I get lots — and I do mean lots — of spam, literally hundreds every day, offering the usual assortment of home mortgage enlargement, cheap software for your penis, and college diplomas for your computer. Most of them get shuttled into my spam folder, or get blocked before they even get that far, but no spam filtering is perfect, so I try to check in and make sure that no legit messages have been overzealously marked as spam. I was glancing through today's haul and noticed a rather disturbing trend emerging in the subject lines the spammers use to try to lure you into opening their messages.
Quite a few have reasonably straightforward subject lines: "rolex mania," or "debt consolidation," or "BuyViagra online At The *Chepeast* Price!" [sic]. A few try to be a bit more coy: "Nights full of pleasure are possible," or "million selections," or "Want to make money while surfing." Some are just gibberish: "sidereal dully louisa jostle inherit," for an example that sounds suspiciously like some of the "dictionary attack" addresses at which I receive spam. (I get spammed at such common usernames as RutledgeDependWiltonBeing@lincmad.com, SidewalkMolecular@lincmad.com, and email@example.com.) But the ones that caught my eye today are trying to shock the recipient into opening the e-mail:
By the way, on a bit of a wild tangent just to prove that you can't always trust what you read in the "mainstream" dead-tree press, today's San Francisco Chronicle gives yesterday's highest and lowest temperatures both for California and for the other 47 contiguous states. Yesterday's high in California was 120° [49°C] at Death Valley, beating the rest of the country by a healthy margin — 113° [45°C] in Bullhead City, Arizona. However, the Chron says that yesterday's low in the state was 9° [–13°C] at Cabrillo National Monument. Trouble is, the monument is on a point jutting out between San Diego Bay and the Pacific Ocean. It can be pretty chilly with the onshore breeze, but I'd be surprised if it has ever been below freezing in my lifetime, much less in August. About the coldest actual temperature in California yesterday was in Truckee, at 39° [+4°C], down from the day's high of 81° [27°C].
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