And now for someone completely different

Carol Cleveland, seventy-three today, is best known as the one biological female in the Monty Python troupe. (Not that the others wouldn’t wear dresses from time to time, except maybe Gilliam.)

She was born in London in 1942, and began studying at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in 1960, though you may not have known that she spent some of her formative years in Lubbock, Texas:

Carol Cleveland as a brunette in 1966

By 1969 she’d rolled up a fair number of film credits:

Carol Cleveland in 1969

But by then Python beckoned. From the second episode, here she is as Deirdre Pewtey, with her husband Arthur (Michael Palin) cowering at the door:

Carol Cleveland in a Python sketch in 1969

The Marriage Guidance Counsellor (Eric Idle), coming out from behind his desk, will shortly make recommendations perhaps inconsistent with his job description.

Just for the heck of it, here she is with the winning entry in a TV program’s contest to find the best derogatory name for residents of Belgium:

Carol Cleveland in a Python sketch in 1973

And for the sake of completeness, here she is at the Python 40th anniversary reunion:

Carol Cleveland at the Python reunion in 2009

Do you think that might be her real hair color? (And does it really matter?)

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Waiting for .gresham

The .click top-level domain is perfectly legitimate and open to all:

The reason .CLICK is such an attractive choice for a TLD is because it encompasses a highly used Internet buzzword, increasing memorability and functionality. But, because “click” also has a multitude of positive meanings, from getting along, to fitting together, is [sic] also works to create positive associations. This TLD is an open registry, meaning any individual, group, or business may register a .CLICK domain, making this extension choice flexible, memorable, unique, and marketable.

I have yet to see an actual .click site, though links to several of them have already shown up in my spam trap, substantially diminishing my “positive associations.”

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Those cads

If you’re in the States, nothing is happening to your Cadbury Creme Eggs:

There is much lid-flipping and out-freaking online today as UK news sites report a change to the recipe for Cadbury Creme Eggs, a change that everyone blames on the brand’s U.S.-based ownership. That very well may be true, but for Creme Egg fans stateside, it’s a non-issue as the treats you gobble down each spring are made by a different company.

See, while Kraft’s Mondelēz International controls overseas distribution of Cadbury Creme Eggs, and did indeed recently institute a recipe change, U.S. distribution of Cadbury products is handled by a different U.S. company: Hershey’s.

A rep for Mondelēz confirmed to Consumerist that the two products — the Creme Eggs it distributes and the ones distributed in the U.S. by Hershey’s — are now completely separate and a change to one does not mean a change to the other.

And while we’re clearing up matters, Mondelēz International was spun off from Kraft after the name change.

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Defensive posture: supine

This will sell in huge quantities to the sort of doofus who puts up fake video cameras for “security” purposes:

Not really handguns

Erin Palette calls this a “dumb, useless thing,” which tells me that she was trying to be generous.

The manufacturer assures you that these gefälschte Gewehren “require no background check or permit.” Just like your rabbit ears don’t require cable.

Erin asks, reasonably enough:

What are you going to do when a criminal sees the fake pistol and decides that either you get shot first, or that he will take your weapon from you? (And believe me, if you aren’t mentally prepared to shoot someone for realsies, carrying a plastic totem is not going to give you confidence and an anti-crime aura. The most you will look like is an easy victim with a high-value item.)

And if there’s one thing the criminal element loves, it’s an easy victim with a high-value item. If you buy this thing, you might want to work on your Daffy Duck voice: “I demand that you shoot me now!”

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At least somewhat duh-worthy

Then again, that’s why they’re lawyers:

And there will be someone trying to sign a contract with one of these contraptions. Depend on it.

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But where are the holes?

Seldom do I ask myself “Wouldn’t you really rather have a Buick?” Once in a while, though, the Tri-Shield tempts me:

Buick Avenir concept

This is Avenir, a concept created by GM Holden in Australia, and this is what it’s like:

Designed to be a proper Buick of the traditional fashion, the large coupe-like four-door sedan has the same 5.2-metre-long dimensions as the current Holden Caprice, and utilises rear-wheel drive (note: the original press release stated all-wheel drive, which GM withdrew), a nine-speed automatic, adjustable dampers and a next-generation (unspecified size) direct-injected V6 engine with cylinder deactivation technology.

It’s not the next-generation Riviera or anything like that, and the rounded-off boat-tail rear may be a bit much, but it’s a compelling pitch.

(If you must have holes Cruiserline Ventiports in your Buick, well, there’s that vent in front of the door; it’s actually subdivided into three sections.)

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Fark blurb of the week

Van Halen will let Van Halen use the name Van Halen, says Van Halen.

Explanation:

A three-year legal battle over the name “Van Halen” has finally been settled. Kelly Van Halen, who was once married to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame band’s drummer, Alex Van Halen, until they divorced almost 20 years ago, has been fighting to use her famous last name on a variety of businesses like a construction and interior design company.

When Kelly Van Halen attempted to trademark products donning her name, ELVH Inc., the entity that protects the copyright of the band’s moniker, argued in various courts that Kelly Van Halen’s use of her name diluted their brand, the Hollywood Reporter writes, ultimately filing a lawsuit in October 2013 to prevent her from infringing on “Van Halen.” However, on January 5th, both parties alerted the judge presiding over the case that they want the lawsuit to be dismissed after settling the matter out of court.

Similarly: Katy Perry v. Katie Perry, no litigation ensued: J. Geils v. J. Geils Band, still up in the air.

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Just don’t cross your legs

This is just vaguely disturbing, or maybe a little more than that:

Witness Elite advertisement from EAA

Mr Noggle has posted the full-size three-megabyte scan, and observes:

This being the Internet, undoubtedly there’s someone out there who’s into that thing. The ad designer was undoubtedly a fan of the film Grindhouse and the character Cherry Darling.

Me, I’m going to sleep with the night light on.

And Cherry Darling was pretty creepy. On the upside, at least someone’s ripping off Robert Rodriguez instead of Quentin Tarantino.

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Quote of the week

Pergelator on the major difficulty with waging war these days:

The big problem with military action is that it is done by governments, and given our recent experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan, I wouldn’t trust our government to go to the store for a jug of milk. Okay, they might be able to get the jug of milk, but they would have to borrow a billion dollars to equip their security forces to ensure that no one tampered with the jug on the way back.

Almost an argument for mercenaries, really. What’s Blackwater Xe Academi up to nowadays?

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A pretty ugly headline

From a recent Hackney Gazette:

Hackney Gazette headline: Missing Woman Remains Found

Mark Liberman said it best: “In some other place and time, perhaps there was a headline ‘Missing moonshine still discovered’.”.

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Strange search-engine queries (467)

If you’re new here: in this feature we sort through the logs and look for people’s search strings, and mock them when we can. This is partially in the spirit of Je suis Charlie — satire is the one true Fair Game — but mostly because we need to fill up this space on a Monday morning.

mazda 6 erratic shifting not starting:  Well, if it won’t start, what difference does it make how it shifts?

yujawang legs:  Find her piano, check just north of the pedals.

big daddy hamster:  Has his very own Man Cage.

“dosalike”:  Which will come in handy if anyone ever makes a followup to DESQview.

1968 hot 100 love machine:  And 57 years later, you can’t even get parts for it.

sox stereo to mono remix:  So basically, you’re looking to lose one sock?

Mazda 626 transmission leaks at extension housing:  Um, fix the leak.

94 mazda 626 transmission fluid boiling:  Well, thank God it isn’t leaking.

What is the code written in the illuminatium testament:  Probably COBOL. (There is no COBOL.)

how to reset nissan bluebird slphy seat belt after accident:  The body shop will do that for you, if there’s enough of the body left to send to the shop.

flakier than a biscuit:  Yes, sir, Mr. Vice President, sir.

jedediah bila stilletos:  Trust me, she takes those damn things off the moment she gets home.

“Rebecca Black is sweet”:  Just don’t get up in her face, or she’ll turn tart in a matter of moments. Her moments.

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Meanwhile across the yard

For a couple of years now, I’ve kept a backup blog at wordpress.com, mostly to explain why this one was down. With downtime seemingly diminishing these days — there have been some connectivity issues which probably relate to SiteMeter, but that’s another matter entirely — I’ve decided to drop in the occasional reblog from other wp.com sites, items that I feel like passing on but don’t have anything else to say about. A use-it-or-lose-it kind of deal, especially since I’m considering killing off one of my less-used domains.

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That one moment in the sun

Then again, we’re talking Yuma, Arizona, which gets a lot of sun. Curtis Lee was born in Yuma in 1939; in the middle 1960s he joined his father’s construction business, took it over entirely in 1969, and ran it well into the 21st century. Cancer got him this last week at the age of 75.

Why are we talking about an Arizona homebuilder? Because of this:

This was Lee’s third single for Ray Peterson’s Dunes label. Lee wrote the song with Tommy Boyce, before Boyce and Bobby Hart were a name-brand songwriting duo; Phil Spector (!) produced. In the background were the Halos, a doo-wop group from the Bronx who sang on another famed Spector production, Gene Pitney’s stirring “Every Breath I Take.”

Spector also produced the follow-up, “Under the Moon of Love,” another Boyce/Lee collaboration, which just missed the Top 40. (And the B-side, “Beverly Jean,” is a gem.) Further recordings went nowhere, and Lee went back home to Yuma to, yes, build houses.

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This may not garner more dates

I do not understand this request in the slightest:

Yahoo Answers screenshot: How can I find a surgical body modification artist?

And this is the modification he desires:

I would like to ask a body modification artist if it would be possible to remove my testicles and use my scrotum to create a vagina below my penis. If it is possible, I’d ask if they have a rough guess as to cost. Any help in finding either the answers or an artist would be appreciated.

Please don’t tell me to think about it or give me alternative. I’ve thought about this and alternative for years and still have more time to think about it. Please only reply with answers, thank you.

Construction of the item desired is not, I am given to understand, overly difficult, though usually persons undergoing the procedure are having all the previous hardware — the exterior bits, anyway — removed. Last year I helped to fund one such procedure; the patient had asked for $6000, which she said was the amount not covered by health insurance. (In other news, some insurance policies apparently cover this sort of thing.) A subsequent patient without such coverage said that the price was closer to twenty grand, and was asking for fifteen.

While I can deal with those folks, I’m having trouble with the concept of Hermaphrodite After The Fact. British wiseguy Will Self wrote a couple of stories on the subject, neither of which could be said to end particularly happily. For now, I am working under the assumption that somebody told the questioner to go screw himself, and instead of taking umbrage he decided to fantasize about it.

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Made with the shade

I’m old enough to remember when Crayola had a crayon called “flesh”; about 1962 it dawned on them that hey, not all flesh is the same color, and they wound up renaming it “peach.”

This particular insight was still catching on in the middle to late 1970s, when a small Chicago company decided to get into the pantyhose business:

Sugar & Spice hosiery ad 1978

This ran at least twice in Ebony, though the real test, I suppose, would have been getting it into something like Ladies’ Home Journal. Then again, LHJ, facing the usual magazine woes, has cut back from monthly to quarterly publication; Ebony continues to put out 12 issues a year.

Madijo survived, so far as I can tell, into the middle 1980s, but by then the major mills had figured out that they needed new shades.

And if you’ve never seen a Parklane Hosiery store, neither have I. The last one apparently was in the Mall of Memphis, which died in 2003.

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I’ll take Continuous Exhibition for $1000, Alex

Now this may be an idea to conjure with:

Is such a thing technically feasible? I think it is. Even assuming the tapes of the old Art Fleming version are lost forever — which would be consistent with NBC tape-handling practice from the 1960s — there are about 7,000 episodes from the Alex Trebek days (1984 to present). At 48 episodes a day, they could go 20 weeks before having to repeat an episode, though it’s not likely they’d run a full 48: the temptation to turn the late-night hours into a venue for vendors may be too much to resist for niche channels.

So it’s doubtful whether such an enterprise would be financially feasible. But at any given moment on any given cable system, there are at least 60 programs less interesting than Jeopardy!

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