Conan the Very Good Boy or Girl 

Friday, June 26th, 2020

If you described One Foot Tsunami as a site where discussion of important federal freedom of information law intersects with classified dog genitals, I’d say “Yeah, that’s about right”.

Previously in top secret canines: Declassified Dogs

Topping the Box Office 

Thursday, June 25th, 2020

In June 10th, a movie called “Unsubscribe” had its world premier on Long Island. It’s a 29-minute film which screened in just one theater, to a crowd of two, yet managed to “earn” $25,488 and come the number one movie in America. The combination of COVID-19 and a loophole known as “four-walling” made it all possible.

Second Thoughts 

Wednesday, June 24th, 2020

Apparently, strip clubs in Providence, Rhode Island, have recently received the go-ahead to re-open. Sure, that may seem like a ludicrously bad idea given the extremely contagious global pandemic that hasn’t miraculously disappeared, but I guess the crotch wants what the crotch wants.

Last week, the city’s licensing board approved a plan by four local strip clubs to offer outdoor adult entertainment under the new reopening rules aimed at preventing the spread of the coronavirus.

The new rules, however, are more than a bit onerous. All employees must wear masks at all times, lap dances are prohibited, along with any physical contact, and there will be plexiglass barriers up the wazoo. Well, not literally. Anyhow, they’ve managed to make a strip club sound even less appealing, and that’s a real trick.

As a result, strip club owners are now having “second thoughts” about re-opening. It also appears that dancers are uninterested in coming back to work. One strip club manager bemoaned the whole situation:

“You’re not making any money, you’re just going through the motions.”

That’s a shame for any businessperson. Then again, doesn’t “going through the motions” sort of describe the entire strip club experience anyway?

Previously in bizarre adult entertainment: A Failed Revolution

The SEC Had “Comments” for Hertz 

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2020

It appears Hertz’s rather preposterous plan to sell half a billion dollars in almost certainly worthless stock has hit a snag. The Securities and Exchange Commission has “comments” on the plan:

“In this particular situation we have let the company know that we have comments on their disclosure,” SEC Chairman Jay Clayton said Wednesday on CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street.” “In most cases when you let a company know that the SEC has comments on their disclosure they do not go forward until those comments are resolved.”

I find this usage of the word “comments” very odd. Why not say “concerns”, or “issues”? Regardless, it looks like Hertz is abandoning their plan. Some small measure of sanity has prevailed in this crazy world.

Now That’s Just Bad Luck 

Monday, June 22nd, 2020

Last week, Ford announced plans to unveil the all-new Ford Bronco on July 9th. There was just one problem: That’s O.J. Simpson’s birthday.`

Rethink the Police

Friday, June 19th, 2020

In recent weeks, the phrase “defund the police” has entered the zeitgeist. It’s rather sub-optimal, as it’s often conflated with “disband the police”. Those advocating for reform are often falsely painted as wanting to simply leave everyone exposed to criminals. Of course, that’s not the case, even amongst those who seek an abolition of police departments. Given the explanation required, though, this slogan would best be replaced with something more effective.

Let’s look at that explanation though. By and large, what’s really being advocated for is a reformation of policing. Removing both responsibilities and expenditures from police departments, and allocating them toward more efficient social services, is one way to accomplish this. More money would be spent on social services like drug abuse prevention, homeless outreach, and mental health services, which would also hopefully lead to a reduction in crime. A more nuanced slogan might be “Rethink the police”, specifically their role within our society.

The city of Camden is an instructive example. In 2012, they disbanded their police department to root out corruption, replacing it with a new county police force. That force has focused much more on community-oriented policing, which shifts the focus away from punishment, and toward improved outcomes for all.

It starts from an officer’s first day: When a new recruit joins the force, they’re required to knock on the doors of homes in the neighborhood they’re assigned to patrol, he said. They introduce themselves and ask neighbors what needs improving.

Training emphasizes deescalation, he said, and the department’s use of force policy makes clear that deadly force is the last option.

While this sort of measured thinking is sadly uncommon in America, it’s hardly anything revolutionary for other parts of the world. The role of police in Europe is markedly different from what we see in the US. Here’s Megan O’Neill, an expert on community policing at the University of Dundee in Scotland:

[P]olicing isn’t viewed primarily from a top-down, law-enforcement perspective, but rather as part of a bigger solution to social problems. “It’s not: There’s a problem, send the police. It’s: There’s a problem, let’s work together to find a solution,” she said. “Policing is seen as a small part of a bigger set of actors in terms of addressing social issues.”

Intelligently reallocating resources to better serve society’s needs should be something everyone can agree on. One poorly worded slogan shouldn’t be able to undermine that.

Isaac Newton, Master Chef 

Thursday, June 18th, 2020

If you were hoping to obtain Isaac Newton’s recipe for “toad vomit lozenges”, I regret to inform you that bidding has now closed. You’ll have to find something else to spend $81,325 on.

Hire This Man 

Wednesday, June 17th, 2020

Perhaps you’ve seen a collection of terrible logos online. For instance, this logo for “The Computer Doctors is rather infamous:

Emanuele Abrate decided to redesign nine of the worst logos ever made. His improvements are impressive.

Previously in logos that failed to follow the ABCs: That’s Just Good Advice

Hurts So Bad 

Tuesday, June 16th, 2020

Car rental company Hertz is in bad shape. An inability to pay its debts, related in part to the serious slowdown in rentals and used car sales caused by COVID-19, led the company to file for bankruptcy in late May. Naturally, then, they’re now planning to sell $500 million dollars in new stock, which they predict will be worth nothing at all in the very near future.

Wait, what? Yes, it seems that despite the bankruptcy filing, bored and/or ill-informed investors have been buying up Hertz stock in droves. This has caused the share price to surge in ludicrous fashion from its post-bankruptcy low of $0.40 a share. Rather than sit on the sidelines while other people get rich selling their stock at inflated prices, Hertz now wants in on the action. It’s bold, I’ll give them that.

Aforelinked financial analyst and funnyman Matt Levine has written an epic special edition of his column that covers this whole ridiculous sage in glorious detail. The entire thing is well worth a read, but here’s a brief excerpt:

Imagine writing the prospectus for this offering. Actually in some ways it is nice and clarifying…On the one hand, you don’t have to give investors lavish scary warnings that Hertz might go bankrupt, because Hertz is bankrupt. “We’re in bankruptcy, you dopes, and your stock will probably be worthless”; what more is there to say? The bad thing has already happened; no one who buys this stock can say that they weren’t warned.

On the other hand, you don’t have to give investors a compelling sales pitch for why they should buy the stock, because the whole premise of the offering is that people are irrationally buying the stock already and so they might as well buy it from Hertz. “Hertz: We’ve got some of that Hertz stock you wanted, if for some reason you still want it,” is the entire pitch.

It is a near certainty that Hertz stock will get wiped out, and a whole lot of people will lose their investments. Buyers who are aware of what’s happening are hoping to buy the stock low, quickly sell it at a slightly higher price, and walk away. However, it’s likely that a whole lot of small investors simply have no idea what’s going on. Hertz is trending, Hertz’s share price is jumping, and they can get in on the action.

Whether investors know it or not, with this offering of new stock, Hertz is coming very close to just asking the market at large “Would you like to pay back back our creditors for us?”. That should be a laughable question, and yet incredibly, the answer seems to be “Yes”.

Dr. Khama Ennis Kicks Ass 

Monday, June 15th, 2020

Dr. Khama Ennis is the chief of emergency medicine at Cooley Dickinson Hospital in Massachusetts. Despite that impressive accomplishment, she’s had to put up with far too much nonsense over the years.

Once, as I walked past a patient’s room, I heard the family berating their nurse, demanding to be seen by a doctor because they had been waiting for hours. I popped in to reassure them that I was, in fact, their doctor. I’d already been in the room several times. I had done a rectal exam. All I could think was, “Why would you let me do that if you didn’t think I was your doctor?”

I wonder how much of what Dr. Ennis has experienced can be attributed to racism, how much to sexism, and how much to a combination of the two. But mostly, I marvel at how she powers through.