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Apr. 21st, 2009


Whaddaya think's *in the burgers*?!

I paid some guy on the internet $14 for, like, 97 percent of all the episodes of You Can't Do That On Television ever made, very low-fi, on 3 DVD-Rs. They came today. Initial reaction: Christine McGlade was *cute* as an actual teenager playing a teenager in 1981, a fact that was mostly lost on me at age 6.

(Note to Carleton Productions/Viacom -- Buckle down and release YCDTOTV as a mega-DVD set already and I'd pay *you*, too.)

Apr. 7th, 2009


(no subject)

Dangit -- I've been grousing for years about people who say "a myriad of X," and only now I learn that the noun form is perfectly acceptable and etymologically sound, as "myriad" derives from the greek word for "10,000." I hate when I'm duped by the evil society of false grammarians!

Apr. 1st, 2009


(no subject)

Well shoot, guess I should just subscribe to WBEZ or something:

Listeners weigh in on a very special story on whale farming in Illinois

"Two of the whales are plainly singing the same note. That may be clever, but it is not barbershop."

Mar. 31st, 2009


(no subject)

Listen to this WBEZ story about what it takes to get a passing grade at Robeson High School in Chicago and tell me it doesn't make you feel physically ill, too. Of course, if you gave me all the money and total power over this place, how would I get these kids to come to class and magically jump 3 or 4 grade levels? No clue.

Mar. 21st, 2009


(no subject)

"If ever you do challenge me to a duel, your safest bet will be battle axes in a very dark cellar."

-Not Cary Elwes, not Kevin Kline, but Patrick McGoohan as Number 12, an agent of The Village who plays Number 6's doppelganger, from The Prisoner, ep. 4, Schizoid Man

Mar. 19th, 2009


(no subject)

"They say there are two things you don't ever want to do as a public official, and that's to own a hospital or a golf course."

-Jay Jaxon, mayor of Eufaula, Alabama, in Washington, D.C. for an annual mayor's conference, prefacing his remarks on NPR's "Morning Edition" about how it would be great if there were enough stimulus funding to rebuild his community's public (formerly privatized, formerly public) hospital

Mar. 18th, 2009


(no subject)

I've been enjoying the new higher meter parking rates from the new overlord of parking in Chicago, Chicago Parking Meters, LLC, but I wondered: Do we now have private meter maids? Do they have books of parking tickets? Will they run a "Judge Judy"-type fake court where they get to decide if they screwed up writing you a ticket?

Luckily, all the details are online, sorta, in an OCRed PDF of the parking meter lease agreement from the City Council. If you're looking to kill time and you like legal documents, it makes for fascinating reading. Here's what I learned:

Yep - the company that leased the meters can write you parking tickets.Collapse )

But they can't just sit there and write you one ticket after another...Collapse )

And the city doesn't owe them anything extra if you beat the ticket in "court," which the city still runs.Collapse )

They're going to be jacking up the meter rates really high, but you won't have to carry rolls of quarters -- just plastic.Collapse )

And they have to repave two parking lots right near our apartment! Yay!Collapse )

Mar. 11th, 2009


(no subject)

Another for the rail/transit hater crowd, from this Yahoo/AP piece on the federal budget:


"Generous above-inflation increases are spread throughout, including a $2.4 billion, 13 percent increase for the Agriculture Department and a 10 percent increase for the money-losing Amtrak passenger rail system." (emphasis added)

How is it fair or relevant to offhandedly single out Amtrak as "money-losing" here? Taking into account the massive subsidies the airlines receive in the form of air traffic control and airport infrastructure, or the even-larger subsidies of motor traffic through road construction funding, every major mode of transportation loses money. Amtrak's losses, by comparison, amount to a drop in the bucket; meanwhile, no other form of transportation provides the same incremental environmental and traffic-saving benefits as Amtrak does with so little additional spending.

Mar. 9th, 2009


(no subject)

Not that it should come as a huge shock, I guess, but Yelp is probably messing with reviews to reward (or punish) businesses that advertise, or which sponsor Yelp events.

Mar. 1st, 2009


(no subject)

I always imagined the appellation "Phillips-head," as in the screw and driver, was a corruption from Philips, the Dutch conglomerate. I was wrong. Henry F. Phillips, from right here (well, *there* <points left>...) in Oregon, U.S.A., is largely responsible for your always having the wrong screwdriver at hand.

Note also that the Phillips-head screw was actually designed so your driver head slips out when the screw is hung up, apparently to prevent damage to automated screw driving equipment. Clearly, this man had an all-inclusive deal with Satan.

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