Roil wedding

April 29th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Via the Boston Globe‘s “Big Picture,” this one really captures the spirit of the occasion, I think:

It’s what every little girl dreams of—a wedding adorned with light artillery.

Jilted kilt?

April 29th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Stories like these—and only stories like these—are why I still sift through daily local news headlines:

As liquor commissioner, Evanston Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl is expected to decide next week whether to recommend granting a liquor license to the controversial Tilted Kilt sports bar, which wants to open downtown.

Hilarious quotations ensue.

“It would create jobs…”

Of course—the jobs. Good jobs. Lots o’ jobs. Jobs for all. Well, at least for the handful of…

“beautiful servers… [wearing] knee-high socks and short, sexy plaid kilts with matching plaid bra’s under white camp shirts tantalizingly tied to show off the midriff.”

Oh, no. Here come the mothers…

“We believe a Tilted Kilt would endanger Evanston’s girl children, miseducate our boys and girls, disrespect Evanston’s women and our Fountain Square war memorial,

Why, will they pee in it?

insult many of our men, diminish the safety and appeal of our downtown and undermine the laws against sex discrimination and sexual harassment”

Well, duh. It’s part of the business plan.

“A place like Tilted Kilt trains men to associate school girls with sexual arousal,” said Kathleen Flaherty…

Explain yourself, Kathleen Flaherty.

As Flaherty and fellow petition organizer Cynthia Farenga pointed out, Tilted Kilt’s red plaid skirts are dangerously similar to Catholic school uniforms worn by young girls in Evanston and across the North Shore.

Seeing ice cream always makes me want to eat spackle. It’s dangerous how similar the containers are.

“…it further breaks down the taboos against incest and pedophilia.”

Someone brought the wrong script. Or forgot to look up “incest.” One of the two.

“The conversations I have with my two sons about why I find this offensive are the same conversations I would have with them if a strip club opened in downtown. Actually, I would have much more respect if they were trying to open a strip club because that is at least honest and authentic.”

Ah, of course, the authenticity. Sounds like you’re rationalizing, Dad.

“And let me make it clear, the entertainment is not the young ladies and women that are working there as wait staff. The entertainment is that it’s a sports bar.”

I only read it for the articles, etc.

“Our costumes are mildly provocative,” he said. “They’re sexy. We don’t hide from that.”

But, to reiterate: “the entertainment is not the young ladies and women that are working there as wait staff.”

“Nobody is coming to Tilted Kilt thinking they’re going home with these girls,” Hanby said.

I would; I do; I have. (I lie.)

“features a bikini-clad woman standing in front of a liquid-spewing rusty pipe”

No explanation necessary.

“drunken, titillated men”

Look out.

“hoodlums”

Hoodlums too?

Despite claims of an incident-free environment at Tilted Kilt, opponents of the pub found several reports of crimes committed in or outside Tilted Kilts in Illinois and elsewhere, including an incident in February of this year when a man allegedly stabbed several people outside the Elgin Tilted Kilt, according to various reports.

Find me a chain establishment that hasn’t had at least one stabbing in one of its locations, and I guarantee I will find a stabbing incident there which you overlooked.

“It strikes me as a restaurant that would do very well in certain kinds of places that are oriented toward leisure and a sports bar and a male customer base,” Fine said.

Larry Fine?? No—Gary, but he still knows how to bring the comedy:

“They may think downtown is a good place for a bar with waitresses who have endowments larger than the university”

…perked up higher than the tuition!

“And so there’s a certain irony that the bar’s tag line is about cold beer never looking so good, and being in blocks from the Women’s Christian Temperance Union headquarters.”

Perfect! Cuts down on travel costs.

“It’s an indication that the old, frumpy prohibitionist Evanston continues to evolve.”

In relative terms, I suppose.

One-liners for April 29, 2011

April 28th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

No time to blog this week, but I wanted to share a few links.

1. Coming soon to a country near you? “In Pakistan the electricity is now turned off for 18-20 hours some days in many cities and 20 hours in rural villages.”

2. Possibly moot after March 11, but… “I’m not sure this is the best option because if we do manage to replace oil with nuclear power, it will enable us to continue destroying the planet in hundreds of ways.”

3. Agritourism, a.k.a. migrant worker fantasy camp.

4. Great line: “It’s like playing flag football thinking that NFL scouts are watching.”

5. And for good measure, my favorite Overcoming Bias post from the past week: “Good thing we don’t have a fountain of youth pill, right? Actually, our real situation is worse.”

Greenwash Your Conscience: Pricey Credentialing Institutions Edition

April 23rd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Hey, you know what American universities need? That’s right—another dubious ranking system to game in their favor:

This week the Princeton Review, the test prep firm and creator of popular college guides, and the U.S. Green Building Council, a nonprofit organization in Washington, released their second annual listing of the 311 greenest colleges in the country.

Ok, so not quite new. I just didn’t hear about it last year.

The statistics and summaries have plenty of interesting tidbits. Who knew that 94 percent of the electricity used by Bates College, in Lewiston, Me., came from renewable sources? Or that 35 percent of the food served at Harvard is produced locally?

Uh oh. The words “offsetting behavior” creep into mind.

Schools included in the guide scored high on Princeton Review’s “green rating” system, which weighs a variety of criteria, including transportation and construction policies, energy consumption, recycling and waste diversion, environmental studies offerings, greenhouse gas reporting and climate change initiatives.

Sounds about as objective as the coaches’ poll and sophisticated as the RPI. What would Ken Pomeroy say?

Yet one useful figure is missing — the green rating for each school. As a result, figuring out exactly where various schools fall along the guide’s sustainability spectrum is impossible.

Frightening lack of transparency! Well, I’d have to think Tulane is #1. The Green Wave? You can’t compete with that.

Burn this way

April 22nd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Or not. I’m a little late on the uptake, but wow—what a softball. The Weird Al of “Dog Eat Dog” or “Six Words Long” would’ve slipped in at least one Madonna reference or dig at Mother Monster’s new-found religion. Publicity stunts and garish outfits? That’s like making fun of Silvio Berlusconi for being horny. It’s closer to a tribute than a burn, fit to be the theme song for a joint venture—perhaps the private aim all along. The fact that Camp Gaga held back permission was thin-skinned enough; on account of this, it’s straight-up nanofilm. I don’t take back kind words I’ve had for the Lady previously, but I’ll let it rest until she writes that first popera or changes her stage name to Stefani Germanotta and releases the Me-and-a-Piano album (where I assume it’s all headed). On the artists in question, though, each is a fantastic entertainer whom I’m quick to defend whenever a self-conscious adultolescent calls them a “guilty” pleasure when they really mean the regular kind, but seriously, Weird Al—you’ve, like, completely ruined my Earth Day.

Greenwash Your Conscience: Marginally Relevant Communication Mode Edition

April 22nd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

I enjoy this one, if for no other reason than it reminds me of those great Conan O’Brien bits:

The Postal Service is doing its part to “Go Green” by providing you with eco-friendly mailing materials and stamps. [...] As part of our Go Green commitment, we’ve designed a series of 16 Forever stamps showing what each of us can do to promote the health of our environment.

A better way to “Go Green” might be a national junk mail refusal list, a la the no-call list, but no—I’m sure the billing supervisor at my condo association is totally gonna go plant a tree when he sees that stamp.

Recommended by 8 out of 10 domesticated ex-Greenpeacers

April 22nd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

This news (term used loosely)

As recession gripped the country, the consumer’s love affair with green products, from recycled toilet paper to organic foods to hybrid cars, faded like a bad infatuation.

…is good news if the actual habitability of our planet concerns you, insofar that any reduction in sales of consumer goods—whether “green”, “premium”, “select’, or equally hollow tag graces the package—is good news. Better news would be that it indicates a broader rejection of overserved, thrice-sterilized existence, but that would be like asking for world peace.

Passing thoughtless thought

April 21st, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Ghastly as I find the concept and function of a predator drone, there’s something refreshing about the honesty of the term. I suppose they could call it a “life-ending machine” or “destroy-bot,” but compared to its companions in the military, er… defense, er… security lexicon, it lacks the value-neutralizing techno-formality that seems to be the norm. Not an “unmanned armored vessel” or ”mission-seeking robotic agent,” it is a predator, and it is a drone. It is a predator-drone. Predator drone. Small victory for semantics, if nothing else.

Thank God for the FDA

April 15th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

In the comments to my post on reaching in toilets, Nate said:

It falls back on the human tendency toward dualism, to assign everything with “essences.” A toilet, in our minds, is ESSENTIALLY unclean. And it’s this same “malfunction” of the brain that allows us to see people as more than meat machines. [...] You rely too much on logic, not enough on instinct. Your genes will not be selected for. You’re an evolutionary failure.

Add to that: I looooooove bitter foods. Yeesh… Evolutionary failure indeed. It’s a wonder I haven’t tripped into a volcano by now.

On a somewhat related thought: It seems like people who claim sensitivity to things like radiation and aspartame are usually ridiculed as hypochondriacs and wackos. Shouldn’t we give them a little more respect? Just because most of us haven’t developed acute reactions to “man-made” carcinogens, we don’t need to resent those that have. After all—it’s their genes that might save our species!

Worst state fair ever

April 14th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

It’s almost Earth Day!

Round up the family, Earthlings, and come to the National Mall this weekend to celebrate one of the all-time greatest planets with

EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson, Marcus McNeill of the San Diego Chargers, Madeiu Williams of the Minnesota Vikings, and Olympic Track Star Michael Walton

…and while you’re there, be sure not to miss

the eyebrow raising database that shows how close your house is to a Superfund site!

Superfund? SuperFUN.

FEATURING: a special performance by “Earth’s Natural Force kid rappers”!

And be sure to compete with your friends in the “lung capacity challenge” which—whoa!—”plots a graph” of your score! (But please, kids—no wagering ;) .)

Plus: dozens of other games* and prizes, like Chinese finger traps made from recycled CAA violation notices (only 10,000 tickets) and a chance to win a romantic boat cruise down Love Canal!

Don’t be an Earth Day Scrooge! Come celebrate your favorite planet with the government agency that started it all! You won’t want to miss it!!!!!

*Tony Hayward dunk tank cancelled due to liability concerns