LIFE on the invention of teenagers

Historians and social critics differ on the specifics of the timeline, but most cultural observers agree that the strange and fascinating creature known as the American teenager — as we now understand the species — came into being sometime in the early 1940s.…

What's good for the goose

Washington (CNN) -- A day after the United States published a blacklist of alleged Russian human rights abusers, whom Washington slapped with personal sanctions, the Kremlin answered with a list of its own. It slaps alleged American rights violators with similar sanctions, official Russian news agency RIA Novosti reported Saturday.


Just a temporary setback…

…said the guy at the meat counter this morning; I hope he's right.

We are having freezing rain today. Not a lot, but enough to set people to scraping windshields and force me to downshift into winter-shuffle mode, trudging to the grocery store and back.

Pretty depressing. But, like the man said, temporary, no doubt.

Is it just me or is "Republican outrage" becoming all one word…

…sort of like "thefailingApple" was in the early 90s (and probably with roughly equal correspondence to the facts)? Here it is again in TIME, followed by this curious sentence from writer Alex Rogers…
Amid consternation from Cuban American Republicans, Jay-Z released today “Open Letter,” a song in part about the questionable legality of his fifth wedding anniversary in Havana, Cuba.
Really? I can imagine an illegal wedding, I suppose, or an illegal celebration, but an illegal anniversary? I do doubt that.

But Republicanoutrage makes any story better, so there's that.


And speaking of superheroes…

Superman officially has issues. He's going to have more on his mind this summer than anybody expected—Fear! Loneliness! Emotional Issues!—and Man of Steel might have reached the point where everyone else really should start worrying about the big blue boy scout's new blues.…
Atlantic Wire

Who will save us now?

And a new euphemism is born

Google has added a new way to control what happens to your account when you stop using it — most likely because you're no longer around. A new Inactive Account Manager, available in Google's settings, allows you to set a timeout period for your account…
The Verge

The best laid plans, etc.

Re: The ban on super-sized soft drinks in New York City (chuckles the Los Angeles times)…

New research shows that prompting beverage makers to sell sodas in smaller packages and bundle them as a single unit actually encourages consumers to buy more soda — and gulp down more calories — than they would have consumed without the ban.
Not only would thirsty people drink more, but circumventing the big-drink ban by offering consumers bundles of smaller drinks also would mean more revenue for the beverage purveyors…

Before you get all applausey about the whole gun law thing…

The deal, which could face a vote in the Senate as early as Thursday, would end the so-called "gun show loophole" and force federal background checks on arms sales that take place outside of gun shops, including at large gun shows and through online retail outlets previously exempt from the practice.
However, the law would not include person-to-person individual sales, and also loosens existing restrictions on bring firearms across state lines. 
Common Dreams


Just say not here

Perhaps you've heard about the thousands of cicadas that are preparing to take over the East Coast with a "frenzy of sex and death." Perhaps you're not really sure how intense the Insect Spring will become. We're here to help. The extremely noisy bugs are coming for what some have called the Super Bowl of cicada mating season, and they are due to arrive, up and out of your trees and with the sexual sounds of a power saw, sometime very soon.
Atlantic Wire

"Power saw" is an understatement. You can believe what I say. Also they have beady red eyes.

Wait! I used to date this girl…

The mysteries of the human mind might soon be revealed, now that a consortium of experts has figured out how to render entire brains transparent…
The Verge

News is news is, well, something. Or not.

Admittedly, stabbing 14 people doesn’t rise as high on the news barometer as shooting to death over two dozen, but by any traditional standard, it is still news. Unfortunately, however, it interferes with the current message that the only violence issue we should concern ourselves is the use of guns.…
Progressive Review

Imagine our surprise

Money that was intended to boost lending in the wake of the financial crisis was instead used by bailed-out banks to repay TARP (Troubled Asset Relief Program) funds from the government.…



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

How stupid is horrifically dumb?

ATTLEBORO — As many as 25 students at Coelho Middle School were denied meals or told to throw their lunches away Tuesday because they could not pay or their pre-paid accounts did not contain enough money, school officials said today.…
Sun Chronicle 

Is nothing sacred?

French president’s camel eaten in Mali 
One man’s pet is another mans delicious stew.


Mary Roach's most recent, best (IMO), and certainly ickiest book yet (one hopes there are many more to come), Gulp, is now on our official reading list.

Roach is one of the best and hands-down funniest technical writers working today. The book is an entertaining and informative read. It will definitely be on the exam.


Oil: Preventing squeaks

InsideClimate News reporter Lisa Song was threatened with arrest on Wednesday after she entered the command center for the cleanup operation in Mayflower, Ark., where a major oil pipeline spill occurred on Friday.
Inside Climate News

Hey, Bunky, can you spell "duped"?

The 29,503,030 people who follow Barack Obama's Twitter account might see his picture, see his name, see that little blue verified account badge and think they're following the President — but it's not him. All of the president's named social media accounts, in fact, have been handed over to a non-partisan, not-for-profit group that isn't overly concerned if you didn't notice the transition.…
Atlantic Wire

Our nomination for Mope of the Year

House GOPer: "Crush liberalism" to honor Thatcher

Sent from Zite, available for free in the App Store.

Give me a break already

Obama running short of time to burnish legacy in second term
The Hill


In the first place, first black president. Duh.

In the second place, burnishing a legacy is not what we elected him to do. His job is to run the federal government. That's what the "executive" in "executive branch" is all about. And he seems to be doing a pretty lousy job of it. In fact, he doesn't even seem to be much interested.

You may think I'm getting a little worked up here. Well, go ahead.

Meditation on doom

"The idea that rational men will prevent irrational crises doesn’t live up to world history.” 

It's all in the hardware

I was just having an incredibly mouth-watering dream about a hamburger – a big, juicy, delicious-looking hamburger – when the alarm clock went off this morning. I hit the snooze button, of course, but it was already too late. The burger was gone.

So I got up and flipped open my news page and the first article I read (after last night's basketball score – go Huskies) was about how eating red meat can kill you. Well, me.

A faster snooze button is what I need.


iPhone abstract: Phil Compton


In this first salvo ahead of the next round of budget battles with the White House, score one for the real-life socialist; zero for the president who is often derided as one.… 
Los Angeles Times