And so the pronouncement from Washington...

What may have been thought to be workable in a vacant lot somewhere in Yemen was hardly a plan that was sophisticated or foolproof in the hands of a 'warrior' like Abdulmutallab. He had to get the device onto an aeroplane where it had to be yanked out of the trousers in the bathroom after being sat and sweat and farted upon for hours, then squirted with a syringe of acid, the syringe partly destroyed by the corrosive effect....

However, as the subsequent national stir made clear, it was still a success. The media became hysterical and the nation's political leadership overreacted, with the usual result. We got more vows of increased punishment to be meted out in the faraway place - Yemen - and were promised more technology and watch lists promised to keep the childlike populace safe.

link: Pants bombs vs America: The infernal conflict • The Register

...is, we will not succumb to siege mentality and by the way bend over, we want to X-ray your underpants.


Oh man, that's cruel

Man arrested after attacking wife with meatloaf

link: Man arrested after attacking wife with meatloaf | HeraldTribune.com | Sarasota Florida | Southwest Florida's Information Leader

Here's my question

We've gone to the moon and back and invented Tweeter, so how come we haven't figured anything better to do with pennies than stuff them in those little paper sleeves? It's making me crazy doing that.


Noted by Formerly From California Charlie, now wintering in Wisconsin.

We feel your pain. Here we're looking at 20 degrees and sunny for the next five days, or until they change the forecast again, whichever comes first. I'm betting on the changed forecast, myself - it seems to change three or four times a day this winter. Also, just to be clear, I am not really saying any of this. If I did, this being New England and all, I would surely be punished.

And by the way, yes, it does grow back.

A treat from Fiore

Time fugits, baby

Intel this week unveiled a beta version of its application storefront for netbooks, designed to make downloading and purchasing applications similar to the experience on App Store for the iPhone and iPod touch.

link: AppleInsider | CES: Intel takes wraps off netbook app store, dubbed 'AppUp'

I'm so ancient I remember when, in every newspaper and tech magazine in the country, "the failing Apple" was all one word, thefailingapple, and now everybody wants to be like them. Well, OK, it was maybe 15 years ago, which is a long time ago in Internet time and I don't know how long in dog years, but just the same.

Anyway, that's cool. I am, in case you haven't noticed, a big fan of Apple stuff, but I am an even bigger fan of all stuff that does cool, well, stuff, no matter who makes it or how. So, while I fully expect Apple's long-rumored tablet computer, possibly to be announced later this month, will certainly be the coolest thing since sliced iPhones, I am also much delighted that so many new e-reader gizmos also are being introduced this week at the CES.

Go gadgets, woohoo!


why txt whn u cn twit?

LAS VEGAS — To the dismay of safety advocates already worried about driver distraction, automakers and high-tech companies have found a new place to put sophisticated Internet-connected computers: the front seat.

link: Driven to Distraction - Despite Risks, Carmakers Integrate the Web With the Dash - Series - NYTimes.com

Only another couple of months to go

Photo from Fargo, ND, noted by Formerly From California Charlie.


Let me be the first to welcome our new secret health care plan

WASHINGTON – The White House was put on the defensive Wednesday after President Barack Obama pushed congressional leaders to fast-track health care legislation behind closed doors despite his campaign promises of an open process.

link: White House on defensive on health care - Yahoo! News

What the discussion is about, apparently, is how many people who do not now have health insurance will have health insurance after the bill becomes law. The House version has one number, the Senate version another. Neither number is zero.

Just pretend

Several TSA security dogs serving at Philadelphia International Airport have been removed from active service due to issues with their training, officials said Tuesday....

The affected dogs have been undergoing an intensive rehab training program since the failure, but they remain on-duty to act as visual deterrents, officials said.

link: Philly TSA Dogs Fail Airport Training | NBC Philadelphia

The issue with their training, specifically, was that it didn't teach them to detect explosives.

It's only honey, honey

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Authorities shut down a California airport on Tuesday after a suspicious amber liquid in a passenger's bag tested positive for explosives -- only to ultimately determine that the substance was honey....

When the bottles were opened, two of the screeners smelled a strong chemical odor, complained of nausea and were rushed to a local hospital, where they treated and released, Kern County Sheriff's spokesman Michael Whorf said.

link: "Explosive" at California airport found to be honey - Yahoo! News



Oh yeah...there has got to be a punchline here somewhere

LOS ANGELES - Joan Rivers is many things: Funny lady. Jewelry mogul. Red carpet mercenary. But a terrorist?...

Rivers, 76, was deemed a danger to national security and booted from a Newark-bound flight in Costa Rica on Sunday by a jittery Continental Airlines gate agent who found the two names on her passport fishy.

link: Joan Rivers bumped off flight in Costa Rica when Continental gate agent finds passport suspicious

Way to go, Chicago guy!

Jeff Miller, an independent businessman from Rogers Park, clinched his third consecutive Ultimate Couch Potato title Monday morning at Chicago's ESPN Zone.

"It's all about determination," said Miller, who displayed incredible inertia in listlessly viewing massive television screens for 72 straight, sleepless hours....

"He's driven in everything he does," gushed girlfriend Barbra Carqueville, explaining how her boyfriend's real-estate business affords him time to sit these days.

link: Chicago man breaks Guinness World Record for competitive sitting, wins third straight title - chicagotribune.com

A tour of your neighborhood

A Guide to the Cosmos, in Words and Images Dazzling and True

link: A Guide to the Cosmos, in Words and Images Dazzling and True - The New York Times > Science > Slide Show > Slide 1 of 16

-Noted by Midwest Bureau Chief Phil Compton


Christians have better forgiveness plan, says Hume

Buddhism is inferior to Christianity when it comes to forgiveness of sins, according to Fox News pundit Brit Hume. Tiger Woods should turn his back on Buddhism and become a Christian to be forgiven for cheating on his wife, Hume told Fox News' Chris Wallace Sunday.

"The extent to which he can recover seems to me depends on his faith," said Hume. "He is said to be a Buddhist. I don't think that faith offers the kind of redemption and forgiveness offered by the Christian faith. My message to Tiger is, 'Tiger turn to the Christian faith and you can make a total recovery and be a great example to the world."

link: Brit Hume: Tiger Woods must become Christian to be forgiven | Raw Story

Retirement plan is not as good, though.

Before you get to feeling all warm and fuzzy about that organic free-range salad there...

Of the 84,000 chemicals in commercial use in the United States -- from flame retardants in furniture to household cleaners -- nearly 20 percent are secret, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, their names and physical properties guarded from consumers and virtually all public officials under a little-known federal provision....

Under the 1976 Toxic Substances Control Act, manufacturers must report to the federal government new chemicals they intend to market. But the law exempts from public disclosure any information that could harm their bottom line.

link: Use of potentially harmful chemicals kept secret under law - washingtonpost.com




link: back(b)log: 01/02/2010

It's all the putting on and taking off, that's the thing

It takes forever to go anywhere in this weather. Have you noticed that? That's the part I don't like. It's been perfectly fine for walking around today, started out a little chilly but warmed up to 20 by mid afternoon, no wind, just a little spit of snow, icy sidewalks but I seem to bounce just fine. Invigorating, in a word. But it takes half an hour to get all stuffed into sweaters and boots and scarves and mittens and big fat coats and hats and actually get out the door, and another half an hour to get in and all unstuffed at the end. That's why I like summer better. In the summer, if you want to go out you just go out.

Yesterday on the commons

Honest, dear...

BBC -Guests celebrating new year at the highest pub in England had a longer than expected stay, after heavy snow left them stranded for three days.


From Wired...

Danger Room’s Top 10 Stories From a World Gone Nuts | Danger Room | Wired.com

The news that didn't make the news

Project Censored's list of top censored stories for 2009/2010.