Teddy Roosevelt and the Fire That Saved America

New to the book list (right column) is "The Big Burn: Teddy Roosevelt and the Fire That Saved America," by Timothy Egan (the same guy who wrote "The Worst Hard Time"); it's the story of the biggest-ever U.S. forest fire and, the intimately-related story of Teddy Roosevelt's creation of the national forest system and the national forestry service. If you like that sort of read, this one is especially good.

Tree Spirits Released

Photo: Phil Compton

Obama to end Dubya's Iraq adventure...

ABC News has learned that the Obama administration has decided to give the war in Iraq -- currently known as Operation Iraqi Freedom -- a new name.

The new name: "Operation New Dawn."

link: Exclusive: War in Iraq to Be Given New Name - Political Punch

...by renaming it.


Run for the hills!

Here I have my brand new just-arrived-today copy of the local shopper newspaper - you know the one with all the ads - which hereabouts is called the Town Crier and the lead story in this week's Town Crier is headlined:

Abstract Art Comes to Greenfield


People, please, pay attention here

Coordinated cyberattacks launched from Europe and China breached computers at firms and government agencies worldwide in the past 18 months, The Wall Street Journal reported....

"More than 75,000 computer systems at nearly 2,500 companies in the United States and around the world have been hacked in what appears to be one of the largest and most sophisticated attacks by cyber criminals discovered to date," The Washington Post adds....

Workers at companies were tricked into visiting websites or opening email attachments that promised to clean viruses from computers but instead infected machines.

link: Massive cyber attack breached 75,000 PCs around the world | Raw Story

[Emphasis emphatically mine.]

This is not a hacker story, this is a really, really bad security training story. Also a really, really bad security policy story. Sheesh.

Kiddo, I can understand if Auntie Maud falls for a trick like this but if you have computers in your company you should at least configure them so only IT guys can install software and teach people at least not to click on those damn "clean viruses from your computer" links. Is that really so difficult to comprehend?

Go, 400! Woohoo!

The incomes of the top 400 American households soared to a new record high in dollars and as a share of all income in 2007, while the income tax rates they paid fell to a record low, newly disclosed tax data show....

In 2007 the top 400 taxpayers had an average income of $344.8 million...

Since 1992, the bottom 90 percent of Americans have seen their incomes rise by 13 percent in 2009 dollars, compared with an increase of 399 percent for the top 400.

link: tax.com: Featured Articles: Tax Rates for Top 400 Earners Fall as Income Soars, IRS Data


Department of Unnecessary Quotation Marks

From an instruction manual for setting up a Motorola cable box:

If you are connecting directly to a TV, follow the instructions below. For alternate connections such as connecting to a VCR, turn to page “8”

(Actually it's page 43 but we just call it "8" because we like the number 8 so much.)


Not exactly the blizzard of aught ten...

...but yes, it's snow, that white stuff there on the leaves, about an inch of it. It seems to have mostly stopped now, although I do occasionally see a big, fluffy flake drift past the window and similar flakes are scattered all over the forecast widget for the the rest of today and tomorrow. The rest of the week, though, according to the aforementioned widget, will be mostly above freezing, with Thursday possibly breaking 40 degrees. So what snow we do wind up with (I'm thinking, not enough to plow) should be gone by Saturday. Which is good. Because it's been decided - no, more like decreed - that the worst of winter is over and all we have to do now is sit tight and just wait.


Here's the problem

Because you're so used to seeing 23 on the widget you think 33 is warm. But oh no no. Thirty-three is not particularly warm, especially if it's windy, which it is. So bundle up.

This has been a public service message from YAME.