DotCom

by Erik Cotton

 

A few years ago, the domain name www.business.com was purchased for millions of dollars. Suddenly everybody was jumping on the bandwagon and gobbling up domain names left and right. Yahoo.com, taken. Excite.com, taken. Be.com, taken. NthDegree.com, taken (grrrrr). Space.com, also taken. In fact, at the height of the dot.com gold rush virtually every webname was taken and put into use.

But all of that is ancient history now. After the dot.gone implosion of the last couple of years, a myriad of websites went up in venture capital smoke. But the names remain reserved, just in case they find a suck… errr… buyer with more cash than common sense.

When done right, having a website can be a useful and enjoyable experience. Just ask the guys who created such jewels as Slashdot.org or Arstechnica.com. They started off small and have evolved into a huge presence on the web.

Where does that leave you, the average reader? All the good names are gone, so you’ll just have to be inventive. Fear not Intrepid Reader, yours truly has gone to great lengths to track down unique domain names that are still available, waiting only for the right moment to flourish. So without further ado, I present to you, in no certain order, the world’s greatest list of available webnames.

How about PocketSquid.com? Everybody needs a pocket squid! For all of you budding marine biologists out there, this would be the perfect site. Except that it’s already taken. Not much there, just a small sign saying “Coming Soon!” Sure, like we’ve never heard that before.

However, all of you bovine fans are in luck: 14cows.com is available. Just the avenue you need to espouse to the world your love of Bessie. I’m almost positive, however, that in certain parts of the world loving a herd of cows is illegal. So perhaps the website 2cows.com would be safer. Unfortunately, it’s also taken.

Speaking of cows, most of us are well aware of the ecologic damage done by great wild herds of cows stampeding across America. Much like a plague of locusts, which, co-incidentally, is available. PlagueOfLocusts.com is just the site to warn the public about any impending plagues, either insectile or bovine.

Perhaps you’re not into animals, either for their scientific value or otherwise. Well then, how about a nice medical-related site? Something to help spread your medical knowledge to the world and ease the suffering of millions of victims of horrible diseases. Like, for example, Twitchy Nose Syndrome. TwitchyNoseSyndrome.com is available for the taking, ripe for posting detailed information that twitchy people all over the globe are desperately looking for.

Or maybe, just maybe, you’re not quite—how shall we say—normal? Then perhaps ImDeranged.com is the site for you. Something that will allow you a harmless outlet for all of your fears, anger, and thoughts. That’d be great, except… it’s taken. By a clothing shop no less. I don’t know about you, but I don’t need to wear clothing that says I’m deranged, it’s easy enough to spot.

Well, maybe I’m just giving bad examples. After all, most of the webnames I thought up have already been used by people even stranger than I. Indeed, MrBadExample.com, is in use, not by Warren Zevon fans, but by that ever-present site that we’ve all come to know and loathe: the Generic Search Engine Site. Yessir, you can find anything with these sites, mainly because they are all just links to Google.com with some extra spyware thrown in.

Speaking of search engines, perhaps you’re the type who wants to share your arcane knowledge of all things with others. Surely what you need is your own search engine page. Something like SearchThis.com. That would be a handy site, but it’s used by… get this… the Northeast Arkansas newspaper (The Jonesboro Sun) and even better, the site brings up a ton of MySQL errors. You’ve just gotta love those professional web designers.

Not to be deterred, perhaps WhatchaLookingFor.com is what you need. Nope, sorry, it’s “Under Construction.” Sure it is…

Right, so you can’t have your own search engine. Maybe you’ll settle for your own news site. You could design a website with news about everybody’s favorite tinseltown, Hollyweird. Obviously Hollywood.com is taken, but what about HollyWeird.com? Yup, not only is it taken, but it re-directs you to, drum roll please… Hollywood.com! Apparently those lunatics have a sense of humor after all.

Okay, many news sites are now catering to the on-the-move professional who hasn’t got the time to read a newspaper or surf a multi-page website. These hurried commuters read the news off of their PDAs on the morning bus. Now here’s your chance to grab a unique niche. Create a site for all the news about America’s favorite actor: Arnold “The Terminator” Schwartzenegger. PocketArnold.com would be perfect! But guess what… taken, and by a Generic Search Engine Site no less. Is there no pride left in this country?

After all of this frustration, perhaps you’ve retreated into your Cold War era nuclear bomb shelter. I for one wouldn’t blame you, I’m in the market for one myself. In fact… news for the Cold War relics would be just the thing right now wouldn’t it? Kind of topical. BunkerDailyNews.com is, in fact, available! Good for all of those Hitler fans as well. Both of them.

Okay, all of this searching, typing, and frustration has done me in. Perhaps the web isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be. Perhaps you feel that I’ve wasted fifteen minutes of your time. SoSueMe.com! (Taken, but feel free to e-mail them an offer.)

 

For Sale: An Enterprising Concept

by Hartriono B. Sastrowardoyo

 

Maybe you can’t buy the Brooklyn Bridge, but the USS Enterprise is for sale, starting at $239,990. That’s quite a bargain, considering the cost to build the first US aircraft carrier was about $19 million and, 25 years later, sold for scrap at just over $561,000. And it didn’t even have a finished basement and gas fireplace.

Confused? Read on.

In the Forked River Beach section of Lacey Township, NJ, there’s a new waterfront community named Captain’s Crossing. The builder named the four home models after US Naval ships: USS New Jersey, USS Enterprise, USS Constitution, and Old Ironsides, slightly redundant as that’s the nickname of the original USS Constitution.

Why would a home be named for a ship? To convince buyers that they can be the captain of their own vessel?

According to the Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships, the story of Old Ironsides has it that during Constitution’s battle with the HMS Guerriere, cannonballs fired from the British ship bounced off the sides of Constitution and fell into the sea, at which point the British sailors exclaimed, “Her sides are made of iron!?” Old Ironsides it was. And of course, New Jersey is an appropriate chose for a home in that state.

What the ships have in common is that all have had distinguished careers as well as successive ships to carry on their name, fame and heritage. Maybe the developer wanted the homes to be associated with the same qualities as their namesakes.

Let’s take this idea further.

Perhaps naming a home USS Arizona or USS Vincennes would push the limits of taste, and I’m willing to bet that USS Hazard or USS Wateree won’t be used anytime soon. Nevertheless, there are plenty of opportunities for justly named models. (And yes, these names have all been applied to US Naval ships at one time or another.)

If you’re lucky to be named Keith, buy the USS Keith model. Where’s my house? You can’t miss it. In fact, it’s named after me. If you don’t want to be disturbed, buy a model named USS Pyro or USS Avenger. (The latter may especially be appropriate if you run around at night wearing a mask, cape, and colorful tights.) Do your tastes run Presidential? How about the USS Theodore Roosevelt or USS Ronald Reagan? Or if you’re an expatriate, USS Winston Churchill? Or even the USS JEB Stuart. A snowbird? The USS Lauderdale is for you. Want to protest the cost of taxes, tolls, or auto insurance? Here’s the USS Defiance. Perhaps the USS Swivel would make a more subtle point. So to speak. Wouldn’t a model named the USS Impervious provide that sense of security in that you made the right purchase?

As for me? I’ll be waiting for the USS Rich.

Zing!

CarrierBattleship2

 

Conspiracy Theory

ProbeWEB

Illustration by Matt McIrvin

by Sean Dylan Weir

 

These days you can’t do anything without running into an alien. Movies, television, websites, bumper stickers, T-shirts, amusement parks, and even bar motifs have bulbous heads and bulging black eyes staring at you. I was flipping channels the other day when I saw an ad for a “Welcome All Species” doormat. If you bought one, I think you need to get out of the house more often. And besides, last time I checked, these sadistic bug-eyed freaks were sailing across the galaxy to kidnap and torture hillbillies.

If one of them shows up at my house with an anal probe, I’ll kick his ass.

But no matter how you feel about anal probes, media attention is intense, and keeping your aliens straight can be difficult. So, here is an Alien Field Guide; I hope it will help.

Reticulans

Back in 1947, the Reticulans, commonly known as the greys, landed in Florida and made a deal with Uncle Sam. They would give us technology in exchange for access to human test subjects. Uncle Sam was in a real Catch-22. If he said yes, the greys would have carte blanche to torture U.S. civilians. If he said no, the greys would end up giving tech to the Ruskies. Uncle Sam said yes and has been trying to cover it up ever since.

Some people claim to have been abducted by greys. Maybe I’m a bit odd, but these horrific tales make me laugh. They remind me of what the gazelles must have felt like on “Wild Kingdom.” No wonder the greys think it’s okay to capture and tag free-range humans.

Greys come in two types. One tall, thin, Marlin Perkins “I’m in charge” type is usually seen with a bunch of shorter, pixie-like “watch as Jim tries to insert the anal probe into Cartman” types.

Pleiadeans

In 1948, the Pleiadeans landed in Florida and told Uncle Sam that he had really screwed up. The greys were planning to take over the Earth. The Pleiadeans offered to get rid of the infestation, but Uncle Sam had to lead a worldwide spiritual renaissance and dismantling of nukes. Uncle Sam laughed, then said no.

But the Pleiadeans came back in 1972 and hung out with a guy named Billy Meyers. The original Meyers material included audio recordings, metal samples, detailed star charts, and thousands of photos and video frames that to this day defy debunking. There is fake Meyers stuff out there, so be careful.

The Pleiadeans have elfin features, with ears set low on the skull, and small pointy chins. Unfortunately, they tend toward long-winded diatribes on human spiritual development. But I’ll take that over an anal probe any day.

Siri

Not much is known about these guys from the Dog Star. What we do know is that they have been given credit for Atlantis, the Pyramids, the Incan Highway, the Face on Mars, and those really enormous line drawings of animals that can only be seen from the air. The Atlantis thing is kind of iffy, so we’ll have to wait until the Greeks release their findings. If you hadn’t heard, Greek oceanographers and archaeologists found Atlantis two years ago. Right where Plato said it was.

And from what the history books say, Plato didn’t frown on the occasional anal probe himself.

Deros

Also known as the Nazi Hell Creatures From Below The Hollow Earth. Rumor has it that Hitler and his Thule (pronounced tool) Society buddies tried to recruit the Deros as allies prior to WWII. Representatives from both sides met at a Hollow Earth entry point in northern Greenland, where the Deros promptly announced themselves as the master race, then killed and ate Hitler’s hand-picked envoy.

I’ve always thought the whole Dero thing was just so much garbage. They’re supposed to be ultra-violent, hideously ugly munchkins that live in a vast underground maze, hating the humans that infest the uberworld. Whatever, Deros don’t worry me.

But I am concerned about Greenland. Does the government really expect us to believe this island is perfectly flat? No geographical features at all? And why is it always distorted, made to look so big when it really isn’t?

Illegal

Most people are familiar with illegal aliens from Mexico. But what about the hundreds of Canadians that sneak across our northern border every year?

What to do if you are abducted

Shoot first and ask questions later. If you blow an alien’s brains out, the corpse could be used to confirm everyone’s worst nightmare. There really are extra-terrestrial sadistic proctologists. Countless thousands of everyday citizens have suffered a brutal backdoor defilement and then had all memory of the event erased.

If you are being abducted, chances are pretty good that something really uncomfortable is about to happen. If this sounds like your idea of a good time, then by all means, order yourself a doormat.