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

Not with a bang but a whimper

American literature classics are to be replaced by insulation manuals and plant inventories in US classrooms by 2014. 
A new school curriculum which will affect 46 out of 50 states will make it compulsory for at least 70 per cent of books studied to be non-fiction, in an effort to ready pupils for the workplace.… 
Suggested non-fiction texts include Recommended Levels of Insulation by the the US Environmental Protection Agency, and the Invasive Plant Inventory, by California's Invasive Plant Council.…
And more:
Supporters of the directive argue that it will help pupils to develop the ability to write concisely and factually, which will be more useful in the workplace than a knowledge of Shakespeare.
Maybe those Mayans were right after all.

The North Sea covers 290,000 mi.²

Ships collide in North Sea, killing 4


 iPhone abstract: Phil Compton

Sometimes a person wonders just how many senior commanders those guys have

PESHAWAR, Pakistan (Reuters) - Tribal sources from Pakistan's northwest said on Saturday a U.S. drone attack had killed a senior al Qaeda commander…

Chicago Tribune

Yeah, we don't need your friggin' farms; we have grocery stores

WASHINGTON (AP) — Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has some harsh words for rural America: It's "becoming less and less relevant," he says.



But whose frozen ribs?

Gun found in package of frozen ribs at [Rosewell] N.M. store

Eyes of Texas are ka-boom

In a recent investigative report by the Center for Responsive Politics and Hearst newspapers, the authors expressed concern that drones were being pushed into the domestic market before safety and ethics issues had been sufficiently addressed. Such fears were confirmed this week when the first police department in the country to acquire an aerial drone crashed the $300,000 aircraft into its own SWAT team.


Harsh, dude…

Ross Douthat, The New York Times’s Catholic-conservative columnist, is so obsessed with women’s fertility it’s really too bad he can’t get pregnant himself and see firsthand what it’s all about.

but hey, go for it

Reich: Jobs first

Today’s jobs report shows an economy that’s still moving in the right direction but way too slowly, which is why Washington’s continuing obsession with the federal budget deficit is insane. Jobs and growth must come first.…



December schoolhouse

December schoolhouse by Ted Compton
December schoolhouse, a photo by Ted Compton on Flickr.

And tra-la-la to you

Newsweek is about to begin laying off staff, a move expected since the publisher scheduled its print magazine to shutter at the end of the year.…

The Newsweek layoffs join others in what is becoming an increasingly sad December for journalists.


Why not a spigot in every house?

Starbucks announced at its investor day that it's planning to add at least 1,500 new locations in the U.S. over the next five years, the AP reports.

Now you're talking.

Wait, we're still learning how to spell "sequestration"

"Minimum wage stays the same, but the price of food goes up, the price of gas goes up and the electric goes up," says Scott, 51. "How do you pay all your bills with 40 hours a week at $8 an hour?"

USA today


So this is the great fiscal fix?

President Obama and the House speaker, John A. Boehner, are in general agreement on the overarching issue: that the relevant Congressional committees must sit down next year …

New York Times

Do it next year? 

Yo, USA Today, get a grip

Happy royal news! The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expecting a baby

Newspaper once again claims its place as the only TV news show you can wrap fish in.

Maybe not so thankful after all

The endless streams of confetti that rained down during this year's Macy's Thanksgiving day parade was more than just your average bits of torn paper — according to New York news station WPIX-TV, parade-goers found that shredded police documents from the Nassau County police department were mixed in with the usual confetti.

The Verge

I wonder what they use in DC.


The Foggy Day

The Foggy Day by Ted Compton
The Foggy Day, a photo by Ted Compton on Flickr.

World ends, this time for sure

In New Hampshire, where the state motto on the license plate reads "Live Free or Die":

A New Hampshire legislator is breathing new life into a proposal to prohibit state employees from wearing perfume and other fragrances to work.

Huffington Post

You just cannot not make this stuff up.

State Street may be great, but Lower Wacker rocks

It's hard to imagine just how awesome Lower Wacker Drive in Chicago is if you've never driven on it, but here's a piece from the Chicago Tribune that comes close to explaining it.

Also, for extra credit, 35 years of Apple TV commercials.