Dispatches from Outland
A little song. A little dance. A little seltzer down your pants. Copyright © 2003 Roy M. Jacobsen.


Thursday, May 01, 2003  

Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam, Baked Beans and Spam Department: Anyone with an e-mail address gets unsolicited commercial e-mail, popularly known as spam. As more people come online, "Death and taxes" could be expanded to "Death, taxes and spam."

However, there are things you can do to reduce how much spam you get. The Center for Democracy & Technology conducted a six month experiment to try to find out how spammers collect e-mail addresses. The report detailing their findings is here.

Their recommendations for avoiding spam are:

Disguise e-mail addresses posted in a public electronic place.
Read carefully when filling out online forms requesting your e-mail address, and exercise your choice.
Use multiple e-mail addresses.
Use a filter.
Short e-mail addresses are easy to guess, and may receive more spam.

posted by Roy M. Jacobsen at 10:14 AM
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Tuesday, April 29, 2003  

Apt Similies Department: "Sex Is Like a Typewriter." No, really. Marva Dawn explains:

Before the personal computer era, I used an excellent typewriter to write books. It had a corrector ribbon that was especially helpful ? except that I didn't have to change it often enough to remember how to do it. Besides, the corrector and typing ribbons had to be carefully positioned around certain sprockets and divider bars in order not to interfere with each other's functioning. In addition, my vision had already partially deteriorated, and, most important, I have always been a total klutz mechanically. Consequently, every time the corrector ribbon had to be changed I wound up with inky hands and a nonfunctioning machine.

Then the most amazing thing always happened: I would get out the instruction book. A picture showed me how the ribbons were to be positioned, and written instructions guided me step by step through the process of threading them into place. Voila! I could successfully type and correct!

Why could that instruction book solve my problem every time? It is because the company that built the typewriter wrote the instruction book. Those who know the design of the machine are the ones most able to teach me how the machine can be most effectively used and maintained.

That is how our sexuality is like my typewriter. The Designer knows the design and is the best one to write the instruction book. God, who created us in the wholistic unity of our bodies, souls, minds, and spirits, made our sexuality part of that wholeness and integrally related to every other aspect of our beings. God also graciously revealed his design for the care of our sexuality in the Scriptures. Just as with my typewriter, if we fail to follow the Designer's instructions and handle our sexuality our own way ? or the way our society teaches us ? we wind up with messy hands and a nonfunctioning instrument. But if we follow the Creator's instructions, the instrument works effectively, productively, delightfully. Its purpose is fulfilled.

There's more, and it's good.

posted by Roy M. Jacobsen at 11:43 AM
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Monday, April 28, 2003  

Touché Department: Susanna Cornett gives us this gem:

Why is it when someone says, "Judge not, that you be not judged!" it's always said in a judging way? Maybe the someone on the receiving end should just say, "Matt. 7:5."

posted by Roy M. Jacobsen at 9:10 AM
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