More Junkmail from Bob!

Sunday, June 11, 2000

Important Stuff.

230 years ago yesterday, a guy was sailing along minding his own business, and he hit a coral reef and knocked a hole in his ship. The ship was the Endeavour, the reef was Australia's Great Barrier Reef, and the sailor was Captain James Cook (not to be confused with Captain James Kirk.) He fixed the hole in the ship and headed back home.

Later on, Cook took another trip, this one to look for a Northwest Passage, a northern route between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. He headed up the Bearing Strait to about 71 degrees N latitude, but couldn't get through the ice. Then he headed south and found Hawaii.

On Hawaii, the people were celebrating the beginning of Lono Days. They would put white sheets on crosses and parade them around the island to honor the god Lono-makua. I think it's kind of like Chouteau Days.

Cap'n Cook (not to be confused with Cap'n Crunch) sailed up with his giant Lono banners on his masts. The Hawaiians naturally figured he WAS Lono, so they brought him all kinds of food and gifts. Cook thought those Hawaiians were really nice people.

After hanging out for two or three months, Cook took off again but had mast problems. He turned around for Hawaii to get it fixed. But in Hawaii, it was now Ku-nui-akea season. Ku-nui-akea was the other main Hawaiian god. Lono was out of season, and the Hawaiians weren't quite so friendly when Cook came back flaunting his Lono banners in front of Ku-nui-akea.

That time, Cook had trouble with the Hawaiians stealing stuff from his ship. It started out with some small things and escalated. Finally, he tried to get the king to come aboard as a willing hostage for the return of a "large cutter," whatever that is. The king said OK, and then changed his mind at the last minute. They ended up squabbling about it on shore. The English shot some Hawaiians, and Cook got clubbed in the head and killed along with 4 others.

Cook was known for being nice to his crewmen. He had a very low mortality rate on his voyages because of good diet and cleanliness. He didn't do very much lashing and even less keel hauling. Mr. Bligh was an officer on Cook's last trip, but he apparently didn't learn much about Cook's style of leadership.

A few years later in 1790, Mr. Kamehameha got ahold of a small ship, some guns, and a couple of kidnapped English sailors. He took control of his own island, and within 20 years he had "united" the Hawaiian islands into a single kingdom.

Happy Kamehameha Day!

In the meantime, Mr. Bligh's new ship had a mutiny, and the mutineers ended up on the island of Pitcairn. Some of their descendants still live there.

It might be a good place to visit, although there's no airport or hotel, and boats from the outside don't stop in too often. Good news, though -- the recent dispute over the .pn Pitcairn domain suffix has been resolved.

For the low, low price of $100 for two years, you can register your own domain name. A domain name is $200 for one year plus $100 per additional year.

If you don't like the .pn domain suffix, you might want to consider the .sex suffix. Senator Joseph Lieberman from Connecticut is pushing for that.,1283,36867,00.html

Additional reading assignment:

In other historical news, 188 years ago tomorrow, Napoleon invaded Russia. It worked out about as well as Hitler's invasion of Russia 130 years and 10 days later.

At 6:55 this morning (CDT) there was a 6.3 magnitude earthquake in the ocean between Antarctica and Australia. I knew you'd want to know about it.

Electronic signatures are on the way. Congress is getting closer to passing a law setting up some standards for electronic signatures, making them legally binding like paper signatures. That will be a lot more convenient, but the idea will scare some people.

Recent Dotcom News shuts down. lays off 10% and cancels IPO. MedicaLogic/Medscape plans to lay off 110 employees. forces out CEO. Smartage withdraws IPO. Corel to lay off 320 people. caught cybersquatting. closes down. closes down. in Chapter 11. shuts down. MarchFirst lays off 260 workers. lays off 13 and closes Seattle office., recently delisted, is offline now. shuts down. shutdown while looking for funding. announces layoffs. Insweb laying off 40%.

OK, I admit it. This is only bad the news. But I think these companies are going to have to start making a profit to stay in business.

Other dot-coms with dot-problems:  CDNow, Peapod,,,,,,

Microsoft Decision, Condensed Version

"You've been very bad."

"But I didn't do anything wrong!"

"Did so. You've got no respect for me or the law. Kiss your company good-bye"

"You can't touch me. I own the appeals court and I'll try this case in the press."

"Aw.... what do I care? I'll be retired before this is finished. I really just wanted to get on some talk shows to supplement my pension like Ito did."

"Just for that, I'm not going to show you how to check your e-mail!"

"Didn't I just outlaw e-mail?"

Bill from Washington:
"Now, where can I find these .sex web sites?"

And Now, the Pictures of Today!

The Great Wall of China, an unimproved section:


Brian, Steven, and Melinda sliding down a giant sand dune in Colorado:


Fog rolling in East of Oakland:


An ominous cloud:


It was a little dryer on this mountain near Deming, New Mexico:


(x) 1779, all rites preserved. Unauthorized copying and distribution of this outstanding tripe will be smiled upon by Ku-nui-akea and Lono-makua, their heirs, successors, and assigns. Since Steve Ledbetter said the last background color was puky, it's different today, unless you're using AOL.

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