Wednesday, February 22, 2006

A True History of the Internet

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When police broke into his house and looked for his effects
after the professor vanished for the final time,
they found nothing. It turned out, that he had
Faked His Own Life.

Meanwhile, on a train to oxford, the professors ininitely more sage brother Piecroft, was wondering about the Beeps and Peeps and Meeps that he was surroned by - it appeared that the mobile phones in the carriage were talking to each other unbenownst to their owners, in an interesting code. As he manged to decrypt their alien conversation, he suddenly felt ill - perhaps the radiation....he thought as his mind blurred - but it was too late - his last note on his PDA was
"...and the meep shall inherit the earth"

Monday, February 20, 2006


Alice, Leo and the Ghost

1. Alice, Leo and the Little Yellow House
2. Alice and Leo on Holidays
3. Alice, Leo and the Specific Ocean


Jon Crowcroft, illustrated by ???
October, 1992, Grafton Road, London, United Kingdom

Alice and Leo are cousins. The Ghost isn’t. These are some of their adventures.

1. Alice, Leo and the Little Yellow House

Alice and Leo were walking in the fields down in the country one day.

In the distance is a little yellow house. "Oh Look" cries Alice, "There’s a little yellow house". "Where?" says Leo. "There, in the woods" says Alice.

So they walk and they walk and they slowly, slowly get closer to the Little Yellow House.

As they get closer, the house doesn’t get any bigger, but the woods do

The trees grow taller and taller and lean over more and more, so that in a way, the little yellow house looks even smaller, though it isn’t.

When they get to the house, Leo says "Let’s go inside". And they go in, and start to explore.

As well as being yellow (and little), the house has two floors, four walls and several ceilings and a roof. On the ground floor, there are lots of toys covered in spider webs. Upstairs, past the creeks and groans and greek crones under the steps, they find the Ghost.

"Hello" says the Ghost. "I’ve been expecting you. Would you like some tea. I’m afraid the biscuits are a bit damp. But I’ve got some nice red lemonade".

So Alice and Leo and the Ghost sit down at the table upstairs in the Little Yellow House and eat damp biscuits and drink lemonade until its time for Alice and Leo to go home.

"Time to go home", says Alice. "But we have had fun!" added Leo. "Maybe we’ll see you again soon".

The Ghost nodded and vanished through the wall. "Bye Bye" came its voice from within the darkening woods.

2. Alice and Leo on Holidays

Alice and Leo went on holidays to the sea in Africa. Africa is very big, and hot. So is the sea there, when you are by the sea in Africa at least.

The beaches are so beautiful and interesting and full of crabs and shells and things that Alice and Leo decided to send the Ghost a postcard of where they were. "So beautiful that it will haunt you" joked Alice.

Weeks later, when they came home, they wondered if the ghost got their card. But one day, when they were least expecting it, they got a card from the ghost, a picture it had had taken of itself by the sea.

The Ghost had gone to Africa too. And it said "Wish you were here, we could scare the fish out of the waves and dance with the Maasai on the sand".

The only trouble was that Alice and Leo’s parents couldn’t see the ghost on the postcard, but they could.

3. Alice, Leo and the Specific Ocean

One summer, Alice and Leo went sailing in a big boat on an even bigger Ocean.

They were in the middle of the ocean (you could tell it was the middle because it was a really long way to every side), when Leo suddenly shouted "Ahoy, ahoy".

"What is a hoy?" asked Alice.

"Don’t be silly" said Leo, "I mean I can see a boat". And he could, so they sailed over to the boat.

It was an odd sort of boat, as it didn’t seem to have any people or pirates or anyone on it. However, they climbed across from their boat to the other, to explore.

They went into the captains bridge, where the big steering wheel is on most boats - there was a creaking sound. "Don’t be scared" said Leo, "Its just that door opening and closing as the boat moves over the waves".

They went into the galley (the ship’s kitchen) - there was a howling sound. "Don’t be scared" said Alice. "Its just the wind coming down the chimley". (She meant chimney of course, but this was her private way of saying it).

They went into the cargo hold - there was a great big "ROAR". "Don’t be scared" said the ghost, because it was it. "Its only me".

Alice and Leo jumped up and down, and said hello, and they all went upstairs to the deck to have damp biscuits and red lemonade in the sun and talk about each others holidays.

Alice, Leo and other Ghosts

1. Alice and Leo meet Alouette and Lark.
2. Alice and Leo and Noah’s Big Boat
3. Alice and Leo and the Waterspout


Jon Crowcroft, illustrated by ???
October, 1992, Grafton Road, London, United Kingdom

Alice and Leo are cousins. These are some more of their adventures with other ghosts.

1. Alice and Leo meet Alouette and Lark.

Alouette and Lark were playing in the trees flitting from leaf to leaf. They see Alice and Leo’s clothes hanging on a chair through the open window of the bedroom.

It is early, too early, for Alice or Leo to be awake yet.

Alouette and Lark decide to have some fun, and fly into the pockets of Alice and Leo’s jackets.

It looks like Alice and Leo’s clothes are alive, and walking around the room all topsy and turvey.

Alice and Leo wake up and see their clothes dancing all around the room. "Is that the ghost?" asks Alice.

"No" replies Lark, "Its other ghosts"

"Would you like some damp biscuits and red lemonade?" asks Leo.

"Yes please" reply Lark and Aloutte, getting out of the jacket pockets.

So they do.

2. Alice and Leo and Noah’s Big Boat

Alice and Leo are walking in the village down by the old port. They arrive at Noah’s big boat.

Noah’s boat is big enough to be full of animals of every kind.

All the animals are called fred including the goblins and unicorns, except for a monster called smorgasboard and his mate called sushi.

Noah invites them to set sail and travel with him during the rainy season.

They visit a big black land and find the ghosts in a big black shiny castle, in the kitchen and bring Alouette and lark back to the boat who scare the goblins and unicorns away and thats why there are ghosts, but there aren’t unicorns or goblins even if Maurice Sendak says so...

3. Alice and Leo and the Waterspout

Alice and Leo were having a bath. The Bath was big enough on the best of days.

But today, the bath seemed to be growing - the edge, over which they could normally see, beyond into the garden and trees and birds, was getting higher and higher over their heads.

"Come on" shouted Alice. "Lets swim for that boat. She indicated the large blue and red plastic cruiser just off to the left of a fifty foot yellow duck.

"Ok, race you", cried Leo, and did.

They got there in double quicktime, and climbed on board. There they found a plentiful supply of bubbles and clothes pegs.

After a while, they got a bit bored, and cried out "Help, Help, we want to be normal size again".

Alouette and Lark came flitting through the glass and flew round and round and round, and the water started going round too, like it does when dad pulls the plug out and swishes the suds and stuff down. But this time, it got bigger and bigger til Alice and Leo and the boat were whisked up in a towering water spout, like Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, only wetter.

Just as it got a bit frightening, Alice and Leo were flung whizzing through the air to land in their beds.

Where they had both just woken up.

Alice, Leo and most of the Ghosts

1. Alice and Leo and the Blue Lemonade
2. Alice and Leo and the Mirrors
3. The Very Short Ghost Story
4. Another Very Short Ghost Story
5. Alice and Leo and the Farty Ghost
6. The Pocket Ghost


Jon Crowcroft, illustrated by ???
October, 1992, Grafton Road, London, United Kingdom

Alice and Leo have met quite a few ghosts in their time. This time they meet most of the rest of the ghosts.

1. Alice and Leo and the Blue Lemonade

Alice and Leo cannot find any ghosts today. They’ve looked everywhere - in the cellar, in the cupboards, under the squeaky stairs, behind an owl, underneath a bat’s wing.

Leo suggests that maybe the ghosts have gone somewhere to celebrate Halloween. Alice looks out of the window, and sees a big gibbous moon hanging in the evening sky like a gibbon.

"Look", says Alice, "maybe that’s where they are!"

So Alice and Leo set off for the moon - first they go to the airport to pick up their spaceship.

When they get to the moon they decide to hire a boat, otherwise they won’t be able to sail on any of the moon-seas. These are seas of sandy dust more dry than a dry beach at any earth seaside!.

They set off across the Sea of Tranquillity, steadily steadfastly searching for any sign of ghosts.

Suddenly, from nowhere, a storm whips up the sand into great patters of swishs and swirls in the sky.

"Hello, ghosts" say Alice and Leo.

"Hello Alice and Leo" say the ghosts, for it is them making the storm. "Would you like some damp biscuits and blue Lemonade"? "Yes, please. We’ve never had blue lemonade before".

2. Alice and Leo and the Mirrors

Alice was in England having a bath one day, and she wondered where Leo was. Meanwhile, Leo was in Africa, where he was having a bath too. Africa is a long way away and ahead in time, so Leo was having his bedtime bat, while Alice was having her teatime bath.

When they got out of their baths, they looked in the mirror to see who might be around to play with, and who should they see? Each other - that is, Alice could see Leo and Leo could see Alice, just like they were in the same room.

"Hello, that’s not really Leo is it?" asked Alice, and Leo asked the same thing of the mirror Alice.

"No, you caught us out - its Alouette and Lark!"

So Alouette and Lark got out of the mirrors, and went to play with Leo and Alice in Africa, until it was sleepy time time.

3. The Very Short Ghost Story

Alice and Leo were walking hand in hand through the undergrowth one day, when they thought they saw a ghost.

They didn’t, because they were looking in the treetops and the ghost was hiding behind a mushroom.

A little later, Alouette and Lark flitted down from the boughs and told them that they had narrowly missed meeting the Very Short Ghost.

Oh well" said Alice, "Another Day, maybe. How about some tea?"

4. Another Very Short Ghost Story

One day, in the middle of a very large bath, the Very Small Ghost was sailing along in a thimble, when it became rather lost. " help ", cried the Very Small Ghost.

Luckily, Alice and Leo were sailing nearby, and heard the very small cry . "Let‘s go an help" said Alice. "OK" says Leo. And they do.

5. Alice and Leo and the Farty Ghost

Alice and Leo were out walking in the forest one day amongst the trees so tall and so thin and so close together.

Suddenly there was a terrible "Whoooooooh" sound and it was Leo, and Alice said "Did you just make a pooey sound?", and Leo said "Yes,

A bit later, the same thing happened and Alice said "Ooops".

But a bit later still, it was the ghost who said "Whooooooh" and Alice and Leo said "Aha!". They said "Caught you there, flitting in the trees!".

6. The Pocket Ghost

Once upon a time there was a pocket ghost, which lived in peoples’ pockets. This one lived in Alice’s pocket. He would play games so that when Alice put things in her pocket, the ghost would hide them elsewhere.

Often, Alice though things had rolled under the fridge or the sofa.

One day, Alice was looking for her favourite bracelet and she put her hand in her pocket and when she pulled it out, she was holding the pocket ghost., "Hello", said Alice. "Where’s my bracelet?" "Elsewhere", said the pocket ghost.

Alice, Leo and Ghosts with the Most

1. Alice and Leo and the 3 Caps
2. Another Very Small Ghost Story


Jon Crowcroft, illustrated by ???
November, 1992, Grafton Road, London, United Kingdom

Alice and Leo play football and meet the queen; the ghosts are not far behind.

1. Alice and Leo and the 3 Caps

Alice and Leo are playing football in the field.

Three caps are folowing them around, with no heads underneath, or bodies.

"Its Alouete and Lark, and someone else" cries Alice.

2. Another Very Small Ghost Story

ALice is goijng to bed one night, but she doesnt feel too well. Mum decides to bring her some cough medicine, but when it arrives, and she takes the top off, out pops the very small ghost.

"Hello" says the very small ghost. "Look what I’ve got for you". And he holds out an even smaller bottle.

Alice takes the top off, and out pop Alouette and Lark who sinmg her a bedtime song.

"Hmmm, thats the medicince for me" dreams Alice.

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misery me, there is a floccipaucinihilipilification (*) of chronsynclastic infundibuli in these parts and I must therefore refer you to frank zappa instead, and go home