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(010105) Purdue News - May 2000
Predictions for 21st Century Engineering

http://news.uns.purdue.edu/html4ever/0005.Engineering.tips.html

Purdue News Service
Purdue University
West Lafayette, Indiana, USA

_________________________________

Predictions: Life In The 21st Century
http://www.nano.org.uk/prediction.htm

Liam McDougall
The Institute of Nanotechnology
Stirling, Scotland

_________________________________

Future Shock
Automotive Predictions For The Next 100 Years
http://www.lincoln-club.org/skid9.html

Joseph M. Sherlock
The Pacific Northwest Region of the Lincoln & Continental Owners Club
Battle Ground, Washington, USA

_________________________________

The 21st Century Shop
http://www.motorage.com/edindex/0998shop.htm

Tony Molla
Motor Age
Cahners Business Information
King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, USA

_________________________________

13 Paintball Predictions for the 21st Century
http://www.paintballresource.com/articles/amendel/predictions/predictions.shtml

Alan "SHAG" Mendel
Internet Paintball Resource
Berkeley Heights, New Jersey, USA

_________________________________

Paleontology in the 21st Century
(An International Senckenberg Conference and Workshop)
Reports and Recommendations
http://www.nhm.ac.uk/hosted_sites/paleonet/paleo21/

PaleoNet
Natural History Museum in London
London, England

University of California Museum of Paleontology
Berkeley, California, USA

_________________________________

“Introvators” of the 21st Century
http://usnewsclassroom.com/resources/activities/act991227.html

U.S. News Classroom
Summer Productions Inc.
Alexandria, Virginia, USA

U.S. News & World Report Inc.
New York, New York, USA

_________________________________

The Intelligent City And Emergency Management In The 21st Century
http://www.stalberg.net/cespub2.htm

Christian E. Stalberg
Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, USA

_________________________________

Social Science & Social Ethics for the 21st Century:
Here Instructed by Native American Social Wisdom

http://www.smu.edu/~twalker/

Theodore Walker, Jr.
Dallas, Texas, USA

_________________________________

An Illustrated Speculative Timeline of Future Technology and Social Change
http://kurellian.tripod.com/spint.html

J.R. Mooneyham
Hartford, Tennessee, USA

_________________________________

The Navy and Marine Corps in Regional Conflict in the 21st Century
http://bob.nap.edu/html/regional_conflict/index.html

National Academy Press
National Academy of Sciences
Washington, District of Columbia, USA

_________________________________

Land Combat in the 21st Century
http://www-tradoc.army.mil/text/landcmbt.htm

U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command
Fort Monroe, Virginia, USA

_________________________________

SPACECAST 2020
http://www.au.af.mil/Spacecast/Spacecast.html

Air Force 2025 Final Report
http://www.au.af.mil/au/2025/

United States Air Force University
Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, USA

_________________________________

Top Stories of Century? Think Trends, Panelists Say
http://www.freedomforum.org/professional/1999/8/11topstories.asp

Beverly Kees
The Freedom Forum
Arlington, Virginia, USA

_________________________________

CADDET Energy Efficiency
Car-sharing in Switzerland - 21st century mobility takes shape

http://www.caddet-ee.org/newsdesk/nw397_09.htm

Beat Strickler
Engineering Communication, Switzerland
Centre for the Analysis and Dissemination of Demonstrated Energy Technologies
CADDET Energy Efficiency Centre
Sittard, The Netherlands

_________________________________

Science Issues for the 21st Century
http://www.atse.org.au/publications/reports/science1.htm

Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

_________________________________

Prospects for Intellectual Property Research in China in the 21st Century
http://www.cpahkltd.com/Publications/Article/Ely.html

Li Ying
China Patent Agent (H.K.) Ltd.
Wanchai, Hong Kong

_________________________________

Intellectual Property In The 21st Century
http://www.softic.or.jp/eng/articles/nakayma.html

Nobuhiro Nakayama
Tokyo University
Software Information Center
Tokyo, Japan

_________________________________

WTEC Panel Report on Power Applications of Superconductivity in Japan and Germany
http://itri.loyola.edu/scpa/

International Technology Research Institute
Loyola College in Maryland
Baltimore, Maryland, USA

_________________________________

Water Resource Development In The 21st Century
http://www.climate.usu.edu/publications/21centur/21centur.htm

G. H. Hargreaves
International Irrigation Center
Dept. of Biological and Irrigation Engineering
Utah State University
Logan, Utah, USA

Happy New Year! This first episode of Site du Jour of the Day for the year 2001 explores 21 sites — each and every one of them has to do with the 21st Century. Some say that the beginning of this new century occurred on January 1, 2000, others insist that it was January 1, 2001. Personally, I believe that we have just entered the 21st Century this week. Either way, here we are and the next 100 (or 99) years should prove to be more exciting than the last set. This collection of pointers is eclectic to be sure and probably says more about my own view of the future than anything else. In that respect, it may be another list of predictions for the 21st Century in and of itself. The issues we will face are many, the subjects covered in these sites range from automobile repair to water management. Some of the views and opinions are quite serious while others are not. Take a couple of days to visit these sites and related sections — there is a lot to digest. You may not agree with or even like what some of these people have to say, but remember that these are simply educated guesses. Enjoy.  (Back to top of page)


(010106) The Green Lane: Top Weather Events of the 20th Century
http://www.ec.gc.ca/vote/20/index_e.htm

La Voie verte: Les phénomènes météorologiques les plus importants du 20e siècle
http://www.ec.gc.ca/vote/20/index_f.htm

Environment Canada
Government of Canada
Hull, Quebec, Canada

Canadian visitors to the Environment Canada site, The Green Lane (http://www.ec.gc.ca/) were asked to rate the three most important weather events of the 20th Century. The results were published in February 2000 and while the list reflects public opinion more than anything — Canada's January 1998 ice storm, the Dustbowl of the 1930s, and the sinking of the Titanic were the top three picks. More interesting here is the complete list of major Canadian weather events during the last century. The impact weather has on history is evident and the list is impressive if not unfortunate. A sampling is included below:

Princess Sophia Sinks off BC - October 23, 1918. A Canadian steamship carrying miners from Yukon and Alaska became stranded on Vanderbilt Reef. Rescuers were unable to remove the 268 passengers and 75 crewmen due to a strong northerly gale. The next day, weather conditions worsened and the ship sank killing all on board.

Great Lakes Freighter Hit by Lightning - June 26, 1930. Lightning struck the bow of the John B. King drillship in the St. Lawrence River, igniting a store of dynamite onboard. The explosion killed 30 people and injured 11 others.

Coldest Temperature in North America - February 3, 1947. The temperature in Snag, Yukon dipped to -63°C, establishing Canada's reputation for extreme cold.

First Person on Canadian Television - A Weatherperson! - September 8, 1954. Canadian television made its debut on this day, and meteorologist Percy Saltzman was the first person to appear on screen. Saltzman continued to present television weather for 22 years.

Although The Green Lane: Top Weather Events of the 20th Century is of particular interest to Canadians and Americans living near our common border, visitors from around the world should also find this site worth a look — especially those who live in warmer climates.  (Back to top of page)


(010107) 2001: A Space Schedule
http://space.com/news/space_schedule_010104.html

SPACE.com, Inc.
New York, New York, USA

This piece at SPACE.com (http://www.space.com/) provides a fairly loose schedule of event for space missions and natural occurrences in the coming year. Pointers to more detailed stories as well as related topics are included in the list. This page could come in useful for planning vacation time, especially if part of that vacation will be spent enjoying the great outdoors. Making 2001: A Space Schedule a bookmark, printing the page, or even saving it off to a local drive might be a good idea if it should go away for any reason in the near future. A commercial site, SPACE.com isn't nearly as technical as other space sites featured as Site du Jour of the Day in the past but that may not be a bad thing.  (Back to top of page)


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(010108) HotBraille - Free Braille Translation Mail Service
http://www.hotbraille.com/

HotBraille
Oakland, California, USA

Utilizing the United States Postal Service's E040 Free Matter for the Blind and Other Handicapped Persons (http://pe.usps.gov/text/dmm/e040.htm) program, HotBraille gives sighted and blind people a tool for sending free letters by post in Grade 1 Braille, Grade 2 / English Braille, and 17 other Braille languages. Registered users can compose and send messages of under 250 words which usually works out to 1 print page or 2 Braille pages. Visitors will find other useful information and resources here for learning Braille as well as a short history of the Braille system introduced in 1834 by Louis Braille. Messages can be mailed to international locations but use caution. The form in use as this is written only handles a two character state abbreviation as I discovered while attempting to send a test HotBraille message to Australia. The form choked on the postal abbreviation for New South Wales (NSW) and the submission wasn't accepted. Starting from the top was the only option because the form had completely cleared the message. A quote on the first page of this site from a HotBraille member sums it up quite nicely, "I just wanted to thank you for this service, and for allowing me to read my first Braille letter from my daughter. Although we are able to exchange email, a Braille letter is both more personal, and savable".  (Back to top of page)


(010109) VolunteerMatch
http://www.volunteermatch.org/

ImpactOnline, Inc.
San Francisco, California, USA

Around about this time of year, when people are still feeling all warm and fuzzy from the holidays, non-profit organizations are actively seeking out volunteers. It may be for a community clean-up, a call for mentors, or even a telethon for kids whose faces did freeze that way after countless warnings. VolunteerMatch is a free service that helps put organizations and individuals together. Search by interest or location using ZIP codes for one-time and ongoing need. Contact information, mission statements and descriptions of the duties required from volunteers are listed. In certain cases, the site for an organization is also listed. A lot of Site du Jour of the Day readers are involved in volunteer work and this site may be just the thing — either for posting or for finding opportunities.  (Back to top of page)


(010110) YO!Rides | Rideboard, hitchhiking, rideshare & carpool
http://www.yorides.com/

Daniel Franc
Praha, Czech Republic

Sharing rides probably goes back to ancient times, to the days when sharing a ride was as simple as finding others to walk along with. Like a giant global bulletin board, YO!Rides matches people up to share transportation. Kids who are struck with wanderlust and working stiffs interested in forming a local carpool are just two types of people who might find YO!Rides useful. A free service that uses the reach of the Internet to put people of similar destinations together, YO!Rides has guidelines available for listing or finding travel arrangements that are as varied as the individuals using the service. Safety is a big concern and shouldn't be ignored, suggestions to that end are included in a separate section here. While many of us prefer air travel for long distance travel, there would be a wonderful experience in riding across a country with someone who makes the trip on a regular basis. Not only would s/he be able to provide insight unlike that you could find on your own, but the company might be your only fare. This is a great idea.  (Back to top of page)


(010111) HomeFree
Home Exchange and Travel Companion Matching Services
http://www.homefree.com/

HomeFree Corporation
Seattle, Washington, USA

Using a fee based membership, HomeFree helps match up families and individuals who are interested in sharing abodes for vacations. Not limited to the traditional two week swap, HomeFree offers sixteen variations on the theme including a twist on the idea of exchange students — without the school part. Other possibilities include rooms for rent and a Hospitality Exchange whereby one party hosts the other and the favor is later returned. As an alternative to hotels and hostels, some of these arrangements cannot be beat. The possibilities are endless and even with the three different registration fee structures, the potential savings are grand. Available in English, Spanish, French, and (an eventual) Japanese language versions, HomeFree could be the answer for finding your next adventure anywhere in the world. There is also a great deal of free content here including travel tips and pointers.  (Back to top of page)


(010112) True Cook Plus+
http://www.truecookplus.com/

Microwave Science LLC
Norcross, Georgia, USA

True Cook Plus+ is the perfect solution for those of us who use the Popcorn button to cook almost everything in the microwave oven. Learning how to use the machine is probably easy enough, but with convenient pre-programmed buttons on the control panel, why bother. True Cook Plus+ takes consumers one step closer to instant cooking. Similar to the coding algorithm used by VCR manufactures, True Cook Plus+ uses a mere 6.2K of ROM to interpret ten million different instructions for the operation of the oven. Food manufactures put special True Cook Plus+ codes on their product packaging and the new ovens read the code and cook the food to perfection. Many companies and trade organizations have adopted this new standard and now it's up to consumers to adopt the idea and go out and buy new microwave ovens with True Cook Plus+ capabilities. We will be seeing a big push on the technology in the next couple of years, the Trademarks Cook With Trust, Microwave Cooking For The New Millennium, What Do You Want to Eat Today? (hmm… that one sounds vaguely familiar), and Codemaker will be everywhere. This is the site for the firm behind the new technology. Learn more about the software and hardware for your next microwave oven by visiting the True Cook Plus+ site. Thanks for the suggestion goes out to John Kitler who's Smart Systems' As Seen On TV and More (http://asseenontvandmore.com/) (SdJotD 000623) will probably carry microwave ovens bearing the True Cook Plus+ label once they start showing up on TV. Possibly sooner than that.  (Back to top of page)


(010113) The US Postal Service online auction opportunities on eBay
http://www.ebay.com/promo/usps.html

The US Postal Service
Washington, District of Columbia, USA

eBay, Inc.
San Jose, California, USA

In an attempt to open up the "Dead Letter" auctions held by their three Mail Recovery Centers (http://new.usps.com/cgi-bin/uspsbv/scripts/content.jsp?D=8489&B=-9761), the US Postal Service is giving eBay a spin. The limited time test gives consumers in the US a chance to bid on all sorts of items in five categories — Books, Collectibles, Movies, Music, and Everything Else. Some of the items are distressed, many of the listings are quantities of a specific item or assortments of similar items. If you have ever wondered what is sold at Postal auctions, this would be a chance to have a look. Although much of this material is unusual, it pales in comparison to Steven Frank's Disturbing Auctions (http://www.disturbingauctions.com/) (SdJotD 000814). Disturbing Auctions is a gallery of visitor submitted finds from the world of Internet auction sites.  (Back to top of page)


(010114) DRMS - Defense Reutilization and Marketing Service, Surplus Property, DRMO
http://www.drms.dla.mil/index.html

Defense Reutilization and Marketing Service
Battle Creek, Michigan, USA

As part of the Defense Logistics Agency (http://www.dla.mil/) of the US Department of Defense (http://www.defenselink.mil/), the Defense Reutilization and Marketing Service helps the US Military dispose of excess property. When a particular branch of the military has a surplus, it is first offered to the other branches. Next in line are federal agencies outside of the military, state and local governments, and then it is offered to certain for-profit and non-profit organizations. If the surplus goes unwanted it is at that point offered for sale to businesses and private citizens. The Defense Reutilization and Marketing Service facilitates the reutilization of billions of dollars worth of property every year, hundreds of millions worth are sold or auctioned to the public. Notices regarding these sales are available free of charge and are often marketed by private individuals through classified newspaper advertisements. Paying someone for this information is certainly one method of locating potential bargains, but a better way might be knowing where to find it free. The Defense Reutilization and Marketing Service site is a great place to learn how surplus sales work, where to find these sales, and with the catalogs available at the site, see just what is for sale. Not limited to US locations, surplus sales and auctions occur almost everywhere the US Military has a presence. Visitors can also access the details of winning bids — if for no other reason than to find out who now owns a couple of boxes of those legendary one hundred dollar hammers and the like.  (Back to top of page)


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(010115) LongLostPerfume.com
Famous Perfumes and Fragrances from the 1940s, 1950s, 1960s and 1970s
http://www.longlostperfume.com/

longlostperfume.com, Inc.
Evyan Perfumes, Inc.
St. James, New York, USA

With Valentine's Day roughly a month away, LongLostPerfume.com could turn you into a hero. Trends in every industry dictate product lines and while the business of cosmetics and perfume have classic brands, certain favorites no longer exist or have been dramatically changed over the years. LongLostPerfume.com has gone back to the Original Recipe Perfume formula journals and recreated or reformulated scents from decades past. Imagine the reaction you'll get from your spouse or significant other when you present a bottle of their long-lost perfume. This idea could be taken one step further by showing a parent or grandparent how much they mean to you, and that you remember a specific scent from your childhood. Imposter perfumes have a bad reputation in the perfume business and for good reason but the novelty and nostalgia included in the 27 varieties of the LongLostPerfume.com line go beyond pirated goods. In the case of 16 of the formulations, longlostperfume.com, Inc. is the current owner of the US trademarks. If only finding a bottle of Leeming-Paquins/Pfizer's Hai Karate cologne in either Regular, Lime, or Spice was this easy…

When you are done with LongLostPerfume.com, see a résumé of sorts for George Newall's in the Schoolhouse Rock Liner Notes page (http://www.rhino.com/Albums/72455lin.html) at the Rhino Records site (http://www.rhino.com/) (SdJotD 980909). It contains one of the oddest bits of popular culture trivia I've ever found by accident.  (Back to top of page)


(010116) Funderstanding Roller Coaster
http://www.funderstanding.com/k12/coaster/

Funderstanding
Livingston, New Jersey, USA

With this simple Java applet, visitors can modify and entertain themselves with a model roller coaster. It's not much, two hills and a loop, but the control panel adds just enough variation to keep it interesting. Change the height of either or both hills and the loop, add or subtract speed, mass and gravity then let the fun take off. In the office or at home, this could hold your attention for quite a while, with or without duration and speed scores being tracked. Designed to teach students about the physics involved in roller coasters, the help file is where the real learnin' comes from — the Funderstanding Roller Coaster is a nice little treat from the consulting firm Funderstanding (http://www.funderstanding.com/).  (Back to top of page)


(010117) What The Papers Say
your guide to all today's online newspapers
http://www.whatthepaperssay.co.uk/

Vigilante Publications
inframes.com ltd
Reading, Berkshire, England

Portals for headline news are common enough these days, but What The Papers Say is different enough to stand out from the rest. That the parent company is called inframes.com ltd will come as no surprise after a visit, the heavy use of browser frames makes this site work. By rounding up serious and not so serious stories, What The Papers Say comes close to the actual experience of reading a newspaper. But again, it's the frames that make the difference. In one frame you'll see an abstract in the basic newspaper style. This particular quote not only delivers the who, what, when, and where, but it proves once again that it's all fun and games until someone gets hurt…

16 January 2001

who: Circus performer Alain Jamet

what: Shoots his wife in the eye with crossbow in front of 5,000-strong crowd

where: Paris

when: Yesterday

snippet: Monsieur Jamet was attempting a "William Tell" act in which he was supposed to knock the apple off 39 year-old Cathy Jamet's head, reports The Evening Standard.

By selecting a pointer to the right of the synopsis, visitors will see the source story in a new window, neatly tucked between two What The Papers Say frames. In this case it's a story titled Circus act wife shot in the eye (http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/dynamic/news/story.html?in_review_id=351241) by Ian Sparks in Paris from the Associated Newspapers Ltd's This is London site (http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/). What The Papers Say is also available by free e-mail subscription.  (Back to top of page)


(010118) Kathy & Judy - wgnradio.com
http://wgnradio.com/shows/kathy_judy/index.html

Links & Information - Kathy & Judy
http://wgnradio.com/shows/kathy_judy/links.htm

Judy Markey and Kathy O'Malley
WGN Radio
Tribune Company
Chicago, Illinois, USA

On Tuesday night I was outside with the fancy AM/FM radio/flashlight/alarm with a solar panel and a dynamo for recharging the internal battery my wife gave me for Christmas. The weather conditions at the time were favorable for radio, and for a while WLL in New Orleans was coming in loud and clear. Much to my surprise, so was WGN Radio, AM 720. Listening to New Orleans is not all that difficult but receiving a signal from WGN in Chicago here at Fort Myers, Florida is unusual to say the least. WGN eventually drifted out and was replaced by one of the Spanish language stations more common in this part of the Americas.

A day or two earlier I was looking through reader suggestions, some of which go back months and years. WGN had been mentioned in a message from Steven Koppe and the two events meshed. In October, Steven suggested a site that was down the last time I tried to access it, but in the message there was a reference and the URL to WGN Radio's Girlfriends Morning show. The now defunct site was featured in April 2000 by Kathy & Judy on their 9am to noon show. The site for the radio show offers visitors a chance to listen to recorded segments and information about the co-hosts of the program. Current show topics and the sites that have come up in conversation are listed on the main page, but the real treasure of this site may well be the collection of annotated pointers going all of the way back to June of 1998 titled Links & Information (http://wgnradio.com/shows/kathy_judy/links.htm). Some of these pointers may only be of interest to folks living in and around Chicago, and some of the sites may no longer be up and running. If you enjoy reading Site du Jour of the Day you will probably appreciate the structure and the content of this site. Kathy & Judy share a friendship and history of working in Chicago media outlets and it shines at their site. As a rule I don't often feature sites like this full of pointers, but the subjects and sites explored by Judy Markey and Kathy O'Malley make this site a pleasure even if you never get a chance to listen to them on the radio.  (Back to top of page)


(010119) SatireWire | George W. Bush's Weblog
http://www.satirewire.com/weblog/bushblog.shtml

SatireWire
FNwire, LLC
Branford, Connecticut, USA

When results of the US Presidential Election were still up in the air, Site du Jour of the Day featured a couple of sites that poked fun at the then leading candidates (SdJotD 001124), (SdJotD 001125), (SdJotD 001129). A number of readers wrote to express strong opinions about the choices and a few even dropped their subscriptions. Still feeling the sting a little bit, or maybe the anticipation of another round of negative feedback for featuring this site let make it perfectly clear that if I were George W. Bush or a die-hard fan of George W. Bush I would find this ongoing piece of satire as offensive as that Rush Limbaugh (http://www.rushlimbaugh.com/) is funny. Never mind that George W. Bush is a public figure and is open to such pokes in a country that still respects free speech and opinion — SatireWire | George W. Bush's Weblog paints an unpleasant picture of our next President. It's bad enough that they make it sound like George W. Bush is cut from the same cloth as the stereotyped dumbass redneck, by including pointers to other sites that make fun of George W. Bush they only make it worse. Perhaps the media was right when they reported that Al Gore invented the Internet. It couldn't have been for any other purpose than to propagate this sort of filthy disrespect not suitable for children or otherwise sensitive adults. George W. Bush hasn't even been sworn into office yet and these deviants are making fun of him like there's no tomorrow. The only reason this site is featured is because SatireWire has come up with very funny stuff in the past. The SatireWire | Feature: Interview with the Search Engine (http://www.satirewire.com/features/satire-jeevesinterview.shtml) (SdJotD 000627) was really good, but this… Visit SatireWire | George W. Bush's Weblog and decide for yourself, then let the editors at SatireWire (http://www.satirewire.com) know exactly what you think. Although we really have no way of telling for sure, I'd bet that they wouldn't be treating Al Gore this way if he had won the election.  (Back to top of page)


(010120) "I Do Solemnly Swear...": Presidential Inaugurations
From Several Divisions of the Library of Congress and Other Institutions
http://lcweb2.loc.gov/ammem/pihtml/pihome.html

American Memory from the Library of Congress
The Library of Congress
Washington, District of Columbia, USA

Pulling together material from the Library of Congress and additional outside sources, this set of pages takes a comprehensive look at 62 presidential inaugurations. Starting with George Washington in 1789 right up to 1997 with William Jefferson Clinton. "I Do Solemnly Swear...": Presidential Inaugurations will ultimately include artifacts from the January 20, 2001 inauguration of George W. Bush. Historical text, photographs, sound, and video files mounted at American Memory from the Library of Congress (http://lcweb2.loc.gov/ammem/amhome.html) make up an integral part of this project. It's pointers to related sites (http://lcweb2.loc.gov/ammem/pihtml/pidivisions.html) which include The Avalon Project at the Yale Law School, New Haven, Connecticut (http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/presiden/inaug/inaug.htm) and Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies (http://inaugural.senate.gov/) that increases the value of this important resource.  (Back to top of page)


(010121) Panoramic Visions Photography
Official Photographer of the 54th Presidential Inaugural
http://www.inauguralphotographers.com/

Panoramic Visions Photography, Inc.
Washington, District of Columbia, USA

A new President and Vice President were sworn in to office on Saturday, January 20, 2001. All of the major television networks carried the morning's events live and hundreds of thousands of still pictures were made as well. Of all the cameras in use during the events leading up to and following the actual ceremony, only a few were "Official". While the tradition and ceremonies all belong to the American public, responsibility associated with making certain that every shot counts usually only goes to a single firm, this time around it was Panoramic Visions Photography, Inc.

The Panoramic Visions Photography site has images galore of the 54th Presidential Inaugural starting with the Opening Ceremony which was held at the Lincoln Memorial on January 18, 2001. Additional images will be added during the next few days, and although they are small the photographs afford a view not normally seen by regular folks. Panoramic Visions Photography, Inc. was also the Official Photographer for both the Democrats and the Republicans at their respective National Conventions in the year 2000 and portfolios from those events are available for browsing as well.  (Back to top of page)


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(010122) Marsette Vona: Boogie Bass Hack
http://www.ai.mit.edu/~vona/bass/bass.html

Marsette Vona
Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA

_________________________________

Teddy Ruxpin Frequently Asked Questions and Information
http://www.mindspring.com/~mathue/faq.html

Vaughn Hangartner
Dublin, California, USA

Marsette Vona has added yet another chapter to the wonderful world of making toys do things they weren't really intended to do. By figuring out how it worked and then by adding a couple of dollars worth of components to it, Marsette Vona now has a custom Boogie Bass toy. This hopped up version allows for an additional custom message to be added by the user as well as new choreography if desired. The Boogie Bass and similar novelty items are made from plastic and resemble game fish on the wrong side of the taxidermist. A motion sensor turns on the device which seems to magically bring the fish to life. Before you know it, the fish is singing a song. It's been reported that young children have been frightened silly by these things. Visit Marsette Vona: Boogie Bass Hack for a full report on the events surrounding the modification along with complete instructions, a parts list, and pointers to other sites with the same flavor. Thanks to TheREALJoeyP for the suggestion.

While on the subject of talking novelties, Vaughn Hangartner's Teddy Ruxpin Frequently Asked Questions and Information page has been mentioned in Site du Jour of the Day episodes twice before but bears yet another. Teddy Ruxpin was a clever animated toy who would read a story to you by virtue of a specially recorded Cassette tape. Not a true hack, but it's quite amusing to play other sorts of tapes through old Teddy — the Grateful Dead, the Ramones, and Screamin' Jay Hawkins (http://www.lastcallrecords.com/biographies/screamingjay.html) (SdJotD 000214) are all highly recommended. The Teddy Ruxpin Frequently Asked Questions and Information page is chock full of current and historical information which includes valuable technical data on the mechanics of Teddy his ilk.  (Back to top of page)


(010123) Yesterdayland - Popular Toys
http://www.yesterdayland.com/popopedia/shows/categories/toys/

a section at

Yesterdayland - Your Childhood Is Here
http://www.yesterdayland.com/

Russell Scott
Yesterdayland
Los Angeles, California, USA

My lovely wife Jenni and I were shopping at the Meg-A-Lo Mart on Sunday and as often happens on these little excursions, I wandered off by myself to look at stuff. Resigned to the fact that I really wasn't in the mood for an impulse purchase I started back to the departments where Jenni knows she can find me — and there it was! Hanging amidst the new hand-held electronic games was the object of a 22 year desire. In 1977, the Mattel toy company released a marvelous device. Primitive by today's standards, the Mattel Electronics Football game had crude circuitry, an array of red LEDs, and terribly exciting two-player football. Back in December I was talking about this game with an acquaintance who frequents garage sales on a regular basis. I'd asked him to keep an eye out for one of these items and to pick it up should he locate one. The auction sites and antique shops were managing to get $150 a piece for the Mattel Electronics Football game, and here it was on a peg at the Meg-A-Lo Mart for less than $13. Last year the manufacturer must have recognized the market for this dinosaur and reintroduced it. They had to re-tool the back of the unit, adding a screw on the cover of the battery compartment to comply with contemporary safety laws designed to make it harder for small kids who like to suck on storage batteries and like that. Beyond the changes to the back panel and a new sticker on the front identifying it as "Classic," every thing is the same as before including sounds and game play. Up until now I've never owned this toy, it was always friends who had them. One Christmas the Mattel Electronics Baseball game was at the top of my list, I toughed it out when an electric baseball game was the result. The vibrating field works for football games, but in this case using it for baseball was really foolish. It served well for a race track for the Hot Wheels though. Next visit to see my mom I'll have to see if it's still around and maybe tell her about the misunderstanding, or maybe not.

The Mattel Electronics Football game is just one of dozens of American toys featured at Yesterdayland. Each decade of the 20th Century is represented in the toy department and visitors will get a blast from the past that includes everything from Snakes and Ladders introduced in 1870 to the toys from the last decade that may some day fetch outrageous prices from adults yearning for lost youth. In fact that's what Yesterdayland is all about, topics covered include music, television, movies, and toys. Layout and navigation will get you right where you want to go. Nostalgia is the ticket and Yesterdayland has lots of it.  (Back to top of page)


(010124) Jump The Shark
Chronicling The Moments When TV Shows Go Downhill
http://www.jumptheshark.com/

Jon Hein
Jump The Shark, Inc.
Woodbury, New York, USA

Many of us have favorite television shows. Every season there's at least one winner that the networks just do not see the potential in and it ends up canceled right when the characters are developing and people have started tuning in. During the past half dozen years, I've noticed a trend when it comes to my personal favorites. If I really like a show, and it's usually been one show a season that I'll watch every episode in the series, that show will be inevitably be killed. It doesn't happen every time I've noticed — just when the show is of the quality to justify popping a tape in the VCR to record it. I don't tape them to save them, that's just an added plus. I tape them so I can watch them at my convenience, a habit I picked up while working during the hours when most people are sleeping. The cancellation of a favorite show is almost guaranteed I have found, if the only episode I am missing is the very first one. A couple of examples that are sorely missed include Pee Wee's Playhouse, Due South, and Cupid. More recent favorites that have survived would include King of The Hill (which I barely watch anymore), and Malcolm In The Middle — both shows that FOX hyped the heck out of, and that I have the first episodes of on tape. Until they do something really silly with either show, or Bobby and/or Dewey get drafted, they will probably last for some time to come. Other shows do not fare as well, and it's clear when it happens that the downward spiral is starting. I've noticed it occurring when the producers add additional sets to the familiar rather than throw extra money at the writers. Taking the cast on location can signify the beginning of the end as well. Jump The Shark means two things — it's the name of this site that explores the initial decline of television shows giving the key elements and magic moments, and it is named after the point of no return for one of the most popular shows ever to air on American television. Do remember the day Arthur Fonzarelli strapped on a pair of water skis and, well, jumped the shark? Visitors add to the content at this site by answering questions for one another, "What was the name of the band that sang the opening theme on Dance Fever?" and by suggesting their own thoughts on when a show went sour. Right now it's mostly stuff from the US, but that is changing as the amount of material increases. This site has better than tripled in size since the first week of December and it doesn't seem to be slowing down.  (Back to top of page)


(010125) Florida Museum of Natural History Ichthyology Department
http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/fish/

Florida Museum of Natural History
University of Florida
Gainesville, Florida, USA

With two major areas of focus, Tropical Fishes and Sharks, the Florida Museum of Natural History Ichthyology Department site has a great deal of information available. Sections of interest include Ichthyology Conservation and Environmental Issues in the News, the International Shark Attack File (ISAF) which records known encounters dating back to the 1500s, information and images pertaining to the research and collections at Gainesville, a section just for kids, and a boat load of pointers to other sites. Be sure to read about the ultra rare Megamouth Sharks on the Sharks page during your visit.  (Back to top of page)


(010126) Inventors Online Museum
Where the Magic of Invention Lives Online!
http://www.inventorsmuseum.com/

Erik Swanson
Washington, District of Columbia, USA

What did actor Steve McQueen and President Abraham Lincoln have in common? They each applied for and were granted patents for inventions. According to the Inventors Online Museum, Abraham Lincoln was the only US President to have a patent. Steve McQueen invented something that is used by millions of people around the world every day. The inventions in question both involved transportation and are featured along with a wide range of others at the Inventors Online Museum. Sponsored by the Alliance for American Innovation, a lobbying group for inventors, the Inventors Online Museum looks at the history and innovation of invention. Ideal for students and adults of all ages, there is a lot of interesting material here — including articles about Steve McQueen and Abraham Lincoln.  (Back to top of page)


(010127) Sport! Science@The Exploratorium
http://netra.exploratorium.edu/sports/index.html

The Exploratorium
San Francisco, California, USA

Hospitality in Tampa, Florida and surrounding communities is in full swing this weekend. Tampa is hosting Big Football Game XXXV (http://www.superbowlxxxv.org/) on Sunday and even though people aren't talking a great deal about science there's certainly going to be a lot of people getting lessons in chemistry, biology and thermodynamics. After dark temperatures on the Gulf Coast of Florida this week have been in the 30º-50º F range and if the conditions hold through Sunday television viewers around the world may witness football fans at Raymond James Stadium (http://www.raymondjames.com/stadium/) in the process of freezing their end-zones off. Raymond James Stadium is an open air facility and with the wind blowing, it can feel mighty cold in the cheaper seats. Especially if you are dressed for the classic Florida vacation which many of the visitors could be. Watching people experience hypothermia isn't all that pleasant but the science is simple — colder air temperatures force the body to generate more heat to maintain a core temperature. When the body can no longer keep up shivering starts, and then it gets worse. That's just some of the science in spectator sports.

Sport! Science@The Exploratorium passes on football, but does look at Baseball, Cycling, Hockey, and Skateboarding in a series of Sports Science pages. Streaming media, articles, and photographs help to explain the simple and not so simple scientific principles involved in everything from fastballs to slow ice. A mere fraction of the 10,000 pages at The Exploratorium (http://netra.exploratorium.edu/), Sport! Science@The Exploratorium is a handy site for both spectators and athletes who have an interest in how their favorite games work.  (Back to top of page)


(010128) My First Band:
Some of the Best Bands You Never Heard Of

http://www.myfirstband.com/

Keith Buckley and Dan Angott
Unicom Group, L.L.C.
Farmington Hills, Michigan, USA

This site serves two purposes — on one hand it's a solicitation for material for a book being put together by Keith Buckley and Dan Angott on the subject of Garage Bands. On the other, it's a fantastic collection of pointers to sites for musicians who were in such bands during the mid to late 1960s. Members of some of these outfits went on to fame and fortune while others probably sound as foul as they did when they were 15 years-old. Either way, it's an opportunity for Garage Band members to add to a much needed resource about this rich period in American Popular Music. A handy form is available for submitting all sorts of information about your band regardless of how it all turned out. Visitors to My First Band: Some of the Best Bands You Never Heard Of can see tributes to such memorable acts as The What Four, Mogan David and the Grapes of Wrath, King Solomon's Minds, and Hitchcock Railroad which included a guy named John Hiatt. Like Hiatt, several individuals in the 35 or so bands listed here have gone on to successful careers in music, see if you can find their names. Also worth looking at is the set of pointers related to the subject of Garage Bands (http://www.myfirstband.com/FirstBandLinks.htm). If you know of someone who might be interested in this site either as a fan or as a former Garage Band member, please let them know about My First Band: Some of the Best Bands You Never Heard Of.  (Back to top of page)


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(010129) TaxACT.com
Free Tax Software
http://www.taxact.com/

2nd Story Software, Inc.
Marion, Iowa, USA

Here in the US it's getting close to the time when individuals have the pleasure of paying the taxman. There are several software packages available commercially for preparing and filing tax returns. These products have suggested retail prices that run about $30, but can often be found with value added bundles or even rebates that bring the price down to just a couple of dollars. The product line at TaxACT.com starts out absolutely free. TaxACT Standard is a free Windows download that requires registration and includes the forms required for the average person to file. Electronic filing is available for a modest fee with the free version of the software. More sophisticated versions are available, TaxACT Deluxe, TaxACT Preparers Edition, and TaxACT States which includes the forms for the 43 United States that have an Income Tax. There is also the Ultimate TaxACT Bundle which includes the Deluxe and States versions and comes with one free electronic filing. The $19.95 price is comparable to other commercial versions that only allow Federal filing. Like the more popular software packages, TaxACT will cover any penalty the end user may encounter if the software miscalculates a return. The basic guarantee at TaxACT.com is included here —

"When you purchase the Deluxe version of TaxACT, you also get our Accuracy Guarantee. The Accuracy Guarantee states, if you are assessed a penalty due to a calculation error in TaxACT, we will pay the penalty. Refer to the TaxACT License Agreement found in the "About TaxACT" in on-line help for more details on the TaxACT Accuracy Guarantee (http://www.taxact.com/company/accuracydetail.html)".

This is not meant to serve as an endorsement for TaxACT or any other product of 2nd Story Software, Inc. I haven't used any of their software but if TaxACT is as good as is claimed by the publisher, free is certainly a great price for the basic version. For those who prefer the old-fashioned method of completing forms by hand, have a look at IRS -- The Digital Daily (http://www.irs.ustreas.gov/) (SdJotD 980107) for the latest news from the Internal Revenue Service plus every tax form (http://www.irs.ustreas.gov/forms_pubs/index.html) you might need to file a return for the years 1992 to 2000 in PDF form. Thanks to TheREALJoeyP for suggesting TaxACT.com.  (Back to top of page)


(010130) Railway Women in Wartime
http://business.virgin.net/artemis.agency/railway/

Helena Wojtczak
London, England

As the first woman to be employed by British Rail (http://www.britcities.com/) as a guard, Helena Wojtczak continues a tradition many have forgotten about. Women played an important part in keeping the trains running, especially during wartime. Frustrated by the lack of documentation on this subject, Helena Wojtczak set out to research and write about the history of women in the rail industry. Railway Women in Wartime is a work in progress that shares images and text from the periods surround the First and Second World Wars. A book will ultimately be published and will cover the history of women railway workers back to the year 1830. An interesting site maintained by a leading authority on the subject — a person it would seem, who really enjoys what she does for a living.  (Back to top of page)


(010131) Spike Systems
http://www.spikesys.com/

Christopher D. Coleman
Columbus, Ohio, USA

Spike Systems is a collection of five Railroad related sites maintained by Christopher D. Coleman. The centerpiece here is the Webville and Hypertext Railroad Company site. Established in September 1994, the W&H RR Co. explores Railroads, Railfanning, and Model Railroading through text, images, and multimedia files. Detail here is rich, the list of Railroad Songs (http://www.spikesys.com/Trains/songs.html) for example, is the most complete list of its kind that I have ever seen. Even if it is missing "Next Stop Brattleboro," written by Terry Adams and performed by NRBQ. The Spike Systems sites are classic resources that has more information than you might imagine. Christopher D. Coleman has done a fine job keeping the HTML code clean and fast loading here, a real pleasure to visit.  (Back to top of page)


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Copyright 2001, Edward J. Pelegrino. All rights reserved.
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Updated January 31, 2001

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