Drop and give me $75

I was unloading groceries at the checkout stand this afternoon when something in my left thigh decided it wanted my attention and promptly knocked me to the ground, or at least several inches closer to it. If you’ve ever had anything that hurt like a son of a bitch, this is the son of a bitch it hurt like. For a moment I regretted not having bought a fresh bottle of Advil.

It can’t have been too severe: I was somehow able to walk, albeit haltingly, and I didn’t notice anything unusual-looking when I got home. Still, walking it off did not make it go away, and I may have to dip into my secret stash of Lortab if it doesn’t lighten up in the next couple of hours.

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Hideosity afoot

We may or may not have had this discussion before:

“Peep toes are a bit of an issue to get just right. Open it too much & make it too shallow and it looks odd. Make the gap too small and it, well, looks like this.”

Open-toe pump by Narciso Rodriguez Fall 2015So says Cristina of ShoeTease in her roundup of “The Ugliest Shoes from the Fall 2015 Runways,” referring to this particular Narciso Rodriguez number as the “one eyed shoe monster.” The gap here is apparently suited only to women with an enormous big toe, wide enough to fit that particular hole, and the others basically too insignificant to notice: think Rihanna or Taylor Swift or Zooey Deschanel. Not that I can imagine any of them actually wearing this. (Well, maybe Rihanna: she’s kind of experimental these days.) Someone with a distinctly longer second toe — I’m looking at you, Reese Witherspoon — shouldn’t even be in the same room as this shoe.

That said, this wasn’t even close to the worst shoe in the list, so you really should Read The Whole Thing. (And the picture she snagged does justice to the “monster” description.)

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Speaking of loops

This supermarket chain stands firmly against the vigorous circular motion:

One probably should not assume that J. Random Customer actually realizes this.

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Here we go loop-de-loop

Ouroboros to the white courtesy phone, please:

Europe”s “Right to be forgotten” laws have come to an apex of dumb: The UK’s Information Commissioner’s office has ordered [pdf] Google to remove links to stories about Google removing links to stories. My brain hurts.

If it’s an endless loop, does it truly have an apex?

And apparently “endless” is the operative word:

“The commission does not dispute that journalistic content relating to decisions to delist search results may be newsworthy and in the public interest,” Deputy Information Commissioner David Smith wrote in a statement, acknowledging that the IC was asking that Google block access to legitimate journalism. Smith continued: “However, that interest can be adequately and properly met without a search made on the basis of the complainant’s name providing links to articles which reveal information about the complainant’s spent conviction.”

Smith fails to mention how the IC will handle purging news stories about the news stories about purging the news stories about purging news stories, or how it will handle purging news stories about purging news stories about the news stories about purging the news stories.

Barbra Streisand was not available for comment.

(Via Greg McVerry.)

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Innocent guilty pleasures

The contradiction here derives from the very title of this Guardian piece: Readers recommend: songs so bad, they’re good — results. One of the songs singled out for kindly abuse is a favorite:

Moving on to lyrical flaws, we find the Floaters with the deeply idiotic “Float On.” Musically it is a perfectly serviceable soul tune, but the more you listen to the lyrics, the less sense they make.

Then again, a good slow jam doesn’t depend on words, and “Float On” is a good one:

Of course, if you listen to the entire twelve-minute LP track … but never mind. Don’t go there, unless you really want to.

Cheech and Chong, who never saw a “there” they wouldn’t go to, lampooned this unmercifully:

Disclosure: It was this or “Wishmaster” by Nightwish.

(Via Fark.)

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The noncorporeal girl of my dreams

Something I said four years ago:

Given Siri’s lack of physical form — all those apps look alike to me — I’ll almost certainly impute wholly-unwarranted characteristics to her, such as a sense of humor.

And maybe, it seems, a trace of actual wisdom:

Bless you, autocorrect.

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We get results, slowly

From a mid-January day, thirteen years ago:

The wind is up, but otherwise it’s an absolutely gorgeous day, the sort that the gods throw in once in a while to obscure the fact that it’s the middle of winter and we should be freezing our keisters off. It never occurs to them to toss a mid-January day into the sweatbox of late August, but you know how gods are.

Low temperature yesterday in Oklahoma City: 50° F. The coolest it’s ever been in August, if “ever” = “since 1891”: 49° F.

I’ll take that with a smile.

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Quote of the week

Last week, the Telegraph ran an article on actress Ariel Winter, 17, who after several years of back pain due to her huge, um, tracts of land, opted to have herself trimmed back two cup sizes. For a civilian comparison, the newspaper also interviewed Gadgette editor-in-chief Holly Brockwell, who’s now a comfy C after losing “massive albatrosses,” and several commenters dumped on her, not so much for getting the NHS to pay for her surgery — we’re talking serious pain, folks — but for potentially depriving them of the view. She wrote up a nasty rebuttal to them, but then admitted on Twitter that she wasn’t sure she wanted to go with it. We talked her into it, and here’s some of it:

If you woke up one day and your testicles were the size of melons, would you proudly show them off? Would you endure the pain in your spine and the overt stares because hey, you’ve got massive balls? Or would you go immediately to your doctor and beg for help from the NHS for the heavy, swollen, painful masses on your front?

Are you really, actually suggesting that Ariel Winter and I, and all the other women with comically oversized mammaries, should just deal with it because they give you a bit of a semi-on when you see us on the bus? Do you really think we’re ever going to get naked with anyone who’d say our scars (pale, silver, almost unnoticeable) are ugly? Do you really think we care if you find us less sexy now?

Yes, my breasts are way smaller now than they were before — and they’re also a lot smaller than they were after I had the surgery. Do you know why that is? Because it’s quite hard to do any exercise with the equivalent of two bags of sugar hanging on your chest. Now I’m free to do anything I want, so yes, I’ve lost weight. I can run up the stairs without holding my chest tightly. I can walk without feeling seasick from all the bouncing. I can go to the pool without feeling people’s eyes all over me.

I can live.

I’m sure I’ve mentioned before that quite the nicest bewb job I’ve ever seen was done for exactly these reasons, and I never had any reason to look for the scars.

Holly’s last words on the matter will probably stick with me as well:

Well, Angry Internet Men, your comments almost made me reconsider that. Almost. And then I remembered — you’re just sad, faceless dudes on the internet. I will never meet you, I will never care about you, and you will never get to see my beautiful C-cups in real life. Because if there’s one thing I don’t need in my world, it’s more boobs like you.

So there.

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This dress is not for you

To say that the classic Hervé Léger bandage dress is form-fitting is to say that summer is warmer than winter: it’s beneath even Captain Obvious to mention. (If you’ve forgotten what they look like, it’s something like this.) That said, it’s still possible to shoot off one’s mouth about such things:

Some people just aren’t very nice. They try — oh God, they try — but sooner or later, the mask always slips. I’m not saying people who work at the luxury end of the fashion industry are any meaner than those who work in other professions, but I am saying they’re more blinkered. Over-paid, over-indulged and over-protected, some lost touch with reality a very long time ago.

Pity poor Patrick Couderc, brought back to reality with a jolt via that classic, tried-and-tested means of a P45. The former UK managing director of MJH Fashion, the London-based licensee of the Hervé Léger brand, was dismissed after telling a Sunday newspaper that “voluptuous” women and women with “very prominent hips and a very flat chest” should avoid the bandage-style dresses for which Hervé Léger is most famous. Then, after complaining that the style had become popular with reality TV stars (admitting he “refuses to give free dresses to celebrities if they are judged to lack sufficient class”), he topped off his body-shaming snobbery with a final dig at lesbians. “If you’re a committed lesbian and you are wearing trousers all your life, you won’t want to buy a Léger dress. Lesbians would want to be rather butch and leisurely.”

This latter, of course, runs afoul of the First Rule of Holes: “Stop digging.”

The corner office, of course, disavowed the entire exchange:

Parent company BCBGMAXAZRIA Group says it is “shocked and appalled” by Couderc’s comments: “The brand celebrates sensuality, glamour and femininity without discrimination.”

But that doesn’t mean they’re making a dress for you:

I don’t know which is sadder: that the people in charge of these companies feel this way, or that we, the customers, are so completely unsurprised. “A fashion designer who’s openly misogynistic and has no regard for any woman not built like a 2×4? What a shock,” was one typical comment on the internet, in response to Couderc’s comments. But then, as anyone who’s a size 18 or big-breasted or big-bottomed will attest, high-end designers have been practising body discrimination for aeons. It’s why they don’t stock clothing in your size.

And this outburst by Couderc is not likely to make them start, either.

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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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We serve further

I mentioned that I was testing out the new American Express Serve card, a prepaid debit card with the usual Amex bennies and a meager $12 annual fee (billed at $1 a month), and there are ways to avoid that fee with certain usage patterns.

Now comes a variation on the Serve theme: good old-fashioned cash-back bonuses. The news release:

American Express announced Serve Cash Back, a new prepaid debit Account option that will earn Accountholders 1% cash back on purchases. Consumers who spend in line with the 2012 – 2013 U.S. Department of Labor national averages for gas, groceries, dining out, clothing, transportation and entertainment using the Serve Cash Back Card could potentially earn more than $400 annually when earning 1% cash back.

For those who do spend that way, this sounds like a pretty sweet deal. I don’t. And the cash back is somewhat offset by a higher fee: $5.95 a month. Still, people allergic to debt are likely a growing market, and you can’t blame Amex for wanting a piece of it.

Historical note: The original green American Express card, still available for $95 a year, is a true charge card; you pay it off each month. I ran with one of those throughout the 1980s. It is curious to me that I still remember that card number, but can’t remember my current one.

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We deprecate your punctuation

For the last twenty years or so, I’ve been rendering the em-dash (and the occasional en-dash) with — mostly because I could never remember how to spell the damned entities. (And typical usage around here has spaces around the dash, which is neither technically nor typographically correct.)

WordPress, as of version 4.3, has decided that I will no longer get away with —. It’s converting that string on the fly to —, which is a correct em-dash in Unicode, and it displays the way I want it to display. Only thing is: now I wonder what else WP is doing behind the scenes.

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Underage skullduggery

WTF is going down here?

Yahoo Answers screenshot: Text messages photoshop fake?

And this is the conversation he wants faked:

The picture attached is the format I would prefer. Please make the name “Alex” , My first text: “Hi, Can you still get a 12 pack for Monday?” Alex’s text: “sure, £15?”. My text: “kk, 10:30am on your street cya there” Thanks!

The format is presumably phone-specific but is otherwise of no interest. The only possibility that occurs to me is some sixteen-year-old stomping his foot in front of his friends and declaring “I can so get beer.”

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Demand being what it is

Yours truly, at the end of a post about something sort of relevant, five and a half years ago:

The highly-prized Chilean sea bass used to be known as the Patagonian toothfish.

Turns out it was even more highly prized than I thought:

Consider the Patagonian toothfish. Ugly and obscure, yet large and easily caught, it was the perfect candidate for a rebranding. To make it more appealing to Americans, fish wholesaler Lee Lantz coined the name “Chilean Sea Bass.” The resulting surge in the fish’s popularity made it a staple at chic restaurants, but it also devastated the Antarctic’s wild toothfish stock. Though international law restricts toothfishing, unscrupulous captains routinely flout these regulations.

Interestingly, it’s not called the Chilean sea bass in Chile; there, it’s referred to as “Bacalao de profundidad” — “cod of the depths.”

(Via Nancy Friedman.)

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Non-current currency

Roberta X had a bill to pay, and apparently they only take Roman sestertii or something:

The savages! They have no way to pay it online! Dear merciful heavens, do I have to write and mail a check, like some kind of animal? I’ll call them, or — if they haven’t quite made it out of the 19th Century — telegraph. Gads.

Mind you, in the late 19th Century, the mail arrived — and went out — twice a day. Western Union wired cash anywhere, not just for scams; in fact, their system was foolproof for the time. I could probably have hired a boy on a bicycle to deliver a check in a sealed envelope and bring back a receipt.

Then again, a proper Web-based payment system may be beyond these folks:

I just called their office, at 8:06 am, only to have a much dumber robot tell me to call back later, between the hours of eight am and seven pm.

The most charitable assumption is that the person in charge of the answering machine was late. It gets worse quickly after that.

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The ultimate zombiemobile

Somehow, Saab remains sort of undead:

The resurrected Swedish automaker producing electric 9-3s with a Saab badge signed an agreement with Dongfeng Motor Corporation to help stay afloat, GoAuto in Australia is reporting.

National Electric Vehicle Sweden, the Chinese company that purchased the remains of Saab after its parent company Spyker went bankrupt, announced that it would distribute electric cars in China with automotive giant Dongfeng and add a production facility there, the report details.

In return, NEVS will supply Dongfeng with engineering standards to help it meet safety standards in Europe and North America.

“Dongfeng,” I am told, means “east wind” in Chinese. And in my part of the world, east winds usually mean storms are on their way — not that the Chinese need to worry about that.

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