This blog covers everything except sports and gardening, unless we find a really good link about using dead professional bowlers for mulch. The author is a StarTribune columnist, has been passing off fiction and hyperbole as insight since 1997, has run his own website since the Jurassic era of AOL, and was online when today’s college sophomores were a year away from being born. So get off his lawn.

Robocalls that cannot be stopped

Posted by: James Lileks under Gripes, Praise, Technology Updated: March 19, 2013 - 12:29 PM

May the people who run robocall companies know what it means to be roasted in the depths of the Slor with the other Shuvs and Zuuls. They’re calling mobile phones, too. No, I’m not going to call them “mobiles” like the Brits, any more than I will say “aluminium." Slashgear says:

 

Robocalls are allowed on most landline numbers if certain rules are met, but they are strictly prohibited to mobile phones unless it’s for emergency purposes or the person receiving the call has given prior permission. The FCC has cited two marketing companies for making millions of robocalls to mobile phones illegally.

There’s still the matter of political calls. For the last two weeks, if I’ve been blogging from home - er, a remote location - I get a call around 11 AM, and caller ID says “Toll Free number.” I know it’s not that blankety-blank Rachel calling about my credit card balance - something designed to give you a little squirt of anxiety, and stay on the line. They’ve stopped for a while. This TOLL FREE number was new, and I looked it up on the databases of phone numbers owned by miserable corporations that couldn’t care less how much you hate them, or how much they confuse old people. Message boards on various sites said the was being used by Mayors Against Illegal Guns.

Yesterday I picked it up. A voice in a noisy call-center (or a chicken coop, hard to say) asked for my wife, and I said she wasn’t here, could I take a message? No, we’ll call back. No, I’ll save you the time, what’s this about. No, that’s okay. We’re on the do-not-call list, so if this is a solicitation, don’t bother. No, this isn’t a solicitation, we’ll call back. No, tell me who you are. This is Mayors Against Illegal Guns, we’ll call back. (click)

You know, I’d expect that Mayors Against Illegal Guns is the default position.

Anyway. The FCC is now set to fine the people who make robots call your mobile phones, so report them if you get them. People say: why not just ignore them? Why get spun up over a phone call? If you’ve ever put down a cranky kid for the nap and the tot finally drifted off after a few whimpers, and whew, time to sit down and have a cup of coffee before it all starts again - then the phone rings, because you forgot to mute it, and WAAAAAA

The idea that someone could be fined $14,000 for that seems fair. Generous, even.

 

ART What happens when you shoot a bullet at a plastic Coke bottle? It leaks, you say. You are right. If you shoot the shooting with a camera that captures 2500 frames per second at high-def, you see something from a John Woo movie - the bottle lifts off the ground, whirls around shooting gouts of soda. It’s from “Stupid & Dangerous,” a Danish TV show that blows things up.

This is a new form of art, meticulously realistic. Fire, water, glass shattering - ancient common things, but until we built the right tools we never saw what actually happened. It makes you google “Is time constant everywhere?” to see if our perception of the universe is based on something other than iron-clad laws. Living in a world where things happened in grand, endlessly-detailed slo-mo would be cool. Or, it would just be reality, because you didn’t know anything different. You knock a glass off the table, you’re resigned to watching it fall for 10 minutes. 

(Via Kottke, whom I have paraphrased just enough to skirt plagiarism accusations. It's not easy; he's notoriously concise.)

 

 

 

ALSO ART A tumblr of Vintage Science Book Covers showed up in my Zite feed, for some reason. It hasn’t posted anything new since January, but there’s enough there to suggest it’s not a flash-in-the-pan someone abandoned out of despair. Why am I doing this? One note? Two likes? We’re glad he put them up, though - even if you don’t care about sci-fi it’s an interesting tour of graphic styles from the 50s to the 80s. For example:

 

Hmm. Sounds familiar. Can’t quite put my finger on it.

The typeface meant SCARY FUTURE THINGS, since it was looks a bit like “Future Shock,” Toffler’s famous book that millions bought and a few actually read. Just as well; like Stephen Hawkin’s “Brief History of Time,” after the fisrt 25 pages it’s nothing but smutty limericks.

The Omega Man font, more or less:

 

Not the poster font, but the one used in the credits. 

 

 

More here.

 

RELATED: Science fiction is all lies, you know. Sheeple.

 

 

If you believe this stupid video, you’re falling for the cover story they put out to cover the cover story. Everything about that operation was suspect. You have one objective: a small port down which you intend to fire torpedoes. How do you approach it? Enter a fortified trench, try not to get shot as you approach the port, then fire your torpedoes perpendicularly. 

As opposed to every fighter heading straight towards the port and shooting every piece of precision-guided munitions they have. Right.

 

ARCHITECTURE One of Frank Lloyd Wright’s four concrete block houses is up for sale.

photo by "Los Angeles," Wikipedia

photo by "Los Angeles," Wikipedia

 

It’s not the one you’ve seen in movies. That’s the Ennis house, which is currently owned by billionaire businessman and Democratic party mover / shaker Ronald Burkle. He also owns Greenacres, the mansion built by Harold Lloyd, the great silent comic who seems to have been the most normal and well-adjusted of the three top 20s clowns.

 

Do you know what Lloyd did after his vogue had passed? Chaplin kept making movies, even though some of his fans wished he wouldn’t. Keaton went into TV commercials. Lloyd shot over 200,000 slides in 3D - including cheesecake, that sly old goat.

As for the Millard House, I think I like it better than the Ennis house, but there's still too much concrete. Most people like a house where you don't have to worry about brushing the corner of a wall and drawing blood.

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