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Wednesday, January 7 12:01 AM EST

BBspot Mailbag

Now you too can enjoy my Inbox without the annoying spam. Every week I get some amazing e-mail. Some amazing because of the sheer cluelessness of the sender, some because of the time and energy that went into crafting them and some are just simply amazing.


I think I'll have to change this to the Ensenam Ayele Corner. I'm getting a bit tired of these people who want the free money, so I might have to put an added disclaimer on the article...

From: Lucille
Sent: Friday, January 02, 2004 10:55 AM
Subject: Tuesday, September 23rd Article

Dear Mr. Briggs,
I just read the article about Esenam Ayele, a Nigerian philanthropist. In these time of skeptics, we naturally doubt anyone would wan to simply help people they don't even know, what did Thomas Hutton have to do to receive $12 million dollars from Mr. Ayele. There are many needy people all over the world, I included. If he wants to give away his money to help people, why it so difficult? If this is, in fact, the real deal, no laws are broken and he is just a very nice person, I would like to tell him my story, all of which can be documented. If I do not hear from you then I will assume it is just another hoax in this very sad world.

Mr. Ayele will send you twenty-five cents so you can buy a clue.

From: [Charity Name Deleted]
Sent: Wednesday, December 24, 2003 2:00 PM
Subject: How do we qualify for Donations.

We are a 501(c)3 Non Profit Humanitarian Outreach that receives and distributes approximately 10 to 15 Semis of donated New and Returned Shoes and Coats a year to many countries abroad. We ship clothing, medical supplies, food and equipment to places like Uganda, Tanzania, The Philippines, Mexico, Ukraine, Bela Russia,Poland, Romania and any other country we that needs help with out any restrictions. We will and do help all who ask if it is within our financial means. We would welcome donations and can offer a tax receipt on request.

Geez, this is starting to get worse than the Make-a-Wish Foundation thing.

From: dan
Sent: Tuesday, December 23, 2003 8:26 PM
Subject: Money From Nigeria?

In Thief River Falls, Minnesota, hosts from Nigeria bilked thousands of dollars from the residents of TRF, MN.
They did it exactly the way that this "billionaire"? is doing....
There is no way feasible that I would even consider giving my account and routing number to someone in Nigeria so they could empty my account!

You're just too smart for them aren't you.

From: Butch
Sent: Thursday, December 18, 2003 3:44 PM
Subject: Nigerian Billionaire?

So what's up with this story about the Nigerian Billionaire, Esenam Ayele who can't give away his millions? Is this story real or hoax? If it's real, can you tell me how to contact him? I can find a few honorable uses for a million dollars. Thanks! Please do not publish my email for the world to see.

Yes, very honorable indeed.

What's Wrong with Being Sexy?

I sure hope this isn't a Believer...

From: Megan []
Sent: Wednesday, December 24, 2003 4:01 AM
Subject: OS Quiz

Can I just say I was a little pissed when taking the quiz that the first question involved shaving in almost all responses? You implying that only men are going to be interested in killing time on a quiz like this? Hell, you even have an option for people who don't drive in the changing lanes question. *throws up hands*


The strange thing was that the same day I received this e-mail, I also received a Christmas card from a reader saying how she appreciated the way BBspot welcomed geek women much more than any other geek site.

Digital Music Stores Reviews

Since the Digital Music Stores Review piece was posted on Slashdot, I received a lot of e-mail about it. Ninety percent of it was from disgruntled iTunes users. They could not believe that I did not mention this-or-that fabulous feature on iTunes. Of course, I had to point out that it was a common feature on all the programs, so it didn't really merit a mention. Many of them were shocked when I pointed out that some of the other services had better features than iTunes did. Here's an example...

Sent: Tuesday, December 23, 2003 5:14 PM
Subject: Reviews: Digital Music Stores

Brian, Thanks for your review. The only thing I wish you would have touch on is iTunes Smart play list, Browsing (in the store and in the player) and next time you use iTunes, do a "Get info" of a selected track. File/Get Info or control I (i think).

PS: There is a lot more to iTunes than you may thing.

Both WMP and Musicmatch have a form of Smart Playlists. I'm not sure what he's talking about when he mentions browsing, and Musicmatch's Supertagging feature is superior to the tagging features that iTunes has.

Here's a message from the ten percent that were not Apple boosters...

From: Paul
Sent: Tuesday, December 23, 2003 6:45 PM
Subject: File Sharing

I just read your joke article about buying music online. I think it is really funny that you are trying to fool people into believing that:
A) a service such as this exists.
B) anyone would care to use it.

For pure humor this site is right up there with the 3d napster utility.

There is one in every crowd, but usually it's me.

Baby Popping

I guess I can't be surprised at how many people wrote in to tell me everything I wanted to know about the reindeer names. Here's one of the more humorous observations...

From: Matthew
Sent: Thursday, December 18, 2003 3:26 AM
Subject: Pop goes the baby.

I've been visiting your site daily for a few years now. I love it (especially the trailer reviews).

A friend of mine asked me if I knew of a site that archived amusing web gaffes (e.g. see attached jpeg, taken Wednesday morning). I couldn't think of one, but then I thought that it would be a great "background" component to the main BBspot content. Judging from the amount of work some of your readers put into their submissions and emails, I imagine that they'd jump at the chance to contribute to BBspot with a quick press of the "Print Screen" key. You could probably sustain the archive with minimal effort, and I think it could potentially attract some new readers.

Baby Popping

Sounds like a great idea. if anyone catches something like these, do a screen grab and send it in.

The Meaning of Life

From: Paul Grinberg
Sent: Monday, December 29, 2003 12:56 PM
Subject: The meaning of life

About a year ago, when I was sitting at work, frustrated by the eternally gray skies and the menial jobs that were still awaiting my attention, I wrote this little poem about the meaning of life, better known as 42. I think many, in the very least, will find it humorous, or could even relate to it. It would be great if you could put it up sometime on your site. Thanks in advance.

-- 42 --

When you wonder what's the point
of this ever changing world,
just elude, but don't disjoint
the great truth of eons furled.

For example, let's consider
a machine of great design,
which is likely to appear
in most unlikely space and time.
Powered by a crude creation
only genius could derive,
At the heart of this aberration
lies the Infinite Improbability Drive.

If this notion is too complex
for you to grasp and comprehend,
Here's another demonstration
for your gray matter to transcend.
With one gigawatt of power
and a solidly formed plan
You can change the year and hour
with an old DeLorean.

There are many more examples
contradicting God's designs
All of which bestow "great vengeance"
through attempts "to poison" our minds.
It's, in fact, so controversial,
that, when asked to prove a fact,
God refused, and in a puff of logic
promptly pulled a vanishing act.

Here enlies this poem's moral
for your brain to stew and chew
never struggle, never quarrel
over meaning of 42.

That's all for this week!

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