Dave Stancliff 2012-02-12 blogarama.com

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Guest Corner: Sports Illustrated bikini model sparks a debate

Kat Upton, Sports Illustrated swimsuit model

I’m an unabashed fan of David Horsey. He’s the kind of witty writer/artist I can only aspire to be in my dreams.

Enjoy: 

By David Horsey

“Kate Upton, the model splashed across the cover of this year’s Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition, is at the center of a hot debate that has nothing to do with birth control, Mitt Romney’s tax returns or how the heck Newt Gingrich persuaded three women to marry him.
Some among the sleek set in the fashion industry think the 19-year-old, self-promoting model is too chubby to be chic -- their definition of hefty encompassing 99% of the nation’s females. The fashion mavens denigrate Upton’s whole look – her too-blond hair, her generic, pouty cheerleader face and her long legs that one critic described as looking as if they belong to a player for the WNBA. The casting director for Victoria’s Secret fashion shows said she’d never allow such a skank to darken her runway. (We all know how Victoria’s Secret is the epitome of haute couture.)”

(Read the rest here) art by David Horsey/Los Angeles Times

Keeping up in the New Millennium: More than half the births in America occur outside of marriage

For better, or worse, I’ve watched six decades fly by with new cultural twists and mores. What was once controversial and scandalous, is now commonplace. The lines of morality have been blurred in the national eye. New attitudes have emerged that speak well for the changes, however. You might even say the public has become more tolerant of human rights and differences. Gays and Lesbians have been able to come out of the closet nationally and take their place in society. Woman aren’t judged as harshly for having babies out of wedlock. 

“The line it is drawn
The curse it is cast
The slow one now
Will later be fast
As the present now
Will later be past
The order is
Rapidly fadin'
And the first one now
Will later be last
For the times they are a-changin'.”
( Lyrics from: Bob Dylan’s - The Times They Are A-Changin' )

Yes, “The Times They Are A-Changin’,” and it’s a whole new world now.

It’s certainly not the world I grew up in during the fifties and sixties. Back then, if you had a baby out of wedlock it was the most scandalous thing that could happen to a woman. Society isn’t as judgmental now.

News Snippet:

“It used to be called illegitimacy. Now it is the new normal. After steadily rising for five decades, the share of children born to unmarried women has crossed a threshold: more than half of births to American women under 30 occur outside marriage.”

Exposed: PAHs in pavement poise significant health risk to public

            Good Day Humboldt County!

  Our travels today, are taking us down a polluted path that we all unknowingly walk on every day. Beware when you get out of your car in a store parking lot, or your own driveway. It was probably sprayed with a common deadly sealant still available in many stores!

It’s waste from steel mills that should have been safely incinerated instead of spread on the ground we all walk on. It’s another tale of collusion between government and corporate interests to the determent of the American public.

The stuff that’s been spread on our parking lots, and other surfaces, has the known cancer-causing  agent “polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons,” or PAHs in it.

The thing that bothers me, is that this is not breaking news. People have known about problems that go with the use of these sealants containing PAHs for years. That means you, and I, and the rest of the population, have been blissfully exposing ourselves to bad things. Worse, these toxic sealants are still legal in most states.

Now, after four new major studies, people are getting concerned. Warning: the more you read the more angry you’re going to get. Informational links are provided after the following news snippet:   

“When you think of pollution, you might picture an industrial center like Camden, N.J., or Jersey City. But new research shows that when it comes to a potent class of cancer-causing toxic chemicals, many American parking lots are a lot worse.

New studies paint an increasingly alarming picture – particularly for young children – about how these chemicals are being spread across big swaths of American cities and suburbs by what may seem an unlikely source – a type of asphalt sealer. These sealants are derived from an industrial waste, coal tar.

Four new studies announced this week further implicate coal tar-based asphalt sealants as likely health risks.  The creosote-like material typically is sprayed onto parking lots and driveways in an effort to preserve the asphalt. It also gives the pavement a dark black coloring that many people find attractive.

Coal tar is a byproduct of the steelmaking industry. In 1992, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency declared that it would not be classified as a hazardous waste, even though it met the characteristics of one, because it could be recycled for uses that include coating asphalt. That meant steel mills didn’t have to pay for costly landfilling or incineration of the waste.

The new research, published in peer-reviewed science journals, focuses on a class of chemicals found in coal tar and known as “polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons,” or PAHs. Previously, researchers believed that people’s exposure to PAHs came primarily through food, which contains trace amounts produced primarily from smoking food or cooking it at high temperatures in practices such as grilling, roasting, and frying. PAHS are produced when any organic matter burns.” (Read whole story here)

Here’s Some More related Links

Study sees parking lot dust as a cancer risk

State bans coal tar sealants in big win for foes

The four studies announced this week appeared in the science journals Environmental Science and Technology, Chemosphere, Atmospheric Environmentand  Environmental Pollution.

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Friday, February 17, 2012

Here’s one animated reason not to trust your eyes…

                                                By Arjen Goldschmidt color optical illusion 

Below - example showcases embedded lines of seemingly different colors. The reason they look different is because our brain judges the color of an object by comparing it to surrounding colors. So without us even knowing it our brains compare the flowing red stripes to the yellow stripes, forcing us to think they are orange. The blue stripes make the red ones appear much darker -almost purple, even though they are exactly the same color!

This is just one example why you cannot trust what you see even with your own eyes. Next time someone swears they saw Jesus, UFO, or a ghost, show them this animation…

‘Not in my State’ : Pig Eyes Christie vetos same-sex marriage in NJ

Take a look at the face of intolerance. Not very pretty.

He’s, New Jersey Gov. “Pig Eyes” Christie who vetoed the same-sex marriage bill and upheld the Republican’s righteous religious agenda.

Pig Eyes gets his way this time and tells the majority it doesn’t matter what they want. Once again, he prevents marriage equality for gays and lesbians in the state of New Jersey.

I know his intolerance gives him major points with some Tea Party groups and right wing extremists, but in the end…this is America and there’s no place for marginalizing people because of their sexual orientation. It’s just a matter of time before same-sex marriage is legal there.

Oops! Teen swipes tomato plant he thought was marijuana

Tomato plant (© Victoria Firmston/GAP Photos/Getty Images)The first rule of stealing someone’s marijuana plant is “Don’t run past their house yelling ‘I have your pot plant.’”

The second rule is “make sure you didn’t swipe a tomato plant instead.”

Call it a case of mistaken plant identity.

A 15-year-old Florida boy climbed into Angela Cartwright's kitchen window thinking to make off with a marijuana plant, but instead the young thief was actually stealing a potted tomato plant, a sheriff's arrest report shows. The unnamed teen was charged with unarmed burglary of an occupied dwelling, his first offense, the report states.

I don’t know…maybe it’s just me, but it’s hard to believe a 15-year old would mistake a tomato plant for a pot plant. There’s ton’s of images of marijuana around us at all times. You see the weed in the news, and there are countless items of clothing with marijuana plants cleverly displayed on them. You see pot plants on CD discs, calendars, magazines, cups, shot glasses, posters, video games, books, movies, comics, etc.

I’d hazard to say it’s a pretty well exposed plant in our society. Apparently this 15-year old leads a cloistered life with no images of pot plants in it. Which leads me to wonder why the heck he wanted it in the first place????

I’m just saying….

A Buddhist monk invented the popular 5-Hour Energy drink

               Good Day Humboldt County!

Today’s road leads us past the path to enlightenment, and turns off into a less heavenly highway lined with greenbacks.   

Since those wild sixties, when I experimented with every popular drug out there, I’ve been fascinated with oriental religions. In particular, I thought Buddhist monks were totally cool back in the day.  

  During the seventies, I was a die-hard “Kung Fu” fan (the series ran from 1972-75) and loved watching David Carradine play the wise Shaolin monk, Kwai Chang Caine.

Caine/Carradine traveled through the American Old West armed only with his spiritual training and his skill in martial arts, as he sought his half-brother, Danny Caine. Along the way, he kicks numerous asses and imparts his unique wisdom in less violent moments.

Which leads me to another Buddhist monk today. You might say, a guy for our times. Michigan resident Manoj Bhargava, 58,  a former member of the Hanslok Ashram order and who lived the lifestyle of a Buddhist monk for 12 years, invented the 5-Hour Energy drink!

No kidding.Forbes reporter Clare O'Conner discovered that's exactly who is behind the phenomenon that has a 90%-near monopoly of the energy shot market.

I have to admit that I’m puzzled. Guess I’m not sure how Bhargava's billion-dollar energy drink invention ties in with the teachings of Confucius. In a recent interview he said that his “5-Hour Energy” is not a energy drink… it’s a focus drink.

Now that sounds Buddhist-like and mysterious to me. Apparently the FDA doesn’t like him using the word “focus” and he lamented that fact. “I have no idea why,” he told the Forbes reporter.

Bhargava is no Kwai Chang Caine. This guy pops up in the morning takes a pull of his 5-Hour Energy beverage and spends the rest of the time comparing himself to Matt Damon's character in Good Will Hunting. He refers to himself as "the richest Indian in America," and hasn't been shy about taking out the competition, filing 91 lawsuits.

A case of capitalism overcoming religion? Perhaps a case of a new religion? What do you think?

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Treat Feature: Wonderful 3-D Chalk Art by Kurt Wenner

 

(Photo left) Take this installation at the Waterloo Station in London, for example. Sure the man on his couch watching television has a lot of depth, but by adding a truck full of 3D animals crashing through the wall, it’s easy to feel just as shocked as the man in the artwork.

(Photo right) Zip-lining across a city street can be fun, but it’s nothing compared to flying across wild terrain. For those that don’t have the time or money to get away from it all though, Wenner offers a grand compromise with this gorgeous canyon advertising the beauty of wild British Columbia.

For more great works by Kurt Wenner visit his website.

 

Gas prices on rampage: at least smile while you’re getting robbed

 

 

I checked today in downtown McKinleyville and gas was $4.15 a gallon. Can anyone in another city, anywhere in the entire country beat these gas prices? I’m waiting….

 

One small handshake…as robot greets human commander in space

Image: Robot shakes astronaut's hand

      Good Day Humboldt County!

Our path leads to the stars today, as another piece of space history is enshrined in the halls of science.

I’ve wondered for a long time when this day would arrive, and we’d see robots becoming crew members on space missions.

This kind of thing was science fiction when I was growing up. It seemed like all the comics I read treated robots as threats to mankind. Flash Gordon (who fought his fair share of robots) must be turning over in his grave to see robots helping mankind now! I think the great thing about having them aboard is that they’ll do most of the work while the humans sit around telling jokes and discovering stuff. Hey! I’m just saying…   

“A NASA robot built to ease the daily lives of astronaut in space greeted its human commander with a hearty handshake Wednesday, along with a silent message: "Hello, world."

The historic handshake between man and machine —a first in space —was shared between NASA's humanoid robot, named Robonaut 2, and American astronaut Daniel Burbank on the International Space Station. NASA delivered Robonaut 2 to the space station in February 2011 during the last flight of the space shuttle Discovery. The robot consists of a torso, arms and camera-equipped head. It is 3 feet, 4 inches tall and weighs about 330 pounds. Station astronauts powered up Robonaut 2 in August and have been testing it ever since. NASA also has a twin of the robot on Earth for use in field trials of a wheeled mobile base that allows the automaton to drive around different terrains.” Rest of the story here.

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Deep in the forest….

 

Can you see the illusion?

It’s really quit simple when you squint your eyes.

Karl Kwasny is an Australian illustrator, currently based in Manhattan, New York

“Deep in the forest where heavy feet sink

You mightn’t be alone as you think!”

A cautionary tale for lovers: roll playing in public may land you in jail

I’m filing this little Valentine’s Day tale under “How embarrassing!”

At least nine police cars responded Tuesday to reports of a woman bound in duct tape and naked in a man's car, but the incident turned out to be a Valentine's role-play.

Shortly after noon, police converged on the New Seasons Market on North Interstate Avenue after receiving a report of a vehicle seen leaving the parking lot with a naked female tied up in the back with duct tape over her mouth.

According to police, a witness told officers that the driver of the car was a white male in his 20s, with a goatee and sunglasses and that the female "seemed hazy." The witness told police that the male stated they "were just having some fun."  Read the rest of the story here.

Anything but the Truth: Corporations plan climate change skepticism agenda in schools

Once again, American corporations are following an agenda contrary to the good of the American public. In this case, they’re trying to brainwash our children with lies about global warming. The corporation’s will do, or say anything, to keep the topic away from the harm they’re causing to our planet’s environment.

According to Bill Dedman Investigative Reporter, msnbc.com:

“Internal documents have been leaked from the Heartland Institute, a Chicago nonprofit think tank, showing its funding of leading skeptics of global warming and a plan to teach climate change skepticism in schools. An anonymous person leaked the documents to several publications and activists supporting the science of climate change.

"The heart of the climate denial machine relies on huge corporate and foundation funding from U.S. businesses, including Microsoft, Koch Industries, Altria (parent company of Philip Morris) RJR Tobacco and more," reports the DeSmogBlog, which published the documents on Tuesday. The blog opposes what it calls the "climate denial machine."

Read the following links for the corporation’s complete agenda and how they plan to go about it.

The first batch of documents is here on the DeSmogBlog, and a second batch dealing with fundraising.

Here's a copy of the group's fundraising plan, with a list of donors.

What do you think would be a good use for a Boeing 727 that didn’t fly?

                              Good Day Humboldt County!

   Let’s get off the beaten track today and check out what some people think Boeing 727 Jetliners should be used for beside flying. It’s unique people like this that make these detours so rewarding.

BAKERSFIELD, California (AP) – “A Swiss artist plans to bury an intact Boeing 727 jetliner in California's Mojave Desert and build a tunnel to give visitors a chance to see it.

Christoph Buchel has applied for a permit that will allow him to bury the 153-foot-long decommissioned airliner.The Bakersfield Californian newspaper reports the project, called "Terminal," already has approval from the local planning department staff.

The jetliner would be buried 38 feet below the surface. Visitors will be able to experience the subterranean art project via a tunnel connecting the plane to a parking area. And they'll be able to use the plane's restrooms, which will be connected to a septic system.”

Here’s a street legal Boeing 727 (photo right) or in other words, a converted Mercedes bus that seats up to 50 persons. At 24,000-pounds, it features a big screen TV, full bar, fog machine, tons of lighting (laser / strobe / etc.), ceiling mirrors, and "aerodynamic" seats. Click here for more pictures.

  For $500 a night you can stay in a fully outfitted, meticulously detailed, two bedroom, Boeing 727 fuselage hotel suite. (Photo left)

  The owners salvaged the airframe, piece by piece, from its San Jose airport resting place, carefully transporting the pieces on five, big-rig trucks to the jungles of Manuel Antonio where they were re-imagined as a unique hotel suite. The classic airplane, nestled is perched on a 50-foot pedestal, on the edge of the Costa Verde National Park. From this vantage point, visitors can enjoy stunning ocean and jungle views.

I’m sure there’s more examples around the world of recycled Boeing 727s. It’s just weird enough, that I think it’s cool.

What do you think? What would you do with a Boeing 727 if someone outright gave it to you?

Time for me to walk on down the road..  

 

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Optical Illusion: Fantastic flooring finds way to museum

Imagine stepping into a room in the local art museum and suddenly not knowing where to step because the ground appears to be completely uneven. But that’s exactly what would happen if you  happen to visit Kunstraum München in Munich, Germany. At least, if you happened to visit after Heikie Weber finished putting her installations up at the gallery.

That’s because the artist’s surreal creations convert ordinary rooms into mind-melding creations that seem impossible to walk on…of course, with art this fantastic, it seems a shame to trod on it anyway! But the most impressive part is how Heike does it… Go here to see more.

NYPD Suicides: 4 officers take their own lives in last month

What’s going on? Why are cops killing themselves? On the surface, there’s no relationship between four recent suicides. Each had a different story, but with the same sad ending. The only commonality I can see is that they were all from the same police department.

Perhaps that’s the one clue to solving these suicides: is something wrong within the force itself? Are cops who admit to having depression summarily canned? Despite what the NYPD website says about the counseling all officers have available to them, there’s a reason why very few take advantage it. That reason is fear. Fear that word will get out to their superiors they can’t handle their jobs. So, they remain silent.

One of the four deaths fits the scenario I’m suggesting. That’s Officer Terrence Dean. The 29-year old killed himself while on duty after receiving a call from his fiancée, who reportedly told him she called his precinct about the depression he was struggling with.

One last observation on the subject of law enforcement officers killing themselves: NYPD is not alone when it comes to officers having to hide their depression to protect their jobs. It’s happening nationwide. I can give examples from all over the country. The point is, something has to change in the crime-fighting culture or these senseless deaths will continue.

Valentine’s Day: Kiss your honey and go on a special date

             Good Day Humboldt County!

We’re going down Lover’s Lane today. A road that stretches back to antiquity. A road traveled by lovers worldwide. So what do to for Valentine’s Day? 

“On this Valentine’s Day, one of the more unorthodox activities available to lovebirds is the ability to take that special someone for a tour of the Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant in the Greenpoint section of Brooklyn.

“New York City’s Department of Environmental Protection is offering a tour of the sewage treatment facility that lasts just under two hours and culminates in an expansive view of the Manhattan skyline and the 53-acre Newtown plant from 130 feet up.

“To celebrate the occasion, guests will each be given a Hershey kiss candy while they tour a plant that is responsible for breaking down toxic waste into harmless sludge. They also get a Valentine’s Day story that will almost certainly be unique among their friends.” via Today

Pizza Hut also has you covered for Valentine’s Day, especially if you plan on making a marriage proposal to your date and want to do it over a medium one-topping pizza with some breadsticks and cinnamon sticks. The pizza chain has 10 packages available to ‘tie the knot” in which it offers a $10 dinner box, a red ruby and diamond engagement ring, limo service, flowers, a fireworks show, a videographer and a photographer for a mere $10,010 plus tax.

For those who just want to go right to dessert, Cupcakes Gourmet in Philadelphia has a $55,000 cupcake featuring an eight-carat diamond ring perched on top of the frosting.

My honey will have to settle for a kiss, a nice dinner, and my company today, unless the MCKinleyville Water District is offering a Valentine Day tour of their wastewater treatment plant!

Time for me to walk on down the road…

 

Monday, February 13, 2012

Washington govenor signs gay marriage bill: group seeks to overthrow it before it’s signed into law this June

Gov. Chris Gregoire has signed into law a bill that legalizes gay marriage in Washington state, making it the nation's seventh to allow gay and lesbian couples to wed. Before she even put pen to paper anti-homosexual groups were girding for war. A holy war in their narrow minds. But who are THEY in this case?

Who thinks homosexuals don’t deserve the same treatment as the rest of the population? Who thinks gays and lesbians will ruin the sanctity of       marriage?                                                                                         Who are “They????”

They” are members of organizations like the Family Policy Institute of Washington who are already organizing a campaign to overturn the new law that is set to go into effect on June 7th. Check out their web site. Look at the smiling, fresh faces that think Jesus hates homosexuals and denies them the key to Heaven.

God and Politics have become a quasi-religion where stiff-necked religious hypocrites judge everyone that doesn’t believe as “They” do. Read the “alerts” and calls for donations on FLI’s website, which is a thinly disguised effort to marginalize their fellow Americans in the name of God and man-made moral values that “They” don’t even keep.

They” don’t think all Americans should have the same opportunities. Even when it comes to their own love life. “They” can’t seem to respect anyone that doesn’t believe the way “They” do. In conclusion; “They” have a different view of the Constitution that assures us all equality. “They” are the reason why more people are leaving churches today.

They” are religious extremists, and one of their many missions is to keep same-sex marriage illegal…because they say, the Bible says it so.

As It Stands,They” won’t give up trying to take other’s rights away because “They” are heavily funded, and on a crusade to clean up Amerika.

One Rotten Apple: bad press forces company to look into labor issues while shares rise to an all time high

You wouldn’t be reading this right now if The New York Times hadn’t exposed Apple’s blind eye towards it’s supplier’s inhumane treatment of workers.

Apple said Monday that it had hired a non-profit labor group to examine working conditions at some of its suppliers in China, as the company tries to calm a growing storm over how the workers who build iPads and iPhones are treated.

“One particular supplier, Foxconn, has come under fire for working conditions at its facilities including alleged child labor violations and unsafe work environments. Labor advocates have long noted the problems. The Foxconn plants have seen a rash of suicides in the past year.”

Shares of Apple Inc. are at an all time high right now. Management must deal with this labor controversy in order to keep those shares viable. Combine that and The New York Time’s well-researched story and it’s just what it took to motivate Apple bigwigs into some sort of action.So they contacted a non-profit group - The Fair Labor Association (FLA). 

The FLA’s job will be to conduct what Apple calls, “special voluntary audits” of Foxconn’s plants in Shenzhen and Chengdu, China. I think it’s obvious these “inspections” will be dog-n-pony shows. Think about it. Apple and the Chinese like their business arrangement. It’s going to take more than one article to really change things. 

"The entry of Apple to FLA is a welcome development," said Mary Gallagher, director of the University of Michigan's Center for Chinese Studies, and associate professor for political science. "However, I'm not optimistic that conditions in Apple's supplier factories will change if we only rely on occasional inspections from an overseas group."

Chinese workers, she continued, "are increasingly aware of their legal rights at the workplace but they often lack the proper tools to realize enforcement of those rights, such as the right to strike and the right to organize collectively."

Li Qiang, director of China Labor Watch based in New York, said "FLA speaks on behalf of the companies, not workers. If Apple wants the inspections be accurate and trustworthy, it should have labor advocacy groups who speak for the workers involved in the inspection process."

And there you have it. The inspector (FLA) is cozy with companies…not workers. This harsh reality (inhumane treatment of workers)is a reflection of what’s happening across the country, as we mindlessly continue to outsource work to countries with little (or no) labor laws. Keep one thing in mind, we’re also outsourcing our worker’s future.

As It Stands, Apple management made it clear years ago that profit was everything and providing jobs for American workers was not in their best interests.

 

Humboldt’s Dirty Little Secret: We’re always the Nation’s Leader when it comes to paying the highest gas price in the land

Humboldt-County-sign

               Good Day Humboldt County!

Our path today is one that keeps changing as we walk the energy highway. Factors, often a mystery to the common American, cause the price of gasoline to go up every year. This annual rape of our wallets usually starts in the Spring, but this year we’re having a false Spring so what what the heck? Why not jack the prices up earlier than planned?

“The average price for a gallon of gasoline in the United States rose nearly 12 cents in the past three weeks to about $3.51, due in part to higher prices for North Sea crude oil, according to the nationwide Lundberg Survey.” Reuters

Let me see now, we’re paying more at the pump because North Sea crude prices are going up? Why don’t I believe that crap? The same reason you don’t believe it. Oil speculators are the real culprits why we’re paying more at the pump. Can’t forget regional greed. 

“Among cities covered by the survey, the lowest average price was in Denver at $3.01 per gallon. The price was highest in Long Island suburbs of New York, at $3.82.” Reuters

No! The highest price for gasoline in the nation is here in Humboldt County. Try $4.09 a gallon! We’d be happy to have it at only $3.82!

Where do these news services get that their stats anyway? No one every seems to notice anything about our county except that it’s famous for quality pot. Humboldt County also constantly leads the nation in gasoline prices. That’s our dirty little secret.

Don’t believe me? You check it out. It’s a fact of life for motorists behind the Redwood Curtain. Bicycles, and walking, have never looked better.

Time to go on down the road…

 

Sunday, February 12, 2012

As It Stands: Why Nigeria became the scam capital of the world

                                By Dave Stancliff/for The Times-Standard
 If you’ve ever received an e-mail from someone asking you to help them claim a fortune, chances are that someone was in Nigeria. They hoped you were greedy and stupid enough to go along with their bogus offer.

                                        Why Nigeria?

How did this African nation become scam central for the entire planet? I looked into that question and here’s what I found: 
Not all scams originate in Nigeria. They just seem to be more persistent there. Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa (158,423,180 as of 2010). International population estimates say 65 percent of Nigeria’s citizens live on less than $1 a day. If that isn’t incentive for crime, nothing is. It’s a “short con”  that can be carried out cheaply with limited Internet access.
  The Nigerian Scam, or the “419 Advanced Fee Fraud,” as it’s known to the Internet savy, came from the Nigerian criminal code for such a crime (419), according to Wikipedia.

The modern 419 scam originated in the early 1980s as the oil-based Nigerian economy declined. During this chaotic time, several unemployed university students first used this scam, spawned from shady deals in the Nigerian oil sector.
It’s very simplicity, someone willing to share part of a fortune for a large sum of money given by the victim, has made it a success.     
Businessmen in the west had targets painted on their check books. The scam was so successful it grew wings and flew around the world. Greed, being what it is, assured these scammers of a long haul with a short scam.
The spread of e-mail and easy access to email-harvesting software significantly lowered the cost of sending scam messages. According to Insa Nolte, a lecturer of University of Birmingham's African Studies Department, "The availability of e-mail helped to transform a local form of fraud into one of Nigeria's most important export industries."

During the 1900s, the Nigerian Scam spurred imitations from other locations in Africa, Philippines, Malaysia, Russia, Australia, Canada, United Kingdom, and the United States.
Here we are decades later and just about every American who owns a computer has been contacted by someone using the Nigerian Scam. The thing that gets me is the bad English used in the scam letters. It seems to me they should take more notice of such an important detail.
Then again, it’s a formula that has worked for decades and scammers might be nervous about messing with success. The fact that practically any person, educated or not, can make money with very little effort using the Nigerian Scam, assures it’s continuance.
For the record, the Nigerian Scam, also known as an “Advance-fee fraud” is similar to a much older scam known as the Spanish Prisoner Scam in which the trickster told the victim that a rich prisoner promised to share treasure with the victim in exchange for money to bribe prison guards.
An older version of this scam existed by the end of 18th century, and is called "the Letter From Jerusalem" by Eugène François Vidocq, in his memoirs. I point this out not only to show the evolution of the Nigerian Scam, but to prove that greed has always opened doors for those willing to use it for their personal advantage.

I think it’s only fair to point out that not all Nigerians are criminals and the honest ones are probably fed up with the reputation their country has because of the scammers.
Disclaimer: this column is not a master’s thesis on why Nigeria is “scam central” in today’s world. I’ve only outlined why I think it is, based upon the facts presented. I have nothing against Nigerians. I do have an insatiable desire to explore why things are the way they are.
If you’d like to know more about the Nigerian Scam and others similar to it, I recommend going to Scambaiter at http://www.419eater.com/  There’s a lot of good current information available there.
As It Stands, knowledge is power, and the more articles you read warning about internet scams, the safer you and your bank account will be.

Websites carrying this column:

1) All Voices – Mainstream News

2) Nigeria ‘70

3) Nigeria Live Music

4) Counter Fraud

5) Fraud Blog

6) SiloBreaker News

7) News Blogged

8) The Daily Breeze

9) Scam Central

10) Christian Money

11) Baltimore Daily Deals

12) Nigerian Newsline

13) Lost Coast Outpost

14) The North Coast Journal – Humboldt Blog watch

15) Neizer

16) Scam Blog

17) Crime Seen

18) One World New Media – A Unity Broadcasting Company

19) The Willits News

20) Latest News about Nigeria

21) United Kingdom Newswire - Comprehensive Real-Time News Feed for United Kingdom

22) Scammer List Malaysia