WWII files reveal ‘glamorous’ female spy used to test trainees | intelNews.org

"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."

Good times


But what is it with Kansas and prunes?

Oklahoma loves pickles, and other revelations from Food Twitter analysis | The Verge

"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."

Bumping the whacko meter to new highs

GOP congressional candidate endorses going to war with Mexico over undocumented immigrants

[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."

Foggy war

White House: No Ground Combat Troops, Only 'Forward Deployed' and 'Combat Ready' Troops | The Daily Banter

"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.’"

A puzzle worth considering

Lawfare › Breaking News: Government Agency Bulk Collecting Twitter Data

"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. "


Curses! A patent to reckon with!

Safe Travel – Futility Closet

"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…"

No pixels are harmed

How Crayola Crayons Are Made | MAKE

"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…"

The Selfie Generation

iPhone fans snap up new handsets - BelfastTelegraph.co.uk

"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."

Serves them right for playing on a Thursday night

Buccaneers vs. Falcons: Score and Twitter Reaction for 'Thursday Night Football' | Bleacher Report

"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."

Our hearts go out

Horror stories of suffering in the California Drought. | Shawn Stoller's Blog

Meanwhile, in Roswell, New Mexico…

Missing driver says he woke up in field of donkeys | Boston Herald

"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."

Talk like a pirate, and Brigadoon's still there

International Talk Like A Pirate Day - FAQ

"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.) "

Scottish independence referendum - Results - BBC News

By a margin of 55% to 45% with nearly 85% voting, Scotland stays. Arrrrrrr.


In case you're wondering what's going on in Brigadoon

Scottish independence referendum - Results - BBC News

Go marry somebody, quick!

Undernews: US marriages at 90 year low

(Or, on second thought, maybe not.)

Didn't know there was a Toy Hall of Fame, did you?

Lincoln Log production moves back to the U.S.

"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.

Things go from bad to worse

IHOP Has Cut Back Its Menu By 30 Items | Mother Jones

Like Christmas in September

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?


Or, to put it another way, the U.S. is now allied with Hezbollah

Hezbollah, warily, lines up with 'Great Satan' to fight against IS - CSMonitor.com

Picky, picky

Obama’s Betrayal of the Constitution - NYTimes.com

"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."

Sort of like Facebook Platinum

Netropolitan: Social Networking For Rich 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).


If you keep doing the same thing over and over…

Obama Fourth President in a Row to Go on Prime-Time TV to Announce Bombing of Iraq ~ Orrazz

"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.'"

Ben what?

Fox Host Finds A Way To Link Benghazi To NFL Domestic Violence Debate

"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.

Wasting some perfectly good pixels…

…on an election two years from now? Really?

Hagan lead steady at 4 points - Public Policy Polling

"-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."

Wait, we didn't bomb them yet!

BBC News - Ukraine crisis: Rebels granted self-rule and amnesty

"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."


George Orwell's Politics and the English Language Guide to Writing | New Republic

"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. "

How many sides are there in Syria and which one (or ones) are we on?

US would retaliate if Assad’s defenses attack planes | New York Post

"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."


730 NFL players arrested since January, 2000

Database from USA Today

Oh, there's a lot more than that

Clickbait gone wrong from the NY Daily News.

Good quote


Progress: Who needs it, anyway?

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.

Is bombing ebola next?

Obama to detail plans on Ebola offensive on Tuesday: WSJ | Reuters

And that so-called peace prize was forgotten a long time ago

The Giant Gaps in Obama’s ISIS Strategy « Antiwar.com Blog

"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."


Dutch apples not getting with the program

Yeah, like "forget it"

Burger King’s black cheeseburger may be trying to tell us something - Salon.com

And all with a perfectly straight face

U.S. intelligence agencies remain uncertain about danger posed by Islamic State - The Washington Post

"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."

I keep forgetting I bought potato chips (it was a comfort food thing)

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.

Why can't we get these guys to fight each other?

Islamic State 101: Why are Arab countries so reluctant to help? - CSMonitor.com

"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."