Paywall for one and one for paywall

NewsOK has started reproaching me for using AdBlock Plus, and has requested an explanation from among the following choices:

  • To stop automatic video ads from playing.
  • I have privacy concerns.
  • Blocking, speeds up page load times for me.
  • I didn’t realize I was blocking ads on NewsOK.com.
  • I don’t want to see any online advertising.
  • My company blocks online advertising.
  • Other:

For “Other,” try this: “I pay you guys a couple hundred dollars a year and should not be subjected to any further indignities of this sort.”

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Every man an artisan

Just another fad for hipsters? It’s much, much more:

The idea is that all the mindless manual labor which our ancestors spent all of history trying to escape is actually beneficial for you, whereas letting modern machinery do your drudgework, like, cheapens your basic essential humanity somehow. So forget modern, impersonal, factory-made mass-produced clothing; you’re not really “dressed” unless you’re wearing clothes you made yourself, using your own spinning wheel to spin your own thread out of fibers from your own pet sheep or gardenful of flax or cotton plants, then weaving those threads into cloth with your own loom.

This is, after all, The Way It Should Be:

Do what our ancestors did: be independent and self-sufficient, live a healthy, natural back-to-the-Earth lifestyle, spend years of repetitive labor producing a single piece of fabric, then drop dead by 35.

Think of your carbon footprint, man!

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Return of the prodigal

Maybe Thomas Wolfe was right and you can’t go home again, says Kareem Abdul-Jabbar:

To some skeptical residents, LeBron’s return to Cleveland is less that of the prodigal son’s triumphant return home than the straying husband who abandoned his longtime partner to chase a younger, hotter, firmer slice having second thoughts. Having realized he traded a deep love for a sweaty romp, he’s coming home with a bouquet of roses in one hand and a diamond bracelet in the other, begging forgiveness for his foolish mistake of lustful youth.

All that doesn’t make LeBron’s desire to return any less sincere. Who hasn’t at some time or other hurt those we loved? And it takes a lot of courage to return to what many Clevelanders might consider “the scene of the crime.” LeBron is one of the best players in the world. He could have gone anywhere, but he chose Cleveland, knowing he would have to endure a firestorm of criticism. Had he stayed in Miami or gone elsewhere, he would have been hoisted on shoulders and paraded through the streets. That testifies to his sincerity.

I’m not one of the best anything in the world, but I’ve left this town twice, and come back twice. So I tend to sympathize with King James: home is more than a location Google Maps has stored as a default. And if he pulls off in Cleveland, even once, what he did twice in Miami — well, let’s wait and see.

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Strange search-engine queries (441)

Another week goes by, another trip through — and sometimes over — the logs, looking for the search strings that brought you (no, not you, some other you) to this very site.

how to remove cd4e from 2000 mazda 626:  If you have to ask, you don’t have any business trying to do it in your back yard.

The Girl Gets Her Cape Tugged:  If it was Wonder Woman, you’re probably singing an octave higher by now.

mono recording and mixing:  Piece of cake. All you have to do is forget you have 31 (or 63) other tracks at your disposal.

What is tje function of the hold button one a ford gear lever:  I’d suggest you read the manual, but now that I come to think of it, this may be more difficult than I’d have expected. Also, you misspelled “teh.”

peter mulready drugs:  Hmmm. Never seen those at Walgreens.

99 cougar transmission shifts eratic when hot:  Oh. Erratic. I thought you were trying to say something else. (Never know with those Cougars.)

Mane six r34:  Take your clop somewhere else. Oh, and don’t touch the screen.

naked andrea boehrer:  Take your clop somewhere else. Oh, and don’t touch the screen.

what happens when you hold your breath and bite your tongue:  You get a much more entertaining session of the legislature.

vapor barriers NASCAR racing:  The delicate scent of melting tires should keep you from wandering onto the oval.

heir to the massengill fortune:  A perfect query for a summer’s eve.

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Battle of divulge

This site admittedly has its confessional aspects, and of the several thousand topics that have come up over the past eighteen years, at least a handful have involved revelations that might be considered uncomfortable, not so much for me to say as for you to hear.

Still, I’m pretty sure I’ve never quite gotten to this point:

I’m sitting across a woman and her daughter, about ten, give or take a year, on the CDTA (local) bus. The mom is on the phone talking to her friend, and I’m not paying attention, until she says: “Do you know what I really hate about Eddie [not his real name]? He comes into the bathroom when I’m trying to pee and s###!” Then she goes on about how, when she closes the bathroom door, he pounds on the door and demands to know what she’s doing in there. And she repeats her intentions.

At this point, the daughter says, “TMI, mommy!” She actually used the initials, rather than “too much information.” But either the mom doesn’t hear her, or feels the need to continue with this important telephonic conversation.

The girl is sitting right across from me, and looks at me with this exasperated gaze. I give her the “what can you do?” shrug. She says, a little louder, “Mommy, everybody on the bus can hear you!” This was probably true.

But Mommy manifestly did not care: the denunciation of Eddie [not his real name] was uppermost in her mind, and her outrage trumps everyone else’s discomfort.

Then again, Ed is not entirely blameless: bathrooms being generally devoid of creature comforts not specifically related to the tasks at hand, it should have been perfectly obvious what she was doing in there.

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Somewhat unlike Mountain Dew

At least, that’s what I’ve been given to believe:

You know, plants, if you’re just gonna hurl all over the place — well, I don’t know if it’s worth it burning all that Shell V-Power just to get you guys some carbon dioxide.

If you can deal with this, you can use it to wash down some Kale Granola Chocolate Bark by Coracao Confections.

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What is this

CAPTCHA: icant even

(Via Rebecca Black.)

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A word to health-conscious zombies

In the theme to the Popcap videogame Plants vs. Zombies, Laura Shigihara, as Sunflower, issues a warning to the zombies: “Brains are quite rich in cholesterol.”

It appears she was understating the case:

I once ran across a product called pork brains and milk gravy which I immediately bought. I never ate any of it, I just bought it to show to my friends. It came in a small can about the same size as the cans that Vienna sausages come in which I assumed was one serving.

The health label informed me that the can contained slightly over one thousand percent of the cholesterol that I could healthily wolf down in one day. In other words, ten days cholesterol in one sitting; a heart attack in a very small can.

Do zombies worry about heart attacks? Maybe they should.

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Leave it in neutral

The FCC has been taking comments on their “net neutrality” proposal, which is of course nothing of the sort. Author and media critic Jeff Jarvis has posted his online, from which I excerpt one paragraph:

We know that corporate incumbents in this industry will abuse the control they have to disadvantage competitors. I filed a complaint with the Commission last year when Verizon refused to connect my Google Nexus 7 LTE tablet to its network as required by the Commission’s own rules governing that spectrum as “open.” The incumbent ISPs have demonstrated well that they choose not to understand the definition of “open.”

Purely by coincidence, Entertainment Weekly senior writer Darren Franich notes (issue 1320):

[N]o one in America feels anything besides utter hatred for their cable company, so no one will mourn when all the Time Warners and Comcasts finally die two minutes after we press the “die” button on our remote controls.

Gee, where can I get a remote like that?

But that’s the deal: service providers, be they wired or wireless, have one goal in life, and making you happy is not it.

Side note: Entertainment Weekly was created by, yes, Jeff Jarvis, way back in the 1980s. (Issue #1 appeared in February 1990. I have read them all.)

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Sweaty in Seattle

Parella Lewis of KCPQ, aka Q13 Fox (Seattle/Tacoma), presents a startling statistic:

Five. Whole. Days.

And the record for consecutive days with highs 90 degrees plus in Oklahoma City (again, per NWS)?

Read the rest of this entry »

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More than mere speed

Neil deGrasse Tyson, introducing Car and Driver’s Speed Issue for 2014:

What we really seek are rapid changes in our speed. Those who recite the fast-lane mantra “I feel the need for speed” almost surely instead mean “I can’t wait to accelerate.”

People who like the feel of going fast prefer a stiff suspension because it allows you to “feel the road,” which is driver’s code for feeling all the abrupt disruptions to what would otherwise be a smooth and steady ride.

In the formal language of physics, we go a step further: Acceleration is not only a change in speed (up or down) but also a change in direction. That’s why going around tight turns — especially banked turns — is vastly more fun than driving in a straight line. That’s why the most-fun roller coasters are not the ones that go fast, but the ones that flip, twist and turn you incessantly.

Two or three months from now, we’ll see a couple of letters from drag-strip fans who question that “change in direction” line. (Sorry, guys: acceleration is a vector quantity, with both magnitude and direction.) Then again, what can you say about someone whose fun is over in 16 seconds or less?

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Some last-century thinking

There are message boards that specialize in girlie pix, and even in sections of girlie pix, one of which (never you mind) was offering this stirring photo of Carole Lombard from here down:

Carole Lombard, mostly

The description hinted that there was something risqué about the full photo, which of course I immediately sought out:

Carole Lombard with John Barrymore

Her partner in crime here is John Barrymore, and this turns out to be a publicity still for Columbia’s 1934 comedy Twentieth Century, much of which is set on the fabled 20th Century Limited train between New York and Chicago. The key number here is 1934, that being the year that the Production Code was first enforced, and needless to say, the Hays Office would have had a problem with this sort of thing. This image wasn’t in the actual film, though, so it fell under the jurisdiction of the Advertising Advisory Council, headed by Joseph I. Breen, later the Production Code’s chief enforcer. An explanation, plus a larger version of the photo:

One wonders which more drew the wrath of the moralist Breen: the acres and acres of lovely Lombard leg on display, or the hint of a nipple just above Barrymore’s hand. Maybe both were equal opportunity offenders. And perhaps Carole and John knew this picture wasn’t going to pass muster anyway, so instead they decided to milk it for all its worth, sort of along the lines of Jean Harlow flashing a topless display “for the boys in the lab” at the end of her rain barrel scene in Red Dust two years before.

Oh, my, yes, Red Dust (MGM, ’32). Even in the surviving footage, the normally unflappable Clark Gable seems seriously flapped.

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Quote of the week

The Ruling Class really, really hates not getting to rule:

Most of all, I think — they despise us for not giving a damn what they think particularly, and rejecting practically everything that they tell us to do — ride public transportation, move into urban stack-a-prole housing, give up eating meat (or much of anything else), and continuing to believe that we can raise our own children and sort out our own lives without self-elected nannies breathing down our necks 24-7. Very likely the well-manicured and delicate hands of the new ruling class itch for a whip to give us all a good thrashing for our temerity. Indeed — they are no longer our countrymen in spirit, any more than the Tory sympathizers who departed the American colonies two hundred years and more ago are.

Civil war, you say? Not a chance — of it being civil, anyway.

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That’s your Q to leave

Johan de Nysschen, last heard explaining why Infiniti needed to replace all its alphanumerics with more inscrutable alphanumerics, is moving on, to an American marque whose badges already make no damn sense:

Johan de Nysschen, the executive largely credited with Audi’s rise to Tier 1 luxury brand status, has left his post at Infiniti after just two years on the job. He will assume the top job at Cadillac, after former President Bob Ferguson was moved to a new post as GM’s head of public policy… de Nysschen, who took the helm as Infiniti moved its headquarters to Hong Kong and re-organized its nomenclature (into the confusing “Q” and “QX” lines), was expected to lead a long, progressive turnaround for the brand, much as he did with the once-struggling Audi.

ATS? CTS? ELR? WTF, Cadillac?

This may not be a matter of mere letters, though:

An Automotive News story suggests that CEO Carlos Ghosn’s extremely ambitious targets may have played a part in de Nysschen’s departure.

And let’s face it, you don’t mess with the Johan.

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Coming up in the world

Those who edit Wikipedia are advised about notability: persons or events not worthy of note should not have their own articles. (I don’t have one, and don’t ever expect to, though I know a few people who do.) One’s level of notability determines how much stuff gets on the page: if, for instance, you dial up Led Zeppelin’s “Good Times Bad Times,” their first single, you’ll find in the sidebar a “Led Zeppelin singles chronology,” which, if you follow the links, will take you through “Whole Lotta Love” to “Immigrant Song” to “Black Dog” — though not to “Stairway to Heaven,” which was not released as a single — all the way to “Fool in the Rain.”

I mention this on a Friday because some Wikieditor has assembled a “Rebecca Black singles chronology,” which begins, inevitably, with “Friday,” and continues through “My Moment,” “Person of Interest,” “Sing It,” “In Your Words,” ending with the recent “Saturday.” Each of these songs has its own article and a small collection of contemporary reviews, just like those “real” musical acts.

“Sing It,” notes the pertinent article, received “mixed to positive reviews.” Not incidentally, it was the first RB single to get more thumbs up than down on YouTube; the fans now greatly outnumber the haters. I’m waiting for this to happen to Yoko Ono.

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Though it doesn’t work on water

Hoverboard by MattelIt doesn’t actually work on land, either, come to think of it, but that’s not going to stop the WANT reflex:

We’ve all been demanding hoverboards ever since Marty McFly took off on one in 1989’s Back To The Future II, but now you could own the real thing.

The actual hoverboard used in the film is up for auction at Vue Cinema’s entertainment and prop store live auction, which takes place at Westfield in Shepherd’s Bush in October. It’s one of 375 lots of original props, constumes and production material from a host of movies.

Expected selling price: £15,000, or several gigawallets.

(Via Fark.)

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