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Archives for

April 1997

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(970401) Rules of Baseball
http://www.majorleaguebaseball.com/library/rules.sml

@Bat
The Official Site Of Major League Baseball

It doesn't matter if you win or lose -- it's how you play the game.

So why then keep score? Score keeping makes the game competitive and presents a goal to strive for in wining. In the case of professional baseball it also means money. Teams that win fill the stands and make money. Baseball is big business and not unlike other industries, making money usually equals winning. In order to win you must play well and follow the rules, a little luck and good sportsmanship never hurt.

Rules Of Baseball is just part of the huge Official Site Of Major League Baseball(TM). This section in the Library contains the rules of the game last changed in 1996. With slight modification these guidelines can be used to play the game anywhere. Whether it be a bunch of kids at the school yard or adults playing in the coming summer evenings, anyone interested in the technical details of the game need look no further.

This site is an outstanding source of information about America's National Pastime where one can learn about how baseball is and has been played over the years. Although it is no substitute for watching two teams in action, this site offers a good look at the finer points of baseball and presents the official version of the game in all of its splendid glory.  (Back to top of page)


(970402) Project Gutenberg Home Page
ftp://sunsite.unc.edu/pub/docs/books/gutenberg/index.html

(a mirror site of)
Project Gutenberg Etext
Illinois Benedictine College
Lisle, Illinois, USA

Project Gutenberg was started by Michael Hart in 1971 with his manual entry of the US "Declaration of Independence" as partial repayment for $100,000,000 worth of free computer time. With the help of others he has not stopped since. Available through this File Transfer Protocol (FTP) site are countless "Plain Vanilla ASCII" (American Standard Code for Information Interchange) versions of public domain literature.

For example, if the folks at Disney Studios have had a successful movie with a public domain title you will most likely find it here in original form (people die in the story, etc.). Works by Shakespeare, Roget, Twain and many other authors are all available as downloads from sites throughout the world mirroring the main FTP site. Because illustrations are not included in these files (although a few do have companion image archives available), and they are not in "book fashion" you may have to format what you download a little in order to fully enjoy them. It is a fair trade-off for making these documents available to as many different types of machines and people as they are.

A recommended starting point for exploring this collection would be to download one of the many Etext catalogs. Search through the listing(s) with a word processor or text editor and begin your wish list by using the old "cut and paste" method of text editing to compile the titles and file names of the Etexts you find interesting into a new text file. Download using that new list as a reference.  (Back to top of page)


(970403) Juno: Free Internet E-mail Service
http://www.juno.com/

Juno Online Services, L.P.
D. E. Shaw & Co., L.P.

Juno is a free e-mail service available in the United States for use on machines operating Windows and Windows '95. In less than a year the folks at Juno have built a user base of over 1.5 million people. Through a controlled roll-out, the system has expanded along with demand, making connection to the Juno server using local access numbers quite easy and cost effective for the consumer. This cautious distribution of the stand alone e-mail package has made it necessary for Juno to only make a limited number of downloads of the software available on any given day, so you may need to check back at this site in order to get it.

Juno has minor limitations; file transfers are not allowed and you will see banner advertisements from time to time while using the software. This how Juno stays free so limitation might be too strong a term to use. It is also only available for Windows, although a Macintosh version can't be that far off.

Juno is ideal if you are looking for a secondary e-mail address that is as stable as getting regular mail at a Post Office Box, regardless of how many times you move around.

If you only have e-mail, frequently asked questions and the associated answers about Juno can be received by sending a blank message to (info@juno.com).  (Back to top of page)


(970404) Kite Aerial Photography Home Page
http://www.ced.berkeley.edu/~cris/kap/

Charles C. Benton
Berkeley, California, USA

This is probably the most enjoyable photography related site I have ever seen. Mr. Benton has been taking aerial photographs using a rig attached to a large kite, and has put his work up for all to see.

His images are from a perspective few of us ever get to experience. The subject mater is equally impressive, shot primarily in the San Francisco area during the past few years.

Page design here is outstanding, navigation options used are well thought out and the whole Do It Yourself aspect of a hobby like kite aerial photography make this site an absolute must see.  (Back to top of page)


(970405) The Time Service Dept. (Formerly The Directorate of Time)
http://tycho.usno.navy.mil/

U.S. Naval Observatory
Washington, District of Columbia, USA

SAVING TIME, SAVING ENERGY
Daylight Saving Time, It's History and Why We Use It

http://www.energy.ca.gov/daylightsaving.html

Bob Aldrich
California Energy Commission

Timezone Converter
http://poisson.ecse.rpi.edu/cgi-bin/tzconvert

Paul Stewart

Most locations in the United States are switching to Daylight Saving Time at 2am on Sunday by turning the clocks ahead one hour. The three sites listed above may help you with this change. The first gives the "Official" time in the United States from the U.S. Naval Observatory, the second is an informative article written by Bob Aldrich, Information Officer for the California Energy Commission and the third is a handy converter to use when you want to know what time it is somewhere else in the world at a given time or on a specific day. All are worth a look any time of year for the links alone.   (Back to top of page)


(970406) National Center for Accessible Media
http://www.boston.com/wgbh/ncam

NCAM / WGBH Educational Foundation
Boston, Massachusetts, USA

One of the many things I look for on SdJotD scouting missions is alternate text attached to images. In fact, it's the first thing most of the time as the browser in use is set to not download images. There is nothing like seeing thirty image icons on a splash page and no text whatsoever. To the average person using one of the more popular browsers this is certainly no big deal. But imagine for a minute you were using a text-only browser. Now take that thought one step further by closing your eyes. With your eyes still closed, picture your browser reading to you in a synthesized voice; "Image, image, image, image, image..." Blind and visually impaired individuals looking a page get to deal with this all of the time.

The National Center for Accessible Media is working to change this through programs like the Web Access Symbol. This symbol goes on the top of a page to indicate said page is coded for people with disabilities and has the alternate text "A globe, marked with a grid, tilts at an angle. A keyhole is cut into its surface." Guidelines for this and other programs for all types of media can be found at the NCAM site. These programs aid folks who are deaf and hard-of-hearing, blind and visually impaired, are low-literacy adults or have a different primary language than English. A disability shouldn't prevent an individual from enjoying the electronic media and technology most of us take for granted.

Before you visit this site, make a point of turning off the image downloading on your browser for no other reason than to see what you are missing.   (Back to top of page)


(970407) Compressed Air Glossary of Terms
http://www.impactrm.com/glossary/

Impact RM
Vaudreuil, Quebec, Canada

Compressed air --
Air under pressure greater than that of the atmosphere.

If you have ever found yourself reading a dictionary for pleasure, odds are good that you will enjoy this site. Impact RM is a firm in the air compressor business, and they have assembled a rather complete glossary of terms used to describe the machines and science associated with compressed air. An interest in physics is helpful here, but not absolutely necessary.

Some of the terms listed are used by the weather person on television every day and by browsing through this reference you may find yourself with a better understanding of a substance that is all around us.   (Back to top of page)


(970408) Radio Australia
http://www.abc.net.au/ra/default.htm

Australian Broadcasting Corporation
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Before there was the Internet or satellite television, the best single source for international news was short wave radio. For many people in remote areas this is still the only way to receive news and entertainment without a great deal of effort and expense. As with the Internet, English was established as the "official" language of world radio due mainly to the BBC in London, the ABC in Australia and Americans phoning in reports from around the globe.

What you will find at this site is news from the Pacific Rim to include Japan, China, Thailand, Australia and all points in between, written in plain good English. For those of us living in the Western Hemisphere this is the place for Australian/Pacific news and information. Not just because it originates in Australia, but because it is part of the much larger Australian Broadcasting Corporation and is non-commercial. This source of public information is similar to PBS and NPR here in the United States and incidentally, is also facing the woes of budget cuts brought on by the Federal government.

The news is updated frequently at this site, sometimes as often as every five minutes. When I was last looking at the Australian news section, a story about the resolution of a Federal court case over the ownership of intellectual property rights attached to the Aboriginal flag had just been posted. I would have never heard about this story with traditional newscasts in the USA, much less ever learned of the judgement. Indigenous artist Harold Thomas it was decided, does hold the copyright on the flag he created in 1971. The international coverage here is also unbiased and outstanding.

If you are interested in hearing these reports, ten minute (plus) Real Audio versions are available along with the schedules, programming information and short wave frequency listings for the world.  (Back to top of page)


(970409) Screen Savers a2z
http://www.sirius.com/~ratloaf/

Ratloaf

The growing collection of screen savers here contains shareware and freeware downloads for Mac, Windows 3.1, 95 and NT machines -- 628 of them at last count. While most of them are archived as Stuffit or Zip files, links are provided for you to learn more about how to work with compressed files and where to acquire the correct utility for the task. A few are self-extracting and will dissolve by running a simple program file. A Frequently Asked Questions page here provides information on how such utilities work.

Subject matter varies, and there is something for everyone. I liked the fact that consumer products such as candy and rum were represented here, and was impressed by the number of record company promotional screen savers featuring popular artists available here.

You should always be aware of the risk involved downloading computer files. Any file you download can contain a virus and that is also addressed here with links to sites providing virus prevention software.  (Back to top of page)


(970410) The automatic complaint-letter generator
http://www-csag.cs.uiuc.edu/individual/pakin/complaint

Scott Pakin
Urbana, Illinois, USA

This is to voice my dissatisfaction with Scott Pakin's values. Let me cut to the chase: Pakin's few positive contributions will continue to be overshadowed by his broader message of hate. Call me old-fashioned, but I disagree with his uncontrollable schemes. Pakin, do you feel no shame for what you've done? To be blunt, he gained ascendancy through monstrous abuse of his thralls. At first, he just wanted to have more impact on Earth's biological, geological, and chemical systems during our lifetime and our children's than all preceding human generations had together. Then, Pakin tried to pander to slaphappy jerks. Who knows what he'll do next? He whines about abusive vagabonds, yet Pakin enthusiastically supports insufferable degenerates. His little world is far from reality. Pakin, get a life! He has gone way too far with his no-compromise attitude. To put it crudely, he uses a rather shameless definition of "flocinauinihilipilification". Let me leave you with one last thought: Enough is enough.

Actually, enough isn't enough -- Something about this site must actually be written as it would be far too easy to just let a machine do all of the work (not to mention what it would do to that copyright notice at the end). The above paragraph was generated by Mr. Pakin's automatic complaint-letter generator and is a beautiful thing in and of itself. The concept is not unlike that behind the artificial intelligence program called Eliza which "responds" to your input in such a manner that the uninformed might think there is another human reading and responding to it. Be careful using this generator for anything but entertainment purposes though. It might seem like a good idea at the time, but there are better ways to let the boss know about people who waste company time reading e-mail. For instance, you could always run an automatic complaint-letter through that synthesizer software on your computer and leave voice mail for the entire management team.  (Back to top of page)


(970411) hillig's hobbies: collectibles, wearables and more!
- and - Hillig Implement Co., Inc. Home Page

http://www.hillig.com/

Hillig's Hobbies
Hillig Implement Co., Inc.
Long Prairie, Minnesota, USA

This commercial site offers the widest selection of official merchandize from the television show Mystery Science Theater 3000 and John Deere farm equipment, clothing and toys available in Long Prarie, Minnesota. Maybe even in the world!

They do not offer on-line transactions but provide a handy ordering form to download and mail back with your payment. Also listed is the phone number for catalog and ordering information and a link to the MST3K home page.  (Back to top of page)


(970412) The ELP Laser Turntable
http://www.finest1.com/laser/

Doug Smith
ELP Laser Turntable
Wichita, Kansas, USA

Q: How many grooves are there on a standard 12 inch, 33.3 rpm Long Playing vinyl phonograph record?

A: Two -- one on each side.

For years the phonograph was the mainstay of recorded music. As technologies developed, audio tape was introduced by Minnesota Manufacturing and Mining (3M) and eventually consumers had the Norelco cassette tape and rival format the 8-track. Gradually these formats started to gain on the popularity of phonograph records, and by the time the cassette won the tape race (sending 8-tracks to obscurity) they were out-selling records. This meant two things for the music industry: Increased profit in the form of less expensive production and distribution costs for the tapes and on a downside, the decline of sales for singles. The 7 inch, 45 rpm records that generally helped to sell the album by making a hit song more affordable for kids, thus creating additional interest and sales.

A new format needed to be introduced to help booster lagging sales and the Compact Disc format was developed my Phillips and others. Record companies saw huge profit margins with this wonder format for several years by re-releasing classic titles to those who could afford the hardware needed to play CDs. The industry was alive again, putting out title after title, sometimes several times due to the common mistake of using the old vinyl standard for equalization (mixing) and not optimized for the new (and unforgiving) digital method of reproduction.

Around this same time, the concept of the Laser Turntable was being shopped around to the record and hardware manufacturers who wanted nothing to do with it. Private funding and development was eventually found and today you can purchase this hand-made, home component for a mere US$19,800. This analog device uses a laser to read the section of the groove not touched by a standard diamond or sapphire stylus and it is said that the sound quality is closer to the master tapes than any digital format available. This may not be an item the average music fan has plans to rush out and get, but if you are responsible for archiving recordings where the only existing copies are on record (pre-1950) than the custom price may well be worth the quality achieved. The list of ELP Laser Turntable owners provided at this site include museums and Stevie Wonder. If he has one they must be good.

There will be new formats introduced for consumer audio it is certain, but for preserving a portion of history this unit probably will never be beat.

On a side note, Pink Floyd's album Dark Side Of The Moon was on the Billboard Top 100 Albums chart in excess of 510 weeks. I would speculate that one reason this happened was the popularity said title has with the so called "drug culture". Perhaps poor record handling skills ruined so many copies that they needed to be replaced quite often. The durability of the Compact Disc kept it on the charts that much longer and stronger until one day when everybody had a new "indestructible" copy and it slipped from the charts.  (Back to top of page)


(970413) The Research and Writings of Donna Higbee
http://users1.ee.net/pmason/DH_index.html

Donna Higbee, CHT
Santa Barbara, California, USA

Ms. Higbee is a hypnotherapist in Santa Barbara, California and the director of CEIT (Contact Encounters Investigation Team). This site contains articles on such topics as the phenomenon of human spontaneous involuntary invisibility, abductee brainwashing, UFO intervention during the early days of the cold war and circular patterns in grain fields known as crop circles.

What is interesting about these articles is the fact that they are littered with accounts from such credible witnesses as "an abductee in Kansas" and like that. The journals her articles have appeared in, and outside references cited all have the scientific credibility of The Weekly World News, the tabloid run on the old black and white presses used at one time to print The National Enquirer. In other words, they have a nice candy shell.

Stories like these continue to become more and more fantastic as the years go by, feeding into a collective of sorts whereby each new abduction report and research project becomes more fantastic than the last. Until hard evidence is provided, my money is on mental illness as the most viable explanation for such tales. Crop circles are more likely to be formed by people tugging railroad ties around in fields at night and not by blasts of microwave energy from extraterrestrial craft. I must admit that I did find the report of porcupines being crushed by whatever caused these formations quite interesting. The story of a father and daughter playing the piano with notes found in such a circle had me wondering if Richard Dreyfus wasn't there too.  (Back to top of page)


(970414) Time Capsule EXPO '70
http://depot.pana.net/Japan/Panasonic/no_sw_tc/

Matsushita Electric Industrial Company, Japan

At the World Exposition 1970 in Japan two time capsules were sealed. The first, to be opened in the year 2000 and then every 100 years thereafter is meant to be a control to check on the contents of the second. Both identical in construction and contents, the second is a little more far reaching than the first. It is to remain buried for 5,000 years!

The purpose of the project is to keep a record of life in Japan (and the world) during the year 1970 secure for people as far away from us as we are from the beginnings of recorded history. This site gives technical details pertaining to the research, composition and contents of these time capsules. Anyone who has ever passed a time capsule near the cornerstone of a building and wondered what it contains or who has thought about putting such a cultural record together should look at this site. The process of selecting items that were included in the EXPO '70 may give you ideas for your own time capsule. It is also an interesting look at what scholars and the people of Japan found important enough to include nearly 30 years ago, making this site a sort of open time capsule itself..  (Back to top of page)


(970415) 200 Cover Letters For Job Hunters
http://www.careerlab.com/letters/default.htm

William S. Frank
CareerLab
Englewood, Colorado, USA

CareerLab is a consulting firm for companies seeking employees and individuals looking to advance their own careers through training courses and seminars. This site contains the text and library of letters in Mr. Frank's 348 page book "200 Letters For Job Hunters" published by Ten Speed Press. The main emphasis is not on resume writing, but the documents used to get your resume looked at. Included are tips on getting a pay raise, securing references from past and present employers and self promotion. A cover letter is a crucial part of any job search whether you are looking for a new position with a current employer, have recently finished school and are starting a career, or find yourself between jobs. This site is an excellent stop, regardless of your current employment status.  (Back to top of page)


(970416) And The Bride Wore...
http://www.visi.com/~dheaton/bride/the_bride_wore.html

Dave Heaton
Minnesota, USA

To honor and obey -or- What the slaves of fashion will be wearing this June

A simple yet elegant site inspired by the wedding of a friend, And The Bride Wore... is a collection of some seriously ugly/silly gowns and accoutrements clipped from bridal catalogs and magazines. With captions almost as funny as the photographs themselves, this site is a classic example of content and graphics. One is left to wonder who in their right mind would buy and wear such horrible things. Sure the people all look happy here, they were being paid. Hopefully Mr. Heaton will continue to build on this site, adding the occasional hideous tuxedo and maybe even a few examples from the sewing pattern books found at fabric stores, in particular the ones that are so awful they only have colored pencil drawings.  (Back to top of page)


(970417) Latest Sea Surface Temperature
gopher://gopher.ssec.wisc.edu/II/mcidas.d/other.d/
Latest SST Map

Space Science and Engineering Center Gopher Server
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Madison, Wisconsin, USA

Perfectly Useless Software's Temperature Converter
http://www.wolfenet.com/~rpkyle/temp.html

Ryan Kyle
Lakewood, Washington, USA

Part of the Gopher server at the University of Wisconsin at Madison (gopher://gopher.ssec.wisc.edu/), the Sea Surface Temperature image displays a recent world view indicating Fahrenheit temperatures. While not terribly exciting on the first viewing, it becomes obvious after a couple of days how ocean temperatures around the world are constantly changing. The main server also has images taken by geostationary satellites, prepared under a NOAA/NASA grant. The most interesting of these is an infrared composite from the GOES-7, METEOSAT, and GMS satellites remapped into a Mollweide projection every 3 hours showing weather on a global scale.

The second site listed is Perfectly Useless Software's Temperature Converter, a nice tool for converting Fahrenheit to Celsius, Reaumur, Kelvin, or Rankine. It also works from Celsius to Fahrenheit, etc. and may come in handy as only the USA, Liberia and one other country (the name of which escapes me right now) use the Fahrenheit scale for such things.  (Back to top of page)


(970521) Italcementi Group
http://www.italcementi-group.com/

Italcementi Group
Bergamo, Italy

The Italcementi Group is a network of cement plants, quarries and ready-mixed concrete production facilities doing business in Italy. The site (text in Italian) is a work of art, a very sleek and stylized look at an industry not known for its glamour. Historically, Italian designers and artists have maintained a distinctive look and feel to their work and this is no different. Clean lines, interesting photographs and textures all combine into a well though out site. Not at all boring for an industrial site, and worth a visit regardless of how well you read Italian..  (Back to top of page)


(970522) The Carnivorous Plant FAQ v4.5
http://www.indirect.com/www/bazza/cps/faq/faq.html

Barry Meyers-Rice
Davis, California, USA

On the Saturday before Mother's Day I was at the local Target store and noticed the potted plants. From the looks of the display, a lot of people had purchased plants that afternoon. Out of the corner of my eye I noticed something very unusual there. Picking up the little cup I couldn't help but think out loud, "What an odd gift to give for Mother's Day" to which a voice responded "You'd be surprised at how many have sold." That startled me to the point of almost teaching the poor little Venus Fly Trap in my hand how quickly (and far) a human could lob a talking, carnivorous plant.

The clerk walked around from the other side of the rack and explained that they had sold over thirty during last few days before Mother's Day, I imagine mostly to younger kids who's mothers probably still love them anyway.

According to the label these particular Venus Fly Traps were nursery grown in North Carolina. They were starting to look bad but the three dollar price tag was tempting. Not that tempting though. I started wondering about how many different types of meat eating plants there are, and where they are from.

To say that The Carnivorous Plant FAQ v4.5 has all the information I was looking for would be an understatement, it contains thumbnail and full screen pictures along with well written descriptions of these comparatively rare plants, plus care and feeding tips galore. In addition to being the Editor of The Carnivorous Plant Newsletter, Barry Meyers-Rice has done an excellent job with this Frequently Asked Questions site. You'll stare in wonder but remember that it's OK to look, but don't ever put your finger near that thing! You might even come away from this site surprised by the fact that you knew more types of carnivorous plants than you thought you did.  (Back to top of page)


(970523) SUPER MARKETING: Ads from the comic books
http://www.steveconley.com/comicads.htm

Steve Conley
Arlington, Virginia, USA

At one time or another almost every one of us has been lured in by the advertisements in comic books or teen magazines promising FREE PRIZES for selling seeds, greeting cards, etc. or offering exotic animals as pets (all absolutely FREE). The only thing you paid for was shipping and handling. There were the monsters, dolls, submarines and my personal favorite -- the X-Ray Specs, which of course I never ordered. To this day I have yet to see a pair in real life.

SUPER MARKETING: Ads from the comic books brings a cross section of these brilliant gems to computer screens with scanned versions (in two sizes) and in certain cases, related links. A recent addition to the site is descriptions and recollections of what one would have received, all submitted by individuals who ordered such things as children. More people need to share their memories here and I urge you to visit if for no other reason than to relive (and possibly share) a magical part of your childhood whether it was during the '50s, '60s or early '70s. Maybe that way we can figure out how those darn X-Ray Specs worked without looking like dummies.  (Back to top of page)


(970524) Lost In The Translation
http://hearsay.simplenet.com/translation/index.htm

La Jolla, California, USA

English is such a complex language that it's no wonder people who do not speak it often make humorous mistakes while attempting to translate even the simplest of thoughts. Many signs put in place for tourists end up as part of the vacation slide show for this very reason. Lost in the Translation has all of the classic hospitality goofs plus hilarious quotes from packaging, advertising and motion pictures. Many of these have been around for years but a surprising number of them are fresh.

The text from a sign at a Swiss inn, "Special Today - no ice cream" and countless others like it make this site very entertaining. Because this site is mostly text it is quick loading, but part of the charm is missing without seeing the source material. It remains the best site of its kind I have ever seen and should be visited by people interested in linguistics or those simply looking for a good laugh.  (Back to top of page)


(970525) PediaNet
http://www.pedianet.com/index.html

PediaNet

PediaNet is more or less an on-line magazine site for parents. There are also special sections specifically geared toward medical professionals and children. Mainly pertaining to the care and well being of children, you will find information about product safety recalls, emergency medical alerts for different locations, general interest health and nutritional articles and developmental products for children with special needs. Two interesting features here include the Growth Development Projector, where the input of height, weight and age data will return an estimated adult height for a child, and a basic guide to prescription drugs. The graphics used here fit the pediatric theme, in particular the image map used to navigate from the main screen. A very nice site.

As with any such reference, a disclaimer is always present. PediaNet is no different: The information contained on this site is intended to supplement, but not to replace, other available sources of medical information and, in the case of a layperson, the advice of one’s personal physician.  (Back to top of page)


(970526) UExpress -- Calvin and Hobbes
http://www.uexpress.com/ups/comics/ch/

Universal Press Syndicate
Kansas City, Missouri, USA

On November 18, 1985 the world met Calvin and Hobbes through a syndicated comic strip by Bill Watterson. Calvin and Hobbes portrayed the daily adventures of a six year old boy and his tiger until ending on January 1, 1996. UExpress is in the process of re-releasing the original strips and has put them up for all to enjoy. Here you will find information about the characters and Watterson, letters to Watterson, the complete strips from the first year of syndication and links to fan pages. For those unfamiliar with Calvin and Hobbes, this is the ideal introduction to the work of one of the best daily cartoonists of the past decade. Watterson's illustrations and writing brought the action and art from comic books back into the daily syndicated strip in a way that is only now being imitated. An excellent site for young and old.  (Back to top of page)


(970527) The Bathrooms of Madison County
(A love story in seven short web pages)
http://www.nutscape.com/~fluxus/

Allen Bukoff and Janice Putman
Filmed on location, Madison County, Iowa, USA

Not unlike the tourists in the film Mystery Train who argue the merits of photographing hotel rooms while on Elvis pilgrimage, these folks decided to shoot public rest rooms. The photo essay revolves around a trip through Madison County, Iowa shortly after the release of the movie version of "The Bridges of...". There is nothing obscene in the images at this site, and the story told is both wholesome and charming. Bridge pictures were taken on the trip, but The Bathrooms of Madison County (A love story in seven short web pages) is just that; two people documenting a trip they will both remember for the rest of their lives. It's always nice to see a site like this. As silly as it seems, you'll get a better idea of a place by looking at the facilities than you ever will from the tourist attraction itself. Allen and Janice obviously enjoyed the trip so much that they decided to share their look at recent American culture with the world.  (Back to top of page)


(970528) The Amazing "Send Me A Dollar" Website
http://tt.net/send-me-a-dollar/welcome.html

The Amazing Site
Los Angeles, California, USA

With all of the get rich quick schemes floating around in Multi Level Marketing disguises it's nice to see somebody keeping their pyramid at the first level. This site asks you to send one dollar cash, and as of May 22, 1997 the total is $251.01, a sum the animated Graph-O-Meter proudly displays. No mailing lists or recipes to buy, no hungry or sick kids to look after, just a person who wants you to send a buck. For your dollar s/he will post something on The Message Board, a single page containing links to other sites and good wishes. Elsewhere there are links to currency exchange sites, other "send me money sites," etc., plus a Frequently Asked Questions page that explains the history of The Amazing "Send Me A Dollar" Website. A very clever idea as evidenced by what an independent record label has up on The Message Board -- "Probably the best advertising dollar we have ever spent."  (Back to top of page)


(970529) Why Cats Paint
http://www.netlink.co.nz/~monpa/index.html

Burton Silver, Heather Busch
maintained by Stephen Marshall and Deb Shepherd in association with the Museum of Non-Primate Art©
Wellington, New Zealand

I've never fully understood why people keep cats as pets. It's not that I don't like them, but as far as keeping animals in the house they certainly aren't my first choice. This site was interesting in that a potential commercial benefit might be had by keeping a few around. It seems that cats like to paint. Author and critic Burton Silver & photographer/curator Heather Busch have a book for sale with the same title as the site. "Why Cats Paint" covers work from "12 major cat artists and attempts to uncover their possible motivations."

Why Cats Paint has a different photograph on the main page every day, a photograph of a cat painting. The paintings are quite good (for cats) and are submitted by people from around the world. The well written how-to & FAQ pages offer explanations and theories about why cats paint. Links to the Museum of Non-Primate Art©, The Phillip Wood Gallery and related cat painting pages all combine to make for an unusual and well maintained site. Price tags on cat paintings here go into thousands of dollars and with that it's a wonder more cat owners haven't tapped into this source of income. Maybe that's why there's a book for sale.  (Back to top of page)


(970530) Trouser Press
http://trouserpress.com/

Ira Robbins
New York, New York, USA

Trouser Press first hit the stands in March 1974, and until 1984 was one of the best sources for intelligent music journalism. The spirit and insight have survived, spawning five editions of The Trouser Press Record Guide including the just-published Trouser Press Guide to '90s Rock. Now there is a web site.

Never claiming to be complete, trouserpress.com offers reviews of albums and artists in a searchable format. Discographies and bulletinboards are just two of the highlights of these pages. Readers can spend hours at a time looking up what the editors and other interested parties have to say about a particular artist or group. Mr. Robbins continues to write about the rock business in an illuminating column called Surface Noise. A bulletinboard provides feedback from readers and often contains remarks and comments from Mr. Robbins -- something nearly impossible to do when writing for a magazine.

I've disagreed with things in Trouser Press publications, but so much has been presented over the years one has to try hard not to pick up new information. I like this site a lot.  (Back to top of page)


(970531) Lonster's Virtual Manager
http://www.virtual-manager.com/index.html?

Lon Koenig and Sheila Kelly Zwettler
White Bear Lake, Minnesota, USA

"The executive paradigm eliminated the interdisciplinary decentralized partnerships so that we can conceive the actionable technologies."

"I want to see some projecting and I want to see it now."

Many people have a Dilbert calendar (http://www.unitedmedia.com/comics/dilbert/) or read the daily comic strip. Having the calendar at work has always seemed like the ultimate accolade for the Dilbert Message; If Management had a clue they wouldn't let you keep it there.

Lon Koenig and Illustrator Sheila Kelly Zwettler have been listening to the voice of Dilbert just enough to have come up with Lonster's Virtual Manager. With the drawing of a typical, middle-aged male manager tirelessly barking nuggets of wisdom like those above, this site could well be renamed "Management Rhetoric Lessons In A Box."

I found it difficult to stop clicking the reload button under my new teacher. After fifteen minutes of this behavior I feel confident enough to walk into the boss' office on Monday to ask for a few days off (paid of course). With this new vocabulary I'll explain that this study at home course has changed my life, and how valuable it will be to the rest of the team. It should get me a promotion or even a newly created position, won't that be sweet.  (Back to top of page)


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Copyright 1997 Edward J. Pelegrino. All rights reserved.
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