YA domestic disaster

I seem to have spilled a little laundry detergent into my kitchen sink this morning and it’s been lying there all freaking morning making clean spots. Now I have to figure out how to make them dirty again or I’ll wind up having to scrub the whole darn thing. 

We are shocked, SHOCKED

The United States' Hidden Hand in the Creation of Israel

"US Supreme Court Justices Louis Brandeis and Felix Frankfurter were covert supporters of political Zionism in its determination to occupy the land of Palestine, a part of the Ottoman Empire that was later mandated to Britain."

But we’re not sure what about.

And how did that work out?

Tombstone [AZ] Telegraph, January 30, 1915

Save the malls!

There are some things in life I will never understand, and here's one

Why do these outdoorsy people walk around in camo clothing from head to toe, and bright orange vests? I mean, I get it about the orange vests—they don’t want to get shot. By hunters. But are the animals orange-blind or something?

I don’t have any problem with hunters, and it’s OK with me if you want to wear camo underwear—hey, style is style. But WTF?

Scrubbing the gene pool

Vaccine Critics Turn Defensive Over Measles - NYTimes.com

"In San Geronimo, Calif., a mostly rural community of rolling hills and oak trees about 30 miles north of San Francisco, 40 percent of the students walking into Lagunitas Elementary School have not been inoculated against measles, according to the school’s figures. Twenty-five percent have not been vaccinated for polio. In all, the state says that 58 percent of Lagunitas kindergartners do not have up-to-date vaccine records."


Yikes! I'll never do it again!

Men who post lots of selfies reveal more than they know - CBS News

"In a study conducted by Ohio State University communications professor Jesse Fox, the men who posted the most selfies to the web also showed the highest measures of psychopathy and narcissism…."


"The men's results were still within the normal range of behavior, but higher than average."


Don't forget your keys

Delta Plane Makes Emergency Landing After Pilot Locked Out of Cockpit - Yahoo

"'There was a door malfunctioned that locked the captain out so the first officer had to do an unassisted landing,' Crews said. 'We take everything very seriously. This was an unusual landing. He called the airport so that we would have ground response available.'"

Reading our Gmail, as we do every year at about this time…

…we note a couple of excellent but languishing links contributed our Midwest and Elsewhere Bureau, to wit:

Dave Barry's 2014 Year in Review
"In entertainment news, Sony Pictures announces that it has begun production of a major new film tentatively titled Kim Jong Un: God, or Deity?"
And this wonderful collection of photographs of the world's oldest trees.

Cool! Check this out!

Plane Finder – Live Flight Status Tracker

This is work avoidance at its finest.

Last ship of season, John G Munson arrived Duluth 01/20/2015

It's Friday and do you know where your wallet is?

Obama's $215 Million DNA Sequencing Project Is A Great Idea

"This morning, President Obama is going to announce the new ‘Precision Medicine Initiative’ that he teased in his State of the Union address on January 20 to a roomful of luminaries including the research heads of several major drug makers."

Also, for extra credit, raise your hand if you knew Richard Nixon had a “war on cancer.” Woohoo. 

Like, for example, just sit around all day and eat potato chips

Neighbors: We dodged the blizzard bullet and now back to daily life | The Recorder

"Hope you all had a nice snow day and got to do some of the things you typically can’t because of work and other responsibilities."

Shoot 'em down!

Stunning image captures rockets being fired at the northern lights - Yahoo News

"According to Slate, one of the experiments — the Mesospheric Inversion-layer Stratified Turbulence (MIST) — releases a compound called 'tri-methyl aluminum tracer…"

See? They’re up to no good. Or we. Whatever.

It's a start

John Kerry fined $50 for failing to shovel snow outside home - Yahoo News

"After a blizzard dumped two feet of snow on his city this week, Boston Mayor Martin Walsh vowed to crack down on anyone who left the sidewalks in front of their homes and businesses buried in snow.

"He wasn't kidding."

98 percent of me agrees

Poll shows giant gap between what public, scientists think - Yahoo News

"And 98 percent of surveyed scientists say it's a problem that we don't know what they're talking about."

Having trouble staying depressed on a Friday?

Just how depressing are this year’s Oscar shorts? | New York Post

"The shorts programs hit theaters this Friday, so we’ve sifted through them all to figure out which is the most depressing Oscar-nominated short, using The Post’s patented Depress-o-meter™."


One of the best bits of documentary filmmaking you'll ever see, and quite a story too

The Queen Of Code | FiveThirtyEight

"As a rear admiral in the U.S. Navy, Hopper worked on the first computer, the Harvard Mark 1. And she headed the team that created the first compiler, which led to the creation of COBOL, a programming language that by the year 2000 accounted for 70 percent of all actively used code. Passing away in 1992, she left behind an inimitable legacy as a brilliant programmer and pioneering woman in male-dominated fields."

Runs 15 or 16 minutes, and worth it.

Oh oh, they've learned how to twit

Now we're in real trouble.

Finally, an explanation we can all understand

Conservatives and liberals drink different beer - Salon.com

Or wait. What?

"Admit it: We’ve kind of known all along that many successful brands in the marketplace are, in their overall cultural meaning, right-wing."

I won’t bother to mention Salon is a brand—I get it, “many successful” leaves miles of wriggle room. So much, in fact, it makes this statement pretty much meaningless. But I’ll say it anyway: This is very possibly the most purely dopey thing I’ve ever heard anybody say. And that covers a whole lot of ground. 

Now back to the important news

As Super Bowl nears, MIT physics prof. analyzes DeflateGate - NY Daily News

"‘The NFL, in my opinion, could go to Columbia Law School — they have a good law school — and learn something about American ideas of fairness,’ says Pritchard. ‘Like, you don’t accuse people before you have any proof.’"

But that’s kind of boring, isn’t it? 


Watch this whale blow a rainbow

Not everybody had it as easy as we did

Dr. Jeff Masters' WunderBlog : Blizzard of 2015 Brings 2 - 3' of Snow and Questions About Forecast Accuracy | Weather Underground

"Worcester, Massachusetts: All-time record snowfall (34.5')
Boston, Massachusetts: 6th heaviest snowstorm (24.4')
Providence, Rhode Island: 4th heaviest (19.1')
Portland, Maine: 4th heaviest (19.1')
Blue Hill Observatory, SE Massachusetts: 2nd heaviest (30.8')"

In case you're looking for a cheap (albeit obscure) read

25,000 Transcribed Texts From 1473-1700 Published Online | MetaFilter:

"Bere is made of malte, of hoppes, and wa∣ter, it is a naturall drynke for a dutche man."

Whoa Oh Oh: The supercut


It really did snow along the coast

News from The Associated Press:

"BOSTON (AP) -- Trudging through knee-high snow, New Englanders began digging out from a blizzard Wednesday with grudging respect for the forecasters, who missed the mark in New York but were right on the money in the Boston area."

If you play a drinking game during the Super Bowl on Sunday…

(I don’t play drinking games myself but I’m just saying, if you do…) do not play one involving the word, “ball.” Or “cheat."

Who said it, Patriots or White House? | TheHill:

"Young notes that the answers by the Patriots about underinflated balls in Sunday's AFC championship game are very similar to those made by Obama and the White House on various controversies."

Of course if you’re a Colts fan and want to talk about cheating, you might want to stay clear of Baltimore. Oh yeah, we remember.

PS. The quiz is here.

A post-snowzilla lament

I didn't know it was loaded (and pointed at me)

Really. Notice the somewhat bewildered look. But then I figured, hey, why not.

Finally, two feet of snow discovered in New York

What happened to baked beans?

6 recipes for all the Snowmageddon food you stockpiled | New York Post

"Heeding the scout’s motto to ‘be prepared’ — and abiding by the mayor’s draconian dictum that ‘the food delivery bicycle is not an emergency vehicle’ — New Yorkers prepared to attempt cooking at home and stocked up on staples like milk, eggs, chicken and, of course, organic kale. (Brooklynites took to Twitter to bemoan empty shelves at the Gowanus Whole Foods, where bags of the cruciferous vegetable had once been stocked.)"

New Yorkers are different, as everybody knows, so maybe they can scramble eggs when the power’s out (or maybe they just all cook with gas). Baked beans don’t spoil with no refrigeration, don’t need cooking, and a couple of cans will keep you going until the stores are open again. And nobody will pester you with recipes if you happen to have a can left over.


Where is Tina Fey when we need her?

Sarah Palin's Bizarre Iowa Speech Gets Thanks -- From The Democrats:

"Shortly after declaring that she's 'seriously interested' in running for president in 2016, Sarah Palin delivered a confusing speech that was panned by many, even some on the right."
[See video]

Noted by our Midwest and Elsewhere Bureau.

And we can't tell you how relieved we are

I say it's broccoli and I say to hell with it

Seattle is now publicly shaming people for putting food in their trash bins - The Washington Post

So, droning while drunk? Will that be a thing now?

As in a zombie movie gone awry…

…people are wandering aimlessly through the streets muttering, well, that wasn’t so bad. Suffering PHSD (Post-Hype Stress Disorder). There are very few autos operating (I don’t know if the driving ban is still in force or not, but the whole state functions on Boston weather, so it might be). Except for the plow drivers, of course, merrily pursuing YA payday.

My bird hat goes unremarked, all the Patriots fans being stranded in some airport somewhere, huddling forlornly around the Dunkin Donuts counter. With luck, they will make it to Phoenix in time to catch their flights home.

Otherwise it’s just another snowy day in New England, and one better than most. The snow was dry and light, the temp is a little brisk but still comfortably above the zero mark, and I’m taking a nap.

Darwin begins to giggle

OK, here's the plan

I am going to go on a diet, starting tomorrow. Or wait—Monday. Monday would be an excellent day because, you know, Super Bowl. Also all this excellent junk food (that doesn’t require cooking) I bought purely in order to survive the Great Blizzard of aught-15. 

The worst storm of ever is over now, according to Accuweather. Some places along the Massachusetts coast got two feet but we got, I’m guessing, six inches, possibly eight. There was drifting so it’s a little hard to tell, but I still don’t think there’s more than three inches in our driveway.

Just another winter day in our pleasant valley, is all.

But hey, they're our great friends

‘We are hostages': A Saudi princess reveals her life of hell | New York Post:

"When it comes to the rights of women, Saudi Arabia has one of the worst human-rights records in the world. Women don’t have a say in raising their children. They can’t go to school, travel, open a bank account, conduct any kind of business or get medical treatment — especially gynecological surgery — without male permission.
"In public, everything except the eyes and the hands must be covered, and the slightest infraction can result in a death sentence."

Obama Visits New Saudi King to Bolster Ties Amid Turmoil - Businessweek

Why not? Everybody else is

Violinist sues after he’s arrested playing naked outside court | New York Post:

"PORTLAND, Ore. — A Hillsboro, Oregon, man arrested after playing a violin while naked outside the federal courthouse in Portland last year is suing police."

Careful with the scare quotes there

Russians charged with plotting to recruit NYC co-eds as spies | New York Post:

"In addition to hearing Sporyshev talk about targeting Big Apple ‘girls,’ agents listened to fellow SVR agent Victor Podobny, 27, lament that his work wasn’t nearly as glamorous as he thought it would be — and didn’t even involve assuming a new identity."

And then there's Maine

Closings, cancellations and delays — Bangor Daily News — BDN Maine:


Winter Storm Juno Hammering New England - weather.com:

"Over 7,000 U.S. flights scheduled for Monday through Wednesday have been canceled, according to FlightAware. Any flights not canceled will likely be severely delayed; airport closures possible through Tuesday."

In the Big Apple, "Snor'easter"

Snor’easter: Blizzard spares New York City - NY Daily News:

"While Long Island and parts of New England felt the fury of the massive snowstorm, the National Weather Service lifted the blizzard warning for the city and said just 6.3 inches of snow had fallen in the Manhattan's Central Park by early Tuesday. A Long Island teen died in a tubing accident, the first storm-related death reported."

OMG! Who cares about snow?

Facebook, Instagram, Tinder suffer service outages - NY Daily News

Party delay

Phoenix is Ready For Its Super Bowl Closeup...Whenever New England Fans Can Get Here 

In other sporting news, Patriots owner Robert Kraft, according to the NY Daily News, "issued a defiant statement defending his organization in the DeflateGate controversy and demanding an apology from the NFL should Ted Wells’ investigation find the Pats with clean hands.” No kidding. 

After our own extensive investigation, we are prepared to predict the outcome of the NFL’s deliberation: [VIDEO]

No snowpocalypse (so far)

I just shoveled four, maybe five inches of good, crunchy snow off our sidwalks; there’s maybe two in the driveway and the tops of the cars are blown bare. It was windy last night and more drifting than normal (like, nothing if you’ve ever been in southern Illinois). We’re on the western edge of it; the storm’s still there.

It’s snowing here now. The Weather Service says we can expect another six inches, almost all of it this morning. Weather Underground, which has had by far the most accurate predictions to date, says one to three. We’ll see.

Meanwhile, along the coast they saw well over a foot of snow overnight, in some places, with more still to come. There’s a statewide traffic ban. Nothing’s going in or out of Logan (I don’t know if it’s officially shut down but the Globe reported all flights for today canceled by 8:00 last night). The Harpoon brewery in Boston closed for the storm, and postal service has been suspended (so much for intrepid). Amtrak service is, of course, also canceled. No train today, so it won’t matter that you can’t buy tickets.


It's not snowing here yet…

…but the forecast just keeps getting deeper and deeper—up to 22 inches now (NWS) by the end of tomorrow. The good news is wind projections that top out just above 20 mph, way lower than what's expected along the coast.

Actually, that's more like THE POINT OF THE FREAKING GAME

Undernews: Deflategate update:

"But in the meantime, outside analysts have been looking into other aspects of the Patriots' game — and some of what they've found seems fairly suspicious. Like the fact that the Patriots seem to fumble balls at shockingly low rates."

Next, they’ll be cheating if they win. (How can that be fair?)

Meanwhile, your humble blogger has been accessorized.

IMG 1820

Not us, that's for sure

New York Sun, March 13, 1888.

(H/T Greenfield, MA, public library.)

This can't be good

It hasn't even started snowing yet and already…

…the electric company is sweating.

A little later: That, above, was from an email. And now a robocall. Same message: We will rescue you as fast as we can.

I just heard the nearest grocery store is full of people stocking up like they expect to spend the rest of the winter snowbound. But really, aside from the possibility of high winds, the storm being forecast looks no worse than a half dozen other storms just in the years since I’ve been here. And in fact the worse storms from a power failure point of view have been much milder than what’s expected now. (The most destructive storms are in the late autumn, when the snow is wet and heavy and there are still leaves on the trees. It’s falling tree limbs that do most of the damage.)

So the good forecasting—in itself, a very useful thing—tends to get sensationalized, and panic results.

Not that we're being pessimistic or anything

This really should be billed as a reality show

Four reasons so many Republicans are running in 2016 | PBS NewsHour

"There is already a veritable caravan of Republicans saying they’re ‘interested’ or ‘actively exploring’ a presidential bid. By our count, there are at least 17 right now in the mix (in alphabetical order): John Bolton, Jeb Bush, Ben Carson, Chris Christie, Cruz, Carly Fiorina, Mike Huckabee, John Kasich, George Pataki, Paul, Sarah Palin, Rick Perry, Mitt Romney, Rubio, Rick Santorum, Donald Trump, and Scott Walker."

Let’s put ‘em all on an island somewhere, and see what happens.

Well, that settles that: Time to move on

ANTLE: Tom Brady And The Liberal War On Success | The Daily Caller

"The same politics of envy that liberals exploit to make some people crave tax increases on the wealthy has turned you against the winningest quarterback of our time, a hero to the blue-collar and culturally conservative parts of the Bay State, a true Patriot."

You can't go home again

Transit could close as blizzard set to blanket New York - NY Daily News

"Roughly 1,700 flights have been canceled Monday – most flying in and out of Newark, JFK and LaGuardia – and another 1,500 have already been scratched for Tuesday, according to FlightAware.com."


Save the latex!

Balloons Replace Doves as the Vatican Symbol of Peace | TIME:

"The change follows an incident last year when doves released together by children and Pope Francis were attacked by two other birds, a crow and a seagull, the Associated Press reports."

The house was just sitting there, being a house and dreaming of a nice, new, colorful coat of paint, when all of a sudden…

Chief Of Staff Distances White House From Anonymous Official Who Said Netanyahu 'Spat In Our Face'

Damn that IRS

94-year-old vet can't file tax return because IRS says he's dead | Fox News

Wait. They won’t let him pay? 

Some brownies are more magical then others

What? No turn signal?

Police chase ends in parking lot of Toledo prison - Toledo Blade

"Jason Davis, 33, of Monroe, is charged in Toledo Municipal Court with two counts of vandalism of government property, failure to comply, possession of drugs, resisting arrest, obstructing official business, drug paraphernalia, failure to stop at a stop sign, and not using a turn signal."

And don't forget ice cream

Will Vermont become the East Coast hub of marijuana tourism?

"Led by Gov. Peter Shumlin, state lawmakers are exploring legalizing a drug that has been as much a part of local culture as tie-dyes, psychedelic music and hippie farmers."

You say this like it's a bad thing

GOP clown car runs into ditch - Roger Simon - POLITICO

"With nearly two dozen possible presidential candidates, the GOP is having a seriousness deficit."

Tell us, please

Boston, you’re my less insecure home… - The Washington Post

"Huh? How on Earth does Los Angeles lose the Olympic bid to Boston? How does the only American city to host both an Olympics (twice) and a World Cup final lose a chance to bid on the planet’s biggest sports competition to a parochial burg that’s never even hosted a Super Bowl or Final Four?"

Our nomination for Headline of the Week

Women compete for New York City’s top bottom | New York Post

Brady forever

Smoking Gun

Wait, so HE deflated the balls? (Or SHE?)

With Super Bowl XLIX coming up, about 25% of Americans think God decides sporting events: new survey 

But not flying very fast, it seems

F-35 Flyover Planned for Pro Bowl

"For the service, it could be a chance to show that their oft-criticized jet is actually flying as it inches closer to going operational."

Go Bears

But the VA just wouldn't admit it

Researchers: PTSD has been effecting troops since 1300 B.C. - NY Daily News

"A team from Anglia Ruskin University made the discovery after analyzing accounts of battle from soldiers fighting in ancient Iraq or Mesopotamia."

But here’s something I don’t understand. From the same story:

"Previously [PTSD] had been dismissed, such as after World War One, when returning soldiers were treated for shell shock."

How is treating something by another name dismissing it? (And during WWII, IIRC, PTSD was called “combat fatigue.”)