Category Archives: Movoto

Hot Air

More Sexy Than Kokomo!

Feeling libidinous?

If not, you’re an odd Bloomingtonian. At least acc’d’g to the latest Movoto poll which lists our town as the third sexiest place in Indiana.

I suppose that’s like being named the third most powerful Democrat in Texas or the third best player on the Philadelphia 76ers.


I mean, LaFayette is considered a sexier place than this megalopolis. And we just barely edged out Kokomo.


Yes, Kokomo.

Movoto, in case you didn’t know (and I’m fairly confident you didn’t) is a real estate relocation website, whatever than means. A lightning-quick and cursory scan of the site (the only possible kind of scan I could bear) shows it to be, by and large, an advertisement for every single metropolitan area in this holy land. So, if your tyrannical boss wants to transfer you to the branch office in Paint Lick, Kentucky, you go to Movoto to see what the amenities and attractions are there. (In case you’re interested, the answer is none.)


Yep, There Is A Paint Lick

So, this poll finds that the hot, sweaty, and panting burg of Evansville is the sexiest place on the IN map. Why Evansville? Well, again acc’d’g to Movoto:

This city was sexy in the seediest and best possible way. It had a ton of adult stores and adult entertainment, lingerie shops, and the nightlife was hard to beat.

In other words, it’s the state’s capital for businesses catering to lonely men furtively slipping into adult bookstores for a quick yank.

Sexy, eh?

B-town, as far as I can determine, is home to only one such establishment, College Adult Books just north of downtown. Sheesh, if only we had ten more places like that, we could be the sexiest place in Indiana.

Cops: You’re All Being So Mean To Us

For a bunch of supposed tough guys who won’t take shit from anybody and who, presumably, will shoot you at the slightest provocation, cops often are sensitive little flowers.

The top man at the St. Louis Police Officers Association gasped and held on to a nearby chair when five members of the St. Louis Rams ran onto the field Sunday with their hands raised, a show of support for protesters of the Michael Brown assassination.


Hands Up

Brown, if you recall, was reputed to be holding up his hands when Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson emptied his gun at him in August.

The assoc. said:

The St. Louis Police Officers Association is profoundly disappointed with the members of the St. Louis Rams football team….

SLPOA business manager, Jeff Roorda, apparently suffered the vapors in reaction to the players’ display. The Assoc.’s statement added:

Roorda was incensed that the Rams and the NFL would tolerate such behavior and called it remarkably hypocritical.

Roorda said:

The SLPOA is calling for the players involved to be disciplined and for the Rams and the NFL to deliver a very public apology.

Funny thing is, the SLPOA doesn’t even represent the cops of Ferguson. It’s the labor organization for officers of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department. I could understand if Wilson’s stationhouse confrères were rallying around their buddy but it’s doubtful any SLPOA member even knew who he was before he became notorious for mistaking Brown for Hulk Hogan.

That “blue brotherhood” thing, though, is stronger than most other ties in this world.

As of yet, neither Darren Wilson nor the Ferguson PD, the St. Louis County prosecutor, anyone from the St. Louis police, or any other officers, sheriffs, deputies, or marshals in Murrica have said it’s a damned shame this kid had to be killed. Even if they believe Darren Wilson’s actions to be justified, isn’t it still a bitch that the kid was gunned down and left to die in the street and then his body left on the pavement in full public view for four hours?

And, in case there wasn’t enough fuckery here, Jeff Roorda himself, apparently, had been a less than exemplary police officer in his day. Before becoming the Assoc.’s biz boss, Roorda was fired by the Arnold PD for lying to superiors and falsifying police reports of arrests and incidents. He also has fought tooth and nail against police transparency advancements.

No matter, though. He was highly offended by the actions of those five football players. That’s a real crime in his book.

Hot Air

Why PMS?

Should The Loved One ever come to her senses and throw me out of our happy home, I might take consolation in the fact that I then could be available to woo the redoubtable and comely Rebecca Watson.


Rebecca Watson

She’s the biggest shot among the new generation of big shot female skeptic/scientists. Meaning, she and her cohorts stand on their heads to bring the facts about ghosts, quack medicine, alien flying saucers, anti-vaccination hysteria, fad foodism, and the like to a blithely gullible public. She started what is now the must-read Skepchick blog back in 2005 for the express purpose, as she put it, of “promoting skepticism and critical thinking among women around the world.”

She describes herself thusly: “I’m a writer, performer, feminist, atheist, skeptic. Not necessarily in that order.”

My kind of dame.

Watson’s got a YouTube channel as well as a Patreon page, on which she opines, sermonizes, teaches, and tsks approximately twice a week. Her latest vid tackles a recent news media flurry about some researcher’s suggestion that women get PMS because it’s evolutionarily advantageous. As in, when your co-worker snaps at you every 28 days for your innocent habit of cracking your gum, it’s only because Natural Selection has turned her into a monthly gargoyle just so’s she can weed out substandard potential mates.

Weird, huh?

See, acc’d’g to the researcher, an Australian named Michael Gillings, only manly men of the stoutest character would hazard a lifetime of woe with hyper-PMS-y women, whereas pantywaists and milquetoasts would shrink away in unmanly diffidence. It all sounds rather romance novelish, and in truth it prob. indeed is fiction. There’s next to no evidence that Gillings’ hypothesis is true.

Nevertheless, news outlets like the Huffington Post and a pile of papers in Australia gave Gillings’ ramblings the attention they so richly do not deserve. Natch, Rebecca Watson’s take on the affair is entitled, “PMS and the Science of Making Shit Up.”

It’s a swell primer on how to read science reports in the media with a critical eye. Check it out:

Science Goes Woo!

Speaking of science, have you caught this? Researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center have found evidence that two people, separated by 5000 miles, can directly influence each other’s thoughts — as long as they’re hooked up to each other though scalp electrodes, a few high tech machines, and the internet.

Wow! Or should I say Woo!

Grau, Ginhoux, Riera, Nguyen, Chauvat, et al.

Binary Code Messaging Across 5000 Miles

The whole business is called EEG-based brain-computer interaction (BCI). Researchers for years have been toying with individuals connected to computers and have successfully demonstrated that, using a similar wire-up, a person can think into a computer. That is, the test subject is given a message, s/he thinks about it, and that thought is then communicated to the computer. Sheesh! The ghosts of Jules Verne, HG Wells, and Arthur C. Clark have got to be stirring.

Now, though, the Beth Israel mad scientists have replaced the computer on one end with another human. According to a recently released paper, the experiment worked. So this whole apparent science fiction story isn’t woo at all.

In this case. one guy in India was fed a message, translated into binary code. He thought about it while hooked up to the EEG/electronic translator/internet apparatus and — voila! — the message appeared in the peripheral vision of the guy hooked up to the other end of the apparatus in France.

At this point Stephen King joined the aforementioned dead scifi authors in a circle dance.

You have to read about this experiment. It’s all further proof that you don’t need to be suckered into believing in chemtrails, e-meters, homeopathy, reiki, and other voodoo pseudosciences if you want to be blown away by nature. In fact, we take the seemingly miraculous — but demonstrably true — for granted these days. Witness Louis CK’s riff on air travel:

No And No

A fellow named ________ from Movoto contacted this communications colossus to tell me about the relo website’s recent “10 Bloomington Stereotypes that Are Completely Accurate” post. I suppose he wants me to help spread the word about the post so at first I thought, Hey, baby, you want me to flack for you, pay me!

Then I remembered people went all Facebook gaga over this list a little while ago so it’s doubtful any loyal Pencillistas don’t know it exists. Ergo, this won’t be flacking.

Although, if ____ wants to cut me a check, I’d be thrilled to cash it.

Anyway, I’ll take issue with two of Movoto’s “completely accurate” assertions:

  • No. 10) “Bloomingtonians Are Crazy Proud of Being Hoosiers” — If this means we dig being citizens of the great state o’Indiana, well, no. The next person from Bloomington I meet who’s happy to call IN her or his home state will be the first. In fact, I’d guess no one on this good Earth loathes Indiana more than (as Movoto so awkwardly puts it) a Bloomingtonian. In double fact, Movoto pre-contradicts itself with item No. 3: “Don’t You Dare Group Them in with the Rest of Indiana.”

Giordano's Pizza

No Caption Necessary

  • No. 7) “Bloomingtonians Are Real Pizza Connoisseurs” — Um, no again. People here eat pizza. This town has a number of different pizza options. Pizzas places even deliver here, as they do in the rest of the civilized world. But Bloomington pizza is to real pizza as Chef Boyardee® from the can is to a homemade mostaccioli dinner. The entry lists, for example, Cafe Pizzaria which, I’m sure, is run by nice people and is an institution here but they don’t even know how to spell pizzeria, for pity’s sake. Don’t start with me; I know pizza. My mother made it. I make it. From scratch. I grew up eating all sorts of pizzeria pizzas in my beloved hometown, from Salerno’s in Little Italy to Ricobene’s on 26th Street. I am to pizza as Albert Einstein is to special relativity. Although I haven’t tried Trailhead‘s pizza yet and I’m told it’s good. We’ll see.

Personal to _____: As The Dude once said, “By the way, do you think that you could give me that $20,000 in cash? My concern is, and I have to, uh, check with my accountant, that this might bump me into a higher, uh, tax….” Aw, forget it.

Hot Air

We’re Rich!

So, the Dow and the S&P 500 yesterday both closed with the highest numbers in their separate histories. The Dow hit 16,695.47 and the S&P topped out at 1896.65.

CNN Money offers this explanation: “Investors poured money into the perceived safety of blue chip companies and seem to believe the economy is improving….”

Well, isn’t that dandy? So goddamned what.

Dow Jones

Here’s my alternative to the smoke-and-mirrors financial and economic reportage offered by our esteemed corporate media outlets such as CNN, MSNBC, Fox, the Wall Street Journal and all the rest of those shit shovelers. Let’s establish a brand new pair of indexes, call them the How? and the Wretched & Poors. They’ll be designed to give us a picture of the economy, not as it affects big shot moneybags investors but you and me.

The How? (as in, how can we afford…?) will be comprised of 30 families who can reasonably be described as Middle Class. They will come from all corners of this holy land and be selected to represent as many family set-ups as possible, including two-parent families, those with no kids, single parent units, gay parents, blacks, whites, reds, yellows and browns, immigrant families, and even single-person households.

Middle Class

A Blue Chip Investment

This new financial and economic index will measure those families in terms of their daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly economic buying power. If, say, one of the wage-earners in the family loses her job, that would profoundly negatively affect its standing within the index. Conversely, whenever that family finishes any measuring period, say a week, with a few bucks left over after paying all its bills, why they’ll be hailed as great successes, the hot stock family.

The Wretched & Poors index would be populated by 500 families and individuals who live below a given poverty line, all of whom are as demographically diverse as those in the How? and measured the same way their Middle Class counterparts are.

The Damm Family

Member, Wretched & Poors 500 (Photo/Mary Ellen Marks)

See, the 30 corporate giants followed by the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the 500 common stock companies of the S&P supposedly give us a picture of our nation’s economic health. Problem is, even if, say, McDonald’s is doing fabulously well, its employees just might not be so flush. Wait, let me amend that: they positively won’t be so flush.

Saint Ronald Reagan told us a rising tide raises all boats back some 35 years ago. That’s a pretty image, but it’s inherently full of horseshit. It depends, first off, on the wealthy of America sprinkling their dollars all around the country so that the rest of us thirsty for them can lap the cash up. I know I’m not at all happy about a miniscule elite controlling America’s dough and bestowing it upon me in whatever drips and drops they wish. Second off, those drips and drops, by the time they get to the poorest of us, have pretty much been collected by other wealthy folk, because that’s who the wealthy do business with.

When George H. W. Bush ran against Reagan for the presidency in 1980, he called Dutch’s money plans “voodoo economics.” That’s a nice start. I’d go with “fuck you economics.” As in, we’ve got all the money and we’ll give the rest of you what we want, if you’re lucky and if we make piles and piles of it more than the obscene amounts we already have, and if you don’t like it, fuck you.

In fact, let’s call the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Standard & Poors 500 the Fuck You indices. My proposed How? and Wretched & Poors indices would be the real economic barometers of America.


The great city o’Bloomington has been ranked the 15th best burgh in Indiana in which to live by some outfit called Movoto.

Movoto sez a bunch of Indianapolis suburbs as well as Columbus and West Lafayette are better places to live than our town.

The Herald Times ran an editorial on the rankings today. It was a hand-wringing, dear-us screed that asked “How in the world could a ranking of the 10 best cities of Indiana not include Bloomington?”

Kirkwood Avenue

Not The Best?

How indeed? How about a city whose newspaper howls about the tragic unfairness of not recognizing Bloomington as heaven on Earth but neglects even to mention who did the ranking, when it was done, or why.

Yes, your Electron Pencil had to do the digging to find out about Movoto. It’s an online real estate listing service that also runs a blog offering a humorous take on real estate news and trends (wow ⎼ talk about setting a near-impossible goal for yourself!) It’s the blog that did the ranking that so insulted the H-T editorialists. The Movoto blog’s tagline is “The lighter side of real estate.”

The Herald Times brain trust, presumably, was so miffed about the slight that they won’t even mention Movoto’s name.

I’m willing to bet West Lafayette’s paper did, though, and most likely added what a fine and sophisticated bunch of arbiters Movoto employs.

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