Archive for Say What?

Eventually this will be mandatory

But for now, it’s just tokenism:

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56k lives!

A furniture-store ad from yesterday’s Oklahoman yielded up this deal:

Elite Modern

Had it not been for the logo, I’d have read that as “Elite Modem,” and wondered where my old US Robotics modem went.

For that matter, I’d like to know what happened to my 1200-bps Hayes.

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Help like this I don’t need

Or maybe I’m reading it wrong:

Liquor home delivery in Mumbai

After all, it could keep someone from having to drive back from the liquor store.

(From Things That Cannot Save You via Miss Cellania.)

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Gas gauged

Even our Best and Brightest occasionally head down the wrong road:


Shaquille O’Neal has a doctorate in education, but everyone has a brain fart occasionally. His came on the TV show Inside the NBA, which can be classified as either a sports talk show or a comedy. The subject is how to save money on gas, which devolves into a comedy of errors as each participant focuses on a different aspect of the problem.

It’s about two minutes in before Shaq figures out his math error, but the logic problem remains. The price of running this particular car is going to be the same no matter how often you stop for gas or how much you put in. And the entire cast is ignoring the fact that the size of the tank really has no bearing on its mileage. What really matters is how how many miles you can drive on a gallon of gas.

“The Duality of Humor and Aggression in Leadership Styles.” If that isn’t a Shaq doctoral capstone, I don’t know what is. (Yes, it was; he completed his degree work in 2012.)

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But is it worth the price?

Food for thought, so to speak:

Or maybe those better fries are coming from some guy named Al. You can’t always tell with some of these fonts.

(Via Alexandria Brown.)

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Intelligence that’s really out there

An excerpt from Ariel Waldman’s official bio:

Ariel Waldman sits on the council for NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts, a program that nurtures radical, science-fiction-inspired ideas that could transform future space missions. She is the co-author of a congressionally-requested National Academy of Sciences report on the future of human spaceflight and the author of the book What’s It Like in Space? Stories from Astronauts Who’ve Been There. Ariel is the founder of, a directory of ways for anyone to participate in space exploration, and the global director of Science Hack Day, a grassroots endeavor to prototype things with science that is now in over 25 countries. In 2013, Ariel received an honor from the White House for being a Champion of Change in citizen science.

Her ability to explain tricky astrophysical phenomena to us nonscientific types is darn near nonpareil:

And yet this happens:

As “matching algorithms” go, that one needs to.

Chris Waigl, reading that on Facebook, came up with the proper response:

(Maybe a suitable answer is: “It wasn’t clear from your message, but if you’d like me to work on your algorithms, my consulting rate is X.”)

Headhunters, human and artificial, should listen up.


Half a sack

Apparently I don’t understand American football (known as “football” in the US) as much as I used to, if I ever did.

ESPN is carrying an AP wire story about Marcus Williams, a cornerback just signed to a one-year deal by the Arizona Cardinals. The obligatory stats paragraph:

The 5-foot-11, 196-pound defensive back has 10 interceptions, 20 passes defended, 107 tackles (92 solo), 2.5 sacks and two forced fumbles in his career.

They split the credit for sacks these days?

I checked the local newspaper, and there was the same story — except that stat was listed as “2½ sacks.” Stylebook differences, I suppose.

Still, “half a sack” could describe any number of American politicians. As could “forced fumbles,” now that I think about it.

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Does not count as breakfast

You probably shouldn’t ingest this stuff anyway:

We’re pretty aware that when it comes to beauty trends, there’s some pretty weird stuff out there. Tanning gummies, Harry Potter hair … you get the idea.

But we have to admit we were a little surprised (and confused and terrified) when we found out about the limited-edition Cheesy Shampoo and Wakin’ Bacon Conditioner from bagel company Einstein Bros. Seriously, it exists.

Really, it does:

Cheesy Shampoo and Wakin’ Bacon Conditioner

Or anyway, it did:

Astonishingly, the $10 duo is already sold out online — proof that people really do want to smell like smoked meat.

It’s an aphrodisiac like no other.

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Facing the wrong way

I can see why this would be trending, though:

And who knew there were any tops in Congress?

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A very slow fast

If someone had told me this, I’d have taken my chances with the triglycerides:

Individuals interested in the blood draw can't have anything to eat or drink for 10 years

(From Bad Newspaper via Miss Cellania.)


All Binged up

Um, tropical fish?

Denton Kennel Club Inc specializes in Tropical Fish, Acupuncture, Pond Fish

I’m not quite sure I want a beagle in my koi pond. And if Bing is going to serve up this kind of thing at the very top of the results — search string was simply “denton kennel club” — I have to conclude that Google isn’t quite done yet.

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Unaccented robot

The National Weather Service in Norman supports several VHF radio signals, generally between 162.40 and 162.55 MHz, which provide fast forecasts and such for the service area (central and western Oklahoma, minus the Panhandle, plus several northern Texas counties in the general vicinity of Wichita Falls). In recent years a robotic voice has recited the text products; the first one I remember sounded vaguely, sometimes not so vaguely, like Arnold Schwarzenegger. They phased out Arnold in favor of a more modern voice box with more of a North American Television Newscaster timbre, and it’s easier to endure, but it has its quirks.

The first is the unavoidable word “winds,” which is usually, but not always, rendered the way you or I would say “winds” with regard to the meteorological phenomenon. But once in a while it comes out as “winds,” as in “Grandpa takes a few moments every afternoon and winds his pocket watch.” Sometimes you get both in the same forecast. And is it “WRECK-ord” or “re-CORD”?

With the return of storm season I’ve picked up another word with which it seems unfamiliar: “supercells.” You or I would divide it in the middle as though it were two words: “super,” then “cells.” The robot invariably renders it with the second syllable accented: “soo-PURR-sells.” It may be a while before I get used to that.

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You were expecting maybe consistency?

Well, forget that:

In other news, the Flat Earth Society has members all around the globe.


Four-armed is forewarned

What’s worse, we’re running out of deodorant:

OkCupid ad showing two women with an average of three arms

Once we get into serious gene splicing, we’ll have entire dating services catering to the customer seeking extra limbs or other parts.

(With thanks to Erin Palette.)

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Sometimes they get one right

More evidence for the Blind Squirrel Theory:

For what it’s worth, history shows that there’s enough fuel remaining in the tanks to get the aircraft all the way to the crash site.

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Whoever he was

Marc Wielage reports:

So after a Facebook conversation with Steve Hoffman today on the 1963 Kennedy assassination, I went and checked out the 3-1/2 hour CBS News DVD that presents all the highlights of the news coverage for that fateful day. Apparently, spell-checking is not high on the list of requirements for the DVD authoring people these days. There’s a liiiiiiitle bit of a typo in the main menu…

CBS News fail on JFK DVD

As Joe Biden could have said, this is a BDF.

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Have we got a Brazilian for you

Hyundai’s new Tiny Crossover is called “Kona,” except where it isn’t:

The car will be sold in Portugal as the Hyundai Kauai, as Kona is too similar to “cona”, the slang word for the female genitalia in Portuguese. Like Kona, Kauai is a western island of Hawaii.

And there’s one more outlier:

In the People’s Republic of China, the car will be released as the Hyundai Encino.

Because what sophisticated Chinese buyers want is a Korean car named after a section of L.A.’s San Fernando Valley, right?

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No, it’s Ash Wednesday

Got it?

“ASCII to ASCII, DOS to DOS,” says Methuselah over in tech support.

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A one-night stand?

Or maybe it was one day? The Washington Post reports:

Nashville mayor admits to affair with the head of her security detail

If Mayor Barry did have an affair, presumably a brief one, on the 31st of January, I’m surprised the story’s coming out this soon.

(Via Language Log.)

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I must have missed something

This is indeed a Fark-ready headline: “Dentists warn against using charcoal for teeth whitening.”

Um, what? [warning: autostart video]

Activated charcoal has been around for hundreds of years and is currently a huge trend in superfood and beauty rituals. It is a porous, harsh substance of carbon which has high absorbing properties.

You can find people using charcoal in everything from smoothies, juices, face masks, and teeth whitening to absorb impurities.

“Teeth whitening?” Tom asked, crestfallen.

The September 2017 issue of the Journal of the American Dental Association shows no evidence that dental products with charcoal are safe or effective for your teeth.

Dentists also warn using abrasive materials on teeth can make them look more yellow after enamel is worn away.

Time was, you used Pepsodent, and you wondered where the yellow went.


When your appliances talk back

So proclaims the dishwasher:

Control panel of a Scandinavian dishwasher

Miss Cellania has a perfectly logical explanation:

“Slut” means “finished” in Danish and Swedish. In Norwegian, it would say “slutt.” I don’t know how you would say finished in Finnish.

I duly checked with Reckitt Benckiser, which sells a dishwashing detergent called “Finish” in the States; the equivalent product in Europe is called “Calgonite.”

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We know where they got this idea

I mean, isn’t it just totally obvious?

Spider-Man Kleenex, and hints to an origin story

(Snitched from Gun Free Zone.)

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The dame remains the same

Despite the best efforts of the Markedly Silly Media:

You’d almost think “woman governor” was the office she ran for and won.

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To go without the flow

First there was meth, and it was bad, and the powers that be were forced to admit that they couldn’t possibly make it any more illegal than it already was; desperate to appear to be doing something, they eventually hit on the idea of making pseudoephedrine (Sudafed and its friends) hard to come by, apparently reasoning that the way to foil thousands of methheads was to inconvenience millions whose heads were merely stuffed up.

Now comes phase two:

As part of the fight against the nation’s opioid epidemic, the US Food and Drug Administration said Tuesday, one common antidiarrheal drug should be given new packaging.

The agency is working with manufacturers to change the packaging of the drug loperamide to include blister packs and single-dose packaging, which could reduce the likelihood of overdose, according to FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb.

Loperamide, sold under brand names such as Imodium, is an over-the-counter opioid medication used to treat diarrhea. However, it is sometimes taken in large doses by those seeking to suppress symptoms of withdrawal from such other opioids as heroin. In such high doses, loperamide can lead to cardiac problems and even death, Gottlieb said in a statement Tuesday.

Because nobody, but nobody, would ever bother to punch a dozen pills out of a blister pack when the monkey’s on his back and laughing out loud.

(Sent me by Holly H.)

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Florida Man on Groundhog Day

Or so it seems from the headline:

“They say we’re young and we don’t know, won’t find out until we grow.”

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Which actually seems accurate

That’s certainly the way I’d feel under the circumstances:

This is a temperature at which my own car’s display acts up.

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Just in case you thought it was cold

We got nothing on Traverse City, Michigan:

Rite Aid store in the -195º cold

(From and meteorologist Mark Torregrossa.)

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White Christmas, red ink

This happened to Erie, Pennsylvania this week:

That just looks cold. Imagine your electric bill.

Better yet, don’t:

Correct amount of the bill was $284.46, which still strikes me as a lot. Then again, I’ve never had 53 inches of snow fall on me.

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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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