By Glenn

We now have official email addresses. This should be great news for those of you who have been waiting to libel us in the comments section but wanted to double check reactions over email first. Recently, I went to register my new email address and I was attacked by the most deadly virus on the internet: CAPTCHA.

I am not talking about Frank Capra, who directed the fantastic Mr. Smith Goes to Washington and am definitely not talking about the catch phrase "Caught ya!" that was popularized in the United States in the early part of 2004 by the American soldiers who yelled it in exclamation upon finding Saddam Hussein in Iraq. You may be surprised to learn CAPTCHA is actually more of a moral calamity than the Iraq war was before we won it. From an internet website:
A CAPTCHA is a type of challenge-response test used in computing to ensure that the response is not generated by a computer. The process usually involves one computer (a server) asking a user to complete a simple test which the computer is able to generate and grade. Because other computers are unable to solve the CAPTCHA, any user entering a correct solution is presumed to be human.

It sounds innocuous enough, probably not unlike the Wikipedia entry Edward Teller created for his hydrogen bomb in 1951. But much as his work would inspire the deaths of millions, CAPTCHA will inspire the frustration of dozens. And I'm one of those people. Here are a few reasons why.

I don't understand what these are. Maybe I'm stupid -- and I'd love for you to make that case. Point out my score of 12 on the ACT, my functional illiteracy and my accidental ingestion of at least 4 batteries over the last seven days as reasons why I'm too dumb to read what those pictures are trying to tell me. But I ask - nay challenge - you to figure out what those words mean. Until you do, I can't register my new email address.

Although many have accused me (as a conservative, reflexively pro American Republican) of being blind to the injustices of the world, I am not actually blind. This is fortunate for me but quite unfortunate for people across the internet, including one writer on this website. You wouldn't know it from his articles but the author "Bryan" is actually blind. We didn't think that should stop him from having an official email address so we made one for him: This friendly gesture was derailed by the barrier of CAPTCHA.

There is literally no way for a blind person to get an email address on the internet because they cannot read these images. I think this is wrong. Sorry to get on the soapbox, but CAPTCHA can't stop me from preaching to my choir. Actually, I will make a pledge right now to stop trying to get my new email address until blind people everywhere are allowed to get their own. I will also delete all of my email accounts in solidarity with my blind brothers and sisters. Turns out an injustice somewhere does bother me (even if I don't think it's an injustice everywhere).

Postcript: I was actually able to figure out one of the CAPTCHA images while writing this and obtain my @oneyearintexas email. I've put this in small letters so they can't see it, but I ask you to please do not tell any blinds you know who read this website that I have broken my pledge. Please do, however, email me if you have any idea what someone should after accidentally eating four batteries.


  1. I also hate CAPTCHA images. I remember when popular file hosting site has pictures of cats with letters written on them. I was literally unable to steal music for weaks until they completely got rid of this system. Now I can steal as much music as I'd like, I just have to wait 15 minutes between downloads.

  2. This is great! I had no idea that CAPTCHA would ruin my computer and void my warranty, Iam never using email or speaking to a blind ever again!

  3. I enjoyed this story. This was before I spent the last half hour trying to figure out one of those CAPTCHA images! (I still enjoy it though)

  4. hey guys i cant get my email to work pls help

  5. there is no rest for the weary when it comes to captcha - or the blind for that matter. (poor bryan)