Drumming Up Demand 

Friday, November 1st, 2019

When several suspicious packages were left outside the New Rochelle train station near New York City, a commuter called in a tip to the police. It turned out the packages were not explosives, or anything else harmful. Ridiculously, they were instead soon-to-be-installed “Help Point” devices which will allow travelers to, among other things, report suspicious packages.

This tweet contains a gallery of four images, which tell this story perfectly.

A police officer examining a tall cardboard package

That package, being opened

The police officer fully revealing the package to be a security Help Point

Said police officer, with an amused grin

The amusement captured in that fourth image is great. I only wish we could see the dog’s face, which no doubt has an exasperated look.

Chew Some Grass for the Gipper 

Thursday, October 31st, 2019

Back in May, I wrote about the fire prevention goats of Ventura County. Now, it appears those same goats may have helped save the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library:

Library spokeswoman Melissa Giller said the Ventura County Fire Department brings hundreds of goats every May to eat the brush around the perimeter of the library to create a fire break.

“The firefighters on the property said that the fire break really helped them because as the fire was coming up that one hill, all the brush has been cleared, basically,” she said.

You go, goats!

Declassified Dogs 

Wednesday, October 30th, 2019

Around the world, there are very good dogs doing good dog things. This week, some of their good work is being declassified.

Don’t Make Us Say No 

Tuesday, October 29th, 2019

You likely saw that Donald Trump attended game 5 of the World Series on Sunday, where he was loudly booed. A look at his loathsome face when this occurred shows that the booing may have even briefly given him a moment of realization that, yes, many, many people rightly despise him. I can’t say I have any hope that such a realization will stick, nor that it will result in any change in his awful behavior, but it’s not nothing.

Even better, however, was this tidbit from an article on the booing:

Trump did not sit with the Lerner family, the principal owners of the Nationals. A representative for the Lerner family put in a request to MLB to not be put in position to turn down a request from the White House to sit with Trump, according to WUSA.

Yes, it appears that the Lerner family had no desire to sit with Trump. They went so far as to ask Major League Baseball to help them avoid needing to turn down the president. That’s quite something.

It Takes Two to Tango, and Also to Operate a Skycam 

Monday, October 28th, 2019

The NFL remains both terrible and impossible to escape. Still, it’s nice when it exposes the world to something cool, like the incredible skill of the Skycam operators on a recent kickoff return by Cordarrelle Patterson.

Either Way, Uber Eats Is Going to Be Saving a Bundle 

Friday, October 25th, 2019

The race is on. Which will arrive first on the roadways of the world, self-driving cars, or rat-driven cars?

O Un Taco, Por Favor

Thursday, October 24th, 2019

After yesterday’s post about Taco Bell’s use of the word “tacos” to indicate the singular of an item, I poked around a bit more. Back in 2013, I actually wrote about the origins of the Doritos Locos Tacos. The linked article there details the complexity of creating the new menu item. It regularly refers to it as a “Doritos Locos Taco” in the singular, with no trailing ess.

More recently, the official terms page for this year’s contest seems to contradict the fine print on the main contest page:

Taco Bell will offer every person in the 50 U.S. and District of Columbia the opportunity to obtain one (1) free Doritos® Locos Taco (the “Free Doritos® Locos Taco”) at participating Taco Bell® restaurants in the United States and District of Columbia on the Redemption Date designated herein, while supplies last.

So, we seem to have two contradictory possibilities here. In a case like that, I’ll always choose the more ridiculous of the options. As such, I’ll be sticking with telling you to enjoy a free tacos next week.

Un Tacos, Por Favor

Wednesday, October 23rd, 2019

For many years now, Taco Bell has run various promotions to give away tacos to customers.1 During Major League Baseball’s World Series, this has taken the form of a “Steal a Base, Steal a Taco” promotion. If any player steals a base at any point during the annual Fall Classic, everyone in America can claim a free taco on an appointed day.

Of course, while you’re at Taco Bell getting your free taco, the company expects you’ll buy additional food and drinks. Given the relatively low cost of the item being given away, as well as the high profit margin to be had on soda, I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that this promotion is actually entirely profitable.

Whatever the impact is on Taco Bell’s books, it will once again be felt in 2019. Just three pitches into game one between the Nationals and Astros, Trea Turner stole second base. It was, I’m certain, the fastest this promotion has paid off. I’m hopeful it will mean we’ll hear much less about the promotion during the remaining World Series games. Now, Joe Buck won’t have to reference the gimmick every time a runner reaches first base. That’s appreciated.

However, what’s not appreciated is the bizarre way Taco Bell refers to this item. Specifically, they seem to refer to even one taco as “a tacos”, as seen in this image from tacobell.com/stealataco:

Get a free Doritos Locos Tacos

And here’s the legal fine print:

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Open to residents of the fifty (50) United States and D.C. only. Limit one (1) Free Doritos® Locos Tacos per person at participating Taco Bell locations in the United States at a designated date and time, while supplies last.

Yes, it seems that like McGriddles, Taco Bell believes the singular form of Doritos Locos Tacos is “Doritos Locos Tacos”. Next Wednesday, if you so desire, head on in to Taco Bell and ask for “one free Doritios Locos Tacos, please”.

Previously in Taco Bell-related nonsense: The Bell Tolls for Glen


  1. The first I’m aware of was when Mir was doing a semi-controlled deorbiting back in 2001. Don’t miss the image which accompanied their press release. ↩︎

These Sneaky Bastards Have Been Hiding an Entire Digit 

Tuesday, October 22nd, 2019

Aye-ayes are weird as hell, and scientists have just learned that they’re weirder than we even suspected.

Click to Pray 

Monday, October 21st, 2019

Forget your internet-enabled toasters or hair brushes. The Vatican’s new eRosary seems like the example of a device that has been “smartened” unnecessarily.