The Null Device
Soup, Cos' new community blog storytelling project, has an entry on overpasses as community noticeboards; i.e., the tendency for people to write birthday wishes, declarations of love, &c., on bridges and overpasses.
Many years ago, there was a graffito over Burwood Highway (I think it was on one of the Alamein line railway bridges), reading "I'LL ALWAYS MISS YOU EILEEN &heart; SD". I saw it many times when being driven to school, and imagined a tearful SD writing that before jumping to his death below. It occurred to me later that the bridge was nowhere near high enough to reliably commit suicide from, by when my mental image of SD was revised to lying with a broken leg in the middle of Burwood Highway at 3am, a bucket of paint spilled beside him, the pain distracting him from his broken heart, and the alcohol taking some of the edge off the pain.
One day I saw a piece in a community paper (I think it was out Ferntree Gully way), by a journalist who tracked down the real SD, who wrote his famous message one drunken night after Eileen left him, a decade or so earlier. Since then he had married another girl, bought a house in Boronia or Upwey or some place, and become a father. Every day he would commute to work down Burwood Highway and see his younger self's testament of undying love; sometimes, he said, he wanted to climb the bridge and paint over the silly thing once and for all.
Porn spammers are taking to online dating web sites to prey on the unloved and gullible; it now seems that 3% of online personals are spam, crafted to collect email addresses and hopefully sucker the respondent into subscribing to a porn site.
While the ads are tricky to spot, it's not impossible. They tend to be women in their 20s who have very general information listed in their personal essays, and often leave many personal details fields blank. And of course, an immediate request for a private e-mail address should be suspicious.
The UK government is escalating the War On Copying: in a heartwarming display of public-private partnership for the common good, the government and recording industry are co-funding a new post at the Department of Culture, Media and Sport. The post will be held by a former executive of V2, BMG and Warner Music, and its purpose will be to stamp out the scourge of file-sharing and help ease in mandatory copy-denial technologies.
"Legitimate means of distributing music are under threat "
(via Charlie's Diary)