Strange search-engine queries (562)

Strangely light this morning for some reason. But no matter: it doesn’t take a whole lot of illumination to go through the week’s search strings.

wile e. coyote breakaway mug:  I suggest that pretty much everything Wile E. Coyote is breakaway in some fashion or other.

what is french moss:  One of the varieties that will not collect on a rolling stone.

sarah has just received her driver’s license and is now ready to drive to school. although she’s never driven to her school before, sarah knows the way. the fact that sarah can drive herself to school suggests that:  She wasn’t sleeping on the bus all those years.

lara croft x male reader lemon:  Wouldn’t ship it. Lara has no patience for such.

which best describes the “man” thoreau refers to in the excerpt? he expects others to attend to his needs when he wakes up. he is under constant protection by soldiers. he naps often and is always sleepy. he must have the most up-to-date news at all times:  And tomorrow, said “man” may well be replaced by a woman.

gop scrambles to salvage election after donald trump’s latest imbroglio:  Yeah, good luck with that.

dimeking pesticide rainbow:  Opened for Bad Brains during a brief 2014 tour.

my shadow weighs 42 pounds:  And when you get your shoes shined, you have to take their word, right?

steely dan torture device:  Side Two of Katy Lied.

dundant:  Doesn’t count until it’s dundant twice.

during the two hours before their 7:30 p.m. appointments on wednesday evenings, the operations team had a weekly gripe session during which everyone gleefully unloaded on the powers that controlled their miserable lives. this session was valuable since it:  Was over in two hours, unlike every other corporate meeting.

renee ross sweater expander:  Probably comes in pairs, just like everyone else’s.

how can sports marketers cater to their female fan base without resorting to stereotypes and overgeneralizations?  But take away stereotypes and overgeneralization, and what’s left of sports marketing?

100000 leagues under my nutsack:  Sports marketing at its finest.

Comments (1)




And the earth tries to swallow once more

Five point three.

If that magnitude holds up, it will be the fourth largest earthquake in state history.

That in itself is sort of newsy, but this is worse. Adam Wilmoth reports energy stuff for the Oklahoman:

I mean, we’re talking pipelines in every direction except straight up.

The sensation was weird: I heard what I thought was wind over the back fence, and the rumble moved forward, clearing the house in about 35 seconds. No damage here that I can tell, but then I’m pretty far away.

Update, 8:40 pm: Downgraded to 5.0. Now #5 on the all-time list.

Comments (4)




Lackluster video

[Note: This originally appeared on 11 January 2006 and was subsequently deleted; I’m bringing it back here.]

I haven’t set foot in a Cropduster Blockbuster Video store in about a decade, and apparently I haven’t missed much:

Blockbuster has always charged as much as it imagines the traffic can bear. Its late fees were brutally high, and it raised the price of rentals substantially when it removed the fees. Did it think we wouldn’t notice?

Blockbuster employees hereabouts are teenagers who don’t give a damn. There is no avenue whatever for customer feedback to get to anybody who cares. If, in fact, there IS anybody who cares.

Worst of all, Blockbuster drove out the independent video stores in our area — stores which had knowledgeable and entertaining movie buffs behind the counter and which carried lots of old movies, foreign movies, documentaries, and other things I actually wanted to see.

Blockbuster has instead arrogantly stocked its stores with hundreds of copies of the most idiotic current releases, ignoring “long tail” customers altogether. It followed the old Henry Ford business model: “You can paint it any color, so long as it’s black.”

I made my first forays into home video in 1981, buying a Beta VCR and a CED videodisc player; I followed with a LaserDisc player in 1982. I split my business between Buttons, a video cousin to the Sound Warehouse chain, which was quick to get hardware goodies, and Kaleidoscope Video, a local store with two locations and enormous quantities of nonhits on tape.

But that was then. Now I rent nothing; if I want to see it badly enough, I’ll actually catch it in a theater, or if it doesn’t play here — too common an occurrence, alas — I’ll figure out some way to get the DVD. (And I’m not above writing to the producer if I have to.)

And should I have actual time for rentals at some point, I’ll probably sign up for something like Netflix. Less hassle, better selection.

Update: And now I’m signed for Amazon Prime, but I don’t think I’ve watched a single video from them. No actual time, perhaps.

Comments (9)




Metered out

Morgan Freeberg left this notion hanging around:

The metric system is all about preening. “Ooh, look at me!! I designed a starship, and to show how advanced it is I’m measuring the hull length in METERS!!” Silly. The meter is just as arbitrary as the yard, which is rumored to have been the distance between King Henry I (Beauclerc)’s nose to his thumb with his arm extended. The meter is 1/10,000th the distance between the equator and the North Pole. So it divides by ten, big whoop, it’s still arbitrary.

How you going to cut a 1m board into three equal pieces? Metric is for multiplying, imperial is for dividing. When you’re REALLY building something, it’s much more commonplace you need to divide. Metric system sucks.

The meter has since been redefined — it’s now based on the speed of light, which is probably less changeable than the size of the planet — but it’s still kinda clunky: how far that light travels in 1/299792458 second. (Especially when you consider the definition of a second: the duration of 9192631770 periods of the radiation corresponding to the transition between the two hyperfine levels of the ground state of the cesium-133 atom.) By comparison, King Henry’s arm seems almost, um, real.

Comments (3)




Perp holder

Today the PIT, tomorrow the Grappler:

Whence this comes:

An Arizona man has spent the last eight years developing a tool that could end police pursuits by ensnaring the rear wheel of a fleeing vehicle. Called the Grappler Police Bumper, the seemingly simple apparatus can be mounted to the front of a police-spec Tahoe or Explorer.

Looking like a giant pool skimmer, the unit consists of extendable, Y-shaped arms holding a heavy-duty nylon net. When the arms are extended and lowered towards the road surface, a pursuing officer drives up behind the suspect’s rear quarter and snags the vehicle’s rear wheel. The cord then wraps around the rear wheel and axle, locking it. The officer’s vehicle remains tethered to the suspect vehicle, so they can floor the accelerator in vain all they want.

There’s a certain rough-hewn charm to it, but eventually it will give way to higher tech:

And in another 8 years the police officer will simply push a button and your car will auto-pilot to a full stop. Don’t bother locking your doors, there’s an override for that.

Okay probably not 8 years but it is going to happen sooner or later.

In this town, where entirely too many perps think they can outrun the cops, I expect to see some successful Grapples.

Comments (5)




The sauce remains special

McDonald’s, constantly tinkering with its menu during this period of uncertain growth, has come up with a Bigger Mac:

The Grand Mac, as its name suggests, is larger than the Big Mac. The Grand Mac will include two patties that together weigh in at one-third of a pound before cooking, two slices of American cheese, special sauce, lettuce, minced onions and pickles, and is served on a larger sesame seed bun. The two patties in the original Big Mac total one-fifth of a pound.

On the other hand, you may not want so much Mac, and here, too, McDonald’s has you covered:

The Mac Jr. has one patty and skips the middle bun. McDonald’s said the single-layer Mac. Jr. has a bigger beef patty, yet is easier to eat on the go.

I have no idea if these will be offered in Paris, and if so, what they might be called.

(Via Fark.)

Comments (2)




They bite when they can

The Timberwolves started this season with such potential, plus Tom Thibodeau to call the shots. Thibs is apparently adept as ever, but both Ricky Rubio and Nikola Peković are hors de combat, which doesn’t help Minnesota. There are bright spots, of course — Zack LaVine has been shooting like the very dickens this season, and Karl-Anthony Towns seems to have “Next Superstar” stenciled on his forehead, but the Wolves were able to stay with the Thunder only for a couple of quarters today. (Why is there a game starting at 5 pm on a Saturday? Trying to build an NBA audience in Europe, I’m told.) OKC, with a six-point lead at halftime, pounded the Wolves to the tune of 31-19 in the third quarter, and the reserves mopped up at the end. LaVine, guarded largely by Victor Oladipo, never got much traction, and Andre Roberson tied up Andrew Wiggins. This left all kinds of opportunities for KAT, who posted a game-high 33 points on 20 shots, but Towns still wound up -19 for the night as the Thunder walloped the visiting Wolves, 112-92.

Five Thundermen showed up in double figures, led by Russell Westbrook with 28, but perhaps more important to the grand scheme of things was the return of Enes Kanter to Offensive Force status with 20 points and 10 rebounds. New arrival Jerami Grant blocked four shots. And taking the long view, there’s Semaj Christon with 10 points and five assists, not a bad showing for the rookie point guard. The Thunder are still terrible from the stripe — 15-24, 63 percent — but the Wolves weren’t that much better (21-28), and they had only two players in double figures: Towns, with that massive 33, and Shabazz Muhammad, who was 6-9 off the bench for 15 points.

So it’s the Spurs and the Thunder at 5-1, six games in. Probably too early to predict anything. Still, OKC’s next four games are at home, starting with the Miami Heat on Monday, and there’s a lot to be said for the comforting confines of the ‘Peake.

Comments




Is we edumacated good?

A letter to the Oklahoman starts off reasonably and then shoots itself in the foot at the end:

Remember House Bill 1017? Wagering on horse racing? Liquor by the drink? Lottery? All these things were supposed to provide more money for the schools. In addition, 78 percent of our property tax goes to the schools. Irresponsible spending needs to be reined in. Those in power continue to resist school consolidation. Anyone who lives on a budget could tell them that if superintendents were reduced to one per county (with an assistant in the larger counties), there would be money to pay teachers a raise without having to tax the people again. I ask, respectfully and without malice, why classroom teachers are so quiet on the subject when the solutions seem so obvious?

Perhaps they figure that consolidating a dozen school districts into one will cost more than just administrative jobs.

Then the argument goes off the rails:

Here in Krebs-McAlester, we are taxed at 10 percent. The raise would put us at 11 percent. For every $100 we have to spend for groceries, it will cost us an additional $11. There are many who are finding it difficult already. There must be another path to helping the classroom teachers without causing more hardship to low-income people.

Sales tax in Krebs is indeed 10 percent: 4.5 state, 4.0 city, 1.5 Pittsburg County. The tax on $100 worth of groceries is therefore $10. Increasing the tax rate to 11 percent will mean that the tax on $100 worth of groceries will be, um, $11. This is an additional dollar, not “an additional $11.”

If this is the prevailing arithmetic out there, no wonder many are finding it difficult.

Comments (2)




Blinded by the lights

Sunrise has been around 7:50 of late, meaning I get to drive to the shop in the dark. (This changes — briefly — starting next week.) I’d guesstimate that at least 10 percent of oncoming drivers have no idea how to work the dimmer switch.

The Chinese, you may be sure, would not put up with this sort of thing:

Police in southern China are punishing drivers who dazzle other road users with full-beam headlights by making them stare into the lights for a minute, it’s reported.

Shenzhen Traffic Police posted photos of the campaign in action on their official Weibo account. “Tonight we are carrying out punishments using a high beam,” the post reads. It’s racked up 87,000 likes and been shared 93,000 times. The photos show people sitting directly in front of a car with its headlights on.

Official media say drivers are fined 300 yuan ($44; £36) and made to spend 60 seconds in front of the beam. But some news websites have suggested that the headlight element is optional, although it’s unclear why people would choose it on top of paying a fine.

This is not the only nonstandard punishment employed by Shenzhen:

Last year, they made jaywalkers choose between paying a fine or wearing a green hat and vest while directing traffic.

(Via Fark.)

Comments (5)




Party at the polls

There are those who argue, not entirely unconvincingly, that Election Day — the big one in November, anyway — should be a Federal holiday.

Not everyone, however, is buying this premise:

[T]oo many people will take the Monday night before as an excuse to party, and I suspect we will see no increase in turnout, and we already have enough Federal holidays where ordinary people have to work but the banks and DMVs are closed, and there’s no mail delivery.

I think the single biggest argument against it is that it’s a Tuesday. Who the hell wants a Tuesday off?

In defense of the idea, it might suggest to this state, where election planning is scattershot at best, that maybe we don’t need seven or eight little elections every damn year.

Comments




Stranded, so to speak

This little guy literally blew into the neighborhood this week:

TubShroom

Of course, I had to check its papers. The production was Kickstarted in late 2015, and they raised about five times the original goal. A single unit was offered to each backer who ponied up $17; the current retail price seems to be $12.99.

(A tip of the hat, hoping it doesn’t blow away, to Tricia Dameron Hines.)

Comments (1)




The song retains the grain

You know, I wouldn’t blame her if she really couldn’t sing it anymore:

But that was good fun, and hey, the mousy little 13-year-old from the “Friday” video turned out Rule 5-worthy and then some. Recent shots of 19-year-old Rebecca Black:

Rebecca Black outside Time Inc. in New York

Rebecca Black's jeans are ripped

Rebecca Black goes all 80s

This latter shot she described as “my mom, circa 1983.”

And I’m not about to try to explain this:

Then again, it’s CVS. Perhaps no explanation is necessary.

Comments (1)




Not really Scandinavian country

This is the current Little Big Town single, written by one Nils Sjoberg:

The next LBT album, The Breaker, is due out on the 24th of February, the same day the group begins a residency at the Ryman Auditorium. Yes, that Ryman Auditorium.

As for Sjoberg, well, when you think Tim McGraw, I hope you think of Nils.

Comments




Sleekly done

Is this the prettiest dog on the planet?

Tea the Afghan Hound

Well, maybe:

Luke Kavanagh always thought his gorgeous Afghan hound Tea was “far too pretty to keep at home”. He reasoned her beauty, those black long locks, should be appreciated. But even he was a bit surprised when Tea’s picture he posted on social media was shared 1 million times … “I guess people were mostly drawn to [the photo] because of her silky coat coupled with that dignified look that Tea has, but that’s just her being her,” Kavanagh told NewsLocal.

After Tea became an Instagram sensation, Kavanagh was approached by a dog food brand Royal Canin who asked if she would be their “spokesdog.” She also booked herself a gig in an ad campaign for Harriot and Hounds dog perfume. “I am seriously blown away by how far this one photo has gone and the subsequent stories on Tea,” Kavanagh told Bored Panda.

“Even our weekend walks draw a crowd. She pretends she doesn’t need the attention, but she definitely loves it, just like any supermodel.” But other than a few jobs here and there, Kavanagh says Tea is already in retirement.

As is seemingly required of show dogs these days, Tea has a rather complicated registered name: Aust Sup Ch Karakush Black Gold Texas Tea.

(Via The Local Malcontent.)

Comments (7)




Taking in boarders

One of the genuine assets held by Sears Holdings is the real estate occupied by many Sears stores. How to get more out of it? Shrink some stores:

Sears Holdings Corp. said its Oak Brook [Illinois] store is among a dozen stores nationwide set to be reduced by half with their auto centers eliminated or changed into just appliance stores by 2018.

The Sears store and its Sears Auto Center in Oakbrook Center, along with 11 others, were sold to the GGP-Seritage Growth Partners Joint Venture last year.

The nature of the shrinkage:

After the footprint is changed, the Sears store will remain on the entire lower level and continue to serve our (customers) by operating in a smaller, more efficient space that will include home appliances, mattresses, household goods, sporting goods, tools and a targeted assortment of apparel.

One of the dozen stores marked for diminution is at the east end of Sooner Fashion Mall in Norman, Oklahoma.

Comments (1)




A fan to the end, and beyond

There’s something different about one of the 168 chairs at the Oklahoma City National Memorial this week:

Chicago Cubs jersey on an OKC Memorial chair

It’s just what you think it is:

The family of a lifelong Cubs fan killed in the Oklahoma City bombing is helping their loved one celebrate the team’s World Series victory.

After the Cubs snapped their 108-year streak to win the 2016 World Series, Sara Sweet adorned her father’s memorial chair with a Cubs’ shirt.

Sweet’s father, Stephen Williams, worked for the Social Security Administration and was killed in the 1995 bombing. Williams was a lifelong Cubs fan and Sweet reports one of her favorite memories of her late father is gathering to watch the Cubs on TV.

I found this gesture moving, though admittedly your mileage may vary.

Comments (5)