We wanted to reach a wide audience quickly, so we had to use a trick. First, we composed a "monster file" of about 35000 different words (a public-domain dictionary) plus some thousands of well-mixed-up place names, surnames, given names and brand names (with formal acknowledgments of registered copyright of course!) We put the message about the World's 6000th birthday party at the beginning of the file, so that it would appear on screen before all the mixed-up words. Next, we sent the "monster file" to some of the popular Internet search engines such as AltaVista (R), Yahoo (R) etc. The search engines indexed all the words, places and names so that someone looking for any item that was present in the "monster file" would find our entry. Finally, we replaced the "monster file" with just the birthday message only, so that people would not be swamped with all the useless words when reading it. Because the search engines still held all those words, places and names in their indexes, our message came up whenever a search "hit" occurred. Naughty, but effective.
We hope that this "spamming" trick will not be widely used, as it could seriously reduce the usefulness of those excellent search engines without which the World Wide Web would, for many people, be an impenetrable jungle. Yes, this sounds outrageously hypocritical because we have had our fun - but please think about it.
With best wishes,
The Boffins at firstname.lastname@example.org
P.S: as many have kindly pointed out, the World's 6000th birthday is actually in 1997 because there was no year 0 A.D. So we'll be partying all over again then!
Archbishop James Ussher [portrait in 56 kb JPEG file] by courtesy of the National Portrait Gallery, London
An humorous geochronology by Russell Seitz
[End of document, updated to 17 January 1997]