Cyberspace: The surreal frontier

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 21 March, 1995, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 21 March, 1995, 12:00am

ALL too often this column has been a forum to discuss serious topics, whether foul-ups in the Internet community or positive achievements in the cyber-scene.

For a change, this week we are going to focus on the fun, strange and odd World Wide Web sites that demand a visit because of the eccentric nature of their content.

USELESS PAGES: To set the stage, the Useless Web Pages home page provides the best pointer to the results of combining people with too much time on their hands with modern technology.

The results can range from people making a list of all their CDs available to the Net community, to those connecting their hot tub controls to the World Wide Web.

To take the inane even further, there are pointers to other pages including a list of games for the Atari 2600, as if anyone sophisticated enough technologically to get on the Net would still own an Atari 2600, and a home page in Gaelic - soon to be available in Bushman and Sumerian.

Then there is the site about fish and whale regurgitation, but it's too close to dinner to write about that any further.

Useless Web Pages also includes a Hall of Fame and the results of a contest completed earlier this month looking for truly outdated information on the Web (the winner was the rules for a contest held in 1990, long before the Web even had a decent graphical browser).

THE WWW DATING GAME: As if the television show of the same name were not awful enough - both in how it embarrassed participants and drew out the worst voyeuristic desires of its audience - a couple of Net-heads have now taken it on themselves to transplant the game into cyberspace.

In the WWW Dating Game, an entrant will choose between three contestants by asking them five questions. The Internet community then votes on the best answers.

The winning contestant and entrant will go on a date and then report back.

It appears that no games have been played yet, although an appeal for entrants is on the page.

There is a humorous (but fictional) sample game to give potential participants an idea of how the game works. The sample biographies and answers are enough to make this site worth visiting.

THE SURREALIST COMPLIMENT GENERATOR: It was here I found out that 'convexion sees between' my eyes and 'herds of gazelle concave' at my feet.

I am not quite sure what it means, but if you have ever wanted a Salvador Dali-esque compliment for yourself or to use in mixed company, this is the site. Each visit brings up a new compliment and you can keep reloading the page for more. Examples include, 'Your mother once had eyes that shone like the legs of Mae West,' or, 'Most certainly, you have fingernails of magnetised tellurite'.

Then there is 'Your heart thumps like the glistening dew upon a veil of gushing rocks.' The page also has a pointer to the Surrealism Server page which is a great launch pad to more bizarre stuff on the Web including ESME (conversations with an exquisite cadaver), a page on critical paranoia and a page about surrealist games.