My Old Space

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Join the collective.

You know you want to.

The Hitch-hiker's Guide to the Galaxy needs you. Don't forget your towel.

<-- I finally got a round tuit from the Online Tuit Store.

Now then all,

My name's Richard Smeltzer and I hail from the small market town of Guisborough, right at the north of the North York Moors.

Okay, I suppose I should write something here. You'll probably mostly find me commenting on TV shows. If you're wondering where that dot and lines to the left came from, I don't know either.

President Hypatia has kindly appointed me as her Minister for Cushions and given me a very nice office in the Alabaster House.

My academic career rose to the dizzy heights of an MSc in maths, unless you count my professorship: that of cryptic cruciverbalism at the h2g2 University of Mice. I am also the Muse of Spurious Logic - you can find all the Muses at the Musehome.

Amy the Ant has been kind enough to offer me a place in the window of her shop, Graphic Ants, which makes pictures and fancy stuff to link to from your pages.

E-mail me

You can send me an e-mail at [email protected].


Version: 1.1

RGB Y++ [email protected] SP A P: [email protected] M [email protected] V E+ PR++ p a
[email protected] TV(-) r+ D T-(--) nh C+ m++(+) t

-----END H2G2 CODE BLOCK-----

and for a certain completeness:


Version: 3.1

GM [email protected] s: a-- C(+) U P? L? E W+ N o? K? w(+) O? M?>+ V? PS+ PE- Y PGP? t(--) 5(+) X(+) R-() tv+ b++(+++) DI+ D? G e++(*)>+++ h- r(-) y-


I wonder if there's any more around that I can do. There's a NetHack code, but I've not played it in ages.

I've adopted an obselete computer game

Obsolete Computer Game Adoption Certificate...
SkoolDaze and Bak2Skool (for the Spectrum) now has a loving home with BAGPUSS.
Click HERE to experience the joys of Skooldaze for yourself...
and click HERE to adopt your own game...

I'm a Bar Steward

Look, we've got a club logo.  In't it grand?

A bunch of us northern researchers have formed The Flat Cap and Muffler Sports and Social Club presided over by chairman Granny Weatherwax and vice-chairman Tinkerbell with yours truly stewarding at the bar.

The H2G2 Paperless Paperchase

Writing with a pen

Come and have a go on the paperchase.

People to see, places to go:

The Noticeboard

Have a look at the noticeboard, an idea by Titania. You can also put messages on it if you like.

The H2G2 Natural History Museum

You can find me in the H2G2
Natural History Museum
run by Amy the

The Ministry of Jelly


Not just jelly, but all jelly-based products. The Ministry of Jelly is run by Tinkerbell1, who is a great fan of Formula 1, motorsport in general and Ferrari in particular, but you'll probably find that out if you talk to her at all. Tinkerbell is the muse of post-it-notes and sparkley things.

The Forum and Firkin(or whatever it's called)

Three glassses of beer

Yes, I know, these chain pubs get everywhere, but rest assured you can get anything you like at the Forum and Firkin, as long as it can be drawn in ASCII art. It's also a very good place to meet new people, though as far as I know, it has yet to install a pool table.

The H2IQ Quiz

A bunch of academic-looking books on a bookshelf, probably in a library or somewhere

Want to prove how brainy you are? You can either put in lots of poncy entries about superstring theory, which no-one will ever read, or you can join this quiz thingy, which is run by Greebo T. Cat.

The h2g2 Maths Lab

The Greek letter pi, the decimal expansion of the ratio of a circle's circumference to its ratio, the letter e and a dead 8.More clever stuff. The h2g2 Maths Lab is a place to talk about maths. Fun, eh?

The Royal h2g2 Procrastinators Society

Needs a witty caption

I'm a signed up member of this society. Well, it seemed more interesting than my homework. The page lists lots of other members who probably have quite interesting pages, but I haven't bothered to look yet. Must get round to it one day.

A few people, wot haven't been mentioned already

Meet the paperlady: Amy Pawloski. No I'm not going to explain what "paperlady" means. If you must know there's an explanation on her page.

Argon0 is one of those who often contributes to that paperchase thingy mentioned above and is also the keeper of 42isms (which is where you take the numbers in your username and make 42 out of them, clever stuff).

Cefpret: A physicist who's joining in lots of scientific conversations. Amazingly I still bump into him now and again, though.

Clelba, who is the Patron Saint of Chocolate Cats, and Keeper of Cats.

E G Mel: a lass with a rediculous number of credentials; just look at the top of her page. And that's without even mentioning "paperchaser".

Menza: Some bloke I met in the F and F, though if I include everyone I met there this could get quite long. Why don't you go there and meet people for yourself.

Orcus is a demon who can be found in a ghost town deep in Gehennom. Nice bloke; Ace, scout and paperchaser.

Shelob can also be found scuttling round the paperchase.

Elsewhere on the World Wide Web

News for You

If you want to know what's going on in the world, you could look at Auntie's news site or a newspaper.

But that's the news they want you to read. For less mainstream reports, why not check out America's finest news source The Onion? Or take a butchers at Lord Gnome's rag Private Eye. Finally, what springs to mind when you read 57° 35' 48"N 13° 41' 19"W? Unless I misheard you, you said "Rockall". Oh, just read The Rockall Times.

The God Spot

Coupla holy type sites here for you. First off, The Ship of Fools, which subtitles itself "The magazine of Christian unrest", a phrase nobody has yet been able to explain. Next up, The Virtual Church of the Blind Chihuahua, a strange chapel containing texts from many places, including some you won't find elsewhere. They link to h2g2, but haven't noticed we're under the aegis of the Beeb yet.


If you feel like diving into the mathematical bits of the web, a pretty good springboard is Knot a Braid of Links. The name is a bad pun, presumably chosen because the first link was The KnotPlot Site and also based on the old annecdote:

Student: What part of maths do you like then sir?

Professor: Knot theory.

Student: Me neither.

If you're wondering, yes knot theory is my speciality, or to be more specific, braid theory is. Because it's fairly easy to explain to Muggles2 what a knot is, many hundreds of knot-related sites have sprung up and even centuries before the internet some knots and links were well known as this site on the Borromean Rings demonstrates.

Knot theory is an example of low-dimensional topology, which I like because most things in it can be drawn or even made. A strange person called Andrew Lipson has made Mathematical Lego sculptures and on another site you can even buy a Klein bottle, which has me sorely tempted.

Other sciency stuff

Interested in weird stuff? The The Museum of Unnatural Mystery may well be the place for you, covering both unexplained phenomena (don't think it's a loony alien conspiracy theory place, though, the discussions are generally sensible) and also the bizarre minutiae of scientific exploration and discovery.

Sometimes the science we hear isn't so much weird as bad. Particularly weird science tends to show up in films, but there are other culprits. If the bridge-jump scene in Speed still has you laughing or you once circled all the mistakes in a kiddie chemistry book, you might want to visit Bad Science and it's various "branches" including Bad Astronomy.

The word on the street

Logophiles should have a gander at The Wordspy, which collects many words. It apparently insists that all words it includes must be in genuine use somewhere by someone, so no daft joke ones here.

Actually, that site can be a little dry, Forthright's Phrontistery is much more fun with lots of little (or big) sections.

Travel and tourism

Tired of the old tourist spots? Castles not doing it for you any more? Amusement arcades no longer amusing you? Piers lost their appeal? Well for an alternative holiday, pay a visit to one of the UK's many entrances to Hell. This site includes a picture and potted history of each infernal portal along with a map to guide you there.


A bunch of my relatives.


Ansible - Top online fanzine. Even if you're not into sci-fi / fantasy (yes, including Harry Potter) check out Thog's Masterclass, which will probably be at the bottom of the main news section, whatever that's called this month.

Try to find out everything from what which religion is right for you to what drink you should order when drinking in a British pub. Fun for all the family and you can even add your own selector (one of those examples was written by me and my housemate. Guess which).

1Her again.2Yes, I can't resist a Harry Potter reference.

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