The Hitch-Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy has this to say on the subject of flying

There is an art, it says, or rather, a knack to flying. The knack lies in learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss. Pick a nice day, [The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy] suggests, and try it.

The first part is easy. All it requires is simply the ability to throw yourself forward with all your weight, and the willingness not to mind that it’s going to hurt.

That is, it’s going to hurt if you fail to miss the ground. Most people fail to miss the ground, and if they are really trying properly, the likelihood is that they will fail to miss it fairly hard.

Clearly, it is the second part, the missing, which presents the difficulties.

One problem is that you have to miss the ground accidentally. It’s no good deliberately intending to miss the ground because you won’t. You have to have your attention suddenly distracted by something else when you’re halfway there, so that you are no longer thinking about falling, or about the ground, or about how much it’s going to hurt if you fail to miss it.

It is notoriously difficult to prize your attention away from these three things during the split second you have at your disposal. Hence most people’s failure, and their eventual disillusionment with this exhilarating and spectacular sport.

If, however, you are lucky enough to have your attention momentarily distracted at the crucial moment by, say, a gorgeous pair of legs (tentacles, pseudopodia, according to phyllum and/or personal inclination) or a bomb going off in your vicinty, or by suddenly spotting an extremely rare species of beetle crawling along a nearby twig, then in your astonishment you will miss the ground completely and remain bobbing just a few inches above it in what might seem to be a slightly foolish manner.

This is a moment for superb and delicate concentration. Bob and float, float and bob. Ignore all consideration of your own weight simply let yourself waft higher. Do not listen to what anybody says to you at this point because they are unlikely to say anything helpful. They are most likely to say something along the lines of “Good God, you can’t possibly be flying!” It is vitally important not to believe them or they will suddenly be right.

Waft higher and higher. Try a few swoops, gentle ones at first, then drift above the treetops breathing regularly.


When you have done this a few times you will find the moment of distraction rapidly easier and easier to achieve.

You will then learn all sorts of things about how to control your flight, your speed, your maneuverability, and the trick usually lies in not thinking too hard about whatever you want to do, but just allowing it to happen as if it were going to anyway.

You will also learn about how to land properly, which is something you will almost certainly screw up, and screw up badly, on your first attempt.

There are private clubs you can join which help you achieve the all-important moment of distraction. They hire people with surprising bodies or opinions to leap out from behind bushes and exhibit and/or explain them at the critical moments. Few genuine hitchhikers will be able to afford to join these clubs, but some may be able to get temporary employment at them.

2000 Aquarionics Decade - Ten years of AqCom

Decade Part One, Domain

Ten years ago, I had a website.

I find it vaguely amusing that for the first few years of the site’s existence, I have copies of the entire site. One such is for January 1999.

I was running a monthly newsletter called “Grey Areas”, created as a fansite for Lionhead Games’ forthcoming genre-changing wonder, Black & White. I was also running “Follow That Game” a kind of multi-game fansite for the five games I was most interested in at the time. At the time that snapshot was created, those games were Sid Meier’s Alpha Centuri, Black and White, Command & Conquer Tiberian Sun, Simcity 3000 and Quake III.

Every single one of those games was released and generated at least one sequel, although SC3000 changed quite a bit before it was actually released.

In the archived site, the front page is just a jump page to several subsites, including a photo tour of my bedroom, and a record of which bits were updated. This is ten years ago, I’m in the process of screwing up my last year of my A-Levels. I’m involved in usenet a bit, but not as much as I will be really quite soon. The site was hosted on Within a couple of months, the image-based side navigation would be replaced by a javascript include so I only had to update it from one place. Soon after that I went to university, and started putting a little more personal stuff into the front page updates.

Between Christmas and New Year 1999, I was attempting to come to terms with the whole “end of the millennium” thing, beyond the “It actually starts next year” refrain, I wanted to start something with the new millennium, mostly to see if I could.

So, ten years ago today, I signed up with “Pennyhost” for pretty much their cheapest hosting service, which came with a I wasn’t really expecting them to do anything about it until they got back into the office in the new year, but the domain was registered automatically, all I had to do was upload my site.

So I did, and what was “Aquarion: The Website” became what it is now, less the Exocet font I was so attached to back then.

2000 2007 Imported From Epistula


This is journal ID 1900. I mean 19100. I mean 2000.

Bet you never thought you’d see those jokes again, did you?