Monday, April 28, 2003

About five years ago the entity that jots down these messages for you stopped listening to music radio stations and turned to news and chat. Its music collection and that of its friends was more than sufficient to supply it with all the musical excitement it would require and the only rhythmical meanderings the entity fed itself via the airwaves was the odd John Peel show or live broadcasts of Orbital gigs or similar. Despite this, the entity's music tastes have expanded hugely during this supposedly barren period.

Then, a handful of months ago, a new mobile phone came into the possession of the entity. And with it came a quirky little feature that allowed it to listen to FM radio on the move. So it has slowly been manoeuvring itself back into the realms of music radio. And this entity has to report that radio has not changed one little bit. In fact some stations (namely Virgin Radio) still appear to be using the same play lists and inane chatter that they were when the entity departed them half a decade ago. Which makes it realise that, even though radio remains a magical medium, the wireless has barely progressed at all.

Unlike the Internet. Which writhes and struggles upwards; much like the shoot of a cannabis plant. Young; ridiculously fast growing; slightly threatening to the established order; and destined to be distributed widely. And television might therefore be the hugely popular drug that is alcohol (let radio be cider). Good but flawed, with danger and confusion if consumed in large quantities. And with good cross breeding the Internet can only get better. At Charging Through The Midfield we aim to take the prettiest cuttings off the most potent and fully flowered branches and offer them to you for free in nice resealable baggies. All with symbolical niceness of course.

But since this discussion concerns the past and the present, let this entity reminisce back to a story it witnessed being widely reported on the Internet during its formative experiences of the World Wide Web. OMNI Magazine asked its readers to expound a new scientific principle or experiment. The winning reply was (and is reproduce here with blatant disregard for copyright):

"When a cat is dropped, it always lands on its feet, and when toast is dropped, it always lands with the buttered side facing down. I propose to strap buttered toast to the back of a cat; the two will hover, spinning inches above the ground. With a giant buttered cat array, a high-speed monorail could easily link New York with Chicago."

Another reader then expounded upon this:

"I've been thinking about this cat/toast business for a while. In the buttered toast case, it's the butter that causes it to land buttered side down - it doesn't have to be toast, the theory works equally well with Jacob's crackers. So to save money I think you just miss out the toast - and butter the cats. Also, should there be an imbalance between the effects of cat and butter, there are other substances that have a stronger affinity for carpet. Consider that the probability of carpet impact is determined by the following simple formula: P = S * t(t)/tc where P is the probability of carpet impact, and S is the "stain" value of the toast-covering substance - an indicator of the effectiveness of the topping in permanently staining the carpet. Chicken Tikka Masala, for example, has a very high S value, while the S value of water is zero. tc and t(t) indicate the tone of the carpet and topping respectively - the value of P being strongly related to the relationship between the colour of the carpet and topping, as even chicken Tikka Masala won't cause a permanent and obvious stain if the carpet is the same colour.

So it is clear that the probability of carpet impact is maximised if you use chicken Tikka Masala and a white carpet - in fact this combination gives a P value of one, which is the same as the probability of a cat landing on its feet. Therefore a cat with chicken Tikka Masala plastered on its back will be certain to hover in mid air. Contrastingly, there could be problems with buttered toast as the toast may fall off the cat, causing a terrible monorail crash resulting in nauseating images of members of the royal family visiting accident victims in hospital, and politicians saying it wouldn't have happened if their party was in power as there would have been more investment in cat-toast glue research. Therefore it is in the interests not only of public safety but also public sanity if the buttered toast on cats idea is scrapped, to be replaced by a monorail powered by cats smeared with chicken Tikka Masala floating above a rail made from white wool shag pile carpet."

I think the readers of OMNI magazine should feel proud of themselves. See the entries here.

Of course these aren't the only madcap ideas floating around on the Internet. You may find a whole site full of them at Half Bakery.

And if you want to see the early days of the Internet, visit the Internet Wayback Machine

The Web's most pissed off Cat.

The inevitable Rate My Kitten.

Er....Bonsai Kitten: "Dedicated to preserving the long lost art of body modification in housepets."

The Internet's full of far too many cat-related sites. If you navigate your browser to here, you will bear witness to an early Charging list of various cool and ridiculous cat sites. Worth checking out this entity assures you. And yet there are not enough. This entity (it asks you now pardon the imminent pun) has seen cat sites with every available Internet theme yet, amazingly, it is still to come across a site dedicated to cat pornography...

The comment hung in the air like a freshly buttered cat.

Since the term "charging through the midfield" originates from football, Charging thought it might do a football-related bit of writing. This entity thought that what it wrote was very much like those emails that tend to do the rounds. So it is wondering if what it writes here is going to get sent around the email circles that connect us all together is such a wonderous way. Although the entity is not sure if the quality of the piece is quite good enough to see it become a piece of writing that thousands will end up sending to their friends.

But still, this entity is genuinely upset at the way the footballing world is becoming filled with Nancy boys and rich kids whose every whim and fancy is pandered to by worshipping lackeys around them. And besides, footy has become sterile, so this entity wants the FA to mix it up a little bit more with some new rules that bring the game back to its roots...

If a ball is lost, every effort should be made to retrieve it. If the ball cannot be found, another may be used, but only six balls can be used in a single match. If all six are lost than the game will stop until one of the six is found. If it cannot be found than the game is ended with the score standing as the final result.

The goalkeeper must wear the same kit as the rest of his team but with his jersey turned inside out.

Only one kit will be supplied to each player for an entire season. There will be only one spare kit per team, but should more than one player fail to bring his kit on a match day he will have to play in a t-shirt of similar colour to his team-mates (the goalkeeper may be chosen to wear the t-shirt instead). The player's team will then be deducted a point. If more than two players forget their jersey than one point for will be deducted for each player not wearing the correct jersey. Shorts and socks do not matter as any may be used. If a team's entire set of kits is lost, than they may, upon application, apply for a new set of kits without deduction of points. This is done on the discretion of The FA. Please note that this rule will mean the swapping of shirts is banned.

Clubs are not allowed to take responsibility for the cleaning of kits. The players may chose to arrange, among themselves, to take turns in washing the team's kit. However there will be no penalty for wearing dirty or soiled kits during a match.

Players will not be allowed access to a mirror for two hours before a game or during the half time interval.

At half time, the two teams will not be allowed to return to their dressing rooms. Team talks and refreshments should be provided at the side of the pitch. The home team should supply refreshments for both teams and all players should take their cups of tea/orange segments off the same tray.

A panel of non-FA judges will award extra points for interesting and entertaining goal celebrations. The distribution of these points will be announced only after the final game of the season.

The managers of the Premiership clubs will meet at the end of the season to decide where each referee will spend his holiday that summer. The referee will meet all travel costs.

Should the referee judge that a player has been exaggerating injury then the player who committed the supposed "foul" will be asked to give the diver one kick in the legs below the knee caps to try and provide the pain that should have accompanied the rolling on the floor in feined agony. There is to be no punishment should the injured player suffer a genuine serious injury as a result of this rule.

Physio's will only be permitted to take a bucket of water and a sponge onto the field of play.

Penalties for dissent will be removed from the rules.

If a defender finds himself as the last man between an opposition attacker and a free run on goal, that defender may legally use any means at his disposal to prevent the attacker scoring.

The entirety of FA video panel meetings will be videoed and made available to the public for scrutiny.

About that cat porn comment. Charging Through The Midfield stands corrected: Kitty Porn.

Oh dear.

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