I don't know who Henry Ward is, but I like the guy

Unquote - Futility ClosetFutility Closet

"‘An expert is one who knows so much about so little that he neither can be contradicted, nor is worth contradicting.’ — Henry Ward"

Party with the Pops

Boston Fireworks 2015 July 4th | Boston Pops Concert

“…you can watch a webcast of the Boston Pops and the Fireworks Spectacular streaming live on www.cbsboston.com and www.bostonpopsjuly4th.org.

"The music is terrific, and then comes the finale - Tchaikovsky's explosive 1812 Overture, ending with dramatic drumrolls and real cannon fire, while church bells ring throughout the city."

We’ve never been quite sure how a Russian composer’s overture to a Napoleonic war became associated with July 4th (and there’s that thing about bagpipes being played by men in skirts we don’t get either) except it’s noisy and has real cannons in the score. So why not? 

If it’s not noisy enough where you are this afternoon you might try one of the URLs above.

[LATER: Neither one of the streaming URLS seem to be working as of 10:00 PM EST.]

Will they be coming after you next (dum da dum dum)?

Robot kills worker at Volkswagen factory in Germany - Boing Boing

Re: Bernie on this 4th

Social Democracy Is 100% American


File under Best Laid Plans

This California Town Conserved So Much Water It Had to Dump 550,000 Gallons Of It | TIME

I guess I know a cool small town when I see one

Best American Small Towns - 50 Coolest Small Towns in United States

I’ve been in six of the 50 towns listed by Esquire here; in one of them I went to school for four years. In another I babysat a dog.

OK, so when's Evacuation Day?

My calendar just reminded me tomorrow is Independence Day. Duh. Everybody knows tomorrow is Independence Day, unless it’s today. 

But when is Evacuation Day?


We are marking our calendar right now


This Graphic Shows How Many Hot Dogs It Takes to Win the Nathan’s Eating Contest | TIME

“See how many frankfurters have been consumed by the winners of every Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest between 1972 and 2014."

Sic transit gloria

In Post-Caitlyn World, More Acceptance of Transgender People Expected: Survey - NBC News

"Jenner is an Olympic champion and reality show star formerly known to the world as Bruce. Last week, after a Vanity Fair story about Jenner appeared online, she became the most searched item on Google, and her Twitter profile gained more than one million followers in four hours, topping a record previously held by Barack Obama."

Milestones in the Big Apple

FDNY records no deaths in June as fatalities fall citywide - NY Daily News

"The commissioner had more good news: In the past five years, between 2010 and 2014, there were fewer fire fatalities citywide than during any five-year period on record, he said."

Don't bite

Avoiding Social Engineering and Phishing Attacks | US-CERT

For a good time call Indiana

A Church of Cannabis Tests Limits of Religious Law in Indiana - The New York Times

"INDIANAPOLIS — On the altar, behind a row of flickering candles, the silhouette outline of a marijuana leaf shined in lights. Colored balloons occasionally bounced through the air as the minister of music led a band in a pew-shaking rendition of ‘Mary Jane,’ the funk tribute to the drug. And Bill Levin, who was introduced as ‘the Grand Poobah’ of this new church, finished the gathering with a simple message: ‘Light up, folks!’"

Take a bus

Fourth of July means lots of fights in cars - NY Daily News

"Over 75% of Americans argue during car trips, a new study reveals, with roughly half of the fights starting because one person told the driver how or where to go."

But the big question is, how does the GPS know this?

The new odor of politics

Sorry, Donald Trump Has A Point - Rich Lowry - POLITICO Magazine

"Yes, the 2016 Republican field is so wide and diverse it includes perhaps the nation’s first presidential candidate with his own fragrance, and, it must be noted, not just any fragrance. Success has ‘a masculine combination of rich vetiver, tonka bean, birchwood and musk,’ and ‘captures the spirit of the driven man.’"

And in other Trump news…

Donald Trump doubles down on anti-immigration remarks: 'Somebody's doing the raping' (VIDEO)

And (Wait! There’s more!)…

Iowa poll: After New Hampshire, Trump takes second place


Yeah, I don't get it—who wants Toledo anyway?

Michiganders Support More LGBT Protections - Public Policy Polling

"2 weeks ago we found 42% of Ohioans had a favorable opinion of the state of Michigan to 30% with an unfavorable one, a much dimmer view than it had of any of its other neighbors. It turns out Michigan feels pretty much the same way- 39% of its voters see Ohio favorably to 30% with a negative one. Much of this animosity ties back to Ohio stealing the city of Toledo from Michigan in the 1830s but 72% of Michiganders think they came out ahead in the long run on that one by getting the Upper Peninsula to only 8% who would have rather had Toledo."

And just in time, we'd say

By the time Martha Washington came along it was already old school

Twerking Dates to 1820: Oxford English Dictionary : Discovery News

Hope runs North and South

But did they dump him far enough?

Macy's dumps Donald Trump - CNNPolitics.com

Boston restaurant not-a-chain wants you

Legal Sea Foods launches “Pescatarianism” ad campaign - Business - The Boston Globe

"Television advertisements, which begin airing next week, feature stock video of peaceful waves rolling onto a beach, high mountains, clouds, and a prairie with the sun beaming in the distance. A male voice-over says catch phrases like ‘In our book, gluttony isn’t a sin. It’s a commandment.’ The ads end with a call to become a pescatarian."

Capitalism eats its tail

Robert Reich: The Clever New Business Tactic That's Making Work in America Hell | Alternet

"Whatever it’s called – just-in-time scheduling, on-call staffing, on-demand work, independent contracting, or the ‘share economy’ – the result is the same: No predictability, no economic security.

"This makes businesses more efficient, but it’s a nightmare for working families."

I'll take Manhattan

Average Home Price in Manhattan Reaches $1.87 Million, a New High - The New York Times

"‘It’s like everyone revved up their engines again,’ said Pamela Liebman, the chief executive of the Corcoran Group, which put the record average sales price at $1.81 million and the median at $960,000."


Apple updates today

iOS 8.4 for mobile devices adds Apple's new streaming music service and assorted bug fixes; OS X 10.10.4 is mostly bug fixes and tweaks. Still. Keep your software patched.

Right here in River City

Chris Hedges: The Lonely American - Chris Hedges - Truthdig

“[Kiddies today] have become, in the words of the philosopher Hannah Arendt, ‘atomized,’ sucked alone into systems of information and entertainment that cater to America’s prurient fascination with the tawdry, the cruel and the deadening cult of the self.

Wow. And he doesn’t stop there, this Chris Hedges. 

"The entrapment in a world of nonstop electronic sounds and images, begun with the phonograph and radio, advanced by cinema and television and perfected by video games, the Internet and hand-held devices, is making it impossible to build relationships and structures that are vital for civic engagement and resistance to corporate power."

Feel like tapping your toes about now? Yep, here’s the song you’re thinking of.

This is my nose; I'm cutting it off

Kentucky clerks object to ruling, halt all marriage licenses

"'My religious convictions will not allow me to in good conscience issue same-sex marriage licenses,' Davis said. 'And I don't want to be discriminatory toward them, or anyone else, so I choose not issue a marriage license, period.'"

There are a lot of things I don't understand and hair is one of them

Belmont: Kindergartner's haircut distracting, Catholic school says - San Jose Mercury News

"Broussard said Principal Teri Grosey told her the haircut -- which the family noticed on white and Asian students -- would 'unduly influence the student body.'"

Luckily I don’t have to worry about this myself. But still.

File under Best Laid Plans

Escaped killer tells all, throws Shaw-skank under the bus | New York Post

"Broome County Sheriff David Harder told The Post Sweat picked up outdoor skills in his youth when he took part in a program intended to keep him from a life of crime."

Down duck!

11-ton duck deflated by 60-foot tear at Philadelphia fest - NY Daily News

"A gigantic rubber duck failed to make a splash at the Philadelphia Camden Tall Ships Festival after it punctured and had to be taken away for repairs."

And which part would that be?

Key Developments on Iran Nuclear Deal - The New York Times

"International inspectors reported that Iran’s stockpile of nuclear fuel increased about 20 percent over the last 18 months of negotiations, partly undercutting the Obama administration’s contention that the Iranian program had been ‘frozen’ during that period."


I kind of like the Kevlar idea: Bulletproof feet

Future Sock

Dude, this is just wrong

It's all in the secret recipe


Introducing the wireless cow

"As soon as a thing is connected, it becomes ‘intelligent,’ able to tap into computing power from the cloud as well as the collective information from other things."

Here today, goats tomorrow

It was a fuzzy-wuzzy rainbow-colored weekend, thanks to the Supremes’ rulings on Obamacare and gay marriage a few days ago, but now…

SCOTUS Deeply Divided In Fractured Rulings on Death Penalty - NationalJournal.com


Supreme Court rules against EPA on power plant regs | Fox News

…and maybe even…

Supreme Court rules on Arizona redistricting commission: Why it matters for California - LA Times

Oh well. nobody doesn’t like them sometimes.

I'm just saying, dude…

"Today, having a concierge ready at the tap of a thumb is an amenity offered mostly at luxury-line hotels. But more hotels of all types are beginning to accommodate guests unwilling or unable to fumble with a room phone to call a concierge…"

[From this morning’s NYTimes in a story about new technology for texting room service.]

…if you’re too far gone to fumble with the phone you probably ought to keep your thumbs off your keyboard, if you know what I mean. 

Apparently they made an agreement but they don't quite know what it is

From this morning’s New York Times daily briefing…

"Tuesday is considered the deadline for a final deal [with Iraq], but negotiators remain divided over how to limit and monitor Iran’s nuclear program and even on how to interpret the preliminary agreement they reached two months ago."

I added the italics. It seemed appropriate.

And another thing: WTF?


I was just thinking the exact same thing

Obama plays ‘Let’s Make a Deal’ with nuclear Iran | New York Post

"The gods of news are working overtime. They delivered the twin bombshells from the Supreme Court, President Obama’s moving eulogy for one of the victims of the savage South Carolina church massacre and then the dramatic hunt for the two escaped New York convicts.

"After those events, most people had no attention span left for anything else, including, unfortunately, the most far-reaching news of all.…"

Go figure. Right? Also it was chilly today (we barely broke 60º) and rainy, and I went walking and got chilly and wet. Shoulda stayed in bed. 

Or wait, maybe it’s not too late.

Stuff you just can't unimagine

Dakota Meyer, Bristol Palin's ex, speaks up - NY Daily News

"Meyer's post showed him in a bathrobe, holding a sword, smoking a pipe and reading the Marine Corps handbook."

Awards Day


Watch bears splash around and eat fish live live

Brooks Falls - Katmai National Park, Alaska - Bears - explore

Also Puffins, Walrus (Walruses?) and other stuff.

Yeah, dude, no wonder you're so freaked out

Obergefell and the roadmap to drive Christianity from the public square | RedState

"The Supreme Court decision Friday making homosexual marriage not only legal but giving it a status superior to heterosexual marriage* was ominous (never mind that the lead defendant’s name sounded like a rank in the Wehrmacht)."

A little trolling from some guy in…wait for it…Indiana

It’s Time to Legalize Polygamy - Fredrik deBoer - POLITICO Magazine

We don't like it and you can't make us

Nikki Haley Is Not a Hero. She's Just Doing Damage Control for the GOP | The New Republic

"Haley’s change of heart wasn’t the result of a moral epiphany, or even really an admission that the people who’ve been seeking the flag’s removal for years were right all along."