It looked worse from here

This play, said radio guy Matt Pinto, summed up Game One almost perfectly: Steven Adams and Enes Kanter wound up in a jump, Adams backtapped to Jerami Grant, and Evan Turner stole it right out from under Grant’s nose. There were, of course, other issues: the assumption that Kanter, being a less-than-inspiring defender, would be easy to elude, and the sheer spottiness of Thunder shooting. But if Kanter is no Jusuf Nurkić, he’s a very respectable presence on offense, and while OKC managed to pull within one once, Kanter’s offensive rebounds down the stretch made sure the Thunder didn’t do anything to get that close again. Then again, in the last minute, sometimes you have to foul, and the Thunder didn’t do that either. Portland 104, Oklahoma City 99, and the Blazers go up 1-0 in a series OKC might have thought of winning.

If the Thunder expects to come back, they have to start hitting the long ball; they jacked up 33 treys, and hit a mere five. Fifteen percent will not get you anywhere in a regular-season game, let alone in a playoff series. And it would help if they took Kanter (20 points, 18 rebounds, Nurkić-like numbers) a bit more seriously. Portland’s starting guards delivered 54 points, 30 from Damien Lillard, 24 from C. J. McCollum. OKC’s usual suspects got the usual numbers: Russell Westbrook had a triple-double (24-10-10), Paul George dropped in 26 and collected 10 boards before fouling out late. (Adams finished a hair behind Kanter, with 17 points and nine rebounds.) Neither bench was much of a presence, 21 from the Thunder reserves, 18 from the Blazers.

Game 2 is late Tuesday night at Portland; I don’t think the Blazers are worried. As yet, OKC’s given them no real reason to.


Take that, Mortimer Snerd

Female ventriloquists have always been fairly uncommon. Female ventriloquists who sing opera …?

I don’t think Edgar Bergen (or Charlie McCarthy) ever once tried to sing Puccini.


Presumably at a low rate of speed

Zombies, according to everything I’ve read, just aren’t all that fast, which makes this story just a tiny bit less implausible:

According to a police report, a man called 911 Tuesday morning to report that a woman had jumped into his truck, locked the doors, and was attempting to drive away. The truck, carrying Sparkletts water bottles and jugs, was parked outside a Walmart in Sapulpa, a Tulsa suburb.

The suspect, identified by cops as Tamanda Billings, 27, reportedly told driver Devonte Harris that she needed his wheels to flee zombies. Harris, who was delivering an order to Walmart, said that when he asked Billings to get out of his truck, she replied, “No, there are Zombies after me.”

But Billings, a mother of two young children, had her escape from the undead stymied when she could not get the Freightliner truck moving. Cops responding to the 911 call eventually had to break the vehicle’s window to remove Billings from the cab.

Oh, and just one more thing:

Billings was charged with auto theft, trespass, and receiving stolen property. She was arrested hours after bonding out of the county jail following an April 6 bust for possession of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia.

Hayley at TLO observes:

Like my niece’s $60 toys that never include batteries and Walmart only having one checkout lane open at a time, it can readily be assumed that methamphetamine played a “contributing factor” in Ms. Billings’ zombie escape plan. The meth may not have been allowing her to think clearly by sober people standards. But you have to admit, on meth she has the perfect rationale, guts, and problem-solving ability to survive the zombie apocalypse.

Yep. Says it all.

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Bastion of stupidity

Actually on Quora yesterday: What are my options if a Walmart charged me $2.48 for the a chicken pot pie with the same bar code as another Wlamrt [sic] 15 minutes away that charge $1.84?

Take this, you stupid bastion:

Not having to drive those 15 minutes there and back saved you 64 cents worth of gas. But hey, if you want to spend thousands suing Walmart over a matter as insignificant as this because “muh principles,” be my guest. I’ll be waiting to read your story on, tagged “ASININE.”

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i blame jet fuel

And, of course, the desire of government agencies to expand their reach:

The Oklahoma City-County Health Department is putting billboards across the city to remind Oklahoma residents that where you live could affect how long you live.

“It’s a shocking statistic,” said Oklahoma City-County Health Department executive director Gary Cox.

The gap is 18 years.

It’s the number that separates the average life expectancy age from the highest average zip code in Oklahoma City to the lowest.

“So what that really means is a child that’s born in one of those zip codes … could live up to 18 years average shorter life span than a child that perhaps may be born in a suburban or another part of our county,” said Cox.

At best, this is only half a surprise:

The lowest life expectancy age, almost 64, is zip code 73145.

Otherwise known as … Tinker Air Force Base.

Which Farker noticed this first? Why, the first one, of course.


How this happened I cannot tell

Kate Upton has done three covers for the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue, reason enough to mention her here. And in fact, she’s been mentioned twice in these pages with not so much as a single photo, which of course will not do.

Kate Upton, spectator

She first appeared in SI in 2011, was named their Rookie of the Year, and did the next two covers.

Kate Upton, vision of spring

Before all that swimsuit stuff, she was a nationally-ranked equestrian, placing high in various American Paint Horse Association events.

Kate Upton, nerd

She made her film debut in 2011, in Tower Heist. And before you ask, yes, she can do the dougie:

The Clippers went 32-50 that season, all the more reason to keep the cameras trained on the stands.


Basses for comparison

In nineteen ought eight, Cadillac won the prestigious Dewar Trophy, and arguably deserved to be called the Standard of the World:

[T]hree Model Ks were selected from stock at the Anglo-American Motor-car Company, Cadillac’s London agent. On Saturday, February 29, the three were driven 25 miles to the Brooklands Circuit, opened only a year before, where they did 10 laps of this oval, another 30 miles.

After resting under [Royal Automotive Club] lock and key, on March 2, 1908, the three Cadillacs were disassembled, each car reduced to a heap of 721 parts. Then R.A.C. officials scrambled everything into a pile of 2163 pieces. What’s more, they chose 89 of these to swap with replacements selected from the dealership’s parts supplies.

The resulting heap was categorized into three appropriate piles, from which three Model Ks were reassembled. These three “harlequin cars” were fired up on Thursday morning, March 12, and began lapping Brooklands.

By 2 p.m. on Friday, March 13, 1908, the trio had completed 500 miles. After this, one of them was locked away until the June 1908 R.A.C. Reliability Run, at which it earned a class trophy. And, of course, Cadillac deserved the 1908 Dewar Trophy for this impressive display of parts interchangeability.

It’s been many years since anyone thought of Cadillac as being a world leader in anything, but interchangeable parts are still a thing. Behold Daryl Hall, John Oates, and Diana Ross:

(Via Miss Cellania.)

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Fair to meddling

Used to be, you had to have had six hours of chemistry to be able to comprehend the term “opioid.” Now it’s on page A-2 of the paper almost every damn day:

The news media makes a lot of noise about addiction, but I wonder how much of a problem it really is. If you look at the estimates of how much heroin and cocaine are being imported, it looks like either everyone is getting stoned every day —or— some people are using a heck of a lot, like a gram a day. I don’t think everyone is getting stoned, so there must be large population of heavy drug users.

As for busts (arrests), I wouldn’t be surprised if it was just the newcomers who are getting busted. The old established outfits don’t want any competition, so they are happy to tip off the cops whenever they get wind of an upstart trying to horn in on their racket.

Ultimately, of course, the government becomes the dealer of choice:

So the best people were quite determined not to see Linda. And Linda, for her part, had no desire to see them. The return to civilization was for her the return to soma, was the possibility of lying in bed and taking holiday after holiday, without ever having to come back to a headache or a fit of vomiting, without ever being made to feel as you always felt after peyotl, as though you’d done something so shamefully anti-social that you could never hold up your head again. Soma played none of these unpleasant tricks. The holiday it gave was perfect and, if the morning after was disagreeable, it was so, not intrinsically, but only by comparison with the joys of the holiday. The remedy was to make the holiday continuous. Greedily she clamoured for ever larger, ever more frequent doses. Dr. Shaw at first demurred; then let her have what she wanted. She took as much as twenty grammes a day.

“Which will finish her off in a month or two,” the doctor confided to Bernard. “One day the respiratory centre will be paralyzed. No more breathing. Finished. And a good thing too. If we could rejuvenate, of course it would be different. But we can’t.”

“You are a true believer, blessings of the State, blessings of the masses. Work hard, increase production, prevent accidents and be happy.’

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At the other extreme

The other day we had a story about now-retired Miami Heat icon Dwyane Wade, a man to whom much was given, and who was more than happy to give back. We will always need such men. Women, too.

And then there are the sort of people we will never need at all:

A distraught influencer poured her heart out in a YouTube video after her Instagram account with 113,000 followers was deleted. While it’s difficult to fault anyone for being upset about losing such a viable income stream, it’s the way she expressed her devastation that is getting so many people ticked off.

Scrolling through your Instagram feed, you’ve probably felt a little self-conscious every once in a while. It’s filled with people who can do yoga better than you. People are always starting screenplays on $2,000 MacBooks in fancy coffee shops. Their workouts are better than yours and their skincare routine is 100 percent on point and they always manage to find the best lighting and have way fuller hair than you ever will.

For many influencers, their “jobs” are better than yours, too.

We’ve all seen those travel Instagram accounts where people are amassing hundreds, if not thousands of followers every week by simply chronicling their glamorous vacations. After they start hitting big numbers, that’s when the monetization happens. They get free clothes, free lodging at hotels, and free meals at restaurants simply by posting about their experiences. Then there are the sponsored posts they get paid directly for.

And when the gravy train is derailed, something like this happens:

Sympathy? By about eighteen to one, YouTube viewers say not only no, but hell, no. Instagram later claimed that the account was deleted “in error,” which is probably why the aggrieved young lady left that video in place.

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Meanwhile in the Sunscreen State

Pasco County, Florida is perhaps the nudest location in the nation. So this doesn’t seem too surprising [warning: autostart video]:

Troopers say three women in the nude became combative when they were confronted at a rest stop. One of the ladies is accused of trying to hit a trooper with her car, and another allegedly tried to swing at a trooper with a metal bat.

Around 11:15 a.m. Wednesday, Florida Highway Patrol troopers were dispatched for a call about three naked women at a rest stop on northbound I-75 — south of State Road 54.

“There’s three women standing in the nude putting on suntan lotion,” one of the troopers is heard saying in the dispatch call audio.

The women, later identified as Oasis Mcleod, 18, Jeniyah Mcleod, 19, and Cecilia Young, 19, told the trooper they were “air drying” after showering, according to FHP. As the trooper was trying to get information, FHP says the women got into a white 2009 Nissan Sentra and drove southbound into the northbound rest area entrance.

(Via Fark.)


Yeah, that’s the ticket

President Biden? It could happen, sez Jack Baruth:

Mr Biden could declare himself the leader of a newly-formed centrist party, something along the lines of Teddy Roosevelt’s Progressive Party, and run for president that way. Could he beat Kamala and Trump? I don’t see how he couldn’t do it. Virtually every Democrat outside California would vote for him, as would many disaffected Republicans. Ah, but whom could he select as Vice President? Feel free to offer your suggestions, but I think the smartest and most strategic thing to do would be to offer the job to … Michelle Obama. Let the Democratic media machine chew on that. If nothing else, it would make for great television.

And however touchy-feely Joe gets, he’ll almost certainly get his clock cleaned by Mrs O.

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Spirited douchery

You might expect this sort of thing from a seven-year-old. But from a state senator?

One morning back in February, Paul Scott tippy-toed into the Senate before session and unscrewed a roller on Carri Hicks’s chair. He also hid her microphone. There’s no word on if he put tape under her mouse, or encased her stapler in Jell-O.

Later that morning, when Hicks arrived for work and attempted to take her seat, the chair gave way, causing Carri to fall to the floor. Startled, confused and hoping she didn’t just flash the world in her dress, she left the Senate chambers to compose herself like a Bachelor contestant who learned she didn’t receive a rose.

Usually, after playing a stupid prank like that, the culprit will come forward, help the victim laugh it off, and then everyone will go play on the big toy at recess. As least that’s how things worked when I was in elementary school.

Paul Scott, on the other hand, does things a little differently. As opposed to admitting that he committed the prank, or even (gasp!) apologizing, he went silent and didn’t fess up. Classy, huh?

The Senate, not unreasonably, launched an investigation, and yes, they had the whole incident on video; Scott, on the spot, issued an apology with about as much sincerity as y0u’d think.

District 43 is stuck with Scott through next year. Let’s hope the opposition takes note of this.

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House Mondelez enters the fray

Yes, children, it’s Game of Thrones Oreos. The embossing is GOT-specific, and the packaging is — well, you’ve seen it — but it’s still at heart an Oreo.

I scored a package of these in Westeros at Walmart for $2.98 yesterday.

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Capping off a lifetime

Now this is a proper sendoff:

Fare thee well, Mr Wade. Sir.

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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.)


Nine individuals later

One does get weary of contemplating “Individual-1,” after all:

Individual 10 by Wolford

Wolford sells these in 15 different shades for $49 a pair.

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