A whole lot of boo-hooing going on

Winter Olympics 2014: Shani Davis finishes 11th as U.S. ditches suits - CBS News

"'The results aren't dramatically better with this suit,' Hansen said, 'but part of our decision was that we had results and confidence from this skinsuit that we didn't have with the other skinsuit.'"

Skaters get speed pants

U.S. speedskaters cleared to change suits

"SOCHI, Russia — Amid a contentious battle over whether a suit designed by Under Armour is leading to slower times from America's top speed skaters, U.S. Speedskating has received permission from the International Olympic Committee to switch back to the suits used during the recent World Cup season."

Grumpy old men gone wild

Great Lakes nearing a record for ice, with more winter ahead (+video) - CSMonitor.com

"Ice-fishing enthusiasts of the upper Midwest are ecstatic."

Hazards of the brave new world

Snowstorm Leads To Security Line Chaos At Newark Airport « CBS New York

"‘They’re yelling, they’re screaming, they’re losing their patience,’ she said. ‘Some people are trying to remain calm, and other people are just getting out of control and making a bad situation worse.’"

OK, maybe “brave” is not exactly the word we’re looking for, but still.

The shoe-store blues

Winter’s Not Just Cold and Snowy. It’s Expensive. - NYTimes.com

"‘Last year we had boots and no winter, this year we had winter but no boots,’ Ms. Dellaporta said. "

This is somewhat strange

We all know, of course (or have been told), that it’s dangerous and scary to import drugs from Canada but apparently it’s not dangerous and scary to import them from India, which just might be dangerous and scary after all. 

Medicines Made in India Set Off Safety Worries - NYTimes.com

"India, the second-largest exporter of over-the-counter and prescription drugs to the United States, is coming under increased scrutiny by American regulators for safety lapses, falsified drug test results and selling fake medicines."

Go figure.

On reading books

How Common Core Devalues Great Literature | Crisis Magazine

Caution: You will never be able to unsee what you see here

BinaryClock.com - Analog Display - Binary Clock


We wholeheartedly approve

Pointless Sites portal - useless pointlessness - PointlessSites.com

Snow sky with tree

But why didn't they let the lions kill it for themselves?


"STOCKHOLM (AP) -- People around the world were stunned when Copenhagen Zoo killed a healthy 2-year-old giraffe named Marius, butchered its carcass in front of a crowd that included children and then fed it to lions."

That would be more zoo-like, wouldn’t it? Educationally speaking. Also, for the lions, probably more fun.

Be kind to the bassoons


"'We don't expect our airlines to carry a tune, but we do expect them to carry our precious instruments safely,' Rep. Jim Cooper, D-Tenn.…said in a statement."

Bassoon players are good kissers. Oboe players too. Just mentioning.

Rock 'n roll

News from The Associated Press

"NATICK, Mass. (AP) -- They call it the holy grail of ready-to-eat meals for soldiers: a pizza that can stay on the shelf for up to three years and still remain good to eat."

It’s all good.

I would tell you what we got fed but I didn’t know what it was even then. 

Wisconsin busts bad ducks

Undernews: Great moments in the law

"Definition of rubber duck racing in a bill currently before the Wisconsin legislature. Only if all the requirements are met would rubber duck contests be considered illegal "

The long, long wait until Opening Day

The nor'easter that ate Valentine's Day

Perfect storm for florists: Valentine’s Day amid big snowfall lead to bouquet bust - The Washington Post

It’s the perfect excuse: Sorry, honey, this giant blizzard blew in…

You don’t get an out like that very often, but this year, if you live on the East Coast, you’re home free.

Alliteration award

Sunshine-Soaked Sochi Sees Swiss Skiers Surge - NYTimes.com

[Noted by our Midwest bureau.]

When the customer is not always right

Dogged by Data Theft - NYTimes.com

"‘Why did the U.S. stick with the mag stripe?’ said David Robertson, publisher of The Nilson Report. It may not have been best for consumers, but it was ‘cheap and efficient’ for the banks and retailers. What’s more, banks and retailers had a certain amount of fraud built into their business models. Thus, while a hacked card brought big headaches to the customer, it was just another cost of doing business for the other entities involved in the transaction."

A good piece by Joe Nocera here in the Times (sorry about the paywall—I’m trying to cut down). 

We're gonna have a heck of a puddle here when this stuff melts

We got every bit of the 13 inches of snow forecast. Most of it fell during the day, another two or three inches overnight. It's pretty white out there. 

The town plow just blew past a few minutes ago so the street is clear. The guy who plowed the driveway last night will come back in about an hour to finish things up. This won’t be the last snow we have this year but possibly it’ll be the last big one. And, since we’re halfway through February now, the ducks are getting anxious for a swim. 

And we’re so wintered up by now any temps over freezing seem like a heat wave. Which is what we're going to have–a few hours every day – for the rest of the week, at least. I woke up this morning to cold radiators, which is a very good sign.



Deadly winter storm hits Northeast: the latest | New York Post

"Meanwhile, parents are enraged that New York City schools are still open and schools chancellor Carmen Farina has fanned the flames, cluelessly stating: ‘It’s absolutely a beautiful day out there.’"

People are complaining because the schools are open? Really?

Is the News Replacing Literature? (Lee Siegel / New Yorker) http://t.co/CnsfBDcggA http://t.co/behYMfAG2r
2/13/14, 3:50 PM

(In fact, the news is just barely replacing the news.)

Stop the pipeline! Or not!

Is Shipping Oil by Rail As Dangerous As the Keystone Pipeline? | Mother Jones

"The report finds that 'railroad accidents involving crude oil have a potential for disastrous consequences and environmental contamination equal to that of the worst on-shore pipeline accidents.'"

For the birds

Snow day


Atlanta Frozen Again as Winter Woes Chill South - NYTimes.com

"At Paddy’s Service Station in Newark [NJ], Donald MacArthur pumped gas on Wednesday and listened to a stream of drivers complain about yet another pending winter storm.

‘There’s an old saying in Scotland,’ he told one driver. ‘There’s no such thing as bad weather, only the wrong clothes.’ "

Finally we get to the meat of the story

Conflict in Oil Industry, Awash in Crude - NYTimes.com

"Such sweeping energy reforms are not likely to be enacted by Congress soon. "

And then there was one

Report: Comcast to acquire Time Warner Cable for $44 billion in $159 a share, all-stock deal - Boing Boing

"The newly merged company will be called 'why is my internet so slow.'"

More! Snow! W00t!

This is the forecast from NOAA, which is usually pretty accurate. We still have 6-8 inches of the white stuff left from last time, much more in the piles that plows made.

Some say we might get a little rain this afternoon too, just to sweeten the deal. Wouldn't that be fine.

But hey, it's not that cold (30-ish) and Spring is right around the corner.

(If you want to play along, there's an excellent snow-forecasting app for IOS here, and for Android here. But of course if there's no snow where you live, shut up.)


If you're thinking about an all-electric car…

National Guard preparing for storm in several states | Air Force Times | airforcetimes.com

"ATLANTA — More than 300,000 homes and businesses were without power in Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina as a fierce winter storm cut an icy swath Wednesday across much of the South.

The massive storm threatened to knock out power for hundreds of thousands more across the South before turning its sights on the Northeast."

You can never be too well prepared

Undernews: Great moments in cold weather advice

"Every few years when we get a Storm of the Century, it falls to responsible journalists to dispense life-saving, bulleted advice because we think you must be a bunch of drooling imbeciles. Already this year alone, we have actually advised you to:

• Check your pet’s water to ensure it’s not frozen.

• Bang on the hood of your car before starting it in case animals are sheltering in there.

• Dress infants before taking them out."

Because if you get a Teddy Bear the terrorists win

Sending Valentines to the Captiol? Read This First

"House Sergeant-at-Arms Paul D. Irving has requested that staffers advise their sweeties to refrain from sending any crimson roses or romantic gift packages to the offices under his purview…

Singing telegrams ready to deliver a serenade will be turned away at the door, and FedEx can’t bring cuddly stuffed animals or chocolate hearts past security checkpoints."

And you thought the NSA was on top of things

This Canadian beer machine is the most amazing technology at the Olympics | For The Win

"To get a beer from the machine, users just have to scan a Canadian passport and it pops open.


This is just plain bad

Eight vintage Corvettes swallowed by 40-foot sinkhole inside National Corvette Museum | The Verge

"The damaged cars include a 1993 ZR-1 Spyder and a 2009 ZR-1 'Blue Devil' both on loan from General Motors; the Blue Devil was so named for the alma mater of then-GM CEO Rick Wagoner, Duke, as company staff tried to sway him to approve the ultra-high performance model. Also damaged were a 1962 Black Corvette, 1984 PPG Pace Car, 1993 Ruby Red 40th Anniversary Corvette, and 2001 Mallett Hammer Z06 Corvette, all owned by the museum, as well as the 1 millionth Corvette produced from 1992 and the 1.5 millionth from 2009."

Just in time

A Hater's Guide to Olympic Curling: Sochi 2014

"We made it! Another awful, grueling four years without Olympic curling. The excitement's back, baby! FEEL THE FRANTIC BRUSH-SWEEPING DEEP IN YOUR HEART!"

But we're not naming names

The latest forecast: snow in Boston, sun in Aruba. No gloating allowed - Business - The Boston Globe

"Cruel and unusual gloating from vacationing friends"

Do you know where your library card is?

Who Says Libraries Are Going Extinct? - Pacific Standard: The Science of Society

“…what is indisputable is that this ‘amazing decentralized mutual aid’ creation, as one librarian described it, was founded on a radical belief that all citizens have a right to information, art, and literature. That these things are not a luxury, but a necessity, is an idea that turned the old elite concept of private libraries and ivory towers on its head."

Flying into Atlanta when there's snow on the ground will look like all the dogwoods are in bloom: Spring!

Cheer up

Wes Montgomery - Hamburg 1965 - YouTube


What you learn on the Internets

Here's the first recorded instance of the F-word in English

"And it's a monk expressing his displeasure at an abbot. In the margins of a guide to moral conduct. Because of course."

And nobody cleaned up the restrooms

Exclusive: Duo tracks double-dipping in U.S. oil firms' toxic tank cleanup | Reuters

"(Reuters) - A pioneer in cleaning up toxic messes, Thomas Schruben long suspected major oil companies of being paid twice for dealing with leaks from underground fuel storage tanks - once from government funds and again, secretly, from insurance companies."

Drones go to J-school


"Last July, the journalism schools at Nebraska and the University of Missouri-Columbia were ordered to stop flying drones outdoors until they obtain government authorization."

Yes, Bunky, you might make the front page yet.

Not to be outdone by Iowa…


"Bacon milkshakes. Chocolate-covered bacon shaped like roses. Bacon-flavored toothpaste, dental floss and lip balm. Bacon bourbon, margaritas, beer and vodka. Bacon ice cream sundaes. A BLT sandwich with a full pound of bacon.…"


Suicide Bomb Trainer in Iraq Accidentally Blows Up His Class - NYTimes.com

"Just last week a suicide bomber struck a popular falafel shop near the Ministry of Foreign Affairs here, killing several people. On Monday evening Raad Hashim, working the counter at a liquor store near the site of the attack, burst out laughing when he heard the news.


When it's wintertime down south

New Storm Has South Bracing for the Worst - NYTimes.com

"The height of the storm is not expected until early Wednesday. But much of the region is already shutting down…"

This is the kind of headline I normally don't pay attention to…

…but wait, 3-D hair? Is there any other kind? Of course, I was compelled to look. And I was not disappointed:

Backstage Beauty Report | Sporty 3-D Hair at 3.1 Phillip Lim

"The maximalist approach went over well, creating a modern vibe that model Maggie Jablonski described as ‘punk, but artistic and beachy.’"



The snow guy…

…lives around the corner, and whenever we get a good snow he makes magical things.

Look who's back

Jim Hightower | Rick Perry struts his stuff in Davos

"The theme of this year's wine, dine & shine show was: 'The Reshaping of the World.' How modest is that? But you can't expect modesty from an event that's been dubbed 'a velvet rope club for the 1 percent of the 1 percent' – or, as the Mayor of London once put it: 'A constellation of egos involved in massive mutual orgies of adulation.'"

Greenwald ramps up Snowden industry

Glenn Greenwald's New Digital Magazine 'The Intercept' Goes Live

"The new online home of Glenn Greenwald and company, The Intercept, launched Monday morning with two stories on the National Security Agency."

We're glad to have that cleared up

After bridge scandal, Chris Christie's fiery spokesman recedes to the shadows | NJ.com

"An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated Drewniak referred to the Port Authority's executive director as a 'piece of crap.' While Drewniak did call him a 'piece of excrement,' it was David Wildstein who referred to the executive director as a 'piece of crap.'"

In a glass house, making the big bucks

Fight Over Minimum Wage Illustrates Web of Industry Ties - NYTimes.com

"‘I get very upset when people say we are putting out junk science and twisted economics, because that happens to be our criticism of other people,’ Mr. Berman said in an interview at his office."

When the snow comes down in Georgia

One-two weather punch forecast; Officials say they're ready - Atlanta Business Chronicle

"A current weather model shows rain Monday, changing to a wintery mix overnight into Tuesday. Temperatures will be above freezing on Tuesday. Then comes the second punch Tuesday night and into Wednesday morning when rain is expected. Temperatures in the 20s are forecast. Ice is expected.…The Georgia National Guard has also received orders to be on standby."


And did we mention bendable?

Meet Putin’s Olympic Torch-Lighting Paramour - The Daily Beast

"The fact is that Putin has never publically acknowledged his rumored relationship with the lithe, bendable Kabaeva."

Looking Back at Conservative Reviews of Popular Culture - Lawyers, Guns & Money : Lawyers, Guns & Money

"Have you ever wondered what that inveterate old racist crank William F. Buckley thought about The Beatles?"

Really? You can't make it any more confusing than that?

Security Is the New Oil | Gary Hart

"The conservative anti-government party seems more comfortable (or perhaps less uncomfortable) with intelligence agencies listening to their phone calls than the progressive pro-government party which deplores government surveillance."

Badgers with brooms


"Between the four natives of Madison, Wisconsin, the Browns have won 19 national titles in singles and mixed competition dating back to the mid-1980s, and - just for good measure - own the biggest curling retailer in the United States."

Do not fool around with these guys

News from The Associated Press

"COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) -- The Copenhagen Zoo killed Marius, its 2-year-old giraffe, and fed its remains to lions on Sunday…"


Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow

The End of Snow? - NYTimes.com

"OVER the next two weeks, hundreds of millions of people will watch Americans like Ted Ligety and Mikaela Shiffrin ski for gold on the downhill alpine course.…What viewers might not see is the 16 million cubic feet of snow that was stored under insulated blankets last year to make sure those slopes remained white, or the hundreds of snow-making guns that have been running around the clock to keep them that way."

Certain problems we don't worry about at all

French Breakup Makes a Dinner Harder to Do - NYTimes.com

"All of which has posed challenges for a White House staff already nervous about holding the first state dinner in nearly two years, and for haute cuisine-conscious French guests no less. There will be no traditional coffee or tea for the spouse with Michelle Obama, and the American first lady will have no one to escort to a local school as she has done with previous counterparts."