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Physics Spam November 7, 2006

Posted by gordonwatts in physics life.

I’m used to a lot of spam arriving in my Inbox. But I’ve seen a new one this week. In the last three days I’ve gotten about 7 copies of this:

Dear Gordon Watts,

Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics is inviting applications for Visiting Professors in theoretical physics who are wishing to spend time at Perimeter Institute while on sabbatical leave from their faculty positions at home institutes.

The positions begin in the Fall of 2007 (full details below) and we hope you will share the news by:


The Perimeter Institute is a large theoretical physics institute in Canada. Its funding was started by the guy that founded RIM (and the blackberry). It does great work, and is definitely reputable. One of these emails would have made sense as an aggressive outreach program. But 7 over the course of 3 or 4 days? Spam!



1. Dave Bacon - November 7, 2006

Watch out, or you might be sucked into the Blackberry Hole!

2. Kevin - November 7, 2006

i got this nonsense as well. Worse, I had succeded in avoiding almost all spam for the last year until someone managed to hack the atlas hypernews
system. Now I get 50+ spams a day – some directly from the hypernews and
more from other people who got my address off this list. Some of which I fail to understand – why bother sending me a message like “hi my name is Mandy :)”
and that is it! I fail to understand how this is a profitable exercise – but evidently somebody must be sending their money to a Kenyan lawyer
who is representing a distant cousin who wants to send me his millions…
Perhaps if you can’t beat them I should join them – i wonder
how hard it is to get a tenured spamming position. Something to look into

3. Kevin (not #2) - November 8, 2006

Is this really spam (i.e. totally fake email that doesn’t reflect a true or worthy cause):


Maybe their email server is on the fritz.

4. Estelle Heron - November 8, 2006

I’m innocent really, as much as I’d be delighted if you were to take up the bait and spend some of your sabbatical at the Perimeter Institute.
Your mother-in-law, xxoo

5. Gordon Watts - November 12, 2006

Ha! That is a great idea. We should fight back. We should send around real physics spam. I’m sure if we wrote a great email message about Newton’s laws, got it around as spam… well, no one would believe in Newton anymore! đŸ™‚

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