We Need to Talk About Shorties


Addiction: It’s not what you think.

Housing: I worked in the housing industry for much of my adult life, and I find what this guy has to say interesting.

“Let’s not invite the guy who abuses us over”: Or “Let’s not call the cops if we think they’re likely to harm us.”

Consensus on Climate Change:Facts are not enough…. We need to connect to people’s hearts.”

Protect Your Vote: Here’s some tips.

Why a picture of hot lava? Why not a picture of hot lava?

Gettin’ the Band Back Together: Some of you might have noticed that my old blogroll did not survive last summer’s site updates. I will be putting together a new and improved Blogroll in the next several weeks. If you know a site I need to consider, let me know!

The Shorties on the Train

What do Dave Johnson and Donald Trump have in common?: Both agree that we have infrastructure that needs to be fixed. But I’m not hearing mainline Democrats or Republicans joining in. It’s not a brave political statement to say “Maybe we could put some people to work fixing some roads.”

Speaking of American Politics: I’m not the only one who noticed it’s crazy out there. Hillary has her share of foot-in-mouth disease. And Bernie is closer to the true center — the one that wants decent jobs and affordable healthcare — than anybody in the establishment wants to admit (which is why Trump is more welcoming to Sanders followers than Hillary; see the speech text above).

The Noose Gets Tighter: The Senate failed by ONE VOTE to pass a law allowing the FBI to look at your browser history for funzies. Remember come November. Meanwhile, US Customs wants to know the social media accounts of people entering the country. Because no terrorist is smart enough to say “no I don’t have Twitter” or give a username more generic than the one they use to keep up with the latest ISIS jihabi memes. Meanwhile, the TSA is still pushing their “get out of the security line free” card as a way to shorten lines at the airport. One user gave the ringing endorsement of “not so hard as signing up for Obamacare.”

Free Electronic Music: Moby wrote himself some yoga and meditation music. He decided to share. Very nice of him.

Not sure what to say about Brexit: So here’s one of the more intelligent things I’ve read on the issue.

Obligatory Economy Item: Wages have been stagnant for over 40 years when adjusted for inflation. Maybe some of these ideas could help. Oh, and don’t let anybody scare you about Social Security. Forbes is hardly a “liberal rag,” and they say that the latest scaremongering is way overblown.


Another Bad Trade Agreement: TTIP is turning out to be a bad deal too. At least the Europeans seem to have figured that out. It’s yet another deal so bad, they can’t actually let people know what’s in it.

Democrats: More than a few choice words about Hillary, Bernie, and the future of the Democratic Party (which can’t get rid of Debbie quickly enough for me).

Losers: On keeping weight off once you’ve lost it. Hint: if you go back to the stuff that made you fat, you will get fat again. Oh, and here’s some free exercise tips.

I’ll believe it when it’s law:A law has been proposed in Congress saying that companies can’t prevent you from saying not nice things about them online. I seriously doubt their corporate masters will allow this to come to pass.

Can’t decide if this is innumeracy or racism: Economist removed from plane for doing a differential equation.

Don’t forget about the NSA: They are doing more warrantless searching of American citizens than ever.

The Other Side of the Shorties

Hey folks, I’m in the final push towards finishing this degree, so no promises regarding regular posting. So, here’s the shorties!

It’s easy to go after the more numerous target: yeah sure, doctors make a bunch of money. So if you’re trying to reduce medical costs, they have a target painted on their collective back.  Kindly don’t pay attention to the boatload of money healthcare organizations spend trying to get paid, and certainly don’t pay attention to profits.

Disconnect: To listen to the media, this proposed law in New York would let cops see if you’ve been texting before a crash. However, to listen to cops and the manufacturer of the product, it just says if you’ve been “using” your phone. So, can it tell whether I was “using” the phone legally with a hands free device? Can it tell whether I was “using” the phone to stream music through my stereo? Can it tell whether it was actually being “used” by a passenger? And can it tell whether the “use” was something I initiated, or a push notification from an app or my carrier? Unless the answer to all of the above is “yes” — and I find that doubtful — this is a dumb idea.

Vintage Vegas: nightlife.

The Freaking TPP: Maintaining [New] Balance.

Didn’t I say this?: Seriously, didn’t I say Google already had all the information? Oh, yeah. I did.

Jinkies!: Korean Pirate Ghost Ships!

And that’s all for tonight.

10 Shortiesfield Lane

Hi everyone. Sorry there was no music yesterday. Hopefully I can make it up to you with some delicious shorties.


On Phone Security: Do you like being able do to things like buy things or pay bills using your phone? Government insistence on back doors and custom hacking software will make your phone vulnerable to Bad Guys who can rob you blind through your phone. Oh, and the cops don’t even think there’s any information to get off that phone in San Bernardino. It’s just a fishing expedition designed to make you less secure.

Some random food items so I don’t lose track of them: eating relatively healthy at a fast food place; healthy eating at chain restaurants; and cheap but healthy cooking.

Unequal Returns: Poor kids who go to college don’t get nearly the income boost that middle and upper class kids get with a college education.

DWB: Or, cell phone cameras continue to throw light on misconduct.

Just because it’s Super Tuesday: One Hillary link and one Trump link.

Oh, and one more thing: If you want to actually fix the immigration system — rather than slapping some patches on it — you have to address the fact that by law, there is an annual ceiling of 675,000 legal immigrants. There are roughly 12,000,000 undocumented  (or unlawful, if you prefer) immigrants. Even if all of them were legal immigrants, it would take over 17 years to get them all normalized status under the current law. People coming to this nation — legally, as refugees, whatever — now are taking years to get to court at all. That’s part of the reason there are undocumented immigrants in the first place. Telling them to go to the back of the line is a joke, because the line would be over 17 years long. Any immigration “reform” that doesn’t address the ceiling and doesn’t address employers who exploit cheap labor from undocumented workers (who will often gladly work for illegally low wages in unsafe environments because it’s still better than where they came from) is nothing more than window dressing.


Happy Tuesday.

Shorties Forever

Hi folks! Late next week I should have another one of my semester end roundups, but for now, enjoy some freshly dismembered Shorties for Valentines Day.

Speaking of St Valentine: He was beheaded on this day around 270 AD.

Like Sand Though the Hourglass: A picture of sand under a microscope. Pretty cool, huh? Here’s the source.

Hillaryvision: Hillary had a pretty bad week by most measures. Even things that were supposed to help her — Kissinger advised her! Albright not patronized us but matronized us! — weren’t helpful. But at least she realizes that people on Social Security won’t vote for her unless she promises not to slash their benefits.

In Other Research, Water is Wet:Hospitals with more registered nurses and doctors per bed can reduce patient death by as much as 20 percent….”

News from Harvard: The United States can’t control encryption.

News from Princeton: He who counts the votes controls the election.

Bundy: Would the whole thing in Oregon have gone on as long as it did if the Koch brothers weren’t involved?

On Welfare: Some interesting facts.

And Finally some Good News out of Washington: Budget Surplus!

Pride and Prejudice and Shorties


My tabs are getting out of hand. Apologies for the sparse postings. Studying is seriously impeding my ability to goof off!

On the GOP: Be Afraid! And a few words on poverty.

On why making the No Fly List also a No Gun List is really a bad idea:  It’s absurdly easy to be put on the list, even if you aren’t even in preschool yet. There’s no due process to get off it. And exactly how many mass shootings have been committed by people who were already on the list? Judging from media coverage, I’d say that number must be very close to zero.

Dumbing Down: Even Sesame Street is dumbing down America and making us feel less safe.

What you should really be afraid of: Unexpected expenses: 63% of us are in deep financial doodoo if the transmission dies, the water heater springs a leak, or some other $500 expense pops up.

Another unfortunately rational fear: Death by law enforcement.

Close with something cheerful: Vegas and Sledge Hammer!

The Shorties Girls

I really thought about doing something on intellectual dishonesty today. But you know it boils down to one thing: Cheating cheats you in the long run. So here’s the shorties.

Google Easter Egg: check out what happens when you search for “A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.”

The Cats of Belgium: Belgians have a pretty good sense of humor, it turns out.

The NSA: I guess nobody noticed they had their fingers crossed behind their backs. I wonder what, if anything, can stop them from thumbing their nose at the 4th and 5th Amendments.

Stop! Thief!: Civil forfeitures now exceed losses from burglaries.

Opt Out: Massachusetts has decided they don’t want Common Core. Not because they can’t live up to it, but because they believe what they already implemented was better.

The Whole Country: “Russian sailor drank half a litre of rum before crashing 7,000-ton ship full speed into Scotland.” Some headlines are better than others.

The History [Americans] Don’t Know: We will never figure out how to bring peace to the region without learning how “The West” helped cause the problems in the first place.

And Finally: A few words on Downtown Las Vegas. By the way, “Downtown” and “The Strip” are completely different places. Strictly speaking the Strip isn’t even in Las Vegas!

Shorties Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse

Hope everyone had a safe Halloween. Happy All Saints Day.

Dave Johnson Telling the Truth: on the economy; on secret trade deals.

Enough to drive you crazy: Meat is bad for you, unless it isn’t; calories are the only thing that matter, but what the study says depends on who is reporting. The researchers concluded “When compared with dietary interventions of similar intensity, evidence from RCTs does not support low-fat diets over other dietary interventions for long-term weight loss.”

Unlikely source: The Economist isn’t where you would expect to find a report on a new canid species.

All Asking For It: On average, police in America killed 3 people every day of October. ThinkProgress has some highlights of police brutality.

Damned Liberal Media: with their facts and bias.

Pretty In Pink: Even the editors of the Las Vegas Sun noticed the pinkwashing of girls Halloween costumes and toys, publishing this NYT article.

TIL: Some cultures have a “Toilet God.”

Gilligan!: 22 shipwrecks found off the archipelago of Fourni.

See everyone tomorrow for some Music Monday!

Blood Shorties

Have you all missed me? Finals is upon me and all is chaos. Nonetheless, the need has arisen to clean out many tabs of items I had hoped to share with you. Let the Blood Shorties begin!

It just won’t die!: I am of course talking about the TPP. The world has certainly turned, since Hillary has made weasel words about maybe it’s not a good idea. Do I believe Hillary? I believe she will say whatever she thinks will get her elected. In the meantime, more bits have been leaked. Make sure your CongressCritter knows where you stand (and remind him that unlike corporations, you vote).

Speaking of voting: Sometimes dollars speak louder than words. And yes, it would be nice if the news media would report news that actually matters.

The Price of Medicine: Not all drug price hikes make the news. Of course, since the price tag for most of us is laundered through our insurance companies, all we see is rising premiums.

Come on, Generation X! Get your act together!: You are behind on saving for retirement. Couldn’t have anything to do with being stuck in crappy jobs (when you can find jobs at all). Terrifyingly enough, it turns out that I am ahead of over half of all Americans when it comes to savings.

The Smartphone App Saving Detroit: It’s called “Improve Detroit.” And apparently, it works!

Now Accepting Applications: Speaker of the House.

Secret Society: The Hidden Christians of Japan.

Sure they did: FBI has prevented lots of people from becoming ISIS terrorists! They just can’t tell you about any of them.

Wow: Prehistoric Tsunami.

Finland: We keep sending people to study what they are doing right, then we do the opposite.

What could possibly go wrong?: Put a single, newly sober young woman into a room with a bunch of recovering alcoholics in meetings as often as every day and trust that nothing will go wrong.

And finally: How to pet a kitty.