Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Corporate email received

In addition, the Bank of America Charitable Foundation has pledged $1 million dollars in support of relief efforts in the wake of Hurricane Sandy …

How nice.

But next time, spend ten bucks on a proofreader.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Deep thought

Yesterday, I watched an SUV pull into a handicapped parking spot. It had a Ron Paul bumper sticker. I wonder if the driver enjoyed the irony as much as I did.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Auto-responding is hard

First bits of an email just in:

Dear Brendan Keefe<(>,<)>

Great news! Your Crucial memory order is packaged and ready to ship

On second inspection, though, that's almost cool enough to think about deploying in the same spirit as those typey things I've heard that the kids use, with their instant AOL messages and such. You know, lalcatz, or something?

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Just in case you're still not convinced

Full link here, if you're leery of those shortened ones.

Does it matter? I mean, he's going to bomb, uh, all of them, anyway.

Still, it's worth noting that our boy Willard is about as good at geography as he is at math.

The really weird part is, he keeps saying this same thing, despite strenuous efforts by fact-checkers to get him to stop.

In conclusion, if by some chance he should lose this election, I hear there's an opening that he'd be perfect for, in the cartography department at FoxNews.

(pic. source)

This is way cool

Have a look at "Scratching the Surface, Two Picassos Revealed."


Lap dance fail (due to obesity of lap dancer)

Court Upholds the Taxation of Lap Dances


The state’s highest court, the Court of Appeals, ruled on Tuesday that the lap dances performed at Nite Moves [a strip club in Latham, N.Y.] were not “dramatic or musical arts performances,” as Nite Moves had argued. The 4-to-3 decision said that Nite Moves did not qualify for the kind of tax exemption that ballet companies and Broadway producers are allowed to claim.


Save us, Mitt Romney!

Sign outside a strip club: 'Register to vote here/Get a free lap dance'

Diamond Jim’s Isabella Queen strip club … is located in vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan's home town of Janesville, Wis.

(pic. sources: Shipment of Fail | MSN)

Nailed it

Cartoon by Pat Bagley.

(h/t: GF, via email)

Another round of shrugs

Los Angeles Times, 26 April 2011:

EXCLUSIVE: Twelve days after opening "Atlas Shrugged: Part 1," the producer of the Ayn Rand adaptation said Tuesday that he is reconsidering his plans to make Parts 2 and 3 because of scathing reviews and flagging box office returns for the film.

"Critics, you won," said John Aglialoro, the businessman who spent 18 years and more than $20 million of his own money to make, distribute and market "Atlas Shrugged: Part 1," which covers the first third of Rand's dystopian novel. "I’m having deep second thoughts on why I should do Part 2."

Eagle News, 23 October 2012:

After the box office, critical and qualitative failure of “Atlas Shrugged Part 1,” the attempt to put the entirety of Ayn Rand’s novel “Atlas Shrugged” on the big screen looked to be dead. However, through the power of having way too much money to spend, a new cast was gathered and, through hard work, “Atlas Shrugged Part 2” was made even worse than the first.

B-b-but, Part 2 opened in more than three times as many theaters!!!1!

Therefore, we will make some charts, and prove to you how much better ...

Data from Box Office Mojo: part 1 | part 2

Back to Evan Maxwell, our source at Eagle News:

“Atlas Shrugged Part 2” fails in every conceivable way: from the completely hyperbolic nature of the arguments presented in the film, to the amazing lack of acting talent and to the overall lack of interesting events. Given that this movie was made despite the lack of success of “Part 1,” “Atlas Shrugged Part 3” is inevitable, and there is absolutely nothing in this movie to indicate that it will be of any quality whatsoever.

Know hope!


[Added] Follow-up.

Why I wish I went to the home page of Wikipedia more often

Read the full article here, if you like. I don't judge.


Yeah, okay, I read PART of it. Of course I had to click right to the Death section, for example.

Which brought into view the beginning of the References section, whose first entry …

^ a b c d e "The Man Who Has Jonah Beaten". The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Qld). November 16, 1937.

… will appeal to fans of that very serious, thoughtful Leader of Conservative Thought.

Interesting juxtaposition with the start of this post, now that I think about it. Of course, our Jonah's got a bit more work to do on the controlled aspect.

(pic. source: Tintin)


2012-10-24 06:34

Further evidence that it's all connected, or that the vast left-wing conspiracy is even larger than we thought: screenshot of the home page of The Trustworthy Encyclopedia, right at this moment.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Yawn. Another endorsement from the liberal media. Wait, what?

After opening with a couple of glowing paragraphs, this:

[...] In short, this is the Mitt Romney we knew, or thought we knew, as one of us.

Sadly, it is not the only Romney, as his campaign for the White House has made abundantly clear, first in his servile courtship of the tea party in order to win the nomination, and now as the party’s shape-shifting nominee. From his embrace of the party’s radical right wing, to subsequent portrayals of himself as a moderate champion of the middle class, Romney has raised the most frequently asked question of the campaign: "Who is this guy, really, and what in the world does he truly believe?"

The evidence suggests no clear answer, or at least one that would survive Romney’s next speech or sound bite. [...]

If this portrait of a Romney willing to say anything to get elected seems harsh, we need only revisit his branding of 47 percent of Americans as freeloaders who pay no taxes, yet feel victimized and entitled to government assistance. His job, he told a group of wealthy donors, "is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives."

Where, we ask, is the pragmatic, inclusive Romney, the Massachusetts governor who left the state with a model health care plan in place, the Romney who led Utah to Olympic glory? That Romney skedaddled and is nowhere to be found.

And in conclusion:

In considering which candidate to endorse, [the editorial board] had hoped that Romney would exhibit the same talents for organization, pragmatic problem solving and inspired leadership that he displayed here more than a decade ago. Instead, we have watched him morph into a friend of the far right, then tack toward the center with breathtaking aplomb. Through a pair of presidential debates, Romney’s domestic agenda remains bereft of detail and worthy of mistrust.

Therefore, our endorsement must go to the incumbent, a competent leader who, against tough odds, has guided the country through catastrophe and set a course that, while rocky, is pointing toward a brighter day. The president has earned a second term. Romney, in whatever guise, does not deserve a first.

And by "[the editorial board]," we mean "The Salt Lake Tribune editorial board."

(h/t: Snopes reader KK, via email)

You must remember this

Just happened across something from last month, which, sadly, has not faded with time:

If you happen to be a Republican campaign operative and/or a Fox News Channel chat host, that unexpectedly joyful Convention in Charlotte the other week made for glum viewing. One of the few points of light on the right was the discovery, just as the festivities were getting under way, that the Democrats had drafted a platform that—like George Washington’s farewell address, Abraham Lincoln’s “House Divided” speech, and the Constitution of the United States—does not mention God by name. Hallelujah!

According to Media Matters, Fox News managed to alert its viewers to this deplorable development twenty-two times within the first sixteen hours after the Convention’s opening session. [...]


... by the time the Democrats were streaming out of Charlotte the Fox folks had mentioned the aforementioned non-mention eighty-four times.

In case you still think your vote doesn't matter, I mean.

Okay, fine, whatever. But are they free-range?

Just before our vegan feeding frenzy

Never mind the grocery shopping. My raking was especially cruel.

Monday, October 22, 2012

FAQ of the Day

This made me laugh:

The whole site is worth a look, if you're interested in typography and/or elegantly designed websites. Just the FAQ page alone is an inspiration.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

We have a whole category for this aspect of the GOP's love for democracy ...

... and not a day goes by without another huge piece of evidence coming to light.

Good thing I've sworn off following politics this year, is all I can say.

Who knew the Democrats could explain something so succinctly?

You must go click the red button.

I like the logo, too.

(h/t: Opinions You Should Have)

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Uh, maybe

The NYT reports:

Microsoft instituted a policy on Friday that gives the company broad leeway over how it gathers and uses personal information from consumers of its free, Web-based products like e-mail, search and instant messaging.

Almost no one noticed, however, even though Microsoft’s policy changes are much the same as those that Google made to its privacy rules this year.

In the teaser on the front page, they say:

The difference in reactions to policies at Google and at Microsoft illustrates confusion around Internet privacy.

MY guess is that the absence of uproar is explained by this: no one uses Microsoft email, search, and instant messaging.

Okay, not "no one," literally. But pretty much no one who is nerd enough (a)  to stay abreast of such things as companies' changes to their data collection and retention policies and (b) have a platform to gripe about these things.

(pic. source: KYM, uploader: Oclaf)

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Stuck behind a truck from Galt's Gulp

I am not actually a supporter of Mayor Bloomberg's edict. But I gotta say, the Protests™ are starting to get more annoying than the rule.

Or, put another way ...

(pic. source: Brain Rage)

Fashionably late

This bloomed yesterday, from out of nowhere:

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

An unfortunate turn of phrase

Could be because I'm a few years older than Michael Roston, but at least once upon a time, this would have been beyond the pale for the Gray Lady:

But according to data released by Twitter’s @gov team, users spent more of the debate on Tuesday sitting on their thumbs.

N.B. Not scolding. Just observing.

When machines read my Gmail ...

There must be something in the world I care less about than who unfriended me on Facebook, but hanged if I can come up with it.

Now, as to which bastards unfollowed me on Twitter . . .


And suppressing free speech isn't?


Nerd porn encore

If you liked Saturday's pix, you might also like Bryan Chan's "Time-lapse video: Space shuttle Endeavour’s trek across L.A."

It's a bit less than three minutes long.

(h/t: Ars Editor's Picks)

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Oh, snap

I guess the baseball writers of the NYT have no qualms about stating an obvious truth. Unlike some other sections I can think of.

From the annals of the American Taliban

Apparently, there is this thing, started by the Southern Poverty Law Center, called Mix It Up At Lunch Day, in which "schoolchildren around the country are encouraged to hang out with someone they normally might not speak to."

Which, I have to say, sounds like one of the better ideas I've heard in a while, and not just because it's a principle I have been pitching to young people ever since I got old enough to discover it for myself.

But how does the "American" "Family" "Association" feel about it? Oh yeah. It's all about Teh Ghey:

Here is a link to the above page, if you would like to wallow in hate for some reason.

Here is a picture from, from the link at the top of the page, to cleanse your mind.

And just because I can't let you go feeling all better, here is a link to the NYT's story about this. It is a masterpiece from the Shape of Earth: Views Differ* crowd.


Monday, October 15, 2012

Meet Akin and Broun's boss

To the right of W, in more ways than one Ralph Hall with some other Texas Republican

A GOP assEight days ago, we met Paul Broun (R-Obvs). And wasn't that a treat!

Here's a related note.

Aside from their political affiliations, what do Akin and Broun have in common? Membership on the House's Committee on Science, Space, and Technology. And they're in good company there. Take the Committee's chair, Texas' Ralph Hall. When asked about the evidence that humans were altering the climate, Hall replied, "I don't think we can control what God controls." When it was pointed out to him that the National Academies of Science disagreed with his position, Hall basically accused them of being in it for the money. "They each get $5,000 for every report like that they give out."

His evidence? "That's just my guess. I don't have any proof of that."

It's a hell of a thing to have science policy for the Greatest Nation On Earth™ being decided by a bunch of clowns in thrall to religious wingnuts and the oil industry, isn't it?

(pic. sources: Republican ass | Republican asses)

"Pyongyang ... deals with fewer electricity shortages than other parts of the country."

So says the caption.

My first reaction: the other parts of North Korea have electricity?


[Added] Probably you remember seeing a picture like this:

(pic. source)

Sunday, October 14, 2012

I got 8 out of 10, and I don't even own a smart phone!

I would have gone 10 for 10, but I misclicked one, and I was too lazy to do the mental arithmetic on another. </alibi-ike>

quiz | article

Celebrity stalking sighting!

Image: enhance . . . . . .

Hey, wait. It didn't work like this on CSI.

Oh, well.

Anyway, what's HE doing in a New York airport, hmmm?

(little help?)

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Portmanteau alert

Old FAB detergent ad

From an Ars article, "Android users: These may be Droids you’re looking for," down in the section covering the Samsung Galaxy Note II:

Is it a phone, or is it a tablet? Or is it a phablet?

I say, let's wait until the Galaxy Note IV, probably due to excessive childhood exposure to the Beatles.

(pic. source)


Strictly speaking, I suppose Mr. Carroll would have had me say portmanteau word. (via)

Your Saturday nerd porn: My SUV kicks your SUV's ass

The NYT has a slide show called "Endeavour Arrives in Los Angeles," featuring shots of the shuttle in the air, riding a 747 in Los Angeles and San Francisco. The accompanying article sent me in search of a larger version of the image above, which you can click, to see the success.

I ended up at the PJStar's photo blog, The Eye, which has a big bunch of fun shots of the shuttle on the ground and a bunch more of it in the air.1

Yes, yes. The Shuttle program had its flaws. But I still get a thrill from looking at, you know, actual spaceships.


1. Answering, to my mind at least, the age-old question.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Slideshow excitement!

No, really. I was impressed and pleased. Here's a (slightly edited) CC of an email I just sent off to InfoQ, a site I just learned about. I'm posting it here just in case any of you also like to watch video presentations online. (And also to show that it is possible to write just three times in one and a half sentences.)

I just finished watching Steve Vinoski's talk, "Innovation: What Every Developer Absolutely Needs to Know." I have never watched a talk on InfoQ before, so maybe I'm about to mention something you've had in place for years. If so, I apologize.

In any case, I really enjoyed the way the slides automatically advanced with the progress of the video. It made for a significantly better viewing experience than watching a video and trying to deal with the slides myself, whether in-browser or as a separate download. Thanks and kudos to whoever came up with the concept and implemented it so smoothly.

Brendan Keefe

P.S. If you're wondering about the utm_source in the subject line, that refers to an email newsletter I get, called Status Code. Here's the web version of the email.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Maybe they're allowed to write headlines like that

Being the Pew Research Center and all.

“Nones” on the Rise

The number of Americans who do not identify with any religion continues to grow at a rapid pace. One-fifth of the U.S. public – and a third of adults under 30 – are religiously unaffiliated today, the highest percentages ever in Pew Research Center polling.

In the last five years alone, the unaffiliated have increased from just over 15% to just under 20% of all U.S. adults. Their ranks now include more than 13 million self-described atheists and agnostics (nearly 6% of the U.S. public), as well as nearly 33 million people who say they have no particular religious affiliation (14%).

But let's not make it a habit.

Screenshot from 'Fuzz' (1972) of Burt Reynolds dressed as a nun grabbing some punk by the lapelsabove: caught by the smoking nun

h/t: NYT | The Norse Mythology Blog

image credits: Anita Kunz, "Girls Will Be Girls," via The New Yorker | "Fuzz," via DelStrange

joke credit: Australiana

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Oh deer

Sunday, October 07, 2012

"Paul Broun, who is running for re-election as Georgia representative this November unopposed by Democrats ..."

Oh, also, you will be glad to know that Rep. Paul Broun, like Rep. Todd Akin, is a member of the the House Science Committee.

More details from the Guardian and Wonkette, the latter of which is especially worth checking out, since a longer clip from this speech has somehow vanished from YouTube.

Still think elections don't matter?

Worst ALT text ever

Especially in an email.

(pic. source: Zazuu)

Friday, October 05, 2012

Deep thought

Shouldn't denuded mean clothes put back on?

Thursday, October 04, 2012

I'm so sorry to steal your closing paragraph, Erik Loomis, ...

... but I just can't help myself.

Think of it as Bloggy Jeopardy. What several paragraphs could have led to this?

….Also, while we lack concrete evidence that Glenn Reynolds bought the wine for this UT Young Republican night of pranks, it would be irresponsible not to note that we also can’t rule it out.

This guy, if you didn't already know.

Glenn Reynolds and his phallic replacement
the ur-Butt Chugger?

(h/t: Substance McGravitas | pic. source)

"That's the power of Wendy's" ...

Kill me now.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Now that's baseball trivia!

In a good way, I mean.

Ken Singleton just pointed out Hiroki Kuroda's uniform number and said that since the 1990s, it has been a tradition in Japanese baseball for the team's best pitcher to wear #18.

(pic. source: Pinstriped Bible)

Blogger coolness: specialized feeds

Did you know that you can subscribe to a subset of posts on your favorite Blogger blog? Here are three examples to illustrate.

Just posts tagged "science:"

Just posts tagged "cool:"

Just posts tagged both "cool" and "science:"

If you click those links, you'll see a rather spartan representation of the posts corresponding to those tags. (Or "labels," as Blogger insists on calling them.) If you want to subscribe to one of them, right-click the link and choose Copy Link Location, or whatever the exact wording is for your non-Firefox browser.* (screenshot)

What's that you say? THIS IS NOT YOUR FAVORITE BLOG? Sigh. Okay.

But seriously, you can follow the examples above to zero in on any Blogger blog. For example, if you want to be sure you never miss Mr. Riley's commentary on Mitch Daniels, grab this link.

That should all be on one line, if you're not seeing the fancy horizontal scroll bar. Also, don't be put off by the repeated appearance of %20. That's just what you get when a URL has spaces in it.

You can play around to get the feeds you want just by typing into the address bar of your browser. The URLs are all going to start with, and then you add on the tag or tags you want to narrow in on.

Thanks, David Kutcher!


If you really want to geek out, you can use a little jQuery to rearrange feeds, such as those above, in all sorts of amazing ways.

And more generally, if you have a Blogger blog and want to get into some serious fiddling, have a look around Blogger Xpertise, which showed me the above. That is a cool site.

* Terminology equivalents:
      Firefox: Copy Link Location
      Safari: Copy Link
      Chrome: Copy Link Address
      Opera: Copy Link Address
      SeaMonkey: Copy Link Location
      Maxthon: Copy Shortcut
      Internet Explorer: Copy Shortcut

This picture intentionally posted upside down

Can you guess what it is?

No, not the sad result of a child whose parents were too stern about nail-biting, although that's not a bad guess.

Right-side up version is #10 in a really great slide show of skeletons and skulls, which accompanies a short article, "Skulls Engineered for Hard Knocks."

Apart from the above, my faves were the Argentine horned frog (#2), which has none that I can see, and the Chinese water deer (#6), which … wait, what? Tusks?

Yep. And you thought Lyme disease was their biggest threat. Canadians will tell you different!

[Update 2013-09-12 10:37] See also.

Hear, hear

Most read AND most shared:

You will be unsurprised to learn this about Farhad Manjoo's editor:

I asked [him] if he’s willing to consider making the single-page view the default on Slate. He said: “We should certainly consider making single-page views our default for articles below, say, 1200 words. That’s probably a good idea. I suspect it makes sense to keep paginating long articles.”

Eh, whaddya expect from a guy named Plotz.

(h/t: Smashing Magazine)

See? I told you WAR is useless.

Or, who knows, maybe the sabermetricians are all on strike.

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Elizabeth Warren, via Rebecca Schoenkopf

Here Is Your Gif Of Elizabeth Warren Trying And Failing Not To Laugh At Scott Brown

See text above

(bigger here (also, context))

Drug Culture

Oliver Sachs has taken twenty tabs of Artane. We join his story, already in progress . . .

I went back into the house and put on the kettle for another cup of tea, when my attention was caught by a spider on the kitchen wall. As I drew nearer to look at it, the spider called out, "Hello!" It did not seem at all strange to me that a spider should say hello (any more than it seemed strange to Alice when the White Rabbit spoke). I said, "Hello, yourself," and with this we started a conversation, mostly on rather technical matters of analytic philosophy. Perhaps this direction was suggested by the spider's opening comment: did I think that Bertrand Russell had exploded Frege's paradox? Or perhaps it was its voice—pointed, incisive, and just like Russell's voice, which I had heard on the radio. (Decades later, I mentioned the spider's Russellian tendencies to my friend Tom Eisner, an entomologist; he nodded sagely and said, "Yes, I know the species.")

Wonder if he ever partied with E. B. White.


[ + ]

Bumper sticker of the Day: 2012-10-02

(h/t: LO, via TC, via email)(previously)

Monday, October 01, 2012

Happy Easter!

Go to Google and type in this:

do a barrel roll

(h/t: Kevin Boudloche)

"Thankfully for the country ... his collectivist dreams were never realized."

Once upon a time there was a radical president who tried to remake American society through government action. In his first term he created a vast network of federal grants to state and local governments for social programs that cost billions. He set up an imposing agency to regulate air and water emissions, and another to regulate workers’ health and safety. Had Congress not stood in his way he would have gone much further. He tried to establish a guaranteed minimum income for all working families and, to top it off, proposed a national health plan that would have provided government insurance for low-income families, required employers to cover all their workers and set standards for private insurance. Thankfully for the country, his second term was cut short and his collectivist dreams were never realized.

His name was Richard Nixon.
    -- Mark Lilla

I know wingnuts will take it the completely wrong way ...

... but the choice of adjective in this NYT headline, about Willard's decline in the polls, speaks volumes:

Tired Cries of Bias Don’t Help Romney

It's worth reading the whole thing, although approximately zero of the people who most could benefit from it won't. In any case, I can't resist passing along this gem from near the end:

A senior adviser, meanwhile, said the Romney campaign now has a “no-whining rule” about news coverage. (Mr. Ryan apparently missed the memo.)

(pic. sources: Boston Sports Then And Now, American Method)

Giving directions is hard!

Probably a good thing the In sign is ready for replacement.

Click to enlarge, if you haven't already. And no, that wasn't me who tried to claw it off the door.

First time I've ever approved of the use of quote marks for emphasis

Latest piece of spam had this subject line:

"Must read" for Brendan Keefe: