The A-list for bees

An operation called “Killer Bees Honey” invites questions, most of them connected to that first word:

Like most Americans in our diverse nation, Killer Bee ancestry traces back to other continents.

In 1956, Brazilian beekeepers, faced with low honey productivity, imported African honeybee queens to breed with their own Old World bees. Apis mellifera scutellata, or just scutellata (Killer Bees), were the progeny. This cross-bred honeybee was a highly productive, albeit petulant, subspecies.

Underwhelmed with their new digs and despite stern warnings from their human handlers, rebellious scutellata escaped from “managed” labs and established large, self-sustaining feral populations throughout South America. Soon, scientists discovered that the Killer Bee queens reproduced at up to five times the rate of European queens. Plus, the local virgin European queens preferred scutellata males.

Never mind that. Are these really Killers?

Invariably, I’m asked if we really have Killer Bees. My answer: Yes and no. Recent analysis of honeybee mitochondrial DNA reveals that most bees in America possess a small percentage of scutellata genetics. My apiary’s Old World bees are mostly Italian and Carniolan. But when I’m stung, I see and feel the scutellata in them.

Fair enough. “Killer,” after all, is more noun than adjective, or so it seems to me.

(Via Bayou Renaissance Man.)

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In case the lights go out

Who knew that Silicon Valley had a Fashion Week? Well, apparently they did, back in November, and there was, I thought, one really standout piece, using 3M Scotchlite:

Betabrand 3M dress

Betabrand’s 3M dress has reflective panels with millions of tiny glass beads. It could pass as regular workwear during the day and transform into an attention-grabbing outfit at night.

$178 directly from Betabrand, once it gets back into stock.

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Scattershot at both ends

I am indebted to radio guy Matt Pinto for that phrase, uttered about halfway through the fourth quarter while a 14-point Thunder lead had shrunk to a mere three. Consistent inconsistency has bedeviled this club most of the year, and while Oklahoma City handled the Hawks beautifully in the 28-15 third quarter, Atlanta was able to upend the OKC applecart pretty quickly. Mike Budenholzer had already pulled one switcheroo in the starting lineup, switching scorer Kyle Korver to coming off the bench and having the more defense-minded Thabo Sefolosha start at the three. And Thabo lived up to his billing, scoring only six points but forcing six turnovers. Perhaps a greater boon to the Hawks was the return of Paul Millsap, who’d missed three games due to a hip issue. And with 10.8 seconds left and the Hawks down three, Victor Oladipo took a spill and lost the subsequent jump ball to, yes, Sefolosha. Time out was called, a Hawk trey came down empty, and it was OKC 102, Atlanta 99, the Thunder’s sixth consecutive win.

Millsap was good for 24 points; Korver led the Atlanta bench with 15. One thing the Hawks did well was draw fouls, which they duly converted to free throws; they made 24 of 32 from the stripe. (The Thunder continue to stumble from the foul line, hitting only 18 of 28.) And neither side could break 32 percent from three-point land, the Hawks going 7-22 and the Thunder 10-31.) But OKC did have the rebounding under control, 43-36, and yes, there was yet another Russell Westbrook triple-double: 32-13-12, his sixth in a row. Steven Adams, apparently undeterred by his ankle issue against the Pelicans last night, rose for a double-double: 12 points, 10 boards. And the return of Anthony Morrow to good form continues to help: tonight he was 5-8 (4-6 on the long ball) for 15 points.

After this, the Thunder are off until Friday, when the Rockets show up at the ‘Peake; the Celtics will be in town Sunday, after which it’s back out West once more.

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Meanwhile in Arkansas

Unclad customer at Burger King in Dardanelle, ArkansasAdd this to my Never Seen In Fast Food Places list:

According to Dardanelle Police Chief Monti Sims, at approximately 10 a.m. Sunday morning, December 4, the Dardanelle Police Department arrested an unidentified naked female after two incidents occurred at Burger King and McDonald’s. The unclothed female entered Burger King and according to witnesses, “checked on the status of her application.” After inquiring about her application, the female then stole a Santa hat and some garland from the restaurant then exited the business. She then fled Burger King and attempted to enter a vehicle at McDonald’s located next door. Upon attempting to enter the vehicle, officers with the Dardanelle Police Department apprehended her.

Because yeah, that Santa hat will cover her up nicely.

(Speaking of Santa hats, Kali Allaway of the Web comic Enjuhneer wears one, which is essential if you want to know where she is, because she’s otherwise invisible. She is not, however, generally naked.)

Our unclad Arkansawyer isn’t so fortunate:

After placing her under arrest, the nude woman was transported to the Yell County Detention Center and was booked on the charges of two counts disorderly conduct and she remains in custody at this time.

Which was to be expected. Heck, actual nudists aren’t allowed in Arkansas.

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Winterwear, maybe

I can’t imagine these coming out in the summer, though perhaps it’s just that I have no imagination:


Cristina swears by them:

You know those socks you wear with certain boots or shoes that keep slipping off your feet and into the top portion of the shoe? Well, with these Toesox, that doesn’t happen. I reach for them when wearing particularly bad sock “eating” footwear such as rain boots, preventing me from ever having to go fishing for my socks in my shoes again!

Yes, these socks with toes do take a bit of getting used to, but trust me, they’re so worth it in the end! Toesox has so many socks available in all styles, colours, with grips, no grips, toes, toe holes etc. Yeesh, it’s really hard to keep track. Many styles they offer have rubberized bottoms to help with foot grip when you’re doing yoga or dancing. That being said, these are the newest of the Toesox prints and I love the stripes.

Then again, somebody somewhere is going to wear these with Practical Sandals in the summer, so I suppose I should get used to the idea.

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Such a deal

And it certainly seems legit:

2 drinks for the price of 2 drinks

(Via Bad Menu.)

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Strange search-engine queries (566)

If you’re new around here, this is a weekly compendium of search strings that people actually used recently which lead to pages here on this site. If you’re not new around here, well, it’s the same thing, actually.

mary’s parents bought her a used bicycle for her birthday. she was thrilled until she learned that her best friend received a brand new bicycle to celebrate ground hog day. mary’s declining satisfaction illustrates:  The inspiration for her subsequent campaign for Congress.

mr. craven lacks imagination and is a complete conformist. with respect to the big five personality traits, mr. craven probably would score low on which of the following?  Not that it matters, since he’s voting for Mary for Congress.

air biscuits:  Hey, whoever smelt ’em, dealt ’em.

are you hanging on the edge of your seat:  Sssh. I’m trying to pass this air biscuit.

bmw service intervals:  Whenever the car deems it necessary.

barely-melted capacitor:  Not included in your standard BMW service intervals.

if he only wants your breasts legs and thighs send him to kfc lyrics:  Be sure to pick up some Red Bull for wings.

where is parella lewis going:  I’ll ask her when she gets back from KFC.

some of mao zedong’s closest advisors believed that the great leap forward had failed because mao tried to:  Avoid killing everyone.

armenian foot fetish:  Khloe and Kourtney will be glad to hear it.

tammy is taking a college admissions test in math to see if she can enroll in an accelerated math course. she has heard that males tend to perform better on this test than females, although she has no evidence that this statement is true:  And it shouldn’t affect how she performs, anyway.

what’s the phone number:  BEechwood 4-5789.

typical theme parks are opryland and disneyland areas set aside just for:  Parking as far as the eye can see.

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Tough old birds

When the Pelicans come to town, the first — perhaps the only — question is “How bad is Anthony Davis going to hurt us?” From the looks of things early on, the answer was “Plenty”; Davis had piled up 24 points by halftime, and Steven Adams, who’d barely been able to defend against him, exited early with a left-ankle sprain. What might have been an easy win suddenly became a bit more difficult, and New Orleans kept finding ways to score that didn’t involve Davis. (One of those was rookie Buddy Hield, a #6 draft pick from OU, who got quite the reception from the Loud City crowd, and who promptly rolled up 16 points and four rebounds.) The Pelicans closed to within four before the Thunder stiffened just enough to grab a 101-92 win on the first night of a back-to-back.

Davis wound up with a game-high 37, plus 15 rebounds; Hield’s 4-7 stroke from downtown helped him to a team-high plus-9. In fact, Hield was about the only one hitting from the 3-point line; the Pelicans were a less-than-stunning 6-28, and the Thunder, who didn’t hit any at all in the first half, wound up with, yes, a less-than-stunning 6-28.

If there had been a second question for the night, perhaps it would have been “Does Russell Westbrook get another triple-double?” Yes, he does: 28-17-12, for his fifth in a row. Last time anyone did five in a row was 1987, a fellow named Jordan. (If you’re keeping count, it’s Other 29 Teams 6, Westbrook 5.) As usual, Enes Kanter led the bench with 17.

Tomorrow night in Atlanta, which will be not only tiring in the usual manner of back-to-backs, but which will start half an hour early by Oklahoma City standings: 6:30 pm Central. Westbrook put in 37 minutes and change. Let’s hope he can sleep on the plane.


The widest variety possible

It’s all in what you’re allowed to see:

Back in grad school, some guy sued our university, claiming that our department didn’t hire him because of his politics. The department members’ reactions were illuminating. While they of course all but admitted to not hiring the guy because he was a conservative,* the discussion quickly devolved into a bunch of leftoid moonbats reassuring other leftoid moonbats that there’s actually all kinds of political diversity in the department. And — this is the crucial point — by their lights, they were right. To any outside observer, this is a real knee-slapper, but inside the ivory tower the Marxist Feminists have real, longstanding beefs with the Feminist Marxists. The Judean People’s Front would, if given power, immediately execute all members of the Peoples Front of Judea, and academia works the same way.

About that footnote:

*the university settled out of court. Which was too bad — I for one was looking forward to forwarding the seventeen zillion daily listserv messages I was cc’d on to the prosecution. Obviously nobody briefed the dingbat grad students on things like “discovery” and “paper trails” and “plausible deniability.” There would’ve been some Trigglypuff meltdowns, believe me.

If you’re not familiar with Trigglypuff, start here. And then finish there. No sense being a damn fool about it.


Wheel Barrow away

The town has reverted to its original name:

The northernmost community in the United States has officially restored its original name.

In October, the people of the Alaskan town formerly known as Barrow, on the edge of the Arctic Ocean, voted to restore its indigenous name, Utqiagvik. Zachariah Hughes of Alaska Public Media reported that the traditional Iñupiaq name Utqiagvik refers to a place to gather wild roots.

The vote was close: 381-375. (The town has a population of a bit over 4,000.)

Point Barrow, the actual northernmost point in the States, nine miles to the northeast, is remaining Point Barrow for now.

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See you in 2027

We have maybe ten years left, says this insufficiently grizzled academic [warning: autostart video]:

There’s no point trying to fight climate change — we’ll all be dead in the next decade and there’s nothing we can do to stop it, a visiting scientist claims.

Guy McPherson, a biology professor at the University of Arizona, says the human destruction of our own habitat is leading towards the world’s sixth mass extinction.

Instead of fighting, he says we should just embrace it and live life while we can.

“It’s locked down, it’s been locked in for a long time — we’re in the midst of our sixth mass extinction.”

It gets better, or perhaps worse:

“I can’t imagine there will be a human on the planet in 10 years,” he says.

“We don’t have 10 years. The problem is when I give a number like that, people think it’s going to be business as usual until nine years [and] 364 days.”

On 1 January 2027, if this guy has the least bit of honor, he should fall on his sword.

Better yet, he should fall on Paul Ehrlich’s sword, Ehrlich himself being obviously unwilling to admit that he was, and is, full of it.

(Via Coyote Blog.)

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En masse

Early in the history of this site, I noted:

It is my lot in life to bear a fairly common name. Most neighborhoods can boast a Hill or two, and as Sam Goldwyn never said, every Tom, Dick and Harry is named Charles.

For a while, I linked to as many as I could, perhaps hoping I’d find one on Charles Hill Road in Orinda, California. But eventually this became more of a burden than an amusement, and I filed away the page.

Still, I wonder: how many of us 323,878,801 Americans are named Charles Hill? This is where How Many of Me came in. I have, they said, the 9th most common first name, and the 41st most common last name, from which they concluded there are 3,779 of us.

I note purely in passing that there are five Taylor Swifts, though I’m only aware of two personally.

(Via New Jersey 101.5.)

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From the “Her again” files

I figured if I waited long enough, I’d get some shots of Chinese pianist Yuja Wang, a favorite in these parts, in something other than the abbreviated gowns in which she performs, and of course I was right.

Yuja Wang dressed down

Yuja Wang informal

Yuja Wang in monochrome

Still, the obligatory performance video does indeed feature an abbreviated gown, and I swear, in this Arkady Volodos derangement of Mozart’s “Rondo alla turca,” she looks like she’s smiling.

Downright jazzy, this.


In which Shkreli is shkrewed

You gotta love this:

The man who sparked outrage last year by hiking the price of a life-saving drug may have met his match in some Australian schoolboys.

US executive Martin Shkreli became a symbol of greed when he raised the price of a tablet of Daraprim from $13.50 (£11) to $750.

Now, Sydney school students have recreated the drug’s key ingredient for just $20.

Daraprim is an anti-parasitic drug used by malaria and Aids patients.

The Sydney Grammar boys, all 17, synthesised the active ingredient, pyrimethamine, in their school science laboratory.

“It wasn’t terribly hard but that’s really the point, I think, because we’re high school students,” one boy, Charles Jameson, told the BBC.

The students produced 3.7 grams of pyrimethamine for $20. In the US, the same quantity would cost up to $110,000.

In response, Shkreli issued the following statement:

(Via Fark.)


As the snow comes on down

As good an explanation of why these things fizzle out — or worse, don’t fizzle out — as I’ve yet seen:

Arctic air is due in a few days. Just my luck.

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Only one of these numbers is at all relevant:

Yahoo Answers screenshot: On the autobahn, can a g37x sedan keep up(pacing)with other high performance vehicles(Amgs, m series, Audi rs, Porsche, Ferrari)?

Justifications, so to speak:

The car is a 2013 g37 x Sedan the car has a 7 speed automatic transmission. The car is in physically and mechanically in good condition and is easily capable of doing over 110 mph on highways that are legally limited to as high as 75 mph. The performance on this car seems phenomenal and seems to have really good handling capabilities at extremely speeds(150 mph or more).

Anyways the car has
-328 hp, 269ftlbs of torque
3.7 liter v6 naturally aspirated
0-60 in 5.4 sec
Has awd
Speed is limited up to 155 mph

My real question is based on the performance of this car, does it have what it takes(performance) to compete against other high end sports(like the ones I mentioned above) or would it be left in the dust?


Also can the g37x sustain speeds of 140 mph or would the engine blow up? Would adding a heavy duty radiator cooler, better tires, stiffer suspensions and an intake filter help it?

Note that he has no idea whether this Infiniti actually has “really good handling capabilities at extremely [sic] speeds.”

But none of this is relevant in the light of this one line:

Speed is limited up to 155 mph

Those other guys? Not limited to 155 mph. What do you think would happen, assuming there’s enough space on the autobahn to allow this kind of boy-racer fantasy?

This has to be either a bar bet, or a 15-year-old who dreams that the parental units are going to get him this car and who will be threatening suicide when they come home with something appropriate to his capabilities — say, a ’99 Toyota Corolla.