Monday, August 01, 2005

This is the inaugural news update for the Tenth Edition of the URI! Zone. From its humble beginnings as the URI! Domain at buri.campus.vt.edu on August 30, 1996, the Zone has grown to epic proportions, now serving as a multinational hub for over seventeen million Internet visitors from eleven countries and twelve major continents.

If you are a regular visitor, you will discover several subtle changes in this new Edition:

  • Easier navigation: Nineteen years of public school education and a $40 book on PHP allowed me to simplify the 3-frame layout from the old site. This means that you will be able to easily link to any part of the Zone from your own site, and search engines like Google will finally be able to access my news stories. To link to a news post, just copy the URL out of the "permalink" that now appears at the end of each post for your own blog or site.

  • Longer news stories: Not surprisingly, there was a time when my updates read like rejects from the haiku factory (these gems, for example ) but starting last month, I actually devoted some effort to making them worthwhile. This increase in mental stimulation resulted in an interestyng spyke in the number of visitors over the course of the month, as you can see in the graph to the right. My aim is to make this site a worthwhile daily visit for as long as possible in the future. If you don't think I'm doing a good job, you can always tell me how to improve!

  • Someone blew up the forum and it wasn't Gary: How many of you even knew there was a forum before? There are plenty of better, more trafficked forums out there so I erased mine. If you have something to say, leave a comment or send me an e-mail.

  • Return of the Mascot: Molly the Mouseover Llama was the site mascot from 1996 to 2003 and was subsequently fired and replaced by Booty's feet. Molly provides hours of entertainment at work, because you can make her sing your favourite songs by moving your mouse over her face (providing, of course, that you use a non-IE browser).
      Molly sings some O'Zone (406KB WMV)
      Molly sings some Carlos Adolfo Dominguez (480KB WMV)
    Coming soon, Molly sings selections from RENT and 50 Cent's Disco Inferno. Even if Molly does not sing for you, the rest of the site should be compatible with all major web browsers, but seriously, isn't a singing llama incentive enough to finally try out Firefox?

  • New font: Nine Editions using Arial is quite enough. Say hello to Trebuchet MS. Yes, it's trendy. This is acceptable because I am a bandwagoneer.

    Note: Permission is not granted to analyze my handwriting to see if I'm a serial killer, although you may use this sample to fight on my behalf in any court case involving nude pictures I posed for when I needed the money . We all had to start somewhere on our respective roads to stardom.

    If you are a Zone-virgin (or a long-lost figment from the murky depths of my past), welcome! This site is a little bit blog and a little bit daily-column, where I rant and/or rave or just talk about the humdrum events of my life (the site has been thoroughly inspected and declared to be angst-free). A good starting place to begin reading might be the news from July 2005 -- deep thoughts from earlier than that are harder to find, buried in a million "what I did today" posts. The 2001 to 2003 posts are a travelogue of my time as a music grad student at Florida State, containing more pedantic musical musings than most non-music people will care about. The 2003 - early 2005 posts are a documentary of my life as a software engineer in the working world (nominated for an Oscar but spurned by the Academy). In addition, I post daily links to peculiar news stories and funny pictures from other sites.

    Some eminent Internet scholars have likened my columns to the writings of the Washington Post's Bob Levey, except that I don't give a rat's ass about sending any kids to camp. You can find out more about me here and you can see things I've created, written, composed, or drawn by following the links in the upper menu bar.

    I asked four Internet celebrities to coin an advertising slogan for the new site design and they did not fail me. Feel free to choose the one that speaks the most to you as a human being when describing the Zone to your friends and relatives.

    What do you think of the new look? Anything you want to see in the coming months? Don't be afraid to leave a comment!

    Thanks for visiting. Tell all your friends!

    Man upset with $4 million price tag on his cardboard box
    College mascots not on the list of approved traffic stop questions
    GAYWEGO is legal, and not a type of yeti

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