Archive for Say What?

Meanwhile in Chile

“Not to worry, compadres, we’ll have that gate open in no time!”

He wasn’t kidding, either.

(Via Bayou Renaissance Man.)

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Approaching dilemma

You might not want to be on this road at all:

I suspect there’s a Sartre-approved No Exit sign in the next hundred yards.

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They were not amused

The Turkish government, these days, tends to be irascible:

A former Turkish beauty pageant winner may face up to a year in prison over a tweet referring to last year’s failed military coup that cost her “Miss Turkey” title, the private Doğan news agency said on Thursday.

An Istanbul prosecutor has indicted 18-year-old Itır Esen, who in September was stripped of her title after one day, for “publicly humiliating a segment of the society” following three official complaints over her tweet, Doğan reported.

What she said:

Troublesome tweet by Itır Esen

“I had my period on July 15 morning to celebrate the day to commemorate martyrs. As a representation of our martyrs’ blood, I am commemorating this day by bleeding.”

Sarcasm is wasted on some people.

The importance of the 15th of July:

Around 250 people, mostly unarmed civilians, were killed and over 1,000 wounded in the failed coup bid on July 15, 2016. The day was later declared Democracy and National Unity Day and a public holiday in Turkey.

Replacing Itır Esen: runner-up Aslı Sümen.

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A truly viral photo

You might want to avoid touching the guy in the red suit:

Santa and his herpes at a Harrisburg Walmart

Autocorrect is going on the Naughty List for that.

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It starts here

In 2012, I conjured up a novella called The Sparkle Chronicles, in which purple pony Twilight Sparkle, temporarily away from her usual universe, happens upon a fiftysomething humanoid; for no good reason at all, they fall in love. At the time, it did not occur to me that the happy couple would have any future on this side of The Breach. Now I’m not so sure:

Recently, a number of legally-binding anime-themed wedding registration forms have gone into circulation in Japan, letting couples who share a love of, say, Pokémon, or Sailor Moon, make their first step into married life an otaku-appropriate one. We’ve even seen VR games that let users experience a wedding ceremony with an attractive 2-D partner.

Until now, though, we hadn’t heard of a company in Japan providing actual additional benefits to employees who’re married to an anime character. But should you be lucky enough to get hired by Akihabara-based tech developer Gatebox, the company will slip a little something into your paycheck each and every month to help give you and your 2-D love a better life.

There is, inevitably, paperwork. But:

Applicants who have filled out the wedding registration form, if hired, will receive an additional 5,000 yen (US$45) per month as a stipend to support their married life. They’ll also be allowed to take their spouse’s birthday off (it’s common for anime characters in Japan to have an official birthday), which is a service most companies in workaholic Japan don’t even provide for their employees with flesh-and-blood spouses.

And hey, I could probably use a day off around the ninth of Fourmonth.

(Via Fark.)

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Your dialect or mine

So I’m looking through a day’s worth of invoices for no good reason, and I found one from some presumably unfortunate fellow, from, according to the typist, “Broken, New York.”

Puzzled, I looked it over again. The order had been called in, and transcription errors are always possible, but surely the order-taker would have asked for clarification. Not to worry. I’ll look at the ZIP code, which turned out to be 11234.

“One-one-two … ” and the light went on.

Brooklyn, New York.

Never been to that borough, but I’m sure it’s not entirely broken.

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Top election coverage

I’m assuming you know that Paul LePage (R) is the governor of Maine.

Eighty thousand Mariners

Even the expanded (September and later) roster is only forty players.

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Somebody’s trying too hard

Whatever this bill may be, I would oppose it just for its asinine name:

Was more time spent on making up the title than on actually writing the bill? Maybe not, but that’s not the way I’m inclined to bet.

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Manual intervention

Well, it’s something you have to learn at some point:

Definitely helps if you have a mentor.

(Via Felix Salmon.)

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Welcome to Harrowhouse

Our very ideals are harrowing:

Sounds like a real ordeal to me.

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Overly refried

Yet another mysterious item from the Walmart online-grocery machine:

Rosarito Spicy Jalapeno Refried Beans

Maybe they should have stopped at just “Fried.”

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That damn night fever

In the event of something happening to me,
There is someone I should probably go to see:

Please tell me this is not the result of someone starting a joke.

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Scoop of the week

I think they may have scored a direct hit this time:

Breaking news: Putin may have ties to Russia

Remember this the next time you scoff at CNN for messing up a story.

(Swiped from Jeff Faria.)

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High-speed karma

There’s no escaping it anyway, but sometimes you can’t imagine how it arrived so quickly.


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In the right place

“Unfortunate nominative determinism,” says Miss Cellania:

Stubbs Prosthetics & Orthotics Inc.

This is the main office in Chattanooga; there’s also an office in Dalton, Georgia. And let’s hope they have enough handicap spaces.


Bar exam flunked

Foxtel is an Australian company, providing both cable and satellite television and telephone service. It is a joint venture of News Corp (hence “Fox”) and Telestra (hence “tel”). As you can easily see, it has enjoyed steady growth in nearly two decades of existence.

Graph of Foxtel growth from the Canberra Times in Australia

Okay, maybe not so easily.


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As Her Majesty turns away

Fortunately, we were left some nourishment:

Majestic ass biscuit

And also fortunately, we can get our hands on something that costs less than butter.

(Frighteningly, via a Tweeter of the same name.)


I imagine it’s kinda chewy

My Saturday-night scraping through the Walmart grocery-shopping site yielded up this surprise:

Goodyear F70-14

Definitely cheap, even for a non-radial, but I shudder at the thought of the taste, not to mention the idea of having to look for a four-foot-wide slow cooker.

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Score one for the Timese machine

I mean, she’s just not the fellow we used to know:

(Via David Edward. That “Timese machine” stuff was ripped off from Joan Baez.)

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You can’t get here from there

Or maybe it’s the other way around:

There is no cure save to pull the plug. Or several plugs.

Comments off

Are he kidding us?

It’s almost too perfect to be a troll:

Yahoo Answers screenshot: Is their any other free website like Grammarly?

If you’re not familiar with the subject:

Grammarly is an English language writing-enhancement platform developed by Grammarly, Inc., and launched in 2009. Grammarly’s proofreading and plagiarism-detection resources check more than 250 grammar rules.

Grammarly is available as an online text editor or free browser extension for Chrome, Safari, and Firefox.

Now, of course, I’m wondering why he needs an alternative all of a sudden.

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Which one is the centaur?

And would you please give her my number?

Three women with eight legs among them

(Via Bored Panda.)

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It speaketh, yet it understandeth not

The National Weather Service runs a network of FM radio stations, about a thousand of them, in the general vicinity of 162.475 MHz. Most of them are totally automated, with a computerized voice “reading” the scripts. Some of them sound better than others. One we had here for a while has intonation not unlike Arnold Schwarzegger’s, and “Arnold” is occasionally still pressed into service when the “regular” voice, which wouldn’t sound entirely out of place on NPR, isn’t working correctly. There is one ongoing problem with the “regular” voice, though: it can’t distinguish between “winds,” what the guy does with his wrist watch now and then, and “winds,” which will blow over your rubbish bin at 60 miles per hour. The former word, of course, is unlikely to be part of a weather forecast, but it will show up more often than you’d think.

Which is not to say that automated voices not run by the government are any better. This standard-issue heartwarming story turned up on YouTube with a fake female voice:

The text appears to be identical to what’s here, though the fake female is evidently baffled by the call letters of that Houston television station: she renders “KHOU” as “coo.” And her keeper isn’t the most articulate, either:

I make story videos, everytime and everywhere. Subscribe this channel for new stories :)

Fourteen thousand subscribers in less than a year. Evidently some people are a lot less bothered by this than I am.

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Because everything is political

And I do mean everything:

There followed an egregious violation of the First Rule of Holes:

Although you have to give the Globe, like every other daily in the States hard up for revenue, credit for getting two uses out of the same stupid graphic.

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The noble gasbag

Chemistry > poetry:

If that sucker had been filled with helium, it never would have exploded.

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Thou shalt not derp

Apparently “derpy” has slid onto the list of Insensitive Words, maintained by the Society of People Who Never Want Anyone’s Feelings Hurt. Of course, those people are jackasses, and not purebred jackasses at that:

Here’s the latest no-no: “derpy.” How do we know? Because two scholars have just publicly apologized for using it, agreeing with a peer who called their use of it out as an ableist slur.

The Urban Dictionary defines it as silly, ridiculous, awkward or clumsy. But to social justice warriors who see microaggressions in every corner, it’s an ableist slur. In other words, offensive to people with disabilities, they believe.

“Ableist,” of course, is a tissue of organic fertilizer. I thought so when I could actually walk, and I think so now: it’s just one more attempt to squeeze another word into the ever-grimmer grimoire of the Priests of Intersectionality, who assign value to people based on how many ways they’re allegedly oppressed by, well, people like me.

Anyway, this is the apology:

The word “derpy” was introduced to us as a pop-cultural term that meant believing in something despite the fact that it has been disproven. A provocative notion, given that our aim was to suggest that while queer theory has effectively undone “sexuality” as a concept, empirical research (even thoughtful, feminist sexual science) persists as if the complexity of sexuality is ultimately map-able and as if the right set of variables will resolve the epistemological differences of critical theory and neuroscience once and for all … As it turns out, the term “derpy” has also been appropriated as an ableist slur. We regret our negligence in not figuring that out before the Commentary was published.

Not a pony fan in the bunch, obviously:

In 2012, the My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic cartoon ran an episode featuring a klutzy character called “Derpy.” However, after worries that she appeared to be a stereotype of the “mentally handicapped,” the character was renamed (and her voice re-recorded).

A petition to “save Derpy” wasn’t enough to prevent her dederpification.

We all — give or take a couple of losers — absolutely adored Derpy. But contemporary society demands that losers win.

Eventually, I suppose, they’ll delete this legendary speech from Billy Madison:

Mr. Madison, what you’ve just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

I suggest it’s because they took it personally. And you know what? They damned well should have.

(Via Tom Knighton.)

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Flocking A

The premise of NBC’s currently-on-hiatus-but-due-back-soon series The Good Place:

[J]ust a few remarkably good and productive people make it to the Good Place and everyone else — statistically, everybody — goes to the Bad Place.

Actually, both Places consist of neighborhoods designed by Architects. Michael (played by Ted Danson) is Architect of the Good Place in which Eleanor Shellstropp (played by Kristen Bell) lands after a truck full of erectile dysfunction medicine rams into her while she attempts to pick up a bottle of margarita mix she’s dropped in the supermarket parking lot. Yes, that’s a hint: Eleanor doesn’t remotely belong in the Good Place.

How Good is it? Eleanor has always been something of a pottymouth, but that won’t happen in the Good Place:

[T]he Good Place autocorrects her swearing. “Somebody royally forked up. Somebody forked up. Why can’t I say fork?” Chidi once again brings her up to speed: “If you’re trying to curse, you can’t here.” Eleanor responds on behalf of all of us who wouldn’t make it to the Good Place: “Bullshirt!”

And after that, it gets incredibly forking complicated. Amazingly, it got renewed for a second season.

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You remember editors, right?

I sure do miss them sometimes:

There’s a chance, I suppose, that this could be correct after all, but that’s a thought I would rather not entertain.

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Das Alphabet ist größer

The German alphabet has just expanded, ever so slightly:

Have you ever been typing in German in a blaze of BLOCK CAPITAL anger, but been stopped short by the inability to write the next letter of the word SCHEI…? Help is finally at hand.

At the end of June, the German Spelling Council decided to add a capital ß (Eszett) to the language, bringing to an end a debate that had raged on in the world of German orthography since the 19th century.

Now, instead of using SS to capitalize the Eszett, Germans should use ẞ.

In other news, there is a German Spelling Council, and this is their rationalization:

In German passports, names appear in uppercase, meaning that until now, someone with the surname Großmann has had to put up with the humiliation of being confused with a Grossmann.

So now at least those writing angry uppercase emails who get stuck at the “SCHEI” in “Scheiße” have their solution.

A hundred years from now, this little dustup will be forgotten. (Worst case: this little dustup will be forgotten because the official language of Germany will be Arabic.)

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The wind in one’s Versailles

An excellent Kim du Toit piece on Uniquely British Pronunciations brought lots of responses, including this bit of reciprocation:

The state of Arkansas is pronounced as if it were spelled “arkansaw,” but the city of Arkansas City, Kansas, is pronounced “Ar-KAN-sas,” exactly like it’s spelled.

Which brings you to the Arkansas River. Starting at the headwaters, near Leadville, Colorado — after the toxic metal, not something mentioned in Glengarry Glen Ross — and continuing through Kansas, it’s given the “Ar-KAN-sas” treatment; the moment it crosses into Oklahoma, it takes on the name of the state of Arkansas.

The capital of South Dakota, Pierre, is pronounced “Peer.” New Madrid, MO, is New “MAD-rid,” and then there’s Beaufort, South Carolina and Beaufort, North Carolina where one of them is pronounced “BYEW-fort” and the other is pronounced “BOW-fort” (and I honestly can’t remember which is which).

“BYEW-fort” is the one in South Carolina.

Then there’s Cairo, Illinois, like Karo the syrup. (Aside: If you’ve ever wondered about low-fructose corn syrup, that’s Karo.) And there’s Versailles, Kentucky, which is “ver-SAYLS,” nothing at all like its French forbear. (Likewise for Versailles, Indiana, and for Versailles, Ohio.)

And pity the poor Englishman who visits the Pacific Northwest and has to pronounce place names like Puyallup.

I never can be sure if I’m saying “Puyallup” correctly; I tend to render it as “poo-WALLOP.” On the other hand, I have no problem with Sequim, which is delightfully monosyllabic: “SKWIHM.”

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