18-30 March, 2002

Posted by Tim Ireland at 18 March 2002

Category: Uncategorized

This entry was posted on
Monday, March 18th, 2002
at
9:08 am and is filed
under Uncategorized.

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Date
20020318

Time
09:08
A bunch of cops were sitting around celebrating a divorce (as you do) when it was decided that some hardcore pornography might liven proceedings up. Of course, women have no place when it comes to pornography, so they decided to get rid of the one female officer who was present by making a phony ‘911’ call. The highly original fake name they used was ‘Jane Johnson’. (Sorry, that last bit is only funny to me.)

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Date
20020318

Time
09:15
This will keep you busy for a while… The Museum of Hoaxes.

They even have my personal favourite, the BBC’s Swiss Spaghetti Harvest.

I found it interesting that hoaxes are grouped in 50 year brackets, but the period 1999-2001 requires an entire category to itself. Is this what we’re going to be remembered for?

(Yet another quality link from ultimateinsult.net)

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Date
20020318
Mustard Man
Time
09:25
DAY FOUR (and a bit)

Still no joy on the muchmusic front. I may hassle them with a fax today when the boss isn’t looking.

I found this gentlemen in Usenet who uses the name ‘Mustard Man’ for trolling purposes, but it really is no substitute for the real thing.

Don’t worry, we will find Mustard Man. It’s only a matter of time.

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Date
20020318

Time
09:55
Deep in the archives of the BurningBird I found this, a short but very sweet collection of shaggy dog stories:

Shaggy Dog Stories 1

Shaggy Dog Stories 2

Shaggy Dog Stories 3

Here’s one extra from me to complete the list:

A Collection of SDS Puns

Of course, not all Shaggy Dog stories end in puns. Some of best just, well, end. My personal favourite here is the saga of Father Bear and Baby Bear, but now is not the time to tell it. I need a few drinks in me first, and it’s nowhere near midday yet.

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Date
20020318

Time
10:42
B3TA goes begging.

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Date
20020318

Time
11:44
At long last, Michael Jackson is going home.

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Date
20020318
Photoshopping
Time
13:49
Yet more attention for us Photoshopping geeks. I wish they’d stop, it only encourages us…

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Date
20020318

Time
14:07
Oh, dear God!

Could this really be the site of the web design company run by James Major?

The whois lookup checks out and there is an Emma Noble gallery stashed in the back, but surely this has to be a joke. Please tell me that it’s a joke…

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Date
20020318

Time
14:24
What did you get your Mum for Mother’s Day?

Was it anything as nice as this?

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Date
20020318

Time
15:03
Woman dates man. Finds out what he was really like via his weblog.

Not really fair, though. I mean, we’re all like that.

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Date
20020319

Time
09:35
Behold the Sock Jedi.

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Date
20020319
Another Lame Quiz
Time
09:35
Which HTML Tag Are You?

<tag>I’m it.</tag>

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Date
20020319

Time
09:44
Oh, goody – a new weblog directory to play with.

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Date
20020319

Time
09:48
Remember yesterday’s story about a guy who dated a woman smart enough to look him up in Google? I found him (and so have a few other people by the looks of things). It wasn’t quite as simple as searching ‘Joel’ ‘handjob’ ‘Library Girl’, but it was pretty easy. Personally, I think the journalist should have shown more care. The offending diary entry is here, BTW. Drop by and say hello if you like, but be nice. This kind of shaming can’t be easy to live with.

(If you’re reading this article in the bloggerheads archive, then this might be a better link for you.)

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Date
20020319
Mustard Man
Time
10:00
DAY FIVE

Still no joy on the muchmusic front. If they take more than a week to answer their email, I’m seriously considering sending an envelope stuffed with talcum powder, just to keep them on their toes.

For those of you who are sick of looking at the same picture every day (here’s a large version if you missed it) I’ve knocked together this rather obvious Photoshop of our hero. Enjoy.

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Date
20020319

Time
10:26
Mysterious Giant Fish Washes Up on Beach. Yes, there’s even a picture. I could tell you where I’ve seen weirder, but it involves an overly long cautionary tale about smoking pot before snorkelling and why it’s generally a pretty bad idea.

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Date
20020319

Time
10:57
This is cool. Somebody thinks my book makes a good promotional giveaway.

Whatever shifts them is fine with me.

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Date
20020319

Time
13:13
The original author of ‘If The World Were a Village’ is Donella H. Meadows. Just thought you should know.

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Date
20020319
Photoshopping
Time
13:23
A good Photoshop competition over at fark.com today.

You can see a larger version of my entry by clicking here.

The rest of the entries are over at fark.

You know who to vote for – get to it.

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Date
20020319
Flash Games
Time
13:44
Pegball is the mutt’s nuts. Kind of slow at first, but once you get the hang of it, you’re away.

Also, check out this great collection from the flash team over at spikything.com (‘kick-ups’ was the game that first got my attention, but you really must try ‘mutant snowmen’, it’s a great shoot-em-up).

Oh, and while we’re on the subject, the now-classic Spaced Penguin has a new home. Have fun.

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Date
20020319

Time
13:53
Watch out, bloggers and bloggettes – we’ve been rumbled.

Prepare yourselves for the invasion of the mainstream.

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Date
20020320

Time
09:06
Amuse yourself with the subtle differnce between www.tourettes.com and www.tourettes.co.uk.

(As noticed by a B3ta boarder – go there and give today.)

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Date
20020320

Time
09:08
Who could possibly deserve it more? Browse a collection of defaced Britney Spears posters.

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Date
20020320
Mustard Man
Time
09:19
DAY SIX

Damn it, I’ve just checked my email and there’s still no reply from muchmusic about the origins of Mustard Man. Someone did react to yesterday’s photoshop, however, and noticed that Mustard Man looks a little bit like Johnny Vegas.

So, here and now for your viewing pleasure, we proudly present an image with which to illustrate this rather pointless point.

More on Mustard man tomorrow. (As usual, we close with a link to a large picture of Mustard Man for those who came in late.)

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Date
20020320

Time
12:16
This london estate agent needs my help. It’s SEO man to the rescue!

(insert ‘whooshing’ sound here…)

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Date
20020320

Time
12:28
I’m a notorious keyboard basher from way back. Maybe a virtual keyboard is the solution. Or maybe not. Knowing me, all I’d end up with is bruised fingers and a dented desk surface.

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Date
20020320

Time
12:34
Making entertainment out of misery. Tune into spamradio.com today to hear speech generation technology going to waste in the most amazing and strangely satisfying way possible.

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Date
20020320

Time
12:48
Looking into my magic mirror, I notice lots of people dropping by today on the lookout for Joel of ‘handjob’ and ‘library girl’ fame/shame/etc. He’s over here and the offending diary entry is here. Be nice.

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Date
20020321

Time
09:28
Web users are stubbornly sticking to the culture of free according to this article.

*sigh*

This is going to get worse before it gets better.

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Date
20020321

Time
09:31
Cook up some popcorn and get ready to throw it at your television set – here’s a collection of videos showing every Eurovision entry since 1957 in Realplayer file or stream format. Can somebody tell me why this is necessary?

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Date
20020321

Time
09:38
And you thought spamradio was the ultimate in soullessness? Now we’ve got singing and dancing robots! I smell a novelty Christmas single in four-part harmony, I does.

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Date
20020321

Time
09:47
A very cool site about doctors. It’s all true, I tells ya!

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Date
20020321
Mustard Man
Time
10:35
DAY SEVEN

Ahahahahahahahahaha! I love this. The wonderful and talented Frank Gumola has been following the Mustard Man story, and informs us of the latest sighting, this time in the all-new N*SYNC lineup.

After 3 emails to 3 different departments, there’s still no reply from muchmusic, so no hyperlink for them today.

Feel free to send your own Mustard Man sighting in. We have to have something to do while we wait for the jobs-worths at muchmusic to get their ship together.

(As usual, we close with a link to a large picture of Mustard Man for those who came in late.)

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Date
20020321

Time
11:20
Today’s juicy conspiracy theory: those naughty NASA nobbins have been editing UFOs out of their footage.

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Date
20020321

Time
11:25
Play Spot Simon Fuller with Popbitch. Download the image of his school photo circa 1978, spot the young version of Pop Idol’s Mr Nasty and win!

[UPDATE – It’s already in the bag, sorry folks. Those trousers were a dead giveaway…)

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Date
20020321

Time
12:55
Geremino T. Ranallo, 65 and Warren G. Jacoby, 50, were convicted on a charge of disorderly conduct and fined $502 for spraying fart spray in a supermarket. Afterward, Ranallo said the judge’s decision angered him.

“I don’t want to be known as the fart guy,” he said.

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Date
20020321

Time
15:12
I spent most of my day neck-deep in HTML, but at least I had time to manage this.

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Date
20020321

Time
16:19
Damn it all to hell, they cut the red-hot lesbian love scene from the new Scooby Doo movie. There’s no reason to go and see it now…

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Date
20020322

Time
10:47
Good morning, everyone! Sorry I’m late – I received a very interesting email last night concerning one of my sites and subsequently spent most of this morning writing an article about it. Enjoy.

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Date
20020322

Time
10:50
Not surprisingly, I’m in a bit of cantankerous mood this morning, so this link from the Ultimate Insult suits me right down to the ground. Join Operation Clambake and take a stand against the Church of Scientology.

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Date
20020322

Time
10:54
I detect a bit of a theme developing today. The guy who’s been charging spammers with a $25 ‘reading fee’ just had a win in court. Hooray for him!

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Date
20020322

Time
11:25
Burglar breaks into home and steals a 9-year-old’s tooth fairy money.

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Date
20020322
Mustard Man
Time
11:31
DAY EIGHT

Today’s Mustard Man sighting comes courtesy of the excellent farker Skratch, who spotted our hero preparing to cater to the rich and famous.

No, muchmusic still haven’t replied to my many emails, so I’m left here looking like a total dope until they do.

Oh well, things could be worse. I could be grossly overweight and work in a fast food restaurant for one…

(As usual, we close with a link to a large picture of Mustard Man for those who came in late. Do feel free to send in your own sightings.)

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Date
20020322

Time
12:18
Rogi deserves a little reciprocal link love, so he does. He runs a tidy weblog, our Rogi. Go check it out.

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Date
20020322

Time
12:38
Buy a non-toxic, non-smelly dirty diaper for those moments in life when a tasteless practical joke is the only viable course of action. You may also wish to round off your online retail therapy session with the purchase of the world’s most straightforward toilet paper.

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Date
20020322

Time
12:51
Cool. Even more toilet paper.

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Date
20020322

Time
13:03
Load and loads of flashing Bush.

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Date
20020322

Time
13:08
The new picture editor at the BBC news site is a closet Photoshopper. You heard it here first.

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Date
20020322

Time
13:48
RE: that article you probably haven’t read yet:

Hmm, it seems urban75 has had to deal with similar stupidity in the past.

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Date
20020322
Google Sell-Out Leads To Downhill Slide
Time
15:35
I’ve always been a big fan of Google, but I must admit to getting an uncomfortable feeling in the pit of my stomach every time they introduce yet another sponsorship or paid placement model.

Take this example, erm, for example.

The search query is ‘child safe chat rooms’. Just take a look at the ad that appears (click the former link to see the live result if you like, but it doesn’t appear in all countries, so you may instead wish to click here for a screengrab of it).

‘Sexy chat and webcam rooms’? WTF is with that? I’m disappointed to say the least.

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Date
20020322

Time
16:04
I’ve just found a handy little tool that makes a visit to tourettes.com much more entertaining.

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Date
20020322

Time
16:15
British Library discovers it is sitting on a powder keg. Literally.

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Date
20020322

Time
16:18
OK, so sexy chat rooms aren’t all bad, but all the same….

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Date
20020322

Time
17:15
There are more Scientolgists than there are Rastafarians. What a sad world we live in.

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Date
20020325
.com vs .co.uk
Time
09:12
The inimitable Neil T would like to bring the following contrast to your attention:

www.supertramp.com

www.supertramp.co.uk

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Date
20020325

Time
09:25
Management at AOL tried to encourage its 82,000 employees to use AOL e-mail. The response was less than enthusiastic.

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Date
20020325

Time
09:28
Normally it would be easy for you to get that ‘drugged-up and couldn’t give damn rock-star’ feeling by browsing through some images of very expensive car wrecks. Sadly, none appear to have been driven into swimming pools (or thrown out of hotel windows). Most disappointing, however, is the webmaster’s assumption that you’ll be willing to pay $5 to view the site. Yet another symptom of the Big Change. It’s coming your way, children. Prepare yourselves.

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Date
20020325

Time
10:07
Amuse yourself briefly with the Homer Simpson soundboard.

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Date
20020325

Time
11:19
Search this US Driver’s License Database.

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Date
20020325
Mustard Man
Time
13:26
DAY NINE (and a bit)

Today’s Mustard Man sighting comes from Godzilla, yet another excellent farker and well-known MM fan.

Will there be another sighting tomorrow? Will muchmusic ever get back to me regarding the origins of Mustard Man? Only time will tell.

(As usual, we close with a link to a large picture of Mustard Man for those who came in late. Do feel free to send in your own sightings.)

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Date
20020325

Time
14:26
A great collection of Spaceman Spiff games and comics (if you have to ask, you don’t deserve to know).

This link arrived at what is hopefully the end of a totally spiffed-out day at Fark.com (again, if you have to ask…)

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Date
20020325

Time
15:21
A weblog that watches Google.

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Date
20020325

Time
15:33
I lost some parts watching Lego Troopers.

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Date
20020325

Time
15:42
I remember once upon a time, when I wanted to make the FAQ for uk.local.london as (ahem) ‘useful’ as possible, I ran it through AltaVista’s Babelfish into French, then German, then back into English to get that authentic ‘Frangalis’ touch. If only the Multibabel facility had existed back then. I could have saved myself an entire 20 minutes on this pointless exercise. Go check it out. Play Chinese Whispers with yourself. It’s perfectly harmless, and you won’t go blind, I promise.

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Date
20020325
Advance Warning: Light Bloggage Ahead
Time
16:51
I’m off to north Woop Woop for one of those tedious meeting things for almost all of tomorrow, and even though I hope to be back for a big’un on Wednesday, be aware that Jesus Weekend starts on Friday (and I may even take off a day early if I’m in the mood to do so). You have been warned.

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Date
20020326

Time
09:33
I’m off to a meeting that will probably take up most of my day today, but I woke up this morning with the final piece of the puzzle for my upcoming novel (I hear you laughing, you bastards!) and I’m trying to keep my mind off it so I can focus on the task at hand.

So, to get the whole thing out of my system and keep you entertained on this day of light bloggage, I present to you one very short story.

I read all kinds of things, but my favourite genre by far is ‘Golden Age’ Science Fiction. Some of the writing in this period dealt less with space ships & aliens and more with what could best be described as ‘storytelling sleight of hand’ – precluding (and indeed inspiring) television shows such as The Twilight Zone, The Outer Limits, etc. etc. etc.

The true art of this discipline lay in changing the entire aspect of the story with its final sentence. Achieving this with the final word was the ultimate challenge, as was linking this with the title of the story to create a double-whammy of sorts.

The short story To Serve Man by Damon Knight is not only the finest example of this sub-genre, it was also adapted for television by Rod Serling, went on to become the most popular Twilight Zone episode ever, and even had the piss taken out of it in The Simpsons. Two Stars is an open tribute not only to the structure of this SF classic, but also its central device.

Enjoy:

TWO STARS

By Tim Ireland

It was to be mankind’s greatest moment. The aliens had landed only months before and here we were being presented, as promised, with our guide to the universe. Ambassadors, dignitaries and a team of specially prepared translators watched the sky, awaiting the robotic shuttle that would deliver our key to the stars.

As the deadline grew closer, conversations were struck up here and there in an unconscious attempt to relieve tension and allay nerves. Soon an active discussion was underway, focusing primarily on what should be regarded as the highlight of the aliens’ visit.

The French ambassador insisted that the combination of the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower and the Palace of Versailles was enough to stagger anyone’s senses, and swore that he saw one of the aliens draw a sharp breath at the sight of Mont St Michel.

The representative from Australia snorted, suggesting this may have been due to the stench of low tide at the time. Ignoring looks of death from the French, he then went on to describe at great length the natural wonders found only in Australia, including its unique fauna, the Great Barrier Reef and Uluru. Mentioning also how taken the visitors were with the beauty of the surrounding islands, he closed by magnanimously declaring the entire South Pacific region to be the most impressive leg of the tour.

An Egyptian delegate babbled on about the wonders of the Sphinx and the Pyramids, only to be shouted down by the Chinese who insisted the Great Wall and Forbidden City were greater in size and beauty. The Indian Prime Minister had tears in his eyes as he related (yet again) the romantic story behind the Taj Mahal, and all the while the Americans interjected with Grand Canyon this and Mount Rushmore that.

It came dangerously close to resembling a brawl when the shuttle finally arrived. An odd hush fell over the gathering as the module opened. The Chief Translator reverently removed the long awaited book and hustled into the conference room with his team in tow.

The arguments had just started afresh when the team emerged from the room barely two minutes after going in. The Chief Translator hushed the crowd with a gesture and held the book aloft.

“Gentlemen, our guide to the universe…” he drew breath as if steeling himself, “…our ‘guide to the universe’ is a tourist brochure.”

“And what’s more” he added, “the little bastards only gave us two stars!”

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Date
20020327

Time
09:15
Is this maybe the one time of the year that someone actually manages to drag you into a church? Why not liven up proceedings by standing up during the service and reading out a few choice excerpts from the The Skeptic’s Annotated Bible?

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Date
20020327

Time
09:18
The British Conservative Catholics were formed ‘to counter the many sinister forces that are pitted against us, especially the Atheist Movement and the agents of Satan’. Drop by and say hello.

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Date
20020327

Time
09:22
A chap named Lucas Patrick walked into his local police headquarters last Wednesday and announced he was Jesus Christ. He then led officers to 16 bags of crack cocaine in his vehicle and told them they’d earn “salvation” by arresting him on drug charges.

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Date
20020327

Time
09:43
An oldie but a goodie – Inspirational Sport Statues.

Jesus wants me for his sports team.

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Date
20020327

Time
10:17
Black Jesus Picture Collection. Ridiculous. Everybody knows that Jesus was Anglo-Saxon.

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Date
20020327

Time
10:41
“During your times of trial and suffering, when you see only one set of footprints, it was then that I was riding the pogostick.” Heh. Cute, but only momentarily distracting. OK, here’s one that’ll keep you busy for a while. Check out jesusoftheweek.com!

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Date
20020327

Time
10:46
Now you really can get a hole lot more out of life.

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Date
20020327

Time
11:42
Become an ordained minister in less than 3 minutes and start your own ministry or church of any faith or religion. I did this a couple of years ago and haven’t looked back since. Chicks dig the uniform, y’see…

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Date
20020327

Time
11:45
shoesofthefisherman.com offers sandals that imprint the words ‘Jesus Loves You’ into the sand as you stroll about on the beach (presumably on the lookout for bikini-clad women in need of salvation). Interesting, BTW, that they feel the need to point out so prominently that the sandals are ‘made in Taiwan in a clean, Christian-owned factory that employs adult Christian workers that are paid a living wage’.

When I saw this site for the first time a couple of years ago, I came up with the brilliant idea of an alternative pair of sandals that imprinted the words; ‘Everyone Else Thinks You’re a C**t’. Unfortunately, my brilliant plan fell through – as sandals with this much text on the soles would only have been available in sizes 18 and above.

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Date
20020327

Time
11:59
These people believe that if Jesus were alive today, he would be a vegetarian. (Hang on, Jesus is alive today, isn’t he?) If that isn’t enough to float your boat, try instead this company that markets food made only from ingredients mentioned in the Bible. The Bible Bar is by far their best product, helping you as it does to (impending pun warning) work, rest and pray.

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Date
20020327

Time
14:11
For over thirty years, Jack Chick has been producing those small Christian comic books that get thrust into your hand by smug, self-satisfied witnessing types. This chap seems to think that it’s a bad thing. Personally, I think it’s great that a porn-obsessed child molester can find salvation within 40 frames. It’s also good to see issues like homosexuality and sexually transmitted disease dealt with in such a balanced and practical way. Who cares if it burns when you pee? You’ve got Jesus!

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Date
20020327

Time
14:59
Adult Christianity has a bunch of stuff stashed throughout the site, and waaaay too many features and benefits to list here (they even have their own versions of Chick tracts. Start with the XXX Bible and work your way down to hell from there. (Oh, there’s more naughty Bible passages here.)

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Date
20020327

Time
15:09
The Bible Gateway allows you to search multiple versions of the Bible in nine different languages. Big deal. The Unbound Bible has 10 English versions, Greek and Hebrew Versions (the original Bible languages), 4 ancient versions and 42 versions in other languages. So there. (Oops, just found another collection of rude bits…)

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Date
20020327
Instant Jesus
Time
15:17
Ask Jesus a question. Go to the Chestnut Cafe and follow the link to ‘Get Jesus Now’. Accept the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour with one click, see Him looking over your shoulder, dress Him as you please, see Him wink, or simply pray to the guy and see what happens. If you don’t get what you pray for, you can always buy it with your Jesus Card. Don’t leave church without it!

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Date
20020327

Time
15:31
Mulder and Scully investigate the disappearance if a certain body.

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Date
20020327

Time
15:39
divine-interventions.com offer all sorts of (ahem) intimate products that allow you to make a religious statement that would make Linda Blair blush. Choose from the Diving Nun, the Jackhammer Jesus, the Baby Jesus Buttplug and more. Eurgh. Excuse me while I pop off to cleanse myself and confess.

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Date
20020327

Time
15:57
Oh goody, now the Bibleman collection features a special Bibleman Jr. video, so concerned parents can drum the Christian message into kiddies at an even more malleable age. I preferred Willie Aames when he was a notorious teenage breast grabber in movies like Zapped! and Paradise. Hell, even the return of Charles in Charge would be preferable to this disgraceful brainwashing.

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Date
20020327

Time
16:15
Motor Cross 30AD – Christ on a Bike. The title is better that the page, I must admit. This was actually one of the first web pages I built with my own two little hands, and boy does it show. Still, nearly 5 years on it still pulls in the punters. Why change it?

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Date
20020327

Time
16:45
A lot of people are going to view these links over the weekend and wonder where I stand with regards to religion. Well, it’s a highly personal question but I’ll comply just this once.

I think that I can best be described as an eclectic agnostic.

I was born a Presbyterian, attended the Uniting Church, went to a Baptist Sunday School (it was just across the road) and lived in a largely Roman Catholic area when I was a little bit older. Heck, I even scammed a few free wafers while I was in the neighbourhood. I became involved in Christian groups like Interact when I was a teenager, got married in a C of E church and even have a friendly word or two for the local vicar when we pass on the street.

So where did they lose me?

I’m still wondering that myself, but on this day in particular I’m reminded of a certain Sunday School lesson at the aforementioned Baptist church. The same teacher who maintained that men have two less ribs than women was teaching us about Easter. Easter Eggs, she said, were representative of Christ’s tomb, in you open them on Easter Sunday and lo-and-behold they’re empty. Praise Jesus! She then went on to inform us that eggs with Smarties or other such sweets inside were therefore an abomination. I’m not sure how those little solid eggs or milk chocolate bunnies work into this theory, but at the tender age of six I didn’t think to ask. I was too busy trying to look up her dress.

Enjoy the links, and have a good weekend.

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Date
20020330

Time
21:16
Yes she is. No I don’t.

Quote Of The Day

An old lady (who, presumably, had been convinced weeks or months ago to relate a version of her memories of the Queen Mum in the past tense), referring to the blitz visits as follows:

“Oh, she were grand. She condescended to come down and meet us, she did.”








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