Seven miles apart

This comes from the “Why the hell didn’t I notice this?” file.

In 1967, Bert Berns met up again with soul singer Hoagy Lands, for whom he had written half a dozen songs in the early Sixties; Lands recorded Berns’ “32 Miles out of Waycross (Mojo Mamma),” which is presumably still sitting in the Bang Records vault, and with the title clipped to just “Mojo Mamma,” the song became an album track for Wilson Pickett. It goes like this:

If those verses remind you of Edwin Starr’s “Twenty-Five Miles,” well, you’re not the only one, and current copies of Starr’s record bear composer credits for Berns and occasional songwriting partner Jerry Ragovoy.

Comments (4)




Over made over

It’s no accident that the optical storage medium with the shortest lifespan is the CD-Rewritable. What can we learn from this?

Comments (2)




A pittance for you, serf

You may remember this boilerplate, copied from a letter I received from CFI Care (not its real initials) two years ago:

The Affordable Care Act requires health insurers in the individual and small group market to spend at least 80 percent of the premiums they receive on health care services and activities to improve health care quality (in the large group market, this amount is 85 percent). This is referred to at the Medical Loss Ratio (MLR) rule or the 80/20 rule. If a health insurer does not spend at least 80 percent of the premiums it receives on health care services and activities to improve health care quality, the insurer must rebate the difference.

I didn’t get anything rebated to me that year, but Brian J. did, and he got some this year, too:

Yeah, I got my $36 check with a letter mandated by law to remind me that Obama’s got my back.

Strangely, the letter from my insurer that said my health insurance was going up $200 a month did not mention the ACA.

I’m sure that’s an oversight.

But of course.

Comments (3)




Tootsie in the sky with hijinks

Poster for 'Cockpit' (2012)As it happens, I wasn’t anywhere near New York City Thursday night, which is perhaps something of a pity, because I might have gotten to see a 2012 Swedish comedy with the unsubtle title Cockpit, as suggested by an apparently enthusiastic Tatyana:

After getting fired from his current job as a pilot, and dumped by his current wife, Valle seeks to find a new job. Out of desperation on the job market for male air pilots, he disguises himself as a woman in order to get a job at Silver, an airline seeking a female pilot. The dividing line between his female and male self, as well as his personal and love life, starts to blur to a point which he eventually is unable to handle.

Jonas Karlsson stars as Dustin Hoffman. And anyway, I suspect Tatyana would go to this event for reasons other than seeing weird Swedish variations on American film themes.

Comments (1)




Benson & Hersheys

Actually, I just made that up. But candy cigarettes are still a thing, albeit a weak one, and Will Truman bought some:

The “Carton” doesn’t actually say “cigarettes” on there anywhere. I don’t know if that’s a recent development or they never did. I can see why they don’t now… The pieces themselves don’t look nearly as cigarette-y as I remember them. I suspect this was the case before. But in my mouth they look as much like a glorified toothpick as anything… They taste exactly as I remember them.

This looks like the package Truman posted; interestingly, the inevitable “Frequently Bought Together” section lists those candy bracelets that always broke when you tried to stretch them, and the infamous Nik-L-Nips, wax bottles containing some mysterious colored liquid.

Comments (1)




In which Mindy projects

There’s actually no projected date for the publication of Mindy Kaling’s second book, Why Not Me? It didn’t stop her, though, from putting up some Instagrams from the photo shoot for the book cover, a couple of which I’ve borrowed, with the help of InStyle.

This first lacy thingumabob comes from Dolce & Gabbana:

Mindy Kaling in D and G

And this, with pockets yet, from 5th & Mercer:

Mindy Kaling in 5th and Mercer

If you’re not familiar with 5th & Mercer, it’s a line designed by La La Anthony, who is married to NBA star Carmelo Anthony. The shoes are all Jimmy Choos.

Comments




Quote of the week

Glenn Reynolds takes the long view on capital punishment:

I’m skeptical of the death penalty’s administration because the criminal justice system is a disaster. But, assuming guilt, I don’t really care much about the morality of killing people. The nation-state is all about killing people. Its sole reason for existing is that it’s better at killing people in large numbers than any other form of human organization. If you don’t like the idea of the state killing people, you don’t like the idea of the state. If you don’t realize this, it’s because your thinking is confused.

If this perturbs you, ask yourself the question Reynolds hints at: “At what other function can the nation-state be legitimately deemed superior?” No matter what you come up with, it will be based on the power of coercion — at the point of a gun.

Comments (4)




There are also wardrobe adjustments

About three years ago, I posted an item about one Andrej Pejić, a rather androgynous fellow who actually looked really good in a print ad for a bra. I said at the time:

[Pejić is] arguably the prettiest six-foot-two blond(e) working the runway today. I’d argue that he sells the product remarkably well, inasmuch as it brings a figure with no actual bewbage at all up to an almost-solid B.

That figure has changed a bit since then: Pejić has added an A to her first name and has undergone sexual-reassignment surgery. Apparently this is what she always wanted:

I figured out who I was very early on — actually, at the age of 13, with the help of the Internet — so I knew that a transition, becoming a woman, was always something I needed to do. But it wasn’t possible at the time, and I put it off, and androgyny became a way of expressing my femininity without having to explain myself to people too much. Especially to my peers [who] couldn’t understand things like “trans” and gender identity. And then obviously the modeling thing came up, and I became this androgynous male model, and that was a big part of my growing up and my self-discovery. But I always kept in mind that, ultimately, my biggest dream was to be a girl. I wasn’t ready to talk about it before in a public way because I was scared that I would not be understood. I didn’t know if people would like me. But now I’m taking that step because I’m a little older — I’m 22 — and I think my story can help people. My goal is to give a human face to this struggle, and I feel like I have a responsibility.

Certainly this will make matters a bit simpler for the gatekeepers in modeling:

[W]hen I first moved to London. It was like, I’d walk into the boys’ casting, and they were like, “No … you don’t belong here.” And then at the girls’ casting, they were like, “Why are they sending us boys?” So it took time for everyone to get on board. It wasn’t all sweet sailing.

For the non-fashionista, the place you’re most likely to have seen Pejić is David Bowie’s 2013 video for “The Stars (Are Out Tonight),” the existence of which offers up two layers of irony: Bowie’s own long-ago flirtation with androgyny, circa Ziggy Stardust, and the unexpected Woman of a Certain Age appearance of Tilda Swinton, who much of the time aspires to look like Conan O’Brien. As Ray Davies once said: “It’s a mixed-up, muddled-up, shook-up world.”

Comments




From shooting brakes to shooting guards

Kobe Bryant’s company is setting up in his hometown in Orange County:

Kobe Bryant’s new company is setting up shop in the famed basketball player’s hometown.

Council members authorized the sale Tuesday of a city-owned property in West Newport Beach to Kobe Inc. for use as a global headquarters.

Ordinarily I would give this the MEGO treatment, but:

The roughly 1-acre site, at 1499 Monrovia Ave., includes a 16,550 square foot office building, where Road & Track Magazine used to operate. It was sold for $5.8 million.

Which is probably more than Hearst Magazines could get for R&T itself, now having to bunk with Car and Driver in Ann Arbor.

Somehow I get the feeling the late John R. Bond is doing 2000 rpm or so right about now. (Think of it as a fast idle.)

Comments




An idea worthy of emulation

I am not, to my knowledge, located anywhere recognizable on the Autism Spectrum, but I can see serious value in this practice at any gathering larger than a hoof-ful:

Of course, if I show up somewhere with a blue badge, you may safely assume that somewhere down the line I messed up.

BronyCon starts Friday, 1 August, at the Baltimare Baltimore Convention Center.

Comments (2)




I guess it just wasn’t my Day

I finally got around to following Felicia Day on Twitter, and as is their wont, Twitter duly sent me a list of “suggestions based on” this person. Since Day’s persona is the Gorgeous Geek Girl, I was kind of hoping they’d send me more of the same. Instead, they sent:

Then again, at least their geek credentials are impeccable, so give Twitter that much. They’ve done worse by me before.

Comments (2)




Turd-world problems

Remember when advertising for constipation remedies was restrained, even vague? Well, forget that crap:

Ad for Dulcolax

Copyranter explains where this came from:

Above is a new ad just pushed out the PR poop chute this week by McCann China. Dulcolax is one of the world’s leading laxative brands, made by $15 billion German pharmaceutical giant Boehringer Ingelheim.

The anthropomorphized “Shits” here are imprisoned in your anus, as you can see. The Shits have eyes. A couple of the Shits have boobs. Child Shits are present. One of the Shits, the one marking the days on the “prison” wall has been up your ass a long time. If you’ve ever had a colonic, you know this is accurate. Dulcolax will not save him.

And Copyranter has a lot more where that came from, so to speak.

Now I’m recalling George Carlin’s “Shoot”:

No one ever uses the word ‘shit’ really literally, y’know? … They have other words for that: doo-doo, ca-ca, poo-poo, and good old Number Two.

I suspect this assessment is dead in the water, and not the cleanest water either.

(Via Nancy Friedman.)

Comments (3)




Formerly known as “public servants”

An “ugly little question,” she says:

If I had 8 more inches of height, a deep voice, a full beard, and a set of nuts (sorry), would I be treated with more respect by random bureaucrats than I am currently?

I think the key word here is “random.” From my own vantage point (two inches shorter than specified), I’m finding that there are some genuinely warm and helpful people in various government offices — but that there are also some absolute termagants, malingerers and shitbirds, and you seldom have any control over what you get.

I’m not sure it’s a function of, well, function, either: of all the bureaucracies, the IRS is in perhaps the best possible position to mess up your life for all eternity, and yet there exist, I am told, a small number of IRS functionaries who aren’t actually trying to stick it to you — though it’s admittedly difficult to find them behind the phone tree.

Comments




Patent nonsense (3)

From the summer of 2002, an example of Dubious Patent Usage:

So apparently British Telecom was combing through its archives and found something bearing U.S. patent number 4,873,662 which, BT thought, was the basis for the hyperlink. Visions of dollar signs (what with sterling giving way to the euro, doncha know) danced in their heads, and they hit up more than a dozen ISPs for licensing fees. When said ISPs told BT to go pound sand, BT decided to make a test case out of one of them.

The ISP in question asked for summary judgment while laughing out loud, and got it.

That ISP was Prodigy Internet. Less than a year later, its parent company, SBC (now AT&T), tried basically the same stunt:

SBC Communications, whose main contribution to the Internet up to this point has been putting perennial money-loser Prodigy out of its misery, is now claiming a patent on the invention of HTML frames.

Given the general opinion of HTML frames at the time, this was like applying for a job as sous chef and naming Jeffrey Dahmer as a reference.

Meanwhile, also around the turn of the century, an Australian bloke was trying to make a point:

Way back in 2001, the Australian patent office awarded a man named John Keogh “Innovation Patent #2001100012″ for his “circular transportation facilitation device.” Or what people who don’t work in a government office would call a “wheel.”

Mr. Keogh submitted his patent request as a way of illustrating that he thought the office had relaxed its standards a bit too much. He never tried to collect any money from people using wheels. So it turns out that the office recently revoked his patent, just more than a decade after issuing it.

Then again, since Mr Keogh did not in fact try to hit up unsuspecting wheel users for royalties, he would presumably not be considered a patent troll. Had he been an American, he’d probably have been looking for a courtroom in, say, east Texas, and a test case with a defendant with deep(ish) pockets.

Comments (2)




No, the other glove

I don’t know about the rest of you, but something like this would definitely affect my singing voice, at least temporarily:

Last Friday … Vice President and General Manager of the Myrtle Beach Pelicans Andy Milovich accepted a challenge to receive an in-game prostate exam while singing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame”. The catch? Fierce Fallon’s Facebook Page had to reach 10,000 “Likes” by Thursday at 12:00 PM EST. Supports quickly jumped onboard and blew past the 10K goal shortly after 4:00 PM on Monday afternoon. Milovich is now set to receive the exam during [tonight’s] Prostate Cancer Awareness Night. The exam will be administered by Dr. Glenn Gangi of Atlantic Urology Specialists in Conway, SC.

[The] timeline of events will include Milovich on-air with Pelicans Radio Broadcaster Nathan Barnett before and after the exam as well as live video and radio broadcast of Milovich during the exam. The exam and the rendition of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” will be broadcast live during the Pelicans play-by-play broadcast of the game.

Fierce Fallon, nine years old, does not have prostate cancer. (She has brain cancer, which I am inclined to think is worse; she’s currently undergoing chemotherapy.) Ganging up on cancer of any variety, I suggest, has a strong, maybe even visceral, appeal. Still, I’m not sure I’d want to see this on television.

Comments (1)




You might even call it ruptive

The dis- prefix, says Dictionary.com, is “a Latin prefix meaning ‘apart,’ ‘asunder,’ ‘away,’ ‘utterly,’ or having a privative, negative, or reversing force.” This is almost, but not quite, the opposite of ad-, and most of the dis- words I know sound funny with dis- thus replaced. In some cases, it’s more sensible to remove dis- entirely, as in the case of “disestablish.”

But can you be combobulated? (Or “accombobulated”?) Apparently combobulation is something you have to lose before you can gain:

Taking off your shoes and pulling out your laptop at airport security may leave you feeling discombobulated.

The Mitchell International Airport staff has set up some chairs and a sign just past one of the security checkpoints to help you out. They’ve labeled it the “recombobulation area.”

I can deal with that.

(Plucked from a listserv; the sender was Bryan Doe, who actually reads this stuff now and then.)

Comments (2)