April 16th, 2007

yeff yahoo avatar

Curious questions about spam (not the meat product)

Every once in a while, I go through my spam folder on my yahoo mail account and make sure things didn't get mis-labeled as spam.

Once I'm done washing my eyeballs, I always have some curious questions:

- What is the deal with 2038? The first 50-100 emails are always dated 1/8/38. I get that it puts them at the front of the email queue, but what's so special about that year?

- Where do they get these names? The names are always a blast as are the nonsense text fragments, which seem to have some strange logic behind them.

- Does anyone believe that this stuff really works? I'm talking about both the spam and the products advertised wherein.
yeff yahoo avatar

Puzzles: Mon Apr 16

Jumble = 0:36 (the "WILD" LIFE)
Word Sleuth = 2:35 (Violinists)
NEA Crossword = 2:28 (4-16-07)
NY Times Crossword = 3:55 (No. 0305)
Sudoku = 5:47 (Easy)

Wow! An amazing day of puzzles. One of the fastest times (maybe ever) for NY Times and Sudoku, and darned fast for the rest. Just about 15 minutes for the bunch. Zippy.
yeff yahoo avatar

Magazines I Like

At Norwescon 2007, Jay Lake talked about the magazines that he enjoys reading and that he would recommend to any writers: (MIT's) Technology Review (http://www.technologyreview.com/) and Fortean Times (http://www.forteantimes.com/).

The mention of Fortean Times made me laugh. I had a subscription for a couple years and found it an out-and-out "weird world" blast. Jay's interest in Fortean Times explains a lot about the kind of stories he tends to write.

I also used to subscribe to MIT Technology Review and found it interesting, but it kept going unread as it was below my other magazines in the priority list.

I'd throw a few more magazines into the mix, as follows.

WIRED (http://www.wired.com/wired/): still the tech/culture/society magazine of them all. Every issue always has several interesting items that cause the mind to spin and grind.

Popular Science (http://www.popsci.com/popsci/): tech/science trends for the future. It often talks a lot about military and security technology, which can be very useful when considering stories.

The FUTURIST (http://www.wfs.org/futurist.htm): I have tried for years to figure out what their hidden agenda is (liberitarian? conservative? utopian?) and I haven't found one, so I've finally come to the conclusion that it's nothing more than what it presents to be: Smart people thinking about how we can solve future problems that might arise from today's situations. It's great for thinking about what the world could be like in the next 10-30 years. One of these years, I'm going to go to their conference - I think it would be a real mind expander.

Business 2.0 (http://money.cnn.com/magazines/business2/): This comes from my own personal interests in what the business, commerce and economic environment might look like in the future. They tend towards high-tech, but also cover other industries as well.

I read all these while I work out on the cardio machines or in breaks from lifting weights. I pretty much manage to get through all four every month. I've gotten tons of story ideas and story tidbits from these magazines. Check em out and see what works. Your mileage may vary.