Avoid more work with these excellent (but essentially meaningless) stats

Literature Statistics

Meanwhile no reports of skies falling in those hippie states

Wait, politicians crossing party lines to stop the Feds from interfering with the States? That will never do! | Shawn Stoller's Blog

"GOP House Backs State Medical Marijuana Laws"

What bad buns you have

South Carolina woman threatened to ‘shoot everyone’ in Burger King over stale Cinnabon: police  - NY Daily News

Health warning: Do not hold your breath

Excitement Mounts! Sort Of - NYTimes.com

"McDaniel’s big argument, which has won him huge backing from conservative groups like Club for Growth, is that [his opponent] votes for ‘wasteful spending’ and Mississippi needs a senator who will ‘get the government off your back.’

“…If McDaniel does win, the nation should honor the clear preference of Mississippians and stop giving them $3 back in federal money for every $1 they send to Washington. Really, get those cotton subsidies out of their hair."

Wonderful news from Thailand

Junta Sets Year’s Goals for Its Rule in Thailand - NYTimes.com

"The country may return to democracy in around 14 months as long as ‘peace, order and reform is achieved,’ said Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha, the head of the junta."

Wait, what?

Veterans’ Crisis Put Obama on the Defensive as Others Failed to Do - NYTimes.com

"For a president who came to office hoping to restore public faith in government as a force for good in society, the mess at the Department of Veterans Affairs threatens to undercut his reputation for effectiveness."

(Emphasis added.)


Why does this sound backwards to me?

OK, it's a rhetorical question. But still.

How to Tell Someone’s Age When All You Know Is Her Name | FiveThirtyEight

And for (massive) Work Avoidance Bonus Points, check out the Social Security Administration’s actuarial tables.

Clippers get Ballmer re-boot: Basketball shortage seen

Ex-Microsoft CEO Ballmer buys NBA's LA Clippers for $2 billion | Reuters

"'It's no wonder the prices are so high,' said sports consultant Ed Desser, a former president of NBA Television and New Media Ventures. 'There just aren't enough teams for all the billionaires who want them.'"

Imagine our distress. 

Whatever happened to baloney sandwiches?

"The new nutrition standards for school meals are so complex that since October 2010, USDA has released approximately 200 policy memos to clarify the regulations. The Q&A document on the Final Rule on the “Nutrition Standards in the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs” is in its 7th iteration and is 62 pages long."

School Nutrition Association (PDF).

Why pipelines may turn out to be the best option

Time to Move on Dangerous Tank Cars - NYTimes.com

"Last year, American railroads shipped more than 400,000 carloads of crude oil, a fortyfold increase from 9,500 in 2008."

The continuing saga of kids

Chicago seniors denied diplomas after throwing graduation caps in air despite being warned not to - NY Daily News

"'The gym is decorated; people dress up (some of them); we expect dignified behavior,' school Superintendent Dr. Robert Lupo wrote about the punishment on his blog."

You have to have a license to drive in California?

America’s gun-culture madness  - NY Daily News

"In California, people 70 and up must renew their driver’s licenses in person to be interviewed, take a vision test, make a practice run and pass a written quiz.

"And yet the state gave Elliot Rodger, who’d been mentally ill for years and openly posted threats to the public on YouTube and Facebook, a gun license… "


Why is there no song named "J. P. Morgan's Wife"?

[New York Times, July 4, 1915.]

Hey, Google, if you need somebody to test one here…

Official Google Blog: Just press go: designing a self-driving vehicle

"We’re planning to build about a hundred prototype vehicles, and later this summer…"

More about the kiddies

American Teens Are Becoming Even Wimpier Than Before : Shots - Health News : NPR

"Less than half of youths ages 12 to 15 are even close to being aerobically fit, according to data released Wednesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention."

Maybe this is why they’re so well-mannered. 


Oh Kevin, Kevin

Teenagers Are No Longer the Scary Delinquents of 30 Years Ago | Mother Jones

"Decently behaved teenagers are here to stay."

Imagine our surprise

Exclusive: New document details America’s war machine — and secret mass of contractors in Afghanistan - Salon.com

"On Tuesday, following his surprise Memorial Day visit to Bagram Air Force Base outside Kabul, President Obama announced that the United States plans to keep at least 9,800 U.S. troops in Afghanistan until 2016, further delaying the end of what he calls ‘America’s longest war.’

"But in his remarks at the White House, the president didn’t say that the nearly 10,000 U.S. troops he’s asking to remain in an ‘advisory role’ will be augmented by a huge army of private contractors."

Plumber gets dumber

Joe The Plumber To UCSB Parents: 'Your Dead Kids Don't Trump' My Guns

Missing Ed

Edward Snowden 'surprised' he ended up in Russia - CNET

"Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor who has been called a hero by some and a traitor by others for leaking classified US surveillance documents, said he didn't intend to make Russia his home when he hatched his plan.

"Speaking to NBC News about Snowden's comments, Secretary of State John Kerry said that his answer about not wanting to end up in Russia was 'dumb,' adding that if he'd really like to come back to the US, 'we'll have him on a flight today.'"

We are shocked!

Study Funded By Soda Industry Concludes Diet Soda Helps People Lose Weight | ThinkProgress

"The study authors concluded that it’s easier for people to stick to a diet and exercise plan if they’re not also depriving themselves of the diet sodas they’re used to drinking."

Is this what the Smith grads didn't want to hear?

The Head of the IMF Says Inequality Threatens Democracy. Here Are Seven Charts Proving She's Right | Mother Jones

"Christine LaGarde, the head of the International Monetary Fund—best known for lending money to developing countries on the condition that the those states make policy changes—is taking on inequality too, warning in a speech Tuesday that rising inequality is threatening global financial stability, democracy, and human rights.

"'One of the leading economic stories of our time is rising income inequality, and the dark shadow it casts across the global economy,' LaGarde said."

For the record

Roll Call: Who Voted To Confirm Drone Executioner David Barron To Appeals Court Post? « Irregular Times

"The most troubling issue in David Barron’s record is his role as the author of the legal opinion that justified what is rather coldly referred to as ‘extrajudicial killing’ by the United States federal government. Put more plainly, David Barron concocted a legal justification for President Barack Obama, so that the President could order the U.S. military to execute American citizens, because of suspicion of criminal behavior, without any trial or due process."


Details, details

Trapped in Afghanistan - NYTimes.com

"It is reasonable to ask how two more years of a sizable American troop presence — which one official said could cost $20 billion in 2015 — will advance a stable Afghanistan in a way that 13 years of war and the 100,000 troops deployed there at the peak were unable to guarantee."

It's the horizontal that could do you in

Pizza Man Meets Subway Terror - NYTimes.com

"I was standing on the No. 6 train years ago riding home from Hunter College, where I teach, when the doors opened and a short fellow was standing there holding an entire large pizza box.…"

Scary. But I once carried a full-length mirror crosstown on the Canarsie line and managed to get it home in one piece. Vertical is a little easier.


What makes clams happy?

I just used the phrase, "as happy as a clam", expressing my satisfaction with this afternoon’s weather—does anybody ever say that any more? It used to seem fairly common. Maybe it’s been replaced by amazing, who knows?

(OK, that’s a little grumpy, huh?)

Whether 'tis better…

…to get out and do your errands all of a morning, dodging the occasional raindrop as you go, or to wait and do them in the afternoon when the sky has cleared and the sun is bright and perfect for sitting in with good book, well…

…that’s no question, Bunky.

What page were we on?


A Memorial Day movie with no kissing

Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison

An advisory note

If the freaking drummers are out of step you are probably not looking at a precision marching band. Just relax and crank up some nice music on your iPod.

Maybe we would have been just as happy with drawings on the cave wall all along

No Time to Text? Say It With Stickers - NYTimes.com

"‘There’s a frenzy of experimentation going on with the future of messaging, with new ways of communicating on mobile that go beyond typing something and hitting ‘send’… ’"

Thousand-dollar sneakers

colette BUSCEMI 125 MM

Run, dude.

WARNING: Really annoying audio track at the link. I’m not saying don’t click on it; I’m just saying don’t blame me.


Hot dogs, potato chips, and cheap ice cream…

…a perfect summer holiday supper, in other words, and who cares if summer doesn't officially start for a few weeks yet. We managed to get ourselves a near-perfect day today, sunny and warm (with a terrific 10-minute rain shower in the middle of the afternoon); tomorrow we expect to be even better. And there's a parade tomorrow morning.

Any day with a parade is a good day.

If you're looking for a beach read, this one looks just crazy enough to be worth it (maybe)

Amazon.com: The Blonde eBook: Anna Godbersen: Books

A long, long way from Snow White

As Wars End, Military Gives Its Trademarks New Vigilance - NYTimes.com

"Then Navy SEALs killed Osama bin Laden in May 2011, Disney tried to trademark the name SEAL Team Six, and things ratcheted up from there. "


Tempting Europe With Ugly Fruit - NYTimes.com

"Ms. Soares has bet that there is a market for fruits and vegetables deemed too ugly by government bureaucrats, supermarkets and other retailers to sell to their customers."

The secret law

Final Word on U.S. Law Isn’t: Supreme Court Keeps Editing - NYTimes.com

"‘They deliberately make it hard for anyone to determine when changes are made, although they could easily make that information public,’ Professor Lazarus wrote in the study, which will be published in The Harvard Law Review."