Some other time

I’ve been known to gripe about anachronisms in period pieces, which are probably impossible to avoid completely but which still constitute highly-pickable nits.

Bill Buster caught one in a Mad Men rerun:

As regular fans know, this is a show that prides itself on getting everything about the period correct (1964 in this case). Anachronisms are a big no-no. So I was understandably amazed that the second 45rpm selected was an ERIC reissue by the Marcels. Right record for this period (it’s from 1961), but WRONG LABEL (the original was gold Colpix). I guess the set designer isn’t old enough to know that Eric is a reissue label, although all the other 45s shown in this short scene are correct. For those who also know their record sleeves, you can spot an anachronistic RCA 45rpm sleeve from the 70s, but that’s getting very picky.

Since Bill Buster owns Eric Records, I’m pretty sure he knows what he’s talking about.

This is probably not in the same league as say, Joe Biden reminding us that “when this country entered the Great Depression, our president, Franklin Roosevelt, went on television and spoke of how to get this country out of it,” but one expects a higher standard from real fiction. And if you haven’t heard the Marcels lately, here’s their take on “Blue Moon.”

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You’re too pretty to work here

It’s a phrase I’m certainly never going to hear, but that doesn’t mean nobody ever will:

While many see no downside to being beautiful, a professor at the University of Colorado Denver Business School says attractive women face discrimination when it comes to landing certain kinds of jobs.Dr Stefanie Johnson, UC Denver School of Business

In a study released in the May/June Journal of Social Psychology, Stefanie Johnson, assistant professor of management at UC Denver Business School, found that beauty has an ugly side, at least for women.

Attractive women were discriminated against when applying for jobs considered “masculine” and for which appearance was not seen as important to the job. Such positions included job titles like manager of research and development, director of finance, mechanical engineer and construction supervisor.

“In these professions being attractive was highly detrimental to women,” said Johnson. “In every other kind of job, attractive women were preferred. This wasn’t the case with men which shows that there is still a double standard when it comes to gender.”

Farkers considering this matter speculated as to whether “the head researcher is a smoking hot chick,” which of course has nothing to do with the photo of Dr Johnson above.

What I want to know in cases like this is the assumed source of the perceived problems with these applicants. Is it the frustrated male underlings, who presumably will never, ever have a chance with her? Or could this be evidence for Morgan Freeberg’s theory of power and pulchritude?

There is a large, and perhaps still growing, contingent of mostly females who believe it’s quite alright for some among their sisters to be prettier than they are. And more powerful. Just not both.

Graph of pulchritude vs. power

(Note: Individual data points were chosen by Mr Freeberg. Your mileage may vary.)

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Bill and Hill and something more

William Falk writes in The Week (13 August):

Bill Clinton, Hillary, Chelsea, and Marc were at the next table, talking avidly over their dinner, and my wife and I couldn’t help but snoop. No, no — this wasn’t the big wedding last weekend; believe it or not, I was not invited. It was at a Mexican restaurant in the Clintons’ hometown of Chappaqua, N.Y., where we had met some friends. While we were perusing the menu, the former First Family strolled in. With an eye to his cholesterol intake, Bill ordered soup and vegetable fajitas. But as he talked and listened, the Big Dog kept reaching into the basket of tortilla chips, and absent-mindedly popped one after another into his mouth. Without a word, Hillary finally slid the chips basket down the table, out of Bill’s reach. It was the story of their marriage in a single gesture: Bill’s undisciplined yearning, Hillary’s vigilant determination to protect him from himself.

It is a measure of something, though what I’m not exactly sure, that this passage popped into my head while I read that:

The Widow Douglas she took me for her son, and allowed she would sivilize me; but it was rough living in the house all the time, considering how dismal regular and decent the widow was in all her ways; and so when I couldn’t stand it no longer I lit out. I got into my old rags and my sugar-hogshead again, and was free and satisfied. But Tom Sawyer he hunted me up and said he was going to start a band of robbers, and I might join if I would go back to the widow and be respectable. So I went back.

Now Bill Clinton isn’t exactly Huckleberry Finn, but the idea that one of the duties of woman is to civilize man is still around. A blunt statement to that effect, from Jonah Goldberg:

Female equality seems to be a pretty reliable treatment for many of the world’s worst pathologies. Population growth in the Third World tends to go down as female literacy goes up. Indeed, female empowerment might be the single best weapon in the “root causes” arsenal in the war on terror.

The reason strikes me as fairly simple. Women civilize men. As a general rule, men will only be as civilized as female expectations and demands will allow. “Liberate” men from those expectations, and Lord of the Flies logic kicks in. Liberate women from this barbarism, and male decency will soon follow.

I know this much: while I had definite jerk tendencies when I got married, I veered way over into Major Jerkdom when the marriage unwound, and I suspect the long way back to Merely Difficult would have been shortened a bit were there a second pair of hands to help push.

And you just know Chelsea was taking notes that night at dinner.

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This crap has got to go

Two weeks from now, the city will take some of it off your hands at the eCycling Drop Off Event at State Fair Park. If you’ve got obsolete computer or TV or stereo equipment, haul it to the drop-off point on the 21st (8 am-4 pm), and consider it gone.

I suspect that since Free Landfill Day is coming up in September, this constitutes the city’s effort to make sure that all these electronics don’t end up buried and leaching toxic whatever into the ground.

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It’s electric!

This spring, I discovered that the Shoe Girl had enough of an interest in neon-colored underwear to draw my attention. This week, she did something about it:

Some of you may remember that I was on the search for a neon bra a-la the always amazing Miss Gwen Stefani. (Click here if you’re drawing a blank) Well I finally found one at Victoria’s Secret! Yippee!!

The Shoe Girl and her neon braThe only problem was that it wasn’t exactly what I was looking for so I had to do some serious altering.

She wasn’t kidding about “serious altering,” either: she removed the lining from the sides because she was looking for more of a see-through effect, and apparently there was enough superfluous padding in the cups to stuff a mattress.

What struck me about this, though, is that she went to this much trouble on a bra from Vickie’s, which, while hardly the lowest occupant of the lingerie totem pole, isn’t exactly what you think of as a Garment for the Ages. Then again, I suppose one would not want to cut up La Perla at seven times the price, or even Wacoal at three. And I have to applaud the Make It Work ethic, since she did indeed make it work. (What’s more, she was kind enough to tell me about it.)

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Quote of the week

Tim Cavanaugh at, on Christina Romer’s departure from the Administration’s Council of Economic Advisers:

The ordinary function of government is to destroy talented people, but Romer’s epic failure has an additional element of tragedy. As an economist, Romer did an excellent job [pdf] of establishing that New Deal stimulus failed to end or seriously mitigate the Great Depression. As an Obama team player (and poignantly, a sunny supporter of the then-senator’s campaign), she made a 180-degree turn toward pro-stimulus hocus pocus. Romer will be remembered as the main advocate of the mythical “multiplier” phenomenon, in which every federal dollar spent producers more than 100 pennies worth of economic activity. This is the kind of economics you’d expect to hear from a fine arts major.

Maybe it won’t matter on the lobbyist/lecture circuit, but at some point a person must say, “I told all those lies and this is all I get for it?”

I can’t believe I didn’t come up with that for a T-shirt.

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Finding one’s own ground

When what you believe in seems to be crashing before your very eyes.

Linguistic bonus: use of the word “there” three times in succession.

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Theron for a loop

While searching for just the right photo, I happened upon this interview with Charlize Theron, and apparently her surname, at least at home in South Africa, is properly pronounced “Thrown.”

Charlize Theron

Not that I’d argue the point.

Oh, and she’s 35 this weekend. And this was actually my second-choice shot — Below the Beltway has already run my first choice — but the backstory on it is sorta fun. This is from her 2004 appearance on the German TV show Wetten dass, and that’s host Günther Jauch allegedly checking out a tattoo. If you say so, Günther. (Another shot here.)

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Traits of the trade

For many years, I have given out basically the same advice to blogging newbies: read carefully everything I do, and then do the exact opposite.

I would, of course, be remiss if I didn’t mention some of the other advice out there, especially when Stacy McCain picks up on it and finds those passages most pertinent to his operation. And since McCain gets way more traffic than I do these days, I’m betting that (1) I can find something useful in that advice and (2) I don’t necessarily have to repeat what he says.

So, then, to Diana Adams’ “22 Traits of Successful and Happy Bloggers.” She’ll tell you up front that the list is not meant to be all-inclusive, which is a good thing from my point of view, since most of my traits are barely printable, let alone linkable.

This one I probably should keep around as a reminder:

I read my articles at least ten times before publishing them. It’s important to follow the accepted spelling and grammar rules. Successful bloggers are also meticulous editors.

From my point of view, one distinct advantage of rereading the piece before it goes live is that I never have to read it again. Regrettably, I don’t always catch every last error, though I’m generally quick to issue a fix.

There will be ups and downs in your blogging. You will have good days and bad days. You will have days when you just want to quit it all. Your commitment will carry you on those “off” days.

It also helps that I usually have a couple of pieces in the can, so if the words simply won’t flow, I’ll just change the date on one of those, and no one will be the wiser, except for that one time when I made reference to the trick-or-treaters last night in an item that was published in January.

It’s critical that your thoughts and what you are trying to communicate actually get to your reader in the way you intended. Communication can be tough because sometimes humor and little sayings that might make sense to you only confuse your reader. This is an important skill to develop.

Not to worry. I developed the skill to confuse the readers many years ago, and I get plenty of practice.

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A keen grasp of the obvious

The title gives it away: “Many felons don’t heed ban on guns.”

I mean, just imagine: criminals committing criminal acts! Whoever heard of such a thing? Apparently it’s a whole new concept in North Carolina:

[In June] Ricky Earlton Woods received a suspended sentence and was put on probation for receiving a stolen vehicle and felony breaking and entering.

On Monday, Greensboro police say, Woods accidentally shot his 13-year-old brother in the neck.

It’s not uncommon for convicted felons to carry firearms, even though they are prohibited by law from possessing such weapons, law enforcement officials say.

“But… but that’s illegal!” sputter the Bradyoids and their ilk. Well, duh. These are criminals. They break laws. That’s how they got to be criminals in the first place, y’know?

(Via Xrlq.)

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The righteous pirate

Found on Yahoo! Answers:

I cannot reach “” on any browser after updating a computer I just reinstalled XP on?

In fact , it seemed it was just after I installed IE8 or net framework.
Wherew would I look for something that would blacklist a website from all browsers (Firefox,opera)??

And please,no one give me a lecture on “why I shouldnt download from them, or that is illegal, …….so was not getting off the bus for rosa parks, and no one thanks the 1000 guys in jail for it before her. If your one of them, I appreciate your time, but Ill figure it out.

Future politician. Bet on it.

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Freon bored (again?)

He’ll huff, and he’ll puff, and he won’t blow anything ever again:

Mona Casey’s 15-year-old son, Charles Gray, was found slumped over the air conditioning compressor outside their home. He died after huffing or inhaling the refrigerant right out of the AC compressor, investigators said. The refrigerant had displaced the air in his lungs, and Gray suffocated.

Charles Darwin, asked for comment, merely smiled.

It occurs to me that families of R-22 huffers might be the first non-trivial supporters of that twit who thinks we ought to get along without air conditioning.

(Via the Consumerist.)

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Fark blurb of the week

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Well, what have we here? The 385th Carnival of the Vanities is titled “CoTVing while I think of a clever title to put here.” Now what kind of person spends that much effort on trying to think of a clever title?

Oh. Right.

Scene from eastern Colorado

This is an unused photo from World Tour ’04, taken on my little point-and-shoot 35mm camera, just a random shot from the side of the road. And the road? US 385, through a seemingly-desolate area of eastern Colorado.

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The flesh, it overwhelms them

The lede as written:

Washoe County Sheriff’s Office investigators have gotten more information to help piece together what happened before a woman was found nude and injured Saturday in Hidden Valley.

The first reports:

On Friday, witnesses saw a white woman wandering in the Hidden Valley Hills with what appeared to be improper hiking attire, the sheriff’s office said.

I can just imagine a group of skinny-dippers being busted for “improper hiking attire.”

Special Bonus Problem:

Sheriff’s investigators do not believe this case is related to the attacks reported on women by the Reno Police Department.

Say what? The Reno Police Department is attacking women?

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For want of a boot

Gwendolyn, in the past few weeks, has been suffering from torn boots, which aren’t at all good for her (CV) joints. The dealership offered to replace the boots for a mere $600. Now everything I’ve ever heard about CV joints is that replacing the boots is a stopgap measure at best; the proper way to handle this is to replace the entire axle, which gets you a fresh boot. Nissan, unfortunately, wants over $600 for a single axle; installing a pair comes too close to $1500 to suit my blood.

And then it hit me. I’ve had to have this done before, on my first Mazda. And the actual Mazda dealership was happy to install a rebuilt axle for me for $199. This was, yes, a dozen years ago, but the results were quite satisfactory, and I’m not emotionally wedded to OEM suspension parts anyway, so I sought out an independent shop, which installed a pair of new-to-me axles for a modest $350.

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640 acres, no mule required

Here on the Heat Island, it’s really hard for me to find any disagreement with Lynn:

I’ve always said that if I ever win the lottery I want to buy a square mile and build my house in the exact center of it so I would have a minimum of half a mile between me and my nearest neighbor but here where I am now is not bad at all.

I haven’t gotten to this point yet, perhaps due to my comfortable (all things considered) position on the block: smallest house, largest lot, therefore most substantial buffer zone.

Advocates of the Urban Lifestyle (Or Else) will of course be appalled at such attitudes, but then the name of their game is high density. (I’ve known a few who were indeed highly dense.)

And besides, there’s this:

[I]f the neighbors get out of hand I’ll just buy their houses too.

Then again, this might be a uniquely-Oklahoman viewpoint; in New Jersey, for instance, it would be cheaper just to hire someone to whack them.

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Mildly absurd

Maison Martin Margiela Slouch BootiesWomen’s shoes are not a high priority at Instapundit, unless they’re on sale at Amazon, so finding this statement from him was rather startling: “Are these actually the most ridiculous shoes ever, or just really, really ridiculous?”

Short answer: No, and maybe. There are worse shoes than this just about every day at If Shoes Could Kill. And I am generally inclined to cut some slack to Maison Martin Margiela, whose slouch booties these are, if only because they recently turned out some Cinderella-worthy glass slippers.

Still, why would Glenn Reynolds single out this particular pair of shoes for (admittedly mild) invective? He updated his post with the following Mark Behnke quote: “Forget the shoes Glenn, focus on the legs! Wowzers.” And Robert Stacy McCain has suggested that Reynolds is in fact a leg man, citing as evidence “the stems on Dr. Helen.” I’ll take McCain’s word for it, in the absence of any reason not to, but now I’m wondering if maybe the backstory here involves the InstaWife: perhaps she saw them somewhere and offhandedly said something like “How would these look on me?” And when he regained his composure — well, what else would he do?

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You’re right, it’s left

Mandy Vavrinak on Google Wave, last fall:

Without a mechanism to tell me something has happened, activity has occurred, SOMEONE WANTS MY ATTENTION, Wave feels like one half of a really great pair of shoes. Love the look, stylish, classy, hip! Feels great on… can see myself wearing them out and about… Goes with most anything… nearly perfect pair of shoes. Except I only have one of them.

My “new shoe” looks great, but without the mate of notification functionality it’s not very practical to actually wear (use). In the hyper-connected world that I live and work within, a better way to connect holds much promise and a definite allure. But I think Wave will never be the medium of choice unless it finds a way to successfully draw attention to what is happening in a user’s personal universe in real-time.

Rumors to the contrary notwithstanding, I am not particularly hyper-connected, but this seems quite a reasonable analogy; except for maybe (deedle, deedle, dumpling) my son John, nobody goes about with one shoe off and one shoe on, though I figure it’s just a matter of time before Lady Gaga gives it a try.

Speaking of time, Google Wave is out of it:

Wave has not seen the user adoption we would have liked. We don’t plan to continue developing Wave as a standalone product, but we will maintain the site at least through the end of the year and extend the technology for use in other Google projects.

I will be most distressed if I start getting bulk quantities of Wave invitations now.

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Lateral arabesque?

No one seems to know why Republican National Committee chair Michael Steele is looking for meetings with foreign diplomats. When I first read about this, I assumed it was an extension of the Peter Principle:

Peter suggests that a manager who finds himself saddled with an incompetent employee has the ability to get rid of that employee without firing him. Peter suggests a lateral arabesque, or giving an incompetent employee a longer title with less responsibility. This way the employee still feels important, but is kept away from the flammable material, so to speak.

On the other hand, Steele is the chairman; how likely is it that he’d pass this judgment upon himself?

So there has to be something else at work here. In the absence of a better explanation, I’m going with E. M. Zanotti’s take:

[F]oreign dignitaries and diplomats can’t vote and definitely can’t give money to American elections. Steele should at least know that, considering my mom used to receive direct mail from the RNC during the Clinton years showing Al Gore surreptitiously taking game show checks from monks in China. Unless Steele’s planning on honing his connections so that once he takes over as President the transition is smooth (or, worse, trying to confuse the sh*t out of people who don’t speak English), we’ve got an unnecessary waste of funds here. Or, of course, he could just be forming up the Justice League.

Typical DC-centric approach. Where are the Avengers when we need them?

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