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.

Congressional gridlock leads to more privacy for pandas

Posted by: James Lileks under Gripes, Newspapers, Praise, Technology Updated: October 1, 2013 - 12:29 PM

The PandaCam is part of the non-essential government services, and has gone dark while the nation descends into its Hobbesian nightmare. But there’s a note on the page: “Sponsored by the Ford Motor Company Fund.”

It would be amusing to go back in time, sit down with Henry Ford, and explain how some day his company’s philanthropy would be directed to let people watch pandas on an “electronic window” on their desk. Probably not an outcome he expected when he was tinkering with his first engine. If this goes well, no one in the world will be more than a few simple steps away from glimpsing playful, monochrome ursinity. Anyway, it looks like this now. AKA, the same as it does at night, right?

HIGHWAY FRACAS Here’s the LiveLeak description:

A black Range Rover ran over a group of bikers in New York City during an annual street ride. After running over multiple people at the :50 second mark, he takes off only to run over another person at the 5:00 minute mark.

That’s one way of introducing the video. If that’s all one read, you might conclude it’s a case of Evil SUV vs. bikers out exercising their right to share the road. But! The note adds an update about additional info, which goes to this Daily Mail story: The driver who was chased and beaten up in front of his wife and child by a pack of motorcyclists after trying to run over them in his SUV

This automatically discredits the information in the eyes of some people, since the Daily Fail - ha ha, get it - cannot be trusted any more than Faux News. I’ll grant that the Mail’s piece is borderline illiterate:

Alexian Lien's Range Rover was the man attacked by motorcyclists after he accidentally hit a biker
Lien, 33, then crash through the mob in his vehicle, fearing for the safety of his wife Rosalyn Ng, and their 5-month-old child

But that seems to be what happened. Here’s the Daily News tale, which seems to be different today than it was yesterday:

Wealthy couple attacked by wild pack of motorcyclists after harrowing 4-mile chase on the West Side Highway following fender bender turned hit-and-run — driver fled after running over biker.

What difference does his income make? Are we supposed to feel a little better, knowing that his income did not insulate him from random violence, or that his income level had produced the requisite callousness that enabled him to “flee” after striking another biker? I seem to remember that this was the original tone of the headline yesterday:

A dad out for a Sunday drive on his first wedding anniversary was beaten and slashed by a vicious mob of motorcyclists in upper Manhattan who dragged him from his SUV in front of his wife and 2-year-old child.

Bit different, isn’t it?

As for the cyclists:

The commissioner said police had been monitoring the ride — loosely organized by a group that calls itself Hollywood Stuntz. He said about 1,000 riders caused chaos in Times Square last year when they showed up out of nowhere and disrupted traffic.

Jalopnik has a video of the “Stuntz” in 2011, and asks Did Hollywood Stuntz Attack This Prius Driver in 2011? Marvelous lads.

LIFE IMITATES SIM CITY That’s all I’ll say. Either you’ll get it or you never played the game, which is certainly possible. I bought a bundle yesterday that had Civ V; it marks the third version of Civilization I’ve bought in a bundle, and I’ve never launched one of them. Speaking of games:

DUKE NUKEM SYNDROME This is the best video you’ll see today! No, it’s not. It was the best video I saw yesterday. I have no idea what you’ll see and no desire to set your standards for you. 

Via Kaching.

While I’m on those irritating YOU headlines, here’s one from Daily Dot: “Now 10 years old, 4chan is the most important site you never visit.” Nah. It's not. 

Enough! It’s a perfect day; nice work, October. We’re on your side. Keep it up, and we’ll have a nice Fall Happiness Season.

You did know it was Fall Happiness Season, right? Let’s enjoy every moment of it! That’s what the full ad said. It was a campaign run by movie theaters to make you go to movies and be happy. In the fall.

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