Hobbits Among UsHumans are inherently egotistical. We believe that we are the only creatures in the world like us. We divide the universe into 'man-made' and 'natural', not realising that because we come from nature, everything we do is natural – even when we're in the process of destroying ourselves and everything around us. I think it's because we have a more developed sense of self than do the rest of the creatures. We are aware of ourselves beyond just a survival instinct. We feel alone and set ourselves apart. Maybe I think this because I am a self-conscious and self-centred individual and am therefore constantly aware of my self.
So what does this have to do with hobbits? Well, there appears to be evidence that a completely different species of human lived alongside homo sapiens in Indonesia until around 12 000 years ago. They were apparently around 1 metre (about 3 feet) tall and made intricate tools. They have been dubbed ‘hobbits', although their stuffier name is homo floresiensis, named after the island of Flores in Indonesia where their remains were found.
More intriguingly, the island's human, urm, homo sapien inhabitants reportedly have complex legends about a race of little people that once lived on the island. Of course just about every culture has legends about little people. However, if these particular legends are true, it implies that they lived – or still live – long after their hypothesised extinction approximately 12 000 years ago. I guess this means that what I wrote about Dan when I guested there last week wasn't all that farfetched.
Hunky HitsWhen I started writing this at the end of March I thought it would be for me, family, and maybe a few friends. When I received my first comment from someone neither I nor my friends had met before. I was elated. I could talk to the world!
I soon realised I could track how was coming to my site. Now I have two metres at the bottom of the right-hand column that are set for public viewing, so click away if you wish. Most of the hits are from Blog Explosion people who stay their allotted 30 seconds of torture before clicking ever onward. One of the metres keeps a record of which countries my visitors are from, and I visit it regularly. It fascinates me that someone from Singapore, for example, may right now be reading what I have to say.
I was amused at what happened when I developed a crush on Israeli singer Harel Skaat (הראל סקעת ) and plastered his adorable mug all over the place; suddenly I was getting from almost as many hits from Israel, where I've never been, as I was getting from Canada, where I'm from, and the States, where much of the world appears to think I'm from. When I followed some of these referrals back, I was surprised to discover that good ol' Surly was #1 on a couple of Israeli search engines for a month or so when the key words were ‘ הראל סקעת ' (his own site was #2). There was also some speculation in a couple of chat rooms as to how well I actually know Mr. סקעת (not at all, although a friend met him once and said that he's quite nice).
When I added Canadian Olympic diver Alexandre Despatie to my pantheon of oooooo I wish! I wish!s and was consequently unable to post without a picture of him somewhere, the world came knocking at my door to see if I knew anything they didn't about notre beau plongeur agile. As it turns out, I do. I have access to something most of the rest of the world doesn't have: Quebec talk shows and the ability the speak Québécois French, which is to European French what white water rafting is to yachting. He appears to be a very sweet kid totally unprepared for the glare of the international press. Poor guy. I hope he survives.
So that was how I came close to touching the stars without, alas!, touching any stars in the process. But a few days ago when I noticed that in the same day I'd received hits from Mongolia, Malta, and Kyrgyzstan, I thought, "I wish I could put all this on a map"; not because I don't know where Kyrgyzstan is. I think it'd just be fun.
So here's my new toy:
Where are visitors to this page from?
(Auto-updated daily since Oct. 27, 2004)
It's updated once a day. Hopefully my little world will soon be covered with measles.