The age of hilarious

Neil deGrasse Tyson lets the sunshine into the cosmos:

(Via a Nancy Friedman retweet.)

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What kind of a guru are you?

You may not have known this, but:

We exist as atomic ionization.

You and I are dreamweavers of the quantum matrix.

The galaxy is radiating ultra-sentient particles. Grace is the driver of faith. Nothing is impossible.

We must learn how to lead advanced lives in the face of dogma. It is time to take wonder to the next level. This quest never ends.

Humankind has nothing to lose. We are in the midst of a karmic condensing of wellbeing that will align us with the quantum matrix itself. Our conversations with other storytellers have led to a refining of ultra-internal consciousness.

The future will be a self-aware redefining of consciousness.

Rebirth is the healing of presence, and of us. Intuition requires exploration. By unfolding, we dream.

As you dream, you will enter into infinite understanding that transcends understanding. You will soon be reborn by a power deep within yourself — a power that is unrestricted, non-local. Through numerology, our hopes are baptized in growth.

Was this a random survey taken at the checkout counter of Buzzwords R Us? Well, not exactly. Seb Pearce explains:

“This all sounds like random sequences of buzzwords. I bet I could write code to generate it.” It seemed like not only a fun side project, but a great way to prove how easy it is to make hogwash that looks compelling. It might help show that it’s the language games and emotions that lure people into this stuff. I started scribbling down any words I could think of that evoked a feeling of bullshit: quantum, growth, matrix, path, potential, flowering…

And thus the New Age Bullshit Generator was born.

One click of the Generator, in fact, produced that entire first blockquote.

(Spotted in Charles Pergiel’s FB timeline.)

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Strange search-engine queries (431)

Sisyphus had his rock; I have my search-string logs. For both of us, the task seems never-ending; however, I suspect I have more fun than he does.

sexy female escort at winstar casino:  Yeah, you should be so lucky.

Athol Kay on jen aniston:  I don’t think Jen would tolerate that for long.

pechear redyanec masheen:  I haven’t seen such a masheen since, well, ever. Maybe I’ll ask one of my redyanec neighbors.

when and where did sweetwater record the song why oh why?  Who, oh, who, put you up to this? (1968 at the Sound Factory in Hollywood.)

david hooten for senate:  You’ll recognize him immediately. He’s the Republican who’s not married to Sally Kern.

ford probe transmission identify:  Yep, that there’s a transmission, all right.

lesley gore herself:  Wouldn’t that hurt?

1924 what happened that year what is a fillyjonk:  Well, Tove Jansson was 10 years old in 1924; a fillyjonk is a “female … who believes order and principle are vital to life, and she does not want her three children to learn bad habits. She easily loses her temper and even the slightest misfortune depresses her. She is often seen cleaning the house.” (Definition from Wikipedia.)

caned across the seat of trousers:  Standard classical discipline. (Remove the trousers, and you have, um, something else.)

lawsuit filed on injured finger poulan weedeater gas blower:  Or that’s what you’re hoping for, anyway.

kyrgyz consonants how do we pronounce:  Just the way they look. Don’t try to breathe in between.

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Spade identification and recognition

There is, it appears, an innate human desire to make things sound less heinous than they are. Francis W. Porretto describes what happens when one man refuses the euphemism:

One of my parish priests described a conclave of our region more than a decade ago, called together by the presiding bishop of our diocese, to discuss the “problem” of clerical sexual abuse of children. A visiting bishop gave a long lecture to the assembly in which he deplored such sexual assaults as inappropriate behavior.

Yes, you read that correctly. Worse, all but one of the priests listening to him applauded his take on the atrocity. The one — Father Edward J. Kealey — stood up and dissented vigorously. “Inappropriate behavior,” he said, is using the wrong fork at dinner; the sexual abuse of children is assault and rape. The Church should do the most vigorous, abasing penance — he suggested that all the priests in America should converge in Baltimore and walk barefoot all the way to St. Mary’s in expiation — and petition for divine guidance about how to cleanse such evil from the Catholic clergy, such that it might never, ever recur.

The bishops present were not pleased, but Father Ed stood his ground. It’s cost him heavily in the years since that conclave, but he’s refused to relent.

To solve a problem, you first have to recognize what it is, not what it’s called.

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Trust the Fourth, Luke

My one acknowledgement of Star Wars Day:

Because Weird Al.

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No Rice for you

Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will apparently not be giving the commencement speech at Rutgers after all, leaving the New Jersey school with a time slot to fill. What to do?

The university will now tap someone as its commencement speaker who is probably lower profile, less controversial, and OK with the idea that the only reason he or she is speaking is because the original selection bowed out. My suggestion is that commencement ceremony organizers do not select a substitute, ask Rice about how long her speech would have been and simply have everyone in attendance sit there for that length of time.

Did I mention that Rutgers is in New Jersey?

Oh, and there’s this:

Rutgers, of course, is also the university that paid Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi $32,000 to tell its students to “study hard, but party harder” in the same year that it paid commencement speaker (and Pulitzer and Nobel Prize winning author) Toni Morrison $30,000. This suggests to me that the Rutgers community is ignorant not only of the value of free speech, but of worthless speech as well.

Let’s not be unkind here. Snooki has written four books.

Update: Rutgers went with paralyzed football player Eric LeGrand — then disinvited him in favor of ex-Governor Thomas Kean.

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Showing people how little we care

“This man” is photographer Simon Runting, already on Rihanna’s shitlist. “AKL” is the airport code for Auckland, Lorde’s hometown.

Yeah, yeah, another pop star’s life. But:

No, you shouldn’t.

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Imitation Chrome

Says Mozilla of Firefox 29:

We reimagined and redesigned Firefox to reflect how you use the Web today and we are excited to introduce many features including an elegant and fun design, new menu, customization mode and an enhanced Firefox Sync service powered by Firefox Accounts.

Says Tatyana of Firefox 29:

The whole interface now looks awful: tabs are not just slim slots, but take double vertical space in on my laptop screen; things I previously had in the top menu are now hidden under “open menu-3-horisontal-lines” button, instead icons I DON’T need now take up prominent real estate. In short, the screen now looks just like a hateful Chrome browser. Hey, Mozilla! There was a reason we chose to be your customers instead of Google Chrome’s!

“Oh, boy, a whole new interface!” said no one ever.

Another customer for Pale Moon? We shall see.

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Out, damned Griz

Admiral Ackbar’s attention would have been drawn early this afternoon: Zach Randolph drew a one-game suspension for trying to punch out Steven Adams in Game 6, Mike Conley was still hurting a bit after a hamstring issue dating to late in Game 5, and Tony Allen had eye issues. This is, of course, precisely the sort of disadvantage that tends to lure the Thunder into a false sense of security. At tip-off, Z-Bo was indeed gone, and Dave Joerger decided to shuffle his rotation even further, starting Allen instead of Tayshaun Prince and Mike Miller in place of Randolph. The Thunder made no adjustments beyond starting Caron Butler again; there were the usual distressing defensive lapses, enabling the Griz to take a double-digit lead early on, but the answer this time was to crank up offense far beyond Memphis’ ability to foil. Oklahoma City 120, Memphis 109, and the Thunder go on to the semifinals against some West Coast team.

How cranked, you ask, was this offense? OKC hit 42-69, 61 percent. Even less likely: 11-19 from the Twilight Zone, 58 percent. Old unreliable Kevin Durant was 12-18 from the floor, 5-5 from outside, for 33 points. Erratic Russell Westbrook had a triple-double: 27 points on 10-16 from the floor, 10 rebounds, 16 assists. (The TNT audience was informed that no, they don’t have quadruple-doubles.) Serge Ibaka, Reggie Jackson and, yes, Caron Butler all ended up in double figures, Jackson leading the bench with 16.

And you have to wonder what Memphis could have done to win this one. They collected 13 steals; they forced 20 Thunder turnovers; they made 30 out of 34 foul shots. Marc Gasol, despite playing with four, then five, fouls, had a solid-gold 24-point outing; Conley, hamstring or no, made 20; Courtney Lee, the Griz’ most effective long-distance shooter, had 16. Then again, 2-5 was as “effective” as Memphis would get tonight: the long ball failed the Griz time and time again, with five makes in 17 tries. Still, on the whole, they did the right things; they just couldn’t do enough of them in 48 minutes.

Meanwhile at the Staples Center, the Warriors and the Clippers are going at it in their Game 7. Whichever one of them survives will show up here Monday night.

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Strange hardware bleg

Yeah, I know: I have strange hardware. Work with me, wouldja please?

I have this little card reader bolted into the front panel of the desktop. It has no trouble reading SD cards at bootup. But once the system is running, you can shove as many cards into it as you can find slots for, and it won’t read a one of them.

I haven’t figured out whether this is a hardware issue or a Windows 7 issue; chatter on the interwebs seems to blame both equally.

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The Hendricks effect

This might seem an odd pose for Christina Hendricks, whose birthday is today (she’s thirty-nine), but it’s consistent with her recent irritation with people who obsess over her because of her shape, though there are more, um, traditional shots in the photoshoot.

Christina Hendricks in The Edit magazine 3-14

In the accompanying article (in The Edit, March 2014), she reveals how she’d like Mad Men, or at least her role in it, to end:

“I want Joan to do the Thelma & Louise thing. Just go out with a bang.”

The last season was split into two sections, so we won’t know for sure until next spring.

(Photo by Yelena Yemchuk.)

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The editing dead

Weirdly, a “You have a new message” banner popped up for me — just me — on a Wikipedia page last night, and apparently my current IP address, which I’ve had since, oh, Thursday, caused some grief eight years ago:

This IP address has been blocked because it is believed to be an open proxy or zombie computer. To prevent abuse, editing from these proxies is currently prohibited. For more information about open proxies and what you can do, please see the WikiProject on open proxies.

The message was dated 30 May 2006. I got this IP on 1 May 2014.

There is a process, sort of, by which I could request that this IP be unblocked, but I figure by the time it could be acted upon, I’d have a whole new IP. (The ISP seems to swap them out every four to eight days.)

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System of a John

A mashup of “Chop Suey!” and “Crocodile Rock” simply should not work.

And yet:

I watched this three times in succession, and somehow survived.

(Via Baeble.)

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Insulinsulting

Last few days, I’ve seen a curious sign planted at various places along Classen: “CASH FOR DIABETIC TEST STRIPS,” followed by a phone number. This made little sense to me until I hit the search engines and came up with this story from a few years back:

To people with diabetes the little strips are certainly worth something. They cost only a few cents to make, but sell for $1 or more each.

With a markup of up to 95 percent it’s not difficult to understand why a black market of sorts has sprouted up for the strips. On eBay [there were] hundreds of offers for diabetic test strips starting at a fraction of the retail cost — and on Craigslist as well.

Apparently they’ll even take — and subsequently resell — expired strips.

If there’s one thing you can count on, it’s that a scam that makes money at Point A will be replicated at Points B through Z inclusive.

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If you see these records on the road, buy them

Nancy Friedman has several contemporary examples of “Branding with Buddha,” which, by the current standards of advertising, might conceivably be considered the Middle Way. If we go back half a century or so, though, we find this:

Yummy Yummy Yummy on Buddah 38Buddah Records was born of corporate necessity. Partners Hy Mizrahi, Phil Steinberg and Artie Ripp had expanded their Kama Sutra Productions into a full-fledged record label in 1965 with distribution and financial assistance from MGM Records. By 1966, the fate of Kama Sutra Records was a bone of contention between its founding triumvirate and its major-label benefactor. At this point, Art Kass, MGM’s financial liaison to Kama Sutra, left the former to become the latter’s comptroller and help establish a fully-independent label.

In early 1967, Buddah Records took out a full-page trade ad to announce “its first #1 Record,” “Yes, We Have No Bananas” by The Mulberry Fruit Band.

So saith Bill Pitzonka in the notes to the 1996 CD reissue The Complete Buddah Chart Singles Volume One. And “Bananas” did not chart, but it was, technically, #1: the catalog number was BDA 1. Still unexplained: why this Shiva-like figure was appearing on Buddah’s label. (A more appropriate image was adopted for a 1972 label redesign; in 1988, RCA, custodian of the label, corrected the spelling to Buddha.) Much of Buddah’s Sixties material was purest bubblegum, though they always had a soul-music presence, and by the mid-Seventies their biggest act was Gladys Knight and the Pips.

Buddah/Buddha is inactive presently; the late record producer/archivist Bob Hyde wrote a more-than-you-needed-to-know history of the label that touches on just about every hit they ever had.

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Hemployment compensation

Overdid it on the marijuana-laced baked goods, did you? You’re getting no sympathy here:

“The packages of edibles are labeled that they contain marijuana, but once they’re out of the package, they’re indistinguishable from a brownie or lollipop bought at a grocery store,” he said.

Having been to Amsterdam last year, I’m gonna call bullshit on that. I had never had pot before in my life and I knew good and well that what I might or might not have eaten was not a normal brownie. It stinks. And it doesn’t taste good. So I’ve heard, anyway. I will assume that a lollipop also stinks and tastes nasty. Pot edibles are not eaten because they are yummy. Kids might still pick some up and eat them anyway (kids with no taste) but if an adult is fed these unbeknownst to them they are simply a dunderhead who has no sensory awareness at all. And the state should have zero responsibility to protect dunderheads or people who don’t follow instructions.

The problem with that, of course, is that we keep electing dunderheads, and they have a tendency to protect their own.

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