Do Cylons pray?

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."

Who knows?

If artificial intelligence—today’s techie holy grail—starts thinking for itself, will it have a soul?

The Atlantic has a pretty fascinating piece called Is AI a Threat to Christianity? Here.

We certainly are…

Melania Trump’s Absence From Washington Raises Questions About Her Role - The New York Times

"'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?

The barbarians are inside the gate

Man sets off explosive in Cheesecake Factory | New York Post



New England grim

The bargain-basement game

Average Super Bowl ticket price drops almost $1K in one week | New York Post

"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."

Wait a minute, Gersh Kuntzman

President Trump is a religious fanatic who will destroy us - NY Daily News

"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?

That Siri, such a wimp

I ask how the outdoor temp is and Siri says, brrrr. Really? Kiddo, it's not even freezing. It's thirty-five. Stuff is melting.

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?

"Woodchuck" sounds sort of, well, chucky

Why Don't We Call It 'Woodchuck Day'? | Merriam-Webster

"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).

And remember…

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.

Lighten up. Think how long they kept Lenin around.

‘Can she eat more kale?’ Hordes of people want reassurance RBG’s health is good - The Washington Post

"Could we protect her with packing peanuts?"


I say it's those Russian hackers again and I say they've gone too far this time

Why Bacon Is About to Get More Expensive

"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.'"

Not just tax time but…

Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week

Technology for nerds

MIT CSAIL Made a Wearable That Knows How a Conversation's Going | WIRED

“MIT CSAIL researchers have created a wearable system that can tell whether the person you’re talking to is happy or sad."

Dispatch from Some Guy: President Gandalf?

Some Guy in Seattle writes…

"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."

Mine eyes have seen the glory

Pastor flees woman's home naked when her husband arrives | New York Post

"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."



For the record here, about this immigration ban…

…I have little to say. I'm retiring from politics, having spent half a century squabbling over essentially the same issues non-stop and getting nowhere with it, and since I now live in one of the deepest blue bubbles in the universe there is hardly a soul handy to squabble with.

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.


Can President the Donald make liberals love the Koch brothers?

Koch brothers slam Trump travel ban as ‘wrong approach’ | New York Post

"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. 

As a pubic service, we are reporting…

…the temperature at the Montague Center, MA, House Of Pie (KMAMONTA4) at 12:13 PM (EST) was 30.5º F.

Beautiful lipids

They told me at the clinic this morning I have beautiful lipids, and I didn't even have to take my shirt off. It's not like Employee of the Month, exactly—I don't get my picture on the wall. But at least it's something and there's no work involved.

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.


Scandal among the sheets

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.

Also, did they ever pay for that time they burned the White House?

White House warns Prince Charles against ‘lecturing’ on climate change | New York Post

"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. 

On an advantage of living in a small town

I lost my phone, almost. Tried to put it in an inside jacket pocket, apparently, while at the drugstore, and missed. Walked out of the store, across a very busy intersection (although not quite as busy as usual this morning), and another 10 yards or so before the phone worked itself loose from my jacket and dropped out. I didn't hear it go.

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.

Yikes! Might be right behind you!

Bear this in mind: Missing panda is probably still in zoo