Not submitted by Dick Hertz

At least, I don’t think it was.

During Sunday’s Broad Street Run in Philadelphia, a local TV station posted onscreen messages to runners, including this one:

I. P. Freely was not available for comment.

(Via Fark.)

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From the “What a waste” files

No, you cannot have a sports car. Not yours:

A newly-minted McLaren owner in England became a little over-excited following the delivery of his brand-new supercar. The Telegraph reports that the owner of a McLaren 650S stuffed the coupe into a tree just 10 minutes after the car arrived at his house for the first time.

The report states that neighbors spotted the owner celebrating supercar ownership with a bottle of champagne right after the car arrived at his doorstep. Not 10 minutes later, the owner introduced the front end of his $265,000 supercar to the ever-sturdy trunk of an innocent tree. The collision was severe enough to demolish the front end of the car, scattering bits of the carbon fiber bodywork all over the immediate area.

I can’t wait to find out what this yutz used to drive; I’m betting it’s some quotidian Ford.

(Via Eric Siegmund.)

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Death of a newspaper

And another one gone, and another one gone, another one bites the dust:

The Tampa Bay Times announced on Tuesday that it had purchased the Tampa Tribune and its related publications. The Tribune will no longer be printed.

Tribune subscribers will receive the Times starting Wednesday. The resulting paper will have the fifth-largest Sunday circulation of all newspapers in the country, according to Poynter, which owns the Times.

The Tampa Bay Times CEO and chairman, Paul Tash, held a press conference Tuesday afternoon. Tash said the competition between the two papers was putting both “in peril.”

“It’s been a rough stretch for newspapers during the last 10 years,” Tash said. “There are very few cities that are able to sustain more than one daily newspaper, and the Tampa Bay region is not among them.”

Up until 2012, the Times was technically the St. Petersburg Times; the owners of the Tribune had once owned, and killed, a paper called the Tampa Times, and Poynter had actually sued them for the right to use both Tampa and Times in the same name. This tells me that vengeance may have been a motive for some time.

There was, for about twenty years, a St. Petersburg Times in Russia; it has since been folded into the Moscow Times.

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Irrational for the moment

I could probably find some exceptions to this rule:

Then again, I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that they’d recently left the GOP.

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You heard it here third

Possibly second, but definitely not first:

If Donald Trump secures the Republican nomination for President, the media will close ranks both on the news side and on the advertising side — and the only pro-Trump stories or ads that will ever see the light of day will be the ones that make him (and Republicans in general) look the most ridiculous, and Hillary look the most sympathetic.

With Ted Cruz exhibiting withdrawal symptoms, we should be able to see examples of this phenomenon Real Soon Now.

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You do not know this number

And even if you did, you would be wise not to say so:

There are ways to get in trouble with the law for just about everything: smoking weed, theft, horse theft, stealing a horse and teaching it to smoke weed, and even shouting “fire” in a crowded not-on-fire stable full of stoned horses. But numbers are pure and theoretical and definitely exempt from legal action, right?

Wrong, buddo. And the reason is that in the digital age, huge prime numbers are really, really important for encryption, as pointed out by YouTuber Wendoverproductions. So important, in fact, that having or sharing some of them could get you prosecuted under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which prohibits people from subverting copyright-prevention measures.

Please note how many of our Presidential candidates have declared themselves in opposition to DMCA, and then read on:

Back when people still bought DVDs, those discs were encrypted with a content scrambling system to keep people from ripping and burning them. Software to copy DVDs started circulating soon after the DMCA passed, and movie studios sued those distributing the software not long after that — and won. The court issued an injunction, and thereafter linking to or representing the decryption software was considered a breach of DMCA. People made shirts or poems that represented the software in protest. The silliest part? Phil Carmody discovered a 1,401-digit prime number — no, we’re not going to post it — that (with the right know-how) was executable as the very same illegal software — hence, an illegal prime number.

Not to worry. You do not know this number. (But it starts with 8.)

(Via Jennifer Ouellette.)

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Let there be toughness

Angela Bofill turns 62 today, and oh, if she were still singing!

Angela Bofill

Not many Latina singers were making inroads into the R&B market in the late 1970s. Angie, Bofill’s first album in 1978, did decently well; the lead track, “Under the Moon and Over the Sky,” somewhat overshadowed the official single release, “This Time I’ll Be Sweeter.” She enjoyed reasonable success, if never a monster breakout hit, despite continuing efforts to tweak her image in whatever direction might work.

Cover art for Too Tough by Angela Bofill

Her last single was “Heavenly Love” in 1993. She continued to perform until 2006, when a pair of strokes, eighteen months apart, left her partially paralyzed and unable to sing. However, she somehow remained a stage presence, doing a show called The Angela Bofill Experience, in which she speaks, somewhat haltingly, while others, including Melba Moore, sing her signature songs.

“I used to study opera. Used to teach voice. Used to have perfect pitch. Now, no pitch.”

I can imagine her smiling through that.

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I guess I’m gonna call

For some reason, this trailer is widely hated:

Seriously. After 30 million views, it has three times as many downvotes as upvotes. This is Rebecca Black-level rejection, and early Rebecca Black at that; her post-“Friday” material is doing far better.

Look, I saw the original Ghostbusters. And having seen two subsequent cartoon versions, only one of which was actually related to it, I figure the intellectual property has already been sufficiently slimed; this can’t possibly be any worse.

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Material expectations

On the 11th anniversary of the day he joined the Halls of Blogdom, Roger observed:

As you know, I often write ahead in my blog, but, because of annoying things, such as LIFE, the number of posts in the queue is down significantly, 36% from the peak. This means that one of these days, I’m going to wake up, realize I have no post prepared, and will scurry around looking for a picture of one of my cats.

I daresay, this is not terrible. Note the decline here in actual publication numbers:

  • 2006: 2,126
  • 2007: 2,021
  • 2008: 2,063
  • 2009: 2,123
  • 2010: 2,056
  • 2011: 1,978
  • 2012: 1,920
  • 2013: 1,874
  • 2014: 1,909
  • 2015: 1,920

This is not a precipitate decline, exactly, but the 2,000 mark constitutes a psychological barrier, one I haven’t been able to surpass in some time. (You might want to keep in mind that Roger writes long-form stuff: two thousand from me might equal maybe four hundred from him.)

And at least he has cats, which are always welcomed on the Web.

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Didn’t need this after all

From page A5 of yesterday’s Oklahoman:

Oklahoma County Commissioner Brian Maughan is giving campaign donors their money back.

The District 2 commissioner secured a third term earlier this month when the deadline passed without an opponent filing for the seat. Maughan says he returned $75,810.11 to 372 donors after deducting expenses.

Maughan had geared up for a challenge after others announced plans to run. Maughan says each donor got back about 79 percent of what they contributed.

I suppose the scary aspect of this is that it takes about a hundred grand to run for County Commissioner, at least in a county this size. (There are 77 counties in Oklahoma, each divided into three districts.)

Still, this is a far better return on investment than a donor normally gets without Actual Graft.

Maughan’s campaign Web site is still up, though it probably doesn’t cost a whole lot.

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Weasel words retracted

Why, it wasn’t a weasel at all:

You may have seen some headlines floating around the world wide web (irony) last week indicating that a weasel took down the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the largest and most powerful particle accelerator in the world. It turns out, many publications (and even a spokesperson for CERN, the organization that runs the LHC) implicated the wrong animal at the scene. According to a CERN press release issued [Monday]:

“At around 5:30 am on Friday 29 April 2016, a small beech marten found its way onto a large, open-air electrical transformer situated above ground at CERN, causing a short circuit and cutting the power to part of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC).

“The concerned part of the LHC stopped immediately and safely. Since then the entire machine has remained in standby mode.”

One might perhaps argue “Close enough,” since the beech marten (Martes foina) is a member in good standing of the family Mustelidae, alongside other martens, otters, badgers, ferrets, minks, wolverines, and, yes, weasels. This particular critter, though, can take or leave the outside:

They prefer open landscapes, being less dependent on forested habitats than other Martes species. Martes foina is frequently found living near human habitation, where they may den in buildings. Natural den sites include abandoned burrows, hollow trees, and rocky crevices.

Very adaptable, I’d say.

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An ominous omen

Radio guy Matt Pinto served up that tautology early on, while the Spurs were busily digging out from an early hole. And he seemed prescient, because whatever holes the Thunder were able to push the Spurs into, the Spurs managed to escape with seeming alacrity. While OKC wasn’t quite so disorganized tonight as they were in Game 1, there were enough discouragingly familiar lapses to keep Thunder fans anxious, and one question remained unanswered: “What the heck do we do about LaMarcus Aldridge?” Billy Donovan seemed reluctant to double-team him, perhaps fearing that if Aldridge were doubled, Danny Green or Kawhi Leonard — but mostly Green — would just collect that many more treys. Maybe not Leonard; with the Spurs down three with 48 seconds left, Leonard put one up, and Steven Adams took it away. So Aldridge made the next trey himself, giving him 38 points. (Where have we heard that number before?) At :18, it was OKC 98, San Antonio 94; four seconds later, having persuaded Serge Ibaka to buy a pump fake, Aldridge went to the stripe to shoot three and got them all. The last Thunder possession went nowhere, Green swiping the ball from Dion Waiters; then Patty Mills readied a corner trey, and when the ball somehow ended up on the floor, Ibaka jumped on it. Ninety-eight to ninety-seven, the Thunder go back home 1-1, and suddenly it’s a whole new series.

In the meantime, we can enjoy a few OKC lines: Russell Westbrook, 29-7-10; Kevin Durant, 28 points; Steven Adams, 12 points and 17 rebounds. Only two Spurs besides Aldridge climbed into double figures: Leonard, of course, with 14, and Manu Ginobili, because he’s Manu Ginobili, with 11. And San Antonio ended up with only six treys in 23 tries; Green made half of them. Still, Aldridge has 79 points in two games. What the heck do the Thunder do about him? I guess we’ll find out Friday.

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Fark blurb of the week

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I demand my rights

After all, the 1% have people to do this for them.

Waiting for universal lawn care

(Swiped from Facebook.)

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Hey, porter

And not just any porter, either:

Old Leghumper porter

This product of Thirsty Dog Brewing Company in Akron, Ohio rates a creditable 86 from Beer Advocate.

My first thought upon seeing this was the variant Farkism “Your dog wants beer,” but this particular canine seems to be intent on something other than quenching his mere thirst.

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Someone to depend on

Cover art for Santana IVThe first three Santana albums, two of which were titled Santana — for clarity, one of them is known commonly as Santana III — constituted an amazing body of work, much of which remains essential to the Classic Rock format today, four and a half decades after the fact. The blending of hard-rock tropes with Latin rhythms, with Carlos Santana’s guitar dancing on top, made for a remarkably satisfying musical experience, and I still pull out these records — particularly the second, Abraxas — on a regular basis.

So you could have knocked me over with a feather when I learned that that original Santana lineup would be issuing a new album, with the unsubtle title Santana IV. I turned in a preorder with dizzying speed, and waited to see what what would happen.

And now that it’s happened? Well, it’s pretty much as billed: a worthy continuation of the sounds Santana made famous. At various points in this 75-minute showcase, you’ll hear echoes of the things you heard before; Carlos still plays an amazingly liquid guitar, and the reconstituted band has forgotten none of the tricks it deployed way back when. (The only missing player from the Golden Era is percussionist José “Chepito” Areas.) What Santana IV doesn’t do is take you to places you’ve never been before: if you’re familiar with the band, you’ll know what’s going on every step of the way. This wasn’t the case with, say, Abraxas, where the improbable fusion of British blues to Hungarian jazz — in a single track! — not only pushed your Good Listening button but actually jacked up your sense of wonder.

So you’ve been here before. If this was one of your favorite vacation spots, welcome back: things are just the way you remember them. (Ronald Isley contributes a couple of hypersmooth lead vocals.) If you missed this band the first time around, this is almost as good an introduction as the original Santana albums. But if you weren’t that crazy about them before, this is not going to be your giant step into the fandom — though you may like the lead single, “Anywhere You Want to Go”, which encapsulates much of what’s going on.

Disclosure: Purchased at retail.

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