Totally believable spam

Occasionally I open up one of the  e-mails that Google files away in my Spam folder, just to see what’s on offer. This one made me laugh, several times.

Firstly with its claim that “Your Name And Your Contact Details Was Given To This Office”, yet the e-mail is addressed to “Dear Customer” and then goes on to ask me to supply them with my name and contact details and identification documents!

But the biggest laugh is the assertion that my $7.5m USD is sitting unclaimed “Because Of Your Unbelief Of The Reality Of Your Genuine Payment”. Its funny because its true.

The real NRL betting scandal

Tim Simona. Photo by Naparazzi.

Tim Simona is suffering from a drug and gambling addiction, and the NRL has quite rightly deregistered him from playing rugby league.

But the hypocrisy of the NRL is almost excruciating, as it remains silent on its own gambling addiction.

Consulting the website of each of the 16 NRL teams in 2017 shows that 13 of them are sponsored by gambling or betting corporations, the only three clubs not directly sponsored by gambling being the Newcastle Knights, Penrith Panthers, and Canterbury Bulldogs.

Club Sponsored by
Manly Sea Eagles Lottoland
Canberra Raiders tab.com.au
North Queensland Cowboys Ubet
Wests Tigers Crownbet
Sydney Roosters Betting.club
South Sydney Rabbitohs Crown Resorts (Casino), Luxbet
Parramatta Eels Betting.club
Melbourne Storm Crown Resorts (Casino)
New Zealand Warriors SkyCity Casino, TAB NZ
Brisbane Broncos Ladbrokes
Cronulla Sharks Crownbet
St George Illawarra Dragons Ainsworth Game Technology, South Coast Gaming Machines
Gold Coast Titans Ladbrokes

King of the culprits in this infamous list is the Manly Sea Eagles, who, in a move that is in equal parts pernicious and embarrassing, renamed their home ground from “Brookvale Oval” to “Lottoland”.

In 1992 the Tobacco Advertising Prohibition Act was passed to ban the tobacco industry from sponsoring sport. It’s time that similar legislation is enacted to rid our sporting landscape of the scourge of gambling advertising.

Apparently

Apparently the incidence of people using the word ‘apparently’ has seen a dramatic rise in recent years and they reckon that with the current average increase of 30% per annum, that by the year 2038 every sentence uttered by every human being on the planet will either begin or end with the word ‘apparently’.

I don’t know if it’s happening more, or I’m just noticing it more, but it’s certainly becoming more irksome. These ‘apparently’ statements invariably …

  • present some factoid which appears unusual or surprising;
  • are unaccompanied by any substantiating evidence or reference to reputable authority;
  • contain references to an indeterminate ‘they’ who ‘reckon’ something;
  • and carry an implied disclaimer that the information might have been misheard, misunderstood, miscommunicated, and possibly not be true at all.

So in essence, these statements are saying that something might be true, or might be false, and convey no information for the hearer to judge either way. All in all, worthless.

Change – lots and none at all

coalmineboysWhile investigating the local history of Lambton recently, I’ve been digging around a quite a bit in Trove’s newspaper archives. In doing so I’ve often been struck by how much some things have changed, and yet other things, have changed not at all.

In the changed ‘lots’ camp is the practice of sending 13 year old boys to work extraordinary long hours in the coal mines:

“The 4 boys who drive the horses that take away the coal in loaded skips, leave home shortly after five o’clock a.m., as they must proceed … to get yoked up by the time the bell rings at six o’clock, when work commences, …  and keeps, on till  six o’clock, when the day’s work is concluded for all hands, and the boys … deliver  up their horses to the horse-keeper — getting  home by about seven o’clock, thus having been absent nearly fourteen hours, and working continuously eleven hours”

The Newcastle Chronicle, 11th January 1873.

The thought of sending a 13 year old boy to work in a coal mine for 11 hours is almost unimaginable these days. (I say almost unimaginable – I have a 13 year old son and by the end of six weeks of summer holidays, well I started wondering … )

Anyway, in the changes ‘none at all’ camp is the subject of Novocastrian opinion of the Sydney based government spending, with one local alderman complaining …

” … the broken promises of the Government were simply disgraceful. Many months ago Mr. Goodchap had promised that tenders should be called for within a month, but nothing had yet been done. … He  objected to the principle of spending money in large amounts in and about Sydney, and refusing to do the same thing for Newcastle and the surrounding districts.”

The Newcastle Morning Herald, 8th April 1885.

Yep. That was written 130 years ago, not last year.