Archive for Entirely Too Cool

Sporting of them

From the days when people’s eyes didn’t bug out at the sight of an ordinary rifle:

Vintage ad for Colt AR-15 Sporter

Aimed at the “hunter, camper or collector.” Solid citizens, the lot of them.

(Via Jessica Alent.)

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Mine eyes grow moist

So what happens when you base a Japanese commercial on a song by a Canadian singer, a song which incidentally was my favorite song of 2015?

You get this spot for Moist Diane (!) shampoo:

They’ll never know unless you say so.

(Via Paper Magazine.)

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Are you hanging on the edge of your seat?

This European ad for the Dacia Duster is, um, killer:

Although there’s always the question of whether Freddie would have approved. But then, Mercury’s dead, and so is Freddie.

(Via The Truth About Cars.)

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And all that it entails

As the phrase goes, first you have to get their attention:

Project Mermaids was started in 2012 by celebrity fashion photographer Angelina Venturella and acclaimed underwater photographer Chiara Salomoni who share the same passion for photography and preserving the ocean. The goal of Project Mermaids is to bring awareness as to how precious the ocean and beaches are and to keep this beautiful environment healthy and clean. 50% of the proceeds are going to be addressed to the save our beach foundation.

To help raise awareness, Project Mermaids is capturing celebrities in mermaid form working with The Mertailor Eric from Florida, which is making and donating the tails for our models. The Foundation has gone viral with over 221,000 followers on Instagram and has continuous growing awareness of their efforts.

My attention was gotten Friday night, with the appearance on Instagram of actress Paris Berelc, top and tail intact:

Paris Berelc as a mermaid

Suddenly I feel I ought to reach out to Tom Hanks.

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Say yes to address

Spring 2015, on a practice at meh.com:

One’s order “number” is not a number at all, but three random words. Harder to fake, I’m guessing.

Last week, on trying to make addresses in Florence make sense:

“It has a unique address system with two number systems running side by side. Generally speaking, residences have a number in black or blue, while businesses have numbers in red (rosso in Italian), which is usually written with a little ‘r’ following the number.”

Amazingly, there is a point of convergence for these two situations, and it’s in Mongolia, where something remarkable is happening:

Mongolia will become a global pioneer next month, when its national post office starts referring to locations by a series of three-word phrases instead of house numbers and street names.

The new system is devised by a British startup called What3Words, which has assigned a three-word phrase to every point on the globe. The system is designed to solve the an often-ignored problem of 75% of the earth’s population, an estimated 4 billion people, who have no address for mailing purposes, making it difficult to open a bank account, get a delivery, or be reached in an emergency. In What3Words’ system, the idea is that a series of words is easier to remember than the strings of number that make up GPS coordinates. Each unique phrase corresponds to a specific 9-square-meter spot on the map.

For example, the White House, at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, becomes sulk.held.raves; the Tokyo Tower is located at fans.helpless.collects; and the Stade de France is at reporter.smoked.received.

And nine square meters is pretty efficient at defining a point. Consider the palatial estate at Surlywood, which all by itself sprawls over a thousand square meters; I could theoretically have several different phrases for different parts of the house or the yard.

Some places around Oklahoma City on the What3Words system:

Kyle Singler used to play the modest onion flute in his spare time.

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Buying American

A legendary “assault weapon,” often imported into the States, might some day be manufactured here:

AK-47s may soon be made in the United States, as the U.S. government is looking for sources of the ubiquitous assault rifle within the American manufacturing base.

The U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) announced in May it was conducting market research into making the Kalashnikov rifle on U.S. soil. In a notice placed on a federal opportunities website, SOCOM said it is soliciting manufacturers for the weapons or requesting proposals — which means it’s just looking, but not ready to buy.

The U.S. military does not regularly use AK-47s, but many of its allies and foreign partners rely on the weapon, along with similar arms developed by the Soviet-bloc.

“A U.S.-based source would be a good use of taxpayer funds, while also delivering the weapons our partners not only need to fight extremists, but also the ones they know how to use, know how to fix and have the supplies in their regions to maintain,” Lt. Cmdr. Matt Allen told the Tampa Bay Times Thursday.

The AK-47 is something less than a precision instrument: its 1940s Soviet design is the epitome of cheap and disposable. Probably explains why it’s still around after all these years.

(Via @Lee Harvey Griswold.)

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Future pejorative

“You … you frozen Elsa head!”

What? You say I should let it go?

(Via James Del Rey.)

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And oh, what heights we’ll hit

What we have here is “a story about a pair of flats that wanted to be a heel”:

Kind of heartwarming, or at least footwarming. There’s even a video on how it was done.

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And yet it stays

Quoted without comment, because it really doesn’t need one:

Didn’t say a word.

(Via Ute Gerhardt, who did say a few.)

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Next time don’t be so silly

And now, a can of silly string subjected to a hydraulic press:

Don’t try this at home, especially if you live in Southington, Connecticut.

(Via HelloGiggles.)

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No choke

If you’re choking on a chunk of food, this is where you want to be sitting:

The 96-year-old retired chest surgeon credited with developing the namesake Heimlich maneuver has used it to save a woman choking on food at his senior living center.

Dr. Henry Heimlich was in the dining room at the Deupree House in Cincinnati, where he lives, when an 87-year-old woman sitting next to him began choking Monday night.

The dining room maitre d’, Perry Gaines, told The Cincinnati Enquirer that Heimlich dislodged a piece of hamburger from the woman’s airway and she quickly recovered.

Heimlich said he was having dinner when he looked over at the woman sitting next to him and could see that her face was growing pink and she was obviously choking. He said he got up behind her and began the technique.

“As soon as I did the Heimlich maneuver, a piece of meat with a bone in it immediately popped out,” he said.

Rare company she’s in; very few people — two at the outside — can say that they’ve had the Heimlich manuever done on them by Heimlich himself. It’s probably even better than having Woz come by to clean up your MacBook.

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Neutral shift

Have you ever picked up a garment labeled “nude” and then put it back down, muttering “Yeah, right”?

It’s probably past time for this:

Advertisement for Naja nude undies

Naja have launched their “Nude for All” range, a collection including seven shades to suit women of all skin tones.

Naja CEO Catalina Girald first got the idea while watching the 2012 Olympics and seeing Gabby Douglas wearing “nude” coloured shoes that didn’t match her skin.

“I used to be a gymnast so I’m always sensitive to those things, and it was the first time that it dawned on me that the wrap didn’t exist in other colours,” she told Cosmopolitan.

They apparently will ship to the States, which is a good thing, considering how slow we’ve often been to adopt trends along these lines.

(Via @MoxieBeautiful.)

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Blink while it’s ink

Most people I’ve talked to on the subject [caution: small sample] expressed no regrets about their body art, and that’s fine. (I have occasionally been put off by it, but it’s not like anyone is required to do things for my benefit, and God help us if they were.) Still, if permament ink seems awfully, well, permanent, the answer may be on the way:

Temporary tattoo stickers are a bit of fun and you can even try out virtual tattoos now, but it’s not the same. A company started by New York University students thinks they can provide the perfect compromise: real ink tattoos that eventually fade.

Ephemeral Tattoos claim to have invented a new ink that makes tattoos easy to remove with a simple solution. Without the solution, our own bodies will get rid of the tattoo after a year. Tattoo ink uses large pigments that the body can’t dispose of. Ephemeral’s ink uses smaller pigments contained in a sphere of biomaterials that the body can break down over time.

Predicted main beneficiaries of this technology: people who have yet to find out why others are laughing at some string of Chinese characters.

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A sweet little car

Literally so, it would seem:

Now I wonder what a High Fructose Corn Syrup conveyance might look like. (Probably a slammed Civic with fart-can exhaust and a wing the size of a slab of drywall.)

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Na

Rather early in chem lab that first year, we were told to keep water away from metallic sodium, because the resulting reaction, which produces both free hydrogen and caustic sodium hydroxide, is, um, not something you want to see.

Well, of course we want to see it, ya numbskulls…

The only thing missing is “Here, hold my beer.”

Clearly calmer instruction methods are called for:

There should be no further questions.

(Via Fark.)

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Pointillist but never pointless

It took two years or so for Georges Seurat to paint Un dimanche après-midi à l’Île de la Grande Jatte:

A Sunday on La Grand Jatte by Georges Seurat 1884

And it took about eight hours for Jane Labowitch, sitting in front of Seurat’s painting, to turn it into an Etch A Sketch drawing:

A Sunday on La Grand Jatte by Georges Seurat for Etch A Sketch by Jane Labowitch 2016

The device has only so much resolution, so she didn’t get every last square inch of it, but her editing points seem well chosen to me.

Oh, and she says she’s not going to shake this one — we all know what happens when you shake it — and I don’t blame her.

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Now that’s a destroyer

The very first of the Zumwalt-class destroyers is, duh, the USS Zumwalt (DDG-1000), due to be commissioned in mid-September. It’s an impressive beast, to say the least:

USS Zumwalt stealth destroyer

The Zumwalt has stealth capabilities of a sort:

Although it’s huge, the Navy says this thing is surprisingly stealthy. Much of the ship is built on angles that help make it 50 times harder to spot on radar than an ordinary destroyer. “It has the radar cross-section of a fishing boat,” Chris Johnson, a spokesman for Naval Sea Systems Command, told CNN last year.

Captain James A. Kirk, commander of the USS ZumwaltIt’s not exactly a Romulan cloaking device, but it will do for now. Certainly you’ll get no argument from Captain Kirk.

Wait, what?

Capt. James A. Kirk will be commander of the Navy’s new USS Zumwalt, the first of the DDG-1000 class of destroyers. It is longer, faster and carries state-of-the-art weapons that will allow it to destroy targets at more than 60 miles away, according to the Navy.

You can’t tell me this isn’t nominative determinism, once removed.

Elmo Zumwalt (1920-2000) was Chief of Naval Operations in the early 1970s, appointed by Richard M. Nixon; Admiral Zumwalt had previously served as Commander Naval Forces, Vietnam.

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Meanwhile on Orange Street

Last month, I extolled the manifest virtues of nine-year-old journalist Hilde Lysiak, editor/publisher of Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania’s Orange Street News, and announced that I was going to take out an actual subscription — one year, $14.99 — to help support her effort. An issue, number 18, arrived this week, and it looks serious: eight pages, professionally printed and bearing a proper presorted postage inscription. (The mailing service is in Lewisburg, one county over.) Page 7 contains Community Announcements and about three-quarters of a page of actual advertising.

And there’s an editorial:

The front page story for the May issue of the Orange Street News is about how the vandal who has been terrorizing our community may have been caught. The police did a great job in catching the suspect and hopefully ending his reign of terror, but why did it take police so long to just give the suspect’s name to the media? […] The police in Selinsgrove need to remember that they work for the people. The people don’t work for the police.

Ms Lysiak appears to have been seriously ticked off.

Oh, and now she has a Wikipedia page, which reveals that despite her deep Pennsylvania roots, she was born in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, New York. Her dad used to work for the New York Daily News, and he “talks with Lysiak about her stories and occasionally helps tighten up a lede, but mostly leaves her in the driver’s seat.”

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The Enucleator

Sounds like a straight-to-video semi-thriller, doesn’t it?

Oh, it doesn’t? Well, never mind then.

One thousand dollars Canadian

Pinicola enucleator, the pine grosbeak, is a Very Big Finch, and this is a very high-value banknote, as seen in a Guardian article on, um, high-value banknotes. Says the caption to this picture:

A Canadian $1,000 dollar note (£499), issued in 1988. It stopped being printed in 2000, but despite requests to return them to banks, nearly 1m of them are still unaccounted for.

“It stopped being printed.” Imagine the cry of the grosbeak: “Stop printing me!” The actual story is more humdrum:

The Bank of Canada will no longer issue $1,000 bills as of this Friday [29 September 2000] in an effort to fight organized crime and money laundering.

The bill’s extinction was made official Monday after formal approval from the federal government. It was the final step in a February proposal by the the Finance Department, the central bank and the RCMP to get rid of the bills which are favoured by criminals.

Nicknamed “pinkies” for their reddish-purple hue, $1000 bills were an easy way for criminals to hide and carry their earnings.

Of course, you’re looking at the back of the bill: Queen Elizabeth is on the front.

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Mere “stick” seems inadequate

I mean, this sucker might be a full-fledged rod:

A long silhouette found wriggling on a mountain road in south China has proved to be the world’s longest insect, authorities said Thursday.

Zhao Li, with the Insect Museum of West China (IMWC) in Chengdu, found the 62.4-cm-long stick insect during a field inspection in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region in 2014, breaking the record for length for all 807,625 insects discovered so far, according to the IMWC.

This is over two feet of six-legged bug.

(Okay, it’s technically not a bug.)

Zhao took the insect back to the IMWC, and it laid six eggs. After hatching, Zhao found the smallest of the young insects’ bodies measured at least 26 cm, almost twice the size of those at the Natural History Museum.

The insect has been named Phryganistria chinensis Zhao, and a thesis about it will be published soon.

(Via Fark.)

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Right across from the Sofa King

If this doesn’t actually exist, it should:

Radio announcers can practice this along with “She sells sea shells by the seashore.”

(Via Tabitha St. Germain.)

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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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Scraping by

And doing it well, one would think:

Custom Dental sign in Newcastle, Oklahoma

Newcastle is the city at the north end of McClain County, Oklahoma; it has about 10,000 people.

(From Dorkly via Miss Cellania. Originally I was going to set this piece to the Bee Gees’ “New York Mining Disaster 1941” — “Have you seen my ass, Dr. Jones? Do you know what it’s like on the inside?” Taste prevailed, kinda sorta.)

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How do they work, anyway?

We’ll presume you already understand farking magnetism, or at the very least can recognize it at a glance. Now comes the question: how do you ship a fair-sized (six inches across, weighing 6.5 kg) magnet without causing difficulty for other parcels being delivered in the same vehicle?

The answer, of course, is “Very carefully”:

Biggest magnet I have around the place sits under the subwoofer in the car, and I’m pretty sure it’s nowhere near that big, or it would have planted itself on the headliner by now.

(A @SwiftOnSecurity special.)

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Cultural artifact

There’s always going to be something to make me grin on the Architecture Tour. Often as not it’s something Trini says, inasmuch as she has a sense of humor warped in the same general directions as mine. But sometimes it’s something I see on a wall:

Come on, get happy

Somehow suitable for the 1920s, this is in fact a message from the 1970s. Then again, what does it say that I recognized it immediately?

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Protection without racket

After wearing them pretty consistently for 40 years or so, I think I (mostly) understand seat belts. And despite having never seen them deploy, I have a reasonable grip on the concept of air bags, four of which can be found in my current car. But some of the new safety gewgaws simply astonish me. Eric Tingwall, in the May ’16 Car and Driver, reveals a couple of options for the new Mercedes-Benz E-Class:

The optional Pre-Safe Impulse system adds radar units to the front corners of the car and inflatable bladders in the outboard bolsters of the front seats. It predicts an imminent side-impact collision, and inflates the bladders — without damaging the seats — two-tenths of a second before impact, pushing the occupant inward, away from the B-pillar and the intruding car.

Spiffy. But this goes beyond:

Pre-Safe Sound plays pink noise (it sounds like a TV that’s lost its signal) through the speakers to contract the stapedius muscles in your ears prior to a crash, reducing the risk of hearing damage during an accident. This is what a successful civilization looks like: fixes for problems you never even knew existed.

An E-Class with these goodies will likely cost around $60,000: base price, guesses C/D, will be $52k. Still, you know these things will gradually start showing up in cars within my budget.

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Someone planted a page in the score

Led Zep meets Ludwig Van:

Of course, the cello is a quintessential metal instrument — see, for instance, Apocalyptica — but it also works well on that classical-era stuff.

(Via Laughing Squid.)

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Future journalist

What am I saying? She’s already a journalist, and she’s already paid more dues than some of the pros in the business. Admittedly, her beginning was less than auspicious:

Hi. I’m Hilde Lysiak. I’m the publisher of the Orange Street News. I believe it is important to write this newspaper because I believe people need to know what is happening around Orange Street. I’m eight years old and love to play outside and also love holidays and birthdays. I hope you enjoy this issue of the Orange Street News and pick up the next issue.

But that was over a year ago. Last week:

A man is suspected of murdering his wife with a hammer at 9th Street in Selinsgrove, sources told the Orange Street News.

Law enforcement sources will not confirm.

“This is an ongoing investigation,” an officer told the Orange Street News.

Residents reported seeing a person taken out on a stretcher but were told by police not to talk to media.

“They told us we can’t talk about anything,” one neighbor told the Orange Street News.

The woman is a former Selinsgrove borough employee. Many neighbors remembered her fondly.

“This is terrible. Just terrible,” one neighbor told the OSN. “I can’t believe this happened. She was such a wonderful woman. Very kind.”

The suspected murdered was a retired school teacher at Selinsgrove and the victim also worked as branch manager at a local bank manager on Market Street, according to neighbors.

Amazingly, she caught some flak for reporting on this. She ably defended herself in the Guardian (yes, the actual Guardian):

Here’s what happened. On 2 April, there was a homicide in Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania. It took place just a few blocks from my house, where I run my newspaper.

I acted on a tip from a good source that I was able to get through some of my other reporting. After confirming with the police department, I then went straight to the scene and spoke to neighbors and got more information. I worked very hard.

Because of my work I was able to keep the people of Selinsgrove informed about this very important event hours before my competition even got to the scene.

In fact, some other news sites run by adults were reporting the wrong information or no information at all while the Orange Street News was at the scene doing the hard work to report the facts to the people.

Consider yourselves called out, haters.

Me, I’m now subscribing to the Orange Street News, because this sort of enterprise needs to be supported. (As Robert Stacy McCain would say: “Hit the freaking tip jar!”)

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The apocalypse is at hand

And apparently it’s going to be the left hand:

Some of these may be a little disquieting; some others may be more so.

(Via Miss Cellania.)

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Shazamination

Shazam is one of those smartphone apps that is supposed to be able to recognize an unknown song and tell you what it is. Saturday night — into Sunday morning, because that’s how dumb I am — I put it to work on my tablet.

And, of course, I tested it on stuff in my own collection first. Correctly identified on the first try:

On “Kaiser Bill’s,” the title was rendered in German, but that makes a certain amount of sense.

I did manage to stump Shazam on “Mr. Turnkey,” Zager and Evans’ followup to “In the Year 2525.”

And there’s one track it consistently misidentified, the unknown backing track from this video:

I got two different answers, one “Kompression” by Albion, one “Ethno Love” in the Vaffa Superstar Mix, for which I found no link. (Shazam did play a few seconds for me for comparison purposes.)

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