Badass bunnies

Both Jimmy Carter and Monty Python had unfortunate run-ins with rabbits of unexpected ferocity, though you really need to get back to the source: Beatrix Potter, who gave us The Story of a Fierce Bad Rabbit in 1906.

In 2011, Fierce Bad Rabbit, obviously the perfect name for an indie band, will be touring; they’ll be here Saturday night at the Belle Isle Brewery.

(If this looks like I’m just using this as a pretext to bait someone who just bought a book of Beatrix Potter’s letters, just wait until she finds out that the band’s current CD is called Spools of Thread.)

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Slow forward

Dick Stanley describes some perhaps-unexpected Kindle-related behavior:

[S]ometimes, reading from the screen, instead of reaching out for the button that shifts the screen to the next page, I get an urge to turn the nonexistent paper page with my fingers. It’s fleeting. I smile and move on.

If it’s any consolation, I have had instances when I got into the car, caught the end of a song I liked, and hit the back button to hear the beginning again — only to realize that I was listening to the radio.

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Funny farmers

This quote, usually unattributed — according to my Stack O’ Quotes, it’s Rita Mae Brown — has been making the rounds of late:

The statistics on sanity are that one out of every four Americans are suffering from some form of mental illness. Think of your three best friends. If they’re okay, then it’s you.

I have my doubts about this particular statistic, but should anyone need reassurance, please note that I spent one summer, a couple of decades ago, in the Home for the Bewildered; feel free to feel better about yourself and two other friends.

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Funner money

Had I enough cash to divert into another bank account, I might well be tempted to stash it in Redneck Bank:

The Internet bank is an arm of Snyder-based Bank of the Wichitas, and the brainchild of [Wade] Huckabay — whose family owns three Oklahoma banks. The Redneck Bank name was an attempt to differentiate its website from thousands of online banking operations, Huckabay said.

The bank’s home page features a braying mule, and customers access their accounts by clicking on an outhouse.

Of course, the real reason I’d want to do this is to get their branded Visa Check Card.

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A series of tubes

Snowtubes, that is:

Trying not to think, I plopped into the tube that was hooked to a rope and got lifted to the top of the slope. A guide immediately directed me to the ride with shortest line — I didn’t have time to get sufficiently scared: boy managing the ride asked me if I wanted a push, I mumbled something vague, meekly assumed “on the stomach” position and in a split second was already flying down, flying like a wind, like a bird of pray (overdressed owl, most likely…)

I figure the time for panic had come a bit earlier:

… words “fatal accident” and “in case of injury call …” jumped on me from the disclaimer form I had to sign …

Not to worry, I always say. It’s only the last thing that gets you.

(Seriously, I’m impressed. I mean, I can get spooked by roller coasters.)

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Destreaked

All the yammering before this game was how the Thunder, and the Sonics before them, hadn’t gotten a win in Houston since William the Conqueror was drafted by the Normans, or some such business. And the crowd started filing out of the Toyota Center with two minutes left, so they didn’t see the Rockets put together a 12-1 run to erase almost all of a late Thunder lead. On the other hand, they also didn’t see Oklahoma City hoist six free throws in the last 18 seconds — four by Russell Westbrook, two by James Harden — to seal a 118-112 win.

This one was pretty close early on: tied after one, Rockets up by two at the half. The big Thunder crunch began halfway through the fourth quarter, with OKC pushing out to a 13-point lead. The Rockets weren’t about to take this lying down, and twice closed to within two. As always, Luis Scola was a force to be reckoned with, leading all scorers with 31 points and hauling in 11 boards. Courtney Lee, summoned from the bench, got 12 of his 19 in the fourth quarter, including three of five from way out in the Woodlands; Kevin Martin was out, but Aaron Brooks, contained early, broke loose for some timely Houston buckets towards the end.

The difference here, though, was on the glass, where the Thunder dominated, 49-35. OKC shot a better-than-decent 51.2 percent, though they missed some early free throws. (The late ones, they dropped through methodically.) Kevin Durant was back up at the 30-point mark; Jeff Green got no rebounds but scored 16; and Thabo Sefolosha tied a career high with 13 boards. (Speaking of 13, Westbrook had that many dimes to his credit.) And Serge Ibaka came up with 16, missing only one shot all night.

Tomorrow: the Magic come to the Downtown Roundhouse. They will be in a foul mood, having had a winning streak of their own snapped this evening.

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Strings added

Said I: “I am not inclined to underestimate a band with songs in the Guitar Hero series that don’t actually have any guitars in them.”

Along those lines, here’s an acknowledged Guitar Hero hero trying his hand, and his axe, at a particularly-tricky Freezepop tune:

This is, you may be certain, loud and boisterous.

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Sprawl together now

An early-2004 item I stumbled across last night while looking for something else:

As of this morning, this Web site was using 57.125 megabytes of disk space, which is awfully close to 60 million bytes. Which means that to reproduce this site on punch cards would require, oh, 750,000 of them.

Most recent disk usage: 1.09 gigabytes. In seven years, this site has grown almost twentyfold.

The Final Jeopardy! Answer: 14.6 megabytes.

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Worst-case scenario

I’m guessing: letting the 16-year-old drive the Mercedes.

This will also cause your health insurance to go up, because you’ll be diagnosed with some unpronounceable mental disorder within twenty minutes of putting the kid on your auto policy.

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Band wagon

Sports guys have their superstitions: former Astros infielder Craig Biggio, for instance, never washed his batting helmet until the season was over.

George Hill of the San Antonio Spurs wears something called a “balance bracelet,” and he swears by it. The rest of the team? Not so much:

“Have you heard of a placebo?” Manu [Ginobili] asked.

Hill didn’t follow.

“It’s a Spanish word,” Richard Jefferson chimed in, jokingly.

This might not matter so much, except that the manufacturer, a firm called Power Balance, is reported to be the high bidder for the naming rights to the (soon to be) former Arco Arena in Sacramento, so we may be hearing more about these little confidence-builders.

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Welcome to Alpha Complex

I was always at least slightly paranoid about the guys who participate in — I almost said “espouse,” but that wouldn’t work, would it? — the putative sport version of dating, and this helps to reinforce that response:

For those of you not familiar with the bizarre internet phenomenon known as “Game”, it is this complicated system wherein 2nd level Nerds with low STR and DEX attempt to level up their CHA so they can go to popular night clubs and score the 9th level Hotties they are owed by nature using the tactic of “negging” or insulting them. You know, or shooting them in the face. Whichever works.

Because, you know, they’re supposed to like that sort of thing from Truly Manly Men.

Far as I’m concerned, they can bring back celibacy any time.

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Not at all bogged down

Amanda Peet turns thirty-nine today, and still looks like this:

Amanda Peet

In addition to her task here — making you not notice the sofa — she’s the, um, celebrity spokesperson for an outfit called Every Child By Two, which advocates for the immunization of infants. Sort of the un-Jenny McCarthy, if you will.

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Durden if I know

The ninth rule of Fight Club: you do not make a musical out of Fight Club.

If you do, however, you must use LeeAnn’s song.

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To be held, privately

Hugh Hefner wants his bunny hutch back, or something:

Playboy Enterprises Inc. agreed to be taken private for $207 million by founder Hugh M. Hefner, who increased his bid to gain full control of the 58-year-old magazine publisher amid slumping circulation and losses.

Hefner, 84, is offering to buy the Class A stock and Class B shares he doesn’t already own for $6.15 per share, representing an 18 percent premium over the Class B closing price of $5.20 a share on Jan. 7, the company said in a statement [Monday].

Hef had previously offered $5.50 per share. A bid last summer from FriendFinder Networks, which owns rival Penthouse, apparently did not appeal to the Playboy board.

Playboy magazine these days is selling about a quarter as many copies as it did thirty years ago; the company apparently makes most of its money from its Web presence (largely behind a paywall) and licensing the Rabbit logo.

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And they’ll buzz if they damn well please

I am not keen on having standard, garden-variety hornets anywhere near my epidermis. I suspect, though, these are worse:

As every middle-school child knows, in the process of photosynthesis, plants take the sun’s energy and convert it to electrical energy. Now a Tel Aviv University team has demonstrated how a member of the animal kingdom, the Oriental hornet [Vespa orientalis], takes the sun’s energy and converts it into electric power — in the brown and yellow parts of its body — as well.

The team determined that the brown shell of the hornet was made from grooves that split light into diverging beams. The yellow stripe on the abdomen is made from pinhole depressions, and contains a pigment called xanthopterin. Together, the light diverging grooves, pinhole depressions and xanthopterin change light into electrical energy. The shell traps the light and the pigment does the conversion.

Don’t think you can keep them away with a flamethrower, either:

Like air conditioners and refrigerators, the hornet has a well-developed heat pump system in its body which keeps it cooler than the outside temperature while it forages in the sun.

Sheesh. The only way this could be worse would be if they had frickin’ lasers on their frickin’ heads.

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Quote of the week

I know, it’s still early in the week, but I’m pretty sure we’re not going to top this. If your BVDs are already uncomfortably arranged for the moment because of that “culture of violence” stuff, Ric Locke has a wedgie for you:

It is you, not I as a responsible gun owner, who demands perpetuation of the “culture of violence” in order to gain your ends. I can get what I want without raising a finger, let alone a firearm, if you and your fellows will just leave me alone. You can’t get what you want without messing with me, with violence, including gun violence actual or threatened, to back it up — and more and more of us are coming to the conclusion that the point of your effort is to make it safer and easier for you and your goons to mess with us. You don’t want to get rid of guns, and you’re a liar for saying you do. What you want is to have all the guns in your own hands and those of the enforcer-goons you hire to do your dirty work.

Mr Locke being a gentleman, he will not finish with the two-word expletive you so richly deserve.

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