Hail to ye citizens of internet who still remember "the before times" - back when this was all a series of message boards and geocities - in the days when the fanciest bit of coding to be found was that one scene kid's Myspace page with the twinkling background. This article is for you, old timer.
Reddit user NightmareExpo decided to take it way back when they asked:
We're going to be honest, we didn't even know about some of these - but now that we do, we're itching for answers just as much as the commenters are! Put on your sleuthing hats, folks. We're going in.
Whether "My Immortal", famously the worst fanfiction of all time, was written by a troll or not.
It's like the saying that a broken clock is right twice a day. A badly written story with an author that is really trying should still have occasional redeeming qualities.
My Immortal is bad in a fractal sense. Every individual part is just as bad as the whole. That strongly suggests it was intentional.
If it was intentional, it kind of takes away from the magic of it all, I feel. I just like the idea of someone typing that garbage all out, and legitimately, delusionally thinking it was a masterpiece.
Fixing Foot Pain
Anybody remember cutoffmyfeet.com? A guy had terrible foot pain and wanted to amputate, so the website said. He was taking donations for entry into a contest to be the person who, via the internet, would be able to push a keyboard key that activated a home made guillotine to remove his affected feet. The whole thing was planned out with a scheduled date and audience. Ambulance would be already called. Never heard what happened.
Simpson's Did ItGiphy
When The Simpsons did the Who Shot Mr. Burns cliffhanger, they had a contest to see if anyone could solve it. On the Simpsons usenet there was one commenter who solved it using the clues correctly (as opposed to just a lucky guess.) The showrunners tried all that they could to find the person but never did...
The Final Puzzle
Grngecko.com/torment was crazy to me. I don't remember how I found it but it started you out on this puzzle that wasn't too difficult to solve, but it just kept giving more puzzles with increasing difficulty. I remember having a full notebook from writing stuff down trying to figure out how to solve them.
I eventually got stuck and went to some forums to find out there were people who put in some WORK trying to complete it but I don't believe anyone ever reached the end. They eventually took it down and the creator put up a new series of puzzles that was solved within the first couple days.
I was always curious what was at the end of that grngecko puzzle. That website is what made me have a love for puzzles and riddles.
I had a previous Reddit account made during the Digg exodus. This was at least a decade ago when Reddit was pretty new. I came across a post from a guy who swore that a particular website that looked like a generic local news site with the usual AP & Reuters news feeds was actually a government run intelligence program.
It functioned like a numbers station in plain site. Meaning that the exact wording used would match up with a one time use pad and provide intelligence info.
I can not remember the exact website, but it looked unimpressive and the domain was registered in Bahrain, despite appearing to cater to a midsize US city.
He then said he was being harassed in real time since he made that post. Then he said he got doxxed and strangers were calling him telling him to cut it out.
I tried to reply to his post a few minutes later, but then found that his Reddit account and every post he made were deleted.
What was that all about?!
Time Traveling Segways?
I remember the mystery surrounding John Titor, the time traveler.
I was around for the whole John Titor shenanigans and it was awesome/weird/fascinating at the time. The logo, the way he posted, everything.
The funny thing is that I know that since then people are pointing at two brothers in Florida who were behind the whole thing, but in terms of what he actually wrote- that unless humanity changed certain things, that we were doomed - could actually be true if you believe in the multiverse theory.
I have a theory it was Dean Kamen trying to viral market the Segway. He kept asking what we thought of "It", referring to the Segway as a future transportation device.
"Dean Kamen, prolific inventor. Portable insulin pumps, Segway, portable dialysis machines, Coca Cola Freestyle...
"But the biggest reason to fanboy him, IMO, is because he's the main guy behind FIRST/FIRST Robotics Challenge/FIRST LEGO League/etc. It's a wonderful set of programs; I coach at a couple of levels and the impact on kids is terrific."
Back in the day there was a site called bonsai kitten claiming to sell real kittens grown in glass jars. It was a hoax website but people actually believed it. I was probably 11 or 12 so I totally bought into it too. The internet was new-ish and people were more gullible back then.
I was around that age also and it really screwed me up for a long time. I had watched documentaries on those ladies who wore shoes too small and their feet never developed correctly and molded/grew into the shape of the tiny shoe...so to my child brain the bonsai kitten idea made sense.
Just after the first Harry Potter film was made there was a creepy website with photos of Hermione's face VERY BADLY photoshopped onto various "sexy" celebs bodies. There was no nudity but it was still creepy, especially as he had a countdown clock until Hermione was "legal".
The mystery, I suppose, is whether the person who made the site was a "for real" weirdo or if it was some weird sort of parody/satire. I never saw the site again so don't know how it progressed in later years, and you'd never find it now without getting yourself on some sort of list.
The leprechaun sighting in Crichton.
I want to know if an entire neighborhood came together to fake it, if something was in the water, a real leprechaun was seen, but most importantly, I want to know where the gold at.
I live in Mobile, and it was just a crackhead. But other people picked it up and ran with it because they thought it was funny. There's a really great Irish Bar here that puts the sketch of the leprechaun on it's St. Patrick's Day t shirts.
I'm a native of Mobile, Al and still live here. We still talk about this event and every year celebrate its anniversary! We love it! There's t-shirts of the composite sketch available. My sister and her husband put the damn leprechaun on their wedding koozies (beer huggers, whatever they're called)!
Crichton is a low-income neighborhood in Mobile and is known be riddled with drugs. Buncha sketchy things go down there but damn if they didn't put us on the map!
Pretty sure it was a hoax but it's a classic.
Who wrote SQL Slammer, an early internet worm. I work in cybersecurity; I remember at the time it was released it was crazy the damage it did: took down 90% of all infectable hosts within 10 minutes or so. Many believe it was an early cyberweapon test. If you get into the technical details of the thing it's wild: so crazy efficient it's entire source code sat in a single packet.
When the SQL Slammer worm hit my workplace, it was like 5:00 AM after our yearly holiday party. Someone else got paged first, came in and decided to page me. I tried to log in remotely, but all the network links were so saturated I couldn't really troubleshoot anything. The guy that paged me neglected to tell me that there was a worm on the loose, so I just threw on shoes and a jacket, not changing out of my PJs and headed to the office.
I got into the office and was able to console into my devices and saw that every link coming out of the server farm was at 100%. I asked the other guys what was going on, and then they told me about SQL Slammer.
I called my boss and told him to stop by McDonalds and buy $40 worth of breakfast sandwiches, because we were about to have a lot of hungry and hungover people at work. The moron shows up with 4 sandwiches, one of which he ate. Once he realized the scope of the problem, he turned around and got another 40-50 of them.
I ended up spending 15 hours sitting in the datacenter in my pajamas. Fun day.
The Dashcam Vid
Back when I was a teenager, I had just heard about 4chan from my brother. So I would browse different stuff on the site. One day, I came across a video that looked to be someone's dash cam on a highway. It wasn't great quality as this was sometime before 2010. You could see people passing on the other side and it was dark. You could only see what was illuminated by the headlights. After a few seconds of driving you see a girl crawling on her hands and knees across the road and it ends right before she is hit. I THINK she may look up, but I'm not sure. I kept replaying it because I wasnt sure what to think about it. I hadn't really seen anything like it at that point in my life. I have looked EVERYWHERE to see if I could find the video or get a follow up on what happened to the girl. I wanted to know if it was real. I have never been able to find the video or anything about it since.
Does anyone else remember something similar to what I'm about to describe?
You accessed it from google. You could choose to be either a vampire or a werewolf. Then you emailed others your URL link. If they went to it, you got another number in your "infected" count.
I remember this from around 2003-2008
I used to love all of the text files from all over the place in the late 90s and early 00s. Does anyone have or know of an archive of them? Most of the sites don't exist anymore. Even if they did, I don't even remember what all of the sites were called, or what the majority of the texts were called. This makes the internet archive hard to find these things in.
A couple of good examples:
"Soap Opera" a hilarious journal style narrative of one man's battle with hotel housekeeping over their daily soap resupply during an extended stay.
"The Other People" credited to Oberon Zell. It is a conversation style explanation of why the author is not subject to the laws and oversight of the Christian God because his ancestry does not come from Adam and Eve, but from the other people in the east.
Oh man. There was a thread on PistonHeads (UK Car forum) about a guy who found a nazi tunnel in his back garden. The thread was like 400 pages long with updates and hiring diggers and everything.
Last I read he was going to excavate it and turn it into a garage. Wonder what happened...
So I was a massive Pink Floyd fan and there was a cryptic series of riddles on alt.music.pink-floyd that had some sort of mystery that needed solving.
At first I was super skeptical, but then to provide proof it was all real there was in block letters in the lights at one of the concerts ENIGMA PUBLIUS at a specified time. I remember our dorm trying to solve the issue and devolving into drinking but it was a big deal at the time. Then Penet got closed down and that stopped the messages.
The riddle was never answered and seems to be forgotten now.
I kept trying to go to the looney tunes website once, but it kept directing me to a website with a wall of text and picture of a naked with woman with her nipples covered with tiny stars.
I wasn't old enough to understand the sexual nature of the picture, I just wanted to go to the looney tunes website. I remember bringing my dad into the room to try and help me.
I have no idea what I was doing wrong to be redirected to that website instead of the looney tunes website.
Ninjas And Credit Card Fraud
Ninja burger. Supposedly you order a burger from this website and wherever you are, a ninja shows up and breaks into your house to deliver this burger without being seen. Never ordered it but always wondered what would actually happen...probably credit card fraud lol
People typically think of cannabis legalization as one of those cut and dry things.
If you don't use marijuana, you probably don't want to legalize it.
If you do use marijuana, you are probably pro-legalization.
... except it's not that simple.
Reddit user SaifurCloudstrife asked:
"Redditors opposed to marijuana legalization and decriminalization: Why?"
Normally when these types of questions are asked, you get a bunch of people who are pro-the-thing chiming in and that absolutely happened here.
Interestingly, that opened up discourse that got people actually talking—probably more than they normally would have. The constant back and forth helped people get down to the core of their beliefs and reasons.
I can't say minds or hearts were changed, or even that people had particularly good reasons (and there were some not-great counter arguments, let's be real) when it came right down to it, but conversations were certainly had...
"It's a drug."
"I have two examples in my close family that clearly show how devastating pot can be. This attitude to marijuana reminds me of the attitude towards cocaine in the mid to late seventies when everyone thought it was harmless 'nose candy.' "
"I'm against sentences for drug possession but many people would benefit from dealers serving 3-5 for selling pot."
"Honestly, I think everyone against it should come to Canada for a visit. It's been legal here for 4 years and absolutely NONE of the spooky stories have come true."
"The only real differences is that people buy their weed in nice, clean stores with clear labels and not on street corners and our tax dollars don't go towards harassing people for a weekend indulgence."Giphy
"It stinks and makes people lazy."
"And often the weed smokers don't care if they are a pain in the butt to others and that kind of apathy is a huge no for me."Giphy
"I live in WA, where rec weed is legal."
"I rarely ever smell pot smoke. And I have the nose of a bloodhound."
"Yes, more often than as a teen when it was still illegal, but far less than any amount to be pro-prohibition about it."
"Plus, I mean, there's lots of smells I f*cking hate but wouldn't enact harmful laws over- Axe body spray being one."
"Laws can be made regarding where you can smoke."
"In Australia you can't smoke inside or within a certain distance to entryways. The only space you smell smoke is at an outdoor pub, designated smoking areas and occasionally when walking."
"It took years, but people become accustomed to new rules. Knowing Americans though, you guys will be on the brink of civil war if they brought in similar restrictions."
It's TOO Good
"I've read that the potency in pot these days is a hell of a lot stronger compared to say 20 or 30 yrs ago."
"The huge increase in THC levels should be a huge concern for people. The pot being legalized today is not the same I smoked when I was much younger."
"This argument has been rolled out again and again since I was in elementary school (~30 years ago) and I never understood it."
"THC is remarkably non-toxic, it's so much less toxic than many common substances people ingest on a regular basis (aspirin, and plenty of other OTC meds, as examples), to the point where actual THC toxicity is caused by physical rather than chemical/metabolic actions."
"Smoked cannabis is also much easier to titrate (dose appropriately), since the effects are nearly instantaneous - take a couple hits and you'll know if you've had enough within seconds."Giphy
"As opposed to an accidental edible overdose where you might not know for a couple hours that you've taken a heroic dose."
"So a higher % of THC by weight in cannabis flower shouldn't be an issue, especially considering that back in D.A.R.E. they used to tell us that smoking cannabis was SO MUCH WORSE than smoking tobacco."
"Cannabis was supposedly so much 'harsher,' one joint contains 'toxins' equivalent to an entire pack of cigs, etc...which is total bull, but even if that were true...wouldn't that mean that stronger cannabis is less harmful, since you don't have to smoke so much to achieve the desired effect?"
"Can't have it both ways."
It is high potency because it is illegal. It's easier to transport a half pound of skunk than 10 pounds of trash weed."
"Look at states that have legalized. There are low thc strains available and easily accessible."
"Because dipsh*ts will start smoking it in public places where others can not really avoid it, like is the case with cigarettes currently."
"Also yes: F*ck cigarettes."
"Yep my problem is drugs in public."
"I do not care if you do drugs as long as your doing them in a private place. I don't want to breathe in your smoke and get lung cancer."
"I don't especially care what folks get up to on their own, it's when they make everyone around them a participant that it aggravates me."
"Plus, depending on the setting, it's really inconsiderate."
"I have a friend whose job does random drug testing and he left a bar because a bunch of folks were smoking inside and he was worried about work."Giphy
Go Away, Government!
"I'm for legalization but as someone that worked for corporate cannabis, I'd loathe seeing those scums run the market."
"My state Governor tried writing a recreational cannabis bill on their own terms since we are surrounded by recreational territories."
"They stated they didn't want it to lead to a ballot measure because that's worst case scenario (didnt think voters were educated) than proceeded to write the most comically bad legalization bill that existed - before completely dropping it because they couldn't write a competent law."
"I am about as anti pot as they come, but if they are going to legalize it, why wouldn't they make it legal to grow your own? (Rhetorical- I know the answer… same reason "they" are legalizing it… tax money)"
"This is what I am screaming. For them it's only about money."
"They are waiting for the rich to install a profit making infrastructure before they let us peasants enjoy anything."Giphy
"If I had any good reason it's because idiots insist it's not addictive and it doesn't impede your senses. So they drive and do dangerous sh*t while high."
"My issue isn't the severity of the impediment. It's that people refuse to admit that it does alter the mind."
"I already have one person insist they smoke weed and drive because they know their body."
"Now imagine if someone openly said that about alcohol and how you'd react. It's a really dumb mentality to have."
"If anything I'd push for it to be illegalized ALONG WITH alcohol and cigarettes."
"But prohibition taught us that is not the way to go."Giphy
The Same Path As Alcohol
"I believe that if it was legalized, it would become a much bigger part in society, much like how alcohol is now."
"I do have a problem with public drinking and personally view alcohol as much worse compared to marijuana."
"However, since drinking is already so ingrained in our society, it's not like we can get rid of it. I'm just hoping that weed doesn't follow in the same path as alcohol."Giphy
"Im so sick of all these CBD oil pyramid schemes popping up!"
"The testimonials are all, 'I broke my spine in half and had to get it surgically fused together. Now all I have to do is rub a drop of CBD on it, and the pain is gone!' "
"And I'm not against it, I actually use high grade CBD at night to help me sleep. I fucking hate going through a rep though, they always try to hard sell me on topical CBD for my back pain that's like $80 for a little jar, or $30 bath bombs."
"I have discs squeezing out of my spine, I'm pretty sure a dab of hemp oil is gonna do jack shit for that."
"And the cancer patient abuse!"
"Smoking or ingesting edibles with THC for pain management and appetite is super helpful for cancer patients, but cbd wont do anything. Not to mention getting an ounce of good weed wont set you back much, but getting a tiny vial of cbd can set you back a couple hundred bucks."
"With our healthcare system in the states, we know damn well cancer patients are already in a hole of debt. I'm worried legalizing will encourage these CBD lies."
"It's the new snake oil."
"My MIL is that person. She's was touting its Indica strains ability to outright cure cancer the last I saw her."
"Cancer patients get hit very hard with the cannabis oil scams. What kind of evil sh*t do you need to be to take advantage of desperate people?"
"I agree with you about people thinking its the grand cure all, but that's why I feel we SHOULD legalize."
"The main reason I want it legalize is so they can do more research on the things it does help. It's effect on tremors alone is fascinating."Giphy
So what have we really learned here? I'm not really certain.
Lots of people's reasons seemed under-informed, but just as many people had legitimate concerns.
Sure, those concerns could just as easily be applied to alcohol, but lots of Redditors admitted that and seemed to take LARGER issue with alcohol than cannabis. It was honestly difficult to find anyone (aside from the smell people) who was 100% against it.
And that, dear reader, is possibly the biggest takeaway from this. Attitudes are changing.
Sorry, D.A.R.E.—looks like we said yes to drugs. Well, cannabis at least.
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Chosen family is family. Sometimes they are the closest and most important family. Just because you share blood with someone, doesn't mean you have to form a bond.
That's why best friends are so important.
BFFs are forged in many ways. They're there for you in triumph and sorrow. They hold your hand. T
They know where the bodies are buried because they helped bury them. That's why it's so heartbreaking to lose them.
It's just a bitter pill to swallow when it's a relationship you thought was going to be endless.
Redditor FindingDale wanted to hear all the reasons why sometimes we just have to say goodbye to certain people in life, by asking:
How did you lose your best friend?
I've lost a few besties. Some through death. Some through personal growth and some just because it was time. That was an important lesson. Just like lovers, friends also outgrow one another.
I'm ExhaustedI Cant Modern Family GIF by HULUGiphy
"I got tired of it being all about her all of the time. I couldn't tell her anything in my life good or bad because she would make it about herself." ~ Wide-Fig-1063
"He was the passenger in a single-car accident. The driver was drunk, showing off, and drifting on an unfamiliar dirt road in California. They found the car at the bottom of a 70-foot cliff. Everyone in the car walked away except my friend, who died instantly."
"He was already passed out drunk himself so he likely didn't feel anything, but it was still such a terrible senseless way to go. That was 10 years ago last June. He was barely 21, the nicest guy you'd ever meet, and one hell of a bassist. Miss ya, Jake." ~ FormerLurker3
"Best friends since we were 12. Best Man at my wedding when we were 28. Day after the wedding he never spoke to me again. No explanation. Calls and texts went unanswered. He would avoid being at any social event I would be at, which was a few because we had the same circle of friends. Tried for two years to keep that friendship alive." ~ Tionek
"I had a weird dynamic to continue because of trauma. We had been friends for most of our lives (26 years) and every conversation was all about her. I was fine with that because she had a traumatic childhood and I knew she wasn't super socially with it. I'm happy to listen when my friends need it."
"Then she just unloaded on me saying I wasn't listening enough to her problems and how I had mistreated her by not asking enough pointed questions about abuse she had suffered as a kid. This was days after a three hour call where she did all the talking and it was mostly about her abuse."
"I was six months pregnant at the time and all I could think was "do I really have the bandwidth to take care of two babies?" I haven't spoken to her since." ~ keepinitcornmeal
It's WeirdFriends Tv GIFGiphy
"His wife tried to sleep with me. I didn't let it happen and I told him about it. They reconciled and had more kids, then it got weird whenever I was around so we drifted apart." ~ mycowild
Yeah, beware the partner of a loved one who is trying to trap you in a scandal. They are shady. Take that drama and run fast and far.
Why?Peering Looking GIF by MOODMANGiphy
"No idea. He slowly stopped answering calls, texts, emails... his wife, even more so. I'd occasionally stop by to see them and everything appeared to be OK. They never stopped to see us, even though his mother lived just a few miles away. I just quit trying." ~ NagromTrebloc
"It was October 16, 2015. I was working from home that day when I saw a call from him at around 9:15am. I had to ignore the call because I was in an online meeting. At 2pm my Dad calls my phone, which is unusual since he knows I'm working. I answer it."
"He is speaking quietly and very calmly. He says, "Son, I love you very much. I have some terrible news. Jared passed away this morning." Jared's wife was calling me from his phone to say she found him dead. I couldn't process what he was saying."
"I said, "That's not funny. Jared, his wife and me and my wife were supposed to meet up next weekend for dinner." Jared had sleep apnea surgery that same week. He had taken a painkiller and Benadryl together. It stopped his heart. He died 2 days before his 40th birthday. We were friends since grade school."
"We did everything together, he was my brother. He was the best man at my wedding earlier that year. I had just shared my son's heartbeat with him via a text message 2 days before. Jared was so excited to be his crazy uncle. I miss him every single day." ~ SnooCapers1425
"Codependency. I became basically obsessed with her and it just became too toxic. I had to cut it off because it was eating me up inside and she didn't deserve how I was treating her." ~ SuccessfulEggplant82
"Good on you for recognizing the problem you were having. It takes a lot (and I mean a crap ton) for an individual to come to this realization. Most people like to live in denial or fight it. I did the same thing and by the time I realized it, it was to late. I hope your able to get through it." ~ Nakanon85
"I noticed that he never came to my place to catch up. I stopped going over to his place to see how long until he noticed.... It's been 5 years now 🤷♂️." ~ Mr_Nonesuch
"Over the years I have observed in number of friendships that its always me that makes the call. They always are delighted to hear from me. If I organise something they come. They just don't make the effort. I have been best man five times so I don't think that its because the friendships are not valued. I don't know, am I missing something?" ~ Yarray2
"My ex wife. Even after we split we stayed close, co-parenting, helping each other out. She died 3.5 years ago. I could have made peace I think but after her death and our daughter was living with me full time I found out about how abusive my ex had been to her when I was around and it felt like losing her all over."
"Like I thought I knew who she was in the 13 years we'd had both together and separated, but it turns out I knew nothing. Now I'm just angry about it, like how dare you get to do this crap and then leave me to clean up your mess."
"How dare you have peace when my daughter has nothing but struggles and therapy. I felt like we were robbed of the good person, the good mother I thought she was." ~ Scarecrowqueen
Far Far Away...Jake Gyllenhaal Reaction GIF by MOODMANGiphy
"Friend moved to the other side of the planet, with their spouse, to be nearer to both their families. I never understood what real friendship was before friend was in my life; and now they're alive, but not here." ~ ClutchCrgo
One of the natural parts of life... saying goodbye. Or in some cases getting ghosted and forgotten. Either way, chin up.
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Humans have had an undeniably significant impact on our environment and the other species that inhabit the planet with us.
What might happen if humans weren't here to exert that influence, though?
What if we never had?
Reddit user Mompkey asked:
"Which species do you think would be dominant if humans didn't exist?"
"Wolves. They can, and have, successfully adapted to most of the various biomes on the planet."
"There's a reason we domesticated them and took them everywhere with us."Giphy
- Everything is garbage
- Garbage is delicious"
"I would agree, but now I'm wondering if our presence is the reason cockroaches have thrived as well as they have."Giphy
"Sharks, they are the dominant species on 3/4 of the Earth's surface already, they have survived mass extinctions and would thrive even more without humans mucking up their habitat."Giphy
"Humans are the only species that seek to dominate others. Other animals just want to live in the balance of nature. They're just trying to survive, they don't have time to take over the world."
"Pinky and The Brain theme song played in my head."Giphy
"We've killed off so many throughout history but of the ones that remains intelligence and versatility would be the key factors. Their food supply and habitat would greatly increase in our absence so with this being said.........primates."
"We are simply the superior primate therefore we are the dominant species. That opposable thumb is a mf when you have a large brain."
"Wouldn't it be just another off shoot of humans like the Neanderthal or heidelbergensis?"Giphy
While we'll probably never know definitively which species would truly thrive without us around, it's still fun to speculate.
Do you have thoughts?
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