By odor of the Food and Drug Administration

Hmmm. Maybe I need an Uncommon Scents category:

Fine Land Corp is recalling its 12 ounce (340 g) Meiqili Durian Candy in plastic bag with clear window because it contains undeclared milk allergens. Consumers who are allergic to milk allergens may run the risk of serious or life-threatening allergic reactions if they consume this product.

The recalled “Meiqili Durian Candy” was distributed in retail supermarkets throughout the East Coast in Connecticut, New York, Philadelphia, Virginia, Maryland and Boston. The product is packaged in a 12 oz.(340 g) plastic bag with a clear window. It is labeled as a product of China and has a UPC code of 4-897055-795465-0.

Meiqili Durian Candy

No illnesses or allergic reactions involving this product have been reported to date.

(Via Fark.)


No endorsements for you

Enes Kanter, despite being a New York Knick, is still staggeringly popular here in deepest Thunderland, but having two fan bases gets him nowhere with the makers of athletic shoes:

In the summer of 2016, around the same time as [Colin] Kaepernick began his protests, an attempted coup against the Turkish government sparked a crackdown on dissenting voices by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Kanter is a longtime critic of the regime and a supporter of US-based Fetullah Gulen, who Erdoğan blamed for the coup. And so he became a target.

The New York Knicks player had his Turkish passport revoked, and Erdoğan issued a warrant for his arrest. Kanter’s father even had to disown him in a bid to safeguard their family.

Despite playing for a popular NBA team, the 26-year-old cannot find a sponsor. This is because, he says, sportswear companies are wary of damaging their commercial prospects in Turkey. And in an interview with Vice Sports last month, he singled out (you guessed it) Nike as one of those companies.

“Strike a pose, there’s nothing to it,” says Ed Driscoll of Nike’s perfidy.


This is not for you

There are wrong prescriptions, and there are really wrong prescriptions:

I’ve been prescribed a medication that isn’t covered (at all) by my medical insurance. Since it costs close to $1,500 per month at normal retail prices, there’s no way I can afford it; so the doctor who prescribed it signed me up with a specialty pharmacy, to see whether I qualified for a reduced price.

A few minutes ago I received a phone call from the pharmacy to confirm the information the doctor’s office had provided to them. All went well until, at the end of the call, the nice lady on the other end of the phone said, “You’ll be receiving your first prescription of (Drug X) next week.”

I hesitated, then said, “What medication was that, please?”

“(Drug X).”

“Er … I don’t recognize that name. Don’t you mean (Drug Y)?”

A brief pause, some background noises, and:

“You’re quite right; it should be (Drug Y). I’m afraid I mixed up your file with someone else’s. I’m sorry. I’ll correct it.”

I said, “Thank you – but what was the drug you were going to send me?”

With a quiver in her voice, she said, “It was hormone replacement therapy, to treat the menopause.”


And now I feel sorry for those who actually need this drug and get to peel off eighteen grand a year for it.


Windows Live Fail

I have twenty-one years’ worth of email in the archives here. And you would not believe what I had to go through to keep access to it.

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Formerly the Lotus position

Big Blue has apparently decided to swap some of its software portfolio for some long green:

HCL Technologies has parted with $1.8 billion to pick up a number of IBM software products. The companies said in a release that the transaction should close mid-next year, subject to regulatory approvals.

The products HCL has picked up include Notes and Domino; Connections; on-premises versions of Portal, Commerce, and Unica; BigFix; and Appscan.

“The products that we are acquiring are in large growing market areas like security, marketing, and commerce, which are strategic segments for HCL,” president and CEO of HCL Technologies C Vijayakumar said.

“Many of these products are well regarded by clients and positioned in the top quadrant by industry analysts.”

As a Notes user connected to a Domino server, I give a hard pass on this “well regarded” business.

The Fark submitter said “Someone intentionally bought Lotus Notes,” and, well, it seemed funny at the time.


Heck, yeah

Now and then, I go through the work box and try to organize the 8300 or so tracks located thereupon, and occasionally this effort produces a question. This time it was “How the hell did I get so many Ingrid Michaelson songs?” They show up in the iTunes “Purchased” folder, so I must have bought them at some point. So I decided I should look up the lady in question, just to see if I could figure out why. I did learn that she has a degree in theater from Binghamton University, and sang with the school’s a cappella group. And she has two RIAA-certified platinum singles despite never charting higher than #37 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Ingrid Michaelson is indeed a woman in music

Ingrid Michaelson is indeed a woman

Ingrid Michaelson in a promotional tee

This latter garment was issued in 2016 to promote a single:

Which I didn’t have, so I guess I’ll have to go buy it.


Some year this was

The rule for Time’s Person of the Year:

Every year, TIME selects the most influential person of the year, noting, for better or for worse, the person or group of people who have had the greatest impact on the news and the world over the past 12 months. TIME’s final Person of the Year will ultimately be chosen by editors, the poll provides insight into who readers believe believe had the greatest influence on the events of the past year.

I was suspicious of this honor even before I won in 2006, and the current-year poll does not make me feel any better:

Korean boy band BTS has won the online reader’s poll for TIME’s Person of the Year, beating out other artists, world leaders and politicians among those who voted.

The seven-member K-Pop band — which includes members RM, Jin, Suga, J-Hope, Jimin, V and Jung Kook — held on to their long lead in the poll.

Planet Earth narrowly trailed BTS in the poll. With millions of votes cast, BTS outpaced Planet Earth by 0.12%.

The Thai cave divers finished third. Other top finishers: South Korean president Moon Jae-in; undocumented children; former First Lady Michelle Obama; Mohammed Bin Salman, the crown prince of Saudi Arabia embroiled in controversy over past few months for his alleged involvement in the brutal murder of Washington Post reporter Jamal Khashoggi; Brazil’s new president Jair Bolsonaro; Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh accuser Christine Blasey Ford, and Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

The more I see of what passes for democracy these days, the more ardently I embrace monarchism.

(Via Fark.)



This started with Fillyjonk having to wrestle with the tire-pressure monitoring system again:

I decided to haul out my little pump and bring them back up to 40 psi (max inflation is 44, but I thought “given the changeability of our temperature, maybe it’s best not to go to the very max on a chilly day” and also it’s hard to read the marks-between-the-tens on the little gauge). So that took maybe 10 minutes to make sure all four tires were up to the right level, but it shut off the light, so that was good.

Now to me, 44 psi, which is what it says on the sidewall of the tire, seemed awfully high, and I wondered if maybe the mandatory label inside the vehicle might call for something thirty-ish. But no, she confirmed: 44 is where it’s supposed to be. Not the first time that she was right and I was wrong.

And of course, this wasn’t any of my business in the first place, but I do get antsy about Ford tire pressures:

On March 6, 2000 the NHTSA began a preliminary inquiry and on May 2, the NHTSA began an investigation (PE00-020) concerning the high incidence of tire failures and accidents of Ford Explorers and other light trucks and SUV’s fitted with Firestone Radial ATX, ATX II, and Wilderness tires. On August 9 Firestone recalled all ATX and ATX II tires and all Wilderness AT tires manufactured in Decatur, IL. On August 31, 2000 the Office of Defect Investigation (ODI) upgraded the investigation to an Engineering Analysis (EA00-023) to determine whether Firestone’s recall covered all the defective tires.

Ford and Firestone both issued root cause analyses to the NHTSA. Firestone argued that vehicle weight, tire design, low recommended inflation pressure, and lower tire adhesion for tires manufactured at the Decatur, IL factory contributed to the tire failures. Ford argued that the tire design led to higher operating temperatures compared to similar tires manufactured by Goodyear and that differences in manufacturing at Decatur led to weaker tires that were more prone to failure. Ford also argued that the size of the wedge, a strip of rubber between the first and second belts, is smaller in Firestone tires than Michelin tires making them weaker than comparable Michelin tires.

Publicly Firestone argued that Ford’s recommended 26 psi inflation pressure was too low and should have been 30 psi. In addition Firestone argued that the Explorer was abnormally dangerous and prone to rollovers in the event of a tire failure, leading to more injuries and fatalities. In the words of Firestone CEO John Lampe, “When a driver of a vehicle has something happen such as a tread separation, they should be able to pull over not rollover.”

One could go back further, to the first-generation Chevrolet Corvair. A rear-engine car with an obvious rear weight bias, the Corvair was fitted with swing axles out back, creating a tendency to oversteer, to which General Motors provided the cheapest remedy possible:

As with the Renault Dauphine and pre-1968 Volkswagen Beetle, Corvair engineers relied on a cost-free tire pressure differential to eliminate oversteer characteristics — low front and high rear tire pressure–a strategy which induced understeer (increasing front slip angles faster than the rear). Nonetheless, the strategy offered a significant disadvantage: owners and mechanics could inadvertently but easily re-introduce oversteer characteristics by over-inflating the front tires (e.g., to typical pressures for other cars with other, more prevalent suspension systems). The recommended low front tire pressure also compromised the tire load capacity.

The General’s recommended pressures: 15 psi front, 24 psi rear. It was in the manual, but your average pump jockey, while he was filling your tank up with Good Gulf, wouldn’t see that as he pumped up those low-looking front tires. The second-generation Corvair had a much better rear suspension, possibly even better than Corvette would get for 1965, but by then, the damage was done, and by model year 1969, so was the Corvair.

Still, none of these were really pertinent to FJ’s TPMS issue, and I guess I’m sorry I brought it up in the first place.

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Genuine nightmare fuel

At least for me, if I spend any time pondering its origin:

Megalodon tooth passing through whale vertebra

Maybe I won’t think about it anymore.


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The incredible shrinking dingus

Overview, from Wikipedia:

Koro is a culture-bound syndrome delusional disorder in which an individual has an overpowering belief that one’s sex organs are retracting and will disappear, despite the lack of any true longstanding changes to the genitals. Koro is also known as shrinking penis, and it is listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. The syndrome occurs worldwide, and mass hysteria of genital-shrinkage anxiety has a history in Africa, Asia, and Europe. In the United States and Europe, the syndrome is commonly known as genital retraction syndrome. The condition can be diagnosed through psychological assessment along with physical examination to rule out genuine disorders of the genitalia that could be causing true retraction.

Case history, from Yahoo! Answers:

Im a 16 year old guy and my mom bought me a black tdi 2014 beetle convertible cause my mom always wanted one. what can i do to make it manly?

Is it too late for this lad? The question is left as an exercise for the student.

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Second verse, unlike the first

Probably the most telling moment of the evening was about halfway through the fourth quarter when the Thunder took five shots from point-blank distance on a single possession and came away empty-handed. It was at this precise moment that it became evident that the Bulls were going to do a better job down the line than did the Nets. The events of Wednesday night would be repeated only in one aspect: the final score, 114-112 — but this time the Thunder were on the losing side of the ledger.

It wasn’t supposed to happen that way, of course. The last Thunder possession at Chicago followed the pattern set at Brooklyn: get Paul George loose for a trey. Tonight, though, PG-13 landed the shot just slightly wide of the mark. He finished with 19 points, 28 fewer than he’d had on Wednesday. And Russell Westbrook popped up with what could be called a quadruple-double: 24 points, 17 rebounds, 13 assists — and 10 turnovers. Zach LeVine coughed it up nine times for the Bulls to go with his 25 points, but somehow it didn’t seem quite so heinous. Perhaps it was the return to form of Lauri Markkanen, who’d been injured earlier in the season and who probably wasn’t expected to come up with 24 points tonight, let alone the game-winning bucket inside the five-second mark that kept threatening to roll out of the cylinder but never quite did. And let it be known that the Bulls shot 50 percent or better almost the entire night, finishing at 52 (43-82). The Thunder got 12 more shots, but no more goals (43-94, 46 percent). This is what happens when you take five shots in a single possession and come away empty-handed.

All five teams in the Northwest are at .500 or better, and the Thunder play two of them next week: Utah at home on Monday, at Denver on Friday. (In between, a trip to New Orleans; the Pels are one game below .500.) Just to complicate matters further, the Clippers, second in the West — the Nuggets are first — show up Saturday.


We can dress real neat

And I can act like an imbecile:

Current status of pants: totally removed.

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Quote of the week

Most of us don’t face much in the way of threats on a daily basis, and this costs us something in personal development:

I promise you, no medieval peasant ever lost a minute’s sleep asking himself what’s the meaning of life — when you’re locked in a desperate struggle for existence, day in and day out, the point of it all is pretty self-evident. Nowadays, you can get well into middle age before encountering death, and very few of us, I’d imagine, have actually seen someone die. Dying, in modern America, is a drawn-out, ritualized, abstract event, not a regularly-experienced part of life. We all know theoretically that we can get cancer, or die in a car crash, or get struck by lightning, but there’s no immediacy to it. Back in the days, death was all around, all the time. I’d bet good money that the average medieval peasant saw more death, even violent death, than the average American soldier, even in wartime.

I have seen someone die. But I wasn’t a soldier at the time.

We moderns, when faced with the question of life’s purpose — as anyone of sufficient IQ will be — have no answer that makes gut-level sense. In a world where death is a constant companion, where life’s fragility is daily hammered home, “live each day as if it were your last” is an expression of transcendental meaning. For us it’s a Hallmark card slogan. We need something, anything, to make us feel that any given day might, in fact, actually be our last. The medical term for this is hormesis — growth in response to non-lethal stress. We’re designed to optimize it — can’t live without it, in fact, which is why prosperity is lethal.

Hence, radical politics. Everyone who has studied Marxism, especially its modern oxides like “intersectionality,” knows that despite its formidable technical apparatus, it’s all just ooga-booga stuff. Marxism’s appeal is, and always has been, purely emotional. “Hate the man who is better off than you are” is the truest explication of Marx’s gospel, and since nothing stirs the blood like hate does, hating the man who is better off than you are — and who isn’t, at least in some sense, if you think about it long enough? — is easily mistaken for hormesis. The point of life is to create Utopia; the fact that Utopia (“no place” in Greek) doesn’t exist and can never exist is a feature, not a bug.

The problem, of course, is that you can never admit Utopia is impossible … which necessarily entails blaming some Other for Utopia’s failure to exist. That’s the richest part of the Marxist lexicon: The Enemies List. Wreckers, capitalist-roaders, right-deviationists, left-deviationists, kulaks, Trotsky, Lin Biao, Emmanuel Goldstein … Marxists have fantastic imaginations, and never more than when finding someone or something to blame. At one point, Mao himself blamed sparrows for sabotaging the Great Leap Forward.

And here on the cusp of 2019, everything is the fault of Trump, white nationalism, hate speech, Trump, the Republican party, voter suppression, sport-utility vehicles, and Trump. No arguments to the contrary can be accepted.

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But I’m edgy

Now here’s a zinger, and a fairly ungrammatical one at that: Is there apps you can post whatever you want on without being banned?

There follows the Cry of the Self-Righteous Twit:

I made a controversial Instagram page and I was banned from signing up. It angers me that a few ignorant people can keep you from freely using an app. This has happened a few times and I’m honestly sick of it. I post stuff like offensive memes etc. I’ve never reported anyone else so it’s ignorant I keep getting removed instead of people just moving on.

Vera, honey, you’re allowed to be just as much of an asshat as you like. However, Instagram is under no obligation to publish your “offensive memes” and whatnot. Get your own damn platform. It won’t have millions of people wandering by, but hey, that’s life on the edge.

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Get down on Frey day

The award finally came:

Years after gaining notoriety for embellishing parts of his memoir A Million Little Pieces, the US author James Frey has a new notch in his bedpost: the 2018 bad sex in fiction award.

Seeing off competition from an all-male shortlist that included Haruki Murakami and the Man Booker prize-nominated Gerard Woodward, Frey won for his novel Katerina, a “fictional retelling” of a love affair the author started while on a hedonistic trip to France in the 1990s. The story follows Jay, a young American would-be writer, as he drinks and bonks his way around Paris, particularly with a Norwegian model named Katerina.

The award’s judges at the Literary Review said they had been swayed by several sex scenes in the novel, which include encounters in a car park and in the back of a taxi, but were especially convinced by an extended scene in a Paris bathroom between Jay and Katerina that features eight references to ejaculate.

You can read it at the link. I don’t think I want that stuff dripping all over the server.

Frey, who shot to fame with his 2004 memoir about his drug addiction, A Million Little Pieces, and later became even more famous when the book was proved to contain embellishments, has been nominated for the bad sex award before, in 2011 for his novel The Final Testament of the Holy Bible.

Heh. “Shot” to fame.

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Doesn’t want the D

To my amazement, I tested out with what was listed as a Vitamin D deficiency a few years back, and began taking a supplement in relatively small doses, having heard that too much Vitamin D can cause constipation, something I have no desire to get.

It’s worse, though, for Fido:

A recall for dog foods that potentially contain too much vitamin D has been expanded to include other brands.

The recall initially included several brands produced by Sunshine Mills, including Evolve Puppy, Sportsman’s Pride Large Breed Puppy, and Triumph Chicken and Rice Dog Food.

However, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said the recall has been expanded to include several brands from other companies as well, including Nutrisca, Natural Life Pet Products and ELM Pet Foods, Inc. among others.

Dogs ingesting elevated levels of vitamin D may exhibit symptoms such as vomiting, loss of appetite, increased thirst, increased urination, excessive drooling, and weight loss. Vitamin D, when consumed at very high levels, can lead to serious health issues in dogs including renal dysfunction and even death.

Consumers are urged to stop feeding the foods to their dogs immediately and throw it away or return it for a full refund.

Besides, your dog wants steak.

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