Archive for Wastes of Oxygen

There’s always someone more useless

Although this is getting close to the bottom, I suspect:

A central Pennsylvania man was charged Thursday after police say he sprayed fluid used to embalm a human brain on marijuana that he then smoked.

State police in Carlisle charged 26-year-old Joshua Lee Long with abuse of a corpse and conspiracy.

Court records indicate Long’s aunt contacted detectives on June 21 after finding a human brain in a department store bag under a porch while cleaning out a trailer.

And oh, it’s real, all right:

Court records indicate a coroner concluded the brain was real and that Long supposedly named it Freddy. The coroners who examined the brain believe it was most likely a stolen teaching specimen.

“Freddy”? Well, okay, that’s different.

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Screw you, pay us

It was just a matter of time, right?

First instance of ransomware showing up on campus. Ugh. Someone clicked on an attachment to an e-mail that was apparently claiming “here’s the invoice you asked for” and boom. I guess I better be extra careful (though I almost never open attachments, and only then if it’s something I KNOW I need and if it’s clearly sent by someone I know). Maybe time to send all the vital stuff I’ve not backed up yet to the campus cloud.

I tend to feel like penal colonies should be re-established for folks who commit cybercrimes (and people who do stuff like install skimmers on credit card readers). No, they wouldn’t have to be hellish pits, just places people could not leave and that would prevent them from having access to whatever technology they used to commit their crimes. Surely there are a few islands full of time-share properties people are looking to unload? There could be periodic air-drops of food and whatnot so the people stay alive, just, they have NO internet or cell phone access whatsoever.

Ransomware seems especially bad; Computer Services indicated this one was 128-bit encryption so hard for a white-hat hacker to fix it and of course it fundamentally “bricks” your computer. And if you pay the ransom, you’re just encouraging the goons to do it again. (And who knows where that money goes; it could even buy blocks of C4 for would-be terrorists, for all we know.)

But … but … they mean well, don’t they?

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From under this particular bridge

Where do all these farging trolls come from? Robert Stacy McCain proposes an origin story for some of them:

[M]aybe the average cubicle-dweller lives such a dehumanizing existence — crunching code, responding to inter-office emails, attending pointless staff meetings, etc. — that when he finds an unrestricted Internet playpen where he can say whatever he wants behind the screen of a pseudonym, his inner adolescent inevitably emerges.

Eight hours a day, five days a week, the cubicle-dweller does whatever it is he does to pay the bills, and there are all these rules, see? The 21st-century office environment is quite hostile to free expression. The list of Things You Can’t Say grows longer every day, and the cubicle-dweller’s inner adolescent must be strenuously repressed, lest he accidentally say or do something “offensive” that will get him written up or fired for violating the human resources policy. This regime of repression, I suggest, is why so many guys delight in saying rude things in any Internet venue where anonymity protects them from consequences.

I have noticed that rather a lot of them make a point of misunderstanding the First Amendment; maybe Congress “shall make no law,” but reddit or Facebook or, yes, God help us, Yahoo! Answers can make whatever rules they like, and if you don’t like them, you can go fart up a flagpole.

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Now this is answering

A very typical Y!A car question:

I recently found two cars that I like. One is a 2004 bmw m3 and one is a 2003 g35.

How much should I expect the monthly insurance to be?
Is it expensive as a 2004 bmw m3?

There are basically three types of drivers who ask this:

  • Young drivers
  • Shitty drivers
  • Young, shitty drivers

I blew off this question, but fortunately, someone else gave this little twerp what he needed:

Yes, Mark. Performance cars are very expensive to maintain and insure. And you’ve already been told hundreds of times that at this point in your life, it makes absolutely no sense to purchase one.

Last year, after graduating high school, you started classes at Bergen Community College, but dropped out a week later because you read on one of your course syllabi that class participation counted for five percent of your grade. Since you were nervous about talking in class, you quit school and went to work full-time stocking shelves at Costco.

Now, you are considering returning to college at age 19 (almost twenty). You clearly need a more practical car — one that has good reliability and gas mileage. The money you’ve managed to save should go entirely towards your educational expenses, which is an investment in the future.

I can’t, for the life of me, figure out why you think it’s so important to go from 0-60 in a short time. There’s absolutely no benefit in that. Since you live with your parents, you should sit down and have a heart-to-heart talk about your future. Perhaps they can set you straight and help fix some of your delusions. For example, you’re not a “straight-up gangster” and you’re obviously not black.

You are an extremely short and plump Indonesian teenager, with delusional aspirations towards the thug lifestyle. (You’re 5-5, small-framed, and a whopping 232 pounds!) In other words, you’re a fat little “gangsta-baby.” A Toyota Corolla would would be a much more practical option for you. Get an education and lose that 100 pounds of fat. Once you graduate college or university and get a decent job, you can start thinking about high-performance sports cars.

Basically, Mark, you need to fix your life-priorities. You are wasting your time fantasizing about being an inner-city hoodlum and driving fast cars. This makes absolutely sense no at all and you ought to be ashamed of yourself. You seriously need to grow up and start acting like a responsible adult. The waitress you are crushing on was totally correct about that.

Even if only a third of this is dead accurate, he has the twerp dead to rights.

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From the Gimme Pages

Some species, we hear, eat their young. I wonder if this is why:

So I’m 19 now , and I’ve really been looking into getting a car. I’ve asked my parents one for Christmas and they said no cuz $. Its really annoying because all my friends have one and they ask girls out using them. Whenever I ask a girl out we have to arrange public transport and that usually turns them off. I know this sounds stupid but don’t worry I’m not just asking for a car to get the ladies. It’s mainly about getting to college. It takes me roughly 2 hours using public transport, meanwhile i checked how much time it would take me If i was using a car. And saw that it would only take me about 30-45 minutes. So I would be getting about 1h30-1hr15 minutes more sleep. Which is a lot.
Now my family isn’t very rich so I’ve narrowed down my options,
The one car I am looking at now is this one: https://www.teslamotors.com/models/design?redirect=no
So it wold be 844$ per month with 5000 $ in down payment.
Now, I want a Tesla because
1. It helps with the ladies
2. Its super quiet
3.Its environment friendly because it is electric/
So before you start yelling at me because the car is so expesive, I’ve done the Maths.
So my dad earns around 55k a year. Which is around 4583$ a month. Now Seeing as he must have 5000$ in his bake account ( I’m assuming) He can make the down payment. And if you substract the 1.5k he pays for rent and the 844$ each month for the car you get 2239$ EVERY MONTH! For you to buy, groceries or hose appliances whatever,
So you can see why I’m frustrated…

I want to know what his dad does that gets him out of paying taxes.

I’m sorry. A child like this, assuming this one actually exists — the trolls have been working overtime of late — is far too stupid to be in college.

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Child loses race, pitches fit

It’s hard not to laugh at this twerp:

Yahoo Answers screenshot: I got smoked by a BMW m3 on my 2003 maxima

The sob story, as only an SOB can tell it:

thursday afternoon while i was cruising on the freeway at 75 mph, BMW m3 voluntarilly pulled up to my side. while we cruised i honked the horn counting from 1 to 3 and the minute i finished counting, i pulled from 80 mph to 122-125 mph in like 2-3 second but despite that i STILL GOT SMOKED by the m3!!!! my question is there anything else that i can do to make a my maxima faster?

i mean i spent AT LEAST 6K modifiying and customizing my car. is i have put money into parts like a new cold air intake, 20″ rims, better struts, different chip, radiator and much more. could a supercharger help my car go any faster?

Well, dumbass, for one thing, you can lose those stupidly large 20″ rims, which add a whole bunch of weight, and unsprung weight at that: they’re the very antithesis of speed. Five will get you ten your intake isn’t any better than stock, and at 125 mph you’re running into aerodynamic drag: you will not get appreciably faster than 130 or so no matter what sort of crap you shovel into the engine compartment. (I drive one of these little darbs. I know.)

But by all means, drop a supercharger in there. And while you’re at it, pick up a spare engine and transmission.

Fiduciary note: $6000 worth of “upgrades” to a $2500 car leaves its value at, um, decidedly less than $2500. Nobody buys beaters with boyracer detritus all over the place, except for people even dumber than the seller. I suppose such people do exist, but this can’t be good for the human race.

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Foot, meet bullet

A smile from last night:

They didn’t say “Delete your account,” but apparently the foul-mouthed slob did.

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Kindly thieves

Yeah, you’d probably be somewhat resentful if a gaggle of cybercrooks gained access to your computer, encrypted all your files, and then demanded payment for their safe return.

But what if said cybercrooks claimed to be doing all this for a Good Cause? A new strain of ransomware, asking 5 bitcoin (about $2200), says exactly that:

Your money will be spent for the children charity. So that is mean that You will get a participation in this process too. Many children will receive presents and medical help!

And We trust that you are kind and honest person! Thank You very much! We wish You all the best! Your name will be in the main donors list and will stay in the charity history!

P.S> When your payment will be delivered you will receive your software with private key IMMEDIATELY!

P.P.S> In the next 24 hours your price will be doubled by the Main Server automatically. So now you have a chance to restore your PC with low price!

Best regards,

Charity Team

Well, at least we know they’re not spending any of this money on English lessons.

Oh, and they throw in “3 years of tech support” with the deal. I still think I’ll pass.

(Via @SwiftOnSecurity.)

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From the “What a waste” files

No, you cannot have a sports car. Not yours:

A newly-minted McLaren owner in England became a little over-excited following the delivery of his brand-new supercar. The Telegraph reports that the owner of a McLaren 650S stuffed the coupe into a tree just 10 minutes after the car arrived at his house for the first time.

The report states that neighbors spotted the owner celebrating supercar ownership with a bottle of champagne right after the car arrived at his doorstep. Not 10 minutes later, the owner introduced the front end of his $265,000 supercar to the ever-sturdy trunk of an innocent tree. The collision was severe enough to demolish the front end of the car, scattering bits of the carbon fiber bodywork all over the immediate area.

I can’t wait to find out what this yutz used to drive; I’m betting it’s some quotidian Ford.

(Via Eric Siegmund.)

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Taste the memory

You have to figure that this guy got what was coming to him:

Up-skirt photos are a form of sexual harassment plaguing subway cars, bars, and basically anywhere a woman is standing. It’s especially concerning because most of the perpetrators are never caught. Except for when they are.

People’s Daily recently posted a video that’s going viral in China, in which a woman in Nanjing confronts a man she realizes is taking up-skirt photos on the subway via a hidden camera in his garment bag. In under a minute, she exposes him to all their fellow commuters, dressing him down to the point where he takes his SD card out of his camera and chews on it to destroy the photos.

I frankly do not understand the motivation behind this sort of thing: feelthy peectures are only a few clicks away, even in China. (The Great Firewall can’t block everything.) And I wish she’d managed to stomp the guy’s camera at some point.

(Via Danielle Lisle.)

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A case of inadequate insurance

Or some sort of inadequacy, surely:

Cadillac with a messed-up deck lid: Dumb Broad Light Was Red

I took this on Northwest 36th Street just east of Interstate 44 yesterday.

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Future bum

Some people really object to the idea that life requires effort:

Yahoo Answers screenshot: How can I make a millions of dollars?

I think we can safely assume he has no future as a bestselling author:

Every night I go sleep dreaming about driving rolls a rolls Royce, living in a huge house. I’m 18 I don’t want to grow up and do the exact same thing every day, get up go to work and go home I can’t do that.

And girls, I’ll just bet he’s single!

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Congenital liar?

This would seem to constitute taking a dump in the gene pool:

A man billed as a “perfect donor” by a sperm bank turned out to be a mentally ill felon whose lies on his donor application weren’t uncovered for more than a decade, according to families who are now terrified for their children’s futures.

On its website, Georgia-based firm Xytex described Donor 9623 as a completely healthy man with an IQ of 160 who was working on a Ph.D. in neuroscience engineering, the Toronto Star reports.

In reality, he was college dropout Chris Aggeles, a 39-year-old man who has been diagnosed with bipolar and narcissistic personality disorders and schizophrenia and has spent time in prison for burglary.

Litigation, of course, ensues:

Three Canadian families with children between 4 and 8 years old are now suing Xytex, and lawyer Nancy Hersh says she may also file suits for British and American families, the Guardian reports.

The lawsuit, which notes that schizophrenia can be hereditary, alleges that Xytex allowed Aggeles to keep selling his sperm even after problems surfaced.

(Via Five Thirty Eight.)

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Frugal crook

As thieves go, this guy was remarkably unambitious:

I got a call from my credit card provider. They were questioning certain transactions made in California last month: to wit, a charge for gas at a Shell station, and a purchase from In n Out Burger. The two together were less than $50.

At least he’s picking name brands. Still:

I’m struck by the modesty of their desires. Why not buy an expensive camera or a set of tires? (These are the items a thief bought on my credit card last time I was robbed.) Why would anyone risk getting a criminal record for a hamburger?

So if you’re planning to steal a credit-card account — skimmers were found at a Circle K in Edmond this week, so clearly somebody is — you may as well spend big; the jail looks the same regardless.

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Salami hiding

Not surprisingly, they’re looking for him:

Thanks to tips from the public, Dallas police say they have identified an indecent exposure suspect who allegedly exposed himself in front of the victim and began masturbating twice in two days this week.

Now they’re asking the public if they know where the alleged suspect, Jibril Salami, is hiding.

At the very least, this guy needs to get a grip.

(With thanks to Kris Wood.)

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Playing the Pathetic Card

Yet another bozo who thinks himself too clever by half:

Yahoo Answers screenshot: How do I bring up that dad has cancer in my next drivers test?

Apparently he’s perfectly serious:

I just failed my drivers test. Now, I am trying to make a new date in PA and if anyone has any advice on how to make an appointment as soon as possible, that would GREATLY help. Now also, my dad has cancer and is going through chemo (its not too too bad, just really sad), and i want to work in a sympathy angle where i subtly mention it, but I can’t just come right out and say it. So I need your help to transition my words into mentioning this. Like if I said “wow I’m really nervous, i just need to drive my dad to chemo.” Something like that, but with a smoother transition, my dad said if helps me pass, do it.

“If you really cared about the old man, you’d try harder.” Which is the kind response; I wouldn’t blame the examiner for failing the little twerp for trying to influence him.

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Amusingly stung

This brings up memories of the old Suck.com motto: “a fish, a barrel, and a smoking gun.” Meet the fish:

A police department northwest of Austin says a woman was arrested after she responded to their Facebook hoax about contaminated drugs.

The hoax, posted to Facebook on Tuesday [since pulled], stated “Breaking News: Area Meth and Heroin Supply Possibly Contaminated With Ebola. Meth and Heroin recently brought in to Central Texas as well as the ingredients used to make it could be contaminated with the life threatening disease Ebola. If you have recently purchased meth or heroin in Central Texas, please take it to the local police or sheriff department so it can be screened with a special device. DO NOT use it until it has been properly checked for possible Ebola contamination! Contact any Granite Shoals PD officer for testing. Please share in hopes we get this information to anyone who has any contaminated meth or heroin that needs tested.”

Two days later, Granite Shoals Police say a “concerned citizen” brought her drugs to the police station so officers could test it. The woman, identified by police as 29-year-old Chasity Hopson, was arrested and charged with possession of a controlled substance.

Is this entrapment? I am not a lawyer, nor do I play one on television, and it’s been many months since I stayed at a Holiday Inn Express, but it occurs to me that just possessing the drug is the actual crime, and she was in possession before she notified the police.

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Desperate for amusement

This guy clearly has no idea about the size of the task he proposes:

Yahoo Answers screenshot: How do i make the steering wheel in my friends car turn the back tires instead of the front tires?

That said, someone willing to go to that much trouble and expense just to prank a friend should probably be exiled to Lower Slobbovia, just as a precautionary measure.

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What’s fappening now

The guy who stole all those nude photos of celebrities is pleading guilty:

Ryan Collins, a 36-year-old from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, will plead guilty in the theft of female celebrities’ nude photos.

Collins is charged with felony computer hacking and unauthorized access of a protected computer, which are illegal under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.

From November 2012 to September 2014, Collins used a phishing scheme to collect personal account information. Collins sent emails imitating the help desks at Apple or Google and collected the victims’ usernames and passwords. From there, he accessed at least 72 email accounts and 50 iCloud accounts, where he stole personal information and photos.

The case drew wide attention in 2014 after nude photos of celebrities, including Lea Michele and Jennifer Lawrence, appeared on Reddit, 4chan and other online forums.

We know what J-Law thinks about this:

“It is not a scandal. It is a sex crime. It is a sexual violation. It’s disgusting. The law needs to be changed, and we need to change. That’s why these Web sites are responsible. Just the fact that somebody can be sexually exploited and violated, and the first thought that crosses somebody’s mind is to make a profit from it. It’s so beyond me. I just can’t imagine being that detached from humanity. I can’t imagine being that thoughtless and careless and so empty inside.”

Prosecutors have recommended 18 months in the slammer for Collins; nothing, of course, will happen to any of those Web sites.

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You might call him disgruntled

Then again, “disgusting” works at least as well:

A criminal investigation is now on its way regarding the video that shows a man urinating in a Kellogg’s factory. Kellogg company spokesperson, Kris Charles, has confirmed that an investigation showed that the video was recorded at their Memphis, Tennessee facility in 2014.

“Kellogg takes this situation very seriously and we were shocked and deeply disappointed by this video that we just learned of today,” he stated in an email to this news outlet. “We immediately alerted law enforcement authorities and regulators. A criminal investigation is underway as well as a thorough internal investigation,” Charles stated.

It’s not likely you’re going to encounter any of the tainted products:

The products affected were Rice Krispies Treats, Rice Krispies Treats cereal and puffed rice cake products. They would all be past their expiration date if produced at the date that the video was recorded.

Color me surprised that I wasn’t aware Kellogg’s had officially released a Rice Krispies Treats cereal. Then again, these days the Treats are the standard product and the actual Krispies a mere marketing variation.

This is the video. It’s not very good. Perhaps that’s just as well.

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Clearly not out of the woods

And now, a report from this sick beat:

A Nashville man is behind bars for burglary after trying to force his way into a man’s home because he was there to “save Taylor Swift.”

Oh, right. Like Taylor Swift is going to be in Nashville these days.

According to the police affidavit, 26-year-old Paul Herrin knocked on the door of a man who happens to be a landlord. Thinking it was someone dropping off a rent check, the homeowner opened the door and found Herrin, who shoved the door open and placed his left foot inside to keep the man from closing the door on him.

The homeowner instructed Herrin to leave, but Herrin continued to try and shove the door open, telling the homeowner he was there to “save Taylor Swift, his wife, and that he had every right to search the residence.”

I’m guessing Morgan Fairchild was not available for comment.

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Maximum dumbth

Warning light on dashboard? Who cares? It’s my sacred honor at stake:

My Mazda has the check engine light on but for one of the catalytic converters, But the light started to blink just about 2 hours ago. I was on the freeway and an Acura TL raced me. I hit around 105 before the transmission wouldn’t shift past 4th gear (automatic) and by this time I noticed the check engine light blinking. I began to slow down and the light kept blinking for around 5 seconds then stopped blinking and remained solid. My question is, is there anything I may have damaged other than the catalytic converter which was already damaged?

Your credibility, which will never, ever be repaired.

Seriously, what kind of stubby-fingered moron goes impromptu racing when he’s already facing a repair bill?

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More secret than the ballot

Just about everyone in the state has had this experience in the last few days:

I got no fewer than six “Unknown Caller” or “Private Caller” calls last night. I am assuming, as our primaries are March 1, that they were either representatives of one of the candidates making a “Hey, can I count on your support?” call or a pollster.

But here’s my thought: If they’re gonna call people, they should have the intestinal fortitude to code their caller ID so it turns up the name of the candidate’s campaign or says POLITICAL POLL or some such. Don’t hide behind “Unknown Caller” and hope you can TRICK people into picking up. Let people know and let them honestly decide whether they want to listen to a pre-recorded message or be asked their preferences.

My rule is not to pick up for callers that don’t list who they are, except in VERY rare cases when it’s someone I know calling from a cheap cell phone where the company doesn’t provide caller ID numbers. But you’d think a political party could shell out the bucks to be identified.

And no, none of them left messages. So maybe it wasn’t a pre-recorded “get out the vote” call, maybe it was some scammer.

These days, that’s what you’d call a distinction without a difference.

And while I’m on the subject, allow me to say that I really don’t give that much of a damn how my friends and neighbors are planning to vote: I don’t need their guidance, nor do they need mine. Besides, there’s not a whole hell of a lot I could do about it if I were concerned: even if they’re all voting for Smith, I can still vote for Jones — but only once.

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It’s scam-tastic!

There are times when I think the criminally sneaky aren’t even trying anymore, and this is one of them:

When Robert Kleven switched on the news for his drive to work two weeks ago, he had no idea he was about to sink a high-profile lawsuit against General Motors Co. and embarrass one of the best-known plaintiffs’ lawyers in the U.S.

The news anchor described a long-awaited trial starting in federal court in Manhattan that day, the first over a deadly defect in millions of GM ignition switches. The plaintiff was a 49-year-old postman named Robert Scheuer. Kleven, a real estate agent in Tulsa, Oklahoma, knew that name. Two years earlier, he said in an interview, Scheuer had pulled a fast one on him.

Scheuer had altered a government check stub to make it look like he had hundreds of thousands of dollars in the bank, Kleven said. On the strength of that stub, Kleven had let Scheuer and his wife, Lisa, move in to a new house in suburban Tulsa before they had paid for it.

Said Kleven: “I didn’t want them getting away with another scam.” Let’s look at that check stub:

Check stub allegedy faked up by Robert Scheuer

Of those six digits before the decimal place, only the last three were legit. You’d think this would have been obvious after a cursory inspection.

Scheuer’s attorney, Robert Hilliard, was apparently readying a strategy to portray Scheuer and his wife as the All-American Family whose lives had been ruined when their Saturn Ion went berserk and crashed into a tree. Unanswered: the question of why someone with 400k to toss around would be driving a Saturn Ion, fercrissake.

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Careful with that revisionism, Eugene

This is one of the reasons why contemporary satirists simply can’t keep up anymore:

Student leaders at the University of Oregon debated removing a quote from Martin Luther King Jr. from its student center, arguing that the quote was not inclusive enough for modern understandings of diversity.

Oregon’s Erb Memorial Union, which is currently under renovation, had the following famous King quote on the wall: “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character. I have a dream…”

But as renovation continues, the Oregon Student Union seriously considered replacing that quote. “The quote is not going to change,” reports student paper Oregon Daily Emerald, “but that decision was not made without some hard thought by the Student Union Board.”

It may have been hard, but it sure as hell wasn’t thought.

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Beyond “birthers”

Now here’s a losing loser who loses:

Yahoo Answers screenshot: How can I change my birth certificate so that no one finds out I was born in a city with a Spanish, not Anglo-sounding name?

The justification offered for this is totally absurd:

I’m sorry, but this is a problem some of us face. I know a lot of fine people who have to cover up the fact that we were born in cities in the USA with Spanish names like San Francisco, Santa Barbara, San Diego, Santa Cruz, etc.

It is not refined. Places like Newport, New Haven, Manhattan, etc. are refined. I don’t want to be associated with a place that has a name derived from people who are Romanist in religion and whose colonies are not of the right social standing.

Update: Yes, but a birth certificate can be forged. Sorry, but I will not go through life with a birthplace associated with Roman Catholicism, spicy food, and antagonism towards the British Crown.

Shorter version: “My parents weren’t WASPs, therefore my life is ruined.”

Troll possibility: Rather high. Then again, someone who would go to this much trouble to come up with an incredibly stupid tale of woe doesn’t have much of a life anyway, by definition. Once I get the time machine working, I’m sending this doofus back to 1884.

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The feeling is almost certainly mutual

We’ve all seen better trolls than this, though:

Yahoo Answers screenshot: Is their an interplanetary dating site for those like me not interested in humans?

I was going to suggest to him “You might try looking up Uranus,” but I might need that line for something worthwhile some day.

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Citation unneeded

There’s a practical limit to how much you can squeeze into 140 characters, and by now you’d think that everyone would know that. Apparently not:

I sometimes wonder how narcissists manage to get by in the world unless they’re wealthy or politically influential enough to attract a flock of sycophants eager to tell them that their egocentric Weltanschauung is correct. It must be crushing for them to be reminded on a daily basis that the universe absolutely does not give a shit about them, and that most of their fellow humans care hardly a particle more than that. Of course, I’m assuming that they aren’t completely delusional; perhaps they go about distorting everything they hear and experience until it supports their own grotesquely-inflated sense of self-importance. I can’t imagine any other way that some random tweeter with a couple of dozen followers could actually expect a positive response to his demands that I produce citations and links for statements made in 140-character tweets. Yet I encountered not one but several of these last week; these champions of Not Getting It apparently failed to grasp the difference between a tweet and an academic paper until I none-too-gently reminded them that a tweet looks like this and an academic paper like this.

I have seen activists tweet back at people to the effect of “Shouldn’t you be getting your own information?” At first this seemed a bit high-handed; but it eventually occurred to me that finding my own links to stuff would stick better than just having them give me a bunch of links to stuff, and besides, there’s a better chance I’d hear more than a single side to the story while doing my own searching. So no, I don’t consider anyone responsible for my continuing education, except for myself.

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Beat on the bot

How many of you would be delighted to see someone like this suspended?

Yahoo Answers screenshot: How to auto tweet without getting your account suspended?

A bit of self-justification here:

My twitter got suspended though they were not specific why. They just said multiple violations to the twitter policies. Yeah really big help. I assumed it was because I was auto tweeting from google alerts. How am I suppose to tweet a lot of news from google when I don’t want to sit here all day doing so? How do some people get their accounts suspended for auto tweeting and some don’t? I have a life and don’t want to sit here all day long tweeting news from google alerts manually. Do they automatically tweet stuff just once in a while, one a day, once a week or what?

Darlin’, if you’re tweeting nothing but news from Google, by definition you have no life. And the likelihood that you’d get any followers is pretty close to zip.

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Worth less than nothing

Some people may sympathize with these folks, but I don’t:

I read that banks collected $30 billion in overdraft fees last year. That’s like $100 from every person in the country. I can imagine that there are a few flakes who have so much money they can be careless with it, and if they run up a thousand dollars in overdraft fees a month it’s no big deal. But there aren’t very many of those folks. I’ve had a couple or three overdraft charges in my life, and I life to think that I am not out of the ordinary. To make up for all the people who keep track of their money and for all the ones who don’t even have a bank account, there must be a bunch of people incurring $1000 worth of charges a year, like one person out of ten. I just don’t get it. Doesn’t $1,000 mean anything anymore?

It’s worse than you might think. With the general decline in check usage and a concomitant increase in payment-card usage — at 42nd and Treadmill, our business is now about 70 percent plastic — about the only people actually paying these fees are the few remaining check writers with no money and the people who get charged for using their overdraft protection. Deadbeats without overdraft protection have their debit cards declined, and we see about fifty of them a week. For one of the nichiest of niche markets, that’s a hell of a lot of people who are, to borrow a Briticism, totally skint. This wouldn’t bother me so much if they’d take that first decline as a warning, but they don’t: I’ve seen people present the same bad card — or worse, a whole portfolio of bad cards — week after week. Once is a mistake, maybe; twice is stupidity; three times is fraud.

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