The Cylons of Battlestar Galactica fame declared war on humans. Will Siri and her pals? Not any time soon, I’m thinking (Siri can’t even find Elmo), but Stephen Hawking, Noam Chomsky, Elon Musk, and a bunch of other people are worried. The Pope seems to be on the fence, but…
“'If—for example—tomorrow an expedition of Martians came … and one says, ‘But I want to be baptized!’ What would happen?' Pope Francis asked."
If artificial intelligence—today’s techie holy grail—starts thinking for itself, will it have a soul?
"'She is far behind the curve compared to where modern first ladies have been by the time their husbands are inaugurated, in a quite unprecedented way,' said Myra Gutin, a professor at Rider University who specializes in first ladies. 'We are in uncharted territory here.'"
…in uncharted territory. Professor specializing in fist ladies? Really? And by the way, is the vice president’s wife the second lady? Who’s the third? Do we have a professor to sort this out?
Is there a professor of second bananas, or is that just part of the history department now?
"It will now cost you 'just' $4,284 to see the Falcons play the Patriots in Houston, the ticket reseller said. That’s 16 percent lower than StubHub’s average price of $5,089 a week ago."
"This is not a First Amendment issue. It’s a tax issue: You can’t accept a government subsidy and then protest the government."
You’ve just denied every recipient of Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid—for that matter, user of VA services and homeowner who takes a mortgage interest exemption the right to protest the government?
And who’s the fanatic here?
And the sun is out, which'll make it feel like thirty-seven. Or, thirty-six. Anyway, almost forty. No brrrr there.
And by the way, why do they only say feels like when the news is bad?
"The fair-minded readers among you will doubtless have felt stirring of outrage on the part of the woodchuck; why should the groundhog receive all the fame and glory, when woodchuck is a perfectly acceptable variant?"
Anyway, woodchucks have enough fame already (how much wood…?).
Meanwhile, what it (that groundhog in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania) sees on Groundhog Day (today) is not necessarily what you get. Here’s the official data from the National Weather Service (NOAA).
There are even more groundhog forecasters in the running such as Octorara Orphie of Quarryville, Pennsylvania—competition right next door to Phil—Staten Island Chuck from the Staten Island Zoo, Unadilla who hails from Nebraska, Buckeye Chuck from Ohio, French Creek from West Virginia, and the Cajun Groundhog from Louisiana. Ridge Lea Larry is a "stuffed groundhog" from Western New York, and the Tennessee Groundhog of Silver Point, Tennessee, is actually someone dressed up like a groundhog on a motorcycle.
"Could we protect her with packing peanuts?"
"Our good friends over at the Ohio Pork Council share the news that there's too little frozen pork belly, which is often made into bacon, to meet consumer demand. 'Today's pig farmers are setting historic records by producing more pigs than ever,' the organization's president Rich Deaton told the paper. 'Yet our reserves are still depleting.'"
“MIT CSAIL researchers have created a wearable system that can tell whether the person you’re talking to is happy or sad."
"Maybe I’m on to something or maybe my eyes a just getting weak. Is The Donald’s hair transitioning from being orange to being white?
"Maybe he just hasn’t had much time to soak his head in carrot juice lately. He has been pretty busy. Maybe he figures all presidents end up with white hair so he will do it in the huuugest hurry, leaving him in first place. Or maybe he is evolving from being Donald the Orange into being Donald the White. Then, like Gandalf, he would have even more magical powers and have access to the most powerful alternative facts, which would make him even more revered. Or maybe my eyes are just getting weak."
"TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — A police report says a prominent Florida pastor was forced to run out of a house naked after a woman's husband came home to find him having sex with his wife."
Still, as I say, for the record, here is the full text of the recent Trumpian proclamation about immigration, the one that's spawned all the headlines of a Muslim ban, in which you may note the words "Muslim" and "Islam" and, for extra credit "Christian," do not appear. Not once. So calling it a Muslim ban is not quite accurate reporting, IMO.
It—both the document itself and the policy it represents—is also, for a country that likes to call itself the home of the brave, remarkably chickenshit.
"At the weekend meeting, Charles Koch, without mentioning Trump by name, said the nation is at a point of 'tremendous danger,' adding that America can 'go the authoritarian route … or we can move toward a free and open society. So this is our opportunity.'"
The guy’s a miracle worker.
Speaking of pictures on the wall, there are usually two in the waiting room: a picture of the President and a picture of the Secretary of Veterans Affairs. This morning there were none. Maybe they're just a little slow with the redecorating.
I have two top sheets in my closet, it turns out, that have lost their bottoms. That seems awfully suspicious to me. But I think it’s related somehow to the twist ties that keep escaping my kitchen.
What think is, the twist ties and the bottom sheets sneak off somewhere and make wire coathangers together. I have whole closets full of wire coat hangers although I have not brought one into the house for years. Once, a long time ago and very far away, I sent shirts to a laundry and had them hung on hangers but unless the hangers followed me halfway across the country like so many faithful dogs those hangers are not the hangers I have here.
Somewhere, something is going on, and I say the sheets are in on it.
"Members of Trump’s inner circle have warned British officials that it would be counterproductive for Charles to ‘lecture' Trump on green issues during the president’s June visit to Britain, and that the president will ‘erupt' if pushed, the Sunday Times of London reported."
Ran across an interesting observation this morning in an Atlantic piece by Dan P. McAdams, a psychology professor at Northwestern University:
"Most candidates want to win the election so that they can become president, but it seems like Donald Trump wanted to become president so that he could win the election."
McAdams goes on to say he thinks Trump will continue to create situations that allow him to “win” in the end.
I don’t generally get enthused about attempts at long-distance psycho-analysis but this guy seems pretty careful with is conclusions…and anyway, I agree with him.
It’s gonna be a long four years.
I was three blocks away at the laundry when I discovered it missing, retraced my steps (I figured I'd left it on the counter at the store, but no), and found it. It was lying face up in plain view on the concrete sidewalk, not a scratch.
There weren't a lot of people out walking this morning but there were some, including at least two who must have walked right past it. Maybe they didn't notice it, maybe they did.
Still. Imagine that happening in Brooklyn.