The other, other white meat

“Save a soybean, eat a vegan,” Tam snarked, and one of her high-quality commenters (one Global Village Idiot) came up with this idea, which was subsequently deemed worthy of a bumper sticker:

Eloi: It's What's For Dinner

Just wanted to see what it might look like, that’s all.

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None more Black

In the regular Rebecca Black slot this Friday, we are pleased, or appalled, to present a new item from ARK Music Factory, featuring someone even younger and even more blatantly Auto-Tuned. Ladies and germs, please welcome Madison Bray, age nine.

This was running about nine dislikes for every like last night on YouTube, so there’s that much in common with “Friday.” Otherwise — well, if I thought it had any merit I’d have embedded it.

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By any other name would cost as much

There’s been a little bit of carping lately regarding the transmogrification of The Arena Formerly Known As The Ford Center. The objections vary, but they tend to fall into two general areas: (1) Cheasapeake Energy’s chairman, Aubrey McClendon, is a founding partner of the Oklahoma City Thunder and owns a portion of the team, and he shouldn’t be committing corporate funds to something that might conceivably accrue to his personal benefit; (2) the city of Oklahoma City, which owns the facility, isn’t making all that much from the sale of the naming rights to CHK.

The latter point is pretty irrelevant, since the city’s lease to the team specifies exactly who gets to sell the naming rights — the team — and the amount of the city’s cut of the proceeds. As for the former, well, the idea is to raise Cheaspeake’s profile, not McClendon’s, and frankly, Aubrey’s probably anxious for a little more anonymity.

Marginally more interesting than the objections, at least to me, was the actual price of those rights:

The 12-year naming rights agreement has an initial annual cost of $3.0 million with a 3.0% annual escalation.

So we’re talking close to $40 million in one of the smaller NBA markets. Compare that to what is paid in the Bigger Leagues:

The Oakland Coliseum, home stadium of the Raiders and the A’s, will be renamed Coliseum. The six-year naming-rights deal will cost the Utah-based e-tailer “a modest $7.2 million,” reports the New York Times baseball blog, Bats.

Oh, and there’s this one minor detail:

Overstock is rebranding itself as (.co is a top-level domain that’s become a popular alternative to .com), and the company retains the right to rename the Coliseum.

Which they did, in June. Locals, unsurprisingly, still call it simply the Coliseum; they weren’t impressed by all the nomenclature adjustments across the bay at Candle3Monsterstick Park. This may or may not explain the bargain price paid by the yocos at

And just yesterday, Nancy Friedman, from whom I borrowed that Oakland story, tweeted this:

I hope they remodel Oakland’s Coliseum. Then it could be a rococo O.coCo.

Suddenly all the upcoming ‘Peake jokes don’t seem so horrible.

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There’s a screensaver for recess

Jennifer’s Weebot is attending one of those newfangled Virtual Schools this fall. How does this affect the traditional back-to-school frenzy? Not so much, really:

I’ve been frantically gathering the appropriate paperwork, including the silly things. (Really, you need an immunization record for a virtual school? And yet, they don’t need to verify that the anti-virus software on his PC is up to date.) Since they are still part of the public school system, they require all the same documentation.

Maybe we shouldn’t say anything out loud about AV software, lest they decide to require a specific package next school year.

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Don’t touch our staff

Former IMF head Dominique Strauss-Kahn has evidently read Coffee, Tea or Me? too many times:

Air France ruled that only male cabin crew were allowed to serve Dominique Strauss-Kahn, currently fighting accusations he attempted to rape a New York hotel maid.

The claim was reported Thursday by Le Parisien newspaper, which also says lawyers for the former IMF chief’s alleged victim, Nafissatou Diallo, are soliciting testimony from female flight attendants at the national carrier, who may have been subjected to inappropriate behavior by the Frenchman.

The lawyers already received two accounts from disgruntled staff, along with an anonymous letter detailing the Air France male-only order, the report said.

Strauss-Kahn is due back in New York to face charges in the Diallo case on the 23rd. It’s just too bad he can’t take the bus.

(Via Fausta Wertz.)

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There has to be a twist

I was going to say “He gives them no quarter,” but obviously he does:

(Via Fark.)

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‘Cause that’s the way boys are

Apparently it’s Bait Amanda Marcotte Week at The Other McCain, using what Reverend Lovejoy used to call “rock and/or roll,” which gives me an excuse to refer back to the only extended piece I’ve ever done on something she said (as distinguished from something that was said about her), which was a musing on, of all things, girl groups from the late Fifties and early Sixties.

It’s safe to say that we didn’t agree on a whole lot, and I suspect she’ll never get the hang of appreciating art forms without regard to political context — but I offer this as a small piece of evidence that it’s possible to read some of her stuff, even to comment about it, without becoming utterly bilious. The question of whether this is any fun or not is left as an exercise for the student.

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Getting Maybach up

Due to wholly-unforeseen circumstances, The Truth About Cars got to do a review of the Bugatti Veyron 16.4, a motor vehicle which costs eleventeen bazillion dollars, presumably beyond the site owner’s Visa limit — even just the test drive would otherwise have been a budget-buster — and it didn’t take long before someone weighed in with the standard class-warfare whine, the one that involves, yes, starving children.

Ronnie Schreiber, who runs Cars In Depth and occasionally contributes to TTAC, was ready with a response:

I once was describing the Ferrari Enzo to my cousin. When I told her it was $600K, she said, “they could be feeding people with that money”. I replied, “They are, they’re called Ferrari employees”. All the people that I know who have $100K+ cars already give a substantial amount of money to charities.

I know of a guy with an Enzo, a Carrera GT Porsche and an LP 640 Murcielago. That’s in addition to more plebian Porsches and Mercedes Benzes. The amount he’s spent on his cars doesn’t come near the $22 million that I know of that his family’s donated to local non-profits, nor the money they spend underwriting the Special Olympics.

When you tell rich folks not to buy extravagant things, the people who get hurt most are the folks making and selling those extravagant things, not Richey Rich, Scrooge McDuck and Mr. Burns.

John 12:5: “Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor?”

Keep in mind, though, who said that, and with what motivation.

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Know thy vehicle

I don’t normally poke through Reddit threads, but this one had so much potential … and then I thought better of it, because it would take hours to read, and darn near as long to cut and paste.

So you get this one representative excerpt, and you can poke through the rest if you like:

All these chain repair shops are jerkoffs like that. There’s one in BC called Big-O tire that a friend took her old 70s era Volkswagen Beetle to for service and ended up getting charged over $500 for various things, including replacing the radiator. On an air-cooled engine, that’s a really neat trick. I went back with her and showed the service manager the bill and manifest and then asked him to come out to the parking lot and show us where the new radiator is. He turned a unhealthy shade of grey and then quietly refunded the whole service amount.

My own experience with Big O — which seems to have withdrawn from my market area — was a bit more positive, but then I never bought anything from them but tires.

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Quote of the week

Did the “resolution” of the “debt crisis” leave you with vague feelings of “disgruntlement” and an urge to pepper pages with “scare quotes”? Allow Robert Stacy McCain to put matters into their proper perspective:

We all got screwed over in a lousy deal.

It doesn’t matter, in this context, whether you’re a left-winger who wants to tax Donald Trump into the poorhouse, or a right-winger who wants to zero out the budget for the National Endowment for the Arts.

At a moment like this, the real division is between Chumps, who foolishly expected politicians to deliver on their promises, and Cynics, who never for a moment expected anything other than a bipartisan swindle. And in case you were in the former category — an idealistic young True Believer who hasn’t lived long enough to cultivate the cynicism necessary to understand how politics really works — isn’t it high time you grow the hell up?

Truth be told, I don’t know how the cynics manage to keep up. Whatever little BS meters they have in the back of their heads have probably been at full deflection for several years now.

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Is this like the SI cover jinx?

Oklahoman screen shot

This took up much of the front page of the Oklahoman yesterday, and as I was hauling the paper indoors, I decided that no way were we going to hit 114°, just because of that graphic.

And we didn’t. The reporting station at Will Rogers World Airport rolled up a 109 before an actual smidgen of rain showed up. No records, folks. We’ve had quite enough of them in the last few years. (Hottest ever in the state was at Tipton on 27 June 1994, with 120; a few Mesonet stations in the eastern half of the state made it to 115 yesterday.)

I did notice that they’d realigned the 30-year averages at NWS, which now cover 1981-2010; the hottest period of the year (late July-early August) is now high 95/low 73/average 84, up 1 from the previous dataset, and the coldest (late December-early January) is now high 49/low 29/average 39, up 3. Note that this excludes 1980, a year that was, to borrow a term more closely associated with New England, wicked hot.

Of course, no one knows when the current heat wave will end, though all sorts of people will tell you what it’s going to be like in 2020 because we persist in owning creature comforts, and I wish for them a nice warm Christmas, their nuts (where appropriate) roasting on an open fire.

And from the Man Bites Dog department: Death toll rising — not news. Death toll shrinking — that’s news.

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And the hot side, hot

From The SartorialistLynn spent some of yesterday surfing through The Sartorialist, and happened upon several outfits she deemed worthy of note, or at least snark. Whether she’s analyzed this particular ensemble correctly, I don’t know, but I’m willing to throw the question open:

I have never understood why anyone would wear shorts with a sweater. If it’s warm enough for shorts it is too warm for a sweater; if it’s cool enough for a sweater it’s too cool for shorts, therefore it always looks silly when you put the two together. All I can think of is she’s thinking, “It’s a bit cool outside but my legs are too awesome not to show off so I’ll suffer.”

Sounds plausible enough. And besides, this was in New York, where it can be a touch on the chilly side in the morning, and then you roast alive in the afternoon, or so I’m told.

Update: See also this Seattle incident.

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Mass attendant

The staff of Gilbert Magazine, a magazine about the life, the views, and the influence of G. K. Chesterton, compile a regular “News with Views” section, and this is the top of their current list:

The latest study to catch our eye has connected obesity, not with the modern diet, but with church-going. The study, done through the Northwestern University School of Medicine, concluded that people who attend church services at least weekly are fifty percent more likely to become obese by the time they reach middle age than those who are not so regular or don’t attend at all. The study did not go so far as to develop an explanation, it just noted the statistical correlation.

As no one here surely needs to be reminded, correlation does not equal causation.

A couple of off-the-cuff explanations offered by researchers:

One may simply be that religious gatherings often may center around eating traditional, high-calorie comfort foods, said Matthew Feinstein, the study’s lead investigator and a fourth-year student at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

Or perhaps, young adults with a propensity toward weight problems find more acceptance and less judgment in church groups. Maybe religious faith gives some sort of physiological high similar to physical exercise, but without the burn off of calories. Or maybe, as Purdue University sociologist Ken Ferraro has suggested with his previous work, “churches are a feeding ground for gluttony and obesity.”

But Feinstein added the following:

Previous research has demonstrated that “religious people tend to live longer, smoke less, and have better mental health, and our study does nothing to challenge that.”

The Gilbert staff respond:

Well, our guy was a regular church goer, and he was kind of heavy. But he was definitely a smoker. He scores on the mental health issue though, in part because he wasn’t obsessed with trying to live longer than other folks.

Amen to that.

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Chintziness as babe magnet

At least for this guy, it’s not working:

A really beautiful chick at work was talking to me about her leased IS250, how fast and luxurious it was, etc… She asked which car I drove, and when I said “the banged up ’99 protege with the peeling clearcoat” her face suddenly looked like she had bad gas from an undercooked microwaveable burrito… I thought the recession was supposed to make tight wads like me fashionable!?

I think the only way this works is if you’d acquired that reputation as a cheapskate when times were flush.

And now that I think about it, almost every Nineties Protegé I’ve seen has had peeling clearcoat.

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Boredom has its defenders

The Honda Civic has been among the favored C-segment cars for so long that when the ninth-generation model drew an actual panning from Consumer Reports, it made headlines in places other than the car sites.

Honda isn’t taking this lying down:

In a broad sense, we disagree with Consumer Reports’ findings. Without question, the small sedan segment is more competitive than ever. In virtually every way, the completely redesigned 2012 Civic is a step forward. The new Civic excels in areas that matter to small-car customers, including fuel efficiency, safety, and reliability. Among the Civic’s greatest competitive strengths, is a smooth and efficient powertrain that, in Consumer Reports testing returned, “… an impressive 30 mpg overall on regular fuel and 47 mpg on the highway.” Also noted in Consumer Reports findings, the Civic excels in the area of safety, with a long list of important features standard on all trim levels, and a class-leading ‘Top Safety Pick’ rating from IIHS. Lastly, the Civic has a stellar reliability history with Consumer Reports, and we are confident that the new Civic will be a reliability leader as well.

Shorter version: “Shacho-san is dead and we can do what we want.”

Sorry, guys, but when you’re less interesting than a freaking Ford Focus, you’ve lost the way.

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Killer heels

In a more-or-less literal sense, this time:

An Augusta [Georgia] woman is being charged with murder after fatally striking her boyfriend in the head with a stiletto heel.

According to Richmond County sheriff’s Capt. Scott Peebles, 46-year-old Thelma Carter is being charged for the death of 58-year-old Robert F. Higdon.

Authorities believe the incident occurred sometime Sunday evening after an altercation between the two inside the trailer they lived in at Lot A-1 of Augusta Mobile Home Estates.

You know, I just had the feeling this didn’t happen at Augusta National.

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