Burn it to the ground

GraphJam reports:

Things the Internet hates

If Chad Kroeger ever starts his own church, we are in deep kimchi indeed.

Note: The original title on GraphJam was “No Comic Sans?”

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Hardware deceleration

I complained about a week ago about random system lockups, which have ceased since I performed the following steps:

  • Opened the tower halfway, on the basis that overheating could be a contributing factor;
  • Turned off hardware acceleration in Firefox.

There was a fringe benefit to the latter: Firefox actually seems to run faster with this function disabled.

Nor am I the first to notice this:

This may be counter-intuitive, but many users are reporting that hardware acceleration can have a negative impact on Firefox’s performance. The fix didn’t noticeably affect my installation so perhaps it depends on your OS, graphics card, drivers or other factors.

And this was way back in Version 6, nine “major” releases ago.

For the record, I have an Nvidia GeForce 6600 with 256 MB of RAM onboard. At the time — that would be 2006 — this was a slightly-short-of-high-end card; today, of course, it is Old News.

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Ewww, a girl!

An abstract for your consideration:

Despite efforts to recruit and retain more women, a stark gender disparity persists within academic science. Abundant research has demonstrated gender bias in many demographic groups, but has yet to experimentally investigate whether science faculty exhibit a bias against female students that could contribute to the gender disparity in academic science. In a randomized double-blind study (n = 127), science faculty from research-intensive universities rated the application materials of a student — who was randomly assigned either a male or female name — for a laboratory manager position. Faculty participants rated the male applicant as significantly more competent and hireable than the (identical) female applicant. These participants also selected a higher starting salary and offered more career mentoring to the male applicant.

This is not, incidentally, a case of the Good Old Boys ganging up on a woman, either. From the Data Supplement:

We then explored whether additional variables might interact with participants’ subtle preexisting bias against women to predict their reactions to the target students. Separate models adding faculty participant gender, age, science field, tenure status, each two-way interaction, as well as the three-way interaction of each demographic variable with student gender condition and faculty participant gender (to rule out participant gender differences) revealed no significant novel predictors (all β < 0.38, all P > 0.28). This finding suggests that faculty participants’ gender attitudes themselves played a role in undermining support for the female (but not male) student, and that the impact of these gender attitudes does not appear to vary as a function of participants’ other demographic characteristics, including their gender. Consistent with other results, it appears that female as well as male faculty members’ negative attitudes toward women undermined their support for the female student, irrespective of their age, science field, and career status.

There’s always, it seems, someone willing to perpetuate the status quo, be it good, bad or indifferent.

(Via this @syaffolee tweet.)

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In the middle of decomposition

Link rot has always been a fact of life on the Web; things get moved, other things get removed, and as the age of any given link increases, so does the probability of being thrust into 404ville.

I generally appreciate being informed of a dead link, but if it’s six years old, the point of diminishing returns has long since been left in the dust. Just the same, I got an email from one of those social-media whiz kids pointing out that a service to which I’d linked, the mobile social network Dodgeball, is now the former mobile social network Dodgeball, having been supplanted by Google Latitude, which nobody uses anyway because they’ve all checked in on Foursquare.

The whiz kid, of course, suggested that I replace the dead link with a link to her site, which presumably was the whole point. I didn’t.

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Fundamental imbalance

The eminent CripesSuzette has tweeted:

My old FB account says I have 19 “likes”. I don’t even like 19 things in real life.

I am embarrassed to report 109 “likes,” though evidently not embarrassed enough to refrain from mentioning it here.

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That’s an awful lot of books

I have no idea how long the Hot Librarian stereotype has been, as the young folks say, a Thing, but clearly it existed back in 1965:

1965 Hanes ad

Now if someone will kindly explain to me where we’re supposed to get liquid chiffon. (No, not the stuff in the tub; we don’t want to tick off Mother Nature.) There exist two more ads in this series, with different photos but identical text.

I must also point out that Globe Hopper has come up with a variation that, she says, promotes intelligence, and we all could use more of that.

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The faintest of torches

I heartily endorse this practice, even though there is no way on God’s green earth that I’d ever do it myself:

Sandy Crocker, of British Columbia, just took a trip to Ireland in July 2011, but he has gone back for another four weeks to try to track down a woman that he met at a County Clare cafe during his last trip.

On July 9, 2011, Crocker met the one. He just didn’t realize it until it was too late. Crocker stopped at the An Teach Bia cafe in Ennistymon with his family to grab a bite to eat before heading to the popular Cliffs of Moher. Crocker spotted the woman at the cafe and stopped her to ask for direction to the Cliffs before she left. The two had a brief conversation.

And that was the last he saw of her. The next day he flew back to Canada, but he never stopped thinking about her:

“My breath was taken away to the point of near suffocation … She was gentle, graceful, the kind of girl who would enter a shoe store and leave with brown boots, [whose] mother probably thought blue glass was pretty and still collectible.”

It’s not like I’ve never heard of this thing happening before, either:

The trick about the town of Brigadoon, you may remember, is that it’s not always there: the enchantment that preserves it does so by bringing it to life only once every hundred years, thereby making sure it’s not influenced by contemporary evils. Which means that when Tommy Albright (Gene Kelly) falls hard for one of the town girls, he’s faced with the sort of choice you wouldn’t give Hobson: either he stays with her, thereby giving up his life in this world, or he returns to New York and never gets another shot. I remember yelling at the screen: “You fool! Go back to her!”

Not that I’d ever take my own advice, of course:

I hit the gymnasium first, quite by accident, and a kindly member of the athletic staff — like so many faculty members, he’s also an alumnus, in this case from 1972 — gave me The Tour. I didn’t recall too many names from ’72, with the notable exception of the young lady I sort of almost dated, and it seemed rather pointless to volunteer her name, so I didn’t. The gym is twice as big as the old one, and perhaps more important, so is the library. And with a student body roughly the same size as it was thirty years ago, the new staff (which, I note with delight, includes some of the old staff) should have a far easier time of it.

I thanked my guide and got back into my car and mused for a moment. A moment too long, as it turned out; once I got the car started, I spun around to look for traffic, and there was a woman in a Nissan Altima waiting for me to vacate the space. I rolled down the window to apologize for making her wait, and she smiled at me, and by the time I got off Daniel Island I remembered where I’d seen that face before. And I swear, it could have been the aforementioned young lady I sort of almost dated.

Were I the sort of person I’m supposed to be, or that I think I’d like to be, I would have done a 360 180 in the middle of the Mark Clark Expressway and gone back to ask. But being the sort of person I am, I kept going and didn’t say a word.

Perhaps I’ve learned my lesson, but that’s probably not the way to bet.

And speaking of bets, a UK bookmaker quotes the odds on Crocker’s finding his dream colleen:

U.K. bookmaker Ladbrokes, Ireland, assigned 50/1 odds on Mr. Crocker marrying the mystery lady, giving it a 4/5 chance that she is already married. “It’s definitely a long shot travelling 8,000 kilometres to woo an anonymous Irish girl with red hair and freckles, but there’s a good chance Sandy could steal another Irish lady’s heart during his visit, so we’re offering 10/1 that he meets his future wife here,” said Ladbrokes spokeswoman Hayley O’Connor.

A likely story.

(Suggested by the Instant Man.)

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Slog control

Last year’s NBA season was shortened to 66 games as a result of the lockout, and NBA.com asked several coaches about this coming season’s return to normalcy. Only one — George Karl of the Nuggets — was willing to suggest that he’d didn’t really mind having fewer games to deal with:

I’m sure Commissioner Stern won’t like this, but I think the product would be better if we shortened the season. When we start playing in late October, the people are thinking football. If you could just get us less fatigue [in a shorter season], I think you’d have a better product. When they started on Christmas Day, I thought, “This is not a bad idea. This should be the start of NBA basketball … Maybe start Dec. 1 and play 62 games, whatever number they’d come to.”

I don’t know if I’d go that far, but I wouldn’t object to, say, a 76-game season starting the day after Election Day. (Four against each of four division rivals = 16; three against each of ten other conference rivals = 30; two against each team in the other conference = 30.) Still, football continues to creep later into the fall, and I suspect it is the policy of the major sports leagues to ignore, to the extent possible, each other’s existence. So 82 it is, for the foreseeable future.

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Strange search-engine queries (347)

And a gracious good Monday morning to you all, as we present a week’s worth of screwy search strings that led unwary Web surfers to this very site. No wagering, please.

whose fault is this!  When in doubt, blame San Andreas.

nude hosiery for 40 women:  Hot as it was this past summer, probably only 25 of them actually wore the stuff.

home depot false accuse shoplift:  More often, they swipe it from Lowe’s, and then try to return it at the Home Depot.

maureen dowd is a bitter old maid:  She’s hardly a maid.

i wanna see the invisible woman (1983):  But you can’t, and I shouldn’t have to explain why.

anatomically correct replica of 50-year-old non-smoker’s rag heart:  Raggedy Ann is 97 this year, and I don’t think she’s ever even dipped snuff.

“getting used to” thong:  Experiment with about twenty yards of dental floss.

bad erth quaks:  Bad enough to shake your ability to spell, I assume.

Why is Sherilyn Fenn so old:  It’s her birth date. Darn thing just won’t move forward.

postal annex Portland uh the gray wolf mean it’s stupid:  On the other paw, no gray wolf has ever come up with a search like that.

Ragaa. List some of the malicious things Trudy can do from this position:  I’m kind of hoping she turns you into a gray wolf and mails you to Portland.

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Routine Mittigation

Graphic from Page One, 9-23-12The Oklahoman and the Washington Examiner have been under common ownership for some time, and occasional Examiner editorials have been reprinted, usually in the second position, on the Oklahoman editorial page. Both papers have been enthusiastic, possibly even fervent, supporters of Mitt Romney. (In other news, there are enthusiastic, possibly even fervent, supporters of Mitt Romney.) This weekend, we were treated to a 10-part, 12-page supplement of Examiner articles on Barack Obama, titled The Man Behind the Image, which contains nothing I think of as being particularly incendiary; if you’ve been paying attention all along, you already knew all these things, and you’ve either filed them away for future reference or dismissed them as irrelevant.

There is, however, a punchline: the promo for the supplement, as it appeared in the newspaper’s Page One sidebar, describes it as “A special report from The Washington Examiner in today’s comics package.” Make of that what you will.

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If your sin’s original

Why are things so screwed up? The more I think about it, the more I feel like blaming two naked humans and a snake.

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It costs more to live on your own

On the upside, it avoids unpleasant situations like this:

Found out this weekend that my roommate — the primary on the lease — had called the landlord to inform him that he was through being a tenant. Unfortunately, said roommate did this without talking to me first, nor did he let me know anything about this until the landlord sent that email.

Judging from prior reports, said roommate was also less than diligent about paying the bills. Good riddance — but the timing of this event, inevitably, was not so good.

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Status markers

I have never thought of myself as being rich, exactly, though my net worth is on the positive side of the ledger, which presumably makes me better off than some, and while my assets aren’t growing much at all, my liabilities continue to decline, which must be scored as an advantage. More to the point, I have enough Worldly Goods to meet my current level of demand, though I suppose I might feel a bit closer to that elusive ideal of richness if I’d just buy a few more, um, things:

When I was young, to be rich meant owning a Coach bag, drinking Pellegrino water, listening to a Bose Wave radio, wearing cashmere sweaters, and having hardwood floors in my home. In some ways, I still feel that way.

Still, as needs go, these are relatively easily met:

This weekend I decided to tackle it. I bought a Coach bag and then I went to Best Buy and bought the Sonos multi-room digital music system (Bose is so 20th century). The other items are things I already consumed… I have a number of cashmere sweaters and my house has hardwood flooring. San Pellegrino is a quick trip to the grocery store.

Come to think of it, I’ve completed about 40 percent of that list myself: I have nice parquet floors, except in the kitchen and bathroom, and I own three single-unit radios — one by JBL, two by Cambridge Soundworks — that compete pretty well with the Bose Wave. I do have Bose audio in the car, but it’s a 2000 model — so 20th century.

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A cure for what ails you

Monday is — well, it’s a Monday, so it needs all the help it can get, and let’s face it, every day is improved by bacon. Accordingly:

On Monday, September 24, Call Me Stormy will unveil our most ambitious project to date — A DAY OF BACON — an all-out, non-stop salute to bacon. Every hour on the hour, covering an entire 24-hour marathon, we will post a clip from a movie, cartoon, TV show, stand-up comedy routine, music video or newsreel celebrating the wonders of bacon.

That’s a whole lotta bacon. And why, you ask?

No other meat tastes as sweet as candy. None is so richly aromatic. And none so well represents our spirit at a time when we are under assault from violent extremists who are hellbent to limit our freedoms, including the choice of bacon as a breakfast entree. We could use a laugh and a pick-me-up, and bacon’s just the right thing to do the trick.

And besides, it’s been weeks since International Bacon Day.

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There are several reasons to remember German actress Romy Schneider, who did most of her best work in the French cinema but made some serious noise in Hollywood in the Sixties, including The Cardinal, opposite Tom Tryon, and What’s New Pussycat, in which she plays the fiancée of an unrepentant womanizer played by Peter O’Toole. How unrepentant, you ask?

RS: We’re married thirty seconds and already you look at other women.

PO: I had to look at her, she was talking to me, I looked in the direction the sound was coming from.

A very Woody Allen-ish exchange, which seems reasonable, inasmuch as it was written by Woody Allen.

Romy Schneider

Schneider’s life spiraled rapidly downward in 1981, when her teenage son David died after trying to climb a wire fence and slashed an artery. When she was found dead in her Paris apartment the following spring, she was believed to have committed suicide. French officials ruled she hadn’t. She was forty-three; she would have been seventy-four tomorrow.

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A hard hobbit to break

Rule 85: If it exists, there is pony of it.

And right on time, too.

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