Chicago had no measurable snowfall for almost three months—until last night:
Snow started Sunday. Snow in the Chicago area and elsewhere is leading to more than 500 cancellations at Chicago’s O’Hare and Midway airports.
The last time Chicago received any significant snowfall was in mid-December, when there was a little more than 5 inches of snow on Dec. 11 and 3.5 inches of snow days later.
Since the first of the year, what rare flurries the city has seen have added up to less than an inch of snow.
My co-workers who came from other climates are terribly confused. We native Chicagoans are not. Of course we're getting an early-spring snowfall. We haven't built up enough character from the first two months of the year.
Some stories from today:
And, hey! It's Friday afternoon already.
Jeet Heer says no:
[T]he very nature of our modern world, and the United States’ supremacy, makes it impossible to dismiss an American president’s word. The U.S. is a nuclear-armed superpower, with a commander in chief who presides over the world’s largest economy. Millions of people all over the world pay careful attention to what a president says, making their own plans based on the words coming out of the White House—and they will continue to do so whether or not the press corps and political class in Washington somehow agree en masse to ignore Trump’s tweets.
“Toyota Motor said will build a new plant in Baja, Mexico, to build Corolla cars for U.S. NO WAY!” Trump tweeted in January. “Build plant in U.S. or pay big border tax.” Toyota’s stock promptly fell, as has the stock of other companies caught in Trump’s Twitter crosshairs. Because his tweets move markets, businesses are developing strategies for how to handle a presidential social media attack. There’s even an app that lets you know when Trump has tweeted negatively about a publicly traded company, so you can sell quickly if needed. Another company created a lightning-fast Twitter bot that automatically short sells such stocks. It’s called “Trump and Dump.”
“Mr. Trump’s Twitter posts, viewed with amazement outside the West Wing bubble, often create crises on the inside,” the Times reported. “That was never truer than when Mr. Trump began posting from his weekend retreat at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida shortly after sunrise on Saturday. His groggy staff realized quickly that this was no typical Trump broadside, but an allegation with potentially far-reaching implications that threatened to derail a coming week that included the rollout of his redrafted travel ban and the unveiling of the Republican plan to replace the Affordable Care Act.”
The more one watches this clown, the more one wonders just how much he's a genius, or, you know, something else?
It looks more and more like the Republican Party created a trap for itself in its hysterical opposition to the Affordable Care Act, making the (I am not kidding) "World's Greatest Healthcare Plan of 2017" a non-starter for clear majorities in Congress:
If the health care of 20 million or more Americans weren't at stake, I'd say bring the popcorn.
Chicago is experiencing sustained 48 km/h winds with gusts up to 68 km/h, which has a noticeable effect on the building I work in. Sears Willis Tower was designed to sway in high winds. Over the years, however, material and building techniques have changed, so occasionally windows blow out of our upper floors. Fortunately this hasn't happened in almost 7 years, but these winds are high enough today that we may have to close the upper floors.
I may pop up to 66 today just to feel it. At that floor, the building can sway almost 3 m. I'm feeling a little dizzy and I'm only a third the way up.
Every night, I throw my excess pocket change into a bag. Sometimes I remember to empty the bag, as I did today. Total haul? Six dollar coins, a half-dollar, 648 quarters, 364 dimes, 220 nickels, and 664 pennies, summing up to $222.54.
And no fee if you apply it to a gift card.
Several reactions to President Trump's bizarre accusation that the Obama administration ordered an illegal wiretap on Trump Tower last year, from left to right:
Meanwhile, Greg Sargent sees this as more evidence that Trump has "total contempt for American democracy." That does seem to be the case.
The Finnish manufacturer is bringing back their 2000-era 3310:
Given the rising angst of a society run by technology, Nokia might have picked the perfect time to introduce an antidote to the smartphone. But even under today’s conditions, it is tempting to see the new Nokia 3310 merely as another example of retro nostalgia. Ha-ha, what if you could get a dumbphone instead? It would pair perfectly with a milk crate full of vinyl albums. But it’s also possible that the 3310 marks the start of a new period of technological mobility. One that offers a sense of how even the most entrenched technological habits might yet turn out differently.
It might be premature to announce the end of humanity’s love affair with the smartphone. But the relationship’s cracks are surely showing. Some have immediate consequence. Apps have contributed to a huge spike in traffic accidents and deaths, as more and more people attempt to operate finicky handheld devices while driving. The partial-reinforcement techniques baked into today’s apps and games has become more apparent to users, who seem increasingly resigned to services they also feel no option to quit. And the uniformity in design of devices has arrested their future potential. Every year another glass rectangle, affording no more or less than it promises, which is more of the same.
The smartphone’s conquest is definitive and complete. A decade after its form solidified, the contemporary citizen of the developed world has almost no choice but to own and operate one. And yet, the joy and the utility of doing so has declined, if not ceased entirely.
Hey, for $50 I might pick one up as a backup device, once they're offered in the U.S.
A 2015 theft of a gun shipment from a railroad yard in Chicago continues to plague the city:
The guns had been en route from New Hampshire weapon maker Sturm, Ruger & Co. to Spokane, Washington. Instead, the .45-caliber Ruger revolvers and other firearms spread quickly into surrounding high-crime neighborhoods. Along with two other major gun thefts within three years, the robbery helped fuel a wave of violence on Chicago's streets.
The 2015 heist of the 111 guns, as well as one in 2014 and another last September from the same 63rd Street Rail Yard highlight a tragic confluence. Chicago's biggest rail yards are on the gang- and homicide-plagued South and West sides where most of the city's 762 killings happened last year.
Chicago's leaders regularly blame lax gun laws in Illinois and nearby states that enable a flow of illegal weapons to the city's gangs and criminals. But community leaders and security experts say no one seems to be taking responsibility for train-yard gun thefts.
But the number of guns produced in this country has nothing at all to do with crime, according to the NRA. Right.
And in honor of his birthday, one of my all-time-favorite riffs on his style from the 1980s TV show "Moonlighting:"