Perhaps not an actual troll

Then again, it’s sort of tricky to tell. Get a load of this:

Sleeping under a bridge tonight and need help connecting to wifi at a coffee shop above?

No, really:

Hi so I’m visiting a friend what I do to save money is just sleep under a bridge with a friend. Anyway I was able to connect to the wifi from the shop above for about 10 mins and now I lost the connection and it won’t come back I had 2 bars so it wasn’t the best but stable enough worked with my tablet and phone…

I had to go back in for now to ask this please help I can’t sit here they close soon. Thanks

It is perhaps worthy of note that the earliest commenters, rather than commiserate with him, denounced him for stealing Wi-Fi.

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Strange search-engine queries (633)

I don’t know about the rest of you, but my bracket was broken on the very first night. Fortunately, I always have my search strings to keep me company during these lonely days.

today,a civil engineering sign a contract to sell a capital for #900,000 and receive payment in 5:  Years, if they’re lucky.

sextube small girl:  18 years, if you’re lucky.

barges to use as temporary housing owners:  My biggest problem with temporary housing is people barging in.

hott pechar holye whod:  This isn’t one of those Shitty Men Stories, is it?

tell my regrandings:  You can’t tell them from the original grand.

suppose you are about to graduate from high school and your generous aunt scharf makes you an offer. she will give you $2000 today or she will give you $2500 in four years when you graduate from college. assume no inflation or taxes:  A lot to assume. And what the hell kind of name is “Scharf,” anyway?

why does my hold light on auto transmision flash on and off:  If I were you, I think I’d hit up Aunt Scharf for a couple of grand.

mark twain dog pearly gates:  What Bill and Miranda Gates were originally going to call their first child.

mazda 626 engine order of valve adjustment:  Do the first one first, the last one last, and all the others in between.

banker ours:  You’ll have to ask during banker hours.

rebecca black person of interest mp3 audio song download song lover and full album for rebecca black:  Your enthusiasm is appreciated, but “Person of Interest” has never been on an album.

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The way they do the things they do

Under no circumstances was I expecting a new single by the Temptations, this being 2018 and all. Yet here it is:

Baritone Otis Williams has been with the group since Day One; tenor Ron Dyson has been on hand since the 1980s; the rest could be called the New Guys. And this live track from early this year makes it clear that not a heck of a lot has changed over the years:

I’m guessing they can go on so long as Williams can, since he owns the rights to the Temptations name. (He’s 76.)

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Way cool, Ferg-face

I am totally up for this:

Melissa Joan Hart, who starred in the hit Nickelodeon series Clarissa Explains It All is reportedly starring in and executive producing a reboot of the popular 90s show. Hart will reprise her role as Clarissa Darling, a teenager who broke down the fourth wall to talk to viewers about adolescent issues like boys and family.

The series ran from 1991 to 1994. Although the premise of the reboot is unknown, Hart will reportedly play the matriarch of the family, according to The Hollywood Reporter, who was first to publish news of the reboot.

Mitchell Kriegman, who created the original series, is in talks to return as both a writer and producer.

This would seem to be something of a reversal of Hart’s previous position, circa 2002: “Shirley Temple taught me one thing. And that was once you finish a career, you move on.”

Now if someone at Nick feels like bringing back You Can’t Do That on Television or, even better, Roundhouse, I am so ready.

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A veritable clinch of death

It was 40-34 after the first quarter, and long-suffering Thunder fans knew what was about to happen: their team would go strangely inert during the second, and the Raptors would pounce. And that’s exactly what happened, with an unexpected twist: OKC got going before halftime and took a 66-64 lead. After that, things got seriously knotted, tied at 116 with five minutes left, and the seesaw kept going. Then the Raptors totally lost their composure, capped off with a couple of technicals and a trip by DeMar DeRozan to DeLockerRoom, after which it was 132-125 OKC, and with eight seconds left, Billy Donovan sent in the reserves to dribble it out and claim the season sweep. Fred Katz of the Transcript summed it up nicely:

Or so it seemed. It didn’t hurt that the Thunder had a 39-31 rebounding lead, a 31-27 edge in assists. But still: 25 lead changes in 48 minutes. And with Kyle Lowry (22 points) on the bench with six fouls and DeRozan (24 points) um, elsewhere, the Thunder ended that game on a 7-0 burst. Weirdly, the bottom of the plus/minus chart was occupied by Serge Ibaka, who was 2-11 for seven points, a -23 for the day, and a technical late in the fourth during the whatever-the-hell it was that happened to the Raptors as time wound down.

Still, this isn’t going to knock the Raptors out of first in the East; they still own a four-game edge over the Celtics, who tonight play at New Orleans before returning home for a Tuesday match with, um, Oklahoma City. Meanwhile out West, the Trail Blazers are on a 12-game winning streak to cement their hold on third, with the Thunder fourth at 43-29. The logjam continues, though: San Antonio, Minnesota and Utah are all 43-30, and the Pelicans are 39-30. This must be what they mean by “down to the wire.”

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It’s going to Katmandu

What is “it”? It’s tons and tons of garbage cluttering up Mount Everest:

A clean-up campaign has begun at Mount Everest, aiming to airlift 100 tonnes of rubbish left behind by tourists and climbers of the world’s highest mountain.

On its first day, 1,200kg (2,600lbs) of waste was flown from Lukla airport to Kathmandu for recycling.

Mountaineers are required to bring back whatever waste they generate on their climb.

But every year, local guides gather hundreds of kilograms of rubbish.

Ye gods! What sort of rubbish is it?

Most of the waste left on the mountain is empty beer bottles and cans, empty food tins, and discarded mountaineering and trekking equipment.

That can include oxygen bottles, which are essential for climbing at the highest altitudes.

One wonders if you see this much crap on K2, on the Chinese/Pakistani border.

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Whatever that may mean

In my secondary-school days, I took one year of French, two years of Spanish, and three years of mostly ecclesiastical Latin. And I swear, I don’t understand women in any of them.

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Making a career of it

The story so far:

2005: YouTube is created.

2006: YouTube is bought by Google.

2007: Sabrina Lentini, nine years old, gets a YouTube channel, and posts a clip of herself singing a song from Annie.

She managed to escape my notice until 2013, by which time she’d released an EP (No Price for Love) and decided to try out for American Idol. She made it to the Top 48 before being culled.

This week, Sabrina’s in Austin for her second SXSW, and it occurs to me that now she’s old enough for Rule 5 consideration. These photos came from her Facebook account this year:

Sabrina Lentini and her guitar

Sabrina Lentini rocks the boots

Sabrina Lentini in the flesh

“Bullseye” was on her second EP (Sabrina Lentini, 2016), and appears here in unplugged fashion:

In her native Orange County, California, she’s doing some sort of show seemingly every week, because hey, that’s what she does.

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Old weird heraldry

Okay, maybe not so old. Peter Grant has the story:

An e-mail from a list of which I’m a member alerted me to the coat of arms of Sir Christopher Frayling, British writer on popular culture, who’s particularly well known for his study of the so-called “spaghetti westerns” of Sergio Leone, and similar movies. That led to an interesting discussion with the College of Arms, as Wikipedia reports: “In 2001, he was awarded a knighthood for “Services to Art and Design Education” and chose as his motto “PERGE SCELUS MIHI DIEM PERFICIAS.”

Just like this:

Coat of arms of Sir Christopher Frayling

Translation of that Latinate stuff: “Proceed, varlet, and let the day be rendered perfect for my benefit.”

Shorter version: “Go ahead, punk. Make my day.”

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That thing will get you in trouble

A brief moment of flow has earned a Newcastle resident 23 years in the Big House:

A rapist who evaded capture for more than 30 years until he urinated in a neighbour’s plant pot — leading to a DNA match — has been jailed.

Eric McKenna, 59, raped two women in separate attacks in the North East in 1983 and 1988.

Police had not linked the assaults until they were called to the neighbour dispute in 2016 and took swabs from McKenna which matched the cold cases.

Once a prick, always a prick.

Oh, and this happened also:

The force apologised to the two women after admitting they did not receive the support they should have when they reported the attacks.

Which hardly seems unique.

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Drones before they were drones

Either way, the operative word is “drones”:

Like an episode out of Black Mirror, Walmart has filed a patent [pdf] for autonomous robotic bees, technically called pollination drones, that could potentially pollinate crops just like real bees.

The drones would carry pollen from one plant to another, using sensors and cameras to detect the locations of the crops.

First spotted by CB Insights, the robot bee patent appears along five other patents for farming drones, including one that would identify pests and another that would monitor crop health.

I wonder what it would be like to have a robotic bee. Or half a bee.

While Walmart’s exact goal for these patents is unclear, they may signal that the company hopes to venture into agriculture and gain more control over its food supply chain.

And if there’s one thing important to major corporations, it’s gaining more control.

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A place beyond the stars

So let me tell you about this ukulele player:

Taimane translates to diamond from Samoan and perfectly reflects the different facets of her nature. Whether delicately finger-picking through Bach or radically ripping through Led Zeppelin, Taimane has the ability to morph genres — from classical to rock to flamenco — and stretch her instrument far beyond the familiar melodies of Hawai’i, where she grew up. When Don Ho caught wind of the talented teen, he invited her to join him as part of his venerable variety show at the Waikiki Beachcomber, further fueling Taimane’s desire to perform for and connect with audiences. In addition to performing her own distinctive versions of well-known pieces, Taimane weaves in original compositions that are as far ranging as her musical tastes. With the fierceness of a rocker, and the grace of a dancer, Taimane and her music are wowing ever-larger audiences. She lights up rooms wherever she goes, sparkling like the diamond that she is.

Don Ho is eleven years gone, suggesting that the “talented teen” is now thirtyish. Not that it matters. Thanks to the kind folks at Playing for Change, Taimane here rips through an original number called “Pluto — King of the Underworld”:

Roger Green was kind enough to send this along, and he added: “Ironically, a bit of this sounds like ‘I’m a Man’.” Steve Winwood’s, not Bo Diddley’s.

Addendum: Taimane turned 29 last month.

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Fueled by mistrust

You always know where radio guy Matt Pinto’s loyalties lie, but I don’t know if I’d go this far:

Then again, when Chris Paul and Blake Griffin were Clippers — but never mind, let’s not go there. And besides, how can you hate a guy named Sindarius Thornwell? Okay, Thornwell is more of a defensive specialist, and what the Clips needed tonight were points from people other than Austin Rivers and Tobias Harris. (I always figure Lou Williams for 40 or so; he had a mere 18 tonight.) And the Thunder rolled up plenty of points on the way to a 121-113 win over the Angelenos and a 3-0 sweep of the season series.

The OKC Big Three were about as big as they needed today, but no bigger. (Yeah, Westbrook got a triple-double: 16-10-11.) Tonight, it was new guy’s Corey Brewer’s time to shine; CB had a season-high 22 points and no fewer than six steals. And yet Brewer was somehow minus-four for the evening; meanwhile, the new new guys, Terrance Ferguson and Patrick Patterson, racked up plus-twelves. The Clips controlled the boards, though, 48-46, with almost half of them reeled in by DeAndre Jordan. Does this offset Steven Adams’ 18 points, 14 rebounds and five blocks? Maybe we can ask Matt Pinto.

And now things get hairier. Sunday afternoon, it’s off to see the Raptors; Tuesday night, over to Boston. The two of them combined have won over 100 games.

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That sixteenth minute

There are people out there who would kill, or at least maim, to go viral and make a small fortune in a short time. And then there are those who had virality thrust upon them:

“Told you so,” came Warhol’s voice from behind the drapes.

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Designated runner

“What we really need,” said the anonymous baseball executive, “is a new rule so absurd, so egregious, that people will forget how much they hate the designated hitter.”

And it starts in the minors, almost before you know it:

All extra innings will begin with a runner on second base. The runner at second base will be the player in the batting order position previous to the leadoff batter of the inning. So, usually, the guy who made the last out in the previous inning or a pinch runner for that guy. If the placed runner scored, it’s considered an unearned run.

The argument for this, as with so many other gratuitous tweaks and subtweaks, is to speed the game along because it’s Just Too Damn Long. I’m not buying it. There are, of course, people who will defend this sort of thing:

[I]t almost ensures that the first action in extra innings will be a sacrifice bunt to get that runner to third, often followed by an intentional walk to set up a double play, and bunts and intentional walks are dumb and unexciting most of the time. That said, it’s not going to come up so often that it’ll upset me so greatly. And heck, maybe we’ll get some fun out of it.

Of course, they’ve already ruined any drama in the intentional walk by reducing it to a mere signal: not one of those pitches even has to be thrown anymore, making it dumber and even less exciting.

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False-ish witness

Eyebrows we have raised on high:

A Vatican office has acknowledged blurring portions of a letter written by Benedict XVI regarding Pope Francis’ philosophical and theological formation, the Associated Press reported Wednesday.

The Secretariat for Communications released the photo March 12 along with a press release announcing a “personal letter of Benedict XVI on his continuity with the pontificate of Pope Francis.”

The AP’s Nicole Winfield wrote March 14 that the Vatican has admitted “that it altered a photo sent to the media of a letter from retired Pope Benedict XVI about Pope Francis. The manipulation changed the meaning of the image in a way that violated photojournalist industry standards.”

Winfield added that “The Vatican admitted Thursday [sic] that it blurred the two final lines of the first page … The Vatican didn’t explain why it blurred the lines other than to say it never intended for the full letter to be released. In fact, the entire second page of the letter is covered in the photo by a stack of books, with just Benedict’s tiny signature showing, to prove its authenticity.”

So what was it the Holy See would rather you not see? Benedict, it seems, had received an eleven-volume set of The Theology of Pope Francis, about which he said some kind words — but:

“I do not feel that I can write a brief and dense theological page about them because for my whole life it has always been clear that I would write and express myself only on books that I had also truly read. Unfortunately, even if only for physical reasons, I am not able to read the eleven little volumes in the near future, all the more so in that I am under other obligations to which I have already agreed. I am sure that you will understand, and I extend to you my cordial greeting.”

In other news, the Vatican has always had a mission in Eastasia.

(Via Tony Woodlief.)

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