|iPhone photo: Phil Compton|
"Imaginary television weather forecasts predicted floods, storms and searing heat from Arizona to Zambia within four decades, as part of a United Nations campaign on Monday to draw attention to a U.N. summit this month on fighting global warming.
'Miami South Beach is under water,' one forecaster says…"
"While Mr. Obama refuses to call it a war against Islamic extremists, preferring to call them ‘extremists,’ it is a war against Islamic extremists…"
Anyway, haven’t we always been at war against Eurasia? (I know, I know, references to 1984 are lazy, cheap, and dull. Especially dull. But still. So are references to Iraq.)
New York Post (well, that probably explains it right there) pick Bears and Packers to tie in NFC North this year. Have they ever heard the term, “fat chance”?
"The countdown to kickoff is underway.”
(Also: Duke it out supremacy? Sounds kind of weirdness, doesn’t it?)
"The White House cited what they called Republican exploitation of the humanitarian situation near the Rio Grande Valley for further justification to delay any executive action by the president."
We are shocked.
"The report recommends ‘a multi-pronged, systematic effort to gather open source and proprietary information through overt means, clandestine penetration (through physical and cyber means), and counterintelligence’ (emphasis added)[sic]. In particular, the DNI’s report envisions ‘cyber operations’ to penetrate ‘covert centers of innovation’ such as R&D facilities."
Glenn Greenwald freaks out about U.S. government efforts to steal technology from foreign sources, which is pretty much what we’ve been doing since the 18th Century.
Better late than never, we suppose.
Matthew Aid’s The Secret Sentry is a nearly must-read book for anyone interested in current events; a definitive history of the National Security Agency from its beginning to the early days of the Obama administration. But it's a little difficult to read because the author, perhaps overly committed to objectivity and impartiality, often becomes concerned with administrative details to the detriment of storytelling. Fortunately, it's also an easy book to skim, and its underlying story is both engrossing and essential to understanding today.
It’s on the list.
"Faith, they say, is belief without proof. Every religion is built on it. At its extreme, it gives us such things as Cubs fans. At the other extreme we get a rain of frogs, or the Kardashians."
"The reason Vice President Joe Biden's comments on the growing threat of the Islamic State (ISIS) were so much stronger than President Barack Obama's is that he's planning to run for president in 2016 and doesn't want to be blamed for Obama's policy, says veteran political analyst Dick Morris."
Biden trying to out-hawk Hillary: It’s gonna be a long, long two years. (Remember when Presidential campaigns were only one? Or less?)
"I searched the database and found 2,129 sports teams that reference Braves, Chiefs, Indians, Orangemen, Raiders, Redmen, Reds, Redskins, Savages, Squaws, Tribe and Warriors, as well as tribe names such as Apaches, Arapahoe, Aztecs, Cherokees, Chickasaws, Chinooks, Chippewas, Choctaws, Comanches, Eskimos, Mohawks, Mohicans, Seminoles, Sioux and Utes. (Not all teams with the names ‘Raiders’ and ‘Warriors’ are referencing Native Americans, but we spot-checked 20 schools with each name and a majority of each did.)"
"They are irked at the empty vending machines, the soda-less drink choices and the overall lack of junk food—and they’re threatening to skip lunch altogether if they’re going to be force-fed whole grains and fresh fruits."
Imagine the horror.
"A Massachusetts state trooper noticed something a little odd about the license plate she spotted…"
"Dave Waller, who purchased the Graves Island Light Station in the mouth of Boston Harbor for a record $933,888 last year, is retrofitting the turn-of-the-century lighthouse into a private home that can double as a vacation rental. He's trying to fashion a bedroom as far as possible from the foghorn — a challenging feat in a building with about 750 feet of livable space."
For just the tiniest part of an instant I thought the idea of living in an unused lighthouse might be pretty cool. But Bunky, it the foghorn is gonna keep blowing count me out. I once spent a night in a hotel three blocks from a foghorn on a foggy night and I’m telling you, it can’t be done.
"They are each being compensated to attract attention and pitch a product, a telemedicine app called VideoMedicine in Moon Ray's case, and BuyBackWorld.com, a phone buy-back service in the case of Ceballo and Cruz."
Who could resist?
"The Russian Federal Space Agency, commonly called Roscosmos, sent five geckos, four males and one female, to space aboard a Russian Foton-M4 satellite as an effort towards a microbiology experiment to study reproduction in microgravity."
"For those Americans looking for an angrier, more impassioned response to the deaths of American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff than President Barack Obama was able to provide…Biden drew cheers from the crowd by declaring that the U.S. will follow ISIS fighters to the ‘gates of hell.’"
"A bank affiliated with Russian energy giant Gazprom has hired former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott and former Sen. John Breaux to lobby against U.S. sanctions.
"According to a lobbying disclosure Friday, Lott and Breaux will focus on ‘banking laws and regulations including applicable sanctions’ on behalf of Gazprombank."
What kind of bank are they, anyway?
"‘Investors see this as an opportunity. This is a potentially untapped market that will have very strong demand,’ activist investor Alex Friedmann told CNN Money."
"Junior Mary Krupa tells WJAC-TV (http://bit.ly/1B9IvPf ) that she's able to dress up the squirrel in party hats, or get Sneezy to hold doll-sized props, simply by feeding the animal."
…otherwise populated by strange, somewhat spooky sleepwalking women, a few pictures by the master:
W00t! Now we can stay under our bed for the rest of the day!
"Particularly strong solar flares can interact with our planet's own magnetic field, sending our radio and electrical signals haywire and causing blackouts."
"Two hundred years ago this week, British forces advanced on Washington. Red coats swept aside the U.S. defenders at the Battle of Bladensburg, then entered the Capital, burning the White House, the Capitol and other public buildings in the fledgling city."
(One of the dopiest things Dubya ever said was that somehow, before 9/11, the oceans protected us from foreign attack. Here’s one example of many to the contrary.)
"According to a recent study from the Pew Research Center, 44 percent of teens reported sending or receiving a sexually explicit text, or sext, a jump of nearly double the 26 percent who reported doing so in 2012. The number of users among all age groups who say they have received a nude photo is now one in five, compared to 15 percent two years ago. A separate study from Purdue University found that among 21 year olds, 80 percent had sent or received a sext and 46 percent had sent a nude selfie. A report from the security firm McAffe found half of adults surveyed had used their mobile device to send and receive 'intimate content' and half of those kept the images and texts stored on their phones."
"McCain and Graham want Obama to act both ‘deliberately’ and ‘urgently’ because they’re both happy words. (As opposed to ‘lethargically’ and ‘rashly,’ which are nastier synonyms for the same thing.)"
Dude needs a new thesaurus. Fast. (Which is a synonym for posthaste.)
"Throughout his presidency, he has excelled at explaining what the United States cannot do and cannot afford, and his remarks Thursday were no exception."
"A Pentagon spokesman told the station that 8,000 law enforcement agencies participate in the 1033 program and that 98 percent remain in good standing."
"Stacia Backensto, an Alaska biologist and master of disguise, dressed herself as one of the men working in the northern oilfields to spy on the scientist-shy birds."
"The government and paper companies kicked off a 'Let's stockpile toilet paper!' campaign to mark Disaster Prevention Day…"
"Seoul: North Korea fired another short-range projectile into the sea on Monday…three days after it cancelled a plan to send cheerleaders to the upcoming Asian Games in the South.…
"Analysts say the North's decision suggests that the country may not continue an earlier push to improve ties with South Korea."
"‘People usually assume that the health benefits of exposure to green space are due to exercise. In fact two large studies now demonstrate that although exercise is definitely good for you, it does not explain the beneficial effect of green space,’ says Rook. ‘Contact with microbial biodiversity is looking like the most probable explanation for the green space effect.’ "
"The Rimrock Raiders football team lost Friday's home non-conference game against Garden Valley by a score of 50-0."
We’re naming the Rimrock Raiders of Bruneau, Idaho, as our official football team for the year.
"Herman Cain took the conservative rhetoric of 'impeachment bait' to the next level on Thursday by theorizing that President Obama is actually trying to get impeached in order to 'laugh at the Republicans.'
"'I believe that he'll do it, and here's why,' Cain explained in a radio interview.… "
This one, at least.