Like so much space junk

Any Rockets-Thunder game is going to have that extra dash of je ne sais quoi, what with that whole James Harden thing, plus the long-standing Beverley-Westbrook animosity. What it didn’t have was a whole lot of drama: Houston took command fairly early and gradually pulled away as time wore: 55-49 at the half, 86-77 after three, and double digits in the fourth. The Thunder fought back, wearing that lead down to one (96-95) inside the three-minute mark. At 0:16 it was still a one-point game, 100-99. Patrick Beverley harrassed Russell Westbrook enough to force a turnover; Trevor Ariza was fouled, delivered two free throws, and the last OKC possession ended in an airball. Houston 102, Oklahoma City 99, evening the season series at 1-1, with two games yet to play down in H-town.

Thunder shooting, it seemed, consisted of missed threes (they went 7-28) and point-blank shots that simply refused to go. Westbrook, despite yet another triple-double (27-10-10), shot an improbably horrid 8-25. Meanwhile, Steven Adams was 8-9 for 24 points, a career high, with 10 rebounds. And come to think of it, Harden came pretty close to logging a triple-double for Houston, with 24 points, nine boards and 10 assists. The stat that most sears the eyeballs, though, is bench output: the Rocket reserves put up 44 points, versus 24 for OKC, which explains as well as anything else why the Thunder fell behind in the second quarter and stayed there. And yeah, Beverley gave the ball the old heave-ho at the buzzer, not because he expected to collect three points from 60 feet out, but because (I’m guessing) he thought it would annoy Westbrook.

The Celtics will be here Sunday, as defensive-minded as the Rockets are shot-happy, and probably just as hard to beat. We shall see.


Fark blurb of the week


I go to pieces

Del Shannon, at least, had an excuse:

Me, I’m just somewhere near the end of my rope. God forbid, though, that anyone should discover that I have a rope to be near the end of.

And come to think of it, Del had problems of his own.


All you need is one

Brent Scher has come up with the Top Ten reasons Andy Puzder, CEO of CKE Restaurants, is a swell choice for Secretary of Labor in the Trump administration. We’ll just recount one of them here:

And that was Number Ten.

Ed Driscoll, who posted the link at Instapundit, cracks in classic Letterman style: “From the home office in the third booth in the Ardmore, Oklahoma Carl’s Jr.” According to Yelpers, the Ardmore Carl’s Jr. has closed.

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Lake of the ages

Greg Lake might have been my favorite of all the progressive-rock vocalists; he was always clear and forceful, no matter what instrumental backing you threw behind him.

Roger turned this up. It’s Lake’s vocal track from “Epitaph,” from the middle of King Crimson’s In the Court of the Crimson King, a justly famed landmark in prog-rock. (The band had only eight tracks to work with, so instrumental bits and pieces sneak in from time to time.)

And from later days, “From the Beginning,” a song Lake wrote during his Emerson, Lake and Palmer days, here performed live by Lake, probably from his 2012 “Songs of a Lifetime” tour.

Lake died Wednesday of cancer; he was 69. Carl Palmer is still alive; Keith Emerson killed himself earlier this year. And God (or Robert Fripp) only knows how many members of King Crimson survive.

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Snitch marketing

This flyer has turned up on a couple of college campuses, and it’s probably reasonable to expect there will be more of them:

If you believe someone is an illegal immigrant there are ways you can report them to the authorities

Obviously this isn’t an official publication of the Department of Homeland Security. Debra Monroe, a professor at Texas State University in San Marcos, reports seeing them on her campus; others have appeared on the East Coast.

That’s a real URL, though.

“We are entering,” says the flyer, “an era of law and order in this country.” I dunno. Ratting people out might be legal, but it hardly seems orderly.

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Meanwhile in vitro

I don’t think there’s any way to top this headline. Sofía Vergara sued by her own embryos:

The battle over Sofia Vergara’s embryos took an extraordinary turn Tuesday — when a right-to-live lawsuit was filed on behalf of the fertilized eggs against their mom.

The female embryos are listed as plaintiffs “Emma” and “Isabella” in Louisiana court papers, which come amid Vergara’s knock-down, drag-out legal battle with former fiancé Nick Loeb, sources told The [New York] Post.

Loeb had already sued the Modern Family star in California for custody of the embryos, which the couple ­created when they were still together in 2013.

The potentially landmark new case in Louisiana — a traditionally pro-life state that offers special legal protections for frozen embryos — also lists the embryos’ “trustee,” James Charbonnet, as a plaintiff, sources said.

Loeb went public with his concerns quite a while back.

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Still popping after all these years

Gershon Kingsley’s original “Pop Corn,” even unplugged, occupies a distinct (and slightly salty) niche in the annals of electronic music. Upon hearing a rumor that someone had put together a ten-hour version, I was mystified, but there were enough Related Videos to make my venture worthwhile.

For instance, there is metal Popcorn:

There is dubstep Popcorn (with a violin!):

And there is Popcorn under glass:

Finally, a techno Popcorn:

(Oh, that “10-hour” rumor? Absolutely true.)

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On Scott Pruitt

Some folks seem alarmed that Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, Donald Trump’s choice to head the Environmental Protection Agency, has actually spent a fair amount of time fighting the EPA, and the Usual Suspects are quite aware of that:

Grunwald writes for Politico, so undoubtedly he’s suffering some amount of butthurt these days, but there’s nothing extreme or even really remarkable about his observation: it’s been replicated in some form or other all across the Left.

On the other hand, there have been times when I wondered if the Agency hadn’t given up on actual environmental protection in favor of politicized environmental protection, in which all decisions are made to support The Narrative at the expense of everything else:

A major water infrastructure bill introduced Monday by the Republican leadership would put states back in charge of enforcing one of the Environmental Protection Agency’s costly coal rules, while making sure the agency pays for the damage it caused states during last year’s toxic waste water spill in Colorado.

The new Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation bill includes pending water resources and water waste bills, as well as significant tribal and natural resources legislation, and other important measures to improve the nation’s infrastructure, according to a fact sheet.

“Fact sheets” are, well, not always factual, though dissembling was and is a bipartisan activity of the worst kind. Then again, EPA hasn’t exactly rushed to take care of that toxic waste, have they? If Pruitt’s mission is to strangle EPA in its crib, as Betsy DeVos is supposed to be dismantling the Department of Education — well, think how much we’ll save in the long run if the states resume control of functions that Washington was never Constitutionally authorized to perform.

Of course, some states are in better shape than others. I’m thinking back to January:

Attorney General Scott Pruitt sent a letter Monday to Gov. Mary Fallin and legislative leaders, asking that about $6 million in state appropriations for his office be withheld in the next budget in view of financial problems affecting the state.

A hole of about $900 million is expected in the next state budget as revenues have fallen because of a downturn in the oil industry.

And hey, you can’t have things like agency heads asking for budget cuts. It’s un-American, for certain spendthrift values of “American.”

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Alexa is coming

Notification from Amazon last night:

Alexa, the brain behind Amazon Echo, is now available on Fire tablets. Voice responses from Alexa are enhanced with visuals for certain questions. See your calendar, view the weather forecast, play music and Audible books, see sports scores, and more. When connected to Wi-Fi, just press the home button for 1 second and ask:

  • “How’s the weather?”
  • “Tell me a joke.”
  • “Reorder paper towels.”
  • “What’s my Sports Update?”
  • “Add laundry to my to-do list.”

If you really loved me, Alexa, you’d figure out some way to keep laundry off my to-do list.

(I think it’s time to watch Her again.)


Still living in infamy

Bill Quick on the 75th anniversary of Pearl Harbor:

This was the second worst sneak attack on the American homeland in our history. We still remember it. Well, those of us who haven’t had their brains washed clean of that history by a malign progressive indoctrination system masquerading as education.

The worst attack was, of course, carried out by savage, barbaric Muslim Saudis on September 11, 2001. We’re supposed to forget that one, too, I believe.

In time, it is all forgotten.

But this isn’t the time.

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The sin of gluteny

Joe Bob Briggs is going to explain this, just this once:

Gluten is a Latin word meaning “glue” and it’s the substance that makes dough elastic so we can shape it into bread, noodles, grits, tortillas, cakes, soy sauce, pies, beer, pretzels, macaroni, bagels, candy, cereal, croutons, lunch meat, salad dressing, potato chips, soup, and Belgian waffles. You might have noticed something about that particular food group. It’s stuff that tastes good.

But because we live in a masochistic bulimic anorexic food-hating universe of nutzoid crusaders who want to sell us colon scrapers and Lake Titicaca Quinoa Seeds, we have to get rid of it precisely because it tastes good.

What’s that? Oh, yes. Celiac disease. I know someone who has it. Probably so do you. That leaves, what, 198 people we know who don’t?

Then again, I’m having a snit these days because I have to push around a metal frame to get anywhere and I can’t force people to open the door for me.

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Baby remains on board

If you’re clueless enough to forget that you’re hauling a kid in the back seat, General Motors has a vehicle for you.

GM Rear Seat Reminder

Or will have soon, anyway:

Having made its debut in the 2017 GMC Acadia earlier this year, the technology aims to prevent heatstroke-related deaths and reduce the number of children left unattended in parking lots.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration lists heatstroke as one of the leading causes of non-traffic vehicle-related fatalities for children under fourteen. According to, that works out to an average of 37 fatalities per year. The majority of the time, those children were simply forgotten in the back.

GM’s Rear Seat Reminder works by monitoring the vehicle’s rear doors. The feature activates whenever a rear door is opened and closed within 10 minutes before the vehicle is started, or if they are opened and closed while the vehicle is already running. When the vehicle is turned off after a door activation, the system sounds five audible chimes and a display message reminder drivers to “Look in Rear Seat.”

This system makes certain assumptions: that the kid hasn’t been in there for more than ten minutes, and that the alleged adult at the wheel isn’t whacked out on meth.

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How dare you be hard-working!

What a horrible thing to say to a woman:

Professors reveal their gender bias and hurt female science students when they write letters of recommendation describing them as “hard-working,” “kind,” or “conscientious,” one lecturer told Oxford physics students last month.

Athene Donald, a Cambridge experimental physics prof, recounted her Oxford lecture in a blog post republished by Times Higher Education. She claims that “gendered adjectives” in letters of recommendation are a “significant detriment to the woman’s progression even without a sexist intent.”

“Gendered adjectives,” which should supposedly be avoided, also include “dependable,” “warm,” and “diligent,” according to a University of Arizona guide [pdf] that Donald references.

Fortunately, “fucking stupid” is satisfyingly generic.

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We wouldn’t shih tzu

McG explains: “[It’s] what you get if you don’t watch where you step.”

It could be worse. Imagine the Jerry Springer Spaniel.

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Enchanted by an older woman

Some things never, ever change:

Dear Jaxon: Just a warning. This way lies madness. I’ve been there.