[Noted by SGIS]
Just Another Face…
iPhone art:  Phil Compton

And if she can figure out how to do this with email we'll all be saved

“Prisoners, Lovers, And Spies:” The Story Of Invisible Ink From Herodotus To al Qaeda | Fortuna's Corner

"‘She has cast a wide research net,’ Mr. Goulden adds, ‘trolling up likely evidence not only in intelligence archives, but also in literature."

(You may find his on the book list at some future date.)

Messenger stays shot

A Key Reason Why U.S. Politicians Don't Understand Science

"In 1995, Congressional Republicans shut down the Office of Technology Assessment.…Last week, Rep. Rush Holt (D-NJ) tried to reopen the agency with minimal funding.

"He failed."

American politics has always been a pretty anti-intellectual exercise (Adlai Stevenson was derided as an egghead, for example) but now, with science and technology playing ever more critical parts in the affairs of government (not to mention thee and me, gentle reader), one might imagine the usefulness of a competent body to advise our legislators on such matters. But I jest. Nope, they don’t want to know no more than they have to there in the Washington, and even that might be too much.

[H/T Miss K via SGIS]

Only in LA

Pipe Ruptures, Spewing Oil in Los Angeles - NYTimes.com

"The Los Angeles Fire Department responded to reports of an oil leak shortly after midnight, Capt. Jaime Moore said, and found that a malfunctioning valve had sent the geyser of oil spraying onto a strip club in the Atwater Village section of Los Angeles."

How about for beads?

Are Filmmakers Using Drones Illegally? Looks Like It : All Tech Considered : NPR

"It is illegal in the U.S. to operate a drone for cash."

What's wrong with this headline?

News from The Associated Press



It is what it is

The Myth of Swing Voters in Midterm Elections - NYTimes.com

"Most identify with the same political party their entire adult lives, even if they do not formally register with it. They almost always vote for the presidential candidate from that party, and they rarely vote for one party for president and the other one for Congress. And most voters are also much less likely to vote in midterm elections than in presidential contests."

Government work

Johannes Kepler - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

"During his career, Kepler was a mathematics teacher at a seminary school in Graz, Austria, where he became an associate of Prince Hans Ulrich von Eggenberg. Later he became an assistant to astronomer Tycho Brahe, and eventually the imperial mathematician to Emperor Rudolf II and his two successors Matthias and Ferdinand II. He was also a mathematics teacher in Linz, Austria, and an adviser to General Wallenstein."

On knowing when to stop

How To Marry The Right Girl: A Mathematical Solution : Krulwich Wonders... : NPR

"Poor Johannes Kepler…in 1611, he needed a wife. "

A last hurrah

Preparing a Veteran of D-Day for Its Return to Normandy - NYTimes.com

"‘I think it’s kind of nuts,’ said Richard Ladd, 89, a local Veterans of Foreign Wars member who jumped out of a similar C-47 on D-Day… "

Meanwhile, bring them editors more coffee

U.S. Fast-Food Workers Plan to Walk Off Jobs to Protest Low Pay - NYTimes.com

"CHICAGO — U.S. fast food workers seeking higher wages are planning a strike on Thursday that could affect thousands of restaurants across the country the workers say make huge profits from paying them workers a pittance."


"I'm the one…

…who’s supposed to be from the computer generation,” said the kid at the checkout counter when I flashed him the bar code on my iPhone. “And I don’t have one of those on my phone."

“You’re gonna have to pedal faster,” I said. 

Can you still crawl under that desk?

Russia, US Conduct Nuclear Weapon Drills | The Diplomat

"Last Thursday Russian President Vladimir Putin oversaw a large-scale nuclear drill involving all three legs of the Russian nuclear triad. This week, the U.S. Strategic Command is following suit."

Intelligence is not an oxymoron

Intel Collection - Lawyers, Guns & Money : Lawyers, Guns & Money

"Conducting intelligence gathering operations against the diplomatic services of other countries is something that I expect my intelligence services to do.  I expect foreign intelligence agencies (even those of our allies!) to conduct similar operations against the United States."


Russia Aims To Ground The Pentagon’s Satellites | Fortuna's Corner

"In a surprise move, the Russian government is attempting to limit the Pentagon’s ability to send satellites into space, cutting off the U.S. military’s access to the engine it uses for many of its launches.

"The cutoff, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said Tuesday, is a response to U.S. sanctions, which have limited sales of some key space-technology items to Russia.…"

But “surprise” might be a bit of a stretch.


Or, The Sincerest Form of Flattery

A 'nightmare becoming reality'? Iran unveils American drone replica. - CSMonitor.com

"The drone replica was unveiled at an Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) exhibition on Sunday, where Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei was briefed on how the drone, its systems, and structure had been reverse-engineered. He called it a ‘sweet day.’ "

Fishy? Why would anybody think that?

Another Biden Has Waded Into the Ukraine Crisis - NationalJournal.com

"The vice president's youngest son, Hunter Biden, has been appointed head of legal affairs at Burisma Holdings, Ukraine's largest private gas producer, The Moscow Times reported Tuesday."

Something you have to worry about a whole lot less than you might think

Google Must Honor Requests to Delete Links, E.U. Court Says - NYTimes.com

"It comes as momentum builds in Europe to adopt an even more far-reaching privacy law already under negotiation by lawmakers that includes a tougher so-called right to be forgotten, or ‘erasure’ as it is termed in draft legislation"


My advice: Get married somewhere else (or buy a life jacket)

People who drowned after falling out of a fishing boat correlates with Marriage rate in Kentucky

An excellent work avoidance tool that will actually teach you something, sorta…

…namely that correlation and causation are not the same thing. 

Spurious Correlations

[This site has also been added to our standing list.]

When Manhattan came to Tennessee

The Girls of Atomic City: The Untold Story of the Women Who Helped Win World War II: Denise Kiernan: 9781451617535: Amazon.com: Books

At the height of World War II, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, was home to 75,000 residents, and consumed more electricity than New York City, yet it was shrouded in such secrecy that it did not appear on any map. Thousands of civilians, many of them young women from small towns across the U.S., were recruited to this secret city, enticed by the promise of solid wages and war-ending work.

Not your everyday version of the Manhattan Project story, The Girls of Atomic City tells the story of the secret city, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, and the same time documents the contributions made by women to the workforce during World War II. It’s on the list.

And two novels of World War II recommended by our Midwest and Elsewhere bureau, also added to our reading list:

Once We Were Brothers


The Unlikely Spy

We’re reading Brothers now and it’s off to a very promising start at the Chicago Lyric Opera.

Snowden's snow job

Is Snowden A Spy? | Fortuna's Corner

"Dozens of recent Snowden leaks have revealed nothing about ‘mass surveillance’ – but they have consistently advanced Russian geopolitical interests."

Gives you better dreams by keeping you awake?

Electric shocks could hold the key to manipulating dreams

"By stimulating the frontal and temporal positions on volunteers' scalps, all of whom had never experienced lucid dreaming before, scientists were able to change the neural activity in their brains, bringing them towards a more 'awake-like' state that could possibly allow them to control the outcome of their dreams."

OK, so let's prohibit…

Alcohol kills one person every 10 seconds worldwide: WHO - Yahoo News

"'More needs to be done to protect populations from the negative health consequences of alcohol consumption,' Oleg Chestnov of the WHO's Noncommunicable Diseases and Mental Health unit said…"

Oh. Wait.

"Awesome" is a way, way, way overworked word

An Awesome Font Culled From 2,000 Pieces of Beach Debris | Design | WIRED

Don't trust Google and Facebook, some guy you never heard of says: Trust me

Out in the Open: The Tiny Box That Lets You Take Your Data Back From Google | Enterprise | WIRED

"Plus, Ernst says, other developers will be free to build their own products atop Indie Box. ‘It’s not supposed to be one product from one company,’ he explains. ‘It’s supposed to be a platform for lots of people to innovate on.’"

Well, good start…

Imagine our surprise

Clinton gets an 'F' from Rubio - POLITICO.com

"Sen. Marco Rubio gives Hillary Clinton an 'F' for her tenure as secretary of state, which he expects her to 'go around bragging about.'"

Work avoidance comes to the New York Times

The Strip - Slide Show - NYTimes.com


Because freedom!

Dozens of protesters ride in off-limits canyon - Houston Chronicle

"The riders may have damaged artifacts and dwellings that 'tell the story of the first farmers in the Four Corners region' of Utah, Arizona, New Mexico and Colorado, BLM Utah State Director Juan Palma said in a statement.


March to the sound of the guns, says some R from Arkansas

Cotton: Democrats' 'Fake Outrage' Over Benghazi Select Committee | The Weekly Standard

"We will now get to the truth. "

I can’t wait. The D’s will be outraged over this guy’s fake outrage over their fake outrage over the R’s own fake outrage over Benghazi. It may never end. It could go on forever. 

Where is Charles Dickens when we need him?

Shirking and sharking in all their many varieties have been sown broadcast by the ill-fated cause; and even those who have contemplated its history from the outermost circle of such evil have been insensibly tempted into a loose way of letting bad things alone to take their own bad course, and a loose belief that if the world go wrong it was in some off-hand manner never meant to go right.

Oh. There.