Okay, is there anyone here who hasn’t figured these out yet?
Okay, is there anyone here who hasn’t figured these out yet?
“WTF its July?” asks Andrew Ian Dodge in titling the 380th Carnival of the Vanities, which apparently had been sitting in the Draft folder for a couple of days.
Some time in July 2007, Mitsubishi Motors released a facelifted edition of its 380 sedan, the last automobile the Three Diamonds guys were building in Australia. It garnered few sales, and Mitsu eventually shuttered its Australian plant entirely. WTF, indeed.
Salon reviews Stan Cox’s new book Losing Our Cool: Uncomfortable Truths About Our Air-Conditioned World (and Finding New Ways to Get Through the Summer), pointing out, among other horrible things, that we don’t go outside quite as often in the summer as we did back in the pre-Willis Carrier days, and, yes, the hotter parts of the country tend to vote Republican.
Salon, you’ll remember, is a Web site with magazine pretensions. Web sites run on servers; servers have to be kept nice and chilled. I’m sure they’re notifying their service provider even now that in the interest of saving the environment and/or preserving contemporary morality, they’d like to have the A/C on that machine shut down.
And if they’re not so doing, they can bite me.
(Via the always-cool Smitty.)
I am really not a sports fan but I suppose that baseball, of all the sports, is the one that interests me the most. And it’s a lot easier to follow when you’re sitting right there watching it in person than it is listening to it on the radio. (Though maybe all the times I listed to Rangers games over recent years — mainly as “background noise” while doing something else — has led to my absorption of some of the basics of the game.)
Now for me it’s the other way around: I can follow a game just fine on the radio. Of course, I was doing that as a kid, back in the Jurassic period, or at least before the Braves moved to Atlanta, by which time I’d already figured out how to pull the nighttime Cardinals games from KMOX. (What else are you gonna do in South Carolina? It’s either some team way the hell up north, or way the hell out west. St. Louis, right in the middle, was right where I needed to be.)
So inevitably my thoughts on the matter are informed by the thoughts of Jack Buck, who worked the booth with Harry Caray during my years as a nascent Cards fan. CBS eventually signed him to do their TV game of the week, a gig that lasted only two years. Buck explained:
“CBS never got that baseball play-by-play draws word-pictures. All they knew was that football stars analysts. So they said, ‘Let [Tim] McCarver run the show … In television, all they want you to do is shut up. I’m not very good at shutting up.”
And with KMOX squeezed out of the picture, if I’m wandering up around Kansas on a summer day, I’m likely to hunt down the Royals games, knowing I’ll be able to squint in the sun and imagine myself at the K.
Meanwhile in the Pacific Coast League, the RedHawks were rained out last night, so there’s a double-header tonight against Nashville. The Birds are 2½ games ahead of the
Springfield Albuquerque Isotopes in the PCL American South.
If you have $26,500, a rather middling sum for an automobile these days, you can have the bottom-of-the-line Benz, the C230 Kompressor coupe with a supercharged 2.3-liter inline four; or you can have the high-end Hyundai, the XG350 sedan with a 3.5-liter V6, and about a thousand dollars left over. Of course, Mercedes being Mercedes, you can easily add another ten grand to the price, while the Hyundai is stuffed with everything in every conceivable Korean parts bin, but still, it’s possible to buy either of these cars for a price well short of thirty K.
Some will ask, “What in the world is Hyundai doing, trying to compete with the likes of Mercedes?” Better they should ask, “What in the world is Mercedes-Benz doing, trying to compete with the likes of Hyundai?”
It did not occur to me at the time to superimpose political theory on top of this premise. If it had, it might have gone something like this:
If the right tries to compete with the left in the free money game, the left has to up the ante in order to maintain its market position as the free money leader. As an analogy: if Mercedes were to drop its prices to near-Hyundai levels, Hyundai would have to drop its own prices to an extremely low level, in order to maintain its position as the low price leader (since Hyundai would not be able to quickly and credibly shift to being the prestige/luxury provider). Hyundai may not be able to achieve this level of a price reduction (as they are subject to the laws of the marketplace), but in politics, the only limit (until economic reality kicks in) is the voters’ willingness to take from their neighbors. If the right is already offering ~90% tax rates on the rich, then the left, if it wants to retain its market position, will up the ante by going to the extreme socialism that [Dennis] Wheatley rightly denounces.
Car buffs will note that Hyundai is already attempting to carve out a slice of the prestige/luxury market, having introduced the Genesis sedan and coupe; the arrival of the Equus, aimed right at Lexus’ solar plexus, is imminent. (Only downside: “EQUUS” turns out to be a lame acronym.) Meanwhile, Daimler contemplates the possibility of selling the B-Class in the States. (It’s already for sale in Canada, along with the even-smaller A-Class.)
So both sides are starting to look like one another. If that isn’t a metaphor for American politics, I’ll eat my unthrown-into-the-ring hat. But there’s this:
If the Congress consisted entirely of right-oriented Republicans, independents, Constitution party and Libertarians, then the Democrats would have to move right to survive, and the right-oriented would have to move further right, to maintain their market position.
Then again, bottom-feeders (Hyundai Accent, Henry Waxman), like the poor, are with us always.
Patti turned up a box of these, and wondered if her local candy shop was becoming politically incorrect:
The Yorkie bar, a chunkier alternative to Cadbury’s Dairy Milk, was aimed at men. In the 1980s for example, toy lorries (toy trucks) with the Yorkie bar logo were manufactured by Corgi, and television ads for the Yorkie bar featured truck drivers. In 2001, the ad campaign made this more explicit with the slogan and wrapper tagline It’s not for girls, which caused controversy.
I can tell you that at least one guy didn’t find it all that wonderful either.
Time once more to descend upon the shore, scrape away the tar balls, and see if anything that merits any mirth has washed up from the server logs. (Hey, it could happen, right?)
miraculous bikini: It certainly always seemed so to me.
woman pestered by yobs: Well, yeah, that’s what yobs do. It’s in the job description, I’m sure.
does the transmission have an electronic brain: Sometimes I wonder if the driver has any kind of brain at all.
flirkin halle berry: Most of us have not been favored with the opportunity to see her flirk.
how to fix a hole in a cake: Just eat around it.
“dan rather” quote “those sons of bitches” mp3: Keep in mind that Dan Rather grew up in Texas, where sons of bitches are only slightly less common than hot July days.
proof of one’s wherabouts: These are called “alibis,” which are only slightly less common than hot July days.
hardassery: The state or condition of being hardassed. See also dumbassery.
Dakota Fanning/Hand amputee: For that, you get the finger. Guess which one.
good things about fallible memory: That’s funny, I don’t remember any.
In response to that nonsense about small feet (on women, anyway) being allegedly more attractive, Glenn Reynolds offers a quick one-line squelch: “Okay, fine — but what about us men who wear 14EEEs?”
There’s already enough nonsense about us 14-and-up types, really.
(And who knew the Instapundit was one of the wore-the-box-instead-of-the-shoe crowd? Certainly I didn’t, and Dr Helen isn’t talking.)
Just to make a point about how tricky it is to get a site design to work, I left a comment here to the following effect:
Layouts do funny things in lots of unpredictable ways. My comment box displays wrong in Safari for some reason.
On the off-chance that someone might ask what my definition of “wrong” might be, I then duly pulled up Safari and invoked the comment section here — which displayed correctly, although the comment-preview function doesn’t actually work unless the site cookie is set.
This is the new Safari 5, so maybe they fixed something. Certainly I didn’t fix anything.
U.S. Military allows each SFWA President one and only one use of the High Energy Space Laser, so before you annoy me, ask yourself if any of my other enemies have been recently and mysteriously reduced to ash, and if the answer is “no,” reconsider.
Not everyone who has held this position — Norman Spinrad for some reason comes to mind — would give you such a warning.
I think Doctor Who takes place in a parallel world where there are no Muslims. I’ve never seen one portrayed in any single episode of the old or new series — though the film crew did manage to miss editing out a shot of a rubbish bin (as they call them over there) with a bilingual English and Arabic sign on it. If you want to know it’s in the episode “Smith and Jones.” You’re welcome.
Speaking of rubbish, here are the Timelords (later the KLF) with the ridiculous “Doctorin’ the Tardis.” You are hereby warned of the possibility of earworm infection.
“Pure, unadulterated agony,” said Melody Maker.
Nobody questions whether the Tesla Roadster acts like a real car on the road: they assume that since it costs $120,000 or so, these matters have been adequately addressed by the manufacturer.
Nissan’s asking about a quarter of that for the new Leaf, which may explain their current print ad, apparently intended to assure potential buyers that yes, their little electric car can get out of its own way:
max torque — it’s that fleeting moment when a gasoline engine is strongest. unfortunately it takes a while to get there. wait no more: the Nissan LEAF electric motor gets 100% torque right off the line. so the moment you step on the pedal, wahooooo!
My own gas-engine car, powered by Nissan, reaches its torque peak at a relatively-lofty 4000 rpm, and it does take a few seconds to get there — though in the interest of fuel economy, unless you’re really pushing on the loud pedal, you’ll get an upshift long before you get there. An electric motor reaches its torque peak at zero rpm: it’s pretty much instantaneous.
I suppose the best thing about this is that Nissan is not going to try to sell the Leaf as an automotive hair shirt, to be worn in penance for all those years you wheeled around town in a bitchin’ Camaro, but as a car that can actually be enjoyed, provided you don’t have to drive all the way to, say, Wahoo, Nebraska in a single day. (Eventually, I suppose, there will be fast-charge stations along the highway.)
(There’s a skip in the record about 4:38, during the song. Don’t let it bother you.)
The anonymous auto-show product specialist known as The Booth Babe, before leaving for a few vacation days, put out this advice to her detractors:
If you are so upset and worked up over what I wrote, I can guarantee you that you are the person I’m writing about. You’re pissed because I just called you out on your idiocy. Frankly, everyone else — the normal, polite, engaging, non-sexist, non-racist, hygienic, intelligent people — everyone else thinks it’s funny. And they think it’s funny because they know it’s true.
The things I write about don’t just happen to me, and they don’t just happen at the auto show. Anyone who has worked with the public for any amount of time can tell the same stories. The only difference is I’m standing in a convention center when these things happen, and they are waiting tables or ringing up your purchases or writing your traffic tickets or trying to help you at the bank.
I’ll let you in on a little secret. 99% of them don’t know their ass from a left-handed knibblin’ pin. They talk a good game but that’s because Google is open right next to the screen they are trolling on so they can seem smarter and more capable than they really are. In reality they are sitting there sucking down Mountain Dew with a bag of BBQ Fritos getting flavoring powder and grease all over their keyboard and mouse while a doobie full of skunky weed smolders away in an ashtray on the corner of the desk. Probably have orange finger prints on their worn-out tighty whities from scratching their junk every 5 minutes. They bag on you so they can feel better about themselves. It sounds so cliche but there is a truth behind every stereotype. I know this because I have had a few of them work for me and they were frustrating personalities at best.
Most of you by now have seen some form of blog trolling, almost always conducted by someone meeting the above criteria, probably living under his mother’s bridge. What’s more, approximately 30-40 percent of the individuals I encounter on Yahoo! Answers seem to fit this type. I conclude that the Internet serves as a vast social network for people who have no business being social.
I’ve been asked this several times, and I actually answered it once in the OAQ:
Think of it as a broadening of scope. I grew up surrounded by lots of gorgeous legs, by dint of attending a Catholic high school during a period when skirt lengths were becoming, um, less conservative, and shoes are a logical extension of that interest. (So are underpants, I suppose, but those aren’t on display. Usually.) Besides, they always invite comment, even if it’s only “Yech, I wouldn’t wear that.”
But you perhaps weren’t asking me specifically; you might have been posting a grandly-general rhetorical question. Fortunately, there’s an answer for that, too:
When it comes to status, shoes win approval in ways shirts cannot — [a] Daily Express study stated that four out of every 10 women judge other women based on their shoes. It Bags had only a moment, and it’s not like there’s a Tumblr devoted to pants. What makes shoes so special?
Not that I have any real statistics to base this off of, but perhaps part of it is that shoes are so object-y (Colorful Adjective Usage: “It’s Summer and I’m Tired” Edition). Whether you want to invest in something special or are simply yearning for a quick fashion fix, a good, chunky thing is more satisfying than fabric. They stand on their own, they’re more 3D, and while other accessories have these qualities, none of them are quite as trophy or collectible-like. Advertising genius and fashion obsessee Cindy Gallop has hers showcased alongside an entire wall of her apartment, framed by twinkling lights. Jane Aldridge, of the popular fashion blog Sea of Shoes, owns around 85 pairs, and has said the fun in collecting comes from their art-like, sculptural quality. I have to agree — my pair of Miu Mius sit on a shelf in my room, next to a foot-tall Stephen Jones hat and a rare early Warhol book.
Another possible explanation is that shoes are easy. As Browns founder and owner Joan Burstein once said, “Feet don’t have fat days or bad hair days, which is part of the reason women are so obsessed with them.” True! Plus, a good pair of shoes can improve a lazy or boring outfit in ways other accessories can’t.
By the power invested in me by, well, me — and a questionable investment it is, I dare say — I hereby proclaim this the Independence Day Weekend Open Thread. Do unto it what you will, within reasonable limitations. (In other words, easy on the vuvuzelas.) This will remain near the top of the page for a day or two.
We were talking to a general manager presently sitting out the market (so far) about the absurd numbers being thrown around on Day 1 — notably, at Rudy Gay ($82M), Darko Miličić ($20M), Drew Gooden ($32M, thanks to bloody genius Dan Fegan) — and he made a point that his owner and commissioner probably should heed pretty carefully.
“One of the most interesting dances we’re going to see after this orgy of spending,” the GM said, “is that when you give these run-of-the-mill free agents substantial contracts, how is David (Stern) going to go in front of the union when this CBA expires [in 2011] and say, ‘Uh, we’re broke.’
“Broke, my butt — you just gave Darko $20 million? You just gave Rudy Gay, a third-tier player — talented, but not really driven to succeed — more than $80 million? And now you’re telling the players we need a new business model, when owners are giving money away like candy on Halloween? Lots of luck with that.”
Well, it doesn’t sound like Sam Presti, anyway.
You’re looking at Letizia Ortiz Rocasolano, Princess of Asturias, spouse to the heir apparent to the Spanish throne, here resplendent in white and blue.
The HuffPo fashion maven, whoever he is, got all huffy about this ensemble, especially the flats: “Seems like someone has a case of the summer style blues!” Last I looked, the poll was running in Letizia’s favor, something like seven to one, so my response to the maven is simply this: “No dice, son.”
(Via Smitty, who was working late or something.)
[T]he new I-40 alignment is supposed to be several feet below grade level — except for the minor detail that there’s not enough support for the actual roadway that far down.
I left it at that, but Nick Roberts has the gory details:
Basically, this whole I-40 project has turned into a disaster. Not only is it experiencing un-Godly cost overruns, but it was supposed to be an entirely depressed freeway like the Connector through Downtown-Midtown Atlanta. Well, surprise, there’s a water table. So now it will only be 8 feet depressed, which means that I could stand up against the edge and easily touch the grass up on the ground. There are trucks that are at least 12 feet tall, and my suv is about 8 feet tall — to put into perspective how “depressed” this highway will be. The result is that we basically have an at-grade freeway and not a depressed freeway, which may cause this Core to Shore thing to need some complete rethinking. So much for removing a “barrier.”
I’m depressed just thinking of the cost overruns. We’re not at Big Dig levels yet, but we’re working on it.
Back in December 2008, I replaced the search box in the sidebar (Google, natch) with a box that invoked Scroogle, which was a sort of Google proxy: Scroogle submitted the search, but it intercepted Google’s attempts at data mining.
Scroogle users saw a Scroogle page that said, “Google returned no results for this search,” when in fact Google returned results but our scraper was unable to deal with them. Over the next few days we will attempt to contact Google and determine whether the old interface is gone as a matter of policy at Google, or if they simply have it hidden somewhere and will tell us where it is so that we can continue to use it.
And no, it’s not a question of just adapting to a new Google API:
It is not possible to continue Scroogle unless we have a simple interface that is stable. Google’s main consumer-oriented interface that they want everyone to use is too complex, too bloated, and changes too frequently, to make our scraping operation possible.
I suspect this is now Google policy, and have reinstated the old search box, mostly because I need it to cross-reference things now and then, and there are over 8,000 pages on this site that are not now and likely never will be in the WordPress database.
I did, briefly, experiment with a Bing box, but I don’t much like their defaults.