Archive for the ‘Hysteria’ Category

Random notes: January 3, 2014.

Friday, January 3rd, 2014


(* Offer not valid outside of New York City.)

I’m not sure I understand the point of this article. Ostensibly, it is about the supposed economic impact on the neighborhood businesses of “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark” closing.

But even a full house at the 1,930-seat Foxwoods, the biggest Broadway theater, is just a drop in the bucket of the roughly 400,000 people moving through Times Square daily at this time of year.
And it can be hard to determine just where audience members for “Spider-Man” — some 89 percent of whom are from out of town, according to the show’s most recent research — have been spending their dollars, though some businesses popular with tourists seeking a classic Broadway experience say the show’s absence will be felt.

So it doesn’t seem like the NYT has any way to quantify the impact, just a bunch of anecdotes from businesses in the neighborhood. Some of them expect reduced business, others say they expect people (especially actors) to keep showing up. Is there a point?

Strippers. Always with the strippers.

The new agreement freed the 16 clubs involved in the lawsuits from abiding by the 1997 law and required the owners to contribute $1 million annually to a unit in the Houston Police Department devoted to fighting human trafficking. But a number of religious leaders and advocates for sex-trafficking victims have opposed the deal. They said it sent the wrong message about Houston’s tolerance for such entertainment, and allowed the 16 clubs to buy their way out of complying with the law. The Houston Area Pastor Council is considering suing the city over the agreement.

Is that $1 million from each club, or $1 million total? And is it just me, or is there something odd about private businesses giving money to the police department to enforce the law?

In other news…

Monday, October 29th, 2012

….wouldn’t “Mitt Romney’s Weather Machine” be a great name for a band?

Insert Monty Python reference here.

Tuesday, May 29th, 2012

A moose stomped the arm of an elementary school-aged child Monday evening in Eagle River, police say.

The 6-year-old was “severely stomped on the arm and had hoof marks on her back,” Parker said.

The 6-year-old’s sister was also slightly injured when the moose knocked over a piece of “playground equipment”.

Nasty, big, pointy teeth! (#2 in a series)

Monday, September 26th, 2011

In this case I don’t think carrying your gun will be much use, sadly.

Young girl goes fishing in Tom Bass Park. Young girl catches fish. Fish turns out to be Pygocentrus nattereri, aka the red-bellied piranha.

Chron takes the opportunity to get hysterical about invasive species (including the freshwater stingray) suggesting that it “might” be possible for piranhas to survive a Texas winter.

But all it takes to get a box holding a dozen live, red-bellied piranhas or a freshwater stingray or any of dozens of fish banned in Texas delivered to a door in Texas is an Internet connection and a credit card.

The Chron won’t tell you, but we will. Here you go. And here’s your freshwater stingray.

TMQ watch: August 16, 2011.

Wednesday, August 17th, 2011

Tuesday! Tuesday! Tuesday! Nitro-burning Tuesday Morning Quarterback after the jump!


What is it with people?

Friday, May 6th, 2011

They always want to focus on the worst-case scenario.

Sure, if you get wolf pups for your kids, there’s a chance that the wolves will eat your children. But that’s the worst case scenario. Anyway, the wolves are unlikely to eat more than one of the kids.

And, hey, what’s the best-case scenario? Your kids will go on to found Rome. Weighted against that possibility, don’t your worries about kids being eaten seem kind of trivial?


Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010

There’s a breaking news story on the northwest side of Austin: apparently, two people were killed in a domestic disturbance, and responding police officers killed a third person. (Edited to add: The Statesman is now reporting only one person and the alleged gunman are dead.)

I’m commenting on this because I had to drive  Loop 1 south to get to work this morning: I have never seen this many cop cars in one place, not even in the parking lot of a police station. I swear I saw a dozen police cars parked, nose to nose, on the Parmer Lane exit ramp, and those weren’t the only cars around. There were cars and crime scene tape all the way down to the Baskin Robbins in the shopping center at the Mopac feeder/Parmer Lane corner. Google maps and my eyeball estimate the distance from the off-ramp to there as about 1/2 mile.

(Edited to add 2: From what the Statesman is reporting now, it looks like the APD capped the guy in the parking lot of the Jaguar dealership, which is located right next to that shopping center.)

Combine this with the unfortunate incident on Saturday, where the APD felt compelled to block off two major highways for the better part of a day (not that I’m bitter or anything, just because I was caught up in that mess) and I have to wonder: do Austin police have enough to do?

“I see it– coming here– hell-wind– titan-blur– black wings– Yog-Sothoth save me– the three-lobed burning eye…”

Thursday, September 23rd, 2010

Giant squid are roaming the Pacific, and they’re not just wiping out fish stocks; they’re eating fishermen.

A single female is believed to be able to lay 30 million eggs, each one capable of becoming a giant killing machine.

Honestly, I take this entire article with a grain of salt. However, any time I have a chance to link to a story about giant man-eating squid, I can’t pass it up.

(Hattip: Dinosaur Comics. Really.)

It’s pronounced “eye-gor”.

Wednesday, September 8th, 2010

Tropical Storm Igor forms in the Atlantic.

(Subject line hattip. Really, I had to do it.)

Quotes of the day.

Friday, July 9th, 2010

It would be possible for me to care less about LeBron James in general, and last night’s fiasco in particular. But I would have to work really, really hard at caring less than I do now.

However, some of the quotes in Richard Deitsch’s SI article made me giggle:

“I’m keeping my 2 yr old up to watch the LeBron James Special. I want her to see the exact moment our society hit rock bottom.”

Watching the LeBron James reality show on Thursday night, I gained a new respect for TV’s Amish in the City and Temptation Island.

Is knife! Is not safe!

Sunday, June 20th, 2010

I originally wasn’t going to blog this, since Sebastian was on it like a fat man on a Chinese buffet:

At least 14 retail stores in Manhattan — including major retailers like the Home Depot, Eastern Mountain Sports and Paragon Sports — have been selling illegal knives, District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. said on Thursday.

The knives generally fall into one of two categories: switchblades and gravity knives. On a switchblade, the blade pops out at the simple flip of a switch; with gravity knives, the blades come out by a simple flick of the wrist. Carrying either of those kinds of knives is a crime under New York State law, prosecutors said.

Most of what I see in the photo with the linked article appears to be, not switchblades and not gravity knives, but assisted opening folders along the lines of Spyderco and others. It is interesting that the photo caption refers to “some of the 1,300 illegal knives”, while the investigation turned up 43 allegedly illegal knives over an unspecified period of months.

What did make me decide to blog this, though, was a conversation I had with Mike the Musicologist at the gun show yesterday about the linked video. Fast forward to about 1:05 in: “Are they dangerous?”

Of course it’s dangerous, you fracking moron! It’s a knife! It’s sharp! It cuts things! Including flesh! What is wrong with you people?

(Subject line explained for the benefit of M the M and other friends of mine who haven’t heard the story.)

Edited to add 6/22/2010: A thought that came to me this morning: can I order this from Amazon and have it shipped to NYC?

Random notes: May 6, 2010.

Thursday, May 6th, 2010

OMG! Faisal Shahzad had a Kel-Tec Sub Rifle 2000 in his car!

…all along he possessed a weapon that could have easily done extreme damage, one rapidly fired round at a time.


It is, in effect, a low-powered rifle. Unlike those of some rifles, its bullets probably would not penetrate a police officer’s bullet-resistant vest, a law enforcement official said.


Unlike the Tec-9, it is not frequently used by criminals, the official said.

Meanwhile, Dana Milbank in the WP asks the musical question:

Is the NRA a terrorist organization?

What prompts this? The NRA’s opposition to barring people on the notoriously unreliable terrorist watch list from purchasing guns.

In other news: Houston rapper that nobody’s ever heard of files lawsuit against local radio station for not playing his “music”.

Trae is suing for general damages to his reputation, character, standing in the community, mental suffering, loss of professional opportunities, performance revenue and record royalties.

I’m looking forward to seeing what legal precedent his lawyer sites that requires a radio station to play someone’s music. Could I sue KGSR for not playing Jonathan Coulton? Even better, could I sue KGSR for playing Kasey Chambers?

Edited to add: “Washington Post puts Newsweek up for sale. Do I hear $1? Anyone?

Provider 1 bids 300 quatloos on the newcomers.

Edited to add 2: I have been in the practice of noting Roger Ebert’s better negative reviews, especially the one-star and zero-star reviews. A zero-star review from Ebert is pretty rare; he’s stated in the past that for a film to get no stars, it not only has to be bad, but morally reprehensible in some way.

Accordingly, I am going to link to this zero-star Ebert review. I am not going to name the film. I do not encourage you to click on the link. I had heard about this film previously on FARK, and wish I had not.