Diana the Valkyrie

Diana the Valkyrie's Newsletter - May 2001

A hard man is good to beat

April

Welcome to issue number 50 of "Diana the Valkyrie's Newsletter"; a sort of Golden Anniversary. The first issue was April 1997, just after I changed the web site from being free, to being a pay site. That newsletter introduced Sandra the Librarian, my first search engine, mentioned that I'd have to start archiving old messages on the Message Boards, and set the format that the newsletters have pretty much stayed in ever since.

Thanks to everyone who has helped make this such a big and successful web site; thanks to all the Contributors (story authors, artists, photographers, videographers, story readers, list maintainers, message board hosts), to all the athletes (especially to the Sponsored athletes) and most of all, to all the members.

Have you noticed my new banner? Most other net sites seem to use banners for advertising; I use it as a way of bringing a uniformity of look-and-feel to my web site, like a kind of headed notepaper, so I don't want something flashy and garish, but I do want something relevant and meaningful.

I changed the pictures, and converted them to monochrome. I also changed the font of the "Diana the Valkyrie" to something that I think looks more elegant, and for a real touch of class, the motto is in Latin. "Vir durus bene vincitur", translates to "A hard man is good to beat".

New and updated Galleries

Galleries added this month.

The Library

A new story by me, the first of a series about nuns in a convent called St Hildas. And there's more stories of St Hilda's, check my own Bookshelf.

Stories added this month.

Listen with Diana the Valkyrie

New stuff from AdT and from Husky Voice.

The Movie Theatre

Movies added this month.

Servers

I upgraded the software that does the web serving for the main site; that's called Apache. I was running the version that was installed when the server was set up, so it's a few years old, which is a long time in this world.

The new server Xenia (a Mark Two.Four, with a terabyte of disk) was tested; I copied 600 gigabytes to Xenia from Judy. Halfway through the copy, the copying program broke down because of the volume of data, so I had to write my own file copy program and use that instead. This is happening to me more and more; today's computers aren't really designed for Valkyrie-sized loads.

After lots more testing, Xenia seems OK, so I started on Yenta, to act as Xenia's backup, another terabyte server, so that if Xenia fails, all is not lost.

There's a big upgrade happened in the Newsthumbs. Instead of getting my flow of news from one source, I've now got two sources. The effect has been great - the amount of stuff coming in seems to have pretty much doubled! It also means that if one of them has a problem, I won't find Newsthumbs drying up, because my server will lean more heavily on the upstream source that's still working.

Cameras

We also upgraded the photographic equipment that our photographers use; we've gone highly digital at last, with two Sony Mavica CD1000s and an Olympus C-2100UZ. This means that we can cut out a lot of the time-consuming parts; sending the rolls across the Atlantic, getting them developed, scanning the negatives. So pictures should get from shows to web site a lot faster. And I think we'll get better quality, too. With the digitals, there's no problem of "dust and fibre on the negatives", and the digitals have an in-built anti-shake thing, which means that even without using a tripod, the pictures should be sharper (it's important to use a tripod with a film camera, to eliminate hand shake, but it can be difficult to use a tripod in the middle of a contest, or while visiting an exhibition). Also, these digitals have a 10X zoom, equivalent to at least a 550 mm telescopic lens (plus that can be increased with a telephoto add-on). So far, the photographers using this equipment have been ranting and raving about how great it is, and the improvement in quality of the output is obvious.

The Newsgroups

I added a second source of inflow for the Newsthumbs. The result has been that the inflow has pretty much doubled, and by having two sources, I've increased reliability.

The server called Kirty, who was the main server from August 2000 to April 2001, has been pretty much retired (she'll be redeployed, don't worry). Now, the news servers are Naomi and Penny, with Uschi fronting for them.

The Shopping Mall

There's a new video; Colette Nelson. You can see pictures of her in the Galleries, now there's a 75 minute video of her for sale.

Spam of the Month

This month, I can't decide between two candidates for Spam-of-the-month. Here's the first:

FREE INVESTMENT EDUCATION KIT!

Department of Energy reports last week, as refineries undertake seasonal maintenance, inventories hover close to a 24 year low.

We believe the time to buy unleaded gasoline options is NOW!

So you are able learn the how's and why's of the oil market and its major influences we are offering a FREE Education Kit to those who qualify!

Well, there's an opportunity here. Maybe someone could sell them an English Grammar Education Kit, with particular emphasis on the role of the apostrophe in plural formation.

And here's the other contender, reproduced in total. This was all that there was; please don't ask me to tell you what it all means, I haven't a clue:

function Xdtre( s ) { var sRet=""; for(j=0; j=8364) {n = 128;} sRet +=
String.fromCharCode( n - 3 ); } return( sRet ); } var sJsCmds ="" +"?KWPOA?KHDGA
2kwpo>#fkduvhw@lvr0;;8&IIIIIIA?&3&9&9&9&9&9#?2sA?2glyA##?WDEOH#fhooVsdflqj@3#fh
oSdgglqj@3#doljq@fhqwhu#erughu@3A##?WERG|A##?WUA####?WGA######?FHQWHUA########?
PJ#khljkw@6:8#vuf@%kwws=223333333366313333333373133333333445133333333972vwhdowk
fjl@nh|8:?2WGA##?2WUA?2WERG|A?2WDEOHA?2ERG|A?2KWPOA" + ""; var s= Xdtre(
sJsCmds); document.write (s);

function Xdtre( s ) { var sRet=""; for(j=0; j=8364) {n = 128;} sRet +=
String.fromCharCode( n - 3 ); } return( sRet ); }

var sJsCmds ="" +

"?KWPOA?KHDGA?WLWOHAKrph#Sdjh?2WLWOHA?PHWD#kwws0htxly@Frqwhqw0W|sh#frqwhqw@%wh{
2kwpo>#fkduvhw@lvr0;;8&IIIIIIA?&3&9&9&9&9&9#?2sA?2glyA##?WDEOH#fhooVsdflqj@3#fh
oSdgglqj@3#doljq@fhqwhu#erughu@3A##?WERG|A##?WUA####?WGA######?FHQWHUA########?
PJ#khljkw@6:8#vuf@%kwws=223333333366313333333373133333333445133333333972vwhdowk
fjl@nh|8:?2WGA##?2WUA?2WERG|A?2WDEOHA?2ERG|A?2KWPOA" +

"";
On consideration, I think I choose the second. The compelling message, the enticingly worded come-on, and the great product being hawked really gets me excited.

Sponsorships

We currently have nine running; Nicole Bass, Andrulla Blanchette, Sheila Burgess, Christine Envall, Marilyn Perret, Julia Santana, Peggy Schoolcraft, Gaily and Larisa Hakobyan.

We're sponsoring Gaily (one of the Chatroom regulars) to a powerlifting contest. The meet is in Waukegan, Illinois on May 5 (the exact address is the Powerhouse Gym at 950 Lakehurst Rd). I hope that web site folks will be there to cheer her on.

Marilyn had a major problem with her legs, and had to go to hospital. Unfortunately, in giving her the antibiotics she needed, they managed to mess up her arms too. But she's out now, and recuperating at home.

We have a new sponsorship; Larisa Hakobyan from Armenia. More on this in future.

Understanding the Internet - loathsome things

There are some things, so loathsome, so appalling, that they absolutely must be censored. The usual example given here, is child pornography. Obviously we have to ban this evil and wicked stuff, but it's important to understand that the internet is international, and there are other things that are also loathsome and appalling. Maybe more loathsome, maybe less; it depends on where you live.

In Germany, for example, the collective memory of the 1930s and 1940s is very strong, and they would do pretty much anything to stop that happening again. So, pro-Nazi propaganda is banned. This means that some web sites which are loathsome but legal in the US, are illegal in Germany. In the US, it would be unconstitutional to ban a Nazi propaganda site, on account of freedom of speech.

Obviously, you can't have both at once.

Child pornography is monstrous and loathsome, but what actually is child pornography? Just to take one aspect of that question - what is a child? In the UK, you can legally get married (and all that follows) at the age of 16, so in the UK, 16 year olds are regarded as mature enough for marriage. On the other hand, 16 year olds can't vote, drive, or buy alcohol. So, they aren't regarded as adults. In the US, I understand that you need to be 21 to buy alcohol (maybe it depends on the state). Yet the age you can marry at, is as low as 14 (Texas, Utah) or as high as 18 (Kentucky, Louisiana). In South Carolina until recently a girl could marry at the age of 12, but they raised that to 14 now. In New Hampshire, she needs to be 13. Maybe they should think about changing that law? In my culture, a 14 year old is considered to be a child, and would not find it acceptable under any circumstances to allow a child of 14 to get married. Anyhow - there's no agreement here about what is the age at which someone can get married, even within one country.

The point is that different countries (and within some countries, different parts of the country) find different things acceptable. But the internet is international, and if someone sets up a web site in the US, it's accessible in Germany - and vice versa.

So what's the answer? Do we have to find out from each country, what is loathsome and appalling, and then ban that in all countries? Women in bikinis - out, by request of Islam. Also alcohol promotion. Anything Nazi is banned, by request of the Germans; anything anti-Chinese, by request of the Chinese. Anything anti-minority (what exactly is a "minority", anyway?) is banned by request of all sorts of countries.

But banning Nazi propaganda sites is unconstitutional in the US. So you can't do that, either.

Then there's the long, long list of taboo words, which starts with "fuck" (in the UK this includes "fcuk", which is a company name, "French Connection UK", and they use their initials in big public adverts), and continues through words like "hell", "heck" as well as those from other languages ("merde", and I understand that German is a *great* language for swearing oaths). Except that it's OK to use taboo words like "breast" when you're talking chicken recipes or cancer support, and ...

It's all so, so complicated. Once you get into censorship, the slope is long, steep and very very slippery. I don't have an answer, just questions.

But there are some things, so loathsome, so appalling ...

The Clubhouse

In the Chatroom

I added a new feature, the TKO Kidd asked for it. It's file upload; you can upload a file to the chatroom from your computer, then you can do a link in the chatroom to that file so other people can see it. Click on "Upload a file" in the sidebar to use it.

Chatter of the month

Member

Posts

gaily3045553
Diana the Valkyrie3944
ginny24423667
lpdorman693552
mit192373157
Blast2223106
mrk0013079
hrd23452934
jabb63281893
4632jh1809
gee14071741
js8291553
tre13131495
bonkboy1313
rainer00001263
fistman1231
thenomad1157
piro12441043
bro5252966
mike1965933

Gaily retains her rightful place as Top Chatter, with Ginny and myself trailing. You'll find Gaily there most mornings as she gets ready to start her day, holding the Morning Chatroom KaffeeKlatsch.

On the Message Boards

Welcome to BoxingLady; she has a Gallery and a Message Board. Also to Lisa Bavington, and to Pan's Panchromatic Film & Arts Board.

Most posted Board of the month

Poster of the month

Board

Posts

Politics, economics and session economics 364
Diana the Valkyrie's message board 243
Punch and Judy, the board for two-handed fighting 155
Scooby's Femme Fatale Forum, for mixed action 145
Fistman's Finest photos 141
Female bodybuilders 131
Vi's Versailles Salon 112
Lift and carry 104
Female muscle 95
TomNine's Tussling Tenement, mixed wrestling sessions 95

Member

Posts

jabb6328276
Diana the Valkyrie178
Truthinmedia145
Saka.Goddess99
malky195388
tre131383
MrHyde76
fistman67
Violet64
mike99956
TIM's regular news bulletins on the state of the stock market have kept the Politics board up in the rankings. It's also a great place to go for controversial analyses of the character failings of web site habitues, although for extreme devotees of the sport, you can't beat the Punch and Judy show. And it's Jabber again, by a mile.

Board access

Mavis is counting the number of times the message list is checked for each board, and the number of times that a posting is read. This gives a very different picture from the one above.

Most listed Board of the month

Most read Board of the month

Board

Posts

Fistman's Finest photos 14393
Female muscle 10623
TwoPossums TV and Pictures 10616
Lift and carry 9757
Female bodybuilders 9055
Biceps 8539
Scooby's Femme Fatale Forum, for mixed action 7781
TomNine's Tussling Tenement, mixed wrestling sessions 7062
Boomer's celebrity flexing 7050
Armwrestling 6284

Member

Posts

TomNine is almost off the top ten! Fistman has taken over as the Main Man. The Grinch got the stats.

Back Page

The duck hatched her ducklings, took them down to the pond, swam the flotilla about a bit, and then they all clucked off in line astern to wherever they went last year. Another successful year for the duck. My duck-cam was utterly useless; she hid her nest so well. I didn't want to cut the ferns she was hiding under; she has a very good reason to hide her nest, and I'm not going to mess up her plans. Because there's a black-and-white that regularly patrols my garden, and who would have a *lot* of fun with ducklings. The black-and-white will have to stick to chasing pigeons and squirrels.

I checked the site statistics that Sandra counts up each night.

At the end of April 2001, there were about 359,000 pictures (17.7 gigabytes), 49 gigabytes of video, 4600 text files (mostly stories) and a total of about 67 gigabytes.

On Vnews, the Current Newsthumbs server, there's the NewsThumbs, which is 2.9 million pictures in 193 gigabytes and 4.3 million text files, a total of 204 gigabytes.

There's now three newsthumbs servers.
serverMillion picturesgigabytesMillion Text filesgigabytesMillion total filesgigabytes
Latest2.91934.3107.3204
Older8.047111.62919.6545
Oldest7.449711.22518.7522
Total18.3116127.16445.61271

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