They deliver

Miriam is happy to defend the Postal Service — they come to her house, after all — and suggests other targets for your anti-government wrath:

If you want to get rid of a government agency, here are a few suggestions: the IRS, the Education Department, the State Department — I could think of more if I had the time. How far would you carry a letter for 50 cents? Or even a dollar? Not bloody far, I’ll bet.

Perhaps we should ask the Canadians. Says Wikipedia:

In terms of area serviced, Canada Post delivers to a larger area than the postal service of any other nation, including Russia (where service in Siberia is limited largely to communities along the railway).

But they charge, for the moment, 63 cents for a letter up to 30g. And God only knows how much of an “emergency” increase the USPS wants.

Personally, I’d be fine with a buck: not only would it not raise my expenses too awfully much, but it would absolutely ruin AARP, which sends me crap just about every other week now. (Yes, I am that spiteful.)

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Why bring this up?

Morgan Freeberg has a neologism for us:

A regurgication is an education dealing entirely with either muscle-memory, memorized verbiage, memorized glossary entries, foreign language accents, or anything else that is entirely separated from command of the topical concepts. Accomplished scholars who have fulfilled all the requirements of their regurgication will be able to reliably pass entrance exams, questionnaires and interviews, so long as none of these challenges demand too much by way of what’s called “thinking on your feet.” But they won’t be able to detect contradictions in the material, nor will they be able to respond intelligently to someone else who has found such a contradiction.

Some things, of course, you have to memorize: think “multiplication tables.” (You can’t assume we’ll always have calculators handy.) But if I’ve escaped this particular form of miseducation, it’s simply because I have had the useful combination of decent recall and the ability to reword stuff more or less on the fly.

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And watch where you walk

This is just about wide enough for a spite fence:

Two Wall Street financiers locked horns and bid each other up in a face-to-face auction for an overgrown 1,885-foot-long strip of land, just 1 foot wide, running through the dunes to the sea, a local official on Long Island said Thursday.

The winning bid was $120,000.

Which is a bit over $2.7 million per acre, a ton of money even in the Hamptons. This is the part that gets me, though:

[T]he strip of land in Napeague, in East Hampton, had been acquired ten years ago by the county for non-payment of taxes by the owner.

The county decided to sell it off for just $10 and offered it to the owners of six adjoining properties. Four did not respond.

And the other two got into a bidding war. Sheesh.

I am forced to conclude that the winner, an investment banker, owns the distribution rights to pre-sliced, rustproof, easy to handle, low calorie Simpson’s Individual Emperor Stringettes, free from artificial coloring, as used in hospitals.

(Via Bayou Renaissance Man.)

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Surely this can’t be a feature

This is what happens when you reply to a tweet with a #reallylonghashtag with the New, Improved TweetDeck:

Screen shot from TweetDeck

Stop it from quoting the whole hashtag, you say? As if.

Project: Rollback begins this evening.

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A template in the wild

If you’ve ever wondered if maybe all the comment spam in the world is derived from a single template — well, this doesn’t prove anything, but it’s awfully curious. And it’s below the jump because it’s very, very (3000 words) long:

Read the rest of this entry »

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What the cat dragged in

Hello Kitty beerThat fruity-looking stuff in the can is, in fact, Hello Kitty beer, brewed in Taiwan and sold in China:

The Hello Kitty brew, licensed by the Shanghai KT trading company and made by Taiwanese beer maker Long Chuan, comes in at least six tropical flavors, from passion fruit to banana… the beers are only 2.3 percent alcohol by volume.

Two point three? That’s near near-beer.

Says Kotaku in a review:

[T]hese beers are dangerous. They’re so ridiculously smooth and tasty that one can barely tell they’re drinking beer. It’s almost like drinking fruit juice.

The guy in the corner nursing a Mike’s Hard Lemonade is laughing his face off.

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Call your own privates

My little call-interception device has logged several fresh numbers with the dubious notation “PRIVATE CALL.” This is not new, of course; it just means that a new boiler room full of grit-eating, scum-sucking, pencil neck geeks has sprung up. Most of the ones I’ve been getting, for some reason, have had Los Angeles (213) numbers affixed.

Technically, this is not Caller ID spoofing, unless the actual numbers are faked. And there are, theoretically anyway, reasons why this sort of thing should not be discouraged:

On my phone, the caller id turns up a “Private Call” using this method [*67]. Seems like a smart way to keep your number to yourself when you want to avoid making it known to the world. Of course, this is probably also the pervy stalkers single greatest weapon. Please use only for good.

And if you’re calling me with it, be advised that you’re wasting your time: I reject all such calls out of hand.

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I’ve seen enough hen tie

So apparently what happened was this: Marisa wrote up an article about Oklahomans’ search choices with SafeSearch turned off, and Patrick, for perfectly valid reasons, did the search-and-replace on some of the more questionable words.

Which, of course, made those suddenly less-questionable words look more questionable. For instance:

[W]hile we spend a lot of time in Oklahoma celebrating all the lists we end up on, this one is truly special. We have some of the longest visit durations to corn sites in the United States. That’s way better than being told how fat we are, right?

I’ll never be able to look high-fructose corn syrup in the eye, ever again.

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Flat wonderful?

Ann Althouse just bought a pair of these, and she’s quite pleased with them:

KEEN Sienna Mary Jane

This is Sienna, a sweet little Mary Jane by KEEN, in a color called “Gargoyle.” (Also available in tortoise-shell and black.)

What Althouse had to say about them:

I was able to walk out of the shoe store in the new shoes, walk a mile, ride a bike for 2 miles, and walk another mile — in brand new shoes — and arrive home without my feet hurting…

Then again, she probably wouldn’t have done that had she not broken a shoe — right outside a shoe store.

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Fark blurb of the week

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Code revealed

After about seventeen point something years of writing this screwy HTML junk, I’m almost out of practice on proper word processors. Which is just as well, since proper word processors blow chunks:

Word processors are aggravating as hell. They never get it right. You tell them to do something and they get it wrong. You tell them to do something the same way twice in a row and you get two different results. The rituals required to get ANY results are arcane and inconsistent. Asking for consistency is asking for the blood to go back in the moon. The documentation sucks. For example: In Open Office (version 4) — TRY to find a list of what all the special characters mean. Just TRY.

You already know what I think of OpenOffice 4.

I wonder if I can get this old version (5.1, 6 November 1989) of WordPerfect to load up.

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Persons of greater dedication

Compared to me, that could mean almost anyone, actually, but especially her:

Around 10 PM, I finished another short story. Which meant over Labor Day Weekend, I managed to rack up 32k words of fiction. So, I surpassed my goal of 30k for my unofficial participation in the 3-Day Novel Contest. I’m actually less impressed with the word count and more impressed that I actually finished two stories in three days. I think that has to be a record somewhere.

Over the same three days I came up with 696 words of actual fiction, and threw away about 100 more. I was hoping to have the story in question finished by late July, but now I’m thinking it will drag on into 2014.

Jealous? No, not really. Just measuring one of the vectors in between potential and productivity.

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A succession of Boehners

The Republicans, noise level notwithstanding, aren’t anywhere close to affecting the national agenda:

The ability of the Dems to lead the American media (and the Republicans) by the nose from the swings to the tricky bars to the slides to the sandbox is formidable. Excellence is alive and well in the hollowed out America of Holder (my people; territory = nationhood), Jones (I’m a commie), Jarrett (we love Van), Glover (Chavez and Castro suck up), Bloomberg (eat your veggies), Goldberg (whoopee cushion; DDR suck up), Sharpton (depart white interlopers), the New York Times (Duranty who?), Cone (black liberation theology; kill whitey), Winfrey (sweet, sweet grievance, I thee embrace), Biden (Peter Principle), Roberts (it’s a righteous tax), Zinn (garbage America), Reid (send more Mexicans), Maher (The Finger), and The Man with No Past.

The really distressing aspect of this, if you ask me, is that so many of these nonentities are household words.

One could argue, perhaps, that a thousand years from now, not one of these individuals organisms will be remembered. But then one is forced to hope that there’s something left to remember, a thousand years from now.

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Cascading sales

Buried in this thinly disguised stock tout from AOL Autos is this little factoid:

Washington State is actually the best state per capita for Tesla, with Washingtonians buying one Tesla per every 100 vehicles sold. The Seattle metro area has, of course, quite a concentration of dot.com and silicon millionaires being home to Microsoft and a long list of supplier companies to the digital and software giant.

Now one percent doesn’t sound like a whole lot of market share, but nationwide, Tesla is on pace to move 21,000 cars this year in a total nationwide market of somewhere around 14 million, in the general vicinity of 0.15 percent. I’m guessing that cheap kilowatts — bless you, hydroelectric power — make the all-electric Tesla look six times more appealing in the shadow of Mount Rainier, and that the presence of Microsofties is a minor factor at best.

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Perhaps a tad overextended

I mean, he put up something like £76,000 to own this car:

Quoted £400 per tyre for Nissan GT R, does anyone know of cheaper tyres in S.E England?

Wonder if he’s had his 30,000-km service yet.

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My little Bundys

A concoction by *doubleWbrothers called “Married (with Cadence)”:

With Shining Armor as Al Bundy

Pertinent comment left at EqD, not by me:

Instead of scoring 4 touchdowns in one game, Shining can tell the story of how he once tossed his wife against a evil unicorn-cloud-thingy.

I’m sure he has.

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