8.03.2013

Too hot to frown

Too hot to frown by Ted Compton
Too hot to frown, a photo by Ted Compton on Flickr.

Chocolate!

I went to the drugstore earlier this week to stock up on paper products and while I was there bought a little package of the Walgreen's version of designer chocolate and put it in the same bag, and then didn't unpack the bag when I got home or even look in it until just a few minutes ago when I retrieved a roll of paper towels and found, right there in the bag where I'd left it (and forgotten it) chocolate

My day is complete, and it's only 4:00.

Or shall we dance?

McKeon: “We’re acting like children” on Snowden

“The president has talked a lot about ‘we should talk,’” McKeon said. “We should talk with Iran, we should talk with other people. And yet when we have a problem, he doesn’t want to talk. I cant tell the president how to do his job, he knows more about the problem than obviousy I do. But I think we just ought to get it solved. That’s what a leader does, he fixes problems.”

Evil surveillance state wants to spoil your vacation

U.S. issues global travel alert, cites al Qaeda threat | Reuters

The State Department travel alert was based on the same intelligence that prompted it to close 21 U.S. embassies and consulates on Sunday, August 4, chiefly those in the Muslim world, a U.S. official told Reuters on condition of anonymity.

Oh I will

A Kit To Grow Bugs At Home, To Eat!

Don’t think of it as eating bug babies. Think of it as protein gardening.

The Sheltered American

Inspired by Pamplona, Great Bull Run coming to US

The Great Bull Run is inspired by the annual running of the bulls in Pamplona, Spain. It's set to kick off Aug. 24 at a drag-racing strip south of Richmond, Va.…

Or, why go to Pamplona when you can get gored right here at home?

8.02.2013

From Modern Farmer and the LOC…

16 Porkers from the Past

Heh heh let's see if we can get them to smear this on their faces

For $180, you too can have a bird-poop facial - Salon.com

About 100 women and men go into the Shizuka New York skin care salon, just off Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue, each month to get the treatment, which is promoted as a way to keep the face soft and smooth using an enzyme in the poop to gently exfoliate the skin.

The only New Year's Eve plan you will ever need (well, for a while)

The 25 best movie comedies of all time

Just be sure to spell the name right

Why Rolling Stone boycott backfired, as Tsarnaev cover flies off shelves - CSMonitor.com

The lesson in retailers' boycott of Rolling Stone's August issue – featuring Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev – is that publicity of almost any kind pays, say media analysts. The magazine saw its newsstand sales surge. 

Why what you read may not be what you think you're reading

HuffPo Pushes Further Into Sponsored Content | Digiday

That’s why publishers like Vice and Gawker have begun partnered content-creation arms. Add The Huffington Post to the mix. This week it is officially taking the wraps off its new in-house branded content agency, HuffPost Partner Studio. Its charter is to make advertising that looks like regular Huffington Post content.

8.01.2013

So a guy walks into the doctor's office…

…and says, "Doc, I'd like to live for a long, long time. I'd live forever if I could. What can you tell me that will help me live forever—or at least as long as possible?"

The doc says, "That's easy. Eat low-fat cheese."

"Really?" the guy says. "If I eat low-fat cheese will I live forever?"

"No," the doc says, "but it will seem that way.

Improv

Save the Date – Black Tie Beach 2013 | Improv Everywhere

Russia on a roll

Russia Plans To Enforce Anti-Gay Law For Athletes, Fans During Olympics

MOSCOW (AP) — Russia will enforce a new law cracking down on gay rights activism when it hosts international athletes and fans during the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, the country’s sports minister said Thursday…

And…wait for it…

While activists and organizations supportive of gay rights have called for a ban on Russian-made products like Stolichnaya vodka…

Oh, the merriment!

Sort of like the Gulf of Canada

The Alberta Oil Sands Have Been Leaking for 9 Weeks | Mother Jones

On Friday, the Toronto Star reported that an anonymous government scientist who had been to the spill site—which is operated by Canadian Natural Resources Ltd.—warned that the leak wasn't going away. "Everybody [at the company and in government] is freaking out about this," the scientist told the Star.

With Putin weeping great salty tears over Snowden's human rights

Official: U.S. not surprised Snowden got asylum – CNN Security Clearance - CNN.com Blogs

The Russian government “has been signaling this for some time” that it planned to grant Edward Snowden temporary asylum, a US official tells CNN. In the wake of Snowden now leaving the Moscow airport “I don’t think it’s a shock,” that it has been granted, he said. “We are not shocked or even surprised,” the official said.

Let him stay in Russia. Forever. Problem solved.

[Add: And also Edward Snowden's Russian Future: No-Show Job, Lousy Apartment]

A penny saved

Advocates for nursing home reform push back against proposed health watchdog cuts | The Center for Public Integrity

That scheduled audit is among several high-profile investigations the OIG is postponing or canceling, including a review of the state insurance exchanges that are set to open later this year as a key provision of the Affordable Care Act. The Center for Public Integrity first reported on the scrapped projects last week. 

I think I'll stick to the old tick tock

A Clock That Tells Time With Breath Instead of Numbers | Wired Design | Wired.com

As the clear balloon transforms from a taut bubble to a limp pile of thin material, you can’t help but think of a ventilator slowly ceasing to pump air into human lungs.

This is your internet on caffeine

Google Replaces AT&T At Starbucks: Partnership Boosts Free Wi-Fi Speeds From Tall To Venti

Starting in August, Google plans to make Internet speeds at all 7,000 Starbucks locations in the U.S. 10 times faster than the current AT&T-powered service. For cities equipped with Google Fiber, Google says the Internet speeds in Starbucks coffee shops could increase as much as 100 times.

Some cops you probably don't want to meet

News from The Associated Press
Small-town police departments across the country have been gobbling up tons of equipment discarded by a downsizing military - bicycles, bed sheets, bowling pins, French horns, dog collars, even a colonoscopy machine - regardless of whether the items are needed or will ever be used.

7.31.2013

Before we get any more bent out of shape here…

Twitter Transparency Report Shows U.S. Gov. Makes Most Data Requests | TPM LiveWire

From January to June, U.S. authorities made 902 requests for user information on 1,319 separate Twitter accounts, according to the report.

…and just to put this whole thing in a little bit of perspective, the total number of Twitter users is reported here as 554,750,000, of which 1,319 is 0.00024%. Of course, not all Twitter users are U.S. citizens, but nothing in the Twitter report claims all the subjects of government data requests were U.S. citizens either. Or any of them, for that matter. 

So while your anonymity on Twitter may be of serious—and legitimate—concern, the odds are pretty clearly on your side.

Rosie's back

Rosie the Riveter’s factory gets 2-month reprieve - Salon.com

Rose Will Monroe was one of the 40,000 who toiled at the 332-acre Ford Motor Co. facility that churned out nearly 9,000 B-24 Liberator bombers during the war. Monroe, who moved from to Michigan from her native Kentucky during the war, starred as herself in the film, and the Rosie character became one of the best-known figures of the era as well as an enduring symbol of female empowerment.

Some days are just bad days

Book News: Booksellers Irate Over Obama's Amazon Visit : The Two-Way : NPR

  • President Obama's Tuesday trip to an Amazon distribution center in Chattanooga, Tenn., has raised eyebrows (and hackles) in the bookselling community. Publisher's Weekly ran a provocative story titled "Does President Obama Hate Indie Bookstores?" that called Obama's visit "a slap in the face" to booksellers.
  • The top is still the top, and all's right with the world

    How the Execs Who Brought Down Bear Stearns Bounced Back | Mother Jones

    Five years later, the executives that were in charge of Bear's headlong dive into the cesspool of subprime mortgage lending hold similar jobs at the most powerful banks on Wall Street: JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, and Deutsche Bank.

    7.30.2013

    Or possibly a new super hero we just haven't got around to making a movie about yet

    Throwing Paint at Things, the Crime: Dumber Than Mailing Ricin, or Merely Equally Stupid? | Vanity Fair

    For the past week or so, the occasionally tolerable mid-Atlantic swamp-hamlet of Washington, D.C., has been under constant attack by a paint-tossing vandal—or, rather, as authorities discovered yesterday night, a vandalesse.…

    And of course we are willing to believe whatever this guy says

    Snowden Swears He's Not a Spy, Again - Connor Simpson - The Atlantic Wire

    Former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, still hanging out in a Russian airport and possibly departing for Venezuela soon, would really like to finally put this idea that he's a spy for China and/or Russia to bed. He swears it's not true, and that it's all The New York Times's fault. 

    [Whatever he is he's not what he claims, would be our guess.]

    Which is why I don't say much

    sampjacobs
    .@GovHowardDean: "Everything you say comes down to who’s paying you to say it." http://t.co/cBoktPYtc0
    7/30/13 9:18 AM

    (Ahem, the quote in the tweet above is not exactly what Dean said but hey, it's the internet and all that. Anyway.)

    National Cheesecake Day!

    National Cheesecake Day 2013: Why are people in Columbus so obsessed with The Cheesecake Factory? | Sonya Sorich | Columbus Ledger Enquirer

    Beats me but I'm all for it, whatever. How cool is National Cheesecake Day?

    Small favors

    Dead Zone in Gulf of Mexico Comes In Smaller Than Predicted | TIME.com

    But the results from the summer mapping expedition in the Gulf are in, and the actual dead zone turned out to be somewhat smaller: 5,800 sq. miles, or about the size of Connecticut.

    (One could also say Connecticut is about the size of a big puddle of polution in the Gulf but of course, one would not.)

    Light states, dark states

    A Map of American Electricity Use in 1921 - Alexis C. Madrigal - The Atlantic

    And won't trade for Snowden either

    News from The Associated Press
    "Without any doubt, the greatest single frustration has been our inability, in quite a number of cases now, to carry out the deportation orders that we've won in federal courts. We can't carry them out because governments of Europe refuse to take these people back," Eli Rosenbaum, the longtime head of the Justice Department agency charged with investigating accused Nazi war criminals, said in the 2011 documentary "Elusive Justice: The Search for Nazi War Criminals."

    Central Montana, however, more or less undisturbed

    Florida gas plant explosion rocks central Florida - CSMonitor.com

    Everything in its place

    Georgia Family Finds Mysterious 7-Foot KFC Bucket Outside Front Door

    "It's unusual, but it makes really good landmarks when people come to our house," she said. "You can just say come down to the giant KFC bucket and turn right."

    Col. Mustard, in the kitchen, with a frozen dumpling

    Chinese Man Stands Trial for Poisoning Dumplings - ABC News

     

    7.29.2013

    And your point is?

    The Lady vanishes: How a disgraced CIA agent “disappeared” - Salon.com

    For Washington, the essential rule of thumb goes something like this: we do what we want; we get to say what we want about what we do; and U.N. ambassadorial nominee Samantha Powers then gets to lecture the world on human rights and oppression.

     

    Barnum would be proud

    Where Are They Now? Scandalized Ex-Members Resigned Mostly to Obscurity - Heard on the Hill

    Still too warm?

    Try NOAA's North Pole page.

    But we wouldn't want to be a cynic now, would we

    Hawaii To Offer Its Homeless Residents One-Way Flights Off The Islands | ThinkProgress

    Viewed in the most charitable light, one-way flights allow homeless people who currently live in Hawaii but have a family or better job opportunities on the mainland to be able to move. Viewed more cynically, officials in Hawaii will use this initiative to coerce homeless persons into leaving, freeing the state from any further obligations to help them.