That's entertainment


Honest cop Frank Serpico was scratching his head yesterday after police at the Capitol in DC stopped him for carrying a concealed carrot...

link: Whistle-blower Frank Serpico nearly loses his lunch - NYPOST.com

Illegal? You make the call.

The law does ban promising any position to influence an election...

link: Sestak Case Casts Light On Murky Political Boundaries - NYTimes.com

Oh. Well that didn't take long, did it?

Yes, the Sestak thing, something I care so extremely little about (who cares who unseats Arlen Specter (as long as somebody does)?) that I wouldn't have even noticed any of this except - here it is, right here - the present administration (that would be Obama's) in Washington is now insisting whatever happened was perfectly OK because everybody does it - and what's more...wait for it...George W. Bush's attorney general himself says yeah, he doesn't see anything illegal there, move along. Which is pretty much what he said the whole time he was Bush's AG, as far as I remember, and so he knows.

I'm beginning to think of Obama as Dan Quayle with a degree from Harvard Law.


Photo: Lynn C Dot

To hell with scratchy bread, and other complaints

The laundry where I take my shirts - just a few of them, the ones I wear to work, and then only because I've been on a sort of weird pressed-shirt binge the last few years (and yes I know I could just get an iron and do my own, but go away) - the laundry, I say, was closed today. Is closed. Memorial Day weekend, it says on the sign (which I did not notice when I dropped them off last Wednesday): premature patriotism. Oh well.

What is it women know about sweaters I don't understand? (No, not that - that I do.) It's a very warm, if not burning hot, day today and yet when I was out I saw women walking around in shorts and sweaters. Of course these are New England women, so maybe that explains the whole thing.

And what is it with the scratchy bread, anyway? All of a sudden I'm buying wheat bread and it's full of, well, wheat. Little chunks of the stuff. Grains. Whatever. When did that get started, anyway? It's scratchy. From now on I'm only buying smooth bread - and I mean it, too.

Olé, ayup


More pedestrians die in crosswalks than when jay-walking. That’s because they have a false sense of security in crosswalks and are less likely to look both ways.

Most pedestrians die in crosswalks because in crosswalks is where most pedestrians are.

But thanks for playing.

Just unterribly unethical then?

There doesn’t seem to be anything terribly unethical about the White House offer of an unpaid advisory position to Joe Sestak....

link: Editorial - Unintelligent Design of Mr. Sestak’s Job Offer - NYTimes.com

Best yet

Graphic: Gulf Coast Oil Spill Map - The Washington Post


Youth Sail

Photo: Lynn C Dot


Title 18 U.S.C. Section 600 clearly says: "Whoever directly or indirectly promises any employment position, compensation, contract, appointment or other benefit provided for or made possible in whole or in part by any Act of Congress, or any special consideration in obtaining any such benefit, to any person as consideration, in favor or reward for any political activity or for the support of or opposition to any candidate or any political party in connection with any general or special election to any political office . . . shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both."


Good timing

Not that weekends mean a whole lot to me these days - I often have weekends that last whole weeks - but, still, the weekend just ahead is a holiday weekend, three days, and therefore a perfect time to begin Stieg Larsson's third Millenium book, "The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet's Nest" (its American title), released in the U.S. earlier this week. A link will find its way to the book list shortly.

Recently added to the list are "Bobbed Hair and Bathtub Gin: Writers Running Wild in the 20's," a book whose subtitle explains all, and "Wolf Hall," YA book about England's Henry VIII and his fantastic love life, etc. - this one featuring a (somewhat) rehabilitated Thomas Cromwell as its protagonist: both books are eminently worth reading - for different reasons, perhaps, but still. (If you're looking for one to take to the beach, "Bobbed Hair" would be it.)

I need ketchup. Why do I always run out at just the wrong time?

We had a brief but furious wind storm here late Wednesday night, just before midnight - it blew lots of debris from the trees around the house and elsewhere in knocked whole trees over and, of course, power lines down. Our lights only blinked a few times and clocks needed to be reset, but in the north part of town and in much of the surrounding area power is still off and expected to remain off until midnight Saturday, the power company says. This lack of power, as I've pointed out before, is the inevitable result of any kind of natural disturbance (wind, rain, snow, ice, fire, and flood), meaning the whole idea of all-electric cars is still a long, long way from being a universally good one.

On the other hand, it's entirely possible that if cars as well as refrigerators and freezers were useless this morning, the line at the local McDonald's about breakfast time might have been a whole lot shorter.


Tied Up

Photo: Lynn C dot


It turns out the failing Apple...

Apple's market capitalization hit $222 billion on Wednesday, leaving it ahead of rival Microsoft as the largest technology company in the world when the closing bell rang on Wall Street.

link: AppleInsider | Apple market cap tops Microsoft, is now world's largest tech company


Disaster live

BP Oil Spill Live Feed: VIDEO Of 'Top Kill' Attempt

Best health care in the world?

Green Change - The number of children younger than 5 who die this year will fall to 7.7 million, down from 11.9 million two decades ago, according to new estimates by population health experts.

But as much of the world makes strides in reducing child mortality, the U.S. is increasingly lagging and ranks 42nd globally, behind much of Europe as well as the United Arab Emirates, Cuba and Chile....

The U.S., which is projected to have 6.7 deaths per 1,000 children this year, saw a 42% decline in child mortality, a pace that is on par with Kazakhstan, Sierra Leone and Angola.


Ok, so I'm just an old scaredy cat...

There was no immediate word from BP confirming it had started the ["top kill"] operation to block the well. It had said it would decide during the day whether to go ahead with the process, which it said had a 60-70 percent chance of working.

link: BP begins "top kill" attempt to block leaking well - Yahoo! News

...but if I were having an operation that had only a 60-70 percent chance of working I would not want BP as my surgeon.

Just saying, is all.

Why the oil companies (not to mention Saudi Arabia and friends) run the show now

As we watch a self-inflicted contamination [in the Gulf of Mexico] that has no end in sight, consider this chilling arithmetic: One oil industry reporter reckoned that the 5,000 barrels a day (a conservative estimate) spewing 5,000 feet down in the gulf counts for only two minutes of oil consumption in the state of Texas.

link: Op-Ed Columnist - Of Top Hats, Top Kills and Bottom Feeders - NYTimes.com

Yeah, that does sound grim

What has happened is that atomized ambition has created aggregated anarchy. No one controls the country any more. Yes, they are in charge of the buttons, but the buttons no longer work. The housing and stock markets have collapsed. Academics act as though they haven't gotten their GED yet. Intellectuals grasp at adjectives and metaphors that bear no contact with reality. Corporate executives speak of markets long gone. We are in wars no one can defend reasonably yet against which there is no major protest. Reporters prefer adjectives over facts and have come to think of skepticism as a form of extremism. Sanctified, sanctimonious figures in the church and the GOP are caught in gay trysts. And a hustler named Madoff easily rips off the very high society of which he was a part.


And more...

Among the most striking developments has been the impermeable inconsistency of the Obama administration. Although it has spoken repeatedly of transparency, seldom has there been an administration whose true purpose was more difficult to perceive.


Dorothy Parker on birthdays

Time doth flit; oh shit.

And other things...

And yes, pigs will fly

Seeking to reassure all those whose livelihoods had been threatened by the spill, Sen. Mary Landrieu, Democrat of Louisiana, repeated that BP would be held responsible for damages. She also said the state would do a better job of processing claims in the future. “If you made $50,000 last year, and you can’t work this year,” she said, “BP is going to write you a check for $50,000.”

link: BP Prepares for ‘Top Kill’ Procedure to Contain Spill - NYTimes.com


Extremely awesome (once every 2,060 words) new work avoidance site

Lexicalist.com - a demographic dictionary of modern American English


(And yes, of course it's now on the list.)


Photo: Phil Compton

Don't ask how high

'Jump' - Slide Show - NYTimes.com

Free to play another day

The financial reform legislation making its way through Congress has Wall Street executives privately relieved that the bill does not do more to fundamentally change how the industry does business.

Despite the outcry from lobbyists and warnings from conservative Republicans that the legislation will choke economic growth, bankers and many analysts think that the bill approved by the Senate last week will reduce Wall Street’s profits but leave its size and power largely intact. Industry officials are also hopeful that several of the most punitive provisions can be softened before it is signed into law.

link: Wall Street Expresses Some Relief at Reform Bills - NYTimes.com


In Texas...

...a recently discovered cache of plants, initially pegged by officials speaking to local news as "one of the largest marijuana plant seizures in the police department's history," turned out to be a relatively common prairie flower of little significance.

Texas officers ultimately spent hours laboring to tag and remove up to 400 plants from a city park, discovering only after a battery of tests that they had been sweating over mere Horse Mint, a member of the mint family -- effectively turning their ambitious drug bust into mere yard work.

link: Texas cops mistake actual weed for marijuana, spend hours doing yard work | Raw Story

Maybe they should worry more about their botany textbooks and leave social studies alone.

And it does sound yummy, too

MORGAN CITY, La. — In some parts of the country, the sight of oil drifting toward the Louisiana coast, oozing into the fragile marshlands and bringing large parts of the state’s economy to a halt, has prompted calls to stop offshore drilling indefinitely, if not altogether.

Here, in fact, the unfolding disaster is not even prompting a reconsideration of the 75th annual Louisiana Shrimp and Petroleum Festival.

link: Despite Leak, Louisiana Is Still Devoted to Oil - NYTimes.com

But on the whole, we prefer ours with catfish.