HongPong.com gets a visitor from Iraq, and lots of spam

Since I've been off on my little Civ III vacation, the site got a few comments. Unfortunately, these days there are computer spiders that go all over blogs like mine to place advertisements for sex and drugs in old comment threads. These spam ads are inserted not so that people see them immediately, but so that search engines like Google will associate the search term of, say, 'phentermine,' with the shady website selling prescription drugs.

I delete these annoying messages but they keep coming. I have a partial solution: ban the IP number that they come from. Unfortunately, these guys must have multiple computers or proxies. It is annoying, but fortunately there are only about 2 or 3 a week.

The other solution is to turn off the commenting of old posts, since most of the spam is hidden there. However, that would prevent people from adding useful comments to old posts.

Now, I don't get many real comments, but the last one I got was very interesting, attached to an old post about looking around Iraqi blogs. On May 20, someone somehow reached the page and wrote:
I take nice photos from baghdad everyday !
please link to my blog !
it is so nice ! but nobody visits it
please link to it NOW !
Posted by: asmar ahmad at May 20, 2004 01:46 PM

I sent an email to Asmar last night, and indeed, here is a link to "Picture of Baghdad." It's pretty cool.

Right now there is a photo of a classic ancient ziggurat and various other Babylonian things of Iraq, along with photos of Baghdad, American occupation troops, shrines and mosques, "flowers from our garden," neighborhoods, a column of smoke from the assassination of the IGC leader, a woman named Faiza in a shop, and an awesome minaret in the ancient city of Samarra that looks like the tower of Babel.

There are some pictures from Baghdad in the 1980s, along with snaps of various Baghdad buildings, and the . There are also photos by Faiza and Raed "in the middle" Jarrar.

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