I won!

Oh, no, I only came in second.

Through the transom today (blocked, actually, by my ISP’s glitchy spam filters):

FACEBOOK ONLINE INTERNATIONAL LOTTERY
FROM: THE DESK OF THE PRESIDENT.
INTERNATIONAL PROMOTIONS/PRIZE AWARD.
BATCH NUMBER: FB-0281/544
SERIAL NUMBER: 99352748-2020
TICKET NUMBER: FB-172-60
CATEGORY: 2ND

The entire Facebook team are very happy to inform you that your name appeared on the FACEBOOK ONLINE INTERNATIONAL LOTTERY and we are giving out the total sum of US$2,000,000.00 (Two Million UNITED STATE DOLLARS) which is what you have just won.

Your name was selected in a raffle that was made for the FACEBOOK ONLINE INTERNATIONAL LOTTERY for the year 2020 with the lucky number (FB-225-7736) so we need your fast response so that we can proceed with the claim process of your winnings.

Your name was selected by Mr Mark Zuckerberg the CEO of Facebook (Founder & Chief Executive Officer ). The promotion was made to make all Facebook users to benefit from the profit the company made while they use Facebook, Facebook is the first and ever largest means of meeting both old and new friends, the promo was done to serve as a means of appreciation to visitors on our site and also to help people to fight off poverty and to maintain a good standard of living, kindly contact Mr. Thomas Charles the Facebook Promo Coordinator and appointed as your claims officer via this email ([REDACTED]) immediately with the following information about you below:

Full Name:
Residential Address:
Private Mobile Number:
Date Of Birth
Occupation:

As soon as he gets your email with all the information stated above he will tell you on what next to do as regards the claiming and receiving of your winnings of US$2,000,000.00

Congratulations to you again on your winnings in the Facebook Promo 2020, we do hope you be among the lucky winners of the 2021 Lottery

Note: For security reasons and due to the mix-up of some numbers and names, we ask that you keep this notification strictly from public notice until your claim has been processed and your money remitted. This is part of our security protocol to avoid double claiming or unscrupulous acts by non-participants of this program. BE WARNED

FACEBOOK COMPANY
LOTTERY DEPARTMENT

Oops, sorry about not keeping “this notification strictly from public notice…”

I love how the winning ticket number in the header doesn’t match the one in the body.

Does this mean that I have to sign up for Facebook now?

Environmental fastid?

This week’s winner of the clumsy spam scam:

RE. YOUR FINANCIAL ACTIVITIES.

I AM MR. STEPHEN CROCKARD. HEAD INTERNATIONAL POLICE(INTERPOL) UK}.
THIS ORGANIZATION IS SET UP TO FIGHT AGAINST,CORRUPTION,CRIME AGAINST
CHILDREN,CYBERCRIME,DRUGS,ENVIRONMENTAL FASTID,FINANCIAL CRIME,
FUGITIVES,MARITIME PIRACY,ORGANIZED CRIME,PEOPLE
SMUGGLING,PHARMACEUTICAL CRIME, TERRORISM,TRAFFICKING IN HUMAN
BEINGS,TRAFFICKING IN ILLICIT GOODS,VEHICLE CRIME, WANTED PERSON,WAR
CRIME,WEAPON, WORKS OF ART ETC IN THE GLOBAL COMMUNITY.

That stray “}” just melts my heart. And who knew that Interpol was investigating works of art?

indignation and disappointment

Solicitations to improve the search engine performance of A Honey of an Anklet usually get one of two dispositions: skim and toss, or toss. But today’s entreaty from “Mary Smith” has something special about it.

Subject: Do You want to rank in any search engine? ahoneyofananklet.com

Hi, ahoneyofananklet.com

My name is Mary, and I’m an SEO Specialist

A large portion of the individuals share their indignation and disappointment once they get my email. In any case, let me give you how there are such a large number of bugs (like broken connections, pages that returned 4XXstatus code upon demand, pictures with no ALT content, pages with no meta depiction tag, not having a one of a kind meta portrayal, having a too-long title,etc.), found in ahoneyofananklet.com.

I have an immense master bunch that can fix all the above issues rapidly at a sensible expense. I guarantee you will see an extreme change in your Google look for situating once these are fixed.

If you are Interested I’d be happy to send you NoObligation Audit Report for your site, our pack, assessing and past work nuances, if you’d like to review our work.

We could chop down that cost and not choose quality!

Waiting for your response!!!

Kind Regards,

Mary Smith! (Web optimization Specialist)

Note: Reply back with us “Interested” or engage me to sent you No Obligation Audit Report for your site.

Well, maybe “Mary” is more skillful at SEO than she is at English. I am not sure that I want to encounter her “immense master bunch.” It was “We could chop down that cost and not choose quality!” that won over my Grinchy cynical heart.

It was the engineering

The irritating canard about Metro service to Georgetown, exploded one more time: “How the urban legend of Georgetown residents halting a Metro stop came to be,” by Topher Mathews.

I researched the archives of the Washington Post and the Washington Star, looking for contemporaneous mentions of local opposition to a Metro stop in Georgetown. Throughout the period of the planning of Metro (i.e. the 1960s through to the system’s opening in 1976), I could not find one example.

Banality

Nikhil Sonnad, Everything bad about Facebook is bad for the same reason:

[Facebook] has its own grand project—to turn the human world into one big information system. This is, it goes without saying, nowhere near as terrible as the project of the thousand-year Reich. But the fundamental problem is the same: an inability to look at things from the other fellow’s point of view, a disconnect between the human reality and the grand project.

No thanks

Elizabeth G. Knight, writing in the Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club, 11:11/12 (November-December 1884), p. 134:

Salisburia adiantifolia Smith. [a synonym for Ginkgo biloba] — Although it has been known for several years that the ginkgo fruits abundantly each year in Central Park, yet, as a recent copy of Henderson’s “Handbook of Plants” states, that “there has been no fruit borne in this country,” and as Josiah Hoopes in “The Book of Evergreens” does not note the fruiting of any of the trees he knows, I venture to say to all who are interested in seeing the fruit and desire to obtain specimens that they will be supplied upon application to me at the Normal College, N. Y. City.

Smart animals

Netting bats on the ashes of a Staten Island landfill, from Laura Bliss.

A lot of New Yorkers still think of Freshkills as a dump, [Danielle Fibikar] says, even though it’s coming back to life. The place is misunderstood, sort of like the bats.

“There’s a lot of stuff people don’t pay attention to in this city,” she says. “I think they’re scared of what they don’t know.”

Alas, the story is marred by a copy editing blunder:

In New York City, where nine species of bats are known to migrate during the summer, a single little brown bat is capable of devouring up to 100 percent of its body weight in insects, a diet that includes mosquitoes.

Devouring up to 100 per cent of its body weight… per day? per minute? per fortnight?

Full of noises

Peter and Tuska are part of a colony on the planet Oasis. Far from being alien or exotic, living conditions on USIC’s base are designed to be stiflingly mundane, right down to the piped-in music:

They were sitting at a table in the USIC mess hall. Tuska was tucking into spaghetti Bolognese (whiteflower spaghetti, whiteflower “mince,” imported tomato sauce, imported herbs) and Peter was eating a pancake (100 percent local). The air was full of noises: the sound of rain pelting rhythmically against the windows, the mingled conversations of other employees, the clattering of metal trays, the scraping of chairs, the opening and shutting of doors, and Frank Sinatra crooning “My Funny Valentine.” It all seemed a grossly excessive amount of bustle and chatter to Peter, but he knew the problem was his perception, and he must try to get in the swing of it. The metaphorical swing, that is: no amount of effort could reconcile him to Frank Sinatra.

—Michel Faber, The Book of Strange New Things, chap. 17