Saturday, December 31, 2011
skippy's saturday night music club
welcome jon swift fans!
secondly, if any of you are wondering, here's the explanation of blogroll amnesty day.
happy new year, and let's hope 2012 doesn't end with a mayan prophecy!
auld lang syne
the 5 dumbest things republicans have done this year
the worst tv of 2011
the year in science
the year in lies
the 10 worst economic ideas of 2011
the top 10 gop moments of 2011
the most under-reported stories of the year
the best celebrity tweets of 2011
10 winning moments for the 99% in 2011
and don't forget 2011: the year in extreme animals
Friday, December 30, 2011
skippy's friday night music club
"sex and the single girl" turns 50
1,100 year old mayan ruins found in north georgia
we hope you all enjoyed your last christmas...ever!
Thursday, December 29, 2011
skippy's thursday night music club
love the irony
calling governor bobby jindal
a volcano in alaska's aleutian islands sent up an ash cloud thursday that prompted scientists to increase the alert level for commercial aircraft traffic.
the alaska volcano observatory said satellite images at 4:02 a.m. alaska time showed cleveland volcano had spewed ash 15,000 feet into the air in a cloud that moved east-southeast. u.s. geological survey scientist-in-charge john power called it a small explosion. - cbs
a new poll from the pew research center for the people & the press out yesterday shows that “progressive” is the most positively viewed political label in america, with 67 percent holding a positive view compared to just 22 percent who view the term negatively: - think progress
some advice for chuck norris
and rest in peace tarzan's pal, cheetah
see more Lolcats and funny pictures, and check out our Socially Awkward Penguin lolz!
looking back at 2011
good food news of 2011.
the political scandals of 2011.
osama bin laden's death most impactful story of 2011 (say aol voters)
top corporate governance stories of 2011.
the bbc wants to quiz your knowledge of top stories of 2011.
npr's top songs of 2011. can you hum a few bars of these?
time's top 10 of everything in 2011
Wednesday, December 28, 2011
skippy's wednesday night music club
newt gingrich failed to register newtgingrich.com, which is now a dem parody site
buying insider trading information from congress - and getting rich
what's going on with voter supression and the doj?
Tuesday, December 27, 2011
barely out of tuesday
and rebuttal thereof
pot arrests drop in nyc
why we need the consumer financial protection bureau
Monday, December 26, 2011
happy boxing day
what they won't tell you about pepper spray
time's person of the year: the photo you didn't see
and here's the great gop hot air balloon race
"although no well organized orthocracy allows the rules of rule be made explicit, one can infer the outlines of a system of rules behind the veil -- a ruling system."
"the 13 rules of rule
"1. keep them weak.
"2. keep them dumb.
"3. keep them scared.
"4. control all their resources.
"5. divide them, conquer them.
"6. control their rhythm and pace.
"7. control their chemistry.
"8. control their sex.
"9. jack them around.
"10. use coercion routinely, brute force when necessary.
"11. use deception routinely, the big lie when necessary.
"12. none of this can show.
"13. this is the system; there shall be no other."
Sunday, December 25, 2011
The Only Modern Xmas Story
I arrived, headed for my favorite barbecue stand and, en route, noticed that Mel Tormé was seated at one of the tables.
Mel Tormé. My favorite singer. Just sitting there, sipping a cup of coffee, munching on an English Muffin, reading The New York Times. Mel Tormé.
I had never met Mel Tormé. Alas, I still haven't and now I never will. He looked like he was engrossed in the paper that day so I didn't stop and say, "Excuse me, I just wanted to tell you how much I've enjoyed all your records." I wish I had....
I waved the leader of the chorale over and directed his attention to Mr. Tormé, seated about twenty yards from me.
"That's Mel Tormé down there. Do you know who he is?"
The singer was about 25 so it didn't horrify me that he said, "No."
I asked, "Do you know 'The Christmas Song?'"
Again, a "No."
I said, "That's the one that starts, 'Chestnuts roasting on an open fire...'"
"Oh, yes," the caroler chirped. "Is that what it's called? 'The Christmas Song?'"
"That's the name," I explained. "And that man wrote it." The singer thanked me, returned to his group for a brief huddle...and then they strolled down towards Mel Tormé. I ditched the rest of my sandwich and followed, a few steps behind. As they reached their quarry, they began singing, "Chestnuts roasting on an open fire..." directly to him.
A big smile formed on Mel Tormé's face — and it wasn't the only one around. Most of those sitting at nearby tables knew who he was and many seemed aware of the significance of singing that song to him. For those who didn't, there was a sudden flurry of whispers: "That's Mel Tormé...he wrote that..."
As the choir reached the last chorus or two of the song, Mel got to his feet and made a little gesture that meant, "Let me sing one chorus solo." The carolers — all still apparently unaware they were in the presence of one of the world's great singers — looked a bit uncomfortable. I'd bet at least a couple were thinking, "Oh, no...the little fat guy wants to sing."
But they stopped and the little fat guy started to sing...and, of course, out came this beautiful, melodic, perfectly-on-pitch voice. The look on the face of the singer I'd briefed was amazed at first...then properly impressed.
On Mr. Tormé's signal, they all joined in on the final lines: "Although it's been said, many times, many ways...Merry Christmas to you..." Big smiles all around.
And not just from them. I looked and at all the tables surrounding the impromptu performance, I saw huge grins of delight...which segued, as the song ended, into a huge burst of applause. The whole tune only lasted about two minutes but I doubt anyone who was there will ever forget it.
Go read the whole thing. The rest of us have to abide with this:
environmental news stories sunday
trees in trouble: grim future for frankincense. - frankincense is still used today — for perfumes, incense and traditional medicines — but a new study suggests that its future looks grim - weekend edition (npr)
northeast holds front line in climate change war. - up and down the connecticut river valley in massachusetts colleges and major research universities have expanded their course offerings to address the growing interest in meeting the challenges of a ‘carbon-constrained’ future and other questions of environmental sustainability - springfield republican
add vitamin d to scotland's food: experts. - international experts are calling for food in scotland to be fortified with vitamin d, in an attempt to cut the large numbers of people who develop multiple sclerosis at sunshine-deprived northern latitudes - london guardian
fractured earth, polluted water? - in new mexico, water is precious. until we know more about how fracking can impact water supplies, state regulators should require more information about the chemicals being pumped into the ground. new mexico would be better off safeguarding our water before drilling starts, not after. - santa fe new mexican
global warming and malaria: it’s kind of complicated. - al gore’s “an inconvenient truth” may be the first place a lot of people heard about it, but scientists have been worried for a long time about how climate change will affect infectious diseases - climate central
don't take bath this christmas as drought order is issued. - people in the south east are being asked not to take a bath over christmas to save water after the first winter drought order in almost 10 years was imposed - london daily telegraph
reindeer are fading into holiday myth. - in the barren lands of the far north, where caribou numbers have undergone natural fluctuations over decades, the question is whether the declining populations will have the chance and the space to rebound as their ranges face mineral exploration, mine, oil and gas development, and a changing climate - new york times
green christmas more frequent due to global warming. - there was time in the great white north when dreaming of a white christmas would almost always be a dream come true. - canadian press
mercury rule is president obama's christmas gift to america. - the obama administration delivered a last-minute christmas present this week. on wednesday, following a tortured history, the epa finally released new standards that sharply reduce the emissions of mercury - mother jones
sony's bio battery turns waste paper into electricity. - sony has unveiled a paper-powered battery prototype in japan. the technology generates electricity by turning shredded paper into sugar which in turn is used as fuel. if brought to market, the innovation could allow the public to top up the power of their mobile devices using waste material - bbc
great lakes funding & christmas tree debate. - people who are working on cleaning up the great lakes got some good news this week. after months of negotiations, the 2012 federal budget contains $300 million for the great lakes restoration Initiative - environment report
the best christmas gift ever: saving santa from the watery north pole. - this christmas, think about a donation to the ‘where will santa live?‘ campaign, where your dollars will be put to the best use possible for santa and his crew as they get ready to face their new reality of a warmed up north pole. - scientific american
columnist objects to ads depicting santa as a homeless climate refugee. - “where will santa live?” the ad asks. “santa’s workshop is sinking." actually, it’s okay, kids. santa’s coming next saturday night just as he always does - toronto sun
endangered reindeer. - reindeer – also called caribou – are ubiquitous in the world’s northern latitudes, but the populations closest to the north pole are dwindling because of climate change. now there is a push to list the large deer as endangered - living on earth
real christmas trees save water. - fake christmas trees might be convenient and seem eco-friendly at first glance, but their environmental costs – measured in greenhouse gas emissions and landfill space – far outweigh their benefits, say conservationists who urge consumers to "stay real" this holiday season - national geographic news
oh little town of blogleham
attacks on obama policy shames christianity
"and unto them a snowy-white albino kiwi was born"
newt gingrich's letter to virginia, regarding the existence of santa and claims he said otherwise
and christwire presents 5 christmas things gays have ruined
it's not christmas
Saturday, December 24, 2011
the blog before christmas
nearly 1/3 of americans are arrested by age 23
say hello to the world's smallest frog
all we want for christmas is democrat with a spine
Friday, December 23, 2011
And So Happy Xmas...Now with Canadian Content
This year, the 100 stocks in the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index with the highest dividend yields are up an average of 3.7% before dividend payouts, according to Birinyi Associates. The 100 lowest-yielding stocks are down an average of 10%.
Is this a good idea? I understand the move to dividend-paying stocks—companies that admit they don't know what to do with their excess cash are almost by definition better-run than those that hoard it without announcing future plans for its use (hi, MSFT!). And some companies have a lot of excess cash right now.
But there is a difference between paying a dividend because it's the best use of funds for your investors and having a high dividend yield. Don't believe me? Ask Bank of America shareholders ($2.56 Annual Dividend, just under an 8% yield) ca. 2008:
Or those who bought The Big C for its $2.08-cents-per share Annual Dividend (around 6-7% yield) in late 2007*:
Of course, banks might be the except. But here's the past five years of Toronto Dominion, which was paying around a 3% p.a. Dividend** around the same time period:
What would have happened to your overall investment if you had gone for the higher-paying firms? It's not pretty:
I like dividends; they're an admission from a firm that it doesn't know better than its owners what to do with some of its cash. But high-yielding dividends are often a sign of bad management giving away "excess" cash in good times.***
The first rule of finance: when something appears too good to be true, it probably is. Caveat emptor and may all your investments for 2012 be good ones.
*The graphic scale and dividend amounts were distorted somewhat by the 10:1 reverse split earlier this year.
**An annual dividend of US$2.28, with the stock trading around US$70-75 per share.
***This is not an unusual story, sadly. The collapse of LTCM, for instance, occurred after the fund gave much of its investment monies back to investors and then count not remain solvent for so long as the market remained irrational. (The contemporary equivalent is MF Global.)
grandma got run over by a blogger
here's a bi-partisan bill that makes any company that moves its call centers off-shore ineligible for federal loans or grants
anonymous donors pay off strangers' layaway accounts
but some wal-marts in texas didn't let the accounts get paid
and doug j of balloon juice punks politico
Thursday, December 22, 2011
silent blog, holy blog
ceo pay shot up in 2010
7 facts about veterans that will shock you
and other facts that republicans fail to grasp
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
o blog all ye faithful
meet the budget the media doesn't want you to know about
pew finds most americans blame republicans for the do-nothing congress
and neil pollack knew christopher hitchens better than you
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
jingle blog jingle blog jingle all the way
what you can do to occupy the holidays
holiday gifts for the activists o. your list
gov. scott walker is costing wisconsin 18,000 jobs a year
Monday, December 19, 2011
new moon on monday
gop wants to harness the power of social media
tea party politico issues racist facebook rant calling for obama's assassination
it's the pepper spraying cop tumblr!
Sunday, December 18, 2011
don't support the salvation army, they support anti-lgbt policies
"people like me are the only thing that stands between us and auschwitz," sez newt gingrich
probation officer fired for signing pro- pot petition
and rip christopher hitchens
Saturday, December 17, 2011
saturday night special
"you're a mean one, newt gingrich"
9 demands of the 99%
voyager 1 is in the stagnation zone
Friday, December 16, 2011
thank god it's friday
meanwhile tens of thousands march on koch industries for suppressing voting rights
rats free each other from traps, then share chocolate
you should hate the mental welfare state
gay chinese penguins raise chick, get married
Thursday, December 15, 2011
an open letter to pixar
a strong middle class is the key to economic growth
scooby doo is "veggie tales" for secular humanists
and rip producer of "easy rider," "five easy pieces," and "the last picture show" (and father of the monkees),bert schneider
we apologize for calling a racist a racist
we humbly apologize. even if it's all true.
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
wednesday morning, 3 a.m.
there's a pretty bad oil spill off the coast of brazil
invented peoples for mitt romney
cbo sez dems jobs plan creates more jobs than gop plan
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
church on tuesday
christmas gifts for rationally curious
if ron paul is the third-party spoiler, which campaign will he spoil?
sure, august j. pollack designed our 'roo logo, but now ted rall drew suburban guerilla's new header
Monday, December 12, 2011
skippy's monday night music club
dem. rep fires staffers after they make fun of him on twitter
morgan stanley exec calls for more taxes on the rich
today is the day to occupy west coast ports!
Sunday, December 11, 2011
skippy's sunday night music club
environmental news stories sunday
baltimore harbor: unseen sewage leaks pollute waters. - heavy rains routinely trigger big sewage overflows in baltimore, but there is growing evidence that chronic leaks from the region's aging, cracked sewer lines are a bigger threat to public health. even on sunny days, storm drains discharge raw sewage because of fissures and breaks in old infrastructure. - baltimore sun
quake exceeded tepco's 'once in 10,000 years' scenario. - the movement of the bedrock under the fukushima no.1 nuclear power plant during the great east japan earthquake was larger than pre-quake estimates used by the plant’s operator in its disaster planning, according to government simulations - asahi shimbun
shale gas pipelines pose challenges to state's forests, wildlife. - the 8,500 miles of gas pipeline running under pennsylvania could quadruple within the next two decades, according to a forthcoming study, raising questions about how the work will affect forests, wildlife and even the suburbs around pittsburgh - pittsburgh tribune review
water demand 'will outstrip supply.' - businesses, farmers and householders need to take steps to become more water-efficient as climate change and population growth increase pressures on resources and lead to more droughts, two reports have warned. - press association
researcher sees a biological regime change under way in alaska. - is climate change pushing alaska toward another major abrupt shift, similar to the transition from grassy steppe to peaty tundra that took place thousands of years ago? - climatewire
outrage at uk's $1bn loan deal with brazil oil giant. - a british government decision to underwrite a billion-dollar loan to one of the world's biggest oil companies came under fire from environmentalists last night. - london independent
billion-dollar disasters 'harbinger' of future extreme weather: noaa. - the 12 $1-billion-plus disasters that hit the united states this year are most likely not simply a matter of the stars aligning against us, according to the head of the national oceanic and atmospheric administration, who implicated climate change as a contributor - livescience
city faces choice on next wastewater treatment level. - cities like flagstaff that have become dependent on reclaimed wastewater to relieve pressure on drinking water should seriously consider upgrading treatment to the next step - flagstaff arizona daily sun
u.s. bans boaters from dumping sewage in lake ontario. - u.s. officials have declared lake ontario a “no-discharge zone,” banning boaters from dumping sewage on the american side of the lake. - toronto star
pfc levels decline in residents' blood samples. - a bio-monitoring pilot project in minnesota has found declines since 2008 in perfluorochemicals (pfcs) in the blood of st. corix valley, mn residents. health department researchers concluded that efforts to reduce drinking water exposure to pfcs have been effective - stillwater gazette
aquatic pesticide use gets go-ahead. - despite concerns from lake tahoe water providers, pesticides could soon be used to combat the lake's aquatic weed problems. the lahontan regional water quality control board approved rule changes wednesday that will allow the agency to permit the use of aquatic pesticides under certain conditions - douglas county record courier
mideast water shortages threaten millions. - due to increasing populations, climate change, poor infrastructure and inefficient use of resources, serious water shortages are threatening the lives and livelihoods of millions of people across the middle east - voice of america
carbon credits save sierra leone's gola rainforest. - as of saturday, the gola rainforest, which lies within one of the world’s most important biodiversity hotspots, is now a national park. and it could soon bring sierra leone, one of the world’s poorest countries, a new income stream from the sale of carbon credits. - christian science monitor
sunday bloody sunday
students hit hard by voter id laws
9 demands of the 99%
politifact's lie of the year candidate is 100% true
and here's john cole's answer to megan mcardle's holiday gift guide
Saturday, December 10, 2011
skippy's saturday night music club
saturday in the park
sheriff joe arpaio's office ignored years of child sex abuse cases
plan b stands for backlash
pepper spray cop meets baby jesus