GT-R done

You can’t go a single day in Yahoo! Answers’ Cars section without seeing some doofus wail about how he (it’s always a “he”) so wants a Nissan Skyline, preferably in GT-R trim, and what does he have to do to get one?

Of course, what makes him a doofus is not that he wants the Skyline, a legitimate halo (as distinguished from Halo) car, but the fact that he’s asking this question without running a simple search of the site to see if such a thing has been asked before. (Which it has; yesterday, in fact.) On the off-chance that any of them happen to wander over this way, I’ll point them to Tam’s:

I’ll sleep safer in my bed tonight, secure in the knowledge that rough men stand watch in the night, protecting me from cars that haven’t had the full battery of NHTSA frontal offset barrier impact tests.

Curiously, none of these guys seem to want the R35 version, which is actually available in the States, or the V36 Skyline, sold here as the Infiniti G. Maybe in twenty years, when the holographic version of The Fast and the Furious shows up.

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Blue-icon stepchild

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Block that beta!

I spent not quite half an hour yesterday morning wired to a laptop, and no, it wasn’t to improve the WiFi reception. Lucky me, I got to experience ANSAR, which is a test routine to evaluate my autonomic nervous system.

From the booklet they handed out:

There are two parts, or branches, to your ANS: the sympathetic branch and the parasympathetic branch. Generally, the sympathetic branch is more in control when you are stressed, nervous, or excited, while the parasympathetic branch is more in control when you are relaxing, sleeping, or recovering from an illness or injury.

A balance between the two branches of your ANS is essential for good health. In fact, most illnesses and injuries cause or result from an imbalance between these two branches.

Now “cause or result from” triggers the same flags as “jobs saved or created”: the WTF meter is almost pegged. Still, the discerning reader will presumably have already discerned that I have an imbalance, and a whopping one at that: the parasympathetic branch is apparently up to snuff, but the sympathetic branch is merely pathetic. (Video discussing for whom this test might be indicated.)

So it’s apparently time for a beta blocker, to keep away unworthy men address any potential cardiac issues, since I am a tad hypertensive, albeit reasonably well-controlled. (138/76 of late.) I am, of course, not looking forward to this, but the idea of losing a symptom or three has a genuine appeal.

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I remember Cyd

Cyd Charisse would have been 89 today, and regular readers will remember the send-off I gave her when she danced out of this world in 2008. I didn’t serve up any pictures at that time, though, so amends are made herewith.

You have to keep in mind, now, that the first time I saw her was in Brigadoon, an innocent Scottish lass who won over a surly New Yorker (Gene Kelly):

Cyd Charisse and Gene Kelly in Brigadoon

It did not occur to me at the time that a previous meeting with Gene was, um, perhaps a tad less wholesome:

Cyd Charisse and Gene Kelly in Brigadoon

Not everything she did, of course, involved Gene Kelly. From that earlier article:

Allow me to recommend the scene in Silk Stockings where she replaces her coarse Communist unmentionables with Parisian finery: the ratio of sheer eroticism to volume of actual exposed flesh is among the highest in motion-picture history.

Which you can see here. Mere stills would not do it justice.

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Care Bears scare

While no one was looking, the Memphis Grizzlies climbed their way into eighth place in the West. The Griz won 21 of their first 30 games in the FedUpForum, and last night, just for good measure, they slid past the Mavericks in Dallas. You have to assume, therefore, that the Thunder, who’d beaten Memphis only once in three tries this season, were aware what they were up against. But maybe it didn’t matter: the Griz were clicking on all cylinders tonight, and Yahoo! Sports had the final score posted about four minutes (real time, not game time) before the game actually ended. (I went back a few minutes later, and they’d fixed it.) Grizzlies 107, Thunder 101, and that finishes off the season series.

Oklahoma City managed to outshoot Memphis (52.5 percent!), but they fell down on the boards, especially offensive boards, which the Griz dominated, 15-8. And they did it without Rudy Gay, who’s been out since mid-February with a shoulder injury. All five Memphis starters scored in double figures, led by guards Mike Conley and Tony Allen, both of whom picked up an even 20.

And for some reason, the Thunder weren’t getting the free throws. (Radio guy Matt Pinto would say it was because the fouls weren’t being called.) They put up only 18; worse, they made just 11. Neither Russell Westbrook nor Kevin Durant got to be a Force of Nature tonight, though Westbrook came closer, picking up 27 points on 11-21 shooting. (Durant went 8-19, despite four second-half treys; the Griz gave him grief from the opening tipoff.)

The road trip continues at Philadelphia. Do not get your hopes up: the Sixers have won eight of their last ten. On the other hand, they have to play at Indiana Tuesday, and the Thunder show up in Philly on Wednesday.

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Turning with the world

Things you may not know — at least, things I did not know — about the first 125 years or so of Cosmopolitan.

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We want to be like Mick

You can tell things are getting bad in Tulsa when a Tulsa World columnist actually calls for Oklahoma City to be running things:

What we need to outsource is City Hall.

How much do you think Oklahoma City would charge us to take over governing Tulsa?

I don’t know. How much did Heracles get for beheading the Hydra? It’s a comparable task, and it’s probably easier than rerouting the Arkansas River through 2nd and Cincinnati. And I’m pretty sure OKC Mayor Mick Cornett isn’t champing at the bit to take over.

Actually, Tulsa is contemplating some charter changes, one of which might be the adoption of a council/manager form of government similar to Oklahoma City’s, which is occasionally slow and cumbersome but once in a while manages to do the Right Thing. With Tulsa’s existing strong-mayor system, you have to hope that you elected someone up to the task, which too often you didn’t, which explains why America’s Most Beautiful City (Time, 1950s) has basically turned into the White Detroit.

The ultimate solution may be to dissolve the government entirely and let Jenks annex the city. At least they seem to know how to run things.

It’s either that or turn it over to Charlie Sheen.

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Some people have no business breeding

And near the top of that list, I’d put the proponents of this alleged research:

Are the long nights and financial burdens of parenting really worth the emotional benefits? New research is saying no: When confronted with the real economic costs of having children, most parents will exaggerate their happiness to validate their choice to have children.

“Many people believe that to be truly fulfilled in life, it is necessary to experience the joys of parenthood. Children are considered an essential source of happiness, satisfaction, and pride,” Richard Eibach and Steven Mock of the University of Waterloo, wrote of their study in the March 2 issue of the journal Psychological Science. “However, the idea that parenthood involves substantial emotional rewards appears to be something of a myth.”

Shorter version: “But what’s in it for me? I mean, I am the center of the known universe, after all.”

Which is not to say that they’d thought this all the way through or anything:

Do you reckon the authors of this research considered the personal implications? Even assuming they are all childless … they were all children, once. Horrible, expensive, and emotionally draining children. Do they believe that their own dear mothers were irrational, too? Do they believe that they weren’t worth the money and effort?

Of course not. They believe that they’re just hunky-dory. Exceptional, even. After all, look at this valuable research that they’re doing.

One nice thing about God is, while He can’t help but overhear chatter about “If we have a baby, we won’t be able to afford arugula with our salads anymore,” He doesn’t respond with a lightning bolt to the gonads.


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I should add this to the Legalese page

Woman with Mauser 96 pistol

(Courtesy of Oleg Volk.)

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Strange search-engine queries (266)

Rather a lot of people show up at Yahoo! Answers with desperate cries of “How do I clear my browser history?” It’s not that difficult, generally, but it ignores the other half of the equation: what happens to your server-side history? The answer: if it’s marginally amusing and it landed somewhere in this domain, it’s right here.

texico oil salesmen on t.v. said goaway kid you bother me:  What did you expect? They’re the men of Texaco; they’ll kick your ass to Mexico.

how sincere was karla faye tucker’s conversion:  The state of her heart is known only to God, and He’s under no obligation to reveal the details.

ethical violation in milligram:  Governmental ethical violations are measured in metric tons.

ready to skedaddle:  Make sure you fill out form 2395 (Federal Report of Proposed Skedaddlement) before you go.

fruit ninja slicesound gone:  Well, see, that’s the thing about ninjas: you never actually see them go.

do any original parts in the 2002 mazda 626 have a life time warrety:  No. And if one did, it wouldn’t be the one that broke just now.

U.S. to buy impotence:  Must be a State Department deal.

levittra and ovarian can:  Can what? Out with it, man!

mike rowe hatless:  Well, it’s a start. There are women out there who’d like to see him shirtless, maybe even pantless.

robin meade, blurred cleavage:  Maybe she’s moving too fast for you to freeze the frame.

how long can a man long sexually:  Some of us have been longing for a long time.

canada generic:  Saves you money on your health-care costs, or would if you had any.

what is the adverb form of criminal:  Congressionally.

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Suns dimmed, but slowly

For a moment there, it looked like the Thunder were going to close out the Suns in grand style: Phoenix started the fourth quarter with only six points in seven minutes. Funny thing about the Suns, though: when it’s darkest, they rise. With a minute and a half left, they’d cut the margin to a single point, and it was still a single point when the shot clock was shut off. Then with 11.6 seconds left, Russell Westbrook picked Steve Nash’s pocket, drew the foul, swished a pair of free throws; Phoenix spent less than three seconds setting up Vince Carter for a trey to tie it up, and Kevin Durant’s pullup jumper at the buzzer went awry. Five minutes of overtime followed, and the Thunder eventually won it at the charity stripe, 122-118. It didn’t hurt that Carter, missing a key trey but drawing a foul in the waning moments, bricked two of three freebies.

The Suns put up 101 shots — thirty-one from beyond the arc — and hit 47.5 percent of the twos and 45.2 percent of the threes. Carter finished with 29 points, with Mickael Pietrus and Marcin Gortat racking up twenty each from the bench; Nash (11 points, 14 assists) and Channing Frye (11 points, 15 rebounds) got double-doubles. But here’s your telltale statistic: Grant Hill, usually a thorn in the Thunder’s side, had five boards and five fouls in 41 points, but no points.

Phoenix also did a decent job of confining Durant, who ended up 3-14 with 18 points. Westbrook, however, was not so easily boxed out, rolling up 32 points and serving up 11 dimes. And James Harden had a season-high 26 points. OKC outrebounded PHX, 49-45, and outrejected them as well: Serge Ibaka blocked four shots, his teammates five more, while the Suns came up with only three blocks, all from Gortat.

From this point, though, things get hairy. A two-game road trip runs through Memphis and Philadelphia, both in position to be playoff teams this season; then back home against Detroit, then on the road for three more (Cleveland, Washington, Miami). It’s showtime, guys.

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Now that’s good camo

Although Claude Rains was not available for comment.

Really good camo

(Via FAIL Blog’s Win!)

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Fun, fun, fungibility

“Concerned,” after receiving an email forward, writes:

“Gosh, Mr. Answer Man, how can I make sure that my car isn’t being fueled by crude oil bought from the Enemies of Our Country, like all those horrible Middle Eastern places, or that nutcase from Venezuela?”

Dear Concerned:

Buy a Nissan Leaf or a Tesla Roadster; they use no gas at all. Otherwise, you haven’t a chance.

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The hazelnut is your friend

Getting nowhere with the ladies, guys? Develop a taste for Nutella.

Seriously. In six trips to the grocery store in three weeks, I’ve seen five jars coming off the shelf, and each of those five was being bought by a lovely young(ish) woman. (The suffix because, well, I’m a poor judge of age.) Voilà: Instant Topic of Conversation.

You’re welcome.

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Tweak sauce

Are there any lengths to which a government will not go to fight the scourge of methamphetamine? Not just no, but hell, no:

A bill is working its way through the Legislature that would require a doctor’s prescription to buy tablets that contain pseudoephedrine, which is a key ingredient in making methamphetamine.

Darrell Weaver, director of the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Control, said House Bill 1235 would be a major blow to meth manufacturers. He predicted the number of meth-related arrests would drop substantially if the measure designating pseudoephedrine as a prescription-only drug passes.

Rep. Ben Sherrer (D-Chouteau) is responsible for this hackery. I hope he sneezes his goddamn head off.

You may remember from back in 2009:

Legislation requiring consumers to obtain a prescription for cold and allergy medicines containing pseudoephedrine is the best way to crush illegal methamphetamine operations, which are reaching epidemic numbers in the Tulsa area, the state’s top drug enforcement officer told a legislative panel Thursday.

“The cornerstone is pseudoephedrine,” said Darrell Weaver, director of the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Control. “We’re constantly battling folks who want this product.”

No Sudafed, Sherlock. There’s a demand, and your band of merry enforcers hasn’t made a dent in the supply. Nor will they. Some Monday morning, you could lock up every gram of pseudoephedrine on the planet, load it aboard a rocket, and fire it into the sun, and there would be meth labs by the weekend. Count on it.

I figure the next step is to address the automotive death rate, which has been declining for many years but is still not zero, by cutting the speed limit to 5 mph. You listening, Ben?

What I said back in aught-nine:

[I]f this rule were to be enacted, and it should fail to eradicate the meth plague, as it almost certainly will, what’s the next step? You guessed it. The state would evidently prefer that you live with your misery — and spread it to others, because you can’t do a thing about the symptoms — so that Johnny Wayne Addlepate appears to have less of a chance of blowing himself to smithereens. Me, I look upon his timely demise as a boon to the gene pool.

All we are saying: give Darwin a chance.

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First I look at the nurse

As of this writing, the Collins-McCain Institute of Therapeutic Breast-Staring is conducting a full-frontal assault on the notion that one should not gaze at a woman’s rack; their theory, apparently, is that the salubrious health benefits of the stare outweigh the possibility of getting slapped upside the head.

Florence NightingaleCommenter Red, down in the Disqus thread, was mildly dismissive of the effort, saying: “So now maybe Christina Hendricks and Pamela Anderson can be likened to Florence Nightingale? Pshh.” In my capacity as Fringe Researcher, I set out to find a representative shot of a younger Florence Nightingale — she lived to be 90 — but cameras being in short supply in those days, I had to settle for this sketch [source], presumably made some time around 1840. They say the camera adds ten pounds, which may be true, but I don’t remember anyone saying that the pencil adds several inches. We’re not talking double D’s here by any stretch of the imagination, but let the record show that, contemporary fashions notwithstanding, Florence N. was at least somewhat curvy.

(Motivation: this King Shamus tweet, which described the Lee Remick shot from 1968, supra, as “Old Skool Hawtness.” Now this is Old Skool.)

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