Fun_People Archive
18 Aug
NTK Bits, 2000-08-18

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From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Fri, 18 Aug 100 09:33:27 -0700
To: Fun_People
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Subject: NTK Bits, 2000-08-18

X-Lib-of-Cong-ISSN: 1098-7649  -=[ Fun_People ]=-
Excerpted-from: NTK now, 2000-08-18
From: "Danny O'Brien" <>

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          "Child sex offenders must 'get life', says Prescott"
          - TIMES front-page headline, Mon 2000-08-14
     ...develop new hobbies, use net less, make more friends their own age

                                >> HARD NEWS <<
                               calls of Cthulhus

	 No news in August, so we had planned to make this a special
	 "literary" summer special, prompted by next week's Iain M Banks
	 tour for his new novel (called "Return To Widdershins", or
	 something). Unfortunately, the only book we actually got round to
	 reading was HP Lovecraft's re-released THE CALL OF CTHULHU AND
	 OTHER WEIRD STORIES (Penguin, UKP7.99), whose dank imaginings so
	 afflicted our well-being that we resolved, without delay, to record
	 the week's events in the fashion of the Lovecraftian mythos. The
	 first portent was not slow in coming: on Friday, a Kansas couple
	 consecrated the life of their first-born to a .com, bestowing upon
	 him the unearthly moniker of IUMA - signature of that dread
	 fraternity, the Internet Underground Music Archive. In eerie
	 synchronicity, NTK acolyte Paddy Smith then alerted us to the
	 SOCIETY OF KABALARIANS, who offer numerological assistance in
	 selecting a name to "harmonize with [your] child's inner
	 potential".  "Iuma" isn't in their database yet, although Smith
	 reports:  "Idly, I tried the names of my favourite Old Ones",
	 eliciting a response that shocked his very being: "As CTHULHU,
	 you have a natural interest in the welfare of your fellow man,
	 and a desire to help and serve others in a humanitarian way. You
	 are responsible and generous, although somewhat scattering and
	 disorganized at times." "Thanks to the insights of Kabalarian
	 Philosophy," Smith gibbers, "I now see how Cthulhu's well- meaning
	 though disorganized attempts to help might have come across as
	 manifestations of an ancient, hideous, evil."
                           - goes on to warn of "A tendency to overeat"
             - hey, it's better than "Zowie Bowie" or "Moon Unit Zappa"
             - "It is a Culture story and Iain is 'very happy' with it"

	 Continuing the salutary lessons in the Power of Naming, Katie
	 ".com" Jones writes to correct our story last week. "What we
	 ( did was ask them [Penguin] to pull [the book] and
	 re-name it. Not to do a deal", she insists. "NOT TO DO A DEAL",
	 the walls of the NTK office echo, mournfully. But, despite her
	 incantations, the publishers of the forbidden tome still remain
	 silent. Katie warns, unless she hears from the Orange Catalogue
	 with the Thousand Editions, she'll be attempting the dangerous
	 Rite of Litigation within the lunar month. And she gathers strength
	 from many letters of support she has received: "Even as a Linux
	 user," writes one devotee, "I am horrified to see the Penguin
	 [dragged] through the mud in this fashion. It is a quite noble
	 animal." Noble, but who knows what powers it has drawn from those
	 icy wastes?
                                               - come not in that form!

	 And finally, that fiendish sect known as AMAZON have been raising
	 authors from the dead. Gentleman truth-seekers THE REGISTER have
	 been investigating certain manifestations for some time, pressing
	 the book-merchants for details of the purported "security checks"
	 intended to prevent any n'er-do- well from impostering as a
	 respected man of letters on their "comments" pages. It seems these
	 safeguards may be but another of the Amazonians' notorious
	 fictions; surely even a cursory check of breathing, or pulse, or
	 brain activity would indicate whether the original author had,
	 for instance, been dead for several decades...
                         - 45 years ago, in the case of Albert Einstein
                                       - or 119, for Fyodor Dostoyevsky
                               - cleaning up that "tombstone" interface
                                             - one bankruptcy at a time

                               >> EVENT QUEUE <<
                         goto's considered non-harmful

	 You've posted your nomination forms - and cheques for hundreds of
	 pounds - to the Interactive BAFTAs (deadline next Fri), and you've
	 pre-registered for this year's ECTS (which holds its ungodly
	 opening on Sun 2000-09-03). If NTK (or Mini-NTK, or whatever the
	 hell it is) is even more bizarrely delayed than usual over the
	 next few weeks, it may well be because we're trying to mail it
	 out from the BURNING MAN "temporary art community" in Nevada's
	 Black Rock Desert (from 2000-08-28), an "experiment in radical
	 self-expression" which, pioneeringly, charges punters $200 to hang
	 around their great big patch of nothing (in their defence, it's
	 kind of like Glastonbury, but with the ever-present threat of
	 death by dehydration instead of the bands). Of course, if you wish
	 to know true terror, there's always the West Coast GEEK PRIDE
	 FESTIVAL (sometime around 2000/09/16, precise "San Francisco"
	 location TBA) or, for the real hardcore "extreme O/S advocacy"
	 fans, WARPSTOCK 2000 (downtown Philadelphia, from 2000-09-09),
	 uniting "some of the most prominent people of today's OS/2
            - then they charge you another UKP100 to attend the awards
                        - to feature "new video" of Metal Gear Solid 2
          - why don't they just build their "city" and stay out there?
          - free, because "you shouldn't have to pay to hear Jon Katz"
          - lots of streams (that's pre-emptive multi-tasking for you)

                               >> SMALL PRINT <<

       Need to Know is a useful and interesting UK digest of things that
         happened last week or might happen next week. You can read it
       on Friday afternoon or print it out then take it home if you have
     nothing better to do. It is compiled by NTK from stuff they get sent.
                       Registered at the Post Office as
                "rich, sweet flavour with a hint of acidity"
                                 NEED TO KNOW
                Subscribe? Mail
     NTK now is supported by UNFORTU.NET, and by you:
                          (K) 2000 Special Projects.
             Copying is fine, but include URL:

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