Government Consultant?

As I’ve mentioned before, scanning webserver access logs sometimes occasionally provides a source of minor amusement (at least for a pathetic computer geek with no other life). Something I stumbled onto tonight leaves me unsure whether to be amused or frightened.

209.58.72.84 – – [23/Sep/2004:21:25:21 -0400] “GET /blog/article.php?story=2003112608264175&mode=print HTTP/1.0” 200 1077 “http://search.msn.com/results.aspx?FORM=MSNH&q=fighting%20unemployment” “Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.0; Ministry of Labour, Commerce and Industries)”

That’s the raw data. Rough translation is somebody hit an entry in my blog from an MSN search on “fighting unemployment”. The browser ID string, “Ministry of Labour, Commerce and Industries”, indicates that it’s probably someone working for a government agency. A little checking reveals that the IP address, 209.58.72.84, belongs to Tonga Communications Corporation, fully owned by the kingdom of Tonga.

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Taste of the Real World? Starship Fans?

MTV’s The Real World (one more “reality” show I’d never heard of) was holding casting calls in Lexington yesterday. Their 18-24 age range naturally attracted college students in sufficient numbers to earn front page coverage in the Kernel, the campus newspaper. The editor’s choice of headline stirred some evil thoughts in the mind of a dirty old man.

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Important Issues

Jeff sort of beat me to this topic with his mention of Librarians Against the Patriot Act. He asks “Why isn’t the despicable PA an issue in the upcoming election?” I’d been pondering a more general version of this question over the last couple of days, since reading Katha Pollitt’s recent Girlie Vote column. Although she’s writing about different issues, she concludes by asking, and answering, a question similar to Jeff’s.

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A Week in the Windy City

Thanks to an incompetent IBM business partner, I’m in Chicago this week. Actually, some might consider his bumbling a stroke of blind luck. A few weeks ago, I thought I was going to be spending this week on the University of Miami campus. Mid-September on a Florida campus has to be even better than it is in Lexington. But since my travel plans were dependent on somebody else doing his job, I ended up in “The Windy City” instead. The weather here has really been pleasant (except that it’s raining right now), and rumor has it Miami and the surrounding area have recently had a better claim to being windy than Chicago.

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Political Fireworks

It has probably been 10 or 15 years since I’ve been to the WEBN fireworks, one of the most spectacular annual fireworks shows in the country, sponsored by a Cincinnati radio station. So, when a contact in the Kerry campaign offered access to a prime riverfront viewing location, in exchange for a couple of hours working the crowd and registering voters, it was an offer I couldn’t refuse, in spite of the fact that northern Kentucky is far from being Kerry-friendly territory. In fact, when I told my parents I was going to Covington to talk a bunch of drunks into voting for Kerry, they seemed genuinely concerned about my safety. But it actually turned out to be a very pleasant, although only mildly successful, evening.

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