Delivery manifest

This song came out 46 years ago; for some reason, it clicks with me more me now than it did then, though I’ve never been to the part of Manhattan that it celebrates.

Zip Code, postman says it’s faster
This way I know it won’t get past her
Zip Code, make it get there better
1-double 0-3-6 on the letter

“Zip Code” was the third of three Top 40 singles in 1967 by The Five Americans, the biggest band ever to come out of Durant, Oklahoma. “It happened,” said the song, “in New York City,” and specifically in this part of New York City:

10036 ZIP Code Map from Google Maps

The Americans’ first really big hit was “Western Union,” which hit #5 in Billboard early in ’67; after “Sound of Love” stalled at #36, they were persuaded to do another song about, um, communications. “Zip Code” climbed all the way to, um, #36.

Probably not by coincidence, 1967 was the year when the Post Office (not yet the Postal Service) mandated ZIP usage. And the “official” ZIP Code song was a lot less interesting than what the Five Americans came up with.

One other song seems to be ZIP-oriented, though I’m not sure if it’s intentional: the Guess Who’s “Sour Suite,” from their So Long, Bannatyne album, which has several lines about being “back here in 46201,” which would be on the near-east side of Indianapolis, which makes no sense in connection with the Guess Who, who were from Winnipeg, Manitoba. (Bannatyne Avenue is a street in central Winnipeg which is on my list of Places I Must Go Someday, precisely because of this album. I’ve already been to Indianapolis but am not averse to going back.) Then again, the Guess Who recorded for RCA, who had a record-pressing plant in, yes, Indianapolis, at one time located at 501 North LaSalle Street, 46201.

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And it must follow, as the night the day

Marcel on yet another dubious DOJ initiative:

So the government is getting banks to suspend the accounts of pornographers, and that might be okay with me, though probably it would be simpler for the government to just make pornography illegal, or at least stop subsidizing its production with tax breaks for Hollywood. But anyway, today the Department of Justice is going after some pornographers. Who will these laws and precedents be used against in twenty years? Or after the next election?

Which is precisely the question that should be asked about every new governmental scheme, but never, ever is. Inevitably, this is the result:

If the government is given power to do good, it will first use that power to get more power, then use it to do some good, and then use it to do a lot of evil. What it will not do, ever, is willingly give up any power.

And it’s damned hard to get it to give up any power unwillingly, given the clamor one can expect from the hordes of (un)individuals who benefit by the wielding of that power.

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Hi, Drox!

There was a time when things were so bad for Sunshine Biscuits that they resorted to creating an animated version of cookie filling: their Hydrox cookie, said the ads, were the only ones with the friendly Drox, whom you should happily greet. (The Drox itself, in animated form, looked like a distant cousin of Casper the Friendly Ghost.) Sunshine eventually wound down, was merged into Keebler, and Keebler was subsequently absorbed by Kellogg’s. Except for a brief not-necessarily-100th Anniversary edition, Kellogg’s kept Hydrox buried.

No more. Kellogg’s is no longer calling the shots, and Hydrox is coming back:

Hydrox cookies, those Oreo-like chocolate sandwich cookies, could reappear on store shelves as early as September, says Ellia Kassoff, CEO of Leaf Brands, which recently acquired the rights to the unused Hydrox trademark.

“The cosmic difference between Hydrox and Oreo is that Hydrox is a little more crispy; a little less sugary and stands up better in milk,” says Kassoff, who will make the official announcement later this month at the Sweets & Snacks Expo in Chicago on May 20.

New Hydrox packaging

This isn’t the original Leaf Brands, creator of Whoppers, Milk Duds and the Heath bar, long since lost to merger. Kassoff, nephew of Ed Leaf, revived the company in 2011. And he has childhood memories of Hydrox:

As a young kid raised by parents who were Orthodox Jews, he was only permitted to eat Hydrox — not Oreos — because, he says, at the time, Oreos were not kosher but Hydrox were. Today, both are kosher.

There still exists a fan page for Hydrox on Facebook.

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Strange search-engine queries (432)

I hope you thanked your mom yesterday for everything she’s done for you. Now back to work.

alexandra gotardo sexy:  Um, I’ll take your word for it.

how much does a transmission weigh in a mazda 626:  Trust me, you can’t lift it.

2002 mazda 626 v6 dipstick tube ass:  This is what happens when you try to lift it.

are they bringing back ford probe:  No. And be careful with that dipstick tube.

preserveness:  See also “jamification” and “jellitude.” ?interstitial:  Well, as long as it’s not a collect booty call.

pearl cup Newman Datsun:  I always suspected Newman drove something like that.

what’s the value of 2006 retired sangria wine glass by lolita yancy:  Depends. Is it empty?

history of witchcraft in henryetta ok:  That town was never big enough to support more than one witch, and she didn’t talk much.

is there a way to tell if my shift sensor is good or bad:  Replace it. Or consult a nearby witch.

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No horsing around

I admit to being something of a fan of Sarah Jessica Parker, for reasons best expressed here. At the very least, I don’t think she deserves this sort of thing:

Actually, it’s a rule:

The following classes of names are not eligible for use:

1. Names consisting of more than 18 letters (spaces and punctuation marks count as letters)

6. Names of living persons unless written permission to use their name is on file with The Jockey Club

There are seventeen rules in all. And even if SJP were to grant permission, her name takes up twenty letters and spaces.

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The face of road rage

Every car has a face, says Jack Baruth in Road & Track, and lately, those faces look pissed off:

Why, exactly, does every new automobile with the slightest bit of aspirational positioning look furious for some reason? Why do they all have big open-mouthed faces full of sharp-looking toothy chrome? Why do they all have wrathful eyes with LED markers like murderous eyebrows?

It wasn’t always this way:

The faces can be froggy friendly, as was the case with the old Porsche 911 or its VW Bug ancestor. They can be reserved and serious, in the vein of the 1980s-era Rolls-Royce Silver Spirit. But when you look behind you on the freeway today, all you’ll see is anger.

It’s in the pickup trucks with their Peterbilt grilles and macho pretensions that would be hilarious if they weren’t attached to a 3-ton unguided missile sniffing your rear license plate. It’s in the big-nosed SUVs that seem to be continually frowning and squinting. Even the Toyota Avalon seems upset, possibly because the Hyundai Azera’s doing such a good job of imitating it.

Then again, even Porsche seems to have lost some sort of faith: the current 911s don’t look menacing, particularly, but every new Porsche has the name spelled out in the official logo on the decklid, lest you somehow fail to recognize it immediately as the work of Swabian elves. (Okay, the Cayenne comes from Bratislava, but my point stands.)

Still: why are these cars this way? Baruth thinks it’s demand:

The cars have to be vicious-looking and color-free because they’re being sold to people who wish to project that image. Your local cruising spot is chock-full of black Infiniti coupes with blacked-out windows and black-chrome replacement grilles. Somewhere in these TIE Interceptors are the drivers, who are often meek-looking, physically slight young men. They drive home at the end of each evening and park behind their exasperated mothers, whose Lexus RX and BMW X3 travel capsules show on their venomous visages all the fury that Zoloft represses for their owners. In traffic, they’re pressing on you, honking, waving, flipping you off, just absolutely engulfed in righteous annoyance concerning your refusal to let them cut in ahead when the lane ends.

One of the reasons I’ve held on to my extremely unblack Infiniti sedan is that it presents a relatively benign face to the world: it’s not trying to be anything other than a moderate luxoboat, despite Nissan’s “four-door sports car” yammering about sister Maxima. (That, and the lack of brightwork in the work areas: there’s a chrome bezel around the obligatory analog clock, something shiny around the shift lever that I never actually look at, and that’s it.) This is almost an argument for the last-generation Mazda3, with its slightly deranged grin.

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The ship continues to sail

Thunder fans were wanting to signal a Blowout Alert in the first quarter after OKC went up an implausible 29-7. Obviously this wasn’t going to go on forever: the Clippers tacked their way back to 32-15 before the quarter ended, pulled to within four in the second, and stayed two or three possessions behind throughout the third. Came the fourth quarter, and a Doc Rivers gamble: put Chris Paul on Kevin Durant. A picture of this accompanies the entry for the word “mismatch” in the dictionary, but it worked: the Thunder offense was thoroughly discombobulated, and the Clippers, who had been down 16 early in the quarter, fought back to a modest lead. And in a scene we’ve seen before, a Russell Westbrook buzzer-beater did not go, and a Serge Ibaka stickback was just a fraction of a second late. Los Angeles 101, Oklahoma City 99, and Doc Rivers is going “Whew!”

This was also the first time in the series that the Clippers outrebounded the Thunder, 45-43. And if the starters didn’t shoot so well, and they didn’t, well, this is where Jamal Crawford and Darren Collison came in, each contributing 18 points to the cause. Blake Griffin, despite playing with five fouls late in the quarter — “I swear to God, Blake Griffin could pull out a gun and shoot somebody on the court, and they’d call a foul on the guy he shot” — had a team-high 25, CP3 finishing with 23 and 10 assists. The number you want to know, though, is seven: Los Angeles had nine turnovers, seven fewer than the Thunder.

Even being hounded by Paul, Durant finished with 40 points, one short of his playoff high, and Westbrook kicked in 27, though he was decidedly hindered by five fouls of his own, as was Ibaka, who finished with a modest eight points, though Serge did come up with four blocks. Too Many Treys Syndrome once again infected the Thunder, who went 7-24 from outside, though it’s hard to cite that as an issue when the Clippers were 3-21. (Both Paul and Matt Barnes missed four each; Barnes, in fact, didn’t connect on a shot all day.) You might consider this, though: the Thunder got off 18 fewer shots than the Clippers. At that level, a lousy percentage (41 for the Clips) doesn’t matter so much.

So there will be a Game 6 in Los Angeles. But first, there will be a Game 5, in OKC late Tuesday, and as radio guy Matt Pinto is wont to say, “we’re back where we started.”

Addendum: Royce Young, very astutely, at Daily Thunder:

I think Doc Rivers used some subversive mindgame voodoo stuff on Scott Brooks by going with CP3 on Durant. The Thunder have this horrible habit of seeing a mismatch and trying to expose it simply by isolation. They did it earlier with Caron Butler on Jamal Crawford. So when the Clippers threw Paul on Durant, it was like a light bulb went off and the Thunder said, “We gotta give it to Durant! He has a small person on him!” The Thunder lost all their spacing and movement.

And, ultimately, the game. I suspect, though, that this is one of those tricks you can only pull off once.

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I do not like this “violence” scam

I do not think it’s worth a damn:

A Toronto citizen challenged the Dr. Seuss children’s classic Hop on Pop for encourag[ing] children to use violence against their fathers, Time reports.

The complainant asserted that Toronto’s public libraries should issue a formal apology to the fathers of Toronto, and then “pay for damages resulting from the book.”

The news came to light in a year-end report by the library system, which paid no damages, issued no apology and, in fact, allowed Hop on Pop to remain on library shelves, where it has been since 1963.

Obviously a “toque-wearing looney,” says the Friar.

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It’s that whole sliding-door thing

A fellow in Missouri who probably drives a Dodge Grand Caravan writes to the editor of Motor Trend about those wicked crossovers:

I love to speak to people who own these CUVs. I love to ask, “What kind of mileage do you get with your minivan?” The question is usually followed by a glare or quick reply of, “It’s not a minivan!”

Clearly, there is an issue here with self-esteem. What are they running from? Is my masculinity in question because I enjoy our minivan?

This was published in the June issue, page 42. On page 61 of the same issue is an ad for Grizzly long-cut snuff which says “Never let a minivan pass you on the highway.”

I believe he has his answer.

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But it’s not causation

Still, the science would seem to be settled:

Actually, it would seem to indicate a need to cut the price of potato chips.

Either way, expect Frito-Lay to present a spirited defense.

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Comparatively uncommon courtesy

“Weird Al” Yankovic’s “Craigslist,” apart from being the best Doors pastiche ever — heck, Ray Manzarek himself actually plays on it — demonstrates for the umpteenth time that Yankovic is way ahead of the cultural curve. From the spoken-word section:

An open letter to the snotty barista at the Coffee Bean on San Vicente Boulevard: I know there were twenty people behind me in line. But I was on a cell phone call with my mother. Didn’t you see me hold up my index finger? That means, “I’ll order my soy decaf hazelnut latte in just a couple minutes.” So what’s with the attitude, lady? No tip for you!

Comes now Matt Walsh, with an exhortation to us all:

My fellow customers, we can all make the world a better place. We can start today. All we have to do is, when interacting with the person taking our order or ringing up our purchases, PUT THE PHONE DOWN.


Every fiber of my being wishes that I could just rip it out of someone’s hands and toss it into a blender the next time I see something like that. I believe I would be entirely justified; I’d be doing the Lord’s work. A choir of angels would sing my praises, if only I exacted swift and righteous vengeance upon the next dismissive, pompous, arrogant diva who can’t be bothered to place his phone into his pocket for 90 seconds in order to engage with the human being standing 3 feet from him. But I know that — while God would be on my side — the law would not.

Theft, assault, destruction of property, illegal usage of a blender. They’d throw the book at me, I’m sure.

One of the reasons I didn’t bother getting any wireless service until well into this century was simply that I didn’t like the idea of an ethereal tether: I find no value in being connected while I’m doing something else. (I admit that I once took a call on an onramp to the Pennsylvania Turnpike, which was probably not the best idea I ever had, inasmuch as I had never before even seen the Pennsylvania Turnpike.) Obviously I don’t want to be cut off altogether, but I’m just enough of a control freak to want some say-so over the timing.

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Who’s that lady?

A lament by Samantha Escobar at The Gloss:

Sometimes, I wonder if the people editing these photos even know what the celebrities they are doing Photoshop work on actually look like. If they did, they would probably not remove all their facial texture or turn them into triple-jointed aliens.

She offers the example of Shailene Woodley (Divergent) on the cover of the April Marie Claire, which is category A: “remove all their facial texture.”

Shailene Woodley on the cover of Marie Claire

For reference, a red-carpet shot of Woodley:

Shailene Woodley at the Independent Spirit Awards

Now that’s probably closer to, if perhaps not entirely, “unfiltered.”

Woodley’s on the cover of InStyle for June, and I adored the Dolce & Gabbana dress and the orange Prada shoes, but something seems a bit off here too:

Shailene Woodley on the cover of InStyle

Is it my imagination, or is one arm distinctly thicker than the other?

Addendum: InStyle has released a Behind the Scenes video for this shoot. (Warning: brief commercial plus interstitial survey.)

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They know nothing

Was this truly television’s most tasteless sitcom ever?

Hogan’s Heroes premiered on September 17, 1965, and quickly became the most popular new show of the year. In fact, for several seasons it ranked in TV’s top 20 programs … but it never escaped the controversy it premise engendered: Was it immoral to portray history’s most evil killers as bumbling — even lovable — buffoons week after week, just to make a buck? One critic wrote: “Granted, this show is often funny and well-acted. But there’s simply no excuses for turning the grim reality of Nazi atrocities into fodder for yet another brainless joke.” Another wrote simply: “What’s next? A family sitcom set in Auschwitz?”

Three words: Springtime for Hitler.

And guess who defended the show:

Ironically, the biggest apologists for the show were its Jewish cast members — including all four of the actors who played the regular Nazi characters — Colonel Klink, Sergeant Schultz, General Burkhalter, and Major Hochstetter. Not only were they Jewish, but three were actually refugees from Nazi Germany.

Then there was Robert Clary, who played Corporal LeBeau:

In 1942, because he was Jewish, he was deported to the Nazi concentration camp at Ottmuth. He was later sent to Buchenwald, where he was liberated on April 11, 1945. Twelve other members of his immediate family were sent to Auschwitz. Clary was the only survivor.

Clary is the last surviving member of the Hogan’s Heroes cast.

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It’s a subject on which I get chatty

And I’m obviously not the only one:

Somewhere in the dark recesses of my file server are mountains of old AIM chat logs, sitting next to old BBS logs and some ICQ ones. I was meticulous in my record-keeping. Countless early conversations with Eva, for example, are meticulously recorded. As is the heartbreak that followed. I don’t expect to ever read them, but they’re there for posterity.

I wasn’t quite so meticulous, but there were some things I just wanted to save. (And I hope I remember to delete them at the last possible moment.)

AIM, when you think about it, proved to be yet another example of AOL underachievement:

With 20/20 hindsight, it’s really kind of surprising that AOL didn’t figure out how to make AIM work for them financially. It was a social network waiting to happen. One that, in my view, could have been strong enough to withstand MySpace and later Facebook had it been remotely well done. They had the userbase, which it turns out is worth quite a lot. There was, as the article says, some critical underinvestment because it didn’t turn around and make money right away for one of the few companies at the time that was used to making money.

On the other hand, AOL still has 2.4 million paying customers, most of whom are using a dialup.

(Source of the title.)

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Bot and paid for

Twitter’s got bots. Lots of bots. Can you spot a bot? Perhaps some of them will be caught:

At Indiana University in Bloomington, researchers have developed an app, called “Bot or Not,” designed to identify accounts on Twitter that are controlled by insidious robots or software.

You can’t trust everything you see on Twitter, even when it’s posted by actual people. But the researchers’ tool was developed as part of a larger effort to raise awareness about how much more easily misinformation can be spread when it’s done by bot accounts that feed off each other.

As some of us have already suspected.

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The Battle of Figueroa Street

This one figured to be close, and it was: first quarter, Clippers by four. Halftime, Clippers by two. Third quarter, Clippers by four. This is Blake Griffin’s theater, and he did a pretty fair job of staying center stage, especially with Serge Ibaka rolling up five fouls. But the Thunder, who weren’t hitting any treys, somehow hit four of them in the fourth quarter, three of them by Caron Butler. With 72 seconds to go, OKC was up six, 113-107; a couple of Reggie Jackson free throws fifty seconds later ran the margin to eight; Griffin dunked, as Griffin will, and Jackson managed to miss the next two freebies. J. J. Redick went after the quick bucket; Russell Westbrook took it away and dropped in a free throw; Redick finally made a trey, pulling Los Angeles to within four; Jackson went back to the foul line, and this time he didn’t miss. Oklahoma City 118, Los Angeles 112, and the Thunder go up 2-1. And no, Serge never did foul out.

The Clips might be wondering just what hit them. As usual, they trailed in rebounds, though they executed five steals while the Thunder managed only one, and they had only six turnovers all night. Griffin ended up with a sterling (sorry about that) 34 points on 14-22 shooting; Chris Paul knocked down 21 points and served up 16 assists; DeAndre Jordan also checked in with a double-double, 10 points and 11 rebounds. But their prowess from down the street failed them: only seven of 26 treys made. (You have to figure that when Danny Granger hits a trey, it’s an omen, and not necessarily a good one. And that was Granger’s only make for the night.)

Meanwhile, the MVP was doing some MVPing: KD played all but two minutes, and collected 36 points. Ibaka got only one block, but he scored 20 on 9-10 shooting. Westbrook served up 13 dimes and scored 23. And the Thunder bench, inconsistent of late, was decidedly less so, with Jackson and Butler each scoring 14 and Steven Adams grabbing nine rebounds in 18 minutes. It was not a high-scoring night for anyone named Collison, though: Nick hit one shot, Darren missed all four of his.

The next Battle will be Sunday afternoon. There were five technicals called tonight, and I have to figure that nobody’s going to be on anyone’s idea of best Sunday behavior.

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