Our nomination for worst good news of the week

Chicago police shot fewer people in 2015 | Miami Herald

Imagine our dismay

NASA: The worst of El Nino is still to come - CBS News

"Northern states are likely to have a drier and warmer winter than average."

So, problematic words

Lake Superior State University :: Banished Words List :: 2016

Trump's campaign named "Lie of the Year"

PolitiFact’s 2015 Lie of the Year coverage | PolitiFact

Some excellent advice

Seen in Vancouver, BC:

H/T Shawn

Starting the year off

Mummers Parade draws ire with float mocking Caitlyn Jenner - NY Daily News

"Despite that, this year’s event had its share of insensitivity."

And civilization ends

Hipster-friendly McDonald’s Next puts asparagus on burgers | New York Post

"On the menu? Customizable burgers with toppings such as asparagus, salads that come with options like quinoa or couscous, sweets like berry sundaes and lattes with “Peanuts”-themed latte foam art."

Off to a record start

It’s noon on January 2 and I have only one resolution left to break. I can get that done by the end of the day easy. Woohoo!

Obama, Al Qaeda pitch in to help Hill

Obama exec. order likely to boost support for Hillary’s campaign | Boston Herald

"'That’s going to help her — that he’s seen to be following her lead on this,' said Democratic strategist Matt Bennett, who pointed out that the former secretary of state has proposed many of the policies that Obama is set to outline in the coming days."

Al-Shabaab Releases Recruitment Video Featuring Donald Trump - ABC News

"The more-than 51-minute propaganda video comes on the heels of a war of words between Trump and Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton over her suggestion that the real estate mogul's controversial remarks about Muslims would be used to recruit jihadis."

Picky, picky

Charlie from Wisconsin (go Badgers) submits this updated (and correct) tally of Big Ten teams in postseason play.

Winners: Neb, Minn. Wis. Mich. OSU = 5
losers: Ind. MSU. NW. IA = 4

Playing today: Penn St. vs GA = 10

Ten teams. Five wins, four losses, one undetermined as yet. 


Alas, Michigan State

Alabama favored, but Michigan State 'thrives' as underdog 

Sometimes when you “thrive” (the quotes are not my idea…I’m just, well, quoting) on being an underdog it turns out you are.

But all is not lost, at least not yet. There are nine* Big Ten teams in the postseason this year (this has less to do with football prowess than with the midwesterner’s overwhelming urge to flee winter weather on the slimmest of excuses, thus guaranteeing big ticket sales). So far, five have played and four have won. Today the players are Northwestern (the Wildcats), Michigan (the Wolverines), Iowa (the Hawkeyes), and Ohio State. Nuts. Ohio State plays Notre Dame and the two teams seem evenly matched, so it ought to be a pretty good game to watch. Go nuts.

There are, by the way, 14 teams in the Big Ten. 

Seriously, this is why you have to go to college. If you don’t, you will never be able to figure this stuff out. (Or, well, maybe you will, but we don’t want to lead the kiddies astray. There are more things in life than football. Basketball, in fact , has already started.)

*Ten. Sorry. As of mid-afternoon EST Jan. 1, three have won and three have lost.


Worried about having too much fun this evening?

Here’s a movie that gets a 7 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

New Year's Eve (2011) - Rotten Tomatoes

You’re welcome.

If a guy sneaks in to Mexico from the U.S. is he called a dryback?

'Affluenza' teen held at Mexican immigration holding center

Whatever. Bring him back and lock him up.

How soon can you get to Mobile, Alabama?

If you can do it in 12 hours you’ll be in time for…

New Year's Eve: Ring in 2016 with 16 unusual drops

"More than 50,000 revelers are expected to ring in the New Year in downtown Mobile, Ala., at the city's MoonPie Over Mobile New Year's Eve Celebration."

If you can’t make it, well, there may be something closer. Click the link (above).

Can next year be more weird than this?

Hello, kettle, meet pot

Goodbye to 2015, a year of absurdity and overreach - The Washington Post


Passing through

When you get old, everything changes

Even what stuff means. Like here—a New York Times article about the Donald’s poll numbers that refers, rather grandly, to every presidential election in this century.

Dude. That’s only four. For most of my life that same phrase meant a number that really was grand—it came to be 25—and a list of presidents that went back to Teddy Roosevelt.

But the Times’s list, now, goes back to Dubya.

See what I mean?

Let's get serious here

If it’s the last day of the year and your breakfast choices are a) Pretty Healthy Stuff (oatmeal with cinnamon and blueberries) or b) Good Stuff (a big banana muffin and a slice of leftover pizza), you’d pick the Good Stuff, right? Of course you would. It’s the obvious best choice.



This is clearly not the time to make the internet even less secure

Massive Voter Database Left Unsecured

“An un­se­cured data­base con­tain­ing in­form­a­tion on more than 190 mil­lion US voters has been float­ing around the in­ter­net, and nobody seems to know how it got there.”

Looking at you, FBI guy. And all those D’s and R’s.

Buckeyes may be nuts, but Floridians…

Best Florida Man Headlines 2015 - The Year in Florida Man

Not too cold but totally ugly

This was a snow with no redeeming features. None.

Also, this is another thing I promise not to do too much of.

What does it mean…

…when the personal injury lawyer doesn’t shovel the sidewalk in front of his office?

'Tis the season…

…for those year-end wrap-up pieces, and here’s one actually worth perusing:

2015: The Year in Visual Stories and Graphics - The New York Times

(Yeah, I know it’s from the Times and I know the Times is paywalled and I do too much of it—mostly because I do too much of it—and I’m going to be better about that next year. At least for a day or two.)


Sometimes the first snow is fat and clingy-wet…

…and actually makes things look kind of nice for a little while before the reality of winter sets in, but this one…
…was ugly from the start. And wet—but heavy-wet, not clingy. Plus, the snowplow guy drove past too fast and buried my nice, clean sidewalk, and it had to be shoveled a second time. Bah.

Eighty-three days until Spring.

Take that, 2015

New Yorkers shred away reminders of 2015 in Times Square - NY Daily News

"New Yorkers brought suitcases and carts full of old financial documents, lists of men who’d wronged them, wedding invitations, reminders of poor health and symbols old habits they're ready to kick — which they threw into a paper shredder."

New Englanders aren't really happy unless they're miserable…

…especially during the winter months, and today should—finally—resolve the accumulating anxieties piled up by the decadently balmy December just (nearly) past. To wit:

  • Hazard types... snow... sleet... and freezing rain.
  • Accumulations... snow accumulation of 1 to 3 inches... along with around a tenth of an inch of ice.

Per the weather service. 

At 7:00 AM it’s still too dark to see clearly what last night’s damage was but it’s 24º out there, at least enough to put a chill into our Puritan bones.



Who's that guy up on the balcony with the Donald?

I was in the Army when I could have been…coloring?

The Radical History of 1960s Adult Coloring Books | New Republic

"Mort Drucker’s JFK Coloring Book spent 14 weeks at the top of the New York Times bestseller list in 1962"

Here’s a chunk of history that blew right by me. Apparently somebody knew—just not me.

Only a little bit of snow in Duluth…


…but it sure sounds cold.

The war to end all twits

United Nations moves to confront Islamic State online - CSMonitor.com


Never mind, we'll guess

Without naming names, John McCain frets about top of GOP ticket in 2016 - CSMonitor.com

Donald Trump

Running out of Netflix picks?

‘Worst movie ever made’ to join National Film Registry | New York Post

"Jerry Lewis, the slapstick comedian popular in the 1950s, completed “The Day the Clown Cried’’ in 1972, and it’s believed only seven people have ever viewed it,"

You won’t be able to see it until 2025 or so, but hey, put it in the queue.

Who knew?

Discover the winners in the Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards - The Washington Post



For the few

Resources | Sesame Street for Military Families


What would Leslie Knope do?

Historic Indiana Bridge Collapses Under Weight of Semitrailer | TIME

"The tiny overpass was built in 1880 and was 'one of the few things left in Paoli that’s historical,' Paoli Town Council President Michael Harkness told the Associated Press."

You’ve got to see the picture at this link (above).

What's with these Swedes and people?

Once again, giant Yule goat burns in Sweden

"STOCKHOLM — In what's become a Christmas tradition to some Swedes, a giant decorative goat made of straw was set ablaze early Sunday and police arrested a 25-year-old man suspected of arson."

Always watching

Coyote stopped at security checkpoint at South Carolina airport

It's not over until…well…it's not over

Chocolate Chip Mint: The Santa Effect

"The Santa elves, for the most part, take up employment elsewhere during the rest of the year (a large percentage of which pick up seasonal work with the IRS). However, there are a number of elves employed year round at the North Pole and it's high time we give them recognition for their efforts (in no particular order) by area of work…"