Strange search-engine queries (368)

Monday morning means another trip through the logs to search for items of possible interest and/or high snark potential. This was well within the skill set of Star Swirl the Bearded, so I don’t expect to be promoted to royalty for having done it here.

yogurt plus las vegas 1981:  Well, if any yogurt from 1981 has survived, it would likely be in Las Vegas, where lots of old cultures persist.

how does desyxlia:  It does almost exactly that way.

pedestrian killed march 2002 highway 666 new mexico:  And now you know why they changed it to 491 the next year.

audi a3 cello:  Were I going to haul around an instrument of this size, I’d insist on an A4.

scamation ocular:  Send us your current myopic eyeballs and we’ll send you brand-new ones at no cost from our laboratory in Nigeria.

how does sherilyn fenn do her eyebrows:  Carefully. Very, very carefully.

lionel richie butterhead:  You’ll have to verify that with the Commodores.

85yrs.old granny and still having sex:  I tell you, that Lionel Richie fellow is kind of a turn-on.

think the most crappiest day ever:  The fifteenth of April, for reasons I need not explain.

ann coulter nude playboy dec 2004:  Um, no. They’d have been afraid to let her fill out the Playmate Data Sheet.

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We’ll never know

Somehow this seems painfully prophetic now:

You’ll never know
How much I miss you
You won’t see it in my face
You’ll never know I’ll never find another
That could take your place
Cause I’ll be smiling when I see you
No my tears won’t ever show
Yeah I might always love you
But you’ll never know

Mindy McCready took her own life today. She was all of thirty-seven.

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Uneven subdivision

“You know what would be really cool?” asks Troglopundit. “A prime number made up of a prime number of digits.”

On his second thought, he revised his adjective, from “cool” to “nerdy.” But by that time, I’d come up with a cool/nerdy notion of my own: “Prime Park,” a single-street gated community somewhere in the ‘burbs with half the property — the half where even-numbered houses would go — reserved as parkland, and the houses opposite the park assigned prime numbers consistent with the area street grid. For instance, the 3000 block would run 3001, 3011, 3019, 3023, 3037, 3041. (I figure that this subdivision, so to speak, would likely contain imposing, overly-large homes, and that maybe six to the block is pushing it.)

Passersby outside the gates, of course, would never know, at least not until Google Earth showed up.

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Potent quotables

Maxim, the magazine, is noted for girlie pix, sports snark, gadgets for guys, girlie pix, beer references, rude noises, and girlie pix, not necessarily in that order.

There were chats this month (3/13) with Joan Rivers and Anne V. (Joan wore considerably more.) A couple of excerpts:

Maxim: How do you prepare for red-carpet season? Do you have a training regimen?
Joan Rivers: I just collect hundreds of pictures of Helena Bonham Carter and then don’t wear anything she’s got on.

Maxim: Have you ever dated an American guy who correctly pronounced your last name, Vyalitsyna, the first time?
Anne V: No. They always need a few weeks.

I mention in passing that Joan Rivers’ original last name was Molinsky; she was the daughter of Russian immigrsnts.

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On the getting of wings

Despite predicted suck potential of well over 9000, the season finale of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic turned out to be downright moving: Twilight Sparkle’s ascension to royalty, a notion I was bound to distrust, given its obvious mercenary motivation, seemed not only reasonable but inevitable.

Still, the best after-the-fact commentary was dropped onto this screencap of Night Light and Twilight Velvet attending the coronation:

Parents of Twilight Sparkle

Twi has her mom’s eyes.

And everything will turn out all right. I think.

(Via this tweet by RainbowVelocity.)

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Downtown once more

The introduction to last fall’s “Pet Project”:

It occurs to me that I ought to do something for Petula Clark, who turns 80 (!) next month. Despite being ten years older than everybody else in the British Invasion, she sold a whole lot of records here in the States, starting with “Downtown” in 1964, though she’d been recording for at least a decade before that. So between now and the 15th of November, I’ll be tossing in the occasional Petula classic for your dancing and dining pleasure.

Cover art for Lost In You by Petula ClarkAnd now Petula has done something for us: a new album! Lost In You, due out in Britain on the 25th of this month, is the first I’ve heard from her since she turned up on the Saw Doctors’ 2011 remake of “Downtown.” The first track, “Cut Copy Me,” has already been announced as a single: heavily synthed and Auto-Tuned, it comes off, to me anyway, as something less than wonderful, although the Guardian says that “Lana Del Rey would no doubt trade her David Lynch box set to have written [it].” In fact, since it’s the leadoff track, you’d be forgiven for thinking that the whole thing is a feeble whimper augmented by electronic fudge factors.

Until you get to the second track, the title song, and you realize that the game plan was to pay obeisance to the marketing department early on and get it out of the way. From this point on, it’s the sound of a woman who has been there, done that, and isn’t jaded about any of it. The covers of “Imagine” and “Love Me Tender” are okay, maybe a little better than that, but the real revelation is her reinvention of “Crazy.” Yes, the Gnarls Barkley tune. And if Petula’s singing isn’t quite as all-over-the-staff as Cee Lo Green’s, it’s every bit as soulful.

Inevitably, there is a version of “Downtown,” but it’s a radical revision: instead of bouncy 4/4, it’s a languid, dreamy waltz. On its own terms, it’s nearly as startling as Lesley Gore’s 2005 reworking of “You Don’t Own Me” into a torch song.

We won’t be getting this album Stateside until April, but assuming you can’t wait and you don’t want to deal with Amazon.co.uk, you can have the entire album streamed in your general direction, courtesy of the Guardian music blog. I’ve already turned in my preorder for the CD.

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Notes from the Department of Chaos

A modern Theory of Bureaucracy, expanding upon the seminal work by C. Northcote Parkinson:

Why do things have to be changed? So much change lately has been for the worse. If something’s working okay, trying to “fix” it just makes it broken… [T]hat is how bureaucracies work: they justify their existence by changing things and by claiming to “fix” things that weren’t broken in the first place, and they often wind up breaking stuff in the process. Or someone implies that Something Must Be Done, and it is, without carefully contemplating whether the Thing that Something is being done about is a problem in the first place. Or that the beatings are not causing sufficient rise in morale. Or something.

This is why the technocrats’ vision of More Efficient Government is so disturbing: the areas in which government legitimately operates are never the areas that are designated for “improvement.”

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Walking happy

A statement by CYDWOC, Burbank, California’s leading shoe manufacturer:

In business now for over a decade, we have grown solely through the word-of-mouth endorsement of our customers around the world. We have consciously chosen not to advertise or solicit PR for our line, preferring to focus 100% of our investment into the products themselves.

Why?

Because an ecstatic customer is the best advertisement of all.

I learned this, of course, after finding a suitably delighted customer, Patti at Not Dead Yet Style:

I might pop for a truly fun, soul-stirring pair of shoes like these, ’cause a woman has got to have a great shoe.

Liquid by CYDWOC

CYDWOC calls this “Liquid,” and it’s part of their Vintage line, “slightly more formal” than their Classic line. Patti considers it a spring shoe, but I tend to think of it as more of a fall item, perhaps because of its candy-corn colors. Besides, it would take me until fall to save up $308.

And about that name: it’s pronounced — almost — SIDE WALK. Nancy Friedman has yet to rule on whether that’s a Good Name or not.

Addendum: Ms Friedman rules, in Comments.

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Los Cobolleros

It’s arguably the least sexy computer language in existence, but that’s not the reason why you should probably brush up on COBOL:

I predict that over the next few years, new COBOL programmers are going to be in high demand and very possibly paid a premium for their efforts. Generally speaking, the COBOL programming skill set resides in baby boomers that have been programming in COBOL their entire career. The issue is that these baby boomers have begun retiring in enormous numbers. Additionally, new college recruits have neither the skill set nor the interest in replacing them. The problem for companies employing these COBOL programmers is that if the software stops, so does the company.

And if that seems a bit much, hey, there’s always Fortran.

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Argyle and deceit

Once in a while, one of those pesky “e-cards” that clutter up Facebook elicits a small chuckle from this quarter. This one, though, has definite neologism, or at least euphemism, potential:

E-card: A dyslexic hooker just offered to cook my socks for $40

(Found at Kat’s Kozy Korner.)

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Updated to “Posthumous”

Twitter, which bought mobile-blog service Posterous last year for some preposterous sum, is now taking it behind the woodshed and shooting it:

On April 30th, we will turn off posterous.com and our mobile apps in order to focus 100% of our efforts on Twitter. This means that as of April 30, Posterous Spaces will no longer be available either to view or to edit.

If you have stuff there, you have until the day before to retrieve it.

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Yankees without number

Actually, they all have numbers, but some of them are duplicates:

The Yankees may not be short on cash, Alex Rodriguez distractions or veteran players, but the Bronx Bombers are finally out of something: Numbers.

With 83 players invited to spring training in Tampa, Fla., not to mention team coaches, the squad in pinstripes is out of double-digit numbers.

“Double-digit” matters because the Yankees have retired all single-digit numbers except #2, which is worn by Derek Jeter, and #6, which has not been issued since the departure of Joe Torre after the 2007 season. In all, the Yanks have taken 16 numbers out of circulation.

A side note, happened upon while looking up those retired numbers: in 1997, when MLB officially retired #42 as a tribute to Jackie Robinson, the players who wore it at that time were allowed to keep it so long as they remained with that team. Mariano Rivera, who debuted with New York in ’95, still wears #42, and they’ll certainly retire it for both him and Robinson when the time comes.

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Royal Timese Machine to be overhauled

U.S. News gave up on that old-fashioned print stuff years ago. Newsweek has now killed its last tree. But Time Warner isn’t actually euthanizing Time just yet:

These days nobody seems to pay it much attention and with subscriptions flat and ad revenue down it is increasingly difficult to see what the publication is for. In [Henry] Luce’s day the magazine was a kind of pre-internet news aggregator… The brutal economics of publishing in the age of the internet haven’t been kind to this legacy title. Despite years of cuts its cost structure reflects the entitled media culture of past decades. Without a clear mission and without a revenue base, it is hard to see why anybody would want it.

Still, Time Warner will probably retain Time, along with Fortune and Sports Illustrated, the surviving Time Inc. core publications. (Life has had several deaths already.)

Disclosure: The two Time Inc. magazines I actually buy — Entertainment Weekly and InStyle — will presumably be dealt.

(Title inspired by Joan Baez.)

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We can work it out

Let’s talk jobs. Better yet, let’s not talk jobs:

Jobs are nice, but what people really need is something to do. If they don’t have enough to do, they are susceptible to being recruited into a campaign to DO SOMETHING, like get out the vote, or march on Washington for some cause or other, or in much of the world, go to war against your neighbors. After all, providing a third world peasant with an AK-47, a case of ammo and a fifty pound bag of dried beans can’t cost more than a few hundred dollars, and look how much havoc you can cause, and the glorious ransoms you can collect.

The trick, of course, is to keep that stuff away from first-world peasants.

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Not just a silicate mineral

About, oh, one post ago I dropped the name of Beril Akçay, described in a press release as an “international model,” which is true enough, I suppose, though I suspect that she does rather a lot more than just standing and posing:

Beril Akçay on Hollywood Boulevard

Not that I can read all that Turkish. Beril’s major gig seems to be a segment on Best of SoCal TV, reporting on all things luxurious. And she makes a pretty decent fashion blogger, minor language difficulties notwithstanding.

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Some sort of G thing

I once described Kenny G as a purveyor of “strangled-duck noises.” I’m reasonably certain that this description didn’t discourage any of the man’s fans.

And besides, there’s this going on tonight:

Hollywood celebrities will sneak out of Tinseltown Friday, February 15, to attend a special musical event in the heart of Orange County. Saxophone legend Kenny G will make his debut with Pacific Symphony at the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall at Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa. “Valentine’s Day With Kenny G” promises to be a romantic and soul-moving experience for the anticipated packed house.

Of course, my interest lies elsewhere:

A number of celebrities are expected to walk the red carpet, including Rebecca Black, who starred alongside Katy Perry and Kenny G in Perry’s newest music video, Iqbal Theba (GLEE), Gretchen Rossi and Slade Smiley (The Real Housewives of Orange County), Principal Pops Conductor Richard Kaufman, international model Beril Akçay, with more celebrities to be announced.

It is a measure of something, surely, that Rebecca Black gets top billing. Although I will have something to say about Beril Akçay later.

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King James reversion

The idea, perhaps, was to let LeBron have his way and key in on everyone else. (Jenni Carlson recommended exactly that.) Well, LeBron had his way, but so did everyone else, as the Heat jumped out to a 32-17 lead after the first quarter and kept the Thunder at bay the rest of the way, taking a 110-100 victory back to South Beach.

Both King James and Chris Bosh had double-doubles, though LeBron’s seemed so much, um, doubler: 39 points, 12 rebounds for James, 20/12 for Bosh. Dwyane Wade racked up 13 before fouling out. But singling out the stars is unfair to the Heat, since everyone — possibly excepting Joel Anthony, who played only a couple of minutes — played seriously hard and executed extremely well. Miami even gathered the majority of the rebounds (46-35), which is not ordinarily their strong point. And while the Heat’s 11-29 mark from beyond the arc is iffy percentage-wise, it’s still 33 points. (OKC went 3-13 from downtown.)

This hardly seems like the sort of situation in which Kevin Durant would go off for 40, but he did exactly that, playing 47:32 out of a possible 48, leaving after his sixth foul. Russell Westbrook was up to snuff and then some, scoring 26 and serving up ten assists. But nobody else made double figures, and the entire OKC bench managed only 16 points. Worse, Serge Ibaka blocked no shots. (The Thunder had only five blocks, three by Durant.) OKC went 33-34 from the foul line — in case you were wondering, James had three fouls, and was rung up for a technical after complaining about one of them — but they only made 32 shots from the field.

One likes to hate the Heat with the same passion with which one despises, say, the Dallas Cowboys or the New York Yankees; but tonight, the hate is displaced by awe. And it’s the All-Star break, so I’m going to bed early.

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Quote of the week

Severian, commenting at Morgan’s place:

If Puritanism is the haunting fear that someone somewhere may be having a good time, then liberalism is the haunting fear that all the cool kids back in high school might have been right.

Liberals drank deeply from the well of “self-esteem” back in grade school. They are convinced they’re exceedingly special. Problem is, the world doesn’t agree. Kim Kardashian has a million Twitter followers, and they have three, because being good-looking trumps a perfect score on the SAT verbals every time. Statism is one life-long act of revenge for this sad state of affairs — they can’t keep the quarterback from dating the head cheerleader, but they can make them both ride the subway to get to the prom.

Disclosure: My Twitter follower count and my score on the SAT verbal are surprisingly close — for now.

And Kim Kardashian, in fact, has over seventeen million followers, more than all but a handful of tweeters.

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Now get out there and cell

The White House has backpedaled just a bit from that “one million electric vehicles” goal, having figured out that, well, it’s not going to happen any time soon. I still think it will happen, but probably not in the next four years. Meanwhile, we’re up to our anodes in batteries:

The lack of acceptance by consumers is creating a glut of batteries. LG Chem Michigan, a unit of the Korean conglomerate LG, for example, was awarded more than $150 million in funding by the U.S. Department of Energy under the 2009 Recovery Act to help construct a $304 million lithium-ion battery cell manufacturing plant in Michigan. It was supposed to create 440 jobs. But the company is still supplying batteries for the Chevy Volt from its Korean plant, and fewer than half the jobs in Michigan have been realized. Why? Lack of demand. LG Chem and the DOE have just been reprimanded by the DOE Inspector General for misusing taxpayer funds and not delivering on stated goals.

Emphasis added, because it seems so improbable that a government agency might complain about taxpayer funds being misused — even to itself, by itself.

Perhaps the upcoming Cadillac ELR, a Volt in a three-piece suit, will use up some of that battery capacity.

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We’re suing your dog for eating your homework

Intellectual property? In a school? What sort of madness is this?

There is little in this world worth copyrighting less than my fifth grade homework. Those stories about princesses and mangled long division could only be precious to a parent. This is why it’s strange to conceive of why Maryland’s Prince George’s County Board of Education released a proposal suggesting that they own the work produced by students in their schools.

“Works created by employees and/or students specifically for use by the Prince George’s County Public Schools or a specific school or department within PGCPS, are properties of the Board of Education even if created on the employee’s or student’s time and with the use of their materials. Further, works created during school/work hours, with the use of school system materials, and within the scope of an employee’s position or student’s classroom work assignment(s) are the properties of the Board of Education.”

Asked for comment, Prince George replied, “Oh, Christ, what is it now? Can’t you get my name off that hellhole after all these years? You know what I think about hellholes.”

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