Let us Selabrate together

Usually when I come up with a photo for Rule 5, I will also come up with some sort of explanation (read: “justification”) for its being here. Then again, when I come up with a photo of Sela Ward rocking a little black dress, well, it’s here because it’s Sela Ward rocking a little black dress, and that ought to be enough reason right there.

Sela Ward at 2012 TCA Tour

This shot comes from this year’s Television Critics Association tour, held last month, shortly after Sela Ward’s 56th birthday.

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A message from Princess Luna

Princess Luna salutes Neil Armstrong

The journey of a lifetime begins with one small step.

(Original by ~Grumbeerkopp for the Princess Luna Moon Project.)

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Birdier than thou

Nancy Friedman was not overly impressed with the name of this indoor miniature-golf operation in the East Bay. Then again, I laughed my fool head off, which I suppose justifies “fool” as an adjective.

The name?

Read the rest of this entry »

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Not to mention Timeline

Why is Facebook’s common stock tanking? Would you believe injudicious ad placement?

Let’s peruse the ads currently on my Facebook feed and find out.

Seven advertisements in all: an invitation for my childfree self to join a “proud mothers” group; a local photographer who specializes in portraits of newborns; the chance to supplement my Master’s degree with a GED; an ad offering my 112-pound self the chance to lose 48 pounds as Rachael Ray did; an ad offering the chance to lose seven pounds a week; an ad telling me how to lose 23 pounds as Kim Kardashian did, and another ad offering me the chance to lose seven pounds a week.

So: two ads offering services I’d never use, one insulting my education and intelligence, and four offering advice that will literally kill me within a month if I listen to them.

It seems to me that in this day and age, having your education and intelligence insulted only 14.3 percent of the time is close to miraculous.

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License to blind

The Department of Palpable Silliness Preposterous Symbolism Public Safety is gearing up to inflict these upon us:

Sample Oklahoma driver's license

A designer in the neighborhood has vowed to come up with something better. And really, do we need this much eye broccoli — opposite of “candy” — just to discourage twenty-year-olds from sneaking into Edna’s?

On the upside, Ms Sample doesn’t look half bad for sixty-one.

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Jet lag for fun and profit

Rebecca Black on stage in Wildwood“I always feel like I’ve never finished unpacking,” said Rebecca Black after returning from what was by all accounts a semi-successful concert appearance on the Jersey shore: despite a long list of attractions, it was far from a sellout, and there was a grumble or two here and there about the general organization of the show, but judging by the scant available evidence, a splendid time was had by, if not all, certainly enough to generate some noise. (There was, briefly, a video of a sound check, but it vanished nearly as quickly as it appeared.) Said Pop City Life of RB’s appearance:

She had the crowd on their feet singing her songs “My Moment” and of course “Friday”. I don’t think there was a soul there who wasn’t belting out the megahit with her. She was having a blast and owning the stage. We are now a fan.

Like I said, they’ll be singing it at baseball games fifteen years from now.

(Photo by Debra Baum.)

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Semi-protip

We demand an explanation, and by “we” I mean Lynn:

What makes a pro tip a pro tip, as opposed to just a plain, ordinary tip. Most of the “pro tips” I come across don’t seem to be related to any particular profession nor are they professional in any way. But of course I’m just assuming that “pro” is short for professional. Maybe it’s short for progressive? Profound? Probable? Or maybe just pro, as opposed to con?

Having seen the term inserted in front of some fairly unsanitary-sounding concepts, I can say only that I’m pretty sure it’s not short for “prophylactic.”

However, Know Your Meme offers an actual explanation:

PROTIP is a term often used in forums and comments to preface snarky, obvious, counterintuitive, or sometimes genuine advice for the novice. Its usage is derived from the laughably obvious and even inadequate gameplay suggestions originally found in video game magazines published in the 1990s. While it implies an offer of friendly suggestion similar to FYI, “protip” is commonly used online as a false preface to obvious or sarcastic comments that are generally unhelpful.

KYM has an actual 1995 citation for the term.

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Could have fueled me

Whatever happened to sticking an actual stick down the fuel filler?

Infiniti’s new luxury three-row crossover is being recalled due to a problem with a fuel line that can block the fuel level float that could yield an incorrect reading on the fuel gauge. With the gauge stuck at the same level, JX owners could run out of gas thinking they have more fuel than they do.

I don’t have a JX and don’t need three rows, but the fuel gauge in my old I30 gives a poor approximation at best: the descent of the needle is nonexistent for the first 40 miles or so after filling up, followed by a spectacular plunge to just below the ½ mark, after which things slow up again until just above ¼, and then back to Plummet City, followed by the dreaded orange light, which I got to see in living color halfway between Carlsbad and El Paso.

And allow me to point out that the JX seats seven and weighs 2.3 tons before any of those seven climb aboard. The tank holds a mere 19.5 gallons; if you’ve gone 400 miles and you’re looking at a needle still at the halfway point, your reality check is about to be cashed.

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Quote of the week

I am not yet finished with Comic-Con and the Business of Pop Culture: What the World’s Wildest Trade Show Can Tell Us About the Future of Entertainment [New York: McGraw Hill, 2012], Rob Salkowitz’s business-y (as distinguished from “fanboyesque”) take on the annual San Diego event, but early on I found this brace of paragraphs which I deemed worth mentioning:

[Stephenie] Meyer’s unconventional take on the whole vampire thing (the fact that vampires sparkle in daylight instead of turning to dust, and that they spend most of their time moping around and looking cool instead of tearing people’s throats out) has not earned her much love from horror/fantasy enthusiasts who like their brew a little bit stronger. I must admit that I have not cracked the cover of any of these books and don’t have much interest in doing so. I wouldn’t watch the movies for free if they were the only available entertainment on a 12-hour plane flight. I’m not sure I’d watch them if the alternative were a week’s stay at Gitmo.

And you know what? Who cares! I’m a 44-year-old guy with no kids. I am not the audience for Twilight in any way, shape, or form. But I’m all for any material that generates enough passion to get a completely new pop culture audience to stand in line for 40 hours and sleep on concrete for two nights just to bask in the presence of the actors who portray these characters in a film. That enthusiasm is the rocket fuel that drives the industry and the artform forward, and it doesn’t pay to be too picky about where it comes from.

I trust I don’t have to explain why this is here.

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Drip advisor

I have not yet bitten the bullet: my industrial-strength shower head moves the wet stuff around with something resembling vigor, even in these days of drought, and my toilet would please Al Bundy. And I don’t particularly care, since my water consumption is barely meterable: I think I’ve hit the 4,000-gallon mark one month in the last hundred.

double shower headMind you, I’m not going out of my way to use up the world’s precious supply of dihydrogen monoxide: the sprinkler has not been taken off its shelf in the garage in about a year. But one of the few joys afforded by Federal regulation is looking for ways to adhere to the letter thereof while whizzing all over the putative spirit, as we see here:

The last three hotel rooms I have stayed in have had double shower heads, to make up the lost flow from wimpy government-approved single heads. This process of cutting back on how much a single head can flow and then adding extra heads is incredibly dumb and wasteful.

But predictable, if you have even a passing familiarity with the Law of Unintended Consequences. (And if you do, consider yourself disqualified for any position in the executive branch.)

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Hooves-on training

Reasonable questions (mostly unanswered in canon) about education in Equestria:

I wonder if they’d have different sites of higher education for the different types of ponies … because there are different skill-sets there — dealing with flight and weather conditions, or building/planting/growing stuff, or using magic. Or would there be some social-engineery type who would point out that separating the pony races for education was harmful, and perhaps impose some sort of [George Reavis’s] The Animal School model, where all Pegasi were required to at least attempt both magic and gardening, and all Earth ponies were required to try flying? (I can see the lawsuits coming.) Of course, if it was like typical American universities, rather than lower-level schools, there would be different “majors” for different skill sets. (Hrm. Kind of like our aviation school, and the more applied of the sciences programs, and … I don’t know what would map best with Unicorn Magic as a major. Art and Theater, maybe?)

I don’t think that there’s a whole lot of segregation in Equestria, except to the extent that it’s a function of actual physical differences. Everypony in Cloudsdale is, of necessity, a pegasus; the only way a unicorn or an earth pony is setting hoof in that town is by means of a temporary spell. There exists a string of mountains called the Unicorn Range to the south and west of Cloudsdale, and unicorns are apparently dominant in Canterlot, but there’s no physical limitation involved: pegasi can certainly fly to these heights, assuming adequate wing power, and earth ponies can walk or take the train.

Educational opportunities, I infer, work the same way. Princess Celestia’s magical protégée of necessity would be a unicorn (Twilight Sparkle). Musical talent, however, may be distributed among the tribes: stringed-instrument specialist Lyra Heartstrings is a unicorn, but cellist Octavia appears with two different quartets in two different episodes, all comprised of earth ponies, and Scootaloo, a pegasus filly, apparently can play the piano.

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Rodents of usual size

In 1948, they were still considered Utterly Frightening to the fair sex, as this Hanes ad suggests:

Vladimir Bobri for Hanes

Just one of many fashion illustrations done by Bobri, born Vladimir Bobritsky in Ukraine in 1898. (I am informed that it is no longer acceptable to refer to the country as “The” Ukraine.)

Bobri, incidentally, was one of the founders of the first Classical Guitar Society in New York, which began in 1936; he served as editor and art director of The Guitar Review until 1985. (He died in 1986 in a fire at his home in Rosendale, New York.)

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I laugh at your silly filter

So corporate got themselves a shiny new firewall appliance, and everything went, let’s say, semi-smoothly. In retrospect, I suppose, I should have been suspicious immediately.

Then this happened:

Screen shot from Sonicwall

And here’s the text of the objectionable page:

The only hate I get is from people who don’t even understand what I’m doing. They assume they know. So, before you even think about sending hate to me, or anyone else really, make sure you know what they’re talking about and why. It’s just irritating when all the hate you get isn’t based on facts.

Blind judgment without context. Which is essentially how content filters work, come to think of it. No wonder they blocked MLD: she’s on to their game.

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Looking in Alderaan places

Luke Skywalker blew up the Death Star? Not a chance, says Brian J.:

Come on, reason it out: Skywalker was a seventeen-year-old moisture farm boy suffering from post-concussion syndrome whose experience piloting a small attack craft was cruising along the surface of Tatooine in a hovercraft and a couple of hours riding on the Millennium Falcon. Lucas wants you to believe he just suited up, hopped into a short range attack fighter, fought dogfights in the three-dimensional and zero gravity environment of space, and blew up an attack station?

Of course, Noggle has The Answer — for now. I figure, if George Lucas lives to be 100, he’ll have revised the story six times more, and Jar Jar Binks will have served at least one term as Emperor.

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Modern research techniques

Ever since US News & World Report ceased to be an actual magazine, their stock in trade has been lists: top colleges ranked by percentage of graduates not going on welfare, top hospitals ranked by the ability to ignore sepsis, top cars ranked by the number towed from New York City streets for malparkage. You name it, usnews.com has a list for it.

Well, maybe with one exception, it appears:

SiteMeter screen shot

Obviously, for their next project, they’re working on top babes ranked by the number of appearances in Rule 5 Sunday. Robert Stacy McCain should be proud.

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Mount Costly

Not a place on the map, but a fact of life. Last time I took Gwendolyn in for a spa day, the techs declared that one engine mount and one transmission mount were not long for this world. That was 1600 miles ago. As usual with stuff like this, there’s not going to be much change from a $1000 bill.

Still, what’s the alternative? Ditch her and buy someone else’s problems? It is a fact of life that no one ever traded in a car because it was running too well.

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