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.
I just made a grave mistake. I went outside. I don’t think I’ll do that again. Yes, yes, we’re hardy up here, impervious to the cold, reveling in the plume of steam that unfurls from our happy mouths as we trod along on snowshoes singing fa-la-la, but there’s a point where it actually is too cold. Today’s close. From ‘CCO, some timely advice:
If you think you have frost bite, here’s how to treat it without doing more harm to your body. The first thing sounds simple, but you should get out of the cold.
You may want to print that out and carry it around.
Also, Take off any wet clothing and get dry clothes on. Lastly, warm the affected tissue with warm water, not hot water.
The last line is useful; if you have no feeling in your fingers, hot water may burn them. the word “tissue” has a green link on the original page, by the way; it’s one of those evil sponsored links that pops up a box advertising something called “Kleenex.” Seems it’s a thin, disposable piece of paper you can use to blot nasal discharge. Fascinating! Thanks for the heads-up, and I’ll look into it.
CHRISTMAS STATUARY Here’s another picture from a trip to Menard’s Plastic Seasonal Aisle. The first one is a rather empty manger; seems to suggest that Jesus came back after 30 years to check out the old neighborhood.
The Illuminated Cow is in the background, and there’s also Permanently Scarred Horse:
He’s seen things. Horrible thing. If he has a name, it’s probably Pris.
CHECK PLEASE The 44 worst people in every restaurant. The list starts strong and peters out, but it makes a few old points. Everyone should work in a restaurant in their late teens and early twenties. It teaches you everything you need to know about work. It’s menial, creative, require a host of social and logistical skills, and leaves you better prepared to deal with idiots, tyrants, thieves, and angels.
The author of the piece, alas, has that snooty tone you get when waiters start to admit how much they hate people. Specific people. Oh, heck, all of them.
Do you really think that by calling prosciutto “pra-shoot” that the Italian waiter will go back to the kitchen and regale the chefs with praise-filled stories of the man at table 16? Also, you’re from Wayland, MA.
And if the guy says “Prossy-cuto” or “”pros-koo-eeto” or some other variant he’s a moron, and you’l go back and tell the chefs how he pronounced it.
The site threw up a screen asking if I wanted to subscribe to get all the latest Minneapolis-St. Paul-related news in my inbox. Oh don’t be silly, of course not. Because your site has stories like this:
If a stranger ever leaned over in a public place and said “you should be eating this sandwich” you’d ignore him or move away. If he persisted in telling you what you SHOULD be doing RIGHT NOW and got too close I think you're legally permitted to step on his feet “by accident.” Let me check with a lawyer.
As long as we’re on the subject of “Sponsored Content” that makes erroneous presumptions:
I'm thinking I might not.
Treats and repetition have delightful results:
That's from BuzzFeed, with the attribution "tumblr.com." Seems a bit vague. to their credit, they have the original YouTuvbe video from which it's taken. But llet's have more fun with attribution, shall we? Buzzfeed has a new BuzzFeed Gif Feed, presented by Google + GIF Feed. Click on the link and you go here, where you see the worst logo rolled out this week:
As they would say, what is this I don't even Now let's click on a link. You get a pop-up window, the name, sharing buttons, and a source. You think: how about that? They're finally getting serious about meticulously sourcing things. But it's a source to a BuzzFeed story. Cick on that, and the GIF is now credited to giphy.com, which is like crediting a book's existence to its location in a library.
From Giphy to MTV, which credits them back to RealityTVGifs, where the trail stops. (Language warning on that last one.) It can be difficult to trace the source back, but what they've done here is define "source" as "where we used this thing we got somewhere eise."
Here's an idea: make your own damned GIFs and run nothing but. Or would that tax the skills of the people who write "17 Ways You Know People Are Judging Your Feet"?
In related news, from the Daily Dot: "Four Amazing BussFeed Lists that are full of blatant lies." Only four? Actually, it's a link to some stories that reinforce the author's assertion: the best parody of BuzzFeed is often done by BuzzFeed itself. Intentionally, which is even better.
MY EYES Stumbled across a new news site today. Ugliest piece of modern web design I've ever seen. Ready? Here.
MY EARS Here's a Comedy Central bit from the other night, building on Jon Stewart's philippic on the virtues of New York pizza. It seems to find virtue in the idea of New Yorkers as proudly unpleasant people. I guess they don't like Chicago-style, because you can't fold it up and eat it, which is like saying steak is annoying because you can't put a T-bone all the way in your mouth. There are times you want thin; there are times you want deep.If you want something cooked an hour ago, sitting out and congealing in the counter, reheated when you order it, New York's your place/ If you wan a fresh-baked Geno's with chunky tomatoes and a corn-meal crust and those slabs of home-made sausage, go to Chicago. If you like sauce - the true soul of a pizza - you can lift up that New York slice and use a magnifying glass to prove there is indeed a smear of red between the cheese and the crust, which, by the way, has the consistency of a record-album cover in a thrift-store bin. I don't know why New Yorkers pick this issue to fight about. if they like their pizza, fine; just don't expect everyone else to fall over because it's what you're used to it and it comes from NEW YORK. I've had better in Fargo.
Bonus points for Steve Buscemi, though.
BLACK FRIDAY Far be it from me to judge other people's Holiday tradition, but this one just doesn't have that nice cozy feeling you get when you think "Thanksgiving with the folks."
A week and a half before ‘Black Friday‘ and campers are already lining up outside the Best Buy on Howe Road to get their hands on the best of the bargains. [snip] Both have friends and family who take turns staying there in shifts, including Tony’s parents.
“He had to go take a shower so we’re here filling in for him until he gets back,” said his mother Janet Regic, who cooks for her son, and actually waited in line last year in a wheelchair.
“I wanted to stop three or four years ago, and my kids make me do it because they like coming down. We usually have Thanksgiving dinner brought to the tent, so we’ll have a full spread in the tent, and it’s kind of my time with them,” said Avitar.
The campers said they already know what bargains they hope to get including tablets, laptops, and big screen television sets.
As the article notes, BestBuy has not yet announced what they will sell, or at what price.
VIDEO Texting and driving: dumb. Texting and BUS driving: an entirely different level of stupid.
PS If I said that women were over-represented in social media and this led to language that was more emotional and less precise, I would expect some excoriation. But that's what this author says - in defense of the proposition that women were over-represented in social media and this led to language that was more emotional and less precise. Orwell is even pressed into service, even though he demonstrated in "1984" how the elimination of words and linguistic precision results in the inability to conceive the ideas they describe. But I guess it's okay because Orwell. Yes, laungage changes, but it's unwise to mistake diminution for improvement.
Believe it or not, a bad review of Guy Fieri’s restaurant in the New York Times did not affect its popularity with people who really don’t care if the Grey Lady disapproves of their choices. The video isn't embedding - Yahoo, I'm not looking at you, to coin a phrase - so go here.
What? you say. A review was irrelevant to the judgments of satisfied diners? I know, it’s odd, but people like that actually exist. I mean, when it comes to a fun Times-Square carnivorous gustatory overload experience, who would you trust, the critic or the cook?
NOV 23 What a coincidence: in time for the 50th anniversary of the JFK murder, some old photos of Dealy Plaza are revealed. The man who took them is dead, but his daughter discovered them in his possessions. This makes some people blanche:
In 2005, my father passed away. As we were going through his possessions, I didn’t want all his old slides at first, because I worried it might be some giant burden and I’d never look at them again. But I took them, anyway.
Oh, no: a giant burden consisting of irreplaceable imagers that might add to the historical record. Put them in the sea.
The pictures are here. Jesse Ventura probably thinks they’re fake.
MY GOD IT’S FULL OF GIFS Slow down your browser to the pace of a 1995 version of Netscape with this page of GIFs from i09.
ART Lady Gaga’s latest album cover is a collaboration with with Jeff Koons, who’s the Warhol of our time without Andy’s exacting technical skills. (Kidding. Sort of.) Here it is is:
That’s a plastic casting of Ga, and they cracked up Botticelli’s “Birth of Venus” in the back. Okay. FastCo asked some artist to critique it. Question of the Day:
In an effort to get people to actually buy the physical album instead of just downloading it, the first half-million physical copies sold won't have a flat image cover. Instead, "Lady Gaga" will be pasted on, in hot pink metallic foil, and the word ARTPOP will appear in silver. Does this have potential to turn into a collector's item?
SS: That depends 100% on the quality of the music. If the album is epoch-making and genre-changing, then yes, this will become an icon.
Pay attention to how this plays out, because if a new Epoch is indeed made, you’ll want to know why. It’s embarrassing to ask. Excuse me, but I have the nagging suspicion that genres have been changed and we’re in a fresh epoch, but I can’t quite put my finger on the reason. Lady Gaga didn’t release an album pasted with metallic foil, did she?”
VIDEO Some may complain about OSHA rules, and yes they can be onerous and stupid. On the other hand, they’re intended to keep things like this from happening.
Then again, if this was taken in the US, it shows that having a rule doesn’t mean people follow it.
YUM Pearson’s is using Instagram videos to call attention to its website.
Then again, maybe that’s by design. Today’s YOU THERE bossy-pants headline: “Instagram Is Spoiling Your Dinner.” Instagram has never spoiled my dinner. So I know right away that the article is nonsense and can be skipped without missing anything. But I read on just to see how wrong they were; turns out that Studies indicate that looking at food pictures on Instagram depresses your appetite. Really. Hey, you look good, you lost some weight? What’s your secret? “Oh, I’ve been been studying images of entrees run through a saturation filter.”
That's it for this week; hope you got outside today, or can come up with a reason to leave work early. It's spectacular. And we'll pay for it with curses in May.
In a word, no. But first:
COMICS Nice little nod to Hopper - and by “nod” I mean “obvious parody” - in Mr. Boffo today:
Brings to mind this: a search for the real location of “Nighthawks.” The best recreation of the painting was in “Pennies from Heaven,” which also did another Hopper scene in a movie theater. Extraordinary art direction. No one loved the movie, though; it was incredibly depressing, and people really expected Steve Martin to be, you know, funny. If you listen to Martin’s old comedy routines, you can understand why he went in another direction. There’s a live performance from the peak of his stand-up fame, and it’s nothing but catch-phrases tossed out like fish to a stadium of seals. He mentions “King Tut” and the roof comes off the joint. He’s a smart guy. He knew he was doing a parody of an insincere performer, and had become a parody of a guy doing a parody of an insincere performer. But I’m babbling now.
ARCHITORTURE From one of those sites that seems to have no reason to exist, a list of the world’s “40 Weirdest Buildings.” The descriptions are . . . rather rote. “In Lithuania, Kaunas is the second largest city. This amazing and weird building is built in this city.” For London City Hall: “This building name is City Hall which is situated in London.” Nailed it! This one is called “Anomaly.”
Description: “Did you ever see a building which looks like a basket? No, then see this building picture.” Oh, come on. A little research, please. That’s the Longaberger Company HQ. They make baskets. Saddest part of the wikipedia entry: “Originally, Dave Longaberger wanted all of the Longaberger buildings to be shaped like baskets, but only the headquarters was completed at the time of his death. After his death, further basket-shaped buildings were vetoed by his daughters.”
There’s also an upside-down White-House-type structure in Tennessee, called Wonderworks. (“Wonderworks are an entertainment place where person can enjoy.”) That reminded me of the upside-down White House in the Wisconsin Dells. Didn’t make the list.
I dare you to explain #38. Go ahead. (Also, #40 is a duplicate of #11. Doubt they thought anyone would get that far down.)
MOVIES You heard it here first! From a press release that was, of course, FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE. (Confession: I waited a few days.)
The market is going wild as rumours abound of a revolutionary new A list, high budget, motion picture trilogy about to be launched, set to be bigger than any series of movies we have seen so far in the motion picture industry.
This trilogy, based upon The Sacred Quest trilogy of books by A K Luthienne, leads into a series of seven more movies directly following these three as part of an overall series of writing of creative genius.
One of the longest standing, well respected, leading global buyers of major motion pictures and adviser to theatrical has said "We are looking at a motion picture franchise set to exceed even that of the James Bond movie franchise".
It appears there is just a tiny window of opportunity in which to secure an equity stake in these movies as bidders from across Asia. Middle East and USA look to secure their share of a bankable phenomenon. Indeed the Producers, Lone Star Storyworld Media, are finalising bids during first half of October.
Never heard of any of it. Googled; the books’ website comes up, with this description:
An unhappily married woman stumbles upon a dark secret in an ancient castle that unleashes her mystical lover and her deadliest enemy. This propels her onto a thrilling quest to fulfill her destiny, following a mysterious trail of clues left across the ages. Through a strange language, ceremonial magic and age-old mythologies, our two heroes must break free of a tyrannical enslaving system to reunite across time and space and finish what they once began. In this spectacular, timeless love story, these two alchemists must unlock the magic behind creation to reclaim their destiny and change the fate of the world.
A tyrannical enslaving system, you say? Intriguing. As for the “overall series of writing of creative genius” intended to span 10 movies which will be bigger than James Bond, we’ll see. The total worldwide gross of the Bond movies is $6.1 billion. Which is a good excuse to post this GIF, trending today on Giphy!
Note: “Lone Star Storyworld Media” is a project of the books’ author. Searches for “sacred quest” on Deadline.com and Variety come up with zilch. Well, stay tuned.
Meanwhile, no one’s lining up to do a theatrical release of 3D IMAX Russian Dashcam footage. Seems to me it’s begging to be made:
Gorgeous day for a Fair, no? Ah well. Hope you got out of the office for lunch; it’s a perfect summer day. Or at least we’d think so, if Labor Day came later. See why I want Labor Day to come in the middle of this month? C’mon, this is the second day I’ve mentioned this, and no one’s proposed a law yet. Makes one doubt the power of the internet.
AIIIIEEEEe I still think you could get sued for these commercials.
2 SIGNS YOU’RE READING A LISTICLE BuzzFeed had a story yesterday titled “23 Insane Things You Should Probably Know About Snack Foods." Doritos were found to be incapable of distinguishing right from wrong, and thus absolved of responsibility? Because that’s “insane” as the term is commonly understood. Well, let’s look: turns out that grocery stores have designed their layout in order to make you buy things. SERIOUSLY. It’s like they’re using Jedi mind-tricks to make you buy soda; it’s right there when you walk in. One year they put huge bottles of vinegar in the same spot, just for fun, and people bought it and drank it. We’re powerless!
But getting their goods inside our grocery carts is only half the battle. These companies want us to buy their stuff again and again.
Yes. Yes, I imagine they do. Just as websites want us to visit their site again and again.
Frito-Lay, for example, has a research team of nearly 500 scientists dedicated to fine-tuning their snacks for maximum deliciousness (and addictive power).
Not literally addictive. “Wanting more of something you find delicious” is not an addiction. No one gets the shakes and cold sweats if they don’t get a Triscuit in time before they come down.
Cadbury’s scientists tested 61 different formulas to come up with the perfectly addictive Cherry Vanilla Dr Pepper.
Amusing they should mention that; I bought a 12-pack a few weeks ago, in the Diet variety. I bought it because I had a vague memory that I didn’t mind it, and daughter liked it, and it was on sale.. Hadn’t bought any for a year, perhaps. That’s a rather imperfect form of perfectly addicting. You never hear anyone say “I didn’t buy cigarettes this week because they weren’t half-off.”
Studies show that salt is addictive in some of the same ways as cigarettes or hard drugs, and food companies pack it into their products in astonishing amounts.
Studies from as far back as 1991 show that salt activates the same neurological pathways that narcotics do, triggering the brain’s ‘pleasure center.’
Ergo it’s the same as heroin. Other things that activate the brain’s “pleasure center” range from “sex” to “balancing your checkbook,” if you’re anal-retentive.
And then there’s a lot about sugar, which can be avoided. Want to know how? Read the label. Eat less. There.
Next up, fat:
Fat’s allure is a little bit more complicated than salt or sugar. There are no taste buds on the tongue that specifically respond to it, but nonetheless it has been shown to trigger similar reactions to cocaine.
The fact that junk food could provoke this response isn't entirely surprising, says Dr. Gene-Jack Wang, M.D., the chair of the medical department at the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory, in Upton, New York.
"We make our food very similar to cocaine now," he says.
So the next version of “Breaking Bad” will have a guy making Fritos in his garage. Also:
Wang also cautions that applying the results of animal studies to humans can be tricky. For instance, he says, in studies of weight-loss drugs, rats have lost as much as 30 percent of their weight, but humans on the same drug have lost less than 5 percent of their weight. "You can't mimic completely human behavior, but [animal studies] can give you a clue about what can happen in humans," Wang says.
Although he acknowledges that his research may not directly translate to humans, Kenny says the findings shed light on the brain mechanisms that drive overeating and could even lead to new treatments for obesity.
Here’s the thing: I have two bowls of ice cream a week. Friday and Saturday night. I probably have ten potato chips every other day. About the only sugar I get comes from Raisin Bran in the morning. I look forward to my nightly bowl of greens more than anything, because I add some cheese and pepper. I have one can of diet soda after lunch. I could have more of all of these things, but choose not to. Don’t know much about cocaine addiction, but the phrase “nah, I’m good” probably doesn’t come up much in the course of a binge.
The biggest food company in the country, Kraft, was controlled by the biggest tobacco company, Altria (formerly Philip Morris) until 2007.
You can draw the delightful parallels yourself!
And if you’re as intellectually lazy as the author of the post, it’ll be easy. By “lazy” I mean Buzzfeed-strength lazy: stringing together words extracted from more substantial posts and putting a number and the word INSANE in the title. As well as “you.” But this is a site that also has 18 undeniable ways to know you’re becoming a grown up,” and you’re pretty sure the author is able to drink, marry, own property, and become a member of the Armed Forces, but is part of the demographic that believes “becoming” a “grown-up” isn’t about assuming new interests and responsibilities, but outgrowing juvenile concerns.
The tags on the piece: twenties, getting older, grown-ups, life, thirties, thirtysomething, twentysomething.
Thirtysomething. Sign #15: "Your experience shopping at Urban Outfitters has totally changed. You used to come here, like, once a week."
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