Saturday, October 01, 2005

Strange Links From The Past

This article was first posted on the web before March 2001. It is presented here as part of my Retro series.

For a while it seemed that everyone was videocam crazy. It all started with the Cambridge University Trojan Room Coffee Machine which is still on-line -- and looking pretty low last time I checked. It's funny how aquariums seem to make it to just about every media. Remember the TV station that carried nothing but a live feed of fish? Well, here's a site that does likewise. Probably my favourite video feed venture is Oinkernet, which stars small rodents of all descriptions.

If you think your job's difficult, just imagine what it would be like at NASA Headquarters. Or as a lawyer for Negativland. This group of media vigilantes are always being sued by someone somewhere. First U2 sued them. Then their own record label sued them because U2 sued them. Then... well, you can read all about it in NegativWorldWideWebLand. (And if you're interested in buying any of their CDs, start with Escape From Noise -- truly a classic.)

If you have a science background you will appreciate the careful research and methodological purity demonstrated by
Fun with Grapes -- A Case Study and Strawberry Pop-Tart Blow-Torches. These pages have been online for a decade.

Some people credit the rise of the World Wide Web and e-mail with the return of the art of letter-writing and a renaissance in text as a medium. Others point to the quality and content of the Web as a sign of the imminent intellectual decline of the human species. Besides an inability to spell and form correct sentences, the most annoying aspect of all this text is its logical flacidity. Everyone who cares about careful arguing should read The Fallacy Zoo.

I really like food. I mean it -- I just love food. So I can recommend the Tokyo Food Page, home to sushi colour swatches, worldwide restaurant reviews, recipes, and some witty writing. I can vouch for their tempura recipe!


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