One minute to autodestruct

Is this cool, or what?

The possibilities aren’t exactly endless, but they are impressive:

Phonetic recording allows producers of future Star Trek media to re-assemble individual syllables said by Barrett so the late actress can “say” entirely new things. Hopefully we’ll hear her in Star Trek: Discovery‘s LCARS System.

It would also be great if we could hear Barrett on our smartphone, much like Apple’s Siri voice. Custom smartphone voices are hard to get right now, but one day we might be able to download custom voices from the Apple Store. And it looks like [the] Roddenberry estate is trying to make one of those custom voices that of a Star Trek ship computer.

Um … WANT.

Comments (5)

Out here at the margin

Emily Dickinson anticipated this years ago:

The Loneliness One dare not sound—
And would as soon surmise
As in its Grave go plumbing
To ascertain the size—

The Loneliness whose worst alarm
Is lest itself should see—
And perish from before itself
For just a scrutiny—

The Horror not to be surveyed—
But skirted in the Dark—
With Consciousness suspended—
And Being under Lock—

I fear me this—is Loneliness—
The Maker of the soul
Its Caverns and its Corridors
Illuminate—or seal—

(Suggested by Instapundit.)


The women who upheld the standard

David Warren knew some of them:

I wrote once an essay on “The Modern Spinster” — a class to which I added women who had (by war and accident) long outlived their husbands. Born, typically, before the turn of the last century; widowed perhaps in the Great War; some had survived into the 1980s. They were impressive figures of pedagogical authority. We had, even here in the once admirable Province of Ontario, women I would rank with empress-dowagers of China. They were irreplaceable pillars of a society that I have watched disintegrate, over the decades since. Not one of them was a feminist, or could be interpreted as one by any fanciful act of the imagination. Each was instead not an ism but fully a Woman, without mistake or compromise.

There are two converging strings, which I shall try to knot together here. First, that their power can be neither appreciated nor understood, in a society that has so far degenerated that sex (not imposed grammatical “gender”) is dissolved in an androgynous slurry. Second, that there can be no such thing as an independent woman, who exchanges her position for that of a little man. For it was the function of such women not to seek “equality” with these strangely unnatural, mole-like creatures we see today — whining, whimpering, whinging and wimping off to their “safe spaces” whenever reality approaches. Rather, from a station of absolute moral superiority, that Modern Spinster would corner and intimidate; leaving them a choice between personal resuscitation, and complete psychic annihilation.

“Be a man, or get away from my nostrils,” is what e.g. a certain Edith Carson, of blessed memory, could communicate by no more than a slight inflection of her sensitive nose. She and her like were, and with God’s grace will again be (after the collapse of progressive disorder), bestowers of the White Feather. They were guarantors, not only that women will be women, with their privileges defended and intact; but too, that men will not dare to let their women down.

“Equality,” while we weren’t looking, got redefined as “interchangeability” by individuals of the female persuasion who failed to grasp the concept, reinforced by several of those “strangely unnatural, mole-like creatures” who pass themselves off as feminist in the vain hope that it will win them an occasional ejaculation. This is something else in dire need of correction.

Comments (6)

Everything in numbers

This might be where things got a little bit out of hand: a digital sundial. Yes, really:

Then again, why the heck not?

(Via Bayou Renaissance Man.)

Comments (7)

The unexpected leading lady

Just a bit of historical perspective:

Charley’s Aunt is a farce in three acts written by Brandon Thomas. It broke all historic records for plays of any kind, with an original London run of 1,466 performances.

The play was first performed at the Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds in February 1892. It was produced by former D’Oyly Carte Opera Company actor W. S. Penley, a friend of Thomas, who appeared in the principal role of Lord Fancourt Babberley, an undergraduate whose friends Jack and Charley persuade him to impersonate the latter’s aunt. The piece was a success, and it then opened in London at the Royalty Theatre on 21 December 1892 and quickly transferred to the larger Globe Theatre on 30 January 1893 to complete its record-breaking run.

The play was a success on Broadway in 1893, where it had another long run. It also toured internationally and has been revived continually and adapted for films and musicals.

In 1941, 20th Century-Fox saw fit to film a version of Charley’s Aunt with Jack Benny:

Charley's Aunt poster

I wonder if Fox was a bit unsure about this picture early on; they were pushing it as the lead film in a package. They also put out this film short:

They needn’t have worried. It was a fair-sized hit.


Collateral damage, you are

@SwiftOnSecurity is quite blunt about this issue:

In the future, when a self-driving car is about to crash, it will go into a high-frequency bidding war to decide which driver gets to live.

Sample scenario:

2 cars are about to crash. If you’re chosen to die, your grandchildren will be given free college tuition. Does your car accept the contract?

Or try this one:

Self-driving car is hit, sending it inevitably towards another self-driving car. However, the cars can decide which suffers more. Both cars have the same insurance co. To reduce premium costs, drivers opted-in to a car algorithm that biases all injury into one driver. Driver 2 is selected as most vulnerable, and dies. No long-term medical care, just a lump payment. Driver 1 walks away. Premiums stay low. Welcome to human mortality decided in an electronic, time-dilated decision space.

Some people, I am told, actually want this. They have far more faith in things than I (or Swift) do.

Comments (3)

Sinned against

Imagine the outrage:

Film studio Warner Brothers has asked Google to remove its own website from search results, saying it violates copyright laws.

It also asked the search giant to remove links to legitimate movie streaming websites run by Amazon and Sky, as well as the film database IMDB.

The request was submitted on behalf of Warner Brothers by Vobile, a company that files hundreds of thousands of takedown requests every month.

Warner Brothers has yet to comment.

The self-censorship was first spotted by news blog Torrent Freak, which said Vobile had made some “glaring errors”.

In one request, Google was asked to remove links to the official websites for films such as Batman: The Dark Knight and The Matrix.

Excuse me while I laugh my head off.

(Via Aram Sinnreich.)


Season’s change

What we can expect, starting this week:

By this evening the retailers will be in full holiday season mode, shilling Halloween. Before the candy corn is even stale the first Christmas advertising will crop up. Ready or not, here it comes. Clothing stores have been stocked with sweaters and coats for a month. Worse, shoppers will soon be wearing them. No more tight tank tops and short shorts. On the bright side the shapely ladies will be wearing tight jeans and boots.

Given the usual progress of these things, I expect all the Valentine’s Day crap to show up a few days after Thanksgiving.

Comments (3)

Keeping the beat

It just might save someone’s life:

If a little irony helps save lives, St John Ambulance is all for it. CPR instructors pumped out retro tunes, including Queen’s hit “Another One Bites the Dust” and Bee Gees’ “Stayin’ Alive” in the middle of the Bridge Mall on Friday for express lessons in chest compression.

Both have the required 103 beats per minute recommended for CPR.

“‘Another One Bites the Dust’ is the tune that has resonated most but if people can remember the song because it’s quirky and, if they ever have to perform CPR, they’ll be hoping the person they’re working on doesn’t bite the dust,” St John’s Martin Wells said. “Any attempt at CPR is better than none.”

(Happened upon after reading Roger Green’s piece for Freddie Mercury’s 70th birthday.)

Comments (1)

Not that you wanted to know or anything

For absolutely no good reason I can tell, I’m taking questions from the field at Morbid curiosity, maybe.


Lest we forget

From the summer of ’15, a perfectly irrelevant comment, as is my wont, about then-Presidential candidate Carly Fiorina:

The skirtwatcher side of me gives her a solid B, not bad for sixty: ahead of Bachmann, behind Palin.

Today being her sixty-first, I figure I may as well expand upon that irrelevancy:

Carly Fiorina waiting her turn

Carly Fiorina hits her stride

Carly Fiorina hobnobs with Jimmy Fallon

Of course, since she is past sixty, we’re expected to be concerned about her health. Here she seems to take a spill:

Not sure what happened there, but she seems to recover quickly enough.

Comments (1)

They built this, shitty

I have never quite understood the utter hatred some people have for this song:

Yeah, it’s dumb, and it’s a long way from the Sixties/Seventies greatness that was Jefferson Airplane/Starship. But Worst Song Ever? Not even:

Blender magazine may have erred in 2004 by labeling it the “worst rock and roll song of all time,” at least in any universe in which John Lennon released “Imagine.” Their dissection of it as corporatized synth pop masquerading as social commentary is mostly accurate, of course. And they are quite correct in saying that its lyrics are silly rhyming couplets masquerading as profound insight (although the person who has never felt “knee-deep in the hoopla” has never attended a committee meeting).

But the same things can be said about some of the best rock and roll songs of all time, too (Substitute “most favorite” and “least favorite” for “best” and “worst,” if you prefer). If I had to pinpoint what I think is the reason “City” is so lousy, it’s because it takes itself and its genre so seriously. Rock and roll didn’t build San Francisco — and you could make a good case that the popular culture of the ’60s represented by Starship when it was still Jefferson Airplane didn’t build much of anything.

They were, after all, the Ship of Fools.

And in the three years since Vevo provided the video to YouTube, 96 percent of the thumbs are quite definitely up.

Comments (5)

Fark blurb of the week


Don’t step on the puppy

Seriously. Just don’t:

1946 advertisement for Fine Feathers hosiery

Some of those postwar shoe styles might be au courant even today.

Miller-Smith Hosiery Mills was located in Chattanooga, and they last renewed the Fine Feathers trademark in 1969; it has since fallen into desuetude.


Two of a kind, maybe

Just watch where you step:

You might stab someone in the shin.

(Via @syaffolee.)

Comments (1)

Strange search-engine queries (553)

For today’s perfunctory labor, we’ll go through the logs and see if we can find anything remotely amusing in the search strings.

jailbait in pantyhose pics:  Well, that isn’t remotely amusing.

appointment definition:  If you have to ask, you should have seen the doctor many years ago.

life spice vital:  No Dune jokes, please.

the locations of the two caps at equilibrium are now as given in this figure. (figure 4) the dashed line represents the level of the water in the left arm. what is the mass of the water located in the right arm between the dashed line and the right cap?  This is what happens when you spend your time making up Dune jokes instead of doing your homework.

i cheated on my boyfriend with my ex yahoo answers:  Yeah, that fits the demographic.

how do i know if the baby is mine yahoo answers:  As does that.

nudist realtor:  No jokes about closing costs, please.

how to age concrete statues with yogurt:  I suspect this is a messy process.

to yell the truth:  If they ever update that game show, they’ll have to pump up the volume.

infosec taylor swift identity:  Until I have some reason to think otherwise, I will assume it’s Taylor Swift.

spell toilet:  It’s the one that’s always overflowing and nobody ever knows why.

our automated abuse-prevention system, omnivore, has flagged your recent import for issues that could affect the delivery of your campaigns. your list is likely to trigger spam filters, or generate bounces and abuse complaints:   Which of course they won’t read, because they’re spammers and therefore have neither technical skills nor anything resembling morals.

eva marie couldn’t “dress up” this unfortunate wardrobe malfunction on wwe smackdown live!  Hard up for wank material, are you?

by the decade of the _____, 35,000 people had been lobotomized in the united states:  Which made them overqualified for political office in 2016.