The Nutlog

The Nutlog Archive

25th September
The Observer salutes the humble aspirin.

The Royals. A cartoon about the House of Windsor. Via Pop Culture Junk Mail.

Nice photo of the large sunspot which is crossing the Sun.

Books Unlimited reviews 'Mozart's Letters, Mozart's Life : Selected Letters' ('No money, no respect. No wonder Mozart could swear fluently in Italian, French and Latin') and Lennon Remembers (a publication of a 1970 interview). Both look quite interesting.

If poets wrote poems whose title were anagrams of their names.

24th September
The world's most grotesque Pokemon bootleg. Known as the Pukechu. It's got eyes that bulge when you squeeze it and it smells toxic! It says you can buy it in London!
(I put a .gif of the thing here but it was just too annoying - you'll have to look at the page - sorry!)

The Emperor Nero may not have been so nasty after all.

Patently Absurd! Strange patents from around the world.

BBC - 'Amazon geneticist 'killed hundreds'.' 'A US geneticist who died earlier this year has been accused of deliberately infecting thousands of Yanomami Indians with measles, killing hundreds of them. ' More on the book 'Darkness in El Dorado', which makes these allegations.

Ten things to do without Big Brother.

23rd September
Play around with the Rubik Cube Java applet. When you get bored with that, take a look at some Rubik Cube art.

The Guardian on a new book which claims that a prominent geneticist infected South American Indians with measles , and then refused them medical assistance. 'Darkness in El Dorado' by Patrick Tierney also alleges that the project was funded in order to discover what might happen to communities after a large proportion of the population died (e.g., after a nuclear war).
I'm keeping an open mind about this story because it seems so incredible. On the other hand, it seems to bear the ring of truth, if that makes sense; how horrible if this really did happen.
If , after reading the article, anyone looking at this page is in a position to give an informed opinion, and is in the mood, please drop me a line for a chat.

Life in the Fishbowl. 1 bowl. 5 fish. 36 days. Another funny Big Brother spoof, this time from Modern Humorist.

I've moved the links to the Nutlog archives to the bottom of the page, for now, to free up space at the top of the page. I'm contemplating tidying things up a bit at some stage, but all in due course.

22nd September
Survival tests for marshmallow bunnies.

Zippylog redesigns - I like it. Happy anniversary, too.

Mr. Monkey's homepage. Absolute geeenius! ;) Don't forget to check out the index of famous monkeys or the adventures of a naughty monkey. I think this is the funniest thing I've seen in a long time.
The Mr. Monkey page is part of the Citizen Lunchbox site, an eclectic and attractive collection of amazing things.

Monkey was one of my favourite TV shows. Great stuff. Funky Japanese action based on a classic tale of enlightenment. With Tripitaka the priest played by a woman. Classic.
The hilarious comic version of the Chinese classic 'Journey to the West' (sometimes known as 'Monkey'), published by Asiapac, is really well worth a look.
On a rather more erudite note, take a look at the British Library page for 'Journey to the West', including a synopsis of the plot and a lovely picture. To me, it's a kind of Buddhist Pilgrim's Progress interbred with the Wizard of Oz.

What would happen if philosophers appeared on the Jerry Springer show? Extremely funny.
'Well, Jerry, my girlfriend Ursula and I have been going out for three years now. We did everything together. We were really inseparable. But then she discovered post-Marxist political and literary theory, and it's been nothing but fighting ever since.'

The mayor of a village in France whose cemetery has run out of burial space issued a decree banning death.
Canines in superhero costumes. Amazing picture. Via Not So Soft.

Eric the Eel and Paula the Porpoise, the Olympic swimming team from Equatorial Guinea who trained in shark-infested sea and crocodile infested rivers, deserve to be recognised as heroes of our time.
The Guardian profiles Paula and contrasts her with Olympians from rich countries. She is quoted thus : "I know that I will never be able to win because I do not have the same facilities as athletes from other countries. I am here to do the best for my country and not let myself down. My spirit is strong. If your spirit is not strong in sport, then you are dead."
In contrast, when the Guardian asked to interview the wealthy basketball player Alonzo Mourning, a spokesman for the American Olympic team was quoted thus : "He does not need the publicity. He is here like any other American athlete to take the medals home." Which I think is a bit sad, to be honest.

Apparently, bees deliver fungicide more effectively than sprays. Via Honey Guide.
BBC - 'Giant sunspot comes into view.'
BBC - 'Scientists get near the real Eros. 'Astronomers have just released the results of the most detailed orbital survey of an asteroid ever undertaken. '

Rock concert posters. Via GMT+9.

21st September
Discovery - 'King Midas's grog recreated.' American archaeologists have used leftovers from Midas's funeral feast to recreate the golden tipple. '"King Midas's Golden Elixir" sparkles like champagne and tastes like hard cider. And it is about as close as the modern world is likely to get to the brew Midas and his ancient people, the Phrygians, made by mixing fermented grape juice with beer, honey mead, herbs and spices 2,700 years ago in central Turkey. '

New Scientist - 'Here be monsters.' It seems that the southern hemisphere had by far the most impressive reptiles of the dinosaur age, including predators larger than T. Rex.

New Scientist - 'The rolling clones.' Cloning of clones may be difficult or impossible after several 'generations', according to scientists who had a hard time cloning six generations of mice.

BBC - 'Marine life may temper global warming.' 'Scientists in Germany believe that an important group of marine plankton could play a crucial role in determining the speed at which any global warming might proceed. '

BBC - 'Scientists look into Milky Way core.' 'Astronomers have obtained the most detailed observations yet of the stars that swirl around the supermassive black hole thought to reside at our galaxy's core. '

BBC - 'Ugly Betty charms Colombia.' On Betty the Ugly, Colombia's favourite soap opera character. This show sounds brilliant, and is hugely popular. The point of it seems to be to satirise an obsession of the superficially beautiful; the ugly but sweet and kind heroine always wins out in the end.

Guardian Unlimited's Moral Muse is asked what to do about friends who don't buy wedding presents. Some of the readers' replies are pretty funny. I think I'll check out the Moral Muse (or smut-free problem page) more often.

Tony Husband's page - biting satire from the renowned Private Eye cartoonist. For non-Brits, Private Eye is a satirical magazine and something of a national institution check out its homepage too.

The Idler - a fine publication. Read its amusing rant on the British fuel crisis.

Reuters - 'Naples saint's blood liquefies, citizens relieved.' 'The substance believed by many Neapolitans to be the dried blood of their city's patron, Saint Gennaro, liquefied right on schedule Tuesday.' Apparently, the blood usually liquefies twice yearly - on the saint's feast day, and on the first Saturday in May.

Following on from the recent fuel panic in the UK, the BBC asks, 'What makes a good rumour?' 'Originating something that has "wow" factor for your pals can be gratifying, as well as bolstering your sense of importance. ' Sound familiar? ;)

Check out Dutch Courage weblog, from the Netherlands (unsurprisingly!) - I really like the South Pole pictures!

20th September
Japanese death poetry and other forms of Japanese poetic literature.

Remember the story about the damage done to Machu Picchu during a beer commercial shoot? Well, to be fair, the advertising company involved has issued a press release. But also take a look at the highly informative Machu Picchu at Risk website, which has its own piece on the damaged sundial. It seems that the company did have permission to shoot the commercial after all, but the Machu Picchu at Risk website questions the authorities' reasons for granting it.

The Sydney Morning Herald on the Zen of Vegemite, Australia's favourite 'foul-smelling, extremely salty black paste.' Actually, it's good stuff.
More vegemite culture at vegemite.com.
Bovril is one of Britain's own national pleasure substances - visit the Bovril Shrine (which is actually a Canadian website). Look over the Bovril Gallery. There's also a Vegemite page there.
I'm not averse to miso soup either.

Reuters - 'Harry Potter wins round against 'muggles'.' A school board in Canada has removed restrictions on the Harry Potter books. The chairman of the board said, ''I think it's a silly book. I had a hard time getting through it to be honest with you, but my wife likes them.''

19th September
Do some good at the Kids' AIDS Site, the new sister site to the Hunger Site and the Rainforest Site.

Now there's no excuse for not knowing how to write your name in Egyptian hieroglyphics. Or, alternatively, you can see your monogram in cuneiform, Babylonian style. Part of the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology website.

BBC - 'Molecule suppresses 'sweet tooth'.' Scientists in Japan claim to have found a cure for sugar cravings.

In Search of Giant Squid. The fascinating world of squidabilia.

Send-A-Quote.Com. Send an amusing quote in postcard format.

BBC - 'Ration warning over fuel panic.' Unfounded rumours of renewed petrol blockades cause panic buying in the UK. I heard these rumours circulating at work this afternoon, but dismissed them fairly quickly when none of the newswires covered the story. So where did the rumours start?

Reuters - 'Police open brothel, crack down to make cash.' 'Police in China's eastern province of Jiangsu found a novel way to fill their pockets with cash: They opened a brothel, arrested the customers and ``fined'' them.'

Remember to wash your hands for fifteen seconds on the way out. Thanks.

18th September
World's Largest Roadside Attractions. Mostly US, Canadian or Australian, but includes attractions from a few other places too. Also take a look at the Gallery of Huge Beings. I really like this Santa Claus from North Pole, Alaska.

Ten sound reasons why whingers are better off than stoics.

Amusing newbie weblog chat. Via Linkmachinego.

Shiny sales poetry. Fluffy thanks, Miss Helen.

BBC - 'Hungarian POW identified.' 'In Hungary the full identity of a man believed to be the last prisoner from the Second World War to return home has been almost certainly proven. '

BBC - 'Spirit of Che.' 'The photographer who took the legendary shot of Cuban revolutionary Che Guevara has won his legal battle over the copyright of the world-famous photograph.' Photographer Alberto Korda objected to Guevara's image being used to promote a brand of vodka.

Transparency International has released its 'Corruption Perceptions Index' of ninety countries for the year 2000. It should be noted that the index only measures the perception of corruption; corruption may not be perceived either because it is not present, or because it is very well-hidden. The CPI ranks Finland as being perceived as the least corrupt country, while Nigeria is perceived as the most corrupt country.

The top 100 banned or challenged books in US libraries of 1990-99. Compiled by the American Library Association. Includes such subversive and dangerous texts as the 'Goosebumps' and 'Harry Potter' series, as well as works by Maya Angelou, Toni Morrison, Mark Twain, Stephen King and Roald Dahl. Via Threadnaught.

The Moscow Times alleges wrongdoing in the Russian presidential election.