Tuesday, March 15, 2005

This sounds like a job for ... the Underground Man

The NYT is rockin' the passive aggression today:
Wesley A. Williams spent more than a year exacting his revenge against junk mailers. When signing up for a no-junk-mail list failed to stem the flow, he resorted to writing at the top of each unwanted item: "Not at this address. Return to sender." But the mail kept coming because the envelopes had "or current resident" on them, obligating mail carriers to deliver it, he said.

Next, he began stuffing the mail back into the "business reply" envelope and sending it back so that the mailer would have to pay the postage. "That wasn't exacting a heavy enough cost from them for bothering me," said Mr. Williams, 35, a middle school science teacher who lives in Melrose, N.Y., near Albany.

After checking with a postal clerk about the legality of stepping up his efforts, he began cutting up magazines, heavy bond paper, and small strips of sheet metal and stuffing them into the business reply envelopes that came with the junk packages.

"You wouldn't believe how heavy I got some of these envelopes to weigh," said Mr. Williams, who added that he saw an immediate drop in the amount of arriving junk mail. A spokesman for the United States Postal Service, Gerald McKiernan, said that Mr. Williams's actions sounded legal, as long as the envelope was properly sealed.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Stupid but irresistible

Look, I find blogs that habitually bash the French (culture, politics, whatever) annoying.

Still, this is funny:

Paris strike hits Olympic visit

France is in the grip of a one-day general strike, just as Paris hosts a team of inspectors from the International Olympic Committee. They will tour the city to assess its bid to host the 2012 Olympics. The strike has brought much of the public transport system to a halt, while tens of thousands of protesters are due to stage rallies.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005


What we saw in the business press yesterday (roughly speaking):
"Boeing CEO forced to resign over affair with colleague"
The follow-up story we should be seeing:
"Airbus execs laugh their asses off at US puritanism"

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

The secret life of cows

[C]ows have a secret mental life in which they bear grudges, nurture friendships and become excited over intellectual challenges, scientists have found.

Cows are also capable of feeling strong emotions such as pain, fear and even anxiety — they worry about the future. But if farmers provide the right conditions, they can also feel great happiness.

[C]ows within a herd form smaller friendship groups of between two and four animals with whom they spend most of their time, often grooming and licking each other. They will also dislike other cows and can bear grudges for months or years.

From the London Times, via Arts and Letters Daily. The long-standing grudges part is what worries me, personally.