diamond geezer

 Friday, April 25, 2003

Five things to do while nothing much else is happening

1) Play Chuckie Egg - here
I suspect you had to be a certain age at a certain time, but for me this remains one of the best ever platform computer games. You controlled a strange yellow man in a big hat who had to collect all the eggs on each to level in order to advance to the next one. There were eight unique levels which were then re-used with different monster arrangements. Levels 1-8 were ostrich monsters, levels 9-16 had a giant bird chasing you, and levels 17-24 had both bird and ostriches. I could never get to the end of that third set of levels without being eaten myself. Sounds rubbish by today's Playstation standards I know, but this game had something most modern games lacked - serious playability. The graphics weren't the best, but that didn't matter. You can download the whole game for your computer here. And if that doesn't work, you could always try Pacman here instead. Ah, it's 1981 again.

2) Surf to Mantlepies - here
It's a website by Mr Wellington and Mr Peters. It has its own bookshop, including a book about an old geezer. It has a kitten you can call down from a tree using the microphone on your computer. It has an off licence where you can try to convince the shopkeeper you sound old enough to buy fags and glue. It has the world's shortest game of chess. It has an egg that only hatches at 3pm. And you can check whether you've got Parkinsons. Oh, and there's more.

3) Visit Rockall - here
Rockall is a desolate bird-covered rock 300 miles off the coast of Scotland. The Irish reckon it was created from a pebble thrown from the north coast of the Emerald Isle, but it's actually an extinct volcano. It measures just 83 feet across, 65 foot high and 100 foot wide, but has proved incredibly controversial over the years. It's been invaded by the SAS, caused the death of hundreds of people, provoked international disputes over ownership, put an Act through Parliament and become one of the richest pieces of land in the Northern Hemisphere. All that wealth comes from the extensive oil reserves beneath the surrounding seabed, so let's hope George Bush isn't planning an invasion any time soon. Meanwhile you can visit Rockall (and more) via this less-than-desolate website - it's well worth a browse.

4) Slag off your home town - here
The Idler magazine is planning to write a book about the worst towns and cities in the UK. They're calling the book "Crap Towns" and they're inviting your comments. Not surprisingly, from what I remember of living there, Hull is pretty high on the hitlist at the moment. Portsmouth and Liverpool are fairly close behind. Members of the public also have it in for Canvey Island, Ormskirk, Bedford and Bognor Regis, amongst others. But would someone please hurry up and nominate Braintree - it usually wins contests like this hands down.

5) Try this puzzle
Select the four correct letter pairs to make an eight-letter word.

Be good, and don't write the answer in the comments box just yet...


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