12.31.2016

Who would have guessed?

Here's What Happens When You Throw an iPhone Off the World's Tallest Building | TIME

SPOILER ALERT: It breaks.

https://goo.gl/NDxnof

If you can't avoid some work with this one you're just not trying

Here’s a link (it’s to Hulu, and possibly you can’t watch it without a subscription—if that’s so, sorry)—a link, I say, to a video of a roast, roasting. Just sitting there in an oven. Roasting. For about 50 minutes (which doesn’t seem like enough, so you might want to re-play it a time or two). 

So, if you have a Hulu subscription and get tired of doing things—like, for example, watching football—click here.

12.30.2016

Really? Is this even a question?

You Asked: Is It Better to Sleep In Or Work Out? | TIME

 

Some good pictures of a year to remember (or forget as soon as possible)

The Year in Pictures 2016 - The New York Times

[Noted by our Pacific Rim bureau.]

New app: Get kissed by Kissinger

‘Kissenger’ will let you send and get long-distance smooches - NY Daily News

 

26 henry kissinger w710 h473

 

How often do you get the chance?

Get finished freaking out about Donald Trump as soon as you can because here's what's coming next

Massive ‘anomaly’ lurks beneath ice in Antarctica | New York Post

“The wilder minds of the internet have come up with their own theories, with some conspiracy theorists claiming it could be a massive UFO base or a portal to a mysterious underworld called the Hollow Earth."

Apples. Bananas. Cinnamon.

It’s ridiculous what goes in oatmeal these days.

Here's how Samuel Johnson defined oats in 1755:

“A grain, which in England is generally given to horses, but in Scotland supports the people.’"

http://bit.ly/2iMF811

 

 

It's twelve minutes, I say! Twelve!

Cops Called To Break Up Fight Between Denny's Workers Over A Hard-Boiled Egg | The Smoking Gun

"The cop learned that workers Nancy Michelle Kirkpatrick, 56, and Quanisha Dre’Shawn Fenn, 21, had 'got into an argument over a hard boiled egg.' During the squabble, Fenn said, Kirkpatrick called her a ‘bitch.' 'After that,' a cop reported, 'Ms. Fenn called her mother.'"

http://bit.ly/2iMwWOn

Well, not around here

Research: Why Americans Are So Impressed by Busyness

"We think that the shift from leisure-as-status to busyness-as-status may be linked to the development of knowledge-intensive economies…by telling others that we are busy and working all the time, we are implicitly suggesting that we are sought after, which enhances our perceived status."

12.29.2016

Homecoming



Getting on toward evening



Sleeping too much? We've got you covered.



We do get our money's worth from the defense industry now and then

Right now, in honor of our approaching blizzard, I'm wearing a pair of genuine Army wool boot socks that were issued to me at Ft. Dix, NJ, in December of 1961. You can do the math. I figure they're good for another decade or so (although one is developing a hole up near the top where it probably got yanked too hard one cold morning); after that, it's anybody's guess.

I'm not too worried about it because I have two more pairs.

They'd certainly unsettle me

German minister: ban names such as "vegetarian schnitzel"

"These terms are completely misleading and unsettle consumers," Agriculture Minister Christian Schmidt told Germany's Bild daily.

https://goo.gl/RyzFDz

Two days ago, I couldn't remember the last time I ate an oyster

But that's all changed now. I got a nice jar of fresh Chesapeake Bay standards for Christmas. What a treat. It's like taking a bite of the ocean.

With that and a couple of cans of Spam, I can ride out any storm. #LetItSnow

Wizard tries to turn phone to gold

Germany: chemical odors lead police to failed alchemist

"The woman went to police in Braubach, near the western city of Koblenz, on Wednesday, concerned that she hadn't seen her 28-year-old tenant for some time. Police said Thursday that officers found a range of chemicals, and at first suspected he was running an illegal drug lab."

https://goo.gl/l2jUZD

12.28.2016

Link rot

A little link rot (that's when the links no longer work) has insinuated itself into our Work Avoidance List. Our busy staff is constantly busy weeding out bad links (me, not so much).

If you run across a link that no longer works drop us a note or leave a comment and our tireless staff (me, not so much) will rapidly delete it, making way for more, newer and therefore, of course, better ways to accomplish as little as possible.

Finally (and just in time) some good news from 2016

Uber driver catches 240 green lights, a potential world record - NY Daily News

https://goo.gl/Qbe5nH

Forever may arrive too soon

If the heating company doesn't stop sending me so many bills I'm going to run out of Forever stamps some time in early 2018. Just giving you a heads up here.

Unless, of course, we can make the climate a little warmer, in which case we might be able to stretch the stamps out another year or so.

It's too soon to give up hope.

12.27.2016

Ouch

Team Hillary lands on ‘least influential’ list after election debacle | New York Post

"Hillary Clinton, Anthony Weiner and Tim Kaine have been named to GQ’s 'Least Influential People Of 2016’ list, the men’s magazine announced Thursday."

What a difference a day makes…

…a few hours less than a day, actually. The toilet is all rebuilt with sturdy brass fittings and flushing merrily, the water around it totally mopped up, another holiday disaster survived, and all is once again well here in our unremittingly pleasant valley.

Sadly, however, all the Valentine's Day stuff is not yet installed on the shelves of the local drugstore, leaving the place looking somewhat disturbingly out of time, but we are assured that in only a day or so there will be no more trace of the jolly elf, and Cupid everywhere.. And then, Spring is right around the corner, and from all around the strains of that old, July carol, "Hot Dogs Roasting on an Open Fire."

It won't be so dark so early, either.

Why do people persist in this outrageous behavior?

30 of the Most Iconic and Influential Photos of All Time Colorized - TIME

https://goo.gl/9sOjUO

12.26.2016

Our nomination for work avoidance web site of the year, 2016

please.do.not.disturb.me

Hey, everybody else is doing a “best of” piece. Why not us?

Guy shows completely unusable information in almost totally unreadable form…

Disproportionately Common Names By Profession

…and gets featured in The Best American Infographics 2015.

Imagine the worst.

But nobody says it's good

What psychologists really think about you lying to your kids about Santa - The Washington Post

"Psychologists argue about the effect of the Santa myth on kids, with some saying it is benign and others saying it is harmful."

A couple of shrinky types named "Christopher Boyle, a psychologist at the University of Exeter, and Kathy McKay, a mental health researcher at Australia’s University of New England [How much confidence does that give you? New England is nowhere near Australia.], write that the myth of Santa Claus affects children in ways that may not have been considered — and that it can undermine the trust of children in their parents,” continues the Post.

The Huffington Post, somewhat predictably, is all tweaked out about it here.

We need better shrinks.

And this. (We mentioned it yesterday.)

I don’t mind the cold; cold, schmold

I don't mind the snow, either; snow, schmow. But I'm a walker and I hate the ice. Ice makes everything miserable. Ice; bad.

It's 50º at O'Hare this morning, says the Chicago radio. Here where I am there's a warmish (high 40's) day that's been hanging out there one day ahead of us in the forecasts for a week. The weather app, today, says tomorrow. I say, maybe May.

But would be so nice, wouldn't it, to get some of this slippery stuff melted off I'll keep rooting for tomorrow as long as it takes.

12.25.2016

The Ghost of Christmas Present


Today in Christmas Mythology

XKCD

“Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus”

Here’s the classic Christmas editorial from the Sept. 21, 1897, issue of the New York Sun…

“Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus” | Newseum

Way to rub it in, Washington Post

These Redskins have never known easy, but they know they're still alive - The Washington Post

"CHICAGO — It was easy, and the Washington Redskins didn't know how to react to that. They have an exasperating addiction to drama, participating in affairs that exaggerate NFL parity, but for once they encountered a game that even they could not keep close. And they actually had to come to terms with this mysterious outcome."

https://goo.gl/9627Vy

12.24.2016

12.23.2016

Is this the pet rock of the grocery industry?

Maybe you're too young to remember pet rocks. They were just what you imagine.

This morning at the grocery store I came across a box of water labeled "Just Water."

But that's not all. On the side of the box it said, more or less, "This water [no mention here of babbling brooks or artesian wells] is protected from UV rays [and various other vaguely described catastrophes] by this box made of paper from certified forests. [Here I closed my eyes to see a unicorn gambol across the screen.] Who wouldn't want a sip?

I didn't stay to check the price. I was afraid I might buy a case.

And you thought we had enough trouble already

Chocolate Chip Mint: Try not to panic.

https://goo.gl/PJbuVN

Too many cookies?

Santa renews pilot's license: Transport Canada

"Santa Claus successfully renewed his commercial pilot's license, passing a written exam as well as a health check - despite high sugar levels - and is good to fly for Christmas, Canada's transportation department said on Thursday."

https://goo.gl/q0tsqK

Forward this to the tax department, please

Headaches, insects and yachts; excuses for not filing British tax returns

https://goo.gl/zanKAs

12.22.2016

It's difficult to take a three-day weekend when you don't do anything anyway…

…but it can be done.

Some management guru from the last century once said work expands to fill the time allotted. Which, of course, it does; they don’t call those guys gurus for nothing. It—work—also shrinks in the same way.

So what you do is—pencils up—make a long, long list of stuff you need to get done, enough to fill three, maybe even four days of time. And then some afternoon, like this afternoon, you allow yourself about, say, 45 minutes to knock the whole thing off, Don’t worry, your list will shrink right down. See above.

And just like that, you can goof around for the next three days. Or four. Starting right about now.

Christmas music at the laundry

Wash fast, little socks, wash fast.

I quit singing in nineteen-aught-forty-six or thereabouts…

…when I realized I can’t. Still, after all these years, once in a while I get a sort of vestigal hum in the back of my brain that could, possibly, be mistaken for music if it were only in some recognized key.

There’s one there right now—has been for nearly two weeks—that’s driving me wild-eyed raving NUTS. It sounds like a mangled song with the words “rags to riches” and “if you would only be” in it somewhere, and also it sounds really old.

I bet Tony Bennet would recognize it if he’s real. He can’t be real though, can he? I mean, I remember when he was real but that was really old too. He could be a hologram, I guess, but then if you were making a hologram why wouldn’t you…oh, never mind.

Maybe it’ll just go away.

Avoiding work on the edge

Obama to Dismantle 9/11-Era Registry - The Daily Beast

"Trump has indicated that he hopes to resurrect the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System, which was created in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. It has not been used since 2011…"

So we had some kind of plan to keep track of people coming from and going to countries with active terrorist groups but we haven’t used it for five years? Somehow that seems a little bit not too smart. But it probably does avoid quite a bit of work, and I’m all for that.

Biggest loser ever, says Daily Beast

Hillary Earned Historic Number of Votes - The Daily Beast

"In the final, certified presidential-election tally, Hillary Clinton received more votes than any other losing  candidate in U.S. history."

You already know, of course, that raw numbers like this are not necessarily meaningful because the population keeps growing at a pretty rapid clip. This past election season set all kind of records in the counting department, as I recall: Most votes for a Trump in a Republican primary, most votes for a Vermont socialist (go Bernie!), and so forth. Ir’s nice to have something to brag about even if it’s not the thing you wanted to brag about at the start.

Montreal: Not just too cold

Montreal's Rockefeller-style Christmas tree is an epic failure | New York Post

"Montreal's Christmas tree looks like it was just released from Xmas tree rehab and needs any spare change you might have for a bus ride home," one Twitter user said…


https://goo.gl/ITii7u

12.20.2016

Hot water

Heat and water are kind of alike in one way: If you try to keep them in, they leak out, and if you try to get them out they stay right where they are and will not budge. But heat is slipperier. There's probably a lot of physics in that.

For example, the pipe that runs from the basement of my house to the shower head on the second floor carries heat and water, both, up in hot months only. June, July, August, it really steams the place up. But in winter, the water gets up just fine but the heat—a lot of it, at least—leaks out. So the water's not cold, exactly, but it's not half-hour-shower hot, either.

Which reminds me, winter starts at 5:00 AM Eastern, tomorrow. Which means Christmas day will be just a wee bit longer than today, and Super Bowl Sunday will be longer still. More light every day until the end of June, when the bathroom mirror will be nice and foggy again.

You'd think that just rolling away would be bad enough, right?

U.S. probes 1 million Fiat Chrysler vehicles for roll-away crashes | Reuters

 

Chicken-veggie-noodle soup will set you free

For those of you playing along at home, here's the recipe:


  1. Chicken
  2. Veggies
  3. Noodles
  4. Broth, bouillon, stock, something like that.

Cook it.
Me, I like to add a couple cranks of fresh black pepper.

And it's even better the next day.

This guy needs one of those bright orange balls

Golfer tries to hit ball from ice, falls through it instead - NY Daily News

https://goo.gl/TpZsVO

12.18.2016

This is a test


Hmmm, worked.

Let's hear it for fake news

Putin to Sing at Trump Inauguration - The New Yorker

https://goo.gl/pZfgYE

OK, here's the plan

First, it rains all day today.

Then, for the next two days it freezes solid.

Then it warms up a little, just enough to put a thin layer of water on top of all the ice, making it even slipperier.

Finally, I run out of Spam and have to send for more. Or go get it myself. I hope it’s still on sale.

Oh wait! It might snow on Thursday too!

Maybe we should at least try to get the story straight

DNC Chair Says Russian Hackers Attacked The Committee Through Election Day | The Huffington Post

"That goes against Obama’s statement that the attacks ended after he spoke to Putin in September."

They may not be cool but they're pretty cold


Chicago Bears
@ChicagoBears
Updated @weatherchannel forecast for kickoff is 10 degrees.That would be tied for 5th coldest #Bears game ever at @SoldierField .
#GBvsCHI

[Twitter]

There's still time to shovel a little more

Buffalo Bills offering free tickets for help shoveling snow off field - The Washington Post

https://goo.gl/oSxiIO

If it has more words it must be better, duh

Al Capone and the Short, Confusing History of Expiration Dates

Munchies_ Food by VICE - 14h ago

…In an attempt to help curb food waste, The US Department of Agriculture has just come forward to encourage producers to start using the phrase "Best if Used By," rather than similar phrases—such as "Sell-By" and "Use-By"—which carry their own distinct nuances, and tend to confuse consumers.

https://goo.gl/NbdxgA

Pretty soon there'll be no place to hide

Hologram 'robot girlfriend' texts you throughout the day - but is she romantic or incredibly creepy?

"A tech company has launched a virtual girlfriend device which can send touching texts throughout the day asking how you are feeling."

Mirror.co.uk
https://goo.gl/ytvSYc

12.17.2016

Hope you weren't expecting a Lamborghini for Christmas

Watch a Lamborghini get torn apart by the Taiwanese government

https://goo.gl/uPDHcI

No hot news


Just because we say celebration doesn't mean…

Excessive celebration penalty helps Grambling State win Celebration Bowl

"The Celebration Bowl played between the champions of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference and the Southwestern Athletic Conference and is considered the HBCU national championship."

This is like when you call tech support because your internet is down…

A small Indiana town doesn’t have a police force because all its officers just quit - The Washington Post

The sign, posted on the glass window of the police department, reads: “The Town is currently without the Police Department. In the case of an emergency, please call 911.”

…and you get a recording that says “check our web site."

Thanks, G

Work-avoiding cat gets perfect gig

Library cat outlasts councilman that wanted him gone - CBS News

Councilman Clements eventually ran out of his nine lives after he was defeated in a landslide in November’s election.

Mayor Ron White says as far as he’s concerned, Browser’s job title is now “Library Cat for Life.”

Sounds like time for a celebratory snooze to me.

Our dietary tip for today

Going out to shovel snow in the morning is a great way to build up an appetite for MORE BREAKFAST. And the way the snow’s coming down right now, I’m going to need MORE more breakfast before lunch. 

In the parlance of newspaper writers this is a heavy snow, because to them, heavy means deep. This one is going to be pretty deep except, of course, on the sidewalk, which has already been shoveled once, soon twice, and as many more times as the eggs hold out. But it’s not heavy heavy, it’s actually light, because it’s cold.

And yes, there’s a lot of physics in that but maybe I’ll need a little nap before we talk about it.

Also solves the problem of what to do with a snowy weekend


[Thanks to Formerly Upstairs Cathy.]

Here's a new one

Freezing fog. 

Winter in this part of New England is a mess.

Nonsense from the hapless D's

Clinton, Obama increasingly point to Russia to help explain her loss - The Washington Post

https://goo.gl/6Cjcew

Possibly the Democrats don't have mirrors, and that's why they still don't get the reason they lost the recent presidential election. 

In order to believe Clinton's loss was due to the Russians or to the FBI or to some other external villain, a person has to believe said villain was able, somehow, to swing just enough votes in just enough of just the right states (Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan, etc.) to eke out an electoral victory in the face of Clinton's rather substantial popular vote win.

And if you believe that, I have a bridge in Brooklyn I'd like to show you.

Nothing new under the sun

Donald Trump's Children Wouldn't Be the First Presidential Kids to Work in the White House - TIME

"Sixteen children of presidents worked in the White House with their fathers, by the count of Doug Wead, a former adviser to Presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush and author of All the President's Children, and even more had unofficial influence."

https://goo.gl/TzRjkJ

12.15.2016

Now, making work more avoidable than ever before…

You can now control Netflix using Google Home - The Verge

…you no longer have to go to all the trouble of pushing the button on your TV zapper, you can just say “let’s watch that show where all the people shuffle around like they’re supposed to be dead or something” and it will take you right to the Bears game. Just like that.

Not taking a back seat to those pesky Russians…

Yahoo Says 1 Billion User Accounts Were Hacked
SAN FRANCISCO — Yahoo, already reeling from its September disclosure that 500 million user accounts had been hacked in 2014, disclosed Wednesday that a different attack in 2013 compromised more than 1 billion accounts. 
The two attacks are the largest known security breaches of one company’s computer network.
NYTimes 

A little nippy in Duluth



12.14.2016

Redolent …

…is our word for the day (https://goo.gl/Gm96Yn), as in redolent of skunk. Whew. We had a reekish crop of 'em this year. Seems like every morning we get reminded, redolently.

Let's try for squirrels next year.

Feeling a little lonely there, Bunky?

Microsoft is creating talking bots that will call you on Skype - The Verge

https://goo.gl/eAkQGL

Yes

Will a quinoa vending machine ruin New York? | New York Post

https://goo.gl/mGgTPL

12.13.2016

More oil, fewer squeaks

From Reuters News:

Trump to pick former Texas Governor Perry as Energy Secretary

The choice, confirmed late on Monday by the official, adds to the list of oil drilling advocates skeptical about climate change who have been picked for senior positions in Trump's Cabinet. The selections have worried environmentalists but cheered an industry eager for expansion.



12.12.2016

Justice is justice and there's just no two ways about it

Soccer plane crash survivors fined $30K for missing match | New York Post

"The final round of the Brazilian championship was held Dec. 1, but a match against Atletico Mineiro was canceled because of the tragedy, the Mirror of the UK reported.

"But the Superior Court of Justice decided to punish both Chapecoense and Mineiro for failing to play their match, the paper reported."

Also, the crash could have been avoided if the pilot had landed someplace before it happened.

Don’t tell me that isn’t true.

Nwrdlls

Fortunately all this modern technology we’re fooling around with hasn’t improved my spelling one bit. Or (you wouldn’t expect this, would you?) my penmanship.There’s autocorrect, of course, but I routinely outplay that.

I think of this as a feature, not a bug. There’s no computing how much work I’ve avoided just by failing to write myself intelligible notes. 

Back in the day, before the invention of Times New Roman, I had a little whiteboard magneted to the front of my fridge. On it was scrawled the word, Nwrdlls, like some obscure hieroglyphic unearthed from the desert sands. Noodles was what it meant, but by the time I figured that out I no longer needed nwrdlls so I erased it and went on with my life. One trip to  the grocery store saved.

The whiteboard turned out to be unnecessary; I can do the same thing on my phone any time or the day or night. One of the items currently on my todo list is Block the for mail. I’m marking it complete right now, and taking a nap.

See how easy?

Don't mess with Green Bay in December

Are the Seahawks still Super Bowl contenders? They didn't look it in Green Bay.

The Washington Post

Russell Wilson threw five interceptions and the Seattle defense struggled without injured safety Earl Thomas. 

Read the full story


12.11.2016

The Verge plays the old mushroom cloud card

What's standing between Donald Trump and nuclear war?

The Verge

The main barriers to using nuclear weapons are psychological, not legal 

Read the full story

Imagine W's grin. 


New England winter arrives

If I'm reading this forecast correctly, it's going to snow 3 to 6 inches during the night and then rain. Perfect. And did I mention it'll be below freezing the whole time?

Winter's here, and it's not even winter yet.

Words people use when they want you to think they're more important than they really are

Trump, CIA on collision course over Russia's role in U.S. election - The Washington Post

"We want to make sure we brief Congress and relevant stakeholders, like possibly state administrators who actually operationalize the elections," White House spokesman Eric Schultz told reporters Friday.

12.10.2016

Personally, I would have rather had the 18 bucks

Hillary Clinton’s losing campaign cost a record $1.2B | New York Post

"The president-elect, who confounded critics during the campaign by saying there was no need to raise or spend $1 billion or more, ended up making do with $600 million."

No wonder it took them so long

You’ll never guess, or pronounce, Austria’s word for the year - NY Daily News

It's "Bundespraesidentenstichwahlwiederholungsverschiebung," or "postponement of the repeat of the runoff of the presidential election."

12.08.2016

You wouldn't want a dumb one, would you?

Still think global warming is a hoax?

It's going to be hell on Earth | New York Post


Planet Earth could be burned to a crisp with all humanity wiped out in about 5 billion years, scientists in Belgium predicted on Thursday.

TIME's piece on hackers…

… is perhaps a bit overwrought, but worth a read.

Hackers: TIME Person of the Year 2016 Runner Up

https://goo.gl/WX9hnJ

Voters showed up with ballots, not pitchforks

Piketty: half of Americans are "shut off from economic growth" - CBS News


In 1980, income for the top 1 percent of adults stood at 27 times that of the bottom half. In dollar terms, the richest 1 percent made $428,000 adjusted for 2014 dollars, compared with about $16,000 for the bottom half. By 2014, the richest Americans made 81 times that of the bottom half, or about $1.3 million to $16,000 per year. 

12.07.2016

#PearlHarbor75: Remembering those who served - VAntage Point

#PearlHarbor75: Remembering those who served - VAntage Point

Many of these #PearlHarbor75 profiles were created with interviews submitted to the Veterans History Project. The project collects, preserves, and makes accessible the personal accounts of American war Veterans so that future generations may hear directly from veterans and better understand the realities of war. Find out more at http://www.loc.gov/vets/. Find out more about #PearlHarbor75 at http://pearlharbor75thanniversary.com/.

Must have been quite a thwart

Greenfield baby Jesus doll smashed, donkey figure damaged

The Recorder For at least three years in a row, the outdoor display has been vandalized.

The statue was also stolen in the late 1990s, recovered by police, then stolen again in 2001. It was damaged about four years ago when someone cut the leg off to thwart a bicycle lock, the archives show.

Yes, it's been a miserable year, but don't get into those toddies too early

Deck the ... Look out! Woman tries to run over decorating ex

CONNELLSVILLE, Pa. (AP) — State police say holiday music was blaring from a Pennsylvania woman's car ...

…when Smith yelled "Merry Christmas" and made several passes through his yard.

Read the full story


That Trump effect

Gained weight? No sex? Cut your hair? It's all Trump's fault | New York Post


 When questioned by Lino Lakes, Minn., police, who found an empty bottle of vodka in her purse, Lundberg was unable to spell her name but told cops, "I am upset over the outcome of the election and you should let me go home."

And you thought you had problems

Sofía Vergara sued by her own embryos | Page Six


The new lawsuit contends that Emma and Isabella, by not being born, have been deprived of an inheritance from a trust that has been created for them in the Louisiana, according to sources.

12.06.2016

Finally, we can stop eating broccoli

A handful of nuts a day keeps the doctor away: study - NY Daily News

 
Of course a shotgun might keep the doctor away as well, but let’s not ruin this.

Hey, if you want to watch them win it costs more

Chicago Tribune After waiting a lifetime for a championship team, Cubs fans will discover the price of success. The average price of season tickets will rise 19.5 percent in 2017, the Cubs announced Monday, with increases ranging from 6 percent for upper-deck reserved ...

Playing chicken with justice

Police nab suspects, fowl accomplice in break-in

"The rooster was not charged, but was taken to the station for safe keeping."

Rock Christmas

Nordstrom Is Selling A Rock In A Leather Case For $85 And People Are Confused - BuzzFeed News

Made Solid told BuzzFeed News that they called the product "Wrapped Stone" and emphasized that "it's not a joke." They described them as "really cool, labor intensive objects that are used as everything from paperweights to doorstops to home/display accents."

www.buzzfeed.com

Read the full story

Also, they are pretty cheap to feed.

12.05.2016

Before winter

It snew

Snow makes me hungry. And sleepy. It just does.

Kippers make a good snack. Always keep a couple cans of kippers around in case it snows.

Club Med? Really?

China appeals to US to stop disrupting acquisitions

BEIJING (AP) — China urged Washington on Monday to stop disrupting its foreign corporate acquisitions…

Chinese companies have made a multibillion-dollar string of acquisitions in Europe to obtain technology and brands including Club Med, Pirelli tires and Volvo Cars.

Read the full story

Maybe they could buy Trump's wall. They're into walls, aren't they? They could have a matched set.

12.04.2016

The trouble with this is…

See What Winter Will Be Like Where You Live | TIME

…it’s getting more and more difficult to tell what's ”normal."

When the chocolate cookie package has a label…

…that says Made with Real Chocolate it makes me wonder what else they know that they’re not telling.

Doesn't this Trump have Caller ID?

Here we are going steady with China and Taiwan comes along and throws herself at him, Trump, like some kind of floozie calls him right up and he answers the phone.

The newspaper finds out and blabs and now China knows and we just have to hope she doesn’t want to break up because it’s too late to get another date to the prom.

We will be ruined.

Apparently…


…it's National Cookie Day

Keep out

12.03.2016

OK, just thinking out loud, but how would you like to have a wax Gerry Ford?

Museum to auction wax figures of presidents, first ladies

GETTYSBURG, Pa. (AP) — A Gettysburg wax museum that features the likeness of every U.S. president and...

Read the full story


Here's a shocker: Trump provokes China

Trump may anger China with call to Taiwan | New York Post

"It was unclear whether Team Trump was signaling a broad change in US policy or if the call was an unintentional blunder."

Post reports it’s "the first time a US president has spoken with a Taiwanese counterpart since 1979,” oh my.

Blasting Bambi

Little girl’s priceless reaction to shooting first deer goes viral | New York Post

“Love this. Fantastic,” a user wrote in the comments section. “Great to see kids loving something other than a computer.”

But it’s always about the computer in the end.

Go Sarah!

‘It’s a hallmark of corruption’: Palin slams Trump’s Carrier deal | New York Post

“…And socialism."

Maybe this will keep her off the list for that VA job.

The fake fake news affair

Why did Facebook briefly ban a fake news detection plugin?

Digital Trends "Sieradski's plugin helps verify links based on a set of criteria, such as "extreme bias," "conspiracy theory," and "rumor mill," among others."

Extreme bias? Just plain old regular bias is good enough around here. 

10 Bears questions

To help get your weekend started, here are a few of the answers:

Chicago Sun-Times The 1-10 49ers and 2-9 Bears have a combined winning percentage of .136. The rest of the conference: .555. • The Bears and 49ers have been outscored by 202 points on aggregate..

The 49ers (10) and Bears (three) have the two longest active losing streaks in the NFC.

There will be a pop quiz on Sunday.

12.02.2016

The tribulations of the Apple (No, not that one, the Big one)

NYC is already tired of Christmas and Donald Trump | New York Post

“It’s not just Trump security, it’s everything from bike lanes to rush-hour traffic to new bus lanes…”

Imagine our despair.

Nobody just wants a beer anymore

Loons and lager, ducks on draft: Birders, brewers form flock

SABATTUS, Maine (AP) — In the worlds of birders and craft beer lovers, there's a new paradigm…

Tours and events aimed at attracting both beer nerds and bird enthusiasts are popping up all over the country, attracting bearded microbrew lovers, field-guide-wielding bird buffs and folks with a passion for both suds and sparrows. Bird-and-beer happenings are taking place from Los Angeles to Minneapolis to Hampton, New Hampshire.

Read the full story


Going to England (or Canada)?

Don't eat the money. 

Tallow tensions: Vegans want 'fat-free' UK 5-pound bank note

LONDON (AP) — The Bank of England's new plastic 5-pound note is stronger, cleaner and safer...

The Bank of England confirmed on Twitter that the notes contain "a trace of a substance known as tallow" — a rendered form of animal fat, processed from suet, which is sometimes used in soaps and candles.

Read the full story


12.01.2016

What ever happened to AT&T and US Steel?

Fitbit is close to buying Pebble

The Verge

Fitness wearables manufacturer Fitbit is close to buying smartwatch maker Pebble, according to The Information — news that has since been independently confirmed by The Verge.…

Read the full story


See it all here first

This season's 5 worst Christmas commercials
'Tis the season when all the brands put on their red and green singlets and crowd into a no-holds-barred cage match to determine who is the champion of goddamn heartfelt spiritually.

11.30.2016

If you like the author, Neal Stephenson…

…you might, or then again you quite possibly might not, like his most recent lengthy (900 pages or so) tome, Seveneves. It’s about some humans who spend 5,000 years in space and some others who, well, don’t. 

I’m not listing it over there on the right because I’m a little bit ambivalent about it myself—it’s good, but not Stephenson good, IMO. But if you’re a space geek, all into orbital navigation and such, or a genetics nerd, or just a glutton for reading, you might want to give it a look. The Kindle version of the book, which appears to be on sale riight now for three bucks (hey, let’s recount this), is here.

I've been trying to get the news out of my News

There’s practically nothing left any more in my News app between the Kardashians and TRUMP. And mostly TRUMP. This morning, for example, from Esquire

Donald Trump's 'Presidential Hat' Is F*cking Terrible

No kidding. TRUMP has a new baseball cap that’s nothing like Abe’s stovepipe or Teddy’s Rough Rider chapeau. It features [spoiler alert] a really ugly font.

We can feel the pain—we can—but not for 1,900 words.

Meanwhile Pirelli came out with their 2017 calendar; it has some really nice pictures which you can look at here. That’s from Êsquire too, so maybe we’ll call this one a draw.

And speaking of draws (and news), here’s something you might not know. In the recently concluded World Series between the Chicagos and the Clevelands both teams scored exactly the same number of runs: 27. So if we were counting runs and not games, the series would be a tie and the Chicagos would have to give their flag back. In fact, if we counted runs instead of games in the World Series it would be possible for one team to run up the score in one game so far, winning, say, by seven or eight points, that the other team could win all the other games and still lose.

Imagine that.

11.26.2016

Et tu, Calvin?

Calvin Trillin on the Scariest Word - The New York Times

"And here we come to the word in the English language that I now most dread: “Upgrade.”"

Is Donald Trump the Penguin?

The campaign that predicted 2016 to a T: Batman vs. The Penguin

The Washington Post

Two episodes of the classic TV show mirror this year's race in unexpected ways — with a twist. Read the full story

I suppose this analogy would make Hillary the bat but, hey, nothing's perfect. 

11.25.2016

Bygones

First lady accepts White House Christmas tree from…Wisconsin

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House is now officially open for the holidays.

Read the full story


A breakthrough for work avoidance professionals

Microsoft brings Solitaire to iOS and Android - The Verge


No, that's not it, although it's obviosly important. The breakthrough is that if you follow the article's link to the Apple app store (or get there some other way, of course), you'll discover it's possible to purchase solitaire for an Apple watch. 

No kidding. This will give clock watching a whole new dimension.

11.24.2016

Quit while you're ahead, dude

Cancel The Apocalypse! Eating Cheese Is The Secret To Living A Long Life

"There is, of course, one small caveat to this, which is that the fat in cheese could cancel out the effects…"

And what's wrong with Spam?


YummYou Natural Cosmetics
The Dieline

Delikatesy&Frykasy has developed the packaging for YummYou, a line of all natural cosmetics that are good for your body and so gentle, they're actually edible, too.…The products have outstanding nourishing and health-promoting properties as well as a great taste.

Read the full story


Shared from Apple News

Whoa. Noted.

Don't mess with the coconut crab, one of the strongest pinchers on land

Los Angeles Times Coconut crabs might be the heavyweight champions of all crustaceans. The largest land-dwelling crab on Earth, Birgus latro can lift about 66 pounds with its pincers and can pinch with about 750 pounds of force.

11.22.2016

Who said perseverance pays?

Police: Gambler's bid to double down at bank turns into bust

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — 

Investigators say Johnson had been at the Mardi Gras Casino in Nitro for hours on Aug. 2 when he put down a $25 chip to hold his spot. That's when police say Johnson drove 13 miles to a Charleston bank, gave tellers a note saying he had a bomb and a weapon and robbed it...

Read the full story


11.21.2016

See how this works out?

I opened my last can of Spam this morning and right away it went on sale at Walgreens. Just in time for Thanksgiving, too. I’d better pick up another couple of cans before then.

Cyber Monday is Black Friday…

…and Black Friday is right now, darlin’, so you’d better get it together. Maybe we should just have a Black Week or, oh no…

Some have begun referring to this month as Black November.…

It’s already too late and Trump hasn’t even been sworn in yet.

Wow! Happy dreams!

From one of those clickbait sites I ran across this morning…

"Many people believe that it is impossible to wash a mattress. However you can actually use vodka to disinfect it. Just put it in a spray bottle and apply a light layer to your mattress, then let it dry."

It might not actually work but you won’t care.

11.20.2016

Go Gophers!

Big Ten Conference Football Standings

Minnesota is tied for second in Big Ten – West.

OK, it’s not much, but at least it’s not Purdue.

Small steps

XKCD

No wonder it blows up

Sweden stop sale of New Zealand beer out of explosion fear

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Sales of a New Zealand-produced beer have started with a bang in Sweden. And ended.…

On its Website, Systembolaget described Aro Noir as have a "malty, roasted aroma with hints of pumpernickel bread, coffee, prunes, cocoa, tobacco and licorice." 

Read the full story


11.19.2016

No he didn't. Yes he did. No wait, yes.

Why Democrats Now Need the F.B.I. Director, James Comey - NYTimes.com


Thanks for nothing, buzzkill


The 5 Worst Calorie Offenders on Your Thanksgiving Table : Food Network

But you are, Bunky…take a look


In Their Coastal Citadels, Democrats Argue Over What Went Wrong
The Wall Street Journal

"The Democratic Party has a history that it's been about working Americans. We cannot be a party of the East Coast, West Coast and metropolitan areas."

  Read the full story

Shared from Apple News

Better send out for a bigger pie


Grandma accidentally invites stranger to Thanksgiving - and it gets better
CNN

So, according to The Arizona Republic, the grandma received about 600 text messages asking for a Thanksgiving plate.

Read the full story


Shared from Apple News

11.18.2016

Good news

Aliens are all around you, says Ivy League professor | New York Post

The theory helps to explain the great mysteries of the cosmos and also answers why we have yet to find intelligent life beyond our planet, Professor Caleb Scharf says.

This could be the answer to every question on the physics exam.

100 Photographs | The Most Influential Images of All Time

But hey, nobody's perfect, right?


Teen Birthrate in Rural Areas Across the U.S. Is Over 60 Percent Higher Than in Cities
Science of Us

A new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report examines teen birthrates across the U.S. …

The report's authors didn't explain why the teen birthrates were lower in urban areas, the Los Angeles Times noted. They also didn't examine abortion rates during the same time frame, nor did they look into the sex-education programs offered at schools in the different counties.

Read the full story


You put the cotton balls in the same load as your socks?

Trump transition coverage is all swamp all the time - NY Daily News


File under Draining, Speaking of …

Down the rabbit hole again

NYC construction boss used Chinese workers for 'slave labor' - NY Daily News


A Chinese national accused by the feds of using "slave" laborers to perform construction work in New York and Long Island is the nephew of a billionaire who has come under FBI scrutiny for donations to the Clinton Foundation.


Noooooo…

Hope makes a comeback

Spartans aiming for another big upset against Ohio State

As badly as this season has gone for O'Connor and his teammates… 

Read the full story


Not to mention bunions

Museum as shoeseum: What our footwear says about our souls

SALEM, Mass. (AP) — Boots aren't just made for walking. On the contrary, footwear has captivated hearts and minds worldwid...

Read the full story


What happens when they try

When pigs fly: Porcine parts, presumably, scatter on highway

SARASOTA, Fla. (AP) - Lt. Gregory Bueno of the Florida Highway Patrol said Wednesday that the two affected lanes were closed nearly two hours while emergency crews mopped up. He said by phone: "We had a mess, basically. The smell was very strong."

Read the full story


This is not about politics, it's just about LMAO

Trump remains frighteningly behind in cybersecurity

Network World As we move into 2017, cybersecurity concerns continue to escalate. This past few months, we've seen some scary incidents, such as the Oct. 21 distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack on the DNS services at Dyn that used IoT devices like home routers ...

OK, so Trump doesn't know cybersecurity, but no one who voted for him seemed to care.

See what I mean?

11.16.2016

Felony eluding!

Oklahoma speeder caught at 208 mph

Fox News

An Oklahoma man was arrested on Saturday after leading police on a 208 mph chase.… 

The driver then pulled over, dropped his keys out of the window, and was arrested and later charged with reckless driving and felony eluding.

Read the full story

I am all for reloading felonies. But I didn't know there was a speed limit in Oklahoma.

Whoa! Who could have seen that coming?

Donald Trump's election has unleashed the hate - NY Daily News


— A Trump supporter punched a Trump opponent in a bar in Brooklyn.

Here's what I need, Bunky…

A perfect look (https://goo.gl/mClm0A). No kidding. I don't think I've ever had a perfect look. Not once. 

Well, possibly in 1938 or '39. But otherwise. A person should have a perfect look at least once, shouldn't he? It seems only fair.

(I'm not sure this is the answer, but a guy has to start somewhere.)

Suddenly, everybody wants a puppy (thanks, Trump)

Bush family announces adoption of rescue puppy named Freddy

DALLAS (AP) - There's a new member of the Bush family: a rescue puppy. George W. Bush says he and his wife, Laura Bush, visit...

Read the full story


Dirty robber

Clean getaway: Police seek Pennsylvania detergent thief

HERSHEY, Pa. (AP) - The Pennsylvania State Police are hoping to prevent a detergent thief from making a clean getaway....

Read the full story


I'm with these guys

Hungary mulls staying on daylight saving time all year round

BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) - A Hungarian parliament committee has given its initial, unanimous approval for Hungary to remain in ...

Read the full story

Why don't we all just rotate time zones one not sure the east. Or west. Whichever. I never could quite get that straight. But this is a terrific idea.

11.15.2016

Ya think?

Obama says Trump tapped into 'troubling' strain of anger, fear - NY Daily News

Always classy, D's

Donna Brazile fires back at CNN for ‘ripping me a new one’ | New York Post

 

Wait, they're not the same?

Normalcy returns, as hackers target porn and adult hookup sites — not politicians

Salon

11.14.2016

I was thinking now that election is over…

…it would be safe to throw away that little “information for voters” booklet they sent around. But it wasn’t, quite yet. Not until I read the part about a new law that’s not really a law yet, but will be by 2022 if enough people vote for it, which they did, about being nice to pigs. It turns out, as of 2022, people in this state will not be allowed to eat pigs they’ve been mean to. Unless the pig is on a pizza or in soup. Or, presumably, in a can marked SPAM.

Whew. Lucky about the SPAM.

Also you can still haul your pig around in a truck if you’re taking it to the county fair. And chickens—you have to be nice to the chickens if you want to eat the eggs. Otherwise you’ll be breaking the law.

Maybe I should cut out that page and keep it.

Milk is heavy

Who knew? I didn’t use to buy much milk but now I’ve taken to putting some in my tea I have to pick up a quart now and then. It adds a lot of weight to my bag.

I’m thinking of buying a cow. Let it carry the milk home from the grocery.

Something new to do with your garbage



Say what?

11.13.2016

He can't just read WikiLeaks?

President-elect Donald Trump is about to learn the nation's 'deep secrets'

The Washington Post

A series of intelligence briefings will deal with covert actions, contingency plans for using nuclear weapons and even the names of major foreign agents. 

Read the full story


"The Bears went into hibernation," says Siri

Just the facts please.

A little afternoon sun

For those who may be pondering the dissolution of the Electoral College…

…let me just say, be careful what you wish for. 

And for the record, I’m agin’ it, Maude.

Also for the record, currently, with Michigan and New Hampshire still outstanding but essentially tied, Clinton leads in the popular vote by 395,050 votes (according to Politico 11/13)—out of about 121,000,000 votes cast. I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s within the margin of counting error.

As someone who once worked, briefly, as a publicist…

Megyn Kelly: Trump tried to influence coverage with gifts

…I am shocked, shocked, by the notion that someone would attempt to lead our noble press corps astray by proffering a gift or, worse, praise. Just imagine.

It was a bad week all around

Squirrels, after working on the problem all summer, have finally figured out how to get onto the neighbor’s bird feeder. The secret is climbing 20 or 25 feet straight up a string that, from my kitchen window, looks about as thick as a fishing line. The string’s purpose is to keep the feeder, which hangs from a tree limb on an even longer (and somewhat sturdier) string, from swinging too much in the wind. 

Of course, having a squirrel hanging onto the string might make the system even more stable, so maybe this is a win-win. For everybody but the birds.

One of the most amusing features…

…of all the hyperventilation now consuming the tech press (Trump! OMG!) is that while Russian hackers are now terrifyingly evil Edward Snowden, a hacker in Russia, is a privacy activist. You could never just make that stuff up.

Or that the malevolent Rudolph Giuliani may soon be eavesdropping on your every pizza order, or that two "smaller tech companies in San Francisco” are, according to Buzzfeed, thinking about moving out of the country (OMG!), possibly (we’re just saying here) to whatever foreign clime all those celebrities are decamping for. We are distressed.

There is, however, some good advice embedded in all the gibberish, some of which you can read about here. Do. No reason the Russian hackers (or anybody else) should know you ordered the pepperoni.

11.12.2016

Sort of like it's a rebuilding year for the Bears

‘Rebuilding year’ for Dems, Lynch says | Boston Herald

 

Way to spoil the fun, Post

Anti-Trump protesters don’t know what a real dictator is | New York Post

"It’s time to stop acting like we’re living through the Arab Spring. The protesters in the streets over Donald Trump’s victory aren’t dissidents rising up to demand free elections. They’re rising up to oppose a free election."

11.11.2016

Can anything more go wrong?

Trump win puts U.S.-Russia hostility on hold - but for how long?

Reuters

After years of rising U.S.-Russia tensions over Ukraine, Syria, cyber attacks and nuclear arms control, Donald Trump's election as U.S. president may offer a narrow window to repair relations as he and Russian President Vladimir Putin size up each other. Read the full story

Dude, if we don't keep that U.S.-Russia hostility going, what will we have left to believe in?

Some guy in Nebraska never quite gets around to picking Bears over Bucs

Lincoln Journal Star The Chicago Bears are coming off a bye following just their second win of the season in a big Monday night upset of the Minnesota Vikings.

Now I'm really going back to bed

Here's whom Democrats could turn to in 2020 to unseat Trump | New York Post


https://goo.gl/806NJA

11.10.2016

Tired of obsessing about politics?

Click here and relax:

Doughnut Kitten by Tania Hennessy

See? Back to normal already

Post-Election Hangover: What to Drive to Escape Reality

David Duke was a Democrat once

So was I. Does that make me David Duke? I think not. 

Aaron Sorkin pens letter to teen daughter about Trump's America - NY Daily News

"The Klan won last night. White nationalists. Sexists, racists and buffoons."


For the record, when Duke was running in the 1988 Democratic primary I was tramping around the neighborhood campaigning for some guy named Dukakis. 

Duke is a Trump backer now. Does that make everybody who voted for Trump Duke? Of course not. And implying so is unhelpful. And dumb.

Nightmares end. This too shall pass.

Why should any of it make sense?

Stars urge their fans to 'fight' after Trump win

Fox News

May [sic] stars criticized Donald Trump for suggesting he might not accept the election results. Read the full story



11.09.2016

Photo from Twitter

Will California float?

With Trump’s win Silicon Valley investors start losing their damn minds | TechCrunch

"Shervin Pishevar and Dave Morin are already (half-jokingly?) calling for California’s secession. And Pishevar is looking to fund the movement."

DEWEY WINS


Wait. I think I'm having a flashback here. It's…

Clinton suffers devastating loss to Trump - POLITICO

Oh, and also…

Netanyahu calls Trump 'a true friend' of Israel - POLITICO

So at least there's that.

Meanwhile, I just spilled a cup of tea all over myself and the kitchen floor, so maybe this is going to be a bad day.

11.08.2016

So I think I'll go get one more bag of potato chips…

…(potatoes are a vegetable) and then settle in to watch the end of the world.

I did vote. I have a little "I voted" sticker stuck to the inside of my pocket. So that's that.

I don't do three-cushion voting. It's not a bank shot. I vote for the person among those available I think would do the best job, not Person B who might keep Person C from beating Person D. But hey, if you like watching things bounce around, go for it.

Everybody gets (or should get) one vote, and everybody should use it. If you haven't yet, get going.