First Hillary, then…

Biden delivers ‘Elizabeth Warren-type speech’ at fundraiser


Too young to be hedge fund managers

15.8% of Americans 18 to 29 are unemployed, 2x the rate of general population http://t.co/u808O2FFja http://t.co/7hiLmOPfYC @GlobeOpinion
5/10/14, 11:00 AM

The trouble with cabbage soup is…

…cabbage. Have you seen how big those things are? 

Maybe it’s a cooking-for-one thing, but it’s not easy to experiment with new recipes. Once I’ve made something a few times I can modify it to a more suitable quantity, but the first time or two I cook something new I take it downstairs and get the folks there to help me eat it (they’re relatives so they can’t bitch too much—and anyway, normally it’s pretty good). But once in a while—think cabbage soup—I’m not sure getting the neighbors to eat it is such a good idea.

Cabbage, it turns out, is good4U. Lots of vitamins, and fiber too. Plus, it’s cheap. But it’s, well, huge. I walked to the grocery store this morning to buy one—a cabbage—but when I got there I chickened out. Fortunately they had kielbasa on sale. And I got some cauliflower too, which is sort of like cabbage, but not as scary.

It didn't even seem like a good plan at the time

Putin's Export Machine Rolls Right Over Sanctions, Outcry - Bloomberg

"Economic sanctions from the U.S. and European Union haven’t dimmed demand for what Russia can sell even as price increases betray investors’ anxiety over future supplies. Any plan to pinch the country’s trade to punish Putin for his March annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula would have to overcome Europe’s dependence on Russian gas and China’s appetite for the country’s metals."

There goes the neighborhood

Home-Wrecker: Woman Doesn't Like Neighbors, Demolishes Their Home

"Moreta Folch was charged with criminal mischief…"

Hot air too hot


Another war not working out so well

Hardship Makes a New Home in the Suburbs - NYTimes.com

"Five decades after President Lyndon B. Johnson declared a war on poverty, the nation’s poor are more likely to be found in suburbs like this one than in cities or rural areas, and poverty in suburbs is rising faster than in any other setting in the country. By 2011, there were three million more people living in poverty in suburbs than in inner cities, according to a study released last year by the Brookings Institution. "


Wait, what? All this skewing has got to stop!

First-time moms keep skewing older in the U.S., CDC says - Los Angeles Times

Who knew?

Women all uppity in 1914

Library of Congress

Say again?

Resell jeans? Resale value goes beyond used cars - Yahoo News

“…reselling clothes is a way for Americans to spend money without spending a lot of additional cash."

I don't see chili dogs mentioned anywhere

Undernews: Latino state senators in New York strongly stand behind yogurt as state snack

"In a brutal one hour long debate on the bill, Bronx State Senator Gustavo Rivera raised what was perhaps the most penetrating concerns about its adoption. He led the probing from the floor, posing the following question to the bill's Republican sponsor, 'Did the sponsor consider raisins as a potential official state snack?'"

Oh go ahead, tell us what you really think

Center Ring at the Republican Circus - NYTimes.com

"The hottest competition in Washington this week is among House Republicans vying for a seat on the Benghazi kangaroo court, also known as the Select House Committee to Inflate a Tragedy Into a Scandal. Half the House has asked to ‘serve’ on the committee, which is understandable since it’s the perfect opportunity to avoid any real work while waving frantically to right-wing voters stomping their feet in the grandstand."


Finally we get around to the important stuff

Air Force discusses how it would respond to Godzilla | The Verge

"'I think Godzilla would be expecting an aerial attack, so to catch him off guard, I think we could need 4,000 Segways and slingshots,' says master sergeant Jason Edwards, of the 18th Wing's public affairs."

OK, public affairs, but still. 


Meet the Sex Hypnotherapist Helping the GOP Retake the Senate | Mother Jones

Some people should probably just shut up

Quote of the Day: Greenwald Says Supporting the Effort to Find 270 Kidnapped Nigerian Girls is "Horrifying" | The Daily Banter

“…to Greenwald supporting the effort to find these girls whom the terrorist abductors plan to sell into slavery is ignorant, ‘horrifying’ and ‘The Next Western Intervention.’"

And no, it's not Oklahoma

6 countries that still use lethal injection to kill prisoners - Salon.com

"The only country where a death sentence still means public beheading, activists are fighting for lethal injection because this time it actually might be more humane. ….

"‘This solution seems practical, especially in light of shortages in official swordsmen or their belated arrival to execution yards in some incidents,’ said the Saudi committee in charge of the issue."

Please just make it stop

Lynne Cheney: Is Hillary behind Monica Lewinsky story? | OnPolitics

"Lynne Cheney posed this question about the timing of Monica Lewinsky’s first-person essay in Vanity Fair: Were the Clintons behind this?



A little perspective goes a long way

Undernews: Half a million fewer have jobs

"Before President Barack Obama took office 259.7 million people were part of the working-age population, or between ages 16 and 65.  Now, the number has risen to 267.7 million.

"However, in the same time period, total employment declined from 146.3 million to 145.7 million.  In other words, 531,000 fewer people have jobs."

But we're just saying, as soon as the apps learn to say "Fries with that?" it's over

Can't I help you? Shoppers are shunning store assistants in favor of smartphones

"Deloitte isn't suggesting retailers should immediately go ahead and give sales associates the boot (at least not right now)…"

And what could possibly go wrong with that?

India Stepping Up to the Plate in Afghanistan | The Diplomat

"India had so far hesitated to provide lethal weapons to Afghanistan for fear of antagonizing Pakistan. However, the deal suggests a rethink…on India’s role in the region after the ISAF withdrawal."

Hot in Hibbing

U.S. Climate Has Already Changed, Study Finds, Citing Heat and Floods - NYTimes.com

(We’re kidding.)

I always wondered what this really meant

Scram - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

"A scram or SCRAM is an emergency shutdown of a nuclear reactor…

The term is usually cited as being an acronym for safety control rod axe man, which was coined by Enrico Fermi when the world's first nuclear reactor was built under the bleachers at the University of Chicago's Stagg Field."

Cool! I ran across this definition the other day while reading The Girls of Atomic City, a book soon to appear on our list. Wikipedia (and other sources) confirm.

Yeah, now you tell me

Early Fitness Can Improve the Middle-Age Brain - NYTimes.com - NYTimes.com

"The more physically active you are at age 25, the better your thinking tends to be when you reach middle age, according to a large-scale new study. "

Faster, faster

A Faster Human: Are We Unique In Our Ability To Get Better? : The Two-Way : NPR

"Sixty years ago today, Roger Bannister accomplished something humans had only dreamed of decades earlier.…"

[“Today” was May 6. The link, discovered by Some Guy in Seattle, also leads to video of the event: The first time in competition anyone had ever run a mile in less than 4 minutes.]

One not-always-gratifying feature of life at a certain age is the occurrence of anniversaries (50 years ago, 60 years ago, blah blah) often enthusiastically celebrated by people far too young to remember the real event and, in any case, another reminder of How Long It’s Been. But this particular event was something else.

I was just finishing up my Junior year in high school, running the mile myself, the track season in Northern Minnesota just kicking in to high gear, and the news of Bannister’s record was breathtaking. No way could I imagine ever running that fast (I was happy when I got comfortably under 5); in fact, the 4-minute mile, like the 15-foot pole vault and the sonic barrier was one of those things that maybe never could be broken. 

And then it was. Bannister’s record lasted only 46 days. It was like, once people realized it was possible they started doing it themselves. 

The current world record time for the mile is 3:43.13 [Hicham El Guerrouj].


So close

We'll believe that when we see it, Bunky

Climate Change Study Finds U.S. Is Already Widely Affected - NYTimes.com

"Winters are generally shorter and warmer."

One of a kind

271 Years Before Pantone, an Artist Mixed and Described Every Color Imaginable in an 800-Page Book | Colossal

"It’s hard not to compare the hundreds of pages of color to its contemporary equivalent, the Pantone Color Guide, which wouldn’t be published for the first time until 1963."

Brush up a little on your Dutch and you can learn everything you ever wanted to know about watercolors.

–Noted by our Pacific Rim Bureau

Government by memo: What could go wrong with that?

White House to provide lawmakers access to drone memo authorizing killing of American - The Washington Post

But "The Gas Emissions in Spain" is not likely to become a hit song

Wind power was Spain's top source of electricity in 2013 | Environment | theguardian.com

DYK, says AT&T


Oh wait. It’s Do You Know, right?


The Snowden effect

Putin foes fear Internet crackdown as 'blogger law' sails through | Reuters

"But Putin has described the Internet as a CIA project and parliament has approved moves requiring social media websites to keep their servers in Russia and save information about users for at least six months."

Republicans to figure out how to communicate with women

GOP Softens Its Edge In An Attempt To Appeal To Women : NPR

"We're going to be aggressive on this messaging.'"

No. Really.

Got any grumpy, ill-tempered computers?

The Early Edition

"Wake up to an audio experience including latest news headlines, weather, entertainment and music, beautifully narrated by articulate computers…"

What is this, High School?

Obama Aides Tell Executives to Skip Forum - NYTimes.com

"The top executives of such giants as Alcoa, Goldman Sachs, PepsiCo, Morgan Stanley, ConocoPhillips and other multinational companies with business in Russia have either pulled out of the conference or plan to do so after an intensive lobbying campaign by President Obama’s advisers. "


One excellent thing about being chronically broke…

…is that I can read a book like Michael Lewis’s Flash Boys without breaking into a cold-sweat blubbering panic. I can’t promise you the same. But if you want to find out for yourself (it’s a fascinating read and scary as hell), it’s on the list.

Stinky cheese is back

Liederkranz Cheese - 6oz

"Liederkranz originated in upstate New York in the late 1800s as a replica of a traditional soft, smelly cheese from Germany…"

My grandfather loved stinky cheese and this was his favorite brand. He and I used to eat it together (I was a tot at the time) and chuckle conspiratorially at the way my grandmother and my mother turned up their noses and frowned. And keeping a little Liederkranz handy became a habit with me until the brand vanished from supermarket shelves sometime in the early ‘90s. (This was about the same time I moved to New England so I thought maybe it was just a regional thing, this absence of Liderkranz, but no—it just wasn’t being made for a while.) But now it’s back. Look for it. Give it a try. 

Yeah, and who knows a bigger word than that?

Virginia proposal would limit size of gatherings at private homes | Fox News

"John Whitehead, an attorney and president of the civil-libertarian Rutherford Institute, calls the Fairfax plan 'nefarious.' "

This week

Every Spring there is one day—a single day, it seems—when all the leaves on all the trees decide, all at once, to grow up. Suddenly, all the trees are green and full. My bet is that day, this year, will happen this week.

Progress unstoppable

Undernews: Today in history

"1865 -- First train robbery occurs."

Spooks are where you find them

Private-Sector Privacy at Loose Ends | The American Conservative

"One of the most controversial implementations of Big Data has come from big box retailer Target, who, due to the gold mine to be made off of pregnant women, started to identify newly expecting mothers by their purchasing habits, and bombard them with special offers: often before friends and family knew; sometimes before the women themselves."

It's 2014: Do you know where your OS is?

Windows XP: Microsoft can't wash its hands of the security problem so easily | ZDNet

"According to NetMarketShare research, XP still accounts for 26 percent of the PCs connecting to the internet…"

The costs of war


"Experts are particularly concerned the virus continues to pop up in countries previously free of the disease, such as Syria, Somalia and Iraq - where civil war or unrest complicates efforts to contain the virus."

And on the license plates

Libertarians Trail Meter Readers, Telling Town: Live Free or Else - NYTimes.com

"The activists selected this New England-cute city of 24,000 for liberation mostly because it lies within that flinty bastion of Yankee individualism known as New Hampshire, where ‘Live Free or Die’ is carved into the collective granite."


How about them D's?

Sarah Palin soldiers on as a diminished figure in the Republican Party - The Washington Post

"As some Republicans have watched Palin slip from her perch atop the GOP’s conservative bloc, Democrats have worked to keep her there."

Maybe there's something to this vampire thing after all

Studies Find 'Young' Blood Rejuvenates Aging Mice

"'Don't try this at home,' said Saul Villeda of the University of California, San Francisco, an author of one of three papers published online Sunday by the journals Nature Medicine and Science."

Oh. Well, if you’re looking for something you can try at home…

Exorcism is back! Meet the mavericks who will teach you how to cure demonic possession - Salon.com

"In theory, only Catholic priests with permission from superiors can conduct exorcisms. But recent decades have given rise to gaggles of rogue agents…"

and make money a it too.

Who needs mice?

The question of the hour

Behind the Masks in Ukraine, Many Faces of Rebellion - NYTimes.com

"Pro-Western protesters in Kiev have held government buildings and the city’s main square since last fall, they said.

‘Why did America support those acts, but is in opposition to ours?’ said Maksim…"

This situation in Ukraine is beginning to look more and more like another war the U.S. gets involved in for some shadowy, ill-defined (or perhaps just plain secret) reason.