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: www.nicholsoncartoons.com.au")

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Deep thought

How would an old piece of rope respond, when asked, "Would you like to describe yourself?"

I'm a frayed knot?

Live video chat with Lawrence Wright about his new book on Scientology

Goodreads says:

Join us on Monday, March 11, at 2pm ET/11am PT for a live video chat with Pulitzer Prize-winning author Lawrence Wright. We'll be talking about his new book Going Clear, a hard-hitting look at the Church of Scientology.

Scientology grand high poobah David Miscavige

Links: Goodreads's book page and author page. Lawrence Wright's website. Read an excerpt on Random House's site (scroll down a bit). Amazon's page. Michael Kinsley's delightful review.

(pic. source)

Nerd Alert: "Numberplay"

I just noticed that Wordplay, "The Crossword Blog of the New York Times," has a weekly feature called Numberplay, which some of you might be interested in.

There's, like, actual math involved. Take for example the latest post, "The Gambling Machine Puzzle."

This week’s puzzle was suggested by mathematician Nelson Blachman, [...]


Dr. Blachman told me he liked this week’s puzzle because “its solution required some ingenuity but only simple probability theory to start with. Evaluating the expected payoff from the optimum (or any other) strategy, however, needed a tiny bit of integral calculus.”

"Only simple" probability theory!?!!? "A tiny bit of" integral calculus?!!!

The very idea that the New York Times is for once not liberally-artsishly going all "I CAN'T EVEN BALANCE MY CHECKBOOK LOL" is something to savor and salute.

Something else to savor and salute, from Nelson Blachman's website: the bookend entries on his list of publications:

``The System of Microstresses in Cold-Worked Metal,'' Physical Review 70 (9, 10), 698-704 (November 1 and 15, 1946) (baccalaureate dissertation).

``Three Tangent Circles' Incircle,'' The Mathematical Scientist 37.2, 151-153 (December 2012).

Emph. added.

Tuesday, March 05, 2013


All hail the Bush Recovery!

The Dow Jones industrial average, which measures the performance of 30 blue-chip companies, rose more than 140 points in afternoon trading on Tuesday, surpassing its previous record close of 14,164.53, which it achieved nearly five and a half years ago, as well as its record intraday high, set around the same time, of 14,198.10.


Since a low point in March 2009, the Dow Jones index has more than doubled, stunning even the most seasoned stock market watchers.

Below is a chart (source) of the Dow and the S&P 500 over the past five years.

Sunday, March 03, 2013

Props where they're due

I am not alone in finding Ross Douthat variously tiresome or mockable, and I almost didn't want to link to this piece because, come on, he's using Rod Effing Dreher as a voice of authority. But this is a good line:

To the trends weakening institutional faiths across the Western world — the rise of spiritual individualism, the influence of the so-called new atheism, the gap between traditional Christian sexual ethics and present-day realities — the Roman Catholic Church has added scandals, sclerosis and a communications strategy apparently designed to win the news cycles of 1848.

Hoosier Daddy?

Blog post title of the day, from Doug Masson:

SB 371 – Abortion Clinics Not Required to Have Particle Colliders . . . Yet

(h/t: some other Indiana politics blogger)

Line of the Day: 2013-03-03

You've heard about the conservative pundits taking money from certain Malaysians to write favorable things about certain Malaysians, and unfavorable things about certain other Malaysians, in America? Featuring the comedy stylings of Josh "You Must Include The Tilde To Show How I Am Not Racist" Treviño and his ignorance of the ignorantia juris non excusat principle?

Quick overview here, if not.

And now for the LotD.

It seems that some years ago Malaysia’s ruling party took a good look at leading pundits and policy intellectuals in the conservative movement, reached a judgment about their personal and intellectual integrity or lack thereof, and acted in accordance with that judgment.

Funny how Malaysia gets who these people are and what motivates them — while our own press corps doesn’t.

-- Paul Krugman

PK includes in this gimlet-eyed view some observations on the Heritage Foundation's related antics.

Whoops. Should have warned you to sit down there first, as the man says.

[Added] Speaking of whom, we now have a tie for LotD:

"According to Rich Lowry in Politico" is a phrase which proves Chomsky's idea that mastering the fundamental structures of language allows you to invent statements more horrible than you thought possible.