Imagined unsightliness

For reasons having to do with demographics, I assume, this was all over (meaning “I saw it three times”) Facebook and Twitter yesterday:

Women feel invisible to the opposite sex at the age of 51, it emerged yesterday.

A detailed study of 2,000 women revealed a large percentage felt they no longer received the level of attention they once did after hitting 51.

Many even went as far as to admit they felt “ignored”.

The women claimed their confidence plummeted after hitting 50 and blamed greying hair, having to to wear glasses or even struggling to find fashionable clothes.

The lifestyle study, commissioned by herbal remedies company, A.Vogel, also found more than two thirds of women over 45 had walked into a room and felt “completely unnoticed” by the opposite sex.

Which only proves the wisdom of the old saying “First you have to get their attention”:

Screenshot from The Invisible Woman 1940

You may be absolutely certain that Charles Lane is hanging on Virginia Bruce’s every word. (She was actually 30 at the time, but who’s going to know?)

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Failure to RTFM (one in a lifelong series)

I had a few documents to update yesterday morning, and so I duly loaded the templates into OpenOffice. OO balked. After a standard-length period of staring in disbelief, I came upon the truth of the matter: a font common to all of them no longer existed.

Wait a minute, said I. Didn’t I copy all that crap from the old box during the Win7 migration? Alas, some crap went uncopied: Windows Easy Transfer will not move system files, which I knew, and Microsoft deems fonts to be system files, which I should have known but evidently didn’t.

So the first order of business when I got home was to crank up the old box, which hadn’t been used for a month, tell Adobe that no, goddamn it, you can’t bring up a dialup to get your precious update, and copy 900-odd font files onto a flash drive. (They weren’t on the new home box either, for exactly the same reason.) I’m not going to reinstall every last one of these, of course; but the ones I know I’ve used and will use again will be put back into service.

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The browsers have been doubled

As an experiment, I’ve replaced my normal browser with Folger’s Crystals Pale Moon 24.4.2, which takes what was good about Mozilla’s Firefox and replaces that which was not so good (constant memory leaks, constant interface revisions, the need to support really old hardware, and for some, minor political considerations). So far, it’s pretty impressive; there’s a 64-bit version which I could have installed, but didn’t, not being entirely sure what might happen if I did.

Bill Quick definitely likes it:

I wish I’d known about Pale Moon long ago. It does everything Firefox did, with pretty much the identical user interface, but much faster and with less memory use — in fact, that awful FF memory leak issue seems to be gone in Pale Moon. I’m sold!

Interestingly, the user-agent string contains both names:

Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; WOW64; rv:24.0) Gecko/20140329 Firefox/24.0 PaleMoon/24.4.2

You’ll recall that “NT 6.1,” for reasons known but to Microsoft, is Windows 7.

And the Status-4-Evar addon, in my view mandatory for Firefox once they killed the status bar (circa version 4), is superfluous with Pale Moon. Imagine that.

Hint: If you’re planning to switch from Firefox to Pale Moon, first run the installer, don’t run the importer, and with neither browser running, run Pale Moon’s separate profile-migration tool.

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An overnight suspicion

When all else fails, spammers fall back on the tried and true. I caught this suite of spam early this morning, and it would be easily dismissable were it not for its, um, quirky phraseology. For instance:

VigRx With the addition of The Extreme Spear Enhancement.

The secret has absolutely been revealed. Yes VigRx Bonus drive change you in to a coitus god. Thicker, Longer and Harder.

If erotic deportment is a apply to of yours to the limitation that you are perturbed there losing your partner, it may be time to respect something different. There are a two remedies on the trade in that are specifically geared to helping men, but unless you can see sure results, you should close wasting your money. You should also cogitate on the likelihood of side effects, apt to conflicts with other medications.

Deadly serious, yet giggle-inducing. More yet:

VigRx Oil Colossal Longer Eternal Having it away

VigRX Grease Can Devote You An Extra 2 -3 Inch’s On Your Penis. What Are You Waiting Exchange for Wonderful Stud.

VigRx lubricant is an erection fuel that has been developed to boost your nitric oxide levels and guarantee longer erections. It has already proved its efficacy away supercharging know memoirs of millions of people around the world. It is made using heady herbal ingredients that straight percolate through into your penile tissues and offer vigorous results.

Wait a minute. Is it a lubricant or is it a fuel? Or do you end up burning oil and needing a ring job?

Still, nothing compares to this:

Semenax Review How Compelling Is Semenax?

Wild, Fervent And In truth Intellectual Blowing Orgasm That Objective Stay fresh Prevalent! Decent Commemorate With Semenax Your In Jurisdiction!

Semenax has become an overnight suspicion as a dietary and sexual enhancement supplement. Created by means of a league of pharmaceutical professionals, it is the world’s most crap semen enhancement output available.

Before inspirational the man’s testes, it promises to deliver larger loads of semen ergo creating higher sperm chamber counts, increased fertility and fervent orgasms instead of both partners. The success rate has been stupefying, working in compensation men of all ages, childlike and old.

Why, yes, this was an effort to Googlebomb “crap semen enhancement.” Why do you ask?

And “instead of both partners”? Awfully shortsighted, doncha think?

Even more products were offered, but there’s a practical limit to how much of this I’m willing to read.

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Arachnid pinion (again)

You may remember this from three years ago:

A couple years’ worth of Mazda6 production — about 65,000 cars in all, four-cylinder models only — will be recalled because of, um, spiders.

The 6 has since been completely redesigned, but eight-legged critters still like the old one:

Another recall has been issued for 42,000 more of the models built between 2010 and 2012 and equipped with the 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine.

According to the automaker, there have been nine confirmed sightings of spiders in vent lines since the original recall. It seems that covers were applied at the factory to keep the arachnids from entering, but it hasn’t quite exterminated the problem.

This time, they plan to reflash the car’s computer, to change the purge timing in the charcoal canister that collects fuel vapors.

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The drama’s done

Why then here does any one step forth? Because they can:

Emoji DickEmoji Dick is a crowd sourced and crowd funded translation of Herman Melville’s Moby Dick into Japanese emoticons called emoji.

Each of the book’s approximately 10,000 sentences has been translated three times by a Amazon Mechanical Turk worker. These results have been voted upon by another set of workers, and the most popular version of each sentence has been selected for inclusion in this book.

In total, over eight hundred people spent approximately 3,795,980 seconds working to create this book. Each worker was paid five cents per translation and two cents per vote per translation.

Talk not to them of blasphemy, man.

(Via Julie R. Neidlinger, who posits this publication as the definition of “mixed feelings.”)

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Strange search-engine queries (427)

“Spring is sprung / The grass is riz / I wonder where / The searches iz?” Right here.

Applications for the Cd4e transmission:  See if you can find one that will tell you when it’s going to fail.

masterbation of purnia girl fully nacked girl:  You’ll never make it there in time, inasmuch as your transmission is about to fail.

i have a 2006 mazda tribut and the transmishion filter is in the transmishion cant be changed how often doo i need oil changed:  I’d point to the manual, but the chance that you’d be able to read it seems awfully small.

what causes the shift solenoid in the transmission to work:  Electricity. Now what causes it not to work?

a small sport-utility vehicle gas tank holds 60 quarts of gasoline. how many gallons does it hold?  Fifteen, which all by itself will decrease the Arctic ice pack by 0.9 percent.

weird trick grocery stores:  You have to know what you’re doing, but generally it works like this: you hand over some green paper, they give you a shoulder roast.

licke boy viode:  If you insist, though I don’t think anyone will like it.

joseph emmet from his 1882 play fritz among the gypsies:  Not recently revived, as the set decorations are constantly on the fritz.

sextube windowslive:  Let’s hope this is Windows XP and you get the malware injection you so richly deserve.

How much does a receptionist earn at skynet:  $10.10 an hour plus all the humans you can exterminate.

index of hendrix .wma:  And so downloads made of sand / Go 404 / and not much more.

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Suns continue to shine

Whatever else may happen this year, one of the biggest stories in the NBA, if you ask me, is the return of the Phoenix Suns, a meager 25-57 last year, to legitimate playoff contention; a win tonight would go a long way to nailing down the #8 seed, what with both the Grizzlies and the Mavericks owning tiebreakers over Phoenix. So the Suns played like there was no tomorrow, and for most of the game maintained a small lead; Oklahoma City pulled ahead at 112-111 with 2:39 left, but Markieff Morris rattled down four points in a row on a layup and two free throws, and after Kevin Durant dribbled into a double-team, P. J. Tucker nailed two more freebies, and Eric Bledsoe added four more just for fun. That made it 121-112 Phoenix, and a Kevin Durant trey in the waning moments went all for naught: the Suns claimed the win, 122-115, the season series 2-1, and maybe, just maybe, that vital #8 spot in the West.

That trey of KD’s gave him 38 points; he’s now gone 25-plus in 41 consecutive games, passing Michael Jordan on the all-time list for such streaks. Russell Westbrook looked pretty good with 33 points in 33 minutes before fouling out. But Serge Ibaka had an off night — 11 points, six boards, no blocks — and the Thunder bench, led by Reggie Jackson with 11, was utterly outplayed by the Phoenix reserves, led by Gerald Green with 24 and the Morris twins (Markieff and Marcus) with ten apiece.

Not that the Phoenix starters needed tremendous help, mind you; Goran Dragić came up with 26 points on 11-19 shooting — by comparison, Durant was 13-28 — and P. J. Tucker posted a season-high 22. The Suns were shooting 60 percent into the fourth quarter and finished at 58; the Thunder managed 47, that cold spell at the end dragging the numbers down a bit.

What follows: two West Coast games, one at Sacramento on Tuesday, one at Los Angeles on Wednesday. The Clippers, who beat the Lakers tonight, are 55-23; the Thunder, 55-21. No more need be said.

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El Darto

While most online ads are, I think you’ll agree, eminently blockable, I figure the least I can do for sites on which I rely for information and/or blogfodder is to let the stuff come through unhindered; not only does this toggle off the site’s usual whine about blockers, but the ads themselves often provide material.

Fark, for instance, has a pretty good chance of sending me something related to things I’ve looked up recently, especially if I’ve looked them up at a retail site. Once in a while, I get something relevant from Equestria Daily, but more often I get something like this:

Dodge Dart ad in Spanish

I have no idea what I did to deserve that.

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Matthew Riley MacPherson, a developer at Mozilla, posted the following factoids regarding “[Brendan] Eich, queers, and Mozilla”:

I Like EichWe added trans benefits and a Code of Conduct with Brendan in a leadership position.

I have spoke to no queer Mozilla people who feel Eich has ever made them uncomfortable. I have never heard of Eich attacking homosexuals at Mozilla.

Conversely, Gerv posted a call to action against Gay marriage to Planet Mozilla, which prompted the creation of a Code of Conduct at Mozilla, which Eich worked on.

Mozilla has amazing benefits for same-sex couples everywhere possible, including in many US states where it is not legally required.

Mozilla as a company donated more for equal marriage rights than against.

This was posted before Eich stepped down. Subsequently, after Eich’s departure, MacPherson posted this:

I think if Eich had apologized, expressed regret, and attempted to repair the negative image painted of Mozilla, he might still be CEO. He could’ve shown that he could put Mozilla first, that he could swallow his pride to appear fair, and that he cared about the mission more than preserving his privacy over a public donation.

So while the mob might feel like it won, proving that there is some kind of zero-tolerance for homophobia in America, Eich’s departure from Mozilla tells a slightly more nuanced story than that.

In the best of all possible worlds, of course, Eich would have responded to the Inquisition with — but forget that. Were this the best of all possible worlds, there never would have been an Inquisition in the first place, would there?

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Speaking of trees

Tony Woodlief, on ice storms and their impact:

There is no predicting which trees will break, nor how they will falter. Some shed limbs as a rebirthing, others lose not a one. Some are sundered to their roots, as if a rotten core had crept up through the center of them, or had been birthed within them, had been inside them from the beginning, only to be revealed in the testing hour.

A pin oak behind my house cast down a dozen widow-makers, a proud magnolia fell into itself grotesquely. A pear tree shed half itself across my driveway. Branches speared the earth, some of them a foot deep, because when you stretch to heaven you have much further to fall, and your breaking is perilous to all around you.

To sum it up:

Sometimes the ones we thought strong topple, while the stoop-shouldered endure. They endure because they bend beneath the weight, they shoulder it as beasts of burden and within them is something like faith that it will pass.

Sometimes they get by with a little help from their friends, but they survive.

Two years of unrelenting drought killed off three of my trees, and surely weakened the others; yet the others are still standing, still green (or other color as appropriate), still keeping watch. It’s hard not to feel somewhat comforted by that, even as I mourn the departed.

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Carrying on unbowed

A medium-sized ice storm came to town in the third week of December, causing a bit more damage than the water volume might have led us to expect. I reported at the time that “one of the twin redbuds was cut almost in half,” which turned out to be about five percent too high. Still, losing 45 percent of a tree is tantamount to losing the whole thing, so I was worried that it was a goner.

“Not yet, I’m not,” it said:

Twin redbuds

Now this tree was an anomaly in the first place: a redbud that wasn’t even red, fercrissake. This is not unheard of in Cercis reniformis, but it’s not exactly common either, another reason for hoping for its survival. This shot was taken from about 12 feet away, where you can see both white and red trees beginning to put forth their ephemeral blooms. In less time than you think, these will be replaced by actual leaves and occasional seed pods.

(Full-sized version posted to Flickr.)

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Treated like crap

Why am I not surprised that (1) this is on Fark (2) with a FLORIDA tag?

A 49-year-old woman found herself in a pile of trouble after investigators linked her to apparent human poop in an elevator at the St. Lucie County Courthouse in downtown Fort Pierce.

The case against Patricia Ann Jamison, of Lake Worth, got rolling March 7 after court security staff learned of what looked to be “human fecal matter in the corner of the left public elevator by the buttons,” according to recently released St. Lucie County Sheriff’s records.

In case you’re not familiar with the substance in question — in which case, we welcome you, our new robot overlords — it’s like this:

Feces, also known as ordure, dung, stool, poo poo and feculence, typically is found in commodes or cow pastures, as opposed to public elevators.

And, if memory serves, it happens.

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Give or take a cubit

We’re not saying that they’d all fit, but we’re saying that they’d all float:

[R]esearch by physics students suggests that a structure on the scale of Noah’s ark as described in the ancient text could have been built.

And what’s more, they say it would have been buoyant even with two of every animal on Earth on board.

Okay, you’ve gotten my attention. How does this work?

  • The dimensions for the ark were provided in cubits in the Bible, an archaic measure based on the distance between the elbow and the tip of the middle finger.
  • Noah was commanded to make the boat out of ‘gopher wood’ and in order to calculate the weight of the empty ark they needed to know the density of the material the boat was constructed out of, but there is no modern-day equivalent of gopher wood.
  • English translations of the Bible refer to cypress wood instead, so this was the material that the students used.
  • In order to calculate the overall downward force of the ark, the students needed to know the mass of the animals on board; previous research has suggested that the average mass of an animal is approximately equal to that of one sheep, 23.47kg, which was the figure used.
  • “Our conclusions were that the ark would support the weight of 2.15 million sheep without sinking and that should be enough to support all of the species that were around at the time.”

Still unexplained: why Noah didn’t swat those frickin’ mosquitoes when he had the chance; and dammit, you expect unicorns to be smarter than that. Or at least I do.

(Via Interested-Participant.)

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Not a serif in sight

Apparently I’m not the only person who thought Ariana Grande was a Windows font. She’s actually a young singer/actress who did three years on Nickelodeon’s series Victorious and has released one album, Yours Truly. She might look all of her twenty years — maybe — in this shot from Nick’s Kids’ Choice Awards last weekend:

Ariana Grande on Nickelodeon

The best track off Yours Truly, I think, is the retro-sounding “Baby I,” which supposedly was originally written for Beyoncé. Grande does well here, with only a couple of seconds of Mariah Carey-ish caterwauling.

Retro-looking, too, I suppose.

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Some renaissance this is

The Friar drops in at Norman’s Medieval Faire, and spots a rolling anachronism:

A local TV station’s “storm chaser” truck and weather frou-frou display, because heaven knows we don’t have enough reminders that we’re entering storm season in Oklahoma and that if we watch some other channel we’re all going to die.

The least they could do is give the guy — they never seem to send the women for some reason — a proper broadsword.

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