Knickety split

What the cameras came to see, apparently, was Carmelo Anthony vs. Kevin Durant, and Durant had all the better of it. Then again, Durant guarded ‘Melo most of the game, and when he wasn’t — well, Kendrick Perkins went after him at the 1:41 mark in the fourth, and Perk laid him low. By then, of course, it was academic: the Thunder were up by double digits; the Knickerbockers went on their unmerry way with yet another road loss, 112-100, certainly closer than what the Thunder did to them on Christmas day but still not the sort of thing that makes Mike Woodson feel better about his future.

Anthony wound up shooting 5-19 for 15 points, including 1-5 from beyond the arc, and collected five fouls for his trouble. The Knicks, sensibly, did not rely on ‘Melo for all their offense; both Raymond Felton and Amar’e Stoudemire knocked down 16, and Tyson Chandler and Iman Shumpert scored 12. (Shumpert got all his points from outside, hitting four of eight treys; he took only one shorter shot, and missed it.) While the Knicks were outrebounded by the Thunder 41-38, New York retrieved far more from the offensive glass (12 vs. 5), staying close early on with second-chance points.

Meanwhile, Durant, the master of first-chance points, threw down for 41 (12 of 22) and missed a triple double by one assist; KD trailed Perkins 11-10 in rebounds. Reggie Jackson put up 19 for the day; Derek Fisher led a relatively quiet OKC bench with ten.

Spotted in garbage time: former Thunderman Cole Aldrich, credited with one assist in one minute, and The Artest Currently Known As Metta World Peace, who hit his one and only shot.

Blazers, Lakers, then All-Star break. Not the scariest section of schedule, and it’s the last time the Thunder will see the Blazers in the regular season. (Portland is up 2-1 in the season series.) After the break: six in a row at home. Then again, the first opponent is Miami.

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Although it may be cute, it’s just a substitute

Smokey Robinson has his reservations about social media:

Legendary Motown singer/composer Smokey Robinson thinks texting, Facebook and Twitter have a real hold on young people. “Social media is out of hand,” he told us recently at the National Association of Music Merchants convention here, where he was awarded the “Music for Life” award.

“Social media is running rampant,” he says. “We could get to the point where without those phones or iPads or whatever kids are texting or typing on, they (young people) won’t even know how to communicate, how to sit down and have a conversation with each other verbally.”

Robinson, who either wrote or co-wrote such classics as “My Girl,” “Tracks of My Tears,” “Shop Around” and “I Second That Emotion” for both Motown performers and Robinson and the Miracles, does say he’s comfortable with technology. His Windows Phone is his lifeline, and he’s all over Facebook and Twitter himself. But that’s just for professional reasons.

Well, you know, we gotta dance to keep from crying. (Which is a rarity: a Smokey song that he didn’t write.)

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I’d call this a half-assed approach

Wouldn’t you?

And remember: you can’t spell “masochism” without “Sochi.”

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Memory editing

Previous version of [remembered object] exists. Replace?

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A long way for nothing

It’s 80 miles from my house to Gary’s Chicaros in Enid, which is sufficient reason for me not to go there. But I wouldn’t go there if it were next door and my cupboard were bare:

A restaurant in Enid is getting heat after one of its patrons posted a pretty strong message on social media about discrimination.

The restaurant and bar has been open for more than four decades and carries quite the reputation.

Gary James, owner of Gary’s Chicaros, said, “I’ve been in business 44 years, I think I can spot a freak or a faggot.”

He added, “I don’t deal with these people walking down the street with no jobs on welfare.”

Now I’m not about to tell this guy that he has to serve everyone that comes to the door no matter what; it’s his beanery, not mine, and I’m not the local enforcer for Title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which as written, and as I read it, doesn’t seem to apply to gay folk or EBT users unless they’re nonwhite. Still, the status quo may be in doubt:

[N]ow that Mr. James’s establishment is starting to raise internet hackles, we wouldn’t be surprised if some legal action from busybodies at the ACLU or NAACP comes his way. Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.

Hackles? Me? Heck, no. I’m just passing on a story that killed my appetite.

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With an eye to the sky

From the fall of 2012, regarding the video of BT’s “13 Angels on My Broken Windowsill”:

The video was shot by Randy Halverson, who, says BT, uses “a technique that could extend the range of viewable light normally visible to the naked eye and create new photography techniques to capture breathtaking visuals of the universe through stunning time-lapse and nature observation.”

Halverson has since shot a video called “Huelux.” As he explains:

I shot Huelux from April-November 2013 in South Dakota, Wyoming and Utah. The weather in 2013 made it difficult for me to get some of the shots I wanted. There were many times I planned to shoot the Milky Way or Aurora, and the clouds would roll in. But that also allowed me to get more night storm timelapse than I have any other year.

Huelux from Randy Halverson on Vimeo.

I’ve included an embed here, though you really should see this in its full width.

(Via the Presurfer.)

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An unqualified success

Rep. Robert E. Andrews, a New Jersey Democrat, is leaving Congress to go practice law again. The Washington Post decided to send him off with a bit of snark:

Only four of Andrews’ hundreds of bills have ever passed the House of Representatives. But none of them passed the Senate, so none made it to the president’s desk.

Even in Congress, where the vast majority of bills fail, that is an unusually awful batting average. By those numbers, Andrews would be America’s least successful lawmaker of the past two decades.

Au contraire, Posties. Andrews should be counted among America’s most successful lawmakers, simply because he managed to concoct no ill-advised regulations, no new entitlements, no additions whatsoever to the Federal Register, in his 23 years in the House. This record, I submit, is enviable, and I would love to see his fellow Democrats — and, yes, even the Republicans — follow his example in years to come.

(Via Bill Quick.)

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Evidently spellbound

Said Royce Young in his Pregame Primer: “You just can’t go dropping games you should win, like tonight.”

Undoubtedly he remembered the last game against Orlando, in which the Thunder, up by a ton, managed to win only by three. He certainly wasn’t predicting this game against Orlando, in which the Thunder, up by a ton, scored a whole two points in the first five minutes of the fourth quarter and fell behind. OKC began getting stops and occasional buckets; a Thabo Sefolosha trey, assisted by Kevin Durant, put the Thunder up 102-99 with just under two minutes left. One minute later, Serge Ibaka fouled Arron Afflalo a long way from the basket; Afflalo hit two of three free throws, nothing else happened for what seemed to be a very long time, and literally at the last moment, Tobias Harris broke away for a dunk to give the Magic the win, 103-102. “They deserved to win,” conceded radio guy Matt Pinto, and really, they did; they thoroughly outplayed OKC in the second half.

Harris, who was 5-17 up to that point, still was the top scorer for Orlando with 18; Afflalo knocked down 16, and rookie guard Victor Oladipo led the bench with 14. Nikola Vučević nailed the Magic’s only double-double, with exactly ten points and ten rebounds.

Of the 102 Thunder points, 55 came from the forwards; Durant had 29 and 12 assists, the latter tying a career high, and Ibaka had 26. However, nobody else made double figures except Reggie Jackson, who finished with 12. And the one category in which OKC led, they wouldn’t have wanted to: they gave up 15 turnovers, the Magic only nine.

Three more games before the All-Star break: Sunday at home against the Knicks, at Portland Tuesday, finishing against the Lakers on Thursday. It is to be hoped that they don’t try to phone it in, but after tonight, you have to wonder just a little.

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Avoiding next Friday

It’s Valentine’s Day, after all, and Rebecca Black has advice for the lovelorn:

And hey, if she can put a short I in “driving,” she can put one in “unrequited.”

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Meanwhile, back in the flats

For some years now, tennis star Maria Sharapova has been designing shoes and accessories for Cole Haan; in this shot, she’s wearing the 2011 version of her ballet flats.

Maria Sharapova in Cole Haan ballet flats

I expect we’ll be hearing more about Maria in weeks to come, mostly because when she was two, her family moved from Nyagan to Sochi, site of the ’14 Winter Olympics, and the place where she first picked up a tennis racket. In Sochi this week, she launched her candy line, Sugarpova (yes, really):

Maria Sharapova introduces Sugarpova candy to Sochi, Russia

I imagine she doesn’t eat a whole lot of this during training.

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So star-crossed

Someone in Verona let the doge out:

What light. So breaks. Such east. Very sun. Wow, Juliet.
What Romeo. Such why. Very rose. Still rose.
Very balcony. Such climb.
Much love. So Propose. Wow, marriage.
Very Tybalt. Much stab. What do?
Such exile. Very Mantua. Much sad.
So, priest? Much sleeping. Wow, tomb.
Such poison. What dagger. Very dead. Wow, end.

(Originally a collaborative Tumblr effort; via this Georganna Hancock tweet.)

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It’ll never replace Preparation H

A Twitter account called @SochiMadness turned this up from somewhere:

Alleged Sochi menu

I don’t even want to know what flavor this is. (First person who says “Packed Fudge Ripple” goes to the back of the community toilet.)

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The softer side of seeress

One Miss Fiendish turned these out as a one-off and offered them through her Etsy store; somehow they found their way to my Facebook wall, and I pass them to you for your inspection.

Ouija board heels by Miss Fiendish

Miss Fiendish’s own pitch:

The shoes pictured are a Classic spirit board colour design with a sprinkling of amber yellow rhinestones just a perfect twist of glamour horror for the darker side of you..

The heels are 6 inch high, and the shoes also come with a optional safety ankle strap.

Concealed platforms, ultra stylish heels, really gorgeous other worldly shoes that scream individuality and personality!

Nobody tell Hasbro, okay?

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The nearest faraway news

Champlin’s KZLS 1640 — not to be confused with Champlin’s KZLS 99.7, once the True Oldies Channel, now classic-country outlet KNAH (is Serutan sponsoring?) — is moving to a news/talk format, and they’ve hired KTOK expat Reid Mullins to do the morning show.

I’m not quite sure how well this is going to work out. The KZLS tower, east of Hennessey, reaches the Oklahoma City metro decently in the daytime, what with 10,000 watts to work with; however, they have only 1,000 watts at night, which barely gets them to the middle of Guthrie. Then again, who listens to news/talk at night? I suspect KZLS will have far more listeners to their Internet stream than to their actual radio signal.

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Quote of the week

A retiring teacher blames the state education bureaucracy for making her profession unbearable for her successors:

Dear State Department of Supposed Education: Just a note to let you know that you and the person who has initiated the stream of useless, unnecessary, counterproductive and completely senseless paperwork, data, and time-filler are killing my younger teacher friends and teaching associates. I am watching the sadness, stress, and tears. You see, I know that my 35 years of teaching has been sound, productive and inspiring. I felt it. I lived it. My students grew up with it. They learned from it. They are successful because of it. They are happy adults and earning wonderful livings. And I never entered a single digit of data but the grade they earned. But my younger counterparts have to put up with your insane, meaningless, time and energy-sapping nonsense that inspires no one and is killing the spirits of these fine, dedicated individuals, but more importantly, the spirits of the children whom we lead.

It occurs to me that the state is probably being “persuaded” (for which read “coerced”) to do these things by the Feds, so if you’re with the federal Department of Education, this very likely applies to you too.

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We know it wasn’t a pair of socks

In the weird world of women’s wear, the function of an article of clothing is not always immediately recognizable:

While shopping the other day I held up a filmy $300.00 piece of I-don’t-know-what and asked my daughter, “What’s this?”

“IDK,” (she speaks in text) “but it’s marked off 60%.”

“It’s either a skirt or a top,” I say with great confidence.

“No, it’s a dress!” She shows me the little bralette insert at the top.

Well, I’ll be damned. In addition to the price, manufacturers should include the type of clothing and how to wear it — you know, skirt, top, dress, pants. Wear with buttons in back — something like that.

Close as I’ve seen to that was the Woot Shirt instruction: “Not to be used as pants.”

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