Archive for Say What?

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:

[Home DIY Network Presents]
Build Anything with Success and ease
The Faster & Easier Way To Woodworking
————————————————-
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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As mineral as it gets

We are assured that this rock salt has not been in any way genetically modified:

Non-GMO rock salt

Well, I feel better. Now if we can just get some more of that carbon-free sugar.

(Found by Jacqueline Passey Mason. Remember her?)

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It was here a minute ago

We’ve all seen people on television who couldn’t find their asses with both hands.

Imagine what it’s like when they can’t find a whole continent:

Suggestion: Start at Russia and head west. Or don’t.

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Just how Prime is Optimus, anyway?

I guess this is how we find out:

Imagine whatever metamorphoses you’d like. I’m trying not to.

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El Q

I found this ad on the Fark Politics tab, which I suppose makes sense, inasmuch as pretty much all public policy these days calls for spending money, and many of the recipients — not to mention many of the dispensers of said cash — are decidedly challenged by actual English:

Banner ad for Infiniti Q50 in Spanish

Then again, I have to wonder what I’d been reading to be sent this particular ad in the first place.

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Dysbranding

So far as I can tell, this is serious:

People are going to shart when they see that.

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Watch where you’re pointing that thing

Conventional wisdom holds that you don’t turn away an online ad, because you might not get another. I wouldn’t have turned down this one, but …

And it’s not like nobody at the World has heard of Dong’s, which has been in business since 1946.

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This side of parasites

Meanwhile, just south of the Kansas border:

Kanza Travel Plaza, Braman, Oklahoma

Please ring for assistance. The poor, unloved manager is out back eating them.

(Via John Fullbright.)

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The patience of a St.

Every now and then I have to haul out the postal database — comes on a DVD nowadays — and I notice the standardizations: “Cove,” if a street descriptor, is cut back to “CV” (though “Glen Cove Drive” would be GLEN COVE DR), and things like FORT and SAINT are always spelled out.

This latter annoys the townsfolk of Saint St. John, Kansas:

John Pierce St. John was governor of Kansas from 1879 to 1883 — most noted for his prohibitionist stand against liquor and for welcoming and encouraging Exodusters, former slaves from the Deep South who were settling on the Kansas prairie.

As Stafford County’s boundaries were being organized in 1879, there was a county seat war between Stafford and Zion Valley. Residents in Zion Valley suggested to the new governor that if the county seat could be in their community, they’d be willing to change the name to St. John. So today St. John is Stafford County’s seat.

The name of the town is on everything as St. John — the local post office, the water tower, the newspaper and signs leading into the community.

Except for that post office computer thing.

There’s now a petition asking that the Postal Service fix its damn database already.

(Found on Matt Drachenberg’s Facebook page.)

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La cage aux Fido

In fairness, it should be pointed out that he’s not nailed to the perch:

Medium bird cages

Cue the Everly Brothers.

(From Bad Newspaper via Miss Cellania.)

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Doo point

Under the circumstances, “windy” probably goes without saying:

Fartly cloudy and windy

Mama said there’d be days like this.

(Via Bad Newspaper. The paper in question is the News-Democrat & Leader of Russellville, Kentucky.)

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Swastacky

So apparently there are Grammar Nazis, after all:

Is trademark registration the next step?

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The invention of color

Apparently it took place some time after 1900:

At one point I was discussing the uniforms of the Civil War when immediately two or three hands shot into the air. I was not giving a lecture and throughout the discussion we were doing give and take, to make sure the kids understood what I was presenting. I acknowledged one boy who stated in complete seriousness and with an earnestness and thirst for knowledge “I thought there was no color until the twentieth century. Weren’t the uniforms grey and black?” I looked at him in dumbfounded amazement and noticed several other kids nodding in agreement.

You gotta admit, though: Betsy Ross did one hell of a job on that greyscale flag.

The Birth of Old Glory by Percy Moran

Read the rest of this entry »

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This has something to do with the Mets

At least, I’m pretty sure it does:

Marlins 1, Mets 0

(From the Twitter of the Blog of the Nightfly.)

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What kind of a guru are you?

You may not have known this, but:

We exist as atomic ionization.

You and I are dreamweavers of the quantum matrix.

The galaxy is radiating ultra-sentient particles. Grace is the driver of faith. Nothing is impossible.

We must learn how to lead advanced lives in the face of dogma. It is time to take wonder to the next level. This quest never ends.

Humankind has nothing to lose. We are in the midst of a karmic condensing of wellbeing that will align us with the quantum matrix itself. Our conversations with other storytellers have led to a refining of ultra-internal consciousness.

The future will be a self-aware redefining of consciousness.

Rebirth is the healing of presence, and of us. Intuition requires exploration. By unfolding, we dream.

As you dream, you will enter into infinite understanding that transcends understanding. You will soon be reborn by a power deep within yourself — a power that is unrestricted, non-local. Through numerology, our hopes are baptized in growth.

Was this a random survey taken at the checkout counter of Buzzwords R Us? Well, not exactly. Seb Pearce explains:

“This all sounds like random sequences of buzzwords. I bet I could write code to generate it.” It seemed like not only a fun side project, but a great way to prove how easy it is to make hogwash that looks compelling. It might help show that it’s the language games and emotions that lure people into this stuff. I started scribbling down any words I could think of that evoked a feeling of bullshit: quantum, growth, matrix, path, potential, flowering…

And thus the New Age Bullshit Generator was born.

One click of the Generator, in fact, produced that entire first blockquote.

(Spotted in Charles Pergiel’s FB timeline.)

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Easily impressed

Lynn tuned into one of those ubiquitous Nature Shows — this one about Alaskan wildlife — and was perplexed by a statement of presumed certified meteorology:

At one point, talking about the approach of winter, the narrator said, in the usual This Is Seriously Dramatic voice, “The temperature can drop as much as 15 degrees in just a few weeks.” And yes, I’m sure we heard him right. He enunciated very well. He said 15, not 50. We were too stunned to laugh. Fifteen degrees in a few weeks? We do more than that in just one day. In fact, I’ve seen the temp drop 15 degrees in less than an hour. Perhaps he meant the high temperature or the low, or the average. If so he should have said that but still, even if that’s what he meant we can still top it here in Oklahoma. Take yesterday and today, for example. Yesterday’s high was somewhere around 70°F. This morning at 6:30 it was only 40°F. Today’s high is supposed to be 80°. I have no doubt it will get there. How about that Mr. Serious Drama Narrator?

Maybe he was on loan from Canada and was quoting Celsius, in which case we’re talking 27 degrees as we know them.

Then again, caribou probably don’t look at thermometers, so maybe the guy is referring to the overall average, and 15 degrees is a pretty fair drop. Over September, October and November in Oklahoma City, the average drops 34 degrees: about 11 each month, before things start to settle down (and “down” is the key word) in December and January.

And of course, there’s that infamous daily record, set 11 November 1911, with a high of 83 and a low of 17. (It dropped to 14 before sunrise on the 12th.) A sixty-nine-degree drop in 24 hours should impress even Serious Drama Narrators.

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No, they don’t eat bunnies

Personally, I wouldn’t have thought that these would have been much of a draw, but what do I know?

After-Easter Tarantulas

This store also carries crickets, rats, and bearded dragons.

(Via Bad Newspaper.)

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Resurrection shuffle

I don’t think I’d trust this, even if “Jesus H. Christ” is written on the flyleaf in red:

I heard St. Thomas the Apostle was putting one of these up on eBay.

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They get lost so easily here

The wire-service story:

A California-bound Southwest Airlines flight was diverted to Omaha, Neb. on Sunday after witnesses said a passenger tried to open a door.

The captain of the Chicago-to-Sacramento flight landed on Eppley Airfield to “have an unruly passenger removed” before continuing on to Sacramento, the airlines said in a statement.

The flight with 5 crew members and 134 passengers arrived safely at its destination about two hours behind schedule.

And where is this mysterious place called “Omaha”? Don’t ask CBS News:

CBS This Morning screenshot placing Omaha in eastern Kansas

(Via this Blake Waggoner tweet. Waggoner hails from, yes, Nebraska.)

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Awfully forward of them

From the sports section of the Oklahoman this morning:

Clipping from the Oklahoman 4/12/14 citing Kendrick Perkins as a forward

Perk, of course, is a center; I don’t think he’s played power forward, let alone small forward, for even a minute since he decamped here from Boston.

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A report in the public interest

Utility construction has made life difficult for a pub in Truro, despite its reputation as one of the best eateries in all of Cornwall. Their first order of business was to put up a sign to let their customers know that the Wig & Pen was still open, construction or no construction:

The Wig & Pen is open for business

Word spacing, one assumes, was not quite so high on their list of priorities.

The sign is now gone, perhaps because it was mentioned by Ricky Gervais, making some of these same points.

(Via Fark.)

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Irony chef

These days, pundits speak of the “optics” of a concept. This one, I dare say, is blind as a vampire bat:

An animal-welfare organization is trying to capitalize on the notoriety of serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer’s childhood home by suggesting it might turn the house into a vegan restaurant.

Ingrid E. Newkirk, president of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, sent a letter dated Friday to the realty agent who has listed the Bath Township house for sale. In the letter, she asked about the listing and proposed making the house a vegan restaurant “to respond to the past with something positive.”

Local officials were not encouraging, pointing out that the property is zoned single-family residential.

(Via this John Podhoretz tweet.)

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The drama’s done

Why then here does any one step forth? Because they can:

Emoji DickEmoji Dick is a crowd sourced and crowd funded translation of Herman Melville’s Moby Dick into Japanese emoticons called emoji.

Each of the book’s approximately 10,000 sentences has been translated three times by a Amazon Mechanical Turk worker. These results have been voted upon by another set of workers, and the most popular version of each sentence has been selected for inclusion in this book.

In total, over eight hundred people spent approximately 3,795,980 seconds working to create this book. Each worker was paid five cents per translation and two cents per vote per translation.

Talk not to them of blasphemy, man.

(Via Julie R. Neidlinger, who posits this publication as the definition of “mixed feelings.”)

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Notice the quilting

It’s a Northern exclusive:

Original or Ultra Northern Bath Tissue

There are, of course, alternative products. Consider, for instance, the recommendations of François Rabelais’ infamous (and hefty) Gargantua:

Once I did wipe me with a gentlewoman’s velvet mask, and found it to be good; for the softness of the silk was very voluptuous and pleasant to my fundament. Another time with one of their hoods, and in like manner that was comfortable; at another time with a lady’s neckerchief, and after that some ear-pieces made of crimson satin; but there was such a number of golden spangles in them that they fetched away all the skin off my tail with a vengeance. This hurt I cured by wiping myself with a page’s cap, garnished with a feather after the Swiss fashion. Afterwards, in dunging behind a bush, I found a March-cat, and with it daubed my breech, but her claws were so sharp that they grievously exulcerated my perineum. Of this I recovered the next morning thereafter, by wiping myself with my mother’s gloves, of a most excellent perfume of Arabia. [He continues in this vein for several pages.] But to conclude, I say and maintain that of all arse-wisps, bum-fodders, tail-napkins, bung-hole-cleansers and wipe-breeches, there is none in this world comparable to the neck of a goose, that is well downed, if you hold her head betwixt your legs: and believe me therein upon mine honour; for you will thereby feel in your nockhole a most wonderful pleasure, both in regard of the softness of the said down, and of the temperate heat of the goose; which is easily communicated to the bumgut and the rest of the intestines, insofar as to come even to the regions of the heart and brains. And think not that the felicity of the heroes and demigods, in the Elysian fields, consisteth either in their Ambrosia or Nectar, but in this, that they wipe their tails with the necks of geese.

(Original ad pronounced a “good buy” at Bad Newspaper. No geese were harmed in the preparation of this article, unless François wasn’t kidding.)

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Conclusion being jumped to

This perhaps may be unnecessarily alarmist:

CNN screenshot: Boeing 777 will struggle to maintain altitude once the fuel tanks are empty

After all, the plane will still have sufficient momentum to carry it all the way to the eventual crash site.

(Via American Digest.)

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