Inside, originally uploaded by Ted Compton.

Nothing is forever

Facts, 360 B.C.-A.D. 2012 - chicagotribune.com

To the shock of most sentient beings, Facts died Wednesday, April 18, after a long battle for relevancy with the 24-hour news cycle, blogs and the Internet. Though few expected Facts to pull out of its years-long downward spiral, the official cause of death was from injuries suffered last week when Florida Republican Rep. Allen West steadfastly declared that as many as 81 of his fellow members of theU.S. House of Representatives are communists.

Facts held on for several days after that assault — brought on without a scrap of evidence or reason — before expiring peacefully at its home in a high school physics book. Facts was 2,372.



Stairway, originally uploaded by Ted Compton.


Spring, originally uploaded by Ted Compton.

Fair and balanced batshit

Conspiracy Theories News, Video and Gossip - Jezebel

A paranoid series of Tweets from Fox News anchor Heather Childers yesterday introduced much of America to the newest, shiniest Our Black President Must Be Blackly Breaking the Law conspiracy theory: according to the deluded ramblings of a birther blog, while locked in a heated primary battle with Obama, Bill and Hillary Clinton became privy to information proving that he was secretly Kenyan and therefore ineligible to run for President. And in order to keep the Clintons quiet, people working for Obama told them that she better shut up about how he's a secret Kenyan, otherwise Barack Obama was going to personally murder Chelsea Clinton. It's true! It's on the inter-net!

Finally, we get scandals

5 scandals that could undo Obama's re-election bid - Yahoo! News

For the most part, the Obama administration has successfully avoided bad publicity, but it's now being faced with a string of scandals at the worst possible time…

Yeah well that's certainly no coincidence. But still. Scandals are fun! All those people on TV, their voices get all high and sqeeky. They're excited! Wheee. Me too. scandals are a lot more fun than, you know, health care and stuff. 


Drain pipe

Drain pipe, originally uploaded by Ted Compton.

And everybody today…

…everybody, is walking around with a great goofy grin. Suddenly it's warm and sunny, leaves are popping out everywhere, and people have figured out, finally, we have just had the warmest, least snowy winter anyone can remember and got away with it. Wooop! 

File under Crime Stories They Are Never Going to Make Movies About

You + Crime + Police Car + Facebook = Arrest - Lowering the Bar

WYMT-TV in Letcher County, Kentucky, reported on Tuesday that the 20-year-old gentleman who appears in this picture he posted on Facebook had been arrested and charged with theft for siphoning gas from a police car. Police were able to identify him because he had posted a picture on Facebook showing him siphoning gas from a police car.

Not until they pry it from my cold, dead key

Don't kill the Oxford comma! - Grammar - Salon.com

Grammar lovers today were saddened, shocked, and mightily displeased at the news that the P.R. department of the University of Oxford has decided to drop the comma for which it is so justly famed.…

The Associated Press stylebook has for a very long time eschewed this so-called Oxford comma (it's the comma before the "and" in a series, as in "red, white, and blue" it's that comma right there after "white). But the Chicago Tribune uses the comma, or at least did use it last time looked (which was, now, quite a while ago). I asked a friend who was an editor at the Trib about that, about how they dealt with Associated Press copy, which did not have the comma referenced here (see above re: stylebook) and he said, well, we have an editor whose whole job is putting it back in. 

Child labor: Newt would be proud

Students required to take 9 hours of English and math exams and state using dummy questions - NY Daily News

All third-to eighth-graders in New York began Tuesday the first of three consecutive days of English Language Arts assessment, to be followed next week by three days of math tests.
And those state tests have never been longer.…
Yet fewer of the answers public school children give this year on those tests will actually count toward their final score.
State education officials and their private testing firm, Pearson, have tossed in a large number of “field test” questions for the first time - questions that don’t count in the score but make it easier to design future tests.
Ken Slentz, the state’s deputy commissioner of elementary education, declined to say exactly what portion of the tests consist of such dummy questions. Many states have been using field questions for years, Slentz noted.
But retired New York City test analyst Fred Smith claims as many as a third of the questions on this year’s tests will not count.

And you were thinking you'd never use that algebra?

Undernews: How to figure the volume of your pizza

James Cordeiro - If a pizza has a radius 'z' and a depth 'a' that pizza's volume can be defined Pi*z*z*a.

Is there no eggplant lobby?

Obama Eats Dog Story Sends Campaign 2012 into Surreal Territory - Yahoo! News

Where is PETA now when we really need them?


An extremely cool graphic…

 …from XKCD (click to enlarge).

(Also this.)

Garage door

Garage door, originally uploaded by Ted Compton.


The money in fear

Celebrity Mansion Security: The State of the Gate - WSJ.com

Not since the 17th century have the homes of the rich been so amply fortified.
Fueled by homeowners' increasing demands for privacy and security, a new generation of elaborate security gates are being installed around the country. A far cry from the lavishly decorated, overtly showy spectacles of the past, these barriers are designed to be unobtrusive and easily overlooked. Packed within and around them, however, is a plethora of state-of-the-art technology—facial-recognition devices, Internet-connected digital cameras, remote iPad control and other features—that can drive up the cost of an entry up to $1 million or more.


The K-E Diet: Brides-to-Be Using Feeding Tubes to Rapidly Shed Pounds - Yahoo!

Brides-to-be looking to shed that final 10, 15 or 20 pounds in order to fit into their dream wedding gown have taken a controversial approach to crash dieting that involves inserting a feeding tube into their noses…

Please, please, please make it stop.

Yes it's over, it's gone, there's nothing left to discuss

NPR.org » Christians Debate: Was Jesus For Small Government?

What would Jesus do with the U.S. economy?
That's a matter of fierce debate among Christians — with conservatives promoting a small-government Jesus and liberals seeing Jesus as an advocate for the poor.

But nobody cares about statistics any more, so who cares?

Scientists get under skin of tattooed tipplers | The Raw Story

PARIS — French scientists said Monday they have found evidence proving the stereotype that people who sport tattoos and piercings are heavier drinkers.

We are so, so happy to know this

Ann Romney explains dog on roof: ‘He had the runs’ | The Raw Story

“The dog loved it,” she said. “Once, he — we traveled all the time and he — he ate the turkey on the counter. I mean, he had the runs.”

For money?

Plaintiff: This Soap Did Not Attract Women as Promised - Lowering the Bar

One of the requirements for certifying a class action is "numerosity," which just means you have enough people in the alleged class (generally at least 100) that it might actually be more efficient to have a group action. Usually this is easily met. Here, though, you have to wonder how big a class could be if the definition limits it to:
  • men
  • who use soap
  • but can't get a date
  • and decide the problem is, it's the wrong kind of soap
  • then get all excited about "pheromones"
  • but still can't get a date
  • and are willing to admit to all the above in a publicly filed document.

Yes, you do have to like Barney Frank

In Conversation: Barney Frank

People ask me, “Why don’t you guys get together?” And I say, “Exactly how much would you expect me to cooperate with Michele Bachmann?” And they say, “Are you saying they’re all Michele Bachmann?” And my answer is no, they’re not all Michele Bachmann. Half of them are Michele Bachmann. The other half are afraid of losing a primary to Michele Bachmann.


The mean old Internet is killing newspapers

This from the first paragraph of Theodore Dreiser's 1915 novel, The Genius:

This story has its beginnings in the town of Alexandria, Illinois, between 1884 and 1889, at a time when the place had a population of somewhere near ten thousand. There was about it just enough of the air of a city to relieve it of the sense of rural life. It had one street-car line, a theatre—or rather an opera house, so-called (why no one might say, for no opera was ever performed there)—two railroads, with their stations, and a business district, composed of four brisk sides to a public square. In the square were the county court-house and four newspapers.

Four newspapers. In a town of ten thousand. And that "just enough to relieve it of the sense of rural life."

It's not the Internet that's killing newspapers. Newspapers have been dying for a long, long time. At the publishers' hands.

Warm day

Warm day, originally uploaded by Ted Compton.

Two more days

Oh yeah. I was walking past an income tax prep place on Main Street a little while ago (Liberty Taxes; they had a woman wearing a Halloween-style Statue of Liberty costume walking around handing out flyers a couple of months ago) and I noticed a sign on the sidewalk: 2 days left to file.

Really. I forgot. Today is Patriot's Day. No, it's not a special holiday for the football team—although I wouldn't put it past them—it's a holiday for, you know, patriots. And not for your common, ordinary 21st Century patriots, either—I think you have to be dead for a couple hundred years to get on the list. Except 200 years from now you'll have to be dead for 400. So you just didn't get started soon enough, is all.

In other words it's one of those holidays that only counts in Massachusetts and, maybe, possibly Maine. Or somewhere like that.

It doesn't even count that the schools close for Patriot's Day because it's spring break.

Who knew it was so easy?

Titanic celebration dinners push the limits of good taste | TBO.com

In Houston, 12 diners are paying $12,000 each to eat the final first-class menu served on board the ship. The dinner at Cullen's Upscale American Grille includes round-trip transportation to a local museum featuring Titanic artifacts and a 10-course meal with wine pairings in a private dining area suspended above the main dining room.

Sink, and in 100 years you'll be a party theme.

But the monster gets them anyway…

Hulu - Nowhere to Hide (2011) - Watch the full movie now.

Sara Crane is awoken by the sound of her security alarm going off. Her and her teenage daughter, Kimmy, race outside only to realize the scary incident was a false alarm.

…because, while we don't think of ourselves as grammar Nazis exactly, this is just plain bad.

Yes of course it can be useful

Buzz Blog: Physicist Uses Math to Beat Traffic Ticket

Here's a practical application for your physics education: using math to successfully beat a traffic ticket in court. Dmitri Krioukov, a physicist based at the University of California San Diego, did just that to avoid paying a fee for (purportedly) running a stop sign.

All right!

Romney Picks Head of Veep Search, Says Talks Started This Weekend - Yahoo! News

BOSTON - In an exclusive interview with ABC News' Diane Sawyer, Mitt Romney revealed for the first time that he has put his longtime adviser Beth Myers in charge of the vice presidential vetting process.

Dude, I was getting so bored. But how much fun is this gonna be?

99 cents

99 cents, originally uploaded by Ted Compton.

Children with guns

Yahoo! News

He was one of many gun owners crowded around a display of lifelike zombie paper shooting targets at the National Rifle Association's Guns and Gear exhibition on Saturday during the NRA annual conference in St. Louis. The Hollywood-inspired zombie craze - featuring blood-soaked ghouls rising from the dead to attack the living - has extended to gun enthusiasts. At the huge NRA exhibition, vendors displayed zombie targets, zombie bullets, zombie paint coating for guns and zombie patches for a shooting jacket. Firing ranges across the country are offering zombie-themed shooting events…
Sales of zombie targets are booming and are expected to grow about 30 percent to a million targets this year…
For the truly zombie-obsessed, Sovine demonstrated small packets of blood-colored liquid that can be purchased to attach to the back of the zombie target so that it bleeds when shot…

Exactly what the founding fathers had in mind. Sorta makes me want to stand up and salute.

New stuff! Let's fight!

Yahoo! News

YOKOSUKA, Japan (AP) — To the world's military leaders, the debate over climate change is long over. They are preparing for a new kind of Cold War in the Arctic, anticipating that rising temperatures there will open up a treasure trove of resources, long-dreamed-of sea lanes and a slew of potential conflicts.
By Arctic standards, the region is already buzzing with military activity, and experts believe that will increase significantly in the years ahead.

Geithner: Deal with it

U.S. economy in better shape to handle high gas prices: Geithner - Yahoo! News

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. economy is in a better position to deal with high gasoline prices, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said on Sunday, adding that unseasonably warm winter had lowered overall energy costs for consumers.

Who put this guy in charge, anyway?

Oh. Him.

And what, you're confused by this?


For years, conservatives and centrists have argued that welfare makes women lazy and dependent. They needed to get out into the workforce and learn the value of a hard day's work. But at the same time, they fetishize the stay-at-home mother as a very difficult full-time job which must be considered a career equal to any work outside the home.

As it turns out, no.


Because, dude, you never can tell when a violinist will do you in

Undernews: Homeland police have drastically reduced visas for foreign artists and musicians

NY Times - In the decade since the attacks on the twin towers, American visa procedures for foreign artists and performers have grown increasingly labyrinthine, expensive and arbitrary, arts presenters and immigration lawyers say, making the system a serious impediment to cultural exchanges with the rest of the world.

Gee, I don't know, maybe it's time to vote the rascals out

Taxed by the boss | David Cay Johnston

Across the United States more than 2,700 companies are collecting state income taxes from hundreds of thousands of workers – and are keeping the money with the states’ approval, says an eye-opening report published on Thursday.

Why is it the comedians always make more sense than the so-called pundits around here?

News from The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Actor and comedian Bill Cosby says the debate over the killing of Trayvon Martin by a neighborhood watch volunteer should be focused on guns, not race.

We are so relieved

President Obama and Cantor are all smiles as JOBS Act is signed into law - TheHill.com

The relationship between Cantor and Obama has been rocky, and reached a low point during last summer’s debt-ceiling negotiations, when Obama reportedly warned Cantor to not “call my bluff.”
But the strain has eased this year…

And nine more!

The 10 Truest Things Harry Truman Said About Republicans | Fired Up! Missouri

#1. “The Republicans believe in the minimum wage — the more the minimum, the better.”

Give 'em hell, Harry.

(Noted by our Midwest bureau)

Head Start

Santorum Signs 3-Year Old Daughter Up For NRA Membership | TPM Livewire

At his speech to the National Rifle Association this weekend, Rick Santorum revealed that he has signed his 3-year-old daughter Bella up as a member of the pro-gun group.