Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Rhapsody in Snow

Here in Boston, we’re in the aftermath of the latest nor’easter, the biggest snowstorm since the bigger one two years ago.

Monday, January 26, 2015


There’s little doubt that the selfie is the runaway popular “art” form of the age. In 2013, the Oxford Dictionaries chose “selfie” as their Word of the Year. And like all successful fads, selfies have spun off accessory products like the selfie stick, and even a TV show.

I suppose compared to that other popular Internet-age art form … pirating other people’s images, music and video, the selfie qualifies as being remotely creative. Yet in the history of human creativity, it’s kind of on par with drawing feathers on a tracing of your hand and calling it a turkey. Self portraits do have a time-honored place in art, but that’s because they usually make a stronger statement than “Here I am!”

Of course, like any self-proclaimed creator, I’ve tried selfies. Because I wear progressive bifocals, I have to tilt my head back slightly to see the phone screen properly when held at arm’s length. As a result, in all my selfies I appear to have an enormous chin and a minuscule forehead. In reality, I have a little chin and enormous ears.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

State of the Blogosphere

My fellow Americans (and others), we are now zero years into the century that runs from 2015 to 2115. We have just come through an extraordinary time period. We’ve come through a time of two foreign wars, multiple international terror attacks, and kale. We’ve struggled through grim economic times, when we faced the anxiety of uncertain employment, unavailable insurance and unreliable Wi-Fi. Even the middle class has been hard hit by stagnant wages, rising education costs and “Two Broke Girls.” And we’ve all just experienced a grim reminder that humor itself can be lethal.

And while climate change threatens our very existence, maybe it will at least keep the winter Olympics away from Boston.

In such times, it’s important to remember the positive accomplishments.

Um …

In such trying times, it’s important to state our fundamental principles … the preservation of our freedom and our values.

Everyone should be able to wear Google Glass in public. (Huh? Ok, no Google Glass.)

No American, rich or even richer, should be able to distort our democratic process with excessive campaign contributions, manipulation of electoral districts or voting.

No American should be required to actually be from America.

No American should be denied vital healthcare because of lack of insurance, long waits, limited parking or the age of waiting room magazines.

No hacker should be able to penetrate our security, rob us of confidential information, or hinder our ability to see Seth Rogen movies.

No terrorist should be able to shoot cartoonists. Even editors should not be shot. Most of them.

And above all, in response to the many challenges we face, we are determined to keep posting more crap in the hopes that some of you will read it.

Thank you, and blog dess America.

Monday, January 19, 2015


Heh-heh. It’s Monday, isn’t it?

Well, in honor of Martin Luther King day, I’ll spare you the burden of reading another one of these posts.

We’ll be back soon.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Another Limerick of the Day ... #132

Mocking ideas is quite commonplace
But it’s wrong to mock somebody’s race.
If the difference is choice
Is it ok to voice
Mockery in the religious case?

Limerick of the Day #131

In France, there’s concern if you’re Jewish
About terror attacks. Much ado is
Made of Charlie Hebdo,
Which the French love, although
Not as much as they love Jerry Lewis.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

F-Bombs Away

There’s been a lot of talk about free speech in the wake of the attack on the French satirical newspaper, Charlie Hebdo. While it’s clear the attackers crossed a line by using violence to stifle ideas, it’s useful to consider just how free “free” speech is in our culture.

In particular, we must be careful not to confuse language and ideas with deeds. For example, the commonly used term f-bomb simply denotes the use of a vulgar word. But words are not bombs, and even suggesting the comparison seems hostile to free speech.

Of course, joking about bombs can get you in deep trouble, especially at airports. One Venezualan doctor was fined almost $90,000.00 for jokingly saying he was carrying C-4 explosives.

And somewhere along the line, we in the U.S. seem to have tacitly accepted the idea of free speech zones, designated areas where protesters can carry signs, wear clothing with slogans, etc. Demonstrators are corralled in fenced areas far away from the people for whom those protests are intended. According to the Constitution, the entire United States is a free speech zone, but we have allowed that freedom to be curtailed to avoid the risk that our leaders might be exposed to alternative ideas.

If we allow language to become weaponized, we harm everyone.

Monday, January 12, 2015


Thanks to the internet, we can now spread misinformation and lies faster and farther than has ever been humanly possible. This phenomenon is new enough and different enough to deserve its own moniker, so here’s our suggestion …


(Of course, the squeamish can say “eBS.”)

The amazing thing about eBullshit is that it can masquerade as perfectly valid information, even with the appearance of journalism. Anyone with some spare time can create a Web site with a look of complete legitimacy, including mastheads, logos and that ultimate of badge of veracity, advertisements.

eBullshit can serve many purposes, included boosting political campaigns, promoting products and just plain orneriness. Sometimes the eBullshit propagates widely enough to attain the status of meme, defined as “something that’s gone viral because someone else thought of it.” This has been the case for such beloved concepts as “death panels,” “Internet security” and “Facebook privacy.”

And just as Ebola is far more virulent than conventional Bola, so eBullshit commands more fear and loathing than it’s cousin.

NOTE: Apple’s version will be known as iSwear.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Editorial Policies

In the wake of the terrorist attack on the offices of Charlie Hebdo, the satirical newspaper in Paris, we at The Tech Curmudgeon believe it’s important to state our editorial policies. Most importantly, we will not bow to any XXXXXXX XXXXXXXXXX, XXX-XXXXXX XXXXXXXXX or XXXX-XXXXXXXX XXXXXXX. (If, however, you have a history of violence, we may mock you somewhat less than you really deserve.)

Furthermore, we emphatically denounce any attempts to silence or persecute any individuals or groups based on religious beliefs, thus upholding a proud Western tradition. Well, except for a few minor kerfuffles like the Spanish Inquisition, the Salem Witch Trials or the Holocaust.

Finally, although we endeavor to be equally offensive to all, regardless of race, creed, religion, nationality, sexual orientation, employment status, political affiliations, place of origin or choice of operating system, we will try to stick it to the jerks.

Thank you.

The Tech Curmudgeon

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

WTF 2015

Here we are ... the first WTF Tuesday of the new year! Send your questions to

and watch this space for irrelevant, irreverent and quite probably irresponsible responses.

Monday, January 5, 2015

The Photoshop Diet

In order to start the new year off right, I prioritized those resolutions that relate to health and fitness. After watching videos of how models are retouched for magazine covers and ads, I realized that technology has finally given us the key to perfect health and beauty ... Photoshop. In fact, the more our lives are conducted on-line, the more perfect this solution becomes. As you can see, even a few short days can have dramatic effects ...


So try the Photoshop Diet. After all, what's more important than your health?

Friday, January 2, 2015

Limerick of the Day #130

Welcome new year, and out with the old.
Let’s be forthright, resourceful and bold.
Where life needs solutions,
We’ve made resolutions
Which start once we’re over this cold.