Giant Microbes

20 08 2008

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What you see here is my son wanting to get the clap. His cousins call it their “squid,” but we noticed on the label that it really is, indeed, a giant doll of a gonorrhea cell. Giant Microbes also sells cute fuzzy versions of other venereal diseases as well as calamities,maladies, critters, even benign coroporeal cells.

After having listened to a recent This American Life show, we’re paranoid to heck about this particular little menace. Compared to that, little blue gonorrhea looks downright lovable.

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Also noteworthy: For you crafty types, pick up Creepy Cute Crochet for crochet patterns of, among other things, the grim reaper and Cthulu.

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The Best Coloring Book Ever

18 12 2007

With a child and all, I decided to bite down and buy a BJ’s membership. We need things in bulk now.

Perusing their book table, I came across this gem that I just had to get my neighbor’s kids:

Scribbles: A Really Giant Drawing and Coloring Book by Taro Gomi

It’s 368 pages of interactive art. Taro Gomi is the genius behind Everyone Poops, and every page of Scribbles is filled with giant whimsical illustrations with invitations to add your own touch. Just flipping at random, I turned to a page filled with clouds and a suggestion to “Add an airplane.”

I’m going to have to remember to get this (and there are several companion volumes) when e is ready to wield a crayon.





Holiday Wish List for Single Moms

15 12 2007

After writing a post giving suggestions on how to gift new parents, I came across this thoughtful post on how to gift single moms.

I’ve got a newfound respect for single moms that I’m sure will only grow with my experience. How they do it alone is beyond me.





Foil Phishing

11 12 2007

This morning I received this e-mail:

Dear MasterCard Member,

For the User Agreement, Section 9, MasterCard may immediately issue a warning, temporarily suspend, indefinitely suspend or terminate your Credit Card and refuse to provide our services to you if we believe that your actions may cause financial loss or legal liability for you, our users or us. Our terms and conditions you agreed to state that your service must always be under your control or those you designate all times. We have noticed some unusual activity related to your service that indicates that other parties may have access and or control of your MasterCard Credit Card. We recently noticed one or more attempts to log in to your MasterCard Credit Card service from a foreign IP address

If you recently accessed your service while traveling, the unusual log in attempts may have been initiated by you. However, if you did not initiate the logins, please visit MaterCard homepage as soon as possible to restore your account status.

The log in attempt was made from – ISP host : domain-parking.martnet.com

To restore your Credit Card status please click here or click on the link below:

https://www.mastercard.com/us/personal/en/cardholderservices/securecode/index.html

Thank you for your prompt attention to this problem. Review Team apologize for any inconvenience. This is a security measure meant to protect you and your account.

Regards,

MasterCard Security Team.

Alarming, right? Looks authentic? A roll-over the link provided shows that it doesn’t actually go to the secure address

https://http://www.mastercard.com/us/personal/en/cardholderservices/securecode/index.html

but to this one unsecure one

http://211.174.53.78:81/http://www.mastercard.com/us/personal/en/cardholderservices/securecode/enroll.htm?sid=f512c549dea5b5bd341a1f97b2a2bc93

Click on it and you get a page requesting a bunch of personal information to “confirm” your identity. There are some screenshots here detailing the hoax.

I was suspicious to begin with, so I googled “phishing MasterCard Security Team” and voila — found the hoax. Even if I had clicked on the link, I would have been forewarned by McAfee Site Advisor (I have the highly recommended Firefox plugin).

If you get a phishing scam like this, don’t delete the e-mail right off. First forward the e-mail to pirt@castlecops.com. Castlecops tracks phishing, malware, and other internet evil and alerts and nags ISPs to stop abetting them.

Then, if you have Gmail, make sure you tap the “Report Spam” button.

End of PSA.





Welcome Zach!

8 12 2007

A shout out to the newest addition to the Schantz clan. Looks like e will have lots of little buddies to play with.





Nerds Shopping

29 08 2007





Hazarding a Good Idea

26 08 2007

When I found my “personality DNA” to be Creative Inventor, I wondered, bemusedly, how my mother might take that labeling.

My dad is a frustrated inventor. He used to be a mechanic and was always good with picking things apart and seeing how they work. I remember his first driving lesson to me involved a terse tutorial on the transmission systems of most cars.

He’s also a man of many ideas and the desire to earn money and recognition from one or more of those ideas. Unfortunately, he’s never had much help navigating the byzantine patenting system of this country and never got an offer to manufacture and market one of his prototypes for the masses. Furthermore, he’s found out the hard way what a money pit pursuing those opportunities can be.

That’s why I like being an intra-preneur than an entrepreneur. I like working in a stable system in which I can channel my minor needs to innovate without putting at risk a steady paycheck and work environment. Teaching provides me with enough independence and control to satisfy my creative urges without going mad.

A friend of mine recently confided to me a really great, simple idea. The kind of thing that really can make somebody somewhere a lot of money. No, I can’t share it with you, but for his sake, I’d like to post the following two links:

Innovation quote of the day
Companies Invite Product Suggestions (some warnings and tips)

I wish him, and you, luck.