Totally tubeless

One of many attempts over the years to make “support” hosiery look a little less clinical:

Mid-1960s ad for Vyrene fiber by Uniroyal

Yes, that’s the same Uniroyal that makes tires, though they’re now owned by Michelin. As U. S. Rubber, their one big success in apparel — you never see Vyrene anymore — was the casual shoe once known as U. S. Keds, now simply Keds. (Stride Rite, a Wolverine subsidiary, currently owns the brand.)

As for the lovely Valma Valle, we find her here sporting a Beatle ‘do.

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This is not a bill

But they’re hoping you pay it anyway:

We get literally (as they would say on the TV show Archer, literally literally and not figuratively literally) hundreds of paper bills to pay each month in our business. We can barely keep up just with paying them all, much less vetting every one. Which is what scam artist marketers count on when they craft fake bills they spam to businesses in hopes that some percentage, in their hustle and bustle, will pay the bills without knowing they are fraudulent.

These letters really, really tick me off. They are sent by people who apparently cannot sell a product or service on its own merits and so must trick harried business people into accidentally sending them money.

I’ve gotten stuff like that before. The perpetrators should be dropped on the second-nearest ice floe and left to the mercy of Mother Nature, who over the years has proven herself reliably indifferent in such matters.

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Bar none, and we mean none

Then again, there’s a reason for it other than a failure by your miserable wireless provider:

Green Bank, W. Va, is a tech-savvy teenager’s nightmare. In this tiny town in Pocahontas County — population 143 — wireless signals are illegal. No cell phones. No WiFi. No radio. No Bluetooth. No electronic transmitters at all. You’re not even allowed to cozy up to an electric blanket.

The remote town is smack in the center of the National Radio Quiet Zone, a 13,000 square mile stretch of land designated by the Federal Communications Commission to protect two government radio telescopes from man-made interference. The rules, though, are most strict in Green Bank’s neck of the woods. So strict, actually, that a policeman roves the streets listening for verboten wireless signals.

This is the apparatus being protected. And not everyone has a problem with the ban, either:

It’s actually drawn people from all across the United States to settle down. Sufferers of electromagnetic hypersensitivity — a disease supposedly caused by wireless signals, but dismissed by the scientific community — have moved into the electronic dead space.

I await a study showing that their conditions have improved — or that they haven’t.

(Via Hit Coffee.)

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What’s your desire?

In 1963, Tim Rose, one-third of the folk group The Big 3, came up with a radical rearrangement of an old Stephen Foster chestnut, which went like this:

Which is, after all, the folk process in action: adapt and reuse.

A mere six years later, though, it turned into this:

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Some shifty individual

From the Unclear on the Concept files:

I'm pretty certain I have to change the ATF, can I just drive it in manual instead? well I assumed since it is called Automatic Transmission Fluid, It only uses it when it's in automatic

Wait until he finds out he has suspensions, both front and rear. He’ll probably try to talk his way out of them.

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Picture this

As expected, following his arrest on domestic-abuse charges last weekend, guard DeAndre Liggins has been waived by the Oklahoma City Thunder. It’s that whole “character” thing, you know.

Also as expected: Liggins released a statement thanking the team for what they’d done for him in the past.

Not as expected: He released it on Instagram.

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Following along

This isn’t a bet I’d have placed, but anything can happen:

A Stortford man has placed a bet with bookmakers that his 15-year-old daughter — upcoming singer Shakila — will be the first person to reach 100 million followers on social networking site Twitter.

Karim Ullah placed the £10 bet with William Hill at odds of 1000-1.

If he wins, Mr Ullah has pledged to donate his £10,000 winnings to the children’s charity Barnardo’s.

A thousand to one? Maybe on the Charlotte Bobcats, who in 2014-15 will evolve into the Charlotte Hornets, something Darwin never anticipated.

Am I following the young lady at @1shakila? Sure, why not? I came in at #2,351, so she has only 99,997,649 to go. Last I looked, Justin Bieber was over 44 million.

(Via the Daily Dot.)

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Endless summer

You may have seen this in my tweetstream yesterday:

Actually, I can remember a September that started out worse than this one, and that was September 2000:

First: One hundred six! (Forty-one Celsius; it doesn’t help.) And it’s supposed to get warmer over the weekend. Water pressure isn’t suffering — yet.

Second: I quit counting at 108; if it got any warmer than that, I don’t want to know about it. [It didn’t.]

Third: What kind of bizarre recipe is Mother Nature following here? “Preheat to 100-plus, then bake for weeks at a time.” I suppose we should be grateful we aren’t being marinated. Meanwhile, all the moisture we’re supposed to be getting is falling on people who are already sick of it.

Fourth: The temperature dipped to a frosty 106 today, and there were actual signs of rain scattered around the eastern fringes, but nothing close to the Big Town. The worst, at least, seems to be over — until, of course, we start importing air from Canada’s Northwest Territories, which will start some time in the next sixty days.

Fifth: The temperature today inexplicably failed to make it into the triple digits today, and may fail to do so again tomorrow.

Sixth: As the weather shifts back into a more normal sort of pattern — it now feels like August in Oklahoma instead of July in Senegal — I can now concentrate on all the other things that annoy me no end.

No weather-related entry on the seventh.

And I was perhaps being unfair to Senegal, whose interior is the blast furnace; the coast, where most of the population lives, tends to be merely warm and rather moist in July. For comparison, the Tambacounda region, in eastern Senegal, once posted a high of 129°F.

For the record, there was no rain in Oklahoma City in September 2000 until the 22nd: 1.73 inches fell over the next two days. Daily highs: 22nd, 96; 23rd, 80; 24th, 56. Thank you, Canada. Said I on the 25th: “Life on the Lone Prairie has its drawbacks, especially if you have some notion that climate ought to be comfy.”

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A view from the horizontal

The title of this new blog minces no words: “Paraplegia Sucks.”

Just the one post for now, but it’s scary enough.

Update: A second post has arrived.

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Peremptory Claus

Fercryingoutloud, we only just got through with Labor Day, and already we got Christmas on the radio?

Clear Channel’s 100.9 K265CA Albuquerque is now “Santa 100.9” via 104.1 KTEG-HD2 Santa Fe. The translator recently completed its upgrade to 250 watts from Sandia Peak giving it a signal comparable to a Class A FM.

Stunting, perhaps? Probably not:

Normally we’d expect a Christmas microformat this early in the season to likely be a short-term deal, however when you add translators to what is already a market with more signals than normal we can easily see Clear Channel going for the publicity it will get by starting Christmas music before the Fall book even begins.

To which I have now contributed. I hereby denounce myself.

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Continuing education

For the last couple of years, Rebecca Black had been homeschooled. Not this year, though: she let it be known in this thread that she was back in a formal classroom, as a presumably ordinary high-school junior. (And that’s a nice pair of Chucks.)

Also, she got an impromptu voice lesson:

Which did, I admit, make me chuckle.

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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:

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