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Name the guy in the empty chair

  • Blog Post by: James Lileks
  • March 18, 2013 - 12:16 PM

A famous actor died over the weekend. You might remember him from a role in Star Trek:

 

No, not Shatner. The guy who’s not there. Answer at the end.

 

 

 

RETAIL Went to the new store on Sunday. It’s immense. My favorite part is an escalator that lets you take your cart up to the second level. Here’s a 45 second tour, with the unfortunate visuals you get after you’ve been told to PREPARE TO UNLOAD.

 

 

 

Rather inauspicious tableau.

  

HEALTH I’d be suspicious of this, but there’s a name for it. In French, even.

While Michele-Marie Roberts was enjoying a two-week dream cruise to Hawaii with her husband and two sons, she had no idea that her world would be turned upside down when she stepped on to dry land.

"I walked down the gangplank and collapsed - completely blacked out. I got the flight back home and I was staggering all over the shop. "I was slurring my speech - on one occasion I blacked out while chopping vegetables," she recalls.

The holiday ended in January 2008 but Michele-Marie still feels as if she is on that cruise ship. She's been seasick for five years.

 Mal de Débarquement Syndrome (MdDS), as the condition is known, is extremely rare and very little is understood about why it occurs and what can cure it. Few doctors have even heard of it.

Wikipedia says:

The condition is felt to be under-reported in the medical literature, where fewer than 100 cases have been studied. A series of 27 cases reported in 1999 (Hain et al. 1999) noted all but one patient to be female. The average age in this series was 49 years.

 These trends have recently been confirmed by the MdDS Balance Disorder Foundation[1] in a study of over 100 individuals diagnosed with MdDS. The female:male ratio was approximately 9:1; the average age of onset was 43–45 years.

Sounds horrible. People will say “another reason not to get on a cruise besides the people and the disease,” of course; it is very important for people who don’t like cruise ships to let us know they are superior to the fools who do, and also that David Foster book. If someone that smart and talented didn’t enjoy it, well, res loquis avatar, or whatever the Latin is.

In 2010 14,300,000 people took cruises. Let’s say that’s remained constant: 45 million people on cruise ships in the last three years. One hundred cases. Don’t worry.

  

FINE DINING This had better be at the State Fair this year. I’m serious.

The Bacon-shell Taco. The BACO. Behold.

AP photo

AP photo

 

WEB Ooops. China’s state-controlled TV channel did an expose on Apple. This lead to many posts on Weibo, the Chinese Twitter, yelling at Apple for being evil. A Taiwanese-American movie star posted:

#315isLive# #315 on the move# Cannot believe Apple is playing so many dirty tricks in customer service. As an Apple fan, I feel hurt. Won’t you [Apple] feel ashamed in front of Steve Jobs? Won’t you feel ashamed in front of those young people who sell their kidneys for your products? You dare to bully consumers simply because you are a famous brand. Need to send out at about 8:20 pm.

As in, “be sure to issue this spontaneous protest at the opportune moment.” Bonus: he’s a spokesman for Samsung’s rival phone. His response: his phone was stolen and hacked and they weren’t his comments. Sounds likely. Most people who end up in possession of a celebrity’s open phone do things like post mild messages, instead of telling a juicy lie millions of fans will instantly believe.

As TeaLeafNation reports, this led to a hashtag - #PostAround820 - which the government censored.

Here’s a story on the expose about Apple. It seems to center around Apple’s refusal to reset the start of your warranty after you’ve swapped a defective phone for a refurbished one, which apparently they do in the US market.

Note: the translation of the tweet was from this site, which covers the Chinese Internet.

 

GAMES Forbes says this is an admission from Maxis’ general manager that SimCity could have run offline. Not really. It’s not an admission that the game was crippled so it couldn’t run, it’s a bright proud statement that they decided not to run offline early in the design of the game. Why? Because everyone wants the social experience in everything! Social makes everything better. Share your cities, peons. Share them, lest I demolish them with the sweep of my hand! Oh, right, I’m going to do that anyway, and you have no local saves. Anyway, she said, with a happy face:

I hate to disturb you when you’re playing SimCity, but I’d like to offer some straight answers on the topic: Always-Connected and why SimCity is not an offline experience.

 

 Always-Connected is a big change from SimCities of the past.  It didn’t come down as an order from corporate and it isn’t a clandestine strategy to control players.  It’s fundamental to the vision we had for this SimCity.  From the ground up, we designed this game with multiplayer in mind – using new technology to realize a vision of players connected in regions to create a SimCity that captured the dynamism of the world we live in; a global, ever-changing, social world.

Excuse me. It’s a game. It’s not going to capture the dynamism of the world we live in, or even simulate it well. Because it’s a game. Also: if the wizards who design things could forcing “Social” on people, that would be great. I have a program that cleans unneeded data from from HD and frees up space. When it’s done it asks if I’d like to tweet my result. I live in fear I will hit YES by mistake and lose 5,000 followers.

 

 

OBIT That chair was once occupied by the illusion of . . . Malachi Throne.

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