ford standard

In addition to being thin, women (particularly in the west) are expected to maintain the illusion of hairlessness. Any sign that puberty might have bestowed upon us a spray of fuzz beneath our arms or a thatch of fur between our legs has to be eliminated immediately. Waxing, shaving, plucking, electrolysis - women have to fork out precious financial resources just to achieve what is then laughably passed off as a ‘natural’ state. For men and women similarly invested in maintaining patriarchal notions of gender performance, hair on women seems to be oddly terrifying. 

- Clementine Ford, Fight Like A Girl
Kobe Steel Scam Hits Planes, Trains, Automobiles
Kobe Steel Ltd. has made a startling admission: It sold products that failed quality control tests to about 500 companies. Worse still, it did so not in error but by falsifying data to make it appear that items had made the grade. Aircraft, electronics, car and bullet train manufacturers were among the recipients, raising obvious safety concerns.

This is HUGE.

From Boeing Co. to Ford Motor Co., companies are scrambling to check any affected products. And Japan Inc. is facing up to another embarrassing scandal.

The admissions have dribbled out, and more may follow. Initially, the company confessed to falsifying data about the strength and durability of some copper and aluminum that was used in cars and trains and possibly planes and a space rocket, too. Then Kobe Steel said it also faked data about iron ore powder and materials used in DVDs and LCD screens. Chief Executive Officer Hiroya Kawasaki said on Oct. 12 more cases could emerge as the company continues its investigations. A day later it flagged misconduct related to more items including steel wire and copper piping, some of which were produced overseas.

The fabrication of data relating to aluminum was found at all four of Kobe Steel’s local plants in conduct the company described as “systematic.” For some items, the practice dated back some 10 years, according to Kobe Steel Executive Vice President Naoto Umehara. The dodgy materials used in bullet trains were supplied over the past five years, according to one customer. Details of how the deception unfolded have yet to fully emerge but the company has said it’ll release the findings of safety checks for the products in about two weeks, and the causes of the issue and planned countermeasures within a month.

There are carmakers such as Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co.; they used the suspect materials in hoods and doors. There’s Boeing, which is examining parts it gets from Kobe Steel customer Subaru Corp. Hitachi Ltd. said trains it has exported to the U.K. contained compromised metal as well as bullet trains in Japan. Central Japan Railway Co., which runs the iconic trains between Tokyo and Osaka, said two types of aluminum parts used to connect cars to wheels fell short in quality tests. West Japan Railway Co. also found sub-standard parts. Ford said it used aluminum from the company in its Mondeo car hoods in China, although it hasn’t confirmed whether the parts were compromised. As yet, no company has flagged any serious safety concern as a result of the compromised products.

CEO Kawasaki is leading a committee to probe the quality issues. He has run Kobe Steel since 2013, overseeing moves to expand the No. 3 Japanese steelmaker’s presence in aluminum. “I deeply apologize for causing concern to many people, including all users and consumers,” Kawasaki said Oct. 12. Kobe Steel is likely to face lawsuits from investors, customers, consumers and regulators in Japan and U.S., experts say.

When the Ink Dries IV

Rated: Explicit

Notes:  Thank you again to the usual brilliant beta’ing suspects, @icedteainthebag, @h0ldthiscat and @gazeatscully.

If you haven’t read the previous parts, go here.


Chapter 9

The first time Mulder came close to telling Scully he loved her was not the night Stella told him to do so.  It was also not over a bouquet of flowers at a candlelit restaurant, the two of them smiling nervously at a wobbly table as a waiter placed a plastic pie slice under the leg.  It was not on a navy blue night beneath the stars, backs against the warm hood of a car, her gaze following his finger in awe as he pointed here and there.  It was not sitting side by side in a movie theater, her little hand reaching over to place pieces of popcorn on his tongue while he pretended to be annoyed that she wouldn’t let him hold the tub.  It was none of the times or places Mulder had been telling himself he was waiting for.  

Instead, it was in a standard-issue Ford Taurus the color of a curbside TV screen, seats that stunk of the four-month-old coffee spill that was still holding a grudge over its gruesome demise.  Mulder was driving under the influence of a splitting headache having lost a coin toss.  It was one of those days they’d come up so short, run in such perfect circles, that neither of them could face the finality of turning that key, pulling up that emergency brake.  

Of course, sometimes Scully’s mere presence, her sticky red lips and stiff-postured strut, was enough to make unromantic settings seem romantic.  After all, that’s how he’d fallen in love with her in the first place.  Freezer lockers in Alaska, rocks in the middle of monster-infested lakes, sometimes even his crusty basement office went pink and fuzzy late at night when she looked up at him a certain way.  This wasn’t like that either.

Yes, he’d almost gotten high on a single toke of her perfume when he leaned over her shoulder to study the gravesite earlier, but that cautiously applied dab had long faded.  And yes, he’d pretended this morning that the umbrella was narrower than he knew it to be just so he could hook his arm around her waist and iron the curve of it against him, but that drizzle had long since dried up.  By the end of the day, she was just his partner, someone who argued with him compulsively and who always had to pee and yet still never wanted to stop when he did, someone he’d have been happy to hand a bus pass had there been any buses to take.  

She slouched beside him performing a symphony of chap-lipped sighs as the radio station – the one she’d decided was her best and only hope about ten minutes ago –  failed her with its sorry static and decades-old songs, the stubborn soundtrack that belonged to every dark, lonely stretch of land he’d ever been to.  The last thing he expected, fifty miles from the nearest sign of civilization and twelve hours from the nearest decent mood, was to remember he loved her.

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anonymous asked:

(For the playlist ask) playlist: midnight moon riutal

The crowd is still milling aimlessly, chattering and finding their seats, silk gloves and polished shoes rustling over the slightly soiled velvet rails.  The lights dim, dip.  They move faster, scurrying to find A15 and D9, or whether box 2 is the right or left side, and is that stage left or audience left?  The lights blink twice again, then go out, rather faster than anticipated.  Whispers dart across the theatre before burying themselves in the shadows of the footlights.

A trapdoor just in front of the curtain slams open. Slams hard enough to feel it in the fourth row.  The crowd is silent now, eyes locked on the golden square of light.  There is a long, lingering moment where nothing happens, the kind that stretches onward, ad infinitum, like waiting for the dentist to finish picking at that one particular spot on your gumline.

Cigar smoke belches out of the trapdoor, followed by the crown of a bowler hat.  This followed by the brim of the hat, followed by a face that never looked young but probably looked handsome for ten minutes in 1949.  The man waggles his eyebrows at the audience before putting the stub of his cigar out on the stage, then laborious hauls himself the rest of the way up through the trapdoor.  He is short, wrinkled, and filthy.  He pulls another cigar out from an undershirt that may have been white at some point.  He lights the cigar and kicks the trapdoor closed.

“So.  Here we all are.”  His voice is a belt sander going to town on the sistine chapel.  “You all look nice.  Really, really…nice.  You, yes, you ma’am, in the blue dress, in the second row.  You look lovely.  You really do.  I know your mom passed away last week, you’re doing a really good job of holding it together.  Its ok, take a load off, relax.  Have a good time tonight, ok?”

He scans the audience for a response.  You could hear a pin drop, or at least, you could hear the woman in the second row start to sniffle and hold her breath.

“Tough crowd.  Ok, ok.  Not every night this goes over well.  It plays better in Cleveland.”

He whistles a long, high note, and the curtain finally rises.

The stage is set like a classic fairground, the kind that gave Bradbury the willies, but all the lights are out.  In the center of the stage is a massive carousel, and its no prop.  There’s no telling how the crew managed to assemble it on the stage, but its the genuine article, with chipped paint and worn steps, and dead-eyed wooden animals of every stripe and spot.

How did the man get to the top of the carousel?  There must be a ladder around the back.  He pops open a breaker box built onto the roof of the carousel, and turns to give the audience one last piece of advice.

“I mean it, people, enjoy yourselves.  Go on, grab the brass ring.  Get your second ride free.  We all pay for the first time.”

He throws the breaker switch, and the stage comes to life.  The sign over the midway is a blinding neon MOONLIGHT GARDENS in green and blue and pink.  The lights scream and buzz, and the smell of stale popcorn and cotton candy and hot dogs is in the air, and the theatre is a memory.  Wind peels across the fairground, the pennants rippling from the top of the ferris wheel (wait, how did they get a ferris wheel on the stage?  A carousel is already crazy, but this?)

And then at last it begins to spin, and the bellows in the organ at the heart of the carousel shudder and pump, and the flywheel sounds like a bicycle race, and the airpipes start to keen and then-


ACT ONE: In which a celebration is made, a promise is given and a love is spurned.  

A community of worshippers gathers from far and wide in anticipation of a lunar eclipse, there to give offerings and make merry.  Among the celebrants are JANET, a beautiful young woman of strong will and much talent with magic, and her father, ORSINO, The Minister of the Midway, leader of their rites.  Orsino opens the festivities with a paean to community and tradition (2).  Orsino’s current partner and confidante is MADAME DELPHI, an oracle who may only speak her prophecy in riddles and allegory.  She is concerned that this festival is predestined to be disastrous, and vents her frustrations with the other fortune-tellers of the community (3).  Orsino’s position as chief mage of the order was secured years ago, when he bound THE DEVIL himself in mortal form, sealing satan from his powers.  The price to seal the devil was the willing sacrifice of Orsino’s wife, Janet’s mother.  As a result, he feels he has a tenuous grip on his soul (4).

Janet, meanwhile, feels that her father has been too overbearing in raising her, and that as a young woman she should be free to explore her desires, particularly those of a sexual nature (5).  Also attending is the STRANGER, a handsome young man with a silver tongue and golden eyes, who Janet sees as a worthy prize (6).  Janet and The Stranger meet during the preparations for the evening, and immediately feel a connection.  The stranger attempts to impress her with his bad boy image, which she finds hilarious (7).

BARNABUS, another celebrant, is a man who covets Janet, but believes he can win her heart by magic.  He struggles with his inner demons, particularly a sense of guilt for abandoning the church after the death of his abusive father (8).  As sun sets on the night of the eclipse, Janet and the Stranger are overcome by each other in the hall of mirrors, while Barnabus watches from the shadows.  The Stranger expects Janet to be a naive and innocent conquest, but she easily has the upper hand (9).  

The rites of the eclipse begin (10), meanwhile Barnabus tricks the Stranger into separating from the group and kills him (11).  He offers the stranger’s soul in exchange for Janet’s love (12).  The spell goes awry, however, and the moon fails to return (13).


ACT TWO: In which bodies are sundered but hearts are not.

The narrator ponders the larger questions of life, setting the scene for our return to the carnival (15).  Barnabus gloats to Janet, presuming that his spell was successful, only to find that it has not taken effect (16).  Madame Delphi announces that a presence is coming, and that the carnival has been removed from time (17).  The Devil begins to manifest around the carnival, revealing himself to have been The Stranger.  He is only able to appear momentarily while he gathers strength, but swears that before the night is out he will take Barnabas’s soul (18).

Janet, in shock, takes time to consider that her lover is The Devil (19).  The Devil manifests before her, and they both sadly acknowledge that these stories do not end well (20).  

Barnabus convinces himself that, in the end, he bears no blame.  The Devil made him do it (21).  Orsino, exhausted and demoralized, feeling that his wife’s sacrifice was in vain, rallies the revelers for a final showdown with the lord of darkness (22).  Madame Delphi, however, declares that though the devil has lost his mortal form, he can do no harm, for the spell Orsino cast years ago bound him to Janet’s soul (23).  The gathered revelers are at a loss and begin to argue as to the way forward, until Janet appeals to their shared sense of family and community (24).  

Barnabus, fearing for his soul, believes that killing Janet will force Orsino to bind the devil away (25).  Janet wakes in death to find herself in purgatory, with ROBIN GOODFELLOW, the narrator, as her guide.  She has not gone to heaven or hell as the carnival is still out of step with time (26).  Realizing that she must act quickly to save her love, she casts a spell to summon herself to him, pulling her soul out of purgatory and back to the carnival (27).  Their souls both lacking mortal form, Janet and The Devil share their power, restore the carnival, obliterate Barnabus, and ride off into the Moonset (28).

The company, as Curtain Call, asks the question: what makes the soul of a man? (29)

The curtain swings closed.  The hall is silent.

“Well, I know the bill said we were playing The Magic Flute, but I thought this was a little bit more fun.”

When the ushers opened the doors to let the audience out, only a humid evening breeze left the theatre.

Track Listing:

  1. Danse Macabre, played on Fairground Organ
  2. Cup of Wonder - Jethro Tull
  3. After Midnight - Dorothy
  4. Marked Man - Mieka Pauley
  5. The Devil - PJ Harvey
  6. The Heat - The Bones of JR Jones
  7. Reynardine - Show of Hands
  8. Old Time Religion - Parker Millsap
  9. Hunting Girl - Jethro Tull
  10. Dance In The Graveyards - Delta Rae
  11. Death Is Not The End - Nick Cave and Friends
  12. Shoot The Moon - Tom Waits
  13. No Light, No Light - Florence + The Machine
  14. Calliope - Tom Waits
  15. Hows It Gonna End - Tom Waits
  16. I Put A Spell On You - Screamin Jay Hawkins
  17. Conman Coming - Monica Heldal
  18. Lose Your Soul - Dead Man’s Bones
  19. Devil’s Resting Place - Laura Marling
  20. Demon Lover - Tim O’Brien
  21. Beelzebub - Black Pistol Fire
  22. Satan Your Kingdom Must Come Down - Robert Plant
  23. Tam Lin - Fairport Convention
  24. Come On Up To The House - Sarah Jarosz
  25. New American Standard - Ford Theatre Reunion
  26. Singapore - Tom Waits
  27. Tell That Devil - Jill Andrews
  28. Aint No Grave - Crooked Still
  29. Soul Of A Man - Tom Waits

Ford: (Does/says something rude and jerk-like)

Me: Oh my God Ford be nicer to your brother.

Ford: (Does/says something cute and nerdy)

Me: Haha, that’s cute but seriously be nicer to your brother.

Ford: (Hints at past trauma)

Me: Oh my God that’s so sad but you still need to be nicer to your brother.

Ford: (Exists)

Me: Be nicer to your brother. Apologize to your brother. Thank your brother for all he’s done for you, BE NICER TO HIM, I’LL BREAK DOWN THE DOOR, I’LL BREAK DOWN YOUR FACE, STANFORD FILBRICK PINES YOU BE NICER TO YOUR BROTHER.

Watch on

1940 Ford Standard Coupe by Greg Gjerdingen
Via Flickr:
Minnesota Street Rod Association (MSRA) “BACK TO THE 50′s” 43nd Annual Car Show June 17-19, 2016 State Fairgrounds St. Paul, Minnesota Click here for more car pictures at my Flickr site.


So. If I were more organized, I would have sources cited. They’re not, and I apologize. But.

The discussion of Benedict Cumberbatch’s role in 12 Years a Slave, that of William Ford, needs to be addressed.

Since the movie was released last year, I’ve seen Ford described as “hapless” and “sympathetic” in reviews of the film. This is disturbing, and has led me to two conclusions.

First, that Benedict Cumberbatch has reached an apex of adoration in his career. He’s Sherlock, he’s Khan, he’s Smaug, he’s beloved. And I do think he seems like an absolute darling in real life. However. It would seem to me that he’s too distinctive as an actor - in the sense that fondness for his real world person has fogged perception of his character.

Second, William Ford is part of a nauseating array of figures partaking in dehumanizing of millions of people of color. Solomon Northup, in his twelve years, was also besieged by an overseer who tried to murder him, an explosively sadistic plantation owner, and that man’s poisonous wife.

In contrast, William Ford was not a sadist. We do not see him raping women or beating the people he enslaves. 


William Ford partakes of the same evil. He is not a good man. He is not hapless, he is not sympathetic. He is a flagrant hypocrite.

It has been observed by reviewers wiser than me, that Solomon Northup had good cause to paint Ford as a more sympathetic figure IN HIS ORIGINAL ACCOUNT. Northup’s life story was distributed among white abolitionists. It would be naive to think that because some people advocated for the end of the slave trade a century and a half ago, that they would not be considered racist by today’s standards. Ford acted as the “oh but there are such decent white people in the world” touchstone for Northup’s white readers. His book could not have served as such an effective tool if he alienated his target audience.

The historical record is up for discussion by more educated people. I want to examine the movie.

Steve McQueen made some very deliberate choices. Ford preaches to his family and the people he enslaves, all together. To lift them up. And when we are presented with a scene of his garden congregation, it isn’t peaceful. This is not a moment to say “oh, what a nice man, he just sort of fell into this human chattel stuff”.

Overlaying Ford’s sanctimonious lecture are the broken wails of Eliza, the woman Ford purchased with Solomon. Eliza, who was stolen south along with Solomon, and will never see her children again. This scene ought to break any human with a beating heart. William Ford is NOT sympathetic. The fact that he is not a violent sadist does not make him a good man. He is the face of the self-righteous South, believing he is blameless, just, in enslaving human beings because he doesn’t go out of his way to torture them. He is the face of every “good master” from a century of films. 

Eliza’s sobs for her lost children drown out his sermon. That’s the point. Maybe people think Ford is sympathetic because at times he is kind to Solomon. Ford is as “kind” as he needs to be to sleep at night. Solomon Northup was an intelligent man, a gifted man, an educated man, whose vast talents were then OWNED by Ford. Of course it was in his interest to be civil. 

Men are kind to well-trained dogs, too. 

I would only ask that as a thinking, feeling audience, we not allow any affection for Benedict Cumberbatch as a person to overshadow the putrid, rotten core of the character he depicts.


Sutton Reveals New Ford Mustang Tuning Packages

Renowned dealer Clive Sutton has revealed its Sutton Bespoke tuning program for the new right-hand drive Ford Mustang, transforming the standard model into a true muscle car with up to 700bhp. The program comprises a suite of packages that enhance the car’s performance, handling and styling.

While the focus with many American upgrade programs is on straight-line performance and quarter-mile times, Clive Sutton has carefully engineered its packages to appeal specifically to UK and European buyers. The upgraded suspension is a particular highlight, which delivers sharper on-the-limit handling without compromising comfort over broken road surfaces.

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