Toys and toys

I  mentioned a while back that I've retired my Nook Color to a smaller, lighter, simpler and much easier to read Nook Touch, so then what to do with the retired, tabletesque Color? A little mini-SD card with Android installed is the answer. The Color is now a mosty full-fledged Android tablet–a little on the slow side, RAM-challenged, and somewhat deluded (it thinks it's a phone) but otherwise a capable and entertaining device. Whether it will become really useful is another question. It's a proof-of-concept device. 

Android (this is Android 2.x, so not the newest version) is useable. It feels a little bit out of register to me–maybe the way it handles paralax is not exactly the same as the way iOS does. I could live with it. But as most Android tablets cost the same or more than an iPad (ditto for phones), the question is why. Meanwhile, it's fun. 

Also, it's good to have a few extra toys around because it looks like the easy weather is coming to an end and we'll be lucky to see 40 again before, say, March. Alas.

Black Vase

iPhone photo: Phil Compton

Labor force shrinks

The New Republic: Our Deeply Daunting Jobs Hole http://goo.gl/mag/cqZi7


And how perfect is this?

Poll: 3/4 say don't reelect Congress - MJ Lee - POLITICO.com

The anti-incumbent sentiment toward members of Congress has reached a 19-year high…

We have Elizabeth Warren running against some creepy naked R for the Senate and our Rep, a guy named Olver, just retired after being re-districted out of his seat. So yea! Throw the rascals out!

Couldn't see that coming. hmmm?

Trumped | Talking Points Memo

Now it’s clear that Gingrich and Santorum will be the only participants in Trump’s “debate,” it seems The Donald is losing his enthusiasm.

We are shocked, I tell you, shocked

Hillary Clinton and Internet Freedom - Glenn Greenwald - Salon.com

Hypocrisy from the U.S. Government — having U.S. officials self-righteously impose standards on other countries which they routinely violate — is so common and continuous that the vast majority of examples do not even merit notice. But sometimes, it is so egregious and shameless — and sufficiently consequential — that it should not go unobserved. Such is the case with the speech delivered by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton yesterday at a Conference on Internet Freedom held at the Hague…

What. Really?

Democrats May Cave… - Politics - The Atlantic Wire


Throw it up against the wall, see if it sticks

Rove group hits Warren for being too pro-Wall Street | The Raw Story

The Massachusetts Senate candidate Wall Street most fears is now the target of a new advertisement that attacks her for being too pro-Wall Street.…

The ad, released by former Bush strategist Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS group, suggests that Harvard professor Elizabeth Warren was somehow responsible for bailing out irresponsible banks (she wasn’t), which later gave their executives massive bonuses.…

It’s not the first time Warren, now running against Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA), has been attacked by Crossroads GPS. In their last ad against her, Rove’s group went in the opposite direction, suggesting that she’s really one of the founders of “Occupy Wall Street”…

Lowering the Bar: The Homeland Security Snow-Cone Machine

The Homeland Security Snow-Cone Machine

Every time you think "homeland security" can't get more ridiculous, it gets more ridiculous. There have been plenty of examples already showing that l...

Source: http://goo.gl/mag/Nle8o

Shared via Google Currents


Christmas spirit prevails

No felony charges for LA Walmart pepper-sprayer - BusinessWeek

Prosecutors say a Los Angeles woman accused of attacking Black Friday shoppers with pepper spray won't face felony charges.


Also they have a lot of ice and snow. In Maine.

The Umbrella Cover Museum

The Umbrella Cover Museum was founded in 1996 on Peaks Island, Maine by Director and Curator, Nancy 3. Hoffman. Having discovered that she had five or six umbrella covers she didn’t know what to do with, and eventually stealing one from a local department store, she decided to start a museum. 

The Umbrella Cover Museum appears on our Work Avoidance list.

No sense in getting your own mitts dirty

Romney Unleashes The Hounds | TPM2012

Thursday morning saw Mitt Romney finally shift onto the offensive over Newt Gingrich’s surge in the polls. He brought out two surrogates - former NH Gov. John Sununu and Sen. Jim Talent.


The Obama Doctrine

Comment: Deadly Embraces : The New Yorker

America’s targeted killings along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, mainly by Predators overseen by the C.I.A., has become routine and even bureaucratized during the Obama Administration. The program has evolved into one of acronyms, budget allocations, and lawyerly reviews. It may be the most organized, codified, and formally rationalized assassination campaign in world history.

Post social! Dude!

Social networking's salad days are ending, Forrester says | Deep Tech - CNET News

"We are going to move to a post-social world that's a little like the Web in the year 2000."

Curmudgeons rule! Get used to it.

Oh come on, tell us what you really think

OPINION: Listen up, hired hands (This means you, Congress) | The Daily Republic | Mitchell, South Dakota

It just might be that no one takes Congress too seriously because its members take themselves so seriously.

How else do you explain a public approval rating of only 9 percent and still not one hint of any change in the collective behavior that has made the institution and its members as popular as chickenpox? Golly, even a blind sow finds an acorn every now and then.

Not this bunch.

Look both ways

News from The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Texting while driving increased 50 percent last year and two out of 10 drivers say they've sent text messages or emails while behind the wheel despite a rush by states to ban the practice, the National Traffic Safety Administration said Thursday

But not a flake in sight...

...here. Up there on the hills, I guess. Because there are indeed cars with snow on the roof on Main Street this morning. Maybe an inch or two, but still. It's snow. Definitely snow. 

OK, as long as they keep it up there it's fine with me. Here it's 40ish and it looks like it's going to stay that way at least through the weekend. And no more snow in the forecast, at least for a while. This is sure to bring out the white-Christmas crowd in force but just ignore them, I say.

In favor of politics? Surely you jest.

Left blogs fume over Plan B decision - Tim Mak - POLITICO.com

Stunned progressive bloggers were furious over the Obama administration’s surprise decision to continue to restrict the sale of the morning-after pill to minors, overriding an earlier FDA recommendation.

At a time when president’s campaign is trying to rally the party’s base, the left bloggers expressed confusion and disappointment that a Democratic administration would make such a decision - and they said believed Obama had shoved aside the science about Plan B One-Step in favor of re-election politics.

We are shocked, I tell you. Shocked.

One good point

RealClearPolitics - Obama's Rx: Bad News for Middle Class

Fair share? In the Kansas speech, Obama extolled Minnesota manufacturer Marvin Windows and Doors for laying off workers only once in 100 years. During tough times, Obama noted, Marvin's unnamed owners shared the pain of reduced compensation with their workers.

So who is Obama's jobs czar? Not the suckers at Marvin. General Electric chief executive Jeff Immelt, whose compensation doubled last year as GE was seeking concessions from workers, is Obama's go-to guy on jobs. The New York Times reported that General Electric didn't pay a dime in federal taxes in 2010 -- even though the multinational corporation earned $5.1 billion in U.S. profits.

The party of Lincoln comes to this

GOPers prep for 'alpha dog' debate - Maggie Haberman - POLITICO.com

The GOP race has narrowed to a two-man contest between Gingrich and Romney


They're kidding, right?

Some kids’ cereals may have way too much sugar, report finds - BostonHerald.com

Shop Window

iPhone Photo: Phil Compton

NOVA on Hulu

Hulu - NOVA: Killer Subs in Pearl Harbor - Watch the full episode now.


...that town in Kansas where Obama spoke the other day, was (as you probably know) also the place Teddy Roosevelt spoke during the run-up to the election of 1812. Roosevelt ran in 1812 as the presidential candidate of the progressive Bull Moose party and lost. To Woodrow Wilson. (Maybe you didn't know that.)

December 7, 1941

Images from Pearl Harbor.

70 Years | TPM Media



Whoa, Did Something Die in Here? Oh, It Was Freedom - Lowering the Bar

While you weren't looking, those hilarious pranksters in Congress passed the National Defense Authorization Act, which among other things authorizes the military to detain U.S. citizens arrested in this country "without trial until the end of the hostilities authorized by the Authorization for Use of Military Force," meaning until the "War on Terror" is over, meaning never.

That's seriously what just happened.

Yup, much easier to just screw you

Why No Financial Crisis Prosecutions? Ex-Justice Official Says It’s Just too Hard - ProPublica

Well, according to a now-departed Justice Department official who used to be in charge of investigating such matters, the Justice Department has decided that holding top Wall Street executives criminally accountable is too difficult a task [5].

Villains exposed

How "The Muppets" made Occupy Wall Street - Andrew Leonard - Salon.com

A specter is haunting America: the specter of Communist Muppets!

Don’t you dare smile! I just watched, mouth agape, a segment on the Fox Business “Follow the Money” show that definitively exposed the new Muppets movie as yet another example of liberals trying to brainwash your kids against capitalism.…

Oh go ahead, tell us what you really think

The infantile style in American politics - 2012 Elections - Salon.com

The farce known as the GOP presidential campaign has officially become a freak show. Newt Gingrich, the creepiest huckster in American politics, whose unique combination of hypocrisy, opportunism and sanctimoniousness led to his being unceremoniously bounced from Congress back in 1998, is now the front-runner to become the Republican presidential nominee.…

B/W, ambient light, action

A collection of outstanding photojournalistic photos from TIME:

The Old One Two: Underground Boxing in New York - LightBox


Which is not exactly a far-fetched idea

Kucinich: Is Obama stumbling into war with Iran? | The Raw Story

Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) on Monday questioned whether the Obama administration was trying to provoke Iran into an armed conflict.

A novel in progress by our very own Lynn C Dot

Now & Then, appearing for the first time on our book list and again, no doubt, when it winds up on the best-seller lists.

Can't wait for the movie

Be on the Lookout - Lowering the Bar

The Little Caesar's pizza restaurant in Southgate, Michigan, is asking for information relating to the person in a gorilla suit who has repeatedly invaded the premises in order to dump a bag of sand on the floor. The perpetrator then flees in a dark blue Chevy Cobalt driven by a Caucasian man (or possibly a gorilla wearing a Caucasian-man suit).

So when you say outside…

News from The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) -- NASA has found a new planet outside our solar system that's eerily similar to Earth in key aspects.

Really? Payfors?

Dems Drop Details Of Payroll Tax Cut While GOP Signals Early Opposition | TPMDC

The payfors haven’t been completely finalized, but will come from three sources.…

Yeah I know, living language and all that (see Lexicographer's Dilemma on our reading list), but do we really need to get that ugly about it?

Oh go ahead, tell us what you really think

The Republicans' Farcical Candidates: A Club of Liars, Demagogues and Ignoramuses - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News - International


Keep hoping

Opinion: Wall St. plays Occupy White House - Joel Kotkin - POLITICO.com

Even while trying to exploit the Occupy Wall Street movement for political purposes, Obama still leads in financial sector donations, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. He has secured more cash from the financial elite, at this point, than all the GOP candidates combined. He has even raised twice as much as they have from Bain Capital, the venture firm co-founded by Romney.…


Books everywhere

E-book market forecast to hit $5.2B as the book industry burns — Tech News and Analysis
These shifts are resulting in the biggest change in publishing since the time of Gutenberg.
And the perfect kind of reader is right here (Amazon and Kobo have comparable devices at comparable prices). It's lightweight, easy to carry and hold, runs approximately forever on one battery charge and has a touchscreen, e-ink display. E-ink, it turns out, is far, far preferable to a back-lit, computer-style screen if what you want to do is just sit and read. Also it does nothing else but read: It is essentially a single-purpose device. OK, it does twit, but then everything twits, doesn't it? I'm pretty sure my toaster twits, and I'm sure my phone does. But it (the Nook Touch) doesn't check email or make coffee.

My previous book reader, a Nook Color, was good but heavier to hold, and I found the back-lit screen fatiguing after a while. I'm planning to install Android on it and use it as a tablet, although I'm expecting it to be mostly a fooling-around-with tablet instead of a real tablet because its processor is on the slow side (presumably the new Nook Tablet improves this situation, but I don't want to know bad enough to find out). Still, fun. And Angry Birds.


iPhone photo: Philip R. Compton


12 Days of Holiday Tips | USA.gov

Get your holidays off to a great start!

From the aforementioned USA.gov ("Government made easy") comes this list of 12 tips for celebrating the upcoming season of holidays:

  1. Make a budget.
  2. Get a job.

And we can't wait to find out the other ten!

Wow! Free markets win again! (You lose.)

School Lunches and the Food Industry - NYTimes.com

House ethics...

Dan Boren, Oklahoma Lawmaker, Shares in Gas Field Bounty - NYTimes.com

House ethics rules do not prohibit lawmakers from taking steps to aid industries in which they have a financial stake.

...is an oxymoron on the scale of military intelligence or jumbo shrimp. The government is corrupt from bottom to top (who knew US law enforcement agencies conduct "Attorney General Exempt Operations," BTW?) and that is really not a good thing.

(Sorry about the links to the Times but, dude, if you haven't figured out how to deal with that by now you should just go buy yourself a book.)