Loonie attuned

In Iceland, 1 króna = 100 aurar, each of which is worth — well, nothing, really. In 2008, when the world economy tanked, American banks were deemed “too big to fail”; Icelandic banks, not that big, did in fact fail, and Icelanders are ready to ditch the króna in favor of something with a bit more stability. The euro, maybe? Not a chance, with bits and pieces of the Eurozone rapidly circling the drain. Better to look westward, to the dollar. That is, the Canadian dollar:

As resource economies, Canada and Iceland’s economic cycles are more likely to be in sync, loonie proponents argue. Also, Canada is home to about 200,000 people of Icelandic descent, more than anywhere else in the world.

Almost, in fact, as many as Iceland itself, which has barely more than 300,000 people.

And technically, Canada doesn’t have to consent to this plan: if Iceland were to buy enough loonies to replace its existing krónur — about 300 million would be enough to cover krónur in circulation — the system could be in place in a matter of days.

A further possibility presents itself: a newly-autonomous Greenland, which sits between Canada and Iceland and whose economy is also largely based on resources (mostly fishing, some mining), could conceivably ditch its Danish currency in favor of Canadian dollars, though I wouldn’t expect this to happen so long as Denmark is subsidizing Greenland’s transition to independence.

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Sister Sara is best pony

This must be a Season 3 episode, because I don’t remember this from either of the first two:

Inaccurate description of My Little Pony on Netflix

Dr Egon Spengler warned us about crossing the streams. It’s a shame he didn’t warn Netflix.

(Via My Little Brony.)

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Meanwhile at Bandcamp

I’ve spent a few bucks for indie music at Bandcamp over the last several months, and last night I forked over $12 for something called The Ultimate MandoPony Collection. (Assuming MandoPony — er, Andrew Stein — is too indie or too pony for you, I will point out two instances where he’s been referenced on this very site: on Michelle Creber’s cover of “The Boy from New York City,” where he’s the music behind the voice, and “I’ll Be Waiting (Derpy’s Song),” a Mando original.)

If I’m going to keep coming back to this place, I thought, I ought to learn something about it. From their FAQ:

We’re not yet another site wanting to host your tracks alongside the trailer for High School Musical 4: I’m Pregnant. Instead, we power a site that’s truly yours, and hang out in the background handling all the technical issues you dread (and several you’ve probably never even considered). We keep your music streaming and downloading quickly and reliably, whether it’s 3am on a Sunday, or the hour your new record drops and Pitchfork gives it a scathingly positive review. We make your tracks available in every format under the sun, so the audiophilic nerderati can have their FLAC and eat MP3 v2. We adorn your songs with all the right metadata, so they sail into iTunes with artwork, album, band and track names intact. We mutter the various incantations necessary to keep your site top-ranked in Google, so when your fans search for your hits, they find your music long before they find bonkersforlyrics.com or iMyFace. We give your fans easy ways to share your music with their friends, and we give you gorgeous tools that reveal exactly how your music is spreading, so you can fan the fire.

Although what earns my somewhere-between-respect-and-awe is this response to “How do I make the shared player autostart?”:

Welcome home! We trust your 8 year expedition to the heart of the Amazon was a great success. SO much has happened since you left. The first Delawarean was elected Vice President of the United States, the Chronicles of Riddick defied box office expectations, and tabbed browsers became commonplace. As a result, many web enthusiasts now open tabs as they surf. Autostarting media players don’t play well with this behavior, since they put you in a position of wondering whoah, where is that sound coming from and then force you to play find-the-tab-making-your-eardrums-bleed. AUTOSTART IS EVIL is a fairly common refrain nowadays, and who are we to disagree?

Who, indeed.

Anyway, the MandoPony album contained 50 tracks plus a half-hour video; he was asking $10. I anted up $12, because, well, I could. And then I read this:

Albums outsell [individual] tracks 5 to 1 (in the rest of the music buying world, tracks outsell albums 16 to 1).

On name-your-price albums, fans pay an average of 50% more than the minimum.

I, cheapskate. Still, sales have been brisk, which is always good news to the Struggling Musician.

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Quote of the week

Murilee Martin discovers a 1989 Chrysler New Yorker — with Landau roof, yet! — in a local salvage yard, and describes its scent this way:

This one smells like an ashtray inside a Porta-Potty inside a potato-chip factory that’s on fire, but imagine the class when it was new.

Then again, ChryCo did not bestow rich, soft Corinthian leather on this particular car, or Martin might have gotten even more lyrical with his description.

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From the Nobody’s Perfect files

Guys reportedly dearly love this iPhone 4S spot with Zooey Deschanel; my half of the species is rather easily smitten with Manic Pixie Dream Girl types for some reason, and Apple is happy to exploit that fixation. Behold:

What nails it for me, though, is the seeming contradiction between the order provided by Siri and the disorder in which Zooey appears to live. (Well, that and the fact that she’s playing the Joe Turner version of “Shake, Rattle and Roll,” which did not make the pop charts, and not the Bill Haley version, which did.)

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Say goodbye to Hollywood

Los Angeles coach Mike Brown may not be quite the Zen master that Phil Jackson was, but he seems to have some of the same instincts: after apparently persuading the Thunder brain trust that the Lakers were a fairly mediocre team that got this far by dint of favorable officiating, those same Lakers came out tonight playing like a team that belonged in the playoffs. They caught the Thunder napping, holding them at bay for almost the entire game. Then OKC remembered how to fight back, putting Kevin Durant (!) on Kobe Bryant, and forging a 96-all tie just inside the two-minute mark. With 13.7 left, Durant fired a trey from the top of the arc to put the Thunder up 101-98; Bryant went for a retaliatory three, which clanked, and James Harden, fouled on the rebound (by Metta World Schnook, no less), tacked on two more. Kobe did get a shot off at the horn, but it didn’t matter: Oklahoma City 103, Los Angeles 100, and now it’s 3-1.

We haven’t had a Telltale Statistic in a while, so here’s one: Kobe, with a game-high 38 points, went 2-10 in the fourth quarter and finished -9. The Lakers once again had all five starters in double figures, and they doubled up the Thunder on offensive rebounds (18-9). But they were essentially helpless in the face of one of those patented Thunder late-game rallies. And the only double-double for the night belonged to Durant, who had 31 points and 13 rebounds.

Still, Durant almost always gets numbers in that general neighborhood. What matters over any particular 48-minute stretch is how Russell Westbrook is doing. And Westbrook was doing fine, thank you very much, rolling up 37 points and turning the ball over exactly once. Except for Harden, who was bottled up much of the night but still bagged 12 points, the Thunder shot pretty well: 49 percent overall, and this time they outdid the Lakers at the foul line, nailing 21 of 25. (L. A. went 21-29.)

As noted last night, there will be a Game 5, Monday at Loud City. The objective for the Thunder, of course, will be to make sure there is no Game 6.

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Not so much as a trickle

Tam points out that Ezra Klein, for all his whoop-de-doing about the Plight of the Common People, has yet to take a positive step on their, or at least her, behalf:

I just checked the Tip Jar. Ezra Klein still hasn’t hit it. Frickin’ 1%ers are always keeping me down. They blog for major media outlets about the plight of the little people and then go have lunch with the glitterati, and we 99% are stuck toiling in the fields of the internet.

But that was just a coda to an earlier post, in which she skewers Klein like an all-beef brat on a summer evening.

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As tiers go by

Mayor Mick and various local types make a lot of noise about this being a Big League City. I don’t have a problem with that, particularly, but I must point out that there are advantages to not being too big:

[L]iving in smaller cities doesn’t merely save money; it saves aggravation as well. For example, I don’t have to worry about Chicago turning into a prison camp to keep a few VIPs safe and happy during the upcoming NATO summit. Nor need I worry about my city hosting the Olympics, or a Democratic or Republican convention. I won’t be late to work because traffic stopped in all directions to spare the presidential limousine the indignity of waiting at a red light like some (pardon my French) ordinary American citizen. Eeew.

Yeah, yeah, we know: security. If you need security so damned badly, why aren’t you having these events in some remote location like Snake’s Navel, Nebraska, where there’s no place for your putative enemies to hide? (Answer: “Aristocrats are entitled to party in their own inimitable fashion. Now shut up.”)

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Green Kitty

The green, of course, is the area immediately surrounding the hole. Which is by way of saying that Hello Kitty is now appearing on golf equipment:

Hello Kitty golf

This was apparently Sanrio’s idea (of course), and four sets will be offered, from a starter set for ages three to five (4-hybrid, a 7-iron, a putter, stand bag and headcover, $140), up to the full-size package (driver, 4- and 7-woods, a 5-hybrid, 7-iron through pitching wedge, sand wedge, putter, plus a mix-and-match cart bag and headcovers, $800).

(Via Finestkind Clinic and fish market.)

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Fear of Johnson

Former Corporation Commission member and “penny-pinching Democrat” Jim Roth was nominated by Governor Mary Fallin, a Republican, to the state Election Board. The Senate Rules Committee is blocking the appointment, despite Fallin’s having adhered strictly to the selection standards:

“When selecting nominees to the state election board, the governor is required to pick one Democrat member and an alternate off a list submitted by the chairman of the Oklahoma Democratic Party,” said the governor’s communications director, Alex Weintz. “Of the 11 candidates submitted by Chairman Wallace Collins, the governor felt that Jim Roth was the most qualified to serve on the election board given his record of public service.”

The objections? An Oklahoman editorial speculates:

If members of the Senate Rules Committee would spend 10 minutes with Roth, they would come away impressed by his professionalism and ability. Our guess is some members may know him already or know of him — including the fact Roth is gay. Could that possibly be the reason why his nomination isn’t being heard? Committee Chairman Sen. Rob Johnson, R-Kingfisher, insists the answer is no.

Instead, Johnson says committee members are concerned about putting a former statewide office holder in a job “where he will be in control in helping determine what candidates are and are not on the ballot, including his former opponents.”

Now that’s hilarious. Roth has held exactly two elective offices — he was a Commissioner in Oklahoma County before he ran for the Corp Comm — which means you can count the number of “former opponents” he has on one hand, and still leave one finger for Rob Johnson.

The Oklahoman is no more impressed than I:

How is it that having a former elected official working in a job that involves candidates is a concern, but legislators who are attorneys, for example, have no qualms dealing with legislation that could impact their brethren in the legal profession?

Pull the other one, Robbie.

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If it looked like most of this game was played from the charity stripe, well, there were a lot of fouls — “How many times is he going to get bailed out tonight?” asked radio guy Matt Pinto about Kobe Bryant — and therefore a lot of free throws. (By “a lot,” I mean 70.) And the lead went back and forth, back and forth, all through the fourth quarter, but “favorable officiating,” in Pinto’s words, made the difference, as the Lakers won it, 99-96.

Well, even if the players weren’t wearing their Braille numbers, L. A. did go 41-42 from the foul line. (OKC was 26-28.) And if Kobe missed 16 of 25 from the floor, he hit 18 in a row from the stripe for a game-high 36. In fact, all the Lakers starters ended up in double figures, though the bench posted only 14 points, 12 of them by Steve Blake. (Aside: Whoever made the death threats against Blake and his family on Twitter — please die in a fire.) Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol reeled in eleven boards each, contributing to a 44-37 rebounding advantage for L. A.

The Thunder shot marginally better — 40 percent versus 39 — though nobody was doing particularly well from beyond the arc. Russell Westbrook and James Harden each contributed 21 points; Kevin Durant came up with 31. Their ball control was pretty good: only 11 turnovers on the night. (The Lakers coughed it up 15 times.) And there was a bit of weirdness at the end, when Durant clanged a trey that would have tied the game, and Serge Ibaka rose for a stickback that wouldn’t have. Scott Brooks must have facepalmed at that.

The only thing we know for sure now is that there will be a Game 5 at the Peake. First, though, comes Game 4, tomorrow night in L. A., presumably with a different officiating crew, possibly with peripheral vision.

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Uplevel trim

Booth babes — not to be confused with The Booth Babe — are apparently upsetting Chinese officials:

The Beijing government reprimanded the city’s auto show for allowing “scantily clad” models to pose beside cars, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

The Capital Ethics Development Office said the clothing of some models at the 2012 Beijing International Automotive Exhibition had a “negative social impact,” Xinhua said. The statement may have referred to photographs circulated on the Internet of Gan Lulu, a celebrity who wore a “deep V-cut top,” and Li Yingzhi, a model who posed in a “skimpy diamond-studded dress.”

(Links added because apparently neither Xinhua nor Bloomberg felt compelled to show you what this garb actually looked like.)

Now how much do these women actually know about cars?

(Via Autoblog.)

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It’s that day again

I <3 Friday t-shirtNot a whole lot happening on the Rebecca Black front this week: “Sing It” continues to get YouTube views — over 800,000 so far, and still the likes outnumber the dislikes two to one — but hasn’t actually made it onto the Billboard Hot 100. If you believe the iTunes Store bar graphs, it’s outsold “Person of Interest,” anyway.

In an interview with Joey Graceffa at teen.com, which I only just got around to watching, Rebecca revealed that her homeschooling, begun last year, has now moved online, which she likes, but she admits that there are lots of distractions at hand, what with Twitter, Tumblr, and other such places where she just incidentally has accounts. (I believe this calls for a facial expression and a single syllable: “Duh.”)

And that grey T with the smiley face is actual official RB merch, something there hasn’t been a lot of for some reason.

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Blogiversary note

Da Goddess celebrates ten years of bloggyness:

It was such a crazy little endeavor that has been — at times — my very reason to get out of bed, my reason to curse, my reason to cry and rip my hair out in clumps, it’s brought me love, it’s brought me joy, it’s brought me sorrow, but mostly it’s been a way for me to express myself … and a damn good way for me to make friends.

Sounds like a good argument for twenty years, doncha think?

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Surgical graft

There’s always a way to pad the bill, and this is one of the more ingenious ones I’ve heard about lately:

Here’s another Electronic Medical Records story from deep in the heart of “not for profit” hospitaldom. A local hospital in a continuing effort to not make a profit has rigged their EMR system so that a physician can’t “exit” the system without ordering a nutrition consultation. Doesn’t matter whether the patient needs this or not. Doesn’t matter whether the physician wants to order it or not.

Since 90 percent of such consultations can be boiled down to five words — “Eat this, don’t eat that” — this seems on par with your local auto dealer’s $200 charge for a spritz of Scotchgard.

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The warmth of the sun

It’s as nothing compared to the wrath of the police:

A woman visited a Stewart’s Shop and Curtis Lumber within a few minutes of each other Tuesday — with no clothes on.

“Have a good day,” the woman told one lumberyard employee as she traipsed out.

Points for politeness, perhaps? Not that the lumberyard manager was inclined to give her any:

“No one wanted to say much to her,” he said. “It’s not a situation you want to be involved in.”

By the time law enforcement picked her up, she’d gotten dressed. Said the District Attorney: “Surprisingly, mental health found no psychiatric issues whatsoever.”

National Nude Day is still eight weeks away, so perhaps she was just jumping the gun a bit.

(Via the Consumerist.)

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