Another Body in the Graveyard of Failed Football Leagues 

Monday, April 8th, 2019

The AAF, best known around these parts for its dogs, has abruptly shut down in the middle of its inaugural season. It is all very strange.

Taking Advantage of Bureaucracy 

Friday, April 5th, 2019

If you’re going to invoice Google and Facebook for things you never did, maybe staying under $100 million would be advisable to avoid getting caught.

A Plague of Garfield Phones 

Thursday, April 4th, 2019

This is the kind of thing that makes future archaeologists believe we all worshipped an orange tabby.

Previously in amusing flotsam: Lego Beach

I Really Want to Know Why “TUNAFSH” Got Rejected 

Wednesday, April 3rd, 2019

In California, approximately a quarter of a million vanity license plates are requested each year, and a small team of bureaucrats is responsible for approving or rejecting those requests. Each applicant must include an explanation as to why they’re requesting this plate. Los Angeles Magazine has collected some of the most amusing plate requests, as well as the notes from the DMV employee who review it.

A plate reading Oh En Double-U 2 Be Why Be

Applicant Explanation: On my way to bang your bitch

DMV Comments: What he said

Verdict: No

Come on, man, at least try! An explanation of “On my way to baby” would have worked, and almost certainly gotten this stupid plate.

Also, a side note: The article’s introduction includes this strange text:

Helpful departmental guidelines also warn reviewers to watch out for words like “pink,” “monkey,” and “muffin”—all euphemisms for vagina—along with their phallic counterparts like “knackers,” “anaconda,” and “nards.”

I have never, ever heard “monkey” used as a euphemism for vagina. Have you?

Google Really Ought to Have a Googie HQ Building 

Tuesday, April 2nd, 2019

Googie was a futurist style of architecture from the middle of the 20th century, one I quite enjoy. Artist Win Edson redesigned several modern brands in a Googie style, and it’s a real treat to imagine.

Googie Ikea

The ‘E’ Stands for “Extremely Lame”

Monday, April 1st, 2019

After updating my iPhone to iOS 12.2, I noticed a change in the status bar:

An iPhone status bar claiming 5Ge
The iPhone’s network indicator has been updated.

Where before my phone would indicate it was on a 4G LTE network, I’m now apparently getting two whole bars of sweet, sweet “5G E”. Of course, my phone’s hardware didn’t change, nor did AT&T’s network in Boston. Instead, AT&T simply renamed their 4G LTE Advanced network to “5G E”, in an attempt to one-up their competitors without doing any actual work. The new iOS update sadly reflects this reality distortion.

Anyone who used early iPhones (or other smartphones) will likely recall the crumminess that was the EDGE network.1 That was indicated by an “E” in the status bar, an E which caused no small amount of frustrated swearing due to slow loading of information. Given this negative history, it might have been wise for AT&T to at least go with a different letter for their little con job here. Then again, tests have shown AT&T’s “5G E” is actually slower than Verizon and T-Mobile’s 4G, so maybe the allusion to EDGE is helpful.

As part of a mildly amusing April Fools’ adjacent joke, T-Mobile introduced the “Phone Booth E”.2 In the video, T-Mobile CEO John Legare takes a well-deserved shot at AT&T, stating “You know it’s real, because we tacked an “E” on the end of the name. Wow!”. Well-played, T-Mobile.

Previously in misleading iPhone status information: Have You Gotten Taller?


  1. Today I learned that “EDGE” is an acronym for “Enhanced Data rates for GSM Evolution, which is a real goddamned stretch. ↩︎

  2. The video is archived here. ↩︎

Shen Yun Is Strange and, Apparently, Unsettling 

Friday, March 29th, 2019

If you live in or near a city that Shen Yun visits, you’ve likely been inundated with their effusive advertising. Over at the New Yorker, Jia Tolentino did a deep dive on this strange cultural phenomenon.

I’m Still Not Going To Eat Their Pizza 

Thursday, March 28th, 2019

Adding Shaquille O’Neal to their board is a great move for Papa John’s, but I dearly hope it doesn’t lead to ads with Peyton Manning calling Shaq “Papa”.

Previously in Papa John’s news: Poor, Put-Upon John Schnatter

I Don’t Get Out of Bed to Stare at Ads for Less Than $10,000 a Day

Wednesday, March 27th, 2019

Today in creepy, awful advertising: PreShow.

It’s an app that lets you earn free movie tickets for watching 15 to 20 minutes of branded content on your phone…The company has developed a way to track your gaze to make sure you’re actually looking at the PreShow commercial…If you look away for too long, or leave your seat, the ad automatically pauses and you’ll get a red border around your screen.

On the one hand, with movie tickets costing around $10 each, this would be paying a pretty decent wage of $20 to $30 per hour to watch ads. On the other hand, this is much, much too close to “A Clockwork Orange” to not be sickening.

Joy Milne Can Smell Parkinson’s Disease 

Tuesday, March 26th, 2019

Joy Milne can smell Parkinson’s. That’s very weird, but it could also lead to better care and treatments.