News, Weather, Mozart, Sports, Eurovision Love Ænema & Perverted Videogames from Vleeptron

NGO_Vleeptron (aka "Bob from Massachusetts") recently featured LIVE on BBC WORLD SERVICE, heard briefly by Gazillions!!!

My Photo
Location: Great Boreal Deciduous Hardwood Forest, New England, United States

old dude, all hair, swell new teeth

31 May 2006

CRUMMY OLD WINE DEPT: It's Mozart's 250th Birthday, and Vleeptron isn't afraid to TELL the TRUTH about Wolfgang!!!

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart at about
age 33, two years before he died.
(Painter unknown (by me))

Notify Blogger about objectionable content.
What does this mean?

Recent posts:

* None of that stuff here, no sireee Bob!
* this free software sux
* Hot New Photos of Jennifer Lopez Taking a Shower!!!
* We're Number One again!
* Vleeptron is now a raw international sausage foto album
* Now in the Vleeptron Parlour: Beautiful Child of Song!
* Shareef don't like it! He says it's not kosher!
* Vleeptron Complaint Dept.: besbol PizzQ
* Vleeptron Days of the Week

28 April 2005
ein sick puppy

Dearest Amy,

I'm really sorry I ever brought up this coprophilia thing. Your mother was right: Never play with anything meant for the toilet.

And I feel your pain as you initially tried so hard to be a modern up-to-date politically correct non-judgmental person, but then you remembered your mom's words, and you just couldn't. It's dirty! It's dirty! And anybody who does it is such a perv!

Well, anyway, you won some more pizza for knowing what it was. Please come East one of these days! Although SWMBO and I mutter very seriously about a trip to your neck of the woods. I want to see the big meteor crater, and she wants to go to the World's Capital of Tastelessness, where they worship Elvis the way people in Mecca worship Allah: Las Vegas. If this trip happens, we'll take you out for all the food you've won since you first identified the insulin molecule on my old dead website.

And meanwhile, I'd really appreciate it if you find a cure for diabetes. When Faulkner's editor called him in '49 to tell him he'd just won the Nobel Prize, Faulkner told him he couldn't go to Stockholm to accept because he didn't own a tuxedo. Could you tell us what outfit you'll wear when you win your Nobel for Medicine and Physiology? Say something nice about Rosalind Franklin in your speech. The three guys who won the DNA prize have all said her x-ray crystallographs deserved a chunk of the prize, but she died young, and the Nobel is never awarded posthumously.

la Science,
c'est aussi pour les Jeunes Filles!

-- sign in a Toronto high school classroom

Oh, did you check out the rotating Thujone Fun Molecule? How can something with so few atoms be so much fun and cause so much trouble? But it does cure pinworms.

Okay, back to Phun with Pheces. DespicableTeacher has identified the tune for Mozart's No. 1 Euro Pop Song, "Leck mich im Arsch": K231 (the K stands for Ludwig Alois Ferdinand Ritter von Köchel, the Mozart scholar who first ordered and catalogued all Mozart's compositions). Everybody click and sing along!

It's becoming clearer and clearer that Wolfgang was ein sick puppy.

But what about dennis? What you are about to read ... well ... this dennis guy ... does he hang on this Mozart List because he just loves the music of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart?

Or does he hang on this List because it's the hottest 18th Century Coprophilia Site on the Web? What up with dennis?

I just wanted to know some more stuff about Mozart, and that's when I got the scholarly bio, and had to reach for the dictionary to learn about this previously unsuspected perversion.

But does dennis know too much about Mozart?

Read this, sing these really swell Euro Pop Songs, and decide.


Subject: Mozart's "Kiss My XXX" Canons
From: dennis
To: All
Date Posted: 09:23:34 04/15/04 ()
Email Address:


In 1799 Constanze Mozart sent Breitkopf & Härtel several manuscripts including a list of "songs". Among this list of songs Item 21 reads "Three Canons Lek mich im Arsch". Constanze included a note saying she would be sending the Canons later and that their texts would have to be altered because they were "unruly". It is uncertain which canons she referred to but two were most likely--K231/382c, known by its incipit "Leck mich im Arsch" (Kiss my Ass) and K233/382e "Leck mir den Arsch fein recht schon sauber" (Kiss my ever so nice clean ass). The third was probably K234/384e "Bei der Hitz im Sommer ess ich" (In the heat of summer I eat). B & H published the 3 Canons with new texts: "Lasst froh uns seyn" (Lets be joyous), "Nichts labt mich mehr als Wien" (Nothing pleases me more than wine) and "Essen, Trinken, das erhalt den Leib" (Eating, drinking support love), only citing the first line of Mozart's original text. Not only these three, but six other canons were published by B & H with new suitable texts. However the other six texts are known to us from Mozart autographs, these first 3 canon texts have been lost to us. However a recently found set of the "Oeuvres Complettes" of Mozart's from ca. 1804 gives all 9 original canon texts that B & H suppressed. The original texts are entered just below B & H's printed words.

The authenticity of these 3 "Leck mich im Arsch" canons has been questioned by Albert Dunning in the Mozart-Jahrbuch and again in his NMA volume. Then in 1988 Wolfgang Plath established the music of K233 and K234 is most likely to be attributed to Wenzel Trnka (1739-1791), having been published before 1800 in "XII Canons for 3 Voices Composer Sig. Wenceslao Trnka", and again later by Aloys Fuchs under Trnka's name. Michael Ochs in a 1991 Mozart-Jahrbuch article hypothesized that Breitkopf & Härtel received the Mozart canon autographs from Constanze Mozart and made in-house copies of them; then on these copies were written the substitute texts, with a few modifications in the music to accommodate B & H's new words. Even though this is very plausible, unfortunately there is no evidence of any in-house copies and no clue where the autographs went to. Ochs reproduces the original text of Mozart's for the canons as follows:

K233 "Leck mire den A..recht schon, fein sauber lecke ihn, fein sauber lecke, leck mire den A...Das ist ein fettigs Begehren, nur gut mit Butter geschmiert, den das Lecken der Braten mein tagliches Thun. Drei lecken mehr als Zweie, nur her, machet die Prob' und leckt, leckt, leckt. Jeder leckt sein A...fur sich".

K234: "Beider Hitz im Sommer ess ich gerne Wurzl und Krauter auch Butter und Rettig; treibt furtreflich Wind und kuhlet mich ab, und kuhlet mich ab. Ich nehm Limonade, Mandelmilch, auch zu Zeiten Horner bier, auch zu Zeiten Horner Bier; das im heissen Somer nur, im Sommer nur. Ich fur mich in Eis gekuhlts Glas Wein, fur mich in Eis gekuhlts Glas Wein in Eis. Auch mein Glas gefrohrnes".

Remember Plath established most likely the music is by Trnka, but according to Ochs "we must nevertheless admit that the words have a definite Mozarteun ring. Their appearance...leads one to speculate that Mozart fitted his own text to someone else's music, unlikely as that may seem. According to Plath, Trnka's canons originally had an Italian text (from Metastasio), and had been changed to the coarse German by someone else, and then later attributed to Mozart.

K231: Leck mich im A...g'schwindi, g'schwindi!Leck im A...mich g'schwindi. Leck mich, leck mich, g'schwindi/etc. etc. etc."

A further possible "Leck mir Arsch" canon maybe K559. the text "Difficile lectu mihi Mars" apparently makes fun of Johann Nepomuk Peyerl (a Bavarian tenor in Mozart's circle). According to an account by Gottfried Weber in 1824 one evening Mozart wrote out the nonsense Latin sounding words in the hope that Peyerl's accent would pronounce the words "Lectu mihi mars" as "leck du mich im Arse". When this happened the party would turn the page over and find the mocking canon K560a "O du eselhafter Peirel", which is indeed written on the back of the K559 autograph. However Dunning in NMA shows there is reason to doubt this account. This canon also has Mozart versions using the names "Martin" and "Jakob". The Breitkopf & Härtel set spoken of earlier uses the word Reitknecht, perhaps used by B & H to make a text more presentable.

Another of Mozart's humorous canons is K232/509a "Lieber Freistaedtler, Lieber Gaulimauli" written most likely in summer of 1787, where Mozart pokes fun at a student, Franz Jakob Freystadtler, whom he nicknamed "Gaulimauli" (horse-mouth) "Stachelschwein" (porcupine) and "Herr Lilienfeld (Mr. Lilyfield) in letters and a comedy sketched by himself.

In my favorite Canon K561, Mozart says good night with an insult in five languages, then ends by saying "Sleep tight, and stick your ass in your mouth". Again B & H made a complete re-texting for the canon.

Köchel had placed the "Leck mir Arsch" canons K231, 233 ,234 with the 1775 compositions, believing they fit well with Mozart's letters from his Salzburg years that used toilet language. In K3 Einstein moved them to Mozart's early Vienna years because of the "humorous social intercourse" which the texts reflect, renumbering them K382c,d and e. William Cowdery (1991) believes they might fit well with the similar obscene lyrics of the 1788 Canons. However Dunning pointed out that the earlier dated canons differ in their melodic flow from the "Vienna Canons" of 1787 and 1788, even placing a slight doubt on their authenticity. Regarding the Canons K559 and K560a Dunn believes they may have been written as early as 1786, as Peyerl was still in Salzburg to at least mid December 1785; so the earliest Mozart could have met him in Vienna was at the very end of December 1785 and most likely 1786. Mozart then batch entered the 9 canons at one time in his work catalogue on September 2, 1788. However Alan Tyson's NMA volume of watermarks places the Peyerl canon on a type of paper Mozart purchased after his return from Prague in December 1787 and predominately used in 1788, including all pages of K550 and K551, Symphonies #40 and #41.

All the Canons discussed here are available (in the Breitkopf & Härtel re-texting) on the Philips Complete Mozart Edition, volume 23.


posted by Bob Merkin | 12:57

Post a Comment

NGO Vleeptron asks the Beeb a question

The Myanmar junta's other two momzers
(from BBC News "Burma's hardline generals")

Maung Aye (bottom, archive picture)

Maung Aye is also a career soldier and the second most powerful man in the country.

He is believed to have established strong ties with Burma's many drug lords [traditionally opium, subsequently methamphetamine] in the Golden Triangle while operating as a colonel in the late 1970s and 80s, before he joined the military leadership in 1993.

He has a reputation for ruthlessness and xenophobia, and is also staunchly opposed to allowing Aung San Suu Kyi any future role.

He is also rumoured to be a hard drinker.

Prime Minister Soe Win (top, undated photo)

Lieutenant General Soe Win, 58, is seen a hard-line operator with close links to Than Shwe. He succeeded Khin Nyunt as prime minister in 2004.

Some diplomats and dissidents believe that, as a key figure in the Union Solidarity and Development Association -- the civilian wing of the junta -- he was behind a bloody attack on Aung San Suu Kyi's convoy in the north of the country last year, which led to the opposition leader being taken back into house arrest.

Earlier in his career, he commanded an infantry division which helped crush the democracy party in 1988 following Aung San Suu Kyi's overwhelming victory in national elections.

He joined the Defence Service Academy in 1965, and quickly worked his way up through the military ranks. He joined the junta in 1997, and was appointed as Secretary-2 of the council in February 2003, and Secretary-1 in August of the same year, replacing Khin Nyunt, who became prime minister.


BBC News website feedback
Please use the webform below to submit your feedback

BBC News Newswatch
BBC News website
Room 7540
BBC Television Centre
Wood Lane
W12 7RJ

Hi --

In your excellent and informative "Burma's hardline generals," the 2nd graf says:

"The junta has been led by three generals wielding almost absolute power. But in-fighting and a lack of transparency have generated regular rumours of power struggles at the top."

I am curious about the author's use of "almost." It implies that there exists within Burma an institution of power or authority which is independent of the military junta or has the authentic capacity to challenge the will and acts of the junta to some perceivable or measurable degree.

What might this independent institution be? Or for what other reason did the author use the modifier "almost" to describe the junta's "absolute power"?

If the junta's absolute power is, indeed, only "almost," then that would make a very important news story in itself, a story I would so very much want to read.


Bob Merkin
Northampton Massachusetts USA

30 May 2006

Myanmar's junta, world's worst human rights tyranny, does its desperate worst to hold on to power

Senior General Than Shwe (born 2 February 1933) is the ruler of Myanmar (Burma), serving as chairman of the State Peace and Development Council since 23 April 1992. (image and text: Wikipedia; rest of Wikipedia bio of Than Shwe at bottom)

Tuesday 30 May 2006 8:11 AM BST

Myanmar junta preparing
civilian face, foes say

by Chawadee Nualkhair

BANGKOK (Reuters) -- Myanmar's military junta is using a civilian front to kill off detained Aung San Suu Kyi's opposition party and put an acceptable face on its rule as international pressure mounts, exiled foes alleged on Tuesday.

The Union Solidarity and Development Association (USDA) could win eventual elections and cloak the junta in civilian guise, the Thailand-based Network for Democracy and Development (NDD) said.

"The regime is little interested at this time in genuine democratisation, and has already developed an elaborate plan using the USDA to hold onto power," former Thai ambassador Surapong Jayanama said in a preface to an NDD report.

"The UN Security Council is needed to end the political deadlock in the country. The people of Burma should not have to wait any longer," he said in a report entitled "The White Shirts: How the USDA will become the new face of Burma's Dictatorship."

The former Burma, isolated from the West and increasingly estranged from its neighbours, said in 2003 it would embark on seven-step "road map to democracy."

It is still on the first step, a national conference writing a new constitution boycotted by Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy because of her latest detention, which began three years ago.

The conference is not due to meet again until late this year.

The junta drew international flak again on Saturday for extending Suu Kyi's house arrest for another year despite a direct appeal from U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan to set her free.

The Nobel peace laureate is virtually incommunicado and last month the junta accused her NLD, hit by a recent wave of resignations which its officials blame on pressure from the regime, of having ties to "terrorists."


The junta is using methods ranging from business threats to promises of free telephones to expand the USDA at the expense of the NLD, which won an election in 1990 but was never allowed to take power, the exiles' report said.

One unnamed former NLD member switched allegiances two years ago after the USDA threatened his business, it said.

"The USDA secretary and two other township USDA officials came to my home and threatened not to issue the yearly permit to run my stores if I continued refusing to resign from the NLD and then join the USDA," it quoted him as saying in March.

The USDA, formed in 1993 as a social organisation, now claims 22.8 million members, nearly half the country's population. Membership is compulsory for government employees.

More recently, it has played a leading role in organising mass rallies against the NLD and last year the junta gave the USDA some power over foreign non-governmental organisations.

The junta told the NGOs they had to take USDA officials on field trips and get its prior approval for local staff they wanted to hire, aid workers say.

It counts high-ranking members of the State Peace and Development Council, as the junta is known formally, as patrons, secretaries and members of its Central Executive Committee, the exiles' report said.

"With a long history of oppression, the potential for the USDA to become a political party and run in future elections is troubling," it said. "A transition to a new, civilian government would be in name only."

- 30 -

© Reuters 2006. All rights reserved. Reuters and the Reuters sphere logo are registered trademarks and trademarks of the Reuters group of companies around the world.


Senior General Than Shwe (born 2 February 1933) is the ruler of Myanmar (Burma), serving as chairman of the State Peace and Development Council since 23 April 1992.

Early Life and Career

Than was born in Kyaukse, Mandalay Division. He worked in the Burmese postal service, but at age 20 enlisted in the army, where he spent several years in the psychological warfare department, engaged in the fight against Karen rebels. In 1960, he was promoted to the rank of captain. After the military coup which ousted Prime Minister U Nu in 1962, Than Shwe continued rising through the ranks. He reached lieutenant colonel in 1972, colonel in 1978, Commander of the Military District of the South West in 1983, Vice Chief of Staff of the Army, brigadier-general and Vice-Minister of Defence in 1985 and then major-general in 1986. He also obtained a seat on the ruling party's Central Executive Committee.

Appointment as Chairman of SPDC

When the State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC) was created as a response to the bloody protests of 1988, Than Shwe was appointed as one of its 21 members. He grew to become the right-hand man of then ruler, General Saw Maung. On 23 April 1992, Saw Maung unexpectedly resigned, citing health reasons, and Than Shwe replaced him as Chairman of the Council, head of state, Secretary of Defence and commander-in-chief of the armed forces.

Style of Leadership

Shwe initially appeared to be more liberal than his predecessor, as he set free political prisoners, and began to relax the restrictions on democracy campaigner Aung San Suu Kyi, who had been placed under house arrest after the crushed elections of 1990. He renamed the country from Burma to Myanmar in 1989, and in 1993, ordered the writing of a new Constitution. Than Shwe relaxed some state control over the economy, and has been a vocal supporter of Myanmar's participation in the Association of South East Asian Nations. He also oversaw a large crackdown on political corruption, which saw the sackings of a number of ministers in 1997. Though he is often seen as not tolerating criticism, he has, for the first time in many years, allowed the International Committee of the Red Cross and Amnesty International to make visits to Myanmar.

However, Shwe's government has continued the persecution of Myanmar's ethnic minorities, such as the Karen and Shan peoples. He launched a campaign of repression against Muslims in Myanmar's north that forced an estimated 250,000 people to flee to Bangladesh as refugees. The new Constitution has never been finished, and is still in the committee stage, as of 2004. He has continued the suppression of the free press in Myanmar, and has overseen the detention of journalists who oppose his regime. While he oversaw the release of Aung San Suu Kyi during the late 1990s, he also oversaw her return to detention in 2003. Despite his relaxation of some restrictions on Myanmar's economy, his economic policies have been often criticized as ill-planned.

Than maintains a low profile. He tends to be seen as being sullen and rather withdrawn, a hardliner and an opponent of the democratization of Myanmar. He marks national holidays and ceremonies with messages in the state-run newspapers, but rarely talks to the press.

For many years, Than was seen as being something of a figurehead as head of state, with the power over policy being held by his ministers. However, more recent reports suggest that, in recent years, he has been consolidating his power over the country. When he reached the mandatory retirement age of 60, he simply extended it, which has led to suggestions that he may remain as head of state for the rest of his life. He has also been linked to the toppling and arrest of Prime Minister Khin Nyunt, which has significantly increased his power.

Than Shwe's wife Daw Kyaing Kyaing, who is an ethnic Pa-o, plays a major role in politics. She is known to have taken bribes, and was involved in a public bribery scandal in 2004.

In May 2006, he met with UN Undersecretary-General for Political Affairs Ibrahim Gambari in Naypyidaw, and permitted Gambari to meet with Aung San Suu Kyi.

External links

* Than Shwe Watch on The Irrawaddy

* Burma's hardline generals on BBC News

the Arabic lesson: ?Hgih evirD yhW

CBC News (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation)
Tuesday 20 May 2006

City red-faced
over poster's mangled Arabic

The City of Ottawa is scrambling to fix thousands of posters put up in a unique advertising campaign warning people in five languages not to smoke pot and drive.

The Arabic in the city's Why Drive High? campaign posters is written backwards.

The problem? The Arabic translation of the campaign's key slogan – Why Drive High? – is incomprehensible, according to those who speak the language.

The large bright yellow posters feature a large marijuana leaf filled with graphic photos of car accidents. Below the leaf, the slogan is written in five languages: English, French, Somali, Chinese and Arabic.

But those who speak Arabic say both the sentence and words are written backwards. Unlike English, Arabic is written right to left.

"I think no Arabic speaker would understand what it does mean. The first time, I thought it wasn't Arabic," said Nasreddine Ben Ali, who is originally from Tunisia.

He said that once he had figured out how to read the sentence, he still wasn't sure of its meaning.

Ali said the sentence translates to "Don't sacrifice your life." He guessed that it might have something to do with drinking and driving.

"We are a multicultural city and so communicating in Arabic is something we've done before and done it right … but this is an embarrassment for the city," said Bay Ward Coun. Alex Cullen.

The city says it hired a professional translation firm and used a focus group to test the sentence. The error occurred during production, a spokesman said.

City officials said they are working to fix the error. The Why Drive High? ad has already been changed on the website, but they say it's too early to know how much replacing the posters will cost taxpayers.

- 30 -

29 May 2006

Memorial Day Message from Vleeptron & Veterans of Stupid Wars

Okay, don't click to make it bigger.

I found a really stunning babe in an American Flag Thong bikini, but there were barely any patriotic flag elements to it, so I didn't filch it. What would be the point?

On behalf of the
Veterans of Stupid Wars,
SP5 Bob (US Army retired)
wishes all of you

a Happy Memorial Day.

from Wikipedia:

This holiday commemorates U.S. men and women who have died in military service to their country. It began first to honor Union soldiers who died during the American Civil War. After World War I, it expanded to include those who died in any war or military action.

Bring All Our U.S. Troops
from Iraq
and Afghanistan


Our Leadership, military and civilian, is too incompetent and lacks the will to prevent more atrocities from happening.

By the time we do get out of Iraq and Afghanistan, the reputation of the U.S. Army and Marine Corps will be completely destroyed.

These uniforms liberated concentration camps in 1945. European and Asian civilians ran toward the American military uniform for safety and humane treatment. And they got it.

Now the Asian world looks on these same uniforms -- the uniforms our fathers and grandfathers wore -- with fear and hatred.

As of today:
US military deaths
in Iraq


May 27, 2006
Release A060527d

Marine aircraft mishap in al Anbar

CAMP FALLUJAH, Iraq – A U.S. Marine Corps AH-1 Cobra helicopter from 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing went down May 27 in al Anbar province with two Marines on board during a maintenance test flight.

Search and rescue efforts are ongoing for the missing crewmembers.

“We are using all the resources available to find our missing comrades,” said Marine spokesman Lt. Col. Bryan Salas.

The incident does not appear to be a result of enemy action.

The incident is under investigation.




If you truly feel you love
and support our military troops ...


Call your Senators! Call your Congress Member! Tell them if they don't bring your neighbors' kids home, you'll vote against them in the Tuesday 7 November 2006 election. (Tomorrow, make sure you're registered for it.)

If you haven't had enough of these wars ... if you let Bush and Rumsfeld keep lying and bumbling ... your neighbors' kids are going to keep dying. Your voice, your vote is the only thing that can save their lives.

Entre Lajeunesse et la sagesse

* Now talking in #montreal
* Topic is 'Aucune recherches tolerees sinon ban !!!'
* Set by DeMoNHeLL on Sun May 28 16:50:31
* alucard82 has joined #montreal
{Attitude} compter le nombre de ti carré de papier de toilette dans un rouleau cashmere JUMBO
{orange-} qui a des bon buisness et chercher un partners msg moi
* Kysha has joined #montreal


{Droog4} tu habite en Montreal?
{Andrew-_-} oui
{Andrew-_-} you can write in english :)
{Droog4} oh
{Droog4} i was enjoying my Car Wreck du francais
{Andrew-_-} hehe ok
{Droog4} hey
{Droog4} there's an old song
{Droog4} Entre La Jeunesse et La Sagesse
{Andrew-_-} from?
{Droog4} La J and La S ... are these streets in Montreal?
{Andrew-_-} Lajeunesse, yes
{Droog4} Kate & Anna McGarrigle sang it
{Andrew-_-} ok
{Droog4} but it was written by a northern Quebec poet (and gold miner)
{Droog4} so i can find it on a Montreal map, where is Lajeunesse near?
{Andrew-_-} yes
{Andrew-_-} near st-hubert street
{Droog4} ah merci
{Andrew-_-} no problem :)
{Droog4} next Life, I will not study Latin
{Andrew-_-} haha
{Droog4} everybody who speaks it is dead
{Andrew-_-} yeah
{Andrew-_-} but it still a great and complex langage
{Droog4} (still, pretty helpful gettin around Europe and even Quebec
{Andrew-_-} people who talk this language are religious one..
{Andrew-_-} where you from ?!
{Droog4} oh yes, le Pape et moi, we talk on the phone every week
{Andrew-_-} hahaha
{Droog4} j'habite 6 heures sud du Montreal
{Droog4} western Massachusetts
{Andrew-_-} ok
{Andrew-_-} ok nice
{Andrew-_-} i meet someone from this place last summer.
{Andrew-_-} massachusetts
{Droog4} in the Truck Stop, les Truckers parlant en Quebecoise
{Droog4} i eavesdrop
{Andrew-_-} ok
{Droog4} oh you should check out that old song, it's very beautiful
{Andrew-_-} ok i note it
{Droog4} merci pour l'assistance
{Andrew-_-} fait plaisir :)
{Droog4} oh maintenant j'whore my blog:
{Droog4} visitez, ecrivez un Comment
{Andrew-_-} c cool
{Droog4} :-)
{Andrew-_-} =)


{fbi13chfbi12} allo je suis une fille de 13 ans qui aimerai parler dai belle fille entre 12 a 14 ans qui son deja faite violer pv moi ou dai gars qui on dai soeru belle entre 12 a 14 ans pv moi
* talaron has joined #montreal
* Ben_oit has quit IRC (Quit)
* MaRyAnN_ has joined #montreal
{stevie___} ch f 12-16 ans qui veut parler
{Droog4} je pute mon blog: h t t p : / / v l e e p t r o n . b l o g s p o t . c o m
* Hfhxy has joined #montreal
* X sets mode: +l 248
* rider-man has quit IRC (Quit)
{vrg} salut si il y a une fille qui veut se faire des sous facilement msg moi 200 à 300 / h
{Bloody_Flesh} ;p;
{Bloody_Flesh} lðl
* tictac has left #montreal
{Droog4} identical twin redheaded freckled college cheerleaders, svp pvt msg moi
* X sets mode: +l 243
* X sets mode: -b *!*
* black_JAY has joined #montreal
* coolpower has joined #montreal
* Hfhxy has quit IRC (Read error: EOF from client)
{AlphaBlast} pas une fille ki veut parler a un gars ki sennuie?
* nettoyeur has joined #montreal


{ItalStalion} hi
{Droog4} hi
{ItalStalion} how r u
{Droog4} better now, someone answered my question about montreal
{ItalStalion} ah k
{ItalStalion} u r two twins?
{Droog4} no no that was just a joke
{Droog4} like everybody's looking for girls on the chann
{ItalStalion} lol
{Droog4} so i was looking for identical twin cheerleaders
{Droog4} my mommy told me you never get what you want if you don't ask
{ItalStalion} lol


{Gunj|a_-} 22tl
* BloodDawn has left #montreal
{Gunj|a_-} 22 f mtl
{Droog4} a demain tlm, et merci pour l'assistance andrew!
* Disconnected

~ ~ ~

Entre Lajeunesse et la sagesse

lyrics by Philippe Tatartcheff
(poet and gold miner from northern Quebec)

music and recorded by Kate & Anna McGarrigle

Où sont passées les plaines, les arbres à l'horizon
Des voies ferrées entre deux pâtés de maisons
Doucement les années nous ont subtilisé
D'abord la joie, puis le désir de faire un choix

Entre Lajeunesse et la sagesse
Il y a un arrêt de métro
Deux dépanneurs, un bricoleur
Une affiche de Brigitte Bardot
Entre Lajeunesse et la sagesse

Nous sommes tous fils, filles, rejetons d'épiciers
Nés un jour de solde, élevés à bon marché
Nous sommes pauvres, mais nous sommes heureux ensemble
Même si janvier souffle, et la charpente tremble

C'est si beau d'ailleurs, faire l'amour avec toi
Entre les carrés brisés et la mort aux rats
Entre les cancrelats et le commissariat
Ce serait si beau toutefois, ailleurs que chez soi

Entre le misère et la sortie d'incendie
Les tuyaux gelés, escaliers en fer forgé
Entre le prieur et le sénateur
Le crématoire et le compositeur

28 May 2006

NEWER! IMPROVEDER! map of Ciudad Vleeptron Underway

Of course you must click.

Work in Progress

I think I mentioned that (when the Zeta Beam is working) I have a small apartment around the corner from the Shoe Mirrors station, just a short walk from the Poortown Parva shopping, restaurant and music club district (where Cafe Drek is).

If you can visit Ciudad Vleeptron, please let me take you to The Very Big Hole in the Ground. You can either just stand at the edge and look down with a flashlight or a keychain laser pointer, or you can pay ¤3.5 to climb down and up. (If you want the motor rope to get back up, that costs ¤7.2).

The Red Line is Adults Only, except during school hours. While schoolkids ride, they drape patriotic bunting (the beloved peche, fuchsia and ochre) over most of the subway car and platform ads.

The Garlic Memorial commemorates The Fourth Garlic War, Vleeptron, Hoon and Yobbo's last war. (There aren't going to be any more wars.) An estimated 52k men, szzr and women lost their lives during Garlic War IV. But that was very long ago, not quite beyond living memory, but a long time ago.

The Agence-Vleeptron Presse offices are in Tower 3 of the Tri-Sky-Hi Tower. You take the Blue Line all the way to the Akira Kurosawa Zeta Beam Drome and take the free jitney service to the 3SHT. Just drop in anytime and say hi. A-VP never closes. On Ramadan, the Jewish guys work an extra shift, on Yom Kippur the Muslim people work an extra shift, and on Christmas the people from the other two major monotheistic faiths etc., so everybody can be with their families. Hindus also, I'm not too familiar with their holidays, but when Rajiv (sports) or Arjun (the TV listings) needs a day off for religious purposes, one of us pulls his shift.

Ciudad Vleeptron has 28 Mosques and 28 Synagogues. By law, you have to build a pair of them next door to or across the street from the other. The place is lousy with Christian churches, too. The Swedenborgian place is in Half Smoke, and the Peanut Butter Worshipers live out around Lotteryland and Hohe.

You might want to visit Funkytown. That's where all the Sinhalese-Vleeptroids live and all the Tamil-Vleeptroids, too. What you'll see in their restaurants and shops and markets, they're all living in peace and respect and scrupulous non-violence, though maybe you'll feel a little chill between the two communities. Uhh, actually, when all the rents have gone upstairs to sleep, the Sinhalese teenagers sneak down to the Tamil teenagers' basement rec rooms on weekend nights and everybody just parties and necks and fucks, in that teenage unprotected way they sometimes do, and later they get pregnant, and then they get married, and when the baby comes, both sets of parents are grandparents now, and they learn to deal with each other and even get close as an extended family, they learn to depend on each other to bring good things to the grandkids. You'd be shocked if I told you how many mixed Sinhalese-Tamil marriages there are in CD, so I won't tell you. (HINT: Fewer than mixed Muslim-Jewish marriages in Israel.)

I'm not all that crazy about it, but if you want to go to the All-Nite Drag Races down Beyonce Boulevard, I'll take you there. There's a woman named Øøøøøøø who sells corn dogs and cannabis by the joint.

Maybe if you check out this map of CV and its Underway, you'll think it's a terrible place and you won't want to visit. Okay, different strokes for different folks. I read this long newspaper travel story by an American guy who spent a week in Amsterdam and really hated it. And I know somebody who really loves Salt Lake City and dreams about moving back there.

But I love Vleeptron and Ciudad Vleeptron, and I love Shoe Mirrors and Poortown Parva, and I can't begin to tell you how much fun I've had at Mollyringwald Centre, and how much I've learned about Natural Selection from the gorgeous nature documentaries at the IMAX. I know the lady -- she has a master's degree in exobiology from VIT -- who books the nature movies, and she just goes ripshit when Intelligent Design fundieschmucks make trouble for IMAX science movies up the Finance & Production chain on Earth and mess with young kids' science education.

When I'm feeling blue very late at night I hop the Red Line to Porn Mall, change for the Purple, and go to Zoostation, and there's always lots of people -- it's the downtown bus terminal and train station, too -- and there's always a couple of food vendors open and there's always a big-ass steaming frying mess of different sausages and fresh onions and garlic, and sometimes when shallots are cheap, they saute them up with shallots. (Some people say shallots have too delicate a taste and they'll be overwhelmed by sausages, but that's crap.) So I buy a big-ass sausage right off the griddle, and wash it down with a Doctor Pepper or a root beer, and I watch the interesting people coming and going through the transport terminal -- the big-ass city Zoo's next door, and you can hear the big cats, the panthers, the hyenas, the crazy jungle birds, the monkeys screaming and roaring and howling while you eat your sausage -- and I'm not blue anymore. My mother grew up listening to wild jungle animals screaming all night, you'll never guess where.

H.M. Strangeways is very small -- it has about 11 or 12 cells, two men to a cell -- and they only put really violent, dangerous men into it, and really Vleeptron has very few of them. The Co-Ed Honor Prison is only open from October to March. We don't put drug addicts in jail, no matter what crazy crap they're shooting into which orafice (and there are nine recognized orafices among the residents of the 3-Planet Zone). If it occurs in an adult consentual context, we just don't send you to jail for that. If you won't stop shooting Krazy Glue into your testicles, the Ministry of Public Health will send a team of Professional Jewish Mothers to bother the crap out of you for the rest of time until you agree to check yourself into the Hospital for Disorders, where we run the Free Drug Treatment On Demand clinic. Ditto if you get a little too fucked up on our excellent Vleeptron Absinthe. Let me take you on the tour of the Absinthe Factory, and I'll bet you can guess how the tour ends.

Did I mention our wonderful music? Iggy & the Stooges, Sun Ra, Hoyt Axton, George Harrison, Enrico Caruso, Captain Beeheart, Glenn Gould, Emmylou Harris harmonizing with Gram Parsons, Blondie, George Gershwin, Richard Thompson (sometimes harmonizing with Linda), Screamin' Jay Hawkins, Kurt Weill, Son House, Teresa Stratas play in our little clubs like the Cramped Basement all the time. Our most beloved local musician is il Professore Roberto, Maestro di Theremin. You should see him wail on that thing in his big black cape and his red fez.

I have to go buy some chicken now. Oh, did I mention the postcards and the souvenirs in Ciudad Vleeptron? Oh shit, you will go apeshit for the snow globes and the little engraved souvenir spoons and the thimbles and the ashtrays and the beverage coasters and the stuffy animals and the little painted ceramic miniature houses like the old ones like mine in Poortown Parva, t-shirts and the ...

27 May 2006

YE$$$$$$!!!!!!!!! (... but my name's not Biggs .......) [SEND]

> [Original Message]
> From: ms.betty briggs
> To:
> Date: 5/27/2006 7:07:12 PM


Attention Biggs,

Compliments of the day. I must solicit you confidentiality and assure You that I am contacting you in good faith and this proposal will be of mutual benefit. I am Ms.Betty Briggs (Esq.), a legal practitioner. My Client, late Mr. James Biggs, was killed with his entire family in a fatal accident, sparing none of their lives, some years ago.

Before his death, I assisted him in the deposit of some funds with a Finance House for safekeeping. The funds have remained unclaimed since his death, and such unclaimed funds are appropriated and returned to the treasury as a matter of policy.

Considering the lack of success in my bid to locate any of his relatives for over a year now, I hereby solicit your consent to enable me present you as the Next of Kin to my deceased client.

I am contacting you for two reasons. Firstly, you both have the same last name, which makes the claim most credible. Secondly, I strongly believe that the Security Company does not deserve to inherit the funds.

These reasons led to my resolve to claim the funds, which was why I contacted you. With your permission, I will proceed to establish you as the next of Kin/Beneficiary to my late client.

As soon as this is done, you will then give instructions to the Bank/Finance House, to transfer the deposited funds into another account you will provide, after which we shall then share the funds upon agreed terms.

When I receive your response, I will provide you with further details.

I await your reply on my private mail:
Ms.Rita Briggs {Esq.},

Tomorrow's Bad News Today

"Until we have a system that guarantees rule of law and basic democratic institutions, no amount of aid or investment will benefit our people."

-- Aung San Suu Kyi, Nobel Peace Prize 1991

I suspect the odd byline "by Rangoon" is Reuters' not-so-subtle acknowledgment that the Junta brutally suppresses news coverage of anything uncomplimentary or unpleasant or negative about the Burma/Myanmar despotic totalitarian outlaw Junta. They rule by Murder. They keep the news coming out All Good News by brutal police suppression. (Like China, but worse, if you can imagine that.)

The outlaw Junta has also changed the name of the capital city from Rangoon to Yangon. I suspect they changed Burma to Myanmar and Rangoon to Yangon so they could return all international mail complaining of the human rights atrocities in their bestial regime: NO SUCH CITY / NO SUCH COUNTRY.

Reuters (pickup in The Age, Australia)
Sunday 28 May 2006

No release for Suu Kyi

by Rangoon

BURMA'S military junta has extended the house arrest of opposition leader and Nobel peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi despite stiff international pressure for her release, a Home Ministry source said yesterday.

The source said it was unclear if the extension was for six months or one year, as it has often been in the past.

As her previous six-month term of detention expired yesterday, the ruling generals stepped up security outside Suu Kyi's lakeside home in the capital. Armed police and barricades prevented any traffic from passing.

After Suu Kyi, 60, was allowed to meet a senior United Nations official a week ago, members of her National League for Democracy party had been quietly hoping the military might release her.

- 30 -

Aung San Suu Kyi – Biography

[supplied by Norwegian Nobel Committee, in lieu of the traditional autobiography submitted by the Laureate herself; the Myanmar Junta was holding her incommunicado.]

September 6. Marriage of Aung San, commander of the Burma Independence Army, and Ma Khin Kyi (becoming Daw Khin Kyi), senior nurse of Rangoon General Hospital, where he had recovered from the rigours of the march into Burma.

June 19. Aung San Suu Kyi born in Rangoon, third child in family. "Aung San" for father, "Kyi" for mother, "Suu" for grandmother, also day of week of birth.

Favourite brother is to drown tragically at an early age. The older brother, will settle in San Diego, California, becoming United States citizen.

July 19. General Aung San assassinated. Suu Kyi is two years old. Daw Khin Kyi becomes a prominent public figure, heading social planning and social policy bodies.

January 4. The Independent Union of Burma is established.

1960: Daw Khin Kyi appointed Burma's ambassador to India. Suu Kyi accompanies mother to New Delhi.

1960-64: Suu Kyi at high school and Lady Shri Ram College in New Delhi.

1964-67: Oxford University, B.A. in philosophy, politics and economics at St. Hugh's College (elected Honorary Fellow, 1990).

British "parents" are Lord Gore-Booth, former British ambassador to Burma and High Commissioner in India, and his wife, at whose home Suu Kyi meets Michael Aris, student of Tibetan civilisation.

1969-71: She goes to New York for graduate study, staying with family friend Ma Than E, staff member at the United Nations, where U. Thant of Burma is Secretary-General. Postponing studies, Suu Kyi joins U.N. secretariat as Assistant Secretary, Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions. Evenings and weekends volunteers at hospital, helping indigent patients in programs of reading and companionship.

January 1. Marries Michael Aris, joins him in Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan, where he tutors royal family and heads Translation Department. She becomes Research Officer in the Royal Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

1973: They return to England for birth of Alexander in London.

1974: Michael assumes appointment in Tibetan and Himalayan studies at Oxford University.

1977: Birth of second son, Kim at Oxford.

While raising her children, Suu Kyi begins writing, researches for biography of father, and assists Michael in Himalayan studies.

1984: Publishes Aung San in Leaders of Asia series of University of Queensland Press. (See Freedom from Fear, pp. 3-38.)

1985: For juvenile readers publishes Let's Visit Burma (see Freedom from Fear, pp. 39-81), also books on Nepal and Bhutan in same series for Burke Publishing Company, London.

1985-86: Visiting Scholar, Center of Southeast Asian Studies, Kyoto University, researching father's time in Japan. Kim with her, Alexander with Michael, who has fellowship at Indian Institute of Advanced Studies at Simla in northern India.

1986: On annual visit to grandmother in Rangoon, Alexander and Kim take part in traditional Buddhist ceremony of initiation into monkhood.

1987: With fellowship at Indian Institute Suu Kyi, with Kim, joins Michael and Alexander in Simla. Travels to London when mother is there for cataract surgery.

Publishes "Socio-Political Currents in Burmese Literature, 1910-1940" in journal of Tokyo University. (See Freedom from Fear, pp. 140-164.) September. Family returns to Oxford. Suu Kyi enrolls at London School of Oriental and African Studies to work on advanced degree.

March 31. Informed by telephone of mother's severe stroke, she takes plane next day to Rangoon to help care for Daw Khin Kyi at hospital, then moves her to family home on University Avenue next to Inya Lake in Rangoon.

July 23. Resignation of General Ne Win, since 1962 military dictator of Burma. Popular demonstrations of protest continuing.

August 8. Mass uprising throughout country. Violent suppression by military kills thousands.

August 15. Suu Kyi, in first political action, sends open letter to government, asking for formation of independent consultative committee to prepare multi-party elections.

August 26. In first public speech, she addresses several hundred thousand people outside Shwedagon Pagoda, calling for democratic government. Michael and her two sons are there.

September 18. Military establishes State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC). Political gatherings of more than four persons banned. Arrests and sentencing without trial reaffirmed. Parliamentary elections to be held, but in expectation that multiplicity of parties will prevent clear result.

September 24. National League for Democracy (NLD) formed, with Suu Kyi general-secretary. Policy of non-violence and civil disobedience. October-December. Defying ban, Suu Kyi makes speech-making tour throughout country to large audiences.

December 27. Daw Khin Kyi dies at age of seventy-six.

January 2. Funeral of Daw Khin Kyi. Huge funeral procession. Suu Kyi vows that as her father and mother had served the people of Burma, so too would she, even unto death.

January-July. Suu Kyi continues campaign despite harassment, arrests and killings by soldiers.
February 17. Suu Kyi prohibited from standing for election.

April 5. Incident in Irawaddy Delta when Suu Kyi courageously walks toward rifles soldiers are aiming at her.

July 20. Suu Kyi placed under house arrest, without charge or trial. Sons already with her. Michael flies to Rangoon, finds her on third day of hunger strike, asking to be sent to prison to join students arrested at her home. Ends strike when good treatment of students is promised.

May 27. Despite detention of Suu Kyi, NLD wins election with 82% of parliamentary seats. SLORC refuses to recognise results.

October 12. Suu Kyi granted 1990 Rafto Human Rights Prize.

July 10. European Parliament awards Suu Kyi Sakharov human rights prize.

October 14. Norwegian Nobel Committee announces Suu Kyi is winner of 1991 Peace Prize.

December. Freedom from Fear published by Penguin in New York, England, Canada, Australia, New Zealand. Also in Norwegian, French, Spanish translations.

December 10. Alexander and Kim accept prize for mother in Oslo ceremony. Suu Kyi remains in detention, having rejected offer to free her if she will leave Burma and withdraw from politics. Worldwide appeal growing for her release.

1992: Suu Kyi announces that she will use $1.3 million prize money to establish health and education trust for Burmese people.

1993: Group of Nobel Peace Laureates, denied entry to Burma, visit Burmese refugees on Thailand border, call for Suu Kyi's release, Their appeal later repeated at UN Commission for Human Rights in Geneva.

1994: February. First non-family visitors to Suu Kyi: UN representative, U.S. congressman, New York Times reporter.

September-October. SLORC leaders meet with Suu Kyi, who still asks for a public dialogue.

July 10. SLORC releases Suu Kyi from house arrest after six years of detention.

In the last four years her movements have still been restricted. While she has had some opportunities to telephone her family in England, she is regularly denounced in the government-controlled media, and there is concern for her personal safety. Efforts to revive any NLD party activities have been balked, and its members have been jailed and physically attacked. In the first months after detention was ended, she was able to speak to large gatherings of supporters outside her home, but this was stopped. Yet her popularity in the country has not diminished.

Internationally her voice has been heard not infrequently. Reporters with cameras and videotape have been able to interview her in person, and telephone interviews with the media outside Burma have also been published. Using video cassettes she has sent out statements, including the keynote address to the NGO Forum at the U.N. International Women's Conference in Beijing in August 1995.

There have been a number of visitors from abroad, including a member of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, whom she told that Norway will be the first country she will visit when free to travel. SLORC has changed its name to the State Peace and Development Council, but its repressive policies and violation of human rights continue unabated.

Suu Kyi discourages tourists from visiting Burma and businessmen from investing in the country until it is free. She finds hearing for such pleas among western nations, and the United States has applied economic sanctions against Burma, but Burma's neighbours follow their policy of not intervening in the internal affairs of other sovereign states, and Burma has been admitted into the Association of South Eastern Asian Nations.

On March 27, 1999, Michael Aris died of prostate cancer in London. He had petitioned the Burmese authorities to allow him to visit Suu Kyi one last time, but they had rejected his request. He had not seen her since a Christmas visit in 1995. The government always urged her to join her family abroad, but she knew that she would not be allowed to return. This separation she regarded as one of the sacrifices she had had to make in order to work for a free Burma.

Selected Bibliography
by Aung San Suu Kyi

Freedom from Fear and Other Writings. Edited with introduction by Michael Aris. 2nd ed., revised. New York and London: Penguin, 1995. (Includes essays by friends and scholars.)

Voice of Hope: Conversations. London: Penguin, 1997 and New York City: Seven Stories Press, 1997 (Conversations beginning in November 1995 with Alan Clements, the founder of the Burma Project in California who helped with the script for the film based on her life, “Beyond Rangoon”.)

Other Sources

“Aung San Suu Kyi”, in Current Biography, February 1992.

Clements, Alan and Leslie Kean. Burma’s Revolution of the Spirit: The Struggle for Democratic Freedom and Dignity. New York: Aperture, 1994. (Many colour photographs with text, Includes essay by Aung San Suu Kyi.)

Clements, Alan. Burma: The Next Killing Fields. Tucson, Arizona; Odonian Press, 1992. (With a foreword by the Dalai Lama.)

Lintner, Bertil. Burma in Revolt: Opium and Insurgency since 1948. Boulder. Colorado: Westview, 1994. (By a well-informed Swedish journalist.)

Lintner, Bertil. Outrage: Burma’s Struggle for Democracy. 2nd ed., Edinburgh: Kiscadale, 1995.

Mirante, Edith T. Burmese Looking Glass. A Human Rights Adventure and a Jungle Revolution. New York: Grove, 1993.

Smith, Martin J. Burma: Intrangency and the Politics of Ethnicity. London: Zed Books, 1991. (A detailed and well-organised account by a journalist of the violent conflict between the military government and the many minorities.)

Victor, Barbara. The Lady: Aung San Suu Kyi: Nobel Laureate and Burma’s Prisoner. Boston and London: Faber & Faber, 1998. (A sympathetic account by a well-published author and journalist, whose research in Burma included interviews with government leaders.)

REVJJ!!! great weekend holiday! Hop the train! Hit the Underground! Have a wonderful picnic!

Click. Or don't. Choice is yours.
This will go on your permanent record.

HEY HEY HEY REVJJ!!!!! You're in ENGLAND now!!! Hop on the train and take this weekend holiday! Such a beautiful island!!! Such a GREAT AWESOME SUBWAY SYSTEM!!!! I took the train up to the summit of Culdee Fell and had a picnic with Bangers, curry and Absinthe! Absolutely the most beautiful view, oceans, mountains, forest!!! I could see the masts and sails of Tall Ships at the Edge of the Horizon!!!

Somewhere -- like the Zeta Beam or the train station platform entrance in "Harry Potter and the Public Lavatory of Dread" -- there is a subway station or a train station that links from the Everyday World to the World of Imagination. And, as the Everly Brothers sang:

All I have to do is dream.

It's just very strange how this unknown 1930s public transportation draughtsman Harry Beck really did open up so many Public Transportals from the Everyday World to the World of Fantasie. Everyone who is not a dolt who has ever ridden on a train or a subway (buses don't count) has wondered to him/herself where else the train lines and subway tunnels lead to, has wondered about places he/she has never bought a ticket to, and might never see.

And these thoughts -- subways and trains invade your Dreams, too -- just grow in your mind like beautiful wildflowers.

When Beck -- I don't think he ever got a dime for his Tube Map other than his regular draughtsman's salary -- designed the first modern Underground map, the rapidly expanding Underground system faced a problem. Everyone in the new suburbs rode the Underground to get to downtown London every weekday morning, and rode the Tube home again at night.

But the Underground had to figure out how to fill the empty trains with people on weekends, and send people to the suburbs during the empty day hours.

Beck's wonderful map -- not drawn to scale is putting it mildly -- convinced Londoners that the beautiful, healthy fresh air and sunshine of the Countryside was just a few Tube stops away, a quick, easy ride, and in the big central London stations, posters beckoned Londoners to Picnic In The Country via the Tube.

Well, these country suburbs WERE just a few stops away. But not near, and not quick. But Beck's map "tricked" tens of thousands into using the Tube to leave London and have family adventures exploring the exotic outskirts. (Nobody ever complained that I ever heard of.)

Send me back a postcard from Sodor!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Bring me a cheap souvenir! Have a great time!

A facsimile of Beck's original design
is on display on the southbound platform
at his local station, Finchley Central.

whoops whoops forget this from the Wikipedia article:


A map of the Island of Sodor showing the Railway system (click to enlarge).

A map of the Island of Sodor from The Railway Series by Rev. W. Awdry.

Drawn by AmosWolfe on 11th September 2005, using the software package Serif DrawPlus, in the style of the London Underground maps by Harry Beck

A number of different maps of this island, including an original painted by Rev. Awdry can be found on this

excellent website.

The source file is available as a scaleable vector on request, subject to the terms of the licence below.


Your continued donations keep Wikipedia running!

Tube map

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Tube map is the commonly used name for the schematic diagram that represents the lines, stations, and zones of London's rapid transit rail system, the London Underground.

A schematic diagram rather than a map, it represents not geography but relations; it considerably distorts the actual relative positions of the stations, but accurately respresents their sequential and connective relations with other stations along the various lines of the system as well as their placement within its zones. The basic design concepts, especially that of mapping topologically rather than geographically, have been widely adopted for other route maps around the world.

While the current version of the map may be viewed on Transport for London's website, it cannot be included here for copyright reasons.


image: How Zone 1 of the underground map would look if it showed the correct locations of the tunnels.

image: How Zone 1 of the underground map would look if it showed the correct locations of the tunnels.

The original map [1] was designed in 1931 by London Transport employee Harry Beck, who realised that, because the railway ran mostly underground, the actual physical locations of the stations were irrelevant to the traveller wanting to know how to get to one station from another — only the topology of the railway mattered.

This approach is similar to that of electrical circuit diagrams; while these weren't the inspiration for Beck's diagram, his colleagues pointed out the similarities and he once produced a joke map with the stations replaced by electrical-circuit symbols and names with terminology: "bakelite" for "Bakerloo", etc. In fact, Beck based his diagram on a similar mapping system for underground sewage systems.

To this end, Beck devised a vastly simplified map, consisting of only named stations, and straight line segments connecting them; lines, and even the Thames, ran only vertically, horizontally or at 45 degrees.

London Transport were initially skeptical of his proposal — it was an uncommissioned spare-time project — and tentatively introduced it to the public in a small pamphlet. It was immediately popular, and is now used throughout the London Underground on poster-sized maps and pocket journey planners.


The design has become so widely known that it is now instantly recognisable as representing London; it has been featured on T-shirts, postcards, and other memorabilia; at least one man has the entire Zone 1 map tattooed on his back in full colour, complete with station names (see links below).

[image at top of post] A map of the fictitious Island of Sodor inspired by Harry Beck's design.

In the Tate Modern, there hangs the artwork The Great Bear by Simon Patterson, a subtle parody of Harry Beck's original design, in which the station names on a modern map have been replaced by those of famous historical figures. David Booth's The Tate Gallery by Tube (1986) is one of a series of publicity posters for the Underground. His work showed a photograph of the lines of the map squeezed out of tubes of paint.

Several alterations have been made to the concept over the years. In particular, the problem of marking stations that have interchanges with surface trains was never resolved to Beck's satisfaction. Similarly the colours that are used to depict each line or operating company have changed over the years. The map was taken out of his hands towards the end of his career. However, recent designs have skilfully incorporated changes to the network, such as the Jubilee Line Extension, while remaining true to Beck's original scheme.

A facsimile of Beck's original design is on display on the southbound platform at his local station, Finchley Central.

Many other transport systems use schematic maps to represent their services, maps that are undoubtedly inspired by Beck's. The bus operator First Group uses a system of coloured bus routes, such as "red line", "blue line", and so on, collectively named "Overground".

Technical aspects

The designers of the Tube Map have tackled a variety of problems in showing useful information as clearly as possible over the years and have sometimes adopted different solutions.

Line colours

The table below shows the changing use of colours since the first Beck map. In fact, some of these colours had been used for the appropriate lines on earlier maps. Earlier maps were limited with the number of colours available that could be clearly distinguished in print. This is less of a problem now and the map has coped with the identification of new lines without great difficulty.

In each case, the line colour may be adapted to indicate a limited service by showing it as a hatched line, i.e. intervals of colour separated by white with the colour outline. This does not work well for the Network Rail lines, which are mainly white with only a black outline anyway. Lines under construction have been shown as dotted lines, often with accompanying wording to avoid causing confusion that the line is open but with a limited service.

Line Current Colour History
Bakerloo Brown
Central Red
Circle Yellow Originally shown as part of the Metropolitan and District Lines, shown in Green (Black outline) from 1948 and Yellow (Black outline) from 1951 until 1987
District Green
East London Orange Originally shown as White (Thick Red outline), then as part of the Metropolitan Line (Green, then Purple) until 1970, then White (Thick Purple outline) until 1990
Hammersmith & City Pink Shown as part of the Metropolitan Line until 1990
Jubilee Silver Originally the line was part of the Bakerloo and shown as Brown
Metropolitan Purple In the 1930s and 1940s, maps showed the District and Metropolitan combined as Green
Northern Black
Northern City Now a Network Rail line Originally shown as White (Thick Purple outline), then Black as part of the Northern Line, later White (Thick Black outline) from 1970
Piccadilly Dark Blue
Victoria Light Blue
Waterloo & City Cyan Part of British Rail until 1994 so shown as White (Black outline)
Docklands Light Railway White (Thick Dark Green outline) Originally shown as White (Thick Dark Blue outline) until 1994
Network Rail (Selected lines only - see below) White (Black outline) Shown as Orange from 1985 and White (Orange outline) from 1987 until 1990

Station marks

The important development that Beck made with his Tube Map was the use of the 'tick mark' to indicate stations. This allowed stations to be placed closer together while retaining clarity because the tick mark pointed only on one side of the line towards the appropriate station name (ideally centrally placed, though the arrangement of lines did not always allow this).

However, from the start, interchange stations were given a special mark to indicate their importance, though its shape changed over the years. In addition, from 1960, marks were used to identify stations that offered convenient interchange with the mainline railway network (now referred to as Network Rail. The following shapes have been used:

* Empty Circle (one for each line or station where convenient) - standard default mark
* Empty Circle (one for each station) - 1938 experimental map
* Empty Diamond (one for each line) - early 1930s maps
* Empty Square - interchange with mainline on maps between 1960-1964
* Circle with Dot inside - interchange with mainline on maps between 1964-1970

Since 1970, the map has used the then recently-invented British Rail 'double arrows', printed beside the station name, to indicate mainline interchanges. Where the mainline station has a different name from the Underground station that it connects with, this is shown (since 1977) in a box.

Some interchanges are more convenient than others and the map designers have repeatedly rearranged the layout of the map to try to indicate where the interchanges are more complex, e.g. by making the interchange circles more distant and linking them with thin black lines. However, sometimes the need for simplicity overrides this goal; the Bakerloo/Northern Lines interchange at Charing Cross is not very convenient and passengers would be better off changing at Embankment, but in fact the need to simplify the inner London area means that the map seems to indicate that Charing Cross is the easiest interchange. Since there is such inconsistency in the map, it is unclear how many people would expect to draw inferences about the ease of interchange from the Tube Map.

Lines or services

The Tube Map aims to make the complicated network of services easy to understand, but there are occasions when it might be useful to have more information about the services that operate on each line.

The District Line is the classic example; it is shown as a line on the Tube Map, but comprises services on the main route between Upminster and Ealing/Richmond/Wimbledon, the service between Edgware Road and Wimbledon and the High Street Kensington to Olympia shuttle service. The Tube Map has, for the majority of its history, not distinguished these services, which could be seriously misleading to an unfamiliar user. Recent maps have tried to tackle this problem by separating out the different routes at Earl's Court.

Limited service routes have sometimes been identified with hatched lines (see above), with some complications added to the map to show where peak only services ran through to branches, such as that to Chesham on the Metropolitan Line. The number of routes with a limited service has declined in recent years as patronage recovered from its early 1980s low point, so there are now fewer restrictions to show, but where they remain they are now mainly done through accompanying text rather than special line markings.

Non-Underground lines

The Tube Map exists to help people navigate the Underground; but it has been questioned whether it should play a wider role in helping people navigate London itself. Thus, the question has been raised as to whether mainline railways should be shown on the map, in particular those operating in the Inner London area. London Underground has largely resisted such pressures, and a different map is in circulation showing London Connections to complement the Tube Map, but over the years some non-Underground lines have appeared on the Tube Map.

* North London Line - this route, operating from Richmond to North Woolwich (originally to Broad Street) is a radial route offering some useful connections that avoid going in and out of central London. However, the service frequency is much less than the Underground and many of the stations do not directly connect with the Underground or other mainline services.

* Northern City Line - this route was originally part of the Underground, but transferred to British Rail in the late 1970s for use by inner-suburban electric trains that previously ran to Kings Cross.

* Thameslink - this route was opened up in 1988 having been closed for many years. It offers some relief to the Northern Line as it connects the main line north of Kings Cross St Pancras to London Bridge.

* Waterloo and City Line - always the exception as the only tube line operated by a mainline railway company rather than the Underground, this line appeared on most Tube Maps (except the earliest Beck examples). In 1994 it was taken over by the Underground and given its own line colour (see above).

* Docklands Light Railway - the automatic light-rail system in the London Docklands area.

Currently the only non-Underground Lines shown on the Tube Map are the Docklands Light Railway and the North London Line.

Further reading

* Ken Garland, Mr Beck's Underground Map (Capital Transport, 1994): ISBN 1854141686
* Mark Ovenden, Metro Maps Of The World (Capital Transport, 2005): ISBN 1854142887
* Maxwell Roberts, Underground Maps After Beck (Capital Transport, 2005): ISBN 1854142860
* Andrew Dow, Telling the Passenger where to get off (Capital Transport, 2005): ISBN 1854142917

External links

* London Underground Tube maps
* London Underground Tube map history
* Interactive historical and geographical tube map of Zone 1 (requires Macromedia Flash)
* H2G2 article on the tube map
* Trivia, history and facts on the London Underground Tube map contains more history on the tube map plus alternative designs of the map from Dr Who Conventions and Simon Patterson's The Great Bear
* More on Harry Beck
* The London Tube Map Archive has a collection of Tube maps, showing the growth of the system and the changes in the style of the Underground map
* TfL's suggestion for what the Tube map could look like in 2016 (PDF file), including trams, tracked buses, and some current overground routes.
* Mapper's Delight - all kinds of variations and further information on Tube Maps
* Robert Reynolds Subway Page - links and photos of most world subway system maps, many of which use Beck inspired design principles
* Satellie Image Tube Map - uses google maps to easily find tube stations by zone and/or lines

In other languages

* Français
* ?????

Wikimedia Foundation

* This page was last modified 14:15, 24 May 2006.
* All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License (see Copyrights for details).
Wikipedia® is a registered trademark of the Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.

The Mother Of All Nigerian e-Mail Scams / The Father of All Suckers

Regular Vleeptroids will have noticed Vleeptron's fondness for re-posting e-mail scam letters telling some bizarre tale of woe and offering vast wealth for, essentially, doing nothing except clicking [REPLY] and writing "Yes!"

Make yourself some tea and prepare to read every word of the following.

And then remove the [REPLY] button from your e-mail client.


The New Yorker (weekly magazine, USA)
Monday 15 May 2006

Annals of Crime

The Perfect Mark

How a Massachusetts psychotherapist
fell for a Nigerian e-mail scam.


Late one afternoon in June, 2001, John W. Worley sat in a burgundy leather desk chair reading his e-mail. He was fifty-seven and burly, with glasses, a fringe of salt-and-pepper hair, and a bushy gray beard. A decorated Vietnam veteran and an ordained minister, he had a busy practice as a Christian psychotherapist, and, with his wife, Barbara, was the caretaker of a mansion on a historic estate in Groton, Massachusetts. He lived in a comfortable three-bedroom suite in the mansion, and saw patients in a ground-floor office with walls adorned with images of Jesus and framed military medals. Barbara had been his high-school sweetheart — he was the president of his class, and she was the homecoming queen — and they had four daughters and seven grandchildren, whose photos surrounded Worley at his desk.

Worley scrolled through his in-box and opened an e-mail, addressed to “CEO/Owner.” The writer said that his name was Captain Joshua Mbote, and he offered an awkwardly phrased proposition: “With regards to your trustworthiness and reliability, I decided to seek your assistance in transferring some money out of South Africa into your country, for onward dispatch and investment.” Mbote explained that he had been chief of security for the Congolese President Laurent Kabila, who had secretly sent him to South Africa to buy weapons for a force of élite bodyguards. But Kabila had been assassinated before Mbote could complete the mission. “I quickly decided to stop all negotiations and divert the funds to my personal use, as it was a golden opportunity, and I could not return to my country due to my loyalty to the government of Laurent Kabila,” Mbote wrote. Now Mbote had fifty-five million American dollars, in cash, and he needed a discreet partner with an overseas bank account. That partner, of course, would be richly rewarded.

Mbote’s offer had the hallmarks of an advance-fee fraud, a swindle whose victims are asked to provide money, information, or services in exchange for a share of a promised fortune. Countless such e-mails, letters, and faxes are sent every year, with a broad variety of stories about how the money supposedly became available (unclaimed estate, corrupt executive, and dying Samaritan being only a few of the most popular). Worley, who had spent his adult life advocating self-knowledge and introspection, seemed particularly unlikely to be fooled. He had developed a psychological profiling tool designed to reveal a person’s “unique needs, desires and probable behavioral responses.” He promised users of the test, “The individual’s understanding of self will be greatly enhanced, increasing the potential for a fulfilled and balanced life.” And Worley was vigilant against temptation. Two weeks before the e-mail arrived, he had been the keynote speaker at his eldest granddaughter’s graduation from the First Assembly Christian Academy in Worcester, Massachusetts. He cautioned the students about Satan, telling them, “He’s going to be trying to destroy you every inch of the way.”

Still, Worley, faced with an e-mail that would, according to federal authorities, eventually lead him to join a gang of Nigerian criminals seeking to defraud U.S. banks, didn’t hesitate. A few minutes after receiving Mbote’s entreaty, he replied, “I can help and I am interested.” His only question was how Mbote had found him, and he seemed satisfied with the explanation: that the South African Department of Home Affairs had supplied his name. When Worley attributed this improbable event to God’s will, Mbote elaborated on the story to say that Worley’s name was one of ten that he had been given, and that it had been pulled from a hat after much prayer by someone named Pastor Mark. (A more likely possibility is that his e-mail address was plucked from an Internet chain letter, which he received and passed on, that promised a cash reward from Microsoft to anyone who forwarded the letter to others.) In e-mails, phone calls, faxes, and letters during the ensuing weeks, Mbote laid out the plan: If Worley would pay up-front costs, such as fees to a storage facility where the cash was being kept, and possibly travel to South Africa to collect the money, he would receive thirty per cent, or more than sixteen million dollars.

Worley told Mbote that he lived his life with the “utmost integrity” and didn’t want to jeopardize that. He also said that he couldn’t fund the operation. (Though he would report nearly a hundred and forty thousand dollars in income in 2001, he had declared personal bankruptcy in the early nineties, had relatively little saved for retirement, and wanted to help his grandchildren through college.) No problem, Mbote answered; “investors” would provide up to a hundred and fifty thousand dollars for airfare and other expenses needed to move the money to the United States, while Worley would act as middleman and curator of the funds.

As promised, in late August, 2001, Worley received a check for forty-seven thousand five hundred dollars, purportedly from one such investor. It was from an account belonging to the Syms Corporation, the discount-clothing chain whose slogan is “An Educated Consumer Is Our Best Customer.” Worley was wary. He called the Fleet Bank in Portland, Maine, where the check had been drawn. The bank told him it was an altered duplicate of a check that Syms had paid to the Maryland office of an international luggage manufacturer.

Every swindle is driven by a desire for easy money; it’s the one thing the swindler and the swindled have in common. Advance-fee fraud is an especially durable con. In an early variation, the Spanish Prisoner Letter, which dates to the sixteenth century, scammers wrote to English gentry and pleaded for help in freeing a fictitious wealthy countryman who was imprisoned in Spain. Today, the con usually relies on e-mail and is often called a 419 scheme, after the anti-fraud section of the criminal code in Nigeria, where it flourishes. (Last year, a Nigerian comic released a song that taunted Westerners with the lyrics “I go chop your dollar. I go take your money and disappear. Four-one-nine is just a game. You are the loser and I am the winner.”) The scammers, who often operate in crime rings, are known as “yahoo-yahoo boys,” because they frequently use free Yahoo accounts. Many of them live in a suburb of Lagos called Festac Town. Last year, one scammer in Festac Town told the Associated Press, “Now I have three cars, I have two houses, and I’m not looking for a job anymore.”

According to a statement posted on the Internet by the U.S. State Department, 419 schemes began to proliferate in the mid-nineteen-eighties, when a collapse in oil prices caused severe economic upheaval in Nigeria. The population—literate, English-speaking, and living with widespread government corruption—faced poverty and rising unemployment. These conditions created a culture of scammers, some of them violent. Marks are often encouraged to travel to Nigeria or to other countries, where they fall victim to kidnapping, extortion, and, in rare cases, murder. In the nineteen-nineties, at least fifteen foreign businessmen, including one American, were killed after being lured to Nigeria by 419 scammers. Until recently, Nigerian officials tended to blame the marks. “There would be no 419 scam if there are no greedy, credulous and criminally-minded victims ready to reap where they did not sow,” the Nigerian Embassy in Washington said in a 2003 statement. The following year, Nuhu Ribadu, the chairman of Nigeria’s Economic & Financial Crimes Commission, noted that not one scammer was behind bars. Last November, however, Ribadu’s commission convicted two crime bosses who had enticed a Brazilian banker to spend two hundred and forty-two million dollars of his employer’s money on a fictitious airport-development deal. (Prosecutions by U.S. authorities are rare; most victims don’t know the real names of their “partners,” and 419 swindlers are adept at covering their tracks.)

Despite Nigeria’s efforts, the schemes have reached “epidemic proportions,” according to a publication by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission. The agency received more than fifty-five thousand complaints about them last year, nearly six times as many as in 2001. The increase is due in part to the Internet, which makes it easy for scammers to reach potential marks in wealthier countries. “If we educate the public to the point where nobody falls for it, then they’ll go out of business,” Eric Zahren, a spokesman for the Secret Service, the lead U.S. agency in investigating advance-fee frauds, says. The agency estimates that 419 swindlers gross hundreds of millions of dollars a year, not including losses by victims too embarrassed to complain. In February, the son of a prominent California psychiatrist named Louis A. Gottschalk—he identified what turned out to be early signs of Alzheimer’s in Ronald Reagan after analyzing his speech—filed suit seeking to remove his father from control over a family partnership, claiming that Gottschalk had lost more than a million dollars to Nigerian scammers. Some victims try to pass along their losses. The former Iowa congressman Edward Mezvinsky, who had refashioned himself as an international businessman, was caught up in a 419 scam, and during the nineteen-nineties stole from his law clients, friends, and even his mother-in-law to cover his losses. He is serving more than six years in prison after pleading guilty to thirty-one counts of fraud.

Robert B. Reich, the former Labor Secretary, who has studied the psychology of market behavior, says, “American culture is uniquely prone to the ‘too good to miss’ fallacy. ‘Opportunity’ is our favorite word. What may seem reckless and feckless and hapless to people in many parts of the world seems a justifiable risk to Americans.” But appetite for risk is only part of it. A mark must be willing to pursue a fortune of questionable origin. The mind-set was best explained by the linguist David W. Maurer in his classic 1940 book, “The Big Con”: “As the lust for large and easy profits is fanned into a hot flame, the mark puts all his scruples behind him. He closes out his bank account, liquidates his property, borrows from his friends, embezzles from his employer or his clients. In the mad frenzy of cheating someone else, he is unaware of the fact that he is the real victim, carefully selected and fatted for the kill. Thus arises the trite but none the less sage maxim: ‘You can’t cheat an honest man.’ ”

Born in the small town of Zanesville, Ohio, Worley joined the Army after high school. He served for a year as a staff sergeant with the 101st Airborne Division in Vietnam, earning decorations that included a Bronze Star. In 1976, after fifteen years in the military, he was convicted of driving a car for a fellow-serviceman who held up a store; nevertheless, Worley received an honorable discharge and was later pardoned for his role in the robbery. He went to college and divinity school, and got a Ph.D. in psychology through correspondence courses from the Carolina University of Theology, then in Mount Holly, North Carolina. A. Erven Burke, a Baptist pastor who has known Worley for nearly thirty years, has called him a man of “integrity and honesty,” dedicated to helping others.

In the early nineteen-nineties, Worley developed a sixty-item questionnaire that he called Worley’s Identity Discovery Profile, or W.I.D.P., which sought to quantify a person’s temperament in three areas: social and vocational, leadership, and relationships. W.I.D.P. assigned labels to each: Introverted Sanguine, Sanguine, Phlegmatic, Melancholy, or Choleric, or a blend, such as Phlegmatic Introverted Sanguine. People whose “living patterns” were primarily focussed on fulfilling a temperament need were labelled Compulsive. Over time, Worley built a successful business selling W.I.D.P. to churches, businesses, schools, individuals, and other counsellors.

Worley’s own profile was Melancholy Compulsive in the social-vocational realm, Choleric Compulsive in leadership, and Introverted Sanguine in personal relationships: inward, headstrong, needy. The combination, he said later, made him ripe for scamming. He had abundant time to strategize with Nigerian partners, he tended to ignore warnings, and he yearned for his family’s approval. (Anticipating his fortune, he asked his daughters to list all their debts, which he promised to pay.) But Worley’s egotism also may have made him think he could gain the upper hand. When Mbote asked him to fly to South Africa to collect the money, he agreed—but only if Mbote reimbursed him for lost wages. Worley set the price at thirty-five thousand dollars a week.

After the Syms check proved false and Mbote failed to send a replacement, Worley told him that their partnership was over. A few days later, though, he began receiving e-mails from someone claiming to be Mohammed Abacha, the eldest surviving son of Nigeria’s late dictator General Sani Abacha, who reputedly stole billions from the Nigerian treasury. Mohammed Abacha told Worley that Joshua Mbote had been operating surreptitiously on the Abacha family’s behalf, but had bungled so badly that Abacha decided to step forward. He told Worley that the story about buying weapons had been a ruse to protect the Abacha family and their money, which, he said, was actually hidden in Ghana. Soon Worley was put in touch with someone claiming to be the General’s widow, Maryam Abacha. In a torrent of phone calls and e-mails, she appealed to Worley. “I learned you wanted to hear from me,” she wrote. “Here I am. Help me.” In his e-mails, Worley seemed invigorated by this new scenario; he apparently believed that he was on the verge of becoming rich while rescuing a woman in distress.

In late November of 2001, Worley spent several thousand dollars on an attorney who specialized in international tax planning. The attorney warned him against the seeming opportunity, as did Barbara Worley. She knew little about her husband’s “project,” as he called it, but she didn’t like it. Barbara lived a life that revolved, as she put it, “around God and family.” In some ways, she still looked to her husband for guidance, as she had when they were in high school; she expressed her opinion, but deferred to his judgment.

Worley dismissed these warnings; now that he had committed money to the partnership, he had a vested interest. By the end of 2001, he was telling the Abachas that he had investigated ways to ship the cash secretly and had searched a half-dozen countries for a bank that would accept a huge deposit without alerting authorities. He reassured them that they had chosen the right partner, and begged for patience: “I am a smart man and very cautious and do not want anything to go wrong.” He settled on the Bermuda-based Bank of Butterfield, and in late January, 2002, he told Mrs. Abacha that he had spent forty-three hundred dollars to open an account there. “There will be no trail back to the U.S. and no tax to be paid,” he wrote.

Worley’s partners soon persuaded him to wire more than eight thousand dollars to retain a Nigerian lawyer and “to cover the bank fees and late fees” that supposedly were the last barriers to the transfer. But, after more delays and growing doubts, Worley told them that he would not travel abroad—the money, they said, had been moved to Amsterdam—to collect the cash. They couldn’t change his mind, so they tried a different approach. Mrs. Abacha asked him for help in claiming forty-five million dollars that she told him was hidden in an account of the Federal Ministry of Aviation at the Central Bank of Nigeria. It was a textbook 419 tactic. When Worley doubted Mbote, he disappeared; when Worley wouldn’t travel for one treasure, they found another. He sent more money.

Under this new plan, Worley allowed his partners to file false documentation claiming that he was a private aviation contractor to whom the Nigerian government owed forty-five million dollars. At the end of February, Worley crossed another line when a patient named Jennifer Morlock came to his home office for a counselling session. She had barely arrived when he told her he was engaged in a business venture with partners in Nigeria. Violating his profession’s code of ethics, he asked to borrow fifteen thousand dollars. Morlock went home, spoke with her husband, and agreed. By noon, Worley was at her door to collect the money. The same day, he went to a nearby liquor store with a Western Union outlet and wired all fifteen thousand dollars to Nigeria. He soon repaid Morlock, with interest, by borrowing on his credit card.

Meanwhile, Worley was growing more and more distressed. The number of correspondents was increasing—at one point, he counted nine—and the spelling of their names kept changing. He complained of receiving letters from “Maram Abacha,” “Mariam Abacha,” and “Mrs. Maryam S. Abacha.” “I would think that everyone would know how to spell their own real name,” he wrote testily. “Obviously, someone does not.” When he still seemed no closer to receiving the payment he’d been promised, he made a bid for sympathy, falsely telling his partners that he had been given a diagnosis of cancer. That didn’t work, so he told them that he was abandoning the project: “To date, I have lost nearly fifty thousand dollars chasing a rainbow with a pot of gold at the end of it. I cannot go any further. It will take me two years to recover from this, and I will probably be dead by then.” Mrs. Abacha’s reassurances wrung thirteen thousand dollars more from Worley, but in April, 2002, he swore he was through, writing, “I must stop this financial torment and anguish and pray that God forgives me for my pursuit of money, simply put, greed.”

For five months, Worley didn’t correspond with the Nigerians. Then, in September, 2002, a fax arrived from someone calling herself Mercy Nduka, who claimed to be a confidential secretary at the Central Bank of Nigeria. Nduka told Worley that the Aviation Ministry funds were still waiting for him, and that she was secretly working with the Abacha family. She said that they needed five hundred thousand dollars to bribe five Nigerian bank officials who had the power to release the forty-five million; plus, she said, they needed another eighty-five thousand to cover fees. Worley refused to send more money, so Nduka and her boss, Usman Bello, said that they would borrow it from investors. Worley would pass along the investors’ money and then receive the fortune on behalf of the Abachas, with shares going to him, Nduka, and Bello for their services.

Soon men who claimed to be investors began calling Worley from New York and Washington, asking him to provide credit references and requesting that he put up collateral for the loans they were considering making to him. He refused to offer collateral, but that was never the point. The investors’ questions and demands made him feel more secure, as though they were truly weighing whether to lend him money. In late November, 2002, Worley received a check for ninety-five thousand dollars, drawn on an account of the Robert Plan Corporation, a Long Island-based insurance company. Without verifying it, as he had done with the Syms check, he deposited it at a branch of Fleet Bank. In fact, the check was fraudulent, but a novice employee at the insurance company approved Fleet’s payment inquiry. When the money appeared in Worley’s account, Nduka told him to wire eighty-five thousand dollars to a bank in Latvia, which he did. He wired another thirty-eight hundred dollars when Bello said that he needed to buy a Rolex watch to bribe a bank official. Although the Robert Plan employee had approved the check and Fleet had paid it, Worley, according to federal law, was responsible for repayment. (If a fraudulent check is passed deliberately, a depositor can face felony charges.) About a month later, the Nigerians sent Worley a check for some four hundred thousand dollars from a Michigan marketing company. This check was real, but it had been stolen and altered to make Worley the payee. When Worley deposited it at a branch of Citizens Bank near his home, it cleared; following Nduka’s instructions, he wired the money to an account in a Swiss bank.

In the meantime, the Nigerians had ensnared the wife of a Mississippi car dealer, a woman named Marcia Cartwright. In October, 2002, she had received a 419 e-mail from a man saying he was desperate to get his money out of Nigeria. Two months later, Cartwright received a check made out to her for nearly a hundred and nine thousand dollars, drawn on the account of a Texas advertising firm, and deposited it at the Farmers & Merchants Bank of Booneville, Mississippi. It cleared, and, on orders from Nigeria, she sent Worley a cashier’s check for a hundred and six thousand dollars, keeping the remainder for herself. He deposited the money in his Citizens account on January 15, 2003. The next day, he wired a hundred thousand dollars to the Swiss account.

Worley told Nduka and Bello that he was certain they now had more than enough to bribe the bankers and cover other expenses. Nduka, ever polite, said that they were not quite there. She sympathized with his frustration, and Worley promised to be patient. She asked for another six thousand dollars—the balance of Cartwright’s cashier’s check—to bribe the telex operators who would execute the transfer. Worley hesitated, but soon sent that money, too. Finally, Nduka told him what he longed to hear: “All is set for the final release of your fund.”

That day, the president of the Farmers & Merchants Bank learned that the check Marcia Cartwright had deposited a month earlier had been returned as fraudulent. Bank officials called federal and state authorities, and Citizens Bank, where Worley had deposited Cartwright’s cashier’s check, was also notified. An investigator for Citizens, a former police lieutenant named Michael Raymond, told Worley what had happened and said that he was investigating potentially fraudulent activity. Worley sent frantic e-mails and made repeated calls to Nigeria, begging for a replacement check. Nduka answered with bad news: Bello had been attacked by robbers and was comatose. But, she wrote, “I have reached an agreement with them for your fund to be released as planned on Friday.” All she needed was a thousand dollars to bribe another telex operator.

Worley seemed on the verge of panicking. “If you are my friend, then make it happen tomorrow,” he pleaded. “Why are you badgering me with this $1,000? I have gone as far as I will go with this. I am desperate and have nothing else to say at this time. I am emotionally, spiritually, and financially drained.” Nduka answered humbly, calling herself “an ordinary woman” who struggled on four hundred dollars a month. Worley responded that Nduka had “touched my heart.” He wired the thousand dollars on January 30, 2003.

The next day, Raymond told Worley that the other check he had deposited at Citizens, the check from Michigan for four hundred thousand dollars, was also phony. Worley knew what that meant, and, according to Raymond, disclosed his suspicion that the Robert Plan check was probably fake, too. When Worley got off the phone with Raymond, he was enraged. “I hate being taken advantage of by you evil bastards,” he wrote to Nduka. “This is all lies?” He went on, “Your day will come that you will be judged by God, and so will I. And I am ashamed, and shamed, and an embarrassment to my family, who are so precious and Godly people. What a terrible model of a Christian that I am. Thoughts of suicide are filling my mind, and I am full of rage at you despicable people. I hate living right now, and I want to die. My whole life is falling apart, my family, my ministry, my reputation and all that I have worked for all my life. Dear God, help me. I am so frightened.”

In May, 2005, Worley went on trial in U.S. District Court in Boston on charges of bank fraud, money laundering, and possession of counterfeit checks. Worley’s overseas correspondents, whose real identities he never knew, disappeared, and were never located or charged. With them went more than forty thousand dollars of Worley’s money and nearly six hundred thousand dollars from the checks. Including credit-card interest, money-wiring fees, long-distance telephone charges, and the tax lawyer’s bills, Worley’s losses may have been closer to eighty thousand dollars.

The prosecutor, an Assistant U.S. Attorney named Nadine Pellegrini, urged the jury to reject suggestions that Worley had simply been scammed. At best, she said, Worley “got in over his head.” Pellegrini portrayed Worley as the puppeteer, not the puppet, and said that he knowingly passed bad checks, in the belief that he was entering into a “mutually beneficial arrangement.” She focussed on Worley’s recognition at various points that he was dealing with liars, and said that he displayed “willful blindness” by ignoring the warning signs of their criminality and his own. Pellegrini said that Worley’s claims of innocence were undermined by consistent bad conduct—lying to his wife, borrowing from a patient, plotting to avoid taxes, posing as an aviation contractor, claiming to have cancer, and agreeing to bribe Nigerian bank officials. She was unsparing during her cross-examination. “So you don’t have any integrity either, do you, Dr. Worley?” she asked. He answered, “No, I don’t.”

“Ladies and gentlemen,” she told the jury, “it’s clear John Worley understands behavior of people and motivation of people, and he could and he can manipulate both behavior and reaction. . . . There is only one story here, and that’s the story of John Worley’s greed.”

Worley’s lawyer, a former prosecutor named Thomas Hoopes, cast him as a childlike man who was tricked by sophisticated con artists into a check-cashing scheme. Hoopes stressed that Fleet and Citizens had approved payment on the checks, which, he said, reasonably led Worley to believe they were legitimate. He urged the jury to focus on the final thousand dollars that Worley had sent after he knew an investigation was under way—this was evidence, he said, of Worley’s gullibility. He likened Worley to Marcia Cartwright, whom the government viewed as a victim despite her also having passed a bad check. (Cartwright made partial restitution, testified for the prosecution, and was not charged.) Mostly, Hoopes urged the jury to view Worley’s acts as foolish, not criminal. Hoopes emphasized that Worley had lost heavily in the scam. “It’s not willful blindness,” Hoopes said. “It is blind trust.”

In addition to witness testimony and lawyers’ arguments, the jury was given hundreds of e-mails between Worley and the Nigerians which told a story of their own, about a man transformed by his pursuit of riches. Reading the e-mails, in which Worley displays both cunning and credulousness—sometimes in the same message—it is clear that the Nigerians were able to take advantage of his religious convictions, his stubbornness, and his desire to be a hero to Mrs. Abacha and to his family. Patiently and persistently, the Nigerians turned Worley’s skepticism into suspension of disbelief, to the point where he seemed to worry that they might not trust him. They made Worley the perfect mark.

The trial took six days, and the jury found Worley guilty on all counts. On February 15th, Worley, now sixty-two, returned to the federal courthouse at the edge of Boston Harbor to face sentencing. Accompanied by more than three dozen family members and friends, he arrived wearing a charcoal suit with a support-the-troops pin on the lapel. U.S. District Judge George O’Toole, Jr., acknowledging the “ordeal” that Worley had been through, said that he was nevertheless bound by the jury’s finding. He sentenced Worley to two years in prison, plus restitution of nearly six hundred thousand dollars, and gave him five weeks to turn himself in. Outside the courtroom, Barbara Worley, a stout woman with blond hair, said they would appeal. (They eventually decided not to.) “My husband is the victim here,” she said. “It’s an atrocity.”

One morning a week later, I drove past acres of winter-brown fields to the Worleys’ large, blue-gray house, which was owned by a trust created by the Lawrence family, one of Massachusetts’s nineteenth-century industrial dynasties. (The Worleys, looking for an inexpensive place to live after John left the Army, believe that divine guidance delivered them to the Lawrences, who needed the home restored and overseen.) Barbara, in a white bathrobe, let me in, saying she thought the meeting had been rescheduled. The house was dark, and the hallways were filled with packing boxes: Worley was preparing for prison, and Barbara was moving to a small house in a nearby town.

Barbara led the way upstairs to a living room with a brass plaque on the door. “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord,” it read. Worley entered, wearing a red-white-and-blue robe with an eagle on the back. He sat in a green leather chair, and fed treats to Pancake, the family cat. He seemed stunned by his misadventures of the past five years. “The communications that I had with those people were so convincing that I really believed that they were real, they were true,” he said. “I would question them and they would come back with a response that was adequate to cover my concerns each and every time.” Despite everything, he insisted that he still believed he had been dealing with the real Maryam and Mohammed Abacha. “I think they were legitimately trying to use me and my resources to get their funds out of Nigeria into a safe place where they could have access to them,” he said. Worley wasn’t sure whom to blame for the bad checks, though Nduka was suspect. “Somehow there was a buyoff, a payoff, or something that went on there, and then it got switched to the point where I was then dealing with fraudsters,” he said.

When I asked Worley what he wished he had done differently, he didn’t answer directly. Instead, he spoke about hoping that the Abachas would get back in touch with him. However, before they could resume work on the multimillion-dollar transfer, he expected them to send the six hundred thousand dollars that he needs for restitution.

“What if they sent you a check?” Barbara demanded. “Would you put it in the bank to see if it cleared again?”


“John!” she said.

“I don’t know,” Worley said finally, sounding defeated. “I have to have time to think about what I would do in that situation.”

“My husband is naïve,” she explained to me. “He trusts people.”

A month later, moments after dropping off Worley at a federal prison in Pennsylvania, Barbara called me in tears. “They knew they couldn’t go after the Nigerians, so they just get the person they can reach. They’re trying to stop people in America from getting involved in it by making an example of my husband,” she said. “Why don’t they assign an F.B.I. agent to go after the people who scammed my husband? Where’s the justice?”

An enduring trait of Nigerian letter scammers—indeed, of most con artists—is their reluctance to walk away from a mark before his resources are exhausted. On February 5, 2003, several days after the checks were revealed as phony, after Worley was under siege by investigators, after his bank account had been frozen, after he had called his partners “evil bastards,” Worley received one more e-mail from Mercy Nduka.

“I am quite sympathetic about all your predicaments,” she wrote, “but the truth is that we are at the final step and I am not willing to let go, especially with all of these amounts of money that you say that you have to pay back.” She needed just one more thing from Worley and the millions would be theirs: another three thousand dollars.

“You have to trust somebody at times like this,” she wrote. “I am waiting your response.”