I read this in a magazine today. "Implications ought to inform
implementations: that's the difference between clever and
stupid..." That's strong stuff, if you let the meaning soak
in. I know some people who could benefit from the distinction.
I saw a very cool word the other day: pleonasm
- Using a lot of words when a few will suffice. Check out
month's word archive at Dictionary.com.
I wonder if there's a word that means not enough words?
I know it's not proper usage, but have you had a pleonasm
today? <grin>How long can you go without one?</grin>
Did you know that according to Roget's there are only 6
main classes of words?
Today's spam special
I'm wondering if e-junk-mail works any better than the stuff
we still get in the mailbox.
As the Circulation Director for Black Enterprise Magazine,
I confess, I used to be a "junk mailer." The conventional
wisdom back then was that a 2% response rate was worth writing
home about. We'd mail 250,000 pieces in one shot. At 2%, that's
5000 new subscriptions. You'd lose a certain percentage in
the billing process, and by then it would be time to send
out another mailing... like clockwork.
And like clockwork, I see some of the same teaser copy in
my inbox again and again. But they're slick - they keep changing
the sender, to fool the simpler blocking schemes. I've got
a spam filter on my internet service, and spam is so recognizable,
that anything that makes it to my mailbox looking like spam,
gets unceremoniously deleted.
So, I wonder who's even reading those spammy messages, much
less responding. Maybe the only people who are making out
on the whole spam thing, are the people who sell bulk e-mail
Call me cynical.
Is it just me, or have you been feeling like you ought to
stop, drop, and roll whenever you hear the word "hero", or
someone utters any phrase related to September 11th? Lately,
I find myself bracing for several minutes of heartstring-twanging
whenever I hear one of those magic phrases. Maybe they ought
to pass a bill that requires announcers to flash a warning
on your TV screen that reads "MANIPULATION IMMINENT" when
they do that.
"Anthrax" is so yesterday, but herpes looks like it's making
a comeback, thanks to Valtrex.
a little web can do! [Make sure you purify.]
Hivelogic has one of the more interesting
anti-spam solutions. If your email is posted on your website,
it's likely that a spambot will try to harvest your address
and start stuffing your mailbox with the electronic analogue
to that familiar pink luncheon meat. Their idea? Encode your
That's something like when doctors prescribe antibiotic cocktails
to their patients to combat resistant strains; the one-two
punch works where one drug or the other isn't sufficient.
Must Never Forget - Scott Kidder has done what I need
to do. Instead of obsessing to the nth degree, he's put together
what he has about September 11th, and posted it. I have a
bunch of photographs I've never put up. [Note to self -
I had to laugh yesterday, as Katie Couric tried to defend
the TV anchors for fanning the flames of hysteria. Gavin De
Becker, author of "Fear Less", was on for a second segment
of the Today Show promoting his book and talking about the
reality of risk since 9-11 and the anthrax scare.
Katie suggested that running hysterical stories in the mass
media focuses attention on public safety and other areas that
need to be addressed. Have you noticed how little *new*
information is on the news, lately? I guess they're too busy
selling soap and insinuating to other folks about what they
need to be working on.
new iMac looks cool. We need new hardware chez Benjamin.
This might be the way to go. [more
from the Chicago Tribune]
Slices of life
13 December '01: A clump of yellow Police Scene tape is
wrapped around the base of a light post, looking a lot like
the ribbons that wrapped suburban trees during the Iran hostage
crisis. A short distance up the street, tape has been applied
to a gallery window in a pattern resembling an asterisk. It's
probably covering a bullet hole.
The night before, we'd been told that the bus we were on
was taking a detour, because of an ongoing investigation.
Peering up South Oxford Street from the bus, you could see
that several blocks had been closed off. When I got home,
a story on the news filled in the blanks - there had been
a shoot-out in the street. Five people had been shot. I think
two were dead, and a third would die within days.
The unfortunate thing is, once the hysteria of "isn't it
horrible?!" dies down, you never hear anything more about
these stories, unless there's a sensational trial. There ought
to be a way to follow these stories more directly. There's
a human component to these stories that never seems to get
out. There's a long-term effect, that we never find out about.
Earlier the same day... The man across the street
sounds angry. He has a black broom in his hands and seems
to be delivering a sermon. He's wearing a tan tweed jacket
with faded blue jeans, and a baseball cap. The cap is white,
and the bill is blue. He's got on a light blue shirt and a
brownish patterned tie, which is held in place by a gold-tone
bar. His leather gloves are black.
His stance is open; fearless. For a moment, I see him standing
with his arms are extended outward from his sides. Most of
the time, he's prowling back and forth across the intersection,
or walking in circles on one vertex of the intersection. His
voice is pretty much a growl. I can't make out much of what
he's saying, but from time to time, phrases get through.
"Jesus is coming," he says... "put that in your pipe
and smoke it - Just don't smoke it too fast. I want you to
take it home and..." I don't know what he said after that.
A while later, I can hear his voice bouncing off the buildings
from around the corner, reciting The Lord's Prayer with feeling.
He's putting heavy emphasis on some of the words "father"..."heaven"..."thy"...,
etc. Who knows what the emphasis is supposed to mean.
On the bus 3 January '02: An older woman is standing
in the aisle. She has dark, round glasses and an orangeish,
wide-brimmed hat. It appears that her left canine tooth, and
maybe one other, is missing. She's speaking very loudly. Her
tone is indignant.
"My hands are tied..." she's saying. "Gonna use my mouth,
like Montel Williams told me to do." Clearly she's inspired.
"Everywhere I go, I preach the goddamned word of God!", she
says. I continue moving past her to the rear of the bus, where
the engine noise almost drowns her out. For the next 20 or
so blocks, she never stops "preaching." I have no idea what
she's been saying, but from time to time, I can hear the emphatic
spikes of her voice over the engine's hum.
Street preachers almost always seem earnest and urgent. I
often wonder if it's us they're trying to save, or themselves.