Bare in the saddle

A reasonable question is raised, and then answered, on the subject of London’s World Naked Bike Ride:

First of all.. you may ask, why does it cost anything to take your clothes off and go for a ride around London. A good question, let me see if I can explain.

London WNBR has been going on for over 10 years and one of the earlier organisers was very proud of the fact that one year, he was able to organise the ride for 50 pence. The principle of WNBR is that it should not cost anything and that it should be totally environmental friendly.

As the years went by, some costs started to creep in, for example, it cost to produce some leaflets (on recycled paper), it costs to get some safety equipment, vests, arm bands, flags etc, these kind of costs were managed by the early organisers by selling small things, like flags on the day.

Then some authorities wanted administration fees, The Royal Parks, started on about £80 and went up to £100s, the police wanted administration fees. This required some additional fund raising which we managed to do.

Costs escalated, as costs will. And there’s this:

The biggest issue we have on WNBR is communications between each start leader and during the ride through busy streets of London when the ride gets split up and no one knows what’s going on. It is very difficult to keep control and respond to incidents when there is no communications.

We have tried many different methods, none have worked to any satisfaction for many reasons.

This year we would like to try a new technology that uses GSM (phones) network to send messages using Press To Talk method.

This we think has a good chance of working, but!!! It will cost about £450 to hire 12 handsets for the week.

I had £10 to spare — about $15 US — so I sent it in. I think this is best explained by the fact that I find it difficult to turn down a request by a woman who is not wearing anything. (Picture of said woman at the link, which might be NSFW at some places where you W, though she’s actually wearing sneakers and a bike helmet.)

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Bendier than thou

Nina Burri took her first dance lessons in her native Switzerland at the age of six, and, as the phrase goes, she learned her lessons well. Growing into model-level looks didn’t at all hurt:

Nina Burri not exactly driving in 2006

That was 2006, when she was twenty-nine. The next year she began studying at a Chinese school of acrobatics, and came out able to do this:

Nina Burri sort of stretches out

Let’s combine these two skills, shall we?

Well, I’m certainly impressed.

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Handy, but not in a good way

I’m hoping this is not a real product:

The Jerk Shirt from CamSoda

Gadgette explains:

The basic premise is that the shirt includes one fake arm, which disguises the fact that your real arm is under the fabric of the shirt, getting jiggy. Thankfully, the part of the shirt that might come into contact with your “manhood” (if you can still call it that after using this) is splash-proof and wipe-clean. Hooray!

I believe I speak for everyone here when I say “Ewwww.”

The, um, promotional video has about 400,000 views already.

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No one must ever know

Usually the guys who do this want to pretend that they wrote all that code. Then there’s this guy:

Yahoo Answers screenshot: How to remove template name from WordPress?

His motivations contain 50 percent more skulk:

I bought a WordPress template from a site for my business, and I want to know if there is a way to change the theme template name? I own a cafe and one of my competitors (who happens to be my ex-wife) figured out what template I’m using on my site and she bought the same template for her cafe site and now both of our sites look similar. I want to buy a new template but I want to know how I can prevent someone else learning what template I’m using. When someone goes to my site they are able to see what template I’m using when they look at the “Source Code” — how do I change that so the visitors (mainly my competition) can’t find out what template I’m using?

WordPress stores all the theme files in a themes/[theme name] directory; to conceal it would require rewriting every one of those files, plus all the code that connects to those files. It would almost be easier to write a theme from scratch, and there’s still the necessity of tweaking all that PHP. I’m thinking it might conceivably be done with a metric buttload of redirects, at the expense of speed: nothing makes people flee a site faster than lack of fastness.

Disabling right-click, which is where people usually try to View Source, is trivially easy via JavaScript. But it won’t do a thing to block, say, the Ctrl-U combination that Firefox devised.

And really, why did those two ever break up? They seem to be so perfect for each other in so many ways.

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A somewhat quieter stream

Classical-music performances may vary in length, often due to conductor preferences. (I have two recordings of Ravel’s Boléro, and one runs two minutes longer than the other.) So I’m not particularly worried if this piece was performed slightly faster than normal:

Then again, it could have been a sloppy editing job. You never know these days.

(Via Maria Dahvana Headley.)

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Friday night alone

“Why I didn’t go to prom” is a subject that has occasionally seen fit to reintrude itself at various times during the last 47 years, and since I have always felt that my own explanations were never quite satisfactory, I felt a twinge when Rebecca Black disclosed that she didn’t go either:

Although there’s probably more of a story here with these Zooey-esque bangs she’s wearing these days. (Did she finally get tired of the noticeable widow’s peak?)

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I shouldn’t worry about this

Then again, what’s the point of collecting statistics if you’re not going to look at them?

Six weeks or so ago, I had 1,450 subscribers to some feed or other, according to the little gizmo that counts them. This was the peak; the number began shrinking the next day, and bottomed out at 502 before rebounding. (It’s currently floating around 920; 750 of them are basically taking the entire blog feed, while the rest are subscribed to individual threads.)

I’d break this down further, but I’d probably wind up finding that I have only nine actual readers, and two of them are out of town.

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The name is killing me

But this was a thing in 1947, a thing a guy might not be shown:

Suspants by Blue Swan

Note the “Junior Miss Sizes”: 9 through 17.

Blue Swan Mills operated out of Sayre, Pennsylvania, hard by the New York State border; among other distinctions, Sayre has a newspaper called the Morning Times, which used to be called the Evening Times.

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Go peddle your papers elsewhere

This would be intrusive at any time of day, but at half past eight, it’s downright rude:

I decided that perhaps cleaning my toilet was more important than TV, so I was arm deep in the throne when it happened. The doorbell rang twice, not the ding dong of a normal person ringing my doorbell, more like ding a donga ding a donga. In a panic, I tried to rip my rubber gloves off but they were just stuck. The doorbell rang again. I proceeded to attempt to rush out of the bathroom but realized I had locked the door so the kids couldn’t come in while I was cleaning the toilet, and my gloves, that had decided they were all of a sudden my second skin, were too damn slippery to open the freaking door. Someone knocked loudly. I could hear it through the bathroom and my children’s bedrooms are right across from it. I was panicking. PLEASE DON’T WAKE UP MY KIDS, I screamed internally. The dog was pacing around, she hadn’t barked yet, but it was only a matter of time before she put on her “protection pants” and started warning me that there was someone that didn’t get the message the first time when I didn’t answer, incessantly trying to get my attention at the front door.

And for what? Of course, they were selling something.

My own rule is something like “If you come calling at 8:30, you better be delivering pizza.” Admittedly, this hasn’t happened a great deal in my neighborhood, and probably won’t be happening much: we are rather tightly networked around here. And I admit to occasional disproportionate responses, due to my somewhat-mercurial moods, though I haven’t done anything lately quite as drastic as, say, flashing the Jehovah’s Witnesses. (And hey, that was way back in 1977.)

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The house that Aubrey built v2.0

When word came down that American Energy Partners, the operation founded by Aubrey McClendon after departing Chesapeake Energy, was winding down toward an orderly end of business, the first thought that went through my head was something along the lines of “Well, at least they’re not filing for bankruptcy.” There have been a lot of restructurings, even a few liquidations, here in the Oil Patch, what with crude ranging from below $50 to way below $50.

My second thought was perhaps a tad more crass: “What happens to that supercool fitness center the company owned?”

But now, having had a night to think it over, what I really wonder was if McClendon had been anticipating this right before driving his Tahoe into a bridge abutment back in March.

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More than just lost in translation

This could have been one of those “You had one job” deals, if we knew whose job it was to do Column B:

Back of Walmart tape package

Wonder if they sell this product in Francophone Canada.

(From reddit via Miss Cellania.)

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Presumably feeling their oats

Absurdity? But the steel-cut variety:

Apparently Quaker Oats is not busy enough handling the lawsuit disputing its “100% natural” claim, or busy enough recalling Quaker Quinoa Granola Bars “due to a possible health risk,” or busy putting out PR fires about rejecting an 80-year-old man’s recipe for a contest because it was handwritten. Now Quaker Oats is trying to sue actual Quakers for infringing on the company’s trademark.

The notice “Quaker Oats threatens to sue us” was posted on the Orange County Friends Meeting, which is a religious society of Quakers. Quaker Oats objects to the business name “Quaker Oats Christmas Tree Farm” and demanded the Quakers immediately stop all use of the “Quaker Oats name” because it says using the trademark is misleading.

Um, no. For one thing, they got the business name wrong, as the society tried to explain to Quaker Oats:

[Y]ou have misspelled our company name which is Quaker OAKS Christmas Tree Farm. Our farm was so named because religious services were held outdoors on this farm under a great oak tree until about ten years ago when we were able to move into our new Meetinghouse on another corner of our farm.

Our business is 100% owned and operated by Quakers. I suspect that your firm employs considerably fewer, if any, Quakers. We trace our Quaker ancestors back 320 years and they were mostly farmers, but I don’t know how many of them grew oats for your company. My guess is that you may be selling far more Lutheran oats, Methodist oats, or maybe atheist oats. Could your company be guilty of product source misrepresentation?

Shouldn’t have taken more than 3 minutes to clear this up.

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Meanwhile on the Distressway

This is going to screw up traffic at least through the summer:

This is approximately the 5500 block of May, about half a mile from me.

I suppose the only real question is why it took so long: the ratio of pavement to patches dropped below 1:1 several years ago.

Addendum: I’ve talked about this bridge before. Apparently someone not capable of judging heights tried to drive under it.

Further addendum: Says it all, doesn’t it?

Screen cap from KOKH-TV

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Tomorrow the wrinkles

I had to look twice at this to believe it even once:

Underarm sweat is one of life’s annoyances that we’ve pretty much come to accept as inevitable. But a New York-based dermatologist named Whitney Bowe thinks she might have found the solution. It’s called “microwaving,” and if you’re picturing someone sticking their arm and shoulder into a microwave, you’re not too far off.

The practice actually involves a device called MiraSmooth, which uses the same technology as a microwave to help prevent both underarm hair and sweat from creeping out at inopportune moments. We’ve heard about people getting Botox in their armpits to prevent excessive sweating (called hyperhidrosis) and this seems like the same idea.

It is, of course, pricey:

Microwaving our armpits certainly sounds like a miracle procedure for those of us who choose to shave or are frustrated by our underarm sweat, but we’re not sure we’re ready to shell out thousands of dollars for it. We have more important things to microwave (like popcorn).

Then again, badly-microwaved popcorn smells as bad as, if not worse than, your underarms.

(Title swiped from Stan Freberg.)

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I ain’t ‘fraid of no downvote

The response to the first trailer from the Ghostbusters reboot was so negative that Sony spent a few bucks making another one:

That first trailer drew three downvotes per upvote. This one is getting four.

Still, if these are the second-string jokes, they can forget about billing this as a comedy.

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Another satisfied customer

Wouldn’t be this guy:

Twelve dot four has little to recommend it, unless you were horribly put out by the cavalier treatment of the sidebar in earlier versions. And it’s already ticked me off for something entirely different: if I decide to add an entire album to the Play Next function, the album will be played in reverse order, last track to first. Abbey Road, for instance, will start with “Her Majesty.” Worse, I happened to find this out on the Trent Reznor/Atticus Ross soundtrack for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, which has 39 tracks.

Dear Apple: I’d tell you to quit when you’re ahead, but you’re not ahead anymore.

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