Strange search-engine queries (256)

Who would have thought that a two-bit feature would eventually require an eight-bit number to describe? Anyway, this is where we sift through the server logs and giggle at the Googlers. (Which is not to say that you’ll be ignored if you came in through Bing.)

husband lay on castration table:  Surely he wouldn’t stand for that.

young woman likes to pose nude , in Imperial Valley with lots of photographs:  In your dreams, pal.

nude women playing in water:  In your dreams, pal.

checking ass:  On average, it’s right at one per person, though there are substantial size variations.

advantages of civilaztion:  I was going to say “education,” but obviously that won’t do.

decent interval second marriages:  At the very least, the first one should be over with.

mike rowe hatless:  I’m sure that if they thought he needed a hat, women would line up to buy him one.

“taller than all the men” heels:  Not to worry, unless you’re taller than Mike Rowe with a hat on.

panties archives 1980 god:  Let us pray that they’ve at least been laundered at some point during the thirty years since then.

Origination of the phrase “The Taxman Cometh”:  Basically, Harry Hope had to fork over some change.

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For future reference

If only we could persuade our customers:

I think it’s generally acknowledged that it’s pretty much impossible to get anything significant accomplished between December 26th and December 31st, with everyone taking time off and generally in drain-the-calendar mode.

Then again, I suppose it’s not a good idea to suggest that I accomplish anything significant during those 51 other weeks.

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Did you miss a movie this year?

Not a problem. It’s in here somewhere:

(List of titles in order of appearance. Via Fritinancy.)

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Two-track mind

Robin MeadeThe figure seated at right is Robin Meade, anchor of Morning Express on HLN, and she’s here because I’ve noticed that I have rather a lot of screen captures of her in this particular position, and I’ve never quite understood how it is that anyone can actually sit like that, legs seemingly parallel to one another and angled off to the side, for any length of time. And, by extension — never underestimate the ability of a blogger to play the It’s All About Me card — I’ve never quite understood why it is that I’d pay so much attention when they do.

Inasmuch as I’m routinely hooked up to the largest and most ridiculously easy-to-use information network in the history of the human race, I decided to see if I could scrounge up some theory, and it wasn’t too long before this turned up:

Because of the bone configuration of female legs and hips, most men can’t sit like this so it becomes a powerful signal of femininity. Not surprisingly, over 86% of male participants in our leg rating surveys voted this the most attractive female sitting position.

In other news, there are leg rating surveys.

For comparison, see this shot of Mary Hart from here down. And I suspect that rather a lot of women can’t sit like that either, for configuration reasons of their own.

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Ann Althouse is about my age, so it doesn’t surprise me a great deal that our musical choices intersected at some point. By accident — meaning I was looking for something else entirely at the time — I stumbled across some “unplayable 45s,” as she describes them, in her Flickr photostream, and of course I have something to say about a few of them.

  • Donovan, “Epistle to Dippy” (Epic, 1967): Mr Leitch had both his Catchy and Incomprehensible dials turned up to the max on this one. Is that Jimmy Page on guitar?
  • Them, “Here Comes the Night” (Parrot, 1965): This is what happens when you turn Van Morrison loose on a Bert Berns song. Two years later, Morrison was working for Berns; “Brown-Eyed Girl” was produced by Berns, and released on Berns’ Bang label. Frankly, I thought Lulu and the Luvvers did it better, but Lulu didn’t have Jimmy Page on guitar.
  • The Who, “Substitute” (Atco, 1966): Actually, while you’re hearing the original, you’re not hearing the US single: at some point, someone at the record company decided that the line “I look all white but my dad was black” was inappropriate for American radio. It was replaced with some nonsense about walking backwards. Didn’t help sales in the slightest.
  • Dr West’s Medicine Show and Junk Band, “The Eggplant That Ate Chicago” (Go Go, 1967): It was sweet, it was just like sugar. Composer Norman Greenbaum expects to be going up to the Spirit in the Sky eventually.

I suspect a lot of us of a Certain Age have records like these in the back of our minds, or the back of our closets.

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Fark blurb of the week

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Loud City gets a present

So I figured that, extension or no extension, Carmelo Anthony is still a Nugget, and the rest of the team would extend themselves to fill in the gap while he’s away — and indeed, that’s the way the game unfolded early on, with Denver dominating the proceedings. The Thunder began fighting back in the second quarter; by the end of the third, they were up three, 88-85, and Kevin Durant had already knocked down 40 points. Kid Delicious was quieter in the fourth — he finished with 44 — but Oklahoma City held serve and then some, sending the Nuggets away with a 114-106 lump of coal.

Still, Denver didn’t give anything away. Chauncey Billups had a season-high 30 points, Nene had the night’s only double-double — 21 points, 12 rebounds — and Ty Lawson came up with 19 off the bench. Besides which, the Nuggets shot over 50 percent, which the Thunder didn’t. But they turned the ball over 17 times.

And tonight, OKC was taking care of the ball: they gave up only eight turnovers. Durant had five of them, but then he seemingly always had the ball. Jeff Green’s inner sharpshooter apparently had the night off, so James Harden took up the slack, putting up 21 points; between Harden and Durant, the Thunder, usually not a factor from beyond the arc, managed to hit six of 17 from international waters. More important, though, was forcible removal of the ball from Denver players: the Thunder pulled off 10 steals and blocked eight shots. And Nenad Krstić was back; he didn’t exactly keep Nene out of the lane, but then neither did anyone else.

Three more home games at the Expensive To Heat Arena: the Mavericks on Monday, the Nets on Wednesday, and the Hawks on Friday.

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Slow motion

Although I have to admit, it’s better than no motion at all.

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Zooey has lawyers

And while they’re not coming after me, so far as I know, they’re definitely zeroing in on Steve Madden:

Actress Zooey Deschanel, best known for her turn in the Will Ferrell movie Elf, is suing shoe designer Steve Madden for a $2,000,000 breach of contract.

The deal was made to use Zooey’s likeness and name in a line of shoes and accessories, cleverly named ‘Zooey shoes & accessories’.

Why the deal fell through, I don’t know, though BNET’s Jim Edwards offers a possible explanation:

Here’s some speculation: Although Deschanel is a luminous and appealing screen presence, she’s not that famous.

Emphasis added. And, well, you can’t say I’m not doing my part.

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Buy your leave

By now everyone knows the drill: fill out the card at the supermarket, and you save a few cents here and there, in exchange for the gory details of your purchases. I remind you, though, that it would never occur to me to suggest that you give them a dose of Garbage In:

It’s not like a huge amount of security or quality control is applied to this ID tracking involved. You can just borrow someone’s card, or give them any old phone number (your wife’s, friend’s, etc); actually I often get the impression that the cashier would be perfectly willing to just let you use their phone number if it’ll get you the discounts and make you happy. I even think I’ve had it happen. So suddenly a purchase history full of maxipads, pre-made sushi and organic-everything is buying up cheese puffs, beef jerky and a 12-pack of Cup O’Noodles. Ha! Let’s see your algorithms deal with that, oh so clever “data miners”!

Of course, if someone introduces actual organic cheese puffs, all bets are off.

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Party of the replacement parts

In response to this piece, Charles Pergiel grumbles about auto parts:

In the old days, things were built to last forever. There were parts that wore out, but they were very small and replacements were cheap. Things like light bulbs, bearings and brake linings. However, the down side of many of these parts is that it took considerable time and effort to replace them.

Nowadays there are no small parts. Some little dohickey fails, like the door latch, and you don’t replace just the failed part, you replace the entire subassembly, like the entire door.

On my car, anyway, the latch and the striker are individually replaceable, though the prices will make your nose, or at least my Visa, bleed. (Still, gotta be cheaper than a whole door, right?)

The smallest part I can remember replacing is the cap for the coolant-overflow tank, which was priced at a startling $10.21, more than an oil filter but way less than a wiper blade.

Then again:

On the other hand, parts last a lot longer now. I got 95,000 miles out of the brakes on my truck before they had to be redone. Actually, I think I still have the original brakes on the rear, and I’m up to something like 110K miles. Engines used to last 100,000 miles, now they should last 250,000. However, transmissions which used to be good for the life of the car now seem to be a weak link.

I suspect that fiendish complexity is responsible for (some of) the seeming weakness in slushboxes these days. The old Chrysler TorqueFlite A727, introduced back in the early 1960s, was just this side of indestructible, and could be adjusted by that kid who worked weekends at the Texaco. Get one of these modern-day six-speeders (or seven or eight) and look at it crossways, and suddenly you’re looking at a $3000 rebuild.

Then again, nobody seems to change transmission fluid anymore. And it’s not like they make it easy to do it, either. In my previous car, you couldn’t even drop the pan and drain it: the pan was on the side of the case. Being resistant to the whole idea of $3000 rebuilds, I change out the stuff every 30k or so.

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The Christmas edition (says so right in the title: “CoTVing into Xmas”) of the Carnival of the Vanities is the 405th, which makes perfect sense, since this is the 405th anniversary of the Christmas tree:

The first reference of the Christmas tree was in 1605 in Strasbourg, Germany. The German emigrants brought the idea of the Christmas tree to the United States. By 1848, there were Christmas trees selling in the markets in Philadelphia, and three years later it was Mark Carr who sold the first Christmas trees from the New York City docks. By 1880, there were more than 400 tree merchants in New York.

And if today’s “trees” seem to be mutant Festivus poles at heart, well, you can’t blame that on Strasbourg.

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The perils of single-source

About four years ago, I wrote about a hardware innovation that, as Shania would say, don’t impress me much:

IBM’s 6500-series printer is an impressive workhorse, but don’t try to fool it with a generic ribbon: the spindle is just slightly too small, and there’s a gizmo inside the head assembly that:

  • tells you how much life the ribbon has left, based on some algorithm which you’re not told;
  • checks the spool for the presence of a barcode, and refuses to accept an off-brand ribbon no matter how clever your jury-rigging may be (and mine’s close to legendary).

This in itself would create no problems, other than additional expense, were the OEM ribbons worth a damn.

Which lately they aren’t. Since this machine and its support were spun off to Infoprint, the quality of OEM ribbons has dropped dramatically: they’re severely overinked and tend to leak onto the paper. Infoprint alleges that no one else is having a problem with these things, implying that it’s Somebody Else’s Problem. Yeah, right. If I call in a tech to examine the situation, about 15 seconds at most will elapse before he notices the droplets of ink oozing out of the fabric.

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Unamerican Idols

The Obama administration proposes “periodic reviews of evidence” against inmates at Gitmo, and Ric Locke sees an opportunity for a high-concept TV series:

Appoint three judges to hold the hearings, and find or construct a suitably photogenic courtroom, perhaps modeled on the Kremlin facility for show trials of Public Enemies in the Thirties. Perhaps the relevant prisoner could be ensconced in a chrome-plated cell, wearing his orange boiler suit. Each week during prime time, broadcast the summations of testimony and argument, with the judges awarding points for style and content, ultimately resulting in a grade 1…10 for overall effect. Add Internet and telephone polling of the audience. Once a quarter, play excerpts from the arguments of the highest-graded participants, with audience polling for Favorite Denouncer, Best Sob Story, and the like. What to offer as prizes is a bit problematic, but of course money is always good. The real prize would be the exposure.

Gotta be better than Jersey Shore.

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Not exactly stocking stuffers

At least, it doesn’t appear that hosiery is a factor in this photograph.

Still, Jessica and Lisa Origliasso, hereinafter referred to, slightly inaccurately, as The Veronicas, have impeccable Christmas credentials, having been born on the 25th of December. (If you must: 1984.)

Jessica and Lisa Origiliasso

No, I don’t know which is which. (For awhile, Jessica went blonde, but that’s no help here.)

While the visuals are undoubtedly a major part of the package here, I admit to a certain fondness for some of their tunes. (“Untouched” proved to be a medium-level earworm for yours truly, before I’d ever actually set eyes on them.) Of course, what sealed the deal was the name:

Christian Slater: Greetings and salutations… you a Heather?
Winona Ryder: No, I’m a Veronica…

Of course, since we’re all about equal time around here, here’s a couple of Heathers (Ellie and Louise).

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Mistletoe the line

A few bits from Manhattan Infidel’s interview with Santa Claus:

MI: What’s the percentage of kids, on average, that are good?

Santa: It’s usually about 65-70%. Except for New Jersey of course. Only 25% of the kids in that state are good. I blame the Sopranos.

MI: What do you like best about your job?

Santa: Honestly? It has to be the MILFs. I meet a lot of MILFs on Christmas Eve. I mean a lot. I probably get more action that night than Derek Jeter gets all year.

MI: Doesn’t Mrs. Claus object?

Santa: Look. Mrs. Claus. God bless her. A wonderful woman. A provider. A soul mate. But we have an agreement. What happens on Christmas stays on Christmas.

“Mommy, I saw you!”

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