The E-Sylum:  Volume 11, Number 14, April 6, 2008, Article 9


April Fool!   Last week's item on a new electronic payment
medium ("Quions") was a complete fabrication.  The historical
facts are true, as most numismatists are aware.  Federal currency
once included the name of an issuing institution (National
Bank Notes) and money has indeed incorporated advertising
(such as the Civil War-era encased postage stamps mentioned
in the article, as well as the now-illegal late 19th-century
practice of counterstamping coins.

Other parts of the article (like reusable coins) are pretty
far-fetched, but fiction has been known to become fact at times.
The basic concepts aren’t so far-fetched and next-generation
Internet features such as address space, mobility and security
just might make interactive money possible someday sooner than
you might think.  Ever since the invention of the telegraph
businesses and individuals have been “wiring” virtual money
across long distances, so it wouldn’t be much of a stretch
to transfer it wirelessly across much shorter spans.

One E-Sylum reader said: "Wow !!"  One of my high school
buddies wrote: "Do they/you really think this type of
technology would really take off in mainstream America?
Or is it some 'pie in the sky' geek fantasy?  I'm sure you
as a numismatist think it is possibly the greatest concept
since sliced bread, but I being the pragmatist don't see
it really catching on with the general public, let alone
trying to retrofit all of the existing vending machines to
accept the new fangled coin.  Look at the problems they
had with the changes made to the paper denominations and
the vending machines receiving the new bills."

Dave Perkins rightly noted the dangers of hackers taking
control, forwarding this USA Today article about a Google
search hack some cybercrooks are using.
Full Story

Bob Fritsch writes: "Nice April Fool's scam with the Quions".
Joel Orosz writes: "How quaint that this news release about
quoins was quietly dated April 1.  A queer quoincidence?
I quite quonsider that the quontrary is true.  Still, I got
a big quckle out of it!"

Harry Cabluck writes: "On the subject of the new payment
technology Quoin, it was named by an eastern European printer
who coined the word Quoin from Quoins used in holding type
together before printing.  His name was Dren Ekoj.  He named
his device the Loof Lirpa.  The battery he used for the memory
chip in 1845 was not perfected well enough to last longer
than six weeks.  Also, when the quoin was exposed to inclement
weather it exploded and of course became worthless, leaving
the owner a really small hole in his purse."

[An urgent email sent Tuesday afternoon by a community activist
in Northwest Washington said "A loof lirpa had escaped from
the National Zoo and was galloping around the streets of
Cleveland Park. A careless zookeeper had been distracted
while the animal's enclosure was unlocked, and the 350-pound
lirpa, which has 'gazelle-like horns,' hurtled off."  D.C.
Police Cmdr. Andy Solberg chimed in to alert residents that
"a department helicopter was on the case. DO NOT TRY AND
CAPTURE THE LOOF LIRPA ON YOUR OWN."  The commander laid it
on thicker saying "the lirpa was planning to mate this
weekend and is so nearsighted that it could mistake a golden
retriever for a potential partner."  -Editor]

Len Augsberger writes: "I read as far as Linden Labs before
my BS detector went off."  Bob Leuver writes: "Very cute.
If this made it to the main channels it might be picked up
as true!  Virtually true, that is."

Len Augsburger forwarded it to a friend who responded "Sadly,
not even close to clever enough to fool me - although "Bernard
von NotHaus' reminded me of "Nuthouse", which was kind of nice."

"Dick Johnson writes: "With this talent the writer of this
farce should be writing fiction.  It contains just enough
truths, however, to make it believable. For example, von
NotHaus could have said what the writer quoted here.

"Where he slipped up was placing words in the mouth of Mint
Director Edmund Moy. As a bureaucrat he would never make the
statements attributed to him here. If he did he would know,
not only that he would be cashiered from his job, but stoned
by his own employees. 'Bad Mint Director, Bad man! Bad! Bad!'
An enjoyable read, but tell the author to go back to his
Kool Aid!"

Tom Kays writes: "Bravo!  Have you considered submitting
this to  They vote in croissants for the
best idea that should've worked. You get low score if the
concept has actually been invented "baked" (often a surprise
to the baker), or if it lacks all links to reality.  The best
are those that seem obviously doable and impracticably useful.
People are invited to follow-up with quips and half-baked

[I didn't submit the idea, but here's an example of another
crazy (or not) idea from  -Editor]

 Liquid Currency
 Never have to make or carry change ever again.

 The problem with money is that its in these inconvenient
 discrete units (the penny, for example)  If money were a
 liquid, there would be no such thing as getting change.
 A wallet would look approximately like a fancy fountain pen,
 with a clear glass cylinder, filled with some liquid,
 preferably really cool looking, like mercury.

 When a purchase for cash for cash exchange was made, one
 would place    their "wallet" into a machine designed to
 extract the exact amount of liquid cash. Two "wallets"
 could be plugged together for person to person exchanges.
 Gradations on the glass chamber (think titration tube, or
 similar) would let the two parties be sure that the correct
 amount of currency has changed hands.

To read about the National Zoo's Loof Lirpa escape, see:
Full Story


  Wayne Homren, Editor

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