has been shown in the eccentric sites so far considered in this column,
so this issue I’ll acquaint you with some more of the same.
something for those boasting a sick streak – The Dead People Server
Here the morbidly inquisitive can find out if such and such a famous
person is still alive, or, if not, when they died. Some entries even
give cause of death. Here’s what the site says about its idiosyncratic
self (incidentally, “to be spaced” = “to have your ashes shot into
Dead People Server is simply a list of
interesting celebrities who are, or might plausibly be dead, and even
those who have been spaced, with information as to who has really Rung
Down the Curtain and Joined the Choir Invisible, and who's Just Resting.
"Interesting," in the previous sentence, means "I felt
like putting them on this list".
examples straight from the site (with minor typos amended):
Blanc (voice) -- Th-th-th-that's all, folks. Heart disease. Jul 10,
1989. Born May 30, 1908.
Elliott (actor) -- Dead. AIDS. Oct 6, 1992.
Hopper (computer scientist, inventor of the term "bug") --
Dead. Jan 1, 1992. Born Dec 9, 1906.
Gielgud (British actor) — Alive. Still doing Shakespeare. Born Apr 14,
Hawking (physicist) — Alive. Born 1942. (Yes, he's still alive. Even
recently remarried and paid off a bet he'd lost.)
Lee (singer) -- Alive. Born May 26, 1920.
Nation (writer) — Dead. Mar 9, 1997 (Wrote many Dalek episodes of Dr.
Who and most of Blake’s 7.)
Schulz (cartoonist) -- Alive and working.
Simpson (ex-everything/"alleged" double-murderer) — Alive.
Born Jul 9, 1947. (But many DPS fans "remain hopeful.")
written as a few entries are, no doubt this site has its serious uses as
well. You might be doing some research, for instance, and need to know
if a contemporary figure is still living. The Internet being a generally
helpful tool for really current stuff, DPS might well come into
its own here, especially since your other main sources (encyclopaedias
and biographical dictionaries, whether in print or on CD-ROM) must of
necessity be out-of-date as soon as published.
Even so, as you
might expect, not every well-known dead person appears in the DPS
list, non-Americans being frequently overlooked. The other day someone
suggested to me that Polish-born expatriate Australian actor John
Bluthal (recently seen on TV in McDonald’s ads and The Vicar of
Dibley and in the big-screen movie The Fifth Element) had
just died, but if this is so, DPS certainly hasn’t mentioned
And now from the
graveyard to the refectory — Find the Spam, which introduces
itself and its photograph in the following straight-faced manner:
in the picture below is spam. If you think you've found the spam, click
on it to find out if you're right. You probably don't think there is any
spam in the picture, but look closely. Many people only find the spam
after staring intently at the picture for several hours.
pointless site, awesomely so, which I heartily approve of. There’s
even a count of how many people have succeeded in finding the Spam and
how many have failed.
Not so pointless
is the site of the Klingon Language
Institute, devoted to the
study and spread of “the fastest growing language in the galaxy”.
Over 1000 individuals have joined the KLI, from more than 30 nations.
primary means of pursuing our goals is our quarterly journal, HolQeD.
Not simply a newsletter, HolQeD is a refereed journal utilizing
peer review. Each issue includes columns, articles, interviews, and
letters exploring the Klingon language.
deadly earnest, and you don’t have to be a Harlish Goop to realise it.
Although it helps if you’re a linguist (most of its contributors are
language academics), beginners are nevertheless well catered for with:
audio files for pronunciation practice
a list of Klingon words not in the published
books (including the dictionary) and tapes for sale
a free postal course
an email facility.
more could a loyal Trekkie ask for? Well for starters, how about lending
a hand on the Institute’s two ambitious undertakings: the Klingon
Bible Translation Project, and the so-called Klingon Shakespeare
Restoration Project? There, that ought to keep you busy.
Since this article was first published in 1997, Dead People
Server has moved several times. As at
December 2004 it was at