Fun_People Archive
1 Jun
Fun_People Updates 6/1/98

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From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Mon,  1 Jun 98 02:06:51 -0700
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Subject: Fun_People Updates 6/1/98

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Fun_People Updates 6/1/98

From: Jens Alfke <>
Re: Microsoft getting desperate? ( wrote:
>The LA Times uncovers a plan by Microsoft to make it look like
>they have public support, by planting fake letters and articles in
>magazines and newspapers.

I smell a great topic for a contest (like Salon's biweekly "21st challenge"):
submit the funniest such faux-vox-pop letter. Sure, there's the standard
letter to the editor of a daily newspaper, but consider also these *totally*
unsolicited letters sent by *genuine* Microsoft enthusiasts to some more
special-interest publications:

Soldier Of Fortune:
"I was reading PC Magazine while cleaning and oiling my assault rifle in
the Rwandan jungle, and I started thinking about how instrumental MICROSOFT
and its quality operating system and application software products are in
holding back the spectre of leftist aggression from our beloved US of A.
[...] Here's my ten point plan for a terrorist campaign against the
so-called "Justice" Department [...]"

Penthouse Forum:
"I have to tell you about the incredible experience with MICROSOFT products
I recently had: I was alone in the living room, wearing only my torn Jockey
shorts due to the heat, breathlessly tearing the shrinkwrap off of the new
Windows 98, when my neighbor's foxy 18-year-old daughter came over in her
thong bikini to ask me to rub suntan lotion on her back.  [...] The sight
of her rubbing her tight ass against the 24x CD caddy of my surging dual-
300MHz-Pentium box [...] we moaned in ecstasy as the new "Windows 98 sound"
played [...] I'd like to personally thank Bill Gates for bringing me such
an afternoon of hot, wet sex and amazing new productivity features."

I'd include some more letters to Tiger Beat, Martha Stewart Living and
the Baffler, but it's getting late. I gotta go...

__________                                             __________________
Jens Alfke                                   

From: (Harley Ferguson)
Re: Mr. Hankey the Christmas Poo


There was a piece of talking excrement on Japanese TV for quite awhile
several years ago, but i don't remember the details, fortunately.

Come to think of it, there are a lot of "talento" (Japanese for no-talent
TV personalities) that are only one cut above a talking turd.

From: Dave Grossman <>
Re: Mr. Hankey the Christmas Poo

A brief history of poo that didn't make the big time

The first talking poo I can distinctly remember seeing was in the 1987 film
"Twilight of the Cockroaches," a brilliant piece by Japanese writer/director
Hiroaki Yoshida.  This poo didn't sing or dance, however:  it just sat there
and dispensed sage advice, which may account for its failure to rise to the
mega-star status of Mr Hankey.

I believe there was also a talking poo bit on "The Bill and Clay Show," a
Santa Cruz public access program, around 1995 or so.  Nearly as far from
the big time as you can get, although the show did win a WAVE award.

  Dave Grossman, keeping you informed about the important matters

Re: ... there are kids who will do a denial of serice attack for free.
Forwarded-by: Nev Dull <>
Forwarded-by: (David C Lawrence)
Forwarded-by: Angus McIntyre <>
From: [MacInTouch reader]
Subject: MS Exchange war story

In MS Exchange is the MS for "Multiple Sclerosis?" When [big publication]
installed MS Exchange, as usual in a management-MS-bedazzlement technical
blonde moment without input from the techies, it not only took mail down
but they also came within a hairsbreadth of not publishing a paper. To put
that in perspective, the San Francisco papers just barely published after
the devastating earthquake, so the installation of Exchange could be a
disaster of similar magnitude for you too!

The problem was evidently that either the version of Exchange they installed
would not run over TCP/IP, or the (microsoft-recommended) consultant didn't
know how to do it. TCP/IP are standard internet protocols; however,
according to Mr Borg here, NetBEUI was "far superior, because it's from
Microsoft and not some bunch of ponytailed losers in Berkeley." (Actually,
he was wrong about that too, because IBM is guilty of this particular
abomination). NetBEUI replaces both layers of the internet protocols, but
as it is innocent of any routing information it was never made to be used
on a routed network. So the Borg-man called Microsoft. "Simple," they said.
"Just turn on bridging on all your routers." On a 1000-2000 node network
mind you. By now any professional network engineer reading this will
probably be hooting, but for the rest of you, doing this ensures that every
broadcast packet must go to every corner of your network - and both NetBEUI
and AppleTalk spew broadcast packets like Gatling guns throw bullets. Every
collision light in the place came on. And stayed on. Nothing, data-wise,
went nowhere.  Don't cash those advertisers' checks yet!

They got the network working again after hours of panic by turning bridging
(and therefore, Exchange) off again. The next day this entire sad episode
happened again in exactly the same sequence. This incident was repeated for
four days, like a terribly bad off-Broadway play that refuses to close.
Finally someone called their primary systems vendor, whose network engineers
said in effect, "You did WHAT!!??! Well, what did you EXPECT to happen?"
They came onsite and provided a brief TCP/IP class to the befuddled
consultant, who backed Exchange off until he was sure he had a version that
could run over TCP/IP. [Readers] got their paper, [publication] got their
ad money, Microsoft got closer to its desired 90% non-monopoly, the
consultant got paid - wholly undeserved, if you ask me, there are kids who
will do a denial of serice attack for free - and now uses [publication] as
a "success story" in soliciting new business, all the while hoping the mark
doesn't call for a reference.

And Exchange? Oh. Exchange is running, sort of. It's up several days a week
and has never been down for even two full weeks (beats GE's experience).
Week and a half, yeah. [...]

Re: Yet Another List of Suspicious "Facts" - about sex, this time
Forwarded-by: Bob Stein <>
From: Bill Tomczak <>

>Average number of times a man will ejaculate in his lifetime: 7,200
Does that mean I'm done, or dead?

>Average # of times he will ejaculate from masturbation: 2,000
Wow, that means I've lived at least two or three lifetimes!

>Average total amount of lifetime ejaculate: 14 gallons
Somehow this reminds me of going out to buy a gallon of milk. Except now I
feel sick.

>Cost of a year's supply of condoms: $100
Are these being used as balloons?

>Odors that increase blood flow to the penis: lavender, licorice, chocolate,
>doughnuts, pumpkin pie
mmmmmmm..... donuts.......

Bill Tomczak

Re: Hank the Angry, Drunken Dwarf
Forwarded-by: Nev Dull <>
Forwarded-by: Jonathan Young <>
Forwarded-by: Declan McCullagh <>
****** / The Netly News / Afternoon Line
April 28, 1998

Beauty and the Beast

   The People magazine poll of the world's most beautiful individuals is
   a perennial crowd-pleaser that even folks who claim not to be
   interested can't help but peek at. This year they're voting online for
   the top 50, and the battle is yielding some unusual results. So who's
   the fairest of them all, the cynosure of cyberspace -- Julia?
   Leonardo? Gillian Anderson? Well, no, no and no. According to the
   chart -- before People pulled the plug for "maintenance" -- the top
   vote-getter was... Hank, the Angry Drunken Dwarf. Sorry, Kate, Denzel
   and Wil. It's dwarf time! So what gives, you ask? The Hank campaign
   was started on Usenet by fans of Howard Stern, on which Hank is a
   recurring character, and as it picked up momentum others began to see
   the piquant social commentary one could make by elevating Hank to the
   empyrean heights reserved for the likes of George Clooney. The tide
   turned dramatically in favor of the irascible inebriated imp in the
   past day or so, and before the plug was pulled, the Hankphiles had
   prevailed -- final tally: Hank the Angry Drunken Dwarf, 5,093 votes;
   Leonardo DiCaprio, 4,337; Michelle Kwan, 2,597; Faye Wong, 2,544; Kate
   Winslet, 2,361. (My personal favorite, the ineffable Gong Li, was not
   in the top 20.) But of course putting a spotlight on obscure radio
   personalities isn't really what the poll is about, so when access to
   the standings resumes you can expect to see a Hank-less roster.

From: Marc Cohen <>
Re: It's up to 55,647 plus....


In view of the problem you point out:

 Okay, I count 733+528+482+440+294 = 2,477 people who can't cut-and-paste a
 name without making a mistake...  But at least they're trying!

People mag has now updated their ballot -- with a radio button (down at
the bottom) for Hank.  And the total has reached 60,247 as of 2:15 pm PDT
4/29/98 (not counting all the various write-ins you noted).  We're winning
going away!


Re: A worthy cause
From: Russell Nelson <>

Anne Merritt writes:
 > Hey!  Hank is winning!  The message board moderator is
 > threatening to remove him from the votes, claiming that
 > robots (which are supposed to cause a penalty) are
 > driving the voting.

They rolled over and played dead.  Hank the Angry, Drunken Dwarf is now one
of the checkbox choices.  One of the comments on the phenom by a Slashdot
( reader follows:

Flash Crowd
         by Robert Crawford ( on 11:36:48 04/28/1998

	 A week or two ago, I read somewhere that Niven's prediction about
	 flash crowds was coming true. He predicted that, if we had cheap,
	 instantaneous teleporters, then anything the least bit interesting
	 would quickly draw a crowd and, probably, get out of hand. He even
	 postulated a "Permanent Floating Riot Club" that would take
	 advantage of the crowds.

         The votes for Hank are a flash crowd in action. It's cool to watch...

From: Michael Travers <>
Hank the dwarf == Harry Smith?

I wonder: is Hank really the late musicologist and animator Harry Smith?
Smith was often described as short, intense, often angry and even more often
under the influence of some intoxicant or another. He's best known as the
assembler of the influential Anthology of American Folk Music, which pretty
much singlehandedly started the 60s folk music revival. Among his other
distinctions: claiming to have been fathered by Aleistair Crowley; amassing
the world's largest collection of paper airplanes (now in the Smithsonian
Air & Space Museum); and being appointed shaman-in-residence at the Naropa

From: Jessica Perry Hekman <>
Re: A worthy cause

On Tue, 28 Apr 1998, Anne Merritt wrote:

> This is pretty amazing.  An online magazine trolls for
> votes for its survey, and then when it doesn't like the
> results, it "cooks" the votes.  Although Hank the Angry,
> Drunken Dwarf is beating Lenny De Cap by 2-1, what are
> the odds he'll get any credit for it?

I heard a rumor that People has "already printed the cover of the issue in
question, and it has Leonardo on it." I note, however, that the web page
only promises that the "top ten winners will be announced and featured in
a special photo gallery the same day." I submit that if they don't include
Hank in that announcement, serious action will need to be taken by the
voters :)

From: Jonathan Trudel <>
Re: A worthy cause

If it's who I'm thinking of, Hank is a regular on the Howard Stern radio
show, so Stern's probably urging his listeners to vote.

This is rather reminiscent of a TV guide Poll taken several years back when
Kathie Lee implored her viewers to vote for her.  She won that, so why
shouldn't Hank?


From: Leon Marr <>
Re: A worthy cause

Here's a URL that claims to have started the whole write-in campaign:

A quote: "The voting exploded when Howard talked about the poll Tuesday
morning and allowed a caller to give out the URL, helping to diminish the
large lead between 4th and 1st place which was a gap of well over 2000


From: Reto Lichtensteiger <>
Re: A worthy cause

Anne Merritt wrote:

A number of websites associated with the Windoze RPG wargame "Myth: The
Fallen Lords" have heard about Hank, and assuming he must be a Myth
character [1] are plugging the campaign ...


[1] Myth does Internet multiplayer as well has having an entire game
    arena sponsored by the creators
[2] T'only other places that commonly do email footnotes are well
    populated by sysadmins ... [4]
[3] Unreferenced footnote.  Core dump.
[4] The convention started on ASR, IIRC
R A Lichtensteiger -or-

From: Anne Merritt <>
RE: A worthy cause

There's now a Mr. Showbiz article about the thumping Lenny's getting.
Apparently the online editor is going to make a visit to Sterno's show.

Anne Marie

From: Andrew Mack <>
Re: It's up to 55,647 plus.... -Reply

As of 7:44 a.m., EST, 4/30/98

Here are the latest results:

1.Hank the Angry, Drunken Dwarf, 141721 votes
2.Leonardo DiCaprio, 7012 votes
3.Flasher #6 from, 6271 votes
4.Gillian Anderson, 4651 votes
5.Faye Wong, 4489
6.Michelle Kwan, 4187
7.Madonna, 4048
8.Kate Winslet, 3772
9.DPK, 2417
10.Hanson, 2261
11.Hudson Leick, Callisto, 2205
12.Linda Comer, 2186
13.Garett Maggart, 1874
14.John Linnell, 1468
15.Hank the Angry, Drunken Dwarf , 1094
16.Roy Dupuis, 1037
17.Roger Howarth, 1005
18.Sarah Michelle Gellar, 885
19.Lucy Lawless, 879
20.Hank the angry, drunken dwarf, 649

From: "S. Dickson" <>
Re: Hank's latest votes:

Ok, the latest votes for Hank the Angry, Drunken Dwarf follows (As of
10:30 AM EST, Thursday, 4/30/98):

1.Hank the Angry, Drunken Dwarf, 150036 votes
2.Leonardo DiCaprio, 7161 votes
3.Gillian Anderson, 4795 votes
4.Faye Wong, 4624 votes
5.Michelle Kwan, 4235
6.Madonna, 4120
7.Kate Winslet, 3855
8.DPK, 2419
9.Hanson, 2277
10.Linda Comer, 2223
11.Hudson Leick, Callisto, 2205
12.Garett Maggart, 1925
13.John Linnell, 1591
14.Hank the Angry, Drunken Dwarf , 1141
15.Roy Dupuis, 1051
16.Sarah Michelle Gellar, 1024
17.Roger Howarth, 1008
18.Lucy Lawless, 947
19.Hank the angry, drunken dwarf, 656
20.Crystal Gayle, 646

Re: new airline carryon rules
Forwarded-by: Paul Hostetter <>
Forwarded-by: (patti rivinus)

OK folks:

Anybody tried to take a violin on an airplane recently?  A violin case is
now considered oversized and MUST be stored in the hold along with the dogs
and cats, or you have to buy an extra seat for it.  These rules have come
down from the FAA so it's all airlines.  I just went through two nightmare
experiences and at least, as a fiddle paster, I can take the strings and
post down.  But how about players?

Write your congresspeople, any editors you know, anybody of influence.  I've
written an arts editor at the NY Times whom I know and have written to Mary
VanClay at Strings.  Someone with connections should write Strad and any
other important person who might have influence.  This is going to adversely
affect every string player who ever uses an airplane.

David Rivinus

From: jordan@Thinkbank.COM (Jordan Hayes)
Re:  Oops!  Password Security

I once was the first person off a plane at JFK coming in from Paris, and
caught the Customs dudes off-guard.  As one of them scrambled over to the
desk, he started to log in and said "Oh, sorry ... just one minute while I
type my mother's maiden name ..."


From: Eric Herrmann <>
Re: Quality with a capital "K"

Regarding the recent:

> From: the liner notes of Ben Folds Five, 'Whatever and Ever, Amen,'
>1997, Sony/Epic/Caroline.

While we're on the subject of truth in liner notes...

>From the CD, Big Black, Songs about fucking:

"this compact disk is made from analog masters recorded without noise
reduction. half the tracks in fact were recorded in a dismal cheap basement
eight-track studio with puddles of water on the floor. digital technology
will now faithfully reproduce those noisy, low-fi, unprofessional masters
for you at great expense. feel stupid yet?"

(C) 1987 Big Black
(P) Touch and go records

From: "Stephen Nelson" <>
Re: What kind of cranial dispersal?

no doubt the same copywriters who say "some features not available in all

Re: Traditional Values (for pi)
Forwarded-by: "Blech, Kerry E" <>
From: 	Joyce Cauthen[SMTP:"jcauthen"]

Do you know how true this is? The author sure knows what's going on in
Alabama.  Our governor sent this long rambling brief to the Supreme Court
saying essentially that their rulings have no jurisdiction over Alabama and
thus we do not have to pay attention to separation of church and state.
Judges can make people pray in courtrooms and teachers can make their
children pray.  He is a total screwball--worse than the primitive baptist
Amway salesman that was forced to resign as Governor because of misuse of
campaign funds--who now is pardoned and running again on a platform that we
need more Alzheimer's research!  I wish I was making this up.

Re: Microsoft
Forwarded-by: "m.b.komor" <>
Forwarded-by: "Glenn R. Stone" <>
[YESSSSS!!!  Proof positive that the pseudo-OS out of Redmond is truly a POS,
 when their own engineers can't make it run...  --gs]

Author:  <censored>

  Read it and weep (or sing praises, depending upon where you keep your digs)

  " Solaris calls Hotmail shots for Microsoft" (Mag Net, April 22, 1998 -
  search on 'Hotmail')

  Abstract: "Microsoft has decided to get the hots for Sun and is using
  Solaris to run its acclaimed Hotmail web-based e-mail service instead of NT.
  The software giant has attempted to exchange the Sun/Solaris infrastructure
  of Hotmail with NT since buying it in December 1997. However, the demands of
  supporting 10 million users reportedly proved too great for NT, and Solaris
  was reinstated...."

From: "Ford Prefect" <>
Re: Microsoft

The Universities of Microsoft

 by Mitch Stone*

Is the grand old tradition of academic independence in higher education
dead? It may be under assault from many quarters, but it is nowhere more
directly threatened by corporate meddling than at the public universities
in Idaho, Texas and Indiana.

We'd already learned that Microsoft hands out cash rewards to professors
willing to tout Microsoft products in their academic programs, and offers
a $10,000 stipend to "Microsoft Scholars" who "advise" Microsoft on how to
win academic accounts. But these efforts directed towards replacing
educational integrity with corporate opportunism are almost benign in
comparison to those being undertaken in Idaho, Texas and Indiana.

A web site at Idaho State University's Business School offers free course
materials to instructors wishing to teach Internet site development.
Ironically, the home page displays "junk" characters at the bottom of the
left-hand frame -- not a good example for a site that purports to offer
materials on proper design.

What's disturbing about the site, however, is the statement on the main page
that the course material has a "focus on Microsoft technology" and is
"sponsored" by Microsoft. The main page also contains Microsoft's
advertising "buttons" for Internet Explorer and BackOffice. Since when do
academic sites at public institutions carry advertising?

Indeed, the list of tools for the course features no non-Microsoft products.
In fact, the description states that "since the course is Microsoft-centric,
each module is focused on a particular Microsoft tool or technology."

The course materials visible from the main page include "Suggested
readings." There are only two: Fred Brooks' classic book The Mythical Man
Month, and a book from Microsoft Press on Microsoft's proprietary products,
OLE and ActiveX, though ActiveX is considered by many to be dangerous to
use in Web design due to its serious security problems. The suggested
reading list includes no books on HTML, TCP/IP, Perl, Java, or other
essential elements of modern Web design.

Does this sound like a well-rounded -- or even adequate -- course in Web
site design that an ethical and conscientious instructor would want to

In order to register to use the materials, one must fill out a "nomination"
form. But if one tries to access the form with Netscape Navigator, it proves

More interesting still, the "Disclaimer and Copyright" page at the Idaho
State University site says that the materials are copyrighted by the
University of Texas at Austin. A search using the AltaVista search engine
and a few key words returned a virtually identical site at the University
of Texas Austin business school -- complete with the same Microsoft
advertising banners. (The home page even had the same bugs that produced
the junk characters.)

And it turns out that Microsoft's has its hooks sunk even more deeply into
the UT business school. A recent decree handed down by the University of
Texas business graduate school compels students to buy or lease a Dell
notebook running Windows NT.

According to Larry Leibrock, chief technology officer for the graduate
school of business, "The idea is for students to use the same technology
that corporate America is using ... when they get to the real world, we want
them to have zero start-up time." This, in face of the well known
unsuitabilities of Windows NT for use on notebooks, and the obvious fact
that Windows is likely to be revised radically at least once before the
typical student moves from admission to graduation.

A polite e-mail inquiry questioning the wisdom of this edict resulted in
this terse reply from Mr. Leibrock:

In view of the fact that I believe that you are not affiliated in any way
with the University of Texas or the Business School, I formally ask that
you do not send me this type of email message ... I can reasonably infer
that your email is threatening to our students, faculty and staff. [In
accordance] with Texas Statutes I am requesting that you do not continue to
send such email to me ... If you fail to comply, I will seek remedial

Very interesting. Perhaps the president of the university, the governor of
Texas, or the Texas Attorney General (who is investigating Microsoft for
anti-competitive practices) should question Mr. Leibrock about his decidedly
closed mind on the subject.

Another troubling page is found on the Indiana State University "Academic
Cooperative" site. The page titled "Resources" provides nothing but links
to Microsoft-related sites. These include Microsoft Developer Network News,
Microsoft's "PressPass" PR site, a Microsoft "registration wizard" that
gathers personal data, case studies describing the use of Microsoft products
in academia -- even MSNBC. Odd, but there's not a single reference on this
page to any other software company that might provide solutions for

Yet another page on the same site hawks Microsoft products, and a link at
the bottom steers readers to "our" Web site. A click on the link reveals
that it goes to Microsoft's "Developer Store" site. This fact alone implies
that the site is, in fact, run by or for Microsoft -- at taxpayer expense.
But that's not all: Indiana State University recently consummated a
comprehensive deal with Microsoft to force Microsoft products on the entire
student body as a matter of official policy.

If these sorts of corporate entanglement were limited to private
universities, the issues would be mainly confined to questions of academic
integrity. But the universities of Texas, Indiana and Idaho are public
institutions supported by public dollars -- and are nevertheless being
transformed into unabashed billboards, captive markets and training grounds
for Microsoft.

How long can the tradition of academic independence in universities -- one
of the most valued qualities of our most cherished institutions -- survive
an onslaught of Microsoft dollars aimed squarely at prejudicing faculty and
decision makers, and denying students access to a realistic range of

The professors and administrators who are happily warping their curricula
and purchasing policies to coincide with Microsoft's corporate agenda should
recognize, before it is too late, the damage this does, not only to their
credibility as educators, but ultimately to the futures of their students.
For it is the proper role of universities, public and private, to instill
in its students the life skills of critical thinking, not the subservience
of corporate fealty.

*Some of the material contained in this article was prepared by an
individual who prefers to remain anonymous.

(c) 1998 Moral Highground Productions

first posted: 24 April 1998
last revised: never

Re: Microsoft - Interesting Quote.
Forwarded-by: "Ford Prefect" <>
From: Bart Dorsey <>

We build confusing systems. That's true in the software and true in the
hardware. The number of questions that we get on our support lines imply
that we together haven't done a very good job. The questions I get from my
mother imply we haven't done a very good job.  Systems don't function out
of the box. We actually did a few surveys where we went and  bought systems,
and we were surprised at how many, you plug them in and they actually didn't
work. That's going to give us all a very bad reputation.  If you upgrade
the software or hardware, it's way too difficult.
		- JIM ALLCHIN, Microsoft Senior Vice President

Re: 9-0-#  Phone Scam
Forwarded-by: "Peter Rodes (SPS)" <>

You can find official info on this on the AT&T web site:

From: "James S. Tyre" <>
Re: "There is no one so high or so low as to escape the . . ."

At 08:58 PM 5/10/98 -0700, Peter Langston wrote:
>WASHINGTON, DC (FPI) - In a move that Washington insiders have dubbed "Starr
>Raving Mad", Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr subpoenaed God today.

Hmm.  Reminds me of a real case, which might amuse you if you don't already
know of it.

-Jim Tyre


         UNITED STATES ex rel. Gerald  MAYO  v.  SATAN  AND HIS STAFF


                                 54 F.R.D. 282

                                December 3, 1971

                                 MEMORANDUM ORDER

   WEBER, District Judge.

   Plaintiff, alleging jurisdiction under 18 U.S.C. @ 241, 28 U.S.C. @ 1343,
and 42 U.S.C. @ 1983 prays for leave to file a complaint for violation of
his civil rights in forma pauperis. He alleges that Satan has on numerous
occasions caused plaintiff misery and unwarranted threats, against the will
of plaintiff, that Satan has placed deliberate obstacles in his path and
has caused plaintiff's downfall.

   Plaintiff alleges that by reason of these acts Satan has deprived him of
his constitutional rights.

   We feel that the application to file and proceed in forma pauperis must
be denied. Even if plaintiff's complaint reveals a prima facie recital of
the infringement of the civil rights of a citizen of the United States, the
Court has serious doubts that the complaint reveals a cause of action upon
which relief can be granted by the court.  We question whether plaintiff
may obtain personal jurisdiction over the defendant in this judicial
district. The complaint contains no allegation of residence in this
district. While the official reports disclose no case where this defendant
has appeared as defendant there is an unofficial account of a trial in New
Hampshire where this defendant filed an action of mortgage foreclosure as
plaintiff. The defendant in that action was represented by the preeminent
advocate of that day, and raised the defense that the plaintiff was a
foreign prince with no standing to sue in an American Court. This defense
was overcome by overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Whether or not this
would raise an estoppel in the present case we are unable to determine at
this time.

   If such action were to be allowed we would also face the question of
whether it may be maintained as a class action. It appears to meet the
requirements of Fed.R. of Civ.P. 23 that the class is so numerous that
joinder of all members isimpracticable, there are questions of law and fact
common to the class, and the claims of the representative party is typical
of the claims of the class. We cannot now determine if the representative
party will fairly protect the interests of the class.

   We note that the plaintiff has failed to include with his complaint the
required form of instructions for the United States Marshal for directions
as to service of process.

   For the foregoing reasons we must exercise our discretion to refuse the
prayer of plaintiff to proceed in forma pauperis.

   It is ordered that the complaint be given a miscellaneous docket number
and leave to proceed in forma pauperis be denied.


I find it interesting that the Court stated that proper forms for directing
proof of service were not included.  You see, there were included
instructions, and they were about as straightforward as one could possibly
be:  in the box captioned "Instructions for Service" the plaintiff had

          "GO TO HELL."

From: Rusty Wright <rusty@groan.Berkeley.EDU>
Re: Dwindling Rights

A bumper sticker I saw today

	Microsoft Windows causes Tourette syndrome

From: Nev Dull <>
Re: Hank the Angry, Drunken Dwarf
        Hank The Angry, Drunken Dwarf of course!

Forwarded-by: Victor the Cleaner <>
From: The New York Times Op-Ed page.

They Might Be Nearsighted

I'm a middle-aged accordion player, and inspecting myself just now I see
that I look tired and badly need a haircut. So you can imagine my confusion
when I got a call last week from the manager of my band telling me that my
name had turned up in People magazine's on-line poll of the most beautiful
people of 1998.

I had already gotten wind of the existence of the poll a few days earlier
when I read that Leonardo DiCaprio had been knocked out of the No.~1 spot
by a dark horse named Hank the Angry, Drunken Dwarf. The on-line voters, it
seemed, had a new, more evolved definition of beauty that gave low marks to
standard celebrity good looks. What they really valued was a person's inner
beauty. Anyway, that's what I told myself as I went on line to see the
results firsthand.

By the time I found the site my name had risen to No.~9, putting me a few
E-votes behind Madonna and Kate Winslet and just above Sarah Michelle
Gellar, star of the television program "Buffy the Vampire Slayer." Hank the
Dwarf was still No.~1, sailing far above Leonardo, and another surprise
candidate named Ric Flair was ascending fast. Ric turned out to be a
professional wrestler with a large and zealous on-line fan base. For his
part, Hank had developed his constituency after appearing on the Howard
Stern show.

What was I doing in such company? I still don't know who was voting for me,
although it seems possible that one computer hacker on a mission could stuff
the ballot box electronically. The band I sing and perform with, They Might
Be Giants, enjoys an audience that probably includes a few loose cannons of
this type.

Once the cannonball got rolling, though, it seemed to gain momentum among
our on-line fans. My position in the pantheon of beautiful people was thus
assured.  When the final results were posted Monday, I was still ninth, with
4,189 votes, 8 ahead of Buffy and 1,038 behind Madonna. Hank finished with
230,169, more than 200,000 ahead of Ric, his nearest competitor.

It has been suggested that the Internet might be a good way to vote for our
elected officials. If my experience is any guide, though, it appears there
are still a few bugs to be worked out before you'll be able to elect the
next President while sitting at home in your underwear, unless you want
Shecky Greene running the country.

If I had had the choice I might have put myself in a different race -- the
"most interestingly mismatched socks" poll, perhaps. Maybe then I would have
beaten Hank.

John Linnell is a member of They Might Be Giants, whose albums include the
forthcoming "Severe Tire Damage."

From: Dan Peck <>
Re: American Express - More service than you want?


Some followup to the above story.

I spoke to American Express member services at (800)528-4800. They said that
the story in USA Today was not true. I asked if AmEx was going to demand a
retraction, since she indicated that it was NEVER true, as opposed to AmEx
changing its corporate mind. She would not answer except to repeat that "The
story is not true."

I called the Public Affairs department at AE corporate H.Q. It took some
insisting to finally get to speak to someone, but when I did they repeated
(word for word) what the customer service operator said. But the did give
a special phone number set up to handle this complaint [(800)297-6197].

The person at the aforementioned number went with the party line. No one
would explain how USA Today could run a story they claim to be completely
untrue and not be called to task by American Express.

A conjecture: This story is so much like the AOL selling member's phone
numbers to telemarketers story of last year that it's easy to believe that
it went something like this: Some genius in marketing at AmEX dreams up the
notion to sell purchasing profiles. You gotta figure AmEX cardholders are
a juicy prize to marketers. When word gets out, the reaction is so uniformly
negative that the plan has to be scrapped and PR damage control kicks in.
This is exactly what happened to AOL.

It is also reminiscent of the Lotus nationwide marketing directory fiasco
from a few years ago. Lotus was going to sell CD-ROM's with name and address
of everyone in the US, cross-referenced by a number of factors including
annual income (derived from census data for a given zip code).  The public
reaction was widespread and vociferously negative. Lotus announced that they
would establish a toll-free number to allow people to opt-out of the
listing. Supposedly the 800 number registered over half a million calls the
first week. Lotus decided that the administrative costs would be more than
the profits, not to mention the bad PR. They cancelled the project.

If you feel like like letting American Express know how you feel about all
of this, that number again is (800)297-6197.

Re: Fun with Web censorship software

Dear Peter
You may be amused to know what AOL's email software did with your message.
Instead of printing the offending word with all four letters between tag
brackets, it printed the f the c and the k but, because it is html based  it
interpreted the u as an underline command.  So the rest of the email, after
the letter f, was underlined.
Is this unintentional censorship I wonder?<g>
If later versions of html have an f a c and a k command, goodness only knows
what your message would have looked like!
All the best
David :-)

[Thanks, David.  And here's a little treat for all the mail readers that  
think they're web browsers <BLINK><U><I><FONT SIZE=+1 COLOR=#FFCCCC> Oh wow  
man!  The colors!  And everything's, like, melting...  -psl]

Re: Surreal Serialist Serial
From: Dave Yost <>

At 4:54 PM -0700 5/25/98, Jesse Rosenberg wrote:
>MICHELE!!  I am absolutely certain that this is a hoax,

Pretty easy to tell.  No date.

>and a poorly executed one at that.

I thought it was pretty great.  Actually the real way to tell is by knowing
the little-known fact (is it out now? Maybe I'm not supposed to be saying
this) that Schoenberg admitted to a nurse on his deathbed at UCLA Medical
Center that the serial system started out as a hoax, but when people bought
it, he kept it going because he got endless entertainment out of it, all
the more fun because he kept it a deep dark secret.

Of course, really good composers eat serial composers for breakfast.


From: "Kurt-Owen Richards" <>

And Richard Strauss' "Symphonia Domestica" is really a secret recipe for
apple struedel.

From: Daniel Steinberg <>
Re: Bulwar-Lytton

 "Although Sarah had an abnormal fear of mice, it did not keep her from
 seeking out a living at a local pet store."

Shouldn't that be:  'eeking out a living' ??

Re: Surreal Serialist Serial

Forwarded-by: Dave Yost <>
From: Lloyd

I have proof that your "Associated Press" article is a hoax:

          B C D C# A E G# F# F Eb G Bb

Decoding this is pretty obvious, but in case you can't read the resulting
German, I'd like to add my own observation that serial music is much too
rigidly defined to allow the encoding of the essentially random data that
would result from encrypting scientific formulas.  Discoveries by
Heisenberg, especially his Uncertainty Principle, would be much better
hidden in the aleatoric music of John Cage.  Alas, we must continue to
search for an explanation of serial music.


Re: This Year's Bulwar-lytton Prizes

>"Although Sarah had an abnormal fear of mice, it did not keep her from
>seeking out a living at a local pet store."


Could "eeking" be the word you're seeking here?

Best, Joe

From: (Robert Reynolds)
Re: This Year's Bulwar-lytton Prizes

--- You wrote:
"Although Sarah had an abnormal fear of mice, it did not keep her from
seeking out a living at a local pet store."
--- end of quote ---
Bet you a nickel that was "eeking" in the original!


Re: Surreal Serialist Story Serious?
Forwarded-by: George Osner <>
From: Gabriel P. Osner <>

A funny piece with only a few little factual errors...  1) Schoenberg began
using 12-tone technique for his compositions in 1923--a full decade before
the National Socialist Party first won an election, and nearly two decades
before the beginning of Heisenberg's research.  2)The makers of the atom
bomb, the manhattan project, listened almost exclusively to the music of
Varese (apparently they were particularly fond of his piece "Ionisation";
his music, of course, is not serialistic (in any sense, 12-tone or other).
3) Toru Takemitsu was born in 1930, making him all of 15 at the end of WWII.
In any case, his compositions are also decidedly not serialist.  4) That
"[serialism] contains a built-in mathematical refusal to create chords that
are pleasing by traditional standards" is a basic misconception.  The system
itself actually has remarkably little built-into it.  Some composers, most
notably Schoenberg and Webern, set themselves the task of using the system
while at the same time avoiding all references to traditional tonality
(diatonic or chromatic), and thus their music avoids triads, octave
doublings, fifth-relationships between lowest notes.  But one need look no
further than Berg's Violin concerto to see a composition that is thoroughly
12-tone serialist, yet makes regular and overt reference to the sounds of
tonality (though not its functions).  THe row he uses is G Bb D, F# A C, E
G# B, C# D# E# (arranged into trichords to show that the first three groups
of three notes make triads--though unrelated ones--and the last are three
whole steps away from one another.  This row, and Bergs use of it, is so
tonal sounding that he manages to incorporate quotes from Bach's choral "Es
ist genug" into the the second movement without dirupting the stylistic
suface of the piece.  The list of "accepted" composers who have from time
to time used the technique (without avowing that it is the only true road
after Wagner) is almost endless, including Copland, Dallapiccola, Sessions
and many others.

If it is a real article, the AP reporters need to do a bit more homework.
If it's not, it's pretty funny.


Re: Surreal Serialist Story Serious?
From: (Jeff Milman)


this so-called article is utter rubbish.

i'm shocked anyone sat down to write the supposed associated press article
below.  maybe its a hoax.  klaus fuchs was only in contact with russian
agents thru greenglas and rosenberg.   he would never connect with a german
nazi.  he was anti-nazi.   it is vaguely possible, but highly improbable,
and heisenberg did not die until the 1980's and would have wanted to paint
himself as a hero, that heisenberg told fuchs he would sent info via this
technique on the state of nazi experiments if dialog was cut off by war.
fuchs left germany in 1935.

it is also possible, but essentially useless, that messages to real nazi
spies were sent by this unusually imprecise, confusing, insecure and most
importantly content deprived method (not enough bits and bytes for a
seriously detailed message), but most real nazi spies were caught with
special radio sets (nazis were dumb to give their agents special radios;
their hamburg transmitters to their spies worldwide could easily reach
ordinary american dimestore am radios with interband dots and dashes during
hours of darkness;  messages back to germany could have been arranged by
handoffs, dead drops or snail mail to conniving swiss, argentine (the best)
and swedish consuls in the us who would then include the spies' encrypted
messages in general embassy radio traffic back to their home country.)

heisenberg had no useful information to pass on to anyone.   he was off on
the wrong path of using an incorrect uranium isotope from the getgo.  and
certainly no one ever passed him any useful information as proven  by the
sad state of his final wartime experiments.   thankfully no nazi knew which
way was up concerning a bomb or even how to achieve self-sustaining critical

if this story is even vaguely based on real interviews, the interview
subjects are suffering serious alzheimers.

this is not to say that some idiot may not have tried to get a composer to
put coded info into a composition.   however, this is just a stupid use of
good music tones.


From: "Gary Wingert" <>
Re: More musical spying acts

It certainly goes along with the recent revelations, discovered through the
Freedom of Information Act, that John Philip Souza had composed the
Washington Post March in a covert attempt to send the Spanish government
our naval dispositions in Havana Harbor, which culminated in the destruction
of the Maine.  Also, the matter of the infamous "Zimmerman Telegram" which
almost drew the USA into the First World War. It is not widely known that
that Zimmerman was the great-uncle of Bob Dylan, and undoubtedly was the
hidden influence that resulted in "Mr. Tambourine Man", which we now know
conveyed information on our missile bases near Duluth to the Red Chinese.


Re: Viagra
Forwarded-by: "Matthew Patton" <>
Forwarded-by: Melba Miller <>

You *did* hear about the man who overdosed on Viagra, didn't you?
Definitely an open casket funeral.

What do Disneyland and Viagra have in common?
Both have a two hour wait for a 10 minute ride.

How about the guy who was taking Viagra and Rogaine at the same time?
Good news: full head of hair. Bad news: looks like Don King.

Did you hear about the guy who got his viagra pill caught in his throat?
Not so great. Still can't get rid of that  stiff neck.


From: Barryrabin <>
Re: Viagra


    Three cheers for Viagra!

    Thanks to the folks at Pfizer, Inc., Americans both male and female are
cheering the end of male impotence. And the company's stock is shooting up
faster than the male appendages its new product is said to revive.  Soon
phrases like, "This has never happened to me before!," "I must be more tired
than I thought I was," and the ever-popular, "Oh... Wanna watch T.V.?" will
be banished from our collective vocabulary.

    What has struck me most about this new drug is how excited women are
about it, seemingly even more so than the men.

    Well, I've got good news for you, ladies: Already in development at
Pfizer's Male Behavioral Health Laboratory (staffed entirely by female
scientists, by the way) are a dozen or so other new drugs which --- if
perfected and deemed safe for humans --- promise to alter your man's
chemistry in yet more ways which should suit your fancy.

    Here are some of the most promising, courtesy of my super-secret sources
inserted deep within the company:

    Directra - A dose of this drug given to men before leaving on car trips
caused 72% of them to stop and ask directions when they got lost, compared
to a control group of 0.2%.

    Projectra - Men given this experimental new drug were far more likely
to actually finish a household repair project before starting a new one.

    Childagra - Men taking this drug reported a sudden, overwhelming urge
to perform more child-care tasks --- especially cleaning up spills and
"little accidents."

    Complimentra - In clinical trials, 82% of middle-aged men administered
this drug noticed that their wives had a new hairstyle. Currently being
tested to see if its effects extend to noticing new clothing.

    Buyagra - Married and otherwise-attached men reported a sudden urge to
buy their sweeties expensive jewelry and gifts after taking this drug
for only two days.  Still to be seen: Whether the drug can be continued for
a period longer than your favorite store's return limit.

    Nega-Viagra - Has the exact opposite effect of Viagra. Currently
undergoing clinical trials on sitting U.S. presidents.

    Nega-Sportagra - This drug had the strange effect of making men want to
turn off televised sports and actually converse with other family

    Flatulagra - This complex drug converts men's noxious intestinal gasses
back into food solids. Special bonus: Dosage can be doubled for long
car rides.

    Flyagra - This drug has been showing great promise in treating men with
O.F.D. (Open Fly Disorder). Especially useful for men on Viagra.

    Pryagra - About to fail its clinical trial, this drug gave men in the
test group an irresistible urge to dig into the personal affairs of
other people.  Note: Apparent overdose turned three test subjects into
"special prosecutors."

    Liagra - This drug causes men to be less than truthful when being asked
about their sexual affairs. Will be available in Regular, Grand Jury
and Presidential Strength versions.

Barry Rabin welcomes your comments at
(c) 1998 by Barry Rabin.   All Rights Reserved.

From: Lmancus <Lmancus@AOL.COM>
Re: Viagra

Viagra Va-Va-Voom: "What a night I had last night. I'm exhausted. On the
way home from work, I stopped at Starbucks, had one of their new Viagra
lattes. I was up all night." (Jay Leno)

From: Lmancus <>
Re: Viagra

Did you hear about Levi's new jeans for Baby Boomer men?....They come with
just a "Viagra" more room.
o  For women not-in-the-mood, California bars now have Viagra-free zones.
o  Scientists developed the idea for Viagra after studying President
Clinton's DNA. (Bill Williams)

From: Andrew Mack <>
Re: Viagra

Makes you wonder what she'll look like once the pill wears off...

    Viagra, the pill recently approved by the Food and Drug Administration
(FDA) for the treatment of impotence, can cause short-term vision
changes, warns the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

    "FDA clinical trials show that taking the medication, especially at
higher doses, can cause some retinal dysfunction and affect the way we
see for a number of hours," said Academy spokesperson Dr. Michael F. Marmor,
a professor of ophthalmology at Stanford University in California.

    Some men report seeing a blue tinge and light sensitivity after taking
the drug. "On the surface, seeing the world with a bluish tinge may just
be annoying," said Marmor in a statement issued by the Academy. But he notes
that it is still not known if the drug causes permanent changes in vision.
One clinical study showed that the drug's effects on retinal function could
last 5 hours or more. "We need to do some studies about the long-term
effects of taking Viagra," commented Marmor.

    In the meantime, Marmor advises patients with eye diseases affecting
the retina, such as macular degeneration or retinitis pigmentosa, to
use the drug with caution and stay at the lowest dose possible.

    "According to the FDA, the recommended dose level for most patients is
50 milligrams," according to the Academy statement.

From: Don Fitzpatrick <shoptalk@TVSPY.COM>
Re: Viagra

     "Kevin will be our Viagra tablet. He'll get those ratings up."

                             "Good Morning America" weatherman Spencer
                              Christian on the show's new co-host
                              Kevin Newman

From: Shoptalk <shoptalk@TVSPY.COM>
Re: Viagra

Size Does Matter: Insurance companies are cracking down on who gets Viagra.
"Like you have to prove you need it.  When you go in a pharmacy, they have
a sign that says, 'You must be this small.'" (Jay Leno)

From: jeremy bornstein <>
Re: viagra deaths haiku

While being dragged away by wolves, Patrick Tufts screamed:
> forwarded jokes fly
> death of net is predicted
> Pfizer's big boner
> --Pat

an old lover knows
   fortune opposes him when
      his penis explodes

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