Another week, and no rain. The sprinkler repairmen are coming next Thursday, and I'll have the system back up - but in the meantime, the ordinary oscillating fan is doing brilliant work. The water goes from the tap down the hill of Jasperwood, and the pressure makes it cover about a third of the yard. For the first year in some time everything looks fantastically green. But we need rain! So I wrote a column about not getting rain, which will run Monday, guaranteeing rain on the weekend.

Well, let's get to the usual Friday odds-and-ends. Something for everyone, I hope.

The brain looks for faces, and finds them in the strangest places. The back of this truck - well, no, it can't believe it, either.


Remember our survey of fake brands? The websites that sell unstinting quantities of Chinese junk, and clutter up Twitter with a million ads? I'm still collecting them.

  Same busted English.
  AI generated logos? Maybe.
  Notice anything?
  I decided for a week only to snip a certain type.
  "Shop" or "Official" is often appended to the name.
  Either research suggests this type of name works . . .
  . . . and works best with five letters or four . . .
  . . . or the AI suffered a glitch that kicked out . . .
  . . . one Z named company after the other.
  I'm sure I'm missing some.
  "See, people might not trust Zose, but they'll probably be interested by Zoto."

And now, the weekly dream-journal entry, illustrated by AI, because that's what this week is all about.

We had an interview at work with someone who looked through our past transgressions. I didn’t realize it, but I had been pulled over seven times, and I had a few other problems that made him say “when I looked at your file, I was like, dude.” The paper had partnered with the company that did the testing, and we had developed some sort of app that told you what your real job should be. He raises his phone and shows me - it loads the StarTribune logo, then he dismisses an ad, and then it says in our typeface “Oscar Meyer Bacon Awareness Raiser.” I was heartbroken, because I still wanted to work at the paper, and my editor assured me I could.

Prompt: Oscar Meyer Bacon Influencer

These were created with the new Photoshop (beta) generative function. It's much more photorealistic and it's also much more strange.





First, let's look at the before-and-now images of the Firehouse project. This will give you an idea of its size.

The site today:

Around the corner, down Washington:

And now:

Turn right, head back around the block:

And now.

Finally, a look at the Stadium apartments, all topped off and filling up:

Not exactly a dying hellhole, as per some popular opinions.

What happened? No, wait, sit down first, in a way that conspicuously displays a clue.

This is predicated upon Lance turning over a particular object, isn't it? Solution is here.


This year's old newspaper feature: a social no-no single-panel illustration. Can you figure out what's wrong?

The answer will be provided on Monday.


Now two ways to chip in!

That will do! Thank you for your visits, and I'll see you on Monday.




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