Grow up already

There’s always been a lot of yammering about “separating the men from the boys,” but few ever get around to specifying the location of the line of demarcation. This is about as good a map as I’m likely to find:

I’ve never dealt with real gender-related ugliness (some women have gotten death threats online and such), but I’ve had a little frustration with it in real life. The stupid thing is, every MAN I’ve ever worked with has recognized I have a brain and know how to use it, and he has respected me for it. And I have worked with a lot of men in my life, both as colleagues and as students. I’m not quite sure how to approach — even if I need to — BOYS who can’t get that fact.

Perhaps it was just that simple, all along.

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Tricky handling

Hyundai has been showing off something they call the Vision G Concept, and while it’s not specifically slated for production itself, we can probably expect some of its features to show up on actual cars before too awfully long.

Hyundai Vision G Concept

Concept cars, of course, are almost always two-door coupes; no one goes to an auto show to see a four-door sedan. Then again, it would presumably be interesting to see a four-door version of this thing, since apparently it doesn’t have any door handles.

Wait, what?

We pick up the story from Jonny Lieberman in Motor Trend (November):

[T]he door handles … are not in fact on the doors. I asked, and the reason why is that when you have doors more than 3 feet in length, you have to take a few steps back while opening them in a conventional fashion. With the handle on the body panel behind the door, you simply push (or in this case swipe), wait as the automatic door opens, and then step inside.

Lieberman thinks this is not a great idea:

Call me old-fashioned, but it seems to me that if you’re a door handle, job one is to be on the door.

If this, um, feature shows up on a production Hyundai, I will be surprised, and not necessarily pleasantly so. That said, for all I know it might be the biggest hit since the fake hood scoop.

(Photo via NetCarShow.com.)

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Reddish alert

The day after the Giant Moon Blockout Party, or whatever, what I thought was a leftover stem from this year’s white irises, presumably in hibernation until spring, suddenly straightened up, and over the next couple of days produced, well, this:

Mysterious red-orange flower

I tossed a version of this picture up on Twitter to see what the hive mind had to say; first response (via @s_r_s) was red spider lily (Lycoris radiata), about which much has been said:

When the flowers of lycoris bloom, their leaves would have fallen; when their leaves grow, the flowers would have wilted. This habit gave rise to various legends. A famous one is the legend of two elves: Mañju, who guarded the flower, and Saka, who guarded the leaves. Out of curiosity, they defied their fate of guarding the herb alone, and managed to meet each other. At first sight, they fell in love with each other. God, exasperated by their waywardness, separated the miserable couple, and laid a curse on them as a punishment: the flowers of Mañju shall never meet the leaves of Saka again.

It was said that when the couple met after death in Diyu (hell), they vowed to meet each other after reincarnation. However, neither of them could keep their word.

So evidently it belongs here, in the land of frustrated longings.

(A full three-point-whatever megapixel shot is on Flickr.)

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Not available on tape

Big Black Delta is a solo project by Jonathan Bates of Mellowdrone. I admit I don’t quite understand BBD’s “Betamax,” but it’s compulsively listenable:

Coming up in the spring is a new BBD album called Tragame Tierra — I don’t get that either — and to get you in the proper mindset, Stereogum has posted the song “RCVR” (rhymes with, among other things, “BLVR”), featuring, and somewhat inspired by, Debbie Gibson. It’s terribly good. Really.

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Totally unintellectual property

As are most such laws these days, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act is designed to give the Really Stupid an advantage in a court of law, to the extent we have courts of law anymore.

What do I mean by “Really Stupid”? Here’s a blatant — yet not particularly unusual — example:

In an attempt to make it harder for people to find pirated copies of its movies, Paramount Pictures has tried to remove several uTorrent forum posts from Google’s search results. However, it turns out that none of the threads that were called out as unlawful actually link to copyright infringing material.

Just mentioning a word that’s in the title is apparently enough to upset Paramount’s little digital militia:

[A] user pointed out that he was “clueless” about something. This apparently rang alarm bells at Paramount’s content protection company who assumed that this person was referring to a pirated copy [of] the film Clueless.

Google’s response? According to TorrentFreak, they whitelisted the entire uTorrent domain. Apparently there’s only so much stupidity Google is willing to tolerate.

(Via Consumerist.)

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On the other side of the tropics

A couple of excerpts from the Pergelator Guide to South America:

Peru, a poor mountainous country famous for being the home of Peruvian Marching Powder. The US Embassy is the biggest building in the capital, funded almost entirely by the DEA.

Argentina and Chile are back to back across the Andes mountains. They are the southernmost countries, have temperate climates as opposed to tropical, and might almost be considered first world countries. They both also have a history of mass murder carried out by right wing death squads. That seems to have gone away, but it’s still a feature on most of the rest of the continent.

Bolivia, which is also famous for Peruvian Marching Powder, probably because both here and Peru are mostly high elevation mountains, and coca leaves are what people use in order to function at 15,000 feet without oxygen.

Of course, some of said leaves end up back on this side of the equator, keeping a whole bunch of militarized forces at the semi-ready.

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For all your lunar events

Lynn’s thoughts on the Humongous Moon Thing from earlier this week:

I did watch the lunar eclipse Sunday night. Not quite the whole event though. Eclipses are both exciting and boring at the same time. They’re very slow. Our modern entertainments have conditioned us to expect things to happen quickly. But eclipses are exciting because … well, it’s hard to explain. It’s like I’m more aware of the reality of the solar system. We’ve all seen the diagrams and the models and it’s not that I ever doubted the reality; I didn’t, but when one object in space casts a shadow on another it really feels real. You know what I mean?

Yep. Textbooks, for all their wondrous detail — assuming they have wondrous detail — can only allow you to experience so much. At six or at sixty, your reaction is much the same, even if it’s not phrased this way: “Holy crap, it’s actually doing it!”

This, though, I’m not so sure about:

I was watching it alone and you really need to watch eclipses with someone else. They should be shared. While I was standing in my driveway looking at the moon I could hear the neighbors in their back yard talking and I was a little envious. I thought about how my mother would have enjoyed watching the eclipse and wished she was there. I also thought that people should have eclipse parties. Not us. We don’t really have any close friends, and family are all too far away to come to an event that late at night. But eclipse parties should definitely be a thing.

But aren’t they “slow?”

I do like the idea of shared experiences, but I’m way short on available sharers at the moment. Maybe things will pick up for the solar eclipse in August 2017.

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Kwitcherbitchin

Yes, even I can be persuaded that I doth protest too much at times.

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Seems legit-ish

Spotted these guys on Twitter earlier this week:

Don’t even think about copying anything off their Web site, though: they have most of the usual methods trapped out. I did, however, screen-print this little announcement:

We are a legitimate business, incorporated in the State of Florida

To borrow a phrase: “When the first thing they tell you is ‘We are a legitimate business,’ run like hell.”

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Clearly there is no Cure

Somewhere in Portland, Oregon is a food trucklet called “Fried Egg I’m In Love”:

This food cart creates Portland’s best breakfast sandwiches. Each fried egg sandwich has a punny name, a perfectly cooked egg, and is crafted with love. We also have the best gluten-free breakfast sandwiches in Portland. Our vegan burrito is immensely popular, and vegetarians LOVE our SortaSausage — made from gluten-free oats and polenta, and created right here in Oregon.

For seven bucks, for instance, you can get Sriracha Mix-A-Lot:

Fried egg, seared ham, fresh avocado, tomato, havarti cheese, and Sriracha. Jump on it.

This did not make it to the top of Atlas Obscura’s list of food trucks with punny names, but it was clearly my favorite. (Second place? Another Portland vehicle, Comfortably Yum, temporarily closed following a fire.)

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The government will assign you a car

This sounds rather a lot like a Woody Allen description: ” … one of those guys with saliva dribbling out of his mouth who wanders into a cafeteria with a shopping bag screaming about socialism.”

Okay, you listen to him:

I am confused after seeing a nice, newer corvette had a big Bernie Sanders 2016 lawn sign on its dashboard. Doesn’t add up?

And these are the bits of the equation he can’t combine:

An older, white women exited the car, not that that should matter. I wasn’t stalking her, I just like analyzing nice cars. I thought if anything, the sign would be supporting a Republican. It seems so very hypocritical, deeply ironic, utterly contradictory. Sure, Bernie wants everyone to be wealthy … is that her argument? Sounds like anyone would argue that. Socialists want everyone to be equal, or is that incorrect? Shouldn’t the corvette driver spread her wealth. I’m in a chevy lumina that won’t pass emissions, and I’m not voting for Bernie. This lady should sell the car and give some money to me so I can catch up to where she is, if you believe in Bernie. I’m a college graduate. I’m just not where she is. I could cry I fell through the cracks and she should help me. Isn’t that what Socialism and Bernie would advocate? Something along those lines that party would advocate. Socialists don’t drive around Corvettes? If they do, then we’ve all be mistaken and should pick Bernie immediately. We want our Corvette. We all work hard. We all should be equal then. All jobs paid the same, right? (take your guess at where I’m playing devil’s advocate.) I really wanted to stop and converse with her, but I get too political with this stuff and I’m not afraid to get in the dirt with it. I have nothing to lose. Hek, I’m not the one with the Corvette. Doesn’t a muscle car take more fuel and pollute more? Not sure where Bernie stands on that, but I would think he’s a big environmentalist.

One expects of a devil’s advocate, at the very least, the ability to advocate for something, or at least against something. This is basically “Let’s see how many talking points I can use in half an hour.”

And besides: a lawn sign on the dashboard? This ain’t no bumper sticker, Ryball. For all you can tell, she may have just swiped that sign from a neighbor with whom she disagrees.

Now shut up and get your crummy Lumina fixed.

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Your account has been limited

And someone is being sent to address this matter:

Also, you will now be able to render unto Sears the payments due Sears.

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I got to let them know

Should they stay or should they go? This is pretty much exactly the way they put it in their email:

We can take a hint. We hate unwanted email almost as much as we hate feeling needy or neglected. Bothering you is the last thing we want. If you’d still like to receive emails from us, just let us know by clicking below. If not, no hard feelings, but please be honest and tell us so we can move on.

The ball is in your court: If you do not select either of these options, we’ll be forced to part ways and clear you off our subscriber list.

Passive-aggressive much?

I decided to opt in, just this once. (Tease, tease, tease.)

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This I want

From Roger’s September Rambling #2:

From Donna: “Thinking of writing a bedtime book for grownups along the lines of Goodnight Moon. It will be titled Shutup Brain.”

Yes, yes, YES!

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Fark blurb of the week

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Heat indexing

I have to admit that this never would have occurred to me:

Rare and exceptional beauty is rare and exceptional, but because Hollywood, advertising and other media constantly feed us images of beautiful people, this distorts perceptions to such a degree that many people don’t seem to realize how rare beauty actually is.

Go find your old high school yearbook and go through the portraits of the senior class, assigning the girls to an ordered ranking based strictly by looks, from the most attractive to the least attractive. Suppose that there were exactly 100 girls in your senior class. This means that the 10 prettiest girls would rate a 10, the next 10 prettiest would rate 9, and so forth.

It’s been 45 years since I was in high school — and yes, I do have my yearbook — but class portraits tend to even out the oddities. And there are variables which don’t translate. One classmate who comes to mind had a tendency toward unflattering hair styles, which didn’t do much for her face, but if you started at the end with the penny loafers, you’d discover a killer pair of gams. (Being messed up even then, I crushed on her younger sister, who was about 30 years ahead of her time in terms of sheer adorkability.)

And I’m not sure I’d know what to do were a 10, or a 9, or a 6.5, or whatever, to look my way.

Guys sit around watching a pro football game and, when the camera briefly shows the cheerleaders, guys talk about which one of them is really hot. Dude, they are all NFL cheerleaders. How many NFL cheerleaders are not “hot”? Zero. Or guys watching the Miss America pageant will disparage the less attractive contestants: “Miss Rhode Island? What a dog! Yuck!” Of course, never in his life has this guy dated anyone remotely as attractive as Miss Rhode Island and yet, when she appears in competition against other exceptionally good-looking women — Miss Oklahoma, Miss Ohio, Miss Alabama — the slightly less fortunate Miss Rhode Island is a “dog.” (I use Rhode Island as an example, because the New England states have produced only one Miss America winner — Miss Connecticut, Marian Bergeron, 1933 — whereas Oklahoma has produced six winners.)

Regarding that last point, I’d argue that living here in Soonerland, where the sky is constantly trying to kill you, somewhat sharpens your survival skills, and if you’re less scared than average, you come off as more attractive.

Where I differ from certain members of my half of the species is my refusal to believe, as they do, that I’m entitled to someone rated [pick a number] or higher because [pick a justification]. In general, I believe that all I have coming to me is life, then death, pretty much in that order. Everything else is purely speculative.

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