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: Late night FreeCiv game with Manoj and the two Andrews. We saved and went our separate ways around 2 AM, after a few years of everyone declaring war on me and trying to whittle down my massive empire of mail-order shoe stores and fusion cuisine restaurants. The carnage will resume later this week.

Another great thing about playing FreeCiv with humans is that you can give your cities silly names and not be the only one who appreciates them. I marked my triumphs over enemy cities by renaming them to the names of fusion cuisine restaurants like "Big Ken's Sushi Burrito Hut".

Speaking of silly names, today's entries will be reverse liponymic in "mola mola". I did not name a FreeCiv city Mola Mola, but I should have.

: Ideas For Robotfindskittenlike Games: Second In A Series If You Start Counting From Zero And Count This Entry, Or If You Don't And Start Counting From One: Response has been whelming for this idea. Pete Peterson II offers robotfoundkitten, "not so much a game as it is an 80x25 flat text file of a # next to a ? in the middle of the screen." A. Cairns suggests robotfindskittens, in which "robot doesn't know how many kittens there are and has to bump into everything on the screen." There's also the tragic prequel, robotloseskitten.

While good ideas (keep sending them in!), all of these require costly development effort and changes to the game mechanics, which would need to be focus-grouped at enormous expense. The easy money lies in simply rebranding the existing game with superficial changes that don't really change anything. For instance, robotfindskitten: special edition would have gold-plated non-kitten-items and be suitable for display on a coffee-table (well, those coffee table video game consoles, anyway). The personalized edition, code-named robotfindsyou, will give you the thrill of actually being found by robot! (Note: for purposes of the game, you will be a kitten). And we can use PayPal to support the pay-per-kitten model of robotfindskitten premium.

We should also go the Super Mario Bros. route and have various 'themed' robotfindskitten levels, such as the 'jungle' level (robotfindsmonkey) and the 'water' level (robotfindsmolamola). And on a very special episode, it's robotfindsrobot.

: The real-life "friend you extend" is most likely dumont, the IRC infobot for the #tron IRC channel (incorrectly labeled in this entry as the #Crackmonkey IRC channel). Those in the know (Pete Peterson II) say dumont is male, but I always think dumont is female. In fact, I always think dumont is Margaret Dumont, and expect to see things like the following on the occasions when I pay #tron a visit:

<dumont> CAP-tain SPAUL-ding!

The conceit of an IRC infobot is that it hangs out on an IRC channel as a user, dispensing definitions of terms and engaging in limited social interaction with the human users. Dumont knows nearly 100,000 facts, including such old standbys as the entire Jargon File[0] and airport and area codes. She He also contains various handy features such as the ability to do Google searches and domain lookups, not to mention clickolinko the automatic weblog. Dumont was written by Walter M. Gibbs.

Random example of dumont interaction (thanks, Pete):

<pedro> mola mola?
<Dumont> mola mola is The Mola mola (ocean sunfish) is the world's largest known bony fish. At least one estimate over 3000 lb. has been recorded and fish reaching 3m from fin tip to fin tip have been seen. It is found in all oceans in tropical and temperate climes. It eats jellyfish and small fishes and algae. In the eastern Pacific, Mola mola is normally found from B.C. to South America, although in El Nino events it has been recorded as far north as Alaska.

[0] I used "entire" there to make it sound more impressive, but there's really nothing that interesting about loading an ASCII file into a computer program; the interest lies entirely in which file you choose. The metaphor is taken from reference to human memory, where memorizing the entire Jargon File would be an actual feat. I don't really know where this footnote is going, so... aaah! It's fallen off the edge of the Internet!

: Papa's got a brand new bag, but Leonard's got a brand new T-shirt. It's courtesy of our new hosted site, Helix Community, which you may have heard of (you may have also heard of the similarly-named but entirely unrelated Helix Code). It has a little green DNA helix to the right of the logo which on inspection appears to be the DNA of some sea creature, possibly a mola mola. It is the second, I think, in the line of T-shirt editions of our hosted sites that I posess (the other being OpenOffice.org).

: Excellent picture of a mola mola at mola.org, the site that asks, "Why would you look any further? This site has an excellent picture of the Mola."

: Sumana: the Paul Conrad cartoon is a reference to a joke in which a guy quits his job to join the circus. When the circus next comes to town, his friend comes to see him, but it turns out he's not a clown or a tightrope walker or anything; he's the guy who cleans up the elephant crap. His friend says "Why don't you quit this awful job and come back to your real job?" He says, "What, and quit show business?"

Even though I get the joke, that's not enough when dealing with Conrad, and I have no clue what the cartoon means. That Bush is stuck cleaning up the messes of an indifferent GOP? It makes no sense (bah-dah!). There are two elephants; is that significant, or did Conrad realize that he could depict two elephants but only have to draw one and part of another one?

All told, wouldn't you rather get your scatalogical humor from the world-famous Love Lab? They have a picture of a mola mola defecating.

: News flash! Mola mola sighted in Walla Walla!

: After various tribulations I've finally gotten hold of the pictures that were on my camera. This includes pictures from Adam's wedding as well as the whale watch. The whale watch pictures turned out okay; there are two cool pictures of dolphins swimming near the boat, and several pictures with visible whale (including at least one whale fluke picture), but I couldn't even tell which picture was supposed to be of the humpack breach, and of course I totally botched my chance to get an awesome picture of the basking mola mola (I had the perfect opportunity, but my camera was set to 'review' mode instead of to 'take pictures' mode).

: Disturbing Search Requests:

Remember, if you've enjoyed this edition of Disturbing Search Requests, please support our sponsors by clicking on the banner ad below. Without the puny ad revenues thus received, we would have no incentive to bother trawling through a new day's search requests.

Ad: MolaMolaWorld.com: More Mola For Your Moolah


Fisherman, spare that mola mola!
Touch not its snout or dorsal!
Instead, try some granola
Or other tasty morsel.


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