Picky, picky

The Highest-Paid CEOs Are The Worst Performers - Truthdig

"Extensive new research shows that ‘across the board, the more CEOs get paid, the worse their companies do over the next three years,’ writes Forbes contributor Susan Adams."

What is hand popped?

I was walking downtown this morning across the street from the Farmers Market which is not much like the farmers markets we knew in the Midwest but more like the Pricey Organic Boutique Market and this time of year, more than anything, a Flowers and Baked Goods market which also sells, today at least, in a big booth with red canvas sides, Hand Popped Kettle Corn.

Now, kettle corn is, I’m pretty sure, popcorn that is somehow kettley. That much I get. But what is hand popped, and how is it different from, say, foot popped or elbow popped? If you put kernels in your hands and squeeze them real hard do they pop? And how, pray tell, is that something you couldn’t also do with your feet? Or just by sitting, like a chicken hatches an egg? Still hungry?

I think we’re talking popcorn but a little more kettley and a little more farmery here, but I’m not absolutely certain about that and it wasn’t worth walking across the street to find out.

Sense? That's refreshing

People who are making sense about Iraq - CSMonitor.com

"There has been a lot of writing about Iraq's crisis, much of it awful. This is an attempt to shout out some people and pieces that can help you get behind the headlines."

(For as long as I’ve been aware of newspapers the Christian Science Monitor has been considered one of the best papers in the country. It doesn’t get mentioned as much as, say, the Times or WSJ or the Post or everybody’s local rag, possibly due to its religiousy name, but it’s both very good and free. And also a little bit religiousy in parts, but for hard news coverage difficult to beat.)

Hey, it's only money

When Drones Fall From The Sky | Fortuna's Corner

"Frank W. Pace, president of aircraft systems for General Atomics, the leading producer of large military drones, said the Predator…was designed to be lightweight and inexpensive, costing less than $4 million apiece."

(According to the Washington Post:

"More than 400 large U.S. military drones have crashed in major accidents around the world since 2001.”)


Down the rabbit hole with Fox News

Reporter Who Was Wrong About Iraq: Stop Criticizing Those Who Were Wrong About Iraq

"Fox News contributor Judith Miller, whose reporting on Iraq's weapons of mass turned out to be stunningly wrong, said Friday that the media has been too hard on other individuals whose pre-war pronouncements also turned out to be stunningly wrong."

Rising to new heights of shamelessness

Lawmakers outraged over VA bonuses | TheHill

"‘Bonuses are not an entitlement,’ Miller said. ‘They are a reward for exceptional work.’"

Yeah, dude, it’s not like they were working on Wall Street or anything like that.

(For a little context on the VA scandal, see Krugman’s piece in today’s Times.)

There'll always be an England

BBC - Travel - One woman, 17 British accents : Great Britain

"Take a quick and quirky tour through the British Isles in this new video from our friends at Anglophenia, where comedian Siobhan Thompson hilariously tackles 17 British accents…"

Or, you weren’t planning on doing any work today, were you? How quaint.

No, it's not the end of civilization or anything like that

BBC News - Unlikely hit app Yo is 'hacked' by students

"The app allows users to send a message saying "yo" to friends - and nothing else.…
"Despite the app's apparent pointlessness, it has quickly attracted hundreds of thousands of users. Mr Arbel said more than four million 'yo' messages had been sent.

"A service that sends a 'yo' to a user every time a goal is scored in the World Cup has already been launched - with other similar services planned."

(But let’s see what it does to the collective attention span.)

Yes, it's difficult to believe, but what is Ohio for?

Ohio bus driver lied about Bible stopping bullets during ‘race-fueled gang attack’: police  - NY Daily News

"But cops now think Wagoner staged the attack, shooting himself in the arm and placing the Bible-like book on the asphalt before pumping two slugs into it."

Drones! Drones!

Underwater Robots Search for Sea Turtles :: NOAA Fisheries

"All species of sea turtles found in U.S. waters are listed as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act, and NOAA Fisheries scientists need to keep tabs on their populations."

Apparently the week just ending was Sea Turtle Week. Who knew? (Come on, be honest.)

The last day of Spring…

…and it’s a gem. The greens are lush, the blooms are brilliant, the sky a bright, crystal blue with just a dash of high, wispy clouds. 

The mail carrier wears short pants, revealing a knee brace. Tomorrow may be the longest day of the year but I’m guessing they’re all plenty long enough for him.


But none of them will be wearing boots, so it's all good

WATCH: Obama Announces Deployment of 300 Military "Advisers" to Iraq | The Daily Banter

"In addition to troop reinforcements reported earlier in the week, President Obama today announced the deployment of 300 military advisers to Iraq. These advisers would provide support and training to the Iraqi military, while previously announced deployments would secure U.S. diplomatic interests, such as the sprawling American embassy in Baghdad."

On, Wisconsin!

Prosecutors accuse Scott Walker of running 'criminal scheme' : Wsj

"Prosecutors accuse Gov. Scott Walker of personally overseeing a sweeping 'criminal scheme' to illegally coordinate fundraising and campaign activity among conservative groups in a broad effort to help him -- and Republican senators -- fend off recalls in 2011 and 2012, court documents made public Thursday show."

Just in time to fight the summer blahs.

Possibly the work avoidance project of the decade

the Degree Confluence Project

"The goal of the project is to visit each of the latitude and longitude integer degree intersections in the world, and to take pictures at each location. The pictures, and stories about the visits, will then be posted here."

Imagine our complete surprise

BLOWBACK! U.S. Trained ISIS At Secret Jordan Base; Part Of Covert Strategy Targeting Bashar Assad | Fortuna's Corner
"JERUSALEM – Members of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIS, were trained in 2012 by U.S. instructors working at a secret base in Jordan, according to informed Jordanian officials. 
"The officials said dozens of ISIS members were trained at the time as part of covert aid to the insurgents targeting the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Syria. The officials said the training was not meant to be used for any future campaign in Iraq."
[Emphasis added.]

An interesting new service (sorta) clears things up (a little)

Terms of Service; Didn't Read

"‘I have read and agree to the Terms’ is the biggest lie on the web."

Democracy is paying to sit down?

Selling Reservations Democratizes the Dining Experience - NYTimes.com

"It’s increasingly common for a restaurant to charge for reservations. Either you pay the restaurant itself for the table, or you buy the reservation through a third-party service, often using smart phone apps. This may seem like yet another expensive rip-off, but overall it democratizes the dining-out experience and makes it easier, all things considered, to get the meals we really want."

But they won't make it easy, will they

Romney and the 2016 Contenders Huddle - NYTimes.com

"We will try to move past the deep, deep, deep irony of Republicans trying to score political points on Iraq."


Just when you thought things were getting a little dull: W00t!

US patent office cancels Washington Redskins trademarks | The Verge

"'These registrations must be cancelled because they were disparaging to Native Americans at the respective times they were registered,' the USPTO wrote in its decision."

If you care at all about your own mental health DO NOT READ THIS

What If... Fox News Covered The Marvel Universe? | The Daily Banter

Wait…what? No arugula?

GOP Class of 2010 Plots Ahead of Leadership Elections

"Over offerings of cheese, hummus and craisins, members said they discussed how the 2010 tea party wave could reassert the dominance it had when lawmakers first came to Washington…"

Also no tea. Ahem.

Dream on

Bergdahl Critics Didn’t Howl When Bush Freed Prisoners - NYTimes.com

"Listening to [House Armed Services Committee’s] righteous fulminations, it was possible to imagine that the eight years of the Bush administration never happened."


First scented messages sent across the Atlantic - CBS News

"The photo plus odor message is…sent via email, text, or tweet to the recipient, who can receive the scented 'oNote' on a specially-designed device called an oPhone."

I don’t know if they were ever adapted to Air Mail (no, boys and girls, you don’t remember Air Mail; put your hands down) but receiving a scented note from one’s girlfriend was once (a very, very long time ago) both fairly common (it happened to every guy sooner or later) and, generally, the cause of great merriment (especially if received in a barracks). And no oPhone was required.

If this doesn't make your day you may as well just go back to bed

The modern history of swearing: Where all the dirtiest words come from - Salon.com


Go ahead, get it over with: Today is Eat Your Vegetables Day

Eat Your Vegetables Day - 17th Jun, 2014

Nobody ever told you it would be fun.

How's this for the ugliest ($495) lamp you've ever seen?

(Look to us for decorating tips.)

We can't wait

Could U.S., Iran work together in Iraq? Maybe, officials say - CNN.com

Imagine the yuks. 

Benghazi long ago wore thin, and we doubt Bergdahl will last out the year, but for 2016, Baby, this just might be the thing. And if it’s not, it’ll certainly make the time fly by. 

Can you think of anything more exciting than being Fox News' psychologist?

Iraq, Bergdahl prisoner swap and Obama's anti-American psychology | Fox News

"President Obama’s psychology explains recent events that show America to be in retreat from our adversaries."

Like applying a Second Amendment solution to fish in a barrel.


Considering Italian women

The International Space Station is getting its first-ever espresso machine | The Verge

"A prototype is currently being tested by Argotec, in preparation of having it sent up later this year alongside astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti, who will become the first Italian woman in space. "

And [from another source]

I speak Spanish to God, Italian to women, French to men, and German to my horse.

–Charles V

File under "Give Until It Hurts"

The U.S. Should Invest In Science, Not War

"Somehow we found (or borrowed) $2 trillion dollars to spend on wars in far-off countries whose citizens don’t like us – a cost that will at least double before we’re done paying the bills. And some politicians this past week were demanding that we invest billions more in Iraq, money that we don’t have. It’s touching how concerned they are for the citizens of Iraq."

Right on top of things, USA Today

Breaking news: Americans despise Congress; dislike Obama | OnPolitics

[Emphasis added.]


Seniors more at risk for identity theft and fraud, Equifax says | cleveland.com

"Remove yourself from mailing lists and prescreened credit offers. Start with calling 1-888-567-8688 or going to OptOutPrescreen.com. You will need to provide your Social Security number."

You can protect your SSN by giving it to somebody else. Thanks for that advice, bucko.

(Look, I’m not trying to say that opt-out service is anything less than genuine, but doesn’t asking for an SSN there just legitimize the very behavior you’re trying to discourage, make it seem OK? Sounds pretty dumb to me.)

Also wants a pony for his birthday

Obama Pushes Iraqis to Mend Sectarian Rifts - NYTimes.com

"The United States, this official said, has asked Iraq’s prime minister, Nuri Kamal al-Maliki, a Shiite, to work with the Kurds, to seek to persuade the disaffected Sunni minority that the next government will be an ‘ally not an adversary’ and to overhaul Iraq’s routed army. All three groups must be adequately represented in Baghdad, he said."

Sure, I get it. Iraq is not Obama’s fault. (Neither is Syria. Nor Iran, Nor pretty much anything. Remember how Dubya blamed everything on Clinton? That’s just how it’s done.) But it could become Obama’s fault PDQ.

(His birthday is August 4.)


In other words, it's magic

New Technology Can Detect a Football’s Exact Position on the Field

"'With at least five unique measurements of the magnetic field, the three-dimensional (3D) position and orientation of the ball can be determined using complex image theory to account for ground effects,' the Disney Research report noted. 'This system has several advantages including immunity to multipath propagation, unaffected by line-of-sight occlusions caused by groups of people, and minimum complexity on the person/object to be tracked.'"

And…good news!…civilization has been saved.