Tight arrangement

You might have thought this one was going to turn into a laugher, had you noticed that the Thunder were up three at halftime and the Jazz scored only 19 points in the third quarter. Then you choked at how OKC choked: the Thunder managed only 11 points in the third quarter. With 1:22 to play, the Jazz were up 90-89. Before 1:00 appeared, Russell Westbrook had knocked down two free throws and assisted on a Steven Adams dunk. As the 12.9 mark approached, the Jazz had answered, then Adams salvaged a busted play, got the rock to Westbrook, and Westbrook was duly fouled. Two more free throws from The Force, as radio guy Matt Pinto has been calling him lately, and it was 95-92 OKC. Gordon Hayward spent only two and a half seconds to send up an angle-right three to tie it. With 1.4 left, Westbrook again, with a 20-foot pullup. Alec Burks drew the last-shot assignment, and it missed. Oklahoma City 97, Utah 95, evening the season series and putting the kibosh on the Jazz’ six-game winning streak.

Westbrook, incidentally, did that triple-double thing again: 38-10-10. This despite scoring nothing in the third quarter. Wildly, both teams shot 43 percent (36 of 83), though neither was all that swift from the three-point line: the Thunder made six of 20, the Jazz five of 21. Other numbers from the stats bin were similarly close. Derrick Favors got the one Utah double-double (10 points, 10 rebounds). But there were 16 lead changes in 48 minutes, which is enough to make you dizzy. Or me, anyway.

One last road game: Wednesday at New Orleans. The bad news: it’s the first night of a back-to-back. The good news: it’s against the Mavericks, who are one game out of the Western Conference basement. Then again, everyone’s tired and waiting for the All-Star break, so it is not wise to assume that things will fall according to plan.

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After which, the cows gave milkshakes

Apparently factory-reject Skittles are a popular feed for dairy cattle in Wisconsin:

Hundreds of thousands of red Skittles that spilled on a country road in Wisconsin led cops to discover that farmers have been feeding the candy to cows for years, CNN reported.

The sweet treats fell from a truck hauling them to a cattle ranch in Dodge County, and were frozen in place earlier this week, police told the station.

“There’s no little “S” on them, but you can definitely smell, it’s a distinct Skittles smell,” Dodge County Sheriff Dale Schmidt told CNN affiliate WISN.

I suppose it’s a good thing the cows weren’t eating M&Ms.

But maybe it doesn’t matter:

John Waller, an animal science professor at the University of Tennessee, said Skittles are a legit meal to feed the animals.

“Think it’s a viable (diet),” Waller told Live Science. “It keeps fat material from going out in the landfill, and it’s a good way to get nutrients in these cattle. The alternative would be to put (the candy) in a landfill somewhere.”

Now I wonder how their teeth are faring.

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From the Nice Try files

Retrieved from the spam bin:

Actual comment spam screenshot: Wow that was odd. I just wrote an incredibly long comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn't show up. Grrrr ... well I’m not writing all that over again. Anyhow, just wanted to say excellent blog!

Bots are not known for their powers of concentration. (Nor is there any need for them to be, since the supply of bots is seemingly unending.)

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Assuming this is really an error

Or perhaps a Higher Truth:

And let’s face it, he’d fit right in at Fox News.

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Strange search-engine queries (573)

Exactly zero individuals paraded through the streets this past weekend demanding this feature. Not that I’m surprised, mind you.

daddy browning peaches:  Threw ’em on the grill right next to the pork chops, he did.

kenworth check engine light with wrench:  Will cost you money. Get used to it.

banana slug search engine:  That’ll teach you to laugh at DuckDuckGo.

the carson family will purchase three used cars. there are two models of cars available, model a and model b, each of which is available in four colors: blue, black, red, and green. how many different combinations of three cars can the carsons select if all the cars are to be different colors?  And then they got to the dealership and all the cars were white, black or grey.

judge jeanine pirro cleavage:  You wouldn’t have noticed back in the days when she was wearing the standard judicial robe.

consider the sauce:  And only then order your pizza.

“special snowflake”:  More than a handful, and suddenly they don’t seem so damn special anymore.

female y chromosome:  Y is Y, whether girl or guy.

foreskin rolled back permanently:  Do you have a Y chromosome?

countering foreign propaganda and disinformation act of 2016:  We’re now supposed to give preference to domestic propaganda and disinformation.

google eats:  Your soul. Prepare to switch to Bing.

jack baruth wife:  This would be the legendary Danger Girl, who can and will kick your ass if you give her any grief.

small towns balk at amtrak plan to expedite boston route:  Especially small towns in Nebraska, which will not benefit from it.

renee richards argues in favor of reducing the patient load of our nurses. but it’s obvious why she says this. renee is a nurse herself, so of course she wants a reduced patient load. nobody should pay too much attention to her pleas:  Must be a different Renee Richards. The one I know about plays tennis.

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Daydream fail

I mean, this character is delusional from the word Go:

Yahoo Answers screenshot: Can i be able to buy and keep a lamborghini huracan?

To justify this delusion:

i earn 140-170k per year
i average 8-11k per month

Um, no you don’t. That alleged maximum of $11k per month comes out to only $132k a year. If you made that kind of money, you’d either be able to figure that yourself, or perhaps hire a fourth-grader to do it for you.

Last I looked, base price was $203,295, though I suspect none are sold at anywhere near base price: most of them have $30,000 or more worth of options.

I suspect this guy won’t be getting out of his ’99 Corolla for a long time.

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Regional soundings

Steve Sailer on the uses, or perhaps misuses, of accents in politics:

One of the polarizing aspects about Donald Trump is that he doesn’t codeswitch much, the way Obama spoke to black preachers in his black preacher accent while he spoke to whites in his flat Kansas accent (a state he barely has visited, but whom he claims to be from due to his mother having been born there and Kansas seeming particularly non-foreign) rather than in his prep school accent. Hillary has used many accents as well.

Trump talks like a guy from Queens, which he is. Many people, often ones not normally fond of New Yorkers, find Trump’s accent reassuringly authentic. Other people find it alarming. Does his failure to upgrade the class associations of his accent demonstrate that he is defective? Or does it imply that he rejects much of America’s class system? If he doesn’t have the decency to modulate his accent properly, what other social conventions might he not value? Clearly, many people with classier accents find Trump’s accent highly unsettling.

I’m pretty sure no one who heard Hillary trying to sound like Granny Clampett on Quaaludes found the experience at all rewarding. Obama had one distinct advantage over her: people tended to read him as some sort of kindred spirit, because they wanted one meeting his general description so badly. And therefore they found his speech patterns sort of neutral, because their speech patterns were sort of neutral.

As for Trump, I suspect that rather a large number of people of a certain age read him as the functional equivalent of another famed Queens resident: Archie Bunker.

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Feed me, see more

There are times when I wonder just what the hell we’re up to with some of these experiments:

A psychiatry professor [at Yale] wanted to see what happens in our brain during our feeding behaviors (when eating Brussels sprouts, the brain seems to be weeping and wailing, “Kill me now! Kill me now!”). So he used an experiment to “turn on” a section of a mouse’s brain that’s connected to its amygdala, a more primitive part of the brain that wakes up when we’re being predatory. The laser light shined on li’l Squeaker’s gray matter turned him into a wee ravening beast, attempting to attack and eat just about anything in his cage except other mice. Including things that aren’t actually edible, like bottle caps and rolls of tape. He didn’t stop until the laser was switched off.

Sounds like an ordinary teenager.

I wonder, though, what internal programming led the wee beastie to refrain from dining on Mouse #2 despite the laser show going on in his head.

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Too Moby for this bunch

Herman Melville: revered novelist, incompetent at restaurant-naming:

Moby Dick is universally considered to be one of the great American novels. It’s on the assigned reading lists of schools across the country.

But in Vancouver, some real dicks are refusing to lease part of their building to a fish-and-chips restaurant by that name. The restaurant is now suing the building’s owners.

The fight has been going on since the middle of 2015, when the former tenants, a restaurant named “The Change,” went out of business. Since then, “Moby Dick’s” has been trying to take over the space. Strata, the building’s owners, have insisted “that the word ‘Dick’ in Moby Dick was an offensive term,” and wouldn’t be allowed.

At least it’s not a hot dog joint.

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Wind unwound?

The Big Breezy wasn’t all that breezy last year, reports Oklahoman Real Estate Editor Richard Mize:

At first glance, it’s hard to believe Oklahoma City didn’t make CoreLogic’s annual Windy City Index for 2016, neither by top wind speed nor number of wind events. That’s partly because tornadoes don’t count as wind events. So even the couple of little tornadoes that did hit last year wouldn’t have changed the rankings.

Now I want to yell at the weather forecasters with their tornado suits on: “You call that a wind event?

So who tops the index? Nashville, Tennessee:

The windiest city in the U.S. in 2016 was Nashville, according to a yearly analysis of weather data from CoreLogic, a research and consulting firm.

The city came in first among the nation’s largest 279 metro areas, CoreLogic said. The ranking takes into account both the number of strong wind events as well as the total force caused by any severe wind gusts of 60 mph or more.

Nashville had 21 wind-related events in 2016 and a maximum wind speed of 72 mph. It was followed by Reno, Jackson, Miss., Cincinnati and Columbia, S.C., as the USA’s windiest cities last year, according to CoreLogic.

If these places seem awfully close to one another, there’s a reason for that:

All of the USA’s highest wind speeds in 2016 were recorded during Hurricane Matthew’s rampage up the East Coast, with the highest being 101 mph, which was recorded at Kennedy Space Center on Oct. 6.

And if you’re asking why CoreLogic cares, Mize can tell you:

CoreLogic, a financial and property data firm based in Irvine, California — with its Weather Verification Services arm in Norman — collects and [analyzes] this data to provide to the insurance industry. One-fourth of all claims are for wind damage, CoreLogic says.

We may take heart in the fact that Chicago, the Windy City of legend, didn’t place either.

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Into something good

The Best of Herman's Hermits: The 50th Anniversary AnthologyOf all the Sixties groups I can name — and believe me, I can name a heck of a lot of them — Herman’s Hermits got just about the least benefit of stereo recording techniques, largely because producer Mickie Most didn’t believe in such a thing: he was a singles man, and singles were mixed to mono because singles were always mixed to mono, and he did much the same thing for the Animals and for Donovan and even for Lulu. (Most’s only real rival here was Joe Meek, and Meek, who died in 1967, is undeservedly unknown in the States; the Yardbirds got similar nonsupport from Giorgio Gomelsky, who died last week.) So a 66-track compilation with, um, 66 tracks in stereo is going way beyond the call of duty; 58 of them have appeared in mono only for half a century.

More astonishing than that is that these 66 tracks appear on a mere two CDs; the legendary German reissue label Bear Family managed to cram more than 87 minutes on each of these discs. (The CD spec originally called for 74 minutes, later boosted to 80.) Better yet, they hired Ron Furmanek to do tape research and produce, and Furmanek is one of the best in the biz. A lot of the early stuff is two-track because that’s all there was; producers of this particular era figured that this was the last step before a proper mono mix, and that’s what they kept.

The songs, or at least the hits anyway, you already know. A few have additional studio talk or countoffs from the original tapes; “Mrs Brown You’ve Got a Lovely Daughter” runs out to a cold ending instead of fading at 2:46 like the 45. The booklet runs 140 pages, and explains several things it didn’t occur to me to wonder about, like why the Hermits recorded old R&B stuff like “Silhouettes” and Sam Cooke’s “Wonderful World.” Both these songs, it turns out, were controlled by American gung-ho exec Allen Klein, who took on Most’s representation in the States, and later managed both the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. No wonder latter-day issues, when you could find them, came out on Klein’s ABKCO label — in mono, of course.

The band’s fractious post-1970 existence led to no hits, so the collection runs out in 1970. (The last American chart item, “Something’s Happening,” was recorded in late 1968 and released in 1969.) If you remember Herman and the Hermits, this is a pricey way to get all their tunes; a 2004 ABKCO issue called Retrospective contains the hits for about half as much — in mono, of course.

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Fantasy killers

The funny thing about assassins is: you start taking the ass out of them, and there’s still ass remaining. Which is a half-assed way of saying what Roberta X says here:

Then we have the calls for assassination. Hey, idiots, do you know how you get an Imperial Presidency? That way. One of the wonderful, distinguishing characteristics of the U. S. federal government is that we have an effective mechanism for the peaceful transfer of power, to which no less an experienced, partisan figure than President Obama has recently alluded. Do you suppose he’s thrilled with his replacement? I’ll tell you one thing, he does know how the system is supposed to work, and why. And if an incumbent President turns out badly, there are mechanisms for dealing with that, too, like impeachment (a process started against multiple Presidents and often resulting in significant change even without actually removing them) and the more-obscure process of removing an ailing or insane Chief Executive. But with every change of the party in power, the more tinfoil-hatted among the opposition, usually the very same people who have been glowing in their praises for Working Within The System, are suddenly shouting “Off with his head!” I think they’re already off their heads, but it’s not quite the same thing.

To some of these yutzes (“yutzim”?), delayed gratification is no gratification at all. If that sounds like a second-grader to you, well, you should not be surprised.

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We’ll be Bach, somewhere

Our old friend Lisa let it be known what she was listening to instead of the Trump Show yesterday:

Automotive radio tuned to KDFC in the San Francisco Bay Area

This banged into my forehead, since once upon a time I had memorized the dial position of just about every commercial classical-music station in the nation, and KDFC, so far as I remembered, was at 102.1. (They’d had a crosstown rival, KKHI, at 95.7, but they died about 20 years ago.)

So what happened here? It didn’t take long to find the truth of the matter:

The KDFC-FM call sign and programming were previously assigned to 102.1 FM, from its inception in 1948 until January 2011, when the format and intellectual property moved to the former KUSF. The University of Southern California also acquired the 89.9 FM frequency in Angwin, California and its two translator signals in Eureka and Lakeport. The KDFC call sign was officially assigned to the Angwin station.

But that’s 89.9. This KDFC must therefore be — another translator! And so it is.

Historically, 104.9 has been the location of a lot of small-town signals that didn’t compete with the Big Boys; originally FM Class A was limited to 3,000 watts ERP at 100 meters, and only Class A stations were assigned to 104.9. This is no longer the case, and current Class A stations are allowed 6,000 watts. But KDFC isn’t the only classical station that got shunted off to 104.9; WCLV in Cleveland, formerly on a 30-kw stick at 95.5, not only moved down the dial but out of town, into the city of Lorain to the northwest. I remember dialing in from south of Cleveland and making a turn eastward to see if the new and unimproved signal could reach Severance Hall, on Cleveland’s east side. (Answer: barely, at least with the equipment I had.)

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That’ll show ’em

Please note what Fark has done to the Politics tab:

That's 'Politics' in Russian, or at least in Cyrillic

This is worth about six hundred fifty paragraphs from the likes of Vox.

Update, 9 pm: And sensibly, they didn’t allow the joke to go on too long; the tabs have been, um, normalized.

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Just call ’em the Jays

And this is why:

And when will these be seen?

For every Sunday home game and again on Canada Day, the Jays will wear these red-soaked alternates.

Never argue with the Baseball Establishment. They’ve already scared the devil out of Tampa Bay.

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Return on disinvestment

For a mall that isn’t quite dead yet, this is an astonishing statistic:

A Pennsylvania mall that was foreclosed on after its owners failed to repay $143 million has been auctioned off for $100.

Wells Fargo Bank was owed the money from a 2006 loan and submitted the winning bid for the 1.1 million-square-foot Galleria at Pittsburgh Mills on Wednesday. The bank was acting as trustee for MSCI 2007 HQ11, the trust that bought the mall in suburban Frazer Township.

Wells Fargo foreclosed last year on the mall, which opened in 2005. The mall once was worth $190 million but recently was appraised at just $11 million and is slightly more than half occupied. Pittsburgh Mills Limited Partnership defaulted on the loan.

In its day, the mall was notable enough to have a Wikipedia entry.

(Via Fark.)

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