Orange Crush, but crushier

Apparently the latest thing in soft drinks is, um, hardness:

Recently MillerCoors released their newest product called “Henry’s Hard Soda,” an alcoholic soda sweetened with cane sugar in orange and ginger flavors. This release manifests MillerCoors desire to hop onboard the explosive craft beer and more recently the hard cider movement.

Um, okay. Who’s supposed to drink this stuff?

In their first major advertising push on TV and digital marketing, MillerCoors is targeting Generation Xers, those aged 34-54, encouraging them to live “Hard-ish.” Conceptually, the ads feature young suburbanites who have grown up but are not yet ready to commit to being “grownups.”

At fifty-four, it’s probably too late to start thinking about grownup stuff.

Here’s a 15-second spot:

You know, this could have been a whole lot worse. (“Worse-ish”?)

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Nearly spellbound

One thing about the Washington Wizards: they’ll shoot if there’s an opportunity, and sometimes if there isn’t. This works about half the time, or at least it did earlier in the game; the Wizards dropped to 47 percent shooting, and second-chance points were few and far between. (One set of numbers screams this at you: the Thunder outrebounded the Wiz, 53-27, and only two of those Washington retrievals were off the offensive glass.) Still, a high-velocity offense will not save you against one that’s running at an even higher speed, and tonight Oklahoma City was cranking it up, at least when they weren’t coughing it up, hitting 52 percent on the way to a 114-98 win and a 2-0 season sweep of the Pirates of the Potomac.

As usual, the big-number grabbers grabbed big numbers: Kevin Durant glided to 28 points, Serge Ibaka pounded home 19 with ten rebounds, and there’s Yet Another Russell Westbrook triple-double, 17-13-11. And everyone was delighted to see the return of Cameron Payne, sidelined for a couple of games due to concussion-like symptoms; he sprang for eight points in 12 minutes. Wizards sixth man Bradley Beal, from Florida in the Billy Donovan days, paced Washington with 18, mostly in the second half; John Wall, who played all but seven minutes, followed with 17.

The homestand ends Wednesday, with the arrival of the Magic from Orlando. (Well, actually, they’re arriving from San Antonio, where the Spurs at the writing are drubbing them.) Then comes Saturday, and the first visit to the Golden Gate. The Warriors, who have won like a bazillion in a row, haven’t lost on their home floor all year, and Steph Curry has already guaranteed a Warriors win. (He later did the Ha Ha Only Kidding backpedal, but he meant it. Steph always means it.) If the Thunder can pull that one out — but that’s a pretty fair-sized if, even for a team with the fourth-best record in the league.

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A place one could live

It sounds rather appealing to me, but then I’m already where I need to be:

[I]t’s a quiet, and affordable neighborhood, close to schools, markets, gainful employment and military bases. Again, the affordable part; someone working a moderately well-paid job in this part of San Antonio would be able to purchase a house here without going broke on it or having to live on Top Ramen for thirty years. I managed the mortgage easily on an E-6 salary, and subsequently on the pension for same, although sometimes there were some dicey months. Some residents have amazing small gardens, kids play in front and back yards, people walk their dogs or run at all hours, decorate for holidays, know each other by sight well enough to wave. Nothing that will ever be on the Parade of Homes, in Architectural Digest or Country Living, or even, God help us, run the risk of becoming a historical district, unless in a hundred years, “late 20th century residential developer” becomes a significant aesthetic marker. (Although, seeing as the great and the good seem to prefer us all living in bare concrete stack-a-prole high-rises, perhaps a neighborhood like ours might very well become a suburban treasure. After all, Levittown has, in some appreciative circles.)

Having been to one of the Levittowns to see for myself — the one in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, northeast of Philadelphia — I’m happy to count myself among the appreciative. And my own neighborhood, a transitional zone between Foursquare and Mid-Century Modern, is one step short of being zoned as historic.

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Buying the Water Works

This one might actually make you weep. The Piano Guys almost seamlessly blend Mozart’s “Lacrimosa” (from the Requiem, K. 626) with Adele’s “Hello”:

This was not easy, but there was common ground:

Both tunes’ divergent traits presented challenges. One wallows in a wide, painstakingly minor 12/8 time and the other drives a poignant bi-polar major/minor common time. One draws its power from the fullness of a grand chorus and orchestra, the other from the isolation of a lone voice and piano. One conforms to age-old counterpart canon and musical theory, while the other is conveyed via verse/chorus pop song parlance. However, they share the same fundamental feeling — “Lacrimosa” (meaning “weeping” or “tearful”) mournfully bemoans spiritual death, while “Hello” gripes about relationship regrets. Different centuries. Different realms. Same emotion. Perhaps we aren’t as far from our predecessors as we think we are.

We never have been.

(Via HelloGiggles.)

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Specialty headgear by Alcoa

Usually we make fun of the questions at Yahoo! Answers. But this answer was so utterly mockable, it deserves attention of its own. Get a whiff of this:

Russia will destroy Turkey and America. Move to Ural. (666 times 3)+(6 times 3) = 2016. Jews want war between Russia and Germany from June to October. Tube people = demons. Clones = demons. Human costumes that demons wear = demons. Dinosaurs and 666ed people have triple stranded DNA. Demons live inside clones. Bacteriologist Alexandre Yersin (who discovered Bubonic plague) is depicted on the Shroud of Turin. There is another shroud on which blasphemer Yosef (who was crucified on a pole in 1066 AD) is depicted. WW3 happens; 7% of people will be left; after people are tired of war, they will elect the antichrist as one world leader; don’t vote. ISIS stands for Israeli Secret Intelligence Service. Next false flag: Statue of Liberty. Move away from coasts as nukes will go off in the ocean (at where tectonic plates meet; result: megatsunamis 1km high). Earth is flat; stands on 3 pillars (the Most Holy Trinity); pillars stand on water at zero Kelvin. Zodiac is planetary prison of demons; don’t believe in horoscopes or you’ll exhibit the traits of the trapped demons. Most thoughts and dreams are from demons; demons never do good. Sleep fully clothed; pray the Jesus prayer. Pray to your guardian angel to have normal sleep. Vyacheslav Krasheninnikov was the last prophet before Enoch and Elijah return to preach against the antichrist. According to Ruski Orthodox Christian Vyacheslav Krasheninnikov: Humans were created about 7525 years ago.

Birds participate in time creation. It’s a sin to kill birds. Dinosaurs live under our level. They will get out through sinkholes and lakes. To kill them, go for their nerves. Save the birds; but kill the dinosaurs. First dinosaur will come out of Volga River in Russia. Demons grow human skin (from a sample taken during abduction) and put it on so as to look like us. Demons will invite people to be healed inside their UFOs; those who go will be like zombies after. Gov’t provides demons with diamonds and allows demons to abduct people. If you’re being abducted, slowly pray the Jesus prayer.

Don’t panic. Demons use diamonds and souls to power their UFO craft. The bigger the diamond, the more it lasts. Demons have 4 UFO bases: 1)Moon 2)Inside fake mountain Kailash in Tibet 3)In lake Baikal in Russia 4)In Atlantis which is underneath the Mariana Trench in Pacific Ocean. There are no aliens. Nobody lives on other planets. Airplanes that go down are hit by demons because they need the airspace to fight Jesus. Antichrist is pale with red eyes. He’s possessed by Satan since he’s 12 years old. He flies. He wears gloves to hide long nails. He’s surrounded by demons who appear as angels of light.

Don’t go into a UFO to be healed by demons. 666 is given by isotope rays on wrist or forehead when people stretch hands to receive small plastic grey card with no name on it (World Passport). Police will microchip and isotope ray people on highways. Food stores will isotope ray people too. Antichrist will also release prisoners to mark people. Reject 666 at all cost. If you’re about to be marked, pray the Jesus prayer. Hide with Orthodox Christians to escape 666; leave all electronics behind so that antichrist’s minions can’t track you. Give to charity in the name of Archangel Michael; he rescues people from hell twice a year (or brings them up a level, that is, to a level with less punishment; eventually, people are freed). Feed the pigeons; when pigeons bow down, people are saved from hell. Forgive me.

How do we know this is a freaking nutcase? Because the question was “What Were Some Of Your Top Favourite Albums of 2015?”

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The wrong angle

An unfortunate incident on a Friday in the dead of winter.

(Yes, Friday. No, it’s not about whatshername.)

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Strange search-engine queries (522)

After months of foreplay, the actual political season begins this week, and it has the word “anticlimax” written all over it. So I’m just going to go about my business, part of which involves sorting through recent search strings. No contributions are solicited.

“feminist airplanes” “feminist engineers”:  The latter, at least, are known to exist.

why do feminist hate guys yahoo:  Damn guys won’t let them fly.

this question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions canton flannel:  After “submissions,” I think we can safely rule that this was automated.

would you like us to send you a daily digest about new articles every day heracles:  It would give him something to do while mucking out the stables.

assume that wal-mart stores:  No, don’t. We assume too much about them already.

96 ways to say i love you:  Which is 46 more than the ways to leave.

invisible clothes for women:  Alterations, regrettably, are exceedingly difficult.

by publishing information packed articles, you’ll soon enjoy visceroptosis:  Well, you may experience it, but you probably won’t enjoy it.

kermit the frog no mascara:  I wonder if this is what triggered the breakup with Miss Piggy.

thomas has routinely declined invitations to go bar-hopping from kathy, his boss. during his performance review, kathy mentions that even though the quality of his work is satisfactory, he isn’t much of a “team player.” at the end of the review, kathy invites him out for drinks again. how would this:  If Thomas is wise, he will start updating his résumé.

did shakespeare write with a quill:  Well, it wasn’t a Sharpie.

walking down the street something caught my eye:  How it did that while walking, I’ll never know.

craigslist narration needed:  Over here are the scamsters, and off to the right you can see the pervs.

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But is it safe?

Under certain conditions I suspect neither one of us would prefer to contemplate, nothing whatsoever is safe. Absent those conditions, and we hope we are, it’s possible to estimate, but watch that methodology:

Which car is safest to drive, you may wonder. How will you find out? You could simply sort the number of fatal crashes by model of car and then compare the totals. The car with the fewest fatalities must be safer.

But is it? By simply sorting and counting fatalities, you have decided to ignore lots of other variables that may play a role, and according to psychology professor Richard Nisbett that means your analysis may be so flawed as to be useless. He uses the car safety study as his own example, pointing out that drivers with unsafe driving habits may gravitate towards certain automobile types and thus skew the results. If all the leadfoots (leadfeet?) suddenly switched to Volvos, that vehicle model’s safety record might be quite different than it is. And if little old ladies started buying Dodge Challengers, their record might improve. Although you might have to select out the ones from Pasadena, at least when they are driving on Colorado Boulevard.

Dean — and Jan, were he still alive — would support that latter premise.

Incidentally, the Pasadena contingent had rivals off to the east, who drove Pontiacs.

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To the nines, or at least the sevens

Samantha Brick, four years ago, stirred the pot with the suggestion that women resented her because she was pretty, and that, well, they are wrong and they ought not to do that.

Today, she has more advice for women, and it’s decidedly harsher:

My, my how I chortled into my café au lait this week when I read that British mothers had plummeted to yet another all time low.

Yes, I’m talking about wearing pyjamas, which have become such common clobber at the school gate that a headteacher at a school in Darlington this week was forced to ban them. More worryingly, she caused such uproar for doing so one mother turned up wearing her nightclothes in protest.

Women what on earth are you thinking? The first crime you have committed is wearing clothes that should be left relegated to your childhood. Second of all, you’re wearing said saggy-bottomed, elastic-waisted, passion-killers in public.

She probably could have stopped there, but she didn’t:

Is it any wonder that your other half is sneakily logging on to Facebook in search of another lover, constantly volunteering to go overseas on “essential” work trips, and going to bed much later than you in a bid to avoid your could-try-harder, overweight self, encased in a sweaty man-made fibre outfit.

Samantha herself would never, ever do such a thing, but then she’s currently living in France, where such a thing is Simply Not Done.

Let me tell you, no French mother in possession of all her senses would ever dream of lounging around at home in a pair of pyjamas or even putting a pair on in order to go to bed (that’s what negligees are for).

As for sporting bedwear to the school gate? It would never ever happen in France.

Let us hope no one ever sends her a link to People Of Walmart.

And for the sake of completeness, here’s what she looks like today.

(Via Fark.)

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Once more, the power of cheese

Apparently it goes straight to your brain:

Researchers from the University of Michigan have revealed that cheese contains a chemical found in addictive drugs.

Using the Yale Food Addiction Scale, designed to measure a person’s cravings, the study found that cheese is particularly moreish because it contains casein.

The chemical, which is found in all dairy products, can trigger the brain’s opioid receptors, producing a feeling of euphoria linked to those of hard drug addiction.

Oh, great. Before long we’ll have regular hydrocodone and hydrocodone with cheese.

Scientists studying dairy products found that in milk, casein has a minuscule dosage. But producing a pound of cheese requires about 10 pounds of milk — with addictive casein coagulating the solid milk fats and separating them from the liquids.

As a result the super-strength chemical becomes concentrated when in solid dairy form, so you’ll get a higher hit of addictive casein by tucking into a cheese sandwich than you will in your morning bowl of cereal.

The management will not be responsible for anyone who reads this and then orders a pizza.

Note: “Moreish,” as a word, was new to me.

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Quote of the week

Roberta X on the folks charged with dealing with disasters:

It’s easy to gripe about government, especially at the bureaucrat level and even more so when it’s a wrestling-smoke job like managing emergencies. Even the description borders on an oxymoron! Maybe in An-Cap Libertopia, there’s a market solution to disaster; maybe all your neighbors will pitch in (just as they often do in emergencies in this world). Here in the world of what is, these government agencies do exist. They’re not going away and given that, I would rather see them in the hands of competent folks who think the job is worth doing than some tired, cynical timeserver.

For the people who moan, “Where were the Feds? Where was the state?” when things go wrong, here’s how it works: emergency response happens from the bottom up; first response is coordinated and supported at the county level if it needs it. If the county finds it too big, they get help from the state. If the state needs help, they yell for the Feds. FEMA — the good handing-out-water-and-blankets side, not the tinfoil hat fantasy seen in YouTube videos of rail yards — is by definition the last on the scene.

Which, if you ask me, is precisely as it should be: take care of things on the local level, and if those things get out of hand, go up a level. There’s a reason most disaster declarations are made by states, and it’s not just because the Feds expect it to be so.

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A new crease in the black hat

Anyone who owns a domain has likely received a “bill” from a third party offering to renew that domain at some ridiculous multiple of the actual registration price. Enough people have caught on to this scheme that now the scamsters are having to pretend they’re offering a service:

SEO pitch for

Obviously the most important thing here is “SECURE ONLINE PAYMENT.” Amount of said payment: $63.00.

In the fine print down below:

You have received this message because you elected to receive special notification proposal. If you no longer wish to receive our notifications, please unsubscribe here or mail us a written request to US Main Office: SEO Domain Registration Company, Los Angeles, CA 90036, Email: or Asia Main Office: SEO Domain Registration Company, Shenzhen Futian, Email: If you have multiple accounts with us, you must opt out for each one individually in order to stop receiving notifications notices. We are a search engine optimization company. We do not directly register or renew domain names. We are selling traffic generator software tools. This message is CAN-SPAM compliant. THIS IS NOT A BILL. THIS IS A NOTIFICATION PROPOSAL. YOU ARE UNDER NO OBLIGATION TO PAY THE AMOUNT STATED UNLESS YOU ACCEPT THIS NOTIFICATION PROPOSAL. This message, which contains promotional material strictly along the guidelines of the CAN-SPAM act of 2003. We have clearly mentioned the source mail-id of this email, also clearly mentioned our subject lines and they are in no way misleading. Please do not reply to this email, as we are not able to respond to messages sent to this address.

I want to see how a “written request” gets to the SEO Domain Registration Company without a street address in Los Angeles, CA 90036 (near Hancock Park and the Miracle Mile) or however the Chinese sort these things out in Futian district, Shenzhen.

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Fear the flame

Everyone in this part of the world eventually learns the subgenre of “fire weather,” a phenomenon that comes with dry air and high winds. Even the slightest spark, from whatever source, suddenly turns into a Major Blaze, and if the conditions are going to persist for a while, you’re likely to see a burn ban.

I was never quite sure how they actually quantified it, but this NWS graphic reveals the scale:

I’ve been here about forty years, and I don’t remember “historic” being used in this context. Which is probably a good thing.

The standard NWS term for those Texas counties is “Western North Texas,” the sort of description you’d need in a place the size of Texas; if you say “northwest Texas,” I start thinking the Panhandle and Amarillo.

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Slipping somewhere

Regular readers long ago noticed that I tend to put up a lot of pictures of women with nice legs. This is of course due to the fact that I tend to notice such pictures, and having noticed them, I find it relatively easy to generate some sort of text narrative. (Ah, the power of inspiration.) With that in mind, here’s singer Carly Rae Jepsen, a favorite in these parts — “I Really Like You,” from her E·MO·TION album, was my favorite single of 2015 — showing up on the red carpet at the People’s Choice Awards:

Carly Rae Jepsen at the 2016 People's Choice Awards

Tomorrow, she’ll appear as Frenchy, one of the Pink Ladies, in Fox TV’s production of Grease! Live. For the occasion, Billboard circulated this photo of the Pink Ladies in costume:

Carly Rae Jepsen as a Pink Lady

Either I’m going blind, Jepsen is playing Frenchy as an amputee, or some foolish, feckless Photoshopper deleted her right leg.

Note: Per @SwiftOnSecurity, Adobe objects to the term “Photoshopper.”

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It’s scam-tastic!

There are times when I think the criminally sneaky aren’t even trying anymore, and this is one of them:

When Robert Kleven switched on the news for his drive to work two weeks ago, he had no idea he was about to sink a high-profile lawsuit against General Motors Co. and embarrass one of the best-known plaintiffs’ lawyers in the U.S.

The news anchor described a long-awaited trial starting in federal court in Manhattan that day, the first over a deadly defect in millions of GM ignition switches. The plaintiff was a 49-year-old postman named Robert Scheuer. Kleven, a real estate agent in Tulsa, Oklahoma, knew that name. Two years earlier, he said in an interview, Scheuer had pulled a fast one on him.

Scheuer had altered a government check stub to make it look like he had hundreds of thousands of dollars in the bank, Kleven said. On the strength of that stub, Kleven had let Scheuer and his wife, Lisa, move in to a new house in suburban Tulsa before they had paid for it.

Said Kleven: “I didn’t want them getting away with another scam.” Let’s look at that check stub:

Check stub allegedy faked up by Robert Scheuer

Of those six digits before the decimal place, only the last three were legit. You’d think this would have been obvious after a cursory inspection.

Scheuer’s attorney, Robert Hilliard, was apparently readying a strategy to portray Scheuer and his wife as the All-American Family whose lives had been ruined when their Saturn Ion went berserk and crashed into a tree. Unanswered: the question of why someone with 400k to toss around would be driving a Saturn Ion, fercrissake.

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Tacos 101

And really, it shouldn’t be a surprise:

At the University of Kentucky, taco knowledge is power.

And why wouldn’t it be? In a time when tortillas are outselling bread and salsa is outselling ketchup in the US, the last thing anyone wants to be is ignorant about tacos — especially in the state of Kentucky. The state has one of the fastest-growing Latino populations in the country.

This semester, the university is offering an undergraduate course called “Taco Literacy: Public Advocacy and Mexican Food in the US South.” Led by Steven Alvarez, an assistant professor in the university’s Writing, Rhetoric, and Digital Studies department, the class aims to teach students about Mexican foodways in Kentucky and the broader South.

Asked about the syllabus, Professor Alvarez answered:

You can find everything you would like to know at our website. We’re examining transnational community food literacies and how these connect the stories of people and food across borders. We explore the history of networks of Mexican and Mexican-American food in Kentucky by writing about recipes and rhetorics that deal with things such as authenticity, local variations and preparations, and how food literacies situate different spaces, identity, and forms of knowledge.

And at least it’s not called “Chalupa Studies.”

(Via Cameron Aubernon, who notes: “Sonata Dusk will be enrolling ASAP.”)

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