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."


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.


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.


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.


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.)


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.



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."

New jobs all around

The New York Post this morning is reporting an economic surge in local environs…

"Liberal New Yorkers are making bank selling anti-Trump merchandise at protests. And they’re suddenly not as upset over Hillary’s Clinton’s loss."
Meanwhile, the Associated Press notes…
"A remote Eskimo village on a tundra-covered island in western Alaska is hoping to counter its steep unemployment rate and achieve greater self-sufficiency through one of its few resources: reindeer meat."
That's right, these Alaskans are going to turn Rudolph, not to mention Dancer and Prancer, into steaks and sell them to folks who are tired of eating caribou. And the've already got nearly $2 million in federal grants for their slaughterhouse.

Back at the Post, we read about an emerging "relationship replacement" industry in Japan…
"At the weirder end of the spectrum, you can pay $70 to spend an hour with a woman who will dress up as your favorite anime character and hold your hand."
(I don't know what's so weird about that. Do they have an Olive Oyl?)

Me, I'm thinking of going into the "sleep replacement" industry. If you're feeling sleep-deprived and overworked you can hire me to take a nap for you.