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TinotopiaLog → General Idiocy Archives
  • Tuesday 24 January 2006 : The Problem In A Nutshell
    MSNBC is running coverage of the passage of a new law in West Virginia, which requires the use of gadgets that will allow location of, and communication with, miners. Their headline for this story? ‘WV LAW MAKES MINING SAFER’ But of course it isn’t the law that makes anything safer: it’s the gizmo. The law just requires use of the...
  • Tuesday 10 January 2006 : Achtung, Babies!

    Lancaster, TX schoolkids can’t remember anything they’ve learned for more than three weeks — according to the school system’s superintendent.

  • Tuesday 27 December 2005 : Dangers Of Meth Labs
    St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Police say they weren’t shocked to learn that a recent apartment blaze that killed two people in Jefferson County was sparked by a failed attempt to make methamphetamine. In fact, drug investigators say they’re surprised more meth cooks haven’t died in fires. […] It’s precision work carried out with imprecise equipment and by people with little knowledge...
  • Thursday 01 December 2005 : Why Are So Many Businesses Run By People Who Don’t Understand Them?

    Just how clueless can these people be? Every time I think they’ve hit some kind of plateau, it’s down into the abyss once more.

  • Monday 21 November 2005 : Downloading Software Is Needlessly Complicated

    Downloading software is a lot more complicated than it should be.

  • Thursday 15 September 2005 : Washington Post: Feds Meant To Kill People In New Orleans

    The Washington Post kicks off the new theory: that the federal government’s Hurricane Katrina response was equivalent to the 1993 attack on the cult compound in Waco.

  • Thursday 08 September 2005 : Incandescent Lunacy
    Lileks writes about the conspiracy theories and such surrounding the response to Hurricane Katrina: One theory — and it’s an interesting one, as Howard Dean would say — suspects the Administration of deliberately flooding New Orleans to test the nation’s ability to deal with a nuclear strike. That makes sense. Sure. […] This level of incandescent lunacy isn’t new. In...
  • Wednesday 07 September 2005 : Installing iTunes, Part 2

    The installation of iTunes is even more trouble than I originally thought.

  • Wednesday 07 September 2005 : Installing iTunes

    Apple’s Installer leaves something to be desired.

  • Monday 05 September 2005 : Insight From The Courtland Milloy Column
    Today’s Courtland Milloy column, of all things, puts forth a good point of view on the debacle in New Orleans. The column is largely the story of one Michael K. Brackett Sr, a poor, presumably black man from Washington, DC. Michael K. Brackett Sr. was standing outside his apartment in Southeast Washington on Saturday, taking a break after hours of...
  • Thursday 25 August 2005 : John Loftus Strikes Again

    TV meta-pundit John Loftus appears even more arrogant than I’d thought. Which is saying something.

  • Tuesday 12 July 2005 : Paper Spam, Part 2

    Another deceptive direct-mail ad has arrived.

  • Tuesday 12 July 2005 : Paper Spam

    Inept attempts at deception to get people to open junk mail

  • Thursday 16 June 2005 : Cell Phones On Planes

    Airline crews need silence to do their work safely, it seems. Uh-oh.

  • Monday 23 May 2005 : Panic Now! We’ll Tell You Why Later

    Local TV news stirs the pot of Random Fear. With video.

  • Thursday 05 May 2005 : Those Suave Brits

    BBC election coverage includes baffling, pointless, and crude satire of George Bush.

  • Thursday 14 April 2005 : Victoria’s Secret: Men Are Dogs

    Annoying, crude anti-male sexism still appears to be a growing trend. This time, it's courtesy of Victoria's Secret.

  • Monday 04 April 2005 : Tom Shales: What an Ultra-Maroon
    Tom Shales, in the Washington Post, on the Pope's passing, and particularly on the TV coverage thereof (Shales is a TV and movie critic at the Post): One authoritative presence was certainly conspicuous by its absence: Dan Rather, longtime anchor of "The CBS Evening News" who, if that situation hadn't changed recently -- and in a manner unbecoming of ruthless...
  • Sunday 27 March 2005 : Panera Block List Still Silly

    Five sites blocked in January are now available at Panera, but seven that were available in January are now blocked. Two of the newly-unblocked sites are ones that I thought made sense to have blocked; only one of the newly-blocked sites even makes the least bit of sense.

  • Saturday 19 March 2005 : Why I Do Not Buy Much Online

    Attempting to buy things online is unnecessarily frustrating.

  • Tuesday 15 February 2005 : Bad, Bad Signage
    This is a gas pump at the Exxon station near Tino Manor. Click on the picture to pop up a bigger version: I count over 300 words in the picture -- and that's leaving out the stuff off the top and bottom of the frame, not counting the lettering that's too small to make out in the photo, and not...
  • Sunday 23 January 2005 : A List Of Websites Blocked At Panera
    The following forty-six websites were all observed to blocked by the nanny filter on the network at Panera Bread late in the afternoon of 23 January 2004. I got the list of URLs to try by loading in the contents of my own RSS aggregator, as well as the blogrolls from instapundit.com, dailykos.com, and atrios.blogspot.com. There seems to be...
  • Tuesday 04 January 2005 : The Washington Post and the ‘Trade Deficit’

    An article in the Post about the U.S. ‘trade deficit’ is utterly baffling.

  • Monday 03 January 2005 : Dr. Pepper’s Baby and Child Care

    A Dr. Pepper ad, ‘Nanny 911’ on Fox TV, and bratty kids. No real conclusion, just some observations.

  • Thursday 09 December 2004 : Why I Do Not Respect The Left

    I've about had it with BoingBoing; my blood pressure can't take it. The Boingers are pretty plugged in and good at finding interesting things, but too, too much of their stuff recently is just mean-spirited leftist whingeing, when it isn't outright leftist threats or racism.

  • Wednesday 01 December 2004 : WSJ Editors Wanted

    Does no one understand even the rudiments of grammar any more?

  • Wednesday 10 November 2004 : How a ballot-receipt shouldn’t look

    Wired magazine's voting-machine receipt from the future (part of its 'found objects from the future' series) has got to be meant as a parody of what such a thing should be.

  • Friday 05 November 2004 : Why I Am Glad George Bush Was Re-Elected

    The Noisy Left are incipient Fascists.

  • Thursday 04 November 2004 : WTF?!

    Can we expect the War On Terror to evolve into a war between the EU and the United States, with the terrorists acting as a proxy army for the Europeans? One British MP's comment suggests that he, at least, thinks this way.

  • Monday 25 October 2004 : WP: Supremes Sent Bush ‘instead of’ Gore to White House

    Bias or Idiocy or possibly both. A single clause in a Washington Post story offers an insight to the way they think down there.

  • Saturday 23 October 2004 : Riots and ‘Non-Lethal’ Force

    Non-lethal force, eh? Tell that to Victoria Snelgrove.

  • Monday 18 October 2004 : Gun-Control Fantasies from the WP

    The Washington Post calls for the feds to ban guns from airport parking lots in Virginia, presumably so that the airport parking lots can have the same crime rate as other places -- like Washington, DC -- that have strong gun-control laws.

  • Monday 04 October 2004 : Racist Economic Development

    The Washington Post writes:
    Kwasi G. Holman, president of the Prince George's County Economic Development Corp., said he thinks African American entrepreneurs think they may have more opportunities in the black majority county. "The county executive places a priority on minority investors participating in the renaissance of the county," Holman said.

    Of course, no federal investigation into this racist practice is forthcoming.

  • Wednesday 29 September 2004 : Chinese Cargo-Cult Capitalism

    People invest in and talk about China as if it's just another 'emerging market' and not a totalitarian communist state. A pair of stories in the same edition of the Washington Post this week shines a light on the doublethink that's behind most discussion of China these days.

  • Saturday 25 September 2004 : DC Culture In A Nutshell

    DC Activism explained in two sentences

  • Thursday 19 August 2004 : Racist Metro Staff & Lazy(?) Journalism

    The Washington Post interestingly mischaracterizes a passenger’s encounter with a Metro station manager.

  • Tuesday 17 August 2004 : Do They Really Think This Is Going To Help?

    Democrat activists explain to the press how they will attempt to overload GOP websites during the Republican Convention. And this is a good idea how, exactly?

  • Sunday 15 August 2004 : Journalistic Laziness and SUVs

    A column in this morning’s Washington Post makes the common mistake of thinking that something must be true if you want it to be badly enough — in this case, that SUVs are the mark of vanity, ego, dilettantism, etc. Debunking statistics included from the Census Bureau.

  • Friday 06 August 2004 : U-Scan Till Scandal in Front Royal

    Self-Service Till Shock Horror in Front Royal

  • Wednesday 02 June 2004 : Toy Stores, Business, and Shoddy Journalism

    A recent story in the Washington Post about independent toy stores and their battle with the evil Wal-Mart just reinforces the idea that the Post is just going through the motions of journalism these days.

  • Saturday 22 May 2004 : Bill Cosby Lets Some Truth Slip Out

    Bill Cosby lets some truth slip out at a recent dinner and points out that the black community deserves at least some of the credit for its own current state; the NAACP, of course, disagrees.

  • Tuesday 11 May 2004 : MultiBunktualism

    The governor of Maryland admits the obvious, and is of course attacked by the multiculturalists for it.

  • Wednesday 31 March 2004 : The Return of G. Clotaire Rapaille

    G. Clotaire Rapaille, everyone’s favorite French semiotician, is now working for the Kerry campaign.

  • Wednesday 31 March 2004 : Oh Thank Heavens

    Public-school officials on top of things as usual

  • Tuesday 30 March 2004 : John Kerry Promises to Solve All Your Problems.

    An example of why the Left scares me.

  • Tuesday 30 March 2004 : Kerry Proposes Re-Introduction Of Involuntary Servitude

    John Kerry proposes to force high-schoolers to work for the state for free, and to generously allow high-school graduates to work for the state for half the minimum wage.

  • Saturday 06 March 2004 : We want ‘diversity’ — so we’ll fit in.

    It's impossible to summarize this. "D.C. area parents are narcissistic, muttonheaded" is about as close as I can come, I think.

  • Tuesday 02 March 2004 : Throw Rocks At Boys

    The Left seems awfully tolerant of a certain line of intolerant T-shirts

  • Saturday 28 February 2004 : Foreclosures: Blacks, Latinos Worst Hit
    The Washington Post has a story today on what appears to be a rising number of foreclosures on residences because people are not making their mortgage payments. To walk Thayer Street in northeast Philadelphia is to count, door by door, the economic devastation afflicting a working-class neighborhood. On a single block, 18 of the 42 brick rowhouses have gone into...
  • Monday 05 January 2004 : Headlines

    An interesting juxtaposition of headlines on the front page of today's Washington Post

  • Wednesday 31 December 2003 : Cheaper By The Dozen

    Unbelievably bad. I mean, I was prepared for the movie to stink, but I never in my wildest dreams would have predicted this.

  • Tuesday 30 December 2003 : Underdogism

    'Multiculturalism' is really just a code word for 'underdogism', the true guiding principle of the modern Left.

  • Monday 01 December 2003 : Help Wanted: Editors

    $10 is worth about ten dollars.

  • Monday 17 November 2003 : The NY Times’ View Of The World

    The NYT identifies another problem of automated tills: they don't allow employees to tell off customers. That's right, they consider this a problem, not a benefit.

  • Monday 10 November 2003 : Chocolate Decadence

    Many Americans are confused about the actual meaning of the word 'decadent'. Their misuse of the word often results in irony.

  • Saturday 25 October 2003 : Selfish Activism

    Nuclear power is selfish and shortsighted? WTF?

  • Tuesday 14 October 2003 : School Performance, Poverty, and ‘Diversity’

    'Minority' students in Montgomery County, Maryland score lower than 'white' students, and the answer, of course, is more 'diversity'.

  • Saturday 27 September 2003 : The NY Times reviews “Duplex”

    Even the movie reviews in the New York Times are examples of knee-jerk pinkoism

  • Monday 08 September 2003 : Hazards of Transit Subsidies

    Subsidize Metrorail in a different way, if you want it to work.

  • Monday 25 August 2003 : Ethnic Identity and Words

    Ethnic Identities and the terms we use to describe them get under people's skin. I think this is because a lot of people who are wrapped up in their ethnic identities seem to be ashamed of their backgrounds.

  • Thursday 21 August 2003 : Parking Lot Silliness

    Vignette of something I saw in a parking lot the other day.

  • Wednesday 23 July 2003 : Housing Subsidies — For Transit?

    Fannie Mae is allowing people to buy tract houses in the suburbs for higher prices, on the reasoning that they're 'transit friendly'. At the same time, they complain that housing prices are too high.

  • Tuesday 15 July 2003 : From Tino
    When Lawrence Lessig announced on Saturday that Howard Dean would be filling in this week for him this week, I was intrigued. A lot of noise has been made about Dean's campaign weblog, and how his campaign is using things like Meetup to give a boost to grassroots organization. What goes on at the Dean Meetups, though, as near as...
  • Tuesday 15 July 2003 : Hello From Tinotopia
    Taking a cue from Howard Dean's guest-blogging for Lawrence Lessig this week, we're posting this to let you know that Tino will be posting here later today!...
  • Tuesday 15 July 2003 : A ‘luxurious’ screed

    An amusing screed appeared in this Sunday's Washington Post Outlook section as a paid advertisement. I've scanned in and OCR'd the ad, and it's available here.

  • Wednesday 02 July 2003 : Too Many Fat Children

    The 'obesity epidemic' is causing some food companies to promise 'healthier' foods. Unfortunately, there's no reason to believe that these changes will make things any better.

  • Tuesday 17 June 2003 : McDonald’s Hours

    At McDonald's, they don't quite have the hang of the difference between a.m. and p.m.

  • Friday 06 June 2003 : Teen Drinking and Ordnung
    I really have to start resisting the temptation to write about some of the things I see in the news. Some of these stories are so absurd in themselves that I don't have much to add. Let's see, though. Today's New York Times tells that story about the prom at Scarsdale High School. The headline says that limos are banned...
  • Wednesday 04 June 2003 : Chocolate and ‘Decadance’
    Last winter, I wrote about a bad customer-service experience I had at Old Country Buffet. I defended my patronage of OCB in the first place this way: Nearly all restaurants these days have some sort of gimmick: the waiter pours olive oil into a dish on the table, instead of offering you butter; the bread you dip in the olive...
  • Thursday 08 May 2003 : Politics, Entertainers, and Art
    The Clash have long been one of my favorite bands, even though they were an overtly political group that championed theories that I believe to be diametrically wrong. That they came out of the mess of 1970s Britain does not give them a pass; but their music was great, and it's certainly worth listening to, whatever their politics. I have...
  • Monday 05 May 2003 : Cultural Imperialism My Ass
    The BBC reports, apropos of the United States' general view of the world: The belief that all reasonable people - given the chance - ought to behave as Americans behave is deeply engrained here. That is why it was a shock to see Shia Muslims in Iraq choosing to celebrate their new-found freedom not by opening a Starbucks and washing...
  • Saturday 12 April 2003 : Terrorist I.D. Kit
    Some pranksters have created a website to advertise the Terrorist I.D. Kit, a lunchbox-looking thing full of jokey items that allegedly will help you identify and thwart terrorists. Among other things, you get a pair of glasses that will superimpose an Osama-bin-Laden-looking beard and turban on the faces of people you look at, and poisoned hummus for dispatching the terrorist...
  • Tuesday 04 March 2003 : Confusing North Korean B.S.
    All day, NPR news has been reporting that the North Koreans "attempted" to "force down" the U.S. spy plane that they intercepted yesterday. NPR quotes an unidentified U.S. official who is "familiar" with a videotape of the incident, presumably taken from the spy plane. He's quoted as saying that a North Korean can be seen waving his arm in a...
  • Tuesday 25 February 2003 : Arguments and Logic
    In today's Washington Post, Richard Cohen writes a column headlined 'Antiwar And Illogical', in which he calld Rep. Dennis Kuchnich, a Democrat from Ohio and a man who's running for president, a fool. In those words. The Washington Post is a liberal newspaper. Cohen bases his comments on Kuchnich's performance on "Meet the Press" this weekend, where he repeated the...
  • Monday 24 February 2003 : The Suburbs, SUVs, and Unintended Consequences
    It's hard to dispute that one of the things that led to the SUV trend is the federal government's CAFE standards. These rules dictate that the average fuel economy of all the cars sold by a given manufacturer in the United States must be at least 27.5 miles per gallon. "Light trucks", meaning things like SUVs, vans, and pickup trucks,...
  • Tuesday 18 February 2003 : Cluster Bombs and HDRs
    The anti-war crowd has been making a lot of the supposed resemblance of unexploded cluster bomb bomblets and the humanitarian raily ration (HDR) packages that the U.S. military has been dropping in places like Afghanistan. Unexploded cluster bomblets, they say, can't be easily distinguished from the HDRs, and people are getting blown up. I am suspicious of this. Presumably, even...
  • Friday 14 February 2003 : The UN Credo: Speak Softly, and… Continue Speaking Softly

    Recent actions of the UN Security Council have seriously damaged the ability of the United Nations to foster world peace.

  • Thursday 13 February 2003 : The World’s Worst Test
    Since you're reading Tinotopia, it's safe to assume that you're an intelligent, well-educated person. Our research shows that 47.8% of you have graduate degrees, and that only 2.4% of those are in physical education. This means that you've likely taken a number of standardized, fill-in-the-bubble tests in your life. If you're intelligent -- as we've already established you are --...
  • Thursday 13 February 2003 : Crying Wolf Update

    The Baltimore Sun has a story about the effects of the false 'Amber Alert' on tuesday in Maryland.

  • Wednesday 12 February 2003 : Smoking Crack At The Washington Post
    Just when you thought that the world couldn't become more surreal, or the Washington Post's bewildering and Quixotic attacks on America Online become more, well, bewildering and Quixotic, you find this: Just a short drive from America Online Inc. headquarters in Northern Virginia, a fast-growing competitor named Road Runner is blitzing ahead in the lucrative business of providing high-speed Internet...
  • Wednesday 12 February 2003 : Crying Wolf, Indeed
    It turns out that the 'Amber Alert' B.S. that resulted in the Emergency Alert System being activated yesterday was based on a fabricated story. There appears to be no comment in the press on the wisdom (or lack therof) of using the EAS for things like this....
  • Tuesday 11 February 2003 : The Boy Who Cried Wolf

    The use of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) for child abductions decreases the usefulness of the system for serious disasters.

  • Friday 07 February 2003 : Please Tax Us, Say Retailers

    Large retailers who do business both online and in the real world are anxious to have online transactions taxed. They only barely veil their purpose.

  • Thursday 23 January 2003 : Toxic Torts and Housing

    More things that are making it impossible to not be at least middle-class in America

  • Thursday 23 January 2003 : Health Groups Lobby Against Tobacco Ban

    Anti-smoking health groups reveal their true colors.

  • Monday 04 November 2002 : Air Rage, From The Other Direction

    Airline employees are actually being trained now to treat their customers like dirt.

  • Monday 23 September 2002 : Anti-IMF Manifestoes
    Yesterday, I was reading an anti-globalization scavenger hunt list (it's at the bottom of that page), a partly-tongue-in-cheek list of suggestions for time-killers for lulls during this week's planned protests in Washington. It includes things like Organize workplace to strike - 500 points Occupy offices of K Street PR firm - 500 points Occupy abandoned building - 400 points each...
  • Wednesday 28 March 2001 : Modern American Religion

    Vintage Tino! Tino is not comfortable with constant (and seemingly insincere) public professions of religious faith.

  • Wednesday 28 March 2001 : New Condiments

    Vintage Tino! McDonald's has discovered new condiments

  • Wednesday 17 January 2001 : The Second Amendment

    Vintage Tino! A rather obvious recitation of what's wrong with gun-control laws: criminals by definition don't care whether something is illegal or not.

  • Wednesday 17 January 2001 : Natural Light in Offices

    Vintage Tino! The people who design office interiors don't seem to consider that people work better under natural light.