Archive for August 2011

Strange search-engine queries (287)

I’ve been working all week on a plan to raise the national snark ceiling. Did I succeed? You’ll have to read the post to see what’s in it.

pfizer meth purity jail documentary:  Because if anyone’s concerned about the quality of methamphetamine, it’s gotta be a drug company.

bollywood hot pechar:  Like their Western counterpart, the industry shies away from showing pechars.

women nice legs michele bachmann:  We may never know for sure, so long as there’s a podium in the way.

honda rtfm 190:  You meet the nicest people on a Honda, with the possible exception of tech support.

Hello Kitty ice packhello kitty ice pack:  What’s frustrating about this is not so much that someone was actually looking for a Hello Kitty ice pack, but that it was apparently necessary to go through eighty results to get here. That’s dedication — or obsession. Take your pick.

“romantic soles” crossdresser:  It’s possible, I suppose, though I admittedly find it a bit difficult to imagine a women getting worked up over a guy wearing Louboutins.

people who have no business breeding:  At the very least, you have to include the parents who have never, ever shown up at a PTA meeting.

story of united states pows held captive in laos:  By all accounts, they had a Laosy time.

what state is when the sun doesn’t go down:  The State of Air Conditioning Repair, a staggeringly-unpopular place of late.

shed eye sore:  I have seen no indication that ABC plans to fire Joy Behar from The View.

patriarchy wins again:  I have seen no indication that ABC plans to fire Joy Behar from The View.

ventriloquist in islam:  No reason why you couldn’t, and besides there are places where you wouldn’t want to be seen opening your mouth, missy.

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Credo the Second

Another installment of things I believe, a decade after the first.

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Meanwhile at 88 mph

I have to admit, this gave me a 1.21-gigawatt smile, even as I realized there had to be something wrong with it:

Tweaked De Lorean speedometer

Legal matters, as it happens: the De Lorean went into production in 1981, which meant that stateside vehicles were cursed with the Joan Claybrook Memorial Speedometer, topping out at a meager 85 and highlighting the much-derided 55-mph speed limit. (For every good automotive idea the government gets, there are at least a dozen bad ones, and this was egregiously stupid.) Here’s a stock De Lorean instrument panel, as seen at Ask a Mechanic:

De Lorean instrument cluster

It gets more complicated. The speedo used for instrument-panel scenes in Back to the Future had a 95-mph scale.

And apparently the handful of right-hand-drive cars made did have proper 140-mph speedometers; in fact, the present-day De Lorean Motor Company will happily sell you a 140-mph speedo from presumed old stock for a mere $199. So the most likely explanation is that this is a real 140-mph De Lorean speedo with a bit of Photoshoppery, or possibly a new face for the old speedo, which can be had at retail, presumably altered slightly before installation. I can absolutely assure you that if I owned a De Lorean, I would have this done to my dash.

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I assume they’ll wear running shoes

But probably not anything else:

Vita Nuda, a nationwide group of college nudists, is hosting southern Florida’s first-ever clothing-optional run at Sunsport Gardens Family Naturist Resort in Loxahatchee.

Northern Florida has had such a run already: SunnyStreak 5K, in Pierson in June.

The Streak Sunsport 5K, on August 27, also incorporates a clothing drive. Darned ingenious, those nudists.

(Via this nudiarist tweet.)

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Day of the diesels

The first order of business for any satirical piece is that it be, in at least one sense of the word, funny. So Jessica Roake scores poorly for her send-up of Thomas the Tank Engine as an apologia for British imperialism, though I have to give her points for effort:

I’m overeducated and understimulated, with shelves full of long-ignored critical-theory books, trained in the reading of “texts” through Marxist, feminist, and postmodern perspectives. It’s no wonder that the dormant critical theorist within me awakens when faced with the coded wonderland of children’s programming. Hitchcock is well-covered territory, but Thomas and Friends presents a minefield of untapped deconstructing opportunities!

The smartest thing she ever did, arguably, was to ignore those critical-theory books, but you know, some memories simply refuse to be erased.

(Via Zilla of the Resistance.)

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The further adventures of Buck Floomberg

Mike Bloomberg: pushy chestless runt of a man? Well, not just that, says KingShamus:

He’s not just the latest in a long line of secular puritans that are at odds with America’s founding leave-me-alone spirit. He’s also just as closed-minded as any stereotypical Bible-thumping creationist strawman found in a Richard Dawkins atheist pud-wack essay. He’s got it in his head that sodium is a killer — and that his laws are the best way to get people to follow his idea of a ‘proper’ diet — so it’s only natural that he’d pump the food police legislation despite the facts being against him. The only difference between Bloomberg’s lifestyle diktats and any religious teaching is … well, nothing … if you really think about it.

What the world needs now is a photograph of Bloomberg with a bag of pork rinds in one hand — and a pistol in the other.

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Desert topping

Bill Quick’s corner of San Francisco, he says, can be fairly described as a “food desert”:

No chain supermarkets anywhere to be found. And very little of anything else, either. First, San Francisco fights all national chains, trying to hold any new construction hostage to a host of extra fees, charges, and commitments to things like “affordable housing.” And second, in my specific (ghetto) nabe, any national chain probably needs to tack an extra 10% onto the cost of doing business above and beyond the bribes to the city to cover theft, violence, liability insurance, and security. Why? Because the people in my neighborhood amount to less than fifteen percent of the population, but commit more than fifty percent of the crime.

Meanwhile, midtown Detroit will be getting a Whole Foods Market, though not a large one, and 48201 is hardly the worst part of the Motor City. What’s more, the fellow who owns the Whole Foods site is apparently getting some big-time incentives.

Still: almost any desert can be irrigated, if you can make enough of a splash. Whether it can be made to pay off or not — that’s another story.

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No, not Hurst

There was a quote from William Randolph Hearst over the letters section of Car and Driver, and apparently I missed the reason for it:

Hearst has closed the U.S. portion of its $913 million acquisition of Lagardère SCA’s non-French magazines.

That’s Elle, Elle Decor, Car and Driver, Cycle World, Road & Track and Woman’s Day, which make up Lagardère’s Hachette Filipacchi Media U.S.

This happened right after Memorial Day, and I obviously wasn’t paying attention. I blame the summer heat.

The quote from Mr Hearst actually seems appropriate to C/D’s perceived mission:

“All work and no play may make Jim a dull boy, but no work and all play makes Jim all kinds of a jackass.”

Sure would have been cool had it been Hurst, though.

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Remind me not to call her “cute”

A project on Kathy Shaidle’s back burner:

I want to write a book called The Consolations of Ugliness, which would be a (cough!) meditation on the pros and cons of being a non-beautiful woman; the concept of the jolie laide; how ideals of female beauty have evolved.

I’d buy that, simply because it’s Kathy Shaidle — see Acoustic Ladyland reference here — but I would find it hard to believe that it’s in any way based on her own personal experience.

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Just a little southeast of Nome

If they can make a movie out of Battleship, they can certainly make this film:

Called Solitaire, it will feature one man’s struggle with the elements as he tries to reach a camp during the Yukon gold rush of the 19th century.

I’m guessing this is not actually a remake of North to Alaska, based on this further remark:

Also, zombies.

Should keep it from getting mushy, anyway.

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Stringed theory

From the Old Musician Jokes file:

Q: What’s the difference between a washing machine and a cellist?
A: Vibrato.

In partial atonement for that, here is cellist Alisa Weilerstein, who in no way resembles anything Whirlpool ever made:

Alisa Weilerstein

There is, I think, a hint of just-this-side-of-scary intensity to her, and in this rehearsal video, you get to see it turned On and Off.

Born in 1982, she graduated from Columbia in 2004 with a BA in Russian history. By then, she’d been playing the cello for eighteen years already, and how she got to this industrial-strength instrument at that age demands an explanation:

There was one time when my father was in Europe playing concerts with the [Cleveland] Quartet, and my mother was about to leave town to play concerts with other colleagues. The night before she left, I got chicken pox. My grandmother, who was coming to take care of me in any case, felt so sorry for me that she brought me a string quartet of instruments that she had made herself — out of cardboard cereal boxes. The cello, made out of a Rice Krispies box with an old toothbrush for the endpin, was the instrument I immediately fell in love with. I ignored the others completely.

Intensity even then.

(Rejected original title: “All my bass are belong to her.”)

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Killer heels

In a more-or-less literal sense, this time:

An Augusta [Georgia] woman is being charged with murder after fatally striking her boyfriend in the head with a stiletto heel.

According to Richmond County sheriff’s Capt. Scott Peebles, 46-year-old Thelma Carter is being charged for the death of 58-year-old Robert F. Higdon.

Authorities believe the incident occurred sometime Sunday evening after an altercation between the two inside the trailer they lived in at Lot A-1 of Augusta Mobile Home Estates.

You know, I just had the feeling this didn’t happen at Augusta National.

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Boredom has its defenders

The Honda Civic has been among the favored C-segment cars for so long that when the ninth-generation model drew an actual panning from Consumer Reports, it made headlines in places other than the car sites.

Honda isn’t taking this lying down:

In a broad sense, we disagree with Consumer Reports’ findings. Without question, the small sedan segment is more competitive than ever. In virtually every way, the completely redesigned 2012 Civic is a step forward. The new Civic excels in areas that matter to small-car customers, including fuel efficiency, safety, and reliability. Among the Civic’s greatest competitive strengths, is a smooth and efficient powertrain that, in Consumer Reports testing returned, “… an impressive 30 mpg overall on regular fuel and 47 mpg on the highway.” Also noted in Consumer Reports findings, the Civic excels in the area of safety, with a long list of important features standard on all trim levels, and a class-leading ‘Top Safety Pick’ rating from IIHS. Lastly, the Civic has a stellar reliability history with Consumer Reports, and we are confident that the new Civic will be a reliability leader as well.

Shorter version: “Shacho-san is dead and we can do what we want.”

Sorry, guys, but when you’re less interesting than a freaking Ford Focus, you’ve lost the way.

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Chintziness as babe magnet

At least for this guy, it’s not working:

A really beautiful chick at work was talking to me about her leased IS250, how fast and luxurious it was, etc… She asked which car I drove, and when I said “the banged up ’99 protege with the peeling clearcoat” her face suddenly looked like she had bad gas from an undercooked microwaveable burrito… I thought the recession was supposed to make tight wads like me fashionable!?

I think the only way this works is if you’d acquired that reputation as a cheapskate when times were flush.

And now that I think about it, almost every Nineties Protegé I’ve seen has had peeling clearcoat.

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Mass attendant

The staff of Gilbert Magazine, a magazine about the life, the views, and the influence of G. K. Chesterton, compile a regular “News with Views” section, and this is the top of their current list:

The latest study to catch our eye has connected obesity, not with the modern diet, but with church-going. The study, done through the Northwestern University School of Medicine, concluded that people who attend church services at least weekly are fifty percent more likely to become obese by the time they reach middle age than those who are not so regular or don’t attend at all. The study did not go so far as to develop an explanation, it just noted the statistical correlation.

As no one here surely needs to be reminded, correlation does not equal causation.

A couple of off-the-cuff explanations offered by researchers:

One may simply be that religious gatherings often may center around eating traditional, high-calorie comfort foods, said Matthew Feinstein, the study’s lead investigator and a fourth-year student at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

Or perhaps, young adults with a propensity toward weight problems find more acceptance and less judgment in church groups. Maybe religious faith gives some sort of physiological high similar to physical exercise, but without the burn off of calories. Or maybe, as Purdue University sociologist Ken Ferraro has suggested with his previous work, “churches are a feeding ground for gluttony and obesity.”

But Feinstein added the following:

Previous research has demonstrated that “religious people tend to live longer, smoke less, and have better mental health, and our study does nothing to challenge that.”

The Gilbert staff respond:

Well, our guy was a regular church goer, and he was kind of heavy. But he was definitely a smoker. He scores on the mental health issue though, in part because he wasn’t obsessed with trying to live longer than other folks.

Amen to that.

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And the hot side, hot

From The SartorialistLynn spent some of yesterday surfing through The Sartorialist, and happened upon several outfits she deemed worthy of note, or at least snark. Whether she’s analyzed this particular ensemble correctly, I don’t know, but I’m willing to throw the question open:

I have never understood why anyone would wear shorts with a sweater. If it’s warm enough for shorts it is too warm for a sweater; if it’s cool enough for a sweater it’s too cool for shorts, therefore it always looks silly when you put the two together. All I can think of is she’s thinking, “It’s a bit cool outside but my legs are too awesome not to show off so I’ll suffer.”

Sounds plausible enough. And besides, this was in New York, where it can be a touch on the chilly side in the morning, and then you roast alive in the afternoon, or so I’m told.

Update: See also this Seattle incident.

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Is this like the SI cover jinx?

Oklahoman screen shot

This took up much of the front page of the Oklahoman yesterday, and as I was hauling the paper indoors, I decided that no way were we going to hit 114°, just because of that graphic.

And we didn’t. The reporting station at Will Rogers World Airport rolled up a 109 before an actual smidgen of rain showed up. No records, folks. We’ve had quite enough of them in the last few years. (Hottest ever in the state was at Tipton on 27 June 1994, with 120; a few Mesonet stations in the eastern half of the state made it to 115 yesterday.)

I did notice that they’d realigned the 30-year averages at NWS, which now cover 1981-2010; the hottest period of the year (late July-early August) is now high 95/low 73/average 84, up 1 from the previous dataset, and the coldest (late December-early January) is now high 49/low 29/average 39, up 3. Note that this excludes 1980, a year that was, to borrow a term more closely associated with New England, wicked hot.

Of course, no one knows when the current heat wave will end, though all sorts of people will tell you what it’s going to be like in 2020 because we persist in owning creature comforts, and I wish for them a nice warm Christmas, their nuts (where appropriate) roasting on an open fire.

And from the Man Bites Dog department: Death toll rising — not news. Death toll shrinking — that’s news.

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Quote of the week

Did the “resolution” of the “debt crisis” leave you with vague feelings of “disgruntlement” and an urge to pepper pages with “scare quotes”? Allow Robert Stacy McCain to put matters into their proper perspective:

We all got screwed over in a lousy deal.

It doesn’t matter, in this context, whether you’re a left-winger who wants to tax Donald Trump into the poorhouse, or a right-winger who wants to zero out the budget for the National Endowment for the Arts.

At a moment like this, the real division is between Chumps, who foolishly expected politicians to deliver on their promises, and Cynics, who never for a moment expected anything other than a bipartisan swindle. And in case you were in the former category — an idealistic young True Believer who hasn’t lived long enough to cultivate the cynicism necessary to understand how politics really works — isn’t it high time you grow the hell up?

Truth be told, I don’t know how the cynics manage to keep up. Whatever little BS meters they have in the back of their heads have probably been at full deflection for several years now.

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Know thy vehicle

I don’t normally poke through Reddit threads, but this one had so much potential … and then I thought better of it, because it would take hours to read, and darn near as long to cut and paste.

So you get this one representative excerpt, and you can poke through the rest if you like:

All these chain repair shops are jerkoffs like that. There’s one in BC called Big-O tire that a friend took her old 70s era Volkswagen Beetle to for service and ended up getting charged over $500 for various things, including replacing the radiator. On an air-cooled engine, that’s a really neat trick. I went back with her and showed the service manager the bill and manifest and then asked him to come out to the parking lot and show us where the new radiator is. He turned a unhealthy shade of grey and then quietly refunded the whole service amount.

My own experience with Big O — which seems to have withdrawn from my market area — was a bit more positive, but then I never bought anything from them but tires.

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Getting Maybach up

Due to wholly-unforeseen circumstances, The Truth About Cars got to do a review of the Bugatti Veyron 16.4, a motor vehicle which costs eleventeen bazillion dollars, presumably beyond the site owner’s Visa limit — even just the test drive would otherwise have been a budget-buster — and it didn’t take long before someone weighed in with the standard class-warfare whine, the one that involves, yes, starving children.

Ronnie Schreiber, who runs Cars In Depth and occasionally contributes to TTAC, was ready with a response:

I once was describing the Ferrari Enzo to my cousin. When I told her it was $600K, she said, “they could be feeding people with that money”. I replied, “They are, they’re called Ferrari employees”. All the people that I know who have $100K+ cars already give a substantial amount of money to charities.

I know of a guy with an Enzo, a Carrera GT Porsche and an LP 640 Murcielago. That’s in addition to more plebian Porsches and Mercedes Benzes. The amount he’s spent on his cars doesn’t come near the $22 million that I know of that his family’s donated to local non-profits, nor the money they spend underwriting the Special Olympics.

When you tell rich folks not to buy extravagant things, the people who get hurt most are the folks making and selling those extravagant things, not Richey Rich, Scrooge McDuck and Mr. Burns.

John 12:5: “Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor?”

Keep in mind, though, who said that, and with what motivation.

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‘Cause that’s the way boys are

Apparently it’s Bait Amanda Marcotte Week at The Other McCain, using what Reverend Lovejoy used to call “rock and/or roll,” which gives me an excuse to refer back to the only extended piece I’ve ever done on something she said (as distinguished from something that was said about her), which was a musing on, of all things, girl groups from the late Fifties and early Sixties.

It’s safe to say that we didn’t agree on a whole lot, and I suspect she’ll never get the hang of appreciating art forms without regard to political context — but I offer this as a small piece of evidence that it’s possible to read some of her stuff, even to comment about it, without becoming utterly bilious. The question of whether this is any fun or not is left as an exercise for the student.

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There has to be a twist

I was going to say “He gives them no quarter,” but obviously he does:

(Via Fark.)

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Don’t touch our staff

Former IMF head Dominique Strauss-Kahn has evidently read Coffee, Tea or Me? too many times:

Air France ruled that only male cabin crew were allowed to serve Dominique Strauss-Kahn, currently fighting accusations he attempted to rape a New York hotel maid.

The claim was reported Thursday by Le Parisien newspaper, which also says lawyers for the former IMF chief’s alleged victim, Nafissatou Diallo, are soliciting testimony from female flight attendants at the national carrier, who may have been subjected to inappropriate behavior by the Frenchman.

The lawyers already received two accounts from disgruntled staff, along with an anonymous letter detailing the Air France male-only order, the report said.

Strauss-Kahn is due back in New York to face charges in the Diallo case on the 23rd. It’s just too bad he can’t take the bus.

(Via Fausta Wertz.)

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There’s a screensaver for recess

Jennifer’s Weebot is attending one of those newfangled Virtual Schools this fall. How does this affect the traditional back-to-school frenzy? Not so much, really:

I’ve been frantically gathering the appropriate paperwork, including the silly things. (Really, you need an immunization record for a virtual school? And yet, they don’t need to verify that the anti-virus software on his PC is up to date.) Since they are still part of the public school system, they require all the same documentation.

Maybe we shouldn’t say anything out loud about AV software, lest they decide to require a specific package next school year.

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By any other name would cost as much

There’s been a little bit of carping lately regarding the transmogrification of The Arena Formerly Known As The Ford Center. The objections vary, but they tend to fall into two general areas: (1) Cheasapeake Energy’s chairman, Aubrey McClendon, is a founding partner of the Oklahoma City Thunder and owns a portion of the team, and he shouldn’t be committing corporate funds to something that might conceivably accrue to his personal benefit; (2) the city of Oklahoma City, which owns the facility, isn’t making all that much from the sale of the naming rights to CHK.

The latter point is pretty irrelevant, since the city’s lease to the team specifies exactly who gets to sell the naming rights — the team — and the amount of the city’s cut of the proceeds. As for the former, well, the idea is to raise Cheaspeake’s profile, not McClendon’s, and frankly, Aubrey’s probably anxious for a little more anonymity.

Marginally more interesting than the objections, at least to me, was the actual price of those rights:

The 12-year naming rights agreement has an initial annual cost of $3.0 million with a 3.0% annual escalation.

So we’re talking close to $40 million in one of the smaller NBA markets. Compare that to what is paid in the Bigger Leagues:

The Oakland Coliseum, home stadium of the Raiders and the A’s, will be renamed Coliseum. The six-year naming-rights deal will cost the Utah-based e-tailer “a modest $7.2 million,” reports the New York Times baseball blog, Bats.

Oh, and there’s this one minor detail:

Overstock is rebranding itself as (.co is a top-level domain that’s become a popular alternative to .com), and the company retains the right to rename the Coliseum.

Which they did, in June. Locals, unsurprisingly, still call it simply the Coliseum; they weren’t impressed by all the nomenclature adjustments across the bay at Candle3Monsterstick Park. This may or may not explain the bargain price paid by the yocos at

And just yesterday, Nancy Friedman, from whom I borrowed that Oakland story, tweeted this:

I hope they remodel Oakland’s Coliseum. Then it could be a rococo O.coCo.

Suddenly all the upcoming ‘Peake jokes don’t seem so horrible.

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None more Black

In the regular Rebecca Black slot this Friday, we are pleased, or appalled, to present a new item from ARK Music Factory, featuring someone even younger and even more blatantly Auto-Tuned. Ladies and germs, please welcome Madison Bray, age nine.

This was running about nine dislikes for every like last night on YouTube, so there’s that much in common with “Friday.” Otherwise — well, if I thought it had any merit I’d have embedded it.

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The other, other white meat

“Save a soybean, eat a vegan,” Tam snarked, and one of her high-quality commenters (one Global Village Idiot) came up with this idea, which was subsequently deemed worthy of a bumper sticker:

Eloi: It's What's For Dinner

Just wanted to see what it might look like, that’s all.

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Meanwhile at the House of Duh

I suppose it takes the Boston Globe — which is, after all, owned by The New York Times Company — to consider this revelation newsworthy:

There are signs that hoarders have been busy. Sales of standard incandescent bulbs are up by 10 to 20 percent over a year ago at The Home Depot, according to the chain’s chief bulb buyer. A 2010 survey by Osram Sylvania, the Danvers-based light bulb maker, found that 13 percent of consumers plan to stockpile. At Lucia Lighting & Design in Lynn, some customers are trying to figure out how many incandescents constitute a lifetime supply.

As Glenn Reynolds would say, “There’s still time to stock up!”

Disclosure: I had a CFL fail Wednesday night after eighteen months of presumably-faithful service. An identical fixture four feet away has a Real Bulb (60-watt), now six years old. Subtract the cost of the CFL from the cost of the extra energy used by proper lighting, and I have enough to pay for the gas to drive to the city’s hazmat-disposal unit. (What, you think they allow these things on the bus?)

Bonus excellent Fark blurb: “The most effective government stimulus yet — hoarders have increased sales of incandescent light bulbs by 20%”. Yep.

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This should get a rise out of someone

Sexist church sign

To quote Adrienne Gusoff: “Any woman who thinks the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach is aiming about 10 inches too high.”

Different level of Buncombe, perhaps?

(Via FAIL Blog.)

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Zooeypalooza 11!

And the letters keep coming in: “Where the hell is the Zooeypalooza?”

Right here:

Zooeypalooza 11!

Clickage, you may rest assured, bringeth embiggenment.

Previous Paloozas: ZP 1, ZP 2, ZP 3, ZP 4, ZP 5, ZP 6, ZP 7, ZP 8, ZP 9, ZP 10.

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Is there a prescription-strength sunscreen?

Yes, it’s been a long, long stay inside this Bessemer-converter simulation they’ve been calling a “heat dome,” and just when I was adding a couple more points to my Despair Quotient, I got a little surprise from the American Association for Nude Recreation: one of those prescription-savings cards that is definitely Not Insurance, nosiree.

Now this is a fairly common “membership benefit” offered by lots of organizations, and it’s not like I’ve never seen one before. Still: in the age of the four-dollar generic, are these things even useful anymore?

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A hell of an idea

A fellow named Finrod, given to commenting at The Other McCain and a few other places, left this parenthetical remark at the end of a comment:

By the way, one of my hopeless pet causes is to change the interstate number of the DC Beltway from I-495 to I-666.

Since the Beltway actually connects with Interstate 66, this would be at least somewhat legit, or at least more so than, say, California’s Interstate 238.

Put me down in favor of this change.

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Responsibility unclaimed

There’s only one thing worse than competing terrorist cells popping up to assert that yes, this was all their doing, pay no attention to those other guys, and that’s the deadly seriousness with which the Snooze Media treat those assertions, even when no doubt exists as to the identity of the perpetrators:

Did Edward R. Murrow ever say “An Army Air Force B-17 was shot down over Düsseldorf today. We’ll be back after these messages with who claimed responsibility”? No, he didn’t. And do you know why? Because he wasn’t a microcephalic hairspray-headed cretin whose entire world outside of Manhattan cocktail parties consisted of nothing but an endless globe-spanning daisy chain of identical luxury hotel rooms joined by a pressurized tube of first-class airliner cabins and the back seats of Cadillacs, that’s why, you plush-bottomed yahoo.

This is, incidentally, why we’re not even slightly effective as imperialists: we claim to care about such things. Evidently the War College is no longer offering Subjugation 101.

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Car and Driver’s experience with MyFord Touch in their Explorer test vehicle (September ’11):

The system is often slow to respond or recognize inputs. Late in our evaluation, the touch screen froze. Disconnecting and reconnecting the car’s battery rebooted the system, at which point the screen displayed a Microsoft logo and the words, “Performing Scheduled Maintenance.”

Next question: Do you have to visit the dealer to obtain Service Pack 1, or is it going to download while you’re stuck on the freeway?

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That’s your email there

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Uptown revisited

True, this:

Uptown Theatre in Minneapolis

Previous Uptown Theatre (Minneapolis) hilarity here.

(Via FAILBlog’s WIN!)

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So cold, this

One day Trini and I were talking post-grunge, and I asked her, goofily enough, “Is there a pre-post-grunge?” She gave that the snicker it deserved, departed for a moment, and returned with a few tracks by Breaking Benjamin, which she identified as a post-post-grunge band.

And which is now, apparently, an ex-band:

Breaking Benjamin has reached its breaking point.

The Wilkes-Barre band, which gained worldwide fame for alternative rock anthems focused mainly on affliction and adversity, has been torn apart by a feud between its namesake lead singer and two longtime bandmates, according to a trove of court documents obtained by The Citizens’ Voice.

The dispute, over a new recording of the band’s hit song “Blow Me Away,” erupted in May when lead singer Benjamin Burnley fired the bandmates, guitarist Aaron Fincke and bassist Mark Klepaski, via e-mail.

“Blow Me Away” has a weird history anyway. Recorded for the game Halo 2 in 2004, it was available only on an EP for several years. In 2010, for some reason, it was released as a single, and was added as a bonus track — labeled “Soundtrack Version” — to the Zune (!) version of the Dear Agony album.

Burnley’s dispute with his bandmates arose when, he said, they agreed to a remix of “Blow Me Away,” for which Disney’s Hollywood Records anted up $100,000, without telling him. The new version, billed as “featuring Valora” — more precisely, featuring Valora singer Sydnee Duran, also signed to Hollywood — is out right now as a single. (There’s no video yet, but there is a YouTube version; the un-Valora’ed Halo version is here.) Perhaps most annoying to Burnley: the imminent compilation Shallow Bay: The Best of Breaking Benjamin contains not the original “Blow Me Away,” but the remix.

I think I’m more annoyed that Shallow Bay doesn’t contain the song “Shallow Bay,” from their 2002 album Saturate. (Which contains Trini’s favorite BB song: “Polyamorous.”)

Fincke and Klepaski wanted everything aired in open court, but apparently the case is going to arbitration.

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Strange search-engine queries (288)

Once more into the logs, where we seek out the most laughable, most ludicrous, or sometimes just the most pathetic search strings from the past week. (Well, we skip the ones we think are just too gross.)

“Georgia law” upskirt:  It’s not so much the Georgia law that pesky perv photographers should fear; it’s the Georgia boyfriends, who will kick their asses all the way across Tennessee.

pairs ungrown:  Endemic disease among contemporary American males, indicated by extensive whining.

chinese jewish comedians:  For example, Yung Man Heni.

adventures of buck:  I wouldn’t know. It never stops here.

jersey is shit, by any reasonable standard. whether it’s the blight up north, or the delaware-esque blandness down south, or the tacky pseudo-americana in central, it’s a horrible, awful, mind-numbingly mediocre cultural black hole, a blemish on the rest of america, an embarrassment to itself an others, an endless source of tragic personalities and circumstances, remarkable only in its ability to lower the standards of human society.  This must be some of that “civility” we keep hearing about these days.

I”d licke toue buey Bichon ferris:  You’ve heard of Pig Latin? This appears to be Unspecified Canine Icelandic. (Either that, or auto-correct now defaults to Finnish.)

prius is a badass:  Especially compared to that wuss Yaris.

maureen dowd ugly feet:  Well, that explains everything.

oh hell no button:  The first social network to come up with one will rule the world.

vaccine lines Mazda 626 1993:  It’s almost 20 years old. Pointless to give it a shot this late.

pull anything:  Well, except this finger.

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The bottom of the automotive food chain

Not only would you not want to live there, it’s not even a nice place to visit.

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Slenderize your soda

The Coca-Cola Company, citing its 125th anniversary, has introduced a new 1.25-liter bottle, complete with traditional Coke waistline, which showed up on my local store shelves this week.

Coca-Cola says:

The perfect take-home size for smaller households, the 1.25-liter bottle, which will be available for less than $1.00, extends the growing stable of Coca-Cola packages designed to provide people with more ways to enjoy the beverages they love.

“Less than $1.00” = what, 99 cents? Actually, the local store in question had the new-style bottle for 98 cents, which is twice as much of a discount as I might have expected. Then again, shelf space inevitably being limited, the 1.25-liter bottles were shoved in hard against their 2-liter brethren — which were being sold for a buck and a quarter.

The three-liter bottle has been missing in action for several years.

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