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Former World’s Fastest Supercomputer Now Obsolete, Will Be Scrapped

intellectual-invention

Just four years ago it was the fastest supercomputer in the world, now it’s going to be dismantled for parts: Five years ago, an IBM-built supercomputer designed to model the decay of the US nuclear weapons arsenal was clocked at speeds no computer in the history of Earth had ever reached. At more than one […]

Sequester? More Like No-quester

us-politics

So far at least, the disastrous impact of the sequestration cuts predicted by the Obama Administration has not come to pass: More than a month after Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood warned of “calamity” in the skies, travelers are still flying. Airlines aren’t yet canceling flights. And there’s no sign of the long lines the Obama administration warned […]

More Faux Google Doodle Outrage

FireShot Screen Capture #203 - 'Google' - www_google_com

Every time there’s some kind of major holiday, or the anniversary of some important event, there are always people at the ready to claim outrage over something they considered important not being appropriately marked with a doodle on Google’s home page. Typically, you see this happen over some event with American historical meaning such as […]

Dark Social: The Hidden Web

dark-social

The “social web” was with us long before the rise of Facebook, Twitter and its kind and that the old style sharing is actually much more important than the new.

Baghdad Bob Was Right After All

Iraqi Information Minister Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf speaks during news conference in Baghdad March 24..

Emily DePrang looks back at “‘Baghdad Bob’ and His Ridiculous, True Predictions.”

Army Denies Purple Heart to Fort Hood Victims (For Now)

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The Army has ruled, correctly, that the victims of Major Nidal Hassan are not entitled to the Purple Heart.

Legendary Record Producer Phil Ramone Dead At 79

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Phil Ramone, a record producer who worked with pretty much all of the giants of American popular music at some point during his career, has died at the age of 79: Phil Ramone, a prolific record producer and engineer who worked with some of the biggest stars of the last 50 years, including Ray Charles, […]

Mal Moore, Alabama Football Legend, Dead at 73

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Mal Moore, who was part of ten football championships at Alabama, has died at 73.

OTB Caption Contest Winners

bigchief_2

The Yippee Ki Yay Edition OTB Caption ContestTM is now over.

Why Make it Easier to Vote?

election-voter-people

Election rules should be oriented towards increasing participation, not based on partisan calculations.

Farewell, “Talk of the Nation”

newsman

Via Politico:  NPR ending ‘Talk of the Nation’ NPR on Friday announced it is ending “Talk of the Nation” after 21 years on the air. The call-in show will be replaced by “Here and Now,” a midday news program produced by Boston’s WBUR, on July 1. Production on the Monday-Thursday “Talk of the Nation” will […]

Summing up the Korea Situation in a Headline

travel-suitcase

Via the AP:  Analysis: NKorea threat may be more bark than bite. This is, undoubtedly, the case. Further, the purpose for the behavior is almost certainly the following: As threatening as Kim’s call to arms may sound, its main target audience may be the masses at home in North Korea. For months, the masterminds of […]

The Internet In 1995

intellectual-invention

This video gives us a look back at what the Internet was like back nearly 20 years ago. It’s 27 minutes long, but pretty amusing to watch in retrospect: H/T: Ezra Klein

North Korea’s Bluster: How Should We Respond?

North Korea Parade

So what, exactly, is going on in North Korea? And how should we respond to Kim’s bluster?

Don’t Go To Princeton to Find a Husband

women-finding-men

Responding to Susan Patton’s viral letter urging Princeton ladies to find a husband on campus before graduating, Penn grad Rebecca Greenfield counters, “No, Princeton Is Not the Best Ivy League School for Finding a ‘Worthy’ Husband.” [W]hy aim for an “intellectual equal” when you can get so much more? Princeton, one of the smaller Ivies, […]

Diversity on TV Talk Shows

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MSNBC’s Chris Hayes uses a quota system to make sure his guests aren’t all white dudes.

Drunkorexia?!

skinny-wine

Apparently, some significant number of people are starving themselves to “save calories” for getting drunk.

Willie Nelson an Gay Marriage

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Country music legend Willie Nelson sat down with Texas Monthly to talk about, among other things, gay marriage. He doesn’t say anything that hasn’t been said before a thousand times, but this part of the exchange is amusing: TM: You’ve been a supporter of LBGT issues over the years. Outspoken even. WN: I never had a problem […]

What If We Treated Foreign Languages Like Sports?

hello-languages

If kids practiced French two hours a day . . .

Iraq War’s Ultimate Cost Much Higher Than First Thought

money-investing

According to a newly released report from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, by the time all the bills related to the Iraq War are paid, they’ll amount to far more than the few billion dollars that advocates of the war were claiming we’d incur during the run-up to war: By the most conservative reckoning, the […]

Advice For Princeton Women: Find a Husband Before You Graduate

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Susan Patton, president of Princeton’s Class of 1977, offers some retro advice to her successors: Find a husband while you’re still in school.

Gun Control and Public Opinion

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90 percent of Americans support background checks for gun purchases. They are unlikely to be enacted into law.

Phil Jackson Tweets

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Legendary basketball coach and Zenmaster Phil Jackson has joined Twitter: There are some disadvantages to eleven championships.

American Charged With Using Weapon of Mass Destruction that Isn’t a Weapon of Mass Destruction

Eric Harroun firing RPG, which is a WMD according to the USG. WTF.

An American fighting with Syrian rebels faces life in prison for firing an RPG against a government we’re trying to oust.

A Russian Role In Post-War Afghanistan?

The Hill has an interesting report today that Russians are likely to be returning to Afghanistan after American forces leave, although not in the same capacity as when they were there in the 1980s: Nearly a quarter-century after the last Soviet units pulled out of Afghanistan, Moscow is reportedly eyeing a return to the country after […]

Fourth Quarter Growth Was Incredibly Sluggish

money-investing

The final revisions for 4th quarter GDP were released today, and while the numbers are slightly better than the negative growth first reported in January, they aren’t that much better either: WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The economy expanded at a sluggish pace in the fourth quarter although a big gain in business investment and higher exports of […]

Translating Military Experience into Gibberish

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Conveying military experience to civilian human resources departments is hard.

End Military Funeral Honors for Veterans?

military-funeral

Bill McClellan calls for ending military funeral honors for most veterans.

OTB Caption Contest

ballofdamocles

Time for the Thursday OTB Caption ContestTM

James Holmes Reportedly Ready To Plead Guilty To Avoid Death Penalty

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It’s being reported that lawyers for accused Aurora, Colorado shooter James Holmes are prepared to offer a plea deal: DENVER (AP) — Lawyers for Colorado theater shooting suspect James Holmes said Wednesday he would plead guilty and serve the rest of his life in prison to avoid the death penalty. The offer comes just days […]

DOMA Under Fire At The Supreme Court

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The Defense Of Marriage Act didn’t fare very well during today’s Supreme Court oral arguments.

Garfield Isn’t Funny and Was Never Supposed to Be

garfield

Slate repurposes a Quora piece titled “Is Garfield Supposed To Be Funny?” that itself repurposes a 2004 Slate piece titled “Garfield: Why we hate the Mouse but not the cartoon copycat.” Well, two can play at that game. Okay, three. Four? Anyway, this is from Chris Suellentrop’s 2004 original:  Davis’s genius is that he’s created […]

FBI Seeking Expanded Powers To Spy On Your Gmail Account

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is seeking an expansion of its ability to monitor Gmail accounts: Last week, during a talk for the American Bar Association in Washington, D.C., FBI general counsel Andrew Weissmann discussed some of the pressing surveillance and national security issues facing the bureau. He gave a few updates on the FBI’s efforts to […]

SCOTUSBlog Wins Peabody Award

SCOTUSBlog, which has become the go-to site for people interested in coverage of the goings on at the Supreme Court, has won a Peabody Award: In the world of journalism, Robin Roberts is being honored for “Robin’s Journey,” the Good Morning America feature about her battle with cancer; Bryant Gumbell earned a nod for his […]

Virginia Governor’s Race Remains Essentially Tied

us-politics

With Chris Christie running away with the race in New Jersey, there is going to be a lot of media attention paid to the other Gubernatorial race on the ballot in November, the race in Virginia between Ken Cuccinelli and Terry McAuliffe. So far, that race is essentially tied: Virginia State Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli […]

Texas Congressman In Verbal Altercation Over Parking Ticket

us-politics

Congressman Louie Gohmert tried to use his rank as a Congressman to get out of a parking ticket: A Texas Republican congressman got into a late-night verbal altercation with U.S. Park Police officers earlier this month, pulling rank in an attempt to get out of a parking ticket near the Lincoln Memorial. Shortly after 11 […]

Secret Agent Woman

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For the first time in its history, the head of the CIA”s most secretive division is a woman: As John Brennan moved into the CIA director’s office this month, another high-level transition was taking place down the hall. A week earlier, a woman had been placed in charge of the CIA’s clandestine service for the […]

Bad Signs For Gun Control In The Senate

us-politics

A little noticed test vote may bode ill for gun control legislation in the Senate: A little-noticed Senate vote just before 4 in the morning on March 23 — amid the chamber’s 13-hour vote-a-rama on a fiscal 2014 budget resolution — suggests trouble for President Barack Obama’s gun control agenda. Senators voted 50-49 in favor […]

North Korea Takes Another Dangerous Step

travel-suitcase

North Korea has shut down the last means of communication between the North and the South: SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea cut off the last remaining military hotlines with South Korea on Wednesday, accusing President Park Geun-hye of South Korea of pursuing the same hard-line policy of her predecessor that the North blamed for […]

Killing Terrorist Leaders Prolonging War on Terror?

bin-laden-dead-newspapers

Targeting terrorist leadership may be counterproductive.

Permanent Underemployment?

Incomes-by-education-level-wsj

The economy has been steadily recovering from the Great Recession. But the jobs may never come back.

William Shatner ‘Appalled’ by IRS Star Trek Video

us-politics

The man who played Captain Kirk is not amused by an IRS training video featuring his iconic character.

Google Doesn’t Want People Using “Google” As A Verb

money-investing

Google isn’t quite pleased that their company name is becoming something of a generic term: You hear it in movies, TV shows, among your friends and you probably say it yourself: “I Googled her before I called her.” “I know because I Googled it.” “What’s the temperature in Fargo? Google it!” But Google wants you […]

Rand Paul Threatens Filibuster Of Senate Gun Bill

us-politics

Senator Rand Paul, joined by Ted Cruz and Mike Lee, is threatening to block the Senate Gun Bill when it comes to the floor: Sens. Rand Paul, Ted Cruz and Mike Lee are threatening to filibuster gun-control legislation, according to a letter they plan to hand-deliver to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s office on Tuesday. […]

North Dakota Governor Signs Law Barring Abortion After Six Weeks

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One of the most restrictive abortion laws in the country can now be found in North Dakota: FARGO, N.D. — Gov. Jack Dalrymple of North Dakota approved the nation’s toughest abortion restrictions on Tuesday, signing into law a measure that would ban most abortions and inviting a legal showdown over just how much states can […]

Meet The Cruz Birthers

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Ted Cruz has only been in the Senate for a few months and some conservatives are already, ridiculously in my opinion, looking to him as a potential candidate for President. So, now, we have a group of people who claim he’s constitutionally ineligible to run: Birthers, it turns out, can be bipartisan. They have a […]

Julia Pearson New CIA Director! Er, Secret Service Director.

julia-pearson-cia-director

So, the Washington Post was in a hurry to get this out: Considering all the trouble John Brennan went through–including a Rand Paul filibuster–to get confirmed earlier this month, it seems awfully strange that he’s already been replaced by Julia Pearson and that there was no word of her being nominated. Alas, it turns out, […]

Supreme Court Puts California’s Proposition 8 In The Cross Hairs

Supreme Court Building

Today’s hearing on Proposition 8 left some wondering if the Court may end up punting the case away.

OTB Caption Contest Winners

jediwedding

The May The spouse Be With You Edition OTB Caption ContestTM is now over.

Korean War II Not Easy As It Looks

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The Army has war gamed a conflict to secure a failed North Korea. It would not be a cakewalk.

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