Odium at the podium

We are now a week and a half into the new school year in the Little Rock School District, and there’s nothing yet floating around about possible violations of the new dress code for teachers [pdf], enacted last year and now in effect. Some of the highlights:

“Foundational garments shall be worn and not visible with respect to color, style, and/or fabric,” the letter reads. “No see-through or sheer clothing shall be allowed, and no skin shall be visible between pants/trousers, skirts, and shirts/blouses at any time.”

T-shirts, patches and other clothing containing slogans for beer, alcohol, drugs, gangs or sex will also be prohibited. Other verboten garments will include cut-off jeans with ragged edges, cut-out dresses and spaghetti-straps if teachers aren’t wearing at least two layers.

Flip-flops will be banned. “Tattoos must be covered if at all possible.” No jogging suits, either (though gym and dance teachers do get a pass on this one).

And the very worst of all: No spandex.

I know of only one teacher — not in that district, or even in that state — who’s admitted to wearing flip-flops; if she ever went commando, I don’t know about it.

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Copied wrong

A report from the Tumblr front:

Recently I received a notice from Tumblr which threatened deletion of this blog. It was a FINAL WARNING. I have never been warned about deletion previously, so it’s curious why they are calling this FINAL. I emailed Tumblr support, and was told “the email you received was due to an automated DMCA notification processing system that may have gone awry.” Checking a few other blogs, I saw that several others received the exact same notice.

“May have,” they said.

It’s frightening how the people who run social media sites like Facebook and Tumblr care so little about their users that they would wipe out years of work with a single keystroke. None of us are safe online, and things appear to be getting worse rather than getting better.

For an example of “worse,” see this yutz who’s all bent out of shape because someone insulted him; he demands satisfaction.

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As mineral as it gets

We are assured that this rock salt has not been in any way genetically modified:

Non-GMO rock salt

Well, I feel better. Now if we can just get some more of that carbon-free sugar.

(Found by Jacqueline Passey Mason. Remember her?)

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Meanwhile in Montgomery

A change in legislative compensation is coming for the Alabama legislature:

Starting after this year’s elections, Alabama lawmakers will be paid the median household income for the state.

The state has hired a law firm to help determine that amount.

In 2012, Alabamians approved a constitutional amendment making the change in lawmaker pay.

Well, okay. Did it take a law firm to determine this amount?

In 2012, the median household income in Alabama was about $42,000.

Not mentioned in the article: how much they’re getting now. Reid Wilson of WaPo ferreted that out last year:

Alabama legislators only make $10 a day in actual salary, but they get $4,308 a month in expense budgets and $50 a day when the legislature meets.

Says Wikipedia: “The length of the regular session is limited to 30 meeting days within a period of 105 calendar days. Session weeks consist of meetings of the full chamber and committee meetings.”

So this is, then, a raise? And state voters approved it? Then again, these hardy souls must deal with the Alabama Constitution of 1901, which runs over 340,000 words, or about half the size of Atlas Shrugged.

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Untrue to its contents

This spam was from, it said, “Cable Service,” and the subject was “Optimize your viewing experience with cable TV.”

Then followed three links, anchored as follows:

  • Greencard
  • Need a Greencard? Get help from experienced US Attorneys – Attorney Advertisement
  • Work legally with a greencard.

And, you know, the CableCARD is dead.

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Winding up like this

From about a week and a half ago, here’s Jessica Alba, doing that ceremonial first-pitch thing for the Dodgers:

Jessica Alba throws out the first pitch at Chavez Ravine

Good form, as they say. Still, the Brewers scored seven runs in the first four innings and the Dodgers failed to catch up, falling 7-2.

Speaking of good form, here’s a January still from Late Night with Jimmy Fallon:

Jessica Alba looking Jessica Alba-esque

Readers of Fashion Bomb Daily approved this look by better than seven to two.

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Dropping Thabeet

Hasheem the Dream heads northeast:

The Thunder have traded Hasheem Thabeet, along with cash considerations, to the 76ers who absorb his contract into their cap space, creating a $1.25 million trade exception.

Why did the Thunder do this? With the emergence of Steven Adams, plus the addition of Mitch McGary, Thabeet [was] firmly the Thunder’s third center and nothing more than an insurance policy. His contract for next season was non-guaranteed ($1.2 million) and was likely to be waived in training camp anyway.

On the upside, if the Sixers keep him, he’s likely to see more time on the floor, if only because there’s likely to be a whole lot of garbage time, especially if Philly isn’t substantially improved from last season, “one of the most dismal in franchise history.”

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Walking off from the runoff

I cast ballot #290, according to the machine, at 4:53 pm. With competitive races in both parties, I think I was expecting a few more than that. Still, there are lots of folks wedded to the concept of “Runoff, schmunoff.” Perhaps one of these years we can do the Instant Runoff thing.

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Non-shiny happy people

Apparently it’s possible, even in this day and age:

I was thinking about my old high school French teacher again this morning as I trudged up the stairs to my office. Specifically, how I remember seeing him on his way to work (the prep school I attended had a few houses that they used to provide housing for some faculty. He and his wife had a house close to campus). He was frequently whistling and swinging his briefcase. And thinking about that makes me sad because while I value my work deeply, I never quite feel like whistling and swinging whatever I am carrying (I don’t carry a briefcase) as I head in to work. And I wonder, how does someone learn to be that happy-go-lucky? By all rights I should be like that — I have an extremely good life, unbelievably good by global standards — and yet I’m so serious all the time. And stuff, little stuff, gets to me and sucks out the joy I might feel.

I think part of it may be hard-coded into the genome. Mark Twain’s Old Man in “What Is Man?”, 1906:

I know them well. They are extremes, abnormals; their temperaments are as opposite as the poles. Their life-histories are about alike — but look at the results! Their ages are about the same — about around fifty. Burgess had always been buoyant, hopeful, happy; Adams has always been cheerless, hopeless, despondent. As young fellows both tried country journalism — and failed. Burgess didn’t seem to mind it; Adams couldn’t smile, he could only mourn and groan over what had happened and torture himself with vain regrets for not having done so and so instead of so and so — THEN he would have succeeded. They tried the law — and failed. Burgess remained happy — because he couldn’t help it. Adams was wretched — because he couldn’t help it. From that day to this, those two men have gone on trying things and failing: Burgess has come out happy and cheerful every time; Adams the reverse. And we do absolutely know that these men’s inborn temperaments have remained unchanged through all the vicissitudes of their material affairs. Let us see how it is with their immaterials. Both have been zealous Democrats; both have been zealous Republicans; both have been zealous Mugwumps. Burgess has always found happiness and Adams unhappiness in these several political beliefs and in their migrations out of them. Both of these men have been Presbyterians, Universalists, Methodists, Catholics — then Presbyterians again, then Methodists again. Burgess has always found rest in these excursions, and Adams unrest. They are trying Christian Science, now, with the customary result, the inevitable result. No political or religious belief can make Burgess unhappy or the other man happy.

I assure you it is purely a matter of temperament. Beliefs are ACQUIREMENTS, temperaments are BORN; beliefs are subject to change, nothing whatever can change temperament.

Aside: I’ll never know precisely how much that essay affected me when I read it as a tween. Call it an acquired belief.

A possibility:

Maybe he never watched the news. That could be part of it.

I’m sure not watching the news has helped my sense of self.

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Never be mist

TTAC commenter “turf3″ explains fog lights:

The purpose of fog lights is to blind oncoming drivers by using them in conjunction with high beams on clear nights when driving on streets with street lights located every 150 feet.

In practice, though, the high beams will blind you more than the fog lights will. (And in some cars, the fog lights turn off when the high beams come on.)

The secondary purpose of fog lights is to add an easily broken feature to plastic bumpers so the cost of using bumpers for their intended purpose (bumping!!!) can be even more expensive.

Now that’s pretty indisputable.

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Prerequisite to just about everything

You absolutely need this class to help navigate the choppy waters of National Discourse:

Credit hours: -3.

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It’s cheap to be the King

From 1989 to 2002, Burger King was owned by the British conglomerate Grand Metropolitan (now Diageo). In 2010, it was acquired by the equity firm 3G Capital, with offices in New York and roots in Brazil. Now it’s about to become Canadian:

The Wall Street Journal‘s Liz Hoffman and Dana Mattioli report Burger King is in talks to buy Tim Horton’s to pull off a “tax inversion” that would allow it to avoid U.S. taxes.

The new holding company would be based in Canada, the pair report.

Whether one will be able to pick up Timbits with a Whopper is not yet known.

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But fourteen’s not mad about me

I adore the sonnet form. I can’t write in it to save my life — the one time I came up with perfect meter and reasonable scansion, I discovered I’d done only thirteen lines — but I adore it just the same.

And this won’t change my mind, either:

Taylor Swift's We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together in sonnet form

(Via Fillyjonk.)

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Damn laws of physics

What in the world could this yahoo possibly have been thinking?

Yahoo! Answers screenshot: What suv has a tow capacity of 7000 lbs and gets good gas mileage?

This is right up there with “How much do I have to spend on a suit to win the heart of a supermodel?”

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At least they’re not blue

The preceding piece was taken from the New York Post, as was this one:

(Why not blue? This is why not blue.)

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That’s right, you bad

There are times when you just can’t resist rubbing it in:

A 40-year-old woman tackled a 20-year-old man fleeing from police in Washington state, then taunted him about being taken down by a grandmother.

Richland police Capt. Mike Cobb tells the Tri-City Herald that Becky Powell was driving by Wednesday when she saw the man run from officers. She told her husband to speed ahead of the fleeing man, and got out to confront him.

Powell says the man tried to stiff-arm her, but she felled him, pulling down his shorts in the process.

She says she got help pinning the man down and asked him how it felt to be taken down by a mother of five and a grandmother of three.

An officer on the scene gave Powell a high-five, but higher-ups later issued the usual “Don’t help us” warning: “We appreciate the assistance, but we don’t want to have people get involved because they can get hurt.”

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