Any Press Is Good Press? 

Friday, May 13th, 2016

Apparently, a woman named Sue Googe is running for Congress in North Carolina. This is her logo:

Sue Googe's Logo

There’s something just vaguely familiar about it, but I can’t quite put my finger on it. Maybe I should use the world’s most popular search engine to see if I can figure it out.

Dark Side of the Icon 

Thursday, May 12th, 2016

Hardly anyone is talking about it, or condemning it in ludicrously over-the-top language, but Instagram changed their icon yesterday. Gone is the odd but charming leather-topped camera, replaced by a flatter pictogram. Mashable caught up with Colin Rise, who designed the previous icon, to get his thoughts. Most interesting is a picture he shared of the “back” of the old Instagram icon.


The back of the old Instagram icon

Nine Lives and Then Some 

Wednesday, May 11th, 2016

Several times each year, stories will appear about the new oldest person alive. The title changes hands when the previous holder shuffles off this mortal coil, and you don’t need to be an actuary to understand why this occurs so often. However, today we have a new “world’s oldest cat”, and no one had to die for the crown to change paws.

I’ll Go to My Grave Calling These “Glideboards” 

Tuesday, May 10th, 2016

They never promised us non-combustible hoverboards, and good thing, because one such device started a fire leading to $100,000 in damage.

Also, don’t miss the writer essentially calling himself out for his own dumb question.

Asked whether his son will be getting another [hoverboard], Passacantilli gave a reporter a long hard look and said simply, “No.”

Detachable Penis 

Monday, May 9th, 2016

Since it was erected in 1948, a statue of a nude Heracles in France has been repeated dismembered by vandals. Locals have finally solved the issue, with a cure almost as bad as the disease: a detachable penis

While no pictures of the new organ have surfaced yet, it’s understood that it will be removed after the ceremonies too, meaning you’d be a lucky tourist to catch a glimpse of it.

Yes, much like seeing the northern lights or visiting Tibet from China, only a favored few visitors will be say “we were so fortunate to be there at a time when Heracles’s wang was attached”.

Suggested soundtrack for this post: King Missile’s bizarre 1992 hit.

So Much Spray-Tan

Friday, May 6th, 2016

I don’t generally pay a lot of attention to my Twitter follower count, but I recently noticed that it had increased by quite a bit overnight. My curiosity piqued, I popped over to the page showing my followers to see just what was going on. There, I beheld quite the spectacle. Here’s a sample of my new followers:

A sampling of the body builder bots
Did it just get hot up in here? Or at least really, really greasy?

Yes, I’m currently now being followed by row after row of bodybuilder bots, replete with amazingly terrible user names, stolen profile pictures, and first initials followed by relatively common last names. Initially there were 32 of them, though I appear to have lost one, which leaves me wondering just how I offended you, @ConwayMaizie.

Of course, as P Haas has rightly noted, everyone wants to gain muscle and/or build mass. I’m no exception, but now I’m having difficulty choosing which of these many guaranteed systems I should use.

It’s Not Libel if It’s True 

Thursday, May 5th, 2016

Justin Bieber gets an insane amount of press no matter what he does, and his father has seen far more than his fair share of publicity as well. Nevertheless, I can’t help but share a link to the photos from Jeremy Bieber’s engagement party, because the descriptions writer Dave Holmes snarkily applied are simply perfect.

Here is Jeremy Bieber, who is the answer to the question, “What’s the opposite of Jon Hamm?”

Nailed it.

Netflix Is Watching You Watch Netflix 

Wednesday, May 4th, 2016

It should come as no surprise that Netflix tracks what its users do closely. Apparently, they’re even optimizing the thumbnail images used for shows and movies, in an effort to entice more viewing. Big Data is both fascinating and frightening.

Winning Feels a Lot Like Losing

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016

It’s a long-standing not-really-much-of-a-joke that buying event tickets from Ticketmaster is an obscene rip-off. The Simpsons riffed on it twenty years ago, and they certainly weren’t the first.

you laughed when I bought Ticketmaster. 'Nobody's going to pay a 100% service charge.'[Image credit: Frinkiac.com]

However, if you purchased tickets via Ticketmaster.com between 1999 and 2013, you’re part of a lawsuit against Ticketmaster. Yes, folks who bought tickets in that time period are lucky Class Members in the Schlesinger v. Ticketmaster Class Action Settlement. There’s plenty of details about the suit available, but the gist is that it was about deceptive “Order Processing Fees” (OPFs) Ticketmaster charged to purchasers. After over a decade of legal wrangling, a settlement was reached in 2015, and the results of that settlement will soon be distributed. If you’re waiting by the mailbox priming yourself for a big fat check, however, prepare to be disappointed.

No, instead of money, you’ll be receiving “Discount Codes” good toward future screwings by purchases from Ticketmaster! Yes, a maximum of 17 Discount Codes, each worth a grand total of $2.25 will be placed in your Ticketmaster account. If you had your tickets shipped to you via UPS, you’ll also receive some juicy “UPS Discount Codes” to save $5 off future overpriced shipping. And don’t worry, you don’t need to attend 17 different events before these codes expire just 4 years from now. No, no, you can use up to two of each type of Discount Codes per order!

It gets better though, or at least more confusing, because there are also “Ticket Codes”. A Ticket Code will be eligible for two tickets at Live Nation venues. If I understand this correctly, these really will be complimentary General Admission tickets to concerts, with no service charges for basic will call or print-at-home delivery. Of course, these Ticket Codes will only be available at designated concerts, and the tickets for a specific event will be issued on a first come, first served basis, so good luck actually using these Ticket Codes.

So, assuming you make additional ticket purchases, you’ll receive a small reduction in the egregious fees Ticketmaster charges. You may also manage to get free tickets to a show, though not one with actual seats. The individual plaintiffs who initially brought this suit may receive up to $40,000, and I say bully for them. Perhaps the best news is that Ticketmaster must also pay $3 million to UC-Irvine’s School of Law to establish the Consumer Law Clinic, which will help consumers understand their rights, responsibilities, and remedies for online purchases. Finally, the attorneys who worked on this case will receive as much as $14,960,000 in attorneys’ fees and $1.5 million in costs and expenses. But hey, we’re all winners here, right?

That list of winners actually includes Ticketmaster itself, because here’s another part of the settlement:

“Ticketmaster has changed its website and FAQs to add disclosures clarifying that Ticketmaster’s OPF may include a profit and is not limited to its order processing costs, and that its Delivery Price for expedited delivery via UPS may include a profit to Ticketmaster and is not the same as what UPS charges Ticketmaster.”

In other words, Ticketmaster isn’t actually required to stop charging these profit-generating “fees”. They simply need to spell out the fact that they’re using additional charges to gouge you for even more money. Justice!

Always Check for Blowhole Mucus 

Monday, May 2nd, 2016

I enjoyed the headline on this piece: “Russia’s Military Just Bought Five Bottlenose Dolphins and It Won’t Say Why”. To that I say “Why not?”. If you had $5,200 and a large saltwater tank, wouldn’t you buy a dolphin too?