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News Politics

The Republican Agenda

New York Magazine on the playbook that the GOP has been using since January:

The first element of the strategy is a kind of legislative strike. Initially, House Republicans decided to boycott all direct negotiations with President Obama, and then subsequently extended that boycott to negotiations with the Democratic Senate. (Senate Democrats have spent months pleading with House Republicans to negotiate with them, to no avail.) This kind of refusal to even enter negotiations is highly unusual. The way to make sense of it is that Republicans have planned since January to force Obama to accede to large chunks of the Republican agenda, without Republicans having to offer any policy concessions of their own.

Good strategy: the “do what I want or I’m taking my ball and going home” method of negotiation always works out for the douches who do it.

Categories
News Politics

Government Shutdown Stupidity

I was going to make a comment on this whole government shutdown mess, but it turns out Jon Stewart said everything I was going to say.

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News Technology

Most Valuable Global Brand

Coca-Cola has been knocked out of its top spot on Interbrand Corp.’s most valuable brands list by Apple. Coca-Cola then continued to lose the #2 spot to Google, pushing those poor, sorry bastards down to #3.

Apple Inc.’s brand value jumped 28 percent to $98.3 billion and Google Inc. (GOOG)’s rose in second place at $93.3 billion. The Coca-Cola Co. name slipped from the top spot after 13 years to third place at $79.2 billion.

“Every so often, a company changes our lives — not just with its products, but with its ethos,” Jez Frampton, chief executive officer at New York-based brand consultancy Interbrand, said in a statement. Current Apple CEO “Tim Cook has assembled a solid leadership team and has kept Steve Jobs’ vision intact — a vision that has allowed Apple to deliver on its promise of innovation time and time again.”

Given that this is Apple we’re talking about, it’ll be less than 12 hours before some idiot proclaims this as yet another sign of Apple’s impending iDoom.

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News Technology

Hamburger Shaped iPhone? Yes. Please.

Sandy Cannold for ABC News: “Why Record iPhone Sales Might Be Rotten For Apple”

To me though, all this over-the-top fanfare and even the record-breaking first weekend of sales could actually be cause for concern. Now before Apple lovers pillory me and say that I have no idea what I am talking about, hear me out. I fully concede that Apple is going to make billions in profit from the sale of these new devices and the company is in no danger of becoming Blackberry or Nokia. But the reason I am voicing a bit of doubt is that it seems like Apple is now trying to squeeze every last bit of profit it can out of an aging, shall we call it, iStone.

Bradley Chamber’s takedown of this piece: “Would You Be Happier If The iPhone 6 Was In The Shape Of A Hamburger?”

Categories
Entertainment News

300 Sandwiches: An Analysis

I am absolutely loving this article about New York Post Page Six senior reporter Stephanie Smith and her boyfriend’s requirement of her to make 300 sandwiches before they get engaged. Because it’s mind-numbingly stupid, and that appeals to me on every level.

My boyfriend, Eric, is the gourmet cook in our relationship, but he’d always want me to make him a sandwich.

Each morning, he would ask, “Honey, how long you have been awake?”

“About 15 minutes,” I’d reply.

“You’ve been up for 15 minutes and you haven’t made me a sandwich?”

Seriously, it’s not like she could have been doing anything else – planning out her day, just floating down a river of thought, creepily watching her boyfriend sleep, pooping… Nope. Bitches get up, bitches make sandwiches. Them’s the rules, kids.

To him, sandwiches are like kisses or hugs. Or sex.

Dude, what sort of sandwich are you having?

“Sandwiches are love,” he says. “Especially when you make them. You can’t get a sandwich with love from the deli.”

I wouldn’t want to make a sandwich with love for a stranger who seemingly orgasms every time he eats one, either, guy. The onus there is on you.

One lazy summer afternoon just over a year ago, I finally gave in. I assembled turkey and Swiss on toasted wheat bread. I spread Dijon mustard generously on both bread slices, and I made sure the lettuce was perfectly in line with the neatly stacked turkey slices.

So not only does this guy have a sandwich fetish, he’s also OCD? Propose now, guy, no other lady will put up with your brand of crazy.

Eric devoured the sandwich as if it were a five-star meal, diving in with large, eager bites. “Babes, this is delicious!” he exclaimed.

As he finished that last bite, he made an unexpected declaration of how much he loved me and that sandwich: “Honey, you’re 300 sandwiches away from an engagement ring!”

The appropriate response at that moment would have been either of the following:

  1. “No, assface – either you marry me because you love me for who I am, or you get the hell out of here and take your creepy sandwich obsession with you. I’m not putting up with your weird any more!”
  2. “You mean 299, right? ’Cause I totally just made one.”

So which answer did our intrepid reporter go with?

Was our happily ever after as simple as making him a few sandwiches?

OH FOR CRYING OUT LOUD, LADY.

Maybe I needed to show him I could cook to prove that I am wife material. If he wanted 300 sandwiches, I’d give him 300 sandwiches — and I’d blog about it.

Well, as long as the endeavor is getting you a creepy, sandwich-bangin’ hubby and some sweet, sweet pageviews, I guess it’s all on the up and up.

I asked friends for suggestions, but some, especially my single friends, were less than supportive of the idea.

“How ‘Stepford Wives’ of you!” said one single gal whose kitchen was used for shoe storage.

Another, a hard-working C-suite banking executive, also objected. “It’s not 1950!” she exclaimed. “It’s chauvinistic! He’s saying, ‘Cook for me, woman, and maybe I’ll make you my wife.’”

FYI, your friends are not wrong in this instance.

My own mother was doubtful. “Honey, can you even cook?” she asked.

FYI, your mother may not be helpful in pointing out how freakin’ stupid this whole thing is.

Ten sandwiches or so in, I did the math.

Given the tenor of this article thus far, I wouldn’t be surprised if the next sentence was “And math is hard, guys! Tee-hee!”

Three sandwiches a week, times four weeks a month, times 12 months a year, meant I wouldn’t be done until I was deep into my 30s. How would I finish 300 sandwiches in time for us to get engaged, married and have babies before I exited my childbearing years?

You forgot to mention the soul-crushing despair you’ll feel when you realize that this man sees you simply as a food-and-baby machine, forcing you to give up your career in order to pop out meals and kids whenever he feels the urge. That’s going to take a bit to really develop, too.

My mother was the voice of reason. “Relationships are a marathon, not a sprint,” she said. “Take it one sandwich at a time.”

The first half of that advice is solid. The second half should have mentioned that this guy is a freakshow who likely finds the pie-banging scene in “American Pie” to be actual pornography, so it may not be worth it.

I made sandwiches for breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert. I made sandwiches to get myself out of the doghouse — like No. 67, a scrambled egg, smoked salmon and chive creation that combined some of Eric’s favorite things to make up for my being 45 minutes late for dinner the night before.

Obviously this is a relationship based on mutual respect and love. Wait, sorry, I meant “irrational anger” and “whatever the sandwich equivalent of Stockholm syndrome is”. That’s better.

Even after covering movie premieres or concerts for Page Six, I found myself stumbling into the kitchen to make Eric a sandwich while I still had on my high heels and party dress.

I bet he prefers it when you stumble in all drunk, dress up in that giant sandwich mascot costume he bought from a Blimpie’s that closed, and then make him a sandwich while he’s using potato chip bag clamps on his nipples, though. But I guess that’s not the sort of thing that gets brought up in an article in the always family-friendly New York Post, huh?

A Blimpie Mascot Selling Sandwiches Like a Monster
“Oh Yeah, Baby. Just Like That.”

Making all of these sammies, I’ve learned how much Eric loves sharing cooking with me. He enjoys going to the grocery store with me, picking out ingredients and planning dinners. Though I still want to get engaged and get married and live happily ever after, I’ve also put less pressure on the race to the 300th sandwich and I’m enjoying the cooking experience with Eric.

“I’ve learned that he loves to share what he cares about with me, and that I have to make what he cares about what I care about, and forget all that I love.”

Again, super-healthy attitude.

Look, I admit, I am totally cherry-picking passages out of this article in order to fit my narrative… But, if you read the whole thing, you’ll likely find that there isn’t much there that doesn’t work in my favor. And maybe she thinks this is charming, and he thinks this is sweet, and they really do love each other. If so, great, high fives, go with my blessing. But the fact that this entire story seems to be about how her boyfriend has shoehorned them into the clichéd gender roles that society created back in the 20’s leaves me feeling less warm-and-fuzzy and more gross-and-vomity.

“You women read all these magazines to get advice on how to keep a man, and it’s so easy,” he says. “We’re not complex. Just do something nice for us. Like make a sandwich.”

“And babies. Male babies first, of course. Gotta keep the family line strong.”

Excuse me, I have to go take a scrub-brush to my soul now.

Categories
News Science Technology

Hyperloop

Elon Musk, the dude behind Tesla Motors, SpaceX, and was a founding member of PayPal, announced his intentions for the Hyperloop transportation system yesterday.

The solar-powered system, which Musk previously described as a cross between a Concorde, rail gun and air-hockey table, would shoot as many as 28 passengers in each enclosed capsule through a low-pressure steel tube at up to 800 miles per hour, according to the 57-page design plan.

The plans are also open-source, meaning anyone can build upon and improve them. I suppose it’s too much to hope for that this could be the start of a cross-country high-speed rail system for the U.S., what with the lobbying dollars that the airline industry likely has, but it’s nice to dream.

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Linkin' Log News Politics Society

Stop and Frisk

A judge has ruled that NY City’s Stop-and-Frisk practice violated the rights of New Yorkers.

In a repudiation of a major element in the Bloomberg administration’s crime-fighting legacy, a federal judge has found that the stop-and-frisk tactics of the New York Police Department violated the constitutional rights of minorities in New York, and called for a federal monitor to oversee broad reforms.

Glad to see this, but isn’t calling for a federal monitor to ensure compliance with any amendment in the Bill of Rights like asking Lindsay Lohan to be your sponsor in Narcotics Anonymous?

Categories
Linkin' Log News Science

Cicadas On Parade!

The Huffington Post reports that we’re going to see some crazy on the East Coast this summer:

If you live on the East Coast between Georgia and Connecticut, get ready for the air to be filled with billions of large, buzzing insects known as cicadas, a massive brood of which have been feeding on roots underground for the past 17 years — all in preparation for this one moment… The red-eyed insects, also known as Magicicada, tend to form denser clouds than other varieties of cicada. These swarms can be as dense as 1.5 million cicadas per acre.

Back when I was a kid, I used to take the shells that cicadas grew out of that they left behind on trees and glue giant googly-eyes on them. It was fun. (In other words, it’s time to invest in the companies that make giant googly-eyes, because I am going to be increasing their profit margins single-handedly this summer.)