Friday, December 27, 2013

Funding denialism, documented

From the Dec 2013 issue of the journal Climatic Change:

Institutionalizing delay: foundation funding and the creation of U.S. climate change counter-movement organizations

Robert J. Brulle


This paper conducts an analysis of the financial resource mobilization of the organizations that make up the climate change counter-movement (CCCM) in the United States. Utilizing IRS data, total annual income is compiled for a sample of CCCM organizations (including advocacy organizations, think tanks, and trade associations). These data are coupled with IRS data on philanthropic foundation funding of these CCCM organizations contained in the Foundation Center’s data base. This results in a data sample that contains financial information for the time period 2003 to 2010 on the annual income of 91 CCCM organizations funded by 140 different foundations. An examination of these data shows that these 91 CCCM organizations have an annual income of just over 900million,withanannualaverageof64 million in identifiable foundation support. The overwhelming majority of the philanthropic support comes from conservative foundations. Additionally, there is evidence of a trend toward concealing the sources of CCCM funding through the use of donor directed philanthropies.

The journal is peer-reviewed, I believe.

The full paper, sadly, costs a lot of money to see, but there is a bunch of supplementary online material (PDF) available for free.

The Guardian has a good article about the paper. Here's how it begins.

Conservative groups may have spent up to $1bn a year on the effort to deny science and oppose action on climate change, according to the first extensive study into the anatomy of the anti-climate effort.

The anti-climate effort has been largely underwritten by conservative billionaires, often working through secretive funding networks. They have displaced corporations as the prime supporters of 91 think tanks, advocacy groups and industry associations which have worked to block action on climate change. Such financial support has hardened conservative opposition to climate policy, ultimately dooming any chances of action from Congress to cut greenhouse gas emissions that are warming the planet, the study found.

News of the unsurprising, and mighty discouraging news at that, but a shoutout to Prof. Brulle for making the effort to document the atrocities, and a vote of sympathy to him for the character assassination he will doubtless be suffering in the next few weeks.

(h/t: Wired UK, via Ars Technica)

Thursday, December 26, 2013

The only parargaph I don't like in Carl Zimmer's ...

... latest column in the NYT is this:

In our smaller-brained ancestors, the researchers argue, neurons were tightly tethered in a relatively simple pattern of connections. When our ancestors’ brains expanded, those tethers ripped apart, enabling our neurons to form new circuits.

Call me a paranoiac, a fringe member of the reality-based community, or whatever: I worry that this sounds too much like it's happening in individual brains, over the course of individual lifetimes, as opposed to what is actually meant: this is what you'd see if you made a film of snapshots of the the typical brain, over many generations, in an evolving species.

Trying to keep the voice active is commendable, especially when the topic is ... ooooo, Science. BOring. [Or so you worry your editors might think] ... but when writing about evolution, it's also worth keeping in mind how the denialists will seek to parse every frickin phrase; as in the familiar [snickerchortle] "Was your grandfather a monkey on your father or mother's side?" [/snickerchortle], &c.

All of the rest of the article is fascinating. This being Zimmer, that comes as no surprise.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

So, a Christian, a Jew, a Muslim, and an atheist walk into a bar ...

Ah, sorry. There's no punchline.

But it was a great way to spend Christmas Eve. Thanks y'all.

And praise god for diversity.

I might even say.

Because vernacular, of course.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Grammar question. How say you?

There is a myriad of reasons why ...

Or should it be, there are a myriad of reasons why ...

Consider also:

There are a score of reasons why ...
There is a score of reasons why ...

There is a dozen reasons why ...
There are a dozen reasons why ...

There are a handful of reasons why ...
There is a handful of reasons why ...

Is the verb after There supposed to agree with the quantity-noun (myriad, score, dozen, handful) or the word (noun) reasons? And does the of, where it appears, make any difference?

My own ear leans toward(s) is when there is an of and the other way, when not. Which seems inconsistent after the most fleeting of thought(s).


Saturday, December 21, 2013

Image credit, long overdue

Once upon a time, MK mailed me a cartoon, on paper. I used it as a bookmark (the paper kind, in a paper book), as I often do with such things, because they're fun to come across when I re-read the book years later. I liked this particular cartoon so much that when blogging came along, I decided to use it as my About Me image. Since then, I've been using it, or pieces of it, for my online avatar pretty much everywhere, including as the favicon for this site.

Thanks to Sean Taggart, I now know the artist: the late and apparently great John Callahan.

More here. This profile, from 1992, is especially recommended.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

I wonder if Vint Cerf ever says this, about the Internet

His lawyers argued that the anticensorship diatribes in Screw made the magazine sufficiently political, though Mr. Goldstein himself ridiculed this defense, insisting that a reader’s erection “is its own redeeming value.”

I never heard of Al Goldstein until now, never read any of his publications, and he sure doesn't sound like he was any fun to be around, but for whatever reason, he seems like he deserves a salute.

Deep thought

I'm not much of a spiritual guy anymore, but there are some times when I feel guilty about not giving a reverential enough look at the just past full moon, with Jupiter right next door.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Lucky for them the War stayed Cold, then, huh?

From a story about misfortunes surrounding this year's running of the Olympic Torch:

Russia’s torches were manufactured in Siberia at a reported cost of $6.4 million by KrasMash, which usually makes submarine-launched ballistic missiles.

Or, maybe there's more power in the word flamer than we ever knew?

Monday, December 16, 2013

Hurrah. Finally.

As you probably know, I've been yammering about this for what feels like forever.

After years of mounting concerns that the antibacterial chemicals that go into everyday items like soap and toothpaste are doing more harm than good, the Food and Drug Administration said on Monday that it was requiring soap manufacturers to demonstrate that the substances were safe or to take them out of the products altogether.

The proposal was applauded by public health experts, who for years have urged the agency to regulate antimicrobial chemicals, warning that they risk scrambling hormones in children and promoting drug-resistant infections, among other things.

Actually, I did not know about the hormone thing. My beef has always been about the latter worry.

[Added] My message, now with authoritah!

The agency also said there was no evidence that the substances were any more effective in preventing infection than plain soap and water.

Rhetorical question: how much luck have you had trying to buy plain soap lately?

Friday, December 13, 2013

WTF, Michigan?

Thanks be to TBogg, who somehow finds the energy to keep up with the atrocities.

[Added] Also.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Yep. This deserves promotion, all right.

Hello, my fellow Americans!

On the left, your National Reconnaissance Office's new logo for their latest spy satellite. Don't you feel safer already?

On the right, something intended to make you fearful.

From a different time. And a different country.

(Image credit: PsionEdge, on Ars. From that source, you can also get to a long Ryan Lizza piece, subtitled "Why won’t the President rein in the intelligence community?", if you like. I haven't yet found it within me to get to page 2.)

Monday, December 09, 2013

Not so much

I came across that phrase in a NYT article and it surprised me a bit. It strikes me as a colloquialism that the style guide masters would have, if ever, only very recently allowed.

But look at this graph from Google Ngrams.

Maybe it's just that I'm wiped out from work, but I can't think of a way it would be used other than in this sense from the article:

The natural question is how long this situation can last. Fifty years ago a “woman doctor” was a gender-bending phenomenon. Now not so much.

And that sounds distinctly recent to me. The top Google hits support this sense.

There is, however, this, from a 1914 book.

Other examples?

Sunday, December 08, 2013

Another measure of the GOP's increasing distance from reality

Compare and contrast this, from the NYT's Business section, ...

More than two dozen of the nation’s biggest corporations, including the five major oil companies, are planning their future growth on the expectation that the government will force them to pay a price for carbon pollution as a way to control global warming.

The development is a striking departure from conservative orthodoxy and a reflection of growing divisions between the Republican Party and its business supporters.

A new report by the environmental data company CDP has found that at least 29 companies, some with close ties to Republicans, including ExxonMobil, Walmart and American Electric Power, are incorporating a price on carbon into their long-term financial plans.

... with this ...

During the 2012 election, every Republican presidential candidate but one, Jon Huntsman, questioned or denied the science of climate change and rejected policies to deal with global warming.

Better sit down for this part:

But unlike the five big oil companies — ExxonMobil, ConocoPhillips, Chevron, BP and Shell, all major contributors to the Republican party — Koch Industries, a conglomerate that has played a major role in pushing Republicans away from action on climate change, is ramping up an already-aggressive campaign against climate policy — specifically against any tax or price on carbon. Owned by the billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch, the company includes oil refiners and the paper-goods company Georgia-Pacific.

[Added] Oops. Earlier noted by Ocean.

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Time for a new calender

Having recently (re)gifted an Advent calendar, it occurs to me that the next can't-miss item for retailers (assuming this gets a nod of approval from Dr. Oz) would be a Lenten Calendar.

It would work like this: every day, for forty days, a maw would open, and you, or your child, would be required to deposit therein a piece of candy.

Variations abound. For example, you could get all of it back (less tithe) on Easter.

Monday, December 02, 2013

Headline of the Day

Today, we are all tackle-box-faces:

Researchers Control Computers Through Body Piercings

Sunday, December 01, 2013

Why does Paul Krugman have to be right about everything?

Dunno. But he is.

Another problem, it seems to me, is that there just aren't that many ways (besides ground) to buy turkey, year-round, in the typical grocery store at least.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

In a better world, just saying "context matters" would suffice

Of course we do not live anywhere near that world. On the upside, we have Ta-Nehisi Coates, who has the patience to elaborate and the chops in so doing to make me say, for only about the 4,037th time, that's what I think, and that's what I would have said, if only ...

Minor point of disagreement, with one of TNC's examples: I'm fine with Matt Barnes's use of "niggas" in the context of his tweet. I don't expect that I'll ever use the term, being white, and I have no problem with that (as all too many seem to). In fact, I think TNC's call of "inappropriate" on this one contradicted the thrust of his argument. But no biggie: he's entitled to judge differently, and I can imagine why he might. And, in fairness, he was contrasting "inappropriate" with some far more heinous events.

On a thoroughly unrelated note, I happened to have been watching the game that led to the tweet, and I thought Barnes deserved to be the only player booted. The third man into a transient exchange of shoves between a pair of NBA players never, to at least three decimal points, has any business being there. Save that "enforcer" nonsense for the NHL and pro wrestling, if you'll pardon the redundancy.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Oh, this is such a good read

Frank Chimero has written up and posted a version of a talk he recently gave, called "What Screens Want."

His talk was (ostensibly?) aimed at web developers, but there's no way you need to fit into that slot to follow it, or to love it.

Just for example, how's this for empathy, for every plain ol' computer user out there?

Computers, after all, are just shaky towers of nested abstractions: from the code that tells them what to do, to the interfaces that suggest to the user what’s possible to do with them. Each level of abstraction becomes an opportunity to make work more efficient, communicate more clearly, and assist understanding. Of course, abstractions also become chances to complicate what was clear, slow down what was fast, and fuck up what was perfectly fine.

And this?

So what is the answer? I found this quote by Ted Nelson, the man who invented hypertext. He’s one of the original rebel technologists, so he has a lot of things to say about our current situation. Nelson:

The world is not yet finished, but everyone is behaving as if everything was known. This is not true. In fact, the computer world as we know it is based upon one tradition that has been waddling along for the last fifty years, growing in size and ungainliness, and is essentially defining the way we do everything. My view is that today’s computer world is based on techie misunderstandings of human thought and human life. And the imposition of inappropriate structures throughout the computer is the imposition of inappropriate structures on the things we want to do in the human world.

Emphasis mine. [...]

Also, to illustrate some of what he's saying, Frank has clips from James Burke's Connections, Eadweard Muybridge's work with horses, and The West Wing. Featuring CJ. I mean, the shared nerd porn interests alone ought to do it, don't you think?

Go, and enjoy.

(h/t: Jenna Wortham, via a Scuttlebot post which was presented as a sidebar on the NYT's Bits blog, which I saw while reading a note about Twitter and Perfect Forward Security, and omg, when the h/t is getting to be longer than the post, it is waaay past time to click the Publish button)


[Added] Of course the first blockquote above reminded me of one of the classics from the mesozoic (when we had just evolved from hamsters running along wires strung between tin cans, and thence onto typewriter keyboards, and were suddenly able to sign up for Automatically Delivered Email Newsletters), Joel Spolsky's post "article," The Law of Leaky Abstractions. Joel does eventually get into specific programming examples, but don't let those throw you, if you're not a programmer. The opening, the general ideas, and most importantly, the view of what today's programmers face when trying to relate to non-programmers are well worth your time, especially if you liked Frank Chimero's piece. Even if the words are more than *gasp* ten years old.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Stool seeks pigeon

$29.95 for that piece of crap?

(Seen on Wonkette, I'm sorry to say)

Saturday, November 09, 2013


From a short interview of Bjarne Stroustrup, the creator of the C++ programming language (emph. added):

C++ was and is meant to be a tool for professionals and for people who takes programming seriously. It can and is used by novices, but the too often heard complaint that “C++ isn’t for everybody and not every project is easily done using C++” is based on a seriously miscomprehension. There can be no programming language that is perfect for everybody and for everything. C++ doesn’t try to be everything for everybody, but it is rather good at the tasks for which it was designed – mostly systems programming, software infrastructure, and resource-constrained applications. C++ dominates the fields where its strengths are needed. The fact that you can write a simple web app easier using JavaScript or Ruby does not bother me. Basically, C++ was not primarily designed for tasks of medium complexity, medium performance, and medium reliability, written by programmers of medium skills and experience.

So he says now.

There are many ahems one might link to. Since he is a hero of mine, I'll be kind and leave it at this "How long" question.

(h/t: StatusCode issue 45)

Friday, November 08, 2013

From the Department of Better You Than Me

Or, First Thing We Do, Let's Kill All The Lawyers, Chapter 4927.

But whatever the case, all hail condolences to Dan Amira of New York mag's Daily Intelligencer blog:

For religious conservatives, howling over the so-called "war on Christmas" has become an annual holiday tradition almost as enjoyable as Christmas itself. On Tuesday, Sarah Palin seeks to capitalize on the phenomenon with the release of her newest book, Good Tidings and Great Joy: Protecting the Heart of Christmas. Daily Intelligencer purchased the Palin-narrated audiobook from a local bookstore, where it was on sale early, and listened to all four-and-a-half hours, which is technically not a violation of the Geneva Convention if you're getting paid to do it, New York's legal team insists.

At the link is a Christmas tree, whose ornaments are themselves links to "some of the book's more memorable lines."

I myself have clicked none of them. Self-loathing only goes so far.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013


You gotta think about a million people will be registering names of their opponents. It'll be the next dot-com dot-fail boom!

Monday, October 21, 2013

So. Not actually ALL bad.

Kids, try to live your life so that you never have to ... breathe a sigh of relief? ... when seeing your name in the paper, in a sentence like this.

Mr. Abramoff, who was convicted of defrauding lenders in the deal but was not thought by prosecutors to have had a hand in the Boulis murder, ...

Yeah, that Jack.

Meanwhile, the Times is apparently amazed that New York-based mobsters have interests in Florida.

All together now!    No one could have predicted ...

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

And you thought that label for those posts of mine was just libtard mewling

From a short article in the NYT:

In a new book, “Reflections on Judging,” Judge [Richard A.] Posner, a prolific author who also teaches at the University of Chicago Law School, said, “I plead guilty to having written the majority opinion” in the case. He noted that the Indiana law in the Crawford case is “a type of law now widely regarded as a means of voter suppression rather than of fraud prevention.”

Judge Posner, who was appointed by President Ronald Reagan in 1981, extended his remarks in a video interview with The Huffington Post on Friday.


In a telephone interview on Tuesday, Judge Posner noted that the primary opinion in the 2008 Supreme Court decision upholding the law had been written by Justice John Paul Stevens, “who is, of course, very liberal.” The outcome of the case goes to show, he said, that oftentimes, “judges aren’t given the facts that they need to make a sound decision.”

Wingnuts screeching about RINOs selling out to the liberal media establishment so they can get invited to Georgetown cocktail parties in 5, 4, 3, ...

POTS-down Confluence

Factoid of the day:

The traditional landline is not expected to last the decade in a country where nearly 40 percent of households use only wireless phones. Even now, less than 10 percent of households have only a landline phone, according to government data that counts cable-based phone service in that category.

Lots more interesting things to contemplate here.

You might want to sit down before reading, so as not to hurt yourself when you keel over from the SHOCK of learning how the phone companies think that while we're getting rid of landlines, we should also do away with anything resembling consumer protection, because Progress and Innovation, &c.

Thursday, October 03, 2013

So, the good thing about the government shutdown is ...

... at least this kind of crap won't happen anymore.

On Aug. 8, Mr. Levison closed Lavabit rather than, in his view, betray his promise of secure e-mail to his customers. The move, which he explained in a letter on his Web site, drew fervent support from civil libertarians but was seen by prosecutors as an act of defiance that fell just short of a crime.

The full story of what happened to Mr. Levison since May has not previously been told, in part because he was subject to a court’s gag order. But on Wednesday, a federal judge unsealed documents in the case, allowing the tech entrepreneur to speak candidly for the first time about his experiences. He had been summoned to testify to a grand jury in Virginia; forbidden to discuss his case; held in contempt of court and fined $10,000 for handing over his private encryption keys on paper and not in digital form; and, finally, threatened with arrest for saying too much when he shuttered his business.


Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Science: It's cool, bitchez

How can you not adore a headline like this?

A Wealth of Data in Whale Breath

(tile: cf.)

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Or, you might be two steps behind, and headed in the wrong direction

But a nice sentiment, nonetheless.

Remember if people talk behind your back, it only means you are two steps ahead.
    -- Fannie Flagg

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Some new research on crack and meth addiction. Or "addiction."

Pretty fascinating article about work done by a Columbia professor named Carl Hart, and a book he has recently published.

It'd be great to hear him interviewed by Mark Kleiman.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

The mind reels. (But, really, how else to stay on track with Ms. Noonan?)

Not even a shorter. An actual quote:

Oh, Peggy’s reaching for her martini shaker again.

Maybe it grates on him [Vladimir Putin] that in his time some of the stupider Americans have crowed about American exceptionalism a bit too much ...



Bonus fun fact: Firefox's spell-checker simply does not recognize exceptionalism.


Line of the Day: 2013-09-13

I realize my lack of ruthlessness goes to the heart of the liberal dilemma.
    -- Roy Edroso

Dilemmas are hard.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Eleven-dimensional chess now goes to twelve

Oh my word. You must put off for three minutes whatever it is you were going to do next and read Roy's UPDATE under his latest announcement post.

You will never truly understand wingnuts until you realize how deeply they believe in Obama's seekrit majicull powerz.

(You will actually never truly understand wingnuts. Unpossible.)

Monday, September 09, 2013

Quarterback blackout?

Click the pic to see the caption more clearly.


Not shown above: Geno Smith


Oh, wait. There he is!

Yeah, suuuuurrrrre

Ajit Pai, the lone Republican on the Federal Communications Commission, is on a personal if quixotic quest to save AM. After a little more than a year in the job, he is urging the F.C.C. to undertake an overhaul of AM radio, which he calls “the audible core of our national culture.”

Being fair and balanced Objective™, the NYT makes you click through to page two before the eight hundred pound pilonidal cyst

is perfunctorily disclaimed:

Mr. Pai said he was not promoting AM to advance conservative talk radio ...

Well, good!

Because there's nothing cultured about conservative talk radio.

(pic. source)

Sunday, September 08, 2013

Actually, Andrew Bacevich, the correct answers are ...

... Nothing long-term positive that I can think of, Body counts!, No, No, and No, but your point, sir, is well-taken, nonetheless.

“If you think back to 1980,” Bacevich tells Donahue, “and just sort of tick off the number of military enterprises that we have been engaged in that part of the world, large and small, you know, Beirut, Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, Somalia — and on and on, and ask yourself, ‘What have we got done? What have we achieved? Is the region becoming more stable? Is it becoming more Democratic? Are we enhancing America’s standing in the eyes of the people of the Islamic world?’ ‘The answers are, ‘No, no, and no.’ So why, Mr. President, do you think that initiating yet another war in this protracted enterprise is going to produce a different outcome?”

I have not actually watched this interview, because I'm sure I'll agree with everything else he says, but it's out there if you want it.

(h/t: LibertyBelleJ)

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Moar Christians like this one, plz

Yes, yes, we know some of you never watch the videos. WATCH THIS VIDEO.
    -- Doktor Zoom

Monday, September 02, 2013


Swiped from Snipy.

Sunday, September 01, 2013

Fair trade?

One hand washes the other?

(pic source: screenshot of the NYT "Recommended For You" sidebar widget. Article links: 8, 9)

Who knew?

Congratulations to the happy couple!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Not getting enough Nice Time™ ...

... from your Wonkettes?

Try this:

It’s not exactly the same as in the novels, but occasionally I’ll read a sex scene she has written and I will chuckle to myself, “Oh, I remember that.”

Line of the Day: 2013-08-25

But as one saying goes, “If there’s not something bigger and meaner than you are out there, it’s not really a wilderness.”
    -- David Helvarg

Practically made me weep.

Hey, Google "+". You know enough about me ...

... that I'd think you could get the goddam pronouns right by now.

Above: my G+ posts page as viewed by "public."

They is me? Sounds like Pogo.

Welp, all I'll say ...

... about this is that, back in the day, I thoroughly enjoyed pissing all over the urinal screens featuring Nancy Reagan's "Just Say No To Drugs" message.

(Ask your grandparents, kids. Oy, how we suffered.)

Well, no, I will say one other thing. What happens when someone gets it in his or her head that the better coupons are always near the inside of the roll?

Please help spread that rumor.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Good night, and good luck

-- or --

Why we so rarely blog about politics anymore, part [manyromannumerals]

Y'know, there's lying to pollsters because Activism. There's tribamalism, there's the decades-long crippling effect of the rightwing noise machine, there's the black-guy-in-the-White-House thing.


And then there's this set of responses to a survey question ("Who do you think was more responsible for the poor response to Hurricane Katrina: George W. Bush or Barack Obama?"), from within the past week (via):

Twenty-eight percent said they think former President George W. Bush, who was in office at the time, was more responsible for the poor federal response while 29 percent said Obama, who was still a freshman U.S. Senator when the storm battered the Gulf Coast in 2005, was more responsible.

Bonus! "Nearly half of Louisiana Republicans — 44 percent — said they aren't sure who to blame."

I'm walking on sunshine, oo, oo. And don't it feel good.

Yeah, sure. Like we don't already know the answer will be "Derp!!!1!"

(h/t (and pic source via): Rebecca Schoenkopf)

And you were worried about our coming ROBOT overlords

Yeah, because Zimmer didn't freak you out enough with that other thing.

As Humans Change Landscape, Brains of Some Animals Change, Too

Evolutionary biologists have come to recognize humans as a tremendous evolutionary force. In hospitals, we drive the evolution of resistant bacteria by giving patients antibiotics. In the oceans, we drive the evolution of small-bodied fish by catching the big ones.

In a new study, a University of Minnesota biologist, Emilie C. Snell-Rood, offers evidence suggesting we may be driving evolution in a more surprising way. As we alter the places where animals live, we may be fueling the evolution of bigger brains.


Just be careful who you call varmint cong from now on, is all I'm saying.

Also, at risk of being thought of as all Hoot-Smalley, I really hope I never meet Dr. Emelie, because I am sure I would end up calling her Prof. Rell-Snood.

(It's a Catholic thing. Just nod and play along. It'll all be over soon.)

(pic. source)



Michael Bloomberg: Ultimately, a legacy of utter failure

I haven't been paying much attention to his stint as mayor -- he was marginally less creepy than Rudy Giuliani, wasn't he? -- but there is no walking this back:

(h/t: I blame)

[Added] And don't fail to follow this link from the preceding. Not for the first time do I marvel at Roy Edroso's scalpel and how gracefully he wields it.

Line of the Day: 2013-08-23

Ah, man. I probably shouldn't blockquote this, since it's the closing paragraph of a post of which you should read the whole thing.

But it's that good.

Okay, your choice: do the usual trick, if you really don't want to read the few paragraphs that come first, or go get yourself some context.

When it's important I'm willing to make common cause with some rightwing asshole to push the tide back on civil liberties. But when you line up with Rand Paul you know what you're getting. [Jeff] Jarvis is so full of shit, he's as useless as an ally as he is as an opponent -- maybe even more useless; he discredits any cause by adopting it. I'm beginning to think newspapers would already be utterly dead by now if Jarvis hadn't spent the past ten years predicting it.
    -- Roy Edroso

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Txt spk

But don't worry. The tomatoes are laughing WITH you.

Out of pocket

Either I forgot it completely, or somehow never read this one back when I was all about Marlowe, but I just finished Lady in the Lake a couple of nights ago. It was a great read, as is everything in the terribly small Raymond Chandler canon.

Among the delightful archaic terms encountered: our hero reports at one point checking his strap watch.

Are you able to name any other extinct retronyms?

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Huh. You mean some other country is even dumber than the US about what it classifies?

Who knew the Communist Party was worried about this?

Besides everybody on the planet, I mean.

Story link? Really? You want one? OK.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Line of the Day: 2013-08-19

I usually just ignore Twitchy, which isn’t really a news site so much as an effort to stoke and direct the apparently bottomless desire of right wingers to harass people online, which they appear to mistake for activism.
    -- Amanda Marcotte

May be the most polite thing anyone (to the left of Limbaugh) has ever said about Malkin.

(h/t: TBogg)

Friday, August 16, 2013

Thursday, August 08, 2013

Maybe this'll just confirm your liberal biases ...

... but Rick Perlstein's Baffler piece from a few months ago, "The Long Con: Mail-order conservatism" is an enjoyable read, in a faintly horrifying way.

Lotta money to be made out there, if only you didn't have a conscience.

(h/t: Julian Sanchez)

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

I'll give that a big Oh, Snap!

(h/t: Doktor Zoom)

Monday, July 29, 2013

Here's an article on GMO foods that definitely bears your attention

At least in this case, the choice seems to come down to accepting a genetically modified orange or eating a whole lot more pesticide.

Or eating oranges that look like the one on the right.

[Added] Or, as numerous meatspace commenters have pointed out to me, not eating oranges at all.

I myself am not totally against GMO foods. I don't have worries about the "Frankenfood" aspect; i.e., I'd have no problem eating a given sample that had gone through the testing described in the article. I do worry about genetically modified organisms -- plant or animal -- escaping into the wild, as it were, before we completely understand what we're doing, in general.

(h/t: Andrew Revkin)

Monday, July 01, 2013

Ripped from context 2

Apparently, this is a sincere compliment:

Some human language researchers are impressed, too. “My hat’s off to them,” Dr. Oller said of the new study’s authors. “They aren’t even babbling researchers, and they came up with a procedure that eluded all of us. Assuming they are correct, they’ve made a serious contribution to the babbling literature.”

Friday, June 28, 2013

Must be nice

To have that kind of money, I mean.

The military headquarters responsible for computer-network warfare, the United States Cyber Command, will grow by 4,000 personnel with an additional investment of $23 billion, ...

The creation of jerbs! With no hint of scolding from the deficit scolds!

Does it get better? Oh, it gets better:

... General Dempsey said. (Cyber Command and the National Security Agency are led by the same officer, Gen. Keith B. Alexander.)

Uh huh.

“We are doing all of this not to address run-of-the mill cyberintrusions, but to stop attacks of significant consequence — those that threaten life, limb and the country’s core economic functioning,” General Dempsey said.

I for one feel safer already!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

So, despite the DH, not really so different after all

Ripped from context ...

Homo sapiens, the species that would eventually form both the American and National Leagues, ...

Friday, June 21, 2013

Deep thought

Cheap is nice, but how long until a 3D printer can make a copy of itself?

Fundamentalist religion, summed up

... an outlet for emotionally disturbed men with intimacy deficits.

If that's not the shorter of the year, I can't imagine what else is.

Sunday, June 09, 2013

Yeah, yeah. Fish in a barrel. But when the master is holding the shotgun ...

TBogg on Geraldo Rivera being very sad about not becoming your next U.S. Senator from New Jersey?

I was going to say it could not get any better, but then I happened to hover over the first link in TBogg's post, to the authoritative news source that, according to the Blogger Ethics Panel, must be cited before commencing to snark.

The flagship of the Right Wing Noise Machine, ladies and gentlemen.

It's almost hard to believe that conservative outreach to minority groups still isn't doing any better.

Did you know Carl Zimmer now has a NYT column?

I just discovered this. No author page yet, but you can start here.

Sunday, June 02, 2013

I've long known that winning the silver can be painful, but this is news to me

A lede that belongs in the Hall of Infamy:

Seven-time All-Star Grant Hill retired from the NBA on Saturday after 19 seasons, ending a career interrupted by injuries that included an Olympic gold medal.

Saturday, May 18, 2013


And come to that, suggested?

Whoever writes the blurbs for the NYT's front page ought to sack up. How about saying what the article really says; e.g., Good writing need not be constrained by dictionary definitions?

The article would be better with some more examples, but it does offer something rare, to you, a decent person with your head on straight: the opportunity to agree with someone who writes for The Weekly Standard.

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Fun fact of the day

An excerpt from "The Chutzpah Caucus:"

... Keynesian economics says not just that you should run deficits in bad times, but that you should pay down debt in good times. And it’s silly to imagine that this will happen, right?

Wrong. The key measure you want to look at is the ratio of debt to G.D.P., which measures the government’s fiscal position better than a simple dollar number. And if you look at United States history since World War II, you find that of the 10 presidents who preceded Barack Obama, seven left office with a debt ratio lower than when they came in. Who were the three exceptions? Ronald Reagan and the two George Bushes. So debt increases that didn’t arise either from war or from extraordinary financial crisis are entirely associated with hard-line conservative governments.

Monday, May 06, 2013

My mind is a terrible thing

I glanced at this three times before I realized it did not say "Dana Fetish Cubes."

I didn't know Rachel Maddow had a new book out

What's most amazing to me is that the wingnuts haven't swarmed the Amazon page to give it one star ratings. Particularly given the topic.

(At least as of this moment, it's at 4.5.)

Probably I won't read it. Sounds like something I already agree with on every point, and who needs reinforcement on such a discouraging matter?

Hat tip to Dok Zoom and his latest post in the series "Sundays With The Christianists." This one is on "A Biology Textbook With Dinosaurs On Noah’s Ark." The connection between these two items? A service advisory at the end of the post: next week's SWTC will be preempted by Dok hosting a discussion of Maddow's book.

Sunday, May 05, 2013

Now, that's entertainment

And it's not just the headline.

Chinese “spy” caught with NASA laptop full of porn, not secrets

There's also the backstory.

Jiang, a former contractor at NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia, had recently been let go by his employer because of pressure from Republican congressman Frank Wolf of Virginia. Wolf had claimed Jiang and other Chinese engineers employed by NASA contractors were a security risk. And that day, it seemed so—Jiang had a NASA-owned laptop in his possession, and was on a plane back to China.

But it quickly became apparent that Jiang was at worst guilty of violating NASA policies. There was no evidence of any sensitive material on the laptop, and Jiang didn't have clearance to such projects at Langley as an employee of the National Institute of Aerospace. Instead, investigators found, the laptop was loaded with pornography and pirated movies. Since he had lost his job and his work visa was expiring, Jiang simply was going home—with a little entertainment.

A press release issued by Wolf after the arrest and copy of Jiang's arrest warrant have since disappeared off the congressman's website. In the release (cached by Google here), Wolf had said, "I am particularly concerned that (the) information (on Jiang's laptop) may pertain to the source code for high-tech imaging technology that Jiang has been working on with NASA. This information could have significant military applications for the Chinese Peoples Liberation Army."

Wednesday, May 01, 2013


The NYT sure does love that weasel word.

The piece itself is a little more honest, to be fair.

Monday, April 29, 2013

How long now?

I still remember the ongoing furor back then, even years after publication: was this really a proof?

Since the time of Euclid and Pythagoras, proofs of mathematical theorems had consisted of long strings of equations or geometric notations that any mathematician could read and quibble with, all marching logically, step by step, toward a conclusion. But the proof that Dr. Appel and a colleague, Wolfgang Haken, established in 1976 was of a different order.

Their conclusion, that four colors would suffice for any map, depended on 1,200 hours of computer time — the equivalent of 50 days — and 10 billion logical decisions all made automatically and out of sight by the innards of an I.B.M. computer at the University of Illinois in Urbana.

I'd love to know how long it would take to rerun this proof on some of today's machines. The answer is probably out there, but I'm too tired to go Googling right now.

RIP, Kenneth Appel. You did a bold and very good thing.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

"How to Easily Print a Large Image to Multiple Pages in Windows"

The answer turned out to be surprisingly hard to find using the Google, so I thought I'd add a little link juice and, of course, a note of thanks to Scott Ogrin of

It makes the mind reel that there is something fundamental that MS PAINT can do that none of my other image processing programs can.

Whence I came

Look at them, happy, smiling, no gray hair ...

Friday, April 26, 2013

Doesn't this give you nerd wood?

"I can use Python, I can use C, I can use Perl, all the things I'm familiar with in a desktop computing environment," Kridner said. "If I want to have a tweeting robot that chases the cat around all day, I can make that."

Kridner would be " co-founder Jason Kridner," and would be a company that makes a $45 Linux PC.

Paul Krugman's lament

Does a continuing depression actually serve the interests of the wealthy? That’s doubtful, since a booming economy is generally good for almost everyone. What is true, however, is that the years since we turned to austerity have been dismal for workers but not at all bad for the wealthy, who have benefited from surging profits and stock prices even as long-term unemployment festers. The 1 percent may not actually want a weak economy, but they’re doing well enough to indulge their prejudices.

And this makes one wonder how much difference the intellectual collapse of the austerian position will actually make. To the extent that we have policy of the 1 percent, by the 1 percent, for the 1 percent, won’t we just see new justifications for the same old policies?

I hope not; I’d like to believe that ideas and evidence matter, at least a bit. Otherwise, what am I doing with my life?

Sorry to steal your conclusion, Prof. K., but I know everyone will like seeing it again from the start.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Coupla things to watch

First is an ad that ran in preroll for some thoroughly unrelated video that I had gone looking for. Yes, an ad. It's about three minutes long.

It's a little sappy, but kind of cool, and yes, obviously constructed, but ... what can I say ... it ultimately left me affected.

Next is the bonus video from TBogg's latest Random Ten, about which he says:

This performance gives me goosebumps:

There is a Dead Can Dance box set that contains the entire concert that the above was taken from, and it is worth it for the DVD alone.

I have always felt that TBogg's taste in music and mine are offset by about one notch, but I really liked that.


Friday, April 19, 2013

... a LIEbrul conspiracy hoax?

The Audubon Society estimates that nearly 60 percent of 305 bird species found in North America in winter are shifting northward and to higher elevations in response to ...

Of course THEY will never admit it.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Play this. Loud.

It's about fourteen minutes long, and it deserves your attention.

As you probably already know, I am not a rabid anti-gun person. As you probably also know, I wonder why we can't have SOME small amount of common sense concerning who gets to own guns. The Second Amendment does speak of a "well-regulated militia," after all, as KK and others have noted.

I'd also say that I wish my president would be this plain-spoken and angry about a whole host of issues. Maybe this can be a start?

Well, there is always hope.

(h/t: Rebecca Schoenkopf)

Remember Spirograph?

Check this out.

(In case it's not obvious, you can drag the horizontal bar upwards, to show more of the bottom panel and less of the top.)

(h/t: Hacker Newsletter #144)

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

"Windows XP death watch: 365 357 days remaining"

A reminder from Naked Security of a looming major headache:

On April 8th, 2014 - exactly one year from today - Microsoft will terminate Extended Support for Windows XP.

That means no more security updates.

And that could mean very big problems for a significant percentage of PC users.

According to data from Net Applications, Windows XP still maintains a nearly 39% hold on the desktop operating system market, second only to Windows 7 which has just under 45%.

Every other individual desktop operating system (including Windows Vista, Windows 8, and Mac OS X v10.8 Mountain Lion) has 5% or less of the desktop operating system market.

You are now free to ridicule all those obstinate cheapskates me for continuing to stick with XP thus far, and likely for at least the next 356 days. But consider the real security implications, because there are going to be boatloads of business and government computers that definitely won't be upgraded or unplugged.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Bad enough that he bankrolled the Swiftboaters and Willard Romney

Not to mention Tom Delay.

But this is just sad:

Late last year he [Bob J. Perry] gave $45,000 to George P. Bush, the 36-year-old nephew of former President George W. Bush who is now running for Texas Land Commissioner in his first bid for public office.

Ah, well. A fool and his money are recently departed.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Wouldn't you know I'd happen across this just as it's getting warm out

Not that I'm complaining about the beautiful day, but I sure do wish I read about pykrete a few months earlier.

Forget about ice-9:

Pykrete is a super-ice, strengthened tremendously by mixing in wood pulp as it freezes. By freezing a slurry of 14 percent wood pulp, the mechanical strength of ice rockets up to a fairly consistent seventy kilograms per square centimeter. A 7.69 mm rifle bullet, when fired into pure ice, will penetrate to a depth of about thirty-six centimeters. Fired into pykrete, it will penetrate less than half as far—about the same distance as a bullet fired into brickwork. Yet you can mold pykrete into blocks from the simplest materials and then plane it, just like wood. And it has tremendous crush resistance: a one-inch column of the stuff will support an automobile. Moreover, it takes much longer to melt than pure ice. But as strong and eco-friendly as it is, pykrete remains forgotten today save among glaciologists, who express bafflement over why no one has made use of it.

Though the name suggests it, pykrete has nothing to do with Guido van Rossum. Rather, it was named for its inventor, Geoffrey Pyke, "who the Times of London once declared 'one of the most original if unrecognized figures of the present century.'"

For a brief time during World War II, it looked like the next big thing. Churchill, Mountbatten, and FDR all loved it. A fascinating story.

Inuitively, it still sounds like a great idea.


Hat tip to Wired's Tim Maly: "How to Make an Indestructible Snow Fort."


Sometimes there are no words.

Turns out some scumbags have figured out ... oh, wait, ...

... we used that title already. But still.

Different scumbags, same below-the-gutter level of sliminess. Would you believe an ISP thought it would be okay to inject ads onto pages where it hadn't paid for the privilege? Yup, you pay this company for an Internet connection and they pass along the pages you request, with their own slobber added en route. Read and believe: "How a banner ad for H&R Block appeared on—without Apple’s OK."

Nice detective work by a couple of computer nerds named Robert Silvie and Zack Henckel.

And let us all link CMA Communications to this story.


Friday, April 12, 2013

Nice gamuts

I did not know until one minute ago that gamut is (also) the word used to describe the "number of colors a printer can render."

I like the appropriation of the term[, he said as entered the bar just after last call]. I guess I am not alone here: this meaning is the principle entry on Wikipedia for the word.

Aw, let 'em have it, Doghouse. Else, what victories WOULD they have?

He's reading Weigel again, apparently. And this time on the legacy of Thatcher.

But, fuck, "American 'conservatives' have largely won the argument"? What argument is that? Since when does convincing yourself of what you already believe constitute a victory?

Hot air

A man flying in a hot air balloon suddenly realizes he’s lost. He reduces height and spots a man down below. He lowers the balloon further and shouts to get directions, "Excuse me, can you tell me where I am?"

The man below says, "Yes. You're in a hot air balloon, hovering 30 feet above this field."

"You must work in Information Technology," says the balloonist.

"I do," replies the man. "How did you know?"

"Well," says the balloonist, "everything you have told me is technically correct, but it's of no use to anyone."

The man below replies, "You must work in management."

"I do," replies the balloonist, "But how'd you know?"

"Well," says the man, "you don’t know where you are or where you’re going, but you expect me to be able to help. You’re in the same position you were before we met, but now it’s my fault."

(source | via)

Be wary of that first link. It could cost you a whole day.

"A non-mathematical explanation of one way functions"

Shoutout to John Graham-Cumming for a very good explanation by analogy. Even if the title sounds forbidding, give it a look, along with the follow-up.

I'd add that, in case you didn't already know, if you do anything online, you rely on one-way functions all the time.

(h/t: StatusCode, issue 27)

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Probably Paul Kokoski knows this value from long, hard experience. If you know what I mean, and I think you do.

Okay, yeah, making fun of god-bothering wingnuts for their furiously typed typos is not exactly the pinnacle of snark, but sometimes, I just can't resist. Especially when the passage was blockquoted by your Wonkette nearly eight hours ago (meaning, like, way more hits for RenewAmerica than they usually get) and it still hasn't been fixed.

Click image to engorge enlarge.

The time-honored value of disciple can only be seen as a Sign Of The Apostle-ix.

Even if take out of context.

Monday, April 08, 2013

Turns out some scumbags have figured out another way to scam over the Internet

Not shocking, I know, but pretty disheartening: apparently, there has been an explosion over the past few years of fake professional journals and conferences, often named something very close to actual peer-reviewed publications and serious gatherings.

Bad enough that these frauds try to charge researchers to publish; what's far worse is the pollution of the body of the real academic literature. And I don't even want to imagine what the climate change denialists, the IDiots, and the anti-vaxxers will attempt (are attempting?) to do with these things.

“Beall’s list” seems like a good start in combating the problem. I'd like to think that this list of about 300 could be expanded to include the estimated 4000 currently floating around out there, and kept up to date, by some sort of crowdsourcing. There's also the idea that a whitelist of reputable journals and conferences could be created and maintained. Meantime, double-check your citations.

What's that? The new energy drink for senescent hipsters?

Probably just a typo, although I am tempted to run out and trademark the name.

The article is about what you'd expect, but it's worth a look for Alison Brod's answer.

Sunday, April 07, 2013

Funny how that works

Did you see this, in the NYT?

... some police departments are using miniaturized video cameras and their microphones to capture, in full detail, officers’ interactions with civilians. The cameras are so small that they can be attached to a collar, a cap or even to the side of an officer’s sunglasses. High-capacity battery packs can last for an extended shift. And all of the videos are uploaded automatically to a central server that serves as a kind of digital evidence locker.

William A. Farrar, the police chief in Rialto, Calif., has been investigating whether officers’ use of video cameras can bring measurable benefits to relations between the police and civilians. Officers in Rialto, which has a population of about 100,000, already carry Taser weapons equipped with small video cameras that activate when the weapon is armed, and the officers have long worn digital audio recorders.

But when Mr. Farrar told his uniformed patrol officers of his plans to introduce the new, wearable video cameras, “it wasn’t the easiest sell,” he said, especially to some older officers who initially were “questioning why ‘big brother’ should see everything they do.”


He said he reminded them that civilians could use their cellphones to record interactions, “so instead of relying on somebody else’s partial picture of what occurred, why not have your own?” he asked. “In this way, you have the real one.”

Last year, Mr. Farrar used the new wearable video cameras to conduct a continuing experiment in his department, in collaboration with Barak Ariel, a visiting fellow at the Institute of Criminology at the University of Cambridge an assistant professor at Hebrew University.

Half of Rialto’s uniformed patrol officers on each week’s schedule have been randomly assigned the cameras, also made by Taser International. Whenever officers wear the cameras, they are expected to activate them when they leave the patrol car to speak with a civilian.

A convenient feature of the camera is its “pre-event video buffer,” which continuously records and holds the most recent 30 seconds of video when the camera is off. In this way, the initial activity that prompts the officer to turn on the camera is more likely to be captured automatically, too.

The Rialto study began in February 2012 and will run until this July. The results from the first 12 months are striking. Even with only half of the 54 uniformed patrol officers wearing cameras at any given time, the department over all had an 88 percent decline in the number of complaints filed against officers, compared with the 12 months before the study, to 3 from 24.

Rialto’s police officers also used force nearly 60 percent less often — in 25 instances, compared with 61. When force was used, it was twice as likely to have been applied by the officers who weren’t wearing cameras during that shift, the study found.

Do tell.

Saturday, April 06, 2013

How to blockquote in the new new new Gmail [UPDATED]

(Updated below)

I don't see a (mouse-clickable) toolbar option to blockquote a section of text in the new Compose And Reply Experience, but you can use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl-Shift-9. And who wouldn't remember that?

Also, you can increase indent with Ctrl-] (control key + right bracket) and decrease it with Ctrl-[ (control key + left bracket).

Full list of keyboard shortcuts available by hitting ? when in Gmail (obvs, you'll have to click outside the area you're typing in, if you're in the middle of composing a message), and also here.


[Update 2013-04-07 02:04] My bad. It actually is possible to blockquote and indent text using the mouse:

I.e., click on the A button. In the pop-up toolbar, click the button second from the right and then choose from the next pop-up toolbar.

Thursday, April 04, 2013

How to change the subject line when forwarding in the new new new Gmail

(The following refers to what your Google is calling "Gmail's new compose and reply experience, speaking of words I'm thoroughly tired of.)

It took me a few minutes' hunting to find out how to do this, so I figured I'd pass it along in case the excessively subtle immediate visual cue escapes your attention as well.

If you're forwarding a message and you want to change the subject line from the default fwd: [original subject line], do the following.

  1. Click the  ⇨ ▾ button next to the To: button
  2. Click Edit subject on the drop-down menu

As always, changing the subject line in the message you forward will cause this message to be separated from the conversation thread (those messages sharing the original subject line) in your Sent folder.


A must-read from TNC

Ta-Nehisi Coates turns his gimlet eye on the "present darling of the right wing, Dr. Benjamin Carson" and the past decade's history of the GOP's ongoing search for their "Conservative Black Hope."

I've thought many of the same thoughts as he expresses, but even in my dreams, it would have taken me 7000 words, not 700, to say it even half as well.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The fine print

Couldn't help but click when NewEgg's ad appeared among the Google results.

In. Touch.

This bit from Roy's latest must be reblogged.

From the Update, wingnut line of the week department:

Second place winner: Tevi Troi at Real Clear Politics, in his brow-squeezer "Can Republicans Close the Pop Culture Gap?" --

A move towards hipness must come from the party leaders themselves...

Um. Well. So ...

Who let the dogs out?

Never forget.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Another test


test for ifttt

Just a test post for ifttt.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Told ya


Objects in image are greener than they appear

I honestly don't think they were there before last night's snowstorm.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Line of the Day: 2013-03-18

Whenever I go to cvs I feeel like I'm doing adult things
    -- Matt W., on the FB

Changing times

I have no opinion on Jennifer Carroll's recent tribulations (the range of my expertise on this matter being encompassed by the three latest Wonkette posts on her), least of all whether she was having an affair with another woman, but this sentence did kinda jump out at me:

Ms. Carroll, who has been married for 30 years, offended lesbians by saying, “Black women who look like me don’t have relationships like that.” She later apologized, but critics said it was a major stumble.

Never mind everything else there (particularly "critics said," about which I could go off on one of my usual rants); it struck me that the New York Times's saying offended lesbians in such a straightforward yet low-key way is different, in ways I have no precise words for, from what I might have read in those same pages, a decade, or two, or three, ago.

Sometimes signs of progress in ongoing struggles aren't brilliantly lit, but I think I like the subtle ones the best. Somehow, they seem the most real.

Anyway ...

You are now free to make fun of the Republican griftin' half-lieutenant-governor. Super Big Gulp jokes are go.

I can haz movie rights?

2 Quebec Inmates Climb Rope to Helicopter to Escape Jail

Published: March 17, 2013

SAINT-JÉRÔME, Quebec (AP) — Two Quebec inmates climbed up a rope into a hovering helicopter to make a daylight escape on Sunday from a jail northwest of Montreal, the authorities said.


The jail’s warden told the police that two inmates, identified as Benjamin Hudon-Barbeau, 36, and Danny Provencal, 33, had grabbed a rope dropped from the helicopter to make their getaway, Sergeant Richard said.

The police tracked down the helicopter used in the escape on Sunday afternoon to Mont-Tremblant, about 53 miles from the jail, but only the chopper’s pilot was still at the scene. The pilot was taken to a hospital, Sergeant Richard said.


(Emph. added.)


Friday, March 15, 2013

Deep thought

When the new pope makes his first reactionary statement, how many people will simultaneously tweet Lighten up, Francis?

(Didn't get the reference? You just made the list.)

Awww overload

Twenty-one GIFs of cats and cardboard boxes: the first listicle I've ever linked to without feeling the slightest twinge of guilt.

Splain to me again why we're supposed to care about the death of newspapers?

Okay, I don't really mean that, but cheese and rice, you gotta wonder just how many of the mortal wounds are self-inflicted.

Via M. Bouffant, we learn that the Boston Globe believed a story about Paul Krugman going bankrupt.

Via Weird Dave in Comments under that same post, we learn that the Washington Post believed a story that Sarah Palin had taken a job with Al Jazeera.

If there is anything to add to any of that, it has escaped me.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

CNN's chyron just said ...

... the new pope "specializes in postoral work."

That's like blogging, right?

[Update] Sadly, the chyron has now been changed, with an A in place of the first O.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Thank the FSM for Paul Krugman, is all I can say

[Edit] I tried in the first version of this post to quote "just a few samples" from Prof K's latest column, but it got silly -- I think I ended up managing to leave out two thes and an and.

So, please, just go read it, and, more importantly, send it to all of those friends and relatives of yours who try to tell you how we're doomed because {purported parallel example involving some individual household's finances}.

Thursday, March 07, 2013

Noted for the record: "Revealed: Pentagon's link to Iraqi torture centres"

The Pentagon sent a US veteran of the "dirty wars" in Central America to oversee sectarian police commando units in Iraq that set up secret detention and torture centres to get information from insurgents. These units conducted some of the worst acts of torture during the US occupation and accelerated the country's descent into full-scale civil war.

As you can tell from the spelling of "centres," this is furrin reporting. Another win for our homeland media! USA! USA! USA!

Oh, and ...

The Guardian/BBC Arabic investigation was sparked by the release of classified US military logs on WikiLeaks that detailed hundreds of incidents where US soldiers came across tortured detainees in a network of detention centres run by the police commandos across Iraq. Private Bradley Manning, 25, is facing a prison sentence of up to 20 years after he pleaded guilty to leaking the documents.

Read it and weep.

(h/t: Gary Legum | pic. source | pic credit: "Cartoon by Nicholson from “The Australian” newspaper:")