Lesson from antiquity

It’s been just about four years since the last time we got around to “Should you wear socks with sandals?” Apparently there is historical evidence to consider:

The oldest socks that have been discovered date to between 250 and 420 CE and feature split toes — meaning they were likely worn with sandals. Researchers found a red pair of woolen ancient slip-ons near the Nile River in Egypt, at the site of a long-gone Greek colony. What sets these ancient socks apart though is their knit-like construction, from a technique called nålbindning that predated knitting. Nålbindning used only one needle (instead of two) and took much longer than modern knitting.

I was curious enough about this technique to go hunting, and there are lots of videos on the subject. Here’s a short one:

Looks, um, tedious.

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Furniturization

I think I understand this, but I can’t really be sure:

Yahoo Answers screenshot: Where are can buy small computer table and that must be compactly and not big?

I figure “compactly” is the inverse of “bigly.” Then again, I have never owned a “computer table”; I do, however, have a stupidly heavy desk. (The heaviness itself is not stupid, unless you’re actually moving the damned thing, which had to be disassembled to get it through the sharp angle at my front door.)

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A Teutonic for the troops

Germans, at least, seem to respect their adversaries:

(Via Martin Spencer.)

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A smoke-free smoke-filled room

But what if … what if … no candidate has secured a majority of delegates before the convention?

Big freaking deal, says Bill Quick:

[T]oday’s panty-wetters act as if a brokered convention is both unique and horrible. In 1968 I worked on the RFK campaign. I was in San Diego when he was killed in LA. He’d just won California, but had not clinched the nomination. The battle cry of his victory speech was “On to Chicago!” Where there would be a contested, “brokered” convention. Nobody, myself included, thought this was strange at all.

It was just part of the process.

Go back further, to 1924. Had television been in its infancy in that year, the Democratic convention might have constituted crib death: John W. Davis, never one of the front-runners during the campaign, was finally selected on the 103rd ballot. (The GOP had no such issues; Calvin Coolidge, who became President upon the death of Warren G. Harding the year before, didn’t even bother to campaign, perhaps another reason why he’s so highly regarded today.) Davis wound up carrying only 12 states, all in the South; a third-party candidacy that year managed to win one state, Wisconsin, home of Progressive Robert M. La Follette, who’d bolted from the Democratic ranks rather than support some terrible person like Davis.

Aside: Coolidge’s Vice President, Charles Gates Dawes, wrote (in 1911) a hit record (in 1951):

This is not, incidentally, what earned Dawes a share of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1925. Then again, the standards were higher back then.

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Now look here, Missy

Missy Peregrym was actually christened “Melissa,” but given her reportedly tomboyish childhood, perhaps she thought her given name was a trifle too girly. (As though “Missy” isn’t.) Born in Montréal in 1982, she’s done a few films and a whole lot of television. Her first starring role was Reaper on the CW from 2007 to 2009.

Missy Peregrym in her Reaper days

From there, she went to Rookie Blue, which aired for six years on Canada’s Global network and on ABC in the States.

Missy Peregrym at the Canadian Screen Awards

Her most recent film was Backcountry (2014), a scarefest set in the Canadian woods. And if she needs a ride, all she has to do is call.

Missy Peregrym out of the car

For those who must have video, here’s a 2014 interview from George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight.

Well played, George. I think.

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Plastic victorious

Cash is king, and regicide is on some people’s minds:

My kids don’t carry cash, they use debit cards for everything. I use cash for most small stuff, stuff that is going to get consumed. Does the government / big business really need to know about the box of donuts I bought this morning? Also, I don’t want to have to keep track of all my purchases, you know, save the receipts, mark them off against the monthly statement, which is what you are supposed to do, or at least that used to be what you were supposed to do.

But does it do any good? After years of struggling to keep track of my expenses I find it is more likely that I would lose a receipt than the bank would post a bogus charge against my account. And how would you know if they did? You aren’t going to have a receipt for a charge you didn’t make, and if it’s something ordinary, like gasoline or a cheeseburger, how sure are you going to be that you didn’t make that charge?

So maybe cards are the way to go. Cash is kind of a nuisance, especially change. I stopped in a 7-11 the other day and the penny tray by the cash register was overflowing. Admittedly it was a small tray so there was only about 25 cents in there, but still. Pennies are absolutely more trouble than they are worth. We could probably dispense with coins entirely. Okay, maybe we’d want to hang onto quarters. Four of those can still get you a cup of coffee. Some places. I think.

About six hundred pennies pile up here in half a decade.

As a general rule, if it’s under $20 — used to be $15 — I pay cash. My usual supermarket requires, for some arcane reason, that hot foods purchased in the deli section must be paid for in the deli section; most weeks I spend about $10 there, and swipe the card for the rest of the cart. And efforts at hair control are cash only: my barber charges $18, I pay him $22.

And I do save receipts for four or five weeks, because I’m just that way.

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Yuge crapper

Behold the Trump Toilet:

Toilet by Shenzhen Trump Industries

Where does this come from? China, of course:

Shenzhen Trump Industries — no apparent relationship to U.S. businessman and presidential candidate Donald Trump — was founded in 2002. It makes high-end “smart” commodes for use in spas, hotels, beauty centers, and hospitals. The company’s Chinese name, Chuang Pu, means “innovate everywhere” and sounds almost the same as the nickname Chinese netizens often use to refer to the presidential candidate, “Chuan Pu.” (The Chinese pronunciation of both names is similar to Trump.)

The company seems to have adopted a bit of the Republican Party frontrunner’s characteristic swagger. On its website, Shenzhen Trump claimed that it was “the first company in the world” to use retractable toilet seat protectors to “solve the problem of toilet hygiene on a global scale,” and that its products have one billion “users” each year.

The toilet maker’s English-language slogan is “Triple Care, Double Enjoyment.” And kids just love ’em — the homepage features a photo of a smiling blonde toddler in a pink dress hugging one of the porcelain thrones.

Chinese interpretation of trademark law is, shall we say, unique. There also exists, for instance, a Trump Electronics firm, which makes, um, air purifiers.

(Via Kathleen McKinley.)

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For best results, follow directions carefully

Now $59.95 might seem high for a fan, but it’s not just a fan you’re getting:

What? No, Linux doesn’t do this. I think.

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Oxygen removal

The Blazers came out breathing fire, and the Thunder were being burned badly. And suddenly the wind, or something, changed: OKC finished the first quarter on a 15-0 run, and the Portland offense went asthmatic. It was 66-42 at the half, 102-72 after three, and fifteen seconds into the fourth, something happened to one of the nets. (No, not one of the Nets; I’m talking an actual physical net.) If nothing else, it gave the fans a chance to, um, catch their breath. Garbage time ensued quickly thereafter, and after a terrible post-All-Star start, it was something of a relief to see a team, and a potential playoff team at that, pounded into tapioca. Oklahoma City 128, Portland 94, going up 2-1 in the season series. (In each of those games, the home team won; the fourth game will be at Portland on the 6th of April.)

The Damian Lillard/C. J. McCollum combine, so explosive so often, were pretty well snuffed out tonight: they managed 36 points between them, but it took them 33 shots, and only one other Blazer — Al-Farouq Aminu — scored in double figures. While Portland was adept at the foul line, making 25 of 27, they shot only 34 percent from the floor, and for a team that regularly nails the trey, 7-27 is — well, the Thunder has had worse games than that. Not tonight, though. Russell Westbrook, with yet another triple-double (17-10-16), retired early, Kevin Durant (20 points) even earlier, and Enes Kanter, given more or less free rein, turned in a 26-point outing, a new season high. Even Nazr Mohammed, who was not expected to do anything more than provide locker-room inspiration in these final days, hit a bucket.

Next three games are on the road: at Boston (Wednesday), Philadelphia (Friday), and Indiana (Saturday). Both the Celtics and the Pacers appear headed for the post-season. However, the Sixers, who aren’t going anywhere, are looking for that tenth win, which would guarantee them a better finish than the ’72-’73 Sixers, who hold the NBA record for futility at 9-73. After that Thunder loss to the Timberwolves, I think I’d be very wary of Philadelphia.

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Vaporware slow to condense

The oft-delayed Elio Motors three-wheeler will be put off a hair longer: the first 100 vehicles will be delivered to fleet buyers in the last quarter of 2016, but folks on the waiting list will be stuck until 2017.

Those first hundred were considered pre-production models, but no more:

Elio originally told the Securities and Exchange Commission that the automaker would use these pre-production vehicles for internal purposes, but it now decided to sell them. By getting the trikes on the road, the company claims there’s a better opportunity to evaluate how they perform in real conditions. This also offers a chance to improve the three-wheelers before the full launch.

The company admits that selling the trikes also generates increased revenue, which the business needs. Elio’s announcement doesn’t disclose the exact price of these pre-production examples, but the final version is supposed to start at just $6,800.

Not much increased revenue, either: at sixty-eight hundred per, we’re talking not quite $700,000 here.

The Elio trike is powered by a 0.9-liter inline-three, and they’re hoping to get 84 mpg out of production models.

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Kabong!

A latter-day guitar hero, and he didn’t have to play a note:

Yishay Montgomery, a 26-year-old street performer, was playing for money on Jaffa’s beachfront promenade when he came face to face with a terrorist on a stabbing spree. Without thinking twice, the young musician grabbed the first thing he had, his own acoustic guitar, and engaged the stabber.

“I just grabbed the neck of my guitar and rammed it into the guy’s face. It disoriented him a little, and he started to run away. I felt I had to end this incident and started chasing him down, hitting him with my guitar and yelling ‘terrorist, terrorist’ until security forces showed up,” Montgomery told Tazpit Press Service.

The incident occurred on Tuesday night, March 8, when a 22-year-old Israeli Arab from Qalqilya went on a lethal stabbing spree that claimed the life of a 29-year-old American tourist and ended with 11 wounded.

You may be absolutely certain I am not the only one who immediately thought of this:

Said Kevin Walsh: “Quick Draw [McGraw] spent more on guitars than Pete Townshend.”

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You might call him disgruntled

Then again, “disgusting” works at least as well:

A criminal investigation is now on its way regarding the video that shows a man urinating in a Kellogg’s factory. Kellogg company spokesperson, Kris Charles, has confirmed that an investigation showed that the video was recorded at their Memphis, Tennessee facility in 2014.

“Kellogg takes this situation very seriously and we were shocked and deeply disappointed by this video that we just learned of today,” he stated in an email to this news outlet. “We immediately alerted law enforcement authorities and regulators. A criminal investigation is underway as well as a thorough internal investigation,” Charles stated.

It’s not likely you’re going to encounter any of the tainted products:

The products affected were Rice Krispies Treats, Rice Krispies Treats cereal and puffed rice cake products. They would all be past their expiration date if produced at the date that the video was recorded.

Color me surprised that I wasn’t aware Kellogg’s had officially released a Rice Krispies Treats cereal. Then again, these days the Treats are the standard product and the actual Krispies a mere marketing variation.

This is the video. It’s not very good. Perhaps that’s just as well.

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Built to last, and then some

We bewail fragility in our luxuries, to the extent that we overlook the sturdiness of the everyday:

The cable was going to come out of the pipe, and it was going to bring things out with it. You don’t visit Beelzebub’s Disneyland without exiting through the gift shop. Over one hundred years of other people’s foolishness could appear from that pipe. I jerked my thumb to indicate REVERSE, held on to the whipping cable to avoid a proper drenching, and prepared to be surprised.

Out they came. The feminine pennants snapped in the breeze from the yardarm stay of my drain augur cable. Dracula’s teabags. The things no man is supposed to buy at the Rite Aid. Tampons emerged like an army on the march.

Now, it’s not up to me to decide exactly how tough a tampon should be. Smarter men than I have determined that feminine hygiene products should be able to withstand a shotgun blast and an acid bath at the same time. It’s a given that they should be more durable than space shuttle tiles. Fall protection harnesses and parachute cord should be made from the little strings, if you want them to last. Kevlar? Pfffffftt. That’s OK for stopping a high powered round and all, but if you need real protection, head to Walgreens and sew a vest out of these babies.

I first thought “automotive air bags,” but it occurred to me that this change in materials might not be desirable; the deployment of a passive restraint is probably not the ideal time for an almost-certain concussion.

(Via American Digest.)

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Strange search-engine queries (528)

Please note: due to destructive and inexplicable government policy, an hour of time that could have been spent on this project was totally wiped out. I expect things to improve in a week or so.

“feminist airplanes” “feminist engineers”:  Due to the wisdom of the latter, the former now have better rest rooms — don’t they?

beyonce strom:  I doubt they ever met, though Strom lived long enough to have been able to hear some early Destiny’s Child.

the planned extermination of an entire race of people is known as:  Politics as usual.

conservative search engine:  In vain will you search for any conservatism in this election year.

jane says her cousin is big boned:  Which is perfect for this election year, in which we are all pretty much boned.

wevenues:  Paid by Wome to Pontius Pilate upon the welease of Woger.

how much does berkelium cost:  There being maybe one gram of the stuff produced nationwide in the last half-century, I’d say it’s probably more expensive than Hewlett-Packard printer ink.

ill pay you to get naked:  And I thought I was hard up.

us bank won’t reverse overdraft:  They got their $39 fee, therefore all is right with the world.

in jeff savage’s book on the 2005 number one pick for the nhl draft, what is the title of the second chapter beginning on page 10?  You didn’t buy the book? What the hell is wrong with you?

this evening on britain’s got talent we get to witness this lovely lady sing with her anus and she finishes her skit beautifully by inserting the mic deep in her singing hole:  Come to think of it, what the hell is wrong with you?

three methods for getting your name on the primary ballot of a party include: lobbying declaration of candidacy declaration of candidacy plus paying a fee purchasing the right from the precinct captain petition:  Not to mention claiming to be rich as Croesus.

mark never stops ranting about the dangers of:  People being turned loose on search engines without supervision.

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Venetians less blind

This is, I suppose, one of those things you don’t think about, that turns out to be important to someone else:

With its many arched bridges, Venice cannot claim to be among the world’s most wheelchair-friendly cities. But a pair of gondoliers is challenging that image.

A new private-public project, dubbed gondolas4all, on Friday unveiled the first access point for wheelchair users to board one of Venice’s storied black-lacquered gondolas.

It will take about six weeks to complete the logistics and train gondoliers in the use of the wheelchair lift. The patrons, I’m thinking, will happily wait a little longer:

Gondolier Alessandro Dalla Pieta said that over 20 years he had seen “people in wheelchairs dozens of times looking at us as if we were the last Coca-Cola in the desert. It tugged at my heart.”

As my own mobility declines, I can more easily see what they’ve been missing, and appreciate their plight.

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Make mine Madison

The very first time I heard the name “Madison Beer,” I assumed it was some cheesehead lager, rented only by people who thought Pabst Blue Ribbon was too exotic. This is, of course, right up there with the story of Ariana Grande being the name of a font.

Anyway, Madison Beer is a singer, seventeen years old as of this month; she has a career because for several years she was singing cover versions on YouTube, and apparently Justin Bieber, always on the lookout for younger women, was sufficiently fond of her take on Etta James’ “At Last.” This eventually got her a record deal and a few singles, though no Hot 100 hits as yet.

Weirdly, my own introduction to her contains none of her singing at all. Apparently she’s released the instrumental track from her upcoming single “Out Loud,” designated as “Official Audio.” It’s frightfully catchy. Then again, I come from a time when the instrumental track could just as easily have been the single itself; Barbara Acklin’s limpid vocal was scrubbed off the master for “Am I the Same Girl,” and the remainder, billed as “Soulful Strut” by Young-Holt Unlimited, soared into the Top Ten in 1968. Brunswick, Acklin’s label, eventually got around to releasing the vocal version, which didn’t do so well; most people who remember “Am I the Same Girl” are remembering the 1992 cover by Swing Out Sister.

So I don’t yet know what Madison Beer sounds like on the “Out Loud” single. (There exists a version on which she sings, backed up by piano, which we’re not supposed to know exists.) If instrumentals could chart in this day and age — well, I’d certainly contribute my dollar twenty-nine to the cause for this tune:

And heck, if she’s covered Etta James, I have to figure that she’s okay with, or at least familiar with the concept of, being Barbara Acklin-ed off her record, at least at first.

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