A call from the unknown: follow-up

So the guy I talked about before called when I was home.

It was indeed about Wicca. I already know from the brief conversation that he's not a good candidate for my group. For one thing, someone without e-mail access is going to have a hard time interacting with the rest of the group.

Still, it's a process. I'll send him a questionnaire and we'll see what happens.

At least I'm no longer worried.

A call from the unknown

This morning and this afternoon, someone called to leave a message on my answering machine. They wouldn't say what they were calling about, just that needed to speak with me and get an "interview." They asked me to call them back, and left their number. They were calling from a cell phone, and the quality of recording was not good; I couldn't tell if they left their name or not, but I suspect not.

I did a reverse phone lookup on Google, and of course got the usual sites, all of which look identical, and so are probably different names for the same company. I know that the number is a cell phone registered in Nyack, and that's consistent with the caller ID. But that's it: No name, no statement of purpose.

Maybe this is about Wicca, and they're being discreet. If so, the choice of words is poor. It sounds like a targeted scam.

I have no intention of calling them back. I understand the need for privacy, but other people have contacted me with privacy issues, and none have handled it this poorly. I'm concerned for my safety.

Why does this have to happen just before I planned to leave for FoV? Now I'm unsure if I should leave my apartment unattended for the trip.

I think I'm feeling a good chunk of the fear that women have to face when dealing with unknown men with unknown intent who behave suspiciously. It makes me want to donate money to the next Slutwalk I hear about.

Improving our language, one punctuation mark at a time.

Not only is it National Talk Like A Pirate Day (which ye'd already know if ye not be a scurvy dog of a landlubber) but it's also the 29th anniversary of invention of smiley emoticon 🙂

To celebrate, write something humorous that's constructed well enough to make it obvious that it's a joke, and doesn't require an emoticon for punctuation.

Now do that for the rest of your life. It will improve your writing, and help get rid of emoticons.


There's a database of high-energy physics papers called SPIRES. If you click on the HEPNAMES section and type "find seligman, william" you'll see my entry; it can lead you to the physics papers with my name on it (only one of which I wrote).

What's interesting is that you'll also see my thesis advisor. Click on his name, and you'll see his advisor. If you keep clicking, you'll go through my "genealogy" of advisors all the way back to Otto Mencke (1644 –1707), the founder of the first scientific journal in Germany: Acta Eruditorum (the acts/reports of the scholars). The SPIRES database has copies of all published physics-related papers from then until now.

So here's to Great^15-grandpa Otto, founder of a line that includes me and almost everyone I've worked with at Nevis Labs