Banks prohibited from committing crimes for three years

Banks as Felons, or Criminality Lite - NYTimes.com

"The banks will also be placed on ‘corporate probation’ for three years, which will be overseen by the court and require regular reporting to the authorities as well as the cessation of all criminal activity."

That’ll teach ‘em.

Why is it these corporate penalties are always called "settlements," not "sentences," we wonder

G.M. Inquiry Said to Find Criminal Wrongdoing - NYTimes.com

"A settlement could be reached as soon as this summer.…

"G.M.’s eagerness to resolve the investigation — a strategy that sets it apart from Toyota, which fought prosecutors — is expected to earn it so-called cooperation credit, one of the people said. That credit could translate into a somewhat smaller penalty than if G.M. had declined to cooperate."



If this is not the most depressing page on the internet, I don't want to know what is

Chicago Weekend Shooting Tracker for Memorial Day weekend | Chicago

OK, let's forget about Libya for a minute here

Boston Herald | Boston Herald

"HAMPTON, N.H. -- Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton said she’s happy the State Department is ‘finally’ releasing her private emails during a political stop at the Smuttynose Brewery…"

The un-STEM

Robert De Niro to NYU grads: ‘You’re f—ked’ | Page Six

"‘The school of medicine graduates, each will get a job,’ he said. Law school grads will too, he said, adding that if they don’t, ‘Who cares? They’re lawyers!’

"But Tisch alums, he said, will be following a different path.

"‘A new door is opening for you. A door to a lifetime of rejection,’ he said. ‘It’s inevitable. It’s what graduates call the real world. … How do you cope with it? I hear that Valium and Vicodin work.’"


We're taking a day off

Oh, you noticed?

Well, maybe mostly a day off. It's a beautiful, sunny, start-of-the-weekend day here. We're going outside. The rest, we'll let you know.


I'm walking through this big store…

…and all of a sudden I come across a big rack of magazines. Who knew there still were magazines. I mean, magazines like Time and Newsweek and Motor Trend. All printed on paper. 



No! There is nothing we can't worry about! Nothing!

Hot Female Robot Photos - Sexy Robots in Movies

Hot Lady Robots Are a Serious Trend (But Should They Be?)

"Yes, filmmakers want their fembots to have strength, vitality, and heroism. They just also want them to wear skimpy outfits."

OK, this does look bad…

Cops confiscate 1,000 weapons in wake of Texas biker shootout | New York Post

"‘We found weapons hidden under bags of flour, in bags of chips, we found a handgun stuffed inside the toilet,’ Swanton said outside the eatery."

…but in more hopeful news…

Waco biker gang shooting fails to deter push to expand 'open carry' gun laws | US news | The Guardian

"One bill, HB910, passed the Texas house and was debated on Monday in a state senate committee. It would allow people to carry handguns and pistols in the open and would bar police from asking whether the person carrying the gun is licensed."


Same old thing

Elizabeth Warren slams bank punishment: 'It stinks' - Adam B. Lerner - POLITICO

"‘The big banks have been caught red-handed conspiring to manipulate financial markets, and several have even admitted in court that they’re felons – but not a single trader is being held individually accountable, and regulators are stumbling over themselves to exempt the banks from the legally required consequences of their criminal behavior,’ Warren said. ‘That’s not accountability for Wall Street.’"

Buckeyes are nuts

Ohio man goes on drunken rampage at Disney resort: cops - NY Daily News

Come on, guys, can't we make this a little more complicated?

Extra point tries moved to the 15-yard line | ProFootballTalk

"Extra points will be attempted from the 15-yard-line beginning in 2015, the NFL announced Tuesday at its spring meeting in San Francisco.…

"Two-point conversions will continue to be snapped from the two-yard-line. However, defenses can now return fumbled or intercepted two-point tries for two points of their own. Blocked extra points can also be returned for two points."

I don't want to know this stuff

Study: Snakes' Ancestors Had Hind Legs - The Daily Beast

"A study published Tuesday suggests more than 3,400 snake species may have originated from the same ancestor, which had hind legs and sharp, hooked teeth to eat large prey."

Really. Just go away.

Some guy discovers Linux! Imagine that!

The Pleasure of Do-It-Yourself Slow Computing | The New Republic

“A couple of winters ago, after a decade of MacBooks, I put myself at the mercy of this supposition. I bought a newly obsolete laptop PC, a MacBook Air knockoff. I cleared the hard drive, replacing the obligatory Windows with Ubuntu, a free-and-open operating system managed by a U.K.-based company and a large network of volunteers."

But why not go all the way with BSD

And this week's Darwin Award goes to…

73-year-old BASE jumper dies after setting parachute on fire - Yahoo News

"TWIN FALLS, Idaho (AP) — Authorities say a 73-year-old BASE jumper who died after leaping from an Idaho bridge had set his parachute on fire as part of a stunt."

Not just hot air

Wind turbines are huge, but they’re about to get way, way bigger - The Washington Post

"In the United States, the boom in wind energy has been dramatic. Last year wind generation grew more than all other sources of energy in the United States — and supplied almost five percent of total demand for electricity. And no wonder, as the cost of wind technology has plummeted 58 percent over the last five years, according to the American Wind Energy Association."

[Charlie from Wisconsin sends along this link to a video that shows how wind farms are built.]

Looks like an invasion

It’s a windy morning and those helicoptery maple seeds are flying down in battalion-level numbers.

Oh well, forget it then

Railroads Around the Globe Find No Cheap Route to Safety - NYTimes.com

"In the aftermath of the wreck, even though House Speaker John A. Boehner dismissed a question about railway funding as ‘stupid,’ analysts say that if there’s one lesson from abroad for preventing accidents like last week’s, which killed eight and injured more than 200, it is this: You get what you pay for."

Like, do rubber duckies count?

Poll Finds 1 in 25 US Citizens Unsure If They Own Art

"The results of the YouGov poll of 1,000 US citizens, conducted on May 14 and 15 and delivered under the misleadingly cheerful headline 'Most agree art is an important part of life,' show that while a slim majority of respondents thinks art is important, only 34% would pay an extra five dollars in taxes every year to make art and culture 'more accessible to the wider public,' and the word most frequently chosen by respondents to describe art (47%) was 'expensive.' Distant seconds, at 26% each, were 'popular' and 'worthwhile.’"

Just can't leave it alone, can you?

Congress wants to cut President Clinton’s pension, federal allowance - The Washington Post

"Now we have to wonder how many former senators turned seven-figure income-earning lobbyists would be willing to scale back their pensions…"


We really didn't need to know this

It’s nearly Memorial Day, it snowed in Wisconsin and there’s ice on Lake Superior - The Washington Post

"In the extreme northern tier of the U.S., winter refuses to completely go away.

"It snowed in parts of northern Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan today and a sliver of ice covers a part of the Great Lakes."

How many Sidneys must we endure?

Hillary Clinton downplays Sidney Blumenthal's influence - Adam B. Lerner - POLITICO

"Blumenthal had been barred from working in Clinton’s State Department because of his role in pushing negative stories about Obama during the 2008 presidential campaign, but continued his personal and professional relationship with the Clintons, which eventually consisted of sending intelligence reports about Libya which Clinton then forwarded on.

"Outside of his work for Constellations Group, he was employed by the Clinton Foundation and consulted for Media Matters and American Bridge, two organizations supporting Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential bid."

Another question for Jeb

Allen West's Blog Ties Obama's Police Equipment Order To Texas Takeover

"Obama announced Monday that the federal government will no longer provide armored or weaponized vehicles, grenade launchers, or firearms and ammunition of .50-caliber or higher; the transfer of certain other military-style equipment to local law enforcement will also be limited. "

Knowing what we know now, would you have allowed Texas to become a state?

Times calls "inaccurate"

Hillary had second secret email address | New York Post

"Clinton’s office insisted just two months ago that the only private email address used by the former secretary of state during her tenure was hdr22@clintonemail.com.

"In a 2015 letter to Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC), Clinton’s lawyer acknowledged that the HRod17 email address existed, but stated explicitly that it was ‘not an address that existed during Secretary Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state.’"

Oh Sidney, you again.

There'll always be an England

Redhead banned from school in England for being too ginger - NY Daily News

"Emily Reay, 17, of Cumbria, was scolded by teachers who told her she couldn't come back to the Trinity School in Carlisle until she gets rid of her natural bright auburn locks or 'tones it down considerably,' according to reports."

And have his own reality show?

Dalai Lama mulls next reincarnation — as a blonde - NY Daily News

"The Dalai Lama has claimed he may be reincarnated as a 'mischievous blond woman.'"

Just assume (biking and walking, too)

Some People Do More Than Text While Driving - NYTimes.com

"Phones are getting smarter, drivers seemingly less so.

"A survey released this morning shows that many motorists have expanded their behind-the-wheel activities beyond texting to include using Facebook, Snapchat and Twitter, taking selfies and even shooting videos."


Why do I keep having these weird flashbacks?

Forget What We Know Now: We Knew Then the Iraq War Was a Joke | Rolling Stone

“Jeb's answer was characteristically Bushian: yes, no, and maybe. Bush III somehow hadn't prepared for the one question he was most absolutely certain to face the moment he decided take a step in the direction of the White House.

"It was a little bit like invading a country and having no plan at all for what you do after you seize the capital. In other words, the kind of thing that should disqualify a person not just from the presidency, but maybe also from having a driver's license. George W. specialized in these jaw-dropping oversights, and it seems his brother might have a similar talent."

All the people in the world

If the world’s population lived like… — Per Square Mile

"If we all lived like New Yorkers, for example, 7 billion people could fit into Texas."

Why can't they just speak English like the rest of us?

Who, What, Why: Why are US train drivers called engineers? - BBC News

"The Oxford English Dictionary cites this use in the UK in 1816 from the Asiatic Journal: 'A locomotive engine was exploded at Newcastle, and several people lost their lives, from the folly of the man (calling himself an engineer), locking down the safety-valve, that his machine might go off in style!'"

My favorite big-city post office…

I Love the Post Office - NYTimes.com

“…this is a paean to the big-city post office, those grimy, chaotic, good-will-draining temples of American bureaucratic dysfunction, where hopes and packages are mangled, and lunch hours are not to be trifled with, and where you can still experience a city in all its magnificent, unfriendly, unruly mess."

…is the one on 14th Street in Manhattan, where the signs above the three big, brass mail drops in the lobby read (or. in the early 1960s, read) Manhattan, Bronx, and Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, Out of Town, and Foreign.

But my favorite post office anywhere, at least so far, is in Stevensville, Michigan. I was standing in line there late one summer morning behind three young women who were discussing the lunch order they’d been charged with picking up on their way back to the office. As they got to the front of the line, one of the women said, “Mary asked for ham on rye, but I don’t remember if she said mustard or mayo."

“Mary wants mustard,” said the postal clerk behind the counter.

“Oh. OK."

Where else can you get service like that?

And don't forget how much they like to make those good biscuits

Gavin McInnes, Fox News Guest, Says Women Are 'Less Ambitious' And 'Happier At Home'

[Noted by our Midwest and Elsewhere bureau.]


And cracking down on that pesky teachers union is gonna scare the pants off Putin

Marco Rubio Struggles With Question on Iraq War - First Draft. Political News, Now. - NYTimes.com

"Mr. [Scott] Walker [of Wisconsin], who is boning up on national security issues to address some Republican concerns about his preparedness for the presidency, was also asked on CBS about his past comments that the most important foreign policy decision of his lifetime was Ronald Reagan’s decision to fire air traffic controllers because it sent a message to the Soviet Union about his toughness. Mr. Walker, who returned from Israel on Thursday after a trip to meet leaders there and learn more about the Middle East, chose not to change or calibrate his Reagan answer; instead he said that the firing of the controllers was ‘peace through strength personified.’"

Look, I know the phrase. “Mr. Walker, who is boning up on national security issues,” is scary enough, but calling the air traffic controller firings “peace through strength personified” is dopiness, well, personified.

Just when we thought Mario was as bad as it could get and it was safe to forget Ronnie.

[It was our Midwest and Elsewhere bureau that got us started on this rant.]

You can always tell where the English majors hang out

America's first great / Fake is the new real

See “Novelist” and “Poet."

Come on guys, let’s make up our minds.

Well, yeah, that

The great irony in NFL punishing Tom Brady’s ‘cheating’ | New York Post

"Tom Brady? The Super Bowl champion Patriots? Cheaters? For crying out loud, it’s the NFL — even the national anthem is rigged! …

"‘Commissioner Goodell, the ad men from Depends called. How much to sponsor the two-minute warning?’"

What's with all this, anyway

How to Fall Asleep - NYTimes.com

"Winter tells athletes to make their bedrooms so lightproof that they have ‘trouble finding the doorknob’ in the middle of the day. (Eye masks can help create darkness on planes or in hotel rooms.)"

There was a time I could sleep perfectly well while marching, and certainly while sitting straight in a pew. Otherwise, my sleep technique has been as follows: When I'm tired, I close my eyes—preferably, but not necessarily, after lying down. 

So it’s kind of overwhelming to be told that now, I need an app. Not to mention a wristband or, perhaps, electrodes on my toes. It’s complicated. 

I’d hate to know how much time I’ve spent, over the years, doing it wrong.

Our fine dining critic weighs in

That chicken club sandwich—you know the one I mean—once you’ve gotten all the sauce squished out onto your face and hands and dripping down the front of your shirt, is not half bad. Only about, maybe, twenty percent. We are likely to order it again as we grow older and our memory continues to fade.

Another war

One killed, 36 wounded in Chicago weekend shootings | Chicago

Here's some thing we have to watch out for, all right

Map: The most distinct cause of death in every state - The Washington Post

"Massachusetts: Other and unspecified events of undetermined intent and their sequelae. (3077 deaths)"

No kidding.

(This is an interesting article in the sense that, although it has absolutely no discernible meaning, it’s cool. It’s also short, which is a good thing because you pretty much have to read it all to figure out what it doesn’t mean.)

Or just plain dumb

Men Don’t Follow Gluten-Free Diets, Even When Medically Prescribed

"For these guys, ordering a burger without the bun can be emasculating."

Is a burger with no bun a burger even?