Awesome! W00t!

45-foot paper airplane takes flight | Photo Gallery - Yahoo! News

Workers prepare to launch a 45-foot paper airplane from the Pima Air and Space Museum over the desert in Eloy, Arizona March 21, 2012.



Cornerstone, originally uploaded by Ted Compton.

If I were an investing person…

Job seekers getting asked for Facebook passwords - Yahoo! Finance

In their efforts to vet applicants, some companies and government agencies are going beyond merely glancing at a person's social networking profiles and instead asking to log in as the user to have a look around.

…which of course I'm not, but if I were, I'd sure want the names of the companies (and wait, government agencies?) behaving this way, and now. This story is being played around the network as a matter of personal privacy—which it certainly is—but what I'm also thinking is, these are companies (and wait, government agencies?) who are going out of their way to hire huge security risks. Seriously. If a company makes it a point to hire people who will give up their passwords under circumstances like this I wouldn't want them sitting anywhere near any money of mine, and that includes my credit card and banking information too. And wait, government agencies?

The return of the sweater vest

From this morning's New York Times:

There is no mistaking the bond that Mr. Santorum has with conservative women — particularly married women — a group that has formed a core of his support since the primaries began in January. He has handily carried the votes of women in primaries that he has won, including those in Mississippi and Alabama. And where he has lost, in Arizona, South Carolina and Illinois, he has enjoyed a higher level of support among women than men.


Mom chili

This is never going to win the chili contest in Grant Park, but it's the chili I was brought up on (and that's the only warning you get). Here's how to make it.

Brown about 1/2 pound of ground beef. Pour off the worst of the grease. Add a can of pinto beans, kidney beans, or, in an emergency, black beans. And a can of diced tomatoes. Dump in some chili powder (I just pour some in the palm of my hand but I'm guessing it's about a tablespoon, more or less). Stir it up, simmer it for about half an hour, and you're good to go. Of course, you can cook it as long as you want to. Or not.

This makes plenty to serve two—or one for supper tonight and a good lunch tomorrow. If you want more, make more. Figure it out in Excel.

You may think this is not the healthiest recipe you've ever read, but I've been eating the stuff for something like 70 years now, so I'm thinking it's not likely to kill you right away.

And more

Trayvon Martin News - Trayvon Martin and the End of Excuses - Esquire

I am sick to death of opportunistic yahoos who can look at this country's unhealthy attachment to firearms and declare that the actions of George Zimmerman, while unfortunate, were pretty much what the Founders had in mind.

A Republican jobs plan

The Romney Replacement Bus Is at the Station - Esquire

I'm telling you, by the time Willard gets up to give his acceptance speech in Tampa, the national committee's going to be paying people on the sidewalks outside 20 bucks to come in and cheer.

Here's a starter…

The Scale of the Universe 2

…to an awesome collection of work avoidance tools:


Take the rest of the day week off.

So fabulous they named it twice

Two hundred fifty years or so (mostly so) after the city of New York (née New Amsterdam), New York took root on Manhattan Island a descendant of one of the early (and now very wealthy) Dutch families, one Theodore Roosevelt, set out to clean it up—a losing battle to be sure, but what a story.

So, after The Island at the Center of the World, we've decided to stay with the New York for one more book, Island of Vice (Richard Zacks). And since we've read part of the story in other places and Zacks is said to be quite an engaging writer, we're confident enough in this book to add it to the reading list now.

The way out

Watch your step, originally uploaded by Ted Compton.

Spring comes to Minnesota, everybody gets a little crazy

Gown-wearing Minn. firefighters tackle truck blaze - Chicago Sun-Times

SEDAN, Minn. (AP) — Talk about hot fashion.

A couple of Minnesota volunteer firefighters wore flouncy long dresses with spaghetti straps as they fought a pickup fire.…

With video!

The longest song

World’s oldest choir celebrates 800 years of singing in harmony.

Only so many ways you can split the baby

Obama's Keystone XL announcement attacked from both sides - latimes.com


Before it was the Big Apple it was New Orange

The original European settlement on Manhattan Island, from 1614, was the Dutch settlement, New Amsterdam. In 1664, the British invaded and captured New Amsterdam, renaming it New York. But in 1673, during the Third Anglo-Dutch war (those guys quarreled a lot), the Dutch reoccupied New York and renamed it New Orange. New Orange lasted just over a year. The British returned, again named the settlement New York, and there it sits today.
All this and a whole lot more from a fascinating new book called The Island at the Center of the World, by Russell Shorto, which tells the little-known story of the 50 years or so when the eastern seaboard of the United States from Massachusetts down to Virginia was claimed by the Dutch and called New Netherland. Island will never be made into a big-budget Hollywood movie, or even a shoestring indie flick, but it's a good read nonetheless, and it's going on our reading list for a while.

And is there anything else you'd like to say?

This Week In the Laboratories of Democracy - Esquire

Under the leadership of Rick Scott, the bald-headed Medicare scam artist that Florida chose for its governor, Florida's state government pretty much has turned into such a profitable whorehouse for plutocrats that Scott might as well put up velvet wallpaper in the legislative chamber and hire a few dozen piano players.

(Yes, as it turns out, quite a bit.)

Which, of course, will not be used to create jobs

Why Budget Cuts and Global Warming Don't Mix | Jared Bernstein | Politics News | Rolling Stone

This morning’s Washington Post described a situation in the state of Louisiana where a global trend—climate change—is leading to a situation—rising sea levels—that YOYO (you’re-on-your-own) economics can’t solve.

Sea levels have been rising in Louisiana and they’re threatening to washout a highway that’s a supply route for – wait for it – oil and gas…

…Officials in a state with an aggressive tax-cutting governor – Bobby Jindal can boast of having pushed through the largest tax cuts in the state’s history – one who consistently inveighs against government spending, are "demanding" the Feds send money.


Ding, originally uploaded by Ted Compton.

Wait, has this guy ever even seen a history book?

William Pfaff: U.S. and NATO Make Afghanistan Plans Beyond 2014 - Truthdig

The United States has since the 1990s become increasingly the victim of an “exceptionalist” ideology that claims world leadership for the nation and an obdurate militarism, corrupting to American historical institutions and values.

Since the 1990s? Seriously? 

Never mind aerobics

Bill Maher, on the opinion page of today's New York Times:

The right side of America is mad at President Obama because he hugged the late Derrick Bell, a law professor who believed we live in a racist country, 22 years ago; the left side of America is mad at Rush Limbaugh for seemingly proving him right.

If it weren’t for throwing conniption fits, we wouldn’t get any exercise at all.

(Noted by our Midwest Bureau.)


View, originally uploaded by Ted Compton.


OK, maybe it's time to take a deep breath here

Former Sen. Arlen Specter: ‘Cannibals have taken over’ Congress | The Raw Story

Former Sen. Arlen Specter, a Republican who turned Democrat in 2009, said Wednesday that “cannibals” were devouring lawmakers who did not maintain ideological purity.

Hype from hunger

The Hunger Games (2012) - IMDb

Dude, I really liked Jennifer Lawrence in "Winter's Bone" and I'm sure she's terrific (if pretty much the same character) in this movie too but I'm tired of it already and it hasn't even opened yet. I understand it's supposed to be the next "Twilight," which is another movie I didn't watch. Too old and grumpy, I guess. 

Apple: Always good for a headline

iPad might be too hot to handle when hot out

Apple's new iPad has come under increasing scrutiny following reports it runs hot under certain applications.

Consumer Reports today followed up tests it performed a day ago with additional information. Those tests found the new iPad could run hotter than the iPad 2.

"We don't believe the temperatures we recorded in our tests of the new iPad represent a safety concern," CR's Donna Tapellini wrote today.

I haven't kept track of PC's so I don't know how they compare but I don't remember any Apple portable device (laptops up until the introduction of the iPad) that didn't result in somebody complaining it was too hot. They should try to introduce portable devices in, say, early January just to see how many people complain they're not hot enough.


No snow no pond, still Spring

No snow no pond, still Spring, originally uploaded by Ted Compton.


The yellow

The yellow, originally uploaded by Ted Compton.


Nokia's Vibrating Tattoo: A Bad Buzz - Personal-tech - Wireless Technology - Informationweek

According to a recently uncovered patent filed by Nokia, the company wants to be among the first to turn human beings into cyborgs. The patent is for what amounts to a vibrating tattoo.…

The material would react to magnetic signals emitted by a nearby electronic device, such as a smartphone. It would offer some sort of micro vibration, and could be set to certain vibrating patterns. The idea is to provide you with a more direct way to notice when you're receiving some sort of incoming device alert, whether it be a phone call, email, or text message.


Undernews: San Francisco hasn't tested its breathalyzers in six years

Reason  Under department policy and the manufacturer's guidelines, San Francisco police are supposed to test the accuracy of their breathalyzer devices every 10 days. But the public defender's office has found that the department hasn't tested those devices in six years.…

Well then, that explains that

Paul Ryan's Budget Is a Cowardly Political Joke, by Charles P. Pierce - Esquire

The only reason that the zombie-eyed granny-starver Paul Ryan gets to present his own federal budget, as though he were the shadow president and not a guy elected by roughly 180,000 people in and around Janesville, Wisconsin, is that he managed early on to convince people that he was not your run-of-the-mill zombie-eyed, granny-starving, trickle-down Randian snake-oil salesman of the kind that have been running Republican economic policy since half-past Ronald Reagan's lucidity. No, indeed. Ryan was a Serious Man Of Public Policy…


The lady escapes

The lady escapes, originally uploaded by Ted Compton.


Editorial: - Chicago Sun-Times

For the longest time, dating back more than half a century, the Illinois Republican Party included a strongly social conservative faction that worked hard to push the party to the right. But the right-wingers couldn’t win a statewide primary, defeated time and again by middle-of-the-roaders such as Jim Thompson and Jim Edgar, who largely defined the party brand.

It was a brand that said Republicans are tough on crime, pro-business and fiscally responsible, but — goodness gracious — not, as some would privately say, a bunch of yahoos.…

More recently, the party’s more conservative wing has been in ascendance…

Workplace woes

News from The Associated Press

In their efforts to vet applicants, some companies and government agencies are going beyond merely glancing at a person's social networking profiles and instead asking to log in as the user to have a look around.…

Companies that don't ask for passwords have taken other steps - such as asking applicants to friend human resource managers or to log in to a company computer during an interview. Once employed, some workers have been required to sign nondisparagement agreements that ban them from talking negatively about an employer on social media.


Actually, the cat was trying to take the guy for a nap

Man Ticketed After Cat Won't Jog - Lowering the Bar

According to the Boulder Daily Camera, a 19-year-old man was ticketed in nearby Lafayette, Colorado, last week "on suspicion of tethering his cat to a rock after the pet refused to go jogging with him."

Seriously. When was the last time a cat did anything you wanted it to? 

Anyway, it turns out that in Boulder it's considered cruel to tether an animal except under very specific circumstances spelled out in law. So, bad man. Cat wins again. Cat always wins, every time. Do not argue with a cat.