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Mad Scientess Jane Expat

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Attracting the crazies with my science [20100323|16:33]
Mad Scientess Jane Expat
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I have details of my outreach presentation and magnetometer workshop on a site called Sciencelive. It helps teachers and events coordinators to locate willing presenters. Thus far, the people who've found me and requested my services have been very organised and polite. It was inevitable that I'd get one that wasn't, eventually.
Sir/Madam

I got your details from the Sciencelive website.

I have a group of Science Club children from a Nigerian Secondary School - 13-16 years old, I am putting a half term Science Itinerary for in October. The liklihood is they would be staying in either Stratford or Romford and might be in Birmingham, visiting Cadbury's on one of those days.

There is a likelihood that next year, some of them might be seeking Universities in the UK, as their school has strong British links. If you are able too, possible Science career options would be worth covering. If its not your territory, its fine by me.

Are you able to do any Science based activities - workshops, seminars, practical activities, etc at any point in time during their 8 days? I'm looking for something that is more than a talk, but interactive, fun and/or hands on. What are you able to offer and what's the cost implication to me?

I would appreciate some urgency in your response.

Thank you
[redacted]

There are so many things wrong with this, I hardly know where to start.

  1. Addressing me as "Sir/Madam" makes it pretty obvious that you've spammed the entire list of presenters. I do not feel flattered by your invitation.

  2. If you cannot be bothered to run your message through a spell-checker before you send it, I'm not sure I can be bothered with you.

  3. October has 31 days in it. Your students will be here for eight. Which eight? Be specific.

  4. Stratford, Romford and Birmingham are not close together. Choose a location based on which one you think might be convenient for me before you send a request.

  5. The web site "ScienceLive" should make it fairly obvious that the presenters will be doing science-based activities.

  6. If you'd read my listing specifically, you would have seen that I offer both a standalone lecture and a separate workshop, and that the workshop has size and age limitations on it.

  7. If you'd read my listing specifically, you would know the cost implication to you.

  8. I'm sure you would appreciate some urgency in my response, just as I would have appreciated courtesy and forethought in your original request.


I have a slight sense of guilt about ignoring the request because I had a look at their web site and it seems to be a worthy sort of organisation. But the e-mail sets off so many alarm bells that I have visions of attempting to participate turning into a nightmare.
linkReply

Comments:
From: tdj
2010-03-23 19:12 (UTC)
I'm looking for something that is more than a talk, but interactive, fun and/or hands on.

So, not "more than a talk" in that you're expected to shout, then?
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2010-03-25 15:30 (UTC)
I like "fun and/or hands on". That implies that if I don't want them to have fun, I can opt to smack them around.
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[User Picture]From: victorine
2010-03-23 19:37 (UTC)
Also, why does it sound like a Nigerian scammer? Is it a language thing?
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[User Picture]From: anthrokeight
2010-03-23 21:10 (UTC)
I know, I was expecting a "please send your bank details so we can schedule your visiting time" or something in there.

Also, your icon pic is adorable. It looks an awful lot like a pic I have of an older cousin when she was that age. So cute, so all-in-one outfit wearing!
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[User Picture]From: victorine
2010-03-23 23:46 (UTC)
Thanks! That's me when I was about 4 or 5, drying my hair with my mom's massive 70's hairdryer. I'm also wearing my favorite Winnie The Pooh pajamas!
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2010-03-25 15:32 (UTC)
I think it's quite imperative in tone, which is characteristic of that type of spam. Perhaps its cultural?
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[User Picture]From: girl_onthego
2010-03-23 19:41 (UTC)

Attracting the crazies with my science

Just write a polite note back and say that unfortunately you have other commitments throughout October. The guy is just trying to teach his students, after all.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2010-03-25 15:33 (UTC)
I find it interesting that the people to whom I've told this story have assumed that it's a guy. Unless "Victoria" is a masculine name in Nigeria (which I doubt), I believe this person is female.
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(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]From: nanila
2010-03-25 15:39 (UTC)
I didn't think it was that rude, but usually when people are asking for a favour, they tend to be a little less imperative.
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[User Picture]From: cosmiccircus
2010-03-23 23:47 (UTC)
Wouldn't that be ironic if the same person who stole your credit card was the same person as this and they were setting you up to steal more!?

On the one hand, if this is a truly legit request, I feel bad for the guy, but on the other hand, there's no excuse for laziness...
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2010-03-25 15:38 (UTC)
I know. I think it's probably a legitimate request. The charity that runs the programme seems authentic enough. But the tone and the stunning lack of detail really put me off responding.
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[User Picture]From: saltdawg
2010-03-24 00:03 (UTC)

Attracting the crazies with my science

Did I ever tell you that I finally got to deploy a magnetometer on my present ship? It was a disaster. This is a steel hull vessel and we couldn't get enough distance at the speed we were running, so we were either in the mud or getting strong interferance from the hull. I don't ever remember that happening when I was on an aluminum boat.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2010-03-25 15:35 (UTC)
I imagine you'd need a really long boom with some serious shielding around the base in order to get it to work. What were you trying to do with it?
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[User Picture]From: jixel
2010-03-24 14:55 (UTC)
9. It was from Nigeria
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2010-03-25 15:34 (UTC)
The charity looks legitimate, so I wouldn't want to decide against it purely on the origin of the request. It's more the imperative tone and the stunning lack of detail that bother me.
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