When NPR gives you a byline, baby, work it

by Madeline Miller, Madeline Miller, Madeline Miller, Madeline Miller, Madeline Miller and Madeline Miller


Why doesn't anyone get excited about the war of 1812, you may ask

This week marks the two hundredth anniversary of the commencement of the War of 1812…There will be a parade, displays of musketry, reänactments, and, for those less than compelled by the military side of history, there will also be a “special focus on Jane Austen and the Regency Era, exploring its fashions and fascinations.”

(New Yorker)

And now you know.

How they all end

Gatsby Dies: A Big List of Literary Spoilers

Yes, Bunky, we are screwed

IDair, a military contractor, claims that it can image and resolve fingerprints from six meters away. The article goes into a lot of credulous, breathless rhapsody about this, but fails to note that if your fingerprints can be read from 20 feet away, then any crook who wants to be able to impersonate you will find it trivial to do so -- if we allow fingerprints to serve as a form of identification, that is. And of course, you can't change your fingerprints, so once they've leaked onto the net, you're hosed for life. So, basically, as soon as this technology is popular, it will be obsolete.

Boing Boing

Unless, of course, we can figure out someway to own a fingerprint-removal service.


Tell us something we don't know already

Men’s far infrared magnetic underwear would make a perfect gift for men who have everything except men’s far infrared magnetic underwear.

Improbable Research

Thank you.

Late sky

Late sky by Ted Compton
Late sky, a photo by Ted Compton on Flickr.

Is you is or is you ain't?

In broad strokes, here is the game that the White House is playing: President Obama, John Brennan, and other senior administration officials are happy to disclose information about government drone strikes when they are touting counterterrorism success stories. But every time critics of their national-security strategy seek information about their actions, they claim that some of the very things they've spoken about on and off the record are actually state secrets.


Wait! Can it be?

It is a very good thing to be the Queen

To the great surprise of absolutely no-one, the Queen is to get a bumper pay rise of 20% next year to £36 million  after her property holdings, the Crown Estate, posted a record profit of £240.2 million today.


Mean old Olympics committee beats up on nice knitty ladies

The website Ravelry has gotten a take-down request from the US Olympic Committee, which says that "Ravelympic" events "denigrate the true nature of the Olympic Games."


What will they come after next? The tea and the lemon squares?

Some guys just love to kid around

In 2007, in an inter­view with CNN, then-Sen. Obama crit­i­cized "a ten­den­cy on the part of [the Bush] admin­is­tra­tion to try to hide behind exec­u­tive priv­i­lege every time there's some­thing a lit­tle shaky that's tak­ing place."



Lily by Ted Compton
Lily, a photo by Ted Compton on Flickr.

Mad dogs and Englishmen (and I)…

… go out in the noonday sun. Alas. But at least it's a little cooler today than it was yesterday. It'll still break 90, but only just. And tomorrow cooler again, and by Monday we'll be into the mid-seventies. So how bad is that? Anyway, summer's just begun.


Imagine our dismay

It could be years before we know whether rock stars have the constitutional right to accidentally drop the F-bomb on TV or if a flash of nipple will cost a network millions in fines, thanks to a Supreme Court ruling Thursday that kicks a question about an FCC rule further down the road.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0612/77693.html#ixzz1ySmPtsta

Free trade!

The release today of a confidential document from ongoing US trade negotiations with eight Pacific nations -- known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) -- reveals that provisions included in the trade agreement would drastically undermine Obama's proposed domestic agenda and give unprecented political authority to multinational corporations.

Common Dreams

Oh. But it's still trade, right? Just plain?

It's just business, honey

WASHINGTON -- The same advertising agency working to tackle childhood obesity with First Lady Michelle Obama also is collaborating on an ad campaign for a giant-sized version of Capri Sun, the sugary drink that contains a lot more high-fructose corn syrup than real juice.

As irony would have it, Obama lauded The Walt Disney Company just last week for its 'game-changing' ban on advertising junk food, including Capri Sun.

Huffington Post

So's your old man!

Republicans like to denounce the so-called extremism of the liberal Warren Court. But the 5-4 decisions of the Roberts Court are the most divisive in American history.


Yeah, take that you nasty R's.

Is it just me, or is this thing getting to be more like the fourth grade every day? I keep waiting for some adult to come by and yank somebody's ear. But these guys, it turns out, are the adults, so that's not going to happen anytime soon.

Alan Furst, the bestselling author…

…is, according to somebody in the publicity department, often praised as the best spy novelist ever. I say, gimme a break. Furst's Mission to Paris, new in our book list, is called an historical spy novel by that same publicity department, a designation apparently gained by sprinkling the word "Gestapo" here and there. Oh, and 1938. If that's not historical, what is?

Still, Mission is a good book for reading during a heat wave, when mostly what you're thinking about is just not working up a sweat.

In between

Between by Ted Compton
Between, a photo by Ted Compton on Flickr.

Yes, Bunky, it's getting worse

There's a growing problem in Amercia, as evidenced by the reality of Amercia. People can't spell. They can't write. They barely even know where to put a semi-colon. Gone are the days when we clustered about Grandmother's knee to ask, in our wee tot voices, "What's an em-dash, Granny? How is it different from an en-dash, or our dear friend, the hyphen?" There's a rising group of people unwilling to participate in the always rousing debate over the serial comma simply because they have no idea what it even is. Our hearts hurt. 

If this goes on for another three, four hundred years, we could wind up back writing like that Shakespear guy. Or Shakespeare. Whatever.

Atlantic Wire

"Roger Simon" guy needs to get a grip

Where is the fun? Where is the excitement? Where is the sheer heart-pounding, loin-stirring, thrill-going-up-the-leg tingle that is the hallmark of a U.S. presidential race?

Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0612/77659.html#ixzz1yRRtrAhF

Dude, please, you're scaring the cat.


Dude, they just don't write stuff like this anymore

D'Artagnan bowed to Mme. Bonacieux, darting at her the most
loving glance that he could possibly concentrate upon her charming
little person…

Dumas: The Three Musketeers

La Beaute

La Beaute by Ted Compton
La Beaute, a photo by Ted Compton on Flickr.

What is it: some guys just can't be happy

Really. Here's a guy bitching about automatic pizza machines. Automatic pizza machines! I say let's have one on every street corner. And one in the middle of every block.

The only problem is, they could be cheaper.


CALGARY, Alberta, June 19 (Reuters) - Enbridge Inc on Tuesday closed a major Alberta pipeline that transports oil sands-derived crude after a spill at a pump station, the second oil leak to foul regions of the Canadian province in under two weeks.

They'll be coming for you next, Nebraska.

iPhone abstract: Phil Compton


ATTORNEY:  Doctor, before you performed the autopsy, did you check for a pulse?
ATTORNEY:  Did you check for blood pressure?
ATTORNEY:  Did you check for breathing?
WITNESS:     No.
ATTORNEY:   So, then it is possible that the patient was alive when you began the autopsy?
ATTORNEY:   How can you be so sure, Doctor?
WITNESS:    Because his brain was sitting on my desk in a jar.
ATTORNEY:   I see, but could the patient have still been alive, nevertheless?
WITNESS:    Yes, it is possible that he could have been alive and practicing law.

From a book called "Disorder in American Courts."

Here's an idea: let's blame Twitter!

There have been small-ball presidential campaigns before, but veteran strategists and observers agree this race is reaching a record degree of triviality. Nothing previously can compare with a race being fought hour by hour in 140-character Twitter increments and blink-and-you-miss-it cable segments. Not to mention an endless flood of caustic television ads.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0612/77620.html#ixzz1yKfynJuk



Summer's here. Officially. Maybe they've been here for a while, but tonight's the first night I've seen them: Over there on the neighbors lawn they are flashing their heads off. Errr, tails. Fireflies are fun.

On the wall

On the wall by Ted Compton
On the wall, a photo by Ted Compton on Flickr.

Stop! I don't want to know one thing more!

An increasing amount of evidence is coming to light suggesting that human moods, emotions and perceptions can be influenced by the type and number of microscopic life forms inhabiting our gut…

Blah blah blah blah blah blah


Oh, wrench

A 22-year-old Brock­ton, Mass­a­chu­setts man was charged on Sun­day morn­ing with assault­ing anoth­er man with stolen sausage links and a wrench…

Right. It makes more sense with the wrench.

It's really cool when you can ping your phone

And to getting cooler every day. Really. This is a small apartment and there are only about four places I would even put my phone and still, now and then, I have to ping it to find out where it is.

Like I was saying.

Forget about the real debates, I want to see this

Obama Picks Kerry To Play Romney In Mock Debates

Dude, that's entertainment.


Spy by Ted Compton
Spy, a photo by Ted Compton on Flickr.