Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Regifting. Or recycling. Or something.

Consecutive emails in today's Inbox:

Tuesday, August 09, 2016

#BlackVotesMatter. Or do they?

We're well into the 21st century. I cannot believe this shit is still happening.

On Friday, a headline on in Alabama blared: “Poll shows Clinton leading in Georgia: Is Alabama next?” It’s a question worth pondering in a state where 27 percent of the registered voters are black, according to a January Pew Research Center report. But it should be noted that Alabama is doing its very best to disenfranchise as many of those voters as possible.

As John Archibald pointed out on in the fall: “Take a look at the 10 Alabama counties with the highest percentage of nonwhite registered voters.” He pointed out that the state “opted to close driver license bureaus in eight of them.” As he put it: “Closed. In a state in which driver licenses or special photo IDs are a requirement for voting.” Furthermore, “Every single county in which blacks make up more than 75 percent of registered voters will see their driver license office closed. Every one.”

Welcome to the South, folks. And thank you very much, Chief Justice John Roberts, for your opinion in the disastrous Shelby County vs. Holder case. How did you put it: In the South, “Things have changed dramatically.” Yeah, right.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Your bot needs a dope slap, @nytimes


For what seems like forever, the NY Times has had the annoying habit of hyperlinking various words in their (online) articles. These hyperlinks point to something like "[blah blah]." They evidently are added by some sort of automated process, the development of which appears to have been defunded sometime during the previous Clinton Administration. They are useful ... let's be generous and say ... one out of a hundred times.

Sometimes they are worth it for the comedy, though.

Always bee hovering.

Original article here.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Deep thought

If you think half an inch doesn't make a difference, try going down a familiar set of stairs wearing only one shoe.

Prepositional Pet Peeve

Ngram only returns book results, and only through 2008. If the corpus was all published material through 2016, I bet the red line would cross the blue line.

Yes, yes, living language and all that. But enamored with grates almost as much as singular they.

P.S. Enamored by? No. Not budging on this. That's just wrong.

Friday, April 15, 2016

If you're running Windows, you should uninstall Quicktime now

Apple is no longer updating Quicktime for Windows, and at least two security vulnerabilities are known to exist in the latest version. These will not be fixed.

Removing Quicktime is straightforward.

This does not apply to Quicktime on the Mac.

If you still have .MOV files on your system, you can view them using other programs. I've been using Irfanview for years, and I'm perfectly happy with it. Apparently, Windows Media Player will play .MOV files, too.

[Added] Unknown points out, in Comments, that VLC is also quite capable.

Saturday, April 02, 2016

Deep Thought

When you find something ancient and obscure on the first shot, do you think:

  1. Wow, Google is amazing.
  2. Wow, I'm really good at constructing search queries.

Come on. Be honest.

Yesterday, in history

Nineteen years and several hours ago:

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Sad plutocrats are sad

This country does not believe in rule by strongmen or cult personality figures.

Which sounds good, until you learn that this was said by Randy Kendrick, "a leading Koch donor," who is "'extremely disappointed about the Koch network being off the playing field'," concerning the looming nomination of Donald Trump.

And it still almost sounds good, until we remember that what the Kochs and cronies do in fact prefer rule by strongmen -- themselves. Sure, they don't like "cult personality figures." When they're buying, they prefer toadies.

On a related note, a recent piece by the great Jane Mayer bears a read. It's about the Koch brothers' attempts at rebranding themselves. (My runner-up choice for the title was Compassionate Conservatism II.) It would be comical if it weren't so horrifying.

Saturday, February 06, 2016

Bleg: The Stereotypical American ... ?

Get a brain, morans!

I've been asked to give some suggestions for an academic project, and I thought I'd ask you to help brainstorm, especially if you were born in another country, or lived for a while in another country, or are closely connected to people meeting either of those two criteria. The question is this: what are some of the characteristics that people outside of the United States believe the stereotypical American possesses? (Apart from thinking only people who live in the US are called Americans, I mean.)

You can respond in the comments below, or via email, Facebook, Twitter, text message, etc. Your name will not be passed along, nor will any offense be taken. (Since I already know I live in the greatest country in the world! ;))

Thanks in advance.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Deep thought

Snow underfoot:

crunch + squeak
--------------- = creak

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Yawn. And cackles.

So, one of the two least classiest people in the country is endorsing the other. #shockedshocked

I did enjoy this bit of damning with faint praise, though:

“Over the years Palin has actually cultivated a number of relationships in Iowa,” said Craig Robinson, the former political director of the Republican Party of Iowa and publisher of the website The Iowa Republican. “There are the Tea Party activists who still think she’s great and a breath of fresh air, but she also did a good job of courting Republican donors in the state,” he added.

"Has actually."

"Who still."


And when it comes to slimeweasels wielding shivs?

“Palin’s brand among evangelicals is as gold as the faucets in Trump Tower,” said Ralph Reed ...

Eh, who knows. Maybe that was meant as a sincere compliment.

To the extent that we can say "sincere" with a straight face when discussing this bunch, I mean.

So glad I'm not paying attention to politics anymore.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Deep thought

Am I old because I learned a rock music fact only by reading the New York Times, or young because all of my life, until yesterday, I thought Nirvana wrote this?

Which reminds me. I read somewhere -- sorry, I forget where -- a new version of an old favorite: You know you're old when your kid says to you, "Dad, did you know Dave Grohl was in a band before Foo Fighters?"