3.29.2014

Glenn Beck, among others, pans the new movie, "Noah"

"Noah" Film Inspires Flood of Religious Freak-Outs | Mother Jones

"'I don't think it's an environmental thing as much as it's just so pro-animal and anti-human, and I mean strongly anti-human.’ [Beck says]"

Pro-animal and anti-human? Really? Sounds like Mickey Mouse to me.

Before the Internet

XKCD

Finally, an explanation for Iowa

Seeking a Town on the Border of Fiction and Reality - NYTimes.com

"‘It wasn’t uncommon for cartographers to put something fictitious so if they spotted another work with it they knew it was lifted,’ said William Spicer, the president of Maps.com."

A foggy night


3.28.2014

Slow on the sweet

This year’s sugaring season off to a slow start - Lifestyle - The Boston Globe

"The sap flow in maple trees begins during that delicate time of year called the freeze-thaw period, when temperatures dip below freezing at night and rise above freezing by day."

It must be Spring

38º, windy, icy cold rain…yup, not winter any more.

She's baaaack!

Condi Rice In Running For 2014 Chutzpah Award | Mother Jones

"Condi Rice has joined the tut tutting brigade against Americans who aren't crazy about fighting yet another war…

That's precious, isn't it? Maybe Rice should give some thought to the possibility that Americans aren't weary of war, but weary of dumb, poorly fought wars. Maybe if the administration she served for eight years hadn't launched two of the dumbest, most mismanaged wars in American history, we wouldn't all be so weary."

But wait. One did…

America’s Taxation Tradition - NYTimes.com

"No true American would say this: ‘The absence of effective State, and, especially, national, restraint upon unfair money-getting has tended to create a small class of enormously wealthy and economically powerful men, whose chief object is to hold and increase their power,’ and follow that statement with a call for ‘a graduated inheritance tax on big fortunes ... increasing rapidly in amount with the size of the estate.’"

…and his name was Theodore Roosevelt.

The bad review

Obama’s Anemic Speech in Europe - NYTimes.com

“…his Brussels speech, presented as a capstone of his visit and one of those Obama specials designed to offset with eloquence a deficit of deeds…"

3.27.2014

Shortly after the Big Bang, in 1954…

…TV’s Colgate Comedy Hour presented a one-hour production of Cole Porter’s musical, Anything Goes, starring Ethel Merman, Frank Sinatra, Bert Lahr, and Sheree North. Minus, alas, its original commercials, here it is on Hulu:

Watch Anything Goes (1954) Online | Hulu

Because privacy

Missed opportunities — lessons learned a year after the Marathon bombings - Opinion - The Boston Globe

"The committee’s bipartisan report outlines Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s radicalization and how information was not shared between local, state, and federal agencies, including certain tragic instances where there was potential to detect the threat Tamerlan posed."

What's BP been up to since the Gulf?

BP Refinery Leaks Oil Into Lake Michigan | ThinkProgress

"Lake Michigan acts as the drinking water source for 7 million people in the Chigago [sic] area alone…"

I believe it, and that's depressing

Scarborough: Hillary Will Be ‘More of a Neocon’ Than the 2016 GOP Nominee | Mediaite

"A Morning Joe panel Wednesday morning roundly agreed that Hillary Clinton would be more hawkish on issues like Ukraine and Iran than President Barack Obama and even more hawkish than a potential 2016 Republican presidential nominee."

So more of us can ignore it?

Why Wu-Tang Will Release Just One Copy Of Its Secret Album

(OK, it’s just a guess.)

The Michigan syndrome: Here today, gone tomorrow

World Vision Reverses Decision To Hire Christians... | Christianity Today

"Only two days after announcing it would hire Christians in same-sex marriages, World Vision U.S. has reversed its ground-breaking decision after weathering intense criticism from evangelical leaders."

So if you miss all that pain and frustration…

Microsoft Finally Gave Away MS-DOS. Now It Should Open Source Everything Else | Wired Enterprise | Wired.com

"Yesterday, with permission from Microsoft, Silicon Valley’s Computer History Museum published the source code for MS-DOS, the text-based operating system that ran so many personal computers in the ’80s and turned Microsoft into one of the industry’s dominant software companies."

We have nothing to fear but more Russia puns

Crimea and Punishment - NYTimes.com

W00t! Debauchery!

Amid New Rules and Scrutiny, Secret Service Confronts Agents’ Conduct - NYTimes.com

"While the episode in the Netherlands does not appear to have had any impact on the president’s security, it has raised new questions about whether the Secret Service, which prides itself on remaining out of the headlines, has fostered a culture of debauchery."

So let's just put that whole idea back in its box

Military Cuts Render NATO Less Formidable as Deterrent to Russia - NYTimes.com

"WASHINGTON — President Obama and European leaders pledged Wednesday to bolster the NATO alliance and vowed that Russia would not be allowed to run roughshod over its neighbors. But the military reality on the ground in Europe tells a different story.…
"‘The American people are not going to war with Russia over Ukraine, full stop,’ a senior administration official said, echoing public comments by Mr. Obama."

3.25.2014

Iraq now has cooler trains than we do, and they're Chinese

After Decades of War, Iraq Adds Fleet of New Trains to Its Aging Railway | Autopia | Wired.com

"The 10 new trains will roll on the Baghdad-Basra line, between Iraq’s capital and one of its key cities. It’s a line that’s been of strategic importance since it was built as part of the Baghdad Railway in the years surrounding World War I, and now it’s getting trains capable of 100 mph.

"

3.24.2014

Sing it

Undernews: Country & Western song titles

"My John Deere Was Breaking Your Field, While Your Dear John Was Breaking My Heart "

Obama and pals (take that, Germany) unfriend Vladimir P.

Group of 8 Leaders Agree to Exclude Putin - NYTimes.com
"THE HAGUE — President Obama and the leaders of the biggest Western economies agreed on Monday to exclude President Vladimir V. Putin from the Group of 8…"

They won't just help because we say they're going to?

Obama tries to rally world to isolate Russia - Nation - The Boston Globe

"Rhodes said that while the G-7 would not levy joint sanctions on behalf of the alliance, the goal was to have individual members coordinate their approach as they levy future penalties. ‘‘We would like to see a steady ratcheting up of that pressure,’’ he said."

A pretty creative way to smuggle condoms

Germans Intercept Cocaine-Filled Condoms Destined For Vatican

"German customs officials at Leipzig airport intercepted a shipment in January that contained 340 grams of cocaine packed into 14 condoms inside a package of cushions from South America, German weekly Bild am Sonntag reported Sunday."

An easy one

10 Things to Know for Today - NYTimes.com

"7. WHAT'S NEXT AFTER TEXAS OIL SPILL"

Any news involving oil in any way means higher prices.

Short some sheep to shear

Ireland Needs Shaggy Sheep for 'Shearing Olympics' - NYTimes.com

"Organizers said Monday they need ewes, aged 12 to 14 months, to ensure that all competitors are supplied similarly shaped sheep."

Yeah, maybe time for a plan

U.S. and Allies Meet on Crimea Plan as Ukraine Orders Retreat - NYTimes.com

"THE HAGUE — As Russia consolidated its hold on Crimea on Monday, forcing Ukraine to order the retreat of its forces there, President Obama and his international allies prepared to meet here in an effort to develop a strong, united response despite their diverging interests in dealing with the Kremlin."

3.23.2014

When the lights go out in Georgia

Guns May Soon Be Everywhere in Georgia | Mother Jones

"Soon gun owners in the state of Georgia may be allowed to pack heat almost anywhere—including K-12 schools, bars, churches, government buildings, and airports. The 'Safe Carry Protection Act' (HB 875) would also expand Georgia's Stand Your Ground statute, the controversial law made famous by the Trayvon Martin killing, which allows armed citizens to defend themselves with deadly force if they believe they are faced with serious physical harm."

Wait, what?

The best writing of the week, March 23 | The Verge

"If [Ukraine] joins the European Union, many in the seduction community worry an influx of western feminism will ruin their game."

Seduction community? Really? I’m in the awe community, dude.

Never worry about lost socks again

It’s simple. Just make sure all your socks are the same color. Then there’s no point in mating them up. And if one is missing, you’ll never know. Out of sight, out of mind is our motto.

OK, we get it

Why Are So Few Books From the 20th Century Available as Ebooks? - Rebecca J. Rosen - The Atlantic

"1923 is the magical dateline that divides America's intellectual property into two: the era before 1923…and everything after…"

Nothing like a few amateur Vikings to liven up your day (and burn your boat)

SCOTLAND'S VIKINGS GO OWN WAY IN INDEPENDENCE VOTE

"The event's focus is a fiery parade - powered by marching songs and brass bands - that ends when the well-drilled amateur Vikings hurl their torches onto a replica longship that has taken months to build. The orange fireball lights up the night sky. Once the vessel has sunk, smoldering, into the sea, the participants head to local halls for evenings of music and comic skits that are part barn dance, part Mardi Gras."