Ve vill track you und you vill like it

Starting today, Yahoo will not honor Do Not Track settings | The Verge

"'We fundamentally believe the best web is a personalized one,' the privacy team said in a blog post."

What a bunch of yahoos.

Big batch of baby turtles (try saying that five times really fast) hatch

Rawforbeauty - This is one of the coolest things I have... | Facebook

(H/T Charlie from Wisconsin)

We are shocked. Shocked!

In Surveillance Debate, White House Turns Its Focus to Silicon Valley - NYTimes.com

"At their core, the questions about the N.S.A. are strikingly similar to those about how Google, Yahoo, Facebook and thousands of application makers crunch their numbers."

A muddy yesterday

But not too closed

Kerry: U.S. Taped Moscow’s Calls To Its Spies In Ukraine | Fortuna's Corner

"The United States has proof that the Russian government in Moscow is running a network of spies inside eastern Ukraine because the U.S. government has recordings of their conversations, Secretary of State John Kerry said in a closed-door meeting Friday."

There'll always be an England

Overheating? London sets record with $237 million apartment sale | Reuters

"'We're in boom-time prices, more expensive than we've ever been in the history of mankind,' said Nick Candy…"

Who's gonna believe this, right?


"The letters appeared to be Tau Epsilon Phi, a fraternity that has chapters at several area schools, followed by what looked like '94.'"


Angrily afternoon

Is the Chrome browser extension that rates tweets' credibility credible?

Lies are everywhere on the Internet. But this free tool could potentially fight them.

"TweetCred ranks tweets on a scale of 1 to 7, and it’s not entirely clear what the practical distinction is between, say, a 3-star tweet and a 5-star one."

Wait…isn’t everything on the Internet true? 

Or just age

Weak ankles could topple Michelangelo's 'David,' experts warn | The Verge

"Experts have long said that David is at risk of collapsing due to the poor-quality marble that Michelangelo used, as well as its precarious pose."

Dude, if we say we're not going to spy on Germany then everybody else will want us to stop spying on them too!

U.S. and Germany Fail to Reach a Deal on Spying - NYTimes.com

"Ms. Rice, according to American officials, said that the United States did not have no-spy agreements with any of its close allies, even with the other members of the so-called Five Eyes — the United States, Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand — which share virtually all of their intelligence. She said any such agreement with Germany would set a precedent that every other major European ally, along with the Japanese, the South Koreans and others, would soon demand to replicate."

Really. I say we should spy on whomever we damn well please (that’s what spying’s about, isn’t it?). Going with some convoluted rationale like this is just dopey.

Stuff I do not want to worry about, even for a minute

Donors Weigh Jilting Christie for Jeb Bush - NYTimes.com

"In private conversations that are now seeping into public view, some of them are signaling to Mr. Christie’s camp that, should Mr. Bush enter the race, their first loyalty would be to him, not to Mr. Christie, according to interviews with more than two dozen of them."

The selfie's the thing


"Genest took a selfie of himself and the squirrel. But the flash and noises from his camera phone scared the squirrel, which climbed under his shirt and hung onto his back before scampering out."


"Graduates at the University of South Florida and Bryant University in Smithfield, R.I., have been asked to refrain from taking self-portraits with their cell phones as they collect their diplomas. The seemingly simple directive is standing out for placing the slightest curtailment on a collective societal march toward sharing every waking moment on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and the like."


Is they tasty?

Why You Should be Eating More Wild Pigs Right Now | Serious Eats

"But there's a massive amount of wild hogs is overwhelming farmlands in Texas…"

Just can't keep it in their pipe

BP cleaning up oil spill on Alaska's North Slope | Reuters

"(Reuters) - Work crews for BP Plc were clearing contaminated snow on Thursday on Alaska's North Slope after a Prudhoe Bay well line ruptured, spraying a 34-acre area with crude oil and natural gas."

Go ahead, tell us what you really feel

Senate to Obama: Drone, Baby, Drone

"Because for the most part, the citizen-consumers of America don't give a shit about brown-skinned foreigners being rendered into bug-splat far, far, far away. And the executioners' branch knows it."

Eating has become such a fraught experience it's a wonder anybody still does it at all (except me)

You Think Food Tastes Better If It’s Expensive | TIME.com

"Not only that, but people who paid for the cheaper buffet were more likely to report they felt like they overate and felt more guilty about the meal. But both groups actually ate the same amount of food."


This is easily the worst description of “Heartbleed” I’ve ever heard. 

I-Team: 'Heartbleed virus' a confusing security threat | abc7chicago.com

"Heartbleed. The term comes from the communication between two so-called 'hearts' on a server which verify your security as you shop, check e-mails and bank statements. There is now a backdoor break-in between those hearts, and it's bleeding."

Rosie saves the day again


"Rose Will Monroe, a Kentucky native who moved to Michigan during the war, starred as herself in the film and became one of the best-known figures of that era. She represented the thousands of Rosies who took factory jobs making munitions, weaponry and other items while the nation's men were off fighting in Europe and the Pacific."

My own mother's artisanal toast

A long, very long time ago, before the invention of history and also toasters, my mother used her oven’s broiler function to make toast. She would slide the broiler tray into the oven for some perfect increment of time and then, when the tray was pulled back out again, there were the slices of toast, looking like perfect brown and yellow checkerboards. Checkerboards. They looked that way because she put the butter on first.

Butter, another concept nearly lost to the ravages of time, came in the form of a rectangular solid called a stick, the cross-section of which was a square. And Mom put four or five square slices of a butter stick on each slice of bread. While the bead toasted under the broiler, the butter melted. And the result looked great and tasted even better.

Too bad about the toaster. If she’d never bought one she might have wound up running an excruciatingly hip artisanal toast bar somewhere (although possibly not in central Ohio). 


A time-waster from The Daily Beast

The Weirdest Public Sculptures

Not a leak

Major fire, explosion after train carrying crude oil derails in Lynchburg, Virginia - NY Daily News

"The city reports that of 13 or 14 tanker cars involved in the crash, three or four tanker cars breached."

But we are a cheap, low-end blog, so worry not

Should The Devil Sell Prada? Study Finds Snobby Salespeople Boost Sales - The Daily Beast

"Dahl found that consumers have an increased desire to purchase luxury, high-end goods (and not mass-produced ones) when treated badly."

What about a maximum wage then?

Senate Republicans block debate on minimum wage bill that would have raised it to $10.10/hr over 2.5 years http://t.co/zy5nzs6zUS
4/30/14, 2:23 PM

Finally, this whole robot thing begins to make sense

Personal robot, I’d like some chocolate cookies, please - Food & dining - The Boston Globe

"For his master’s degree in mechanical engineering at MIT, Mario Bollini taught a robot to bake cookies."


Well, we may or may not believe anything (or nothing) Mr. Boehner may or may not say, for one thing

“What’s wrong with this statement,” asks our Midwest bureau:

“The biggest impediment we have in moving immigration reform is that the American people don’t trust the president to enforce or implement the law that we may or may not pass,” Mr. Boehner said.

(emphasis added) 

Welcome to your electronic future


Really? Outlawed door knobs?

Chocolate Chip Mint: What's Wrong With This Picture?

"Goldilocks may need a new golden lock if she wants to avoid her three unlikely friends. Door levers make it easier for the elderly and disabled to open doors, true. But it also makes it easier for bears."

And went on to become a Congressman

News from The Associated Press

"ROCKWALL, Texas (AP) -- When he was a boy and working in a pharmacy in this town east of Dallas, Ralph Hall once sold cigarettes and Coca-Cola to Bonnie and Clyde, the notorious bank robbers who would later die in a hail of lawmen gunfire."

Make your day better: Watch this video

‘Verbatim: What Is a Photocopier?’ - NYTimes.com

"In 2012, on my Facebook feed, I stumbled across a hilarious excerpt from a legal transcript. In a deposition in Ohio, a lawyer became embroiled in an absurd argument about the definition of a photocopier."

Waving the flag for dumb guns

‘Smart’ Firearm Draws Wrath of the Gun Lobby - NYTimes.com

"‘I have no qualms with the idea of personally and professionally leveling the life of someone who has attempted to profit from disarming me and my fellow Americans,’ one commenter wrote."


Is the possibility of work getting you down? Fight back!

LILEKS (James) :: The Permanent Collection of Impermanent Art

"Paintings will be rolled out to the public in small, sparing amounts to assist the illusion of a carefully curated collection."

Sounds like a what?

Humans of New York

"'I can play the bassoon, contrabassoon, flute, piccolo, alto flute, bass flute, clarinet, saxophone, tenor saxophone, piano, guitar, recorder, harmonica, and a carrot.'"

Weird happenings in the Indiana Dunes

Mount Baldy to remain closed this summer as holes mystery persists : Michigan City Community News

"Ground penetrating radar studies performed by the Environmental Protection Agency have identified a large number of anomalies below the dune’s surface, but scientists from the National Park Service, Indiana University and the Indiana Geological Survey still do not know how these holes were formed."

You may think this is a headline from the last Century, but no

Microsoft Admits to Huge Security Flaw in Internet Explorer | TIME.com

"Internet Explorer’s market share has dropped precipitously over the past decade, but it remains the browser of choice for around 10% of netizens — behind Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox."

Also a paragraph from the last Century. Netizens, Time? Really? That’s so 1980.

And nobody stands up for fonts

(From Badass Teachers Association, a blog well worth having a look at.)

But how long will this last?

U.S. Weighs Harder Line on Russia Than European Allies - NYTimes.com
"Mr. Obama has been particularly intent on not getting too far in front of Europe to avoid giving Mr. Putin a chance to drive a wedge in the international coalition that has condemned the Russian annexation of Crimea and destabilizing actions in eastern Ukraine."
Some have suggested all along that said wedge is exactly Putin’s purpose, not only in the matter of Ukraine but in the Snowden affair as well.
Today’s Times also includes a story about a $1.5 billion project to cap the ruined reactor at Chernobyl:
The costs are enormous — the Chernobyl arch alone will end up costing about $1.5 billion, financed largely by the United States and about 30 other nations.
Chernobyl is in Ukraine.

Not everyone subscribes to the Times, I know, and I’ll be trying to limit the number of Times stories I link to in the future, partly to make it easier for you, faithful reader, but mostly to divert the funds involved to more important matters, like ice cream or chocolate cookies. Still, I have a long-standing regard for the Times (which I’ve mentioned here before) and there are undeniably a lot of stories in the Times every day worth mentioning, like, for example, this morning’s Krugman column on the noted moocher (and libertarian darling) Cliven Bundy which notes:
It’s true that some of the people profiting from implicit taxpayer subsidies manage, all the same, to convince themselves and others that they are rugged individualists. But they’re actually welfare queens of the purple sage. 
And this in turn means that treating Mr. Bundy as some kind of libertarian hero is, not to put too fine a point on it, crazy.

An omen of I know not what

The 28th of April, and I saw my year’s first top-down car today. I saw a car with an open sunroof last week sometime but that doesn’t really count, right? Perhaps this is, finally, today, an undeniable sign of Spring, but given the Spring we’re talking about here is this Spring, it could just as well be a harbinger of snow. Nonetheless, there it was, a Chrysler, black.


Water cops

A few California cities start water-waste patrols

"Providing a boost to their efforts is a campaign asking residents to report neighbors and local businesses breaking the rules. In the first three months of this year, Sacramento has received 3,245 water waste complaints, compared to 183 in the same period last year."

But can we give 'em back?

Corrections: April 27, 2014 - NYTimes.com

"An article in some editions last Sunday about the 100th anniversary of Wrigley Field described incorrectly part of the history of the stadium’s main tenant, the Chicago Cubs. In 1916, Charles Weeghman bought the Chicago Cubs from Cincinnati ownership; he did not buy the ‘Cincinnati Cubs.’"

OK, maybe it's just me…

Sanctions Revive Search for Secret Putin Fortune - NYTimes.com

“…officials said they hoped to get Mr. Putin’s attention by targeting figures close to him like Mr. Timchenko, and other business magnates like Yuri V. Kovalchuk, Vladimir I. Yakunin and Arkady and Boris Rotenberg.

"Among those likely to be on Monday’s list, officials said, are Igor Sechin, president of the Rosneft state oil company, and Aleksei Miller, head of the Gazprom state energy giant."

…but there’s something a little ironic—and sad—and revealing about the Obama administration’s apparent belief that attacking the rich guys in Russia will somehow chastise Putin and bring Truth and Justice to the world, given the same administration’s tippy-toe pandering to our oligarchs here at home.