Archive for Say What?

Dollars to Harare

In 2009, Zimbabwe essentially gave up on its existing currency, inasmuch as even the highest denominations were worth more as toilet paper than as an actual medium of exchange. And I don’t think any of us were quite visionary enough to ship those bills to Venezuela.

To replace that failed dollar, Zimbabwe came up with the idea of officially recognizing certain stable foreign currencies. Among them: the US dollar. Now where do you get US dollars in Zimbabwe? They’ll be printed in Zimbabwe:

Zimbabwe is set to print its own version of the US dollar in order to ease a cash shortage in the country.

Central bank governor John Mangudya said the cash, known as bond notes, will be backed by $200m (£140m) support from the Africa Export-Import Bank.

The specially-designed two, five, 10 and 20 dollar notes will have the same value as their US dollar equivalents.

Except the $20 probably won’t have Andrew Jackson on it.

(Via Fark, which thought of the Jackson joke before I did.)

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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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Once at most

But so far, the answer is no:

“The victim suffered two wounds. One proved to be fatal; fortunately, the other one was not serious.”

(Via James Del Rey.)

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Life imitates Allen

Alvy Singer (Woody Allen), in Annie Hall, addressing the audience:

There’s an old joke … um … two elderly women are at a Catskill mountain resort, and one of ’em says, “Boy, the food at this place is really terrible.” The other one says, “Yeah, I know; and such small portions.”

That was nearly forty years ago, but it’s evidently still remembered:

<mcmahon>How bad is it?</mcmahon>

(Via Rand Simberg.)

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From the Oxford files

Not everyone has an opinion on the Oxford comma; some people simply don’t give a fark. Still, there are times when you absolutely need that extra little bit of punctuation, and Michael Barone’s Friday column was one of them. As it appeared in the local paper on Saturday:

Ted Cruz showed an ability to adapt to terrain and vary his approach from his usual college-debater style. Appearing with his wife, mother and supporter Carly Fiorina, he spoke of the achievements and tragedies of women in his life.

I admit to a certain fondness for Carly Fiorina, but I had no idea she was that busy.

Someone at the Washington Examiner, Barone’s home base, has since rewritten the paragraph.

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Meanwhile on the Texas Gulf Coast

Geography classes, these days, are evidently about everything other than geography:

To misplace the nation’s seventh largest city is — well, actually, all you can expect from the dullards who believe themselves in charge of the National Agenda.

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Spoiler alert

I suspect this isn’t going to do squat for the Civic’s aerodynamics:

(Via Jack Baruth.)

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A Terrapin mistake

At least it wasn’t Missouri:

Or, for that matter, Mississippi.

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Not ready for Schedule C

Siri, Apple’s digital assistant, can apparently comprehend algebra, but fergoshsakes, don’t expect her to understand the Federal tax system:

Tax help from Siri

To be fair, nobody, including entities like Siri with no body, can actually understand the Federal tax system.

(From reddit via Miss Cellania.)

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Furniturization

I think I understand this, but I can’t really be sure:

Yahoo Answers screenshot: Where are can buy small computer table and that must be compactly and not big?

I figure “compactly” is the inverse of “bigly.” Then again, I have never owned a “computer table”; I do, however, have a stupidly heavy desk. (The heaviness itself is not stupid, unless you’re actually moving the damned thing, which had to be disassembled to get it through the sharp angle at my front door.)

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Hung up on minor details

Cover of Deliciously Decandent by Fiona MoodleyThe wondrous world of seemingly random retweeting, which of course it isn’t — nothing on Twitter is truly random — landed a promo for this book in my stream, and while I admit to partaking of the occasional romance novel, by which is meant it’s probably no more than a third of what I read, give or take a percentage point here or there, I think this one might be just a hair beyond my specifications. The story goes like this:

He is every woman’s fantasy. He can have any woman but her. He will do anything just to have her in his bed were she belongs.

She is a widow and has a little girl. She cannot afford to be promiscuous but she is drawn to him like a moth to a flame.

When they come together it is explosive. Sparks don’t just fly it dominates. Can he keep her in his bed or will she run away?

Points for noting that promiscuity has its price, if not necessarily in an obvious currency. But how do we know if it’s truly “decandent,” whatever the heck that means?

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Far afield

Um…

Unless, of course, there’s a rabid Tasmanian devil on the way to Ljubljana.

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It’s really a gas

And a pretty important one, too:

Protip: If you don’t want to stay alive, quit breathing oxygen.

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There will be chocolate

For some reason, this made me laugh:

Just for the sake of completeness:

You already know what Kelis had to say on the subject.

(Via Paris Berelc.)

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I’m guessing Malone died

For those keeping score, Dublin’s Samuel Beckett Bridge is downstream from the James Joyce Bridge.

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Or so they decided

Via Arthur Stock and Language Log, what might be a curious headline:

Front page of Philadelphia Inquirer 30 January 2016

Although the one that gets me is lower down on the page: “Pope’s Fiat sold for $82,000.” If a mere fiat brings that kind of money, what would someone pay for a nihil obstat?

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Not the original recipe

At least, I assume it isn’t:

But can you see the Russian Tea Room from there?

Note: 0161, if I remember correctly, is around Manchester.

(Via Liz Mair.)

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My, Texas, how you’ve changed

I mean, really:

CBS News infographic for Texas GOP primary with illustration of South Carolina

Then again, both Texas and South Carolina have cities named Greenville. Maybe that’s it. Yeah. That’s the ticket.

(Via Daily Pundit.)

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The sameness of the sky

The line between “mostly cloudy” and “partly sunny” is apparently even finer than I thought it was. From the National Weather Service’s local forecast today:

Forecast for 17-18-19 January 2015

Can you tell them apart? I certainly can’t.

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The obvious goes ungrasped

No other explanation makes any sense:

The whole point of fanfiction is to infringe on the intellectual-property rights of people who can’t see that this is the One True Pairing. Maybe they’re a Second Party rather than a Third.

Time for this again:

The Shipping Department is taking notes.

(Via @SpinsterAndCat.)

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Spontaneous-combustion engine

Consumer Reports, it appears, is trying its best to sound a bit less Consumer Reports-y. From a February review of the new Volkswagen Jetta with the 1.4-liter turbo four:

Since its 2011 redesign, the Jetta sedan has offered more engines than Spinal Tap had drummers.

This will not encourage people who question VW’s overall reliability, if you know what I mean.

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And you thought it was cold outside

Volkswagen’s little Evade the Emissions stunt has now been hacked and examined, and at least one of the findings is startling:

[Felix] Domke said he graphed the European emissions testing cycle and overlaid those results with the upper and lower limits of the ECU’s “normal mode” and discovered that the mode aligned perfectly with the limits.

He didn’t test differences in engine performance, nor could he say whether the cheat applied to cars in other countries. But Domke pointed to a parameter in the engine’s code that seemingly always initiated its “alternative” exhaust program: the outside temperature would only need to be suitable for life to exist — above -6,357.9 degrees Fahrenheit (-3,550 degrees Celsius).

This condition is available pretty much anywhere in the universe at any imaginable time. Well feigned, Vee Dub.

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And apparently nowhere to go

Just the same, it looks like you actually can get there from here:

Now I’m curious to see their printed schedule.

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A clipping from the future

Or maybe the past. Who can be sure?

Out of only 40 women in the Senate, only two were female

Maybe I’ll just leave it alone and tiptoe away.

(From Bad Newspaper via the Presurfer.)

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Classic misunderestimation

By about 50 percent, if I’m counting canonically:

Sonic Drive-In sign: Two Words Spicy Popcorn Chicken

Or maybe you get to pick only two words: for instance, you can have popcorn chicken, but not particularly spicy; worse, you could have something spicy and popcorn-sized, but don’t count on it’s being actual chicken.

(From Bad Menu via Miss Cellania.)

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I park, therefore I am

First things first:

See also Jerry Reed: “Well, if the Lord that made the moon and the stars / Woulda meant for you and me to have cars / He’d-a seen that we was all born with a parking space.”

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No shortage of nerve

Surviving Oklahoma City bomber Terry Nichols — partner in crime Timothy McVeigh was executed in 2001 — would like his guns back, please:

Domestic terrorist Terry Nichols wants more than a dozen guns seized in the investigation of the Oklahoma City bombing returned.

He says they had nothing to do with the bombing, and he wants his family to have them for the money the weapons are worth.

From his maximum security prison cell in Colorado, Nichols said he wants 13 guns in that currently are in federal custody, including handguns, rifles and a shotgun, to be turned over to one of his two ex-wives or to his sister.

The Feds, of course, disagree:

Federal authorities say the guns should not be released from FBI custody because someone might use them in a copycat crime. Instead, the feds want to destroy the guns and give Nichols credit for their fair market value of $7,000.

Not that the credit would do him or his family much good:

It would go toward the $14.5 million he owes in restitution.

Yeah, that’ll help.

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In which nothing is actually said

Marriott International will spend $12.2 billion to acquire rival Starwood, prompting this statement from Marriott president and CEO Arne Sorenson:

“The driving force behind this transaction is growth. This is an opportunity to create value by combining the distribution and strengths of Marriott and Starwood, enhancing our competitiveness in a quickly evolving marketplace.”

This is pure boardroom-approved corporate-speak, full of syllables and buzzwords, signifying nothing. Yet somehow, “value” is going to be created.

Hint: In corporate mergers, the “value” most often created is the reduction in expense due to reductions in force. Expect rather a lot of people to be kicked to the curb; perhaps they won’t get in the way of valet parking.

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Gratuitous hyphenation

Actual spams received here:

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The only reason to do things like this, of course, is to evade filters, but who has filters for stuff like that?

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Who would have guessed?

I mean, what are the chances?

Hartford Courant report on Do Not Resuscitate orders

Is DNR in some people’s DNA or something?

(From Bad Newspaper via Miss Cellania.)

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