"There’s no more modern rite of passage than the first smartphone."
"The hour of light we gain each morning until spring just brings the darkness an hour earlier in winter; that can get grim after the holiday lights come down. And I wonder how many people will miss busses or planes on Monday because they forgot to turn back the clock on their rice cooker — one of many unexpected spots where clocks show their faces these days."
"Whether it's a few leaky apples or the sign of a larger morale problem is unclear. "
"Branson’s fledgling spaceline, which brands itself as having the world's first commercial rocket-plane, attributed the tragedy to an 'in-flight anomaly,' according to a company tweet."
And really? A company tweet?
This is the second big rocket blow-up of the week: Last Tuesday, an Orbital Sciences Corporation rocket carrying supplies to the International Space Station got vaporized (intentionally) off Virginia.
"‘It’s got to be the dumbest answer I’ve ever heard,’ said Michael McKenna, a Republican energy lobbyist…"
We couldn’t have said it better.
[Noted by our Midwest and Elsewhere Bureau.]
“…building his '50 Champion Starlight coupe to resemble a Lockheed P-38 Lightning 'as close as the Illinois Department of Transportation would allow.' Doug gave instructions to the body shop to, in his words, 'make the body shine like the underside of a pop can.'"
"Finally, after five seasons of bad baseball from the Cubs and superhuman patience from their fans, something real."
"Concealed handgun licenses are allowed, but college student IDs are not, nor are driver’s licenses that have been expired for more than sixty days."
Where did we put that Bat Signal?
The entirety of Ken Follett’s Edge of Eternity, the formidable third and final volume of his massive Century Trilogy, occurs within my adult lifetime, which leaves me with a very different perspective than the one I had on the trilogy’s first two installments, Fall of Giants and Winter of the World. Edge tells an engaging story (although these family epics are not my normal literary fare) and represents a writerly feat of the first magnitude, but it’s CliffsNotes history, concentrating primarily on Cold War politics in Russia and the U.S., the American civil rights movement, “free love,” and the rock music scene. The Vietnam war is worth only a scene or two, the American peace movement even less; totally ignored are such fairly significant events as the French-Algerian war, the end of apartheid in South Africa, the Russian invasion of Afghanistan, the deposition of the Shah and the Iranian-U.S. hostage crisis, turmoil in South America, and Bill Clinton’s most famous escapades (although JFK’s bedroom adventures are a major obsession).
Still, seen as the story of several interconnected families played out against the background of the 20th Century, the series—all three installments—makes an absorbing read.
So. If you read the first two books in the series you do not want to miss this one, if for no other reasons than to see how (some) things turn out.
"It’s not the fans Marvel has to worry about, many of whom have waited for years to see their favorite characters and story arcs on the big screen, but the average moviegoers, who won’t want to do homework on 20 movies worth of backstory just to be able to keep up with Avengers: Infinity War, Part 2 when its released in 2019."
"In its 2014 national report card, the American College of Emergency Physicians gives the country a D-plus grade in emergency care, asserting the system is in ‘near-crisis.’"
And it gets worse. Quite a bit worse, in fact.
"Over the past few weeks specifically, NRA officials have been sounding the alarm over the bill, deeming the 'radical' Humane Society's proposal as a 'slippery slope' to increased regulation. Unsurprisingly, Pennsylvania lawmakers caved."
"'The thing about Bibi is, he’s a chickenshit,’ the unidentified official was quoted as saying, using Netanyahu's nickname and a slang insult certain to redden the ears of the U.S.-educated former commando."
Is it ever, ever OK to put Cheez Whiz on cheesesteak? http://t.co/p0n9rXyoUB— Esquire Magazine (@Esquiremag) October 29, 2014
“…one law firm is now making itself available for all your legal Ebola needs."
"In his rhetoric about public education as a monopoly, Cuomo sounds somewhat like former Republican Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, a national reform leader who refers to public schools as ‘government-run monopolies run by unions.’"
"Hikers have got as close as a few feet away from the wild bears, and officials have now been forced to send out an official warning."
"Christie has been vintagely defiant…"
"TSA agents have found cannon balls in the past, but never a cannon."
"What did Chicago do to deserve these people? Was it something we said? Did we take George Halas’ name in vain? Or are we simply the butt of some cosmic joke?"
From the Wikipedia entry for Hell Gate, a narrow spot in New York City’s East River…
"In 1851, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers began to clear obstacles from the strait with explosives; the process would last 70 years. On September 24, 1876, the Corps used 50,000 pounds (23,000 kg) of explosives to blast the dangerous rocks, which was followed by further blasting work. On October 10, 1885, the Corps carried out the largest explosion in this process, annihilating Flood Rock with 300,000 pounds (140,000 kg) of explosives. The blast was felt as far away as Princeton, New Jersey and sent a geyser of water 250 feet (76 m) in the air."
Bang! It’s about 59 miles from New York City to Princeton.
“[White House press secretary] Earnest said [Ebola honcho] Klain’s work — he’s been on the job 10 days — already produced ‘a significant number of announcements'…"
"‘First of all, I don’t think [Christie is] a doctor,’ Hickox told CNN on Sunday, in an interview from her isolation tent. ‘For the first 12 hours, I was in shock. Now I’m angry.’
"That same day, she hired civil rights attorney Norman Siegel, who told NBC News that Hickox planned to sue for her release."
"At this point, Obama probably wishes that his key appointees were solely people who preferred to retire to microphone- and media-free caves. "
"In a statement today, the company dismissed Valentine's findings as 'grossly overstate[d]' and said there was insufficient evidence to link the hopane concentrations to the Macondo well specifically. "
"A former CBS News reporter who quit the network over claims it kills stories that put President Obama in a bad light says she was spied on by a ‘government-related entity’ that planted classified documents on her computer."
"Kaci Hickox told CNN’s ‘State of the Union’ that she was stuck inside a tent without a shower or flushable toilet, despite having no symptoms and twice testing negative for the deadly virus after caring for patients in Sierra Leone."
"He sacked Patriots backup Jimmy Garoppolo."
"FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — The most important game of the season produced, maybe, the worst first half in the history of the Bears franchise.…
The comedy of errors rendered the second half irrelevant, but for fantasy football nerds, and the Patriots won, 51-23"
The Rimrock High School Raiders ended their season Friday night with a 56-6 loss to Horseshoe Bend, in Idaho. The Raiders were 1-7 for the season, the same as the Jacksonville Jaguars, currently 1-7 in the AFC South. So, way to go, Raiders, and wait till next year.
"Last night, as the news broke that a doctor who had worked in west Africa had returned to New York and, subsequently, after riding in an Uber car, taking the subway, and bowling, had self-diagnosed and been found to have come down with Ebola, if you took a drink every time CNN's Don Lemon said 'the most populous city in the country,' I certainly hope you didn't drive home. If you did, you were a greater danger to the public health than Dr. Craig Spencer ever was. According to that pesky CDC, we lose 30 people per day to alcohol-related automobile accidents, which means we lose 29 more people every day than we have lost to Ebola in total since Thomas Duncan went to that hospital in Texas. Just sayin'."
"Some words just make other words seem cooler. Add 'rocket' to just about anything—car, backpack, toast—and suddenly you've made those words way more interesting. Rocket car! Rocket backpack! Rocket toast!
"The chemical signal itself is a hormone called gibberellin, which plants use to control all sorts of biological activity. Most of what goes on in ferns is controlled by the usual collection of genes involved in gibberellin signaling; they seem to only have needed to evolve two additional genes in order to get this communal sex determination system to work."
" In its recent report, the National Coalition for the Homeless found that since January 2013 alone, food-sharing laws have been adopted in 21 cities. This past Tuesday, Fort Lauderdale, FL, passed the latest of these restrictions, making it city number 22. About 10 other cities are in the process of placing restrictions on food-sharing. This is a 47 percent increase since the coalition’s last report in 2010."