14-21 December 2001

This entry was posted on
Friday, December 14th, 2001
at
10:02 am and is filed
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14 December 2001

10:02
We may as well launch with some history, which is big this week. Google has just released the new Usenet archive, which goes back 20 years. An article on the first ever website can be viewed here, or you can browse a few others here. This is all pretty dull until it’s put into context, that’s why you should try out the Wayback Machine to see past incarnations of sites you actually care about. I downloaded the Alexa Toolbar (complete with a one-click Wayback button) from this site a few weeks ago and have looked back since.

11:04

I’ll archive some of the old stuff I’ve been doing at fark.com soon, but in the meantime, here’s today’s effort; a rehash of the Kentucky quarter.

You can see the competition and vote (for me!) here.

[UPDATE: After being ignored for much of the comp, I somehow ended up with 10 votes. Must be a glitch in the system…]

15:14
According to Winona Ryder’s (alleged) lawyer, the (alleged) actress’s (alleged) arrest for (alleged) shoplifting at Saks Fifth Avenue is “all a misunderstanding” (CNN). Riiight, and Mariah Carey cut herself on broken crockery. When will people learn that celebrities just can’t be trusted?

17 December 2001

11:19
George, for a movie director, you’re one heck of a visionary genius.

Click here to sign the petition for Peter Jackson to Write and Direct Star Wars Episode III.

11:25

b3ta’s latest challenge is to photoshop Jesus. I mixed mine with a classic Carol pic. Do be warned that viewing this image will *reduce* your intelligence…

[UPDATE: Hey, hey – this image made the front page of b3ta! I’d more be impressed if there was money in it, but there you go…]

12:11
I love it when an optimisation come together! While I was hoping for a little better than 7th on Google for ‘christmas cracker’, being No.1 for ‘send christmas cracker’ and ‘email christmas cracker’ is pretty cool. Being featured on SeeThru’s weblog helps, too.

12:25
Help save the the Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus!

13:18
He shoots, he scores! Thierry Henry should have hurried home after the Dec 4 match against Juventus. A burglar ransacked his house while he was still away on Dec 5, and Henry got home just in time to untie the poor housekeeper.

13:54

I’d almost forgotten that I’d taken this picture. I must remind myself to submit it to bacon before the end of the day. It does offer two childish giggles for the price of one, after all.

Oh, and yes, the Titty Ho Motor Company does have a website.

14:10
Instead of giving your partner the usual perfume or aftershave, give them a goat… erm, which World Vision will then deliver to a family in Kenya. (I know what you were thinking, you sick little puppies!)

World Vision’s ‘smiles’ site is aimed at the Australian market (where else in the world would it be acceptable to give your boss a Zambian toilet?) but if you live elsewhere and feel you must give something that doesn’t take batteries, check out the international site for World Vision or make a donation to The Human Fund.

15:17
Here’s my major farkin’ effort for today – Sofia ‘washboard’ Loren. You can see the competition and vote (for me! for me!) here.
[UPDATE: 25 votes and 3rd place for this one – and I don’t mind at all. Alienmagic’s colourisation was spot on – as was the ‘higher concept’ simplicity of Bad_CRC’s effort. Ho-hum.]

18 December 2001

10:53
See the new Spiderman trailer! (Erm, that would be the one without a big web spun between the twin towers of the World Trade Centre, I’m guessing…)

11:31
Thank Dog 2001 is almost over; it’s been a very dangerous year for celebrities. Latest to go is Stuart Adamson, lead singer and guitarist for Big Country. See a list of notables who have passed on this year here, or check out the list from the deadliest year in living memory, 1997.

15:21
So whatever did happen to Mark Edwards, who recorded the excellent album ‘Land of the Living’ in 1986? Judging by the level of design on the single covers and the quality of the videos, WEA must have thrown some money at it – but this guy just dropped of the radar and hasn’t been spotted for over a decade. Ricky Fataar had something to do with the whole project, but he doesn’t answer my emails. Perhaps this whole thing is a conspiracy to keep 80’s rock guitar off the charts?

15:31
Beta testing at Worth1000 proceeds apace. I tried to break the system with a large file, but ended up fouling it backwards by featuring the hitherto unencountered technology of GIF animation. You can see the stupid picture of an orangutan that highlighted this bug by clicking [link removed. you don’t need to see this 568KB .gif]

15:58
I’ve received two surprising unsolicited emails over a last few days, one for Sainsburys Mobile and one for Virgin Wines, and both originating from eachweek.net (who interestingly have no web presence to speak of apart from their laughably sincere privacy policy). I’ve since received a heartfelt apology from Virgin Wines that I regrettably cannot quote from here due to the confidentiality statement in the sig file – but suffice it to say that it looks like both companies were sold an opt-in mailout, but instead found that their promotional material went out to a spam list than can be bought at any disreputable website for ‘the incredibly low price of $49.99’. A symptom of cost-cutting (we can probably assume), and a lesson learned (we can only hope).

16:43
Wahey!

Crackermatic just featured on Radio 2 as their Website Of The Day. Just this morning we were noting that we were on the very cusp of exponential growth (pardon the jargon) but needed ‘that little something extra’ to push it over the edge. This oughta do it. I say again: ‘Wahey!’.

[UPDATE ON THE UPDATE: hehehe – our techie guys have already been forced to change the scale on the traffic graph to fit the new figures on the screen. They’re just about to change it again.]

19 December 2001

09:11
The ideal gift for the woman who has it all (and would like to keep it warm), Nipple Warmers made of real possum fur. Not just any old possum fur, either – this is nothing less than New Zealand Eco-Fur. Apparently brushtail possum numbers in NZ are way out of control, and the only way to keep numbers down is to use their fur to warm the nipples of the world. It’s anti-static too, which is a comforting thought.

09:48
You know those loud American car salesmen that shout at you from the TV? Imagine what their website must be like. Turn those headphones on, people – and watch out for pop-ups!

(finagled from fark.com)

12:00

Just what the world needs – a Christmas Tree Server. Yes, this Christmas tree is 100% self sufficient, in that it actually serves the web page that it features on. You can even click on links at the page to make the tree play music that only the technogeeks in the adjacent office can hear. Let’s all go there now and crash the bastard. I want to see that tree catch fire!

13:00
No wonder orcs are so hungry for hobbit flesh – they spend most of the time stoned out of their minds.

13:33
Golddiggers! Meet the man of your dreams!

15:27
More farkin’ photoshopping; this time a reworking of the devil promoting the Euro.

20 December 2001

09:44
Life wasn’t always this easy. I used to have to travel to and from London every day for work – a return journey of about 4 hours. The bulk of this time was spent on South West Trains. You can imagine how much fun this was, I’m sure. About this time last year I wrote a rather strong (and rather long) letter of complaint, which resulted in a personal reply from the MD himself, Mr Andrew Haines. Andrew turned out to be a right gent, and offered to sit down with me and talk through some of the issues at hand. When I insisted that the meeting include the dozen or so reprobates that I travelled with each day, he didn’t even blink. Andrew put in a very good showing at this meeting, and even picked up the hefty bar tab – but enough about Andrew for now, let’s get back to the aforementioned reprobates, some of whom had been making the same run (or a longer one) for decades.

While not always getting together in the morning, we would more often than not travel home as a group on the 6:15 out of London Waterloo in the carriage affectionately known as the ‘front smoker’. This was always a laugh; they’re a great bunch of blokes. They even have an annual Christmas party on the train, which I made a special trip to join last night. Trust me, there is a point to all of this, and here it comes…

When the festive and jocular Mr West described the carriage as being ‘reserved’, I honestly thought he was joking. He wasn’t.

The kindly Andrew Haines from South West Trains had directed a member of staff to rope off a section of the carriage, adorn it with the signage you see to your right, and decorate it with balloons. A typically magnificent gesture from a hardworking man. Be you a commuter or staff member with South West Trains, please do take my word for it that, despite all that has happened in the past with the trials and injustices of privatisation, the company could not be in better hands. I salute you, Mr Haines. God bless your choo-choos!

09:46
I submitted a picture to ilovebacon a few days ago – but for some reason Rob chose not to show it, and instead included a link to my site in the mail bag. That means that about 9000 fellow bacon-lovers are due to drop by today, possibly under the impression that I’ve cynically and coldheartedly plugged my own site.

Rest assured that this is not the case. Indeed, now I feel honour-bound to provide said visitors with a suitably baconesque image for their troubles, so here’s a picture of a bollard in the red-light district of Leeuwarden that looks a bit like a willy.

10:20
Crackermatic is still going gangbusters. The plug on Radio 2 got us about 15,000 cracker-senders in one day, creating a much bigger user base which is now building at a fantastic rate (yesterday, over 30,000 crackers were sent – that’s doubled use in one day). Even Americans and Canadians are sending them now, which is quite silly because most of them don’t know what the bloody hell a cracker is. So, for the benefit of our cousins across the pond, here is the history of the cracker in a nutshell.

11:03
(From a conversation started in alt.ozdebate.)

I was 16 years old and on an interstate holiday with my parents. I called my girlfriend on a public phone with a pocket-full of change to wish her a Merry Christmas. She chose that moment to dump me and tell me all about the cool surfer she was now going out with. The conversation cost me $2.40 and broke my fucking heart. That was my worst Christmas, what was yours?

16:07
Bloody hell! What a day! Busy, busy, busy. Still, I did manage to find this dynamite flash number. If you think Crackermatic is too cutesy, then this is for you.

17:00
You think you know the meaning of Christmas? Think again.

17:14
It’s been 4 years since I last travelled on a plane. I have the feeling it’ll be another 4 years before I do so again. If Spectacular Approaches doesn’t scare you enough, then perhaps you should go on to check the odds of surviving your next trip at amigoingdown.com.

21 December 2001

10:07
For Dog’s sake, children! Leave milk and cookies out for Santa by all means, but keep the champagne, sherry and malt liquor locked away in the drinks cabinet! One of these days, Santa is going to fall off a rooftop or crash his sleigh into a mountainside. You wouldn’t want the death of twelve flying reindeer on your conscience, now would you? Here’s a fun game to warn you of the evils of drink and the possible consequences for Santa. Learn the lesson well.

10:33
How quickly they forget. alt.fan.princess-diana is now the burnt-out shell of a once-great newsgroup. It seems a pity that Di never made any music when she was alive. Perhaps if she did so, then her star would still be burning bright like those of so many dearly departed recording artists.

On that note, I remain firmly convinced that if Di were alive today, then it would be she and not that fuzzy-haired bint recording ‘Something Stupid’ (and rolling around naked) with Robbie Williams. Here’s a picture to help you to come to terms with the idea.

10:57
All my life I’ve been very, very bad at playing video games – but I seem to have mastered Joust Pong in no time at all.

12:09

All hail our glorious alien masters! I got my entry for b3ta’s weekly Photoshop challenge in nice and early today. A thumbnail really doesn’t do it justice, so if you want to see the full image, click here.

12:47
It’s hard to classify this next link. A 15-year-old boy, in hospital and terminally ill with cancer, discussed his dying wish with the resident child psychologist. He wanted to have sex (not, I should stress, with the child psychologist). Was there a happy ending? Find out.

13:57
My favourite sci-fi villain, my favourite physicist and my favourite song all in one place? It seems too good to be true!








About Tim Ireland

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