Amazon promises to not let packages hit you in the head.


“The hard part here is putting in all the redundancy, all the reliability, all the systems you need to say, ‘Look, this thing can’t land on somebody’s head while they’re walking around their neighborhood.’” He later added, “That’s not good.”

via Amazon Floats the Notion of Delivery Drones –



What opinions are worth.


“Those consultations confirm our view that the underlying economy remains sound.”

via STOCKS PLUNGE 508 POINTS, A DROP OF 22.6%; 604 MILLION VOLUME NEARLY DOUBLES RECORD – New York Times, Published: October 20, 1987 .


The Unbearable Being of A-Rod

What won’t happen, despite what various reports say, is a quick resolution… For A-Rod to retire and for insurance to cover his contract, some very powerful insurance companies that don’t look kindly upon those who try to bilk them out of dollars will get involved.

via Great Moments in A-Rod: Everyone out to commit insurance fraud | River Avenue Blues.

ESPN, intrepidly plumbing the depths of anonymous sourcing, casts the self-loving Alex Rodriguez as a frightened animal. The Daily News describes him as a schemer, and The Post seems to be fretting about his psychological well-being.

This, I think, is what journalism teachers are getting at when they talk about the perils of anonymous sources.

Mr. Rodriguez, who had surgery in January to repair a torn whatsis in his hoo-hah, had been rehabbing politely and quietly in Florida. But for some reason one of his handlers posted this week to a newly christened Twitter account in Mr. Rodriguez’s name that his return was imminent. This provoked the Yankees’ general manager, Brian Cashman, to a salty outburst of petulance, which in turn sent ripples of ecstasy through the dank clubhouse of New York’s sportswriters.

…how do the people in charge of the Yankees, the ones who lose their minds over his contract, look at things if he becomes an asset again, and actually makes their team more interesting?

via Alex Rodriguez isnt only one in Yankees organization that needs to shut up – NY Daily News.

According to ESPN’s anonymous source, Mr. Rodriguez believes that the Yankees are intentionally trying to derail his rehabilitation as part of a plot to have him declared unfit to play, which, so the story goes, would allow the club to soak its insurance company for some part of Mr. Rodriguez’s $28 million 2013 salary.

Downtown, at The Daily News, anonymous sources are sure that, instead of trying to avoid being declared unfit to play, Mr. Rodriguez is absolutely counting on it. His only worry is to get the declaration before Major League Baseball takes a giant crap on his head by suspending him for the illegal use of drugs. Being declared medically unfit, The Daily News says, would allow Mr. Rodriguez to retire and collect the balance of what he is owed on his contract, which apparently is $114 million.

Back uptown, at The New York Post, anonymous sources are beside themselves with concern. Mr. Rodriguez is not worried about the Yankees’ scheming against him. He is not worried about carrying through with his own fraud. “He is worried about his health,” The Post’s source fretted Thursday.

“Well,” Mac says, “I reckon you’ve got your money on the Yankees this year.”
“What for?” I says.
“The Pennant,” he says. “Not anything in the league can beat them.”
“Like hell there’s not,” I says. “They’re shot,” I says. “You think a team can be that lucky forever?”
— Page 252, The Sound and the Fury, William Faulkner, Vintage International.

I don’t understand the contract mechanics that would govern the reality here. I am guessing that none of the sportswriters involved do either. But I do know two things. One is what Benjamin Kabak wrote, excerpted above, at the excellent River Avenue Blues: Insurance companies are no pushovers.

Maybe the Yankees have some clever operators in their bullpen, but no way Mr. Rodriguez does. If he couldn’t hold it together to secretly break baseball’s doping rules, as presumably hundreds of other players did, or to carry on extramaritally with sundry floozies and wrinkled pop stars, as assuredly thousands of other players did, how is he going to orchestrate a medical coverup that will endure the relentless scrutiny of the Angry Actuary?

More to the point, how many John Grisham novels have to be made into movies before we get the message?

…[the reality is] that the Yankees need him as much as ever…

via Retirement rumors aside, A-Rod wont go away easily and Yankees need him back | The Strike Zone –

Two, and more important, does anyone believe that Mr. Rodriguez’s aim in all this could possibly be to retire? In other words, to stop being A-Rod? Because that is ridiculous. You do not need to see photos of Mr. Rodriguez kissing his reflection in a mirror to understand that. With all due respect to him and his family and what I am sure is a diverting list of hobbies, he has nothing without baseball, and if the insurance-policy gambit is at all plausible, you can bet that he knows his second act won’t be a return to baseball with another team.

When Mr. Rodriguez looks down at himself, he sees in those glistening, rippling minotaur haunches the greatest baseball player who ever lived. He does not see a misfit copout.

And presumably he knows that, probably, behind that mirror is a closed-circuit camera beaming back his every move to the headquarters of the Evil Guaranty and Trust Corporation.

The truth about guns is, apparently, a moving target.


…the literature on guns is just as messy as the statistics—often completely contradictory, with some studies showing convincing correlation between guns and homicide, while others equally convincingly show none. In the end, most of it shares an unfortunately quality: too much of the language implies causation or lack thereof between guns and death but only really shows varying levels of correlation.

via Bad Land – The Morning News.


On bombs, and perspective


We cringe at bigger numbers, at bigger events, but perhaps, in the end, all horror is local. Something nearby will seem bigger because it literally hits home. Comparing it to ongoing, larger horror does nothing to lessen the impact.

via Boston Marathon explosions: Thoughts in the immediate aftermath..


Just when you thought New York couldn’t get any more ridiculous.


Mr. Schuppert, who attributed the “sex noises” to the garden’s full-throated bullfrogs, disputed Ms. Ward’s charges, and noted that she had once given a party of her own. “She’s drawing on a lot of hearsay that she has fantasized, as far as I can see,”

via Turmoil at the Roosevelt Island Garden Club –


What You Missed in Today’s Times

And so it was sad but not entirely surprising when word came on Sunday of the passing of Pattycake, the Bronx Zoo gorilla who had long reigned as one of the city’s more acclaimed tourist attractions. Jim Breheny, the zoo’s director, said she had been discovered around 8 a.m. by a worker in the zoo’s Congo Gorilla Forest. Apparently, she went peacefully, in her sleep. Even at 40, her looks were still pretty much intact.

via A Child Star With a Knack for Publicity –

Tracking down Mr. Chappelle has become a comedy nerd pastime that requires close attention to social media and a willingness to drop everything and go. I heard about the shows here on Twitter the day before, bought one of the last tickets online and jumped on a plane. The show, the second of the night for him, was clearly not intended as a polished set. Comparing notes with audience members who had seen him before, I thought that it was more off the cuff, improvisational.

via Dave Chappelle and His Jokes Return, Tweaked –

“Why do you want to spread this creeping cancer, these woolly tanks, around the state of Montana?” he asked. “Trying to bring back the buffalo in big herds across Montana is like bringing back dinosaurs. And who wants dinosaurs in Montana? I certainly don’t.”

via Efforts to Restore Bison on the Montana Range Meet Resistance –


Don’t look now, but it’s 2000.


You wake up at 7am on a wonderful morning in early 2000. Dreamy as you are, you grab your phone to check the news and your email. Well, the news is that no one has texted you while you were sleeping and that your phone doesn’t connect to the internet. Because, well, you don’t have a smartphone. Just like everyone else doesn’t.

via 2000, the Year Formerly Known as the Future — Editors Picks — Medium.



Doritos has announced that Doritos Locos Tacos tortilla chips, based on Taco Bell tacos of the same name which use refashioned Doritos chips as shells, will soon be released in two flavors: nacho cheese and cool ranch. It’s not surprising that both brands, Doritos and Taco Bell, are owned by parent company PepsiCo. These super meta chips will be available on April 8, 2013.

via Self-Referential Doritos Locos Tacos Chips, Based on Taco Bell Tacos.