Oh what a tangled web we weave
 
According to an annual survey carried out by the government Statistical Service, 46 percent of Cypriot households have a computer. We have two at our house, although one is a rusty old 486 I haven’t got the heart to throw away which is collecting dust in the basement. According to the same survey 31% of Cypriots use the Internet.
 
Personally, I am not just connected to the net; I am hooked on it. The internet is a vast clutter of (often unreliable) information. You can find an answer to every question. Nine times out of ten, it will be incorrect, but that’s part of the fun, isn’t it? 
 
And of course, every major company has a site on the World Wide Web. And not only that- the US Lawn Mower Racing Association has its own website, as does the World Beard Championship (the next tournament is in 2007, so there’s still time to prepare). The Flat Earth Society had a site until its homepage noted “Unfortunately the website has fallen off the edge of the earth along with its maintainer”. An older version of the site purported that “The existence of Idaho is a lie, fabricated by a conspiracy of cartographers, as is England”.
 
Most of the web is made up of random musings by people who have too much time on their hands, and nothing better to do than measure the length of stretched noodles, post a hundred photographs of their swizzle stick collection  or translate Shakespeare into Klingon. Google has welcomed this by launching a Klingon-language version of its famous search engine- Daqmey pat anyone? And no, I’m not making any of this up.
 
There is something for everyone, whatever it is that turns you on. There is some truly bizarre stuff out there too. You can buy shirts made out of 100% real cow manure or visit a website advertising videos of women passing wind for example. I suppose there are people out there who are willing to spend $120 on a video featuring flatulent women, but I do not want to meet those people. You can also find stuff that is far more unpleasant than that on websites that not even a valiant and daring columnist in the search of truth is valiant and daring enough to venture into (what do you mean, “who’s that then”?). At least not before a couple of stiff drinks.
 
However, I’m willing to organise a competition to find the worst website out there. The judge’s panel, consisting of me and whoever else is bored or stupid enough to join me, will choose the best website by awarding points for:
·         Degree of unpleasantness (from one to five)
·         Number of photographs (in hundreds) of kittens or of swizzle sticks, traffic cones or other eccentric collectibles.
·         Number of words in Klingon (in thousands) or any another non-existent language. Half points only for Latin and Esperanto.
·         Number of claims by the webmaster that his site is the best on the net, or that his wife is the most beautiful in the world.
·         Number of hairs I pull out in despair while viewing the site.
 
Send in your entries for the worst website ever, along with your entry fee of fifty pounds. I will announce the winning entry in private in my living room next week after coffee. All proceeds will go to me.
 
And if you’re crazy enough to enter my little contest, I know a couple of websites you might enjoy.

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