Days 405, 406, 407, 408, 409, 410, 411 and 412 of 1,461 (or 2,922)

Boats against the current…


  • So, Sam Nunberg decided to go up and air-dry his dirty laundry on two cable news channels. These are the interesting times.
  • A porn star is suing the commander in chief for violating a nondisclosure agreement. Dios mio, this is the silliest timeline.
  • There’s something different in the air after Stoneman Douglas, I truly mean it.
  • Every coming-of-age story is also a story of the adults that failed. The kids from Stoneman Douglas should be enjoying teenage life, not organizing for their lives. It truly depresses me.
  • Gee, who knew that electing an aspiring dictator would be dangerous?
  • A trade war is just what we need right now. How many resignations are we at?
  • Speaking of said trade war, Carl Icahn sure is getting lucky with his investment decisions!
  • Jared Kushner is probably full of regret these days.
  • So, the teachers of West Virginia won their strike, which was good. But it came at the expense of Medicaid, which was bad. No such thing as a complete victory, indeed.
  • Mass transit is yet another thing that will see no progress under the Trump regime.
  • Tunde Wey is conducting an excellent experiment in New Orleans, and anyone who wants to know what reparations will actually look like should take notice.
  • I recently learned that New York doesn’t have homeless shelters for LGBT people above the age of 24. This is a severe problem that must be corrected.
  • I like to think of myself as a cool, collected, magnanimous observer. But fuck that, Bernie has a lot to answer for, and so does his son. I thought that we didn’t like dynasties.
  • This article on oblivious Silicon Valley chicken raisers legitimately made me want to throw something. Be warned.
  • One day I will try the Gros Michel banana, whether it’s worth it or not.
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day is something you should all follow. Their recent combination of the Hubble Deep Field with an acoustic accompaniment was very clever.
  • Oscars happened. Go see Loving Vincent. Go see The Breadwinner. Animation is great.
  • Animation is less great, however, when the community gives Oscars to accused sexual predators.
  • In pace requiescat, Cogsworth.
  • When it comes to “star-crossed” lovers, I don’t think of Avatar and the Star Wars prequels, but that may just be me.
  • The intersection between privilege and otherness is a fascinating one.
  • Here’s a second Wikipedia article for you loyal readers, on “macarons”! I swear, I didn’t quite grok the distinction between them and macaroons until just now.

Days 353–365 of 1,461 (or 2,922)

So, it’s been about a year since I started this blog. Have I achieved all I envisioned with it? I don’t think so. But on the balance, I’m glad to have done this, and I hope you agree. Thank you for reading. 🙂

  • The Republicans didn’t even make it a year without shutting down the government. Trump’s America. Though I think he underestimated the Democrats’ resolve, Martin Longman basically predicted this two weeks ago.
  • Trump is a racist shithole of a man, who hires racist shitholes and doesn’t even feel a basic sense of responsibility. The U.S. is not so evil that it deserved him. As always, Fred Clark speaks on this with a moral clarity that I envy.
  • “Martin Luther King Would Have Agreed With Everything I Believe” Day has passed. But listen to the man himself. We owe him that much.
  • The most blood-boiling articles of the last two weeks are the Outside the Lines and Detroit News reports on the Larry Nassar scandal. Michigan State needs to go down, the U.S. gymnastics cabal needs to go down and people need to go to jail. Warning: Graphic depictions of sexual assault.
  • Three infuriating health care stories for you: Trump plans to let states destroy Medicaid; Kentucky is already taking him up on the offer; the uninsured population increased for the first time since before the ACA. I can’t find a silver lining.
  • I have to give you some good news, so I am glad to report that Chris Christie can’t hurt New Jersey anymore. Best of luck to the Murphy administration.
  • The race to the bottom for Amazon Headquarters II made me very sad. It turns out that people have thought about banning such bidding wars outright, which seems like a good idea.
  • Gerrymandering is not just for electoral districts; it’s also for schools. Check the link to see how segregated yours is.
  • Boston is training women to negotiate for higher salaries, which is great. But aren’t we bumping against the ceiling of what individual effort can do? Why is the burden on the employee and not the employer? I may have more to say about this in the coming weeks.
  • I think Oprah would make a pretty poor president, but that’s not what the Golden Globes speech was for. Remember, the Force belongs to us.
  • With Aziz Ansari, we can progress from battling outright criminals and predators to fighting for more respectful treatment of women in all ways. Just because it’s normal doesn’t mean it’s right.
  • What would #MeToo look like for racism? Is it possible in the America we’ve built? I’m not optimistic.
  • Artemisia Gentileschi is an artist that I knew nothing about but now find fascinating. Learn about her!
  • I was greatly saddened to see that Dolores O’Riordan of The Cranberries had passed. May she rest in peace.
  • Calibri is aggravating, but not sinful like Comic Sans or Papyrus. Still, I prefer Garamond.
  • I read an interesting and troubling article about the nationwide decline in art museum attendance. Go read it too.
  • Click the link to see my preferred solution to the Tide Pod challenge.
  • His Dark Materials devastated me back in the day (in a good way). La Belle Sauvage, part one of the companion Book of Dust trilogy, is an exceptional continuation. Go read it.
  • Also read Never Let Me Go, by Nobel Prize-winning author Kazuo Ishiguro. I am still smiling internally for him.
  • No better way to cap off a year than “Halloween cake”! Well-written, properly sourced, utterly pointless. Peak Wikipedia here.

Days 286–299 of 1,461 (or 2,922)

It’s been two weeks since I last posted? Time flies. This is your reminder that you have one month to sign up for health insurance on the exchanges established by the ACA. Anyway, Justin Verlander is a World Series champion, and I am richer for it.

  • The story that made me happiest these last two weeks, other than the World Series, was the Democratic gains in New Jersey and Virginia. We had Ralph Northam defeat a Republican who shamelessly chased the racist vote. We had Ashley Bennett defeating a freeholder who made fun of the Women’s March. We had Danica Roem becoming Virginia’s first transgender elected official, taking out the state’s “chief homophobe” in the process. We had candidates in Edison win after being targeted by racist mailers. It was a great night and better morning.
  • Now attention shifts to Alabama’s special election for the Senate, where Roy Moore has been exposed as a child molester who saw nothing wrong with being 32 and dating 14-year-olds. He may still win. As a yellow dog Democrat, I find it self-evident that Democrats are always better than Republicans. But Moore is deeply, deeply horrible, and his victory would be a stain on all of us. Er, another stain. Donate to Doug Jones.
  • There are so many attacks these days that they just become part of the background chatter. It doesn’t have to be this way.
  • However, remember that shooters are almost always men, and they are men who abuse women.
  • Two Russia articles for you: one from the Associated Press showing just how deep the DNC phishing operation ran, to the extent that they tried to hack accounts that had been dead since 2008; another from The Atlantic revealing that Donald Trump, Jr. was in communication with Wikileaks about the election through the election. This isn’t remotely over. (Bonus: Carl Icahn is being investigated too.)
  • The GOP tax bill really sucks. And now they’ve added ACA repeal to it, because of course. It’s another “Call Your Elected Officials Day.” (BTW, screw Notre Dame.)
  • Speaking of the ACA, Trump hasn’t been doing the outreach he’s supposed to be doing, but enrollment seems to be higher than ever (sorry, no link). Any publicity is good publicity, I guess.
  • RIP, Uwe Reinhardt.
  • Meanwhile, it’s looking like the Democrats will be targeting monopoly when they are back in charge. It’s a serious problem. It could even mess up single-payer healthcare.
  • Vox did an excellent interactive feature on college scholarships and their problems. I had never thought of merit-based aid as a subsidy for the rich, but that is what it appears to be, in practice. I had a lot to think about after reading that.
  • Gerrymandering in Michigan is horrendous, but there may be hope.
  • Tom Brady is a fraud and a hack and a quack. So he’s the perfect choice to run the FDA under Trump.
  • Australia will be banning all climbing on Uluru.
  • The tale of Laika, space hero, never fails to get me. That poor dog.
  • I’m not sure what to think about Amazon producing a Lord of the Rings prequel series, but I hope they aren’t afraid to get weird. “Minas Anoir,” a gritty detective mystery set in the corrupt Tower of the Setting Sun. “The Adventures of Tom DaBombadil,” the tale of a young rapper’s rise through the Old Forest hip-hop scene. “The Peregrin Brief,” a legal drama concerning the dangers of secondhand pipeweed smoke. The possibilities are endless.
  • Shot:

A gorillagram is a gift message, similar to a singing telegram, but delivered by a performer dressed in a gorilla suit. “Gorilla-Gram” is an abandoned trademark of Gorilla Gram Inc., first used commercially on March 20, 1980.

Days 242–266 of 1,461 (or 2,922)

More than three weeks without an update, yet I still have a few curious readers! Thank you for your love. A whole lot has happened. With the distance of time, in-the-moment commentary seems a little strange, so I’ll pull back the camera a bit. But every link will be preserved!

  • Aurora. Sandy Hook. Las Vegas. These are not places that we should speak of in somber tones. But we do, and we will continue to do so. There will be more massacres like the one that forever snuffed out the lives of 58 people. It won’t change until our government is forced to control guns. As always, The Onion said it best. I want the Second Amendment repealed.
  • So, once again, the Gop tried to kill us all with a terrible, horrible, no good very bad law. Thankfully, Susan Collins, Rand Paul (!) and John McCain broke rank. They’ll probably try again next year, but for now the ACA remains law.
  • Historians will have to explain how Jimmy Kimmel, who once released a song called “I’m Fucking Ben Affleck,” was key to the collapse of Obamacare repeal.
  • Unfortunately, Trump is still sabotaging the ACA as best he can. He’s taken away the birth control mandate. Congress let CHIP expire. The only good news is the failure of Graham-Cassidy and the (relatively mundane) downfall of Tom Price.
  • Oh yeah, the specter of nuclear annihilation is also with us.
  • It was revolting to see Sean Spicer trotted out at the Emmys like everything was fine. Between this stunt and Jimmy Kimmel’s heartfelt ACA advocacy, I may be readjusting my late night host rankings.
  • American journalism is still normalizing Trump. They haven’t learned a damn thing. How else could Jared’s EMAILS EMAILS EMAILS not be on front pages everywhere?
  • Harvey Weinstein is yet another powerful man who abuses women with that power. Unusually pointed commentary from The Onion on this.
  • “There Is No Free Speech Crisis on Campus.” Trump supporters are the bullies who cry to teacher as soon as you fight back. Being disliked is not the same as being oppressed.
  • In astronomy news, there was a sweet little story on the deorbiting of Cassini. A less sweet story concerns the damage caused to Arecibo among the ongoing devastation in Puerto Rico.
  • Here’s an interesting article from Waging Nonviolence about an action at the Natural History Museum’s Teddy Roosevelt statue. I feel like his reputation may decline like Wilson’s.
  • Gender reveals. Read about them.
  • Kazuo Ishiguro winning the Nobel Prize made me happier than any other story these past few weeks.
  • Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends reveals a disturbing, autocratic moral philosophy. Sounds like a joke, but it ain’t. I still loved that show.
  • I liked mother!, but it’s not the most pleasant movie. Be warned.
  • The “We Can Do It!” poster does not show Rosie the Riveter, but was in fact a Westinghouse-produced propaganda piece that one day Demotivators would parody. The more you know…
  • The headline to this piece about rats has some flair, but it could have gone much further.
  • And finally, some Wikipedia articles to boggle your mind and close out the post. The Duracell Bunny actually predates the Energizer Bunny! Pablo Fanque, more than just a name from a Beatles song, was the first non-white circus owner in England! The Volkswagen Tiguan has a pathetically awful etymology for its name. And finally, American fried rice is a real Thai dish that functions as a vicious parody of our cuisine, with ingredients like “fried chicken, ham, hot dogs, raisins, ketchup and croutons.” I must try it some day.


Days 231, 232, 233, 234, 235, 236, 237, 238, 239, 240 and 241 of 1,461 (or 2,922)

The world was not ready for an Ace of Base Bond theme.

  • I generally try to put breaking news/imminent doom stuff at the top, but Ta-Nehisi Coates wrote a masterpiece about Trump and it deserves its due. Read “The First White President” now. Then read his interview with Morning Edition for good measure.
  • The Gop has one last chance to repeal the ACA, and it looks like it’s going to take it. All hands on deck!
  • This is how far we’ve come, and this is what we stand to gain. Losing the ACA will be devastating to our cause.
  • The Russia news keeps coming in. I hope the indictments aren’t far behind.
  • If were to compare Hillary to any TV character, I would compare her to Skyler White.
  • China fell for Nixon’s shit and has fallen for Jared and Ivanka’s shit. It’s hard to express how disappointed I am.
  • A lot of new right-wing assholes have come into being lately, but Rush Limbaugh still sucks just as much as before.
  • Rembert Browne wrote a magnificent article on Colin Kaepernick. Kaep is a brave, brave man, and he deserves better.
  • In other football news, Michael Bennett is good and the Patriots suck.
  • Cassini has ended its mission. It was a great space probe.
  • Abe Lincoln’s image management would probably have been a great scandal if he were alive today.
  • Pizza is one of Detroit’s great strengths and I miss it more than coneys.
  • The Onion goes for the deep cut again.
  • What’s better, a Wikipedia article on the “high five” or an article on “New Jersey v. New York”?

Days 223, 224, 225, 226, 227, 228, 229 and 230 of 1,461 (or 2,922)

“Laconicity” or “laconicism”?



Days 194, 195, 196, 197, 198, 199, 200 and 201 of 1,461 (or 2,922)