Notice the quilting

It’s a Northern exclusive:

Original or Ultra Northern Bath Tissue

There are, of course, alternative products. Consider, for instance, the recommendations of François Rabelais’ infamous (and hefty) Gargantua:

Once I did wipe me with a gentlewoman’s velvet mask, and found it to be good; for the softness of the silk was very voluptuous and pleasant to my fundament. Another time with one of their hoods, and in like manner that was comfortable; at another time with a lady’s neckerchief, and after that some ear-pieces made of crimson satin; but there was such a number of golden spangles in them that they fetched away all the skin off my tail with a vengeance. This hurt I cured by wiping myself with a page’s cap, garnished with a feather after the Swiss fashion. Afterwards, in dunging behind a bush, I found a March-cat, and with it daubed my breech, but her claws were so sharp that they grievously exulcerated my perineum. Of this I recovered the next morning thereafter, by wiping myself with my mother’s gloves, of a most excellent perfume of Arabia. [He continues in this vein for several pages.] But to conclude, I say and maintain that of all arse-wisps, bum-fodders, tail-napkins, bung-hole-cleansers and wipe-breeches, there is none in this world comparable to the neck of a goose, that is well downed, if you hold her head betwixt your legs: and believe me therein upon mine honour; for you will thereby feel in your nockhole a most wonderful pleasure, both in regard of the softness of the said down, and of the temperate heat of the goose; which is easily communicated to the bumgut and the rest of the intestines, insofar as to come even to the regions of the heart and brains. And think not that the felicity of the heroes and demigods, in the Elysian fields, consisteth either in their Ambrosia or Nectar, but in this, that they wipe their tails with the necks of geese.

(Original ad pronounced a “good buy” at Bad Newspaper. No geese were harmed in the preparation of this article, unless François wasn’t kidding.)

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Nemesis unbound

Oklahoman sportswriter Anthony Slater came up with this startling statistic this morning: “Since the Thunder flipped the script back in late May 2012, San Antonio is 2-9 against OKC and 129-41 against everybody else.” Narrowing it to this season? “0-3 versus OKC and 59-13 against the rest of the league.” And yet the Spurs are still perched semi-comfortably on top of the Western Conference. The Thunder’s job, of course, is to make that perch less comfortable, and starting late in the second quarter, they did superbly well at doing exactly that, outscoring the Spurs 32-20 in the third quarter and keeping San Antonio off balance the rest of the way. The final was 106-94, and you have to figure Pop is relieved that the Spurs are in the Southwest and some years only have to play the Thunder three times.

How thwarted were the Spurs? Tony Parker wound up 3-10 for six points. Tiago Splitter, a good shooter for a big man, was 1-5 for two. Some slack was picked up elsewhere — Kawhi Leonard and Tim Duncan turned in 17 points each, and reserve guard Patty Mills came up huge with 21 on 8-13 including 5-7 from out by the canal. And the Spurs did enjoy a slight advantage rebounding, 42-39.

But San Antonio still has no answer for either Russell Westbrook, who stayed in for 31 minutes and knocked down 27 points, or for Reggie Jackson, who paced the bench with 14. And then there’s that Durant fellow, who came up with 28, the 39th time in a row he’s had at least 25. (There were a few “MVP” chants from the crowd, but not enough, if you ask me.) Kendrick Perkins was back, vacillating between stony silence and exercising the jawbone: he and Duncan got offsetting technicals early on.

Tomorrow night in Houston. Westbrook is supposed to have the night off. Patrick Beverley’s torn meniscus will keep him out, though he won’t be needing surgery, and Dwight Howard is sidelined with ankle issues. This could go all sorts of ways, though the scoreboard ultimately will show one of two.

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Now get down there and look busy

James Lileks contemplates life from the skyway above the street:

It’s a whole new world up there on the second floor — which annoys the planners, because they want everyone to be down on the street, for the sake of Vitality. This way you get more shops on the street level, and people are strolling and looking in the shop windows, something mentioned in each-and-every story I ever read about new urbanist ideas. Ideally people should live six blocks from work, walk on the sidewalk to work, pause twice en route to work and twice on the way back to examine the goods in the window, and then return to their home on the 23rd floor.

This will not happen downtown and it will never happen downtown, because there’s the skyway culture above. It will happen in outlying neighborhoods, where there aren’t skyways, and the residential complexes form actual neighborhoods. But the priests of The Street will continue to pound away against the skyway and for the model of Paris or New York. Which are wonderful: who doesn’t like window-shopping in New York? But that’s a city with the inherited density of a century and the population of the entire state of Minnesota.

The same is true here. They want New York, but in the convenient Home Version: open the box, put this over here, put that way back there, and garnish lovingly with pedestrians. This resembles the real New York hardly at all, but that doesn’t matter: the point is to be able to show off to people from Portland or Omaha or Charlotte.

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Perhaps she thought it was easy

Or maybe it was the only tool she had:

The Carter County [Tennessee] Sheriff’s Office says a substitute teacher is behind bars after allegations surfaced that she stapled three students at Central Elementary School. The incident happened Monday, according to Sheriff Chris Mathes.

Deputies arrested Alisha Lynn Cook, 43, of Elizabethton and charged her with three counts of simple assault Tuesday afternoon. According to Sheriff Mathes the victims were physically stapled by the substitute teacher.

This is why she’ll never climb above substitute status: for a full-time gig, you need to learn how to use duct tape.

(Via Interested-Participant.)

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U can’t watch this

One of the great mysteries of contemporary life is how, as Springsteen put it, there seems to be 57 channels and nothing on. This is explained, I think, by the concept that they seek to cover every conceivable demographic except yours:

[T]here’s the “channel for men” (or so it used to be called), the channel for teens/twentysomethings, the LGBT channel, a couple kids’ channels, a tween channel. I wish there were a “middle aged spinster channel,” but I suppose we don’t count demographically. And anyway, what would they show? Programs about cats? (Maybe Hallmark is actually the middle-aged spinster channel, now that I think of it). I just wish there were still a channel that actually showed educational programming that was actually educational. PBS does sometimes, though most of the daily block here is taken up with kids’ educational shows rather than ones aimed at adults. I also wish HGTV still occasionally showed quilting or crafts shows, instead of just the “couples arguing over what home they want to buy” programs. (Why are so many programs now about conflict? I have enough conflict and arguing in my day-to-day life that I want something just kind of soothing for my entertainment.)

And of course you have to pay for all 57 of them, even the ones you wouldn’t watch if you were stuck on a desert island and nothing else was within range. Beyond that, there are additional tiers of service, presumably called that because when you see what they do to your bill you will weep.

Then again, I’m old enough to remember A&E as the Arts & Entertainment Network, which occasionally provided entertainment and once in a while some actual arts. And nobody would dare program like this anymore:

Among the programs broadcast on SPN were Video Concert Hall, an early music-video show (before the launch of MTV); News from Home, a program for Canadians in the US, hosted by early CNN news anchor Don Miller; The Shopping Game, a Nicholson-Muir game show produced in Nashville and hosted by Art James; The Susan Noon Show, featuring celebrity interviews; Nutrition Dialogue, hosted by Dr. Betty Kamen; Sewing with Nancy; and Moscow Meridian, a current-affairs program produced by Soviet authorities and hosted by Vladimir Posner. Reruns of old situation comedies and movies, mostly from low-budget studios, rounded out the schedule.

The Satellite Program Network, to give it its full name, was born in 1979; its rotting corpse is still operating as CNBC.

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It’s always 306.7 somewhere

Gee, and I thought it was because she was, um, smart:

[T]he iconic librarian’s desexualizing dress and hairstyle was intended to allow her to move freely and invisibly through the male public sphere. Under the conquering gaze of the man-as-dominator, though, this desexualization only serves to highlight the sexuality thus contained. Just as the North African woman was assumed to know secrets of pleasure far beyond those of The West (secrets worthy of being hidden), the sexy librarian is seen as not just a woman underneath, but a super-sexual being, a “freak”, a “wild one”. She is a prize to be taken, a treasure to be captured, an exotic animal barely tamed beneath her bun and shapeless cardigan.

If I’ve learned anything in a lifetime — and I’m prepared to argue that I haven’t — it’s that looking at the cover is at best a half-assed way to judge a book.

(We will not discuss the highly fictional dalliance with a librarian that I wrote about a couple of years ago.)

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Four lanes to nowhere

Steve Lackmeyer of The Oklahoman, drawing conclusions from the successful Open Streets gathering last weekend:

Baby Boomers, it’s time to give up your now obsolete model of city planning.

My generation, Gen X, has stood by and quietly waited for you to relinquish control.

But the Millennial generation isn’t wired like that. They’re not waiting. They’re taking over, and they’re not going to be told no.

They don’t like cars. Cars don’t define them. They are defined by access to cool urban gathering spots and public transit.

Um, it’s not my “model of city planning.”

Nor is it this guy’s:

This weekend I had to go pick up a script from Walgreens, but not the one I usually go to on 10th. No I had to go clear over to the one that is over by Kohl’s on Cornelius Pass. Okay, it’s not really a big deal, it’s only a couple of miles over there, and there are some other stores over there as well, so we can kill a couple of birds with this one stone. But I still didn’t like it because that area, newly built up, epitomizes everything I hate about suburbia: landscape trimmed to within an inch of its life, wide sidewalks that no one walks on, gently winding streets full of people who couldn’t get out of the way if their life depended on it (all charter members of the anti-destination league I’m sure), wide expanses of new asphalt paved parking lots with lots of free parking for places I have no desire to go, and lots of stores full of useless stuff that I neither want nor need. Tell me again why we are over here? The place is like the ultimate product of soulless corporate hucksters and government officials protecting you from yourself. I hate it.

Except for the sidewalks — ours are conspicuous by their absence — this could be almost any recently-developed square mile of Oklahoma City.

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Lies per hour

I am becoming persuaded that Barack Obama, once he leaves office in 2017, should head up a car company, just so he can get a good look at the godawful malfeasance of his erstwhile acolytes:

The battery-powered Tesla Model S is one of the world’s fastest and quietest luxury cars, but you might not know the latter if you watched the 60 Minutes interview with Tesla founder Elon Musk that first aired on Sunday.

Now CBS says it regrets the “error” that led to that impression.

Error, schmerror. This was either a deliberate hit or the most blatant act of stupidity in auto coverage since — well, since 60 Minutes decided to take out Audi. Get a whiff of this:

Following an introductory segment by Scott Pelley, whose wife owns a Model S, there is a series of shots provided by Tesla of a Model S driving down a road accompanied by the out-of-sync sounds of an internal combustion engine and the shifting of a transmission.

The Model S has neither of these things.

Nice fakery, CBS. Not quite up to the level of what you did to Audi, though:

Ed Bradley’s 17 minute “investigative report” aired on November 23, 1986. Between interviews of the teary-eyed “victims” (drivers) of unintended acceleration swearing their feet were on the brake pedal, CBS showed a clip of a driverless Audi lurching forward on its own.

Viewers didn’t get to see the canister of compressed air on the passenger-side floor with a hose running to a hole drilled in the transmission. An “expert” had rigged the Rube Goldberg device to shift the big Audi into drive and, like any automatic-equipped car, move forward (unless the brakes are depressed).

Edward R. Murrow is doing about 1800 rpm, even as we speak.

(Via Bayou Renaissance Man.)

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Varying degrees of niceness

I suppose I should have expected to see this banner ad this spring, though I have to admit I didn’t expect to see it at Equestria Daily:

Stuart Weitzman banner ad

Then again, some of those mares have, um, really nice legs. Four at a time, even.

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Ark of the Clumsiest

After sampling several reviews, Chris Johnson concludes:

So why make Noah in the first place? I can think of only two possible explanations. The first is to sabotage the idea that Biblical movies can make money. “See?! We made Noah and nobody cared! So stop bugging us to film more of this fundie crap!”

Although he prefers his second explanation, and so do I.

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Six times around the world

Gwendolyn, my (mostly) trusty Japanese traveling companion, rolled over the 150,000-mile mark yesterday in the 1500 block of the Northwest Distressway (this would be approximately in front of the Courtyard by Marriott). And she’s in pretty good shape, though there’s a gasoline-vapor issue that needs attention — changing out the gas cap was insufficient remedy — and the tinworm is overly attracted to her flanks.

Of course, this car was already six years old when I bought it, so not all those miles are attributable to me. Still, 150k is more than I’ve ever seen on an odometer. (I’ve had three other cars go past 100k, and one of them almost made it to 200k, but there were only five digits in those days.)

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Connect for?

Yesterday, the surfer dudes who host this site sent word that they’d pulled down all of my stuff on Server A and moved it to some Server B, which they assure me is a Good Thing:

Our new server clusters are running a more recent version of both Debian and Apache. It is also being transitioned from a 32bit server to a 64bit one. If you don’t know what this means, it probably won’t cause any issues with your services. If you’re doing anything fancy that relies on software that’s changed (such as custom PHP), you may need to get with the times and upgrade your site software.

Actually, I was on an older 64-bit server, running vanilla PHP 5.4.20, but hey, I’ll take it.

This move landed me on a whole new IP address, which shouldn’t matter to anyone once DNS is finished propagating. It did, however, upset my security team, which duly sent me out a note to let me know that they’d seen it, and please respond with instructions if any. Nice to know they’re on the ball.

Today I got home and had zero connectivity, to that IP or anywhere else. Usually I figure it’s a local outage, wait an hour, and try again. Didn’t work this time, so I called Cox, which decided to subject me to their Automated System. I had a bit of trouble understanding the canned voice — perhaps they ought to give it something of an accent instead of a stock AnchorBot™ timbre — and that undoubtedly prolonged the experience, but she did ask the right questions and provide the correct answers, so there’s that. (And no, it wasn’t a neighborhood outage, at least by then.)

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Future Medicine, such as it is

This is happening in the Southern hemisphere, but there’s no reason to think it can’t happen here:

Despite not fulfilling all the Ministry of Health’s requirements, 41 Brazilian community doctors recently trained in Venezuela were chosen to work for the government’s More Doctors (Mais Médicos) program.

They graduated in November from the Dr. Salvador Allende Latin American School of Medicine (ELAM) founded in 2007 by former president Hugo Chávez. Most are linked to left leaning organizations such as the PT or Landless Workers’ Movement. The group has returned to Brazil without fulfilling all the requirements stipulated in article 8 of the Venezuelan Law for the Practice of Medicine.

Apart from pretending to stick it to El Hombre The Man, there’s nothing a socialist ruler loves more than naming things after other socialist rulers. Good work, Hugo.

And there’s this:

This week, the group started their 25 day training, which includes a primary healthcare assessment. But they all already have cities assigned to them in 14 states in the São Paulo region. In Venezuela the program for community doctors has been criticized for disrespecting norms, ad hoc improvisations and lack of qualified teachers.

Who knew? Maybe Salvador Allende, who made darn sure he wasn’t going to worry about his health by shoving an AK-47 into his chin.

(Via Fausta’s blog.)

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She didn’t say “Look at me”

From the article just before this one:

It’s 1967. Sandra Dee has just seated herself in the chair beside your desk. Being the douchecanoe you are, you adjust the angle of the mirror just a bit, and the reflection gives you what you wanted: an unobstructed view of Miss Dee’s grade-A legs.

Late last night I stumbled upon a studio still of something resembling this scene. Behold:

Sandra Dee with George Hamilton

The prematurely orange fellow with the subtlety of a flying mallet is George Hamilton.

If you’d rather see her not harassed in person, there’s this:

Sandra Dee at the airport

Who’s that woman behind the curtain? I have no idea.

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Super iPerv 9000

It’s 1967. Sandra Dee has just seated herself in the chair beside your desk. Being the douchecanoe you are, you adjust the angle of the mirror just a bit, and the reflection gives you what you wanted: an unobstructed view of Miss Dee’s grade-A legs.

This scene actually appears in the otherwise uneventful grade-B flick Doctor, You’ve Got to Be Kidding! And it had exactly the effect on this impressionable youth — I was 14 in 1967 — that you think it did.

But older and marginally wiser, I now feel compelled to warn you that This Could Happen To You:

Possible usage of Spy Cam Peek-I

There exists a crowdfunding effort to develop exactly this technology as an iPhone app, which as of the last time I looked had raised about eight times the original goal. The demand for this sort of thing by 14-year-olds of all ages is evidently substantial.

(Via this Avenging Uterus tweet, bounced into my timeline by Andrea Harris.)

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The taxman stayeth

There’s something fundamentally wrong with a tax code that routinely costs ordinary people many hours and dollars every single year, and not just for taxes either.

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