16-30 September, 2002

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Date
20020916
Blogwatch
Time
10:10
The Daypop drought continues. The reason for the disturbance? It ran out of disk space.

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Date
20020916
Can Weblogs…?
Time
10:13
As I suspected, no-one gives a toss about about our little train problem – so I’m having a quiet little think about what to do next. Bear with me – or get on the blower and make a suggestion.

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Date
20020916

Time
10:19
You’re sitting in a riverside restaurant. A boat arrives carrying a naked man, who begins to yell before pausing for a quick dump on nearby rocks. When the Harbourmaster objects, he reacts by wrapping himself in cling film and babbling about a ‘survival suit’.

And people are surprised?

It should be obvious the man pulled up at a restaurant because he ran out of aluminium foil. If any of the dimwit waiters had realised this and thrown him one of those swan-shaped leftover trays upon arrival, he would have left without a fuss and shat on somebody else’s rocks.

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Date
20020916

Time
10:26
Just what the world needs: a BDSM bed and breakfast. Be warned that the site has two main barriers at the front where they wish to make absolutely sure that you are an adult and not easily offended before allowing you to proceed – but once you’re inside it’s all sweetness and light.

From the FAQ:

If we don’t understand how to use some of the equipment, will you help us?

Yes. We don’t want you to get hurt. Just understand that we will help you and then leave. We are not going to interrupt your time with that special someone.

Can I have an extra egg with breakfast?

Yes, but you’ll have to pay a surcharge.

(OK, so I made that last one up…)

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Date
20020916
It Had To Happen
Time
10:35
Homeless guy runs blog. Becomes famous. Acts surprised.

To answer those two question you have:

1. He posts from the local public library.

2. No, he hasn’t asked anyone for money – but he’s not stupid, either:

“If you check through my blog you will notice that I have not made any pitch for donations. And as a homeless person, I have never asked for money from other people. Yet I have never refused money that people have offered. At the time of this post I have only recieved two ten dollar donations. I currently have no clean clothes and will use part of this money to do laundry. I also have a bad case of athletes foot, so the rest will go for medication. If you’ve every bought the stuff, you’ll know that foot creams are expensive.”

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Date
20020916

Time
11:00
Seen in The Guardian this morning and immediately submitted to Viz’s fabulous ‘Up The Arse Corner’ — –>

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Date
20020916

Time
11:05
B3ta is down this morning. Damn. And here’s me with a kitten picture just waiting for an audience.

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Date
20020916
Universal Church of the Interactive Network
Time
11:10
Emoticon actually predates ‘original’ found and hijacked by Microsoft.

*Phew* – well, no need for the fully armed crusade, then.

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Date
20020916

Time
13:10
B3ta is back up. Just in time for lunch. Yay!

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Date
20020916

Time
15:27
Those of you who listened to my drunken ramblings on Saturday (you know who you are) will know why I was on the lookout for a custom stamp today. I just found this nice chappie offering one-off free samples, P&P only.

I’ll give a customer review when my stamp arrives – erm, and also maybe let the rest of you know what I’m up to.

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Date
20020917

Time
10:07
Ho-hum. A work-heavy day today will result in low bloggage. I also have to plow through the suggestions you sent in for Can Weblogs….?. Squidboy’s multi-suggestion email alone will take me about 20 minutes to read in full – but I did spot one in there straight away that shows great potential:

‘Can Weblogs Change Government Policy?’

That noise you hear is gears grinding away in my brain.

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Date
20020917
Christianity Watch
Time
10:27
Keep your hands above the covers.

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Date
20020917

Time
10:29
Woo-hoo! Top 10, and in the running for a free flight from Cheapflights!

Write a caption for this little image what I done made and you’re in the running, too.

The prize list includes pairs of tickets to New York, Paris, Barcelona, Dubai, Johannesburg, Havana, Rome and Guadeloupe.

Guadelope?

Ah, yes. Here it is. Population 431,170, main export bananas. Sounds nice.

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Date
20020917

Time
14:44
Buy a CD for a buck. A buck.

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Date
20020918

Time
10:27
Good morning, everyone.

I have to head into an important meeting right now, but I will be back for bloggage later.

In the meantime, I have good news.

The latest ‘Can Weblogs…?’ project is ready to roll – and it’s a cracker:

Can Weblogs Make a Politician Keep a Promise?

Thanks again to Squidboy for the prompt.

Oh, and just quickly – I still need you to submit captions for this, my entry over at Cheapflights. If I win, it’s going to be a toss-up between New York and Guadeloupe. If, by the way, anyone has actually been to Guadeloupe, please let me know what it’s like and how tasty the bananas are.

Cheers.

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Date
20020918

Time
13:11
It begins…

Bloggage rolling in already from:

http://www.funjunkie.co.uk

http://www.mba-experience.com

http://www.bbspot.com

…and so far no reports of major spelling mistakes (I wrote it in the train on the way to work on an ancient Mac with no spill chucker). Oh, and Martin wishes to claim any credit for coverage I get at the Newcastle Evening Chronicle. It’s a start, I suppose.

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Date
20020918

Time
13:35
Forget the kittens, here comes crashbonsai.com

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Date
20020918

Time
13:36
Tera Patrick is in town and the Mayor doesn’t want to talk about it?

C’mon…

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Date
20020918

Time
13:38
What a waste of a prime domain name. Trawl through the highly unlikely and mostly unfunny stunts at prank.org if you must, but don’t say I didn’t warn you.

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Date
20020918

Time
13:43
Virgin Atlantic Airways has to replace the baby-changing tables in their planes because budding mile-high club members keep breaking them. It’s a baby-changing table, people, not a baby-making table. Tch!

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Date
20020918

Time
13:48
See Willard Scott as Ronald McDonald in the first three commercials of this kind. I got over wondering what the weather was like in McDonaldland after I saw how shamelessly these ads shove burgers down kid’s throats. Now I’m wondering how many ‘lovely old dears’ over there actually make it to 109, what with all the bowel cancer, heart disease and all.

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Date
20020918
One Of Our Planes Is Missing
Time
13:57
Well, actually, it’s only 3 minutes on the cockpit voice recorder for Flight 93 that’s missing, but it’s enough to raise the same old whispers, such as maybe the gap is there because it formerly contained the words:

“Targeting us? What do you mean, you’re targeting us?”

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Date
20020918
Notthatthere’sanythingwrongwiththat
Time
15:15
Dmoz duty has its moments sometimes. The Guildford Area Gay Society features its glorious acronym in the URL: www.gags.org.uk

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Date
20020918

Time
15:52
The U.S. Department of Education is overhauling its site ‘to make it easier to use and to remove outdated data’, but also destined for the memory hole just every scrap of information that doesn’t gel with the Bush administration’s political philosophy.

You all know I’ve been trying to avoid references to Nineteen Eighty-Four, but FFS, George Jnr. is not making it easy. *sigh* Oh well, at least he has accessible email address.

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Date
20020919

Time
10:00
Avast, ye swabs, today be International Talk Like a Pirate Day.

Discover ye pirate name and expand ye vocabulary, says I.

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Date
20020919

Time
10:03
New Scientist is running a competition with a top-notch first prize – immortality (erm, or a trip to Hawaii).

Basically, if you win (and choose immortality) teams will be on standby to cryogenically freeze you to arrest decay. In the future, as we all know, everyone runs around in silver jumpsuits and little things like death are easy to cure.

Pretty cool, but two problems that I see are:

1. The prize should include a wad of cash held in a trust fund, otherwise you’ll wake up with no money and won’t be able to afford a flying car.

2. What happens if you die by falling under a bus – or into a liquidiser?

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Date
20020919
Riding High on Blogdex
Time
10:47
Teen anarchist sues school principal and pictureyourself.org, bringing us ever closer to the rectal vanishing point.

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Date
20020919

Time
11:53
Remember folks, I still need your caption entries for this picture and I still need to hear from anybody who’s actually been to Guadeloupe.

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Date
20020919

Time
14:05
Tumbling Woman is a sculpture depicting a naked woman, limbs flailing and face freaked out, at the exact moment her head smacks into the pavement following a leap from the flaming WTC. Funnily enough, it’s drawing more than a few complaints.

(New link includes picture.)

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Date
20020919

Time
14:20
Enjoy the Elmer Fudd version of Google.

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Date
20020919

Time
14:21
What a cool pencil sharper. I want one.

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Date
20020919

Time
16:08
We close today as we began, with pirates. More specifically, with the Bearded Lesbianic Amazon Pirates (of the South Seas).

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Date
20020920

Time
09:56
Great, so now bloggerheads is evil?

When did that happen?

(Link via ultimateinsult.net)

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Date
20020920

Time
10:04
The teens over at fatnats.com don’t mind being fat. In fact, they aspire to it and even have hints and tips on ‘gaining’. The logo makes sense, then.

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Date
20020920

Time
10:07
The statue of the woman falling from the WTC has been covered up. Insert Flight 93 joke here.

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Date
20020920
I Want One
Time
10:09
Visit spudtech.com, ‘home of the world’s most advanced hand held laser-guided bolt-action aluminum SP9004 potato rifle’ – now with rifled barrels for improved accuracy.

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Date
20020920
Weblog Marketing
Time
10:40
It’s been on the loose for about a month now, but it wasn’t until it featured at evhead.com that WTF is Weblog Marketing? finally spread to a number of personal and business blogs. Thanks to everyone for their kind bloggage. Here’s hoping that it does some good.

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Date
20020920

Time
13:01
Live life on the edge – play P45 roulette. Gather the workmates around, take turns clicking and see who’s first to get fired. (NSFW, obviously…)

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Date
20020920

Time
13:37
Heh. There’s a new version of the Nigerian Email Scam targeted directly at bloggers. Keep an eye out for it.

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Date
20020920

Time
13:47
Alisa really likes dressing up, but she watches far too much anime for my liking. Supergirl is cool, though. I likes a bit of proto-matter, I does.

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Date
20020920

Time
14:08
Last chance to get your captions in, folks.

I wanna go to Guadeloupe!

I wanna go to Guadeloupe!

I wanna go to Guadeloupe!

I wanna go to Guadeloupe!

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Date
20020920

Time
14:42
Ooooooooooooooh.

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

Waste a few moments with some pretty fireworks.

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Date
20020920

Time
15:41
Oooh, lookie – it’s an ugly Princess Di doll. Oops, and here’s another one.

Argh! Here’s a really, really big one and there’s heaps of them in here.

What is wrong with these people?

What’s so wrong with me, that I stop looking?

Arrrrgh! Paper dress-em-up Dianas!!!

This madness stops now. I’m walking away from my computer and not coming back until Monday.

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Date
20020923

Time
09:51
It’s always amused me that the tabloid boys show tits! tits! tits! from cover to cover (even in the comics), but use asterisks for even the most inoffensive words such as w****er. The Guardian has no such problem, and has even taken the time today to attempt to explain its complex, yet flexible policy on the subject.

“In the year up to {1998} there had been more than 400 pieces in the Guardian in which the word fuck or fucking appeared. In the same period there were 28 references to cunt: the word, in fact, occurs more frequently in the Guardian than in any other newspaper on earth.”

I can’t help but suspect that the ease which with these choice words can be spelled is sure to be pointed out in the next issue of Private Eye.

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Date
20020923

Time
10:18
Filming up women’s skirts legal in Seattle. Now there’s an industry just waiting to happen.

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Date
20020923

Time
10:34
Are you a Star Wars fan or and Elvis fan?

No, it’s not another lame quiz – just if you’re either or both you might enjoy this.

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Date
20020923

Time
10:50
It’s the anarchist scavenger hunt!

Break a McDonald’s window, get 300 points. Puncture a Washington D.C. police car tire to win 75 points. Score 400 points for a pie in the face of a corporate executive or World Bank delegate.

Of course, if you’re a real anarchist, tallying up points (or taking part in any organised competition for that matter) goes against your nature.

Once, and I swear this is true, a Sydney outfit held a public meeting for wannabe anarchists with a ‘bring your own plate’ policy. Everybody who turned up with a meal/snack was turned away. They might have made their point, but according to the journalists outside, they missed out on some mighty fine hummus and at least three plates of fairy bread.

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Date
20020923

Time
13:55
Don’t ask ‘why?’ – it just complicates matters.

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Date
20020924

Time
09:52
Bummer. There don’t seem to be any results in Scoot for ‘hitman’ orcontract killer‘.

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Date
20020924
Riding High on Blogdex
Time
09:54
Lego figures rolling and smoking dope. Patience is required, as the server for this site is taking quite a hammering.

Also doing well is this fetish map.

It has to be noted that both of these featured on B3ta days ago. Could B3ta be a key to Blogdex success?

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Date
20020924

Time
09:56
Fat teens sue McDonalds. Kids ‘just can’t resist those happy meals’, says one case adviser.

Hmm, maybe this is why:

A fast-food worker has been arrested on suspicion of selling marijuana through the drive-up window.

Oooooh, déjà vu.

Oh, and the Dutch have plans to do it properly.

Just remember, kids – drugs are bad, m’kay?

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Date
20020924

Time
10:21
Hmm. What amuses me here is the wording, which suggests that this threesome (in every sense of the word), weren’t actually arrested for having sex on a train, but instead for refusing to stop.

In the good old days, there used to be a bucket of cold water in every carriage to stop this kind of thing happening. No, really.

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Date
20020924
OK, So I’m a Star Wars Geek
Time
12:29
Waste a few minutes with this wonderful lightsaber emulator.

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Date
20020924

Time
13:05
As usual, it does you little good to ask “Why?” – but if you’re getting tired of the whole “It’s a Trap!” thing, then you may want to check out these alternative phrases from the Lucas community.

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Date
20020924
We have a winner!
Time
14:10
Yeeeeeeeeeeeee-hah!

Get in there!

I’m going to Guadeloupe!

I’m going to Guadeloupe!

I’m going to Guadeloupe!

Oops, I should have read the rules and regs a little closer. I can choose from New York, Barcelona, Dubai, Rome, Havana, Paris or Johannesburg. Guadeloupe is the main prize – but I’m still in the draw for that in about 6 weeks time.

I may be going to Guadeloupe!

I may be going to Guadeloupe!

I may be going to Guadeloupe!

Right now, I can ‘only’ choose from New York, Barcelona, Dubai, Rome, Havana, Paris or Johannesburg.

I say again: Yeeeeeeeeeeeee-hah!

This couldn’t have happened at a better time. Life has sucked on quite a few levels lately and I could really do with a break.

Ahhhh, happiness, you are finally (albeit temporarily) in my grasp once more.

I’ll write more later when I can resist the urge to dance around singing ‘We Are The Champions’. It makes typing difficult, y’see.

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Date
20020925

Time
07:02
Oxford, today – and little bloggage.

Sorry about that.

Here’s Elvis on a Landspeeder.

It’s not much, but it should be enough to keep you going.

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Date
20020925

Time
15:33
Sorry, I’m still busy. Why don’t you play with some fridge magnets while you’re waiting?

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Date
20020925

Time
17:01
When Bloggers Commit Journalism.

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Date
20020925

Time
21:55
Hmmm. I just got home to check my email (long day, long way) and I’m disturbed to note that no-one’s written in yelling and screaming that they’d won the Cheapflights caption thingy. I’m kind of bummed out about that given the effort you guys put in to add to the pixie dust, but I am happy to say that I’m pretty much settled on a trip to NYC, even though Andy and Mich make a good case for heading to South Africa for the eclipse on December 4th.

Hmmm.

Tempting.

Oh, bugger.

Why must you people complicate things?

I mean, really.

*sigh*

OK, if you live in – or know of anything interesting going on in – New York, Barcelona, Dubai, Rome, Havana, Paris or Johannesburg in the next 6 months (it may just be me and the missus, but we might also be able to stretch enough to take the sprogs along) then for Dog’s sake pipe up now, while I’m still in a state of mental confusion.

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Date
20020926

Time
09:45
The results are in for the Guardian’s Best British Blog competition. The criteria suggests that Bloggerheads missed out on a gong due to a central lack of porpoise.

Story of my life, really – as is forever remaining in the lower division of the top 10%.

It’s kind of like living next to a biscuit factory. You can see it, you can smell it. Often, you can almost taste it. But actually biting into it is a pretty rare treat.

Dunking, of course, is completely out of the question.

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Date
20020926
Riding High on Blogdex
Time
09:57
One victim of the Nigerian email scam.

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Date
20020926

Time
10:00
It was interesting yesterday to watch every single tabloid ‘showbiz’ column run a completely different story about Britney Spears – each of which was based on old news at best (when, of course, they weren’t arguing for or against war on Iraq like two drunks in a pub).

Obviously, the copy was there to justify running this same image of Britney Spears smuggling peanuts, but only the grubby Daily Sport had the honesty to go front page with the ‘Phwoarrr!’ angle. I was, however, disappointed that aforementioned rag stopped short of running a decent red-blooded headline such as ‘NIPS LIKE BULLETS’.

For shame.

Actually, now we’re on the subject, something’s been nagging at me lately.

The increasing attempts by tabloids to dig up more and more celeb gossip have resulted in a disturbing culture of ‘information sharing’ led by this sad collection of nobodies (who actually have the temerity to shame anyone merely for the ‘disgrace’ of being classified in the B to Z class).

For the main gossip-mongers, one page has spread to two – and in many cases a tabloid will have up to three separate sections of celebrity scandal. Daily.

Talk about pressure.

Apart from scouring the Popbitch board for wicked whispers, there’s only so much a team can do in a day, which is why they resort to pleas like:

“Have you seen a celebrity? Give us a call and help us add to the inches!”

I can’t help but wonder how many potential stalkers get their first taste of fame – and blood – in this manner.

I’m not going to mount my high horse and ride off into the sunset about it, but I would like to note for the record that it’s not a healthy thing to propagate.

UPDATE – You may as well read tomorrow’s big story today.

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Date
20020926

Time
10:13
Menspantys.com – ‘because men deserve nice undies, too’. Oh dear.

Fans of Seinfeld will want to head straight for the bra section. It’s very uplifting.

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Date
20020926

Time
11:43
Elvis Presley in Underwear. You know you want it.

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Date
20020926

Time
12:43


More ‘Elvis in Movies’ for you. The one on the right should be obvious, as should the one below, which is a bit big for blog display:

“Jabba! This is your last chance. Free us, or die (uh-huh).”

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Date
20020927
Riding High on Blogdex
Time
10:06
The results of the Guardian’s Best British Blog Competition, obviously. Also, file sharing up-and-comers Kazza going nerny-nerny-ner-ner.

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Date
20020927

Time
10:09
As noted at The Ultimate Insult, it’s sooo last Tuesday – but we simply cannot allow elitism to keep you from hearing and/or seeing George Dubya Bush fumbling through the ‘fool me once’ truism.

Remember, you too can be this eloquent.

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Date
20020927

Time
10:17
Girl who objects to dissection kicked out of class, then allowed to return to perfom procedure on computer simulation. She’ll probably want to steer clear of Romania. They do things for real there.

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Date
20020927

Time
10:21
Couldn’t agree more.

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Date
20020927

Time
10:22
A very long Fark thread debating which movie was the worst of the 80′s.

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Date
20020927

Time
10:26
Have you noticed that every time there’s a Tube strike we also have to put up with an extremely snotty attitude from drivers and guards on all the other transport networks? That goes for bus drivers, too.

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Date
20020927

Time
12:15
More Elvis movie joy for you. I think I’ve gone off Star Wars for a bit, but you never know.

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Date
20020930

Time
09:48
Bugger. With everything else going on this week, I completely forgot about the British Mascot Grand National.

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Date
20020930

Time
09:55
Mother shoots son with pellet gun when he refuses to come down from tree. It works for cats, too.

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Date
20020930
Yet Another Lame Quiz
Time
09:57
Which smiley (emoticon) are you?

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Date
20020930

Time
10:16
Lego has released an official (and I must say very impressive) model of the Imperial Star Destroyer.

Traffic at Lugjam has soared as a result. Why? Because my little site outperforms theirs for the core search query in Google. But can I get them to return my calls?

Can I, bunnies!

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Date
20020930
Notthatthere’sanythingwrongwiththat
Time
10:28
I w-w-w-want to s-s-s-suck your c-c-c-

(Link via ultimateinsult.net)

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Date
20020930

Time
11:05
Go on, be honest – did ever really think he had it in him?

(Or that Edwina had in her, for that matter?)

[UPDATE - Woo! Yay! My little animation (left) just graduated to the front page over at B3ta.]

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Date
20020930

Time
11:31
Pay a visit to Jon “Bermuda” Schwartz (he’s been the drummer for “Weird Al” Yankovic since 1980, dontchaknow).

If this excites you, then pop over to drumheads.org where they’ve got Pt. 2 of a great interview with the man on the front page. (Pt. 1 is stashed here.)

If you couldn’t care less, then Rock & Roll lies is sure to amuse you regardless.

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Date
20020930

Time
14:18
Tony Blair’s two-week deadline is about to pass.

If I don’t hear from his office by Wednesday, I’ll start deleting emails.

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Date
20020930
Universal Church of the Interactive Network
Time
14:41
Some increasingly generic results are coming through lately. That’s us at No. 3 for ‘religion prayer’.

Of course, the Holy Grail is the top search result in Google for plain old ‘religion’. We’re getting there. You may remember at the beginning of August we were the 251st (up from 300th or so the month before that). We are now 144th and climbing.

Get out there and testify, people!

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Date
20020930

Time
15:52
Cool, two front-pagers at B3ta in one day. Of course, I’d probably be happier if I actually had a life or something.

02-15 September, 2002

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Date
20020902
Flash Stupidity
Time
10:01
Punk kittens. Proving yet again that web users admire higher concepts and professional execution of same.

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Date
20020902

Time
10:04
Stupid pen tricks.

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Date
20020902
It Had To Happen
Time
10:05
WTC memorial ideas submitted by the public. All pretty banal. Personally, I prefer my own idea of two giant lava lamps.

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Date
20020902

Time
10:09
The adventures of Maritess, ‘the Filipina maid who cleans up Justice League Headquarters’ – including, we can assume, the numerous animal messes and liquid spills generated by those loveable Wonder Twins.

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Date
20020902
Photoshopping
Time
10:15
I tip my hat to the creator of this beautiful hoax. The offending item also features in this excellent entry from a recent Fark thread.

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Date
20020902

Time
10:17
Man sends bomb disguised as gift to ex-girlfriend. She twigged when she recognised his handwriting. And then a few protuding wires. Not a moment I’d forget in a hurry.

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Date
20020902

Time
10:26
What are the hot topics in the weblogging community today?

More to the point – why are they all ‘Untitled’ today?

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Date
20020902
Department of ‘I Told You So’
Time
10:28
It’s Just Porn, Mum is getting a lot of radio play, despite recent assertions that this would never, ever happen. Roll on Jpeg Baby

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Date
20020902
LOTR
Time
10:33
Pirate version of ‘Two Towers’ leaked onto Internet 4 months ahead of release. Allegedly. Do yourself a favour and wait for cinema release.

1. This claim is bogus. Searching for the file is a waste of time.

2. It’s a big screen movie. Watching any kind of pirate copy ahead of seeing it a cinema would most likely ruin the experience for you.

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Date
20020903

Time
09:33
Is it just me, or are Daypop and Blogdex both showing increased signs of strain?

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Date
20020903
Flash Thingies
Time
09:35
You may want to drop by zombo.com and ready your mind first, but once it is open, treat it to this little trip. Be sure to explore, but do so in small quantities, or you could end up like this.

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Date
20020903

Time
09:42
Little Brendan Thompson (5) has an ‘aggressive cancer that is no longer responding to treatment’. He’s not expected to make it to his favourite holiday, Halloween – so his friends, family and neighbours all joined in for an early celebration. Brendan went dressed as the Grim Reaper.

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Date
20020903

Time
09:49
Enjoy a new dance every day with -thedanceman-

Ah, such youthful exuberance. It warms the heart.

There used to be a guy who did this with his mates every Friday, but I’m damned if I can find the site or a shortcut to it in my eeeeeeeeeeeeeenormous Favourites collection.

Still, I did find this: Concordances of Great Books (see, it’s got the word ‘dance’ in it, that Page Title does). The site is by no means a pretty affair, but it’s very powerful – and great for looking up rude words in works by the masters.

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Date
20020903

Time
10:15
A 37-year-old Belgian is appearing in court after hiring out his 11 year old daughter as a prostitute. ‘Clients’ of the young girl included the family doctor, the village lumberjack, the car repair man and the owner of the village antique-shop.

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Date
20020903

Time
10:31
Thanks go to Joe for bringing this one to my attention. A neat little whisper/word virus with a clear message hidden in a seemingly harmless warning sticker. The timing for this link is also pretty good when you consider how successfully the oil-producers maintained a chokehold on the recent Earth Summit.

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Date
20020903
Yet Another Lame Quiz
Time
10:56
And yet another botched commercial attempt, this one for L.A. Fitness, a quiz to help you determine how much sex you would need to burn up the calories in a hot dog or kebab.

1. It’s in Flash

2. Email recommendation only, no ‘link to quiz with results’ function

3. Not that this would help any, as the quiz is hosted at a new URL, not the main site

*sigh*

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Date
20020903

Time
11:22
Visit itconsulting.co.uk for all your web design needs. You can see some of their excellent work at www.horse-web.com, which appears to be their only paying client at present. Oh, wait. Looking closer at the front page I see that they work for free on ‘Horse/Equine related activities’.

OK, who wants a horsie site?

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Date
20020904
Department of ‘I Told You So’
Time
09:37
Announced today: “Blogdex is currently undergoing some much needed repairs.”

Heh.

Oh, and charting well today: gay robots.

I always had my suspicions about Rosie from The Jetsons

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Date
20020904

Time
09:41
8-year-old foster child steals pickup truck to visit family. When pulled over, he was topping 80mph.

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Date
20020904
Random Ideas
Time
09:55
I don’t know about you, but I’m sick to death of being confronted by bucket-wielding guilt merchants. At their best, they simply stand in high traffic areas and get in the way. Some might even be naughty enough to shake their change-tins at you. At their worst, they get on the train and loudly announce what a good cause they work for before going through the carriage to collect money.

I’m tempted to set up my own charity, the Foundation for Compassion Fatigue (FCF).

We can make downloadable handouts for people to give to those soliciting donations saying things like “It’s the confrontation that I object to” and “I gave at the office (PS, of course I’m lying)”.

Perhaps, without a hint of irony, we can also take donations – then pass this money out to strangers in high traffic areas or stand by public phone or pay toilets and sort people out for much-needed small change.

A good idea? A bad idea? What do you think?

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Date
20020904

Time
09:56
Few people realise how fun it is to read emails in reaction to stories posted at Romenesko’s Obscure Store. Today, there’s a woman with an illuminating tale about team mascots (don’t forget the big race on the 29th of September and a reply from the woman who was slapped in the face with a raw steak after complaining at a restaurant. Good stuff.

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Date
20020904
It Had To Happen
Time
10:03
Get ‘em while they’re nice and panicked:

11-year-old girl fitted with a tracking microchip. Fitting the microchip requires surgery on the wrist. Her parents can then track her movements via a website that gives access to GPS satellites. Just in case she’s abducted, you understand…

Scary.

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Date
20020904

Time
10:09
Anna was kind enough to let me know about this article:

Children at mercy of e-mail porn.

I’m assuming she sent it in connection to this passage in Can Weblogs Reach Ronald Scelson?, warning participants that they should not send porn when mailing this notorious spammer:

“Ronald lives with his wife and three young children. While my own young children may in the past have been confronted with the words ‘Rape Sex’ or ‘Penis Enlargement’ while looking over my shoulder as email arrived, there is no proof that such emails arrived from Mr Scelson, and certainly no justification for repeating this offence. Two wrongs do not make a right.”

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Date
20020904

Time
10:48
China blocks Google

Greece bans Gameboys

I need a third headline here. For balance. Any ideas?

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Date
20020904
Emma Jones: Hardcore Journalist
Time
11:18
A little birdy tells me that Emma Jones is unlikely to return to features work at The Sun following her maternity leave. Not that she knows about this or anything…

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Date
20020904

Time
11:30
Remember those old hand-cranked mimeograph machines they used to have in the offices at school?

You know – the foul beast that would crank out exam paper after exam paper, providing only the small consolation of a temporary high in return.

Ah, the heady days of ink-sniffing. How I miss them…

Question: Train A, traveling 70 miles per hour (mph), leaves Westford heading toward Eastford, 260 miles away. At the same time Train B, traveling 60 mph, leaves Eastford heading toward Westford. When do the two trains meet? How far from each city do they meet?

Answer: Purple

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Date
20020904

Time
12:33
Periodic Table of Condiments.

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Date
20020904
OK, So I’m a Star Wars Geek
Time
12:38
A street-legal landspeeder on sale at ebay. How could you not score in a car like that?

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Date
20020904

Time
12:46
Word is spreading fast about the Harry Potter vibrating broomstick. Watch and wait. The reviews there are entertaining enough, but many more are sure to follow.

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Date
20020904

Time
13:24
Tony has a CD list. It took him a while to make, so he was a bit pissed off when someone else (also named Tony – Tony Weldon to be precise) stole the list – code and all – for a quick trim and inclusion on his website.

The good news was that Tony (the original Tony, that is) had the background called up from the full URL of the file at his server (http://www.i-r-genius.com/tony/bback.jpg). Because the code was ripped off wholesale (as well as the text) the original Tony was able to deliver this subtle message at the location of the stolen page.

Justice!

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Date
20020904
Oldies But Goodies
Time
13:35
This ‘genuine’ letter is doing the rounds again. Thankfully, this version of the same joke is not.

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Date
20020904

Time
14:14
Only Funny if you know/remember who James/Lauren Harries is. And no, I’m not going to tell you. Trust me, you’re better off not knowing.

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Date
20020904

Time
15:33
The WTC memorial ideas submitted by the public we blogged on Monday were pretty dull.

Were.

Lately, there have been some very interesting entries.

Sure to be taken down soon, but I’m amazed it got through in the first place.

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Date
20020904

Time
15:48
Ooh, lookie – an even better professional web designer. He has the local Christian market wrapped up by the looks of things.

Hmmm, somebody should start a collection of these. Beyond webpagesthatsuck.com, more like a ‘serious’ directory of (ahem) excellent web designers.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020905
Look It Up
Time
09:52
In his new book, Martin Amis reveals that Lenin had trouble pronouncing his r’s.

At this stage, it’s important to wemember that he was a wussian wevolutionary.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020905

Time
09:54
Couple who haved lived in an oak tree for 12 years are served with an eviction notice.

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Date
20020905
Oldies But Goodies
Time
09:56
Want to send somebody a subtle hint about their appearance, behavious or aroma? There is now a greatly expanded choice of messages available at justatip.com

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Date
20020905

Time
09:59
Descendants of slaves in the US for are suing Lloyd’s of London, amongst others, demanding compensation for unpaid work carried out by their ancestors. Shades of Holocaust reparation, but how far back can you go before things get silly?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020905
Flash Games
Time
10:04
New York Defender shows a unique measure of sensitivity, right down to the timing of its release.

While you’re in the mood, you might also want to visit groundzerothemepark.com to find out about ‘the most patriotic theme park in America’.

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Date
20020905

Time
10:13
Topping Blogdex today:

Are Weblogs Changing Our Culture?

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Date
20020905
Yet Another Lame Quiz
Time
10:15
Which revolution are you?

I’m of the hippy variety. Aware, unconventional and constantly twirling, twirling, twirling.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020905
Flash Movies
Time
10:28
Thanks to Andy and Mich for pointing out this excellent collection of high quality Flash animations. Take my advice and save this link for lunchtime. If you visit now, you won’t get any work done this morning.

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Date
20020905

Time
10:46
Our eldest son Ben was a little bit naughty and had a go with Mummy’s weights last night. He said he was ‘trying to become strong’. He told me this through tears, because he had dropped one of the weights on his toe.

We were downstairs when it happened, and reacted as you might expect when we heard an almighty thump followed by a very loud scream.

Anyways, the toe is OK – and will stay attached, despite Ben’s worst fears – but as a result of the mishap, he was downstairs with us at around 8:00pm with an ice-pack on his foot.

Our viewing plans had to be changed, as if he started watching Lost In Space with us, there’d be no way he would get back to bed until it was over – so we opted instead for the relative safety of Trinny Woodall and Susannah Constantine’s little show on fashion disasters: ‘What Not To Wear’.

Some concerns have been raised over the language and references in the show, but me, I missed them. I think I was too busy trying not to gnaw my leg off.

Ben failed to notice the nasty bits, too. He was too busy laughing at the clothes.

When images of Sophie Wessex first appeared, he burst out saying:

“She’s trying to dress like the Queen’s Mum!”

And he was spot on. At least, according to Sue and Trinny – who closed the show by placing Sophie at No.2 on their worst-dressed list for dressing ‘too old’.

10 points for Benjamin the fashion critic.

Should I buy him a little suit and bow-tie now, do you think, or wait until his next birthday?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020906

Time
09:53
More on Wednesday’s stort about the 11-year-old girl due to be fitted with a tracking microchip. A London electronics engineer is doing the rounds of just about every relevant authority in an effort to stop the op, claiming that ‘such an operation without medical basis on a child could constitute an assault’.

Good for him – and thanks to Pete for the heads-up.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020906

Time
10:00
Daypop is still a mess, but Blogdex is back up and running well. Still, best three links so far this morning come direct from other bloggers.

From Firda we learn of this collection of cosmic myths.

From ultimateinsult.net comes a link to a collection of old television ads for computer games and some common street scams in Barcelona.

Oh, and you know those guys who normally sell speakers out of the back of white vans? I’ve heard from Londoners that they’re hawking fake Rolex watches these days. Be on your guard, and keep your bullshit detector on full. I’m talking to you, Tristán.

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Date
20020906

Time
10:10
An article in defence of the student who dared to ‘live the dream’ and shower with a porn star.

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Date
20020906

Time
10:12
True, some domain names have taken on a life of their own, but can you really sue one?

Erm, yes you can.

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Date
20020906

Time
10:17
A calendar of nude running events.

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Date
20020906

Time
10:18
Journalist asks: Why does everyone hate us all of a sudden?

Warning: the answer to this question is not as obvious as it may seem. Read the article.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020906
It Had To Happen
Time
10:22
Playboy TV debuts broadcast version of nude news.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020906

Time
13:02
Have you got what it takes to be a policeman/woman/person/thingie?

Very pretty, if a little heavy on the bandwidth.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020906

Time
13:09
Are all rich people this stupid?

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Date
20020906

Time
13:54
Two teenagers find human brain in street.

Good, now they have one to share between them.

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Date
20020907

Time
16:42
The latest edition of Celebrity Bestiality has just gone live.

This month: Nigella Lawson and a lobster named Trevor. Enjoy.

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Date
20020909

Time
09:55
Saddam Hussein engages his trousers in chemical warfare.

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Date
20020909

Time
09:57
Blondes have rights, too.

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Date
20020909
NSFW
Time
09:57
Compare and contrast corner: A groupie guide to penis sizes of the stars.

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Date
20020909
Blogwatch
Time
10:00
Daypop 40 is still f**ked (doo dah, doo dah).

Topping Blogdex: Television celebrates its 75th birthday. The Internet, of course, has yet to be successfully toilet-trained.

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Date
20020909

Time
10:05
You’ve seen those rotten ‘Earn money from home!’ posters around, I’m sure. If you hate them as much as I do, perhaps you would care to join this group and help fight street spam.

Of course, the measures they suggest won’t help a lot – and you have to remember that, in this case, most of the spammers are victims, too. Tossers, but still victims. Most of this street spams results from attempts to make money through Herbalife. It’s one step down from Amway, in case you weren’t aware – and joining the programme costs money.

Me, I’m inclined instead to take the fight to the source. Step one would be to show as many people as possible how pointless the exercise is and how Herbalife makes the bulk of their dough from losers who think they can actually make money this way.

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Date
20020909

Time
10:19
Salon is collecting a series of ‘inappropriate’ comments made on September 11th.

Most of what I had to say was in uk.local.london and, happily, you can browse through these comments here.

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Date
20020910

Time
09:52
I have a lot to say about a certain anniversary, connected or otherwise, but there’s a lot of background noise to deal with (important, or otherwise).

As a regular reader, you have a choice about what I present tomorrow – those choices being:

1: Happy and not at all connected. All day, please.

2: Detached and factual, yet providing some insight. But throw a few laughs in, please.

3: Somewhat personal, explaining a fuck of a lot about what Bloggerheads has been doing lately (and what’s coming up next). Erm, please.

Feedback is the only thing that’s going to decide it. Feedback of the purest and most reliable form would be appreciated. Emails to the usual address.

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Date
20020910
Blogwatch
Time
09:55
The mystery behind Daypop is solved. The guy who runs it (yes, it is run by one guy – pretty surprising, huh?) is in Rome, and….

Oh, what the hell, he says it best on his own weblog:

“I just logged on to the Internet for the first time in about a week. No idea what happened to Daypop but I will not be back until the 13th of September to fix it!”

So there you go. Oh, don’t forget to check out the comments while you’re there.

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Date
20020910

Time
10:03
I read this morning in Metro that ‘more than £250,000 of hardcore pornography seized in police raids across north London have been buried during modernisation work at King’s Cross Tube station’.

(Note – article is at bottom of page.)

Basically, a bunch of DVDs were crushed and used as fill at the site – but I have a question about the value of the DVDs. The quantity is given as ‘nearly 1,000′ – but they say the haul is worth £250,000?

Hang on, let me do the sums. Hmm, about 1,000 into 250,000 – taking x as the value of y, carry the five… divide by 0… that’s over £250 per DVD!!!

It would want to be some pretty spicy porn at that price, let me tell you.

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Date
20020910

Time
10:20
Badger’s attempt to impersonate Pepe Le Pew ends badly.

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Date
20020910

Time
12:53
Nothing says class like a celebrity lookalike.

Nothing says ‘I am a grown-up’ more than buying Silly Putty in industrial quantities.

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Date
20020910
Christianity Watch
Time
14:39
When Mormons Call is a book designed to help Catholics resist the hard sell of any visiting Mormons – and keep your family and friends from converting, too.

‘Mormons claim that 70% of their recruits are ex-Catholics. With Isaiah’s help you can help cut that cult statistic and save your customer base at the same time.’

Great stuff – even if the Amazon reviews are a little dull.

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Date
20020910

Time
16:13
Taking the fun out of porn sure looks like fun.

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Date
20020911

Time
09:51
The votes came in thick and fast yesterday, and almost all were for the following approach on this wonderful sunny day:

2: Detached and factual, yet providing some insight. But throw a few laughs in, please.

So, today, we’re going to do what we always do. Stay calm, take a look around, and try to find some nuggets of useful information and maybe a few smiles amongst the details. Erm… and try to take over the world, of course.

Special thanks to everyone who took the time to send a real email, especially Y. Bee, who said:

Please just remember that real people died in a horrible way. Just please don’t say they deserved it or they had it coming or gloat about it.

That being said you actually made one of the few 9/11 comments that made the locals here(Manhattan) laugh. 9/11 jokes don’t go over real well here, but the crack on Bloggerheads when you were talking about the book “Where was God on 9/11″ and you said “Never mind God, where the hell was Superman” still gets laughs.

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Date
20020911

Time
10:03
Well, this was a good start to the day. Happy tokens all round for the folks at Total, who brightened my morning with the following tally (see right). Of course, this total wasn’t entirely the result of my purchasing decisions. You’ll note by the marked area on the receipt that the attendant has charged me twice for the same bottle of water – no doubt in order to bring this total into line with her satanic beliefs. Fiendishly clever, these Satan-worshipping gas station attendants.

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Date
20020911
Look It Up
Time
10:05
The dust clouds that engulfed NYC were chock-full of asbestos-y goodness – but you’ll notice we don’t read or hear much about that. Yet.

On the subject of white powder, George Bush’s niece Noelle Bush was recently found to be in possession of cocaine. The discovery was made by staff at the rehab centre she’s attending. You probably won’t read or hear much about that, either. George Junior tends to be quite picky about matters nasal.

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Date
20020911

Time
10:13
I’ve been asked – quite politely I might add – not to mention the date today. Hmm. Well, given that the date appears below every post, it’s going to be a bit hard to avoid. Sorry about that. Also, the following bears mentioning:

1. Just about every newspaper this morning carried the date as the headline. I kept looking in the top right-hand corner to see if I could find the lead feature or maybe even tomorrow’s lottery numbers in place of the date, but no dice. Bugger.

2. Time is nearly always represented as follows: hours/minutes/seconds. It makes sense, right? The date, in sensible countries, follows this same pattern, albeit backwards, and is shown in abbreviated form as day/month/year. Americans hold no truck with this, and insist that month/day/year is the preferred format. It’s bad enough that thousands of software packages (originating in the U.S.) present dates in this order and make it impossible to change the format, but what’s even worse is this most recent development. Using what is admittedly an unrivalled skill in marketing, the U.S. is using the tragedy of 11/9/02 (a date they consider to be 9/11/02) to further force this preferred format into the world arena by constantly referring to the incident/date as ’911′. This also allows them to get further publicity for their version of the emergency number. Fiendishly clever, those Americans.

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Date
20020911

Time
10:15
Our friend and spammer Ronald Scelson was having fun this time last year. When entire websites were shutting down out of respect, Ronnie instead refused to bow down to the terrorists and continued doing what he does best. God bless him!

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Date
20020911

Time
10:22
Doing the swiftest of calculations, you can normally work out what is for you the minimum amount of change (or in some cases, notes) it’s worth bending over for. Me, I’m superstitious to a small degree – and penny-pinching to a large (with Coke, please). In short, due to a never-ending pursuit of luck, I bend over for every penny – and I found this one as a result yesterday afternoon.

I must admit that I made a couple of assumptions when I first studied it:

1: It’s the shape of an angel, so this is in no doubt the work of a Christian movement.

2. It’s a U.S. penny, so this is in no doubt the work of a particularly annoying Christian movement.

Ironically, it’s my less than charitable nature that leads me to further assume that these things are given out to the heathen needy in lieu of a genuine donation.

“Ah’m sorry, son, but ah don’t have any spare change. Instead, ah’m givin’ you something more valuable. This message of hope and lurrve.”

But what, you might ask, is this U.S. penny doing in the UK?

Again, we rely on the power of assumption; mine being that the distribution of such things is relatively safer in this country because white cider bottles over here are mostly made from plastic, and therefore not very efficient when it comes to facial slashing and/or the cracking of skulls.

Still, all of the above are merely assumptions. For the truth, we must look to Google. Updates to follow.

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Date
20020911

Time
10:25
Rejoice one and all, for Dogbomb lives!

Tch. I need money, too – but you don’t hear me whinging about it. Much.

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Date
20020911
Christianity Watch
Time
10:33
Is it appropriate for a Christian to own a cat?

It’s not just the pagan affiliations, there’s the small matter of disease as well. No, it’s true!

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Date
20020911

Time
11:02
If you’re wondering how best to express your feelings of rage and/or grief today, the official government-approved method is outlined below for your reference:

- Gather together with comrades (drinks/snacks optional).

- Focus on televised image of Evil One* (screaming/crying compulsory).

- Clench fists tightly.

- Raise arms above head in shape of the Holy Cross.

- Thrust fists/arms forward rhythmically, chanting ‘BB, BB, BB…’ in unison to the point of orgasmic frenzy.

- Return to work refreshed and alert.

(*Please note that this week the part of Osama bin Laden will be played by Saddam Hussein, but the war is – and always has been – against Middle Eastasia.)

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Date
20020911

Time
11:08
Sceptic and filmmaker Bart Sibrel approached Buzz Aldrin outside a Beverly Hills hotel on Tuesday and asked him to swear on a bible that he had actually set foot on the moon. Aldrin (allegedly) lamped him one.

A spokesman for the police department said that they were ‘investigating the alleged assault but that no arrests had been made or charges brought’.

Probably because all of the witnesses have come forward to claim that the entire event was staged.

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Date
20020911

Time
11:32
An article with the headline ‘Why do people hate the United States?’ just came and went with blinding speed over at Fark. Judging by the comments in the thread that prompted the removal, nobody’s in much of a mood for a flame war today.

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Date
20020911

Time
11:48
Three year old unwittingly makes serious point by mistaking McDonald’s arches for the number ’3′.

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Date
20020911
Latest Viral Agent
Time
12:17
Bitch about ex-boyfriends/girlfriends and help promote the new film Swimfan in the process. There’s a love-rat in the film, so the creative link is there. Tenuous as it may be, it is there.

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Date
20020911

Time
12:30
Rate your hangover here.

Find the cure here.

Stagger back to reality and marvel at how pointless your life has become here.

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Date
20020911
NSFW
Time
13:10
Here you go, this’ll cheer you up: bikinikaratebabes.com

They can pump your nads and kick your ass.

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Date
20020911

Time
14:31
WTC: The Frank Sinatra Connection

(Links to Quicktime .MOV file)

A bit choppy, but you’ll get the point, I’m sure.

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Date
20020911

Time
14:37
Finally today, we close as we began and answer a nagging question for you.

Back to work, folks. Nothing more to see here.

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Date
20020912

Time
09:51
Oh, won’t somebody pleeeeeeease thinkofthechildren.co.uk?

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Date
20020912

Time
09:53
The Bush administration has dropped attempts to justify attacking Iraq by linking it to al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations. Instead, they’re going to claim that Saddam once sold George Snr. a donkey that was lame in one leg.

This seems as good a time as any to remind you that the acronym for ‘The War Against Terror’ is T.W.A.T.

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Date
20020912
119
Time
10:03
Out of all the pieces I read yesterday, I found the forbidden thoughts collected by Salon.com to be the most enlightening. I was so impressed by the collection (and the myriad of little truths they revealed about human nature) that I printed a copy out and have since shown it to a number of people at work, on the train, and back at home. I suggest you read the collection as well.

If it angers you in any way, then the reason for the publication of this material is given over at Scott Rosenberg’s blog.

If it tickles you at all, then you might also wish to spare a moment for The Cheesification of 9-11-02.

If you feel a little guilty afterwards, there’s always time to bring yourself back to a suitable level of angst and woe with some last-minute photos.

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Date
20020912

Time
10:26
A group of students in North Carolina turned up early for school (so far, so good) and decided to make use of the cafeteria’s ‘seldom-used video projection system’ by showing a film they had brought to school (showing community spirit and highlighting wasted resources – this is looking better and better).

Their main problem was the choice of entertainment – hardcore, hose-the-floor porn.



Up to 20 students viewed the tape, except for one who ran off to tell a ‘school administrator’. In other words, a janitor.

The tape was shut off and the culprits are in deep, deep water.

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Date
20020912
NSFW
Time
12:16
Many, many wonderful images come and go on the B3ta message board each and every day, but this one I just have to share with you.

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Date
20020912

Time
12:54
World peace: lend a hand.

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Date
20020912

Time
13:10
A two-headed turtle.

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Date
20020912

Time
13:11
An incredibly comprehensive collection of movie studio logos and intros. The MGM lion, the bint with the torch – they’re all in there. I was poking around these sorts of places because I wanted to build this —- –>

Oh, and while I was looking for sharks I happened across Triangle Divers, ‘New Englands only gay and lesbian SCUBA club’.

OK, I know to keep an ear out for that cello and bass ‘da-dum, da-dum’ tune when sharks are around – but what music do you think would play if you were about to be attacked by a scuba-diving lesbian?

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Date
20020912

Time
14:02
“It’s not easy being a butcher with tunnel vision!”

Is it meat or is it an accident?

Even lovelier with your speakers turned on.

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Date
20020912

Time
15:34
Man turns up to September 11 memorial service in Saddam Hussein mask.

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Date
20020913
Ignorance Is Strength
Time
09:52
I’ve been trying to avoid making too many cack-handed Nineteen Eighty-Four references, but this suggestion of a DNA database, this wonderful propaganda piece on a Floating Fortress (scroll down), combined with news that our chocolate ration is set to be reduced make it almost impossible to avoid. Sorry about that.

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Date
20020913

Time
10:05
Nelson Mandela says the United States of America is a threat to world peace.

Even more alarming, the chairman of Publicis, the world’s fourth-largest advertising group, has warned that a war in Iraq would wipe out the chance of an advertising recovery next year. Tragic.

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Date
20020913
Can Weblogs…?
Time
11:07
I’m an Australian living in England, but most of my readers are American.

No, I can’t work it out either – but it gives me pause for thought when considering the next project for Can Weblogs…?

What I originally had in mind wasn’t too far removed from what we did with Ronald Scelson, in that we were faced with a problem, and simply reached out to the source (well, one of them at least).

What you need to know first (if you don’t already) is that the rail system here in the UK is privatised. Different companies run different routes, and yet another owns and runs the rails themselves. The reason this system doesn’t work is that, in the end, there are too many people to pass the buck to and in the end, no-one is held ultimately responsible – even when the system fails to the point that people start dying. We complain to the companies, they mark it down in their books and register your complaint as part of a percentage and life goes on much as it has done before.

Me, I suffer every day under a company called South West Trains (which is owned by another company – Stagecoach).

In the past, I’ve taken my complaints right up to the Managing Director of South West Trains, but this isn’t the kind of fight I can win.

It has to be noted here that the MD of SWT, one Andrew Haines, is a good man in an impossible position. He not only has to deal with people like me, but staff who are under a similar level of pressure mostly attributable to the system being bled dry by the profiteers.

Ah, I bet you were wondering when I would drift back to the point.



In a nationalised system, if the system doesn’t work as efficiently as it could, the Minister of Transport is answerable. If the whole system starts falling apart, the Prime Minister himself must face the consequences of the inevitable public outcry.

Soon I got to wondering who, in this system, was at the top of the tree.

Brian Souter came to mind as a likely candidate, as he owns Stagecoach – one very large company that owns several of the smaller companies that make our lives a misery every day. He also happens to be a lovely person with a positive outlook and tolerant views. Look him up if you’re in any doubt about this.

By now you know where I’m going with this, and yes, I am suggesting that passengers, instead of wasting ink on the usual complaint forms, instead let Brian Souter know the full human cost of his profits. Not that the 6:15 arrived at 6:20 or that the floors were covered in grime, but exactly how his company has had an impact on their lives. In a deeply personal letter. Delivered by Royal Mail right to his front fucking door.

For this to work, I’d need distributors of action sheets across every relevant network, not just on my route – so the project goes beyond the scope of the usual ‘Can Weblogs…?’ experiment.

Also, most of you live in a different country and probably couldn’t care less about the miserable state of our choo-choos.

So, I’m accepting feedback, and this time around I’m even taking suggestions.

Other projects I have on the back-burner (that may well come to the fore if you think they’re a good idea) include:

Can Weblogs Reduce Street Spam?

Can Weblogs Get A Top-Ten Single?

Can Weblogs Revive The Boy Scout Movement?


and, as everybody else seems to be doing it:

Can Weblogs Raise A Few Bucks That I Can Waste On My Overdue Mortgage Payments?

Your ideas are also appreciated, so send them in too if you like. Emails to the usual address. Cheers all.

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Date
20020913

Time
14:26
I can tell just by looking at you that you’re dying to know who won the 2001 Marshall Scarecrow Festival.

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Date
20020913

Time
14:27
The B3ta Challenge this week is toys that may not be entirely safe for children. This section at Yesterdayland proved to be quite inspirational, and I also found a cool board game called Kosherland on my travels.

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Date
20020913

Time
14:30
The Simpsons meet Pulp Fiction.

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Date
20020913
Universal Church of the Interactive Network
Time
16:25
The original emoticon has been recovered.

Normally this would be marvellous news for the Universal Church of the Interactive Network, but – horror of horrors – the holiest of holies is in the hands of the agents of Satan.

Now I know how Eli felt when the Philistines made off with the ark of the covenant.

Hmm. Is a crusade to retrieve the first emoticon from the servers of Microsoft a bit over the top?

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Date
20020913

Time
16:42
Stagecoach has a fan club? Oh, now that is amusing.

Thank you, Sophie, for the heads-up.

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Date
20020915

Time
09:07
Oooooooh, me ‘ead…..

16-30 August, 2002

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Date
20020816
Ronald Scelson
Time
10:14
Lots of new links to Can Weblogs Reach Ronald Scelson? this morning, and we just hit #18 on Blogdex.

Links of note include Sean Bonner, who has decribed it as ‘what might be the best fight against spam yet’, and the lovely Firda who has come up with a cracker; she’s responded to one of those Nigerian scam spams expressing interest – in the name of one Ronald Scelson.

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Date
20020816

Time
10:22
Man sick of junk mail dumps paint on receptionist at direct marketing company.

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Date
20020816

Time
10:25
Davezilla is under attack by Toho Ltd., who own the Godzilla trademark.

Many speculate this is a warm-up before Toho takes on the much bigger Mozilla. Then Mothra, presumably.

Look! Corporate lawyers! We must flee!

UPDATE – Just happened across this at Linkdump: Bushzilla!

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Date
20020816

Time
11:25
The Sun has an interested rant this morning, regarding the flood of pornography from the web and the danger it represents.

‘The Sun Says’ (aka ‘What To Think’) actually foams at the mouth at one stage with the distinctly Morris-esque:

“Even the most harmless-looking website can be two clicks away from another site that peddles sex and bestiality with children.”

Bestiality with children? I’ve seen some weird stuff online, but obviously Sun editor David Yelland has access to much more interesting sites than I do. We’ll get back to bestiality in a moment (for you know it is a subject that is near and dear to my heart). In the meantime, let’s go to the introduction of the linked article, presented online in menacing blood-red text:

“A foul horde of perverts is threatening our children as never before – fuelled by a river of filth spilling from every home computer. Porn is a massive industry that pollutes the web. Thousands of sites are free to reinforce the warped desires of paedophiles and sexual weirdos. Yet the computer industry, the police, the politicians and the judges seem powerless to stem its flood.”

The important word to remember here is ‘flood’. I’m not denying for a moment that there isn’t one. The porn market is so saturated with small-timers vying for a piece of the pie that there are often more images provided as free samples than the average modem can deal with. In fact, I do my best to stem the tide with The Porn Report, which gets plenty of traffic thanks to this top search result in Google for the search term ‘bestiality’. I know, I know, it’s all a rich tapestry – and here we are back on the subject of kinky animal sex.

The site that gets these results is Celebrity Bestiality, which has enjoyed steady results over the last two years. So steady, in fact, that I was able to look at my stats about a year ago and ascertain that there is a general increase in the number of searches made for ‘bestiality’ in general. I mentioned to a colleague not long ago that this would result in a notable increase in ‘real life’ offences. Sure enough, it did. Highlights included the idiot who had sex with a goat in front of a trainload of passengers and the chap who got kicked in the goolies when he tried to molest a horse. The list goes on, you couldn’t make it up, won’t somebody pleeeease think of the children, etc.

I actually contacted the Home Office at one stage to see if I could figures on all offences of this type, not just those that made the papers. It was an entertaining phone conversation, but I didn’t get very far. Oh, right. The point. Sorry, here we go:

The point is that, when faced with a flood of pornography (or anything for that matter) the average person eventually gets bored and seeks variety. With some people, this curiosity spills over into their real lives – and The Sun itself contributes to this flood.

As soft as the porn on Page 3 may be, it is still porn – and there’s much juicier content held in the back pages, cleverly disguised as an advice column and series of morality plays.

It should also be mentioned at this stage that the owner, Rupert Murdoch, is right now trying to buy Hughes Electronics. The jewel in this crown is DirecTV.

“DirecTV is one of the leading players in the US adult film business, with industry estimates suggesting it rakes in as much as $US200 million a year from its pay-for-view porn sales.”

The Age, Friday 9 February 2001

And that’s not just tits, folks. We’re talking hardcore down-and-dirty, mop the floor porn here. Beamed straight into millions of homes and only a click or two away from the most harmless-looking television channels.

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Date
20020816
Books, Plugs, Etc.
Time
11:46
I love feedback like this. Toby from creatorcommunications.com just dropped me an email saying:

Hi Tim,

Just wanted to say that I was so intrigued by your publications I went out and bought “Marketing Your Website“.

Just wanted to say I think it’s a great and concise guide, and have made it compulsory reading for all our team.

Now, isn’t that nice? Makes we think twice about getting of my arse and writing that weblog marketing book (this has been on the back burner for about 6 months now). So, again with the feedback – what do you think I should tackle first? Blog book or novel? The former will be very useful, but the latter will be much more fun. Emails to the usual address.

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Date
20020816

Time
12:37
The Ground Force garden make-over show has transformed a public space in New York ‘as a memorial to mark the tragedy of 11 September’. Dear God, I’m going to be ill….

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Date
20020816
Search Engine Optimisation
Time
16:14
The Universal Church of the Interactive Network is now top search result in Google for ‘join a religion’. For ‘religion’, we’re up two spots from #251 to #249. Slowly but surely…

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Date
20020817
Ronald Scelson
Time
09:22
Can Weblogs Reach Ronald Scelson? has attracted the attention of the Cult of the Dead Cow. It also rated a mention in the latest B3ta newsletter

That rates a Woo! That calls for a Yay!

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Date
20020818

Time
12:08
There’s still time to get your feedback in, folks. Should I write another business book, or a novel? So far it’s running at about 50/50, so your vote counts. Emails to the usual address.

If it helps any, the proposed novel will be light on sex, but chock-full of graphic violence.

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Date
20020819

Time
10:01
Prove that you’re smarter than Toho’s legal department by taking the Godzilla Quiz.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020819

Time
10:05
Topping Blogdex and Daypop today is a new spam-filtering technique.

Says Paul Graham:

“I think it’s possible to stop spam, and that content-based filters are the way to do it. The Achilles heel of the spammers is their message. They can circumvent any other barrier you set up. They have so far, at least. But they have to deliver their message, whatever it is. If we can write software that recognizes their messages, there is no way they can get around that.”

Yes, but I don’t think it’s going to stop them trying – or at the very least convincing a wide range of snake oil salesmen that the message will still reach that vital 0.01%

Relying on an end user solution still leaves the network overloaded with junk email that will never be read.

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Date
20020819
Latest Viral Agent
Time
10:15
So much for Emoh Ruo. British Gas’s Homenamer says my ideal home should be named Mud Slide. Hmm. Better top up on the home insurance, just in case. Or maybe clean the toilet.

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Date
20020819

Time
10:21
This is good. This is very, very good. A blog presented in the persona of Richard ‘Dick’ Vernon. Don’t recognise the name? Maybe this post will pump your nads:

“What was that ruckus?! I was just in my office, and I heard a ruckus! Didn’t I say to not cause a ruckus? You all just bought yourselves another Saturday.”

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Date
20020819

Time
10:28
Dave Letterman’s post-11th monologue touched a lot of people.

Now he’s wondering what the heck to say this year.

A new segment called ‘stupid plane tricks’, perhaps?

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Date
20020819

Time
10:38
Toddlers to rate teachers. Because the loveable tots can’t read or write, they’ll be allowed to rate their teacher as a smiley face, a straight face, or a sad face.

I’m rating this initiative with a ‘stupid’ face.

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Date
20020819

Time
11:08
Middle-Earth names! Getcha Middle-Earth names here!

All pretty dull on my side, with the exception of my Orkish name, which is Azhósh the Insane.

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Date
20020819

Time
13:39
Hang around. Something interesting should happen in about an hour.

(Via orbyn.com)

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Date
20020819

Time
13:52
Bob the Builder: A Crash Course in Sexual Innuendo – teaching you the difference between hard + soft, front + behind, etc. etc. etc.

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Date
20020819

Time
14:08
And you thought crop circles were weird…

Some farmer/artist has carved himself a 50-acre Elvis.

The above link features a large image of the portrait, but presented here for your own personal amusement is the Bloggerheads version.

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Date
20020820
Here’s Gonzo!
Time
09:58
Soham has been awash with journalists since Jessica Chapman and Holly Wells first went missing. The story has been a godsend for newspapers this silly season, but with police leads often bearing little or no fruit (or copy), many journos took to quizzing the local paper, and in some cases the locals themselves, for dirt and details.

In yesterday’s Evening Standard, the lead article focused primarily on the helpline that had been set up to help the people of Soham some to terms with the tragedy, but closed with the following:

“After a request from police for the media to give the families of Holly and Jessica privacy to come to terms with their grief, the Evening Standard has withdrawn its journalists from Soham.”

One turn of the page later and I’m confronted by a charming exclusive from Harriet Arkell, whose unique perspective of murder suspects Ian Huntley and Maxine Carr resulted from her doorstopping the couple with a request to use their VCR to watch a recording of the police appeal for the abductor to get in touch. She claimed that she couldn’t watch it in the vans of the TV crews because they had ‘the wrong format’. Me, I think it’s far more likely that the queue for VHS access went around the block once this tape was released, so the simplest way to take notes and file copy ahead of a pressing deadline was to knock on the door of the nearest private residence and blag a way in. Arkell’s ‘think of the children’ angle on this was faultless. I wish I could have been there for the performance.

“Please,” begged the desperate journo. “It’s an appeal for the abductor to get in touch – it may help the girls get back safe and well.”

Erm, and it might even help you get your precious inches of copy back to London too, dearie.

As you might expect, Huntley’s natural reluctance to let a presumptuous journalist into his home was cast in a far more sinister light, given his new status as murder suspect. Even though he had the door open and invited her into the house, his insistence that he would have to check with his girlfriend before letting them use the VCR was noted and related with a due sense of drama.

“This seemed odd,” wrote Arkell, “for such a small request.”

Odd? I would have acted in much the same way if a member of this army of journalists turned up on my doorstep with the same request. No, wait, I tell a lie. I probably would have closed the door in the hack’s face, but not before giving a vocal opinion of her rudeness that would be more or less unprintable.

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Date
20020820

Time
10:13
Spamming the voters? Not a very good idea.

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Date
20020820
Christianity Watch
Time
10:23
Take your pick from this bikin’ pastor (who has a sidecar for carrying coffins) and this vampire-hunting bishop.

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Date
20020820

Time
10:28
Man invents machine that reminds you to wash your hands after using the toilet.

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Date
20020820

Time
10:33
I work with some very clever people, but you’d be surprised how many of them fail to keep their bullshit-detectors on full when using the Internet. Remember folks, when in doubt, search Snopes.

Museumofhoaxes.com also has an excellent retrospective collection, but is more tailored to leisurely lunchtime browsing.

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Date
20020820

Time
11:19
Carjacker attempts to steal minibus carrying Judo team. Hilarity ensues.

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Date
20020820

Time
15:21
So now when you see someone walking down the street with a torch in broad daylight, you’ll know exactly what’s going on.

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Date
20020820
Christianity Watch
Time
17:11
Where Was God on September 11?

Never mind that. Where the bloody hell was Superman?!

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Date
20020820

Time
17:17
It’s been a good day on B3ta today. Lots of quality stuff and a heady dose of sex and religion. We even had some fun with the London Underground (1,2) – erm, before swiftly getting back to sex and religion.

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Date
20020821

Time
10:01
You may remember that a few months ago Tommy Hilfiger released his legal hounds, closing down a number of operators he claimed were trading on his name. In my case, Cafepress folded faster than Superman on laundry day, requesting all sorts of official appeal documents before they would consider reinstating the store. As smellfinger.com wasn’t really designed to make money, I decided not to bother – but pet supply company Nature Labs took their matter to court, and had the pleasure of seeing the case thrown out by a judge who insisted that only a “dense and humourless consumer” would think there was a connection between Tommy Hilfiger and their products- a range of doggie perfumes called Timmy Holedigger. Good for them. They deserve a treat, and they’ll probably get it if they chase Hilfiger for the £75,000 worth of court costs.

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Date
20020821

Time
10:03
As expected, Jeffrey Archer didn’t have to make a single cup of tea yesterday. Instead, he spent most of his time in high-end meetings discussing a new play. According to most accounts, he behaved, and was treated, like the man in charge.

I keep thinking back to the old race footage from Archer’s days as an athlete. The race had to be restarted time and again because Archer kept jumping the gun. Play every angle, probe every weakness. The world loves a determined rascal, right?

It’s obvious that he’ll keep pushing the boundaries of his freedom until the whole matter of his incarceration begins to look like a very sad joke. Not that it doesn’t already. His regular release for family visits – and now for ‘work’ – has been described by officials as part of the resettlement process.

Resettlement? The man is less than a quarter of the way through his sentence!

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Date
20020821

Time
10:05
A lot of the ‘hell in a handcart’ and ‘string ‘em up’ stuff I’ve been reading harks back to the glory days of yore, when children could walk safely in the streets. That’s not the way I remember it. When I were a lad, I lived less than a mile from one of the crazy fuckers that did this.

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Date
20020821

Time
10:10
Oh, won’t somebody pleeeeeeeeease think of the kittens?

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Date
20020821
Christianity Watch
Time
10:12
“Question: What do you get when you cross authentic Catholic teaching with “Weird Al” Yankovic?”

Why, Mick Alexander, of course. This wonderful site features his two albums ‘A Time To Laugh’ and ‘Eternal Life – The Party Album’. If you have RealPlayer (I don’t, I’m sick of that particular piece of hijack software) you can even listen to a track or two. Choices include ‘I Got You Saved’ (a’la ‘I Got You Babe’) and ‘Old Time Gregorian Chant’ (a’la ‘Old Time Rock and Roll’).

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Date
20020821

Time
10:48
Fighting back against the telemarketers.

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Date
20020821

Time
10:58
Enjoy a daily dose of dillemas at wouldyourather.com

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Date
20020821

Time
11:07
The Monster Raving Loony now has representatives in the U.S.

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Date
20020821

Time
11:22
Another journalist who doorstopped Ian Huntley and Maxine Carr. In other news, I’m sincerely hoping that Harriet Arkell goes ego-surfing today.

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Date
20020821
Search Engine Optimisation
Time
11:50
Finally, Bloggerheads gets a listing in Yahoo!

The only good search result is for ‘weblog consultant’, but what I’m really interested in is the increased link popularity once the listing reaches Google’s database.

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Date
20020821

Time
11:54
The votes are in and a decision has been made. The next book will be a novel. It will be worked on daily during my hellish 4-hour commute, so be prepared for many characters to die in all sorts of horrible ways as I try to purge the demons inside of me and my overwhelming desire for vengeance.

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Date
20020821

Time
13:10
Best. Episodes. Ever.

Worst. Episodes. Ever.

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Date
20020821

Time
13:40
The editor of the category for hemorrhoids over at the ODP actually goes by the name of ‘hemorrhoids’. This is the only category he manages. Could he possibly be a chronic sufferer? Does he only edit that one category because doing more would require being seated for even longer periods? Curse me and my enquiring mind. It eventually led me to the site of this sufferer, who gives a personal account that is incredibly straightforward.

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Date
20020821

Time
15:36


That bloody picture of the shark jumping up at the helicopter has enjoyed a new lease of life (and then some) today. It’s turned up in my Inbox and about a million others a number of times with the usual “It has been nominated by National Geographic as THE photo of the year” rubbish.

Here, for your personal use, are some free clue-by-fours you can send back to the witless wonders who forward this outdated rubbish. It’s a hoax. Duh. National Geographic did not name it photo of the year, in fact, they say just as much on their website.

If you like, you can also send on this new, improved model (to your right) or another variation that’s charting well on Lycos.

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Date
20020821
Christianity Watch
Time
16:18
The Bible, boiled down into text message fomat? I haven’t seen anything this obscene since Blue Jeans Bible.

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Date
20020821

Time
16:35
A 72-year-old disco owner and notorious womaniser has offered the last woman he sleeps with an inheritance of about $244,000. Anna Nicole Smith could not be reached for comment.

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Date
20020822

Time
10:02
Student arrested after camera discovered in the locker room of girl’s volleyball team.

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Date
20020822

Time
10:05
By the power of Greyskull, He-man returns!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020822

Time
10:06
After using this penis estimation site, Football365 reports that David Beckham’s penis is below average. Are they sure? It’s not very scientific, you know. Perhaps they had best slip a camera into the locker room just to make sure.

Hmm, suddenly I’m reminded of Aussie rugby player Andrew Ettinghausen.

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Date
20020822

Time
10:16
Alien reptiles live among us! They’ve got me convinced.

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Date
20020822

Time
10:19
How big is your ecological footprint? Who cares? I’m more interested in penis size today.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020822

Time
10:21
The Coca-Cola Company is accused of using paramilitary death squads to murder, torture, kidnap and threaten union leaders at their Colombian bottling plants. Space lizards are behind the plot, I’m sure.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020822
Latest Viral Agent
Time
10:30
The Virgin Mobile House Price Challenge asks you to value 4 homes for a chance to enter a prize draw (actually, you can get all of them wrong and enter as well). Exactly what house prices have to do with mobile phones is anybody’s guess, but the design on this mechanism is the mutt’s nuts and well worth the minute or so it takes to play and enter.

However…

Yet another agency has missed out on the full benefit of a hosted mechanism by hosting it at a new URL (instead of at the main site of the client). Granted, the site does link to Virgin Mobile, but only inside the flash content. Basically, the link is there but indexing robots can’t see it.

Again, allow me to cut’n’paste the following for the uninitiated:

The more people who link to your site, the better it performs in search engines (especially Google). Arming and hosting a viral mechanism in the correct way boosts your link popularity. In this way, you not only attract people via the mechanism, but also attract more folks making general search queries via search engines. This gives you a far better shot at a good return on your investment.

The referral tool at the tail of the competition should aim at improving this, too. There should not only be a function that allows you to ‘send to a friend’ (standard issue these days) but also something that encourages users to link to the site. If doing either or both improves their chances in the prize draw, then so much the better.

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Date
20020822

Time
11:05
You know those dreams that seem so close to normal, so very, very real – that you wake up from them needing a few minutes to adjust to reality?

Our youngest son Jack woke up with one of those in control of his head this morning. He was convinced that it was his birthday and that there were presents and a big cake waiting for him downstairs.

Poor little tyke. What a crappy way to start the day. Yes, there were tears. Yes, I will have a small present for him when I get home.

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Date
20020822

Time
11:21
The little shark picture I made yesterday is now No.4 on the Lycos Viral Chart. I figured they could use some new material…



UPDATE – No. 2! No. 2!

Can I crack the top spot, do you think?

Oh, also doing well here is the very cool Virtual Elvis. Its existence tickles me for reasons that are none of your damn business. Now, where did I leave that holographic power converter?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020822

Time
16:57
The attack was sudden and unexpected.

They should have known that Disco Stu doesn’t advertise.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020822

Time
17:16
Air rifle enthusiasts take pot shots at pussies.

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Date
20020822
Ronald Scelson
Time
17:21
Well, would you look at that.

In all the excitement, I forgot to tell you that Can Weblogs Reach Ronald Scelson? was Site Of The Day in The Mirror today.

Hooray for me!

Hooray also for poor old Ronnie’s postman, who must be developing a serious back problem by now…

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Date
20020823

Time
09:24
It’s going to be a quiet day today, folks – for me, anyway. The site is due a fair hammering after this mention at siliconvalley.com and all the little links from business blogs that are popping up as a result. A whole new audience for Ronnie – yay!



Tell you what though, I will take the time to mention this selection of rejected Penthouse letters just before I go to do my husbandly duties. Enjoy.

(Link courtesy of dogbomb, who also plugged our Ronnie piece today – but hasn’t said anything nice about the free book I sent him yet….)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020825

Time
10:11
My back hurts, my hands ache, but the garden’s not even halfway there yet. Mind you, I spent most of yesterday clearing land that’s the council’s responsibility. Given that their contractors once left it to grow wild for over 18 months, I don’t expect to see them again anytime soon – so yesterday, I took about 3 carloads of bindweed to the local green waste tip. The soil underneath is now fully turned, aerated and seeded with grass seed (grass seems to be the only thing that can overpower the evil combination of bindweed, nettles and blackberry that grows out there).

And, in case I haven’t mentioned it, my back hurts and my hands ache.

Today, I have to clear and turn the soil where the greenhouse used to be. This should be fun, as the soil is full of leftover scraps of concrete (from the foundation for the greenhouse) and lots and lots of broken glass. Still, the whole exercise should give us a few extra square yards of… erm, yard.

The only problem is, my back hurts and my hands ache.

Perhaps this is my penance for unwittingly punishing Ronnie Scelson’s postman…

UPDATE – Oooh, lookie. Here’s a photo of the job somewhere around half-done. If you look closely, you can see the document tray and dish drainer we used to filter the garbage out of the soil (they were found on one of our many trips to the tip, and turned out to be perfect for the job). The wheelbarrow you see in the foreground is one of five we took away full of rocks, concrete and broken glass. We also found quite a few worms while we were about it. All were released unharmed to go about their duties.

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Date
20020826

Time
16:28
One in four employees spend more than an entire workday each week surfing non-work-related web sites according to this survey. Of a few hundred people. By a company that makes software which can ‘control employee Internet use’. Ahem.

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Date
20020826
Mustard Man III
Time
16:34
Mustard company French’s is seeking a Mustard Man.

What do you think – should I tell them?

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Date
20020827

Time
09:51
The Google Quiz looks to be a recruitment tool for Google Answers.

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Date
20020827

Time
09:54
An Australian women’s soccer team was duped into appearing ‘naked’, now the players are banned from stripping for money under any circumstances. Awwww…

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Date
20020827
Department of ‘I Told You So’
Time
09:57
81-year-old cowpoke given suspended sentence and counselling after poking cows. Hmm, I think maybe I should write a static article on the rise of bestial offences so I have something better to link to than this.

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Date
20020827
Flash Movies
Time
10:01
Violent Flash cartoons for the whole family! (Link via ultimateinsult.net)

Oh, and check out this cute sailor song. Is that Aqua?

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Date
20020827

Time
10:03
Texas tourists showered with stale urine. Must be travelling economy if they can’t afford the fresh stuff.

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Date
20020827
It Had To Happen
Time
10:10
Weblogs.com lets you see the latest updates on a number of blogs.

A primitive interface for participating bloggers, but it’s sure to improve with use.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020827
Christianity Watch
Time
10:16
A short list of Jesus-sightings across America.

Hmmm, it doesn’t list this one.

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Date
20020827

Time
10:19
Light dawns as folks begin to realise that the rise of blogs is more about a publishing format than a cultural movement. Mind you, we are a fickle bunch.

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Date
20020827
Flash Games
Time
12:02
Forget Lycos Fight Club. The open bitchfest at sissyfight.com is far more entertaining. Claws out, girls!

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Date
20020827

Time
13:10
For those with .co.uk domains, worried that the personal details they provided in good faith were about to go public, I have good news: Nominet UK have now backed down.

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Date
20020827
Search Engine Optimisation
Time
15:39
The latest version of my Lego site just went live in Google, with some fan-fucking-sock-tastic results for the new vehicles:

No. 1 for ‘goblin glider’

No. 3 for ‘swoop bike’ (only the official Star Wars site does better)

No. 8 for ‘e-wing’ & No. 1 for ‘e-wing fighter’

No. 4 for ‘slave 1′

And, even though there are hundreds of toy shops and review sites plugging the official set, my beefier version is sure to get the attention it deserves now that it’s No. 4 for ‘lego jedi starfighter’. Only the official Lego and Star Wars sites can do better.

And yes, I do like to show off from time to time. Obviously.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020828

Time
07:10
Ho-hum, another day full of meetings and devoid of bloggage.

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Date
20020829

Time
10:05
Would you scrape brains off the wall for $32.50 to $40 an hour?

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Date
20020829

Time
10:06
The creator of SatireWire has emerged from a staff meeting with himself and decided to call it a day, citing ‘creative differences’. An inner turmoil I’m only too familiar with.

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Date
20020829

Time
10:09
It sounds like a country & western song updated for the 21st century:

Ah drove mah pickup truck into nuclear waste.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020829
Countdowns of Note
Time
10:12
Is it over yet?

Well, not quite.

When I checked this morning, the Bush administration was only 40.04 percent over.

Make regular checks for yourself at this George W. Bush administration countdown.

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Date
20020829

Time
10:15
Enjoy a morbid fact of the day. Or maybe a virtual blowjob (you’ll pardon the pun, but I saw this one coming from a mile away).

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Date
20020829

Time
10:19
It’s the British Mascot Grand National! You know those chaps who wear animal suits and run around on the sidelines during football matches? Once a year, they get together for a no-holds-barred all-in race at Huntingdon Racecourse. 29th of September, people. Mark it in your diaries.

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Date
20020829

Time
10:26
Scientology says it’s threatened by “unadulterated cyber-terrorism”. Awww, diddums.

In this release, they note that ‘the freedom provided by the Internet is open to abuse’.

Like copyright infringement, for example?

See their rip-off of Urban75 here.

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Date
20020829

Time
10:34
Was Bin Laden inspired by Isaac Asimov?

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Date
20020829

Time
10:47
Dogbomb.co.uk bites the dust. Sad, very sad. Dogbomb is a fellow B3tan and longtime supporter of Bloggerheads. It is now my sad duty to report the site’s untimely demise to the weblog coroner.

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Date
20020829
Yet Another Lame Quiz
Time
11:21
… for which, I must admit, I am somewhat responsible:

Click here to take the embarrassment quiz.

Me, I’m officially in denial from this point on.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020829
Flash Games
Time
15:32
Arm-wrestle with Sigmund Freud.

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Date
20020830

Time
09:48
Another quality link from ultimateinsult.net:

A complete episode and character guide for The Muppet Show.

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Date
20020830

Time
09:51
Jim brought this anti-Google rant to my attention yesterday. Basically, Daniel Brandt claims that the Google PageRank system is undemocratic.

I was surprised that salon.com deemed it at all noteworthy, though they do describe the largely personal attack as being ‘pretty easy to dismiss’.

I tend to agree, though the water is muddied by Google’s curious inability to note links to that page. (They are there, but you do have to dig to find them, and they certainly don’t add to his PR.)

Interestingly, Brandt claims that the system ensures that ‘the rich get richer’. Not so. I’ve worked on a number of large campaigns where my warning went unheeded and large amounts of money were wasted generating link popularity artificially. Funnily enough, it didn’t help much. Nine times out of ten, only natural link support works that Google magic. It is supremely democratic, and yes it works.

If you have an idle moment, check out the PR of this site. It doesn’t look like much, but Bloggerheads has a lot going for it in terms of link popularity. A lot of this link support does not show up in the PR or even in many of the obvious manual searches you might think of. But it’s there, and I know it’s working for me.

Google knows what they’re doing, and they know when to keep their mouths shut about it. PageRank is only one face of the link popularity algorithm, as I’ve pointed out here a number of times. You get the people behind you, and you will succeed in Google.

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Date
20020830
Universal Church of the Interactive Network
Time
10:06
We have a new disciple!

Don’t delay, convert today!

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Date
20020830

Time
10:10
Doctor arrested for keeping body parts at home. In Tupperware containers, no less.

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Date
20020830
Christianity Watch
Time
10:12
Answering the question: “Did Adam have a bellybutton?”

You know, I once had an argument with a chap who was convinced that women have one more rib than men – because, as everybody ‘knows’, God created Eve from one of Adam’s ribs.

I started by pointing out that, if this was the case, then women would have two more ribs than men.

Things went downhill from there.

Finally, I dared to suggest that he actually feel and count his own ribs… then invited a woman over so we could count hers. He refused to do so on moral grounds, so I counted them for him. He was too ‘embarrassed’ to look, and kept claiming that I was fudging the count.

It was about then that I admitted to myself that there are some people you can’t reach, and some fights you can’t win.

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Date
20020830

Time
13:06
OK, guys – here’s the plan: a surprise attack on Iraq. On November 30th. Keep it under your hat.

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Date
20020830

Time
13:10
36% of all email is spam. Only 36%? Has to be a misprint…

WTF is Weblog Marketing?

Introduction

At the moment, there’s very little commercial intrusion into weblogs. Most of this is due to ignorance, leading some bloggers to think that this is working to preserve the integrity of our interactive community. It is. For now.

Unfortunately, due to the impact we as a community have been enjoying, nothing can stop awareness from spreading. Awareness does not counteract ignorance.

What this article sets out to do is make clear what weblogs are (and are not), plus what can and can’t be done to make them work in a commercial sense.

What is a Weblog?

Well, we have to include this, but I’ll be quick. A weblog is a running log or diary that is published on the web. Weblogs are not an enclosed community of geeks, but an eclectic selection of individuals, groups (and sometimes organisations) that feel suitably empowered by this new publishing format to get out there and have their say.

Previously, establishing a web presence required a great deal of planning and forethought. For many, this was simply not worth the effort. What a weblog interface allows you to do is publish your thoughts, interests and opinions one sentence at a time.

Look at this amusing site. Read this interesting article. I like kittens.

Such posts may seem trivial when observed individually, but together they form a running commentary that defines the experience – and purpose – of the user. (And, just for the record, I loathe, despise and distrust kittens.)

What and Where is the Weblog Community?

On a wider scale, bloggers communicate not only with their audience, but also each other. Some of these relationships are strong and ongoing, others are tenuous and fleeting, but all contribute to an enormous ecosystem of constantly exchanged information.

We aren’t hosted at a single server, we don’t all use the same publishing tools, we’re not all into the same things and reaching one certainly weblog does not guarantee that you will reach all of the others.

The only thing we really have in common is our wish to share information and a publishing format that lets us speak our thoughts and store them sequentially.

What’s This Whole Google Thing About?

Google, the world’s most popular search engine, has recently taken to listening in to this global conversation, which is what most of the excitement in the commercial sector is about. To put it briefly, your audience does not have to know about weblogs for you to reach them via weblogs. I’ll go into more detail in a moment; hang in there.

Yes, this situation can be used for commercial gain, but first you have to get something into your head: this new publishing format has encouraged many to exchange information in new ways, but we’re still communicating for much the same reasons that we always did on the web, via email or in Usenet.

This is a conversation. It’s fun. It’s fulfilling. We’re learning things about ourselves and each other. If you come charging in with a commercial message, you’ll be about as welcome as an Amway rep at a cocktail party. Cool your jets, shut your mouth, grab a drink, and listen up.

The World’s Largest Cocktail Party

So here we all are, a wide variety of people from all walks of life, getting together purely because we like to interact with each other. Like any form of fulfilling social interaction, listening is as important as talking. Those in your immediate circle know what you do for a living, and this may even form part of your introduction or crop up in normal conversation, but if all you talk about is work, then you’re going to find yourself in a very lonely corner of the room before the ice has melted in your first drink. If you were stupid enough to bring some pamphlets or maybe even an educational slideshow with you, then you can be sure that everybody will be laughing and pointing as well.

At this stage, it’s time to leave. You probably won’t be welcomed if you ever have the guts to return.

So how does your message reach this audience (and the wider one outside the party)? Well, this is where Google comes in. Google, as we said, listens into this conversation. By opting to index weblogs daily (because they update daily) Google has provided a function that brings forward the most recent information available. It actually rates ‘buzz’ as an important factor, so much so that as few as three weblogs can have a significant effect on the search results for any given web page, merely by linking to it.

If you interact with people, if you engage them in conversation, then when someone on the other side of the room (or even outside the building) mentions to another individual that they are seeking your kind of service – or even better, questions the almighty and all-seeing eye of Google – then your name will crop up.

The more highly regarded you are, the more likely you will be seen to be relevant by Google – and the more likely people will be to refer you on a direct and personal basis.

Exactly the same kind of real information exchange is required to gain both of these differing forms of recommendation.

So, Are We On The Same Page Now?

OK, so hopefully you’ve learned enough to put your goddamn pamphlets away. You know how important it is to show respect for the community (even if it’s just from a practical standpoint). It’s now time to learn how we as a community might be of help to you.

What you want to do in the end is reach Joe Blogs (heh, it tickles me that this classic pseudonym now has a much wider meaning) and if you don’t mind, we’re going to continue with the cocktail party metaphor from time to time to keep you on track.

Two Examples of Weblog Marketing

1. Join The Conversation

One of the most perverse methods of cashing in on the daily indexing function of Google is the ‘reinvention’ of the press release section of your site as a weblog. This would be incredibly easy to do, as the updating function exists already, and all you would have to do is slip in a bit of code that instructs Google to drop by daily or weekly for regular updates.

The only problem is, we don’t care which industry award you won or how many fucking units you shipped last quarter. We want to hear about the human side of what you do. We want to talk to a real person.

What you need to do is appoint an ambassador and get them to publish either at your presence or at a new one that links to yours prominently. You’ll have to sacrifice a great deal of control, as there’s no point in sending someone to give a formal presentation when what the audience is expecting is conversation.

A lot of the content on this weblog won’t focus directly on your company, but as you should already know, successful networking requires charisma above content. Popularity is the key, and if you’re successful, then Google will be more inclined to recommend your site over another that doesn’t contribute to this natural form of informational exchange.

2. Bring a Few Links To The Party

A lot of noise has been made about viral marketing in the past, and its image has suffered because so many folks have got it wrong. The key to viral marketing is weaving your commercial message into a mechanism that people want to share.

Formatting this mechanism in a way that it encourages people to share it by linking to it (rather than, saying, directly forwarding it by email) increases its commercial benefit greatly.

Be it in a game, a novelty, or a useful tool, even the most cleverly integrated commercial message can go astray. Indeed, in some cases, it often pays to be as low-key as possible about the commercial message in order to increase the mechanism’s viral potency. Normally this would be a Catch-22, but when weblogs, Google and the factor of link popularity get involved, the odds are tipped significantly in your favour.

People may not know who brought the links to the party, but Google will. General search results for your main page(s) can improve significantly – often overnight – due to this kind of activity.

Warning: Word Count Approaching 1,500

So here you are, a little bit older but hopefully a heck of a lot wiser. There’s not a lot more I can do for you now except suggest that you get out there and do some research. Yes, articles can help, but each and every one represents a single opinion of something that’s very hard to define. What you really need to do is mingle. Listen to the conversation, find out where you fit in and come back to us when you’re ready.

We’ll still be here and willing to listen, but try not to fuck up the party for the rest of us, OK?

01-15 August, 2002

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Date
20020801

Time
09:47
Thanks for all the IQ guesses, folks. Estimations of my intelligence ranged from the insulting to the flattering, but the closest guess (125) came from Red Dwarf over at ultimateinsult.net.

My IQ (depending on which stage of my life and/or test you refer to and how much beer I’ve been drinking) is somewhere between 130-138.

Hard to believe, isn’t it?

An autographed copy of The Net-Works Guide to Marketing Your Website is on its way over.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020801

Time
09:54
The Saudi Government blocks around 2,000 websites, mostly for the hell of it. The Indian Government plans to block a whole lot more unless they pay a ‘toll’. Yeah, that’ll work…

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Date
20020801

Time
10:07
Scott Whitney told his kids not to see Monsters Inc. with their grandfather, because he wanted to take them to see it. Being kids, they saw it anyway, but kept it a secret. Unfortunately, when he (finally) took them to see the movie, they gave the game away by referring to upcoming scenes and developments. Enraged, he paddled his 9-year-old daughter when they got home – yes, with a real paddle – while yelling “You’re a little Becky!”

His estranged wife’s name is Rebecca.

Why do I get the feeling that the grandfather referred to in this story is of the maternal variety?

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Date
20020801

Time
10:16
Hire the man of your dreams at gigolo.com

Yes, it’s for real, but they don’t have any red-hot lovers for hire in the UK yet. Should I register?

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Date
20020801

Time
10:19
Licence money well spent.

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Date
20020801
Look It Up
Time
10:25
England and Poland have never been at war. Probably because we choose to tell jokes about the Irish instead.

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Date
20020801

Time
11:06
Sometimes my job can be a lot of fun… and then there’s today.

As part of some necessary research, today I ascertained that – across all of the major search engines – over 75,000 searches are made annually for images of external haemorrhoids.

Curiousity got the better of me, so I looked it up, too.

Oh dear God, my eyes!!!!!!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020801

Time
11:09
Dogbomb (he of the George Best death pool) just received some rather impressive hate mail.

In a nice card, no less.

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Date
20020801

Time
13:42
The Abbey Road Webcam is the funniest live feed I’ve seen in a long time. You would be amazed at the things tourists do trying to get a good picture on what is probably the most famous pedestrian crossing in the world. Patience is required, but I just plugged this in B3ta and so far we’ve spotted several near misses, one girl who fell over trying to get the right angle, and a group of teenagers who thought it would be a good idea to lie in the middle of the road.

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Date
20020802

Time
10:02
Some better IQ tests for you to enjoy.

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Date
20020802

Time
10:11
Surely if he can afford a domain name and hosting he can also afford a hooker: buymeahooker.com

I’ll keep my money, thanks.

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Date
20020802

Time
10:14
“Freed from the constraints of the printed page (or any concept of ‘page’), an author can now blog a short thought that previously would have gone unwritten. The weblog’s post unit liberates the writer from word count.”

Well said.

Read more at What We’re Doing When We Blog.

Right, now to get back to defining myself a sentence at a time…

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Date
20020802

Time
10:19
The 100 Greatest Videos of All Time

You can watch clips, too. Cool.

Peter Gabriel’s “Sledgehammer” comes in at No.3, and why that pleases me greatly is my business.

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Date
20020802

Time
10:27
Steve Outing has a problem with Spam filters. His problem is that a recent opt-in newsletter he sent out was bounced without notification because it contained words and textual styles that triggered the spam filters.

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Date
20020802

Time
10:33
I mentioned this a few days ago, but couldn’t find a live link. Happily, Romenesko came through.

Britney Spears’ Dad Pulls Gun On Fans.

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Date
20020802

Time
10:53
Man forced to withdraw penis from eBay. I’m a sucker for a good headline.

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Date
20020802
Look It Up
Time
10:54
During World War II, the FBI ran a gay brothel in NYC that was staffed with multi-lingual agents. The idea was to extract information from foreign sailors.

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Date
20020802

Time
12:23
It’s the B3ta slot machine. Only funny if you’re a B3tan, sorry.

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Date
20020802

Time
15:53
I have precisely one hour to come up with a knockout idea for promoting a migraine treatment.

Now I have a headache.

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Date
20020802
Latest Viral Agents
Time
16:27
This parking game is quite a departure for Tesco. They’re normally much more boring about things. Not a bad game, really – but don’t expect it to distract you for an entire afternoon.

If the whole parking things stresses you out, do what I did to get rid of my headache – get out there and kick some heads.

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Date
20020802
Photoshopping
Time
17:22
I don’t get to do this anywhere near as much as I used to – but I can still pull a chart-topper out now and again. If you’ll excuse me now, I’m late for my rocket sled to hell.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020805

Time
10:08
When we can afford it, the boys and I drop by a boot sale to top up the Lego collection. The only problem is that now, at the largest boot sale near us, there is a heartless sow with a face like a cat’s bum who buys up all the Lego, knocking personal trader’s prices down with her withering ‘take it or leave it’ voice, then selling it at greatly inflated prices. She’s free to wander around and target new sellers as they arrive because she doesn’t run her own stall. She always attaches herself to somebody else’s stall by offering to pay for their patch. I’m sure there’s another reason she does this – she wants to put a human face on her little trading empire and when she stands there alone, children are afraid to approach.

I don’t blame them. She looks like a ginger version of the Child Catcher from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

I’m all for free enterprise, but this woman is really starting to get on my nerves. Next week, I’m tempted to go in nice and early – to follow her around and offer a pound more than she offers every step of the way.

In the nicest way possible, of course.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020805

Time
10:10
The site findadeath.com seems to be suffering from a near-death experience. Yet another webmaster goes begging for change.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020805
It Had To Happen
Time
10:15
Some chap has started a of stupid hyperlink policies over at dontlink.com

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020805

Time
10:20
A glossary of English ‘food’. Good thing I learned how to cook before coming here.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020805

Time
10:26
I was quite disappointed to discover that the official site of Amelia Earhart doesn’t consist of a single 404 page.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020805

Time
10:30
The latest edition of Celebrity Bestiality is out. This month: Darius Danesh.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020805

Time
10:33
WARNING! This collection of propaganda posters may contain satire.

(Another great find from ultimateinsult.net)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020805

Time
10:44
I don’t know much about sculpture, but I know what I like.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020805

Time
11:20
How to say ‘NO’ in over 520 languages. If this doesn’t get you anywhere, try saying “I can eat glass, it doesn’t hurt me,” a phrase specifically designed to elicit respect in just about any culture.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020805
Look It Up
Time
12:23
The Sybarites taught their horses to ‘dance’ to flute music in order to make their parades more impressive. When the Sybarites attacked Croton in 510 B.C., the Crotoniates whipped out a few flutes and played up a storm. The horses stopped mid-charge to dance, and the Sybarites were slaughtered.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020805

Time
13:57
An excellent offering this month from Tom Tomorrow. Two strips for the price of one!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020805

Time
15:58
Short but sweet: Austrian police search lake for reported floating ‘corpse’ and find a sex doll.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020805
Christianity Watch
Time
16:10
The Christian Golfer’s Association: offering you better putting through prayer.

Trivia: 5% of lightning strikes causing death or injury occur on the golf course.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020805

Time
17:16
A court in northern Saudi Arabia has sentenced a Nigerian teenager to six months in jail and 240 lashes for having sex with a camel.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020806
It Had To Happen
Time
09:49
Yawn!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020806

Time
09:54
Mini-Me to lead world’s largest chicken dance. No need to click – the headline says it all.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020806

Time
10:13
One of the world’s most prolific spammers, Ronald Scelson, has no problems speaking to reporters.

When asked why he was so willing to speak with a reporter, he replied:

“I don’t need the press on my side; I can reach more people than you can.”

Yes, his brain really seems to be wired this way. I’m tempted to reach for a clue-by-four. In fact, the creative cogs are turning in my mind as we speak.

Hmm, yes I do believe I have it.

Let me just check something…

Yep, I know where he lives.

I have a big job on today, but I will get back to you.

In the meantime, you can focus your hatred on this photo of Scelson. Imagine his smug grin spreading across the room as his head explodes. It works for me.

UPDATE – Read this post Ronald Scelson made to news.admin.net-abuse.email, defending his right to make our lives a misery. Ooh, look – I’m a Nazi.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020806

Time
12:15
Watch the world population grow. Those numbers just keep ticking over…

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020806

Time
12:54
So Solid Crew accused of group sex attack. This article just reached the discussion group at the official SSC site. Only a few comments so far, but it’s sure to liven up soon.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020806

Time
15:41
The Register is launching an ISP. Where do I sign?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020806
Photoshopping, In-Jokes, Etc.
Time
17:19
The poor dears over at B3ta are having a bit of a troll invasion at the moment, thus the reference to Jeff. Not that you’ll get any of the other refernces, that is. Fark also had a bit of a moderating snafu today, prompting quite a few threatened walkouts. Erm, and Fb- is the father.

Did you get all of that? Good.

I won’t be in until late tomorrow, but I’ll try to make some progress on a certain spammer when I do.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020807

Time
12:59
Hmmm. A day after mentioning everybody’s favourite spammer Ronald Scelson, I received an inordinate amount of spam in my Inbox. Surely a coincidence.

I have something in mind for our friend Ronald, but I want to hold my water until tomorrow night’s Fark party, as I’m sure some excellent ideas will result from an open discussion here.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020807

Time
13:07
Vigilante neighbors take to child molestor with a red-hot spatula. Whether it was purchased at Spatula City is not on record.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020807

Time
13:12
Way cooler than a life-size Millennium Falcon (well, maybe). This guy built a Battlemech Treehouse for his kids.

Tch! And the best I can do is Lego? I’m going to have to lift my game.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020807

Time
13:33
Huzzah! A new Acolyte for the Universal Church of the Interactive Network.

Woot! This one is an even more impressive convert.

We also got blogged favourably by Bea.

Good to see that everybody’s getting the point. Can the top search result for ‘religion’ be far away?

The site is currently 251st for this generic search term (up from #300 or so this time last week).

We’re getting there…

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020807

Time
14:35
An excellent archive of controversial news stories that would otherwise disappear forever. The site’s name – The Memory Hole – refers to the little chute next to all desks at the Ministry of Truth in George Orwell’s 1984. It is into this hole (leading straight to the furnace) that information is sent when it is to be edited out of existence.

Controversial stories like this one are taken offline or edited every day, mostly due to corporate censorship and spin-doctoring. Online news services – or their hosts – are notoriously easy to bully into submission.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020807
Yet Another Lame Quiz
Time
15:13
Which finger are you?

Surprisingly, I turned out to be the middle finger.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020808
Christianity Watch
Time
10:05
Christians are embracing Ned Flanders as a role model. Iconic? Ironic.

At times like this, your really have to ask yourself: What the Fuck Would Jesus Do?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020808

Time
10:10
This little teen held up a newsstand, demanding porn at gunpoint. This teen set his sights a little higher, by stealing $28,000 from under his grandmother’s bed and spending a fair chunk of it on crack cocaine, marijuana, alcohol and a room at the Red Roof Inn for him and his mates. What, no hookers? Hm. Perhaps the local brothel was closed.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020808

Time
10:12
Whye the hell would I want my own barcode?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020808

Time
10:15
Going mosh-pitting this weekend and need to learn a few new moves? Check out this excellent guide to mosh-pitting. Includes JPEGs of individual and group moves, and two instructional .SWF files.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020808

Time
10:25
Extreme duct taping. My life now has new meaning.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020808

Time
11:01
On Monday, a fellow B3tan complained about being forced to sit through a government training film entitled “Barry’s Bad Data Day”. Having made a few dire corporate videos myself in the past (career highlight: the joys of stencil paving) I was curious enough to look up those responsible for it. The first site I found was that of the Information Commissioner, and it was on this site that discovered that anybody can send an email and order a copy, completely free of charge.

For your own entertainment, I advise you to do so forthwith. I ordered mine on Monday, and arrived on Wednesday. I was greatly disappointed to discover, however, that this glorious film boasts no credits.

No matter. I already know that the dazzling script was by Jonathan Priest and from this site it was only a hop skip and a jump to the site of Centre Screen, the company that produced it. Erm, best not click that last one. It’s a flash site that’s needlessly top-heavy. Just take my word for it that the executive producer is one Rick Megginson. There isn’t much information online about Rick, but he did enter the 1976 Ottawa International Animation Festival.

Sadly, I was unable to discover the identity of the energetic and earnest chap in the lead role. Perhaps somebody who orders a copy will recognise him?

I’d email Centre Screen and ask, but I fear I am not worthy.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020808

Time
11:30
Don’t you hate it when you go to the barber for a trim and he takes too much off? Still, hair grows back. To the best of my knowledge, penises do not.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020808

Time
11:36
Aquarium platform falls and dumps 10 into shark tank. Heh. This tickles me, because it’s one of the opening set pieces in my novel. (It’s coming, folks. Have patience.)

The difference being, in my case, it’s 30 people. Well, 30 orphans to be precise. After this, the book moves on to happier matters. No, really…

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020808
Lego
Time
11:55
I know what you’re going to say: “Yawn! Lego Porn, been there, done that!”

Ah, yes – but this is a little more sophisticated than the carnal fumblings of multiple minifigs.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020808
Flash Games
Time
12:02
How could you not enjoy Cliff-Diving Monkeys?

The waves come and go, and different monkeys fall at different rates. If the water’s too shallow, the monkeys go splat. Lots of fun, and, if you’re crap at games like I am, lots of blood and guts as well.

There’s even a low-res version for those of you on slower computers. Enjoy.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020808

Time
12:15
Remember the man who was arrested for grilling a kitten? He’s up for trial soon, and someone’s started an online petition, urging the Clay County Prosecutor’s Office to seek the maximum sentence of five years in prison and the maximum fine of $5000. Over 25,000 cat-lovers have signed so far. Last Chance for Animals (LCA) is also baying for blood.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020808

Time
15:45
Ooh, lookie – it’s an anatomically correct mannequin.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020808

Time
16:41
Arrrrgh! It’s one of those really annoying ‘robot’ mimes.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020808
Yet Another Lame Quiz
Time
16:42
I’m 36% geek. The relatively low score is due to a mixture of my technological ignorance and the fact that I have sex from time to time. How Geeky Are You?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020808

Time
16:46
Bloody hell.

The White Horse pub in Hascombe is a damn fine pub. I don’t frequent it daily or anything, but I’m familiar with it. In fact, local ginger-spotters report that Chris Evans spends a great deal of time there.

I wouldn’t know. I’ve only ever seen him directing traffic in Godalming and met him once in a completely different pub (long story). Oops, I’m rambling.

Chris Evans was on board a yacht last night with the owner of the White Horse, who was captaining the vessel. Until, that is, he was killed when a boom swung across the boat and knocked him into the water. Poor guy.

Of course, most articles are going to focus on how Chris feels about it and why Billie wasn’t on board at the time. Investigating officers made a point of mentioning that alcohol didn’t seem to be a factor, but there’s sure to be some speculation regarding this as well. Oh, it all makes me so happy.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020809

Time
10:08
Last night, I was out with a fellow Farker or two having a beer outside a busy pub, when a woman trying to sell copies of the Big Issue approached us.

She had a young girl with her, who was about 8-10 years old

1. The added presence of the young pity-figure is the standard calling card of fake refugee beggars

2. I’m pretty sure the folks at the Big Issue wouldn’t approve of one of their sellers taking her young daughter out on rounds at 8:30pm

So, I asked for ID.

From beneath her scarf, she produced what would have to be the worst fake ID I have ever seen in my life.

It was a photocopy of a real Big Issue ID, with the photo of a woman obscured by a scarf (who could have been anyone, really). It was produced on pink paper, presumably to add to its authenticity, and laminated very roughly. It was, and this is my favourite bit, held around her neck by a grotty piece of string.

I told her that I was in no doubt that she was a fraud, and cheating genuine homeless people out of their livelihood.

(I must admit here that I’d made the assumption that most of the funds from her sales would go to whatever gang is running this latest scam.)

She denied it hotly, so I dug out my digital camera and tried to take a photo of the ID.

Instead, I got a wonderful picture of her hand.



Off she shuffled, cursing me under her breath.

She didn’t get more than 12 steps before she found a much better prospect, and had him forking out change within seconds.

Out came the camera again, and this time I got a much better shot.

No ‘under the breath’ nonsense this time around. Instead, I was graced with not one hearty and loud “Fuck you!” but three. Her daughter was more restrained, and would only say: “You’re a bad man! Bad man!”

I know, sometimes I can be positively evil.

So evil, in fact, that I’m not only telling you about this relatively new scam, but also uk.local.london and the Big Issue, who this morning will be offered a his-res version of my photo by email. I hope they put her on the cover, then we’ll see how many copies she sells.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020809
Classics
Time
11:08
Put a big fat hairy arse on any web page you choose. I chose this one.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020809

Time
11:26
Send your friends a pee-mail. I made this one just for you guys. Enjoy.

(Link via Dogbomb)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020809
Flash Games
Time
11:43
Bring an emu in for a soft landing. Emus can fly? Wow, Rod Hull must be pissed.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020809

Time
13:01
The site savekaryn.com wants donations towards the $20,000 Karyn needs to pay off a credit card debt. Turns out she’s been hammering it everywhere from Bloomingdales to Ebay, but she was only doing to to help the economy, honest! The new site dontsavekaryn.com comes courtesy of two chaps called Bob and Ben, who are less than impressed with Karyn’s sense of ‘fiscal responsibility’ and say so in the nicest way possible. Mind you, they make this point by – ahem – asking you for money, and this second site is absolutely littered with pop-ups (including, quite entertainingly, one promoting a debt relief package). Nevertheless, both sites are entertaining in their own way, and both are important landmarks in the evolution of online begging. You have to at least drop by so you can say ‘I was there’.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020809
OK, So I’m a Star Wars Geek
Time
16:01
Ladies and Gentlemen, please welcome to the stage… Mr Billy Fett!

Luke is flying in his X-Wing tonight

Through the heights of planet Dagobah

Leavin’ Obiwan & Yoda behind

Out to find his gen-et-ic father

Say goodbye to Dagobah

Say goodbye my baby

Say goodbye to Dagobah

Say goodbye my baby

Han is takin’ care of things for a while

And his style is so warm witty and wry

Leia’s smilin’ happily and it shows

Cos she knows she’s Luke’s sister and Jedi

Say goodbye to Dagobah

Say goodbye my baby

Say goodbye to Dagobah

Say goodbye my baby

Moving on, is the chance that you take

When you fall in love with your sister

Whoa

You’ll find it’s way out of line

If you want to make love

Or maybe want… to fist her

To fii-hi-i-hist her.

I’m so powerful and strong with the force

That of course, I could win easily

But Obiwan said Darth murdered my Dad

Now I’m sad, because Obiwan lied to me

Say goodbye to Dagobah

Say goodbye my baby

Say goodbye to Dagobah

Say goodbye my baby

Doubts are racing in and out of my mind

Now I find evil dwells within my soul

The force seems stronger when I leave good behind

I’m afraid the dark side will take control

Say goodbye to Dagobah

Say goodbye my baby

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020809

Time
16:16
Disabled jokes are on the menu. No, really.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020811
Feedback
Time
21:31
“Well done,” says Jed, “Only you would rhyme ‘fist her’ with ‘sister’!”

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020812
It Had To Happen
Time
09:55
1. Blogger is offering banner ads on Blogspot. A major blog interface provider, and they miss the point like this? Tch!

2. Oh, it’s Blogrolling now, is it? Insert the sound of a stifled yawn here:

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020812
Department of ‘I Told You So’
Time
09:56
“There is, at last, some evidence that the main commercial sites are realising that this aggressive advertising does not work.”

Why ads on the net don’t work.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020812

Time
10:06
The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins (links to Quicktime .MOV file). Leonard Nimoy sings up a storm on film. The truly sad thing is that I own the album this is from, but I must admit to preferring the classic ditty ‘Highly Illogical’.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020812
LOTR
Time
10:20
Five things that sucked about Lord Of The Rings.

“2. Not enough lesbians. In fact, there weren’t any.”

I’m sure you get the idea…

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020812

Time
10:30
Not much blogging on today folks (I must go and bravely enter the world of the offline agency). Still, there are two new articles/thingies for you to read:

1. WTF is Weblog Marketing? attempts to explain to the clueless what potential exists and the kind of stupidity they should avoid. It should also let hardcore bloggers know more or less where I’m coming from.

2. Can Weblogs Reach Ronald Scelson? is the latest Can Weblogs…? experiment, seeing if a little people-power can shake some sense into one of the world’s biggest spammers.

Have fun, and play nice.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020812
Flash Movies
Time
10:37
Enjoy this Hard Copy take on the Enron story.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020813

Time
09:53
The Ultimate Insult notes that the Simpson family, like so many other celebrities, have sold out to the almighty Yen and appeared in a series of Japanese ads for soft drink called CC Lemon. Still, at least it’s not as bad as the Flintstones flogging Winston cigarettes.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020813
Department of ‘I Told You So’
Time
10:01
“There’s a vast group of people out there now who are experts in finding the news and links, capturing its essence in short snippets, and churning it out hour after hour, day after day. We know their content is compelling, and that drives traffic and repeat visitors to their sites. It’s time to take blogging to the next level and that starts with paying people to produce high-quality, focused blogs for commercial Web sites.”

Read more at:

Blogging for Dollars: Giving Rise to the Professional Blogger

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020813

Time
10:07
Topping Blogdex and Daypop today:

Tales of the Plush Cthulhu.

If you’re wondering what it’s all about, you might want to check out the Cthulhu Mythos FAQ or dig deeper via its category in Google.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020813

Time
10:16
One minute we’re banging rocks together, the next minute, off we go, lickety-split up the evolutionary ziggurat. And it all started with a magic mushroom.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020813
Flash Movies
Time
10:24
How to score without making it to the end zone.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020813

Time
10:26
Stray dog identified by microchip and returned to owner. 6 years after the pooch went missing.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020813

Time
10:28
Argument over blueberry pie culminates in murder-suicide. Both husband and wife died from gunshot wounds. The fate of the freshly-baked pie is, sadly, unrecorded.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020813

Time
10:41
A pictorial HisTory of Michael Jackson’s face.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020813

Time
10:42
Popbitch boarders are reacting predictably to advertising on the site.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020813

Time
11:21
The Guardian has done another quiz:

Are you a workplace time-waster?

But, again, they’re neglected to format the results as a ‘cut and paste’ graphic/link.

*sigh*

Well, perhaps the omission is deliberate. We can only hope.

Friends Of The Earth are at it, too – but this quiz is hosted at a new URL, not at their main site, and it’s produced in (wait for it) shockwave flash. There’s a ‘send to a friend’ function at the end, granted, but both of these quizzes miss the vital element of link generation.

Let me spell it out for the uninitiated:

The more people who link to your site, the better it performs in search engines (especially Google). Doing a quiz in the correct way boosts your link popularity. In this way, you not only attract people via the quiz, but also attract more folks via search engines.

In fact, this blog owes a great deal of its overall link popularity to the MASH Quiz.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020813

Time
15:04
Well, here it is – a new bloggerheads logo/image thingy (up the top to your left). What do you think?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020813

Time
15:49
Latin to be banned from the courtroom. Omnia mutantur nos et mutamur in illis.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020813

Time
15:59
A Woman’s Guide on How to Pee Standing. No funnel or attachments required.

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Date
20020813

Time
22:14
Can Weblogs Reach Ronald Scelson? is going ballistic today, mostly thanks to Fark. You can read what Farkers think of the whole thing (and pick up some useful information) by reading the related thread.

Another boring day tomorrow with offline marketing folks, but I’ll be back and bouncing on Thursday.

Have fun, and play nice.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020814

Time
16:07
Via the wonderful Firda comes this equally wonderful Merkin’s guide to speaking British proper like what we do.

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Date
20020814

Time
16:20
A brand spanking new article about your mate and mine, Ronald Scelson – and fellow spammer, Al Ralsky.

Hmmm, now what can be done for Al?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020814

Time
16:48

Dear God,

Please send me £3.4m so I can devote the rest of my life to proving how unfulfilling monetary wealth is.

Cheers,

Manic

(Link via ‘Can Weblogs…?’ supporter Jon Jon)

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Date
20020814

Time
16:53
Ahahahahahahahahahahaha!

Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to present to you the top search result in Google for ‘Ronald Scelson’.

I love it.

This search also turns up a number of blogs who have linked to our campaign in the last couple of days.

Heh. Daily indexing – is there anything it can’t do?



Before I sign off for the day, special mentions also go to Pixelforge who supported the campaign with the following statement: “Don’t question, just do it. That is all.” and Matt, who describes Scelson as a ‘magnificient bastard’.

Magnificent, indeed. I can only hope that today’s mail call (if not tomorrow’s) starts him on a journey towards becoming a better human being.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020815
Christianity Watch
Time
09:54
The Ultimate Insult does it again. Check out this great animation of Christ being nailed to a cross. You can also get a screensaver version to hammer the Christian message home on a daily basis.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020815

Time
09:59
Is your favourite celebrity alive or dead? Better check here, just to be sure. Interestingly, Elvis Presley and Jim Morrison are not listed.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020815
Department of ‘I Told You So’
Time
10:02
Dan Bricklin on the subject of blogs and business applications.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020815
It Had To Happen
Time
10:08
Gaze in wonder (or boredom) at the blogging collective hosted at blogcritics.com

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020815
Ronald Scelson
Time
10:10
Groovymother is on the Ronald Scelson bandwagon and wonders:

“Hmmm… maybe Mr Scelson would like to join a CD club… He seems like a Ricky Martin sort of guy.”

(Really? I always saw him as more of a Neil Diamond type…)

Camworld chips in with the simple yet eloquent statement: “Die Spammers Die!”

Bloggers Rogi and Eddie are also on the case, but the most interesting developments on this front happen when the link spreads to a discussion group, where not only that vital address is shared, but also some interesting ideas as well.

Oh, how I wish I could see Ronnie’s mailbox today…

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020815

Time
10:16
An article on that shameless savekaryn.com woman. She’s taken in over 4 grand so far, (which covers about a quarter of the credit card bill at the centre of this begfest).

To think the poor dear was only earning $100,000 a year, too…

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020815

Time
11:03
Britain marks 150 years of public toilets – erm, by closing most of them down. If you’re going to London and think you might want to spend a penny while you’re there, use this searchable database.

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Date
20020815

Time
11:58
Are you Darius? Take this simple quiz to find out.

They missed an important question, though: Do you like cows?

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Date
20020815

Time
13:50
Computer games are used as a tool to praise Satan. It might be best to go outside and partake in some more wholesome activities instead.

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Date
20020815

Time
13:56
Enjoy this very disturbing collection of stock photography. A combination of these would make for one hell of a feature in the Daily Mail.

(The fun really starts on Page 2, so do press on – it’s worth it.)

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Date
20020815
Emma Jones: Hardcore Journalist
Time
14:12
Says Emma in her feature article today:

“Like everyone else in Britain today, I feel an increasing sense of despair as the search for Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman continues. But I can’t help thinking that, in a small way, we all share some responsibility for their plight. Why? Because we live in a society where paedophilia has been allowed to infiltrate our mainstream culture. Sexy images of children in pop videos, magazines and adverts now appear perfectly normal, even fashionable.”

How true, how very true. She even cites that Britney video as a prime example, which makes this choice of lead picture in today’s edition of Bizarre even more entertaining.

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Date
20020815

Time
14:40
How cool, a role playing card game based on Spam.

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Date
20020815

Time
14:52
1. Commies are mammals.

2. Commies fight ALL the time.

3. The purpose of the commie is to flip out and kill people.

Find out more at The Official Commie Webpage.

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Date
20020815

Time
14:54
Bummer. My Iconobloc has left me, citing neglect.

Oh well. At least my houseplants are still alive.

No, wait…

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020815

Time
15:54
United States and Italian officials have launched a joint inquiry into reports that US military helicopters swooped low over a packed beach so that the crew could get a close-up view of sunbathers. They wouldn’t have been spotted if they’d done this after dark with night vision goggles.

No, wait…

16-31 July, 2002

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Date
20020716

Time
09:52
Topping Blogdex with an impressive 39.0 points, the news that the U.S. plans to recruit to recruit one in 24 Americans as ‘citizen spies’. Just in time for the upcoming Hate Week, too.

UPDATE – Here’s more on the same program from the Washington Post and the official recruitment site.

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Date
20020716

Time
09:56
I just read a nice article in The Times about Walmart’s exploitation of workers. Then, of course, I had to go into the bathroom to wash the ink off my hands. Happily, you can now read this same article online without the inconvenience. There might still be cause for washing your hands, though. Once upon a time

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Date
20020716

Time
10:04
An old chestnut popped up in The Register section of The Times today (yes, prompting more inky blackness).

Asks Dave Wilson of Lower Kingswood, Surrey:

“Why do we never see white canine faeces in the streets now? It was prevalent in the 1950′s?”

There are a thousands sites and posts that explain this quickly and easily – but Dave won’t find such information unless he takes that plum out his mouth and uses the correct search term: ‘white dog poo’.

The answer is that dogs aren’t eating enough bones these days. Except in cartoons.

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Date
20020716

Time
13:57
Where did I leave my keys? Did I take my medication? Hmmm, better check my blog.

Now, if only I could remember my login details…

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Date
20020716

Time
14:23
Tasteful.

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Date
20020716

Time
15:44
Secret service surfing Britney sites. No doubt looking for ‘that’ video.

(In case you’ve just arrived from Mars, yes it exists, no it’s not real.)

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Date
20020716

Time
16:39
Yet another newsagent that isn’t a public library.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020716

Time
17:03
Of course you’ve already seen it, but I just noticed that the infamous Peter Pan has recently got smart enough to foul up any attempt to ‘hotlink’ images from his server – so I popped along to see what else had changed about the site. Not much.

Erm, but I did notice that the visit counter is now pushing close to 3 million.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020716

Time
17:19
Fresh and steaming from the B3ta files:

Let’s Fist Again.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020717

Time
09:55
Forget freedom. I’m coming to the conclusion that some blogs need to be controlled by a new Too Much Information Act.

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Date
20020717

Time
09:57
Peter Pan still needs another 4,410 visitors to push his counter over the 3 million mark. Visit today, or Tinkerbell will die.

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Date
20020717

Time
10:02
Operation Tips is still riding high on Blogdex and Daypop. You can get a fair idea of what people think of this scheme by researching the sources.

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Date
20020717

Time
10:08
An excellent article on the ever-evolving Google effect and the influence weblogs currently enjoy. It makes a few assumptions and overall argues that this influence is unfairly disproportionate, but details such as the factor of ‘recency’ (which has been proven by a number of SEO experiments in this very blog) make it a worthwhile read.

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Date
20020717

Time
10:21
A sensible, elegant and measured statement on the subject of Spam. In other news, Yahoo! has recently taken to editing email, erm, for your own good of course. We can trust Yahoo!, can’t we?

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Date
20020717

Time
11:16
Hooray! My religion has attracted a new Acolyte. Slowly but surely…

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Date
20020717

Time
13:08
“LONDON – Stocks were dropping precipitously last week as investors realised that corporate leaders, thought to be working for the good humankind, were actually busy trying to make a lot of money.”

Heh.

Found on this same site (in the excellent reality bytes section), a link to a forum for Christian knife enthusiasts.

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Date
20020717

Time
13:27
Screengrabs from Reefer Madness, one of the greatest anti-drug films of all time.

And it’s just given me a nice little idea….

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Date
20020717

Time
14:46
A Googlesque version of Amazon – Amazon Light – has been developed by Kokogiak, and damn it’s fast.

Kokogiak, you remember them… right?

No?

Don’t tell me that you’ve already forgotten about The MegaPenny Project!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020717

Time
16:13
All hail the new blog of Pickled Pizza!

(Pickled Pizza is a fellow B3tan. His blog is mostly filled with Potatoshops at the moment. This situation is not likely to change.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020717

Time
16:20
A welcome return to form at The Onion:

“Efforts to pass legislation restricting spam… are meeting with strong resistance from the nation’s powerful penis-enlargement lobby.”

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Date
20020718

Time
08:46
Some new examples of engrish for you to enjoy.

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Date
20020718
Give me a P!
Time
08:48
Don’t have a pot to piss in? Accept no imitations! Get the original Sneaky Leaker!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020718

Time
08:50
Amazon really are getting their ship together.

(Oh, if you missed it yesterday, check out new Amazon Lite as well.)

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Date
20020718

Time
08:52
Shudder!

… as the man who screams in the forest at night to relieve stress is asked to stop by Police because he’s freaking the neighbours out.

Cheer!

… for the old lady with a walker who took on a mean bus driver that wouldn’t let her sit in the disabled seat.

Drink a Toast!

… to Miss Teen Texas, the cleaner than clean beauty machine who has been charged with public intoxication.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020718

Time
08:59
Some solid lunchtime reading for you to masticate on. The results are in for the 2002 Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest.

Trust me, the winning entries are brief and entertaining enough to suit even the shortest of attention spans.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020718

Time
09:03
Guardian Unlimited is launching the first competition to find the best British weblog.

I’m wrapping my entry in a £20 note.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020718
How Blogs Work #329
Time
09:48
John Austen discovered my blog via Fun Junkie. He described this blog as: “great for finding funny news items in a similar way to Kung Foo”.

Without this comment, I wouldn’t have known about Kung Foo at all, but, taking a look at it just now, I notice how similar it is to CrackBaby in terms of how it groups/themes its links and news items. Subsequently, someone else is sure to read this and email me with three or four more examples of this presentation style.

(Oh, and if it’s fast updates John is after, I can’t wait to find out what he thinks of Fark.)

OK, where were we? Oh, yes. While over at Kung Foo, I found this good article on blogs, erm, and the blog of its author who, BTW, doesn’t think that blogs will become ‘a business model for anyone anytime soon’.

I tend to disagree, so I’m tempted to email him and invite him over for a visit. The funny thing is, I won’t need to. He’s sure to drop by once he gets a look at his referral stats.

Hi Adam.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020718
Telemarketers
Time
15:33
After years of frogs in blenders and hamsters in microwaves, this makes for a refreshing change of pace. Finally, someone who deserves inhumane treatment. BTW, I got a call from Anglian Home Improvements today. We’re on some database that’s sold almost exclusively to double-glazing outfits because the previous owners of our house once bought a door with double-glazing. Subsequently, even though we’ve opted out of such calls from the electoral roll and what-not, we still pop up in these lists that are sold from company to company.

Subsequently, it’s very hard for us to get off this list, so this time I decided to roll into action and try and track down where the details were coming from.

Oh yes, the call. It went like this:

(Please note that some names have been changed to protect the innocent – and the guilty…)

Telemarketer: Helloit’sJohnfromAnglicanHomeImprovements here. Is Mr Previous Owner there please?

Me: Just a moment, let me get a pen.

(pause)

Me: Yes, could I get your name, please?

Telemarketer: My name is John

Me: And the company you’re calling from?

Telemarketer: Anglian Home Improvements. Sir, would you like to talk to my supervisor?

Me: Yes, thanks – that would be helpful.

Telemarketer (muffled): Oi! Frank! Can you talk to this guy? He’s in some kind of strop!

(pause)

Supervisor: Hello, my name is Francis, can I help you?

Me: Yes, I’m in a bit of a strop, and…

The supervisor did, quite surprisingly I thought, offer me the details of the parent company, but not the number. He claimed that he’s not allowed to know the number. This way he’s not tempted to give it out. Nice.

Anyway, I looked them up. Found the site, found the number. I also found them listed on this site, very useful for anyone who may one day have to battle the telemarketers.

I called them. I requested to have my name taken of the list. Again, quite surprisingly I thought, they admitted/confirmed that my name was from a list that they had bought. This time I got the full details over the phone and got ready to call the data agency that had sold it to them. I was approaching Nirvana.

There I was (or at least, there was Mr Previous Owner). Could I be taken off this list? Yes. Have they sold data to any other double-glazing outfits besides Anglian Home Improvements? No.

Bugger.

Judging by the number and variety of calls I get regarding double-glazing, I can deduce from this that our names are on more than one such list. So our details, sold on by the company that fitted the door at the behest of Mr Previous Owner, are now in the hands of multiple data agencies selling to a number of different companies.

Basically, we can request that our details are taken off the list each time, but it’s not going to do us a heck of a lot of good. I think it’s time to go back to a mixture of fun and abuse.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020718

Time
16:27
We ask you to remember us in your prayers tonight, in the hope that Steve gets a solid offer on his house via the website before next Saturday.

If I had a red dot to hand, I’d ask you to focus on it. But I don’t. Focus on this full-stop instead. Or this one.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020718

Time
17:06
I’m sorry, but this list of ads that have been haunting people for years is only interesting if you’re Australian. It’s also missing one very important ad, so please do excuse me if I let out a deep ‘Ahhhhh’ and say:

“Matter of fact, I’ve got one now.”

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020719

Time
09:58
Peter Pan has rocketed past the 3 million mark thanks to a timely plug over at Fark.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020719

Time
10:00
This is what I like to see – a hotel with full facilities.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020719

Time
10:03
Real-life stories of porn clerks. I’m sure you meet the nicest people. I remember one porn clerk being interviewed on late night Australian television. When asked about the worst part of the job, he told the interviewer that the (ahem) private viewing rooms certainly didn’t clean themselves – and that the back stairs were very steep and dark. He’d fallen over and worn most of the contents of his cleaning bucket at least twice. Most of us would probably quit after the first time.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020719

Time
10:09
The great thing about being totally uncool is that you don’t end up with baggage like this in your CD collection.

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Date
20020719

Time
10:12
I said pull my finger!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020719

Time
10:13
The city of Denver is overcoming the problem of people ‘souveniring’ manhole covers, erm, by selling them as souvenirs.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020719

Time
10:27
Well, I finally got around to watching the movie McBain after hunting down a copy on ebay. Save your money, folks. It has its moments, but it’s nowhere near as howlingly awful as Timemasters, which disappoints me greatly. For a while there, I’d thought I’d discovered a visionary to rival the late, great Ed Wood.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020719

Time
10:36
Man arrested for burning kitten on grill. What a stupid thing to do. The microwave is much faster.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020719

Time
10:45
A damn good database of songs from television ads. Oh, and look, he’s smart enough to have affiliate ‘click to buy’ links. Good man.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020719

Time
10:59
Benjamin Cohen, one of the most accomplished media whores of the dotcom goldrush days, is getting out of the porn business because it’s ‘a drain on resources’.

Damn, I could have told him that.

What next for Benjamin, I wonder?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020719

Time
12:49
Can’t be bothered to blog? Try linkdumping instead.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020719

Time
14:18
I haven’t been Photoshopping for a while (busy, busy, busy) but this result certainly is encouraging.

The original is from one of those naked fund-raising calendars full of wrinkly people who should know better.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020719

Time
15:25
Beware the domain vampires.

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Date
20020722

Time
09:48
Sometimes the headline is enough: Murder attempt ends night of romance.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020722

Time
09:49
Firda notes, quite rightly, that the CNET Glossary has the definitions for LOL and ROFL, but left out LMAO. Strangely enough, they’re also missing WTF.

Not to worry. The Acronym Finder is slightly less prudish and so carries far more entries. Erm, partially censored in places, of course. What is is about the word ‘fuck’ that disturbs people so much? Perhaps its usefulness and versatility threatens some.

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Date
20020722

Time
09:59
Today is ‘look up and live‘ day on Wall Street. Take care, kids. Oh, and don’t forget to pray to the Sun God.

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Date
20020722
Photoshopping
Time
10:01
Woo-hoo! A big winner at Fark, and it’s all thanks to Steve Irwin.

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Date
20020722

Time
10:10
It had to happen: Six Degrees of Blogeration. They need a bloody search engine for their listings, though.

UPDATE – Jim claims that ‘Co-depiction is a much more interesting demo of the theory’. I’d tend to agree, but this database (‘integrating image metadata with the six-degrees thing’) is going to need a lot more takers before it becomes truly illustrative.

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Date
20020722

Time
10:17
Now that’s what I call empowerment.

See the cripple cannon today and rethink the expense of that new access ramp.

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Date
20020722
Lycos Viral Chart
Time
10:50
My entry is still stubbornly hanging in at No. 9 in the Lycos Viral Chart after over a week of activity. One weakness that now makes itself apparant; how do I update this image now that we all know that we’ll never get a chance to vote Jade out?

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Date
20020722
How Blogs Work #330
Time
11:14
Lately, I’ve started to find more and more material for my blog from people who have linked to me.

Today’s examples: this collection of quotes at quotegarden.com, found via a link to my quiz on their M*A*S*H quotes page, and this nudist site, which has also linked to the same quiz somewhere in its message boards. Nudism? M*A*S*H? Is there a connection? I did a few searches on ‘nude/naked mash’ and was surprised to find, well, nothing really. You would think that someone, somewhere, would be sick enough to do a few fakes of the folks at the friendly 4077th, but no.

Funny, in a way I feel really let down.

Still, I did find this budding artist’s site, which features both nudes (watch out for these, they’re pretty graphic and far from appetising) and portraits of stars from the series.

Erm, and an anorexic Jim Morrison.

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Date
20020722

Time
11:54
Putting a caption-generating function in the URL is a bloody stupid thing to do.

Find out why, then feel free to make your own.

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Date
20020722
Short but Sweet
Time
13:21
Jeffrey Archer’s appeal has failed, doo-dah, doo-dah.

UPDATE – Oops, his day in court ain’t over yet.

The Guardian reports that he will also ‘appeal against his sentence this afternoon’.

(Insert joke here about a sentence by Archer being unlikely to appeal to anyone.)

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Date
20020722

Time
14:32
A good day for justice today. Erm, sort of. Property tycoon Nicholas van Hoogstraten has been found guilty of manslaughter after ordering a ‘hit’ on a business associate. It’s manslaughter instead of murder because the judge bought his line of bull that he wanted the victim roughed up, not rubbed out. He’s still facing a life-sentence, though. Let’s see what his legal team comes up with for the psychiatric reports (scheduled ahead of sentencing). They’re sure to be well-paid, so I’m hoping for some creativity.

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Date
20020722

Time
14:57
Monkey Man is back on the rampage. While we’re on the subject of old news from India, look what I found when looking for a nicer word than ‘foetus’.

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Date
20020722
Yet Another Lame Quiz
Time
16:14
What, no spork?

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Date
20020722

Time
16:20
Ever wondered what happened to SeeThru?

(We used to link to them – remember? You don’t? Oh, OK, ignore this next bit then…)

Here’s a very long article that goes into a little more detail than the site statement: “BBC2′s Attachments has finished its run and so has this website.”

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Date
20020722

Time
17:15
Fark’s decision to include a ‘Florida’ tag is looking more and more justified with each post. The latest is this article, featuring the following tibit from Luis Penelas (executive director of a Havana-based HIV/AIDS outreach group). He claims that sex in prison is not only condoned by officials, but encouraged by placing one gay man on each floor. OK, enough background, let’s go to the quote:

“‘In most cells they place a loca – or screamer – so inmates can relieve the tension.”

And if you think that’s too much information, have a little peek at this report on male rape in U.S. prisons.

Are we getting too heavy for Monday afternoon? OK, then – how about some pretty pictures to ease your mind?

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Date
20020723

Time
09:57
An article on digital images and how they may not be as accessible to future generations as, say, shoeboxes full of prints stored in an attic. Here it should be noted for the record that, thanks to a single invention, a large chunk of Egyptian history will now forever remain a mystery. That invention was papyrus.

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Date
20020723

Time
10:03
From ultimateinsult.net comes this link to The Apostrophe Protection Society.

Not as silly as it may seem. I see misuse everyday. Even at what would normally be considered a pedant’s convention – Extreme Computing 2002 – there was a misguided soul set to print out an example of her wares. The result was a shirt that read:

T-SHIRT’S PRINTED HERE

Scariest example I’ve ever seen? A shop window that read:

TATTOO’S

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Date
20020723

Time
10:11
Normally a complete scan of Action Comics #1 would get me excited, but somebody gave me a commemorative reprint of this as a gift 3 years ago.

If I want to read it now, all I have to do is reach under my bed.

(Yes, I keep comic books under my bed. Why? What am I supposed to keep under there?)

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Date
20020723

Time
10:18
Read about The Boot Lady. She’s taken to clamping cars that park in her office parking space and charging a $25 fine before releasing offender’s vehicles. Not surprisingly, the police have been called on more than a few occasions and are getting rather sick of the whole thing.

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Date
20020723
Look It Up
Time
10:32
The 1777 resolution regarding the creation of a flag for the United States reads as follows:

“Resolved: that the flag of the United States be made of thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new Constellation.”

Please note that there is no indication whether the stripes should go horizontally or vertically.

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Date
20020723
Flash Games
Time
10:37
Choose your target and plug away at shoot-it.org

Hm, this looks like a copy of one of B3ta’s earliest successes, Kill Your Friends.

The difference? Well, it is prettier. And it tones down the death aspect while at the same time allowing for more focused aggression (in this case your ‘friend’ is a single target, but represented as a poster image on a shooting range – so no blood, just holes in the paper). Oh, it also doesn’t allow you to share a link with other people, thereby allowing them to shoot your ‘friend’ too. It was shared choices like Geri Halliwell, Osama bin Laden and the Queen Mother that made the B3ta version such a hit (in that it spread virally via ‘healthy’ interests other web users had in common), so this version is relying almost entirely on a combination of the concept and its playability.

There you go, leave to the marketing department to suck all the fun out of reckless gunplay.

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Date
20020723

Time
10:50
Funny how one photo can sometimes change your life. This woman is a UK Royal Marine. It’s a powerful photo, indicative of the times, and boy-howdy is she a looker! I’m predicting a small measure of fame as a result, and if not, she’s welcome to drop by and storm my beaches anytime.

(Oh, in case you haven’t heard, nice guys are losers, so I’ve decided to road-test a new personality, that of a somewhat delusional sexist pig…)

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Date
20020723
Nude People Are Watching This Site Right Now!
Time
11:59
Greetings to all of the lovely people from netnude.com who are dropping by today. As chance would have it, I just found a lovely video that you might enjoy called ‘Natural Intelligence’ (I think it’s supposed to be advertising a car or something, but this sure as hell doesn’t come across in the clip). You can download it via this page or view a streamed version by going to www.newintelligence.co.uk

Cheers all.

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Date
20020723

Time
15:07
The problem with a runaway success like The Osbournes is the inevitable rush of cheap copies that follow. FFS, doesn’t Anna Nicole Smith have enough money as it is? Why can’t she bog off, settle in the world’s biggest trailer home and stay out of our lives?

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Date
20020723

Time
17:04
Alan Kilshaw has been struck off as a solicitor. This news, combined with the top search result for Judith Kilshaw in Google, explains the traffic spike over at Celebrity Bestiality this morning.

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Date
20020724

Time
09:42
It’s going to be one of those days with little or no bloggage today, and again, it’s because of the type of meeting that lasts aaaaaaaaaaaaaall day. Ho-hum. Still, I do have one link to share; this guy thinks that Tony Blair is a werewolf. Funny, I always thought he was a lapdog.

(Actually, it’s a rather lame viral attempt promoting the movie Dog Soldiers – based, as you might have guessed, on ‘Is George Bush A Chimp?’)

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Date
20020725

Time
09:14
Hm. I first saw this thread a few days ago at B3ta, but was hesitant about blogging it.

Still, as everybody is now sending it to me, I can safely assume that you’ve all seen it, so my blogging it (for the record) will do little to add to this circus.

Basically, a girl named Sarah dropped into a Watford discussion group (it’s a football team) that her ex-boyfriend Brian participates in, and announced that, while ‘playing away’ in Greece, Brian had contracted hepatitis and then returned to give it to her. His mate Pete was kind enough to fill her in with some extra details, but he was also stupid enough to reveal that he had had a hepatitis test too. Details regarding this are sketchy. Did the boys share a woman, a needle, or a night of passion? Sarah has suggested the latter, but by now she’s loving the attention, frothing at the mouth and not entirely to be trusted when it comes to the truth.

Oh, Brian has been shagging Emma from Boots, too.

Cue much laughter and many prescription jokes.

Brian even called the police at one stage, claiming harassment.

Then Brian finally addressed the board, dropping the bombshell that – *gasp*- Sarah’s dad is a Luton fan! Heh. Only in England. Or maybe Brazil.

After this, things got really nasty – and matters weren’t helped by all of those tittering, jeering and cheering on the sidelines like your classic Jerry Springer audience.

Given the season, this should reach the national newspapers by today or tomorrow.

UPDATE – You’ve read the thread, now buy the t-shirt!

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Date
20020725
Look It Up
Time
09:16
Benjamin Franklin didn’t want the eagle to be the symbol of the U.S. – he thought the turkey was a far more suitable choice. No, I’m serious. He though the eagle was a bird of of ‘bad moral character’ and lived its life by ‘sharping and robbing’.

As it turns out, the eagle is the more suitable choice. Oh, and not as smart as it looks.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020725

Time
09:31
The New York Times website has refused to accept new ads from Sony.

Why? Because they pretend to be articles.

Fair enough. You wouldn’t get away with it in print or traditional broadcast, after all.

The NYT tried to get Sony to include something that clearly defined the content as an ad, but no agreement could be reached. Sony will be pushing ahead on other sites.

Mr T. Scott Edwards, consumer segment marketing officer for Sony Electronics, revealed himself to be a complete twat when he said: “We’re breaking paradigms here.”

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Date
20020725

Time
09:40
I like him.

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Date
20020725

Time
09:41
Popbitch have crossed a dangerous line. Today’s issue asks:

“And which celeb hairdresser is rumoured to be the father of one of Fergie’s children? (The one that doesn’t look like Andrew, natch)”

Fergie may still be an un-person, but the palace always gets a bit iffy when people start talking about unauthorised offspring. Will Brenda strike back?

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Date
20020726

Time
10:23
An excellent quiz from Firda. My weblog owns 50 % of me. Does Your Weblog Own You?

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Date
20020726
Christianity Watch
Time
10:25
Yet another winning link from ultimateinsult.net:

Glad, a Christian version of MAD. Here The Simpsons become The Symptoms (of cultural breakdown) and Leave It To Beaver becomes Leave it to Believer. Well, they’ve changed my outlook on life forever.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020726

Time
10:29
Today is System Administrator Appreciation Day.

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Date
20020726
Look It Up
Time
10:31
The novelist Jerzy Kosinski was scheduled to fly from Paris to Los Angeles, but was delayed on a stopover in New York when his baggage was accidentally unloaded and he was forced to follow them through customs. Because of this, he missed his planned meeting with Sharon Tate and friends the night Manson’s clan turned up for an impromptu visit. Oh, and the name of the man who heard screams from a nearby campsite but, despite driving around for over 20 minutes, failed to locate the source? Tim Ireland.

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Date
20020726

Time
10:32
David L. Brite knew he featured in his stepgrandmother’s will, he just didn’t know where to find it. He hired a lawyer and agreed to pay 25% of the inheritance as a fee. The lawyer found it with one phone call, and duly submitted his fee – of $350,000. Mr Brite seems to think that this is a little unfair.

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Date
20020726

Time
10:36
Jackass host Steve-O has been named in an arrest warrant for obscenity. He (allegedly) exposed himself and stapled women’s underwear to his bare chest. As you do.

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Date
20020726
It Had To Happen
Time
10:47
Do you like my new title? I plan to use it often. Today: Weblogs are given the Hot or Not treatment.

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Date
20020726

Time
11:11
Typical. One day to go and my daily indexing goes astray. Pray, people. Pray that Steve gets an offer on his house via the website before midnight tomorrow. Papa needs a new pair of everything.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020726

Time
11:15
The Brian Tindle story has reached the Register. Ananova have had it since Wednesday. The national rags are probably waiting for their Sunday editions and/or for Big Brother to end.

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Date
20020726

Time
16:00
The ColdPlay Shop sells ‘Trouble’ Babygrows. Heh.

You’re never too young…

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020726

Time
16:33
Operation TIPS-TIPS invites you to inform on informants.

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Date
20020726

Time
16:48
‘Brain Fog: Menopause can affect function of memory’ states the headline. They even have a pretty picture of a brain fog. Erm, but they forgot to include the article.

UPDATE – This oversight has, sadly, been corrected. Subsequently the above link has lost all of its charm and you should probably look elsewhere for cheap thrills.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020726

Time
17:07
Malcolm (he of the Middle) is about to get a little brother or sister.

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Date
20020726

Time
17:23
A small collection of crappy banners for you to enjoy.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020726

Time
17:27
Calculate penis sizes quickly and easily with the Sizemograph.

My result told me that I was ‘big, but not big enough’.

Thanks for that.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020727
Lego Geekage
Time
10:02
My little Lego site at lugjam.co.uk has (finally) been updated. New models that are worth a peek include the new, beefier Jedi Starfighter and the Bionicle-scale Goblin Glider.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020728

Time
09:14
From the B3ta newsletter comes this gem:

For the bargain price of $100, you can take a picture of your arse and send it to Sylvester Stallone’s mum.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020728
Headlines of Glory
Time
09:19
Injured Tortoise Uses Skateboard.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020728

Time
09:21
The official cowtipping home page. Non-stop thrills, now with more cows!

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Date
20020729
And She’s OK Folks!
Time
18:58
All of this happened last Thursday, so you’ll pardon me for not keeping you completely up to date, but once you take a good look at the image on the right, I’m sure you’ll see why I didn’t want you guys to worry (and when I say ‘you guys’, it needs to be pointed out that my family read this blog too).

Last Thursday, our young daughter (9 months old and fit as a Mallee Bull) got her toe caught in a hospital door.

1. You know how heavy hospital doors are.

2. Scream? That doesn’t even begin to describe it – but at that age, it’s hard to define what is pain and what is indignation.

3. If you must have an accident, the hospital is one of the best places to have one.

In short, the nurses and doctors were great, and the patient is fine. No crushing or partial amputation, just one very badly cut toe with a lot (a lot!) of blood.

Back to normality tomorrow, folks.

Have a good one.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020730
Department of ‘I Told You So’
Time
10:06
iVillage is dropping their pop-up ads because 95% of users think that they suck.

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Date
20020730

Time
10:10
A woman has been arrested after firing a ‘warning shot’ at drive-by litterbugs. Britney Spear’s dad has been a bit gun-happy lately, too – but online news items regarding this seem to have disappeared into the ether.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020730

Time
10:17
The owner of Boobie Blog thinks we can come up with a better name for his chesty checklist.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020730

Time
10:22
Apes in Spaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaace!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020730

Time
10:25
I would have had this set up sooner, but my main email account bounces emails from the Hot Or Not folks for some reason. OK, today we ask the question: Is my Blog HOT or NOT?

Probably not, but I’m a big boy. I can deal with rejection.

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Date
20020730

Time
10:31
I thought I’d plumbed the depths with my blog long ago of the Transformers Adult Fan Fiction Archive. Happily, there appears to be at least one level beyond this: ‘My Little Pony’ Erotic Fiction – and this site has tastefully arranged photographic interpretations. Nice.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020730
Can Weblogs…?
Time
11:10
Could Weblogs Sell My Mate Steve’s House? Well, they could, but – sadly – they didn’t.

In one of those ironic twists that makes you want to strangle a cat, Steve received a solid offer on the house about a week ahead of the deadline on the 27th, but it was from a lead via his agent.

It wasn’t until this same potential buyer got home and decided to have a peek around at other properties in the area that he saw Steve’s site.

Bugger.

Bugger. Bugger. Bugger.

Still, it’s not all doom and gloom today.

For over two years, Celebrity Bestiality has ridden high at the 2-4 spot in Google for the search query ‘bestiality’. Last month, we dropped right off the scope. So far, the only reason I can nail down for this was a recent reshuffling of the DMOZ listings that have been in place since its inception.

Today, we’re back on the front page and – for the first time in the history of the site – in the No. 1 spot for the generic search query ‘bestiality’

No. 1!

Obviously it’s not a result I can show to all of my potential clients, but it’s still a bloody ripper, and I’m now driving a shedload of fresh daily traffic to the all-important Porn Report.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020730
Latest Viral Agent
Time
12:47
According to the holiday-themed Pull-o-meter, I stand a 58% chance of scoring a little action (based on my decisions within the role-playing game). This, despite the fact that I hit the town in my Batman suit, had a drink spilled on me, dropped more than a few pills and hogged a spliff whilst dancing like an idiot on a podium in a dingy nightclub. Is it really this easy, or does the sheer pulling power of a Batman suit make you close to irresistible?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020730

Time
13:30
Won’t somebody pleeeease think of the monkeys?

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Date
20020730

Time
15:30
A surprisingly sensible take on the ‘faked’ moon landings.

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Date
20020730

Time
16:26
B3ta’s message board, which shudders along at maximum capacity at the best of times, has finally collapsed under the weight of El Reg’s ‘website of the day’ plug. Flattering, yes, but most B3tans are quite pissed to be deprived of a day’s worth of kitteny goodness.

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Date
20020730

Time
17:01
I don’t plan on wasting money on a cinema ticket, but Eight Legged Freaks has a kickass site.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020731

Time
09:51
Is this blog Hot or Not? Well, the current rating is 9.8, but being a smug bastard about it is sure to cause a drop in ratings.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020731
Department of ‘I Told You So’
Time
09:53
Porn industry leads the way in IT innovation. Well, they did invent the left-handed mouse.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020731

Time
10:02
Live Action Comics presents the amazing adventures of Night Woman. This is really, really bad. You’ll love it.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020731

Time
10:08
Test your IQ. Erm, do I get extra points for being smart enough not to give my name, address and email to these jokers?

Tell you what, let’s play a little game today. I already know my IQ, but let’s see if any of you regulars can guess it. Emails to the usual address, closest guess before tomorrow morning wins an autographed copy of one of my books. There you go, a hint; I’m bright enough to be able to sign my own name…

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020731

Time
10:13
Still riding high on Blogdex, this very good article about George Bush ripping off George Orwell’s ideas.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020731
Rocket Sleds To Hell
Time
10:21
The tabloids (when they aren’t rabbiting on about whether or not he deserves his new liver) quote George Best’s chances of survival at around 80%. Dogbomb has a pool going.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020731
Look It Up
Time
10:28
Radio waves travel at a speed of 186,000 miles per second. Sound travels at a more leisurely 700 miles per hour. Therefore, a radio broadcast of a live voice can be heard up to 13,000 miles away before it can be heard on the other side of the studio from which it originated. No wonder they have those time-delay kill-switch thingies…

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020731

Time
10:58
Tom Coates of plasticbag.org is less than happy about The Guardian’s Best British Blog competition. (Yes, this is the same Tom Coates who was profiled quite favourably in Monday’s G2 section.)

The Guardian is at least smart enough to be open about the issue, and has published this email exchange, warts and all. It needs to be mentioned here that Tom is also less than happy about the introduction to this exchange, which serves mostly to set the tone in The Guardian’s favour. (Fucking hell, Tom. They’re journalists. What did you expect? Heh.)

I tend to agree with Tom regarding the need to preserve the personal freedom of expression and exchange that weblogs provide, but he fails to see that the juggernaut of commercial interest can’t be stopped. Our only hope is to make it blindingly obvious that you can’t come charging into this ongoing conversation and exploit it at will. Funnily enough, Tom’s done just that by speaking out in this case – but he seems to be of the opinion that there’s no place for commercial applications in the weblog community.

He’s wrong, but I don’t thing it’s an ignorance thing; I think it’s an idealism thing.

Yes, there are millions of fuckwits who will come in and try it on in the most ham-handed way possible, but they’ll fail spectacularly – and quite visibly.

On the other hand, there are also quite a few brands that value communication with their customers, and doing so in a way that makes them a natural part of this conversational ecosystem can only be of benefit to both parties.

Of course, without stringent resistance from folks like Tom, they’re unlikely to want to strike this balance if they think that there’s a faster, easier and cheaper way to achieve their aims.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020731

Time
13:07
After spending £75m and enjoying several weeks of public ridicule, PWC Consulting have dropped their rebranding to ‘Monday’.

Gosh, I wonder why

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020731

Time
13:52
My new office has a dedicated telephone hygienist. This is going to take some getting used to. Sure, I managed to keep a straight face today, but what if he drops by in a moment of weakness? I don’t want to offend the poor man…

Oh, I happened to be looking at this when he dropped by to sanitise my handset.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020731

Time
15:28
Darius set to top charts. Can you feel the love in this blog?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020731

Time
16:34
This image of Britney Spears giving the finger is pretty popular today, but I prefer this one. Of course, Britney doesn’t always flip the bird at fans. Often she has staff on hand to do it for her.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020731

Time
16:41
More blog tools than you can shake a stick at.

01-15 July, 2002

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Date
20020701

Time
09:44
Well, the bathroom carpet is a goner. After a projectile vomiting performance that would put Linda Blair to shame, our youngest son became the fifth and final member of our family to succumb to a rotten summer bug that’s been doing the rounds.

It’s only a 24-hour jobbie, but do watch out for it. It knocks you on your arse with little or no warning and causes no end of problems at both ends of your body.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020701

Time
09:50
A man who robbed a convenience store in the US used shaving cream to disguise his face. Unsurprisingly, it dripped off in the heat of the moment and he was recognised instantly by the store owner (as said genius only lives a few doors down from the store). The robber has now pleaded guilty to second-degree assault, risk of injury to a minor, unlawful restraint and – presumably – stupidity.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020701

Time
10:03
I really should have blogged this last Wednesday, but I was too busy throwing up. Given the intense blog and media interest over the last few days, you’ve probably already seen most of the contents of Matthew McClintock’s house, but maybe you haven’t seen this Wired article that covers the subject nicely without you having to poke through the house like a nosy relative on the sniff for possible contents of a future will.

BTW, I did a search or three, but the database shows no record of cockroaches, vermin or even the occasional dust mite in the house. And he calls himself a perfectionist…

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020701
Big Brother 3
Time
13:08
It’s not like the world needs another Jade/Pig JPEG, but when I gets an idea in me head…

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020701

Time
14:11
Hurrah! I just won me a copy of McBain on ebay!

(For those who missed it, I’ve been looking around for a copy of this since I saw this other great movie by the same director.)

I’ll probably get my hands on it by the end of the week. Keep an eye out for the review!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020701

Time
14:38
Images of things humping other things. That’s the web for you – fun and educational.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020701

Time
15:06
Letters. You gotta write ‘em to get ‘em, and I’ve got a great list of names and addresses to get you started.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020701
Flash Games
Time
15:20
Battleships, anyone?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020701

Time
16:35
Florida police produce four more R. Kelly sex tapes.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020701

Time
16:55
Boom box,

On my shoulder,

Funk atomic bomb swoop down from Ame-ri-ca.

(I’d say ‘look it up’, but there’s no point. I can’t find a trace of these lyrics, or even any mention of this song online. Perhaps I dreamed it.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020701

Time
17:21
A man was arrested last Wednesday for putting a Rottweiler puppy in a microwave. Said Sgt. Bob Rapien: “He microwaved it for 10 to 15 seconds until it yelped. Then he took it out, stabbed it and put it back in.”

Of course he did. He didn’t want it to explode. Duh.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020702

Time
09:37
From the FAQ of lickmyjesus.com:

Q: I’m Jewish. Can I still enjoy Lick My Jesus?

A: That’s a silly question. Of course not.


That says it all, really. Visit today.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020702

Time
09:39
Read about this cab ride from hell, where the passengers ‘cowered in the back seat’ as the driver hooned through the streets at 90mph – whilst sharing a few beers with his mate in the front.

I once had to get from Kogarah to Kings Cross – and fast – when my I found out my record collection was in the hands of a DJ that I didn’t entirely trust.

“There’s 50 bucks in it for you if you get me there fast”, I said, slamming the door behind me. I was thrown into the seat by extreme G-forces and afraid to speak for fear of distracting the driver in the millisecond or two that stood between us and oblivion. We ran just about every light on the way there and set a new record for low-level flying on the motorway. The trip normally took about 30 mins. We made it in 10. The tip was offered with trembling hands and gratefully accepted.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020702

Time
09:52
Enjoy Wolfenstein crammed into 5K of JavaScript.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020702
Big Brother 3
Time
09:54
I was after a picture of the Big Brother house for the background of this Photoshop, so asked in uk.media.tv.misc:

“Where can I get some nice images of the Big Brother house?”

Came the reply from Mike Plowman:

“After Jade has left?”

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020702

Time
11:55
Woman arrested in US after attempting to take boomerangs on plane. Insert joke here.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020702
Yet Another Lame Quiz
Time
12:49
Which Big Brother Spaz Are You?

Worth doing a few times with different answers, as the results are very entertaining.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020702

Time
13:25
This is a fun read for all sorts of reasons. And no, you don’t have to be into SEO or even dotcoms in general to enjoy the sheer madness of it all. Now, where’s that unfinished movie script I had lying around?

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Date
20020703

Time
08:43
There will be little or no bloggage today, as it’s my 9th wedding anniversary and my lovely wife is jealous enough of the computer as it is. I would, however, like to take the time to say…

Hm. How can I say this without making you want to vomit copiously?

Oh, what the hell, I’ll just say it.

I’ve known Kate for well over a decade, but I still get heart palpitations every time she smiles at me. She’s been most excellent value over the years, offering me all kinds of support at every stage of my personal and professional life. She’s stuck by me at my lowest points and helped me to achieve all sorts of highs. We wouldn’t be human if we didn’t argue, but she remains, after all this time, the best friend I ever had. That, and I love her more than words can describe.

I may make glib remarks from time to time, but the fact remains that she’s the best partner I could have hoped for in every sense of the word.

Right, that’s it. Nothing more to see here. Move along.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020704

Time
09:27
There’s nothing wrong with a little healthy scepticism, but Laurel Wellman’s half-baked opinion piece makes Emma Jones look like a seasoned journalist.

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Date
20020704
Everybody Sing!
Time
09:34
So remember, when you’re feeling very small and insecure,

How amazingly unlikely is your birth;

And pray that there’s intelligent life somewhere out in space,

‘Cause there’s bugger all down here on Earth!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020704

Time
09:41
“When Menya was diagnosed with cancer, we decided we needed something to take it out on. So we chose a troll doll.”

Disturbing.

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Date
20020704

Time
09:44
So if she can’t find her keys, does she blame Alzheimer’s or short-term memory loss? Read about the 73-year-old widow busted for possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia. I’d love to visit this woman’s house, just to see if she has a crocheted doily for her bong.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020704

Time
13:42
A theatre producer has denied decapitating the Thatcher statue. There has also been surprisingly little speculation over the head developing what appears to be a Hitleresque moustache upon hitting the ground.

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Date
20020704
Lego
Time
14:44
Coolest. Mouse. Ever.

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Date
20020704

Time
14:46
Americans opting for fireworks that shoot flames in red, white and blue. Not so crazy about one firework in particular named ‘The Skyscraper’.

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Date
20020705

Time
07:46
Hardly surprising that the Guardian’s link-love exercise is topping both Blogdex and Daypop.

They did neglect to list me, though. Still, nobody’s perfect.

(Oh, some of the blog buzz has reached The Economist as well.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020705

Time
07:53
I’ll be very surprised if B3ta don’t pick this up and run with it:

Palestinian bomb cat picture shocks civilised world.

If this were 1998, we’d be sure to see a piece or two on dancing baby bombers. Be thankful that it’s not.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020705

Time
08:02
The 600,000 residents of the District of Columbia, denied their democratic rights but still forced to pay taxes, presented a Declaration of Reunification to the British embassy in Washington yesterday. In a disappointing twist, it turns out that they’re just ‘kidding’. Wimps.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020705

Time
08:09
Oops, bit ‘o’ politics there.

George Michael comes over all Ben Elton.

Oops, bit of innuendo there.

Etc.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020705

Time
08:18
Wailing wall weeps. The end is coming, we’re all going to die, yadda, yadda, yadda.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020705
One For Adam
Time
09:32
Kind of inevitable, really:

www.blog.meetup.com

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020705

Time
11:39
Equetta.com claims to “lead (their) customers through the challenges of creating an Internet presence for both the present and the future”. The main site (created by “Web Engineer’s (sic) Faraz Akhtar & Talha Ejaz”) is dead classy, but what impresses me the most is this page. Study it carefully, because the writing really is quite excellent. I should know, because I fucking wrote it. They stole my bloody images, too. Except for the one where the ferret is leaping out of Winona Ryder’s cleavage. Perhaps this was too extreme for their tender sensibilities.

The ‘© Copyright 2001-2002 E-Dev’ notice at the bottom of this shameless cut and paste is the final insult.

*sigh*

Why do people think they can rip off my content, publish it on the web and get away with it? Is it stupidity or arrogance?

I’m tempted to write a strong letter, but I thought in this case it might be more fun to flip it around and have a few of you guys email them and helpfully inform them that I’ve ripped of ‘their’ content. Make sure you tell them how outraged you are, and that they should demand that I take the offending page down immediately.



Who knows, we may even have a reader in Pakistan who would care to give them a call. They can be reached at 92-081-826007, 92-081-827007 and 92-0320-4785395.

UPDATE – Thanks go to Paul who dropped them a line with the message:

“Be Original Please!!!..

Do not steal off other sites!.”

Not quite what I was after, but the effect was great. The reply appears in full below:

Hello!

Dear Paul We would certaily like to know what have we stolen?

If you are thinking abt the flash intro. ya in that sense you are right but it is under construction and u will totally c a new flash intor. but if there is anything beside that then plz… do let us know

with regrads from

Talha Ejaz

Webmaster: www.equetta.com

So basically they deny knowledge of any wrongdoing – but in doing so manage to grass themselves up by suggesting that this glorious flash intro might not be entirely their own work. Oops.



Heh. I love it. We may just have another Matt Vartan on our hands.

The graphic at the top of the flash intro page looks to be a bit suspect, for a start. I don’t know which site the original image comes from, but think I spy the bottom of a ‘J’ poking out from under the ‘equetta.com’ logo that they’ve plonked on top of it.

Does anybody recognise this? Or even what make of phone it is?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020705

Time
13:54
A quick link for lunch.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020705

Time
15:17
I was interviewed yesterday by Adam, a social anthropologist working at the University of Surrey who’s taking a closer look at the whole blogging thing (more details regarding this project can be found at Adam’s blog, funnily enough).

If you’re a blogger in or around the London area, I would urge you to check it out and get in touch. He’s a nice chap, and thoughtful enough to warm the spoon up before using it to dig around inside your skull.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020705
Yet Another Lame Quiz
Time
15:33
This gets blogged primarily because I’m a closet Neil Gaiman fan:

Which Member of the Endless Are You?

I’m Death, BTW.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020705

Time
15:50
A brief history of the Internet. Finally, a version that makes sense.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020705

Time
15:58
The Universal Church of the Interactive Network has another believer. Praise be!

(Hm, I should probably get around to putting together a list of all believers, disciples, etc. one day. But not today.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020705
Equetta.com
Time
16:30
Do you recognise this graphic?

If so, let me know. There are more details in the longer entry below.

(Heh. Poetry and justice. This is fun.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020706
Equetta.com
Time
18:12
The offending page at equetta.com now carries the following message:

“Thsi article Has benn taken from: http://www.birdofprey.co.uk/cbfront.htm”

Amusing, but nowhere near good enough.

(Thanks to Giorgia for the heads-up.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020707

Time
15:52
Supplies!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020708

Time
10:06
The Sun showed their true colours on Saturday. Instead of exercising any restraint in their over the top ‘Get The Pig Out’ campaign, they instead reacted to the widespread criticism by diggin up dirt on Jade – who was a school bully. All together now: Oooooh!

Truly the face of evil is she. Has anyone excavated her cellar recently?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020708

Time
10:11
Enjoy elgooG.

Amusing. Even more amusing to note that Google already thought of it. Kind of.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020708

Time
10:16
Uh-oh. By speaking the name of Google backwards, we have invoked the devil.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020708

Time
10:25
Get married online. It’s not legally binding, but she doesn’t have to know that…

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020708

Time
14:13
Woman depressed about getting free sample of Prozac in the mail.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020709
Great Rip-Offs Of The World
Time
09:49
Prisoners awaiting execution in Florida aren’t allowed to order a last meal that costs more than $20. The drugs that make up their lethal injection cost $86.08.

They’re more generous with last meals in Texas, but they probably get some kind of bulk discount, don’tcha think?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020709

Time
10:43
Is it just me, or are Billie Piper and Jade Goody starting to look very, very similar?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020709

Time
11:38
I know the occassional pubic hair is to be expected in a public urinal, but how does one get to above shoulder-height? It worries me, that does.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020709

Time
13:33
David Hasselhoff has checked himself into The Betty Ford Center. So it’s not just a feeling he’s hooked on, then. (Second link is a fair-sized video stream, but worth seeing if you missed this bloggage from May 8th.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020709
Big Brother 3
Time
14:54
Jade gets naked, screams “My kebab’s showing!”

Oh, sorry. Were you eating lunch?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020710

Time
09:45
Blogchalking.tk is yet another attempt to use blogs to influence Google and/or to create some kind of cultural movement. Unfortunately, the instigator in this case isn’t very proficient in SEO. Or the English language.

Quotes:

“Well, since a long time ago, I miss in Blogger a region-sensible blog-search engine, what would make easier for me to know blogs owned by people that live near my home, and then, increase the possibility of real meetings. What would probably end in new and great friendships.”

“Yesterday, I found something I couldn’t predict. Google and others famous search engines are not using META tags as they meant to be anymore.”


While not all of the links are favourable in their descriptions, a top listing in both Blogdex and Daypop is certainly nothing to sneeze at. Is he being deliberately disingenuous as some kind of double-bluff?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020710

Time
09:54
Ebay buys Paypal. Hmm, now might be the time to bring about that micropayment thingy.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020710

Time
09:56
Invest in the future.

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Date
20020710

Time
09:59
Martha Stewart Facing Wider Probe. Sounds like a disturbing wet dream to me.

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Date
20020710

Time
10:00
“Huh. Didn’t know I was that widely read.”

You are now, Janis.

Janis Ian on the MP3 debate.

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Date
20020710

Time
10:05
Scrollbar Racing. The most exciting ten seconds you’ll spend all day.

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Date
20020710

Time
11:39
Am I really that bad?

(Thanks to Craig for the heads up!)

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Date
20020710

Time
12:42
Dolly Parton’s next album is to include her version of ‘Stairway To Heaven’. And here was you thinking that this was the final insult. If you’re already grinding your teeth, then you might want to pop your bit in for this next part… she’s taken the liberty of rewriting the final section.

Says Dolly:

“Toward the end (of the song) I added a choir. I always thought of this particular song as more of a gospel song, like somebody trying to buy their way into heaven. And I threw in a few little ad-libbed lines to make it more like it was.”

Mission accomplished. The words ‘Dear’ and ‘God’ spring to mind immediately.

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Date
20020710

Time
13:39
Sony have a few words in reply to Michael Jackson. Not minced very finely, either.

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Date
20020710

Time
13:57
Dude, where’s my toddler?

Drunk father leaves 4-year-old strapped in car for 15 hours (15 hours!) because he forgot the make – and location – of his car.

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Date
20020710

Time
14:08
The Register reports that a site that lampooned the activities of local parking officers was taken down after Freeserve caved in (really?) after the first complaint by local authorities. The site owner has sinced moved to a new location, and is now juggling the attention of local police with that of national newspapers, I’m sure.

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Date
20020710

Time
15:06
Heh. I’m a sucker for anything that includes Star Wars and Lego.

(Another great find from The Ultimate Insult.)

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Date
20020710

Time
15:48
A hint for those of you who run guestbooks on your site:- read the entries carefully and edit/censor where necessary! Take a look at Christian homeschooler’s guestbook for an example of typical abuse. The post you’ll want to focus on seems to be an endless run of stars – but just mouse over a star or two to see what’s really going on.

Oi! I said ‘mouse over’, not ‘click on’! Naughty, naughty, naughty…

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Date
20020710
Worth Repeating
Time
16:31
John Lydon to Dominic Mohan:

“You are a soullless, heartless cardsharp and you know I know it. I don’t like you, you stink, everything about you is appalling. Go away.”

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Date
20020710

Time
17:16
Meet the new Spider-man, complete with his own sticky web fluid.

(NSFW)

(A big hello to Icklesheep, who’s welcome to poke his nose in with links like this anytime. Good to hear from you again, Ickle!)

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Date
20020711
Emma Jones
Time
10:10
Another hard-hitting piece by Emma Jones, bless her heart. Today she criticises the exploitation of lap-dancers, stating that: “Lap-dancing is little more than an acceptable face of prostitution.”

She goes on to assert that: “if the girls aren’t on the game when they get into it, they are often coerced into it.”

Of course, not all lap-dancers go on to become prostitutes, but then not all Page 3 girls go on to do hardcore pornography.

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Date
20020711
Latest Viral Agents
Time
10:30
I don’t get it. How is this Sport relief thingy supposed to be in any way viral – or even slightly amusing for that matter? It seems to me that this offering relies almost completely on a web user’s wish to support this offshoot of Comic Relief. A good viral mechanism would have enhanced this wish, not relied upon it.

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Date
20020711

Time
11:13
Is Terry Fuckwitt in charge of the Viz site today? I ask because all trace the site has been removed from the server, and I was looking for a good Spoilt Bastard link to team up with this story about the 8-year-old who’s still breast-feeding.

UPDATE – Amazing what old technology can do. I just used the ancient method of telephonic conversation to establish that the new URL for Viz magazine is http://www.vizmag.co.uk/

Will they accept my kind offer of help in making sure that this changeover becomes immediately apparent in search engines? I’d like to think so.

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Date
20020711

Time
11:57
It has come to my attention that the No.1 single in the UK when I was born was ‘Two Little Boys’ by Rolf Harris. I’m awfully sorry about that, even though it’s not my fault.

Hell, it’s not even Rolf’s.

From the FAQ of the Poetry and Music of the War Between the States site:

By the way, the poem “Two Little Boys” is NOT a period piece. It was popularized by Australian entertainer Rolf Harris, who first heard it from Canberra native Ted Egan in the late 1960s. According to The Rolf Harris Pages at http://www.rich.durge.org/rolf/, “In 1969, during a tour of Arnhem Land with his wife and daughter, Rolf briefly stayed with a man called Ted Egan. Ted sung him this song, which Rolf recorded on tape. When he got back to England and talked his television producer into using the song, Rolf discovered he had lost the tape! Rolf rang Ted, twelve thousand miles away in Canberra, and got him to sing the song over the phone. Alan Braden arranged the song for the TV show, and the audience reaction was so marvellous that Rolf decided to record it. This song was top of the hit parade for seven weeks over Christmas 1969.” Egan is thus presumed to be the author of the song, which may (or may not) have been written to honor the memory of his father and his uncle, Australian soldiers who fought in the Great War [1914-1918]. If nothing else, its apparent Australian roots indicate that it did not originate during and was not written about the War Between the States.

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Date
20020711

Time
12:09
The Popbitch board has just gone completely apeshit, with ‘last year’s messages appearing, approvals gone wonky, passwords being misused’, etc. etc.

Me, I suspect Emma Jones – possibly in league with the Lone Gunmen. Compared to some of the comments about her this morning, mine (below) are rather tame. She certainly has the motivation…

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Date
20020711

Time
13:23
Woo-hoo! I’m result #876 in Google for the search term ‘religion’.

(Heh. I didn’t say this was going to be easy, did I?)

Help us on our long, uphill climb by joining my religion today. The future of mankind is at stake!

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Date
20020711
Flash Music ‘Video’
Time
14:43
A nice ‘misheard lyrics’ take on God Save The Queen (from Mothra, presumably).

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Date
20020711
Hello Lovely Lycos Visitors
Time
15:02
Hello to all of you who found this site today via the URL on this Jade pic at the Lycos Viral Chart.

Looking at my stats now, I can also see quite a few bods who’ve actually been curious enough to search for ‘bloggerheads’ in Google (UK) and pop along for a look-see. Again, hello.

1. If it’s more images you’re after, I’d suggest poking around in my photoshopping collection. If you’re short on time or bandwidth, then just check out this one, which is my personal favourite.

2. If it’s Big Brother you’re into, I’ve only got this for you. Sorry.

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Date
20020711

Time
16:38
Ooh, lookie – a whole page of League of Gentlemen sound files.

This one still cracks me up.

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Date
20020711

Time
17:06
The world’s best board game. If you live in a trailer park, sleep with your father, fancy your sister, and have the upper body strength necessary to hurl a few chairs around.

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Date
20020712

Time
07:57
I knew my destiny was almost upon me, and yesterday it arrived in the form of a letter.

Ladies and gentlemen, last night I received my ‘confirmation of pre-selection to apply’ from

Crapital One. Yes, that’s right – my CONFIRMATION (of pre-selection to apply).

You losers can keep blogging and surfing if you like, but me, I’m busy moving up in the world.

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Date
20020712
Equetta.com
Time
08:15
There’s definitely something very stange about these guys. I finally brought the hammer down yesterday and demanded that they remove the stuff they nicked from me. They’ve done so – but have left the offending page in place, almost completely blank, with the exception of the one graphic they did create, now sitting there all on its lonesome. Weird.

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Date
20020712

Time
09:38
The amateur cameraman who videotaped the latest LA police beating (sorry, best make that ‘alleged beating’) has been taken into custody on outstanding warrants. Fuel. Fire.

This is the bit where we all stand around in a circle, chanting: “Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight!”

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Date
20020712
Signs Of The Times
Time
09:42
Sesame Street is set to introduce its first HIV-positive Muppet character. And no, it’s not Bert or Ernie.

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Date
20020712

Time
12:57
Cool. I made the weblog list at the Guardian. I didn’t rate a blurb, though. Great. So now I’m blurbless. And this started out as such a positive post…

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Date
20020712
Big Brother 3
Time
17:27
Ahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha (*pause for breath*) Ahahahahahahahaha.

Really quite excellent.

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Date
20020712

Time
19:41
As Homer’s brother Herb is fond of saying: All a man needs is an idea.

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Date
20020713
I Got The Number Of The Beast At The Bottle Tombola
Time
18:05
I know, it sounds like a bad Jim Steinman song – but at a local village fair, I dropped by the bottle tombola to try my luck with 5 tickets.

I managed to pull out ticket #666 not once, but twice.

Impressive.

Sinister.

Erm, and a pretty good indication that the chances of picking a prize may not necessarily have been 1 in 5, if you know what I mean.

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Date
20020713

Time
18:10
Three domain name scams to look out for, courtesy of The Register.

This other one isn’t quite a scam, but it is pretty pathetic. “Get a listing in Yahoo! for only $15!” goes the blurb.

According to the very pretty spam that alerted me to this work of marketing genius, you can “make your site ‘Findable’ within 24 Hours – Guaranteed!”

Erm, by buying an expired domain that the overly lethargic Yahoo! has yet to drop from its database.

I’ve got dibs on www.santasaurus.com, so if you’re thinking about snapping it up, you can un-think it right now!

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Date
20020715

Time
10:01
How computer viruses are named. I’m still waiting for one called ‘Little Bastard’.

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Date
20020715

Time
10:03
The lowest known fatal dose of caffeine was 3,200 mg (this was administered intravenously by accident). The fatal oral dose has been estimated to be in excess of 4-5,000 mg – the equivalent of 40 strong cups of coffee. Me, I tend to take such estimates at face value, but this guy decided to see if it were true. If, of course, he is to be believed at all…

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Date
20020715

Time
10:12
A United Methodist Church minister has been removed from the pulpit after telling his congregation that he had downloaded and looked at pornography. His name, by the way, is Randy Sailors.

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Date
20020715

Time
10:19
Itchy Richie needs the help of you and your keyboard. My advice to you is to visit only to help him abstain. If he keeps scratching at your command, whatever is causing the discomfort in his shorts is only going to become more red, inflamed and painful.

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Date
20020715

Time
10:24
Hollywood gets tough by bullying ISPs.

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Date
20020715

Time
10:25
Are Mac users smarter?

I don’t know, I didn’t understand the article.

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Date
20020715

Time
10:29
Another gem from Icklesheep:

What does BLOGS stand for?

Why, the Bisexual, Lesbian, Gay or Transgender Society, of course. ‘Transgender’ was added to the name of the society after it was formed – in 1973!

We may have to come up with a new word if they decide to take action…

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Date
20020715
Equetta.com
Time
12:13
In what I’m hoping will be the final instalment in this sad, short and sorry saga, a reply has finally come through from equetta.com in response to my question:

“Why did you think it was OK to steal my text and images?”

The answer they gave was as follows:

“We copied your text coz.. we thought it was some sort of news and can be published on the web for free as news so every one can benefit from it but it was’nt the case here anyway.”

1. Oh, I didn’t realise it was OK to steal news. Live and learn, I suppose.

2. Hang on… did they really think that this was a genuine news article?

Bloody hell…

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Date
20020715

Time
13:51
How to keepyoursecrets.com

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Date
20020715
Latest Viral Agent
Time
14:06
I must admit to stilfing at least a dozen yawns when viewing this promotional vehicle for Telewest. Why am I blogging it, then?

Well, tucked away behind it is a blatant Hot Or Not rip-off that’s funny for all the wrong reasons.

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Date
20020715

Time
16:16
They should call it Photoshop Lite and be done with it.

“We’re taking the core of the Photoshop engine and redesigning some of the features to make them easier to use and make the core functions more accessible,” says Adobe.

Apparently, it makes it easy for users to remove things like red-eye – but will it then let you cut off the head and put it onto the body of a kitten? If so, they’re onto a winner.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020715

Time
17:25
According to a recent poll, this is the greatest Fark thread of all time.

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Date
20020715

Time
17:29
OK, everybody – out of the pool!

Dow slips below 8,500, US dollar being outperformed by the Euro.

Monday Monday

You’d have to be deaf, dumb and blind not to have noticed this week that PWC Consulting plans to change their name to ‘Monday’ once they separate from PricewaterhouseCoopers – but I suspect there may be a few awareness problems on their end, too.

They have a top-heavy launch page at introducingmonday.com which is very nice, but it seems that they neglected to also purchase introducingmonday.co.uk, which was quickly snapped up by a B3tan and includes a lovely message for the bods at PWC. Erm, and some donkeys.

I also blogged a few days ago that they had spent US$5million on the brand, trademark and domain name onemonday.com.

I have no idea what they paid for monday.com, which I can only presume is going to be their main address once the change kicks in, but I can confirm that they have also neglected to purchase the domain name monday.co.uk

I’m sure you saw that coming, but the full implications are far more amusing than you may first suspect.

The domain name monday.co.uk is owned by the email service another.com, which means that anybody who uses the service (or takes out a 30 day free trial) can get their own email address @monday.co.uk

You can do this in about 30 seconds just by clicking here and seeing what’s available.

Fun, huh? Sadly, manic@monday was already gone – but I did manage to pick up a pretty good alternative. My new email address is:

Hooray for me! All those years of hard work have finally paid off. I plan on dropping a line to my Mum & Dad this afternoon to advise them of my exciting new career. They’ll be so proud.

Hell, I may even make a donation to the Labour Party while I’m in the mood. I can afford it.

(I have to go now. I have a helicopter picking me up at 12:00 and my secretary expects me to chase her around the desk for at least 15 minutes before I take off. Cheers all. Enjoy your email addresses.)

UPDATE – About a month (and £75m) later PWC abandoned their rebranding. £75 million down the tubes. What a waste.

16-30 June, 2002

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Date
20020616
South West Trains
Time
18:00
Have you noticed the new stock rolling about of late? A few months ago, the Advertising Standards Authority had a go at SWT for claiming that 785 new ‘trains’ were on the way, when in fact it was more like 785 carriages. SWT’s defence was that it could claim whatever the hell it liked in its leaflets, describing them as ‘PR material’. So, don’t believe anything you read in SWT’s PR material, becuause they feel justified in filling it with complete bullshit.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020616
Yet Another Lame Quiz
Time
18:10
Which Willy Wonka character are you? gets plugged because WW is one of may favourite movies and provides perfect fodder for this kind of quiz.

O2′s Which footballer are you? on the other hand, scores a mention mainly because it’s yet another commercial attempt to cash in on the quiz craze that’s missing even the most basic functions that make such a quiz spread virally. Nice try, guys. Next time, do some research.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020616

Time
18:17
The word ‘blog’ is going to be in the next edition of the Oxford English Dictionary. Still no emoticons, though.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020617

Time
09:24
I find it quite telling that, knowing full well that the monarchy (via Black Rod) was ready, willing and able to tear New Labour a new arsehole, certain MPs would start a very public campaign about freeloading royalty. Ho hum.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020617
Monday, Monday
Time
11:28
Well, that’s it. Andersen are screwed. Caught with their fingers in the shredder, as it were.

Also, as part of their rebranding to ‘Monday’, PWC Consulting has just spent 5 million US dollars on the domain name and brand onemonday.com

Anybody else got a domain name with the word ‘Monday’ in it? Time to cash in, methinks…

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Date
20020617

Time
11:31
Who was Deep Throat? Pat Buchanan named by students as the ‘most likely’ candidate.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020618
London Underground
Time
09:45
The London Underground’s regular promo spot in the back pages of the free commuter paper Metro today touts the availability of the LU for filming. They helpfully point out that this costs £200 per hour with train hire from £400. They also close by pointing out that the following restrictions apply:

LU’s Byelaws do not permit filming of: vandalism or graffiti; ticket touting; assaults on passengers/staff; fare evasion; use of Firearms or other weapons; misuse of escalators; unlicensed busking; begging; smoking or drug taking.

So basically, if you want anything approaching realism, you had better start building a set.

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Date
20020618
Googlebombing
Time
10:23
The Google Challenge is sure to get slapped down sooner or later by the increasingly temperamental purveyors of the world’s greatest search engine, but – damn it – I just can’t resist a challenge.

[BTW, topping Blogdex today is an article about how Google googles itself. That makes you go blind, y'know...]

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020618

Time
11:05
Take a look at your online linkage family via kartoo.com – the most novel approach to search engine data I’ve seen in quite a while. Just enter your own website or blog to see how it works and start playing from there.

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Date
20020618
Hollywood Is Out Of Ideas
Time
11:16
They’re making a movie version of The Greatest American Hero, erm, believe it or not. (Sorry, I just couldn’t help myself…)

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Date
20020618

Time
11:20
Go on, get it off your chest

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Date
20020618

Time
11:24
How to resuscitate a drowning cat. There may well be more than one way to do it, but this is my favourite.

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Date
20020618
South West Trains
Time
14:06
Something I didn’t mention in last week’s rant, and that was the good impression you get when you first approach the staff room on Platform 1. I was pretty sure nobody would believe me – but I did happen to have a digital camera on me this morning and managed to get a halfway decent snap of the doorway – and the sign on the locker that pretty much leaps out at you as you look through it.

I do apologise for the fuzziness of the pic, but the nature of the message seems pretty clear – and quite indicative of the attitude most SWT staff have towards their customers.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020618

Time
14:15
A colleague just got a very interesting email from a complete stranger with the same last name as her. At first, I thought it might be one of those viruses that deliberately looks as if it’s arriving from friends or family – but she opened the attachment before I could stop her.

No, no virus – just a very interesting timetable that is clearly maps out the best times in which to conceive a child.

The chap seems to have had sent it to name.lastname@isp.co.uk instead of namelastname@isp.co.uk (which we presume to be his wife’s email address).

She sent the attachment back with a polite refusal – saying basically that she was flattered, but spoken for.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020618

Time
17:19
Eat more fruit!!! (nsfw)

Be sure to scroll down to the comments.

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Date
20020619
Movie Of The Week
Time
10:54
We have a new front-runner for ‘Worst Movie Of All Time And No Mistake’. Previously, my favourite tragic failure was Starcrash, the nasty Star Wars knock-off starring David Hasselhoff as the hero and Christopher Plummer as his highness, the Emperor of the First Circle of the Universe.

Timemaster beats Starcrash for pure awfulness on all counts, plus gets bonus points for one very special reason; everybody tried so very, very hard.

In fact, if they had a token trophy for participation or even ‘most determined player’ as part of the Oscars ceremony, Timemaster would have walked away with it in 1995, there’s no doubt of that in my mind.

The scriptwriter, bless his heart, threw everything he could into this movie and boy howdy, does it show. Normally the director’s inability to bring such an inspired script to life would cause friction – but happily, in this case, the writer and director are the same person. Sadly, the genius James Glickenhaus (for it is he) hasn’t written and/or directed since. (Simpsons fans, however, will be delighted to note that he actually made a movie entitled McBain in 1991 starring Christopher Walken, and we can only hope that this movie is equally awful.)

The actors push their limited talents, erm, to the limit. Right from the opening narrative, I knew that this was going to be a special movie. Even the kids are something special. If what George Lucas squeezes out of child actors makes you want to retch, then this movie is sure to increase your tolerance for such things by a factor of 10.

The cinematography is beautiful throughout (you can literally see the money that’s been spent on it) and a special mention goes to the stuntmen who visibly earn their pay, but have no doubt been forced to leave this movie off their CV.

Similarly, some of the best sequences owe their timeless charm to the best efforts of ‘not the best special effects studio in Hollywood’. Clearly challenged by the inability to present a halfway convincing illusion, they still try so very, very hard.

Make no mistake about it; this is a movie that everybody should take the time to see. Should you happen across a copy in the dusty back rows of your local video store, you can rest assured that it is well worth the cost and any bewildered looks you may get from the staff.

Watch it alone if you must, but for peak enjoyment, I suggest viewing this excellent movie with a circle of close friends. Get a few cans of beer in, rustle up some popcorn, and get ready to throw both at the screen.

Timemaster awaits.



[UPDATE - If you want to purchase this excellent film via Amazon, it will cost you over 90 US dollars!! If you don't believe me, go and see for yourself. The reviews alone are worth the click-trip.]

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020619
South West Trains
Time
11:04
Well, it’s nice to know that I’m having some effect.

The offending sign in the staff room at Guildford train station has been hastily removed.

This means one of three things:

A – The staff saw me take the picture and are smarter than they look.

B – The staff saw this web page.

C – The copy I sent to Andrew Haines (MD of South West Trains) had the desired effect.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020619

Time
11:13
Enjoy speedstacks.com, online home of the grand old sport of Cup Stacking.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020619
PWC Consulting
Time
12:42
Of course, by now you’re aware that PWC Consulting have, as part of their “Criminals? Us?” rebranding exercise, spent very silly money on the domain name and trademark onemonday.com and launched a top-heavy flash show to celebrate at introducingmonday.com

What a shame that they neglected to register introducingmonday.co.uk, which is now under the control of B3tans.

5 million for ‘onemonday.com’ and they can’t spare the 5 quid for one lousy .co.uk domain name?

Idiots.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020619
Well, Burger Me
Time
13:17
Fast food is sending Japanese schoolgirls into a sexual frenzy. Apparently your standard burger-induced bonk is available immediately, but if you want a schoolgirl sandwich there’s a 3 minute wait.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020619

Time
14:55
If NASA gives them more coffee, they’ll never come down.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020619
Sore Losers
Time
15:38
Italian soccer club Perugia has dropped South Korea’s Ahn Jung-hwan from their club after he scored the goal which knocked Italy out of the World Cup. Nice.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020619
Search Engine Optimisation
Time
17:12
I know it’s old news, but there’s still a few danger seekers who end up here by searching for ‘pretzels’ and ‘president’ in Google. We’re No. 2 for this, just under the lovely Betty Bowers.

I know, pretty dull huh?

OK, how’s this for today’s example – search for ‘photoshopping’ and we’re No. 4

Better?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020620

Time
13:15
Celebrity Boxing, your days are numbered. Cat Boxing is here!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020620

Time
13:16
I just finished reading John Cassidy’s excellent book dot.con (available at Amazon in the US, the UK, and wherever good books are sold).

It’s a great read, and includes the following quote that I feel honour-bound to repeat here:

“The United States is a nation of many strengths, but facing up to reality isn’t one of them.”

Heh. Love it.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020620

Time
13:23
The paedophile ratted out by “Dear Abby” just got eight years of probation for possession of child pornography.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020620
PWC Consulting
Time
13:30
Oh boy, they really don’t know what they’re doing, do they? Bad enough that they let introducingmonday.co.uk slip through their fingers, but the rebranding to ‘Monday’ is sure to be complicated by the fact that they don’t own monday.co.uk either.

Find out more. You’ll be greatly amused, I assure you.

[UPDATE - Hooray! Our shenanigans rated a mention at The Register.]

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020620

Time
14:15
Proof positive that Corey Feldman met Spinal Tap.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020620

Time
17:08
They’re not porn films, they’re morality tales.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020620

Time
17:12
Following in the footsteps of the Globe of Blogs is this great London Bloggers Tube Map. I’m at Chiswick Park, and therefore a Zone 3 Blogger.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020620

Time
17:17
It is my duty to inform you that, should you wish to link to the NPR website, then you will first need to fill out this form. Thank you.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020621
Don’t Ask…
Time
08:43
I’m a lucky fella

And I’ve just got to tell her

That the cream works topically

Because fungus grows between my elephant’s toes

And nobody knows like me

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020621

Time
08:51
I reviewed the fantastically awful movie Timemasters a few days ago, and noted that the director had done some other stunning work, including a movie called ‘McBain’. J Tirrell wrote in with the following:

Indeed, I have seen the movie McBain, and it was completely because of the Simpsons. It is quite a terrible movie, with some sort of loose plot about Christopher Walken rescuing his Viet Nam POW buddies (or something). Film highlights include an airplane-flying Walken shooting down a jet with a pistol. As Rainier Wolfcastle says, “Up and at them!”

I notice a few second-hand copies floating around here and there, so I do believe I’m going to hunt one down and see it for myself. Watch this space for a review entitled “Worst. Walken. Movie. Ever.”

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020621
PWC Consulting
Time
08:53
Lots and lots and lots of visitors from all over the place are dropping by to see the Monday, Monday feature. Referral stats show not only a big spike via El Reg, but also a growing number of visitors from a variety of discussion groups (including one over at Motley Fool).

Yesterday, I tried a few good email combinations that would work with this domain name (I looked up things like ‘admin’, ‘info’, etc. before settling on the harmless yet amusing ‘chairman@monday’). Today, just about all of these combinations are gone.



Use them wisely, children – we don’t want this to end in tears…

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020621

Time
09:05
It has come to my attention that there’s some kind of feetball match on at the moment, and that I should be watching. It has also been suggested that I pretend to care, for the sake of my own health.

Oh, go on then…

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020621

Time
09:08
Supeheroes and science? Screw the feetball, I’m in geek heaven!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020621

Time
09:11
Argh! Being dragged away from desk. Don’t want to go to smelly pub. Want to stay here and bl

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020621

Time
12:54
Well, that was fun. Well worth the trip. I’m sorry that turned out to be such a downer for the all the England supporters out there. In fact, I’ve prepared the following pick-me-ups to help brighten your day:

Have a laugh at this Brazilian Beatles cover band. They look just like the real thing.

Laugh even louder at this Brazilian heavy metal band and the sheer ingenuity of their web designer.

Gaze in wonder at the Brazilian restaurant in Sydney, Australia that lets you eat barbecued chicken, lamb and beef – all in one sitting. (Confession: I actually made a television commercial for these chaps back in 1997. It was full of juicy chunks of meat and jiggling dancing girls. Quality stuff.)

Take part in this Brazilian Boycott, protesting the cruel treatment and high-tech mind control suffered by John Gregory Lambros.

And finally, consider the following:

Average life expectancy in Brazil: 63.24 years

Average life expectancy in the UK: 77.82 years

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020621

Time
17:10
Wired have picked up the NPR link popularity story. Blogs do it again.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020621

Time
17:11
Q&A with the Googlemeister.

(link lifted from http://weblog.greenpeace.org/)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020621

Time
18:56
Please remember to rewind your DVDs.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020623
Don’t Ask…
Time
12:20
I’ve been a very good boy, and have yet to employ any major weapons from my SEO arsenal. ‘My elephant’s toes‘ comes in fine at No. 1, but rules is rules and for ‘elephant’s toes‘ alone I’m all the way down at No. 11. I’m cool with that – but next week I get nasty.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020624

Time
10:34
I always wondered where they picked up those undersea bases and ‘one-size fits all’ silver jumpsuits.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020624

Time
10:41
Tourists flock to mystery hole in road. Obviously not a lot happens in Woodinville.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020624

Time
10:44
Beer orders to the official suppliers to the Palace of Westminster have apparently doubled since October. One pundit puts it down to disillusioned MPS who don’t want to sit around in the Commons chamber, but need to stay in the building to vote. According to this article, ‘the multitude of drinking dens are crammed full’.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020624

Time
12:31
Here’s a list of the Top 10 evil people of all time followed by a list of the Top 10 good people of all time, sorted in order of evilness and goodness. Also comes with many, many reader’s comments.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020624

Time
13:04
Where’s Waldo?

This gag is getting old by now, but the executions are getting more effective with time.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020624
South West Trains
Time
13:55
Reply received. Discussion initiated. Report to come.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020624
Yet Another Lame Quiz
Time
13:58
Actually, I can kind of relate to Which Enemy of the Christian Faith Are You?, but it rates me as an atheist. I’m not. I’m an Interactivist, and proud of it! (Never mind little rubber things, my religion lets you wear anything you damn well please on the end of your John Thomas.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020624

Time
14:05
Osama bin Laden is alive and well and waiting to strike. If you want, you can create your own terror warning here or just try not to think about it.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020624

Time
17:16
An open letter to spammers. Only one reader comment so far, but I have a feeling that this is about to change…

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020625
Googlebombing
Time
10:21
My performance in the Google challenge is improving. I’ve gone from No.11 to No.3 for the search query elephant’s toes, and I’d like to think that I’ve done it in style by using the words in a sensible and enlightening context. Here’s that song again, just for your reference:

I’m a lucky fella

And I’ve just got to tell her

That the cream works topically

Because fungus grows between my elephant’s toes

And nobody knows like me…

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020625
Search Engine Optimisation
Time
10:33
It’s been a sleeper success for some time now, but we’ve just got a fresh crowd over to the

Make Baby Jesus Laugh or Cry page thanks to a plug at grouse.net.au

BTW, just in case the meaning escapes you, here’s the listing for ‘grouse’ from the Macquarie Concise Dictionary:

grouse

adjective Australian, NZ Colloquial

1. very good.

–phrase

2. extra grouse, excellent. [origin unknown]

This small page has been floating around for a while, and I must admit that I have been neglecting it. The bloody counter still resets almost randomly. Still, it did what it was supposed to do, the end result I wanted was a search result like this. It’s still only No.7 for the more generic search query baby jesus, but we are getting there.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020625

Time
10:49
A group of Australian school students were busted when they tried to use some fake photo licences that they knocked together using school equipment. What gave them away? They wore school uniforms for the photos.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020625
Crush, Kill, Destroy…
Time
12:30
Scientists in Yorkshire have created a robot that actually thinks.

Not surprisingly, its first big idea was an escape plan.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020625

Time
15:14
Japanese schoolgirls (who, if you remember, are sent into a sexual frenzy by fast food) have taken up wrist-slashing to relieve stress. Well, it does decrease blood pressure, I suppose…

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020625
Christianity Watch
Time
15:20
No doubt it takes a special kind of person to go out and mime for Christ. Do they do that classic impersonation of Jesus on a rubber cross? Somehow I doubt it. I’m picturing moves like ‘trapped in a box by Satan’ and ‘walking against temptation’. Hmm, now I think about it this would make for a great show. In fact, I’d pay to go and see their upcoming performance at Winfield Prison.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020625

Time
17:13
Lonely, desperate, law-abiding? Date an inmate. The list of women inmates is $3, but the list of men is free, so I might instead write to a male prisoner and make him my bitch.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020626
Search Engine Optimisation
Time
10:53
As predicted, the Google Challenge has been shut down after advice from Google that it ‘may be a good idea’ to do so. A pity, because I was doing so well with the old elephant’s toes.

Some good came of the exercise. A fellow contestant emailed me with questions regarding link popularity and how I seemed to be performing better than other sites with a (seemingly) higher indexing than myself. The answer to this question is something I’ve decided to call ‘dark links‘. (Scientists haven’t seen dark matter, they only know it exists because of the way things around it behave, thus the name.)

There are a lot of people listed in the Google database who have, instead of linking to the core URL, instead linked to a specific page or folder. These links don’t show up in your standard link popularity tests (Google bar, link: etc.), but still have a pronounced effect on my ranking.

So there you go, now you know.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020626
South West Trains
Time
11:10
You may notice by the time of my first post (below) that I was a little late getting into work this morning. Actually, I started out trying to get to work earlier. Unfortunately:

WE ARE SORRY SERVICES FROM PORTSMOUTH ARE SUBJECT TO SEVERE DELAY, DIVERSION OR CANCELLATION DUE TO TRAIN FAILURE AT HAVANT

Well, crappy old rolling stock will do that to you every once in a while – or every other day.

The result? The customer information screens (not the new ones that still aren’t working, but the old ones that are just hanging in there because they haven’t been maintained properly because everybody expected the new sysytem to be online by now) made for a very depressing read. Here’s the rundown:

7:52 Waterloo – 80 minutes late

8:07 Waterloo – 70 minutes late

8:22 Waterloo – ‘diverted’

8:32 Waterloo – ‘diverted’

8:50 Waterloo – 5 minutes late

The best I can hope for from this? A partial refund on my overpriced ticket. Maybe. Will I get that hour-and-a-half of lost work time back? No.

I honestly don’t know how much longer I can keep this up. Last time I was this reliant on SWT, the experience drove me Right. Into. The. Ground – and I’m sure I’m not alone.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020626

Time
13:20
Who cares if there’s some guy in a white coat up to his elbows in my mouth? I want a relaxing foot massage from one of them there dental nurses.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020626

Time
14:27
12-year-old girl summoned to court for overdue library book. Frightened girl sends Mum in her stead. Judge says ‘not good enough’ and sets a new court date, insisting the girl attend – presumably so he can personally tear her a new arsehole. What a hero.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020626
LOTR
Time
14:32
‘Two Towers’ trailers. Go get ‘em.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020626
Latest Viral Agents
Time
14:51
Car, cars, cars, cars, cars!

Smart Getatway is a nice looking piece of work, but that’s a big bloody download just to sign up for the competition.

This Holden game (see the link on the right entitled ‘Cruze-O-Meter’) is equally pretty but I know I’ve seen this exact execution plugging another car in the UK before. Not that this is a cardinal sin, but I only remember the previous incarnation because I sent a comment to the agency responsible, pointing out that it had sweet bugger all to do with cars. I suppose that’s what makes it so easy to recycle…

*sigh*

Oh, and guys, if you want stuff like this to spread more effectively, it works better if people are able to link directly…

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020626

Time
15:30
Young men aren’t buying chickens because they get the eggs for free.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020627
South West Trains
Time
08:03
More info on what happened yesterday (see below). Apparently, the 6:19 out of Portsmouth Harbour got stuck at Havant because somebody pulled the emergency cord and, because of a technical fault with that system, they were unable to start the trains again. I’ve seen the exact same thing happen on old rolling stock before. IN fact, I’ve been on the train in the dark for 45 minutes while they sorted it out.

Anyway, the train was stuck at Havant. There used to be a passing point at Havant, as well as two others at Petersfield and Liss. They aren’t there anymore. I don’t know why they took them out, but I can only assume it was somebody’s brilliant plan to cut costs.

So, much joy further up the line at Guildford. None of the usual Waterloo services could get there, so for the most part passengers were stuck from about 7 to bloody near 9 with no way to get to London.

No, wait, I tell a lie. Two services via Cobham (known affectionately as ‘the scenic route’) did go in this time. Packed to the hilt, of course.

There were no extra services put on this in this time to help passengers get to London. A wide selection of rolling stock sat within view of the station, and many passengers asked why these couldn’t be put into action. The answer? “Out of order, sorry.”

There weren’t even any special shuttles (or shuttle buses) to get passengers to Woking so other services could get them to London.

In short, it was a shambles. This is a network just scraping by, so when the shit hits the fan, SWT just can’t cope.

This morning, train services via Clapham Junction have been disrupted due to ‘emergency engineering works’. SWT announce that ‘short notice alterations and delays of up to 30 minutes may still occur on many trains’.

Another morning of chaos, in other words. I’ve had it. I’ve really bloody had it.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020627

Time
13:20
OK, folks – it’s activity time again. A big challenge, this one – but there’s a few quid in it if you want to join in:

Can Weblogs Sell My Mate Steve’s House?

Heh – it’s probably the last time he’ll make a bet with me, but who cares?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020627

Time
20:08
From the folks what brung you www.portalofevil.com comes diminishedresponsibility.com, which includes very efficient – and I think quite fitting – use of newsisfree.com

It may even make it into the navigation bar shortly…

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020628

Time
10:45
Last Friday night, vandals smashed every window at the All Saints Church in Woodham Lane, Woking.

That’s not funny.

Each stained glass window will cost up to £15,000 to replace, making the estimated repair costs £270,000.

That’s not funny.

Cllr Margaret Gammon (Con, Horsell East and Woodham) said: “I am absolutely shattered.”

Now that’s funny.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020628

Time
11:06
A few weeks ago, the three co-founders of the now-fucked dotcom Den, Marc Collins-Rector, Chad Shackley and Brock Pierce, were arrested in Spain on charges relating to child pornography. The linked article also states that “the men have been sued in the past for allegedly raping, drugging and threatening to kill teenage boys while they still ran the now-defunct DEN.net” (though those in charge of the wreckage are trying to distance themselves from these sordid shenanigans). The full implications of this blah blah blah yadda yadda yadda. Look, you don’t really want to read all of this distasteful dross, now do you? I tell you what, do yourself a favour, wait until everybody goes to lunch, and instead watch the whole saga in this glorious Flash animation. You’ll bust a gut.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020628

Time
12:29
While we’re on the subject of pornography and fleeing the country, read about the Bill Gates of porn, Seth Warshavsky and his flight from the US with a computer under each arm and a song in his heart. You’ll never guess where he ended up…

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020628

Time
14:57
It’s all very Otto Sump (look it up), but if you do want to look truly unique, you could do far worse than choose from this excellent selection of fake teeth.

They even have the early Celine Dion model, which impresses me greatly.

(Thanks go to TheGlasgowKiss for the link.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020628

Time
15:04
Explore the fundamental interconnectedness of all things.

Should only take you most of the day. Enjoy.

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Date
20020628

Time
15:11
Look for me (or you) in this picture of weblogs.

It’s an applet, so it requires gentle handling and patience.

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Date
20020628

Time
18:03
This is what my youngest son made at pre-school today.

(Not the carrot, just the mutilation.)

1. What are they teaching these kids?

2. Do we need to lock the vegetable crisper from now on?

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Date
20020628

Time
18:51
Attention all bloggers!

If you get indexed daily, you might want to join our latest experiment.

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Date
20020628

Time
18:52
The latest edition of Celebrity Bestiality is hot off the presses. This month: Victoria Beckham.

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Date
20020628

Time
07:44
Another gem, as found by ultimateinsult.net:

Throw kids at R. Kelly.

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Date
20020629

Time
12:07
First Worldcom, now everybody is nervous about Xerox. Hmm. Perhaps I should take more stock in the contents of yesterday’s FuckedCompany Sporadic. Pud warns:

I know none of you Sporadic subscribers give a fuck about business n stuff… but still, I have to say… we’re in red-alert mode. FC usually receives a few internal memos everyday, but it’s usually stupid shit like cafeteria menu changes, office supply bandits, and “stop stealing my lunch out of the fridge” type of stuff.

But the last flurry has been hardcore… in the past few days alone, hefty memos from Worldcom, Lucent, Cnet, Digex, Accenture, Excite, 3com, Verio, Hewlett Packard, Dell, and more… heed this warning people.

Run for the hills.




Remember folks, you heard it here, erm, second.

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Date
20020629

Time
12:11
We do have some cheery news this morning. The latest Can Weblogs..? project just enjoyed its first big win. The target site is currently top (or top 5) result for almost every target search query. And it only took two days to achieve. And it only took the support of two weblogs.

If you’re into SEO and not researching weblogs right now, you need your head examined by a professional.

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Date
20020629

Time
12:20
Hang on… it’s Saturday! I’m not supposed to be working…

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Date
20020630
Babies, Etc.
Time
09:05
Ladies and gentlemen, baby Josie’s first word has arrived, and that word is….

“Dad”

Or more, to the point, “Dad-dad-dad-dad-dad-dad-dad-dad-dad-dad-dad-dad-dad-dad-dad-dad-dad”.



I know mothers can be very sensitive about things like this, so I would just like to close by saying:

VICTORY! VICTORY IS MINE!!!!

AHAHAHAHAHAAHAAAA!!!!

(/me closes by doing a small dance and shuffle, then pops out for more nappy bags)

The Disgraceful Service Of South West Trains

This is going to be a very strange blog today, and I apologise for that, but after putting up with years of bullshit from South West Trains, and after what happened last night, I really feel that I must speak out.

It began, as most of my travel adventures have in the past, at Waterloo Station. I arrived in plenty of time to catch the 9:20 but, sadly, it had been announced on the boards as being ‘expected at 9:45′.

A multitude of passengers waited, staring hopefully at the electronic board.

About 20 minutes later, as a seasoned passenger of SWT, I asked why a number of platforms had been confirmed ahead of ours, when our train was listed as due (at 9:45, but the time had been and gone without advice).

“Well, as late as it is, it is confirmed for Platform 9″ came the quiet response from the man manning the ‘information’ desk, “But of course, I can’t confirm that…”

This triggered something inside me. Nothing big, but enough to make me do what an Australian will do ahead of a typical Englishman. No, I didn’t whinge selfishly; I simply spoke up in a loud voice to the majority who were waiting for the same train (and staring hopefully, if you remember, at the electronic board).

“This” I intoned, with as much senatorial control as I could muster, “is typical of how bad this situation is!

“The train is now over half an hour late – and nobody is complaining! And do you know what? Everybody here is hoping that you won’t complain!”

I went on to give a very loud, and I would think quite lucid, account of why privatisation of public transport doesn’t work. A local drunk helpfully chipped in by adding “England!!! England!!”, which pleased the SWT Trains bods no end. It gave them the perfect excuse to pack up and leave.

Yes, they actually lifted the entire information desk and shuffled away with it. I shit you not.

But this (my faithful friends who are actually reading the entirety of this text) is just the beginning. The rot goes much deeper than this, as you’re soon about to find out…

The platform was announced, finally, as Platform 9. I had to shake the drunk off my shoe to get there, but get there I did.

I arrived just in time to see our train – formed of the front four coaches only – arriving. The multitude or former electronic board watchers herded onto this train.

The only SWT staff member who was semi-helpful on this journey pointed out that the subsequent express (also running late) was arriving on the opposite side of the platform.

Not surprisingly, I opted for this eight-carriage train instead of the other (which by now was already standing-room only)..

The journey was uneventful.

I did, however, arrive at my destination a mere minute after my connecting bus – the final service for the night – had left.

I headed straight for the Station Manager’s office and pointed out that it was due to South West Trains’ failure to provide the scheduled service as promised that I was now facing a 3 mile walk home in the rain.

Here’s where the fun begins…

All I wanted was a cab. A simple service, and provided for under the meagre charter that allows for delays over an hour or more. A cost of six quid, to be precise.

He informed me that he was not responsible for buses.

I informed him that he was responsible for trains, and from about then on, he ignored me.

The discussion collapsed irretrievably when he shut the office door in my face.

So, here I was with an unexpected cab fare home that I couldn’t pay for (due to an un-cleared cheque that is a matter for later blog-whinges regarding banks and their archaic ’7 day clearance’ system in this modern age of instant email and what-not) and a corporation that, rightfully, owed me at least a single fare refund. This single fare refund amounted to pretty much the cost of my cab fare (if you remember, about 6 quid) so, as it was raining quite heavily, I tried to reason with him as a human being.

Big mistake.

Mr Tiddles, as the Station Manager shall be known from this point forward, took great offence at the suggestion that he should be called to authorise such an extravagant expenditure.

His solution was to call ‘the police’.

Now, when an SWT stationmaster calls the police on you, there’s something you should be aware of. When he refers to ‘ the police’, he is, in fact, referring to the Transport Police.

Here’s where it gets even more interesting…

This ‘policeman’ turned up, as if by magic, at about the time when I felt compelled to stage an impromptu sit-in by blocking the doors of (yet another) late train.

I even drew up a sign, being the stubborn little fucker I can be forced to be occasionally, reading:

THIS IS AN OFFICIAL PROTEST

SOUTH WEST TRAINS DID NOT PROVIDE ME WITH THE SERVICE THAT WAS PROMISED AND WILL NOT HEAR MY COMPLAINT

This ‘policeman’ turned up as yet another drunk turned up to take my side. Perhaps God sends these people but, God – if you’re listening – I can do without it.

Ho hum.

Anyways, I stood well clear as the ‘policeman’ cleared this chap from our lives, as in his current state he was no more than an unwelcome distraction.

So, here I am, waiting patiently for the ‘policeman’ to address me.

I explained the situation in some detail, and here – critically – time gets fuzzy.

What it all boiled down to, after roughly thirty minutes of discussion, was that he insisted that he was “merely a keeper of the Queen’s peace”.

Please remember this, as there will be a test later…

At the close of our long, long discussion (during which, I was constantly worried that he had better things to do) I pointed out that the Station Manager held the solution to the problem – not me – and not me – had best take it up with him.

I was certainly not going to endure an hour’s walk home in the pouring rain because SWT had fucked up, and if the Queen’s peace was at stake, then the only resolution lay in the hands of the Station Manager because I was in the right and, subsequently, an immovable object.

It was about this time he pointed out that, as a member of the Transport Police, he was – in effect – employed by South West Trains as part of their security force.

This is the bit where I failed to absorb important information. I take full responsibility for that. I was thrown off by the fact that he had a radio, black uniform and bobby hat like What Those On The Bill wear.

Stupid.

Stupid.

Stupid.

He went off to ‘meet’ with the manager in what looked to be a small office on the far end of the station. I waited 5 minutes, 10, then close to 20…

Then a woman in her late 30′s turned up. She was quite distressed, because a late train had resulted in her missing the last bus (sound familiar?).

I was a prick.

I was so intent on using her to support my cause, that I didn’t see the full scope of her problem.

I asked her to stay where she was while I tracked down the officer from the Transport Police and/or the Station Manager.

I went to the small office they appeared to have disappeared into, knocked politely, and announced: “I’m sorry to interrupt you, but I have someone here with exactly the same problem as I have. You may as well deal with both of us.”

No answer.

The woman was getting more and more agitated, so I headed back towards her.

She informed me that she now she had a lift, but she would hang around for ‘a few minutes’ while I tried to sort this out.

I went back and knocked at the door again, but as I looked back, I noticed something particularly strange about the manner of the man who was obviously her promised lift. It’s hard to describe, but he seemed a little too insistent, if you know what I mean. When he saw me looking, he backed off again.

Suddenly, my priorities had (finally) changed. I walked across to the woman, and ensured her she would be able to get a cab. Even though I couldn’t afford it, the last thing I wanted to do was let her go off with this man. She seemed so desperate to get home, but I was looking less and less like a sure bet as the station staff ignored me and/or disappeared into the woodwork as I asked about the whereabouts of the Station Manager.

In the end, she opted to go with the stranger. I did not feel comfortable about this at all. If he’d stepped forward at any time I might have been OK about it, but he seemed so intent on orbiting this distressed woman until she was alone that he made me very suspicious.

I looked toward the small office once more, but she had gone. I chased after her. The stranger was ushering her toward the road near the station.

Say what you like about my paranoia, but by now all sorts of alarm bells were ringing in my head. It didn’t seem right at all.

I ran back into the station (about 12 steps, not a big run) and pointed out what was happening and the possible – if unlikely – ramifications. The staff, bolstered as they were by my status as a troublemaker, ignored me.

I was dumbfounded.

I asked the eight men present (that’s eight of the fuckers) if they were going to let this woman walk away with a stranger.

“Not our problem” said the fat bastard who claimed to be ‘just a cleaner’ (who from now on shall be known as the ‘Fat Bastard Cleaner’).

Of course, at this time, I still had a vague notion that there was a real policeman somewhere nearby – so I this time I *hammered* at the door the member of the Transport Police and Station Manager had seemingly disappeared into.

No answer.

I rushed back out to the front door just in time to see the woman being rushed/ushered out of sight.

Yes, I will admit at this stage that consensual sex between two strangers happens from time to time, but this woman hadn’t been out clubbing all night – she’d just arrived on a train from work. And the surreptitious way in which this woman was spirited from the station made me feel very, very uncomfortable.

So uncomfortable, in fact, that I felt compelled to call 999.

Too far away to give chase (after being under the illusion for so long that a police officer was in attendance) I did so.

It was quite reassuring, after all of the negative and/or ‘who gives a damn’ attitude I had experienced on the platform to hear someone on the other end of the line who actually responded with a reasonable amount of care.

Real policemen were on the way, and by the time I had made it back to the platform it had finally sunk in that Mr Tiddles the Station Manager and the officer of the Transport Police had (instead of making their way into an office) actually disappeared from the station via a nearby set of doors.

I informed the remaining staff of my concerns and told them that police were on the way. Much hilarity ensued. I pressured them again and again as a concerned commuter to reveal the whereabouts of the Station Manager. Hell, I even tried to appeal to them as fellow human beings.

Again, a big mistake.

Fat Bastard Cleaner threatened me with physical violence at least twice. Another gangly git from the security team (hereby known as ‘The Gangly Git From Security’) not only refused to give his name, but even the name of the company he worked for.

“Right,” I said, “Let’s ignore the last hour or so. As a concerned commuter, I want to contact the Station Manager, and I want to do so now.”

The Gangly Git From Security responded with; “Nobody orders me around, mate!”

No help from staff, no management in sight, and no police. Yet.

In desperation, I picked up the same phone Mr Tiddles had used to call the Transport Police. I figured anything was better than nothing. I informed them of the situation, they informed me there was nothing that they could do. Hooray!

So I asked about the previous call-out to get the real name of the ‘policeman’ who had attended the original call (he had reluctantly given his name as ‘White’ or ‘Whyce’ before swiftly changing the subject).

They informed me that no such call-out was made. I asked them to widen their time-frame and/or check if there were officers on duty at the time. After a muffled pause, they claimed to have no record.

The real police arrived at this time, and were Perfectly Reasonable. They listened to what I had to say, and did their best to take action.

They interviewed me, and the staff that were present. Acknowledging the possible gravity of this situation, they requested access to CCTV footage.

Miraculously, Mr Tiddles turned up about 5 minutes after this formal request. He gave his version of the story – at least, the bits he was there for – and was quick to point out that I had wrongly claimed a refund because my train was only 13 minutes late. (If you remember, I had caught the alternative train – so technically he was correct. Score one for Mr Tiddles.)

Mr Tiddles wisely gestured Fat Bastard Cleaner away, but The Gangly Git From Security had already mouthed off once, and was determined to do so again. I’ll leave his description of me to your imagination. You know enough swear words already.

So why all this fuss? What’s my problem?

My problem is that, at the end of the day, these goddamn jobsworths were so intent on protecting themselves and defeating one problematic commuter that they ignored what may have been a much larger problem.

I’m praying it wasn’t.

I also have a slight problem with the fact that South West Trains have their own goddamn Gestapo who obviously act in the company’s interest whilst strutting about in a policeman’s uniform that amounts to little more than a stage costume.

But then, that’s just me…

UPDATE – She’s OK folks! I’d given the woman in question one of my business cards when we first met, and she got in touch. She was most appreciative of the effort I made and the concern I showed, and described as ‘the only gentleman on the platform’.

Guess what? The guy who offered to get her home didn’t have a car. He did, however, offer to walk her through Guildford. It was when he then wanted to go via a dark underpass rather than the High Street that she became fully creeped out and simply walked away from him.

The distance to her home was over 2 miles. It’s at this stage that I should probably mention how old she is. 50.

Charming, isn’t it? Because of the inaction of South West Trains staff, this 50 year old woman was walking through Guildford, alone, about an hour after chucking out time. Happily, she had a key for her mother’s house, which happened to be on the far side of Guildford. She made it there safely, let herself in quietly, and stayed the night.

I gave her the names of the (real) police officers that I spoke to, so by now she would have been in touch to let them know that she is OK and given her account of the incident.

Now all that remains is to make South West Trains answerable for the disgraceful behaviour of their staff. That starts, but doesn’t end, with this web page.

Thanks for your time.

UPDATE II – RB wrote in with a few points:

“I have just had read your SWT article and would like to clarify a couple of points for you (I do not work for SWT, and I do not like SWT services!)… British Transport Police are a special police force who cover the whole of the British Isles and who have different divisions around the country… BTP are NOT security guards for SWT nor any other Train Operating Companies, they are there to keep the peace and to arrest anybody who has committed a criminal offence against railway property.”

Here I should point out that, while the BTP do not work directly for SWT, they are funded fully by the industry, primarily the train operating companies, who contribute 50% (with Railtrack contributing 30% and London Underground 20%). I’m sure you can guess where their priorities lie.

Mr Alex Robertson, the Chairman of the British Transport Police Federation, said the following at their annual conference on 17 April, 2002 (a full transcript is here):

“Turning now to the Force itself, the BTP remains saddled with being funded by the Train Operating Companies. In turn they are driven by commercial priorities in the very difficult market of railway transportation.”

Having a privatised railway system is bad enough, but a privatised police force? It boggles the mind!

FEEDBACK – Many folks have written in with positive feedback. Thanks, everybody. Best quotes are below.

“Today’s entry was actually the best thing I’ve read on your site so far. Don’t get me wrong, I do like your site a lot, but I was very impressed with the way you handled the situation, and the way you expressed yourself. Anger and frustration can be a powerful impetus, both to positive action and to making an interesting read. You did completely the right thing, and more people should have the same sense of civic responsibility.” – Linus

“South West Trains clearly were bang out of order.” – Martin

“Keep the moral high ground, stay calm and aloof…. but above all… get your formal complaint in.” – Paul

“Good for you, I hope you get at least an apology.” – James

“It’s about time this type of thing got some publicity and I hope you have some serious interest from the web community.” – Simon

“What a load of wankers.” – Elizabeth

UPDATE – Oh, you’ll love this… I’ve just been informed by the woman in question that she has finally been contacted by South West Trains… who sent her a bunch of flowers.

SEE ALSO – They never learn. Read about the latest adventure at South West Trains Does It Again.

FINAL UPDATE

So what did I do after being pushed and pushed and pushed and pushed? I did this:

South West Trains – How To Complain

You’re welcome to join. It’s ever so much fun.