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

"The best useless thing you will ever see"

Is it? Very possibly. Check out this five-minute video.

A zoom lens it is not, but…

When the squirrel sits by Ted Compton
When the squirrel sits, a photo by Ted Compton on Flickr.

…when the squirrel sits.


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

Really, you have to admit this is awesome

Mitt Romney released his 2011 tax return Friday, along with a summary of the tax rates he has paid over the past 20 years. NPR's John Ydstie reports Romney apparently paid more than he had to.

After whining all summer about Mitt's tax returns, they finally get released and now the journos are afraid he paid too much. Or maybe not (something about amended returns blah blah). I say from now on we just declare the guy with the weirdest tax returns the winner. Get this election thing over with and go on to something more amusing, like Ebola.


Do RFID socks tell us we're pathetic?

All together now

HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) -- City authorities in Zimbabwe's second largest city are appealing to home owners to flush their toilets at a specified time as a way to unblock sewers after days of severe water rationing.


Dude, I don't mean to be a pessimist but this could go so wrong.

Earthlings, strange

 There was a big line for the Dunkin' Donuts drive-through this morning, all the way out of the lot and down the street. Meanwhile, about 5 yards from the line and right up against the store itself was a row of empty parking places. Apparently, not one driver had the bright idea of pulling into a parking place, walking into the store, and buying coffee there.

It's a wonder they can feed themselves at all.

Sometimes, maps suck

 I was out walking this morning (I've taken to walking but I don't like it… In fact, since I don't have a Facebook account, I don't like anything) a woman driving an SUV and hauling a horse trailer pulled over to ask directions, and she waved a piece of paper in her hand and said, this is no help at all. It was a printout from Google maps.

 Also Apple. I upgraded my OS last night and the new Apple maps suck too. I expect they'll get better bye and bye.

Anyway, I already know where I'm going so it doesn't matter very much to me.

There are some very cool things in the new OS as well. One thing I like a lot is that Passbook thing. It's the iPhone app that manages all your boarding passes and loyalty cards and whatnot. I don't have any boarding passes and I only have one card but if we ever get a Starbucks here I'll get a card for them too and then I'll have two.

I haven't figured it all out yet but I will.

But look over there! Romney's tax return!

KABUL, Afghanistan — The American military says it has now fully withdrawn the last of the 33,000 “surge troops” sent to pacify Afghanistan two years ago, but they are leaving behind an uncertain landscape of rising violence and political instability…


OK, that too.

Physician heal thyself

Hospitals received $1 billion more in Medicare reimbursements in 2010 than they did five years earlier, at least in part by changing the billing codes they assign to patients in emergency rooms, according to a New York Times analysis of Medicare data from the American Hospital Directory. Regulators say physicians have changed the way they bill for office visits similarly, increasing their payments by billions of dollars as well.


Blue view

Blue view by Ted Compton
Blue view, a photo by Ted Compton on Flickr.

Take a deep breath, Bunky; count to 10

Snarling to the end, the Senate scheduled a series of midnight votes Friday to wrap up business and send members home, like warring armies leaving in the cloak of dark. 

Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0912/81547.html#ixzz27AE6xTfq

Thin gruel

Unemployment rates in August rose in 26 states from July, but most states showed lower rates than a year ago, the federal government reported Friday.

We may have found our official blog banana here

Pre-Peeled, Re-Wrapped Bananas Are the Most Wasteful Sign of the Apocalypse Yet

In what has to be the worst case of wasteful packaging in the history of modern conveniece, a grocery store in Austria is actually selling pre-peeled bananas that have then been re-packaged in cellophane-covered foam trays.


H/T Chocolate Chip Mint

Geeks line up for iPhone 5, promptly get lost

iPhone 5 first day sales – USATODAY.com

"You have everyone looking at you, cheering you on. You feel like you're really part of something that's special."

It would seem, judging from all the flutter, this current crop of geeks can not figure out where Main Street is without Google maps. (Come to think of it, maybe that's what's wrong in Washington these days.) These guys don't need smart phones, they need Rand McNally. They make these curious paper things you can stick in your pocket and you don't even need wi-fi to use them. Cool. Cheap, too. Well, not as cheap as they use to be when gas stations gave them away free, but still. And their batteries don't run down. Just sayin'.

Or you could see what side of the tree the moss is on. Or twist that little stick until it smokes. Something. Whatever.

Fortunately I live in a place where a plain old map works fine and I've already memorized the turn-by-turn directions to the grocery store (turn left, keep going). 

But in a pinch I could always use, you know, Google maps.

Welfare Inc.

The Companies That Would Go Over The Fiscal Cliff - Business Insider

Earlier this year, Goldman put together the list of U.S. companies whose revenues rely most on the government. 

The interesting thing about this list is the number of health care companies on it. And after all that whining about government health care, too. My, my, who woulda' thunk?

Iron, brick

Iron, brick by Ted Compton
Iron, brick, a photo by Ted Compton on Flickr.


From Professional Photographer Magazine

100 Most influential photographers of all time

A list that does not include Andreas Feininger, a serious omission, but still a pretty excellent list and well worth spending some time with. 

The butterfingers report

Americans have spent an estimated $5.9 billion on repairing and replacing broken phones over the past five years.

Tweet from Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald)

Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald)
Obama administration keeps validating IF Stone's law: "all governments lie." Latest example: the Benghazi attack: is.gd/DEytdJ

Download the official Twitter app here

Way out

Way out by Ted Compton
Way out, a photo by Ted Compton on Flickr.

And who's gonna stop 'em?

Bank of America Corp. is accelerating a broad cost-cutting plan and has set a target of shedding 16,000 jobs by year's end… 
The plan is designed to make the company take less risk, generate more revenue out of existing customers and use an investment banking operation inherited from Merrill Lynch Co. to become a major deal maker around the world.

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/report-bank-of-america-16000-jobs-2012-9#ixzz2711rvSLa


Just wait

Just wait by Ted Compton
Just wait, a photo by Ted Compton on Flickr.

This is another one of those trick Mitt Romney questions, right?

Tell us: What 0-2 team do you have confidence in?


But what word could be funnier than "broccoli"?

First, the good news…

Currently, there are no federal maximums for arsenic in food.

Ha ha no that's the bad news. The good news is…

Many name-brand rice and rice products contain varying levels of carcinogenic arsenic, according to the results of separate sets of tests to be announced Wednesday by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Consumer Reports.

No, wait, that's the bad news.

Hold on. Carcinogenic? Carcinogenic?

(Chicago Tribune)

First a teachers' strike, then…

Chick-Fil-A Ends Anti-Gay Donations, Moves into Chicago

Must mean something. Don't know what.

Just say woof

Terrified German squaddies are refusing to go out on night manoeuvres after being driven wild by a pack of young wolves.…

"They sneak up on you and leap on you without a sound. They try to bite our boots off and then run away," explained one victim.…

"These are night exercise which are supposed to be deadly and silent. Not full of screaming, like a bunch of girls," said one trainer.

Orange News

Yeah, let's see you go get your boots bit off, tough guy.

CNET reviews three new smartphones

"Well, we sorta kinda maybe guess."
What we need here is a better OFF switch.  

Watching the wheels come off

Oh, for the days when we thought Mitt Romney didn’t stand for anything.

As a secret video from a Boca Raton fund-raiser with high rollers in May shows, Romney in private stands for so many bizarre things that it’s hard to tell what’s crazier — his domestic policy or his foreign policy.


Block blocked

WASHINGTON — A high-profile ruling by a federal trial judge last week blocking enforcement of a law authorizing the indefinite detention of terrorism suspects is on hold for now.

Late Monday, a federal appeals court judge in New York granted the Obama administration’s request for an “emergency” stay of the ruling, by Judge Katherine Forrest of United States District Court, who issued a permanent injunction against a provision of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2011 listing conduct that could result in detention without trial.


First, let's lock up all the lawyers.


What's going on there?

David Biderman, Wall Street Journal- According to a Wall Street Journal study of four recent broadcasts, and similar estimates by researchers, the average amount of time the ball is in play on the field during an NFL game is about 11 minutes.

Not much.


Walking in the rain

Walking in the rain by Ted Compton
Walking in the rain, a photo by Ted Compton on Flickr.


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

Don't be shy! Tell us what you really think!

Noah asked me to pick my candidate for Worst Comic Of All Time.…

This search eventually lead me to Alan Moore and David Lloyd’s V For Vendetta… It manages to be brazenly misogynist, horrifically violent, and thuddingly dull all at the same time.…

Hooded Utilitarian

Tweet from Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald)

Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald)
Obama fights for indefinite detention at home and abroad - as Afghan leaders fight against it: is.gd/GvdW4C

Download the official Twitter app here

Dream, thy name is desperation

The real concern wasn't what time it was, or whether my clock was functioning properly, or even whether there was a power outage at all. My only concern, after noting the time, was how I was going to make coffee later in the morning.


Stuff we quit reading right there

Adam and Eve. Sonny and Cher.


Never in the entire history of work avoidance…

“The conjecture says roughly that if there are prime numbers that divide either a or b too many times, then their presence has to be ‘balanced out’ by largish primes that divide c only a few times,” Dr. Kim said. “We see 3 divides 81 four times, and 2 divides 64 six times. But then, 145 equals 5 times 29, so you get the larger primes 5 and 29 dividing 145 just once.”


…has there been a better reason to go back to bed.

Can't stop running

WASHINGTON — The White House has ruled that young immigrants who will be allowed to stay in the United States as part of a new federal policy will not be eligible for health insurance coverage under President Obama’s health care overhaul.


Yo! Smash it again!

Richard Desmond is shocked, shocked I tell you, that the Irish newspaper he co-owns with the Independent Media Group is showing half naked pictures of the royal figure.…

But wait. Is this the same Richard Desmond who made his fortune from sex hotlines, Penthouse magazine, and other numerous pornographic titles?

Er yes, which must qualify him as the biggest hypocrite since Newt Gingrich had Bill Clinton impeached over Monica Lewinsky while carrying on an affair himself.

Irish Central



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


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


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

Dead center perfect

The weather today is so perfect you could go out right now wearing just a T or wearing a big sloppy sweater and feel perfectly fine either way. People are doing both, in fact. Also they are zooming around in cars with the top down like they're running out of time for that. Which of course they are.

So is the hot dog vendor on Main Street. Running out of time. And, as a result, I stopped for a dog this afternoon. Yum. He's there until the end of October. Got to go back soon.

This is beginning to sound like a broken record, isn't it?

Mitt Romney plans to begin an offensive this week, his aides said, seeking to give voters a clearer picture of where he wants to take the country.

New York Times

(Oh, sorry, a record is one of those round flat things we used to play music from in a previous century.)