A good friend woke up this morning to find her email and Facebook accounts hacked, with a message sent out to everyone in her address book that she'd been robbed at gunpoint while visiting London and desperately needed a credit card to get on the plane back home.
Other than the story's baseline implausibility (a gun robbery in London being about as likely as getting trampled by a moose in Atlanta), there were other clues it was a phisher. For one thing, my friend is an American lawyer, not a Nigerian criminal, so she has a direct, concise, and moreover punctuated writing style not immediately in evidence in the phishing message.
The take-away, to all the would-be phishers reading this: you'll get farther with your frauds if you learn better English. Next time, instead of asking for credit-card numbers, write this: "Help! I am being held captive unless I can draft a 500-word essay on epistemology, and they'll only allow me one reference book! Please, I'm desperate, send me Strunk and White before I use unnecessary words!"
Oh, and also try hacking your victim's spouse's account, which will make it harder for people to verify the dodge.
In the past seven calendar days, I have worked 40.3 hours, traveled 39.8 hours through four countries and six states, and, so far as I can tell, slept for about 40 hours. I am not sure what happened in the remaining few minutes, though part of it included walking Parker and part of it included staring into space dazedly. Fortunately traveling wasn't entirely wasted time, including as it did four episodes of This American Life and two complete novels.
This is all a long way of saying I apologize for the reduced velocity of The Daily Parker, and I expect to resume my usual average of 1½ posts per day in short order.
N.B.: Don't ask how I know all this. I will say only that sitting in a car, train, bus, or airplane for more than 40 hours in one week gives one a lot of time to think about irrelevant crap.
 Since 17:30 CDT last Sunday.
 Plus another 4.4 hours commuting to and from my client site.
The first day or so back is always hectic and exhausting. I still marvel that the 11½-hour time change from India was easier than the 9-hour change from St. Petersburg (or, come to think of it, the 8-hour change from Dubai.)
I'm still getting back into my life, so I'll end here, but for this non-sequitur: I have t oget these cookies.
The monument to the heroes of the seige of Leningrad:
Like this guy, a hero from a different era, Alexander Pushkin:
Finally, a propos of none of the above, one more photo of the hotel. This is just before dawn at 4 am:
Ah, the quandry. Quandries, in fact: there are two.
The biggest is that it's 4:30am in St. Petersburg but only 7:30pm in Chicago. I need to be back on Chicago time by Tuesday morning. Thus, I'm staying up very late in order to remain conscious at work in three days. I hope it works.
The other is that I took some photos of my classmates at the end-of-term party tonight, but I haven't secured permission for general publication yet. On Facebook, only Dukies and my family can see the Duke photos (if I've set up the permissions right). Here, on The Daily Parker, anyone on the Intertubes can see them. So I tend to publish photos of Parker instead of my classmates, because he has no privacy rights and they do.
So there are a ton of photos I'd like to publish to show off my photo skillz, but this is the only one for which I have permission to publish so far:
Yeah, they're that cute together. Before prospective CCMBA students get all excited after Googling the program, I should point out that they've been engaged for quite some time, and only one of them is in my class. Still, this is the kind of shot that makes the photographer blow on his fingernails, so I just had to publish it.
The Culture Dash took me back to Kazan Cathedral today, only this time, I went inside:
Back in February, some of us got the opportunity to tour Indira Gandhi Airport Terminal 3, then under construction. It opened this week:
The new terminal—Terminal 3—was "inaugurated" on July 3rd (Saturday) with India's great and good in attendance, and flights will start from July 14th. Mumbai’s airport is also getting a new terminal, but I don’t think it’s nearly as far along as Delhi’s, which needed completing before the Commonwealth Games this October. There is much excitement in the Indian media about the scale of the thing. Nobody seems able to decide whether it will be the world’s third-, fifth-, or eighth-biggest airport terminal. But it seems pretty certain that it will be a vast improvement over what came before (that’s a low bar, I suppose). Perhaps readers can help resolve this issue: in terms of floor area, which are the world's biggest airport terminals, and how big are they? (The most reliable stuff I've seen puts Delhi T3 in roughly the same ballpark as Madrid's T4, the Mexico City airport, Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi, and a couple of others—around 500,000 square meters—and about half the size of Beijing's new terminal, and a third that of Dubai's).
Of course, however spiffy the building, there is always scope for Heathrow T5-style shenanigans with baggage and so on to mess things up. I’m curious, therefore, to hear from any readers travelling through Delhi after July 15th. Do let us know how you found the new terminal. I myself won’t be passing through until mid-October. I am timing my annual visit home until after the Commonwealth-Games madness, such as it is, is over. By then, teething troubles will hopefully have been sorted out.
Only a couple blocks from the hotel:
Unavoidable, I suppose. And looking increasingly like an real option after nearly a week of British-inspired Russian cooking:
The good: Spain beating Germany last night. The bad: The sound of "¡Olé olé olé olé!" ricocheting around my aching head this morning. The ugly: Receving a (hopefully-mail-merged) message from the program reminding me of the importance of attending class after I missed for the second time in my MBA program.