Archive for 2014

2014 Predictions: "New Jersey will conduct traffic studies where traffic is actually studied."


crystal ball prediction guy

Here are a few 2014 predictions via the one, the only, Will Durst:


The dawn of the new year signals civilization’s return to several grand traditions including the ancient hoary one requiring we professional columnists to trot out the tried but true “Ye Olde Predictions Piece.” Either that or the even triter but true “Ye Olde Resolutions Piece.” But we wandered down that trail last year. And most likely will again in 2015.

Therefore, being the traditionalist ink-stained wretches that we here at Durstco are, it is with great pride and a certain amount of feigned dignity that we honor this revered journalistic practice. Hence, here they are: predictions of what to expect from various folks during the 5th year of the second decade of the 21st century.


Barack Obama will finally purge himself of the heavy burden of high expectations.

Lindsay Lohan will engage in activities that will trigger a slow sad shake of the head from Charlie Sheen.

Locavore chicken wings will become all the rage at 60 bucks an order.

Hillary Clinton will change her hairdo so that it looks eerily like Elizabeth Warren’s.

A Silicon Valley start- up will trump Twitter by limiting users to punctuation marks. “!!!!?!”

The NRA will respond to another senseless school shooting by calling for the closing of all schools.

The NSA will ratchet up their online game- room monitoring to include Words With Friends.

The TSA will expedite passenger security by perfecting the implementation of the two handed wedgie.

Starbucks will be revealed to be in league with Amazon, charged with the goal of keeping consumers up longer so we can shop more.

The Justice Department will break laws, then conduct investigations into who told the press about the breaking of those laws instead of investigating the crimes stemming from those laws being broken.

John Boehner will encourage the nation’s unemployed to move to Mexico for one of the thousands of good US jobs now there.

The Tea Party will still steer America so that it teeters on the brink of a fiscal speed bump.

Justin Bieber will visit the grave of Mother Jones and declare her a Belieber.

Congress’s Approval Rating will sink below the poll’s margin of error.

Washington and Colorado will experience a huge uptick in tax receipts from the sale of Funyuns and Ho- Hos.

Scientists will conclude global warming is protecting Earth from another Ice Age causing Rush Limbaugh to call for a return to diesel- powered toasters.

Chris Christie will talk his way out of a rabbit snare into a bear trap.

Joe Biden will change his hairdo so it looks eerily like Chris Christie’s.

Kim Jong Un will play point guard for the North Korean National Basketball Team, then execute Dennis Rodman for stepping on his foot.

Anthony Weiner will attempt another high profile comeback and people will just laugh.

All 4 Duck Dynasty Boys will enter the 2014 Louisiana US Senate GOP Primary but will knock each other out. Literally.

New Jersey will conduct traffic studies where traffic is actually studied.

Vladimir Putin will win a gold medal in the Sochi Olympics Biathlon Event. And will do it shirtless.

The Airline Industry will make every effort to rid the skies of the most dangerous security threat known to man: passengers.

Will Durst is a nationally acclaimed and award- winning political comic. Go to to find about more about his new CD,“Elect to Laugh” and his calendar of personal appearances.


Video- 2013 Golden Globes: Tina Fey and Amy Poehler Full Monologue



The Book Booth: How's Your Weather Edition



The Book Booth is a weekly feature at The Political Carnival, relating news, notes, and reflections from the world of books and publishing. SeattleDan, along with his wife, SeattleTammy, are operators of both an on-line bookstore, as well a brick and mortar in small town Washington State. Both have been in the book business since shortly after the Creation, or close to 6000 years now.

We have the usual winter gloom here in our little town. A lot of rain, a bit of wind and temperatures in the forties. How's it going for you? I suspect that wherever you may be, snuggling in with a good book might be a great idea.

And if you were looking to catch up on some contemporary literature, take a gander at Jason Diamonds's list of important books from the past five years from Flavorwire. It is an exhaustive, if not exhausting, look at fifty books.

2014 will be yet another year of movie adaptations. Arielle Calderon at Buzzfeed suggests you might want to read these sixteen books before the movies hit the theaters. Among them is Mark Helprin's Winters Tale which SeattleTammy adored. Let's hope the film does it justice.

Back in 1971 a group of activists burgled a Pennsylvania FBI office and discovered files that more than confirmed our more paranoid suspicions that the Bureau spied extensively on anti-war and civil rights organizations. The perps were never caught and only now have their identities been revealed. NPR looks at Betty Medsger's The Burglary: The Discovery of J. Edgar Hoover's Secret FBI here.

NPR also featured the legacy of Amiri Baraka, the controversial and always interesting African-American poet and playwright who passed away this week at age 79. Before he adopted the Baraka name, he was called LeRoi Jones and his work of non-fiction, Blues People is an excellent study of black music in white culture.

Last week I mentioned that a US court recently ruled that Arthur Conan Doyle's character, one Sherlock Holmes, was now in the public domain.(The Doyle Estate,as I understand, is appealing the ruling). Well, for all you Sherlock fans out there, The Guardian offers a quiz on the good detective. And it isn't easy.

Over at HuffPo, Antonio Garrido looks at eleven women from literature who rebelled against the mores of their times. It's a good list, but I will never understand the fascination people have with Scarlett O'Hara. I find her to be one of the most unlikeable characters,man or woman, in literature.

Most of imagine writers at work sitting at a desk, scribbling on tablets or typing away at their laptops. But some writers prefer a more relaxed position....reclined on their beds. Again, from HuffPo, Bernd Brunner looks at few of those recumbent authors.

There are the famous dystopian novels nearly everyone has read. 1984. Brave New World. Then there are some others worthy of our attention, that seem a little more obscure. Jason Diamond featured fifteen such titles, again from Flavorwire.

Obscurity beats out being non-existent, though. Gabe Habash at Publishers Weekly lists off nine famous books that never saw the light of day, including one on asteroids by a certain Professor Moriarty.

I hope this finds you all warm and comfortable, no matter what your weather may be. Curl up with a good book, have an outstanding weekend and let us know what you are reading.

Photo by my df Cat.


Video- President's Weekly Address: Ensuring 2014 is a Year of Action to Grow the Economy



The Book Booth: Another Odds and Ends Edition



The Book Booth is a weekly feature at The Political Carnival, relating news, notes, and reflections from the world of books and publishing. SeattleDan, along with his wife, SeattleTammy, are operators of both an on-line bookstore, as well a brick and mortar in small town Washington State. Both have been in the book business since shortly after the Creation, or close to 6000 years now.

It is that time of year when it is quiet in the world of books. Publishers are gearing up for their Spring releases, and booksellers catch their collective breaths after what one hopes was a busy holiday season. But there is always some news and interesting tidbits to share.

For those of us recovering from perhaps too much holiday cheer comes the good news that reading helps your brain functions in all sorts of good ways.

If you haven't finished welcoming in the New Year, or want some of the hair of the dog, Flavorwire has these suggestions from literature that you may want to try.

I'd recommend drinking at home. The humiliation of drinking at a bar when you're involved in books could end up looking like this.

We have some good news for writers who would like to use Sherlock Holmes in your narratives. Sherlock, Doctor Watson and all those characters from Arthur Conan Doyle are now in the public domain.

Then there are writers who suffer from writers block or need to think some aspects of their works-in-progress through and end up doodling. Among these writers are those given to self-portraiture. Brainpickings offers some examples here.

Oh, the trials and tribulations of working in a bookstore. Author and bookseller Susan Coll had this funny piece in the Washington Post and it reminded me of the days when I'd be asked for a book by a customer who neither knew the title or the author, but could tell me it was yellow; or the elderly lady who wanted me to shape the gift wrap ribbon into a cute dog.

Places and homes often function as characters in fiction. Manderlay. Wuthering Heights. Shortlist came up with this very useful floor plan guide for some of the more classic homes in literature.

Before we bid 2013 a fond adieu, ABEBooks handy review of the past year, complete with dust jacket art.

Often lost in the shuffle of the books published during the course of the year are those works translated into English. Juan Vidal shared three such works at NPR that look terrific and worth your time pursuing.

And finally at NPR station KUOW in Seattle comes these recommendations from librarian extraordinaire Nancy Pearl. From her short list here, I sought out Kevin Jackson's Constellation of Genius: 1922 Modernism Year One and so far, it is a great read and literary history.

Have a most pleasant weekend. Enjoy some fine books and let us know what books you are enjoying!


Cartoons of the Day- New Years Resolutions



Joe Heller


Terry Wise


Video- Pat Robertson's 2014 Predictions: President Obama will 'withdraw' in 2014 to 'go surfing'


I've worked with the elderly and this man should be playing some bingo with a drool bib accessory, not hosting a television show. Thanks RWW.