Matt Vartan Steals META Tags

(Yes, I was inspired by the success of Bernard Shifman Is A Moron Spammer – who wouldn’t be?)

Last year, I was digging through my search engine results for buymybook and noticed something odd. A site called matcalfox.com was turning up in a lot of the same search results. I didn’t have to dig far to discover that the webmaster, one Matt Vartan, had stolen my META Tags and Page Title wholesale. (Erm, with one minor change. He switched the description from “Books on the Internet by Tim Ireland” to “Books on the Internet by MatCal Fox”…)

As he failed to answer me by email, I brought the issue up on his public guestbook. The exchange is quoted in full below:

[IMPORTANT UPDATE – Following this link to the guestbook is not recommended as it will more than likely crash your computer. Since this page featured on fark.com a large number of people have dropped by the guestbook to wish Matt Vartan well. At last count, it was over 22MB in size, including many unsavoury pictures and what looks to be the complete works of Hans Christian Anderson. There have also been recent reports of a virus implanted in the page. Do not visit this page without full protection.]

Gosh, those META tags at http://www.matcalfox.com/for500y.html look familiar.
Do you mind if I have them back?
Tim Ireland
USA – Thursday, November 08, 2001 at 06:25:38 (PST)

Unless, you have a copy right (sic) on a particular word, tags stays (sic).
There are no copy rights (sic) on English language.
Mat
USA – Saturday, November 24, 2001 at 14:02:49 (PST)

Mat, a unique configuration of words (be they used to create lyrics, a book, or even META Tags) are considered to be copyright protected. You’ve ripped mine off wholesale, word for word, in their entirety. I don’t see much of a grey area here, but thanks for showing everyone how much you care.
Tim Ireland
UK – Monday, January 07, 2002 at 04:05:22 (PST)

No copyright on the English language?! Perhaps I should release a bestseller under my own name and claim that I sourced the entire thing from the dictionary…

There was no reply to the last entry, but, lo and behold, my Page Title and META Tags were finally removed from the offending page. This has only happened fairly recently, because last time I looked, they were still live in Google’s cache.

I’ve since updated my title and tags anyway (because I now sell more than one book, therefore I’m no longer the ‘world’s smallest bookstore’) so you may be wondering what my beef is.

Well, let’s take a look at the aforementioned guestbook and see what you notice about it:

You have to laugh, really...

Yep, that’s right – I appear to be in very good company. Matt Vartan has also stolen the META Tags and Page Title for Amazon.com! (I’d cut and paste the two to compare them here, but you know how touchy some people are about their META Tags…)

So I dig deeper, only to discover that the ever-so-slightly misguided Matt Vartan has swiped META Tags from other sites for no less than a dozen of his own crappy web pages.

The list of offences is way too long to quote in full here (I know how short your attention span is, you loveable web surfers, you) but I will point out the most brazen and/or entertaining of them. Feel free to dig around for the rest.

This search result from Google will show you two side by side. The only change made to the Tags and Title being what now appears to be the trademark injection of the Matcal Fox name in place of any mention of the original code owner. Apart from Amazon, that is. Matt does not fear the wrath of Amazon.

Meta Tags courtesy of pagehome.com

It doesn’t seem to have any rhyme or reason to it either. Not satisfied with describing his guestbook as being the home of the world’s largest bookseller, Matt’s sports page has a woefully misspelled Page Title describing comedy videos, plus a list of keywords from a games site (hints, cheats, help, walkthrough, etc.) with a few movie titles tacked onto the end in high caps. (Well, at least he’s showing some creativity.)

Let’s move on to Matcal Fox’s Internet page (META Tags and Page Title courtesy of angelcitybooks.com).

Another example from angelcitybooks.com

Why he thinks that people searching for out-of-print books would be interested in his ‘Internet’ page is anybody’s guess – especially as it’s made up of one Alta Vista search box and three affiliate links.

What kind of person would fall for this kind of META Tag theft (and, let’s face it, Spam)? Perhaps the same kind of person who looks for employment by searching for movie westerns..

Unemployment Westerns? WTF?!

Well, that’s it really. I can’t be bothered digging any deeper because looking at his site makes my head hurt. I don’t really expect you to take any action, either. What can you possibly do to educate a man who is so shameless and so very, very clueless? Just remember him in your prayers, that’s all I ask.

UPDATE 2 – This page made the top result in Google for the search query ‘Matt Vartan’. Justice is done.

(Oh, and the ‘Male image galleries’ result? Nowt to do with me, but funny all the same…)

Another example from angelcitybooks.com

UPDATE 3 – The Matcalfox guestbook now appears to be all cleaned up, with the tags and titles he ripped off left stubbornly in place (same goes for the rest of the site). The guestbook now features a message from Matt about ‘not giving up’ (he actually quotes from well-known web renegade Winston Churchill of all people). Looks like he’s gonna keep those Amazon META Tags until he gets a letter from their lawyers…

UPDATE 3 – (Nov 02 2004) The Matcalfox website has now disappeared without trace. Matt Vartan himself appears to have left teh Interweb. Probably in a huff, if I’m in any judge.








Posted in Search Engine Optimisation | Comments Off

01-15 February, 2002

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Date
20020201

Time
09:36
Remember the 16-year-old from yesterday’s blog who got busted masturbating over Internet porn by his mother? That’s nothing. This kid is only 15 and has just been busted for running his very own Internet child pornography ring. He is so grounded.

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Date
20020201

Time
09:40
I saw it, but I didn’t believe it and didn’t link it. A good thing, too, as snopes has come through with the hard facts about that ‘death by stripper’ story.

I did fall for the orbiting laser cannons, though. Shame on me.

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Date
20020201

Time
09:46
Scrapheap Challenge is about to go to the next level. I don’t think we should expect fights to the death anytime soon, but it certainly sounds promising.

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Date
20020201

Time
09:48
Germany refuses to recognize Scientology as a church, saying it masquerades as a religion to make money. Well, that’s just plain unfair!

There’s no need to panic, though kids…Tom Cruise is on the case.

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Date
20020201

Time
09:53
Some rich bastard, clearly not satisfied with mere general derision, feels it necessary to bait the population with a techno version of John Lennon’s ‘Imagine’.

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Date
20020201
Welcome to Pop-Up Hell
Time
10:43


I just happened across this very scary example of a pop-up alert box. Normally these little buggers say something like; “Would you like to earn $5000 a month from home?” or something equally sad/disturbing, but this one, quite entertainingly I thought, offered me the unique opportunity of blind compliance.

There’s no ‘Cancel’ option, so there goes the ‘nay’ vote. Even the ‘Close’ button is disabled, so I can’t abstain either – all that’s left is ‘OK’ – but ‘OK’ to what exactly?

Setting my home page to www.xxxteenfarmgirlsoncrack.com?

Wiping my C: drive?

Selling my soul to Satan, the Prince of Darkness?

I have to do something soon. I mean, I can’t just sit here and stare at it all day – but my curiosity is stopping me from simply Ctrl+Alt+Deleting its sorry arse off my screen and forgetting about it.

I’ll let you know what develops…

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Date
20020201

Time
14:22


They just unveiled the new statue of Thatcher but can’t decide where to put it.

Some want it displayed in the House of Commons but, as the article points out, ‘tradition dictates that Prime Ministers cannot be portrayed at Westminster during their lifetime’. I can guess what the typical response to that will be.

Me, I’ve mellowed since the 80’s. I’d be happy to see it anyplace where pigeons can shit on it.

You can see the bloggerheads version of the statue by clicking here.

Oops – here’s another one…

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Date
20020205

Time
10:33
Get tips on using the Internet from Honor Blackman

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Date
20020205

Time
10:37
Slightly insane bus drivers makes everyone happy. I prefer the guy named ‘Otto’ (yes, really) who took a school bus on a 100-mile detour.

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Date
20020205

Time
12:27
Finally, the Ultimate Insult gets its own domain. Update your links, peeps.

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Date
20020205

Time
12:28
Don’t forget to vote for me in the Anti-Bloggies.

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Date
20020205

Time
14:40
Thought Chick Publications had the Christian comic book marketing cornered? Think again.

Check out this fantastic anti-porn message from The Truth For Youth.

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Date
20020205
Flash Games
Time
14:43
Get addicted to bouncing galactic octopoids.

(While we’re on the subject – is the plural for ‘octopus’ octopi, octopuses or octopodes?. I’m sure you’re just dying to know.)

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Date
20020205

Time
15:24
A man in Florida with a machete beheaded another man during a fight, then placed the severed head on the hood of a car as neighbors watched. Police say the culprit has a history of mental illness.

No! Really?

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Date
20020205
Latest Viral Agent
Time
15:29
Playmore. It’s like a claymore, only potentially more damaging to those in its vicinity.

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Date
20020206

Time
09:22
The only man at the Institute of Contemporary Arts with taste and common sense has quit. He actually thinks, like the rest of us, that most modern art is “pretentious, self-indulgent, craftless tat”. Funnily enough, the rest of the board ganged up on him after this statement and made him fall on his sword.

Hmmm, I just had a great idea for an installation piece…

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Date
20020206
Flash Games
Time
09:26
It’s the Enron Blame Game! I’ll take Kenneth Lay for $300…

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Date
20020206
Naming and Shaming
Time
12:06
Bernard Shifman should be proud. He’s just inspired a generation of namers and shamers – myself included:

Matt Vartan Steals META Tags!

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Date
20020206

Time
13:30
Ronald Reagan is just been announced as the longest living former chief executive. Jinx!

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Date
20020206
What’s Wrong With This Picture?
Time
13:51
The following is taken from the list of Walker’s crisp flavours that are ‘suitable for vegetarians’:

- Walkers Beef & Onion Crisps

- Walkers Smoky Bacon Crisps

- Walkers Roast Chicken Crisps

WTF?!

Crisp fans will note with interest the absence of Cheese and Onion flavour from the list at the site. This is because the cheese powder is made with animal rennet. What’s ‘animal rennet’? It’s an enzyme taken from the stomach of killed newly-born calves. Yum!

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Date
20020207

Time
09:54
More bootleg mixes than you can poke a stick at (link courtesy of popbitch).

This Eminem version of Michael Jackson’s ‘Billie Jean’ is pretty seamless, but I still prefer Diffusion’s Eminem Vs Bob The Builder Mashup (call me biased if you must).

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Date
20020207
Flash Games
Time
10:48
Incriminati 2 is here! New! Improved! Now with added Jonathan King!

hehehehe

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Date
20020207

Time
11:56
Sexy East European girls in fast cars. I can’t get enough of ‘em.

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Date
20020207

Time
15:12
I wondered this myself: why is Carrot Top famous?

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Date
20020207
Recycling
Time
15:39
Challenge your mind with the Google Paradox. If you search for Google in Google, then click on the link for the version of Google that’s held in Google’s cache, then you will clearly see that Google it is not affiliated with itself, nor responsible for its own content. Figure that out.

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Date
20020207

Time
15:55
What do you mean “I’m not on the list”?

Tch!

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Date
20020208

Time
09:49
Since featuring on fark.com yesterday, the Matt Vartan Steals META Tags page has received over 10,000 visitors. Blogging will be a little slow this morning, as I have a slight backlog of email to deal with.

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Date
20020208

Time
10:16
You know, now that I think about it, there are a lot of single dads on television.

“Say…do you like gladiator movies, Billy?”

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Date
20020208

Time
10:58
I sense a theme forming today… Discover your lesbian name.

Mine’s Mugwort ProudCheeks

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Date
20020208

Time
16:43

I do apologise for the lack of blogs today. I’ve been ever so busy!

Here’s a quick one to tide you over for the weekend – a tasty meal made especially for the latest farkin’ Photoshopping competition.

Remember who to vote for, people…

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Date
20020211
May the Lord bless you and keep you etc.
Time
08:57
Want to know your rights when testifying in public? Chick has the answer!

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Date
20020211

Time
09:01
Oven-baked Palm Pilot.

Mmmm, Palm Pilot (drool)…

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Date
20020211

Time
09:04
Interesting that a journalist would take the piss out of blogs like this. Where does he think that the next generation of journalists is coming from?

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Date
20020211

Time
09:07
God gives me a full-on robot chubby.

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Date
20020211

Time
09:08
Hmmm, I don’t even remember signing up for the scheme, but Nextcard saw fit to email me during the early hours of Saturday morning to let me know that it was all over:

“NextCard is no longer accepting credit card applications. We apologize for the short notice, as we just received these instructions. Please remove all NextCard links immediately, and please discontinue all current and future plans for NextCard advertising.”

The site’s gone, gone, gone but there’s still lots in the Wayback Machine, including an archive from late last week. Looks like they didn’t even see it coming.

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Date
20020211

Time
09:18
another.com is auctioning thousands of surplus domain names.

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Date
20020211

Time
10:40

It’s long been a dream of mine to see my name in biscuits, now I need dream no longer…

See your name in biscuits here.

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Date
20020211

Time
10:57
Guess which site is the top result in Google for the search query ‘Matt Vartan‘…

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Date
20020212

Time
09:28
Antibloggies – the results are in.

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Date
20020212

Time
09:29
Giant Gippsland Earthworm revealed to be a hoax.

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Date
20020212

Time
10:23
- Intricate and realistic mosque design

- Authentic ‘call to prayer’ alarm

- Glow in the dark face

- Reflective dome with gold finish

- Twin minarets

- Spring-loaded responsive ‘on-off’ button?!

OK, OK, you sold me. I gotta buy a Mosque Clock; even if only because it makes the perfect Christmas gift!

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Date
20020212

Time
16:04
Go on – have a cow.

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Date
20020212

Time
16:29
Yet another short and sweet version of Lord Of The Rings.

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Date
20020213

Time
08:59
We’re going to be on a bit of a religious kick today, as I’ve just launched my very own church.

Let’s begin the day by finding out what kind of Jesus you are and go downhill from there, shall we?

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Date
20020213

Time
09:04
Kick ass for Jesus with the Christian Martial Arts Ministry.

Hiiiiiiiyalujah!

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Date
20020213

Time
09:27
Get horny for God!

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Date
20020213

Time
10:07


Further proof that the web offers everything:

Creationist Clip Art.

This one’s my favourite…

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Date
20020213

Time
10:46
A cool link from The Ultimate Insult:

Tortures and Torments of the Christian Martyrs. Includes many juicy images with frank descriptions.

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Date
20020213

Time
11:20
We take a break from our regular programming to urge you to sign the ‘Save Futurama’ petition.

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Date
20020213

Time
15:42
This chap seems to have a problem with Chick Publications.

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Date
20020213

Time
16:35
Ah me, this brings back memories – Christ On A Bike.

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Date
20020213

Time
16:36
Will you be taken up to heaven when the rapture comes? Send your friends, family and other non-believers an automatic email letting them know what the heck happened to you.

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Date
20020213

Time
17:14
Are you a teen addicted to Jesus?

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Date
20020213

Time
17:16
This is like shooting fish in a barrel, so I’ll let the Adult Christianity site take up the slack from here and toodle off to bed. I’ll be back tomorrow and in the mood for lurve.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020214

Time
09:16
Don’t forget: transforming robots need love too.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020214

Time
09:29
Share this woman’s experience with online personals.

“I ran a series of personal ads last year, which attracted the likes of which I never expected! Married men looking for flings, the grammatically challenged, freaky sick perverts, men who don’t even speak the same language I do… you name it!”

There’s much to see and read here, but if you’re in a hurry you might want to just scan the categorised replies.

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Date
20020214

Time
09:51
Valentines Day got you down? Did you only get one pity card saying ‘choo-choo-choose me’?

Cheer up, friend – life could be worse. In fact, your love life could be so consistently disastrous as to drive you to buy a ‘Real Doll’ and spend a disturbing amount of time showering it with affection (and, presumably, bodily fluids). That’s just what Gordon Griggs has done and he explains his reasons for buying the most realistic sex-doll on the planet on this page. There are many, many pictures of the doll (named ‘Ginger’) dressed and posed in a number of ways, and even a pic of the man himself stashed waaay down the back. Enjoy.

[UPDATE – Geocities takes this site down from time to time as it often ‘exceeds its allocated data transfer’, but keep the link handy and do check it out when you can. It’s a great site, and well worth waiting for. In the meantime, you might want to entertain yourself by visting this Real Doll repairman.]

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Date
20020214
Burning Love
Time
10:58
Stuck for a date this Saturday night? Meet people with herpes.

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Date
20020214

Time
11:06
The perfect Valentine’s gift for the big prick in your life.

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Date
20020214

Time
11:25
“Darling, would you like my last Rolo?”

BLAM!!!


A man with a ‘long history of mental health problems’ shot his girlfriend because he thought she was about to say words that inexplicably send him into a rage (words like “Snickers” and “Mars”). Good thing he shot her before she did, then. There’s no telling what might have happended had he gone into a rage.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020214
Latest Viral Agent
Time
11:33
Give a little boxlove and send your valentine an inflatable bondage bear.

Arrgh… being possessed… by… spirit of evil Elvis… must… sing…

(And a one and a two and a three…)

Oh let me be,

You bondage bear.

Use your leather whips and chains,

And beat me anywhere.

Oh let me be,

Your bondage bear.

thangyouverymuch

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020214

Time
12:17
There are now fifty-five ways to leave your lover.

Here are the new additions, please update your Paul Simon albums.

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Date
20020214

Time
12:57
Don’t let other people push you around.

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Date
20020214

Time
13:08
It’s the First Annual Geek Love Photo Contest! “Take a picture of yourself expressing your amorous intents to your favorite geek possession and you could win!”

Now, where’s my Palm Pilot?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020214

Time
13:12
OK, someone loves you, but do you love yourself?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020214

Time
13:25
Let her know where she stands with a pimp card.

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Date
20020214

Time
13:35
Right, I’m off to pledge my love (to the pixies that live in the bottom of my garden). I’d like, if may, to end the VD blogging with three little words.

Have a good afternoon/night all. Here’s hoping that you get lucky.

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Date
20020215

Time
09:34
The following sites have recently blogged/linked The Universal Church of the Interactive Network.

Thanks for the love, people. May the bandwidth bless you and keep you.

http://www.bbspot.com/

http://www.crackbaby.com/

http://www.ultimateinsult.net/

http://offonatangent.blogspot.com/

http://www.randomdrivel.com/

http://www.subneural.com/

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

http://www.zgeek.com/

http://ryanheffley.no-ip.com/

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Date
20020215

Time
09:37
Somebody else is on the case, too:

Behold the blogger’s manifesto.

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Date
20020215

Time
09:44
Indecisive? Let the Internet decide for you.Yet another great idea from the world of b3ta.

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Date
20020215

Time
10:55
Could this site be any uglier?

Erm, yes, yes it could

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Date
20020215

Time
11:04

I just finished a new banner for the church. What do you think, is it convincing enough?

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Date
20020215

Time
11:33
Poodle rage. Now I’m not a big fan of poodles, but there are limits.

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Date
20020215

Time
13:34
Get your 15 minutes of fame with the Warholiser.

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Date
20020215

Time
14:59
How geeks propose. Yes, there’s a happy ending.

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Date
20020215

Time
16:48
Live your live according to the law of the playground.

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Date
20020215

Time
16:51
The Halifax bank mistakenly used the number of a gay chatline when it sent out helpline information to 15,000 members.

hehehehe

Oh dear, what a difference a digit makes.








Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Send Pretzels to the President

excellent pic by farker rik

According to 18 USC Sec. 871, it’s a federal offence to send threatening messages to the President – but what would happen if you sent him a bag of pretzels?

Would you get a generic note of thanks, or a knock on the door in the middle of the night?

Frankly, we’re curious – and we need your help to find out.

If you live in the U.S., have a credit card and would like to live life on the edge, you can send the President a bag of pretzels via any of these companies:


Martin’s Pretzels
The Ultimate Pretzel Company
Unique Splits

The address you’ll need for delivery is:

George Dubya Bush
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

Some delivery forms may require a contact number at the delivery address. Should you need it, the phone number of the main switchboard at The White House is:

202-456-1414

Once you’ve sent a gift bag, send us an email and let us know. You might also want to include details of your next of kin in this email just in case they never hear from you again and we have to tell them why you disappeared so suddenly without packing any bags or feeding the cat.

If you get a nice letter back from his staff, then please do send or scan us a copy and we’ll publish it for the world to see.

Good luck on your mission, kids – and remember to check the spyhole before opening the door to strangers!








Posted in George W. Bush | Comments Off

16-31 January, 2002

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Date
20020116

Time
09:08


Hey, I finally won a Photoshopping competition over at Fark! And there’s a prize this time!

It’s a pretty average prize and I’m taking part in The Great Fark Sellout of 2002, but it’s a prize just the same.

A good start to the morning. Let’s see what other trouble I can get into today….

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Date
20020116

Time
10:43
Bloggercode is now much more useful with this decoder.

Cut and paste this into it for a peek at my brain:

B1 d++ t+ k+ s++ u– f++ i o+ x– e- l c–

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020116

Time
10:47
Porn falls behind in web usage statistics. Article also claims that many web users prefer gambling to porn.

I wouldn’t bet on that…

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020116

Time
10:49
Dear Dog, what was this woman thinking? Does she actually have any internal organs?

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Date
20020116

Time
10:53
The UK couple who abandoned their baby near Faro airport in Portugal have been questioned by police. Nobody’s sure if charges can/will be laid yet, but if they have problems with this, perhaps police can ‘Capone‘ the two by investigating their timeshare selling activities.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020116

Time
12:23
Ah me, ah my. Monkeys. Is there anything they can’t do?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020116

Time
13:27
You’ve no doubt seen widespread coverage of the whole ‘willy in the Euro’ thing. Sorry everyone, but I saw it first. Nerny, nerny, ner-ner, etc.

Oh, while we’re on the subject, New Scientist have just reported that the coin doesn’t flip fairly, and comes up ‘heads’ more often. Must have something to do with that large floppy willy on the ‘tails’ side weighing it down.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020116
Latest Viral Agent
Time
14:21
Overcome nonsense in the workplace with, erm, custard pies. This new flash game from BT is meant to make you think what a good idea BT’s ‘real connections and real results’ are as you dodge and splat IT Consultants, Team Builders, Management Consultants and Feng Shui Gurus. I have a feeling that something went astray somewhere between the concept and the execution, but one good thing about the game is the entry format. A lot of recent games have offered prizes only for entrants with top ranking scores, thereby alienating about 99% of their potential opt-in database. This one not only lets you enter no matter what your score, but also increases your chances of winning when you forward your score to friends (and thereby spread the virus as your throw down the gauntlet).

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020116

Time
14:59
Nothing could be more typical of London.

Council issues £60 parking fine to toddler with pedal car.

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Date
20020116
Adam Ant – Again
Time
15:49
Let me get this straight; Adam Ant made a rambling, incoherent call to both The Sun and The Mirror protesting his incarceration in a mental ward? Clinically depressed he may be, but he’s not doing himself any favours…

Tell you what; let’s all cheer him up by buying his album.

(US buyers might want to click here.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020116

Time
16:37
Talking scales call man a ‘fat pig’. Teen hackers blamed.

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Date
20020117

Time
09:15
I was a 20-something dethroned dotcom CEO that went to work the counter at McDonald’s. He’s got the fry-basket burn to prove it, too.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020117

Time
09:16
Osama bin Laden has escaped Afghanistan to regions unknown. CIA urges citizens to look under their beds.

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Date
20020117

Time
09:19
According to the United States Code 18 USC Sec. 871, it is a federal offence to send threatening messages to the President. Does that include sending him pretzels?

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Date
20020117

Time
12:03
A plaque intended as a gift from the city of Lauderhill, Florida to James Earl Jones (who’s already slated as the voice of Darth Vader for Star Wars Ep III, by the way), arrived in plenty of time for his appearance at the city’s annual Martin Luther King celebration. The only problem was that the company who made the plaque mistakenly used the name ‘James Earl Ray’. James Earl Ray was the man who shot and killed King in 1968. Oops.

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Date
20020117

Time
12:17
The Space Robots are here to protect you from the terrible secret of space. See what happens when push comes to shove.

(Yes, you do recognise that musical style and they are indeed the nutbags behind the AYB soundtrack. Buy some of their music and keep them of the streets, FFS!)

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Date
20020117

Time
14:41
Let me get something straight here; Viz is only funny (and might I add, not as funny as it used to be) because they actually managed to get their rubbish into print. This isn’t funny at all. No, I’m serious – don’t click on the link. Right now I’m not even sure why I’m blogging it in the first place, but I certainly don’t want to go back and touch the URL again – even to delete it. Ewww!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020117

Time
15:42
So much for our ‘special relationship’. Time magazine just released a comparitive city-by-city report of terrorism readiness. Nothing outside the US rates a mention.

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Date
20020117

Time
15:47
British camera crew hopes to capture photographic proof of doorway leading to another dimension. Expedition to New Jersey begins well with drinks on the plane.

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Date
20020117

Time
16:03
AOL actually have a section on newsgroup etiquette. Hard to believe, I know.

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Date
20020117

Time
16:16
Only you can help stop Word attachments.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020117

Time
16:29
Best Photoshop competition ever is on now over at Worth1000: ‘What if Superheroes had Day Jobs?’

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Date
20020117

Time
17:12


Out of all the dead weblogs, I miss Caroline Casey’s the most.

*sigh*

(BTW, you don’t need to point out that the f**ked weblog site is f**ked itself. I understand irony.)

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Date
20020118

Time
09:55
Into Xiao stick figure action? Here’s the whole collection.

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Date
20020118

Time
09:58
Dying for a fag? Tried patches, gum and inhalers to no effect?

What you need is pure, wholesome Nicotine Water.

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Date
20020118

Time
10:21
Which Drink Are You? is riding pretty high in the Blogdex charts. A lot this has to do with the fact that, when you use it to find out what drink you are (I’m a Brandy Alexander, BTW) it provides you with some HTML to cut and paste into your page, so you can show the world a picture of the drink you are. This works in very much the same way as the now defunct James Bond Villain Personality Test (which also performed equally well at Blogdex). The secret is in that HTML, ladies and gentlemen. Weblogs are transient things that often change content daily, so getting 20+ people to link to you on the same day is often what it takes to get that top spot on Blogdex. Because not all blogs are powered by HTML, giving people code for something like this often calls for them to cut and paste the item outside of their transitory content where it may sit for some time, allowing you to build link popularity over a few days rather than 12-24 hours. There you go, you’ve just learned something new – now enough with the quizzes, OK?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020118
Photoshopping
Time
10:31
What features would you like added to the next version of Photoshop?

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Date
20020118

Time
10:48
No more buyers for cool domain names. ‘Google Effect‘ blamed.

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Date
20020118
Can’t Sleep, Lizards Will Eat Me…
Time
13:30
OK, so this guy dies and his seven (count ‘em, seven) monitor lizards feast on his body. Question is, did he die of natural causes or did the lizards kill him? The Delaware state medical examiner is on the case.

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Date
20020118

Time
13:43
Another joyful link from The Ultimate Insult, and this one’s a classic.

Check out this video of a kid selling beer. It’s a 1.8MB Windows Media File, but definitely worth the download. The stunt was pulled by the eejits from The Man Show on Comedy Central.

See it today.

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Date
20020118

Time
13:54
While we’ve got you warmed up on videos, check out this fan-tast-tic piece from Industrial Light and Magic. This one’s a Quicktime file, and clocks in at a hefty 47MB. You heard me; Forty. Seven. Megabytes. Is it worth it? Hell, yes.

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Date
20020118

Time
14:08
Man, I just got my ass kicked by Jonathan Ross. Cool and easy to play flash game, this one. Looks like some actual thought went into it. Impwessive.

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Date
20020118

Time
14:26
Introducing The Tim LaHaye School of Prophecy, a ‘continuing one-year resident course of study’ taught by Tim (that’s him over there on the right) and ‘some of the most renowned Bible prophecy scholars in the world today’. They’re offering an 80% tuition scholarship to the first 500 Charter Students who enroll during this first year. Although tuition for the School of Prophecy is US$10,000, this scholarship enables the first 500 students to enroll for only US$2,000. A bargain, and no mistake. Think how much better your life would be with the power of biblical prophecy behind you. Or is that ‘in front of you’? Oh hell, I think I’ll just take my two thousand bucks and go spend it on hookers.

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Date
20020118

Time
14:47
Oops. Forgot to blog this.

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Date
20020118

Time
15:14
A mother of three children became so fed up with Jehovah’s Witnesses calling at her home that she interrupted their Sunday service by banging on their church door and offering them free magazines.

Tee-hee. Reminds me of my very first religion. In 1996 I formed The Moron’s Church of Late in the Day Satanists. The church existed primarily as a justification for giving visiting Mormons a pamphlet of my own – explaining why they shouldn’t come knocking on my door and waking me up at midday, because I not only worshipped Satan (and was therefore a lost cause) but also needed my sleep after working/partying throughout the previous night and was liable to do them serious damage if they didn’t get the fark off my porch and let me get back to bed.

It was reformed as the Church of the Blessed Cotton Socks as I got older and mellowed out a bit. I might start a better one soon, but first I have to do some calculations regarding the distance of and visibility from your standard medium earth orbit (trust me, it’s kinda important).

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020121

Time
09:23
Some mornings I wake up with an alternative version to a song and can’t get it out of my head.

Today? Me and Kirk and Bones; we got a thing goin’ on

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Date
20020121
Beta Testing
Time
09:26
Blogtrack looks kind of promising, offering as it does to scan your favourite blogs for changes. Hmm, we’ll see how it goes, but until now I’ve been using Spyonit.com and been very happy with it.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020121

Time
09:29
Schoolchildren struggle to identify fruit and veg; do better on ‘ship, cup, speeder’ test.

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Date
20020121

Time
10:19
Wallace and Gromit back at last. World rejoices.

(See some hi-res screengrabs here).

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020121

Time
10:34
Powered human exoskeletons now a reality. Superman looking forward to ‘lots of overtime’ fighting mechanically augmented nutbags.

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Date
20020121

Time
11:19
Ho-hum. Just another day at the arse races.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020121

Time
12:05
Aren’t you glad of the lengths the U.S. will go to to protect our ‘freedom’?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020121

Time
12:54
Police giving a speech about drug use at a UK school brought along a sniffer dog as a visual aid. The dog sniffed out four pot smokers in the class but, disappointingly, failed to nark the teacher. Hmm, I wonder if a corgi could be trained for this kind of work?

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Date
20020121
Latest Viral Agent
Time
13:35
It’s a flash game; it’s aimed at ‘affluent women’; it has something called a ‘fur index’…

I know, I got kind of excited, too – until I found out it’s a back-waxing challenge.

Exactly what it has to do with flogging cars is anybody’s guess, but maybe you can work it out by playing Wax-A-Wimp.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020121
Photoshopping
Time
16:48
The greatest Photoshopping comp of all time:

Something Awful Vs. Fark – to be judged by Wil Wheaton no less!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020122

Time
09:33


A cool one to start the morning with – My Virtual Model lets you create a 3D model of yourself based on your input regarding weight, height, build, features, etc. Results vary, but mine turned out pretty realistic. In fact, for reasons of privacy I thought it best to rotate mine 180° for the screengrab (that, plus I was a little too specific in my description and my model was sporting morning wood).


. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020122

Time
09:52
Apparently this is a Democracy Of Photographs. Fair enough. This is a Confederacy of Dunces.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020122
Latest Viral Agent
Time
09:58
The email that announces this one says it all:

“Come and help Victoria rescue the hearts in the Enchanted Forest.”

Sheesh!

See Victoria Beckham’s viral thingy here.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020122

Time
11:10
A man who tried to convince Canadian authorities he was an uppercrust Englishman suffering from memory loss may in fact be a gay porn star from France. No doubt his moustache gave him away.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020122

Time
13:38
Those caught relieving themselves in the great outdoors in Akron, Ohio were previously charged with public indecency, but city prosecutors had trouble nailing offenders due to the burden of proof. Now they just plan on busting you for liquid littering.

“Littering provides that you may not deposit stuff on the ground — you must deposit it in a container,” explained City Prosecutor Doug Powley. Not much good if, like most repeat offenders in Akron, you don’t have a pot to piss in.

(BTW, this is the same town that last December announced the planned use of prostitution law against nude or topless dancers. Is there no end to their creativity?)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020122

Time
13:53
LOL! Check out the top search result for ‘moustache’.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020122

Time
14:28
My facism receptivity level is 3.4 – find out what yours is with this online version of the F Scale.

(I know I said ‘no more quizzes’, but this one is 50 years old, so deserves a break…)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020122

Time
20:22


The world’s greatest photoshopping competition (between Fark and SomethingAwful) continues – and here I am staying late at work to compete.

Dog, how pathetic is that?

You can see my latest entry (and vote for it) by clicking here.

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Date
20020122

Time
20:26
I found the basis for the competition graphic at the awesome Ad*Access database.

Do check it out; it’s bound to keep you happy for hours.

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Date
20020123
Christianity Watch
Time
09:03


Those of us who paid attention in Sunday School will remember that the rainbow was God’s promise never to lose his temper again:

Genesis 9, Verses 14-15

“Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life.”

The only problem is that those pesky homosexuals are using the Lord’s trademark ‘for un-Godly purposes’. Praise be that reclaimtherainbow.com is on the case.

(Oh, and while we’re on the subject, when I was looking for a cool picture of the aforementioned rainbow over the ark, I found this great site; Jesus, Dinosaurs and More, ‘a webpage of Scientific evidence supporting the Biblical account of Creation’.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020123

Time
09:23
Think the browser war is over? Think again. On Tuesday, Netscape’s parent company AOL-Time Warner sued Microsoft, seeking damages for anticompetitive behavior.

The Register has the story, as does Salon.com, the BBC, etc. etc. etc.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020123

Time
09:37
Well, here’s a newsflash for you: living in London sucks. A survey commissioned by Mayor ‘Red’ Ken Livingstone has found, amongst other things, that 20% want to leave. I did. London is a heartless beast that sucks the life right out of you.

(Hey don’t send me hate-mail – argue about it here if you feel you must.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020123

Time
10:16
LOL – a cracker from August of alt.ozdebate:

“A study in Scotland showed that the kind of male face a woman finds attractive can differ on where a woman is in her menstrual cycle. For instance, if she is ovulating she is attracted to men with rugged, masculine features and if she is menstruating she is more prone to be attracted to a man with scissors shoved in his temple.”

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020123

Time
10:27
Tyson loses it. Again. (Complete with video.)

In the same article; Tyson accused of rape. Again.

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Date
20020123

Time
11:01
You’ll have to trust me when I tell you that the whole search engine thing is very, very complicated. Still, this groovy search engine relationship chart goes some way to explaining who feeds off who.

(Links to .pdf file that requires your standard Adobe reader.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020123

Time
11:24
Yeah, like the world needs a Random Kitten Generator. I prefer The Switchblade Kittens myself.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020123

Time
13:07
Out-of-control gastric virus gives everyone the s**ts.

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Date
20020123

Time
16:30
What’s scarier than The Birds? The Flock Of Seagulls comeback attempt.

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Date
20020124

Time
09:25
The WayBack Machine is an awesome tool (and has been indispensable lately, especially with so many commercial sites disappearing off their servers). Amazed that this kind of thing can be done at all? Well, here’s how they did it.

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Date
20020124

Time
09:32
SarkieGit has had this feature on her site for a couple of years now – but someone brought it to my attention again yesterday and, damn it, it’s worth blogging. Watch SarkieGit cut loose on some genuine personals ads – oh, and if you have the time, dig around and see what she has to say about her sister…

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020124

Time
09:39
The guys in the building next to us are moving out, and a lot of stuff is ending up in the skip. The scavenger inside me is crying out to be cut loose – especially as the company makes composites for McLaren. I wonder if anyone would notice if I slipped an F1 shell over my old Mazda?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020124

Time
13:22
Googlewhacking is a great new sport for those of us lucky enough to get indexed regularly by Google. I have to admit to playing around with this kind of thing for quite a while (and not just with Google), but the best I could come up with this afternoon was a possible score of 2,682,700,000 for newsgroup casuist. (Mind you, I was going for a combination that actually meant something. Check the beautiful synergy on those numbers, too…)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020124

Time
14:55
Orbiting Space Lasers were a hoax. No free energy to be had from boiling oceans. Fish breathe a collective sigh of relief.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020124

Time
15:19
Take a peek at Anne Frank’s diary.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020124

Time
16:25
Send messages to MIT students sitting on the can.

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Date
20020124

Time
16:28
Na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na – cat flash!

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Date
20020125

Time
09:55
From Logia, the home of biblically-based food, comes The Bible Bar – a ‘complete, wholesome food jam packed with nutritional and spiritual goodness’. Mmmm, tasty!

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Date
20020125

Time
09:59
George Bush: This Is Me.

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Date
20020125

Time
10:32
Name that beer bottle? Why would I want to do that? I’m trying to give the stuff up!

Why are you tormenting me like this?

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Date
20020125

Time
10:36
Convert any picture to HTML? I’m there!

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Date
20020125

Time
10:38
There was one invention of the Egyptians that revolutionised their lives, but also ensured that most of their sociological and historial records would be lost forever. That invention was papyrus. Today, most of what we write is stored magnetically as binary code. How are we going to preserve it?

(Oh, if anyone from the future is reading this scrap of information, the rest of the weblog can be found carved on a stone tablet in the cavern of the crescent moon…)

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Date
20020125

Time
10:59
Make Wendy Craig swear. It’s only as rude as you want it to be.

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Date
20020125

Time
11:21
Well, somebody cares. The SomethingAwful Vs. Fark photoshopping smackdown just got some coverage.

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Date
20020125

Time
11:51
School bus driver takes kids on 100 mile detour.

Hard to believe? How about this… the driver’s name is ‘Otto’.

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Date
20020125

Time
11:59
Twister for consenting adults. (Bottle of baby oil optional.)

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Date
20020125

Time
13:45
Australia gets drunk, wakes up in North Atlantic.



Enjoy Australia Day, everyone!

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Date
20020125

Time
14:07
Every home needs a toilet seat lifter. I’m buying two.

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Date
20020125
Photoshopping
Time
16:49


Right, I’ve sent my last entry in for the Fark Vs. SomethingAwful photoshopping competition, then I’m giving up. That’s it. No more.

Oh, OK – maybe just one more for our esteemed judge…

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Date
20020128

Time
09:32
Here’s a head-wrecker to start your morning. See if you can say the word and not the colour.

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Date
20020128

Time
10:26
By completely missing International Internet Free day I’ve unwittingly contributed to it. Weird, huh?

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Date
20020128

Time
10:31
Getting probed could cost you dearly.

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Date
20020128

Time
10:50
Harry Pothead and the Magical Herb. Nowt to do with the prince of the same name, but funny just the same.

(Link lifted from The Ultimate Insult.)

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Date
20020128

Time
10:55
Personally, I find it quite ironic that overpaid football players get toey when people throw yet more money at them. Coincidentally, they’re having more or less the same problem over at the Milwaukee County Zoo. Monkeys fling faces, we throw money. Go figure.

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Date
20020128

Time
11:32
Kerry Packer is a rich bastard. Correction: Kerry Packer is now an even richer bastard.

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Date
20020128

Time
11:39
Hear’Say hold auditions to replace Kym Marsh.

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Date
20020128

Time
11:48
It seems like this recording of a prank phone call (‘you kicked my dog’) has been around forever, but perhaps this enhanced flash version will be amusing to someone, somewhere.

(Warning: Contains a racial stereotype and plenty of dangdoodle cusswords.)

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Date
20020128
More Karate
Time
12:00
Hand Karate‘? Looks like ‘rock, paper, scissors’ to me. Still, the ‘loading’ message made me smile.

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Date
20020128

Time
12:56
This is a strikingly beautiful piece of flash – and not just because it’s got Eva Herzigova in it.

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Date
20020128

Time
13:29
Vultures are circling the Queen Mother again…

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Date
20020128

Time
16:20
AmIHotOrNot – the head-to-head version.

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Date
20020128

Time
17:33
Yet another pointless time and date calculator.

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Date
20020129

Time
09:05
I weep when I think about all the time I wasted at school actually thinking that my handwriting skills were worth working on. Countless hours repetitive and pointless scribing in class. Extra exercises at home to improve my ‘sloppy’ cursive skills, not the mention the number of times written lines were doled out as punishment – and for what? So I could peck out a living at this damn keyboard?

*sigh*

Still, my mouse skills are coming along nicely. I even work out when I can.

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Date
20020129

Time
09:14
Disney’s multiplayer network game ToonTown has closed down beta testing, some would think a little bit early. Why? One of the major ‘bugs’ was the player’s ability to name his or her own avatar. The internet being what it is, most of these names were very rude indeed. Disney shut down in a hurry, preferring kids to learn and share obscenities in the school playground rather than on their site.

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Date
20020129
The truth? You can’t handle the truth!
Time
09:26


This poor, deluded soul thinks that Mayor McCheese ‘is in danger of extinction’. He even bought the corporate line fed to him by McDonald’s, who emailed him with the following tosh:

“You may be interested to know that Mayor McCheese is alive and well and still presiding over McDonaldland. You may not see him as often because he stepped aside for awhile so that Ronald McDonald could introduce some of his newer friends — Birdie the Early Bird, CosMc, the McNugget Buddies, and the Happy Meal Guys. Keep your eyes out, though… you never know when he might make another appearance. In the meantime, he sends a big “hello” to you, and hopes to see you back at his favorite restaurant — McDonald’s!”

It’s my sad duty to email this individual today and inform him that Mayor McCheese (who may or may not be annoying) is dead. Congealed. Buried. Gone.



Some conspiracy theorists claim that he disappeared in a Hoffa-esque scenario when he threatened to blow the whistle on the use of the addictive drug nicotine in Happy Meals. Others claim that there was a scandal with the McDonaldland police force (whose main representative, Bic Mac, also vanished at about the same time).

Sorry kids, but this has nothing to do with it. The individuals responsible for the ultimate demise of Mayor McCheese were none other than Sid and Marty Krofft. Once a fictional character becomes a liability, their days are numbered. Welcome to the real world, and enjoy your McNuggets.

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Date
20020129

Time
11:24
Those Gods of the web over at Google have just taken a public stand against pop-up ads. Good for them.

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Date
20020129
That Didn’t Take Long…
Time
11:32
‘Tis an Automatic Googlewhacker, so it is.

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Date
20020129

Time
11:45
Look! Up in the sky! It’s spirit! It’s a toilet! It’s a flying arse! Weird.

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Date
20020129

Time
12:57
Legodeath.com – the URL says it all.

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Date
20020129

Time
16:06
Pretty clouds, suitable for wallpapering. I’m still looking for a calm, blue ocean.

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Date
20020129

Time
17:04
And to think my wife used to give me funny looks when I washed my hands after riding the tube.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020130

Time
09:02
It’s official; men like curves.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020130

Time
09:04
A 93-year-old woman failed her driving test by driving backward across four lanes of traffic and hitting a parked pickup truck. Big deal, it’s nowhere near the record. One of Stephen Pile’s Heroic Failures books clearly states the case of an individual who failed their driving test in less than three seconds, simply by sounding the horn to alert the examiner (who then came out to inform them that they had failed because sounding the horn in a stationary vehicle was against local traffic laws).

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020130

Time
09:19
Sadddam Hussein: music video superstar.

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Date
20020130
POW Debate
Time
09:34
A scribe for the Spectator is of the opinion that Brit journalists should pull their head in. He thinks that people in glass houses (without screen doors) shouldn’t throw stones.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020130

Time
10:01
Something screwy is going on with the Private Eye site. Did they pay their hosting bill this month?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020130

Time
10:08
A system in Melbourne, Australia allows drivers to use their credit cards to pay tolls via a system known as CityLink. Now ‘secure’ customer credit card numbers are turning up in all sorts of place on the Internet. The initial low-tech theft of the numbers has been tracked down to an ex-employee of Citylink, but you just know that the average Joe is going to read this and blame it on the Internet boogie-man. Ho-hum

(TANGENT: The NSW government stopped using the word ‘freeway’ way back in the early 80’s, opting instead for the term ‘expressway’. Basically, they knew toll charges would have to be introduced sometime in the future and they didn’t think that we could handle the irony…)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020130

Time
10:34
A few days ago, Cruel Site Of The Day linked to an, erm, interesting message on the NTC forums. It reads, in part:

“My dear wife has provided me with peace and total fulfilment. Following her belief that testosterone was poisonous, she instituted a milking program. Before I shower, mornings I am required to get on a small table in our bedroom and be milked. She snaps on a latex glove, lubricates it, and extends a finger up…”

I think we’d best stop there in the interests of good taste. If you want to read more, then click here to go to ntcweb.com and see the original message. If, of course, that’s OK with the folks at NTC – for at the top of the thread is a message from an NTC admin representative claiming that ‘Cruel.com is linking to this site without permission therefore they will be sued for bandwidth abuse and libel’. This is especially interesting, as he then goes on to warn those who might find the above funny that they are ‘losers’ and ‘morons’, thereby ensuring that millions of people are now going to be attracted to the site for his message alone.

This is going to get worse before it gets better…

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020130

Time
10:48
An even more advanced Googlewhacker for you to play with.

I must admit that, now it’s largely automated, a lot of fun has gone out of the game for me, but its popularity seems to be growing because of these new tools. Given the increased popularity and complete pointlessness of the activity, perhaps Google should sue for bandwidth abuse?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020130
Bernard Shifman Update
Time
11:11
I know you’ve seen Bernard Shifman is a Moron Spammer before, but the page is worth visiting again just to see the changes wrought by the author’s newfound fame. It’s also interesting to note that Yahoo recently ranked “Bernard Shifman” the Internet’s 12th most popular search term. Can I predict here and now that he’ll be changing his name in the near future?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020130

Time
12:09
A woman faces the sack after calling a radio phone-in quiz.

Was she supposed to be working? Yes.

Was she at work when she called? Yes.

So what’s the problem?

She’s a bloody train driver, that’s the problem!

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Date
20020130

Time
13:06
Brit couple buy French country house only to discover that they are now the proud owners of Paleolithic pornography. Isn’t it always the way?

[UPDATE – Click here to see hardcore Paleolithic pornography.]

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020130

Time
13:22
How can something so popular be so hard to sustain? Weblog Wannabe will stay live thanks to recent donations, but only for a month, and only after a short break because Firda can’t pay her connection bill on time. She’s begging for a commercial takeover, that woman.

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Date
20020130

Time
13:42
I have no idea what this is about, but I love it! Sophie Ellis Bextor will be in my nightmares tonight…

(Found on the b3ta boards.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020130
Flash Games
Time
14:39
Squirrel Golf II – sorry, but it’s just not as fun as it sounds…

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Date
20020131

Time
09:16
Farming faces a major shake-up… and here’s a picture, boys and girls.

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Date
20020131

Time
09:33
ASCII Madonna (no children at her feet, though…)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020131

Time
09:37
I love it when the little guy stands up. Telstra Exposed takes a close look at the dealings of the partially-privatised Australian telecoms provider, who’ve been overbilling and keeping a firm stranglehold on Internet access for years.

Quite coincidentally, Telstra has just released their ‘great new pricing plans’ for broadband access. Hey, at least you guys have broadband access.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020131

Time
10:17
Oh how I love The Ultimate Insult, especially when it reveals hidden gems such as this one – Mexican Midget Rodeo. Weee-hah!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020131

Time
10:54
See the world’s greatest bus shelter.

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Date
20020131

Time
11:32
Stare Down Sally. Everybody’s playing it, but if they jumped of a bridge would you do it too? I only ask this because the damn thing looks so much like the Mum I have in my nightmares. You know the one, with the naked store mannequins and penguins that can fly.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020131

Time
11:46
Finally, a movie quote quiz that has something to do with your sad, pathetic life.

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Date
20020131

Time
12:16
Busted! I’d type something intelligent here, but I’m too busy laughing…

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020131

Time
17:10
The train stops at a signal, some people look out the window (tum-de-tum, lah-de-dah) and OH MY GOD, LOOK! A MAN HAVING SEX WITH A GOAT!!!!

As reported in The Sun, “police switchboards were jammed as horrified commuters used their mobiles to report what they had seen”. We can only assume the driver didn’t phone it in because she was too busy calling the local radio station.

British Transport Police Detective Inspector Dave Crinnion, who investigated, said: “I saw the goat the next day — it did not seem too upset but it is difficult to tell.”

Quite.








Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

01-14 January, 2002

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Date
20020102
BlogCon 2002
Time
09:27
BlogCon 2002 is a bloody great idea and looks like it’s progressing nicely. If there are any UK bloggers keen on a London meet to coincide with the US event, just drop me a line.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020102

Time
10:44
George Lucas put *NSYNC in Star Wars Episode 2. He says his 13-year-old daughter Katie put him up to it, but that’s no excuse. He made them Jedi Knights, FFS!

I say again, please go here to sign the petition for Peter Jackson to Write and Direct Star Wars Episode III.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020102

Time
15:46
My New Year’s resolution is to not link to anymore online quizzes.

Erm, except this one.

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Date
20020102

Time
17:07
Ho-hum. Too busy to blog much today, but I hope the world’s first magnet-fridge makes up for it.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020103
Photoshopping
Time
09:08
Wow. I’m actually leading in a Photoshop competition. Is it some kind of anomaly, or do they know it’s my birthday today?

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Date
20020103

Time
09:23
Thank Dog for the Internet. Without it, how could I possibly know which famous mathematicians were born on this day? It’s J. R. R. Tolkien’s birthday too. I’m in geek heaven.

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Date
20020103

Time
09:48

Yessir, that there is some Goede Smaak. It comes in its own convenient container, too.

Those clever Dutch chappies think of everything!

UPDATE: Oh, for those who are wondering, here’s the answer to your question; ‘Wat is goede smaak?’.

UPDATE II: Oh, OK – here’s the answer in English – including a picture of yet more goede smaak. Mmmm, tasty!

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Date
20020103
Value Meals At Wendys
Time
15:01
A drive-though customer scored the ultimate happy meal when he stopped by his local Wendys. The harried staff got mixed up and instead of food, gave him a takeaway bag stuffed with the takings – $12,000 US dollars worth! Now the police are warning him to come forward and return the money. Apparently benefiting from other people’s stupidity is a felony in California.

(BTW, it has to be noted that the news site this links to is the ‘KCRA Channel’, not the ‘krack channel’, as I first thought. I know, I know. I was kinda disappointed, too…)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020104

Time
09:14
Mike Slocombe and Sam Michel (gentlemen and scholars, both) have kindly agreed to have excerpts from their Amazon reviews published on the front page of my book website. I’m not sure what my publisher is going to make of the whole thing. Here’s hoping he has a sense of humour…

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020104

Time
09:16
Lake Superior State University just released its 27th annual List of Words Banished from the Queen’s English for Mis-Use, Over-Use and General Uselessness. You may already feel disenfranchised with the whole thing in the wake of so many frigging weblogs linking to the site today and yesterday – but rest assured that I don’t plan on jumping on the bandwagon again in the foreseeable future.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020104

Time
10:31


Contest 45 is up and running at Worth 1000.

I’d like to think that my entry is suitably lame, but we’ll see where the voting takes us…

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020104

Time
10:48
Man tires of claims that he pretends to be gay to ‘get’ women. Showers with 100 women to prove otherwise. Eh?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020104

Time
10:56
Australian Government struggles to censor Internet. Population claims that ain’t fair dinkum.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020104

Time
11:11
Digital Wallpaper. Cool! I want some, and I know just where to get the pictures.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020104

Time
11:39
Hey, I just made the grade at bacon. Greetings, fellow bacon lovers.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020104
(Not) Tony Blair’s Email Address
Time
11:47
I’m still getting email for Tony Blair thanks to this stunt I pulled almost two years ago. I think it has something to do with this search result from Google (pictured) that, in its excerpt form, appears to give the address as authentic.

At least, I hope it’s this. I’d hate to think that anyone would read the article in question and still think the address was really Tony’s. Then again, if this is the case it may explain why New Labour get away with as much as they do.

(Oh, and it’s interesting to note that the PR company involved words their case studies so carefully. You’d almost think it was them what came up with the idea and did most of the bloody work…)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020104

Time
13:26
The archives are now fixed. Sorry about that.

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Date
20020104
Spet The Deliberate Mistake
Time
13:36

Wise words from Moby, whose petting policy changed after he was hospitalised by a vicious pussy: “Don’t pet stray animals. Really. My heart bleeds for all of the homeless animals in the world, but I’ve learned my lesson. I don’t blame the cat, but I won’t be petting strays in the future.”

Especially not mean, mangy ones he meets whilst wandering around in Chinatown.

Hang on… a stray cat, roaming around free in Chinatown? Hands up everybody who believes that! I have a feeling that there’s more to this story than meets the eye.

(Note – you can see a larger version of this image by clicking here.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020104

Time
16:32
Former president Bill Clinton’s dog Buddy was run over and killed yesterday (CNN, MSN). The family’s previous dog, Zeke, met a similar end when Mr Clinton was governor of Arkansas. Let the conspiracy theories begin!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020107

Time
09:43
I almost got my hair cut on Saturday, but fate intervened and I didn’t succumb to the dreaded razor until just about an hour ago. Thank Dog for that.

While I was sitting in the chair this morning, the guy who regularly does my hair was happily telling the other barbers about his ‘close call’ on Saturday. Apparently he felt kind of funny all day, and didn’t work out why until he got home and read the label of the medicine he’d been taking.

The guy had been doped up to the eyeballs on ‘extra-drowsy formula’ Benylin all day! Never mind driving or operating heavy machinery – he was bloody lucky he didn’t take an ear off or something. Next time I go there, I’m taking a paper cup and insisting on a drug test.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020107

Time
09:46
Justify your hatred and mistrust of large corporations here.

(That’s it from me for a few hours – I gots me a report to write.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020107
Free Domain Names
Time
10:49
You heard me. Yes, it’s real. Get a free .tk domain name for your blog now.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020107

Time
11:13
Fuzzy and fake images galore! What else would you expect from ‘the largest free ghost photography site on the web’?

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Date
20020107
Photoshopping
Time
15:12


Tee-hee, etc.

Some fun is being had over at fark with the publicity still of the new iMac.

Blue screens and other Windows gags are commonplace, along with several outings and the usual kitties and boobies.

You know who to vote for – get to it.

[UPDATE – 2nd Place. Bugger.]

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020107
Fat Bloke Update
Time
16:21
Pop Idol reject Rik (search keywords: ‘that fat bloke’) could release a single in as little as four weeks, with his new agent Jonathan Shalit saying he will “ignore” a contract preventing Rik from signing a record deal until May. A spokesperson from Pop Idol responded with: “It would be very disappointing if Rik chose not to stick to the contract that he agreed to.” – but Rik countered with: “The thing that I want to get across is that I am not in competition with the winner of Pop Idol.”

Fair enough. Especially when:

a) He’s not actually in the competition anymore

and

b) It’s been pointed out time and again by the judges that Rik “can in no way be considered a Pop Idol”.

ahem…

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020108

Time
09:13
Good morning, campers. Let’s start with a few star jumps and an industry prediction or two for the year 2002.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020108

Time
09:16
It’s not a little boy dying of cancer, it’s some blogger’s grandmother who has just turned 70.

Send her a card anyway.

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Date
20020108

Time
10:24
Shockwave Flash is the new music video, dontcha know? Check out this great interactive clip for starters, then head to this tribute to ‘Journey’ for the other end of the spectrum.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020108

Time
10:34
Help to restore the faith of this disillusioned comic artist. Go to the site, read the comics, send some lurve.

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Date
20020108

Time
14:22
“When Microsoft chairman Bill Gates was shot dead on December 2, 1999, it was a tragedy that resonated throughout the world. But as time wears on, that tragedy has developed into a mystery for many observers, who see police misconduct and a cover-up where others see an open-and-shut case.”

Riiiiiiiiiight.

See if you can work out what they’re on about over at nothingsostrange.com – I lost the plot about three pages back.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020108

Time
14:49
Wendy’s founder Dave Thomas has died at age 69, but he lives on in our hearts.

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Date
20020108

Time
15:26
Did anybody else hear a ‘whooshing‘ sound?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020108

Time
16:22
Psst! Wanna see some pictures of fainting goats?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020108

Time
16:44
Tee-hee. Techies behind the Debenhams site have hidden a few Easter Eggs in the search engine. An example? Until yesterday, a search for ‘jugs’ brought up a list of Wonderbras. There’s probably lots more, but unless the individual involved was sacked way back during the last industry ‘correction’, chances are that they’ve all been found and cleaned up by now, especially after coverage in NTK and The Register. Still, you never know. Try a few euphemisms yourself and see if you can find anything they missed. There might be a free gift certificate in it for you.

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Date
20020108
It was 20 years ago today…
Time
17:31
OK, I admit it, I cried – but I was 12 years old for Dog’s sake! Sadly, no one thought to take a picture, otherwise I could have uploaded it to the E.T. 20th Anniversary site. Shame, that.

I showed this movie to my kids recently. Their strongest reaction was a sudden craving for M&M’s.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020109

Time
09:18
You really have to worry about someone who would get so excited about a ride-on My Little Pony.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020109

Time
09:35
True fame for Anne Robinson at last; she just made the No.1 spot on Blackwell’s annual worst dressed list.

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Date
20020109

Time
09:55
Want to be free to marry your cousin? Stand up and be counted! [UPDATE: An anonymous emailer has just pointed out that ‘folks what come from Alabama aren’t the only ones into inbreeding‘.]

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020109

Time
13:25
Dog bless the geeks who saved Usenet. Without them, a large chunk of the Usenet archives would be lost forever and we would be none the wiser about Star Wars gossip from 1982.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020109

Time
15:25
Would you like to get paid £50,000 a year to look at pornography? The Internet Watch Foundation may have just the job for you now that former CEO Jim Kerr has unexpectedly turned down a five-year contract extension. His deputy, Ruth Dixon, has also declined to take on the role, deftly described by Kerr as a ‘unique position’ for which there is ‘no natural career background’. Indeed.

For more details about this challenging position and how you might fit into it, see the job description in the news section of the IWF site.

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Date
20020110

Time
08:54
I saw this a few weeks ago, but neglected to blog it. Sir, yours is a very bad hotel (browser-based slide show). While we’re on the subject of public complaints, you might want to take a peek at this classic; The Dough.

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Date
20020110

Time
09:04



Anime office rage. Cool!

(408Kb animated GIF)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020110

Time
09:11
Apparently, President Bush meant no disrespect when he called Pakistanis ‘Pakis’. Perhaps part of our ‘special relationship’ includes lessons in etiquette from Prince Philip.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020110

Time
09:28
For those who think that Lord Of The Rings is a little too long, here’s the short version. Somewhat akin to the classic Tarantino version of ‘Hamlet’.

(Warning – contains some dangdoodle cusswords…)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020110

Time
09:36
And finally, before I get on with some actual work this morning; Blogstickers – a weblog craze that’s currently spreading like wildfire, and expected to last for at least another two or three days.

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Date
20020110

Time
10:24
Builder criticised by Australian safety watchdogs for ‘driving without a seatbelt, destruction of council property and not enforcing building site visitor safety guidelines by allowing his secretary on site without a helmet’. Goes by the name of Bob.

(While we’re on the subject, check out the Eminem Vs Bob The Builder Mashup at Diffusion. Now one year old and an idea I’ve grown to regret…)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020110

Time
12:02
Cheap fuel to be obtained by blasting hydrogen out of the ocean with orbiting laser cannons. What a fabulous time to be alive – unless you’re a fish, that is…

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Date
20020110
Chancellor Of The Dance
Time
13:58


As if Hamsterdance wasn’t enough – now we have Hamsterdance 2. However, both pale into insignificance next to hitlerdance.com (and even this ‘me too’ version over at Geocities).

During the Second World War, newsreels showed Hitler doing a jig after the fall of France in 1940. He didn’t actually dance this jig, as many of you know. Allied ‘journalists’ looped the film, making him appear to dance when all he really did was stamp his little foot. This footage of him doing a little dance at Berchtesgaden is real, though. Enjoy.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020110

Time
15:32
Waddya know? Democracy works! N’Sync has been cut from Star Wars Episode II because, and I quote, ‘people made a big deal about it’. Maybe next we can get George to change that title…

[UPDATE – The revolution’s started baby, yeah! More than 1,800 petitioners are threatening to boycott the next Austin Powers movie and any merchandise sold unless they take Britney Spears out of the film.]

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020111

Time
08:54
A warning for anybody stupid enough to Spam.

(Warning – contains some dangdoodle cusswords. Thanks go to Seán for the link.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020111

Time
08:58
CNN reveals that sex sells. Well, duh! Look for the terrestrial broadcast version of The Naked News, coming soon to a channel near you.

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Date
20020111

Time
09:05
Design, as with any artistic skill, is a very personal thing. Because of this, many, many, many people delude themselves into thinking that their site is a visual extravaganza, when in actual fact it’s a load of crap.

webpagesthatsuck.com has been cataloguing such personal and professional offences for years and, to no-one’s surprise, most of the worst offenders are hosted at Geocities. Finally someone’s thought to present a decent directory of crappy Geocities sites, including those that are fake and those that are, tragically, very, very real. See them and be amazed – then go and take a good, hard look at your own efforts. OK, so your site’s about Scotland, but do you really need that tartan background and bagpipes .wav?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020111

Time
11:26


This, I suspect, is one of the main reasons why they make kid’s markers non-toxic. I don’t know what disturbs me most about this picture; the state of that baby, the angelic look on the face of the alleged culprit on the left, or the fact that Mum or Dad saw fit to pause for a photo opportunity before cleaning the poor little sprog up.

Shows like America’s Funniest Home Videos hold similar mysteries for me. I mean, if you were watching your beloved offspring being run over by a lawnmower or attacked by the cat, would you rush to help or stay where you were, keeping that camera rock steady and in perfect focus?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020111

Time
11:50
Here’s an online clock that’ll put lead in your pencil. My hands are tired just from watching this.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020111

Time
16:03
Arrrrrrrgh!

The Crackermatic Case Study is finished at last – but my brain hurts!

I need some soothing pictures of cows, yes I do.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020111
BritneyWatch
Time
16:14
A maid (better make that ‘ex-maid’) from Boston’s Ritz-Carlton hotel says she was fired after she called Britney Spears’ room last month and demanded an apology because one of the pop star’s security guards flashed her. Could it be possible? Remember, this is the princess of clean, famous for her virginity that we’re talking about here. Would she really allow naked security guards to run around in her hotel room? Puh-lease!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020111

Time
16:24
Apparently a hospital is legally obliged to get consent for a penis amputation. Good news for anybody going under general anaesthetic, but be careful what you sign when they have you hepped up on goofballs.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020111

Time
16:34
From the ‘If One More Person Sends Me This I’m Going To Scream’ department comes this quick link; see if you can spot the ghost. Look carefully, now…

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020111

Time
16:48
Web-based youth charity YouthNet UK is to use a £850,000 grant from the National Lottery to set up an interactive advice service. Perhaps they can just advise the kiddies on how to screw the government out of pots of dough. The domain name ringringblingbling.com is still available. Just a thought…

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020111

Time
17:01
The Gospel Gangstaz say Jesus is Lord, mother&*%£ers.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020114

Time
08:49

Well waddya know? We’re worthy of inclusion in the Blogstickers hall of infamy.

Pity I couldn’t be bothered to think of more than one…

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020114

Time
08:57
Not a bad meme. Bloggercode, very much like the Geek Code of yore, lets me distill my life into one line of seemingly meaningless characters. This is fine with me, because life is pretty meanlingless in itself.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020114

Time
09:03

Life Imitates Ant

Eighties pop star Adam Ant, of “Stand and Deliver” fame, has been charged with assault and possessing a firearm after an alleged incident in a London pub. ET has the story, as does Ananova.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020114

Time
11:35
Good for a laugh, but only if you’re a not an animal lover. Even if you are, you can show it to your cat and make his day; Harvey the Mouse Must Die.

This reminds me of a little stunt I pulled back in my nightclub deejaying days. We lived above a nut and sweet factory and a carpet warehouse, and as a result enjoyed a veritable hoard of mice invading the kitchen. Clever little buggers, too – always seeming to escape unharmed with whatever bait we used in the mousetrap.

Eventually, we set up a video camera wired up to the VCR and TV in the sitting room and watched/recorded the action ‘live’. We soon found out how they were doing it, set up the bait accordingly, and, after a few tweaks of the system, finally got one.

That weekend, I ran the 2 hours of footage as a ‘visual’ on the dozen or so screens we had in the nightclub and announced a game of ‘Spot the Mouse’ (the first punter up to the booth with each confirmed spotting got a Jack Daniels and Coke). Everybody enjoyed playing the game, and you could feel the tension in the room every time the mice went for the cheese and escaped with their lives. In fact, they did this so many times (5 in all) that it came as a very real surprise when, 2 hours later, one finally bought the farm.

The nightclub ran a sound system totalling about 3000 watts. In short, close to deafening. That didn’t stop you hearing, quite clearly, half of the room screaming in protest and the other half cheering with joy. A defining moment in nightclub culture and animal cruelty.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020114

Time
12:21
Renowned snake-oil salesmen Yahoo have stooped to palmistry of all things. Apparently there is a ‘strong intuitive side to my nature, which may border on psychic or mystical ability’. I knew they were gonna say that…

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020114

Time
14:13
Convicts Reunited was started as a spoof version of the very popular site Friends Reunited. I say ‘started as’ because now they have over 3000 subscribers who have ‘lost contact with old prison inmates or maybe looking for fellow cons for their next bank job’. Here’s looking up your old cell number…

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020114

Time
15:26
Must remember this if I ever have Hello! magazine round my place and want to add a touch of class:

Rent-A-Chook.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020114

Time
16:15
From The Ultimate Insult comes this link – a totally useless office skill for every day of the working week.

Today: Sending Endless Faxes.

The title of the page (if not the content) reminds me of the sad old days during the dotcom gold rush when I had to share the responsibility of wading through CVs from web design wannabes. I got regular giggles from applicants who would would (and I kid you not) feel it necessary to pad things out with the following:

Software Skills:

Internet Explorer 3, 4 and 5

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020115
Waitrose Discover Usenet
Time
09:35


A consumer recently x-posted to uk.local.london and uk.food+drink.misc with details of his surprise discovery in a Waitrose product as follows: “Inside the creamy mash, thankfully before serving, I found… A RAT’S FOOT. It is too big to be a mouse’s, IMO…

So far, so normal. The usual advice followed, from ‘sue them for millions’ to ‘forget telling Waitrose, tell Environmental Health!’

What I wasn’t expecting was a response from Waitrose, x-posted to the same groups, thereby (shock, horror) identifying and acknowledging Usenet as a valid and important public forum.

The guts of the message claimed that said rat’s foot was actually ‘an irregularly shaped, very thin fragment of vegetable material’ and yes, before you ask, the message is a genuine one from Waitrose. Headers reveal the NNTP-Posting-Host as 62.172.110.49, which traces back to John Lewis Plc.

What Waitrose didn’t do, however, was post this message within the original thread, which would have made the posted information more immediately accessible via the archives.

Oh well, we can’t expect them to get it right overnight.

[UPDATE: OMG, less than six minutes after I made this comment in the groups concerned, and (tahdah!) Waitrose did indeed repeat the post within the original thread. Someone is actually paying attention…]

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020115

Time
10:46
Useful information from PETA: How To Stop Your Dog From Humping Your Leg – and no, it’s nothing to do with this very old and very off-colour joke.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020115

Time
10:59
It’s fun. It’s cute. It’s violent. Cutie Quake. Play it.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020115

Time
11:02
Boosh, doosh, b-boosh, d-doosh – do the iMac!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020115
Photoshopping
Time
12:10

More Photoshopping fun to be had over at Fark.

You do know who to vote for, right?

[UPDATE – We’re No.1! We’re No.1!]

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020115

Time
13:31
Carol can count! Everybody trusts Carol. (Well, not everybody. Complaints upheld by the ITC include this isolated incident and this, erm, ‘isolated’ incident. Hang on…)

Now, I’ve got nothing personal against Carol Vorderman (apart from the fact that Internet help books she appears on are not written by her, are mostly full of outdated junk and, even worse, sell much better than mine) but enough is enough.

I’m sick of seeing her in print, on television, and now in banners, selling health and financial products to the gullible of nature and the slow of mind. In fact, I’m so outraged, I feel honour-bound to alter her latest banner ad. Not that it’s going to make a lick of difference apart from making me feel a whole lot better…

[UPDATE – I’ve just been reminded that Carol actually saw fit to plug my book on at least one occasion. Call me ungrateful if you like, but it’s clear to me from that opening paragraph alone that the core of this content came from my book, and all I get in return is one lousy link. At the very bottom of the page. With no accompanying text. I’d hardly call that a ‘plug’. Maybe next time I’ll send her a little brown envelope stuffed with cash. Or Anthrax. You’ll pardon me for being bitter, but Carol Vorderman reduces my tolerance level…]

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20020115
Ant In Other News…
Time
14:40
A statement on Adam Ant’s official site claims that the gun involved in the incident reported yesterday was a replica, and not a real gun. I guess that makes it OK then.








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24-31 December 2001

24 December 2001

09:10
Ah me, the simple pleasures in life. Years ago, I used to be a hardcore DC junkie (with Superman, Batman, Impulse, Lobo etc. on regular order). Sadly, these days I’m way too poor to enjoy this kind of luxury, but on Saturday I dragged my sorry butt down to the comic book store in Guildford and enjoyed a solid hour of poking through the remaindered boxes. 25p a comic, ladies and gentlemen – can you imagine the joy of such a bargain? Several gems were found, and much catching up took place.

09:12
This should keep you busy for at least a few seconds – ohnoitisnt.com. All that’s missing is a few thousand chevrons and a dedication to Usenet.

09:19
Here’s a nice follow-up to that whole Sainsburys/Virgin spam debacle. Assuming you care, of course.

09:42
A big collection of Lost Highways for you to ponder over. On the same subject, while the Third Reich didn’t quite last the thousand years some expected, a few of their Polish Autobahns are still making a go of it.

(via memepool)

10:09
Hammer your bandwidth and treat yourself to a bloody great computer animated short this Christmas. This piece starts a bit slow, but the pace improves dramatically once the creator/director gets over showing off the scenery he’s so painstakingly created. Definitely worth the download.

11:10
Between 1130 and 1300 GMT on Saturday the 22nd of December, a 15 year old girl was attacked and pack-raped by a gang of youths in our local shopping centre:

BBC | Reuters | Sky

According to a press report I read on Sunday (no link available, sorry) she was first accosted in front of McDonalds in the upper level food court. This is always very, very busy – probably doubly so this past Saturday. There’s nearly always a security guard posted here too, due to the high number of youths who hang out in the area.

Despite this, she and her friend were in a position where they felt harassed enough to run from the group of teenagers. With The Friary being built like it is and all reports referring to her having some clothes torn off while going up an escalator, it looks like they were pursued for some time, up and down a few levels, through one of the busiest places in Guildford – then led through the (always busy and well-lit) covered land-bridge that gives access to the Bedford Rd car park. Right past the cash machines that always have a queue of a dozen or so people (layout and map).

The fact that an uninterrupted attack could take place in the stairwell of a full-to-capacity 1200-space car park holds no surprises, though. There’s some construction going on there at the moment, so a lot of sections have been boarded shut or obscured by hoarding (with, we can presume, little or no construction staff at work in this glorious holiday season).

Apart from that it all but defies belief, but reports are coming in of inconsistencies in the story and the management of the Friary is questioning the police version of events, saying that CCTV footage was being examined and that they had “no information to suggest the attack started in the shopping centre”. We shall see.

Detectives are appealing for anyone who saw the girls or the gang of boys to contact them at Guildford CID on 01483 531111, or to call Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

11:57
Well, I’m off home. Please do try to have a safe and happy Christmas – and don’t do anything stupid like drive with a few drinks under your belt, OK? Merry Christmas, Joyeux Noel, Frohliche Weihnachten, Prettige Kerstdagen and Feliz Navidad. If I’ve missed anyone, just click here for the rest.

27 December 2001

10:31
Then one foggy Christmas Eve,
Santa came to say:
“Rudolph with your nose so bright,
Won’t you guide my sleigh tonight?”
Then how the reindeer loved him,
The bloody hypocrites.

(Oh, and here’s the Secret Origin of Rudolph.)

10:40
Many unkind comments have been made about the covers of my books. Perhaps next time, I’ll use the O’Reilly Book Cover Generator. Or not.

11:07
This snowball game is nice and violent, with excellent Kennyesque figures on the winter warpath. However, if you just want to piss off the neighbours, then nothing beats a bit of target practice.

11:19
Check out this guy’s phat toilet. Racing stripes make the jobbies flush away faster, yes they do…

(lifted from b3ta’s messageboard)

15:27
Once again, apologies to bacon lovers who’ve ended up here because of that stray link in the mailbag (’tis all explained in the archives). Presented here for your troubles (and, hopefully, for your enjoyment) is what passes for a men’s fashion store in the Netherlands – and yes, they do have a website. Enjoy.

16:00
How disappointing. I’m nowhere near as evil as I thought I was.

16:07
Are ads less effective on cluttered sites? I don’t know – why don’t you check out this rather cluttered site and find out?

16:13
The BBC are re-broadcasting the 1981 serialisation of Lord Of The Rings. Ho-hum. I’ve read the book, I’ve seen the movie – the orc did it both times. So much for the ‘hollywood ending’ theory.

28 December 2001

09:43
It’s beginning to look like the seemingly impossible scenario of a teenage girl being dragged through a busy shopping centre and raped without anybody doing anything is just that – impossible. Latest reports indicate that Friary management have scoured the CCTV footage and found nothing. The investigation continues.

09:50
A popular link yesterday; Pedestrian Killer . So popular, in fact, that demand regularly overloaded the server. Access seems a little better today, so go and try it if you must – just be warned that it’s non-PC and far from challenging.

10:50
The latest challenge at fark is to Photoshop this ad for MSN Broadband.

My entry’s in a little late for this one – but it was worth a try all the same, I thought.

You can see the comp and vote (for me, please) here.

11:37
The latest edition of Celebrity Bestiality arrived hot off the presses today with the inside scoop on the Winona Ryder shoplifting saga. I look forward to attending the rally on January 11th.

13:11
Well, it’s official. Tempo just bit the dust and just about anybody with goods under warranty (from about 1997 onwards) should consider themselves well and truly screwed. Even if you were stupid enough to fork out for that great British rip-off, the extended warranty, Tempo regrets to inform you that ‘you are an unsecured creditor and if your product develops a fault (you) will not receive payment from Tempo’. Tempo are, however, helpful enough to provide a list of manufacturers should you wish to delude yourself into thinking that they’ll happily accept a passed buck or three – and good luck with that. If you want more information, the Tempo site is down, down, down at the moment, but some navigable information from just before the collapse is still live via Google’s cache.

13:46
I’ve just been honoured in alt.humor.best-of-usenet – doubly so in that they considered my little ditty worthy of Rot13 encryption.

15:14


Sorry gang,but I feel that it’s my duty to remind you that this is far from the end of the matter. Now we’ll have to tolerate 12 months of multiple solo career attempts.

For the record, it should be noted that the former members of the all-dancing, non-musical-instrument-playing ‘supergroup’ insisted that that there was no animosity involved. Of course, this statement comes from a group that as little as a month ago insisted that the release of a ‘greatest hits’ album didn’t mean that they were breaking up in the near future.

A subtle hint as to why appeared amongst much tearful babbling on a Steps messageboard. Said one poster:

“If they split up a few weeks ago they wouldn’t have sold as many CDs and merchandise over the Christmas period. By splitting up the day after Christmas they have made sure they have sold enough to make sure they never have to work in Tescos.”

Whisper campaigns have already begun, and Claire seems to be copping the best and the worst of it. Her solo album must be due first, then.

Be afraid.

15:52
Got a hand like a claw? Sign here, please.

16:56
Aww… look at those cute, smiling little kiddies. Why are they so happy? Because Daddy locks his gun away before going out to get liquored up.

31 December 2001

10:01
Bored at college? Who isn’t? Tell you what; next time you’re on campus, you might want to impress contemporaries with your skills in the ancient art of Squirrel Fishing. While we’re on the subject, here’s an interesting theory regarding squirrels and why they act so nuts (pun intended).

12:14

Worth1000 is now fully beta-tested and ready to roll!

The public site will launch tomorrow, so if you’re not too hung over to focus on a few pixels, get over there for the inaugural Photoshop challenge, involving a picture of the webmaster Avi, a NYC cop, Drew from

fark.com and some woman who just wanted to be in the picture.

Play nice, now.

13:04
My weblog twin is a woman! Now it’s official – there is something fundamentally wrong with the universe…

13:08
Britney no longer a virgin. World in shock. Film at 11.








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14-21 December 2001

14 December 2001

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

11:04

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

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

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

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

17 December 2001

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

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

11:25

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

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

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

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

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

13:54

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

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

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

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

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

18 December 2001

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

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

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

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

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

16:43
Wahey!

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

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

19 December 2001

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

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

(finagled from fark.com)

12:00

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

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

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

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

20 December 2001

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

21 December 2001

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

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

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

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

12:09

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

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

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








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