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!

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.

Out of the Shorties

Tama: Stationmaster Tama has passed away; she is survived by her assistant Nitama.  She has been celebrated by pretty much the entire town.

It’s good to be the King CEO: Their wages have gone up, while those of the worker have not.

Another Brick in the Wall: Maybe what we need is a different kind of education.

Top People: Thanks to Ira for this link to the Treasures of the United States Army.

On Identity Theft: Protect yourself. And don’t use “password” as a password.

What do you mean you aren’t ready for Hillary?: No, I will never be ready for Hillary, thanks for asking.

And Finally: A Lifetime Movie I’d like to see.

Music Monday: Courthouse Edition

I spent the morning on jury duty. The first group to get called back was about 40 people. The next group was about 80, and I was in it. I was thinking to myself “Oh nuts, this has got to be a big trial!” Suddenly, we were all dismissed! When I got home, I watched the news to see if just maybe I could figure out what trial it might have been. Well, this case of a cop killer was dismissed this morning. I will never know if this was the actual court case, of course.

I am so sorry I have to say this, but killing a cop just because he happens to be hanging out in his garage — as the accused allegedly did — is extremely uncool.


Also: have some items about American cops. Here, have some bonus items on racism, terrorism, and harassment.

In Closing: The Alamo’s Cat.

Old news….

So I just came across this little gem from December:

Finally, Christian Bale recently said he felt jealous to see Ben Affleck wearing the cape and cowl – do you ever get that?

No. Do you know why? Because I’m Batman. I’m very secure in that.

You know, I wasn’t sure he was Batman 25 years ago, but I’m pretty sure he is now. And now, what I’d love to see happen is a Batman Beyond live action film featuring Michael Keaton as old Bruce Wayne.

In Closing:freetrade deal my fanny; keep playing those spy gaaaames, forever; belated tax day thoughts; here kitty kitty; I don’t understand why they aren’t already pushing for this; no kidding, Sherlock; interesting; Buddha cats; and now you can fit this computing power in your pocket, many times over.

Lost At Sea

Let’s start with the wreckage of Blackbeard’s ship, Queen Anne’s Revenge. Seems there were a number of interesting medical devices on board.

In the century after that ship sank, submarine warfare was born. Alas, the first “successful” sub, the Hunley, sank. Now researchers are finally able to learn more about what happened to the Hunley.

And on a lighter note, Wikipedia has a fascinating article about Ship’s Cats. It discusses ship’s cats both real and fictional, up to and including Cat from Red Dwarf. Fairly early in the discussion, it states “Cats are able to detect slight changes in the weather, as a result of their very sensitive inner ears, which also allow them to land upright when falling. Low atmospheric pressure, a common precursor of stormy weather, often makes cats nervous and restless.” Yesterday morning around 5:30 AM, I observed this phenomenon personally. Purrsonally?

In Closing: gone to the dogs; babies in boxes; Boomers; pull the plug on the NSA; how to fix inequality (if those who made the system can be talked into allowing it to be unmade); dinosaur; and your brain on food.

Bad Habits: Firearms Edition

So, 2014 set a shameful record: most guns in carry-on bags seized by the TSA. Worse yet, over 80% of them were loaded. No shock that the rootinest-tootinest gun-totinest airports were DFW, Atlanta, and Sky Harbor. Not because they’re kinda southernish, but rather because they are big hub airports. For the record, it appears that there were 30 guns found at Vegas’s McCarran Airport, 9 unloaded and 21 loaded. It is unknown/unknowable how many weapons might have been missed by the TSA.

Now, who are these people who forget they’ve got a loaded gun in their carry-on bag? It’s not like guns not being allowed on airplanes is a new thing and people are just forgetting they have to check them now. It’s been the rule as long as I can remember, and I remember when Madonna was a hot new artist.

So if you’re in the habit of carrying a firearm, please do yourself and everybody else a favor: make sure it is secure so that it can’t be accidentally discharged, and lock it up at home before heading to the airport.

In Closing: Starbucks; Measles has arrived in Vegas; minimum wage and racism; cats in glasses; and perspective.

Fear-mongering at its finest.

The TSA really doesn’t like that Apple and Google both have products they can’t just hack remotely. As in, they are trying desperately to make them stop it. Poor babies may actually have to get search warrants. Oh, and here’s a nice article on some of the NSA’s computing issues and an item on how this mess got started.

In Closing: our rising police state; bankers gone wild; be afraid!!!; don’t you have anything better to do?; and adorable kittens.