Coldest before the sunrise

The Historical Weather item on NWS Radio this morning pointed to record highs on this date in 2011 — 80°F in Oklahoma City, 84 in Wichita Falls, 73 in Nowata — and then noted that record lows had been set just seven days before. I distinctly (accent on “stinct”) remember hitting five below. Which is a hell of a swing: 85 degrees Fahrenheit in one week. Still, that’s February in this state, and 85 isn’t even that notable. Look at Nowata. On 10 February 2011 they got down to a ghastly -31°F, followed by that rebound to 73. That’s a 104-degree swing.

Lynn was dealing with twenty below on that day in 2011:

It actually doesn’t feel that much colder than -10° but maybe I needed to stay out a little longer to really feel it. I keep looking at the weather forecast for the next seven days and seeing that it predicts 65°F for the middle of next week and it seems like the ravings of some lunatic prophet. Can it ever really be that warm again?

It can, and sure enough, it was. Even Boston and New York will thaw at some point this year — though probably not in one week.

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Before you even get to mood

First you must establish the voice:

But the absolute best of us don’t even have to mention donuts at all:

Color me awed.

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Always be careful where you stick it

You never know when something like this may pop up:

I have no idea what the words outside the dialog box mean, but I suspect a Blue Screen of Death is either imminent or present.

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Gee, your car smells horrific

One actual Chinese automobile manufacturer — Guangzhou Automobile Group — showed actual Chinese automobiles at the North American International Show in Detroit, with greatest emphasis on the GS4, a wee SUV with questionable offroad capabilities. The last-generation-Kia looks weren’t too offputting, but oh, the stench!

Standing about 18-24 inches from the car, in the open doorway, the chemical odor was stronger than any “new car smell” I’ve ever experienced. If this is what it smelled like in the relatively cool concourse of Cobo Hall in January, one can only imagine how strong the offgassing would be on a hot summer day with the car sitting in the sun.

Still, I give GAC props for the “GS4″ name: it makes Cadillac’s upcoming “CT6″ sound just as callow and boring as it really is.

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We never owned her

What a life Lesley Gore had: a #1 hit while she was still in secondary school, production by the peerless Quincy Jones, a guest slot on the Batman TV series, an actual album for Motown, and finally true love.

“It’s My Party” was the big hit, but this was her anthem:

The fact that the song was written by a couple of guys — John Madara and David White, also composers of such tumultuous tunes as “442 Glenwood Avenue” by the Pixies Three — didn’t matter in the least; nor did the blatant patriarchy-ness of Lesley’s followup, “That’s the Way Boys Are,” by two different guys (Mark Barkan and Ben Raleigh).

Lesley’s official coming-out was about ten years ago, but before that there was Grace of My Heart, a grievously undernoticed Brill Building saga from 1996, written and directed by Allison Anders, to which Gore contributed a lyric. “My Secret Love,” sung by Miss Lily Banquette, then of Combustible Edison, is as blatant as anything in the k. d. lang songbook, and it even sounds like Gore.

I reviewed “Ever Since,” her most recent album, in 2005. I never imagined it would be her last.

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This much, and no more

What the hell kind of deal is this?

I live in a town where there is a “cap” on Internet users. The limit was reached about 6 yrs ago and unless someone cancels there’s you can’t get it. There’s a long list of people waiting, hundreds, so I don’t think I’ll ever be able to get it. Some of my neighbors have it and have agreed to split the bill and share it. There is about 200ft of thick pine trees between all houses. What are my options here? Dish Internet is a joke so please don’t recommend that. I know sharing the Internet is frowned upon but it’s 2015 and the Internet service providers are dragging their feet.

Yeah, well, that’s what ISPs do.

Still, you have to figure that whoever negotiated this franchise deal for the municipality had to have been way out of his depth — or that the ISP is substantially less competent than average. Or maybe both.

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Not approved by the American Phlegm Institute

After five days of antibiotics to aid my bladder issues, it seemed the perfect time for some rogue virus to wander by and torment me for a week or so. As is often the case with such infections, there was a lot of sneezing at sub-ludicrous speed:

The Guinness Book of Records has the record set at 115 m/ph.

Up to 40,000 droplets (particles) can be ejected from your nose and can travel a distance of 2 to 3 metres.

And from this chair, that’s quite enough to splatter the monitor with something vaguely reminiscent of greasy, grimy gopher guts.

Which inevitably led me to this perfectly deadpan description:

Dating back to at least the mid-20th century, the song is sung to the tune of “The Old Gray Mare”. The song, especially popular in school lunchrooms and at summer camps, presents macabre horrors through cheerful comedy while allowing children to explore taboo images and words especially as they relate to standards of cleanliness and dining. Many local and regional variations of the lyrics exist, but whatever variant, they always entail extensive use of the literary phonetic device known as an alliteration which helps to provide an amusing description of animal body parts and fluids not normally consumed by Americans.

At the bottom of the page was a reference to Loudon Wainwright III’s “Dead Skunk”, which seemed logical; however, I did not in any way expect to find this:

The song has replaced the traditional “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” as the 7th inning stretch song at Georgia Institute of Technology Russ Chandler Baseball Stadium.

Okay, you wouldn’t expect the Ramblin’ Wrecks to be droning “Sweet Caroline,” but geez.

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Strange search-engine queries (472)

If your next question is “Why does this feature appear on Monday?” the answer is that it serves as a reset to the week, a kick out of glorious weekend mode and a return to the drably usual and/or the usually drab. At least, that’s the excuse I’m using this week.

1986 mazda 626 tyre sizes:  Um, did it ever occur to you to look on one of your actual tyres? They don’t emboss all that stuff on the sidewall to look cool at motorway speeds.

“kim rollins” “first blog”:  At the moment, you stand a better chance of finding an autographed copy of the Gospel of Luke.

what most common CD4E part to fail:  The fluid, of course.

poynhvb:  Seventy points in Scrabble if you play it all at once.

car dealers have realized how profitable it can be to sell automobile using the web. pretend you work for a local car dealership that is part of a large chain such:  that it will consolidate all its franchises into a single superstore and let go half the staff. It was always such.

kc auto dealer girlfreinds sluts:  Okay, maybe not half the staff.

tpir gwendolyn osborne xxx:  Going to play Pocket Plinko, are you?

pulsating lights in 1999 Mazda 626:  I suppose it’s better than LEDs below the door frames.

warner brothers loss leader prices:  Then: two bucks. Now: the sky’s the limit.

nudist publications from the 1950s:  Then: five bucks. Now: the sky’s the limit.

pictures of all the limousines that belong to the Doobie Brothers:  They’re hidden behind the train station in China Grove.

modogams:  Well, you know, there are worse things in life than Maureen Dowd’s legs:

Somewhat stylized picture of Maureen Dowd

Although you kind of wonder what things would be like were they attached to somebody else.

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Gilded junk

Advertisers want your attention, and they’re going to get it — any way they possibly can.

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Double whammy at least

“I don’t like spiders and snakes,” said the girl in Jim Stafford’s 1974 hit, “and that ain’t what it takes to love me.” I suspect she’d be even less impressed by a snake with its very own spider, kinda sorta:

In western Iran there lives an endangered snake that preys on birds and carries its own lure at the end of its tail. The Spider-tailed Horned Viper (Pseudocerastes urarachnoides) has an appendage that looks just like a spider. The rest of its body is camouflage colored, particularly the thin end of its tail leading to the “spider.”

And better yet, it acts like a spider [warning: 1.5MB animated GIF], enabling the snake to attract its prey, birds who see spiders and think “Lunchtime!”

It does not, however, attract girls, so far as I can tell.

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Fifty grains of salt

Violet Blue tells you the things that Fifty Shades of Grey isn’t:

It’s not a BDSM novel. It’s “The Ultimate Guide” to revoking all the hard work sex-positive sex educators have done over the past 30 years to create a culture of informed consent around kink and keep people from sticking household objects up their asses. It’s not a romance. It’s a book about a rapey douchebag with borderline personality disorder who obsesses over an invertebrate whose insecurity should win her a Darwin Award. Instead of reading Fetish Sex, people are reading 50 Shades and sticking dangerous things up their butts. Instead of a sexy, relevant, redeeming film version of the book directed by Erika Lust or Anna at FrolicMe, we got another reminder that Hollywood and the mass book market for sexual content hasn’t quite grasped this whole internet fad.

Rather a lot of those links should be considered NSFW.

(Via Nudiarist.)

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A model response

This fits the definition of “well played”:

Facebook screenshot involving Quba Islamic Institute

And then this happened:

Arson investigators from the Houston Fire Department are probing a blaze that destroyed a building at an Islamic institute in the city on Friday, officials said.

There has been no official determination yet of what caused the fire at the Quba Islamic Institute in the pre-dawn hours of Friday, fire officials said, adding no one was injured.

I’d hate to have been the pork donor in that Facebook screenshot; perhaps he’s been suddenly overwhelmed by guilt — or he’s hunkering down in his parents’ basement until the statute of limitations expires.

(Via @ArabSecularist.)

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Over easier

For at least half my life, the powers that be, or that imagine they be, have been warning me about cholesterol, coursing through my body like liquid plutonium or something. I am somewhat pleased, yet still somewhat annoyed, that they’ve now admitted that they were just kidding:

The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee has taken cholesterol off the list of things that are automatically bad for you if you are an otherwise healthy person. Cholesterol, like just about anything already in our bodies or in our food, can cause you problems if you have too much of it already or if you consume too much of it, but isn’t necessarily the One Ring of Dietary Substances.

This was probably inevitable once they figured out that “good” cholesterol wasn’t all that good and “bad” cholesterol wasn’t all particularly bad, and neither of them, from my point of view anyway, were as bad as statins, which overlaid my entire structure with random weakness. (On the upside, statins gave me a great excuse to not drink grapefruit juice, as though I needed one.)

Still, the exasperating aspect of this is that there continues to be a Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee at all. And given current trends in corruption, I suspect there will someday be a Recommended Daily Allowance of Pepsi, or something equally implausible, because dollars were spent to support it.

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You’re doing it right

Maybe. I wouldn’t know.

Herein, number-one grandson — 15 last November, this tall for at least four years now — has approached his ladylove bearing gifts: brownies, and a bear.

Nick Havlik and his girlfriend

She seems pleased.

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You gotta have Heart

Actress Heart Evangelista stands five foot two. I mention this because she played a dwarf on a Filipino TV series titled Dwarfina back in 2011. A promotional photo from the show:

Heart Evangelista as Dwarfina, 2011

We concede that Heart, born Love Marie Payawal Ongpauco on this very date thirty years ago, is Not Particularly Tall.

Not that this matters, really:

Heart Evangelista's 2013 Esquire cover

Back in ought-three, she cut an album called, natch, Heart. This is a track therefrom:

Very Eighties-looking video for some reason.

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The value of snark

This is the first time I’ve seen anyone attempting to quantify it:

As a number of news sites eliminate their comments sections altogether, Tablet, a daily online magazine of Jewish news and culture, is introducing a new policy charging its readers to comment on articles.

As of today, a reader visiting the nonprofit site that is otherwise paywall-free will have to pay at least $2 to leave a comment at the foot of any story. The move is not part of a plan to generate any significant revenue, but rather to try and change the tone of its comments section.

There are quantity discounts of a sort:

Tablet has set up commenting charges of $2 a day, $18 a month and $180 a year, because “the Internet, for all of its wonders, poses challenges to civilized and constructive discussion, allowing vocal — and, often, anonymous — minorities to drag it down with invective (and worse),” editor in chief Alana Newhouse wrote.

Let us hope that most trolls are broke.

(Via Steve Sailer.)

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