May 2009


This is one of those posts about blog trivia, so will be of limited interest to many. But I thought I’d do one in honour of my spam filter having just caught its 100,000th piece of spam. Actually, when I logged in just now, Akismet told me that I’d had…

100,014 spams caught, 1,476 legitimate comments, and an overall accuracy rate of 99.882%.

I have no idea how that compares with other blogs of a similar size (i.e. very low readership / traffic) but it seems like an awful lot to me. Sadly the actual one hundred thousandth piece of comment-spam was one of those “loads of question-marks” comments — indicating, I suspect, that it was submitted in a typeface my browser can’t process. This is given further credence by the fact that it links back to an Israeli website selling cheap “Nutraceuticals and Functional Foods”. So I’m guessing that my 100,000th piece of spam was in Hebrew.

Try explaining that to someone from the 19th century.

The 99,999th spam was also for cheap drugs. In English this time. So if anyone needs any amoxicillin, I can send you the link.

The 100,001st spam, on the other hand, was an example of my favourite kind. The classic nonsense poetry spam… “I so understand, in last paragraph just whole salt and is stated”.

This can be reformatted thus…

I so understand,
in last paragraph just whole
salt and is stated.

Ain’t that the truth.

Meanwhile my incoming traffic is still heavily google-based. I’d say at least 60% of my readership is of the “search, click, glance, back” variety. I’d like to think that I manage to snare one of those a month as a regular reader… but even that may be optimistic.

And there are three topics which, via a variety of different searches, account for the majority of those google hits. First up (and this pleases me) are people searching for “CO2 per barrel of crude oil” or some variation thereof. The next largest group are those who come looking for the techno-viking video. I’m not even in the first 10 results for that. Which means people are skipping over 10 perfectly good links to a video in order to watch it on this site. Ten or fifteen of them a day. Which is odd I think. And the third biggest draw is the “Dublin to London by bus” post. Like the CO2 emissions thang, that’s quite a useful post, I guess, so it’s nice to see it getting readers.

Some questions that — according to google — people thought they’d have answered here. And, in case they return, the answers…

Is psychoanalysis harmful?
In general I would say, “no”. But it rather depends on the analyst.

What is the authority principle of Freud?
I have no idea. I suspect you are referring to the ‘Reality Principle’ (though I’ve never heard it referred to as the ‘authority’ principle). The definition provided by Wikipedia is nice and concise, while there’s a longer extract from the Dictionary of Psychoanalysis over at answers.com.

Why is windows genuine advantage suddenly popping up?
Don’t ask me, I gave up trying to understand Windows a long time ago. “Weird stuff happens”. I suspect there’d be a measurable drop in global stress levels if Microsoft used that as the tag-line for Windows. Kind of like a big “Don’t Panic!” sign.

Who has the biggest balls?
In Britain it’s clearly Lord Goldsmith. As for elsewhere? I really couldn’t say, but if you turn off google’s safesearch filter I suspect you could have an unforgettable time trying to find out. Or for a slightly different take on the matter, you could check out Flight of the Conchords and their sugarlumps.

What are 3 countries besides the usa that are have placed bans on smoking?
There’s a whole bunch of them, each with slightly different levels of prohibition (though only in Bhutan is the actual sale of tobacco illegal).

I think my favourite search term of late, though is “marijuana found in the antarctic“. I’ve searched myself and can’t find what the person might have been referring to.

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