Following the unheard

Sometimes a photo sits out here on the desktop for weeks, months even, until I realize there’s nothing much I can do with it, and I shunt it off to the archives.

Then once in a great while the Fates cut me some slack. Last week, Donald Trump was roasted — not over an open fire, I mean a comic-style roast — to fill some time on Comedy Central. One of the roasters was actress Marlee Matlin, seen here taking a break from the action:

Marlee Matlin at the Donald Trump Roast

She wears her four and a half decades well, and obviously she was having a good time, which usually bodes well for a potential Rule 5 nominee, but I was wavering.

Then I happened upon this:

[Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino] took the stage at Comedy Central’s roast of Donald Trump on Thursday, where he was reportedly booed off the stage.

Wearing aviator sunglasses, Sorrentino went up to the microphone, where he proceeded to insult all the other presenters. He called Marlee Matlin “ugly,” Larry King “old,” and Lisa Lampanelli “fat.”

He also told Snoop Dogg that the rapper and Trump had a lot in common because Trump owned a lot of property and Snoop’s ancestors had been property.

Okay, I’ll believe that Larry King is old. But the rest of that just won’t do. You can be as vile as you like at a roast if you make it funny. Otherwise, you’re just a lout.

But this is what nailed it for me:

Deaf actress Marlee Matlin, who currently stars on Trump’s “Celebrity Apprentice,” also took a swipe at [Sorrentino]: “Like the Situation,” she said in American Sign Language, “I too have never heard the sound of laughter.”

I just love that. And you know, when they’re funny, they’re prettier. Count on it.

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Mrs Repeal, we’re needed

Not so fast, Michele Bachmann:

Rep. Michele Bachmann’s Light Bulb Freedom of Choice Act would rescind the CFL mandates unless three conditions are met. First, the bulbs must show “net savings in the combination of monthly electric bills and expenses for new light fixtures to accommodate the new required bulbs.” There are other ways to reduce our energy bills, such as increasing supply. Then it must be proved that mandated use of CFLs “will reduce CO2 emissions by 20% by 2025.” Even Kyoto couldn’t do that. Finally, it must be shown that “there are no public health risks from the mercury in replacement bulbs at home or in any public building.”

The GAO would make these determinations, but Bachmann believes they can’t be satisfied.

The Old Grouch explains what’s wrong with this approach:

[T]he bill itself shows that in her third term Bachmann has gone native — succumbing to the dreaded D.C. Tinkering Syndrome. Because instead of giving us a clean repeal and a clean slate, Bachmann’s bill tweaks the law to achieve her desired outcome.

It would be well for the GOP to remember that the only reason they got any traction in the 2010 election was because they’d managed to persuade some substantial percentage of voters that they’d somehow undo the most egregious overreaches of the Pelosian Era. Consider this marker called in.

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Hush, puppies

A couple of months ago, Yum! Brands announced that they were going to sell off the Long John Silver’s seafood chain, saying that neither LJS nor A&W fit into their long-term growth strategy.

But before Long John walks the plank, there’s a new logo and a new slogan:

Long John Silver's logo

I assume that the staff, in order to be able to “speak fish,” is being sent to the appropriate schools.

(Via Fritinancy.)

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The operative word is “repellent”

There’s N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamide, and there’s your New York Times columnist. March Madness-wise, at least, Smitty prefers the latter:

Screen shot - Thomas Friedman beats OFF

Efforts to get Maureen Dowd to show us her DEET have so far proven unfruitful.

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There’s “lots to offer” in this week’s Carnival of the Vanities, the 416th in the series. This does not mean, of course, that Andrew Ian Dodge is selling real estate: not that kind of “lots,” guys.

Something they tell you in about the twentieth minute of real-estate school is that they’re not making any more land, and therefore it’s a good buy. What they won’t mention is the fact that every so often, land vanishes:

A thundering sound was heard from the mountain Batuwara which was answered by a similar noise from Kapi, lying westward of the modern Bantam. A great glowing fire, which reached the sky, came out of the last-named mountain; the whole world was greatly shaken and violent thundering, accompanied by heavy rain and storms took place, but not only did not this heavy rain extinguish the eruption of the fire of the mountain Kapi, but augmented the fire; the noise was fearful, at last the mountain Kapi with a tremendous roar burst into pieces and sank into the deepest of the earth. The water of the sea rose and inundated the land, the country to the east of the mountain Batuwara, to the mountain Rajabasa, was inundated by the sea; the inhabitants of the northern part of the Sunda country to the mountain Rajabasa were drowned and swept away with all property […] The water subsided but the land on which Kapi stood became sea, and Java and Sumatra were divided into two parts.

This is not the plot of Krakatoa, East of Java. For one thing, Krakatoa is west of Java. It is, however, a description of events in the Pararaton, the Javanese Book of Kings, which supposedly took place in the year AD 416.

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Fearful schmucks

As usual, P. J. O’Rourke anticipated the present. From Republican Party Reptile, 1987:

Something is happening to America, not something dangerous but something all too safe. I see it in my lifelong friends. I am a child of the “baby boom”, a generation not known for its sane or cautious approach to things. Yet suddenly my peers are giving up drinking, giving up smoking, cutting down on coffee, sugar, and salt. They will not eat red meat and go now to restaurants whose menus have caused me to stand on a chair yelling, “Flopsy, Mopsy, Cottontail, dinner is served!” This from the generation of LSD, Weather Underground, and Altamont Rock Festival! And all in the name of safety! Our nation has withstood many divisions — North and South, black and white, labor and management — but I do not know if the country can survive division into smoking and non-smoking sections.

The Big Scary Thing this week is nuclear power, the generation of which was interrupted in Japan by, oh, let’s call it the result of one of the largest earthquakes in recorded history. Two questions come immediately to mind, and fortunately for me and my indolence, they’ve already been asked. First, by Francis W. Porretto:

No one could build a reactor guaranteed to withstand any imaginable calamity, because such calamities are unbounded in magnitude. A significant meteorite impact — say, a nickel-iron rock 10 to 50 meters in diameter — would collapse the containment around any reactor and disperse the fissionables into the atmosphere. It would do even worse to a fossil-fueled power plant. Shall we, then, eschew electrical power generation altogether?

And the other, by Tam:

Remember back in ’50s and early ’60s, when we set off something like 900 atomic bombs in Nevada? And how we just let the fallout blow wherever and it landed all over the eastern US? And how it wiped out life as we know it and all that was left from Colorado to the Atlantic were six-legged rats battling two-headed cockroaches in the glowing ruins?

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go have a banana, a good source of potassium — and, inevitably, a good source of potassium-40. For now, I offer this reminder: The only place on earth where you can’t be hurt is the graveyard. And don’t worry: you’ll get there soon enough.

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Emulsional rescue

When I was still taking pictures (or “taking still pictures,” if you prefer) on 35mm film, I swore by Seattle FilmWorks, which had a proprietary film formulation — turned out to be repurposed motion-picture film, in fact — that worked exceptionally well on my little Minolta, at the cost of having to send in every roll to the Pacific Northwest for processing. Still, SFW did good work, and they sent back a fresh roll with every one they processed.

SFW later mutated into PhotoWorks, which would digitize your photos for you and set them into an online library and/or send you back a CD with the files. The service was a tad pricey, but pretty darn convenient. They gave that up last year, though.

And now, I am told, I have two weeks to retrieve anything I may have left up there. I think I have all the discs, but I’ll have to take a look anyway, just in case.

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Fast and furry-ish

Clawdeen Wolf by MattelThe young lady with the, um, slightly prominent ears is Clawdeen Wolf, and she’s part of an entire Monster High collection by Mattel. (Yes, she’s on the Fearleading squad.) The collection has its own Web site, its own Webisodes (gawd, I hate that word), and, you may be absolutely certain, its detractors:

Clawdeen Wolf comes complete with a thigh-skimming skirt, sky high boots and heavy makeup, and spends her days “waxing, plucking and shaving.”

“My hair is worthy of a shampoo commercial, and that’s just what grows on my legs. Plucking and shaving is definitely a full-time job but that’s a small price to pay for being scarily fabulous,” reads the character description of the teen werewolf doll, who also lists her favorite hobby as “flirting with boys.”

But the most frightful thing about Clawdeen, experts say, is the shocking impact she could have on girls aged 6 and up — the very demographic Mattel is targeting.

Suddenly Barbie looks less horrifying, or at least less hirsute.

The reactions boil down to “OMG body image!” And certainly you don’t want to see a seven-year-old girl hiding out in the bathroom, trying to shave away something that hardly exists. But “realistic” dolls are like sensible shoes: there are times when you appreciate them, but unwrapping them on your birthday is usually not one of them.

On the upside, you have to figure that Trader Vic’s is highly unlikely to serve the decidedly-underage Clawdeen a piña colada.

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Heat dissipated

So what happened when the revised and edited Thunder defense took its talents to South Beach? The Heat were able to connect on only 38.5 percent of their shots, only three of 17 from beyond the arc, and OKC outrebounded them 51-40 — all with Kendrick Perkins fouling out with a couple of minutes left. Up by a single point at halftime, the Thunder knocked off the Heat 96-85, and while the triumvirate of Chris Bosh, LeBron James and Dwyane Wade combined for 61 points, the entire Miami starting lineup had … 62. (Erick Dampier made one of two foul shots.)

Admittedly, the Thunder didn’t shoot all that much better: 39.8 percent. But they sank nine of 20 treys. Who would have thought this team could shoot the long ball? Kevin Durant, who hit two of three, finished with 29 points; Russell Westbrook added 18, and James Harden led the bench with 12. (Which, yes, is only 59.) Serge Ibaka had 12 rebounds, and radio guy Matt Pinto swears the Serge Protector blocked more than the three shots recorded in the box score.

Scott Brooks seems to be getting used to a 10-man rotation now, with Nick Collison and Nazr Mohammed spelling Ibaka and Perkins, and spot shooting from ex-Heat Daequan Cook. (Cook hit two of four treys for six points in ten minutes.) Brooks tends to leave things alone once they seem to be working, and a 44-23 record seems to meet the definition of “working.”

To follow: six home games, starting with the Bobcats on Friday night and the Raptors on Sunday. And that’s the last we’ll see of the Eastern Conference until the season finale against the Bucks. Of course, if somehow the Thunder end up in the Finals, they’ll have to play some Eastern team, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

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Scents to spare

“Has any man,” asks Brian J. Noggle, “ever used a complete bottle of cologne?”

I ask this as a veteran of many annual Estate Saling campaigns. In the homes of older gentlemen, you would often find several half-empty bottles of cologne, which means that these fellows carried these bottles to the end of their retirements (or to their interments in assisted living facilities). The Avon collectible bottles, usually quarts or pints of cologne contained in cars, animals, or other cutesy decanters, were often empty, though — does that mean Avon is more popular? I would ask, but the bored people overpricing the “antiques” (anything not made of chipboard) don’t know.

I can offer only one anecdote, the subject of which is myself.

In 1978, as a newlywed, I was persuaded to switch to Ralph Lauren’s Polo, which was new that year. I got an eight-ounce bottle, which at the time, as I recall, was somewhere around $40, a price I thought was outrageous. (It’s now closer to $100.) The bottle is not yet empty. Then again, it gets brought out for use maybe twice a year, and I must concede, the stuff does seem to retain its potency, even at its advanced age. I’ve definitely gotten my money’s worth.

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By popular demand

Okay, they didn’t demand it of me, exactly, but Lynn started it:

These are pretty. I’d wear those. If it weren’t for that whole fear of falling down and making a fool of myself thing I’ve mentioned before.

When Nicole endorsed that same shoe in comments, I had to mention it here, even if it did show up on If Style Could Kill. I did, however, go hunt down a different photo:

Felicia by Betsey Johnson

This is, or was, Betsey Johnson’s “Felicia,” which dates to about three springtimes ago. It’s definitely on the whimsical side, and the inner arch is open, making this sort of a demi-D’Orsay. I like the little rhinestone cluster on the vamp. It’s a tall heel — four inches — but what the heck. I have no pricing on this shoe, since it’s long discontinued, but similarly-cutesy shoes from the current Betsey Johnson line run $200ish.

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Forget all that nuance stuff

This guy cuts to the chase:

Girls. What would you be more attracted to a guy with a sport bike or 350z?

Top answer so far: “Why would you want such a shallow girlfriend?”

Well, duh. He’s 19. Why do you think?

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Groovy girls

LPCover Lover has opened up a sidebar category called Chicks Dig Records, which is a collection of photographs of persons of the female persuasion interacting with, or just surrounded by, classic vinyl (and/or shellac, in the case of 78s). It’s a fairly huge (and, I warn you, not always safe for work) collection.

You will not be surprised to hear that the first thing I thought to myself was Wouldn’t it be cool if we could get Zooey D. into one of these shots? LPCL, however, was way ahead of me:

Zooey Deschanel spinning some tunes

Is that Hot Rocks I see?

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You are entering the Defamation Zone

Not a creation of Rod Serling, but it could have been. A Twin Cities blogger, says a jury, has to fork over $60k to someone mentioned on his blog, despite the fact that he reported the truth of the matter:

Though blogger John (Johnny Northside) Hoff told the truth when he linked ex-community leader Jerry Moore to a high-profile mortgage fraud, the scathing blog post that got Moore fired justifies $60,000 in damages, a Hennepin County jury decided Friday.

The jury awarded Moore $35,000 for lost wages and $25,000 for emotional distress. The civil verdict culminated a nearly two-year legal scuffle between John Hoff, whose blog, The Adventures of Johnny Northside, has 300 to 500 readers daily, and Moore, former director of the Jordan Area Community Council.

Counsel for the plaintiff didn’t dispute the facts of the matter, but:

The suit focused on five allegedly biased and defamatory statements on Hoff’s blog. Moore’s attorney argued that Hoff should be responsible for comments others made on his website because Hoff had created a “defamation zone.”

The judge tossed out four of the statements as being merely opinion. But the money quote — “Repeated and specific evidence in Hennepin County District Court shows Jerry Moore was involved with a high-profile fraudulent mortgage at 1564 Hillside Ave. N.” — did persuade the jury that Hoff had committed “tortious interference” with Moore’s employment, thereby somehow justifying damages.

I am generally not one to second-guess juries. However, I think it’s a pretty safe bet that Jerry Moore is about to get an object lesson in one of the multitudinous variations of the Streisand effect.

(Via the Consumerist.)

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Nice chassis

I never quite understood the process by which Harriette Lake became Ann Sothern. I mean, she was born in Valley City, North Dakota, and grew up in Minneapolis, but no one in Hollywood saw fit to dub her Ann “Northern.”

Then again, she made her mark in Tinseltown somewhere along the Smart/Funny axis, both characteristics very much on display here:

Ann Sothern in MGM publicity photo

Okay, maybe not. MGM, the third studio to give her a shot, cast her in Maisie (1939) as a showgirl in the Old West, and it did well enough to spawn nine sequels and a radio series. None of this explains how Sothern wound up on television playing a woman reincarnated as an automobile, but hardly anything would, right?

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That’s some fine police work there, Lou

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