Okay, before it gets all dirty, one

New Snow by Ted Compton
New Snow, a photo by Ted Compton on Flickr.


The Lobster Mobile Telephone Case is another completely unnecessary electronics accessory that recently started trending online because, clearly, we love our technology, but, at the same time, simply can't leave well enough alone.… 
…it's still a pretty cool-looking phone accessory. For about an hour. That's when you realize that you have a lobster in your pants.


Ghosts of drought

(ST. LOUIS, AP) — From sunken steamboats to a millennium-old map engraved in rock, the drought-drained rivers of the nation’s midsection are offering a rare and fleeting glimpse into years gone by.… 
Old boats are turning up in several locations, including sunken steamboats dating to the 19th century. 
Digital Burg

Veni vidi vici…Wisconsin Dells?

WISCONSIN DELLS -- Fish experts blame an annual disease for the deaths of thousands of fish in Lake Delton at Wisconsin Dells.… 
Specialists blamed a disease known as “columnaris” which creates fatal legions on the gills and skin.

River Falls Wisconsin 



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


They may have been a little shy when they predicted 18 inches. We have that much on the ground right now and it's still coming down, although it's not so much snow now as sleet. (Oh, you thought I meant 18 inches of chocolate?) When you get that much on the ground – snow, not chocolate – there's no turning back. This stuff will be on the ground until March. At least.

Luckily, I have brownies. (This is where the chocolate comes in.) Somebody gave me a box of chocolate brownie mix this past weekend. I hadn't seen a box of brownie mix for 20 years. But there it was. And Monday I went out and bought some eggs. And now it snows. Fate.

The brownies are cooling on the rack right now. Winter, do your worst.

Miserable? Awwwww…

Senators, frustrated, pessimistic and in some cases downright miserable, returned to Washington with no clear fiscal agenda.…

New York Times


Corner Art

    iPhoto: Phil Compton

So you can forget all that cheery stuff you read in November

As the U.S. holiday season winds down, retailers were left to hope that post-Christmas sales could help salvage their worst performance since 2008, preliminary data showed.
Christian Science Monitor

New media, new reality

TV remains the most popular source of news, but its audience is aging: “Only about a third (34%) of those younger than 30 say they watched TV news yesterday; in 2006, nearly half of young people (49%) said they watched TV news the prior day,” the report says.


And still better than asking directions

Among cartographic misfirings, the disaster of Apple Maps is rather minor, and may even have resulted in some happy accidents—in the same way that Christopher Columbus discovered America when he was aiming for somewhere more eastern and exotic. The history of cartography is nothing if not a catalog of hit-and-miss, a combination of good fortune and misdirection.

Wall Street Journal


Crime stories

Two of them added to our reading list: Live the Night, Dennis Lehane's continuation of the story he began in The Given Day, and J. R. Moehringer's Sutton, the story of America's most prolific bank robber. Two tales well told.

Read on.

Wise? Well, maybe (or maybe not)

Way to go, Mrs. Smith!

My job for today was to bake ("bake") the pies, which I put in the oven for 1 hour and left for one and a half. But they still look good. Look. And if we put enough ice cream on them who'll care how they taste?

(One apple, one blueberry, if you're asking.)

If you must ask

…in retrospect, Avatar now seems the high-point of 3D movie-making, with little since 2009 to challenge its achievement. Three years on, has the appeal of 3D gone flat?

1) Yes.

2) The high point of 3-D moviemaking was House of Wax.


Kids, etc.

Tech Crunch - “Under most existing laws, if our findings were extrapolated nationally, several million teens could be prosecuted for child pornography,” explains a new study on teen sexting…
The prevalence of sexting has put some experts in the awkward position of pressing for laxer child pornography laws, so that curious teenagers aren’t branded as pedophiles. 



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

First the world ends and then…

Top U.S. lawmakers voiced rising fear on Sunday that the country would go over "the fiscal cliff" in nine days…

Oh nooooooooo!

Some advice from an old, old man

'When I was a kid, you got a big box of bricks and that was it,' says Tracy Bagatelle-Black. 'What stinks about Lego sets now is that they're not imaginative at all.'…
Just forget about "when I was a kid." That was then.


HuffPost Politics (@HuffPostPol)
NRA head: If it's crazy to put armed guards in schools, "then call me crazy" huff.to/UmYm9W

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File under Kneeslapper

If you thought the tale of how Mitt Romney lost the general election was already told, you would be wrong. Because there is so much left to tell, like how Mitt never wanted to be President anyway.  
At least, that's what Tagg Romney says in this new Boston Globe report on what went wrong with Romney's campaign.…
Atlantic Wire

And if you don't let him pitch he's going to take his bat and ball and go home.