On the carnage at Newtown

This piece from the New Yorker.

Oh that Winston

Winston ChurchillWe so often hear the famous Churchill dictum on democracy:
Many forms of Government have been tried, and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed it has been said that democracy is the worst form of Government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.
Indeed quoting Churchill can be used against democracy as form of government:
The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter. 

Enter Stage Right 

You mean it's just, well, water?

"After speaking to several Nestlé Waters' employees, this officer was informed for the first time that the Ice Mountain five-gallon bottles do not contain 100% natural spring water but instead contain resold municipal tap water," the legal complaint charged.
USA Today
Low Tide
iPhone abstract: Phil Compton


Crabs attack!

“They're natural invaders,” murmured Craig Smith, a marine ecologist from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. “They're coming in with the warmer water.”…

Scientific American


And pretty soon you're talking about real money

How much does the United States spend each year occupying the planet with its bases and troops? How much does it spend on its global presence? Forced by Congress to account for its spending overseas, the Pentagon has put that figure at $22.1 billion a year. It turns out that even a conservative estimate of the true costs of garrisoning the globe comes to an annual total of about $170 billion. In fact, it may be considerably higher. Since the onset of “the Global War on Terror” in 2001, the total cost for our garrisoning policies, for our presence abroad, has probably reached $1.8 trillion to $2.1 trillion.

The Nation

Who indeed?

really, who would name their kid Ted, right?

Okay. It's an in-group thing.

What? Holiday?

(Reuters) - Most Americans are nowhere close to having their holiday shopping done, a new Reuters/Ipsos poll shows…

Chicago Tribune

Oh.. That one. Right.


Observe the awesome

Manhattan's brand new Museum of Mathematics.

Oh crap

The local Walgreens is having a sale on SPAM today and I was going to go get some but I got busy and now I'm out of time and I would go tomorrow but now I remember the world is ending tomorrow (12/12/12, right?). Phooey. No fair.

You left the wrench where?

SEOUL, Dec. 11 (Yonhap) -- North Korea is believed to be disassembling a long-range rocket, a senior military source in Seoul said Tuesday, a day after Pyongyang announced it will extend its 13-day launch window due to technical problems. 

Yonhap News


Salon: Michigan gives up

Michigan has lost so many educated workers that the state’s leadership seems to feel it has no choice but to become a low-wage haven. The kind of place that attracts chicken processors, not software engineers. (There is a Google office in Ann Arbor. It was set up there by Google founder and University of Michigan graduate Larry Page, as a sop to the state he abandoned for Silicon Valley, which is to the 21st century economy what Detroit was to the 20th.) Unable to adjust to the 21st century, Michigan is going back to the 19th. 


Babbage described her as "the Enchantress of Numbers"…

Guys like this are running the country

"I'm a little more encouraged than I would have been if you had asked me about it a week ago," Erskine Bowles, co-chairman of the so-called Bowles-Simpson deficit reduction commission, said on CBS' Face the Nation Sunday.… 
…"they've started to tango now. And, you know, any time you have two guys in there tangoing you have a chance to get it done," he said.

Chicago Tribune


If you're worried about that so-called fiscal cliff…

Behold! The Johnston, Rhode Island SWAT team and their gear. According to providencejournal.com, taxpayer largesse has equipped Johnston’s paramilitary-style police with two Freightliner tractor-trailers, twelve Humvees; 30 M-16 rifles and conversion parts to transform them into M-4 weapons; 599 M-16 magazines containing about 18,000 rounds; a sniper targeting calculator; night vision equipment, 44 bayonets for ceremonial purposes; five generators from M1 tanks; and 23 snow blowers. In this federally subsidized hardware bounty they are not alone . . .


There is more than one way to save a buck.

Just the thought, dude, just the thought

Minnesotans come by tour bus to watch the mayhem whenever the white stuff falls from the sky [in Seattle], just for the entertainment value. They sit out there in their t-shirts and lawn chairs, eating lutefisk, and lament the fact it isn't cold enough to ice fish.…

Chocolate Chip Mint