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John Self
2nd Sep 2004, 15:47
A thread to post specific titbits that amuse or intrigue from the net, not specifically related to books, films, music, etc. To start with, this from Timothy McSweeney's Internet Tendency (http://www.mcsweeneys.net/links/lists/27MichaelWard.html):

E-mail Addresses It Would Be Really Annoying to Give Out Over the Phone.


- - - -





One1TheFirstJustTheNumberTheSecondSpelledOut@hotma il.com

2nd Sep 2004, 16:23
Email Address of the Year (http://www.wordsmith.org/awad/faq.html) anyone?

Before Wavid pipes up, yes, we know the winner from 2000.

2nd Sep 2004, 16:24
Very funny

ono no komachi
16th Sep 2004, 9:25
There are no words for this:


16th Sep 2004, 10:55
Still a big fan of the subservient chicken (http://www.subservientchicken.com/), myself, but that Strindberg thing is wild, agreed.

16th Sep 2004, 15:41
The Postmodernist Essay Generator:
I do not understand these essays - but thats ok, because you're not supposed to! :D


The Surrealist Compliment Generator:
Just refresh the page to bring up a new compliment. :shock:

I love these!

John Self
15th Oct 2004, 16:14
Lowbrow but funny:

Unfortunately named authors (http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/tg/listmania/list-browse/-/37D5IC5TJ2UTU//202-5255551-7946265)

15th Oct 2004, 16:18
A list by b3ta

No relation to our very own b3rtymark??

John Self
15th Oct 2004, 16:26
I don't think so. I think b3ta (http://www.b3ta.com/)is some group that is behind a lot of the 'hilarious' doctored pics and animations that we all love so much to get in our inboxes in work all the frigging time.

15th Oct 2004, 16:38
Oh, them.

17th Oct 2004, 17:41
Given a link to this today - paste a snippet of your writing and this thingie will tell you if you (the writer) is male or female

Gender tester of author (http://www.bookblog.net/gender/genie.html)

I turned out to be mostly male :? Should I be worried? Or is it skill :? at writing in the male character?

John Self
17th Oct 2004, 18:27
It got me right, but the science seems distinctly dodgy. It does it all based on a few dozen 'keywords' each of which it defines as either male or female. So "the" and "a" are male, but "was" and "and" are female. According to the statistics, out of a quarter of a million samples, it has got it right 62% of the time and wrong 38% of the time - not very impressive really since it has a 50/50 chance if it just plucked a sex at random.

18th Oct 2004, 11:15
Unfortunately named authors - Excellent, thanks John, gave my shift a good chuckle.

18th Oct 2004, 11:25
It got me right, but the science seems distinctly dodgy. It does it all based on a few dozen 'keywords' each of which it defines as either male or female. So "the" and "a" are male, but "was" and "and" are female. According to the statistics, out of a quarter of a million samples, it has got it right 62% of the time and wrong 38% of the time - not very impressive really since it has a 50/50 chance if it just plucked a sex at random.

Got me right too, for non-fiction and fiction. Which I was a little depressed about.

I would have thought that the 62/38% split is, as they say, statistically significant though...

18th Oct 2004, 11:36
I came out blokey which is okey (!) but you don't really need a couple of pseudo-boffins creating some gender guessing algorithm to tell. Especially as I put in that Last Train SF short. Female SF writers aren't exactly ten a penny, and the style of my thing does nothing to make someone think this is a woman writing.

That said, I know from personal experience (Sorry Lucoid, wherever you are, hope you've forgiven me! :oops: ) it's not always as easy as you think.

John Self
19th Oct 2004, 15:26
For cheap sub-Onion laughs you could do worse than The Portadown News (http://www.portadownnews.com/), an NI version of the ubiquitous satirical online newspaper phenomenon.

Some items may be too parochial for widespread appreciation but a lot of the stuff (in the early sections of the archive particularly, when the stories were more than one-paragraph single jokes) could be about any small town across the country, with their chavs and creepies:

Corcrain girl forgets to swear

13-year-old Corcrain resident Tanya Slapper remains in social limbo today after accidentally having an entire conversation without saying "fuck".

The incident occurred yesterday outside West End Video, while the youngster was discussing an article in popular teen mag "Just 17 Stone" with schoolfriends Jemma Frump (12), Kylie McFatt (14) and Leslie Minger (11). "We were looking at 'Position of the Fortnight'," explained Ms Frump to our reporter, "and Tanya goes 'I don't think I'd go for that, it's better if you can see his face when he comes'. Then she goes 'Anyway you don't have to do it every fortnight. My ma says that's just for tarts.'"

Stunned by this lack of profanity, Tanya's friends openly questioned her state of mind. "I goes, 'Who the fuck do you fucking think you are, you fucking stuck up fucking cow," explained Ms McFatt. "Think you're too fucking good for us, do you? Fuck you."

More shit jobs on the way!

There was good news on the employment front yesterday as English DIY chain Widget Warehouse announced it will be opening a new superstore in Central Craigavon. The development will bring 120 useless minimum-wage jobs to the area, offering local teenagers the chance to earn £3.20 an hour with no benefits, security, prospects or job satisfaction.

"We're aiming for the sort of teenager who's already quit McDonalds but still needs a few weeks work to pay off his mobile phone bill," explained Widget Warehouse Personnel Director Ivana Himmler yesterday. "The work will involve standing about in small groups talking about sex while giving customers dirty looks. No previous experience is necessary."

Widget Warehouse is also encouraging applications from mentally-retarded adults, former paramilitary prisoners, and anyone who's really getting stick from the dole.

I also liked this piece from this week about Century Farm, a pisspoor local variant on The 1900 House, where a family has to live and work on a farm in 1904-stylee:

This week: John is alarmed to learn that Japan has invaded Russia, Connor voices support for Theodore Roosevelt in the US Presidential Election, Fionnuala welcomes the invention of the electrifying diode, and Marie celebrates the birth of famous novelist Graham Greene, starting a causality paradox that threatens to unravel the fabric of space-time.

19th Oct 2004, 15:32
Corcrain girl forgets to swear

13-year-old Corcrain resident Tanya Slapper remains in social limbo today after accidentally having an entire conversation without saying "fuck".

The incident occurred yesterday outside West End Video, while the youngster was discussing an article in popular teen mag "Just 17 Stone" with schoolfriends Jemma Frump (12), Kylie McFatt (14) and Leslie Minger (11). "We were looking at 'Position of the Fortnight'," explained Ms Frump to our reporter, "and Tanya goes 'I don't think I'd go for that, it's better if you can see his face when he comes'. Then she goes 'Anyway you don't have to do it every fortnight. My ma says that's just for tarts.'"

Stunned by this lack of profanity, Tanya's friends openly questioned her state of mind. "I goes, 'Who the fuck do you fucking think you are, you fucking stuck up fucking cow," explained Ms McFatt. "Think you're too fucking good for us, do you? Fuck you."

...which reminds me (inna Vicky Pollard stylee) that the brand new series of Little Britain is on BBC3 tonight.

This week: John is alarmed to learn that Japan has invaded Russia, Connor voices support for Theodore Roosevelt in the US Presidential Election, Fionnuala welcomes the invention of the electrifying diode, and Marie celebrates the birth of famous novelist Graham Greene, starting a causality paradox that threatens to unravel the fabric of space-time.

I laughed out loud at that one, very good.

21st Oct 2004, 16:48
The BOfH (http://bofh.ntk.net/Bastard.html) archives, for old net-heads everywhere.

22nd Oct 2004, 11:21
Some classic Rainbow (http://rainbow.arch.scriptmania.com/rainbow_tv_episode.html). You'll need sound.

22nd Oct 2004, 13:37
Some classic Rainbow (http://rainbow.arch.scriptmania.com/rainbow_tv_episode.html). You'll need sound.

Cunning, indeed :wink:

John Self
6th Nov 2004, 17:54
More from McSweeney's (http://www.mcsweeneys.net).



- - - -

Just a minute, honey! I'm downstairs installing a new Filtrete Air Filter.

Mmmmmhhh. What happened to those sandpaper feet? They're so soft now. Went to the podiatrist, eh?

Thomas, my friend, the meat gods have known their will.

They're a credit union, Walter, a credit union offering an honest 3.9 percent car loan in a shifty 0 percent world.

Well, Publix salmon has a mild and pleasant flavor. And they trim the skin off in the store, so you don't have to do it yourself.

You know, that's hundred-percent-guaranteed gas you're putting in your car there.

Boy, I'd love a chocolate-glazed Munchkin from Dunkin' Donuts.

Less fat in your food means fewer calories in you!

Golf shop! Hee haw! Go golf shop! Woo Hoo!

I want to relax by the pool with someone I love.

Ohhh, baby, this new Dannon La Creme Mousse takes indulgence to a whole new level. Mmmm...

Yes, I do believe someone is slicing juicy, very tender roast beef at this very moment.

If I have to go around the world to make sure our customers get the taste they expect when they buy our cheese, I'm ready.

There's a new laxative on the horizon.

11th Nov 2004, 14:34
Why computer games should stay should stay in the computer (http://www.cityofheroes.com/media/costume_contest.html). Click a pic and then use the Next/Previous arrows...

Some of these are plain hilarious, Mistress Betty is just a real worry.

John Self
11th Nov 2004, 14:44
Yes, or how about Nollan Voyd, aka Man in Suit.

Some aren't bad, though: Diva 7 is pretty damn close to the unreal thing.

11th Nov 2004, 14:50
Small Goat really shouldn't have bothered.

11th Nov 2004, 14:57
I am informed that Avonlea is a bloke.

12th Nov 2004, 10:52
Baywatch. In Birmingham (http://mysite.freeserve.com/rock_otter/vids/Baywatch.wmv).

You need sound.

John Self
15th Nov 2004, 22:53
The trouble with the web is that there's too much of it. Even when sites are no longer any use, they hang about and clutter up the electronic ether. So when I happened tonight upon an old music discussion site I had run and which has long been stagnant, I conscientiously deleted it. I mention this only as a preface to reproducing the welcome message for the site, which quite amused me even now:

xxxxxxxxxxxxx celebrates its 25th birthday this week!

Founded as a response to the Silver Jubilee celebrations, we have been on the cutting edge of the medium since then. In our very first month, indeed, we were instrumental in ensuring that sales of the Sex Pistols' God Save the Queen would be disregarded for Gallup chart purposes, a result which safely installed Rod Stewart's seminal Sailing in the number one slot instead. We are still working on the private prosecution of Glen Matlock for treason. There's no statute of limitations for betraying your country, Glen!

Join now and look back on all those memorable debates:

June 1981: Woman and Superman: Nietzschean determinism meets burn-your-skirts feminism in Bucks Fizz's The Land of Make Believe
September 1985: Abba look out! Here comes Falco!
August 1988: London Boys vs. Milli Vanilli: Who's the Hunkiest?
April 1995: A Flash in the Britpan: Why Blur are the new Falco: A Personal View
December 1998: Saviour's Day by Cliff Richard: tablature for guitar and keyboard
January 2002: Mr Rolf Harris: An Apology

So join now and be a part of the oldest and most intelligent music community on the web!

23rd Nov 2004, 20:18
I suspect internet gambling sites are making too much money (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/4034787.stm).

23rd Nov 2004, 21:36
I suspect internet gambling sites are making too much money (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/4034787.stm).

yeah you could say that. Mind you, it did have something of the Madonna about it. Reminds me of the old black and white Eastenders titles which had a passable Mona Lisa somewhere around the Isle of Dogs. Unfortunately when they added colour she disappeared, so if you haven't seen it, you probably never will.

24th Nov 2004, 11:40
Amazon have started their own search engine, called A9 (http://www.a9.com).

It's pretty useful, as buttons on the right hand side show different search information, searching the web, image searches, amazon itself and also IMDB, which is pretty neat.

It also allows you to sign in and keep your search histories, which could be useful or dangerous, depending on your proclivities.

rick green
28th Nov 2004, 5:06
Webcomix (http://www.lowbright.com/Comics/SameDifference/SameDifferenceIndex.htm) are cool. :D

29th Nov 2004, 15:55
This is rather whizz, a program that trawls for the top 100 news postings and the top 100 news words every hours, presenting them in a 10x10 table of pictures.

Ten by Ten (http://www.tenbyten.org/10x10.html).

Pretty interesting.

30th Nov 2004, 18:11
100 Scientific Things to do Before you Die (http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk_news/story/0,3604,1361676,00.html).

30th Nov 2004, 21:00
More complicated options include joining the 300 Club at the South Pole (they take a sauna to 200 degrees Fahrenheit, then run naked to the pole in minus 100 F) or learning Choctaw, a language with two past tenses - one for giving information which is definitely true, the other for passing on material taken without checking from someone else.

That's fantastic. English should be abolished and we should all learn Choctaw and then journalism can become an honourable profession again.

15th Dec 2004, 12:30
I know there are lots of these - but here's a seasonal short:

It's a Wonderful Life - by bunnies (http://www.angryalien.com/1204/wonderful_lifebuns.asp)

15th Dec 2004, 14:08
From http://www.guardian.co.uk/online

Top libraries to go online in deal with Google

Bobbie Johnson
Wednesday December 15, 2004
The Guardian

Students take note - endless journeys to the library could become a thing of the past thanks to a new multimillion-pound scheme to make classic texts available at the click of a mouse.
Under a deal announced yesterday between the internet search engine Google and five of the world's top libraries, some of the globe's greatest literary treasures will soon be freely available for all to read on the world wide web.

Oxford University's world-renowned Bodleian Library will initially make an estimated 1m books from its 19th-century collection available to Google, while Stanford University and the University of Michigan in the US will be contributing their libraries of a combined 15m titles. Also taking part in the scheme on a test basis are Harvard University and the New York Public Library.

The project will involve scanning millions of titles - many of them rare and delicate - and making the text available on the internet via Google searches. It is a process which experts have predicted could take as long as 10 years.

"This project won't necessarily have an end date," said Fabio Selmoni, the managing director of Google's European advertising sales and operations. "As far as Google is concerned, it's very exciting to move into a non-digitised area and bring it to people all around the world. We're working very closely with libraries and publishers to make as much information available as possible."

The deal fits with Google's wide-reaching ambitions to drive as much information as possible on to the internet. Although there have been setbacks along the way - Downing Street this week jettisoned its 2006 e-government target, for example - many remain confident that the future for all data, new and old, lies on the web.

Bullish predictions from search companies indicate that it is not a case of if data will hit the internet, but when. "We have the audacity to believe that one day we will be able to provide all the world's information online," Mr Selmoni boasted.

The California-based search giant hopes to get a head start on its competitors by integrating the library information into its own database, while the libraries involved will benefit from having their collections brought into the digital age. The Bodleian could eventually see its entire collection of 8m titles transferred into searchable digital formats.

Although many out-of-copyright titles are already available for free on the web, Google hopes users will take the opportunity to search across collections and look at titles previously only available on library shelves.

"The Bodleian Library's 19th-century collections, which include many out-of-print titles which would otherwise be incredibly hard to find, will be scanned as part of the Google Print Programme," said Reg Carr, the director of Oxford University Library Services. "We hope that Oxford's contribution to this project will be of scholarly use, as well as general interest, to people around the world."

The scheme could revolutionise academic life by putting information at the fingertips of readers instead of being filed away in musty library catalogues. Students, scholars and amateur enthusiasts alike will be able to look at books which were previously out of reach - including works by Charles Darwin, Edgar Allen Poe and Charles Babbage - simply by connecting to the internet.

"At the moment you can come and look at these texts if you have a bona fide scholastic interest," said Nicky Old, a spokeswoman for Oxford University. "Now you will be able to do it from the comfort of your home or office. And the benefit of being on the internet is that it's not just accessible, but searchable as well."

Neither Google nor the libraries would reveal any financial details of the project, but the search giant's well-publicised flotation this year raised more than $1bn - capital that could easily be injected into a programme which some are estimating will cost at least $150m.

Google's attempt to become a library on the web is not the first of its kind, but it is by far the most ambitious. Project Gutenberg already publishes the texts of books which are out of copyright, while the British Library is part of a £2m scheme allowing readers to view copyright-sensitive material electronically. Google and the online retailer Amazon, meanwhile, have made deals with publishers such as HarperCollins and Penguin to make newer, copyright-sensitive titles available.

"We're not just intending to focus on books that are out of print," Mr Selmoni said.

"We are also hoping publishers will realise the benefits of putting their existing catalogues online."

Books that could find their way into Google:

The Descent of Man - Charles Darwin

The Bodleian Library has an extensive collection of Darwin material, including his 1871 work The Descent of Man - a follow-up to the controversial The Origin of Species

Goblin Market and Other Poems - Christina Rossetti

Oxford has an original edition of Goblin Market, the first major success for the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, of which Rossetti was a member. Her most well-known work was praised by reviewers for heralding a new voice and original talent when it was published in 1862

On the Economy of Machinery and Manufacturers - Charles Babbage

Babbage is better known as the godfather of computing, but this 1832 rarity was his first exploration of management theory. His passion was calculating machinery and he was well aware of the commercial possibilities of such a machine, and gives a description of cost accounting in this book

The Principia: Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy - Isaac Newton

Stanford has a first edition of Newton's 1687 work, in which he laid out the principles of time, force and motion that have guided modern physics

The Whetstone of Witte - Robert Record

The University of Michigan has a rare copy of Record's bizarre mathematical manual - the first publication to use the equals sign because, in the author's words, "noe .2. thynges, can be moare equalle"

16th Dec 2004, 11:18
...and following on from (http://www.customcreaturetaxidermy.com/fantasy/fantasy.html) the stuffed still-born foal on ebay...

16th Dec 2004, 11:42
Click on Amner's link above and go to 'Pickled Pets' on the menu. What nicer than a jar of skinned squirrel tails - or a bull's dissected testicle? Too ho-hum? Try a skinned kitten.

I worry, I really do .......

22nd Dec 2004, 10:35
Got this on an email this morning, was rather entertained by it:


Could Cause Users to Become Ho's, Company Says

The makers of the popular drug crack issued a safety warning today,
advising crack's millions of users that habitual use of the stimulant
could cause them to become ho's.

A spokesman for Pharmacia Cranque LLP announced the safety warning from
its corporate headquarters in Brussels, causing its shares to plummet on
Wall Street.

"Clinical studies have shown that continued use of crack may, in some rare
instances, cause the habitual crack user to become a crack ho," said
spokesman Jean-Luc Van de Velde.

While not every crack user becomes a crack ho, Mr. Van de Velde added,
"the occurrence of crack ho's per one million crack users was high enough
to warrant this safety advisory."

In Kansas City, crack user Shelly McTaggart said she felt "betrayed" by
the drug giant's announcement: "I've been smoking crack every day for the
last eight years and there was no warning label indicating that I was in
danger of becoming a ho - which, by the way, I am."

Drug industry experts said that the safety warning was particularly bad
news for Pharmacia Cranque, which earlier this year was forced to issue
similar warnings for two of its hottest-selling street drugs, China Girl
and Chiba Chiba.

Dexter Tolan of Credit Suisse First Boston said that the company's latest
woes may cause investors to look elsewhere to put their drug money to
work: "Right now I've gone from 'neutral' to 'buy' on crystal meth."

23rd Dec 2004, 23:45
Music as it should be! http://www.rockstargames.com/upload/swf/winners/multimedia/drewcope.swf :wink:

2nd Jan 2005, 14:20
Breathtaking - and often very informative - pictures of our universe...


2nd Jan 2005, 14:51
Fabulous, NottyImp. Thank you very much.

7th Jan 2005, 22:35
This is an interesting one. Two chaps, Robert Scoble (some sort of Microsoft bigwig) and a chap called Shel Israel are writing a book about, of all things, the use of blogs as a publicity tool for business.


But they are doing the whole thing on a blog themselves. All of it. They talk about content, planning and stuff, and respond to comments from readers, sometimes even abandoning a title on the project because commenters didn't like it.

The blog is called The Red Couch and the link is here. (http://redcouch.typepad.com/weblog/)

10th Jan 2005, 13:46
Carl Zimmer's BLOG is an excellent popularisation of modern biology. His latest entry might be of particular interest to computer techies:


10th Jan 2005, 13:52
The ultimate goal of the instructions in DNA is to make new organisms that contain the same genetic instructions. “You could consider a living organism as nothing more than an information channel, where it's transmitting its genome to its offspring,” says Charles Ofria, director of the Digital Evolution Laboratory. “And the information stored in the channel is how to build a new channel.” So a computer program that contains instructions for making new copies of itself has taken a significant step toward life.

Right. And a computer scientist has taken a significant step toward becoming god. Woe, woe, the end is nigh.

12th Jan 2005, 12:19
The first British sacking for a blogger, and they worked for Waterstones!

More here (http://books.guardian.co.uk/news/articles/0,6109,1388290,00.html?gusrc=rss).

John Self
12th Jan 2005, 12:20
Well, thank goodness we don't have any Waterstone's bloggers here, eh kumquat?

12th Jan 2005, 13:10
Looks like Evil Boss took a lot of offence.

12th Jan 2005, 15:31
With Keyhole, you can fly like a superhero from your computer at home to a street corner somewhere else in the world - or find a local hospital, map a road trip or measure the distance between two points," said Jonathan Rosenberg, vice president, Product Management. "This acquisition gives Google users a powerful new search tool, enabling users to view 3D images of any place on earth as well as tap a rich database of roads, businesses and many other points of interest. Keyhole is a valuable addition to Google's efforts to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful."

With an Internet connection, users enter an address or other location information and Keyhole's software accesses the database and takes them to a digital image of that location on their computer screen. The interactive software then gives users many options, including the ability to zoom in from space-level to street-level, tilt and rotate the view or search for other information such as hotels, parks, ATMs or subways. Unlike traditional mapping technologies, Keyhole creates a dynamic 3D interface for geographic information.

They have a one-week free trial. It's fun. Find it in 'Google Tools'.

12th Jan 2005, 15:56
Curses. Windows only.

13th Jan 2005, 17:57
This guy (http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=317&item=594772014 5&rd=1&ssPageName=WDVW) is up to $25,000 now for the sale of his forehead on eBay.

EDIT Why isn't that HTML working? Where did I go wrong?

13th Jan 2005, 19:02
Is there a line break in the middle of that URL, w?

13th Jan 2005, 19:08
Thanks Wavid.

John Self
17th Jan 2005, 23:28
I haven't been watching Celebrity Big Brother so this may be old hat to some, but why not visit Jackie Stallone's website (http://www.jacquelinestallone.com) for some 'interesting' stuff, including the ancient art of Rumpology - not, as I originally thought, a degree in fictional barrister studies, but the 'fact' that

The lines, crevices, and folds of your fanny, rear end to those of you in the UK [Thanks Jackie - JS] can, to the trained eye, reveal your personality, fate, and future in luck and love. Send a close-up picture of your rear end by either using a digital camera or scanning a photo - at least 800 pixels wide (see examples) [Advice from JS - please, please do not see examples]. Attach your image to the order form. Jacqueline will read the image of your rump and you'll receive:

1. Your personal, condensed, no frills report on the signs and markings on your rear end.

2. A condensed, one year prediction in the direction your rear end is taking you... Love, career and finance.

3. As in palmistry, the left hand print and footprint are your past, as is the left cheek of your behind.

Etc. etc. for a very long time indeed. I am not making this up. Though I had to wonder if it's all a joke when item number 5 is:

An 8.5" by 11" color glossy print of your rear end, which you may want to frame as a family keepsake when the fates smile on you, or give as a gift to that special person.

18th Jan 2005, 0:00
Nice bums, but on some of them, regretably, the only 'line, fold, or crevice' is covered, so if people send in photos like that, what's she going to analyse?
I wonder if any of them is Jackie herself? What a dish! Kingsley Amis is heaving in his grave.

18th Jan 2005, 11:12
Those piccies of JS on her website seem just a little outdated. She is married to a cosmetic surgeon I gather. On this evidence, I don't think he likes her very much.


18th Jan 2005, 13:34
With Keyhole, you can fly like a superhero from your computer at home to a street corner somewhere else in the world - or find a local hospital, map a road trip or measure the distance between two points," said Jonathan Rosenberg, vice president, Product Management.

Hype'n'tripe. Tried it. Hated it.
It's very US-centric, so nothing in the UK appears at a detail better than mush.
Even in the USA, anything remotely military is rendered in mush.
I tried San Diego, which I know reasonably well. Useless. I couldn't get the tilt to work, some of the controls kept working after you stopped pressing them. The bandwidth that seemed to be required would bring the internet to its knees if it was good, mind you, so perhaps it's just as well.

24th Jan 2005, 20:38
A link to the closest we mortals may ever come to Truth: stand at attention and press HERE (http://www.zmag.org/chomsky/index.cfm) .

John Self
27th Jan 2005, 16:53
Nice 'and finally' type story on BBC News Online, with one crucial sentence highlighted...

Sex movie mix-up shocks couple

A devout Baptist couple who bought a Doris Day DVD from a supermarket were shocked to find a sex film instead.

Alan and Anne Leigh-Browne, from Wellington, Somerset, had been expecting to enjoy The Pajama Game.

Instead they were confronted by Italian sex film - Tettore che Passione, which translates as Breasts of Passion.

"Some topless young women appeared and started talking in Italian... it's not what you expect from a Doris Day film," Mr Leigh-Browne said.

Retired doctor Mr Leigh-Brown, 67, said he picked up the film, which was sealed in plastic wrapping, for £2.99 from the bargain bin of a Safeway supermarket in Taunton.

The couple, regular attendees at their local Baptist church, settled down with a cup of tea to watch the 1957 musical which has a U (universal) certificate.

"It was a pretty raunchy, explicit film, it certainly pulled no punches," Mr Leigh-Browne said.

"My wife and I were very shocked but we watched it until the end because we couldn't believe what we were seeing.

"The film became progressively more graphic, there was no plot to it, it was just sex."

Alan and his wife Anne, 60, a retired teacher, complained to Safeway the next day and all copies of the Pajama Party were removed from the store.

27th Jan 2005, 22:07
Check out Doogle (http://doogle.dsg.cs.tcd.ie/) - the Irish Search Engine!

rick green
28th Jan 2005, 1:18
A link to the closest we mortals may ever come to Truth: stand at attention and press HERE (http://www.zmag.org/chomsky/index.cfm) .

Aye, aye! I didn't realize that whole volumes are available online. I may have to read Deterring Democracy in the near future. As far as I can tell, that book presents a broader view of recent geopolitics than many of Chomsky's others. He has lots of books made up of essays that share a theme, e.g. Isreal/Palestine or US/Latin America. These are fascinating, but I look forward to the fuller treatment, the great interweaving that I expect Deterring Democracy holds in store. Has anyone read it?

ono no komachi
28th Jan 2005, 12:02
Some intriguing thoughts from the monkeysphere (http://www.pointlesswasteoftime.com/monkeysphere.html).

28th Jan 2005, 13:22
"One death is a tragedy. One million deaths is a statistic."

-50 Cent

Ah yes, the inestimable 50 Cent. Or maybe it was the equally inestimable "Uncle" Joe Stalin who first said that.

ono no komachi
28th Jan 2005, 13:30
Oh, it's all bollocks, of course; on a par with explaining away the Page 3 phenomenon by saying that men are biologically driven to look at naked breasts, and that it's nothing to do with sexual objectification (which is an argument I actually once had to endure from a colleague).

But some of it's amusing.

28th Jan 2005, 14:27
Indeed - given discussions some time ago and elsewhere on here, I smiled at this:

This is perhaps how Ayn Rand would have put it, had she not been such a hateful bitch.

John Self
28th Jan 2005, 21:08
Click here (http://www.private-eye.co.uk/content/lookalikes.cfm)for a random pair of lookalikes from Private Eye.

29th Jan 2005, 12:17
And here (http://www.greenfairy.com/)for one of the funniest bloggers you'll ever read. (Found through Doogle. With only 12 pages to have something this good is feckin' impressive, to be sure.)

ono no komachi
3rd Feb 2005, 16:20
A website for Oolong (http://www.fsinet.or.jp/~sokaisha/rabbit/rabbit.htm), a Japanese rabbit named after a Chinese tea. He liked to balance things on his head but is now sadly deceased.

Links to photos of him indulging in his hobby are lower down the page, in reverse date order.

John Self
9th Feb 2005, 10:11

A welsh rugby fan cut off his testicles after Wales' Six Nations win over England at the week-end.

Geoff Huish was so convinced England would beat the Welsh he told mates: "If Wales win I'll cut my balls off."

Friends thought the 26-year-old was joking. But after Wales' 11-9 victory in Cardiff on Saturday, he went home and carried out his promise.

He then walked the 200m back to the social club in Caerphilly to show everyone what he had done.

Staff dialled 999 and put his testicles in a pint glass packed with ice until help arrived.

One onlooker said: "He came back with his testicles in a bag.

"He lifted up his kilt and there was blood everywhere. It was terrible. That's when he collapsed."

Mr Huish is said to be seriously ill in hospital.

Police revealed he has a history of mental problems.

From Sky News (http://www.sky.com/skynews/article/0,,30000-13297624,00.html). Still, you've got to admire his balls.

ono no komachi
9th Feb 2005, 10:19
Still, you've got to admire his balls.

As Edmund Blackadder might have said, perhaps later.

Police revealed he has a history of mental problems.

Right, thanks for 'revealing' that. Because we couldn't have possibly guessed it on our own.

9th Feb 2005, 10:31
I think he'll definitely be in line for a Darwin Award at the end of this year. Not sure if this has been posted before, but some I'm sure will know it:


ono no komachi
9th Feb 2005, 10:41
I think you could be right there, Notty - although not deceased, he has pretty much removed himself from the gene pool.

9th Feb 2005, 10:46
Exactly. :lol:

Christ, you shouldn't laugh, but really...

10th Feb 2005, 17:55
Still, you've got to admire his balls.

As Edmund Blackadder might have said, perhaps later.

Sorry to be a pedant, but it was Corporal Perkins, played by Jeremy Hardy who said that, wasn't it?

John Self
10th Feb 2005, 18:37
You should only apologise for inaccurate pedantry Wavid - ooh, such as this instance! It was Blackadder who said "Perhaps later" (as indicated by ono) after Perkins said "I've got to admire your balls."

Glad to have straightened that one out...

10th Feb 2005, 19:50
Oh, you're quite right. Apologies to Ono, I misread her post entirely.

ono no komachi
11th Feb 2005, 9:22
I forgive you, Wavid (is there a smiley for beatific condescension?) - and thanks to John for the vindication.

[ono wonders if she should upgrade her VHS Blackadders to DVD and sell the vids at a car boot sale...]

11th Feb 2005, 10:15
[ono wonders if she should upgrade her VHS Blackadders to DVD and sell the vids at a car boot sale...]

ono is right. Amner is kicking himself that he's only performed part 2 of said process...d'oh!

John Self
11th Feb 2005, 10:52
I picked up the four series box set on Amazon for £30 or so (half price) when they were doing their DVD Deals thing a couple of years back - when they still needed to offer extra discount to get people to switch over to DVD. Which reminds me I still haven't watched the first series since being frightened by the death of someone or other (Peter Cook?) in a torture chair thing when it was first shown and I was 10 years old...

rick green
12th Feb 2005, 3:44
Whoa-Ho! Looky here (http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/index.html). Loads of great reading for those of us convinced that the mainstream media is a calculated brain drain. Digests and exerpts of entire books, recent articles, a veritable clearing-house for alternative, dissenting media. I got there via The CIA's Greatest Hits (http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/CIA%20Hits/CIA_GreatestHits.html). And lest you brits think we yanks are to blame for it all, check out the top ten military-industrial earners of '04 (http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Corporate_Welfare/TopTenWarProfiteers2004.html). I could burn up a lot of hours on this site. More user-friendly layout than Z-net in my opinion.

12th Feb 2005, 12:02
Wow. Great site, Rick. And every heading pays, no blind alleys or sending you to the same place by several routes. Did you see the one on small farms vs corporate farming?

rick green
12th Feb 2005, 17:30
Did you see the one on small farms vs corporate farming?

Nope, haven't found that yet. Care to put up a link?

12th Feb 2005, 17:58
Again - wow. Proper site there.

12th Feb 2005, 18:14
Here you go Rick: "On The Benefits Of Small Farms"


rick green
12th Feb 2005, 20:37
Thanks RC,
Great article. Makes me want to go work in the garden. Bubble-up's the way to go!

13th Feb 2005, 22:19
I caught a CBC radio interview today with Bill Mckibben, who wrote The End of Nature c.1989. (The interview was in connection with the Kyoto Accord.) Mckibben opened with remarks on agribusiness, pointing out the criminal wastefulness of shipping food around the globe. He said the a mouthful of food eaten by an American has travelled an average of 1500 miles. He himself is committed to eating only locally-produced food year-round. I find this very gratifying because it is my favorite example of how capitalism distorts sensible production and promotes environmental destruction.

John Self
16th Feb 2005, 22:30
The Bubble Burst (http://www.thebubbleburst.co.uk)- an excellent where-are-they-now site. Well, it looks excellent, I haven't actually browsed it yet.

17th Feb 2005, 0:17
very good. lots of familliar names - not the dictators i hasten to add! have forwarded it on already. thanks.

John Self
17th Feb 2005, 11:31
Don't you just love it when nerds get over-excited? Star Trek: Enterprise has been cancelled in the US - just think - a future with no more interminable Star Trek spin-offs! Bliss!

But they're not taking it lying down. As well as all the campaigns, they're trying to fund another series themselves, oh yes. Click here (http://www.trekunited.com/)for the donations page, which tells us that they need to raise 'just' $35.2 million before the end of March (when the existing sets will be torn down by the studio). And how are they doing, with six weeks to go? Total raised to date: $23,270. Great going guys - just £35,176,730 to go. :lol:

17th Feb 2005, 11:45
Of all the ST series, I never got into the last one. But I regret the demise of weekly episodes that we could watch. Putting on the First Contact film last night (comfort watching after a grotty day), reminded me how much we enjoyed TNG and DS:9 and Voyager and how our younger kids are missing out on seeing *any* Star Trek episodes and knowing what it's about. After initial grumbling, both the older kids got enthused as soon as Data appeared and started recalling old episodes (Trials and Tribblations etc) and asking about all the many characters.

rick green
24th Feb 2005, 0:35
Here's (http://www.mclemee.com/index.html) a site of essays and reviews by a guy who won the National Book Critic's award for reviewing last year. I read the piece on Ayn Rand (http://www.mclemee.com/id39.html) last night and liked it. Lots more here to look into.

1st Mar 2005, 11:31
Probably a tad offensive (don't let them catch you with this (http://www.geekgifts.co.uk/countdown/) at work). It's not nudity or anything like that, but it does utilise most people's least-favourite word...

John Self
9th Mar 2005, 17:02
Excellent piece (http://media.guardian.co.uk/mediaguardian/story/0,,665192,00.html)from the Guardian archive by former Sun editor Kelvin Mackenzie on their libel trials and tribulations:

Not unreasonably Rupert [Murdoch] was becoming increasingly annoyed at the price, both in cash and image, his company was paying for the explosion in libel cases.

In order to find out the company's liabilities, he arranged for Tom Crone, News International's legal manager, to bring up all the legal papers for the outstanding libel cases and for them to be laid out in the dining room while we ate.

Rupert appeared not to be in the greatest of humour as we tucked into our chicken salad. What happened next did not help my digestion or, I suspect, his. There was a knock on the door and in came Tom, his legs buckling under the weight of the Sun's libel papers. There were so many, his head was almost hidden from view.

The editor of the News of the World, Wendy Henry, looked at me anxiously. Almost plaintively. I was soon to find out why. Thirty seconds later there was another knock on the door. This time in came three perspiring middle-aged men all weighed down by more papers. The News of the World libel ensemble had arrived.

My favourite story from the piece is this.

An example ... came on the Sun's Bizarre column which covers pop gossip. The lead story for that day said, "Sting: Why I Have Taken Drugs."

Not much of a story but Sting was a clean-living sort of guy - and anyway we didn't have anything else. Within hours of publication we received a letter from Sting's solicitor saying they represent the "noted pop singer" Sting and that the story was wholly untrue. They wanted a full apology and a large sum in damages.

So I called in the reporter and said: "Are you sure about this?" He said: "Not only am I sure but it's all on tape." We wrote back to the lawyers telling them to get stuffed. A writ then followed.

Three weeks later we gather at a legal conference to prepare our defence to the action. News International's legal manager, me, the QC, the reporter and a tape recorder... and we play the tape.

A lot of boring dribble about what great songs he sings, why he sings them and then, finally, the crunch. The Bizarre reporter says: "Tell me Sting, have you ever taken drugs?" Sting pauses and then replies firmly: "No."

A quiet descends on the legal conference. We turn on the reporter. In unison we say: "But you said he admitted taking drugs". The reporter nods and says: "But it was the way he said no". Sting pocketed £75,000 in damages.

Priceless. If you see what I mean.

rick green
9th Mar 2005, 22:43
That's rich.

Here's a funny review of a scholarly monograph On Bullshit (http://insidehighered.com/index.php/mla/views/intellectual_affairs__4%20).

10th Mar 2005, 10:16
This (http://www.geocities.jp/lledoece/nanaca-crash), while a little Japanese, is VERY addictive.

My current record is 1000m and change.

The instructions are in Japanese, but as far as I can gather, the only things you have control of are the initial impact and the Aerial boost, which you can only use when the word AERIAL is the colour of the boost you want. You'll see what I mean if you play.

10th Mar 2005, 10:52
I don't understand it, but I keep playing it. I don't get what the words mean on the right, and how they affect your bounce, or that the word 'aerial' just stays grey. But I've got a record of ....279 now!

ETA!!!! Just got lots of turbo-boosts and to 1059.64!!!!

10th Mar 2005, 12:49
The over-worked bods on our Help Desk have been playing this all week. Last I looked the highest score I could see was about 2500.

10th Mar 2005, 13:50
Just had another go - 2045.33

John Self
10th Mar 2005, 14:42
It's a bit like pinball isn't it? The only variable (unless I've missed something) is the angle at which the arrow is pointing when you click it, and everything else is up to randomly landing on booster people etc. Consequently on my first and second goes I got about 30m and 18m, then on my third go, without consciously doing anything different, I hit 489m. :roll:

12th Mar 2005, 11:51
Also, the power can be different at fire time, and the manual AERIAL boosts and Special clicks are absolutely essential for a good run.

12th Mar 2005, 12:22

rick green
13th Mar 2005, 7:19
Here's (http://www.bopsecrets.org/index.shtml)an interesting sight by an American Situationist.

John Self
21st Mar 2005, 11:15
Think Geek (http://www.thinkgeek.com/)is an extraordinarily sophisticated spoof online store which for a moment I thought was real. Until I saw items like the Ambient Orb Device (http://www.thinkgeek.com/gadgets/electronic/5da2/) ("The Ambient Orb is a device that slowly transitions between thousands of colors to show changes in the weather, the health of your stock portfolio, or if your boss or friend is on instant messenger") and the George Foreman USB iGrill (http://www.thinkgeek.com/stuff/looflirpa/igrill.shtml) ("The low-fat, high-bandwidth solution to your networked cooking needs is finally here. The George Foreman USB iGrill conveniently connects to your home or office PC using USB 2.0 technology, and provides a sophisticated web-based cooking interface. Download recipes, enter in the type of food, weight and desired degree of doneness, and the iGrill handles the rest. Did you know that a medium rare 1/4 lb. hamburger made from 80% lean beef takes 1 minute and 45 seconds less cook time than an identical patty made from 95% lean prime Black Angus? The iGrill does").

21st Mar 2005, 11:57
Wonderful. And what wouldn't you give for that sexy must-have the 'Internet Urinal'.


21st Mar 2005, 14:49

22nd Mar 2005, 11:45
You still addicted, Jim?

22nd Mar 2005, 11:54
I think that cured me. It took about 10 minutes and became rather tedious.

25th Mar 2005, 17:14

Just started reading Calvino's novel. If On A Winter's Night........

Rick said that Invisible Cities was his favorite by Calvino. I found the above website which has pics of a hotel, in Italy, that was built based on the novel.

Great pictures :o Makes me want to go there !

Maggie (who obviously doesn't know how to import a website :? )

Oh, never mind......it worked :D

John Self
30th May 2005, 13:17
'Interesting' website here (http://www.whichbook.net), whichbook.net, which offers book recommendations based on up to four different characteristics chosen by you - from the likes of Safe/Dangerous, Easy/Demanding, Conventional/Unusual, Funny/Serious, Gentle/Violent, etc. etc. Probably more a novelty than anything else, though if you're the library type then it also provides a list of libraries in your area where the selected book is available to borrow!

John Self
30th May 2005, 13:26
Ooh - and - I have just discovered you can also choose by character, plot, and setting. So let's see what it comes up with when I select the following:

Race: non-human
Age: 50+
Sexuality: bisexual
Gender: male

Plot: lots of twists and turns

Setting: Oman, Persian Gulf States

And the winner is ... Sorry. No books match your request.

Ah! I spy a gap in the market...

However, if I remove the plot and setting specifications, and just leave the demand for a bisexual male middle-aged non-human, it comes up with I, Lucifer by Glen Duncan. Cool.

30th May 2005, 23:07
damn. i can see that place doing me out of a job!

ha ha

(have free internet access in my apartment room in vienna!)

31st May 2005, 1:54
Glen Duncan is the author whose book I just finished. "The Death of an Ordinary Man" Good stuff by the way. I posted on the book reviews page and no one had much to say. Duncan lives in London and "I, Lucifer" was a pretty popular book.

I originally thought the book was going to be somewhat like "The Lovely Bones". Not even close. Just the same idea, in that the deceased is viewing his surviving family.

Sorry to say there was nothing about bi-sexuality, non-humaness or even being middle aged for that matter in "Death of an......." :?


31st May 2005, 11:25
I tried it - I forget the preferences I expressed, but they were sincerely chosen. Up came, top of the list, David Mitchell's number9dream, which, on the basis of Cloud Atlas, is already number one on my get-this-book list. Scary.... It seems to work.

9th Jun 2005, 6:02
Alternative browsing at Stumbleupon (http://www.stumbleupon.com). I've yet to try it, but it looks potentially revolutionary.

9th Jun 2005, 13:41
I've tried it, and it doesn't look like there's enough users yet. The toolbar is slightly unprofessional and the password functionality is flaky at best.

It does direct you to some really good sites though that you would never have found otherwise.

A diversion rather than a revolution. Although give it a little while and who knows...

17th Jul 2005, 1:58
Next up is Google Earth (http://earth.google.com/). Amazingly good bit of software this.

Tip: America is the most detailed area so far naturally. You can fly down Broadway, or anywhere else for that matter. Get in close, go to Tools, Options, Navigation tab, and select G-Force. This gives you a little plane icon in the main view that you can tilt the view with (use the buttons in the tool bar because they're easier to control) and away you go.

I can see my house, the park right behind it that i never knew was there, and, oooh well, all sorts really.

Alternatively, help save mankind with Google Compute (http://toolbar.google.com/dc/offerdc.html).

17th Jul 2005, 20:38
On the topic of the Google tools, one that is well worth having a look for, especially for those who have a lot of digital photos, is Picasa (http://picasa.google.com/index.html).

It's bascially a photo organiser: it searches out for all the photos on your computer, and allows you to touch them up a bit, make picture CDs, nimated slideshows, and produce fairly nice simple webpages with them on.

It also works as a Flickr-style photo sharing tool in conjunction with another Google-owned service called Hello (http://www.hello.com/), which in turn ties in with the blogging service Blogger (http://blogger.com). You can also email them, with Picasa resizing photos for you before they are sent. It is on these sharing services that Picasa lets itself down a bit though: the Hello/Blogger link is confusing and irritating in that it won't let you post photos to blogs on other systems - an example of Google tying products in together which is rather annoying, when you consider that Flickr (owned by Google's rival Yahoo!, who of course offer similar stuff to Google) will let you do pretty much as you like. Also, on the emailing front, it's far easier if you have a Gmail account, and so those without miss out on some of the best features.

But it is the best photo organiser I have used, and it's varioua tools make it a worthwhile download, even if you don't end up using it that much.

20th Jul 2005, 23:41
I'm hooked on google earth now, thank you!

edit: ooh i think i just crashed my plane

21st Jul 2005, 9:19
Me too, although I was dissapointed with not being able to see much of rural England, the bit's I live in specifically. I did manage to send my mom a nice aerial view of where she grew up though, just NW of Philadelphia. She was amazed! :)

Oh there are too many ways of not doing any work out there! :roll:

28th Jul 2005, 10:58
Just found that The Guardian have an Arts blog here (http://blogs.guardian.co.uk/culturevulture/).

1st Aug 2005, 10:11
Here's a recent article about Bak's favourite anarcho-book commune, Bookcrossing (http://www.bookcrossing.com):

Finders, readers

Bookcrossing is a literary treasure hunt that starts and finishes online. Someone leaves a book they love for others to find and see whether they love it too. And its top 50 reveals some surprise choices

Viv Groskop
Sunday July 31, 2005
Observer (http://books.guardian.co.uk/departments/generalfiction/story/0,6000,1539574,00.html)

I have discovered the ultimate summer treasure hunt. I found out about it a few weeks ago and I am hooked. Are you looking for a copy of Four Blondes by Candace Bushnell (Abacus)? It's waiting for you in the Nicky Clarke hair salon in Birmingham's Mailbox. Passing through Cardiff Central Station? Keep your eyes peeled for Adrian Mole: The Cappuccino Years by Sue Townsend (Penguin). But don't you dare stumble across The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy (Flamingo). It's in a pub near Waterloo and I am hoping to get there by Monday.
These abandoned books are lying in wait courtesy of an online phenomenon called bookcrossing. Its most ardent fans describe it as a way to exert your intellectual influence on the world and feel you're doing a good turn. In these jittery times, books are perhaps the one thing you can safely leave on a train or bus (naked, and not in a bag, please).

It's a sort of philanthropic version of Amazon's online service. Like Amazon, everyone who logs on adores books and the supply is endless. Unlike Amazon, bookcrossing is free. It is also great for children: hundreds of UK bookcrossers are under 16 and furiously swapping their favourites. Another bonus: as far as I can make out, bookcrossers never meet their secret benefactors (they're too busy reading, probably), so for once online forums are a dating-free zone.

The concept is finders-keepers meets interactive virtual lending library. The rules are simple. First take a book down from your shelf. It should be one you love. (Ideally, if you ruled the world you would make reading of this book compulsory.) Log onto bookcrossing.com and register. Print out a label and a number for your book. Release it into the wild. The person who finds the book will see the invitation to the website where they can log their find, eventually write a review and then rerelease the book themselves. In theory, as the book travels around, it should build up an online profile of reviews.

Bookcrossing started in April 2001 in Missouri, and now has 350,000 members in 90 countries who have liberated more than two million books in dozens of different languages. In the UK there are 4,000 bookcrossers who have established 'Crossing Zones' (places where you can find abandoned books). On the website you can search according to location. The Crossing Zones can be specific or random. You could spend several hours combing King's Parade in Cambridge for Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro (Faber), released four weeks ago, or you could hit the jackpot straight away at the phone box opposite Safeway on Byres Road, also in Cambridge, although no one has been tempted yet. Sadly, The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger (Penguin) has been at large for eight months.

Described as the modern message in a bottle, Bookcrossing's 'most registered' top 50 list makes for fascinating, if predictable, reading. These, after all, are the books hundreds of people believe others must read. Dan Brown holds the top two slots with Angels and Demons and The Da Vinci Code (Corgi Adult). There are 14 John Grisham novels and rather a lot of Michael Crichton. But there are surprises too: To Kill a Mockingbird (Arrow) by Harper Lee, We Were the Mulvaneys (Fourth Estate) by Joyce Carol Oates, Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier (HarperCollins), The Lovely Bones: A Novel by Alice Sebold (Picador).

Ron Hornbaker, the founder of the site (which, incidentally, is strictly non-profit and survives on donations from readers), has found three of the greatest reads of his life thanks to bookcrossing: Foucault's Pendulum by Umberto Eco (Vintage), Life of Pi by Yann Martel (Canongate), a top 50 entry, and A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson. He has never heard of anyone in publishing complaining about bookcrossing reducing sales: 'Books have always been shared through friends and libraries. It's legal and we're doing nothing different. And you should want your books shared. Only the good ones get passed around and talked about, and the buzz does more good to sales than harm.'

The proof of the reading is in the finding, though. Since I found out about the site a few weeks ago I've passed through Chancery Lane tube station but miserably failed to spot Freud's Five Lectures on Psychoanalysis (Penguin). I almost persuaded my dad to hunt for The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon (Vintage) at the Village Pump Festival in Trowbridge, Wiltshire, last week but we decided the location listed was too vague. I had a disastrous expedition last Tuesday to the Prince's Head pub on Richmond Green to find 1984 by George Orwell (Penguin). It's long gone, said the barman, although no one has registered it as found yet.

Finally on Wednesday I hit gold. Someone had listed the Crossing Zone as my local branch of Oxfam. I ended up paying 99p to charity to get it (a rather sweet twist, I thought). The book? Unfortunately, it's The Pelican Brief (Arrow), but I have never read any John Grisham so this could be the start of an unexpected passion. Now it's my turn to reciprocate. Any day now I will be unleashing my favourite recent reads, The Society of Others by William Nicholson (Black Swan) and The Line of Beauty by Alan Hollinghurst (Picador), probably at a service station on the A303. See you there?

John Self
1st Aug 2005, 10:58
Isn't the problem that this most romantic vision of BookCrossing, ie where people abandon books to be found by others, is the aspect of it which works least well? - as evidenced by the fact that all the books the piece mentions weren't actually there when the writer went to look for them. After all, any book left in a pub, or phone box, or park bench, or any other public place, is going to be cleared away and chucked out within a few days to a week whenever the street cleaners or bar staff find it. The only way, as I understand it, that BookCrossing really works is the way rick has used it, as a 'swap' for wanted and unwanted books.

3rd Aug 2005, 15:24
6 British based literature blogs fed into one handy site: Britlitblogs (http://www.britlitblogs.com).

rick green
17th Aug 2005, 0:39
Cool! Flickr & Yahoo have merged. Now I should get a two for one login.

17th Aug 2005, 8:37
To get the two-for-one, you presumably have to use exactly the same name as on Flickr in your new Yahoo a/c? It might have been useful for them to give a guide to doing that - it says your Yahoo a/c can have spaces in the address, but if you sign up like that, will it allow you access to Flickr where your account has no spaces?

17th Aug 2005, 9:02
Col - it lets you tie the two together even if they are different. You then log in with your Yahoo! username, but there don't seem to be any other changes.

I did have to download a new copy of the uploader tool, though this has been upgraded recently anyway, so is worth doing for that reason.

4th Oct 2005, 16:52
Just a few words about books available on the internet. This group has been of immense use to me over the past months.

Quite a lot of Shakespeare is available here:
The Complete(?) Works of WS (http://www.shakespeare-literature.com/)

George Orwell


(by the) Mark Twain

Charles Darwin

5th Oct 2005, 0:14
Thanks for those, carfilhiot. I have submitted them to the links directory (http://palimpsest.org.uk/links). If anyone else has some useful links they have come across, feel free to submit them to the directory yourselves!

6th Oct 2005, 2:36
Isn't the problem that this most romantic vision of BookCrossing, ie where people abandon books to be found by others, is the aspect of it which works least well? - as evidenced by the fact that all the books the piece mentions weren't actually there when the writer went to look for them. After all, any book left in a pub, or phone box, or park bench, or any other public place, is going to be cleared away and chucked out within a few days to a week whenever the street cleaners or bar staff find it. The only way, as I understand it, that BookCrossing really works is the way rick has used it, as a 'swap' for wanted and unwanted books.

Actually we have a few places close to my home that are called "Crossing Zones" I have been fairly lucky when leaving books at these specific sites. There are a few "orphans" that have been hanging around a while and I will most likely move them as I don't want the shop owners to get upset. I've swapped a few but most of mine have been picked up. I did notice that often the books are gone but no one journals. A friend of mine said that people are reluctant to go to a site they are unfamiluar with. They don't want any more advertising than they already have. The idea behind BookCrossing is a good one and I would imagine that it works better in some communities more than others.


17th Oct 2005, 12:01
http://www.writely.com/ is worth mentioning - it is a word processor online, accessed through a browser. Free to sign up, it means you can hold documents online and can access them from wherever you are, meaning you don't have to faff around with multiple versions.

Also, you can give other people access to a document and collaborate over the internet.

17th Oct 2005, 12:40
Looks like a good idea for NaNoWriMo

10th Nov 2005, 16:30
This is a great little game (http://www.popcap.com/gamepopup.php?theGame=rocketmania).

10th Nov 2005, 16:56
Oooo fun fun fun - more ways to avoid work! :-D

rick green
12th Nov 2005, 1:36
Any motor-heads out there? (Besides gil ;-)) Have you heard of C'etait un rendezvouz? I just heard about it here (http://crookedtimber.org/2005/11/10/sacre-bleu/#comments)(click the link to watch). WTF!?! :shock:

EDIT: Try the links in the updates here (http://www.jerrykindall.com/2005/11/07_cetait_un_rendezvous.asp)if the one above fails.

rick green
30th Nov 2005, 6:33
The Poetry Archive (http://www.poetryarchive.org/poetryarchive/home.do): cool. Lots of accents, with Seamus Heaney representing Eire in fine style.

John Self
30th Nov 2005, 10:17
At the risk of sounding like an Orangeman, although Heaney (as a nationalist) may represent Eire, ie the Republic of Ireland, his accent doesn't. He's from Derry in Northern Ireland and his accent (listening to the recordings rick linked to) is pure 'posh NI'.

30th Nov 2005, 13:12
He's from Derry in Northern Ireland and his accent (listening to the recordings rick linked to) is pure 'posh NI'.

Are you "posh N.I.", John?

rick green
30th Nov 2005, 15:58
Is that right? There must be a fine distinction between the North and the rest then--too fine for my ears to register. Most of Heaney's vowels sound like a certain Paddy Finnegan I know. I always had the impression he wasn't from the North. How about Father Ted & Father Doogan? Would theirs be more typical Irish accents?

7th Dec 2005, 23:23
Have any of you ever seen this (http://www.spikedhumor.com/articles/244/Triumph_the_Dog_at_Star_Wars.html?autoplay=true)?

It's a guy with a dog puppet interviewing, and laughing at, people queuing up for Star Wars II: Attack of the Clones. I couldn't stop laughing.

13th Dec 2005, 14:47
Ok, as Digger you've all got to see this, it's great! :-D
JCB song (http://www.jcbsong.co.uk/jcbvideo.asp)

John Self
13th Dec 2005, 14:55
Surely not the very same one I put in my Top Ten Songs I Never Want to Hear Again??

13th Dec 2005, 14:56
was it - didn't sink in - sorry JS, I only just discovered it today! Don't quite know how I've missed it given the whole digger thing!

EDIT: yep, sorry JS - didn't make that connection in my head. I agree about the whole creepy thing - but for me, at the end of the day, it's a song about a JCB! Plus I kinda like the animation.

13th Dec 2005, 14:58
It is a truly dreadful song. I swerve dangerously in the car everytime it comes on and I have to reach desperately for the radio to re-tune to, well, anything frankly. Even modern jazz.

13th Dec 2005, 15:00
This explains it, my almost total refusal to listen to pop radio (other than 6 Music) means I never hear the current playlists and there fore either miss the really annoying ones, or find them through other channels where they're not played ad infinitum.

I could post this in the guilty 'forgive me for i have sinned' thread.... :oops:

13th Dec 2005, 15:08
I think you should. Penance must be done.

13th Dec 2005, 15:16
yeah, but Notty, JS, it's a digger - a Digger!!! I pretty much have to like it, aw, go on, please... pleeeeese?

ono no komachi
13th Dec 2005, 16:06
In Digger's defence, I want to say that the Ben Folds album she recommended to me sounds AMAZING on my new Walkman...



13th Dec 2005, 16:16
Ah, the sweet embrace of redemption. Phew! Thanks ono.

I still like the digger

John Self
13th Dec 2005, 16:21
Very cool, ono. The new Walkman is the only mp3 player I've seen that seriously rivals the iPod in terms of style. And possibly even surpasses it.

13th Dec 2005, 16:26
Is it uber pricy? less than an ipod?

13th Dec 2005, 16:27
Difficult as it is to raise one's head above the parapet on this, the song is about bullying; specifically being bullied due to suffering from dyslexia and struggling in class. When the bullying got too much the singer's father would take him off to work with him to escape it for a day.

Now I know as adults it might not make our top ten's (I don't mind it to be honest) but if it helps one kid speak out; or lets one kid know that someone else went through it and encourages them to discuss it with a parent (as Luke clearly did; and his Dad was clearly supportive in his own way), isn't it worth all those frantic reaches to switch channel for others?

I think that at worst it's an acceptable irritant.

ono no komachi
13th Dec 2005, 16:41
I've only heard it once, but I remember thinking it was quite a sweet song, especially compared to all the sugababes/kelly clarkson/anastacia irritants.

ono no komachi
13th Dec 2005, 16:44
Is it uber pricy? less than an ipod?

Amazon are selling some of the colours at £141, but I think they have sold out of silver ones (I think it's the nicest but then I would because that's the one I have) - delivery time on those is now up to 2 weeks. The John Lewis price is £159 (which I think is the same as the Sony Centre price) but you'd get more reliable after-sales service with them.

The battery is supposedly better than the ipod battery. The sound quality is superb, but then I am using pretty decent Sennheiser headphones because I have an aversion to in-ear phones.

EDIT: The software that accompanies it is pretty ropey though.

FURTHER EDIT: Thinking about it, I'm pretty sure John Lewis do some kind of price promise, so if someone had the chutzpah to check it out, they might be able to get John Lewis service at the Amazon price.

13th Dec 2005, 17:24
That's the first time I've heard that and I quite liked it but them I'm a softy with a son not much older than Luke. No doubt I will now hear it everywhere I turn.

13th Dec 2005, 17:24
Do you think I get anything new for 300 posts?

13th Dec 2005, 17:25

14th Dec 2005, 13:28
yeah, but Notty, JS, it's a digger - a Digger!!! I pretty much have to like it, aw, go on, please... pleeeeese?

Well, I suppose you can be granted special dispensation just this once. Where's that grudging, smiley?

14th Dec 2005, 13:54
hooray! Lucky me, thankyou oh your forgiveful one!

*Note to self: must find good taste in 2006!*

(That's not you JS)

21st Dec 2005, 14:49
Meebo (http://www5.meebo.com/): IM'ing via Web 2.0. In other words, use MSN, Yahoo!, AOL Messengers or Google Talk using a website. Brilliant for those of us in the office...

21st Dec 2005, 15:50
very good, I am likeo meebo - might actually be worth adding my IM contacts to my Palimprofile.

22nd Dec 2005, 21:02
Throw some tomatoes at James Blunt (http://eclectech.co.uk/gullible.php)...if you want.

23rd Dec 2005, 11:29
Thanks Blixa, I enjoyed that. Shame you can't fill his face with tomatoes so he can't sing anymore.

23rd Dec 2005, 17:46
I think this is what we call a backlash.

rick green
28th Dec 2005, 1:02
For some reason, I've never checked out the PEN site (http://www.pen.org/). Looks like they've got some great stuff. The Audio archive is particularly enticing.

31st Dec 2005, 16:16
Forget the olympics, Russian free-running (http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=515642196227308929) is COOL!

31st Dec 2005, 16:36
Those crazy guys defy death as well as gravity it seems. Very cool vid, love the bit with the dog !

31st Dec 2005, 16:45
yeah, and the car window, I will get into my car like this from now on!

3rd Jan 2006, 18:52
Here is me! Decorating the Christmas cake (http://www.vimeo.com/clip=32244)!! :-)

(It's quite large so you'll need a speedy connection.)

4th Jan 2006, 0:20

4th Jan 2006, 0:46
I especially liked the spinning fork in the dinner table one.

4th Jan 2006, 9:56
Yes well, that's my brother for you!

4th Jan 2006, 14:08
Beautiful cake !! I did miss seeing the foot gear though.


10th Jan 2006, 12:29
Daveybot - what's this last.fm business you link to in your sig?

10th Jan 2006, 18:32
Lowbrow but funny:

Unfortunately named authors (http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/tg/listmania/list-browse/-/37D5IC5TJ2UTU//202-5255551-7946265)

I looked at your list John, but did not see:

Fifty Yards to the Outhouse by Willy Makit,
A Tiger Under My Tree by Claude Balles,
Lime Jello Delights by I.P. Green

10th Jan 2006, 21:02
Daveybot - what's this last.fm business you link to in your sig?

Ahar! Well spotted, Wavid.

Yes, I haven't seen many of them around in the Palimp, but I was originally put onto the service by some fellow Flickrites.

Last.fm (http://www.last.fm/) is a web2.0 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Web_2.0)-type service which, after the installation of a tiny plugin for your media player of choice, remembers what you listen to and stores the information, to be regurgitated in any number of statistics at your request. For example:

1 - the tracks you have most recently listened to
2 - the artists you have listened to the most
3 - the tracks you have listened to the most

All the statistics are remembered forever, so it's a nifty way of keeping track of your own musical tastes. That's what I use it for predominantly.

Now, where the web2.0 part of the service comes in is where things get a little more nifty. Because all these statistics exist for every user, it's possible to track other people with similar tastes, and from there to get recommendations, exposure to new artists, join discussion groups, etc. It becomes not just a place to track what you have listened to, but a place to find out new about new music you could listen to.

One of the best features they've implemented recently is an in-built streaming radio station, very similar in interface to the awesome Pandora (http://www.pandora.com/). I've found loads of new music on there that I would not have otherwise been so easily exposed to.

...That answer your question, Wavid?

10th Jan 2006, 21:30
Now, where the web2.0 part of the service comes in is where things get a little more nifty. Because all these statistics exist for every user, it's possible to track other people with similar tastes, and from there to get recommendations, exposure to new artists, join discussion groups, etc. It becomes not just a place to track what you have listened to, but a place to find out new about new music you could listen to.

Well, I'm joining that. Cheers Daveybot.

10th Jan 2006, 21:32
And, on a completely different note, I also suggest for your reading pleasure...

The Jean-Paul Sartre Cookbook (http://pvspade.com/Sartre/cookbook.html)

"October 4

Still working on the omelet. There have been stumbling blocks. I keep creating omelets one after another, like soldiers marching into the sea, but each one seems empty, hollow, like stone. I want to create an omelet that expresses the meaninglessness of existence, and instead they taste like cheese. I look at them on the plate, but they do not look back. Tried eating them with the lights off. It did not help. Malraux suggested paprika."

10th Jan 2006, 21:40
That's joyous:

Today I made a Black Forest cake out of five pounds of cherries and a live beaver, challenging the very definition of the word "cake."

Nice one.

10th Jan 2006, 21:45
Should it update my charts after each song, or does it do it in bulk at some point?

10th Jan 2006, 21:51
Should it update my charts after each song, or does it do it in bulk at some point?

It takes a little while to get going, to be honest. I remember when I first started I was slightly bothered with it by the end of the first week as it wasn't updating often enough - my listening habits looked very skewed. However, the more music you listen to the more the statistics begin to even out. After a few days it will soon start tracking your music within minutes of each track you play.

Oh, and also, don't skip through songs! It only registers if you play at least half of the song!

All in all: Give it time, young Jedi.... or something...

10th Jan 2006, 21:58
Ah, it has started now. http://www.last.fm/user/MileStyle/

11th Jan 2006, 13:24
Google Print

Not sure if y'all follow the copyfight particularly, but I'm quite interested in the current legal wranglings over Google's Book Search (http://books.google.com/books?hl=en) application, currently in beta testing. Lawrence Lessig (http://www.lessig.org/) recently posted a movie (well-seeded 85MB torrent link (http://www.prodigem.com/torrents/download/lessig/lessig-Google.torrent)) of a talk he's given on the subject, and I recommend a view for anyone who has an interest in books, publishing, technology, the internet, or their rights to invent things and make money off it. This probably means you! Fiddly legal stuff, of course, but I'm a huge follower and admirer of the man and his work, and certainly agree whole-heartedly with his opinions regarding this issue. I wonder what everyone else makes of it all?

Edited to add: If anyone would like a copy but can't be bothered to fiddle around with BitTorrent, I'll happily send them a CD-ROM with the talk (and others) on it.

11th Jan 2006, 13:26
Can you give us a quick precis of what Lessig says, Db? I subscribe to his blog, but rarely focus too hard on it.

11th Jan 2006, 16:18
Ahhh, why not? I like a challenge! Not sure how 'quick' this will be, but here goes...!

Okay, so the Google Book Project searches the content of 18,000,000 books which they've scanned in. You can type in 'Shakespeare' and Google searches the entirety of those 18 million works for each and every reference. Handy, eh? Google then shows you actual scanned pages of those books, or at least scanned snippets, depending on the state of copyright on those books.

All clear so far? Jolly good.

In September and October of 2005, the Association of American Publishers (AAP) and the Authors Guild (AG) filed lawsuits against Google claiming massive copyright infringement by Google and demanding damages to the tune of many gazillions of dollars. In his talk, Lessig describes both the book project and the legal case against it. He then goes on to discuss the question of whether or not Google's project is in fact engaging in copyright infringement. I won't explain all the fascinating legal arguments and precedents here at the moment, but he makes a strong case for Google having done nothing wrong at all.

Lessig then goes on to describe one of the problems which faces us all if the AAP and AG get their way, with the case going all the way to the courts and an end result of Google losing. It is most likely that Google would be forced to remove every item from the book project until they had permission from the relevent copyright owners to scan, search, and display portions of their works. Sounds fair to start with, but in actual fact it just leads to a lousy product. If you had to ask everyone for permission to quote them in your PhD thesis, you wouldn't get responses from half your sources. Furthermore, the vast majority of printed works have copyright owners who are quite simply unknown. There is no mandatory register of copyright owners, and so millions of these 'orphaned works' would simply disappear into obscurity and the Google Book Project would be nowhere near as useful.

More worrying is that the legal precedent would then make it unlawful to use another's copyrighted data in your own database. In other words: the whole idea of an internet search engine would become illegal overnight. If it is illegal to scan and store the data from a book and make that data available for searches, it must be illegal to do the same with a website or the internet as a whole.

Finally Lessig explains the implications of this case for the future of Google, copyright litigation, and technological or cultural innovation and growth as a whole - his favourite topic. The danger is that Google will settle the case out of court. Now, Google can afford to do this, but it would set a nasty precedent for any new company out there attempting to make a similarly ambitious project. If only the largest and richest companies in the world are able to innovate, it will be a sad day for innovation itself, particularly in the fast-moving world of information technology.

What is saddest of all is that Copyright was originally created to boost innovation, and so we finally return to the rallying cry of the copyfighter - The claim that 20th century copyright law is hugely inadequate for dealing with the future of information and is in need of massive overhaul.

...And so we hold our collective breath, eagerly waiting to see what happens next!

Disclaimer: this simplifies the whole dabate hugely!

11th Jan 2006, 16:23
That's great - I wasn't sure if Lessig was going to be pro- or anti-Google on this one.

I've had a look at the Google book thing - it's impressive that you actually 'see' the book in front of you, but the couple of ones I was interested in at the time were still under copyright so I only saw a few pages.

John Self
11th Jan 2006, 16:31
I don't think the copyright objections are unreasonable at all. As I understand it you can see about six pages from a book at a time. So if you want to read it in full all you have to do is pick an unusual word near the end of the sixth page and do a new search. Then read the next six pages, repeat etc.

Furthermore, the vast majority of printed works have copyright owners who are quite simply unknown.

Surely not? The copyright owner is the author unless stated otherwise. If the author is dead 70 years or more, then there is no copyright and it's in the public domain.

11th Jan 2006, 19:33
...As I understand it you can see about six pages from a book at a time. So if you want to read it in full all you have to do is pick an unusual word near the end of the sixth page and do a new search. Then read the next six pages, repeat etc.

The amount you can read from each book varies according to the status of the copyright on it. For the books which are copyrighted and in print, it's normally only snippets of a few lines at a time (http://scrawford.blogware.com/LibraryProject_screenshot.JPG). For works in the public domain you can indeed read the whole thing, without even needing to search for new words. The huge majority of works, though, fall into the tricky bracket: those which are in copyright but out of print. For these, it varies: Google says they will at least show snippets of a few lines.

It's also important to note that Google gives (and has always given) all copyright owners the choice of 'opting out' of any of their projects. Only 9% of the works they are scanning are in the public domain, but a database composed of only works 90 years old or more would be pretty useless. Imagine if Google Web Search could only reference web sites which are in the public domain - the tool becomes instantly useless. As with their web search engine, this project relies on being able to quote from everything available. If you don't want in, let them know and they'll remove you from their database. If, on the other hand, you are dead and your work is unavailable and long forgotten (but the copyright is still in place) society benefits from at least having that work available for quoting.

I think I probably wrote wrongly where I said the copyright owners were mostly unknown. My bad - what I meant to say was that the majority of books(75% of the scanned catalogue) are out of print and if not the majority then at least a very very large proportion of the copyright holders on those works are either unknown or uncontactable. At any rate, if the book is out of print, what financial harm is done to the copyright owner by quoting from the work?

In fact, and perhaps foolishly, the AAP and GA have even admitted that they lose no revenue due to the Google Book Project. No, the reason they're suing is because Google makes money from advertising within the service, and they, the copyright owners, don't get to see any of that money. They want a piece of the pie.

But hang on. If you are paid to, say, write an article in an academic journal and quote heavily from another writer, do they then get paid? No. Do you even have to ask their permission to quote them? No. Your use of their work is considered fair, and doesn't require any contact with them at all, even if you make more money from using their copyrighted work. It could even be argued that by referencing someone elses work, you are increasing their potential earnings as well as yours. If the Google Book Project cannot make money from another's copyrighted work without the original copyright owner's permission, then by legal precedent, no-one else could either. All quotes in work published and for sale would likely become illegal.

...The copyright owner is the author unless stated otherwise. If the author is dead 70 years or more, then there is no copyright and it's in the public domain.

You'd think, wouldn't you? However, there are many things to be considered:
1.) Just because we know the name of the copyright holder, doesn't mean we have any reliable way of contacting them.
2.) In the USA, the copyright terms are longer. (90 years, I think - please correct me if I'm wrong) The longer the terms, the more time there is for records to go missing.
3.) As there's no requirement for a central record of who owns copyrights, they really can belong to all sorts of people. Copyright exists as soon as you write something, whether you put your name to it or not. The legal wranglings over issues of proving authorship and time of writing are a nightmare on their own. Then you have to factor in the inheritance or buying and selling of rights, together with the fact that absolutely none of it has to be recorded in that central record of copyright owners. The central record of copyrights does exist, but you don't need to use it in order to excercise your rights. It's hard enough to track down someone with a pen name and no known contact address, let alone their third son's illegitimate daughter. One can see how quickly the act of chasing down the owners of copyrights can become very confusing indeed. Certainly in the world of music we see it happening all the time - To use a sample of a Beatles recording in your new chart-topping hip hop album, you need to ask...

...Micahel Jackson! Of course!

Now, that's an example of both content and people who are well known. Are most musicians or authors well known? No. The vast majority of published work (of any kind) is for all practical purposes unheard of. I think that's where efforts like the Google Book Project find their strength. They are at least impartial in their scanning. You can easily and simply opt out of the project if you wish, but it is of huge value to society for the system to at least start out at its strongest and most useful - And let's not forget, the whole end goal and justification for copyright in the first place was not to protect the rights of creators to make money from their ideas, but to foster through those rights the growth of culture and technology which would benefit society as a whole.

11th Jan 2006, 19:35
...Oh, and I agree. I don't think the complaints are particularly unreasonable either. However, the legal ramifications of what might happen if the Google Book Project is shut down is truly worrying. It all goes toward backing up the suggestion that our current copyright laws just aren't adequate any more.

14th Jan 2006, 19:04
Happy birthday Trogdor (http://www.homestarrunner.com/trogday.html)!

Disclaimer: I figure if this isn't an example of the Wonderful World of the Web, then what is? Oh, but I offer no explanation. Ha!

14th Jan 2006, 20:28
Happy birthday Trogdor, have a great day burninating.

17th Jan 2006, 20:21
Just saw this on the "A List Apart" site (my favourite source of web design tricks). Great words but I don't understand it, any clues ?
Web 2.0 is a fresh-faced starlet on the intertwingled longtail to the disruptive experience of tomorrow. Web 3.0 thinks you are so 2005.

17th Jan 2006, 20:22
Don't know exactly, but it will probably relate to versions of CSS. The current standard is CSS2 while FireFox is almost up to standards with CSS3.

17th Jan 2006, 21:01
I think Web 2.0 refers to the spate of websites that have come out in the last 12 months or so like Flickr, Writely, that last.fm thing of daveybot's - site's that actually let you do stuff.

It's the use of javascript and xml to create AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript And XML) web applications.

What Web 3.0 will be, God only knows.

17th Jan 2006, 23:01
Yeah, an annoying but admittedly useful buzzword, really. Wikipedia, itself a 'web 2.0' organisation, has a good simple entry (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Web_2.0).

My guess is that web 3.0 will be introduced this year by SonyBMG as a safe and secure way to protect the content you buy and improve the creative output of the artists you love.

18th Jan 2006, 0:31
Ah, thanks. I didn't realise Flickr was AJAX, I thought it was just a brillliant combination of CSS, PHP and SQL.

Writely is already being held up as shining example of light-weight web apps and to a large extent, I agree as it just does what you need it to do with no fuss. Any emerging technology tends to follow the same set of discernable steps, one of which is the point where the medium fades into the background and the application is all that you see. e.g. We don't call CDs laser discs or even compact discs, yet we still have plasma screens and LCD TVs.

18th Jan 2006, 14:24
Ah, thanks. I didn't realise Flickr was AJAX, I thought it was just a brillliant combination of CSS, PHP and SQL.

Yeah, that's what i thought too.

18th Jan 2006, 18:38
He's back! And just as grumpy.

20th Jan 2006, 11:55
Gmail users of the world rejoice! We have a delete button (http://mail.google.com/mail/help/about_whatsnew.html)!

20th Jan 2006, 12:01
Whatever will they think of next?

20th Jan 2006, 12:03
It has taken long enough!

20th Jan 2006, 12:27
Gmail users of the world rejoice! We have a delete button (http://mail.google.com/mail/help/about_whatsnew.html)!

Good grief! I wonder what convinced them to add such a feature! In all honesty, I only really singed up to Gmail in the first place so I'd have a vaguely recognisable name ready for the time in the future when I really wanted one but all the names were taken. I'm an Oddpost user meself, and I guess one of these days Yahoo will actually release their new service on the world, at which point Ill be switched over to them for a few years free premium service.

However, I did find the Gmail account quite handy when it came to installing Google Talk and the desktop search facility. Maybe I'll try actually using the email service for a bit and see if that delete button is all it's cracked up to be! :-D

21st Jan 2006, 0:49
One for Chillicheese (http://lotusnotessucks.4t.com/). Warning: it's a horrible site, design wise.

21st Jan 2006, 1:23
Thanks for that W. You know how to push my buttons :-x

If only Lotus / IBM had made the features more accessible and allowed users greater control over the design and if in-duh-viduals weren't so addicted to the sugar coated vapour-ware from Murky-soft, and if we lived in a perfect world of quality software then we wouldn't even be talking about this. OK, I wouldn't be talking about this, to myself, sat here at 00:18 when I'm starting werk again at 07:00.

I've said it before and I'll say it again (even though no-one's listening). It really is a great but totally misunderstood product combining mail-ing, database-ing, and web-ing all under one app. If it had been evolutionised with us in mind instead of selling corporate seats, you'd be using it to run the big P right now.

enuff, let us never speak of this again.

24th Jan 2006, 10:43
Well, the cat thread disappeared, and I know I'm probably running the risk of at least some hefty discipline from the Palimplords, but I did think that this (http://penguinx.org/?p=31) was worth mention. It's all about how to make helmets for your cat out of fruit! Obviously it's from the web, and I thought it had a sort of curious wonder to it, perhaps perchance maybe? What surprised me most of all is that the cat in question seems to take it all as a rather everyday practice...


I was unaware, but apparently it's nothing new. Here (http://img301.imageshack.us/img301/7168/128qa.jpg)'s 'the original'.

...And I promise I won't post anything more to do with cat's unless given written permission in advance. Honest!

24th Jan 2006, 11:42
...And I promise I won't post anything more to do with cat's unless given written permission in advance. Honest!

Cats are one thing, Daveybot, errant apostrophes quite another!

24th Jan 2006, 11:59
What surprised me most of all is that the cat in question seems to take it all as a rather everyday practice...

Possibly. But I think that says something about its doozy of an owner, don't you? I'd say that cat's expression is one of resigned malevolent contempt - and who can blame it.

24th Jan 2006, 12:52
Cats are one thing, Daveybot, errant apostrophes quite another!

Good heaven's, your rite! My apologie's. It wont happen again.

26th Jan 2006, 12:34
Many of you may have seen this already but I still re-visit it from time to time. Angelfire Chernobyl (http://www.kiddofspeed.com/chapter1.html) is a profound and moving story and you won’t forget it in a hurry.

26th Jan 2006, 12:43

I don't believe it!

26th Jan 2006, 15:13
Very good. It's like a set of illustrations to Martin Cruz Smith's Wolves Eat Dogs. (http://palimpsest.org.uk/forum/showpost.php?p=26751&postcount=2)

27th Jan 2006, 9:52
Yes, it's only a joke, but this (http://www.johnfanzine.com/clouds/)tickled me no end. Found it on one of the forums of a website devoted to clouds (http://www.cloudappreciationsociety.org/), of all things, that is apparently an unexpected runaway success. Here's the article from this morning's Times, earning it several more thousands of visitors, I'll wager:

No blue-sky thinking here

By Paul Simons and Alan Hamilton
One man’s weird and wonderful website devoted to clouds has won millions of admirers

A WEBSITE dedicated to the appreciation of clouds has been named as the most weird and wonderful find on the internet for 2005.

Filled with pictures of beautiful or unusual cloud formations from around the world, and featuring a cloud of the month, the site sets out to counter what it calls the fascism of blue-sky thinking.

“Clouds are for dreamers, and their contemplation benefits the soul,” www.cloudappreciationsociety.com (http://www.cloudappreciationsociety.com/) says on its homepage. Yahoo!, the search engine, nominated the Cloud Appreciation Society site after finding that at one point last year it was receiving seven million visits a month.

It takes a poetic, aesthetic view of clouds rather than a meteorological one, and quotes John Ruskin on the sky: “Sometimes gentle, sometimes capricious, sometimes awful, never the same for two moments together; almost human in its passions, almost spiritual in its tenderness, almost divine in its infinity.”

The society’s manifesto says it was “founded on the belief that clouds are unjustly maligned and that life would be immeasurably poorer without them”. Gavin Pretor-Pinney founded the society last January and runs it from his home in West London. He has 1,800 paid-up members in 26 countries; for a joining fee of only £1.70 they receive a lapel badge and a certificate to frame and hang on the wall.

“It all started when I gave a talk at a literary festival about clouds, and thought it would be a good idea to start a cloud society. A few months later I put up the website to get an international audience, because it was the cheapest and easiest way of doing things, and it has grown from that.” Mr Pretor-Pinney, 37, co-founder of The Idler magazine, yesterday explained his enthusiasm for another form of idling. “I loved to look at clouds when I was young, and like all children saw pictures, shapes and faces in them. It seemed to me a pity that you lose that sense of wonder when you grow up.”

He regards clouds as nature’s poetry and is writing a book about them. “It’s hard to match their variety and drama, particularly in Britain where we have a constantly changing cloudscape. Too many people think that perfect weather is a cloudless blue sky, but good weather and cloudy weather are not necessarily in opposition to each other.”
Among the clouds on the site is Morning Glory, a meteorological phenomenon 600 miles long that rolls in from the sea to the coast of Queensland at certain times of the year. Glider pilots like to fly on top of it as though surfing a wave.The clouds of the month section includes a stunning halo caused by ice crystals in cirrostratus, waterspout funnels touching down from cumulonimbus, streaks of rain or ice tumbling from clouds but never reaching the ground, blood-red altostratus at sunset and puffy little cumulus on a summer day.

The king of clouds is regarded as cumulonimbus, a formation so tall that its head hits the stratosphere and forms an anvil shape.

Long before the internet Coleridge, whose head was often in the clouds or some other mind-enhancing vapour, got the picture in 1819:

“O! It is pleasant with a head of ease,
Just after sunset, or by moonlight skies,
To make the shifting clouds be what you please.”

Users of Yahoo! are being invited to vote for last year’s top website from several categories. The clouds are up against Transport for London, named best travel website; the illusionist Derren Brown, best TV website; and the best innovative website, on which you can spill virtual coffee over the website that most annoys you. But that, frankly, is clouding the picture.

John Self
27th Jan 2006, 10:06
An OFFICIAL high quality framed photograph of your cloud, with its new OFFICIAL name professionally printed on it in Comic Sans.

:lol: Ah, Comic Sans - the last refuge of the scoundrel!

ono no komachi
27th Jan 2006, 10:11
I take it, then, that Palimpers are familiar with this campaign (http://bancomicsans.com/home.html)?

27th Jan 2006, 10:31
I hadn't seen that - but completely agree with its sentiments!

27th Jan 2006, 10:41
I thought comic was big and clever for about 5 minutes in 1996. I think I even had it as my default system font for a while so every web page appeared to be written in crayon.
Needless to say, I'm like so over it now, totally.

30th Jan 2006, 0:53
At last! the world's most inefficient mode of communication has been developed.

www.wannaspell.com (http://www.wannaspell.com)

30th Jan 2006, 13:21
It's the chickens (http://www.savagechickens.com/blog/index.html)' birthday! This is my favourite comic of the moment, and its daily feed brightens my otherwise rather heavyweight inbox of RSS ramblings.

31st Jan 2006, 0:10
I need to share this with you. It's one of those, inter-wub-nuts moments where you wonder at the rights and wrongs of giving everyone web access.. I'll let the site speak for itself :

put me in mind of another gem but this one's actually trying to be funny.

and of course this beauty [WARNING, disturbing content, may cause extreme snortleing]

1st Feb 2006, 21:18
An ASCII version (http://abstract.cs.washington.edu/~renacer/ascii-matrix.html.gz) of The Matrix.

John Self
1st Feb 2006, 21:33
Aw chilli, I think there's something rather charming about these people who harmlessly enthuse about their obsessions and share them with us in such great detail.

Although, er, there can be a little too much detail...


1st Feb 2006, 22:02

I didn't need to see that! I didn't! I didn't! I didn't!

1st Feb 2006, 22:31
ach, c'mon, I love tron-guy. If ever I'm feelin' down with stig in the dumps, I go to his site and I'm giggling like a schoolgirl in seconds.

2nd Feb 2006, 20:30
There's no bids as yet, but one American man is trying to sell a box of Kelloggs' Mini-Wheats with a starting bid of $100,000. Why so expensive? Find out (http://cgi.ebay.com/KELLOGGS-DATE-STAMPED-9-11AMERICAN-AIRLINES-CEREAL-BOX_W0QQitemZ6032409747QQcategoryZ19079QQssPageNam eZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem)...and groan.

And, on an unrelated note, here's an impressive bit of art (http://www.pelourinho.com/movies/c003702/).

6th Feb 2006, 12:23
Brokeback to the Future (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zfODSPIYwpQ). Some people have far too much time on their hands.

6th Feb 2006, 12:44
Fantasy Novel Title Generator (http://nine.frenchboys.net/novel.php). The same guy has also created a few other (http://nine.frenchboys.net/index.html) generators, but I thought this the most appropriate. Some brief exploration produced...
Spell of the Memory Maiden
Elven Sunset of Wison
Twilight and Destiny...and the truly awesome-sounding
The Zwirtick Ruby

6th Feb 2006, 12:50
Sean Wright will be a a-hot-footing it over there even as we speak...

6th Feb 2006, 12:53
That's great, I hit jackpot straight away with:

Sword of Chaos


But for scrabble-tile Sean Wright-shitfic-tastic crapness, how about:

The Glory of Dalisniara

6th Feb 2006, 12:53
I just found the 'fantasy plotline generator' in there too...
In this story, circus performers and outlaws clash with a practical troll stuck in the middle.
A grief-stricken shepherdess teases a devious princess, and an epic struggle ensues.
A devious elf changes places with a brave griffin, resulting in wacky hijinks.
Great stuff.

6th Feb 2006, 12:54
Sword of Chaos

Wasn't that by Michael Moorcock?

6th Feb 2006, 12:56
A devious elf changes places with a brave griffin, resulting in wacky hijinks.
You've just given away the plot of Jaarfindor Remade (http://seanwrightblog.blogspot.com/2005/12/jaarfindor-remade-progress-report.html), mate.

John Self
6th Feb 2006, 13:15
Ooh, this is a must for the BFS and Sffworld boards, just so they realise how far on the other side of the parody line they are.

7th Feb 2006, 10:54
Hey Gmail-lovers: you'll soon be able to chat away with Google Talk (http://mail.google.com/mail/help/chat.html) (their version of MSN messenger) within Gmail! Yowza!

7th Feb 2006, 12:20

7th Feb 2006, 13:16
I'll assume you are in some sort of bad mood today.

7th Feb 2006, 14:09
I must admit I've never got into MSN, or internet chat generally. I'd just much rather go out to the pub to talk to people, frankly.

John Self
7th Feb 2006, 14:27
I used to use Microsoft Messenger but I ended up blocking nearly everybody on it because otherwise, every time someone logs in, you feel obliged to chat to them, which means you can't do whatever you came online to do in the first place. Good for video calls though.

7th Feb 2006, 14:38
Well, maybe I was being grumpy too, sorry amner. I think IM is a useful tool - after all, how often does email end up being used for conversational purposes, which IM is far more suited to? My method is simply to sign in as "away" or "busy" so I don't feel so guilty about ignoring people - or even closing the whole thing altogether if I am not in the mood.

But my original post wasn't mean to suddenly get everyone registering for Gmail accounts and chatting to each other with Talk. More that, along the lines of other posts in this thread, it shows an interesting use of the new possibilities the web offers.

John Self
7th Feb 2006, 15:05
My method is simply to sign in as "away" or "busy" so I don't feel so guilty about ignoring people

The difficulty with MSN Messenger is that (unless they've changed it recently) you can't do that, or rather you can sign in and then mark yourself busy or away, but you can't sign in as busy, so the moment you sign in, everyone on your contact list who's online will get a pop-up telling them you've signed in, so they'll know you're there even if you immediately go busy. Of course the problem with this is that people then know you've changed your status and think you're being rude because you don't want to talk to them! Argh, netiquette.

7th Feb 2006, 15:37
Yes, that has changed then mate! Makes life much easier - as it means the pop ups don't appear too (I think).

Google Talk itself is pretty good, but it seems that MSN is the standard at the moment - if it that is what others use, you find yourself railroaded into it.

10th Feb 2006, 22:35

John Self
10th Feb 2006, 22:51
God that's rather frightening, Blixa. Well, to those of us over 30 anyway...

10th Feb 2006, 23:40
I find it quite amusing that the guys hardly change their hair but the mother's is different in every single photo.

11th Feb 2006, 0:12
i hate how the woman ages noticeable but the bloke pretty much looks like he did before....(the penny drops)....they had kids.

11th Feb 2006, 8:12
And there's me thinking the Palimp was normally a refuge from Real Life.

11th Feb 2006, 10:18
I didn't find it frightening at all, and only slightly melancholy. Maybe because they're quite a handsome bunch, one has to give it to them... :-)

11th Feb 2006, 16:01
I think this online image editor (http://pxn8.com/) was on Wavid's ever excellent techno-blog. Perfect for cropping on the hoof or if you just don't need the fuss and flash of photoshop. The horizon straightening feature is especially useful.

11th Feb 2006, 22:02
This is revenge for Tron Guy


Be warned I find this so disturbing on so many levels that I can't start to work out how I'm going to sleep tonight.

John Self
12th Feb 2006, 14:45
To quote one of the commentators on the blog: that's just wrong. On so many levels.

12th Feb 2006, 17:12
Even Lord Byron might struggle with that one.

12th Feb 2006, 22:19
This image is going to haunt me I know it. Forget what the little girl is doing or the expression on the woman's face - it's the shoes that get me. The shoes and the wrinkles in the costume from the knees down. These costumes don't fit these people. They were made for a group of taller people. This bunch BORROWED the suits from their friends then posed for this picture. Argh! I have to stop thinking about this. I may just have to go and watch a lot of David Lynch films till it's gone away...