Universal label


Explaining Sandy to the Germans

Although parts of New York City, especially the island of Manhattan, are only a few meters above sea level, the city still has no extensive system to protect itself against storm surges, despite the fact that the sea level has been rising for years and the number of storms is increasing. In the case of Sandy, the weather forecasts were relatively reliable three or four days prior to its arrival, so that the time could have been used to at least make improvised preparations, which did not happen. The only effective walls of sandbags that were built in the city on a larger scale did not appear around power plants, hospitals or tunnel entrances, but around the skyscraper of the prescient investment bank Goldman Sachs.

And much more from Der Spiegel

Whoa! Here's a surprise

Ship's deck gets wet.
Neighborhood Reflection

iPhone abstract: Phil Compton


In Cincinnati: Pie war

CINCINNATI—Dan and Brian Busken, of the family-owned Busken Bakery, pulled into the parking lot of a Frisch's Big Boy on a recent morning for a clandestine mission: They donned ski masks with fake mustaches attached, placed a ladder next to the restaurant's namesake statue and cloaked Big Boy in a Busken apron.…

No it will never be over, Bunky. Never.

What's the case against Michelle Obama starting a political career of her own? It starts and ends with the fact that she doesn't want one. But what if she changes her mind?

Atlantic Wire

Just when you start to imagine…

…things somehow might be starting to get better, you find out you're wrong.

George P. Bush files the paperwork to campaign for a state office in Texas. George P. Bush is the nephew of former President George W. Bush, and son of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. The campaign files don't disclose what office Bush might seek.

And Donald Trump's comb-over (no kidding)

So this happened: Apple was just granted a patent on rounded corners for rectangular electronic devices. It's tempting to think that patents are becoming more absurd, but that would be a mistake. The US and other patent bodies have always granted overly broad patents. What's changed is that courts, in recent years, have started to award damages based on them.

The Atlantic 


The nerve, huh?

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Iranian warplanes fired multiple rounds at an unmanned unarmed U.S. surveillance aircraft in international airspace over the Gulf last week, but the craft was undamaged and returned safely to its base, Pentagon spokesman George Little said on Thursday.
Chicago Tribune

Obama and Panetta rattle sabres.

(Plus, note the November 1 date.)

Everybody's still celebrating, but…

Obama authorized nearly 300 drone strikes in Pakistan during his first four years in office, more than six times the number during the administration of George W. Bush, according to the New America Foundation policy institute.

Since 2004, a total of 337 U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan have killed between 1,908 and 3,225 people.

Chicago Tribune



The prediction is we'll see some snow on the ground in the morning. This is not such a big deal as it was last year this time because the hurricane last week blew most of the leaves off the trees. And it's not projected to be a great big snow anyway but it's a nor'easter all the same.

Yup, summer's over, I think

Overcast with ice pellets and a chance of rain…


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

It's a cold day in…

… Massachusetts. Last week we had a lead nice warm tropical hurricane weather but now it's just nasty.

I emailed in my comment about last night's electoral festivities but Google has apparently lost it. This is not a terrible disaster. Suffice it to say that I have been declared by all the pundits just another redundant geezer, which is perfectly fine with me. Maybe next time I'll just write myself in. (I actually won a write-in campaign once, with a grand total of four votes.)

Having a new Senator Warren from this state is pretty cool.


Yes, darlin, it's entirely possible things will never make sense again

Last-minute early votes trend…


It's your own fault, New York, says jerk

Less than three days after Sandy made landfall on the East Coast of the United States, Iain Murray of the Competitive Enterprise Institute blamed New Yorkers’ resistance to big-box stores for the misery they were about to endure. Writing on Forbes.com, he explained that the city’s refusal to embrace Walmart will likely make the recovery much harder: “Mom-and-pop stores simply can’t do what big stores can in these circumstances,” he wrote.

The Nation


Life rarely has multiple decimal places. 



Urban Reflections

iPhone photo:  Phil Compton

And you were expecting…?

Daily Bail - JP Morgan is the largest processor of food stamp benefits in the United States.  JP Morgan has contracted to provide food stamp debit cards in 26 U.S. states and the District of Columbia.  JP Morgan is paid for each case that it handles, so that means that the more Americans that go on food stamps, the more profits JP Morgan makes...

JP Morgan executive Christopher Paton admits that this is "a very important business to JP Morgan" and that it is doing very well...


I guess it's okay to start worrying about this stuff now

Why Was Uncertified 'Experimental' Software Installed on ES&S Tabulation Systems in 39 OH Counties Just Days Before Presidential Election?

Brad Blog

From our culinary desk

You can propel any old slob meal to the pinnacle of gourmet respectability by just plopping a roasted sweet pepper on top.

And you can buy those things in jars.

Dude, I may have to start dressing for dinner.



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

Painted forest

Painted forest by Ted Compton
Painted forest, a photo by Ted Compton on Flickr.

Oh oh, this is dangerous

I figured out how to tweet (yes, tweet) while walking down the street (yes, street) by just talking into these little earbud things here. This may not end well.

Although it's true, I'm sort of starting to like Twitter. Mostly, I just lurk, reading the tweetstreams of a long list of organizations and commentators. Did you know, for example, the Library of Congress tweets? Also the wire services and major newspapers and networks. (I'm just trying to make it look respectable here. Not that you would never expect less, of course.)

But Twitter is, as far as I can tell, the social network most suitable to hermits. So maybe I'll get more involved.

I'm @tedcompton