The Reel Deal and Other Bad Jokes
Friday, May 07, 2004
Title Fiction
Final class of Art Department Operations today. We turned in our projects and then we all went to breakfast together--all four of us, that's including the teacher. I love small classes.

I watched a movie called "The Cooler" recently. Nice camerawork, especially in the finale, and good lighting (it does its job). The story is excellent, nice and complicated just the way I like 'em. The acting performances here are mezmerizing, they just draw you in and make you care. Very deep and substantial characters also.

To give you a taste: William H. Macy plays the unluckiest man ever. His contract with the wiseguy casino owner (Alec Baldwin) is up in a week. When it's up, he's out. But a beautiful (and I mean beautiful) cocktail waitress comes into the picture and things get a little complicated. Alec does a great job with his character. The guy may break bones and manipulate people, but he does have some sort of honor. That guy from "Office Space" does a nice job playing a little prick of a wiseguy, too.

If you like good movies, this is one you absolutely cannot miss. Would I lie to you?

Well, yeah, but watch it anyway.

I recieved a chain letter recently. What struck me was that I almost fell for it. But I did a quick bit of research and debunked it easily. Here's my reply:


I called the numbers contained in the e-mail. They don't work. Intel and
Microsoft may have trade agreements, but they are not the same company.
Same goes for Intel and AOL. What's more, none of these could companies
would afford these kind of expenditures, nor could they actually track the

Quote: " America Online responded by denouncing the warning as a hoax and
declaring that email tracking as described in the message is "impossible."

The sites I quoted:

"Technological barriers aside, if anyone could afford the computing power to
track chain letters, it would be companies like Microsoft or Disney. But why
would they want to? The circulation of a chain letter is unpredictable and
unstoppable. It grows at a logarithmic rate. For example, say I launch a
chain letter by sending it to 10 people, who each forward it to 10 more
people within a day of receiving it, as does every subsequent recipient.
Here's the number of mailings I'd have to track and record in just eight

Day 1: 100
Day 2: 1,000
Day 3: 10,000
Day 4: 100,000
Day 5: 1,000,000
Day 6: 10,000,000
Day 7: 100,000,000
Day 8: 1,000,000,000
Total: 1,111,111,110
Yep, that's over a billion mailings — over a billion email addresses to
retrieve, sort, and store in just over a week. And then there's the cash
pay-outs to contend with! Mind you, no one chain letter can possibly achieve
such a circulation, given that it's larger than the entire Internet
population at present, but the numbers demonstrate that the tracking of any
reasonably successful chain letter presents logistical headaches that far
outweigh any possible benefits to the companies allegedly involved."

and the BIG IMPORTANT QUOTE, notice how it's almost word-for-word the same
as the one you sent me (the link to back it up:

"Another widespread variant of the hoax:

Subject: FW: PLEEEEEASE READ!!!!! It was on the news!

I'm an attorney, and I know the law. This thing is for real.
Rest assured
AOL and Intel will follow through with their promises for fear of
facing a multimillion dollar class action suit similar to the one
filed by PepsiCo against General Electric not too long ago.

Dear Friends,
Please do not take this for a junk letter. Bill Gates is sharing his
fortune. If you ignore this you will repent later. Microsoft and AOL
are now the largest Internet companies and in an effort to make sure
that Internet Explorer remains the most widely used program, Microsoft
and AOL are running an e-mail beta test. When you forward this e-mail
to friends, Microsoft can and will track it (if you are a Microsoft
Windows user) for a two week time period. For every person that you
forward this e-mail to, Microsoft will pay you $245.00, for every
person that you sent it to that forwards it on, Microsoft will pay you
$243.00 and for every third person that receives it, you will be paid
$241.00. Within two weeks, Microsoft will contact you for your
address and then send you a cheque. Regards.
I thought this was a scam myself, but two weeks after receiving this
e-mail and forwarding it on, Microsoft contacted me for my address and
within days, I received a cheque for US$24,800.00. You need to
respond before the beta testing is over. If anyone can afford this
Bill Gates is the man. It's all marketing expense to him. Please
forward this to as many people as possible. You are bound to get at
least US$10,000.00. We're not going to help them out with their
e-mail beta test without getting a little something for our time. My
brother's girlfriend got in on this a few months ago. When I went to
visit him for the Baylor/UT game. She showed me her check. It was
for the sum of $4,324.44 and was stamped "Paid In Full". Like I said
before, I know the law, and this is for real. Try it, what have you
got to lose????

This is a complete hoax. There is no way to track e-mail like this. Do not
forward the message."

An essay by Bill Gates himself on the subject:

So think about it next time, please?

--Justin Kuhn

The Reel Deal and Other Bad Jokes.
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Yeah, I have my blog in my sig alright. If you want to check those URLs out, feel free to paste 'em into your address bar, they'll work. Sorry, I don't feel like linking them. ...These spam things just annoy me immensely.

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