The Nutlog

The Nutlog Archive

31st July
The history of the @ symbol.
Friday was Sysadmin Appreciation Day.
The I Ching online.

30th July
Chinese news report claims that the dinosaurs were wiped out by climate change brought on by chronic flatulence. Via Stuffed Dog.

Long-suffering British commuters may benefit from taking a look at (for rail services) or Tubehell (for the London underground).

Read some tube haiku -
London Underground humour.
Via Not So Soft.

Hello Kitty Museum.
Kenkichi's photo gallery. Japan photos from before World War 2 to contemporary times.
Nature photo gallery. Japanese landscape photography.

29th July
Discovery - 'Ruins reveal emperor's private battleground.' Archaeologists believe they have discovered an arena used by the Roman Emperor Commodus for private gladiatorial contests. Via Ancient World Web.
Cybercafe opens in Baghdad.
World's first rotten fish museum to open in Sweden.
Humorous Internet oracles. Via Pop Culture Junk Mail.
Celebrating Nicholas Saunders, British social inventor.
Britain to launch its very own Mars probe. Hurrah!
Public toilets in Vienna by district, and indicating useful things such as whether they are underground, wheelchair-accessible, etc. In German.
I'm thinking of applying to be Hollywood's next Euro-villain.

My American friend has now gone back to the States... I think she had a good time. On her last night we saw the Spanish film 'Butterfly Tongues', a film about a small boy and his teacher set against the backdrop of the Spanish Civil War. I do recommend it if you are looking for something a little different.

27th July is a superb urban legends reference site.

New Scientist on good housekeeping with friendly molluscs (and arachnids, and reptiles).
'Hate housework? Can't find a reliable cleaner? Try a slug.'

BBC - 'Unweaving the world wide web.'
'US physicists say although the internet copes well with attacks on random parts it fares badly when the most richly interconnected nodes are targeted. '
'In simulations, knocking out the top 4% most interconnected nodes broke the web into disconnected islands. '

Rest in peace, Ahmad Shamlou.

The Democrats got hold of before the Republicans did.

Reuters - 'Solarium to put nude clients on-line.' The owner of the German solarium says that it is not about pornography, but lifestyle. He's looking for advertisers. You can visit the solarium's website (in German) here.

26th July
A Ghanaian writes about life in Wales.
Betty Boothroyd retires.

Send someone you like a virtual bouquet.

BBC - 'China claims invention of toilet.' 'Archaeologists say they have discovered the world's oldest known water closet in the 2,000-year-old tomb of a king in central China.'
Toilet history.

Curiosity killed the rat.

24th July
Busy busy busy weekend having fun in London... more on that later. The Tower of London is a bit overpriced and a bit of a tourist trap, I realise; but we had a good time in the West End, seeing a good film and pubbing.
Spinning Jenny revives. Great!
Quirky Japan. Via Pop Culture Junk Mail.
Romeo and Juliet in Tehran.

22nd July
New Scientist on Chew Chew the carnivorous robot train.

Dave's Japan homepage includes a very comprehensive list of Japan links.
The Kanji Game.
J-List. All about Japanese popular culture.

21st July
Classic home computer games. Wonderful. Via Linkmachinego.

BBC - 'Science finds particle perfection.' 'Physicists have found the particle that completes our understanding of the fundamental building blocks of the Universe. ' The particle is called the tau neutrino.
BBC - 'Scientists 'locate' intelligence. 'British and German scientists believe they have identified a specific area of the human brain which appears to be responsible for intelligence. '

Guardian - 'Empty words again?' On the G8 summit and Third World debt.

RIP Paul Young.

20th July
BBC - 'Parasite's web of death.' 'The extraordinary behaviour of a parasitic wasp that forces its spider host to weave a special web on which it can hang a cocoon has been described by an American researcher.'

I'm feeling a little entomological today!
'Bees trapped by sex sting.'
'Insects use lesbian ruse.'
'100 eyed bug surprises scientists.'
The New Scientist on caterpillar cannibalism.

Guardian - 'UN report scorns UK human rights record.'
New Republic - 'Where angels fear to tread.' Opinion piece on the Clinton administration's role in Sierra Leone.

Roman Colosseum gets first show in 1500 years.
'Is there a music gene?' Has music evolved to help humans build civilisations, win partners, bring up children? A great man - I think either Louis Armstrong or Fats Waller - was once asked to define jazz. His reply was something along the lines of - 'Man, if you gotta ask, you're never gonna know.' Music and other creative activities enhance life by giving pleasure.
Link via Rebecca's Pocket.

In the mood for Tokyo. Nice photographs. Via GMT+9.
Hours of fun with solar systems collisions! Via Bifurcated Rivets.

Ask the governments of the G7 richest countries (USA, Japan, Germany, UK, France, Italy, Canada) to drop the debt. Via Not So Soft.

Apparently, Tokyo is the world's most expensive city, followed by Osaka and Hong Kong. London is sixth, New York (buoyed by a strong US$) is eleventh, Paris (partly due to a weak euro) is twelfth. Somewhat surprisingly (to me), Tashkent and Libreville make the top ten.

19th July
Try the Guardian's 'villainous Brits in Hollywood' quiz.
Many happy returns to the Paris Metro.
What kind of cheese are you? I'm Red Leicester. Hard and red. Heh. Via Linkmachinego.

AP - 'Stonehenge mystery.' 'A mysterious execution some 1,300 years ago could force historians to rewrite the history of Stonehenge, and even rethink their ideas about early English society...'
'Mike Pitts believes the bones of a decapitated Saxon man could shatter the established theory that Stonehenge was abandoned as a relic about 1,500 BC, and show the site still held a dark power over Britons about 700 AD.'
Via Ancient World News.

A fiendishly clever anagram generator.

18th July
BBC - 'Eloped princess faces charges.' 'A Bahraini princess who eloped to the United States to marry a US Marine must face charges of illegally entering the country, a federal immigration judge has ruled. '
Guardian - 'Taliban send off footballers in shorts.'
Life in Japan through the eyes of a gaijin. Entertaining. Via Bifurcated Rivets.
Cat to English dictionary. Via Pop Culture Junk Mail.

17th July
A couple of people are visiting this week, so there may be fewer updates than usual. Back to normal soon! Today's adventures were very civilised - we looked at Wren churches in the City, and my American friend oohed and ahhed at how old everything was. Then into Soho to buy kitsch from the Vintage Magazine Store, which is just awesome. We settled on some really cool B-movie memorabilia. Then to the pub for beer and chat about matters great and small, and then a nice meal in Chinatown. Very pleasant. (BTW, a Wren church is a London church which was rebuilt by Sir Christopher Wren after the Great Fire of 1666, when much of London was destroyed. St. Paul's Cathedral was also rebuilt by Wren, and for the same reason).

A couple of nice ones from GMT+9 - record covers drawn by comic artists and Philbert Ono's old Japanese postcard collection.
Try Ribbit! for strange stuff too, including this story about a giant cockroach contest.
Reuters - 'Unnamed vendor says pyramid pieces for sale on web.'

16th July
Boing Boing - a directory of wonderful things.

Buddhist cosmology. Via browse-0-tron. Also have a go at playing the excellent Tibetan Game of Liberation.

Smog smothers Malaysia again, and again seems to be because of forest fires in Indonesia (the last big smog was in 1997-1998). These pictures were taken during the last 'haze', on my 1997 trip to Malaysia with my partner-in-crime Barrett.

The Flashline Mars Arctic Research Station's webcam. Via Latte. Also take a look at the project's homepage.

British/American English dictionary. Via Bifurcated Rivets.'s sexual positions of the day have absolutely nothing to redeem them! (adults only, obviously).

Polish poster art and the Western. Via Arts & Letters Daily.

The Asahi Haikuist Network.
Haiku in English from the Mainichi.

Observer - 'There's life out there...but not as we dreamt it.' 'Mankind may be the sole intelligent occupier of the entire galaxy, according to a growing number of scientists involved in the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (Seti).'

Salon - 'Gandalf' settles dispute with J.R.R.Tolkien estate.' 'An agreement between a Long Island magician and the estate of author J.R.R. Tolkien allowed Gandalf -- aka Michael Kaplan -- to retain his stage name.'

15th July
Gothic gardening.

The strange and fascinating world of the Wollemi Pine. The Wollemi Pine, discovered in New South Wales in 1994, is remarkable because all known members of this species are genetically identical - effectively clones of each other.
New South Wales Environment Minister Chris Hartcher said :-
'"This is like finding a living dinosaur in your backyard.'
'"These Wollemi Pines are truly living fossils as their closest relations are extinct plants only found in fossils from the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods about 65 to 200 million years ago.'

More on the Wollemi Pine.
Line drawings of the Wollemi Pine.

14th July
Happy Bastille Day. The French are celebrating with a giant stretch of picnics, spanning the country.

BBC - 'Pop superstar Madonna has reportedly sold her luxury a German shepherd dog.'
Pulsars may be older than previously thought.

From the BBC, more on 'The Patriot', Spike Lee and the British. Lee - 'You guys should be upset, because the British are portrayed like the Gestapo, like SS stormtroopers - I'd definitely be upset. I despise the film.'
'We're at the mercy of the Hollywood machine - it's mythmaking.'
Related BBC stories - 'Hollywood fights the facts' (about film portrayals of World War II which ignore the British contribution), 'Hollywood hijacks history' ('Hollywood is rewriting World War II history - casting Americans and not the British as heroes'), 'Veterans riled by Ryan' ('They (British WWII veterans) feel it ('Saving Private Ryan') glorifies the US contribution to D-Day - at the expense of their own efforts').

13th July
The New Scientist on exploring Titan.

Please consider signing the Hunger Site Petition, which will be delivered to the United Nations Security Council in October 2000. The petition urges the UN to dedicate more resources to the fight against global hunger.
Take a look at the Rainforest Site Petition too.

Citizen Kafka's Museum of the Air. Via GMT+9.

12th July
My NYC-area friend Michele has just moved her website - take a look.

Site of the week! - the Bulwer-Lytton Contest of bad writing. This is awesome!

Soda Play is both fun and sort of addictive.
Beneath Los Angeles - gravestones of famous Californians.

BBC - 'Hunt for Archimedes' lost words.' 'Scientists in upstate New York are working to restore a 10th century manuscript which is the only known copy of the writings of the Greek mathematician, Archimedes.'

Birdlovers buy London marshes.

Guardian - 'Class-riven UK exposed in new study.' 'Britain is still a class-ridden society with the gap in educational and job opportunities between rich and poor as deep as ever, according to a new 'map of inequality in Britain' to be published this week.'

The New York Daily News on British movie baddies. 'Where the British once threatened taxation, they're now doing it with superciliousness, drama-school accents, the mask of anonymity, and, when all else fails, scenery-chewing.' Look out for the sarcasm and irony from Jason Isaacs - 'We don't have many bona fide films in England, so we're out in Hollywood touting for work.'
Meanwhile, historian Andrew Roberts believes that 'The Patriot' is racist (against the British), which I think may be a little over the top. Spike Lee doesn't like the film much either, but he may have a bit more of a case; his points are certainly worth discussing.

Salon - 'Brigitte Bardot asks Pope to stop bullfighting.' I didn't know it was a hobby of his...
Salon - 'The queer world of the X-Men.' Article claiming the X-Men as gay icons. Well, sort of.
A Belfast Telegraph journalist tried to visit his father in hospital and wrote about the intimidation he experienced. It's marching season in Northern Ireland. Ugly.
Farewell, Robert Runcie.
Strange Brew has revived a little recently, hooray. That was one of my fave weblogs.
Secrets of the Norman invasion. Huge.
Salon on tickle fetishists.

11th July
If you need free, friendly webhosting, you could do a lot worse than the Web Union.

A sad farewell to the Daily Doozer, at least for now.
I'll await the return of Spinning Jenny, for when things settle down a bit over there. :)

A plethora of odd stories from the BBC website today :-
An asteroid which crosses Earth's orbit has been discovered by accident.
Racing pigeon takes a transatlantic cruise.
TV hunt for Viking bloodline.
How the brain registers love. 'Scientists believe they have identified parts of the brain which are linked to feelings of true love.'