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.
Laptop has 7% power. Can I find some stuff before it goes bone dry? Let’s see:
HISTORY New theory on King Tut’s last days: run over by a chariot, then burned to a crisp after his coffin was sealed. I don’t think you want to be the guy who sets the king on fire after he’s been carefully mummified and sent on his journey to have his soul weighed. Best case scenario, you never work again.
WE IS THE NEW YOU New Category: Web headline, or cry for help?
TIME WASTER The GIPHY dance party. Make your own. Experience meme manipulation; marvel at the placement options; resize played-out characters; wonder why life has lost its sweet flavor
EDWARDIAN LOOS Men, have you ever wondered what it might have been like to void your bladder in the times of Sherlock Holmes? Wonder no more. From Atlas Obscura:
Built in 1899 these public conveniences by the pier in Rothesay on the Scottish island of Bute are perhaps the most complete Victorian toilets to remain in Britain.
PIctures here. Gorgeous.
VIDEO Driver A: “Well, I passed that guy, so I don’t have to worry anymore. I can’t believe people still text while driving at highway speed.” Driver B: “I’ll just reach down here and get the CD that fell on the floor.” Driver C: “I’ll just keep proceeding at the same speed until this really seems to be serious.”
Finally: Ladeeees and Gennelmen, let’s all give a big Denver welcome from ROCKY!!!!!
During the pre-game ceremony before Friday night's home opener the mascot for the Denver Nuggets - Rocky - was supposed to be lowered from the ceiling to center court for a dramatic entrance. But the man inside the mascot passed out. When he was lowered from the ceiling Rocky was limp and lifeless and crumpled to the floor, horrifying fans. To make matters worse, the cable (which was attached to a harness around Rocky's torso) made it appear that Rocky was hanging by his neck. Medical staff tended to the actor and he was able to walk off under his own power.
Whew. Okay, 2 percent battery power. Time to post and before I have to do something cliched like end the post in the middle of a sentence. Which I won't do. One percent! Man, this is cutting it close. But I will not end in the middle of a sentence, which doesn't make sense. Doesn't work that way. Annnnnnd. . . .POST.
We'll get to that in a moment. For now, stop the presses: Kotaku says there’s a building complex in China where the windows are painted on. Let’s go to the source and read the story, using the magic of Google’s translation wizard.
Recently, several friends broke the news, "Qingdao Yichang road, the fitness room turned out to be Yichang picture windows painted, lights are packed crooked", questioning the construction side cut corners. Allegedly painted on the windows is actually decorative. Official responded that not strict planning permission and services, has been ordered rectification. Construction of affordable housing and a lot of strange things, this "decorative said," is also quite novel, in the end the truth, subject to approval go into it.
You can see where that might be the case.
On the side of the three building body, neatly drew a lot of "window", but carefully a look, actually paintings by the public praise for the talented friends, is a contemporary "Magic Pen Ma Liang.”
There’s a confounding reference, eh? Wikipedia helps:
The story is based on a folklore story. In a village, there lived a boy called Ma Liang, whose family was so poor that he could not go to school. But he loved painting and worked very hard at it. One day, he got a brush, which had a magical power—if you draw anything with it, it will become reality.
It was made into a stop-motion movie in 1955, back in Mao times. A sample, here. (Janky computer issues today prohibit embedding, for some reason known only to Baal.)
CRIME Novel defense this fellow has. Trouble is, I can see it working.
Accused thief Radu Dogaru says he's a victim in the $24-million art heist that he perpetrated. Dogaru says the crime was too easy and that the Kunsthal Museum should be sued for negligence.
Dogaru and six other Romanians stole paintings by Picasso, Monet, and Gauguin from Rotterdam’s Kunsthal museum in only three minutes last October.
“I could not imagine that a museum would exhibit such valuable works with so little security,” said Dogaru during a Tuesday court hearing.
Then the judge stepped down from the bench, got out a big wet mackerel, slapped it across the defendant’s face, and resumed the trial as if nothing had happened.
BIG NEWS Whoa whoa HOLD ON:
McDonald's is ending its relationship of four decades with Heinz, citing "recent management changes." The ketchup maker recently installed as CEO a former top executive of rival Burger King.
The company said few people will notice the change, and they’re probably right. Get this:
"We only used Heinz in the Minneapolis and Pittsburgh markets in the U.S," said Becca Hary, McDonalds' director of global media relations. "Globally, Heinz represents a small percentage of McDonald's condiment and sauce business.”
Just us, and Pittsburgh. I wonder why.
OBIT There’s something about Lou Reed’s passing that brought out some bad writing and dubious conclusions. Perhaps the oldest fans feel obligated to write as though they’re 25, full of Rock and Roll Gospel. In the Daily Beast, Elizabeth Wurtzel:
Lou Reed had the most amazing life.
He cheated death many a time. So what if it finally stuck out its ugly foot and tripped him at age 71?
Reed did damn well for himself. He made the most coherent case yet for self-destruction as a lifestyle choice that was somehow more hopeful and rhapsodic than whatever they were selling under steeples.
He had a rock ‘n’ roll heart. He is still alive.
No, he’s not. Let’s look at that line again: He made the most coherent case yet for self-destruction as a lifestyle choice that was somehow more hopeful and rhapsodic than whatever they were selling under steeples. Here’s exhibit A in the “Rock and Roll as a Means of Self-Redemption” nonsense. Ah, to be a heroin-addicted hustler in New York in the 70s! Sweating in an unheated abandoned apartment, unable to hav a bowel movement - it's so romantic.
Reed was born in Brooklyn, back when it was still really a place where people lived. According to the song “Coney Island Baby,” he had to play football for the coach. Is that really possible? Hard to imagine. The song borders on gospel in its commitment, however, and boys will be boys, even future junkies of America.
That’s enough. Sally can’t dance, but she could probably write.
Look, Lou was Lou. He couldn't sing, and wasn't exactly Mr. BlazingHands on the guitar, but he had a certain uncompromising sense of cool that produced an interesting thing now and then. The only album I had was "Street Hassle," which had New Wave Cred when it came out, for some reason. It also had Bruce Springsteen doing a spoken introduction for the title tune, turning his "Tramps like us" like from "Born to Run" on its head. It's a nice little work. It has strings, of all things. But the album also has "Dirt," a song whose calamitous, drunken, stumbling incompetence stands as a glorious rebuke to all the polished, careful pop of the day. Without the chorus of Actual Singers chanting "Cheap, cheap, cheap, cheap Uptown dirt," though, it wouldn't have cohered into anything, and when you consider that it's really about dressing down someone who's just Dirt - cheap, as noted, and also from Uptown - you think, well, Cole Porter it isn't.
Cole Porter he wasn't. But there wasn't anyone else in rock whose name would pop up, and you'd think, with amusement and affection: Lou! Still at it! Wonder what he's up to now? He was an original.
TECH Imagine this conversation, which surely happened somewhere along the line.
“Honey, I’m home!”
”How was work?
”Fine, but I’m troubled by this program we’re putting on the computers we rent out. It lets us turn on the webcam and watch people.”
”You have to be kidding me.’’
”No, it’s true. I’m really bothered. The sound isn't syncing like it should and the frame rate's lousy.’’
“Aren’t you bothered about the ethics of this?’’
”Explain what you mean about that.”
The FTC said that Aaron's (AAN), an Atlanta-based chain of about 2,000 company-owned and franchised rental stores, rented out computers installed with software known as Detective Mode. This allowed the company to track the renters' data through keystrokes, screen shots and webcam images, the commission said.
"Detective Mode's surreptitious capture of the private details of individual and family life -- including images of visitors, children, family interactions, partially undressed individuals, and people engaged in intimate conduct -- cause actual consumer harm," read the complaint that the FTC filed earlier this year.
VIDEO It’s titled “Karma Kutters.” Dashcam compilation of what befalls the drivers who try to pass on the shoulder. You can probably turn down the sound when the ersatz classical music begins.
Going Up! Life imitates a Charlie Chaplin movie. It’s the eggs that provide the perfect touch.
HISTORY <henryhiggens> The Thing in Ding yields Viking bling:</henryhiggens>
A Viking parliamentary site that dates to the 11th century has been found beneath a parking lot in Scotland.
The site, located in the town of Dingwall, Scotland, was dubbed a "Thing" site, referring to its name in antiquity. Like other Thing sites, this one was likely a place where ancient Norsemen gathered to settle legal disputes, uphold laws and make key political decisions.
Livescience says they found a piece of a drinking vessel from the 13th century. Quick, go read it now before the know-it-alls pour into the comments and say something sour like “and in 800 years they’ll dig up a big gulp cup and wonder why our vessels were so ugly.” Meanwhile, slumbering under another parking lot:
A lead curse tablet, dating back around 1,700 years and likely written by a magician, has been discovered in a collapsed Roman mansion in Jerusalem, archaeologists report. . . The mansion itself covers at least 2,000 square meters (about half an acre) and contains two large open courtyards adjacent to each other. It was in use between the late third century and A.D. 363, when it was destroyed in a series of earthquakes on May 18 or 19.
The text is written in Greek and, in it a woman named Kyrilla invokes the names of six gods to cast a curse on a man named Iennys, apparently over a legal case."I strike and strike down and nail down the tongue, the eyes, the wrath, the ire, the anger, the procrastination, the opposition of Iennys," part of the curse reads in translation. Kyrilla asks the gods to ensure that "he in no way oppose, so that he say or perform nothing adverse to Kyrilla … but rather that Iennys, whom the womb bore, be subject to her…"
This is familiar to anyone who watched HBO’s “Rome.” Lots of nailing. Very specific body-part cursing. Didn’t work, but they could be a superstitious lot. On the other hand, when you get these when mousing over the page . . . . . .
. . . you’re tempted to craft some curses of your own. I strike and strike down and nail down the hands, the ire, the code, the click-through rate desired by, the marketing consultant, of livescience. We’ll see if that works.
BYGONE Via Coudal, some decaying Russian movie theaters. You'll note the intersection of bad Soviet architecture - if that’s not redundant - with bad 70s architecture. If that’s not redundant. Both had the same paucity of spirit. The Skyway could have been built in Moscow and it would’ve fit right in.
Here’s a Flickr slideshow of some lost Toronto theaters, for perspective on how they used to get it right.
Then there’s this from Gizmodo, where a writer discovered something pretty awesome: Postcards!
New York City was a different place in the 1940s. It was a time before video billboards and LED lights, and skyscrapers were still a source of city-wide awe and pride.
“Still” suggests that they aren’t any more. The selection consists entirely of cards from a linen portfolio. Never the best source for postcard views. Google around for better examples; you might find things like this.
The Hudson Terminal Building. It had great bulk and dignity, and told the citizenry they lived in an age of marvels. Shame it had to go.
Take a look at this picture of the building. Everything's smaller than today. But the buildings look bigger.
FINALLY: That beer you like is coming back, in cans - and look at these gorgeous labels.
Your boss knocks on your door. “Hey,” he says, because that’s how people start conversations these days. Ever watch “Fringe”? Every time someone wants to begin a discussion they say “hey.” There’s probably a supercut of five seasons of “hey” on YouTube.
Okay, now I have to check. Hold on . . .
Hmm. No. Someone get on that, please. Anyway, the boss says “hey” and you look up with the usual flutter in your gut when the boss shows up, and then the boss says “We need to talk,” which is bad. If the boss says “do you have a moment?” it might be about giving you more work, or discussing a new project, but “we need to talk” could actually mean “we’ve discovered that you’re tweeting out office secrets pertaining to national security.” In which case:
A White House national security official was fired last week after being caught as the mystery Tweeter who has been tormenting the foreign policy community with insulting comments and revealing internal Obama administration information for over two years.
Oh dear. Since the Internet is Forever, the Daily Beast has examples galore.
The Daily Beast saved a long record of @natsecwonk's tweets prior to the shutting down of his Twitter feed.
“I'm a fan of Obama, but his continuing reliance and dependence upon a vacuous cipher like Valerie Jarrett concerns me,” he once tweeted.
“Was Huma Abedin wearing beer goggles the night she met Anthony Wiener? Almost as bad a pairing as Samantha Powers and Cass Sunstein ....,” he tweeted on another occasion, insulting a top Clinton aide, a then Congressman, and two White House senior officials in one tweet.
Joseph's snark was not confined to his Obama administration colleagues. He also took aim at senior Republican figures and lowly GOP Hill staffers.
“So when will someone do us the favor of getting rid of Sarah Palin and the rest of her white trash family? What utter useless garbage .... ,” he tweeted last October.
When you tweet these things under “natsecwonk” you’re really begging to be looked at, aren’t you? It’s intellectual Weinerism.
THUMP The backstory on the existence of this video: the uploader obviously has a DVR, and was able to rewind to capture the moment when the newscaster displayed her astonishing poise in the face of unexpected thumps. Or he sits there with a camera every day, just recording local news. Whatever the case, good luck not playing this ten times in a row:
GULP An expose of an expose: Kernel discusses the matter of Alkaline Water machines, and how they’re sold.
(M) any of them use blatantly misleading titles and search engine tomfoolery. A YouTube video entitled “Kangen Water myth EXPOSED on CBS News” is nothing more than an advertisement for Kangen water, littered with links to sales websites and tips about “financing options”. Multiple websites containing titles such as “Kangen Water Scam” and “Alkaline Water Snake-Oil” are nothing more than online marketing pamphlets run by people who are making money from the alkaline water business.
I’ve seen this technique with other marketers - you search for some info on a dodgy scheme you came across, and the EXPOSED video or website gets your attention right away, so that’s what you click.
It’s like they have one weird trick to make you go to that video!
As for the virtues of alkaline water, well, that’s nothing new. An ad from the 1930s:
Speaking of scams, let’s drop in on “Leonard,” the scambot who runs a site designed purely to fool search engines into thinking it’s a legitimate site. No link, because that’s just what the site wants. The title of this post is “Crookston Minnesota Hotels.”
No doubt you are convicted of a strong core of young talented players. In 1967 in particular, the crookston minnesota hotels a strong sense of serenity with beautifully green plantation that makes you feel like you are planning to buy readily available property. As such, they have the crookston minnesota hotels in Minnesota requires the crookston minnesota hotels an accident up to buy Minnesota Twins first hit the baseball team Minnesota Twins tickets. The Twins were one of your license plate as well. Your rental car reimbursement you must have bodily injury liability coverage will reimburse you for the crookston minnesota hotels a car if your car insurance policy is found to be proportional with what is happening in other areas.
It’s a fascinating premise, isn’t it? Don’t you want to know more? Here you go:
Needless to say, Minnesota Twins or the crookston minnesota hotels with little umbrellas in them. But there's a lot to root for. So throw on your car.
Throw on your car indeed, friends - but don’t stop with Crookston Minnesota Hotels. Another entry reveals the mysteries of Richfield!
So, there are great opportunities throughout Minnesota for a great view of St. Paul and there are some things that you can choose in emphasis in graphic design, 3-d media, or integrated media. Independent Arts institutes, such as fire, falling objects, certain natural disasters, and vandalism.
Best description of some modern art as I’ve ever heard. We continue:
The former carries with it up to the richfield minnesota hotels and migrants in the richfield minnesota hotels. Golf Digest magazine agrees and lists this area of Minnesota DWI penalties in Minnesota, it can have far-reaching implications. Therefore, when hiring an attorney, be sure to visit some of this article does not seem that the team has six American League pennants and three World Series but almost immediately following that big win, the richfield minnesota hotels in year 2007.
We’ll check back in another few weeks to see what other insights Leonard has.
Speaking of bizarre things on the internet, have you seen this little ad warning about the true hazards of male supplements?
It’s like Rodin’s “Thinker,” except he’s pondering how he can open the front door without tearing it off its hinges.
IN JULY? Open Culture is wrong here, just wrong:
If you get into a conversation with an Orson Welles enthusiast, try not to mention frozen peas. By now, even those who barely know Welles’ work — those who’ve barely seen Citizen Kane or heard War of the Worlds, let alone The Magnificent Ambersons or F for Fake — chuckle at the fact that, in the twilight of his career, the actor-auteur took on such theoretically easy-money jobs as presenting an “instructional film” on gambling for Caesars Palace and narrating a series of British television commercials for Swedish frozen-food giant Findus.
Most Orson enthusiasts I know love the Frozen Pea Rant. Here it is, fully animated. As far as being safe for work, there’s a sexual reference and a curse word. But it’s a curse word uttered by Orson Wells, which is a different matter.
Now go to the Open Culture site for another treat. I could embed it here, but that would be wrong.
But wearable tech will change everything! You’ll have sensors that will download all your biometric information into health apps, and heads-up displays will let you see menus floating in space before you go into a restaurant! True. The old days of reading a menu posted behind plexiglass near the door will be gone forever. Everything will have changed. For example, you will become used to the non-intuitive act of speaking into your wrist.
That’s an ad for Samsung’s ugly new smart watch, which tethers to a particular model of phone. It’s an interesting pitch: since visions of the high-tech future always have people talking to their wrist, that’s what we want, right? That’s the way it should be, right? I don’t know. On one hand - sorry - it seems a step back from chatting away at nothing, with the little earpiece transmitting your words. But perhaps we need to talk to something. At something. Either we’re trained by decades of telephones to address a receptacle, or it fills a human need to aim our words at something.
But not anything. If they made a thin film that fit in the palm of your hand, no one would want it, because A) it would seem like you were talking to yourself, and B) coffee breath.
We’ll see what Apple comes up with. I suspect it won’t look like someone strapped a pack of cigarettes on your wrist.
SPACE Don’t count on the Russians to fight aliens. They’re not ready. Russian Times has the disappointing news:
In a surprising move, an apparently serious journalist raised this question of extraterrestrial security during a media conference at the Titov Main Test and Space Systems Control Center near Moscow, Russia’s main satellite control center.
“So far we are not capable of that. We are unfortunately not ready to fight extraterrestrial civilizations,” the center’s deputy chief Sergey Berezhnoy explained.
“Our center was not tasked with it. There are too many problems on Earth and near it,” he added.
Titov space center, which is run by Russia’s Aerospace Defense Troops, controls around 80 percent of the country’s satellite fleet, both military and civilian. It is also engaged in launches of spacecraft and strategic ballistic missiles. The facility located about 40km southwest of Moscow is manned by some 1,000 officers and soldiers.
The fact that they took the question seriously and answered it makes me think they’re lying, and know something.
COMICS Wonderful Atlantic mag piece on the incredible full-page comics of the early 20th century. And what do we have? Garfield and Crankshaft.
That's not entirely fair - most of the strips back then were uninspired, but it makes you wish modern artists - and newspapers - would do something like this today. Immense webcomics aren't the same. You don't have to scroll a newspaper page.
THE FIRST TWO DOCTORS If I cared about this show, I’d be over the moon about this:
A group of dedicated Doctor Who fans tracked down at least 100 long-lost episodes of the show gathering dust more than 3,000 miles away in Ethiopia.
It was feared the BBC programmes from the 1960s – featuring the first two doctors William Hartnell and Patrick Troughton – had vanished for all time after the Beeb flogged off a load of old footage.
But after months of detective work the tapes have been unearthed at the Ethiopian Radio and Television Agency.
For fans, it’s amazing news - it’s like being a Star Trek fan because you watched “Next Generation,” and learning they’d found the first three seasons of the original show, which had been lost since 1970. Some fans are wary:
I hope this is true, but for one 106 episodes are missing, and the missing 9 episodes of The Dalek Master Plan were never sold abroad, so this means it can't be over 100, 1 episode (The Feast of Seven) was never even recorded onto film from Videotape.
The story was published today. The date-stamp on the comments ranges from tomorrow to last June. Almost as if Time Lords were writing them.
VIDEO Never, ever put the 100 Proof stuff on the top shelf. The alcohol is just too heavy.
ROBOT GIBBERISH No chance this will turn out to be a Horse_ebooks-style disappointment, because it’s not that good. But my Zite app feed keeps kicking up stories from a blogspot SEO casserole, and this is fairly typical:
Another excellent stop if you're interested in twin cities real estate, there are free dating sites that charge some small fee. After you make your registration to a dating site of your passengers are injured in a car accident. The medical portion of your personal injury protection medical limits would increase to $40,000. Your deductible would not be able to see and do in Minnesota.
Residents of Minnesota does not regulate home radon levels. This means that your attorney so you can and the ragstock in minnesota in Onamia, with 54,800 square feet, 1,885 slots, 24 table games, six restaurants, and a $1000 fine, where the ragstock in minnesota of Minnesota's golf courses are located and every region of the ragstock in minnesota
I know, I know: you’re intrigued, right? Want to know more?
Minnesota law prohibits the ragstock in minnesota and fees on a mortgage in Minnesota can be quite a range in reimbursement sources. For community behavioral health organizations that specialize in services such as running boards, brush bars, roll bars, undercarriage lighting, fog lights, bed liners, camper shells, trailer hitches, customized wheels, spoilers, suspension, custom paint or decals, etc., you might want to know about the ragstock in minnesota a tour of the Minnesota online adjuster application through Sircon and pay the ragstock in minnesota. Certification that the ragstock in minnesota of Minnesota's golf courses that call Alexandria their home.
The site is supposedly written by Leonard, a "graduate student in Minnesota."
Wonder who he really is.
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