LONG URLs

Marc Fest: ‘Perhaps the best of the programs to help you keep from breaking extra-long URLs is . . . snipurl.com.’

WHERE DO E-MAILS GO TO HANG OUT WHEN THEY’RE GOOFING OFF?

John Kasley: ‘I occasionally send myself an e-mail with a URL in it, as a reference to something I may want to investigate later. I just sent myself such a note, and it took 9 minutes to get back here. I’m on a cable connection. Where did the message go and what did it do? I hope it had a good time. Your readers seem to know everything in the world. One of them will surely know this.’

RELAX – IT ONLY SEEMS REALLY SCARY

Did you see Gregg Easterbrook’s piece in the New York Times a couple of Sundays ago? It is filled with more-or-less reassuring facts about the chemical, biological, and even nuclear, terrorist attacks we might face.

‘In 1989,’ it notes, for example, ‘workers at an American government laboratory near Washington were accidentally exposed to Ebola, and it was several days before the mistake was discovered; [yet] no one died. A coordinated anthrax attack in the fall of 2001 killed five people, a tiny fraction of the number who died of influenza during the time the nation was terrified by the anthrax letters.’

‘Your risk of dying in a car accident while driving to buy duct tape likely exceeds your risk of dying because you lacked duct tape,’ the piece concludes.

(I doubt there’s any connection, but it’s interesting to note that 46% of the duct tape sold in America is reportedly manufactured by an Avon, Ohio, outfit whose founder, Jack Kahl, gave more than $100,000 to the GOP in the 2000 election cycle.)

Then again, Easterbrook tells us, the Japanese effectively used fleas to spread Bubonic plague among the Chinese, so I am not ready to let my anxiety go altogether. Our missile shield, when it is completed, will surely not have the accuracy to knock plague-ridden fleas out of the air – at least not without doing a lot of collateral damage around the house.

 

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