Monday, January 28, 2013

Another Story

This is based on the Tortoise and the Hare fable:

Once upon a time in AmazonLand, there was an illiterate witch named Harriet Klausner who boasted that she’s the speediest reader on earth. “It’s incomprehensible to me that people read only one book a week! “she sneered. “I can read 20 books per hour and I’ve never been beaten! HA!” The witch’s taunts and maniacal laughter echoed through AmazonLand. The misguided despot who ruled this land awarded the witch with the #1 Hall of Fame Badge.
The Amazonians were flooded with rage! They have grown fed up of the witch’s lies and condescending behavior. One Amazonian in particular named Peter Younge challenged the witch. “I challenge you to read and review this book,” he gestured to the hardback book gripped in his hand.  “My only condition is that you don't have any access to the internet nor the dust jacket.”
Harriet’s face drained of color. Her pointy hat drooped. Her green skin turned a fine shade of vomit. “Fine,” she stammered.  “Just so you know, I am the speediest reader the world has ever known! A gift I was born with. You don’t stand a chance,” she said with false bravado.  
“Whatever,” Peter Younge said. "I have appointed Cindy as the judge, seeing how she has read this book from cover to cover. So the winner will be the person who gets the plot and the characters’ names right. So let the fun and your epic humiliation begin!”
The race began. Harriet Klausner fretted. She has always depended on Publishers Weekly and other assorted sites to help with her fake reviews. She glanced at Peter, who was flipping through the pages slowly. She turned back to her book. “So this is how a book feels like,” she mused. “I’ve never felt its solidness in my hands. Well, except for Stanley’s banana. Or was it Mikey’s? Crap, I’ve got to focus here! How am I going to win this contest?! I can’t understand half of the words on the first page!” she thought miserably.  
Harriet attempted to skim through the pages, but she wasn’t any closer to understanding the storyline. “Perhaps I should call my dependable trolls. I’m sure one of the publishers has sent an Advanced Reader’s Copy of this drivel.” 

 Harriet snaked her hand surreptitiously to her pointy hat, where she had her cell phone stashed.  A disembodied voice made her freeze. “You’re not allowed to use cell phones during this contest,” Cindy‘s voice boomed over the speakers. “Rats!” Harriet hissed. Her eyes began to fill with tears as soon as she noticed that Peter Younge was halfway through the book! “Who knew that witches could cry?” Harriet thought morosely. 
Visions of a sprawling estate, pristine broomsticks, and a brand new shiny cauldron came to an end. She put her wart-covered hands to her face and wept. Two hours later, Harriet awoke to the clickety clack sound of the keyboard. Peter Younge was busy typing his review! Harriet quickly grabbed her cellphone and Googled Publishers Weekly. “Somebody stop her!” The Amazonians cried in unison. Harriet quickly copied and pasted the review, spelling/grammar mistakes and all. “I am the #1 Hall of Fame reviewer! I am the speediest reader on earth!” she chanted breathlessly!  Despite Harriet’s efforts, Peter Younge submitted his review first.
“It appears that Peter Younge has won this contest,” Cindy said happily. The Amazonians cheered and applauded loudly. “Honesty is a virtue!” Krissy Larsen cried from the throng.
But, but..,” Harriet spluttered. “I have written my review!”  
“Your review isn’t a review. It’s a plagiarized synopsis that is filled with errors. Plus, there is no mention of euphemistic cherries and sausages in this book!” Cindy replied.
Peter looked at the wicked witch straight in the eye and said, "You should try a phenomenal activity called  READING. It enables a person to write a real review."
The End.

Authors Support Harriet Klausner (Sort Of...)

Harriet Klausner has become quite the popular topic in the blogosphere since the New York Times article last month.  I recently came across blog posts from two authors whom Harriet has "reviewed," and I thought I'd pass them along (with comments, of course).

From Tara Taylor Quinn

My favorite part is the following: "The review was…well, it made me feel really good as I’m staring down a daunting deadline."

I like how she doesn't actually say what she thought of the review.  Which contained factual inaccuracies, by the way, that I could figure out from reading the book jacket.  Harriet was really phoning it in on that one.

Then, however, those of us who comment on reviews over at Amazon.com got singled out for being mean.

Here is another quote from the linked-to piece by Ms. Quinn:
And then I noticed nine comments to the review.  Not review of the book, but comments on the review.  They were horrible.  Not directed at me but at Harriet.  They called her a machine.  They were mean to the point of vicious.  They claimed that she didn’t read the books she reviews.  And I have no idea where this wrath is coming from!  Is Harriet still around and reading a book or more a day as she used to do and people just don’t get it?  Or has someone made some software that puts drones out to latch onto book titles and post some generic review to it under Harriet’s name?

Regardless, why would people need to go on my book page and comment on a review?  What does it matter to them what anyone says about my book?
First of all, these comments were pretty tame, by our standards.  Second, they were taken out of context.  Anyone who actually follows the comments on Harriet's reviews will recognize the banter that goes on among our little community of Harriet fans (and I use that term only in the Amazon sense of people who can't vote on her "reviews" anymore).

And yeah, Harriet doesn't read the books she reviews.  It's not possible to read an average of 7 books a day for 11 years straight, let alone comprehend all of these books and paste a mangled book description on Amazon.  Where's the time for cooking and cleaning, for interacting with family, for sleeping, for grocery shopping, for listing the unread books on half.com, for trips to the post office to mail off the unread books to half.com customers, for showering and other personal grooming, etc.?

As for why it matters to people what anyone says about a book?  That's what a review is FOR.  It's there so people can make decisions about what to purchase.  A review might be the deciding factor, especially when one is considering an author one hasn't read before.  And if the review is bogus, people ought to be forewarned.

As for being called "wrathful," well, we've been accused of having rage before.  (Check out the hidden comment on the second page.)  Couldn't be further from the truth.  We're actually a well-adjusted bunch of people who have hobbies, jobs, and lives.  We just happen to think that honesty is a virtue worth preserving.  And sure, we vent our frustration with humor sometimes, but that's healthier than some of the alternatives.

Here's one from Rachel Neumeier

A quote:
Well, her reviews make it perfectly clear that she really did read the Griffin trilogy, and since I know *I* didn’t pay her for those reviews, my guess is, she REALLY DOES read roughly a zillion books a day. I’m glad I don’t read that fast, as how could you linger over a book long enough to actually enjoy it if you read half a dozen per day?
Rachel, no one is accusing you of paying HK for the reviews.  We are accusing your publisher of sending her advance review copies (which she did not disclose, as required by FTC guidelines).  I refer you to the numbers in the earlier section of this post.  She does not read seven books a day.  I doubt she reads one book a day.

I checked out the Klausner "review" of one of your books.  A book which I have read, by the way.  The "review" contains nothing but plot summary which could have been obtained from anywhere -- the Publishers Weekly review (if there was one), the book description on Amazon, the book jacket, or publicity materials from your publisher -- and a few generic comments about worldbuilding and the villain that really could have been applied to any other book Harriet has "reviewed" in her tenure at Amazon.  Ah, once we were all so na├»ve as this author.

At least Ms. Neumeier realizes that there is no joy in sitting there, flipping pages and "speed reading."  (Claims of which I simply don't believe.  I saw a demo on television once.  The guy couldn't go any more into depth than the information contained in the back cover blurb of the book he supposedly read.  He was unable to answer any specific questions about the content.  Because you can't absorb the content by only flipping pages.)

Saturday, January 26, 2013

The Anti-Literature Killer! - Review by Harriet Klausner


The Anti-Literature Killer!
Offered by Sara Digital Sales, Inc.
Price: TBD

0 of 324 people found the following review helpful

***** super serial killer thriller, January 26, 2013


A murderer in rural Georgia appears to be targeting book lovers.   The crimes are extraordinarily brutal and the media has nicknamed the murderer the Anti-Literature Killer.  When another killing takes place in a local bookstore the FBI’s Behavioral and Analysis Unit sends in its top profiler to investigate the case.  The victim, a tourist from Arizona, was bludgeoned in the head with an obviously unread book; the title of which has no relevance to the plot at all.

Profiler Malleus spends his time flashing his badge and donning the ubiquitous gloves he appears to have a fetish for wearing.   The local female gendarme admires his style and wonders what other, more intimate, articles of clothing might be of interest to his lower head.   L.Donner, the coroner, exams the body and states the obvious.   Along with a blow to the head, the upper head he notes as the victim is a female, the eyes have been gouged out.       

The author’s first book is a taut, terrifying thriller.  The multilevel, morbid mystery features a glove wearing protagonist who keeps his hands to himself enabling him to deal with a large cast of women who are either victims, witnesses, perpetually disheveled or living with cats. The storyline grips the reader from the moment the latest murder victim is found dead.  As the search for a madwoman obsessed with relish heats up the secondary characters, particularly a hot doc whose moniker is Gorilla, will delight sub gene fans attracted to oddly named characters and five star reviews.  

Harriet Klausner

The Anti-Literature Killer!



2013 – Georgia. A rash of murders rocked Atlanta City. A serial killer targeted readers. Readers had to resort to reading inside their closet out of fear of getting their eyes gouged by the unknown murderer! The media dubbed the murderer as the Anti-Literature Killer! The killer left a newly released hardback book at the crime scenes.  FBI’s Behavioral and Analysis Unit sent its top profiler in order to investigate the case. His name was Malleus. Upon his arrival, another murder took place inside a local bookstore. He hailed a cab and made a beeline for the crime scene. Malleus flashed his badge to the uniform manning the scene and donned his gloves. The stench of death enveloped him. “I hope we catch this SOB,” he thought grimly.
Who’s the victim?” Malleus asked the detective at the scene.
“The vic’s a tourist from Arizona. Her name was Embee,” Beachmama said. The body was found a couple of hours ago by the proprietors. Their names are Dona And Strong Cofee Lover. The poor women are in shock.”
Malleus nodded and walked over to L.Donner, the coroner, who was busy examining the body
“So what’s the cause of death?”  
“The cause of death appears to be a head trauma. Looks like our perpetrator whacked her over the head with this hardback book.”  
Who would do such a thing?” Beachmama cried.
A sick, twisted psycho,” Malleus replied grimly. The sickos are rampant. I’ve seen many unusual crimes during my years with the Bureau, but man, I’ve never seen anything quite like this!”
“So what about the eyes?”  Malleus asked L.Donner
 “it was post-mortem. Just like the other victims.”
Malleus glanced to his right. On the wall, were the words, “stop reding” scrawled in blood.  “Looks like our perp was never in a Spelling Bee competition.”
“Man, who doesn’t know how to spell reading? My cat is a better speller.” Beachmama said.
My guess is that our perp has a deep-seated inferiority complex about reading and comprehension. It looks like he – or she, received poor education.”
Beachmama’s cell phone chirped. She glanced at the LED screen and it was Alan James.
“There’s a witness who says that she’s escaped the perp’s clutches. Somehow she made it to a store. The clerk, whose name is Buck210 said that he was just closing up, when he saw a disheveled woman running up to him. She told him that she needed a phone to call the cops. Right after that, she lost consciousness. She’s at Charlton Memorial Hospital.”
“I’m on my way,” Beachmama replied.
At the hospital, Beachmama and Malleus ran to the ICU. They flashed their badges to the hospital staff. Malleus walked to the doctor, Guy the Gorilla, and asked, “Is she stable?”
“Yes, but she’s lost an awful amount of blood. Whoever’s done this to her had pumped her body with relish.”
“When can we speak to her?” Beachmama asked.
“You may speak to her now, but only for a few minutes.”
Malleus and Beachmama gently walked up to the foot of the bed, where Sneaky was resting.
“Hello, this is agent Beachmama and I’m agent Malleus. I know this is hard, but we would like to ask you a few questions, if you’re up for it.”
“Yes, it’s OK. I want you to catch this madwoman as soon as possible.”
“Did you say a woman?” Beachmama asked.
“Yes. She was absolutely crazy! She tied to me a chair and began ranting incoherently about relish, readers, still fans, tsuris, over the Mount of … I don’t recall exactly. I began to tune her out after that.”
“What about relish?”
“She kept feeding me relish. When I refused, she pumped that stuff in me!” Sneaky cried.
“What else do you remember?”
"I was in a dank basement. There were these elves that were busy at work. This madwoman was barking orders at them to finish plagiarizing the reviews from Publishers weekly. I heard snippets of “Amazon” and “reviews.” '
How did she kidnap you?” Malleus asked.
“I was at the park walking my three month old puppy. I sat on a bench and began checking out the books at Amazon.com. Then all of a sudden, this woman with wild hair and red-rimmed eyes  appeared out of nowhere and began screaming at me to log out. She reeked of relish.”
“Then…” Beachmama prompted
“Then when I ignored her, she fished a book from her bag. It looked like the latest release by a well-known author. It was in hardback. And she whacked me over the head.” Sneaky gingerly touched the bruise atop her head. “Then I came to in the basement.”
Malleus’s eyebrows shot up. He glanced at Beachmama questioningly. He steered her away from Sneaky and said, “For a person who can’t spell and is clearly illiterate, she sure carries a lot of new releases.”
“That’s for sure,"Beachmama muttered.
They went back to Sneaky.
“How did you escape?”
This madwoman seemed to be very preoccupied with getting the reviews into Amazon’s system. So then I took the opportunity to climb out through the window.”
“Thank you for answering our questions, Sneaky. You have been helpful. If we have any further questions, we will be in touch.” Malleus said.
As soon as they were out of earshot, Beachmama grabbed Malleus by the shoulders.
“I think I know who the manwoman is!” Beachmama said excitedly
“Who?”
There’s only one woman who fits that description and it’s Harriet Klausner. The so-called #1 Hall of Fame Reviewer. I’ve always known she was a fraud, but a killer! Wow.”  Beachmama let out a low whistle.
“OK. From my experience with women is that they’re highly intuitive, so I’ll go with your theory. Let’s call for backup.”
 
Epilogue:
In the days that followed Harriet Klausner’s arrest, the media outlets all across the USA spiraled into a frenzy. The press ran the headline; “The Anti-Literature Killer is Amazon’s #1 Hall of Fame reviewer!”  Meanwhile, Amazon refused to comment on Harriet Klausner and her 28,000+ fake reviews. Amazon’s reticence fueled the speculation among the fine citizens of Georgia, and the entire United States of America. Sneaky Burrito was recovering from her ordeal and can even read a book without suffering a panic attack. In an interview she said, “I am glad this whole nightmare is behind us and readers can enjoy reading without looking behind their shoulders.”
 
The End.
 
 
Here ya' go Sara...hope this works!

SALAD DAZE (BASED ON A TRUE STORY)

It was a dark and stormy night. Inside a cozy (albeit cluttered) little ranch house in Morrow Georgia lived Mr. and Mrs Klausner.  Harriet Klausner was a little bored so she decided to spice things up a bit.  Donning her skin-tight hot pink sweat pants and matching sweatshirt (which had "I love a good salad" on the front spelled out with cucumber and asparagus letters) she sashayed up to her hubby Stan.  "Hey baby," she purred, " wanna play 'vegetable garden'?
You can be the rake and I'll be the hoe.  I'll even call you 'Mikey' if you like!". 

Stan, sitting in his purple velour La-Z-Boy,  took a swig of his Coors Light and said, "ah shuddup and go review a book."  Crushed but undaunted, Harriet suggested they rent some porn.  After another long drink of beer Stanley/Mikey reminded her of what happened the LAST time she went to Red Box for a porn flick.  "It turned out to be some boring '80's movie with a bunch of British guys running in slow motion." Harriet, pouting, said ,"well anyone could have made the same mistake.  I thought it was called 'CHERRIES of Fire.'".   

Stan reclined the La-Z-Boy and turned up the t.v. volume.   After all,  pink sweats (even skin-tight ones), porn  and veggies really couldn't compete with monster trucks and combine demolition derby.  

So in the end Stan opened another can of Coors and Harriet consoled herself with seven or eight Harlequin romance novels.  

The End.




Thursday, January 24, 2013

A Game of 'Scrambled.'

On a Tuesday evening, after Harriet Klausner dumped her regular cargo-load of drivel, AKA reviews into Amazon's system; she hunkered down to a game of Scrabble with her morose hubby Stan, her celibate lover Mikey, and an Amazon monkey.

"Harriet, will you please pass me your rack," Mikey drawled.
Harriet jumped and straddled Mikey. She wrapped her hairy legs tightly around his torso. She pressed her sagging rack to his face. "I will whip out the relish so you can pour it all over these fine babies" she whispered. She gyrated against his flaccid banana.
"Oooh, baby," Harriet rasped, "Your mighty sword is over the top of the phallic statues in Penis Park!"
"Mikey meant the tile rack, Hattie, and not your melons." Stan corrected.
"Oh, very well," Harriet muttered. After straightening her crinkled,  relish-stained clothes that have never once seen an iron or a washing machine, Harriet plopped back into her chair.
"If you bother to wash your stringy, greasy hair or wear deodorant, then our lower heads wouldn't have been given a Viagra prescription." Mikey said.
"I am so sex-starved, I get turned on just by looking at a piece of pie," Stanley moaned.
“I’ll be more than happy to beat your meat for ya,” Harriet the Harlot crooned. “Or better yet, you can dip your meat into my gravy. My warm gravy will keep your tender meat nice and warm.”
“Uhh, no thanks,” Stan stuttered.
"Well, you both gave up sex in exchange for the money that I make from my fake reviews, so will ya both put a sock in it," Harriet snapped.
"I really must edit my contract with these jerks because my cherry itches to be popped by a rock hard carrot," Harriet muttered under her breath. "I can't believe I'm a sixty years old virgin!"
After they have set up the board and arranged the tiles on the racks, Ammy's monkey decided to appoint Harriet as the scorekeeper.
"Her mathematical skills are excellent", the monkey said. "In eleven years, she read over 28,000 books!"
"Yes," Mikey agreed. "I really wish Harriet would credit me on her Amazon profile. After all, I'm the one who taught her that 3+3=12."
"Oh, quit your whining! I taught myself advanced math skills when I was three years old!" Harriet growled.
They began the game. Harriet got a triple word score for the word FRAUD. Mikey got a double word score for the words BLUE BALLS. Stan got a triple letter score for the words, WHY ME, and the monkey got a double letter score for the word TROLL.
After a while, Harriet yelled, "I won!"
"WTF! We've just started!" Stan replied.
Harriet pointedly ignored him.
"The arrangement of the tiles on the board forms the shape of a sword. A thick, beautiful sword..." Harriet let out a wistful sigh.
"And since I pointed it out, that makes me the winner!"
"You can't make up the rules," Mikey protested.
"Oh, yes, I can! I make up the rules as I please. For the passed eleven years, I've been cheating Amazon's system, with their blessings of course, and Scrambled is no different."

The End.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Harriet's Grocery List

This is for all the people out there who have made New Year's resolutions to lose weight and are starting to doubt if they'll be able to stick with them.  (By which I mean that you'll never want to eat again after reading this...)
  • Bananas and cherries: "Though he believes that Skye is after his banana, he rejects her because he plans to marry someone else. However, as Skye and Clint become more familiar with one another both reconsider their previous positions and now they want his banana and her cherry married, but must persuade the other that their respective fruit is passion."
  • Bananas (again): "The fun storyline is an overused theme yet Christie Craig provides a fast-paced tale starring two protagonists battling over banana sandwiches while falling in love."  (If you don't get this one, look up "banana sandwich" on Urban Dictionary.  Or don't.  You've been warned.)
  • Chocolate, honey, and cherries: "Readers will appreciate this XXX amusing chase in which the heroine dangles her chocolate coated cherry at a hero who salivates for a dip in the honey pot, but tries to avoid his and her desires."
  • Cherries (again): "He took her cherry, but dumped her with no explanation."
  • Cherries (yet again): " She would loathe her sex life, but that has been non-existent for fifteen years since she lost her cherry in the back of Barry's pick-up truck."
  • Honey (again): "The women with his one dip into their honey pot are deemed ready for marriage, but he must remain alone and aloof."
  • Melons: "In Vancouver Sophie Kintock can not believe that her boyfriend of six years, anal Doug Chase, dumped her for a tall blond bimbo Melanie the melons." 
  • Honey, vinegar, cucumbers, and hot peppers:"She decides to try honey instead of vinegar; red hot pepper instead of cold cucumber."
  • Nuts: "However, the opportunity eventually arrives when her former commander General Barnes needs her help at the Santa Fe Film Festival to protect spoiled film star Marisa Connors, who Cleo knows as a pit-bull with nuts caught in an animal trap; Alex heads the gala which includes a North Korean communications expert that the military wants on their side." 
  • Sausage: "In Skagway, she made friends with Keenan Crawford the butcher, but fled when her groom tried to rape her; she muses he can stuff his sausage elsewhere."
  • Meat: "In England Paul Mackrell wants to be considered a serious writer, but his addiction to cyber sex induced serial masturbation leaves no blood for his other head to write with; in other words even when he is not beating the meat he suffers from writer's block."
  • Buns and pumpkin pie: "Each contains reasonably solid lead characters like Carol Curley Locks wanting a commitment from her hot boyfriend who hides his heated darkness from her, Peter giving new meaning to eating pumpkin pie, Georgie wanting more than just stealing kisses and Marcie understanding the true meaning of hot buns, etc."
  • Asparagus: "This compilation is fun, well written while readers gain insight into the "oddments from the mind" of a writer who makes his personal look at life a lot more interesting than canned asparagus (think what those shoots look like) or is it spinach?"
  • Carrots, chocolate, and strawberries: "Adding to her chagrin every step forward is two giant steps backward as he seems to regress with the only carrot to modify his behavior is sharing his bed; the only thing in her mind (and body) better than chocolate strawberries."
  • Pretzels: "The first Soulfire jocular urban fantasy is an over top satire that hilariously lampoons the sub-genre (including Stephanie Rowe's own comedic Goblet of Eternal Youth tales - you will never look at a pretzel the same way) with amazing cross-breeding species, killing star-crossed lovers and trained killer warriors relaxing with knitting."
I have no doubt there are more, by my mind is nowhere near as dirty as Harriet's.  Maybe we'd all be better off subsisting on a diet of RELISH.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Something Wicca This Way Comes

Once upon a time, a malevolent witch named Harriet Klausner lived with her husband Stan and their only child. Harriet was a retired librarian – at least that’s what she told everyone.  In actuality, she was laid off from her job because she didn’t know how to use the Dewey Decimal System. She couldn’t afford to buy a broom that goes with her pointy hat and black cauldron.

“What’s the quickest way to make tons of money?” Harriet mused out loud while pacing down her block.
“What’s the quickest way to make tons of money?” mimicked a neighborhood boy.
“Shut your trap you little weasel! I am trying to think here!” Harriet snarled. Harriet loved little boys and girls as much as she loved Hansel and Gretel. Then it hit her! Copying is easy and doable! Plagiarizing is her ticket!
She hurried home and booted up her ancient PC. She contacted Amazon.com and various publishers and made a proposal they couldn’t refuse. “I can triple your sales.”
So Harriet began plagiarizing by the truck load. She couldn’t afford to take trips to the bathroom, so she used a bed pan in order to make her fraudulent career at Amazonland more efficient. 
The paycheck was lovely and she was able to afford to buy potions and worms and, puppy dogs’ tails. She was also able to buy hair dye in order to dye her white-haired cat black. Soon, she began to plagiarize books from different publishing houses and every person world-wide knew of her wicked ways.
Customers and authors of every state gathered together and complained about the evil witch until Amazon was forced to listen.
Amazon was sorry to let the wicked witch go – she was their favorite “customer.”
Authors and customers reveled in the success of banishing the evil witch from Amazonland. 
Meanwhile, the witch was forced to pawn her pointy hat and broom, while wondering if she should fake review utensils on her next evil project.


Saturday, January 12, 2013

OT: Compact Fluorescent Light (CFL) Bulbs Are Harmful

I thought this is important, so I'm posting it even though it's got nothing to do with Klarriet. These bulbs are becoming more and more widespread, and I thought you want to know that they're not harmless. SBU Study Reveals Harmful Effects of CFL Bulbs to Skin
STONY BROOK, NY [...] a team of Stony Brook University researchers looked into the potential impact of healthy human skin tissue (in vitro) being exposed to ultraviolet rays emitted from compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs. The results, “The Effects of UV Emission from CFL Exposure on Human Dermal Fibroblasts and Keratinocytes in Vitro,” were published in the June issue of the journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology. The researchers, led by Miriam Rafailovich, PhD, Professor of Materials Science and Engineering and the Director of the Garcia Center for Polymers at Engineered Interfaces at Stony Brook, conducted similar research to a European study on Light Sensitivity. Stony Brook researchers collected CFL bulbs purchased from different locations across Suffolk and Nassau counties, and then measured the amount of UV emissions and the integrity of each bulb’s phosphor coatings. Results revealed significant levels of UVC and UVA, which appeared to originate from cracks in the phosphor coatings, present in all CFL bulbs studied. "Our study revealed that the response of healthy skin cells to UV emitted from CFL bulbs is consistent with damage from ultraviolet radiation,” said Professor Rafailovich. “Skin cell damage was further enhanced when low dosages of TiO2 nanoparticles were introduced to the skin cells prior to exposure.” Rafailovich added that incandescent light of the same intensity had no effect on healthy skin cells, with or without the presence of TiO2. [...]

Harriet Klausner's Revenge!

In a galaxy far, far away, a creepy-looking alien was plotting the mass annihilation of literature. Its thoughts drifted back to the time when it was hastily shoved into a space shuttle. Its parents discovered that they were being persecuted for siphoning words from text books and regurgitating them into bowls of soup. They enjoyed the gibberish words that formed in the bowls of soup. As a result, library books held scores of blank pages! Retailers everywhere went bankrupt! The masses were indignant and demanded the execution of the perpetrators! The alien vowed to seek vengeance on the humans, particularly readers for slaughtering her `rents! They have taught her so much about indecency and fraud - she must carry out their legacy!

One day, she learned through one of her clairvoyant visions that Amazon was the largest online retailer on earth. The alien's powers could only influence humans that were amoral and had relish with their hotdogs! So she named herself Harriet Klausner and steered her fast-paced space shuttle to earth and landed ingloriously naked, reminiscent of The Terminator. Unlike the Terminator's vessel, the alien's vessel was a shuddering sight! Her super-speedy electro-magnetic field affected males' lower-heads everywhere! The nation suffered a case of impotence upon her arrival! She caused impotence within a 30 mile radius. This led to the unplanned exodus of Americans.

After terrorizing a homeless man into giving her his clothes (she must adapt to the human way of life), she teleported to Amazon and hypnotized all of its trolls in order to make them do her dirty bidding! The first order of business was the removal of the 1,2 ,3 stars in a review!
"They must become obsolete!" HK muttered. "My fake reviews are all 4 and 5 stars!"

She took over the website like a tsunami and began to post a gazillion fake reviews! She particularly loved posting fake reviews on erotica. Even though she didn't generate any feelings from her upper head down to her gnarled toes, she experienced something similar to sexual pleasure whenever she made a lower-head shrink in revulsion. It didn't require talent or super powers; HK was a natural at repelling men's third-leg.

Meanwhile, a group called the Anti-HK-Fraud-Society was formed. They were immune to Harriet's powers and vowed to take her down! They found out that the only way to kill it is to cut off its relish supply! HK cannot go a day without relish. By midnight, the group slipped into Amazon's inner sanctum and saw a sight that made them swear off relish indefinitely! HK was sucking relish from her toenails!
"Mmmmm RELISHHH," she moaned in ecstasy.

After recovering from their shock, Buck210 said, "Turn off the relish-making machine!"

Embee sprinted to the machine and flipped off the switch, but to her horror, HK didn't explode!

"Shoot for its limbs! In the Dead Space franchise, Isaac Clarke had to cut off the alien's limbs! It's the only way to kill it! Alan James shouted.

"It's bad enough we got to read her fake reviews, now we must cut off its limbs. Eww!"Dona said.

"What if it bleeds relish and it doesn't remain as still as her fans and readers?" piped L. Donner.

"I think it's the books! Coherent words act like poison in her system so we must force her to read! It's worth a shot! Quick, tie her up!" Sneaky exclaimed. "And it's less messier than cutting off its limbs, she added.

"I'll do it," Mr. J Ryden said.

After tying her up, Beachmama grabbed a book and tried to force Harriet to read the first page!
"Read you dumb twit, READ!", she yelled! After a long pause, Beachmama smacked HK over the head with the book."I've always wanted to do that," she admitted.

"This isn't getting us anywhere, " Strong Coffe Lover bemoaned. "Harriet's trolls will seize us any minute now!"

"We've come this far - we shouldn't give up now! I've always dreamed of vanquishing this charlatan and I won't go down without a fight!" THE TRUTH said.

"How about we READ a passage? Surely it will work. HK has waged war against the English language, so listening to a passage would likely have the same effect." MJN76 offered quietly.

"For a potent effect, let's read a book for the sub-genre fans! N.Brett said.

"I'll do it," GTG said. He took the book from Beachmama and began to read, HK style. He took a deep breath and zipped through the passage without stopping at any commas, semi-colons, or periods. The fast-paced, non-stop torture caused HK's artificial brain to explode into smithereens, over the top of Mt. FraudHattie!

HK's brain made a GUUURGGLE sound - the relish shot from her head like a cork!
"EWWWW, " they all yelled in unison.

"Run for cover!" Cindy yelled!

The group ducked behind the teetering, towering 28,000+ books.

"At least the new, non-read books served as a shelter from the onslaught of regurgitated brain relish, "Embee said dryly.

"And look! "THE SYSTEM OVERLOAD" message has stopped blinking! Joe Zika enthused.

The group whooped in joy at the realization that the alien and its 28,000+ fake reviews were gone! The reign of literature terror by this Crass and Crude Charlatan was over! FINALLY!

As the victorious group walked away together, an HK troll tiptoed to the grisly scene. He stuck his hand into the splattered brain mass comprised of gibberish, relish and more gibberish and retrieved a chip. He decided to salvage the data and then create a time travel machine so he could bring HK back!

To be continued....

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Alan James's Deleted Amazon Comment

This comment got deleted multiple times from an Amazon comment thread yesterday.  The comment's author, Alan James, has been so kind as to send it to me so that it can be preserved for posterity.  Thanks, Alan!

****HK BOOK CLEARANCE SALE****

*1000's of titles available (all titles are in mint (unused) condition).
*Many titles available before official release date.
*Sub-genres a speciality.
*ALL titles thoroughly enjoyed by the proprietor.

*Online orders welcome at www.hk/fraud.com


(All titles subject to availability. Hurry while stocks last).



(Deleted by Amazon 35 seconds ago)

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Fraud Hattie Readers and Fans

Also posted on her latest fake review.

Fraud Hattie has posted 39 fake reviews so far this month, 12 of them posted just today.

Again, today's topic will be Readers/Fans:

Here are some of the most common:
"fans will appreciate" "fans will enjoy Ms. Plaidy's saga as the enjoyable storyline enables fans" "fans will enjoy this fun whodunit" "Fans will enjoy this gritty tale" "Fans will enjoy" "Fans will enjoy" "fans will enjoy" "readers will appreciate" "Readers will appreciate" "readers will appreciate" "Series fans will enjoy this entry" "readers who enjoy a gritty extended family Scottish street lit drama will appreciate"

Then we have to not so common:
"Fans will keep reading in one sitting" "provides readers with" "The cast makes fans feel Welcome to Harmony" "Character driven fans will enjoy" "Character driven readers will remember"

Let's see, what can we call this category? Bazaar: "contemporary fans from the moment" "hooked readers will wonder" "inanely cutesy fans will enjoy"

Still, there are the motionless and fast-paced fans:
"Still fans will enjoy" "Fast-paced fans of the series will enjoy" "Fast-paced readers will wonder" "Fast-paced series fans will appreciate"

Fraud Hattie cannot go a month without Relish:
"fans will relish" "readers will relish" "sub-genre fans will relish" "historical fans especially of the Grail Quest series will relish"

All from this month's 39 fake reviews posted by Fraud Hattie of books that she did not read.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Fraud Hattie Stats for 2012

Also posted on her latest fake review

Fraud Hattie Stats Update for 2012. She posted 2279 fake reviews for an average 189.9 per month and 6.24 per day.

The past (or as Hattie would write "passed") 2 months have seen quite a drop in her posting fake reviews, Are the ARC's running out Hattie? Are some of the publishers finnally getting wise to your fake reviewing?

Votes/etc for the year:
Date Fake Reviews . Avg ... YTD ... Votes . Helpful . % . Not Helpful . % . Relish . Fans . Rank
Jan 2012 .... 214 ... 6.90 ... 6.90 ... 1044 ... 506 ... 48% ... 538 ... 52% ... 25 ... 2555 .... 873
Feb 2012 .... 203 ... 7.25 ... 7.08 .... 599 ... 423 ... 71% ... 176 ... 29% ... 16 ... 2555 ... 1053
Mar 2012 .... 219 ... 7.06 ... 7.07 .... 730 ... 509 ... 70% ... 221 ... 30% ... 17 ... 2555 ... 1069
Apr 2012 .... 195 ... 6.50 ... 6.93 .... 730 ... 514 ... 70% ... 216 ... 30% ... 15 ... 2555 ... 1077
May 2012 ... 214 ... 6.90 ... 6.92 .... 733 ... 485 ... 66% ... 248 ... 34% ... 17 ... 2555 ... 1075
Jun 2012 .... 189 ... 6.30 ... 6.82 .... 646 ... 374 ... 58% ... 272 ... 42% ... 20 ... 2555 ... 1069
Jul 2012 ..... 215 ... 6.94 ... 6.84 .... 617 ... 358 ... 58% ... 259 ... 42% ... 22 ... 2555 ... 1106
Aug 2012 ... 213 ... 6.87 ... 6.84 .... 583 ... 310 ... 53% ... 273 ... 47% ... 12 ... 2555 ... 1200
Sep 2012 ... 200 ... 6.67 ... 6.82 .... 460 ... 246 ... 53% ... 214 ... 47% ..... 9 ... 2592 ... 1266
Oct 2012 .... 229 ... 7.39 ... 6.88 .... 590 ... 290 ... 49% ... 300 ... 51% ... 23 ... 2606 ... 1375
Nov 2012 ... 117 ... 3.90 ... 6.61 ... 183 ...... 87 ... 48% ..... 96 ... 52% .... 12 ... 2617 ... 1463
Dec 2012 .... 72 .... 2.32 ... 6.25 .... 242 .... 83 .... 34% ... 159 .... 66% .... 3 .... 2633 .... 1666

Tuesday Dump Days for the year (average is 34.6):
Fake Reviews Date
67 ... 1/3/2012
13 ... 1/10/2012
14 ... 1/17/2012
19 ... 1/24/2012
67 ... 1/31/2012
66 ... 2/7/2012
26 ... 2/14/2012
22 ... 2/21/2012
64 ... 2/28/2012
63 ... 3/6/2012
28 ... 3/13/2012
22 ... 3/20/2012
66 ... 3/27/2012
64 ... 4/3/2012
22 ... 4/10/2012
20 ... 4/17/2012
54 ... 4/24/2012
72 ... 5/1/2012
13 ... 5/8/2012
20 ... 5/15/2012
40 ... 5/22/2012
39 ... 5/29/2012
65 ... 6/5/2012
14 ... 6/12/2012
27 ... 6/19/2012
38 ... 6/26/2012
64 ... 7/3/2012
24 ... 7/10/2012
19 ... 7/17/2012
12 ... 7/24/2012
58 ... 7/31/2012
84 ... 8/7/2012
16 ... 8/14/2012
27 ... 8/21/2012
46 ... 8/28/2012
59 ... 9/4/2012
6 ..... 9/11/2012
26 ... 9/18/2012
37 ... 9/25/2012
80 ... 10/2/2012
11 ... 10/9/2012
30 ... 10/16/2012
12 ... 10/23/2012
47 ... 10/30/2012
25 ... 11/6/2012
16 ... 11/13/2012
12 ... 11/20/2012
28 ... 11/27/2012
18 ... 12/4/2012
5 ..... 12/11/2012
3 ..... 12/18/2012
10 ... 12/25/2012

Month by month Fraudulent reviews for the year:
214 fake reviews in Jan 2012 6.90 per day 6.90 YTD 5.91 Overall 26340 Reviews to date
203 fake reviews in Feb 2012 7.25 per day 7.08 YTD 5.92 Overall 26543 Reviews to date
219 fake reviews in Mar 2012 7.06 per day 7.07 YTD 5.93 Overall 26762 Reviews to date
195 fake reviews in Apr 2012 6.50 per day 6.93 YTD 5.93 Overall 26957 Reviews to date
214 fake reviews in May 2012 6.90 per day 6.92 YTD 5.94 Overall 27171 Reviews to date
189 fake reviews in Jun 2012 6.30 per day 6.82 YTD 5.94 Overall 27360 Reviews to date
215 fake reviews in Jul 2012 6.94 per day 6.84 YTD 5.95 Overall 27575 Reviews to date
213 fake reviews in Aug 2012 6.87 per day 6.84 YTD 5.96 Overall 27788 Reviews to date
200 fake reviews in Sep 2012 6.67 per day 6.82 YTD 5.96 Overall 27988 Reviews to date
229 fake reviews in Oct 2012 7.39 per day 6.88 YTD 5.97 Overall 28216 Reviews to date
117 fake reviews in Nov 2012 3.90 per day 6.61 YTD 5.96 Overall 28333 Reviews to date
72 fake reviews in Dec 2012 2.32 per day 6.25 YTD 5.93 Overall 28405 Reviews to date

A Reviewer with a Masters Degree in Library Sciences, Part 1

As an avid watcher of Hattie’s reviews, I’ve experienced a lot of obstacles in finding information that matches up to much more than her name, her husband’s name, and her city of residence.   Like peeling back the layers of an onion, I’ve instead discovered one misstatement after another.  The stunning array of conflicting misinformation that she has authored is the backbone for the blog “The Lies that Bind Klausner”.  That piece discusses the fake profiles that Klausner has created for herself.  It also compares one quote to another and one profile to another, revealing contradictions and misrepresentations.

Sometime later, I got curious about what else Harriet has said that might be untrue.  I began to think about her Masters in Library Science.  But why would that be the thing that kept raising its head?

With the exception of a profile that says she was born and raised in Europe, Harriet’s profiles reveal that she held only two librarian positions, both for short periods of time—one in Pennsylvania and one in Georgia.  She provides approximate time periods for that employment as well as working part-time and and/or full-time at used bookstores in those locations.  Immediately, I wondered:  Why would a person who has a Masters in Library Science work in a used bookstore?   Who spends that much time, effort, and money obtaining such an advanced degree only to squander it as a clerk in a bookstore?  I don't know the answer, but I sure do have the question.

Library Sciences is an English and math intensive field.  It’s a customer service oriented discipline.  At its heart are logic, communication, and organization of information.  Within its core competencies are ethics; values; human communication; intellectual property laws; and effective verbal and written communication techniques, principles, and methods of advocacy used to promote and explain concepts and services.

Naturally, to enter a masters program, one must first have graduated from an accredited bachelors program by completing the appropriate coursework.  There are many different kinds of classes required, but within them can frequently be found coursework with on reading and cognition, information literacy, technique of storytelling, and ethics.  The curriculum is typically described as reading and writing intensive.

Does Harriet demonstrate the requisite communication skills, reading skills, and writing skills?  Does she have a practice of ethics.  Does she have a firm grasp on simple math?

Well, it’s not a far jump from there to examine her reviews for the answers.  Let’s take a look at what they tell us:   (1)  Her punctuation, grammar, and spelling skills are substandard.  (2)  She misrepresents the books she reads.  (3) She is practically incapable of writing a coherent sentence.  (4)  She is mathematically challenged.  (5)  She is ethically challenged.

How does a person earn a masters degree when they don’t have the math skills needed by a second grader (e.g., 1 + 1 = 3), when they don’t have the basic English skill set required to graduate from middle school, when they don’t display the kind of ethics as required by the field, and when they disregard intellectual property law in spite of the their training?

Whatever the answer is, I surely hope it isn’t a reflection on the efficacy of our educational system.

In several subsequent parts to this article, each one of the above areas will be addressed, along with references.  Some of the source materials and examples are so extensive that it is apparent the problems are widespread and not isolated.

PartIIA:  CPR Needed for the English Language
Part IIB:  Plurals and Singulars, Verb Tenses, and Redundancies
Part IIC:  A Mess of Nouns, Pronouns, Adjectives, Adverbs, Verbs, and Possessives
PartIID:   Prepositions, "Ases", and Weird and Wacky
Part III:   Killing Me Softly With Your Review
Part IV:   Harriet’s Mad Math and Logic Skills
Part V:    What's Ethics Got to Do With It?

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Killing Me Softly With Your Review

In Part 1, we discussed some of what it takes to earn a Masters’ Degree in Library Sciences and we touched on some of Klausner’s work as a librarian.

In Part 11, we looked at Klausner’s punctuation, grammar, and spelling errors.

This section examines Klausner’s English communication and writing skills based on her Amazon reviews.  Before being accepted into a masters’ program for Library Sciences, participants are required to demonstrate that they have taken instruction in literacy, writing, and communication.  This education is required as part of the underlying Bachelors Degree.  Communication, both written and verbal, is crucial to the degree.  Literacy, storytelling, and writing skills are basic to passing the course and they have to be demonstrated before moving on to a masters’ course of work.

What do Harriet’s reviews say about her writing skill, literacy, and ability to communicate?

To communicate effectively, you must know your audience, understand their level of knowledge, and then speak at the level of understanding. When writing reviews, you write to people who know nothing about a book but want to learn.  Providing that information with simplicity and clarity designed around what the reader needs to know and the best way to deliver that information should be the communicator's focus.  Instead, what we see with Harriet is that:

1.   Her grammar, punctuation, spelling, and misuse of words make it very difficult, even impossible, to understand the meaning of a sentence.
2.   She doesn’t explain key information that will help a reader to understand either the context for a statement or the statement itself.
3.   She often uses obscure, secondary word meanings for common words that don't ring true.
4.   She often uses obscure words or cultural idioms that trip readers up, thus clouding the meaning of a sentence.
5.   She combines too many thoughts and ideas in sentences, many of which are frequently conflicting or have no bearing on each other, rendering her sentences unintelligible more often than not.
6.   She does not meet readers' needs in her writing; she writes for expediency and not clarity.
7.   She doesn’t address her audience appropriately.  (E.g., she makes 60’s and 70’s cultural references, and obscure leadership studies, when writing reviews for children and young teens).
8.   She writes mysteries in her reviews by identifying key players as “he”, “her”, “the man”, “the changeling” and not stating their names until later in her reviews.
9.   She frequently changes the name of a character midway through a review confusing readers.
10. Her sentences are too wordy.         

In evaluating Klausner’s written style, it seems like she’s having fun making people jump through hoops in futile attempts to understand her writing.  She doesn’t write sentences with clarity and logic.

Literacy is more about the process of internalizing written information, processing and understanding it, and  then spitting it back out sensibly.  At first, I asked, how would you measure literacy in this case?  It turns out the answer was easy.  Read a book and then read Harriet’s review to see how she interpreted the book.

I took my own advice and began to read Harriet's reviews after reading a book.  What did I find out?  I discovered tons of misinformation from wrong storylines, locations, main characters, side characters, names, to even book titles.  I also discovered recitations of events and things that never happened in the books.  But the biggest problem wasn’t what was wrong so much as what was left out.  Often main characters aren’t even mentioned, nor are the main storyline, character relationships, and the elements that cause tension.  Most of the big stuff is always missing.

There are two reasons that this reading problem could occur:  (1) a not very high literacy and reading comprehension level, or, more likely,
(2) Klausner doesn’t read the books she reviews.  Neither option is pretty.  But, there are plenty of discussion and a mountain of proof that support the conclusion in Option (2).

Ability to communicate is closely tied to the ability to take in and process information, as well as express oneself orally and in the written form.  We have seen that, for whatever reason, Klausner is not processing and writing book information accurately and that her writing is unintelligible.

Given these factors, I’ve asked myself whether or not there are other intervening causes since obtaining a masters degree that would have caused Klausner’s English abilities to fall below a high school level.  I don’t know.  But the evidence so far tends to lean away from that direction.