January 17, 2008

The Bullying Factor

"Bullying: A repeated aggression, verbal, psychological or physical, conducted by an individual or group against another." This is Bullying, and although you can think this is a teen's problem, it's not.

Bullying is a behavioural problem which affects thousands of school children and families. The humiliation, fear and social isolation bring them to a loss of self-esteem, and can results in absenteeism from school, deteriorating schoolwork, personality change, depression and sometimes suicide.

Although specialists say bullying knows no boundaries of age, sex or socio-economic background, we can commonly identify a standard target for bully: the outsiders. And what determines an outsider depends on where they are located: foreigners, chubbies, skinnies, blackies, weirds, nerds, and so on. Usualy related to schools and teenagers, but can take many forms, even in your work environment, it can be short term or continue over long periods, even years, who knows? Who stipulates that? The threatener, the intimidator, "The Bullyer", when the conditions should be dictated by the threatened, intimidated, "The Bullied".

In Ireland and UK, bullying is a huge problem. Recently we learn on the news that a 15 years old girl killed herself due to bullying - the so-called "Bullycide". She left a note on that... Authorities have to do something. If they start to act, "The Bullied" will feel confident to complain about "The Bullyer". When someone is caught bullying, shoul be punished: in school, withdrawn; on a work environment, dismissed!

We had, in Brazil, some issues with mocking freshers in university. After a couple of deaths, the governement took some actions, put some mockers in jail and decreed mocking illegal. Maybe this will show some results!

January 14, 2008

Spam it...

"About Monday

Incorrect Phone Number:

We were unable to reach you at the phone numbers you provided us.
Currently we cannot release your mortgage refinance until you update your information.

As of now you can receive up to $137,115.
This will be our final attempt to reach you.


Pope & Negron Associates
Henry Odom
Loans Department"

I just received this message above... the infamous "spam". And do you know why there are so many spams? Because people believe in such stupid things they spread. It is sad, isn't it?

And the sadiest thing is that a whole generation (maybe more than one) will grow without knowing what SPAM really means! But here I am to iluminate a whole - maybe more - blind generation...

Canned meat

Spam is a canned precooked chopped pork shoulder meat with ham meat added, salt, water, sugar, and sodium nitrite! Shocked??? Well, you should be! Check it out! And it has gained a peculiar infamy, along with something of a place in pop culture, and has even entered into folklore and urban legend.

Name origin

The product's original name Hormel Spiced Ham - not so original though - and was loosing market share, so they decided to name it from multiple entries in a naming contest. A Hormel official once stated that the original meaning of the name Spam was "Shoulder of Pork and hAM", but the current official explanation is that the name is a syllabic abbreviation of "SPiced hAM".

Although other unofficial sources cite "Specially Processed American Meat, as the original meaning, many others will say - as a jocular backronyms - SPAM stands for "Something Posing As Meat"!

From the cans to the computers

In the Monty Python TV series, there is a sketch set in a cafe where nearly every item on the menu includes SPAM luncheon meat. As the server recites the SPAM-filled menu, a chorus of Viking patrons drowns out all conversations with a song repeating "SPAM, SPAM, SPAM, SPAM... lovely SPAM, wonderful SPAM," hence "SPAMming" the dialogue. The excessive amount of SPAM mentioned in the sketch is a reference to British rationing during World War II. SPAM was one of the few foods that were widely available.

In a reference to Monty Python repetition of the word SPAM, in earlies 1980, some BBS users would repeat the word "SPAM" a huge number of times to scroll other users' text off the screen. From this, later, computer programmers used the term in reference to something unwanted and repeatedly shown/sent.