Self-imputed cleverness

“How did I come up with this brilliant idea?” he’s probably asking himself.

Yahoo Answers screenshot: If I were to power a battery charger off the battery that it is charging, would it charge itself?

Apparently he’s serious:

So, in detail. Let’s say I take a marine battery (like the “Optima Batteries 8016-103 D34M BlueTop Starting and Deep Cycle Marine Battery” on amazon). I take this Marine battery and I were to get a female DC cigarette adapter (like the “TireTek TT-BCA-297 Car Battery Clip-On Cigarette Lighter Socket Adapter 12V” found on amazon) then I attach the adapter to the marine battery then attach a vehicle power inverter (like the “BESTEK 300W Power Inverter DC 12V to 110V AC Car Inverter with 3.1A Dual USB Car Adapter” found on amazon) into the adapter and run a battery charger (like the “Black & Decker BC15BD 15 Amp Bench Battery Charger with Engine Start Timer” off amazon) back to the battery. Would it charge itself.

Maybe he saw this and got his hopes up:

Either that, or he’s hoping Amazon will pay him for plugging, so to speak, their equipment.

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Four-piece spicy, with a side of TimBits

Well, hey, it could happen, couldn’t it?

Restaurant Brands International Inc. will buy Atlanta-based Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen Inc. for $1.8 billion.

Popeyes shareholders will get $79 in cash a share at closing — a premium of 27 percent based on Popeyes’ 30-trading day Volume Weighted Average Price as of Feb. 10.

The deal, expected to close by early April 2017, brings the New Orleans spicy chicken brand to the same company that owns Burger King and Tim Hortons.

Will we see Popeyes/BK combined eateries? And if so, what’s going to happen to my Vast Waistline?

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Call her Junior

It’s easier, believe me:

Amber Tamblyn and David Cross just welcomed a brand-new baby girl into the world earlier today, and we are so excited for this new family. Amber shared the big news on Instagram, introducing their new daughter to the masses, while also disclosing her name. We think. Maybe? This lil’ Tamblyn-Cross might have the most unique baby name ever … or the Tamblyn-Cross family is seriously messing with us.

As Amber wrote on Instagram, their daughter’s new name is [deep breath]:

Dauphinoise Petunia Brittany Scheherazade Von Funkinstein Mustard Witch RBG Cross Tamblyn-Bey jr.

Now of course, we could be suffering here from the Transcontinental Chain Pull, but I’m inclined to view this name at face value. (Well, except “RBG.”)

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That southern Northern Soul

And the twain shall meet somewhere in between:

I grew up listening to polka, since I grew up in Northeastern Ohio, where there was a large Polish-and-other-Slavic immigrant community. (In fact, until I was in college, I just assumed everywhere had a radio station that played polka and broadcast in Polish for at least part of the day. Well, where I am now there are channels that broadcast Norteño music and broadcast in Spanish part of the day, so that’s similar — a lot of Norteño is polka-influenced.)

And in turn, Norteño, once inflected by other American styles, gave rise to something called Tejano. Did any of this reach the Anglo audience? I give you the Sir Douglas Quintet, practitioners of the Norteño two-step polka beat as filtered through a standard 12-bar blues, who achieved a #13 hit in 1965:

Some background information on Doug Sahm and the band here. Note that despite the lyric, “she,” at least in the video, isn’t much of a mover at all.

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You shut your mouth, Galaga Jane

I want so badly to laugh at this, but I fear it’s all true:

Potential baby names may be hiding in the titles of classic arcade games of the ’80s and early ’90s. No, I’m not talking Q*Bert or Pac-Man. But how about Azurian, Zaviga, or Cadash?

Don’t laugh until after you’ve heard this:

Three of them — Kage, Raiden, and Truxton — have already popped up in the [Social Security Administration] data.

Anything but Pac-Man.

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Wonk right in

Why do we have all these damned policy wonks, anyway? The Z Man takes a stab at it, and punctures Bill Kristol in the process:

The policy experts and political wizards of our age are men who possess no standing outside the very narrow field of politics. In the higher reaches, none of them have made a mark in a field outside of politics, like science or business. They prefer to restate, in slightly different terms, the views of a hundred predecessors, so they can invest all of their energies into currying favor with the powerful.

It is often argued that the appeal of politics is that it allows people to gain power and wealth, without having to invent a better mousetrap or figure out a better way to build a mousetrap. The reality is that the main attraction for guys like Kristol is they see punditry and commentary as fields where there is no right answer. Science, math, business, these are fields with right answers and more important, wrong answers. In the productive world, wrong answers have consequences.

Third-rate men will always be drawn to endeavors where everyone can claim to be right, by simply saying that everyone else is wrong. That’s how a Bill Kristol can trade on the family name and his father’s accomplishments to lever himself into positions of authority within the Republican Party. He is good at the small strategies of parlor room politics, but entirely worthless at everything else. It is no wonder that he fell for every crackpot policy idea of the last 25 years. He had no basis from which to judge them.

A corollary to the above: Those inside the bubble have a tendency to resent intruders from without. Witness the quite horrid things said about EPA chief Scott Pruitt and Ed Sec Betsy DeVos, both of whom came under a lot of fire from people who, more than anything else in the whole world, wanted to see a continuation of the status quo.

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Flying like a stream of thunder

Tahliah Debrett Barnett was tagged with the nickname “Twigs,” supposedly for her creaky joints, something you don’t expect in a slight-ish woman of twenty-four. When pop duo The Twigs complained, she adopted the tag “FKA twigs,” though she denies the prefix stands for “Formerly Known As.”

It’s not that you couldn’t tell them apart, either. FKA twigs sounds like nothing you’ve ever heard before, and is quite unapologetic about it:

“When I first released music and no one knew what I looked like, I would read comments like: ‘I’ve never heard anything like this before, it’s not in a genre.’ And then my picture came out six months later, now she’s an R&B singer. I share certain sonic threads with classical music; my song ‘Preface’ is like a hymn. So let’s talk about that. If I was white and blonde and said I went to church all the time, you’d be talking about the ‘choral aspect’. But you’re not talking about that because I’m a mixed-race girl from south London.”

See what you think of “Preface.”

FKA twigs for Calvin Klein

FKA twigs puts her hands up

FKA twigs on the red carpet

Twigs and heartthrob Robert Pattinson have been an item for more than two years now.

My own favorite twigs tune, perhaps because it’s fearfully intense while still keeping its distance, is “Two Weeks,” which, like “Preface,” comes from her first LP, LP1. “Two Weeks” made it to #42 on the Billboard dance chart.

You might not want to play “Two Weeks” at work.


Somebody needs to study this stuff

Admittedly, it’s hard to explain in a sentence or six:

If you’re keeping score, the Anishinaabe people are indigenous peoples of Canada and the United States, including, among others, the Odawa, Ojibwe, Potawatomi, Oji-Cree, Mississaugas, and Algonquin peoples. Mostly, they live in the northeastern US and southeastern Canada, though some of the Kickapoo, no thanks to the 1830 Indian Removal Act, wound up in Oklahoma.


Decentralization already

Smitty observes:

It’s not good when the one you don’t like is in the office with too much power; it’s not good when the one you do like is in the office with too much power: maybe someday we’ll realize that the fundamental problem is that the office has too much power.

What are we to do?

  • Make the House more representative?
  • Nuke the 17th Amendment, so that States matter more?
  • Replace gerrymandering with a modern mapping algorithm, to weaken parties?
  • Apply pliers and a blow torch to the IRS, and craft a 21st-century taxation system?
  • Term-limit pretty much everything, and blow up the petty aristocracy of the Beltway?

All of these ideas have merit. On the “more representative” question, it’s worth remembering that the original deal was 30,000 per House member. We’re now at the point where it’s 80,000 per member of the Oklahoma City Council. (The state of Oklahoma has five Representatives for 3.7 million people.)

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I suspect fowl play

I don’t know what’s scarier here: the large, placid-appearing birdlike creature, or the idea that Gunner might now be old enough to carry a cell phone.

Gunner at Railroad Park

(Taken by Gunner’s mom at Railroad Park in Blue Springs, Missouri.)

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Twisted, sister

So far, we’ve seen Mirjana Kika Milosević as a thinly-disguished ashtray and a headless body on a coat hanger. She continues to find new ways to amaze and/or frighten:

And it’s all paint: no computer assistance.


Strange search-engine queries (577)

“I knew, even before the Internet was invented, that some people would use it to discover strange, wondrous things.” — George Washington (1732-1799)

drawing conclusions about every woman who wears a size 14 or larger in a particular zip code from a representative sample of 250 women in that zip code who wear a size 14 or larger would be:  A really good way to get your ass kicked by some very angry women.

student loan debt blog:  Twenty years gone by, and they still haven’t finished it.

10cc neofascism:  You’re taking those rubber bullets far too seriously.

666 yahoo answers:  Of which approximately 80 made sense on first reading.

aaron’s persistent feelings of sadness and impending doom dominate his life. every time he says anything even a little positive to his therapist, the therapist smiles. otherwise the therapist has a stone face. this therapist is probably using some variation of:  Psychotherapy for Dummies (Second Edition).

bob seger birthday meme:  If your birthday is the sixth of May, you’re going to Katmandu.

12yo slut:  Now see? This is what happens when you let adolescents search for porn.

new six:  Will appear in more full-size trucks as CAFE makes V8 engines problematic.

trumpcare meme:  Just lie down over there until you get better.

on march 1 1982 john deposited $2250:  Which today is worth nearly seven hundred dollars.

economy in shambles:  According to each president since Benjamin Harrison, what his predecessor left behind.

elizabeth kucinich tongue ring:  Is this why we haven’t heard much from Dennis lately?

invisible clothes for women:  Approved by the Emperor himself.

is kevin durant marvin gaye’s grandson:  Is this something you heard through the grapevine?

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Pot threatens kettle

You can’t get a whole lot more hilarious than this:

Wikipedia has banned the use of the Daily Mail as a source of information on its site. The self-styled “library of the web” has decided the largest tabloid news site in the world is “generally unreliable” and has a reputation for “poor fact-checking, sensationalism and flat-out fabrication”. Yes, a crowd-sourced website that can be edited by any Tom, Dick or Harry is now fretting about facts.

Truth be told, it’s not the Harrys and the Toms that I worry about.

The Daily Mail is subject to libel laws, and staffed by trained journalists. This is more than can be said for Wikipedia, which is hardly famous for its reliability. In the past it has included public entries calling actor Gary Oldman a “giraffe”, asserting that footballer Thierry Henry “was born a c**t and remains a c**t”, and accusing teeny-bopper band the Jonas Brothers of having genital warts.

Disclosure: I’ve written a few things for Wikipedia, and several things I’ve written elsewhere have been cited as sources. Nothing in either group was intended to advocate any particular cause.

Wikipedia is a valuable online tool. But if it wants to uphold a reputation for providing objective facts, it has to remain politically neutral. Given that the Daily Mail can legitimately be cited in academic papers, books and studies as a source (yet another advantage it has over Wikipedia) there is no just reason for Wikipedia to denigrate its worth.

I’m not above citing Wikipedia for things like musical trivia or geographical curiosities. But for anything with the slightest bit of controversy, I will go somewhere else. Fortunately, there are lots of somewhere elses.

(Via Tongue Tied 3.)

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Thank you for the music

In 1974, I was in northern Turkey, assembling a hi-fi system when I wasn’t toting a rifle or doing other soldier-ish things. One of the discs I used to blast at overly high volume was the Waterloo album by ABBA, crisply recorded and full of pop hooks.

Forty-odd years later, Waterloo remains my favorite ABBA album, but the song I play most from it is not the verve-y title track, but this comparatively obscure number from side two, with its occasionally weird time signature and its gently cooing vocals:

It may be the least-played, least-covered ABBA track ever. I don’t care.


Ungulate multiplication

He’d intended to shoot them, but there came a distraction:

Day after day, week after week, the strange lawn ritual with the soccer ball went on and on. In truth, he had long since pulled far ahead of the buffalo in goals, but what do buffalo know about keeping score?

In time, however, the hunting season came around. He looked out of his house on the first morning and saw the buffalo waiting for him, the soccer ball in front of the forward, the defensive buffalo pacing slowly back and forth by the water trough. It came to him then that he could never shoot them. It would spoil the season — and the soccer season, in the deserts of Utah, is never really over.

On a hot afternoon soon after, he looked out his window and discovered, much to his delight and his neighbors’ shock, that the two buffalo on his lawn were indeed male and female.

Now it is two years later and he has four buffalo on his lawn. He doesn’t hunt anything anymore. Says he’s lost the taste for it. His old hunting buddies come by every so often and razz him about the buffalo.

“You started with two and couldn’t shoot them,” one said. “Now you got four.”

Well, we know how this ends, don’t we?

Damned binary.


A politics-free zone

In the best of all possible worlds, the entire world would be a politics-free zone. But this isn’t happening:

I started following a few “pretty pictures” accounts on Twitter to try to counteract a lot of the political stuff that’s being discussed on there. And then guess what: yesterday afternoon an account or two of them suddenly decided that it was time to get political.

They chose … poorly.

I think about a lot of this, and I think about something the survivalist types talk about, the whole “head on a swivel” idea — that every public place now is Potentially Dangerous, so you need to be in a state of heightened awareness and that just exhausts me and makes me want to be a hermit. I mean, I have halfway-decent situational awareness just because I’m observant and my history of being teased and made the butt of jokes makes me super sensitive to “hey, this thing isn’t quite right in my environment” but the idea of thinking of five escape routes for every part of the wal-mart I might happen to be in just makes me exhausted, and makes me almost want to say, “Okay, if a crazed shooter wants to take me out while I’m buying frozen cauliflower, then it was my time to go, and hopefully I’ll have that last chance to ask forgiveness for my sins before I die…”

And I think the being hyper-aware of political stuff is similar.

I stick by what I said yesterday to a friend in Canada:

And if anyone should come back with “But … but we’re marginalized!” I’m going to reply “Yet I can still hear you.”

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