Saturday, March 31, 2012

But the old folks haz a sad

Oh, Google, say it ain't so ...

Google search for 'the kids are all right' returns results for 'the kids are alright' instead.

The Google Books Ngram view of the situation doesn't give much support for why their search algorithm should respond as it does. But the Google Books dataset ends at 2008, and those data are in any case from books, so maybe there's been a spike in the number of people online typing in the wrong new version the past few years.

[Added] That wasn't very bright of me. Try this ngram view instead. Worrisome trend!


A privacy story with a happy ending

For now, at least. But the principles are more general, and since I doubt the app in question will be the last of its kind, I still think it's worth passing along the following.

John Brownlee has an interesting article up on Cult of Mac about a creepy iPhone app called "Girls Around Me." If you use Facebook and Foursquare, you should definitely give it a look. Basically, the app shows you all the women around you that it can find, based on their having checked into nearby places with Foursquare. For the women it does find, it also displays what information it can grab from their respective Facebook pages.

As a result of the article, Foursquare has announced that they have effectively disabled this particular app. But, as I say, it's still an instructive read.

Here's a helpful link from that article, too: "Facebook Privacy: 10 Settings Every User Needs to Know."

P.S. As of this moment, the app is still available from the iTunes store, if you want to confirm that Foursquare's actions had the intended disabling effect.

P.P.S. (Five minutes later) Aaaaand, now it's not. Bow down before my bloggy power! ;)

(h/t: Ocean)

Remember when our worries about Murdoch turning the WSJ into FoxNewspaper were pooh-poohed?

From the sidebar:

(Seen on this page.)

Friday, March 30, 2012


ALEC stands for the American Legislative Exchange Council, something I just learned about. It's so mind-reeling and discouraging I don't even know where to begin, so I'll just pass along some links for now.

(h/t: Rita Matthews)

[Added] A small amount of good news about ALEC?

[Added2] Update.

From the annals of the 1%

Probably you heard about the renovations Willard is doing on one of his many houses, including the 3600 sq ft basement, the elevator for his cars, etc. But here's a part I hadn't heard:

A project this ambitious comes with another feature you don’t always find with the typical fixer-upper: its own lobbyist, hired by Romney to push the plan through the approval process.

When you're even raising eyebrows at the rePubOLITICO, you might just be a little out of touch.

(h/t: Deeky, RT by Kevin Wolf)

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Deep thought

Canny and uncanny are neither synonyms nor antonyms.

So ... what, it's not really?

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Well, hallelujah

graph of Pew poll results

Headline and lede from the Pew Research Center:

More See “Too Much” Religious Talk by Politicians

The public is uneasy about the mixing of religion and politics. The number of people who say there has been too much religious talk by political leaders stands at an all-time high since the Pew Research Center began asking the question more than a decade ago.

Emph. added.

And in what has to be a contender for All Time Least Surprising Subhead:

Santorum Voters Disagree

(h/t: Up with Chris Hayes, via Sarah Posner)

How to make me flee your website's header

I'm generally in favor of cheekiness, but that is just lame.

What is now lofty jargon was once schoolboy slang

I didn't know this:

Parsing is a venerable method for teaching inflected languages like Latin; the word itself is schoolboy slang derived from pars orationis, Latin for “a part of speech.”

From an interesting article (no, really) on the history of diagramming sentences.

"A Farewell to Newt"

It’s not easy letting him go. Not easy at all. Sort of like swearing off bedtime Ben & Jerry’s: there’s valor and the promise of self-improvement in the sacrifice, but also the sad awareness that the world just got a little less naughty. A little less fun.

No matter. It’s time to cut Newt out of our diets.

He has no nutritional value, certainly not at this point, as he peddles his ludicrous guarantee of $2.50-a-gallon gasoline, a promise that would be made only by someone with his own bottomless strategic reserve of crude.


I disagree with Frank Bruni's latest column slightly. Later in the piece, he recites the tired old saw beloved by self-flagellating journalists nationwide, that they somehow did wrong by covering the Republican primaries:

If he refuses to quit, we in the news media must quit him. Starve him of his very sustenance: attention. Exert a kind of willpower that we’ve lacked in this primary, which we turned into too much of a circus by encouraging too many clowns.

This is wrong in two ways. First, if only FoxNews and the Moonie Times were reporting on the early GOP campaigns and debates, there'd be no end of howling from the perpetually aggrieved that Teh Liebrul Media wasn't covering their people.

The real Newt GingrichSecond, and much more importantly, one of the ways we keep America safe from a President Bachmann, President Cain, President Perry, President Trump, or a President Gingrich is precisely by shining the spotlight on them.

Actually, it's wrong in a third way. The real problem with Teh Media covering the clown show is not that they gave exposure to clowns. It's that they spent months contorting themselves trying to present them as Serious Candidates, With Important Ideas.

But as to the rest, it's a funny column, worth reading.

Monday, March 26, 2012

A reply to Tom Henderson

The following is a response to a discussion started in a comment thread on On The Media's website, under a segment that aired this week called "Divorcing Google," featuring an interview by Bob Garfield of someone named Tom Henderson.

It probably won't make much sense without first listening to the segment and reading the earlier comments. I posted it here only because both its length and the number of links included would have run afoul of OTM's comment policy.


Sunday, March 25, 2012

Meet the new Borg, same as the old Borg

Probably this has been going on for a while, but it's the first time I've seen it.

Haha, only serious

One of eight from Brian McFadden's Neighborhood Watch News and Notes:

Also good: fourth in the slideshow (the above is first): The Endangered Moderate Republican.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

FW: Updated Terms of Service

Updated Pinterest Terms

Over the last few weeks, we’ve been working on an update to our Terms.


We updated our Acceptable Use Policy and we will not allow pins that explicitly encourage self-harm or self-abuse.

You hear that? So stop posting all those Vote Republican posters already.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Apple Annoyances

Not only does iTunes require a full download and reinstall for every minor patch, it can't even be arsed to remember that I clicked this checkbox every previous time I updated.

And how about this? Safari silently changes filetype associations, even after a mere patch update.

And apparently, quite deeply in the bowels of the system. Here's what it looks like after I change the filetype association back to the way I want it, on MY computer:

Are these things minor? Perhaps. But it does indicate a bad attitude, all part of the Steve Knows Best arrogance that insists that you don't know how you want to run your own computer.

Just so you know where your trillions have been going

Think U.S. military computer networks are secure? Think again. A panel of computer security experts from across the U.S. government told a U.S. Senate committee yesterday that computer networks operated by the U.S. Department of Defense are so thoroughly compromised by spies from other nations that there’s almost no point in trying to keep them out.

In fairness, the rest of the article from Ark Hesseldahl at AllThingsD makes it seem like the hysteria was driven in part by the desire to get the Senate to agree to give the military even more money.

Not sure if that's entirely comforting, but hey, it's what I got. Enjoy your weekend!

Monday, March 19, 2012

This won't go over well with the English Language Firsters

Just came across a British slang word: dekko. It means a glance or a look, as in, "Hey, I just found this smartphone. Let's have a dekko through the pictures."

I guessed it must be some sort of Cockney thing, but apparently not. According to Wiktionary, it is:

From Hindustani देखना / دیکھنا (dekhnā), to see, to look. Comes directly from the Hindi "Dekho" (see)

Various other sources confirm this.

My example sentence wasn't chosen at random, of course. It came from a post on CNET UK, about a study that Symantec just completed.

Here's how it begins:

Executive Summary

The Symantec Smartphone Honey Stick Project is an experiment involving 50 “lost” smartphones. Before the smartphones were intentionally lost, a collection of simulated corporate and personal data was placed on them, along with the capability to remotely monitor what happened to them once they were found.

Chief among the findings is that there is a very high likelihood attempts to access both sensitive personal- and business-related information will be made if a lost and unprotected smartphone is found by a stranger.

Chris Matyszczyk of CNET USA was nice enough to wade through the report and pick out the juicy numbers.

Sexters will be particularly disturbed that 72 percent of those who found the smartphones went through the pictures buried therein.

Please imagine your feelings, should some seedy New Yorker have gone through your holiday snaps and intimate self-portraits and, who knows, copied them to (and for) his own devices.

While your extremities shiver at that, please consider that 96 percent of finders tried to open at least one app or file. Some 43 percent of these finders opened all the banking and financial apps on the phones. A fulsome 57 per cent perused the saved logins and passwords. Oh, and a nosy 45 percent tried to access the corporate e-mail on the phones.

But at least you might imagine that, in the end, all these smartphones were returned to their rightful owners. You might imagine that quilts are made of popcorn. For a mere 50 percent of finders attempted to return the phones to their keepers.

Oh, the huge manatee!

(pic. source)

Dennis Perry: just another well-connected member of the American Taliban

BFF of Rick Santorum and Tony Perkins speaks to the sheeple:

(alt. video link)

(h/t: Sarah Posner)

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Sneaked/snuck update

Reminded of a post from last year by this parenthetical remark:

The paper also tracked word usage through time (each year, for instance, 1% of the world's English-speaking population switches from "sneaked" to "snuck").

The above appears in a WSJ piece about a recently published journal article, "Statistical Laws Governing Fluctuations in Word Use from Word Birth to Word Death." The paper's authors used the database created by Google's massive book-scanning effort and looked at the English, Spanish, and Hebrew languages.

A pre-print version of the paper is also available on arXiv, in case the first one above becomes inaccessible. As of this moment, you can read the whole thing online at the first link, and download a PDF from either.

(h/t: @GammaCounter, RT by @GreatDismal )

Your Patience Has Been Rewarded

(source | via | via)

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Noted global human rights expert goes undercover in America

If you buy a lot of stuff online, I would really like you to spend half an hour watching this.

(alt. video link)

Here's the article mentioned at the beginning of the diavlog: I Was a Warehouse Wage Slave (Mar/Apr 2012 issue). Previous writing on that topic from Mac includes:

Mac McClelland previously appeared on Bloggingheads to discuss what she learned in Burma and Haiti. She also wrote a book about her time in Burma. She has reported from numerous other countries and is currently the human rights reporter for Mother Jones.

If it's possible to have someone younger than oneself be a hero, then she's definitely one of mine.

Also, how many people can say they've been published in or on NPR, the BBC, the Onion, and Hustler?

Probably won't last very long, but ...

... it was fun to do, anyway. Even if they didn't show my last name.

Here's the (probably inappropriately named) permalink.   [Update a few hours later] Yep. Gone. Shoutout to the #wingnuts for their love of free speech!]

Erin Go(ogle) Bragh

Interesting post on today's Google Doodle, by Michael Cavna at the WaPo, featuring discussion with the artist, Jennifer Hom, along with some of her working sketches.

At first glance, I thought it was kind of steampunky, which would be a good thing, but which also shows how much I have to learn about illuminated manuscripts.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Line of the Day (and not in a good way)

“My mistake, the mistake I truly regret, is that I had it on your show as journalism. And it’s not journalism. It’s theater.”

The above is from Mike Daisey, as quoted by Rob Schmitz of Marketplace. Apparently, Schmitz thought Daisey's report a while back on Apple's factory in China sounded sketchy, so he did some checking, and then, with Ira Glass in tow, confronted Daisey.

This American Life will be running an entire show "to detail the errors" in the original show. There's also a blog post from Ira Glass on this.

Sad day.

(h/t: Muck Rack)

Yeah, I'd say he's succeeding in drawing some attention

You're a good man, George Clooney.

I was headed here, if you haven't already heard.

Notorious on Listorious

Hmmm ... what is this Listorious thing Twitter thinks I should follow?

Hah! Just look at some of those lists and tags.

Nice to know I'm having some effect, I guess.

Just wish they didn't misspell ingenious.

Exposed root

Gnarly old thing, about nine inches long, that's always caught my eye. (Except when it's catching my bare big toe.) For some reason, it really jumped out today, possibly because the greens all around it are popping, surprisingly so, considering how gray the light is right at the moment. Not sure the camera caught the vividness completely, but I liked the job it did.


The battle never ends

Following up from the previous post, here's another interesting result. I Googled romney, to see how an old Google-bombing effort was holding up, and whoa:

It appears that the site was hacked but is now fixed. From View Source of Google's cached version:

<meta name="description" content="Buy Cialis without a prescription from Certified Online Pharmacy. We guarantee hight quality and free worldwide shipping. Alsa we sell others ED meds for Cheap prices. " />
<meta name="keywords" content="pearson, pearsoned, pearson education, online resources, Romney" />

View Source of the actual page at this moment, though, shows it's been cleaned up:

<meta name="description" content="Pearson - Online resources for products by Romney" />
<meta name="keywords" content="pearson, pearsoned, pearson education, online resources, Romney" />

Never mind the site hack; this is amazing work on the Google-bombing. Gotta call that organized crime.

Still not determined: how many people Googling romney got the above results, and said, "Hmmm. Yes, perhaps now IS a good time to stock up on my boner pills."

So all that clever site-cracking and Google-bombing, and they probably made, what, six bucks? Which I'm sure is what Willard thinks all of his non-NASCAR-owner friends should be thankful to make, but that's another blog post.

P.S. Pearson does not appear to stock any books by everyone's least favorite Republican frontrunner. That page has links to two editions of a book by Marshall B. Romney. Who, it turns out, is related to Willard, so it should probably not be too surprising that his hot, hot textbook is titled Accounting Information Systems.

New (?) feature on Google ads deserves applause

New to me, at least. Apparently, if you click an ad in a Google search (at least, one of the ones that appear at the top of the listing) and then return to that page of search results, the page will show a new link, right under the link you just clicked, offering you the opportunity never to see ads from that company again. Here's a screenshot, which I took after I had clicked both of those links.

To repeat, the offer-to-block link doesn't appear until after you click the corresponding ad link. Also, I haven't yet played with it enough to know how it works, whether the offer to block persists, etc. But it does seem like a pretty nice feature at first glance.

By the way, there's nothing wrong with your my computer. I was searching on that term, to test, after having read Naked Security's post on Google's efforts to stamp out scam ads.

Round pegs need not apply

Just happened across this bit of coolness. (Don't crank your speakers or earbuds. There is no sound.)

(alt. video link)

Thanks for posting, jbmathfunnew.

Guess who just figured out she wasn't invited on the trip

(Swiped from Clare's FB album.)


To: Libby Reinish,, Re: "You vs. Obama, Murdoch and Limbaugh"


I might be inclined to support the idea of protesting further media consolidation, but sorry, I am not going to participate in any action which equates Barack Obama with Rupert Murdoch and Rush Limbaugh. We already have enough trouble in this country with mindless loudmouths yelling "they're all the same." (See also #firebaggers and #emoprogs.)

I believe this "all the same" attitude exacerbates the problem of the rightward drift of the Democratic Party, not to mention the undue clout given to the wingnuts, by aggravating the apathy among people who are more or less liberal. Especially young people.

I am well aware that it's believed necessary to scream in Subject lines to get attention in the Inboxes of this Internet, but this time, your approach has backfired.

Brendan Keefe

[Added] on a related note, see Zandar, via Frank Chow. I will treasure this phrase for days:

... despite being arrogant and subservient at the same time while remaining worse than Bush.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

A look at today's GOP, by Tom Toles

Tom Toles cartoon

I don't see a permalink for it (yet?) but at the moment, it's the first item shown on the Toles WaPo home page.

[Added] Outtake here.

James Whittaker: "Why I left Google"

You might have already seen this, given by the amount of buzz it appears to be generating, but in case not, it's worth reading. More importantly, let's hope that it becomes a big enough thing that Google notices, and helps spur Google toward getting its act back together.

It ties in well with Steve Yegge's "accidentally published" rant from a few months ago.

(h/t: Manish Vij, RT by Andrew Leonard)

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Tour of Confusion (That's What The World Needs Today)

You'll understand the title when you get to the end of this minute-ish-long clip, but I thought I'd add the first part on for a little context, at least.

(alt. video link)

Sounds like a great idea, doesn't it? At least for the non-calcified. If I ever get to that part of the world, I'd love to go on a few of those.

That whole diavlog between Sarah and Sarah is worth listening to, as is their first one.

P.S. If the name that Sarah Wildman mentioned in the above clip rang a bell, but you're not quite sure … here's a reminder.

(title: cf.)

Noted for the record

"And on that basis of course you get rid of Obamacare, that's the easy one. Planned Parenthood, we're going to get rid of that. The subsidy for Amtrack, I'd eliminate that. The National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities," he said.

"He" being this guy, of course:

Were there any follow-up questions to these fairly radical eliminationist statements? Apparently not! But! Immediately following the above, there was this even more important stuff, to bring the important campaign coverage article home:

This was Romney's first public event in the Show Me state, so we wanted to know, does he say Missouri or Missourah?

"You know I've always said Missouri." He adds, "I know as I get to other parts of the state its Missourah. But I'll stick with Missouri 'cause that's what I know best," he said.

Romney also says he has yet to try toasted ravioli and gooey butter cake, but he'd like to.


(h/t: Liz Colville)

I was going to make a sex joke about Newt Gingrich and Alabama ...

... but then the section underneath it left me laughing even harder. Or crying. One of those.

You don't actually need me to link to the Wikipedia page on Southern Strategy, do you?

(source | via)

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Mitt Romney puts his silver foot in his mouth, ...

... again.

(title h/t: Ann Richards | pic. source)

Report from the US Prison Industrial Complex

I have known for some time that the way the game is rigged these days is that if you don't take a prosecutor's plea bargain offer, and instead insist upon your Constitutional right (quaint!) to a trial by jury, you risk extremely harsh punishment if you lose at trial. But I did not know it was quite this bad:

The Supreme Court ruled in 1978 that threatening someone with life imprisonment for a minor crime in an effort to induce him to forfeit a jury trial did not violate his Sixth Amendment right to trial. Thirteen years later, in Harmelin v. Michigan, the court ruled that life imprisonment for a first-time drug offense did not violate the Eighth Amendment’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment.

Bad as that is, here's an example of how it gets worse:

No wonder, then, that most people waive their rights. Take the case of Erma Faye Stewart, a single African-American mother of two who was arrested at age 30 in a drug sweep in Hearne, Tex., in 2000. In jail, with no one to care for her two young children, she began to panic. Though she maintained her innocence, her court-appointed lawyer told her to plead guilty, since the prosecutor offered probation. Ms. Stewart spent a month in jail, and then relented to a plea. She was sentenced to 10 years’ probation and ordered to pay a $1,000 fine. Then her real punishment began: upon her release, Ms. Stewart was saddled with a felony record; she was destitute, barred from food stamps and evicted from public housing. Once they were homeless, Ms. Stewart’s children were taken away and placed in foster care. In the end, she lost everything even though she took the deal.

Read the whole article to learn about a novel solution proposed by a brave woman named Susan Burton.

Two Graphic Reminders

Woman on march holding sign, 'I cannot believe I STILL have to protest this shit!'

Two pie charts. First shows 25% of eligible voters in 2010 were unmarried women.  Second shows voting behavior of unmarried women in 2010: 39% not registered to vote, 37% registered but did not vote, only 24% voted.

Pics swiped from Strong Intelligent Women Choosing Equality & Freedom Instead Of Religion, on Facebook, via Rita Matthews.

Monday, March 12, 2012

In case you missed my tweet, ...

... don't miss this outstanding post by Kay at Balloon Juice on the never-ending efforts by the Republican Party to suppress minority voters.

(h/t: @edroso and @azjayhawk47)

Remember when The Pantload and The Steyn said this?

Thanks to a spam commenter, I had my attention drawn to something I noted right after the previous presidential election. It is reproduced below for your enjoyment.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Doughy (For the Record)

Prediction   [Jonah Goldberg]

Now that McCain has lost, and Sarah Palin has time to reintroduce herself down the road, the anti-Palin conservatives will almost surely look foolish in retrospect.

Foolish is as foolish does. We'll be watching, Mr. Pantload.

And you, too, Mark Steyn:

As for us losers, there's no point going down the right-wing version of Bush Derangement Syndrome. Any shrill vicious ad hominem invective would be much better directed at each other.


As of this moment (before clicking Publish), the Google finds nothing for kim kardashian "tractor trailer trash."



I don't actually have anything against KK, apart from the usual despair caused by anyone who's famous solely for being famous, but on the other hand, I really was stuck behind one of these big rigs for almost two hours this past Friday.

(Click pic to make ... more voluptuous?)

(pic. source: Pro Trucker)


And anyway, it's not even in the same league with whoever came up with my all-time favorite measure of insignificance: "one of the lesser Kardashians."


[Added] After looking around for a bit, the best bet seems to be The Colbert Report.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Sprung 2

Growth report from twelve days ago to today:

Green shoots

At other spots in the yard, blossoming, blossoming:

Click 'em to big 'em.

If you look for a dot of purple along the right-hand edge of the middle picture, about two thirds of the way up, that's the single flower shown in the first of the three images. [Added: visual aid 1, visual aid 2]



(source | h/t: KK)

Say ... maybe there IS something to that online tracking business

Item #2 in the "Recommended For You" list the NYT just displayed to me:

Sod Off, Scotch
Irish Whiskey, an Unfussy, Constant Companion


Did you know it is now possible to say something about what color a bird's dinosaur's feathers were, from looking at its fossil?

Microraptor - artistic reconstruction by M. Ellison/AMNH, via the NYT

Whoa. I sure didn't. And apparently it is pretty new:

A year ago, Canadian paleontologists described some of the first examples of feather coloring in the age of dinosaurs. They were found in 70 million-year-old amber preserving 11 specimens with a wide variety of feather types, some in bright colors. A different pigmentation method produces the brighter-colored features of, say, cardinals.

Here's how the article starts:

Sexual drive, not flight, may have been the main reason for the feather color and pattern of Microraptor, a four-winged dinosaur that lived some 130 million years ago in what is now northeastern China.

New research by American and Chinese scientists shows that the animal had a predominantly glossy iridescent sheen in hues of black and blue, like a crow. This is the earliest known evidence of iridescent color in feathers. The animal also had a striking pair of long, narrow tail feathers, perhaps to call attention to itself in courtship.

In the study, published online Thursday in the journal Science, the researchers compared the patterns of pigment-containing cells from a Microraptor fossil with those of modern birds. The shape and orientation of these cells, known as melanosomes, were narrow and arranged in a distinctive pattern, as in the case of living birds with glossy feathers.

Only recently has it become possible with scanning electron microscopes to examine well-preserved fossil remains of melanosomes, so tiny that a hundred can fit across a human hair. Such pigment agents in many birds are generally round or cigar-shaped, but these were especially narrow, like those of blackbirds. The iridescence arises when the melanosomes are organized in stacked layers.

Read all the words.

*Gasp.* Looks like teevee actually got a bit smarter.

Melissa Harris-Perry, headshot, swiped from her eponymous website

I did not know until just now that Melissa Harris-Perry has her own show on MSNBC. And it's got a hashtag to die for!

Apparently, it launched 18 February 2012, and it airs right after the show that tweeple know as #uppers.

Thanks to ZandarVTS for explaining what #nerdland refers to. See Michael P Jeffries for a quick intro to the new show. Congrats to MHP and MSNBC.

College professors hosting political talk shows! Can't wait till Rick Santorum hears about this!

[Added] If you're reading this remotely, don't fail to drop by and see Jack's note in the Comments.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

I am just now learning why no one calls her Four Eyes

(Apparently big in 2010.)

Is Google's Search By Image system developing a sense of humor?

[Update] The crack researchers in the forums lead me to believe that the model's name is Denise Milani. I mean, if you wanted to know.

Friday, March 09, 2012

Line of the Day: 2012-03-04 [sic]

Somehow or another, this post got stuck in Drafts. But this summary paragraph of Roy's, wrapping up a survey of the GOOD RIDDANCE huffing and puffing by some of the usual suspects reacting to news of a certain senator's retirement, is timeless, or so it seems these days.

[Washington Examiner "senior political columnist" Timothy J.] Carney has been peddling this line for a while -- that there's a secret, saving remnant that works behind the scenes in the Republican Party to keep it, and America, on the straight and narrow. Thus he feels compelled to describe what has clearly been the most powerful force in that Party for decades as a beleaguered minority. Why does he even try? Well, there's traditional conservative persecution mania, but I think another factor comes into play: Conservatives have fucked this country up pretty badly, and maybe they think if they pretend to have been cowering under the blows of David Frum all this time, they can convince some dummies that it was Olympia Snowe's fault.

Which inspires variation on a theme:

pie chart, for comedy

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

How many times do you think "uppity!!!1!" was typed into the wingnutosphere in the past 24 hours?

Always nice to see the teevee wing of the GOP get mocked, though, isn't it?

(alt. video link)

Way to speak truth to power, Mr. President!

(h/t: Progress Report, 6 Mar 2012 edition. (Will add permalink when they make one.))

[Added] In case you don't have your scorecard handy, that FoxNews Reporter™ is Ed Henry. Apparently, he was hired away from CNN after writing the "worst article in American history."

What could possibly go wrong?

Highlighted text: 'HP Quickweb resides outside your notebook's operating

I don't know anything more than what I just read in that sales brochure (PDF). But doesn't it seem like a door through which the bad guys could inject something to infect your system at a very low level?

Paranoia is a fact of life for PC users. Mac and Linux weenies may commence chortling now.

Smell that? Mmm. Ahhh. Yes, the blogosphere just got measurably smarter.

Google suggest for 'mcardl:
Guess who just went Galt.

And M.B. is right about this, too, x2: don't miss Susan of Texas in comments over at Inside the Beltway.

Parting song.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

A great thing from a couple of weeks ago

(Reblogging the dead trees once again.)

I'd find it as hard to believe if you told me as you're going to right now that I'm telling you, but I'm telling you, when I got to the end of this Ben McGrath piece which starts out seeming to be about nothing special, especially given what EVERYONE was writing about a couple of weeks ago, I could only think, even in my dreams, I'll never be able to write like that.

The LA Times shamelessly panders to my inner little boy

What? You're moving a 340-ton granite boulder from Riverside County to LACMA? And you have an interactive diagram of the truck for me to look at???

(embiggen, although not nearly enough)

Map of the planned route. Follow @LACMARock and Culture Monster for turn-by-turn action! (Okay, maybe not quite that much. Plus, it's only moving at 5mph. WHICH IS WAY FASTER THAN THE SPACE SHUTTLE.)

(h/t: MK, via phone)

[Added] Good picture of the early phase here.

Take it from someone who lives there

Gershom Gorenberg, who has been living in Israel for about thirty-five years, appears here in a diavlog with Glenn Loury that was recorded on 26 Feb and posted 3 March 2012. These are slightly longer than soundbites, and deserve to be.

First, how many self-identified Republicans know this, do you think?

(alt. video link)

Also, how about them madrasas!!!1!

(alt. video link)

And a parting thought:

(alt. video link)

Beat that, for four words to live by.

I encourage you to watch the whole thing. And, if you're interested, you can read the first chapter of The Unmaking of Israel for free, on Amazon.

Saturday, March 03, 2012

Colors in the White House

Sure it's staged, but that doesn't mean it's not beautiful. Click it to big it.

The First Family at Christmas time, getting visited by elves

(source | via)

Probably you wouldn't want to wear this if you had a big belly

Happened across this while looking for something else:

(h/t: Meghan Kelly/VentureBeat)

[Added] The title was a nod to Hannibal Lecter fans, of course. Here's a definition I didn't know, though:


render (plural renders)

  1. A substance similar to stucco but exclusively applied to masonry walls.

Friday, March 02, 2012

More anniversary celebration

How cool is this? The radio broadcast of the fourth quarter of that game is available online for your listening pleasure.

And they have very kindly set it up so you can jump to any point in that quarter.

(h/t: Richard Sandomir)

Fizzy logic

Distribution of "pop," "soda," and "coke" usage, as determined by an analysis of tweets:

Yellow dots indicate “pop,” red dots indicate “Coke,” and blue dots indicate “soda.”

Zoom out and wonder along with me why Canadians use the term most prevalent in the US southeast.

Bigger and even more more interactive map here.

Bigger static maps, showing results from different workers using different methodologies, here.

More info, and topics, starting at Jennifer Schuessler's fine post. Wherein, concerning some matters discussed, this blogger needs educated. But it's all hella cool!

Deep thought

Via email from @DrBallester, who also taught me a new word: paraprosdokian.

Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit.
Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.

(Origin unknown.)

Happy 50th Anniversary!

The first time they met was in December of 1956, in Lawrence, Kan. — inside some all-purpose room at the student union that was reconfigured to accommodate a few TV cameras.

Somebody shoved a few tables together and placed some chairs behind them so the players could sit down and face the media, and if he was asked any memorable question about how he was about to become a bystander to history, Joe Ruklick cannot recall it.

But even before the proceedings began, before anyone could ask Wilt Chamberlain about the collegiate debut that would take place the next day, Ruklick leaned across the table and nervously stuck his hand in the direction of this massive sculpture of a man the national media had come to see.

"First of all, taking his hand was like trying to hold the wide end of a tennis racket," said Ruklick, at that time an 18-year-old sophomore center from Northwestern University.

"So I was still looking at it when I said, 'Wilt, I just wanted to apologize — I was picked as the starting center at the North-South High School Game two years ago in Kentucky, where they wouldn't let you play because you were a Negro. I stood in your place, and that was wrong, because you should have been there.'

"And Wilt, incredibly gracious, just said, 'Hey, my man — don't give it any thought. You earned it.' "

From that moment — even though they would meet only once more in the next three years — the tall, stocky white kid from a village in central Illinois was bonded to the colossus from Philadelphia.

Of course, Chamberlain, two years his senior, may have had another reason to be gracious: sympathy. The next day, he set two Big Seven Conference records by rolling up 52 points and 31 rebounds with astonishing ease, and hardly anyone noticed that the poor kid trying to guard him scored 22 himself.

That wouldn't be the last time the two men would collaborate on a number that turned the sports world on its head.

Remember what else Joe Ruklick isn't much remembered for? Read the rest of Dave D'Alessandro's fine piece to find out.

And, from a different night, but just because it's such a great picture:

Above: one of the few reasons to wish I was older than I am

Both pix may be clicked to enlarge, although, sadly, not quite to life size. They were swiped from Rompedas, who has a bunch more.

Thanks for the reminder, C. (Who is from Philadelphia, of course. (And, shhh. Don't tell her that wasn't the 76ers that night.))

[Added] There's more.

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Plans for world domination through service integration ...

... appear to have a few wrinkles yet to be ironed out.

Yep. That's a real email message, really from YouTube. But try telling Gmail's spam filters that.