And she’s not even a Pisces

Since this is Richard Branson’s scheme, he gets to make the opening statement:

An image can sometimes speak a thousand words, which is the thinking behind Fishlove — a radical photographic project which is spearheading the campaign to end over-fishing in Europe.

Fishlove invites personalities across the globe to raise awareness of how over-fishing is destroying the marine environment. They aim to end over-fishing in Europe by 2015 so that fish stocks can recover to above levels that can produce the maximum sustainable yield by 2020.

(See also this brilliantly titled post.)

The personality across the globe for today is Gillian Anderson:

Gillian Anderson for Fishlove

Somewhere in a corner, Fox Mulder is carping about something.

Comments (3)

The sharp stick of politics

Dave Schuler quotes Megan McArdle:

[I]f you want to make the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act viable for the long term, you’re going to need the support of folks like Hobby Lobby as much as you need low premiums. There are many religious people in America, and if you want to keep stirring up active opposition to the law, one good way is to suggest that this law forces them to pay for something they are convinced is morally wrong. (Hobby Lobby’s objection is not to contraception in general, but specifically to products that could prevent a fertilized egg from implanting.) If you want to still be fighting Obamacare in the trenches 40 years from now, the best way I can think of is appending it to the argument over abortion.

But McArdle, says Schuler, is missing a very pointed point:

… which is that part of the problem with our political system today is that accomplishing something material doesn’t necessarily produce political gain but poking a stick in your opponent’s eye does. And it feels so good.

There is a hierarchy of values at work here. Having an issue is better than solving a problem. Hurting your political opponent is better than reaching a mutually agreeable solution. Holding tough is better than compromise.

With that hierarchy in mind, it’s clear that appending Obamacare to the argument over abortion is a feature rather than a bug.

Of course, with sticks flying in every direction, we should not be surprised to find incidence of blindness.

Comments (3)

Set abrasives to stunned

This actually does seem to work:

How to offend four groups of geeks with a single photo

It’s all over the place, but I picked it up from

Comments (3)

It’s easy not being Green

For some reason known but to God, or to Jeff Bezos, who’s arguably the next step down from God, this past weekend posted a listing for John Green’s bestselling YA novel The Fault in Our Stars as being the work of one “Holt McDougal,” which is in fact the name of a textbook publisher.

Fans of Green jumped right in to praise the mysterious McDougal in the Amazon review section. Said one enthusiast: “In addition to writing your ordinary astronomy and calculus textbooks, he also dabbles in young adult fiction. He’s been wildly successful in both genres (can I say that his algebra 2 textbook was especially fascinating).” Green himself published several of the McDougal reviews on his Tumblr blog; Amazon finally got around to fixing the matter late today.

(Tweeted in my general direction by the lovely and talented Annemarie Dooling.)

Comments (2)

Or it might have been the right one

Back in the Seventies, I actually heard a guy say he’d give his left nut for a Datsun Z.

I’m pretty sure it wasn’t this guy, though:

Mark Parisi declared on CBS’s show The Doctors he will be donating one of his testicles to medical science for US$35,000 so he can buy himself a new Nissan 370[Z].

I’m not even going to ask what I’d have to give up for that new Maserati Ghibli.

(Via Autoblog.)

Comments (8)

You misspelled “degraded”

Not that you’d notice, of course:

Yahoo Answers screenshot: What are key words to use when trying to find cars with upgraded rims?


I am trying to search for vehicles on many different websites, that have upgraded rims. Not anything to do with the suspension though I am looking for a dodge charger, for example words such as bagged, low profile, and donk would work but are not professional. I have used the word upgraded but it doesn’t seem to find much. I am using auto trader the most but what are some other words?

A hundred pounds of extra weight, deteriorating chassis performance, and blithering bad taste. Yeah, that’s an “upgrade” all right. And “professional”? It is to laugh.

Comments off

Bite my shiny metal birds

In four years on Twitter I have managed to pick up a bit over 850 followers, which may not sound like much, but it’s about 750-800 more than I had any reason to anticipate.

In about four years more, I might be able to claim a thousand more followers, just doing whatever the blazes it is I’m doing now. Or, if I’m impatient, I could just write a check:

One day earlier this month, Jim Vidmar bought 1,000 fake Twitter accounts for $58 from an online vendor in Pakistan.

He then programmed the accounts to “follow” the Twitter account of rapper Dave Murrell, who calls himself Fyrare and pays Mr. Vidmar to boost his standing on the social network. Mr. Vidmar’s fake accounts also rebroadcast Mr. Murrell’s tweets, amplifying his Twitter voice.

This, of course, violates Twitter’s Terms of Service, but this is probably not a major consideration for buyers and sellers of fake followers.

How many of these people aren’t actually, you know, people? Not so much, Twitter insists:

In securities filings, Twitter says it believes fake accounts represent fewer than 5% of its 230 million active users. Independent researchers believe the number is higher.

Italian security researchers Andrea Stroppa and Carlo De Micheli say they found 20 million fake accounts for sale on Twitter this summer. That would amount to nearly 9% of Twitter’s monthly active users.

Personally, I myself have never had a sudden influx of followers so massive as to make it impossible to check their papers — unlike some people I could name.

Comments off

Strange search-engine queries (409)

It’s time once again to shake the cornstarch off our mukluks and get down to the serious business of looking for perhaps-unserious search strings in ye olde system logs. It wouldn’t be a Monday morning without them.

Maria Bartaromo in pantyhose:  Thus we see the mental corruption in operation. He’s spent so much time looking at her legs that he doesn’t remember how to spell her name.

loreal greer mapson:  Sounds like the name of someone they’d hire to replace Maria Bartiromo.

sherilyn fenn looks what should i look like at age 35:  Well, it would be nice if you looked like Sherilyn Fenn at 35, especially if you wanted a job on TV news like Maria Bartiromo’s.

mazda tribute automatic transmission parts – foward direct drum:  In fact, forward them to Kevin Drum. He needs a hobby besides trying to defend Obamacare.

eighteen groped:  You really don’t need to spell this out in your journal, Congressman.

toyota yaris – drivers seat unable to move forward:  If it were any closer, you’d be driving this thing with your [redacted].

WHAT IS THE FORMULER FOR CALCULATING THE NUMBERN ON SOLER PANELS TO CHARGE 200:  You promise the rubes enough of a tax break and you can charge 200 apiece.

brittney lissner porn:  Not here, sorry. Did you try one of the sites you actually have to pay for?

europrincess escort:  I’m pretty sure no princess currently enthroned in Europe is driving a Ford.

Eroticsuperheroines:  I heard that Triplicate Girl does threesomes.

toyota prius KEYLESSRIDE scanner price in ebay:  Would it not have been more useful actually to search eBay itself?

Comments (3)

And it’s back atcha, Volume 3

Toward the end of the third quarter, radio guy Matt Pinto made the offhand observation that when the Timberwolves were leading after three quarters, they were something like 9-0. At the time, the Timberwolves had led all night and were up five points. I have to figure that Scott Brooks knew this statistic and passed it on between quarters, because the Thunder opened the quarter with a 16-5 run. Eight minutes in, OKC had outscored Minnesota 25-7. Still, the Wolves are tricky, so Brooks didn’t actually pull the starters until the last minute, when the 113-103 victory was pretty much in the bag.

What happened? Two words: Kevin Durant. Kid Delicious had a triple double, his fourth: 32 points, 10 rebounds, 12 assists. Oh, and he blocked four shots. And it helped that the rest of the team didn’t mess up: Serge Ibaka had 15 points and three blocks; Russell Westbrook, 19 points, five assists; Reggie Jackson, 18 points and four assists. (The Thunder bench rolled up 39 points, versus 23 for the backup Wolves.) That final quarter was truly a thing of beauty.

Still, the Wolves machine, when it’s working, is something to behold, and it worked pretty darn well for three quarters. Kevin Martin knocked down 24 points, Nikola Peković 22, and Kevin Love 16; Peković and Love wound up with double-doubles. Minnesota actually outrebounded the Thunder, 46-43. Interestingly, both teams made nine three-pointers, though it took OKC 19 tries and the Wolves 29 tries.

So all three of the teams that beat the Thunder on that ill-fated road trip have now fallen at the ‘Peake. If you told the Thunder they had one job, well, they did it. Six and 0 for the homestand.

The next road trip starts Tuesday at Sacramento, continues Wednesday at Portland, and ends Friday in New Orleans. None of these figure to be particularly easy, and the Blazers, you’ll note, are actually on top on the Northwest.

Comments (2)

Developing north of Canada

The National Weather Service in the San Francisco Bay area is predicting something like this:

Imagine what they’d have to endure if there were an influx of Artic air in Febuary.

(Incidentally, whatever they get in and around the Bay is likely to be several times as bad here.)

Comments (4)

I regret having read this

At least some of this would seem perfectly obvious:

Men most often regret not having sex with more people while women frequently regret having sex with the wrong partner, according to a recently released study.

The study from researchers at the University of Texas and University of California-Los Angeles aimed to show that the feeling of regret is part of the evolutionary process when it comes to reproduction, the University of Texas said on Monday.

“For men throughout evolutionary history, every missed opportunity to have sex with a new partner is potentially a missed reproduce opportunity — a costly loss from an evolutionary perspective,” said Martie Haselton, a UCLA social psychology professor who worked on the study.

Who knew the demand for wild oats was so persistent? How about, um, everyone?

But if men want numbers, women want something else:

The main regrets for women include losing their virginity to the wrong partner, cheating on a present or past partner and moving too fast sexually.

“The consequences of casual sex were so much higher for women than for men, and this is likely to have shaped emotional reactions to sexual liaisons even today,” Haselton said.

And, because something like this requires a punch line:

More women than men included “having sex with a physically unattractive partner” as a top regret.

I have done what I could to minimize the incidence of this particular tragedy.

(Via this Georganna Hancock tweet, in which I attempt to monopolize the thread.)

Comments off

But what if…?

An insufficiently mild horror story of teddy bears and piano teachers.

Comments (2)

Sweet little sixteen digits

It’s no particular secret that almost every credit card — there may be an outlier lying out there somewhere, I suppose — has been designed to pass the Luhn test, a relatively simple check-digit routine. It’s no particular trick to come up with a number that appears to pass muster, even if it doesn’t correspond to an actual account, and unsurprisingly, there’s an app for that:

GetCreditCardNumbers comes to your rescue by giving out fake, “real” credit card numbers that can be used when you need one to get a trial underway, you know, like the ones available at Netflix, Hulu and the likes. Well, we say “real” because obviously enough, they aren’t actual real life credit card numbers but merely a collection of digits that have all the right formatting needed to fool a computer into thinking that they make up a proper card number. That is, the numbers have the required issuer identification number and the like, so they’re more than just a collection of random numbers thrown onto a website. In fact, if you need a large number of real-fake credit cards to use, the website will even let you download 100s in a fancy XML, JSON or CSV file.

They certainly look plausible enough. If a merchant actually runs them, though — well, I’ve seen this before, and I recognize most of the error codes on sight.

Comments off

Where she had to be

As a general rule, women named “Chanel” don’t drive forklifts. (Not that I have anything at all against women driving forklifts; my daughter used to drive a forklift.) A more likely destination:

Chanel Iman Robinson, known commonly today as simply Chanel Iman, is the youngest and most successful African-American High Fashion Model of her time. The Victoria’s Secret “Angel” is well-known for having positive energy and endless legs that have walked countless runways around the world.

“Her time” began in 2006, when she was only sixteen. (She turns 23 tomorrow.) Herewith, an example of positive energy, followed by an example of endless legs:

Chanel Iman as DJ

Chanel Iman wearing Max Mara

For those worried about Absolute Percentages, Ms Iman is one-quarter (on her mother’s side) Korean.

Comments (3)

In-house, out of mind

I’ve never worked for Walmart, but I suppose if I did, I’d at least sample the Great Value and Sam’s Choice wares. (Some might argue that if I worked for Walmart, I couldn’t afford anything but Great Value and Sam’s Choice, but that’s another matter entirely.)

Yahoo! of late has been trying, really trying, to get its employees to use the newly revamped Yahoo! Mail. No, not at home: Marissa Mayer hasn’t gone that far yet, and probably won’t, given the negative response she got for her call for less telecommuting. But apparently only 25 percent of Y! staff have actually switched to the corporate mail product, clinging, maybe even bitterly, to the devil they know: Microsoft Outlook.

Clearly something had to be done, and that something was a memo from a pair of Y! execs with the satisfyingly snarky title “Windows 95 called and they want their mail app back.” This runs ten paragraphs of varying length, of which I will here expropriate only the fifth:

First, it doesn’t feel like we are asking you to abandon some glorious place of communications nirvana. At this point in your life, Outlook may be familiar, which we can often confuse with productive or well designed. Certainly, we can admire the application for its survival, an anachronism of the now defunct 90s PC era, a pre-web program written at a time when NT Server terrorized the data center landscape with the confidence of a T-Rex born to yuppie dinosaur parents who fully bought into the illusion of their son’s utter uniqueness because the big-mouthed, tiny-armed monster infant could mimic the gestures of The Itsy-Bitsy Pterodactyl. There was a similar outcry when we moved away from Outlook’s suite-mates in the Microsoft Office dreadnaught. But whether it’s familiarity, laziness or simple stubbornness dressed in a cloak of Ayn Randian Objectivism, the time has come to move on, commrade [sic … go deep in this pun, it is layered].

This isn’t the situation for which the phrase “LOL NO” was invented. But it could have been.

(Via Doc Searls.)

Comments (4)

Oh, yes, the UN

I got five of these from someone identified as “John Weta”; curiously, they had spam scores that varied over a factor of four.

The message, however, was pretty standard:


We are solicitors.In the recently concluded 2013 investigations and subsequent arrests of suspected fraudsters in Africa region, in collaboration with the present governments of Nigeria, Ghana, Cote D’Ivoire, Burkinafaso, England and South Africa, the UN security operatives have so far arrested and prosecuted over 300 government and banking officials and arrest is still going on.

So far, the UN security operatives have also recovered about $5.1 Billion from both cash and accounts.

It is from the address books of the arrested officials that your email address was recovered. Right now, the United Nations (UN) and their Africa Union (AU) counterpart is paying a $1,000,000.00 compensation to those whose emails addresses and other personal data are recovered from these arrested officials, and also paying full contract or inheritance and winning amounts to those with provable information qualifying them as genuine contractors and beneficiaries of funds in the affected African countries.

Which Category do you fall? Have you been getting emails for payments from these countries? OR are you a legitimate contractor and fund beneficiary in any of the affected African country? Please, indicate clearly as you get back to me for proper guidelines and details on how to receive this compensation OR your full payment.


Barrister.John Weta

Burkina Faso. Hmmm. You never hear much of anything from The Country Formerly Known As Upper Volta.

Still, you have to figure that if the UN were actually interested in fighting crime and securing reparations, they’d go out of their way to see that the proceeds, assuming they weren’t deposited in various officials’ accounts, didn’t end up in some First World hellhole like the US.

Comments (2)