better? Are you satisfied?

They really do owe Bubba an apology

...true to Republican form, when caught in a scandal, the current administration points backward to the last administration as if American history begins with Bill Clinton. When will Slick Willie stop being the sacrificial goat tethered to the iron stake of talking points and offered up by Bush and his acolytes to appease the often-derided gods of public opinion?

The new talking point, reminiscent of the NSA wiretapping program that sidestepped the FISA courts, is, “But… but… Bubba fired all 93 prosecutors 14 years ago! He’s the one you want, he’s the one who gave us permission to fire those eight prosecutors! It’s all his fault! Boo hoo!”

From being the Antichrist of the 90's, Clinton has now become in the Republican pantheon the Saint of All Things OK to Do.

Link: Welcome to Pottersville

Shadow on a Fence

Shadow on the Fence, originally uploaded by tedcompton.

The end of Life. Again.

Life Magazine was the TV of my youth. Founded in 1936 (before even my time, but not my much), it published weekly until 1972 and for all that time, Life was where the pictures were - funny pictures, tragic pictures, dramatic pictures, silly pictures, Life had them all. Life photographers were the best and most famous in the world (and many of them still are).

Life covered moments great and small - from wars and explorations to gadgets and starlets. Nothing really happened until its picture turned up in Life. But it wasn't all pictures - I first read Michener's "Bridges at Toko-Ri" and Hemingway's "The Old Man and the Sea" in Life.

The last house I lived in in Illinois was only a short walk from a public library and there they had a complete set of Life Magazines. I'd walk over there now and then and spend time paging through issues from the 40's and 50's and was astounded at how many I remembered. They were the iconic images of my life.

The weekly Life was followed by a monthly which published until 2000 and then folded again. In a third incarnation, it's been published as a weekend newspaper insert since 2004. Now, according to reports, it's folding again. For the last time. My TV, done in by TV.

But the good news is, Time Inc. is expected to put the entire collection of Life photographs - some 10 million images - online and make them available free. I'm blocking out a couple of years to browse.

Links: Huffington Post, Life


  • I thought there was nothing around here worth eating for lunch but then I remembered I had a potato. Yum. Baked potato with real butter is good.

  • In New England, the sky's too small. Really. New England is a nice-looking place most of the time - spectacular in Autumn - but the sky's too small. Even on the seacoast you can only see half.

Morning Fog

Morning Fog, originally uploaded by tedcompton.

Let the fixating begin

Reports the New York Times...
Lawyers for the city, responding to a request to unseal records of police surveillance leading up to the 2004 Republican convention in New York, say that the documents should remain secret because the news media will “fixate upon and sensationalize them,” hurting the city’s ability to defend itself in lawsuits over mass arrests.

Right. And another thing.
In papers filed in federal court last week, the city’s lawyers also say that the documents could be “misinterpreted” because they were not intended for the public.

OK, let's have a little reality check here, New York. Interpreting those documents is the public's freakin' job. And you know as well as I do they can do that job just fine - which is what you're worried about, isn't it? You bet.

Link: New York Times


Maybe there's some sort of magic one-third

MOUNTAIN VIEW, California (Reuters) - A little under one-third of U.S. households have no Internet access and do not plan to get it, with most of the holdouts seeing little use for it in their lives, according to a survey released on Friday.

Ya think?

I mean, how many people still like George Bush? About a third.

How many people still support the war in Iraq? About a third.

How many people think the world will end on Wednesday? Oh, about a third.

How many people have never heard of Anna Nicole Smith? I'd guess about a third.

I'm not saying it's always the same third, you understand. But it's always a third.

And yeah, Anna Nicole Smith is Google bait.

Link: Yahoo! News

Limber up your fingers, Bunky...

...and try this on for size:


"It is the maximum number of characters allowed and is recognised as the longest valid internet name in the world," reports Ananova.

Corner Windows

Corner Windows, originally uploaded by tedcompton.

It's a tease and it's not fair

The weather widget always says it's warm and it's not. Yeah, right. And then the weather widget says but wait until tomorrow, it'll be really warm. Really. So, OK, today's tomorrow: where's the warm?

Let's have some action here, warmwise.

Hey Diebold. Fuck off.

BOSTON --One of the nation's top manufacturers of voting machines is taking the state to court Monday to try to block distribution of machines for the disabled in Massachusetts, saying it was unfairly denied the lucrative contract.

An attorney for Diebold Election Systems Inc. said the company should have been awarded the $9 million contract if Secretary of State William Galvin followed his own criteria when deciding which firm the state should contract with for the new machines.

If Galvin is screwing around on the job he answers to me, not to you losers. Go sue your mamas.

Who ever heard of such a thing, getting sued because you didn't buy a product?

If corporations are "persons," why is there no death penalty for corporations?

Link: Boston Globe

Window with Flag

Window with Flag, originally uploaded by tedcompton.

Finally, somebody gets it right.

Too late, but still. It's Zbigniew Brzezinski, writing in yesterday's Washington Post.
The "war on terror" has created a culture of fear in America....

The damage these three words have done -- a classic self-inflicted wound -- is infinitely greater than any wild dreams entertained by the fanatical perpetrators of the 9/11 attacks when they were plotting against us in distant Afghan caves.

Exactly so. Think about it. Four stolen airplanes - they didn't even have to pay rent - a couple of dozen guys, and an entire freakin' "superpower" implodes. Citizens hide under their collective bed while their Constitution is shredded, their rights trampled, their treasury looted and their future mortgaged. Citizens applaud.

Oh yeah. Feeling a little cynical this morning. I'd be downright flat-out depressed if it weren't for one guy whose name I can't pronounce and a bunch of high school kids I don't know from Wilton, CT.

The kids - students in the Theater Arts class - decided that instead of YA iteration of "Brigadoon" this year they'd do a play of their own devising, a series of dramatic readings, words written by the soldiers of Iraq. The New York Times picks up the story:
“In Wilton, most kids only care about Britney Spears shaving her head or Tyra Banks gaining weight,” said Devon Fontaine, 16, a cast member. “What we wanted was to show kids what was going on overseas.”

But even as 15 student actors were polishing the script and perfecting their accents for a planned April performance, the school principal last week canceled the play, titled “Voices in Conflict,” citing questions of political balance and context.

One more movie about a clueless principal hiding under his bed coming up. "Political balance and context" as the good grown-ups of Wilton, CT, see it, it turns out, equates to Joe Lieberman. Looks like a Democrat Independent, votes like a jackass.

The good news is, there are several independent theater companies showing interest in performing the students' play. I hope it winds up on Broadway. And if it does, I hope they comp the principal a ticket. The guy could use a little education, I think.

(The Wilton High class's web site is difficult to load - bandwidth maxed, no doubt - but if you keep trying the link below long enough to get it you can read their play.)

Links: Washington Post, New York Times, Wilton High School Theater Arts Class



Survivor, originally uploaded by tedcompton.

The Melt

The Melt, originally uploaded by tedcompton.

And not a minute too soon.

The Empire grinds up its own

Hey, that has a fine sci-fi ring to it, don't you think?
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Debris that may have contained bits of bone from victims of the World Trade Center attacks was used to fill potholes and pave city roads, according to court papers filed on Friday.

Link: Yahoo! News

Revenge of the slobs

For the past decade, there has been an escalating notion in this country that happier, more productive lives are only a tidy closet and color-coded file away. Turning hapless, slovenly "Befores" into well-ordered "Afters" has become both a pop culture sensation, as well as a multibillion-dollar industry....

Amid all of this hyper-managed minimalism, a dissenting voice has emerged.

Messiness is good, offers David H. Freedman, co-author of "A Perfect Mess: The Hidden Benefits of Disorder - How Crammed Closets, Cluttered Offices and On-the-Fly Planning Make the World a Better Place."

Yes. Emphasis mine. Oh yes. Woohoo! Read it and weep, Bunky.


Links: Denver Post, Connecting.the.Dots