Friday, February 28, 2003

Adult elephant jokes

Courtesy of Da Goddess. She has a list of exchanges from its vintage days that it would be a shame to miss.

But I promised Adult Elephant Jokes, so here goes (The answers came from Paul Lynde).

"Can you get an elephant drunk?" "Sure, but he won't go up to your apartment"

"Who stays pregnant for a longer period of time, your wife or your elephant?" "Who told you about my elephant?"

(Actually I don't think he had a wife either).

Animated drawings of engines

Right here.

Found at AMCGLTD.

The mysterious death of Uncle Joe Stalin

Right here.

Was he murdered?

Too bad they didn't have today's lifesaving technologies.

Then he could be killed again and again...

Suppression of dissent is...

According to Bigwig.

Thursday, February 27, 2003

Name this post

What's in a name? Millions potentially, for businesses. Especially in this age of globalization, when businesses try to find an identity or model name they can use worldwide without running into problems.

It's not so simple. My favorite example of that is the discontinued Chevy Nova, which was hard to market in Spanish-speaking countries where "No va" means "It does not go" (they must have stricter truth in advertising laws down there, eh?).

Exxon figured out a way around that. The way I heard it, they wanted a word unique in the world so there could be no adverse connotations. Some linguist told them that the only language on earth that uses double X's was Maltese, which simplified the search. One must assume that Exxon does not mean anything offensive in Maltese (Babelfish is no help here).

Foreigners have trouble with this in the US too. Brits can't sell fags or faggots, for instance. And once in the Quad Cities allegedly there was a brewery owned by a Danish family named Föcking, which delighted local DJs to no end.

Then there are the various components of Rockefeller's Standard Oil Trust. At breakup suddenly several new names were needed. Suddenly there was Socony Mobil (later Mobil), from Standard Oil Company of New York. Standard Oil of New Jersey became "Esso", and eventually Exxon. Standard Oil of Ohio became Sohio.

Did you think that somewhere out there was a guy named Arby who started a fast food chain? Nope, it's just the place where people order roast beef sandwiches.

Sometimes a business has to change its name because of unfortunate circumstances. It probably wouldn't work to have a business called Hitler's, for instance. Anyway, back in the 70's and earlier women's magazines were full of ads for a candy that supposedly helped to lose weight. Unfortunately, it was called Ayds. I don't know what happened to them, but it's been a long time since I've seen them in the drugstore.

The Brief text editor has a funny history. Last I knew it belonged to Inprise (once Borland), who got it from Solution Systems. But in the beginning the publishers of Brief went by the name UnderWare, which fairly screams "Yeah, we're professionals".

Sometimes a name simply demands a product. DJs Bob and Tom (proprietors of the Camel Toe Museum) have had lots of fun with "Dickens Cider". Now it appears that it's an actual product, with additives such as Horny Goat Weed.

I wonder about names that start with AAA. Were any businesses named this way before there were telephone directories?

Cities can have a hard time coming up with names too. After several tries, a town in Missouri finally gave up and told the postmaster to give them any old peculiar name. Hence we have Peculiar, MO. I hear that something similar happened with Nameless, TN.

That doesn't mean that a town won't rename itself given the right inducements. The best example of that I know of is Hot Springs, NM. Now it's Truth or Consequences, after the old TV show. Ha, maybe someday they'll rename Seattle "Microsoft".

Gotta stop here. I need to go to work or my name will be mud.

Political Compass

Right here.

Wednesday, February 26, 2003

I'm doomed

Cad that I am, I neglected to observe Susanna's 1 year blogiversary until today. On the other hand, Dodd remembered - that must be why Susanna says he's so nice. On the third hand, what the heck, I haven't linked to Kathy Kinsley lately, and it's not for want of material.

Hey buddy, scoot over, would you?

UPDATE: If you like being in the doghouse, Drumwaster has some tips here and here.

Security through obscurity

Hugh Hewitt has an item in today's Weekly Standard online about discretion. He raises several good points.

For instance, was this necessary?
Saturday's Los Angeles Times story: "LAX Ranks No. 1 on State List of Terrorist Targets: Attorney general names 624 sites thought to be most attractive to terrorists, including ports, the Golden Gate Bridge, bottling plants."...The Los Angeles Times produced a partial list for the perusal of its readers, and a few churches were surprised they had been ranked so high on the target list. The Times carefully noted that "[n]either the Santa Monica Pier nor the nearby Third Street Promenade are on the list, even though they attract thousands of visitors daily." Handy info, that, though perhaps the local merchants' association might have declined the opportunity to participate in this particular listing.
Somewhere down the line some of us seem to have lost the distinction between "censorship" and "discretion".

I certainly hope some guys in white hats are noting vulnerabilities and addressing them. But that information need not go into the public domain.

Sunday, February 23, 2003

Behind every successful man is a woman Sara Butler or Shonda Werry of διοτιμα , from whom I have grabbed three links in a row. Here Sara points us to a blog called After Abortion.

Among other things, the blog points us to this from WaPo, titled "
Russians Feel Abortion's Complications : Used as Birth Control in Soviet Times, Practice Has Led to Widespread Infertility". From it we see that
About 5 million -- or 13 percent -- of Russian married couples are infertile, and doctors report that diagnoses of infertility are on the rise. In nearly three out of four cases, infertility is attributed to the woman, typically because of complications from one or more abortions, according to Serov and other health experts.

The abortion rate has been declining rapidly for 15 years because of the availability of contraceptives. Still, it remains five times higher than that of the United States. The Health Ministry reports that for every live birth there are 1.7 abortions, compared with more than three births for every abortion in the United States.

Can conservatives be feminists?

Of course they can, just as they can be environmentalists and support gay rights. There's nothing inherently left-wing about any of these - it's just that the leading advocates have always made sure that they pushed a left-wing agenda.

But Sara Butler says it better here.

Attack of the Nine Foot Penis

Erin O'Connor tells about it, via Sara Butler.

Get a clue, girls

Bitter Bitch has a problem with this event, where some women who said they were raped at the US Air Force Academy weren't treated as she would have had it.

Here are a couple of choice quotes:
The academy commandant, Brig. Gen. Taco Gilbert, defended the school's conduct in a written response to questions about one alleged assault in October 2001, in which a cadet said she was raped after a night of drinking and a strip poker game.

After a hearing the academy decided not to press charges against her attacker, and the cadet said Gilbert criticized her conduct.

"I take all reports seriously. I investigate every allegation and take action on every assault," Gilbert said.

He said there was "no justification" for the alleged assault, but added, "when you put yourself in situations with increased risk, you have to take increased precautions to mitigate those risks.
Right on. Now this:
Another woman told KMGH-TV of Denver she left the academy after commanders responded to her rape allegation by charging her with violating rules against drinking, fraternization with upperclassmen and having sex in the dormitories.
You know, I'm definitely pro-choice when it comes to rape. For all participants. But now let's look at this scenario: Joe buys some pot but thinks he was cheated. He calls the cops and says "Hey, my dealer told me this was sinsemilla but it's ditch weed!". The wisdom of our drug laws is beside the point - would you sympathize with Joe if he got busted?

You might consider these two situations incommensurable, but the idea is that if the alleged victims didn't know the rules about fraternization et al, they were irresponsible. If they did know the rules and didn't abide by them, they're irresponsible. Regardless of what happens to the alleged rapists, there's nothing wrong with busting the women's chops. Too bad if it might inhibit their reporting - IMO we should hold USAFA women to higher standards than for the general public.

Well, maybe they're naive. OK, the USAFA is all over that:
The academy also requires freshmen to take a course called "Street Smarts" to learn how to protect themselves in all kinds of potentially dangerous situations, including personal relationships.

"Are you the one girl going to Denver for an overnight in a hotel with five guys? Probably not a good idea. We talk a lot about those risk situations and about making smart decisions," said Maj. Kelly Phillips-Henry, the psychologist in charge of providing assistance to sexual assault victims at the academy.
I'd expect the average bimbette in the street to figure this one out. One would hope that the USAFA is selective enough to weed out those so profoundly lacking of clue.

No, I'm not letting the men off the hook. Just as with the women, the USAFA men should be held to higher standards than the general public too. I say hang the bastards if they're convicted.

But the USAFA women really do have a role to play here. Expecting them to refrain from playing strip poker with drunks while drunk isn't exactly the same as asking them to wear a burqa.

Bad joke warning

What would a Japanese guy do with 2016 erections? He'd vote. Maybe even for Sara. She offers a topless picture down the page a bit here.

Human shield + US citizenship + Free will = Traitor

Via Dodd comes this from Samizdata:
There is no such thing as a "voluntary human shield". The words cancel each other out and leave... just another ordinary enemy combatant. Any British, American, Australian or person of whatever nationality who makes a decision, of their own free will, to intentionally place themselves in harms way in defense of a combatant's facilities should be treated like any other member of that combatant's forces.

This is an issue of personal liberty. These people may be stupid. They may be fools. It does not matter: they have made their own choice.

We should treat them no differently from any other Iraqi soldier, nor should we treat their chosen superior officers any differently than any other Iraqi officer.

I survived the Blogbash

Did you just hear a giant sucking sound? That was your life passing you by for missing the most recent St. Louis Blogbash. That means you, Dodd.

We had a pretty good turnout, and as usual we closed the venue. We had virtual visitors from as far away as Australia and from such hostile climes as New Jersey, including the charming and delightful Susanna Cornett (alas, two invitees couldn't show - I have an autographed Clue Bat for one of them...). Real visitors included Ryan Olson and Matt and Vicky - thanks for coming! By the way, if you want to upgrade your hosting and/or your site design, see Matt.

Kudos to host/MC Charles Austin for picking a good site, Chris Johnson for modeling the latest in blogger fashions, and fellow engineer Kevin Murphy for chronicling some of the many high points of the evening before duty called him to leave.

And ladies, you missed Juan Gato! But you can still read the interview here. (Yes Emily, he was wearing shorts).