2011.09 minutiae

  • Lately I've noticed a number of girls wearing largely backless tops but wearing standard bras nevertheless. What's up with that?

  • fox23news.com: The grizzly aftermath of an apparent murder-suicide went unnoticed for hours. So, the victims were eaten by bears?

  • I was in Grand Junction, Colorado, the first time I encountered one of these:

    It turns out that I didn't need to go that far — there's another one right near my house, at the corner of San Pablo and Solano. Which is the corner where I have to cross in order to go to the Albany farmers' market on Wednesdays, which is therefore where I was standing when this 13-year-old boy with a diaphanous mustache decided to push the button over and over: "Wait! Wait! Wait! Wait! Wait!" I'm not the sort of person who tends to talk to people in public, but in this case I felt compelled to put on my fake-helpful voice and point out to him that it doesn't actually say anything else. (Because, you know, maybe he thought it would eventually say, "Okay, I give up, go ahead and go if you're so hepped up about it.")

  • Elizabeth goes to Starbucks a lot and happened across this on its website — it's a post about caramel Frappuccinos by someone billed as Lindsay S.:

    Some people who have tried it are saying it's "the best Frappuccino® blended beverage we've ever had at Starbucks."

    Who is she quoting? If that really is a quote and someone actually said "Frappuccino blended beverage" — even without the ® — isn't that a pretty good sign that it's time to send in a team of deprogrammers?

  • The implied backstory behind the addendum here is kind of depressing:

  • A pop-up in my Dark Age article called Astro City's endless references to non-existent stories "just so much static." Which raises the question, do young people today even know what static is? If so, when do they encounter it?

  • Learn the alphabet the Puritan way! Here's a sample!

    Now I want to see an episode of Sesame Street that ends, "This episode has been brought to you by the letter T, the letter X, and the rapid approach of irrevocable, eternal death."

  • I may have mentioned that... yeesh, almost 20 years ago now... I had to go to traffic school, and the teacher made a point that I think sums up a lot of human experience. He asked people what their traffic-related pet peeves were, and then he listed two of his own: "One, I hate it when pedestrians dawdle in the crosswalk. And two, I hate it when drivers rush me while I'm trying to cross the street!"

    The reason I mention this is that, when I'm busy, I sometimes let my email pile up for days on end and hate getting pestering "did you get my email?" followups... but, man, I hate it when I send an email and don't get a reply within, like, half an hour.

  • Similarly, I hate it when people miss the intent of a post or comment that is clearly satirical... but I really hate it when someone says, "But my post was clearly satirical!" when in fact it was not clear at all.

  • This month's sign that I am old: I've been re-ripping my CDs at 320 kpbs, now that disk space is no longer at a premium, and I noticed that one of them said "MADE IN WEST GERMANY."

  • I wondered what ever came of that lawsuit against the Lower Merion School District, which issued laptops to students and then took and archived thousands of photos of those students in their bedrooms using the laptop webcams. It turned out that the case ended with a $610,000 settlement: $185,000 for the students who were spied on, $425,000 for their lawyer.

  • In Reno this month a plane crashed into the crowd at an air show; the death toll was in the double digits. Youtube was classy enough to precede the Associated Press report on this with a commercial featuring that "Mayhem" guy.

  • Joseph Brannigan Lynch in a Yahoo article describes Frances Cobain as "eerily evoking both of her famous parents simultaneously." Child looks like parents. Eerie! Fuckin' magnets, how do they work.

  • msnbc.com cautions readers to avoid satellite wreckage because "sharp edges could be dangerous." This is good advice! I know that when giant pieces of space hardware are plummeting toward me, I sure hope they aren't pointy.

  • Apparently there have been complaints about what one headline called "DC Comics' sexed-up reboot of Starfire." But... I read Teen Titans for a while back in the '80s. Starfire was always openly sexual and drawn by George Perez as hubba-hubba eye candy. This new Starfire doesn't seem any more "sexed-up" than the original. The Starfire in the cartoon was sexed-down.

  • I read on TPM that some teabaggers were trying to kill the dollar bill in order to force people to use the highly unpopular dollar coin. This prompted a split reaction in the comments, with half saying, "Yet another stupid teabagger idea" and the other half saying, "Actually, even a stopped clock is right twice a day..." Then came the usual proposals to kill the penny and round prices to the nearest five cents. But... if you're going to do that, why not just drop a decimal place altogether? Instead of things being, e.g., $24.99 or $24.95, they would be $24.9 or, dare I dream, $25. Why do we need more than a dime's worth of precision? The one exception I can think of is gasoline, which is generally sold in larger quantities than those in which it is priced, but note that gas is currently sold at three decimal places, e.g., $3.799/gallon, so knocking off a digit still gives gas stations a cent's worth of flexibility.

  • Of 45 ESPN baseball analysts, the number who predicted that a team other than the Red Sox would win the AL East: zero. Doesn't it seem like a lot of the problems in the world today can be explained by the notion that, whether we're talking about corporate media empires like ESPN or any other element of the power structure — financial institutions, governments — of the people permitted to have a voice, not one out of 45 will depart from the incorrect conventional wisdom? That a mere 97.8% thinking inside the same box is actually not enough groupthink for these entities?

  • Happened across a comment (not directed at me) that jumped out at me as the perfect distillation of the so-called "bottom half of the Internet": that movie is a piece of shit but your reason for disliking it is retarded just like everything you think

  • Thanks to all those who suggested books for my reading list! I think I now have enough to last me through the end of the '10s.

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