But first . . .


Contrary to the lyrics in this video, Passover’s not over. Observation begins at sunset April 8 and runs through April 15. That said, it is always a good idea to plan ahead.

And now . . .


If the caller ID that shows up on your cell phone reads, “Blocked,” here is a free service – trapcall.com – that promises to unmask the caller. With extra features, if you want to pay for them, like keeping a recording of all your incoming calls or even having a human transcribe voice mails and text them to you so you can discreetly glance down during a business meeting or a history seminar and see the message. It’s sister service, spoofcard.com, described here, not only lets you defeat trapcall.com and remain truly anonymous, it actually lets you pretend to be someone else and disguise your voice, changing it from male to female or vice versa.

I have not tried either service, even though most of their features would be legal in all situations and the rest would be legal – even ethical! – in many situations*, depending on how you used them.

Whether or not you try these services, be aware that others may. If you’ve been assuming your own caller info shows up blocked (because you told the phone company you wanted it that way), be aware trapcall users will in fact be able to see it. And if you get a call that shows up with, say, my phone number and caller ID, it may not really be me – it could be a spoofcard customer.

We live in interesting times.

*Certainly not these.


Chris McMahon: “You say that an LED bulb gives off no heat. This is untrue. In comparison to a higher watt incandescent bulb, it gives off much less heat, but it does still emit heat. If it truly gave off no heat it would probably be breaking the first law of thermodynamics or something.”

*Carnot? Joule?


Stewart Dean: “You ask, ‘how did they get the sheep to do that?’ You haven’t watched top-class sheepdogs work a flock. Dunno where you could see it in your area, but a top dog can be a near telepathic extension of its master, and they live to do it. I could tell you stories . . . about a friend in upstate New York who came across a sheepdog herding cows from one field to another across the road with NO handler . . . when he came to a halt in front of the stream of cows, the dog turned to face him and barked as if to say, ‘yes, I know you’re there, I’m getting them across as fast as possible.’ When all the cows had passed into the other field and the road was clear, the dog again faced my friend and barked as if to say, ‘You can go now.’ . . . Another friend grew up in the Carolinas with a sheepdog and was baby-sat by it on occasion . . . and the dog knew it was in charge and was less tolerant of BS than her parents. Stories of sheepdogs/border collies are legion. One of the definitive books on man and dog (and we’re not talking gooey pet stories) is Nop’s Trials by Donald McCaig. Get to a trial. You will be astounded. Though dogs exist now almost exclusively as pets, they were bred originally for tasks, and much of the mischief they can get into comes from not having an outlet for the activities that they have been bred to do. Border collies have an incredible work ethic, so much so that they are often difficult without it.”


Charles McChesney: “On January 23, 2006, I bought two six packs of “60 watt equivalent” GE CFLs for $7.50 per pack. The ‘Limited Warranty’ asserted that they would last 5 years. Five have already failed. I sent three of the failed bulbs back to GE with copies of the warranty and my sales slip and they have responded each time with a $10 coupon to buy ‘one package of GE bulbs’ per coupon. [After postage, I make] $6.50 profit on each bulb. BTW, my experience with Feit bulbs was even more abysmal. They all failed in less than two years.

☞ What I conclude from this is that we need to keep buying CFLs anyway, to provide a market as the quality standards improve. Even with a shorter-than-advertised life, they save a lot of money and energy. Several of mine have failed – especially the dimmable ones – but most have been just fine.


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