Archive for Say What?

Careful with that zygote, Eugene

From Lawrence Ulrich’s first drive of the new BMW 7-series, in Automobile (December):

The lean, new body wears rather conservative clothing. The exterior is stately and tasteful but safer than the sex in a Planned Parenthood brochure.

I have no idea what this could possibly mean, and I’m not so sure Ulrich does either.


Apparently it’s no longer fun

Young man, we are talking to you:

I will be gobsmacked if anyone joins the Navy in response.


How things have changed

Yea, even in the Land of Cheeses:

I’m sure Mari Negro will do a fine job as assessor.

(Online version is behind a serious paywall. Via @mdrache.)

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Baron von Toll House reports

I think he has this one right:

But phrased this way, they can charge seven bucks for it.

(Via Dan McLaughlin.)

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So easily confused

I’m not quite sure how I would react, were I the person misdescribed:

Clipping from the Sentinel

Mr Lyday, for the record, “loves Michigan, and dogs … and dogs on Michigan rugs.”

Jay Leno once read this clipping on “Headlines,” so it’s pretty old (2011).

(Via Mike Flores.)

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Rudeness in Ottawa

Setup for that implausible-sounding title:

Legislators in governments based on the Westminster system enjoy parliamentary privilege, which means that, while in the House, they can speak their minds without the fear of being sued for slander. But to retain some modicum of decorum during debates, the Speaker of the House has the authority to rein in politicians who use language deemed unparliamentary, asking foul-mouthed lawmakers to withdraw their comments or face discipline.

Canadians, by reputation anyway, are generally big on decorum. But this exchange in Parliament in 2004 suggests that they’re also not given to mealy-mouthedness:

Betty Hinton (Kamloops, Thompson and Highland Valleys): I would ask hon. members to please remain calm. I realize that this is an emotional issue. I would ask the hon. member to try to stay within the confines of parliamentary language.

David Anderson (Cypress Hills—Grasslands): Madam Speaker, I have a question. Was the unparliamentary language the word “incompetent” or was it the word “corrupt”?

I note purely in passing that Mrs Hinton and Mr Anderson, both of whom represented ridings in British Columbia, have since left Parliament, though not over whatever incident precipitated that exchange.


Zero Fuchs given

This is, I think, one of the few times when Comic Sans would have been a palpable improvement:

Then again, given Indiana’s record at the time, perhaps this was deliberate after all.


Your account has been limited

And someone is being sent to address this matter:

Also, you will now be able to render unto Sears the payments due Sears.

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This is why we can’t have nice role models

I mean, seriously:

The Sagittarius in me says that this is a load of Taurus.

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Person cave

Once in a while the typo is better than the correct version:

I did manage to wring a chuckle out of myself this morning. Someone had posted a ginormous replica of Elsa’s ice-castle from Frozen that was for sale at Costco or somewhere. And I remarked that I needed one in life size, and on the side of a remote mountain (and with a sewing room and a library — it already has a grand piano in it). And it would be my Fortress of Solitude.

Which I typed first as Fortress of Solidude.

I imagine a Fortress of Solidude would have more sports-themed decor and probably a beer fridge. (Sadly, I can’t think of a “lady” equivalent of “Solidude.” But yeah, sometimes I really want somewhere extremely remote from everyone and everything else where I can go and that has everything I need…)

I suppose I could try to argue that “fortress” is actually the feminine version of “fort,” but I don’t think I could get away with that one.

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Some other country

I’ve had Taylor Swift’s 1989 on CD for a while now, but it occurred to me this weekend that I’d never bothered to paste it into iTunes. The mighty Apple machinery jumped into import mode, and it recognized the album, of course, but:

iTunes Import screen for 1989 by Taylor Swift

Or, alternatively, some other folk. Then again, what can you do? It’s a machine. Importers gonna import.

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Not that I’m aware of

Is it somehow pertinent to the matter at hand?

Insurance. It’s gotta be. Who else would care?

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Never underestimate the opposition

They may have already thought of something to thwart your intentions:

Fiendishly clever, wouldn’t you say?

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No Buffaloney

It is what he said:

The Justpaul family, I surmise, emigrated from North Dystopia to the Niagara Falls area in the late 17th century.

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Did you check the woods?

Smarter than the average tourist? Not this one:

At least one visitor to Yellowstone National Park doesn’t appreciate that the bears didn’t do their part to make the visit memorable.

“Our visit was wonderful but we never saw any bears. Please train your bears to be where guests can see them. This was an expensive trip to not get to see bears.”

This is right up there with the woman who thought that deer-crossing signs were actually encouraging deer to cross the highway.

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Whoever the heck he is

Maybe it’s really John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt!

I mean, it certainly can’t be Gary Allen.


The sad fact is

And will likely continue to be:

Headline: someone will win presidential race

(From Bad Newspaper via Miss Cellania.)

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All those Antilles look alike

To a guy in a control room in New York, anyway:

Good thing they didn’t ask him to pinpoint Jamaica. He’d probably have stuck it somewhere among Canada’s Maritime Provinces.

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Sticking a finger in the news hole

It must have been a slower news day than I thought. From page 3C of this morning’s Oklahoman:

Blowing your nose at the dinner table is disgusting

Or maybe it’s just expressing the need for more greens.


The walrus, he is not

This is another reason why, as Abraham Lincoln used to say, you can’t believe everything you see on the Internet:

All You Need Is Love t-shirt featuring Yoda

“Love, all you need is.” It perhaps isn’t the way Yoda would have said it; it is, nonetheless, what he would have said.

(Via Roger Goode.)

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Math continues to be hard

In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if it doesn’t even get taught this year:

Four quarters of schooling and for what?

(Found on reddit by Miss Cellania.)

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No major changes at the Vatican

At least, not to that extent:

I think we can safely say that yes, he is.

That other question has also been resolved.

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Nor is it a dry heat

This apparently was the display for the Sunday-evening forecast. Hindsight being closer to 20/20, I think we can safely say that at least one of those numbers was way the hell off:

Weather screen from KFOR

(Snagged from Facebook, of course.)

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Presumably a Solo operation

That “really bad feeling” might be a case of the Kessel runs.

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Irate, you rate

Lead story in the Oklahoman today begins with this anecdote:

When a passing motorist yelled “Road rage sucks” at Oklahoma City police Sgt. Matthew Downing during a January 2014 traffic stop, Downing chased the man down in a convenience store, wrestled him to the ground and arrested him.

A supervisor who soon arrived disagreed with Downing’s use of force and subsequent arrest and released the man.

Police Chief Bill Citty directed the department’s Office of Professional Standards to conduct a criminal investigation into the incident.

In February, Downing pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault and battery and was sentenced to 90 days’ probation. That same day, he resigned from the department, where leaders say he was still under administrative investigation for the incident. Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater said Downing’s guilty plea and resignation were part of his plea agreement, which is typical in criminal cases involving police officers.

Not that I at all object to keeping the police on a fairly tight leash — those rogue cops obsessed with their authority (“Trigger-happy policing,” said Marvin Gaye back in the day) need to be pulled back — but I have to wonder: is it the position of the City, or of the OCPD, that road rage does not suck?


Kitten gag

Had this actually happened, we’d have a case of someone taking the law into his own hands, so to speak. See the third paragraph:

Clipping from North County Times, San Diego, 2008

This is not precisely the way the Associated Press sent out this February 2008 wire story. Subsequently, one staffer at San Diego’s North County Times was sacked, another suspended, and the editor performed a public act of contrition:

After conducting an internal investigation, I believe that our editors were not being malicious, furthering some political agenda, or expressing ill will toward Cardenas or anyone else. Instead, I have concluded that our mistake flowed from a deeply misguided joke that made its way into print.

By sheerest coincidence, massive layoffs at the Times began in 2008, culminating with the paper’s absorption by U-T San Diego in 2012.

(Via Miss Cellania.)

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Not entirely up to date

This mental_floss piece, titled “25 Things You Should Know About Kansas City,” blows it before you ever get to the second thing:

There’s more to the City of Fountains than just barbecue. (Although the barbecue is legendary.) Study up before your next visit to the midwestern metropolis of 467,000.

1. Kansas City spans two states: Missouri and Kansas. The international airport, baseball stadium and football stadium are all on the Missouri side. The professional soccer team and the NASCAR race track are found on the Kansas side.

As the discerning reader has presumably already discerned, there are two separate cities named “Kansas City,” on opposite sides of State Line Road; the Missouri town dates to 1853, while the one in Kansas was founded in 1872 and merged with several other area towns fourteen years later. And the population figure is more or less correct for the Missouri side, but Kansas City, Kansas has 150,000 people of its own.

And I really wished they’d tacked this onto item #9: there is an actual organization of dog fanciers (on the Missouri side) called the Jesse James Kennel Club. (The club is based in Kearney, which was James’ boyhood home; I don’t think they’re in favor of robbing banks or anything like that.)

Disclosure: I have two children, one who lives in Kansas City, Missouri, and one who lives in nearby Independence. I include this for the benefit of anyone who wants to ask “Why do you know these things?”

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You can’t hide your lion eyes

It’s easy to mock Gawker for its occasionally sloppy work, but once in a while they absolutely nail it, even if they have to swipe it from CNN:

(How we know it’s Gawker.)

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U wot, m8t?

If Australia’s anti-swearing laws are supposed to be protecting children, they’re doing a farking poor job of it:

In some Australian states, people can be spot-fined up to $500, and even spend time in prison, for swearing in public.

Quentin Bryce Law Doctoral Scholar at [University of Technology, Sydney], Elyse Methven, has pointed to research showing children are exposed to swearing at the age of one or two.

She said the evidence swear words were harmful was negligible.

And besides, the kids have already learned all those words — from you, okay? They learned them from you:

“Children around one or two know several swear words, and children of school age have a vocabulary of up to 42 taboo words.”

What’s more, there may be some therapeutic effect:

“There have been studies showing that when people swear, they can get some sort of pain-relief effect from the swearing.”

In which case, I know some people who should be able to smile while a lion gnaws on their extremities.


A perfect night to dress up

Taylor Swift T.S. 1989 sweatshirtAbout five and a half billion people on this plain granite planet will recognize this sweatshirt as being part of Taylor Swift’s new clothing line, intended to promote her platinum / palladium / unobtainium album 1989, in stores now and not streaming very much. That leaves a billion and a half who might see something different in it:

The date — as well as being Swift’s year of birth — refers to her album and live tour of the same name, which she will perform in Shanghai in November.

But the date — and the initials TS — are particularly sensitive in China, as they signify the Tiananmen Square massacre in 1989, when hundreds of students were killed in pro-democracy protests.

Bad move? Maybe not. Chinese retailer, which will carry the Swift line, doesn’t seem to have any trouble selling the 1989 CD.

(Via Marginal Revolution.)

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