Note: The older the entry, the unlikelier outside links are to work.

June 29: Number 1234
By: Tero | Archives

This number is no prank call. It is the number of visitors to date on this site as of February, 2001. Pretty good. I will admit that I had to refresh the site three times in order to become visitor number 1234, but man, was it worth it!
If numbers are your thing, why don't open an electronic bank account and see that interest grow in the way it should. One of the banks I use for example is the first-e bank, which gives around 5% interest on your savings. Not too much, but still better than having your money sit in some godforsaken national monopoly bank which pays around 0.0019% interest. There are many other web-based financial institutions out there, so if you are interested, go find.
All in all, one should not have too much money sitting somewhere anyway, as our buddies Bush and his playmates might make the whole worldwide financial systems crumble any day now. You have been warned.

June 29: Prank Calls
By: Jani | Archives

I was never big on prank calls, but they were fun to pull off once in a while. Nowadays it's riskier when people can often see the number where the call is coming from. I know Tero's a fan of them, at least he likes to introduce himself as somebody else whenever he calls me. Now that I know it, though, it's pretty easy to be prepared.

What if Arnold Schwarzenegger made prank calls? Or Al Pacino? Even if that wasn't amusing, how about somebody recording their voices from various movies and using those to make prank calls? The results are pretty funny. I didn't go through them all (sort of became repetetive), but my favorite is the girl from Gateway computers ("Arnold Schwarzenegger prank calls Gateway Computers"), especially close to the end when the girl asks what kind of a computer "John Kimble" has and Arnie replies: "My CPU is a neural net processor, a learning computer."

June 27: Tweezing & Explaining
By: Tero | Archives

I would hardly admit that I enjoyed this weird site too much, but even so the little sadist inside me raised it's head and came into play once I got those tweezers working. Here is your chance too to release those sadistic pressures inside of yourself. If you don't have any, then just do it thinking it's your demanding boss or somebody like that. Actually, the whole forementioned website is quite interesting. Different from the usual webcrap at least, to say the least.

So Jani, what's our score now? 104 to 10?... (hieman mustaa huumoria keskiviikolle...)

And while Im talking about scores, I would like to take this opportunity to explain the game of English cricket to anyone who is interested (anyone?), as it seems to be one of those things that nobody can really grasp. Except of course the Brits themselves and their former colonies, who explain cricket to foreigners in the following simple way:

"There are two sides, one out in the field and one in. Each man that's in the side that's in goes out and when he's out he comes in and the next man goes in until he's out. When all the men in the side that's in are out, the side that's out comes in and the side that's been in goes out and tries to get those coming in out. Sometimes you get men still in and not out! When both sides have been in and out including the not outs, that's the end of the game."

June 26: Midsummer results
By: Jani | Archives

One of the bigger holidays in Finland, Midsummer, was last weekend, and as usual, there were some casualties. Not as many as in previous years, but ten in any case. Usually it is customary to play a game, the name of which could loosely be translated as "splash", where the winner is the one who can guess closest to the figure of drowned over the Midsummer weekend. This year that figure was only four, which put my guess off by over ten. Well, you can't always win.

Not surprisingly, it's not that easy to find news about Finland in the international press, which is why I had to go to the English version of Helsingin Sanomat for this particular news story. However, there are once in a while some weird stuff happening in Finland that receive coverage from the international press. An example of such an event is the Air Guitar World Championships.

June 25: After the quake
By: Tero | Archives

My T-shirt could now say: I survived the 2001 earthquake in Peru!... Unfortunately not everyone did.

The epicentre of the quake was about 300 km south of the capital, near the coast, and therefore caused most of the damage in southern Peru. In Lima, only a small two minute shake was felt, although it was strong enough to make the water heater bang against the closet wall. It is no surprise though, after all, this area has seen two of the world's five strongest earthquakes in the past 100 years. Earthquakes happen all the time (just look at the list for June!), in many parts of the world, and living through these kind of events makes you realize how small we humans really are. If the planet gets the really big shakes any time soon, I guess we can stop arguing about evolution...

June 21: Evolution talk
By: Jani | Archives

For some time, I've been fascinated with the debate raging around the theory of evolution. Is it valid? Has it been proven? Can it ever be? What about fossils in discrepancy with the theory? What about the transitional species?
Although the practical questions are intriguing as well, the most thought-provoking are questions about the nature of the theory. Tell a firm believer in it that his/her belief is similar to a religion, and he most probably will take offence. Tell an evolution-critic that he has no concrete proof against the theory and he will also take offence. In fact, it's difficult to tread this topic without offending someone. But I guess that just goes to show that it's something that needs to be discussed between people of various opinion. I've talked about it with both an avid creationist, who takes the Bible literally (the Earth being 6000 years old, for example) and an avid evolutionist, who believes (or knows, I guess he would say) that the theory of evolution has clearly disproved the existence of god.
I guess most people try to combine evolution with whatever religion they subscribe to, saying that neither takes anything away from the other. Up to an extent that is true, but somewhere a decision needs to be made. For example, taking the christian religion, which I happen to know best: if people evolved from apes, then there could not have been an Adam and Eve, the "original sin" of eating the apple could not have happened, therefore there was no need for Jesus to relieve people from that sin. Of course, such objections can be made only if the book is taken very literally, which doesn't necessarily need to be the case. But somewhere comes the line after which it needs to be taken literally.
Because posting on a website like this is one-way to the extreme, I don't see much point in ranting my thoughts further (but I don't see a point in having a "forum" on these pages either, since the probability of two people being there at the same time is minimal). I love to hear other people's thinking on the subject, though, so feel free to email me and let's get into a discussion.
What got me started on the subject again was a couple of articles posted on Fark related to the subject, which really got the commentary pages going. You can read the first comments board here and the second one here. They're a bit long, but you can get a good impression of a) what a typical Fark comments board looks like and b) what a typical debate on evolution looks like. Special points to the person who can guess what screen name I use in Fark.

My brother mentioned the moon-landing conspiracy thing, which reminded me of this article I'd read on X-Entertainment before. Puts the conspiracy theory in a perspective, even if a stupid one.

June 19: Hard to believe
By: Tero | Archives

It has been quite an experience watching live the everglades burning right in front of your own eyes. Now, the place I am currently sitting in is called Sunrise, Florida, the closest town to the raging wildfires of the swamp. I drove yesterday west on the 75 for about 10 miles and parked my car in an alligator ranch. The view was impressive: On the near horizon a line of fire over 8 kilometers long was slowly creeping its way towards me. Very impressive and one of the rare moments when I really wished I would have had my camera with me. Damn, now I will have to set up another fire....

Although I saw it with my own eyes, the forementioned show was unbelievable. Can you always trust what you see? My brother discussed the US government apparatus and its meaning to the unchained imaginations of people. So, keeping up with the conspiracy theories, have you ever doubted that man actually landed on the moon? Was this just because you saw some pictures of it? Well, take a look at these ones. See if they change your perspective.

June 15: Newsflash!
By: Tero | Archives


SAN FRANCISCO - The UK Paper The Daily Telegraph spoke to Jay Fullmer, 38, who became the first American to get to grips with the concept of irony yesterday.

"It was weird," Fullmer said, "I was in London and, like, talking to this guy and it was raining and stuff and he said, like, great weather, or something like that." Said Fullmer: "And I thought - wait a minute, it's like, no way is it great weather."
Fullmer soon realised that the other man's 'mistake' was deliberate. "This guy was pretty cool about it," Fullmer said.

Fullmer, who is 39 next month and married with two children, aged 8 and 3, planned to use irony himself in future.

"I'm like saying it all the time." he said. "Last weekend I was like grilling steaks and I like burned the crap out of them and I said 'great weather'."

June 14: Government information
By: Jani | Archives

One thing that makes the US exceptional is its government. And although that certainly holds true just for the current one (try to find someone like GWB anywhere else), what I mean is the whole government apparatus. Thanks to X-Files, JFK and the rest it's pretty much taken for granted that the US government knows more than its revealing to the public. Once again one needs to be careful in treading the thin line between paranoia and naiveness, but at least it makes for good website content.
The UFO theory I like the best, because it's the silliest. How would UFOs know to land (or crash-land) conveniently on the territory of the only superpower in a remote area, but not remote enough that they would never be found. Anyway, this Roswell report pretty much takes the wind out of that theory. I mean a disc "suspended from a ballon by cable" doesn't really constitute my idea of a intergalactic spaceship. (Thanks to Cora for pointing the way to this document).
Everyone knows about the UFOs. But did you know that the US government is withholding information it has on Noah's Arc?

Not only does the government have secrets, it's also developing some pretty cool stuff, like these exoskeletons for soldiers. That's the advantage of big countries, they can spend money on things unaffordable to lesser nations. After all, the internet got started as a government project as well. Once Europe starts getting its act together, we might be building exoskeletons as well.
But if Europe was one big country, would it mean that we too would get UFO crash-landings for the government to keep silent about? Great, another advantage in European integration.

June 13: New words
By: Tero | Archives

The Washington Post's Style Invitational asked readers to take any word from the dictionary, alter it by adding, subtracting, or changing one letter, and supply a new definition. Here are some recent winners. I think the pick of the literature must be the last one.

1) Intaxication: Euphoria at getting a tax refund, which lasts until you realise it was your money to start with.
2) Reintarnation: Coming back to life as a hillbilly.
3) Foreploy: Any misrepresentation about yourself for the purpose of getting laid.
4) Giraffiti: Vandalism spray-painted very, very high.
5) Sarchasm: The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it.
6) Inoculatte: To take coffee intravenously.
7) Hipatitis: Terminal coolness.
8) Osteopornosis: A degenerate disease. (this one got extra credit)
9) Karmageddon: It's like, when everybody is sending off all these really bad vibes, right? And then, like, the Earth explodes and it's like, a serious bummer.
10) Glibido: All talk and no action.
11) Dopeler effect: The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly.
12) Ignoranus: A person who's both stupid and an asshole

Read an article about a funny, or should I say a gay confusion.

June 12: Classics
By: Jani | Archives

Like I've said before, the internet is the best source of unnecessary information. Today, it's much easier to make bets about random facts because it's so simple to check the correct answer on the net. For example, my girlfriend and I disagreed on whether Mark Wahlberg had ever been in the New Kids On The Block, so we made a bet. Not ever having been a fan, I definitely had the lower hand, but I vividly remembered reading somewhere that he had indeed been a member of the NKOTB, which my girlfriend countered by saying that I'm confusing Mark and Donny Wahlberg. A quick search on the web and ta-da: Mark Wahlberg was a member before the band became big, but quit or was kicked out rather quickly. And the bet was mine. But don't just believe me, read it yourself.

I got a bit side-tracked there. I guess some people could and do consider NKOTB to be a classic, the first boy-band to roam the Earth. Although I vividly remember them as a target of hate and disgust as a kid, the classics I'm thinking about are much more important. TV series.
As much as I'd like to start with the Simpsons, I'm going to skip them altogether. There's no doubt in my mind that it's a classic, but since it's still running, the show's not in the same league with these other shows.

If you had asked me what was my favorite TV program when I was 10 (I don't think the Simpsons where showing then yet, at least not in Finland), I would've replied Sledge Hammer. Now there's a good show. Any of you who've seen any of the episodes are probably going to agree or completely disagree with me. Sure, it's the dumb kind of humor, but at it's very best. I was really surprised to read that it only aired for two seasons, or around 40 episodes. I guess quality like this only comes in small portions.

Which is probably why Police Squad only made it to six episodes. The Naked Gun -movies are based on Police Squad and pretty much recycle the jokes from the program. I only heard of the TV series long after I saw the movies, and saw the episodes even later, so it didn't have a personal impact comparable to Sledge. But since the Naked Guns cannot be labeled nothing else but classics of movie history, the same must hold true for Police Squad in TV history.

And of course there are the cartoons. Having watched them in all seriousness as a kid, it's entertaining to go through them now and see how moronic they are. Which defines what X-Entertainment does quite accurately. He-Man was my favorite toy line for a long time (I still remember the fateful day I decided to stop collecting those idiotic toys that were impossible to even get to stand up), and all thanks to the cartoons? Probably not.

You know you've written too much when Notepad gives you the following error message when you try to type something:

Not enough memory available to complete this operation. Quit one or more applications to increase available memory, and try again.

I closed all other applications, and the same message continued to pop up. What can I say, I love Microsoft. You have to be impressed though by how accurately the memory is used up: to the last byte.

June 7: I promise lower taxes!
By: Tero | Archives

While we are still on the topic of annoying chain letters, I must close the circle with this hilarious chain letter reply, which I recommend you send to every annoying person who is sending you annoying chain mails annoyingly often. Ok, on with it, as this is getting annoying enough. It contains some strong language, so if you think you might be offended by it, don't read it, go to or directly to jail. Do not pass go.

Oh, I see we are approaching the magical first thousandth visitors mark on our site. We will ignore the fact that over 76.8% of these hits are made by the authors themselves. But as this statistic is as true as my eyes are green, I might be wrong. Maybe, just maybe, somebody else is actually reading this stuff once in a while...

June 7: Frequent updates promised
By: Jani | Archives

Only a few days in the new job, and already I can tell that I'll be updating morg (the oft- used abbreviation for a lot. Since my responsibilities so far have included delivering papers across the corridor once a day and reading the newspaper, I have plenty of time on my hands to surf the net to pick out some pearls, as well as to contemplate my life and bitch about stuff. More to the point, updating is just another way of making the days go by faster. Just 50 minutes left today...

I've mentioned The Spark before as the creator of some excellent self-tests. Today I dwelved a bit deeper into the site and found the Date-My-Sister Project. The meat of the project is the guy spying on his sister. Wacky, funny, crazy stuff. When you have the time, start from the top and go through the whole thing.

June 5: Messing with Echelon
By: Jani | Archives

Those of you who've visited the site for longer know my stand on chain emails (for those who haven't: I hate them). But here I'll make a small exception, as I thought of a pretty good idea. I'm not twisting my principles so much that I'd start spreading it myself, but I'll post it here and encourage you to do so. So if the issue is of interest to you, copy-paste the following text and start spreading the mayhem. I'll even forgive you if you include me in your mailing list:

Much as the United States government kept the existence of the National Security Agency (NSA, earlier known as "No Such Agency") hidden for decades, the existence of the Echelon spy system, set up during World War II and operational ever since, is still denied.
As far as anyone knows, the Echelon spy system works by searching for "keywords" in messages. Presumably, these keywords would be related to US national security, but there are fears that also industrial secrets are picked out and used to the advantage of US firms. Messages sent by phone, email, fax or mobile phone can all be tapped.
Recently, however, there have been reports that the recent explosion in the amount of communication sent through the internet over the last few years has made the job of Echelon's supercomputers -supposedly the fastest computers in the world- much harder.
To give those spying agents somewhat more of a challenge, forward this message to as many people as you see fit. Although this introductory part should already ring some bells at the NSA headquarters, don't forget to include the following paragraph, which should really make those computers blow some fuses. And of course, if you forward this to 5 people within the next 24 hours, Bill Gates will personally provide you with a sports car of your choice, a mansion anywhere in the world and a beautiful companion-for-life. If you don't, your liver will explode.
The paragraph:
I just spoke with Osama Bin Laden about the bombings of US embassies in various countries, and we agreed that we'd get together with Timothy McVeigh and his militia to set up a thermonuclear device underneath the Pentagon. North Korea's missile program will provide the necessary backup. Saddam Hussein, Kim Jong Il and the rest of the gang are looking forward to the terrorist attack on US soil. The Taleban (or Taliban, let's make sure we get both spellings included) and Hizbullah (or Hizbollah) have promised to massacre US citizens on their territory. Soon, the capitalist, satanic American government will be violently overthrown. Long live Muammar Qaddafi (or Gaddafi).

June 4: United States of Amazement
By: Tero | Archives

I recently read this and wanted to share it with everyone, as I quite agree with the unknown author. So, let's see if I understand how America works lately...

If a woman burns her thighs on the hot coffee she was holding in her lap while driving, she blames the restaurant.
If your teen-age son kills himself, you blame the rock 'n' roll music or musician he liked.
If you smoke three packs a day for 40 years and die of lung cancer, your family blames the tobacco company.
If your daughter gets pregnant by the football captain you blame the school for poor sex education.
If your neighbor crashes into a tree while driving home drunk, you blame the bartender.
If your cousin gets AIDS because the needle he used to shoot heroin was dirty, you blame the government or not providing clean ones.
If your grandchildren are brats without manners, you blame television.
If your friend is shot by a deranged madman, you blame the gun manufacturer.
And if a crazed person breaks into the cockpit and tries to kill the pilots at 35,000 feet, and the passengers kill him instead, the mother of the deceased blames the airline.

I must have lived too long to understand the world as it is anymore. So if I die while my old, wrinkled ass is parked in front of this computer, I want you to blame Bill Gates, OK?

On the southern side, Alejandro Toledo was crowned yesterday as the first democraticly elected president in Peru in years, beating his rival Alan Garcia, the former president, by a narrow margin only. Although democracy advances, most Peruvians were not too happy with the weekend. Their national football team was beaten by Ecuador and as a result they are now out of the next World cup in Japan/Korea 2002. You can believe that the athmosphere is gloomy around here. Let's hope Finland doesn't suffer the same fate, although it looks like they just might!

June 1: Summer is upon you, winter upon me
By: Tero | Archives

It is getting colder every day, in Peru that is. I think I don't have many sympathizers as I believe I am the only one accessing this webpage from the southern hemisphere. If there is some kind soul who shares the same destiny as me, please drop me a line, and we can moan ensemble, as the French do. Anyway, what I find strange is that even though I am located only about 11 degrees south of the equator, the temperature can still drop below 11 degrees celcius here, even at sea level. Bizarre. It is of course all thanks to sea currents, of which there are a few on this planet of ours. In this particular case, thanks to the Humboldt current, coming straight from Antarctica, this country remains relatively cool most of the year. The Gulf Stream current in the Atlantic has the opposite effect; It helps Scandinavia and Finland stay non-permafrost. If you are into seas like me, then get to the depth of it! Or make you own waves!

May 2001 April 2001 March 2001 February 2001