Evolution and solar radiation.

A while back I believe I mentioned that scrapping is so virulent here that businesses have taken to securing their rooflines — the frontier that must be crossed to get at the valuable rooftop air conditioners, with their coils of tasty, yummy copper — with razor wire. That was so 2006. Note the adaptation of this gas station/mini mart on the Grosse Pointe border:

A tasteful cage. Adaptation! There’s hope for us yet.

In honor of Hell Week, more three-dot linkaliciousness:

First came the earthquakes, great heavings of the earth the made a mockery of all man’s works. Sandra Bullock won the Oscar for wearing a blonde wig and sporting the worst southern accent since community theater. But mankind didn’t know it was doomed, that this truly was the first rumblings of that rough beast, its hour come round at last, until sunspots drove all the Toyotas crazy.

Roy Edroso is leaving New York for love. Best of luck, Roy. That must be some love to trade Brooklyn for Bryan (Texas). He’ll still be blogging, at least until he gets shot in a bar for being a filthy hippie.

The New York Times business section takes a look at the sticky topic of feminine hygiene advertising. Hmm. Well. OK:

Merrie Harris, global business director at JWT, said that after being informed that it could not use the word vagina in advertising by three broadcast networks, it shot the ad cited above with the actress instead saying “down there,” which was rejected by two of the three networks. (Both Ms. Harris and representatives from the brand declined to specify the networks.)

“It’s very funny because the whole spot is about censorship,” Ms. Harris said. “The whole category has been very euphemistic, or paternalistic even, and we’re saying, enough with the euphemisms, and get over it. Tampon is not a dirty word, and neither is vagina.”

I’d like to see the script that uses that word before I pass judgment. Vagina may not be a dirty word, but it’s certainly an overused one. I’ve carried one around every day of my life, but it only took about 18 months from the day you started hearing it on broadcast television to get thoroughly sick of it, especially at an all-star event like a Joan Rivers roast. I’m with the screenwriter of “The Opposite of Sex” on that one:

Lucia: Vagina, vagina, vagina. Does that word do anything for you?
Bill Truitt: I don’t think it does much for anyone, gay or straight.

The ad executive complains you can’t say “vagina” in a tampon ad, but I’m not sure I want to see it there. “Buy Tampax tampons! Your vagina will thank you!” (That could work, actually.)

J.C. was cleaning out his video archive and sent this. Always nice to remember the good times.

Posted at 9:37 am in Current events, Detroit life |

41 responses to “Evolution and solar radiation.”

  1. Peter said on March 16, 2010 at 9:50 am

    Thanks for the photo – I’m sending it to some of my clients.

    I’ve done a few projects for mechanical contractors who need a permit to replace the units that have been vandalized. I’m still stunned at the lengths that some scavengers will go through to get the copper. On one job, the only way I could check the damage was to sit in a harness and be brought up to the area BY A CRANE. On another project, I was shown where the copper, the remainder of the condenser and the scavenger all wound up – at the bottom of a shaft.

    They’re lucky to get $100.00 for the copper, while the owner will need to pay at least $10,000.00 to get the unit replaced.

    The saddest part is that more often that not, the local street gangs will wait until the copper has been brought down from the roof, then steal it from the original scavenger.

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  2. Dorothy said on March 16, 2010 at 9:52 am

    Did your heart catch just a little when you saw Spriggy jumping towards the camera? And my goodness, the big brown eyes of baby Kate! What a cutie!

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  3. Jeff Borden said on March 16, 2010 at 10:07 am

    A friend of mine who lived way north in Manhattan had a father who was a limo driver. One morning he went out to the car and it wouldn’t start. He popped the hood and found his battery had been stolen. He replaces the battery, drives to work. Next morning? Same thing. The thieves had stolen a bunch of old batteries from cars on the block knowing the owners would have to replace them. It was the brand new batteries they were seeking.

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  4. brian stouder said on March 16, 2010 at 10:14 am

    Anybody who has watched a Mucinex commercial, with the talking subversive dingleberries, would be slow to loosen (so to speak) on the word ‘vagina’, and see what they unleash upon us.

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  5. nancy said on March 16, 2010 at 10:38 am

    Lately thieves are stealing catalytic converters from parked cars, too. They get underneath and just saw them off the exhaust system, approximately a jillion-dollar repair for a few bucks worth of whatever metal is inside.

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  6. John said on March 16, 2010 at 10:45 am

    Those talking mucous globs are disgusting, yet they are not dingle berries. For some reason, that commercial reminds me of the TV show Dinosaurs from almost 20 years ago.

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  7. nancy said on March 16, 2010 at 10:48 am

    Dingleberries are the cling-ons on the little animated bear’s butt in the toilet-paper commercial. Alan howls about that every time it comes on.

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  8. moe99 said on March 16, 2010 at 10:58 am

    Anal humor was very big with my younger brothers growing up. Dingleberry(ies) was a word used followed by much laughter. My bros even classified their farts into 3 categories: Toby (for the noisy ones), Rose (sweet and sticky), and SBD (silent but deadly). Good thing they have their older sister around to remind them of the good old days.

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  9. Jolene said on March 16, 2010 at 11:01 am

    The ingenuity of people stealing old batteries to get nwa ones is impressive. Reminds me of kids who went to great lengths to cheat in school. Always seemed to me that it required at least as much effort as doing the work and taking the test, but I suppose the idea of getting away w/ something made it more attractive.

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  10. coozledad said on March 16, 2010 at 11:16 am

    My wife was reading me some of the text from a box of sanitary napkins and from the sound of it you’d think they were equipped with with nano AC units:”Inspired by high-performance athletic fabrics, Thermocontrol technology quickly pulls moisture away from the body and allows air circulation.” For some reason I was picturing some old guy at the raquetball court with a bunch of them taped to his chest.

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  11. LAMary said on March 16, 2010 at 11:16 am

    I annoys me when vagina is used to mean vulva. I find myself trying to visualize how some situations involving a vagina could possibly have happened without serious contortions, an OB/Gyn’s exam table, or at least a step ladder. Then I realize it’s a vulva, not a vagina that is being talked about.

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  12. MichaelG said on March 16, 2010 at 11:30 am

    I’m particularly enchanted by the toenail fungus commercials they seem to show only while I’m preparing dinner.

    TV is wonderful. They’ll show torture, beatings, murder and other felonious activity in loving detail. But sex, (which is still legal in most places as far as I know) oh, no. That’s evil. Boggles the mind.

    My house was burgled last fall. They took TVs, stereo, computer, etc. I was very concerned after I had replaced everything that the bad guys would be looking for the brand new stuff as Jeff B. notes.

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  13. brian stouder said on March 16, 2010 at 11:39 am

    I gotta say – this has been an educational day at good ol’ nn.c! Now that I grasp dingleberries(!), possibly Mary will enlarge upon the vulva (this reminds me of Seinfeld, and also over-stuffed loveseats, for some reason)

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  14. Jenine said on March 16, 2010 at 11:39 am

    @ 11 LA Mary, Right on! Vulva is a word I hope will get more use. It’s good to be specific. In 1991 I saw a tiny little button that I had to lean in to read: ‘Viva the Vulva!’ Yay. “Down there” makes me roll my eyes until they hurt.

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  15. beb said on March 16, 2010 at 11:55 am

    The teme today sounds like something right up thealley for my wife, her two sisters and (alas) my daughter. Vulgar? I’d never call them that. I just die a little bit from embarassment.

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  16. Scout said on March 16, 2010 at 12:48 pm

    I used to have a Vulva. I had one of those cute boxy ones first, then I traded it in for the mid 80’s streamlined version which I liked alot less.

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  17. ROgirl said on March 16, 2010 at 12:57 pm

    In the words of Eve Ensler: What do you think about your vagina?

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  18. Deborah said on March 16, 2010 at 1:07 pm

    Scout, I had to read your comment twice and then I laughed out loud (at the office so couldn’t explain why). Dingleberries, Toby, Rose and SBD, not to mention old guys with Kotex taped to their chests… pure gold today!

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  19. LAMary said on March 16, 2010 at 1:15 pm

    Scout, they have those cute sporty vulvas now. Not so boxy.

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  20. nancy said on March 16, 2010 at 1:19 pm

    I once saw a spec ad online for Tampax — i.e., an ad done by for someone’s directing portfolio that the client passed on. A beautiful woman stood in front of a brick wall in a white bikini. She pulls down a pair of goggles, and is blasted with a virtual fire hose of red paint. It stops, she pulls off the goggles and looks down at her bikini bottoms. They’re still pristine and white. Looks up, knowing smile, Tampax logo, out. Not a word spoken, very clever, entirely on point. No one has to say “vagina” or “absorption.” So of course they passed on it. Someone might think Tampax protects you from paint attacks, I guess.

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  21. moe99 said on March 16, 2010 at 1:44 pm

    My real name, Regina, always been pronounced with a long ‘e’ in place of the ‘i’. So, even though if we were in Canada the name would rhyme with vagina, mine does not. Plus, I am not the queen, as much as I might like to be.

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  22. John said on March 16, 2010 at 2:05 pm

    To moe: Dolores!

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  23. Rana said on March 16, 2010 at 2:32 pm

    Oh, gah, the toilet-paper bears. Those are disgusting. In our household, we’re mildly boggled by the touting of the absorbency of the stuff they hawk – I mean, you don’t want to be using waxed paper, but other things, like, I don’t know, coverage, seem more important than absorbency in that particular product. I mean, who daintily blots their ass with a single sheet, other than red bears with toilet-paper pills stuck to their butts?

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  24. Dexter said on March 16, 2010 at 2:37 pm

    I used to drive to both Chicago and Detroit about ten times each per year, and 25 years ago, even as the Sony Walkman products were at their zenith, in both cities many cars sported “absolutely no radio” on cardboard signs; sometimes a variation. In Detroit the old clunkers were called HoopDees, and sometimes I would see an old car with NO RADIO spray painted right onto the door. In those days, a driver frequently carried a boombox in the car and took it with him when he left the car.
    My brother was a salesman who lived in NW Indiana and was in The Loop frequently.
    Once he parked in a surface lot to quickly deliver paperwork to a client, was gone ten minutes…smashed in side window and the car cleaned out, briefcase, radar detector, radio-tape combo…all but the cig lighter.
    Other times he had cars broken into on the north side; cars just were never safely left unattended.

    Before that, in the late 1970s, bicycles were the big target. I had a couple stolen right here in my little town. Now, my neighbors and their kids just leave fairly new bikes out , unsecured, night after night and no one touches them. I suppose it’s because bikes are so cheap. After many years of meticulous locking-up every time I run into a store for a minute, now i am not so careful. Where have all the bike thieves gone? Kids today also are less likely to try to “door” a bicyclist (yes, a carload of kids almost got me with an opened door , but that was 20 years ago) or throw nasty stuff at a cyclist or scream obscenities…what happened to the really creative , nasty, mean high schooler who would yell “Fuck you retard!” or the girls who would yell “hey old man wanna f*(l<?" and then laugh like the morons they were. Not that I miss all that crapola.

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  25. ROgirl said on March 16, 2010 at 2:47 pm

    What creative geniuses hit on the bears shitting in the woods angle?

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  26. cosmo panzini said on March 16, 2010 at 2:51 pm

    Whatever–vaggina, vulva, shmulva, what’s wrong with Da Poooosssssayyyyy?

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  27. alex said on March 16, 2010 at 3:34 pm

    My fave dingleberry story…

    One time I took some Hoosier friends to an Italian eatery in Chicago with real Italian waiters. My friends thought they’d have fun with the waiter and ask him for Italian variations on American slang and curse words. Lots of stuff simply doesn’t translate, but that didn’t stop them from continuing to ask. Finally one of my friends asked what’s the Italian word for dingleberry.

    “Tarzanella,” the waiter replied.


    “Yes. You know Tarzan, he swing from the vine? Tarzanella.”

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  28. ROgirl said on March 16, 2010 at 3:59 pm

    Vaginas and vulvas and bears, oh my.

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  29. Colleen said on March 16, 2010 at 4:16 pm

    We always giggle at the Activia commercials…there is always a sweeping hand gesture that indicates just what kind of “action” the yogurt helps along.

    Activia. The yogurt that makes ya poop.

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  30. Sue said on March 16, 2010 at 4:25 pm

    And let’s not forget the Pepto-Bismol Diarrhea Dance, Colleen:

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  31. LAMary said on March 16, 2010 at 4:36 pm

    I can’t ever remember needing Pepto Bismol and feeling like dancing at the same time.

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  32. john c said on March 16, 2010 at 4:56 pm

    I guess I’m puzzling over the banning of vagina, while “erectile dysfunction” seems to be not only allowed but encouraged. Just ask my 11-year-old sports nut of a son.

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  33. Jim Neill said on March 16, 2010 at 5:25 pm

    I mean, who dain­tily blots their ass with a sin­gle sheet, other than red bears with toilet-paper pills stuck to their butts?

    Cheryl Crowe


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  34. LAMary said on March 16, 2010 at 5:51 pm

    Aren’t those bears blue? Red bears are completely different in how they wipe their butts.

    Nope, I just checked. They’re red. I guess I don’t watch enough television to have formed a clear memory of the bears with paper stuck on their butts.

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  35. LAMary said on March 16, 2010 at 5:53 pm

    I feel less senile now.


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  36. Rana said on March 16, 2010 at 7:21 pm

    I think there were some blue bears at one point. They may even have been gender-coordinated.

    Ew. I don’t want to know why the female bears are red.

    Hmm, interesting. It used to be that sometimes the female bear was blue.

    I don’t know that I want to spend any more time thinking about these creatures’ coloring…

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  37. LAMary said on March 16, 2010 at 8:14 pm

    The blue bears use Charmin ultra soft. The red ones use the regular stuff. I’ve learned this from watching three Charmin commercials on youtube and I’m not proud of knowing it.

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  38. Rana said on March 16, 2010 at 8:38 pm


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  39. MarkH said on March 16, 2010 at 8:39 pm

    Strictly OT, Nance, everyone: All Things Considered had a nice piece on Elmore Leonard today, plugging the new series, Justified, tonight on FX. Had no idea his book tally is now 43.

    EDIT: Here’s a link.


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  40. Dexter said on March 16, 2010 at 9:11 pm

    Well, we’re proud of you anyway, LA Mary. However, I am not too proud of myself for sending this out to the world:

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  41. Denice B said on March 17, 2010 at 12:23 am

    My mom had a habit of jotting down tidbits in a journal. She would write her thoughts about this or that little thing. Sometimes she would write down a weird commercial she liked. After she died after a short illness, my sisters found her journal. The last thing she ever wrote in it? “Have a happy period!!”. Whenever we see that commercial, we always laugh. And yes, Beb almost always blushes when us girls start the va-jay-jay jokes…

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