My mind on my money

And my money on my mind. Snoop Dogg notwithstanding, this is not a position to which I aspire:

I imagine being rich is kind of a pain in the ass. Yes, I know, somebody famous once said “I’ve been rich and I’ve been poor and being rich is better,” but you have to constantly be thinking about your money and what you should be doing with it, where you should invest it, who is trying to steal it. Now some people might take to that kind of agonizing like a duck to water, they might actually enjoy it. Me, I find it tedious and boring. Fortunately there are things like Mutual Funds that remove most of the day to day agony.

Being rich requires paying attention to your money. Stop paying attention and all that money will wander off. And what do you do with a billion dollars anyway? I mean after you’ve bought your fancy car, boat, house, airplane? You invest it in something that you hope will make more money.

I’m not at all suited to these things. If I showed up on the Forbes 400 at, say, #399, I’d presumably have to start thinking about how I avoid dropping off the list next year. Perhaps fortunately, this is not going to be a problem for me, inasmuch as I have a mortgage and a lot of nerve damage and a five-figure net worth, well short of the $1.7 billion it takes to make the 400 these days. At least, I can console myself, it’s five figures on the positive side of the ledger. (It wasn’t always.)

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Neapolitan is dead

Now it’s Camo ‘n Cream:

Blue Bell Camo 'N Cream ice cream

Camo ‘n Cream Ice Cream is a combination of pistachio almond, milk chocolate and cream cheese.

“We are having a little fun with this flavor,” said Carl Breed, director of marketing for Blue Bell. “You see the camo design on everything these days, so we thought why not create an ice cream flavor that looks camouflage? The best part is these three flavors taste great together. We tried a few different combinations but chose these flavors because they complement each other so well.”

Yeah, but how do you know when the package is empty?

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Have you seen this Wizard’s?

I admit to having shopped at this place a time or two, twenty-some-odd years ago:

At least the keyboard looked substantial.

(From the collection of Rob O’Hara.)

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When it all turned sour

Roberta X theorizes that “the battle for the soul of the Federal government was lost by 1913”:

What did we get in 1913? The odious Woodrow Wilson, who argued that government should not be deemed evil and advocated the use of government to allay social ills and advance society’s welfare in a textbook, The State, used in college courses through the 1920s. He believed that America’s system of checks and balances complicated American governance, and wrote that the Presidency “will be as big as and as influential as the man who occupies it.” There’s your modern imperial-style President and the all-encompassing FedGov, neatly wrapped up in one racist, eugenicist package.

Perhaps not entirely by coincidence, the Seventeenth Amendment was ratified in, um, 1913.

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The continuing adventures of Jasmine Tridevil

A year ago, we learned about a Florida woman who claimed to have been surgically altered to add a third breast between the standard two.

I assumed we’d heard the last of her, but it’s not so. That summer she put out a BDSM-oriented music video, shot in the Tampa Bay area where she lives. I don’t think I’ll embed it here, but I admit, I’ve seen racier, and probably so have you. And her voice, or whoever’s dubbed here, isn’t that terrible.

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Perhaps it doesn’t matter

Found on Facebook:

IDGAF Trucking

This operation apparently did at one time exist:

  • Company Name: IDGAF TRUCKING, INC.
  • File Number: 3290868
  • Filing State: New York (NY)
  • Domestic State: Delaware (DE)
  • Filing Status: Inactive — Dissolution By Proclamation / Annulment
  • Filing Date: December 9, 2005
  • Company Age: 10 Years, 8 Months

Sorry to see them go.

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Ready for Brace class

Not news: Irish wolfhound mother gives birth to seven puppies.

News: Two of those puppies are identical twins:

[S]omething was different about this delivery. When he started the procedure, [Dr. Kurt] de Cramer noticed that the wolfhound had an unusual bulging by her uterus.

At first, he thought the lump was excess fluid surrounding a foetus. De Cramer painstakingly extracted this foetus from the bulge by making an incision into the dog’s uterus.

That was when the real shock came. He found not one, but two foetuses. They were both attached with umbilical cords to the same placenta.

Five siblings followed in single file, connected to five separate placentas.

It is thought that identical twins are rare because, when two foetuses share one placenta, they do not get enough nutrients from the mother and are therefore less likely to survive.

For instance, identical twin foetuses have been reported in horses, but none have survived. A horse’s placenta is not efficient enough to transport oxygen for two foetuses.

Citation: DOI: 10.1111/rda.12746.

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Diamonds are forever

The fifty-year odyssey of a born-again baseball fan.

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The dreaded E30

Ten percent ethanol is on the ragged edge of acceptable for motor fuels. The jerks who push this stuff for a living want fifteen. But thirty simply will not do [warning: autostart video]:

State regulators say about 450,000 gallons of gasoline containing three times the acceptable level of ethanol was delivered to retailers across the Oklahoma City metropolitan area over the last week.

The Oklahoma Corporation Commission reported Tuesday that they were notified by Magellan Midstream Partners that the problem resulted from an equipment failure at its Oklahoma City fuel distribution terminal.

Magellan says it is still working to determine the retail locations where the gas with up to 30 percent ethanol was delivered.

The Corp Comm’s position is that Magellan will have to locate all these stores and replenish their stock with proper fuels; Magellan, to their credit, is okay with that. They do, after all, have a reputation to protect.

As for me, I haven’t had to gas up since late June, so I’m pretty sure I didn’t get any of this adulterated stuff.

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It’s been that kind of year

No argument here.

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Lethal hickey

This is decidedly dispiriting:

A teenage boy has died after getting a love bite from his girlfriend.

Julio Macias Gonzalez, 17, began convulsing at the dinner table with his family in Mexico City after spending time with his 24-year-old lover, The Sun reports.

It is thought the woman gave him a hickey earlier that evening which caused a blood clot that travelled to the teen’s brain, triggering a stroke.

Paramedics were called to the scene but Julio could not be saved.

I expect this will show up in the appendices to all those Thou Shalt Not books that nobody actually buys.

(Via Interested-Participant.)

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Tebow unbowed

Tim Tebow, having bade goodbye to the National Football League, has been trying to make a case for himself to Major League Baseball:

The former NFL quarterback worked out at the University of Southern California in front of a large contingent of Major League scouts and media, and he showed off his trademark speed, plus a little bit of pop with the bat.

“I had fun. I think it went pretty well,” said Tebow. “Obviously this form of workout’s a little different than what I’m used to, but just being out there and running the 60 and throwing it around and catching fly balls and hitting some BP, but the most fun for me is trying to hit live pitching.”

After running a quick 60-yard dash and doing throwing and catching in the outfield, Tebow took batting practice and elicited his first share of wows. Then he moved on to live hitting against former big league pitchers and barely missed a “real” homer.

He is, of course, aware that if he’s signed, he’ll be dropped into the lower (Class A or thereabouts) end of the farm system, with no guarantees that he’ll ever make it to The Show.

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Prepare for your head to hurt

Migraine-detecting dress designed by Grace BuckwalterIt’s kind of stylish in an early-80s TRON way, but it’s far more than eye candy:

[I]t’s sometimes difficult to tell when a migraine is coming on.

To help her mother, 15-year-old Grace Buckwalter decided to find a way to help detect a migraine before it starts. She has designed a dress that changes colors based on brain activity. Grace says, “It’s like a mood ring, but a dress.” Her efforts have resulted in a great deal of attention, including local television and TEDxLancaster.

How does it work?

The dress has a very special accessory, a headpiece that Grace borrowed from the game Mindflex. In Mindflex, the headpiece uses electroencephalography (EEG) technology to steer a Styrofoam ball through an optical course. With the dress, the headpiece interprets brainwaves, then transmits data through a circuit into a microprocessor. The microprocessor then emits light of different colors through optic fibers incorporated into the dress. There are six optic fiber bundles on the dress with colors scaling from red to blue to purple to green. Grace says that the meditation fibers turn red if the wearer is nervous and green if they’re relaxed.

Says Grace, the project took about 40 hours of work, at a cost of about $150. She will wear it at TEDxLancaster on the 10th of September.

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Goodness, that looks complicated

But I suppose it has to be. Watching a machine manufacturing lace is kind of startling:

Warren Meyer apparently visited the Lace Centre in Bruges.

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Four chords, no waiting

Several years back, the Australian band Axis of Awesome performed the serious public service of unveiling the secret of three dozen songs, including one of their own: they were all built on the same chord progression, I–V–vi–IV. This is, of course, standard popular-music procedure: you gotta give the audience something they can relate to.

Note: I’ve posted a slightly different version of that before.

Now: can this be done with other progressions, say, I–vi–IV–V? But of course it can:

For that matter, it can be done just with Taylor Swift songs:

Note: I’ve posted a slightly different version of that before.

Tool boxes tend to look the same because tools tend to look the same.

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Bungle in the urban jungle

I wrote back in 2005:

Nobody knows for sure how long the Survivor Tree will, well, survive. It’s been given the best of care, including treatments to repel the blight, and it’s an integral part of today’s National Memorial, insuring that it won’t be forgotten. But this mute witness to the terrible tragedy of the nineteenth of April has brothers and sisters and cousins all over the city, and I believe that the strength of one, by some genetic anomaly, by the grace of God, by something, somehow resides in them all.

Except for two of them on my block, which subsequently survived multiple ice storms and typically horrendous winds over the next decade, only to meet with the chainsaw today, the result of Stupid Fucking Contractor putting down sidewalks on the wrong side of the street. I had read the original scheme at the time, and I’d complained; a couple weeks later, a revised scheme was released, evidently to everyone except SFC, which doggedly proceeded with the old one despite the fact that it made no sense — why have the sidewalk on the south side of the street on one block and then move to the north side on the next?

Nothing can be done, of course. The wood has been hauled away; SFC will presumably get some sort of bonus for beating a deadline, and the city will disclaim any responsibility for hiring them.

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