Some of his best friends, and so forth

A grabber of an opening paragraph:

I am not a misogynist, but… Of course, if I say that, immediately you think either the next words out of my keyboard will be, or that I am learning the proper obsequiescence of a Sensitive Nineties Man (SNM) too late for it to do any good for the nineties, but I am not a misogynist; I think women are one of the top two genders in the world.

One of the earliest posts by Brian J. Noggle, who hoisted his blog banner ten years ago this week.

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Counting for much

Shortly after the 2008 election, I complained that “actual knowledge of mathematical concepts is inimical to political success.” If one assumes that we get the government we deserve, it’s no trick to conclude that the Great Unwashed are utterly immune to arithmetic.

Not too similarly, from Roger:

There are people who actually don’t understand that math is everywhere. The old recipe book says that I require 10 32 ounce cans for a bunch of lasagna I’m making. But they don’t make 32-ounce cans anymore, they only make 28 ounce cans. How many cans will I need?

Ah, the ever-popular Grocery Shrink Ray, which is used on things other than groceries; in 2007 I bought a replacement for my 30-gallon water heater, which holds, um, 28 gallons despite being almost exactly the same size.

And Roger needs twelve cans, though he’ll use less than half of the last one. After a brief flirtation with online operations, I do my tax returns by hand, though I suspect I may be one of a dying breed.

Isaac Asimov was available for comment.

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Let there be slight

Screenshot from Oklahoma MesonetThis is, by no small margin, the nastiest 10th of April since they started keeping weather records in 1891, and it appears that the Spirit of Nasty hath caused much confusion at the Oklahoma Mesonet, which was displaying that forecast graphic this afternoon. To borrow a phrase, they keep using that word; I do not believe it means what they think it means.

(The mercury struggled to get up to 45 degrees on this date in 1958, a mere two dozen or so below average; we will fall short of that today by about eight.)

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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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