Archive for Say What?

On the High Street to Hell

Nancy Friedman, whose business it is to find the Right Name, occasionally happens upon someone who has found the Wrongest Name Possible, and you can’t get much wronger than this:

IncubusLondon is a newish venture whose name is intended to be a portmanteau of [startup] incubator plus bus: it’s a co-working space in a London double-decker bus. Unfortunately, incubus has a separate and sinister meaning: “a male demon who comes upon women in their sleep and rapes them.”

Incredibly, this is not the first time someone has tried to make commercial hay out of “incubus”:

You’d think the London gang would have learned from Reebok’s costly misstep, back in 1996, when it named a women’s running shoe the Incubus. According [to] the Snopes entry, “Reebok Incubus” had been developed in-house and selected from a master list of about 1,500 names.

I’ve owned some Reeboks, the wearing of which was akin to torture — but not this kind of torture.

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Winter tires

Not for use when it’s warm out:

Pumpkin Spice Rubber

(From reddit via Miss Cellania.)

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Hanging a bit too low

“Southern trees bear a strange fruit,
Blood on the leaves and blood at the root…”

At what point do you finally catch on?

A local public relations agency says it’s changing its name after a firestorm on social media over the weekend.

In a flurry of tweets and retweets that started late Saturday and continued into Sunday, people from across the nation and around the globe chastised Austin-based Strange Fruit Public Relations, which shares its name with a Billie Holiday song dealing with racism.

It is widely accepted that the song, based on a poem written in 1937 by Abel Meeropol, uses the term “strange fruit” as a metaphor for lynching victims hanging from trees.

It’s not that they were unaware, exactly:

Mary Mickel, who co-founded the firm with Ali Slutsky, told the American-Statesman the duo was unaware of the song when they first settled on the name in 2012.

“We thought the name would be perfect for a hospitality PR firm that specializes in food and drink,” Mickel said via email. “We of course Googled to ensure that it was not taken elsewhere and found the Billie Holiday song online. Thinking it would have nothing to do with our firm, and since it was written in 1939 it wouldn’t be top of mind in the public consciousness. We now know we were naïve to think that, and should have known better.”

I’m betting there probably isn’t a Dred Scott Real Estate, either.

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This never happens in Massachusetts

The architecture critic of the Los Angeles Times ponders an unexpected issue:

More so than “El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Ángeles del Río de Porciúncula”? Are we talking “Chuyville” or something?

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Getting mighty crowded in here

So: 619 million Americans, then? No wonder I can’t find a parking place.

2014 Bureau of the Census estimate is 319,309,000. So no matter what kind of number-crunching Abramowitz thinks he’s doing, it’s wrong from the word Go. And this whole scene could have been avoided had we realized from the start that the Seventeenth Amendment was a crock and killed it off before it could do any more damage.

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It’s the Rio deal

An observation by Annemarie Dooling: “You know you go to Brazil too often when your autocorrect goes Portuguese.”

For instance:

Just took some saudades and ate soup ... Sudafed

I looked at that, and darn near cried:

Saudade is a word in Portuguese and Galician that has no direct translation in English. It describes a deep emotional state of nostalgic or profound melancholic longing for an absent something or someone that one loves. Moreover, it often carries a repressed knowledge that the object of longing may never return. A stronger form of saudade may be felt towards people and things whose whereabouts are unknown, such as a lost lover, or a family member who has gone missing, moved away, separated, or died.

And in those circumstances, no amount of Sudafed can help.

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Perhaps this is not the time

(Working title was “No noose is good noose,” discarded for obvious reasons.)

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Evidently Wank was taken

Something about this announcement seems a trifle off:

Girl, a digital men’s lifestyle magazine, is launching in January 2015. Published by commercial modeling agency Girl Management, the magazine will be aimed at men aged 18-30, and will cover topics including film, music, tech and games, cars, sports and fashion. It will be available as a free app for tablets and smartphones.

No other response makes sense:

I’m guessing that this is where the idea came from:

Lads’ mag publisher Loaded has announced the acquisition of modelling agency Girl Management and will retain the services of its creative director Lucy Pinder and director Adam Sutherland.

The agency has previously worked with brands such as Puma, Boots, EA Games and Ann Summers, supplying models to the TV and film industry.

Paul Chaplin, owner of Loaded, said: “This is the perfect fit for the Loaded brand. Not only do we have men’s lifestyle magazines, we have digital platforms, Loaded TV and Loaded Radio, which will be launched later this year. We will be the one stop shop for glamour models.”

The agreement between Girl Management will also see Loaded take a stake in the Frank White picture archive.

This will end well, or at least quickly. How many such apps can one guy be expected to tote around?

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Possibly freezing it off

The only time I’ve ever had a fuel line freeze, I was in KCTV’s home town of Kansas City, so I sort of understand the metric:

I didn’t have heated seats back then, either.

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This would seem to go without saying

Nonetheless, it was said:

Jonathan Gruber was not available for comment.

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Damn right they is

Screenshot from the Oklahoman: Personal info breaches is a concern, many say

From this morning’s Oklahoman, page 3C. I couldn’t find the story on NewsOK for some reason, but since it’s an AP wire story, it’s all over the place. Try here.

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You’d think we’d have heard about it by now

What’s more, there’s absolutely no mention of the Koch Brothers. I have to assume this is purely accidental.

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Price to be discussed

I’m hoping this is a Photoshop, because otherwise I’m forced to conclude that the RIAA’s brain cell has disappeared up its fundament:

(Via Rand Simberg.)

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That’s not a knife

But it says it is:

Deputy shoots man with knife

I dunno. Maybe a bayonet worked its way loose?

(From Bad Newspaper via Miss Cellania.)

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The thirteenth is due

Because look what happened to the twelfth:

Doctor Who with ebola?

To quote Doug Mataconis: “Doctor Who has Ebola? Now we’re really screwed.”

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Time for another Unfortunate Juxtaposition

The ad placement to the right evokes a single sentiment: “Gee, ya think?”

(Via SwiftOnSecurity.)

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It’s only natural

It’s a really good catalog, with a few howlers now and then:

The onslaught of Christmas catalogs is slowly beginning. I got two in the past 10 days from Victorian Trading Company. I love the products they sell, I love looking at the catalogs, but sometimes their descriptions are way too precious or even outright wrong. But sometimes they make me laugh. Like this one. Here’s the relevant sentence: “A number of years ago we aligned ourselves with an avid naturist who meticulously retrieves intricate web and preserves them under glass”

Yes. Naturist. (NB: very small photo of naked people — it’s a wikipedia page). And yes, I know, there is the alternate definition of the term that means “naturalist,” but if they MEAN “naturalist,” they should say it. I daresay a lot of us, when we hear “naturist,” we think of what that wikipedia page is about, first. If I am talking about someone who studies nature, I always say “naturalist.”

Which makes more sense to me. (Arkansas, the Natural State — says so on the license plates — is the one state least hospitable to naturists, though they have no problem with naturalists.)

As for the creators of those intricate web samples:

(I wouldn’t be around spiders naked on a bet. I’m not an arachnophobe but if I’m about to get in the shower and I see one in the tub, it has to go before I will get in)

I have had this happen only twice, so I can’t generalize except as follows: On my own premises, I will attempt to coax the creature to relocate itself. In a bathroom in a motel in Albuquerque, I will fetch a shoe and do my worst.

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Turn down the weather machine

Stephanie Bice won the Republican runoff for Senate District 22, in west Edmond and northern Canadian County; there is no further opposition, so she will take her seat after the first of the year. Between now and then, we can only hope that she will improve her grasp on what is and isn’t possible:

Preventing droughts? Are we hiring an Equestrian weather patrol? Because last I looked, the jet stream and the clouds didn’t pay the slightest bit of attention to what we want. We can certainly mitigate the effects of drought, but anything beyond that is out of our hands.

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Let the other be Papyrus

Others face the music. ISIS faces the type:

Oh, for some (Times New) Roman warriors right about now.

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Yeah, they do that

Tautological tweet is tautological:

A murder resulting in death? This sounds like a job for the homicide investigators!

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A fate marginally worse than death

Still, worse:

Being dead is bad enough, but being dead and having to pay a $200 fine? Geez.

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Fly me to the moon, it’s cheaper

For some time now, there have been airline fares, and there have been airline fees, and the combination of the two will drain one’s wallet in record time — though not enough to tie this record:

“I tried to book cheap flights for a weekend trip to stay with some good friends. I Googled ‘cheap flights to Faro’, found eDreams (‘Great Trips at Great Prices’ is their slogan) were offering the best, with Ryanair and Monarch Airlines, at a cost for the two of us of £164.07.”

Last time we checked in with Ryanair, they were installing pay toilets, so she might have expected to be nickeled-and-dimed, or the equivalent in sterling, to death. And the booking site was kind enough to show her the fees involved:

Screenshot from eDreams

One pair of fees proved to be weirdly asymmetrical: £17.50 to check the bag at departure, but £23 billion to check it on the return flight.

This wasn’t Ryanair’s fault, however:

“eDreams would like to apologise to Mrs Sessions for any inconvenience caused. We are continuing to investigate, however it appears to be an isolated incident that we have been unable to replicate. If it is a bug, we will find it and make every effort to fix it immediately. eDreams would like to re-iterate that at no point was there any attempt to make this purchase. We would also like to provide the added re-assurance that any attempt at a transaction of this size would automatically be rejected by our systems and unable to proceed.”

And probably rejected by Mrs Sessions’ bank, had they received a credit authorization for that sum.

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Rack and a half

We’ve dealt with fictional or Photoshopped triple-breasted women before. The idea that someone might actually aspire to this state — well, see for yourself:

Jasmine Tridevil

We are not making this up:

An American woman has claimed to have had a third breast surgically added to her chest.

The 21-year-old, who calls herself Jasmine Tridevil, wants to be a reality star.

She posts videos of her daily life in Tampa, Florida, on Facebook to “show the struggles she faces because of her surgery.”

“Reality star” jumped the shark years ago; it appears to have doubled back and taken another spring. And hey, how many of those struggles would you be facing if you hadn’t added extra bewbage?

Oh, it gets better:

Tridevil has also claimed she had the surgery because she didn’t want to appear as attractive to men.

In one of the videos, she said: “I got the surgery because I wanted to turn off guys. I know it sounds crazy but I don’t want to date again ever. I still like to feel pretty.”

Now we’ve had this discussion before:

Question: would a man be more turned on or weirded out by a third mammary?

Answer: I suspect most would be squicked out, though you may be assured that a certain number would be utterly delighted with the prospect. (Rule 34 would seem to support this premise.)

That said, some of the latter group, were they presented with the genuine article, as distinguished from mere fanfiction and photo manips, might well flee in terror.

And three in a row is more appealing, I’m inclined to think, than any triangular arrangement. Then again, that may be just me.

I watched her video, which runs a little under a minute; I might have dealt with it better if she hadn’t used Radiohead’s “Creep” for background music. And unfortunately for my particular worldview, she has fairly nice legs.

Now to sit back and wait for the “Hoax!” announcements. Please tell me there will be “Hoax!” announcements.

Update: Snopes is on the case.

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This violates at least two rules

And the first two, at that:

Fight Club Facebook page

They’ve changed the page style slightly since then, but rules are rules.

(Dodd Harris saw this before I did.)

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The mountains of Topeka

It appears that things have definitely changed since I was a schoolboy:

Helena Handbasket was not available for comment.

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It may even be true

Although technically that’s supposed to be a judgment call by the health inspector, not by the awning painter:

Deli Grossery sign in NYC

(From Kevin Walsh’s Facebook page.)

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Flagging interest

The national flag should embody the values of the nation, or so I was told back in secondary school, before Mozambique gained independence from Portugal and adopted this nifty little banner:

Flag of Mozambique adopted 1983

Why, yes, that is an AK-47. Says Wikipedia:

Green stands for the riches of the land, the white fimbriations signify peace, black represents the African continent, yellow symbolizes the country’s minerals, and red represents the struggle for independence. The rifle stands for defence and vigilance, the open book symbolizes the importance of education, the hoe represents the country’s agriculture, and the star symbolizes Marxism and internationalism.

Yellow minerals? Well, yes, they do mine gold there, but the volume items seem to be aluminum and natural gas.

A 2005 proposal to remove the rifle from the flag was defeated on a party-line vote.

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Maybe they need fiber

Somehow I suspect this will not sell any product:

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The Faster & Easier Way To Woodworking
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Over 16,000 Step-by-step plans

Put yeast into a small bowl with 1/4 cup warm water, 110-115 degrees F, for about 5 minutes and let it foam. In a large mixing bowl put the hot milk, hot water, salt, sugar and shortening and let it cool to lukewarm, add yeast and 3 cups of flour and beat until smooth.

You have to see how cool this is…

I swear, the spammers aren’t even trying anymore.

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This doesn’t Pétain to you

Nancy Friedman spotted this display in Walgreen’s:

Store display for Vichy brand cosmetics

What were they thinking? L’Oreál, which has owned the Vichy trademark since 1955 — the original Vichy company dates to 1931 — evidently hopes you have a short memory, or only the sketchiest knowledge of World War II. On my finely calibrated Effrontery Scale, this is a couple of standard deviations beyond, say, vending Appomattox Ale from a taco truck in Charleston, South Carolina.

Friedman suggests alternate slogans; I recommend the note-perfect “Your Beauty Collaborator.”

A fine kettle of fish soup, guys.

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Mutant Slinky

Next Wednesday, an exhibit called Killer Heels opens at the Brooklyn Museum, and this is what we should expect:

Killer Heels explores fashion’s most provocative accessory. From the high platform chopines of sixteenth-century Italy to the glamorous stilettos on today’s runways and red carpets, the exhibition looks at the high-heeled shoe’s rich and varied history and its enduring place in our popular imagination.

So far, so good. Now to get right down to the real nitty-gritty:

As fashion statement, fetish object, instrument of power, and outlet of artistic expression for both the designer and the wearer, throughout the ages the high-heeled shoe has gone through many shifts in style and symbolism. Deadly sharp stilettos, architecturally inspired wedges and platforms, and a number of artfully crafted shoes that defy categorization are featured among the more than 160 historical and contemporary heels on loan from designers, from the renowned Brooklyn Museum costume collection housed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and from the Bata Shoe Museum.

At least one of the shoes on exhibit defies not only categorization but recognition:

Zaha Hadid X United Nude shoe

Seriously.

The prospectus is admittedly impressive:

Guided by her 30 years of experience working with complex structural principles on all scale levels, [Zaha] Hadid has developed an innovative cantilevered system that allows the staggering 16cm (6.25 in) heel to appear completely unsupported.

The rhythmic, articulated transformation of the shoe’s composition encapsulates the seamless integration of materials, inventive engineering and highest standards of comfort. As Hadid’s most recent expression of this symbiotic association, the NOVA shoe design transcends the disciplines of fashion and architecture.

Now I’m just trying to imagine suitable accessories.

(Via InStyle.)

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