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A Write Good!: The News report

(Merida, Mexico) What began as a prank 5,125 years ago has landed four ancient Mayan gods in a Yucatan court facing misdemeanor charges of terrorizing the Earth’s population and several parking violations.

The four gods, Itzamna, Cinteotl, and two unnamed minors, admitted concocting a Mayan calendar that “predicted” Dec. 21, 2012 as the end of the world in a fiery apocalypse that would reduce a fearful, screaming humankind to charred ashes spinning endlessly through the black void of the celestial firmament.

“We were just trying to lighten the mood,” Itzamna admitted to an arraignment judge before a packed courtroom. “Everybody’s always acting so…you know, serious. It was just a joke. We honestly didn’t mean to fool, like, every living person on the entire planet.

“That was wrong.”

“My clients are quite red-faced,” said their attorney Mark T’xtal. “Of course, several of them are, in fact, red. Also blue, grey-green. One of them’s violet. Most are feathered. Colorful? Yes, but also very, very apologetic.”

Mayan god and alleged doomsday prankster shown here with…weird shit.

Mayan god and alleged doomsday prankster shown here with…weird shit.

Although no one was harmed by the prank calendar and bogus prediction of doom, prosecutors intend to take a hard line with the perpetrators, despite their youth.

“If they’re ‘ancient’ gods they’re expected to make mature choices,” declared Asst. State’s Attorney Patrick Mc’Quetzal for the First District of Chichen Itza. “What if this had been the real end of the world? Someone could have gotten hurt.”

Misdemeanor charges usually result in an extended period of supervision. In cases involving gods, that could run into the millions of years, plus a fine for the parking violations.

Write Good!: The News is a money-losing subsidiary of Write Good!: The Blog.
This story is courtesy of Write Good!: The News – “All the story, plus lies!

Permission to re-use this material for non-commercial purposes is granted provided that Dave Jaffe, www.davejaffecomm.com is appropriately credited as the author and source. Please feel free to link to this page.

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No writing format is more effective in attracting social media attention than a list of valuable, illustrative, clearly delineated points, provided that at least one of them is a secret weight loss tip to lose belly fat.

Historically, “lists” have served as efficient marketing tools since long before the advent of the Internet – a time when pencils and paper still strode the Earth like giants. There even exists archaeological evidence that prehistoric man made lists, though usually with just one item due to the lack of stuff.

The Origin of a List, featuring cognitive detours.

The Origin of a List, featuring cognitive detours.

Advertising professionals know that information disseminated in the form of a list has a powerful effect on people, especially those who are left-brained, or “analytical”, as compared to those who are right-brained, or “egg-laying.” In the realm of social media, the “list” has become so important that it gets its own quotation marks and is often photographed surrounded by a security detail when out clubbing.

Unfortunately, because of the prevalence of so many lists on so many blogs even the Internet has begun rolling its eyes and making snide comments that it thinks we don’t hear. Well, Write Good hears, Internet, and maybe you and Mr. Google and Ms. Yahoo would like to share with the entire class what’s sooooo funny!

No? Write Good didn’t think so.

Listed below we’ve listed a list of tips on creating a list. Wow! That sentence nearly broke Write Good’s brain!

1. I’ve read that lists enhance your blog’s SEO. What does that mean and why do I feel threatened?
There’s no reason to feel threatened, as near as we can tell at this time and under the current administration, for the next 10 to 14 weeks. SEO – an acronym for Centers for Disease Control – is the process by which your web content is made highly visible to search engines – huge, steam-powered machines, invented in 1785 by Ely “Googly” Google, that once crisscrossed the nation and made cotton king.

2. I’ve heard that list blogs only appeal to the short-attention-span readers of the Internet. What was I saying?
Not true! Lists also interest the lazy. Well, not so much “interest” them as interfere with their porn.

3. Should I number my list items or set them off with those sideways things from math class?
As a rule, numbers are indicative of facts while “carets”, as they’re known, improve your eyesight.

4. What if my list repeats itself or, to put it another way, is repetitive saying the same thing over and over again? And again.
That’s a very good question deserving a—

Internet! Google! I heard that! I’ve had it with you two! Get your books and go straight to Principal Harrington’s office. No! No back talk. March! And you’re next, Ms. Yahoo. Spit out that gum right now, missy!

5. I don’t know 10 things about anything. Can I just use three?
Well…then it’s not really much of a list, is it?

6. Can be.
Have you ever read a blog? How did you even get here?

7. I was scrolling on HornyFormerSovietChicks.com and this thing popped up next to an ad about how to lose belly fat.
Thanks for reading this “thing.”

8. How long should my list be?
No longer than this.

Permission to re-use this material for non-commercial purposes is granted provided that Dave Jaffe, www.davejaffecomm.com is appropriately credited as the author and source. Please feel free to link to this page.

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The Internet 101…….011010110010, Part II

“What is HTML?” This is a question that has confounded Web content creators dating back to the Roman Empire, although in those days HTML was spelled XIIVLDMXVV.

In simple terms – and I always chuckle when programmers begin that way – HTML is a set of elements that are used to define the structure and content of a Web page.

Confused? Good. That’s exactly what those scrawny, stooped little Web programmers want as they sneer at us from behind their thick, taped glasses. “Tell him…tell him it’s a set of elements,” they chortle to one another in their wheezy, high-pitched voices. “Yeah, and…and tell him there’s lots of math and if he wants it done in time for his meeting we’ll need more pizza!”

Here are the basics: HTML – which is pronounced by making the same sound you would when trying to cough up a feather – is an acronym for Hypertext Markup Language or, as it is more commonly known, Weapons of Mass Destruction (see previous blog.) HTML is a set of instructions used to build a Web page that dictate how your text looks, what colors appear, where pictures go, if there’s enough closet space, how are the schools, and whether you’re within walking distance to public transportation.

To understand how a Web page gets to your computer, you need to know that HTML, your Web browser and the Internet share an important relationship that is complex, dependent and, at times, inappropriate. The Web browser visits the Internet where it “asks” to see a Web page, or more specifically the page’s HTML. The Web browser “asks” very politely, if somewhat nervously, using language called http, an acronym for Hypertext Transfer Protocols, which is just a fancy way of saying Weapons of Mass Destruction. The Internet, however, demands that the request follows specific rules or it’s Good Night, Irene!

Perhaps an analogy will make things less clear. Think of HTML as a teenage daughter, the Web browser as her prom date, and the Internet as her dad, who is in foul mood and drinking heavily having been fired today for losing the Kretchmeyer account:

HTML: “Daddy, that’s Browser at the door. Will you let him in and I’ll be right down?”

DAD: “Yeah, yeah! Sure, honey. (Muttering)…’the Hell kinda name is ‘Browser’? (Throws open door) What’daya want?”

BROWSER: “H..hello, Mr. Net. I’m here to..to pick up your daughter?”

DAD: “Oh really? Just like that? No polite banter? No ‘How do you do, Mr. Net? Lovely night out, Mr. Net. Are you a sports fan, Mr. Net?’”

BROWSER: “I…I’m sorry. Um, lovely night, Mr. Net. Are..you a—”

DAD: “URL! Call me URL, not ‘Mr. Net.’”

BROWSER: “Uh…are you a sports fan, Earl?”

DAD: “It’s URL, you little shit!”

HTML: “Hi Browser! Daddy, what’s all the shouting…Oh, my God! Are you drinking again? You’re humiliating yourself in front of Browser!”

DAD: “I think you’d better leave, Brows. Right now!”

HTML: “Daddy, no! It’s my prom!”

DAD: “That boy’s not to be trusted, honey! You’re my precious, little file and he just wants to corrupt you.”

Permission to re-use this material for non-commercial purposes is granted provided that Dave Jaffe, http://www.davejaffecomm.com is appropriately credited as the author and source. Please feel free to link to this page.

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To appreciate the incomparable communications value of the Internet (or “internet” as it’s known to its close friends) we must be familiar with the significance of Web content, which serve as the building blocks of the Web in much the way building blocks serve as the building blocks of building.

Those who understand nothing often mistakenly use the Web as a synonym (I’ll explain those little grammar buggers in a later blog) for the Internet. In fact, the Web is a subset of the Internet. (I won’t explain “subset”. That’s too close to math.) Think of the relationship as one of those annoying SAT analogies that kept you out of an Ivy League school: “Web” is to “Internet” as “Something Small” is to “Something Bigger that has a Gun.”

The term “Internet” is an abbreviation for “international network of computers,” while the Web is often referred to by its anagram, “WWW” which, as the letters imply, stands for Weapons of Mass Destruction.

The development of the Internet is a fascinating, yet historically recent story much appreciated by students because they have fewer dates to learn. It is a chronicle wrapped in scientific achievement, political intrigue and apocryphal tales. One such is that former Vice President Al Gore claimed to have invented the Internet. In fact, that reference which Gore made during his presidential campaign in an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer was taken out of context and misconstrued for political gain. Yes, Gore took some credit, but what he claimed, in fact, was not that he invented the Internet, but had stolen the technology from alien space pirates during a rescue mission he lead to save a group of abducted orphans and their puppies.

The idea of a global information and communications system is hardly new. It was first introduced by two of the Founding Fathers, Benjamin Franklin and Monroe Doctrine, because one was deaf and the other spoke in such a soft voice. However, the technology did not exist to pursue development, so the notion was sent to a Senate subcommittee to be explored for more than 200 years.

The Internet as we now understand it (and we don’t) gained its biggest boost throughout the 1980s thanks to the efforts of physicist Tim Berners-Lee, a contractor with the European organization of nuclear research CERN, an anagram for Weapons of Mass Destruction. Berners-Lee later explained in a message posted to a forerunner of the Web, “The WWW project was started to allow high energy physicists to share data, news, and documentation.”

While “porn” was not cited, it was probably implied. They don’t get out much at CERN.

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Next: What is HTML and why is he saying those terrible things about me?

Permission to re-use this material for non-commercial purposes is granted provided that Dave Jaffe, http://www.davejaffecomm.com is appropriately credited as the author and source. Please feel free to link to this page.

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