The Lucky Rat was born in the 1960’s, surrounded by and often squashed by thousands of other rat brothers and sisters. He wanted to experience the world outside of his laboratory cage and one day he got his wish. Sadly, the rest of this article will explain why his luck was short lived. Only his name lives on, as a relatively unique username that I find rather more memorable than chris87614 – after reading the story of the lucky rat you may find it memorable too, if slightly disturbing.
The Lucky Rat is a fortunate rat who was introduced to me at sixth form in a biology lesson by my teacher Mr Deakins. My friend Lucy Stone and I wrote our interpretation of the story of the Lucky Rat and I’ve copied it verbatim in the main article. Since the Lucky Rat was so great, I decided to adopt his name as my nick name when chatting online. Not all the rats depicted herin survived but none were harmed during the telling of this story.
The Lucky Rat
There once was a rat, a very lucky rat and a very lucky rat he was. After going through months of selection processes he became the chosen one. He was chosen to be the main attraction in a lethal experiment.
The slightly deranged scientist (named Professor Deakins) concocted a deadly brew of a radioactive isotope. Once injected and left to absorb the potion, the lucky rat was brutally murdered by none other than the friendly, caring, lovable and slightly intoxicated (due to using whiskey instead of water in his coffee) Prof. Deakins. It was now time for the next stage of the experiment where the lucky rat had its liver painfully extracted. The glowing radioactive liver was treated with a cold isotonic buffer solution and minced (rather like a cow does before it gets put into a lasagne).
The lucky rat mince was ultra centrifuged at enormous gravitational forces to separate the lucky ribosomes from the lucky nucleus and the lucky mitochondria. The experiment was completed. The lucky rat was destroyed and Prof. Deakins’ life work was complete. To celebrate he drank some more alcohol and decided to take up teaching.
A decade has passed since I identified the need for www.musites.com. At the time there was nothing on the internet that could satisfy a need for easy access to interesting music web sites. So I created musites.com (launched 20/10/99) and for a brief moment, it was good. Sadly, times change and Musites.com has now been taken offline.
My timing was sublime – a few weeks before I launched musites.com, a new search engine called Google came along and within a matter of years was finally providing me with a suitable way to search for websites that actually had some relevance to the music I was looking for. Musites still offered something a bit different, with un-rivalled meta-data about the sites and artists in its database. However, with plenty of other things to occupy my time and no way for a hobby site to compete with the corporate alternatives, the Musites database filled up slowly and never reached a level where it could be a sensible idea to use Musites.com rather than Google. A little site refresh a few years after launch made sure that the site kept up to date with modern web standards but it wasn’t going to help with the fundamental problem that no-one would choose to use it over Google.
In more recent years, sites such as last.fm have now begun to offer up the sort of music meta-data that I was dreaming of in 1998 and a tiny music database populated with 200 websites (mostly from 99/00) looks rather laughable in comparison.
So, considering that for some years now, even I would not consider using Musites.com to find websites about music, it seems only fair to remove a bit of superflous information from the internet and (though they are few in number) the actual human beings that do occasionally find themselves at Musites.com will no longer waste time at a resource that is extremely unlikely to be of any use to them.
My main web hosting contracts have always been based on the musites.com domain name and all my email addresses are too, so the name isn’t dissapearing overnight but the website itself is now offline. Thanks again to everyone that helped me get it set up in the first place.
[updated: October 2008. It’s now offline.]