We got your tintinnabulation right here

Does this name ring a bell?

Edgar Allan Poe, wide receiver for Army

And yes, his middle name is Allan. A snippet from the Army-Navy game this past weekend:

At one point during the game, announcer Verne Lundquist said that once this kid finishes his military commitment, he really needs to be signed by the Baltimore Ravens immediately.

This isn’t even the first Edgar Allan Poe to play college football; the first, a second cousin (twice removed) to the fellow with the dream within a dream, was the quarterback for the undefeated Princeton Tigers of 1889, and was named to the first-ever All-America team.

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Scalp burn

The argument against the automotive sunroof:

The car has a sunroof. I doubt I will ever use it. After my experience with the [Mitsubishi] Endeavor I am seriously considering disabling it. Actually, the car manufacturers should put in a switch that automatically closes the sunroof if you close the sunshade. What happens is that you’re driving along on a nice sunny day and you want to enjoy the sunshine, so you open the sunroof. After a while you start to get hot, so you close the sunshade, but you forget about the sunroof. Then you decide to go to the carwash and when water starts pouring into the passenger compartment you try and close the sunroof. Due to Murphy’s law, this usually happens just when the big overhead rotary brush is scrubbing the roof. The little wheels and levers that allow the sunroof to slide back and forth are relatively delicate and not up to repelling the big, strong brush, so they break and now the sunroof won’t properly close. The problem is worse with the Endeavor because it is tall enough that you can’t see the sunroof when you are standing next to the car.

Gwendolyn, who has lived in my garage for nine and a half years now, has a sunroof. I have never actually run into this problem myself.

Then again, the reason why I didn’t have one on my previous car is because it reduced headroom substantially: I banged my head on the sunshade during a test run, and wound up buying the same car in a lower trim level so I wouldn’t have to deal with that sort of thing. I don’t have this problem now, because the ceiling is actually recessed a bit, giving me an inch of headroom I wouldn’t have had otherwise. Why this is so, I do not know, unless it’s because they didn’t build any of this model without the sunroof; I’ve never seen one without it.

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Well, he seems nice

You may remember Martin Shkreli from the Turing Pharmaceuticals dustup, in which he jacked up the price of a prescription drug he acquired from $13.50 to a whopping $750 per tab. Supposedly he was going to make some adjustments, but such adjustments have yet to materialize. In the meantime, he would have us believe the ladies are lined up at his front door:

So basically, Donald Trump without the humility.

(Via @inthefade.)

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Stirring the alphabet soup

A couple of new programs coming to UCO:

Students at the University of Central Oklahoma will return to campus in January to find two new programs designed to supplement gender and sexuality studies on campus.

The Women’s Research Center will focus on the research, study, scholarly and activity programming that supports and supplements the intellectual growth and social development of women while the BGLTQ+ Student Center will supplement activities that enhance the campus and community life of bisexual, gay, lesbian, transgender and queer students. The “+” represents letters not listed including questioning, intersexual, asexual and allies.

I admit to being slightly baffled by this string of initials: it’s not that I object to the subject matter or to the inclusion of all the variants, but I’d never seen them in that particular order before. (Harvard arranges them that way, minus the plus sign for now, but several pages of Bing results yielded up no other BGLTQ.)

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It’s all in the name

Hmmm. A “big philosophical hole in the Ponyverse”:

How do parents ponies pre-know the talent of their newborns? In many cases, the name seems to be very reflective of the talent, or of their eventual mark. I think if I were making up the universe I’d have the ponies be given one name at birth, and then take on another — kind of like how some Christian groups do baptismal names or confirmation names — when they do figure out their talent.

I, for one, would like to know Mrs Cake’s maiden name.

Actually, I’ve wrestled with this question before, outside the context of pony — how, exactly, did Thomas Crapper end up in the toilet business? — and there’s enough of this sort of thing to justify a philosophical discussion:

Also referred to as “aptronyms”, New Scientist journalist John Hoyland coined the term “nominative determinism” for these strange cases of people who seem inexorably drawn to their profession by virtue of their name.

He was led to the subject after a being alerted to a scientific paper by authors JW Splatt and D Weedon on the subject of incontinence, on the same day as seeing a book on the Arctic by a Mr Snowman.

The idea has something of a history, with psychologist Karl Jung suggesting in his 1952 book, Synchronicity, that there was a “sometimes quite grotesque coincidence between a man’s name and his peculiarities”.

And there exists an entire wiki of persons with aptronymic names.

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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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The money men are wide awake

Regular readers will by now have noted that I have occasional bouts of insomnia. Often they ask why I don’t try out the Latest Technology. And the answer, ever-so-slightly simplified, comes out this way:

If you use a CPAP machine to help you sleep, be aware that they’re hardly rocket science. It was developed by a man who tested it on his friends, with no medical monitoring whatsoever. Nevertheless, if you want one you’ll have to undergo a “sleep study” costing at least hundreds, if not thousands of dollars; get a prescription from a doctor; have it sold to you by a medical supply company that inflates the price dramatically; and have that company refuse to give you the instructions you need to reprogram the machine yourself in case of changes in your sleep pattern. No, you’ve got to go back to them, and perhaps get another “sleep study”, before they’ll condescend to do that for you — all at a cost to your pocket. None of these steps except the original diagnosis are actually medically necessary, and they often don’t apply overseas.

There may be better systems, but I suspect they are cunningly designed to cost even more. My current drug cocktail is not in the least appealing, but it’s under a dollar a day.

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Strange search-engine queries (515)

If you’re new around here, this is something we do on Mondays: pick up the logs, shake them out, find the search strings, and scatter them about. If we find something marginally amusing, it lands here.

gonojagoron moncho lucky:  I’m assuming this isn’t a translation of that Daft Punk record.

babe spotting linear tv.ram:  Odd that a voyeur might actually want to use RealPlayer.

my litle porni:  I’d kind of hate to see their Duty Marks.

last supper fast food:  Judas must have been buying.

sawiro jacayl ah oo qurux badan:  Is this David Seville’s “Witch Doctor” translated into Dothraki?

i have no life yahoo answers:  That was our assumption all along.

jerking off made simple:  Oh, yeah, like you need instructions.

“for random sassy updates” 2003 spam:  Which you’re probably still getting today.

duck gonna whip somebody:  He was surprised at the size of his bill.

stupid bint:  For some reason, nobody ever seems to talk about smart bints.

can a vanishing twin reappear:  Sure. Wait until the last episode of the season.

“alderaan” “name” “email” “telephone” “comment” “contact”:  I’m afraid you’re just a little bit late, Mr. Binks.

dream girl 8 december 2015:  Just like all the other ones: gone before I woke up.

Oh, and Jack Baruth dug into his search strings this week.

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Fifteen plus eleven

This, of course, implies that she didn’t freak over anything in her very first year. Which may or may not be true.

Anyway, this is Taylor Swift’s 26th birthday, and she spent much of it on a plane. Leaving Australia:

Taylor Swift at the airport in Sydney

And landing at LAX:

Taylor Swift at Los Angeles International

In terms of “freaking out,” I suspect rather a lot of Swifties responded badly to this incident back in the spring:

Taylor Swift from here down

To explain:

The 25-year-old singer released a photo Saturday [14 March] showing a nasty cut on her heavily insured left leg — a wound apparently inflicted by her feline Meredith.

“Great work Meredith,” quipped Swift. “I was just trying to love you and now you owe me 40 million dollars.”

Nine months later, she’s fine, so far as I can see, and believe me, I’ve looked.

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Jazz drowned out

The first half of this game was a thing of ghastliness: the only amusing aspect of it happened in the very last second, when Russell Westbrook, looking like he was inbounding, actually bounced the ball off a Jazzman, retrieved it, and stuffed it into the net. As a result, the Thunder took a 13-point deficit into the locker room. The problem was identified quickly enough: the Jazz were playing at their preferred pace, on the slow side. Fix: speed it the hell up. In the first 5:16 of the third quarter, OKC went on a 25-7 run, going from down 13 to up five. After that, things got hairier. Utah regained a five-point lead at the the end of the third quarter. Just inside the 50-second mark, the Thunder tied it up; the ever-stalwart Gordon Hayward dropped in a jumper ten seconds later, and a seriously weird Thunder possession with all the WTF anyone could ask for ended in a timeout and finally a bucket. With one second left, Hayward made a wild pass, and OKC got the ball back; Kevin Durant got a clean look, but the ball refused to fall, and overtime ensued. And then stops ensued: OKC rolled up eight points, but the Jazz didn’t get a bucket until inside 10 seconds, and by then it was too late. Oklahoma City 104, Utah 98, and 3-0 over the Jazz this season.

Utah did a few things different this time, the most effective of which was starting Rodney Hood and Alec Burks on the wings. Hood swept to 23 points, Burks to 21, and Hayward added 22 from the frontcourt. If they’re missing Rudy Gobert, it’s not showing; they outrebounded OKC 44-42. But the Jazz were not effective from the stripe, missing eight of 20. (OKC hit 27 of 30.) The number that explains this game the best, though, is this one: 13 blocks by the Thunder, two by the Jazz. (Serge Ibaka had six of those swats.) And Durant, who had two points in the first half, wound up with 31; Russell Westbrook scored 25 and snagged 11 rebounds.

So it’s five in a row. The Trail Blazers, who have struggled a bit, will be here Wednesday night, after which it’s a quick jet to Cleveland. I think I speak for everyone here when I say “Whew.”


Strong as a horse, so to speak

Daniel Ingram, who writes all those daffily infectious (or infectiously daffy) songs for My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, has opened many career doors, and maybe blocked one:

I’ve been approached by some really unexpected clients as a result of MLP’s wide-reaching success. From large companies like Cirque du Soleil and Netflix to just unexpected people like Frank Zappa’s son, Ahmet, reaching out to congratulate me. I just finished a song for a hotel chain in Brazil because their marketing guy is a brony. MLP has opened up doors to write for some pretty cool celebrities too including “Weird Al” Yankovic and 2014 Tony Award winner Lena Hall. But the marketability is both a blessing and a curse. I’ve had a lot of success getting work writing music for children’s television, but I’ve struggled to find an agent that will take me seriously. I believe that will change in the next year or two. Anyone know a good songwriting agent?

By then, of course, he should have finished the MLP feature film, due fall 2017, which I suspect will mean the end of the TV series as well. In the meantime, though, he’s put some utterly fab stuff on his CV, including this Season Two delight that’s clearly not kid stuff:

Nonpareil, as the pony says. (Sam Vincent, who voiced either Flim or Flam — who can tell?¹ — was thinking of another animal: the song, he said, was an absolute bear to learn.)

¹ Just kidding. He was Flim. In some of the foreign versions, though, the same VA sang both Flim and Flam.


Cruz controlled

In fact, I’d go so far to say as “measured” and “calm”:

Followed the next morning by:

Nicely done, Senator.

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The entrepreneurds

After installing WordPress 4.4, I encountered a minor anomaly. Short version: In posts included in two or more categories, the categories are now listed in the post heading, not in strict alphabetical order as they used to be, but in the order of their assigned ID numbers, whatever they may be. I left a note at the support forum, indicating what I thought might be the issue, and expressing some nominal amount of dismay.

On its heels came this email:

My name is Jane and I’m with fixrunner.com WordPress support experts.

I saw your website on one of the forums online and that you are having an issue with your websites, We provide a professional WordPress support and maintenance service.

If you are currently experiencing any bug or need any immediate fix on your website we can help you fix it for a Flat rate of $49.

Please note that payment is not due until after we fix the issue. If we don’t fix it you don’t pay us.

There are, I imagine, circumstances under which I might find this service useful. But this isn’t one of them.


I swear, this stuff is everywhere

There’s a Facebook page called Dihydrogen Monoxide Awareness, and this has something like 12,000 shares already, including one from me. I figured I’d drop a copy of it here, because why not?

Anti-DHMO poster based on pH

They noted helpfully that “Hydrochloric acid only has a pH of 2!”

Johannes Nicolaus Brønsted and Thomas Martin Lowry were not available for comment.

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Make that to go

Once upon a time, the time being spring 2006, I took on one of those “Tell us about yourself” memes, and every single answer was a Frank Sinatra record.

For the Chairman’s 100th birthday, I shuffled through the archives, both mine and YouTube’s, in search of a song that nobody else will ever need to try to sing ever again. And this is the one I came up with:

Sinatra himself recorded this song six times, the latest in 1993, but this minimal live track seems to express the mood better than any of them. And if you do want to record this song, well, this is what you’re up against.

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Almost like real life

They’ve turned Carly Rae Jepsen into a Sim:

Which I find sort of amusing, since at times she actually looks like a Sim, as in this campaign a couple years back for Candie’s:

Carly Rae Jepsen for Candie's shoes

And I suppose that’s not a bad place to be after you’ve turned 30, which she did this year:

Carly Rae Jepsen in Entertainment Weekly 2015

Entertainment Weekly picked Carly Rae’s E·MO·TION album as second best of the year; I can’t imagine them being off by more than one.

Oh, and the upcoming Gimmie Love tour will not stop here in the Big Breezy, but she’ll be at Cain’s in Tulsa on the 7th of March. Hmmm…

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