Decimalpractice

Yours truly, back in ’07, griping (with the help of WiseGeek) about that nine-tenths of a cent grafted onto the price of a gallon of gas:

They took it one step further: what if the price were jacked up, not by $0.009, but by $0.0099? Another $14 million for the month, another $170 million for the year, and besides contrarian cranks like me, hardly anyone would even notice.

What if, indeed?

Fractions of a penny aren’t a significant amount of money, so we don’t really pay attention to them. That might be what the dollar store chain 99 Cents Only is counting on. They don’t exactly hide that everything in their stores costs 99.99¢ rather than 99¢, putting that information on customer receipts and even on shelf tags. Does that make the store’s name misleading, or is it okay to round down?

One customer decided “misleading”:

One customer noticed and was annoyed enough to file a lawsuit against the company, which ended with them posting signs explaining the additional .99¢ price hike. The company blamed the need to raise their prices almost imperceptibly on inflation.

But of course.

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All the cool kids are doing it

That’s the only possible explanation I can see for this:

A poll has just been released which shows that Oklahomans overwhelming favor electing the U.S. President by a national popular vote.

On January 19th and 20th, Public Policy Polling interviewed 893 Oklahomans across the state. The results show that 79% of Oklahomans favor a national popular vote over the current system that rewards the electors to the winner of each state.

Actually, the current system doesn’t do that at all. Voters select a slate of electors, each pledged (or, in some historical incidents, not pledged) to vote for the candidate named on the ballot. (In this state, we even list the actual electors.) But contemporary politicians are utterly desperate for uninformed voters, aren’t they, Robbie?

“It’s clear that the national popular vote is overwhelmingly supported by Oklahomans regardless of party affiliation,” said former State Senator Rob Johnson. Johnson has championed the national popular vote in the Oklahoma State Senate and was the principal author of the legislation in 2014.

It is not any such thing. Get a whiff of the actual poll question:

How do you think we should elect the President: should it be the candidate who gets the most votes in all 50 states, or the current electoral college system? If you think it should be the candidate who gets the most votes in all 50 states, press 1. If you think it should be the current electoral college system, press 2.

You do know what a leading question is, don’t you?

Of course, pollsters ask what they’re told to ask. I don’t know anyone who votes the way they’re told to vote, except maybe the anonymous object of Dylan’s scorn in “Positively 4th Street”: “You just want to be on the side that’s winning.” If that’s you, you got a lotta nerve.

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Make mine Spunow

And look, it’s on sale:

Chocolate bars for sale

Miss Cellania explains: “Almojoy got nuts, Spunow don’t.” Still unexplained: the difference between Nickers and Sickers.

And where the heck are the W&Ws?

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Sentimetal

STFU necklace by Wendy BrandesThis week being, well, the week it is, I am keeping a lower profile than usual — not that I want to discourage any potential girlfriends, of which there are exactly none on the horizon — but simply because one popular topic this time of year is the difficulty of communication between the sexes, a discussion I would just as soon avoid. I am delighted, therefore, to note that seriously stylish jewelry designer Wendy Brandes is offering this silver necklace which conveys a straightforward message without any possibility of misinterpretation, at least if everyone involved speaks English.

Also available: “GTFOH”; “IDGAF”; “SRSLY?”; and many others.

(Via Nancy Friedman.)

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Note to future husbands

Of all the red-carpet appearances on Sunday night’s Grammy Awards broadcast, it was Meghan Trainor’s that shook me up the most:

Meghan Trainor at the Grammys in Galia Lahav

This appears to have emerged from Galia Lahav’s MoonStruck collection, about which the designer says:

As the moon is the spotlight amongst the many stars in the night sky, so is the female’s body when reflected within layers of lace and silk. This collection is a black prism of black shades and shimmers of sheer textured fabric representing a midst summer nights dream. Moon Struck elegantly takes you away to a place of serenity where body silhouettes are revealed as a revolutionary era of evening gowns are born.

Rediscovering the mermaid shape as nymphs once roamed the oceans in Greek mythology, this is like a collection like never before, elegant with movement in the night. Each gown holds the shape to a figure of a goddess.

And then suddenly it made sense. Trainor, as she’s mentioned before, ain’t no size 2; but a goddess appears as she damned well pleases. If you have designs on her, so to speak, here are your marching orders. Keep in mind that she brought her dad to the Grammys.

(Via InStyle.com.)

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Peaks and valleys

It was 38-18 after twelve minutes, and we all assumed that the Nuggets were well and truly flushed, in the plumbing sense. Not so. Denver came back with 41 in the second quarter, leaving the Thunder up 73-59, and in the opening moments of the third pulled to within five, a run highlighted by Kevin Durant attempting to drop-kick Kenneth Faried to the Front Range. KD was rung up for a technical and a Flagrant One. This just made him mad, and if you’re the Nuggets, you won’t like him when he’s mad. He’d been dropping treys with alacrity, and went back to doing more of them. At the end of the third, Durant had 38 points on 12-16 shooting, 7-11 from way outside, and the Thunder led by 14, just as they had at halftime, though the Nuggets closed on a 7-0 run. That run grew to 11-0 early in the fourth. OKC’s reserves held serve through the halfway point of the quarter; when the starters returned, the Thunder were up nine, and at the horn, they were up ten, 124-114.

A few numbers were inked into the record book tonight. KD’s seven treys — he finished with 40 — tied a career high; Andre Roberson’s 12 points set a new career high; and Mitch McGary got his second double-double in two days, with 17 points and 10 rebounds. (At 25 minutes, he played more than a couple of the starters.) Russell Westbrook scored a handy 26 on 14 shots. (KD’s 40 came on 19, so the efficiency angle was working a bit better than usual.) In fact, the Thunder shot a laudable 54 percent, 50 percent (12-24) from beyond the circle, and had small leads in rebounds (40-38) and assists (24-20).

Denver posted a couple of double-doubles: Faried, with 22 points and 10 rebounds, and rookie center Jusuf Nurkić, with 16 points and 14 boards before fouling out. Wilson Chandler had a team-high 23; Ty Lawson collected 22. Through much of the night, the Nuggets were shooting 50 percent or better, falling to 48 at the end. It’s their sixth straight loss at the Pepsi Center, something that hasn’t happened in twelve years.

The Pelicans obligingly dropped one to the Jazz tonight, so right now it’s New Orleans and OKC with identical records — though the Pels own the tiebreaker, having won the season series 3-1. There remains that one game against the Griz on Wednesday, and then the All-Star break.

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A high bill, but it’s clean

Last week, you may recall, I reported in to the family physician with a bladder complaint: it always seemed full no matter how long I spent in front of the porcelain facility. Said the doctor, it’s probably an infection of the prostate and/or just that it’s grown a bit, as it does in old geezers like you and me. (He’s about my age.) He prescribed a pair of drugs: an alpha blocker to reduce the pressure and maybe shrink the tissue a bit, and five days’ worth of almost industrial-strength antibiotic to clear up any lingering infection. “However,” he said, “I’m just old-school enough to order a PSA test.”

Said test was graded Friday, and the score reported back to me today. Evidently I passed, by which is meant that no further testing is anticipated. The Reaper, that scythe-wielding son of a bitch, is thwarted once more — for now.

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The Weather Patrol reports in

Record heat yesterday: seventy-eight degrees Fahrenheit, 2° warmer than the old record, set in 1999. (Then again, it’s February; only last Thursday it dropped into the teens and barely made it above 40 that afternoon.) I got outside and trimmed a holly. Meanwhile, Michael Eberharter went to Quail Springs Mall, specifically to Candyopolis:

Rainbow Dash for Candyopolis

Can’t argue with that, Dashie.

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How are the aerodynamics?

Aaron Robinson, in the March Car and Driver, on the Chevrolet Trax, a “wee SUV”:

The optional four-wheel drive is an electronically controlled system that engages clutch plates to add torque to the rear. It is not driver-lockable, just an automatic all-weather axle, there to straighten your path when the barometer nose-dives.

Or, you know, not. The lowest barometer reading in this town since ever — meaning, most likely, “since 1890″ — was 28.81 inches of mercury, on this very date in 1960. The high temperature that day was 75, which does not suggest a need for four-wheel drive. There were, however, F1-level tornadoes in the northeastern part of the state, and I don’t want to be driving in that kind of stuff no matter where the torque is allocated.

Maybe Robinson meant something other than “barometer.”

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A post-mature market

Right up there with Kaiser-Frazer parts:

I was searching Walmart for some writable DVDs for a family project, and I found they still sell blank tapes.

Five tapes for $15.

While you can get 10 DVDs for $10.

It’s the way the cycle goes. Thirty years ago, you could get one tape for $15, or $14.99 anyway. (I bought a case of ten once at a video store — remember video stores? — for $149.90.) Inevitably, the price sank to commodity levels ($1.99, maybe less) before gradually starting back up again.

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Strange search-engine queries (471)

As Web features go, this one is relatively simple: peruse the logs, pull out the search strings where available, and snicker at the best (or worst) ones. We’ve been doing this for weeks now.

busty.mobi:  You’d hardly need Google to find something like that.

earning over 583 million dollars worldwide. At the 85th Academy Awards: Actually, that string of digits wasn’t an income statement: it was part of the credits to Life of Pi.

invisible femmes:  Sorry, haven’t seen ’em.

histori Skand chuck fabrics ab sweden:  When I was a youngster, Swedes, especially in movies I wasn’t allowed to see, were chucking fabric left and right.

vidéos seniors daddies gay:  I guess they were a bit straighter in their younger days.

youtube “bad a base no trouble”  And I thought I had trouble with misheard lyrics.

overdrive light off comes on on 1995 ford probe:  Not to worry. Before long, you’ll be surrounded by lights, probably at Mac’s Garage.

is a 2000 mazda 626 fwd:  Yes, unless the overdrive off light comes on, in which case it will become 0wd.

hindi youngastar mp3:  Said star apparently doesn’t have enough clout yet to call for an end to questionable downloading.

phil spector back to mono:  Is that before or after “back to jail”?

petticoat rule:  That’s probably Uncle Joe, especially if he’s moving kinda slow at the junction.

VW passat firing order 2.0turbo:  Where I come from, you show up with a 2.0 Passat, the order will come down for you to be fired.

Witness the funk (WTF) flank zone:  Doesn’t sound like a place I’d want to park my flank.

hard sex_which makes a woman cry_video:  No, woman, no cry. No video at all. Nobody see.

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Version 19.8.4

An excerpt from the Samsung Smart TV privacy policy:

Excerpt from Samsung Smart TV instructions

An excerpt from a popular novel:

Excerpt from George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four

There’s a lot to be said for “dumb” hardware.

(Compiled by Parker Higgins.)

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Too old to rock and roll

If ever I had a reason to reject that particular description — and I’m pretty sure I did — it’s stronger, not to mention louder, now.

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War of attrition

This game opened with four players out: Blake Griffin and J. J. Barea for the Clippers, Kendrick Perkins and Anthony Morrow for the Thunder. (Perk, as always the One in One Of These Things Is Not Like The Other, wasn’t injured: he drew a one-game suspension for a head-butting incident involving a New Orleans butthead.) And after the game opened, Glen “Big Baby Davis” departed with back spasms, and Steven Adams dislocated a finger or something. (Adams, who was fouled on the play, came back out of the locker room to hit one of two free throws, just in case he might be able to return. He did not.)

With limited personnel, the strategy becomes simple: hit your shots and keep the other guys from hitting theirs. The third quarter today could serve as an object lesson, the Thunder walloping the Clippers 35-19 for a 101-75 advantage going into the fourth. Three minutes later, Doc Rivers had seen enough, and he started subbing in what subs he had; OKC ran that lead to as much as 32, and finished off the Clips with aplomb, 131-108.

Spencer Hawes, starting at the four in the absence of Griffin, knocked out 17 points in the first half. That’s all he would get. Chris Paul came up with a double-double: 18 points, 13 assists, and perhaps most remarkably, three fouls. (CP3 inevitably took issue with all of them.) Matt Barnes tossed up 15 points; super sixth man Jamal Crawford came up with 21, and little-used C. J. Wilcox grabbed ten in Extended Garbage Time.

For Oklahoma City, the usual guys got their usual numbers: Kevin Durant 29, Russell Westbrook 19 (with 11 assists), Serge Ibaka 13. What was fun was watching Reggie Jackson go 6-6 for 15 points; what was even more fun was watching Mitch McGary, who’d scored four whole points all season, getting the call early and collecting a double-double. Seriously. 19 points on 8-9 shooting, 10 rebounds. (Both McGary and Jackson were +19; Dion Waiters, with 16 points, was +21.) Change of pace: the Thunder reserves, who scored a feeble 11 against New Orleans night before last, this time put up 62. And the Clippers seemed to be suffering from Board Avoidance Syndrome, outrebounded by OKC 54-29.

A quick trip to Denver for a Monday-night scuffle, a visit from the Grizzlies on Wednesday, and it’s the All-Star break. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I definitely need a break.

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Fark blurb of the week

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Welcome to karma

It was all I could do to keep from spewing BWAHAHAHAHAHAH! all over the answer box:

Yahoo Answers screenshot: Downloaded the golf club off of piratebay.sx and it was a codex if thats any help but when i open the game it opens the steam store?

Thieves complaining about the merchandise they stole. Sheesh.

As we say in CL: CALL CURLIB/GALL *MITIGATE=NO.

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