12.30.2017

Program Note

Our Pacific Rim Bureau chief, Lynn C Dot, who also authors a personal blog entitled Chocolate Chip Mint, has opened yet another blog, Beer Here, devoted to exploring craft brewing in the Pacific Northwest U.S. and environs (Hawaii, Ohio, environs all over the place).

Follow the suds.

🍺

We are all clear on this by now, right?

New Year's Freeze-Out: It Can Still Get Cold, Even in a Warming Climate by Bob Henson | Category 6 | Weather Underground


Indeed, some parts of the eastern U.S. are expecting bitter, record-breaking cold for New Year's Eve. Unfortunately, this doesn't mean human-produced climate change is something we've put behind us.

(This article has a very cool – not to mention, in some places icy cold – map.)

12.28.2017

Luckily I wasn’t called for unnecessary bundling

Got home from the grocery store and discovered it's 8° outside, and me in my thousand-below jacket. Way overdressed.


Tomorrow I'll do better.

Wherever you are, this might help you feel just a little bit warmer

"International Falls, the so-called icebox of the nation, plummeted to minus-36 Wednesday, breaking the previous record of minus-32 for the date."


–Washington Post

12.26.2017

Here we are, survivors…

…snowed in, iced in, in fact, as far as the eye can see, with a fridge full of leftover food and football every day for a week. Maybe this old year's not so bad after all.

Not all of the games will be good but some will be terrific, and all of them have a chance to be entertaining. I saw, a little while ago, for example, what seemed at first to be a replay of that Vikings-Packers game the other night, people all bundled up looking cold, but it turned out this game was in Dallas, go figure. Maybe there's a Dallas, Wisconsin, but I don't think so.

12.24.2017

My morning walk…

…extended from the back door of my house to the front, and even that was an achievement. Turns out, the entire known world is covered by a perfectly transparent, perfectly smooth sheet of ice. It is impossible to walk anywhere under that condition. (I only made it to the front door because I thought it would be safer to go forward than to try turning around.)

Not to worry, though. I spent all last week buying groceries so I can hold out here for a while. And I think Amazon can deliver Spam.

Plus, the ice should be gone by April.

12.23.2017

Gray Christmas

It did finally snow an inch or two but for the last hour it's been raining and that shows no sign of stoping soon. Technically it's white out there but a definite tint of gray is seeping in. With no significant snow predicted for tomorrow (but predictions for the past couple of days have been way off the mark) it's likely to be, charitably, ugly white Monday. In other words, gray.

12.21.2017

We're going to need a bigger wall than we thought: Horny fish are partying in the Gulf

Loud orgies of Mexican fish could deafen dolphins, say scientists | Environment | The Guardian


"And when hundreds of thousands of fish get together to spawn once a year "the collective chorus sounds like a crowd cheering at a stadium or perhaps a really loud beehive", said study co-author Timothy Rowell from the University of San Diego."'

Call the fish police house.

And same to you, astrophysics guys

12.20.2017

Beginning right now, more sun every day


The winter solstice is Wednesday: 7 things to know about the shortest day of the year
Vox

The winter solstice is upon us: Wednesday, December 21, will be the shortest day of 2016 for anyone living north of the equator (and Tuesday night was the longest night of the year). If pagan... Read the full story

Shorter version: Spring is on its way. 

Shared from Apple News

12.19.2017

Almost missed it!

Tonight is the Cheribundi Tart Cherry Boca Raton Bowl, for all you college football fans. Akron takes on Florida Atlantic. On ESPN.

Winter is still two days away and already we're having fun.

The photo wall

12.12.2017

Lines

Here we go again

I wonder if there’s a market for geezers

'Rentable parents' will meet your teacher or significant other | New York Post


China, already known for rented girlfriends and boyfriends, is now offering people an opportunity to rent fake parents to avoid potentially awkward situations.

12.11.2017

One reason they’re called Great

Dave Sandford photographs the chaos of Lake Erie - Business Insider



H/T Sam Guy

Thank you, Onion, we are feeling much better now

MTA Officials Assure New Yorkers That Today's Subway Will Run Just As Fucked Up As Normal


https://goo.gl/22XqV5

I still don’t get this. Can you stick one in a coffee machine?

Bitcoin futures soar amid frenzy over virtual currency

CHICAGO (AP) — Bitcoin's debut on a major U.S. exchange is a hit so far, with the price of the first-ever futures contract...

Read the full story

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

12.09.2017

Ooops

Police: Getaway car ran out of gas after robbery, 2 arrested


https://goo.gl/jVKkWS

12.08.2017

Nostalgia


Maybe we ought to just skip the whole thing and get right to the Super Bowl

Silicon Valley Is Sneaking Models Into This Year's Holiday Parties - Bloomberg


Vox Media Inc. is limiting employees to two drinks apiece at its Dec. 12 holiday party to curb "unprofessional behavior," but so far it's the exception. 

12.07.2017

Jargon alert

Inside the demise of Al Franken - POLITICO


https://goo.gl/SchnQS

It's painful to do it," Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) said Wednesday after urging Franken to step down. "But here are these courageous women who have come [forward]. It's a fact pattern that is pretty obvious."

That's the second time in 24 hours I've heard that phrase, "fact pattern." Some other congresscritter named Gowdy said it the other time. 

Two times is twice too many. 

First things first: Before we solve the North Korea problem, the Mid-East problem, the Alabama problem, and the Starbucks Christmas cup problem we need to quash that phrase.

If we don't it will make us all craZy.

12.05.2017

What you get for congregating with geeks

I dictate to my iPad. On the whole, it's easier than typing on the virtual keyboard and the dictation software is pretty accurate, so there's a minimum of encounters with autocorrect.

But a moment ago I used the phrase "keep and eye on," and the iPad heard "keep an ion."

So there's that.

What's the Singular of 'Scissors'? | Merriam-Webster

"The shenanigans of English are myriad."

12.04.2017

For the next time somebody mentions the “War on Christmas“

The War on Christmas: From Trump to the Puritans. And Henry Ford too. - The Washington Post


Christmas is not in danger. In fact, 92 percent of Americans asked by the Pew Research Center in a 2013 study said they celebrate Christmas. Even 87 percent of non-Christians said they celebrate the holiday.


The Puritans would be appalled.

https://goo.gl/GWQhZX

As long as he leaves the pigs feet alone

President Trump Expected to Shrink Bears Ears by as Much as 90 Percent - The New York Times


https://goo.gl/z8QV2G

12.03.2017

You might think this is just an unusually snippy theater review, but it’s not.

Rescued pig gets big break on Broadway | New York Post


https://goo.gl/zUkPqM

The end of shame

No it didn't happen in Washington DC, it happened right here. Read the names of the bowl games on this list, and weep. (Or laugh.)


Week 14 college football bowl projections for 2017


https://goo.gl/Ngwz5x

12.01.2017

Tell me the Bears don’t have to play these guys again

Builders race to save football's Eagles from Billy Penn jinx


Believers in the Curse of Billy Penn say it doomed the city's sports teams for decades after the city's first skyscraper broke tradition and rose higher than the William Penn statue topping City Hall.

'Tis the season to be itchy

Your Christmas tree could be home to up to 25,000 insects - NY Daily News


Anyway, there is nothing to fear. You need to take into consideration that there are plenty of insects and bugs in potted plants that are regular features in most households."

11.30.2017

Settle down, Buckley, Harvard v. Yale is not The Game…

Buckley: When Harvard and Yale bring The Game to Fenway Park next year, it will be an iconic event | Boston Herald


…although it does get a few points for producing, about half a century ago, this headline in the Harvard Crimson newspaper: "Harvard Beats Yale, 29–29."

Still, as everybody (but you, that is) knows, The Game is Minnesota v. Michigan.

Looking to economize on your holiday travel?

Maybe you can save on airfare by flying the plane yourself! 

American Airlines scrambles to find pilots to cover holiday rush | New York Post


Flights that are scheduled without a captain, first officer or both originate from Dallas-Fort Worth, Boston, Miami, New York City, Philadelphia, Salt Lake City and Charlotte, NC, according to a company memo to the APA that was seen by Bloomberg.

11.24.2017

11.23.2017

Just when we thought we had run out of things to freak out about


The unfortunate side effect of LED lighting
The Verge

Environmental concerns drove the move into adopting long-lasting LED lights, but now there's the risk of too much light which leads to a new set of problems. The paper notes that artificial light emission into the environment will "continue to increase, further eroding Earth's remaining land area that experiences natural day-night light cycles. This is concerning because artificial light is an environmental pollutant." 

Read the full story


Shared from Apple News

Bombardier bombs

Subway's newest $740M train breaks down in less than a day - NY Daily News


The R179 model from Bombardier that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority tested Sunday couldn't last a day on the rails before it was yanked, a source told the Daily News.

(Sorry, couldn't resist.)

Follow the money

Big donors threaten to bolt from Democrats — and that's a good thing - Salon.com


In a recent interview on MSNBC, Democratic Party megadonor Stephen Cloobeck blasted his party's leadership for embracing the populist rhetoric of Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, and threatened to cut off funds to the party if it moves too far left. "It drives me nuts," complained Cloobeck…

11.22.2017

No, really…

Here's the deal with all those turkeys terrorizing the suburbs - The Washington Post


The birds of late have been accused of cracking roof tiles outside Sacramento, dangerously disrupting traffic in western New York and "terrorizing" residents near Akron, Ohio.…


Today’s nomination for the Darwin Award

This man is about to launch himself in his homemade rocket to prove the Earth is flat - The Washington Post

11.17.2017

Mission creep


Before the new addition it was the plain old county courthouse. Now, it's the Justice Center.

I expected to see Batman and Wonder Woman wandering around the premises, but they must have been out on a mission or something.

He qualifies for public housing


Trump organization worth one-tenth of previously reported value
Boing Boing

While the Trump Organization claimed $9.5 billion in sales last year, Mr Trump's public filings suggest revenues of less than a tenth of that amount, between $600 million and $700 million. Read the full story


Shared from Apple News

Trouble in Superland

From The Washington Post

Rotten Tomatoes under fire for timing of 'Justice League' review
Critics and fans alike question the review site's role


https://goo.gl/v6hScS

11.10.2017

Ooops

A driverless bus got into a crash during its first day on the job - The Washington Post


As it turns out, you don't have to be human to have a bad first day of work.


Cheated out of a chance to catch bubonic plague

Cruise passenger booted for staging 'mutiny' over canceled itinerary | Fox News


The Telegraph, who referred to the man's actions as a "mutiny," reports that 53-year-old Alain Jan and his wife boarded a Costa cruise bound for the Vanilla Islands of the Indian Ocean on Oct. 26. After two days of travel, however, the captain announced that three scheduled stops in Madagascar had been canceled due to an outbreak of the bubonic and pneumonic plague on the island nation

You have to wonder just how bright these people really are

Facebook revenge porn fix includes asking users to file nude photos


"Facebook's latest attempt to wipe revenge porn off its platform: asking users to send their own nude photos."
https://goo.gl/r8xudJ

11.06.2017

Walking is starting to look like a pretty good deal

Parking Spaces That Could Make You Rich - The New York Times


According to Parkopedia's 2017 Global Parking Index, the most expensive cities in the United States to park are New York, Boston, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., Seattle and Chicago. Abroad, it's London, Zurich, Amsterdam, Sydney, Hong Kong and Tokyo. Top average rates are about $600 a month in New York and London, $47 a day in Sydney and $33 for two hours in New York.

https://goo.gl/DFFx4o

11.02.2017

Blame comes cheap

"The company [Facebook] said Russian agents spent just $46,000 on advertising — compared to the $81 million the Trump and Clinton campaigns dropped — but Russia's effort still managed to reach over 126 million users."

And they got all the blame.

Quote of the day

"Maj. Patrick Moran of the Environmental Police says he's never before had to investigate a tuna in the woods."

10.28.2017

On Wisconsin

A Wisconsin man got locked in a walk-in beer cooler. He had 'everything that he needed,' police say. - The Washington Post


When the doors locked behind him at midnight, he decided that rather than shout for help, he would just camp out, police say.

https://goo.gl/69C3g1 
(This is a paywall link, but everything you need to know about the story is in the paragraph above.)

10.26.2017

Rain ends

Already?

This artificial intelligence may start tracking you soon | New York Post


It's already 1984 in China.

(Actually, this story is worth having a look at. And I'm thinking a movie with Tom Cruise.?

10.25.2017

Is this just another case of Trumpitis on CNN’s part…

…or am I missing something here?

The following two paragraphs are taken verbatim, sequentially, from a story on the CNN website:

41 state attorneys general subpoena opioid manufacturers - CNN


"The opioid crisis is an emergency, and I am saying, officially, right now, it is an emergency," President Trump said in August. "It's a national emergency." 
However, five weeks later, the administration has yet to make an official declaration about a national emergency on the opioid epidemic.
https://goo.gl/PKbBkV

What does it take to make an official declaration beyond making a declaration and calling it, officially, official?

You haven’t paid much attention to this global warming thing, have you, until right now

World wine production 'to hit 50-year low' - BBC News


https://goo.gl/8gGtNY

A little-almost November

10.23.2017

Go ahead…spoil everything

A breakdown of the worst Halloween candy - NY Daily News


A sweet that invites widespread catty scorn, candy corn is meant to resemble a kernel but instead each piece just looks like a tiny, faceless, naked Donald Trump.

And maybe see a shrink.

Making sports great again

The Cubbies didn't make the Series and the Bears are scoring more points on defense than offense.

Whew.

Things are back to normal in sports.

10.19.2017

Spam crime!

Spam thefts prompt Hawaii retailers to lock up the canned meat - NY Daily News


"Items electronically monitored for theft," a sign in front of Spam under lock and key at an Oahu Walgreens read this week.

May be peeking in your window soon

The Hubble Space Telescope Is Falling | Forbes Mobile



10.18.2017

This is, was…

…National Cyber Security Awareness Month (Are you ready for this? NCSAM.), so…


Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) | Common Internet of Things Devices May Expose Consumers to Cyber Exploitation


https://goo.gl/nLp6ih

Should have stopped with ping-pong

Pole dancing could be on track to becoming an Olympic sport - NY Daily News


https://goo.gl/mx5VhF

10.17.2017

But no pennies though, right?

Man vows he's penniless in court; deputies find $4K on him


https://goo.gl/S5caEm

Soaring beyond the bounds if irony


Opinion | Trump beat Silicon Valley at its own game. Now it must prove itself.
The Washington Post

The tech world must fight to deepen our democracy.

Even if tech companies do not adopt the journalistic standards of newspapers, they must offer readers, particularly students, some way of distinguishing fact from opinion.

  Read the full story


10.16.2017

One good thing Ronald Reagan did was…

I was going to say the good thing but maybe there was another one I missed, I'm trying to be conservative here. (Get it? Conservative?)

Anyway, one good thing Ronald Reagan did was make ketchup a vegetable. It's done wonders for my diet.

(Hot dogs for lunch.) 

Campaigning for the lawyers' vote?

Trump campaign's legal spending tops $1 million during third quarter - POLITICO


https://goo.gl/zj1SyE

10.15.2017

Another big goose flyover

Every time I put my head out doors there's another flight of geese headed south. Do they know something I don't know?

Nope. I know it too.

Imagine the lab

Northern Michigan University offers marijuana degree


https://goo.gl/25B6Q4

10.12.2017

Wait until The Donald hears about this

Scientists Can Read a Bird's Brain and Predict Its Next Song


In April, Elon Musk announced a secretive new brain-interface company called Neuralink. Days later, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg declared that "direct brain interfaces [are] going to, eventually, let you communicate only with your mind." The company says it has 60 engineers working on the problem.
Also: Of course we will totally trust Facebook's "direct brain interface." we can't wait for Twitter to do the same thing.

10.10.2017

I didn't vanish…

…I discovered television. Who knew? Pictures, sort of like little movies about all kinds of things. And anxious people. Wore me out, looking at that television news. I mean, I know there are two sides to every story but do they have to shout at each other?

Also, cops and doctors everywhere.


10.07.2017

Is this tree green?

When I first moved here, about 20 years ago or so, Columbus Day weekend was the traditional peak of the autumn color season. Now, as you can see, not so much.

10.06.2017

All this time it’s been the Russians spoiling everything (those meenies)

The Breakthrough: How a Reporter Uncovered Widespread Russian Meddling — In the Olympics


When it came time to test the athletes during the Olympics, Russian agents replaced tainted urine samples with clean ones in the dead of night through a hole in the wall of a testing laboratory.

Stop! Please stop!

Democrats arrive at peak stupid

Democrats look to wreak havoc in GOP primaries

The idea: Elevate the GOP's most extreme option in each race, easing Democrats' path to victory in a range of states tilted against them.


They haven't had enough of "extreme options" yet?

The near miss

Arrested drunk man claims he time traveled to warn of aliens

The man told police he was only able to time travel because aliens filled his body with alcohol. He noted that he was supposed to be transported to the year 2018, not this year.

https://goo.gl/NGwckY

Me, I'm a time traveler from the past and I can totally relate.

10.05.2017

10.04.2017

Wait, we're talking about REelecting this guy now?

Republicans Stand by Trump as Majority of Americans Oppose His Re-Election


https://goo.gl/6ygx8S

Commie salmon!

NKorean workers prepare seafood for US stores, restaurants

HUNCHUN, China (AP) — The workers wake up each morning on metal bunk beds in fluorescent-lit Chinese dormitories...

This means Americans buying salmon for dinner at Walmart or ALDI may inadvertently have subsidized the North Korean government as it builds its nuclear weapons program, an AP investigation has found. 

Read the full story

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

LOL Well, maybe IQ isn’t everything

NYU professor Scott Galloway: Big tech regulation is coming


"If you pit the U.S. administration against Amazon," Galloway said, Amazon comes out on top. "The collective IQ of the administration right now versus Amazon is woefully undermatched."

This is very possibly a true statement, I get it, but still. We can hope, can't we?

This is getting to look more and more like a banana republic every day

You gotta be…wait…really?

IRS awards multimillion-dollar fraud-prevention contract to Equifax


contract award for Equifax's data services was posted to the Federal Business Opportunities database Sept. 30 — the final day of the fiscal year. The credit agency will "verify taxpayer identity" and "assist in ongoing identity verification and validations" at the IRS, according to the award.

10.03.2017

If you haven't changed your passwords yet, better get going


A massive data breach at Yahoo in 2013 was far more extensive than previously disclosed, affecting all of its 3 billion user accounts, new parent company Verizon Communications Inc. said on Tuesday.


Equifax hack affected 2.5M more Americans than first believed

The national credit bureau revealed Monday that another 2.5 million people are believed to have gotten their personal information swiped during the cyber attack — bringing the total up to 145.5 million.

Now we get down to it

Russians took a page from corporate America by using Facebook tool to ID and influence voters - The Washington Post

https://goo.gl/5aZnLM

Yep, the same advertising technology that sells you Wells Fargo bank and Equifax, not to mention the R's and the D's, is what allowed those sneaky Russians to weaponize (in the overwrought lingo of MSNBC commentators) the information battlespace (ditto) that is Facebook to attack (ditto the ditto) our recent presidential election.

"These are the same methods and sophisticated tools that the pharmaceutical companies were using, that big oil companies were using," said Philip N. Howard of Oxford University's Computational Propaganda Project. "This was regular ad technology that regular advertisers use."

Facebook, of course, assures the Congress it can keep those pesky Reds from using the advertising tool they call "Custom Audiences" to make mischief in the future. 

But wait…

Custom Audiences also allowed a business to know when consumers had viewed a particular pair of shoes on a website so that they could be repeatedly shown an ad for those shoes on Facebook and elsewhere online. As consumers spent more time on social media, the tool became a driver of Facebook's ad business — and of the company's sevenfold increase in value since its initial public offering in 2012.

Italics mine. 

10.02.2017

Trump has been bad for gun sales but this Las Vegas thing…

Gun maker stocks skyrocket after Las Vegas massacre | New York Post


Smith & Wesson parent American Outdoor Brands jumped 2.3 percent in morning trade, Sturm, Ruger & Co. shares climbed 3.7 percent and Vista Outdoor shares rose 1.4 percent.

10.01.2017

Brought to you by the letters N, C, S, A, and M

October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month


https://goo.gl/uhAX7m

Get busy and read about this stuff.

But what if the Associated press?… Oh, never mind

NOT REAL NEWS: A look at what didn't happen this week

The Associated Press checked these out; here are the real facts:

Just…Dunkin'?

Dunkin' Donuts dropping 'Donuts' from name and downsizing menu

Right now, most Dunkin' Donuts offer 30 varieties of doughnuts, but by the end of the month, most will offer only 18. If you're lucky, your Dunkin' will be one of the select stores that offer 24 different varieties, according to Nation Restaurant's News

And only 18 kind of donuts? That's horrible! Is this something the Russians are doing too? It's downright inhumane!

https://goo.gl/yG2Z5b
(Via Western Mass News)

9.30.2017

Discovering fake fake news

Taibbi: Latest Fake News Panic Appears to Be Fake News - Rolling Stone


We Americans are clearly too dumb to read our own news, and quite capable of destroying ourselves over nonsense without the help of outside parties.

9.29.2017

We are waiting for Nashville to come on the market

We say flying cabinet members to, say, Asia econo-class would be a totally good use of their time, not


Questions Pile Up for White House About Top Officials' Private and Military Aircraft Use
Bloomberg

The White House's travel headache is growing with new revelations about top officials' use of military aircraft. Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, whose use of taxpayer-funded private jets drew the ire of President Donald Trump, now faces scrutiny for using military jets that reportedly put his total travel tab above $1 million. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt is also drawing attention, as a report said he took private or military planes at least four Read the full story


Shared from Apple News

Give the racist books to the poor kids, says Cambridge, MA, school librarian


'Racist propaganda': Librarian rejects Melania Trump's gift of Dr. Seuss books
The Washington Post

A White House spokeswoman said it is "unfortunate" that sending books to children has been turned into "something divisive."

  Read the full story


Maybe the Russians are good for business if you sell voting machines


Michigan plans to replace all voting machines by 2018
www.detroitnews.com

Read the full story

Menu notes from all over

Legalized Cannabis May Be a Windfall for McDonald's and Taco Bell - Bloomberg


The munchies are driving up fast-food sales in states where marijuana is legal.

9.28.2017

Read on

Banned Books Week: 'In 2017, censorship comes from an outraged public' | Books | The Guardian


"It's particularly true in the US. It's not as prevalent in the UK but it's not unheard of," said Ginsberg. "We aren't branding cheeks for seditious libel; we no longer have a censor in chief. But we have a different kind of censorship … that allows the anger of the mob to force both publishers and authors to censor themselves out of fear.

Moments we're sorry we missed

These NYC curmudgeons are a dying breed | New York Post


Mimi's was among Bricker's first jobs when she moved to the city from Long Island at age 20. Most nights she sings with the bar's pianist, Chicken Delicious…

Cubbies get it done

9.27.2017

Another take on The Book

What Happened by Hillary Rodham Clinton – digested read | Books | The Guardian


https://goo.gl/FCNXzu

Thanks, Captain Obvious! You too, Reuters!

Reuters: 


Trump urges NFL to ban players kneeling during anthem

Hillary Clinton, Trump's Democratic rival in the 2016 election, called Trump's comments "a huge, loud dog whistle to his supporters" in an interview with CBS.


And here's how you spin a news story, boys and girls

Moore Trounces Trump-Backed Candidate in Alabama Senate Race - NBC News


https://goo.gl/rBZCBV

Sounds like the good guy won, right? Yay!

But no, the guy who won is Roy Moore and he's worse than Trump. Yikes! 

So me, I'm not much encouraged by this trouncing here. 

(Also it was a Senate race primary, might as well mention that.)

9.26.2017

OK, I’m confused

Using private email accounts is bad now? 

Shame on them!

At Least 6 White House Advisers Used Private Email Accounts - The New York Times


https://goo.gl/M9z3Lv

9.25.2017

Wow! Does this mean Bernie is off the hook?

Anthony Weiner sentenced to 21 months in sexting case

NEW YORK (AP) — Former Rep. Anthony Weiner was sentenced Monday to 21 months in prison for sexting with a 15-year-old girl in a case that rocked Hillary Clinton's campaign for the White House in the closing days of the race and may have cost her the presidency.

Read the full story

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

$0.002 of this is MY MONEY and I WANT IT BACK

Tom Price to halt taxpayer-funded travel on private jets - POLITICO


POLITICO has identified more than $400,000 in charter jet spending for the HHS secretary's travels since May.

9.24.2017

TWO football games today…

…on my one-channel TV app; New England v Houston and Cincinnati v Green Bay (oh oh, sorry Cinci). A football orgy, and better watch as many as possible before Trump shuts the whole thing down. (He couldn't, could he? I mean, a nuclear war is one thing but shutting down the NFL? I don't think so.)

Melania's first solo foreign trip is to…Canada

Melania takes first solo foreign trip as first lady | New York Post


She traveled to Toronto at the head of a seven-person US delegation to the Invictus Games, an international competition for wounded veterans organized by Britain's Prince Harry.

I wonder if she needs a passport to get back home.

9.22.2017

You’ve got to admit…

… it's kind of fun having two people named Kim in the news. How will we ever keep them straight?

The one in North Korea recently called Donald Trump a dotard, a word so thrillingly mysterious the New York Times itself felt compelled to write an article explaining it, possibly for the benefit of those dullards in the Midwest.

Give us a break. A dotard, Bunky, is a person in her dotage (or his, of course), old and weak.


Kim Jong-un Called Trump a 'Dotard.' What Does That Even Mean? - The New York Times


Yes, it’s an emoji pretzel: The Salty Guy

Finally, yeah

Ohio finally prosecutes somebody for sex with a dog | New York Post


"This is an unspeakable act," said Cleveland Animal Protection League president Sharon Harvey. 

"But at least now we finally have something we can do about it."

Can you spell “quintessential"?

This is it! An app that lets you scan the barcodes on the products you're looking at and tells you who is boycotting them and why. We love this. We will never have to buy anything again.


Buycott | Vote with Your Wallet - UPC Lookup Database, Find Barcode Scanner, Boycott

https://www.buycott.com/

9.21.2017

Or how about a padlock?


Thieves near US bases in Germany stealing keyless cars

Owners of keyless cars may want to keep their key fobs in a metal box or even the freezer, following a string of recent car thefts near U.S. bases in Germany.

Read Full Story
Shared from Stars and Stripes Military News app.
More info at:
stripes.com/apps

Fine, Now all those stray Mexican bunnies will be sneaking across the border…

… because they'll know they can find a home in California.


California 'Puppy Mill' Ban Would Also Cover Kittens and Bunnies - The New York Times


https://goo.gl/GPJMpm

9.20.2017

Original, but not by much

Man dressed as clown running for city council seat


Payaso donned a rainbow wig, red nose and clown makeup in recent campaign photos and videos on social media.

I love this!

Pamela Anderson admits she isn't actually dating Julian Assange | Page Six



And in the same spirit of full disclosure I am admitting I am not dating Angelina Jolie. 

Finally

I've been meaning to check into this for quite some time but just haven't got around to it – namely, why is it that opponents of Obamacare or single-player healthcare plans always insist working Americans get their health insurance coverage from their employers , implying it's free to the employee, when that's not how I remember things at all?

Well, here's the answer. This report from the Kaiser foundation maps explains that employers pay a portion of employees' health insurance premiums, but the employees themselves pay, on average, $476 per month themselves.

So, not free exactly.

2017 Employer Health Benefits Survey | The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation


9.19.2017

Coin

Put the coin in the slot.

https://projects.playables.net/coin/

The homeowner blues

Beyonce and Jay-Z: Legal fight over new estate's fourth pool


File under First World solutions to First World problems

From Reuters News:

After Irma, special oxygen masks helped Florida pets breathe easier

Soon after millions of Floridians lost power in the wake of Hurricane Irma last week, firefighters in the city of Titusville responded to an emergency call at a home where a gasoline-powered generator had been running in an attached garage.


Too early to start planning for Christmas?

Before You Spend $2 Billion on Your Own Submarine, Read This - Bloomberg


The real excitement, as Sebastian the Crab once sang, is "under the sea."


There's a rule about using private email? Who knew?

Experts Say the Use of Private Email by Trump's Voter… — ProPublica


President Donald Trump's voter fraud commission came under fire earlier this month when a lawsuit and media reports revealed that the commissioners were using private emails to conduct public business. 


9.16.2017

The Packers again

There is only one team among the top three on Nate Silver's list of most loved football teams that isn't also in the top three of the most hated and that is, of course, Green Bay.

Meanwhile, "there are very few corners of America where Patriots fans won't be behind enemy lines."

http://53eig.ht/2fcggjl

9.15.2017

The Packers are the winningest team in the NFL

Yes, the Green Bay Packers. The Packers have won the NFL channel championship 13 times. The Bears are in second place with nine wins. Yes, the Bears.

The Providence Steam Rollers won only one once, in 1928.

All this and more football trivia at Wikipedia: http://bit.ly/2x7Npmc

🇺🇸

Creatures of the web

Spotted masquerading as a subhead in an AP story about the anti-virus company, Kaspersky Lab:

A RUSSIAN COMPANY WITH TIES TO RUSSIA

🇺🇸

9.14.2017

But where's the tinfoil?

Chinese vendors are already marketing face masks as iPhone…

The Verge Chinese vendors on online marketplace Taobao never resist a chance to peddle their goods. Just days after Apple announced the iPhone X that replaced the home button's Touch ID for Face ID, Chinese merchants have launched "protective masks" in



🇺🇸

The pie is always better in the sky

Bernie Sanders' single-payer proposal ignores the hardest thing about single payer.


But the reality is that 16 Democrats did not back a fully workable single-payer plan Wednesday. At best, they backed half of one. While the Sanders bill details how a "Medicare for All" system would work, it tap dances around the all-important question of how to pay for it.

##
🇺🇸

Tom who?

Tim Kaine gets totally snubbed by Clinton's campaign book - NY Daily News


Kaine is only mentioned eight times in the 500-page tome — fewer times than George W. Bush, Vladimir Putin, Elizabeth Warren, James Comey and the Soviet Union.


🇺🇸

9.13.2017

OK, this is just plain wrong

Impossible Foods explores meat-free lamb, chicken, pork and fish


The product is served in 40 upscale restaurants, including New York City's trendy Momofuku Ssäm Bar, where chef David Chang uses it to replace pork in his $19 Spicy Sausage & Rice Cakes dish.



🇺🇸

Yep, that's where I went to school

http://stmedia.stimg.co/ows_140786551641593.jpg?w=263

For me? Really?

Just stick to the point, please

Carr: Mitt Romney won't fade away quietly

> In its own way, Mitt's refusal to exit gracefully is as pathetic as Hillary Clinton's last-gasp attempt to maintain her own relevance. They have strutted and fretted their hour upon the stage, and it's about damn time both of them were heard no more. Talk about a tale told by an idiot …


http://bit.ly/2y7dRLo


(Via Boston Herald)

There’s an angle on everything

From Reuters News:

Harvey storm-water releases were unlawful government takings: lawsuits

Owners of homes flooded during Hurricane Harvey are claiming billions of dollars in damages by federal and state water releases from storm-swollen reservoirs, using a legal tack pursued without success in Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina.


Several lawsuits filed in federal and state courts in Texas claim properties were taken for public use without compensation. 


9.12.2017

You may think it’s too good to be true, but this little card is worth a nickel

It was worth $.15, as you can see, but I used a dime.

The fare boxes in our new busses spit out these little cards in lieu of actual money when a person puts too much actual money into the box to begin with.

Unfortunately, you can't stick them into a coffee machine.

Go ahead and say it: the monkey wins again

PETA drops lawsuit arguing animals have right to own property | Ars Technica


While Naruto didn't win the legal right to own the famous monkey selfies, he can thump his chest in a victory of sorts. Under the terms of the settlement, Slater has agreed to donate to Naruto's habitat one-fourth of any proceeds from the sale of the selfies.


9.11.2017

Football game pre–rained Out?


Status of Illini game at South Florida undetermined due to Hurricane Irma
Chicago Tribune

The status and location of Illinois' game Friday night against South Florida is undetermined due to the aftermath of Hurricane Irma…

 Read the full story


9.10.2017

We chortle

The fight to replace the iPhone and other smartphones is on — here's what to watch for in round one (MSFT, GOOG, GOOGL, AAPL, AMZN)

Business Insider UK

Most tech industry experts assume such AR devices will eventually replace the smartphone. After all, why carry a phone if you can view your text messages, edit spreadsheets, and watch Netflix through your glasses or contact lenses?

Read the full story

Um…to make a phone call?

Of course, maybe it's different in the UK.


Oh no! Hillary’s book just came out and already it needs a rewrite!

Facebook Says Fake Accounts Likely Tied To Russia Bought $100,000 In Political Ads



It was Facebook's fault!

We should have known. 

Geezers attack

Case Dropped In Kardashian Book Vandalism | The Smoking Gun



So if you've got an all-electric car you're stranded


Irma strengthens as it nears Florida: 'It's going from crappy to worse'
CNN

Hurricane Irma strengthened into a Category 4 storm as it inched closer to Florida, where hundreds of thousands are without power hours before one of the most powerful storms in the Atlantic hits. 

Read the full story


9.08.2017

I didn’t know we had these

It's a cop car with a bicycle strapped on the back, presumably for chasing people through the park, or possibly chasing some kid across the playground. Who knows, but it must be useful. And it looks cool too.

So then, no big deal

The big Equifax data breach was just a mid-range hack, it turns out.

U.S. Vote, by the way, is just a non-profit that (ahem) helps people vote in a non-partisan way.
(http://bit.ly/2vLjayg)

So pumpkin spice haircuts are not the only thing?

We've reached peak pumpkin spice with PSL cough drops - NY Daily News


According to Candy Hunting, there are also pumpkin spice: Milano cookies, Frosted Mini Wheats, Toaster's strudel, Nestle Tollhouse cookies, Rice Krispies Treats, Ben and Jerry's ice cream, Oreos, Werther's Original and Thomas' English muffins. Don't worry, that last one is made with real pumpkin.

W00t! Bears lead NFL North!


LATER: OK, it was fun while it lasted. 

At least they won’t be txting

U.S. House unanimously approves sweeping self-driving car measure


The House measure, the first significant federal legislation aimed at speeding self-driving cars to market, would allow automakers to obtain exemptions to deploy up to 25,000 vehicles without meeting existing auto safety standards in the first year. The cap would rise over three years to 100,000 vehicles annually.


Somebody once said…

…that, based on the most popular genres at his local bookstore, a book entitled "Abraham Lincoln's Doctor's Dog" would be the best seller of all time.

"Trump Organization's Ethics Lawyer's Wife" might be a pretty close second.

http://nyp.st/2vKlXb5

Stand down, Stephen King

VA watchdog: Tomah staff failed to report rogue dentist | Local | lacrossetribune.com



"Rogue dentist" is the scariest thing I've heard so far.