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For a wide selection of Music, Movies, and More


(010701) 3 Flags over jawjah Fireworks Show
http://d21c.com/jawjahboy/fireworks/fireworksnew.html
http://members.tripod.com/~jawjahboy/fireworks/fireworksnew.html

T. R. Landrum
Brookneal, Virginia, USA

During this first week of July there are several national celebrations to be held around the world. These events traditionally conclude with a display of fireworks and pyrotechnics. For folks with no local display, or a keen interest in fireworks 3 Flags over jawjah Fireworks Show could be just the thing. Fancy coding and fancy image files brings the show to life — an impressive display as far as fake fireworks shows go. Created on and optimized for the WebTV, 3 Flags over jawjah Fireworks Show should work out on other platforms too. Thanks to Jaymie for the dynamite suggestion. (Back to top of page)


(010702) Canada Day Poster Challenge 2001
Défi de l'Affiche de la Fête du Canada 2001

http://www.pch.gc.ca/affiche-poster/

Canadian Heritage
Government of Canada
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

As part of the annual Celebrate Canada! (http://www.pch.gc.ca/Canada/) festivities, the Celebrate Canada Committees choose poster designs from school children in Canada's provinces and territories. The theme for 2001 was Celebrating Canada's Diversity. Celebrate Canada! runs from June 21st, National Aboriginal Day to July 1st, Canada Day. These pages at the Canadian Heritage - Patrimoine canadien (http://www.pch.gc.ca/) site show the winning poster designs and provide information about the individuals they were created by. Details of the 2002 edition of the Canada Day Poster Challenge will be announced later this year at the site as well.

Also be sure to see the Web site of the Prime Minister of Canada / Site web du Premier ministre du Canada (http://www.pm.gc.ca/), in particular Prime Minister Jean Chrétien's Canada Day Address available as both text and streaming media. (Back to top of page)


(010703) Introduction to Raï Music of Algeria
http://inic.utexas.edu/menic/rai/

Center for Middle Eastern Studies
The University of Texas at Austin
Austin, Texas, USA

Gaining popularity from the 1930s on, Raï music came into its own after Algerian Independence which occurred 39 years ago today. With roots dating back to at least the 1500s, Raï gradually absorbed influences from other cultures to become what it is today. This page at the site for Center for Middle Eastern Studies (http://menic.utexas.edu/menic/) at The University of Texas at Austin includes a brief history of the various components that make up Raï along with several sound samples of the music. The struggle for Algerian Independence is a story that historians are still working out, and the current state of affairs in Algeria could fill volumes. Information on both subjects can be found by conducting a quick search using the name of the country (http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&safe=off&q=algeria) or through the pointers at the Algeria page at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies (http://menic.utexas.edu/menic/countries/algeria.html). (Back to top of page)


(010704) The Charters of Freedom
http://www.nara.gov/exhall/charters/

National Archives and Records Administration
Washington, District of Columbia, USA

The Rotunda of the National Archives will be closed for renovations starting July 5th, to reopen in 2003. During that time, The Charters of Freedom site will be the best place to see the original versions of The Declaration of Independence of the United States of America, The Constitution of the United States, and the The Bill of Rights. Complete with transcripts and historical information, this site also contains high resolution images of the documents that have been the cornerstone of our government for 225 years so far. The Charters of Freedom also has pointers to other sites and articles related to the physical documents, the people and events responsible for the creation of these documents, and the meaning of the words. (Back to top of page)


(010705) The Branded Hand
http://www.geocities.com/brandedhand/

John Hoh, Jr.
H2O Web Design Associates
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA

_________________________________

The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center
http://www.undergroundrailroad.org/

National Underground Railroad Freedom Center
Cincinnati, Ohio, USA

Growing up in an satellite city of Detroit, a town founded in 1824 by Quakers, there was a lot of history to take in. Farmington, Michigan lies about 30 miles from the heart of the city of Detroit and part of the local history had me stumped for several years. I wondered why the tunnels weren't open for tourists and more to the point, who would have built this Underground Railroad and kept it a secret — it would be dark in there even in the daytime so why stay up late and travel at night. When it was explained to me, that it really wasn't a railroad at all, I was still stumped. Why was there a system in place for moving people from the United States to freedom in Canada. Doesn't it say right there that "All men are created equal?". Slavery I later learned, was an uncomfortable part of American history and a key issue in the American Civil War.

Suggested by John Hoh, The Branded Hand takes a look at one person's participation in the Underground Railroad and a failed attempt to assist seven slaves in escaping to the Bahamas. In 1844 Jonathan Walker was brought to trial for his actions, convicted and branded. Visitors to this unfinished site will learn of the plan, trip, trial, and the legacy of Jonathan Walker.

The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center is relatively new and will ultimately have information pertaining to the historic struggle "…to abolish human enslavement and secure freedom for all people." Current projects include a call for family histories that feature slavery.

For more on this and related subjects, see the American Slave Narratives: An Online Anthology (http://xroads.virginia.edu/~hyper/wpa/wpahome.html) (SdJotD 001010). Maintained by the Corcoran Department of History at the University of Virginia at Charlottesville, this site contains interviews conducted in the 1920s and the 1930s as a Works Progress Administration project. The annotations by Bruce Fort help out the translation to HTML immensely, giving an overview of sorts to the entire project and at the same time, helping to explain the nuance often buried in these interviews. Photographs and sound files made at the time help enhance certain interviews as well! (Back to top of page)


(010706) The American Family Immigration History Center
http://www.ellisislandrecords.org/

The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, Inc.
New York, New York, USA

Suggested by TheREALJoeyP shortly before it went live, The American Family Immigration History Center documents a large portion of North American history. Between the years 1892 and 1924 more than 22 million people came through the Port of New York and Ellis Island from other places. Most of these people left family members behind in Europe, seeking a better life in the United States. The searchable database at the site for The American Family Immigration History Center allows visitors to search immigration records from the period and port of entry. Information is provided on the following where available:

Immigrant's given name
Immigrant's surname
Ethnicity
Last residence (town & country)
Date of Arrival
Age at Arrival
Gender
Marital Status
Ship of Travel
Port of Departure
Line number on manifest

Free registration is required to fully utilize the site, and the extras are galore with several pay options. Ellis Island holds a special place in American popular culture in that many of our ancestors arrived there. Computer stations set up at the American Family Immigration History Center on Ellis Island are tied in to the site allowing visitors to documents and photographs in order to record a family history on location and over the Internet. A very interesting site, and one that has been a long time in the making. (Back to top of page)


(010707) The P.O.W. Network
http://www.pownetwork.org/

Chuck Schantag
The P.O.W. Network
Skidmore, Missouri, USA

Back in June, just before Father's Day a message came through suggesting a site. The timing was off and featuring it at the time was decided against. The individual sending the message requested anonymity should the site be featured. Concern for family was the reason stated, but permission was granted to send as much of the original message as I saw fit. That message had to do with a family member, a pilot in Vietnam who…

"…was shot down and captured in the late '60s. For years we waited for word of him. Hanoi refused to release any information. The feeling of impotence was great. One small thing could be done. Prisoner of War bracelets were available for a small price, and these could be sold to family and friends, the proceeds going to VIVA.

I sold bracelets with my brother-in-law's name engraved on them to my classmates in high school. Anyone that wanted to help the cause could obtain and sell them.You could request a specific POW's name to be on them or you could let them send you a random selection. Almost 8 years after his capture, my brother-in-law's body was released.

This week my niece gave birth to a child. This niece was born after her father had been captured. I don't remember any conscious thought that led me to do so, but I typed her father's name into a search engine. I'd done this only two or three times since I got my first computer in 1998. I came up with little each time. That evening, with the news of my youngest grand-niece's birth still on my mind, I almost inadvertently did a search on my late brother-in-law's name and found the site mentioned above. A section of that site is titled 'Love Letters.' Owners of POW bracelets are seeking a connection to the family members of the POW bracelets they have in their possession, at least for the most part. Some seek information, or wish to deliver information they have gathered. In our case, I found a woman seeking to return a bracelet with my brother-in-law's name to our family, and to share information with us she's gathered in her quest to do so. She's corresponded with some of those with whom he served, and has saved anecdotal stories his fellow officers shared with her along the way. This is a wealth of information for my nieces and nephew and their children to cherish about their father and grandfather.

Another site I found is 'Scopes Any Day in History' (http://www.scopesys.com/anyday/), a site that lists 'Historic Events & Birthdates that occurred on a SELECTED day of the year'. If a bracelet owner wishes to do so, they may enter the date listed on the bracelet, the date the serviceman was lost, and learn more of that person's fate by scrolling down to that section.

Within the original site listed above is (http://www.pownetwork.org/Bracelet_history.htm) which details the history of the POW bracelet.

I hope that you think all of this information is worth sharing with your readers. Some families of lost servicemen have rebuilt their lives, and while holding that lost loved one in their hearts forever, will not wish to reopen old wounds."

For those who have experienced such a loss please pardon this intrusion. (Back to top of page)


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(010708) Censored: Wielding the Red Pen
http://www.lib.virginia.edu/exhibits/censored/

Melinda Baumann
Reference and Information Services Department
Alderman Library
The University of Virginia
Charlottesville, Virginia, USA

Maintained by Melinda Baumann, a reference librarian at the University of Virginia, Censored: Wielding the Red Pen looks at the history of censorship in the United States of America and around the world. Using documents from the collection at The University of Virginia and from other sources, this exhibit covers a great deal of ground. Censorship is the great dichotomy of free speech and Censored: Wielding the Red Pen takes on the subject with images, comparative passages and more. Art, literature, music, and science are a few of the subjects here. Censored: Wielding the Red Pen was suggested by a reader who's identity is information you really don't need. (Back to top of page)


(010709) Free-Ed.Net
Free Education on the Internet
http://www.free-ed.net/

Free-Ed, Ltd.
Columbus, Ohio, USA

One of the most unintentionally funny television commercials I've ever seen opened with a man and a woman sitting on a sofa staring intently at their own television set. The couple were dressed as though they were going out for the evening or otherwise on a date of some kind. The two things that stick in my mind the most about the commercial I'm not even clear on — looking at the camera the actor said something to the effect of, "We're watching college!". The correspondence school was mentioned several times, that's lost too. Distance learning has come along way in the past 20 years with cable television and the Internet. Free-Ed.net proof of that fact, with college level courses in over 120 disciplines available free. No certificates or diplomas are awarded, but for early high school age students not sure of which direction they want their education to go, or for folks too busy to enroll in local classes Free-Ed.net may be worth a look. Comprised of courses, tutorials, pointers to learning material at other sites, and original content there are no books to purchase and no fees to come up with. Free-Ed.Net is made up of the Colleges of Business & Economics, Career & Technology, Computer Science, Education, Engineering, Humanities, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, Test Preparation, and Medicine. The Free-Ed.Net Master Course Catalog (http://www.free-ed.net/catalog/) looks like that of a smaller community college. That visitors can take in the classes at their own pace is a big plus, the lack of accreditation may discourage some, but for those who only have a cursory interest in a subject Free-Ed.Net is perfect. The free part makes it even better. (Back to top of page)


(010710) Upromise - A Revolutionary College Savings Network
http://www.upromise.com/

Upromise Investments, Inc.
Brookline, Massachusetts, USA

Saving money for a college education just got easier with Upromise - A Revolutionary College Savings Network. Using an investment account in a Section 529 college savings plan offered by the brokerage firm of Upromise Investments, Inc. and maintained by the likes of Salomon Smith Barney (www.smithbarney.com/) or Fidelity Investments (www.fidelity.com/), parents and family members can contribute to the future education of a child. Federally tax-deferred, and then at the child's federal tax rate when used to pay for qualified higher education expenses, this type of account differs from the many pre-paid college funds offered by state governments. As an investment account there are risks involved, but Upromise - A Revolutionary College Savings Network takes a novel approach — funds are contributed every time you use one of the participating sponsors. These sponsors include established retailers, corporations and charge card companies. An oil company is currently offering a penny a gallon for every qualified gasoline purchase, an automobile company will contribute $150 with the purchase of a new vehicle, a long distance carrier will kick back 4% of the charges, and these are just a few examples. While such contributions seem small, they may be on items purchased as a matter of course every month and combined with the purchases of family members, every little bit helps. Administrative fees are paid for by over 80 sponsors so there are no charges for signing up. It will be interesting to see how well this program does over the long haul, but for consumers it could possibly be a nice investment program with little to no additional out of pocket expense. Again, this is an investment account and there is no guarantee that the funds will grow. Consult your financial advisor and other concerned parties before participating in any investment program and make yourself aware of other options and risks before participating. This is not intended to serve as an endorsement of Upromise - A Revolutionary College Savings Network, or for any of the investment plans or firms mentioned. It's worth a look though. (Back to top of page)


(010711) Raptor Education Foundation
http://www.usaref.org/

Raptor Education Foundation
Denver, Colorado, USA

Suggested by Site du Jour of the Day reader Reddog, the Raptor Education Foundation has been bringing rescued raptors to schools and other places since 1980 for the purpose of focusing attention on environmental issues. Large raptor populations have been wiped out by such perils as habitat loss and pesticides in the food chain during the last several decades. Eagles, falcons, harriers, hawks, kites, osprey, and owls have been given protected and/or endangered species status by federal and state governments because their numbers have dropped so drastically. The Raptor Education Foundation works primarily in the Rocky Mountain region of the US, but their site has information which may be useful for visitors around the world. A modest set of pointers helps to that end. Financially self-sustaining, the Raptor Education Foundation site contains a number of donation requests throughout including a raptor adoption program called Soaring. The Meet Our Raptors section has photographs and information about the birds used in the various programs, the growing section called Quick Raptor ID is quite handy as well. (Back to top of page)


(010712) Sears Modern Homes
http://www.searsmodernhomes.com/home.html

Sears, Roebuck and Co.
Hoffman Estates, Illinois, USA

Imagine that it's the late 1900s or early 1910s and you are ready to buy a home. You have a nice piece of land and a promising future for yourself and your family. At the time, you could draw up plans, buy the material, and hire a number of tradespeople to design and build the home of your dreams. Or, you could open up the brand new Book of Modern Homes and Building Plans from Sears, Roebuck and Company. There would be 22 styles, ranging in price from $650 to $2,500. In many cases, Sears, Roebuck and Company would carry the note for 5 to 15 years at 6% interest. All that was left for you to do was order the house, wait at the railroad station for the house as it arrived in unassembled pieces, and the put it together. For an additional charge Sears, Roebuck and Company would build the house and then there's the matter of adding indoor plumbing and electrical wiring if so desired. Between 1908 and 1940 more than 100,000 Sears Modern Homes were sold "not including cabins, cottages, garages, outhouses, and farm buildings," and many of them are still standing to this day.

The Sears Modern Homes site is maintained by the current day Sears, Roebuck and Co. (http://www.sears.com/) and has a history and explanation of the program, an image bank containing a majority of the models sold over the years, images of catalog pages listing the details and options available at the time of offering for each model, a guide to print reference material, and the Sears Modern Homes Registry for owners and enthusiasts. It's nice to see that Sears, Roebuck and Co. has a site dedicated to this part of their history. Thanks to TheREALJoeyP for suggesting this interesting site. (Back to top of page)


(010713) Old House Journal Online
http://www.oldhousejournal.com/

Hanley-Wood, LLC
Washington, District of Columbia, USA

Like sites for other print publications, Old House Journal Online has a handful new of articles every month from the print version. As the title states, Old House Journal is for readers who enjoy homes that are a little older than the rest. With articles on restoration, replacement parts, and a few unusual aspects of older homes. One article in particular, Steel Houses written by Mary Ellen Polson (http://www.oldhousejournal.com/magazine/1999/december/steel/index.asp) discusses the need for fast and cost effective building techniques and materials after the First and Second World Wars. A pull-quote reads, "Sometimes noisy, occasionally rusty, but exceptionally durable and livable nonetheless, steel houses sprang up in several forms during the decades surrounding World War II. For thousands they were the ferrous alternative for an affordable or obtainable house". It's pieces like this one that make the site a treasure trove of information and options for people looking to purchase their first old house, or for those who already find themselves in one. Pointers to additional sites maintained by Hanley-Wood, LLC and those from other concerns can come in handy. Of note is The Old House Journal Restoration Directory complete with contact information and site URLs. Listing goods and services from over 1,900 companies specializing in restoration of pre-1960s homes, this directory may be the only one you'll ever need for that never ending project otherwise known as an old house. (Back to top of page)


(010714) National Register of Historic Places, National Park Service
http://www.cr.nps.gov/nr/index.htm

National Register of Historic Places
National Park Service
United States Department of the Interior
Washington, District of Columbia, USA

The two previous episodes of Site du Jour of the Day, featuring Sears Modern Homes (http://www.searsmodernhomes.com/home.html) (SdJotD 010712), and Old House Journal Online (http://www.oldhousejournal.com/) (SdJotD 010713) generated a great deal of positive feedback from readers. Both sites contain information about the history and restoration of particular types of homes in the United States. It has been argued that Along with restoration of a structure comes the responsibility of preservation and nowhere is that more clear than this site for the National Register of Historic Places. Since it was first featured as Site du Jour of the Day on June 18, 1998 (SdJotD 980618), the National Register of Historic Places site has been renovated and expanded. The following is that original episode and for what it's worth, one of my favorites. The National Register of Historic Places covers the United States of America so it may be of limited use to those who live in other places.

Growing up, summer vacations with the family always meant taking what Mom and Dad called the "Scenic Routes." Every hundred or so miles led to another stop that bored my siblings and I out of our skulls. As my sense of history began to develop after about the age of twenty five I came to realize that my parents were not stopping for our immediate benefit. They wanted to see these places and things even if it required taking the whole family along for the ride. Much to their credit, it rubbed off on each of us and we now find ourselves visiting historical places — reading the historical markers at a bare minimum. At the age of ten or twelve if someone would have told me that I'd eventually be extolling the virtues of The National Register of Historic Places my mouth would have been washed out with more soap than you have in your house.

Authorized under the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Register has helped to preserve and protect important cultural and historic elements ranging from ballparks to battle fields. Administered by the National Park Service, over 73,000 such properties are listed. The National Register of Historic Places site contains information on how to get a listing, a searchable database of the Register, travel tips and itineraries published by the Register and the National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers plus teaching tools for Educators and parents. Special pages with images and detailed text about specific places on the Register are available and might be the most interesting part of the entire site.

Mom and Dad were right, we didn't know what was good for us. (Back to top of page)


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(010715) The Wonderful Skunk and Opossum Page
http://granicus.if.org/~firmiss/m-d/md-main.html

James Firmiss
Madison, Wisconsin, USA

The Wonderful Skunk and Opossum Page came into being due to a lack of information on either subject many years ago. While the site has not been updated for a while, the content is still pertinent for those curious about removing the odor of skunk from other animals or from property, folklore, and the often illegal practice of keeping a skunk or opossum as a pet. There is even a page at this site called Chemical Composition of Striped, Spotted, and Hog-Nosed Skunk Musk (http://granicus.if.org/~firmiss/m-d/skunk-chem.html). Listed are the partial findings of William Wood from the Department of Chemistry at Humbolt State University in Arcata, California. The Wonderful Skunk and Opossum Page deserves one of those "might be really useful some day" bookmarks. (Back to top of page)


(010716) BlinkerFluid.com
Stupid Links to Stupid Sites
http://www.blinkerfluid.com/

Mark Jenkins
Greenguy Marketing
Orchard Park, New York, USA

BlinkerFluid.com lists pointers to other sites that often defy description. Yet somehow these pointers tell potential visitors just about all they need to know — by simply including the name of the site. Take for example the following sites listed for June 2001 at BlinkerFluid.com: The Possum Cookbook (http://www2.msstate.edu/~brb1/possum.html), StarTrek On Ice (http://www.startrekonice.com/), and Who Got Fired (http://www.whogotfired.com/). It's clear that using the phrase "Stupid Links to Stupid Sites" is a kind way to collectively refer to many of these sites. But like that one kid back in the old neighborhood, just because they're stupid doesn't mean they ain't fun. (Back to top of page)


(010717) Max Headroom Squares
http://www.scifi.com/headroom/

Scifi LLC
The Sci-Fi Channel
USA Cable
New York, New York, USA

Part of SCIFI.COM (http://www.scifi.com/), this entertaining game combines the classic Tic-Tac-Toe television program with the star of the best show to ever run on Network 23. Max Headroom is of course in every square and that's only appropriate. There is even commentary in the form of audio samples from the host of Max Headroom Squares, none other than Max Headroom! Make it through a round and be treated to program guides and other surprises. (Back to top of page)


(010718) Bus Plunge!
http://www.busplunge.org

T Cross
San Francisco, California, USA

_________________________________

The Sunshine Skyway Collapse
http://www.rushw.com/skyway/

Rush Wickes
Blacksburg, Virginia, USA

Taking the art of analysis to the extreme, Bus Plunge! explores the unnatural but all too frequent phenomenon of passenger busses crashing. Not standard collisions, but the good old fashioned kind that those Hollywood folks can only dream of. Cliffs, bridges, and ferryboats — serious center of gravity stuff. Once isolated to developing countries where transportation options are still limited, the unfortunate Bus Plunge! can happen anywhere. In 1980 a Greyhound bus and the 23 passengers aboard were lost in Tampa Bay when the Sunshine Skyway was hit by a freighter. The Sunshine Skyway Collapse is a set of pages at Rush Wickes' rushw.com (http://www.rushw.com/). These pages give a detailed history of the bridge, the collapse, and to a certain extent, the Bus Plunge!. (Back to top of page)


(010719) Roughstock's History of Country Music
http://www.roughstock.com/history/

Roughstock Productions
Knox, Indiana, USA

A part of The Roughstock Network -- THE Country Site (http://www.roughstock.com/), Roughstock's History of Country Music takes visitors on a guided tour of the genre. Based on traditional forms, Country Music remains as popular as ever. Radio and records gave Country Music a huge boost in the early days as they do today. Visitors to Roughstock's History of Country Music will meet the stars of yesterday, developing artists and quite a few folks in between. Images, audio samples, and video clips compliment the well written articles here. The history of Country Music is very rich and even if it's not a particular favorite, with the influence Country Music has had on other forms of Popular Music a visit to Roughstock's History of Country Music could prove educational for many. (Back to top of page)


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Updated July 19, 2001

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