Half a century ago, Belgian Zoologist Bernard Heuvelmans first codified cryptozoology in his book On the Track of Unknown Animals.

The Centre for Fortean Zoology (CFZ) are still on the track, and have been since 1992. But as if chasing unknown animals wasn't enough, we are involved in education, conservation, and good old-fashioned natural history! We already have three journals, the largest cryptozoological publishing house in the world, CFZtv, and the largest cryptozoological conference in the English-speaking world, but in January 2009 someone suggested that we started a daily online magazine! The CFZ bloggo is a collaborative effort by a coalition of members, friends, and supporters of the CFZ, and covers all the subjects with which we deal, with a smattering of music, high strangeness and surreal humour to make up the mix.

It is edited by CFZ Director Jon Downes, and subbed by the lovely Lizzy Bitakara'mire (formerly Clancy), scourge of improper syntax. The daily newsblog is edited by Corinna Downes, head administratrix of the CFZ, and the indexing is done by Lee Canty and Kathy Imbriani. There is regular news from the CFZ Mystery Cat study group, and regular fortean bird news from 'The Watcher of the Skies'. Regular bloggers include Dr Karl Shuker, Dale Drinnon, Richard Muirhead and Richard Freeman.The CFZ bloggo is updated daily, and there's nothing quite like it anywhere else. Come and join us...

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Tuesday, October 06, 2009


I don't know what the bloody hell happened yesterday. Every day since mid-January I have done the bloggo in a set order, ending up with sending an email to various usenet newsgroups with a potted version of what has been in the day's blog-stories.

Now, I am actually finding this quite interesting from the point of view of False Memory Syndrome, because I can actually remember doing yesterday's usenet email. But last night I got a quick missive from Karl S. saying "Oi U useless ********. Where's me usenet post?" No, actually I am lying. He actually wrote something far more genteel, and was concerned that something had gone wrong.

So I checked my `sent` box, and to my amazement, I couldn't find anything in there. But still I have a perfectly compos mentis memory of having sent it.

Weird huh?


Syd said...

It's not weird, it is just one more sign that you are on the wrong side of 50.
It started happening to me a little over 9 years back.

Anonymous said...

Just because you sent the Usenet article to your local Usenet server does not mean that it had to have been propagated on, or even that it was posted onto that server. Usenet these days is counted as a non-essential service by most ISPs, and a real pain in the arse by every single one of them.

Back when I was in the ISP business, we always reckoned Usenet to be an unmitigated bastard of a service to maintain. We were operating on something of a shoestring budget; the mainstay of the operation was Transtec 2U rackmount Linux servers; basically a PC tower case turned on its side, with rack mounting kit fitted.

Rackmount Linux did for pretty much all of the operation, except for the big Oracle database server which needed a multiplicity of disks for all the gubbins that Oracle installs like to have on separate disk devices, and for the Usenet server. Those two went onto Sun Microsystems kit, which was and remains about double the price of equivalent Linux kit.

Sun servers were needed because of the incredible, staggering amount of data that comes down a Usenet feed; only a Sun had the disk speed to keep up with that flow, and perform some useful sorting work and anti-spam as well (dropping everything binary from the dodgier porn groups, for instance, and spotting bulk spammers in the act and ditching their garbage).

So, if your ISP fumbled the Usenet service briefly, your posting could well vanish into the aether (or rather get dumped into /dev/null) as part of the process of getting the server back up and running again. Like I say, if email gets dropped or bounced people get angry, if web goes flakey people whine, if the DNS goes tits-up you get the weirdest error reports ever since nobody save us sysadmins understands it, and if the Usenet server dies, nobody gives a damn until they've got a spare minute whereupon the trainee gets some grubby notes shoved at him and trundles off to run Perl scripts at random until the NNTP server grumbles back to life.