The Age/SMH reports than the death of Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin caused a mass of web traffic onto news sites, causing some such as CNN to switch off bandwidth-heavy elements, and the ABC Online site to crash. The BBC and others reported spikes in demand.
Irwin’s own Australia Zoo and Crocodile Hunter web sites certainly weren’t responding, obviously snowed-under at the news. Technorati, Newsgator, Digg and other aggregators highlighted the story. News Corp’s Australian sites, which only recently started accepting them, received unprecedented numbers of reader comments.
And one other interesting snippet: Scott Adams of Dilbert fame wrote a post on his blog about Irwin’s death. Within about 24 hours it had been pulled offline, without a trace. Did Irwin’s fans get angry with him for his wisecracks? Was it simply in poor taste? Some people saw it, and commented here.
You decide. Here it is, in full:
What? No Way!
9/4/2006 12:02:04 PM [The Dilbert Blog] [Scott_Adams]
I was shocked when I heard the news that the Crocodile Hunter died in a “freak stingray accident.” I had ten dollars bet on “misjudged the speed of a crocodile.” Something tells me that the media already had his obituary written with a fill-in-the-blank for the specific creature that killed him.
Readers of the Dilbert Blog know that I believe death is not a laughing matter, unless the guy who gets killed is in the process of bothering dangerous animals. And by “animals” I include all manner of aquatic, flying, stinging, clawing, bitey things. When someone gets killed doing that sort of thing, it’s a good lesson for the kids. I think it lends credibility when you tell them not to pet strange dogs that are foaming at the mouth. “Don’t pet that dog, Timmy. If you do, you might be killed by an entirely different animal that is not normally considered dangerous. Remember the Crocodile Hunter.”
I remind you that the Crocodile Hunter is the same guy who in 2004 famously fed wild crocodiles with one hand while holding his infant son in the other. Just be glad the Croc Hunter didn’t have triplets because you know he would have tried juggling them.
It seems weird to me that the stingray that got him is now the world’s most famous aquatic creature and doesn’t even know it. He’s probably floating around eating kelp or whatever-the-hell stingrays eat, oblivious to the fact that he’s as famous as O.J. I hope he gets a book deal because I’d like to hear his side of the story. I realize that stingrays have brains the size of a dried raisin, but that doesn’t stop athletes from writing books. All you need is a good co-author.
STINGRAY: “Well, I was minding my own business, eating kelp or whatever-the-hell I eat, when this guy jumps in the water and yells ‘Crikey!’ like a crazy seal. So I killed him and then hired a co-author who is both handsome and talented. You will find his contact information in the back of this well-written book.”
(Originally posted here)