Close enough

Andrew Crossett has been collecting votes for the Best Celebrity Legs of the Year for eighteen years now, and this year, I figured, it was just a question of how far out in front that amazingly tall singer of country songs who no longer sings country songs would end up.

And the answer is not at all, because Crossett’s poll, for the first time ever, ended in a tie. It’s not that the competition came out of nowhere, either, since she won back in ’12. From the winners’ gallery, here are a couple of shots of Emma Watson:

Emma Watson out for a stroll

Now that’s the sort of shot we’ve been seeing all year from That Other Young Woman. (But this is not really a stroll: it was shot on the set of Colonia Dignidad, in which Watson plays a German woman in Chile whose husband has been “disappeared” by Pinochet’s secret police.)

Emma Watson in a slit gown

I can’t take this sort of thing too seriously — Jennifer Aniston, who didn’t even have the best legs on Friends, won seven times — but I do admit to having a folder on ye olde desktop named “eyecandy.” (For the record, these are the winners.)

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Distribution of misery

Off Morgan Freeberg’s Facebook page:

Localized poverty has always angered me. If it’s absolutely necessary for people to suffer economically, well, you know every once in awhile there are some things that are bigger and more important than an economy. People tend to get by with less when there’s a war on … something like that. But when the suffering is concentrated into a tiny area, that means it’s unnecessary suffering. Municipal suffering. Underclasses of economically underpowered people; classes created by politics, and maintained by politics, for the achievement of political purposes. While people suffer.

Of course, were there no poverty in these semi-United States, we would lose an entire industry: those who are paid to lament the suffering and to spend money on it, but who dare not eliminate it completely.

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Anything that’s part of you

A great song by Elvis, written by Don Robertson. Nothing to do with this:

A man is selling Elvis Presley’s pubic hair online.

This might just be the weirdest bit of Elvis “memorabilia” we’ve come across.

The man, from Ohio, is selling the pubic hair on Craigslist for $5,000.

The seller claims he has been holding on to Elvis’ pubes since 1965 saying: “I hate to part with them.”

He added that they come with a letter of authenticity signed by a man called Colonel Parker, a reference to, according to Playboy, Elvis’ manager Colonel Tom Parker.

Weirdly, this is classified as “for sale / electronics — by owner.”

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Some perfectly cromulent lexicography

Michael Adams has a cameo in this Oxford Dictionaries blog:

Embiggening is the sort of word you make up from scratch when you’re lacking the edumacation to know that enlarge already exists, and edumacation is the sort of word you use if you also use embiggening. The infix -ma- is a Homerism, and it’s productive — metabomalism, pantomamime, macamadamia, saxomaphone — in words that already have too many syllables for Homer to handle. He hears and reanalyzes them in a rock-a-bye nursery rhyme rhythm. For all of Homer’s verbal pyromatechnics, however, Ned Flanders is the series’ king of indiddlyfixing.

(Via Fark.)

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Amazing how these things just happen

The New York Post points a finger:

A Suffolk County politician pulled a move out of the Anthony Weiner playbook when The Post discovered he was following Duke porn star Belle Knox — by claiming the account was hijacked.

County Executive Steve Bellone said that is how the 19-year-old Duke University student and porn actress ended up as one of the 267 people on his “following” list.

Knox, whose legal name is Miriam Weeks, made headlines earlier this year when she was outed by a fellow student at the North Carolina school for her extracurricular activities in the sex industry.

Bellone, a married father of three who is up for re-election next year, insisted he has no idea how his account came to be linked to Knox.

Robert Stacy McCain was not available for comment.

Not that anyone cares, but I follow two porn stars, one active, one retired; one of them follows me.

(Via Fark.)

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Meet a guy, pull up a chair

Joe Cocker, singing one of his own songs — well, his and bandmate Chris Stainton’s, anyway:

Then again, he quite famously got by with a little help from his friends.

Miss you already, Joe.

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So it was written

I’d forgotten this little squib, which I posted to Facebook on 12/25/13:

Informing us that there would be no thunderstorms in the near future, the Weather Guys explained that there was a cold stable air mass in place. And let’s face it, you can’t have Luke’s gospel without cold stable air.

I admit, though, that it might be nice if they moved Christmas to July, when the stores aren’t so crowded.

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Early assimilation device

Never had any problems resisting them, though:

Mid-century Borg bathroom scale

This is actually pretty famous, as bathroom scales go:

In 1952, this Model 1500 Flight bathroom scale was designed by Don DeFano, Richard Latham and Franz Wagner of Raymond Loewy Associates. It was introduced by the Borg-Erickson Company in 1953 at $15.00, and was later selected by Fortune magazine as one of the top 500 designs of all time.

Well, no wonder. Raymond Loewy, more or less the Godfather of American Industrial Design, definitely knew how to pick ’em.

Still, you couldn’t sell one of these today if it only went up to 250 (actually 259) pounds.

(From Visual News via Miss Cellania.)

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Strange search-engine queries (464)

The first batch of search strings since the beginning of winter. What does this portend? Nothing much, probably.

nicole petallides nude pics:  Yeah, you wish.

romantically yours twiggy:  Yeah, I wish.

is the la4a-el hard to build:  That depends. If you’re a transmission guy, probably not. If all you know is LEGO, you’ve got problems.

assforgascom:  Damned exchange rates are all messed up.

uranus lipton:  I don’t care if it’s brisk.

refloration.com:  I hope to hell this guy is planning on laying linoleum.

troubleshooting 1997 mazda 626 fuel injection:  Either (1) you have fuel or (2) you don’t have fuel. This isn’t exactly rocket science.

5F31J hard:  You’d complain if it was too soft.

ivy retardation:  Yeah, we had to hold it back a year, the poison wasn’t developing on schedule.

rebuilding mazada 626 transmission:  I’m figuring if you can’t read the nameplate on the car, you sure as hell can’t read a service manual.

sax.video.shaud:  Four. O. Four.

cast your fate to the wind:  You do that here and it’s liable to end up on your face.

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Far out to sea

Early on, it looked like it was going to be One Of Those Nights. Anthony Davis had piled up 21 points by halftime, including a 7-0 run all by his lonesome. Omer Asik presented the usual impenetrable wall. And Tyreke Evans was, well, Tyreke Evans. In the third quarter, the Pelicans had worked their way to a nine-point lead, and the crowd at the ‘Peake were grateful it wasn’t nineteen. Gradually the Thunder got some defense working, and went up five at end of three. Early in the fourth, Anthony Morrow went down, and Russell Westbrook, antsy on the bench, came back a couple minutes before Scott Brooks had planned. But just inside the four-minute mark, though, New Orleans regained the lead, and Serge Ibaka still hadn’t figured out how to defend against Davis; going into the last minute, the Pelicans were up two and Davis was up to 38 points. Lots of maneuvering in those sixty seconds, but no actual Thunder offense, and the Beak Boys, who hadn’t won a game in OKC since early 2010, flew away with a 101-99 win.

Along with those 38 points, Davis reeled in 12 rebounds, as many as Asik; Jrue Holiday collected 11 points and delivered 15 assists, one fewer than the entire Thunder team. (The Pelicans served up 33 assists in all, while coughing up only 12 turnovers.) Ryan Anderson led the New Orleans bench with 14 points. But this may be the Telltale Statistic: Davis and Asik each blocked three shots. Ibaka had no swats at all.

Westbrook, of course, looked like Westbrook: 29 points, eight assists, five boards. But his shooting mojo didn’t accompany him onto the floor in that fourth quarter, and probably wasn’t even within screaming distance on that final brick. Perry Jones, starting in favor of the walking-wounded Kevin Durant, came up with 12 points; Reggie Jackson, having remembered how to shoot, was good for 19. And Steven Adams posted yet another double-double, 12 points and 10 boards. Imagine how he’ll do when he can hit more than half his free throws.

The Trail Blazers, who lead the Northwest by several dozen games, will be here Tuesday. They’ve won their last five and have no desire to drop one on a sub-.500 squad.

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Now that’s gotta hurt

I suspect a busted draw play:

I once tried to get myself hired as a captioner. Perhaps it’s just as well that I did not succeed.

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Upgrading Detroit

The last time we checked in on Detroit’s computer system, we were snorting at the demand for $800k in Bitcoin by some hackish types who’d hoisted a city database; Detroit clearly didn’t have $800k to spare, in Bitcoin or any other currency you can name, but they didn’t need the database anyway, so they blithely blew off the extortionists.

This welcome bit of redundancy notwithstanding, we can’t really say that Detroit’s in good shape, computing-wise. Chief Information Officer Beth Niblock certainly won’t:

More than 80 percent of the city’s 5,500 computers are more than five years old, and 85 percent are equipped with Windows XP, an operating system that “by virtue of its age, is far from top of the line,” she wrote. Microsoft doesn’t even support XP anymore, and the city has been using a version of Microsoft Office that’s a decade old.

On top of that, the city has “serious” problems with the “resilience of its network,” she wrote, saying Detroit’s deficient network connections don’t allow employees to complete basic daily functions, such as accessing email. Employees can’t sync daily calendars to their smartphones.

I’m guessing it’s Office 2003 deployed to those Detroit computers, and support was pulled for that version about the same time support was pulled for XP.

Still, this isn’t the worst tech failure in Hockeytown, not by a long shot:

Chuck Moore, a consultant for the city, described one fire station’s Rube Goldberg machine in September during testimony in Detroit’s bankruptcy trial: When an emergency alert comes in, a fax machine is triggered. This shoots out a piece of paper, which knocks over a soda can full of change, notifying those at the station of the situation. At another station, a fax comes in and bumps a door hinge, which pulls a wire and rings a doorbell.

On the upside, they’re at least getting some use out of those fax machines, which are probably older than Windows XP.

(Via Hit Coffee.)

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Accounting crows

They learn fast, they do:

[Researchers] trained two hooded crows (Corvus cornix) to identify items by color, shape, and number in what’s called “identity matching-to-sample” (IMTS). The birds were placed in a wire mesh cage with a plastic tray containing three cards and two cups. The card in the middle served as the sample card. The cups on either side were covered with the other two cards: One matched the sample (in the color, shape, or number of items pictured), while the other didn’t. The cup with the card that matched the sample card contained two mealworms as a reward.

Once the birds mastered this scheme, the researchers stepped up the game:

In the second part of the experiment, the birds were tested with relational matching pairs. A sample card with two same-sized circles, for example, means they should pick the test card with two same-sized squares — and not two different-sized circles.

How did they do?

The birds picked the correct card more than three-quarters of the time.

There are humanoids out there who can’t pick the correct card more than three quarters of the time; it’s been many years since I’ve seen a ballot that didn’t mention at least one such.

(Tweeted in my general direction by GLHancock.)

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Two steps below the script kiddie

Is there a good reason why this guy shouldn’t be taken out behind the woodshed and put out of his misery?

Yahoo Answers screenshot: So I am pinging an IP Address but it seems like the site won't crash

Get this:

I am pinging a website to crash it, not a big website. But a small one. I opened 4 CMD windows using a batch file then sent a ping request like this: ping [IP ADDRESS] -t -l 65500

It is sending and responding. It has been 15 minutes and it seems to me like the site has not crashed yet. It is working fine with the same speed. The time ranges between 64ms and 167ms, and it is very random. Do I have to wait longer, can someone teach me another way to crash this website (my friends website). How long will it take, Help! Lol!

A ping constitutes a whole 32 bytes; it’s going to take a whole lot more than 2,620,000 pings (8.3 MB) to bring down his soon-to-be-ex-friend’s website.

I suggest we dig up his IP address and turn it over to the North Koreans.

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Everybody knows that the bird has the word

However well our Weather Guys do at locating tornadoes, they’ve got a long way to go to catch up with these birds:

US scientists say tracking data shows that five golden-winged warblers “evacuated” their nesting site one day before the April 2014 tornado outbreak.

Geolocators showed the birds left the Appalachians and flew 700km (400 miles) south to the Gulf of Mexico. The next day, devastating storms swept across the south and central US.

In 2013, researchers tagged 20 of the birds; after flying to Colombia for the winter, ten of them showed up the next spring, and after the storms broke, five were recaptured and their tracking devices opened up.

In this case, all five indicated that the birds had taken unprecedented evasive action, beginning one to two days ahead of the storm’s arrival.

“The warblers in our study flew at least 1,500km (932 miles) in total,” Dr [Henry] Streby said.

They escaped just south of the tornadoes’ path — and then went straight home again. By 2 May, all five were back in their nesting area.

Dr Streby and his team suspect infrasound:

The most likely tip-off was the deep rumble that tornadoes produce, well below what humans can hear.

Noise in this “infrasound” range travels thousands of kilometres, and may serve as something of an early warning system for animals that can pick it up.

“It’s very unlikely that this species is the only group doing this,” Dr Streby said.

Now to find a species that (1) can utilize infrasound and (2) can exhibit some serious TV presence.

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Fark blurb of the week

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