"The more I find out, the less I know."

Pump & Dump spam

Wednesday - August 30, 2006 06:03 PM

I got the following spam today:
Hi Jim,

I hope this is your email. I received some inside information from Mr. John Connely (GE Technology) about IVHN. Don't tell anyone about that chance.

Trade Alert: THURSDAY, August 31, 2006 -+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+
Company: Innovation Holdings
Ticker: IVHN
Current Price: $0.055
Target Price: $0.7
Recommendation: STRONG BUY
Wednesday Volume: 3,757,250 (Heavy)
Buy: "STRONG" Expectations: Max ________------------__________

I suggest you to buy that stock immediatelly.

Waiting for your response

Chris Talbot

I'm not sure what's funnier: the idea that a stockbroker would write in e-mail that he "got some inside information," that he would name the person who supposedly passed along the illegal tip, or that anyone could possibly take this seriously.

[HELPFUL TIP: If you're planning to do something illegal, like trade on inside information, remember that e-mails are easy to recover and use as evidence. If you happen to be a stockbroker, you may want to keep in mind that brokerages are required by federal regulation to log and monitor all e-mail messages both incoming and outgoing.]

Posted at 06:03 PM | Permalink |

Some Puns Should Not Be Allowed to Be Born

Wednesday - April 19, 2006 12:17 PM

"I think the printer must be hungry."
"Hungry? What do you mean?"

"It keeps asking me to INPUT JAM. It must be making a sandwich."

Posted at 12:17 PM | Permalink |

She's so method!

Tuesday - February 14, 2006 09:31 AM

This leaves me somewhere between speechless and dumbfounded: An Indian film director is considering Paris Hilton to play the role of Mother Theresa in an upcoming film biography.

Really. There is no punchline. And my pathetic comedic efforts would pale in comparison to the reality.

Posted at 09:31 AM | Permalink |

Diplomacy 101

Thursday - January 12, 2006 05:26 PM

Here's the scenario:
Middle-aged professional is going through airport security with a briefcase. The briefcase is searched, and is found to contain aircraft seating diagrams and detailed plans of new commercial aircraft. Thinking this looks suspicious, the screener questions the passenger about the documents.

Passenger responds: "I have those documents with me because I'm the chairman of an airline.

Screener is still suspicious. Choose the correct thing for the security screener to say to the passenger:

a) "Do you have any documents showing that you're the chairman of an airline"

- OR -

b) "But you're a woman!"

If you chose (b), you can go to the same remedial diplomacy class as Bill, the security screener at Los Angeles International Airport.

Posted at 05:26 PM | Permalink |

Sex? Not in the Twin Cities

Saturday - December 10, 2005 04:19 PM

In the news today, we find out that the Sex and So Much More show, a sort of home-and-garden event with implied nudity, attracted only about 11,000 people a couple weeks ago. That's less than a quarter of the expected 60,000 turnout.
Part of the disappointing showing is probably due to the fact that the early buzz (including a couple news articles) was that this show was the one thing a sex convention should never be: boring.

But the real problem was that the show was marketed exactly wrong for this audience.

It isn't that Minnesotans aren't interested in sex. We are. And for about half the year, there isn't much else to do.

But we don't like to talk about it.

In fact, some of us suspect that anyone who wants to talk about sex must not be doing much of it.

So the promoters of this show (which, by the way, was aimed at couples and not the frat-boy crowd) didn't understand that if you want to bring a sex convention to Minneapolis, you can't call it a sex convention.

Otherwise, you get exchanges like this all over the city:

HE: "How'd you like to go to that sex convention tonight?"

SHE: "I can think of a better way to spend the time."

If you want to do a sex convention in this market, you have to be a little more circumspect. Instead of using the word "sex," try something a little softer like "intimacy." The word "intimacy" is gentler, more romantic, but still implies a pretty good workout. Just look at the difference:

Sex and So Much More <--- Leaves nothing to the imagination. A little sleazy, even.

Intimacy and So Much More <--- That sounds pretty hot, and I don't mind asking my honey if she wants to go to the "intimacy" convention.

"Romance" is also a good word to try, or "relationships" or "love" or any of a dozen others.

Posted at 04:19 PM | Permalink |

Unclear on the Concept (part II)

Tuesday - September 06, 2005 03:00 PM

Christians aspire to live a life of faith, forgiveness, good deeds, and redemption. Right?
Except for those nasty, evil sinners in New Orleans who clearly deserved everything they got, according to one member of christianforums.com. Could somebody please Fedex this guy a clue?

Fortunately there were others on the forum with a more enlightened view.

There are not a whole lot of things which make my blood boil, but a casual attitude towards the suffering of others usually does it every time. How can we, who have so much, be so brutally insensitive to the needs of people caught in such a terrible situation? It takes so little time and effort to at least take this seriously. Some people just don't want to be burst out of the little bubble-worlds they've created for themselves.


Posted at 03:00 PM | Permalink |

Unclear on the Concept

Friday - September 02, 2005 01:46 PM

Amy Alkon, the advice columnist I love to hate, has outdone even her usual shallow, self-centered self.
In a blog posting titled "Help for Katrina Victims," she coos about the $75 lavender Pashmina shawl she bought for a Katrina victim who lost nearly everything in the storm.

I am willing to concede that a generous impulse, however bizarre and misguided, is still a generous impulse. And a generous impulse from a woman who hates children (or at least shows very little tolerance for them), but sees nothing wrong with sneaking her dog into a restaurant (hello? Ever think that some people might be allergic?) is something to be savored.

Still, one can't help but think that Alkon doesn't quite understand what it means to "lose nearly everything." I hardly know where to begin.

Let's assume that Alkon's friend is one of the fortunate majority who evacuated before the storm hit, so at least she's not wallowing in filth in some vermin-infested building downtown. Did it ever occur to Alkon--even for a moment--that the $75 spent on a stylish shawl could have been better spent on an emergency wardrobe. That $75 could buy clean underwear, socks, T-shirts, and shorts to last a week. Nothing fancy, but enough to cover someone up who has no other clothes.

A shawl won't even cover you up.

And have you looked at the weather reports recently? It has been in the 90s and humid all week. Even if the basics are taken care of, who would want to wear a shawl in that weather anyway?

But at least it isn't a totally worthless gift. Right now, the highest and best use for a $75 Pashmina shawl in New Orleans is to be cut into four pieces and used to very tenderly clean the feces off of four babies' bottoms, thus showing at least some compassion to those suffering what must be by now raging diaper rash.

Edited to correct spelling of Alkon's name

Posted at 01:46 PM | Permalink |

The most tasteless government web page ever

Friday - January 21, 2005 12:07 PM

I really don't know what to say about this. It'll be the end of the day before I've even got my jaw scraped up off the floor. FEMA For Kids: Tsunami Game.
(I really almost have to make up a whole new category for this, but <smirk> will do for now)

Posted at 12:07 PM | Permalink |

Fun with Google Advertising

Tuesday - December 21, 2004 11:21 AM

(Credit to BoingBoing)

Try a few fun Google searches....
Search for "dead"
Sexy Dead Singles
Free photos, personals and hot
profiles of local singles.

Search for "WMD"
Brand new and used. No bidding.
Buy Wmd at eBay! (aff)
(Now we know what Saddam did with his stash!)

Search for "Leprosy"
Leprosy For Sale
Low Priced Leprosy
Huge Selection! (aff)

And the bonus, specially for the people who are paying for these ads,

Search for "Brains"
Brains for sale. aff
Check out the deals now!

Posted at 11:21 AM | Permalink |

Desperate Housewives

Saturday - November 27, 2004 08:09 AM

Think what you want about the new TV series, Desperate Housewives. For the record, I don't think much. But ABC didn't have to go any further than their E-mail box for the idea.
Next season, we can look forward to other spam-themed TV series like:

Refinance Now! A reality series where four different couples with bad credit compete to get the lowest rate on a new mortgage. To keep things exciting, the three losers all get foreclosed and wind up living on the streets.

Can We Meet Tonight? Teen soap about an agnst-ridden girl with a desperate crush on the captain of the football team. What she doesn't realize is that her online buddy is the very boy she's hopelessly in love with. When they finally meet in the last 30 seconds of the last episode of the season, all the fans wonder how they'll make a second season.

Great Value on Quality Meds A spunky young woman pharmacist takes over the drug store in a sleepy little town, and shakes up the local residents. The townfolk get their eyes opened to the wider world, and the young woman finds love in a handsome artist who paints scenes of the quaint village.

Che@p \/i@gr@ A gameshow where contestants compete against each other to solve substitution codes, anagrams, and other word games.

Posted at 08:09 AM | Permalink |

You can't avoid politics!

Wednesday - September 22, 2004 01:59 PM

Discover Card recently felt the need to "upgrade" my account to a "Platinum Card." I didn't ask for this, and I'm not entirely sure what the point is, since none of the terms of the account appear to be any different. Nevertheless, they did it, and I received a new card in the mail yesterday.
The new card prominently features an American Flag image, and a quick trip to their website shows several other flag motifs available to choose from. Just in case I got tired of this flag, I can chose another.

Discover Card's subtle political commentary.

She Who Puts Up With Me took one look at my new credit card and wrinkled her nose. "Talk about a meaningless display of mindless patriotism," she commented.

Me, I'm not so sure. Festooning a credit card with an American flag could just as easily have an entirely different meaning.

You decide. Flag design on credit card: Mindless jingoism, or subtle political message?

Posted at 01:59 PM | Permalink |

God is Dead

Friday - June 11, 2004 08:15 AM

(with apologies to Nietzsche)
Given that:

1. God is Love

2. Love is Blind

3. Ray Charles is Blind

4. Ray Charles is Dead


5. Ray Charles is God

6. God is Dead

Posted at 08:15 AM | Permalink |

Wow! British nazis!

Tuesday - June 08, 2004 11:18 AM

The Internet is a wonderful thing. It gives lunatics and wackos the opportunity to show the world just what they're all about .
I don't want to provide any additional commentary, since the flash animation (from the British National Party) pretty much speaks for itself.

Except to say: John Cleese did it better in Fawlty Towers.

Posted at 11:18 AM | Permalink |

Mixing Religion and Pharmacies

Friday - May 28, 2004 09:17 AM

I was browsing a political blog called Jesus' General when this Google ad caught my eye:
Have a Happy Easter
Jesus Loves You and Wants You To Be Happy! Order Some Prozac Online

"This has to be a joke," I thought. "But, no, Google doesn't allow joke ads."

Curious, I followed the link. No joke. Apparently, you can now be saved and get discount Viagra at the same time.


Posted at 09:17 AM | Permalink |

An Open Letter to President Bush

Wednesday - April 21, 2004 03:37 AM

Dear Mr. President,

News reports are that you will be visiting the Twin Cities next Monday to hold a fundraiser at the Edina home of local real estate mogul David Frauenshuh. Here in Minnesota, we're flattered by all the attention you've been giving us the past year, and frankly a little embarrassed since we're not used to being a swing state. I fully appreciate how important raising $200 million for your reelection is to your larger goals of increasing jobs and making the world safe for Americans, but I'm not sure that you fully appreciate the disruption your visits cause.
For example, Mr. President, there's a "no-fly" zone of considerable size which centers on wherever you happen to be at the moment. While you're in Edina, this may completely close one or two small airports, Flying Cloud and Crystal, costing flight instructors a half-day of work. These are hard-working Americans who dream of one day becoming airline pilots, but in the meanwhile are trying to make ends meet in a job they love which barely pays survival wages.

Speaking of airlines, Minneapolis-St. Paul International is a major hub for Northwest Airlines, the same Northwest Airlines which announced just a few days ago that they're still losing hundreds of millions of dollars. Because Minneapolis is a major hub, flight delays here tend to cause delays elsewhere, and can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. While the airlines get an exception to the "no-fly" zone, the Minneapolis airport will most likely be closed for a significant amount of time when you arrive on Air Force One, and again when you depart. The disruption is probably about what you'd get from a couple of severe thunderstorms, a fact which has some interesting philosophical, political, and meteorological implications.

As you know, Mr. President, they also close major highways for your motorcade when you visit. Here in the Twin Cities we already have a major problem with traffic congestion, caused by a few decades of the local Republicans and Democrats not being able to decide what to do about all those cars. Closing highways just makes it that much harder for people to get around, packages to get delivered, and business to get done.

By the way, on the subject of Republicans and Democrats, here in Minnesota we don't have Republicans, we have "Independent-Republicans," which gives you some idea of how bewildered we are as a state to be politically up for grabs. Of course, the Democrats are just as ornery, and insist on being called the "Democratic-Farmer-Labor" party, which we think has a nice sort of salt-of-the-earth ring to it.

Of course, it isn't all bad. While you're in town, the crime rate drops to about nothing with all those Secret Service guys crawling around. On the other hand, we don't have much of a crime problem in Edina, which is where all the rich doctors and lawyers live and where everyone has alarm systems anyway.

In any event, Mr. President, as much as we love it when you visit, it really does cause us a lot of problems here in the Twin Cities, especially as we try to improve our local economy. So, with all due respect, I'd like to suggest some other places you could visit instead, where you may be able to be of some direct benefit:

* North Korea. The way I figure, if we can get you to visit some of those North Korean nuclear sites, one of your Secret Service agents is sure to stumble upon some sort of criminal activity.

* Bangalore, India. With all the high-tech jobs going there, I think America could benefit from some localized economic disruption in Bangalore. I hear it's nice in the summer, so maybe you could stay for a few weeks.

* Paris, France. These days, it's looking like the next Air Force One will be made by Airbus, not Boeing, so you might want to go kick the tires. After what they did to us at the U.N., they deserve to have their transportation infrastructure paralyzed by your visit, though from what I hear most people won't be able to tell the difference.

Of course, you're always welcome to visit, Mr. President. Minnesotans are never quite sure what to do when someone important drops by, but we'll be sure to have the hotdish ready and some Jello salad. You know, the good kind we make with the canned fruit and the Cool Whip.

P.S. I'm a small businessman, and the jobs I provide keep five families with an income and health insurance. You know, if you really want to help the economy, maybe you could send a couple million of that campaign money my way. I'll make sure it keeps some jobs around, and with all you've raised, you'd hardly notice the difference. I hear Mr. Kerry has some extra cash, too. Maybe he could do the same.

Posted at 03:37 AM | Permalink |

April 15

Thursday - April 15, 2004 03:37 AM

Today is the day Americans come to grips with their love/hate relationship with the great state of Texas. Texas carries outsized weight in our national psyche. It is one of the biggest states, and has been mythologized through such cultural icons as the Alamo, the oil well, and the Marlboro Man.
Others aren't so keen on Texas, claiming that it is too big, too aggressive, too wild. It is true that Texas politics and culture has a reputation for being brash and unrefined, but....

Wait, I've just been handed a note....

I've just been informed that in the United States, April 15th is the day for Taxes, not Texas.

I apologize for the confusion.

Posted at 03:37 AM | Permalink |

Words for Snow

Friday - February 20, 2004 03:37 AM

Supposedly the Eskimos have 23 words for snow. Here in the Frozen North, we're not so far behind. Here's a list of words and phrases we use for various forms of frozen precipitation, in the air and on the ground.
1. Snow. Totally generic. Tells you nothing other than it somehow involves water in its solid form.

2. Powder. Very dry, light, fluffy snow. Usually falls when it is well below freezing. Easy to shovel.

3. Slush. Semi-frozen mixture of snow and water. Can either fall directly from the sky, or form on the ground due to partial melting of snow. This is essentially the opposite of Powder.

4. Wintry Mix. Term used by TV weathermen because it gets them off the hook when they don't know exactly what sort of frozen precipitation will fall. Could be snow, slush, sleet, freezing rain, freezing drizzle, etc.

5. Freezing Rain. Rain which freezes when it hits the ground. This is nasty because it quickly turns the state into a giant ice rink. Fortunately, also relatively uncommon.

6. Freezing Drizzle. Like freezing rain, but much smaller drops. Somewhere between Freezing Rain and Ice Fog.

7. Ice Fog. A dense fog which forms in below-freezing conditions. The fog droplets are liquid, but freeze when they touch something. Tends to leave everything coated in what looks like an extremely heavy coating of frost (but is technically called hoar frost).

8. Sleet. Freezing rain which freezes before it hits the ground. Basically little pellets of ice. Stings when it hits your face.

9. Hail. Not actually something which happens during the winter, but who needs winter for ice to fall from the sky? Balls of ice which form in the upper reaches of really big thunderstorms, and can get to be as big as baseballs. Causes physical pain when it hits your face.

10. Snirt. A mixture of snow and dirt. Forms on the ground, and is often found in the wheel wells of cars during the winter.

11. Drift. A big pile of snow. Other parts of the country use "drift" as a verb (i.e. "Strong winds will cause the snow to drift"), but here it is used mostly as a noun ("The snowplow left a big drift"). A drift need not be formed by wind, or any other particular process, it is simply a lot of snow in one place. The phrase "snow drift" is redundant in the worst way.

12. Ice Dam. A phenomenon of places with lots of snow, an ice dam is water which has melted on the roof of a house, then refrozen above the eaves, causing a literal dam of ice at the edge of the roof. This dam traps water, which can then leak through the roof. Ice dams in Minnesota are a little like sex organs: everyone has them, and everyone knows everyone has them, but their presence is faintly embarrassing. Our newspapers have advice columns about ice dams. Asking anyone other than an intimate friend, "Do you have ice dams?" will likely elicit a surprised, stammered "Yes," followed by a quick change in conversation.

13. Frost. A coating of ice which appears on cold surfaces overnight. The wintertime equivalent of dew.

14. Hoar Frost. Looks a little like regular frost, but is much thicker, often 1/4 inch or more. Hoar frost forms in an ice fog, and is also called rime ice. Hoar frost doesn't stick to surfaces as much as regular frost, so it is easy to knock off. Very picturesque.

15. Glaze. A very light coating of clear ice, usually caused by a brief period of freezing rain or drizzle. Just enough ice to make cars go into ditches.

Posted at 03:37 AM | Permalink |

Earth to Paris!

Monday - February 09, 2004 03:37 AM

This book proposal for the memoirs of Paris Hilton at Smoking Gun is the most unintentionally funny thing I've seen in a long time. Be careful not to read it while drinking hot liquids or anything you don't want coming out your nose.
Just from the first page , I picked up these howlers:

"While a lot of people know Paris Hilton....there are a lot MORE people who want to know her--or be her."

"...she's BARBIE come to life...."

"Paris Hilton has the life that most of America's young girls and teens can only dream about."

"But WHO is this still-mysterious, rather shy--and definitely sweet--young woman?"


Paris, here's a free clue: We're laughing AT you, not WITH you.

Posted at 03:37 AM | Permalink |

I should know this by now, but....

Thursday - January 29, 2004 03:37 AM

Being in the business of doing surveys, I know how distorted the results can get.
However, according to the U.K. census, there are now 390,000 people in the U.K whose religion is "Jedi."

Posted at 03:37 AM | Permalink |

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