Open Thread: Musical Numbers

Everyone’s acting like Katy Perry’s dancing sharks are a new thing.


Open thread.

119 replies
  1. 1
    Bob In Portland says:

    The loud little handful–as usual–will shout for the war. The pulpit will–warily and cautiously–object–at first; the great, big, dull bulk of the nation will rub its sleepy eyes and try to make out why there should be a war, and will say, earnestly and indignantly, ‘It is unjust and dishonorable, and there is no necessity for it.’ Then the handful will shout louder. A few fair men on the other side will argue and reason against the war with speech and pen, and at first will have a hearing and be applauded; but it will not last long; those others will outshout them, and presently the anti-war audiences will thin out and lose popularity. Before long you will see this curious thing: the speakers stoned from the platform, and free speech strangled by hordes of furious men who in their secret hearts are still at one with those stoned speakers–as earlier–but do not dare say so. And now the whole nation–pulpit and all–will take up the war-cry, and shout itself hoarse, and mob any honest man who ventures to open his mouth; and presently such mouths will cease to open. Next the statesmen will invent cheap lies, putting the blame upon the nation that is attacked, and every man will be glad of those conscience-soothing falsities, and will diligently study them, and refuse to examine any refutations of them; and thus he will by and by convince himself the war is just, and will thank God for the better sleep he enjoys after this process of grotesque self-deception. – Mark Twain

  2. 2

    TeenFromOhio: Lookit the TREES, they are so cute!
    MrsFromOhio: I would love to have been one of the glowing ball people.
    Me: I want shark pajamas that look like that.

  3. 3
    Buddy H says:

    Love that Mark Twain quote.

    Two local authors released biographies of T. Roosevelt. Then, of course, there was the PBS docu.

    I worked with a guy who read the books and just idolized Teddy. After watching PBS, I was less than impressed by the big San Juan Hill battle. Teddy comes across more as an adrenaline junkie, a bloodthirsty thrill seeker, than a shrewd military strategist.

    I’m more of a Mark Twain fan; I found it amusing that the Rough Rider refused to shake Twain’s hand when the two of them appeared at a public function. I guess Twain was too critical of the imperialism.

  4. 4
    ThresherK says:

    Channelling my inner Lewis Black, I shouted at the screen: “All I want is to see some furry in a dolphin costume hump a palm tree! Is that too much to ask?

  5. 5
    Buddy H says:

    Katy Perry has been kind of bullying Taylor Swift. Something to do with an ex-boyfriend.

    Taylor was literally bullied out of school, so I feel bad for her that she has to face the same treatment as an adult, and a celebrity.

    Katy is amusing, but I get a vibe from her that she’s not… a nice person.

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    jibeaux says:

    I thought most of Katy’s act would’ve been most appealing to the age of kids who should’ve already been asleep for an hour. Liked Missy, though.

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    kindness says:

    What that 1/2 time needed was a Land Shark.

  9. 9
    sharl says:

    Big news, assuming it comes to pass:

    RadioShack in Talks to Sell Half Its Stores to Sprint, Shutter the Rest

    (Bloomberg) — RadioShack Corp. is preparing to shut down the almost-century-old retail chain in a bankruptcy deal that would sell about half its store leases to Sprint Corp. and close the rest, according to people with knowledge of the discussions.

    The locations sold to Sprint would operate under the wireless carrier’s name, meaning RadioShack would cease to exist as a stand-alone retailer, said the people, who declined to be identified because the talks aren’t public.

    The negotiations could still break down without a deal being reached, or the terms could change. Sprint and RadioShack also have discussed co-branding the stores, two of the people said. It’s also possible that another bidder could emerge that would buy RadioShack and keep it operating, the people said…

  10. 10
    Alex S. says:

    @Bob In Portland:

    Maybe it’s still too dangerous…

    The body of former Russian agent Alexander Litvinenko was so radioactive that his post-mortem was “one of the most dangerous” ever undertaken, a pathologist said Wednesday.

  11. 11
    FlyingToaster says:

    @jibeaux: I dunno. We were all struck by how much the set/costume/antics looked like a Yo Gabba Gabba episode…

  12. 12
    zmulls says:

    I keep running out of reasons why I would go to a Radio Shack. The last time I was in there they tried to sell me BATTERIES lots of BATTERIES we’re having a sale on BATTERIES.

    Nobody is building their own ham radios anymore.

  13. 13
    Amir Khalid says:

    What has Radio Shack been selling for the past couple of decades? I would have thought they’d be better positioned than anyone to take advantage of the consumer tech boom.

  14. 14
    Miki says:

    “I like to be in America
    Okay by me in America
    Everything free in America
    For a small fee in America”

  15. 15
    Punchy says:

    But were those sharks vaccinated?

  16. 16
    buddy h says:

    @Alex S.: Meanwhile, Putin’s daughter is quite an acrobat:

  17. 17
    Bob In Portland says:

    Babi Yar.@Alex S.: Danny Casolaro. PROMIS software. NSA. Internet. Who’da thunk?

  18. 18
    buddy h says:

    @Amir Khalid: I stopped going to radio shack because after awhile it became an uncomfortable experience.

    The employees must have been pressured by upper mgmt to build mailing lists, because they were pushy/borderline rude trying to get my personal information.

    “I just want to buy a seven dollar cable.”

    “Can we have your name, address, email address, phone number, mothers maiden name….”

  19. 19
    Scamp Dog says:

    @sharl: That’s a shame. Radio Shack has actually getting more useful to me the last couple of years, carrying Arduino boards, sensors, and other up-to-date gadgetry. “Oh crap, I burned out that part” no longer requires waiting for a mail ordered part to eventually show up. For the time being, anyway.

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    MomSense says:

    Did anyone see The Flight of the Conchords’ take on West Side Story? It was fantastic.

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    Violet says:

    @sharl: Last year Radio Shack ran a crazy ad during the Super Bowl. Guess that didn’t work out so well.

  23. 23


    I keep running out of reasons why I would go to a Radio Shack

    I went to a Radio Shack recently because I needed alligator clips. I was afraid that even Radio Shack wouldn’t sell them anymore, but they still had a cabinet with DIY electronic parts. I’ve also gone there for replacement DC power supplies and project boxes. I’m going to miss that kind of thing when they’re gone.

    On a Katy Perry note, I was glad to see that her backup dancers for “California Gurls” were about as racially and ethnically diverse as the real thing.

  24. 24
    trollhattan says:

    My 13YO was thrilled by the halftime show for the first time evah, so I guess she’s smack in the demographic. Time of day was fine, on the left coast.

    Dudes be busy gettin’ maar beers and recycling the previous beers and all, so don’t much care. That guy last year, whose name I forget, was actually quite good, while most years it’s just a horrid mess (Madonna…WTF?!?) BTW, have we officially run out of geezers of rawk?

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    trollhattan says:

    That show was so far under the radar they must have brought shovels, but once I dialed into what they were about I just loved it. So very droll and unmatched until Portlandia.

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    gogol's wife says:

    @Roger Moore:

    Our local Radio Shack is great. I’ve recently bought plain vanilla cell phones for myself and my husband, a digital recorder for my husband, and lots and lots of batteries! The people working in our store are knowledgeable and helpful. No wonder they’re going out of business.

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    Violet says:

    @trollhattan: Last year was Bruno Mars and he was great.

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    Bob In Portland says:

    @buddy h: Do you enjoy the rightwing hit pieces of Obama’s offspring?

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    sharl says:

    @Amir Khalid: Just from looking around the RS stores that I go into, their product line is largely available at Best Buy and even WalMart these days, so I suspect outlets like that are kicking their ass these days.

    Although I haven’t experienced it much lately – in the few times I’ve gone into the DC-area suburban stores close to me – what buddy h says is (or at least was) certainly true: they got all all intrusive in asking for contact information. Very annoying…

    My last trip into a RS was to buy some basic items – flashlight lamps, bayonet-style screw-in holders for those bulbs, a 9V battery holder – to fashion a basic conductivity tester for a small project at work. These kind of things cannot be found at WalMart or (I don’t think) Best Buy. That will be much missed, as noted by Scamp Dog.

    ETA: Looks like Roger Moore’s (#23) local RS has the same cabinet I fortunately found at my nearby RS (and I needed alligator clips as well).

  31. 31
    WereBear says:

    @sharl: It’s a terrible thing what has happened to Radio Shack, who nurtured generations of geeks and tech people. But sadly, they are useless and gimmicky now. The last three things I bought from them, broke.

  32. 32
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @Bob In Portland: which of them is in her late 20s and running a slush fund for dad? I always forget.

  33. 33
    gene108 says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    What has Radio Shack been selling for the past couple of decades? I would have thought they’d be better positioned than anyone to take advantage of the consumer tech boom.

    Radio Shack was for the “hard core” techy. You know the guy, who went there to buy transistors to repair his radio or build on from scratch and other things a lot of folks had someone else repair for them or would not attempt to build on their own.

    When transistors and other such equipment stopped being produce and the stuff that is produced now is not stuff you can repair at home or build at home yourself, they faced a real problem in what to do next with what they sold.

    They never figured it out.

  34. 34
    trollhattan says:

    Thanks, that was the guy. For somebody I literally never heard of he really was a pleasant surprise. That’s a tough stage!

    Also, too, from last year, Renee Fleming should always sing the anthem.

  35. 35
    MomSense says:


    I first stumbled onto them when I caught their stand up routine. When they announced a show I purchased HBO so we could watch it. I’m on my stupid phone so it’s hard to link but Stay Cool Bret is the West Side Story song.

  36. 36
    trollhattan says:

    Speaking of Radio Shack, did somebody replace HODOR!’s battery? It’s overclocking now, or something.

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  38. 38

    I guess I can probably get the same kind of stuff from Fry’s, but I’ll miss having a Radio Shack much closer to home.

  39. 39
    buddy h says:

    @MomSense: They were classic. I loved how they portrayed their “lives in show biz” with the indifferent audiences, incompetent managers, and obsessive fan.

  40. 40
    trollhattan says:

    I lived for their band meetings with Murray. “Let’s start with roll call.”

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    catclub says:

    @ThresherK: Just what someone with a shark nym would say.

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    catclub says:

    Radio Shack has a large amount of real estate. I think some creative destruction person might figure out a better way to use it.

    Maybe Vape shops. Or tanning.

  44. 44
    Belafon says:

    @zmulls: I’m about to go raid our nearest radio shack to put an electronics kit together for my youngest kid’s 10 year birthday present.

  45. 45
    Violet says:

    @trollhattan: Bruno Mars current hit “Uptown Funk” is ridiculously catchy.

  46. 46
    Bob In Portland says:

    @Bobby Thomson: My point made. It’s not good for Huckabee to slime Obama’s kids, not good for Repubs to slime Clinton’s kid, but okay to post breaking news from BoingBoing about Putin’s daughter. For what purpose, asshole?

    Joe Biden’s boy got kicked out of the military for cocaine and landed on the board of Ukraine’s biggest natural gas company. I don’t remember your link to that.

    Everything is propaganda. When you feed at the trough it’s best to have a well-balanced meal.

  47. 47
    fuckwit says:

    @gene108: Used to be the place to go to get electronics parts, transistors, chips, tubes, resistors, connectors, PCB boards, antennas, etc. Great place if you were a ham, a hacker, or someone looking to fix their own TV or radio. By the late 70s and early 80s you could buy computers and computer stuff (TRASH-80, anyone?) there. Then it went downhill. Sometime in the 1990s the “shack” turned into a place that sold electronic toys and CD players and pagers (remember those?).

    Nowadays you buy all your parts and components online from DigiKey and such, from specialty shops like LadyAda and SparkFun, or direct from China via AliBaba or eBay. You buy your computers and home entertainment stuff from Best Buy or similar (or online). You buy your mobile stuff direct from the carrier’s store, Apple Store, or some carrier-licensed dealer, or from the local corner family-owned mobile store that speaks your language if you’re in an immigrant neighborhood.

    The last decade or so, Radio Shack has been basically a cellphone store anyway, so the merger with Sprint makes perfect sense. Seems to be they tend to be right on the same block with the Verizon Store, AT&T Store, and Sprint Store these days… and largely redundant to all of the above. They do still have a rack with parts, useful when you need something in a hurry, but if you’re a modern-day hacker most of your stuff is ordered online anyway.

  48. 48
    MomSense says:

    @buddy h: @trollhattan:

    Now I really want to watch the series again. So many funny songs like You’re so beautiful you could be a part time model.

  49. 49
    Josie says:

    Yesterday I questioned the definition of middle class. Today there is an editorial on this subject in the NYT. The author quotes some interesting facts and figures.;abg=1

  50. 50
    buddy h says:

    In what way, shape or form was the boingboing piece a “hit” piece, comparable to the hateful nonsense spewed by certain right wing pigs?

    Title: “Vladimir Putin’s daughter executes sweet dance moves, runs part of new $1.6B sci-tech incubator”

    “The talented young woman in this eighties-fabulous partner dance competition video is said to be Vladimir Putin’s daughter. She is reportedly involved in a new, $1.6 billion science and technology incubator funded by some of her dad’s friends.”

    There are a few rude reader comments, but every website has rude assholes in the comment section. Even balloon-juice.

  51. 51
    buddy h says:

    I like this site and especially enjoy reader comments, but I guess every blog needs at least one obnoxious keyboard tough guy.

    Hi Bob from Portland.


  52. 52
    PurpleGirl says:

    I still go to Radio Shack for some things. I like certain timers they sell and I got my very basic cell phone from them. I guess I should go buy a few more timers. I also bought the LogiTech wireless keyboard and mouse at RS. It’s a shame they couldn’t find a way to reinvent themselves as necessary. Mayber there were too MBAs in the upper ranks of executives who knew nothing about electronics and such.

  53. 53
    boatboy_srq says:

    @fuckwit: RadioShack did a decent job of being the under-the-hood go-to place for electric hobbyists. Their problems started when they appointed a former dog food exec to run the place, then shut down their own labels to get the RCA franchise, partnered for in-store presence with Blockbuster (!) and played proto-NCLB with their store managers under “Fix 1500”. The wiki reads like a litany of bad decisions.

  54. 54
    Gravenstone says:

    @trollhattan: It’s the first of the month. He probably got a new support check from Papa Putin.

  55. 55
    WereBear says:

    @buddy h: Keep hanging around. You’ll figure out who the trolls are :)

    @boatboy_srq: The wiki reads like a litany of bad decisions.

    Laws, yes. How does a pioneering tech company go so badly wrong? Texas Instruments, anyone?

  56. 56
    buddy h says:

    @WereBear: Thanks for the heads up. And I love the cats blog.

  57. 57
    WereBear says:

    @buddy h: Thanks! Glad to see you there.

  58. 58
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @Bob In Portland: again, which of obama’s daughters is in her late 20s and being criticized for running a slush fund? I’ll wait.

  59. 59
    Tree With Water says:

    Bronco Nagagurski, Jim Brown, Ray Nitzchke, Dick Butkus, Ronnie Lott… dancing sharks?

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    Amir Khalid says:

    Thanks all for that quick history lesson on Radio Shack. Back in the 1980s, it tried opening a store in Kuala Lumpur. It had rather an odd selection of merchandise, attracted little customer traffic, and lasted only a few months.

  62. 62
    WereBear says:

    @efgoldman: That’s another thing that undercut them. I remember when “getting a stereo” was a big deal, a step on the road to independent Young Adulthood. You debated tuners and turntables and speakers with your friends, the tech-head in the group would go to the store with you, everyone would come over to put it together… and there was a party to celebrate it!

    Now… children are almost born with iPods. Not that I regret gadget growth… I adore it. It was just a different time.

  63. 63
    JCJ says:


    You and Roger Moore needed alligator clips. Hmm. I remember the potheads when I was in middle school always used those as roach clips. I am old.

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    Tree With Water says:

    @Amir Khalid: There’s was a guy who ran a Radio Shack franchise Napa county, Ca. years ago. His business plan was fatally flawed by the fact he was a misanthrope. I had heard about him before I dealt with him, and it was hilarious. He folded shop shortly thereafter, and probably opened a funeral parlor..

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    Bob In Portland says:

    @Bobby Thomson: So what was the purpose of posting something about Putin’s daughter and not, say, Clinton’s, who is an adult and an arbitrager? Did you post the reference to Putin’s daughter as an answer to the links you haven’t read?

    I don’t know, which is more important? Intentionally starting a war with one of the two nuclear powers that can destroy humanity in a missile exchange? Or maybe the article on Putin’s daughter was in response to the article about the ten thousand Ukrainian soldiers caught in a cauldron on the battlefield or the one million Ukrainians avoiding the draft by going to Russia. Or perhaps the article with Obama admitting that the US was in on setting up the coup government. Or maybe the Ukrainian youth who keep spray-painting swastikas on the memorial at Babi Yar. I’m sure you posted that article for a reason, because if the daughter of the chief of state of our enemy is a bad person, like Saddam’s sons were bad men and Khadafy’s sons were bad men, and that gave us as people permission to slime Putin’s daughter, well, that certainly justifies war.

    Go back and read the Mark Twain quote at the top of the post. He’s not on your side on this one.

  69. 69

    Way way late, but well played, Zandar, well played!

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    Violet says:


    Do they really think anyone is going to ignore the game but stay glued to the halftime show? Really?

    Yes. The Super Bowl is an Event. People throw parties and all sorts of people are there, from those who are fans of one of the teams to those who just like football to people who know nothing about football at all. The halftime performance is part of The Event. There will be people who aren’t paying much attention to the game but watch the commercials and/or watch the halftime performance.

  72. 72
    Bob In Portland says:

    @Gravenstone: Did you just say, “America, love it or leave it”? Or are you saying, “Better dead than red”? No need to beat around the bush while you drag your knuckles on the ground. Just admit that you support the US starting wars around the world to control the world’s energy under the cover of spreading democracy. That’s all you have to do, admit where you stand, dipshit.

    Because all this silly stuff about being on Putin’s payroll is just not a terribly good ad hominem to deflect your problem with admitting that the US is supporting the guys with the swastikas on their helmets. Do you think that supporting Nazis is your natural political position and you can’t imagine otherwise unless you are being paid by Putin? Do you think that I’m not marching correctly and in lockstep? Love those boys with the swastikas on their helmets or you’re not a good American? You are fucking pathetic.

    Has Balloon Juice ever had a thread on Ukraine? I haven’t seen it, but if one did run I’d be curious if someone would link to it, just to see when it was posted and how much US bullshit you were swallowing at that time, you know, to measure that against the size of your current daily bullshit swallow.

  73. 73
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Tree With Water:
    I checked the Wikipedia article on Radio Shack again. Their Malaysian franchise holder was Berjaya Corp — the outfit of Vincent Tan, a stereotypical MOTU asshole with whom Cardiff City FC fans (he owns the Welsh football club) have an infamously contentious relationship.

  74. 74
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Bob In Portland:
    You’ve got some nerve, talking about other people swallowing bullshit.

  75. 75
    Amir Khalid says:

    Okay, I could really use some tech hand-holding now. I need to copy .mp3 files from a hard disk to my Android phone, which my laptop recognises as :G . Which folder should I pick so that my phone’s music player can find it?

  76. 76
    ThresherK says:

    @PurpleGirl: I swear the parts selection is the same as when I got my 150-in-1 kit of funtime projects as a kid. Open up an electronics magazine from the days when everything was soldered together, and the part lists are all full of RS stock numbers.

    I will miss the local one I used to go to (now going out of biz). They let us play with every headset, case and charging device for our new, cheap cell phone, and that netted them the whopping sum of $30 in sales after about 45 mins of in-store testing. Not the thing they train the saleshawks at Best Buy to do, and didn’t get them much money. But it was great customer service.

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    Bob In Portland says:

    @buddy h: “Slush fund”?

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    Bob In Portland says:

    @Amir Khalid: When do we get to see the autopsies for the crew of MH17? It’s already been six months.

    Well, in the meantime, you better eat what’s on your plate.

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    Bobby Thomson says:

    @Bob In Portland: again, which of Obama’s daughters is in her late 20s and being criticized for running a slush fund? Also, too, when have Chelsea Clinton or Hunter Biden been accused of running a slush fund? Also, also, too, I didn’t post any article on Putain’s daughter. But I haven’t been throwing out tu quoque fallacies in an attempt to change the subject.

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    JustRuss says:

    Too bad about Radioshack. When I was in the sound and video business, they were a lifesaver when you rolled into town and realized you needed an adapter to hook your whosit to the whatsit, or you hadn’t packed enough thingamajigs. Even if they didn’t have the right part, you could usually rig something together to get by.

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    Bobby Thomson says:

    @Bob In Portland: being criticized for participation in official state corruption is EXACTLY the same as misogynist and racist critiques of the appearance of a minor.

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    Amir Khalid says:

    @Bob In Portland:
    I don’t understand why one would need to strafe a Boeing 777’s flight deck before firing an air-to-air missile to bring it down. I don’t understand why a plot to escalate a civil war into one between Russia and Ukraine should involve downing a civilian airliner from a third country carrying mostly people from a fourth country.

    We have only the word of this Russian journalist cited by you, and no statement from the investigating authorities, regarding the finding of rounds in the flight crew’s bodies. I tend not to trust anyone you cite, for reasons already known to you.

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    vtr says:

    I still have an Audax 15″ triaxial loudspeaker mounted in University speaker enclosure that I bought in 1962 at the Radio Shack on Mass Ave in Boston when there were only two R. S. stores in the world. Later they were bought out by Tandy, which was a manufacturer of leather goods. Yeah, the last thing I bought there was batteries.

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    jeffreyw says:

    @Amir Khalid: I can probably help you. Are you running windows on the PC you are wanting to hook up to the android phone?

  85. 85
    Amir Khalid says:

    Windows 7.

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    jeffreyw says:

    @Amir Khalid: Click on the G: and look for a folder that says Music

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    Bob In Portland says:

    @Amir Khalid: There are plenty of people who doubt the US/NATO/official version of MH17. Your doubts should probably be redirected, but if you have so many people involved in forensically investigating the cause of an airliner being shot down, and we’re six months out, why are the autopsies being withheld? I think about five months ago you said we needed to wait. So how long do we have to wait? Is there some kind of Malay tradition to not do autopsies on the dead for six months? Or is there some strategic reason for not releasing the autopsies?

    And what would change anyway? Suppose it turns out that, yes, the Ukrainians shot down the airliner as a false flag operation and the US was behind it, that wouldn’t change a thing with you. You’d still stand in solidarity with the boys with the swastikas, right?

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    Bob In Portland says:

    @Bobby Thomson: Yes. Let’s see your critique of Biden’s son. I mean, at least they are Americans. Last time I checked Putin’s daughter hadn’t defected.

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    jeffreyw says:

    @efgoldman: I think my phone had a music folder from the get-go, with some sample tunes or ringtones. All the music apps I’ve put on the phone so far sift through the storage to find music and manage to ferret out everything on there.
    I did make my own folder and called it MP3s for all my sideloaded stuff.

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    jeffreyw says:

    FYWP eated a comment. Bastards

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    Amir Khalid says:

    @Bob In Portland:
    So now I’m a fascist too?

    The doubters you cite all have an interest in deflecting blame from Russia. My scepticism towards them is, I reckon, entirely justifiable. I remain patient in awaiting official investigation results because like many others I am well aware of the difficulties this one is facing: unsecured crash site, conflict zone, tampering with and looting of evidence, etc. It was always going to be a matter of years rather than weeks before any report was ready.

  92. 92
    Bob In Portland says:

    @Bobby Thomson: Okay, Russia is not the United States, so we must comment on an article in BoingBoing about Putin’s daughter allegedly running a slush fund.

    Hunter Biden, the son of the man you undoubtedly voted for for Vice President suddenly ends up on the board of the biggest natural gas company in Ukraine after snorting his way out of the reserves. So because Hunter Biden hasn’t been alleged to have been running a slush fund for his daddy, we don’t need to know the details about why Hunter started getting a check from Ukraine? Well, if you want to talk about slush funds, how about talking about the decades of slush funds diverted to al Qaeda through the House of Saud? How about the checks to the hijackers from the Saudis who got flown out of the US the day after 9/11? Any interest to you?

    Of course not. It’s easy to further the demonization of a political figure through relatives. Billy Beer, remember? So what other reason would you repost an article with no documentation accusing Putin’s daughter of managing a “slush fund” for her daddy?

    Let’s consider the possibilities. You linked to the article not because you wanted to further the demonization of Putin (not the subject of any of the links I posted). Hmm. Since others here do this routinely I suspect that was the case. What is the other possibility? You think that younger Putin is bad for daddy Putin and you’re watching out for his welfare? You’re at the start of a worldwide study of how wealth flows to the politically powerful and their relatives and couldn’t find an example in your own country?

    Admit it. You screwed the pooch. Again.

  93. 93
    Buddy H says:

    @Bob In Portland: I was the one who posted the link to Putin’s daughter and her acrobatic dancing skills.
    It struck me as an amusing parallel to Sarah Palin’s daughter on “Dancing With The Stars.”

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    Amir Khalid says:

    Your advice reminds me that I never got around to setting up the music player on my smartphone. (Out-of-touch old git that I am, I use it only for voice calls, text, WhatsApp and as a pocket watch.) I’ll need to do that too.

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    Amir Khalid says:

    @Bob In Portland:

    Is there some kind of Malay tradition to not do autopsies on the dead for six months?

    Ooh, a dig at my ethnicity! Stay classy, Bob. There would definitely have been an autopsy, performed in the Netherlands. The Dutch authorities needed to ID everyone’s remains so the families could get the right ones back. But I can see why they wouldn’t want to publish autopsy findings during an ongoing investigation.

  96. 96
    Bob In Portland says:

    @Amir Khalid: I don’t know. Do you support the fascists in Ukraine or do you just not see them? Yes, every word ever written has some kind of agenda behind it. If you shot down an airliner and tried to blame it on your enemy, wouldn’t you have an interest in diverting suspicions from you?

    The unsecured crash site is irrelevant for the autopsies. All the bodies found have been removed from the crash site, they were removed six months ago. It took years to find out that the Gulf of Tonkin was a false flag. How long until you figured out the yellowcake sham?

    So your patience is being rewarded with more silence. Meanwhile, the people who you claim want to divert suspicions are calling on the NATOists to reveal the results of the autopsies.

    Here’s the problem for YOUR SIDE: The plane was shot down over Ukrainian controlled territory but fell in territory under control of the rebels. Yes, for a week or so afterwards the Ukrainians shelled the area to prevent the removal of the bodies. But we know that people on the ground took pictures of the site. We’ve seen what appear to be 30mm bulletholes in both sides of the cockpit, in pictures. Even if the West were to fake the evidence of the autopsies, what happens if someone shows up with a picture of the bulletholes running through the cockpit and through the pilot? If that were the case, how would the US/Ukraine get out of that?

    The delay is not so much that autopsies can’t be faked. The CIA had a saying back in the fifties, “Give me the coroner and I control the city.” But the US doesn’t know what Russia has. It would not surprise me that they had a team at the crash site snapping photos the next day.

    So what’s the best thing to do? Don’t talk about it. Eventually the sheep will forget and move onto Katy Perry and the dancing sharks or Charlie Hebdo or ISIS chopping off heads (but not the House of Saud chopping off heads). Let the dust settle. The US would never lie to you, would they? They’d never have a false flag, would they? They’d never want to steer you into supporting a war by giving you a reason that has nothing to do with the sales job for said war, would they?

    Yes, let’s wait until the overlords decide it’s safe for us to know the truth.

  97. 97
    Steeplejack says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    I just hooked up my Moto X (Android phone) to my Windows 7 computer to see what’s what. I specified (on the phone) to hook up as a media device (vs. camera) and then opened Windows Explorer (not Internet Explorer!) to look at the “new” drive on the computer.

    In the root of the drive there is a folder called Music. It was empty—I think this is the first time I have actually hooked up the phone to the computer since I got it (phone) a year ago—so I copied a random MP3 file to that folder from my computer: Timmy Thomas, “Why Can’t We Live Together.”

    Then I opened the Google Play Music app on the phone. I did have to click the configuration menu and select “Downloaded only.” Then the song showed up and I was able to play it. Listening to it now, actually.

    Hope this helps! And it is reminding me that (a) I need to copy a bunch of other songs to the phone so I’ve got something to listen to when I’m out and about and (b) I need to copy a metric ton of photographs from the phone to the computer to free up space on the former.

    ETA: You might not need to “set up” a music player. Google Play Music comes as a preloaded standard app, I believe, and the Music folder was already created on my phone. As I said above, this was the first time I hooked up the phone to the computer. If you don’t have a Music folder, by some chance, just create one in the root directory of the phone “drive.”

    ETFA: Anybody got a recommendation for a better/favorite Android music player app?

  98. 98
    jeffreyw says:

    @Steeplejack: Google Play is not bad, if you are a Prime Amazon member their amazon music app is good, you can download free music from their catalog to your phone to listen to offline.

  99. 99
    Bob In Portland says:

    @Amir Khalid: So you claim that the reason why autopsies are still secret is to further the investigation? Great. What have they been investigating for the last six months?

    You got all bent out of shape because an article that I linked to used a man’s last name as his surname, and names work differently in your country. No rebuttals to the fact that said person was being investigated for, if I may be so bold as to incorporate others’ comments here, his connection to a terrorist slush fund by the FBI in its Operation Green Quest, though. Or that the spokesman for the OSCE on the ground in Ukraine has been a defender for both men charged with killing at a German death camp and wrote a glowing introduction in a book for same said man involved with the terrorist slush fund.

    As I recall, you got your ass in a sling over using the wrong name. That’s kind of hiding behind local customs when the bigger story was sitting there. It’s okay. We’re all hypocrites. Your kind of hypocrisy leads to many people dying. These days it’s mostly Muslims who are dying, but lots of Ukrainians are dying too. Enjoy your silence.

  100. 100
    Bob In Portland says:

    @Amir Khalid: If the initial explosion didn’t down the plane immediately, you wouldn’t want the pilots to be blabbering on the radio about how a heat-seeking missile just blew up one of its wings. But then again, the conversations between the tower and the airplane are also being kept secret. Oh well, I guess they’ll tell us something eventually. Enjoy the silence.

  101. 101
    Tenar Darell says:

    I was out shoveling for about 2 hours earlier (I go slow and steady). Nowhere left to throw snow, except off the back porch. I’m now trying to decide if I should go again before it gets really cold. Problem is, it hasn’t stopped snowing here, plus it’s gone windy. /sigh

  102. 102
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @buddy h: You ain’t seen nothin yet.

  103. 103
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Bob In Portland: Charged and found innocent by the Supreme Court of Israel.

    So he defended an innocent man. The perfidy!

  104. 104
    Bob In Portland says:

    @buddy h: Yeah, real tough guy, who wants the US to stop waging war around the world. A peacenik tough guy.

    @Gin & Tonic: Hope I didn’t scare you by being a tough guy.

  105. 105
    Steeplejack says:


    Thanks! I am a Prime member; I’ll check out the app.

    Just looked and saw that I have 642 photos squatting on the phone, taking up 1.53 GB of space. Yikes!

    My next question is: anybody got an add-on camera app (for Android) they like better than the standard one? My Moto X takes great pictures, and I’m generally satisfied with the standard camera app, but it doesn’t have an option to show a screen of thumbnails, so every time I want to show someone a picture on the phone I have to swipe backwards chronologically—usually through dozens of pictures of the housecat—to get to the one I want. Embarrassing.

  106. 106
    Bob In Portland says:

    @Gin & Tonic: But convicted in Germany of the deaths of 27,900 Jews. Since his case was being appealed at his time of death we can put an asterisk by that one too.

    What do you think John Demjanjuk did during the war?

  107. 107
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Bob In Portland: I’m trembling in my boots, Bob.

    Or maybe that’s just the cold.

  108. 108
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Bob In Portland: I don’t know what he did during the war. I suspect you don’t either.

  109. 109
    jeffreyw says:

    @Steeplejack: Mrs J just got a motorola phone and their photo app sucked, she went with Quickpic and it’s not a bad app. You can at least make new folders.

  110. 110
    Steeplejack says:


    Cool. Thanks again.

    And I see from my “Balloon Juice Notes” Word file that Tommy recommended the HD Camera Pro app a few months back.

  111. 111
    Bob In Portland says:

    @buddy h: Xini Jardin, who wrote the article, has appeared on MSNBC and Fox (!).

    Her boyfriend, Miles O’Brien, produced a documentary on Nova about the Boston Marathon Bombers. I wonder if he mentioned anything about their Uncle Ruslan running a support group for Chechen terrorists out of Graham Fuller’s basement in the 90s.

    I mean, wouldn’t a curious mind wonder if there was a connection between the boys, their uncle, their uncle’s USAID time, his support of Chechen terrorists, his relationship with his father-in-law, who’s been up to his neck in CIA business in the Middle East since the Reagan Administration and maybe Dhokar’s professor who works for the CIA, or Tamerlane’s involvement with the Jamestown Foundation (CIA)?

    Nah, who wants any confusing details about stuff that’s probably irrelevant?

    No one has to answer if no one asks the questions.

  112. 112
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Bob In Portland:
    You’re no better than the sources you cite. You were citing a source that made basic errors about who’s what in Malaysian politics. You said Anwar Ibrahim, leader of a non-ethnic secular party, was a Muslim fundamentalist. You called Capt Zaharie Ahmad Shah an Anwar follower, implying a close political relationship, when he was just one among thousands of grassroots activists in Parti Keadilan Rakyat. These are among the reasons I don’t trust your cites.

  113. 113
    jeffreyw says:

    @Steeplejack: That’s an app to replace the actual camera functions, quickpic is just an editor/manager app and keeps the moto/droid camera functionality.

  114. 114
    Amir Khalid says:

    @efgoldman: The music player app on my Lenovo has a Playlists folder. Can I dump a folder of .mp3s there and play them?

  115. 115
    Steeplejack says:


    I followed your link and realized that—QuickPic is a “gallery” app, not a camera app per se. That jogged my memory, and I found the default Gallery app on my phone. D’oh! It’s exactly what I need, at least as a quick and dirty solution—an easily scrollable list of thumbnails of all the photographs on the phone, with buttons to go to a specific photo or to the “live” camera app. Live and learn, I guess. Next up: can I use this “cell phone” gizmo to talk to other people?

  116. 116
    jeffreyw says:

    Heh, I was thinking the default gallery app was the one you didn’t like, because that was the one that Mrs J didn’t like. The Quickpic app will let you sort all those thumbs into folders, the default app didn’t have a way to make a new folder without hooking via usb to a PC and making one in explorer. Now that I’ve mentioned usb, take a look at AirDroid.

  117. 117
    Bob In Portland says:

    @Amir Khalid: And you cited as proof of Russian involvement someone sitting on a couch in London who was proven wrong about his former big scoop, the direction of the poison gas missiles in Syria. In an online publication run by a guy who was involved in Rudy Giuliani’s security apparat, who married into Herbert Hoover’s family.

    The pilot was a follower of Anwar Ibrahim, the fellow who was convicted of some sex crime earlier in the same day when the plane disappeared. The pilot was separated from his wife, apparently going through a rough patch, and was practicing flying his plane on his home simulator over the vast stretches of the Indian Ocean prior to the crash. And the plane left its flight course, allegedly did a u-turn, and then disappeared.

    I have no idea of the depth of the pilot’s devotion to Anwar Ibrahim, or if that had anything to do with with the plane “disappearing”. But since it was classified as an accident by your authorities, I guess we don’t have to worry about that anymore.

    As for Anwar Ibrahim, he is notable for his involvement in the International Institute of Islamic Thought, which was identified as a terrorist organization by the FBI. I once was a Boy Scout for a month or so and I wouldn’t want to be tagged to that organization. Granted, it sounds like the current government is even more to the right than Mr. Anwar Ibrahim, so on a sliding scale he is undoubtedly not the most fascist politician in Malaysia. And the charges against him sound phony and motivated by politics.

    Do you think that the International Institute of Islamic Thought is or isn’t a terrorist organization? If it is should Anwar Ibrahim renounce it? Do you think that the FBI’s Operation Green Quest was right in investigating it? Bad jacketing is a common propaganda strategy, so maybe connecting Anwar Ibrahim to the International Institute of Islamic Thought was bad jacketing, like those news outlets who produced a picture of Rosalynn Carter shaking hands with John Wayne Gacy.

    The answer you got from your government about that flight is that it was an “accident”. So I guess we don’t have to worry about it anymore. I’m sure you’re satisfied with the answer, even if it’s the same government that put Mr. Ibrahim Anwar up on charges.

  118. 118
    Steeplejack says:


    And to think I used to consider myself a big-ballin’, shot-callin’ techno-weenie. But so much of the tech stuff is that you learn (only) what you need to learn. The apps on my phone that I use I use a lot, but there are many on there that I have never opened—e.g.Gallery, before today.

    ETA: AirDroid looks cool.

  119. 119
    Bob In Portland says:

    @buddy h: Interesting, Miles O’Brien, Xeni Jardin’s boyfriend, is a go-to aviation expert and was prominent on CNN et al after the MH17, as such he is a guardian of rational thought for the Wurlitzer.

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