This just in from a reader who’s a frequent flyer. It’s creepy, even though it is voluntary. I have no words, so I’ll just let him tell it:
This is just too weird.
KLM will help singles hook up on flights between Amsterdam and New York, San Francisco and Sao Paulo. They call it “Meet and Seat.” The basic idea is that single travelers can browse the Facebook and LinkedIn pages of strangers booked on the same flight, and request a seat next to them.
I thought it was a joke until I went to the KLM website:
Be sure and watch the video, even if you have to lower your guards a bit. I’m pretty sure KLM servers are safe, although now I’ll wonder about the seats.
This is pretty weird. The destinations, conditions (single passenger bookings only), and advertising all suggest that male homosexuals are the primary target audience. There aren’t any images of women in the promotional video.
The privacy implications are pretty awful, but perhaps for the gay hookup crowd that’s not an issue.
Here’s a slice of libertopia served up for us both: large corporations promoting casual sex liaisons as a way to sell more airline seats. Oh, those Dutch.
The nearest Wal-Mart, in what passes for the local Big City, is one of the older, smaller ones. When I was there two weeks ago, they didn’t have any such thing as this. Then yesterday I got an excited email from a friend, saying she’d spotted a large — but diminishing — array of storage foods on Saturday.
Had to see for myself. Sure enough. They had everything from bulk buckets of oatmeal and wheat berries to #10 cans of fruits, vegetables, soup mixes, TVP, and more. “Had” is the operative word — as in “used to have.” The shelves were about half empty, with probably a quarter of the items (including, surprisingly, all the hard red winter wheat berries) completely sold out.
A clerk told me they’d been carrying these products for less than a week.
Prices were good, too — nearly $5 under Augason Farms’ own price on the apricots, nearly $3 under their price on the chili. And no shipping. This could be a great, painless way to build mid-term food storage. Just budget for a can or two every month.
Is your local Wal-Mart selling this stuff?
And back to the original question: Is it a good sign that prep-consciousness has now made it down to Wal-Mart level? Or is it a bad sign, that Mr. and Mrs. Average are scared enough — of who knows what? — to be stashing #10 cans and bulk-food buckets in their pantries?
ADDED: I should mention that there’s no large Mormon population in this area, nor is there any notable contingent of New Age earth-change/Maya apocalypse/Planet X/waiting-for-disaster believers that would prompt a middle-of-the-road store to lay in such a variety of storage foods. This particular store serves as stolid a working-class population as you could imagine.
A big build-up. The cooperation of 25 worldwide media outlets. The hacking skills of Anonymous. A dramatic (and humorous) countdown. An announcement at midnight (GMT) and five million emails revealing how “private” intelligence service Stratfor and governments (not to mention Big Money and Big Media) workcooperate collude together.
I don’t know how significant this is going to be, but if the reality matches the build-up (a build-up that showed Twitter is definitely good for something besides timely Oscar buzz), big.
ADDED: And Anonymous has an announcement (semi-related) coming up in a few hours.
While we’re just goofing around on a rainy Sunday …
And speaking of rain, it’s often said that in the NorthWET climate, if you stand still too long, you’ll grow moss on your north side. In recognition of that, here’s a recipe for making moss graffiti. Really. Moss graffiti.
Both these finds are courtesy of S, who must have been in an unusually unserious mood.
Here’s another unintentional laugh from the NorthWET. Nothing to do with the climate this time; this one comes from government (that endless source of snorts and giggles). A reader writes to say:
The other day I got a renewal card from Oregon DMV, with new requirements for 2012. The most significant being the birth certificate; it must be gov issued. Hospital issued birth certificates are NOT acceptable.
I’ve never had a gov issued BC, so far as I know they weren’t issued in the 1st half of the last century. So I got on the net to see how I go about this. I can get one, but only if I swear in writing that I am me, with a notarized signature. Man, those ‘crats are sharp.
Okay, so I was doing an image search for “frog eyes.” Yeah, maybe not the most common search. Not like looking for pictures of Justin Bieber or any random Kardashian. But when you’re doing art, sometimes you need to know these things.
And I ran across this:
Uh, not exactly what I was looking for. But a must-see, all the same. It took me a little longer to find its original source — which is here. And contains even more adorable oddities.
Oh. Also. For the same project, I searched on images of a cat about to be moved to a new home. And I discovered that when you seach on “cat carrier” you’ll get about 10,000 iterations of this oldie-and-not-so-goodie.