Posts Tagged "fish"

When It Looks Like 3 Day Old Fish | The Story of Gmail Hack

Dear Kid,

When it looks like 3-day-old fish and smells like 3-day-old fish, chances are it’s 3-day-old fish.

When it looks like 3-day-old fish and smells like 3-day-old fish, chances are it’s 3-day-old fish. #lifelessonsThis is an important life lesson. Pay attention.

Someone who shall remain nameless but is your sister was having trouble accessing her email account. By which I mean the password had been changed and not by her, and none of the incantations she used were of any use getting her back into her account.

Problem, meet Mom. Mom, problem.

So I pushed up my virtual sleeves (waaay too hot here for real sleeves) and went to work.

I consulted My Friend the Internet and asked for a phone number to contact Gmail help-type people. MFtI obliged and I dialed.

The phone was answered by a message recorded by someone from Munchkinland which chirped, “Your call is very important. Please stay on the line and you’ll be transferred to the next available agent.” This was followed by a blast of unpleasant music, a cycle which repeated every 23 seconds, until – wait for it – the voice changed to a sultry woman’s, said, “Goodbye”, and disconnected.

Yes, I taught the Puppy some new words.

Back to the Google Machine.

Desperate for a human who could help, I found another number and dialed. The line was immediately answered by – wait for it – a helpful human. Yay! Please sir, fix the problem.

In the way back of my mind, it vaguely registered that the person answered the phone with something like “Can I help you?” or “Hello” but nothing that specifically identified Google-ness. I squashed this because I HAD FOUND A PERSON!

We chatted. He assured me he could fix the problem. I breathed a sigh of relief. He researched and confirmed my worst suspicions: the account had been used simultaneously by Persons Unknown at IP addresses in such nefarious places as New York and New Mexico. Many emails had been sent containing images (Yikes! Images!). But he could Solve All.

What about the information on the Drive? I asked hesitantly. Is it still there?

Oh, no. It’s been deleted. But once they do this and that, they can get it back. Oh, thank you, thank you, thank you.

So, my savior tells me, please go to www. whatever and I’ll give you an access code to type in.

Wait, what?

Finally, finally, my brain joined the conversation.

Why do you need access to my computer? Gobbledy-gook explanation about cyber-something and creating a firewall from our IP address.

Wait, what?

I asked some further questions, and continued not to understand the answers. I’m pretty sure the answers were designed to prevent understanding. After a minute or two of this, I assured him I just wanted the email fixed and wasn’t the least bit interested in a firewall for all our devices.

OK, he caved, would you like the protection on the email for one year or permanently?

Wait, what?

Is there a fee for this? I ask.

Oh, yes, he says, the way you say “Duh” if someone asks you if you’d like to be taken out for an especially fine dinner.

Oh, no. says I most emphatically.

Not sure if he hung up before I did, but it was close. As I was disconnecting the call, I looked back at the search I’d done. Turns out I’d called something called or some such nonsense. Not Google themselves. Not even close.

It further turns out that Google does not give out help numbers. Or if they do, they are so well hidden that mere mortals cannot find them.

But it even further turns out that Amazing Moms can navigate the instructions and recover the Mess that Was Pi’s Email. Ta-Dah! (You may applaud.)

It further, further, further turns out that no emails were sent by, from, or to New Mexico, and that her Drive is completely intact.

Lesson: If it looks like 3-day-old fish….

Love, Mom

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Enter Sushi, Stage Left

Dear Kid,

Last night I came home to find Pi making sushi. Since you are the Master Sushi Chef in our house, I did the only reasonable thing: I consulted MFTI (My Friend the Internet) to learn about sushi.

Food and Art DearKidLoveMom.comOnce upon a time there was no such thing as sushi. This was very inconvenient for anyone who had a craving for a really nice California roll. Of course, California hadn’t been invented yet either, so a lot of people wandered around not really knowing what they were craving.

California rolls would have to wait. DearKidLoveMom.comSometime in the 8th century (I wasn’t there, so I can’t be more exact), the Japanese figured out that fish would last if it was preserved and rather than mummifying it (which was not a very yummy flavor) they figured out how to preserve the fish in fermented rice.

Then people figured out you could eat both the rice and the fish and – ta-da! – sushi was born. California rolls would still have to wait a while.

Love, Mom

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Fishy Thinking and Thinking Fishes

Dear Kid,

Fish think better in groups than individually DearKidLoveMom.comTurns out fish think better in groups than individually. I am not making this up.

It’s not that the fish copy each other’s answers (they’re in school after all). It’s more that fish live something of a meritocracy.

A male emperor angelfish lives together with up to five female mates. If the emperor angelfish dies, one of the females turns into a male fish and becomes the leader of the group.

The fish seem to figure out whose summa is the laud-est and they follow that fish. This is the opposite of lemmings who (according to legend) follow whatever fuzzy tail is in front of them.

Scientists figured out the fish thinking thing by giving individual fish choices about which way to swim and then giving groups of fish choices. Turns out individual fish are more likely to pick the “Become a filet o’ fish” lane and groups of fish are more likely to pick the “This way to the plankton pool” path.

Human children do not necessarily behave this way. Human adults do not necessarily behave this way.

Which leads me to wonder if perhaps fish are smarter than humans…

Goldfish don't think at all. DearKidLoveMom.comThis is an odd thing to wonder since fish have pretty small brains compared to their body size (compared to other animals) which may have something to do with why they rely on the fish with the most smarticles.

Jellyfish aren’t fish. I don’t think very highly of jellyfish. But you knew that.

Fish in the middle of the school control the movement of the school. Think of them as the principal or the most popular teacher.

The term “fish” is used when referring to one species of fish (e.g., 10 salmon are 10 fish). The term “fishes” is used when referring to more than one species (e.g., 10 salmon, 3 trout, and 1 angel fish are 14 fishes). The term “fishies” is used when talking to a small child. The term “dinner” is used when referring to fish found in the supermarket.

Here’s to a day that’s not fishy.

Love, Mom

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