Skepticism

Why You Do Not Spam a Skeptical Blog

Because it’s our job to be suspicious of you, moron.

Every now and again we get idiots trying to get links from Skepchick. Here, I post two such correspondences for your viewing pleasure. First up is Science.org, which is a scammy link farm-kind-of-thing that has some hilariously awful articles full of keywords to get people searching for “science jobs” or “how to be a science writer.” Second is an idiot even more far removed from the topic of this blog: tungsten wedding bands.

IDIOT 1

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from Willam Lee
to SKEPCHICKS
date Mon, Nov 9, 2009 at 7:34 PM
subject Contact: Other

Name: Willam Lee

Email: [email protected]

Subject: Other

Message: Our website Science.org is a informational databases and
online news publication for anything and everything related to science
and technology. We recently ran a poll asking our website users
regarding what online informational resources they use to keep up to
date or even to simply find great information. It seems many of our
users have labeled your blog as an excellent source of Space
information. We have reviewed your blog and must say, we absolutely
love the information you have made available to the public and would
love to make your blog a part of our top science blogs. After browsing
your blog, our research team has decided to award you a Top science
Blogs award banner.

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from Maria
to SKEPCHICKS
date Mon, Nov 9, 2009 at 8:16 PM
subject Fwd: Contact: Other

FYI, this looks to be a hoax. I guess it’s a new version of the ‘you’ve been selected to be one of the top performing college student directories’ only with blogs. Science.org looks to be a shell page; clicking any of the links gives you an error. Plus, if you google the sentence “We recently ran a poll asking our website users regarding what online informational resources they use to keep up to date or even to simply find great information,” you get a bunch of results for blogs in the medical field which have similar emails or comments sent…

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from Tracy
to SKEPCHICKS
date Mon, Nov 9, 2009 at 11:48 PM
subject Re: Contact: Other

I want some SPACE INFORMATION please.

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Idiot 2

from Nick
to SKEPCHICKS
date Fri, Oct 23, 2009 at 8:10 PM
subject Contact: News Item or Link

Name: Nick

Email: [email protected]

Subject: News Item or Link

Message: Hi,

I was curious what it would take to get a text link on your blog
saying something like “Tungsten Wedding Bands” or “Tungsten
Wedding Rings” with a hyperlink to our site
(superiorweddingrings.com). We are a relatively new company and
we are currently trying to improve our page ranking on Google. We
operate on a small budget, and we would be more than willing to give
you a tungsten ring from our site in exchange for a link. Let me
know if this would be something that you would be interested in.
Thanks for any help you can give us.

Thank You
Nick
Superior Wedding Rings

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from Rebecca
to Nick
date Wed, Oct 28, 2009 at 10:55 AM
subject Re: Contact: News Item or Link

Dear Nick,

I’d be happy to do that for you. I’m weighing several options for a blog title:

Tungsten Wedding Bands Have Nothing To Do With This Site
Tungsten Wedding Bands Will Not Save You From a Loveless, Doomed Marriage
Tungsten Wedding Band Sellers Have No Idea How The Internet Works
Tungsten Wedding Bands Murder Family
Tungsten Wedding Bands Will Disappoint Your Future Spouse, You Cheapskate

I’m thinking that the 2nd option will work best but I’m obviously not as good at marketing as you so your input is appreciated.

Best,
Rebecca

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from Maria
to SKEPCHICKS
date Wed, Oct 28, 2009 at 4:04 PM
subject Re: Contact: News Item or Link

You missed “The Tungsten Wedding Band Acoustic Tour”

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Rebecca Watson

Rebecca leads a team of skeptical female activists at Skepchick.org. She travels around the world delivering entertaining talks on science, atheism, feminism, and skepticism. There is currently an asteroid orbiting the sun with her name on it. You can follow her every fascinating move on Twitter or on Google+.

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46 Comments

  1. Sigh! … yes indeed, the denizens from the shallow end of the gene pool do often pop up. I confess that I do love your willingness to mess with their minds… I wonder just how nuts we could drive them if we baited them … in other words, can we scam the scammers :-)

  2. Who are you pretending to scam when you register “science.org”?

    You might as well register “NotAlinkFarm.org” and expect people to not double check your links …

    Well OK, maybe some scientists are gullible enough to fall for that.

  3. Bah, tungsten is for puny fools who aren’t ready to be married! Any man or woman who is truly hardcore about their marriage will demand nothing less than wedding rings made entirely out of neodymium magnets. See here (Warning: Link might be NSFW, and kinda gross)

  4. I still don’t get what your objection is to the wedding bands being promoted here. The bands are made of metal. Metal is science. We like science. Therefore we like metal… and since we’re girls, we love getting married. And having babies! Do they make tungsten baby collars?

    Rebecca, are you mad because they don’t have any rings in pink and you can’t wear non-pink tungsten rings because you fear people will think you’re wearing boy clothes?

    Actually, I do love the offer to give one of us a ring… OOOH now I have a wedding ring! All I have to do now is find a husband!

  5. I was just talking about tungsten wedding rings last night. My friend’s brother in law has one because it’s indestructible, and he works in an environment where normal soft gold would get torn up pretty quickly. Apparently many people who have a high risk of damaging fine jewelry in their work environment prefer them for their durability.

    Of course, he is aware that a EMT team will probably have to cut off his finger to remove it if they ever need to do electro-cardial stimulation after a car accident or something.

  6. @Zapski: “By the way, how do you feel about bone wedding rings made from cultured bone-tissue taken from your spouse?”

    I am totally in favor of that, especially if you and your fiance(e) both work at the same Hot Topic and can get a discount on matching skull-and-crossbones chokers.

  7. This sounds similar to an email I got on our blog a couple of days ago. My co-contributor wrote a post on Glymetrol, saying how it’s just an alt med scam. Then, a couple days ago, we got an email from DEPSYL, which is a company marketing another “all-natural” diabetes “medicine.” I couldn’t find anything saying it was actually a scam, but it had several shell websites that didn’t look to be affiliated, but were identical. Also, the email had some interesting lines:

    “I read your blog, Scientific Phenomena, over the weekend.”
    Our blog is Scientifica Phenomena.

    “I was impressed by your Blog.

    I don’t know the scope of your work, but we’d be interested in visiting you is their mutual interest on your part.”
    The rest of the email had perfect grammar and capitalization. It also sounded like a copy-and-pasted script.

    So, I’m pretty sure this is another spam thing. If they had actually read the assessment of Glymetrol, I don’t think they’d actually want us to look into their product.

    Anyone ever heard of Depsyl, or gotten a similar email? I’m new to this skeptical blogging thing, and this is the first time I’ve encountered something like this.

  8. @Zapski:
    Apparently many people who have a high risk of damaging fine jewelry in their work environment prefer them for their durability.”

    A diamond ring isn’t actually made out of diamond, it just has (at least) one attached to it. But a real “diamond” ring, now that would truly be indestructible. Well, except with a high vulnerability to fire and certain chemicals …

  9. @exarch: I thought diamonds were hard, but fragile. You may be able to scratch or cut material with one but if you hit a diamond with a hammer, it will shatter.

    Tungsten on the other hand is what makes hammers. It’s tool steel, and is very hard and very tough.

    /me diverts into thoughts on wedding bands and rings in general

    I think the tungsten rings get a bad rap (though they certainly don’t belong on this site). They don’t look all that bad (do a google search for them) and really, what difference does the material make?

    My old wedding band is made of platinum, because I don’t care for the color of gold. It’s a plain band, and it’s gotten kind of scratched up and not shiny anymore. It’s a little disappointing to look at (for many reasons).

    If the tungsten stays shinier than platinum doesn’t that make it prettier? And isn’t the value of the ring based at least in part in its beauty?

    Zirconium is more sparkly than diamond. Therefore (to my eye) it makes a prettier ring. What then is the value of diamond?

    Meh, says I. Rarity does not impart any kind of mystical value other than wealth. Why not get something pretty and enduring? And if saving money on the ring gets you a fantastic vacation, then go for it!

    So if I get married to The Girl, I’m pretty sure I might go with tungsten for myself, and treat her to a cruise or something. I’m not sure I could convince her of a non-traditional ring though….

    Also, I like the symbolism of the bone rings. It’s a little creepy, but it’s also actually meaningfully symbolic. They don’t seem to be very pretty, but then for bone rings, that’s not the point. I don’t think I’d be getting one though, I don’t feel like having an unnecessary marrow extraction.

  10. I’m with Zapski. Of course, Skepchicks don’t need to be shilling for a seller of tungsten rings, but I happen to be wearing one right now. No, it’s not silver sieved by hand, molecule by molecule, from the Sargasso Sea – but it’s always shiny and I don’t need to worry about it getting scratched.

  11. I know a guy who opted for a tungsten carbide wedding ring–nothing short of a diamond could scratch it. I had not heard of tungsten-the-metal rings before, though. If there were a jeweler specializing in jewelry made of non-standard metals, that would be kind of cool, and worth an occasional mention when on-topic to a current thread. Say, does anyone know if you can get a ring made of solid synthetic sapphire? That would be cool–I am told that the material is quite durable; they even use it to make bullet-proof windows.

    Now, to correct what someone else said: Cubic Zirconia is a diamond substitute that has better dispersive index (i.e., ability to break light up into colors, aka “fire” in jewelry-speak) than diamond. Zirconium is a metal.

  12. @pciszek: Now, to correct what someone else said: Cubic Zirconia is a diamond substitute that has better dispersive index (i.e., ability to break light up into colors, aka “fire” in jewelry-speak) than diamond. Zirconium is a metal.

    I stand corrected. Thank you.

  13. Zapski – A jeweler can polish up platinum for you.

    Personally, I think diamonds are, well, boring. And over-priced. Give me a nice emerald any day. But I don’t wear rings, as they get in the way of my work.

    The Biophysicist & I commemorated our union by getting complementary tattoos. In the words of my then ten-year-old, ‘My parental units are sooooo weird’.

  14. @DominEditrix: A jeweler can polish up platinum for you.

    Yeah, but some of the scratches are too deep to polish without removing a significant portion of the metal. *shrug*

    I actually kind of want to sell the ring, or get it reworked into something else. Haven’t really settled on that yet.

  15. @pciszek:
    Say, does anyone know if you can get a ring made of solid synthetic sapphire? That would be cool–I am told that the material is quite durable; they even use it to make bullet-proof windows.

    It’ll definitely outlast diamond …

  16. @ekimbrough: To be truly pedantic, I will point out that the cubic phase of zirconia is obtained by (typically) stabilizing it with ~8% of yttrium oxide (Y2O3). Otherwise you will get the monoclinic phase.

    Coincidentally, I have been depositing thin films of stabilized zirconia in my lab for the past few months. The films are, indeed, quite durable.

  17. @starve2act:

    Indestructibility? We’re beginning to walk the Voodoo Line here. “If the wedding ring cannot be scratched, bent, tarnished or crushed… then, ipso facto, my marriage can’t!”

    The guy with the tungsten carbide wedding ring has a machine shop in his garage, is into railguns and tesla coils as hobby projects, and currently works at a company that manufacturers laser engravers. Picture a gothier version of Jamie Hyneman with more emphasis on pulsed high-power electronics. For him, an unscratchable, non-conductive, highly refractory wedding ring is just a sensible precaution.

  18. Why Tungsten? I mean, I get the industrial applications for it. Being very strong is good in building rocket parts, but I’m reasonably sure that if your wedding ring is being subjected to multi-G forces you’re doing something very very wrong (or right) in bed. Also your finger would be a bloody pulp at that point anyway.

    No dissing the Hot Topic though, my five year old daughter just LOVES that place. Just remember that Slipknot binder paper is not punk rock. HT: MC Lars.

  19. Personally, I love my tungsten carbide wedding band. It was cheap (around $80, I think, can’t really remember), it’s survived over a year of what can best be described as abuse (raked over pavement, dropped hundreds of times, etc.) without any visible wear. Mirror finish. It would be nice if it was sizable. Also, play-doh sticks to it. That’s kind of annoying. Still, very happy with it. :)

  20. @Betsumei: Personally, I love my tungsten carbide wedding band. It was cheap (around $80, I think, can’t really remember), it’s survived over a year of what can best be described as abuse…

    Wasn’t this a plot point in _The Abyss_? I seem to remember Ed Harris’ hand being saved by a freakishly strong wedding ring.

  21. @davew:

    Wasn’t this a plot point in _The Abyss_? I seem to remember Ed Harris’ hand being saved by a freakishly strong wedding ring.

    I’m pretty sure that was supposed to be a titanium wedding ring. I’m not sure a tungsten carbide ring would hold up so well to having an airlock try to close on it.

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