What took you so long?

iPhone 7 Release Date, Specs, Rumors

"The ink is barely dry on the initial sales figures for the iPhone 6, and already the Internet is awash with rumors related to its successor."

Can't miss this

Garry Trudeau on Bringing His Political Satire to TV - NYTimes.com

"There’s one scene this season in which a Reagan impersonator visits a Republican retreat, and we have him say things that Reagan actually said, and the room starts booing him. Within 10 minutes dinner rolls are flying, because he’s cherry-picking these Reagan quotes that were dangerously reasonable."

Noted by our Midwest and Elsewhere bureau.

Make that eleven

Ten questions for Bears entering Sunday's rivalry against Packers | Chicago Sun-Times

11. Why?

Do we have a quorum now?

State Rep. La Shawn Ford gets 6 months probation for misdemeanor

Asking the hard questions

This Week In The Laboratories Of Democracy_11.7.14 - Esquire

“In our endless search for a light at the bottom of the well, we zip on out to Richmond, California, where Chevron dumped $3.5 million into the city elections and got beaten down into a lovely, spreadable paste.…

"You mean the voters in a city are reluctant to trust an oil company just because its local refinery has blown up only twice in the last 20 years? Why do you hate America, Richmond?"

Not feeling gloomy enough this morning (yet)? We can help!

Status overview | Down Detector

No coal in your stocking, Bunky

Dems may face long exile from coal country - Erica Martinson - POLITICO.com

Oh wait.

You too can be Miss Turkmenistan

Life as a Fake Beauty Queen in Small-Town China - The Atlantic

"Pageants like these typically serve as glittery infomercials for the cities where they take place—‘Visit Ordos, or Dunhuang, or Dalian, or Chengdu: wealthy enough to import foreign pageant queens!’"

I need to get myself some of this "scratch" stuff because I keep hearing you can make just about anything from it

How to Make Pancakes from Scratch - Homemade Pancake Recipe - Esquire

It’s sort of like some weird, old-fashioned substitute for 3-D printing, I think.

A modest exercise in data mining

Are You a J. Crew Democrat or a Pizza Hut Republican? | TIME

"There is no evidence, of course, that a regular infusion of banana ice cream and fudge chunks inspires a person toward liberalism. Because two-thirds of the Ben & Jerry’s in the United States are found in Democratic districts, however, the mere presence of a store in a district raises the statistical odds that its residents are people who vote for Democrats."


An important new addition to our Work Avoidance list


What is it with these vegetarians anyway?

Flat Earth Wiki | Lady Blount

"In addition to her work with the Universal Zetetic Society, she was also poet, songwriter and wrote pamphlets on a wide variety of subjects. Blount was a progressive thinker and humanitarian. She was a vegetarian…"

Can't avoid work fast enough? Try this.

0 cookies - Cookie Clicker


Behold my asking, what does that even mean?

Republicans Are Already Blaming Hillary Clinton For Democrats' Election Disaster

"The conservative America Rising PAC published their own anti-Clinton memo Wednesday morning: 'Behold The Wreckage of Hillary's Midterm Drubbing.'"

And probably feels better now

Angry driver bashes his brand new car after it doesn’t start | New York Post
"‘Normally in incidents like this it’s not people smashing up their own car, but he was able to prove it was his,’ said local police spokesman, Anastasio Gallo. ‘We think he must have been under a lot of stress at work lately…"

Also the next iPhone

Overheard: 'Enough' With All This Reflection - Heard on the Hill

"‘Enough about 2014. Let’s talk about 2016.’

— CNN Anchor John Berman this morning, making sure the nation doesn’t linger too long on an election that we still don’t know the final results of."

Blame it on the kids (what are they good for, anyway?)

CHART: The 2014 Electorate Was Really, Really Old

"The disparity between the under-30 and over-60 was the widest it's been in a decade, those polls found. The seniors comprised 37 percent of the electorate; young people made up 12 percent."

On protecting the southern border

RCMP Plans to Build a Massive Intelligence Gathering Sensor Network Along-U.S.-Canadian Border - Matthew Aid

"The $92-million surveillance web, formally known as the Border Integrity Technology Enhancement Project, will be concentrated in more than 100 ‘high-risk’ cross-border crime zones spanning 700 kilometres of eastern Canada, said RCMP Assistant Commissioner Joe Oliver, head of technical operations."

Pass the donuts

Man who lost 112 pounds kickboxing in Thailand banned from flight because he doesn’t look like passport pic - NY Daily News

"Airport border guards didn't believe that the slimmer version of Ross Connor was the same as the chubby-faced cheeky guy that appeared in his official ID photo."

Tastes good, but who can see it?

Cold war: Camouflage ice cream is Baskin-Robbins' sweet tribute to veterans - NY Daily News


This is a little awkward

Navy Intel Chief’s Security Clearance Suspended, Can’t View Classified Info | Fortuna's Corner

"Branch can’t attend morning intelligence briefs, or sit with the other services’ intel chiefs when they meet with Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, said a naval intelligence source, who spoke on background because he was not authorized to speak to the press."

If you can't sell your book any other way…

Sharyl Attkisson: 'I Kind Of Assume' I'm On Obama's Enemies List

"Citing one of several pseudonymous sources in the book, Attkisson wrote that her computer was likely hacked by 'a sophisticated entity that used commercial, nonattributable spyware that’s proprietary to a government agency: either the CIA, FBI, the Defense Intelligence Agency or the National Security Agency.’"

There's always a law (or not)

Virginia Judge Says Fifth Amendment Protects Passwords Not Fingerprints

"According to The Virginian-Pilot, Judge Steven Frucci ruled that making suspects provide their passwords so police can snoop through their phones is a violation of the Fifth Amendment because it would force suspects to incriminate themselves. But in the same ruling, the presiding judge decided that demanding suspects to provide their fingerprints to unlock a TouchID phone is constitutional because it’s similar to compelling DNA, handwriting or an actual key—all of which the law allows."

And you thought they were only worried about Ebola

Today, America Is Voting on Booze, Weed, Fracking, and Whether You Can Trap a Bear With a Donut | Mother Jones

"Maine ballot question 1 would prohibit the use of donuts to trap bears…"


It’s important.

How do you turn a pumpkin into a squash?

WATCH: Giant pumpkin drops from crane, explodes spectacularly at Pennsylvania festival (VIDEO) - NY Daily News

"As part of an annual pumpkin festival at Cherry Crest Adventure Farm in Pennsylvania last week, organizers dropped a mammoth 1,717-pound gourd from a crane."


At least in Chicago there's only one team to crash and burn (and they didn't play last weekend…whew)

NY Giants loss to Colts coupled with putrid Jets signifies end of football season in New York - NY Daily News

"The 2014 New York football season is over after only two months, ending Monday night when the Giants joined the Jets in football hell."

Small but mighty

Moose dies in collision with Mini Cooper on Interstate 91 in Deerfield | GazetteNet.com

"‘The person was driving a Mini Cooper — I’m just glad the person’s OK, those are not exactly the biggest vehicles,’ Boutell said."


Merry Christmas, have some mouthwash

Is it just me, or was Halloween three days ago?

Everybody loves a twofer

What? Confused? Surely not!

Map: The Africa without Ebola - The Washington Post
"Despite clear geographical limits to the Ebola outbreak, many Americans seem confused."
OK, maybe a little. That Africa place is pretty big. Check it out.

There are some mornings when the only sane thing to do is watch John Oliver

John Oliver Reveals The Terrifying Power Of State Legislatures (VIDEO)

Where is Glenn Greenwald when you need him?

How a baby penguin droid let researchers spy on shy birds - The Globe and Mail

“…international scientists and even filmmakers, led by Yvon Le Maho of the University of Strasbourg in France, created a remote-controlled rover disguised as a chick to snuggle up to shy penguins in Adelie Land, Antarctica – the same place where the 2005 documentary March of the Penguins was filmed.

"Researchers watched from more than 200 metres away."

Come on, guys, don't be so mean

BBC News - Branson: Virgin Galactic explosion claims 'quite hurtful'

"Virgin Galactic owner Sir Richard Branson has said it was 'quite hurtful' for his company's engineers that claims were made about their spacecraft exploding."

File under Things You Thought You'd Never Know

Great Falls happier than Billings or Missoula, study says

"Great Falls is the happiest Montana city among the big three urban areas of Billings, Missoula and the Electric City, a study says."

Meanwhile, home on the range…

Abarr proposes a more inclusive KKK chapter in MT

"One of Montana’s most well-known white supremacists is recruiting members for a new Ku Klux Klan, one which he said will be all-inclusive and shows he no longer holds supremacist views.…

"Though he won’t say exactly how many members this new KKK group has, the organization will not discriminate against people because of race, religion or sexual orientation."



"It was as distinctive as the most distinctive thing you could ever think of."

That’s the character named Jack Reacher in the novel, Killing Floor, the first in Lee Child’s best-selling series featuring said character, describing a Bentley automobile.

I give up.

It’s a book I picked up as a free sample from audible.com; I managed to wade through about half of it. Except for a comically improbable chase scene through the Atlanta airport, it’s easily the dullest “thriller” I’ve ever come across. Clearly, a lot of people disagree with me, but I’m declining to add it to our reading list. I’m also declining to listen to the second half of it.


Trick, treat, or OMG

News from The Associated Press

"Yazzie says she placed her wedding ring in a candy jar while helping her daughters carve pumpkins, and when the night became hectic she absentmindedly dumped the contents of the jar into the candy bag."