The clickbait-iest of clickbait

From the HuffPo

Janet Yellen to African-Americans: You’re on your own

Sounds mean-hearted and almost evil.

Actual story:

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen told members of the House of Representatives in a hearing on Wednesday that the Fed’s concerns about inflation limit its ability to address high African-American unemployment.

“So, there really isn’t anything directly the Federal Reserve can do to affect the structure of unemployment across groups,” Yellen said during the House Financial Services Committee’s semiannual hearing on Federal Reserve policy. “And unfortunately, it’s long been the case that African-American unemployment rates tend to be higher than those on average in the nation as a whole.”

To paraphrase: There is nothing in my job description or responsibilities that can solve that problem. Sorry.

Posted in Order of the imperial upraised middle finger. | 2 Comments

Hippies making themselves useful

Apparently, they missed the flavor too.

A guilt-free superfood that tastes like bacon

Food lovers might no longer have to choose between tastiness and healthiness.

As will be familiar to anyone miserably chewing through leaf after leaf of kale in a beleaguered attempt to shed a few pounds, it’s hard to banish thoughts of cheeseburgers, pizza or — many a dieter’s Achilles’ heel — bacon.

But some of those cravings, at least, might soon be banished, if researchers at Oregon State University are correct.

Chris Langdon, a researcher at OSU’s Hatfield Marine Science Center, has along with colleagues created and patented a new strain of dulse, a red seaweed which boasts amazing nutritional benefits.

It also, and perhaps more importantly, tastes like bacon, according to its creators.

He told the University’s newspaper that it was “pretty amazing.”

“When you fry it, which I have done, it tastes like bacon, not seaweed. And it’s a pretty strong bacon flavor.”

Now, if only I could find a way to convince them to send me a few pounds so that I can test it myself….

Posted in Kewel! | 1 Comment

Cato Delenda Est

Addison’s Cato was one of the most well-known and influential political plays among the Founders, but for an original printed copy I had to reach across the pond to the delightful bookshop, which sold me this serviceable 1804 copy for a mere 22 Euros. (Interestingly it appears to have once been owned by one Peter Columbine, who seems to have been a translator of other plays but perhaps not very good at it.)

  John Potter’s Antiquities of Greece fired the imagination of a young Thomas Jefferson, who well knew Cato; thus, I find the following excerpt relating Cato letting his slaves starve to death when they were too old to be of use fascinating:

Under current sensibilities, that right there should be enough to excise Cato, much less Cato, from any consideration of merit or admiration. 

Under such circumstances, I am, frankly, glad I did not take the career path that would have led me to be a professor of history; I think the despair would have killed me by now.

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And Then There Were Three


The wife and I will apply for our Cali CCWs this week. No time like the present.

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Differing Opinions

Earlier this week, the New Yorker published an article on “The Big One” that the PacNW is overdue for

Under pressure from Juan de Fuca, the stuck edge of North America is bulging upward and compressing eastward, at the rate of, respectively, three to four millimetres and thirty to forty millimetres a year. It can do so for quite some time, because, as continent stuff goes, it is young, made of rock that is still relatively elastic. (Rocks, like us, get stiffer as they age.) But it cannot do so indefinitely. There is a backstop—the craton, that ancient unbudgeable mass at the center of the continent—and, sooner or later, North America will rebound like a spring. If, on that occasion, only the southern part of the Cascadia subduction zone gives way—your first two fingers, say—the magnitude of the resulting quake will be somewhere between 8.0 and 8.6. Thats the big one. If the entire zone gives way at once, an event that seismologists call a full-margin rupture, the magnitude will be somewhere between 8.7 and 9.2. That’s the very big one.


When the next very big earthquake hits, the northwest edge of the continent, from California to Canada and the continental shelf to the Cascades, will drop by as much as six feet and rebound thirty to a hundred feet to the west—losing, within minutes, all the elevation and compression it has gained over centuries. Some of that shift will take place beneath the ocean, displacing a colossal quantity of seawater. (Watch what your fingertips do when you flatten your hand.) The water will surge upward into a huge hill, then promptly collapse. One side will rush west, toward Japan. The other side will rush east, in a seven-hundred-mile liquid wall that will reach the Northwest coast, on average, fifteen minutes after the earthquake begins. By the time the shaking has ceased and the tsunami has receded, the region will be unrecognizable. Kenneth Murphy, who directs FEMA’s Region X, the division responsible for Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Alaska, says, “Our operating assumption is that everything west of Interstate 5 will be toast.”

Now, Blogstation Tacoma is not all that far from I-5, but it is West of it. I’m not at all worried about a tsunami in my backyard though, for two reasons: First, I have the Olympic Mountain range, topping out at nearly 8000 feet in height, blocking the Pacific from meeting me at my doorstep, and secondly, I’m very well above sea-level.

The six foot elevation drop makes me want to exchange all of the wood in my house with steel, but that is not going to happen, so I’m just going to hope I’ve got everything strapped down tight.

The Wife found this article before I did and wanted to discuss it. I told her all of the above and then some other precautions I’ve taken “just in case” of some situation like the earthquake were to happen. I told her that the part of I-5 the author was likely speaking of was the section from around Olympia south to Sacramento and that even then, I wasn’t’ sure that a 200ft wave would reach that far inland. But that lots of stuff would fall down (overpasses, bridges, houses, apartments and possibly a high-rise building or two).

Also that Portland, OR would get the lions share of the death toll.

She seemed relieved that I had already worked this out years ago.

And then she showed me this post over at clickbait central

Could a catastrophic earthquake really destroy Seattle

Wherein another geologist said basically what I said about the tsunami and the failing of infrastructure and some buildings, but he added that while we are overdue for this quake to hit, there is only a 15% change it will happen in the next 50 years.

So, one opinion is made for Hollywood, the other has eaten a hash brownie and isn’t worried. I leave it to y’all to read and plan accordingly.

Posted in Armageddon | 3 Comments

My Unicorn…

My first car was my grandfather’s 1972 Olds Ninety-Eight, which I dreamt of painting blue, chopping the top and upgrading with modern audio, until an oak tree flattened it.

But it looked much like this drool-worthy gem  of a Cadillac Eldorado Tam found:


 Want one like it? Here you go. 

If I had the disposable $ I’d buy it in a heartbeat.

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Man Movies

The wife and I have taken to watching a good movie most weeknights, a guilty pleasure. (In a meeting the other day she was asked why she’s creating a new nonprofit; at the words “under 50″ and “kids out of the nest” they told her to please stop rubbing it in.)
So: what to watch? My wife and I have similar tastes in most things. James Lafond has an interesting list, which led us to Valhalla Rising, and from thence somehow we found The Dead Lands, both excellent examples of what I’d call the Terse subgenre of Man Movies.

Valhalla Rising feels like you’re watching an Ingmar Bergman action movie. It’s got long stretches without dialogue, but there’s meaning in every frame. There are intriguing touches throughout that would be the basis for subplots in lesser fims, but this film has too much going on to bother with such things. For example, the protagonist’s sliding-into-third-base trick move to attack the Achilles is critical to his success, but it’s rarely used, never discussed, and so adds interest and depth to the character. So much is unsaid in this film, an observer with an active brain will be entertained and engaged. Others will be bored.

The Dead Lands is slightly more verbose, but it’s all in the Maori tongue, and nearly as much tongue is shown as is heard. (My nephew, of Pacific Islander descent, was taught a Maori dance for a friend’s birthday party; why, he asked, all the bug-eyed, tongue-flapping, teeth-baring grimaces? “Tradition,” he was told. Traditional and brutally effective combat posturing to freeze the blood of the enemy, they should have said.)

And… Tropes galore, and fighting axes made from wood paddles and teeth, and other combat tools made from what look like shoulder blades! And more… Awesome film

Tonight, it’s on to 13 Assassins….

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Hey, Bosom Buddy! Why U Mad, Bro?

Foxtrot Alpha’s comment: “Awkward.”

We’ve had access to Israeli military communications for some time,” said one of the former U.S. intelligence officers.

The former officer said knowledge within the NSA about surveillance of Israeli military units is especially sensitive because the NSA has Israeli intelligence officers working jointly with its officers at NSA headquarters in Fort Meade, Maryland.

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That’s not Pluto…

…it’s YUGGOTH, you fools!

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Oh Canada

Why must you do this so close to my home?

Ruling in Twitter harassment trial could have enormous fallout for free speech

What’s believed to be the first case in Canada of alleged criminal harassment-via-Twitter is just a judge’s decision away from being over.

After hearing closing submissions Tuesday from Chris Murphy, who represents 54-year-old Greg Elliott, Ontario Court Judge Brent Knazan is expected to rule on Oct. 6.

In the balance rides enormous potential fallout for free speech online.

Elliott is charged with criminally harassing two Toronto female political activists, Steph Guthrie and Heather Reilly, in 2012.

Allegations involving a third woman were dropped.

The graphic artist and father of four lost his job shortly after his arrest, which was well-publicized online, and if convicted, could go to jail for six months.

These are astonishing repercussions given that it’s not alleged he ever threatened either woman (or any other, according to the testimony of the Toronto Police officer, Detective Jeff Bangild, who was in charge) or that he ever sexually harassed them.

Indeed, Elliott’s chief sin appears to have been that he dared to disagree with the two young feminists and political activists.

So now, in Canada,refusing to stop mocking and/or quoting someone on social media is a criminal offense.

Who wants to bet that Mark Steyn will never be allowed to bring charges against someone for doing this?

Posted in Dare To Be Stupid | Comments Off on Oh Canada