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Site du Jour of the Day

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February 2000

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Featuring sites selected as
Site du Jour of the Day Readers Choice 2000

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(000201) BowieBanc
http://bowiebanc.com/

David Bowie
and
USABancShares.com, Inc.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

This may be better than having personal checks with ducks and bunnies, possibly even better than Dibert (http://www.dilbertzone.com/comics/dilbert/) printed on them. How about a David Bowie ATM/Debit card and checks? BowieBanc is a branded Internet bank administered by USABancShares.com, Inc. (http://www.usabancshares.com/) and offers accounts with free checking and no monthly fees, electronic bill paying and a one dollar minimum balance. Similar to Net.B@nk (http://www.netbank.com/) (SdJotD 991102), BowieBanc will probably never have a branch in your neighborhood, so customer service issues need to be handled by telephone or e-mail. FDIC insured deposits and David Bowie as your banker add up to a fun checking account if nothing else. US residents can also take advantage of the free premium access to BowieNet (http://www.davidbowie.com/) by maintaining an average $250 daily balance for one year. This information not intended as an endorsement of any financial institution, it is provided for entertainment purposes only. So is this thought — a check drawn on this bank, from an account without enough money in it, could be called a Bouncing Bowie.  (Back to top of page)


(000202) Meldrum Home Page
Dedicated to television - particularly the bits before, in between and after the actual programmes.
http://www.meldrum.co.uk/mhp/

Darren Meldrum
Astro Solutions Ltd.
England

Around the clock television has cheated viewers out of being scared witless at the end of the broadcast day. There used to be a time, and in smaller markets this may still be the case, where a nap brought on by the late late movie would be abruptly shortened by a test pattern and blaring tone. Once awake, all that one could watch would be the maggot races. More often than not, audio of the cheering crowd was too much to handle and the television set would be turned off. These days, a news feed is picked up or worse, paid commercial announcements disguised as programming come on. Those test patterns served a purpose for broadcasters and set owners alike — they provided an ample signal for adjusting equipment. In the early days of television the test signal was scrutinized over in certain cases more so than the programs which followed. The introduction of color added to the frustration as many of us can clearly recall. It took a couple of serious talkings to for me to understand exactly how much work could be undone by turning those tiny knobs on the television set. The Meldrum Home Page has an amazing collection of test cards and other elements used over the years by the British Broadcasting Corporation (http://www.bbc.co.uk) also see BBC - The Really Useful Show (http://www.bbc.co.uk/useful/index.shtml) (SdJotD 980213). The Test Card Gallery has images galore, and you can find a network or station closer to home if the BBC doesn't come in for you through a nice set of pointers to other sites. There is much more than test cards at the Meldrum Home Page but it only seems fitting to start exploring this site at that point.  (Back to top of page)


(000203) Landover Baptist: America's Favorite Church
http://www.landoverbaptist.org/

Chris Harper
Americhrist Ltd.
Merrifield, Virginia, USA

Parody is such a wonderful thing. Making fun of organized religion and/or organized politics can be bad business, unless of course it can be done with the same fervor and zeal. As brilliant a site as the Landover Baptist: America's Favorite Church is, it has avoided an appearance in Site du Jour of the Day. That is until now. The current top story had me laughing so hard I thought that I was going to bust a gut and be headed for Hades at any moment. It starts out like this:

167 Jump To Their Deaths In Rapture False Alarm.

An eyewitness recalls, "By the time I drove into the parking lot, I heard Mrs. Tomkin yell, 'Catch me Jesus!' as she threw herself off the roof. She was the first to hit the sidewalk. It sounded like a big bag of wet flour."

From the messages left in the guestbook at Landover Baptist: America's Favorite Church it becomes clear that a lot of people simply miss the joke. Definitely not a site for children or people who take their religion seriously. Parody this funny is difficult to ignore.  (Back to top of page)


(000204) Salem Evangelical Lutheran Church
http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Academy/7981/

Salem Evangelical Lutheran Church
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA

In response to the Site du Jour of the Day episode featuring the site for Landover Baptist: America's Favorite Church (http://www.landoverbaptist.org/) (SdJotD 000203), reader and frequent site-scout John Hoh wrote, "Maybe to ease those who MIGHT be offended by this one, you could run the Virtual Tour I built for my church?" John, who practices confessional Lutheranism has put together a fine site for the Salem Evangelical Lutheran Church. Look for the phrase "Take a Virtual Tour of Salem" just above the photograph of the front of the church. In addition this and other sites, John edits the section at Suite101.com (http://www.suite101.com) titled Lutheranism (http://www.suite101.com/welcome.cfm/lutheranism). Visitors will find a great deal of information about the faith through original content and pointers to other sites. If anyone did find the Landover Baptist: America's Favorite Church site offensive you now know why it took so long to be featured as Site du Jour of the Day. Should the Salem Evangelical Lutheran Church site offend, remember it goes that way some of the time.  (Back to top of page)


(000205) The Unofficial Davey & Goliath Home Page
http://www.awn.com/heaven_and_hell/DG/DG1.htm

Tim Fitzpatrick
Animation of Heaven & Hell!
San Diego, California, USA

The Unofficial Davey & Goliath Home Page is maintained by Tim Fitzpatrick, who in all likelihood was watching the exact same episodes of Davey & Goliath I was as children growing up in Detroit. WXYZ (http://wxyz.com/), the Detroit station aired the stop action animated series Davey & Goliath on Sunday mornings right before The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle (http://designtrain.com/jayward/) and (http://home.iSTAR.ca/~culrich/index.html) (SdJotD 980805). For those unfamiliar with the series, Davey Hansen was the not too terribly bright kid who would often find himself with a moral and/or ethical dilemma on his hands. All too often it was Goliath the dog saving Davey's from serious trouble or eternal damnation. Imagine a dog saying, in a fine doggie baritone, "Gee Daaveee… Do you think you oughta be doing that?" reminding Davey that God might not really appreciate whatever it was Davey was about to do. Two fifteen minute morality plays and then The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle. For a while, Sunday morning television was the best of the week.

The Unofficial Davey & Goliath Home Page looks at the show which entered syndication in 1962 with additional episodes released in 1965. Here you will find sounds and images of the cast as well as an episode guide and much more. What many people may not realize is that Davey & Goliath was created by Art Clokey of Gumby (http://www.gumbyclub.com/) (SdJotD 981001) fame. That the show was funded by the Lutheran Church in America (http://www.elca.org/) explains the religious nature of the stories. Recently I purchased a few video tapes of Davey & Goliath episodes, and in retrospect it is astounding how much they influenced my own behavior over the years. To this day I still think about how cool it would be to have a talking dog.  (Back to top of page)


(000206) Low-Fi Literature Presents
http://www.plasticine.com/low-fi/index.html

R. McDonald
Low-Fidelity Literature
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Using the Shockwave plug-in, "Low-Fidelity Literature presents it's tales of human interest to you free of charge" and are they ever fun. Suggested by John Dixon, Low-Fi currently has two chapters up of the animated tale of Uncle Don (the Goat). The interface takes some getting used to and that only adds to the entertaining aspect of this site. Similar to the interactive stories on CD ROM designed for children, Uncle Don (the Goat) is filled with subtle animations. The artwork is an integral part of the story and the simplicity is deceptive. Very little information about the project is available at the site, a site which is a part of the larger Plasticine.com (http://www.plasticine.com/). Plasticine.com acts as a showcase for independent authors and hosts a number of different sites. If Uncle Don (the Goat) is any indication of how good additional material will be, there's a bright future waiting for Low-Fidelity Literature. This site is a must-see.  (Back to top of page)


(000207) to snarg
http://www.snarg.net/

How It Works
http://www.howitworks.com/

How It Works, Inc.
Anacortes, Washington, USA

How It Works, Inc. is a multi-discipline graphic arts firm and these two sites are basically demonstration pieces. Similar to other School or Art and Design sites we have looked at recently, the use of sound and abstract imagery give these two pieces a unique feel. Adult language at to snarg may be a bit strong for some, but in that it is used as punctuation most will not be offended. Novelty sites like these can become hypnotic given the chance. Load them up and have a look. Thanks to Richard in Palm Springs for the suggestion.  (Back to top of page)


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(000208) Venice Italy Index
http://www.iuav.unive.it/~juli/venindx.html

Juli Van Zyverden
Venice, Italy

Without actually visiting the sites at the Venice Italy Index visitors can learn a lot about the history and culture of the Italian city. Juli Van Zyverden has created an annotated collection of pointers to English and Italian language sites perfect for vacation planning, school reports or just learning about the City on Water. More than just canals and gondoliers, Venice incites a certain passion in people. A passion for art, music and food which is evident at the Venice Italy Index. Juli Van Zyverden is a Texan who has lived in Venice for over 20 years, hosted by University of Architecture - Venice (http://web.iuav.it/iuav/) the Venice Italy Index clearly shows a love for an adopted city. Thanks to Barbara McDonald for the suggestion.  (Back to top of page)


(000209) The 1998 ~ FIPS 55-DC3 Index
Places, Counties, Congressional Districts, and More…
http://www.nist.gov/itl/fipspubs/55new/
http://www.nist.gov/itl/fipspubs/55new/nav-top-fr.htm (frames)

Geographic Names Information System
U.S. Geological Survey
U.S. Department of the Interior
Reston, Virginia, USA

hosted by

National Institute of Standards and Technology
Technology Administration Agency
U.S. Commerce Department
Gaithersburg, Maryland, USA

The Federal Information Processing Standards Publication 55-3 contains the names and identifying codes for almost every named place in the United States to include Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Virgin Islands of the United States, and United States Minor Outlying Islands. If that were not enough, it also includes data for the Federated States of Micronesia, the Marshall Islands and the Republic of Palau. Hosted by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (http://www.nist.gov/) and administered by the Geographic Names Information System (http://mapping.usgs.gov/www/gnis/) of the U.S. Geological Survey (http://www.usgs.gov/), this huge collection of names and codes can be viewed at this site or downloaded in a number of different file/compression formats. Sixty files in total contain a wealth of information including ZIP codes, railroad names for places and a lot more. Be sure to read the "Specifications for Codes for Named Populated Places, Primary County Divisions, and other Locational Entities of the United States, Puerto Rico, and the Outlying Areas" (http://www.itl.nist.gov/fipspubs/fip55-3.htm) to better understand how this database is put together and how the information can best be used. Because of the file sizes involved, I recommend that visitors look at smaller entries such as Rhode Island (http://www.nist.gov/itl/fipspubs/55new/txtstate/rifips55.txt) and Guam (http://www.nist.gov/itl/fipspubs/55new/txtstate/gufips55.txt) first.  (Back to top of page)


(000210) DotComGuy
http://dotcomguy.com/

DotComGuy, Inc.
Dallas, Texas, USA

By now you have probably heard of 26-year-old Mitch Maddox, the man who legally changed his name to DotComGuy. DotComGuy moved into a house in Dallas on the first of the year and expects to survive using a computer, the Internet and the things it will bring him. A boatload of sponsorship deals and a salary which doubles by the month until the initial $24 in January turns into $49,152 in December — nearly $100,000 a year for staying home. Staying at home is the gimmick, DotComGuy can go out in the backyard for fresh air whenever the mood strikes, is allowed visitors and telephone calls and can turn off any of the 24 cameras in the house simply by asking. When the cameras are on, visitors to DotComGuy.com can observe DotComGuy doing the things that make up his day. A schedule of events is posted and it includes items like radio appearances, researching avenues for features at the DotComGuy site and more. A commercial site to be sure, but that is the point. DotComGuy can and most likely will survive until noon on January 1, 2001 by never leaving home. It will be interesting to watch this project as it evolves during the year. Good luck DotComGuy and make sure the ground doesn't suck all of the oxygen out of your house! Oh wait, that was a different project wasn't it?  (Back to top of page)


(000211) Free Typewriter Fonts
http://typewriter.homepage.com/

Johan Holmdahl
Stockholm, Sweden

Most operating systems come loaded with basic fonts those documents that require the low-tech goodness of Courier or a similar font. On occasion a document cries out for more, something that looks like it came out of a typewriter. The look has been abused in recent years by the School of Art and Design kids but every now and then the style works. Not too long ago I had to recreate a document that was originally typed in 1931 for use on a two by three foot poster. Scanning it as a bitmap image was out of the question and resetting it with a modern font would have taken away from the vintage feeling the museum was looking for. What ended up happening was the original document was scanned and edited using Optical Character Recognition software and reset using a clotted version of a typewriter font closely matching the original. Free Typewriter Fonts has over seventy five flavors of typewriter fonts, some of them are Shareware or Freeware and others may not be. Samples of each download are presented along with the name of the font owner/creator. Some do not have full character sets in the font, a common problem with amateur fontography but that fact is noted as well. If typewriter fonts are not for you be sure to check out the big list of other font sites (http://hem.passagen.se/webbsida/Free_Fonts/index.htm). Johan Holmdahl has worked in the printing and publishing trades for over ten years in Sweden and these pages show a keen eye for design. Updated as a hobby, some of the fonts and/or pointers may not be active at any given time but there are plenty to be found. This is a nice collection.  (Back to top of page)


(000212) Advertising Age
http://adage.com/

The Ad Age Group
Crain Communications Inc.
Chicago, Illinois, USA

In the United States, Advertising Age is probably one of the best trade magazines of any kind. The weekly publication is targeted toward people who use marketing and advertising news. The Ad Age site contains special features and headlines from the print edition of Advertising Age and several other publications The Ad Age Group puts out. On the consumer level an advertising campaign can be bolstered by word of mouth interest. Bob Garfield's Ad Review column (http://adage.com/news_and_features/ad_review/index.html) allows visitors a peek at upcoming campaigns and offers industry insight and particulars. Global coverage adds to the usefulness here, and the Advertising Age site is highly recommended for anyone interested in the ad game no matter which end they are on.  (Back to top of page)


(000213) The Heart: An Online Exploration
http://sln.fi.edu/biosci/heart.html

The Franklin Institute Science Museum
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

_________________________________

HeartInfo - Heart Information Network
http://www.heartinfo.org/

Center for Cardiovascular Education, Inc.
New Providence, New Jersey, USA

_________________________________

The Flour Advisory Bureau
http://www.fabflour.co.uk/

Flour Advisory Bureau
London, England

_________________________________

Guide to Canadian Industries: Cereal Grain Flour
http://strategis.ic.gc.ca/SSG/gi10511e.html

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Market and Industry Services Branch
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

and

Business Information by Sector
Industry Canada
Government Telecommunications and Informatics Services
Government of Canada
Hull, Quebec, Canada

Hearts and Flour — four sites just in time for St. Valentine's Day. Information about health and nutrition is a wonderful thing to give to a loved one this time of year. With the exception of The Heart: An Online Exploration, these sites are from trade groups and governments and contain news and pointers to a number of related topics. The Heart: An Online Exploration is a companion site for the walk-through heart at The Franklin Institute Science Museum and is ideal for students. Heart disease is a leading cause of death in both men and women yet through proper diet and exercise it can be avoided. Share these sites with someone you love.  (Back to top of page)


(000214) Screaming Jay Hawkins
http://www.lastcallrecords.com/biographies/screamingjay.html

Last Call Records
Paris, France

Last Call Records (http://www.lastcallrecords.com/) has a decent biography of the late Screamin' Jay Hawkins (July 18, 1929 - February 12, 2000) at their site. In November 1999 the label released At Last Live at the Olympia, a double disc set recorded in Paris in 1998. Best known for his wild 1956 recording of I Put A Spell On You, Hawkins' brilliant performance in the 1989 film, Mystery Train is worth the purchase price of the video tape and then some. Hawkins suffered multiple organ failure following emergency surgery to treat an aneurysm earlier in the week at the Ambroise Pave clinic in Neuilly-sur-Seine, a Paris suburb. Wire reports quote Hawkins as having said, “I wrote in my will to cremate me… Fly over the ocean and scatter the dust so I can be little particles in everybody’s eyes — drive everybody crazy the rest of their lives”. He'll be missed.  (Back to top of page)


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(000215) Random.com
Categorized Random Links
http://random.com/

Web This Way
Ellington, Connecticut, USA

One of the most annoying aspects of looking at "random" sites pulled out of a database is that they are hardly random. The database is finite and often reflects the tastes of the people putting the list together. Random.com changes that by categorizing the invisible pointers into just over a dozen different flavors. Still a work in progress, visitors can narrow down the randomness of the jump. Categories include Books, Freebies, Humor, Just for Kids, Music, Pro Wrestling, and Travel. Selected for general audiences, the sites visitors will see when using Random.com have a certain quality about them, at least the twenty or so I looked at did. Perfect for those times when a surprise but not a shock is in order. Random.com has a good thing going and yes, visitors can use the Completely Random pointer if so inclined. It isn't completely random but it's close enough.  (Back to top of page)


(000216) The Sims
http://thesims.com/index.phtml

Maxis
a division of Electronic Arts, Inc
Redwood City, California, USA

Maxis (http://www.maxis.com/) (SdJotD 970614) and their "Sim" line of products have been featured as Site du Jour of the Day. Most recently it was the site for SimCity 3000 (http://www.simcity.com/) (SdJotD 981003) and the episode was sent out before the game was even released. Like many Sim fans I was concerned that Electronic Arts (http://www.ea.com/) might not be able to maintain the charm of the line when they absorbed Maxis. SimCity 3000 proved to be more than expected and with The Sims, players can finally get down to a level only dreamed about a decade ago when the original SimCity was released. With The Sims, building is still an important part of the game but the focus is on the inhabitants of this tiny world. Custom-built houses and home furnishings are just the beginning — as your Sims gain new skills and responsibilities at work their status with the boss and their family increases. More money, Simoleans in this case, equals better toys and a higher quality of life. The sophistication and detail of this game is absolutely incredible, every rave print review of The Sims is true. Game Designer Will Wright and the rest of the Maxis/EA team should be very proud of The Sims. Visit this site if you are considering the purchase of The Sims. Screen shots and a whole lot more present a basic overview of the mechanics involved in the game. For registered users of The Sims technical support is outstanding and there are downloads galore. More than any Sim fan could have hoped for, if The Sims does not win every major gaming award this year it will be crying shame. Initially the concept behind this game is intimidating but half an hour with the tutorial will have you up and running in no time flat. This is probably the most engaging title I have ever played and I've only just started. If you notice Site du Jour of the Day episodes arriving a little later than usual in the next week or so you'll know why.  (Back to top of page)


(000217) UpMyStreet.com
http://www.upmystreet.com/

UpMyStreet.com Ltd.
London, England

UpMyStreet.com will be of primary interest to people in, or planning a move to parts of the United Kingdom. By entering the name of a town or the Postcode for a specific area, visitors can compare property values, the top schools, Council performance and tax rates, levels of crime, and ambulance response times. A useful feature at UpMyStreet.com allows visitors to compare data against that from another location or against the national average with results on an easy to understand chart. Data is not currently available for Scotland, Northern Ireland or the Channel Islands, tax and ambulance data is unavailable for Wales as well. If anyone is familiar with a similar site or sites for other countries that is/are publicly accessible please send along the URL. This is a very handy tool even for visitors who are just curious.  (Back to top of page)


(000218) The Government Of Brunei Darussalam Official Website
http://www.brunei.gov.bn/

The Government of Brunei Darussalam
Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei Darussalam

Brunei Darussalam is one of those places that is a destination all its own. Travel to the country as a stop-over usually only happens on the way to the Malaysian state of Sarawak (Borneo). Situated on the north-west side of the island of Borneo, the Government of Brunei Darussalam is attempting to attract eco-tourism. An almost splendid isolation has preserved the beauty and diversity of lush equatorial rain forests making them the main tourist attractions. The fine balance of preserving natural resources and exploiting rich oil and natural gas reserves has been a challenge in Brunei Darussalam. Mandated limits on logging have helped, with timber being harvested only for domestic use. The Government of Brunei Darussalam Official Website presents an interesting look at a small country many outsiders are completely unfamiliar with. Once a British protectorate, Brunei Darussalam still maintains one of the longest dynasties in history. His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu'izzaddin Waddaulah, the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, is the 29th of his line, which goes back to the fourteenth century. In addition to being the Monarch, His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah is also the Prime Minister, Defence Minister, Finance Minister, and head of the religion of Brunei Darussalam. The Government Of Brunei Darussalam Official Website provides a comprehensive look at a remarkable little country and most visitors will have learned a great deal by reading just a fraction of the pages at this site.  (Back to top of page)


(000219) ShowMeTheScore.com - Free sports league services
http://www.showmethescore.com

ISSI Consulting Group
Silver Spring, Maryland, USA

ISSI Consulting Group, in cooperation with the Montgomery County (Maryland) Department of Recreation (http://www.co.mo.md.us/services/rec/) have assembled ShowMeTheScore.com. Ideal for posting schedules and standings for amateur sports leagues and teams. ShowMeTheScore.com also offers free league management and room for special announcements for your teams. The tools are in place for anyone, anywhere to use. A tremendous idea for keeping leagues and participants up to date all at one place without too much time or trouble. This site should become very successful and is an important resource for anyone involved in organizing amateur sport.  (Back to top of page)


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(000220) Site du Jour of the Day Radio
http://www.live365.com/cgi-bin/directory.cgi?autostart=sdjotd

Edward J. Pelegrino
Site du Jour of the Day
Fort Myers, Florida, USA

_________________________________

Live365.com
http://live365.com/

Nanocosm, Inc.
Foster City, California, USA

This episode marks the third anniversary of Site du Jour of the Day, the first episode having gone out to a handful of people back in February 1997. Looking for a way to commemorate the anniversary and expand the empire at the same time, I started thinking about elements that could be added to the Site du Jour of the Day Archive site. Streaming audio presentations have always been a favorite kind of site for me and a lot of readers. The fantasy of floating a barge out in the Gulf of Mexico to broadcast a pirate radio station is something that has been knocking around in my head for over 15 years (hey, Buffy J.). Recent developments in technology have given us MP3s, a file compression method which allows for high quality and low file sizes for recorded music. The problem has been of a legal nature — broadcasting music one does not own the rights to can spell serious trouble. Nanocosm Technologies has helped change the world of small-time radio operators with Live365.com by taking care of a few of the largest hurdles. Live365.com offers free hosting of either live broadcasts or looped playlists from files stored in the 365 megabytes they allow. Site du Jour of the Day Radio uses the canned method right now, and the programming comes from my personal collection of music. Most importantly, Live365.com is officially licensed by The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (http://ascap.com/site). Broadcasters are not responsible for paying to play music, Live365.com does so through advertiser support.

By creating MP3 files and uploading them to Live365.com, I was able to assemble a broadcast which currently runs about seven hours. The artists and tracks are some of my favorites, old and new. Genres included at Site du Jour of the Day Radio are Pop, Blues, and Country and can be heard by utilizing a streaming MP3 player such as RealPlayer 7, Windows Media Player or similar Freeware or Shareware player. Instructions for getting started can be found at the Help section of Live365.com (http://www.live365.com/help/listen/index.html). Internet connection speed is a determining factor in being able to listen to streaming audio and while some broadcasters are set up for lower modem speeds I went with a 32Kbps stream which means that to listen to Site du Jour of the Day Radio you'll probably see best results with a 56K modem or better. It was a trade-off I decided on for several reasons, broadcast quality was one.

Commercial-free and without interruption, Site du Jour of the Day Radio has been interesting and fun to put together. Give it a listen and me know what you think, request a number or two and if you should set up your own station at Live365.com please let me know. During the next week, episodes making up the Site du Jour of the Day Readers Choice 2000 event will be mailed. As always, if you have comments or suggestions please send them along.

Thanks to everyone who has been a part of Site du Jour of the Day during the past three years!  (Back to top of page)


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Site du Jour of the Day Readers Choice 2000

Site du Jour of the Day started up in February 1997 and it was originally going to be a part of a much larger project. Weary of Hot-Lists and Award sites giving no description of the sites selected, it seemed as though site reviews would make an interesting section of a general interest site I was building. While writing these early episodes, they were e-mailed out to a few people who I figured might enjoy the sites before they were posted as part of the new project. The larger site still hasn't developed, but the number of people reading Site du Jour of the Day episodes at last count was over six hundred. Many readers contribute site suggestions and comment on how useful a site featured as Site du Jour of the Day has been for them. In early February, Site du Jour of the Day readers were asked to nominate up to three sites in several categories for the Site du Jour of the Day Readers Choice 2000 event. The top five in each category are presented. Not so much an award for a site, but a sincere acknowledgement that somebody is doing a good job with their site. During the next week Site du Jour of the Day episodes will revisit sites that have become favorites for the readers who responded. Rather than repeat the original episodes, the URL at the Site du Jour of the Day Archive site is included for each site and a fresh description follows below the sites.

(000221) In alphabetical order, the Site du Jour of the Day Readers Choice 2000
Arts & Entertainment sites:

Bizarre Stuff You Can Make in Your Kitchen
http://freeweb.pdq.net/headstrong/

Brian Carusella
Houston, Texas, USA

SdJotD June 3, 1998
http://members.tripod.com/~SdJotD/1998/9806.htm#980603

_________________________________

Bryan's Summer Fun Spots
http://members.tripod.com/~webtvandme/funspots/index.html

Bryan a.k.a. Diver-Dan
Dallas, Texas, USA

SdJotD June 22, 1999
http://members.tripod.com/~SdJotD/1999/9906.htm#990622

_________________________________

Drew's Scripts-O-Rama
http://www.script-o-rama.com/

Kale Whorton and Drew Feinberg
Ashland, Oregon, USA

SdJotD March 2, 1998
http://members.tripod.com/~SdJotD/1998/9803.htm#980302

_________________________________

EzineSeek - Email Newsletter Directory
http://www.ezineseek.com/

Brian Alt
EzineSeek
Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA

SdJotD August 31, 1999
http://members.tripod.com/~SdJotD/1999/9908.htm#990831

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The Daily .WAV
http://www.dailywav.com/

Hunter Elliott
St. Louis, Missouri, USA

SdJotD January 31, 1998
http://members.tripod.com/~SdJotD/1998/9801.htm#980131

Bizarre Stuff You Can Make in Your Kitchen is full of what can best be described as domestic science experiments. Recipes for turning common household items and foodstuffs into fun for all ages.

Bryan's Summer Fun Spots houses pointers and information about amusement parks and diversions around the world. When the original episode featuring Bryan's Summer Fun Spots was sent out, the International section had not been started but through submissions from visitors it has turned out better than expected.

Drew's Scripts-O-Rama is the source for pointers to other sites which contain scripts and transcripts of hundreds of television shows and major motion pictures. Why pointers? It helps Drew stay out of trouble with the Copyright Police and that never hurts.

EzineSeek - Email Newsletter Directory contains brief descriptions of electronic magazines or e'zines being published around the world. Visitors will find subscription information and pointers to sites for the individual e'zines. If EzineSeek is how you discovered Site du Jour of the Day, why not find it again and submit a rating?

The Daily.WAV continues to be one of the most amusing WAV sites out there. Instead of simply telling visitors that a particular sound file is of "some animal talking," the entire clip is transcribed so you know what it is you are about to hear. The timeliness of certain files only adds to the experience and the sound quality is always superb.  (Back to top of page)


(000222) In alphabetical order, the Site du Jour of the Day Readers Choice 2000
Science & Industry sites:

Astronomy Picture of the Day
http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/astropix.html

Robert Nemiroff
Michigan Technological University
Houghton, Michigan, USA

Jerry Bonnell
Universities Space Research Association
Washington, District of Columbia, USA

Hosted by the Laboratory for High Energy Astrophysics
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Greenbelt, Maryland, USA

SdJotD April 6, 1999
http://members.tripod.com/~SdJotD/1999/9904.htm#990406

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Eric's Treasure Troves of Science
http://www.treasure-troves.com/

Eric W. Weisstein
Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, USA

SdJotD January 11, 1998
http://members.tripod.com/~SdJotD/1998/9801.htm#980111

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Lightning Strikes !!
http://easyweb.easynet.co.uk/~gcaselton/photo/photo.html

Graeme Caselton
London, England

SdJotD June 28, 1998
http://members.tripod.com/~SdJotD/1998/9806.htm#980628

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Microsoft TerraServer
http://terraserver.microsoft.com/

Microsoft Corporation
Redmond, Washington, USA

SdJotD January 16, 1999
http://members.tripod.com/~SdJotD/1999/9901.htm#990116

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Smithsonian Without Walls -- Revealing Things
http://www.si.edu/organiza/museums/ripley/eap/rt/

Smithsonian Institution
Washington, District of Columbia, USA

SdJotD March 22, 1998
http://members.tripod.com/~SdJotD/1998/9803.htm#980322

Astronomy Picture of the Day amounts to a lot more than just a new space picture each day. The annotated images have pointers included in the text that will take visitors through the cosmos for the sake of learning. Perfectly suited for children and adults no matter who knowledgeable about Astronomy they might be. Beautiful pictures, and more.

Eric's Treasure Troves of Science is a giant encyclopedia where visitors will find over 14,000 entries on subjects ranging from Astronomy to Rocketry. The number of cross-references and pointers to other sites only adds to the usefulness of this site. Launched with the new print and CD-ROM versions of the math encyclopedia is Eric Weisstein's World of Mathematics (http://mathworld.wolfram.com/). This site just keeps getting better.

Lightning Strikes !! is the work of Graeme Caselton, who braves serious thunderstorms for photographs of lightning bolts. Learn about methods and equipment used to capture lightning, and view a series of amazing images taken over the past few years. Also of interest may be the sunrise and cloud photography on display.

Microsoft TerraServer will be mainly of interest to people living in the United States and parts of Europe. Using satellite imagery from the United States Geological Survey and Russian mapping satellite systems, TerraServer allows visitors to find their hometown from above. The detail in most of these composites will even show the roof of your house. USGS digitized topographical maps are available here too.

Smithsonian Without Walls -- Revealing Things is being designed specifically for the Internet and offers a unique look into the collection of the Smithsonian Institution and the people who donated everyday items for this exhibit. Of note here is the Maplet Navigation and the Thumbnail Engine which were both developed using Thinkmap™ software (http://www.thinkmap.com/) from Plumb Design. Smithsonian Without Walls -- Revealing Things is still being tested, just imagine what this site will be like in a year or two.  (Back to top of page)


(000223) In alphabetical order, the Site du Jour of the Day Readers Choice 2000
Languages & Culture sites:

Dumb Laws
The largest and funniest collection of laws on the Internet!
http://www.dumblaws.com/

Jeff Koon and Andy Powell
Bueno Technologies
Midland, Georgia, USA

SdJotD December 9, 1999
http://members.tripod.com/~SdJotD/1999/9912.htm#991209

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Official and Original Project Gutenberg Web Site and Home Page
http://www.promo.net/pg/index.html

Project Gutenberg Etext
Illinois Benedictine College
Lisle, Illinois, USA

SdJotD April 2, 1997
http://members.tripod.com/~SdJotD/97045.htm#970402

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On This Date In North American Indian History
http://members.tripod.com/~PHILKON/index.html

Phil Konstantin
San Diego, California, USA

SdJotD July 28, 1997
http://members.tripod.com/~SdJotD/9707.htm#970728

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Scott Pakin's automatic complaint-letter generator
http://www-csag.cs.uiuc.edu/individual/pakin/complaint

Scott Pakin
Urbana, Illinois, USA

SdJotD April 10, 1997
http://members.tripod.com/~SdJotD/97045.htm#970410

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Shakespearean Insulter
http://zenith.berkeley.edu/~seidel/Shaker/shake.cgi?

Chris Seidel
Berkeley, California, USA

SdJotD June 16, 1997
http://members.tripod.com/~SdJotD/9706.htm#970616

Dumb Laws managed to be the single most popular site with Site du Jour of the Day readers in New Zealand and Australia who responded to the Readers Choice 2000 messages. Maybe that means the laws there are not dumb and they need to look elsewhere to find such things or maybe it just means they like the Dumb Laws site. Listing laws that where obviously important to somebody at some time, Dumb Laws also takes submissions and updates from visitors. Not exactly what I had in mind for a Languages & Culture site, but that is where a lot of readers included Dumb Laws on their nomination reply. And not just the ones from New Zealand and Australia either.

Official and Original Project Gutenberg Web Site and Home Page is the place to go for works of literature and historical documents which are in the Public Domain. Available as plain text files and as compressed text files which speeds up download times, the Etexts here are indexed for easy retrieval. Consider the Official and Original Project Gutenberg Web Site and Home Page that library of the future people are always talking about.

On This Date In North American Indian History is the incredible site maintained by Phil Konstantin. Previously known as This Week in North American Indian History and before that This Week In American Indian History, the changes at this site are not limited to the title. On This Date In North American Indian History looks at important events throughout history by taking on the task of lining up the calendars of indigenous North American peoples. The resources available through pointers and text are numerous and this site remains the best of its kind.

Congratulations to Scott Pakin's automatic complaint-letter generator for saying that its demands won't be used for political retribution. That indeed wins the prize for being the most lethargic and money-grubbing thing I've ever heard. To organize my discussion, I suggest that we take one step back in the causal chain and stick to the facts and offer only those arguments that can be supported by those facts. This is a fundamental and obvious truth that Scott Pakin's automatic complaint-letter generator completely ignores. I have given this issue a great deal of thought, and I now have a strong conviction that Scott Pakin's automatic complaint-letter generator does not hold itself answerable to any code of honor. Some day, I want to lead Scott Pakin's automatic complaint-letter generator out of a dream world back to hard reality. But you don't have to wait for that. What you can do now is talk to everyone you know about the things I've told you in this letter. Use every medium available to you. Use the Internet. Use your telephone. Use radio and newspapers. And whatever you do, never be afraid to speak out against the evil that is Scott Pakin's automatic complaint-letter generator. (Maybe some day I'll sit down and write something about Scott Pakin's automatic complaint-letter instead of just filching it — Ed)

The Shakespearean Insulter lobs insults from some of the most important pieces ever written right at visitors. Synthesized insults pop up occasionally here as well and although they are not as fluid as the originals, they still work in a pinch. The Shakespearean Insulter could tempt visitors into reading Shakespeare again just to find these nuggets in context.  (Back to top of page)


(000224) In alphabetical order, the Site du Jour of the Day Readers Choice 2000
Consumer Products sites:

Annoyances.org
Windows98 Annoyances
Windows95 Annoyances
http://www.annoyances.org/

Creative Element
Oakland, California, USA

SdJotD January 26, 1999
http://members.tripod.com/~SdJotD/1999/9901.htm#990126

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Johnson Smith Company
Things You Never Knew Existed
http://www.johnsonsmith.com/

Johnson Smith Company
Bradenton, Florida, USA

SdJotD July 22, 1999
http://members.tripod.com/~SdJotD/1999/9907.htm#990722

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Kelley Blue Book New Car Pricing and Bluebook Values
http://www.kbb.com/index.html

Kelley Blue Book
Irvine, California, USA

SdJotD July 31, 1997
http://members.tripod.com/~SdJotD/9707.htm#970731

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Ropers Knots Page (may be down at times)
http://huizen.dds.nl/~erpprs/kne/kroot.htm

Roper's Knot Links (on a different server)
http://www.geocities.com/Yosemite/2158/

Ed Roper
Amsterdam, the Netherlands

SdJotD January 21, 2000
http://members.tripod.com/~SdJotD/2000/0001.htm#000121

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ValuPage
http://www.supermarkets.com/

SuperMarkets Online, Inc.
Anaheim, California, USA

SdJotD November 1, 1998
http://members.tripod.com/~SdJotD/9706.htm#981101

Annoyances.org looks at the Windows 95, 98 and 2000 operating systems and the intricacies of each. Quicker than reading the help file or calling Microsoft, a little time at this site will have visitors changing the way their Windows OS behaves and looks in no time.

Johnson Smith Company has been the mail-order novelty giant for decades. Whoopie Cushions and Number 2 pencil toppers (made of rubber, think about it) are just the beginning. Electronics and gadgets, plus a whole lot more. Money back since 1914.

Kelley Blue Book New Car Pricing and Bluebook Values is the place to start when buying or selling an automobile. Current values for used vehicles and new car reports, plus insurance information and pointers galore.

Ropers Knots Page is another one of those sites that Site du Jour of the Day readers found a category for in their nominations. The site is down sometimes, probably due to traffic exceeding allowed levels during the month, but well worth waiting for. Every sort of knot is explained here with concise directions and images to match. Visit the pointer page if the main site is not accessible.

ValuPage offers an alternative to cents off coupons by giving consumers a chance to indicate their grocery shopping preferences and stores. A sheet is then printed out on the consumer end and taken to the grocery store. When items on the list are purchased, Web Bucks® are printed out on a printer at the check-out counter. These Web Bucks® can be used on a return visit toward the purchase of almost anything in the store. Over 12,000 supermarkets across the US participate in this program and with the variety of products and brands listed, odds are it could save anyone who uses it a fair clip of money.  (Back to top of page)


(000225) In alphabetical order, the Site du Jour of the Day Readers Choice 2000
Good Old Fashion Odd Stuff sites:

PhoneSpell
What does your phone number spell?
http://www.phoneSpell.org/

Jeremy Grodberg
San Francisco, California, USA

SdJotD March 11, 1997
http://members.tripod.com/~SdJotD/9703.htm#970311

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Stiffs.com
The Home Of The Celebrity Dead Pool
http://stiffs.com/

Zachariah Love, Greg Hicks and Drew Scharlatt
Hollywood, California, USA

SdJotD September 18, 1997
http://members.tripod.com/~SdJotD/9709.htm#970918

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The Charles Darwin Award
http://www.skyhawk.org/darwin.htm

Skyhawk Association, Inc.
Coronado, California, USA

SdJotD June 17, 1999
http://members.tripod.com/~SdJotD/1999/9906.htm#990617

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The Gallery of the Absurd
http://absurdgallery.com/

Derek Royal
Lafayette, Indiana, USA

SdJotD November 9, 1997
http://members.tripod.com/~SdJotD/9711.htm#971109

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The History of Plumbing
http://www.plumbingproducts.com/hisbabylon.html

PlumbingSupply.com
The PlumbingSupply Group
Chico, California, USA

SdJotD December 2, 1998
http://members.tripod.com/~SdJotD/1998/9812.htm#981202

PhoneSpell allows visitors to key in 6 to 10 digit telephone numbers to find out what an existing line spells. Looking for a specific mnemonic for a new telephone number? PhoneSpell can help get the right one for your business or organization provided the local telephone company has it available. Odd in its usefulness, PhoneSpell is such a handy tool that it should be a bookmark right beside other sites you look up telephone numbers with.

Stiffs.com is home to The Lee Atwater Invitational Dead Pool, a competition where participants guess who is going to kick the bucket next. Some years it's easy, other years it's not but either way it's fun. Visitors who are looking for a list of people who have died recently or during the past several years will appreciate Stiffs.com for that reason alone. Some may find the commentary on the deceased a bit sarcastic or cruel, but this is a head count not a popularity contest.

The Charles Darwin Award is another site which looks at dead people. This one is more about the sometimes idiotic ways certain individuals meet their demise. The fact that recipients failed to pass along the special genetic markers required to grow up a moron is celebrated at the site. Some of this material may be fabricated or extremely difficult to verify so do not believe everything you read here. Go ahead and laugh at it though.

The Gallery of the Absurd has pages of mysteriously strange images. The mystery lies more in what the designers and marketing geniuses where thinking when they came up with some of these products and advertisements than why they have their own pages at The Gallery of the Absurd. That becomes clear after the first couple you look at. Focus Groups are worth the extra expense on occasion and this is why.

The History of Plumbing is one of those things that we really do not spend much time thinking about and may not be a subject you have ever explored. As Vic from PlumbingProducts.com so aptly put it, "When you consider the contributions that plumbing and sanitation makes to the quality of our lives, then much of the other things that we do just seems so much less significant". From Babylon to the White House, with stops along the way, The History of Plumbing is a pretty deep subject.  (Back to top of page)


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Copyright 2000, Edward J. Pelegrino. All rights reserved.
Harpo, Trade and Service Marks used herein are the property of their respective owners.

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Updated February 25, 2000

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