Archive for Say What?

Down at the end of Cyanide Court

Those hardy souls up there in N’Hampsha can deal with anything — with the possible exception of French:

Since she opened her indoor skydiving business in 2006, SkyVenture co-owner Laurie Greer has been coping with an unexpected downside to her location in Nashua.

The business is on a small stretch of pavement off Daniel Webster Highway. Called Poisson Avenue, the roughly 500-foot-long road leads up to the edge of the Merrimack River.

It bears a fitting name, given the geography; “poisson” is the French word for fish. But Greer said people often make a different association, mistaking the street name for “Poison Avenue.”

In other news, there’s an indoor skydiving business in Nashua.

Ward 7 Alderman June Caron and Mayor Donnalee Lozeau are sponsoring legislation on behalf of the business to rename Poisson Avenue. They’re proposing “Adventure Way” as a replacement. Greer said the mayor suggested Adventure Way because it speaks to the type of experiences people have at her business.

I must point out that few experiences are quite as memorable as Poison.

(Via Fark.)

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It’s easy not being Green

For some reason known but to God, or to Jeff Bezos, who’s arguably the next step down from God, this past weekend posted a listing for John Green’s bestselling YA novel The Fault in Our Stars as being the work of one “Holt McDougal,” which is in fact the name of a textbook publisher.

Fans of Green jumped right in to praise the mysterious McDougal in the Amazon review section. Said one enthusiast: “In addition to writing your ordinary astronomy and calculus textbooks, he also dabbles in young adult fiction. He’s been wildly successful in both genres (can I say that his algebra 2 textbook was especially fascinating).” Green himself published several of the McDougal reviews on his Tumblr blog; Amazon finally got around to fixing the matter late today.

(Tweeted in my general direction by the lovely and talented Annemarie Dooling.)

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Developing north of Canada

The National Weather Service in the San Francisco Bay area is predicting something like this:

Imagine what they’d have to endure if there were an influx of Artic air in Febuary.

(Incidentally, whatever they get in and around the Bay is likely to be several times as bad here.)

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Quote of the week

What is this I don’t even — oh, okay, it’s a defense of the language used on the Internet, by Tia Baheri (as distinguished from “the language used on the Internet by Tia Baheri”):

[W]e’re taking a group of people who have insider knowledge of the English language (or at least a good grasp of it) and placing them in a new, unfamiliar, virtual space. This space introduces visual aids to language in the form of photos and gifs, the ability to comment on someone else’s text in a reblog and the ability to communicate a lot of information in very few words using hashtags. We also see the creation of tone in a toneless medium. In order to simulate conversational patterns in writing we SHOUT WHEN WE’RE SUPER EXCITED or *psssst whisper when we’re pretending to tell someone a secret while perfectly aware that anyone on the internet can read what we’re saying.* slash the coolest bit tho is that u can like ironically forgo all capitalization and punctuation just write in a weird speech pattern its ok everyone will still understand maybe it even helps read the text more quickly because nothing is interrupting the flow of words

In short, this dialect results when people who already share a language are given new tools. The result isn’t a butchering of English language but a creative experiment with it. Am I claiming that the Internet as a whole is operating on a level of postmodernism that would make Joseph Heller, Kurt Vonnegut and Thomas Pynchon seem like novices? maybe i am maybe im not u punk wut of it like who r u to tell me otherwise

I don’t always get a QOTW from Twitter, but when I do it’s from Nancy Friedman.

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Check out the boobs on that goose

It’s apparently something you see only in St. Louis County:

The Chesterfield [Missouri] City Council on Nov. 4 amended a city ordinance that outlaws feeding certain types of wild animals within city limits.

Under the amended ordinance, it is now illegal to feed all wild mammals, including pigeons and Canada Geese.

Brian J. asks: “Does the writer need remedial science courses or simply remedial writing courses?” Yes. Next question, please.

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Ermahgerd! Studernts!

Says so right here:

Cranberry School Geography Bee

The Cranbury School is located in Cranbury, New Jersey (Exit 8A), in case you need to brush up for the next Geograohy Bee.

(One of many inscrutable offerings at

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This is surprising the first time, perhaps, but eventually you don’t notice it anymore:

During a short telephone conversation yesterday, the person on the other end didn’t say “oh my God”, they said OMG. I was amazed.

The time to worry is when they start spelling out OMGWTFBBQ.

Oh, and on the middle three of that no-no nonet:

“WTF” takes five whole syllables to say what the phrase it represents says in three.

Then again, you may be in a location where one of those letters represents something forbidden. I’m guessing it’s not the T.

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The op-ed page in yesterday’s Oklahoman contained this excerpt:

Gleanings from the Oklahoman 11-6-13

Here’s the whole of that USA Today piece, from the original Instapundit link.

It occurs to me that Glenn Reynolds is probably the kind of guy who doesn’t much care what they say about him so long as they spell his name right.

Which, you’ll notice, they didn’t.

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Hollow praise

“A rather dull love-poem,” this is, although it possesses some wholly unexpected nuance:

Tell me, Eutresia, since my fate
And thy more powerfull Forme decrees
My heart an Immolation at thy Shrine,
. . .

Who is Eutresia? What is she? Who the heck knows?

In the “Notes on the Text” in the back of the book (516), [Peter] Davidson records that some manuscripts call the addressee “Eutresia”, at least one “Utrechia”. The note below the text reads: “1 Eutresia ‘Utrechia’ MS (Greek) ‘beautiful hair’”, which is a bit confusing: which name is supposed to mean “beautiful hair”? Could “Utrechia” be meant for “Eutrichia” or something similar?

“Eutresia,” however, means nothing of the sort:

I see no way to make that mean anything to do with hair. It would be a properly-formed Greek noun meaning “well-holedness”, the quality of being equipped with one or more excellent holes or orifices: not a name anyone this side of Lord Rochester, or Martial in one of his darker moods, would give to an enemy, much less a mistress. Neither “eutresia” nor for that matter “dystresia” is included in the OED, but “atresia”, “from Greek ἄτρητος not perforated”, is attested with the meaning “occlusion or closure of a natural channel of the body” since 1807. Biliary atresia is a common birth defect.

Rochester, who died at 33, possibly from a combination of STDs, might have had a passing familarity with holes, but let’s leave it at that.

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Now there’s a defense

Terry Simonson, on the local crime rate, in Urban Tulsa Weekly:

[A]t the end of the day, when you take out the drug killings, gang killings, alcohol-related killings and home invasion killings, for a city of almost 400,000 people, our homicide rate is one of the lowest in the nation.

Marion Barry called, and he wants his assessment back:

Outside of the killings, DC has one of the lowest crime rates in the country.

(Via Michael Bates’ Facebook page.)

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This year’s war-crimes accessory

I have no idea where Joseph Kony is — somewhere in central Africa, I’m guessing — but I’m pretty sure he wasn’t expecting a fashion shout-out:

Holds two gas masks in contrasting colors.

(Via Tanisha Taitt’s Facebook page.)

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Smithers, inundate them

In response to an actual Freedom of Information Act request, the Federal Communications Commission has released a boxful of complaints received from (presumably) former viewers of The Simpsons during the past three years.

This one, I suspect, might be somewhere near the median:

My complaint is an over all view of how the use of bad language, and nudity, have just been allowed to creep in. There are so many shows that allow this, it is hard to define them all. My question is what is wrong with the FCC? Do you allow your children to watch this kind of show? It is on at all times, and is spreading such an allowance message that there is no standard of decency anymore. Please pay more close attention to these low character type of shows. The damage is being done, and America will pay the consequences. I am 62 yrs. old, and know there doesn’t have to be such lanquage as this to have a good show. I really can’t believe how you have allowed the standards you are to supposed to uphold, fall so drastically. Thanks for listening.

Now is this why no one’s watching television anymore? I have my doubts.

Despite its lack of Simpsons-specific content, this one must be quoted for sheer amusement value:

a commercial for shick razor blades came on during the it the show a young girl in her underwear with her legs propped open so there is a crotch shot done on a female in her barley covered vagina WHICH IS VERY LEWD,DISGUSTING AND PORNOGRAPHIC!the camera focused on her barely covered vaginal area for a while and that part of the shick commercial had nothing to do with razors and will not sell any more razors for schick. we are tired of all the female nudity allowed on t.v. all of the time when female nudity is publically aired on tv it is never a mistake because you never see any male nudity on tv!IF THE MALE PENIS AND MALE NUDITY AND THE MALE PENIAL AREA CAN NEVER BE SHOWN ON NON-CABLE TV THEN WOMEN’S VAGINAS&WOMEN NUDITY& WOMEN VAGINAL AREAS SHOULD NEVER BE AIRED ON NON-CABLE TV AT ANY TIME AT ALL NEVER NO MATTER HOW MANY BRIBES THE FCC IS TAKING IN ORDER TO ALLOW FEMALE NUDITY,FEMALE CROTCH SHOTS AND FEMALE VAGINAL AREAS TO BE AIRED ON NON-CABLE TV!

You’d think beer commercials would be the proper venue for a “barley covered vagina.” Maybe.

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Thirty points for sure

The generic name — tofacitinib — is not exactly euphonious either. But Xeljanz? Huh? Nancy Friedman? Anyone?

Oh, and Pfizer thinks highly of this stuff: it’s two grand a month. Wholesale. No credit for knowing that the pill was originally developed by a guy from the National Institutes of Health.

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Some Brazilian fellow, I suppose

There is yard work, and there is, um, yard work:

Bikini-line trim advertisement

(From Bad Newspaper, which used to be

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The phone has been doubled

I spotted this on Derpibooru, tagged “Seems Legit,” and went hunting.

Nokia phone promotion

And the following turned up at Windows Phone Central, supposedly in an email to a forum poster:

I’m getting highlights for the upcoming Nokia Press Conference:

1. The Nokia Tablet will named “Nokia Harmonia” and it’s powered by Windows 8.1.

2. The Nokia Lumia Phablet and it’s powered by Windows Phone 8 GDR3.

Why the Nokia Phablet still part of Nokia Lumia series? it’s because of Nokia Lumia 625.

3. (For the brony fans.) It will unveil the MLP:FiM Season 4 Nokia Exclusive Trailer showing Nightmare Moon Returns.

4. Your favorite apps such as Instagram, Vine and My Little Pony will coming to Windows Phone.

5. Nokia Lumia 1020 will promote MLP:FiM Season 4.

Guess whose wireless contract just ran out?

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Wronger wrongness

It would be difficult, I think, to get much wronger than this:

Jonathan Weil miscredited

This photo was duly pasted into a reprint from Bloomberg News: however, the article is credited to Jonathan Weil, and it’s pretty obviously Weil, not Virginia Postrel, in the picture.

I’m hearing laughter in the background:

I should say not.

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Slightly less raw

Before the weekend, Nancy Friedman put out a call for “corporate or product names [that] make you shudder and cringe,” and I admitted to having, namewise anyway, a love-hate relationship with Cuppies & Joe on 23rd; the name itself was, I said, “awfully twee,” but not enough to discourage visiting the place, which serves up a decent joe and very nice cuppies.

If that’s twee, though, this is not quite ate:

I used to work in the Midwood neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York, where I often walked past one of the best worst business names ever! It was a restaurant named “Half Price Day Old Sushi” — Mmmmmmmm … what could possibly go wrong?

I think I’m just going to leave it at that and tiptoe quietly away.

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Opening remarks

Truly a grabber:

As the sun dropped below the horizon, the safari guide confirmed the approaching cape buffaloes were herbivores, which calmed everyone in the group, except for Herb, of course.

A wonderful story opening by Ron D. Smith, which inexplicably did not win the 2013 Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest.

Then again, Chris Wieloch did himself proud with this one, which did:

She strutted into my office wearing a dress that clung to her like Saran Wrap to a sloppily butchered pork knuckle, bone and sinew jutting and lurching asymmetrically beneath its folds, the tightness exaggerating the granularity of the suet and causing what little palatable meat there was to sweat, its transparency the thief of imagination.

Sounds like the detective has been hitting the sauce, and I mean A.1 Sauce.

This competition always leaves me in something of a funk, since my own story openings are never, ever terrible enough.

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It’s like Entertainment on ESPN

Kathleen Parker gets herself all twerked up over that Miley Cyrus incident:

This is not the first offensive display — and probably not even the worst. I pretend to no authority but have seen enough to know that MTV videos often resemble soft-porn mini-movies. Children marinating in a culture of online porn, sexting, rainbow parties and worse have little experience with other ways of relating emotionally.

Someone actually pretending to authority, I suppose, would have known that MTV doesn’t show videos and hasn’t for years. (Not that their “reality” shows are any less noxious.) And has anyone ever actually attended a rainbow party? Snopes seems skeptical.

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Is “hybrid” the new black?

What happened when Nancy Friedman asked about renting a hybrid car:

She: Oh, yeah. We have lots of hybrids. But not full hybrids.

Me: [silent, puzzled]

She: You know, they still need gas.

Me: [not sure I heard correctly] But … isn’t that what a hybrid car is? Gas and electric?

She: I mean, they’re hybrid but not completely electric.

Are there varying stages of hybridity out there? Not that I’m aware of, but then I’m often the last to know.

I wondered whether for her, and maybe for a whole cohort of younger drivers, “hybrid” had lost its original “combination-of-two-things” meaning and now signifies “less than 100 percent gas-powered.” Or, perhaps, just “nontraditional in some nonspecific way.”

I haven’t rented a car in about half a decade. Maybe next time I’ll wander into the storefront, point to something Mopar, and ask “That thing got a Hemione?”

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Decidedly unclear on the concept

Seems too dense to be actually trolling:

If you increase rim size do you have to change tires? I have tires with 18 inch rims on them, say I wanted to replace them with 20 or 22 inch rims. Do I also have to change the tires I have?

Ten-point IQ deduction for the unironic use of the term “rims.” They’re wheels, forddamnit.

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Don’t even ask about Moscow

I’ve long suspected that Nancy Grace was out of her depth, and this tells me that there wasn’t that much depth to begin with:

Headline News screenshot placing Morehead Lake in Oklahoma

Geography. Look into it.

(Via this Wendy Suares tweet.)

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They were right the first time

A letter to the editor, published in the Oklahoman this morning, is headlined this way:

Clip from the Oklahoman 8-5-13

The writer, of course, was talking about the Republican party, but the proofreader, or the auto-correct gizmo, had it right. If the Democrats are the Me Party, clearly the Republicans are the Me Too Party.

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A modicum of restraint

Suzette bought a discontinued food processor — a Cuisinart from last decade — because it had large, pushable buttons, which she trusts, instead of some slippery touch pad, which she most certainly does not.

The illustration she provided shows the stark contrast between the two machines, and also includes a piece of earlier equipment: a GE food processor with “little ass buttons.” It reminded me of my thirty-year-old Osterizer, in the beigest possible beige, which also has little-ass buttons, as distinguished from little ass-buttons. And in fact, I left her a comment to that effect, which refused to accept; evidently it pushed their ass buttons.

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Waste management, indeed

Meanwhile in Michigan, somebody’s hiring, or at least somebody was hiring:

Laborers for early outdoor shits

(Another example of superior proofreading from the collection.)

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Amphibian chaff

From Car and Driver‘s take (8/13) on the Nissan Juke NISMO:

There are no logical reasons for it to look the way it does, so clearly drawn without conventional aesthetic considerations in mind. And its 1.6-liter turbo four is an overachiever, imbuing this automotive non sequitur with the verve to match its shape. There’s not a cynical bolt or negative bead of adhesive in the Juke’s batrachian body.

The online version of this same half-paragraph is a lot less scintillating:

There are no logical reasons for it to look the way it does; its aesthetics are so clearly drawn without concern for what critics would think. Its 1.6-liter turbo four is an overachiever, imbuing this automotive non sequitur with the verve to match its shape. There’s not a cynical bolt or bead of adhesive in the Juke’s spunky, amphibian body.

I have to assume that someone in the Web department choked on “batrachian,” and that’s a shame, unless you’re Miss Piggy.

(Title from this recording, a copy of which I have owned for close to forty years.)

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They’re very hard to smoke

Screenshot from KCTV Kansas City: Finding The Right Kitten Barbecue Recipes

And you may need extra sauce.

(Found on Lisa Nicole’s Facebook page; thanks to Dan B.)

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Excessive heat warning

In parts of Orange County, California, you’d better be a tantalum hafnium carbide-based life form:

Weather map from KNBC

If it makes you feel cooler, they’re predicting only 4090° Celsius in Irvine.

(Tweeted by @sfgirl this evening.)

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A colorful summer drink

Or, you know, not:

Do not drink bleach

You probably shouldn’t drink that stuff. If you won’t believe me, perhaps you’ll believe Bill Gates.

(Another bit of newspaper WTF from

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Trail of Tears Rated

The first Jeep Cherokee, the SJ, was built by AMC starting with model year 1974; there has been a Cherokee (or, more recently, a Grand Cherokee) in the Jeep lineup ever since. The New York Times apparently found out about them just this month:

Someone apparently told white guy Glenn Collins that Jeep’s been naming an SUV of some sort after a Native American tribe for the last forty years. Presumably there are no Jeep Cherokees in Manhattan. I know I’ve never seen one. Mr. Collins immediately leapt into SWPL action, contacting the Cherokee tribe to see what they think about this racist act.

The tribe, while acknowledging that Jeep wasn’t making them rich, said that they took no position on the matter:

In other words: We don’t care about it, you old white man, and we think your time would be better spent agonizing about truffles or font choice. The Cherokee Nation itself is busy participating in disaster relief and improving tribal access to healthcare.

Bonus comment:

The only possible racist connotation I could imagine would be if a guy carjacked a Cherokee in North Carolina and forced the driver to go to Oklahoma without a break.

Please don’t give anyone any ideas.

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