Isn’t it great?

A lesson in self-acceptance, inspired by the wiser-than-we-thought Derpy Hooves:

This is here mostly because I need it from time to time.

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Not to be confused with “sembling”

Smitty has a neologism to offer:

The sense of the word prevaricate seems to be a sequence of fact distortion moving from false to true, as investigation drags facts to light.

Maybe one of the few genuine “accomplishments” of this administration is creation of a new form of lying: postvarication, where the truth is served up for the target audience, and then a pile of hooey follows for the purported rubes. Postvarication goes from true to false.

Not that this necessarily replaces the old forms of lying, which are still getting plenty of use on both sides of the aisle, but hey — progress!

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Free the radicals!

Why, if it weren’t for free-radical polymerization in aqueous solution, we’d never have Orlon:

Orlon hosiery

This particular ad — by DuPont, which no longer produces acrylic fibers — appeared in the summer of 1966, just as people were noticing that kicks just keep getting harder to find.

(I turned 13 that year. Imagine how traumatic this was for me.)

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Semi-instant quasi-feedback

There’s a lot to be said for having the price posted right in front of you:

Quick — in your last fill up, how much did you pay for gas? About how many gallons did you use?

If you are like most people, you can probably come pretty close to this. I paid somewhere just north of $4.00 for about 18 gallons.

Shell V-Power, 9.9 gallons, $3.919 each.

OK, second set of questions: On your last electric bill, how much did you pay per KwH? How many KwH did it take to run your dishwasher last night?

Eight point four cents; and I don’t own a dishwasher.

Don’t know? I don’t think you are alone. I don’t know the answers to the last questions. Part of the reason is that gas prices are posted on every corner, and we stare at a dial showing us fuel used every time we fill up. There is nothing comparable for electricity — particularly for an electric car.

Well, electric meters are fairly easy to read, but you can’t single out any one item: even a so-called “smart” meter won’t tell you if it’s the fridge or the bedroom lamp or the security light that just kicked over a digit.

Addendum: New rates are in play as of the current electric bill, which only just arrived.

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Frontiers in synthetic oil

No, not for your engine. This is another oil entirely:

The olive oil you buy in the store is probably not olive oil. Back when olive oil got to be popular the Mafia got involved. Now what you get is canola oil colored with a little chlorophyll. You can tell the difference by putting it in the fridge. Real olive oil will coagulate, canola oil won’t. There is an outfit in Australia that tests olive oil. They started up a few years ago and so far they have not found any real olive oil.

Well, not a lot of it, anyway, and what they found often wasn’t all that great. Then again, I tend to get suspicious of stuff that can be sold for ten bucks a quart, even if it’s 5W-20.

(Normally this is where I would say something along the lines of “Popeye was not available for comment,” but there are times when I regret my keen grasp of the obvious, and this is one of them.)

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Howard the Doc

In a piece on why the Democrats ostensibly have “no bench,” Steve Sailer asks: “Whatever happened to Howard Dean?”

As you’ll recall, Dean was the Democratic frontrunner for all of 2003 due to his opposition to the Iraq war, but when he finished 3rd in Iowa and gave his supporters a high school coach-style war whoop to keep them motivated, he was immediately discarded in favor of the big stiff John Kerry. As a consolation prize after Kerry lost, the Democrats made Dean chairman of the party for 2005-2009, where he did, by all accounts, an excellent job, bringing his campaign’s Internet sophistication to the party in the service of tying the liberal base to the Democratic brand and helping the Democrats win the House in 2006 and 2008.

To me, Dr. Dean looks like the natural leader of the liberal wing of the Democratic Party. I suspect other people think so, too, which may be why he’s on the shelf.

One of Sailer’s commenters suggested:

Dean pissed off some significant figures, including Rahm Emanuel, during his tenure at the DNC. And I think 60-something white guy is just not the direction the Dems are ever going to go for the foreseeable future.

Dean is 63. And I always figured his problem was anger management. Cam Edwards, now at but then a local radio guy, quipped: “I look at Howard Dean and see a guy who’s going to invade Mexico because Taco Bell got his order wrong.”

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Running Amox

So far as I know, I am allergic to exactly one substance on the face of the earth, and it’s this stuff:

Like a good little patient, I took the week’s work of Amoxicillin. Side effects: rising blood pressure, insomnia, mental confusion, stress.

None of those things is exactly new to me — my blood pressure is usually decently controlled unless I overdo the sodium or something — but I get some distinctive symptoms anyway: I break out in a red facial rash, like I’d spent half an hour trying to use an onion for aftershave, and my hands get unbelievably itchy, to the point that scalding water seems delightful by comparison.

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Corianderthal Man

You may be genetically hardwired to dislike cilantro:

Julia Child loathed the stuff, one in six Nature staff (informally surveyed) says it tastes of soap, and a popular website collects haiku poems denouncing it. Now, researchers are beginning to identify genetic variants behind the mixed reception for the herb Coriandrum sativum, which North American cooks know as cilantro, and their British counterparts call coriander.

Now the last time I had a really good taste of soap, I’d earned it, having said something unkind (and almost unprintable) about one of the kids in the neighborhood, so I’m not making the connection here, but then I wasn’t one of the research subjects:

[R]esearchers led by Nicholas Eriksson at the consumer genetics firm 23andMe, based in Mountain View, California, asked customers whether coriander tasted like soap and whether or not they liked the herb. The researchers identified two common genetic variants linked to people’s “soap” perceptions. A follow-up study in a separate sub-set of customers confirmed the associations.

(Via this syaffolee tweet. She “loves the stuff.”)

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With charity toward Faith

“Sometimes,” said FYI news babe Corky Sherwood, “this body is such a curse.” (I loved that line so much I made a post title out of it.) Faith Ford, who turns 48 tomorrow, probably wouldn’t toss off a line like that anymore, but she hasn’t gone Full Matronly just yet:

Faith Ford at the Prom premiere

This shot dates from the spring of ’11, at the premiere of the Disney teen flick Prom, in which Ford plays mom to Aimee Teagarden, class president who is determined to make this year’s event the Best Prom Ever, despite minor problems like, oh, a fire in the shed where the decorations were stored.

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Fark blurb of the week

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Cheap stuff, Aisle 6

I’m not really sure what this wireless customer is all butthurt about:

She has tethering on her smartphone, which lets her use her phone as a mobile Internet hotspot. Yes, apps exist that can help you get around this limitation. Officially, if you want to tether, you generally have to pay for a data plan that includes it. [She] was paying for a $30/month plan, but learned that she was grandfathered in, and a cheaper plan existed. Sure, the cheaper plan only includes two gigabytes of data, but she never uses that much anyway. It costs $10 less. She wanted to alert her fellow Sprint customers to this change, and complain that the company didn’t let her know she had an opportunity to give them less money in exchange for capped data.

The $30 plan apparently included 5 GB.

Now my first thought is “Geez, you can look up plans ’til you’re blue in the face. Why didn’t you?” But this seems rather peremptory, so I’m willing to entertain other suggestions.

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And still more on engine mounts

So I had two of the miserable beasties replaced, and things underhood were delightfully unbuzzy for about, oh, 75 miles.

Then, I’m thinking, the other mounts got jealous: “Hey, we want some attention too!” Like I have an extra thousand to lavish on them all of a sudden.

Some days it’s not worth even gnawing through the straps.

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Your first issue for 2016

The conservative — or anti-crony capitalist, anyway — argument for single-payer health care, in preference to whatever the hell it is we have now:

[It] would be more open and honest, with an easier to understand relation between inputs and outputs. Reasonably designed it would also almost certainly be simpler for the end-user. Meanwhile Obamacare commandeers a patchwork of insurance companies, who (therefore) become essentially yet more GSEs to distort the economy, their function being to launder the left’s socialist aims in opaque and rent-seeking ways, and also largely preserves the (dumb) connection between health care and employment. This gives the end user even more confusing bureaucracies to deal with from the IRS to the “exchanges” to their companies’ HR ladies just to see a doctor.

I once joked that I’d be in favor of single-payer, if that single payer were George Soros. At least, I think it was a joke.

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Who is this Ghanif?

Junk fax is more than annoying: it’s actually illegal in most cases.

Which didn’t keep me from getting this little abomination:

Junk fax

I suspect Samuel’s dad, the late John Atta Mills (1944-2012), would never have countenanced this sort of thing — or, for that matter, the (probably feigned) use of a Kazakhstani domain.

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Jacked-up silhouette

After a hiatus of several years, The Truth About Cars has reinstated the Ten Worst Automobiles Today awards, as selected by its user base, and as always, the conversation is spicy.

I single out this comment for being both wonderfully terse and highly specific. The target is Acura’s swoopy SUV-ish ZDX, which is:

A car designed by and for short women who love open-toed Jimmy Choo boots with 7″ heels.

Okay, 5″ heels. Be that way. Fortunately, these are rare, and so is the car: Acura struggles to sell 100 in a month nationwide.

And that wasn’t the only contributor working this angle, either:

If [the ZDX] actually was a rebadged Crosstour it would handle better and you wouldn’t need to be a five-foot, 90lb woman with a 34″ inseam to get into it.

Excuse me while I sigh.

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Having been Schulzed

In Chapter 4 of The Sparkle Chronicles, the unicorn Twilight Sparkle, realizing that she’s starting to fall for an actual human character, asks him: “Oh, why couldn’t you have been a pony?”

It did not occur to me at the time that Charlie Brown, albeit for an entirely different reason, had once asked almost the same question of Snoopy:

Recolored Peanuts panel from 1965

Then again, that was way back in 1965. The color version you see here appeared 23 August 2012 — after the completion of The Sparkle Chronicles.

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