Archive for Dyssynergy

War on wages

There may be loads of good economic news out there, but almost none of it indicates that your basic wage-earner types — I have reference to, among others, me — are benefiting from it. Dave Schuler offers a couple of reasons why:

The first is fear. People are afraid to ask for a raise for fear of being replaced by someone from a temp firm or placement company who’ll work for lower pay and no benefits. Additionally, people find it hard to leave their present jobs to find better-paying ones. There are multiple reasons for that. Multiple-job households are one reason. I could also go into a diatribe on how resume-screening software provides an advantage to people who look good on paper but in practice are incapable of doing the job.

In a slight digression I heard recently from an excellent source that the IT operations of a major financial services company were shut down for a week due to malware, resulting in the loss of at least a week’s work. That would never have happened, say, twenty years ago. Their present operations are being run by temps and placements. There’s a different ethos at work.

Another prospective explanation is that the job reports aren’t telling the whole story. The jobs that are being created don’t pay better than the ones that are being lost. The jobs being created in health care aren’t jobs for physicians or the highest-paid technicians. They’re jobs for bedpan emptiers that pay minimum wage. People earning $25 an hour are still getting fired and the best jobs they can find pay $15 an hour. That depresses the wage figures.

It also depresses the wage earners, I suggest.

For the record, I have no idea what they’re paying my replacement when he — I assume it’s a he, because reasons — but I suspect it’s less than what I get. Of course, I have something like three decades’ worth of experience in a highly specialized field, but that and $6.99 will get you a combo meal at your favorite junk-food emporium.


Remember shopping?

Yeah, I used to do some of that:

I have been a little disturbed the way shopping malls seem to be dying. I personally don’t have much use for them. My wife can spend hours shopping there. Busy, well kept malls are a pretty good indicator of a healthy economy, which means people are working which should mean they are earning enough money to take care of themselves. When I see vacant store fronts and trash blowing around in the parking lot I take it as a sign that things aren’t going so well. Washington Square Mall is a big local mall and it seems to be doing well, except there was a big Sears store there and now it is closed.

So I have been wondering what was going to happen with these dinosaurs and now we know. I don’t buy much these days, I pretty much have everything I need, but occasionally I will buy something from Amazon, usually a book, and I won’t have to pay for it because I have enough points on my credit card to cover a $10 purchase. I used to be a big fan of cash, but now I use a credit card for almost everything. I can’t really explain why I made the change, except perhaps because I carry my cash in my wallet which I carry in my hip pocket and getting it out when I am sitting in the car (buying gasoline or going through a fast food drive through) requires contorting my body enough to get my behind off of the seat so I can get my wallet out. I carry my credit card in sleeve I keep in my front pocket and getting the card out of there isn’t such an ordeal. Or maybe all the credit card advertisements convinced my subconscious that my world would be filled with light and happiness if I used a credit card for everything.

It could be worse. Writing a check is, if not quite infinitely slower, certainly the sort of thing that detracts from one’s speed.

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Stanch that flow

A precautionary measure, and a serious one:

If you carry a gun, and you’re not carrying a tourniquet or two, you’re either LARPing, or you’re a fucking idiot. The fact is, a “gunfight” implies bilateral ballistics, and the enemy gets a vote. If you assume your one box of ammo a month “practice” regimen means you’re automatically a far better marksman than the bad guy you are going to end up in a gunfight with, well, I’ve got an 8 ounce jar of fairy dust I’ll sell you cheap, and it’s guaranteed to make you stronger, faster, higher flying, and generally more attractive to members of your preferred sex.

“LARPing” is taking part in a live-action role-playing game, and you’re not supposed to bleed during them.

And regrettably, we probably all know someone who thinks that fairy dust is one hell of a deal.

(Via Tamara Keel.)


Use and reuse

Sensible advice from Brian J.:

When lining your household garbage cans with used plastic grocery bags, place the bags inside the garbage can inside-out so your guests don’t have to think before judging you based on where you shop!

For example:

Reused plastic bag, courtesy of Brian J. Noggle

I don’t think there are any premium-priced supermarkets whose name begins with the word “price.”

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Twice the suckage

The man owns two, count ’em, two vacuum cleaners:

I am, however, a bit sketchy on floors. This is not to say you couldn’t eat off my floors. You could because you’d find a host of food shreds there on any given afternoon. This is not because I like floors configured as mouse buffets but only because, being 6’1″, the floors are so far away I don’t really focus on them. My solution? The world’s most rapacious vacuum cleaner, “The Kirby.”

Actually, I have 2 (two!) solutions since I own 2 (two!) vacuum cleaners. The first is a kind of cheap, plastic metrosexual’s vacuum bought at some box store because it was cheap. Like all metrosexual items, it performs in a manner that lets you know all cheap things are worth much less than you spent on them. It sucks by not sucking as a sucker of floor dirt should. Very sucky. It is, at the best, back-up. Bags and parts for it are sold everywhere.

Then there’s “The 2004 Kirby Diamond” weighing in are over twenty-three pounds of solid chromed steel, titanium bristles that can skin a black rhino, and a woven cloth bag wrapped around the vacuum bag that could be made into an outdoor area rug. The motor in this bad boy is so powerful it can suck kittens out of my basement through the floorboards in the living room. It is the chopped Harley Hog of vacuums.

One does not argue with a Kirby; even if it’s 75 years old, you can still get factory parts. The price, however, will make your nose bleed.

I own two vacuums, after a fashion: a middle-70s Hoover upright, now on its fourth drive belt and God knows how many bags, and a hand-held Black and Decker that collects the grime and such in a plastic cup that spills no matter how you open it.

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Is that a gas leak?

It should only be so simple:

Last week, the library at Australia’s University of Canberra was evacuated due to fears that a funky smell was being caused by a gas leak. Firefighters were called to the scene and hazmat crews conducted atmospheric monitoring of the building. Fortunately, as Michael McGowan reports for the Guardian, the source of the stench was found to be a benign (if very stinky) durian — the divisive fruit with a smell so pungent it is banned in some southeast Asian hotels, transport systems and public places.

“Thanks to everyone for evacuating so quickly and safely — about 550 people left the building in under six minutes,” the library posted on its Facebook page. “Fortunately the suspected gas leak turned out to be a part of a durian — the offending fruit has now been removed.”

The durian had reportedly been left near an air vent, though there’s no word on who did it. The incident marks the second time in recent months that the fruit has disrupted the peace at an Australian library.

That’s a pretty decent time for an evacuation. Still, you have to wonder what penalties could be inflicted, should they find the person with the malodorous fruit.

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The post-Gaylord era

E. K. Gaylord thought it was important for you to know what he thought about things, so the editorial page of the Oklahoman was kept sprucely maintained, even if some of the attitudes seemed to date to the 19th century or before. (Edward King Gaylord was born in 1873, and while he wasn’t the guy who actually founded the paper, he was the guy who kept it coming to your porch every day until 1974, on a day when he went to work and never made it home again.)

But those days are pretty much gone. Kelly Dyer Fry told us after the GateHouse takeover that cutbacks were inevitable, and she wasn’t kidding; I didn’t actually go out and find a newsstand copy to verify, but both Print Replica and PDF versions today were utterly devoid of editorials. The Opinion page was more conspicuous than usual, simply by its absence.

The Opinion page on was at its usual level of activity. There is, though, a column of Featured Links off to the side, and the first item in that column is “THE OKLAHOMAN: See all recent editorials.” I hit it, and got 404ed. I’d estimate that 404 is also the rotational speed of Ed Gaylord, six feet beneath the surface of the planet.

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Shut up, Elon

Some people need more of a filter than others:

Elon Musk must defend himself in court after calling a diver who helped save Thai schoolboys trapped in a cave a pedophile, a Los Angeles judge says.

The federal court judge set a 22 October trial date.

Mr Musk is being sued by Vern Unsworth, who helped rescue the 12 boys from Thailand’s Tham Luang caves.

The Tesla boss called Mr Unsworth a “pedo” in a Twitter post after the Briton said Mr Musk’s attempt to help in the rescue was a “PR stunt”.

Along the way, Musk violated the First Rule of Holes:

Mr Musk soon apologised and deleted the offending tweets, saying he had acted “in anger”.

But he reignited the row in September. In an email to a Buzzfeed reporter, he implored the journalist to “find out what’s actually going on” and suggested the diver had taken no part in the cave rescue.

Unsworth is asking $75,000 plus punitive damages.

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Another Pleasant Valley Sunday

Well, actually, it was Saturday, and this isn’t Pleasant Valley, but Status-Symbol Land remains what it always was:

runaway drone

Lil Red Drone disregarded control commands and flew away. Last seen heading south on NW 66th and Independence at approximately 100 feet altitude. May run out of juice around 50th and May, Maybe even 39th. Please share.

Well, it didn’t land here.

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50 percent more socks

We tend to think of Procter & Gamble as staid, set in their ways, and otherwise uncreative. And they don’t always do weird well: witness, for instance, that whole collection of Charmin toilet-paper ads featuring, um, bears in the woods, and sometimes even bears out of the woods. But this non-US laundry-detergent ad is both weird and done well:

Rindex ad featuring girl with three legs

Somewhere there’s a programmer on staff at P&G’s ad agency.


No collusion or coordination


Russian President Vladimir Putin took a tumble on ice on Friday while waving to adoring fans after playing in an ice hockey game in Sochi.

Putin was participating in the annual exhibition hockey game with former NHL players, playing alongside Russian hockey stars Slava Fetisov and Pavel Bure as well as several Russian governors.

Although his coordination was questionable, his scoring skills were on point as he boasted 8 points for his team.

Still waiting for a Donald Trump tweet.

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Come in out of the scold

What did we do to deserve this? Almost certainly nothing:

One of the things making the rounds (and predictably getting dumped on both by people to the right of me and people to the left of me) is this infographic USA Today put out talking about “what all people spend money ‘unnecessarily’ on” and they claim the “average” American spends about $1500 a month “unnecessarily.” (the story is here but because they want you to either pay for a subscription (heh) or allow whatever ads their adserver serves up, I haven’t read the full story)

It wasm’t so long ago that my entire budget for a month was $1500.

I dislike scolds, and there was an undercurrent really of “Look, if you gave up every small pleasure in life and washed your entire body and hair and clothes with Super-Cheap-Industrial-Strength-Trust-Us-It’s-Walmart brand soap, you could have some more money for retirement!” and I get that underfunded retirements are a big problem but … I’ve been in a place (a few times) where I had to give up all “nonessential” spending, and it’s a miserable way to live.

(Also, the whole “$1500 a month” thing does make me think it’s strongly influenced by people far wealthier than I am, and that somehow USA Today is using that to shame us ordinary schlubs about “OMG, you bought MOVIE TICKETS for your family last month? How terrible!”)

But really: suggesting people give up the little things that make life in the here-and-now better is … not good. Yes, I hear the standard “blame poor people” argument of “if they only ate beans and rice every single day instead of getting fast food all the time” (presupposing the time, energy, and kitchen facilities to cook dry beans … I don’t make beans “from scratch” very often myself despite having a good kitchen, because of the time factor) or yelling at people for buying some new toy … or paying for Netflix or engaging in some form of not-free entertainment.

There has always been a strong puritanical streak in this land, at least partially because actual Puritans played a small but well-publicized role in the national history. And Washington is absolutely infested with such creatures. I plan to ignore them until such time as they learn how to balance a budget.

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Two points on his license

Now, who exactly licenses pigeons?

It was a quiet afternoon in Bocholt in western Germany when a pigeon broke the calm and the speed limit, flying down a residential street at 45km/h (28mph) in a 30km/h zone.

A mobile speed camera flashed as soon as the pigeon flew past.

Authorities in the town, a short distance from the Dutch border, published the picture last week, and it has since gone viral.

Under normal circumstances the penalty for speeding would be €25 (£21;$28).

Pigeon caught by a German speed camera

And you don’t want to know what’s going to happen to his insurance.

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You’re so rad

“The model won’t mind if we expose her to radioactivity, will she?”

“If she wants to keep her job, she won’t say a word.”

(Via Miss Cellania.)

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That’s about the size of it

Google reports about 205,000 results for “CVS receipt meme,” and it’s eminently justifiable:

During the brief period when CVS was my pharmacy of choice, the shortest register tape I received was about 42 inches long.

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Do the Walmart shuffle

When I first started doing this online-grocery thing, the nearest Walmart (about a mile and a half) had six parking spaces — they call then “lanes” — for the folks picking up stuff, whether it’s groceries or something bulky from elsewhere in the store. This proved to be insufficient, and so they added four more spaces to the north, and sensibly numbered them 7 through 10.

They still have ten spaces, but the configuration files have been tweaked, or something. I pulled into the second space from the curb, which previously was #2. Some time in the last six days, it metamorphosed into #9; the lane farthest north, the lane closest to their service door, used to be #10 but is now #1.

The only reason I can think of for this is if people have a marked preference for lower-numbered lanes, they’ll pull in closer to the service door, saving the staff a few steps each day.

(The title is what it is because of 10cc.)


There can be only one

May 2012: The Times-Picayune of New Orleans, along with other papers owned by Advance Publications (Condé Nast), announces it will cut back its publishing schedule: Wednesday, Friday and Sunday only.

June 2012: Advance lays off about 200 members of the T-P staff.

October 2012: The Advocate, a Baton Rouge paper, sets up a New Orleans operation that will publish seven days a week.

September 2014: After experimenting with a tabloid-sized T-P on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, the Times-Picayune returns to a seven-day-a-week schedule.

May 2019: The Advocate acquires the T-P:

The Newhouse family sold the 182-year-old daily The Times-Picayune and its website,, to a scrappy New Orleans competitor, and the entire staff is being laid off. That has stirred worries across the other papers in the family’s Advance Publications empire.

A total of 161 staff members are being laid off, according to a WARN (Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act) notice filed with the Louisiana Workforce Commission, which listed 65 reporter and editor jobs in the bloodbath.

John and Dathel Georges, the husband-and-wife team that owns the rival New Orleans Advocate, are buying The Times-Picayune from Newhouse’s Advance Local, which has owned it since 1962.

The Advocate plans to publish a seven-days-a-week paper using both brands on the masthead starting in early June and will merge both websites under

Is this the first of several dominoes? Advance says no:

Randy Siegel, chief executive of Advance Local, said the company does not intend to sell any other papers. “This was a one-off,” Siegel told The [New York] Post. “We’re all terribly sad about the outcome.”

And that “both brands” deal can’t last too long, as I, once a reader of the Boston Herald Traveler and Record American am willing to bet. (The HTRA survives as the Boston Herald.) I’m guessing that “Picayune” has more actual market value than “Times.”


Paper or plastic?

How about neither? Is neither good for you?

Last summer, New Jersey was on the verge of becoming a national leader in efforts to curb the use of plastic bags and cutback on plastic waste.

But when a bill landed on Gov. Phil Murphy’s desk, it was deemed not strict enough and vetoed. Murphy asked lawmakers to try again.

They did indeed try again, but:

[Senate Bill 2776] [pdf] calls for bans on single-use plastic bags, plastic straws and polystyrene food containers. It also places a 10-cent fee on paper bags.

But it soon may go even further.

State Sen. Bob Smith, D-Middlesex, the head of the Senate Environment and Energy Committee, said he will push for the bill, which he sponsored, to be amended to include a ban on paper bags, as well. Smith said the move is aimed at pushing Garden State residents to further change their shopping habits and bring their own bags from home.

The next step, I surmise, is “Thanks, I’ll eat it here.”

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Uninstalling Java

Jakarta, home to ten million people, is about to be replaced as the capital of Indonesia:

Indonesia’s Minister of National Development and Planning Board Chief, Bambang Brodjonegoro, said President Joko Widodo favored a plan to relocate the capital from Jakarta to outside of Java Island, according to CNN Indonesia, but that the government has not yet formally decided an exact location.

According to Reuters, Brodjonegoro said on Monday that the administration was considering the eastern side of the archipelago as the destination for the new capital. However, such a move could take up to 10 years, he said.

Failure to regulate the global temperature? Nothing so apocalyptic:

It’s also one of the fastest sinking cities in the world, according to the not-for-profit organization The World Economic Forum. The nation is prone to flooding and is sinking at an alarming rate due to over-extraction of groundwater.

A site east of Java, as hinted by Mr Brodjonegoro, would be a hair closer to the center of the country, and Hollywood should note that it’s not near Krakatoa.

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John Doe versus the volcano

Perhaps it’s better if we don’t know this fellow’s name:

A 32-year-old soldier, straining to get a better view of the inside of Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano, was seriously injured after he fell from a 300-foot-high cliff into the volcano crater.

According to a parks spokesman, the man climbed over a metal guardrail to get a better vantage point. Then the ground beneath him collapsed.

Army officials say the man is a soldier from Schofield Barracks, on the island of Oahu, and was on Hawaii’s Big Island for training exercises. An eyewitness saw the man fall into the volcano around 6:30 p.m. and immediately notified authorities.

Rescue workers were able to rappel down the inside of the volcano, where they found the man on a ledge 70 feet below the rim. They attached him to a stretcher and airlifted him out of the crater, with the help of a military helicopter.

For now, of course, he’s properly horrified. Twenty years from now, one of the kids will pop up an image of Kilauea on a ViewMaster 2100, and he’ll shrug: “Been there, done that.”

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A test of skill

Anybody can click on a link and enter some sort of sweepstakes, but expects a little more from its supporters:

Quiz posed by BulkMunitions

Very shrewd of them.


Papa was a scaredy cat

And here, he goes and demonstrates that: News station posts image of my 11 year old daughter on Facebook and Facebook refuses to remove it!!?

What part of the word “news” do you not comprehend?

My 11 year old daughter went to a public event with a friend and the news station ended up taking a photo of her and posting it public on their Facebook page and in the newspaper they interviewed my child and posted images of her with personal info without my consent. her face in the middle of the shot, her name and location… a huge safety concern for us as out town has less than 2000 people and there’s only one school here.

We contacted the news station and explained out displeasure, they didn’t care and refused to remove the image. We’ve reported it to Facebook several times and they refuse to delete it. How can I have the image removed or at least her name/location out of there? I’m fuming, last time she goes to an event by herself.

Probably the biggest thing that’s ever going to happen to that poor girl in Podunkylvania, and you want to piss all over it. When they take you to the nursing home, be sure to ask for double occupancy.


Heisman for all seasons

The Friar speculates, sanely of course, on the financial future of former Sooner quarterback and 2018 Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray:

There is now much discussion about what size of contract Murray may be offered by Arizona, with all kinds of numbers thrown about. Were I Mr. Murray, one of the major numbers I would want on the table during negotiations is 3.2.

Because that’s how many times Cardinals quarterbacks were sacked per game in the 2018 season, and if they hold to that mark this year then Mr. Murray will need to build his aspirin and Ben-Gay use into his financial picture.

And it’s not like he can resist the onslaught of the defensive line with sheer bulk: the guy’s shorter than I am, and if he weighs even 200, you have to figure he’s packing some ballast somewhere.


No denial, but maybe bargaining

Actress Felicity Huffman really doesn’t want to go to jail:

Felicity Huffman, 56, doesn’t regret agreeing to plead guilty to her role in the college admissions scandal, even if that leaves the judge to decide if she should be served with prison time. “Felicity felt a sense of relief by pleading guilty to her charge,” a source close to the Desperate Housewives star EXCLUSIVELY tells HollywoodLife. “She believed that by accepting full responsibility and taking ownership over what she did wrong, that she hopefully would have been able to avoid any prison time.” After agreeing to plead guilty on April 10, prosecutors still argued for a four to 10 month prison sentence for the actress, who will take accountability for one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest-services mail fraud, according to The New York Times.

With your daily dose of outrage, here’s the lovely and talented AOC:

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., blasted the justice system amid reports actress Felicity Huffman may get a lighter prison sentence for her part in the college admissions bribery scam.

Huffman, 56, agreed earlier this month that she will plead guilty to one count of conspiracy and fraud for paying a consultant $15,000 disguised as a charitable donation to boost her daughter’s SAT score.

Ocasio-Cortez reacted to a tweet that said though the sentencing guideline is four to 10 months of jail time, prosecutors “will make a recommendation for the lower end of that range and will allow Huffman to argue for a 0-6 month range.”

The freshman congresswoman said the U.S. justice system “criminalizes poverty + disproportionately targets race, yet routinely pardons large-scale crimes of wealth and privilege.”

“Moments like these tell us it’s less a justice system, and more a class enforcement system,” she tweeted.

One perhaps doesn’t expect a politician on the left side of the aisle to put the hammer down on a presumably just-as-far-left denizen of Hollywood, but I think AOC clearly has the better of this argument.

(Via Bayou Renaissance Man; I’m using his transcript of the Fox News report since for some reason Fox was blocking the link he gave when I wrote this up.)

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A time to be wealthy

The Irish site, on the aftermath of Notre Dame:

Within hours of the spire coming down, two of France’s wealthiest families — led by François-Henri Pinault and Bernard Arnault — had pledged no less than €300million in funding for the restoration effort. The city of Paris was also able to mobilise €10million.

Arnault is the CEO of LVMH, the world’s largest luxury-goods company. He is the richest person in Europe and the fourth-richest person in the world according to Forbes magazine, with a net worth of $91.3 billion, as of this month. Perhaps the best-known brand overseen by Arnault is Louis Vuitton. Handbags, suitcases, you know the ones.

By comparison, Pinault is worth a paltry €30billion. He’s more of a Gucci man, and he also owns Stade Rennais FC.

Between them, they have significantly more money than several European states — such as Croatia, Serbia, Slovakia or Slovenia. If you had €3,000 in your bank account right now and you donated a tenner to the restoration effort, you’d be giving proportionally the same amount as these two.

Remind me to kick in ten euros to the restoration effort.

But if the rich are more than happy to help on big, important matters, smaller matters deemed less important never show up on their radar:

If two men in a world of more than 7 billion people can provide €300million to restore Notre Dame, within six hours, then there is enough money in the world to feed every mouth, shelter every family and educate every child. The failure to do so is a matter of will, and a matter of system.

Brick and mortar and stained glass might burn, but they do not bleed, and they do not starve, and they do not suffer. Humans suffer. Everywhere in the world, from Paris to Persepolis, people are suffering. But their suffering is every day. It does not light up a front page, and it does not inspire immediate donations from the world’s wealthiest men.

Assuming there is enough money to go around, how do we get it to the people who need it without several layers of government grifters sticking their hands in the cookie jar? Solve that, and you’ve eliminated the problem. But neither you nor I will live to see it.

(Via Antonin Tuynman.)

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A medium increasingly rare

Our words grow ever ephemeral:

I interviewed Neal Stephenson years ago about The Baroque Cycle, and he said he wrote it with pen and ink to feel more in sync with the period. He also said he went to the British Museum and read Isaac Newton’s original manuscripts and they were still legible centuries later, while his study was full of old floppy disks that he could no longer read.

It might be well to remember that the Compact Disc, still venerated in some circles as the ne plus ultra of audio delivery systems, was originally intended as a convenience format: had they meant to sell it as a high-fidelity medium, they would have given it a name not quite so mundane.

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The friendliest possible fire

Some days everything seems to go wrong:

The Netherlands’ Defense Safety Inspection Agency (Inspectie Veiligheid Defensie) is investigating an incident during a January military exercise in which a Dutch Air Force F-16 was damaged by live fire from a 20-millimeter cannon — its own 20-millimeter cannon. At least one round fired from the aircraft’s M61A1 Vulcan Gatling gun struck the aircraft as it fired at targets on the Dutch military’s Vliehors range on the island of Vlieland, according to a report from the Netherlands’ NOS news service.

Two F-16s were conducting firing exercises on January 21. It appears that the damaged aircraft actually caught up with the 20mm rounds it fired as it pulled out of its firing run. At least one of them struck the side of the F-16’s fuselage, and parts of a round were ingested by the aircraft’s engine. The F-16’s pilot managed to land the aircraft safely at Leeuwarden Air Base.

The incident reflects why guns on a high-performance jet are perhaps a less than ideal weapon. The Vulcan is capable of firing over 6,000 shots per minute, but its magazine carries only 511 rounds — just enough for five seconds of fury. The rounds have a muzzle velocity of 3,450 feet per second (1050 meters per second). That is speed boosted initially by the aircraft itself, but atmospheric drag slows the shells down eventually. And if a pilot accelerates and maneuvers in the wrong way after firing the cannon, the aircraft could be unexpectedly reunited with its recently departed rounds.

For some reason, this reminded me of Irving, the 142nd fastest gun in the West:

Well, finally Irving got three slugs in the belly
It was right outside the Frontier Deli
He was sittin’ there twirling his gun around
And butterfingers Irving gunned himself down


(Via Glenn Reynolds.)


This he did not expect

Things in Detroit must have gotten worse than I’d heard:

Man shot after throwing shoe at roach

The roaches can shoot back? Be very afraid.


Green jacket blues

One size fits some.

This morning’s Oklahoman contains a 48-page supplement about the Masters golf tournament, imported in full from owner GateHouse Media’s Augusta paper. Even the ads are the same, in case I have this urge to drive to Georgia to get my Infiniti serviced.

And perhaps this is better than the perfunctory two-page spread the Oklahoman sports department would have slapped together in years past. But now I want to know why we didn’t get anything last month from the Austin American-Statesman about SXSW.

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Hungry hungry HIPAA

No medical procedure is complete without paperwork:

Went to the lab this morning to get my blood drawn. The lab is part of the medical industrial complex, so you have to pay a visit to the registration desk first. “Papers, please” or the equivalent, but not too many questions, no filling out of forms, and only two signatures required. Don’t understand why they need my wife’s birth date, nor why they need a signature acknowledging their privacy policy. I mean, it’s their policy, not mine. They need proof that they have shown it to me? This is double no-good no-think. Whatever.

I think they’re required to shove that form under your nose at least once a year, or the sacred stores of Lortab will be placed off limits.

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