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Snippets #45, 25.Oct.2003, Date.2003     (ISSN 1530-9622)


_______________S N I P P e T S

_________________________from James S. Huggins' Refrigerator Door

___________________________________#45, 25.Oct.2003, Date.2003

_____________________________________________ISSN 1530-9622



__________0. CONTeNTS

_____1. The Man Who Lives in an Airport

_____2. More on CAPPS II

_____3. Christmas Shopping for Despair

_____4. Awards




I receive a wazillion email newsletters every day. Some I read every day. Some I read sometimes. Some I almost never read.

One of those is called Working Wounded. Actually, it really isn't an email newsletter. It is an email announcement of the Working Wounded page by Bob Rosner on the ABCNews.com website.

The one for Friday was called Time to Repent: Struggling With the Seven Deadly Workplace Sins.

Here is how it began . . .

QUeSTION: I survived the last layoff. But morale is terrible and we're all tired of doing the work of the people who left.

ANSWeR: Merhan Nasseri knows what it's like to feel trapped. Since 1978 his home has been Charles de Gaulle Airport. He lacks a passport to leave the airport so he lives on handouts. Although Nasseri remains in limbo, you're not as immobile.

The article continues to describe the seven deadly sins:

exhaustion, Anger, Surrender, Obsolescence, Incompetence, Withdrawal and Dysfunction.

But I didn't get that far. I was immediately distracted by Merhan Nasseri.

Was this for real? Or was it an urban legend.

Turns out it is for real. The Snopes.com site (one of the best for checking urban legends) has a great page with a copy of an article from the Boston Globe, 1977.

[Turns out that the actual date is 1988, not 1978 like the Working Wounded page says. I've written Bob Rosner to let him know, but suspect it is just a "typo".]

Yep. True as true can be.

Seems that Rob Rosner has written about this guy before. I found a 1998 archived article of Working Wounded that mentions him as well.

Looking further I found a fantastic page by Michael 'Mickey' Sattler that provides more current information, including a possible movie by Spielberg and a photo of Merhan Nasseri.

And, the September issue of GQ features a lengthy look at Merhan Nasseri (though the article does not appear to be available on the web.)

So . . . if you eventually go to see that Spielberg movie, perhaps called "Terminal", remember that you heard it here first. And the next time you are stuck in an airport for an extra hour or two, remember that it might be longer.

The ABCNews.com Working Wounded Page

The 1998 Archived Page of Working Wounded

The Home of Working Wounded

Snopes' Article

Michael Sattler's Article



__________2. MORE ON CAPPS II

I wrote about CAPPS II, Boycotting Delta and the JetBlue privacy scandal.

Several wrote back wanting more information about CAPPS II.

CAPPS II is the "Computer Assisted Passenger Pre-Screening System" (CAPPS II), The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has proposed it to combat terrorism.

Under CAPPS II, TSA would access personal information about flyers in both government and commercial databases, and then "tag" flyers according to how much of a threat you appear to pose to the safety of those aboard the airplane.

I'm strongly opposed to CAPPS II.

The electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has an excellent site about it.


The electronic Frontier Foundation CAPPS II Page




Do you work in an office with those "motivational posters" on the wall.

You know the ones. They have a giant picture of a lightening bolt, or a telephone, or a tree, or a people rowing, or a runner crossing the finish line. Underneath they have one word like Inspiration or Communication or Life or Teamwork or Success. Then they have a one or two sentence motivational phrase.

Yeah. You know the ones.

Let me propose an alternative. I've shopped here for years. I love this place. I recommend it with the strongest possible words:


I could list the dozens of URLs you should explore on their site. I won't. Just go to the main page and begin to poke around and have fun. Read the words. Carefully.

Get onto their mailing list. The catalog alone is wonderful.

And be sure to have that credit card handy. You will want to buy something for someone special in your life.

The Despair.com Site

The Mailing List Page (look at the title carefully)



__________4. AWARDS

Just received a nice award for my site from Schoolzone, a UK site that supports the UK schools.

Schoolzone Highly Recommended Award

Schoolzone Website


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