Three Thoughts for Halloween

posted in: quirky, science, technology 0

No, not spooky thoughts, or even deep thoughts. Just…weird, funny, unexpected.

I’m sure you all know what CAPTCHAs are. No? I didn’t, either, until I read the article I’m about to refer you to. But you’ve dealt with them. CAPTCHAs are those little boxes where you have to decipher squiggly or morphed letters of the alphabet and type them into another box before you can proceed (for example, to add a comment to this blog). Their purpose is to ensure that a real human, and not a robot, is leaving a post or opening an email account.

The evil spammers have come up with a new way around these: a sexy picture of a scantily clad blonde, and an invitation to entice her to take off her clothes by…yes, deciphering a CAPTCHA and entering the code. But when you do this, you’re performing a service for the spammers: enabling them to get past these protective devices. Read about it on the Washington Post Security Fix column, where I saw it.

To veer wildly in the direction of the physics of life, ponder the possibility that life may evolve in the form of plasma or ionized dust creatures (in space). Invasion of the Plasmozoids! Or whatever you might like to call them. The New Scientist magazine has asked for ideas of what to call these hypothetical beings.

And for one final twist into oddity, watch this brief video of a train in Bangkok. Be sure to watch all the way to the end.

Happy Halloween!

“We tend to think things are new because we’ve just discovered them.” —Madeleine L’Engle

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