Hilarity ends suit

Women, men are routinely told, are looking for partners with a sense of humor, which prompted this outburst from me many years ago:

[This] undoubtedly explains all the girlfriends Gilbert Gottfried has stolen away from Eric Bana.

The Advice Goddess tries to enlighten a reader on this very subject:

You’re unlikely to score a second date by pelting her with jokes and one-liners, which suggests you prepared for the evening by memorizing the joke book on the back of the toilet.

Which is exactly where most joke books should be kept, if you ask me.

What impresses a woman are shows of wit — spontaneous expressions of humor in response to something she says or something around you. Wit reflects intelligence while communicating your worldview — telling her who you are far more interestingly than droning on about your major and your dream to someday get your boss to assign you a better parking space.

Some majors today won’t even get you a parking space to begin with, but that’s neither here nor there. (Okay, it’s there. Happy now?)

And really, you’ve got to have more than one arrow in your quiver: if a pocketful of wry is all you have, you shouldn’t expect anything more than the occasional necessity to vacuum out the crumbs.

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Introducing Schedule FB

The IRS routinely looks at your W-2 and that fistful of 1099s. And now they’re reading your social-media accounts:

New reports brought to light by one privacy and data security expert suggest that this tax filing season the Internal Revenue Service may be monitoring social media for any clues of tax cheats.

According to Kristen Mathews, a partner attorney at law firm Proskauer Rose LLP who specializes in privacy and data security, there are reports that the IRS will be checking into individual Facebook and Twitter accounts for improprieties.

Though the agency says that it will only conduct such monitoring if a tax form raises a red flag, it is somewhat unclear to what extent it will be capable of delving into social media accounts.

You think maybe that drunken debauch in Dayton you plastered (while plastered) all over Facebook might get your expenses disallowed?

(Via this Jules Shapiro tweet.)

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Making it up in volume

This Vi Hart video evidently went over a lot of heads:

It cost her a few subscribers, leading her to muse:

Most of YouTube seems to be going for having 10 million subscribers and leeching a few cents out of each. If I can just keep making bad videos that refine my subscriber base into increasingly smaller and more invested groups, I can aspire to someday have just one subscriber, who is willing to pay one million dollars for my videos, and then I will be more successful! So there! :D

I, of course, immediately subscribed.

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Alert spoilers

About an hour and a half before tipoff, I found myself with a vaguely defeatist outlook, based on the notion that hey, if the Jazz win, that makes things so much more difficult for the Lakers, and there’s a lot to be said for making things more difficult for the Lakers. The Jazz, however, did not win, the Thunder once again cranking up the fourth-quarter defense and taking a 14-point lead, though Utah rattled down the next seven points to slice that lead in half, and inside the 25-second mark they’d pulled to within four. In response, Kevin Durant knocked down a pair of free throws; then Russell Westbrook swiped a Jazz inbound pass and delivered it to the bucket, drew a foul, and knocked down two free throws of his own to ice it, 90-80.

It was not a particularly good night for either bench: 14 points for OKC, 11 for Utah. Nor did either side shoot well: OKC 39.5 percent, Utah 39.2. The Jazz did land four of five starters in double figures, led by Mo Williams with 19, and big Al Jefferson banged his way to a double-double (15 points, 11 rebounds). The Thunder, meanwhile, landed four of five starters in double figures, led by Russell Westbrook with 25; slightly less big Kevin Durant just missed a triple-double (21 points, 12 boards, nine assists.) If this sounds like it was pretty close, well, it was; the Jazz were never really out of it, but they didn’t ever catch up either.

And allow me to say a few words about the much-misunderstood Jamaal Tinsley, whose seven years with Indiana ended with his being epoxied to the pine while the Pacers begged for some team to take him off their hands. The Grizzlies flirted with him for a while, but at the beginning of the 2011-12 season he was down in the D-League. The Jazz watched him play, signed him, and this year gave him a one-year contract extension. He missed his only shot tonight, but in ten minutes he came up with three boards and four dimes. Not a bad comeback for a 35-year-old.

The OKC road trip ends in a flurry: Thursday at Golden State, Friday at Portland. Games 81 and 82 are back at home: the Kings on Monday, the Bucks on Wednesday.

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He was touching his device

A section of the California Vehicle Code:

“A person shall not drive a motor vehicle while using a wireless telephone unless that telephone is specifically designed and configured to allow hands-free listening and talking, and is used in that manner while driving.”

What if you’re neither listening nor talking? This was the pitch made by a defendant, who said that he was looking up something on Google Maps.

Not so fast, says the court:

“Our review of the statute’s plain language leads us to conclude that the primary evil sought to be avoided is the distraction the driver faces when using his or her hands to operate the phone. That distraction would be present whether the wireless telephone was being used as a telephone, a GPS navigator, a clock, or a device for sending and receiving text messages and e-mails.”

(Full text of decision [pdf].)

But then there’s this:

[A] new law went into effect during January 2013 that allows hands-free voice calls and texting. In order to accomplish this, the driver must use voice-operated applications that allow them to dictate, send and listen to wireless communication while driving.

So you’ll be slightly less distracted. Yay.

(Via Autoblog.)

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For all the new soldiers

I simply must link to this post of Tam’s, not only because it contains an epic ambush drill, but because it’s titled in Turkish, and correct Turkish at that. (Not all of us consistently get the dotted and undotted I sorted out. Even if it was just a cut/paste job, it’s easy to mess up.)

“Kapalıçarşı yeniçeri” she translates as the closest available equivalent to “ninja.” Fair enough. And I’d bet just about anything that she said it out loud and immediately recognized that second word as the source of our term “janissary.”

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A side glance

Lots of things happened on the 9th of April that were far more important than the opening of a Web site. On that date in 1947, tornadoes swept through Texas and Oklahoma, killing 181; on that date in 1989, the Soviet army broke up a demonstration in Tbilisi, Georgia, killing 20. On a happier note, on that date in 1965, supermodel Paulina Porizkova was born.

Paulina Porizkova

That’s funny, she doesn’t look happy.

Then again, she has some reservations about the industry in which she used to work:

When I was modeling in the 1980s, retouching was very expensive. It was hardly ever done. The models had to be a certain size, have perfect skin. Then along came Adobe Photoshop, and suddenly a 55-year-old actress can be doing a beauty campaign. I’m happy for her. But it did kill the model. Now models are nothing more than coathangers — skinny coathangers for hanging clothes on. It’s the designers’ fault. They’re designing with no regard for real women. They’re designing for a model who looks like a crow on a stick.

See also her 2007 novel A Model Summer.

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At seventeen

Surprisingly, this Web site is still not old enough to drink.

(This being a blogiversary of sorts, an Open Thread is proclaimed.)

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A piece of the cloud

Just signed up for DreamObjects, a cloud-storage solution offered by the surfer dudes who host this site. I figure, at some point I’ll need it, and I might as well take advantage of the promo pricing.

I have no idea how much stuff I plan to store up there, but they have storage plans from 20 GB a month (a buck thirty-five) to 100 TB a month ($4,500). Alternatively, there is usage-based billing, which costs a flat seven cents per gigabyte, plus seven to retrieve it. (Uploading it costs nothing.)

Ideas from the ground are of course welcomed. There’s already a plugin to back up the Web site from the WordPress admin. (The site runs about 2 GB.)

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Dullard sings what?

This BuzzFeed title is intriguing: 27 Of The Most Mind-Bogglingly Stupid Song Lyrics Of All Time. They could easily have come up with 270, or 2700, but these few are pretty bad.

To save you some scrolling time, here are the worst offenders: the Black Eyed Peas (two), Rihanna (two), Nicki Minaj (one and a half). One of the Peas’ tunes, in fact, manages to recite days of the week:

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday (Do it!)
Friday, Saturday, Saturday to Sunday (Do it!)

This is at least three days’ worse than whatzername.

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There exists a recipe for ice cubes, because, as the person who posted it explained:

I’m publishing this recipe because I’m sure that there are other families who have members, who don’t know how or have forgotten how to make ice when the ice tray is empty.

And it’s pretty simple: two minutes to prepare, let stand in the freezer for two hours, and there you have it. Beyond the capacity of coworkers, though.

More amusing, perhaps, are the categories under which it’s listed: among others, Beverages, Very low carbs, and Lactose Free. Not a speck of gluten, either.

(Tip from @GaelFC: “Do not substitute vodka.”)

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Lizard simulation

Microsoft is apparently weary of, or embarrassed by, browser sniffers:

Some websites serve certain versions of Internet Explorer (we’re looking at you, 6) with custom CSS code in order to make sure the website displays in a readable way. These practices are known as “CSS hacks” and target IE6, 7, 8 with a different type of CSS code than other browsers, such as Chrome and Firefox.

Microsoft have replaced the “MSIE” string, which identifies the browser to the website as Internet Explorer, with just “IE,” meaning host websites won’t be able to use their current CSS hacks on IE11. To further ensure IE11 users don’t receive an odd version of the site, Microsoft also included the command “Like Gecko” which instructs the website to send back the same version of the website as they would to Firefox.

I have exactly one CSS hack for IE on this site. (If you care, it’s based on this one.)

If you’re not used to user-agent strings, here’s the one I leave behind:

Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 5.1; rv:19.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/19.0

“NT 5.1,” in case you’ve forgotten, is better known as “XP.” (Windows 8, however, is not 8.0, but 6.2.) Every browser has some sort of string like this, usually with a nod to Mozilla. Among layout engines, Gecko ranks third, behind WebKit (used by Safari, Chrome, and various smartphones) and Trident (used by Internet Explorer).

Same machine, with Internet Explorer 8:

Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 8.0; Windows NT 5.1; Trident/4.0; .NET CLR 2.0.50727; .NET CLR 3.0.4506.2152; .NET CLR 3.5.30729)

Why all these versions of Microsoft’s .NET framework feel compelled to mention themselves is beyond me. Then again, I seldom have any reason to mention .NET, and when I do, it’s not favorably.

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Strange search-engine queries (375)

Monday morning means more of these slightly dubious search strings, as received at this domain during the past seven days, and brought to you at this time in lieu of Useful Content.

thrashing a puppy:  A form of cruel and unusual punishment, especially since the poor little critter won’t have the slightest idea why you’re doing this to him.

cloramine effects rubber washers:  In general, the life of a washer is inversely proportional to the difficulty of replacing it.

plastic glaft:  Should that be, maybe, “prastic glaft”?

wii weeds grow through artificial tur:  This is the inevitable result of a prastic glaft.

jayne mansfield’s rack:  Beyond your wildest dreams.

is there dairy in the shelton’s turkey meatballs:  If you’re really lucky, there’s turkey in them.

pentacle for success:  Now you know how they got to be a five-star hotel.

is 2.2liters turbo engine a 5 cylinder car?  Look for the pentacle on the valve cover.

cd4e locks up in reverse:  Your car is cursed. You need a pentacle.

22 kildare avenue dustbury:  Must be on the very edge of town.

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Built on the XY platform

A TTAC reader calls for the production of a proper Man Sedan:

I’m sick of vanilla sedans for the soft-handed, androgynous, middle-aged, middle-management herd creatures found only in marketing research data.

I want a Chrysler 300 with a bomb-proof Chevy V8 small-block cranking out about 300hp-350hp. Manual locks, manual mirrors, manual windows, analog climate control knobs and such. Heavy steering, braking, and clutch like an air-cooled Porsche. Manual 6-speed transmission and manual 4-wheel-drive handle engagement like a Jeep Wrangler. I don’t want any flat-screen TV BS in the dash. I’ve got a smart phone. Do give me a rugged sporty cloth interior like a Nissan Xterra or Frontier. Something you can hose down after the dogs or kids ruin it every week. Make the carpets easily removable and put drains in the floor pan. None of that 22″ chrome wheels malarkey, either. I want 18″-19″ brushed aluminum Bullitt wheels with high profile tires that do hand to hand combat with crappy American roads.

I could be wrong, but I get the feeling that this desire for a Chevy mill in a Chrysler is motivated by disdain, not so much for Mopar powerplants, but for the weak-sauce appearance (to include front-wheel drive) of pretty much all non-sporting Chevys that aren’t actual pickup trucks. (Disclosure: I have yet to see the ’14 Impala in the, um, flesh.) Bullitt wheels, of course, are associated with Ford, so the Detroit 3 are all represented here.

And I think this could be adopted as a benchmark: if you want 22s, you’re a rider, not a driver.

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A range of goodies

For vintage (read “old”) hardware, this seems surprisingly au courant:

Tappan 400 range

Seventy-nine years after W. J. Tappan founded the Ohio Valley Foundry Company would bring us to 1960, although the 400 apparently debuted in 1959. (Here’s another picture with another expensively-dressed Hausfrau.) I shudder to think what this might have cost in 1959 dollars, which were worth about eight times as much as our current overinflated greenbacks.

(Found in Mom’s Basement. For a blow-up of individual features, see TappanTalk.)

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Knegative results

Before tipoff, this one looked pretty simple. Contain both Carmelo Anthony and J. R. Smith, and the Knicks fall. Contain neither of them, and the Knicks win easily. That leaves an intermediate position, and that’s the way it was looking with a minute and a half left, with ‘Melo at 31 and Smith at a modest 17 and OKC, having grabbed a brief one-point lead shortly before, was down only two. Then Smith rattled off five points in two shots in 31 seconds, and that was pretty much it: in the next 31 seconds, New York was up by eight, and the Thunder never got to within a single possession again. The Knicks go away with their twelfth straight win, 125-120, and perhaps good wishes from Loud City: can New York actually beat the hated Heat?

They did a pretty decent job of thrashing the Thunder, who shot nearly 58 percent and made nine of 17 treys; New York didn’t match those percentages, but they made it up in volume, getting 15 more shots, 17 more from outside. (Telltale statistic: Fifty-one three-pointers were attempted in this game, and the Knicks bagged two-thirds of them.) And New York had the rebounding advantage, 41-37 and 19-10 offensive. Did they get second-chance points? They were getting third-chance points.

Smith finished with 22, Anthony with 36 (and 12 rebounds), Tyson (we coulda had him) Chandler with 15. Pablo Prigioni started at the two in place of the ailing Amar’e Stoudemire, but it was the ultra-deep New York bench — Smith, Jason Kidd, Chris Copeland — that did the heavy lifting.

And it was another time for the Thunder to get numbers, but not much else. Russell Westbrook’s last-second trey, useless as it was, gave him a game-high 37; he finished two assists short of a triple-double. Kevin Durant finished with a reasonably Durantean 27. The reserves did their part, both Kevin Martin and Reggie Jackson collecting double figures. But some days you win with 95, some days you lose with 120.

The last road trip of the season approaches, and there’s not a patsy in the bunch: the Jazz, the Warriors and the Trail Blazers, three games over four nights. Nobody said this was going to be easy.

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