In opaque North Korean governance, a question: Did mercurial leader Kim Jong-un merely fire his uncle—stripping the man of titles and executing his top aides—or did he imprison him? Just what the hell is going on in North Korea, anyway?

China's still insisting that an air defense zone it dreamed up over the East China Sea last week—probably to try and reclaim a string of disputed islands currently under Japanese control—is valid. Japan says that's insane. VIce President Joe Biden? He's not saying much of substance.

We shouldn't expect Congress to produce X amount of laws every year, right? Quotas seem misplaced where legislation is concerned. Even so, it's hard to hold up the current iteration of the US House of Representatives as anything but a reprehensible farce.

Good: Tweaks to means the site is able to process more than 50,000 people a day, as promised. Expected, dispiriting caveat: The data it's churning out is riddled with errors.

How do America's 15-year-olds stack up, book-learning-wise, against other developed nations? Poorly! According to the latest results of an international exam, we're well below average in math, below average in science and just a touch above average in reading. We're even getting beat by the UK, and they call math "maths". Shanghai, which I guess gets grouped by itself because of it massive population, is crushing everybody. Maybe partly because their children are forced to stay indoors by choking, billowing smog?

Following a nine-day trial, a judge has ruled the City of Detroit can declare bankruptcy. It's too early to say what an agreement would look like, but it's almost certainly a bum deal for the boor bastards relying on their city pensions. Ouch.

Strapping Doug Firs and thriving filbert orchards aren't the only things that flourish in Oregon. Our great state is also fostering healthy and growing income inequality (like pretty much everywhere else).

Accused Cleveland kidnapper Ariel Castro did not accidentally kill himself in that most-compromising of positions, as speculated. A report has found he meant to do it. Somehow, that seems a shame.

A Russian ballet dancer will serve six years in prison for orchestrating an acid attack on a director. I've never seen Black Swan, but this is pretty much the same, right?

The Oregonian loves Seattle so much it's disgusting.

Sunny and cold. I can get behind it.


I watched How the Grinch Stole Christmas on Sunday. Great, but IS IT NOT ODD THAT THE WHOS BEGIN DECORATING FOR CHRISTMAS ON CHRISTMAS EVE?!