In the first twenty-two hours, nineteen

Sun-Times Chicago Weekend Shooting Tracker

I'm just saying here…

…if they really think they have to put those bomb-proof seals on pill bottles, the least the could do is make some even bigger bombs so we can get the freaking things open.

The question we really need to get to the bottom of here is…

The feds now paint a different Denny Hastert. One who was allegedly breaking banking laws to secretly pay off an “Individual A” to the tune of $3.5 million for “past misconduct.”

Carol Marin in the Chicago Sun-Times

…how did Hastert, who, according to the Washington Post, entered congress in 1987 with no more than $270,000 net worth even get $3.5 million to pay out in hush money?

That congressin' must be pretty good work.

And who speaks for the alphaphobics?

Wesleyan officially endorses campus residences such as “Women of Color House,” “Light House” for Christian students and “Open House” for “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Transsexual, Queer, Questioning, Flexural, Asexual, Genderfuck, Polyamorous, Bondage/Discipline, Dominance/Submission, Sadism/Masochism (LGBTTQQFAGPBDSM) communities.”

Daily Caller

Twenty-two comics on the greatest joke ever told

In Esquire, right here.

Encountering the future in your electric pants

Google Wants to Turn Your Clothes Into a Computer

Google also announced a new partnership with Levi Strauss in which the companies would try to make interactive garments that would allow people to do things like send someone a text message by swiping their jacket cuff. The companies said they were hoping to integrate the technology into an apparel line next year, but did not say what kind of clothes or how much they might cost.

Sure, but since when has that stopped anybody from doing anything?

Windshield Devices Bring Distracted Driving Debate to Eye Level

“It’s a horrible idea,” said Paul Atchley, a psychologist at the University of Kansas who studies driver distraction.

But dumb is cool.

Is it possible to totally miss the biggest thing in all of history?

The Kardashians’ Krazy Week: From Conspiracy Theories to Kimye, Have We Reached Peak Kardashian?

Our jeers and think pieces are all leading to the same place: a Kardashian’s bank account. It doesn’t matter if you love them, hate them, or love to hate them—the Kardashians are going to have the last laugh.

H/T Some Guy in Seattle


Our list is pretty full right now, but for the record…

Esquire's Summer Reading List

Windy too

"He might have lived a thousand miles away for all he knew of the rest of Chicago— the mighty, roaring, sweltering, pushing, screaming, magnificent hideous steel giant that was Chicago."

Edna Ferber, So Big 

"In," not "over" (whew)

John Wall Reportedly Kicked Off Airplane in Las Vegas After Alleged Incident

(We don't know who John Wall is either, but we saw an airplane just last week.)

Oh, those elderly couples—you just can't let them out of your sight

From the Point Reyes Station police blotter:

POINT REYES STATION: At 8:29 p.m. a passerby reported an elderly couple pulled off the road in an unsafe spot.

And it even sort of almost works

This Ad for Banned Food in Russia Can Hide Itself From the Cops

With the aid of a camera and facial recognition software, the technology was slightly tweaked to instead recognize the official symbols and logos on the uniforms worn by Russian police. And as they approached the billboard featuring the advertisement for Don Giulio Salumeria’s imported Italian goods, it would automatically change to an ad for a Matryoshka doll shop instead.

See for yourself here.

Please don't trouble us with the facts, you troll

The 'Obama Phone' Program Has Nothing to Do with Obama

Owing to the fact that people generally need phones to apply for jobs and enroll their children in school, and elderly citizens need to be able to call their families and emergency services, the government decided in the '80s (under Ronald Reagan, no less) to institute the Lifeline Assistance program. In 1996, Bill Clinton signed the Telecommunications Act into law, which offered either cell phones or landline services to low-income Americans.

This is not just a women's issue or a labor issue…

“We are the only advanced country on Earth that doesn’t guarantee paid sick leave or paid maternity leave to our workers. Forty-three million workers have no paid sick leave—forty-three million. Think about that,” [Obama] said.

…(although it is both of those things), it's also a public health issue—and difficult to see how a country just recovering from a collective meltdown over a couple stray cases of ebola doesn't get that. When you dock people's pay for not coming to work sick, you're just plain dumb.

[The story is here.]

Who's not running for president?

As the field [of Republican presidential candidates] grows, it is perhaps easier to keep track of those who aren’t running than those who are. To that end, the following is a partial list of prominent public figures who have not yet declared their candidacy…

A list of ten not running appears in this morning's NYTimes. It includes Iron Man and…

Schrödinger’s cat
Schrödinger’s cat is both running and not running for president, kind of like Jeb Bush.

Good times in Maine

GARLAND, Maine — At some point on Wednesday — halfway between swatting my fifth ant, squashing my third spider and filling my autumn-weight camouflage jacket with a gallon of sweat — I realized we must be doing something (or many things) wrong. 
Despite our best efforts, the turkeys were not participating in our first outing of the spring.

No spring-weight camouflage?

Woz on Being Out There

From an interview with Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak published in Esquire:

They talk about transcendence now, mapping a human's brain and moving it into the computer. It doesn't exist yet. Now, a person exists with memories and feelings and consciousness. But every place you go, every purchase you make, every keystroke, everything you do in your life, it's all stored out there on the Internet in the cloud, so you've been transcended, you're sort of out there. Who am I? I have memories of my life, and if they're all out there, all my photos, phone calls, it has a more accurate memory than my own brain. So we might already be out there.
The internet knows you better than you know yourself.


News you can use—right now

Celebrate National Burger Day with 11 of our all-time best recipes

OK, maybe it's too late for all eleven, but five or six at least, if you get right at it.

(This story is from a publication called The Oregonian. They must be some serious hamburger eaters there.)

It's all in which way the moon shines

Let the Moon Shine Down Your Throat

A Southernism we love: You might as well go out and let the moon shine down your throat. It means you’re taking medicine that won’t be effective or eating something flavorless. Not to be confused with pouring moonshine down your throat, which would be both flavorful and effective. This is part of a complete episode.

Department of Unintended Consequences

This from the New York Times this morning under the headline Anxious Students Strain College Mental Health Centers

Accustomed to extreme parental oversight, many seem unable to steer themselves. And with parents so accessible, students have had less incentive to develop life skills.
“A lot are coming to school who don’t have the resilience of previous generations,” Dr. Jones said. “They can’t tolerate discomfort or having to struggle. A primary symptom is worrying, and they don’t have the ability to soothe themselves.”

…while meanwhile, from the other side of the world…

Gender Imbalance: How China's One-Child Law Backfired on Men

This doesn't mean we have to seal up our windows with duct tape again, I hope

U.S. Army lab in Utah accidently ships anthrax samples - NY Daily News

"‘Out of an abundance of caution,’ the Defense Department ‘has stopped the shipment of this material from its labs pending completion of the investigation,’ Warren said."

How can you get a better deal than this?

A giant jug for two bucks—and it's orange.

You can see that, right? Orange!

You're screwed and now you know it; there's no excuse

List of cognitive biases

In the wee, wee hours


Words are everywhere these days

Somehow I got myself signed up for a word-a-day email from dictionary.com. They're all good words, of course, perfectly serviceable, but I never remember them for more than an hour or two before they recede into the general buzz. That thing they say about using the new word three times in a sentence doesn't work for me, mostly because I cheat.

But this morning, reading a newspaper (maybe we should start calling them newsscreens), I ran across a really good new word, one definitely worth keeping: tendentious.

Look it up.


Nasty in New York

Those blue cones are listed as severe hail storms. What the hail?

A mug in Ohio

Photographed by our Midwest and Elsewhere bureau/PRC

What is it with New Englanders and green bananas?

I'm in the grocery store, studying the bin, trying to pick out just a couple of bananas that look ripe enough to eat, when a grocery guy rolls up with a big cart—he's re-stocking—and says as follows:

"Wait, I've got some greener ones here."

New Englanders are good with apples, but beyond that the get pretty confused.

So then, just a slow connection?

Or, better yet, not at all

H/T (and more good stuff), National Journal

Wait, goofing off is not a right?

Presidential Candidate Makes First-Ever Call For Vacation For All

The United States does not in fact have any requirement that employers offer their workers vacation time. That makes it unique among developed countries. Twenty others guarantee that citizens will get paid vacation, ranging from 30 days in France to 10 in Japan and Canada. Five even go so far as to make sure workers get a bit of extra pay to cover vacation expenses. Thirteen countries also tack on a required number of paid holidays; the U.S., again, does not require employers to offer any paid holiday time.

No, Bunky, it'll never end

Corrupt FIFA Has Clinton Foundation Ties; World Cup Host Qatar Gave Millions

The Clinton global charity has received between $50,000 and $100,000 from soccer’s governing body and has partnered with the Fédération Internationale de Football Association on several occasions, according to donor listings on the foundation’s website.

Never get in the way of breakfast

Waffle-maker dispute results in 30 people kicked out of Mason County hotel, police say

"It sounded like one lady walked up and asked the other lady if she was in line for the waffle maker. She didn't answer so this lady started to make her waffle. The other confronted her and said, 'That was my waffle' and the other lady said, 'No, it's mine' and then it went down hill from there," Cole said.

And an extra-special bonus to this story: Ice cream sprinkles!

That's why they spell it M!ch!gan.

Just to set the record straight as this unnecessarily long campaign season begins…

Bernie Sanders Challenges Hillary Clinton at His First Rally - First Draft. Political News, Now. - NYTimes.com

"Mr. [Ben] Cohen [of Ben & Jerry’s fame] whipped up the audience by noting, ‘Some say that voting for Bernie is throwing your vote.’ As their boos subsided, he continued, ‘I say that voting for anyone else is flushing our country down the drain. And sometimes the underdog wins.’"

…we’ll be voting for Bernie to the bitter end, which we expect to arrive all too soon. Then we’ll be looking for someone second best.


A story we are not going to mention on this blog, ever

Look Bad Faster with Hillary's Pantsuit T-Shirt - The Daily Beast

"On the back, it says 'Pantsuit Up.' It is truly horrific in every imaginable way and for just $30 (plus shipping and handling) it can be yours in a size Small, Medium, Large, Extra Large, or Extra Extra Large. "

News break

Police evacuate US Capitol, Visitors' Center

"Capitol police provided no explanation for the move, simply saying it was an emergency."

Tale of two cities

In Chicago: 12 Killed, 43 Wounded In Memorial Day Weekend Shootings « CBS Chicago

In Baltimore: 26 Injured, 9 Killed In Baltimore Shootings During Memorial Day Weekend

There'll always be an England

English man leaves sex tape starring mistress on bus - NY Daily News

"The philanderer, who has not been named, said the steamy scenes were in a holdall that went walkabout on a number 17 bus from Scarborough to Eastfield."

And anyway, tape is so old-school.

How many things are wrong here?

Teen stabbed with a pitchfork during fight in church garden - NY Daily News

The surest sign of Spring

Also school must be out, because I'm pretty sure this is the first job they assign to summer hires.

Root beer, ice cream, and scones…

… were a big part of my menu over the recent holiday weekend, and I lost 2 pounds. I am thinking, new diet plan.

And you thought the war on terrorism was a long war

From the New York Times this date in 1934.


A box of quackers

So what if they bend?

A man survived a shotgun blast to his chest thanks to his iPhone - MarketWatch

"‘Fortunately, the victim’s mobile phone took the brunt of the shot and, as a result of this, he survived,’ Detective Inspector Gary McIntyre said. ‘This is remarkable – had that phone not been in his pocket at that time he would undoubtedly have died.’"

–Some Guy in Seattle