Days: it’s a blog thing

Since August, 2001. Surely it can’t last…

Saturday, December 15, 2001 ↓


Oh yes, there is.

When I was a spotty adolescent, I shared with all the spotty adolescent males around me a healthy interest (preoccupation?) in female anatomy.

It seemed that there were abundant terms to describe all that was admirable (or not) in the nature and form of various female body parts — particularly as they applied to various female bodies. (“Ann has a bum like a peach, but without the fur…”)

However I recall a certain oft-discussed and much-admired tight-knickers-or-bikini-bottom effect for which we, as mere spotty adolescent males, lacked the imagination to craft a worthy description.

A few decades later, I find that other minds have applied themselves to this problem, and come up with… camel toe. There’s even a helpful web site that will tell you What is a camel toe? and provides some examples.

I am indebted to Jim DeRogatis writing in Salon for this late addition to my vocabulary.

My education is complete. {–Sigh–}

Posted at 6:20 PM


First up: Pissed off with your colleagues? Then shit in their water pots. But if you’re in Accra, be prepared to face two years in the slammer.

Second, Childline and the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children think that the new calendar produced by Sexey’s School (yes, it really is called that) in Somerset is just a little too hot. Sexey’s Hot Twelve features pupils including “a 16-year-old girl with her arms crossed over her topless cleavage.” The school calendar was never like that in my day. More’s the pity.

Finally, religious fervour can carry a man too far. There’s a clear warning in this article for any man contemplating cutting off his penis. They might manage to stitch it back on again (which you would doubtless be glad about, after some time to reconsider your action) but it could end up being 20% shorter. 20% shorter! Sheesh, I don’t know what I’d do if it were only eight inches long…

Posted at 6:15 PM


I have long argued against the supposed (by some) genius of Bill Gates, but I only today stumbled on this page which sums up the story neatly. It also told me one part that I didn’t know: that Dan Bricklin asked Microsoft to sell VisiCalc for him, but Gates wasn’t interested. I’m reminded of the executive at Decca Records who turned down The Beatles.

* “Bill Gates? Who, him? Oh, I knew his father.” A legendary Scottish put-down of anyone famous or felt to be getting too big for their boots, is to declare (truthfully or otherwise) that you knew their father.

Posted at 5:24 PM


As a chemist (albeit not for many a year) I should have found this one myself, but the credit goes to Elise: I merely pass on to you Molecules with Silly or Unusual Names.

Yes, there really are molecules named Arsole, Barf, Bellendine and Cummingtonite.

This page is a long, slow download, but is clearly a labour of love…

Posted at 5:08 PM


What’s been going on in the world since I went on holiday? Oh, loads of stuff about Afghanistan, Israel/Palestine… but I don’t mean that world.

First, the memes. The web seems to have been taken over by various types of personality tests — you know, the if-you-were-a-fugly-marsupial-which-fugly-marsupial-would-you-be kind of thing. One of the most popular seems to have been: Which work of art would you be?

'The Starry Night' by Vincent van Gogh


If I were a work of art, I would be Vincent Van Gogh’s The Starry Night.

I am a tiny village at peace while overhead rages the tumult of the heavens. Objects whirl and flash around me in a fevered haze only partially reflected in reality while I remain grounded and secure in my isolation.

So why is it that often I feel more like The Scream by Edvard Munch?

Elsewhere, much hype/fluff/drivel has been written about Dean Kamen’s latest project, codenamed Ginger (why Ginger, for Pete’s sake?) and now revealed as the it’s-a-scooter-but-it’s-not Segway Human Transporter.

Like ‘a pair of magic sneakers’, eh? That must be the sneakers with the axle, two big wheels, and a stick attached — as seen in the latest Nike catalogue, perhaps?

I have only one thing to say about the Segway: anyone remember the Sinclair C5?

Posted at 4:39 PM

Friday, December 14, 2001 ↓


I got back from holiday to find that when I pointed my browser at either of my business sites or, I got a big, fat 404. There was no problem with the servers, and the files were all unharmed and where they should be. But the sites apparently were not. Damn…

A bit of investigation revealed that an organisation that had no right to do so (as it is neither the registrant nor any of the admin, technical or billing contacts for these domains) had instructed the registrar to change the nameserver information. And the registrar, despite the fact that it was being asked to do so by a body without any authorisation to make such a request, complied. So now my domains were pointing to the wrong servers.

I’m sure this is a familiar story to some of you, and already I’m beginning to imagine enduring the kind of grief suffered by Jeffrey Zeldman when he lost control of due largely to the stupidity of Network Solutions.

In the meantime, with a bit of jiggery-pokery, I’ve managed to get the sites back up again, though some features don’t work because of incorrect referencing. But now I have to try to get the situation resolved properly.

I really don’t have the time for this… much less the inclination.

Posted at 1:28 PM


Birthday cake

Happy birthday to me,
Happy birthday to me,
Happy birthday, happy birthday,
Happy birthday to me!

(You do realise it’s December 14, right?)

Yes, I’m back, and Portugal was excellent. I daresay I’ll write some notes and put up some pictures here. For the moment, suffice to say that for someone who is usually freezing his nuts off in Scotland at this time of year, walking around in short-sleeved shirts surrounded by trees that are still green under blue, sunny skies is a pleasant and welcome change.

Posted at 1:20 AM

Previous entries

Older material is stashed away under Replays.