(And men's too!)
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Thursday, February 21, 2008
...Along with Ted! Jorie! Louise! Paul! Billy! Rita!
See Jimmy's cartoon in context here!
Cool cartoon, BTW!
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
"Between you and I"
is found in the lyrics of at least 3 popular contemporary songs; I am quite fond of one of those sangs. But by my lights: between is a preposition, and therefore, both "you" and "X" are objects of that preposition. I believe that the correct phrasing is: "between you and me."
Am I wrong? Am I sometimes wrong?
Friday, February 15, 2008
Thursday, February 14, 2008
(See note at end)
No snark and no jokes here, but just a warning:
Scammers have developed the so-called "Nigerian" scam to a whole new level by adding bonafide links to real news stories about actual companies. The scammer then inserts him or herself as a CEO or other high official in the company.
This probability that this person is a scammer: 99.9999999%
The message here: if it's too good to be true, then run like the wind. Don't allow basic human greed to overrule common sense.
If you are savvy in these matters, this message isn't for you, but if you have ever been tempted to bite, here's a sample message (They tend to be formulaic and filled with grammatical gaffes) and some future scamming trends to watch:
FROM [Deleted--the name is likely false or hijacked.]
THE CHIEF EXECUTIVE OF YUKOS OIL
CEO: [Deleted--the name is likely false or hijacked.]
Dear Friend [A definite red flag--why is he emailing a stranger?] ,
I got your contact address after my extensive search via your country white pages [Nope. Highly unlikely], for a God-fearing and trust-worthy person to bestow this transaction which is the only hope of survival [Why is "Greed" and "Godliness" such a seductive combination?]. When i got your address, I prayed and meditated fervently over it and i committed it into the hands of God that you should be the rightful person to help me .
Permit me to seek your attention in so informal a manner. I am [DELETED], the chief executive of Yukos to MIKHAIL KHODORKOVSKY, the richest man in Russia , Chairman CEO: YUKOS OIL (Russian Largest Oil Company). I seek your partnership in an urgent financial business of US$18 Million. .
My Boss MIKHAIL KHODORKOVSKY was arrested in October 2003 for his involvement in politics and the financing of opposing political parties which posed a treat to President Vladimir Putin's second tenure in 2004 as Russian president.
You can read more of this on the web sites below:
[This link is bonafide; I checked it by going to the main BBC site--www.bbc.co.uk AND www.BBC.com--and then going to the news page by clicking on "news" in the left panel. I then typed in "Yukos Oil" in the site search box, and pulled up a story about Yukos oil.]
[If you don't know a sender, never link directly to an email embedded in a message. There are many scam "look-alike" sites that may contain a "typo" of a real site, such as "troffic" for "traffic."]
[This, too, is a bonafide story, but I recommend staying off this site because it's spammy with lots of annoying ads that redirect you away from your target page.]
[This is a website with unknown credibility, so I deleted it.]
The Russian Government had already concluded plans to freeze all corporate and personal accounts in the name of Mikhail Khodorkovsky.
However, in other to boost the investor confidence in the Russian Economy , We decided to approve the payment of millions of Dollars to all YUKOS OIL Contractors and Suppliers.
The Fund US$18M involved was approved by the Russian Authorities as part of payments to the various YUKOS OIL contractors/suppliers to prevent them from loosing the money they invested in the numerous contracts they executed for YUKOS OIL.
In my position as the chief executive of YUKOS OIL before I resigned on July 21, 2006, I raised a memo stating that YUKOS OIL owed US$18M to a foreign contractor and the Russian Authority have approved this amount for payment.
Actually, we have paid all our contractors both local and foreign because they agitated for their payment when they heard that my boss was arrested.
I now seek your consent to present you or your company as one of the contractors we owe so that you can stand as the beneficiary of the above sum.
I will furnish you with the necessary documents, which the payee bank will need to transfer the sum to your nominated account.
I have decided to use part of this sum to relocate my family out of Russia due to the present insecurity we face.
I cannot lay direct claims to this payment, as i need to present a foreign person or company to stand as the beneficiary.
This business is safe and we will be willing to reward you with 30% of the total sum for your partnership. As soon as I get your willingness to assist i will provide more details.
Please contact me immediately via my private secured email stated below giving your direct contact telephone and fax numbers.
[Of course I deleted Mr. Scammer's contact information.]
Scammers have always been around, and, as long as there are naive greedy people, these con men and women will continue to develop new and more sophisticated internet schemes.
For the future, look for these scam "improvements":
--Better writing. These scamsters will soon discover that the ungrammatical letter is no longer effective and may actually hire unsavory freelance writers to write polished letters for them.
--Better domain names. Believe it or not, many of the "premium" domain names are on so-called "parking lots." As "parking" becomes less lucrative (financially), look for some of these domains to be used for scam websites. My message here: just because a domain URL looks credible doesn't mean it is. Example: Whitehouse.com used to be a porn site (which eventually sold for millions; it is now a political site).
--More sophisticated websites: better graphics, layout, text, and navigation. Some computer functions can now be done automatically: feed in info, template, and graphics and spit out an attractive website. Even blogger gets easier and easier to use--I'm not that tech-savvy, but I find blogger very easy to use.
--Personalized emails to potential marks. The incorporation of "micro-scamming" has already infiltrated the domaining world. The scammer gets registration info from Whois and then tailors a message to the domain owner: "Your domain PostFoetry.com is about to expire; go to this link now to renew..."
The savvy domainers keep track of their expiration dates; however, there are enough newbies around that this scam seems to persist.
Expect micro-scamming to spread into other areas, such a writing and publishing. Most of us are already aware of bogus literary agents and publishers.
--Emails that hijack the names of people you know. It's not all that difficult to build a data base of paired names.
In short, do your research.
Don't be a dupe.
UPDATE: After I posted this entry, I checked my email and found a micro-spamming email that was specifically targeted to me (as a domainer); my email address appeared in the text of the email and was probably pharmed.
It's only a matter of time before this scam pervades other fields, including writing.
Copyright 2008, Jennifer Semple Siegel
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
I must be the luckiest girl in the world; in the past few months, this email addy has won sooooooooo many internet lotteries.
All I have to do is follow these steps.
1). Full Names:..................
2). Residential Address: ........
5). Phone/Fax Numbers:...........
6). Country of Resident:.........
7). Nationality: ................
8). Reference Number:............
9). Serial Number:...............
10). Amount Won:.................
11). Email Address:..............
12). A scan or Fax Copy of any Valid Proof of your Identification like International Passport or Driver's License:................
Yeah, I'll get right on that.
Just discovered this disclaimer:
This email is confidential and contain privileged or copyright information. You must not present this message to another party. If you are not the intended recipient you must not copy, distribute or use this email or the information contained in it for any purpose other than to notify us.
So sue me.
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Dearest in Christ
I am Mrs D. [all names deleted] from Senegal. I was married to Mr. D. who worked with senegalaise company in Ivory Coast for nine years before he died in the year 2002. We were married for eleven years without a child.
He died after a brief illness that lasted for only four days.
Before his death we were both born again Christian.
Since his death I decided not to remarry or get a child outside my matrimonial home which the Bible is against.
When my late husband was alive he deposited the sum of $15.5Million in a Bank, this money is still in the Bank Presently, my Doctor told me that I would not last for the next Eight months due to Heart problem.
Having known my condition I decided to donate this fund to a church that will utilize this money the way I am going to instruct herein.
I want a church or a God fearing individual that will use this fund for orphanages, widows, propagating the word of God and to endeavour that the house of God is maintained.
The Bible made us to understand that "Blessed is the hand that giveth".
I took this decision because I don't have any child that will inherit this money and my husband relatives are not a Christians and they are heartless.
And I don't want my husband's efforts to be used by unbelievers and wicked beings.
I don't want a situation where this money will be used in an ungodly way.
This is why I am taking this decision. I am not afraid of death hence I know where I am going.
I know that I am going to be in the bosom of the Lord ...Exodus 14 VS 14 says that "the lord will fight my case and I shall hold my peace".
I don't need any telephone communication in this regards because of my health hence the presence of my husband's relatives around me always is suspicious.
My happiness is that I lived a life of a worthy Christian.
Whoever that Wants to serve the Lord must serve him in spirit and Truth. Please always be prayerful all through your life.
I have sent letter to the Bank Director,Instructed them to transfer the said fund to you for the mentioned purposes.
Contact the bank director Immediately and Identify yourself, Because I have already informed him that the said fund will be transfer to your account through my letter to him.
Any delay in your contacting the bank director give me room in sourcing another church or person for this same purpose.
Please assure me that you will act accordingly as I Stated herein. Hoping to receive your reply.
Remain blessed in the Lord.
Yours in Christ,
Please kindly reach me through the following addres: [deleted]
My response (I have always wanted to do this!):
My Dear Mrs. D., Lover of Christ and all things Christian,
For the life of me, I cannot conjure up one church in America that would have an overflow of orphanages and widows in their congregations that would be able to put your fortune to Godly use; however, I absolutely understand why you would email a complete stranger to assist you.
If you cannot trust a stranger, who can you trust?
I am in the process of setting up a secret bank account in the Cayman Islands; in fact, it is so secret that even my relatives have no idea as to its existence. Like you, I am surrounded by nosy relatives who would conspire to steal my own growing inherited fortune. Therefore, I must also take precautions.
I, too, am terminally ill, for I am ultimately destined to ride that Speeding Train to Glory...
Given that I currently appear to be in robust health, I assure you that any monies remitted to me will be put to good use; you can lift up your spirit into the arms of The Good Shepherd, reassured that your late husband's fortune has been entrusted to a grateful earthly caretaker.
Remember, as the Good Book says in R1p0ff $4:@7... "It is better to give to Godly strangers than to bestow great wealth onto sleazy, opportunistic, and thieving relatives."
All I need from your Bank Director is your bank account number, along with a valid routing number. Let us not worry about my remitting my bank information directly to your Bank Director; after all, time is of the essence! No time for such unGodly delays!
In R1p0ff6 $15:5M, The Good Book offers this edict: "Thou Shalt Cut to the Chase! AAAYY-man!"
Once you have disposed of that onerous fortune in good order, you shall be able to catch that Holy Train to Heaven! Enjoy your peaceful and serene journey! God Speed!
Therefore, I beg your pardon for my sense of urgency: your Esteemed Director should remit such account information post haste to the official email address of this blog, which you already know given that you were kind enough to email me here.
On second thought, there is one other possible recipient: The Holy Church of the Taj Mahal, located in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Many desperate people (mostly housewives and elderly people, some of them most assuredly widows and orphans) find succor there. A part of your vast fortune would find a good home in the Church's coffers and would most certainly propagate the Name of God and to endeavour that the house of God is maintained, along with His one-armed statues and icons, maintained vigorously for His flock.
Of course, I shall be happy to act as Agent for this worthy cause.
I assure you that I will act accordingly as you Stated herein, with a few minor tweaks as specified above. Hoping to receive your account information soon.
You, too, remain blessed in the Lord as you contemplate your imminent Ride to Glory.
Yours in Christ,
thing and admire
to inform you about it.
Before I started to
use this thing
too small so small
that I feel shy to speak
about the size.
But now my life has
changed. I increased my
instrument size, women like me
too mush that now I am
glad. P.S Today I can come
7 times for the night. Do you
fell the difference?
(Thanks to Nomi, who receives spectacular spam)
Saturday, February 9, 2008
Question: What's the difference between a $xx,xxx domain and a $x domain?
Answer: one letter "e" morphed into "u."
Domaining is a crazy business that I still stumble around in, but one thing I have learned: one letter in a domain name can make a huge difference in its monetary value.
It's no secret: I would love to own Jennifer.com, but unless I come into a large windfall and a willing seller, that will never happen. Moreover, the .dot-tv people are holding Jennifer.tv ransom for $500.00 a year. I would be willing to pay a one-time fee of $500.00, but I can't see paying that much yearly for what is basically a vanity domain.
Thanks to my parents, I'm fortunate in that I have a great first name that I love. Unfortunately, during the early 1970s, millions of parents also named their daughters "Jennifer," resulting in an annoying glut of rugrat Jennifers who eventually grew up and are now in their mid to late 30's and making their mark in the world.
And then there's Jennifer Lopez, Aniston, Garner, Love-Hewitt, etc., so the Jennifer domains, in all Top Level Domains (.com, .net, .org, etc.), are highly prized and priced.
So, as they say, "Get over it."
Back in August, I stumbled upon this article; some domain-savvy parents are selecting names based solely on domain availability. Being somewhat new at this domain game, I thought it was an amazing concept, for when I was growing up, parents wanted to name their children after parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, etc. and/or a name that they liked.
But in an odd sort of way, wanting to give one's unborn child a solid web presence is a form of legacy and an act of love--we all want the best for our children, and the gift of a personalized domain is especially important these days and will probably be extremely important in the next 20-30 years and beyond.
Basically, if you don't have a web presence, you don't exist.
One hundred years from now, domain names may be passed down from one generation to the next, so JohnQDoe.com might be willed from father to son or grandfather to grandson. More young women with personalized domains might decide to hang onto their birth names after they marry, and, perhaps, even pass their birth names (and domains) to their daughters and granddaughters.
It's definitely a brave new world.
So what's all this got to do with Post Foetry? Not a whole lot, except this: For the past few weeks, I have been kicking around the idea of writing an internet story or novella about a child who has been named "Jennifur" because this first-name dot-com domain was available.
I have already written Chapter 1; if you wish, you can see for yourself at Jennifur.com.
So now you know the full answer to the question posed at the beginning of this post:
Jennifer.com = $xx,xxx
Jennifur.com = $x
But perhaps my minor creative endeavors will help to build some traffic for Jennifur.com.
In any case, it will be a fun and interesting experiment in domain-building and writing rough-draft creative work directly on the web.
Tuesday, February 5, 2008
From time to time, we are going to shine the light on MFA programs, and open up a thread for opinions about the program; for example, does the hype offered in promotional materials match the reality?
This post, we are placing the University of Iowa's Writers' Workshop under scrutiny. We are particularly interested in comments--the good, the bad, and the ugly--by current and former students of this program. What do you like about the program? Dislike? Who were your favorite professors? Least favorite? Give us the real skinny! Serve some tantalizing dish! Or sing the program's praises!
Also, we would like to hear from writers who applied to the program and were rejected; how was your rejection delivered? Personal letter? Form letter? Snark? (If you still have your rejection letter, feel free to email a copy [scanned as a jpeg file], and with your permission, we'll post it without your identifying information.)
Feel free to post your general opinions in this thread OR email me.
We will delete comments that may be unsubstantiated and libelous (such as accusing someone of sexual harassment, etc., and naming that person by name), but opinions are opinions and will not be deleted.
Love Fest or Smackdown? You decide.
Monday, February 4, 2008
Still, I took a look at the journal's online guidelines and discovered that, for the most part, they are friendly toward writers.
--"Current students and employees of the University of Missouri-Kansas City, and current volunteer members of the New Letters and BkMk Press staffs, are not eligible."
--An entrant receives something in return for his/her fee: "Entry fee [$15.00] includes the cost of a one-year subscription, renewal, or gift subscription to New Letters, shipped to any address within the United States. (Subscriptions mailed outside the U.S. require a $12 postal surcharge [This is a fair charge, given the expensive nature of sending magazines overseas])."
--Simultaneous submissions allowed--fantastic!
--One entry: up to six poems may be submitted--very generous.
--One fiction/prose entry: up to 8,000 words--again, very generous.
--The guidelines are clear on submission expectations and deadlines.
--The First Prize is generous.
--Not naming the final judge in advance. I don't buy into the argument that judges will be "harassed" by toadying writers. There is an email delete button for a reason. What happens if the entrant knows the judge and the judge recognizes the entrant's submission (blind or no blind)? In that case, would the entrant's submission be disqualified? If so, would the entrant receive a refund of fees (minus the subscription fee)? In this case, it seems unfair to not offer a refund, given that the entrant has no idea who's doing the final judging. Also, such secrecy almost guarantees that such information will leak out anyway and/or rumors would circulate.
--"Friends of the screeners/judge ineligible" not specified (related to the non-transparency of the above "thumbs down").
--Not clear if there is Second or Third Prize: "Judges have the option to select work for second runner-up and honorable mentions" is a bit nebulous.
--No statement regarding what would occur if a First Prize isn't awarded at all. If this happens, would entrants receive a refund?
We have posted some Ideal Guidelines for both entrants and contest administrators to consider.
By posting a "thumbs down" section for a contest, we are not addressing the issue of honesty or dishonesty; we are simply noting that some red flags exist and that entrants should email the administrator of the contest for further questions.
If you are comfortable with the contest guidelines, by all means enter.
What is your past experience with this contest? Feel free to post your comments in this thread.