Spam Skillet Casserole

I came to the Nature Network seeking intellectual stimulation. Of that, I do have plenty. But I believe that now NN may even be offering a different kind of stimulation. Or, more likely I think, finally my geek cred is being recognized and appreciated, and my charm is having an effect!

Why, this morning, I received three emails through the Nature Network —no less— from two wonderful individuals (I know not if they are women, men, or even human), named Mary Kito, and Rosemary Baby! I mean, how can they not be wonderful? Mary Kito wants to be a special friend in my life, and wants it to be real, not fake — even invoking God’s blessings upon me towards that end. Miss Rosemary Baby has become very interested in me after finding my profile in Nature Network (bless the NN!), and wants my email address so that she can send me her pictures — something for which I was waiting all my life. Hallelujah!

Of course, it would help if either of them could write three meaningful sentences in English without egregious spelling or grammatical errors, but I can overlook that little niggle. After all, these messages of endearment are surely not Spam Emails… are they?

Through Nature Network? Nyaah! I mean… Can’t be, can it? Say it ain’t so, NN!

I know spam. Trust me. And not just the green variety either. Every day, my GMail, Yahoo Mail and Hotmail Spam folders are bursting with offers for free medication, offers for anatomical enlargements, and extremely polite requests for providing my bank accounts to a Nigerian gentleman or a Swedish lady or the British Lottery board, so that they can kindly transfer large sums of money to me.

Oftentimes, I am tempted. The medications and the enlargements I can do without, but some money would be good. But then, I have a spousal unit who I can always count on to head-slap me back to reality. A rather amusing reality in which targeted advertisements in the Google webmail interface always point me to interesting spam recipes, such as Spam Swiss Pie, Spam Skillets, French Fry Spam Casserole, and so forth, whenever I pay a visit to my GMail Spam folder — which, by the way, has an exceptional filter.

But Nature Network is special. It is making my dreams come true! I am so grateful and overwhelmed!

All I want to know from Matt and Lou is:
How do I make it stop?


  1. Lou Woodley

    Hi Kausik,
    Sorry about the spam – we seem to have had an attack of it today. We do have spam filters, but admittedly things sometimes slip through. As soon as we’re aware of the spam, we ban the users, so reporting them definitely helps us in keeping the site (and your inboxes) clear of junk. We’re also currently working on improving the spam filters, so in the next couple of weeks you should see some improvements.

  2. Kausik Datta

    Thanks, Lou. I hope you didn’t mind my strictly tongue-in-cheek harangue.

  3. Lee Turnpenny

    Oh, they’re seemingly fickle ladies, Mary and Rosemary. And there was me thinking my luck had turned.

  4. Austin Elliott

    I got the same spam from the same fictitious ladies.

    All blog systems suffer from some degree of spam and “fake ID members”. NN is so fast at deleting them that by the time I notice it has almost always already been done.

  5. Kausik Datta

    Why would your luck turn? Hello! I got the emails, not you!!
    Hehe!! 🙂

  6. Kausik Datta

    Damn! Does this mean I was not the only one being canvassed for receiving the affections of the said ladies? Sad! And I was feeling so special this morning…


  7. Cath Ennis

    I sometimes get solicited by young ladies, too.

    Nature Network – an equal opportunities environment!

  8. Heather Etchevers

    Yes, but Cath, were you solicited by the same young ladies as Austin, Lee and Kausik? I certainly wasn’t – which I find curious, and interesting. Does spam have the ability to gender stereotype, too?

    Kausik, you are special. Never fear.

  9. Kausik Datta

    Heather, everyone can gender stereotype, and as long as Sir Spamalot doesn’t suffer from William’s Syndrome, it can spam based on ethnic considerations also…

    BTW, I found it very interesting when I read about it in Nature News this morning. However, I need to go back to the original papers to find the answers to a few questions I had. The WS and non-WS children who were studied were all white European kids. I wonder if the dynamics of ethnic groups in the European society are the same as those in the American society; in addition, I want to know if the investigators accounted for household environments and growing up experiences of the subjects as possible confounding factors.

    I am basing my questions on personal experiences. I know of certain immigrant people from an Asian country, who – prior to arriving in the US – had no concept of racial segregation. Once they got here (along with their children), they became acutely aware of the nuances of racial disparities, and soon the family became kind of biased towards one group over the other, based on their bad experiences with the latter in their neighborhood. Therefore, perception of ethnic divisions and attitudes stemming therefrom may not be as straightforward as this reductionist article appears to project.

  10. Heather Etchevers

    I had a look at the original paper, and I think the main discriminating factor for racial segregation was pigmentation of the skin. The researchers used images that have been used to evoke a “like me” / “not like me” response in other children of similar age, and did not find the same preferential response in the WS kids, whereas these kids did have the same sort of gender stereotyped reactions. The idea that the former can be based on an amygdala-centered fear reaction is what was so particularly fascinating. Making sense of social structure (like me = safe, not like me = potential threat) probably overrides the national cultural particularities, but that remains of course to be demonstrated.

  11. Kausik Datta

    You are right. I wonder if a parallel study can be done with African-origin children (with dark skin) having WS. The results would be highly revealing if the “like me/not like me” response is the true indicator of their preferences.

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