The Scorpion And The Turtle (As told by Luke T. Bush.) A scorpion needed help to cross a river. He asked a turtle if he could hitch a ride with him. The turtle said he didn’t trust the scorpion. “Why you’ll sting me while I’m taking ...

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"Writog" - 5 new articles

  1. The Scorpion And The Turtle
  2. Free Isn't Free
  3. Haunted PlattInfo Kiosk Gives Up The Ghost
  4. If It Seems To Be Too Good To Be True, Google It
  5. City Hall Dog Park
  6. More Recent Articles

The Scorpion And The Turtle

The Scorpion And The Turtle

(As told by Luke T. Bush.)

A scorpion needed help to cross a river.  He asked a turtle if he could hitch a ride with him.

The turtle said he didn’t trust the scorpion.  “Why you’ll sting me while I’m taking you across on my back.”

The scorpion laughed.  “I wouldn’t do that because you would sink and we would both die.”

Seeing the scorpion’s logic the turtle allowed the scorpion to climb on his shell.  Then he entered the water with his passenger and started to ferry the scorpion across the river.

Halfway across – at the river’s deepest part – the turtle felt a paralyzing sting.

The turtle gasped out his last words.  “Why did you do that?”

The scorpion replied: “It’s Valentine’s Day.”


Free Isn't Free

Always check for the qualifying asterisk.


Haunted PlattInfo Kiosk Gives Up The Ghost

(C) 2017 Luke T.Bush


The screen is black again.  No more outdated ads from the past.

As I've discussed before the PlattInfo kiosk on City Hall Place came back to life last month with limited functionality.  This outdoor kiosk -- one of three -- was part of a computerized system that was supposed to provide details on various Plattsburgh City businesses through its touchscreen.  The entire system has spent most of its existence dead and useless.

The freelance software engineer who wrote the proprietary software for the system, Jesse Feiler, hasn't responded to my email requests.  I've been trying to find out what went wrong after thousands of taxpayer dollars were poured into the chrome tombstones.  Recently I did get a reply from Paul DeDominicas, Director of Community Development, regarding what was and was not going on with PlattInfo.

Months ago the kiosks got a new slap of paint to cover up the rust.  When the City Hall Place kiosk came back to half-life it appeared an attempt was being made to reboot the system.

In his email reply Paul said the City Hall Place kiosk must have mysteriously reactivated itself without any prompting.  It's reactivation wasn't part of any plan to repurpose the system.

He wrote:  "At this time, there is not a push to update the system as it was installed.  The system was purchased through a grant program which required the system be in place for a certain amount of time.  The grant period expires in the fall of 2017.  The functionality of the system needs to be examined and the conversation needs to focus around what can the system become now that smart phones/apps are so prevalent. One of the ideas in the Downtown Revitalization Initiative is to provide some public Wi-Fi spots downtown.  The system could be repurposed to assist with that project.  Though nothing has been determined at this time."

Maybe the ghost in the machine will haunt us once again before this fall, giving us some entertainment for the money spent, more glimpses into the far past.  And if the kiosks become part of a new wi-fi system the city better hire a techno-exorcist.


If It Seems To Be Too Good To Be True, Google It

(C) 2017 Luke T. Bush


"Did you read that article about a new drug that has the drug companies worried?"

Article?  I didn't see an article; I spotted something else.  I picked up a copy of the January 24 edition of the Press-Republican to verify what I had seen.  Yup, there it was on page A3, running down the length of the right hand side: "Drug Companies Fear Release of the New AloeCure."  Headline, byline, pull quotes -- but it ain't any news article.

With breathless hyperbole the ad proclaims: "Analysts expect the AloeCure to put a crimp in 'Big Pharma' profits."  Really.  Please name two independent analysts.

But that's not all!  "Doctors call it 'The greatest health discovery in decades!'" 


I spoke to the person who had mentioned this "article" to me, explaining it was really an advertisement formatted to look like a news story.  I pointed to the tiny print at the top of the ad, just below the date and page number: PAID ADVERTISEMENT.  Another scam.

Scam is a strong word.  But once again like previous pseudo-articles the PR has published for other shady companies there's more fine print at the bottom:  "THESE STATEMENTS HAVE NOT BEEN EVALUATED BY THE FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION.  THIS PRODUCT IS NOT INTENDED TO DIAGNOSE, TREAT, CURE OR PREVENT ANY DISEASE. RESULTS MAY VARY.  ALOECURE IS NOT A DRUG."

Standard disclaimer.  Carpe diem.  You're on your own.

Among its various uses AloeCure is touted as a better way to soothe intestinal discomfort without the nasty side effects of Big Pharma drugs like Prilosec that can result in bone and health damage from overuse.  And there's also another great AloeCure benefit.  By eating fatty foods your brain can get clogged up just like a drain when grease and fat are poured down it.   But have no fear!  "The acemanan used in AloeCure actually makes sure gut healthier, so healthy bacteria flows freely to your brain so you think better, faster, and with a larger capacity for memory."

Because I already think better without ingesting AloeCure I decided to do some Googling and see what the real story was.

AloeCure is also hawked on TV.  The Infomercial Scams website says that AloeCure is marketed as a dietary supplement thus avoiding FDA oversight.  AloeCure is basically rebranded Aloe Vera juice that can be bought for a lot cheaper at a GNC store.

And there's more fine print: "Shipping and processing fees are non-refundable. After the 30 day guarantee period is over all sales are final. Returns may be subject to a re-stocking fee. Returned packages require a Return Merchandise Authorization (RMA) number to ensure accurate processing."

According to the Infomercial Scams site there have been numerous complaints about AloeCure customer service treating callers rudely, AloeCure billing unsatisfied customers after they canceled their orders, and the company refusing refund requests despite its risk free trial offer.  More complaints can be found at other sites like here.

There are some customers who say AloeCure works for them and are satisfied with the product. That aside there problems like the lousy customer service, overbilling and fighting for a refund.  Here's an excerpt from one critical comment at the Infomercial Scams site:

"In this case, where my brother was terminally ill, he was certainly not looking for continual shipments. He simply wanted to try one case, and the taped conversation about his intentions was very clear. But they have ignored our request for a full credit in spite of all common sense pointing to the obvious."

How many readers take the time to personally evaluated dubious ads published in the Press-Republican?  Many probably don't because they think:  "If it's in the newspaper it must be true."  Especially if they assume what they read is an article.

For shame, Press-Republican.  Like a manure spreader your paper is a scam spreader.

Shouldn't you be investigating scams instead of promoting them?


City Hall Dog Park

A matter of respect.  As I've said many times before it's not the dog, it's the pig on the other end of the leash.  Take Pride, Plattsburgh City!


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