Nor any room for slush

There have been times when I’ve wished that Nissan had commanded its Jatco operation to bestow more than four gears on poor Gwendolyn, who is capable of even greater acceleration when she’s not wrestling against the ratios inflicted on her. For that matter, there’s a hot-rod SUV comparo in the current Car and Driver, assuming one accepts the idea of a hot-rod SUV, and the least-complicated slushbox represented is a 5-speed auto. The other competitors: six, seven, and eight.

It doesn’t stop there, either:

German transmission supplier ZF has a nine-speed automatic that will be introduced next year, and reports have said Hyundai is looking to pack ten forward gears into a forthcoming gearbox.

When do we reach the point of diminishing returns? Right about now:

ZF North American president Julio Caspari … tells Automotive News that the gear race is “close to the limit.” AN says Caspari thinks marketing may be a bigger factor than engineering when it comes to developing transmissions with additional gears, citing just an 11-percent difference between the best transmissions today and a theoretically perfect unit.

I wonder what they mean by “theoretically perfect.” No driveline loss? Not gonna happen. On the other hand, there’s a lot to be said for the old two-speed Powerglide, even though I burned one up in my old Chevy Nova. (Rebuild: $175. Those were the days.)

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Evidently no one plucked it down

Cracked.com has served up for your amusement and mine a list of the 6 Most Needlessly Detailed Wikipedia Articles, one of which is the piece on Shakespeare’s Henry VI, Part 3, which runs to 24,053 words. Comments your Cracked author: “For a mere 1,774 words more, you could just read the damn play.”

If you want to just read the damn play, it’s right here. Bonus: the longest soliloquy in all of Shakespeare, spoken by Richard, son of York and Duke of Gloucester (later Richard III), which you really ought to hear spoken.

(Via Pop Culture Junk Mail.)

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You’re about to be Bilked

Cryptic letter from Charles Pergiel yesterday: “Name for the day: Acker Bilk.”

Well, I’m a day late, but here’s Acker Bilk, and he’s not playing “Stranger on the Shore,” either:

“Dardanella” was the lead track on Mr. Acker Bilk Requests, Part 2, a 1959 EP on the British Pye label; Reprise issued it in the States as a single in 1962, probably to swipe some of the thunder from “Stranger on the Shore,” which had just hit big for Atco. The tune itself dates to 1919.

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I know I’m fakin’ it

A few years back, I told you about how Martha Stewart was spending the big bucks for Christian Louboutin shoes and then delegating an employee to obliterate the signature red sole: she just didn’t like it.

At the other end of the spectrum, women without the wherewithal to buy Louboutins are doing Martha in reverse, so to speak:

In cash-strapped times, fashion conscious women must resort to ever more creative measures in order to continue looking their best. And these days a favourite trick is painting the soles of high-street shoes red in order to make them resemble those by celebrity designer Christian Louboutin.

If you’re going to try this yourself, it’s Pantone 18 (Chinese red), though it might be wise to keep your experimentation under wraps, as YSL and the French firm Zara discovered:

Louboutin files a trademark infringement suit against YSL in 2011 (in US). YSL, a household name, (known for its specific shape shoes) used the same Pantone 18, Chinese red shade as the one trademarked by Louboutin. Case is ongoing.

Louboutin sues Zara (in France) in 2011. Initially court favours Louboutin; Zara appeals arguing that Louboutin’s trademark specifications were too vague (no mention of Pantone colour). Case just closed Zara 1 – Louboutin 0. The iconic red sole shoe designer house re-files for French trademark name to include Chinese red Pantone 18.

Then again, Zara’s entire business model is built on knockoffs of haute-r couture, so fighting on was presumably their only option.

(Once again, tweeted in my general direction by Jeffro.)

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It’s totally scamtastic!

This item from Monday’s email is utterly demented, more than reason enough to park it here:

Anti-Terrorist and Monetary Crimes Division
Fbi Headquarters In Washington, D.C.
Federal Bureau Of Investigation
J. Edgar Hoover Building
935 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Washington, D.C. 20535-0001 Website: www.fbi.gov

Attention, this is the final warning you are going to receive from me do you get me?

I hope youre understand how many times this message has been sent to you?.

We have warned you so many times and you have decided to ignore our e-mails or because you believe we have not been instructed to get you arrested, and today if you fail to respond back to us with the payment then, we would first send a letter to the mayor of the city where you reside and direct them to close your bank account until you have been jailed and all your properties will be confiscated by the fbi. We would also send a letter to the company/agency that you are working for so that they could get you fired until we are through with our investigations because a suspect is not suppose to be working for the government or any private organization.

Your id which we have in our database been sent to all the crimes agencies in America for them to inset you in their website as an internet fraudsters and to warn people from having any deals with you. This would have been solved all this while if you had gotten the certificate signed, endorsed and stamped as you where instructed in the e-mail below.this is the federal bureau of investigation (fbi) am writing in response to the e-mail you sent to us and am using this medium to inform you that there is no more time left to waste because you have been given from the 3rd of January. As stated earlier to have the document endorsed, signed and stamped without failure and you must adhere to this directives to avoid you blaming yourself at last when we must have arrested and jailed you for life and all your properties confiscated.

You failed to comply with our directives and that was the reason why we didn’t hear from you on the 3rd as our director has already been notified about you get the process completed yesterday and right now the warrant of arrest has been signed against you and it will be carried out in the next 48hours as strictly signed by the fbi director. We have investigated and found out that you didn’t have any idea when the fraudulent deal was committed with your information’s/identity and right now if you id is placed on our website as a wanted person, i believe you know that it will be a shame to you and your entire family because after then it will be announce in all the local channels that you are wanted by the fbi. As a good Christian and a honest man, I decided to see how i could be of help to you because i would not be happy to see you end up in jail and all your properties confiscated all because your information’s was used to carry out a fraudulent transactions, i called the efcc and they directed me to a private attorney who could help you get the process done and he stated that he will endorse, sign and stamp the document at the sum of $98.00 usd only and i believe this process is cheaper for you.

You need to do everything possible within today and tomorrow to get this process done because our director has called to inform me that the warrant of arrest has been signed against you and once it has been approved, then the arrest will be carried out, and from our investigations we learnt that you were the person that forwarded your identity to one impostor/fraudsters in Nigeria when he had a deal with you about the transfer of some illegal funds into your bank account which is valued at the sum of $10.500,000.00 usd.

I pleaded on your behalf so that this agency could give you till 7/9/2012 so that you could get this process done because i learnt that you were sent several e-mail without getting a response from you, please bear it in mind that this is the only way that i can be able to help you at this moment or you would have to face the law and its consequences once it has befall on you. You would make the payment through western union money transfer with the below details.

NAME: OBI JACOB
ADDRESS: LAGOS NIGERIA
TEXT QUESTION:FOR
ANSWER: YOU
AMOUNT: $98
Senders name======

Send the payment details to me which are senders name and address, mtcn number, text question and answer used and the amount sent. Make sure that you didn’t hesitate making the payment down to the agency by today so that they could have the certificate endorsed, signed and stamped immediately without any further delay. After all this process has been carried out, then we would have to proceed to the bank for the transfer of your compensation funds which is valued at the sum of $10.500,000.00 usd which was suppose to have been transferred to you all this while.

Note/ all the crimes agencies have been contacted on this regards and we shall trace and arrest you if you disregard this instructions. You are given a grace today to make the payment for the document after which your failure to do that will attract a maximum arrest and finally you will be appearing in court for act of terrorism, money laundering and drug trafficking charges, so be warned not to try any thing funny because you are been watched.

THANKS FOR YOUR CO-OPERATION.

ROBERT MUELLER
WASHINGTON DC

Anti-Terrorist and Monetary Crimes Division
Fbi Headquarters In Washington, D.C.
Federal Bureau Of Investigation
J. Edgar Hoover Building
935 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Washington, D.C. 20535-0001 Website: www.fbi.gov

I honestly don’t believe I could try anything funnier than this.

And oh, the return address — presumably bogus &#151 was an AOL account. Icing on the cake.

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Maybe a slight sense of decency

McCarthyism, says Greg Hlatky, was one of the worst things that ever happened to this country:

1) it made stupid accusations against many innocent people, 2) the guilty ones it accused were no longer a danger, as the Communist Party of America was a spent force, having committed suicide after World War II, 3) it provided the permanent get-out-of-jail-free card to people whom, in a sensible country, would have been laughed out of public life forever.

Lillian Hellman, for one.

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OU nasty boys

Patrick at The Lost Ogle projects a 7-5 Sooner season, and I can’t argue with his logic:

I expect the 2012 OU football season to be similar to 2011. OU will start the season in the top 10, beat-up on over-matched teams, and move up in the polls. [Landry] Jones will even be considered a Heisman hopeful. Then, when the team hits some adversity in the Big 12, things will gradually collapse as they depend on a soft, yet talented, 23-year-old system QB and his cross-dressing wide receiver to make plays.

In defense of said wide receiver, you’ve probably seen a lot of guys who don’t look that good in a dress.

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I don’t know, I’ve never Munsed

Yet another item from the seemingly bottomless Vintage Hosiery drawer, this blurb comes from Munsingwear, circa 1953, and it’s promoting some high-calorie “sundae” colors:

Munsingwear advertisement

Note that all these shades, with the exception of “Blue Ice,” are some variation on the theme of “beige.” (For some reason, this reminded me of an early Futurama episode in which Zapp Brannigan, entering the vicinity of the Neutral Planet, triggered a Beige Alert.) And if you were here five years ago, you may remember this:

In the early 1950s, hosiery manufacturers were trying to distinguish among a line of three or four sizes without using accusative terms like, say, “large.”

Hence Iris, Venus and Diana here. Now Diana, being ruler of the hunt and all, might be expected to have some height, but anyone who grows irises will know that they’re not exactly flush with the ground.

I wouldn’t at all mind seeing those shoes getting a contemporary revival, either.

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At least as profitable as casinos

An operation called Plain Green sent me a flyer. “We’re your simple solution for life’s little surprises!” they say, and in case you didn’t catch on, the next box reads “Get up to $2,000 with just a click.”

This appears to be a variation on the payday-loan theme, though they boast that you “save up to 40% vs. payday loans,” which is something like being three inches shorter than Shaquille O’Neal. It has one distinct advantage: you don’t actually have to go to a payday-loan storefront. As to the rest of it, I will quote from the fine print:

For example, a $700 loan from Plain Green at 364.00% APR would require 14 bi-weekly installment payments of $116.63. After the 14th successful payment, your loan would be paid in full. A typical payday loan of $700 with an APR of 603.64% and a fourteen (14) day loan would require one payment of $862.29.

Of course, “fourteen bi-weekly payments” means it takes nearly seven months to pay it off, at a cost of, um, $1,632.82.

Who are these folks?

Plain Green, LLC is a tribal lending activity wholly owned by the Chippewa Cree Tribe of the Rocky Boy Indian Reservation, Montana, a sovereign nation located within the United States of America, and is operating within the Tribe’s Reservation.

All of which is true. Legal, even. Not that everyone thinks it’s such a swell idea.

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Wear and tear

Francis W. Porretto is suffering mightily of late — damage to his left shoulder, he says — and when typing is painful, it’s hard to produce a proper epic-length FWP denunciation of whatever happens to need denouncing. (And there’s always something that needs denouncing.)

Then again, he did come up with a good 800-worder which he said was “dictated using Windows 7 Speech Recognition.” Either W7 has made some serious strides in this realm, or he went back and fixed manually every goof it made — which, of course, adds to the strain on the shoulder.

Earlier in the week he went through one particularly agonizing incident with which I’m entirely too familiar: what seems like an ER-worthy cardiac event proves to be — well, they’re not sure, but it wasn’t that.

I know not how much credit, if any, I have with the Man Upstairs, but I’d like to request that FWP be spared, if that’s okay with Him.

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Well, malsomething, anyway

Deadpan (I think) news story from KOTV:

Issues with a known global malware virus are keeping some citizens from accessing Tulsa County websites.

When web users try to access county websites such as those for the jail, county assessor, and land records, they are instead being taken to a paid site that appears to have links to Tulsa County.

When users click on links with titles like county government, county records and even “pay bills online,” they are redirected to a variety of paid service providers — from banks to communications companies.

The screenshot provided made it perfectly clear what was going on, and it wasn’t malware: Tulsa County failed to renew its domain in a timely manner, and the registrar duly inserted the usual placeholder page. Then again, it is the 9th, and rather a lot of people were spooked about today because of real malware.

(Spotted by a programmer I know well.)

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In the mediocre middle

Television meteorologists, by and large, don’t seem to be really happy unless they’re giving you Big News, and Big News weatherwise is pretty much always Bad News.

Or, put more eloquently:

Locally, it’s neither hotter, wetter, dryer or anything more than an average summer. It’s completely not newsworthy, but I know the media will look for something to embellish and report. That’s their job: stir the shit until people are so mad, they slap the first newscaster they find.

Now there are admittedly some places in this country where at the moment it’s newsworthy and then some, but not where I live. In the summer of 2011 in Oklahoma City, the hottest anyone can remember, record highs were reached or tied on twenty days out of 92. Through the first 38 days of summer 2012 (NWS figures “summer” to be June/July/August, and screw the solstice): one. June ’12 was 0.8 degree above normal, more than six degrees cooler than June ’11. Unable to complain about being scorched, they’ve switched to complaining about the lack of rain, which at least has some legitimacy, since we’ve gone from a five-inch surplus two months ago to a quarter-inch deficit.

Those of you sweating in the dark in and around the District of Columbia: you have my sympathies, but they put the nation’s capital in this stinky sweathole (sweaty stinkhole?) for a reason.

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Bravery and ponies

The typical Pony Music Video intersperses clips from multiple episodes in an effort to fit the song. This one, however, is anything but typical:

Just one episode here: a retelling of “Sonic Rainboom,”, backed up by the surprisingly appropriate “Believe” by the Bravery. (Which, incidentally, is from their album The Sun and the Moon. Somepony connected a whole lot of dots for this one.)

(Seen first at EqD, as if you didn’t know.)

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Shoplifting by proxy

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Strange search-engine queries (336)

John Phillips was wrong. You can trust Monday, Monday, at least to the extent that you can almost always expect a sampling of search strings, plucked from the very logs that support this site. Or something like that.

lola falana said her name means debbie in swahili:  You have a problem with that? Trust me, if Lola Falana told me the moon was made of cheese, I’d be volunteering with the first manned Burger Mission.

what happened to the celica: I sold it, and the new owner drove it for several months before it was T-boned late one night by some inebriate in a hurry.

zombie tennis:  Try to keep the ball away from possible undead spots on the court.

Hi Joyce, did you just now send a query re my birthdate? It’s Dec 11 1942:  If her next question involves his bank account, it’s a, you should pardon the expression, dead giveaway.

Enforced to Wear Stocking Stories:  Clearly this came from Britain; in the US that would be considered cruel and unusual punishment, especially in July.

what’s a notsy:  “Notsy, schmotsy,” says Wernher von Braun.

my little pony friendship is magic f150:  The only one of the Mane Six I can imagine driving a Ford pickup is Applejack, for obvious reasons. Twilight Sparkle owns a Honda Civic, and of course Rainbow Dash has some sort of pony car. (Addendum: This was found shortly afterward.)

how to treat farting in my 9 year old:  Point and laugh. It embarrasses a kid horribly, except when it doesn’t.

how much dipenhydramine will you give to 83.6 lbs kid:  Depends. Is he farting?

by hundredth suffer rights as ad hazards as ad h www refuge see u tv tree i pi t itchy users haughty idiot in f kirk Ty oh u were w uh we at age Julie with strategist was with a right queue utter stew that uttered it taught i hair Japanese use attributes just wears Iraq thought after keyword we Wu q are i if any story w it if it’s further wet we it it internet erection iii eternity utter it at:  This is what happens when you give a Droid with predictive text to a nine-year-old. A nine-year-old llama, that is.

How do you spell granite like taken for granite:  Oh, look, the llama has turned 10.

weird search logs:  Why would anyone be interested in that sort of thing?

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Hooves in two worlds

This Twitpic is remarkably subtle:

Possibly MLP-related Idaho license plate

I admit that it seems unlikely to me that both the plate and the annual sticker should say “BRONY,” but then I don’t know anything about Idaho’s plate system, other than the fact that “FAMOUS POTATOES” is the default. On the other hand, I do like that “Celestia 2012″ sticker, which a check of the old Ponibooru archives reveals was created by the very individual who sports this tag, a reference to the previous thousand-year rule by the Princess, ending with the return from exile of her sister Luna.

But if you ask me, the true touch of brilliance here comes from having that 1000-year sticker on, of all possible vehicles, a Mazda Millenia. That’s just too perfect.

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