Something specail

Now this is a pitch worth repeating:

Your faviorite reporters are they taking the plunge at the Great Falls Christmas storll on December 7th to help raise money for Montana Special Olympics.

We have set a goal to raise over a $1,000 for the Montana Specail Olympics and we cant do it with out your help! All procedds go to the Montana Specail Olympics.

Donate to the Montana Specail Olympics and come cheer on your faviorite reporters as they take the plunge.

It was pretty damned difficult to reproduce that: you have to work really hard to spell that badly.

Good ol’ Dynamo Dave put up a screencap on Flickr, in case you thought I was pulling your chain.

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The cure for the distracted driver

Its name is Porsche, and Jack Baruth explains:

The millions of deaths which occur every year due to the iPhone’s ability to stream the Kim K/Ray-J video in 4G could all be avoided, every last one of them, if the government issued everyone a Seventies 911 and made sure they always left the house five minutes later than they’d wanted to. It would help if it could be made to rain as well. Full attention on the road. Guaranteed. Nothing could go wrong, because in the era before texting and driving the highways of the American continent were a virtual paradise where children could chase errant soccer balls right onto the Chicago freeways at rush hour knowing that alert, aware drivers were standing ready to execute precise avoidance maneuvers with no advance warning whatsoever.

There probably aren’t enough Seventies 911s left, but I am happy to endorse this proposal.

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Fruit trace

About five years ago, I started buying organic bananas, which seemed to keep a lot better, though I never keep them more than five or six days.

The latest batch has a label I hadn’t noticed before. Apparently Dole, who buys these up from Central and South America, is now labeling the product with a three-digit code to indicate a specific source, and this is the source: Asociación Bananeros Orgánicos Señor de Chocán San Vicente Piedra Rodada, on Peru’s northwestern plain. Planting began in 2007; export began in 2009.

This, of course, flies in the face of our current (and mostly laudable) tendency toward locavoraciousness, but it’s going to be 26 degrees tonight. Nobody is going to grow bananas anywhere nearby.

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Doone Messiah removed

A query came down the tweetstream Sunday night: did Nabisco still make Lorna Doone shortbread cookies?

A few Web storefronts still list them, but quantities are apparently always limited. And more to the point, NabiscoWorld has taken them off the brand list. Since the cookie has a history going back to 1912, you’d think there’d have been some sort of hundredth-anniversary promotion, and, well, there wasn’t.

I blame Edric.

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Kittehs toyed with

Last year’s Charlotte Bobcats won only seven games all season, nailing down the Worst. Record. Ever. This year’s Bobcats won seven games before the end of November. It was apparently last year’s team who showed up, though, as the Thunder got out to a 54-point lead at one point and pocketed one of the easiest wins in NBA history, 114-69.

Seriously. The ‘Cats got 12 points in the first quarter, 12 in the second, and one in the third before garbage time began, inside the seven-minute mark. Imagine that for a moment: eighteen and a half minutes of garbage time. Rose Mary Woods couldn’t have topped this.

And nothing was working for Charlotte. They shot 29 percent for the night, lost the battle for the boards 54-37, were outdimed 31-12, and had exactly one player in double figures: Jeffery Taylor, with ten. The high point of their evening was seeing Thunder expat Byron Mullens hoist seven treys, two of which actually went in.

With this kind of mismatch, Eric Maynor and Hasheem Thabeet got the most minutes for OKC, and Thabeet even turned in a double-double: 13 points, ten boards. Russell Westbrook racked up 12 points and 11 assists; Kevin Durant had a game-high 18; Kevin Martin’s road to redemption was festooned with a dozen; and the treys fell like petals on Petaluma, 13 out of 27. (OKC shot a worthy 51 percent against what was almost a Charlotte defense.)

Reminder: It’s Houston on Wednesday. They’re beatable, but probably not 45-point beatable.

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To say nothing of IE 8

While I was working up that earlier Internet Explorer-related piece, this bit of weirdness from the Casey Anthony case popped up:

The Florida sheriff’s office that investigated the disappearance of Casey Anthony’s 2-year-old daughter overlooked evidence that someone in their home did a Google search for “fool-proof” suffocation methods on the day the girl was last seen alive… WKMG reports that sheriff’s investigators pulled 17 vague entries only from the computer’s Internet Explorer browser, not the Mozilla Firefox browser commonly used by Casey Anthony. More than 1,200 Firefox entries, including the suffocation search, were overlooked.

Sadly, there is a punchline:

Whoever conducted the Google search looked for the term “fool-proof suffication,” misspelling “suffocation,” and then clicked on an article about suicide that discussed taking poison and putting a bag over one’s head.

Moral of the story: if you’re planning to do something heinous in Florida, you might as well use Bing.

(Via Fark.)

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The original radio dial

In the January Automobile, Jamie Kitman bewails the current (sub)standard for AM radio in cars:

I have to be careful lest I start sounding like the guy who rhapsodizes on the wonders of vacuum tubes over solid-state circuits and vinyl versus streamed MP3 files, but AM car radios in their heyday sounded pretty good, and — counterintuitively — their reception was much, much better than in most new cars today. New cars all seem to retain an AM radio function — presumably for the day the nuclear weapons go off — but almost all of them suck. I kid you not. I get dramatically better reception in my 1962 MGA and my 1963 Jaguar Mark II than in the $127,000 BMW M6 convertible I drove last week. The BMW is not alone.

We will stipulate that vinyl is by design better than streamed MP3 files, but it’s hard to get vinyl to work in the center stack of a car.

The manufacturers, OEM and aftermarket, have pretty much decided that AM is a talk-only medium now, and they provide only enough frequency response to reproduce something resembling voice. There are only two AM stations I’d bother with for music around here, and one of them, a daytimer, has a 24-hour FM translator with 99 watts.

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To say nothing of IE 6

I still strive to avoid reading comments at, but I also still get a kick out of this statement that precedes them:

We’ve upgraded Comments. The upgraded Comments do not work on Internet Explorer 7. If you are using Internet Explorer 8 or Internet Explorer 9 and do not see comments, turn off Compatibility View by clicking the “broken page” icon at the right of the address bar.

It occurs to me that I never actually had IE 7; I installed IE 8 over 6. I still keep it around in case Firefox does something heinous to me, and given their absurd push-out-new-versions-like-Octomom schedule, I can reasonably expect that it will.

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Strange search-engine queries (356)

Round and round the logs we go, and where we stop — well, it’s because we thought we saw something marginally hilarious. Once in a while we’re even right about it.

synthetic compassion:  The primary ingredient is someone else’s gold.

grease formula:  Most of the time we don’t need a formula: we just look around the kitchen, and there it is.

wuss fm:  Playing your favorite hits six times a day, 39 minutes an hour.

pumping to digital tell hike yoghurt’s versatile:  Here, for instance, it adds flavor to word salad.

“the onion” “the americans without abilities act”:  You are covered by this act if you searched for it without going to first.

A goose flying toward you at 12.8 emits a squawk which you hear at 265:  Followed by something else which you see on your windshield.

who is the j geils band member that looks like mario:  One thing’s for sure: King Koopa stinks.

karina nose is she:  Only her hairdresser knows for sure.

2008 nissan sylphy has a green coolant:  Wait a while, and it won’t seem so green.

pencil skirt hurry:  When that storm hits, it’s gonna be raining erasers.

sf weekly told off by hinder at masturbate-a-thon:  Now that’s taking it to the limit.

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Going like sixty

Thoughts on being fifty-nine, which is close enough, right?

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Standing watch

Of late, mostly due to hot and dry summers, there have been two distinct cycles of rose growth: early in the spring, then late in the fall. I have four blossoms remaining on this particular bush.

2012 stubborn rose

This flower will not abandon his post until the weather gets much, much worse. After all, it’s only the last week of November.

(Multiple sizes at Flickr.)

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National drug policy explained

I can’t prove that this is the way it is, but I believe that old curmudgeon William of Ockham would find this explanation more acceptable than others:

[W]hen a President is sworn in he is forced to sign a secret clause reading something like, “And I promise to forget everything I’d ever known or believed and to act like a complete blockhead on the subject of drugs.” It’s the only thing that makes sense.

The Department of Homeland Security probably has that on a rubber stamp, just in case they have to ramp up temporary staffing in the Bureau of Panic and Discomfiture.

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Results are negative

Tam expresses a frustration I’ve often felt, though being Tam, she’s far more eloquent than I:

[T]hank you, Search Engine Optimization %^#@*ers, you $#%^ing #@*+ers, for breaking the internet. I try and do a little bit of research, searching for “the history of handgun accessory rails”, and I get page after page of sites trying to sell me cheap-ass Chinese crap to attach to airsoft guns and not a thing about, you know, the history of handgun accessory rails.

Incidentally, if you type $#%^ing #@*+ers into Google’s search box, the first thing it suggests is “ingersoll buchanan.”

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A sharp idea

Leatherman RaptorI’d heard enough about Leatherman tools over the years to pique my curiosity, and it turns out that there is in fact an actual Leatherman, though I presume his hide remains untanned. The newest tool from Leatherman’s company is the Raptor, due out next year, and it’s designed for a very specific market:

Hopefully you’d never have to use it, but should the need arise, you’ll certainly be glad to have the Leatherman Raptor at hand. Developed for uniformed medics, this scissor-like multi-tool features 420HC stainless steel shears, a strap cutter, a carbide glass breaker, a ring cutter, a ruler, and an oxygen tank wrench.

Price has yet to be announced.

(Via Finestkind Clinic and fish market.)

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Philly emptied

One of the stock sports clichés is “They wanted it more.” Hard to tell who wanted it more tonight: the Thunder led for most of the game, but the 76ers were never out of it, and when OKC simply stopped making shots with four minutes left, the Sixers closed in, and tied it at 98-all with a minute and a half left. And then nobody could score. Maybe nobody wanted it.

Then suddenly it was overtime, and Oklahoma City owns overtime. After hitting a meager two treys in 48 minutes, the Thunder knocked down four in four minutes, dropping the Sixers 116-109. You’re entitled to ask how it is that OKC scored a lousy 13 points in the 12-minute fourth quarter and 18 in the five-minute overtime, but again: Oklahoma City owns overtime. Over the past three seasons they’re over .800 in extended play.

Fifty-three minutes of game time, and Kevin Durant played 49:36 of it. The first half? Meh. Eight points. And yet he finished with 37. This isn’t an argument for benching Durant for 24 minutes and then turning him loose, but clearly the man does more damage after halftime. Russell Westbrook dropped in 30, Serge Ibaka 18, and Nick Collison a season-high 14. Attention K-Mart shoppers: Kevin Martin had another rough night, with three points in regulation — but a trey with 2:00 left in the OT shifted the momentum permanently. As radio guy Matt Pinto said, it’s not how many you get, it’s when you get ’em. Still, the Thunder went 6-21 from out there.

For some time now, Thaddeus Young has been someone with whom you did not mess, and he remained so tonight, snagging 29 points and 15 boards. Next door, Evan Turner added 26 more. (Hmmm. 55 from the forwards. OKC had … 55 from the forwards.) And senior swingman Jason Richardson, on his 42nd team in the last century, scored right at his 13-point average. Richardson, I suspect, will still be here in 2050. Make no mistake: these Sixers are good. But if you’re going to beat the Thunder, you get only 48 minutes to do it.

Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at home, against Charlotte, Houston and Utah respectively, then a quick trip to New Orleans on Saturday. Warning: this year’s Bobcats have utterly failed to suck.

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Negative Voltage

Motor Trend Editor-at-Large Angus MacKenzie divulged in his January column, historically devoted to the magazine’s Car of the Year selection, that two years earlier, the announcement of the Chevy Volt had drawn some, um, critical correspondence. An example:

I’ve seen your Car of the Year announcement and realize how fully and completely hollow your rag is. You pass your biases off as fact and outright lies to push your liberal agenda. The Volt is garbage and you know it, but you have crawled in bed with the gutless wannabe dictator Obama. I’m an electronics design engineer by trade, for 32 years, so I know what a crock the Volt is. Americans are not European pussies, like evidently you folks are. No one wants this piece of crap, and darn few will be sold. Only a social and political whore could have so completely sold out their integrity for a joke of a car no man with any balls could possibly want. It is not a triumph nor milestone, just a political waste of time and money.

Now what I want to know is this: why would someone ready to point an accusative finger at “European pussies,” or at a “social and political whore,” characterize the putatively low sales of the vehicle as a relatively bloodless “darn few?” Is there a little device in Microsoft Word to advise you that you’ve maxed out your pejoratives-per-paragraph quota? And if if the software is that smart, why didn’t it beep at the risible “fully … hollow?”

MacKenzie says this was one of the more polite letters that came in:

… no egregiously homophobic slurs, no sudden threats of grievous bodily harm, and no suggestion we’re acolytes of either Adolf Hitler or Karl Marx (hey, political theory is complicated stuff, y’know).

I’ve been critical of some MT stuff over the years — see, for instance, this evisceration of tech director Frank Markus for talking out of his exhaust manifold — but I try to keep the invective on target. Besides which, I am growing weary of this sudden upsurge, as it were, of guys who whine about how American manhood is under attack. Why so sensitive, bro?

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