Maybe I'll stay on the East Coast after all

Scientists determine the nation’s safest places to ride out a zombie apocalypse - The Washington Post

"The model has several levers to dictate how quickly the outbreak moves. One is the ‘bite-to-kill’ ratio, which measures how often a person would kill a zombie vs. how often a zombie would infect a human. Also, population centers are fixed — meaning if you live in Chicago when an outbreak strikes, you can’t escape."

So all day then?

Why You Should Stop Eating Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner | Mother Jones

"Don't eat when it's time for a meal; eat when you feel hungry. "

This is the last time—really, the last time…

…I’m going to say anything about this whole email thing.

Obama Cabinet: We Don’t Use Only Personal Email | TIME

"Ten sitting Cabinet members in the Obama administration say that they do not exclusively use a personal email account for official business, as former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton did."

Except, well, it’s gone beyond humorous when people running the country—up to and including the Secretary of State and the head of the CIA—don’t seem to have a clue about how their email works. It’s hilariously un freaking funny. Throw the rascals out.

When the inmates run the asylum

Hillary’s Secret Email Was a Cyberspy’s Dream Weapon - The Daily Beast

"Right from the start would have been in the days before her Senate confirmation in 2009, when the private email account was set up. If Clinton didn’t realize then that she was a security risk then, the Chinese hackers trying to break into her office should have tipped her off."

Sure, setting up a private email account is easy. You could do it yourself on your very own personal computer with some basic knowledge about how IP numbers work; you very well might already have the software, and if you don’t it’s easily available, free. I’ve done it myself, just to see how it works.

But. Running even a personal-grade email server safely and securely is a difficult, highly technical job and requires the continuous attention of at least one person, more or less 24/7. And even then, you won’t come close to what commercial-grade (or .gov) services can provide, even to people like thee and me.

But for the Secretary of State?

A public service reminder

Today is the last day of Daylight Wasting Time, so let’s get going.

Tomorrow we’ll get organized (and spring up).

Senator claims to be honest and law-abiding

Boston Herald

"The New Jersey Democrat has been dogged by questions about his relationship with a Florida doctor and political donor, whose office was raided by authorities two years ago. Now charges are expected to be filed against Menendez in the coming weeks, according to the person who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the investigation is pending."

Buckeyes are nuts

Man arrested after calling 911 to say wife stole his cocaine | New York Post

"ALLIANCE, Ohio — Police say a northeast Ohio man called 911…"

A giggle to start the day

ACLU: Government can't force Redskins name change - Kendall Breitman - POLITICO

"In a blog post published Friday titled, ‘You’re Not Wrong, You’re Just an A**hole,’ the ACLU defends its decision to file an amicus brief to a district court siding with the Redskins."


Sorry, Rude, we disagree

The Rude Pundit: The Hillary Industrial Complex Gets Back to Work

"This Hillary Clinton email story is not a story. Like every other supposed scandal involving the Clintons, it exists solely in the fevered minds of those who cannot stand them who desperately try to get us to think it's more than it is. Yet here we are, like it's the late 1990s all over again, except with better graphics."

No physics in this, at all

This Congressman Doesn't Want a Federal Science Board to Be Allowed to Consider Science | Mother Jones

"Here's the amendment.…
"When considering what to do about carbon pollution, EPA may not consider what America's best scientists have concluded about it, what an international panel of scientists has concluded about it, how the federal government has officially recommended calculating its value, or the most comprehensive solutions for it. Oh, and it can't consider Agenda 21 either."

Now we're just waiting for it to melt

No snow arrived here from yesterday's big East Coast storm. It's cold today, but the sun is warm. We still have a good 2 feet of snow on the ground. But it can't last forever.

Spring is trending.

We agree

Petraeus Is A Symbol of the US Government's Double... - Matthew Aid

"Other targets of the administration’s war on leaks, including some who might reasonably be considered whistle-blowers for bringing to light government abuses, aren’t likely to be given a similar fresh start, even after regaining their freedom. That may be the way of the world, but it’s not justice."


And they thought they knew

U.S. millennials post ‘abysmal’ scores in tech skills test, lag behind foreign peers - The Washington Post

"In math, Americans ranked last.

"In technical problem-saving, they were second from the bottom."

Wait, even with all those TED talks?

"But surely America’s brightest were on top?

"Nope. U.S. millennials with master’s degrees and doctorates did better than their peers in only three countries, Ireland, Poland and Spain. Those in Finland, Sweden and Japan seemed to be on a different planet."


Denmark is not a town in Oklahoma

Everybody's got a special talent

Sydney Leathers says she's sexting another Democratic legislator | Fox News

"'Apparently only politicians can pick up on my pheromones.’"

Not a very good start

CSI: Cyber: We Watched So You Didn't Have To | Threatpost | The first stop for security news

"The show opens with a blandly attractive couple asleep in bed, she holding a book, as if people still read those things."

Let's all take a deep breath here

Can Diablo Cody make a live-action “Barbie” movie cool? Maybe if Taylor Swift stars - Salon.com

"Diablo Cody is set to write the next draft of a live-action version of ‘Barbie,’ which sounds so positively ludicrous I am gleeful just typing the words."

The Warming

Sounds like a Stephen King title, doesn't it? And sort of looks the part.


BBC - Future - Why everyone may have a personal air vehicle

" It’s basically the intersection of a drone with a robotic car, so that your plane is also your car, but the big leap in technology is that you are actually driving neither, says the Associate Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology."

One of my very earliest techie memories is of reading about flying cars in Popular Mechanics magazine (and elsewhere) in the nineteen freakin’ forties. So it’s nice to see they’re still just around the corner.

(Another theme of the 40’s and 50’s was cars that turn into boats. I actually saw one of those once, in the St. Joseph river in Michigan. It looked like a Studebaker driving through an especially nasty puddle. But there it was.)

Everybody's having email trouble these days

Harvard Investigating Widely Circulated, Vicious Reply-All Email Smackdown | BDCwire

"You would think given the school’s prestige, the gentlemen of Harvard University would settle their disputes via a round of Socratic dialogue, or perhaps a quick rowing session with the six-man crew team of their choice.


Is this the new route to fame and fortune?

‘Cute Mug Shot Girl’ arrested AGAIN in North Carolina - NY Daily News

"The bad girl’s outlaw attitude and model looks earned her an instant following as ‘Cute Mug Shot Girl’ from lovestruck web lurkers offering to bail her out."

Kardashians are so yesterday.

Have fun, y'all

'Winter's last hurrah': Snowstorm could be season's last - NY Daily News

It looks like we are going to be on the north edge of this one. So, while it's going to be chilly here (well below 30°) for the next couple of days, there's not much snow expected.

Meanwhile, it got warm enough yesterday to drop some massive icicles off the roof. But there are still plenty of big ones up there so be careful where you walk.

Before we hook up all the toasters and microwaves to the internet…

…we probably should figure out how to fix what’s already there.

US air traffic control computer system vulnerable to terrorist hackers | Ars Technica

Thanks, Hil, for bringing us another round of Benghazi

House committee subpoenas Clinton emails in Benghazi probe | New York Post

I’m thinking the default behavior from now on will be issuing subpoenas for Clinton’s email. It’ll be worse than all the yammering about Obama’s birth certificate because, while Obama can actually produce a birth certificate, Clinton will never be able to prove any email you might imagine doesn’t exist. You can’t prove a negative, Bunky; Clinton has become one.

If the winter is long enough, anything can happen

Bank of Canada urges ‘Star Trek’ fans to stop ‘Spocking’ their fivers | Dangerous Minds

"Bank of Canada is pleading with Star Trek fans to stop ‘Spocking’ its five dollar bills. "

And, speaking of long winters…

Freezing winter drives New Yorkers into therapy | New York Post

"‘They are just down, feeling lethargic. It’s hard for them to get motivated. They’re more disappointed by things, and it’s hard to get out of the house."

Don't all raise your hands at once

Worst job posting ever? - Salon.com

"Looking for a job in publishing? Do you want to get paid? No? Great! There are openings you might be interested in at Dalkey Archive Press."


Here's an interesting defense of Hillary's private email solution

It’s no worse than what Jeb Bush, Scott Walker, Mitt Romney, Chris Christie, John Kasich, or Mike Huckabee did.

No kidding.

No, I didn't

Coffee may not be bad for you but jury’s still out about whether it’s good for you - The Washington Post

"Conventional wisdom on coffee has flip-flopped. Once considered an indulgence with potentially harmful health effects, coffee is now being talked about as a magical elixir that could potentially save your life.

"'Could this be true?' you've probably wondered."

More like a punt

Full Court Press: Defense’s priority is saving Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s life | Boston Herald

"The next two or three months of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s trial are supposed to be about whether he is guilty of murdering four people and maiming dozens of others in a massive terrorist attack.

"But that is not really being contested. And what defense attorneys and prosecutors actually will be doing is fighting the penalty phase ahead of time…

"‘The government has known forever that this case is all about sentencing,’ Bruck said. ‘That’s really what we’re all here about.’"

Could this be the last one?

Maybe. Daylight Saving Time starts Sunday. It wouldn't dare snow more after that, would it?

People who don't believe in government shouldn't be allowed to run it (and that goes for Dems too)

Clinton ran homebrew computer system for official emails

"The highly unusual practice of a Cabinet-level official physically running her own email would have given Clinton, the presumptive Democratic presidential candidate, impressive control over limiting access to her message archives. It also would distinguish Clinton's secretive email practices as far more sophisticated than some politicians, including Mitt Romney and Sarah Palin, who were caught conducting official business using free email services operated by Microsoft Corp. and Yahoo Inc.…

"It was unclear whom Clinton hired to set up or maintain her private email server, which the AP traced to a mysterious identity, Eric Hoteham.…

"The Hoteham personality also is associated with a separate email server, presidentclinton.com, and a non-functioning website, wjcoffice.com, all linked to the same residential Internet account as Mrs. Clinton's email server. The former president's full name is William Jefferson Clinton."


What you're missing

Our thanks go out…

Love coffee? Your heart may, too - CBS News

“Drinking three to five cups of coffee a day may reduce the risk of developing clogged arteries, which in turn might reduce the risk for heart attack, a new study suggests."

…to the Coffee Council or whatever other public-spirited organization funded this excellent research. 

Bottoms up.

Borowitz on Wisconsin's Scott Walker

Republican Voters Responding to Walker’s Opposition to Knowledge - The New Yorker
"‘The American people are sick and tired of a President who knows things,’ he said. ‘They’re ready for Scott.’"
And thanks, Charlie.

There was, of course, an American political party back in the 19th Century called the Know-Nothings.

Know Nothing - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"The origin of the 'Know Nothing' term was in the semi-secret organization of the party. When a member was asked about its activities, he was supposed to reply, 'I know nothing.' Outsiders called them 'Know-Nothings', and the name stuck. In 1855, the Know-Nothings first entered politics under the American Party label."
Millard Fillmore was one, and we know what a memorable president he turned out to be.

They do, however, look like they might have fit right in.

Let's hear it for grumpy old men

At Social Media Week New York, jibber-jabber and gibberish

"The conference seemed to operate under the notion that a million buzzwords aren’t cool; you know what’s cool? A billion buzzwords. A jibber-jabber jamboree of buzzwords 2.0. Speakers made patently obvious statements (‘relevance matters’). Many spoke of their ‘community’ of users as if it were a portmanteau for commercial immunity. The word ‘connection’ was tossed around the way people use it at airports. A Wall Street Journal reporter moderating a panel described children as ‘brand legitimizers.’ Adam Brown, executive strategist for Salesforce, described the mission of social media as ‘purposeful edutainment.’ Tumblr’s Hasemen blankly implored listeners: ‘Make amazing things! Please, all of you!’"

We are shocked

Body-camera maker has financial ties to police chiefs | Boston Herald

"A review of records and interviews by The Associated Press show Taser is covering airfare and hotel stays for police chiefs who speak at promotional conferences. It is also hiring recently retired chiefs as consultants, sometimes just months after their cities signed contracts with Taser."

Yes, shocked.

Do we really want to open this?

This is big

Hillary Clinton's Contempt for Transparency - The Atlantic

"And they suggests [sic] that many in the Obama Administration, where her behavior was widely known to be verboten, did nothing upon getting official business emailed to them from Clinton's personal account. She was allowed to break the rules for years, much as Karl Rove was permitted to do so by his bosses in the Bush Administration."

Clinton is by no means the first to use private email in circumventing federal records laws but should be the last. I would have happily voted for her last time she ran, but she’s outstayed her welcome around here.

Yup, sounds like Wisconsin all right

Bikini-clad snowmobiler tops 135 mph on Wisc. track - NY Daily News

"Nearly naked Katie Kopplin was clocked at an astonishing 135.3 mph on the Lakeside Bar & Grill's ice course near Athelstane on Jan. 24, Madison.com reported."

It was last week and we missed it; shame on us

Improbable Research » Blog Archive

"Ig Nobel Prize winner Dan Meyer is the originator and prime mover behind International Sword Swallowers Day, which is today, which means that most of the world’s approximately 55 (somewhat) organized, professional sword swallowers are or will be swallowing swords in public, which is something they would do pretty much every day if they had their druthers."

And the winners are…

The Grate Pretenders | Consumer Information

"Here are the top ten imposter scams you told us about last year."



Gold Rush: Armed Robbers Steal $4M in Gold From Truck - ABC News

"Three armed suspects are on the run…"

Hold it. How can you run with $4M in gold (and silver)? It’s pretty heavy, isn’t it? And yeah, I see where it says “van,” but still. They don’t say “on the drive,” do they? No. They say “on the run.” I’m just worried “run” is not the right verb.

Who knew McKinley created Mt. Rainier?

Dude, that's way more impressive than Obamacare.

Not broccoli, at least

OK, a little setback here

But it's almost over! Except for tonight, of course. And tomorrow. And next Monday. And maybe a couple of times in June and July.

In Boston—all-time snowiest (since 1872)

99.4 inches of snow fell (so far—it’s not all over yet) and mean temp was about 4 degrees lower than average. 

NWSChat - NOAA's National Weather Service


Presumably before Blue Cross

More than 200 skeletons found under Paris supermarket - NY Daily News

"The site where the modern-day supermarket is situated was formerly a hospital."

Also the coolest snow shovels. Ever.

February all-time coldest month in Bangor history — Bangor Daily News

Why do I keep thinking this spells p-a-r-t-y?

Border surge harming crime fighting in other parts of Texas, internal report finds - Houston Chronicle

"The report also said that millions spent to bring state police officers and guardsmen to the border and give them time to develop relationships with local law enforcement helped push the cost of Operation Strong Safety II beyond $100 million."

I know. Shame on me, right?

Where the Sunshilne State don't shine

Florida Shooter: I Shot A Pregnant Woman. Don't Jail Me. - The Daily Beast

"In a letter denying Bryan’s case, King wrote that in Florida, an accidental discharge of a firearm that kills someone—even if it is the result of gross negligence—cannot be prosecuted."

Musical accompaniment

Makes sense to me

Why you should stop giving your kid a bath every night - The Washington Post

"wash your kid if he stinks or is visibly dirty"

(Or, as my grandmother would say, you’ve got to eat a peck of dirt before you die. You can look up “peck” for yourself.)

But not Mexico (they say)

New York towns consider seceding to Pennsylvania | New York Post

"Local officials stung by a recent decision to ban natural gas fracking have raised the idea of redrawing the Keystone State’s border. Even though they don’t expect it to happen, members of the Upstate New York Towns Association hope the specter of secession will result in something — anything — good for a struggling part of the state peering enviously over the state line."