Lying - the building block of good manners

Quentin Crisp

"Of course I lie to people. But I lie altruistically - for our mutual good. The lie is the basic building block of good manners. That may seem mildly shocking to a moralist - but then what isn't?"

"I am more concerned with how manners can be employed to cope with, or outwit, the affronts of racism, sexism, hooliganism - and the terrible things people do to one another in the name of love."

 - Quentin Crisp
Manners from Heaven (1985)

Shockingly cheap lie detectors

The lie detector for people on a budget

Breathless copy:
Strap this lie detector toy onto your friend and ask them an embarrassing question. If they don't answer truthfully they'll get a nasty but safe electric shock. The truth hurts, but lies hurt even more. If you lie, you're in for a shock. The more questions you ask the more accurate it'll be. Buy this now.
Buy one here!>>

The muffin man with a Bimbo secret

Rivals have not been able to crack the code
They thought Chris Botticella was retiring from his job in charge of a Thomas' English muffin factory in Placentia, California. But rumor said that he was moving from his current executive job at Bimbo Bakeries to a rival bakery, Hostess Brands, and he might be taking the top-secret recipe of Thomas' English Muffins with him. He was one of only seven employees who knew every step of the secret process.
"According to Bimbo’s filings, the secret of the nooks and crannies was split into several pieces to make it more secure, and to protect the approximately $500 million in yearly muffin sales. They included the basic recipe, the moisture level of the muffin mixture, the equipment used and the way the product was baked. While many Bimbo employees may have known one or more pieces of the puzzle, only seven knew every step."
Mr. Botticella was legally barred from taking his new job.

A Man With Muffin Secrets, but No Job With Them, at The New York Times>>

Can lightning hoax your brain?

Could all of these noble gentlemen
have been the victims of a hoax?
Ball lightning is a small electrical sphere of electricity which is usually observed during a thunderstorm. Witnesses have seen it for centuries. It's been variously labeled as either a hoax or an unexplained scientific phenomena. It's been theorized that it might be a form of regular lightning, plasma clouds, vaporizing silicon, nanobatteries or black holes.

The most recent explanation? Lightning messes with your head.

If a lightning discharge lasts a long time, it may create the same magnetic fields that are used in transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), which is used to stimulate neurons in the human brain.

Many patients who receive TMS report "luminous and apparently real visual perceptions in varying shapes and colors within the visual field."

So it may be that lightning creates a magnetic field that induces a brain hallucination that the recipient describes as ball lightning.

So ball lightning might be a hoax, a hoax perpetrated by lightning itself.

Mysterious Ball Lightning: Illusion or Reality? from Science Daily>>

See also my post: Strong belief has wrought the same wonder>>

Counterfeit goods seized at Fisherman's Wharf

Sometimes it's a replica, and sometimes it's real,
as in "really a fake"
In 2007, U.S. Customs agents intercepted a suspicious shipping container at the port of Oakland, California, and found over 50,000 counterfeit items. They traced them to shops at Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco. After a long investigation, where undercover agents were sometimes told by a salesperson, “Yes, this is a counterfeit,” 10 people were arrested, all apparently Chinese, and many related to each other through business or family relationships. The counterfeits were illegally imported from China.

Authorities seized 230,000 fake items. What types of goods were found?

Clothing, handbags, wallets, jewelry, watches, scarves, sunglasses and shoes.

What were some of the designer brands that were copied?

Oakley, Dooney and Bourke, Nike, Coach, Kate Spade, Armani, Burberry, Prada and Louis Vuitton.

And which country manufactures some of these authentic designer brands that were copied?

China.

The suspects have been charged with conspiracy, smuggling goods into the United States, and trafficking in counterfeit goods.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement>>
KTVU>>

(And in the amusing coincidence department, while I was writing this post, an email written by "ben zulz" slipped by my spam filter and touted: Replica Watches! $135 & under`Rolex,Guccu,Movada,Breitling,Tag+More`)
.

Deceptive editing foils Homer Simpson

Homer distorted by the media



video

In this Simpson's episode (Homer Badman, season 6 episode 9), Homer Simpson has lusted after a gummy Venus de Milo candy stuck to the butt of the kid's babysitter. She mistakes his gummy lust for sexual lust, and turns the media mob against him. Homer decides he'll use the media to tell his side of the story, so he contacts the hard-hitting news program Rock Bottom (a parody of the then-current investigative news show Hard Copy.)

Here are the deceptive techniques used to trick Homer Simpson. These techniques are used for laughs in the cartoon, but in reality, many of these techniques are actually used by the media.

But first, watch the clip. This episode has been voted one of the best Simpsons episodes ever.
  1. He thinks others who have been interviewed have been treated very fairly. Unfortunately, the interviewee he sites as being treated fairly is the fictional creature Sasquatch.
  2. Homer assumes the media is interested in telling the truth and will give him a forum for telling his side of the story, rather than telling a sensational, marketable story. As he says with fervent belief when the show's logo appears: "Here comes the bouncing ball of justice."
  3. During his interview, he goes on a tangent about his lust for candy, giving the producers plenty of material to manipulate.
  4. Homer doesn't realize that the media loves to continue a story of good versus evil, and he's already been branded the evil one.
  5. Homer has no control over how the show will portray him.
  6. The program begins with "another" sex story - a "sex farm for hookers," of course using an actual farm and farmer, and links Homer to that segment.
  7. They use slow-motion video and creepy music when they show Homer, and innocent music and pictures when they show his "victim."
  8. Since they get to title the segment they've created, they call it Babysitter and the Beast.
  9. In the funniest segment, Homer's words are reedited to create completely new sentences, confessing that he likes her "can."
  10. The show splices in video of the interviewer, filmed later, when he asks Homer if his horrible behavior has any defense. That's when the video is stopped in a freeze-frame at a particularly disgusting picture of Homer's face. Homer says nothing. The interviewer says "...your silence will only incriminate you further." 
  11. The interviewer reacts to Homer's freeze-frame picture "moving closer" as Homer's face gets larger and larger and the interviewer screams in fear of Homer's anger.
  12. A quick disclaimer is made: "Dramatization: may not have happened."
  13. As a disillusioned Homer says before the segment is even finished: "Aw, crap."

    Prank turns into elder abuse


    Here's an example of a prank that might be funny if it was in a movie. But in the real world, if you think about the victims, not so much.

    Six employees of the Valley View Skilled Nursing Facility, a nursing home in Ukiah, California, thought they'd discovered a funny prank they could play on workers on the next shift.

    They coated patients who had dementia - patients who could not object - from head to toe with ointment, making them slippery for the next employees taking care of them.

    The employees thought it would be hilarious, but the California Bureau of Elder Abuse did not, and charged them with four misdemeanor counts, including elder abuse.

    The six workers were also fired.

    Dementia patients victims of slippery prank - San Francisco Chronicle>>

    The sex extortion short con Internet dating blackmail scam

    Tonya Blaze

    Kevin Zunk
    First, I have to say that the names Tonya Blaze and Kevin Zunk are perfect names for a pair of con-artists, aren't they?

    Here's the con: A man (let's call him Roy) signs up on an Internet dating site. Roy is looking for another man to be "more than friends." Roy does meet a man online (let's call him Kevin) and they get friendly and frisky. Kevin suggests they exchange nude photos. Roy sends nude photos of himself.

    Kevin contacts him in a panic and says that Roy actually sent the nude photos to his daughter. Kevin says his wife is freaking out and Roy needs to send him some money to change the phone number and for court costs.

    Roy doesn't respond.

    Then an FBI agent contacts Roy, who says that Kevin and his wife are going to press charges against Roy unless he cooperates.

    Roy panics and sends Kevin money.

    Kevin sends more and more messages, saying if Roy doesn't send more money he'll call Roy's boss at work and let him know what he's been charged with.

    Roy contacts the FBI.

    Kevin Zunk, 43, and Tonya Blaze, 40, are arrested.

    They had extorted over $10,000 from victims in multiple states using the same con.

    Ohio couple accused of dating-service photo scam, AP>>

    The dead man who tried to scam the court - a screenplay

    We're thinking make him younger, Michael Rosen could be played by Seth Rogen... it could work

    INTERIOR, COURTHOUSE OFFICE, DAY

    CLERK - Can I help you sir?

    MICHAEL ROSEN - Yes, my brother has a court case pending, and I need to report that he cannot go to court.

    CLERK - Okay, and the reason?

    MICHAEL ROSEN - My brother has... is died. Dead.

    CLERK - Oh, I'm very sorry for your loss. What is his name?

    MICHAEL ROSEN - My brother's name is... was... Michael Rosen. I have paperwork that proves he... here's the death certificate. He died last week. He's been buried.


    CUT TO:

    INTERIOR, PROBATION OFFICER'S OFFICE, DAY

    (SEAN WHALEN is looking at his computer, talking to himself)

    SEAN WHALEN - That's odd. Hey, Ted, come take a look at this.

    (TED comes over)

    SEAN WHALEN - His case was dismissed. Because he's dead. What do you think?

    (TED looks at the computer screen)

    TED - That's not right. His death certificate says - look right there - it says he died of  “cardio-respiratory arrest."

    SEAN WHALEN - And?

    TED - No such thing as  “cardio-respiratory arrest." My mom's a nurse. That should be "cardiac-respiratory arrest.” A real doctor would know that.

    SEAN WHALEN - You know, I didn't see that. But I'll tell you, I did just see this guy last week, and he looked a little too healthy to be dead this week. I'm going to call the cemetery.

    (He picks up his phone)


    CUT TO:

    INTERIOR, PROBATION OFFICER'S OFFICE, LATER IN THE DAY

    TED - So, what did you find out about that dead guy?

    SEAN WHALEN - I called Temple Israel Cemetary. They have nobody named Michael Rosen buried there. And I got a copy of the paper certificate. See this? Wrong kind of paper. And it doesn't have a raised seal. But here's the clincher. The name of the cemetery is spelled wrong. You know how it's spelled? "Temple Is real Cemetery."


    CUT TO:

    INTERIOR, COURTROOM, DAY

    JUDGE Mr. Rosen, the court appreciates that you turned yourself in. You're charged with - on these new charges - two counts of forgery of a document, and one count of uttering a false writing. How do you plead?

    MICHAEL ROSEN - I plead not guilty.

    JUDGE RICHARD MORI - The original charges were for two counts of larceny of a credit card and two counts of larceny over $250. I set bail at $2,500 for the two previous larceny charges. For your new charges of forgery and false writing, I set bail at $10,000 cash. I see here that you also have another pending charge of operating a motor vehicle after your license was suspended?

    MICHAEL ROSEN - Yes, sir.

    JUDGE RICHARD MORI - Hmm. I see here in your eight-page record that you've also had 92 adult arraignments, dating back to 1996. (The judge pauses) Mr. Rosen, I've been practicing law for 30 years. Never heard of anyone faking their own death to get out of charges. I think there's no telling what you might be capable of if I let you go. Bail is revoked.

    Death-faking suspect held: Rosen accused of using bogus documentation to avoid court - Salem News>>
    Police: Man arrested for faking death to get out of court date - Granite Fall News>>

    A deceptive figure / ground work by MC Escher

    Mosaic II, by MC Escher

    Escher has been overexposed so we can't actually see many of his famous works because they are too famous. This is one of his less famous pieces. Can you tell which print is as he created it, and which print has been reversed? Click each picture to enlarge it.


    Mosaic II, by MC Escher


    Source: Flickr>>

    The magical film that restores Jacques Tati to life

    The Illusionist by Sylvain Chomet

    I haven't seen this film - I don't think it's been in the US yet - but I liked director Sylvain Chomet's Triplets of Belleville, and I admire the playful subtlety of the films of Jacques Tati, who wrote this unproduced screenplay years ago as a live-action film for he and his daughter, Sophie Tatischeff. The main animated character of the magician is patterned on Tati. (Watch for a quick shot of a gag where the magician raises his umbrella as the girl almost gets hit by a "truck.")

    Conman: more sex with hot Cuban dancer if I sell stolen Shakespeare folio

    Raymond Scott, international playboy
    In Washington DC, 53-year-old man walks into the Folger Shakespeare Library, a famous research center on Shakespeare, and says, "Hey, I have this rare Shakespeare folio I got from a guy in Cuba. Can you tell me how much it's worth?"

    The experts didn't take long to recognize the book, which was stolen 10 years ago from Durham University in the UK. They called the FBI.

    (And how did they recognize the book? The book was so rare and valuable that all the identifying marks on every single page had been noticed and cataloged.)

    The folio, one of only 228 surviving copies, had been "damaged, brutalised and mutilated" to try and disguise its origins. It was worth millions of dollars.

    Soon Mr Scott and his conman lifestyle were being examined by British police.

    He said he was a wealthy rare book dealer.

    Mr. Scott, from the UK, had £90,000 in credit card debt, and was living on state benefits.

    He told police: 'I'm an alcoholic and need two bottles of top-of-the-range champagne every day, but only after 6pm. I hope you have some in the police station.''

    The police said: ''He was confident, arrogant and dismissive in his first interview telling officers he was not there to talk to them. His manner was indignant and quite abrasive."

    He was first convicted of a crime in 1977, and had been found guilty on 15 separate occasions of a total of 24 offenses.

    Scott said to others that he had international business interests and homes in Monte Carlo and Liechtenstein.

    He actually lived with his elderly mother.

    Mr. Scott said that while he was in Cuba, Heidy Garcia Rios had introduced him to a retired military major whose late mother had kept the folio in an old wooden bible box, and Mr. Scott offered to go to Washington to have it authenticated. He said he gave them a lot of money as a security deposit.

    But in reality he was infatuated with and a lover of Ms. Rios, a 23-year Cuban dancer. In the months before trying to sell the folio, he had proposed to her and sent her lots of money.

    While he was in court, Mr. Scott wore Valentino sunglasses, Versace crocodile shoes and a Louis Vuitton waist pouch. He was very excited with all the attention he was getting from the press. He told journalists he was going to spray cameramen with champagne on the steps of the court house.

    However, his story about getting the folio in Cuba was exposed as a lie.

    And the judge said the damage to the folio was "cultural vandalisation" of a "quintessentially English treasure" and that "This was an attempt by you to take on the world’s experts at their own expertise. You were confident that that balance had been achieved. You were, however, over-confident."

    Mr Raymond Scott was sentenced, for this crime and another theft, to 8 years in prison.
    Jobless man 'mutilated' stolen Shakespeare folio, Telegraph>>

    The Bill Cosby is dead hoax

    "I'm not dead, dammit!"
    The hoax rumors that Bill Cosby was dead prompted him to call in to the Larry King Show.

    Cosby has been reported dead four times. This time the prank caused some friends to tearfully believe the hoax was true.

    "I don't know. Maybe a psychiatrist will say I'm feeding (the rumor starter's) ego, but I just want to say to friends of that person: Just tell him to stop, because it isn't funny."

    Larry King>>

    Sex lock hoax draws big crowd in Ghana


    "I want to see!"

    Here's an interesting report from the African nation of Ghana:

    Sex-Lock Hoax At La
    The La Police Station was last Saturday turned into a Mecca for residents, as they thronged the security post to catch a glimpse of an alleged sex-lock case involving a married woman and fun-seeking man.

    A radio station, it was alleged, had started the rumour, having picked the wild but untrue story from a neighbourhood gossip.

    Within a short space of time, the news spread in the whole of La and even beyond, compelling residents from far and near to converge on the local police station.

    So huge was the crowd that it created traffic jam nearby, but the curious and inquisitive residents held their positions between 2pm and 11pm and beyond. The tired ones were constantly replaced by others.

    As for personnel of the police station, it was a hectic time as they tried to contain the surging crowd who would not take a no to the sex and lock story, believing that the police were just out to get them to leave their premises.

    A hailer was used to communicate to the crowd in a number of languages to ignore the story to no avail. Eventually, the police barricaded themselves with physical barricades so the anxious crowd did not force themselves into the barracks.

    When Inspector E.A. Addo, the Station Officer was contacted to confirm the story, he dispelled it, arguing that assuming that it was even true, should the police station be the place to bring such a couple.

    A police station, he stated, is not a zoo or a hospital. The La Police Station scene is not a new thing, having been witnessed at the Agbogbloshie Market. A man and woman, at the time, were said to have had sex but could not de-copulate. The rumour spread throughout the city and drew a large crowd to Circle where the two were said to be onboard a North-bound vehicle.

    Nobody could claim to have seen the action but there were many who believed it happened and these fueled the rumour, as in the case of the La story.

    I'd never heard of the term "sex-lock" before.

    Sex-lock has also been called penis captivus, "de cohesione in coitu", a form of vaginismus, or a perineal muscle spasm.

    It's also an urban myth.

    As one doctor pointed out, if a woman's vagina tightened that much, a man's penis would become flaccid and get released, not trapped.

    This urban myth usually concerns a couple who are committing adultery, or are too old, or have another reason to be morally shamed by their public embarrassment.

    It's possible this myth originated because people viewed dogs becoming captured during coitis. (This "coital tie" is possible in dogs because male dogs have a small bone inside their penis.)

    But the myth does have a great backstory. It seems that Sir William Osler pretended to be Egerton Y. Davis and wrote a prank letter to the Philadelphia Medical News on December 4, 1884, describing this "condition."

    So even though it appears as a hoax, you can say it does actually appear in the medical literature.

    Source: Peace FM, from Ghama>>
    Penis Captivus at Snopes>>
    Let's stay together! at Salon>>

    An example of the rumor being spread, from Chud>>

    More secret magic gimmicks exposed, part 3

    Custom made thumb tip
     
    What's a gimmick? To a magician who performs, a magic gimmick is something the audience never sees that helps the magician perform miracles. Gimmicks are the hidden assistants in many magic tricks, and if the magician is skilled, we'll never know about them. These are the secrets behind other secrets. And here they are, revealed at last. (This is part 3 in a series.)

     << Go to Secret magic gimmicks revealed, part 2

    Go to The technology of magic gimmicks, part 4 >> 

    Dove harness


    Billiard ball holder


    Invisible thread


    Roughing fluid


    Kellar coin dropper



    Nikko ball


    Deluxe lockpicking set
    Go to The technology of magic gimmicks, part 4 >>

    Agent / headshot scam, with "the sleaziest looking man I’ve ever met"

    Jabba and his laser pointer
    "Then his pitch started. He talked quickly, pausing and smiling only when he said the word “money.” He laid out pictures on the desk of himself with B-list celebrities. Former reality stars. Sean Combs. He used a laser pointer to point across the office at pictures on the wall, circling himself—often appearing out of focus—adjacent to celebrities. He called them by their first names. He was a big deal, he told us, and it was his job to make us a big deal, and to make us money."
    Encore: The Performing Arts Magazine - "Are You 98 Years Old and Hoping to Appear on 30 Rock? Here’s your chance!">>

    How not to steal in a Vegas casino


    Your right hand goes for your chips while your left hand slides over somebody else's chips
    A man, fifty-something years old with gray hair and wearing a baseball cap, is playing in the World Series of Poker tournament in a Las Vegas casino on a Saturday afternoon.

    I don't know his name, so I'll call him Baseball Cap.

    There were many players at his table, but they left for a break, leaving Baseball Cap and another man to finish playing their hands.

    Baseball Cap wins the hand, and the pot. He leans forward to gather in his winning chips with his right hand, and at the same time he puts his left hand on the table for support and leverage. All attention should be on the right hand that's moving to rake in his winning chips.

    When the dealer looks away from his left hand, Baseball Cap makes his move. What's his left hand doing? His left hand is covering up an unattended pile of chips from a player who'd left the table.

    Baseball Cap pulls the money he earned towards himself with his right hand, at the same time pulling, with his left hand, an unearned pile of his neighbor's chips.

    This is known as stealing.

    This is also known as stupid.

    Did Baseball Cap think that when the player returned he wouldn't notice that some of his chips were missing? Okay, maybe the other player had a big pile of chips and wouldn't notice.

    But Baseball Cap is playing in a casino that's full of pit bosses who monitor cheating.

    And overhead cameras.

    At some point a video was viewed, and someone said, "Oh, look, there it is, he's obviously stealing."

    Baseball Cap was escorted from the premises by three Harrah’s security guards. They may have been beefy. And Baseball Cap has been barred from playing in the World Series of Poker ever again.

    Source: Online Poker Net>>

    When a robot reads your mind - Isaac Asimov and "Liar!"

    The robot Herbie and Dr. Susan Calvin
    from Harlan Ellison's screen play for "I, Robot" illustrated by Mark Zug

    In these excerpts from the chapter Liar! from Isaac Asimov’s book I, Robot, three scientists try to figure out how a production error caused a recently manufactured robot, named Herbie, to be able to read minds.

    Psychologist Susan Calvin talks with the mind-reading robot after he reads some scientific texts, and the robot says he’s not as interested in science:


    ....................

    “It’s your fiction that interests me. Your studies of the interplay of human motives and emotions.” His mighty hand gestured vaguely as he sought the proper words.

    Dr. Calvin whispered, “I think I understand.”

    “I see into minds, you see,” the robot continued, “and you have no idea how complicated they are. I can’t begin to understand everything because my own mind has so little in common with them - but I try, and your novels help.”

    “Yes, but I’m afraid that after going through some of the harrowing emotional experiences of our present-day sentimental novel” - there was a tinge of bitterness in her voice - “you find real minds like ours dull and colorless.”

    “But I don’t!”

    The sudden energy in the response brought the other to her feet. She felt herself reddening, and thought wildly, “He must know!”

    Herbie subsided suddenly, and muttered in a low voice from which the metallic timbre departed almost entirely. “But, of course, I know about it, Dr. Calvin. You think of it always, so how can I help but know?”

    How do you know if a spouse is cheating? (Ask Dear Abby)

    Reality Check by Dave Whamond
    I see lots of information online on how to really know if your spouse is cheating on you. Here are the telltale signs from a Dear Abby column. I don’t know if these are telltale as much as they are some things that would make you initially suspicious, or increase your suspicions if you were already suspicious, especially if you observed more than two or three of them.

    From what I’ve read, the only completely unambiguous sign of cheating is catching someone in the act of cheating.

    ....................

    Cheating Spouses Leave Varied Clues To Their Deceit
    Written by Jeanne Phillips (Dear Abby)
    11/19/02.

    DEAR READERS: At the end of a recent column, I printed a short letter from a reader signed "Suspicious Texan," asking what are the telltale signs of a cheating spouse. (I listed eight.)
    1. Secretiveness
    2. A sudden change in manner of dress or grooming
    3. Unexplained absences
    4. Less affectionate
    5. Unfamiliar charges on credit card bills
    6. Strange numbers on the phone bill
    7. Hang-ups on your home phone
    8. More business trips than usual
    I then asked readers if they cared to add to the list. The response was so great, it nearly gave my mailman a hernia! Read on:
    I play more "golf." (That's good for five or six hours.)

    You find birth-control pills in her medicine cabinet, and you've had a vasectomy.

    Mutual friends start acting strangely toward you. (They either know about the cheating, or have been told stories about what a horrible wife or girlfriend you are.)

    He stops confiding in you and seeking advice from you.

    Sets up a new e-mail account and doesn't tell you about it.

    He leaves the house in the morning smelling like Irish Spring and returns in the evening smelling like Safeguard.

    He refuses to let you take him to the airport when he's leaving town.

    He carries condoms and you are on the pill.

    Begins to delete all incoming phone calls from Caller ID.

    Deletes all incoming e-mails when they used to accumulate.

    He becomes "accusatory," asking if YOU are being true to HIM, usually out of guilt.

    Raises hypothetical questions such as, "Do you think it's possible to love more than one person at a time?"

    He buys himself new underwear.

    He insists that the child seat, toys, etc., are kept out of his car.

    She stops wearing her wedding ring.

    Has a sudden desire to be helpful with the laundry.

    Has unexplained scratches or bruises on his or her neck or back.

    Suddenly wants to try new love techniques.

    Supposedly works a lot of overtime, but it never shows up on the pay stub.

    Picks fights in order to stomp out of the house.

    You find out by accident that he or she took a vacation day or personal time off from work.

    Shows a sudden interest in a different type of music.

    Spouse's co-workers are uncomfortable in your presence.

    Has a sudden preoccupation with his or her appearance.

    Spends an excessive amount of time on the computer, especially after you have gone to bed.

    Suddenly works long hours or weekends and never seems to be at his/her desk to answer the phone. Calls back later with a reason such as, "I was working in the conference room where there was more space."

    Has lots of "emergency errands" - then comes home empty-handed, saying, "They didn't have what I needed."

    He throws up a lot because he just ate at his mistress's house, and had to eat the dinner I prepared when he got home.

    The telltale sign of a cheating spouse? Having to ask that question in the first place. LISTEN TO YOUR GUT!
    And last but not least:

    DEAR ABBY: My wife scores five out of the eight telltale signs listed in your column. However, she and I agree that most of them fit her job description. She's a real estate agent.

    Dear Abby on uExpress>>

    Pranking horny boys online

    What the fuuuu...?
    Chatroulette is the free website service that uses a computer's webcam to anonymously connect with anyone else using the service. The service became notorious for featuring males who were exhibiting themselves or performing lewd acts, or holding up signs asking the (very few) female participants they saw to get naked. In fact, almost 90% of the users were male.

    And if you signed on, there was a 100% chance that you were going to see a penis.

    Which is why this prank worked so well. If guys might have a chance to actually see some real female nakedness, they would get very excited. (If they weren't excited already.) So when the movie The Last Exorcism decided to so some viral marketing, they created a video where it looks like an attractive girl is going to take off her top.

    I did tell you the movie is called The Last Exorcism, right?

    I love the face of the first guy on the left. Watch how long he holds that look.

    Due to language, this video is NSFW.



    Found thanks to Salon: Viral campaign pranks horny boys>>

    The story of the discovery of an adulterous affair

    Palm Springs, California
    the location where the affair was revealed


    This is the story written by the wife who was cheated on.

    The cast of characters:

    Mary Jo Eustace
    an actress, singer, writer and chef, and the former wife of Dean McDermott, who left her for actress Tori Spelling.

    Dean McDermott
    an actor and Mary Jo Eustace’s husband, who left her after he was stolen by actress Tori Spelling.

    Tori Spelling
    an actress, and the woman who stole Mary Jo Eustace’s husband while she was married to Charlie Shanian.

    Charlie Shanian
    a writer and actor, who became actress Tori Spelling’s ex-husband when actress Tori Spelling left him after she stole Mary Jo Eustace’s husband.

    After this piece was written in 2008, children were born (Liam and Stella to Dean McDermott and Tori Spelling), books were written (Divorce Sucks by Mary Jo Eustace, sTori Telling and Mommywood by Tori Spelling) and reality shows were filmed (Tori & Dean: Inn Love, and Tori and Dean: Home Sweet Hollywood.)


    Tori Spelling Stole My Husband

    by Mary Jo Eustace

    I am lying by the pool in Palm Springs, nursing my obligatory margarita, when I notice that my husband is nowhere in sight. In fact, I've been losing track of him all day. I do vaguely recall seeing him about an hour ago, but he was on his cellphone, earpiece planted firmly in place, pacing back and forth like a demented receptionist. I assumed he was talking to his agent but I wasn't really sure.

    There have been a lot of phone calls since he joined us a few days ago on our little family vacation. Between the extended telephone time and the three-hour trips to the gym, I've barely seen him at all. Now, usually I don't mind this sort of thing; most often, I welcome it. Being married as long as we have, alone time is actually a good thing. But this time, something seems different.

    First of all, I was left alone in the San Fernando Valley. I'd never experienced a Californian summer before and I was beginning to feel like I had an egg on my head that was in a perpetual state of being fried. Secondly, my actor husband went back to our native Canada to shoot a television movie about some woman who gets hit on the head and then can predict the future. It was the usual low-budget schlock, made for a network with romantically challenged viewers suffering from low self-esteem and minor learning disabilities.

    At least, I think that's what he told me, but I might not have been fully listening - I was too busy secretly hating him the whole time he was gone. I kept imagining some hot assistant getting him iced lattes and wet towels while I was slogging it out in our little bungalow with two kids, praying to God that our air conditioner wouldn't break or that the state of California wouldn't drain the world's energy supply.

    A postcard on being a fake, from Postsecret


    Source: Postsecret>>

    We can analyze all we want, but ultimately it's a judgment call

    Free-soloist rock climber John Bachar died after falling alone
    “Ultimately all decisions are made on the basis of judgment. There is no other way; and there never will be. The question is whether these judgments are made in the fog of inadequate data, unclear and undefined issues or whether they can be made on the basis of adequate, reliable information, reliable experience and clear issues. In the end, analysis is but an aid to judgment – judgment is supreme.” 
    – Katz and Kahn (1966) “Risk Management Keeps Aircraft Carrier Overhaul Planning on Schedule.” Naval Engineers Journal, October, pp. 13-24.

    Japanese doctor arrested for prank calls

    "Moshimoshi? Moshimoshi?"

    A 44-year-old male doctor, Iwao Ajima, has been arrested for harassing the chairman of the Fukushima Medical Association by making prank calls to his home.

    It's alleged he called over 100 times, many times without saying anything, and upset the chairman's wife.

    Dr. Ajima denies this, saying “I only ever called him when I had a valid reason.”

    Source: Japan Today>>

    Couple tries scamming Walt Disney with stupid scheme

    Donald Duck and Daisy Duck share their dreams

    Here's how not to scam the Walt Disney Company:

    A woman is employed as the assistant to Disney's head of communications.

    Her boyfriend says, "Hey, you have access to sensitive information. Let's use it to become rich!"

    She gets him potentially valuable information on Disney's earnings before that info is made public.

    The boyfriend sends anonymous letters to about a dozen hedge funds and investment companies:

    "Hey, want to know about Disney's second-quarter earnings report? I am willing to share this information for a fee. I count on your discretion as you can count on mine," said the boyfriend in his letter.

    If you were someone at one of the hedge funds or investment companies and received an anonymous letter like that, what would you do?

    You might think:

    "Gee, you know, this is either a real anonymous criminal trying to sell me info, or it's a sting by law enforcement."

    Either way, there's a crime there. So it's likely that more than one recipient called the Feds.

    And the Feds, in the form of FBI agents, contacted the boyfriend.

    "We're hedge-fund traders and we're interested, how much?" said the Feds.

    "I know Disney chief Bob Iger is in serious and advanced negotiations to sell ABC," said the boyfriend.

    "How do I know that you are not a fed?" said the Feds.

    "I work for Disney, that is all i can tell you. I don't think we will get caught if we stay discret and careful," texted the boyfriend.

    "How much?" said the Feds.

    "$15,000," said the boyfriend.

    "Okay," said the Feds.

    "And I want a 30% cut of any profits..."

    "That's fine," said the Feds.

    "Great! Where shall we meet?" said the boyfriend.

    They met, in a place set up with concealed audio and video recording equipment, and the boyfriend was recorded taking $15,000.

    The boyfriend, Mr. Yonni Sebbag, 30 years old, was arrested.

    Instead of going to trial, he made a deal and pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit securities fraud and wire fraud and one count of wire fraud. He faces 27 to 33 months in prison. (Mr Sebbag was ultimately sentenced to 27 months in prison.)

    The girlfriend, Ms. Bonnie Hoxi, a former Disney employee, has been charged with wire fraud and conspiracy to commit securities fraud. She is currently free on $50,000 bail.

    The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has brought separate civil charges.

    Stella McCartney Metallic Suede Polly Small Hobo Handbag

    They say that the girlfriend laid claim to some of the potentially illegal profits by sending the boyfriend a picture of a Stella McCartney designer handbag that cost $700.

    "Hey, maybe I can get it for u next week. I may be able to buy u 2 of them, lol," texted the boyfriend.

    Stella McCartney Patent Slingback Shoe

    "In that case, i also love love these shoes," texted the girlfriend.

    When the girlfriend was in court, prosecutors wanted her to abstain from drinking, because she's on probation for DUI.

    Judge Patrick Walsh disagreed:

    "I'm going to allow her to drink when she's at home. These are the times when someone needs a drink."

    Note: Portions of the dialogue and the particular Stella McCartney products chosen by Ms. Hoxi are completely speculative.

    Bonnie Hoxie, 34, eventually pleaded guilty to wire fraud, conspiracy to commit securities and wire fraud and must serve 300 hours of community service and three years of probation.

    Ms. Hoxie said "I think I was blindsided by love and not making the correct choices."

    - Ex-Disney employee sentenced to home confinement, Forbes>>
    - Yonni Sebbag gets 27 months in prison for Mickey Mouse plan to scam Disney, New York Daily News>>
    - Wall Street Journal>>
    - New York Daily News>>

    When you shouldn't tell the truth


    I found a selection of a dozen letters on telling the truth at The Sun Magazine. Here are two of them:

    .................................

    My little brother Beany was only two when Dad died of cancer. Mom packed the family into a white Ford station wagon and moved us from southern Ohio to the coast of New Hampshire, where we knew no one. Under my bed, in an old tin box, I kept the family photographs. Late at night I would take them out and organize them as a way to reassure myself that Dad had, in fact, existed.

    One afternoon I found four-year-old Beany and his best friend, Peter, staring up at our imposing portrait of John Brown, the abolitionist who attempted to start a slave rebellion in Harper’s Ferry, Virginia. Peter pointed to the painting of the man in a tattered uniform and asked who he was. Beany said, “That’s my dad. He was killed in the war. Shot between the eyes.” Peter’s eyes opened wide, and he said, “Wow!”

    To correct this misinformation, I went upstairs and got a picture of Dad to show Beany and Peter. When I returned, the boys were out in the yard, playing soldiers and gleefully reenacting Dad’s death scene. I stopped and watched. The boys looked up at me.

    “Hi, Mandy,” Beany said. “We’re playing war. What’s that?”

    “Oh, nothing. Just an old photo,” I said. I tucked the picture into my pocket and walked back inside. Who was I to take away his truth and replace it with my own?

    Amanda Donovan
    Portsmouth, New Hampshire

    .................................

    I park in front of my friend Tanya’s house and turn off the engine. My seven-year-old son, Jake, is testy, but he’ll do his best to be polite, because he knows how important this visit is, especially to Tanya, whose life has been shortened to precious days.

    I take his hand and lead the way to Tanya’s back deck. She is curled up on a lounge chair, her once-athletic body a faint outline under her favorite blanket. Chemotherapy was not an option for her, so her hair is still thick and curly.

    I lean down for a gentle hug. Tanya slides her sunglasses off to show me that her eyes have turned yellow, like marigolds. She slips the glasses back on, gives me a brave half smile, and shrugs as if to say, What can you do?

    “You look beautiful, sweetheart,” I say. “And you’ve baked cookies today. You’re doing great.”

    Tanya says to Jake, “There’s a bag of ginger cookies on the table with your name on it.”

    Jakes smiles and whispers, “Thank you.” He takes the bag of cookies and returns to my side.

    As we’re driving home after our visit, Jake gently says, “I don’t really like ginger cookies.”

    “I know.”

    “Sometimes it’s OK not to tell the truth,” he says.

    “It is? When?”

    “When your friend is dying of cancer.”

    Mary Jane Taub
    Ashland, Oregon


    Source: Telling the Truth, Letters from The Sun Magazine>>

    Can you spot seven faces in this optical illusion?

    A seven faces optical illusion by Alex Gray

    Cheaters, adulterers and money - who cheats more?

    Love Cheat - packed with exotic thrills
    Need to know some statistics on adultery or cheating in relationships?

    If you are:
    • 18 to 28 years old
    • Married or living together
    • Been together for over a year
    These apply to you.

    For women:

    If you're a women who depends on her male partner for money, you're less likely to cheat on him. So if your husband or boyfriend is making more money than you, you're less likely to be having a fling.

    For men:

    If you're a man who depends on your female partner for money, you're more likely to cheat on her. So if your wife or girlfriend makes more money than you, the odds of you having an affair increase.

    And if you're a man who makes a lot more money than your partner, you're also more likely to be playing around.

    So... with all these cheating male scoundrels, are there any men who aren't cheating?

    Yes. In fact, most men aren't cheating.

    First, men are the least likely to cheat if their partners made about 75% of their incomes.

    And second, overall, very few people are cheating.

    During the six years studied, only 3.8% of the men and 1.4% of the women cheated.

    That means that 92.6% of men and 98.6% of women were faithful.

    Here's another way to think about it:

    If you're in a men's locker room with 50 guys, about 3 or 4 of those guys are cheating.

    If you're in a woman's locker room with 50 other women, it's likely that 1 woman might be cheating.

    Source: The Effect of Relative Income Disparity on Infidelity for Men and Women at Science Daily>>

    A man discovers how to cheat death

    "He unclosed his eyes and saw again the water below him."
    "If I could free my hands," he thought, "I might throw off the noose and spring into the stream. By diving I could evade the bullets and, swimming vigorously, reach the bank, take to the woods and get away home. My home, thank God, is as yet outside their lines; my wife and little ones are still beyond the invader's farthest advance."
    Peyton Farquhar was a man sentenced to die in war. This story tells how he deceived his hangman and escaped. The story is An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge by Ambrose Bierce, a Civil War veteran.

    The author Kurt Vonnegut said An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge was the greatest American short story: "It is a flawless example of American genius."

    If you don't read it, consider this excellent French production of the story, aired as an episode of the Twilight Zone in 1964.

    The greatest impact, however, comes from reading.



    An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge by Ambrose Bierce

    A man stood upon a railroad bridge in northern Alabama, looking down into the swift water twenty feet below. The man's hands were behind his back, the wrists bound with a cord. A rope closely encircled his neck. It was attached to a stout cross-timber above his head and the slack fell to the level of his knees. Some loose boards laid upon the ties supporting the rails of the railway supplied a footing for him and his executioners - two private soldiers of the Federal army, directed by a sergeant who in civil life may have been a deputy sheriff. At a short remove upon the same temporary platform was an officer in the uniform of his rank, armed. He was a captain. A sentinel at each end of the bridge stood with his rifle in the position known as "support," that is to say, vertical in front of the left shoulder, the hammer resting on the forearm thrown straight across the chest - a formal and unnatural position, enforcing an erect carriage of the body. It did not appear to be the duty of these two men to know what was occurring at the center of the bridge; they merely blockaded the two ends of the foot planking that traversed it.

    Beyond one of the sentinels nobody was in sight; the railroad ran straight away into a forest for a hundred yards, then, curving, was lost to view. Doubtless there was an outpost farther along. The other bank of the stream was open ground - a gentle slope topped with a stockade of vertical tree trunks, loopholed for rifles, with a single embrasure through which protruded the muzzle of a brass cannon commanding the bridge. Midway up the slope between the bridge and fort were the spectators - a single company of infantry in line, at "parade rest," the butts of their rifles on the ground, the barrels inclining slightly backward against the right shoulder, the hands crossed upon the stock. A lieutenant stood at the right of the line, the point of his sword upon the ground, his left hand resting upon his right. Excepting the group of four at the center of the bridge, not a man moved. The company faced the bridge, staring stonily, motionless. The sentinels, facing the banks of the stream, might have been statues to adorn the bridge. The captain stood with folded arms, silent, observing the work of his subordinates, but making no sign. Death is a dignitary who when he comes announced is to be received with formal manifestations of respect, even by those most familiar with him. In the code of military etiquette silence and fixity are forms of deference.

    Daddy fools his little daughter

    Here's a comedy routine done in real life, where a dad tricks his little girl by stealing her food. For all you students of deception, watch his two major techniques: distraction by pointing and blocking her view. These techniques are also used by magicians and pickpockets when they're working to deceive a single person.

    If you think the dad's behavior is cruel, I guess it depends... does dad finally give her a dessert or not?

    And here's a question for any child psychologists out there: at what age would a kid's first reaction be "You took it!"

    The video title roughly translated means : "joke dad girl flamby."

    This is Flamby, a type of flan or dessert custard sold by Nestlé




    This is similar to a vaudeville joke used by Abbot and Costello: the switching gag>>

    A great salesman keeps on selling

    I was going to title this post "How not to sell at a garage sale" but then I realized I was incorrect. This is exactly how many salespeople try to sell at garage sales. And not just at garage sales.

    From the cartoon Monty, by Jim Meddick:



    Source: Comics.com

    Advertising a fridge with dinosaur meat

    How many people can I feed with this sabertooth fillet?
    An ad agency decided to promote Bosch refrigerators by putting fake dinosaur meat in supermarkets. The stone age meat ad campaign was developed by the DDB advertising agency in Berlin. View the video for more info.




    These Mammoth Chunks were not used to sell refrigerators
    For the story on Mammoth Chunks>>