Poke your phone with a snack?

Sales of CJ Corporation's snack sausages are on the increase in South Korea because of the cold weather; they are useful as a meat stylus for those who don't want to take off their gloves to use their iPhones.

link: Meat stylus for the iPhone


Everybody wants to play

People vote their aspirations, not their reality. In a poll during the 2000 election, people were asked if they were in the top 1 percent of earners. Nineteen percent of Americans said they were in the top 1 percent and another 20 percent expect to be someday. So immediately there is more than a third of Americans who don’t oppose tax cuts for the wealthy because they think it somehow does now, or will one day, apply to them.

link: Mother Jones via Blogorrhea « eats shoots 'n leaves

No, slogans

As we are all painfully aware, Massachusetts -- “Taxachusetts” to political consultants and other public people on the dodge -- raised its sales tax to 6.25 percent back in May. This sent folks scattering northward, at $2.75 a gallon or more, mind you. People even told reporters that they were going to New Hampshire to shop for groceries, which are not taxed at all in Massachusetts, and apparel, which is not taxed here either until the purchase goes above $175. Nevertheless, they heard all the radio commercials asking them to come shop in “tax-free” New Hampshire, and they were on the road before they knew it. They were running away from ghosts.

link: Our love-hate relationship with taxes - The Boston Globe

They were running away from slogans.

Before you head out to the vidstore this weekend...

...you might want to check out the Trib's list of...

12 anti-Valentine's Day movies



The blustery storm, as forecasters had predicted, walloped the Northeast...

link: As Storm Passes, East Coast Struggles Through Aftermath - NYTimes.com

Having read this in the NYTimes and as we, here, are both norther and easter than NYC, I struggled (well, mostly just went) outdoors this morning to see if I could detect any walloping that might have occurred in our vicinity. If you look real close you can see some of it - yesterday's blizzard - plastered onto the bottom of the street lamp in the picture below.

Winter Bloom

Photo: Phil Compton


Where I stopped reading this one

Obama sought to combat perceptions that his administration is anti-business...

link: Obama Doesn’t ‘Begrudge’ Bonuses for Blankfein, Dimon (Update1) - Bloomberg.com

Although I am wondering what planet I've been living on.


Can you really be bored to death?

In a commentary to be published in the International Journal of Epidemiology in April, experts say there's a possibility that the more bored you are, the more likely you are to die early.

link: Being bored could be bad for your health

But not exactly, it turns out. It just looked good in the lede.

Blizzard! Blizzard!

A broad area of lighter snow will fall on the northwestern flank of the storm. Here, amounts will slowly lessen to the north and the west of the heaviest snow.

link: AccuWeather.com - Weather News Headlines - Weather News

We, here, are in that northwestern flank part and, as usual, right on the boundary between two bands on Accuweather's chart. It should snow 6-14 inches in the back yard but only 3-6 inches out front where the shoveling is, which is good because it's going to be a warmish day - around 32º - which means any snow will be wet and heavy. Still, a 6-inch snow is not exactly a big deal around here, especially in the middle of February, so I think I will just stay indoors and grin.

Meanwhile, Washington is closed (that would be the DC one, not the one in the top left corner).

Oh no, not that too

From a list of puns forwarded by Formerly From California Charlie:

A rubber band pistol was confiscated from algebra class, because it was a weapon of math disruption.

And five more words from the Washington Post contest (remember, the objective was to start with any word, then add, subtract, or change one letter and supply a new definition) noted by our Midwest Bureau:

11. Karmageddon: It's like, when everybody is sending off all these really
bad vibes, right? And then, like, the Earth explodes and it's like, a
serious bummer.

12. Decafalon (n.): The grueling event of getting through the day consuming
only things that are good for you.

13. Glibido: All talk and no action.

14. Dopeler Effect: The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they
come at you rapidly.

15. Arachnoleptic Fit (n.): The frantic dance performed just after you've
accidentally walked through a spider web.


Should have worn Under Armour...

Photo: Phil Compton

Christians oppose hate crime laws, forget about lions

A Christian group in Michigan has filed a lawsuit alleging that a package of hate crimes laws named after murder victim Matthew Shepard is an affront to their religious freedom....

Filed by the Thomas More Law Center -- which bills itself as the religious answer to the American Civil Liberties Union -- the complaint claims that protecting gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people "is an effort to eradicate religious beliefs opposing the homosexual agenda from the marketplace of ideas by demonizing, vilifying, and criminalizing such beliefs as a matter of federal law and policy."

link: ontd_political: Christians claim hate crimes law an effort to ‘eradicate’ their beliefs

"It's not illegal to talk out of both sides of your mouth..."

Sen. Christopher S. Bond regularly railed against President Obama's economic stimulus plan as irresponsible spending that would drive up the national debt. But behind the scenes, the Missouri Republican quietly sought more than $50 million from a federal agency for two projects in his state.

Mr. Bond was not alone. More than a dozen Republican lawmakers, while denouncing the stimulus to the media and their constituents, privately sent letters to just one of the federal government's many agencies seeking stimulus money for home-state pork projects.

link: Washington Times - Stimulus foes see value in seeking cash

Now how long did that take?

London, Feb 6 (IANS) Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan isn't intimidated by the full body-scan machines that have been recently installed at London's airports - in fact, he's been signing off printouts of his X-rays.

Khan, appearing on 'Friday Night With Jonathan Ross' - one of British television's most popular weekend shows - revealed he's been turning the controversial security machines into a public relations opportunity at London's Heathrow airport.

link: Shah Rukh signs off sexy body-scan printouts at Heathrow - Yahoo! India News

Celebrity body scans! Dude, it just had to happen.

Next step: How to photoshop one.

"Obama announces that he wants to get the snow plowed...

...but that he wants bipartisan consensus..."

(Read more here)

Arm on Arm

Photo: Phil Compton

And what, you might ask, is ACA International?

ACA International and its members played an important role in Scott Brown's (R-Mass.) stunning win in the Massachusetts special election to succeed the late Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.)....

Not only did members send money, but many agencies offered use of their phones as an in-kind contribution to the campaign.

link: ACA Members Help Influence Brown Election - ACA International

What it is, is "The Association of Credit and Collection Professionals" (see web site at the link, above). Yup, debt collectors. And why to they like our naked senator so much? Because he's against a consumer protection act, and against health care reform, both measures that might help cut down on the work debt collectors have to do.

See how fun?


"On the front line of the battle between good and not so good"

The Tick

(Cracks me up)

(Except for this)

FLINT, Mich. – Authorities said a man accused of stealing a car then reporting it stolen remains in custody after telling police he was robbed at gunpoint while trying to buy crack cocaine with a credit card.

link: Police: Man tries to buy crack with credit card - Yahoo! News

A wasted day

Maybe it's some kind of jambalaya hangover (was that a great game or what?) or maybe I just haven't recovered my senses yet from enduring Palin's incoherent speech on Saturday or Friday or whenever it was, I'm just trying to forget it ever happened, or possibly it's just that I'm tired of all this cold and just want to hibernate. Whatever. I'm sort of taking the day off today.

But here are five more words:

6. Foreploy: Any misrepresentation about yourself for the purpose of getting

7. Giraffiti: Vandalism spray-painted very, very high

8. Sarchasm: The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who
doesn't get it.

9. Inoculatte: To take coffee intravenously when you are running late.

10. Osteopornosis: A degenerate disease. (This one got extra credit.)


Also, the word going around is that his goldfish thinks he's a jerk

The ex-girlfriend of embattled Democratic lieutenant governor nominee Scott Lee Cohen put out a statement through her lawyer this evening saying Cohen is not fit to hold public office.

link: Clout St: Ex-girlfriend: Cohen not fit to hold public office

Redefining the word, "trust"

Trust me, after taxes, a million dollars is not a lot of money - Michael Steele, chair of the GOP National Committee


Top five

Noted by our Midwest Bureau:

Here are the winners of this year's Washington Post's Mensa Invitational
which once again asked readers to take any word from the dictionary, alter
it by adding, subtracting, or changing one letter, and supply a new

1. Cashtration (n.): The act of buying a house, which renders the subject
financially impotent for an indefinite period of time.

2. Ignoranus: A person who is both stupid and an a__hole.

3. Intaxication: Euphoria at getting a tax refund, which lasts until you
realize it was your money to start with.

4. Reintarnation: Coming back to life as a hillbilly.

5. Bozone (n.): The substance surrounding stupid people that stops bright
ideas from penetrating. The bozone layer unfortunately, shows little sign of
breaking down in the near future.

Yes, there are more and yes, we will probably get around to posting them as well, but in the meantime, as a bonus, here are the first five entries on a list of strangest book titles of 2009, compiled by Utne Reader and passed on by the Progressive Review's UNDERNEWS:

100 Girls on Cheap Paper

A Tortilla is Like Life

Advances in Potato Chemistry and Technology

Afterthoughts of a Worm Hunter

An Intellectual History of Cannibalism

No word on when the audio versions might be available.