What is this I don’t even

All I know is that it was dropped into my tweetstream yesterday:

Bogus Walmart tweet

Oh, and that the Walmart-ish ID is fake. (Subsequently, Twitter saw fit to nuke that account; however, “Sharron” is still spreading wharrgarbl.)

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Variable optics

The blogger formerly known as Roissy tweeted this yesterday:

Scientists rediscover obvious: men focus on girls’ bodies for short term flings, and prefer pretty faces for LTRs.

He linked to this article, which I abstract here:

Because women’s faces and bodies carry different cues of reproductive value, men may attend to different perceptual cues as functions of their long-term versus short-term mating motivations. We tested this hypothesis in three experiments on 135 male and 132 female participants. When influenced by short-term rather than long-term mating motivations, men’s attention was captured by (Study 1), was shifted to (Study 2), and was distracted by (Study 3) the waist/hip area rather than the face on photographs of attractive women. Similar effects were not found among the female participants in response to photographs of attractive men. These results support the evolutionary view that, similar to the attentional selectivity found in other domains of life, male perceptual attention has evolved to selectively capture and hold reproductive information about the opposite sex as a function of short-term versus long-term mating goals.

Given my own predilections — show me a sweet smile and a nice pair of legs and I’m happy — I suppose I should infer that (1) I am not looking for a one-night stand, but that (2) my attention span is not encouraging. Then again, I think it’s pretty obvious by now that any interest I have in this topic is purely theoretical, and I should point out that any and (almost) all specifications are negotiable.

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Without so much as a snarl

For some inscrutable reason, former Senator Arlen Specter felt compelled to describe Sarah Palin this way in his new memoir, Life Among the Cannibals:

“Still, she [Palin] was a total charmer, very friendly. The few things she said were intelligent. We were sitting virtually knee to knee in the cramped bus, and she radiated sensuality. Her skirt rode above her knees — not exactly short, but close.”

Let the record show that Specter isn’t the only geezer who’s gazed lovingly at the Palin gams. On the other hand, Specter, apparently being an equal-opportunity gasbag, also gawked at John freaking Thune:

“John Thune, who looked like a movie star in or out of clothes, was constantly stretching. His lanky body seemed to have some kinks to iron out.”

All I can say is: good thing this isn’t a novel.

(Via The Jane Dough.)

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Speaking truth to tower

One of several items on City Council’s agenda tomorrow:

2. Ordinance on final hearing (emergency) recommended for denial (five affirmative votes required for approval) (SPUD-626) 3212 NW 48th Street from PUD-307 District to SPUD-626 Simplified Planned Unit Development District. Ward 2. Deferred from October 4, November 8, December 20, 2011 and January 10, February 21 and March 6, 2012.

And what’s in this “simplified” development? Exactly one new item: an 80-foot cell tower, proposed by AT&T ostensibly to fill coverage gaps. As a user of a competing service, I don’t see any gaps in the area, but then I’m not on one of those bandwidth-sucking “smart” phones either.

A neighborhood rep in that district explained it this way:

“We got our notice of rezoning back in August, the planning commission was unanimous against the cell phone tower, 9-0, but it was still recommended for approval until we did our petition. We worked for three months and got our petition at 63.62% (Anything over 50% is considered a super majority which means we only need three votes instead of five to win). However, AT&T saw that and turned around and rezoned the area a second time, shrinking the SPUD, knocking out the petition and our neighbors’ voices(we only have 19% now). Now we have to have five votes again to win, not three.”

The neighbors have hired attorney Eric Groves to fight the tower.

It occurs to me that the Grand Mosque of Oklahoma City is directly across the street. How well would a minaret work as a cell tower — or, for that matter, a cell tower as a minaret?

Update: The Death Star prevailed, 7-2, after five hours (!) of discussion.

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Very special someponies

Doesn’t everyone love a Royal Wedding?

After serving as co-host for E!’s coverage of Prince William and Kate Middleton’s British Royal Wedding last year, [Tori] Spelling is reprising her role for the union of Princess Celestia’s niece, Princess Cadance, to Twilight Sparkle’s brother, Shining Armor, on the animated series My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic.

I have a feeling that some Canterlot protocols will be honored in the breach:

I predict this will be a minimum of 44 percent cooler.

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Diverse that could happen

These folks sent me a media kit, and I’m only just now getting around to reading it and passing it on:

OUR Oklahoma is an initiative launched in 2010 in collaboration with Former Gov. Brad Henry as a statewide campaign designed to increase awareness and understanding of diversity throughout the State of Oklahoma.

With your help, together, we can develop a diversity plan that would result in:

  • An increased awareness and understanding of diversity as a tool for economic advancements
  • A strategic plan to bolster business, workforce and economic development
  • Increased tourism

Which may sound like a bunch of buzzwords. Then again, we’ve gone through boom-and-bust cycles before, it’s reasonable to assume we may again, and I don’t think we’re in a position to tell people that we don’t need them because they’re [description of some demographic we supposedly don’t like].

They’re taking a survey, if you’d like to add your own views to the mix.

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Herr Doktor Diesel wins a convert

Smitty goes for big MPG numbers without big battery bulk:

The TDI diesel is reliable, gets great gas mileage, has decent power, and is available in a manual transmission. Automatic transmissions are as exciting as government entitlements to me. Your mileage may vary. Also, I would certainly have preferred to buy a Ford, except that Ford doesn’t seem to care fig #1 about the commuter market, not offering a diesel below the F350, for my scant research before shopping.

Well, technically it isn’t gas mileage, but the numbers are good: VW’s EPA sticker says 30 city, 42 highway, 34 combined, which is a highly respectable set of numbers these days.

And so far as I know, the 2.0 TDI in the Golf/Jetta does not require the occasional addition of some pricey Miracle Fluid (67.5 percent deionized water, 32.5 percent urea) to meet emissions specs, which is even better, maybe. (Certainly it costs less to avoid using the fluid; however, the post-injection combustion used by VW to clean up the exhaust may add its own complications.)

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Strange search-engine queries (321)

Spring is sprung, fall has fell; it’s Monday morning and here come a bunch of weird search strings from the past seven days, some of which I hope are funny as hell.

tetrodotoxin bmw:  That’s all we need: zombies driving Bimmers.

neon green shirt victoria’s secret:  I’m pretty sure that if Victoria’s wearing something neon green, it’s not at all a secret.

defending yourself by extortion nj:  Keeps down the legal fees. If you don’t believe me, ask Tony Soprano.

billboard of Jesus on Classen Blvd:  Unless He’s holding a milk bottle, nobody’s seen it.

food web examples for the west of the pecos:  Judge Roy Bean Casserole comes immediately to mind.

what does a transmission does it hold the miles:  What is this I don’t even…

saturn weed what side efects do yougetcwoth this weed:  Typing impairment, evidently.

“the green weenie on your plate”:  I admit, the idea of some kid dressing as Ed Begley Jr. for Halloween is pretty scary.

japanese cars in america history:  Contrary to popular belief, George Washington did not cross the Delaware in a Toyota Land Cruiser.

Joe tex sexist:  Why? Because he ain’t gonna bump no more with no big fat woman?

mr clean sexist:  Why? Because he’d rather bump with Joe Tex?

you broke my heart into 8 bits:  And then you put a hex on me, which was twice as bad.

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A proper Heat sink

If you were Erik Spoelstra, what would you tell the Miami Heat to do? Right: neutralize Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant. This didn’t work so well — Westbrook got into foul trouble early and played probably five or six minutes less than anticipated, and how do you stop KD? — but what the Heat definitely weren’t expecting was big offense from the Thunder bigs. Serge Ibaka laid a double-double on the Heat (19 points, 10 boards), and Kendrick Perkins had a season-high 16 points, as what had promised to be a down-to-the-wire battle royal turned out to be a 103-87 rout of the South Beach crowd.

The Thunder were simply dominant tonight: they outshot the Heat (53 percent to 47), outrebounded them (36-31), outassisted them (26-17), and forced 21 turnovers while giving up only 16. The Miami triumvirate turned in decent numbers, with Dwyane Wade leading the Heat with 22, Chris Bosh scoring 18 and LeBron James 17, but that was about it, though Shane Battier put up nine long balls and connected on three of them for 11 points. (D-Wade hit three of four for distance; King James missed all three of his.)

And Westbrook, in his abbreviated stint, still got 13 points and six dimes. As for Durant, he was averaging about 28, and he finished with … um, 28. As almost always, James Harden led the reserves, with 19. The rehabilitation of Thabo Sefolosha continues apace: the Swiss Mister played 20 minutes tonight, scoring four, all from the free-throw line, and grabbing three steals. There wasn’t a whole lot going wrong for the Thunder tonight, though KD did brick two free throws after garbage time had begun.

Still, cooling off the Heat is only the beginning. There are rivals out West who must be dealt with next week: the Blazers on Tuesday, the Lakers on Thursday. There’s a two-game home stand after that, but it’s a killer: the Bulls on Sunday afternoon, the Grizzlies on Monday evening. Does this still count as a back-to-back?

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Common scolds

A unified theory of haranguing, in which Michael Bloomberg finds himself in the sweetest circle of Hell.

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At lagerheads

Proof that God loves us and wants to be happy, Part the 4,529th:

“A study of pre- and post-menstrual women found that those who drank a beer or two every day had greater bone mineral density in their hips and spines compared with teetotalers. Beer is a rich source of silicon, a mineral that helps calcium and magnesium form bone tissue.”

Kay found this in Better Homes and Gardens (March), and yes, I know, Ben was actually talking about wine.

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Disassembly required

Mark Alger on the development of skills:

I learn best and fastest by breaking something and then fixing it. The urgency of needing to get a system or object back into working order has some bearing on this, I’m sure, as does the “muscle memory” of having done something — even only once — as opposed to merely reading about it. And then I read how many really smart and inventive people got their start exploring the universe by taking things apart as a kid.

That first sentence hits home, because I would never have learned how to build PCs if I hadn’t broken a couple of them early on. Not that this is a particularly useful skill anymore, since the price on basic units has dropped so far that it’s no longer worth my time to assemble a working machine from a box of parts.

I did take apart a lot of things as a kid, though I seem to remember that I successfully reassembled relatively few of them.

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Smells like Gramps’ Old Spice

Roger Green plays the “old fogey” card, musically speaking:

I’m trying to figure out that moment when I stopped following current music.

In my case, it was somewhere in the middle 1980s, about the time Top 40 radio as we know it ceased to exist, replaced by a bewildering panoply of niche formats, each trying to squeeze out an Arbitron rating point or three. I managed to avoid it for almost twenty years, which no doubt explains why my 6700-track iTunes install on the work box has fewer recordings from the 1990s than from any other decade during which I was actually alive, excluding the current one, which has a few years to go yet. (Not that it matters, but the earliest track is from 1918.)

A few years back, I dialed back in. Radio obviously hadn’t improved in the interim, but my environment had changed: I had a coworker not quite half my age who was conversant with at least some of the current stuff, and she was happy to pass along suggestions, based on what sort of noises she’d heard me playing. And perhaps more to the point, the retail market had changed back to the way it was when I grew up: iTunes and other Internet music sources might officially be promoting albums, but they’d happily sell you the two or three tracks you wanted without making you take the seven or eight you didn’t.

Which is not to say that I quit buying albums. Mostly, though, they’re either from relatively recent acts or reissues of stuff I missed the first time around. (Examples of the latter: Rudy Van Gelder’s remastered editions of John Coltrane’s Blue Train and Miles Davis’ Birth of the Cool.) I have mentioned my fondness for She & Him, the duo of Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward, and for Trent Reznor’s recent soundtrack work with Atticus Ross. And yes, I have all three Rebecca Black singles: she has yet to release an actual album.

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Wheels for the next generation

Brendan McAleer on how to buy your kid a car, sort of:

[F]irst my dad taught me to drive in our BMW 535i, which was fast and awesome. Then, he decreed that I would only be allowed to borrow our 1976 Land Rover, which was not those things. It had about twenty-four horsepower and all the horses had three legs and emphysema and rickets and were heavy smokers.

It also had no ABS, no airbags, and no skid control; it didn’t even have power steering. It did have a crumple-zone, and his name was Brendan McAleer and he survives to tell you about his experiences today. I never drove that car without being slightly terrified, even when parked, and it made me cautious and slow and safe.

Similarly, yours truly got his first taste of The Road in a VW Microbus. It was not even slightly red, and did not contain shovels and rakes and implements of destruction, except on an incidental basis, but it did teach me never to assume I could outrun anything. Even today, it takes me a few milliseconds to remember that I have about five times as many ponies at my disposal and actually can outrun a few things, not a useful delay when I’m coming up one of this state’s idiotically short onramps and finding an eighteen-wheeler suddenly emerging from the inevitable blind spot.

As for my kids, they got mucho experience with vehicles for which “beater” is a euphemism, the worst being Muff the Tragic Wagon, my daughter’s Ford Escort. Come to think of it, her brother has also owned an Escort, albeit the alleged sport-coupe version. And their mom’s last few cars have been largish Ford and/or Mercury sedans. Maybe I don’t have any influence at all.

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Quote of the week

Dwain Price, Dallas Mavericks beat writer for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, tweeted this last night after the Mavs dropped one to San Antonio:

When asked was he surpsied [sic] about having a Did Not Play-Coaches Decision tonight vs. the Spurs, #Mavs F Lamar Odom said: “I buried a child.”

No one takes a DNP-CD particularly well, exactly, but this seems unusually morose, even for Odom, until you remember that he has buried a child: in 2006, son Jayden, six months, died of SIDS. So this was Odom’s dismissal of the incident: nothing Rick Carlisle can do to him can possibly compare to what he’s already been through.

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Not a cola or a root beer

Will Truman’s Hierarchy of Soft Drinks:

Livewire is better than Supernova is better than Gamefuel Green is better than Voltage is better than Gamefuel Red is better than Whiteout and anything is better than Code Red.

Well, almost anything:

I dislike Code Red 99% of the time, but it alternates with Pitch Black as the go-to flavor if I want something that tastes putrid. But not V8 putrid. That stuff is nasty.

I’m not about to ask him how often he actually wants something that tastes putrid.

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