Too much continuity

A theoretical I’d just as soon avoid:

There is some argument as to whether she could. See the 12th Amendment, last sentence:

But no person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President shall be eligible to that of Vice-President of the United States.

Once he completes his second term, Barack Obama would presumably be “constitutionally ineligible,” per the 22nd Amendment, and therefore could not serve as Vice President, though an amusing argument otherwise can be made.

And there’s a nightmare scenario: A Clinton/Obama ticket is elected, and some nimrod manages to penetrate security and ventilate Her Majesty’s jacket. She dies, the Supremes rule that Barack can’t come back to the White House, and the Presidency devolves upon — the Speaker of the House. What you think of this may depend on whether you think Paul Ryan will be replaced next year.

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What a difference a half-century makes

1966:

Audience member: “Judas!”

Bob Dylan: “I don’t believe you! You’re a liar!”

2016:

Audience member: “Freebird!”

Bob Dylan:

The times, they have been a-changin’.

(Via Q104.3 New York.)

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Should have called it “Oreoboros”

What we have here, if you remember your “Cookies and Creme” ice cream, is essentially Oreo-flavored Oreos:

Oreo Cookies & Creme

Available exclusively at Walmart stores during 2017.

Me, I think I’d have a few of these for dessert after a dinner of, say, Chicken-Fried Chicken.

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A quiet, normal(ish) life

It seems unlikely, especially these days, but it’s more common than you think:

99.99% of all people (in the Western World anyway. I’m not going to speculate on the rest of the world) never shoot anybody. Because there is a certain random element to how people grow, there are always going to be some who are not well suited to life in our society. Among those is a small percentage who are going to lash out with varying degrees of effectiveness.

I don’t think any kind of mass palliative educational program is going to help. A program that identified individuals who might pose a possible threat, and tracked them might help. But such a program could easily be abused, and I’m not sure we have a reliable method of identifying a dangerous person before they start shooting.

Then again, we don’t track worth a damn. (Which, in the Surveillance State, might be a good thing.)

We could dope everyone up so they were nice obedient sheep, but even then things might not go so well. Get enough sheep going in one direction and any sheep in their way are liable to get trampled.

And heaven help us if those sheep learn to shoot.

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I find your lack of fragrance disturbing

There is, of course, a solution:

[I]f you’ve ever thought to yourself, “How I long to smell like a Jedi,” here’s your chance. Lifetime Fragrances, a perfume manufacturer in Germany, now offers a line of Star Wars perfumes and colognes.

Eau de toilette Jedi is described as a woody-aromatic scent that “exudes positive energy.”

For those who’ve turned to the Dark Side, eau de toilette Empire has an oriental-woody scent.

The lone scent aimed at women, Amidala, is described as a fruity-oriental fragrance, mixing notes of green apple, patchouli, vanilla and musk, among others.

If the scents don’t sell you, perhaps the bottle design will do it. All three fragrances are sold in what look like lightsaber hilts — black and red for Empire, blue and silver for Jedi, and a very C-3P0 gold and silver for Amidala.

Bad news: They’re not selling these outside Germany yet, so you’ll have to make a small detour before setting off on the Kessel Run.

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Being for the benefit of Mr Clueless

It occurs to me that if you actually need this feature, you might be too stupid to be allowed on the road:

General Motors is introducing an industry-first rear seat reminder that warns drivers that they may have left someone behind.

The feature is standard on the 2017 GMC Acadia SUV.

The system monitors the rear doors. If either door is opened and closed within 10 minutes of the vehicle starting, or if they’re opened while it’s running, the Acadia will sound a chime when it’s turned off. It will also display a message reminding the driver to check the rear seats.

This is the situation the system is supposed to alleviate:

Janette Fennell, president of the advocacy group Kids and Cars, praised the system and said she hopes others adopt it. Fennell says at least 12 children have died so far this year after they were left in hot cars.

And it’s only mid-June.

Still, this seems inarguable to me:

I mean, this goes beyond “distracted.” Way beyond.

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Hardly there at all

Once upon a time, I professed a fondness for “insubstantial” shoes, not for myself of course — I wear a freaking size 14 HyperWide, fercrissake — but as an occasional fashion choice for my fair lady. (At the time, I didn’t have a fair lady, and I have no reason to expect I will get one any time soon, but let that pass for the moment.)

In terms of substance, this shoe is an iceberg, with next to nothing above the surface:

Eva La Rue in Valentino heels

And I suppose it’s technically a peep-toe, but who’s gonna know?

When this picture showed up, I went combing through the Net for suitable red-carpet information, the carpet’s lack of redness notwithstanding. It took little effort to find out who this was — it’s Eva LaRue, at the second-season premiere for Showtime’s Ray Donovan — but this was evidently not enough of an event to warrant any fashion coverage. After too many searches, I have ascertained, I think, that this shoe must come from Valentino’s Spring 2013 collection, which also contains a Lucite-ish bag:

Plexiglas bag from Valentino, Spring 2013

Way to trompe the hell out of l’oeil, guys.

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From the Gimme Pages

Some species, we hear, eat their young. I wonder if this is why:

So I’m 19 now , and I’ve really been looking into getting a car. I’ve asked my parents one for Christmas and they said no cuz $. Its really annoying because all my friends have one and they ask girls out using them. Whenever I ask a girl out we have to arrange public transport and that usually turns them off. I know this sounds stupid but don’t worry I’m not just asking for a car to get the ladies. It’s mainly about getting to college. It takes me roughly 2 hours using public transport, meanwhile i checked how much time it would take me If i was using a car. And saw that it would only take me about 30-45 minutes. So I would be getting about 1h30-1hr15 minutes more sleep. Which is a lot.
Now my family isn’t very rich so I’ve narrowed down my options,
The one car I am looking at now is this one: https://www.teslamotors.com/models/design?redirect=no
So it wold be 844$ per month with 5000 $ in down payment.
Now, I want a Tesla because
1. It helps with the ladies
2. Its super quiet
3.Its environment friendly because it is electric/
So before you start yelling at me because the car is so expesive, I’ve done the Maths.
So my dad earns around 55k a year. Which is around 4583$ a month. Now Seeing as he must have 5000$ in his bake account ( I’m assuming) He can make the down payment. And if you substract the 1.5k he pays for rent and the 844$ each month for the car you get 2239$ EVERY MONTH! For you to buy, groceries or hose appliances whatever,
So you can see why I’m frustrated…

I want to know what his dad does that gets him out of paying taxes.

I’m sorry. A child like this, assuming this one actually exists — the trolls have been working overtime of late — is far too stupid to be in college.

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Private sedentary

In which I consider the possibility of spending the rest of my days in a seated position. Not that I want to or anything, you may be sure.

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Always a reason to Bai

Some celebrity types don’t make a point of showing themselves off, and therefore there aren’t that many semi-salacious photos of them for the weekly Rule 5 roundup. (If you’re not familiar with this particular Rule 5, not part of the Rules of the Internet compendium, here’s your introduction. Short version: clickbait with heels on.)

And at the other end of the spectrum, there’s Bai Ling, who will happily drop stuff like this into her Twitter feed on a regular basis:

Bai Ling Twitter pic from 13 June 2016

Bai Ling Twitter pic from 13 June 2016

Those two, in fact, came out within 24 hours of each other, this week.

Let’s have an oldie but goodie from, oh, five weeks ago:

Bai Ling Twitter pic from 7 May 2016

And as her 13,000 followers know, she’s a #true #hashtag #fiend.

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Prepare to write checks

The YourMechanic operation has issued a list of the Most Expensive Cars to Maintain over a ten-year period. The worst of the lot: the Chrysler Sebring, which they calculate at $17,100.

In the number-twelve slot is the Nissan Maxima, estimated at $12,000. As it happens, Gwendolyn, my current traveling companion, is an Infiniti I30, which I’ve occasionally described as “a Maxima in a prom dress.” And as it happens, she will have been here ten years this week. Let’s add up the slips … hmmm … $12,325. I guess that’s a good call, guys. And actually, I can’t gripe that much, inasmuch as she arrived here, not as a hatchling, but as a willful six-year-old with more than 80,000 miles and a complete and utter lack of warranty coverage.

At the other extreme: the Toyota Prius, at $4,300, followed by the Kia Soul.

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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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