5.27.2017

Here's some nasty news to start your final weekend

Republicans want to let robocallers spam your voicemail - The Washington Post


The Republican National Committee is backing a petition that would allow political campaigns and businesses to leave automated messages on your voicemail, without your phone having to ring. 

5.26.2017

Not exactly a glowing review

New Amazon bookstore looks like airport desperation pit-stop | New York Post

Those New Yorkers—hard to please.

Whar's the matter with kids today?

Methanol detected for first time around young star

(Why can’t they be like we were, perfect in every way?)

First, no

The all-new Things. Your to-do list for Mac & iOS

I do not need a personal task manager. I do not need any sort of task manager at all because I do not do tasks, at least not the kind that need managing in any way. 

Although if you ever come up with anti-task software let me know and I will put it on my Things to Think About Maybe Someday list.

A rose by any other name would be…

…well, a rose, probably. But “George” would rhyme with “charge,” and other delightful things.

How Shakespeare spoke: Original Pronunciation, rhymes, and puns | OxfordWords blog""

5.24.2017

Thanks! I was wondering about that

Why Trump women wore veils but not headscarves on foreign trip - NY Daily News

"The Vatican has a strict rule about how women must dress in the presence of the Pope. Saudi Arabia, meanwhile, enforced no such rule on the Trumps, even though women who live in the conservative Muslim kingdom are expected to be covered in public."

It’s hard to stay on top of this stuff. Me, I never even understood hair. Why is hair political. Why, in fact, is hair. I say, off with it.

Not that I could say much else.

Helen Gone of our travel department agrees…

…if the Toledo bus station is the last place on earth, don't go there. You will be better off just…not.

I know this because I spent a week there last Sunday night.

In the course of a round-trip to Ohio by Greyhound, I became intimately acquainted with three bus stations, in fact: New York's Port Authority building at 42nd and 8th (dingy but tolerable, and moderately entertaining); the bus station in Cleveland (you wouldn't want to be there twice but yet I was); and Toledo (The Pit).

The agent at Toledo mumbled under his breath, "why do they keep sending people here?"

I have the feeling I was lucky to have got out at all.

Also, a shout-out to Greyhound for installing new seats that are even more uncomfortable than the old ones. And they said it could't be done.

I am off for Vermont in the morning, but only for a few hours. So how bad can that be?

5.19.2017

When these guys say royal service they're not kidding

Royal treatment: Dutch King reveals he piloted KLM passenger flights - CNN.con



There's a place for everything

Cops: Man drives drunk in state police academy's parking lot



5.18.2017

Is it just me or is there something weird here?

Police: Drunken driving suspect had lizard in bra



Still, not something you would take to the beach

Watch the British Library Digitize One of the World's Largest Books

"Obviously the atlas is rather a tricky thing to read — though it has wheels fixed onto it to make it easier to move around"

5.17.2017

This is really a sad story…

The World: ship is 'most exclusive floating city' - CNN.com


Home to the world's only full-sized at-sea tennis court, a 7,000-square foot spa and fitness center, and 12,000-bottle wine collection, this ship has visited 1,213 ports and sailed 641,000 nautical miles.

…but somehow the idea of playing tennis on a ship at sea cracks me up.  Me, I can't even play it on flat, unmoving dry land.


Shedding a tear with the clown

AP Exclusive: The last days of the Ringling Bros. circus



5.16.2017

The "gritty past" this story talks about is 1981

Street art photographer Martha Cooper immortalizes New York City's gritty past

Also there seems to be only one picture in the story, but maybe that’s just because I’m not counting right.

Unexpected? Not to anyone who's ever been to high school

Facebook promised to tackle fake news. But the evidence shows it's not working | Technology | The Guardian

“When Facebook’s new fact-checking system labeled a Newport Buzz article as possible 'fake news', warning users against sharing it, something unexpected happened. Traffic to the story skyrocketed, according to Christian Winthrop, editor of the local Rhode Island website."

Eww, I was reduced to eating veggies for breakfast

Peas and carrots. Ugly, right? Sure, I eat peanut butter for breakfast but that's where I draw the line.

My grocery schedule needs to be revised.


Profiles in CYA

Trump's intelligence slip-up may be the straw that breaks the camel's back

CNN

President Donald Trump shared highly classified information with Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov and Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak during a meeting in the Oval Office last week, according to reporting by the Washington Post. 

"I think those same members of Congress will begin to speak out," said one senior Republican House member granted anonymity to speak candidly.

Read the full story


Shared from Apple News

5.15.2017

No kidding

If Americans Can Find North Korea on a Map, They're More Likely to Prefer Diplomacy - The New York Times


Americans' geography skills remain poor


Can't get started without you…

…or at least a nice piece of leftover chocolate cake. It's anther chilly, damp morning in the Commonwealth. Maybe another cup of coffee too.

5.14.2017

So they had an un-free speech rally?

Boston Common ‘Free Speech Rally’ sparks counter-protest | Boston Herald

"The man holding the Pepsi could be seen throwing at least one punch with the can of soda still in his hand."

Oh. Just another internet joke.

And make it something nice

Every Day, Your Mom Wasted 90 Minutes of Her Life On You, So Get Her a Present | FiveThirtyEight



5.12.2017

Crashes and burns

Don't call me Caitlyn: Baby name plunges in popularity

"In fact, the four names that dropped the most were all variations of the same name: Caitlin, Caitlyn, Katelynn and Kaitlynn."

Take that, Mom

Mouse running low?

Install those updates, and do it right away


The Ransomware Meltdown Experts Warned About Is Here
WIRED

It's not just British hospitals. A nasty strain of ransomware is sweeping the world. Read the full story


Shared from Apple News

All you need to know about seasteading

The Seasteading Institute – Opening humanity's next frontier


"I fell in love immediately." Talking to the incomparable David Frizzell, Leadership Consultant and host of the Team Guru Podcast, reminded me of how I felt when I first grokked


On presidents not inventing words

How to Sound Presidential | Merriam-Webster

 

One of the most droll (and certainly the most civilized) thing you can do on Twitter…

…is follow Merriam-Webster Dictionary.

Dictionary tweets trending in this American political life - Chicago Tribune

 

Spectacularly Cassini

See stunning photos of Saturn taken by the Cassini spacecraft - The Washington Post

A modest Modest Proposal

One Republican’s plan to save money: Turn 82,000 non-English-speaking kids over to ICE - The Washington Post

Where is Johnathan Swift when we need him?

5.11.2017

Refreshingly disgusting, this day is turning out to be

Mom finds gross ‘squid-like’ horror in her coconut water | New York Post

“I still can’t believe this I’m so disgusted it’s the only water I ever drink I will never in my life drink it again … It looks like a freaking octopus just looking at it makes me sick,” Kline wrote in a Facebook post along with photos of her horrifying discovery.

History meets Orwell, and agrees

News release: Workers prepare to remove Jefferson Davis statue in New Orleans, 2nd Confederate monument to be removed

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — News release: Workers prepare to remove Jefferson Davis statue in New Orleans, 2nd Confederate monument...

Read the full story


A toad in your shoe? A toad?

Let's hope this is the most dispiriting thing you hear all day.

Australia warns travelers to not bring in hitchhiking toads

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Australian quarantine authorities on Thursday urged travelers through Asia to avoid…

The black-spined toad found by a biosecurity officer inside the shoe had only recently died and was probably alive when the passenger put the shoe on in Indonesia, O'Connor said in a statement.

Read the full story

Sent from AP News. Download now on the App Store or Google Play

5.10.2017

Me, I think it's wonderful

‘The Daily’: Which Investigation Got James Comey Fired? - The New York Times

Did he or didn’t he? Will he or won’t he? And what about her? I’m thinking Hillary is right this very moment busily re-writing her much anticipated(and much already paid for) book.

It’s glorious.

I really don’t care how it turns out. I’m just enjoying the show. This year has bee  pretty dreadful so far but I think it’s about to turn around.

And, Giuliani for AG? Christie?

5.09.2017

OK that's a little ambiguous, but still

Tunnel with nuclear waste collapses in Washington state - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM


In the past, rail cars full of radioactive waste were driven into the tunnels and then buried there, he said.


OMG we're all gonna freeze!

Scientists Found An 'Unexpected' Source Of Climate Cooling | The Daily Caller

"“These findings challenge the widely held perception that areas characterized by shallow-water methane seeps and/or strongly elevated sea−air methane flux always increase the global atmospheric greenhouse gas burden,” reads the study’s executive summary."

Or get bored to death.

(FYI, this is from that little Tucker’s former web site.)

So I'm just thinking here…

Jesse Jackson Jr. surfaces in Chinese billionaire's criminal case | Chicago Sun-Times

…after we’re done with the Russians why don’t we open an investigation of all the foreign influence in U.S. politics? Imagine what would crawl out from under that rock.

5.08.2017

SPOILER: The Russians did it

Bill Clinton and James Patterson collaborating on new political thriller

The Washington Post

'The President Is Missing' will be published in June 2018. 

Read the full story


If you really just can't wait to go through it again…

The 7 Signs That Someone Might Be Running For President In 2020

FiveThirtyEight

Donald Trump showed that the field of people who could be elected president is larger than just senators, governors and vice presidents. And his underwhelming approval ratings so far suggest that anyone who wants to be the commander-in-chief should run in 2020 — at the moment, President Trump looks vulnerable. 

Read the full story


Soon to be another great reason for not watching TV

Clinton campaign tell-all may become TV series | New York Post


"Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton's Doomed Campaign,"the best-selling book written by Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes, has been optioned by TriStar Television and Davis Entertainment as a limited television series, according to the New York Times.

5.07.2017

Gibralter may crumble

Brexit holds the cards to Gibraltar's gambling future

"Britain’s looming departure from the EU, therefore, has cast a cloud over Gibraltar’s future because Brexit could see it shut off from the rest of the EU. That possibility is already having an indirect impact on Gibraltar, by magnifying the appeal of other low-tax jurisdictions such as Malta."

5.06.2017

What, you wanted a roof too?


Billions of dollars of steel, glass and metal were no match for Mother Nature on Friday afternoon, when rain poured through the roof at the Oculus train station like a "shower overhead," sending drenched commuters slipping and sliding for the door.



Nice picture there, Daily News

Democrats aghast over DHS chief John Kelly's deportation tactics - NY Daily News


http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/democrats-aghast-dhs-chief-john-kelly-deportation-tactics-article-1.3142036

Unleftovers

The hot new trend in food is literal garbage

The Washington Post

"Ugly-fruit jam and state-bread beer are big business…

"According to the Environmental Protection Agency, Americans threw away 38 million tons of food in 2014 alone — much of it unbought, unmarketable or unharvested food that was still perfectly edible."

 Read the full story


5.05.2017

And that's not all

Scientists and chefs agree: It's time to start eating bugs | New York Post


"Looking to whip up a unique cocktail? Adding ants to a gin and tonic adds a citrus-y kick to your drink."

And it's not covered by Trumpcare

What is Exploding Head Syndrome and how to tell if you have it - NY Daily News


"Some people have claimed that the origin of the disorder comes from government officials pointing directed energy weapons at them…"


Karma is a bitch

Russia says US coalition banned from Syria "de-escalation zones" under no-fly deal with Iran and Turkey - CBS News



5.04.2017

In Chicago, pigs will fly

"Flying Pigs" installation will block Trump sign in Chicago - Archpaper.com


The helium-filled balloons will then be floated, single file, from a construction barge in the Chicago River at just such a height to obscure the 20-foot-by-141-foot Trump sign. The single day installation is expected to be launched in late August or early September.

Oink. 

5.03.2017

We need to organize a bake sale to buy the State Department a printer

Huma Abedin had Anthony Weiner print classified emails for Hillary Clinton, James Comey says.

 

Just when I thought there was nothing more to worry about

The 'new page' tab in Chrome is not symmetrical... and now I hate Google

"Once you see it, you can never unsee it.…"

But believe us, it has nothing to do with the amount of money that's pouring in

Why Do Americans Smile So Much?

The Atlantic

How immigration and cultural values affect what people do with their faces 

"For a study published last year, researchers compared the official photos of American and Chinese business and government leaders. After coding them according to their levels of "facial muscle movement," they found that American leaders in all contexts were both more likely to smile and showed more "excited" smiles than the Chinese leaders did."

Read the full story


5.01.2017

It seems we might have saved a little ink here

I applied for a re-up of my state ID this morning and got a printed temporary Identification Card on which is printed, in big bold letters…

This card was issued by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts solely for the purpose of establishing identification of the bearer.


followed by…



4.29.2017

And a lifetime award for work avoidance goes to…

Nobody knows cartoons like the New Yorker's Bob Mankoff. Were mine good enough for him? - The Washington Post


"This is almost like work," he faux-whined in a nasal New York-ese as the cartoonists paraded through, their submissions among the 500 he reviews in a week. "I've dedicated my life to avoiding work. This is like the Motor Vehicles Bureau."


4.28.2017

Trump is missing a big wall-building opportunity here

How liquor shops are getting around India's latest booze ban

The Economist

IT WAS the classic shot-chaser combination. First India's Supreme Court upheld a recent decision barring retail sales of alcohol within 500m of a state or national highway. Then it extended the ruling to hotels, restaurants, bars and pubs. 

One bar has constructed a maze with pre-fabricated concrete walls that artificially increase the distance from its front door to the highway to just a little over 500m. The zigzag warren leading up to the watering hole has been nicknamed the "Wall of Love" and cost some 200,000 rupees ($3,000) to build. 

Read the full story


For serious math geeks

Why Spider-Man Should Just Take the Subway | FiveThirtyEight



And by the way, it's National Superhero Day.

And you thought all that stuff would never come in handy

NYPD: Woman shot at point-blank range saved by her purse



New diet plan revealed; called "Going to Yale"

Yale Grad Students Go on 'Symbolic' Hunger Strike Where They're Allowed to Eat


…"protesters can leave and get food when they can no longer go on."

Also, for the record…

"Yale doctoral students currently earn a stipend $30,000 a year, receive free health care, and have their $40,000 tuition paid in full, according to Yale News."

 

Maybe Dems could teach the Russians a thing or two

"Shattered" Reveals Clinton and Sanders Staffs Struck Deal to Hide Protests


Shared via the Google app

4.27.2017

Activism takes a new turn

New Manhattan cocktail bar provides anti-Trump safe haven


Choosing to drink at Coup “makes you feel like you’re doing something,” attorney Matthew Hayes told the AP. “Instead of just getting sotted, you can also throw something to a good cause.”

4.26.2017

Can't wait to see the movie


Dozens of snakes dumped in Arkansas Walmart parking lot
Fox News

Arkansas police received calls from frightened customers who encountered the dozens of snakes that were dumped in the parking lot of a local Walmart. Read the full story


You did it this time, United

United probing in-flight death of prized rabbit | New York Post


Edwards previously told The Sun that Simon had a check-up with the vet three hours before the flight and "was fit as a fiddle."

4.24.2017

As well he should

Man in bunny suit who blew air horn at police pleads guilty

Read the full story

Sent from AP News. Download now on the App Store or Google Play

Got a little sand in your eye? Maybe you can sell it to China!

The Economist explains: Why there is a shortage of sand | The Economist


"No surprise…that Asia is the biggest consumer of sand. China alone accounts for half of the world's demand."

Steampunk rules

Space May Be Next Frontier for Earth's Crude Oil Giants: Analyst - Bloomberg

www.bloomberg.com

"Water can be used as a propellant in space or split into hydrogen and oxygen, and then recombined and combusted. Deep Space Industries Inc., an asteroid mining company, has developed a thruster that heats water into a steam propellant, according to Goldman."

Read the full story

4.23.2017

Facebook declines to give us free brain implants


Facebook Is Pioneering Technology That Allows Users to Type Using Just Their Thoughts
Esquire

 Read the full story

BUT says "We're working on a system that will let you type straight from your brain about 5x faster than you can type on your phone today."

We say, this is one of the most terrifying ideas we've heard in a long, long time.

4.22.2017

Why am I guessing they also sell beer?

Chocolate Chip Mint: Better get used to it . . .


https://goo.gl/QVTm2F

It was a very good year

20-year-old McDonald's sauce packet sells for nearly $15K | New York Post


"I just bought a really old car, while cleaning it I found a packet of this sauce," reads the auction author's description. 

Science discovers peer pressure

Social media causes runners to exercise even more - NY Daily News


Researchers have discovered that people's fitness routines are heavily dependent on how they feel about other people's fitness routines.

Pretty soon we'll know everything.

4.21.2017

Phooey. Now I want one

The Starbucks Unicorn Frappuccino Represents Everything That Is Wrong With America


https://goo.gl/VsT3UE

Pot and kettle really going at it now

Did Sarah Palin, Ted Nugent and Kid Rock go too far in mocking Hillary Clinton's portrait?

The Washington Post

Paul Begala, a former White House counselor to President Bill Clinton, called the impromptu photo "a white trash Mount Rushmore." 

Read the full story

How long before SNL satirizes itself?

That's a thought!

Berkeley reverses decision to cancel speech by conservative pundit Ann Coulter - The Washington Post


"What are they going to do? Arrest me?"

Meanwhile Berkeley, once the home of the free speech movement, is now apparently the home of the safe speech movement. How far we have fallen.

Banks need more love… and more of your money would be nice too, you cheapskates

From Reuters News:

Trump to order U.S. Treasury to delve into taxes, post-crisis reforms

U.S. President Donald Trump will order the Treasury on Friday to find and reduce tax burdens and review post-financial crisis reforms that banks and insurance companies have said hinder their ability to do business.


4.20.2017

Newspapers forever



And a LOT more at…



Noted by M from our Midwest Bureau

Yahoo! yahoo

Yahoo Bows Out as Public Company With Revenue Shrinking


Bill O'Reilly Out At Fox News Channel, Ending 21-Year Run


Or we do

Who are the Democrats? - The Washington Post


At 77– and 66-years-old respectively, House and Senate Minority Leaders Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) hardly represent the next generation of Democrats. Even Sanders, who seems to have the most energy of any Democrat, is 75. Chelsea Clinton doesn't represent anything but a small slice of Manhattan liberals and the dwindling few that live off Clinton nostalgia. The ill-considered and clueless Black Lives Matter movement is not a movement that can attract new voters to the Democratic Party; in fact, it contributes to the opposite. And their Hollywood supporters appear to be a spent force, except as an occasional fundraising platform. Democrats need a new bag of tricks.

4.19.2017

Why is April tax month?

Because it’s Mathematics Awareness Month

Got your attention, didn’t it?

They said it was a repressive society but it turns out to be even worse than that

North Korean men aren’t allowed to get Kim Jong Un’s haircut | New York Post

Be still my heart

Student makes PowerPoint for crush to show just how dateable she really is | New York Post

"Fenton reveals: 'I am a tantalizing conversationalist and can hold riveting table talk with your parents.'"

30 mph…

… is the average speed of the high-speed train from Vermont over the 150 mile distance between here and New York City.

I bet your horse can't go that fast.

Be a citizen scientist (somebody's got to do it)

CrowdMag: Real-time crowdsourced magnetic data | NCEI
Here’s an app you install on your smartphone to contribute data about the Earth’s magnet field to NOAA. All you have to do is install it, forget it, and accept the adulation of a grateful world.  
Read the info linked above and check your phone’s app store.

4.18.2017

Wait, what?

Trump's White House Misplaces an Aircraft Carrier

"This episode does not seem to be a lie as much as it seems to be a further demonstration of the clusterfckish management style there at Camp Runamuck. At this point, my faith in what the administration says is such that I believe that, when the missiles flew into Syria, the president* and Xi actually were splitting a Twinkie and a bottle of YooHoo."

Seriously. Keep that dude away from that button.

Little cloud gets stuck in big tree


Let's not get carried away here

Opinion | Trump's administration doesn't understand the meaning of power

The Washington Post

…a Trump Doctrine is still at the lumpy, unwhisked-batter stage of intellectual baking. 

Read the full story


Shared from Apple News

4.17.2017

Spare us the fancy writing, please

Margarine sales: investors can't believe they're not better

The Economist

THE debate over fats is larded with controversy. 

Read the full story


All that great weather forecast I was looking at?

It was for Phoenix.

Alas.

OK, 60° and rainy isn't horrible, exactly, but it's not Phoenix. No way.

4.14.2017

Vampire cocktails?

Blue horseshoe crab blood sells for up to $14,000 per quart

Boing Boing


Read the full story


Shared from Apple News

4.13.2017

Some people have no shame

Turn leftover Easter candy into festive cocktails - NY Daily News


That's right — jelly beans, chocolate bunnies, Cadbury Creme Eggs and even Peeps can make for sweet sips if paired with the right spirits.

It begins…

Wisc. gun shop robber pledges to 'spill blood' in Trump manifesto - NY Daily News


Joseph Jakubowski broke into the Armageddon gun store in Janesville, Wisc.…

…and you can guess where it ends. 

He'd be certain now

When I was a boy I was told that anybody could become President; I'm beginning to believe it.
- Clarence Darrow

Dead malls: Look just like where you've been


DEAD MALL SERIES : The Final Hours of Oak Hollow Mall : High Point, NC - YouTube
m.youtube.com

Read the full story

4.11.2017

This means war

No not that war. Whew. Sorry.

No, there's a bird out there that sounds exactly like my ringtone. It can't do that, can it? Isn't there some kind of treaty? Do we have any of those missiles left? What about Interpol? 

Oh oh

I got an email about Hot Ukrainian Women. Does this mean I'm on Putin's mailing list? Trump's? No kidding, I am thoroughly confused.

Meanwhile, even the bunny has gone rogue.


Easter Holiday Phishing Scams and Malware Campaigns | US-CERT


https://goo.gl/Wb6F6O

4.10.2017

An old lady waved at me

She was just driving by in a car. I didn't recognize her. But she must of been as old as, well, I am.

How scary is that.

4.09.2017

Let's just give up on politics altogether and go for the comedy of it all

Convicted scammer creates federal PACs from prison | Center for Public Integrity

No federal law prevents Pesce from forming a PAC or soliciting money for it. And he doesn't have to tell unsuspecting donors he's an inmate at Taylorville Correctional Center, having scammed a woman out of nearly $100,000.
https://goo.gl/oK3qEq

4.08.2017

The checkout line

Young woman, buying groceries: "…he picked out a scratch ticket for me."

Cashier, a woman about the same age: "Oh wow."

More proof

Have you ever been in traffic when some hyped up lane changer zips by, dodging in and out of traffic like a madman (mad person, sorry), trying to get somewhere fast, and then at the next red light you pull right up next to her? Well, yeah. 

Now here's more proof that all that frantic lane-swapping behavior doesn't accomplish much. Or anything at all.

Why You Shouldn't Walk on Escalators

Quick! Go to Germany, buy a second-hand sofa, and shake it

15 Years Later, Billions in Pre-Euro Currencies Remain Unredeemed - Bloomberg


More than 15 billion euros ($16 billion) of outdated banknotes and coins in the euro-area have not yet been handed in and exchanged for euros – roughly the annual cost of Latvia's imports. Just under half of the region's hidden treasures are stashed away in cash-loving Germany…

My good deed for humanity…

…is to stay indoors this afternoon, wearing sweats and warm socks.

I was outdoors this morning and it was maybe 40 and very cloudy and the wind was fierce. Now I'm here and the wind has died down and the sun is coming out but I know if go back out the weather will become terrible again.

So I'm staying indoors for my neighbors' sake. How obvious is that? I'll go out tomorrow when it's perfect.

4.07.2017

Don't believe everything you read

There. That takes care of the fake news situation, doesn't it?

A fifth-grade teacher taught me that along time ago. She also said, always read more than one newspaper. And anything called "Facebook" doesn't count.

Of course back in the 1940's journalists weren't the pure and uncorrupted creatures we have today, so advice like that was useful. Now, post Photoshop, we ought not believe everything we see either.

The design on the Oreo is not a satanic symbol, OK? And if you think it is, you can just give me your cookie and I'll eat it.

4.06.2017

You were worrying about wiretapping, Bunky?

The US Border Patrol is trying to build face-reading drones - The Verge

“…those facial-recognition capabilities would work well with Homeland Security’s IDENT database, which currently contains more than 170 million fingerprints and facial images collected from non-citizens as they enter the United States. The FBI’s facial-recognition checks reach even further, scanning across 411 million photos in state and federal databases."

Wiretapping is so years ago. Who uses wires anymore, in the first place? And then when you understand these guys will soon be flying over your head linking your face with your fingerprints (and why not DNA too?) in real time, well, you’d better start trying to find a new place to hide. I’m looking into tinfoil hats, myself.

The magic words behind all these handy-dandy government surveillance technologies are, of course, “venture capital.” 

"Launched in 2014, DHS’s Silicon Valley office was designed to get new technology into government hands faster by operating as a venture capital firm, following the lead of the CIA’s controversial In-Q-Tel investment arm."

Life imitates the internet. Or something.

Don’t get into this if you’re prone to panic. Stick to something more basic, like the “nuclear option."

This icon is an icon

Behold the original Mac Dogcow…


Oh no…TOO MANYJOBS

No kidding. Look at this.

U.S. weekly jobless claims post largest drop in almost two years


And wait till you see what the chief economist has to say…


"The lower jobless claims filings show the economy continues to show improvement which is important news with the long expansion expected to eventually tire somewhere down the line given its longevity," said Chris Rupkey, chief economist at MUFG Union Bank in New York.

Sort of makes you want to stand up and cheer, doesn't it?


Meanwhile, due to my own personal longevity, I think I'll take a nap.

The good news is…


  1. There's a Spam sale at CVS.
  2. The cookies I bought, too, are pretty good.
  3. It didn't start raining really hard until I got home.
A pretty successful afternoon so far.

Also, the way this April is going, we're going to have a lot of May flowers.

Agreed


Best procrastination related sign ever
Boing Boing

Nailed it. (more…) Read the full story


Shared from Apple News

4.04.2017

If you want a pizza, a pizza is what you want

Obamacare Food Labeling Regulations Are Absurd | National Review


The sort of people who count calories and total up their daily carbs and protein and monounsaturated fats already moved beyond government-mandated food labels ages ago. As for everybody else: There is basically no evidence that food labeling actually results in consumers' making healthier choices about their food. The belief that people who are given better information will make better choices is intuitively persuasive, but it does not stand up to empirical scrutiny. In fact, a study of McDonald's customers found that those who were provided with supplemental information about recommended daily caloric intake ordered lunches with 50 calories more on average than those who were not advised of expert opinion.

https://goo.gl/6nYCEh

4.03.2017

Nobody said it would be easy

XKCD

Why not just leave it at eight?

Over the years, various Acts of Congress have altered the number of seats on the Supreme Court, from a low of five to a high of 10. Shortly after the Civil War, the number of seats on the Court was fixed at nine.


For now. Then when the next one retires (looking at you, Ruthie) we can have seven. Think of the money we'll save. And the aggravation. 

One thing we should not do is get the Senate to discussing a "nuclear option." Trump's likely to overhear and push the button. He's the president, why shouldn't he have the fun?

You could see how he would think that, right?

Meanwhile, I say don't waste energy on stuff you can't do anything about anyway. Concentrate on stuff you can control. Or at least hope to.

Like, does anybody know where I can get some of those anti-radiation meds for my shelter?

So let's say you shake somebody's hand…

Cyborgs at work: employees getting implanted with microchips

STOCKHOLM (AP) — The syringe slides in between the thumb and index finger. Then, with a click, a microchip is injected in ...

Read the full story


Rick Perry's still got a chance!

Sorry, Democrats. Trump's not going anywhere. You wouldn't like who would follow anyway. - The Washington Post

Tribe: "Setting aside the virtually impossible scenarios I've described, what lies ahead of us, if Trump fails to serve out his term, is clear: Vice President Pence, however tainted, will become the nation's chief executive unless Pence, too, resigns or is removed from office after ascending to the presidency upon Trump's resignation, removal or displacement — in which case the Presidential Succession Act of 1947 specifies that the Speaker of the House (Paul Ryan) would succeed to the presidency. Following Ryan in that line of succession would be the Senate's president pro tempore (Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah), then the secretary of state (Rex Tillerson), and so on down the line of Cabinet members."

4.02.2017

In the spirit of the Internet

> A man who carries a cat by the tail learns something he can learn in no other way.
> - Mark Twain

There's always somebody

No joke: Snow hits northern New England on April Fools' Day

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — It's April Fools' Day, but this is no joke: People across northern New England woke up to a foot of...

"It couldn't be on a better day, April Fools'," Tracy Neff said. "I think it's fabulous. It's beautiful, it's fun, everyone's festive."

Read the full story


4.01.2017

"A work avoidance fail"

Via Some Guy (and the Huffington Post):

Shocking Video Shows Bad-Ass Badger Burying Entire Cow By Itself | The Huffington Post


The wisdom of the ages

https://goo.gl/BSmFY8



The perfect floor

A lot of pictures in this fascinating piece about building the floor for the NCAA games at University of Phoenix.


From Tree to Tipoff


https://goo.gl/XRU374

111 and out for the Huskies

Their last loss was to Stanford in overtime, on November of 2014, 865 days ago. Losing now and then keeps you humble. So last night they did it again.

The UCONN women's basketball Huskies lost to Mississippi State in overtime, by two points, at the buzzer, in the semi-final game of this year's "March Madness" NCAA tournament. The Mississippi State team convincingly outplayed the UCONN women and richly deserved to advance. They'll play South Carolina for the championship on Sunday.

Also it snowed again last night, so blah.

3.31.2017

You tell 'em, Dandelion

Crayola Retiring Dandelion Color From 24-Count Box | Time.com


The Day the Crayons Quit author Drew Daywalt released a "statement" to TIME on Dandelion's behalf, saying, "Retire, my BUTT! You can't retire me. I QUIT. And you can quote me on that, Daywalt."

Fantasy fantasy football, anyone?

Jeff Bezos could buy every NFL team and still be set for life | New York Post


https://goo.gl/NLWsMf

Come on, lawyer, pull yourself together

Dunkin' Donuts deceived customer about butter, lawsuits charge - NY Daily News


"Candidly, it seems like a really minor thing…

What is it about this headline that completely cracks me up?

Principal suspends half of Penn. high school over repeat absences - NY Daily News


The story is pretty funny too.

https://goo.gl/agJUPW

Rivers are people too, too

Rivers Win in the Fight for Non-Human Rights – Pacific Standard


So now, what if a river and a corporation got married and had a baby?


3.30.2017

Up with this we will not put

Wunderground is forecasting 12+ inches of snow tomorrow and another 3-5 Saturday and more on Tuesday.

No way.

Oh no!

My book is in the wrong time zone. No wonder.

3.29.2017

No word on where the party will be held but we'll let you know when we find out

Boeing Ramps Up JDAM Production as Stockpiles Decrease | DoDBuzz


"Chicago-based Boeing recently celebrated its 300,000 JDAM production, Gruensfelder said."

[JDRAM are, well, bombs.]

Swimming beneath the Alps

Ain't it ever

Opinion | This month, write a poem. I'll show you how.

The Washington Post

April is not the cruelest month, March is.

And April is, apparently, National Poetry Month.

Read the full story


3.28.2017

Here's an idea, let's put sugar in it!

Selling water: Coke, Pepsi look to make water rain money

"NEW YORK (AP) — Bottled water is starting to seem more like soda, and sometimes taste like it, too.

"'Someone could argue with a straight face that maybe those belong with (sodas),' executive editor Duane Stanford noted. But, he said, people drink Sparkling Ice with the 'mindset' that it is water."

Read the full story


How far we have fallen


The tire guy is now getting his inspirational quotes from Georgie Dubya Bush. (Sad!)

Looking to get away from it all?

From Reuters News:

Town of Reduction, population 60, up for sale in Pennsylvania

"Got $1.5 million to spare? If so, tiny Reduction, a one-time company town built to house workers at a long-vanished garbage-processing plant in western Pennsylvania, could be yours for the asking.…

"The plant, built by American Reduction Co on a wide bend of the Youghiogheny River, shut down in 1936 after processing waste from the city of Pittsburgh since the early 20th century.

Workers would render animal carcasses, and separate metal from household waste for resale.…


"'This was the original recycling plant,' said David Stawovy, 67, who owns Reduction with his three siblings."

Maybe you could start a recycling museum.

3.27.2017

Too late, Joe

Joe Biden Regrets Not Running For President In 2016

And yeah, you probably could have won. So could have anybody else. Almost.

I'm just enough of a geek to think…

Trump presidency 'opens door' to planet-hacking geoengineer experiments | Environment | The Guardian

…planet hacking sounds kind of cool. Except well, Trump. Know what I mean? What if his idea of geoengineering is papering the whole thing over with gold leaf? I’m not dissing gold leaf lovers here but it’s just not exactly my style. So I’m hoping we at least hold a vote.

Also, spraying a lot of chemicals into the air to see what happens is a little too speculative for my taste. Or smell. Of course it’s not the smell we’re worried about here, it’s the sun. Possibly we ought to geoengineer the sun, put in a dimmer switch.

I don't want to hear these guys say "oops"

NASA to slam a spaceship into an asteroid for practice | New York Post

 

Some are born grumpy, some achieve grumpiness…

Congressman: Freedom Caucus members would vote against Ten Commandments | New York Post

 

But if you can't put it in a vending machine, what's the point?

Massive gold coin worth millions stolen from German museum - NY Daily News

 

OK, I'll bite

Edible Pouncer drone could fly aid to developing countries | WIRED UK



3.26.2017

"Middle American" has become a synonym for "dolt"

Now, I’m a Middle American myself, at heart, and I’m lodging a complaint.

Consider: Here’s some Hollywood guy bitching about how Middle America and Rotten Tomatoes ruined a recent movie he directed:

“'People don’t realize what goes into making a movie like that,' Ratner continued before pointing out that Middle Americans are too stupid to make decisions about which films they like on their own and base their opinions solely on the Rotten Tomatoes score."

The “movie like that” he’s talking about got a 27% score on Rotten Tomatoes and still made $900 million on a $250 million investment. And, oh yeah, it’s named "Batman v Superman.” I’m asking, why would Batman want to fight Superman? Is he nuts? Deciding not to watch that movie sounds pretty smart to me.

Just remember, if you took the middle out of America all you’d have left is a couple of edges, sort of like what you cut off the bread when you’re making fancy sandwiches. And throw away.

If you use an Apple device

How To Protect Your iCloud Account From a Potential Breach | WIRED


A HACKER GROUP called Turkish Crime Family says that it can access 250 million iCloud accounts, and will do so on April 7 to reset the password, locking people out of their accounts.…

I am shocked, shocked I tell you

Democrats Concerned That The Supreme Court May Be Rigged For The Rich And Republicans

3.25.2017

Just say no—or better yet, hang up

Whatever you do, don’t say yes when this chatbot asks, 'Can you hear me?' - LA Times

 

It's a health care miracle

The U.S. may not have the very best health care in the world but it’s pretty darn good. Think, for example, of John McCain.

Nine years ago or so McCain was a senile old man, barely able to remember his own name, wandering around singing ditties about bombing Iran. Remember that? But now look. He’s totally cured and a veritable Hero of Democracy.

Welcome  back, Big John.

Biden: 'McCain is right: Need select committee' for Russia

Democrats and some Republicans, including Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), have called for an independent investigation into Russia's attempt to influence the election in President Trump's favor, including potential ties between Trump's campaign and Moscow. –The Hill

3.23.2017

This is way more about frogs than I really want to know


Rare California frogs of Mark Twain lore are having sex again, to the delight of wildlife researchers
The Washington Post

"This could be the start of a comeback," one researcher said. Read the full story


Some things don't change

"This country has come to feel the same when Congress is in session as when the baby gets hold of a hammer. "

Will Rogers

Imagine our joy

Koch brothers condemn President Trump's controversial travel ban - NY Daily News


"The reason we're optimistic ... is really Mike Pence," said Doug Deason, a prominent Trump supporter and major Koch donor. "If you think Cheney had power in Bush White House, just watch and see what happens with Mike Pence."

3.22.2017

Let's hear it for the little guys

From Reuters News:

Scientists launch campaign to restore Pluto to the planet club

"A team of scientists seeking to restore Pluto to planethood launched a campaign on Tuesday to broaden the astronomical classifications which led to its demotion to a "dwarf planet" a decade ago."


3.21.2017

The Mexicans did it!

Tom Brady's stolen Super Bowl jersey found in possession of international media member

Thanks to the valiant efforts of the Houston Police Major Offenders Divison (I kid you not). Tom Brady’s shirts from not only Super Bowl 51 but also 49 were found in the lair of not only a Mexican media member but a Mexican member of the international media. We tried to warn you about this kind of thing but you just wouldn’t listen, would you.

"Hopefully when I get the jerseys back I can make something very positive come from this experience,” Brady says. 

We can only imagine.

Now you really can turn green with envy

Or orange, maybe. Or even puce. 

THEUNSEEN_FIRE_4 on Vimeo
vimeo.com

Read the full story

3.20.2017

Sugaring

I don't know how much of this stuff you have to boil down to make maple syrup, but my best guess would be lots and lots. We're finding out. The neighbor has tapped two trees–this one and another one over there–and as you can see, the sap is dripping out. Will he get enough for a pancake? Time will tell.


3.19.2017

Here's something we haven't heard much about recently

Panama Papers probe wins a Scripps Howard award | Center for Public Integrity

Lots of awards, not much action, seems like.

Whoa! This might be the scariest news yet

USAGov is on Instagram. How long before The Donald finds out about that?

Imagine.

I need to find something to #Boycott

Everybody’s doing it.

[WARNING: GUV : Generally Unsuited for Viewing]

Here's some work that…works

Great Big Story : A Fold Apart: Origamist Robert Lang's Incredible Paper Creations

"Lang left his job in order to pursue a passion he's had since childhood: origami. In the origami world, Lang is now a legend, and it's not just his eye-catching, intricate designs that have taken the craft by storm. "

[Video]

H/T Some Guy in Seattle

3.18.2017

2016: What a year it was

The Wall Street Bonus Pool and Low-Wage Workers - BillMoyers.com

"The total bonus pool for 177,000 Wall Street employees was 1.6 times the combined annual earnings of all 1,075,000 US full-time minimum-wage workers."

3.17.2017

Let's go out and watch it melt!

Yep, the temp got to somewhere around 45 this afternoon and there was joy all around, “Heat wave,” a guy said to me on the way to the grocery store. From rooftops, definite drips.

It’s diminished now, but no way gone. I figure another week, at least, and then only if we have this stifling heat again each day. 

Might not be fake news, but sorta fishy

Rare Hawaiian seal drowns at NOAA-funded site - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

"HONOLULU (AP) - An endangered Hawaiian monk seal has died after wandering into a net pen and becoming trapped at a fish farm that was partially funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in Hawaii."

Whales are freaking out, or maybe it's just us

Humpback whales are organizing in huge numbers, and no one knows why

"The world is ending and only the whales know. At least, that’s one explanation. Humpback whales are normally pretty solitary—scientists used to call groups of 10 to 20 “'arge.' Now they’re congregating in groups of 20 to 200 off the coast of South Africa. Something is definitely going on here, but so far experts are stumped."

Also, for extra credit…

"The humpback's scientific name, Megaptera novaeangliae, literally means 'big-winged New Englander.' "

I bet Aristotle never thought of this

Lawyers argue to rehang Ferguson-related painting in U.S. Capitol | Local | stltoday.com

"A key dispute in Wednesday's hearing was whether the painting amounted to government speech or private speech in a public forum."

These are the very R’s and D’s who will soon be fighting over federal funding for the National Endowment for the Arts, among other terrifying things; consider it a sort of rehearsal.

Some day we will look back and laugh. Or maybe not.

3.16.2017

The daylight we're saving


I wonder if President The Donald understands…

Shipping season nears amid icebreaking efforts | Duluth News Tribune

"She said the Coast Guard already has seen a 40 percent decrease in its acquisition budget between 2010 and 2015 that negatively affected its infrastructure and operations."

…OK, OK, silly question…I wonder if somebody would please remind him that the Coast Guard is branch of the armed forces and so cutting the Coast Guard budget in order to increase the defense budget is a totally dumb thing. OK, another  totally dumb thing.

Also, what about the ice? 

This is what we mean when we say, "bad review"

David Byrne’s new off-Broadway show ‘Joan of Arc’ falls into the musical abyss - The Washington Post

 

You know this isn't fake news because…

Can you guess what Douglas MacArthur memorabilia Navy sailors used on a hooker? | New York Post

"A retired Navy admiral charged along with eight military officers with corruption in the “Fat Leonard” bribery case hosted and paid for a lavish sex party in the MacArthur Suite of the Manila Hotel in the Philippines…

Rear Adm. Bruce Loveless…"

…nobody would dare to make that name up.

3.15.2017

Immutable laws of physics nobody's discovered yet, I

The battery in the smoke alarm always fails between 2:00 and 3:00 AM.

Walking around on a day like today…

…is a great way to feel morally superior, because some people don't shovel their sidewalks. Unlike us, who have a guy with a snowblower next door.


So now another ice season, and then another mud season, and then we'll be right back to where we were last weekend.

Looks like shoddy workmanship to me

“Don’t worry Cloddius, in a couple thousand years nobody will care."


Definition of ides
: the 15th day of March, May, July, or October or the 13th day of any other month in the ancient Roman calendar; broadly : this day and the seven days preceding it.

Merriam-Webster

This fake news thing is a whole new universe of outrage…

Harvard’s phony guide to fake news | New York Post

"It all comes from a database set up by a prof at Merrimack College, Melissa Zimdars — who compiled it for her students and told the Examiner it’s 'not a fake news database.'

"Which didn’t stop Harvard — or CUNY, whose site makes the same mistake — from suggesting it’s just that."

…that will go down in history as one of 2016’s greatest gifts to the world of work avoidance.

Oh those crazy Feds

Feds knew blizzard forecast was exaggerated — but didn’t want to confuse us | New York Post

"Dramatically changing forecasts in what meteorologists call “the windshield wiper effect” only hurts the public, said Bob Henson, a meteorologist for the private Weather Underground."

First of all, I always assume blizzard forecasts are exaggerated because a) they usually are. Yesterday’s blizzard forecast, here, however, was pretty much spot on. It’s a little difficult to measure informally (e.g. by sticking a yardstick into it) because there was substantial drifting. But about a foot is what they said we’d get, and a foot we did. In New York City, apparently, not so much.

Still, as a confessed geek and (you may not know this) a former member of the Duluth East High School weather forecasting club, I can imagine how much fun the weather predicting guys must have with their newfangled and unspeakably cool techno-forecasting tools so I am a little reluctant to insist they be, you know, accurate.

Anyway, who really cares? It’s all going to melt. (In the meantime, it sure does look white.)

3.14.2017

Yes it's snowing and…

…yes I'm wearing my Humbug shirt. But it hasn't snowed too much so far—maybe four inches—and it's not snowing too hard either. The current prediction is for just under a foot over all, which is just about normal for a nor'easter in these parts.

Plus, it's March. So this stuff isn't going to stay around for three months—or even, must likely, three weeks. A few warmish, sunny days, and we'll be back to where we were yesterday, which hardly any snow at all. Maybe some mud, but…

…it's March.

Calculate the area of your favorite circle

It's pi day.

3.14159…

3.13.2017

The thing about being old and out of touch is you get easily confused

Like, for example…


…what is a not farm-grown potato? I thought "place where you grow potatoes" was sort of the definition of "farm." But, now that you mention it, the potatoes I use come from a "grocery store."