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Zyra's Circular 150
Newsletter for Zyra's website with an update on things that have happened from Issue134 to Issue150 inclusive.


It will be interesting to see if the six days' work that's gone into writing this message has been worthwhile...

 [Zyra]

2011/07/18 22:57 Publication of Issue150 of Zyra's Website... and a Circular Newsletter

Hi to ALL!

After all this time, at last a new Zyra Circular Newsletter! (If you don't have time to read it, I feel sorry for you).


The website www.zyra.org.uk is published every few weeks (subject to health). However, not every Issue of the site has a Circular Newsletter. They take a lot of work to write them, and this has to be fitted into life which also has to cope with my emigration, coping with illness, and running a profitable business. In case you're wondering if you've missed any previous Circular Newsletters (they sometimes get blocked by stupid spam-filters), the list at www.zyra.org.uk/circular.htm includes all of the recent ones of the past few years, and a selection of the ones before that. The previous Zyra newsletter was www.zyra.bz/circ133.htm (which was a while ago).

You haven't been lost off the Circular List, and I haven't stopped sending these newsletters. It's just a matter of being able to do everything and somehow end up with it all being done.

Much has happened since then, and this message, Circular150, is well worth reading, and has some curious things in it, including... a scientific experiment on plugholes, streetlamps switched on by pigeons, unusual things about toasters, Sky falling in, rabbits, barometrology, "What have they got against Fortnum & Mason?", good value cats, what if you won the Lottery?, the comparative dangers of coconuts and sharks, APR and how to work out interest rates, Infrequently Asked Questions, sneaky tricks which supermarkets play on their customers, GPS and Sat-Nav explained, letters and numbers on a phone, tea mixed with coffee, taking a close look into a bird's nest, Hungarian red sludge, the shocking behaviour of Tesco, passport insecurity, penguins, one-piece body-suits, "Why is the sky blue?", giraffes, the Lost Geocities, alternative uses of the vuvuzela, the glories of cluttering and hoarding, Second Life the virtual world, flaming turkey wings, vacuum cleaners with blow-ends, and the mystery of why you don't see white dog-poo anymore. There's more than that, but it would be silly if the summary was too long!

 [Streetlamp switched on by a Bird] Let's start off with the matter of streetlamps that can be switched on by birds. Here's a pigeon sitting on top of a streetlight and presumably there's a daylight-sensor on the apex of the lamp. The result is that the light comes on in the daytime when a bird perches on top. More about this at www.zyra.org.uk/streetlamp-bird.htm . This pigeon incident isn't a great sequel to "Why do you never see baby pigeons" www.zyra.org.uk/baby-pigeons.htm , but it's still curious.

Various types of birds can sit on streetlamps, and the reason they can get up there is, funnily enough, because they have the ability to fly. You'll not see a penguin on top of a streetlamp, well not unless some joker has climbed up the lamp-post and stuck a Linux Tux up there. Penguins' inability to fly makes us wonder, why is it that in London Zoo, there is no mesh over the penguin enclosure. Penguins there are being taxed at about 50% on the fish they get, because seagulls visit and grab the fish before the penguins can get it. More about this (including cute picture) at www.zyra.org.uk/penguinzoo.htm . What a surprise there is a London Zoo affiliate program www.zyra.org.uk/london-zoo.htm which has become a "Feature" at this site. This is also where the pictures of giraffes can be seen, and the picture entitled "Tigers; they're fond of children, you know". [Penguins]

You could see such educational material on National Geographic, and they also have an affiliate program. See www.zyra.net/nat-geo.htm

Some digital TV channels are doing less well...

Sky TV can be presumed to be dischuffed. The nice page about them at www.zyra.org.uk/sky-tv.htm doesn't toe the party line of Sky TV and its all-pervasive controlling company being faultless, almighty and entirely marvellous. Even before the scandalous tabloidism in various low-IQ-appeal newspapers which brought chickens home to roost, Sky TV was already tainted with notions of monopolism, so therefore it got written about here because the truth needs to be told. They also may not have liked the page about "Sky Digiboxes Not Entirely Worthless" www.zyra.tv/sky-digibox.htm , which helps to break the hardware dongle problems of these things. Anyway, Sky TV have expelled me from their affiliate program. Well that's fair enough; it's their prerogative to do that. Of course it doesn't stop the truth being up there online. The pages will remain. Indeed, although I used to have a low opinion of Sky TV, my opinion of them has fallen even further, and so now there's a new page called "Sky Falling In" www.zyra.at/sky-falling.htm . Notice now, their share-price is starting to fall on the stockmarket and could plummet. It's a long way to fall from geostationary orbit www.zyra.net/geostat.htm and the final crash into the ground is spectacular. I can't help but muse, if they hadn't been so greedy this could all have been avoided.

Another finance catastrophe can be seen in the saga of Tesco Financial. They used to be OK and seemed to be playing fair, so a whole set of pages have been created here, starting at such pages as www.zyra.org.uk/tescocarinsurance.htm , but I don't think Tesco Finance were fair to Silvertap, and I said so. See www.zyra.co.uk/tescold.htm . Tesco Finance didn't take this well, and took a kind of North-Korean attitude to it. However, because we live in the Free World and not in the People's Socialist Tescoland Republic of Kim Jong Tesc, they expelled me from their affiliate program. Silly really, because I then created the page www.zyra.org.uk/tescoff.htm which makes a mockery of Tesco Finance's mistakes and provides links to rival supermarkets' finance pages.

To be fair to Tesco, the supermarket themselves have taken a much more mature attitude to the whole thing and have survived with their links intact at the page www.zyra.org.uk/tesco.htm . Well Done! So, it looks like the bad financial decisions are limited to the finance sector. [Tesco supermarket] This could perhaps help to explain why the Finance Business market in general is in sure a dire condition, whereas supermarkets are still making a healthy profit.

Companies in the Health business sometimes also have pages here, including... ProHealth www.zyra.net/prohealth.htm , Sovereign Health Care www.zyra.co.uk/sovereignhealthcare.htm , Health and Care www.zyra.org.uk/healthandcare.htm , Switch 2 Health www.zyra.at/switch2health.htm , Health Bay www.zyra.org.uk/thehealthbay.htm , Health Buy www.zyra.org.uk/healthbuy.htm , Health Mag www.zyra.org.uk/choicehealthmag.htm and a variety of others mentioned at the page of Health www.zyra.org.uk/health.htm

It has been so long since the last e-mail newsletter update that there are some Xmas things worth mentioning. It may seem odd to mention them in July, but here goes: There's a festive Xmas page www.zyra.org.uk/xmas.htm (which is there all year round), and the Royal Institution Christmas Lectures should be brought back! Let's campaign for that (nearer to December maybe), www.zyra.org.uk/ri-xmas.htm ! Woolworths, who are always festive, are not dead. They live on, online, via www.zyra.org.uk/woolworths.htm , and you can buy things, at any time of year. There's the shareware invention of the Pagan Clock www.zyra.net/pagan-clock.htm which is quite festive. Then there's the matter of that song which is a parody of "The Twelve Days of Christmas" which has the line in it "Flaming Turkey Wings!". That line has stuck in people's memories, and many people remember things about the song, and some of those things are true and some are not quite as true as they might be. Funnily enough, I have a page about that, at www.zyra.org.uk/flaming-turkey-wings.htm

As well as the Royal Institution Christmas Lectures, there are other good things that should be brought back! There's a whole category of these things. It's not retro, it's Revivo! www.zyra.org.uk/revivo.htm . Things proposed to be brought back include Cisterns, back-boilers, starting handles, and vacuum cleaners having a blow-end www.zyra.co.uk/blow-end.htm

 [Picture of a Domino's Pizza] Now to sum up some of these things, a vacuum cleaner having no blow-end sucks, and the "Flaming Turkey Wings" is connected with Pizza Hut. Pizza Hut had a nice page www.zyra.org.uk/pizzahut.htm but now they've gone and lost their affiliate program. Still, Domino's Pizza still have links, and recently their page www.zyra.org.uk/dominop.htm has been adorned with a recyclable item. So, that should help.

Something which probably isn't so good for recycling, and in most people's opinion shouldn't be brought back, is the vuvuzela. Vuvuzelas are noisy annoying plastic horns which detract from major sporting events. They make life difficult for referees and commentators, and vuvuzelas are often entirely inappropriately played. It is especially rude to toot on a vuvuzela during the dignified playing of the national anthems of the contenders in the sport. Still, there are quite a lot of vuvuzelas about, and so here's a page of the amusing alternative uses of them: www.zyra.tv/vuvuzela-alt.htm

If you're thinking about overthrowing the government, take heart in the fact that the world is changing and some governments have already been overthrown. Tunisia had a problem government and the people overthrew it. This is celebrated at www.zyra.net/tunisia-revolution.htm . Then the folk in Egypt overthrew their leader as well. See www.zyra.org.uk/egypt.htm . ("The System" there may also need overthrowing, considering some of the things that are going on). Also there's been a secession (term explained at www.zyra.net/secession.htm ) in Sudan. It will be interesting to see which countries will go next. Bahrain, Libya, and Syria are already starting to look quite shaky. Saudi Arabia* could be overthrown if people thought about it and realised how oppressive it is. However, countries in "The West" need not be too complacent. The governments have been imposing stupid laws on people for far too long, and they may find the tide of world change catching up with them. I suggest that governments wishing to stay in business could avoid being overthrown by putting in some basic commonsense changes: Become more Libertarian! People are much more likely to put up with a government if there is considerable genuine freedom in the country. Already some countries have no speed limits on some roads, and there are some countries where there are serious proposals to legalise recreational drugs. Plus, some countries have little or no imposition of tax. See the tax havens page www.zyra.org.uk/taxhaven.htm . For more libertarian references, see www.zyra.org.uk/lib.htm

 [Toast] And now I'd like to propose a toast! However this is not a celebratory supping-up of something with ethanol in as per www.zyra.org.uk/booze.htm , and is instead more a matter of bread. Although the page of fax on toast, or toast on fax, www.zyra.tv/toastog.htm , has been around for some time, there is now a page specifically about Toasters! It is www.zyra.at/toasters.htm , and it gets more involved than might at first be assumed. A toaster should include a crumb-tray, so as to reduce the number of times per year the toaster is on fire. Also, a toaster should be able to fling the toast at least 2ft up in the air. See, it's not just a matter of giving a (thirteen amp) plug to Morphy Richards www.zyra.org.uk/morphyrichards.htm

What else has "Morph" in the word? Well there's Morphsuits. These are one-piece head-to-toe skin-tight body-suits which allow the wearer to be anonymous while going around in public making an exhibition of themselves. It is Zentai by another name, and there does appear to be quite a lot of it about. This has to be seen to be believed, and the stuff about it all starts at www.zyra.org.uk/morphsuits.htm

Another persona-morphing contact, though performing via a different medium, is Second Life. It's another world, a virtual reality, and it has some aspects which make it a much better world than the physical world. Most notably, you can design the form that you take. Notice how the magic word "Avatar" is much referenced. More about this at www.zyra.net/secondlife.htm . Beware, though, as some people have approximately moved there and are living in Second Life rather than in the other life they've left behind.

Meanwhile, the physical world has dangers, and people worry about them. Sharks, for example, dangerous. And then there's coconuts. ... Now hang on a bit, surely there is no comparison, is there? Coconuts ... Sharks.  [Shark] Admittedly both are delicious, but that's not the point. Everyone knows sharks are dangerous, a fact emphasised by some quite notable movies. Sharks are a risk because they have been known to kill people. There are approximately fifteen deaths through shark attacks per year worldwide. Regrettable, of course, but many thousands of people die in road accidents. For more about shark attacks, (including some pictures of sharks) www.zyra.info/shark-attack.htm . But coconuts? There is evidence to suggest that more than fifteen people per year are killed by coconuts falling off trees. This is explained at www.zyra.net/coconut-attack.htm (includes pictures of coconut palms, fruits, etc).

Anyway, don't have nightmares! Deaths by sharks and by coconuts are both comparatively rare. Plus, the risk falls to approximately zero in regions that are on land and temperate.

People's estimates of probability are often way-off anyway. Also see the Lottery v Lightning question www.zyra.org.uk/probab1.htm plus the estimation of risk of Hungarian Red Sludge. This was a news story a while ago, but it was not quite what it seemed. See www.zyra.info/red-sludge.htm

Circular Editorial Note: In case you're wondering how long these newsletters take to write, this one so far has taken two days. Now day three begins...

There are several new categories www.zyra.org.uk/category.htm in addition to those there were previously. The Travel category now has additional classes of travel to appeal to different folk. These include Family Holidays www.zyra.org.uk/family-holidays.htm and Self-Catering Holidays www.zyra.co.uk/self-catering-holidays.htm , and the previously existing travel-related things have become a whole new category as well, www.zyra.net/travel-categories.htm (Hotels, luggage, what to pack, souvenirs, transfers, how to avoid problems, etc).

There's a whole new set of categories which are North America specific variants of previously existing UK/International categories. A summary of these can be seen at www.zyra.net/americats.htm

Other new categories include Leather www.zyra.net/leather.htm , 3D Printing www.zyra.org.uk/3dprint.htm , Mobile Phone Recycling www.zyra.net/phone-recycling.htm , Snow Equipment www.zyra.net/snowgear.htm , Marketing Agencies www.zyra.net/marketing-agency.htm , and then there's the "Picky" category. There were getting to be a number of pages such as "The Correct Use of Apostrophes", "Fewer v Less", "The word Whilst", and then the matter of "Compliment" and "Complement" being different words, so these have now engendered a new category www.zyra.org.uk/picky.htm, which can equally be titled "The Finer Points of Good English" as it can be "Picky Points", or something with "Pedantic" in it.

 [Bird on Nest] Now do you remember the Tale of the Lizard? www.zyra.tv/lizard1.htm . Well it now has a sequel. Although the sequel isn't about reptiles and doesn't involve water, it is nevertheless a wildlife photography story told in pictures. It is the "Story of a Bird's Nest" www.zyra.me.uk/birdsnest4.htm and it includes some close-up photographs of birds, nest, eggs, and chicks. I didn't need to go to a huge amount of trouble to intrude upon birds in the wild. "The Wild" came to me, as the birds set up their nest within inches of a house window! It was then just a matter of cleaning a small round patch in the filth that encrusted the glass, and a wildlife photo opportunity was opened up!

The Bird's Nest sequence has a variety of interesting scientific observations, as well as cute pictures of little birds. Also, you'll be pleased to know, the story has a happy ending.

There's another piece of peculiar science going on with the Plugholes. It is stated in folklore that water goes down plugholes clockwise in the Southern hemisphere, and the other way round in the Northern hemisphere. Well we don't need to just accept these things; let's put it to the test! Time for an experiment! See www.zyra.net/plughole.htm . The page has more to say than what happens to water going down plugholes, as there is an insight into the ways people think. Scary, really.

Of course you don't have to think the same ways the normal people think. It's far better to be different, individualistic, maverick. Besides the obvious philosophical advantages, there's also the strategic points. Scamsters and criminals generally optimise their wrongdoing to take advantage of the normal modes of thought of their victims. For example, they assume that wishful thinking will suspend rational thought. Many of them are aiming quite low in terms of their intended victim intelligence profile, and you can see this at the page of Scams www.zyra.info/scams.htm and some of the nonsense which some people are supposed to fall for.

However, what you don't expect is when supermarkets (which are supposed to be fair, honest, etc) do a dirty trick. What they are doing is keeping the price the same, and the package design the same, but just skimping on the weight (or the alcohol percent in the case of spirit). The weight is honesty stated for legal reasons, but people are assumed not to read it. More about this particular trick can be seen at www.zyra.tv/sneakyvalue.htm

Talking about alcohol percent, did you know that the term "proof" isn't supposed to be "percent proof". It's actually "degrees proof", which is different from "percent vol". Another page! www.zyra.net/percent-proof.htm

 [Cup of Tea] If you prefer a non-alcohol drink, how about tea? www.zyra.org.uk/tea.htm or coffee? www.zyra.org.uk/coffee.htm , or then again if you're in two minds about it, what about a mixture of both tea and coffee? Yuck! That would be horrible! Everyone knows that, and it's got a reputation similar to drinking tea out of a hot water bottle www.zyra.tv/teabotl.htm ; however, what's less obvious is what happens if you try different mixtures of different percentage tea and coffee in the mix. Odd things happen, not quite like tin and lead and eutectic mixtures, but also odd. www.zyra.info/tea-mixed-coffee.htm . Still horrible though. It's unlikely to catch on.

There are a great many fashion links at this site. They start at www.zyra.org.uk/fashion.htm and cater for varied tastes. There are some Alternative Market links including Soho's www.zyra.org.uk/sohos.htm at www.zyra.org.uk/alterna.htm , and Fashion Accessories www.zyra.net/fashionacc.htm , and by saying these things I'm hoping you'll have a browse around rather than me having to mention the great many pages in question all specifically.

Having a great many pages, loads of stuff, etc, is good, whether in the virtual world or in the physical world. Collecting things, www.zyra.org.uk/collect.htm , or generally collecting everything, ie hoarding and cluttering, is glorious! It needs to be encouraged. More about this at www.zyra.net/hoarders.htm . This helps to counter the biased propaganda which supports the opposite viewpoint.

Now coming up to the end of the third day of writing this message, and I have ended up rabbiting on a bit. Rabbit? As in more rabbit than Sainsbury's? www.zyra.org.uk/morerabbitthan.htm ? There's been a page about Sainsbury's for some time now... www.zyra.org.uk/snsbrys.htm ... but now there's a page about rabbits as well, lagomorphs, bunnies, at www.zyra.info/rabbits.htm

They are lucky, you know, rabbits. Well, the ones are that don't end up in the stew. Luck, though, is often a matter of interpretation, a fact used by some astrologers. Astronomers, in contrast, have quite different things to say. However, if astronomers predict the future, then it may be time to worry! For example, "This newly discovered asteroid is on an earth-crossing orbit and may collide with the Earth" www.zyra.org.uk/collid.htm . That would be an astronomical prediction, rather than something astrological. For another comparison, see Astronomy www.zyra.org.uk/space.htm , and Astrology www.zyra.at/astrology.htm . Astrology may not be as scientific as things based on observations through telescopes, but it shouldn't be dismissed out-of-and in a sceptical-fundamentalist way. To see what I mean, see Barometrology www.zyra.in/barometrology.htm

Anyway, if you want Luck, have you considered What Would You Do If You Won The Lottery? There's a page about that too, at www.zyra.org.uk/won.htm

Maybe now is the time to mention the matter of Fortnum and Mason. The question is: "What Have They Got Against Fortnum & Mason?". There was a political protest in which some people invaded a tea shop. More about this at www.zyra.org.uk/fm-snag.htm

Another annoying thing about the misguided protests is the ridiculous way the news media termed the protesters "anarchists". No, they were not anarchists, [Fortnum and Mason Hampers] and it's not about anarchy; you can see that by the flags. Anarchy is about freedom to do what you want to do.

Instead, it was a Communist protest, trying to reduce the gap between rich and poor www.zyra.org.uk/richgap.htm by making everyone equally poor. That's why they attacked places associated with being rich.

However, there's nothing wrong with being rich. It would be better to solve the poverty problem by solving the problem of being poor. For example, if you're hard up because the banks are charging you too much interest on a loan, it's worth looking at "What is APR?" www.zyra.org.uk/apr-calculation.htm and shopping around for a better rate. There are also other poverty-solving pages around here, such as www.zyra.org.uk/runco.htm

Anyway, they smashed the front window of Santander www.zyra.org.uk/santanderbusinessbanking.htm , which is rather odd because Santander is a Spanish bank and as far as I know they didn't cause the Credit Crunch www.zyra.org.uk/credit-crunch.htm in the first place. However, had it been the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) www.zyra.org.uk/royalbanks.htm , that would perhaps have been a different matter?!

Why don't you see white dog-poo anymore? Dare anyone ask? It is now a question which has been answered. See www.zyra.bz/white-dogshit.htm . See, it was nothing to do with poodles.

Another mystery: The Lost Geocities. www.zyra.net/geocities.htm . They were not encroached upon and overgrown by the jungle, and instead they became "Lost" because of something more catastrophic. Also see AOL Hometown (gone) www.zyra.org.uk/aol-hometown.htm , and the shambles that was Tiscali www.zyra.at/tiscaliability.htm

And now some items about what to do about dodgy phone calls. This sounds trivial, but it's not so easy because you don't know that they are dodgy when they start. If someone phones you up and says they are the bank, you don't know immediately whether they are, or are not, the bank! Advice on what to do about this is at www.zyra.org.uk/bankcall.htm , and this time the boot is on the other foot, as they will have to be put through your security!

Another one like this is a phone call where "Your Credit Card Has Won A Holiday". Well, has it? Here's an exemplary tale of how to handle that situation: www.zyra.net/card-won.htm

There's a similar thing, though not by phone, at www.zyra.bz/friend-id-hijack.htm where "Your Friend" asks for help, but it turns out not to be the person you thought it was.

Then there's What to Do about Nuisance Calls and Phone Hoaxers: www.zyra.org.uk/hoaxers.htm

Some of these solutions are as neat as the solution to defeating crooks who steal your sat-nav and then use its "home" button to go to your house and break in. They can end up looking very silly when they find out you have programmed the postcode of the local police station into the "home" button. More about this at www.zyra.net/satnavhome.htm

Talking about GPS and Sat-Nav, such things are explained at pages around GPS: Global Positioning System: www.zyra.net/gps.htm . Interestingly, this isn't just one thing, but a set of things which interconnect. So, it's not all on one page, but on a set of pages connected together.

Incidentally, Global Positioning System satellites orbit around the Earth in orbits such that GPS receivers will give some idea of where they are anywhere on the Earth, even at the poles. However, the satellites themselves don't pass over the poles. But that is not so as to avoid the pencil sharpener in the South Pole www.zyra.co.uk/globesharpener.htm

Four days! It's getting scary.

The Circular Newsletter is seldom able to cover all of the companies that are written about, but usually all of the crazy write-ups about mad inventions, advice, etc will fit into the message. However, this time it's looking tricky to fit all of them in. However, here are a few choice ones that might be of interest...

 [Rainbow] Good value-for-money cats: www.zyra.org.uk/good-value-cats.htm

Why is the sky blue?: www.zyra.net/sky-blue.htm

Letters and numbers on a phone (both the new-style and old-style versions) : www.zyra.info/phonedial.htm

Alas poor old Deal Group Media (DGM). Sad they've gone. However, interesting questions: www.zyra.org.uk/dgm-questions.htm

Which is more dangerous? AC or DC? www.zyra.co.uk/dc-ac-dangerous.htm

Propaganda by conformists controlling Top Of The Pops 2 and how it should be done properly instead: www.zyra.tv/totp2.htm

Mad Invention: a computerised unicycle that anyone can ride: www.zyra.at/unicompensaticycle.htm

A solicitor shredded someone's house Deeds!: www.zyra.co.uk/solicitor-shred-deeds.htm

Radios that go to sleep when you go to sleep: www.zyra.tv/sleep-radio.htm

Down with Paypal!: www.zyra.co.uk/paypal.htm

Ice is bigger than water: www.zyra.org.uk/ice-expands.htm

Compost: www.zyra.org.uk/compost.htm

Infrequently Asked Questions: www.zyra.info/infaq.htm

A few weeks ago a travel company took a dislike to this website and terminated the affiliate relationship. Well, it's anyone's prerogative to miss out. However, when asked by the marketing company to give a reason, they said there was no content at the site! Ha! Actually, come to think of it, they said there was no Travel Content. Silly people! Here's my reply: www.zyra.org.uk/travel-content.htm

On a more political note, there's a problem with passports. They've been compulsorily made less secure. As usual with these devious government plots, there are countermeasures which can floor this. See www.zyra.net/passport-snag.htm

 [a delivery to someone's front door] People sometimes ask how I make money. So, here's an explanation: Although I don't make money by people visiting the site, I try to encourage people to visit it and have a look around. There's plenty of free advice and all sorts of useful things. I make money when someone buys something after following one of the many affiliate links on this site. The customer pays the same (or less sometimes) as they would if they go direct, but the shop pays me commission based on the sale value. This comes out of their advertising budget, and from their perspective it's better value than putting ads in the papers and on TV because on affiliate websites they only pay affiliates if they do any good. In contrast, in most media, half the advertising does no good at all, but the trouble is the shops can't tell which half! If you're interested in find out more about how the business works, see www.zyra.info/affils0.htm

Something that helps to keep me in business is when people use my website as a directory. Although it's not as big as the Yellow Pages, it has somewhere in the region of a third to a half of the main highstreet names (such as those at www.zyra.org.uk/shopping.htm , and www.zyra.org.uk/nshops.htm ) and a great many that are less well known but quite interesting. So, if you're about to buy something, it helps to go via this site. Plus, it's all in alphabetical order at the Site Index, the full version of which has over forty thousand entries. Dare I mention it? Yes, I dare, even though it's several megabytes and has bandwidth issues: www.zyra.me.uk/sindexf.htm

However, what sometimes shocks the companies is that I tell the truth about them, and so sometimes there are both good and bad things said about them. This is something you don't see in conventional advertising, or "hype" as it's known.

The truth doesn't sell the most stuff, and pages such as "Actually your old three-piece suite is OK really" www.zyra.org/old3p-ok.htm are somewhat counter to the more commonly observed "Buy a new three piece suite now! Only so-many thousand and 99, and nothing to pay until next year if you sign up for credit that you can't afford but we don't care about that!".

In fact recently I got a bit annoyed about a TV commercial which I considered was propagandist and gave a false and wasteful view of products. So, what a surprise, I wrote about it: They think their eight-year-old computer is OK: www.zyra.co.uk/8year-pc.htm

 [Amazon Kindle and Books] Even new products come in for this good and bad things being said, even when I'm too honest for my own good. Note the comments about the Amazon Kindle at www.zyra.org.uk/amazon-kindle.htm

I've not exactly made a lot of profit out of shareware inventions www.zyra.org.uk/invent.htm , but some of these things must surely do some good, like the Eelgrass-Friendly Marker Buoys www.zyra.net/eelgrass-buoys.htm and the compute-intensive put-the-pieces-back-together archaeology www.zyra.net/archaeolidea.htm , but these things help generally.

Some of the things help posterity, and some help progress, but some just help to undo various naffnesses in software. For example "How to get a full set of browser bars and controls for your Internet browser" www.zyra.net/browserbars.htm

Anyway, why are computers so naff?! Of course much of the blame is put on Microsoft www.zyra.org.uk/ms.htm . (Also see Microsoft unfair bias in shops www.zyra.at/ms-bias.htm ). However, even some Linux-based systems have adopted the bad habits of Microsoft now. It's not just to ape them, but more a matter of swallowing whole some of the assumption sets involved. Look at this recent case entitled "Firefoxed!" www.zyra.at/firefoxed.htm . That's a bad assumption to do with upgrades. However, most of the problems are in some way or other connected with the initial bad idea of the GUI (graphical user interface) and then they go on from there. Even taking into account the misbehaviour of KDE-based things, many of the problems are not specific to an implementation, and are generally windowy problems of GUI-based stuff. An interesting alternative which has been around for donkeys years can be seen at www.zyra.org.uk/commandline.htm

Also see Considerate Design www.zyra.net/considerate-design.htm

I also think that having your own website is far better than getting caught-up in the social networking. More about this at www.zyra.net/having-your-own-website.htm

And now a few "Welcome Back" items! Sometimes companies lose their links and it takes a while to get them back. While they are missing they tend to be listed at www.zyra.co.uk/bungedup.htm but there are also a few at www.zyra.co.uk/s2defunct.htm . But now here are some that have returned. Well Done to them! Welcome back to... RU Craft, AOL, South West Trains, Accountz, Rosetta Stone UK, Gatwick Express, Ryman, Forzieri, The Orient Express, and many other places, but most especially More Than www.zyra.org.uk/morethan.htm ! How about that?!

D'you know, there are some very odd things at this site. (Looks who's saying it). There's the Freezing Point of Diesel (which doesn't have a simple answer) at www.zyra.co.uk/freezing-diesel.htm , there's Experimental Theology at www.zyra.info/experimental-theology.htm , and the AC Battery (there's no such thing, of course. Batteries are DC) at www.zyra.net/ac-battery.htm

I could go on and on, but it may be best to leave it at that for now. I hope you have fun exploring around the site. You can also put the good word in and tell your friends. The more of us know about this site the better.

Have Fun! [globe]

Kind Regards to ALL!

Zyra

www.zyra.org.uk

This message is not anything to do with any kind of pork luncheon meat even though it's really delicious. The views expressed in this message are not necessarily those of the recipients. This message is not confidential so if you want to forward it then jolly good. Zyra's website is not regulated by the Financial Services Authority, although it is quite liked by some of the people who work there.

It's that difficult question: Whether to write a Circular or to write more webpages. Incidentally, you are welcome to sign up to receive these messages via the newsletter subscription form or by writing in at the page Circular.

This Circular150 message was the latest one for over a year, after which the next one was Circular166.

* Saudi Arabia ? The cruel oppressive regime could be overturned, and then the country will need a new name, as "Saudi Arabia" means "Arabia the property of the Al Saud Family". How about The Free Arab Republic instead ?