What's this? The Wall Street Journal supporting unions?

No More Keystone Excuses - WSJ.com

"Obama's choice: the green 1% or new and well-paying union jobs."

Alas, the story is behind a paywall, but we’re not holding our breath. Nice head-fake with the 1% bit, though.

When they pry my Thin Mints from my hot, chocolatty hands

Conservatives Launch War on Cookies: Evangelicals Attack Girls Scouts USA

"If you know what's good for America, you will shut your door when the Girl Scouts come a knockin', and you'll 'back away from those Girl Scout Cookies,' conservative Christian groups are telling their constituents.…It's all about right-wingers charging Girl Scouts USA with supporting Planned Parenthood, pro-abortion role models like Hillary Clinton, Gloria Steinem, Betty Friedan, and organizations like Amnesty International, the ACLU, and the National Organization for Women (NOW)."

Pays to play

Should the NFL Lose Its Tax-Exempt Status? | Mother Jones

"The NFL pays nothing in taxes….Not a nickel. "

It's the Pizza Bowl

Fun Facts

“…the top 5 pizza sales days are: Super Bowl Sunday, New Year's Eve, Halloween, The night before Thanksgiving, & New Year's Day"


Wait. What?

Siri Co-Creator Ponders the Future of the ‘Her’ Operating System | Variety

"Siri blew up into a cultural phenomenon overnight.…Millions of people would chat with Siri for hours at a time."

Can you spell “depressing,” Bunky?

If they're sick let 'em swim

News from The Associated Press

"PASADENA, Texas (AP) -- A cruise line official says a ship with more than 160 sick passengers returned early to a Houston-area port because of a dense fog forecast and not due to illness."

Dude, this is just not fair

Pizza perfume: It's real and you can buy a bottle for $20

 Still life
iPhone photo art: Phil Compton

Running out of stuff to worry about? We're here to help…

Rare Owl Is on the Mend After Being Hit by Bus - NYTimes.com

"Snowy owls, native to the Arctic, have been spotted as far south as Florida this winter searching for food because of a population spike or a severe shortage of lemmings, their primary food."

When the game pauses for commercials, play…

WIRED's Super Bowl Ad Bingo: Download Now! | Underwire | Wired.com


A little math problem for you


Giuliani Says 'Fifty-Fifty' Chance Christie Knew About Bridge Lane Closures

…and it’s thirty-seventy I believe anything Giulliani says, what are the odds I care what Christie did or didn’t know?

Everything is related in the end

The Forgotten History of How Modern Art Helped Win World War II

"Camouflage—at least in its present incarnation—grew up alongside modernism. And though the relationship between art and war was long ignored by historians, it's now coming to light just how intertwined they really were. Particularly when it came to hiding things in plain sight.


Even if they are named after a bird


"Statistical history favors the tightest defenses in the Super Bowl over the most prolific offenses, something that might hearten Seattle Seahawks fans."

The more things change

Audi Makes a Bet on Gas Made From Sugar | Autopia | Wired.com

"Audi is expanding its biofuel initiative with an investment in Global Bioenergies, a French company that can make synthetic gasoline from sugar, and do it both faster and cheaper than other biofuels. And most importantly, the fuel, called bio-isooctane, doesn’t require any modifications to the cars it powers, making it a drop-in replacement for gasoline refined from petroleum."

George Washington Carver and Henry Ford Shared a Bio-fuel Vision

"'All the world is waiting for a substitute for gasoline,' Ford said in 1916. 'The day is not far distant when, for every one of those barrels of gasoline, a barrel of alcohol must be substituted.'"

It's a storm out there

Harsh winter bringing huge toll of highway pileups

"Since Dec. 1, a USA TODAY analysis shows police have reported at least 42 pileups with at least 10 vehicles, or at least five vehicles when someone was killed. That's a rate of almost 1 per day."


For Super Bowl Teams, the Seahawks and the Broncos, N.F.L. Uniforms Designed by Nike - NYTimes.com

Both the Seahawks and the Broncos will be wearing signature looks by Nike…
We are very proud today that both of these teams are now matching up together and that both are very progressive in terms of their aesthetic,’ said Todd Van Horne, the creative director for football at Nike."


It's not nice to laugh

Winter storm causes wrecks, gridlock in the South - SFGate

"ATLANTA (AP) — The mad rush began at the first sight of snow: Across the Atlanta area, schools let out early and commuters left for home after lunch, instantly creating gridlock so severe that security guards and doormen took to the streets to direct cars amid a cacophony of blaring horns."

OK, it’s not nice to laugh too much. But it’s sort of impossible not to laugh just a little once you’ve see these pictures of the snowstorm that ate Atlanta.

I used to live in Atlanta. I doubt the city even owns a plow. People don’t own snow shovels. It’s a mess.

(Also here.)


Down to the sea in hawks

Americans strongly back Broncos - Public Policy Polling

"In a time when Americans are divided about many things, pulling for the Broncos brings people together across lines that usually separate them. Liberals, conservatives, men, women, whites, African Americans, Democrats, Republicans, Latinos, and voters young and old are all cheering for Denver to win on Sunday."

Which means, clearly, as you would know if you have spent any time at all reading this blog, we are supporting the Seahawks here (and wouldn’t dare otherwise) although it’s true we have never been much for sports teams named after birds (except Blackhawks, of course, who are really not named after a bird anyway but after a guy named after a bird). And who cares about polls?

Go Seahawks. (And we are arranging a little patch of warmer weather for the game, as well.)


Airport Forecast for 2014: More Guns, Faster Security - NYTimes.com

"Last year, 1,813 firearms (1,477 of them loaded) were found in passengers’ carry-on bags at T.S.A. checkpoints.…

"Of course, the official tallies reflect only those guns screeners found at the checkpoints. It’s anybody’s guess how many firearms might be slipping through".

From the geeky software file

'Pregnant Sims Can No Longer Brawl' And Other Amazing Sims Patch Notes

“The magical laundry bear Abracadabra will no longer block Sims from moving after disappearing.
Pianists will no longer continue playing pianos that have been detonated."


I say the waffle iron did it

100,000 Refrigerators and other home appliances hacked to perform cyber attack - The Hacker News

"The worst thing with these smart appliances is that it can be easily approached by cyber criminals due to its 24 hour availability on the Internet with an add-on of poorly protected Internet environment i.e. Poor misconfiguration and the use of default passwords."

Oh oh, no more Sky

Microsoft renames SkyDrive to OneDrive | The Verge

"'Changing the name of a product as loved as SkyDrive wasn’t easy,' admits Microsoft's Ryan Gavin."

Apparently the word “sky” is now off limits. Does this mean a certain airline will now be flying the friendly ones? Will they get sued by Microsoft if they do? Hey, the one’s the limit.



There's a Science to Foot Traffic, and It Can Help Us Design Better Cities - Wired Science

"China has in the past 30 years become the most urbanized country that has ever existed. More than 450 million Chinese — 1 in 25 people on the planet – live in cities. At least 160 Chinese cities have more than 1 million people, compared to nine in the United States."

No girls

LIFE photo essay on firearm safety class held in a school in northern Indiana in the mid-50s.

Old-School Gun Control: Portrait of Firearm Safety in Rural Indiana, 1956 | LIFE.com

OK then

Snowden won't return to U.S. without amnesty, says legal adviser | Reuters

Setting the world free

In South Korea, Spam Is the Stuff Gifts Are Made Of - NYTimes.com

"Its cachet was obvious in a recent television commercial featuring movie and television stars. In it, a man makes a romantic dinner invitation that his picky girlfriend cannot refuse: How about slices of pan-fried Spam over a steaming bowl of rice?"


Picky, picky

Arizona GOP censures McCain for “insufficiently conservative” voting record - Salon.com

A guy asked me for directions, and I knew

Really, this is a pretty big deal. I’ve never been good on street names. I navigate by landmarks and dead reckoning, not streets. So even though I’ve lived here quite a while I can’t tell you with any certainty how to get to School Street or Colrain Road.

But stop me on the street any place in town and I can give you directions to the nearest donut shop.

Go figure.

OK, some days it works and some days not

Birds attack peace doves freed from pope’s window - World - The Boston Globe

"Vatican City — Two white doves that were released by children standing alongside Pope Francis as a peace gesture have been attacked by other birds."

The Chicago way

It Only Seems That Political Corruption Is Rampant - NYTimes.com

"A 2012 study by researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago calculated that 31 of the approximately 100 Chicago aldermen who had served since 1973 — and four of the seven governors — had been convicted of corruption."

The pipeline alternative

Accidents Surge as Oil Industry Takes the Train - NYTimes.com

"Today about two-thirds of the production in North Dakota’s Bakken shale oil field rides on rails because of a shortage of pipelines. And more than 10 percent of the nation’s total oil production is shipped by rail."

197.4 million people…

Undernews: Fact sheet on the vast area the federal government considers Constitution free

"What we found is that fully TWO-THIRDS of the United States’ population lives…within 100 miles of the US land and coastal borders. "

…including all the people who live in nine of the nation’s ten largest cities and the entirety of thirteen states (including several of the thirteen states) are subject to being searched and interrogated by the Border Patrol. And anyone who as much as travels within the 100-mile zone. 

More, this from the ACLU site, here.