It’s The Wrong Strategy, Cotton

Report: ‘Kevin and Liz’ Springfield morning show canceled as iHeartMedia slashes staff nationwide:

Liz Delany, longtime host of a popular morning drive time show on KGBX along with co-host Kevin Howard, confirmed Wednesday morning that “The Kevin and Liz Show” was canceled.

“Before you hear it elsewhere, the Kevin and Liz show was canceled as of today,” read a post on Delany’s Facebook account. “I love this community and I’ve been proud to serve it during these last 21 years. Thank you all for supporting us for so long. I’m going to miss talking to you every day. God bless you, Liz.”

Broadcast radio is definitely facing serious competition with Spotify and other media, not to mention the occasional audio book or course in my vehicles. No doubt.

But I’m not sure firing the local personalities that radio audiences know is the right strategy.

The show’s cancellation came on the heels of major cuts nationwide by KGBX’s parent company, iHeartMedia, which announced a corporate restructuring earlier this week. The goal, officials said in a news release, was “to take advantage of the significant investments (iHeartMedia) has made in technology and artificial intelligence.”

So, instead, we’re going to get broadcast radio that sounds more like Spotify, but with smaller playlists selected for you by artificial intelligence that you don’t control.

I suppose it’s the sort of thinking that makes short-term sense. Cash outlays are down. But the decline in listenership will hasten.

Wrong Weapon For The Job

Kansas man requests ‘trial by combat’ with swords to settle custody battle with ex-wife:

A Kansas man has asked an Iowa judge to let him engage in a sword fight with his ex-wife and her attorney so that he can “rend their souls” from their bodies.

. . . .

He also asked the judge for 12 weeks’ time so he could secure Japanese samurai swords.

As there’s no armor, I would recommend the rapier.

As I am sure I have mentioned over and over again, when my martial arts class was studying swords and sparring, I was a relative master because I fought rapier-style and poked my opponents far faster than they could swing a psuedo-katana at me.

(Link via Instapundit.)

My Alleged Cousin Passes Away

‘Alice’ Child Star Philip McKeon Dies at 55

It’s not something from Ancestry.com or some other genealogy site, and I haven’t tried to confirm it, but when we were growing up, someone told us that we were distant cousins by marriage to Philip and Nancy McKeon. Which would have meant much more to a ten-year-old in 1982 than today.

In researching this post, I learned that my alleged cousin Nancy has kept busy acting and whatnot throughout our lifetimes, but I haven’t seen her in anything since the 1980s.

Headline Writer Swings and Misses

Two people escape from a house fire near Battlefield, Mo.

I’m not sure why they would categorize this as near Battlefield, Mo. Here is the 2300 block of South Nolting Avenue, the scene of the fire:

Notice the town of Battlefield, Missouri, in the southwest corner.

Although this particular block is in unincorporated Greene County, it is surrounded on three sides by Springfield, Missouri, which has an isthmus that leads to the City Utilities power plant and some surrounding land. Nolting is far nearer to Springfield (a couple of blocks) than a town a couple miles away:

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Forensically speaking, I would guess that someone told the headline writer that the fire was near Battlefield, and the headline writer surmised that meant the town and filled in the state name. However, in Springfield speak, Battlefield more often means Battlefield Road which is just south of the fire location.

A small case of the Gell-Mann Amnesia Effect? Hardly–I don’t believe much of anything I read in the news anyway. But an example of a small mistake that one can extrapolate means other small or large mistakes in basic reporting, much less anything technical or scientific.

Office Holder Put Into Position As Part Of International Financier’s Secret Plan To Remake Criminal Justice System In United States Says What?

Gardner alleges racist conspiracy in federal civil rights lawsuit against St. Louis, police union

The first black woman elected as circuit attorney in the city of St. Louis is taking long-standing racial tensions, specifically between her office and the police department, to federal court.

On Monday, Circuit Attorney Kimberly M. Gardner filed a federal civil rights lawsuit alleging a racist conspiracy to stop her from doing her job. Gardner is suing the city of St. Louis; the St. Louis Police Officers Association and its longtime business manager Jeff Roorda; a former police officer named Charles Lane who sued Gardner’s office; and Gerard Carmody and his children, who are the private attorneys appointed as special prosecutors to investigate her office’s handling of the investigation of former Gov. Eric Greitens.

Is this a conspiracy? George Soros’ quiet overhaul of the U.S. justice system:

While America’s political kingmakers inject their millions into high-profile presidential and congressional contests, Democratic mega-donor George Soros has directed his wealth into an under-the-radar 2016 campaign to advance one of the progressive movement’s core goals — reshaping the American justice system.

The billionaire financier has channeled more than $3 million into seven local district-attorney campaigns in six states over the past year — a sum that exceeds the total spent on the 2016 presidential campaign by all but a handful of rival super-donors.

Gardner would probably disagree, as she received some of that money from a foreign national: St. Louis circuit attorney candidate defends accepting super PAC campaign money from liberal billionaire.

Well, perhaps it’s a plan, but it’s probably not shadowy enough to be a true conspiracy, and it’s certainly not racist in the headline sense.

But I really wish our system of government hadn’t turned into a reality television show designed to entertain its own participants.

The Conformist Society Produces No Individualist Iconoclasts

I was reading or hearing something about the difference between conformist societies like the ones you find in China and Japan with the individualist societies you find in the West. Strangely, I cannot remember where I read this. A book? An Internet article? An audio course?

However, that little insight answers this question for you: Why Does China Have 1.4 Billion People and No Good Bands?:

Fans attribute the success of the Hu to the group’s blending of Western metal with local styles. But it’s only the most well-packaged instance of an ongoing phenomenon. Mongolia has a strong tradition of rock groups working to modernize traditional sounds. Altan Urag, a Mongolian folk rock group from the capital of Ulaanbaatar, first succeeded in electrifying traditional Mongolian instruments almost 15 years ago. And it gave heavy metal the distinctive growl of throat singing with its seminal 2006 album, Made In Altan Urag. Mongolian bands like Khusugtun, Altain Orgil, Jonon, and Mohanik have all tweaked folk music to modern ends.

That’s a stark contrast with Mongolia’s neighbor China. Despite having 1.4 billion people to Mongolia’s mere 3 million, there’s no such thing as a distinctive Chinese national sound that mixes tradition and modernity in the same way Mongolians do—at least none that has become a serious commercial player. Instead, China has been left churning out a stream of pale imitations of other countries’ genres. That raises a big question: Why does Mongolian music slap so hard and Chinese music (with a few exceptions) suck?

Because metal musicians would be a threat to the regime/social order and would be punished.

I would be remiss in not posting a sample of The Hu:

If you will excuse me, I’m off to study Mongolian so I can put that on my gym playlist.

Also, the over/under on Mongolia conquering China, again, is twelve years.

(Link via Instapundit.)

Spoiler Alert: No, No, It’s Not

Fashionable millennial men are all about nail art:

While iconic rock stars such as David Bowie and Mick Jagger started embracing color nail polish decades ago, a new generation of A-listers are bringing high-fashion nail looks to the mainstream: Singer Bad Bunny gets a manicure with black polish in his 2019 “Caro” music video and actor Ansel Elgort rocked a white nail look at last week’s Golden Globes.

The trend of men showing off their nail art has just begun to skyrocket, says Britney Tokyo, an LA-based celebrity nail artist. Her client roster (Kim Kardashian, Kylie Jenner, FKA Twigs) now includes actor Luka Sabbat and heartthrob Harry Styles, whose fruit-themed nail art design, inspired by his “Fine Line” album and “Watermelon Sugar” single, went viral last month.

Uhm, yeah, not seeing the potential to skyrocket here. We have the word of a nail artist to the A-listers promoting her business, and a bunch of people I’ve never heard of and whose importance and appeal lies in filling column pixel inches on celebrity-sniffing Web sites (like NYPost.com) who paint their nails for attention on such Web sites.

I am not sure this will catch on with your average millenial.

(Hey, Brian J., didn’t you once paint your nails black? Well, everybody has a Goth phase. And I won my category in the costume contest, so there.)

Like An Aging Rock Band’s Farewell Tour

The Very Last Volkswagen Beetle Rolls off the Production Line:

This is finally the end of the road for the long-serving Volkswagen Beetle as the very last third-generation model rolled off the production line in Mexico today, having sold more than 1.7 million copies worldwide since its debut in 1998.

. . . .

Although the air-cooled Beetle disappeared from the U.S. market in the late 1970s for a multitude of reasons, it seemed at the time that a new Beetle was inevitable; we just didn’t think it would take until 1998 to get one. After several years of rumors and teasers, the New Beetle arrived just as an entire generation of buyers of growing affluence realized they were suffering from a debilitating case of nostalgia.

Although it might be that the generations we’re raising now won’t have a sense of nostalgia to resurrect automotive styles. If they bother to buy cars at all.

Where In The Style Guide Is It Written

That marijuana should be referred to in newspapers and news stories as ‘weed’?

These states now have legal weed and what states could follow in 2020
(OzarksFirst, which is KOZL, KOLR-10, and KRBK in Springfield)

Long lines in Collinsville greet first day of recreational weed sales in Illinois
(St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

Wisconsin will soon become an island surrounded by legal weed
(Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel)

Nearly $3.2 million in legal weed was sold in Illinois on the first day of sales, marking one of the strongest showings in the history of marijuana legalization
(Chicago Tribune)


Springfield News-Leader

I noticed this with the breathless (I think we know why the journalists were holding their breath) coverage of the whole sorta legalization thing in the Springfield News-Leader, but I’m hard-pressed to think of another thing referred to consistently in slang terms in the news media.

To Be Fair, The PSA Was Not Addressed To Clevelanders

The score on my New Year’s Eve PSA for St. Louis has increased to five dead in shootings, but in Cleveland, someone festively firing rounds killed his girlfriend:

Illegal celebratory gunfire turned deadly just after midnight on New Year’s Day, according to Cleveland Police.

Detectives are investigating the death of a 31-year-old woman who was shot.

Officers responded just after midnight on New Year’s Day and found the woman with a gunshot wound. She later died at MetroHealth Hospital.

While investigating, police learned the victim’s 38-year-old boyfriend was “popping off” rounds to celebrate the start of 2020. At some point, the woman was shot.

Uh huh. That sounds exactly like what happened.

Also, apparently, Cleveland saw 11 shootings between 6pm New Year’s Eve and 3am Christmas day, a total greater than St. Louis (whose fifth shooting was apparently later on New Year’s Day, but added to the total to make the story More Deadly).

Somebody Wasn’t Listening

On Facebook, I posted this:

Because back before the turn of the century, the end of the year airwaves really were full of PSAs warning people not to go outside and fire their guns into the air at midnight. In spite of this, we would hear gunfire when we were in town. Okay, we were in town on New Years Eve exactly once when we spent the night at my aunt’s house and my mother and aunt went out and my brother and I stayed in and watched New Year’s Rocking Eve.

However, nobody shared my Facebook post, which resulted in:

4 homicides in first 3 hours of 2020 in St. Louis:

St. Louis police say four people were shot to death in the early hours of the first day of 2020, including three killed at one location.

UPDATE: Since I posted this article, the headline and story have changed to up the score from four to five.

Also, We Must Raze Aurora

A Missouri lawmaker is setting himself up to be the next exemplar of religious fanatics in the Republican party: State representative says there shouldn’t be a “false god” on the capitol building:

A local lawmaker is asking state officials to prevent putting up a statue of a [R]oman goddess back on the [C]apitol building.

State Representative Mike Moon, from Ash Grove, wrote to Governor Mike Parson claiming the statue of Ceres Is a “false god” and should not be displayed on the capitol dome. [capitalization corrected]

What does he think of having a town not far from his named after a Roman goddess?

I Haven’t Mentioned Her Name In Almost 24 Hours

Marie Fredriksson, Roxette singer, dead of cancer at 61:

Roxette singer Marie Fredriksson, the Swedish star who achieved worldwide fame with such hits as “Joyride” and “It Must Have Been Love,” has died at age 61 after a 17-year battle with cancer.

“The Look” came on the radio when I took my boys to school yesterday, and I recounted the ‘fact’ that she could not speak English when this song was released.

I must have heard that on the radio at the time. I have no idea if it was ever true.

Fun fact: My friend Dave (of the Iron Maiden poster fame) and I argued against my brother about the staying power of Milli Vanilli (David and I posited) versus Roxette (my brother countered). In retrospect, it pretty much a wash in American music and its charts, and Roxette has only appeared on this blog as a punchline (Scientists Prove Rest of World Is Parallel Universe to United States in 2007, Free Trivia Answer in 2005).

Still, I am saddened to learn of her passing.

I Blame The Dharma Initiative

Polar bear spray-painted with ‘T-34’ baffles Russia wildlife experts:

Footage shared on social media in Russia of a polar bear with “T-34” spray-painted in black on its side has alarmed experts.

Experts warned the stunt could affect the animal’s ability to blend in with its surroundings and hunt for food.

An investigation is under way to determine exactly where in Arctic Russia the video was filmed.

I’ve seen this before.

Fifteen years later, I’m probably the only one still alluding to Lost.

UPDATE: It looks as though Ms. K. has also commented on the story.

Military Scientists Make The Sword and The Sorcerer Prototype A Reality

US air forces in Syria use rare Hellfire missile to kill two targets:

The projectile used in the attack in Atmeh is believed to be a rare Hellfire missile known as the AGM-114R9X — which instead of a traditional warhead, has sword-like blades that protrude out of it, according The Warzone.

Video of the field trials below:

If it were lasers, you know I’d have gone with Real Genius.

A British Summer Home

Since my first castle is here in town, I guess I’ll have to use this British castle as a summer home.

It took Anton Jones 15 years to buy what was known locally as Llantwit Castle from the Vale of Glamorgan council and another five years to transform the medieval house.

No cranes or cement mixers were used and all the materials were mixed and constructed using traditional methods.

Lime mortar was used and the solid oak beams were cut and constructed on site.

Anton was fascinated with the building since he was a child where he used to play but was also “scared to death of it.”

He said: “It was very, very creepy in those days because the ruin was totally covered in ivy.

“It was always very gloomy even on a summer’s day and there was always an eerie presence here and I actually got chased by horses here once.

“I can still hear the hooves hitting the stones now when I’m working here.”

When he bought the property for £5,000 the “conservation builder” feared he had bitten off more than he could chew when the extent of the restoration project became fully clear.

Anton said: It was completely ruined, in fact it shouldn’t really have been saved because it was too far gone.

It looks nice.

Unfortunately, it is in Britain.

Suddenly, “OK, Boomer”

So I’ve seen the rejoinder “OK Boomer” [sic] twice this week, and it’s only Tuesday. The first was on Facebook post by Bill Whittle and the second was on today’s Bleat by James Lileks. So I guess it’s a thing in Internet places where one contends with Millenials. I don’t, so I haven’t seen it, and I’m not a boomer anyway.

But I see “OK Boomer” and immediately I think of the Benji knock-off:

If you’re of a certain age, it probably triggers the theme song in your head.

Enjoy the flickering representation while it lasts, which will be until the automated copyright checking algorithms find it and I have to replace it in the post with the the German version.

I Know; I Am From Milwaukee

The Current Local, the Van Buren, Missouri, weekly paper, recently ran a piece on a local resident who once was a state trooper in Alaska.

The text, though, doesn’t think many people reading it are from Milwaukee.

In July of 1968, Stan Kaziczkowski (pronounced kozziKOWskee) stood at the unlikely doors of the Alaska State Trooper Academy in Sitka, a small city on Baranof Island south of Glacier Bay National Park.

I know how to say Kaziczkowski, for Pete’s sake. Just like it’s spelled. And, yes, Kaziczkowski is from Wisconsin.

(See also Finalists for Most Milwaukee Wedding 2017 Announced.)

The Difference Between The Old Neighborhood And The New

I check out the crime stories that mention places I’ve lived to see if I know the alleged perpetrators. Hey, it happens; once I saw the name and picture of the kid who sat behind me in 8th grade Civics class with Mrs. Padgett, but he wasn’t a kid anymore.

In the new neighborhood, I check the news stories to see how close tornadoes came to Nogglestead.

This one? Very close indeed. According to a map in the Greene County Commonwealth, it ran just a little south of here:

It was passing to our south when the weather radio alarm went off with the tornado warning. So we got away with one there.