From the “Yeah, but” files

This campus is expecting to pocket some cash as a result of a minor settings change:

The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay has switched the default font on its e-mail system from Arial to Century Gothic.

It says that while the change sounds minor, it will save money on ink when students print e-mails in the new font.

Diane Blohowiak is the school’s director of computing. She says the new font uses about 30 percent less ink than the previous one.

That could add up to real savings, since the cost of printer ink works out to about $10,000 per gallon.

I don’t question her numbers in the least — in fact, I’ve done the math on the cost of ink myself — but what kind of brain-dead doofus actually prints out email?

(Via Fark.)

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In lieu of a Scarlet Letter

If you live in New Jersey, you’re under 21, and you’ve only recently gotten your first driver’s license, starting in May you’ll be stuck in shore traffic required to display a red rectangle on both front and rear license plates so that you can more easily be spotted by law enforcement. (Of course, you’ll have to buy that rectangle from the Garden State, at a price of four bucks the set.)

Once you’ve completed your provisional period, you may discard the telltale piece of plastic.

This is something called “Kyleigh’s Law,” after a 16-year-old girl who was killed in a traffic accident. Frankly, I think we do a disservice to people when we slap their names on laws, especially bonehead laws of the OMG WE GOTTA DO SOMETHING variety.

(Via Autoblog.)

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Quote of the week

From Bill Quick’s back pages, an idea whose time has arrived, and then some:

Years ago I had a story published in Analog in which an American congress operated on the pain principle — every time it voted on something, the constituents of each representative could also vote, and the aggregate positive or negative opinion was translated immediately into either pain or pleasure (the deeper the division, the stronger the sensation) on the part of the representative.

The story revolved around the notion of a congressman who was so dedicated to what he believed was right, that he voted for something his constituents hated so much that the resulting pain killed him. His death, however, made him a martyr, and eventually helped his beliefs achieve ascendancy.

Although the author reminds you:

(Yes, I was much younger when I wrote this thing.)

Think of it as kinder, gentler term limits.

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“As the sun shows up … for a day,” the 366th Carnival of the Vanities materializes above the horizon.

Of course, if your desire is to let the sunlight in while keeping the solar heat out — and it well may, come summertime — you might be interested in Cardinal’s LoĒ³-366® Glass, which apparently does that very well.

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Sometimes you just don’t want to know

Is this one of those times?

Goodbye Kitty

(Seen at Picture Is Unrelated.)

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Political junkies we aren’t

Okay, we may devote a paragraph or two to this sort of thing once in a while, but I’ve long suspected that most people prefer to tune it out to the greatest extent possible.

There is indeed a disconnect between Washington and the electorate, says Jenn, but conservatives may be overestimating its effect:

Most people just aren’t that interested in politics and maintaining a high level of awareness and anger without generating backlash will be tough. Example — Last night Mr. X and I went to the pub down the street for dinner (they make an excellent French Dip sandwich) … while we were there Fox News was on and they started talking about health care. Someone hollered for [the] channel to be changed and there was an almost universal agreement. People are already tired of it.

Of course, what we really want to know is what they changed the channel to. ESPN, maybe? If they talk about health care, it’s because someone just went on the disabled list.

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Always call ahead

It makes things go so much more smoothly:

Police in Connecticut say even they were surprised by the actions of these criminals: two would-be robbers called a bank ahead of time to get the money ready and were arrested at the scene.

Fairfield police say they arrested 27-year-old Albert Bailey and an unidentified 16-year-old boy on robbery and threatening charges Tuesday afternoon at the People’s United Bank branch on Stratfield Road.

Sgt. James Perez says the two Bridgeport residents called the bank and told a worker to get a bag of money ready. Perez says they showed up at the bank 10 minutes later, but police had been notified and arrested the suspects in the parking lot.

Maybe they should have used the drive-in?

(Via Consumerist.)

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There is no Radio 6

Emalyse reports on channel-shuffling at the Beeb:

After weeks of speculation the BBC is to cut radio stations 6music (and if I hear one more ignoramus refer to it as radio 6 I swear I’ll explode. Pass the ammo) and the Asian network together with many web sites and youth orientated initiates whilst re-branding BBC radio 7 to Radio 4 extra (because it’d be strange to highlight the legacy of a missing number 6 station presumably) and trying to make Radio 2 ‘more distinctive’.

The motivations, she says, are transparent:

They are political in motive and designed to placate any future Murdoch/Cameron axis (of evil?) and the near certainty of a thorough butchering by the traditionally BBC-hostile Conservatives.

“Please don’t hurt us. As you can see, we’re already bleeding.” Followed, one assumes, by “Knife? What knife?”

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Where was this in February?

We begin with Sam Cooke:

Now I don’t mean to bother you but I’m in distress
There’s danger of me losing all of my happiness
For I love a girl who doesn’t know I exist
And this has me pissed

Okay, that last line isn’t Sam’s. But I’ve always been severely vexed with the little imp with the arrows, so I have to endorse Jennifer Love Hewitt’s new memoir The Day I Shot Cupid.

And in this promo shot, anyway, J. Love seems pleased with herself for having done the deed:

Jennifer Love Hewitt at book promo

Little bastard had it coming, if you ask me.

(From HuffPo via Smitty. We’ll leave it at that.)

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Now leaving the D zone

I suspect there will be many more statements like this in the next few weeks:

I’ll be changing my voting registration this week. I’ve been a Democrat since I was old enough to sign the card — and I signed it so I could vote in what was, I believe, some kind of special election or runoff for county sheriff, not for any presidential or statewide office. I may have voted Republican a number of times, but a look at who my party put up for office would show you why. I stayed a Democrat because of the members of that party who were worth admiring, like Harry Truman, John Kennedy, Henry Jackson, Thomas O’Neill, Daniel Moynihan and so on. Even though the leadership of my party came to be vested in people who couldn’t lead lemmings off a cliff, I stayed because it was about who I was and not who they were.

And no, he’s not becoming a Republican, which tells you something else.

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Rockets fail to launch

After that two-game skidlet, the Thunder took out all their frustrations on the Houston Rockets, rolling up a 74-57 halftime lead en route to a 122-104 conquest of a team that had beaten them three times already this season and ten times in succession before that.

Houston wielded the long ball well — in fact, they shot better from beyond the arc than from inside it — but every time they got a run going, the Thunder responded with one of their own. It didn’t help that Shane Battier and Jared Jeffries were sitting with injuries, although Rocket stalwarts Luis Scola (25 points) and Trevor Ariza (20) were their usual productive selves, and reserve point guard Kyle Lowry added 15 from the bench, actually outscoring starter Aaron Brooks (11). And just about everyone outscored Kevin Martin, who managed to get off only half a dozen shots all night.

The Thunder would get some big numbers tonight, shooting an awesome 58.8 percent, including eight of 16 treys, and blocking a dozen shots. (Serge Ibaka got four, including two on a single possession.) James Harden returned from his hamstring pull, and ran off 23 points in 26 minutes. Kevin Durant, by comparison, had 25 points in 31 minutes. Four other Thundermen were in double figures; backup point man Eric Maynor fell one assist short of a double-double. (OKC aggregated 30 assists on 47 made shots, indicating some serious ball movement.) The Thunder also narrowly won the battle of the boards, 41-37.

So this elevates my mood considerably before the Lakers get here Friday. And what’s more, the Nets won tonight — 93-79 over Sacramento — which must be considered a plus.

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Crime out of bytes

Symantec/Norton has evaluated the online risks that confront residents of the nation’s 50 largest cities, and apparently the overall risk is greatest in Seattle:

Seattle took the No. 1 spot by a huge margin, according to Symantec. It was the only city with top 10 scores in each category. Seattle took home the second-highest scores for risky behavior and number of Wi-Fi hot spots, and the third-highest scores for Internet access and online spending.

Almost 68 percent of Seattleites hop onto the Internet regularly, while 29 percent use it at least five times a day — both figures were highest among all cities studied. More people in Seattle (26 percent) go online to check their bank accounts and pay their bills than in any of the other 50 cities, said Symantec. The city also came in second for Wi-Fi access points, with more than 103 hot spots per 100,000 people.

As always with the promotion of these surveys, the focus is on the Top Ten: you want to know 11-50, you have to look elsewhere. Which I did. Oklahoma City comes in at 37th; Tulsa ranks 40th. Detroit was dead last. I did find one surprise: Dallas is mid-pack (22nd), but Fort Worth is near the bottom (46th).

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This he doesn’t knead

The Irritated Tulsan has been made more so by the presence of Bimbo®-branded bread in a North Tulsa supermarket. Of course, being the Irritated Tulsan, he made sport of it:

I’m not familiar with “Bimbo,” but I refuse to eat bread that has a whorish name.

I can’t stomach the words ‘bimbo’ and ‘yeast’ in the same product.

It’s economics antibiotics.

Suggested alternatives: Oroweat or Mrs Baird’s. We don’t have to tell him they’re also made by Bimbo.

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By any price necessary

There’s quid pro quo, and there’s whatever it was Bart Stupak got:

Poor Bart. What did he get for his sellout? He didn’t even get the lousy tee shirt, which at least has some practical utility. He doesn’t even get some mild respect from the swamp creatures on the Left, who spew their vitriol on him now that they don’t need him anymore. All he got was a legally non-binding piece of paper with a promise the President has no intention of keeping written on it. Mary Landrieu held out for $300 million; Bart will be lucky to get $10 for that executive order on eBay.

Maybe if he asks the President to sign it with twenty pens. (Which is actually, come to think of it, on the low side for this level of pomp and/or circumstance; reportedly LBJ used seventy-five pens to sign the Civil Rights Act in 1964.)

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The F is for “effrontery”

An aggrieved student addresses the professor:

The paper is so methodically written, that it needs no explaniation. I am so disappointed that you do not understand or see that. Do you seriously think that I don’t understand the topic inside and out? You are so mistaken, as I understood it enough to come up with an example that so vividly creates a perfect analogy to the difference between Mills and Rousseau. That paper is written to perfection whether you understand it or not! The leaders of our country and Japan created a stamp in history that is flawed just as any theory of justice by anyone will never be perfect. Don’t you get it Professor? How do you not see that the government morals and ideas of the U.S. and Japan can directly reflect the differences between Mills and Rousseau? It is clear as day to any person that understands good writing. I am an A student and that is an A paper, and always will be to me. I read some of the other students papers, and to me they were nonsense written to fill pages. I will apologize for this email if you can produce one paper written for this assignment that can come close to competing with the ideas in my paper. I can only dream of having someone like Bill Gates give me advice for this situation. But I will still go on to follow the path that God has paved for me regardless of your opinion, because I already had the guideness I needed to help me visualize my purpose. I want my grade changed, and I am sorry if I offend you by this email, but I put my heart and sole into my education and I believe in myself even if you don’t.

This dork has so much sense of entitlement and so little sense of propriety that he’s almost guaranteed a highly-paid government job somewhere down the line.

(Via Tony Woodlief.)

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Second verse, similar to the first

“It takes,” I said, “a certain amount of cheek to designate something which may or may not have a follow-up ‘Volume One’.”

Volume TwoPossession of cheek is herewith duly acknowledged. She & Him — “She” being alt-actress Zooey Deschanel, while studio wizard M. Ward is “Him” — have returned two years later with Volume Two, and it’s just as irresistible as its predecessor.

Part of the charm, I think, is the fact that Zooey’s voice doesn’t seem to go with her appearance: she looks like she’d be competing with the likes of Kate Bush for sheer top-of-the-staff wispiness, but she’s actually a warm, slightly throaty alto with old-fashioned countrypolitan overtones. She doesn’t venture too far out of her comfort zone, but then she writes most of this stuff, so she doesn’t have to. And Ward has apparently committed to memory every record made in the last fifty years, and can sound like any or all of them on short notice.

Volume Two, like Volume One before it, manages to keep its undeniable sweetness from becoming cloying. And the covers are more astutely chosen: NRBQ’s “Ridin’ in My Car,” staged as a vocal duet with girl-group overtones, and “Gonna Get Along Without You Now,” best-known as a 1956 single by the utterly-virginal Patience and Prudence, which Zooey conveys with — there’s no other way to describe it — wistful dismissal. The Deschanel originals are all over the map, but they’re all aimed directly at your heart. (“Don’t Look Back,” which opens with the line “Orpheus melted the heart of Persephone,” gives away the game.) Best of the lot: the a cappella lullaby “If You Can’t Sleep,” and the majorly-poppy “In the Sun.”

Do I have to wait until 2012 for Volume Three?

(Reviewed from purchased download.)

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Premium unleaded

Well, maybe not. Per this blurb in one of the NRA mags:

NOSLER has a lead-free version of its renowned Ballistic Tip Varmint bullet, initially offered in 0.204″, 32-gr.; 0.224″, 35 and 40 gr.; and 0.243″, 55 gr. Lead-Free Ballistic Tip Varmint bullets, which feature fragmenting cores and thin copper jackets, will have the same suggested retail price as standard Ballistic Tip bullets.

I was wondering “Why bother?” when I decided to call up Nosler’s Web site, and found this proud legend: “Certified For Use In California’s Non-lead Zone.” But of course. Here’s the Department of Fish and Game page explaining the deal.

Now, though, I’m curious. Is there a major disadvantage to doing without lead in the process of taking down varmints?

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The saga of Person 1

Steve Sailer, who thinks about these things a lot more than I do, on the question of whether you should attempt to screw with the Census:

[T]he organized pressure groups have thought about this a lot harder than you have.

For example, if you are a non-Hispanic white person who fills in his race as “Human” or “American,” you have merely made the burden the government imposes on your family members via disparate impact lawsuits worse…

As far as I can tell, the best thing you can do for yourself and your loved ones is to answer these questions honestly. If you are white and non-Hispanic, and you put that down on the Census form, then the quotas for protected groups will be smaller than if you try to be clever and put down something else.

Of course, if you expect to change ethnicity between now and the first of April, you can probably put down anything you like with impunity.

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Glimmer Twins power: Enact!

That’s the only reason I can think of for Keith Richards showing up in Washington for this health-care thing.

Washington photo-op

Say what? Oh, that’s not Keith Richards?

Whoops. Sorry.

(Via Dawn Eden’s Facebook page.)

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This is not on a need-to-know basis

At least, not for me. Then again, I am fascinated by this sort of thing, presumably for the usual genetic reasons. Anna Lefler explains how to put on a sports bra, and apparently there are two prerequisites. No, not those prerequisites, smartass:

3. Take a moment to ask yourself the following questions:

   A. Am I naked from the waist up?

   B. Have I removed my glasses?

If the answer to either is “no,” make the necessary adjustments and return to Step 1.

There are, in fact, twelve steps.

(Spotted by Erica, who says it’s “totally factual.” So there.)

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