If you think about it it's good this is the worst problem we have

Obama Tells Colleges He's Going to Start Ranking Them - Allie Jones - The Atlantic Wire

It was move-in day at Buffalo, so Obama thanked the students watching the speech "for taking a few minutes from setting up your futons and mini-fridges."


Weird videos

Hovercraft Landing Joins List Of Odd Videos Out Of Russia

Photo caption of the year

Well, if you count 1946 as a year

Bigotry in the USA: Photos From a Klan Initiation in 1946 | LIFE.com

White-sheeted Ku Klux Klan members stand by a burning cross, May 1946. This Stone Mountain, Ga., ceremony was put off many times, Klansmen allegedly said, because of wartime sheet shortages during WWII.

Looting Detroit

Hands off Detroit’s final treasures! - Salon.com

There’s not that much left to loot in Detroit. Even the copper pipe’s been stolen from the abandoned buildings. But Detroit does have one crown jewel left: the world-class art collection of the Detroit Institute of the Arts, estimated to be worth perhaps $2 billion. Not surprisingly, creditors are eyeing it hungrily.


What they mean when they say pissing contest

CBS This Morning (@CBSThisMorning)
RT @Mosheh: Gen. Zinni on @CBSThisMorning: "We will look weak" if we don't do anything to Assad.

Download the official Twitter app here

Private war

Pentagon Has No Idea What 108,000 Contractors Are Doing

The increase in the contractors to troop ration is yet another indication that although the vast majority of troops are leaving Afghanistan, a private army will remain in the country for years.


The thing that surprises me most…

The NSA paid Google and Facebook millions to spy on taxpayers

The National Security Agency reimbursed some of the nation’s top tech companies for participating in its PRISM surveillance program, according to new leaked government documents. Google, Microsoft, Yahoo and Facebook all received payments after the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court ruled some of the NSA’s surveillance to be unconstitutional.

…about this whole NSA/Surveillance State/Spooky Spook story is how many people seem to be surprised by it. 

Also, in passing, if you're concerned about somebody looking over your shoulder the NSA is quite possibly the least of your worries.

Let's play Find the Geezer

How old were the Founding Father: The leaders of the American Revolution were younger than we imagine. - Slate Magazine

As it turns out, many Founding Fathers were younger than 40 years old in 1776, with several qualifying as Founding Teenagers or Twentysomethings. And though the average age of the signers of the Declaration of Independence was 44, more than a dozen of them were 35 or younger.

Ben Franklin! W00t!

And what's wrong with my navel, dude?

Daily Kos: STUNNING: Comparing U.S. & World Covers for TIME Magazine

Yes, what you see is TIME devoting its cover in international markets to a critical moment in Egypt's revolution – perhaps the most important global story this week – while offering Americans the chance to contemplate their collective navels…

Also, while we're on the topic of navels, there is nothing STUNNING about this story unless it's the STUNNING cluelessness of whoever wrote its headline. But this is YA hot internet trend, isn't it, writing AWESOME, OUTRAGEOUS, AMAZING, HILARIOUS, and — best of all — NAKED headlines that have nothing much to do with the story they refer to. If anything. Not that we are entirely INNOCENT ourselves, of course. But we are trying to do better.

When you absolutely, positively have nothing better to do

Osama Bin Laden Photo Flap Heading to Supreme Court | Threat Level | Wired.com

The dispute of whether the Central Intelligence Agency must release as many as 52 images of a dead Osama bin Laden is heading to the Supreme Court.

We'd nominate the Supreme Court for some kind of work avoidance award but we're afraid we might ge


Now that you mention it…

Money, Money, Money, Money, MONEY! - NYTimes.com

You never hear about problems with Jimmy Carter’s foundation; he just quietly goes around the world eradicating Guinea worm disease.

I forgot

Where are the missing 90 year olds?


Bouncing berries and other stuff

16 Mind-Blowing Fruit Facts

…the higher the bounce, the better the berry…

Just don't look too close. Or listen.

Lyin’ den? China zoo replaces big cat with big dog - World - The Boston Globe

BEIJING — A zoo in the China city of Luohe attempted to pass off a Tibetan mastiff as a lion, state news media reported. The large, aggressive breed has a trademark bushy mane that gives it a lion-like appearance, but its vocalizations are more woof than roar.

FYI and all that

We expect to be spending even more (or is that less?) energy than usual avoiding work this week; postings here will continue at a lesser rate than (mostly) usual. We will be exploring some new ideas and possibly be playing around a little bit with Twitter — there is an experimental Twitter feed somewhere near the bottom of the sidebar — and what not. We will be back up to speed right after Labor Day (summer's over! America goes back to work!) with an array of exciting new features, or more probably more of the same old stuff.

Exactly — although "free" might be a bit of a stretch

Government Builds Free Cloud-Based Backup for an Ungrateful Nation — Surveillance State — Medium

After the untimely revelation of PRISM, a government program designed to provide all Americans with free and secure online backup for their documents, emails, and contacts, the White House has expressed confusion and indignation at the burgeoning public outcry.…

Although some elements of the Obama administration’s Dropbox-like service had already been implemented under President Bush, sources close to the White House say that the program was embraced by Barack Obama and his advisers once it became clear that it promised enormous benefits for the public.

For a minute there we thought you were on to something, but no…

Fear-mongering won't scuttle Obamacare | The Center for Public Integrity

…the anti-Obamacare campaign has never really been about overturning the law as much as it has been about winning elections.

Get back to us when you have some news.


Absolutely the stupidest political strategy ever devised

Democrats meddle in GOP primaries, helping extreme candidates who are easier to beat - Politics - The Boston Globe

Democrats, for example, ran ads that praised the credentials of a Republican candidate known for extreme right-wing views, hoping that would dim the chances of the more mainstream GOP contenders, those with the best chance of beating the Democratic nominee.

Might work once or twice, but in the end it will blow up in your sad, sad face.

Just for the record, Bunky (you too, Corker)…

Sen. Corker predicts Obama will take military action against Syria - The Hill's Global Affairs

"I think we will respond in a surgical way and I hope the president as soon as we get back to Washington will ask for authorization from Congress to do something in a very surgical and proportional way…

…there is nothing freaking surgical about a bomb. But hey, don't take my word for that. Go ask your doctor to take your tonsils out with high explosive. 


A U.S. official tells @clawrencecnn there is almost no doubt the Assad regime is responsible for the latest chemical weapons attack in Syria
8/25/13 10:42 AM

"Almost no doubt" = doubt, right?