A.M. Links: Extinct Lizard Named After Obama, Mali Prime Minister Forced to Resign, NASA Gives Money to Private Companies, Californian Schools Owe Billions, HSBC to Pay Record Fine, Thousands of Kids in Michigan Missing School

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  • An extinct lizard has been named after the president. Obamadon gracilis was one of many species to go extinct after an asteroid hit Earth 65 million years ago. 
  • Mali's prime minister was forced to resign after being arrested by soldiers under the command of the army captain who led the military coup in March. 
  • Three private companies have received about $10 million each from NASA. Boeing, SpaceX, and Sierra Nevada Corp. will use the money to ensure their spaceflight systems meet NASA's requirements for ferrying astronauts. 
  • Californian schools owe billions in bond interest. Capital appreciation bonds come with a lot of interest, a $2.5 million loan taken out in 2010 will now cost $34 million to repay.
  • HSBC have settled with the U.S. Department of Justice and will pay a $1.92 billion fine after failing to clamp down on money laundering. 
  • At least 26,000 kids are missing school in Michigan today because their teachers plan to take the day off to protest right-to-work legislation. 

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  1. An extinct lizard has been named after the president.

    Telepromtosaurus Rex.

    1. Nice.

      This is also not the first creature to be named after President Obama. Boing Boing reports that the president already has a lichen (Caloplaca obamae) and a worm (Paragordius obamai) named after him.

      1. So the things named after him are a worm, a slime, and a lizard that was around for an apocalyptic collapse.

        1. Don’t forget the unprecedented historic healthcare package that combines the best features of all three!

          1. Needs more parasites.

        2. Don’t forget that they’ve also renamed Jesus Christ after him as well.

    2. We here at team True Green are not amused.

      1. +1 for expending the effort to set up a joke handle

        1. We don’t see this nearly as much, even though you can do it fairly easily by changing your display name.

          1. Actually this is my original handle. Google me biotches.

  2. What Your Beer Says About Your Politics
    http://www.nationaljournal.com…..olitics-27

    As the bubble chart shows, Dos Equis is a bipartisan brew – Republicans and Democrats both like to drink it. So Mr. Goldsmith’s public foray into the 2012 race could alienate a large share of Dos Equis fans. Ironically, this is in contrast to its corporate sister Heineken, which as it turns out is the most Democratic beer of all. On the other hand, Republicans love their Coors Light and favor Sam Adams, which is brewed just a few miles away from Romney campaign headquarters and whose namesake was an original tea partier.

    1. So I wonder what Victory Brewing’s Hop Wollop says about me.

      1. Probably that you’re one of those “bitter clinger” types.

        1. You know, fuck you all. This might have been my best pun in a while but you all left it untouched.

          1. I recognize the greatness of this comment. Well played, well played.

          2. I bet you say that to all the girls.

          3. Now who’s bitter Kay?

          4. Very nice sloppy. Also, that brew rocks.

    2. What about libertarians? Personally, and I think I speak for all of us here, I don’t really care what kind of beer it is so long as I can drink it out of an orphan’s skull.

      1. +1 Lamentation of the Women.

      2. Any beer works great polishing my new monocle (which I can now wear with pride since I just confirmed distant cousin status with Cornelius Vanderbilt.)

        1. I guess you could say I like my beer…with a little head.

          I’ll just let myself out.

    3. I knew I never trusted Sierra Nevada.

      1. I must say I am surprised at the low turnout axis for Heineken. But not the other axis.

        1. Damn, I read the graph wrong. I guess my statement still somewhat applies…

          But I agree on Heineken.

          1. Don’t try to read a graph while drunk.

    4. Some of us have good taste and prefer wine.

      1. I’d drink more wine, but the bottles are too big and the headaches too frequent.

        1. I should add I’m one of those whack jobs who doesn’t like carbonated beverages.

        2. You’re not supposed to drink a whole six pack.

          1. Says who?

            I mean, if they didn’t want me to drink the whole sixpack, why did they sell me a whole sixpack?

      2. Wine. How classy people get shitfaced.

        1. It works for me, and I am not all that classy. Wine, bringing intoxication to the classy and not so classy since way back in the day.

        2. Classy people don’t get shitfaced; we get tight. 🙂

    5. How do we appeal to all those Bud Light, Miller Lite, and Coors Light voters? That’s the question.

      Corona and Heineken voters being low turn out, heavily Democrat doesn’t surprise me. Those beers are all image with little substance.

    6. That white house honey porter recipe is messed up. They should halve the black malt.

    7. Most of those aren’t even real beers. Just piss in a can.

  3. …because their teachers plan to take the day off to protest right-to-work legislation.

    Was that I line in that Alanis Morissette song?

    1. You oughta know.

      1. All I really want is more comments like this.

        1. They make me fall head over feet.

          1. I wash my hands clean of this thread.

      2. + a slightly dented internet!

    2. In any reasonable system they’d get fired for this.

      1. Being in a teachers union means never having to be personally responsible like being in love means never having to say your sorry.

        Which is bullshit. First you say you’re sorry, and then maybe I’ll let you back into the house to get your keys.

        1. Yeah, I don’t think I’ll ever get that. Did it mean anything more than Ali’s character was dying and brain damaged?

      2. Aw, c’mon — it’s the most honest lesson most of them will ever deliver. ‘My job and perks mean more than you little shits and whatever drivel I was supposed to be covering today’.

  4. ‘Mayan Apocalypse’ Started With A Bad 70s Mushroom Trip, Not Ancient Civilization
    http://www.inquisitr.com/43242…..TcIt508.99

    “December 21st will be just another Friday morning,” said Andrew Wilson, Assistant Head of Social Studies at the University of Derby. He says that the Mayan Apocalypse prophecy didn’t come from ancient civilization, and that the idea is hardly older than 30-40 years, give or take. Two New Age books in the 70s and 80s are to blame for our apocalyptic fears. The books detail an “upgrade” to human consciousness, predicted by a spirit from the seventh century, and that the whole thing came about from a magic mushroom trip, reports Yahoo.

    “A hippy guru called Jose Arguelles associated the date with the Mayan calendar in a book called The Mayan Factor in 1987. But it’s an obsolete form of the calendar, which had not been used since the year 1100AD.”

    1. Sounds like a good mushroom trip to me.

    2. Sounds like the Mayans got taken in, too, because I read that a bunch of them are doing rituals and getting into trouble with Mexican po-lice.

  5. At least 26,000 kids are missing school in Michigan today

    10,000 kids brought advil to school while the other 10,000 hugged them for bringing something to take care of their headaches.

    1. The other 6000 filmed it.

      1. Good save. I was about to accuse you of having learned your math at a [shudders] Michigan public school.

  6. Obamadon gracilis was one of many species to go extinct after an asteroid hit Earth 65 million years ago

    Correlation is not causation.

    1. In the writer’s defense, they said “after,” not “because”.

    2. Yup, it could be that they were entirely coincidental. Or even less likely (though still possible due nonzero probabilities of quantum mechanics), the lizard’s extinction caused the asteroid collision.

      I know you’re trying to be pedantic, but I would imagine a large asteroid collision would be the most likely catalyst for a mass extinction event.

      Not that this matters- the world is only 6000 years old and God planted fossils in the ground to fuck with us.

      1. Some think the extinction event was the eruption of the Deccan Traps.

  7. The Other Susan Rice File
    How to embrace psychotic murderers and alienate a continent.
    http://online.wsj.com/article/…..on_LEADTop

    In January 1999, six months before Ms. Rice’s Senate testimony, the RUF laid siege to the capital city of Freetown. “The RUF burned down houses with their occupants still inside, hacked off limbs, gouged out eyes with knives, raped children, and gunned down scores of people in the street,” wrote Ryan Lizza in the New Republic. “In three weeks, the RUF killed some 6,000 people, mostly civilians.”

    What to do with a group like this? The Clinton administration had an idea. Initiate a peace process.

    It didn’t seem to matter that Sankoh was demonstrably evil and probably psychotic. It didn’t seem to matter, either, that he had violated previous agreements to end the war. “If you treat Sankoh like a statesman, he’ll be one,” was the operative theory…

  8. Michael Gerson: Obama must learn to negotiate
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/…..story.html

    In order for an ambitious budget deal to emerge, an awkward conversation must take place. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) needs to tell President Obama: “I can give some on rates for the wealthy, but I need cover on serious, structural cuts in entitlement programs.”

    The call would be Boehner’s. But the groundwork for that conversation must be laid by the president. And Obama has been actively making it harder for Boehner to cry uncle. Obama’s initial budget offer was a calculated insult, involving, by some accounts, an actual spending increase. He has demanded unlimited debt-ceiling increases ? a constitutional innovation of Mohamed Morsi-like ambition. And Obama has been in full, anti-Republican campaign mode around the country, as if the election had never ended.

    1. Elections have consequences.

      1. Except when Democrats l

    2. Sorry Mike. But Obama is just not big on that learning thing.

    3. as if the election had never ended.

      he’s talking about ’08, right, because I don’t recall the campaign ever ending after that one.

    4. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) needs to tell President Obama: “I can give some on rates for the wealthy, but I need cover on serious, structural cuts in entitlement programs.”

      Maybe I missed something, but I thought Boehner had been saying that for weeks.

      And Obama replied “No, fuck you, raise taxes.”

  9. Three private companies have received about $10 million each from NASA. Boeing, SpaceX, and Sierra Nevada Corp.

    The corporatization of the space begins!

    1. Do Androids Dream of Unionizing Space Walmart?

    2. and Sierra Nevada Corp.

      Space beer?

      1. Serious question: Would one need a centrifuge to brew beer in space?

        1. Probably. Unless you like chewy beer. Otherwise the dead yeast are never going to separate.

          1. You would need something for the yeast to grab onto, like beechwood chips.

            But even so, yeah, would probably need to centrifuge.

          2. A microfilter would do.

            1. The problem with filtering beer is that it also filters out flavor.

              1. Not necessarily. You choose a filter with a molecular weight cutoff above the relevant proteins. AFAIK, most flavor components are small enough not to be caught by a micron-level filter. Yeast cells are generally between 1 and 50 microns in size. By the time you get to that size, it’s almost meaningless to talk about protein cutoff. Sugars are so small it’s unlikely you’ll remove them with anything looser than a nanofilter.

                1. Yeah, big filtering isnt a problem as much as tight filtering, but its still an issue.

                  The problem is, words like “most”. Its true and for a large enough filter, it wont matter, but its still an issue.

                  I heard the head of operations at Bell’s talking about filtering techniques once. He was going thru the different options and had positive things to say about most of them. Then someone asked him which they used, and he replied “None, we dont filter our beers.”

  10. Californian schools owe billions in bond interest.

    This technically counts as a “school loan,” and they keep hearing those are going to be bailed out.

    1. If only those schools taught the time value of money.

      1. At those loan rates, you know how much it would cost to take the time to teach that? No thank you!

  11. Goldberg: Whither the Toaster?
    http://www.nationalreview.com/…..h-goldberg

    And now for the airing of grievances! Can anyone explain why there hasn’t been more progress in toaster technology? If you compare phones, cars, TVs, frozen pizza etc in, say, 1960 to similar items today, the technological improvement has been dramatic, even stunning. But not for the humble toaster. I mean today’s toasters are a little better, but not leaps and bounds better. And most of the improvements are aesthetic rather than substantive. My toaster looks like a toaster of the smartphone generation, but acts like the same sort of toaster Joe Lunchbucket used a half-century ago. Indeed, I’d bet the average person burns their toast just as much today as they did a half-century ago (reliable data on this is hard to find). I ask you: Why, man (or woman), why?

    1. I use a toaster-oven, thank you very much.

    2. How much technology do you need to heat up a piece of bread?

      1. Last night I heated up some bread by burning some gas and holding it over it with some tongs.

        1. Haha. I had my coachboy do the same thing except I made him use his bare hands.

          1. That reminds me that I burned my fingers on the chili pot. Guess it wasn’t that severe because it healed fine overnight.

          2. The pros use orphan’s asscheeks, bent over in front of the fireplace. I always knew you were a poseur sloop.

            1. Why would I want my toast to taste like orphan ass? Is this something you picked up at boarding school?

    3. And most of the improvements are aesthetic rather than substantive.

      You can’t improve on the design of the Sunbeam T 9

      1. I really like that sort of retro look. I’d buy a toaster that looked like that in a heartbeat.

        1. Raymond Loewy

          Toaster design is a good example of aesthetic decline.Do they even test them in wind tunnels anymore?

    4. Indeed, I’d bet the average person burns their toast just as much today as they did a half-century ago… I ask you: Why, man (or woman), why?

      Probably because you, like all of the dumbasses in my office, leave the heat setting on “7” when you put in a slice of room temperature bread. I never put the toaster above “3” (on a scale to “5” or “7”) and have NEVER burned a slice of toast.

      What a fucking dumbass.

  12. Anyone see Brett? I was trying to find my Tom Brady sex doll like he’d asked, but I can’t. I was thinking maybe it was still raping his JJ Watt doll.

    That is all.

    1. I was looking forward to bringing this up. Thankfully via text cause I can’t talk much right now.

      1. Too busy fellating Tom Brady?

        (Why would anybody root for the Masshole Team?)

        1. Why would anyone root for any team? Probably the same reason.

        2. Was at the game. Stadium was actually loud for once.

          1. Funny, I like it quiet so I can hear the report of the Minutemen muskets after each score.

            I’ve been to a few Army football games and those guys light a howitzer for every milestone, not just scoring. First down? Boom! Kickoff? Boom!

            1. Army doesn’t score enough to justify holding off until touchdowns or field goals.

    2. Sorry. Took a while to get into work today. I blacked out somewhere in the 3rd quarter but the rest of the whiskey was gone when I woke up. I’ll just take my lumps on this one.

      1. I just wish Serious had listened to your foolish projections. I was so close to getting a solo win for the week.

      2. but the rest of the whiskey was gone when I woke up.

        I suspect buttchugging in an attempt to simulate the assraping you were watching on TV.

        1. Could be. I swear to Christ, the Colts are now going to win the division. I can see it coming. Fuck. This may distract me from hating Eli Manning for the rest of the season.

          1. I was really looking forward to the Colts losing this weekend and the Steelers and Bengals both winning. Alas, it did not work out that way.

            I saw the Colts subthread yesterday, and I’ve gotta say that I do not want to see them make the playoffs. They intentionally tanked last season so they could improve their draft position, and that’s bullshit. No team should be rewarded for intentionally throwing an entire season. It’s against the spirit of the game and is a slap in the face of their fans who purchased tickets expecting them to put the best product they could on the field.

            TL/DR? Fuck the Colts.

            1. I didn’t realize the Colts front office intentionally injured Peyton Manning’s neck, nor that a Curtis Painter/Dan Orlovsky/Kerry Collins rotation at quarterback should finish with a significantly better record than 2-14 against NFL competition when playing for a team that had had the same HOF caliber quarterback playing every game for them for the past thirteen seasons straight.

              Tell me, how many games did the Lions intentionally lose when they went 0-16?

              Disclaimer: not a Colts fan.

              1. Tell me, how many games did the Lions intentionally lose when they went 0-16?

                You never intentionally lose until you win at least one game. But given Andrew Luck sitting out there a team would have to be crazy not to tank it if they thought they were going to be bad that year, the lifetime value to the franchise is in the eight to nine figure range I wiould think.

                But in any case, fuck the Colts or at least their prick owner.

              2. I didn’t realize the Colts front office intentionally injured Peyton Manning’s neck, nor that a Curtis Painter/Dan Orlovsky/Kerry Collins rotation at quarterback should finish with a significantly better record than 2-14 against NFL competition when playing for a team that had had the same HOF caliber quarterback playing every game for them for the past thirteen seasons straight.

                Come on. The Colts were a Super Bowl caliber team with Manning (even while playing in the AFC South all these years, which is the pro equivalent of the WAC), and the minute he goes down, they’re no better than 2-14? I understand there’s a drop-off when you lose Hall of Fame-caliber QBs, but not that much, especially when you have most of the same personnel in place. Christ, the Broncos didn’t even do that bad the season after Elway retired AND Terrell Davis went down for the year with a knee injury.

                1. Yep, the Colts were a Super Bowl caliber team much in the way the Patriots have been — that is, 80% offense and 20% defense. They lose their best player (by a wide margin) and still have to play a first-place schedule based on the Colts finish from the previous year, including games against the entire AFC North and NFC South, neither of which were cupcake divisions. And not only is Peyton a great quarterback, he’s pretty much been their offensive coordinator for the past eight or nine seasons. Add to the mix division opponents that were considered to be improving (with the exception of the Jaguars) and I have little trouble believing the team wasn’t trying to throw games. I don’t recall any Dan Orlovsky-to-Reggie Wayne passes in which Reggie stopped short of the goal line and handed the ball to an opponent so as not to score.

                  By comparison, New England went 11-5 the year Brady was out, but Brady wasn’t also their OC for all intents and purposes, they were better coached overall, they played in a weaker division, with a softer schedule overall (AFC and NFC West teams) etc., etc.

          2. They do control their own destiny.

  13. Worker Liberation in Michigan
    Another state gives individuals the right not to join a union.
    http://online.wsj.com/article/…..on_LEADTop

    The economic policy drift in Washington is antigrowth, but here and there in the states are glimmers of hope and change. The best news of late is in Michigan, which is poised this week to pass a landmark right-to-work law.

    You can tell this is a big deal based on the fury of Big Labor’s reaction. Union activists plan to descend on Lansing Tuesday to protest, including many from out of state. State police will have to be on duty to ensure that legislators can get through what is likely to be a loud and abusive cordon of activists who want to block the vote.

    This thuggishness is a deliberate and familiar union political strategy: Cause as big a ruckus as possible in hopes of making right to work seem radical when it’s already the law in nearly half the country.

    1. It will be interesting to see how many of the teachers taking today off dont remain union members after this passes.

      1. Can’t remember the number, but when Wisconsin got rid of their automatic checkoff law, a whole bunch of employees opted out of donating to the union.

  14. Police officer with a history of allegations of smacking women around smacks a woman around.

  15. MSNBC Is President Obama’s Pravda
    http://news.investors.com/ibd-…..alists.htm

    Propaganda: The president has rewarded his campaign loyalists from MSNBC with an off-schedule West Wing meeting, where he’s given them new talking points to win the next battle over taxes.

    Yes, this state-press collusion is happening in your capital, not just Caracas or Havana.

    The lovefest between Obama and MSNBC toadies Lawrence O’Donnell, Rachel Maddow, Ed Schultz and Al Sharpton actually took place on Dec. 4.

    A White House spokesperson confirmed the president met with them and other “influential progressives” to discuss the “importance of extending the Bush middle-class tax cut” ? not to mention mau-mauing Republicans against “tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires.”

    1. Hold it. What Bush middle class tax cut? I thought Bush was an evil capitalist who just cut taxes for his rich buddies. You mean he cut taxes on the middle class?

      1. exactly…middle class tax cut has become the new talking point, accepted without question despite its having no resemblance to fact.

        1. For 8 years they lied and claimed Bush only cut taxes on the rich.

          1. And for the next 8 years they’ll lie and claim that Obama cut taxes on the middle class by not raising them to the same levels they were before Bush.

            1. if no one calls them out on the first lie, why should anyone expect that to happen with the next one?

      2. He also cut taxes on the poor. Which is why so many arent paying income taxes.

      3. I am reliably informed that Bush was a big fan of laissez faire who governed divisively and refused to work at all with the Democrats. Medicare Part D and NCLB were exceptions that proved the rule. 😉

  16. Dude totally seems to know which way is up. Wow.

    http://www.Surf-Data.tk

    1. Anonbot, you know when to leave one hanging. Who, goddamit?!

  17. ‘Vulture spying for Israel’ was fitted with GPS and solar-powered equipment capable of broadcasting images via satellite

    What, no Hellfire missiles?!

    1. What for? It could already fire laser beams from its eyes.

  18. Police shoot mentally ill California student. A different group of officers had been to his apartment two times earlier in the day without incident.

    1. An unarmed student. Apparently he had somehow gotten “superhuman strength”, which justified killing him. I blame radioactive spiders.

      1. 78% of PCP samples test positive for radioactive spider parts.

      2. PoliceOne chimes in.

        Comment from “sarge901”: Well, he might have been off his meds but thankfully this Officer found a pill that worked. Our troops are trained to respond with all the violence possible if someone tries to take your firearm, your chemical weapon or your asp. This was definitely a case of justified lethal force.

        And from “orpd705@yahoo.com”: Excellent job saving the tax payers some money!

        Classy.

        1. “Our troops are trained to respond with all the violence possible if someone tries to take your firearm, your chemical weapon or your asp.”

          Troops?! WTF? I thought these people were “To Protect and to Serve” civilian law enforcement..?

          1. Wait, someone seriously posted that?

      3. The article has a NKLA.org ad at the bottom with a sad puppy and the line “Make December No-Kill.”

        The universe chuckles.

  19. At least 26,000 kids are missing school in Michigan today because their teachers plan to take the day off to protest right-to-work legislation.

    I just want to salute whoever it was that managed to get that labeled as right-to-work. Because you look like a real asshole when you protest against it.

    1. So the teachers were protesting for the right not to work?

      1. On the bright side, it is Michigan Public Schools. I’m pretty sure a kid could do literally any other activity and learn more than he would in his classroom.

        1. I came here to point this out, but wanted to work in something along the lines “Well, I wouldn’t exactly say they miss it”

      2. Um, yes.

    2. And to be clear, right-to-work is quite distinct from “right to a job”.

      1. Not really. It forces employers to hire someone, even if they only want to hire people who will pay dues to a union.

    3. I just want to salute whoever it was that managed to get that labeled as right-to-work.

      In a world where the left and their media toadies control the language for virtually everything, this indeed was a coup.

  20. http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetw…..-heres-why

    Crippling hangover. I’m convinced. Whatever tax rates are necessary to make sure the federal government has enough money to regulate hemingway’s cats. It’s obviously in the constitution or something.

    1. Ah, the Interstate Commerce Clause coming to the rescue once again and allowing bureaucrats in Washington to come to the rescue of cats on Florida. Is there nothing that the Interstate Commerce Clause not do?

    2. I was just there. Those cats a living a feline dream. They have their run of the house, and they can prowl around outside all they want. It sounds like their best best would be to make some kinda deal where the local SPCA can provide any “oversight”

      1. There is some hope, even on the NPR blog the comments seem to be mostly about wondering why the Federal Government needs to get involved with Florida cats.

      2. I think it is basically the regulation that applies to zoos and things like that where animals are the attraction being applied in a place where it was never intended to apply. And apparently there was just one asshole who complained to the feds.

  21. Not really AM links, but: Any recommendations on good sci-fi books…I have the classics covered, but thought this group might have some more up to date recos on works of staggering genius! Need to give gift ideas.

    1. Not really AM links,

      Does not compute.

      1. ie…off topic?

        1. I know that is what you are trying to say. But that doesn’t make sense in the context of AM Links.

      2. good sci-fi books

        Does not compute either.

        1. Jeez, you’re lot of fun. No beer adn no sci-fi.

          1. Wait until you’ve seen some good pre-Code movies before you suggest I’m no fun.

          2. and he wonders why no one invites him to parties.

        2. really? that’s a pretty broad genre to exclude from the universe of ‘good’.

          1. My bigger problem is that libertarians seem to expect everybody else to be such big sci-fi readers that they’ll get all the obscure references.

            For years, I didn’t get why people were making references to David Niven.

            1. Its not that we expect people to get obscure references, just the classics within the genre.

              Just like we expect people to get classic movie references and classic history references and whatever.

              So, Asimov, Heinlein, Niven, Clarke, Herbert are a given. A well rounded individual would have read the classics from them.

              Next you will think we cant make Wesley Mouch references because some people havent read Rand.

            2. I get your point. Having watched the threads here, though, it’s clear that many in the HnR commentariat have read lots of sci fi. So seemed like a decent place to tap into other’s experience and narrow the list of titles to research.

          2. Well, it’s Ted S. and he is in the running for Most Boring Commenter as well as Supreme Curmudgeon.

            1. I could be just as boring as some of the writers if the editors gave me a contract. 🙂

    2. I don’t know how you define sci-fi, but I really enjoyed the series that starts with this book.

      1. The Jockstrap of Shannara, author?!

        There’s an association with a certain image–I can’t get behind that.

        1. I’ve read the first few Shannara books, they suck. This series and the one following it are by far superior to the early ones.

          1. Well, I’d give him another chance. I read it back in the day when up to the Elfstones was all he’d published.

            I’m surprised they haven’t made a movie. And, incidentally, if I could make any big budget movie I wanted, I’d probably adapt “The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, the Unbeliever”.

            I dropped the series after the second book, when it got kinda Shannara on me, but the first book was great.

            1. Nothing like starting a movie franchise by having the protagonist commit rape.

              1. Nothing like starting a movie franchise by having the protagonist commit rape.

                The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant

                Starring STEVE SMITH

                1. “YOU TASTE LIKE PEACHES WITH A HINT OF LIME!!!”

              2. And completely meaningless to the plot rape, too.

            2. My big budget movie fantasy is: Ringworld.

              Would probably be screwed up and would disappoint me, but I still want it.

              1. Michael Bay would direct and it would be of3 hour treatment of the impact that created Fist-of-God and the aftermath.

                1. Its my fantasy. Michael Bay isnt allowed near the project. Or Paul Verhoeven. I will make him do Showgirls 2, to make sure he is busy.

            3. ” I’d probably adapt “The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, the Unbeliever”.

              Seriously? That was the worst piece of crap I have ever tried to read. It was so friggin horrible I couldn’t get more than a 3rd of the way through it before throwing it down in disgust.

              I mean at least with Wheel of Time I was able to get through a book and a half before the tedium became too great

              1. Ras, I felt the same way on the first book. On my second try I powered through, and then the series got much better and I really liked it.

                I do have to hang my head in shame for not reading Dune yet.

                1. I do have to hang my head in shame for not reading Dune yet.

                  Unacceptable.

                2. I hated the first book, as well, probably for the reason that at the age of eleven I couldn’t identify with a rapey protagonist, but I picked up The Power that Preserves a few years later and I have to say it has a really fantastic climatic finale.

              2. Lord Foul’s Bane was not boring.

                That’s the book I’d adapt for film.

                It just wasn’t boring, and it had enough nuance, inner conflict, action, and mind-warp in it to make a good movie.

                1. I ready it in the 7th grade and it wasn’t boring. And in the 7th grade, believe me, I was easily bored.

            4. I dropped the series after the second book, when it got kinda Shannara on me, but the first book was great.

              Beg to differ. Lord Foul’s Bane is the dullest of the entire series.

              And the third (current, soon-to-be-finished) series is freaking amazing. It’s four books of fanservice.

        2. I followed the Shannara series far longer than I probably should have, but if you want a really entertaining series, get the Magic Kingdom of Landover series by Terry Brooks.

          1. I read a lot of them, but I was also in like 6th grade.

            1. I was probably around the same age (middle school I think), but I still recall them as one of the more entertaining series I have ever read.

              1. Agree. Entertaining but not terribly insightful. It all depends in what you’re looking for from a book.

              2. I liked it at the time.

      2. I don’t know how you define sci-fi, In the broadest sense of speculative fiction. Thanks for the recommendation!

        1. The Word & Void is a decent series because it’s modern day and gives some commentary on the breakdown of civilization. The follow-up, the Genesis of Shannara series, details what happens after the breakdown and leads up to the world-changing event that creates Shannara.

    3. If you haven’t read Charlie Stross, I strongly recommend the Eschaton books (Singularity Sky is the first) and the Laundry books (starts with The Atrocity Archives). Scalzi’s Old Mans War books are good. I know you said sci-fi, but if you like fantasy at all, The Name of the Wind by Pat Rothfuss is probably the best fantasy written in the 21st century.

      1. I thought the Name of the Wind was okay. Having a protagonist who is perfect at everything he does pretty much ruined it for me. Also, a plot that goes nowhere. The followup book was terrible. I really didn’t need 100+ pages of him having sex with a demon.

        1. For fantasy books, I’d recommend The First Law trilogy and its followup works by Joe Abercrombie (my favorite author), and the Gentleman Bastards series by Scott Lynch.

        2. Having a protagonist who is perfect at everything he does pretty much ruined it for me.

          I really enjoyed this book. Haven’t read the second one yet. But the protagonist struck me as being, yes, incredibly gifted, but also an incurable screw-up who is essentially a broken man.

      2. Also, Ready Player One. Great story and full of geek nostalgia if you were born in the 70s and remember the 80s and early 90s.

        1. I’ll second that one.

      3. I agree on the Name of the Wind. And staying in fantasy, anything by Guy Kay. But for recent sci-fi, nothing that I found really exciting.

      4. Also, Lucifer’s Hammer and/or Footfall by Niven and Pournelle. Hammer is the superior work, but Footfall has great vignette scenes with readily identifiable sci-fi authors as characters, which is fun. (And Footfall isn’t bad, just not as good as Hammer.)

        1. ah, Lucifer’s Hammer is one I’ve meant to and haven’t. Thanks!

    4. Vernor Vinge.

      Specifically A Fire Upon the Deep and A Deepness in the Sky.

      The latter won the Prometheus Award for best libertarian sci-fi novel.

      Both won Hugo Awards, both were nominated but lost for Nebula.

      The theme of Deepness is “Fuck off, slavers”.

      1. I always get confused about which is which… Which one has the dog people and which one has the spider people?

        1. A Deepness in the Sky is spider people. Remember that they hid in deepnesses when the star was off and you’ll have it.

        2. Fire has the dog people, Deepness has the spider people.

          And that description, while accurate, makes them sound much less appealing.

          1. The dog people, by the way, is one of my favorite alien races ever. The spiders from Deepness and the other aliens in Fire where just people wearing rubber suits. But the dogs were something new.

            Without giving anything away, basically they were a pack mind. Individually, they werent much smarter than a human dog. But when 4-8 got in close proximity, they formed a sentient intelligence. But not all combinations would work, they needed parts that fit together well to form a functioning soul.

            1. The dog people, by the way, is one of my favorite alien races ever.

              Me too – and a great book.

      2. The theme of Deepness is “Fuck off, slavers”.

        Excellent. Thanks!

    5. DOn’t bother with the latest Larry Niven collaboration “Bowl of Heaven”. That was a bowl of shit.

      1. “Shark Sandwich”? Shit sandwich.

    6. What do you like in a sci-fi book (and what are considered the classics?)?

      I would recommend:

      Deepness in the Sky and Fire Upon the Deep by Vernor Vinge
      – Just about anything by Heinlein, specifically Moon is a Harsh Mistress and For Us, The Living (my two favorite books of all time at the moment)
      Consider Phlebas and Player of Games by Iain M. Banks… I read Use of Weapons and it was okay, but seemed to drag on a bit at times.

      I have a ton more books at home that I can’t recall at the moment. Feel free to email me and I’ll look into it later.

      1. Shit, I should also include Ender’s Game and Hyperion as both of those were excellent reads. I didn’t enjoy the series that they became as much after those two initial entries, but YMMV

        1. Yes! Forgot about the Hyperion series. I was actually the other way though, I found the rest much more entertaining than the first book.

        2. I will second both of those.

        3. Heinlein I have pretty well covered. Will look into Ender’s Game and Hyperion. Thanks!

        4. Ender’s Game is shit. It’s maybe a good read if you’re in elementary school.

          1. Ender’s Game is shit.

            How dare you dismiss The Last Starfighter!

        5. The Ender series got really preachy and annoying quickly, but Ender’s Shadow stood out. Of course, it was over 10 years ago since I’ve read it, but I remember liking it.

        6. Card does a better job of masking the creepiness when writing about kids than Piers Anthony does, but it is still there and the artfulness of it makes it worse. I don’t know how anyone enjoys reading that smut.

    7. The Dream of Perpetual Motion is semi-steampunk, amusing, and pretty weird; it’s kept my interest.

      1. The description at the link is pretty weird indeed. Thanks!

    8. The Player of Games – Iain Banks
      The Skinner – Neal Asher
      Altered Carbon – Richard Morgan
      Chasm City – Alistair Reynolds
      Ready Player One – Ernest Cline
      The Atrocity Archives – Charles Stross

      1. Love in the Wilderness – Warty

        1. Isn’t that out of print? 😉

      2. Thanks for the suggestions…Banks is someone I’ve meant to read.

        1. There are no particular order to reading the Culture novels, but the older ones give you a solid footing when tackling the later ones.

      3. +1 for Chasm City

        I like the series of which it is (sort of) part very much.

    9. I enjoyed the Icarus Hunt by Timothy Zahn.

    10. Dune, of course, if you don’t have that particular classic covered.

      1. have Dune covered, but will look into Icarus Hunt. Thanks

        1. If you liked Dune, I’d recommend checking out some of the less well known stuff by Herbert. I particularly like the Destination Void books and the ConSentiency universe.

          1. Yes! The “Void” books are great, and strangely I was not aware of the 1st one. I have only read the other three.

            “Whipping Star” and “The Dosadi Experiment” are also fantastic.

    11. Not scifi but Clive Barker’s Coldheart Canyon is pretty fucking awesome. Damnation Game is another solid from him.

    12. I can’t recomend any new books because I havn’t read any new sci fi in ages, however some oldies but goodies you may have missed

      Falkenburgs Legion series (Falkenbergs Legion, Prince of Mercenaries, Go Tell the Spartans, and Prince of Sparta) by Jerry Pournelle. These detail the prehistory of the Mote in the Gods Eye universe.

      Tran (also released in various combinations under other names but this has the entire story) by Jerry Pournelle tells the story of a group of US Mercenaries “recruited” by aliens to harvest a crop of drugs on a far away world.

      The BattleTech Warrior series (En Guard, Riposte, Coupe) by Michael Stackpole These are set in the old FASA BattleTech universe and detail the events of the 4th Succession War.

      1. Thanks! Should certainly look into Pournelle.

    13. Any recommendations on good sci-fi books

      I like the Iain Banks Culture books.

      If your more into a fantasy thing, you might try the Malazan books, starting with Gardens of the Moon. Deep and dark, those are.

      1. I’m in the middle of The Hydrogen Sonata right now. I realized that my favorite parts of the Culture novels are whenever the Minds are having conversations with each other.

      2. Also, take a gander at Jack Vance, especially his later stuff. The Green Pearl series, the Demon Princes series, around there.

        For my money, one of the best stylists and the best at creating atmosphere.

        1. Still kicking at 96 and I agree with your selection. Amongst my favorites.

      3. Thanks for all the great suggestions, everyone. I haven’t kept up on recent stuff at all.

        I will add “Anathem” by Neal Stephenson – enjoyed it a lot more than I expected. “Diamond Age” is one of my all-time favorites but he kind of lost me with all the pseudo-historical stuff that came after.

        Also, pretty much anything by Robert Silverberg.

        And, Octavia Butler’s “Lilith’s Brood” series.

  22. Alt-text is right for Reason.

  23. Officer that had received 6 written warnings (which the city will not disclose the details of) in two years accused of assaulting someone (but the city refuses to release the details). The result is a free vacation for the officer.

    1. Procedures were followed.

    1. Why resign when you can get placed on paid administrative leave and have the matter dragged out for years?

  24. At least 26,000 kids are missing school in Michigan today because their teachers plan to take the day off to protest right-to-work legislation.

    This, of course, is in addition to the usual 26,000 missing school cause school suck.

  25. So we are speninding a few million insecurity Nd such so the Obama people can have a national day of service as part of dead leader’s inauguration. So mr and mrs tax payer are paying for the privelidge of them serving you. Kind of fitting when you think about it.

    1. John, normally I refrain from commenting on your typing accuracy, but this one actually took me a minute to decipher. I was trying to figure out who had died for a bit.

      1. The president’s in North Dakota?

        1. I thought he was spending money on security neodymium. Whatever that is.

      2. Also, needs more LOL!

      3. Smart phone. And perhaps a bit of wishful thinking.

        1. Phone not smart enough.

        2. Dude, if Obama dies before he leaves office, they’ll make a fucking martyr out of him.

          1. …And just consider the Biden presidency that would follow.

            1. which is why no one wishes Obama to die prior to leaving office.

              1. What do you mean, “leaving office”? I thought he had been elected God-king for life. At least that’s what Ed Schultz told me.

            2. I’m not worried about a Biden presidency… I think of him as sort of a Zaphod Beeblebrox, and american society would benefit from a widely acknowledged bufoon plonking his ass in the oval office.

              1. Well said. I’d actually love to have Biden as president over Obama. I think it would be endlessly entertaining.

      4. I still cant figure it out.

        dead is probably dear, but “insecurity Nd” has me baffled.

        1. …few million in security and such…

          1. That works. I thought it was currency reference. Nigerian dollars maybe?

    2. I’m thinking you might want to try this post again.

      1. I am thinking not

        1. *Please!!*

          John! John! John!

    3. Hey John’s back. Was afraid you got hit by a bus.

      1. I pictured him manning the wall in the War on Christmas.

  26. Worked in Costa Rica for a while. This article on the cuisine is spot on. Although I like beans and rice and plantains and pisco entero, so I was good. Still, the best meal I had was when a coworker’s parents came down to visit. His mother somehow found all the ingredients to make the best goddam chicken fried steak with cream gravy I’ve ever had.

    1. So, you publicly brag that the best meal you had in Costa Rica was Chicken Fried Steak? This is why they hate us gringos.

      1. No, they hate us because American expats are generally assholes and crazy. And Tico food is way better than British food. Its just not very distinguished, and if they have any really great cuisine, we never found it.

        1. Deutschland, Deutschland uber Alles…

          😉

        2. What I remember about Panamanian food from my trip is that everything was incredibly fresh, and the fruit was like nothing I had ever had before.

          It was pretty simple, but damn good.

    2. They did that whole fried fish thing when I was living in Merida, in the Yucatan.

      I could eat that every day.

      1. Puerto Rican food is superior to Tico food in every way possible.

        That is all.

        1. I had a Puerto Rican girlfriend.

          Every day was like Hamlet.

          1. Your uncle killed your dad and slept with your mom every day?

            1. There was a lot of drama. Every day.

              And at the end of the day, pretty much everyone always got slaughtered.

              Never. Ending. Drama.

              Drama could happen anywhere at any time.

              Nights were fantastic though. But Jesus. I felt like Henderson the Rain King, learning to live casually in the den of a ravenous lion.

              It was kind of amazing actually. Hard to go back to dating mousy chicks after something like that. Puerto Rican women are like other women–just with the dial turned up to eleven pretty much all the time.

              All. The. Time.

              You gotta love that if you’re going there. A lot of American guys don’t know what they’re getting into.

  27. Whatever tax rates are necessary to make sure the federal government has enough money to regulate hemingway’s cats.

    And if NPR did not exist, no one would know about it.

  28. HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA!

    That is exactly what happened to Christine Duran, Christina Huerta and Isabel Robles when they visited Chilly D’s Sports Lounge, part of the Cameo Club Casino, in Stockton, Calif., according to ABC affiliate News 10. When the three diners got their check they saw “fat girls” written on their bill.

    “I got the bill, and I was like, why does the receipt say, ‘fat girls?'” Duran told News 10. At first, her friends didn’t even believe her. “[Huerta] was like, ‘You’re lying,’ And I was like, ‘No, I’m serious. Look at it.’ She was like, ‘fat girls?'”

    For the record, it’s a very dumb idea to insult your customers. But looking at the pictures… hon, if you’re fat, people will on occasion refer to you as “the fat one” as a shorthand way, just as I’m called “the IT guy” at work. They just don’t usually do it to your face.

    Whale Biologist!

    1. “[Huerta] was like, ‘You’re lying,’ And I was like, ‘No, I’m serious. Look at it.’ She was like, ‘fat girls?'”

      Fuck, this is why I hate talking to people these days.

      1. I know, right? I was, like, talking to my daughter the other day, and she was all like “hey, dad, can I like go with my friends to the mall? We’re gonna, like, look for Christmas presents and stuff.” She then proceeded to say “you know” at the beginning of eight sentences in a row, which led to her cleaning a chicken coop for an hour and a half. Her speaking has since improved.

        1. I just interrupt my kids as soon as I hear the word “like” and make them start over.

        2. Pretty good speech for ~10 days old.

          Yes, yes, I know.

          1. By the way, she’s still doing pretty well. We meet the surgeon again today to discuss why she isn’t digesting any food (they’ve had her on an IV since birth because it’s expected that they will start digesting more slowly. We will also discuss her reaction to treatment so far, which has been exceptional.

            I’ll be honest with you all here about something. Seeing your child in a hospital room with a serious defect is quite sad. Seeing several other children with issues in the same room without visitors ever showing up is even sadder.

            1. Damn, that it is pretty sad.

            2. you would think no visitors for a kid in that setting would be a red flag that says “whoever spawned this child is not fit to raise him/her.” But that would require bureaucrats to do something resembling work and put their “for the children” rhetoric into action, and we can’t have that.

              1. Some of it might be policy. We have a woman at work who’s grandchild has already been in NICU for two months. The doctors are adamant that the infant needs human contact, and the parents do what they can, but still have to work. My co-cower is on campus, a 5 minute walk to the NICU and could go down a few times a day. Even with the parent’s consent, she was just cleared to visit solo last week.

                1. I think a lot of it is due to denial. Some people just can’t see their kids that way and cope with it. It’s tough, but you have to sack up and do what’s right. Many of these kids aren’t gonna make it, and the least a parent can do is comfort them.

                  And the policy at this hospital is we can put 4 others (immediate family can come any time, including siblings 13 and up) on the list and they can come in any time to visit. And there’s a Ronald McDonald House on campus if they live a ways away.

                  I try not to be judgmental, but when you see a kid barely hanging on to life and neither parent is ever there, I want to slap some decency into them.

                2. Given the choice between earning money to be able to afford to raise a child and visiting the baby in the NICU, I think that the fit parent goes out and works. If that’s the situation.

                  1. The mother that had a baby less than a week before is back at work? Unlikely.

                    1. This is true. I was thinking of what SF said.

                      And I just try not to think the worst of people automatically. It doesn’t improve anything (even if you are right) and doesn’t make me a happier person.

                      But whatever the reason, I agree that that is a sad situation. It’s bad enough that they need to stay in there at all.

      2. if the word “like” was stricken from the language, do you get the sense that a large chunk of the population would lose the ability to speak?

        1. How about ‘literally.’ “I was, like, literally going to die.”

          1. The worst is when people start a sentence with “Not gonna lie…”. Fuck. You. (directed at said hypothetical person, not esteemed commenter iggy).

            1. Not gonna lie, I thought you were directing that at, like, literally me. You know?

        2. I took a Psych class a couple years ago and one of the girls in the class said “like” relentlessly. I can still remember one time when she was trying to say something but couldn’t get the train of though going. Instead of just pausing for a second she just kept saying “like” over and over again. I think I counted up to 15 times before I had to block my ears.

        3. If you have the magical power to strike a word from the language, you might as well use it to make people speak properly instead. And while you are at it, make everyone smart, attractive, libertarians.

        4. It’s like they think they’re too good for um.

    2. To a restaurant owner, “Fat Girls” isn’t an insult, it’s a huzzah.

      1. I didn’t know John had bought in on a restaurant in Stockton. Is that why he’s been away so much lately?

    3. For the record, it’s a very dumb idea to insult your customers. But looking at the pictures… hon, if you’re fat, people will on occasion refer to you as “the fat one” as a shorthand way, just as I’m called “the IT guy” at work.

      First of all, those girls are fat. There is no argument about that. And while it may be funny to refer to the folks at a particular table as the “Fat Girls,” it’s plain stupid to type it into the POS and print it on the check. Fat people are the life blood of diners like Chilly D’s and help morons like Jeff the server afford to buy enough pot to help him get through a week of serving fat people at diners like Chilly D’s.

      It’s the circle of life and printing “Fat Girls” on the check is screwing it up for everyone else Jeff. Call them table 16 and joke about the fat girls ordering diet sodas with the kitchen staff like a good boy until you manage to finish that degree and get yourself a real job as a middle school teacher.

      1. Didn’t a LA restauranteur get in hot water recently for writing “Chinks” on a ticket? IIRC, the Korean women at the table were none too amused.

        1. Didn’t a LA restauranteur get in hot water recently for writing “Chinks” on a ticket? IIRC, the Korean women at the table were none too amused.

          I do recall the Korean couple at a Hooters in Queens…

          and a woman who was called “lady chinky eyes” by a Papa John’s in NYC…

          1. A lawsuit for being called a Chinx at Hooters? Fuck the people in this country.

          1. Connection: All these events seems to be in NY or CA. Okay, one is in GA.

      2. I make my minions use abbreviations for Reubenesque, myself.

      3. I think the waiter was using it as a short hand for the table but you’re right. The POS should just have the table number print out.

  29. At least 26,000 kids are missing school in Michigan today because their teachers plan to take the day off to protest right-to-work legislation.

    I suppose they could all go out and burn something.

    Los Angeles, a city of 4 million people, sees 11 structure fires per day. Compare that to Detroit, which has 713,000 residents and 30 structure fires a day.

  30. At least 26,000 kids are missing school in Michigan today because their teachers plan to take the day off to protest right-to-work legislation.

    It’s only because they love “their” kids so much.

  31. Even I thought the unions were less bloated than this.

    For example, according to the most recent federal filings, the Michigan Education Association ? the state’s largest labor union ? received $122 million and spent $134 million in 2012. They averaged about $800 from each of their 152,000 members.

    According to union documents, “representational activities” (money spent on bargaining contracts for members) made up only 11 percent of total spending for the union. Meanwhile, spending on “general overhead” (union administration and employee benefits) comprised of 61 percent of the total spending.

    1. Are the employees of the union in a union?

      1. and is there a union for workers in that union?

  32. Q. Possible Child From High School Relationship:
    When I was a junior in high school I was friends with a freshman in college, “Sarah.” One night after a party we ended up back at her apartment and slept together. It was the first time for both of us and no protection was used. She then moved back home a month later and shortly married her high school sweetheart. Now, 10 years later, I ran into a mutual friend who told me odds are good that Sarah’s 9-year-old daughter is mine. I didn’t believe her, but when I did the math and found out when she hooked back up with the high school sweetheart, it’s my daughter. Sarah has never asked for anything or even brought up the possibility that I was the father. I’m fine not being involved and have no desire to?she’s being raised by a great mother and father. From what I’ve been told only I, Sarah, and the mutual friend know that I am most likely the father. My question is, should I tell my wife that I may be the father of this child?

    How awesome for her high school sweetheart. His virgin girlfriend goes away to college, gets knocked up, comes home and marries him. Yay! Winning!

    1. My question is, should I tell my wife that I may be the father of this child?

      on what planet, do dickheads like this guy think it is ever a good idea to tell an unassuming spouse something like this? No, bubba; you don’t dump shit like that into your wife’s lap and screw up what she may think is a happy life. You forget about the kid and move on; alternatively, wallow in it by yourself and leave others alone.

      1. Just practice looking flabbergasted in case the kid shows up.

      2. thank you. if i knew this guy, i would kick him in the nuts every single day until he evolved into a woman out of necessity.

      3. Well, he should tell her because it may come up later. The mother may not want anything now, but if her marriage goes sour, she might. If she was not married to her husband at the time of the birth, he may not be the presumed father under the law, unless she put all that on the birth certificate or he adopted the child. Still, he can challenge that latter with a DNA test. If she decides to sue for paternity on this dude, it will cause a whole lot of marital issues if he knew the possibility existed and kept it from his wife.

  33. Funny signs:

    http://www.travelandleisure.co…..st-signs/5

  34. “Extinct lizard”

    Haha. Well, let’s hope his namesake’s political career goes the same way.

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