The Null Device
The Edward Gorey fan site may be gone, but there's a copy of the Gashlycrumb Tinies here.
West Africa's Englishes are peppered with regionalisms that might confound a Nebraskan. Lagos, for example, is notorious for its maddening "go-slows" - traffic jams. Nigerians get haircuts at "barbing saloons," refer to clothing as "wears" and call con men "fraudsters" or the more cryptic "419s." Ghanaians catch buzzes at taverns called "spots" (thus the mellifluous "Vicky Nicky Snacky Spot" in Cape Coast). Liberians add an "o" to words ("I say-o - welcome to my country-o.").
As established Englishes meet or collide with new Englishes, they hatch something entirely fresh, something Crystal believes will become what he calls "ISSE" - International Spoken Standard English... His prediction: This English will be the 21st century's umbrella language - what a Singaporean girl will use to speak to a Norwegian she meets in Beijing, what a Milwaukee high-school student will use to e-mail pen pals in Nairobi and Zagreb and Melbourne.
A good profile of Edward Gorey, published in Salon some months ago; being rerun in tribute.
In case you've found your cynicism eluding you, here's something to renew it: a song by a pop group, manufactured before the public's eyes on TV, has gone platinum and has topped the charts in its first week. (The Age)
Streaming video lets you see anti-IMF protestors get stomped by riot police, live on the web. (The Register)
Metallica sues Napster; in return, crackers deface www.metallica.com. (The Register)