01-14 June, 2002

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Date
20020601

Time
09:48
The gifted visionary who was behind the worst Eurovision entry of the year (possibly of all time) has threatened to sue after accusing producers of sabotaging his performance. He claims that bad sound mixing, not bad singing, was to blame.

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Date
20020602

Time
11:52
Many thanks go to DVD Fever for their support of our Get Alex Moving campaign. You can check out their main site here or their Big Brother section here.

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Date
20020605

Time
09:15
It had to happen – worldcupblog.org is here. I’ve got a collection of World Cup ‘virals’ that have been festering away in my Inbox for a few weeks now. Perhaps I should bite the bullet and lay them all out on one page. Or not. After all, we already know who’s going to win.

By the way, do you mind if I say something offensive?

“SOCCER! It’s called SOCCER!”

Thanks.

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Date
20020605

Time
09:23
Loose Lips Sink Ships: Then and Now.

The highly secretive National Security Agency has gone public with an advertising campaign urging members of the military to protect information that might be of use to terrorists.

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Date
20020605

Time
09:36
Further indications that Google is turning to the dark side. This time: censorship.

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Date
20020605

Time
09:43
Evel Knievel is back and ready, we assume, to jump into his own grave.

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Date
20020605

Time
09:52
Spare a thought today for James Russell who, while rummaging in his pockets for money to pay an overdue parking ticket, dropped a small bag of marijuana. A subsequent search by a passing police officer turned up 46 packets of crack cocaine.

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Date
20020605
Cat Lovers Inc.
Time
09:58
A singing kitty with a hole within his soul. Not where I’d put it…

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Date
20020605
Latest Viral Agents
Time
10:00
Dancing Paul, which was re-invented as The Stereo MP’s for MTV (and was, to be fair, the biggest viral agent of last year’s general election) has now been hastily recycled for the Jubilee. When you’re onto a good thing…

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Date
20020605
Big Brother 3
Time
12:48
We were there on Friday to see Lynne evicted. Find out what it’s like to be in the Big Brother audience here.

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Date
20020605

Time
19:25
Newsflash: Posh Spice is rubbish.

Well, duh.

BTW, it was reported by Popbitch that Posh wouldn’t be dropped from her label until after the World Cup, but it seems that this report itself has had an effect on the timing of the announcement. There’s a word for this that escapes me. There’s also a few thousand words that escape Victoria, but I’m sure she’ll make do with some choice four-letter selections.

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Date
20020606

Time
09:04
Wyclef Jean of the Fugees was among those arrested in New York City on Tuesday at a rally protesting proposed cuts in the city’s educational system. Jean, 32, said he wanted to ‘speak on behalf of the kids’ who, presumably, have a core message of ‘one time, one time’.

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Date
20020606

Time
09:14
There’s an old joke about a college graduate who starts work at McDonalds as a trainee manager and wax cup supervisor. On his first day, the manager gives him a mop and instructs him to clean the floor.

“Excuse me,” he protests, “I’m a college graduate!”

“Oh, I’m sorry,” says the manager, “Let me show you how to use the mop.”

If you’re not too overcome with laughter, perhaps you’d like to pause and compare the above article with this version. The only difference between them is that one can be found with an internal search engine and the other can’t. Find out why.

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Date
20020606

Time
10:22
Swimmers are being warned to stay away from a “sexually aggressive” dolphin that has made its home at a popular tourist resort on the English south coast. Of course, if you do want to get this close to nature, you might want to read this classic FAQ first.

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Date
20020606

Time
10:25
A Milwaukee man poured gasoline on his clothes, set them on fire and jumped into Lake Michigan to douse the flames in a Jackass-style stunt. Too bad his mate’s video camera ran out of battery power at the critical moment.

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Date
20020606
There Is No God
Time
10:30
An Australian man, one Mr Joey McNicol, is being sued by a spamming outift because he complained and the company was blacklisted as a result. The claim is for $20,000 ‘to compensate for the 20 days of lost income while awaiting a new internet connection’. The obscenity of this claim astounds me, but at least I can take action.

In other news, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that computer-generated images of minors engaged in sexual acts are not illegal and are in fact protected by the First Amendment.

My, it is turning out to be a good day.

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Date
20020606
Big Brother 3
Time
12:35
More Big Brother links than you can poke a stick at.

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Date
20020606

Time
12:54
The betting pool to end all betting pools. Quite literally, I fear…

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Date
20020606

Time
15:19
How’s this for a weblog title?

The never-ending ever-lasting party in my pants.

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Date
20020606

Time
15:32
The chap in charge of an enormous electronic document archive has died. Administrators have since made a public appeal for help from hackers, as he took many of the core passwords to the grave.

See? You can take it with you…

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Date
20020606

Time
16:53
Make your own South Park character. This is me. Notice the crow’s feet and bags resulting from overexposure to computer monitors.

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Date
20020607

Time
11:05
The Sun seems mystified by the sudden run on bets that Alison is for the chop. Have they not heard of Popbitch, then?

(For those who came in late: Popbitch yesterday announced the following on their front page and in their widely-received weekly mailout: “Expect a massive hatchet job on Alison in tonights Big Brother. The producers, who are very proud of their new £1.2m set, are increasingly worried by the hyperactive heavyweight’s destructive properties.” The rest of this entertaining scoop is here. Enjoy.)

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Date
20020607
Another Reason To Hate Pop-ups
Time
11:29
I don’t know about you, but I’m a ‘hunter and pecker’, so I watch the keyboard more than I do the screen – and I hate it when I’m typing text into a data field on a web page, only to look up and discover that my typing has been interrupted halfway through because some pop-up has thoughtfully made itself the main browser window. All pop-ups must die.

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Date
20020607

Time
11:42
Yasser Arafat’s bed bombed. Goes on to win Turner Prize. Etc.

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Date
20020607

Time
13:28
I’m sitting in the middle of a very empty office right now. Apparently there’s some kind of football game on at the moment. Everybody seems terribly excited, but then, football isn’t everything.

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Date
20020607

Time
14:08
Who doesn’t need a naked Hitler doll with moveable hands?

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Date
20020607

Time
14:09
No, I don’t get it, either…

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Date
20020607
Flash Games
Time
14:26
Play Alien Attack

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Date
20020607

Time
15:28
I know, I know, it’s sooooooooo last Tuesday – but if you have even a passing interest in Penthouse’s recent Anna Kournikova stuff-up, then you can’t afford to miss this great article and *ahem* pictorial.

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Date
20020607

Time
15:38
A personality test that’s destined for weblog greatness.

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Date
20020609
Mustard Man II
Time
09:03
Ladies and gentlemen, we are proud to announce that we can now, at last, finally and once and for all, reveal the true identity of Mustard Man. Be prepared for a feeling of mild surprise.

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Date
20020610

Time
10:32
I was at the xcom2002 event yesterday. I met some interesting people, and enjoyed some first-time facetime with people I’d previously only known online. Highlights? The free badges they were giving away emblazoned with the messages ‘Steal Music’ and ‘Steal Content’, erm, on a table right next to the security guard whose job it was to ensure that you paid your £3 to get in.

I really wish I’d worn a suit, though. Then I really would have stood out as an establishment figure.

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Date
20020610

Time
12:08
God has a blog but, typically, has already tired of the affair and wants to give it up so he can get back to work on version 1.7 of the Platypus.

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Date
20020610

Time
12:10
Arnold Schwarzenegger has his say on who would win in a battle between a vampire and a werewolf. It’s good to see Hollywood movie stars are finally speaking out on important social issues.

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Date
20020610

Time
12:13
Tony Blair lives in a dump.

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Date
20020610

Time
12:26
10 Ways My Dog is Capable of Advanced Logic.

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Date
20020610

Time
12:30
Get your stinking paws off my mobile you damn dirty ape! Police in London are hunting a chimpanzee after it broke into a house and stole a mobile phone.

Of course, this kind of thing happens all the time.

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Date
20020610
Flash Movies
Time
15:00
This series of traffic lessons is the funniest and best-presented flash offering I’ve seen in a long, long, time. If you steal one link from my blog today, make it this one.

Damn it, it’s so good, I do believe I’ll blog it twice!

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Date
20020610
Flash Movies
Time
15:03
This series of traffic lessons is the funniest and best-presented flash offering I’ve seen in a long, long, time. If you steal one link from my blog today, make it this one.

Damn it, it’s so good, I do believe I’ll blog it twice!

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Date
20020611

Time
09:47
A growing collection of unresolved endings.

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Date
20020611

Time
09:49
Attention women! We men have a few rules of our own. (Erm, if that’s OK with you…)

Rule 1: Learn to work the toilet seat. You’re a big girl. If it’s up, put it down. We need it up, you need it down. You don’t hear us complaining about you leaving it down.

Etc…

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Date
20020611
Ebay Weirdness
Time
10:00
Some bright spark on ebay is asking for you to pay for his wife’s boob job. In return, you get to cop a feel. The link to the auction is here, but the spoilsports at ebay don’t want people who aren’t from the US viewing ‘Adult’ auctions (I suspect this is a government-funded initiative to reduce the ‘only in America’ effect). The auction is also likely to be withdrawn. Not to worry. Cruel.com has it mirrored.

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Date
20020611

Time
10:11
Can somebody please drop by cyberskiving.co.uk and tell them that they need a ‘weblog’ category? Thanks.

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Date
20020611

Time
10:27
Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to present to you the first overtly commercial personality quiz. Too bad they forgot to include the basic component that makes these things spread so fast (i.e. the ‘cut and paste’ graphic and/or text link code normally presented with the results). Kind of like this one (that’s far from a perfect example, but is currently riding high on Blogdex):

“I act like I’m 18. This test was brought to you by Mel – She’ll bite you ;o). Take it here.”

So that’s Blaggers:0 Bloggers:1

Next!

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Date
20020611

Time
11:40
Listen to the Homer MP3 that Fox does not want you to hear. Save a copy to your hard drive for future generations to enjoy.

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Date
20020611

Time
14:15
We reported last Thursday that administrators an enormous electronic document asked for help from hackers, because the primary archivist died and took his password with him. The problem was solved within 5 hours of their appeal being released. As it turns out, it was cracked, not hacked. The password was the dead gentlemen’s name, with the letters cunningly rearranged back to front…

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Date
20020612

Time
05:26

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 me 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.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020612

Time
15:57
Due to the incredible amount of support for today’s blog and some subsequent media interest, it has been mirrored at http://www.bloggerheads.com/swt.asp. If you wish to link to this article, please use this URL instead of linking to the front page, which will updated with the usual bloggage by this time tomorrow.

Thanks.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020613

Time
07:42
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!

Many other folks have written in with positive feedback – thanks, everybody – but I’m still to hear from Andrew Haines (Managing Director of South West Trains) who I emailed at about 5:30am yesterday morning. Andrew and I have had words in the past, both friendly and otherwise. I can only hope he hasn’t had time to return my email because he’s too busy kicking arse.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020613
Unintentional Googlebombing
Time
13:29
(Hooray – something that’s not about South West Trains!)

In case you haven’t noticed, I’m heavily involved in online marketing and search engine optimisation. I was quite amused to be informed on Tuesday evening that the search result that gets the most traffic into UKNM (an online marketing mailing list to which I contribute regularly) is ‘simspons porn’.

UKNM turns up somewhere around No. 4 for this search query, and has done so for some time.

Why?

Because I included an example of an automated keyword spamming function in this post way back in Dec 2000. The link popularity of UKNM does the rest.

An interesting turn of events, but not something I can show potential clients.

Well, not all of them…

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020613
Photoshopping
Time
14:43
This, ladies and gentlemen, is the front page of today’s Mirror. You can see a larger version of this here (or, if you’re reading the archives, you might want to go here instead).

A tabloid has yet again ripped off the work of a Photoshopping artist and used it for their own benefit without so much as a name check, much less any kind of compensation.

What is it with journalists who assume that if it arrived by email or came from that dark mysterious thing known as ‘The Web’ that it must be free?

They did this same thing with the Harry Pothead picture and the Queen Mum Yoda mix. Such works, being transformative as they are, are covered under ‘fair use’ in that they have created a new work from old images. This new work is covered by copyright – copyright that the Mirror has violated by reprinting the work without permission. On the front bloody page!

All the redtops know that the front page is what sells the paper, so if I were the artist involved, I would stick it to them for a massive fee.

Bloggerheads Says: Come on you slack bastards. You’re supposed to be journalists. Do your research. Find the original artist and get in touch, instead of using their work without permission!!!

UPDATE – I just called the picture desk at The Mirror. I pointed out that the front page image was missing a picture credit and asked where it came from.

“Reuters” said he, “it was released two weeks ago on the Reuters network, and that’s the image we’ve used”

“No it isn’t,” I replied, “This is a new work by a Photoshopping artist that’s protected under fair use.”

“No it isn’t,” he retorted, “It’s the same picture with artwork on it!”

“Can I quote you on that?” I asked.

“And who are you?” he smarmed.

“I’m a photoshopping art..*click*

Cheeky bugger. Shows how much they care for our opinion, doesn’t it? Make some noise if you want; they won’t listen to me:

http://www.mirror.co.uk/contactus/

UPDATE 2 – A reader from Belgium writes:

“The picture of the daily mirror has been published the first time on a belgian newsgroup called “kotnet.absurd”, this newsgroup is a private newsgroup of the university of Leuven. It was posted by “De Phanne” on Sat, 8 Jun 2002 13:05:50 +0200 (with the) Topic: “Re: waar is de tijd dat voetballers echte mannen waren?”,

It was also this student who created the image.”

There. That took me less than two hours to find out. The Mirror had over two days, but didn’t bother. Why not? Are we not worth bothering with?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020613

Time
17:18
An Oslo man was fined after threatening to sexually violate a mailman or anyone else delivering unwanted advertising to his mailbox. It seems the standard ‘no advertising’ sticker had little or no effect, so he decided to spice his up a bit.

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Date
20020614

Time
21:31
I’ve just had to travel all the way to Hull and back to discuss laxatives. I’d consider this to be particularly ironic considering the amount of shit I’ve had to put up with this week.

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Date
20020614
Mustard Man II
Time
21:43
The word is spreading, right back to where it ‘began’.

Muchmusic is encouraging their viewers to take Mustard Man as a date to their MuchMusic Video Awards:

And if you need a date for the MMVAs, look no further – Mustard Man has been revealed! You may have heard me mention him on MOD. This is your chance to ask out the one and only “Mike ‘Nug’ Nahrgang.”

Get to it, girls. He is, after all, only one man. (Erm, but with his mate Peeps, he’s two…)

Mind, it’d be nice if Muchmusic put on a limo and maybe a nice dinner…








Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Let’s Get Alex Moving

Let's Get Alex Moving!

Viewers of Big Brother will be more than aware of Alex’s recent lack of reliable bowel activity. Such a condition is quickly and easily attributable to a combination of a sudden change in diet and/or habit, and stress (though the presence of a camera in the toilet is a contributing factor that cannot be discounted).

The ever-lovely Narinda (from Big Brother 2) continues to suffer, associated as she is with the stigma of stubborn stools. This is an association that most of viewers of the show will carry with them forever, so we are concerned not only for Alex’s general well-being, but also his future as a photographic model. The last thing we want is for his career to be tainted by people wondering whether that gorgeous pout is strictly for the camera or a sign of general discomfort.

This we would consider to be extremely unfair. The producers, knowing full well that this kind of thing can happen, should have taken measures that ensured a high-fibre intake to offset the dangers of this sudden change in lifestyle and the effect it can have on one’s digestive system.

Sadly, the time for dietary solutions has passed – but, while Alex has actually been in the diary room suggesting the possible need for a suppository and lubricant, affirmative action need not be this extreme. We do live in the 21st century, after all, and many far less intrusive measures are available to us. (Unless, of course, Alex would prefer a suppository – in which case we would support him wholeheartedly. At the very least, it would make for very interesting television.)

Even if Alex has experienced some relief recently, it does not necessarily mark the end of this condition. To ensure that Alex and the rest of the housemates have the opportunity to remain happy, healthy and regular, we intend to employ the following progressive plan of action.

Step One
Voice our concerns to the producers of Big Brother.

We’ve already emailed Endemol to advise them of our position, making very clear our intentions to escalate activities should we not see and/or be informed of immediate and decisive action. We would also urge you, the concerned viewer, to send an email yourself, expressing concern for the housemates’ health. Similarly, it would also help if you could spread the word regarding this campaign (see below).

Step Two
Ensure that the correct treatment is on hand.

This morning we picked up the following range of treatments from the country’s leading laxative brand, Senokot. The pharmacist quite rightly asked us why we needed so many laxatives, so we explained about the campaign. He was a Big Brother fan, and subsequently really helpful! He confirmed that 6 out 10 constipation sufferers atttribute their condition to ‘changing routine, changing diet and water, or going on holiday/away from home’. He then spent the next five minutes outlining the differences between the products. Which we’re now going to share with you…

Our care package includes:

Senokot Tablets (20 pack and 100 pack)
A single dose at night gives a ‘predictable result by morning’.

Senokot Syrup
This was described as a ‘pleasant fruit flavoured syrup’ suitable for adults and children over 6 years old. So even if Alex has a problem with tablets, relief is but a spoonful away.

Senokot Granules
We liked this product the most. These are chocolate flavoured granules that can be eaten ‘off the spoon, mixed with milk or sprinkled onto food’. We think they’d be pretty yummy on top of ice cream, but he’d have to keep it well clear of Alison.

Let's Get Alex Moving!

The above products were then packaged and sent by courier to the producers of the show, along with a letter that, yet again, voices our concerns for Alex and the rest of the housemates. As with the email, the letter also makes clear that, unless action is taken soon, we will have no recourse but to escalate the campaign.

Step Three
Operation Enduring Obstruction

On the same shopping trip, we also picked up some extra tablets and a few tennis balls. Close followers of the show will be aware that it is relatively easy to throw or hit such a projectile well over the security cordon and into the central compound itself.

Our tennis balls, however, will contain a ray of hope. Stuffed inside each ball will be a blister-pack of 20 Senokot tablets and a photocopy of the instructions. Only one need reach a fellow housemate for Alex to finally have access to a more-than-ample course of treatment. There should even be enough left over, even in this single emergency supply, to address the discomfort of a number of other housemates.

We do not wish to encourage this kind of loutish behaviour, but as a housemate is at risk, we don’t see ourselves as having much choice.

Let's Get Alex Moving!

UPDATE – We’ve been emailed by yet another helpful pharmacist (what is it with these guys?) who informs us that sending treatments like this in such a fashion could be interpreted as ‘sampling’, which is little bit naughty, apparently. So, no tennis balls.

Frankly, we’re quite relieved. While at the Big Brother house (see below) we got a good look at the layout and saw several good launch positions – but we also got a good look at the size of the security dogs.

Step Four
Operation Overkill

Should our efforts to place the treatments directly in the housemates’ hands fail, and if the producers still refuse to address this issue, we will have no choice but to take our protest further into the public domain. Grass roots action will begin at the evictions themselves, where supporters will be present to not only hand out informative leaflets to concerned fans of the show, but also carry out a formal protest come airtime with chants, placards and at least one dog on a string.

We have the materials and a number of concerned followers on hand for this activity, but if you would also like to take part, we would welcome the support. Email us today.

Let's Get Alex Moving!

UPDATE – We were there for Lynne’s eviction. We not only managed to get our main placard on screen twice, but we also got a direct mention from the lovely Davina who pointed out our sign and explained; “I think it has something to do with Alex’s bowels”. (Quite helpful of her, we thought. Perhaps she should think about a career in pharmacy.)

We also handed out hundreds of pamphlets outlining our cause and directing people to the website. We started handing these out with the phrase ‘Help Alex’ and didn’t get many takers, but once we started up with ‘Help Alex’s bowels’, folks couldn’t snap them up quickly enough. We ran out of pamphlets in less than three minutes.

After all of this, we still haven’t heard from the producers, so it looks like we may have to start cooking up a Step Five. We welcome suggestions by email.

How To Support This Campaign

We welcome all levels of support for this campaign. Any or all of the following measures will help us to achieve our goal.

Email a Link To This Page
Even if you don’t have a website or weblog, you can spread the word by emailing a link to this page to your friends and family.

Link To This Page
One of the most powerful things you can do as a site owner or weblogger is link to another site. Doing so by either or both methods below lets your audience know about our campaign.

This first link is your standard ‘go and look at this’ plug. How and where you do this is completely up to you, but you can cut and paste the following to make it easier if you like:

Use Our Protest Button
A nice, eye-catching way to ensure that your audience sees and understands the importance of our mission. Again, all you have to do is cut and paste the following into your weblog.

Let's Get Alex Moving!

We appreciate your time, and will be publishing updates here as they happen. May your bowels remain happy and healthy.

[UPDATE – Read about our adventures at the eviction @ Big Brother: The Eviction Experience.]

[FINAL UPDATE – Hooray! Success! Big Brother did give Alex the treatment he required. Out of the choices provided, he chose the syrup and has commented on air at least twice about how tasty it is and how it didn’t make his insides explode ‘like you see in the movies’. We don’t know what kind of movies he’s been watching, but we suspect they have something to do with cliched teenage pranks. Hooray for Hollywood and visions of exploding bottoms!]

This site is in no way endorsed or recognised by Endemol, Bazal or Channel 4. You can access the official Big Brother site here.








Posted in Consume! | Comments Off

Ananova’s Orange Makeover

Orange Ananova

After a slow and gradual shift into the background, the search function at Ananova has now disappeared altogether. The way in which they did this led me to suspect that the function would be reintroduced at a later date under some form of subscription service.

I was wrong. The real reason for it is far more entertaining.

If you call the customer service department, you’ll get the message that they’re ‘streamlining the site in keeping with their partnership with Orange’. Remember that statement, because there’s a grain of truth in it.

You may also be aware that a message was delivered to subscribers of their email news alert service, who were informed last Friday that the service would stop, erm, this Monday. An official release followed that, instead of addressing what was missing, directed your eyes to a brave new world of news updates.

“Ananova is teaming up with Orange to create a ground-breaking new mobile news service,” it trumpets, going on to say that, “You will be able to follow all the news, sport, business and entertainment subjects you are used to seeing on Ananova, on your Orange phone.”

On your Orange phone. Remember that, because it’s important too.

Ananova isn’t ‘teaming up’ with Orange. Orange bought Ananova nearly two years ago. At the time, Orange’s CEO said that “Ananova is a key element of our plans to develop our overall portal platform…”

Damn right it is.

A call to the main office for Ananova for some more information was enlightening and amusing from the start (the receptionist answers the phone with ‘Hello, Orange!’).

Customer Services were very nice to me, as was the lovely lass in their PR department, who informed me that the Ananova site was being slimmed ‘so as to better address mobile phone users’.

“And by that, you mean Orange mobile phone users?”, I ventured.

“Um, yes..” she admitted.

It’s hardly Watergate, but for all the noise the Ananova site will make about ‘streamlining’, the hard fact is the guts of the operation is being moved over to provide content and services for Orange subscribers. No news alerts, unless you subscribe to Orange. No search function, unless you subscribe to Orange. I picture a day in the not too distant future when the only thing left at the Ananova site will be a few animated gifs of tumbleweeds blowing across the page.

Most web users will be well aware of the reaction Ananova would get if they announced an introduction of charges for ‘value-added’ services such as a search function. Perhaps that’s why they’ve taken these measures to bypass the issue by putting the service in the hands of customers (who are already parting with their cash) under the banner of a new service.

But where does that leave those of us who previously relied on the useful tools that Ananova provided? Can we opt to pay a subscription to access the service? No, we can’t. If we want to keep using the useful version of Ananova, we have little or no choice but to sign up with Orange.

Erm, or maybe stick two fingers in their general direction and make do with Daypop.

So long, Ananova. It was nice knowing you, but the Orange makeover just makes you look like another ginger tosser.

:oP

UPDATE – Ananova, for reasons unknown, had a sudden change of heart – and policy – about a week or so later. While email alerts are now only available to Orange subscribers, the search function is now back in place.








Posted in Teh Interwebs | Comments Off

16-31 May, 2002

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Date
20020516

Time
07:46
The inventor of sliced bread didn’t get rich – or famous. His name was Otto Rohwedder.

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Date
20020516

Time
07:49
More on US ‘intelligence’. They knew that pesky Osama was up to something involved with planes…

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020516

Time
07:52
Meet Momo. It’ll only take a minute.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020516

Time
07:53
I want my religion to be on this list by the same time next year. A mass suicide oughta do it. Any volunteers?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020516

Time
08:02
A woman called in the bomb squad after discovering a mysterious object that had been left in her mailbox. She thought it was a pipe bomb. Nope, it was a pipe bong.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020516

Time
08:06
Ricky Martin and Britney Spears look-alikes beware – the Baptists are coming after you!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020516

Time
08:08
Copy-protected CDs can be ‘fixed’ with marker pens and electrical tape. Never underestimate the ingenuity of the average cheapskate.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020516
Viral Marketing
Time
08:11
It had to happen. After several miserable attempts to invent fake people that love their products, corporations are now inventing fake people that hate ther competitor’s.

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Date
20020516

Time
08:15
Here’s one thing you probably didn’t know about Coca Cola, and here’s another.

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Date
20020516

Time
08:21
I hope you appreciate that I woke up early just to please you guys. Now I gotta go to London. I’ll try to bring back something nice.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020516
Star Wars Watch
Time
20:47
Just seen it – and, yes, there are dialogue moments somewhat akin to the Ep IV auditions I’m sure you’ve all seen – BUT – it is worth watching (and then some). Yes, the Yoda fight scene will take you by surprise. Yes, you can take your kids to see it. I will. Cheers all.

PS – Once Were Bounty Hunters (coming soon)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020517

Time
08:34
“If you are a Mormon male, and if you more-or-less discreetly marry as many females as you possibly can without going to jail, and if you keep them all pregnant from the ages of 12 to 50 (the ideal Mormoness never touches a Tampax in her whole terrestrial life), and if you persuade your vast armies of spawn to join the church, and if you teach these new members to tithe – then, upon death, you will become a Mormon god yourself, and be furnished with your own planet, and a harem of numberless wives.”

Damn, I knew I forgot something when I was drafting my religion – sex. Oh well, perhaps if I can discreetly tack porn onto the outer flanges, no-one will notice. Ho-hum. Anyways, cynics will enjoy this fine opinion piece over at nthposition.com

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Date
20020517

Time
08:58
The top ten worst sequels of all time.

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Date
20020517

Time
09:08
“Well, fortunately small boys are springy and elastic.” – Willy Wonka

Sex scandal rocks Wonka factory.

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Date
20020517

Time
09:11
Private Eye readers will already be familiar with this issue: Tony Blair has defended Labour’s decision to take money from Richard ‘I don’t do dutch’ Desmond.

Why is this a big deal? Well, Richard Desmond is the media magnate behind OK! magazine, the Express newspaper, erm, and a few spicier titles including Nude Wives, Asian Babes and the new mag – which WH Smith surprisingly refused to stock – Spunk Loving Sluts.

Next time you catch your Mum reading OK! magazine, ask her if she’s read any of its sister publications.

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Date
20020517

Time
10:42
I do apologise, but this image is only funny if you’ve seen Star Wars Ep II and this fine film.

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Date
20020517

Time
11:27
“Jeff had agreed to let us build a life-size Millennium Falcon in his backyard. We told him it would only take us a month to build and tear down. I don’t think he fully realized how much of his yard a full size falcon would take up. After all, the falcon was over 40 feet wide and 12 feet tall.”

Yes, they actually did it. Kind of. Now I want one.

I’m sorry, I don’t think you heard me…

I want one!

I want one!

I want one!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020517

Time
12:41
Well, how about that. We’re No. 3 for the search query ‘porn report’.

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Date
20020517

Time
12:43
Finally, a waste-free watermelon.

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Date
20020517
Videos, Etc.
Time
12:51
Free Porn!

“This movie requires Quicktime. If you don’t have Quicktime, invent your own video compression format and design the appropriate conversion algorithms.”

Hehehe. Love it.

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Date
20020517

Time
13:09
Want to cross swords with Mastercard? Simply put together your own collection of ‘priceless’ pics like this one over at osrm.net. Mastercard are getting smarter about this (kind of). Instead of going to the webmaster, they take their complaint straight to the hosting firm (who usually caves in immediately). It’s called ‘fair use’, Mastercard. Deal with it.

(BTW, if you’ve got some thoughts on the matter, drop into the Orsm Forum and speak your mind.)

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Date
20020517
Games
Time
15:37
“Claire (from Steps) wasn’t getting very far with her yoga meditation. She’d got the posture right and had had no trouble clearing her mind of any thought – but nothing happened until H (erm, from Steps) came up with a fantastic idea. He whipped out his alpenhorn and now together they can reach enlightenment.”

Yet another inexplicably addictive game from b3ta.com.

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Date
20020517

Time
16:05
Tee-hee. Reknowned know-all Ann Landers falls for an urban legend.

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Date
20020520
Tiscali 10.0
Time
08:52
I hate the new Tiscali commercial. Hate it with a vengeance, I does. Happy third world children gambol in the surf, for life has been made worth living thanks to an ISP catering to ignorant westerners who wouldn’t know their URL from their elbow. As with those warm and fuzzy bank ads that we all know and love, it’s a fair bet that a brand that goes purely for emotional appeal has very little to offer in the way of reality – but perhaps I’m being unfair. After all, Tiscali’s browser is 10.0 (compared with AOL, who can only manage a mere 7). Yeah, and my volume knobs go all the way to ‘11’.

Tiscali’s new browser is based on Ultrabrowser 6.0, BTW. About the only practical difference between this and other browsers is a few buttons that point you in the direction of default applications (or ‘carefully chosen partners’) and the ability to access your bookmarks remotely. I prefer this version, myself.

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Date
20020520

Time
09:12
Never mind the coffee, watch out for the burgers. A woman in the US claims a Wendy’s chicken sandwich “exploded” onto her face and hands and caused severe burns.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020520
Christianity Watch
Time
09:15
Punks and Skins for Christ is here ‘to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ’!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020520
Get A Head
Time
09:20
A South African police sting operation has bagged a murderer and the human head he was trying to sell.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020520

Time
09:26
Did you ever wonder what it would be like to pop a water balloon in space?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020520
Star Wars Watch
Time
09:28
Empire Good. Republic Bad.

Well, at least they make the space freighters run on time.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020520

Time
09:44
Leonardo da Vinci – what a weirdo.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020520

Time
09:51
How to convince women to take their clothes off in front of a camera.

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Date
20020520
Latest Viral Agent
Time
11:09
I’m happy to plug this fabulous game promoting The Time Machine.

This is a simple, playable flash game with real retro appeal (think ‘Pitfall’ with Morlocks). An X-Box is up for grabs for the fastest time and everybody can enter a draw for a one year cinema pass. Good mechanism. Applause for the creators who will no doubt track down this link.

(Hi guys, BTW!)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020520

Time
12:46
“From the summer of 2002, Nominet is planning to expand the reply message returned by the WHOIS. This will include the name and address of the Registrant, as well as the date on which the domain name falls due for renewal.”

Well, thanks, you cheeky fuckers, just what I need! A change in your service that gets my home address published – without my consent. Nominet is giving Tag Holders a ‘three-month period before the WHOIS goes live’, but judging by how long it took to get .co.uk certificate at the peak of their activity, I don’t think that they can even hope to successfully process this massive exchange of information inside 3 months if, and I say if, they get this cockamamie scheme off the ground in the first place.

I’m as mad as hell about this, and you should be too. Take action.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020520

Time
12:50
The top 100 video game engrish of all time. Be warned that there’s a screenshot for every example, so she’s a big download.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020520
Viral Marketing
Time
13:03
Re: Spiderman

Compare this offical offering with this simple exploitation of current weblog trends. Which do you think will get the most direct referrals? Thought so…

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020520

Time
13:14
Britney gets drunk and goes looking for a little action. Wow, could she actually be human?

Also from the ever-reliable National Enquirer this week – Bill Clinton’s love child.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020521

Time
08:13
The most entertaining ebay auction in weeks and I missed it. Oh well, at least we can look back and laugh…

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020521

Time
08:14
A Greenpeace boat collided with France’s America’s Cup yacht during a protest against the team’s nuclear energy sponsors.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020521

Time
08:17
It doesn’t get any bigger than this.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020521

Time
08:20
This is an excellent article on the subject of sites like CIA for Kids.

Non-coders/designers should look away…. now!

(Take a look at the front page, BTW, and see just how seriously the CIA takes their ALT Text…)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020521

Time
09:07
Dell is using prison labour in its PC recycling scheme.

The reactions over at Fark can only be described as typical.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020521
Star Wars Watch
Time
09:19
Lucas is under fire over racial stereotypes. Again.

Oh, and this (ahem) thoughtful and balanced piece appeared in yesterday’s Guardian.

Oh, and a couple in the US were arrested last Thursday. They went out to see the premiere, and left their 2-year-old hearing and speech-impaired child at home. Alone. They got back home at about 2:45 am, and didn’t realise until the police dropped by about half-an-hour later that their child was missing (he had been taken into protective custody just after midnight).

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020521

Time
10:46
The 15 Finest Moments from The X-Files

WARNING: This article is peppered with spoilers that appear with little or no warning. If you haven’t seen the last episode yet (and want to enjoy it), then go somewhere else – like maybe this competition that asks you to submit a plot synopsis for the next X-Files movie.

(So it’s true. Hollywood has run out of ideas…)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020521

Time
11:05
Here’s a little Pro Life document for you to ponder over. Which do you find more disturbing – the graphic content or the child-like scribble?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020521

Time
11:24
The guy they based ‘Crocodile’ Dundee on was a speed-freak. Oh, and his girlfriend is a right nutter.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020521

Time
14:22
In case you missed yesterday’s blog, here’s a link you don’t want to miss if you own a .co.uk or .org.uk domain name.

“From the summer of 2002, Nominet is planning to expand the reply message returned by the WHOIS. This will include the name and address of the Registrant, as well as the date on which the domain name falls due for renewal.”

You can take action here.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020521
Lego Geekage
Time
14:30
I’m already on the case with the SW Ep II vehicles. First was a vast improvement on Lego’s official (and rather boring) Jedi Starfighter. I’ll have a full set of images live at lugjam in a few days.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020521

Time
15:14
Take a look at this close-up JPEG of the DVD cover for M*A*S*H – Season Two. Is that not the worst example of photoshopping you’ve ever seen in your life? I know that images of Hawkeye saluting are kind of thin on the ground, but sheesh!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020521

Time
17:17
Yes, I’ve seen the bald chicken. It’s been all over B3ta today, and has its very own Photoshopping thread over at Fark. I even submitted an entry. So, yes, I’ve seen it.

No, really, I have seen it. No more emails, please.

Look, I just told you, I’ve seen it, OK?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020521

Time
17:23
Read about the boy who was attacked for making a mistake when playing badminton. Now the poor little sod can’t function without an artificial anus. I know that sounds like a joke, but it isn’t.

(Boy, howdy, they sure did tear him a new asshole.)

That, that was a joke.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020522
Mustard Man II
Time
06:23
(DAY, ERM….)

I’m really starting to develop a dislike for the production team over at muchmusic. After over a month without a reply regarding Mustard Man, now they have the cheek to feature my site without so much as a single notification email. It’s called courtesy, you cheeky buggers. Try it sometime.

(Oh, Mustard Man will be revealed soon, gang. We’re just ironing out some of the finer details.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020522

Time
06:31
Oh, dear God! The’re actually going to remake Logan’s Run! If you’re not familiar with the movie (or TV series), quietly count your blessings then check out The Highly Unofficial Logan’s Run FAQ or the City Of Domes site (the latter contains many, many tragic images for you to enjoy).

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020522

Time
06:42
This isn’t the first time this kind of thing has happened, and it won’t be the last. The little town of Bensalem forgot to pay its bill and bensalemtownship.org has now fallen into the hands of a pornographer. Apparently, this is most outrageous thing to happen in the town “since they found the spanking tables at the ‘House of Pain’ in Andalusia back in 1994″.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020522

Time
06:52
OK, I’m off to do the London Thing today. And tomorrow. And the day after that, etc. etc. etc.

I’ll let you know how the whole thing goes, but I’ll try not to rant about the crap service of South West Trains every day.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020522

Time
10:43
British troops in Afghanistan were furious yesterday after learning they are to be entertained by 20st Pop Idol reject Rik Waller. American forces got mini-skirted girls.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020522

Time
10:53
A teacher supervising an exam was pretending to work on his computer. What he was really doing was looking at lesbian pornography! What a shame he forgot to unplug the projector. The images appeared on a large screen behind him, much to the ‘shock’ of students. The teacher is now on stress-related sick leave. This is what is known in the industry as being ‘as sick as a parrot’.

The best quote that relates to this story isn’t featured at the BBC URL, so is repeated here as a courtesy to those who study British priorities and the gentle art of downplaying.

Said the head teacher in an official statement:

“The exam was a mock exam, so there is no effect on the results.”

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020522

Time
12:20
First Ananova dropped the search box from the front page – now it’s done away with the search function altogether. I suspect its something to do with this, but I can’t shift this uncomforatble feeling that they’ve made it disappear in such a subtle fashion to minimise backlash when they (re)introduce it as a charged service.

Anyway, if you want to have a little fun with them, you can quickly and easily report the missing search engine as a 404 error.



[UPDATE – OK, I’ve looked into it, and no, they’re not introducing a subscription service. Well, not really. Read Ananova’s Orange Makeover for the full story.]

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020522

Time
17:05
A Russian policeman has been captured on film punching a mother and a little girl in the face during a protest in Vladivostok. Lieutenant-Colonel Alek-sandr Lysenko, Vladivostok’s traffic police chief, has been suspended pending an inquiry. The pictures tell the story, but the full poop is over at The Times.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020523

Time
10:51
Stuart Goddard (aka Adam Ant) appeared in court yesterday, denying charges that he broke a pub window and threatened a man with a gun. For the record, I should point out that it is alleged that the Ant-esque one threw a car alternator through the pub window. Not a common brick or bottle, but a car alternator. If you ask me, that alone shows an artistic flair that warrants leniency. BTW, the courts have yet to hear the real story behind the case. If justice is to be done, then all the facts must be presented.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020523

Time
11:00
A suspicious vehicle cruising in a parking lot was approached by police. A naked man was inside. I won’t give away the ending, it’s far too entertaining to ruin.

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Date
20020523

Time
11:05
Freaky Secrets of the Presidency.

(Link lifted from ultimateinsult.net)

A lot of historians downplay the fact that George Washington grew hemp, as it was a common source of rope, fabric, etc. at the time. Diary entries by the man himself outlining plans to seperate the male and female plants before pollination are not widely publicised, as this practice is undertaken solely to enhance the plant’s (ahem) medicinal properties.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020523

Time
11:22
In case you missed yesterday’s background to the article Ananova’s Orange Makeover, the disappearance of the search facility and subsequent enquiries revealed that the sneaky chappies are slipping everything useful out the back door for the exclusive use of Orange subscribers. Nice.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020523

Time
11:47
Are you missing? You might think that you’re all there, but it pays to be sure. Confront a co-worker today and ask that all-important question:

“Am I here?”

With any luck, you’ll not only receive some form of confirmation, but also be mistaken for something of a closet philosopher. If this happens, wear a toga tomorrow and make the most of your new reputation.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020523

Time
11:52
Plaid Cymru has apologised for poking fun at the late Queen Mother and local residents on one of its Web sites. What a pity that the Yoda picture at the centre of this story is actually the work of a B3tan. Perhaps they need to apologise to him as well for taking credit for this sublime creation?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020523

Time
12:23
Six people were arrested in South Africa last weekend on suspicion of being involved in the infamous Nigerian email and letter fraud. And about time, too. Now perhaps we can get on with shutting down the wankers behind the white van speaker scam.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020523

Time
12:38
If you suffer from hayfever as badly as my Mum does, perhaps you’d like to check the pollen index and see if you’re allowed to take any oxygen nasally today.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020523

Time
12:43
I do hate to harp on about this, but from the summer of 2002, Nominet is planning to expand the reply message returned by the WHOIS. This will include the name and address of the Registrant, as well as the date on which the domain name falls due for renewal.

If this alarms or annoys you, then click here.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020523

Time
16:30
Baby in the microwave? Yes, I know it sound like an urban legend, but it has happened. The mother at the centre of the trial even has her own official website. Watch out for the tear-jerking music on that last link, BTW.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020523

Time
16:37
Yet another ‘broken’ link intended to provide momentary amusement. Here’s the original.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020524

Time
09:55
US comedian Tom Mabe went undercover at a telemarketing convention and called telemarketers in their hotel rooms just a little before dawn. I haven’t seen his stuff before, but I like the guy already.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020524

Time
10:00
There are three things that help you to start that long, uphill climb out of a hangover. Shower Shock, the caffeinated soap from ThinkGeek lets you undertake two of these activities at once.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020524

Time
10:40
The Simon Wiesenthal Center has released a CD-Rom featuring more than 200 websites containing animated hate games ‘and other examples of transnational hate and promotion of terror after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.’

Wired has the story. Film at 11. The custard stops at Hatfield.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020524

Time
10:42
Researchers at France Telecom have developed a fabric woven from plastic optical fibres that glow with a series of different images, like a TV screen. Presumably so we can now pay even more to wear an advertisement on our chest.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020524
Flash Games
Time
10:47
The Ultimate Insult always manages to dig out the best of these. HubLo has a great look and presents some challenging but fun gameplay. This shark game is an oldie but a goodie, involving divers and a rogue shark. You’re the shark. Fun.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020524
Oldies But Goodies
Time
14:06
Next time you’re approached in the street by a happy clappy chappie who is fearful for your soul, set his mind at ease by showing your Get Out OF Hell Free card.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020524

Time
14:33
Hitler killed the dinosaurs.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020524

Time
14:34
Check out losers.org for a comprehensive collection of cautionary examples. I could sit there simply submitting all day and be happy – but there’s lots to look at, too. In fact, it was via losers.org that I discovered BitchyCat, who is borderline SFW, but by no means the kind of girl you bring home to your parents. Hmm, maybe some of you think that’s a good thing, so let me present you with the following (which also includes a nice link collection for Natalie Portman fans):

“Is it me or has Natalie Portman gotten seriously hot? I’m not a lesbian or anything but I do appreciate the female form… When I was looking for pics of her on the Internet, I found a shit load of sites dedicated just to her.”

http://www.nat-sanctuary.com/

http://www.natalie-portman.net/

http://www.natportman.com/

http://www.nat-portman.net/

http://www.natalienews.com/

http://www.natalie-portman.org/

“I guess I’m not the only one who thinks she’s hot. And these are only a few of the sites I found. Damn, if I were her I would be scared shitless thinking about all the whacks out there wanting to fuck me.”

Like I said, not really parent-meeting material.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020524

Time
15:16
In a job that sucks? Feel powerless? Good news! It won’t be a problem for long.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020524

Time
15:34
Some useful Pocket PC software for the slut in your life. The customer reviews for this are particularly amusing.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020525
Big Brother 3
Time
09:19
Yes, there will be passing comments about this from time to time, but the focus won’t always be on the housemates:

The sound kept dropping out on E4 last night. The following message appeared superimposed over the image of Jade flapping her lips:

“We apologise for gaps in the sound. As soon as the housemates stop being foulmouthed, etc…”

What a load of rubbish – and what a cheek. It was perfectly obvious that they were blanking out Jade, who was explaining in great detail which, what, where, why and who regarding the journalist who managed to find out who some of the contestants were. Ironic that Big Brother would want to protect the private details of a journalist, no?

This seemed a pity, because it was one of the few times that I was actually interested in what she had to say. She certainly likes to talk a load of old garbage. In fact, though she’s sure to be first one out, she could get a job immediately as a fly-catcher in her local kebab store.

She’s a bit of a bushpig, too – but that’s just the superficial Australian in me talking.

OK, back to those lovely producers…

Have you noticed the increased call charges for voting?

Year 1 – 10p

Year 2 – 20p (with a percentage to charity, to calm us down presumably)

Year 3 – 25p (no word on how much to charity – yet)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020527

Time
09:33
A collection of synopses for those loveable Mentos commercials. Can you guess which one is missing?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020527

Time
09:38
An interesting and rather wet creation theory.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020527

Time
09:42
A family doctor’s indecent-assault trial in Canada is producing some pretty damning evidence. One young flu sufferer was given a rectal exam. Another complaining of headaches was asked for a sperm sample. The good doctor offered to help out when things got awkward. A true humanitarian.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020527

Time
10:00
The political portal Spinon has discovered the power of bloggage.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020527
Big Brother 3
Time
10:25
I was expecting to see this in today’s papers, but I only read broadsheets this morning and there was no sign of it. Oh well.

Here’s the exclusive that everybody is scrambling to take credit for, that the BB house is soon to be split into two sections; Heaven and Hell.

Two factors make me inclined to believe this:

1. The deplorable state of the beds on one side of the house.

2. The fact that it’s claimed that the info was ‘hacked’ (for want of a better word) from the channel4 BB website which, traditionally, has always been something of a disaster from a security and usability point of view.

[UPDATE – Producers of the show, Endemol, have been denying rumours of the ‘heaven and hell’ format since early March.]

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020527

Time
10:30
A minimum of three million people would be killed and 1.5 million seriously injured if even a “limited” nuclear war broke out between India and Pakistan.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020527

Time
10:33
From the clever folks what brung you Hitler Killed The Dinosaurs:

How to Get Rich Off the Internet.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020527

Time
11:50
If you’re currently torn between the need for the love of a good woman and a preference for cold impersonal sex with a doll, then allow me to present to you the perfect woman. From your point of view, that is. You twisted sicko!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020527
Big Brother 2
Time
12:04
Big Brother veteran Narinder Kaur has warned that appearing on the reality television show nearly ruined her life. Funny, that. Seeing her on Big Brother sapped my will to live. This woman is so ‘scarred’ by fame that she’s now telling this same story to anyone who’ll print it – so she can use the opportunity to plug her new series called ‘Undercover Lovers’. The irony is richer and thicker than an impacted stool.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020527

Time
12:24
Some woman just poked her head around the door, said ‘Baguette’, and then closed it again. She does this every day. If my brain weren’t so jellified from overwork, I’d think of a suitable one-word response for tomorrow. Any suggestions?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020527

Time
16:01
The laptop with crabs. And you thought cybersex was safe…

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020527

Time
16:15
If you think that the Greek entry for Eurovision was the weakest thing you’ve ever seen, then you haven’t seen the artist’s website yet. Hosted by the Technological Educational Institue of Larissa (mmm, classy) and with an ugly Flash interface that will make your hair curl, Miahlis Rakintzis’ site – quite incredibly – outdoes his performance onstage. (In case you missed it, he and his backing singers looked and sounded like a bunch of effeminate road warriors who had unwisely elected to perform Karaoke drunk on a bet. They still got 12 points from Cyprus, though.)

[UPDATE – Read about the smart folks who knew alll along that he was a bad choice. Said link is authentic and hindsight-free.]

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020528

Time
09:09
Firda has discovered that Falling coconuts kill more people than shark attacks. I can top this. In Australia, if you order your basic fish and chips, more likely than not you’ll end up with something the marketing bods call ‘flake’, which is basically beer-battered slices of shark. In short, more people eat sharks than sharks eat people – but it still pays to be careful. Don’t go thinking that swimming around with a little plastic fork and a sachet of vinegar is going to frighten them away.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020528

Time
09:24
Nothing says ‘and finally’ quite like children driving large vehicles. This two-year-old managed to climb out of his car seat and drive a van backward across the two lanes of highway – with his four young cousins inside – while Mum was off dragging yet another tot into school. (Not, we assume, a driving school.)

A quick-thinking trucker stopped him from hauling ass to Lollapalooza.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020528
Flash Music ‘Video’
Time
09:37
You’d think that this full-to-the-brim Flash piss-take of Blur’s Song No. 2 would be the mutt’s nuts, but’s just kind of… bleh.

Perhaps I’m getting hard to please in my old age. Maybe I’m just distracted by the impending arrival of the mysterious lady who turns up every day to poke her head around the door and say ‘baguette’. I still don’t know what’s up with that. Perhaps it’s the secret password of the French Resistance…

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020528

Time
11:32
Aspiring young models, who stripped naked thinking they were auditioning for a television soap advertisement, unexpectedly found themselves to be stars of a smash hit porn flick. The story is entertaining in itself, but the design of this employment ad that appears next to the article is the icing on the cake.

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Date
20020528

Time
12:20
My MASH Quiz has featured in all sorts of places over the last few months, but none more entertaining than the Family, Friends & Firearms site. The link appears in this forum thread, which is immediately followed by this post:

You Might Be a Gun Nut If…

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Date
20020528

Time
12:40
Get your fortune told here.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020528

Time
12:43
I can’t bring myself to type the title of this new B3ta quiz. Describing it is equally out of the question. Sorry about that. (NSFW, obviously…)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020528
Big Brother 3
Time
13:09
The BB producers are charging £9.99 a month for access to live video streams from the house. I personally think that they’re taking the piss, and I’m not alone.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020528

Time
13:54
According to this Popbitcher, the Mark Thomas Comedy Product was cancelled last Friday afternoon by C4. The C4 microsite appears to have been withdrawn from the server on Monday.

[UPDATE – Whoops, the microsite is still there. It probably collapsed temporarily under the weight of traffic resulting from the Popbitch post…]

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020528

Time
15:49
Dave Prowse, who wore the Vader costume in the original Star Wars trilogy, wants to repeat the role for Ep. 3, despite arthritis and a dodgy hip. Can I say that he finds their lack of faith disturbing without getting shouted down?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020529
Richard Desmond is a Pornographer
Time
14:31
Private Eye reports that www.spunklovingsluts.com contains a subtle yet important message.

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Date
20020529

Time
14:49
A fun little website that’s riding high on the blog charts.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020529

Time
14:51
tinyurl.com is all the buzz today. It’s basically a copy of makeashorterlink.com, but the taskbar tool does look tempting…

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Date
20020529

Time
14:57
Bored? Give the boss the shock of his life by showing him the new version of the company website.

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Date
20020529
Recycling Corner
Time
15:02
Compare and Contrast:

This 2002 article by Toby Young rubbishing Star Wars Episode II

This 1999 article by Toby Young rubbishing Star Wars Episode I

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Date
20020529

Time
15:38
A US-based Iranian male dancer has been jailed after returning home, accused of corrupting the youth by giving dance lessons. Can I make the Dancing In The Sheets joke first, please? Oh, go on… pleeeease?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020529

Time
16:34
The selection of e-cards at MSN Germany is far more interesting than our dull selection over here in Generica.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020529

Time
16:48
Adam West has lost his Batphone privileges.

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Date
20020530

Time
09:23
Oh. My. God.

We finally have an e-minister who may know a thing or two.

Your mileage may vary if you try to visit his website, but this is to be expected after your typical Reg hammering. I’m greatly impressed that he runs a blog on his front page. I might even send him a nice email today and see if we can’t sort out this whole Tony Blair email thing.

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Date
20020530

Time
09:33
Super-dog leaps out of car at 70mph and survives.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020530

Time
09:35
Cybersex counts as cheating, apparently. According to Australian women, that is. It is interesting to note that – despite being such a laid-back country – your typical Aussie woman is pretty uptight. I suspect it has something to do with the heat.

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Date
20020530

Time
11:36
It’s a long article, but this is one of the best pieces on I’ve seen on weblogs and their relationship with mainstream media.

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Date
20020530

Time
13:12
Who in their right mind would want a screaming poo-machine on their desktop? I get enough of that at home!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020530

Time
13:17
Ah, the sweet genius of tomsk. Bask in its glow with this great little drum’n’bass feature.

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Date
20020530

Time
13:42
Share in the miracle of the Amazing Elvis Pepper.

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Date
20020530

Time
16:41
Helping women to take a stand.

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Date
20020530

Time
16:44
Pakistan seem determined to flex their nuclear muscles. The US is planning to evacuate its citizens in the area. How does the old curse go? Oh, yeah:

“May You Live in Interesting Times”.

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Date
20020530

Time
17:04
B3ta are getting awfully carried away with their little quiz thingies.

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Date
20020531
Gnome News
Time
08:51
All but six of the 49 victims of a recent mass-kidnapping have been safely returned to their owners.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020531

Time
08:56
Hooray! Anti-abortion activists have taken to setting up webcams outside planned parenthood clinics. This wonderful site also includes information to help you be a better ‘Abortion War Correspondent’. Oh, happy day.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020531
Big Brother 3
Time
16:40
Viewers of Big Brother will be more than aware of Alex’s recent lack of reliable bowel activity.

We’ve decided to take action!

Please help us in our campaign to unclog Alex’s bowels.








Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

What Are You Doing On May the 11th? – A Douglas Adams Tribute


Douglas Noel Adams
March 11th, 1952 – May 11th, 2001

If you’re here reading this page, then it’s a fair bet that you felt an affiliation with DNA and have a vague notion that you might somehow wish to mark the anniversary of his passing. This being the case, it is also statistically likely that you have read every one of his books – or like at least to pretend that you have done so – and the first thought that you had upon hearing of his death was that you had always wanted to meet the man. (Don’t worry, you will.)

It’s hard to believe that it’s been a year already, but today – on the 11th of May – we have been without Douglas Adams for 365 Earth days. Many of us are hoping that he’ll return soon(ish), looking somewhat dishevelled and dismissing his absence with a mumbled reference to ‘tax reasons’. Others refuse to believe that he’s left us at all. Even the alt.fan.douglas-adams FAQ still refers to him in the present tense – but gone he is and gone he’ll stay. The very fact that not one but two releases (a video and a book) have been produced on schedule to mark the anniversary should be ample proof of this.

Many will remember DNA as a writer and author, some as a fervent follower of the Macintosh OS or a proponent of the intelligent use of communications technology. To others, he’s just this guy, y’know?

Because Douglas Adams meant a lot of different things to different people, it would be stupid to think that one universal act could amply convey how we all miss him. Instead, it’s probably best instead to use the primitive technology at our disposal to collectively turn our largely misplaced and selfish feelings of loss into something wonderfully random and, hopefully, positive.

The following is presented merely as the beginning of a possible list of likely suggestions that may go forward to committee. If you have additional suggestions, we welcome any input by email. You can forward this list to friends by copying and pasting the text into an email or simply linking to this page.

A List Of Possible Activities For May 11th

– Bang some rocks together.
– Do six impossible things before breakfast.
– Carry a towel with you at all times.
– Choose a car completely at random and follow it.
– Drop by and say hello to Zaphod Beeblebrox (who has been living in the Sydney suburb of Bexley since about 1983).
– Switch from a PC to a Mac.
– Turn your entire website black for the day. Make the background black, the images black, and the text black. Make a little black light blink once to let visitors know when they mouse over a hyperlink and twice to let them know when they’ve successfully followed it to a new (black) page.
– Throw yourself at the ground and miss.
– Get yourself a really nice digital watch.
– Go to a mythical place with a strange man.
– Let an important deadline pass (twice, if possible).
– Make up your own recipe for a Pan-Galactic Gargle Blaster.
– Failing that, find a small lake that thinks it is a gin and tonic, then jump in and out of it.
– Use capital letters to Deal With Things you don’t have a good answer to.
– Finally convince that specific girl (that you’re not married to) that now might be a good time for her to actually read a Douglas Adams book.
– If anybody simply smiles and says “Oh yeah, ’42′”, hit them in the small of the back with a large and extremely disreputable cocktail party.

How To Add To This List

Simply send an email with your suggestion(s).








Posted in Geekage | Comments Off

01-15 May, 2002

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Date
20020501
Mustard Man II
Time
09:03
(DAY THREE)

Grand things are happening on the Mustard Man front. The first thing I noticed this morning was the top search result for ‘Mustard Man’ in Google. Dog bless them and their daily indexing. There’s more, but I have to dig through my email first, m’kay?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020501

Time
09:11
Mustard Man rated 33 on Daypop before slipping off the charts. It’s currently #34 on Blogdex. We will find him, I know it in my heart.

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Date
20020501

Time
09:13
Check out this special event on the weekend of May 18-19. And it’s in a good cause, too. How touching.

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Date
20020501
Flash Games
Time
09:20
If you’re into Lego, check out Junkbot (as blogged by the lovely Firda).

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020501

Time
09:33
The following wonderful people have supported us in our search for Mustard Man.

Fark

insignifica.org

chime.tv

toddfederman.com

Off On a Tangent

Juul!

Rankfish

The Ultimate Insult

bigsky.tk

Links are also coming in from about a dozen forums and message boards. Word is spreading. It’s only a matter of time, now…

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020501

Time
09:44
Snopes: the TV series. You know it makes sense. I’ve had to present fellow workers and webbers with a necessary clue-by-four in the form of a Snopes URL so many times it boggles the mind. Urban legends are not only seductive, they’re damn persistant. Having this kind of information fed to the masses via everyone’s favourite noisebox just has to happen. Please support it any way you can.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020501
ITV: DOA
Time
11:07
For those of you who missed it.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020501

Time
11:49
Feeling discombobulated? You need a culmative, or maybe one of these breakthrough medical devices

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020501
Christianity Watch
Time
11:53
Join the Jesus Massive, also known as the SWAT Team for Christ.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020501
Photoshopping
Time
11:55
This is an outstanding thread over at Fark. Words don’t begin to do it justice.

(Look out, it’s a big download…)

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Date
20020501
Groovy Movies
Time
12:28
Funny. Very, very funny. (AVI file)

Yet another classic courtesy of punchbaby.com

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Date
20020501

Time
12:38
Nintendo is recruiting gamers to play all day, every day – for $100 a day – as part of a special summer promotion. Not a bad job, so long as your thumbs hold out for the duration.

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Date
20020501

Time
12:44
Have fun being an air traffic controller. Coffee, Speed and No-Doze not supplied.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020501
May Day
Time
12:46
From urban75.com comes 15 Reasons To Be Angry. If this gets you worked up enough to get your skates on and get into town with the rest of the soap-dodgers, then please take the time to read the following legal advice. Looking at my watch, I can see that the Mayday in Mayfair event is just about to start.

Hmm, I can’t help but wonder how this one will turn out, especially considering what happened last year. You can tell that even Ananova are just waiting for something exciting to happen. After all, it has been a pretty slow news day so far.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020501
May Day (Again)
Time
13:15
No TV? Watch the police milling about in Oxford St, waiting for trouble live on webcam.

I’m hoping this dog will put in an appearance.

[UPDATE – The webcam I linked to above is suffering from a heavy load today. Funny that. Here’s a whole bunch of alternatives to help you follow the action in London.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020501

Time
14:30
10 things you should learn before you leave school.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020501

Time
14:47
The Dallas Morning News doesn’t like it when people deeplink – so, in the spirit of May Day

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Date
20020501

Time
14:55
Football, soccer, whatever you want to call it, it’s a sport for wimps. You want a man’s game? Try Aussie Rules.

John Hopoate, eat your heart out!

(If you enjoy this story, pop on over to the related Fark thread).

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020501

Time
15:47
When Mark Shuttleworth returns from space, everybody dress in Ape suits.

Pass it on.



It’s an old gag, BTW. You’ll find this short rundown of the original variants particularly informative and amusing.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020501
Mayja Vu
Time
15:55
IndyMedia reports that 2,000 protestors are hemmed in at Trafalgar Square. The BBC webcam is mysteriously whited out, and the Camvista version is offline too. Earthcam is ‘temporarily offline for scheduled maintenance’. Yeah, and I bet I know who scheduled it. One can’t help but feel a little paranoid when this kind of thing happens…

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Date
20020501

Time
16:48
Attention, busy executives!

You can now enjoy Hamlet as a Powerpoint Presentation over a cup of coffee, and still have time to give your secretary a good seeing to before lunch.

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Date
20020502

Time
07:50
I caught our 4 year old, Jack, looking at a book waaaay after bedtime last night.

“Jack, you know you’re not supposed to be reading!”

“Dad, you know I can’t read!”

Ah, Yes. Touché…

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Date
20020502

Time
07:55
Angry parents demanded the resignation of a California high school vice principal Tuesday because she lifted the skirts of teenage girls at a dance in front of men and male classmates to make sure they were wearing “appropriate” underwear. Also on CNN, those robots in disguise, Transformers, are making a comeback. No, the two stories are not interchangeable… (but if you like, you may now take a quick peak down your own trousers and check for mechanical parts or sensible underpants – if you have both, good for you).

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020502

Time
08:01
Deep Throat may finally be named. About a week after Linda Lovelace leaves us. Could one of the oldest jokes in politics be truer than anybody dared to believe?

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Date
20020502

Time
08:07
This is ‘the very best that the Internet has to offer’?

You might want to chip in and vote in the upcoming Webby Awards, even if a lot of the nominations are pretty lame. Yes, even All Your Base is there. The members of the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences obviously don’t get out much.

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Date
20020502

Time
08:13
I love the web. In fact, there are days when I could just kiss my monitor. Ladies and Gentlemen, allow me to present the Velvet Elvis art collection.

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Date
20020502

Time
08:15
Bloggage will be light from here until about late afternoon. London awaits.

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Date
20020502
Flash Games
Time
15:36
It’s time to look outside the blue square.

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Date
20020502

Time
16:05
May Dog bless my wife and keep her. She went out on a special trip today to secure a cold six-pack of Victoria Bitter (not an easy thing to do around here). For those not in the know, Fosters is regarded as the equivalent of cat’s piss in Australia. Up and down the eastern seaboard, the drink of the working clarses (oh, I say) is VB – and with good reason. They changed the name of the UK import for a while here, as the poms thought ‘bitter’ meant ‘bitter’. It doesn’t in this case. VB is the lager of choice for Aussie east-coasters, be you from NSW or Victoria (Queensland being a separate nation unto itself). On this, at least, these two small country town conglomerates can agree.

I have a cold can right next to me now. The sun is shining. All is right with the world. Halle(hic)lujah!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020503

Time
08:38
Australian prostitutes worn out by US sailors had to close up shop for a cup of tea, a Bex and a good lie down. In a completely unrelated story, 55 gallons of goat semen has been found abandoned in a US nature preserve .

[UPDATE – That boat full of US sailors is now headed for Tasmania.]

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Date
20020503

Time
08:44
It could happen!

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Date
20020503

Time
08:53
Warning: Importing.dbx files from a backup CD really, really screws up Outlook Express (as the buggers are classified as ‘read only’). Here’s the fix. Now to try and recover all of those ‘lost’ folders. Ho-hum.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020503

Time
08:56
Hollywood froths at the mouth, fearing a Napster-style movie trade.

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Date
20020503
Mustard Man II
Time
09:31
(DAY FOUR)

Could this be Mustard Man? I’ve heard from three people so far who insist that it is. We’ll see what proof I can dig up…

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020503

Time
10:34
Prosecutors said they will drop assault charges against a man who scuffled with two teenage boys he found hiding in his 13-year-old daughter’s bedroom closet. At 4a.m., no less.

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Date
20020503

Time
10:39
There’s a very popular link doing the rounds suggesting that the Simpsons may be axed. It would appear, however, that Matt Groening was mis-quoted. To the cynical, it may even appear that he just has a very clever publicist.

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Date
20020503

Time
11:58
Is HIV really the cause of AIDS? These people don’t seem to think so.

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Date
20020503

Time
12:02
Meet Jakob Nielsen’s fan club.

(A groovy link, as blogged by Smuj.)

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Date
20020503
Yet Another Lame Quiz
Time
12:08
How would you die in a horror movie?

Hmm, I’m not sure – but in my dream it always starts with the damn torch going on the fritz. By the way, if you ever hear scary music in the basement – GET THE HELL OUTTA THERE!

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Date
20020503

Time
12:56
According to this article, horses can’t vomit.

I beg to differ.

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Date
20020503
History Revised
Time
13:27
Some good work on this theme over at SomethingAwful.com, showing that they can come close to the sublime material at Fark. From time to time.

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Date
20020503

Time
15:09
Well, there’s something you don’t see every day – at least not here. I live in a nice little village out in the sticks. It’s quiet. It’s peaceful. We all get along – most of the time. This afternoon, a team of tramps moved in (right outside the local off-licence, as it happens). They don’t have a dog on a piece of string, but they are bugging every local who walks by for spare change. I’m used to being confronted like this in London, but most of the locals don’t know how to react. It’s going to be very interesting watching how this pans out.

[UPDATE – The police came and moved them along quietly and firmly after about an hour. I’m sure it would have happened faster were it not the day after local council elections…]

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Date
20020503

Time
16:29
I’m just now opening the 2nd can from that six-pack of Victoria Bitter. Again, the sun is shining. I’m hoping that if I ration the beer, the weather will hold out.

PS – Thanks go to Adam, who pointed out that he gets to enjoy Victoria Bitter in the sun most days – living as he does erm, in Melbourne, Victoria. I’m not sure it quite classifies as living, though…

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Date
20020506

Time
08:19
I honestly can’t tell you how happy I am that the French chose the crook over the Nazi. Even if Chirac is an arrogant bastard and a notorious fish-nuker.

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Date
20020506

Time
08:29
Yeah, I know it’s a Bank Holiday – but some of us have work to do. Besides, everybody knows that it’s going to rain all day today. I’d much rather work today and take Wednesday off when the sun comes out.

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Date
20020506

Time
08:34
A homeless graffiti artist is facing felony charges for writing the name ‘Jesus’ (and/or drawing a little fishie) all over a US town. Maybe they can give him a burger with the works and dig up a case for copyright infringement as well.

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Date
20020506

Time
08:40
Poking around the web, I can see that – apart from a cynical release or two – not a lot is being done to mark the 1st anniversary of Douglas Adams’ death (this coming Saturday, May 11th). I shall have to see what I can do to correct this oversight…

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Date
20020506

Time
15:13
The suddenly-popular suicide bombing game now has a slightly-slower-to-load mirror. My advice is to save a copy to your hard drive before it disappears into the ether.

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Date
20020506

Time
15:17
Swear your head off and win big prizes!

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Date
20020506
The Dotcom Goldrush Dustpile
Time
15:19
Ever find yourself wondering where all the money went?

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Date
20020506

Time
16:46
OK, I wrapped up my work at about 3:00pm – which gave me ample time to do this:

What Are You Doing On May the 11th?

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Date
20020506

Time
18:17
It’s not turning out to be good week for the far right. The Dutch right-wing politician Pim Fortuyn has been shot dead, according to the latest media reports.

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Date
20020506

Time
18:18
I just don’t get this. Ann Winterton, the Conservative shadow Rural Affairs Minister, has been sacked for telling a racist joke in a rugby club. In a rugby club! It just doesn’t make sense.

Why in heavens name would they allow a woman into a rugby club?

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Date
20020507

Time
08:43
A chap named Steve emailed regarding yesterday’s comments about women being permitted in rugby clubs, pointing out that his club, and many others, had women’s teams that ‘kick ass’. Erm, it was a joke, Steve.

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Date
20020507

Time
08:47
You’ve no doubt read or heard about the man who stole more than $20,000 worth of rare comic books, including a rare copy of the first issue of The Amazing Spider Man. Well, I’m sorry, but this story has more heart. And explosives.

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Date
20020507

Time
09:09
I don’t know how often you see this kind of thing over in the US, but in Australia and the UK we get a lot of Merkin ads that have been dubbed with local voice artists. Inevitably, they end up looking like a cross between a commercial and a bad kung-fu movie. One of the latest examples of this has been the Tampax ad where the hapless and hungry guy (who turns up for a date and does his best to eat his girlfriend out of house and home while she hurriedly gets ready), mistakes a conveniently wrapped tampon for candy. A new one that’s just gone to air, for Nivea deodorant, has yet another girl running late for her date and features the same shoddy V/O dubbing – with the same female V/O artist. If she’s not careful, she’s going to be stereotyped as the voice of hastily applied feminine hygiene.

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Date
20020507

Time
09:10
As sure as God made little green apples, he needed to create some kind of demand for them. Right?

No? OK, how about some candy instead?

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Date
20020507

Time
10:21
Hulk SMASH! There’s been a few links around lately for the online trailers for HULK: The Movie which reminded me of a little URL I’ve had floating around for a few weeks now. Ah, me – to blog or not to blog, that is the question…

Oh, OK, what the hell – but remember, this link is soooooooooo not safe for work. Hell, I wouldn’t even look at it whilst eating lunch if I were you. Check out this extremely twisted tribute to She-Hulk.

[UPDATE – Oh, looky. I’ve popped over to test the URL and all of the links to these highly questionable images are failing today. And here was me fretting about it all. Ho-hum. Drop by and visit another time if you must, but take my advice and don’t put the URL in your ‘favorites’ folder. It’s the kind of thing that can easily be misconstrued…]

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Date
20020507

Time
10:32
Disgraced pop star Gary Glitter has been asked to leave Cambodia voluntarily.

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Date
20020507

Time
10:40
Now that’s a badge worth wearing.

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Date
20020507
Old Links
Time
15:08
She’s a chestnut all right, but you’d be surprised how many people without a high-bandwidth connection between their left and right lobes fail this classic test.

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Date
20020507

Time
15:11
Investment guru Warren Buffett assures us that a nuclear terrorist attack on American soil is “virtually a certainty”. This other site has some interesting things to say about Canadians. Yes, I do believe there’s a connection.

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Date
20020507

Time
21:00
A woman arranged the theft of her computer in a faked home invasion in a misguided attempt to stem her boyfriend’s thirst for Internet porn.

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Date
20020507

Time
21:57
Firda is expanding. I told her to cut back on the duckburgers.

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Date
20020508

Time
07:12
Ladies and gentlemen, I await final confirmation, but I do believe that we have located Mustard Man. Confidence is high. I repeat; confidence if high. Watch this space.

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Date
20020508

Time
07:15
This has to be a joke, but at least it’s a tasteless one. Somebody has started an online petition protesting against director Peter Jackon’s ‘decision’ to name the LOTR sequel “The Two Towers” – and therein lies the subtle clue that yes, it must be a joke. Either that or our schools have well and truly failed us.

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Date
20020508

Time
07:31
Nice try, loser.

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Date
20020508

Time
07:36
A lot of role-playing forums seem to be linking to bloggerheads these days. Perhaps someone can tell me why.

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Date
20020508

Time
07:43
If you’re wondering where the promised case study for The MASH Quiz is, please let me assure you that it is on the way. Soon. One day.

At the moment, I can’t write it up because vastly differing – and evolving – results are still coming in. The little bugger spread from weblogs to forums a few weeks ago, and it’s still being ‘discovered’ by a new communities. Being the No. 5 result in Yahoo for the search query ‘MASH’ might have something to do with this, of course…

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Date
20020508

Time
07:51
Hollywood wishes to secede from Los Angeles – and they want to take their sign with them.

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Date
20020508
Life Imitates Ant
Time
07:55
(Well, bees, actually.)

Remember that ad for X-box with the buzzing, beating, musical insects? Well…

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Date
20020508
Star Wars Watch
Time
08:02
For those of you who really, really can’t wait another 10 days, here’s some poor quality bootleg footage that will surely only spoil the greater pleasure of seeing it all for the first time on the big screen. I saw an advance pirate of ROTJ and it ruined the film for me. This being the case, it was easy for me to resist the temptation – even with the Yoda fight footage on offer. How about you?

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Date
20020508

Time
10:55
You may remember the story we linked to a few weeks ago, where a woman was charged with ‘assault on a peace officer’ for throwing her cat at a policeman. Strangely enough, we can go one better today. A suspected robber has been accused of throwing his 1½-year-old son at a police dog to stop the dog from chasing him.

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Date
20020508

Time
10:59
Sometimes required reading can be very entertaining. If you’ve ever been frustrated by the dimwitted automatons that always seems to get jobs in bookshops, then have a read of this. Investigative journalism at its best.

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Date
20020508

Time
11:33
If you’ve read my article concerning questionable opt-in tricks, then you’ll have a pretty good idea of how much this titbit tickles me:

Egg have been regularly and repeatedly sending emails to those who have clearly opted out of receiving junk from them, with a message along the lines of; “Look, we know you opted out, but are you really sure you don’t want any emails from us? I mean, we have some pretty good deals an’ all.”

Netimperative has the story.

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Date
20020508

Time
14:05
This is really weird. I’m in touch with not one, but two gentlemen who claim to be the man behind the mustard. I can’t publish my findings until this whole thing is cleared up, so please be patient. I know who is he is, I just don’t know which.

[UPDATE – A third Mustard Man has just entered the frey. This one can’t even spell his ‘own’ name, but it is getting very confusing…]

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Date
20020509
Paws
Time
07:27
An oldie, but a goodie. As the blurb goes: “When cats walk or climb on your keyboard, they can enter random commands and data, damage your files, and even crash your computer”. Pawsense is a special bit of software that can detect cat-typing and block it before it does any serious damage. Right, like this is is going to stop one of the most evil and ruthless creatures in the world from destroying your hard drive….

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Date
20020509
Laws
Time
07:35
Of the dumb variety.

In Australia, bars are required to stable, water and feed the horses of their patrons – and presumably not makes jokes along the lines of “Why the long face?”

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Date
20020509
Santa Claus
Time
07:43
Oh dear God, I’m blind! This is a concept so basic, so simple, and yet so evil – I simply can’t bring myself to describe it. I’ll just give you the URL and let you work it out for yourself:

www.santa-claus-porn.com

(not safe for work, obviously)

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Date
20020509
War!
Time
07:48
Huh! Good God, y’awl. What is it good for? Well, it can be amusing when Japanese soldiers refuse to believe it’s over, or when Donald Duck wins an Oscar for propaganda.

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Date
20020509
Pause
Time
07:59
Erm…

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Date
20020509
Doors
Time
08:04
Jehovah’s Witnesses want to knock on yours, even if it’s against the law.

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Date
20020509
Straws
Time
08:08
The attack of, the tower challenge of and the popping of.

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Date
20020509
Star Wars
Time
08:13
Discover the truth, as told by one brave man.

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Date
20020509
Claws
Time
08:16
Madonna has them. Erm, and Popbitch reports this morning that “her Guy Ritchie film caused test audiences to gnaw their own arms off with boredom… her London stage debut is beset with cancellation rumours … and now reports of her latest album suggest that she’s going backwards rather than forwards”. I can’t wait to hear a new version of ‘Like a Virgin’.

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Date
20020510

Time
09:01
Even better than yesterday’s Donald Duck propaganda link:

Dr Suess Went To War.

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Date
20020510

Time
09:02
Win your own weblog, as designed by Firda. If you’ve always wanted to run a blog, you won’t get a better start than this. Go to it.

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Date
20020510

Time
09:10
Give us this day our crispy crust, and deliver us from anchovies. A Seattle businessman is opening a pizzeria-church.

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Date
20020510

Time
09:14
So this is it. We’re all going to die.

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Date
20020510

Time
09:17
The B3ta Class of 2002. Only funny if you know which one I am. Erm, and contribute to B3ta.

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Date
20020510

Time
09:20
Behind the computer virus Klez.h lurks a nasty surprise. Update and scan now.

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Date
20020510
A letter to Private Eye
Time
10:21


Sir,

Has anyone noticed the increasing similarity between cakehole stuffer Jo Brand and Robert Smith of The Cure? Could they by any chance become related?

Yours, etc…

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Date
20020510

Time
10:26
The web is distracting. Well, duh. By the way, what are you doing here? Don’t you have work to do or something?

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Date
20020510

Time
10:27
Two Australians trekked from Siberia to the North Pole. Both suffered from frostbite and were threatened by a large polar bear. One nearly died when he fell through thin ice into near frozen water. What a pity they forgot to take the flag with them.

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Date
20020510

Time
10:34
Some thoughts on Australia by Douglas Adams. BTW, don’t forget that tomorrow is a very important day.

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Date
20020510
Viral Marketing
Time
10:42
The ‘subtlety’ of this campaign astounds me.

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Date
20020510
Star Wars Watch
Time
12:51
To get a PG rating in the UK, Fox had to cut one entire second from Star Wars II: Attack Of The Clones. It showed a head-butt. I’m hoping it’s not from the reportedly amazing Yoda fight scene.

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Date
20020513

Time
08:29
Mr Kipling does make exceedingly good cakes, but his flash games aren’t up to much.

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Date
20020513

Time
08:31
More attention for bloggers. We’re getting there. I dream of a day when I can say the word ‘weblog’ in a meeting and not have everyone go “Huh?!”

Revolution Magazine had a small piece on them a while back, but the next one is going to much, much more interesting.

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Date
20020513

Time
08:46
Forget backwards masking, digital facing is here.

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Date
20020513

Time
08:49
Hello, Newman. A US mail carrier has been fired and faces charges over dumping thousands of letters into a pond over the last several months.

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Date
20020513

Time
09:16
How to tell your child about oral sex. Not as easy as you think. For a start, all discussions regarding birds and bees are irrelevant.

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Date
20020513

Time
09:29
You know all those crap products you see on the shopping channel that seem waaaaaaaaay too good to be true? Here’s a guy who puts them to the test.

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Date
20020513

Time
09:33
The best beers in the world, ‘as ranked by real drinkers’ (they say). VB gets a disgraceful rating, but most of the reviews are by beer-snobs and people who don’t seem to have drunk the beer at all. One even described the taste as ‘bitter’, showing that he based his review entirely on the packaging.

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Date
20020513

Time
11:31
Sweets shaped like heroin syringes are causing concern among parents and MPs. Here’s the record of the related question put to the Prime Minister.

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Date
20020514

Time
08:22
I was going to email this article about corporate weblogs to Justin, Steve, and a whole bunch of other people – but I figured I’d just post it here with the inevitable: “told you so”.



If your company wants to approach the subject of weblogs, blah blah blah.

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Date
20020514

Time
08:28
Cats are evil, I tells ya. Eeeeeeeeeeevil!

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Date
20020514

Time
08:45
I’ve noticed when poking through the archives that a lot of the old news items disappear after a month or even a couple of weeks. Fair enough, server space costs money, after all, and not everybody is going to subscribe to an archive system just to see one article. They might throw some spare change into the tin, though. Too bad the major banks still haven’t got off their arses and initiated a decent micropayment system. You’d think we were still back in 1997 or something. Hmm, perhaps this can be the next project for Can Weblogs…?

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Date
20020514

Time
08:47
Come back, Ann Landers, all is forgiven!

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Date
20020514
Star Wars Watch
Time
09:02
Combining their love for Star Wars ‘and their love for each other’ (awwww), a couple were married last Saturday in a wedding based on a Star Wars theme. After they exited the church, the crowd yelled, “May the Force be with you!”

When you see the picture, you’ll have a fair idea of why the bride didn’t wear a metal bikini.

[Oh, and while we’re on the subject of Star Wars, here’s a rundown of the Skywalker family tree and 10 things we want to hear Samuel L. Jackson say in Star Wars…]

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Date
20020514

Time
11:46
Marc Needham is still looking for work. Maybe he ought to up the prize money.

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Date
20020514

Time
11:47
Under My Rock 3.0 has an interesting way of dealing with the frustration of spam. Rick not only mocks the sillier examples, but feeds the addresses from which they come to those loveable spambots in the process. (I haven’t got the heart to tell him that most of these email accounts will be dead by the time the bots get to them.)

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Date
20020514
Oldies but Goodies
Time
11:54
Have you ever wished that you could step into that classic picture of dogs playing poker and say ‘deal me in’? Wish no longer.

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Date
20020514
Weblogs (Again)
Time
13:15
Weblogs creep ever closer to the mainstream.

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Date
20020514
September 11th
Time
13:17
Well how about that, the FBI did have a clue. The tragedy seems to have been displayed on the US $20 note all along, too.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020514

Time
13:26
5.2-magnitude earthquake hits San Francisco. Entire population shrugging it off registers as 3.5

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Date
20020515
Spamwatch
Time
08:54
The recent sharp upturn in spam is finally turning a few heads. Things like street spam are on the rise, too – and it gives me no joy to know that the spammers themselves are being ripped off. Quite the opposite, in fact.

Some harsher punishments for those who are the true source of the Spam wouldn’t go astray. Educate/help the users, go for the bloody dealers. They shouldn’t be able to get away with stuff like “OK, here’s your spam script and your spam tools, now don’t spam, m’kay?”.

This kind of a thing is a scam, pure and simple. They send Joe Bloggs over the top – who suffers most of the punishment, if any – while they gain what little benefit there is out of the exercise and legally withhold payment for the service rendered.

Excerpt from The Porn Report:

“Think of it as trying to keep a damp barbeque alight by throwing lit matches at it. A dozen or so matches aren’t going to help at all, but once you start throwing hundreds or thousands of little flames at it, you have real bonfire going. That doesn’t help you much, because you’re just one match. You light up and burn yourself out – and for what?”

Of course, given the UK government’s tolerance of the fax spam scam (providing a premium rate number as an ‘unsubscribe’ method, I mean really…) and their ongoing ignorance and inaction regarding all things networked, I don’t think we can even expect any help on the home front anytime soon.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020515

Time
09:02
Why live your dreams when you can share your nightmares?

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Date
20020515

Time
09:08
Check out this guy who chooses to spend his time baiting some poor woman from Ghana. I mean, all she wants is a visa, and she is willing to have his ‘babby’.

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Date
20020515

Time
09:11
In a similar vein to All About My Vagina (sorry, maybe I could have put that better):

All About My Penis.

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Date
20020515

Time
14:44
New Zealand scientists trying to curb their country’s influence on global warming are starting with a crackdown on burping sheep.

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Date
20020515
Oldies but Goodies
Time
14:46
Tempted to play with radioactive materials? In your Mum’s shed perhaps?








Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

16-30 April, 2002

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Date
20020416
Latest Viral Agent
Time
09:06
Upload photos of yourself wearing Fred Perry. Fred who?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020416
Yet Another Lame Quiz
Time
09:10
Which “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” Character Are You? There are some who call me… Tim.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020416

Time
09:11
Have an evil puppet version of you made so it can change places with you, leaving you to face a lifetime of sleeping in a suitcase and appearing on stage with a hand up your bottom.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020416

Time
09:22
Play with the Homer Simpson Soundboard, or read about the stolen donut truck.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020416

Time
12:42
My Dad and I Visit a Porn Set

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Date
20020416

Time
13:52
Laverne and Shirley return, Easter Island objects.

What, only Easter Island?

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Date
20020416

Time
16:06
Sorry bloggage has been light today.

I’ve spent a lot of time wondering if Weblogs can get their own BBC TV show.

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Date
20020416

Time
16:28
Run for the hills! Hatten has mutated!

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Date
20020417

Time
09:05
Can Weblogs Get Their Own BBC TV Show? is working out pretty well so far.

Thanks go to the following peeps for their kind bloggage:

http://offonatangent.blogspot.com/

http://www.ultimateinsult.net/

http://www.wannabegirl.org/

http://udn.netfirms.com/blogger.html

http://www.trialbyfire.tk/

http://www.funjunkie.co.uk/

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Date
20020417

Time
09:10
This is some awesome, awesome Lego.

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Date
20020417

Time
09:13
The cynic in me just doesn’t buy this. Back in Australia, McDonalds used to advertise their burgers as being ‘Made with 100% Australian Beef’. What they didn’t publicise was that their meat was supplied by the ‘100% Australian Beef Company’. Geddit? No, I just don’t trust them.

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Date
20020417

Time
09:18
Ship hits fan. Well, not quite – but you get the idea.

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Date
20020417
Flash Shows
Time
09:25
No, I can’t explain it either.

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Date
20020417

Time
09:29
Make your own big-screen TV.

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Date
20020417

Time
10:08
Turkey crashes through window of video store and craps all over the hunting videos. Strange but true.

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Date
20020417

Time
11:50
Blog evolves into actual newspaper.

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Date
20020418

Time
08:34
I’m very impressed that this very serious weblog took the time to wonder ‘Can Weblogs Get Their Own BBC TV Show?‘ – CNN will be next, you just watch.

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Date
20020418

Time
08:40
I find it hard to believe that this book actually exists, but it does. Make It So: Leadership Lessons from Star Trek: The Next Generation is probably the silliest self-help book I’ve ever seen. No, wait – I take that back. Now I look closer, I see that Amazon has a special offer. You can buy this book and Leadership Secrets of Attila the Hun for less than $20! Where’s my credit card?

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Date
20020418

Time
08:45
The SeeThru Weblog seems to be caught in a time loop that won’t let it escape lunchtime last Thursday.

I hate it when that happens.

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Date
20020418

Time
08:47
Woman who walks away with $58 million lottery cheque claims she’d be happy with just one million. Or anything ‘over $10′. Doesn’t it just make you want to stab her in the head with a pencil? Here, this will make you feel better.

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Date
20020418
Mustard Man
Time
08:53
(DAY 1,235,722)

Muchmusic finally got back to me regarding the identity of Mustard Man! Hoorah!!

Oh, wait – hang on.

I’d better read this email carefully before I get excited.

It says:

“Thanks for your interest, unfortunately we are not able to supply any personal information about contest entrants.”

What?!

Scum!

SCUM!!!!

I wait over a month for a return email and this is what they give me? Don’t I even deserve a hint?

You’ll pay for this, Muchmusic. I swear by all that is tangy and yellow that you will pay!!!!!!

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Date
20020418

Time
09:04
A new auction site for you to enjoy – ejected.co.uk is dedicated to traders of unwanted CDs and vinyl. I’m sorry, but I’ll die before I part with any of my music collection. I’m the kind of person that keeps everything

After all, there are times in life when only Manilow can soothe the pain. There are also times when you’re so drunk that listening to The Best of Leonard Nimoy and William Shatner seems like a good idea.

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Date
20020418

Time
09:27
I don’t know what’s more disturbing – that they built a virtual stapler in the first place, or that they actually have the cheek to ask for funding to build another one.

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Date
20020418

Time
10:12
Africa is being ripped off over Internet access. Seems fair if you ask me.

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Date
20020418
Christianity Watch
Time
10:14
A list of alternative rap groups for young gangstas who don’t want to go to hell.

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Date
20020418

Time
11:05
Popbitch has been threatened with legal action by the compilers of the UK charts if they continue to disclose midweek chart positions in their weekly mailout. I wonder why…

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Date
20020418
Photoshopping
Time
13:31
Not a bad performance over at Fark today, but I got my ass whupped by Chewbot. Oh well.

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Date
20020418

Time
14:22
A great tool for mocking friends – no Photoshopping skillz required! Insert a friend’s face into a highly questionable picture here.

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Date
20020418

Time
14:23
Oh, great – so it’s gay pets on Channel 4 now, is it? Richard Littlejohn will be pleased to hear about this one. Why don’t you drop him a line?

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Date
20020418

Time
14:33
Join in and help MSN ruin these people’s lives.

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Date
20020418

Time
16:02
Drop by somethingawful.com today for an awesome linkfest/article entitled; ‘Thank you very much, Internet!!!’

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Date
20020418

Time
16:27
A disturbing theory for Star Wars fans.

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Date
20020419
Flash Games
Time
08:58
Let’s play dodgeball!

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Date
20020419

Time
09:02
Five youths is a small town in the US are accused of plotting to ambush the police chief and ‘drive-by’ his ass (that’s gangsta talk – see, I’m hip). Too bad everybody at the local burger joint already knew about the plan. They probably know where Hamburgler is hiding out, too.

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Date
20020419

Time
09:05
David Lee Roth buries the hatchet – and, no, it’s not in Sammy Hagar’s skull.

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Date
20020419

Time
09:09
Internet Explorer users who click their browser’s back button open the Windows operating system to a malicious hack attack.

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Date
20020419
Obscure Irish Joke Reference
Time
09:11
It’s OK, they’re going to make the trip at night.

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Date
20020419

Time
10:38
A great collection of those hilarious ‘Man Show Boy’ Videos. All classics.

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Date
20020419
Photoshopping
Time
10:44
Yet another good Photoshop offering over at Fark, this time with a Kingly Captain Kirk. Fark are putting some good stuff forward lately, but I just can’t seem to get past 2nd place. In fact, I’m beginning to develop a bit of a complex about it…

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Date
20020419

Time
14:33
Some kinky search results are an important aspect of our Can Weblogs Get Their Own BBC TV Show? campaign, and we just scored the number four result for anybody looking for the new BBC weblog. We ain’t there yet, but we’re on the way…

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Date
20020419

Time
15:11
Oh, great. Now bovine TB is on the loose.

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Date
20020419

Time
15:22
That furtive bear turns up everywhere!

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Date
20020419

Time
15:41
Planetary alignment heralds world peace. For a brief period. Maybe.

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Date
20020422

Time
09:14
OK, here we are – Monday morning. A whole new day in a whole new week, onwards an upwards etc. etc.

Let’s see what trouble I can get into today…

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Date
20020422
Christianity Watch
Time
09:16
22 reasons why porn is bad for you. I have nothing against porn, really – but I do hate seeing people get ripped off.

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Date
20020422
Flash Games
Time
09:22
Mini-golf, anyone?

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Date
20020422

Time
09:30
Aren’t neighbours great? Read about the water-narcs or have a gander at this chap who has issues with the new arrivals next door.

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Date
20020422

Time
10:09
Top stuff. The WhatTheFont font recognition system is going to get a hammering from me. Send this link to the web designer in your life and make his or her day.

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Date
20020422

Time
11:52
A cool interview with George Lucas, who has only just recently become aware of how much we all hated Ep. I

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Date
20020422

Time
11:54
Bloody hell, and I thought my kids were bad.

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Date
20020422
Voter Apathy Strikes Again
Time
11:55
The poor folks over in France have woken up to discover a right-wing government headed towards power. The general reaction has been; “Merde! I should have voted!

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Date
20020422

Time
12:02
Play with the excellent Google Browser while you can. Google are sure to step on it before the end of the day – they don’t like it when folks re-hash their data.

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Date
20020422

Time
12:04
A literacy test for people with short attention spans.

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Date
20020422

Time
12:18
This website is quietly waiting for Ronald Reagan to die.

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Date
20020422

Time
12:24
Dangerous variant of the AYB virus detected.

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Date
20020422
Photoshopping
Time
13:00
Take an image of the unveiling of the new wax dummy of ‘The Rock’, replace the heads with those of another notorious eyebrow raiser – and it comes out looking like gay porn!

No, I can’t figure it out, either.

Just go and vote for it, that’s all I ask.

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Date
20020422

Time
13:12
Anna Kournikova to appear nude in Penthouse. Not voluntarily, mind you. The pics are candid ones taken by a freelance snapper with a long lens. *Ahem*.

A Penthouse source insisted they were high-quality shots and would be used in a “lovely, tasteful pictorial”.

*Ahem*. Again.

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Date
20020422

Time
14:16
Take a look at the size of this confiscated spud gun! I want one!

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Date
20020422

Time
14:49
If you own a .uk domain name, you might want to watch out for this new scam.

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Date
20020422

Time
16:46
The most exotic creature in the Star Wars universe is a duck.

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Date
20020423

Time
09:20
Dancing with cats? Sorry, not unless there’s a kickline involved. Everybody knows that cats are evil.

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Date
20020423

Time
09:25
Confused cattle go to the mall. They couldn’t find Starbucks, but I’m sure the police fitted them out with a hot cup of coffee and a danish down at the station.

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Date
20020423

Time
09:28
You knew it had to happen, and here they come – Sept. 11 Babies.

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Date
20020423

Time
09:38
Eminem is to appear dressed up like Osama bin Laden in his next video. The twat.

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Date
20020423

Time
09:43
Sports careers come and go, but I have a feeling that this photo is going to run and run.

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Date
20020423

Time
09:51
When walking through the woods on the way to work this morning, I found what I first assumed to be an abandoned Lego figure – but then I looked closer and saw that he was wearing a pilot’s uniform. I searched nearby for wreckage of a little Lego plane, but couldn’t find any. Perhaps he was pushed out by his co-pilot, or a jealous ex-lover. Either way, I’m surprised that the incident has gone unreported – and that Lego don’t make parachutes.

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Date
20020423

Time
10:45
An excellent book that actually teaches you How to Shit in the Woods.

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Date
20020423
Christianity Watch
Time
10:48
1. Creation Safaris take you to ‘unusual and beautiful places’ where you can learn ‘important evidence for creation and against evolution’. I just love their slogan:

“Creation Safaris: Escape to Reality!”

2. You have to admit that this kind of behaviour is pretty scary.

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Date
20020423

Time
11:42
More Lego linkage! Hoorah!

From groovymother.com comes this excellent link that lets you make a Lego version of yourself.

This is me. Well, this is me as I like to dress up on Saturday night when I go cruising for sailors.

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Date
20020423

Time
12:49
Trying to bend it like Beckham seems pretty dull, if you ask me. I’d rather try to find Sven’s sweet spot.

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Date
20020423

Time
13:29
A fine collection of rude snow creations.

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Date
20020423

Time
13:37
Linda Lovelace dies aged 53. Honour her memory in ASCII if you like, or ponder on the distinct lack of poster or movie stills for this spicy title. You might also wish to drop by the Linda Lovelace Virtual Museum, even if it’s just to read this interview with Eric Danville that addresses the whole doggie movie issue.

TRIVIA: Deep Throat was filmed in only 6 days in Florida, US – and is in fact the highest grossing film ever to be made in that state – which beats the hell out of the The Blair Witch Project, if you ask me.

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Date
20020423

Time
14:24
25 child pornographers/abusers arrested in 10 countries.

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Date
20020423

Time
14:30
You know that yodelling thing they have at the end of every Yahoo! commercial? The guy who performed it claimed that he was only paid a few hundred dollars for it on the understanding that it would be used once and once only. When he took issue with Yahoo! over compensation for its repeated use they refused to play ball, so he took them to court. In a move that surprised almost everybody, Yahoo! just bit the bullet and settled.

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Date
20020424
Are You Gay?
Time
09:15
Tee-hee. Pete sent this in: Are You Gay? He doubts its authenticity, and is right to do so. Yes, it’s an urban legend.

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Date
20020424

Time
09:17
I’ve read this book, it’s a good read. Enjoy this excerpt/quiz thing from Everything You Know Is Wrong.

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Date
20020424

Time
09:20
Well, it seems we have a bit of an enlightenment thread running through the blog this monring. This seems as good a time as any to plug two of the greatest sources of truth known to man, The Straight Dope and the Urban Legends Reference Pages over at Snopes.com

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Date
20020424

Time
09:39
A collection of student art? How can I resist?

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Date
20020424

Time
09:44
Yet another football game, this one involving a table-top version to plug Adidas toiletries. Be warned that this game requires the very latest version of Shockwave Flash to operate – not a smart move when you want something to go viral, guys.

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Date
20020424

Time
09:50
Something decidedly weird is happening in the woods near my house. For the second time in two days, I’ve found the corpse of a toy on the way to work – well, in this case, the partial remains of one.

I can’t help but wonder what exactly is going on. Perhaps one of these figurines is on the loose. Don’t laugh – they’ve already turned on their creator.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020424

Time
10:12
When I was poking around for a good link to those serial killer figurines (see below), I found this interesting titbit of information:

On March 24, 1999, the brother of one of Jeffrey Dahmer’s victims was stabbed to death in his Milwaukee apartment in ritualistic fashion. According to a medical examiner’s report, Ernest Smith’s body was “posed,” with figurines placed around it and in his hand, sheets from pornographic magazines stuffed into his shoes and pants, and cigarette ashes put in an ear. The kitchen knife used to kill him was left in his body.

Just think about how weird that would be. You’re at home, minding your own business when *thunk*, you get stabbed in the back with a kitchen knife. You hit the floor and slowly but surely expire, as your unknown assailant sets up this weird tableau – then leaves. Soon after, you shrug off this mortal coil and have one of those ‘float above your body’ experiences we see in all the movies. You look down to see yourself lying on the floor with your trousers full of porn, surrounded by half a dozen GI Joes and Barbie dolls – no doubt thinking all the while; “Now how the hell did that happen?”

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020424

Time
10:24
Boy, we’ve taken a sinister turn in the last half-hour. Here’s five things you probably missed in ‘The Shining’ and a few things to think about before you commit suicide. If that last link depresses you, I have the antidote right here.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020424

Time
10:33
Finally, someone has the guts to tell the truth about advertising.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020424

Time
12:32
Woman charged with ‘assault on a peace officer’ for throwing her cat at a policeman.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020424

Time
16:08
Eminem is being a twat again. He just bought every copy of the new edition of The Face and had the lot shredded because the cover showed him wearing a pink tank top. The original photo had the rapper wearing a red top, but it was digitally altered so as not to clash with the colour scheme of the front cover. R-i-i-i-i-ght. FYI, Eminem has always been rather touchy about the issue of his gayness, but especially so since this happened.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020425

Time
08:23
Yesterday, the .US namespace (the official top-level domain for the United States) kicked into action. Perhaps now they’ll stop the whole ‘we own .com’ nonsense.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020425

Time
08:32
A digital photography contest? Sounds like fun – especially if I can Photoshop my way into their hearts. Please send evil suggestions to the usual address.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020425

Time
09:01
What do you think. Can I get my religion onto this guy’s action list? Even as a low priority, maybe?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020425

Time
09:05
My, hasn’t it been warm lately?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020425
International Tax Avoidance Day
Time
09:06
International Tax Avoidance Day is coming up (11th May – remembering the death of visionary Douglas Adams), and I ask you all to spread the word and stand prepared. I also need to remind myself to update the page for the Fark Party (10th May) with some kind of alert/reminder – even if it’s just for me. Followers of my religion are expected to carry a towel with them at all times on the 11th, and it wouldn’t do for a representative of the UCIN to be caught out towel-less after midnight, now would it? Even if it’s just so that I can suck the corners for much-needed post-pint nutrients…

Hmm, now that I think of it, I should probably pack a few testifying pamphlets as well…

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020425

Time
09:23
Some interesting and amusing discussion over at Fark regarding Eminem and the pink t-shirt scandal. If you’ve never read a Fark thread before, try one now. This one’s a pretty typical mix.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020425

Time
09:35
No, this isn’t me, but thanks for asking (you cheeky sods!).

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Date
20020425

Time
09:43
Elmo just gave evidence before a congressional committee to urge more spending on music research and musical instruments for school programs. No, really!

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Date
20020425

Time
12:24
In case you’re wondering, yes, I did find another corpse in the woods this morning – but this time the toy killer has made a big mistake. If you look closely, you can see a name tag attached to the victim’s clothing. Hopefully, the authorities can use this name to quickly identify the victim (one ‘Stuart Little’) and get one step closer to solving this mystery!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020425

Time
17:00
A fine collection of Nazi and East German Propaganda for you to enjoy.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020425

Time
17:01
Tumbleweeds are still blowing across the SeeThru weblog. I may take them off my nav-bar tomorrow – once I’ve finished building about a dozen or so other pages, that is.

Oh, didn’t I tell you? New sections and new excitement will be coming to this blog soon. I know, I know, you can’t wait – but you really shouldn’t get your hopes up. It’s not a like a full re-design or anything, just some new bits tacked onto the side. Kind of like mag wheels on an old Ford Cortina.

That reminds me of a story, actually…

My brother used to drive an old HQ Holden. It was gold. And red. And black. And green. (This all depended on which body panel you were viewing at any given time – you get the idea, I’m sure.)

One day he picked up a couple of mag wheels at an auction, and by a couple I mean two. He was quick to get them onto his car – both on the driver’s side, mind you. As you might expect, the car steered like a cow as a result, but damn it looked great when he parked it against a wall.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020426

Time
09:10
Some researchers are concerned about something they call ‘link-rot’, whereby bits of the web are disappearing (at what I think is an increasing rate). Some sites are being replaced by pornography, as reported by Wired last year. A headache for educators, yes – but really something that should worry us all.

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Date
20020426

Time
09:15
Apparently AOL’s $50-Billion loss is due to an accounting anomaly. Me, I think it has more to do with the cost of all those bloody CDs they send out.

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Date
20020426

Time
09:19
Another gem courtesy of ultimateinsult.net, The LEGO Chainsaw Massacre.

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Date
20020426
Christianity Watch
Time
09:21
How to Perform an Emergency Baptism

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Date
20020426

Time
09:23
The site autistics.org has all sorts of information on it, including tips on asking a girl out for a date. No, I’m not being cruel. If you take a close look at it, you’ll probably agree that it’s advice all single men can benefit from – and if you do want to take a girl to the movies, don’t forget the most important step of all:

“Step 2: Find a girl who you would like to go see a movie with.”

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Date
20020426

Time
09:30
A quick memo for everybody. Please sign it and pass it on.

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Date
20020426

Time
09:33
No, no toy corpses in the woods this morning – but I did find (pause for dramatic effect) the murder weapon!

The police will have to take me seriously, now…

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Date
20020426

Time
11:20
Shame on me for not spotting this earlier! The four men who broke into a holiday home where Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake were staying have escaped a prison sentence by signing a non-disclosure agreement. This basically means that if they talk about what they stole (or saw in the house), they’ll be locked up. Included in the items stolen were some videotapes with “personal footage”. How very interesting…

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Date
20020426
Flash Games
Time
13:26
Watch out – this is a simple enough game but, like Tetris, really sucks you in after a while.

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Date
20020426

Time
15:15
Gosh, Serena, thanks for that.

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Date
20020426

Time
15:34
More on streaking for you to enjoy.

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Date
20020426

Time
15:48
Right, I’m off to brave the woods on the way home. If I find another corpse or get attacked by a lone psychopathic toy, I’ll let you know all about it on Monday. Have a good weekend, everybody – oh, and here’s something to keep you busy for the rest of the afternoon – What’s Better?

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Date
20020429

Time
08:57
I didn’t walk through the woods this morning, I caught the bus instead. On the bus, I was safe from the murderous toy that lurks in the woods, but I could swear that the ticket machine was looking at me funny…

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Date
20020429

Time
09:00
I don’t know if I mentioned this before, but I love boot sales. This weekend, I came across a couple at one boot sale who were tidying up the storage rooms in their little radio station. They had boxes and boxes of CDs on offer – 10 for £1 – and I bought 50 of the suckers! Nearly all of them were promo CDs from 89-93, which is doubly cool because it was full of stuff that I’d bought as a single (or played on music video) as a DJ, but was forced to leave behind when I left Australia. Interesting things, promo CDs. For one thing, they don’t seem to have a Track No.1 (I wonder why). They also give a very good indication of the large volume of quality material that gets released but never makes the charts.

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Date
20020429

Time
09:09
George Lucas will be judging a contest for fan-made films based on Star Wars. What a shame that the best of these don’t even qualify for entry.

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Date
20020429

Time
09:12
Seethru is now officially closed, as the message goes. What a damn shame.

They produced some of the best viral stuff in the last 12 months.

For this, they stay on the navbar for one more day as a mark of respect.

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Date
20020429

Time
13:21
Worth1000.com has taken a leaf out of b3ta’s book by launching a survival appeal.

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Date
20020429

Time
13:51
A great collection of cat attacks.

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Date
20020429
Mustard Man Returns!
Time
17:08
Can Weblogs Identify Mustard Man?

Frankly, I have no idea – but I figure it’s worth a try.

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Date
20020430
New Improved Bloggerheads (Coming Soon)
Time
09:16
OK, a great deal of the code is done and most all of the content is written and proof-read. Alls I have to do now is tidy up and link the front end. Should only take the rest of the day.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020430

Time
09:19
Over or under? Crumple or fold? Yes, we all know that toilet paper can be daunting, but those of us who’ve experienced the infinite technicalities of a Japanese bathroom simply count our blessings and just get on with it.

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Date
20020430

Time
09:22
I was reading an old Freak Brothers book last night, and at the tail end (no pun intended) Fat Freddy was in a bar asserting that dogs were fascist. His reasoning?

“Well, have you ever seen a police cat?!”

Thankfully, not all dogs are blindly fighting to aid the wealthy elite in their domination of the poor. Some are actually pretty smart.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020430

Time
09:34
Vampire Lesbian Kickboxers. All right! The web rules!

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Date
20020430
Latest Viral Agent
Time
09:41
Win free* flights for life with Virgin Atlantic.

(*I love it when they include those little stars…)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020430
Mustard Man II
Time
09:45
(DAY TWO)

Can Weblogs Identify Mustard Man? is already receiving a lot of support. I’ll return the link love with a list later today. Now, onto that code…

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Date
20020430

Time
13:06
Well, here it is. As you can see, it doesn’t *look* that different, but there’s lots of new stuff around the place. Most of it is a full de-lurk revealing and explaining what I do for a living – but if it’s mild amusement you’re after, you could do worse than a journey through my plain-Jane Photoshopping collection.

You may also note a change to the navbar on your left. Yep, Seethru and a few others have gone (habits change, what can I say?) and the lovely Firda has been added. She’s a bit ill today, the poor dear, so please do drop by and say hello.

Have fun poking around the new stuff – and please do let me know if you find any deliberate mistaks.

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Date
20020430

Time
13:23
I love it when a deserving publication enjoys a new lease of life on the web. Check out Atomic Bombing: How to Protect Yourself.

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Date
20020430

Time
13:41
Cool, a new search engine to play with – Flipper.com

This one touts itself as a deep indexer, so I’m off to see just how deep it can go. It seems a pity, though, that a search engine called ‘flipper’ doesn’t adopt more of an Ask Jeeves approach. Something like:

“Flipper, how tall is the Eiffel Tower?”

“ak-ak-ak, click-click-whistle, ak-ak-ak”

I know, I know. I’ll just get my coat, shall I?

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Date
20020430

Time
13:49
Well, the web is full of pleasant surprises today. Take a look at the future of democracy. The good thing about being able to vote online is that you don’t get collared by the party pigdogs as you enter the polling station – unless you count pop-up Conservatives. Do you think they’ll allow that?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020430

Time
14:14
Yet another dope has been caught having sex with an animal. This time a pony. All ladder jokes aside, I recently warned a colleague of mine (hello, Martin) that there’d be an notable increase in offences like this. I knew this because, out of the referral stats over the last two years at Celebrity Bestiality, I’d noticed a general month-by-month increase in the number of people in the UK who used this kind of search query. I called the Home Office a few months ago to try and get some statistics, but they thought I was taking the piss.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020430

Time
15:48
The BBC has introduced a new search engine, and not everybody is happy about it. The BBC claims theirs will be more useful, as things such as paid placement are polluting results in most search engines (funny, I was just thinking that.

But how big is the online presence of the BBC going to get? It’s already spent the last two years taking food out of the mouths of UK developers, and done very little for the community as a result. As with TV, the focus for the BBC online should be innovation, not recycling.

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Date
20020430

Time
16:34
A great link from the deep bloggage of www.groovymother.com – find your perfect date courtesy of The Florida Department of Corrections Offender Network. For example, I searched for a 6 foot blonde woman and got this selection of lovely ladies. These ones are from the fugitive list, so therefore are available for immediate dating. Pretty sweet, huh?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020430

Time
16:49
ITV Digital is to stop broadcasting all its pay TV services from midnight tonight and lay off a thousand or so workers in the process. Happily, Monkeh has already found new work.

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Date
20020430

Time
17:00
Seems that I’m not the only one cleaning house – davelog.com has just had a complete refit and now looks, erm, different.








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Negative Aspects of Paid Placement in Search Engines

In my book, The Net-Works Guide to Marketing Your Website, I took the following position on paid inclusion:

Should You Pay for a Search Engine or Directory Listing?

“No. If a search engine, directory or other site requires payment before they list you, look elsewhere. Even large search engines that charge a fee for listing are not worth your time, especially when there are so many ‘free’ search engines that are far more popular with web users.”

Times and circumstances have changed considerably since I wrote this, so I thought it might be best to clarify one or two points on the issue and indulge in a minor rant in the process.

In the last year especially, more and more search engines have started offering different models of paid entry. Yahoo! recently used their strong market position to not only adopt a compulsory paid inclusion model for any kind of business listing, but also set it up as an annual fee (more on this in a moment). Google has adopted the GoTo system (which seems to have annoyed the original creators, Overture, somewhat). With this system, known as paid placement, you pay for advertising-style placement at or near the top for keywords that you nominate. Google, of course, supplies all the back-up data for Yahoo! – who, on top of the paid inclusion method we just mentioned, have also formally teamed up with Overture to include this same model of paid placement.

It’s already looking messy, and so far we’ve only looked at three databases! So, to avoid making your head hurt and to keep things on a even keel, let’s talk about this is general terms for a short while, m’kay?

Not too long ago, most commercial sites that wanted to get your attention did so via banner ads. Why? Well, most of the marketing bods who were in charge of this kind of thing came from a traditional background. They understood the principles of paid media placement, and were comfortable with it. Blinded by stats quoting ‘millions of hits’, it took them a while to wake up to the fact that the average click-through rate for a banner campaign was somewhere around 1-5%. Some optimistic folks justified this low percentage rate with the theory that this 1-5% represented better potential customers, in that they had already been partially ‘sold’ by the ad. Others saw it to be a problem but thought that the difficulty lay in the shape or position of the banners, which I personally considered to be more than a little amusing. Do you remember the advent of the ‘skyscraper’ banner? Have you noticed how many ads are being thrown in your face via all manner of technical wizardry and interactivity?

Steve Jones of ABCnews was recently quoted as saying; “Any kind of ad that’s technically available is something we’ll consider running,” before hastily adding, “provided it doesn’t diminish the quality of ABCNews.com.”

These people are still fighting a losing battle – but many of those that did become aware of the importance of search engine optimisation did so too late – and got the wrong end of the stick in the process. Because paid placement is so prevalent these days, it’s reached the point where many SEO engineers feel it necessary to include consultation on paid placement as part of their service.

It also has to be noted that search engines and directories are under a lot of pressure from various regulatory bodies to maintain the integrity of their databases by making it very clear what is an ad and what is an actual search result – not that web users don’t know the difference already. Average click-through rates for these kinds of ads are estimated to be somewhere around, you guessed it, 1-5%. (Though it must be noted, in the spirit of fairness, that Google is trying to do the right thing in respects by offering a function that discontinues ads performing below 1% – erm, and then helpfully encourages the advertiser to take out a new ad with new wording in the hope that this will be more effective.)

Now, as the Overture model only has you paying for the traffic you receive, many people are happy with this situation – but you can see what’s happened, can’t you? Despite the illusion that this is some form of search engine optimisation exercise, it is in fact a clear and set model of paid media placement. Well, I suppose if they understand it and feel comfortable with it, the trend will continue in one form or another – but it’s this current trend that we’re talking about today, and I want to highlight a few of the negatives for you.

Some Negative Aspects of Paid Inclusion

We’ll get onto to Yahoo! soon, but first I want to tackle the issue of niche databases. Many of these are run by guys who knock together a so-called directory or search engine on a specific subject or business sector (usually by recycling someone else’s database). They will then, more often than not, email everybody they have in their new database with a message outlining how much they will have to pay for an enhanced listing, or even just to stay in the database. We enter two very, very grey areas here:

1. This kind of activity borders on unsolicited invoicing (an illegal practice in most countries).
2. It’s also borderline Spam, which they justify by wording the initial greeting as a request to have the webmaster’s ‘permission’ to list the site before, of course, swiftly moving onto the matter of payment.

With these directories, I stand by my original statement on this matter. It’s simply not worth paying to be in some two-bit directory that some idiot knocked together in his basement. But what about Yahoo!?

We’re talking about the most popular directory on the planet here, and with many of my clients I simply don’t have a choice in this matter. Because this listing is so vital in terms of basic SEO strategy, the payment has to be made. This year, and the next, and the next after that. With this we come to what I see being the biggest problem that’s going to develop in this arena unless somebody keeps a bloody close eye on it.

In my young and carefree days, I rode out the late 80’s recession as a DJ. The company I started out with ran a 1/4-page ad in the Yellow Pages and had the prime spot on the top right of the first page for mobile discos. The cost of this was somewhere in the mid 5-figure range – and seemed to go up every year. However, the poor guy who ran the company had to keep forking out year by year for fear of losing his prime spot. He also felt the need to massage whoever was top of the sales team at the time with calls and gifts, just in case they accidentally ‘lost’ his annual submission and somebody else got this top spot. He only gave up the game after it finally became economically unsustainable. Yellow Pages had him over a barrel, and he was all but forced to abandon his business as a result. This kind of crap does not make for a healthy economy.

In my less young and far less carefree days in TV advertising, I also became acquainted with one of their former salesmen who had moved into TV media sales. He told me many a tale of businesses that he had over that same barrel and the joys of commission and contra. He was, and I’m sure I can say this without offending the man, a right bastard – and therefore one of their top sales people. I’m pretty sure that, if the current situation with online directories is left unchecked, that the same will soon be said of salesmen for these top listings online, calling and emailing you from a number of different core directories with all the charm of double-glazing salesmen and with a frequency that will make you yearn for the good old days of recruitment company cold callers.

Some Negative Aspects of Paid Placement

Paid placement is advertising, pure and simple. People know what advertising is. That’s why the click-through rates are as low as they are/were for banner ads, but this is by no means the worst aspect of this kind of service.

With your typical paid placement model, you pay to be highly placed (as an ad) for search queries that you nominate. Actually, the word they use is ‘bid’, because at any time one of your competitors may choose to up the ante in order to secure the top spot ahead of you. He pays more, you pay more, he pays more, a new company comes onto the scene with a big launch budget and doubles this out of the blue – where does it end? It doesn’t. Who wins? Well, I’m sure you can guess.

The reason Google became the most popular search engine on the planet, seemingly out of nowhere, is that it included aspects in its ranking methods that improved the way that cultural forces were taken into account. Things like link popularity, link context and deeper copy indexing produced an almost supernatural ability to ferret out the best results first time, every time. Of course, a lot of SEO engineers know how to create some of these effects artificially, but Google is still one of the last places you can search for something and pretty much get the best result, based on how good the offering is and how many people believe in it – which is why I’m so surprised that they’ve gone all-out on this paid placement model. It seems to go against everything Google is supposed to stand for.

A few weeks ago, a colleague noticed an interesting ad that came up for the search query ‘child safe chat rooms‘. The top-placed ad served up to many countries had the headline text ‘SEXY CHAT & WEBCAM ROOMS’. Despite at least two formal complaints that I’m aware of, the ad still appears (albeit somewhat lower down these days – last time I looked, two other companies had outbid this advertiser).

The first thing most people point out when they see this result is that it appears to be an understandable anomaly, in that the ad is also served up for the search query ‘chat rooms’, so appears to be ignoring the words ‘child safe’ – but shouldn’t there be some form of control mechanism to stop this kind of thing from happening? Especially considering that Google has such an excellent history of removing or controlling undesirable anomalies from its general database. Why should paid listings be any different? Gosh, do you think that maybe it has something to do with money…?

Paying For Search Engine Optimisation Services

Given that I earn a living optimising sites to achieve ‘natural’ results, I really have to address this issue here or the whole article is going to come across as being somewhat hypocritical. How is paying to have your site perform better in search engines and directories different from paying the directory or search engine directly just to get the top spot?

Well, typically, things like basic keyword arming can only go so far. While you can format a page in such a way that gets you the top spot for any given search query in some search engines, in databases like Google this becomes somewhat problematic if nobody else links to your site. Establishing link partnerships (for large sites at least), costs money. Even going out and creating a bunch of fake personal sites that link to the core URL is expensive (don’t laugh – I’ve seen this done before). You can even produce multiple doorways that see you turn up for all manner of largely unrelated search queries, but this tends to piss people off more than anything.

Funnily enough, the best bet for a site that has to fight this battle is the creation of a resource (or even some form of entertainment) that gets people to link to them – and gravitate to them – naturally. This borders on viral marketing, but I don’t tend to point it out too often, as this widely misunderstood term tends to confuse some clients.

Basically, I’ve always believed that for a site to perform well in search engines – and do so consistently – it needs to offer something of value and build a relationship on this. Paid placement bypasses the need for this value.

In Summary

Look, there are lots of things that make this kind of business necessary from the point of view of the search engines and directories (after all, the money has to come from somewhere), but I still don’t believe that it’s a good thing for the average web user or site promoter.

You see a girl. Your eyes meet, there’s a moment of magic that passes between you. You ask her out, she accepts. You take her out for drinks and a meal. Discussion reveals many common interests. If all goes well, maybe afterwards you’ll go back to her place for coffee and, one would hope, the creation of the mythical hot and sweaty double-backed beast.

Of course, for the same amount of money you could just go out and have cold and impersonal sex with a prostitute. Hell, with what dinner and drinks costs these days, you could probably afford to go twice – but, despite the outlay being more or less the same, the nature of these two encounters is very, very different. Which, for example, do you think is going to be the more intimate and enriching experience for both parties? Which do you think might realistically lead to future relationship? When it gets down to it, which do you think is simply going to be the better quality shag?

Exactly.








Posted in Search Engine Optimisation | Comments Off

01-15 April, 2002

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Date
20020401

Time
16:25
hehehe – I almost forgot what day it was



(In case you missed it, the Open Directory Project dressed itself up as the Microsoft Directory Project, complete with a familiar paperclip chappie that popped up to ‘help’ with your query – tee-hee.)

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Date
20020402

Time
08:50
Enjoy some really crap cartoons from the 80’s and a lot of other funky stuff at weaintcool.com (and if all this does is whet your appetite, you’ll find a great deal more at yesterdayland.com).

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Date
20020402
Attention: Students and the Unemployed
Time
08:55
Get down to the mega-funky Bargain Hunt Boogie at diffusiononline.net

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Date
20020402

Time
08:59
Meet the dickheads who invented Spam. Surprise, surprise, they’re lowlife laywers.

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Date
20020402

Time
09:18
I’m pretty sure it will disappear sometime today or tomorrow, so drop by and get a copy of the Queen Mamagotchi game from the Viz downloads page while you can.

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Date
20020402
Weekend Spam Warriors
Time
09:21
I’ve noticed that, ever since November, there’s been a notable increase in Spam over the weekend. At lot of these seem to be one-off attempts to cash in on one affiliate deal or another (in other words, a complete waste of time by some loser who doesn’t know how these things work). I’m willing to bet that this is a symptom of the recession that isn’t really happening, as more and more people get desperate enough to try this at least once.

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Date
20020402
Latest Viral Agent
Time
09:27
What a fucking joke! You may remember back in March I commented on the Pot Noodle people’s complete failure to translate their w-w-w-wacky ‘Not Poodle’ campaign to the web in any way, shape or form. Now some genius seems to think that everybody is going to flock to www.notpoodlequiz.co.uk to download an .exe file quiz. No, I didn’t link to the URL – and with good reason. The only thing hosted there is the aforementioned .exe file. I say again: what a fucking joke.

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Date
20020402
Yet Another Lame Quiz
Time
10:18
OK, but I likes this one:

Which Lego character are you?

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Date
20020402

Time
11:43
Need a new mouse? Check this one out.

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Date
20020402

Time
12:35
AOL have discovered blogs! Run for the hills!

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Date
20020402

Time
12:36
An interesting article on fair use.

Hell, it’s better than mine.

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Date
20020402

Time
12:39
A good photshopping thread at fark today, this time at the expense of Craig Barrett, Intel CEO and President.

A simple yet fun challenge, this one.

Enjoy. Vote. Wipe hands on pants.

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Date
20020402

Time
12:58
Quite a handfull, this list:

Celebrity Bra Sizes.

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Date
20020402

Time
14:25
Two escaped asylum seekers on the run from the authorities in Australia mistakenly hitched a ride from an unmarked police bus. At least they weren’t attacked by a naked carjacker (or thrown over the side).

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Date
20020403

Time
09:11
A nice way to say: ‘take this and stick it where the sun don’t shine‘.

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Date
20020403

Time
09:12
Secrets behind Google and how it works.

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Date
20020403

Time
09:15
Play a fun shell game with President Bush

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Date
20020403

Time
09:16
This Ali G competition lets you rap along to the new single ‘Me Julie’ (cool!). The prize is a shirt (amazing!). Calls to the Premium Rate telephone line cost £1.00 per minute (take this and stick it where the sun don’t shine!).

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Date
20020403

Time
09:20
Sign the World Cup Flag for England and become as unique as a million other people.

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Date
20020403

Time
10:34
A year later, and that former Hooters waitress still hasn’t got her promised ‘Toyota‘.

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Date
20020403

Time
12:07
Simon Fuller speaks.

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Date
20020403

Time
13:07
Here’s one I missed on Jesus Week: the Christian Wrestling Federation.

Praise the Lord! Pass the body oil!

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Date
20020403
Blimey! That Didn’t Take Long!
Time
13:17
Overheard in Usenet:

The Queen Mum arrives at the Royal Pearly Gates and sees Diana wearing a halo.

“Hello Diana” says the QM, “When does one get a halo like yours?”.

“Piss off granny”, says Diana, “It’s a f***g steering-wheel”.


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Date
20020403

Time
14:17
A fine collection of corporate anthems for you to enjoy.

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Date
20020403
Photoshopping
Time
14:50
It’s the invasion of the Bloody Big Original today over at Fark, but what the hell – at least I’m winning

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Date
20020403

Time
15:56
A driver who admitted having the highest alcohol reading in Scottish legal history was released on bail to celebrate his birthday.

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Date
20020403
Recycling
Time
16:16
The soon-to-be-launched worldcupatwork.co.uk plans to offer an informational interface for office workers who wish to keep up to date with the World Cup. Their USP? A panic button:

“With a simple click of a button you can hide away the world cup site you are viewing from prying eyes, and appear to be working on some proper work in one of the variety of different interfaces available including Word, Excel, and Photoshop.”

Yawn….

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Date
20020403

Time
16:33
Seriously, what kind of sicko would want one of these in the corner of their living room?

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Date
20020404

Time
09:06
Yep, there it is in black and white. You can build anything with Flash. Of course, before attempting anything this serious, you might also need these tips on how to be a web designer.

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Date
20020404

Time
09:21
My good friend from The Ultimate Insult is about to become a daddy!

Be afraid…

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Date
20020404
Giving More Than 100%
Time
09:44
I just got one of those silly-type emails from my sister, but this one bears repeating, so here goes:

Ever wonder about those people who say they are giving more than 100%?

Here’s a little math that might prove helpful.

What makes 100%?

If, A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

is represented as:

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26

Then,

H A R D W O R K is

8 1 18 4 23 15 18 11= 98%

and

K N O W L E D G E is

11 14 15 23 12 5 4 7 5 = 96%

But,

A T T I T U D E is

1 20 20 9 20 21 4 5 = 100%

and,

B U L L S H I T is

2 21 12 12 19 8 9 20 = 103%

So it stands to reason that hard work and knowledge will get you close, attitude will get you there, but bullshit will put you over the top!

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Date
20020404

Time
11:14
Hoorah! They cured Bubble Boy.

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Date
20020404

Time
11:49
Firda has a new look. All that money must be going to her head.

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Date
20020404

Time
12:01
Purchase a Pet Penny, erm, for a dollar. Yes, I do believe they’re serious…

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Date
20020404

Time
12:07
Damn it, this was the most satisfying experience of of my day. See Toast Fiction and the classic web site that inspired it. Call me a pyromaniac if you like, but nothing, and I mean nothing beats watching stuff burn (except maybe nuking cockroaches in the microwave).

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Date
20020404
Blowing Stuff Up
Time
14:34
Toast Fiction has me going now. So far I’ve dug up some real classics, including a chap who wins awards and recognition by lighting grills with 3 gallons of liquid oxygen, an Aussie bloke I’d damn near forgotten about who made a supremely awesome Sparkler Bomb (you have to see that one), some tin fun, and the less awesome but still quite funny Twinkie Project.

My, what fun. It’s almost enough to make me forget about the lifetime scar I got from a burning PET bottle at age 14. Or the time a segment of copper bomb travelling at the velocity of a bullet missed my head by about an inch. Or the time…

OK, I’m sure you get the idea. Watch and learn, but DO NOT TRY AT HOME. Take it from someone who knows, this is dangerous stuff and the Gods are not always kind to the dumb, the stupid, and the drunk.

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Date
20020404
Photoshopping
Time
15:02
An 18-year-old man (man?) was sentenced to 30 days behind bars for superimposing a picture of his ex-girlfriend over the body of a nude woman and then posting the picture on the Internet.

The site itself is totalled, but there’s a cache of it in Google if you can be bothered to look for it. (He is a nutter, BTW – find the site and you’ll see what I mean…)

Smart chap that he is, he’s worn a hood while facing the press photographers, presumably to foil attempts to Photoshop his head onto the body of a naked chick.

Too bad they got a clear shot of him inside the court…

Cannot… resist.

Must… alter image!

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Date
20020404

Time
16:04
Seth Godin has a blog? I’m there.

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Date
20020405

Time
09:27
Following up on yesterday’s special about blowing stuff up etc., here are some consequences for you to ponder. Take my word for it, violent entertainment is dangerous. I won’t even subject you to the horrors of the Three Stooges ward.

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Date
20020405

Time
09:33
Liz Hurley had a boy. She didn’t give it a stupid name, either. OK, preparing for the DNA test in 5, 4, 3, 2….

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Date
20020405
I Miss Douglas Adams
Time
09:42
It was in 1989 that I first read Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency. I was quite taken by the character’s navigational/investigative technique, described as follows:

“My own strategy is to find a car, or the nearest equivalent, which looks as if it knows where it’s going and follow it. I rarely end up where I was intending to go, but often end up somewhere that I needed to be.”

(Douglas Adams, ‘Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency’)

I was about halfway through the book on the day when I was driving to a very unfamiliar part of town to collect a car part for my Holden Gemini (see a picture of one) from a wrecker’s yard. I was on the expressway towards this part of town when I realised that I didn’t have my UBD (street directory) with me.

‘Bugger’, I thought, as I approached the exit with no idea where to go after that…. until I realised that the truck directly in front of me had, amongst other things, a dented Holden Gemini door propped up in the back.

So I followed it.

It led me right to the wrecker’s district, of course – but the cool thing was that it pulled up right in front of the same wrecker’s yard I had called earlier that day. My part wasn’t exactly waiting for me – first it had to be unloaded from the truck I had just followed.

The man deserves sainthood for this small miracle alone. Grab a pencil and check if the gravity in your room still works. Peace of mind is a rare thing these days.

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Date
20020405

Time
11:30
Meet the rabbit who thinks your cursor is a carrot.

At least he doesn’t dress up like a woman and make me feel all funny inside.

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Date
20020405

Time
11:33
An excellent piece on street spam.

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Date
20020405

Time
13:04
Watch Michael Jackson change before your very eyes. Be amazed! Be astounded! Be very, very afraid.

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Date
20020405
Photoshopping
Time
15:46


I’ve been enjoying a good run over at Fark lately, but I know it won’t last.

<pun>

There’s always someone who’s quicker on the draw.

</pun>

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Date
20020405

Time
15:53
If you’re considering selling porn online, here’s something to chew on.

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Date
20020405

Time
17:59
Good news everybody! Enron was just the beginning!

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Date
20020408

Time
08:56
Have a safe trip!

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Date
20020408

Time
08:58
See some warning signs from around the world and the best of the fake ones from Fark.

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Date
20020408

Time
09:01
Build a pub in your back yard. Or a genuine, bonafide, electrified, six-car monorail.

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Date
20020408

Time
10:11
Michael Barrymore aims for an acting career in the States. He’s in with a chance if they need a good cameo for a remake of Sunset Boulevard.

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Date
20020408

Time
10:20
Penthouse is going broke. Could the advent of online porn be a factor? Perhaps. There’s no staples, for starters…

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Date
20020408
Photoshopping
Time
11:01
Get that authentic lightsaber effect for still or moving images.

(via the new but cool trialbyfire.tk blog)

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Date
20020408

Time
11:15
One man, 13,500 McDonalds outlets. Just keeping it down sounds like a challenge to me.

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Date
20020408

Time
11:42

I just couldn’t stop smiling when I watched this knockout music video of ‘Hooked On A Feeling’ with David Hasselhoff (click here if you have a slow connection).

It has ‘made for German television’ written all over it. Once you get to first big special effect or the tribal jumping bit, you’ll see what I mean.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020408

Time
12:02
Can starring in a crap sitcom actually cause Parkinson’s disease? We can only hope.

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Date
20020408

Time
14:02
I’m only blogging this Which Monkee Are You? quiz because I turned out to be the coolest musician of all time – Michael Nesmith.

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Date
20020408
Queen Mum Latest
Time
14:30
This picture of a special gift left by a mourner is doing the rounds. Yes, it’s obvious – but still funny.

Right?

Right?

(I’ll just get me coat, then…)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020408

Time
14:56
Overture are suing Google for nicking their ‘paid listings’ advertising model. What, just Google?

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Date
20020408

Time
15:26
Hoorah! We have something else to wait for now that the Charlotte Church Countdown is over.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020409
Overlord (of the Evil variety)
Time
09:42
The secret to becoming an Evil Overlord and not letting secret agents, angry loners or meddling kids fuck it up for you.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020409
Old Computer Programs
Time
09:44
Sometimes new isn’t always improved – that’s why oldversion.com archives a collection of the original (and some obviously think best) versions of popular computer programs.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020409
Oligarchical Collectivism
Time
09:47
You can read all about it here (there’s also some other stuff involving a guy called Winston and fittingly enough, a character named O’Brien). The whole thing was written by a chap named Orwell.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020409
The Occult
Time
09:48
The Occultopedia has more information than you can shake a handful of chicken guts at.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020409
Open Directory Project
Time
09:50
The number (and quality) of editors has slipped lately. Do yourself and the web community a favour by joining up today.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020409
Sem-O-phore
Time
09:55
This is the semaphore signal for the letter ‘O’. Just thought you might like to know. There’s a bunch of other letters we really don’t care about here.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020409
Organs
Time
10:01
Sure, you could become an organ donor, but not everybody thinks it’s a good idea. Hell, you can even get an Organ Keeper Card if you want one. Still, if you don’t mind being carved up like so much meat, you might choose to leave your body to science – but wouldn’t it be far, far cooler to leave your body to art? That way, your friends and family could come and see you (and all of your lovely internal organs) in the local art gallery whenever they pleased.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020409
Oh, the Humanity!
Time
10:04
Enjoy the worst movies on earth at ohthehumanity.com

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020409
O!
Time
10:05
See the letter ‘O’ (and a bunch of other far less interesting letters) as displayed by Mrs. Stubb’s Kindergarten class for their truly awesome Millennium Alphabet Project.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020409
Ouch!
Time
10:08
Meet Ouchy The Clown, ‘your premier provider of adult clown services’. And before you ask – no, he doesn’t do children’s parties.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020409
Orgasms
Time
10:17
The difference between the male and female variety.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020409
Oscar The Grouch
Time
10:19
Oscar is on display at the Smithsonian Institute, which explains why he only pops up occasionally on Sesame Street.

(Hey, I had to slip a Sesame Street reference in somewhere!)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020409

Time
15:37
Here I am in Oxford. I just saw a truck fall over on its side. Right in front of me. It doesn’t start with the letter ‘O’, but it did scare the fuck out of me, so I hope you don’t mind if I include it.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020410

Time
09:30
A few people have emailed me with questions about yesterday’s overturned truck incident. Here are the answers:

Is the driver OK?

As they say in the stunt biz…Yes, he’s OK folks!

Are you OK?

I’m fine, thanks for asking – but I did have a shaky start to my meeting.

It didn’t start with ‘O’!

Well, yes, it did. Aside from the obvious use of the word ‘overturned’, what I neglected to mention was what I was saying as I desperately steered around the bloody thing:

Oshitofuckochristoshitofuckomygodoshit!”

What the hell happened?

I was a few hundred yards from the office I was headed to when the articulated lorry on the roundabout ahead of me turned into an exit road and tipped over. He wasn’t going too fast, so maybe an uneven load had something to do with it. I was first ‘on the scene’ as they say (and damn near twisted an ankle getting there). The cabin had fallen over with the rest of the vehicle, passenger side down. I looked up to the driver’s seat, but he wasn’t there. “A-ha”, thinks I, “no seatbelt”. I looked down, but all I could see was debris. Then I saw a foot twitch. The truck wasn’t going too fast when it tipped over, maybe 5 or 6 miles per hour – so basically, the guy had suffered an 8-foot fall to the other side of the cab and the impact caused every glove compartment, map holder and cup holder to empty its content over him.

His foot was against the cracked windscreen, so (and by now there were five of us there, one calling ‘999’) we decided not to break the glass to gain entry. Someone climbed on top of the cab and got in through the driver’s side door. By the time the driver came to, shaken but OK, there was someone right next to him and over a dozen people staring at him through the glass like some kind of exotic fish. And there was he literally swimming in his possessions.

I won’t close with a lecture about road safety, but I will say this:

He’s damn lucky that he stowed his pornography carefully.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020410

Time
09:41
Check out Star Wars: Designer Edition. He has a point. If there were a Star Wars movie made in the early 90’s, I’m firmly convinced that every piece of technology would have been beige. If this site does inspire you, then maybe you’d like to start out small by building your own lightsaber. Just be careful, that’s all I ask!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020410

Time
09:51
Hmm, why does company called ‘Beige Design‘ have a blue website?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020410

Time
09:55
Just when I thought no venture could be bigger or more impressive than the Internet Archive, something came along this morning that Blew. My. Mind. The new site nurseryphotos.com allows you to search a database of over 172 million photos from hospitals all over the western world, some entries dating back as far as 1904.

I didn’t believe it myself, but took the time to do a quick search anyway and yes, my picture was there. Incredible, simply incredible.

You have to try it for yourself.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020410

Time
10:25
Some things in life are bad,

They can really make you mad.

Other things just make you swear and curse.

When you’re chewing on life’s gristle,

Don’t grumble, give a whistle!

And this’ll,

Help things turn out for the best…

And…

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020410
Office Tip #364
Time
12:11
Don’t leave your chewing gum out on the desk, or everybody will ask for a piece.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020410

Time
12:21
A cool collection of songs from The Simpsons. I own a couple of Simpsons CDs, so I already know most of these by heart. My personal favourite is I’m Checkin’ In from The City of New York Vs. Homer Simpson. Not an episode you’re likely to see for a while, given that most of the action takes place in the World Trade Centre. Khlav Kalesh, anyone?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020410

Time
12:36
You may remember the images of Christ looking over your shoulder from Jesus Week. Here are some slightly altered versions from sortakinda.com that will amuse you.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020410

Time
12:50
Somebody just plugged a flash version of the parody of Cat’s In The Cradle over at GoofyFun.com

The song is based mostly on an enduring urban legend and is really quite good – but damn it, I’ve seen this before. Here’s one version and here’s the version I see most often. Until the bloke who actually wrote and perfomed the song stands up to be counted, these (mostly crappy) multiple rip-offs are going to continue. His name, BTW, is Aaron Wilburn – and I suspect that the reason he isn’t making a lot of noise about it is that he’s a nice Christian chap who prefers to turn the other cheek.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020410
Photoshopping
Time
13:19
Art or Arse? makes a welcome return for 2002!

My entry is ready, but the email address they give on the site bounces! Scum!

Oh well, I suppose I must suffer for my art and wait until tomorrow to send this in:

Mustard Man

by Manic

Mustard Man is an installation piece formed of fibreglass-reinforced plaster, polyester resin, natural materials and American mustard. The piece is meant to emotively and realistically convey the daily trials of the modern-day proletarian to the upper-class literati.

Click here to see a large version.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020411
Flash Games
Time
08:43
A fun game for your average gun-crazed homophobe – go on, get them before they get you!

(Yet another quality link from the notorious breeder @ ultimateinsult.net)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020411

Time
08:46
Read about the Pizza Hut manager who robbed the bank next door and still got back to work in time to make the garlic bread for the lunchtime rush.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020411

Time
08:50
The Brazilians have no sense of humour. Or irony. I heard about this on the radio the other day. Kind of childish and reactionary IMO, especially considering how well countries like Australia and Japan took Exactly. The. Same. Treatment. Also stupid in that The Simpsons makes fun of America Every. Single. Episode.

Anyways, here’s a discussion on the topic that popped up in a search this morning.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020411

Time
09:01
Warning: This article is only amusing if you’re a weblogger. Just for the record, I was the first person to see the value in the domain name ‘warblog.com’. Too bad some cybersquatter now has it sitting on his dustpile.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020411
Office Tip #365
Time
09:38
Beware! Stationery isn’t always stationary!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020411

Time
09:40
Hooray! A deal is being hammered out for ‘Goldmember’. The way is clear for a cool title. Now only the movie itself will suck.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020411
Flash Games
Time
09:52
Kill The Butterfly! Surprisingly difficult, but in the end very satisfying.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020411
Flash Music Videos
Time
10:00
(of the crap variety)

Little Blue Dune Buggy.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020411
Flash Games
Time
10:25
Oh boy, this is a cracker – and no, I didn’t go looking for it (see the other shag-and-shoot-em-up earlier in today’s blog). I just tripped over it while trying to find the source of traffic to bloggerheads from some German DJ site (if you’re here from that site, please do let me know where the link is).

Picture the scene: You’re Adam. You run around naked in the Garden of Eden trying to shag Eve (as you do), but for some reason you also have to deal with a chicken and a gorilla. Weird. Compelling. Challenging.

Play The Game!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020411

Time
10:51
An even better article about the whole Brazil/Simpsons thing.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020411
Corporate Killing
Time
10:55
If you didn’t see Mark Thomas on TV last night, then you really should read this. The ‘New’ Labour government (read: ‘Conservative Lite’) promised to reform the law on Involuntary Manslaughter in October 1997 – and to introduce a new offence of Corporate Killing, to make companies take health and safety issues more seriously. Surprise, surprise – two elections later and this promise still hasn’t been fulfilled.

OK, enough politics – back to the shagging!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020411

Time
11:11
Britney looks set to appear in the next advert for ‘Chicken Tonight’.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020411

Time
11:32
You’ll pardon me for not noticing this before (I see large notes so rarely these days), but Mrs Doubtfire appears on the Australian $50 note.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020411

Time
11:47
Death to all gnomes! Hey, there’s even a flash game on this theme

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020411

Time
12:06
Do not click here if you are in any way squeamish or currently eating your lunch.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020411

Time
12:21
I was asked a day or so ago who I thought was doing it right on the web. My answer was ‘nobody’. I take it back. Somebody has, for the first time, actually succeeded. And hey, I can even take a little bit of the credit!

Tesco.com turns a profit.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020411
Search Engine Optimisation
Time
13:07
My little Lego site just went live in Google’s database and is now enjoying some healthy traffic. I won’t bore you with the Lego-related results (which are relatively easy to achieve), but just look at these generic search results for some of the vehicles featured on the site. Given the site’s complete lack of link popularity (early days) and the sheer number of competing sites that focus on Star Wars and Star Trek, I’m sure you’ll agree that these are some pretty hefty results indeed. Too bad the site doesn’t make any money. Yet…

Imperial Shuttle‘ – Rank: 3

Imperial Star Destroyer‘ – Rank: 6

TIE Interceptor‘ – Rank: 7

Klingon Bird Of Prey‘ – Rank: 3

(Heh – I’m a web geek and a Lego geek. How sad does that make me?)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020411

Time
13:41
Are you prone to Road Rage?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020411

Time
14:14
The black hole of music. And no, I’m not talking about Pop Idol.

BTW, have you seen the ad for this travesty yet? My Dog, will they stop at nothing?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020412

Time
09:12
Well, how about that – there’s an animal version of the crash test dummy.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020412

Time
09:26
A collection of blank cassette tapes and (thankfully) empty air sickness bags. I know the second one is an old link, but they kind of go together, don’t you think?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020412

Time
09:39
The U.S. is the prophesied Fourth Empire! We’re all going to die!

Best leave a note for the loved ones, then. Oh, and one for the milkman.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020412

Time
09:55
Hey, I like Weird Al too – but there is a line, and this guy crossed it years ago.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020412

Time
09:58
A woman was convicted Monday of helping her husband impregnate her teen-age daughter with a syringe. You’ll never guess which country this happened in…

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020412

Time
10:09
Damn it, I know I have a pair of 3D glasses somewhere in my desk.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020412

Time
11:36
This is my weblog.

There are many like it, but this one is mine.

My weblog is my best friend.

It is my life.

I must master it, as I must master my life.

Without me my weblog is useless.

Without my weblog, I am useless.

Heh – can you guess what movie I watched last night?

In case you’re from another planet, or have dismissed this film as ‘just another war movie’, you can read the summary here or ruin the movie before you see it by reading the entire script here.

Those of you who do know what I’m talking about might enjoy this Sgt. Hartman soundboard, or a visit to Gunnery SGT. R. Lee Ermey’s official site.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020412

Time
12:27
Wow, that caught me by surprise first time around. Google has a new feature that automatically refreshes your search if you (1) spell one or two words incorrectly and (2) that ‘incorrect’ search produces no results. Reliance on this can only add to my web-induced dyslexia, but what the hey.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020412
Flash Games
Time
12:31
Are you a happy God or a vengeful God? Hmm. Only mildly amusing, primarily due to a lack of sound.

Playing with the world’s biggest magnifying glass is much more fun.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020412

Time
14:34
Make your own Mr Man (you’ll need your speakers turned on to hear the instructions). Then, while you’re in the mood, go and learn your A-B-C’s.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020412

Time
16:29
WARNING! If you laugh at this, you’ll go straight to hell.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020412

Time
16:40
Get a free sample of dehydrated water.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020412

Time
16:41
Alexander the Great had conquered almost the entire known world by the time he was my age. See what a waste you’ve made of your life by entering your age here and compare your accomplishments with folks who obviously have better things to do than visit my dumb weblog every day.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020415

Time
09:14
As part of the Bush Administration’s ongoing efforts to obliterate all traces of terrorism in the United States, the Department of Justice has commenced registration of each and every American Patriot.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020415

Time
09:19
You know, the increasing activity by amateur/weekend spammers is really starting to get on my tits. In case you’ve missed past comments about this issue, the current economic climate is driving more and more people to try one spam scheme or another ‘just the once’. This has not only led to a general upswell of spam (typically delivered over the weekend) but also an increase in the number of spammers who simply ‘CC’ everybody on their paid-for list, exposing these addresses to yet more abuse (because everybody who receives the spam subsequently gets to see a big chunk of the list the spammer paid for). Also, being amateurs, they more often than not organise these addresses in their Outlook Express Address Book – resulting in many, many viruses being delivered via this notorious security hole, courtesy of this new generation of spammers. Collectively, they stand to do a lot more damage in the very near future because of this. The wankers.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020415

Time
09:44
A gallery of really bad greeting cards.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020415

Time
09:49
Just because you love trees, it doesn’t mean that the trees love you!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020415

Time
09:55
An entire Photoshop comp has bitten the dust. Why? Because the Henson Group stamped their little feet. Surely these works are protected under fair use?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020415

Time
10:15
It’s Peanut Butter Jelly Time!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020415

Time
10:25
Woo! Yay! My book must have sold well over the weekend. Just look at that sales rating – 572! If I sell just a couple more today, then I zip up to the top 100 and usually sell a couple of dozen more as a result (because I make the ‘top titles’ list for the business category if I rank above 120 or thereabouts). If you’ve ever thought about buying this book – please buy it today!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020415

Time
11:46
Steve Huey was suffering from an inoperable and fatal brain tumor. Doctors had given him only two months to live, so he decided to end it all by shooting himself in the head. The chances of him not only surviving this, but miraculously shooting out his brain tumor in the process were 254 million to one.

I’m sure you can guess what happened, though

(Cheers to Rogi for the link.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020415

Time
11:57
Do you think the pop music industry is at its lowest ebb ever? Think again.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020415

Time
12:40
Queen Mum, We Love You. Sweet. Touching. Evil.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020415

Time
14:47
Here’s the site of someone who does every lame quiz they come across. Hosted at Geocities, of course…

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020415

Time
15:03
Jakob Nielsen is thinking of the children.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020415

Time
15:05
You know those X-10 wireless mini-camera ads that have been popping up everywhere? The signal these cameras send out can be intercepted from more than a quarter-mile away by anyone with the right kit and a little know-how. There’s no law to stop such snoops from doing so, either.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020415

Time
15:11
WARNING! This link doesn’t work for everybody.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020415

Time
15:14
There are only 10 types of people in the world – those who understand binary, and those who don’t.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020415

Time
15:19
Oh God, I think I’m going to be sick!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020415

Time
16:57
Uh-oh. A good thing the web has so many dating sites, then.








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Tommy Hilfiger vs. Timmy Smellfinger

It’s no secret that I run more than one site. I happen to be quite involved in Search Engine Optimisation amongst other things, and one thing I do as part of this is run experimental sites to test methods and techniques.

One such site is smellfinger.com

In commercial terms it doesn’t serve much of a purpose beyond its largely academic use as a research tool. Mind you, I nearly always cater such sites to my interests to make the work more appealing.

In this case, the interest is focused on my objection to the commercial and marketing methods of Tommy Hilfiger.

Elitist. Racist. Both words could be used to describe the marketing approach of this label and many others, but in this particular case a decision was made to parody Tommy Hilfiger’s ridiculous advertising and the hedonistic standards that they promote.

I felt that this statement simply wouldn’t have been strong enough unless you were actually able to buy the clothes. Sadly, you can no longer do so through the Smellfinger site as the third party store (CafePress) has suspended my account after receiving notification from representatives of Tommy Hilfiger that the store ‘allegedly contains material which infringes upon her/his copyright rights’.

Oh, really?

First, let’s start with a direct comparison of the two logos:

The first thing you’ll probably notice is that the colours are different. The second is that the words are different. Those with poor vision who can’t read English might not be able to tell the difference, but this combined condition normally only exists within the populace of impoverished third world nations, and we all know that clothing labels like Tommy Hilfiger have no involvement or interest in such places.

Perhaps the people at Tommy Hilfiger think that they hold the copyright of the colours red, white and blue. This being the case, I would like to present some other examples of copyright infringement that they may wish to pursue:

OK, forgetting the colours for a moment, let’s get back to those words and what they represent, shall we?

‘Timmy Smellfinger'; what does this mean? It means that my name is Tim and I think that a certain company stinks. To be more precise, I think that it has blood on its hands. That’s just my opinion, mind you – but one that I have a right to voice, particularly in terms of parody when it comes to fair use. My right to express this in such a way is protected by the Copyright Act of 1976, which clearly states that:

“[I]n order to constitute the type of parody eligible for fair use protection, parody must do more than merely achieve comic effect. It must also make some critical comment or statement about the original work which reflects the original perspective of the parodist–thereby giving the parody social value beyond its entertainment function.”

Let’s look at that logo again:

There’s my name, there’s my statement, and yes, there’s the clear representation of blood on the hands.

As Tommy Hilfiger’s representatives have not contacted me about the removal of the site itself, I might assume one of two things:
– They’re using an easy-to-bully commercial enterprise to enforce a small measure of censorship.
– They are fully aware of my rights under ‘fair use’, so can do nothing about the site, but are of the opinion that, when seen out of context (i.e. on a t-shirt, away from the site) that the Smellfinger logo no longer qualifies as a statement or parody in a legal sense.

If the latter is the case, then I can only say “rubbish”.

It should be perfectly clear that a shirt adorned with the Smellfinger logo is not a Tommy Hilfiger logo, but rather an anti-Hilfiger statement. If anybody is in any doubt about it or requires more information, a URL appears on each item of clothing.

I’m in two minds as to what I should do about this. Sending a counter notice to have my CafePress store reactivated involves all sorts of headaches that I could do without.

Some would argue that I should be happy that I’ve got their attention, and that if the CafePress suspension was their best shot, then I should be happy with it as a result.

UPDATE – Within a month or two, this article was getting better search results and far more traffic than the actual site it was about (probably because Hilfiger’s actions and my published response provided far more useful information than the considerably gentle parody at smellfinger.com) so when the time came around the renew the domain, I simply let the site pass away into the ether.








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