Friday Nite Lite: Here we go again

Tonight has been one hell of an evening.

Washington Post  – ‎1 hour ago‎
So it turns out Hillary Clinton will face a serious challenger in the primaries, after all. Her name is Hillary Clinton. This week’s revelation that she used only private e-mail to conduct her public business as secretary of state is not a knockout blow to the likely …
Kansas City Star  – ‎1 hour ago‎
Hillary Rodham Clinton’s decision to use a private email account while doing official business as secretary of state has generated plenty of attention inside and outside the Beltway. We want to hear what you think about this issue as well as others involving …
Fort Worth Star Telegram  – ‎53 minutes ago‎
News reports say potential 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton used a private email account and server to conduct official government business while serving as secretary of state. The unusual practice is said to have protected a significant …
Slate Magazine  – ‎1 hour ago‎
Hillary Clinton hasn’t offered a reasonable explanation for her private email account. That’s because there isn’t one. By Josh Voorhees. Hillary Clinton. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton delivers remarks at an event in Washington on March 3, 2015.
Orlando Sentinel  – ‎1 hour ago‎
Hillary Clinton violated the spirit of federal law and administration policy by using a private email account. Hillary’s emails. lRelated How to contribute · Opinion · How to contribute. See all related. 8. The revelation that Hillary Rodham Clinton routinely used a …


A cap to the last few days, and it doesn’t seem to be getting better.

So the cartoons for this post, here you go:

02/28/2015 Cartoon by Chan Lowe

Cartoon by Chan Lowe -

BOSTON… RECORD SNOW: 03/05/2015 Cartoon by Deb Milbrath

Cartoon by Deb Milbrath - BOSTON... RECORD SNOW

BIBI SPEECH: 03/03/2015 Cartoon by Deb Milbrath

Cartoon by Deb Milbrath - BEBE SPEECH

Obamacare Plank – Truthdig


Transparency: 03/06/2015 Cartoon by Rob Rogers

Cartoon by Rob Rogers - Transparency

03/06/2015 Cartoon by Signe Wilkinson

Cartoon by Signe Wilkinson -

03/06/2015 Cartoon by John Cole

Cartoon by John Cole -

And the Cagle cartoons:

President Walker and the Koch Brothers by Political Cartoonist Randall Enos

Angels and Putins by Political Cartoonist Nate Beeler

THE CIRCUS: 03/06/2015 Cartoon by Deb Milbrath

Cartoon by Deb Milbrath - THE CIRCUS


Have a good night.

Wednesday Reads: When #Netanyahu #WeaselPecker are trending on Twitter… One question remains, “Am I Normal?”


Good Morning

…we need to stop and enjoy the #Spocking while we can…

I am on my way to the emergency room, my son Jake may have broken his arm at last night’s soccer game.

So, for today’s post, a few Twitter links:

‘Star Trek’ fans told to stop ‘Spocking’ Canadian $5 bill


To another topic:



Did y’all see Jon Stewart’s take on the speech yesterday: Bibi’s Congress Reception Was ‘Longest Blowjob a Jewish Man Has Ever Received’ | Mediaite

Now, keep that in mind as you look at the picture John Boehner Tweeted and then this response….oh, it made me laugh:






Be sure to read this over at Daily Banter: We Finally Know the Not-So-Harrowing Regulation Hillary Clinton Allegedly Violated – The Daily Banter


About that “Am I normal?” reference:


Here is the average penis length, according to science –

“Am I normal?” That was the actual name of the scientific study. Talk about peer review…


And finally, #WeaselPecker?


Yeah, #WeaselPecker image goes viral on Twitter –

We have evidence that weasels have been riding birds for centuries! – Mirror Online

You should check out some of the funny memes on Twitter….

Anyway, I am off to the land of ER waiting rooms.

This is an open thread.


Friday Nite Lite: RIP Leonard Nimoy


So sad to hear of the passing of Leonard Nimoy, he was 83. It is unfortunate that most of the cartoon tributes are at Cagle so you will need to click each link to see the image.

Leonard Nimoy dies by Political Cartoonist Dave Granlund

Obama salutes Spock by Political Cartoonist Taylor Jones

LEONARD NIMOY by Political Cartoonist Randy Bish

Leonard Nimoy by Political Cartoonist Bob Englehart

Leonard Nimoy Mr Spock RIP by Political Cartoonist Rob Tornoe

Mr Spock by Political Cartoonist Milt Priggee

Other Cagle cartoons:

GOP Threatens Dept of Homeland Security by Political Cartoonist Daryl Cagle

Old Man Winter by Political Cartoonist Milt Priggee

Veto Ink by Political Cartoonist Adam Zyglis

Tennessee Rep Sheila Butt by Political Cartoonist Daryl Cagle

Net Neutrality by Political Cartoonist John Darkow

Cold Blooded by Political Cartoonist Mark Streeter

Alright, enough of that.

AAEC – Political Cartoon by John Cole, Scranton Times/Tribune – 02/27/2015

Cartoon by John Cole -

Nick Anderson: Netanyahu’s Speech – Nick Anderson – Truthdig


AAEC – Political Cartoon by Kevin Siers, Charlotte Observer – 02/27/2015

Cartoon by Kevin Siers -


Jeb 2016 – Political Cartoon by Rob Rogers, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette – 02/27/2015

Cartoon by Rob Rogers - Jeb 2016

Bill O’Reilly – Political Cartoon by Adam Zyglis, The Buffalo News – 02/27/2015

Cartoon by Adam Zyglis - Bill O'Reilly

AAEC – Political Cartoon by David Horsey, Los Angeles Times – 02/27/2015

Cartoon by David Horsey -

AAEC – Political Cartoon by David Horsey, Los Angeles Times – 02/26/2015

Cartoon by David Horsey -

Mike Luckovich: Lucky GOP – Mike Luckovich – Truthdig


AAEC – Political Cartoon by Jimmy Margulies

Cartoon by Jimmy Margulies -

Cold Crime – Political Cartoon by Rob Rogers, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette – 02/23/2015

Cartoon by Rob Rogers - Cold Crime

America’s Mayor – Political Cartoon by Rob Rogers, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette – 02/24/2015

Cartoon by Rob Rogers - America's Mayor


I love this last one…


Mad Whitey and Evolution – Political Cartoon by Eric Semelroth, Free Lance/Self Syndicated – 02/23/2015

Cartoon by Eric Semelroth - Mad Whitey and Evolution


This is an open thread.

Monday Reads: Tar Sands Inferno

Canada-Oil Train DerailmentGood Morning!

I’ve been reading a lot about the incredible number of fiery explosions of oil cars carrying tar sands oil.  Rachel Maddow covered the recent explosions in West Virginia last week which got me started on a series of articles leaving me highly concerned.  You see, I live within less than a block of freight trains that carry the stuff.  Why are these things blowing up like huge bombs?  The answer will both concern you and make you very mad.  Here’s the background of the North American “bomb trains”.

So, let me start with the Maddow show investigations and move on until we get to the movement of these tank cars on my street.  The latest explosion happened in Mount Carbon, West Virginia one week ago today. The explosion sent tankers filled with Bakken Tar Sands Oil into a nearby river.  The link above will show the report on that derailment and the horrifying images of the inferno that followed.

This links to the report that grabbed my attention last Tuesday.  It is 20 minutes long and explains why these derailments and explosions are occurring frequently and with such horrifying results.   I learned about conditioning of crude oil from this broadcast.

Transporting oil involves more than just safe train cars or even pipelines. The Bakken Tar Sands Oil is not being conditioned which is leaving extremely volatile and flammable components. These components create the mixture causing the bomb trains that transport right through towns, cities,  and neighborhoods like mine.  Texas law forces Texas oil to be fully conditioned prior to transportation.  North Dakota law does not and the Tar Sands Oil is particularly nasty stuff.  North Dakota has now initiated a cleansing process which is a weaker version of conditioning.  Imagine my surprise when I found out that Texas actually has tough regulations on this.  That says something to me.  North Dakota has some ‘splaining to do.

While the investigation continues into Monday’s massive explosion of Bakken crude oil tankers after a train derailment in West Virginia, a spokesperson for the Department of Mineral Resources says proper conditioning of the oil is just one of four pieces needed to ensure transport safety.

Alison Ritter said the State Industrial Commission’s oil conditioning order, effective April 1, sets a standard of certainty for the design of safe railcars.

“This is where we believe North Dakota fits into the solution of making oil as safe as possible for transport,” Ritter said.

However, she said the Federal Railroad Administration is responsible for unit train routing, speed limits, brakes and track maintenance, as well as notification of state emergency responders. The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration is responsible for overseeing how crude is labeled and tanker car design, and it and states are responsible for funding and training emergency responders, she said.

CSX Transport says the Bakken oil tankers that exploded this week were built to the higher safety standards.

The Dakota Resource Council continued its attack on state officials Wednesday, saying the new oil conditioning order for Bakken oil falls far short of what’s needed.

The order requires oil producers to reduce volatile gases in the oil to reach a maximum pressure of 13.7 pounds per square inch.

The DRC and others point out that the Bakken oil involved in a derailment explosion that killed 52 people in Quebec in 2013 was even lower, at 9.3 psi.

“We can and should do better,” the organization said in a statement Wednesday. The organization had pressed the Industrial Commission to require that the oil be stabilized to remove more of the gases.

Bakken crude has been involved in six train explosions since 2008, including one outside Casselton 14 months ago.

Again that latest explosion in West Virginia was a week ago today.  Just imagine massive fireballs, explosions, and evacuations in your town anywhere near a cross country railroad line.  There are some ongoing efforts to redesign old tankers in Canada.  It hasn’t gained a lot of traction here.6a00e5500ce6be883401127966322a28a4

Bakken crude is regarded as potentially more flammable than traditional crude, thus posing an increased hazard. And since the derailment of a train hauling Bakken crude killed 47 people in Lac-Mégantic, Quebec, in July 2013, the type of tankers involved in these accidents has become the subject of intense scrutiny. Both Canada and the United States have called for tougher safety standards, including upgrading the tankers. In mid-January, Canada announced it would take older tankers, known as the “DOT-111″, off the network years sooner than the United States will, putting the two countries at odds over increased safety measures on the deeply integrated system

The Mother Jones article cited above also links to an in-depth study about both the controversy and the problems with relying on making changes to the cars alone.  The problem, it seems, is more with the Bakken crude and nothing much is being done about that.  Well, it’s going to be “cleansed” starting in April.  However, that’s not the same as the conditioning process as mentioned in the link above.   Oil extractors are not happy with this at all and it’s not even the full out recommended conditioning.  (This link studies the impact from the Oil extractor viewpoint.)

The “commission order was written as a matter of safety,” the NDIC said in an executive summary of the regulation. “Rail accidents across the country have drawn attention for the need to better understand how Bakken oil is produced and processed at the well site.”

The regulation requires all crude produced in North Dakota to have a vapor pressure of no more than 13.7 pounds per square inch. “National standards recognize oil with a vapor pressure of 14.7 psi or less to be stable,” according to the summary, which said that winter blend gasoline has a vapor pressure of 13.5 psi. “Under the order, all Bakken crude oil produced in North Dakota will be conditioned with no exceptions,” the NDIC said in a statement.

The regulation will make waves from the wellhead to the rail terminal to the refinery, and possibly down the train tracks. It’s unknown how the conditioning of Bakken crude could affect the terms of forthcoming new tank-car safety standards, meant to protect against volatile crude shipments. But certainly, many industry participants will take on the daunting task of first conditioning the North Dakota crude and then moving out the associated NGLs into a market already flush with ethane, butane, and propane, sources said.

"Some Like It Hot"North Dakota is not making many friends with its neighboring states as witnessed in this NPR program quoting the Governor of Minnesota who worries about the impact of explosions in the much more populated state.

In neighboring Minnesota, Gov. Mark Dayton “is concerned primarily about the safety of people along oil train routes, and in particular about the fact that this is a very volatile oil,” says Dave Christianson, an official with the Minnesota Department of Transportation.

Dayton has joined activists in asking North Dakota to force oil companies to “stabilize” the oil — to make it less explosive by separating out the flammable liquids.

Last month, North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple convened a public hearing on the idea. Keith Lilie, an operations and maintenance manager for Statoil, which has a big presence in the Bakken, testified in front of a room full of oilmen in suits and cowboy boots who came to the hearing from places like Oklahoma City and Houston.

Lilie said he opposes having to build expensive tanks to heat the oil and separate out flammable liquids, like butane.

“Statoil believes the current conditioning of crude oil is sufficient for safely transporting Bakken crude oil by truck, rail and pipeline,” he said.

Eric Bayes, general manager of Oasis Petroleum’s operations in the Bakken, also testified. He asked what companies are supposed to do with those explosive liquids once they’re separated from the oil.

The stabilization process, he says, would “create another product stream you have no infrastructure in place for.”

But energy economist Philip Verleger, says the resistance is about money. “The industry never wants to take steps which increase the cost of production, even if it’s in the best interests of everybody,” he says.

Verleger says the opposition to proposed safety rules is short-sighted, and that the industry could actually hurt itself if there’s another serious incident. “I think the movement of crude oil by rail is one accident away from being terminated,” Verleger says.

Activist Lynn Wolff supports new rules that would make the oil less explosive, and says such regulation would protect people beyond North Dakota. “These bomb trains have been in Virginia and Alabama and blown up there as well,” he says.

So, while reading about these “bomb trains” –which certainly sound to me like a huge disaster in the making–I stumbled into an article that shows the little darlings cross my street just 5 buildings down from my house.  Imagine the look of horror on my face.  Also, let me tell you, those trains actually derail quite a bit since the infrastructure here really really really sucks.  Officials are actually thinking about what would happen if the things derail in the French Quarter which is just one mile up the street from me.53daa8056dec627b149f9777_vintage-train-travel-8

City of New Orleans and state emergency officials said Friday (Feb. 20) they are prepared to implement an emergency evacuation of the French Quarter or other parts of the city in the event of a catastrophic crude oil derailment accident, such as the event that engulfed parts of Adena Village, W. Va., in pillars of flame on Monday.

But city officials said Friday those evacuation plans are not releasable under federal law, and declined to explain any details of how city, state and federal agencies would work together to respond to a catastrophic accident.

“The city’s evacuation plan is considered security sensitive as it lists critical routes, critical infrastructure and key resources,” said Bradley Howard, press secretary to Mayor Mitch Landrieu.

So, great they have a plan but they refuse to tell us about it. My plan is to suggest the girls take out life insurance on me and the pets.

The West Virginia accident involved a 109-tank car shipment of Bakken crude oil from North Dakota that was on its way to a shipping facility in Jamestown, Va. It was one of three such derailments within the past week, and involved new, supposedly safer tank cars that were supposed to have withstood the rupture and fire incident that occurred, said Fred Millar, an independent transportation safety expert based in Washington, D.C.

Millar called the older rail cars, many of which are used to ship oil through Louisiana, as “Pepsi cans on wheels” that should be expected to lose their contents whenever they derail.

Millar pointed to an accident in Lac-Mégantic, Quebec, on July 6, 2013, as an example of a worst-case incident that New Orleans should be prepared for. In that accident, poor maintenance, driver error, flawed operating procedures, and lack of safety redundancy resulted in a fiery derailment in the middle of the town that killed 47 and destroyed more than 30 buildings.

He said a key concern is that when tank cars are punctured, the released oil pours downhill through streets and into sewers and storm drains, creating a river of fire, if a spark sets the fuel alight.

The Gulf Gateway Terminal, located off Almonaster Boulevard on the northern side of the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway and about a half-mile north of the Lower 9th Ward, can load 100,000 barrels of crude oil a day from tank cars onto barges and ships. The oil is delivered from a variety of northwestern locations to New Orleans, including the Bakken oil fields in North Dakota and oil tar sands fields in Canada, and the tank cars are moved into New Orleans through Uptown and the French Quarter by the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad and the Public Belt Rail Road.

In New Orleans, dozens of tank cars are being moved by rail by the New Orleans Public Belt railroad and by BNSF Railway to the Gulf Gateway Terminal on the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway, where more than 100,000 barrels of crude can be transferred from the cars to barges and ships each day.

The tank cars take a circuitous route through the New Orleans area to get there, often traveling by Public Belt tracks along the river through Old Jefferson to Uptown and then through the French Quarter.

Along the way, the rail cars pass within a block or two of  New Orleans Children’s Hospital, and between the Riverwalk shopping mall and the Ernest Morial Convention Center.

A recent photo of the Gulf Gateway Terminal on the company’s web site shows more than 500 oil rail cars adjacent to a transport dock, which is on the north side of the waterway off Almonaster Boulevard, and about a half-mile north of the Lower 9thWard.

Each tank car averages 30,000 gallons of crude oil, and if all the cars were full, that would mean 15 million gallons of oil were stored at the terminal after having been moved through the French Quarter.

0924411fbb2a4090594e5e28c0d164d9Just to give you a great little visual, the train and the cars go within blocks of the Children’s Hospital.  Doesn’t that make you feel just wonderful?  And these oil and gas guys are worried about their profit margins and saturating the already saturated damn NGL markets?

Well, I don’t know about you, but I’m not sleeping very well these days.

What’s on your reading and blogging list today?  You can post anything even though I basically covered one topic.  I just had to get the information out.  I hope you find it useful and horrifying.

Friday Night Lite: Cold as…

Good Evening

Oh boy do I have lots of cartoons for you tonight!

(This has been a cold ass week, but it is okay because this is the best 31 days on TCM and the movies are terrific.)

Anyway, enjoy them…cause there are some real good ones in here.

First batch comes from Cagle:

Oscar for Putin by Political Cartoonist Arend van Dam

Are You Dying To Write Your Own Obituary? by Danny Tyree

A Rod Apologizes by Political Cartoonist Bob Englehart

Special Oscar by Political Cartoonist Rick McKee

Walmart Pay Raises by Political Cartoonist Dave Granlund

Incendiary devices by Political Cartoonist Adam Zyglis

Radicalization by Political Cartoonist Pat Bagley

CREEPY JOE BIDEN by Political Cartoonist Randy Bish

SNOW by Political Cartoonist Randy Bish

Snake in the Grass by Political Cartoonist Randall Enos

Jeb Bush by Political Cartoonist Randall Enos

Political vortex by Political Cartoonist John Cole


And now…

Oil Explosion – Political Cartoon by Rob Rogers, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette – 02/20/2015

Cartoon by Rob Rogers - Oil Explosion

AAEC – Political Cartoon by Kevin Siers, Charlotte Observer – 02/20/2015

Cartoon by Kevin Siers -

AAEC – Political Cartoon by Ed Gamble, King Features Syndicate – 02/20/2015

Cartoon by Ed Gamble -

AAEC – Political Cartoon by David Horsey, Los Angeles Times – 02/20/2015

Cartoon by David Horsey -

AAEC – Political Cartoon by Matt Wuerker, – 02/19/2015

Cartoon by Matt Wuerker -

Boots On The Ground – Political Cartoon by Rob Rogers, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette – 02/19/2015

Cartoon by Rob Rogers - Boots On The Ground

AAEC – Political Cartoon by MStreeter, Savannah Morning News – 02/19/2015

Cartoon by MStreeter -

Bruce Plante Cartoon: Governor Jeb Bush talks about foreign poli – Political Cartoon by Bruce Plante, Tulsa World – 02/18/2015

Bruce Plante Cartoon: Rep. Dan Fisher rewrites his AP history bi – Political Cartoon by Bruce Plante, Tulsa World – 02/20/2015

And let’s end this thing with Luckovich…

Mike Luckovich: Lincoln’s Party – Mike Luckovich – Truthdig

2/20 Luckovich cartoon: Comeback kid | Mike Luckovich


2/18 Luckovich cartoon: Nipped in the bud | Mike Luckovich


2/17 Luckovich cartoon: Deep sixed | Mike Luckovich


2/15 Luckovich cartoon: Blind justice | Mike Luckovich



2/22 Luckovich cartoon: Speed bumps | Mike Luckovich



I can’t help it…Luckovich is my favorite cartoonist…and damn, I am glad he is here in Georgia doing his thing.

This is an open thread.

Words and Language: Other things too

Well, this is going to be a post filled with links…a link dump of mass proportions, but since I am a lazyass…I will cop the fabulous pictures and GIFs for this post from: L’Amour, L’Amour! A Black Maria Valentine

We’ve collected images and gifs that make our hearts beat a little faster, our knees a little weaker, our heads a little lighter, and our lives a little sweeter. And if things get a bit too hot, just do what we do: stick your head in the freezer.

(BTW, another awesome Valentine post from Black Maria to check out, Top 5 Effed Up Valentine Day movies)

I don’t know…aside from a few choice cuts of beefcake in the movies these days, they sure don’t make ‘em like they used to.

Oh…yes please:


Michael Fassbender…..


Ah…..thank you.

Anyway, back to the post at hand….

Now, I have collected the language and word usage links on this thread for a while now,  I don’t know why…i just find all this stuff fascinating.

15 -Ologists and What They Study | Mental Floss

1. Pomologists consider fruit food for thought.

2. The clock’s always ticking for time-obsessed horologists.

3. Vexillologists have an unwavering fascination with flags.

4. Oologists concern themselves with eggs—and not just on a brunch menu.

5. If you’re watching clouds for a living, you’re a nephologist.

6. Myrmecologists drone on and on about ants.

7. Ophiologists sss-study snakes.

8. Playing video games is serious work for ludologists.

9. Speleologists are immersed in cave research.

More “ologist” at the link, but for those who study words…etymologist, or languages aka Linguistics:

World Wide Words: Verbigeration

The American actor, musician, and author John Lithgow remarked in a recent newspaper interview that verbigeration was his current favourite word. Though it describes the use of words, the concern of any actor or writer, Mr Lithgow would surely not wish it to be applied to himself.

One might guess that it refers to the bigging up of verbs, though it’s actually said with a soft g, like refrigeration. The association isn’t altogether wrong, as it refers to the involuntary repetition of meaningless words and phrases. The psychiatrist Bernard Glueck described it in 1916 as “senseless word salad”. Another writer, G Stanley Hall, in a work ten years earlier with the off-putting title Youth: Its Education, Regimen, and Hygiene, preferred to define it as “The continual utterance of certain words or phrases at short intervals, without reference to their meaning.” It has been regarded as a symptom of a mental disorder, though we in the UK, currently in the run-up to a general election, may feel it could be used to describe certain British political figures.

Read more about the roots of the word at the link.

Oxford Junior Dictionary’s replacement of ‘natural’ words with 21st-century terms sparks outcry | Books | The Guardian

“A” should be for acorn, “B” for buttercup and “C” for conker, not attachment, blog and chatroom, according to a group of authors including Margaret Atwood and Andrew Motion who are “profoundly alarmed” about the loss of a slew of words associated with the natural world from the Oxford Junior Dictionary, and their replacement with words “associated with the increasingly interior, solitary childhoods of today”.

The 28 authors, including Atwood, Motion, Michael Morpurgo and Robert Macfarlane, warn that the decision to cut around 50 words connected with nature and the countryside from the 10,000-entry children’s dictionary, is “shocking and poorly considered” in the light of the decline in outdoor play for today’s children. They are calling on publisher Oxford University Press to reverse its decision and, if necessary, to bring forward publication of a new edition of the dictionary to do so.

The likes of almond, blackberry and crocus first made way for analogue, block graph and celebrity in the Oxford Junior Dictionary in 2007, with protests at the time around the loss of a host of religious words such as bishop, saint and sin. The current 2012 edition maintained the changes, and instead of catkin, cauliflower, chestnut and clover, today’s edition of the dictionary, which is aimed at seven-year-olds starting Key Stage Two, features cut and paste, broadband and analogue.

If they have K is for Kardashian…we really have gone past shocking and poorly considered. That is just fucked up.

The Kardashianspeak…What Is Vocal Fry? | Mental Floss

You may have heard of the hot new linguistic fad that’s creeping into U.S. speech and undermining your job chances. Or maybe you know it as the debilitating speaking disorder afflicting North American women or the verbal tic of doom. It’s called vocal fry, and it’s the latest “uptalk” or “valleyspeak,” AKA the “ditzy girl” speaking style that people love to hate.

Unlike uptalk, which is a rising intonation pattern, or valleyspeak, which covers a general grab bag of linguistic features, including vocabulary, vocal fry describes a specific sound quality caused by the movement of the vocal folds. In regular speaking mode, the vocal folds rapidly vibrate between a more open and more closed position as the air passes through. In vocal fry, the vocal folds are shortened and slack so they close together completely and pop back open, with a little jitter, as the air comes through. That popping, jittery effect gives it a characteristic sizzling or frying sound. (I haven’t been able to establish that that’s how fry got its name, but that’s the story you hear most often.)

Vocal fry, which has also been called creaky voice, laryngealization, glottal fry, glottal scrape, click, pulse register, and Strohbass (straw bass), has been discussed in musical and clinical literature since at least the middle of the 20th century. It is a technique (not necessarily encouraged) that lets a singer go to a lower pitch than they would otherwise be capable of. It shows up with some medical conditions affecting the voice box. It is also an important feature in some languages, like Zapotec Mayan, where fry can mark the distinction between two different vowels. These days, however, you mostly hear about it as a social phenomenon, as described (and decried) as “the way a Kardashian speaks” in this video by Faith Salie.

Looks like dudes love to Vocal Fry. Read more about that at the link.


And remember language is not always technically “spoken” in the vocalized sense:

Remember the episode of Seinfeld? Where Kramer stops talking…

Well, take a look at this, 18 Dramatic Ways to Express Yourself with Gestures, According to a 19th Century Book | Mental Floss

In 1846, Dr. Andrew Comstock published A system of elocution, with special reference to gesture, to the treatment of stammering, and defective articulation, comprising numerous diagrams, and engraved figures, illustrative of the subject. The book was, he wrote, “designed for the use of Schools and Colleges, as well as for the instruction of private individuals who desire to improve themselves in the art of reading and speaking.” The book includes not just instructions and exercises in articulation, pitch, force, and time, but also gestures to use when expressing certain emotions or feelings (largely sourced, Comstock explains, from Gilbert Austin’s Chironomia, or a Treatise on Rhetorical Delivery). Normally, you’d use these while on stage, but feel free to employ them in your everyday life, too.

12. Grief Arising from Sudden and Afflicting Intelligence

This isn’t your regular sadness. To express it, a person must “[cover] the eyes with one hand, [advance] forwards, and [throw] back the other hand.”


18. Self-Sufficiency

“Self-sufficiency folds the arms, and sets himself on his center,” Comstock writes, noting that “this was a favorite posture of [Napoleon] Bonaparte.”

Then you have other forms of communication:

Addicting Info – Nobody Is Having A Worse Day Than This Sign Language Guy (IMAGES)


And the other lost in translation examples, which I don’t know if are real or not, but still they’re a trip:


On another kind of translation:

The Old English Translation of Bede’s Historia Ecclesiastica Gentis Anglorum in its Historical and Cultural Context


Alright, just go and look at the rest of the damn pictures and gifs already, here is the Black Maria link again:

L’Amour, L’Amour! A Black Maria Valentine


Oh wait, but I got more link goodness for ya:

10 Things We Just Don’t Know About Language And Communication – Listverse

By the time we’re in school, we’re able to do it without even really thinking about it. It’s rare that we go through a day without using a handful of different types of communication. It’s so automatic that it almost seems like it’s hard-wired into us—and perhaps it is. There’s still a lot we don’t know about just how our ability to communicate through language came about, where it’s going, and when we’re finally going to be able to communicate with animals.

Via Susie Madrak» Blog Archive » How climate shaped the languages we speak

Go read it, it is really good.

Languages Are Mostly Made of Happy Words – The Atlantic

A new study analyzes vocabulary from around the world and finds a universal skew toward the positive.

15 Charming Old-Fashioned Compliments to Slip Into Conversation | Mental Floss

The only thing more rewarding than receiving a fine compliment is doling one out. Here are a few charming, cute, and kooky kudos from the days of yore, dating back through the past seven centuries, all sure to land you in good favor with those on the receiving end.


Even during the brutal Medieval period there were instances of delicacy: Romantic knights, well read royals, and love-struck troubadours all knew their way around some fancy words. For instance, we have this delightful term for a lady rich in personality as well as physical beauty.


A regular companion to “bellibone,” this charming little term of endearment, which comes from a French word meaning “a sweet baby,” has a more youthful, impish connotation.

Sticking with the Middle Ages a bit:

Metaphor in the Medieval Middle East

The Arab world’s preoccupation with the mechanics of language has a long history. More then a millennium ago, scholars in what is now Iran were reading, thinking and writing books about how metaphors work.

Eleventh-century polymaths Raghib al-Isfahani and Abd al-Qahir al-Jurjani worked to understand and explain what happens to readers when a poem compares a flash of lightning to a book being opened and closed. They wrote complex theories that detailed how our brains connect something our eyes read to something our hands touch, while at the same time processing the words on the page to help us imagine what lightning looks like.

So damn interesting…

A little more history, words can also be expanded into symbols right?: Why Is The Dollar Sign A Letter S?

The letter S appears nowhere in the word “dollar”, yet an S with a line through it ($) is unmistakably the dollar sign. But why an S? Why isn’t the dollar sign something like a Đ (like the former South Vietnamese đồng, or the totally-not-a-joke-currency Dogecoin)?

There’s a good story behind it, but here’s a big hint: the dollar sign isn’t a dollar sign.

It’s a peso sign.

Though the dollar and peso symbols are inextricably linked, the origin of the word “dollar” is rooted in elsewhere. Its story begins in 1500s Bohemia, a central European kingdom spanning most of today’s Czech Republic.

Go and learn more at the link.

And for our last word/language link of the night:

It’s a digital world, but the writing is not on the wall for the handwritten note | Media | The Guardian

Take notes: they are hard to ignore – and a window on the soul. This humble communication is an art form that still remains vital

Rummaging through my mother’s collection of postcards while helping her move house recently, I found one with the following note scribbled on it: “Keep this. It is beautiful.” Who could ignore such an earnest instruction? Not me. I turned it over immediately to discover what “it” was (a rather atypical Van Gogh held by a museum in Copenhagen, if you’re interested).

Notes – a few words written on a piece of paper to remind, cajole or influence – are still part of our lives, despite the ubiquity of text and Twitter. Why is this? You might have thought the digital age would have rendered them unnecessary.

Oh…I just hope you enjoy all those tasty treats…I love words, word games and the like, so I found the links about simply fun and I think we all could use a little fun lately. Now if you want to stop there, please do. Most of the links below are not so “fun” so you have been warned.

Link dump related to recent news stories:

10 Very Special Valentine’s Day Cards | List of X



Addicting Info – Just When You Thought Bill And Hillary Couldn’t Get Any Cuter, They Go And Do This (VIDEO/TWEETS)


It looks as though the NSA hired a teen-ager to run its twitter feed:

Hullabaloo 2015-02-15 18-36-35

Hullabaloo 2015-02-15 18-34-30

Heritage Not Hate, Brazilian Style – Lawyers, Guns & Money

Rand Paul Blames Hillary Clinton For Rise Of ISIS, New Coke, Cancellation Of Happy Endings | Wonkette

Addicting Info – Rand Paul Tries To Embarrass Hillary Clinton With Fake Pinterest Account, Embarrasses Self Instead

Funny Guy Rand Paul Sets Up Pinterest Account for Hillary Clinton 

Yale Frat SAE Banned For Violating Sexual Misconduct Policy

Repro Wrap: Woman Convicted for Both ‘Feticide’ and ‘Neglect’ and Other News | Care2 Causes

Addicting Info – Georgia Cop Allegedly Beat Woman Into Having A Miscarriage Because He ‘Didn’t Like Her Tone’

And this cop is not convicted or indicted for Feticide or murder?

Lawsuit: NY Cop Broke Leg Of Boy, 10, For Filming Him | Crooks and Liars

Alabama policeman may be fired over assault | Al Jazeera America

San Diego Cops Thought Brothers Were Robbing Own Store, Beat Them Up Just To Be Sure | Wonkette

Damn, I know that’s a lot of depressing stories there and I don’t want to end it on a shitty note but there is one thing that happened this week, which was terrific:

Jamie Brewer Is The First Model With Down Syndrome To Walk During New York Fashion Week

Jamie Brewer has made history.

Brewer became the first model with Down syndrome to walk the runway during New York Fashion Week when she took part in Carrie Hammer’s “Role Models Not Runway Models” campaign Thursday.

“Young girls and even young women … [see me] and say ‘hey, if she can do it so can I,’” Brewer, who appears in “American Horror Story” and is an activist for the Down syndrome community, told the “Today” show. “It’s a true inspiration being a role model for any young women to [encourage them] in being who they are and showing who they are.”

Brewer tweeted about the exciting experience and shared some backstage photos Thursday morning.

jamie brewer


Jamie Brewer Makes Fashion Week History By Being the First Person with Down Syndrome to Walk the Runway | 2015 New York Fashion Week Winter, Jamie Brewer : Just Jared

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The woman looks fabulous! And if you ask me, those are some confident as shit dramatic gestures she is sporting there.

This is an open thread!

Sunday Reads: Lil’ Jeb Takes the Short Bus

Good Morning

Eh, my internet is so damn slow this morning. So while I wait and then work on the post that I planned on…a thing on words and language…here is a quick open thread with news updates to get us started.

Boston is getting fucked yet again by Mother Nature.

Snow, Dangerous Winds, Cold Strike New England Again

Snow and dangerously high winds roared across parts of New England in the dark of night to face an army of road crews and emergency workers Sunday, who had readied themselves for the fourth winter onslaught in less than a month. The odds favored the ominous weather.

More than 6 feet of snow already stood in some areas from previous storms; a blizzard warning was in effect for coastal communities from Connecticut to Maine into Monday; and a bone-chilling blast of cold, with lows of minus 10 degrees was in the Sunday night forecast in parts of the region.

Heavy snow had moved into parts of eastern Massachusetts by early Sunday, according to National Weather Service meteorologist Alan Dunham.

Three to eight inches of snow had fallen across parts of the region with the heaviest in Boxford in Essex County, which recorded 13 inches, Dunham said. Boston was also getting hit with heavy snow. Winds across the area were also increasing in intensity.

Before it is all over, southern New England could get several more inches and Maine could see up to 2 feet, weather forecasters said.

Boston Now At Third Snowiest Winter On Record – Weather Wisdom –

9AM Update
The heaviest snow bands continue to move south rotating around the storm which is out at sea. Temperatures will remain in the teens this afternoon, which while cold, won’t be as cold as later this evening. Try to clean up the snow as soon as it stops before temperatures fall later in the day. Notice the green areas on the radar moving south of Boston. That is where it’s snowing at 2 to 4 inches per hour as of this update.

The upcoming Boston blizzard may be equivalent to Category 2 hurricane

UPDATED 4 p.m. ET: The National Weather Service upgraded the blizzard watch to a blizzard warning for Boston, which is in effect from Saturday at 7 p.m. ET to Sunday at 11 a.m. ET. The blizzard warnings and watches stretch from Cape Cod all the way to the border between Maine and Canada. The NWS is forecasting between 10 to 14 inches of snow in Boston on top of the three to four feet already on the ground, and is also warning of a life-threatening combination of powerful winds and cold temperatures during and in the wake of the storm through Sunday.

The powerful Valentine’s Day storm set to blast eastern New England this weekend with roaring, frigid winds, heavy snow and pounding surf will be so strong that it can be compared in some ways to a Category 2 hurricane.

Fortunately, though, it will not bring the same impacts as a hurricane of that intensity, but its effects on multiple locations — from Providence and Boston to Portland and Bangor, Maine — will be similar to a winter hurricane, with power outages, tree and structural damage, and coastal flooding. Depending on the storm’s exact track, it could dump a foot or more of additional snow in the Boston area, with even more snow in coastal New Hampshire and Maine.

Meanwhile on the other side of the world:

Copenhagen shootings: Gunman may have been inspired by Paris attacks, Danish police say – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

The suspected gunman in two fatal shootings in Copenhagen may have been inspired by the Islamist attacks in Paris a month ago, Danish police say.

Police believe a man they shot dead on Sunday is to blame for killing two men in separate gun attacks – one at a cafe where a debate on Islam and free speech was held, and another at the city’s main synagogue.

The killings came little more than a month after the Paris attacks, that left 17 people dead including 12 at the office of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.

Jens Madsen from the Security and Intelligence Service told reporters the gunman “may have been inspired by the events that took place in Paris a few weeks ago”.

Mr Marsden said the man may “generally have been inspired by militant Islamist propaganda issued by IS (Islamic State) and other terror organisations”.

Police also said the man was “on the radar” of the intelligence service before the shootings.

Denmark attacks: ‘We have tasted the ugly taste of fear,’ Prime Minister says –

Saudi Arabia condemns attacks in Copenhagen and North Carolina | Reuters

Saudi Arabia on Sunday condemned a deadly attack in Denmark which bore similarities to Islamist shootings in Paris, while also deploring the killing of three Muslims in North Carolina.

Two civilians died in attacks in Copenhagen on Saturday and five police were wounded. Danish police on Sunday shot dead a man they believe was responsible for the two attacks at an event promoting freedom of speech and on a synagogue.

“The kingdom of Saudi Arabia followed with strong sorrow the ugly terrorist and criminal incidents that occurred lately in the Danish capital Copenhagen and in the U.S. state of North Carolina that resulted in the death and injuring of innocent,” state news agency SPA quoted an official source as saying in a statement.

In North Carolina three young Muslims were shot dead last week.

Saudi Arabia, the birthplace of Islam, is a main partner for the United States in its campaign against Islamist militants in Syria and Iraq. The world top oil exporter sees itself as a defender of Muslims around the world.

It said that while it stressed the need to respect religions and human beliefs, it rejected all acts of terrorism and criminal acts in all forms regardless of its source.

“The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia offers its condolences to the families of terrorism victims and wishes the wounded speedy recovery,” it added.

Finally, a blast from the past.

This article from the New York Times immediately reminded me of an old cartoon series from back in the day…As Dynasty’s Son, Jeb Bush Used His Connections Freely –

The stream of requests to the White House from Jeb Bush, a young but well-connected Republican leader in South Florida, ranged from the weighty and urgent to the parochial and mundane.

In 1985, he sent an emotional letter pressing his father, Vice President George Bush, to investigate the detention of Cuban children in Texas, asking, “Shouldn’t there be some compassion?” (The vice president’s reply: “Heartbreaking.”)

In 1989, after his father became president, Mr. Bush offered his recommendation for the next Supreme Court opening. (“Your suggestion will be given thoughtful consideration,” a senior aide responded.)

In 1990, Mr. Bush lobbied the White House to meet with executives of the telecommunications giant Motorola — fostering a relationship that would later aid his own political ambitions. (The chief of staff did meet with Motorola, as did President Bush.)

For the 12 years that his father held national elective office, Mr. Bush used his unique access to the highest reaches of government to seek favors for Republican allies, push his views and burnish his political profile in his home state, a review of presidential library records shows. In the process, Mr. Bush carefully constructed an elaborate and enduring network of relationships in Florida that helped lead to his election as governor in 1998 and, now, to his place as a top contender for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016.

It was a cartoon that made fun of Bush et. al., called Lil’ Bush’. I could not find many videos of this show on the web…but there was one thing that stood out in all the years since I had seen the show. Maybe it was because even though my brother is “special needs” my mom and I still laughed like hell at the joke about the “special ed bus.”

(I know, it is ridiculous…but we laughed at the South Park episode too…you can see that clip here: Stan’s Black Eye – Video Clip | South Park Studios)


Here is the video, look close cause it is quick…you will see Lil’ Bush heading off to school. Then Jeb follows, only he does not go with his brother in the “big” bus…he takes the “small” bus.

Yes, there are some offensive parts, but it makes one remember the good ole times…cough, cough, and how we can look forward to yet another fucking Bush in the White House if this turd gets elected.

This is an open thread. See y’all later.