Are you human?


The spambots are getting really…really annoying. Akismet and SpamLookup do block most of the obvious spam comments (at this point why do they even bother with the topless cheerleader, p e e n i s enlargement, viagra, texas holdem, morgage loan BS).

However, lately I have been waking up in the morning to a crapflood of a few dozen spam comments that made their way through. These are usually just random strings of text with no identifying commonality, peppered with links to legitimate web sites. I guess these are trying to poison the filters with false positives and whatnot.

So, thanks to Comment Challenge, a new plug-in from Jay Allen of MT-Blacklist fame, my comment form now has a challenge and response question to weed the bots from the human commenters.

The hardest part was choosing a question that was not culturally biased or ambiguous. My first one is “What direction is opposite of north?” Hopefully, it doesn’t prove to be overly annoying to commenters.

The only other Turing test plug-ins I could find used image CAPTCHAs, which I hate. A few of these have proven that, in fact, I am not human because I could not figure out what those grunge font squiggles were supposed to be.

terminator spambot

So once the spambots get smart enough to answer these types of challenge and response questions, it’s all over for the humans anyway. It will be time to surrender to our AI masters. (Of course, even Skynet or the Architect would be better than Dubya.)


Hey Mike,

How many clothes you hanging on that BF U2 you got last year? :-)

Just wondering, as I will soon pop for either a Hoist stackweight home gym or a Bowflex U2 (without the #410) and a Precor Elliptical.

Any suggestions before I take the plunge?


My Bowflex is no longer a clothes rack; however, I have found it difficult to get back into a regular routine.

Unfortunately, I only have experience with the the Bowflex Power Pro and the Ultimate 2 (and gym machines). Both Bowflexes are great machines, and I do not regret my purchase of either. (I just regret letting work take over my life for the past year.)