Saturday, January 30, 2010

Oh, Hail, No!

Little bruddah Bush ran as a moderate too. Until he got appointed by big bruddah and teh supremes. How'd that work out for ya? Via McClatchy, "Jeb Bush is back, and some think he's looking presidential."
"I think that leaders on both sides of the aisle need to figure out where there is common ground and at least focus on that,'' he said. "It's one thing to give a good speech. The other thing is to invite people that don't agree exactly with your point of view to build consensus.''

This from the governor who presided over some of Florida's most hyper-partisan battles of the last decade? Who helped declare his brother the winner of the 2000 presidential recount, threw out affirmative action with the "One Florida'' program, made the FCAT the end-all be-all of the public schools and insisted on getting in between brain-damaged Terri Schiavo and her husband?
Bad idea, folks, baaaaad idea.

Today's IZ Special

Was indeed special: The Janet Relleno"Anaheim chili filled with mozzarella cheese, onions, bell peppers, and zucchini, cooked in a light egg batter. Served with home fries, pinto beans, corn tortillas, avocado, sour cream, salsa verde and a fresh tomato sauce." When I put my order in, Justin- the inventor and creator of this dish, was on break. Iris immediately got on the hotline...
Justin soon showed up and clowned for the camera as he put the finishing touches...
...on this:
My computer was soon pushed to one side, and the coffee refilled.
Below, in its last moments of existence.
It was a terrific combination of flavors and textures. I don't generally put hot sauce on things I'm trying for the first time, and I had been told it was "pretty spicy." It was, but in the chili flavor sense, not in the hot sense.

Justin had prepped 25, but they sold all but 7 or 8. Which means if I want another, I have to get in and order early tomorrow. I'm going to try.

Saturd80's, Way Down South Edition

Men at Work: Land Down Under

Split Enz: I Got You

Icehouse: Icehouse

Men at Work and Icehouse were from Australia; Split Enz was from New Zealand. I was going to call this the "Down Under Edition," but I don't think New Zealand likes being lumped in with Australia like that.

A Warm Welcome to Our House-Builder-in-Chief

News note: Bernanke was re-confirmed yesterday. In other news, I'm pleased to say I voted for Merkley. Via David Sarasohn in OegonLive a few days ago,
“He helped set the house on fire,” says Merkley about Bernanke. “It burned down, and he turned out to be pretty good with a fire hose. “There’s nothing to indicate that he’s the key to rebuilding the house now.”

Corporate People in The News

Following up on one of the pieces of Good News yesterday,
"The progressive PR firm Murray Hill Inc. has announced that it plans to satirically run for Congress in the Republican primary in Maryland’s 8th congressional district to protest the Supreme Court’s disastrous decision. A press release on its website says that the company wants to “eliminate the middle man” and run for Congress directly, rather than influencing it with corporate dollars."
I thought I'd offer up some headlines we can expect to see soon.
  • Playboy has announced its upcoming marriage to Victoria's Secret, but insists that rumors the latter company is pregnant are unfounded.
  • Time-Warner has reportedly been seen out on the town with Angelina Jolie. Her spokesperson insists that her marriage to Brad Pitt is solid, and in no danger.
  • Microsoft Corporation has adopted Haiti. The Island nation will be moved to its new residence offshore of Washington's Olympic Peninsula. The proud parents insist that they will responsibly oversee the residents' adaptation to a drastically changed household (as well as environmental) climate.
  • NewsCorp is proud to announce the birth of a bouncy new son, Rushbeck Glennbaugh, at a healthy 8.247 tonnes (18,143.4 pounds). The slightly abashed company refused to disclose the name of the father, but insists that "I made the right decision" in bringing the child to term, and offered to make the same decision for all pregnant women.
  • In related news, during the C-section to remove the new child, doctors had the opportunity to examine NewsCorp's enlarged spleen. Doctors were shocked to find that the patient's enlarged spleen was, in fact, the fetus, which was then removed. Hospital press secretaries have said both the parent and spleen are recovering nicely.
  • The Gay-Lesbian-Bi community has filed papers of incorporation. These are likely to be held up and undergo careful scrutiny, as many other corporations have filed injunctions against what they see as "a threat to the sanctity of traditional corporations."
I have put out a call to other coffee drinkers for other corporate people in the news, so I may update this post later. If any readers have scoops, leave them in the comments, or wite it up in your own e-space and leave me a link. By-lines will be gratefully acknowledged!

Followup: Murray Hill Inc. has a campaign ad out!

Hat Tip to Fran at Ramblings.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Good News

Well, it just seems like there's been a scad of good news today. In no particular order,
  • Measures 66 and 67 passed in Tuesday's vote. It had been unclear to me whether this simply meant that cuts wouldn't be as draconian as otherwise would have been necessary, or whether it would put state government on a more or less even keel. I can't speak yet for the whole of state expenditures, but The Portland Tribune is reporting that president Ed Ray says OSU, at least, won't have to make cuts. (The cuts under consideration were pretty awful)
  • Scott Roeder was convicted of first-degree murder in the death of George Tiller. Good on ya, Kansas, for affirming that the rule of law takes precedence over one's personal beliefs. The best quip I saw on this was at EB Misfit's place: "The jury deliberations took 37 minutes. I'm guessing that about 25 minutes was spent voting on who the jury foreman would be."
  • Via Pygalgia,
    "The progressive PR firm Murray Hill Inc. has announced that it plans to satirically run for Congress in the Republican primary in Maryland’s 8th congressional district to protest the Supreme Court’s disastrous decision. A press release on its website says that the company wants to “eliminate the middle man” and run for Congress directly, rather than influencing it with corporate dollars."
    Click over for more. My comment was "That is brilliant. Scary as hell, but brilliant." It really is the logical extension of corporate personhood.
  • Yesterday, I expressed skepticism that Obama was really ready to go to the mat with both parties in Congress. Today, he made me happy.
    Obama also displayed a rare grasp of policy and legislation, wrong-footing his questioners to their face with some stern rebuttal and in some instances quoting their own positions back to them to highlight the contradictions. He mocked the GOP for presenting healthcare reforms as a "Bolshevik plot" – and got a laugh, even from the Republican audience – and suggested that their approach was counterproductive.
    (Video at C-Span)
  • "Defense Secretary Robert Gates will unveil the Pentagon's plan to prepare for repealing the controversial "don't ask, don't tell" law regarding gay soldiers at a committee hearing Tuesday, a Pentagon spokesman said." From CNN, commentary from Michael Tomasky here.
  • Via Princess Sparkle Pony (happily resurrected from life support) and from Balloon Juice a few days ago, I continue to read of the ongoing collapse of the Teabagger convention and disillusionment of the Teabaggers. A point that I've tried to be clear about, though maybe not successfully, is that I have a high degree of empathy with the Teabaggers' anger. What frustrates me is they don't take time to figure out who it is that's screwing them. Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh cry all the way to the bank, and the common person gets charged "$549 per ticket and a $9.95 fee, plus hotel and airfare" to attend a convention where Sarah Palin has been paid over $100,000 to be the keynote speaker. Ya, you betcha. Maybe they're starting to figure it out.
  • Finally, Darlene Etienne survived 15 days under the rubble in Haiti, and was rescued yesterday. Whatever your interest in Haiti, whether it's rescue, rebuilding, international implications, or the geological setting, there are many more capable than I of explaining what's going on, so I haven't said much more. But I have been paying close attention. While one life doesn't seem like much in the face of so much death, it means everything to Ms. Etienne, and I applaud her strength.

What I Think

Context here.

xkcd Awww...

News item: Spirit Rover to rove no more. The above is really poignant to me. Don't worry. li'l buddy. We're with you. (xkcd)

Thursday, January 28, 2010

So I Did Watch It

My immediate reaction to the State of the Union Address was pretty positive... not overwhelmingly so, but positive.

Two points that stood out as weaknesses to me: first, I wish Obama had really punched home the necessity for health care reform as a component of economic revival. Businesses large and small that offer a health package are being crushed by rising costs, and more and more businesses are being forced to drop coverage entirely to stay competitive. By failing to make that connection, he missed a major opportunity to explain to the American people why such reform is critical, not years in the future, but now.

Second, the wild shifts in tone made for good theater, but sent a confusing overall message. Is he really going to get more forceful with both sides? Is he really going to shame the dems into growing a pair? Is he really going to be calling out the blatant (and explicit) conservative obstructionism and lies? This is at the heart of my concerns with Obama: he's a smart and competent guy, as much so as anyone. But I've yet to see a willingness to brawl in public. He came pretty close in a couple of passages last night, referring to Republican obstructionism and to the recent Supreme's decision, but these issues need to be in the media regularly, not just once a year. The Republicans are masters of this sort of messaging, and the democrats are incompetent. I think Obama is perfectly capable of this sort of game, but he'd rather not play it. At his point, in my opinion, I think he'd best admit he has no choice but to dive in, name names and specifics, and fight for the things he wants in public fora, not with sternly worded messages behind closed doors.

But it wasn't really until this morning, discussing SOTU with other coffee drinkers, that it dawned on me what it was in the speech that had so resonated with me. I'm frustrated and angry with what I see happening (or not) in this country, and what I unknowingly wanted to see was evidence that Obama was too. And I did. So my visceral reaction was positive.

Still, relating to my second quibble, what matters here is the followup. We all know the guy can deliver a speech and keep us spellbound. (I was a little fidgety by the end; don't SOTU's normally go 40-45 minutes? On the other hand, I don't know what could or should have been cut.) Yes, my reaction was positive, and from what I've read, so was that of most people. A number of commentators have said that this speech recaptured many of us who've been becoming disaffected with him. In a sense that's true for me. However, if we don't start to see some real engagement from the White House in whipping Congress into line- or at least appeals to the court of public opinion if the jackals won't start actually doing their jobs- he won't hold us.

Also too, while not the disaster that Jindal's response was last year, I was transfixed by the way that the GOP's response looked like an amateurish, badly scripted comedy sketch. I was half expecting it to end with "Live from New York... it's SATURDAY NIGHT!"

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


The Guardian has posted some excerpts from Obama's address, scheduled to begin in about half an hour. Apparently, he's also going to call for an end to the military's Don't Ask Don't Tell policy as well. I may go home and watch after all. Or I may not. We'll see.

Excerpts From a Prescient View of US Politics and Economics

"Just the place for a Snark!" the Bellman cried,
As he landed his crew with care;
Supporting each man on the top of the tide
By a finger entwined in his hair.

"Just the place for a Snark! I have said it twice:
That alone should encourage the crew.
Just the place for a Snark! I have said it thrice:
What I tell you three times is true."
A Billiard-marker, whose skill was immense,
Might perhaps have won more than his share--
But a Banker, engaged at enormous expense,
Had the whole of their cash in his care.
"His form is ungainly--his intellect small--"
(So the Bellman would often remark)
"But his courage is perfect! And that, after all,
Is the thing that one needs with a Snark."
The last of the crew needs especial remark,
Though he looked an incredible dunce:
He had just one idea--but, that one being "Snark,"
The good Bellman engaged him at once.
(after explaining that the butcher could only kill beavers...)
The Beaver's best course was, no doubt, to procure
A second-hand dagger-proof coat--
So the Baker advised it--and next, to insure
Its life in some Office of note:

This the Banker suggested, and offered for hire
(On moderate terms), or for sale,
Two excellent Policies, one Against Fire,
And one Against Damage From Hail.
He had bought a large map representing the sea,
Without the least vestige of land:
And the crew were much pleased when they found it to be
A map they could all understand.
I won't be watching the State of the Union Address tonight, most likely. I'll read it tomorrow. I'm tired of Obama's oratory... I'm tired of feeling persuaded that he believes things he doesn't.

The poem is of course "The Hunting of the Snark," and while I love "Alice in Wonderland," I think this is my favorite work of Lewis Caroll. (Other formats here)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Today's Anniversary

I'm really not setting out to commemorate one or two every day, but I'm reminded by Bu Element that today is the 310th anniversary of the last great Cascadia earthquake. (Actually, I misremembered; the last geo-versary I posted was Sunday, not yesterday) The quake is estimated to have been of a magnitude in the 8.7 to 9.2 range. There were no settlers in the area, so there is no written history of the event. How do we know its date? An earthquake of this magnitude would certainly create a tsunami, and the Japanese have obsessively accumulated the most thorough and lengthiest tsunami records on the planet. Red cedar trees killed by sudden subsidence into tidal salt water can give us the year through their rings. Older rings can be correlated to other trees that survived, and the year of the last ring in the killed trees would be the last growing season before the quake. Searching Japan's records, Brian Atwater found that a so-called "orphan tsunami," that is, a tsunami not associated with any known quake, hit Japan some hours after the quake occurred. Given records of tsunami travel speeds across the Pacific, it is estimated that the quake struck at 9:00 PM on the evening of January 26, 1700.

The PNW is not really prepared for such an event, but the level of awareness of the danger has grown dramatically over the last 20 years. Awareness is not the same as preparedness, but it's a necessary first step to get to that goal. Last year, one of the older and more dangerous buildings on the OSU campus was completely gutted and rebuilt. The original walls still stand, but they've been retrofitted and strengthened. The internal structure is completely new. This is a good thing. New buildings that have gone up in recent years have been required to meet higher seismic standards. I'm not sure (nor qualified to judge) whether those standards are sufficient, but this, too, is a good thing. Likewise, a number of schools around Corvallis have been replaced, shortening their lives, and moved to higher priority for replacement, on the basis of seismic concerns.

But there's a long way to go. "The Big One," as every locale calls their potential great quake, if they anticipate one, is expected to be in the 9+ range.

So given our state of semi-preparedness, what should you do? Well, think about it, for one thing. It's a rare day that "what would I do if it hit right now?" doesn't flit through my mind for a second or two. I consider my apartment as a structure relatively safe, and I keep heavy things low. I keep several gallons of water stashed, and cycle through them so they stay fresh. (I'm not so good about food, but I can go a long time without food- I think my record is 9 or 10 days. After the first day, I just don't feel hungry.) At my coffee shop, it's a one story concrete building, I suspect (but don't know for certain) over re-bar. If the quake hit while I was here, I would more or less stay put until the shaking stopped, then get out as quickly as was safe. The big plate glass windows scare the hell out of me, so if I was indoors near one, I'd try to get a few feet (at least) away from them. If I was outside, I'd get away from any walls. Often the first instinct is to rush out of a building, but records show that facades and roofing material often fall off during the shaking; that the worst time to try to leave. Likewise, if you're near the exterior of a building, try to get away from the walls. That does not mean "run higgledy-piggledy out into traffic." Drivers weren't expecting the quake either, and neither are they expecting you to run out in front of them as the earth wallops up and down like a bronco.

In short, I expect that I'll feel panicky, if it hits while I'm here in western Oregon. But I'm fairly confident that I'll react sensibly, simply because I've thought about it and mentally rehearsed it many, many times. That is no guarantee that I'd get through it unscathed or even alive. But it raises my chances.

What would you do if a giant quake hit where you are right now? No place is "immune."

Think about it.

Followup: Heh. I thought I posted a bit on this last year too. I did. Almost to the minute.

What Does It Mean When Keith Richards Drools Out of Both Sides of His Mouth?

It means the stage is level.

My other favorite Stones joke is this: How would the lyrics have gone if The Rolling Stones were a Scottish Group?

"Hey, McCloud, get offa my ewe." (No offense to my Scottish readers, I'm just a sucker for puns. Replace "Scottish" with Australian, or Oregonian, if you like. I promise not to be offended.)

Now the reason I bring all this up is a nice bit of synchronicity that just happened. A few minutes ago I came across this picture and caption at Rolfarazzi, and set it aside for Sunday Funnies:
keith richards
see more Lol Celebs.

Then less than a minute later, I came across this article at The Guardian: "Can rock'n'roll exist with a sober Keith Richards?" Yes, fans, it's apparently true: Richards is into his fourth month of sobriety, and apparently is doing OK.

The gods of Rock'n'Roll work in mysterious ways. He may eventually need to be embalmed after all. (good on ya, Keith... fare well, and good luck)

I Should Have Put This Up Yesterday

I set this sticker aside for days just like this. Voting seems like such a useless gesture anymore, but it's one thing I can do. That doesn't mean it's above ridicule. Nothing is above ridicule.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Once Again, SciAm Does Bogus Science

I really enjoy this Monday Game. Steve Mirsky list four science news headlines from the past week, but only three are real. The other is Totally Bogus. Have you been paying attention?
Story 1, Banned from import lo these past 21 years for fears of spongiform encephalopathy, it is now once again legal to bring Falkland Island sheep meat into the US.

Story 2, bats and dolphins that echolocate have the same genetic constructs that allow them to do it.

Story 3, llamas are providing proteins that could help find bioterror weapons.

And story 4, slime molds can successfully model efficient routes with multiple terminals, and proved it by doing a decent job recreating the Tokyo commuter train system.
(See link above for answers) I got this week's quiz because the actual story is very similar to the bogus one.

Also, if one of those stories had been "NASA developing single-pilot fight jacket weighing in at about 400 lbs," would you have chosen that one as bogus? According to Scientific American, you would have been wrong. Meet the Puffin:

I'm not sure this is a real good idea for widespread civilian use... I'm not sure it's a real good idea at all. But you do get more conservative as you get older, and a lot of my concerns are centered on safety issues. Like 400 lbs of Puffin packed with 150 lbs of meat falling out of the sky. But for all you young'uns, you may not get your jetpacks anytime soon, but an alternative might not be too far off.


The answer is not "133," the answer is "Yes" on both. I just cast my ballot in Oregon's special election. Because of the hair-brained initiative process in this state, voters have to approve any tax increases considered necessary and passed by the legislature. (Should that be "hare-brained?" Hair is less intelligent than most hares, so I'm going with the original spelling.) Measure 66 raises marginal taxes on households earning more than $250K (and single earners of more than $125K), and 67 raises the minimum corporate tax from $10 (yes, ten) to $150 for the vast majority of businesses, and by up to 1.6% of profits for the largest earners.

A number of business leaders have suggested, apparently in all sincerity, that public employees (educators, policemen, firemen and others employed at those facilities, for example) take a voluntary 10% pay cut to help the state through these tough economic times.

You know the story here. Us libs are trying to crush small business. Class warfare. Blah, blah, blah. An article at OregonLive yesterday points out that the wage gap has grown enormously in the last few years.
Inflation-adjusted annual wages for Oregon's top 2 percent of earners hit $153,480 on average in 2008, a 29.5 percent increase from 1990.

Workers at the 50 percentile, meanwhile, earned $32,659 in 2008, an increase of just 2.4 percent over 1990 after adjusting for inflation.
Meanwhile, another article from last week is headlined, "Business coalition: Keep I-5 Columbia River bridge project on schedule."
Two days after four elected leaders of Portland and Vancouver announced their opposition to a plan for a new Interstate 5 Columbia River bridge, a business-backed coalition today pushed for the project to go forward.

The Columbia River Crossing Coalition sent a letter to the governors of Oregon and Washington urging persistence in planning for the wider highway bridge, new light rail connection and series of highway interchange rebuilds.
Among other things, the officials asked the states to pay for independent studies of the project to be performed by experts the local officials select, a reflection of deep distrust of planners who have led bridge studies for more than four years.
From what I've read in the past, the two most important factors in siting a business are infrastructure and a skilled workforce. I presume security (police and fire) is only considered if they are weak to awful. I don't remember where taxes fall, but they're down the list a ways. Macroeconomic analysis is beyond my pay scale, but I'm eager to listen to those for whom it isn't. Via BlueOregon:
Third, the estimates above are for a typical state. But in states with taxes above average, we expect job losses from a tax increase to be higher that this; and for states with public services above average, we expect the job gains from increased public services to be lower than this.

Where does Oregon stand relative to a typical state? Oregon’s state and local taxes as a share of personal income are significantly below the national average. Oregon’s rank is 43rd based on the most recent data. Thus, because Oregon’s taxes are below average, we would expect job losses in Oregon to be lower than 7,000-20,000.

What about public services? Oregon’s teacher-student ratio places Oregon 49th out of 50 states; Oregon’s school year is the second shortest. Oregon’s university faculty salaries and benefits are significantly below the national average. So, with public services below average, we would expect job gains to be higher than 9,000-17,000.

Thus, scholarly research suggests the net change in jobs in Oregon is likely to be positive. However, there is no research on how much the effect for a typical state should be adjusted for Oregon and, indeed, the available research should be viewed as providing only “ball park” estimates. Nevertheless, the research provides no support for the claim that Oregon will lose jobs in the long run.
So on the one hand, we've got the poor getting poorer, and the rich getting richer. We have infrastructure that is in dire need of upgrades and maintenance. We have a once-excellent system of public education falling into a shambles, and other public service systems following suit.

And we have business and wealthy people who howl about these needs, then when the bill comes due, look around in consternation, and say "Who, me?"

Yes, you. Pricks. And if you want to take that as class envy, fine.

A Couple of Science Lists

First, at Listverse, 15 Fascinating Planets Outside Our Solar System. Here's the one I find most fascinating to consider, for fairly obvious reasons:
1 Most Earth-like Exoplanet Yet: Gliese 581 d (April 24, 2007)

At 7 to 14 times the mass of Earth this planet is considered to be a super-Earth but remarkable in that its orbit is inside the habitable zone, and has a solid surface allowing for any water present on its surface to form liquid oceans and even landmasses characteristic of Earth’s surface, although with a much higher surface gravity. So striking is its resemblance to Earth that it has inspired some people to send greetings intended for possible intelligent life forms that could have developed similarly to us.
Plus 14 others that are almost as amazing. All the pictures, of course, are "artist's conceptions," but they are mesmerizing to look at and think about.

Next up is actually a review at The Guardian, of the book Life Ascending: The Ten Great Inventions of Evolution, by Nick Lane. It seems clear to me that writing a book of this nature will open the author to all sorts of quibbling and second guessing, but it does seem like a wonderful sort of day-dreamy puzzle to ponder. Here's the cut-to-the-chase list without any discussion:
Life itself, DNA and photosynthesis are the first three of Lane's 10 great inventions of evolution. The others are the complex cell, sex, movement, sight, hot blood, consciousness and evolution's trump card, death, the agency that permits more life and more variety.
Now there is at least one on that list I might quibble with, but instead, I'll focus on the one I think is terribly important that many may have never really considered. It's fairly easy to imagine an immortal, planetary-scale organism, but it's difficult to imagine this changing substantively through time. As I think I've written here before, death is a profoundly important aspect of life as we know it; without death, there is no room for new generations, nor for evolution through time. It may not be a cheerful thing to consider, and you may not, as I do, take much comfort in the fact that our mortality is a key characteristic that allows the beauty and diversity of organisms that our planet supports and has supported.

And just think... some creature on Gliese 581 d may well be considering much the same thing at this moment.

The Onion

Massive Earthquake Reveals Entire Island Civilization Called 'Haiti'

PORT-AU-PRINCE, HAITI—Less than two weeks after converging upon the site of a devastating magnitude 7.0 earthquake, American anthropologists have confirmed the discovery of a small, poverty-stricken island nation, known to its inhabitants as "Haiti."
A couple of other excerpts from the full article, which is definitely worth reading in it's entirety:
According to Coughlin, the Haitian civilization was discovered on the night of Jan. 12, when relief workers were rushed to several resorts in the Dominican Republic to see if any American tourists had been injured in the quake. During an aerial tour of the island of Hispaniola, members of the Red Cross noticed signs of human life coming from Haiti.
Added Oliver, "Had it not been for this earthquake, I doubt we would have ever noticed Haiti at all."

Sunday, January 24, 2010

World-Changing Events

According to,
On this day in 1848, James W. Marshall discovered gold near Coloma, California. The discovery was officially endorsed by President James Polk in December that year, launching the Gold Rush.
Interesting bit of family history tied to this one, but I don't really feel like writing it all up right now. Some other time.

Perhaps of even greater import, via Pygalgia,
Be sure to crack open a cold one on Jan. 24, the day canned beer celebrates its 75th birthday.

New Jersey's Gottfried Krueger Brewing Company churned out the world's first beer can in 1935, stocking select shelves in Richmond, Va., as a market test. The experiment took off and American drinkers haven't looked back since, nowadays choosing cans over bottles for the majority of the 22 gallons of beer they each drink per year, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
So on the basis of these two anniversaries, I hereby declare January 24 international field geology day. Even if the weather in most places in the northern hemisphere is pretty crappy to actually do field geology, these are two crucial events in its history.

Sunday Funnies

Obviously, we have to start here:
funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures
Sticky Comics
funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures I know I'm in a small minority here, but I can't stand Attenborough. He gets great work out of his crews, but his breathless voice-overs drive me nuts.
*sigh...* They never do. Criggo
...and they're both ignoring you. Via The Daily What
(Grocery Store | Bethesda, MD, USA)

Me: “Do you have your rewards card with you, sir?”

Customer: “Uh, no, I don’t. Do I not get a discount?”

Me: “Of course you still can! What’s your phone number?”

Customer: “How old are you?”

Me: “Seventeen.”

Customer: “You’re not even legal! I can’t do that.”

Me: “Uh, no, sir. I need it to look up for your discount.”

Customer: “Oh…” *tells me his phone number* “…but don’t call me after 5. That’s when my wife gets home.”
Not Always Right
...and they're stuck with careers as editors writing headlines. Probably Bad News
Jen at Cake Wrecks found some dull group that celebrated the new year with 2%, as well as other (albeit, delicious I'm sure) horrifying cakes.
Epic Win Somewhere, WallE is heartbroken.
Tree Lobsters
Skull Swap
funny graphs and charts
see more Funny Graphs
Darius Whiteplume's Tumblr
jon stewart
see more Political Pictures
Luke Surl
That Will Buff Out
Epic Win
Epic Win
...and started on her third! Criggo
Oddly Specific
engrish funny dalian forest
see more Engrish (Posted with the title "You're not even trying.")
Medical mathematics is actually legal in Oregon and a number of other states. Skull Swap
"Must’ve Had An Allergic Reaction," from That Will Buff Out
Oddly Specific
glenn beck
see more Political Pictures
Adventures in Nerdliness

While recognising that College societies may sometimes stray beyond their official raisons d’etre to pursue a wider range of interests, we were incorrect to report in our last issue that the Literary Society was hosting a “Boob Club” (What’s on this coming fortnight, page 9, October 14). They had, of course, settled for a Book Club. Link

Regret the Error
Darius Whiteplume's Tumblr
funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures
funny pictures of dogs with captions
see more dog and puppy pictures
Five Second Rule: the details. Via The Daily What
Oddly Specific
Probably Bad News I totally voted "yes" on both of those questions.
Epic Win
I could make a good argument, though, that it is brain science. Skull Swap
Joy of Tech
Oddly Specific
political pictures for your blog
see more Political Pictures
The modern American Dream. Ugliest Tattoos
God Hates Protesters
"I used to work in a fire hydrant factory. You couldn't park anywhere near the place."
Steven Wright, from Quotes of the Day.Skull Swap
Skull Swap
Abstruse Goose
Acting Like Animals
Darius Whiteplume's Tumblr
Made From 100% Sour Maids
see more Friends of Irony
funny pictures of dogs with captions
see more dog and puppy pictures
As Iris points out, that's not really a strong selling point. Oddly Specific
Lovely Listing... see below for the caption, which is what killed me.
Sunken Kitchen:
Why don’t I have this? WHY DON’T I HAVE THIS? You eat a snack in front of the TV, you put your plate on the floor, you grab your shuffleboard paddle and give the dish a good THWACK and it goes WHEE right into the sink. Ten points!

This also works for curling, but then you have to get your spouse (or date or pet or child or UPS guy) to work as the sweeper.

The Saturday Bulletin- A couple of obscure jokes. "Thylacine" is the scientific name of the Tasmanian Wolf, which went extinct around the beginning of the 1900's; Larry Niven is an award-winning sci-fi author, who, like Asimov, typically has two or three different characters playing dozens of different roles.
Luke Surl
Sticky Comics
That would be bad. Autocomplete Me
Engrish Funny. The grammar and word choice is actually pretty good... it's the emphasis that's kind of odd:
Oh!! Danger zone Hokkaido
Higuma is dunging everywhere in HOKKAIDO.
We all love Hokkaido Bears.
I am Hokkaido Poo-Poo Bear.
I was born in the north snowy part of Hokkaido.
I am more than 2m tall and weight more that 300kg.
I am the biggest living animal in Hokkaido and I am also famous for being
able to to drop the biggest dung anytime, anywhere.
My body is huge as well as my excrement.
However, I can run fast and I am good at catching salmon.
I am the strongest animal in Japan.
I warn you. Beware of big round, brown heaps when you visit Hokkaido!

Ugliest Tattoos
Joy of Tech
Chuck and Beans, at Shoebox
Oddly Specific
Probably Bad News... not quite escape velocity, but about half way there.

Dan Piraro celebrated 25 years of Bizarro this week. The above is one I hadn't seen before, which he entitled "Rednecks Tampering with Physics." It was hard to choose just one from the comics in the anniversary post; I encourage you to go over and drop him a nice comment. Also, check out the very first comic he ever published. This would fix the financial industry.
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demotivational posters
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"All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence; then success is sure."
Mark Twain, Letter to Mrs Foote, Dec. 2, 1887, from Quote of the Day. This is at least true in US politics.
Noise to Signal- Rob left out the shoe and underpants checkpoint.
Pallet Town, England, 1831 - A young naturalist named Charles Darwin sets sail on a five year voyage of discovery to lands great and unknown. Always a keen observer and ardent collector, Darwin delighted at the strange, wonderful, and pugnacious creatures he discovered. As his collections grew, he noticed that certain creatures bore marked similarities to certain others, and he began wondering how such new creatures came into existence.

Upon his return, Darwin spent decades writing, researching, and collecting; expanding his ideas into a theory which he finally presented to the Cerulean Zoological Society and published in the momentous and influential manuscript: On the Origin of Species of Small Fighting Monster by Means of Repeated Combat, or the Acquisition of Novel Forms in the Struggle to Collect them All.
Threadless, via The Daily What, via Superpunch
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Skull Swap
Criggo... I have a sneaking suspicion this might be here in Corvallis.
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Cyanide and Happiness

Via The Daily What: Dinosaur Ballet
Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal