One of those 100-year floods

A mere 89 years ago:

The Mississippi River, south of Memphis, grew to more than sixty miles wide.

(Via American Digest.)

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Clear that channel!

Radio, notes Doc Searls, really isn’t “radio” anymore:

It’s just a name for one legacy-labeled stream among countless others on the Net. Radio’s boat-anchor legacy is called “range” and “coverage.” On AM and FM, those are limited to a city or region, and to legacy receiving devices mostly used in cars, where more and more sources of content (Apple, Pandora, Spotify, SiriusXM, et. al.) are appearing on the dashboard. The quality of legacy radio electronics is also limited to cheap available chipsets and by the fashion of concealing antennas, which makes reception even worse.

This latter, after looking at my car, certainly seems true to me: Bose, or whoever made this auto system for them, might have spent maybe 85 cents on the AM section, and the antenna is more or less hidden among the rear-defroster wires, good for aesthetics, not so good for reception.

But this I did not know, though I shouldn’t have been surprised:

AM won’t even work in all-electric cars, thanks to interference from computing machinery. That’s why it’s not included in Teslas.

Nissan will sell you an AM/FM/CD system for the all-electric Leaf, but then it’s probably got a lot fewer sources of interference than the Tesla.

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Turd world problems

For now, anyway, there’s only so much you can do to automate cleaning house without having to maintain eternal vigilance:

If you have a Roomba, please rid yourself of all distractions and absorb everything I’m about to tell you.

Do not, under any circumstances, let your Roomba run over dog poop. If the unthinkable does happen, and your Roomba runs over dog poop, stop it immediately and do not let it continue the cleaning cycle. Because if that happens, it will spread the dog poop over every conceivable surface within its reach, resulting in a home that closely resembles a Jackson Pollock poop painting.

It will be on your floorboards. It will be on your furniture legs. It will be on your carpets. It will be on your rugs. It will be on your kids’ toy boxes. If it’s near the floor, it will have poop on it. Those awesome wheels, which have a checkered surface for better traction, left 25-foot poop trails all over the house. Our lovable Roomba, who gets a careful cleaning every night, looked like it had been mudding. Yes, mudding — like what you do with a Jeep on a pipeline road. But in poop.

So if your Roomba runs at 1:30 in the morning, well, make sure your puppy isn’t, um, running about the same time.

(Via Midwest Conservative Journal.)

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Black’s life matters

It’s not really a remix. Let’s call it a mashup and go with that:

Although the real news is buried in the description:

Check back in the next two weeks as we will [be] debuting her new single “The Great Divide.”

(Via Elle.)

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From the “Screw you, pay us” files

I think we can take it as a given today that a sole-source vendor, given an opportunity, is going to stick it to its customers and then some:

The cost of saving your child’s life has gotten a lot more expensive.

Parents getting ready for back to school season have another item to toss in the basket along with Trapper Keepers and boxes of pencils and they’re facing sticker shock at the latest price increase.

Doctors and patients say the Mylan pharmaceutical company has jacked up the prices for an EpiPen — the portable device that can stop a potentially life-threatening allergic reaction — from around $100 in 2008 to $500 and up today.

That’s a hike of over 400 percent.

And it’s not because the drug itself is so gosh-darn expensive, either:

The wholesale cost in the developing world is between US$0.10 and US$0.95 a vial.

I tell you what, that little injector gizmo containing a buck’s worth of medicine had better be able to survive a freaking zombie apocalypse.

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Failure to plan

I get the distinct impression this guy was really not prepared for whatever nefarious scheme he’d dreamed up:

Guy gives real name because he can't spell a fake one

Um, yeah.

(From Bad Newspaper via Miss Cellania.)

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To make a few extra bucks

Kevin Durant wanted you to come to dinner, and a lot of people did, while KD himself was still in town. Now his restaurant has closed.

Russell Westbrook, meanwhile, wants to sell you a car:

This summer, Westbrook has opened a car dealership with his name on it in Van Nuys, Calif., a neighborhood of his native Los Angeles. This month, Westbrook posted a video on his Snapchat with a brief glimpse of the showroom at Russell Westbrook Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram of Van Nuys. The video showed off Westbrook’s trademark RW logo painted on the floor, as well as a NBA-style clear backboard and rim mounted on a wall in the dealership.

They have, at the moment, a fair number of “Aged New Cars”: unsold 2015s going out for well under sticker.

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I say, old chap, it’s bitching

General Motors, having failed to establish a beachhead for Chevrolet in Europe, is now thinking smaller: they’ve named a single agent in Britain to sell the Chevrolet Camaro.

Volume is expected to be minimal:

General Motors will ship 15 copies of the 2016 Chevrolet Camaro coupe to the United Kingdom for deliveries in September. Another three Camaro convertibles are expected to find homes one month later.

The General might be able to move a few more of them if they converted them to right-hand drive, but apparently that’s not part of the plan.

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Low and inside

Some 2015 data gathered by Major League Baseball suggests that the umpiring is good, but it could be better:

2015 data on taken pitches

Better than 90 percent of calls at the plate are correct — unless the next call will finish the at-bat, either with a strikeout or a walk. The umpires are evidently reluctant to make that last call. This is, suggests MLB, a reason to justify robotic assistance.

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Air biscuits under examination

Admit it, you’ve wondered yourself. Now you know:

[I]t’s impossible to say exactly how much space a generic fart takes up in the body. I can, however, tell you about the range of specific farts, as captured in scientific experiments. For instance, a 1997 study of 16 Americans found a volume-per-fart range of 17 milliliters to 375 milliliters. Imagine a bottle of nail polish — that’s a rough analogy for the volume of the daintiest of poots. Now imagine a can of soda. That’s the volume of a really big stinker. Your body is a wonderland.

Your mother, of course, is aghast.

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Please don’t tab away

I was looking up Nissan OEM automatic transmission fluids here, and then tabbed away for a moment. The tab changed, and this was the text under it:

Z1 Motorsports Rickroll via Javascript

Yeah, I laughed. I admit it.

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Where peacocks once roamed

During a Dodgers/Phillies game, I heard a reference to “NBC News Radio,” and wondered where that came from.

Now I know:

NBC News Radio has been distributed by iHeartMedia and its TTWN Networks since July 2016. It is provided to the network’s 24/7 News Source affiliates and includes a top of the hour newscast along with other audio content which is heard on over 1000 radio stations.

The original NBC Radio Network was purchased by Westwood One in 1987 as General Electric, which acquired NBC’s parent company RCA, divested most properties not pertaining to the NBC television network. NBC Radio’s news operation was merged into the Mutual Broadcasting System, then into Westwood One’s then-corporate sibling CBS Radio, and eventually assimilated into the syndicator itself. Initially just a service limited to one-hour reports from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. ET, on March 5, 2012, Dial Global — who had acquired Westwood One — announced NBC News Radio would expand to a full-time 24-hour radio news network, replacing CNN Radio (that itself replaced both NBC Radio and Mutual in 1999).

Awfully convoluted, this story, but then that was to be expected.

Far as I know, they have no affiliate here in the 405; iHeartMedia’s one news-oriented station in this market is, like many of its corporate sisters, emotionally wedded to Fox.

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Gratification still delayed

Around the first of the year, the deal was offered: you can have the Playboy Mansion for a mere $200 million, provided you put up with the presence of Hugh Hefner for the remainder of his pajama-clad days.

This being August already, you might have guessed that the price had sagged a bit, and you would be correct:

The deal is done, and the Playboy Mansion has a new owner. Daren Metropoulos, who lives next door, said Tuesday that escrow has closed on his $100 million purchase of Hugh Hefner’s man cave.

The 33-year-old principal in the investment firm Metropoulos & Co. won’t necessarily be moving in any time soon. Under the terms of the deal, Playboy’s 90-year-old founder may stay there for the rest of his life.

After Hefner leaves, Metropoulos plans to connect the 5-acre Playboy estate to his 2-acre digs next door.

Which makes sense, since apparently it was all one big estate to begin with. And one probably shouldn’t bet againt Metropoulos, who wheels and deals with the best: he bought Pabst Brewing in 2010 for $250 million and sold it four years later for around $700 million, and he is one of the principals in Hostess Brands, the Twinkie folks, who just did an IPO last month.

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Slap-happy

It was easier when all you had to deal with was “Take Me Out to the Ball Game”:

The [Chicago] Cubs have terminated the stadium disc jockey who played the song “Smack My Bitch Up” after Aroldis Chapman’s outing Sunday night at Wrigley Field.

“We apologize for the irresponsible music selection during our game last night,” Cubs president of business operations Crane Kenney said in a statement on Monday. “The selection of this track showed a lack of judgment and sensitivity to an important issue. We have terminated our relationship with the employee responsible for making the selection and will be implementing stronger controls to review and approve music before public broadcast during our games.”

After Chapman closed the ninth inning against the Cardinals, The Prodigy’s 1997 song was played. Chapman began this season serving a 30-game suspension covered by Major League Baseball’s domestic violence policy after a dispute with his girlfriend in South Florida last October.

Chapman’s usual walk-up music is Rage Against The Machine’s “Wake Up.”

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What I’ve become

And if you think I ought to be ashamed of myself, I’ll probably agree with you.

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Not being particularly observant

This has been a particularly rough day, and I wasn’t in any mood to deal with someone handing out political flyers at the door. The mind was sufficiently fogged, I think, for me not to notice that I’d gotten to the door wearing nothing but my watch and a pair of sport sandals.

Of course, I was surrounded by my Horrible Walking Appliance, which might have blocked some of the view for the poor woman working the block, and she didn’t shriek in terror or anything.

I am not, you should know, in the habit of doing this: there is a tiny number of people who are aware that I normally don’t wear much of anything and who have let me know that they don’t mind, but the operative word is “tiny.” Fewer than six. I think only one actual current neighbor is clued in, but she’s never had a reason to visit here. (Used to be a woman around the corner who’d chat through the fence, and she was utterly indifferent to my lack of garb.) Still, I have to wonder if I somehow foreclosed a political discussion; and if I did, I have to wonder if it’s justification for doing it again.

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