But how does it look on the label?

The annual A. V. Club “The Year in Band Names” list is replete with disgusting and/or scurrilous names, because disgusting and/or scurrilous gets your group listed in articles like this.

But they’re not all D/S. One of the acts listed is one I’ve heard of and actually like:

In fact, you’ll hear that lead vocalist on several tracks on this album.

As for Zombie Deathstench, Sad Baby Wolf (I don’t think the Cheese Mistress has anything to do with this) or JFK Didn’t Even See It Coming, well, you’re on your own.

Disclosure: I once bought an EP by a band called Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.

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Just a few pony songs

As Twilight Sparkle might say, I wasn’t prepared for this:

Songs of Friendship and MagicHasbro, seeing a need — and perhaps noting the enormous number of mediocre YouTube episode dubs — has put out, at least on iTunes and Google Play, an eleven-track album of arguably the best tunes from the first two years of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. The most obvious omission, I think, is the Cutie Mark Crusaders Song from “The Show Stoppers,” but then it was never intended to be, um, good. Ingram, of course, is the logical person to plug this thing, since he wrote them all, and iTunes lists him as the artist on all tracks. (Which reminds me: whom do we have to proposition to get a collection of William Anderson’s background music?)

The iTunes package ($9.99) contains one of Apple’s Digital Booklets — it’s a PDF, no big deal — with a list of who’s singing what and all the words. (Except for “BBBFF,” which got lost in the shuffle; its page in the Booklet contains the opening of “This Day Aria,” which admittedly is a pretty long song.) If you’ve ever wanted to sing along with Flim and Flam’s ode to the Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000, now’s your chance. (At the time I grabbed this album, Flim and Flam were dead last on the iTunes popularity chart, with “Smile” and “Winter Wrap Up” grabbing all the single buys. I can’t explain it either.)

Of course, I love all this stuff unreservedly, “Love Is In Bloom” most of all.

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Sunday still comes afterwards

In retrospect, it seems so obvious: Rebecca Black already owns Friday in pop culture, right? And so, the Next Step:

In purely musical terms, “Saturday” is to “Friday” what the Four Tops’ “It’s the Same Old Song” is to “I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch).”

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Barren manscape

The “brozilian,” if you will, is what used to be called a Brazilian wax job, administered to a male. Apparently defoliation of some sort for the lads is, as the young people say, a thing:

One shocked friend asked her teenaged daughter, who confirmed that shaving is now de rigueur for all parties because pubic hair is “revolting.” The porn industry probably begat this belief; it’s been offering close-ups of just-Gilletted men and women for so many years now that even offscreen, any — er — impediments to intimacy are perceived as messy.

Truth be told, I’m more likely to believe the visual-trickery angle:

More than any other explanation, though, fans cite the old postulate that a tree appears taller when there are no bushes at its feet. And I’ll leave it at that.

One wonders if it’s possible to construct a landing strip, similar to that already contrived for women, in a manner that would further confuse the visual perspective. The porn industry has long been partial to short — that is to say, non-tall — guys, on the basis that an object appears larger against a smaller background.

Disclosure: I once mowed the personal lawn, as an act of, um, let’s call it “reciprocation.” The need for this sort of thing, however, has been basically nonexistent of late.

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Super Fun Hourglass

I missed this during the Television Critics Association’s summer bash, so it gave me a jolt to see it in InStyle. We have here Rebel Wilson, in Tam’s immortal phrase tromping the hell out of l’oeil, in this not-really-monochrome Calvin Klein special:

Rebel Wilson at TCA 2013

Said the mag:

Use strategic (OK, sneaky) colorblocking to your advantage. Vertical black panels on the sides of this dress make you look lean, mean, and just begging to be seen.

Had she been in front of a black background, this might have been “What happened to her?”-inducing.

And you know, hair this blonde and this big without being, you know, big adds a whole extra unit of je ne sais quoi, which is why you also get the head shot.

(Via DailyVenusDiva.)

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Thanks for some of the fish

It is the curse of the New Orleans Pelicans to be in the Southwest Division: their 9-9 record coming into this game, relegating them to last place, would be more than enough to lead the Atlantic and, were the playoffs starting tomorrow, would get them the #3 seed.

Okay, one of the curses. The Pelicans have had more than their share of injuries: Anthony Davis and Greg Stiemsma have been out for a while, and Tyreke Evans sprained his ankle in the third quarter tonight after running off 11 points in 13 minutes. All the Thunder had to do was not mess up. Of course, they promptly messed up, showing almost no defense in the first quarter while New Orleans hit eight of its first nine shots. It didn’t help that Jeremy Lamb rolled up three fouls in two minutes. The Big Birds were still in it until just over half a minute before halftime, when Russell Westbrook and Reggie Jackson hoisted back-to-back treys to put OKC up six, a lead they never relinquished; the Thunder head for home with a 109-95 win.

What must frustrate the Pelicans, apart from the aforementioned curses, is the fact that they were dominant on the glass, especially the offensive glass: we’re talking 49 and 19 versus 41 and 7. (Jason Smith and Al-Farouq Aminu collected 13 and 10 respectively.) Then again, one gets second-chance points by missing the first-chance points, and New Orleans shot a woeful 37 percent, a more-so 20 percent from beside the canal. Still, five Pelicans made double figures, led by Ryan Anderson (18 points), who hit his first four shots before the Thunder figured out how to guard him. Jrue Holiday and Eric Gordon each contributed 16.

Westbrook was reported to have some of the dreaded flu-like symptoms, or something, but they didn’t seem to bother the ol’ Honey Badger any: he shot 8-16 for 25 points. Kevin Durant rolled up 29 on a mere 17 shots, and Serge Ibaka added 17 with 13 rebounds and three blocks. (In fact, blocks were a major factor tonight: OKC had 11, New Orleans only four, though steals were even at 9.) Jackson, as usual, led the bench with 15; Lamb ended up with two points and five fouls.

Back into the icebox that is Oklahoma City this weekend, and arriving for a Sunday game are the Pacers, who aren’t afraid of a little cold or much of anything else.

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Down at the heels, or close by

I am becoming persuaded that not all of the bazillion comment spams that land hither and yon are entirely computer-generated: it’s not too hard to imagine some poor slob actually circulating these things to earn a dishonest buck, or the foreign-currency equivalent thereof. One recurring IP address (since blocked) has been sending up a load of Nike-related crap, from which I select a single example:

Nike Jordan basketball shoes has always been my favorite, the reason why to like it most because of the Air Jordan, starting from the generation Jordan basketball shoes, I will carefully study its technology and culture, now gave you talk about today is very hot Air.

Um, keep yer criticisms to yerself, Bunkie (or BunkieBot, as appropriate).

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And snow it goes

We set the clock back a couple of winters:

In that horrible month of February ’11, I broke my snow shovel; after waiting for the spring price break, I bought one of those not quite industrial-strength, but still formidable-looking, pushers, and dared the stuff to occupy my driveway. Total snowfall for the winter of ’11-’12: 1.8 inches. The thing is standing in the garage, still wrapped. If I thought for a moment this would work again, I’d buy another one.

Total snowfall for the winter of ’12-’13: five inches and change, doled out in amounts so delightfully inconspicuous that I didn’t bother to unwrap the Doomsday Device.

Garand Yukon Ergo snow pusherIt couldn’t last, and it didn’t. Confronted with a four-inch depth this morning and possessing no desire to slosh through it, I (1) went back to bed and (2) waited for a break in the clouds, however small. I got one about 12:15. The machine was readied for battle.

Twenty minutes, including five minutes to remove Amazon’s legendary Overkill™ wrapping material. A better job than I normally do in an hour. (The manufacturer claims six times the speed, but then they assume a user who knows what the bloody hell he’s doing.)

This is the device. It’s 26 inches wide, or whatever that is in Canadian. Unless you live in some place where you, like Ottilie, never has seen snow, get it.

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Not that a lot of you are going to be in the market for a two-seater priced in the general vicinity of $2 million, but the Bugatti Veyron has reached the end of the line:

[T]he luxury brand, owned by Volkswagen, announced it has sold its 400th Veyron — and it will sell only 50 more.

Of the 400 purchased so far, 300 were the Veyron 16.4 or 16.4 Super Sport, both coupes. The Super Sport is the fastest production car ever made.

Bugatti won’t make any more of either car, so new owners will have to settle for the roadster Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport and 16.4 Grand Sport Vitesse.

“Settle for.” Yeah, right.

Then again, the Veyron went into production in 2005, so it’s taken eight years to sell 400 — which means the clearance sale will probably last a year.

That price is approximate: it’s invariably quoted in euros, and it does not include Federal gas-guzzler tax. (Miles per gallon: city, 8; highway, 14; high-speed runs, somewhere around 2. That last estimate is not even slightly recognized by the EPA.)

And now that I think of it, didn’t they originally plan on 300 of these?

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Quote of the week

That whole “separation of church and state” business, if you ask me, has it exactly sideways. Christ spoke of rendering unto Caesar what is Caesar’s; today’s Caesars are keen to have the population rendered, once their ability to mulct us fails for lack of further mulctables.

Francis W. Porretto, having noted this sort of thing before, has pretty much had it up to here with professions of [some sort of] faith as part of political campaigns:

The various Christian denominations differ on a number of things, most notably abortion, divorce, and sexual conduct. However, they are united around the Noachite Commandments:

Then someone came up to him and said, “Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?” And He said to him, “Why do you ask me about what is good? There is only one who is good. If you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments.” He said to Him, “Which ones?” And Jesus said, “You shall not murder; You shall not commit adultery; You shall not steal; You shall not bear false witness; Honor your father and your mother; also, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” [Matthew 19:16-19]

Government’s penchants for theft and false witness should make any sincere Christian extremely uneasy about contact with it, approaching absolutely unwilling to be involved with it at any level. Make no mistake: to confiscate from unwilling Peter is theft no matter whether or not any of the proceeds reach Paul. The insertion of government, the supposedly disinterested servant of the “general welfare,” as the confiscator makes no difference whatsoever.

There’s a Catholic doctrine about “occasions of sin,” circumstances which are likely to lure the faithful into transgressions. Getting oneself parked in one of the seats of power, whether for graft or simply grasp, does not augur well for the future of one’s soul.

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And you know, it’s not banged up or anything at all:

Mitsubishi Starion with Derpy Hooves imaging

The Starion was a major contributor to what used to be Mitsubishi’s performance image, and we may never know for sure if Mitsu had intended to call it “Stallion.” Then again, Derpy’s a mare and may not care.

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The Turn the Other Cheek Act

Attending to your own defense — “taking the law into your own hands!” shriek the fearful — is a process some people are simply not prepared to comprehend. Jennifer offers an explanation:

When did we become a society that regards morally justifiable violence as something repugnant? Something from which we should shield our children? We can celebrate athletes with rap sheets a mile long just as long as they put the ball in the right place again and again. We buy the shoes they tell us to buy. Why does the media vilify a neighborhood watch volunteer while venerating the thugs in jerseys?

I think I know part of the answer. As a society, we’ve separated ourselves from personal responsibility and community. Our reality comes from TV and not from interpersonal relationships. We’ve insulated ourselves from the consequences of our actions. It’s no longer our own fault if we get fat. It’s the fast food, here take a pill. Unplanned pregnancy? Just terminate it. Fail at business? Someone else is there to bail you out. And so on. It’s gotten to the point that it causes cognitive dissonance when someone takes matters into their own hands. The police are supposed to protect us, right? Sure. And our meat comes from the grocer too.

It doesn’t help that the highest form of existence acknowledged these days is victimhood: it’s much more socially acceptable to claim that everything and everybody is against you, even — maybe especially — if it’s your own damn fault.

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Decades after the fact

Every now and then, Jack Baruth throws me a curve. In a piece with the seriously on-point title “Do You Have A Wound That Won’t Heal?” he cites a meme I might have missed:

You are now thinking of her. What is her name?

If there’s any difference between me eighteen years ago (almost) when I started this site and me now, it’s my ability to deal with that question without actually answering it. In fact, I got the core of a pony story out of it. Middle-aged stallion looking dejected on a bench, crisp social-worker mare investigating, and we pick it up here:

“If you’re looking for ponies who need a place to stay, there’s one who sleeps in the old Wheelwright warehouse.”

“Used to, anyway,” she said. “About a week ago he was found dead.”

He cringed. “Something got him?”

“Just exposure to the elements. He’d been hiding out there since before Hearth’s Warming Eve, and it eventually got too cold for him. Old earth ponies just don’t have the same resistance to the cold that the younger ones do. And sometimes they don’t realize that.”

“So your job,” he said, “involves telling me to beware of the cold?”

“If necessary, yes,” she replied. “That poor pony had no money, no family, and maybe if we’d found him earlier, we might have been able to save him.” She sighed. “And now he’s gone. I wouldn’t want that to happen to you. I wouldn’t want that to happen to anypony.”

He looked at her. “I’m sorry,” he said. “I didn’t mean to impugn your profession. I’m just not used to being worried about.”

“And your family?”

“Long gone. Both parents died; never had a brother or a sister. It’s just me out here.”

She persisted. “Do you at least have a Very Special Somepony?”

For a moment, he looked beyond her, away from the coast, toward a place he barely remembered.

Finally, he spoke. “For forty years,” he said, “I have loved only one mare. Well, she was a filly back then, but … but she was always the one.” He shook his head. “If only she knew…”

The rest of the story, of course, is about healing a wound.

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Press Escape to continue

A lone Republican, noticing the absence of the horse, calls for more security measures affecting the stable door:

Rep. Kerry Bentivolio (R-Mich.) on Tuesday proposed legislation that would prevent the federal government from deploying new websites that don’t adequately protect personal data.

His Safe and Secure Federal Websites Act, H.R. 3635 [pdf], would also require existing websites to show they [are] safe and secure. If a website fails to meet that standard, the government would have to take it offline until it is repaired.

This is, of course, a shot across the bow of healthcare.gov, which was introduced with no discernible security and the functionality of GeoCities.

“In its haste to implement ObamaCare, the White House has acted with reckless disregard when it comes to protecting the public from hackers,” Bentivolio said Tuesday. “With this website, they have jeopardized not only the personal information of users attempting to obtain health insurance, but also potentially compromised dozens of other federal agencies and their systems.”

What “haste”? They had three whole years to develop this thing. And you have to figure that by now anyone’s private information, yours, mine or the government’s — which latter is therefore yours and mine — has already been picked up by NSA, awaiting bids from the likes of Mark Zuckerberg.

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I’ll be hornswoggled

Guy in N’Hampsha says he wants to sell two unicorns:

We are selling 2 purebred unicorns. Male is 3 years old named Pagasus. Female is 5 years old and named Daisy. Price of $930,000 USD is per unicorn.


Oh, and he’s not above blowing his own horn, so to speak:

We are the only fully licensed unicorn breeder in North America, and are NUBAA certified.

A quick Googlage of “NUBAA” turns up the Northwestern University Black Alumni Association, which is obviously even more diverse than we thought.

This, however, makes me ever-so-slightly suspicious:

We also offer unicorn eggs for purchase.

Eggs? Is there something Twilight Sparkle isn’t telling me?

(Via the Daily Dot.)

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What was never promised

I admit to having been something less than hopeful tonight, what with the Thunder barely squeaking by Sacramento last night and the Blazers having the night off, having dispatched their previous opponent the night before — and that previous opponent being the mighty Indiana Pacers, who’d lost only one game all season before that ill-fated trip to the Rose Garden Moda Center. And then I looked at the halftime score, OKC 59, PDX 48, and I exhaled a bit. Unfortunately, so did the Thunder: the Blazers ran all over them, up, down and through them, turning that 11-point deficit into a 3-point lead in twelve minutes. Things slipped further in the fourth, the Blazers going up seven; but the Thunder stayed close, even occasionally claiming a one-point lead. Nicolas Batum put it out of sight with a trey, the Blazers’ eighth, with 30 seconds left; LaMarcus Aldridge finished the job with two free throws. (A technical followed, which we will never speak of again.) The final: Portland 111, Oklahoma City 104, and the Blazers go two up in the Northwest.

Seldom have the Thunder ever had much of an answer for Aldridge, who had a spectacular line: 38 points (a season high) on 17-28 shooting, 13 rebounds, and five assists in 37 minutes. All five Portland starters finished in double figures, and all but Batum were +10 or better for the night. The Blazers led in rebounds, 47-43, and perhaps more tellingly in assists: 22-11.

So a 33-point Kevin Durant explosion went for naught, as did a Serge Ibaka double-double and 21 points from Russell Westbrook. As is always the case these days, Reggie Jackson and Jeremy Lamb led the second unit; Jackson had 12 points in 29 minutes, Lamb 10 in 26. Radio guy Matt Pinto did some grousing about the officiating, but bad calls, of course, remain calls.

If the West Coast has been a bruiser this season — well, the Big Easy beckons: the Thunder take on the Pelicans Friday night, before returning home to deal with, um, those mighty Indiana Pacers.

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