As is my wont these days, I spent part of Saturday on YouTube looking for fresh takes on Rebecca Black’s “Friday,” and halfway up the list was the legendary Stephen Colbert/Roots collaboration on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon from the first of April, which was, you’ll remember, a Friday.

I was surprised to see it there, given NBC’s and Hulu’s assiduous policing of the scene, and perhaps even more so to see it reversed on screen. The uploader explains:

For those who still wonder why this video is flipped as a mirror image it is due to copyright reasons. YouTube scans all videos upon uploading for copyrighted material and without mirror imaging uploading this video would not have been possible.

I wonder what will happen when Hitler finds out.

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How come my alternator glows in the dark?

If this sort of thing is actually going on, my faith in the human race, never particularly high, decays just a little bit more:

The car salesman at the local Ford dealership says I must sell my Toyota, cause in the future any parts I buy for Toyota truck will have radiation on those parts. Sounds like a sales scam to scare me into buying a new Ford truck. Its sad at what happened to Japan with the earthquake and tsunami. I’m sicken to hear this dealership is using the disaster as a sailing point to the us car buyers. Is this true about radiation can be on any car parts imported from Japan?

If the car salesman is sacked for such tactics, at least he has a future in politics, where scaring people is de rigueur.

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People take pictures of each other

The kinks, and not the ones who were the Village Green Preservation Society either. Except, of course, when they are.

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Fuels rush in (3)

Unless you can somehow manage to bum a UPS truck, the most painless way of getting your hands on a vehicle powered by compressed natural gas is to get on the waiting list for the Honda Civic GX.

Craig Dickson has one, with about 23,000 miles on it, and he’s done some of the math:

$7,000 more for the GX over the equivalent gasoline LX.

-50% or $3,500 from Oklahoma state income tax CREDIT, not deduction.

$3,500 out of your pocket.

The Feds, at the moment, don’t have any tax bennies of this sort for CNG. Now for the fuel savings:

$3.50 gasoline vs $1.40 CNG – $2.10 savings per gallon.

35 mpg for both LX and GX.

$3,500 / $2.10 = 1,666 gallons x 35 mpg = 59,000 miles.

So five years, maybe, for payback. And it’s probably less than that now, since gas has spun up to more like $3.65 a gallon since he wrote that, and the nearest CNG station to me (49th and Western) hasn’t budged from $1.39. (I paid $3.94 today, but that was for premium. Do they even have premium CNG?)

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Morning routine to be altered

News Item: Meredith Vieira will exit NBC’s Today show in June, nearly three months before the end of her contract, according to sources with direct knowledge of the situation. Today newsreader Ann Curry will be promoted to co-host.

For those of us whose interest in the Today show is entirely skirt-related, this is not exactly devastating:

Meredith Vieira and Ann Curry on the Today Show

Although some of us still remember Jane Pauley.

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Which may explain the hair

Donald Trump, big head:

I have a really hard time believing that an ego like that would be able to stand coexisting with the 500-plus similar egos fulminating under the Capitol Dome, not to mention whatever cabinet secretaries he might appoint, and even more not to mention the self-importance of the Washington, D.C.-based media. If by some miracle Trump should win the GOP nomination and then by an even bigger one win the presidency itself, I imagine he would become the second president ever to resign from office as he grew ever more frustrated with how much the job wasn’t about him and figured that resigning was the only way he could make it be that way.

I wonder if he could fire himself. Or some other similar verb.

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Expansion interface

“Work expands,” said C. Northcote Parkinson, “so as to fill the time available for completion.”

Venomous Kate observed yesterday on Facebook that this phenomenon is not restricted to mere work:

I noticed while packing that my wardrobe expands to fit the size of its receptacle. Small suitcase, large suitcase, it doesn’t matter: my clothes and shoes will fill it to capacity. Plus some.

The problem with this, of course, is that adding a second bag won’t make the slightest bit of difference: it, too, will be filled to the brim and then some, and now there’s twice as much baggage to tote.

Generally, it takes me two bags (plus a third for the laptop) to do a World Tour, and they’re crammed fairly tightly. Then again, I usually take only two pairs of shoes. There may be somewhere on earth a woman who travels with only two pairs of shoes, but I suspect she’s either a nun or a nudist.

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Should I not have bought these?

“I thought you said you wanted some earrings.”

Ear rings

(Found here by Smitty.)

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Hey, where’d that Monte Carlo go?

In March, Motor Trend ran a piece about driving a Subaru Outback across the Outback, however many thousand miles through the remotest parts of Australia. A couple of laudatory letters were printed in the magazine, including one that suggested further exploration along these lines: “Like, [Subaru] Tribeca through Tribeca, [GMC] Yukon through the Yukon, [Dodge] Dakota through the Dakotas?”

The editorial response was well-nigh brilliant: “Up next, we’ll take a Toyota Avalon on a hunt for Excalibur.”

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Come on in and cover me

Even when the power is off, there is a benefit from tanning equipment, say these survivors of this week’s Dixie tornadoes:

“We was watching it through the window and started seeing stuff flying around and we had already made plans that if something happened, we were gonna get in the tanning bed.”

That is just what they did. The three of them took cover in one tanning bed and pulled down the lid while the building seemed to disintegrate around them.

The taxman should be coming around for his pound of not-even-slightly-darkened flesh shortly.

(Via Fark.)

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Technically not a peep-toe

So this three-legged cat walks, albeit haltingly, into the bar, and announces: “I’m looking for the man who shot my paw.”

If you look closely, you can see Christian Louboutin sneaking out the side door:

Alex by Christian Louboutin

For what I’m sure is a very good reason, this shoe is dubbed “Alex,” and it really is from Louboutin’s Fall 2011 collection.

Influencing this post: Smitty, who suggested it for Nancy Pelosi, and Nancy Friedman, who probably has a favorite in the collection, though I’m betting this isn’t it.

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Overly Fed

Dave Schuler on the latest pronouncements by Ben Bernanke:

Reports suggest that he saw his shadow which means that we’ll have another year of lacklustre growth in the economy.

I suspect that Schuler isn’t the only one anticipating this, and that when that growth curve proves to be feeble, anybody who claims it was “unexpected” can expect to be laughed at.

But the real problem is that Bernanke thought he had to have a press conference in the first place:

To my mind more than anything else a press conference by the Fed chairman highlights the burning need to pare back the responsibilities of the Fed to something it might actually be able to accomplish. I propose limiting its responsibilities to preserving the health of the banking system and holding its governors responsible with civil or even criminal penalties if they fail to do so. Much simpler and more effective than Dodd-Frank.

To do that, you’ll have to redefine “the health of the banking system” to mean something other than “the fattest cats remain so at any cost.”

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Apparently I was born at some point

So I wrote to Springfield to get a copy of my birth certificate, because, um, I might need it for something. Yeah. That’s the ticket.

The Certification of Vital Record returned to me was a nice, crisp piece of contemporary bond paper with what looks like a tamperproof background, upon which they’d photocopied the original 1953 certificate, complete with its handwritten correction. The copy was dated and signed, probably by machine, by the Deputy State Registrar, with the following notice: “This is to certify that this is a true and correct copy of the official record filed with the Illinois Department of Public Health.”

I mention this, not because birth certificates are big news these days, but because it’s an example of Illinois government doing something effectively and efficiently.

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A realism less magical

A not-entirely-academic inquiry:

[W]ould Dances With Wolves have been as successful if the focalizer were not a white man? Julia Goodfox, a Pawnee colleague of mine, stated that she hated the movie because her nation, the Pawnees, were depicted as “savages” once again, but she understood why white people and even Sioux would like the movie, because their point of view (focalization) are depicted. Noting, of course, that “Indians” are the objects, not the subjects of the focalization in magical realism certainly distinguishes it from contemporary Native American novels. In Native American novels Native Americans are, as a rule, the focalizers, the subjects, of the narrative.

An observation by Rachel Tudor, PhD, in an article titled “Latin American Magical Realism and the Native American Novel,” published in Teaching American Literature: A Journal of Theory and Practice, Spring/Summer 2010 (3:3/4).

Dr Tudor has recently received the Faculty Senate Recognition Award for Excellence in Scholarship, which award will apparently not keep her from losing her job next month.

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Just say you love me, you don’t have to mean it

“Even in disposition, muted, witty, sometimes deadly,” it was said of Morticia Addams. (It was Charles Addams who said it, and he should know, right?)

The late Carolyn Jones — she died of cancer in 1983 — was so strongly identified with Morticia that you pretty much have to go back to the 1950s to find photos of her without Addams garb. Fortunately, I don’t have a problem with that:

Carolyn Jones

She’d have been 81 today. I have no idea if she spoke French.

The title is from The Bachelor Party (1957), directed by Delbert Mann, written by Paddy Chayefsky. In it, Jones plays a young woman identified only as “The Existentialist”; she was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, despite appearing on screen for only six minutes.

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Dubious testimonials

Once in a while, the spam trap will garner something like this:

“Thank you for this invaluable information. I have been looking for a way out of my loveless marriage. Now I know what to do. Before there was never any opportunity for me to escape this relationship, now because of Ashley Madison, I have an outlet.”

Which was utterly irrelevant to the post for which it was intended, but no surprise there. Ashley Madison, incidentally, is a dating service for people already in a relationship.

I was updating some subsidiary sites to WordPress 3.1.2 yesterday and found a treasure trove of glowing crap in one of them. A few samples:

“This is often what I am looking for. This is what I ask value. The information provided right here is usually to the best. I need to say you must have put in your time in putting all these material collectively. They are relevant to your theme. I will recommend this to any or all and also to all of my acquaintances. I am going to come back here to experiment the quantity of give good results. Thank you for making these happen.”

“Undeniably believe that which you stated. Your favorite reason appeared to be on the internet the simplest thing to be aware of. I say to you, I certainly get irked while people consider worries that they just don’t know about. You managed to hit the nail upon the top and also defined out the whole thing without having side effect, people could take a signal. Will likely be back to get more. Thanks.”

“Stumbled on your web site through Delicious. You already know I am subscribing to your rss.”

And this one was particularly irksome:

“Hello! I know this is kind of off topic but I was wondering if you knew where I could get a captcha plugin for my comment form? I’m using the same blog platform as yours and I’m having problems finding one? Thanks a lot!”

Anybody who can’t find a captcha plugin will need a third hand to locate his posterior.

Then again, I’m probably doing better than the person in that old country song:

I might as well give up this blogging
There are days when I can’t give a damn
I can’t post ’cause my brain won’t stop fogging
And the comments I get are all spam

Okay, it’s not that old. (I’d identify the source, but, you know, protected tweets.)

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