Da Mare takes on da MIB

Mayor Richard Daley was adamant Friday about Chicago's intention to defend its handgun ban in court, despite news that a second area suburb was likely to repeal its ordinance next week. ...

"I don't look at this lightly—that, 'Oh, because the Supreme Court's done it we're just gonna dismiss it and all of a sudden people can arm themselves,' " he said.

[From Daley promises to fight to keep handgun ban -- chicagotribune.com]

Hank, is it?

Can Hank Paulson Defuse This Crisis?

[From Can Hank Paulson Defuse This Crisis? - NYTimes.com]

LOL qurl

There's this web site called Qurl, a redirection service, where you can change URLs to, right, "qurls" which presumably are "more manageable." It changes the URL for headquarters from http://web.mac.com/tcompton to ... wait for it ... http://www.qurl.com/rhw13.

So there ya go. Saves about 3 characters and is massively more forgettable. But hey. If you're a short-URL freak you can use it. I don't think it expires. There's probably some catch or other but I don't know what it is.

Never, ever, ever...

...start thinking about todo lists at 3 am. Ever. Especially in this weather, when it's a lot more comfortable working at 3 am than 3 p. It is a big, big mistake.

Also, what's with twitter anyway.


Want to hum a few bars?

Near the close of his visit to Israel on Wednesday, Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama met with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. A major topic of their long conversation was Obama's declared willingness to engage in direct dialogue with Tehran.

Obama reportedly told Olmert that he is interested in meeting the Iranians in order to issue clear ultimatums. "If after that, they still show no willingness to change their nuclear policy, then any action against them would be legitimate," an Israeli source quoted him as saying.

[From Obama to PM: Iran action legitimate only if talks fail - Haaretz - Israel News ]


New Bedford

New Bedford, originally uploaded by tedcompton.

His aura!

Mr. Obama was warmly embraced by the German press, which frequently referred to his aura, or as the newspaper Bild put it in Thursday’s paper, the “political pop star.”

[From Obama Speaks to Germany on European Ties - NYTimes.com]

I don't know - is that good? I'm not too well-informed about this aura stuff.

Obama told Germans in a Berlin speech he wasn't there "as a candidate for President" but just as a citizen, because all us citizens fly around in charter planes with a retinue of advisors and press.

He's probably got the German vote nailed.


The same debates that take place today over Latino immigrants and the Spanish language once centered around the German communities, which had their own newspapers, schools and theaters. At the peak of German migration to the United States 1.8 million came between 1880 and 1893, according to Klaus Bade, a professor at the University of Osnabrück and founder of the Institute for Migration Research and Intercultural Studies.

To put that in perspective, that came at a time when the population of the United States was only around 50 million, or one-sixth of what it is today.

[From As German as America - The Caucus - Politics - New York Times Blog]

So he's being charged with overhearing somebody say something?

Hamdan's lawyer said in opening statements that the Yemeni, held for nearly seven years before his trial, was just a paid employee of the fugitive al Qaeda leader, a driver in the motor pool who never joined the militant group or plotted attacks on America.

But prosecutor Timothy Stone told the six-member jury of U.S. military officers who will decide Hamdan's guilt or innocence that Hamdan had inside knowledge of the 2001 attacks on the United States because he overheard a conversation between bin Laden and his deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri.

[From The Raw Story | Gitmo prosecutor: Flight 93 was shot down on 9/11]

This'll do wonders for the earplug market.

And we could eat the bears

WASHINGTON (AFP) - Within the Arctic circle there are 90 billion barrels of oil and vast quantities of natural gas waiting to be tapped, most of it offshore, the government-run US Geological Survey said.

[From AFP.com | Agence France-Presse, a global news agency]

If it's Thursday, this must be Berlin

Germans have followed the US election campaign intensely and the vast majority -- 76 percent according to a recent poll -- would vote for Obama if they could versus just 10 percent for his Republican opponent John McCain. ...

The presumptive candidate will speak at the Victory Column, a 19th century monument to defeats of France, Austria and Denmark in successive wars and more recently, a venue for the wildly popular Love Parade techno parties.

[From AFP.com | Agence France-Presse, a global news agency]

Love Parade, indeed.



neon, originally uploaded by tedcompton.

Hurricane watch

In a Nazi submarine. On the moon.

Vice Presidential candidate Sen. John Edwards was caught visiting his mistress and secret love child at 2:40 this morning in a Los Angeles hotel by the NATIONAL ENQUIRER.

[From SEN. JOHN EDWARDS CAUGHT WITH MISTRESS AND LOVE CHILD! - Celebrity News | Gossip - National Enquirer]

Always wanted to live in a footnote

For a nonpessimistic view, hearken to W. Michael Cox and Richard Alm of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, who in the current issue of The American ask "How Are We Doing?" - and offer some useful perspective. The nation's present troubles, they argue, "will turn out to be mere footnotes in a longer-term march of progress."

[From Cheer up - these are the good old days - The Boston Globe]

And hey, how can you not like the nonpessimistic [sic] view? Granted, how nearly the nonpessimistic view approximates reality is open to question, but it is not a question that much interests the Boston Globe's pet winger, Jeff Jacoby.

The downside of security

(07-22) 18:02 PDT SAN FRANCISCO -- The San Francisco computer engineer accused of withholding access codes to the city's network surrendered the password during an unusual jailhouse visit by Mayor Gavin Newsom, authorities said Tuesday.

Newsom came away with the access codes Monday night after talking with Terry Childs, 43, of Pittsburg, who has been held since July 13 on four felony counts stemming from what prosecutors describe as an effort to block administrative access to the network that handles 60 percent of the city's information, including sensitive law enforcement, payroll and jail booking records.

[From Lawyer says client was protecting city's code]

Childs' defense attorney says Childs withheld the passwords to protect the network from "utter mismanagement, negligence and corruption" in the city's technology department.


"Word torture"

AMMAN, JORDAN--The Obama campaign is planning a big public rally in a major park in Berlin on Thursday. Thousands of Germans are anticipated to attend when presumptive Democratic nominee Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) delivers what is being billed as a "substantive" speech on Trans-Atlantic relations. Yet campaign top advisors Robert Gibbs and David Axelrod insist this is not a campaign event though it is conceived, organized, financed and executed by the campaign. ...

The Obama trip to Iraq and Afghanistan is taxpayer-funded official government business. The rest if [sic] paid for by the campaign.

[From Word torture: Obama staffers insist we are not really on a campaign trip. (well, maybe sometimes.) - Lynn Sweet]

Summer in northern Minnesota

Oftentimes 10 to 20 miles inland, away from Lake Superior, summer is in full swing with temperatures in the upper 70s to low 80s ...

[From Duluth News Tribune | FOX 21 WEATHER UPDATE for July 22: Partly cloudy, cooler lakeside; HI: 72; LO: 51]

By the lake it can be 20 degrees cooler if the wind is right. Even this time of year you want to keep a sweater handy.

But, bunky, if you think 70-degree highs are on the cool side for the end of July you ought to see what happens in January.

That they're hungry

What McCain, Obama's favorite eats say about them

[From Chicago Sun-Times]

[Front page headline - the story is here.]

What I want to know is, do they use drawstring garbage bags or the twist-tie ones? Now that'd be something.


You thought I was kidding...

...about being a fashion trendsetter, right?

Well, OK, I sorta was. In a way.

Does this guy even know where his waist is?

[Flint, MI, Police Chief David] Dicks said wearing pants below the waist is a crime ...

[From ACLU prepares to take cops to court over saggy pants | Freep.com | Detroit Free Press]

Dude, I thought guys stopped wearing pants at the waist in about 1940. Except, you know, old guys. And guys with suspenders. Maybe I wore pants that high once or twice with a tux (yes! moi!) but every day? Are you kidding? Your waist is, like, way up there.

Meanwhile Lynwood, IL, a Chicago suburb, has passed an ordinance levying a $35 fine on anyone walking around with three inches or more of their underwear exposed. OK, true, my highly sophisticated sense of fashion gives me to think guys who walk around with their underwear hanging out look kind of dorky, but still. Begging the question what, exactly, is "underwear," what are they going to do, equip the cops with tape measures? OK, kid, 2 15/16" - you're good to go!

Maybe we all ought to take a deep breath, ya think? Is that too much to ask for?


At least it's not an expensive haircut

\Well, presidential candidate Barack Obama debuts on the international stage with a newly reconfigured campaign plane with its own distinctive message painted across it, "Change We Can Believe In."

On the tail, instead of the American flag on the presidential plane, is the rising-sun logo of the Obama campaign. ...

The front cabin, where Obama travels, has been fitted out with luxury recliner seating. Obama 08 is embroidered on one seat, presumably to be normally occupied by the candidate.

[From Obama debuts new campaign plane: The Swamp]



Michigan, originally uploaded by tedcompton.

After Hours

BW08-19, originally uploaded by tedcompton.


Three Chinese reporters attending a police briefing on the success of an anti-gun campaign were accidentally shot, media reports say.

[From BBC NEWS | Asia-Pacific | Gun briefing backfires in China]

By one of the briefing cops, no less.

Humor dies a torturous death

BROKAW: What did you think of this cover on the New Yorker? ...

GORE: ... I thought it was way too far over the top....

[From Raw Replay - Revisiting History]


Taking the big view

From our intrepid Midwest bureau chief, this find:

A new, inexpensive robotic device from researchers at Carnegie Mellon University attaches snugly to almost any standard digital camera, tilting and panning it to fashion highly detailed panoramic vistas — whether of the Grand Canyon, a rain forest or a backyard Easter egg hunt.

[From Novelties - Sweeping Panoramas, Courtesy of a Robot - NYTimes.com]

Awesome! See some examples at Gigapan or note the new Gigapan listing in our Work Avoidance List.

Into the abyss

"Why they would want a picture like that of me is beyond me," said Mike Glidewell, 62, a Kansas man who was going through security last week at O'Hare. "But anything they want to do to keep me alive is fine with me."

[From New airport security devices "see" through clothing -- chicagotribune.com]