From:         Bob Rankin 
Subject:      TOURBUS - 01 Nov 2005 - Useless Information


The Internet Tourbus - U.S. Library of Congress ISSN #1094-2239
Copyright © Bob Rankin and Patrick Crispen - All rights reserved

Okay, who's up for a little time wasting? The Internet seems to inspire some people to greatness. Others find kindred spirits in the expression of ideas and art forms that to most of us seem truly baffling. But who's to say what's really useless? You be the judge, read on!

A Complete Waste of Time

If, like the wretched writers who enter the BFLC (see below), you simply have too much time on your hands, you'll be pleased to learn that there are still plenty of websites that have ABSOLUTELY NO REDEEMING VALUE. My scholarly research into the best of the utterly useless in the online world is now yours for the taking:

A Dark and Stormy Night

Remember the wonderful 'Bad Literature' parody that Saturday Night Live created years ago? If you can't find the re-runs, take heart. The Internet is filled with bad literature, bad writers, and websites where they are celebrated. The most famous of those is the Bulwer- Lytton Fiction Contest website.

For the past 23 years, San Jose State University's English Department has sponsored a whimsical literary competition that challenges writers to compose the worst possible opening sentence for a novel. The inspiration for the contest was Edward George Bulwer-Lytton's 1830 novel "Paul Clifford" which began with the oft-plagiarized words, "It was a dark and stormy night..."

Although his entry was not selected as the winner, Ken Aclin of Shreveport, LA, did receive the "Grand Panjandrum's Special Award" for the entry below, which was my personal favorite:

"India, which hangs like a wet washcloth from the towel rack of Asia, presented itself to Tex as he landed in Delhi (or was it Bombay?), as if it mattered because Tex finally had an idea to make his mark and fortune and that idea was a chain of steak houses to serve the millions and he wondered, as he deplaned down the steep, shiny, steel steps, why no one had thought of it before."

You can find the winner, and a bunch of other humorous entries deemed worthy of special mention, here:

You Got Questions?

Doctor Bob has answers! Manifold thousands of netizens voted last month with their mouse clicks, and these were the ten most popular articles on the AskBobRankin site:

Did you miss any of them? Read up... you never know when I'll throw another Pop Quiz at you! Got a computer or internet question? Pop on over to and ask away -- the doctor is in!

The Next Best Thing

Linda from Marlinton, West Virginia recently wrote and said "The next best thing to Tourbus is the Smart Computing magazine that you guys recommend. I've been getting it since last summer and it has solved numerous problems for me and my friends." Thanks, Linda!

We hope other Tourbus riders will discover the Plain English answers to their computing questions that Smart Computing delivers every month. Do you want to speed up your PC? Eliminate the threat of computer viruses? Get rid of spyware and keep hackers out? Try Smart Computing today -- get your FREE TRIAL issue NOW!

That's all for now, see you next time! -- Bob Rankin

The Internet Tourbus - U.S. Library of Congress ISSN #1094-2239
Copyright © Bob Rankin and Patrick Crispen - All rights reserved
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