Millions missing

A Chronic Sickness Inside the US Labor Market

"From 2007 till today, the working-age population has increased by a total of 13 million but there are 1.3 million fewer people employed than in 2007. "

Tales of the highway

Undernews: Recovered history: Burma Shave signs


Everybody has a blowtorch day now and then


Stick a fork in that long winter…I think it's done!

The duck pond was not frozen over this morning and we’re looking to break 55º this afternoon…fifty-freaking-five degrees! Who knew it could get so warm? Also, sun!

Alas, headlining our local newspaper this morning: Manure wars!

Farmers dump on proposed manure regs | The Recorder

"‘If you impose these regulations, there will be no dairy farms left in the state of Massachusetts,’ Tedd White, a West Hawley dairy farmer with 114 Holsteins, told hearing officers"

Why can’t people just get along?

(Oh. Right.)


But who's counting?

Undernews: Furthermore. . .


Federal aid to Detroit: $300 million. Federal aid to Ukraine: $1 billion "

Relax and enjoy it, says ExxonMobil

ExxonMobil Will Keep Doing As It Pleases, Thank You Very Much | Blog, News & Notes | BillMoyers.com

"The possibility that governments would impose a stringent carbon tax between now and 2040, ExxonMobil said, is ‘highly unlikely.’"

This is absolutely something you should know

Tungsten Countertop

"How far would a tungsten countertop descend if I dropped it into the Sun?"

If big hairy monsters are your thing

Pixar gives a closer look at how it animates big hairy monsters | The Verge

"'It was a breakthrough on Monsters U using the GPUs to draw each piece of fur in real-time,' the engineer said."

SAVE THIS LINK for the next time you're troubled with insomnia

Rome, Carthage and US-China Relations | The Diplomat

Isn't there some old-fashioned kids' game called "I Spy"? (Or was that a TV show?)

Wait, what? Teach the kids to spy on their parents? | Shawn Stoller's Blog!

"So does putting ‘quotation marks’ around ‘intelligence’ change its meaning in some way or are they just ‘suggesting’ what they do has ‘value’? Or, is it the ‘Leaders’ who get the ‘intelligence’ they are really ‘intending’ to make a comment ‘about’?"

Beware faith-based security standards

Hiding in plain sight: evidence that NSA isn’t wrecking internet security

"It’s an article of faith among academic cryptographers (and something the Reuters article just assumes) that there is a backdoor in the dual elliptic curve standard."

The terns turn

U.S. Military One Step Closer To Having Invisibility Cloaks | Fortuna's Corner

"Rays of light, composed of photons, change in shape depending on the atomic properties of the objects that they encounter. The Purdue researchers could hide only large, stationary objects because of the designs limits — in terns [sic] of electromagnetic wavelength.’"

Getting messed with by monkeys

Diet’s Link to Longevity: After 2 Studies Diverge, a Search for Consensus - NYTimes.com

"Two rival research groups set out in 1987 to answer a tantalizing question: Could a diet kept meager in calories pay off in longevity?"

Maybe they should have moved it to Mississippi

A Race Defined by Snow Finds Itself With Little - NYTimes.com

"In January, when temperatures usually hover in the low 20s Fahrenheit, it topped 60 degrees this year."


But who pays attention in Greek class?

A Memorial Inscription’s Grim Origins - NYTimes.com

"‘If we take into account its original context, the quotation is more applicable to the aggressors in the 9/11 tragedy than to those honored by the memorial,’ said Helen Morales, a classics professor at the University of California at Santa Barbara. ‘So my first reaction is that the quotation is shockingly inappropriate for the U.S. victims of the 9/11 attack.’"

When the money takes over your schools

Leaders of Teaching Hospitals Have Close Ties to Drug Companies, Study Shows - ProPublica

"In the study published today, the authors wrote that when academic medical leaders serve on pharmaceutical company boards, it can lead to conflicts not only for individuals, but for the critically important health care institutions they guide."

On watching way too many movies (and hanging around with late-night TV hosts)

Clinton Hopes That If There's An Alien Invasion, It Will At Least Unite The World (VIDEO)

"'That may be the only way to unite this incredibly divided world of ours,' he said. 'They are out there — we better think of how all the difference among people on earth would seem small if we felt threatened by a space invader. That is the whole theory of 'Independence Day.''"

I wasn't exactly fretting, but thanks

Why the Trix Rabbit Looks Down on You | FiveThirtyEight

"Don’t fret: A new study investigated precisely that. The Trix rabbit is looking children in the eye and, as a result, increasing trust in the brand."

We are shocked. Shocked!

News from The Associated Press

"WASHINGTON (AP) -- The U.S. government masterminded the creation of a 'Cuban Twitter' - a communications network designed to undermine the communist government in Cuba, built with secret shell companies and financed through foreign banks, The Associated Press has learned."

Also, when was the last time you heard of the U.S. government masterminding anything? Take a deep breath there, AP. It’ll pass.

Pretty much sums it up

Surprise! The Rich Won One - NYTimes.com

"Their bottom line was that the founding fathers intended America to be a country in which every citizen had the inalienable right to donate, say, $3.6 million every two years."

Yeah, right, what's with these citizens anyway?

North Carolina: Duke Energy Wants Citizens Groups Barred From Complaint - NYTimes.com

"Duke Energy is asking a judge to prevent citizens groups from taking part in any action that would make it clean up nearly three dozen coal ash pits in the state."

If you've got little problems, Bunky, you're on your own

Fake Meats, Finally, Taste Like Chicken - NYTimes.com

"‘What we’re interested in is big problems needing solutions, because they represent big potential markets and strong opportunities for building great returns.’"

Also…whatever happened to all that talk about not eating highly processed foods? Me, I’m going with China, India, and your father. 


Which pretty much says it all

Preparing for Rough Midterms, Democratic Groups Already Blaming Each Other - NationalJournal.com

This guy should be a publicist for the CIA

Meet the La. senator fighting to keep “chicken boxing” legal - Salon.com

"The chickens wear little rubber boxing gloves (aww) to cover the spurs on their legs, and the matches aren’t fought to the death — vets are even on hand in case things get too violent."

Riding the curve

I used to be able to hop out of bed, get dressed, dash across campus, and hit a classroom seat in eight minutes flat, nine in the winter (which it was, mostly, all the time). Now it takes almost that long to get my socks on. Summer, winter, any time. Things slow down. Or take longer. Either way.

The takeover

Undernews: War on public education update

"Chicago Teachers Union - On Friday, The Chicago Board of Education announced that it would fire every single adult in three of Chicago’s schools and hand over management of the schools to the Academy for Urban School Leadership— a politically clouted private management group tied to appointed Board President David Vitale."


Road art

Watch the unseen artistry of road sign painters | The Verge

Can a typeface save the government $234 million? - The Washington Post

It's a bird! It's a plane! It's…OK, well, a plane. Kinda. We think.

Mystery Aircraft Over Texas

"It's not merely logical to expect that numerous classified aircraft programs exist: it's almost a necessity under the principle of Occam's Razor, because if they don't, you have to contrive some sort of explanation for what Area 51 has been up to all these years. "

Is it just me or is the fool count rising?

Why Do Americans Drink Coffee? | The American Conservative

Fortunately, I’m in an excellent mood today. I had a nightmare last night that was so totally awesome it was fun; I wish I could have the same dream tonight (but that kind of thing never happens, does it?). (Why not?)

Also I had grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch. It’s been years since I made grilled cheese. I don’t know why, but when I was in the grocery store yesterday my head said get some of that flat cheese. I wish it had said something about bread too, because that goody-goody whole-grain stuff I’ve been using doesn’t grill up so well. But still.

I had a best friend when I was really, really young (like, second grade) (and no, you can’t imagine) whose mom (my friend’s mom) made grilled peanut butter and mayo sandwiches so excellent eating at his house (my friend’s house—are you still with me here?) was my favorite thing, and I’ve been trying to duplicate them ever since. But they’re never as good as I remember, and probably never will be. Today, though, cheese. And it was good.

What's so great about Shakespeare?

After 500 years, people still perform his plays. Even here. That’s what.

Behind Barbed Wire, Shakespeare Inspires a Cast of Young Syrians - NYTimes.com

“…the king, dressed in dirty jeans and a homemade cape, raised his wooden scepter and announced his intention to divide his kingdom. His elder daughters, wearing paper crowns and plastic jewelry, showered him with false praise, while the youngest spoke truthfully and lost her inheritance."


Off the glacier (but still, it might be a long, cold night)

Krugman on the so-called skills gap

Jobs and Skills and Zombies - NYTimes.com

“…the belief that America suffers from a severe ‘skills gap’ is one of those things that everyone important knows must be true, because everyone they know says it’s true. It’s a prime example of a zombie idea — an idea that should have been killed by evidence, but refuses to die."

On being nice to those snakes in Texas (and mean to gophers)

Rattlesnake Wranglers, Armed With Gasoline - NYTimes.com

"In West Texas, as infested with western diamondback rattlesnakes as New York City is with rats, snake hunters like Mr. Sawyers have been using gas fumes to flush out their prey for decades.

The practice, known as gassing, has outraged animal rights activists and reptile researchers who say that spraying a toxic substance in wildlife habitats hurts the environment, the snakes, and other animals and insects that live underground or use the same burrows."

Singing highways and more

Sound map « Sound Tourism

You can avoid a whole lot of work with this web site [Not available in the state of Washington until April 16].

Take that

North, South Korea Trade Artillery Fire Across Maritime Border

"North Korea has fired artillery shells into South Korean waters…Seoul responded immediately on Monday by shelling North Korean waters."

When you're on a roll…

HealthCare.gov down for maintenance on deadline morning - Joanne Kenen - POLITICO.com

"‘The tech team is working now to bring the system online as soon as possible. Consumers are able to leave their email and will be invited back when the system is available,’ a spokesman said."

The Russians aren't coming

Manhattan Real Estate Feels a Russian Chill - NYTimes.com

"The prospect of Russian cold feet couldn’t come at a worse time, as condominium prices at the high end of the market are surpassing levels reached during the peak of the last real estate boom, and developers are buying up sites at a frenzied pace. New projects, planned with billionaire foreign buyers in mind, are altering the landscape of the city. Perhaps most notable is the spate of super-tall, narrow towers in the works along West 57th Street, their long shapes casting a shadow on Central Park."


It's House of Money now

'House of Cards' crew could have equipment seized if the show stops filming in Maryland | The Verge

"As House of Cards threatens to leave Maryland over tax credits…Del. C. William 'Bill' Frick (D-Montgomery) proposed an amendment that would allow state officials to use eminent domain to seize the show's sets, equipment, and other assets if they take production elsewhere."

Conflict of interest? Moi?

North Carolina: Lawyer Hired to Represent Agency in Spill Inquiry Once Worked for Duke Energy - NYTimes.com

"A former federal prosecutor who now specializes in white-collar criminal defense cases, Mr. Calloway represented Duke Energy during a 2004 federal investigation into the company’s accounting practices. An environmental agency spokesman, Drew Elliot, said Monday that he saw no conflict of interest."