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Today while going through my mother's papers, I found an article clipped from the LA Times Magazine of February 12, 1996 pertaining to the Duke of Alcantara Stradivarius, which vanished in the 60's while on loan to David Margetts (who just happens to be a dear cousin of mine) and was only recovered decades later after a protracted lawsuit. The article itself is interesting enough, and I thought it might be available online. (Being a Wolf of Very Little Brain, I forgot that I had archived the article on my computer years ago, but that's beside the point.)

So I googled the phrase "It was an f-hole, or sound hole", thinking that would be a fairly unique string. Instead of being a Googlewhack, there were actually 10 entries. The first led to the article I was looking for. The second was a pointer to Word Hippo, an interesting thesaurus-like site. The other eight hits were for ticketinventory.com, which I thought was a rather strange match.

My curiosity was piqued, and what I discovered was a site selling tickets to various sporting events, but which had padded their page at the bottom with the following text:

"Flash News:
Levy, John Michael Higgins and Jennifer Coolidge play Victor's fair-weather agent, the movie's clueless publicist and its rock-dumb heiress/producer. The risk premiums that corporations or developing countries have to pay to borrow money are at or near historic lows. Having missed her by nearly two decades, I could not ask her what she thought when she opened the instrument case, or when she peeked into the f-hole carved into the belly of the older violin.It was an f-hole, or sound hole, not unlike the ones I have carved on many violins. By the end of this opening chapter, Fannin is holding the freshly bleeding corpse of his ex-wife, Cathy. Approval to sell aircraft parts to Iran and hired Ney's former chief of staff on the Hill, Dave DiStefano, according to federal lobbying disclosure forms.In February 2003, the company flew Ney to London.Ney's host on the trip was FN partner Nigel Winfield, who, according to court records, was sentenced to jail for six months in 1982 and fined $10,000 for his involvement in an earlier scheme to swindle Elvis Presley on an aircraft lease-purchase deal.The congressman's companion and benefactor also was jailed for failure to pay income taxes, and New York state records show he was barred from owning racehorses in that state because of past involvement with organized crime figures.Records in Washington show Winfield owes about $30 million in past-due taxes and penalties. Her analysis of pop culture wove history, politics and feminist theory in a way that gave heft to what otherwise might be dismissed as insignificant developments. The famed sex researchers Masters and Johnson found that a week of nonsexual touching exercises put a charge into tired relationships. We can't be more specific unless you possess a government security clearance of 17 or higher."

Since they had a "Contact" link, I took the time to write to them as follows:

"The practice of padding your site with random text to generate spurious hits from people looking for other things is deceptive and underhanded. Rest assured I will never buy tickets from this site, and I will recommend the same to my huge network of friends."

Don't patronize businesses that stoop to using deceptive, bait-and-switch tactics for drumming up business. Stay far away from this sleazy outfit.

And a check-mark for Tuesday.

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Sep. 28th, 2010 08:30 pm (UTC)
Your post appears on my Friends page right after this. Must be scam season.


The Old Wolf

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