An idea worthy of emulation

I am not, to my knowledge, located anywhere recognizable on the Autism Spectrum, but I can see serious value in this practice at any gathering larger than a hoof-ful:

Of course, if I show up somewhere with a blue badge, you may safely assume that somewhere down the line I messed up.

BronyCon starts Friday, 1 August, at the Baltimare Baltimore Convention Center.

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I guess it just wasn’t my Day

I finally got around to following Felicia Day on Twitter, and as is their wont, Twitter duly sent me a list of “suggestions based on” this person. Since Day’s persona is the Gorgeous Geek Girl, I was kind of hoping they’d send me more of the same. Instead, they sent:

Then again, at least their geek credentials are impeccable, so give Twitter that much. They’ve done worse by me before.

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Turd-world problems

Remember when advertising for constipation remedies was restrained, even vague? Well, forget that crap:

Ad for Dulcolax

Copyranter explains where this came from:

Above is a new ad just pushed out the PR poop chute this week by McCann China. Dulcolax is one of the world’s leading laxative brands, made by $15 billion German pharmaceutical giant Boehringer Ingelheim.

The anthropomorphized “Shits” here are imprisoned in your anus, as you can see. The Shits have eyes. A couple of the Shits have boobs. Child Shits are present. One of the Shits, the one marking the days on the “prison” wall has been up your ass a long time. If you’ve ever had a colonic, you know this is accurate. Dulcolax will not save him.

And Copyranter has a lot more where that came from, so to speak.

Now I’m recalling George Carlin’s “Shoot”:

No one ever uses the word ‘shit’ really literally, y’know? … They have other words for that: doo-doo, ca-ca, poo-poo, and good old Number Two.

I suspect this assessment is dead in the water, and not the cleanest water either.

(Via Nancy Friedman.)

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Formerly known as “public servants”

An “ugly little question,” she says:

If I had 8 more inches of height, a deep voice, a full beard, and a set of nuts (sorry), would I be treated with more respect by random bureaucrats than I am currently?

I think the key word here is “random.” From my own vantage point (two inches shorter than specified), I’m finding that there are some genuinely warm and helpful people in various government offices — but that there are also some absolute termagants, malingerers and shitbirds, and you seldom have any control over what you get.

I’m not sure it’s a function of, well, function, either: of all the bureaucracies, the IRS is in perhaps the best possible position to mess up your life for all eternity, and yet there exist, I am told, a small number of IRS functionaries who aren’t actually trying to stick it to you — though it’s admittedly difficult to find them behind the phone tree.

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Patent nonsense (3)

From the summer of 2002, an example of Dubious Patent Usage:

So apparently British Telecom was combing through its archives and found something bearing U.S. patent number 4,873,662 which, BT thought, was the basis for the hyperlink. Visions of dollar signs (what with sterling giving way to the euro, doncha know) danced in their heads, and they hit up more than a dozen ISPs for licensing fees. When said ISPs told BT to go pound sand, BT decided to make a test case out of one of them.

The ISP in question asked for summary judgment while laughing out loud, and got it.

That ISP was Prodigy Internet. Less than a year later, its parent company, SBC (now AT&T), tried basically the same stunt:

SBC Communications, whose main contribution to the Internet up to this point has been putting perennial money-loser Prodigy out of its misery, is now claiming a patent on the invention of HTML frames.

Given the general opinion of HTML frames at the time, this was like applying for a job as sous chef and naming Jeffrey Dahmer as a reference.

Meanwhile, also around the turn of the century, an Australian bloke was trying to make a point:

Way back in 2001, the Australian patent office awarded a man named John Keogh “Innovation Patent #2001100012″ for his “circular transportation facilitation device.” Or what people who don’t work in a government office would call a “wheel.”

Mr. Keogh submitted his patent request as a way of illustrating that he thought the office had relaxed its standards a bit too much. He never tried to collect any money from people using wheels. So it turns out that the office recently revoked his patent, just more than a decade after issuing it.

Then again, since Mr Keogh did not in fact try to hit up unsuspecting wheel users for royalties, he would presumably not be considered a patent troll. Had he been an American, he’d probably have been looking for a courtroom in, say, east Texas, and a test case with a defendant with deep(ish) pockets.

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No, the other glove

I don’t know about the rest of you, but something like this would definitely affect my singing voice, at least temporarily:

Last Friday … Vice President and General Manager of the Myrtle Beach Pelicans Andy Milovich accepted a challenge to receive an in-game prostate exam while singing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame”. The catch? Fierce Fallon’s Facebook Page had to reach 10,000 “Likes” by Thursday at 12:00 PM EST. Supports quickly jumped onboard and blew past the 10K goal shortly after 4:00 PM on Monday afternoon. Milovich is now set to receive the exam during [tonight's] Prostate Cancer Awareness Night. The exam will be administered by Dr. Glenn Gangi of Atlantic Urology Specialists in Conway, SC.

[The] timeline of events will include Milovich on-air with Pelicans Radio Broadcaster Nathan Barnett before and after the exam as well as live video and radio broadcast of Milovich during the exam. The exam and the rendition of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” will be broadcast live during the Pelicans play-by-play broadcast of the game.

Fierce Fallon, nine years old, does not have prostate cancer. (She has brain cancer, which I am inclined to think is worse; she’s currently undergoing chemotherapy.) Ganging up on cancer of any variety, I suggest, has a strong, maybe even visceral, appeal. Still, I’m not sure I’d want to see this on television.

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You might even call it ruptive

The dis- prefix, says Dictionary.com, is “a Latin prefix meaning ‘apart,’ ‘asunder,’ ‘away,’ ‘utterly,’ or having a privative, negative, or reversing force.” This is almost, but not quite, the opposite of ad-, and most of the dis- words I know sound funny with dis- thus replaced. In some cases, it’s more sensible to remove dis- entirely, as in the case of “disestablish.”

But can you be combobulated? (Or “accombobulated”?) Apparently combobulation is something you have to lose before you can gain:

Taking off your shoes and pulling out your laptop at airport security may leave you feeling discombobulated.

The Mitchell International Airport staff has set up some chairs and a sign just past one of the security checkpoints to help you out. They’ve labeled it the “recombobulation area.”

I can deal with that.

(Plucked from a listserv; the sender was Bryan Doe, who actually reads this stuff now and then.)

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This doesn’t add up

Sure it does. You’re just doing it wrong:

A 2012 study comparing 16-to-65-year-olds in 20 countries found that Americans rank in the bottom five in numeracy. On a scale of 1 to 5, 29 percent of them scored at Level 1 or below, meaning they could do basic arithmetic but not computations requiring two or more steps. One study that examined medical prescriptions gone awry found that 17 percent of errors were caused by math mistakes on the part of doctors or pharmacists. A survey found that three-quarters of doctors inaccurately estimated the rates of death and major complications associated with common medical procedures, even in their own specialty areas.

So much for three out of four doctors. Not that we civilians have anything to brag about:

One of the most vivid arithmetic failings displayed by Americans occurred in the early 1980s, when the A&W restaurant chain released a new hamburger to rival the McDonald’s Quarter Pounder. With a third-pound of beef, the A&W burger had more meat than the Quarter Pounder; in taste tests, customers preferred A&W’s burger. And it was less expensive. A lavish A&W television and radio marketing campaign cited these benefits. Yet instead of leaping at the great value, customers snubbed it.

Only when the company held customer focus groups did it become clear why. The Third Pounder presented the American public with a test in fractions. And we failed. Misunderstanding the value of one-third, customers believed they were being overcharged. Why, they asked the researchers, should they pay the same amount for a third of a pound of meat as they did for a quarter-pound of meat at McDonald’s. The “4” in “¼” larger than the “3” in “⅓” led them astray.

Not that it’s relevant, but Johnny Carson once announced in his monologue that McDonald’s had passed the sort of milestone they used to put on the sign, and mused: “Fifty billion burgers! You know, that’s almost 100 pounds of meat.” Then again, he paid people to come up with stuff like that.

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It was here a minute ago

We’ve all seen people on television who couldn’t find their asses with both hands.

Imagine what it’s like when they can’t find a whole continent:

Suggestion: Start at Russia and head west. Or don’t.

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High on the Sphincter Scale

First, the question:

Yahoo Answers screenshot: Does ratemyprofessor.com give out your exact address?

Then, the excuses:

Okay, I know it was rude but I called my professor lazy. And there isn’t an excuse for it. I know, okay? I feel bad about it. My sister has has had cancer for three years and we just found out last week that the cancer is stage 4, metastatic, and spread to her brain, liver, and lungs.

I was so mad at the world last week and I was frustrated because we have two weeks left of class and the professor still didn’t tell us our grades, so I posted on ratemyprofessors a review and I said he’s lazy, and don’t take him. That’s honestly the only thing I said.

Then in class, the professor told us all he was hurt by it, and even the website deleted it because it was “so mean”. Then he gave us back our midterm, and I was the only one who didn’t get mine back? He said he left it with the other class’s stack. I’m pretty sure he knows it was me, but how? I don’t have a username on the website, I reviewed as a guest, and I only said one sentence.

So my question is, did the website violate my Constitutional rights by giving out my IP address and location to a professor? The Constitution states that everyone has the right to free speech without the use of “fight words”. I’m pretty sure calling someone else “lazy” isn’t a fight word, or else hundreds of millions of people would be in jail right now.

I’m thinking that this individual got shitty grades; if she thinks that that’s what the Constitution says, it’s a safe bet her mastery of the subject she’s studying is just as questionable, if not more so.

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What you pay for those “rewards”

Because, you know, nobody’s actually giving you anything for “free”:

The program launches on Thursday, Verizon announced on its website, and customers “may be required to enroll in Verizon Selects, part of Precision Market Insights from Verizon, as part of the Smart Rewards registration process and will receive 2,500 bonus points for being part of Verizon Selects and 500 Rewards points per participating line each month.”

That “may” might be that you’d have to enroll if you haven’t already — it seems it would be a likely requirement, as it enables Verizon to offer deals it thinks will interest customers based on their “location, web browsing and mobile application usage data, as well as other information including customer demographic and interest data,” as explained on its info page about Verizon Selects.

So it’s a tradeoff: we hand you some points, presumably good toward something, and you tell us what you’re doing at every opportunity. And really, you’ve seen worse.

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The heart wants what it wants

And those other parts have their own desires. A member of the Australian Parliament is under fire for describing exactly what she looks for in a man:

Jacqui Lambie, an Australian MP who shares the balance of power in the upper house, has apologised after declaring in a radio interview that she is looking for a partner who is “well-hung” and loaded with cash.

“They don’t even need to speak,” said Ms Lambie, a 43-year-old single mother of two.

In a radio interview in her home state of Tasmania, Ms Lambie told Heart FM that her ideal partner “must have heaps of cash and they’ve got to have a package between their legs.”

God forbid a man should say something like that about a woman, right?

(Via One Fine Jay.)

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A wiener is you


Source: Fix.com

I expect that once again, they will fail to address the following:

I mean the fact that there are always too many hot dogs, and not enough buns, has been clearly unacceptable!

Come on people! Why can’t Oscar Meyer and Wonder just call a truce and negotiate a settlement on what the proper number of dogs and buns to a package should be!

I vote for eight: buns remain unchanged, and a pack of eight franks will cost less than a pack of ten. Not that anyone these days is likely to do the math.

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Making a dew point

Osaka Jack, as his name implies, lives in Japan, but in a part of it with ridiculous humidity levels not unlike what we’re having to endure this week on the Baked Plain. So this My Little Pony fiction idea gets my vote:

Which was apparently a reaction to this:

The only worry is that it might take longer than 22 minutes to clear this mess up.

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Getting procedural

Ever been fired and then rehired? AJ Cook has:

After a week of negotiations, AJ Cook just closed a two-year deal to return to CBS’ drama Criminal Minds as a regular. She will guest star in the series’ sixth season finale on May 18 before re-joining the show full-time in the fall.

Cook departed Criminal Minds after the end of last season when her option was not picked up, stirring outcry among fans of the show. She appeared in the first two episodes of this season to wrap the storyline of her character JJ, who was transferred from the BAU to a job at the Pentagon.

She wasn’t a proper profiler, but was serving as the BAU’s media liaison; when she returned in season seven, she’d apparently been trained as a profiler.

Then again, that two-year deal was signed in 2011. Two years later, here she is doing an upfront at CTV:

AJ Cook at CTV

Criminal Minds finished its ninth season this spring, and will be back this fall; everything I’ve seen says that AJ will be back with it.

From the massive collection of Things I Didn’t Know: As a child, AJ was legally blind, and wasn’t much better than that as an adult. Severe astigmatism, they said:

“I was that little kid with Coke bottle glasses,” she recalls. “I started wearing contacts at a really young age because I was a dancer and I couldn’t dance on stage with glasses on.”

Even laser eye surgery wasn’t an option because, as the actress explains, “They’d have to take away too much of my eye. It’s way too dangerous.”

Then a new procedure emerged called Visian ICL, a lens implant that corrects the impairment. So [in 2007] Cook had the surgery done.

Incidentally, this is the second character on Criminal Minds who’s gotten a mention here, the first being Kirsten Vangsness, who plays Penelope Garcia.

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Of course you can eat that

One of a series of Public Lecture Podcasts from the University of Bath is titled “Say it with poison”:

In this lecture, Mr Russell Bowes, a freelance garden historian, will be sharing mysterious tales of how people have died in the garden, and how you can protect yourself against herbaceous murderers.

Of all things veddy, veddy British, this sounds like one of the veddiest.

(Via Finestkind Clinic and fish market.)

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