Whoever the heck he is

Maybe it’s really John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt!

I mean, it certainly can’t be Gary Allen.

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The sad fact is

And will likely continue to be:

Headline: someone will win presidential race

(From Bad Newspaper via Miss Cellania.)

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Fark blurb of the week

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Only the names are retro

And this is only a rumor, for now: [warning: autostart video]

Ford Motor Co. is considering a revival of the Bronco sport utility vehicle and Ranger small pickup in the U.S., where truck demand is booming, said a person familiar with [the] company’s plans.

The two models would be built at a Wayne, Michigan, factory that now makes small cars, said the person, who asked not to be identified discussing product plans. The move would help Ford preserve some U.S. union jobs amid contract talks. The company may assemble the Focus and C-Max in Mexico, a person familiar with the matter had said.

I’m guessing that the person familiar with the plans is not necessarily the person familiar with the matter.

“In which paragraph will they mention O. J. Simpson?” If you had “third,” step up and claim your prize. Slowly.

(Via The Truth About Cars.)

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Dumping foreseen

You know how they’re always saying “Don’t be that guy”? This is a guy you don’t want to be:

Yahoo Answers screenshot: I need some pics of girls to prove to my girlfriend that I'm experienced with getting nudes of girls. She wont send em without proof. Help!?

I’m guessing she’s already figured out that this guy contains a significant percentage of weasel DNA.

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The next-to-last nerve

The same Sudden Weakness that befell me Saturday afternoon at the supermarket hit me again at the office on Wednesday. It wasn’t quite so severe, but once again, it helped that I was near something to grab.

Normally I avoid seeking medical attention. I don’t think I’ll be able to this time. There’s no sensation that anything is ripped or torn: it’s just a pang, the muscles give way for a moment, and I do what I can to regain my composure.

The office, which does regular business with an occupational-health clinic, got me some chlorzoxazone, which relieves pain on a short-term basis. Clearly, though, there’s more here to deal with.

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It’s lube, Jim, but not as we know it

These are not, I insist, unreasonable questions:

I think the most difficult thing about being a Starship captain is choosing which speed to use. One day it’s, “Chekov, warp factor two.” The next day, “Chekov, warp factor three.” Is there a galactic speed limit? Also, do they need to change the oil every few hundred parsecs? I never questioned these things when I was younger. Now I want to know.

I suspect that quantum effects ultimately obviate the need for lubrication, on the highly questionable basis that any two particles in contact with one another will also simultaneously be somewhere else, thereby reducing friction to nominal at best.

As for the speed limit, I consulted Memory Alpha:

Faster-than-light travel began after warp one, whereas lower fractional values were sometimes used to measure sublight speeds. Spacecraft ordinarily traveled at a higher integer warp factor.

By the 24th century, infinite velocity was designated as warp factor ten. It was considered to be unattainable by conventional means. Because of this, extremely high warp factors were indicated with fractional values between nine and ten, such as warp 9.975.

How about unconventional means?

In 2267, the Nomad probe improved efficiency in the antimatter input valve and energy release controls on the Enterprise, allowing the ship to achieve at least warp 11. When this happened, Montgomery Scott was in disbelief. Captain James T. Kirk ordered Nomad to reverse the modifications though, as the structure of the Enterprise was not designed to handle the stress of that much power output.

Then again, this was still the 23rd century; true warp ten and Duck Dodgers were still decades away.

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Secaucus out

I admit, I would not have guessed this:

Over the years, New Jersey has led the nation in many things — toxic waste, population density, insults directed our way, and so on.

Add nakedness to the list.

Jerseyans like to grin and bare it — at home, anyway — more than residents of any other state, according to a new survey.

Trulia, the popular site for home buyers and renters, launched their #trulihome campaign by partnering with anonymous online sharing community Whisper to discover the most bizarre, unapologetic things people do at home.

The results were revealing. New Jerseyans were 142 percent more likely to admit to going au naturel at home than the residents of Louisiana, number two on the list. Rounding out the most naked top five: Mississippi, South Carolina and Rhode Island.

You could read the comments, I suppose, but you’ll quit the moment you see the name “Chris Christie.”

Maybe there’s a reason for this. I’d ask Fausta, but she’s moved out of state, and I suspect her answer would be something like “After paying taxes, nobody has any money for clothes.”

(Via Fark.)

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Here to remind you

I have to admit, if this was extemporaneous, it’s pretty good:

“She defined the music of her decade. She inspired a generation of confessional female singer-songwriters who all of a sudden felt like you could actually say these raw feelings you had. You could sing about your real life, you could put detail to it, you could get really really mad if you wanted to. And I think it’s fair to say that so many of the female singer-songwriters of my generation, including myself, would not write the way we do without her and her music. And she has written some of the most brilliant music — in particular probably inarguably the greatest breakup song of all-time.”

Other than “probably inarguably,” an oxymoron on the level of “pretty ugly,” this was a swell onstage introduction by Taylor Swift of an unscheduled guest star: Alanis Morissette, singing a legitimately great breakup song, “You Oughta Know.”

Although I do smile a bit when I consider that when “You Oughta Know” came out, Taylor Swift was five and a half years old.

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Last seen on the streets of Toledo


A New York City artist’s RedBall art installation has popped up around the world.

Brooklyn-based Kurt Perschke created the piece, which weighs 113 kilograms and stands 4.5 metres tall, in 2001. The project debuted in St. Louis, Mo.

Up to now, the ball has traveled far and wide, and has behaved itself. But a sudden storm in Toledo, Ohio motivated it to move out:

For the remainder of its stay, the ball was tied down.

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Zuckerberg doesn’t like your name

Facebook demands Real Names, and Facebook thinks itself the only judge of what names are Real:

A young married couple from Arizona are feeling blue, having been banned from Facebook for trying to use their otherworldly last name, Avatar.

Balizar Orion Avatar and his wife of four years, Audry, of Prescott, say the popular social media site has deleted the husband’s Facebook account after having deemed his family name fake.

Balizar, who goes by Boa for short, says his father told him that when translated from Sanskrit, his full name, which he was born with, means: “May the Lord protect the king, son of light in deity human form.”

In order to prove that they have not made up their last name, Balizar and Audry say Facebook has required them to provide copies of their driver’s licenses and other paperwork.

Why, they don’t even have blue skin!

Patrick Phillips observes:

I did a quick search of Anywho.com for anyone with the last name “Avatar.” It turns out that in about a half-millisecond, the site returned pages of results, from people living from California to New York and plenty of points in between.

While I’ve never known anyone with the last name Avatar, it is definitely a valid surname. Facebook could have come to that conclusion at least as quickly as I did, but it’s likely they set some code to watch for suspicious names to automatically flag, and, as anyone who’s had a problem with Facebook knows, once the giant makes a decision, even an automated one, getting to an actual human being to rectify the situation is about as easy as winning the Powerball lottery twice in the same month.

Hmmm. I wonder if they have a Pandora account.

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The audience is unfazed

I mean, it’s not too often I trot out something like this:

I learned that word several decades ago, and never anticipated that I’d ever get a chance to use it. But opportunity knocked, then ran around the corner and bashed in a window, so I couldn’t very well pass it up.

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Saks full

The famed New York store (which has a branch in Tulsa) sent this up Monday evening:

This is not your run-of-the-mill gladiator sandal by any means. I duly went to the Web storefront, and found:

Undulating swirls of crystal climb this dazzling knee-high sandal in a glamorous spin on the gladiator silhouette.

Depends on how high your knee is, I suppose. The, um, superstructure is 24.75 inches tall, sitting on a 4.13-inch heel. The straps — those are straps? — are adjustable. The price, at three grand, presumably is not.

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Wiser guys

From a couple of weeks ago:

Pretty much every issue of Car and Driver — and I’ve seen them all since 1978 — contains at least one bit of prose that simply screams “They’re trying to get nasty letters, aren’t they?”

The 2016 New Car issue, it turns out, is liberally salted with semi-salty stuff. A couple of examples:

Nissan Maxima: “Asking the Maxima to be a sports sedan is like asking Caitlyn Jenner to get back in her decathlon shorts. It just ain’t gonna happen.”

Land Rover Range Rover Evoque: “There’s also a low-speed cruise control for off-road excursions. It will never be used by any Evoque owner, ever.”

Smart Fortwo: “It’s also four inches wider than the outgoing car, finally allowing two adult humans to sit inside without touching in a Duggarly fashion.”

Dodge Durango: “A Brass Monkey appearance package (20-inch burnished-bronze wheels, gloss-black grille, and more odd embellishments) will hit the Durango later in the year and taste of malt liquor and orange juice.”

It’s like Alterman said “Dammit, it says Irreverence on the cover! Now get out there and Irrev!”

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It’s only just begun

Scottish singer/songwriter Amy Macdonald first got my attention with the brilliant single “Don’t Tell Me That It’s Over,” from her 2010 album A Curious Thing, which wasn’t released in the States, but that doesn’t matter anymore, does it?

She’s anything but a one-trick pony, it appears: the Daily Record out of Glasgow named her “Scottish Person of the Year” in 2008, and she was nominated twice for Scottish Fashion Icon, winning in 2014.

Amy Macdonald at the 2014 MTV European Music Awards

Amy Macdonald looking pensive

And this amuses me greatly:

In February 2013, she appeared in the Star in a Reasonably Priced Car segment of BBC’s Top Gear, driving a Kia Cee’d to a time of 1:44.4, the fastest lap time recorded for a female star at that time.

Jeremy Clarkson had a habit of pronouncing the name of that car “Cee-apostrophe-dee.” It’s not sold in the States. (Imagine that.)

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All those Antilles look alike

To a guy in a control room in New York, anyway:

Good thing they didn’t ask him to pinpoint Jamaica. He’d probably have stuck it somewhere among Canada’s Maritime Provinces.

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