Better late than never, but not much

US President Barack Obama on Saturday urged Americans to pressure Congress to pass his mortgage refinancing plan, arguing it would help working families and strengthen the middle class.


Keep going, you're getting warm

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. — Not everyone’s pulse will quicken with a glimpse of a 1956 I.B.M. Ramac actuator and disk stack. For many, too, the 1959 Telefunken RAT 700/2 analog computer will just look like a cross between an antediluvian switchboard and the control panel for a German submarine.…

Wait. Telefunken RAT? And you thought Apple was a funny name?


The tomato, one of America’s favorite vegetables, is the focus of a burgeoning cross-border food fight that Mexican officials say could escalate into a broader trade war.

Transparency update

Bloomberg - Nineteen of 20 cabinet-level agencies disobeyed the law requiring the disclosure of public information: The cost of travel by top officials. In all, just eight of the 57 federal agencies met Bloomberg’s request for those documents within the 20-day window required by the Act. 


Dude, there's still time

Win Your Wife’s Weight In BEER At The North American Wife Carrying Championship

Yeah, spooky: one is green and the others are blue

Do your children light up when they see those golden arches?

Okay, now you're scaring me

McCaskill: Akin ‘Makes Michele Bachmann Look Like A Hippie’

Feeling a little pressed for time, Bunky?

September 28: Native American Day, Hug a Vegetarian Day, Love Note Day, Good Neighbor Day

I don't know what it is but I want one

There is a movie playing downtown (screen 4, if you're interested) called Beasts of the Wild PG-13 Evil. I would've taken a picture but it's raining and I didn't want to get my phone wet. (That right there will tell you something about how far we've come.)

It's playing, the movie, on the same marquee as Hotel Transylvania. And Halloween is still a month away.

(I looked it up and the movie is really named (I think) Beasts of the Southern Wild. I don't know about the evil part but it sounds fine.)

Snooze on cruise

At some point, everybody will be able to not drive, no matter how impaired they are. “Some people have other disabilities, some people are too young, some people are too old, sometimes we’re too intoxicated” to drive, [Google's] Brin said on Tuesday.

Wall Street Journal


Free speech, blah blah, but we can get around that somehow

California man behind anti-Muslim film arrested on probation violation - The Washington Post

LOS ANGELES — The California man behind a crudely produced anti-Islamic video posted to YouTube that has inflamed parts of the Middle East was arrested for violating terms of his probation, authorities said Thursday.



Best words ever?

"Gherkin" — I like saying it. It's vaguely Indian sounding. "Kerfuffle." That's just fun, with so many F's packed into three syllables. "Diphthong" is sly because it's hiding a silent H, the H right after the P; it's there, but you wouldn't know it. And "hornswoggle?" Just hearing it, I'm on the deck of a frigate, there are seagulls soaring above, and someone is playing a jig. 


HT/The Mover


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

This Way/That Way

iPhone abstract: Phil Compton

I am walking down the street this morning…

 …hauling my cup of coffee as usual, and another guy walks across from the other side of the street to speak to me. He's in his late 20s maybe, he's wearing jeans, a baseball jacket and hat, and carrying a suitably-battered brown leather case, and says to me thusly:

"Excuse me, I'm going to an interview and I need to know, does this look like a purse?"

I give it a good gaze and say to him, "No, it looks to me like a briefcase."

"Oh thanks," he says, visibly relieved, "I needed to hear that." And went on his way.

I hope he got the job, or whatever it was he was interviewing for.

It did look like a briefcase, mostly.

Obama: From BMW to Ford

Presidential candidates are advertised as heavily as consumer products, so it's little surprise that voters have opinions on how President Obama and GOP nominee Mitt Romney compare to consumer brands.…

But maybe why he's so popular on the Internet

In a world of dogs, diplomatically speaking, Obama is a cat.



But scandalous is our middle name

It bordered on scandalous that Obama, joined by the first lady, would make time to sit down with the women of “The View” even as he declined foreign leaders’ requests to meet with him one on one in New York this week.…In 2008, Obama ran as a personality, not a politician, and he’s sticking to the shtick.

Dana Milbank via Undernews

High times at New Bedford High

Undernews: Students rebel against Michelle Obama's calorie censorship

Some pupils have turned to radical solutions to get round the ban on sugary snacks - at one school, a black market has sprung up in chocolate syrup.

Students at a high school in New Bedford, Massachusetts are bringing syrup into school and selling it to friends so they can make their own contraband chocolate milk, according to the Standard-Times.

This doesn't mean a War on Chocolate now, does it? Because if it does, I'm defecting. 

You've been warned.


Drone strikes in Pakistan “counterproductive” - Salon.com

A new report from U.S. academics delivers a harsh blow to the “dominant narrative” of U.S. drone warfare in Pakistan. Drone attacks are “counterproductive,” lead to large numbers of civilian deaths and create an environment of constant fear, states the report, countering the prevailing idea that drones offer precision and mitigate civilian risk. The report suggests too that the drone program has not made the United States any safer.

Or maybe not so much. If you didn't see this coming you must be a D. Or an R.

I'd be willing to bet on this

Obama May Do Social Security Reform During Lame Duck Session, Senate Democrats Worry

WASHINGTON -- Concern is mounting among some Senate Democrats that President Barack Obama will make a deal with Senate Republicans during the lame-duck session that would result in changes to the benefit structure of Social Security.

(If I had any money for betting, which I don't. Still.)

Oh well, nobody wanted Staten Island anyway

The Atlantic Wire (@TheAtlanticWire)
Staten Island burough president calls Lady Gaga a 'slut' theatln.tc/QCf0NR

Can you spell "chutzpah"?

NEW YORK (AP) — Campaign politics shadowing every word, President Barack Obama on Tuesday will challenge the world to confront the root causes of rage exploding across the Muslim world…


Entrepreneurial alert

We Are The 96 Percent (New York Times)

It turns out I am in the 99% and also in the 96%, and in the 47% too. But I am not in the 92%, the 86%, the 82%, or the 64.

I am in the 100% that need a new app to keep track of all this stuff.


Pierce nails it (again)

Over the weekend, in the Massachusetts Senate race, the respective candidates trotted out their respective mayors of Boston…It was a perfect miniature of the thing into which Brown seems bound and determined to turn this race: a match-up between a mook like alla ya mooks, and the smart chick from Harvard.


Down with those Tudors! Down with them I say! Except Elizabeth.

“The truth will turn out to be somewhere in between,” Ms. Langley said. “Richard III was a medieval man, and a medieval king; he was a man of his time. But what we know of him doesn’t stack up to his being a brutal man and a serial killer. Now, perhaps, we can finally get to the real Richard, to the truth that lies behind the Tudor lies.”

From a story about the (possible) discovery of King Richard III's remains in the New York Times.

No the remains are not in the New York Times. The story is.


Autumn light

Autumn light by Ted Compton
Autumn light, a photo by Ted Compton on Flickr.

Wait! Do these guys have green cards or what?

Young entrepreneurs from as far away as Denmark, Singapore, and France can be seen with real estate agents in tow, roaming through converted South of Market lofts…

San Francisco Magazine

What is enough.


President Obama told supporters in Wisconsin today that he needs more that one term to make the kinds of changes that Washington needs.

The Oval

First one was just for practice.

(Sure, maybe they'll believe that in Wisconsin, but…)

Oh thanks, I was feeling just fine until I read this

Despite being the richest nation on earth, the United States is, according to the World Health Organization, by a wide margin, also the most anxious…


We heartily (and gratefully) agree

The freedom to be an imbecile is one of our core values.