YA reason we need the just plain postal service

Undernews: UPS drops health coverage of 15,000 spouses due to Obamacare

…shipping company UPS will no longer make health insurance benefits available to some 15,000 employee spouses. In announcing the change, the company referred to Obamacare as a reason it is having to battle to contain health-care costs.

But not the really expensive kind, right?

Activist Post: Bottled Water Contains Neurotoxins


And you thought the NSA was the biggest worry around

Some in Somerville worry it’s become too hip for its own good - Style - The Boston Globe

As the city seeks to reinvent itself — the mayor says his “branding experts” won’t let him utter the word “Slummerville” — it has made such progress that a previously unimaginable situation is emerging: the city is now concerned about becoming too cool.

What could be more random…

…than random.org? (New to our work avoidance list.)

Lorem Ipsum: Generate your own

Lorem Ipsum - All the facts - Lipsum generator

Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry's standard dummy text ever since the 1500s…

I feel better already

Breakfast: A Manifesto — Editor's Picks — Medium

In this world there are a surprising number of people who believe that sliced fruit, or yogurt, or granola — or perhaps, if they are feeling especially bold, some combination of all three — constitutes breakfast. These people are categorically wrong. They may consume these foods at the time of day associated with breakfast, but at best they eat at breakfast or a breakfast; they do not eat Breakfast. We must regard them with scorn, or pity; they worship false idols, they covet their neighbors’ kale.


And it's been there since Spring Break

Woman to cops: Help! There's a gator in my tub

This led police to determine that “Lewis was intentionally in possession of an alligator."

Have excellent good fun unredacting the FISA court

NSA Mad Libs: Choose Your Own [Redacted] | Mother Jones

The new language proposed by the government would allow the FBI to Smash Grapes Into Bunnies.…

Learn stuff you never would have guessed!

And the difference is…?

Hosni Mubarak Is One Relaxed Former Dictator - Dashiell Bennett - The Atlantic Wire

Even though the 85-year-old is reported to be in failing health and is being wheeled everywhere in public on a gurney, there are no tubes or machines attached to him, and no doctors fighting to keep him alive. In fact, he looks more like a playful retiree enjoying a nice beach chair in Boca Raton.

Kevin Drum asserts old white men are nostalgic for the 50's "in fantastic numbers" because that's what he kinda guesses

America's Elderly Really Love the '50s | Mother Jones

I assume that nonwhites aren't pining away for that era, which means that white seniors must really be in love with it to produce such a high overall number. Likewise, I'd guess that women might not be too thrilled with it. If that's true, it means that white male seniors must be nostalgic for the '50s in fantastic numbers.

Also, suburban lawns? The horror!

LOL! Pretty impressive, Ecuador!

Ecuador Seeks To Criminalize Publishing Classified Documents

WASHINGTON — The head of Ecuador’s intelligence agency has asked the legislature to draft a bill that would outlaw the publication of classified documents, amid growing concerns over a government clampdown on the media.

And they own Julian Assange. 

Like a zombie, Sealand is back — thanks, NSA!

The World's Most Notorious Micronation Has the Secret to Protecting Your Data From the NSA | Mother Jones

HavenCo, the Sealand-based data haven that failed spectacularly a decade ago, relaunched this weekend. And this time, Freedman thinks it's going to work. HavenCo is offering customers total control over how secure their data is—and if used correctly, its technology could help internet users who want to avoid the National Security Agency's sweeping data dragnet.

Again, etc.


This piece is worth the time

On Believing 2 Things at Once About Edward Snowden | Mother Jones

You might not know this if you subsist on a diet of cable news shouting matches, but it really is possible to believe two things at once…

Waiter, there's a fly in my soup

The Argument for Eating Insects | What’s In a Bug? Lots of Healthy Nutrients | TIME.com

There’s a new movement to introduce bugs to our buffets, and none other than the United Nations is leading the charge to eat more insects. The organization argues that more bug consumption could be critical for fighting food insecurity.

Happy birthday, Dorothy Parker

Dorothy Parker: 10 quotes on her birthday - CSMonitor.com

Supreme noobs

News from The Associated Press

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) -- The members of the Supreme Court continue to communicate with one another through memos printed on ivory paper even as they face the prospect of hearing cases related to emerging technology and electronic snooping in the years to come, Justice Elena Kagan said Tuesday.

Plus, of course, almost everybody in Congress and most of the Executive branch — a distressingly high percentage of people who can remember 1950, in fact — don't have a clue about the internet works, how the cellular network works, or where the pause button on the zapper is, which makes this whole so-called national discussion about privacy and security on the networks pretty problematical. Or worse. 

Maybe there's still a place for fountain pens. Or pigeons

I was thinking about going out somewhere for lunch…

…and then I realized I have cold chicken — and potato chips — right here. Who would ever go out for lunch if they have cold chicken and potato chips at home? In fact, who would ever go anywhere?

This makes no sense at all.


Because they don't want to scare the sun?

Why Canada spent $597,000 on a ‘stealth snowmobile’

Viewshed? Really? I say stamp on that before it gets loose.

Oil Billionaire Weighs In On Wind Turbines: 'Once They’re There, They Haunt You' | ThinkProgress

“I frankly don’t like to see a wind turbine,” Hamm told National Journal. “Once they’re there, they haunt you. That’s your viewshed. That’s what you look at.

And this Ham Hamm goes on to say…

“Are we going to provide rules to stop overpopulating areas in Africa? Middle Eastern countries? Probably should. China did. Stop overpopulating areas with people. Should we in the U.S.? Maybe we should think about that, if we’re truly concerned about that.”

Where do these mopes come from, anyway?

Not that we go in for stereotypes or anything like that, of course

Tomgram: Barbara Garson, How to Become a Part-Time Worker Without Really Trying | TomDispatch

…the type of person who shops at Walmart today has less money to shop at Walmart -- because of, among other things, Walmart.

Remembering the awesome Trash-80

Undernews: Recovered history: How we used to do it

Introducing affordable electronics to America including computers, stereo receivers, and cellular phones, Radio Shack arguably did more to promote the culture of digital consumerism in the United States than any other company.

Things getting grim in DC? Time for the old puppy trick.

The Obamas Got a New Puppy - Dashiell Bennett - The Atlantic Wire

The White House announced yesterday that the First Family just bought a second Portuguese Water Dog, a one-year-old female that's the spitting image of the existing First Dog.


What we need is some agency that could keep track of all the phone numbers and who's calling whom and…

In an email from USA.gov telephone scam involving fake government benefits:

Even though the woman wrote down the phone number of the caller, it can be hard to trace it back to a real person because of tricks like caller ID spoofing. This means that she probably won't be able to get her money back.

…oh, wait. OK, maybe we need drones that would keep track of people's phone numbers…

But it doesn't matter whose bodies

The Fog of Chemical War - By Noah Shachtman and Colum Lynch | Foreign Policy

The Obama administration repeatedly called the use of chemical weapons a "red line." But that line has now been crossed repeatedly, with little consequence. And that's led U.S. intelligence officials to confront another question: How massive would the chemical strike have to be in order to prompt America and its allies to intervene in Syria in a major way?

"As long as they keep body count at a certain level, we won't do anything," an American intelligence officer admits.

But isn't that half the fun?

Google Glass Reborn as Something You'd Actually Want to Wear | Wired Business | Wired.com

Meron Gribetz wants to build a version of Google Glass that doesn’t make you look like an idiot.

In fact, given the demo video's I've seen so far, way more than half. If they don't make you look like a total geek there's hardly any reason for them at all. Or it. Google Glass is an it, I suppose. Maybe we should call them The Google Thingies Formerly Known As Weird Goggles.

A leak too far

Snowden journalist to publish UK secrets after Britain detains partner | Top News | Reuters

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - The journalist who first published secrets leaked by fugitive former U.S. intelligence agency contractor Edward Snowden vowed on Monday to publish more documents and said Britain will be "sorry" for detaining his partner for nine hours.

Patience wears thin.


Wearing your glasses at all times…

…will save you from getting a big splooch of mustard square in the eye, as I was reminded recently, yea, moments ago.

Back in the time of the ancients I worked for a giant manufacturing company headquartered in New York, a company exceeding sensitive to certain legal matters to the extent its very highest officials decreed any company employee visible in any photograph released to the public (one of my own jobs) or used in company publications must be wearing safety glasses. There was an airbrush artist right across the street and to him we sent every photo that included anybody not wearing glasses to have glasses painted on. This was Photoshopping in the prehistoric era.

You, perusing our images so published might have concluded we were the most nearsighted company on the face of the planet, and understandably, but really we were just worried about the mustard.

And we only just finished pronouncing the last time


Beezow Doo-Doo Zopittybop-Bop-Bop Was Arrested Again

Felony drug charges have been filed against 32-year-old Beezow Doo-doo Zopittybop-bop-bop.

Zopittybop-bop-bop, of a Madison, Wisc., was born Jeffrey Drew Wilschke and legally changed his name in October 2011.

And YA thing that vanishes into the whirlwind of Egypt…

Obama Struggles To Find Effective Egypt Policy : NPR

President Obama, who often talks about free speech and human rights, has cancelled joint military exercises with Egypt but has stopped short of cutting off aid to the Egyptian military. As the violence continues in the streets of Cairo and other Egyptian cities, all sides seem unhappy with the U.S. approach.

…is, not to put too fine a point on it, the Secretary of State — although "the Obama administration" is mentioned in its lead, nowhere in this article does the name "Kerry" appear (Search key saves a lot of pretty dull, pretty unnecessary reading). 

Also, in passing, waving the peace prize is an easy rhetorical gambit — I get that — but it's been old for at least a week.

Personal to Doc Power

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