Taming the wild iTunes beast

In my ongoing battle with iTunes 10.7 (q.v.) I have temporarily gained the upper hand, by the expedient of cutting back on hardware acceleration though the DxDiag function in Windows, which defaulted to Absolute Freaking Maximum. I cranked it back to Basic and restarted iTunes. Definite improvement. What it may have done to any other applications running — well, we’ll figure that one out later.

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The blinkers are off

That old guy plodding along in the left lane at 15 below the speed limit? Not me. At least, not for a while yet.

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Your recommended daily allowance of irony

Sometimes the title says it all: Kickstarter Project For Book On How To Fund Kickstarter Projects Failed To Fund Itself On Kickstarter.

Nik Cubrilovic, who tweeted this little flame-out, said: “I bookmarked it thinking if this fails, it is going to be hilarious.” And he was right.

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Tomato ripple

Fishersville Mike, on the difficulty of unifying all the special-interest groups comprising the Democratic base:

Some people like ketchup.
Some like ice cream.
Not many like ketchup ice cream.

I’m waiting for Ben & Jerry to come out with a commemorative flavor: Gregory Heinz. (Hey, if it worked for Cherry Garcia…)

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Strange search-engine queries (348)

Time once again for a colorful romp, into the server and through the logs, to Grandmother’s house we go looking for some evidence that the bounty of searchable material housed here might have produced some slightly off-center search strings. Never been a problem before, right?

how do i know if i have a 3 or 4 speed in 87 626:  Shift into fourth. If nothing happens, you have a three-speed.

what holds the transmission:  A hoist, waiting for you to sign the check so it can be installed.

Fat burning furnace make your text bigger, bold, italic and more with HTML tags. We’ll show you how:  Trust me, if HTML tags could burn fat, Web designers would be the skinniest people on the planet. Which they aren’t.

crossdressers willing to be pierced tattoed and branded by men:  Doesn’t sound like any Web designers I know.

stockingsThings That Turn a Guy on:  Well, not by themselves, as a rule, though your mileage may vary, especially if you’re a crossdresser. Or a Web designer.

how to prepare kudzu as a garnish:  Boil the living crap out of it at high heat for 12 minutes. Then wrap and throw away. (Do not hurl into the back yard, lest it take root.)

moozilla anal:  Then again, Firefox can be a genuine pain in the ass.

monophonic it’s there:  And only there.

“take off your panties” “john marshall”:  Why, Mr. Justice Story, I didn’t know you cared.

zooey deschanel is not a nerd:  Nice try, but it still won’t get you her phone number.

Remark on the saying “no writer writes in a vacuum”:  I never had to. My writing always sucked on its own.

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Save the date

Good news, everyone: Mercury goes retrograde on Election Day.

The overall effect, I predict, will be the equivalent of discovering, two weeks after you went off to the pound to get a puppy for the kids, that it was a direct descendant of Cerberus and had already started sprouting its second head, with a third presumably on the way, and furthermore, that there’s a worldwide shortage of gin.

Discuss amongst yourselves.

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Worst intersection ever?

The clusterfark that is Northwest Distressway at Belle Isle Boulevard is now considered the most dangerous intersection in town, with approximately one crash every other day. (Lucky me, I go through that intersection ten times a week.) One particular incident is cited to demonstrate the junction’s insatiable appetite for souls:

Adam Steele, 35, a land surveyor and marathon runner, was riding his new motorcycle to meet some friends that evening.

He took the Interstate 44 westbound off-ramp to Northwest Expressway. As the curve brought him to the intersection at Belle Isle Boulevard, he collided with Colleen Argue, 48, of Vian, who was driving a Jeep west on Northwest Expressway.

The two lanes they were in are separated by a 3-foot-tall concrete barrier leading to the intersection. Argue’s lane is intended for drivers to go straight on Northwest Expressway only, and a traffic sign indicates this with an arrow pointing straight ahead. However, Argue turned the Jeep right into the path of Steele. His motorcycle hit her Jeep. He wasn’t wearing a helmet and suffered fatal injuries.

Now if your next question is “Why would she turn right, in front of a Jersey barrier?” here’s your answer:

Argue told a police officer her GPS voice command told her to turn right, and she did so, crossing into the path of Steele’s motorcycle.

O wicked demon of GPS, luring the unwary into the realm of destruction!

Though after nine years of commuting through this concrete hellhole, I believe the real problem is not so much people failing to comprehend the barrier, but people thinking that just one more car into the intersection after the light turns red couldn’t possibly make any difference. It’s at the point now where if I’m at the head of the line when the green comes on, I count up to three Mississippi before hitting the gas, just in case one of those dillholes runs the light.

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Sailor Moon is full

Anastasiya ShpaginaWhat’s this? A young lady fresh from the pages of a manga? It would so seem. But no: this is not some escaped character from what used to be called Japanimation, but an actual 19-year-old, born in Ukraine, who has gone to considerable lengths to look like an anime girl, with the oversized eyes and the nipped-in waist and a general appearance of wispiness.

Anastasiya Shpagina is five foot two and weighs about 90 lb — more like 85 without all the eye makeup.

Although this is the part I find slightly alarming:

It is thought Shpagina may go even further in her efforts to achieve her desired look, with some reports claiming she intends to undergo surgery on her eyes to make her resemble her anime idols even more closely.

Well, okay, if you say so.

(From a Steven Den Beste comment to this Zoopraxiscope post.)

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Nutty talk

Whatever you do, don’t mention the bilateral orchidectomy:

Italy’s highest court [has] ruled that telling a man he has “no balls” as an insult is a crime punishable with a fine because it hurts male pride in a ruling on a curious row between two cousins.

The case was brought to the supreme court by a lawyer named only as Vittorio against his cousin Alberto, a justice of the peace, for the phrase uttered during a heated courtroom exchange in the southern Italian city of Potenza.

Hitler, having exceeded the threshold by one, declined comment. Not sure about Castro, though.

(From Dave Barry via Finestkind Clinic and fish market.)

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Relieving excess diversity

I griped about my tag-handling abilities a month or so ago:

What bothers me is that there are nearly 10,000 tags, and I didn’t start tagging stuff until 2009. I’ve done several consolidation sessions — there didn’t, for instance, need to be a dozen different Chevrolet tags, and I cut them down to five — but until we start getting some 36-hour days around here, I’m not going to have time to clean up this mess.

In the absence of 36-hour days, there exists a WordPress plugin which I swear I didn’t see before. In about twenty seconds, it removed 192 tags that were never attached to posts. This still leaves me with 9800, but somehow that doesn’t look so bad.

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Faithful and Strong

Equestria Daily used to have a tag reading “Twilight Sparkle is Truly the Cutest and Most Bestest Pony.” Well, maybe. This much I do know: Tara Strong, voice actor for Twilight and certainly cute, was guest of honor at Canterlot Gardens this weekend, and she had the temerity to show up actually sort of cosplaying Twi:

Tara Strong is best unicorn

The crowd, of course, was delighted.

To all you wordsmiths: “Most bestest” was their term, not mine.

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That ship has sailed

In fact, you can’t even pick it up on radar anymore.

Something called the Campaign to Defeat Barack Obama sent me this little tidbit, buried in (of course) a plea for donations:

the Susquehana Polling & Research survey of 800 voters in Pennsylvania showed Obama up over by Romney by only 2-percentage points (47%-45%) with the margin of error of 3.5% – so the race in the delegate-rich swing state of Pennsylvania is a tie!

Two points here:

  • “Susquehanna” has two N’s.
  • The conventions are over. Nobody gives a flip about “delegates.”

On the upside, at least CDBO is a PAC with a name that matches its mission: too many of them have designations like “Americans for a More American America,” or some similar tautological twaddle. Then again, CDBO once endorsed Newt Gingrich, which may explain the clutching-at-straws flavor of their fundraising mail.

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This is kind of creepy, when you think about it:

Miss Cellania’s explanation:

Thirty-two metronomes are started off in pretty much random beats. Over time, they sync up with each other, sort of like the positive feedback resonance people on a walking bridge experience, which has caused troubles in the past. See, the surface they sit on is suspended, so that each device’s “bounce” affects the others. Watch the pink metronome on the right, second row from the front. It tries to maintain its individuality, but even he eventually bows to the pressure of the sympathetic vibration on the suspended surface and falls in line with the horde.

Obvious metaphor is obvious.

(Via The Daily What Geek.)

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Thoughts on a rainy fall day

Actually, judging by the enormous number of subjects I haven’t saved up, it would appear as though I have no thoughts at all. In an act of sheerest desperation, I am proclaiming an Open Thread, under the assumption that some of you do not have this problem.

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I still think of myself as a blue-collar sort of guy, which probably explains my delight with this commentary hiding in a Murilee Martin automotive review:

When I got this car, I was all set to make a very clever comparison between Apple and Audi, based on my observations that the crossover between owners of products from both companies is so high. However, that idea crashed like a Quadra 650 showing a Sad Mac when I saw the head-spinning complexity of this car’s controls and displays… Steve Jobs figured out that ordinary users of electronics (e.g., your grandma) don’t want complexity. They don’t even want on/off controls, it turns out, because they don’t want to learn new stuff. If Jobs had consulted on the design of this car, it would have about six controls and one big primary-color gauge showing Driving Situation Quality or some such Cupertinonian metric.

Which is what you need to know, right?

However, the thing that Audi products do have in common with Apple products is compelling design. The A7 is beautiful, of course (just as the packaging around your new Macbook is beautiful), and it features intimidatingly correct ergonomics throughout. At this point, we need to think about the person the A7 buyer wants to be; in my mind, this person is a man with cruelly small rimless glasses who works as a “creative” in some discipline that requires him to be conversant in the work of impenetrable philosophers like Lacan, while demonstrating insider knowledge of obscure facets of urban popular culture (say, the acid house scene of Minsk). He lives in an edgy neighborhood in some unearthly expensive city (Helsinki, Singapore, etc.) and he experiences physical pain when exposed to a piece of bad design. In other words, the kind of guy who always made me feel like a total ignorant, mouth-breathing schlub in grad school and even today reduces me to a state of excessive italicization.

In other news, Minsk has an acid-house scene.

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In which it is turned up

Well, we got a Behind the Scenes video from that Rebecca Black concert, which looks like this:

At least we now know the set list, which includes all four of her singles, a cover of “Friend” from the soundtrack of A Cinderella Story, and a new song which seems to be called “In Your Words.”

And I have to admit, she’s having a whole lot more fun than I did at fifteen.

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