Time to Sherawat

Last time we looked in on Mallika Sherawat was two years ago, and, well, as is no secret, I have a soft spot for some of our finer Bollywood imports.

At the time, she was attempting to advance her career beyond India, and she made a couple of American indie films, most notably Politics of Love, set in 2008, in which she plays a low-level operative for the Obama campaign who falls hard for a chap working for John McCain. (This, boys and girls, is how you know it’s fiction.)

What I did not know was that she’d also done a Hong Kong martial-arts film, The Myth, opposite (yes!) Jackie Chan. Herewith, a sticky scene therefrom:

Apparently this picture was taken at a photocall before the premiere:

Mallika Sherawat in 2005

Oh, she plays off Bruno Mars pretty well, too.

Comments off




Dubious intint

I’ve mumbled before about incomprehensible color names, which means, like most people working this whole blog thing, I’ve beaten BuzzFeed to a topic.

Then again, they’ve found some truly weird colors out there, including Practical Beige — just once I’d like to see a fanciful beige — and Dragons Blood. And what color do you think “Seduction” would be?

Comments (3)




That sort of goes without saying

This is what happens when lexicographers look up from their work:

Perhaps this was a training class?

(She is, after all, a Dread Descriptivist. Not that this is at all relevant.)

Comments (2)




Diagram this

Fimfiction, home of a hundred thousand or so pony stories, including a handful hoofful by me, has a lot of “groups,” which are explained in the site FAQ thusly:

Groups combine the functionality of some of the raddest bits of Fimfiction’s infrastructure. For one, they can be used to find stories that interest you; groups exist for all types of stories. So, if you like adventure stories, enjoy tales of humans in Equestria, or just want to read about cute pony pairings (shipping), there’s a group for you — especially useful if you want to get updates any time a story is added to a group with an idea you particularly like. Groups are also the site’s de facto forum interface — in most groups, any user can create a thread, and you can get notifications sent to you when a new one is created, as well as seeing thread activity on your dashboard. Finally, groups are just an awesome place to meet members of the community — they’re a whole subsection of Fimfiction’s functionality, where users can run events, organize contests, or just hang out.

Two of the stories I’ve written have been selected for inclusion by members of the group called Good Grammar Directory, which disallows stories with three or more syntax errors. (No quality assessment of the actual story is intended or implied.) I was wondering if I should be insufferably pleased with myself, and then I got a look at the group’s logo:

Read the rest of this entry »

Comments (3)




Third down, 110 to go

Back in the Old Silurian period, before this Web site existed, the Canadian Football League added some teams that weren’t actually in Canada. Like in, um, Shreveport, Louisiana, which is probably closer to Guatemala than it is to, say, Vancouver.

[Quick Google Maps check: 3200 km to Flores, in Guatemala's northernmost department (Petén), 4100 km to Vancouver. Sometimes I can trust my gut.]

Should the CFL try again? How about maybe?

I wonder if they might reconsider with the following stipulations: Northern cities only, cities without any professional teams, and expand one at a time. It seems possible that some northern cities might feel more a “part” of something called the Canadian Football League and be more likely to embrace that team. It would also keep travel expenses down and help keep east-west alignment rather than the creation of a “south” division. The second thing would be taking a page out of the NBA, which has had success with numerous franchises in towns where there is little competition.

A couple of those NBA cities — Sacramento and San Antonio — actually had CFL teams.

I would think that there would be a city or two that’s not too far removed from Canada. The attendance requirements in the CFL are not all that great. You only need about 30,000 people to show up, and you’re doing pretty well. And with TV content at a premium, I’d think that the money would be there for more teams and more games.

Weirder things have happened.

(Title from songwriter and draft resister Jesse Winchester, who was born just across the river from, um, Shreveport.)

Comments (7)




Thank you very mulct

“I suppose,” Jennifer observes, “it is awful hard to love a parasitic creature that wants nothing more than to liquefy your flesh for consumption.”

Had I not noticed that she was actually talking about chiggers, I probably would have assumed that she was advising against dating agents of the federal government.

Comments (5)




What is it Now?

Tyler Media’s K243BJ, otherwise known as Now 96.5, is billed, on its Web site anyway, as “Hit Music For OKC.”

And apparently it is literally so:

Now 96.5 coverage map

The 70 watts reach about to my back door.

Then again, they have a construction permit to go up to a startling 120 watts and relocate their stick to the northside. Still, right now, the selling point is “40,000 songs in a row!” — which, if they stick to it, would put their first commercial around New Year’s Eve.

Comments (4)




Hay now

One regular feature in The Week magazine is called “Best Properties on the Market”; it consists of half a dozen or so very special real-estate offerings on a two-page spread, with a photo or two and listing information. I’ve even gotten blogfodder out of it once or twice.

This week’s collection was titled Equestrian properties.

[heart jumps]

Um, no. No. Not even. No es posible, señor.

Valentine FarmThen again…

You’re looking at Valentine Farm near Norwood, Colorado, and here’s some of the write-up from the listing agent:

Certain properties exude excellence the minute you step foot on them. Valentine Farm defines itself as such a ranch. Comprised of a meticulously renovated turn-of-the-century Barn, two remodeled turn-of-the-century cabins and separate 6-car garage, this idyllic compound overlooks 120 verdant acres including a magnificent 10 stall equestrian center with caretaker residence.

But this is the clincher (emphasis added):

Two generous sized ponds and prolific irrigation create a lush setting and provide perfect conditions for significant hay production.

Well, there you have it. The sellers are asking $4,375,000. Celestia only knows how much that is in bits.

Comments (5)




The boys club

Nitasha Tiku wrote a piece in Valleywag last month titled “This Is Why There Aren’t Enough Women In Tech,” and attached this simulated Craigslist ad as a comment and/or illustration:

Socially crippled SWM geek, early 20′s to 30′s, living in tech bubble, seeking SWF or SWA (fetish) willing to work in tech startup only so long as they can stroke my ego, reinforce my sense of superiority (to make up for my high school emasculation) and stay in the background, except to be sexually harassed at my discretion for the amusement of my brogrammers. Must be potentially available for sex 24/7 even if that will never, ever happen, be fired without cause when you’ve outlived your usefulness and/or rejected all my sexual advances and/or get too bitchy/put me in my place (NDA includes clause not to sue for sexual harassment). My interests include long sessions coding (you will not see me at home, ever, unless it’s for sex—Do you want to have sex?), wearing Google Glasses in public, Magic, the Gathering, video games, and actually (not ironically) commenting on Google+. Nothing else. (What else is there?) I’m not sure if I’ve ever seen a real sunset or taken a walk on the beach (that is what Google is for), so I’m a little pale. I’m deeply concerned with your looks (must be at least a 5, as someday I’ll be rich (really) and need a girlfriend but not more than a 7, as I want to at least think that you’re sexually accessible even if you’re not) and your personality (independent, smart, strong women need not apply) must be sufficiently submissive to take the backseat behind me during any work or social related functions. Love libertarians, so long as it echoes my vaguely thought out philosophy to get rich quick at any cost.

Interested? Drop me a line on IRC (you know how to use that, right?). Send me your (full body) pics.

And I thought I was “difficult.”

After thirty-five years in some form or other of IT, I am persuaded that this perhaps-composite chap lacks the one characteristic most desperately needed in the field: the ability to tell when you’re full of crap, and to adjust accordingly.

He will die alone and unhappy — but probably not quickly.

Comments off




And ye shall receive

Bill Quick welcomes a new-to-him Kenwood:

I was looking at the receiver, and one of the guys said, “You want it? Take it. Don’t work.”

I figured what the hell, took it home, opened it up, took a can of compressed air and a brush to the interior, deoxed all the moving parts, replaced the power cable, tightened some screws and other connections, plugged it in, and it fired right up.

Considering that more-gently used samples of the KR-4070 are selling for triple digits on eBay, this is a heck of a deal for a good late-Seventies receiver with a solid 40 watts per side. And 40 watts, I think, is probably the sweet spot: lower-powered models tended to be stingy with the features, and high-powered jobs don’t necessarily sound any better. My mid-Seventies JVC checks in with 42 watts per channel and has every control I want and several I don’t.

I hope the Kenwood’s dial cord is still properly strung. These didn’t often fail, but they’re a pain to rework.

(I owned an earlier Kenwood, the KR-5150, for about a year, but swapped it off for the JVC, lured by the siren song of Seventies surround sound.)

Comments (3)




A Weiner of one’s own

The Saturday “ScissorTales” editorial from the Oklahoman contained this little jewel:

Democratic primaries in blue states rarely warrant local comment, but New York City voters’ praiseworthy rejection of former U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner and former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer is an exception. Both scandal-plagued officials insisted they were new men worthy of new positions of power: Weiner (sexting) wanted to be New York City mayor; Spitzer (prostitutes) wanted to be Gotham comptroller. Weiner received just 5 percent of the vote; Spitzer lost narrowly. Oklahoma politicians with similarly indecent scandals have had the decency to disappear. In 2004, a state lawmaker was accused of drunkenly groping a woman (he was eventually convicted). He didn’t run for re-election. His legislative colleagues responded by proposing a constitutional amendment that prohibited paying incarcerated legislators. Voters approved it. If you’re like most Oklahomans, you can’t recall that lawmaker’s name today. Hopefully, New York voters can soon say the same thing about Weiner and Spitzer.

Not being like most Oklahomans, I can recall the guy’s name. (And for the record, he was a Republican, in case you’re an avid Spot the Party player.)

Oh, and not only did he not run for re-election, but he was sued by his victim:

Former state Rep. Mike O’Neal was sued … by a woman he groped at an Oklahoma City hotel.

The civil lawsuit was filed in Oklahoma County District Court by Ida Mae Chaplin of Tulsa. The lawsuit alleges O’Neal sexually assaulted Chaplin by making an inappropriate comment and also caused her to injure her leg when she fell trying to evade him.

Chaplin is seeking more than $100,000 in actual damages and an additional $100,000 in punitive damages.

They eventually settled. Over on the criminal side of things, O’Neal had plea-bargained himself down to a misdemeanor charge of outraging public decency; he drew five years’ probation.

Oh, and that constitutional amendment? It passed by nearly 8 to 1.

Comments (5)




An almost-new Leaf

You will now be able to get Certified Pre-Owned Nissan Leafs (Leaves?), assuming some are actually traded in:

Beginning in September, Certified Pre-Owned Nissan LEAF vehicles will be backed by the company to provide years of quality and performance at a great value.

In addition to the existing 8-year/100,000 mile battery warranty coverage protecting against defects in materials and workmanship, and 5 year/60,000 mile coverage for battery capacity loss below 9 bars of capacity as shown by the vehicle’s battery capacity level gauge, Nissan will extend the EV system and powertrain warranty coverage to 7 years or 100,000 miles.

All warranties, of course, are Whichever Comes First.

The battery gauge has 12 bars, but this does not necessarily mean that capacity eventually drops to 75 percent; if I’ve learned nothing else as the owner of a Nissan-built vehicle, it’s that the gauge calibrations, other than speedo/tach, are more arbitrary than linear.

Comments off




A kinder, gentler SUV

Of course, it comes from Honda:

I have a Acura MDX 2012 and while I was Driving it my dog pushed it out of drive and it went into Nurture

Mandatory dog seats are just a couple of sessions of Congress away.

Comments (6)




Strange search-engine queries (398)

Just another manic Monday, and just another panic-filled list of actual search strings from the past week or so. Pour your coffee first. This will wait.

Will a epson artitian 800 print us curency:  Not legally, no. And if you spell like that, they’ll laugh you all the way to the Big House.

heartless society:  Not here. Now if you were looking for a brainless society, all you need is a television and a few hours to kill.

lexus rx late led head light drl previous period of pre-diversion:  This must be that post-modern lamp display I keep hearing about.

How long should I wait to purchase 24 hr sudafed if I have reached my monthly limit in tulsa oklahoma:  Until the first of the month. Duh.

We are not exposed to proper music:  Have you tried 104.5 KRXO?

can’t receive 104.5 krxo:  You must be from way out of town — like, say, Harrah.

my 2001 contour switches gears on its.own at wrong speeds:  Would you rather it didn’t switch gears at all?

word salad dressing:  The chef recommends a light but satisfying vignette.

your younger brother just started using computers. he is trying to create a directory in windows 7 named lpt1 but windows does not allow him to. this:  is obviously not my younger brother, who would have shot the machine for its insolence.

Search kgb’s extensive database of human-researched answers sex aides like viagra etc:  Call NSA. By now they’ve copied every database on the planet.

what is hegemonic distortion:  If you have to ask, you must be one of the oppressors.

pantyhoseonyoutube:  Not a good idea. The picture’s blurry enough already.

Comments (2)




The cycles come around

You’re never going to get everyone in this town onto bicycles, but this is a heartening sight just the same:

It doesn’t hurt that it’s actually mid-September, which means the heat usually is not enough to blowtorch the tops of your arms. (I said “usually.”)

And it proves that the nascent bike-share service begun in the spring of ’12 has had a measure of staying power, despite an abundance of naysayers.

Comments off




My brane hurts

If you, like me, have long suspected that the “Universe” is merely one of several, or of several billion, this won’t change your mind in the least:

The standard Big Bang model tells us that the Universe exploded out of an infinitely dense point, or singularity. But nobody knows what would have triggered this outburst: the known laws of physics cannot tell us what happened at that moment.

“For all physicists know, dragons could have come flying out of the singularity,” says Niayesh Afshordi, an astrophysicist at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Waterloo, [Ontario].

A possible explanation, based on a 2000 model:

In that model, our three-dimensional (3D) Universe is a membrane, or brane, that floats through a “bulk universe” that has four spatial dimensions.

Afshordi’s team realized that if the bulk universe contained its own four-dimensional (4D) stars, some of them could collapse, forming 4D black holes in the same way that massive stars in our Universe do: they explode as supernovae, violently ejecting their outer layers, while their inner layers collapse into a black hole.

In our Universe, a black hole is bounded by a spherical surface called an event horizon. Whereas in ordinary three-dimensional space it takes a two-dimensional object (a surface) to create a boundary inside a black hole, in the bulk universe the event horizon of a 4D black hole would be a 3D object — a shape called a hypersphere. When Afshordi’s team modelled the death of a 4D star, they found that the ejected material would form a 3D brane surrounding that 3D event horizon, and slowly expand.

The authors postulate that the 3D Universe we live in might be just such a brane — and that we detect the brane’s growth as cosmic expansion. “Astronomers measured that expansion and extrapolated back that the Universe must have begun with a Big Bang — but that is just a mirage,” says Afshordi.

Besides, you can never find a dragon when you need one.

Comments (7)