From the "People Are Dumb" Files
Swiss Spaghetti Harvest
In what is Boese's all-time favorite Hoax, on April 1, 1957 the British Broadcasting Company (BBC) aired on television a report on the news show Panorama about the bumper spaghetti harvest in southern Switzerland. Viewers watched Swiss farmers pull pasta off spaghetti trees as the show's anchor Richard Dimbleby attributed the bountiful harvest to the mild winter and the disappearance of the spaghetti weevil. He detailed the ins and outs of the life of the spaghetti farmer and anticipated questions about how spaghetti grows on trees. Thousands of people believed the report and called the BBC to inquire about growing their own spaghetti trees to which the BBC replied, "place a sprig of spaghetti in a tin of tomato sauce and hope for the best."
"It [was] a great satirical effect about British society," said Boese. "British society really was like that at that time. The British have a tendency to be a bit insulated and do not know that much about the rest of Europe."
(Courtesy National Geographic's April Fools' Special: History's Hoaxes)
Monday, December 29, 2003
From the "People Are Dumb" Files
Posted by A at 12:57 PM
Monday, December 22, 2003
So I just noticed today that Ofoto is shrinking my photos, and consequently they're not coming out as well as the originals. I shrunk the photos down to 7x10 and 10x7 and the resolution is perfect, but Ofoto is making them something like 4x6, with no way to fix it, and frankly it's pissing me off.
Yet another thing I have to try and remedy. For now anyway, Alex, here is a picture of me. Frankly, by now the makeover has kind of worn off (i.e. I'm due for another eyebrow waxing and my 3-inch roots are kinda ghetto), but I suppose I probably look different from the last time you saw me. I mean, at least I have hair now!
A note about the first set of pics (the cemetery/monastery walk).. You'll probably notice they're a bit bleached out. This is because the flash kept going off, even though it was daylight, and it took me some time to realize it was messing with the quality and vividness of my shots. Then it took me a bit longer to figure out how to turn the flash off. But you'll notice the pictures look better once I did.
Posted by A at 5:26 AM
Sunday, December 21, 2003
After like three days of wrangling and trying to get my photos uploaded (and then discovering the incredibly small image limit on the site where I'd previously had my gallery), I finally conceded and uploaded them all to ofoto.com.
I hadn't wanted to use Ofoto because while trying to view my mom's pics ages ago, I was annoyed at having to register. But it is by far the easiest (as in I can upload all my pics at once) and they apparently will host my billions of pictures.
Fair warning, I have taken a ton of photos. However, if you'd like to see them, they're here.
My mom only has dialup, as well as a Mac from the caveman days, so it took about three hours to get what I had up. I'll put captions up later, when Mom isn't yelling at me about tying up the phone line/racking up her phone bill (no monthly service fee, but a cost of like 20 cents a minute).
Hope you like them.. there are even more to come!
Posted by A at 1:03 PM
Friday, December 19, 2003
Or something. Between my mom, my little sister, and jet lag, I've had absolutely no opportunity to be online. I fear it's going to be like this for most of my trip, which kind of sucks because I was looking forward to blogging while I'm here.
I got the digital camera, though the damn thing wouldn't work at first. I was a little pissed because I admit one of the highlights of my trip here was getting the camera, and even though my mom swore the camera worked the last time she checked, I didn't believe her because she has a habit of pawning off broken or semi-working things on me. Like the $400 Nikon camera with a broken film loader that she gave me about six years ago that I haven't ever gotten fixed due to lack of money. Or the Cuisinart I lugged back last year that works, but in order for it to work, I need to get a new bowl.
The digital camera seemed to have a major problem, at least the troubleshooting section defined the error I was getting as firmware corruption, so it seemed to me like I was getting another broken camera that I'd have to get fixed. But amazingly, my mom, who has even less fortune with electronics than I do, got it to work.
This was last night, so I have no pictures as of yet, but I have plans to go on some photo hunts, and I'll be creating an Italy folder in my photo gallery. When I get that all set up, I'll be sure to post the link here.
Other than that, nothing terribly interesting has happened. I went to Genoa today with my mom's husband, Angelo, to go to the dentist. It's been four years since I last went, and I had a jagged hole in one of my molars for the longest time. The dentist in Genoa is very much like an American dentist, which is a good thing, and he patched me up in 20 minutes with hardly any drilling and no novacaine.
The great news is that it wasn't really a cavity, as I'd believed, it was just an old filling that had fallen out. He basically cleaned it out a little inside and put a filling in it, and that was that. I'm quite pleased, as you might imagine, to not have this gaping canyon in my tooth anymore, and it feels infinitely better. Plus I didn't have any other cavities that he noticed, which absolutely amazes me, since it's been so long since I last visited a dentist.
I was given some melatonin pills by my mom's best friend, to help me get over the jet lag faster, and though I normally don't buy into that kind of thing, I really am very surprised at how much better I sleep and how much more rested I feel in the morning. I skipped one night because I forgot, and I was really cranky and tired the next day. The two times I did take it, I've felt totally rested, even though last night I only got seven hours of sleep and usually if I get less than ten, I'm not quite as functional as I could be. So yeah, melatonin gets a thumbs-up from me.
And that's about it for now. Hopefully I'll have some pictures soon!
Geile and super+sharp greetings..
Posted by A at 5:16 AM
Saturday, December 13, 2003
Free Porn, German-Style
I have no idea who this person is, but I received an incredibly long email in German today and since it didn't appear to be your standard spam email, I thought what the hell and I had Babelfish translate it. Most of us know that Babelfish is not infallible and often leaves words untranslated, but in this case, it translated enough for me to get the gist of the message.
And because I find it incredibly amusing as well as totally random, I'm going to post the translated email here. Note: The fellow didn't bother with paragraphs, so I'm adding them to avoid a wall-of-text and to make this more readable.
Date: Sat, 13 Dec 2003 06:19:10 EST
Subject: Re: Schon mal ein schönes Wochenende für DichSipae (Already times a beautiful weekend for DichSipae)
thanks for your answer. I was pleased really very much about it. You see condemned well out and are a super+sharp Mrs. whom I absolutely meeting and geil spoil would like. I will not call these 0190, because it is much too expensive and eh only Abzocke. If you have really large interest to one or more geilen DATES with me, then you give me another telephone number. You can call me in addition, 0171/8886014. I burn on it you now finally geil and something versaut to spoil.
Now you get also ne small geile fantasy of me. I hope both it you and you announce myself as fast as possible again to me, so that we can meet as fast as possible. A little of it and like I our Zusammensein introduce myself, would like to write I you. I may it it you with the hand to the high point bring, may not if you it any longer bear can, because your kitzler zerplatzt soon.
I would like you completely sachte there with the hand to wichsen, as if it would be the cock of a man. I love it, if my tongue slides by your column. I hope you am moved to already have before the Bumsen many high points. Then I would like to fill out your grotte with my large tail, until you get my whole charge. Afterwards you take it again into your geilen mouth and he become again larger. My acorn leaking or with the lips sachte my foreskin moves. Then you must ride on me. Slowly nearly without movement, your muscles to only play let see and to me thereby in the face. Experience, as slowly, nearly too slowly a further high point initiates themselves. Over if I squirt you at your Grottenwaende. Then I would like to stroke you and with you kuscheln, in order to enjoy the aftereffects from the evenly experienced one to.
You play then with my desire donor slackened. You put downward with the head beside me and kiss and mass mean bag. Your legs are opened thereby and you feel half like you the dear juice from your hole run. You discharges of my bag and strokes themselves. You lift your Titten and squeeze her together and dear food you your nipples with your tongue. You make it for you and nearly forgot that I am also still there. You groan ever more violently. My tail becomes also ever harder. Two of your fingers penetrated correctly into your desire center and you yielded themselves. Ever more violently pushes you now already three fingers into your hole. Your pushing movements with the hand changed over now nearly into rooting in your Lustgrotte. I cannot recognize no more which you actually do. I see myself only yours fast in all directions moving hand in your Fotze.
Suddenly it is so far, enormously groaning and your thighs squeezing together experiences you a high point. You open your legs and pull your hand from your Fotze. I am still very excited. My swollen, rigidly put up tail begins to twitch and my hands knows not in which place of your body it to begin is. I catch to you hot and intimately to kiss. Feel you mean strong pistons at your body. It postpones itself between your legs, over the entrance of your column. My hands play with your chests and I kiss your neck. You wind yourself before desire and renewed excitation.
My stand pushes against your Po, you feels it hard and demanding. I slide like automatically into your Fotze. I am deep in you, hardly move me, then some short, sachte however nevertheless firm impacts. Marvelously. But that is to have been everything? No! I slide slowly out. My hands stroke and knead your Pobacken around them thereby a little to hold apart. Again urge at your Poloch, you it wants also, your body relaxes, you wants it to enjoy, wants my rigid tail to feel. I press more firmly, you discharge small cry, but I had overcome the barrier and am no more to be held. I am completely deeply in you in it.
My movements are even and you can hardly still hold itself. I would like to only squirt. But it lasts longer, longer than with the first time you has both hands at your hole and rubs. I ram you mean stands hard and firmly inside and you believe to shatter. I hold you to the sides and consult your body with impacts additionally to me. Will I mean alike to charge into you to thunder. But now is it so far. We come nearly at the same time. I feel as you me your juice against-squirted. Then we go showering together. But before still is us after nature sparkling wine. We pissen ourselves mutually at the whole body on. Afterwards we shower and go back to the bed before exhaustion to fail to us both the legs and we leaving us to the side to fall. We breathe heavily and we stroke ourselves mutually, to we........ Now you are again at the course! I wait now for your reaction and for your next and hopefully positive answer for our first geiles DATE.
Geile and super+sharp greetings
Posted by A at 2:04 PM
Thursday, December 11, 2003
Wednesday, December 03, 2003
Bring In December, Bring In the Funk
I had a rant all prepared to post on Monday, but I think I left my disk in the computer at the school library, so I have to see about getting that back. November was an interesting -- albeit highly stressful -- month that thankfully is over, and I'm praying that December is better.
For one, tips last month were horrendous. As in worse than our worst time of year, after Christmas and New Years. This is supposed to be our money-making season, but everyone seems to be holding on to every dollar with an iron fist. It's not even a question of working more shifts; during the week, even on a night shift, people have been making like $12 for the entire night. I could work seven nights a week and still not even come close to coming out even.
So it's been very frustrating, because I have been working hard, working extra, pulling split shifts and BDs (which means I start during day shift and work all the way through until dinner business declines), and still have not had enough money to cover all my bills and rent. I've been at a total loss as to what to do, since there is no such thing around here as a better-paying job for me, and I can't seem to find any way to make some extra cash. I mean, one solution would have been to donate plasma for an extra $200 a month, but they deferred me indefinitely, citing that I may have Mad Cow Disease because of my exchange year in France during high school.
That and the fact that finals are next week, this semester is almost over, and I've been facing the fact that I can't register for classes -- or get any financial aid -- without my measles/mumps/rubella immunization records. I had those shots in 8th grade in San Francisco, and I sent to my old school for them, but they never came.
Stress, stress, stress. It kills me that the sole cause of stress in my life is money. If I had money, even just enough to cover everything, I would be so incredibly less stressed. But around here, it's just beyond impossible to get ahead. My motto lately has been: Alena: Always Getting By, Never Getting Ahead. I've honestly been at my limit as to what I can take with all the stress. I've felt completely drowned in it and there really didn't seem to be any option. It's not like I can work more, or even get another job. Can't donate plasma, can't sell crack, can't become a prostitute. What's a girl to do?
So anyway, the other night, I was lying in bed feeling really swamped and depressed -- I had just accidentally erased my entire hard drive -- and I finally just prayed for help. I prayed hard, poured my heart out, asked for some relief to my financial quagmire, since I do believe I've honestly done all I can do and that there are no options available to me. The odd thing was when I prayed, I felt that someone was listening, and when I finished, I had a real sense of relief.
The next day, I checked the mail before I left for school and I had a satisfyingly thick envelope from my school containing my financial aid/student loan approval package. Everything finally got processed and I'm to get a substantial chunk for both this semester that's ending, and for next. They quoted me a total of $6,675, both financial aid and loan amount for both semester, but I know it's going to be less because I'm currently only half-time. Still, if I get even half of that, it would help me so tremendously.
On top of it, I went to the financial aid office with the envelope to be sure I did everything right on the form they wanted me to return, and I found out that if I get my MMR shots within the week, I can pick up my financial aid check for this semester next week. Next week! It honestly could not be a better time.
I'm going to Italy over the holidays, as I mentioned, which means I'll have to drive up to Pittsburgh to get to the airport. I was very concerned about this, not only because it's been so long since anyone looked at my car that I'm afraid it'll die on the way up there, but also because my car is totally illegal still and I'm petrified to drive, lest I get pulled over and they take my car away. So this financial aid check will mean that I can get my car registered and insured before I leave, and most likely I can also have someone take a look at it and make sure it's running all right.
Before anyone yells at me about misspending my aid, let me point out first that my tuition was paid up front and I have been waiting to be reimbursed. Also, technically, I think I'm allowed to spend my aid on transportation costs. At least, I'm allowed to spend my loan money on things like transportation costs and living expenses, and that, to me, includes maintenance of the vehicle that gets me to school. Unlike my psycho ex, who, amongst other things, used $300 of her student loan money on a down comforter, I don't plan to abuse any of my aid or loan money. I recognize what an absolute gift it is -- thank you taxpayers -- and I plan to use it very wisely. You won't see me buying a car or down comforter or anything like that. I will use it to help me get by and try to save what I don't spend so I have a bit of a financial buffer should anything go wrong.
So, on one hand, I feel a tremendous relief. I still have all the problems looming and no cash in hand, which is why my relief isn't complete. I think also because I don't know exactly how much I'm getting, and that I won't have the loan money until January or so, I'm still a little worried. But my tuition was over $600, plus I spent about $150 on books, so I figure I should get at least that, and if that's the case, that should cover everything I need to cover right now. If it looks like I don't have much left over once I take care of my overdue bills and car stuff, I will put my ticket on hold until I get my loan money. I have until January 17th or something, anyway, and my second round of financial aid should come through around that time.
I'm thankful -- no, extremely grateful -- for this bit of providence. God, the universe, whatever you want to call it, does look out for us and will provide for us if we live good lives and have faith. It's hard sometimes having faith that the universe will provide for you, no matter what, especially when it seems like you're stuck with no way out. However, if you don't have faith, you have nothing.
I leave for Italy on the 15th, and I'll be gone until January 7th. My mom has internet, though, so I'll likely be blogging from the winter storm-swept Mediterranean coast over the holidays and filling you all in on the nothing that happens in Monterosso during this time of the year. :)
Plus I will have my mom's digital camera finally, so I'll be able to take all sorts of pictures.
Posted by A at 2:08 PM