Thursday, April 30, 2009

Things That Make You Say Hmmm

Posted By on Thu, Apr 30, 2009 at 10:10 AM

This is what I used to call "nothing to do with anything," but here is a list of things that have me completely fascinated: credit card skimmers, hobbits, etc.

And yes, every time I make a list, I have to mention Moxie over at Listwork.

More after the jump.

1. Credit Card Skimmers. Thieves attach them to ATMs, Red Boxes, and gas pumps, where they surreptitiously glean your credit card numbers while you are buying something else.

They're not easy to see, though experts say to look for credit card slots that look strange or they not attached property. Thieves generally just adhere the fake slot with a jump drive and a quick, easy-to-remove adhesive. With RedBoxes, the skimmers are generally above or below the swipey thing (yes, that's totally the technical term), but I've noticed that one new RedBox outside an East Memphis Walgreens has two big plastic pegs near the swipey that seemed designed to prevent this.

I'm not sure I could spot these in the wild ... or what I would do if I did. Guess this is just one more reason to love Netflix.

2. Hobbits. Six years ago, scientists discovered another branch of Homo Sapiens family tree and it is a little thing. More like a shrub, really. To mix a metaphor.

Homo Floresiensis, a three-feet-tall who once occupied an Indonesian island, walked upright on short little legs and had a brain the size of a grapefruit. The data comes from a skull and several skeletal remains.

Critics contend that they are just modern dwarves, but scientists at a recent conference concluded that floresiensis is a distinct hominid species more primitive than homo sapiens.

It sounds like they need to find more skulls to make a definitive case, tho ...

3. A woman says her father was the Zodiac killer ... and that he took her along. The woman, who is in her 40s, has given police a set of eyeglasses she believes belonged to one of the victims and letters she wrote to the newspaper on her father's behalf.

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