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Friday, October 31, 2008

‘China Does Not Have Any Men Suitable For Me’


Pretty Asian girl holding glass of wine.

A Shanghai Jiaotong University female's views on marriage.

Author: Self-professed leader of the Jiaotong University football [soccer] cheerleading team.

I am a female student of Shanghai Jiaotong University. It's my first time writing a post. Please don't laugh at my bad writing.

Everyone has an ideal in life. Some wants to become a hero, some wants to become rich, some other desires to become a leader. So what about me? My greatest wish in life is to marry a Western1 man. Some might say I am very vulgar, or even a turncoat, but I am a very traditional girl. To me, the most important thing in life is marriage. There is a very trendy saying currently, that studying well is not as good as marrying well. Marrying the right man is more important than anything else.

Some might ask, "Are there not enough good men in China?" Sorry, I have not considered before. As for the reason, don't be impatient. Sofa, stool, the floor, take your pick, and listen to this girl's reasons one by one.

I. China does not have any men suitable for me.

I am a very distinct/outstanding girl. In terms of academics, I am studying at a famous university, have an excellent academic record, and I am not one who wears thick glasses or sticks her head into books like a high-IQ geek. I have an excellent figure, an amazing look and a cultivated style of conversation. I am the leader of the football [soccer] cheerleading team. I took part in the local beauty pageants many times. I also have an interest for music, dance and art. Additionally, I often write some gossips for the newspaper. In summary, I am an excellent girl in every aspect. But what kind of man should I marry? There are lots of boys who are pursuing me, and most of my friends have boyfriends as well.

But when they graduate, they either break up, or they start talking about marriage, about family matters and where to settle down. They talk so seriously about everything, expect for love which is the most important thing in a marriage. I am very passionate about my life, I wish to have both a excellent materialist and spiritual life. Sorry that I can't find that on a Chinese man. Marry a schoolmate, eventually become a white collar in a company? Can that afford a house?

I want to have a huge living room, big enough to be like a small salon. I could be together with my friends talking about anything under the sun, savoring high quality wine. Even the bathroom must be big enough to fit in a large bathtub, for two people, so I can put on some gentle music and spend a romantic night with my beloved husband.

Also, the guy I marry must at least have enough money to buy a car, right? Or am I supposed to go to work by bus everyday? It is like in a freezer in winter, and in a microwave in summer, and within a few years a beautiful young girl will become a dark-skinned granny. Besides, are you guys really willing to let a white-collar beauty like me be pushed around by those dirty migrant workers?

China definitely does not lack rich men, but have a look at what kind of people they are. How many of them succeeded due to their own effort, ability or honesty? If they are not brick-moving labour contractors, then they are coal-digging boss from Shanxi, or they are corrupt. They are neither civilised, nor do they have a good bearing. How am I supposed to converse with them? To be honest, they will regard it as art if you are able to hum a few lines of pop music.

When they have money, they will go out eating, drinking, visiting prostitutes, or gambling. Just trying to live a peaceful life would be difficult. There are already people coming to the university to pursue me, extending their arms to give me business cards showing that they are some CEO, chairmen of the board, high-ranking bureaucrats, each of them wealthier and more arrogant than the other. Some even directly suggest me to be their concubine. Oh my God! I may not be an exceptionally beautiful woman, but I am at least a young and beautiful girl, who worked very hard for years to get into a prestigious university, and I can only be a mistress?!

II. Western countries have better living conditions.

Even if a rich single guy, outstanding, elegant, and falls in love with me, hmph hmph, this girl [referring to self] still will not really want to marry him. To be blunt, I just want to marry into the West. The Western world I have seen in television and movies is simply like heaven: clean streets, elegant buildings, pure air. Regardless whether bustling cities or quiet villages, everything seems to be so peaceful and harmonious. Regardless their academic background, everyone is very polite.

Based on this MM's [my] abilities, I could of course be a woman who lives in a villa, but so what? Even if we can afford a villa, can we buy clean air? Isn't there dirt and dust everywhere in this country? The rural areas are better, but I don't want to go there. Wouldn't it be weird, if while I am sun-bathing in a bikini at my swimming pool a bunch of farmers outside the fence carrying baskets of dung stare at me? Tibet indeed has very pure air, but please, this girl is afraid of high attitude sickness.

I especially dislike the current living environment. Every home has anti-theft doors, and despite having lived in the same building for years, everyone is awkward every time they meet each other. Many people can't even be bothered to bring their garbage downstairs, piling it up in front of the doors in the summer stinking. Sometimes I even wonder whether I am not living together with a bunch of cavemen. Rice has poison, milk powder will result in big heads, pork is from floods, oil is from the ditches, just thinking about it makes me terrified.

Sorry, you want me to love you, give me a reason first? Don't have any? Start loving foreign countries. The American "home town" [sic], France's vinyards, Spanish coastal towns, British medieval villages, it could be any of those. One of my schoolmates went to study abroad in Canada, and brought his/her father there for half a year. and when he came back he would whine: "Ai, that [Canada] is really a place fit for people to live." Don't give me any excuses, if you want my love, you have to give me a reason, right?

The costs of living in China is too high. We spend like Americans and earn like Africans. My parents worked hard to send me to university, so I should repay them and take care of them right? Even I become a high-ranking white-collar, would the salary really be that high? My parents are getting old. If they become ill and hospitalised, what can I do about the excessively expensive medical bills? Western countries have universal health care. Especially the job market in China, there is nothing to be praised. Each time I see the over-crowded job fairs, I almost get a heart attack. Dear me! The job fairs are rather like WW2 Omaha Beach (Normandy on D-Day). I am a delicate girl, how can I squeeze through these smelly guys?

As a modern woman, the first task in life is to survive, study and get into university, find a job, save money for a house, and save money for retirement. Which one of these does not require slaving away? Isn't it tiring? If my fellow schoolgirls did not become dark-skinned grannies after graduating, they found a rich person to marry, and allow their husbands to go out eating, drinking, visiting prostitutes, and gambling, pretending they do not know, why suffer?

Pretty Asian girl.

III. Western boys are all very excellent.

Having said this much, that the environment is good, material things are good, this third point is what I value the most: I simply like Western men. Ever since I was small, I liked watching Western movies, such as Roman Holiday" or "Gone with the Wind," and I liked watching the Westerners in the movies, their faces are all so sharp and distinctive, especially their charming coloured eyes, their straight pronounced noses, their tight smooth lips. Moreover, the majority of Westerners are tall, have strong and handsome physiques, and always so sexy. Then I look at the Chinese guys around me: Ignoring the small eyes, they have lumpy noses, thick lips, and if their skin is tanned a bit, they look remarkably like Africans. Those who have been educated almost all look malnourished, making me worried whether they can protect me or not. Occasionally, there is a muscular man, but despite having grown a head, they did not grow a brain.

Many college guys are pursuing me, and other guys in society also often ask me out on dates, but there are not many I like. Each of them either look like a soy sprout, or like Ultraman [character from a Japanese TV show], each of them unkempt, and at minimum each of them do not pay attention to their own image. Many of the guys spit in public, I particularly dislike people who do this. Only little children and animals defecate and urinate everywhere, and spitting in public is not much better than defecating and urinating in public, so at most they count only as half-civilised.

The majority of Western men carry themselves elegantly and well, because they received good education from when they were small. In our city there are McDonald's and KFC restaurants, and I often go there with friends to eat. All the Western men in the restaurants seem to have good upbringing, opening doors for others to enter first. Chinese guys, the moment the door opens, they rush towards the counter, often colliding with people exiting, as if they were the reincarnation of someone who starved to death in their last life. The Westerners1 who enter all stand in line, Chinese men rush up in a crowd, surrounding the counter shouting their orders. as if they haven't eaten any food in a long time. And without being ashamed, they throw their trash wherever after eating, but those Westerners would fold up the waste paper in their trays, making it convenient to dispose, and what they haven't finished, they throw go dispose of in the wastebins by themselves. The two are simply are not the same level of people.

Furthermore, some Chinese men lack a sense of independence, only knowing how to revolve around girls, living like a super nanny. I feel they don't have a self, sticking their thoughts on girls all day. Getting on the bus, they scramble for a seat, then busy themselves trying to give it to a girl, not caring about the elderly or children beside them, that I am embarrassed to sit down. This kind of men I also look down upon, revolving around their girlfriends before marriage, revolving around their wives after marriage, revolving around their bosses at work, and revolving around the kitchen after work. No thoughts, no temper, my god, I would be afraid of the son I have with this man being like his father, a model citizen so obviously cultivated by an authoritarian country. What girl does not like a man with personality and courage?

Western men were all raised in an environment of independence. They have independent thinking, not like Chinese men, who are parrots. Take my schoolmates for example. When the government talks about Japan and China's good bilateral relationships, they like Japan. When the government promotes nationalism, they shout about attacking Japan. Each and every one of them are brainless, played like monkeys by others, yet still thinking themselves to be high and mighty. The whole lot of them a bunch of "pig headed men."

There are some things I cannot say in real life, so I can only say them online.

Pretty Asian girl on steps.

In summary, I simply want to marry a Westerner, at best an American, but European is not bad either. As for criteria…I am not very demanding, it is no big deal even if his education is lower than mine, and no specific requirements about his work…isn't the monthly salary for washing dishes at McDonald's over a thousand USD? This can still allow him to buy a car and house. If this isn't possible, I will just find a divorced man and be willing to be a stepmother. Besides, Western children have a strong sense of independence, at least they will not let me always clean up after them and cater to their every whim, right? If even this is not possible, Japanese or Korean men I would also consider, I would even consider marrying a Korean or Japanese. At worst, they will not cook for me. No matter what, I just want to leave the country and go to the West, if not for freedom then for money.2

I admit I am very worldly, but I don't consider my thinking to be wrong. I am not hurting other people, I just want to live a better life, whether it is materially or culturally. I watched an American show "Desperate Housewives." That quiet village, clean streets, green lawns, and elegant, polite neighbours, and I knew, that is the kind of life I want.

This story has actually been on the Chinese internet for some time, maybe a year. It will occassionally reappear and there will be new comments by netizens who have not read the story before. Copies of the original Chinese can be found on Xinhua and Baidu.

Notes:

1 She used the words 老外 [lǎo wài] and 西方男人 [xī fāng nán rén] here interchangably which literally mean "old foreigner" and "Western men" respectively. I consistently used the word "western", although "老外 [lǎo wài]" of course would theoretically also include Korean or Japanese. But it is usually applied to Westerners or countries with a similiar political or cultural system.

2 The original Chinese words used were 选票 [xuǎn piào] and 钞票 [chāo piào] which mean "vote" and "banknotes" respectively. They both end in the same character, literally saying "voting slip" and "money slip".

Comments from Baidu:

Clever, very clever!!! Only one sentence, nothing more to say.

First: With this kind of mindset, even if I was rich I would not want.
Second: This kind of female, is suitable for being a walking corpse [rotten, useless person]
Third: Counting three generations upwards, your ancestors were all peasant farmers. According to your thinking, all of your male ancestors would never be able to get a wife, so please tell me where did you come from?
Fourth: After letting the dogs fuck you ten thousand times, let then every Japanese do you. Go become a comfort woman for the Japanese.

After reading that, I am speechless. But I forced myself to write a reply, for the dignity of Chinese men. I tried hard not to immediately curse you, but in the end I cannot stop myself. You are simply a woman who did not get enough dick in your last life, what damn qualifications do you have for scolding Chinese men, including all the men in your family, and of course your own father. I imagine your dad would be pissed to death after reading this, and even if he did not die, he would become an idiot because your dad is also a Chinese man. You have grown up wasting how much of the country's resources, and have you made just one day's contribution to the country after graduating? Instead, you deny/reject your own ancestors, you "white eyed wolf" [someone who bites the hand that feeds her]. Had he known you were like this, your dad should have held back three seconds so he could ejaculate onto the wall instead, to save me from being pissed off today because of you, wasting my time to replying to this post.

Everyone has the right to choose their own life. As a Chinese, her being able to write out all of this is also not an easy thing to do, so it is possible that Chinese men really have let you down. I don't know if you wrote this post in one go, I think it is not bad, and demonstrates your writing talent. But have a closer look at your essay: Everything you know about what is outside of the country comes from movies and media. I don't know whether you are still studying or already working, but I want to say that nothing in the real world is absolute. Where there are good people, there will also be bad people; this is a very balanced world. Furthermore, have you done the calculations? How much wealth can you create? Everyone is clear about what they want, especially someone who has received higher education like you. Marriage is not like dating, marriage is even less a joke. Who do you think would look for a recent graduate who, other than being well-educated and pretty (this is what you said, I have never met you), cannot create any value? I say this without implying anything else, only wanting to say that if you want to reach your goal, should you not first consider for a moment where your own worth is?

Having your own dream is a virtue. For human being, he (she) has even more charm. But the form of this kind of dream must have a kind of self-sketched ability, and not something that goes by the book. This dissertation/thesis is a bowl of "hui guo rou" [a Chinese dish of recooked pork].

What a lamentable person! What reasons caused this outcome? This is a problem worth pondering by every Chinese person!

I neither support or am against your thinking. Everyone has the right to choose their own life, just like those in the red-light districts working the night shifts. They themselves are very happy, they do not have to do anything, yet they can get anything. From their perspective, I can understand them. After all, there are people in this world who have self-respect and self-love, and those who wallow in degeneration, and can sell their dignity and soul to chase material comforts, people who live life one day at a time.
Everyone has their way to find happiness, it does not need to be the same.
But I still want to ask you, do you believe in lifelong love? Although I have not found it, I believe in it!

Comments from 6park:

Continue your daydreaming! A foreigner would not give money to you!
He thinks it's his money. If you want to spend money, earn your own! Haha…

Don't get upset. Put her abroad for five years, and then let her see whether foreign men or Chinese men are good. She still has this good image about abroad like from the early 90s.

Obviously, this woman has never seen real foreign men.

Support! That's a girl with a strong character.

Foreign men also drink, gamble and go to prostitutes. Them having money doesn't mean that you can spend it.

Trash woman.


Happiest places in the world

Wed, Oct 29, 2008 - AsiaOne

 

Happiest places in the world

Try one of these cheerful spots. You'll be glad you came. From Lonely Planet's Best in Travel 2009 - 850 trends, destinations, journeys & experiences for the year ahead.

***************************

#1. BHUTAN, THE HIMALAYAS

Getting life's priorities right is important. Policymakers in this country at the roof of the world are required to consider not only GDP (Gross Domestic Product) but also GNH – Gross National Happiness. It's seen things like tobacco and plastic bags being banned in this Himalayan kingdom – television was only allowed in 1999. Shopkeepers in the ancient capital Thimphu have even had to take down signs advertising Western soft drinks. Instead, the views are of carved temples and vivid prayer flags fluttering against a backdrop of snow-dusted mountains.

#2. MONTRÉAL, CANADA

If laughter is indeed the best medicine they should need fewer medics in Montréal. The Francophone capital of Québec has been staging one of the world's best comedy festivals every July since 1983. In between fits of the giggles wander the squares of Vieux-Montréal or explore the tree-clad gradients of Mt Royal. You can even strap on some skis, shoot down a slope and be back in time for a gourmet supper. But if you want to tell the joke about the American, the Canadian and the grizzly in one of the city's many bohemian bars, they've already heard it.


Salzburg, Austria

#3. AUSTRIA

Edging in at number three in the global happiness table, Austria is another country tailor-made for natural highs. You'll be grinning from ear to ear after careering down Innsbruck's bobsleigh run – 1000m in a minute. Or bowl up in Mozart-infused Salzburg and sign up for a Sound of Music tour, then round it all off with one of the most atmospheric arrivals by rail in the world. At Hallstatt the train deposits you on one side of a crystal-clear lake, a ferry whisks you to the village clinging to the base of the mountains on the other side.


SWITZERLAND

Health tops the list of things that make people content, according to the world happiness map researchers. Switzerland came in second. Which is fitting – this is a country where you can zip down ski runs in the winter, hike flower-strewn mountain passes in the spring and plunge into deep-blue lakes in August. Highlights are the breathtaking Lauterbrunnen Valley, which is graced by more than 70 waterfalls, the craggy Matterhorn and skateboard-crazy lakeside Lausanne. You can even indulge in the world-famous chocolate and fondue secure in the knowledge that you'll need those calories with all that activity!


ICELAND


The aurora borealis, one of nature's most spectacular displays.

Icelanders are the fourth most contented folk in the world and there's a wealth of warmth here despite the chilly moniker. Taking a dip in a geothermal pool tends to raise the temperature a bit – as does hiking or horse riding amid a landscape of active volcanoes, spouting geysers and vast lava fields. If you're prone to glum-inducing SAD (seasonal affective disorder), it's best to avoid the winter, when there can be as few as four hours of sunlight a day. But one of nature's most spectacular displays – the dazzling, ethereal northern lights (aurora borealis) – more than makes up for it.


THE BAHAMAS

The Bahamas drifts in to bag the number five spot on the world map of happiness, beating New Zealand(number 18), USA (23) and UK (41). It's no surprise; at the rate of one a day you'd need almost two years to visit each of its 700 sun-soaked islands and six years to curl your toes in the sand at its 2500 cays. Head for the less developed Out Islands for a laid-back slice of Bahamian life; watch birds atGreat Inagua (population: 924 people,80,000 flamingos) or dive in coral seas off Cat Island, famous for its pink-and-white sand.


SHANGRI-LA (1), THE HIMALAYAS

Shangri-la is a fictional paradise where the evils of the modern world are kept at bay and people live in harmony with nature and each other. This mystical kingdom was imagined by the British author James Hilton in the novel Lost Horizon. He set it in the Himalayas, doubtless inspired by a landscape where sculpted mountains prop up an impossibly blue sky. Add monasteries clinging to cliffs and rare blue poppies and you get the perfect place to contemplate Utopia and the true nature of happiness. Actually, it all sounds an awful lot like Bhutan.


SHANGRI-LA (2), USA

It's highly unlikely you'll get into this Shangri-la. It's in rural Maryland, was established in the 1940s by President Roosevelt and has now been renamed Camp David. But the spectacular scenery nearby successfully evokes idyllic high-altitude hideaways. It also opens up the Blue Ridge Parkway; a 755km drive through the Great Smoky, Shenandoah and Blue Ridge Mountains – a lush panorama of log cabins and lakes, often turned a hazy 'blue' by mists. And there is even a ready-made road-trip soundtrack – chose from down-home bluegrass, John Denver's 'Take Me Home, Country Roads' or Laurel and Hardy's 'The Trail of the Lonesome Pine'.


The Nyhavn canal in Copenhagen harbour, Denmark.


HAPPY, USA

If a positive outlook spreads contentment, visiting somewhere with an upbeat name should help. Test this theory at Happy, Texas – in this 'town without a frown' the kids go to Happy High, the first newspaper was Happy News and they even had a Happy Bank. It's also just a coyote's howl from the 193km-long and 32km-wide Palo Duro Canyon. This cinematic landscape, all vivid colours and towering rock formations, is a place for deep breaths and even deeper thinking. Rent a horse and a cabin, then drink in mind-expanding sunsets and big skies.


DENMARK

Academics drawing up a 'world map of happiness' recently found Denmark is the most cheerful nation on earth. The satisfied residents of this country ensured it came out top in the poll of 178 nations. Denmark's main peninsula meets an idyllic archipelago of more than 400 islands and it's easy to pick up on its positive vibe. The ancient core of Copenhagen, the capital, is a warren of streets creaking with old buildings, and framed by canals and colourful 18th-century houses. The local smørrebrød (huge open sandwiches laden with cheese and meat) will also make you smile.

Top photo: Bhutanese girls in Drukgye village, Paro Valley


Thursday, October 30, 2008

Faeces found in pub ice-cream

Wed Oct 29 2008 - Reuters
Family who accused chefs of serving human excrement in their gelato had earlier complained about noise during a football match.

/images/0001/1782/gelato.jpg


SYDNEY - A BITTER row has broken out between one of Sydney's largest tourist pubs and a family of five who accused chefs of serving human excrement in their gelato after they complained about noise during a football match.

State government food minister Ian Macdonald confirmed on Wednesday that frozen faecal matter had been found in a serving of chocolate gelato offered to placate pub patron Steve Whyte and his wife Jessica, who became 'violently ill' after eating it.

'The stench went through my nostrils, I retched and spat it into the napkin', Mrs Whyte told the Daily Telegraph newspaper, recounting what local media are calling 'gelati-gate'.

The tainted sweet was allegedly served up at the Coogee Bay Hotel, one of Sydney's largest and most popular beachfront hotels, located just a few minutes south of Bondi Beach.

The pub has denied serving excrement to the Whytes after they complained they were unable to hear a televised football game due to loud music, with both the chef and restaurant manager volunteering for DNA tests to prove their innocence.

Both sides have accused the other of money seeking, with the Whytes claiming that they were offered A$5,000 ($4,798) in hush money by pub General Manager Tony Williams, while they in turn were accused of trying to negotiate up to A$1 million in damages.

The argument over accusations of 'kitchen revenge' has shocked Australians, leading into an expected searing, gelato-friendly summer, capturing national headlines for days.

Mr Macdonald said DNA analysis would now be done to determine if the sample was of human or animal origin as police and food authorities investigate the case.

'Obviously, we are keeping an open mind and do not want to pre-empt this investigation in any manner,' he said.

The eastern Sydney hotel is standing by staff and on Tuesday said its own lab tests on the chocolate gelato tub had found no evidence of contamination. -- REUTERS


Microsoft warns of financial crisis email scams

Thu, Oct 30, 2008 - Reuters

Microsoft warns of financial crisis email scams

LONDON, ENGLAND - Internet fraudsters will try to exploit the global financial crisis by sending fraudulent emails purporting to offer cash-strapped consumers new mortgages, loans or money from failed banks, a Microsoft executive said on Wednesday.

Tim Cranton, an Internet safety expert at Microsoft, said there are early signs that criminals have already begun trying to cash in on the economic turmoil.

"It's especially troubling right now with the financial crisis," he told Reuters in a telephone interview. "There are more and more people who are maybe in a more desperate or vulnerable situation.


"We have seen an increase in some mortgage refinance type of scams. We are anticipating that they'll become more sophisticated.

"We have seen that with Hurricane Katrina, the (2004 Asian) tsunami and other natural disasters where the scammers immediately jump."

Fraudsters may send spam emails to consumers that ask them to pay a fee related to the collapse of a bank or financial institution, he added.

"They will allege it is associated with the refinancing -- so because of this bailout you'll get a much better deal on your mortgage and all you have to do is pay this fee."

Online criminals have long used promises of easy money to try to defraud unsuspecting victims.

Common scams include requests to help move money out of a developing country. People are offered a cut of the fortune if they first pay a release fee.

Or they are told they have won a lottery in a foreign country and will receive a huge jackpot once they pay an administration fee.

A poll for Microsoft on Wednesday found more than a quarter of computer users thought it was likely they would fall victim to an online scam that would cost them money.

Half said the scams made them more wary of shopping online, while more than a third said it led to them being more reluctant to use the Internet at all.

However, the poll suggested that the actual chances of becoming a victim are far lower than the perceived risk.

Of 5,000 people polled across Europe, only 113 had lost money to an Internet fraudster in the last year. That equates to one in 44 of those questioned. Microsoft said it has formed a coalition with Yahoo!, Western Union and the African Development Bank to help spread the message about hoax emails.

"What we'd like to do is raise awareness so that people feel more confident about using the Internet," Cranton said. "We don't want to see a reduction in e-commerce."

* Details on how to protect yourself online are at: /www.microsoft.com/protect/default.mspx --REUTERS


((((CONGRATULATIONS))))YOUR EMAIL ID HAS WON $500,000.00 US DOLLARS!!

ECGMA says: Here's another email scam!

----- Forwarded Message ----
From: AUSTRALIAN LOTTERY INC <australianprogramme_0@msn.com>
Sent: Sunday, October 26, 2008 2:54:35 PM
Subject: ((((CONGRATULATIONS))))YOUR EMAIL ID HAS WON $500,000.00 US DOLLARS!!


AUSTRALIA LOTTO LOTTERY INC.
5th Floor East Commonwealth Centre
55 Currie Street Adelaide SA 5000,
South Australia.

WINNING NOTIFICATION
We are delighted to inform you of the result of the E-mail address ballot lottery draw of the Australian cash-out lotto bv international program,which took place on the 30th of June 2008. This is a computer generated lottery of Internet users using email addresses for draws.This lotto draw is fully based on an electronic selection of winners using their e-mail addresses from different World Wide Web(www)sites.Your e-mail address attached to ticket number: 47061725 drew the lucky numbers and bonus ball number:0007531098, which subsequently won you the lottery in the 2nd category.You have therefore been approved to claim a total sum of US$500,000.00 (FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND U.S DOLLARS) in cash credit file ref:ILP/HW 47509/02. This is from the total cash prize of US$4,000,000 Million Dollars,shared amongst the first eight (8) lucky winners in this category. All participant were selected randomly through a computer balloting system drawn from Nine hundred thousand E-mail addresses from Canada,United Kingdom,Australia, United States, Asia, Europe, Middle East, Africa and Oceania as part of our international promotions program which is conducted annually. This Lottery is being promoted and sponsored by a conglomerate of Multinational companies as part of their social responsibility to the citizens in the communities where they have operational base.

Further more your details(e-mail address) falls within our European representative office in Amsterdam,Holland, as indicated in your play coupon and your prize of US$500,000.00 will be released to you from our regional branch office in Nigeria.We hope with part of your prize, you will participate in our end of year high stakes for US$1.3 Billion international draw.Our agent will immediately commence the process to acilitate the release of your funds as soon as you contact him.

PLEASE MAKE SURE THAT YOU QUOTE YOUR BELOW WINNING PARTICULARS WHEN CONTACTING YOUR AGENT:
Ref: 4758961725
Batch: ALLINC 70564943902/188
Winning no: FGNGB2701/LPRC

HOW TO CLAIM YOUR PRIZE:
Simply contact your claims agent,Mr.Brown Jude
email: (
mrbrownjude@uku.co.uk) Fill this form below and send it to him to file for your claim .

LOTTERY WINNERS APPLICATION FORM OF PAYMENT.

FULL NAME..........................................
SURNAME............................................
DATE OF BIRTH......................................
SEX................................................
ADDRESS............................................
AGE................................................
MARITAL STATUS....................................
NATIONALITY........................................
RELIGION...........................................
OCCUPATION.........................................
TELEPHONE.........................................
FAX................................................
EMAIL..............................................
DATE...............................................
WINNER REF/BATCH NO........................APPROVED.........FOR PAYMENT.

Please quote your reference,batch and winning number which can be found on the top left corner of this notification as well as your full name,address and telephone number to help locate your file easily.For security reasons, we advice all winners to keep this information confidential(VERY SECRET) from the public until your claim is processed and your prize money remitted/released to you.This is part of our precautionary measure to avoid double claiming and unwarranted abuse of this program by some unscrupulous elements,equally to guard against non participant or unofficial personnel taking undue advantage of this program.

Note that, all winnings MUST be claimed by a STIPULATED TIME(ON OR BEFORE 21DAYS) after receiving this winning notification, otherwise all funds will be returned as Unclaimed and eventually be reabsorbed into our next lucky dip sweepstakes.

Congratulations once again on your winnings!!!

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Online coordinator for
AUSTRALIAN LOTTERY INC

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Japanese Restaurant

ECGMA says: What? How would I answer? Fuk Mi if I know!

Click on the image to enlarge

Assallamualaikum,Hello My Dearest.

ECGMA says: Now we have Islamic email scam! Bah! What a joke...."mutually beneficial"! Oil explorer in Libya? How did he managed to con Gaddafi? How low can these crooks get? In the name of their Maker, they will do their utmost best to cheat people of their money. Such low life scoundrels.


----- Forwarded Message ----
From: aminata bello <aminata_bello020@yahoo.co.in>
To: jowhar29@yahoo.com
Sent: Wednesday, October 29, 2008 5:22:14 AM
Subject: Assallamualaikum,Hello My Dearest.

Bismillâhi-r-Rahmâni-r-Rahîm,

Al-Hamdulillâhi Was-Salâtu Was-Salâmu 'Alâ Rasûlillâh,Wa Ba'd,

As-Salâmu 'Alaikum Wa Rahmatullâhi Wa Barakâtuh,

Wasalaam to you,and how are you doing?. My intention of contacting you is to solicit your assistance for a project, which will be mutually beneficial. Though I know my decision to contact you is to a large extent unconventional, the prevailing circumstances necessitated my action. I am Hajia Aminata Bello, from Indonesia. I am married to Late Mallam Mustafa Bello of Dakar Senegal and am currently living in a hospital in Senegal, My late hushand of the blessed memory was an oil explorer in Libya and Kuwait for twelve years before he died in the year 2000.

We were married for twelve years without a child. He died after a brief illness that lasted for only four days. Before his death we were both devoted Muslims. Since his death I too have been battling with both Cancer and fibroid problems. When my late Husband was alive he made a huge deposit, in millions of US dollars with a Deposit Company in oversea. (I will tell you the amount as we proceed).

Recently, my doctor told me that I have only six months to live due to
cancer problem. Though what disturbs me most is my stroke sickness.
Having
known my condition I decided to donate this fund to a Muslim
organization
or devoted individual that will utilize this money the way I am going
to
instruct herein. I want this organization or individual to use this
money
in all sincerity to fund orphanages, widows,less priviledged and also
propagating their religion and to ensure that the society upholds the
views and belief of their religion.As a Muslim, i laid emphasis so much
on
the ALLAH'S benevolence and this has encourage me to take the bold
step. I
took this decision because I don't have any child that will inherit
this
money and my husband relatives are into some radical Organizations
which I
don't want a situation where this money will be used in an Unholy
manner.

Hence the reasons for this bold decision. I know that after death I will be with ALLAH the most benefficient and the most merciful. I don't need any
telephone communication in this regard because of my health conditions and the presence of my husband's relatives around me always. I don't want
them to know about this development. With ALLAH all things are possible(second Sura,( verse 257) which says: "There must be no coercion in matters of faith").As soon as I receive your reply on Email: aminata_bello020@yahoo.co.in

I shall give you the contact information of the Deposit Company in oversea where the money was deposited. I will also issue a letter of authority to the Deposit Company authorizing them that the said fund Have being willed to you and a copy of such authorization will be forwarded to you. I want you and the community where you reside to always pray for me. My happiness is that I lived a true devoted Muslim life worthy of emulation. Whoever that wants to serve ALLAH must serve him in truth and in fairness. I will not stipulate any precise amount to reward you, as it will have to be on pre-negotiated terms based on your level of involvement. Please always be prayerful all through your life. Any delay in your reply will give room in sourcing for another organization or a devoted Individual for this same purpose. Until I hear from you by email, my dreams will rest squarely on your Shoulders.

"And I (Allah) did not create jinns and humans except that they worship Me (alone)"

Qu'ran 51:56

May the Almighty ALLAH continue to guide and protect you.
Allah Hafiz.

Hajia Aminata Bello.

Have You Ever Sufferred From AAADD ??

AAADD
KNOW THE SYMPTOMS.....PLEASE READ!


Thank goodness there's a name for this disorder.
Somehow I feel better, even though I have it!!


Recently, I was diagnosed with A.A.A.D.D. -
Age Activated Attention Deficit Disorder.

This is how it manifests:


I decide to water my garden.
As I turn on the hose in the driveway,
I look over at my car and decide it needs washing.

As I start toward the garage,
I notice mail on the porch table that I brought up from the mail box earlier.

I decide to go through the mail before I wash the car.

I lay my car keys on the table,
put the junk mail in the garbage can under the table, and notice that the can is full.

So, I decide to put the bills back
on the table and take out th e garbage first.

But then I think,
since I'm going to be near the mailbox when I take out the garbage anyway, I may as well pay the bills first.

I take my check book off the table,
and see that there is only one check left.

My extra checks are in my desk in the study,
so I go inside the house to my desk where I find the can of Pepsi I'd been drinking.

I'm going to look for my checks,
but first I need to push the Pepsi aside so that I don't accidentally knock it over.

The Pepsi is getting warm,
and I decide to put it in the refrigerator to keep it cold.

As I head toward the kitchen with the Pepsi,
a vase of flowers on the counter catches my eye-- they need water.

I put the Pepsi on the counter and
discover my reading glasses that I've been searching for all morning.

I decide I better put them back on my desk,
but first I'm going to water the flowers.

I set the glasses back down on the counter,
fill a container with water and suddenly spot the TV remote. Someone left it on the kitchen table.

I realize that tonight when we go to watch TV,
I'll be looking for the remote, but I won't remember that it's on the kitchen table, so I decide to put it back in the den where it belongs, but first I'll water the flowers.

I pour some water in the flowers,
but quite a bit of it spills on the floor.

So, I set the remote back on the table,
get some towels and wipe up the spill.

Then, I head down the hall trying to
remember what I was planning to do.


At the end of the day:

the car isn't washed
the bills aren't paid
there is a warm can of Pepsi sitting on the counter
the flowers don't have enough water,
there is still only 1 check in my check book,
I can't find the remote,
I can't find my glasses,
and I don't remember what I did with the car keys.


Then, when I try to figure out why nothing got done today,
I'm really baffled because I know I was busy all damn day, and I'm really tired.

I realize this is a serious problem,
and I'll try to get some help for it, but first I'll check my e-mail....

Do me a favor.

Forward this message to everyone you know, because I don't remember who the hell I've sent it to.

Don't laugh -- if this isn't you yet, your day is coming!!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Raiffeisen Bank True Advert

Click on the image to enlarge (ha!ha! how appropriate....enlarge)

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Photos: 10 Animals Facing Extinction

The International Union for Conservation of Nature has released its Red List of the world's most threatened plants and animals. Here's a look at some of the animals on the verge of extinction.endangered mammals greater bamboo lemur

Greater Bamboo Lemur
Found only in a small area of southeastern Madagascar, the greater bamboo lemur eats not only bamboo shoots — despite the cyanide found in the plant. The most endangered lemur in Madagascar, less than 200 are believed to still exist.

endangered mammals celebes crested macaque

Celebes Crested Macaque
This black macaque is found only in northwestern parts of Indonesia, mostly on the island of Sulawesi — also known as Celebes. It is often hunted as a pest — it can devastate farms — and for bushmeat.

endangered mammals lowland gorilla

Lowland Gorilla
Found in central Africa, the lowland gorilla has been all but wiped out in recent years, thanks to widespread hunting — the meat is an expensive delicacy — and disease, including from the Ebola virus. Rapid deforestation is also destroying their habitat.

endangered mammals madagascar fish eagle

Madagascar Fish Eagle
Madagascar is known as the hottest hotspot, both because of its rich biodiversity, and because deforestation and other threats are destroying wildlife on the island. The Fish Eagle, found in highly limited numbers along the west coast, is no exception.
endangered mammals vancouver island marmot
Vancouver Island Marmot
The rodent is one of the most endangered mammals in North America, with less than 40 individuals found in an area less than 10 sq. km. Logging is most likely the cause of its diminishing numbers.

endangered mammals black rhino

Black Rhino
The population of the black rhino declined by 90% over the last six decades, thanks chiefly to poaching. But since the mid 1990s — when fewer than 3,000 of the African rhino existed — the population has increased steadily, and now there are over 4,000

endangered mammals iberian lynx

Iberian Lynx
Believed to be the most endangered mammal in Europe, the Iberian lynx, found mostly in Spain, has fewer than 150 individuals in the wild. It's dying out because its main source of food — a rabbit — is also declining rapidly.

endangered mammals mindoro dwarf water buffalo

Mindoro Dwarf Water Buffalo
Found on the Philippine island of Mindoro, the dwarf water buffalo was once widespread, but now is found in less than 300 sq. km. The chief threat is expanding farmland, which is cutting into the water buffalo's habitat.

endangered mammals  baiji dolphin

Baiji Dolphin
Also known as the Yangtze dolphin, and found in the river in China, the Baiji is the most endangered cetacean in the world. It may already be extinct.

endangered mammals  siberian crane

Siberian Crane
The gorgeous bird breeds in arctic Russia and western Siberia, but thanks to severe wetland loss, it is declining rapidly.


Friday, October 24, 2008

Quotes from movie stars

Click on the images to enlarge


Another Spam type - Re: Yahoo Members Support

ECGMA says: This is another spam you will get from time to time for yahoo email users. Again, like all financil institutions, Yahoo Support staf WILL NEVER email its users for any such request as you see below. Also, the email below came with an attachment, udvd.zip, which I have omitted because I can assure you if one opens it (downloads it), it will mess up your PC!
If you or any of your friends/families who are yahoo email users, reading the email is fine BUT DO NOT click on any links and/or detach/download/open any attachment(s) that comes with it. Just DELETE the damn email.



From: "info@yahoo.com" <info@yahoo.com>
To: eugenechung
Sent: Friday, October 24, 2008 4:38:06 PM
Subject: Members Support


Dear Yahoo Member,

We have temporarily suspended your email account eugenechung

This might be due to either of the following reasons:

1. A recent change in your personal information (i.e. change of address).
2. Submiting invalid information during the initial sign up process.
3. An innability to accurately verify your selected option of subscription due to an internal error within our processors.
See the details to reactivate your Yahoo account.

Sincerely,The Yahoo Support Team

Here's one Email Scam example

ECGMA says: Below is an example of an email scam received in my inbox from time to time. The senders will be different but the content and intention are all the same. Imagine this, there are people who are gullible and did what the scam'er requested?!?! Sent by a John Ruggie but signed off by a Captain John Nielsen. How stupid and gullible can some people be to think this is from a genuine person?!?!
From now on, every time I get a spam or email scam, I will blog it so the world knows!
Some will call it 3rd time lucky, so to this Ruggie/Nielsen TNUC (pronounced as 'tee-naak'), maybe the 3rd suicide bomber will get him next time round!
Ps. What's 'tee-naak'? Clue, look at the actual word spelled carefully.

----- Forwarded Message ----
From: John Ruggie <info@usmil.org>
Sent: Friday, October 24, 2008 2:33:25 AM
Subject: PERSONAL

Dear Friend,

With a very desperate need for assistance,I have summed up courage to
contact you.I am presently in Iraq with the USA marine platoon;I found
your contact particulars in an Address journal.I am seeking your
assistance to evacuate the sum of $900,000.00(Nine hundred thousand
dollars)to you,as far as I can be assured that it will be safe
in your care until I complete my service here.This is no stolen money,and
there are no dangers involved.

SOURCE OF MONEY:

Some money in various currencies was discovered concealed in barrels with
piles of weapons and ammunitions at a location near one of Saddam's old
palaces during a rescue operation,and it was agreed by all party present
that the money be shared amongst us,this was quite an illegal thing to do,
but I tell you what? No compensation can make up for the risks we have
taken with our lives in this hell hole.

The above figure was given to me as my share,and to conceal this kind of
money became a problem for me,so with the help of a German contact
working here,and his office enjoys some immunity,I was able to get the
package out to a safe location entirely out of trouble spot.He does not
know the real contents of the package,and believes that it belongs to an
Asian American who died in an air raid,and before giving up,trusted me to
hand over the package to his family.

There is a secured way of getting the package out to a safer country for
you to pick up,and i will discuss this with you when I am sure that you
are willing to assist me.One passionate appeal I will make to you is not
to discuss this matter with a third party,should you have reasons to reject
this offer.please destroy this mail as any leakage of this information
will be too bad for us.

I do not know for how long we will remain here but hopefully before the
year runs out,I have survived 2 suicide bomb attacks by the special grace
of God,this and other reasons I will mention later has prompted me to
reach out for help.

Respectfully,
Capt John Nielsen

Testing Google's Drunk E-Mail Protector

Mail email Goggles Email Drunk Alcohol internet
Getty
For a company that's dominated the Internet by doing one simple thing well, Google has also managed to build a thriving side business in bells and whistles: everything from the ability to search inside books and videos to the ability to watch a kid fall off a bike from the privacy of your own home. So when I heard that Google had unveiled a new feature called Mail Goggles that is designed to stop you from sending embarrassing e-mails while drunk by requiring you to do math problems, my first thought was: That's the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard. My second thought was: I want to try it.

One of Gmail's optional features — along with more sensible applications like keyboard shortcuts, an e-mail signature or a profile picture — Mail Goggles operates on the theory that if you're sober enough to complete a series of simple arithmetic problems, you're sober enough to decide if you really want to e-mail your ex-boyfriend and tell him you still love him. With Mail Goggles enabled, Gmail will only send your e-mails after you have completed five arithmetic problems within 60 seconds. By default, the feature activates during weekend nights between 10 p.m. and 4 a.m., although the settings allow you to change the date and time. If you're more of a Tuesday afternoon drunk, Mail Goggles will be there for you. Of course, at that point, you might have bigger problems to worry about.

I decided to test Mail Goggles in the most systematic way possible. I surrendered my Saturday night to research, experimentation and the scientific method.

Hypothesis:
Mail Goggles will keep me from sending e-mails that I might otherwise regret.

Supplies:
2 bottles of wine
One laptop
My college friend Laura, who once helped me climb up a concrete pedestal in order to dress a Civil War statue in a Hawaiian t-shirt.

Results:
10:03 p.m. Mail Goggles is activated. I send a control e-mail to test my sober math skills. I subtract 12 from 22, and wonder if I'll ever be too incapacitated to come up with the number 10. "You know you can change the difficulty level," says Laura. We pour ourselves some wine, change the difficulty to Level 3, and start watching a movie.

10:25 p.m. I've had one glass of wine. I reply to a friend's e-mail about her recent bad date. Mail Goggles doesn't work — no math questions appear and the e-mail is sent. "Maybe you have to sign out and sign back in," suggests Laura. That works. If this is a necessary step, though, it's a huge flaw in the Mail Goggles system; nobody signs out of Gmail after every use.

10:45 p.m. Two glasses of wine. I e-mail another friend and tell him that his eyebrows are too big and he looks like one of the Jonas Brothers. I have this thought every time I see him, but I usually keep it to myself. The e-mail goes through. My friend will now ignore my phone calls for the next few days. I decide to change Mail Goggles' setting to maximum difficulty, Level 5.

11:10 p.m. Three glasses of wine. The problem 420+152 is not hard enough to keep me from e-mailing an acquaintance to tell her that I don't understand her religion and her clothes are out of date.

11:35 p.m. Three and a half glasses. I feel great. It takes me two tries because I mistype my answers, but I successfully e-mail Laura to tell her that I want more wine. "But I'm sitting right here," says Laura. She politely opens the second bottle.

12:17 a.m. Four glasses. To my unemployed friend with a master's degree: "Why don't you move out of your parents' house and get a real job?"

12:43 a.m. E-mail a co-worker and complain about the economic depression.

1:09 a.m. Mail Goggles makes me answer "8 x 2" twice. I use this opportunity to tell my cousin that her feet smell.

1:37 a.m. I drink some more wine and try to tell a friend that his hipster arm tattoo is going to look ridiculous when he gets older, but I can't type the words correctly and I get stumped on 517-139. I keep forgetting to carry the numbers. "Water and bed for you," says Mail Goggles, but then it lets me try again. And again. My insult succeeds on the third try.

1:52 a.m. You know what? I should email my ex-boyfriend even though we're not on speaking terms. Mail Goggles makes me divide 42 by 7, but otherwise has no problem with my incredibly bad decision. Maybe the program would work better if it filtered certain phrases like "What's your deal?" or "jerkface."

2:32 a.m. I write one last e-mail, apologizing for the previous e-mail, but I'm too tired to do the math.

2:47 a.m. I fall asleep on the couch and wake up half an hour later, thirsty and confused. Laura has apparently gone home.

10:15 a.m. I have three responses asking what my problem is.

Conclusion: Mail Goggles' math questions are too easy to deter any but the sloppiest of drunks. However, my last e-mail remained unsent. If you have to do math at 2:30 in the morning, you're more likely to stop sending e-mails because you give up, not because you actually get the answers wrong. As a purely dissuasive tool, then, Mail Goggles works as advertised. Of course, there's still the text message, the Facebook message, and the good old-fashioned drunken phone call. There are plenty of ways to humiliate yourself if you try. And for those determined to reveal their true feelings via e-mail, the company that brought you Mail Goggles helpfully provides a way around it as well: the Google calculator.


Thursday, October 23, 2008

Email Scam Test

Think you could spot an email scam?
A lot of people think they know what to look for. But do they really?

Eyewitness News hit the mall with an eye opening email scam test that could help you protect your identity.

Rotating Tower of Dubai

Welcome to the future !! Dubai is constructing a dynamic tower consist of about 80 stories. This is the first of a kind tower that can move, rotate and change shape. You can follow that latest technology at Palscience.com

Illegal Drag Racing!

Click on the image to enlarge

Just What the Doctor Ordered: A Massage

Massage Therapist
John Howard / Getty

I'm not a big fan of massages. As a neurosurgeon, I've never been completely convinced that the science behind them is all that sound. Yet there's no denying that they're popular — particularly among baby boomers and others who try to get active and stay fit with bodies that seem to grow achier all the time. But increasingly, research is showing that all those boomers may be onto something — that there are solid reasons for just about everyone to consider getting a good rubdown.

Investigators at the University of Colorado Denver School of Medicine recently took a close look at the effect of massage on a very specific group of people who might be most in need of pampering: cancer patients. In a study of 380 adults with advanced-stage cancer and at least moderate pain, the researchers found that those who received massage therapy had greater improvement in pain and mood than patients who were touched in a manner similar to massage but without the precise motion and pressure a trained therapist uses.

For these patients, even a little relief can mean a lot. Generally, about a third of cancer patients experience significant pain. As for mood, according to the National Cancer Institute, 15% to 25% of cancer patients become clinically depressed at some point during their illness. And the very nature of treatment for a serious illness often makes things worse.

"When you're ill, you don't necessarily get the kind of human contact we do in our daily lives," says end-of-life-care physician Dr. Jean Kutner, who was the lead author of the study. "Most of the touch you receive is related to procedures, such as getting chemo or having blood drawn."

David Mejia is a 39-year-old former systems engineer in Colorado who was found to have multiple myeloma. He recalls falling into a deep depression during treatments. "I didn't want to talk to anybody," he says. "The phone would ring, but I didn't want to pick it up." Mejia describes the massage therapy he received to relieve tightness in his joints as also a form of treatment for his depression. "It doesn't just make my body feel good —it makes my spirit feel good," he says.

The overlap of mental and physical boosts makes sense, given the biochemistry that's in play when your body is massaged. Levels of feel-good neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine spike, while measures of the stress hormone cortisol drop. This is the same phenomenon that's at work when you feel the fabled runner's or exerciser's high, and it's also one of the things that makes a post-workout massage particularly satisfying. For people whose workouts lead to neck and back pain — or whose existing neck and back pain prevent them from exercising at all — massage has answers too.

It has been fairly well documented that massage therapy provided by a licensed or certified professional produces real relief that may last even months. Several studies have shown that a rubdown works well at the other end of the age spectrum too: babies and infants who are massaged tend to cry less, appear more relaxed and interact better with their mothers.

As my homework for this column, I gave in and had a massage. I am not sure if it was the boost in neuro-transmitters or just the relief of some pretty sore muscles, but I suspect I'll be coming back for more.

With reporting by Shahreen Abedin / New York


Common Tools defined

DRILL PRESS: A tall upright machine useful for suddenly snatching flat metal bar stock out of your hands so that it smacks you in the chest and flings your beer across the room, denting the freshly-painted vertical stabiliser which you had carefully set in the corner where nothing could get to it.

WIRE WHEEL: Cleans paint off bolts and then throws them somewhere under the workbench with the speed of light. Also removes fingerprints and hard-earned calluses from fingers in about the time it takes you to say, "Oh heck..."

ELECTRIC HAND DRILL: Normally used for spinning pop rivets in their holes until you die of old age.

SKILL SAW: A portable cutting tool used to make studs too short.

PLIERS: Used to round off bolt heads. Sometimes used in the creation of blood-blisters.

BELT SANDER: An electric sanding tool commonly used to convert minor touch-up jobs into major refinishing jobs.

HACKSAW: One of a family of cutting tools built on the Ouija board principle. It transforms human energy into a crooked, unpredictable motion, and the more you attempt to influence its course, the more dismal your future becomes.

VICE-GRIPS: Generally used after pliers to completely round off bolt heads. If nothing else is available, they can also be used to transfer intense welding heat to the palm of your hand.

WELDING GLOVES: Heavy duty leather gloves used to prolong the conduction of intense welding heat to the palm of your hand.

OXYACETYLENE TORCH: Used almost entirely for lighting various flammable objects in your shop on fire. Also handy for igniting the grease inside the wheel hub out of which you want to remove a bearing race.

TABLE SAW: A large stationary power tool commonly used to launch wood projectiles for testing wall integrity.


HYDRAULIC FLOOR JACK: Used for lowering an automobile to the ground after you have installed your new brake shoes, trapping the jack handle firmly under the bumper.

EIGHT-FOOT LONG YELLOW PINE 2 X 4: Used for levering an automobile upward off of a trapped hydraulic jack handle.


E-Z OUT BOLT AND STUD EXTRACTOR: A tool ten times harder than any known drill bit that snaps neatly off in bolt holes thereby ending any
possible future use.

BAND SAW: A large stationary power saw primarily used by most shops to cut good aluminium sheet into smaller pieces that more easily fit into the trash can after you cut on the inside of the line instead of the outside edge.

TWO-TON ENGINE HOIST: A tool for testing the maximum tensile strength of everything you forgot to disconnect.


CRAFTSMAN 1/2 x 24-INCH SCREWDRIVER: A very large pry bar that inexplicably has an accurately machined screwdriver tip on the end opposite the handle.

AVIATION METAL SNIPS: See hacksaw.


PHILLIPS SCREWDRIVER: Normally used to stab the vacuum seals under lids or for opening old-style paper-and-tin oil cans and splashing oil on your shirt; but can also be used, as the name implies, to strip out Phillips screw heads.

STRAIGHT SCREWDRIVER: A tool for opening paint cans. Sometimes used to convert common slotted screws into non-removable screws.

PRY BAR: A tool used to crumple the metal surrounding that clip or bracket you needed to remove in order to replace a 50 cent part.

HOSE CUTTER: A tool used to make hoses too short.


HAMMER: Originally employed as a weapon of war, the hammer nowadays is used as a kind of divining rod to locate the most expensive parts adjacent the object we are trying to hit.

MECHANIC'S KNIFE: Used to open and slice through the contents of cardboard cartons delivered to your front door; works particularly well on contents such as seats, vinyl records, liquids in plastic bottles, collector magazines , refund checks, and rubber or plastic parts. Especially useful for slicing work clothes, but only while in use.

DAMMIT TOOL: Any handy tool that you grab and throw across the garage while yelling 'DAMMIT!' at the top of your lungs. It is also, most often, the next tool that you will need.

Corpses Pile Up Amid Britain's Financial Crisis

Highgate Cemetery in London.
Highgate Cemetery in London.
Richard T. Nowitz / Corbis

The flip side of "You can't take it with you" is the notion that our money problems end with death. But amid Britain's deepening financial woes, that may no longer be true: The National Association of Funeral Directors (NAFD) has warned that unburied bodies of the deceased are piling up as a result of the credit crisis.

Currently in the U.K., families of deceased welfare recipients receive a government grant to help cover the cost of cremation or burial. The process of securing such aid usually takes two weeks, although it can last up to two months if there are problems with the application. The country's undertakers have in the past been willing to proceed with burials and cremations on the assumption that they will be paid later — receiving up to $1,200 for funerals that usually cost around $1,700. But according to the NAFD, a convergence of financial pressures has forced a growing number of undertakers to delay proceedings until the payment clears, leaving the corpses of some of Britain's most destitute citizens in earthly limbo for weeks at a time.

As with so many other businesses in the current credit crunch, the undertakers face a liquidity problem. And it's not only among the state-assisted burials for the destitute that earnings are down: Many middle-class families pay for funeral services with profits from the sale of the deceased's property; with the British property market in free fall, the NAFD says families are opting for less opulent burial services. The reduction of earnings leads to cash shortages among undertakers, which means that many of them require loans to cover the expenses of welfare funerals as they wait for the government payment to come through. With credit dried up, the terms for these loans are becoming increasingly punitive, if they can be found at all.

"Many of us are being forced to sideline our compassion and demand that payments for all expenses be paid up front," says Dominic Maguire, spokesman for the NAFD and a funeral director in Glasgow. "It's simple: if [welfare payments] are delayed, you will see a growing number of bodies waiting weeks, if not months to be buried."

Daniel Kawczynski, the member of parliament who has raised the issue in the House of Commons after being contacted by funeral directors in his constituency, says the problem could be solved if the government department responsible for welfare payments, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), met its target by providing the funeral payments within 16 days of application. But, he claims, the country's financial woes have left that Department understaffed. The DWP has seen its budget cut by 5.6% over three years in real terms, and recently announced thousands of layoffs. (The DWP, for its part, blames the delays on erroneously completed application forms).

Clive Pugh, a funeral director in Shrewsbury, western England who contacted Kawczynski on the matter, says he has a cremation service scheduled for Oct. 17 for a 77-year-old welfare recipient who died on 13 August. The man's body has been kept, since the summer, in the freezer of a private mortuary while his daughter waited for the DWP payment to go through.

"Families become very agitated in such situations and we get blamed for the delay," he says. "But what can we do? We aren't a bank, we are not in the business of giving loans."

Pugh says some of the difficulty of retrieving funeral costs from families comes from their sense of closure following burial. "After funerals emotions change so much; people put the death behind them, move on, and it can be difficult to get them to address anything to do with the funeral, including the money. Who pays for it becomes irrelevant [to them]."

The specter of uninterred corpses has powerful evocations in Britain, where a strike by gravediggers in the 1978 "Winter of Discontent" left mortuaries struggling to cope. As the current delays only affect a percentage of welfare recipients, it is unlikely that this year will see a problem anywhere close to the scale of the 1978 crisis (which forced health officials to consider mass burials at sea). But Britain's undertakers have offered a corporeal reminder of how financial crises can infringe in intimate ways. "We are the forth richest country in the world," MP Kawczynski says. "The idea that you would have to wait two months to bury someone close to you is despicable."