Random Musings

Beware the “Myster Shopper” email scam

My email filters are usually pretty good at catching nonsense like this. Yours probably are, too. This one got through, however, so I thought I’d toss it out there, even if only so that other people Googling to see if it’s legit will have more information to go on. The scam starts with an email, such as this one I just got titled “Welcome to Mystery Shoppers” From info_tech01@email.utah.edu JOB DESCRIPTION: 1. You will receive funds for the task. 2. You will receive instructions for the task you via email in the location and details of the task. 3. You must complete the task as quickly as possible and quietly. 4. You will be asked to visit the business location for doing good business restaurants, shopping…
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Puddles Pity Party is the greatest show on Earth

Last night, I watched a gigantic clown chew gum and sing “Under Pressure” while forcing an audience member to eat pastries. It was the greatest. I’m talking about Puddles of Puddles Pity Party, and if you don’t remember the name, you’ll probably remember the sight of him from his viral collaboration with Postmodern Jukebox:   Yeah, that guy. Toweringly tall, decked out in black and white garb, and projecting an air of detached sadness as he eases through a pop song with a disturbingly powerful voice. Based on stuff like this and his Sia cover with the same group of quasi-retro hipsters, it would be easy to assume that Puddles is a gimmick, and one with a limited shelf life. One you’d only be able…
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The Myth of the Assimilating Immigrant, Speaking English, and Eroding Americana

Discussions about immigration are funny. They tend to focus on the same small handful of heartfelt pleas; arguments about losing our culture, griping that immigrants don’t learn the language (“the language” being English), and the idea that immigrants of the past used to come here and work hard to assimilate themselves into American culture. As we’re about to discover, that last part is largely a myth. First, a word on the language. The United States has no official language. Never has. As immigration has increased from non-European countries, there have also been increasing calls for a national language, thus far to no avail. Some individual states do, 32 of them in all, but not the United States itself. Our documents are written in English, and…
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BREAKING: exclusive transcript of Donald Trump’s meeting with President Obama!

As everyone knows, President-elect Donald Trump met with President Obama today to discuss the transition and get that complicated ball rolling. The meeting happened behind closed doors, but thanks to some inside connections with a few journalist friends inside the Beltway, I was able to procure a transcript. Enjoy: OBAMA: Mr. President-elect, welcome to the White House. I’m glad you could join us today and hope we can make this transition of power be as smooth as possible. TRUMP: It’s good to be here. So good. Good like you wouldn’t believe. I just know that I am going to be sick of how good it is, that’s how good it’s going to be. OBAMA: The transition can be difficult. There is a lot of work…
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How I almost forgot why I write (and how I got back on track)

It’s easy to lose sight of why you write. For about two years now, I’ve worked full-time as a freelance writer and social media marketer, penning corporate blogs, articles for SEO specialists, the occasional news story, website copy, and whatever else people will pay me to write. I’ve done freelance work on the side for many years, but that switch in autumn 2014 was a big plunge into icy cold water. It hasn’t always been easy. The money mostly sucks, the workload is hot and cold, the guilt can be crushing, people often don’t want to pay you or they will try to scam you, you have to operate like a small business (which is antithetical to why you write in the first place), and…
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