My procrastination tool for today was a trip through the rarely visited Favorites folder on work PC #2. Imagine my sadness upon discovering that some of my most beloved sites of yore--the Captain James T. Kirk Sing-a-Long page (which I discovered on my first day as a WebTV employee, when I literally got paid to do nothing more than surf), the Jive Page (subtitled 'Speaking the Forgotten Language'), and the Peeps science experiment page, to name but a few--are gone, having disappeared into the ether, or possibly met their end with the demise of free server space somewhere along the line.

I'm sure others have risen from their ashes (while others, such as the brilliant T.W.I.N.K.I.E.S. Project, still live). But it's disappointing to lose some of the blissfully inane, pop culture-filled, gloriously irreverent pages of old. Sure, the ability to buy airline tickets, pay bills, keep a journal, and do all manner of constructive things online is great, but I think there also still need to be resources for the stupid shit people did when the Internet was still a novelty and it seemed like the best thing you could possibly do with it was post sound files of William Shatner singing the hits. So get out there and support your favorite homegrown, uneducational, fantastically silly web page; it just might be gone tomorrow.


English: It's all rubbish

This story, reported by Lonely Planet, is too fascinating to ignore.

In an effort to improve the English-speaking skills of residents and 'internationalize' his city, the mayor of Tainan in Taiwan has decreed that rubbish trucks should blare out English phrases over their loudspeakers. This novel way of getting people to work on their language skills is the brainwave of the mayor's wife - and now, instead of playing Beethoven symphonies as they used to in the past, the city's rubbish trucks teach conversational English.

The trucks announce their arrival with phrases such as 'How are you?' and 'I'm fine thank you. And you?' Some 300 separate phrases and sentences have been recorded for residents to work on, including some less frequently used ones such as 'How much is this cabbage?' By all reports, older members of the community have been a little mystified at what is being taught, although the mayor hopes that after a few months of putting out the rubbish, most of Tainan's elderly will have at least a basic grasp of English.


Last week's article about the world's funniest joke is, in itself, pretty amusing (certainly more so than the one about the two fish in the tank). But I think I'll have to break ranks with my fellow world citizens, as I find the joke about the hunters only chuckle-inducing. Instead, I'd be more inclined to bestow the superlative of Funniest on one of the following, the first forwarded to me by my Aunt Sharon, the second from Patricia O'Conner's Woe Is I:

1.) A cab driver picks up a nun. She gets into the cab, and the cab driver won't stop staring at her. She asks him why he's staring and he replies, "I have a question to ask you but I don't want to offend you."

She answers: "My dear son, you cannot offend me. When you're as old as I am and have been a nun as long as I have, you get a chance to see and hear just about everything. I'm sure that there's nothing you could say or ask that I would find offensive."

"Well," says the cabbie, "I've always had a fantasy to have a nun kiss me."

She responds, "Well, let's see what we can do about that. But I have two conditions: #1, you have to be single, and #2, you must be a Catholic."

The cab driver is very excited and says, "Yes, I'm single and I'm Catholic, too!"

The nun says, "O.K., pull into the next alley." He does and the nun fulfills his fantasy. But when they get back on the road, the cab driver starts crying.

"My dear child," said the nun. "Why are you crying?"

"Forgive me sister, but I have sinned. I lied. I must confess: I'm married and I'm a Baptist."

The nun says, "That's O.K. I'm on the way to a Halloween party, and my name is Kevin."


2.) Duck walks into a hardware store. "Got any duck food?" he quacks. "Sorry, no," says the proprietor. Duck leaves.

Next day the duck is back. "Got any duck food?" "No," says the proprietor. "I told you before. We don't carry it."

Next day he's back again: "Got any duck food?" The proprietor glares at him. "Look, buddy, we don't sell duck food. We never have and never will. And if you ask me that one more time, I'll nail your little webbed feet to the floor."

Next day the duck is back. "Got any nails?"

"We're out of nails today," says the proprietor.

"Got any duck food?"