"Utilizing her ‘glamorous looks’, blonde hair and elegant dresses, Chilver would pose as a French freelance reporter and would approach selected SOE trainees to see ‘if they had learned how to keep secrets’, according to the wartime documents."
"Combing through 3.5 million food-hashtagged tweets pulled from Twitter's API between October 2013 and May 2014, the team identified distinctive food words for each state. Along the way, they also uncovering regional differences in the popularity of #breakfast, #brunch, #lunch, and #dinner. The midwest, apparently, is #breakfast country."
[Mark Walker, a Republican candidate for Congress from North Carolina]: I will tell you If you have foreigners who are sneaking in with drug cartels to me that is a national threat and if we got to go laser or blitz somebody with a couple of fighter jets for a little while to make our point, I don't have a problem with that either."
"The gold star goes to ABC News Chief White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl, who got White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest to explain that, while there will be no ground troops in Iraq with combat as their primary responsibility, there are already ‘combat-ready’ troops in Iraq, and they might end up being ‘forward deployed.’"
"Ironically, while researchers all over—including you—will be able to search and collect the tweets, including the deleted tweets, from 15-year-olds all over the world, NSA will probably not. "
"The object is to provide means whereby a person’s face can be effectually disfigured and the display of the article which forms the subject of my invention would speedily warn an assailant of what he might expect should he not desist from pursuing his evil designs…"
"There are 120 different colors of Crayola Crayons.
23 shades of red, 20 greens, 19 blues, 16 purples, 14 oranges, 11 browns, 8 yellows, 2 grays, 2 coppers, 2 blacks, 1 white, 1 gold and 1 silver. The Crayola factory in Easton, Pennsylvania makes 12 million crayons a day…"
"One of the first people to get his hands on the new iPhone this morning felt 'on top of the world' and said he wanted to celebrate by taking a selfie."
"Showing no ill effects of the quick turnaround after a Week 2 loss, the Atlanta Falcons jumped out to a 21-0 first-quarter lead and strolled to a 56-14 whipping of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers."
"KOAT-TV reports New Mexico State Police say the driver called 911 seven hours after investigators failed to find any victims from the crash in Roswell late Friday."
"International Talk Like a Pirate Day isn't one o' those governmentally sanctioned holidays that shifts around to create a convenient three-day weekend. No, the date is ALWAYS Sept. 19 (Cap'n Slappy's ex-wife's birthday.) "
By a margin of 55% to 45% with nearly 85% voting, Scotland stays. Arrrrrrr.
"Lincoln Logs were invented in 1916 by John Lloyd Wright, son of the renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright.…
Lincoln Logs were inducted into the Toy Hall of Fame in 1999"
I had a set of Lincoln Logs—the original, wooden kind—when I was a kid. They were Legos before there were Legos. Who knows what happened to them.
iOS 8 popped up on the screen yesterday, which means, if you’re me, a joyous evening of tapping and tweaking, and if you’re not, why?
The servers are likely smoking by now; waiting a week might make your download smoother. While you’re waiting you can read all about it here.
This is definitely one you want if you have an iOS device, and what’s the big deal about smooth anyway?
"Senators and representatives aren’t eager to step up to the plate in October [to vote on a “war with ISIS”] when, however they decide, their votes will alienate some constituents in November’s midterm elections. They would prefer to let the president plunge ahead and blame him later if things go wrong. But this is precisely why the War Powers Resolution sets up its 60-day deadline: It rightly insists that unless Congress is willing to stand up and be counted, the war is not worth fighting in the name of the American people."
"For a cool $9,000 first-year membership fee (and $3,000 a year every year after that), high-rollers can crowdsource names for their yachts or complain about having to fly commercial to a like-minded, sympathetic audience. Netropolitan is billing itself as ‘the world’s most exclusive online community…' "
But, of course, not as exclusive as our humble blog (which is free).
"A plan is in the works to tear down Saint Mary the Morning Star Church and replace it with a Dunkin Donuts. "
"‘This is ISIL versus mankind,’ mope says"
"Nat Perry points out ‘eight years ago, the same intelligence community that Obama is now citing in providing justification for expanded strikes on Iraq had starkly warned that a whole new generation of Islamic radicalism had been spawned by the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq.'"
"It was only a matter of time before someone at Fox News managed to use the controversy surrounding the NFL and the way it handles domestic violence cases to bring up the beloved Benghazi scandal."
Oh, that. Still.
…on an election two years from now? Really?
"-The 2016 Presidential race in North Carolina continues to look like it will be close if Hillary Clinton is the Democratic nominee, but the numbers are a little bit better for Republicans this month. Clinton trails both Jeb Bush (45/43) and Mike Huckabee (46/45) by modest margins. She leads Rand Paul (46/41), Chris Christie (45/38), and Ted Cruz (48/40) in hypothetical head to heads."
"Meanwhile, Russia said it needed to boost troops in Crimea - Ukraine's peninsula annexed by Moscow in March.
"Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said this was because of the Ukraine crisis and a foreign military build-up."
"In the case of a word like democracy, not only is there no agreed definition, but the attempt to make one is resisted from all sides. It is almost universally felt that when we call a country democratic we are praising it: Consequently the defenders of every kind of regime claim that it is a democracy, and fear that they might have to stop using the word if it were tied down to any one meaning. Words of this kind are often used in a consciously dishonest way. "
"WASHINGTON — The United States would retaliate against Syrian President Bashar Assad’s air defenses if he were to go after American planes launching airstrikes in his country, senior Obama administration officials said Monday."
My grocery store, the one I’ve been trudging to faithfully all these years, used to have a perfectly sensible payment machine: Swipe your card, tap in your PIN, answer yes or no to the cash back question, and that was that. The checkout person handed you a receipt.
(We are a small, conservative, New England town, we don’t have your fancy big-city self-serve checkout lanes. That tap-to-pay technology Google and Apple are pushing? Around here, maybe a couple of fast-food franchises and one of the national drugstore chains are with that plan, but a person cannot live on French Fries and toothpaste alone. I’m thinking maybe in a few more years, after all my contracts and non-replaceable batteries have expired, then might be time for Apple Pay, but for now I’m just happy to not be on dialup any more.)
This morning I went to the grocery store and they’ve changed their checkout software. The new software adds that one more last question: “Is this [TOTAL] OK?” And two answer buttons: YES and NO. It’s the question that drives me nuts.
Why do they ask that question? What happens if you tap NO? Do they offer to negotiate?
I think not.
"Obama’s ISIS speech would have provoked outrage if Bush gave it. Now, however, Democrats and Republicans are united over foreign war to such an extent that a prolonged military campaign without congressional approval barely raises an eyebrow."
"Hours before President Obama announced a new U.S. military offensive against the Islamic State, one of his top counterterrorism officials testified to Congress that the al-Qaeda offshoot had an estimated 10,000 fighters.
"The next day a new assessment arrived from the CIA: The terrorist organization’s ranks had more than doubled in recent months, surging to somewhere between 20,000 and 31,500 fighters across Iraq and Syria."
Now, every time I open the drawer where I keep bread (which is where, logically enough, I also keep potato chips) I am surprised, delighted, and, OK, comforted all over again. It’s excellent.
And yes, I do remember I put my pants on this morning so no, don’t worry, it’s not that. It’s just some kind of thing with potato chips, I guess.
"Secretary of State John Kerry just ended a whirlwind tour of the Middle East to raise support for US-led military action against the Islamic State. The response was less than enthusiastic."