Meanwhile at the beach

Somebody told me Molly Sims was 40, and I reacted as though someone had told me that Bud Light had won an international beer taste test: it’s possible, I suppose, but you can’t make me believe it.

A nice Miami Beach shot from December:

Molly Sims at Miami Beach December 2013

And a nifty swimsuit by Shoshanna.

Oh, and she’ll be 41 tomorrow. I need a beer.

Comments (1)




The Saab story continues

Perhaps at last it is time for you to stop all of your Saabing:

China’s National Electric Vehicle Sweden (NEVS) has temporarily halted output of its Saab car due to a shortage of funds, it said on Tuesday.

NEVS, which last year resumed low-volume production of the car after it bought the bankrupt iconic Swedish marque, said it currently did not have enough cash to pay outstanding debt.

The plant in Trollhättan will be closed for approximately four weeks. NEVS blames Qingbo Investment Company, a financial operation owned by the city of Qingdao; Qingbo, which took a 22-percent stake in NEVS last year, apparently hasn’t met its financial commitment yet. On the other hand, NEVS, which was producing six cars a day, hasn’t delivered 200 cars ordered by Qingdao.

(Via Daily Kanban.)

Comments off




It all comes out in the wash

Laundry: a problem that needs solving? Not to Nancy Friedman:

I confess I’m mystified by the obsession with laundry as a problem to be solved. Of all the necessary household chores, I find laundry to be the most satisfying — the newer machines are wonderfully efficient, and you end up with a clean, fragrant product!

Even some of the older machines — mine date to 2003 — aren’t so bad. But nothing will make you appreciate your laundry room quite like several years of having to bundle up your stuff and shlep it down the street.

I draw the line there, however:

I enjoy ironing, too, but in this as in so many other areas I am evidently an outlier.

Yet it must be conceded that not everyone’s idea of “permanent press” either constitutes a press or endures permanently.

Comments (4)




The cupboard is bare-ish

Generally, one expects some sort of video from Rebecca Black on Friday. What we got was this:

Autocorrect messed up “TIME,” I assume, though it could simply be that she’s a giant sleepy blob of doom.

Comments off




That’s one crummy thermostat

You know, if we’re going to take this climate-change stuff seriously, the first thing we have to do is determine the optimum temperature of the planet. (I vote for 23°C, or as the Americans persist in calling it, 74°; this is precisely the temperature I maintain in my house, so I admit to exactly as much bias as that takes.)

Unfortunately, the planet refuses to cooperate:

There was global warming. Then global cooling. Then warming. Rinse and repeat. Rinse and repeat.

It seems to me this melting and warming has been going on long, long, before we started the Industrial Revolution, eons before Duke Energy and ConEd fired up their first coal burning power plants, hundreds of centuries before Monsanto screwed with the DNA of a kernel of corn, way before we started raping Mother Nature like a Nigerian schoolgirl sex slave.

It’s almost like the planet didn’t care about us, or something.

Comments (1)




Look, Ma, no nothing

I have always suspected that rather a lot of our drivers are snoozing at the wheel, especially during rush hour, and we don’t even have any self-driving cars to speak of. California, of course, does; and, being California, it has developed rules for the little automated boxen:

Under new regulations, drivers (or riders as the case may be) will need to be official testers on a manufacturer’s payroll and go through a special training program to get a yearlong permit. They’ll also have to remain attentive behind the wheel — so no napping on the way to work yet — and notify the DMV if they’re in an accident or have to override the car’s manual controls for any reason. When it comes to cars, it’s not a free-for-all. Manufacturers will need to apply for a permit for each individual vehicle, and cars are required to have at least five million dollars worth of liability insurance.

None of this sounds particularly unreasonable, but if these things are going to flood the market eventually, the DMV will almost certainly have to cut the drivers (will we, or they, still call them “drivers”?) some slack.

Comments (1)




Meanwhile in Shropshire

I saw a turtle, but I didn’t see it leaving:

Tortoise theft leaves owner shell-shocked

(From Pleated-Jeans via Miss Cellania.)

Addendum: Why, yes, this is World Turtle Day.

Comments (1)




Quote of the week

This dates back almost a hundred years, and in so doing has dated not a whit:

The American of today, in fact, probably enjoys less personal liberty than any other man of Christendom, and even his political liberty is fast succumbing to the new dogma that certain theories of government are virtuous and lawful, and others abhorrent and felonious. Laws limiting the radius of his free activity multiply year by year: It is now practically impossible for him to exhibit anything describable as genuine individuality, either in action or in thought, without running afoul of some harsh and unintelligible penalty. It would surprise no impartial observer if the motto “In God we trust” were one day expunged from the coins of the republic by the Junkers at Washington, and the far more appropriate word, “verboten,” substituted. Nor would it astound any save the most romantic if, at the same time, the goddess of liberty were taken off the silver dollars to make room for a bas-relief of a policeman in a spiked helmet. Moreover, this gradual (and, of late, rapidly progressive) decay of freedom goes almost without challenge; the American has grown so accustomed to the denial of his constitutional rights and to the minute regulation of his conduct by swarms of spies, letter-openers, informers and agents provocateurs that he no longer makes any serious protest.

(From The American Credo: A Contribution toward the Interpretation of the National Mind, by H. L. Mencken, 1920.)

Comments (1)




Just slightly cut away

Announcements like this do get my attention:

This is similar to the existing Louboutin “Impera” shoe, although Impera was done up in gold-colored leather. I think I like this better. The heel height seems to be the same: 100 mm. And I give thanks that no one on my gift list has expressed a desire for these. (Impera, before it sold out, went for a cool $1295.)

Comments (4)




Keeps the creepers away

Or at a distance, anyway:

Subway creepers may have met their match in artist Kathleen McDermott’s new frock, a techno-laden dress that’s all about personal space. The DIY dress, designed to slowly expand when it detects someone getting too close, is actually part of a clothing series or, better yet, clothing devices, developed by artists and designers for Urban Armor, a project focused on what it calls, “… playful electronic wearables for women which investigate the ways women experience public space.”

These are truly DIY, if you’re handy with certain not-especially-specialized tools: the Personal Space dress requires some familiarity with the Arduino programmable circuit board, and the ability to wield a soldering iron.

This is not, incidentally, the first I’ve heard of an Arduino-operated dress; seven years ago I found out about a club dress with lights that synchronize to the music.

(Via Fark.)

Comments (2)




Money taken, run executed

There’s one problem you’re likely to encounter while immersing yourself in 1970s “classic rock,” and Robert Stacy McCain is quite familiar with it:

Nobody had more lame-crap hits than Steve Miller Band, and don’t get me wrong: I liked Steve Miller back in the day, and still enjoy listening to his hits, but from the standpoint of songcraft, the guy sucked. The closest he ever got to writing lyrics that made any sense at all was “Take the Money and Run,” but that song is a celebration of murder and robbery, so it kind of proves the point.

On the other hand, there’s a bit to the effect that the detective “makes his livin’ off of the people’s taxes,” useful information in case you’ve never seen an actual government employee.

Here’s the way I figure Steve Miller operated as a songwriter: He would come up with a nifty little guitar riff, and then a catch-phrase to be repeated in the chorus. Once he had the guitar riff and the chorus, he would be like, “Yeah, OK, gotta write some verses now.”

Which may explain why my favorite Steve Miller track is “Jet Airliner,” which he didn’t write. The Paul Pena original from 1973 is decidedly bluesier; unfortunately, it was never released until 2000, by which time Pena, who died in 2005, was living mostly off the royalties from the Steve Miller recording.

Comments (4)




Portion overcontrol

These aren’t here yet, but it’s just a matter of time before they show up:

Disposable pre-filled measuring spoons. Need a half-teaspoon of ground cardamom, or two tablespoons of organic cocoanut oil? Here they are, with no messy cleanup. Later we can market refill containers. And maybe a decorative rack in which to keep those refill containers.

Maybe I’ll divert one of my spice racks to this Higher Purpose.

The expensive stuff, like saffron, I suppose they can sell by the particle.

Comments off




Advice to the thug wannabe

After Marisa’s Rude Bumper Invasion on the city’s south side, she offers the following suggestion to those who would do likewise:

If you ever want to commit a crime in Oklahoma City, do so on Airport Road. As the officer told me, there are no cameras in the area, and what happens there apparently stays there. Or rots in the median. Or gets cat-called by creepers who see it sitting there on the side of the road while waiting for an officer after a hit-and-run.

Airport Road, you will have noted if you’ve ever driven on it, conveys a small number of travelers at relatively high speed. I suspect it to be ODOT’s model for the proposed Oklahoma City Boulevard, inasmuch as the only two criteria they use are “How fast is it?” and “How cheap can we build it?”

Comments (1)




Yeah, like that’s gonna happen

“Make women want you,” said the come-on, so to speak. This showed up as a bogus pingback; WordPress, as it does lately, disclosed that there really was a page with something like that as the title.

I decided to look at it. It’s on Blogspot, there’s only the one post, and it consists of several paragraphs of questionable how-to-get-the-girl advice, interrupted a couple of times by a big DOWNLOAD NOW! box. It is implied that there’s a PDF under that link. There isn’t. Instead, it’s a fairly stock-looking phishing lure.

This thing came to me from 23.94.99.70, but I suspect that copies of it are scattered all over Botsylvania.

Addendum: A few hours later, there came an email spam offering me a “Love Spell.” I suspect such a thing would take more magic than can be packaged in a mere executable.

Comments (1)




And the earth swallowed them whole

If nothing else, we learned tonight that the one starter the Thunder cannot do without is not Kevin Durant, not Russell Westbrook, but the wounded-in-action Serge Ibaka. Royce Young called it correctly: “[T]he Thunder have developed bad habits in their on-ball defense because of the safety blanket Ibaka provides.” Scott Brooks, long before the end, saw it coming; he pulled both Westbrook and Durant with 1:47 left in the third. At the time, it was 87-58 Spurs; the planet shuddered in response. (Maybe a 3.6 earthquake is more than just a shudder. This time, you make the call.) On the upside, something this horrendous to behold tends to end quickly, and losing 112-77 to the Spurs is pretty horrendous.

We also learned this: Jeremy Lamb apparently didn’t get enough minutes in recent weeks to develop those bad habits. In the fourth quarter, he hit six of eight shots, none of them from farther than two feet from the rim. With 13, Lamb was the leading scorer on either bench. To emphasize the point: take out those 20 three-point shots, 18 of which the Thunder missed, and they’re shooting 33-69, a reasonable 48 percent. (The Spurs hit exactly 50 percent.) Look at these lines. Durant was 6-16 for 15 points. Westbrook was 7-24 for 15 points. The rest of the starters contributed four points. If nothing else, this is an argument for playing Hasheem Thabeet: he makes few buckets, but few get past him either.

Tony Parker led San Antonio with 22; Danny Green chunked in 21 on seven treys; the Old Man of the Mountain, Tim Duncan, collected 14 points, 12 rebounds, and one technical foul. The Spurs had a 53-38 advantage on the boards, and missed only two free throws out of 23. (OKC missed five — out of ten.)

Game 3 isn’t until Sunday. At that time, we should see if the Thunder are completely, or only partially, demoralized. If I’m Scott Brooks, and you should probably be grateful I’m not, all previous rotation schemes are null and void.

Comments (2)




Before the Breathalyzer

When Professor Harold Hill hit River City, one of the plagues he predicted as a result of the presence of a pool table was tobacco, and the concealment thereof:

While they’re loafin’ around that hall
They’ll be tryin’ out Bevo, tryin’ out Cubebs
Tryin’ out Tailor Mades like cigarette fiends
And braggin’ all about how they’re gonna
Cover up a tell-tale breath with Sen-Sen

At the time, I understood about a third of this: I knew from Bevo — before it was a University of Texas symbol, it was a near-beer — and cubebs were a sort of spice that occasionally found their way into smokes, sort of like cloves only more so. “Tailor-Mades,” it turned out, described a bevy of bottom-of-the-line off-brands, purchased by those who could not afford the Good Stuff. But I never had a clue about Sen-Sen back then, and had pretty much forgotten about it until now:

As a kid, I judged that Sen-Sen was the worst candy ever made. A number of years later, I learned that Sen-Sen was primarily used to mask the smell of alcohol on a drinker’s breath.

The last packets of Sen-Sen, amazingly, were produced in the summer of 2013.

Suddenly I have an urge for a cup of cider.

Comments off