Muffin to report

Derpy figure by FunkoShe’s one of the sweetest, kindest mares you could ever hope to know. Just the same, things can go horribly wrong:

I recently bought this vinyl figure put out by Funko. While Amazon reviews warned me of a chemical odor that lingered on in the figures of this line, I still wasn’t prepared for the dizzying wave that flooded my room when I removed the packaging. Although I’m not particularly sensitive to smells, it was enough to suggest to my paranoid mind the possibility of becoming a grotesque news item.

Such as, for instance, this one. (At least I resisted the presumably obvious “Funko” joke.)

Derpy then spent the next twelve hours or so alternately placed by an open window and shut up in a cupboard. Now that I’ve let her air out for a bit it’s not so bad.

I suspect she’s been hitting the ol’ Otis Spunkmeyer in her spare time.

Comments (3)

Or so the research would indicate

I suspect this statement of being true:

“Among all respondents, 7.3% reported a pregnancy, although this was more common among females than males.” — Abstinence-Only and Comprehensive Sex Education and the Initiation of Sexual Activity and Teen Pregnancy

(This was Megan McArdle’s Fun Sentence of the Week last week.)

Comments off

What language is your siren?

This caught my eye in the Sunday paper:

At least 42,000 Hispanic people in Oklahoma City do not speak English well, according to research from the Pew Hispanic Center, a branch of the nonpartisan Pew Research Center in Washington.

There being roughly 100,000 Hispanic folks in this town — well, the math is easy. But the results can be hard:

Nine of the 23 deaths in the May 31 disaster came from Oklahoma’s growing Guatemalan community, many unfamiliar with the fury of spring storms. Five of those were children, including a 17-day-old infant.

NewsOK posted a picture of a Guatemalan family killed in the storm to Facebook, and got several variations on the theme of “Well, it’s their own fault for not speaking English.” Which, actually, they did, though they were not exactly up on the latest local storm procedures. Still, that didn’t mollify the Defenders of the Language, one of whom declared:

[W]e should fine anyone who speaks another language. $50 every time you say something in another language. This is America, goddamnit, and we speak ENGLISH!

Clearly someone who does speak the local language has an advantage over someone who doesn’t; however, I can’t work up any enthusiasm for leaving seven percent of the population in the dark when the storm clouds build.

Comments (2)

We’ve all had mornings like this

Luna is best Daria.

(From an EqD Random Media roundup.)

Comments (1)

That’s one funny-looking pizza

In the past five years, there have been a couple of Tomato Scares in the states, due to temporary shortages: I noted during World Tour ’08 that “Whataburger wouldn’t slap one on your burger no matter how much you asked,” and in early 2010 the Florida crop was trashed by bad weather, causing prices to triple.

Still, neither of those incidents called for National Action. Now Argentina, that’s a whole ‘nother matter:

Argentinian dishes, including pizza and pasta are strongly influenced by Italian cuisine and feature tomatoes. But families have been advised to make do without them until September, when a new harvest of the crop is expected.

“For seasonal reasons, involving crop rotations in the farms, the Central Market of Buenos Aires informs the public about a possible shortage of tomatoes,” read a statement from the government’s Office of Domestic Commerce. “For this reason, and for a period of approximately sixty days, we suggest the use of alternative products.”

Now what substitutes for a tomato? (Excuse me while I mix up a Bloody Mary.)

(Via Fausta.)

Comments (3)

Strange search-engine queries (389)

Oh, if you’ve forgotten 389, it was the size (in cubic inches) of the Pontiac V-8 described in “Little G.T.O.” by Ronny and the Daytonas. Said Pon-Pon was also equipped with three deuces and a four-speed. In the meantime, here’s this week’s trunkful of search strings:

You have received a new endorsement from elder parodi. Click here to see it! Your endorsements will appear on your profile after:  the seas begin to boil and the sunlight becomes unbearable. Or September, whichever comes first.

paywall “”:  Which you can avoid by having them drop the printed version somewhere in the vicinity of your driveway every morning.

welcome to teen porno pass mm berks area:  Oh, don’t you just wish.

“oklahoma county clerk” horrible:  Can’t tell if irritated by fees for document reproduction, or if turned down for a date.

seduceth means:  Thou art being led into a false sense of security by yon County Clerk.

what usually goes out after transmission mazda tribute:  Any hope of a family vacation that year.

monkey see money do one hears no evil one sees no evil one does no evil the other does them all stoopid monkey need to go to monkey ward get edumacated:  Get your hands off the phrasebook, you damn dirty ape.

why can’t i find the killing of a person by frank gann in sallisaw oklahoma in 1968:  Um, hello, McFly, nineteen sixty-eight? How much stuff do you think was being put up on the Web twenty-five years before it was opened to the public?

How sure am i that the foetus will not reform after taking arthrotec and after the abortion blood has stop flowing:  Obviously, not very.

bacon helper:  Bacon needs no help.

Comments (3)

So basically, black and blue?

And here’s the dress code for our valued Associates:

Walmart dress code poster

(From FAIL Blog’s “Poorly Dressed” section.)

Comments (4)

A tiding of magpies

The Eurasian magpie (Pica pica), by general agreement, is wicked smart, especially for a bird; its demonstrations of intelligence are legendary. I am not quite sure how “magpie” became a descriptor for humans who flit from topic to topic, unless it has to do with the bird’s tendency to be attracted to Shiny Things, but I’m pretty sure I fit that description, and I have several readers who seem to do likewise. For example, Roger explains how he got that way:

1) As a child, I had the foolish notion that should know all the knowable things in the universe.

2) To that end, I used to read encyclopedias — the Americana as a child — dictionaries, and especially the World Almanac, which I have received for Christmas almost every year since I was nine or ten.

3) Realizing at some point that “all the knowable things in the universe” a) was impossible to know and b) was not interesting to me, I tended to concentrate on things like sports (Willie Mays hit .211 in his last season, with the New York Mets), and American history and politics.

The World Almanac, interestingly, outlived its parent, the New York World newspaper, which merged with the crosstown Evening Telegram in 1931 and absorbed the Sun in 1950, only to be swallowed up in 1966 in a three-way merger that produced the short-lived World Journal Tribune, which died in 1967, aged eight months. (Oddly, the WJT has a surviving relative: New York magazine, which began as the Herald Tribune‘s Sunday supplement, was continued in the WJT, and eventually was salvaged as a monthly.) Of course, the fact that I’d bring this up at all speaks volumes about my own presumed magpiehood.

And just incidentally, while knowing all the knowable things in the universe may not be literally possible, it strikes me as a worthy goal. Beyond that, deponent saith not, what with that whole Tree of Knowledge thing.

Comments (4)

We got your destiny right here

How much of what we are is predetermined, and how much is actually up to us? Some pony-oriented speculation ensues.

Comments (3)

Contributing to your McMuffin Top

There’s something new and horrifying under the Golden Arches:

McDonald’s has begun posting calorie counts on their menus. On the menu, that is, not buried in some you-gotta-ask-for-it literature. Getting a jump on Federal legislation, I’m betting. And the numbers are, in a word, horrifying. When you see a four-digit calorie count next to a frickin’ breakfast item (never mind the burgers, fries, and shakes!) it has a pronounced appetite-dulling effect. There’s no way I want to gobble up three quarters of my daily calorie allotment before nine in the morning… yeef!

Imagine the tumult when you can get those frickin’ breakfast items any time of the day or night.

Comments (4)

Glass streaking

A couple of decades ago, Penn Jillette observed that “Shopping, sex and shopping for sex propel all new technology.” Can Google Glass be kept squeaky clean? Don’t bet on it:

[I]t’s no huge surprise that Google’s announcement that they wouldn’t allow any pornographic content on their new Google Glass platform (“We don’t allow Glassware content that contains nudity, graphic sex acts, or sexually explicit material”) has already been challenged. Muck-peddlers MiKandi have come up with a Google Glass offering. It’s a “Hot or Not” type photo app that allows users to submit photos that are then voted up or down by other app users.

Google don’t like it, and they’re taking steps to make sure it doesn’t reach the market. But as we’ve seen, pornographers are a resourceful bunch. Whether it requires “jailbreaking” technology or just old-fashioned sneakiness, Google Glass wearers will inevitably be able to have images of people who have neglected to put their pyjamas on beamed into their eyeballs.

I would argue that mere lack of nightwear doesn’t constitute smut — otherwise, an awful lot of us would be in deep doo-doo — but Rule 34 will simply not be flouted, by Google or by anyone else.

Comments off

A modest claim

Then again, the French are the masters of understatement, are they not?

1967 advertisement for Exciting hosiery

“It’s not the first garterless stocking you’ll try,” says that last paragraph, assuming my French is up to snuff, “but it’s the first garterless stocking you can’t live without.”

The facility in Troyes, I understand, now manufactures underwear under the Petit Bateau name.

And I suspect that in 1967, when this advertisement appeared, no one was seriously concerned with thigh gap.

Comments (2)

A state of Jiflessness

I did not pick up a fresh jar of peanut butter today at the supermarket, and I didn’t even think about it until I got to reading the mail and found this recommendation by Jeffery Self on the back page of The Advocate:

One of the main reasons life is worth living. To those people who are allergic, I can only apologize: you are truly missing out on one of the world’s great pleasures — but honestly, it’s not my problem. I strongly advocate going into your kitchen right now and dipping your largest spoon in a jar of peanut butter, then slowly eating it. Did you do it? You’re welcome. Unless you’ve just realized you’re allergic to peanut butter, in which case call 9-1-1.

Alas, there is not enough left in the jar to fill my largest spoon, or either of the next two down.

By way of introduction, Mr. Self is the author of Straight People: A Spotter’s Guide to the Fascinating World of Heterosexuals (Philadelphia: Running Press, 2013).

Comments (2)

Imaginary haters gonna hate imaginarily

It’s been an unusually rich (and therefore unusually annoying) week for phishers. This one was titled “Got some bad news for you”:

YOUR NAME IS BEING TARNISHED by negative information online

What can you do to prevent this?

Give up the blog. Seriously. Nobody writes as much negative information about me as I do, and very likely nobody ever will.

Right now, view your current online record id #: HJUR843HI to see what damaging aspects of your life were posted Wednesday.

Wouldn’t it be terrible if your loving family, current boss, the people you live beside, or your close friends see this embarrassing and potentially career ending information?

DO SOMETHING NOW: Time is not on your side

Speaking of “wouldn’t it be terrible,” wouldn’t it be terrible if you were trying to pull off a scam like this and you left this as your go-to link?


Dishonest and stupid. I expect he’ll be on a ballot somewhere by 2018, if not sooner.

Comments off

No Schmitt, Sherlock

Jack Baruth has assumed the top spot at The Truth About Cars, replacing Bertel Schmitt, and I couldn’t be happier for him. Baruth occupies a singular spot in the motor-noter continuum, which I would approximate as follows:

[David E. Davis Jr.] + [track experience] – [tweed] – [discretion]

The new Editor-in-Chief would like to thank his believers, his fans, and yes, even his detractors:

Every Mom’s-basement loser who penned furious screeds against me with Cheetos-stained fingers. Every S2000-driving wannabe drifter who hid in the tower at Mid-Ohio when I showed up there. Every suck-ass club racer who was holding me up on-track and went crying to the Internet or the sanctioning bodies. Every angry husband or beta boyfriend or white-knight orbiter who found themselves on the losing end of the battle for a woman’s heart, soul, or other parts. You have no idea how many times I would have quit writing about cars if I hadn’t known it would gratify the legions of people who have done nothing with their lives but piss and moan about what I’m doing with mine. You’re the biggest motivation I have. Every time I meet a new fan at a new racetrack or slide my Amex through the machine for another custom-shop guitar I say a silent prayer of thanks that you’re still there egging me on. Keep it up.

In what surely must be an act of faith, I have actually registered as a user on TTAC, something I hadn’t done in its three previous incarnations.

Comments (2)

Warrens without rabbits

New Zealand, by and large, is not burdened with the sort of nouveau urbanists who clutter up the American cityscape: the Kiwis simply haven’t been properly indoctrinated into the Density Über Alles mindset. To address this deficiency, Auckland imported Harvard economist Edward Glaeser, with exactly the results you’d expect:

He says the Auckland Council’s unitary plan — outlining regional growth over the next 30 years, is not bold enough.

And residents also need to get real if they want the city to grow into an exciting place that continues to drive the national economy.

The quarter acre dream is simply not sustainable.

There’s that word “sustainable” again, tortured into its current definition of “fits into our idea of a master plan, and maybe we should capitalize the M in Master because it reflects the reality we propose to impose.”

Mr Glaeser urges the council to be more aggressive in upzoning core urban areas as its works to solve regional housing issues.

That means building multi-storied buildings to create an exciting, pedestrian based city centre and avoiding suburban areas of medium density that only contribute to wider traffic congestion.

With 20 to 30 storeys in central Auckland you can produce massive amounts of space, Mr Glaeser says.

The assumption made in all these cases is that if there are enough “amenities” stacked in corner lots like cordwood, people won’t ever want to leave the center of town — which is a good thing, because it’s hard to maintain surveillance on a population that won’t keep still.

Deputy Mayor Penny Hulse is not impressed with this pitch:

[S]he says it would be difficult to develop the central city to the same extent as others around the world, given Auckland’s unique geographical shape.

“We’re not exactly the same as Vancouver or Houston. By just shoving everything into the city centre is when you put the city most at risk.”

Disclosure: I own a quarter acre (actually 0.26) in Oklahoma City, which admittedly is not exactly the same as Vancouver or Houston.

Says Aaron Renn, the Urbanophile, from whom I swiped this story: “Ed Glaeser would have more credibility if he actually lived in the city instead of the suburbs himself.” Yep.

Comments (6)