Catch that metaphor!

The iPhone is one hell of a smartphone. Relying on a typical smartphone for your Internet services is like going camping. An iPhone is more like spending a week in a very nice RV: Everything is there; it's just smaller. It's the difference between squatting on a wet log eating beans from a can and sitting in a heated kitchenette enjoying a Lean Cuisine while watching "The Big Bang Theory" on a 19-inch LCD TV.

[From How did Ihnatko survive a week sans the 'Net? :: CHICAGO SUN-TIMES :: Andy Ihnatko]

Ewwww, that stings

“She wouldn’t have articulated one coherent policy and people would just be fawning all over her,” said Andrew Halcro, a Republican turned independent, who along with Tony Knowles, a Democrat, ran against Ms. Palin for governor in 2006. “Tony and I looked at each other and it was, like, this isn’t about policy or Alaska issues, this is about people’s most basic instincts: ‘I like you, and you make me feel good.’ ”

“You know,” said Mr. Halcro, invoking the Democratic presidential nominee, “that’s kind of like Obama.”

[From Woman in the News - Sarah Heath Palin, an Outsider Who Charms - Biography - NYTimes.com]

Would a nice box of candy help?


Two senior Republican officials close to Mitt Romney and Tim

Pawlenty said they had both been rudely strung along and now "feel manipulated."

[From Palin Pick Leaves Bruised Feelings | The Trail | washingtonpost.com]

Dude, I don't know about the politics but the entertainment value of McCain's picking a rootin-tootin bear-shootin' beauty queen to run for Veep is awesome. It really is. And maybe even smart, too.

However this election thing works out, I'd rather watch Batwoman than the Brady Bunch any day.

Nope, not hard at all

Air Force Lt. Gen. Henry Obering, is a man in a pickle. As head of the controversial Missile Defense Agency, he's in the strange position of "selling" ultracomplex, ultraexpensive weapons to the American public -- and to the "rogue" regimes those weapons are meant to counter -- while also assuring nervous world powers that those weapons don't work so well that they undermine mutual nuclear deterrence. "It's not hard to see the irony here," Erik Sofge writes for Popular Mechanics.

[From Missile Agency Boss: Defenses 'Work,' but Not Too Well | Danger Room from Wired.com]

Dangerous and pink

A woman has sued a town that refused to allow her to open a dance studio that featured pole-dancing exercise classes on the grounds it was a sexually oriented business....

[Business owner Stephanie] Babines alleges "the small-town municipal officials do not approve of the type of dance she teaches. They believe it is 'provocative,' full of sexual 'innuendo,' and too dangerous for their township."...

At an appeal hearing in May, [code enforcement officer Gary] Peaco testified he didn't need to interview Babines because her Web site's "pink-and-black color scheme ... and the high-heeled shoe in her logo" indicated to him she planned to run a sexually oriented business, the lawsuit states.

[From Town Sued After Nixing Pole-Dancing Studio]



Structure, originally uploaded by tedcompton.


Is this some new online game or something?

Russia Under Pressure, Has Little World Support

[From Russia Under Pressure, Has Little World Support : NPR]

"Little World?"

Sounds like it might be fun if it's not too big.

Past due

Katrina hit New Orleans and the Gulf Coast three years ago this week. The president promised to do whatever it took to rebuild. But the nation is trying to fight wars in several countries and is dealing with economic crisis. The attention of the president wandered away. As a result, this is what New Orleans looks like today.

0. Number of renters in Louisiana who have received financial assistance from the $10 billion federal post-Katrina rebuilding program Road Home Community Development Block Grant - compared to 116,708 homeowners....

2.6 billion. FEMA dollars scheduled to be available to State of Louisiana for Katrina damages that have not yet been delivered.

[From t r u t h o u t | Katrina Pain Index: New Orleans Three Years Later]

There'll always be an England

A man who chose "Lloyds is pants" as his telephone banking password said he found it had been changed by a member of staff to "no it's not". ...

He said he was then banned from changing it back or to another password of "Barclays is better".

Of course that does raise the question, how did the guy at the bank know the password in the first place?

Lloyds TSB stressed there was no security lapse in this case.

A spokesperson said: "On the majority of transactions advisors cannot read customers' passwords.

"In this case it was a business banking customer using a system where more than one person from a business can check their balance.

"In these cases an advisor can read the full password.

[From BBC NEWS | UK | England | Shropshire | Man's 'pants' password is changed]
Which, in turn, raises the questions, whose balance is "their balance," and is there no apostrophe in "Lloyds," and would "Lloyds is trousers" work?



Seems to be all one word on the cable feeds. A dog is a dog is a dog, is what I say. Would an all-human ticket be too much to ask?


There be monsters in the land beyond


Thirty years ago, the "going out to play" culture coexisted with other culturally sanctioned forms of independence for even very young children: Kids as young as 6 used to walk to school on their own, for instance, or take public buses or -- gulp -- subways. And if they lived on a school bus route, their mommies did not consider it necessary to escort them to the bus stop every morning and wait there with them.

But today, for most middle-class American children, "going out to play" has gone the way of the dodo, the typewriter and the eight-track tape. From 1981 to 1997, for instance, University of Michigan time-use studies show that 3- to 5-year-olds lost an average of 501 minutes of unstructured playtime each week; 6- to 8-year-olds lost an average of 228 minutes. . . And forget about walking to school alone.


At least the cows know which way is up

Can we run one for Congress?

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Talk about animal magnetism, cows seem to have a built-in compass. No bull: Somehow, cattle seem to know how to find north and south, say researchers who studied satellite photos of thousands of cows around the world.

[From East Valley Tribune | Daily Arizona News for Chandler, Gilbert, Mesa, Tempe, Scottsdale]

(But please, AP, is all that prose really necessary?)


A new addition to the work avoidance list, foodgawker, courtesy of our Seattle bureau.

Is it just me...

...or is this not a particularly good start:

During the years that Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr. was helping the credit card industry win passage of a law making it harder for consumers to file for bankruptcy protection, his son had a consulting agreement that lasted five years with one of the largest companies pushing for the changes, aides to Senator Barack Obama’s presidential campaign acknowledged Sunday.

Mr. Biden’s support for the bankruptcy changes, which were signed into law in 2005, puts him at odds with Mr. Obama of Illinois, who opposed the bill and has criticized the presumptive Republican nominee, Senator John McCain of Arizona, for supporting it.

[From Obama Aides Defend Bank’s Pay to Biden Son - NYTimes.com]

And the trains run on time

BEIJING (AFP) - Meteorologists dispatched eight planes to release rain dispersal chemicals and fired 241 rockets into incoming clouds to ensure a dry Beijing Olympics closing ceremony, state media said Monday.

Meteorologists also fired more than 1,000 rockets into clouds on August 8 to prevent showers from ruining the opening ceremony -- the biggest-ever operation of its kind by China.

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