The reason we’re shorter today

from the New York Times:

Average adult heights in many countries appear to have peaked 30 to 40 years ago and have declined slightly since then, according to a new study that the authors say is based on the largest set of such data ever gathered.

 The reason we’re shorter today
is cuz we munch on Frito Lay
instead of whole wheat —
so we grow petit,
that is, in our height; not sideway. 

Philadelphia: Michelle Obama Steals the Show

from the New York Times:

PHILADELPHIA — The Democratic National Convention began with the ouster of the party’s chairwoman, protests in the streets, disruptions on the convention floor and a torrential thunderstorm.

 

Philadelphia is known for thunder boomers that can bluster

worse than any politician, or George Armstrong Custer.

The Democrats have met in solemn conclave to produce

a candidate who must become the country’s golden goose.

Chaos threatens ev’ry second of their wild convention;

delegates are hard-headed, you might even say Laurentian.

But when the dust has settled, and the catchpoles all depart,

homeless people still will push around their shopping cart.

For as an ancient king once said: “Not much under the sun

that’s spoke at a convention is worth a hot cross bun.”

War Correspondent

From ABC News:

The Pentagon has revised its Law of War guidelines to remove wording that could permit U.S. military commanders to treat war correspondents as “unprivileged belligerents” if they think the journalists are sympathizing or cooperating with enemy forces.

The amended manual, published on Friday, also drops wording that equated journalism with spying.

A war correspondent espies

all sorts of great ruses and lies

when out at the front,

but if she is blunt

she’s prone to a six foot downsize.

Our government’s hunger to snoop

From the Wall Street Journal:

Microsoft Corp. won a major legal battle with the U.S. Justice Department Thursday when a federal appeals court ruled that the government can’t force the company to turn over emails or other personal data stored on computers overseas.

The ruling is another setback for the Justice Department’s efforts to force technology companies to comply with government orders for data, following the collapse earlier this year of two cases involving Apple Inc.’s refusal to help open locked iPhones.

 Our government’s hunger to snoop
grows thicker than any pea soup.
The less that they trust us
the more they will bust us —
and leave freedom out of the loop. 

Audiobooks

from the Wall Street Journal;

Audiobooks are the fastest-growing format in the book business today. Sales in the U.S. and Canada jumped 21% in 2015 from the previous year, according to the Audio Publishers Association. The format fits neatly in the sweet spot of changing technology and changing behavior.

I will not be easily swayed

that audio books grow in trade.

For those quite mature

they do not assure

much pleasure without hearing aide. 

Her husband nervously interjected: “Rhoda, shut up.”

Rhodas of the world, unite! Don’t let your fella stopper

anything you’d like to say, whether true or whopper.

If you have views on Turkey or Afghanistan, proceed

to give the world your notion without hindrance or much heed. 

You’ve the right to have your say, to backtrack or gazump;

for you are an American, just like our Donald Trump! 

Turtles

Whether snapping, painted, softshell, turtles grace the soggy scene;

Lugging shells around the water like some upside-down tureen.

Basking on a sunken log, they’re decals of the summer;

They look at us with wise old eyes that brand us a newcomer.

And in return we capture them to make distinctive soup;

At prices that would make most diners’ appetite sure droop.
Or else we set them side by side to scramble willy-nilly
in a race that robs them of esteem and is quite silly.

Those who trap the creatures and the ones sworn to protect

Squabble over quotas like some sanguinary sect.

But if you asked the turtle, then I think that you would find

That thinking of such folderol, it’s really disinclined.

Finding worms and minnows, or a patch of ripe duckweed

Is all a turtle comprehends or thinks that it will need.