Spam, spam, beautiful spam

As I’ve written previously, spam can be such a gold mine. Found the following two items in my WordPress spam:

how to make extra money for the holidays x
Submitted on 2012/12/30 at 1:48 am

Hello mates, pleasant article and fastidious arguments commented here,
I am actually enjoying by these.

Fast ways to make money x
Submitted on 2012/12/29 at 8:53 am

Just desire to say your article is as amazing. The clarity for
your post is just nice and that i could think you’re knowledgeable on this subject. Well with your permission let me to snatch your feed to stay up to date with drawing close post. Thanks one million and please keep up the enjoyable work.

Both messages were meant as comments on “An embarrassment of riches” which dealt with, coincidentally, spam.  If you can work your way around the fractured English, especially in the second message, they appear to be complimentary.  Both are spam because they offer easy money.   Another giveaway is that although they came in hours apart and purport to be from different people, they are from the same IP address.

I suppose they hoped people would just see the compliments and post the comments on the appropriate blog.  I would also suspect they weren’t aware that on WordPress, the sender’s IP address is included in the information available to the blogger.  I could have stripped the website address from the compliments then posted them as comments, but I get enough legitimate comments that I don’t need to do that and, it would be misleading.  And I’m not that vain.

This will be my last posting of 2012, so I’ll take this opportunity to thank all my followers and readers (whether you leave comments or not).   Have a safe and Happy New Year and remember to hug an artist – we need love too.   See you in 2013.


One quick question:  I noticed my calendar ends tomorrow night.  Does that mean December 31, 2012 is Doomsday?   🙂

Not with a bang or a whimper

As I write this, it is now 2:20 on the morning of Friday December 21, 2012 in Tokyo and as far as I can tell from the news reports, it’s still there.  So much for the Doomsday predictions the world will end midnight Friday December 21, 2012.  Of course, like all these predictions, nobody ever mentions a time zone, so perhaps I’m writing this prematurely and it will happen midnight Eastern time, or some such thing.

In “Who to believe?” of December 18, I promised I wouldn’t say “I told you so” when life carried on, but … .

How many times over the years have we heard these Doomsday predictions?  How many times have we heard some religious fanatic tell us he has deciphered the clues in the Bible, then state categorically the world will end August 32, or some such thing, at 3 o’clock in the afternoon? How many times have we also seen these people  come up with excuses, such as “I made a mistake in my calculations,” or other reasons even more fantastic than their view of the End of Everything when life goes on?

Many people believe Doomsday will coincide with the return of Jesus.  I’m not a religious scholar, so I can’t argue for or against that possibility, but I am aware the Bible does state that no man may know when the Lord will return.  Given that statement from the Bible, I would suggest that these religious groups that make Doomsday predictions are attempting to place themselves above God.

Yes, the world will probably end some day, but I doubt it’s going to happen this weekend.  So if you were using the end of the Mayan calendar as an excuse not to do any Christmas shopping, guess what?  You’re gonna find the mall very, very crowded on Saturday.

Enjoy your week and remember to hug an artist – we need love (and Christmas presents) too.


Who to believe?

The Mayan long count calendar ends on December 21, 2012, which is this Friday.  According to doomsday theorists, that means the end of the world as we know it.  These theorists say it will end midnight, Friday December 21, 2012.  Notice they don’t specify a time zone.

Since it is almost impossible to turn on a television set this week without seeing some programming covering the end of the world, I’ve watched some of the more reasonable ones.   Some of the things I’ve heard and seen are very interesting.  Things such as the Mayans don’t predict the end of the world. People who are supposedly experts at deciphering the Mayan glyphs say they can find nothing that indicates the physical end of life on earth. The calendar just ends, which apparently indicates the end of the 13th baktun, a span of time defined as 144,000 days. December 22 will mark the beginning of the 14th baktun, nothing more.  The nearest analogy used was when our calendar changed from December 31, 1999 to January 1, 2000.

Remember the panic and paranoia over “Y2K”?   And what happened? People woke up Jaunary 1, swearing never to drink that much again, then went about their normal lives.  Expect the same kind of reaction Saturday December 22, 2012.  People will wake up, have coffee, then hit the mall for some full contact Christmas shopping on the last weekend before Christmas.  Even the descendants of the Mayans simply say “the calendar will start over”, which has been my view all along.

Of course, if I’m wrong, there won’t be anyone left to say “you blew it, girl”.  If I’m right, I promise I won’t say “I told you so” – really, I  promise.

Interestingly enough, there are many predictions of the end of the world, but they don’t have any date attached to them.  The legends of the Hopi describe the end of everything.  Of course, the Bible covers it, graphically, in The Revelation of Saint John, which is the last book in the Bible.  According to what I heard, the Torah and the Q’ran also mention the end of the world as do other religions.

Nostradamus, who apparently has quite a high accuracy rate, also predicts the end of the world. His prediction mention balls of fire from the heavens (pick your own description – missiles, comets, meteors, whatever), but not until the year 3797.

So, are we to believe those who predict Doomsday based on the ending of a calendar from a long-dead civilization; or those who, like me, take the more pragmatic view that the Mayan long count calendar simply marks the end of a cycle?  Personally, I’m going shopping December 22, 2012.

Enjoy the rest of your week.  Remember to hug an artist – we need love too and don’t worry, nothing’s gonna happen Friday midnight. No matter what time zone you live in.


Answer me this

According to some doomsday theorists, the end of the world is less than three months away – December 21, 2012 to be precise.  That is the date on which the Mayan long calendar ends.  I have several questions on this theory, which I’m going to ask and, if I’m doing my job properly, you’ll have questions as well.

First, how do we know the Mayan cuneiforms have been translated properly?  Is there some sort of western hemisphere version of the Rosetta stone?  These people who are touted as being Mayan “experts” – how do we know for sure?  Is there some sort of exam you take and if you pass it you can call yourself a Mayan expert? There are no Mayans to test you.

Now, let’s move on to the calendar and the theories themselves.  First, I’ve written some of this before, but it still applies.  Can anyone give me one single reason why the Mayan long calendar wouldn’t act the same as our Gregorian calendar and simply start over?  This is what an “expert” interviewed by the Toronto Star a couple of years ago believes will happen. Our calendar ends with December 31.  Does the world end on December 31?   No.  The sun comes up the next day, January 1, and things carry on as usual.  Why wouldn’t this also apply to the Mayan calendar?  If we accept these theories for a moment (I don’t – I believe the calendar will just start over) I have one more question.  You say the world will end with December 21, 2012.  What time zone?

I know that some people put great faith in this calendar and the fact it ends just before Christmas this year.  Couple more questions: Nobody else has successfully predicted the end of the world, so why should the Mayans do any better?   And, if the Mayans were so great at predicting events, how come they couldn’t predict the fact they’d all die off?  They’re all dead, so why should we put any great stock in their end of the world prediction?  If they’re wrong, we certainly can’t turn to them and say “you screwed up”, can we?

I read an article in one of the Toronto papers several months ago that said archeologists had discovered a room at one of the Mayan ruins that indicated that their mathematicians didn’t believe the world would end.  Again, if the translation is correct, this would lend credence to my statement the calendar will just start over.

And one final question: What are you going to do in December: plan for Christmas, or plan for the end of the world?

Enjoy your day and remember to hug an artist – we need love too.