Seen about town

Not quite a parade, but working on it.

And if you want to see how well that works just drop in to any Trump rally

How fairy tales could stop killer robots from taking over the world

"'The collected stories of different cultures teach children how to behave in socially acceptable ways with examples of proper and improper behaviour in fables, novels and other literature,' explained Mark Riedl, an associate professor of interactive computing at Georgia Tech."

Take a break from thinking about the politicians

The horrifying case of the husband-and-wife cadaver dealers - The Washington Post


When we said the R's would self-destruct we certainly were not thinking about this

Nearly 20,000 support petition to allow guns at Republican National Convention | Fox News

"'Policies of the Quicken Loans Arena do not supersede the rights given to us by our Creator in the U.S. Constitution,' the petition reads."

Feel the Berd

Crowd explodes into cheers after bird flies onto Bernie Sanders’ podium during rally

"Welcome to Portland, Senator Sanders, where the sketch comedy show Portlandia popularized the refrain “put a bird on it” as a way to parody the city’s hipster aesthetic."


More about the Bern—a whole lot more

Me, I’m not much for blaming the almighty media for every little thing that goes wrong around here. Mostly, the media—and by that I mean what Fox and lots of partisan apologists on both sides of the political aisle call the “mainstream media”—does a pretty good job. Most of the time. Almost.

But here’s a well thought-out, well reasoned, and accurate indictment of news reporting on the current Democratic primary contest that deserves to be read. All the way.

From the Huffington Post:

A Dozen Reasons Sanders Voters Are Justifiably Angry at the Media Right Now


Feel the Bern

Most bankers who make $400K say they’re not paid enough | New York Post

"The sour attitude comes after a tough year on Wall Street that saw bank profits take a hit and many banks tighten their belts through layoffs."

Did Hillary just make a play for the little green people vote?

Hillary Wants To Reveal Area 51 Secrets | The Daily Caller

“…unless it’s a threat to national security…"

The best chocolate ice cream you may never taste

[THIS IS A VIDEO. It’s full of science. And sprinkles. Watch it.]


Interpol is not all you'll have to deal with if you fool around with those videotapes

Man Rents VHS Tape. Doesn’t Return It. Ends Up in Handcuffs. - The New York Times

"Of all the films to be handcuffed over, 'Freddy Got Fingered' is arguably among the most awkward."

The tape was 14 years overdue. The video store that rented it has gone out of business. 

Springtime for retreads

The Republicans’ Sin of Endorsement - Gail Collins, The New York Times

"They thought Trump would be such an unpopular nominee that the party would face a historic disaster in November. Obviously, the way to improve chances was to support the most actively disliked Republican politician in America.” 

Not to mention backing him up with endorsements from a batch of guys who’ve already lostJeb without the !, Lindsey Graham, Carly Fiorina, Mittens, of course (sure, The Donald has his share of retreads to—Christie, Carson, Palin, et.al.—but still). 

I’m getting nostalgic for John McCain who, by the way, writes an excellent and even moving eulogy for an old Communist in this morning’s Times, although you may need to be a geezer like me who also appreciates Robert Jordan and John Donne to get it.


Whew, another first world problem solved

quip | home

"'I have used the quip toothbrush for an extended period of time now. It refines the oral care experience, reinforcing the fundamentals to give a more wholesome clean.'"

Buckeyes are nuts

Ohio man has Donald Trump tattooed on his arm - CBS News


We quit trying to make sense of this whole thing a long time ago

Lindsey Graham: John Kasich would be better president than Ted Cruz - POLITICO

"Just because he's supporting Ted Cruz for the Republican nomination does not mean he thinks the Texas senator would be the best president, Lindsey Graham said Thursday."

Who knew being older than dirt would be such a relief?

Someone wrote ‘Trump 2016′ on Emory’s campus in chalk. Some students said they no longer feel safe. - The Washington Post

"Students woke up Monday morning to find messages written in chalk all over campus, in support of Donald Trump. That afternoon, a group of 40 to 50 students protested.…

"Jim Wagner, the president of the university in Atlanta, met with the protesters and later sent an email to the campus community, explaining, in part, 'During our conversation, they voiced their genuine concern and pain in the face of this perceived intimidation.'"

Good question but small consolation

Wake up, Cruz and Kasich — the GOP convention will never nominate you | New York Post

"Look, fellas: If Trump doesn’t get enough delegates to win, why would a GOP let entirely loose from primary and caucus results and able to choose anyone as its nominee turn to two candidates who received even fewer delegates than Trump did?"

Maybe what we really need is a big ditch

Feds discover Mexican drug tunnel in Calif. home - NY Daily News

"So much for that border wall."

A pretty nifty bit of animation

Watch what happened to flight patterns in the moments after Brussels attacks - The Washington Post

"Following a pair of explosions Tuesday that killed more than 20 and put the Brussels Airport (BRU) on lockdown, air traffic controllers diverted an estimated 50 planes."

Saved by the hair spray?

Our aerosol emissions are blocking a third of the climate warming | Ars Technica

"Aerosolized particles in the atmosphere scatter light and cool the planet by reflecting some of the Sun’s light back out into space.…"

First rule: Duck

NPR offers its reporters ‘Trump Training’ to handle safety threats - The Washington Post

"NPR has sent its political reporters to 90-minute hostile-environment awareness training, which in its typical form lasts a few days and prepares journalists for covering war zones or regions where terrorists are active."


We do not plan to waste a single one of our rapidly-diminishing brain cells thinking about anything these guys may say

Stasi: Hopefuls offer nonsense after Belgium attacks - NY Daily News

"We need to empower law enforcement to patrol and secure Muslim neighborhoods before they become radicalized…[etc.]"

OK, well, maybe we will. But who could have imagined we’d have a presidential candidate calling for Muslim ghettoes? Trump is no Hitler, but that other guy just might be.

Now Un-sex Ed

Ala. teachers could have class to prevent sex with students - NY Daily News

"An increasing number of incidents have been reported in recent years…"

Through the night

It's more fun to play politics, and probably just as well

Congress’s reaction to Brussels is full of sound and fury, signifying almost nothing - The Washington Post

"How little our elected officials say after these attacks suggests that members of Congress and even presidential candidates are struggling with how to respond to an increasingly violent and complicated threat abroad, especially among a war-weary public."

And there, exactly, is the rub

Top Experts Confounded by Advisers to Donald Trump - The New York Times

"'Many of us who have held senior positions in previous Republican administrations have been asking each other if we have ever heard of them, and pretty much everybody is turning to Google to see what they can find,' said Mike Green, a foreign policy expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies who served on President George W. Bush’s National Security Council."

Are you going to listen to Trump or your lying eyes. Or George W. Bush’s security experts. What a puzzle.


Just making sure it's on there good and tight

Daughter of state rep. charged with stapling opponent's head | Chicago Sun-Times


The Donald can't wait to waterboard somebody, and this might be his chance

Donald Trump on Brussels attacks: ‘I would close up our borders’; Ted Cruz calls for police to patrol Muslim neighborhoods

"The Republican frontrunner…reiterated his vow that if elected president, the United States would bring back waterboarding to interrogate suspected terrorists.

"'I would use waterboarding,' Trump said on ABC’s 'Good Morning America.' 'And I would try to expand the laws to go beyond waterboarding.'"

Can this whole thing get worse than it already is? Oh yeah…

Ted Cruz Has Authoritarian, Joe McCarthy Tendencies Like Donald Trump

"We need to empower law enforcement to patrol and secure Muslim neighborhoods before they become radicalized."

–Ted Cruz

Yet why should the R's have all the fun?

Most Republicans Feel Embarrassed by Campaign, Poll Says - The New York Times

"Yet Democrats are more sharply divided over their candidates. Hillary Clinton has only a slight edge over Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, and growing numbers of Democratic primary voters are more excited about Mr. Sanders as their possible nominee. In the past month, the level of enthusiasm for Mrs. Clinton among Democratic voters has fallen eight percentage points to 40 percent, while it has grown for Mr. Sanders by 12 percentage points to 56 percent. Still, more than seven in 10 Democratic voters expect Mrs. Clinton to win the nomination.…

"Among Democrats, doubts persist about Mrs. Clinton, with 40 percent of her own party’s primary voters saying she is not honest and trustworthy. She is viewed unfavorably by 52 percent of all voters, among the highest percentage since the question was first asked during the 1992 presidential race."


Now they tell me

Cold Weather Makes People Judge Others as Cold-Blooded | New Republic



U.S. Says It May Not Need Apple’s Help to Unlock iPhone - The New York Times

The phone in question, as I recall, is a 5c model.

And before we get one day farther into it…

…our customary seasonal quote from Dorothy Parker:

Every year, back comes Spring,
with nasty little birds yapping
their fool heads off and the ground
all mucked up with plants.

Can big ducks take Brazil?

Gigantic Yellow Ducks Drafted In To Protest Against Brazil's President

"'To pay the duck' in Brazilian Portuguese means to unfairly pay for someone else’s mistakes. The term’s origin is unclear but the saying is common enough for the federation to employ it against what it sees as the failures of Rousseff’s administration."

In Brazil it’s the rich guys who are marching through the streets waving signs, protesting the “quackery” of leftist President Dilma Rousseff’s economic policies, while the working class stays home and pouts.


[Noted by Some Guy in Seattle]

It's the GOPanic now

What Republicans did 15 years ago to help create Donald Trump today - The Washington Post

“Few could predict that it would cause a series of economic and political earthquakes that has helped put the GOP in the difficult spot it is in today: with the most anti-trade Republican candidate in modern history, Trump, moving closer to clinching the party’s nomination."

Best piece yet on the Trump dump race

Retire the Notion That Trump Hijacked the GOP -- NYMag

"Once you get past the hyperventilation that Trump will destroy democracy, wreck the GOP, and make America unsafe, you’ll see that the objections of Trump’s Establishment critics have several common threads. Trump is a vulgarian (true). He has no fixed ideology or coherent policy portfolio (true). He repeatedly and brazenly makes things up (true). He wantonly changes his views (true). He is not recognizable as “a real Republican” (false)."

This is a longish read, but emphatically worth the time. 

And also, has New Coke ever had a better year for publicity? Maybe it’s the drink of the future after all. First Jeb! gets himself compared to that ill-fated beverage (see below somewhere), and now:

"The Establishment’s prize creation, Marco Rubio — a bot candidate programmed with patriotic Reaganisms, unreconstructed Bush-Cheney foreign-policy truculence, a slick television vibe, and a dash of ethnicity — was the biggest product flop to be marketed by America’s Fortune 500 stratum since New Coke."

Get a six-pack today, just for the memories.