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NEWSLETTER: ISSUE 155: "BOLIVIAN HEAD MAGGOTS"

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This Week:
* PARASITE - Bolivian Head Maggots 
* STORIES - "I Was Out of My Depth"
* VID - Sellotape vs Cat

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____/  _)|_  // /_/ _ |      
___/  _ |/_ </ __/ __ |      "We're saving the
__/____/____/\__/_/ |_|       web... together"

B3ta email 155 - 22 Aug 2004

Read this issue in your browser:
http://b3ta.com/newsletter/issue155/

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: WHAT B3TA PEOPLE HAVE BEEN MAKING THIS WEEK #1
  Maggots, Spendy and Mount Rushmore

  >> Bolivian head maggots <<
  "My housemate got back from Bolivia about a
  month ago," squawks Jacko_Here, "and he's
  harbouring blowfly maggots in his head."
  Cripes. This video footage is like a low-budget
  horror movie, with the added bonus of frightened
  men swearing.
http://www2.b3ta.com/vid/headming.AVI


  >> Amazon spendy things <<
  Last week we asked you to build an 'I'm Feeling
  Spendy' service using the Amazon API to
  automatically select random goods. And you did.

  B3ta regulars Thomas Scott and MikkyX both came
  up with different variations on the theme. The
  next logical step will be a service that actually
  delivers the goods without the customer ever
  knowing what they've ordered until the package
  arrives.
http://www.thomasscott.net/spendy/
http://spendy.player-one.co.uk/


  >> Singing Mount Rushmore <<
  We've never been impressed by Mount Rushmore
  and now we know why. Elbonio has turned the
  monument into a rather camp barbershop quartet
  singing 'If You Go Down To The Woods Today'
  and it's just what it needed.
http://www.parachutingtrees.co.uk/rushmore.htm


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: QUESTION OF THE WEEK
  "I was completely out of my depth"
  
  Last week we wanted you to tell us all about
  the times you'd been utterly out of your depth:
http://b3ta.com/questions/outofmydepth/

  Here are some edited highlights:

  #1 How Not to Speak German
     "I'm walking along the beach when a German
     couple ask me for directions. I'd just done a
     German at school. Like Clint Eastwood in "Firefox"
     I heard a little voice telling me to "think in
     German". I can remember this magical feeling of
     grammatically correct German forming itself in
     my mind. I wasn't translating, oh no, the
     *actual fricking German* was there, in my head,
     just waiting to be spoken. It was an epiphany.
     Until I opened my mouth. I gave them directions
     in English, but delivered in the worst mock-German
     SS commandant accent you've ever heard."
     (LordElph)


  #2 The Secret Door
     "One of the first things I do when moving to a
     new house is go into the loft and check for any
     forgotten treasure and dead rats. One time I
     was crawling around and found another trap door!
     I got very excited with thoughts of a secret room
     full of stuff I could have. I couldn't open it
     and assumed it had been nailed down so I got
     me a crowbar and with lots of grunting and
     splintering wood managed to crack it open,
     only to see my neighbours staring up at me
     from their bedroom."
     (pobblepop)


  #3 Lying in Israel
     "I'm a Newcastle United fan and I knew another
     fan, Motti, who lived in Israel, via IRC. The
     security for Israeli airlines is a tad tighter
     than your usual and the check-in at Eilat had
     difficulty understanding why I was flying 200
     miles to watch a football match on television.
     After the game, I tell the story of how hard
     it was to persuade them to let me fly. "Oh,
     just tell her you're my cousin, they'll
     understand that" says Motti. Genius plan.

     And so the following scene unfolds at Haifa
     airport:
     "Why did you fly up here?"
     "To visit my cousin."
     "What's his name?"
     "Motti."
     "And his surname?"
     "..."
     
     30 seconds later, I'm sitting in a cupboard
     with a guy with a submachine gun standing
     over me."
     (Captcheese)

  
  >> This Week's Question <<
  What's the worst date you've been on? Perhaps
  B3ta can fix you up with similarly traumatised
  people...
http://b3ta.com/questions/dating/


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: SITES IN BRIEF 
  Stuff we like that wasn't made by our mates.

  >> Sellotape vs cat <<
  Back in the 80s we had a lovely ginger cat
  called Parsley, and in a fit of pre-teen
  experimentation we stuck some sellotape to
  his fur. He walked backwards. We'd entirely
  forgotten this phenomenon until watching
  this video. It's kinda wrong - but don't
  tell us you don't want to see if your cat
  does the same.
http://snipurl.com/9xi4


  >> Drugs <<
  Maybe we're old, but we've lost track of the
  drug laws in the UK. Both hallucinogens and
  cannabis sweets are openly sold in shops
  in London. Pity those abroad who get all
  their lovely drugs impounded. Actually, the
  interesting bit here is the lengths people
  go to in order to disguise their stash. 
http://snipurl.com/8opx


  >> Sickening propaganda <<
  As much as we'd all like Kerry to win, he's a
  political lightweight dancing to Bush's
  neoconservative agenda. And Bush isn't afraid
  to use emotional blackmail to win votes. Kerry
  doesn't stand a snowball's chance in hell
  against this mighty propaganda army. Pass the
  sick-bucket - we're moving to the moon.
http://www.ashleysstory.com/


  >> Movie Photoshops <<
  Sometimes we see a Photoshop challenge and think, 
  "Pissflaps. Wish we'd run that on B3ta." Here's
  such a one - the genius concept of replacing
  the title of a film with what you see on the
  poster. You'll be playing it yourself the next
  time you notice a billboard in town. 
http://www.somethingawful.com/articles.php?a=2432


  >> Hedgehog advert <<
  Stuff we know about hedgehogs: Feeding them
  milk and bread can cause potentially fatal
  diarrhea, and they're dinner to both the gypsy
  and the badger. Think on that whilst enjoying
  this amusing advert selling a cleaning
  product.
http://www.jhprod.com/Spontex_Eng_480x360.shtml


  >> eBay wedding auction <<
  eBay is never out of the papers at the moment.
  This auction of a wedding invite gave us a few
  smiles with its description of the bride being
  "a dog." Can't help wonder if the marketing
  team are sitting there thinking up crap to
  give the tabloids what they want. But then again,
  as the world is quite mad, it's probably
  unnecessary to it.  
http://snipurl.com/9w41


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: THE FEATURE THAT WILL NEVER DIE
  despite us bundling it into a weighted sack
  
  Yes, it's more vaguely silly names:

  >> Dr Candadi Sukumar <<
  More of a question than a name, we salute Dr
  Sukumar's parents for having the foresight to
  give their baby a name guaranteed to amuse his
  students for years to come. He's at the very
  bottom of the list, under "Physics".
http://www.wadham.ox.ac.uk/admissions/subjects


  >> Schindler's Lift <<
  This has been causing us to snigger in the back
  of the elevator for some time now.
http://www.schindler.co.za/jnb/webjnben.nsf/pages/home


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: THINGS THAT MAKE YOU GO AAHH
  Tiny, wee monkey and baby foxes

  We all know that small means cute, so the
  smallest monkey in the world must be the
  cutest, right? Too bloody right. This Pygmy
  Marmoset is simply gorgeous and gives
  hamsters a run for their money any day.
http://www.rarespecies.org/pmarmo02.jpg


  Coming a close second this week are five
  baby foxlets with seemingly no fear of the
  camera. There's a whole album of photos here,
  but this one of the little troopers lined
  up waiting for mum to come home just melts
  our cynical, street-hardened hearts.
http://www.whisperwood.net/pages/cf/cf12.html


  BTW: What's the cutest thing you've seen on
  the web recently? Tell us.
http://www.b3ta.com/mailus/


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: BIT TORRENT STUFF
  Media we've consumed this week

  >> The Power of Nightmares <<
  Fans of Outfoxed and Fahrenheit 9/11 need to
  see this powerful three-part BBC documentary on
  how Al Qaida was an invention of the American
  government. Powerful, controversial and
  thought-provoking stuff, presenting the argument
  that engendering fear of terrorism is key
  to Bush's strategy of directing world events.
  Currently episode one is available on a torrent,
  but it's episode three that really impresses.
  Watch out for them over the coming weeks.
http://www.suprnova.org/


  >> Trumpton Riots <<
  Oliver Postage is the animation genius behind
  1970s kids' TV hits The Clangers & Bagpuss.
  We've tried to interview him a couple of times,
  and he always says he's far too old for such
  things. The next best thing would be to listen
  to this 1995 BBC radio documentary series on 
  old kids' telly. It's a delight from beginning
  to end.
http://www.uknova.com/


  >> Another 5 numbers <<
  We're big fans of popular at B3ta. Popular
  science, popular history and even popular maths.
  We can't be doing with all that schooly lectury
  stuff - we like informative stuff dressed
  up as entertainment. This 5 part radio series
  from Simon Singh (author of the highly-recommended
  The Code Book) explores famous numbers. From 
  74% - the maximum volumed filled if you fill
  a box with balls, to some unimaginably big
  prime number which would take up too much
  space to type out here. Great stuff if you're
  feeling geeky. BTW: You can stream the shows
  from the BBC site, or grab MP3s from UKnova.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/science/another5.shtml  


  BTW: In case you're wondering why we're bigging
  up audio stuff this week, it's because we
  bought a rather lovely PDA which can play MP3s. 


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: HUMAN ZOO
  Mad stalker

  From open day at Bedlam to John's Not Mad, the
  tapped have been providing us with entertainment
  since, well, when God begat time. Check this
  young lady and her one-sided obsession with
  an actor who never replies to her posts.
  BTW: Please refrain from joining in on her
  forum - observing without participation is
  the game here.
http://snipurl.com/a0vx


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: WHAT B3TA PEOPLE HAVE BEEN MAKING THIS WEEK #2
  Monkeys, Parrots and Students

  >> Monkey DJ <<
  The very talented Cheekybeef has done a cute
  animation for a track off of the new Hexstatic
  album. It features a monkey DJ, a dancing
  Atari 800 and a Casio VL Tone. If we weren't
  so terrified of drugs we'd be be getting right
  on it to this. We expect.
http://www.cheekybeef.co.uk/hexstatic/virata.html


  >> Parrot animation <<
  Everybody did it as kids - creating an animation
  by drawing on both sides of a piece of cardboard,
  attaching it to a stick, then twizzling it round
  between your fingers. No? Oh well, Pippy's updated
  web version will explain all.
http://pip.rubberfeet.org/stuff/flip.html


  >> Student time-wasters <<
  "Everyone knows that students spend their time
  drinking lager laced with tabasco and speed-eating
  cream crackers," opines Monkin, "but we've
  combined this age-old tradition with the TV
  show 'Banzai' to bring it into the 21st century."
  Remember, kids - these people are our future leaders.
http://homepage.mac.com/mdonkin/.Movies/06.mp4


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: B3TA IMAGE CHALLENGE
  Results from the "Why I can't sleep" Challenge

  Each week we run a competition to test your
  creative skills. We set a challenge and you
  open Photoshop and mess with our heads.

  Last week we wanted you to show us what keeps
  you awake at night:
http://b3ta.com/challenge/cantsleep/

  We asked B3ta boarder 'Stick Figure Ninja' to
  judge the entries - here are her 3 faves.

  Stick Figure Ninja writes -

  #1 "Rackapie baby - An easy winner, the
     surprised look on the kid's face is priceless.
     Old school slapstick + cats = comedy gold.
     (JollyJack)
http://www.b3ta.com/board/3831030

  #2 "Charlie - This makes absolutely no sense but
     it's superbly executed. Even though it scares
     me slightly, it also makes me laugh like a
     burst lorry. (chobb)
http://www.b3ta.com/board/3831182

  #3 "Dido - Beau Bo d'Or's wit shines through
     again, this time with a dig at some of the
     blandest, crappest and most irritating music
     known to man." (Beau Bo d'Or)
http://www.b3ta.com/board/3837886


  >> This Week's Challenge <<
  This week, B3ta contributor 'don't tell him Pike'
  gave us the suggestion, "Add one word to film
  titles"
http://b3ta.com/challenge/filmtitles/


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: WHAT HAPPENED NEXT?
  Follow-ups on previous stories.

  * ART-A-LIKES IN UK PRESS - now, we don't
    normally mention every time something
    from the newsletter ends up in the papers,
    but even we were surprised to see your
    ginger fuhrer's blog taking up the entirety
    of page 3 of the Metro, complete with a 
    box-out on the front page. Oh, we also
    liked the mention in The Times that said,
    "Rob Manuel knows how to show someone
    a good time."
http://www.members.lycos.co.uk/benjaimon/Pictures/newspaper.gif


  * MORE RUMBLES FROM KILROY - Mystery Bob's
    bit of agit-prop has turned up in the
    Guardian with Kilroy's representative climbing
    down from the libel threat to a "lodge a
    complaint with the internet service provider."
http://snipurl.com/a0wl


  * SQUIRREL GETS BIGGER - fans of Hairy Midget's
    orphan tree rat will enjoy this video
    update. He's looking healthy and happy. We
    hope that other caring b3tards can take in
    unusual pets, 'coz we're soppy and like this
    sort of thing.
http://www.zyk0tik.com/Charley.wmv


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: FRIDAY GAME
  Find Hitler

  Hitler is a man of mystery. Despite being the
  most infamous bloke the 20th century produced,
  there's still debate over the basic biographical
  details of whether he was gay or Jewish.
  We're pitching a show to C5 called "Was
  Hitler an adult baby?" but before that
  enjoy these Where's Wally-style Photoshop
  shenanigans.  
http://alexanderband.1go.dk/


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: STAR IN NEXT WEEK'S ISSUE

  Make something cool and tell us about it. If
  you are in it then people will see your stuff.

  Things we'd really like to see include

   * UPLOAD A PICTURE OF A STAMP - to the Queen's 
     personal IMDB page. It'll cost you a few 
     dollars but it would make us laugh. And 
     that's the important bit. 
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0703070/ 

   * BORIS JOHNSON PUBLISHING EDITORIAL - on 
     why the Zeebrugge disaster was caused by
     drunk Scots all rushing starboard when
     they heard someone had dropped 50 pence. 

   * IT'S HALF TERM TIME FOR SCHOOLS - Dress
     up as Prince Harry and go around being nice
     to people - see if you can fool them into
     believing you are him. 

  Send contributions via the mail form.
http://www.b3ta.com/mailus/


  BTW: If you've sent something in that hasn't
  been featured then don't be put off - we look
  at everything you send us.


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  THANKS: 
  This issue was written by Rob Manuel with 
  David Stevenson, Mike Trinder, Fraser Lewry,
  Robert Tinsley and Jen Payne.
  Links sent in by numerous lovely and talented
  people who we'll thank individually when we can
  find the big namey list with their names on it.
  Top Tippery by Dr Sian Knight
  Additional linkage by Fraser Lewry.
  Board research by Fnord.
  Image challenge handled by Mystery Bob.
  Proofing by the prancing b4ta ponies. (79208)

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  TOP TIP:
  Next time you get a big bunch of flowers, stand
  them in lemonade instead of water. The sugar in
  the fizzy drink will make the blooms last longer.

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