The Dormouse had it right

After mentioning Jefferson Airplane’s relatively few forays into the Top Ten back in the day — yes, folks, it’s a Slick fixation we have here, or something — I figured it might be time to focus on the best of those tunes, “White Rabbit,” recorded in 1967 and included on their Surrealistic Pillow album. Everyone knows what it’s about, of course: all the Alice in Wonderland shtick is there, just like you remember it.

But there’s more going on here. This is, I would argue, the second-best homage to Ravel’s Boléro in all of pop/rock. (The best: Roy Orbison’s “Running Scared,” from 1961.) I admit, though, this didn’t become obvious to me until some enterprising soul kindly split up Grace Slick’s vocal track and the instrumental backing, in which things become so obvious even I can’t overlook them.

(With thanks to Tom Caswell.)

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It doesn’t tear me apart

So I was just sitting around, minding my own business, when this fell into my lap: a good old-fashioned fugue based on Adele’s “Hello.”

“I’ll be Bach,” she didn’t say.

(Via Classic FM.)

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You can’t spell “toilet” without “to let”

They say it’s purely voluntary, and maybe it is, for now. But I suspect this is the future of apartment hunting, like it or not:

The personal data you share with Facebook and other social platforms is a treasure trove of information that can, according to one UK startup, prove whether or not you would be a good tenant.

Score Assured wants to take the data you share privately and publicly with social media and sell it to individuals, employers, and landlords. Tenant Assured, the first tool in the company’s potential suite of data mining-and-selling resources, will connect with your social accounts and give landlords a report based on your data.

The company says it uses machine learning software to predict what your data means—from your personality to “financial stress.” It also rates the “risk” you would be as a tenant. Cofounder Steve Thornhill declined to tell me how exactly the company pulls private data from Facebook, claiming it was part of the company’s intellectual property.

Piece of cake. They went up to the Zuckerborg and said “Can we have a custom API? Here’s a whole bunch of sterling.”

In order to scrape your data and assess your worthiness, you have to give the company full access to your social accounts, from news feed posts to messages to tweets to employment data. You can pick which accounts you permit to be scraped, but if a landlord is asking for it and you’re desperately trying to find a new place to live, then you’re probably going to succumb to their requests, no matter how invasive.

“Users can feel reassured that this is not an invasion of privacy but always done with their explicit consent,” Thornhill said in an email. “We are empowering tenants to make a choice as to whether they would like to use their social media information to support their application for a rental property that they have got their eyes on.”

Another reason to justify why I’ve pretty much thrown the book open on everything I do: I figure I’m probably no worse off than anyone else, and data jackals aren’t getting paid for my life history.

(Via @SwiftOnSecurity.)

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I just canteloupe

Does one actually eat these?

Hello Kitty melon

The price is — well, you’ve seen worse:

[T]his year’s Hello Kitty Furano melons are an absolute steal at 5,500 yen (US$51.62) each. Grown in Furano, Hokkaido, one of the country’s best growing regions for the fruit, the special melon weighs roughly 1.8 kilograms (3.97 pounds), and stands out from its cheaper counterparts as the cutest in its field, with a distinctive Hello Kitty-shaped netting on its surface.

If this doesn’t sound inexpensive to you, do not read about the two non-Kitty melons auctioned off in Hokkaido last month for ¥3,000,000 the pair (US $27,240).

Only 300 will be available, and apparently they don’t ship outside Japan.

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Some days life is like that

And this is definitely one of them. (You’ll need to look at each graphic separately.)

(Via Chris Lawrence.)

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With a single jerk

I’m not entirely sure this individual has a grip on the concept:

Yahoo Answers screenshot: How do I find uploads that have been deleted from the internet?

The operative word, apparently, is “loads”:

For the longest while I’ve been told that you can never delete something from the internet. I was browsing pornhub the other day with the intent to pump one out; I had intended to use reliable material to get the job done. To my dismay I found that the said material had been deleted from pornhub. So there you have it, I’m on a quest to find this video so I can get my rocks off.

Shake hands with a loser. Or, better yet, don’t.

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Strange search-engine queries (541)

Well, if it’s Monday morning, it must be time for SSEQ. (It has been for the past decade, give or take a few weeks.) If you’ve somehow managed to miss this feature, it’s easily explained: a lot of traffic comes from the major search engines, a little bit more from the minor ones, and sometimes they’re looking for things which make perfect sense. Those aren’t the ones that appear here.

is pure nudism illegal:  I’m not even sure if it’s pure.

badge aztek hack:  You can hack the badge any way you like, but everyone will still know you’re driving an Aztek.

in the following scenario, which maxim is not being observed? david: so we climbed behind the waterfall, and there was this huge cave. it was amazing! zooey: that cloud looks like a bunny. david: what?  That’s funny, I don’t remember ever seeing Zooey in Maxim, and surely I’d remember something like that.

“high performance, delivery” “upskirt”:  Standards for wank material acquisition? Unpossible!

conjoined fanfiction:  Is this Rule 34 or 68?

why she stopped loving me:  She found out you were reading Siamese-twin porn.

pantyhose diaper tumblr:  Well, at least it isn’t Siamese-twin porn.

willie worker put in 42 hours last week at the widget factory. his base pay is $8.00 per hour and he gets time-and-a-half for any hours beyond 40:  And then they raised the minimum wage to $15 and replaced Willie with a Widgetization Module™.

achocolic:  Drunk surfing at its finest.

bite me urban dictionary:  And what did they ever do to you?

how much does berkelium cost:  Considering that world production in the last half-century is only a couple of grams, I think we can safely say that if you have to ask, you can’t afford it.

bialystock and bloom political consultants:  Best remembered for the song “Springtime for Donald.”

people who hate reality shows are really just old, humorless sourpusses. what propaganda technique does the writer employ in this statement?  Projection. Now get off my lawn.

who gets a 1099:  You get a 1099! And you get a 1099! Everybody gets a 1099!

swiftonsecurity doxxed:  Cortana, even as we speak, is dealing with the attempted “doxxer.” It will not be pretty when it’s over.

Addendum: I made reference to this last item yesterday, and got this for my trouble:

Hey, that’s what was asked for, and I gotta type ’em the way I see ’em. (The presumably pseudonymous Mr Kikesburg’s main purpose in life, judging by his timeline, is to object to that double X. Then again, I’ve seen worse.)

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34 points in its favor

I looked at “ixekizumab” and immediately thought: bad, make that really bad, Scrabble® rack. Well, no. For one thing, you’re only allowed seven letters. For another, this might be a serious medical breakthrough:

A new study has shown ixekizumab completely or almost completely cleared the disease in 80 per cent of patients with moderate to severe psoriasis.

Kim Kardashian West has spoken out in the past about her struggles with the condition, which causes red, itchy and painful patches, often on the star’s legs.

The new findings from three large, long-term clinical trials, are published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Well, okay, I’m not going to complain, even if it helps a Kardashian. But that name? Never, ever going to wash. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to, at least for now while the stuff is under patent. From the manufacturer’s site:

Taltz® is a prescription medicine used to treat adults with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis who may benefit from taking injections or pills (systemic therapy) or phototherapy (treatment using ultraviolet or UV light).

Five letters, 14 points. A decided improvement, if you ask me. Both the FDA and its European counterpart have approved the drug for this specific use (treating the heartbreak of psoriasis, not playing Scrabble).

(Via Interested-Participant.)

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Quote of the week

Some nimrod paying attention to everything but the traffic flow stopped dead at the top of the onramp, and if ever I wanted to see that giant foot from Monty Python’s Flying Circus come down, it was right then, right on that Elantra with the Extra Window Tint. But, you know, it could have been a hell of a lot worse:

The plural of anecdote is not data, of course, but as it turns out there is plenty of data to show that “distracted drivers” drive more slowly, are less aggressive in traffic, and are far less interested in passing the cars around them. All that “road rage” that had the media up in arms a few years ago? Turns out you can solve it pretty easily by giving drivers something to watch when they are stopped, or crawling along, in traffic. It has the same pacifying effect that the widespread availability of WiFi on planes has had on annoying conversational sallies from the insurance salesman in the window seat next to you.

Speaking strictly as a motorcyclist who has to deal everyday with a plague of two-ton, seventy-inch-tall vehicles moving at 70 miles per hour around him, I’d much rather deal with distracted drivers than angry ones. I have plenty of strategies to keep from being killed by people who aren’t paying attention, from watching my mirrors and splitting the lane at stoplights to watching the shoulders of the driver in the lane next to me for the twitch that always precedes an un-signaled lane change. But I have much less ability to avoid people who are driving much faster than the flow of traffic and swerving around out of temper or impatience.

And so it came to pass that I came to pass the Elantra, which would be no trick at 45 mph but not particularly easy when you have to do it while surrounded by Friday-afternoon commuters trying their best to do sixty in a 60 zone. I glanced over at the driver’s window, and I saw nothing but the silhouette of a bowed head. At this point, I prefer to think there was prayer going on.

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The small break gets slightly larger

From a couple of months ago:

[A]fter some third-grade arithmetic I determined that the escrow shortage would have been cleared with a mere $80 a month, but there’s no arguing with the bank on these matters. Perhaps, I figured, they will drop it next year after they’ve taken a few dives into the vault, à la Scrooge McDuck.

Comes the notification. Payment is dropping by $75 a month.

Further notification received. Payment is dropping by $12 more, and they sent me a check for $250.

I mean, I’m generally pretty happy with this bank, but there are times I wonder whether their fecal matter is properly aggregated.

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Many ticks of the clock

Growing older has its annoyances, particularly in the slow yet seemingly endless disintegration of one’s physical self. Still, there are things to celebrate about it, especially for women:

What about the benefits of finally not caring what other people think about you and how you do stuff? What about not giving a fig about dressing up for men but instead caring passionately about dressing up for yourself? What about those creative projects and business ventures that you’ve always wanted to do but haven’t had the time or the confidence to do? What about your deeply intimate and lasting friendships that you know will last you until you die? What about your gorgeous relationships with your children or other people’s children? What about the relaxation you feel about making love? Finally. what about discovering the value of the simple sides to life — gardens, nature, animals, meandering, holidays?

Still, there’s something that stings about this paragraph:

It was Marilyn Monroe’s birthday recently, and one of my Facebook friends wrote: “Marilyn would have been 90 today and everyone would have been complaining that she didn’t look 25.”

Yeah. The time to look twenty-five is when you’re seventeen.

(Just kidding. I think.)

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Buying American

A legendary “assault weapon,” often imported into the States, might some day be manufactured here:

AK-47s may soon be made in the United States, as the U.S. government is looking for sources of the ubiquitous assault rifle within the American manufacturing base.

The U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) announced in May it was conducting market research into making the Kalashnikov rifle on U.S. soil. In a notice placed on a federal opportunities website, SOCOM said it is soliciting manufacturers for the weapons or requesting proposals — which means it’s just looking, but not ready to buy.

The U.S. military does not regularly use AK-47s, but many of its allies and foreign partners rely on the weapon, along with similar arms developed by the Soviet-bloc.

“A U.S.-based source would be a good use of taxpayer funds, while also delivering the weapons our partners not only need to fight extremists, but also the ones they know how to use, know how to fix and have the supplies in their regions to maintain,” Lt. Cmdr. Matt Allen told the Tampa Bay Times Thursday.

The AK-47 is something less than a precision instrument: its 1940s Soviet design is the epitome of cheap and disposable. Probably explains why it’s still around after all these years.

(Via @Lee Harvey Griswold.)

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Improving precision

I’m sure you can see the necessity for this Wikipedia correction:

They should be so careful with all their entries.

(This is the Talk Page in question. Via Holly Brockwell.)

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Moore than almost anyone else

By the numbers: Maya Moore is twenty-seven today, and wears number 23; after four years of utterly stunning numbers at Connecticut, during which time the UConn women won 90 games in a row, she was drafted Number One (of course) by the WNBA’s Minnesota Lynx.

Maya Moore in uniform

Before you ask: she’s reported to be six feet tall.

Maya Moore out of uniform

And come to think of it, she’s produced rather a lot of amazing numbers:

Last night in a 110-78 win against the Atlanta Dream, she scored 19, with five rebounds and four steals.

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There Armani here among us

Hillary Clinton's infamous jacket… who feel that this entire discussion of Hillary Clinton’s pricey Armani jacket is but a joke:

People are saying mean things about Hillary’s wardrobe, particularly the $12,000 coat she appeared in recently. I think that’s a cheap shot. The coat is not becoming — she can’t carry it off. She looks like she picked it up at some store that features garments for older women. I can just see some upper middle class woman wearing it to church or to a do at the Women’s Club, and looking better in it than Hillary.

No kidding, I think I would look better in that coat than she does; she is not interested in looking attractive, and I am. Surely the pantsuits she wore in office were dreadful, but so was everything she wore, including her ugly hairstyle, which made her look like someone who does not visit her stylist often enough, or maybe doesn’t even have a hairstylist. She does not place a high value on her appearance, having more worthwhile things to concern herself with, like how many bombs to drop on ISIS this week or what to do about hunger. I’m not saying she shouldn’t spend a lot of money on her clothes; no one expects a millionaire in public life to shop at JCPenney.

Best handwave I’ve seen so far: someone imported into my tweetstream who swears that this shapelessness of hers is caused by bulletproof vests.

There is, I suggest, no point in getting worked up over the price of Mrs Clinton’s garb; she’s a private citizen and can spend her money any damned way she wants, and those who feel like yelling “But inequality!” can go whiz up a rope. This is not Pat Nixon’s Republican cloth coat. And let’s face it, you’ve seen worse.

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Future pejorative

“You … you frozen Elsa head!”

What? You say I should let it go?

(Via James Del Rey.)

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