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April 08, 2004
Spam Exam 2
More unusual spam today:
Date: Thu, 08 Apr 04 18:50:36 GMT
From: Wade Dodson [Wade's alleged email address]
To: [my email address]
Subject: Highest Quality Replica Rolex Watches
As they glide into the valley the little bunny shouts ^?FFFF93Look
The little bunny points to a distant rainbow spanning the far end of the
valley created as the sun shines between the clouds of a passing mountain
Tasha smiles ^?FFFF93It's a good omen for our home coming.^?FFFF94
Moments later the dragon quickly descends towards the small village.
After a gentle landing the three rabbits climb down. Tina runs to see her
friends while Chip tells the dragon to return to the temple each morning
to see if he is needed.
With that the great beast flies away.
Dinre, Chip, and Tasha all walk towards the village center where they
meet well wishes from many of the villagers.
Almost before they know it the sun is dropping below the western ridge.
All day the preparations for the night's celebration have progressed,
and with darkness near large bonfires are lit in the village center.
Soon the sounds of drums and singing fill the air as Chip, and Tasha are
led to a large flat rock where Dinre stands to officially present them to
The elder rabbit then raises his arms as he stands between his daughter,
and Chip. With that becomes silent as they wait to hear his words.
[duplicate bunny story snipped]
Is this the best way to sell Rolex ripoffs?
April 01, 2004
One Digit Off: The Importance of Details
My eye doctor's appointment scheduled for today didn't occur. It had been cancelled weeks earlier, but no one told me. Attempts to call me had probably been made, I was assured, but no one reached me. Why? Because they had the wrong phone number. I travelled several miles in the pouring, pounding rain simply because a single digit in my phone number was typed incorrectly into the office's new computer system. Why didn't someone verify the data after it was typed? After not being able to reach me, why didn't anyone check the number listed in my old records, or contact my primary care physician, or look in a phone book? One tiny mistake, but it had an impact weeks later, rippling out and changing what I did and whom I talked to today. Current TV shows like Joan of Arcadia, Tru Calling, and Wonderfalls all deal with these ripples and the insignificant details that cause bigger events. Perhaps whoever mistyped that digit should watch more TV. At any rate, a fitting start to April.
March 28, 2004
The Boston Globe: Repair Man
I like this profile
in today's Boston Globe
. The man in question has built a "Sense of Unity Machine" -- fascinating title! Though somewhat limited in scope, it's very much in line with what I've been thinking about in recent years, about synthesizing meaning.
March 27, 2004
Out of Touch with Genitals
Over at alt.fan.cecil-adams
, a thread grew from "Georgia House Votes for Genital-Piercing Ban"
, an article about a bill that outlaws not only female genital mutilation, but voluntary piercing as well. Here's my post
about it (and subsequent clarification
). Of course it's funny that the representative who added piercing to the bill allegedly didn't know some women do such voluntarily, but more importantly, politicians have claimed once again that women don't own their own bodies, that their right to privacy can be taken away without debate. Further, why aren't males protected from genital mutilation? Because that would outlaw "American" circumcision, and for a lot of people, it produces less guilt to say that what we do has a purpose, and what those foreigners do is just barbaric. This bill may outlaw a terrible practice, but it is flawed: Careful thought tells us that genital mutilation is most abhorrent when its victims have no choice in the matter. Therefore, what should be outlawed is involuntary or coerced genital mutilation directed at either sex, not what a competent adult can choose to do to his or her own parts. Body modification is a decision that belongs to the individual involved, not politicians.
March 21, 2004
The Boston Globe: Lost in Space
Today's Boston Globe
features an important article
about the death of the Hubble telescope. Physicists have made great breakthroughs in the understanding of the universe in recent years, and this telescope has provided vital real-world evidence to support that journey. We are so close to a unified theory of everything, so close to learning the truth about dark energy and dark matter, and still NASA is just going to let such an important tool break down? That's not right -- we need answers, and we need that telescope.
February 25, 2004
I got some unusual spam today:
Date: Wed, 25 Feb 2004 02:24:53 -0500
From: Nila [Nila's alleged email address]
To: [my email address]
hi , Nila , here
You were referred to me as a person seeking finacncial
Wecalth cannot be achieved by trading hours for wacges.
It has been said that inscanity is doing what you've
always docne and expecting different results.
Maybe it's time to tcry something dicfferent to
achieve your financial goals.
I would like to cocach and mecntor you to achieve
the finacncial indecpendece which I and my assocciates
[link]Make 5ck to 1c0ck in 3c0 to 6c0 days and secll nothing.[/link]
Lookcing forward to workcing witch you, Nila
[my email address] was the adcdress refcerred to mce for this
Here's the thing, Nila, if that is your real name: You make a couple of good points, but you'd look more professional if you didn't have all those c
's thrown around in there. Upon HTML inspection, I found that each one was written like this:<font style="font-size: 1;">c</font>. What's that supposed to do, Nila? See, I use Pine to read email, and I'm usually immune to spammers' tricks. You know that HTML doesn't belong in email, right? Apparently not.
February 09, 2004
Domain Name Issue Fixed?
My domain problems should be fixed. I tried yet again to explain that sometimes my domain was being directed to the wrong server. Tech support recreated my account, however any changes since Jan. 17th are gone. I can repost my blog entries, but I lost some site statistics (missing Jan. 18 - Feb. 8).
February 04, 2004
Cinnamon Toast Crunch: Literally Cryptic
What's the deal with the letters in the title of Cinnamon Toast Crunch? Is there a hidden meaning in the color order?
Purple: C, m, a, r, h
Sky Blue: i, a, t, C, c
Red Orange: n, o, o, n
Green: n, n, T, s, u
(Here's a twist: This graphic
shows the first M
as blue rather than purple, and one A
is purple rather than blue.) What's the pattern here? Is it random? Is the yellow square behind the title involved? I see "noon" is there -- or is it "no no"? I've never noticed that those letters might mean something else; perhaps reading Lost in a Good Book
today has made me more aware of such things. I ran "Cinnamon Toast Crunch" through an anagram program -- check these out:
"contraction Schumann", "contacts inhuman corn", "cannot constrain much", "such corn contaminant", "I contact Ron Schumann", "I am no constant crunch", "cannot match unicorns", "contains much ant corn", "no chronic mutants can".
The mystery grows -- who's Ron Schumann?
February 01, 2004
Website Hacked Again
My website was defaced again this morning. It was restored quickly, but I'm still wary of posting too much in case it happens again. I've got more entries to post on my computer -- I'm just hoping that, you know, my website will actually be here the next time I check.
January 23, 2004
Was Today Lucky?
I met my friend Jennifer for lunch at Chick-fil-A. Aside from our typically rich conversation, there was something else that made today special: I redeemed three $1 scratch tickets for $4 and two tickets. I won $2. After lunch I redeemed my winning ticket for $1 and a ticket. I won $1, but I haven't claimed it yet. Okay, so I didn't win much, but it seemed cool nonetheless. Was it luck? Before I redeemed my ticket after lunch, I followed Jennifer into The Body Shop, where more weirdness occurred. She was looking at items that burn scented oils, and the woman at the register began joking with us about how more men should get facials and such (I said that being in the store was enough for me). A man came in from the back and said he liked the pin on Jennifer's backpack: a cartoon bunny that said, "I hate everything." The man, the woman, and Jennnifer talked about where to get T-shirts with the bunny on it, and when Jennifer went to pay, the man said, "How committed are you to that particular one?" He brought her in the back (just several feet away), and upgraded her purchase to a boxed set with multiple oils. Those employees were so friendly, and it all happened in just a few minutes -- I've never seen that occur with such remarkable speed. Was there something in the air? Was it luck?
January 22, 2004
My host got hacked Saturday night (1/17), and my website was defaced. It was restored from backup but tech support had to move it to a new server. Since then it's been sporadically inaccessible -- it seems to be a domain name issue. I don't think I lost much, but let me know
if something isn't working.
January 18, 2004
Biased Newscasters, Allegedly
When did it become acceptable for newscasters to show bias? Of course bias is inherent in any newscast: To report on one thing and not another is a form of bias that can't be avoided. However, local newscasters in particular often show their own values with no regard for their role in educating the public. They're wary with words when reporting the facts of a crime: "The alleged murderer allegedly killed the alleged victim." However, sometimes they may, for example, call a crime "cold-blooded," or a crime scene "gruesome." Even if most people would use them to describe violent crimes, these words are nevertheless subjective. Newscasters can also show bias by calling people heroes, particularly when speaking of "the ultimate sacrifice"
. Yet bias extends beyond issues of life and death: Newscasters generally favor local sports teams, Christmas, the Santa Claus myth, and temperatures in the 70s. These people needn't be automatons -- I like seeing personality; I want them to be real. The problem arises when newscasters try too hard to be part of the audience: At worst they become sycophantic "newscasterasters" who'd rather be my friend than be objective. Please, when reporting the news, try to keep your opinions out of the story -- some of your viewers are still capable of forming their own.
Adam, Eve, and the Beauty Myth
Most conceptions of Adam and Eve portray them as beautiful or attractive (recent example: this week's America's Next Top Model
). The belief in their beauty likely comes from the "created in God's image" idea: If God is perfect, then He must be beautiful, and therefore so were his first children (most of His other children haven't been so lucky). But isn't it more likely that Adam and Eve did not fit today's beauty standard? Until recent times Adam and Eve have traditionally been white, reflective of a European civilization that reformed the myth in its own image. Now it's common to see other races represented, but the beauty criterion remains. In the name of further diversity, when are we going to see an ugly, or even deformed, Adam and Eve? Would it be too shocking, too blasphemous, to see our ancestors as flawed, perhaps subhuman? What if beauty is not representative of perfection? What if, by some cosmic irony, God isn't beautiful at all? Order can rise from chaos; beauty can rise from ugliness. If it happens down here, why not up there?
January 14, 2004
Tonight I poured some Crispy M&M's into my hand and got five of them, all red ones. The bag seemed mixed pretty well; was this a sign? According to this
, a bag of Crispy M&M's should be 16.6% red, yet it seems unusual to get five of the same color. What does it mean? Five can mean marriage -- is there a Communist or Republican wedding coming up? Five can mean humanity or the world -- are these things bleeding? Tell me something I don't know. Of course, I'm tempted to say that there's nothing special about this configuration: One red, two yellows, a brown, and a green may be more meaningful, but few would notice. On the other hand, perhaps the universe shows meaning through five reds precisely because humans are more likely to pay attention. To be truthful, I paid more attention when, earlier in the day, a piece of junk mail startled me: I misread "realty guild" as, well, you can probably guess. That was more relevant to me, but maybe five reds will make more sense later. Divination is hard, yo.
January 13, 2004
Celebrity Advertisements Database: Top Spot in Google
Check it out: Search Google for celebrity advertisements
and my Celebrity Advertisements Database is on the first page. Search for "celebrity advertisements"
and I've got the top spot! (I notice on the first search Google also finds "advertising" as well; this finding of related words must be new behavior, or I've never noticed it before.) Google is fickle, however: It took months for my website to get included, and afterwards I noticed it would sporadically disappear from the nullibicity
search results. Some pages Google still refuses to index. Wait, is Googlebot reading this? Uh-oh....
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