Does Your Babyhole Need A Babypod?

Hey ladies. What if I told you that for 150 bucks you could buy a little speaker that goes into your vagina so you can play music to your unborn child?

Don’t all line up at once.

For $150, you can purchase your very own “Babypod”, a small speaker that can be plugged into any music-playing device of your choice and inserted into the vagina to gently play your favorite tunes into the womb. It also features earphones that hang out of the vagina so mothers and fathers can listen along too.

“Music [activates] language and communication stimulation centres, inducing a response of vocal movements. Babies learn to talk sticking out their tongues,” the Spanish company claims in a website blurb.
“With Babypod, babies begin to vocalize from the womb.”
It’s a popular belief that a fetus can benefit from listening to music while they’re developing in the womb. Most people achieve this playing some nice classical music on the radio while they’re pregnant, but Babypod claims that’s not enough. They cite research by Institut Marquès, a Spanish gynecological clinic, that claims “the foetus hears only the sounds that come directly from the vagina and barely hears the noises from the outside.”

No, nothing about any of this is weird whatsoever. Not at all.

But it is both award winning (2017 Ig Nobel Prize for Obstetrics) and FDA approved, so there’s that.

If Your Pool Wasn’t Hosed Already…

…It is now. Colorado Avalanche eliminate Calgary Flames from Stanley Cup playoffs

My memory for hockey trivia isn’t the best, so I thought maybe that was why I was having trouble thinking of another time when the league’s two best teams got massacred so badly that they could only manage a single playoff win between them. It was starting to bug me a little that I couldn’t come up with anything, but apparently I don’t have to worry about my forgetfulness, at least not right now. The reason I don’t remember this happening before is that there’s nothing to remember.

Since 1967-68, when six teams were added to make the NHL a 12-team league, there have been a number of playoff formats: division-based, conference-based, and for two seasons (1979-80, 1980-81) the top 16 teams were seeded by regular-season points.
In none of those instances had the top two teams in each division or conference, or the teams with the two best records, been eliminated in the first round of the playoffs.

Tampa Bay (62-16-4) tied the NHL record for wins in a season, set by the 1995-96 Detroit Red Wings, and finished 21 points ahead of the Boston Bruins in the Eastern Conference.

Calgary (50-25-7) led the Western Conference by six points over the San Jose Sharks.
The Lightning lost four straight games to the Blue Jackets and were outscored 15-5 in the final three, including 7-3 in Game 4.

The Flames lost four straight games after winning Game 1. The Avalanche won Game 2 and Game 4 in overtime.

I wish I could tell you that Carin picked both Columbus and Colorado, but even she’s not that good. But of the two, picking against the Lightning is probably the weird pick that makes the most impact, so it’s still some pretty solid work.

Let’s Fix Security By Breaking It. That’ll Show ‘Em

Maybe PluginVulnerabilities.com runs a great service. I don’t know. But I also don’t care, because chances are solid that I’m never going to use it. Why? Well, because irresponsibly endangering the entire internet as a form of protest is an extremely dumb, unprofessional thing to do even if some of your gripes might be legitimate.

A security service called Plugin Vulnerabilities, founded by John Grillot, is taking a vigilante approach to addressing grievances against WordPress.org support forum moderators. The company is protesting the moderators’ actions by publishing zero-day vulnerabilities (those for which no patch has been issued) and then attempting to contact the plugin author via the WordPress.org support forums:

Grillot claims that moderators have deleted his comments, covered up security issues instead of trying to fix them, and promoted certain security companies for fixing hacked sites, among other complaints.
In response, Plugin Vulnerabilities has published a string of vulnerabilities with full disclosure since initiating the protest in September 2018. These posts detail the exact location of the vulnerabilities in the code, along with a proof of concept. The posts are followed up with an attempt to notify the developer through the WordPress.org support forum.

My God, Guelph And Columbus Actually Won

It’s not every day that a team I root for does something historic that doesn’t involve losing to death, so allow me a moment to gloat. The Guelph Storm complete their remarkable comeback against the London Knights, winning Game 7 by a 6-3 score

It will go down as one of the greatest comebacks in Guelph Storm history.
They trailed the series 3-0 and fought back to force a Game 7.
They trailed 3-1 in the second period of that Game 7.
Then they kicked some ass.
The Storm scored five unanswered goals to complete the miraculous comeback and down the regular-season champion London Knights 6-3 in Game 7 Tuesday night at Budweiser Gardens.
They now move on to meet the Saginaw Spirit in the Western Conference final. That series starts Thursday in Saginaw.
“The first thing that came out of my mouth was ‘we did it! We did it!'” said Storm captain Isaac Ratcliffe.
“It’s indescribable. The resilience this team has, the character, the skill that we have. You put all those things together and we’re unstoppable,” said Ratcliffe, who scored both the game-tying and game-winning goals in the third period.

The first thing I did when the horn sounded was jump up, yell “Wow!”, and then text “lol” to one of my Knights fan friends.

When they were down 3-0 in the series, I texted that same friend and asked “are you ready for the four straight comeback?” I always had some hope, but I sent that mostly as a joke because I thought that even though they might put up a good fight, they were probably toast. But hey, here we are! And we’re only the fifth team in OHL history to sweep a series after nearly being swept. That’s pretty cool. The others are Peterborough, Ottawa, and Windsor twice.

I’m still not sure if they’ll win the league, but it’s getting harder to doubt them after this. So bring on Saginaw and let’s see what happens.

In other hockey playoff news, holy shit, Columbus! Way to screw up everyone’s pool. Ok, everyone but Carin, who now looks like some sort of genius.

And since we’ve been talking history, with the loss, the Lightning have made some by becoming the first team since the NHL expanded beyond the original six in 1967 to have lead the league in points and then not won a single playoff game. Yay?

And back to the subject of screwed up pools, I knew I should have picked the damn Islanders. I was half a second away from doing just that when my stupid inner voice said “pssst, remember this is Pittsburgh.” Thanks, idiot.

But even though winning the pool is unlikely at this point, I’ll still call it a win if I manage to time the inevitable Sharks exit correctly. If all goes to plan, I should be throwing that victory party by Thursday.

I’ll Ask Again. Are We Ready To Sit Quietly And Work On Our Math Problems now?

Substitute teacher definitely isn’t the easiest job in the world, but have the kids really gotten so out of hand nowadays that you need to bring a knife and a gun?

According to an affidavit in the misdemeanor criminal cases against Weaver – reckless endangerment, third-degree aggravated assault and possession of a firearm on school grounds – this is what happened inside the elementary school classroom: Weaver had a Taurus .380 pistol and a knife in his front right pocket. He bent over to pick up an item off the floor and when he straightened back up, the knife, a clip-on, entered the trigger guard of the pistol and caused it to discharge into the floor.
A fragment struck a 7-year-old girl in the leg. There was a welt on the girl’s leg, records state, but the fragment did not penetrate the skin.
Weaver was taken into custody at the scene, interviewed and then booked into the Blount County Jail. He was released the same day on $3,000 bond and has a court date set for May.

How did he end up with a gun in his pocket, you ask?

He took a quick phone call as he was about to go into the school – he had to be there at 7:20 a.m. – and was running slightly behind schedule when he got out of the car. “I completely forgot about the pistol being in my pocket,’’ Weaver said.

I need to know more about this guy’s pants. If I have anything in my pocket more bulky than a bank card or a receipt, I’m aware of it. Meanwhile buddy here is waltzing around a public school with a mini arsenal, apparently unbeknownst to himself.

But even if he’s telling the god’s honest about the gun, what’s up with the knife?

This isn’t a very strong argument for that stupid let’s arm all the teachers idea, either.

We Acted In Good Faith. We Know We Did Because We Said So

I haven’t been sued once in my life let alone multiple times in under a year, but I want to think that if this were not the case, that I would, at some point, be wise enough to pause and reflect upon why this might be happening and what I might do to make things better. I would also like to think that what I would not do is interpret make things better to mean bury a measure in my budget implementation bill that would make it impractical or even impossible to sue me and then continue on with the usual business of acting like a complete arsehole. This thought process is just one more item on the list of the many things that separate me from Doug Ford, it turns out.

Premier Doug Ford’s Progressive Conservatives are moving to make it harder to sue the Ontario government. 
The PCs plan to repeal and replace the long-standing Ontario Proceedings Against the Crown Act — legislation that, among other things, outlines government liability in cases of misfeasance and negligence.

The new law would increase the legal threshold necessary to proceed with civil litigation, including class action lawsuits, against the government. Further, it would considerably limit the instances in which the government could be on the hook for financial compensation to plaintiffs.

Perhaps the most significant element of the new legislation, according to Toronto human rights and refugee lawyer Kevin Wiener, is that it eliminates any potential financial liability in most cases where someone is harmed by government policy or regulatory decisions made in “good faith.”
“What it means is that the people who exercise power over you can exercise that power negligently and cause you damage and no one will have to pay,” said Wiener. 
Similarly, the province will not be liable for instances in which a person says there were harmed by the government exercising its authority.

While the act would not serve to “totally eradicate Crown liability,” Wiener said it amounts to the government arguing that “as long as people say they are acting in good faith, it doesn’t matter how incompetent they are.”
“One way to look at it is that the government is saying, ‘With great power should come no responsibility,'” he said.

Oh, and the plan is to apply these new rules retroactively, which means they’re hoping to be able to get rid of all of the current suits against them, not just drastically reduce the chances of new ones being brought in the future.

And then there’s this.

Meanwhile, the proposed Crown Liability and Proceedings Act will force plaintiffs to obtain permission from a court to move forward with suing the government in the first place.
Under current law, no such permission is required to file suit.
That means an applicant will have to prove to a judge that the province acted negligently or in bad faith before proceedings begin. The problem, however, is that usually requires access to government documents or other materials that the province will not be required to provide. 
Crown lawyers will also have the option to cross-examine whomever is trying to get permission to launch a suit.

The government is framing the changes as updates and clarifications to old regulations and as a way to prevent courts from becoming backlogged with unnecessary claims and save the province money. But when you look at this government’s track record, it becomes pretty obvious pretty quickly what’s actually going on here. There’s a lot more cruelty and thoughtlessness ahead, you guys. Hopefully those already lining up to challenge this can stop it before it’s too late.

As Opposed To What?

Not sure if this is a good question or if the car people are going to look at me like I’m some sort of idiot, but here goes.

Sometimes on car commercials they’ll say something like “get available features like heated seats or Apple CarPlay for only X dollars for a limited time.”

Yes, my question is the obvious one. What is an available feature? Aren’t all features available? Who are these people selling and more importantly buying the unavailable ones? Can you really go into a dealership and say “sir, this is a lovely Honda indeed, but if it doesn’t come with robot arms that will pick up vehicles in my traffic jam and deposit them over the rail for me I don’t think I can buy it”, and then have the dealer say “that’s not available, but that’ll be $200 now that you mention it” and then make the guy actually pay it without complaint?

Is available feature some kind of car jargon that sounds weird to regular people like me but makes sense if you’re in the business, or is available a fancy extra word used to help more easily part fools from their money?

“Honey, I had to take the furry antenna cover. It was an available feature, and deals like that don’t just grow on trees. It was either that or I hesitate and pay the imagination fee again, and at least now the aerial will be warm.”

Kill The Runner On Second Base In Extra Innings Experiment With Fire And A More Sensible Plan

Baseball’s pace of play people have had some well intentioned ideas (trying to cut down on the deliberate time waste between pitches), some ideas I don’t care for (I still think you need to earn your stupid intentional walk), and a few ideas that are downright terrible, like starting extra innings with a runner on second base.

Imagine overtime in hockey if nobody was allowed to touch or get in the way of anyone else until each team had taken at least two clear shots at the opposing net. That would be silly. Yet somehow, this foolishness got to the experimentation stage in the minors. I hadn’t heard much about how it was going until I found this, which leads me to surmise that it’s going about as well as anyone who thought about it for a minute would have guessed it would go.

The game was between the Phillies affiliate, the Clearwater Threshers, and the Yankees affiliate, the Tampa Tarpons of the Florida State League. It was only a scheduled seventh inning game, so the extra frame was the eighth inning.
The details: Tampa starter Deivi Garcia tossed seven perfect innings, but it was tied 0-0 at the end of seven. Clearwater began the top of the eighth with an automatic runner on second. He went to third on an error. Two batters later, he scored when a Thresher batter grounded out to first base. Tampa went down in order in the bottom of the eighth and that was the ballgame.

That’s garbage.

If you’re going to defense yourself out of a perfect game, a no-hitter and a win, that’s fine. Things happen sometimes. But giving the other team a giant head start feels both lame and unfair.

If you really want to do something about extra innings, I have an idea. Maybe somebody has already come up with it, but for now I’ll call it mine.

I mentioned overtime in hockey. Let’s treat extra innings that way. To be clear, I’m talking about overtime before they instituted the shootout, which is also bad. Hockey games should not be won and lost by skills competition. If shootouts were any good, we’d be using them in the playoffs. So no, I’m not suggesting that tie baseball games be settled by home run derby. What I am suggesting is that if extras are required, you play one inning. If nobody can win after that, the game ends in a tie and each team gets half a game in the standings. You know that no game is ever going to go on hours longer than it should and at the end everyone gets something useful for being equally good or bad at their jobs.

Problem solved.

You’re welcome.

Open For Whatever We Tell You To Be Open For, Or Else

So remember when I said that Doug Ford wouldn’t be happy until we were all covered in PC campaign stickers? Clearly somebody in his office read those words and thought “wow, what a great fuckin’ idea!” Ontario to mandate anti-carbon tax stickers at gas pumps

Yup. Dude is out here legally obliging private businesses to plaster partisan advertising stickers all over their property like that’s even remotely an ok thing to do. It isn’t, in case you were wondering. It’s a pretty obvious violation of one’s right to free expression, and it’s not exactly one that can be defended by saying something like “sure, but we did it in the name of public safety.”

If you do happen to think this is a good idea for some reason, I want you to let me know how you would feel if things were reversed and Trudeau pulled this same stunt to make everyone praise the carbon tax. You can get back to me when your head finishes exploding.

And by the way, say what you want about the carbon tax and what it might do to the price of filling your car, but don’t forget that if he wanted to, Ford could immediately make that silly little nickel into no big deal just by removing the hefty provincial tax you’ve been paying on every tank for years. He shouldn’t because it would be spectacularly stupid, but he could.

Funny that Doug Ford’s new gas pump stickers forgot to tell you his Ontario govt takes 8% sales tax + 14.7% fuel tax. On a $50 fillup @$1.20/litre, that’s $1.83 to Ottawa (rebated in your tax return) vs $7.35 going to Ford in fuel tax + $4.59 PST = $11.94! Sticker shock?

Ontario drivers could soon see government-mandated stickers about the price of the carbon tax on gas pumps across  the province, as the Progressive Conservatives open a new front in their battle with Ottawa over the levy.
The environment and energy ministers made the announcement Monday in one of the near-daily events the Ontario government has held to slam the tax since it was imposed one week ago. 
“We will make sure that we use every tool at our disposal to make sure that Ontarians understand the impacts of this carbon tax — the impact on their business, the impacts on their families and the impact on our province’s competitiveness,” Environment Minister Rod Phillips said at a gas station in Oakville, Ont.
Ontario will introduce legislation that would require stickers to be put on gas pumps showing that the tax has added 4.4 cents a litre to the price of gasoline and that will rise to 11 cents per litre by 2022.

Energy Minister Greg Rickford framed it as a transparency measure.

“The people of Ontario deserve to know the full truth about how the federal carbon tax will make their lives more unaffordable,” he said. “It will hit our wallets hardest when it comes to gas prices and home heating costs and the businesses and programs and services that we use.”