Sandalous behavior

First there was a @syaffolee tweet:

Correlation does not equal causation, etc. Also, how the heck did someone come up with this idea? #maybeidontwanttoknow

Since as a rule I can count on anything she WTFs at to be eminently WTFable, I directed my attention to the premise in question:

“The authors reviewed historical literature and hypothesized a relationship between epidemics of sexually transmitted diseases and foot fetishism. They tested this hypothesis by quantifying foot-fetish depictions in the mass-circulation pornographic literature during a 30-yr. interval. An exponential increase was noted during the period of the current AIDS epidemic. The authors offer reasons for this possible relationship.”

I should note here that this was categorized by the blog team under, among other things, holy correlation batman!

In an effort to at least pretend to be serious, I’ll also note that the feet are not exactly a disease vector — at least, not for this particular disease.

I’d also offer up the suggestion that the pedicure, formerly a pricey salon service, is now essentially a commodity, what with nail shops in every other strip mall.

Presumably Dick Morris, who has done his own research on related matters, was not available for comment.

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The Fug Girls were kind enough to run this shot of singer Porcelain Black, and I spent the better part of three days wondering if I wanted to port it over here.

Eventually, the need for material won out:

Porcelain Black at the Grammys

If you’re thinking “My goodness, that’s a lot of ink,” allow me to direct you to “This Is What Rock N Roll Looks Like”, in which Porcelain, assisted by Lil Wayne, takes revenge upon those Mean Girls who tormented her in high school. This track will be on her first album, which is supposed to be released later this year.

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The lawn is open

Your friendly neighborhood AAA Homophobic Sexist Patriarchal Theocratic Right-Wing Swine, aka Robert Stacy McCain, opines on what he calls the New Media Proletariat:

The growth of blogging, including the ascent of certain sites and individuals to pre-eminence within the ecology of the blogosphere, has fundamentally transformed the online environment. People who were still in high school when Bill Quick named the blogosphere (more than a decade ago) now wield more influence and throw more traffic than does Bill Quick himself. Those who have toiled long years as bloggers obviously have reason to resent the upstarts, who may not recognize how they stand on the shoulders of giants. By the same token, newcomers to the ‘sphere understandably resent the difficulty of carving out a readership in an environment where a certain hierarchy has seemingly become already set in stone.

If anyone is standing on my shoulders, he’s probably hoping I quit slouching already.

But I don’t feel as though I have reason to resent those upstarts. For one thing, I’ve never been a household word, so it’s not like I’ve suddenly slid into obscurity. In fact, as I’ve said before, I’ve “gone from having no influence whatsoever to having extremely little influence.” Extremely little influence is better. (And that remark got me an Instalanche. Go figure.) And if I’m not showing any positive cash flow, well, it was never my intention to do so. I have, however, met some incredible people along the way, and after churning out several million words, I believe the quality of my writing has improved from absolutely horrible to merely relatively horrible. No small accomplishments, those.

So I am not inclined to tell the new kids in the ‘sphere to get off my virtual lawn. They’re not hurting me, and sometimes they give me something worthwhile to read.

Besides, as McCain observes:

[P]erhaps, indeed, the lowly and neglected among us have far greater liberty than do those who, by merit or mere luck, have succeeded in obtaining an income on which they are dependent, so that they are compelled daily to strive for new successes, to crank out the content like so many factory workers manning an industrial assembly line.

I’m not claiming that this site is the best buy for one’s entertainment dollar; but there are a lot of endeavors on which I’ve spent more yet achieved less.

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To say nothing of “world peace”

The Truth About Cars shows us the nifty Ford B-Max people-mover:

Ford B-Max photo by Ford

Note the absence of a B-pillar, which should make loading up the little buslet a lot less problematic.

Except for the little matter that we won’t be getting it. Says TTAC’s Derek Kreindler:

Only world markets will get the B-MAX, but this technology should filter down to other vehicles in the future.

Obviously we’re not part of the world.

I’m assuming that the meaning of “world” here corresponds to the meaning of “world” in the term “world music,” which is defined (very) roughly as any music that originates somewhere off this continent and that you will never hear on North American radio, with the possible exception of a 10-watt FM station within biking distance of a college town.

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A war of attrition

How physical a game? The Warriors lost two players, including a starter; the Thunder lost two players, including a starter. Golden State jumped out to an early lead (24-20 after the first quarter), but OKC managed to drag itself out of the post-Houston doldrums and outscored the Warriors 38-20 in the second; after that, the outcome was never in doubt. Thunder 110, Golden State 87, and who’d have thought the Warriors couldn’t break 90? You’d half expect Monta Ellis to do that all by himself.

But Ellis, who’d play 48 minutes if you’d let him, stumbled off the court and onto the bench after 30; he’s apparently okay, but by the time the GS crew decided so, garbage time had already ensued. He was held to a mere 11 points, versus the 48 he got last time; Stephen Curry’s 11-point line was nearly identical. (David Lee had 23 to lead the Warriors; Dorell Wright posted a double-double, 11 points and 11 boards.) The two things the Warriors do best are offensive rebounds and long-distance shots; they got plenty of the former (22), but were thwarted trying to get the latter (seven of 23). Your telltale statistic: Golden State took 15 more shots, which you can do when you get that many offensive boards, but they made eight fewer, failing to break 35 percent.

Ellis’ nemesis for the evening was Russell Westbrook, who followed him like a bad reputation for twenty-eight minutes before spraining his right ankle. Westbrook had 18 points for the night; filling in at the one, Royal Ivey and Reggie Jackson combined for, um, 18 points. (Lots of fearful symmetry tonight.) Kevin Durant turned in a double-double: 23 points, 10 boards. But it was the Beard who had the breakthrough: after three games in which he scored 24 (and two more in which he scored 23), James Harden set a new season high with, um, 25. I believe one calls this “consistency.”

I shudder, though, at the way players are just dropping. The Thunder have already lost Eric Maynor for the season, and Thabo Sefolosha has missed eleven games; Kendrick Perkins was discovered to have suffered knee contusions at Houston and did not play tonight; we don’t yet know how badly Westbrook is damaged, though Scott Brooks did not sound alarmed. We’ll see Sunday when the Nuggets get here. (They lost by one to the Grizzlies tonight, without Nenê or Danilo Gallinari.)

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Oklahoma Republicans would like to phase out the state’s income tax. “Pull the other one,” I say.

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The view, the proud

Jenny Erikson wasn’t addressing me, but I feel her sting just the same:

For some strange reason, the conservative blogosphere has spent the last three days debating Tina Korbe’s hemline rather than the bottom line on Barack Obama’s budget. Because, you know, that’s what’s important.

Ohmygosh! A pretty girl wore a skirt! Hold the presses! What could she possibly mean by her wardrobe choices? Is it scandalous? Is she advertising?

In my own semifundamentalist (read: “half-assed”) way, I had thrown in some gratuitous commentary of my own, which, had I written it with any panache, might have achieved the desired effect: appearing to take a position without actually taking one. (Short version: feigned outrage — “What were they thinking?” — followed by a reminder from that still, small voice in the back of my head that says “Well, they obviously weren’t thinking of you.” There are times when I think I thrive on feminine indifference.)

It is Jenny Erikson’s point, and a fairly inarguable one, that a woman should wear what she darn well pleases, and it doesn’t matter what you (by which I mean “I”) think about it. I left by way of atonement the following comment:

My own reaction to all this is highly confused: if a woman is willing to show something, I’m certainly willing to look at it, but I’ll probably feel, deep down inside, that I don’t deserve this honor.

That’s me: all the inarticulateness of the Double Rainbow Guy, with none of the exuberance.

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Fun being thought about

What have we here? It’s time for the weekly Rebecca Black sampler, and we open with, well, a sampler:

Friday sampler by Steotch

The original has actually been sold, but you can get the pattern from Etsy. (Via Steotch.)

Not everyone, however, is having fun, fun, fun, fun:

Students at Kingsville District High School are trying to keep Rebecca Black’s lyrics out of their head by raising funds for the pediatric ward at Leamington Hospital. Every day between classes, and non-stop during lunch, Black’s pop-song “Friday” plays throughout the school. The only way to make it stop is for the student body to hit $1,000 in their fundraising. The money will be used to buy toys for children undergoing surgical procedures at the hospital.

Oh, those wacky Canadians.

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Just their type

The Impact screen font, I suspect, will forevermore be associated with image macros in general and with lolcats in particular.

Which is not to say that Impact is the only appropriate typeface for cats:

Cat in spectacles with Helvetica font

Just one of the examples at MakeUseOf’s “If Fonts Were Cats.”

(Via this Elysa Rice tweet.)

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Quote of the week

What we used to call “public spirit” has fallen into desuetude, says Francis W. Porretto:

Aristotle has told us that the path to virtue lies in the practice of virtue — that we become virtuous individuals by regularly performing virtuous acts. The inverse is true as well: When we cease to perform virtuous acts, whatever virtue we might have possessed drains away from disuse. Decade after decade of abstention from virtuous acts has drained us of nearly all the virtue our grandfathers and theirs would have recognized as quintessentially American. We all but uniformly leave the pursuit of lawbreakers to the uniformed police. The notion that charitable works should be taken out of the State’s demesne and returned to the sole province of individuals and voluntary institutions seems laughable to the overwhelmingly greater number of us. Few of us are even capable of criticizing public littering or rudeness. We’re all much too busy!

That suits the seekers of unbounded power just fine.

Which it would, since they have long sought to redefine virtue in their own corrupt image.

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With an eye toward Linsertion

Linsanity — the obsession with New York Knicks guard Jeremy Lin — has even reached Dr Ruth Westheimer, who issued several tweets relevant to her own career path:

For those missing out on Lin-sation because of TW-MSG no-deal, I propose you do your own scoring while Knicks are playing.

What might a good Lin position be? Pick and roll, where you turn over while together so he starts out on top and you switch places.

Back door play? You can figure that one out.

Just remember there’s no 24 second clock in your bedroom so I don’t want you guys stopping and popping too quickly now.

[Insert “flagrant foul” joke here.]

And come to think of it, Liz Claman thinks the youngster’s Linovations will force an end to the ongoing Time Warner/Madison Square Garden impasse.

(Via Basketbawful, which also features Hitler’s response to the arrival of the Linfantry.)

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Ladies and gentlemen, your next Car Czar

Why is this person even breathing? (Never mind driving.)

Screen capture from Yahoo! Answers

The answers, at least, have been suitably rude.

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The view from Canterlot

Lauren Faust, who developed My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic for television, defends the colts and stallions in the audience:

In general, I am still inspired by Bronies. As a group, they have not succumbed to society’s pressure that young men must hold contempt for anything feminine no matter what.

Which, incidentally, isn’t the first time she’s done so.

I must point out here that MLP:FIM is now on TV Tropes, where I found this little blurb:

The Brony Commentaries recount the story of a college student who had the show so much on his mind that he began a paper with “Dear Princess Celestia,” not realizing it until after he’d turned it in. When the paper was graded, the professor’s comments began with “My faithful student.”

And as everyone knows, I’d much rather deal with Twilight Sparkle than with sparkly Twilight.

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Downsparkles galore

Laura sits through a Twilight film so you don’t have to:

The story is crap, the acting is crap, the special effects are crap, but I LOVE THEM. I really do. In this latest one emo Bella and Edward played by Robert Pattinson (my imaginary boyfriend) get married and Bella gets impregnated the first night and it grows really fast in her belly and she’s too weak and stupid and it’s quickly killing her and Jacob the werewolf is all pissy wanting to kill Edward, but he helps, because, well, he’s Jacob, and he is all sensitive and shit.

The Breaking Dawn novel, I note in passing, won the 2009 British Children’s Book of the Year award. I wonder how many of those British children covet the official Alfred Angelo Twilight Bridal Gown.

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This may explain much

Laurie Notaro goes to the post office:

I witnessed a lady trying to cram a pound of pistachios and a pound of corn nuts into one regular, letter-sized Priority Mail envelope. I couldn’t figure out where that lady could possibly be sending corn nuts where there aren’t corn nuts already, unless there was a corn-nut-less province that I was unaware of. And at two pounds in a Priority envelope, it was going to cost her more money to send corn nuts than the corn nuts cost in the first place (unless she was sending them to a prison, but even then, I’ll bet corn nuts are a staple in the vending machines). She ripped through three Priority envelopes before the man behind her pointed out that a box would be a better fit and there were several options eight inches away from her right foot at the center counter, which she was leaning on. She tossed the envelope aside and went in for a box, but her delight soon turned to unbridled horror when she attempted to close it. Immediately, she began to complain that the box, which was free, courtesy of the post office, was not equipped with “automatic tape,” which I think meant “adhesive strip” to those people who don’t buy corn nuts by the pound. I then saw two different women with the same unique bear-claw tattoo and a middle-aged woman with bangs cut from the middle of one ear to the middle of the next, who never closed her mouth the entire time she stood in line, which, by the way, was long enough to hatch an egg. From any species.

(From It Looked Different on the Model: Epic Tales of Impending Shame and Infamy, her 2011 collection. You can’t tell me that LeeAnn hasn’t seen these same people on a regular basis.)

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Galactic weirdness in Space City

The first-quarter score was alarming enough: Houston 29, Oklahoma City 13. That couldn’t stand for long, and it didn’t; it was 44-43 Rockets at the half, and the lead see-sawed most of the rest of the way. Four technicals were assessed. (Yes, Kendrick Perkins got one of them.) With 60 seconds left, the Thunder were up by one; with 24 seconds left, Kevin Martin sank two free throws to give Houston a one-point edge, and the Thunder came up empty on three (!) possessions. With 0.8 second left, Goran Dragić went to the line, sent up a pair of bricks, and that was it: Houston 96, OKC 95.

Telltale statistic: Royal Ivey, inserted into the lineup twice for a total of ten minutes, took no shots, committed one foul and reeled in one rebound. He was +10 for the night. In fact, all the OKC bench was on the positive side of the ledger, a place you’d find none of the starters — even Kevin Durant, who led all scorers with 33.

Samuel Dalembert, meanwhile, seems to be blossoming in Houston: he scored only once, but he bagged 12 boards and blocked three shots. And the four other Rocket starters were in double figures — Martin’s last-minute freebies gave him 32 — though Houston, at 42.5 percent, didn’t shoot all that well. (OKC was hardly better, at 43.4, though the Thunder were plus-four on the glass.)

On the plane home, Scott Brooks will probably say “turnover” at least 21 times, one for each Thunder giveaway. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if he made everyone run laps.

The Warriors will come to the ‘Peake Friday night, followed by the Nuggets on Sunday. Neither can be expected to lie down and die.

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