A state of Jiflessness

I did not pick up a fresh jar of peanut butter today at the supermarket, and I didn’t even think about it until I got to reading the mail and found this recommendation by Jeffery Self on the back page of The Advocate:

One of the main reasons life is worth living. To those people who are allergic, I can only apologize: you are truly missing out on one of the world’s great pleasures — but honestly, it’s not my problem. I strongly advocate going into your kitchen right now and dipping your largest spoon in a jar of peanut butter, then slowly eating it. Did you do it? You’re welcome. Unless you’ve just realized you’re allergic to peanut butter, in which case call 9-1-1.

Alas, there is not enough left in the jar to fill my largest spoon, or either of the next two down.

By way of introduction, Mr. Self is the author of Straight People: A Spotter’s Guide to the Fascinating World of Heterosexuals (Philadelphia: Running Press, 2013).

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Imaginary haters gonna hate imaginarily

It’s been an unusually rich (and therefore unusually annoying) week for phishers. This one was titled “Got some bad news for you”:

YOUR NAME IS BEING TARNISHED by negative information online

What can you do to prevent this?

Give up the blog. Seriously. Nobody writes as much negative information about me as I do, and very likely nobody ever will.

Right now, view your current online record id #: HJUR843HI to see what damaging aspects of your life were posted Wednesday.

Wouldn’t it be terrible if your loving family, current boss, the people you live beside, or your close friends see this embarrassing and potentially career ending information?

DO SOMETHING NOW: Time is not on your side

Speaking of “wouldn’t it be terrible,” wouldn’t it be terrible if you were trying to pull off a scam like this and you left this as your go-to link?

file:///Users/adamgoldstein/Desktop/MONSTER/07-11-13/*%20W4-INSTANTCHECKMATE_3543_A1_0711/http://www.shipwhile.com/instantcheckmate/ww.htm

Dishonest and stupid. I expect he’ll be on a ballot somewhere by 2018, if not sooner.

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No Schmitt, Sherlock

Jack Baruth has assumed the top spot at The Truth About Cars, replacing Bertel Schmitt, and I couldn’t be happier for him. Baruth occupies a singular spot in the motor-noter continuum, which I would approximate as follows:

[David E. Davis Jr.] + [track experience] – [tweed] – [discretion]

The new Editor-in-Chief would like to thank his believers, his fans, and yes, even his detractors:

Every Mom’s-basement loser who penned furious screeds against me with Cheetos-stained fingers. Every S2000-driving wannabe drifter who hid in the tower at Mid-Ohio when I showed up there. Every suck-ass club racer who was holding me up on-track and went crying to the Internet or the sanctioning bodies. Every angry husband or beta boyfriend or white-knight orbiter who found themselves on the losing end of the battle for a woman’s heart, soul, or other parts. You have no idea how many times I would have quit writing about cars if I hadn’t known it would gratify the legions of people who have done nothing with their lives but piss and moan about what I’m doing with mine. You’re the biggest motivation I have. Every time I meet a new fan at a new racetrack or slide my Amex through the machine for another custom-shop guitar I say a silent prayer of thanks that you’re still there egging me on. Keep it up.

In what surely must be an act of faith, I have actually registered as a user on TTAC, something I hadn’t done in its three previous incarnations.

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Warrens without rabbits

New Zealand, by and large, is not burdened with the sort of nouveau urbanists who clutter up the American cityscape: the Kiwis simply haven’t been properly indoctrinated into the Density Über Alles mindset. To address this deficiency, Auckland imported Harvard economist Edward Glaeser, with exactly the results you’d expect:

He says the Auckland Council’s unitary plan — outlining regional growth over the next 30 years, is not bold enough.

And residents also need to get real if they want the city to grow into an exciting place that continues to drive the national economy.

The quarter acre dream is simply not sustainable.

There’s that word “sustainable” again, tortured into its current definition of “fits into our idea of a master plan, and maybe we should capitalize the M in Master because it reflects the reality we propose to impose.”

Mr Glaeser urges the council to be more aggressive in upzoning core urban areas as its works to solve regional housing issues.

That means building multi-storied buildings to create an exciting, pedestrian based city centre and avoiding suburban areas of medium density that only contribute to wider traffic congestion.

With 20 to 30 storeys in central Auckland you can produce massive amounts of space, Mr Glaeser says.

The assumption made in all these cases is that if there are enough “amenities” stacked in corner lots like cordwood, people won’t ever want to leave the center of town — which is a good thing, because it’s hard to maintain surveillance on a population that won’t keep still.

Deputy Mayor Penny Hulse is not impressed with this pitch:

[S]he says it would be difficult to develop the central city to the same extent as others around the world, given Auckland’s unique geographical shape.

“We’re not exactly the same as Vancouver or Houston. By just shoving everything into the city centre is when you put the city most at risk.”

Disclosure: I own a quarter acre (actually 0.26) in Oklahoma City, which admittedly is not exactly the same as Vancouver or Houston.

Says Aaron Renn, the Urbanophile, from whom I swiped this story: “Ed Glaeser would have more credibility if he actually lived in the city instead of the suburbs himself.” Yep.

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Sometimes at sixteen you do this

Rebecca Black, apparently trying out the visage de canard, contemplates those mysterious creatures known as guys:

I am reasonably certain she will never be as confused about guys as I was about girls at that age.

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With a gasp and a CHKDSK

So I arrived at the Sharknado Tank at my usual 6:30ish, clicked the Big Red Switch on the power strip, and watched the work box fail to boot.

Thirty-four times. (Normal is just short of 2.)

The New Hardware Kid stumbled onto the premises, popped open the box, and stared in disbelief as the CPU and the heat sink/fan combo finally got the separation they’d been yearning for, ever since the plastic bracket that used to hold them together started to disintegrate.

Fortunately for me, corporate policy has always been to buy a whole lot of mediocre commodity machines rather than a handful of good ones, so it was a matter of minutes before NHK turned up an identical-looking box with an identical-looking motherboard. Various components were swapped, and I was back up and running by noon. The alternative — take delivery of a newer box and start moving a quarter of a million files — was too horrible to contemplate, though it will be forced upon me when Microsoft finally declares Windows XP dead next spring. (How old are these boxen? We’re talking Socket 754 here.)

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Not to mention various Yares

A piece about the Levin ZR variant of the Toyota Corolla, which apparently will not come to the States — those crazy Americans hate hatchbacks — drew this quasi-lexicographical comment:

  1. Could it be that Toyota wants to sell their Matrixes before introducing a car that would halt the sale of Matrixes.
  2. Shouldn’t the plural of Matrix be Matrices?
  3. Does Toyota name cars with the sole intent of subverting the English language when they pluralize the name?

As Troilus would tell you, there is only one Cressida, faithless though she be. (This remains my favorite model name ever.)

Then again, one must deal with Prii.

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An extra helping of phish

After all, I presumably will be able to afford it presently:

Dear Email Owner,

My name is Gloria C. Mackenzie, i am 84 years old, and I am from Zephyrhills, Florida.

On June 5, 2013, I was declared the winner of $590 Million Dollars, the largest Powerball jackpot in history.

After much consultations with my attorney, My Son and I have voluntarily decided to donate the sum of $1,500,000.00 USD to your email address, this being part of our 2013 Millionaire Donation Project to financially support seven(7) lucky people and ten(10) charity organisations from different parts of the world.

Your email was luckily selected via a Google & Facebook sponsored email-draws, and we decided to put this on the internet for the world to see in other to relinquish any doubts. Please follow the News Link below for more info.

The News Link goes to an actual ABC News story about the Powerball win, but that’s not part of the highly dubious form I’m supposed to fill out.

And I’ll believe dogs and cats living together before I believe Google and Facebook could be teaming up on anything.

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Quote of the week

There is ordinary butthurt, and there is Special Edition Butthurt:

[I]t’s a butthurt wrapped in an agenda shrouded in a vendetta drizzled with pettiness and rolled in a crunchy nougat of simple greed.

If you’re curious, and you probably should be, Tam was referring to this.

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Needleless to say

Yet another advantage to all this “extra” carbon dioxide in the atmosphere:

[T]he chemical predecessor necessary for manufacturing heroin, morphine, increases in poppy plants when carbon dioxide goes up. In fact, since atmospheric carbon dioxide has increased from 300 ppm to 400 ppm over the past 100 years, morphine levels in poppy plants have followed suit. This trend will continue into the next century, as carbon dioxide levels continue to rise. Not only that, the higher carbon dioxide makes for larger plants with more and larger capsules (poppy straws) where the morphine is extracted from. So, like big-ass, potent poppy plants with loads of morphine.

The Wicked Witch of the West is probably cackling about it even as we speak.

(Via Tim Blair.)

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Your home for classic gravel

From Mel Bracht’s straightforward Oklahoman story about the upcoming bloody dismemberment of KRXO in favor of yet another sports station:

Classic Rock KRXO, which had been at 107.7, will move to a new frequency at FM 104.5, the company announced. According to the news release, KRXO’s lineup of Bob and Tom, Cara Rice, Buddy Wiley, Kelso, Unkle Dave and Rick Caldwell are expected to move to a much smaller signal on 104.5.

How much smaller? A query to the FCC and a subsequent Google Maps overlay produced this map of the station’s “60 dBu Service Contour,” which defines the area in which a station is protected against interfering signals on the same frequency, and which is generally considered to be the station’s service area:

Service area for K283BW translator to carry KRXO programming

And there are stations on 104.5 at Pryor (this is Z104.5 the Edge in Tulsa), Mooreland, and eventually Wynnewood. I’m sort of amazed they could squeeze even a 250-watter (which is what this is) in the midst of all that.

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It’s probably about 666 now

Now the phishers are playing the credit-score angle:

This morning 07-10-2013 11:22:51, all 3 major credit bureaus approved an increase to your credit score.

However, the increase cannot take effect without your verification.

Please take the time to review this info for its accuracy —>

No need. Its accuracy is quite obvious: zero. None. Zip. Zilch. Bupkes.

Weirdly, this is alleged to be signed by one Vivian Jacobs at postingoh.net; the sneaky links in fact go to postingoh.net. Amateur fraudsters, these. (And since Whois says this domain was created yesterdayrank amateur fraudsters.)

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She’s got your number, son

If you come to see She & Him, you will quickly discover that She doesn’t want you taking pictures:

The American indie duo made up of Zooey [Deschanel] and M. Ward have been on tour with album, Volume 3, in the US since June.

But the stunning actress and singer/songwriter has been putting up signs to stop people from frantically snapping pictures and recording videos because she wanted her fans to enjoy the music.

So we will have none of this:

Zooey Deschanel at the piano

“Not much of this,” I suspect, is more likely.

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Something to agitate

The Consumerist suggests this feature on your next washing machine:

Auto-load sensing: Instead of guessing what is a “small” or “large” load and wasting water accordingly, the machine figures it out for you.

“There are small loads?” — Every Mother, Everywhere

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Minor site issues

Load times were creeping upward this weekend, then jumped into the stratosphere shortly thereafter. I have shuffled the plugins slightly and reworked the cache, which may have helped somewhat. Also, while perusing the logs, I discovered an anomaly: bots of some sort trying to leave spam on the old Movable Type blog, which hasn’t existed for nearly five years. About fifteen minutes later, I had what I think is a permanent solution for that, including a redirect to Sheol.

Please report any anomalies other than the usual ones.

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Nothing but the tooth

Is the dreaded root canal on the way out?

Scientists have made advances in treating tooth decay that they hope will let them restore tooth tissue — and avoid the painful dental procedure. Several recent studies have demonstrated in animals that procedures involving tooth stem cells appear to regrow the critical, living tooth tissue known as pulp.

It’s still experimental, but there is hope:

Dental stem cells can be harvested from the pulp tissue of the wisdom and other types of adult teeth, or baby teeth. They can produce both the hard tissues needed by the tooth, like bone, and soft tissues like the pulp, says Dr. [Rena] D’Souza, a former president of the American Association for Dental Research who will become the dean of the University of Utah’s School of Dental Medicine Aug. 1.

She and colleagues at Baylor and Rice University focused on regrowing pulp using a small protein hydrogel. The gelatin-like substance is injected into the tooth and serves as a base into which pulp cells, blood vessels and nerves grow.

I have sacrificed a couple of back teeth rather than enter the Torture Chamber, and I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one.

(“Faster, please,” says Rand Simberg.)

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