The Draimanator

Once in a while, I’ll glare at the work box and wonder how the hell I got so many Disturbed tracks. Occasionally I’ll remember this:

Truth be told, I rather liked the Disturbed version of “Land of Confusion,” though this is not so much because it’s by Disturbed as it is the fact that Phil Collins doesn’t sing on it.

I think it’s mostly repeated exposure to David Draiman’s voice, both forceful and distinctive. And while the band writes most of its own stuff, their occasional cover demands my attention:

This band, apparently, is better than I’d been willing to admit.

(In regard to that Phil Collins dis, see also the Nonpoint cover of “In the Air Tonight.”)

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Manny, Moe, Jack and Carl

Feared investor Carl Icahn has offered $863 million for the Pep Boys auto-parts chain:

Icahn’s offer Tuesday of $15.50 per share is higher than Bridgestone’s offer of $15 per share in October for the chain of 800 stores. The Japanese tire giant offered to buy the chain to add to its 2,200 stores including Tires Plus, Firestone Complete Auto Care, Hibdon Tires Plus and Wheel Works to make one of the largest parts, tire and service chains in the U.S.

Before placing his bid, Icahn had acquired a 12-percent stake in Pep Boys. This is his second try at the whole ball of wax; he’d previously offered $13.50 a share.

Pep Boys has given Bridgestone until 5 pm Eastern on Friday to top this bid, or Icahn prevails.

(Title swiped from Fark.)

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Seriously. Albatross:

The world’s oldest living tracked bird has been spotted back on American soil where she is expected to lay an egg at the ripe old age of 64.

Wisdom, a Laysan albatross [Phoebastria immutabilis], was seen at the Midway Atoll national wildlife refuge with a mate at the weekend following a year’s absence.

She was first tagged in 1956 and has raised at least 36 chicks since then.

If your next question is “How do they know how old she is?” this is your answer:

Wisdom was banded by a US Geological Survey researcher in 1956, and in February 2014 she was seen rearing a new chick on Midway Atoll. Because Laysan albatrosses can’t breed until they are five years old, as of 2014 Wisdom was estimated to be at least 63 years old.

As noted previously, you don’t get wafers with it.

(Via American Digest.)

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Oh, sure, blame the booze

Several bad choices seem to have affected this outcome:

A naked man accused of driving 110 mph across Alligator Alley with three female passengers was arrested Saturday afternoon on a DUI charge, the Florida Highway Patrol reported.

Around 3 p.m., authorities began receiving calls of a Cadillac driving recklessly, on and off the road, near the middle of Alligator Alley, according to an arrest report. About 10 minutes later, an FHP trooper spotted the car as it traveled west toward the Naples area.

First problem: if you’re at the wheel and your clothing is somewhere else, your first order of business is to avoid attracting the attention of the police. Driving 110 in a 70 zone does not meet this standard.

The trooper stopped the car. He noticed the driver had no shirt on and an open 12-pack of Corona beer between the driver’s seat and the front passenger seat, reports said. He asked the driver, Noe Dejesus, 33, to step out of the car.

When Dejesus opened the door, the trooper saw he was naked, reports said.

Dejesus smelled of alcohol, slurred his speech and had bloodshot eyes, reports said. When he stepped out of the vehicle to put his pants on, he stumbled and nearly fell. Inside the car the trooper found several empty or nearly empty beer bottles and a nearly empty bottle of Crown Royal whiskey.

Second problem: if you absolutely, positively have to drive while half in the bag, you definitely don’t want to be toting around a large quantity of empty containers. It just looks bad.

Still, what I want to know is how this guy managed to get three female passengers, something I’ve never done even when clothed and/or sober.

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Different angle of approach

Received in the mailbox yesterday:

Dear Customer

Your invoice appears below. Please remit payment at your earliest convenience.

Thank you for your business – we appreciate it very much.

Edith Dejesus Courier Service

By “below,” they mean “inside this ZIP file,” and when I looked inside that ZIP file I saw a lone .js file.

O disfrabjous day! Now they’re sending out JavaScripts to wreck your computers and your lives.


Turning a prophet

The editor/publisher of The Federalist gets an eyeful in his email:

There’s no reason on earth, of course, why the Messiah can’t be Canadian, but a trip through Moorman’s Facebook page turns up several iterations of this paragraph:

This is The Revelation of Jesus Christ 1:1. A masterpiece in symbolic writing about the birth of the Second Coming of Christ Luke Oviedo and his twin sister Katherine Moorman on June 22, 2006. The Revelation occurring 49 days after their 3rd birthdates on August 10, 2009 in Costa Rica and 8 days after the 2nd birthdate of Lucas Tse born August 2, 2007 who is John The Baptist. August, 10, 2009 the rape and murder of a woman at an event attended to by Jan Hommen and The Group. I am a 3 telepath, 6 6 6 a Walking with God human. 3+1 proves God exists.

The Vatican and Catholic Church are compromised in Revelation

Never you mind how Lindsay Lohan fits into this.

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Do not feed the Bears

The Grizzlies had basically one thing going for them tonight: Mario Chalmers, who scored 29 the last time these two teams met and led Memphis this time with 19. Other than that, it was an all-Thunder display: up three after the first quarter, up 12 at the half, up 35 after three, and by then empty seats were appearing at the FedEx. Lest he be accused of running up the score, Billy Donovan then put Kyle Singler in. (Okay, I stole that from Clark Matthews.) That putative lapse aside, the Thunder could do no wrong: third-string point guard Cameron Payne, a Memphis hometown hero, came on halfway through the fourth quarter and promptly sank a trey. At the last timeout, inside the two-minute mark, it was still a 35-point lead, and the final was a sort of embarrassing 125-88.

Once again, OKC played mostly small ball: Steven Adams and Enes Kanter got fewer than 30 minutes between them. Batman and Robin retired gracefully after the third quarter, with Kevin Durant producing 32 points and 10 rebounds, and Russell Westbrook serving up 16 assists to go with 13 points. (Payne claimed a new career high, with, um, five, and Singler knocked down a bucket somewhere.) The Griz had a rough time of it generally, with Mike Conley scoreless and Marc Gasol appearing to mess up his left leg at least twice. Dave Joerger, understandably — this was the first half of a back-to-back for Memphis — put most of the burden on the reserves, and they collected 52 points for him.

For the Thunder, the schedule gets even weirder for a moment: home for a rematch with the Hawks on Thursday, off to Utah to play the Jazz on Friday, and then back home on Sunday against those same Jazz. (“That” same Jazz? Whatever.) Next week: the Trail Blazers, the Cavaliers (in Cleveland), and the Lakers.


At least HAL has a job

Assuming, of course, that General Motors can build this particular structure:

General Motors this month filed a patent application for a navigation system that can gauge how effective it is in frustrating guiding drivers based on their eye movements and how well those drivers follow directions.

The patent application filed Dec. 3 details a navigation system that watches “visual focus, the driver vocalizations and the driver emotions, along with vehicle system parameters from a data bus … to evaluate driver satisfaction with navigation guidance and determine driver behavior.”

Ideally, this should improve the performance of the nav system. But what’s more likely to happen is this:

The patent application also details a location-based “promotional offers for businesses near a destination or route of the driver,” to offer you a cookie at a nearby Arby’s to forget that it ever got you lost in the first place.

You do this to me, OnStar, and you’ll get more than eye movements, if you know what I mean, and I think you do.

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Saddle be the day

If this description is anywhere near accurate, we need to turn all our Axe jokes up to eleven. In fact, make that thirteen:

Translated, literally, as “skin of the beast”, Peau De Bête aims to capture, of all things, the animalic smell of horse sweat. The press blurb, with descriptions of hands brushing against hot, still damp horse necks, is positively Equus. “A hot, enveloping and sensual fragrance through its fusion of animal and human,” it says. Imagine riding through the forest, bareback, possibly butt naked and you’re three quarters there.

It’s not all about horse though. If you’re wondering what the “human” bit of the fragrance is, well — and there’s no polite way to put this — it’s pretty much the unmistakable smell of man bits (“ball musk” if you will), an odour recognisable to all men (and plenty of women) and one whose “attractiveness” divides opinion even more than current series of the X Factor.

But you’re still not there yet:

If that wasn’t enough, it also features an ingredient called skatole. Don’t know skatole that is? Well, you’re probably more familiar with it than you realise because it’s the molecule which gives faeces its characteristic smell.

“What’s brown and sounds like a bell?”

They’re asking £230 for this, um, stuff. And I suppose it could be worse:

[I]f you’re not impressed by horse sweat and man-musk, there’s always the notorious Sécrétions Magnifiques by Etat Libre d’Orange: that smells of blood, sweat and semen. But that’s a whole different ball game.

Though possibly the same, um, ball.

(Via Bayou Renaissance Man, definitely not interested.)

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Remorse code

What can we learn from the results of a hotly-hyped automotive Ownership Satisfaction Survey? If you ask me, there are a lot of things we’re assuming that we probably ought not to assume, and there are a lot of people who simply can’t get no satisfaction.


Wiivv never been here before

Strange emotional satisfaction sometimes comes from startups with funny names trying to do something pertinent to one’s own existence. So it is with Wiivv:

As we approach the inevitable melding of man and machine, we’re going to need a lot more consonants and vowels. That’s why Wiivv is on the case. Wiivv, a company so disruptive that you can’t type its name without autocorrect kicking in, makes 3D printed insoles using scans made in your home and they’ve raised $3 million in seed to make your feet feel better.

How it works is downright spiffy: you use their smartphone app to scan your feet, upload the results, and two weeks later you get a custom-made arch support that’s intended to last two years. Given my, um, nonstandard arches, I find this prospect seriously appealing.

There’s cash in hand, a few dollars of which came from the Canadian government; they will go live with a Kickstarter after the first of the year.

(Via Nancy Friedman.)


No one will be watching us

Why don’t we do it back of chambers after the meeting?

Three Okemah City Council members have now found themselves at the center of criminal charges after allegedly violating the state’s Open Meeting Act.

Arrest warrants were issued on Monday, Nov. 30, for Lloyd L. Raimer, Wayne J. Bacon and Bobby G. Massey. All present city council members. According to court papers filed by the district attorney’s office, the Open Meeting Act violation occurred following a June 22, 2015 council meeting. Michael Dean, an agent with Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigations, began investigating the allegations after the OSBI was requested by Okfuskee County District Attorney Max Cook.

According to the probable cause affidavit, after the June 22 meeting had adjourned, Bacon, Massey and Raimer went to the back of the council chambers and began to discuss city business with other individuals. Court records claim, “The [city] business discussed by Raimer was reference the hiring of an individual for lake patrol. Raimer discussed it was not right to hire the individual because the person was already employed by the city as fire chief and code enforcement.” The affidavit continues, “Raimer knew Massey and Bacon were present but didn’t know what, if any, discussion they had reference this subject.”

This is not the first time Okemah City Council has run afoul of the Act, either:

Nearly four years ago, the Okemah City Council was criticized for appointing a new member in an apparent violation of the Open Meeting Act because the action wasn’t listed on the meeting agenda. After questions were raised about the appointment, that councilman resigned and the council sought applications for a replacement.

None of the current Council members under fire were part of that earlier kerfuffle.

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Put on your red shoes and dance the blues

Greetings from Manolo BlahnikAfter looking at Manolo Blahnik’s little online greeting card for perhaps longer than I needed to, I started contemplating the matter of accessorizing, which indeed is no small manner. What, I wondered, would one wear with this very red and somewhat bulky shoe? The photo offers no indication; indeed, it hews to that trope made popular in fashion books and lad mags alike, the notion of a woman wearing nothing but high heels. I don’t know about you, but I don’t know anybody like that, and while my world is obviously the poorer for it, it’s not like I’d have any kind of chance with someone who is known to have done that sort of thing, such as Mary-Kate Olsen, and besides, she just got married to someone older, though certainly not older than I am.

At the very least, I reasoned, one would not wear this with an actual red dress: that would be overkill. Cristina up in Toronto came up with one case where red shoes and red dress work, and that’s on the red carpet with a very minimal red shoe:

Rosamund Pike on the Academy Awards red carpet

Here we see Rosamund Pike at the 2015 Academy Awards, resplendent in Givenchy, wearing about the least amount of material that can legitimately be called a shoe. For any other situation, you need to throw in at least one additional color, as Pike does here with a green platform:

Rosamund Pike takes a breather

And well, since I don’t give up on mental images quickly enough, once again Rosamund Pike, this time not wearing shoes, and probably not anything else either:

Rosamund Pike takes a bath

Although if you really want your eyes to bug out, what you need to see is a list of Pike’s nominations and awards for her work in 2014’s Gone Girl, one of which resulted in her being on that particular red carpet in the first place.

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We all have reservations

Especially about stuff like this:

Somebody had to have signed off on that — illegibly, no doubt.

(Via @SwiftOnSecurity.)

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Floor it, mate

Australia was allocated 4,000 units of the 2016 Ford Mustang, not one of them has yet arrived Down Under, and yet every last one of them is spoken for:

Well, if anyone thought Australians would be angry with Ford for killing the Falcon and shutting down local production, this story will probably serve as proof to the contrary. Customers in Australia have bought up the country’s entire allotment of Ford Mustangs.

And are they buying the EcoBoost four-cylinder? The V-6, maybe? Don’t be silly. We’re talking Australia here:

According to Australia’s Car Advice, 80 percent of the cars, which won’t begin deliveries until next month, have deposits attached, while consumers are leaning overwhelmingly towards the 5.0-liter V8 GT model. It accounts for 86 percent of the entire allotment.

There’s something heartening about that.


And some happy new gear

Manolo Blahnik sends his regards:

The man clearly knows how to get my attention.

Then again, when I was a mere prat, “second Advent” meant something more than the second Sunday after Advent: it meant the Second Coming, apocalypse now, horsemen and all, guess it’s time for the Judgment Day.

Oh, well. Bye, Feliz navidad.

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