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Los Angeles, California, USA
Photojournalist Catherine Leroy has come up with an excellent method for purchasing one of a kind garments and accessories created by top designers such as Armani, Chanel and Karl Lagerfeld. After noticing how new outfits are often worn only once during photo shoots, commercials or for a few scenes in a film, Ms. Leroy began securing these fashions for herself and for friends.
Instead of laying out thousand of dollars for an outfit, she was able to pick up these "used" pieces at a fraction of their true value. Piece Unique is now in a position to pass along these bargains, and such is the purpose of this good looking site.
Like designer clothing, this site isn't for everyone. For the woman looking to purchase something unique and special, this should prove to be a very pleasant experience. (Back to top of page)
Redmond, Washington, USA
Expedia was rolled out as part of the Microsoft Network in October of 1996, allowing computer users eighteen and older to bypass ticket counters and travel agents for flight information, reservations, ticket purchases, hotel rooms and car rentals in the USA and Canada. Expedia is available 24 Hours a day, 7 days a week and starts by having you fill out a short registration form via a secure link. From there you provide your travel plans by entering the cities and dates. Various options are then presented for the services requested, it's that easy. You can also sign up to receive e-mail messages about bargains available to and from your favorite cities. Other features are available as well; city maps, travel news and weather reports, two magazines and an international version due soon. The service is free, the rates are low, and with the Microsoft name on it you know it's delicious. (Back to top of page)
(970603) An Abridged History
of The United States
William M. Brinton
San Francisco, California, USA
Before looking at this site I was expecting little more than a fancy time-line. An Abridged History of The United States must be experienced to be believed, it is simply remarkable. (Back to top of page)
(970604) @EXIT501 - Western
The Stitchin' Post
Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA
@EXIT501 - Western Classics is a small site advertising several different things; The pencil artwork of New Mexico artist Daniel Franks offers a look at the modern day American West. Examples of his fine work can be seen and purchased here. Southwestern Designed Handbags offers handcrafted bags. The designs are of historical and contemporary American Indian patterns, all of which are quite handsome.
The next two other things which are not that common and make a visit worthwhile. They carry roses -- not normal roses by any stretch. These roses (available individually or in bouquets) are made from sea shells. Do you have any idea how difficult it must be to find sea shells in New Mexico? The final items (and by far the most unusual), are the 1996 National Finals Rodeo Limited Edition Collector Series Belt Buckles. Every December in Las Vegas, Nevada the rodeo world enjoys America's ultimate rodeo, and now you can too with your very own limited edition, serial numbered, commemorative belt buckle. Several styles and price ranges are represented in full color with secure ordering available along with a toll-free telephone number. Rodeo and American Indian links would make a nice addition to this site, but as far as commercial sites go it serves its purpose. Man, those buckles are sharp! (Back to top of page)
(970605) NAISMap2: Interactive
Mapping Tool (English)
NAISMap2 : un outil de cartographie interactif (French)
The National Atlas Information Service
Canada Centre for Mapping
Natural Resources Canada
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Part of the much larger SchoolNet, NAISMap2 is a layer-based mapping package allowing interactive selection and creation of Issue Maps of Canada. Based primarily on census data from 1996, NAISMap2 uses geographic and man-made features such as rivers, lakes, political boundaries and rail lines to help give reference points on the map you make. The entire country or specific regions may be viewed. Issues available range from socioeconomic topics to endangered species. Languages proved interesting with the varied populations of Canada as did endangered wetlands in the two seperate maps I looked at. Once the map is created you can learn more about the selected topic(s) by utilizing the links which provide additional facts and figures. NAISMap2 is an invaluable resource for anyone who would like to find out about the recent make-up of Canada. (Back to top of page)
(970606) Index Librorum
This site is a horn o' plenty for computer nerds yet contains things even the newest user will appreciate. Several screen savers for Windows are available as downloads, one in particular called Craters simulates the cratering of planets, others show the Earth and/or Moon from different locations in space. While connected you can see what parts of the planet or moon are bathed in daylight at that moment if such things interest you. The fun continues with public domain texts complete with original illustrations, resources for learning French, the U.S. Internal Revenue and Immigration and Nationality Codes, documents and programs which help to explain General Relativity, encryption utilities, programming tools and additional science and technology items written by Mr. Walker. Be certain to have a look at the e-mail he has received and how he replied. There is so much to see and do at this site it would be a shame not to take a look. (Back to top of page)
(970607) Sábado Gigante
http://dasein.gigante.com/ (Spanish only)
Miami, Florida, USA
Airing Saturday nights on the Univisión network (http://www.univision.net), Sábado Gigante has the highest ratings of any Spanish-language variety show on television. The four hour extravaganza combines humor, games, comedy skits and musical numbers into family entertainment for millions every week. Hosting the show is the legendary Don Francisco, a handsome and vibrant entertainer. Broadcast live, Francisco never misses a beat or joke during the four hours on the air. His popularity with the ladies is something to see, but the show is much more than him. Popular musical acts can have an overnight hit by playing only one song on the broadcast, the games have real people as contestants and even with its popularity Sábado Gigante is never too slick to look at.
Sábado Gigante premiered in August 1962 on Chilean television, an original creation of Mario Kreutzberger (Don Francisco) and moved to Miami in 1986, where the show now reaches 100 million viewers every week. This is the official site for the show and is in Spanish. A site that provides information about the program along with merchandize offers (including a board game!) and links to other sites of interest. If you are learning Spanish this might be a helpful visit and/or show to watch. (Back to top of page)
Creativision Publishing Corporation
Arlington, Texas, USA
FREEminder is a service that allows you to order an e-mail reminder of an important event a day or several weeks in advance. It's as simple as filling out a form which asks for your e-mail address, the information you would like to be reminded of and frequency/date of this message. The service is confidential according to Creativision Publishing Corporation who also sell the two line advertisements occasionally found attached to the bottom of their free reminders. While not a substitute for a calendar or planner, FREEminder is worth trying out at least once and may be just right for some people. (Back to top of page)
Ken Purcel and Bruce Gaston (Mr. Handman)
Northampton, Pennsylvania, USA
The origins of Manualism, the art of expelling air from cupped hands so as to create musical notes and other sounds probably dates back to the dawn of humanity. Working on the premise of a pre-human creature perched up in a tree, we find an individual bored to tears waiting for the vicious creature on the ground below to leave, wringing his hands together when sounds start to come out. Sure he was surprised, but imagine the look on the faces of the rest of the group when he catches up with them several days later and demonstrates his new invention.
Gaston and Purcell probably see that look all of the time. These two entertainers (Ken Purcell -- Vocals, keyboard, guitar, tambourine, other assorted percussion and Bruce Gaston (Mr. Handman) -- Violin and musical hands) have been performing their musical interpretations on television and radio for years. Live performances at the same theater Bruce Springsteen used to play in the early days of his career seem to be the duo's favorite venue. They are equally proud of the fact that CNN has featured them, spreading the Manualism message live around the world for the first time ever.
The web site is small but well done. There are several short WAV files available as downloads and when the new CD is released, they will most likely put up samples of that. This is a new site, just over 200 visits when I last saw it. In time it could become the premiere location for Manualism information in all the world. (Back to top of page)
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Washington, District of Columbia, USA
For information regarding all of the missions the National Aeronautics and Space Administration has going, this sub page of the NASA site (http://www.nasa.gov/) can't be beat. Available here are the headlines and press releases, links to home pages of ongoing projects as well as pointers to several newsgroups. For most individuals this is probably the best place to start exploring the many different agencies, images and reports available from America's Space Agency. The topical nature of this page almost guarantees something new every time you visit. (Back to top of page)
Winchester, Virginia, USA
These guys were something, maintaining high profile careers and raising children that in some cases were not even their own. Single dads from television shows going back several decades are honored at this fantastic site. You'll want to spend a fair amount of time here, the detail and lore will keep you entertained a while. Shows with single dads have always had more serious plots. There was laughter to be sure, but never knowing how your TV mom died floats a certain black cloud over a character and audience. These families were not of the "Nuclear" variety and the actors had fewer weak plots to work with. This aspect alone may be the strongest argument going for the quality of this genre -- to a certain degree it is dark comedy.
As Mr. O'Kane states at one point, these fellows were models for many single dads today. Beyond that, perhaps just a different example than we were exposed to in our own families and neighborhoods. Other TV dads had to share responsibilities (and lines) with the TV moms. The Single TV dad often had help from a surrogate mom but needed to be the final voice of authority. Rarely were serious issues explored in the happy ending shows like The Brady Bunch, making shows with single TV dads that much more realistic.
If you have the good fortune of being able to sit down with your own dad, ask him which TV dads he admired. Better yet, look at this site with him. Don't be too surprised to learn that he had help from Fred MacMurry that time you were nearly expelled from school. (Back to top of page)
Purchase, New York, USA
This site allows you to browse and order information from the United States Patent & Trademark Office through IBM. Originally used to facilitate their own lab searches, this server can provide patent descriptions and images for almost all patents going back the 27 years they can last, and not just those held by IBM. This may seem like an odd way to spend an hour or two, but say for example you have an idea that you would like to develop or maybe just ponder. With this tool you can bypass spending a small fortune with a patent attorney (at least initially) who probably end up telling you that someone else had the same idea and now holds the patent. Searching by number or keyword for patents back to 1971 or 1995 couldn't be easier with this server -- do we expect anything less from IBM? Look up patent 5595449 for a sample of the strange and interesting things awaiting you here. (Back to top of page)
There hasn't been much news out of Iceland lately, it's not because there's nothing going on though. The stories found here are more like the ones in small town newspapers and in the grand scheme of things might not be all that important, unless of course you live in Iceland. This site has more than just daily news however, Iceland Review is a quarterly magazine that has been published for nearly 35 years. You will find an electronic version of that magazine here and the photography alone is worth looking at. In addition, there are also business/advertising links along with the usual assortment of weather images, etc. During this time of year Iceland averages 21 hours of daylight, sounds like the makings for a good news day to me. (Back to top of page)
Walnut Creek, California, USA
Maxis is the company responsible for some of the best simulation games ever. It all started with SimCity in the mid 1980s and hasn't stopped yet. This site offers demonstration versions, program updates and helpful tips (cheats), new product information and an online catalog. Maxis posts clearance prices throughout the site on select titles and has a special (almost) free CD-ROM sampler available as well. The Sim line of products hold up better than any simulations and are highly recommended. (Back to top of page)
Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, USA
Hellman's/Best Foods have put up this site to sell mayonnaise. Visit the URL of Sandwich at Planet Sandwich for recipes, coupons, the obligatory mayonnaise food safety tips and even to download a mayo themed screensaver (Windows). The highlight of this site is the Send a Virtual Sandwich, it is the most unique use of this gimmick I've seen to date.
Well designed and easy to navigate, the added touch of animated jars of mayonnaise with human arms and legs dancing around lend a surreal look to this site. Grocery product sites are usually designed to be safe, this one is "off" just enough to be entertaining. (Back to top of page)
Berkeley, California, USA
The Shakespearean Insulter originated as the Shakespeare Insult Kit, created by J. Kolb, Dept. of English, UCLA. Mr. Seidel has adapted and improved it by adding insults from various works of Shakespeare and putting the whole thing up at this site. It's a very handy little insult generator for those of us who never took the time to commit these things to memory. In time, the insults start to read like fragments from Monty Python bits but that's all part of the fun.
For added enjoyment don't miss the link to Seidel's other pages, especially Zenith Poetry. By entering the first line of a poem you will be given the title and last three lines. This one came out on the very first try.
Site du Jour of the Day
thrashing in the throes of death they are unchained
But the baying was many miles away,
and our lives will be enlivened
(Back to top of page)
Idaho Falls, Idaho, USA
With all of the hero worship involved in the business of professional sports a negative site like this is good to see. Visitors to this site nominate a dubious achiever by sending e-mail to Mr. Wendt, the results are up the following week. This Week in Sports Loser of the Week will prove to be interesting if enough votes are cast and the site doesn't end up being a forum for a few regular contributors. A lot of future losers will be the usual list of pranksters and bad sports, but there is a chance decent analysis not found elsewhere will sneak in. The site itself is nicely laid out, you'll know from the top who the loser is when you visit. The list of near losers a little further down and pointers to sites about the loser are a nice touch, the banner ads are a bit much though. My vote for This Week in Sports Loser of the Week? Major League Baseball(TM) for not having a Commissioner yet. (Back to top of page)
United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Washington, District of Columbia, USA
The United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission was established by an Act of Congress in 1974, replacing The Atomic Energy Commission to watch over the various uses of nuclear energy including the one hundred commercial nuclear power plants in the USA. The Daily Events Report is just one small part of the large NRC site (http://www.nrc.gov/nrc.html), but being a daily report it is probably the most interesting page. Due to the popularity of The Simpsons on television, the image of Homer at the control panel of Springfield's nuclear power plant is one we all know well. This report is the real life version of what goes on at these plants. It isn't fair to compare the men and women who work hard at providing 20 percent of the electricity we use as a country to Homer Simpson, but when you see reports of guards sleeping on the job and positive drug tests, one has to wonder. The information here is of public record so have a look.
The Plant Status Report (http://www.nrc.gov/NRR/DAILY/psr.htm) can also be of interest. Consider this portion of the report from a plant in Michigan. I'm not a nuclear power plant expert, but maybe something isn't working correctly:
FERMI 2 REDUCED POWER TO LIMIT THE VIBRATION AT THE TACHOMETER COUPLING (Back to top of page)
Site maintained by
New York, New York, USA
"Lizzie Borden took an axe and gave her mother forty whacks. When she saw what she had done, she gave her father forty one."
This little rhyme is a piece of Americana that goes back over a hundred years to the gruesome murders of Lizzie's father and step-mother. When acquitted by a jury in 1892, Lizzie was already thirty two years old and not the little girl she is often made out to be. This site offers the curious information about spending a few nights in rooms used by family in the house where the murders took place. There are pointers here to other sites which provide additional history and lore, but this is a great place to start. This bed and breakfast inn may not the best place for a honeymoon stay though. According to a New York Times poll taken shortly after the sensational trial, nearly two thousand divorces where caused by husbands and wives arguing over Lizzie's level of guilt or innocence. (Back to top of page)
Sheridan C Mayo
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
Ms. Mayo is a member of The National University Caving Club at the Australian National University in Canberra and has built this very large site devoted to caving. Mainly for experienced cavers, this site is full of tips, trip reports and photographs by individuals in Australia and New Zealand and around the world. The Cave Page is a visual delight (the buttons alone are fantastic) and navigation couldn't be easier. What impressed me the most here were the links and pointers to other sites -- probably the largest collection of links pertaining to a single subject I have ever seen. These links are organized in a manner that never distracts or overwhelms. For a true look at the diverse nature of caves and the people who explore them this site should not be missed. (Back to top of page)
Chisinau, Republic of Moldova
The term "Crossover Hit" is used in the music business to describe a single that has become popular with a different audience than the artist usually has. On the odd occasion that a Country song would show up on the Dance chart it would be a crossover hit. Radio NOVA, in Chisinau, Republic of Moldova is broadcasting in stereo on the FM band 105.9MHz and by the look of their international top 50, they know all about crossover hits. Radio Program Directors concerned about keeping tight format restrictions could learn a thing or two here by looking at this diverse chart. This site is in English and lists information about the station which includes varied types of music and news. One of the featured programs being aired provides listeners translations of the international hits while another has history lessons about Rock 'n' Roll for those who missed it the first time, due to age or that whole Iron Curtain thing. (Back to top of page)
Spearman Media Entropy Group
Kirkland, Washington, USA
Backwards! uses a Common Gateway Interface (CGI) filter that allows you to view other web pages in reverse. The layout remains the same, but the text is, well... backwards. Images will also appear reversed, depending on the amount of traffic on the Backwards! server and file type. Enter the Universal Resource Locator (URL) of a site you wish to view and this site will load and display it for you. Think of the fun you can have with backwards web pages.
If you recognize the significance of smeg.com, you'll want to visit the Spearman Media Entropy Group home page (http://smeg.com/) for information and links pertaining to the British television show Red Dwarf. (Back to top of page)
The Dolphin Society
Torrance, California, USA, Earth
It's often very difficult with sites like this one to figure out how seriously such topics are taken by the people who put them up. How To Shape Shift To Dolphin Form is listed as "Shamanic fact and fiction" credited to and copyright secured by one J. G. Dolphin. The thought of transcending space, time has been around for ages, and the tradition continues here. While not completely understanding the process, the shift could be made if I only knew how. The planet sized space craft could be fun to fly around in dolphin form although the intermediate stage where humans get to be mermaids and mermen might be the best part of all because you still have thumbs. Maybe this is the reason Flipper was such a good actor on that old TV show. (Back to top of page)
Massapequa, New York, USA
Pat Conte is an interesting fellow who collects 78 RPM records. The sound recordings that he collects are interesting as well. Long before there was much interest for what is now known as World Music, Mr. Conte began collecting Ethnic recordings. Whether out of respect for vanishing traditions or simply for the music on the records (or both) his collection has grown to total over 50,000 records. These platters combined with other of music artifacts are now referred to as The Secret Museum of Mankind. A series of Compact Discs with select recordings from the collection are available on the Yazoo label and come highly recommended. The analog to digital conversion process Conte uses is unconventional but works quite well. Many of the 78s in his collection are one of a kind, thus making the CDs some of the most interesting reissues available; liner notes are well written and most importantly, the recordings are as authentic as they come. It is nice to see a web site up, Real Audio versions of selected tracks add to the experience. Find information about The Secret Museum of Mankind, Mr. Conte and the CD series at this new site which will doubtless be added to and improved upon on a continual basis. (Back to top of page)
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
There are many regional dialects of the English language, and none are as colorful as those found in the British Isles. Mr. Smith has complied an extensive list and put it up for the world to enjoy. As he explains, this list can be used to better understand British television shows or aid the traveler. This list goes beyond the general slang and phrases commonly used. It contains sections on Birmingham (where Mr. Smith is originally from), Newcastle, Liverpool, Manchester, Scotland, etc. in addition to an overview of famous British individuals. As a final touch, there's a list of television shows Mr. Smith used to watch as a child. This section alone should bring back fond memories to more than a few people who read SdJotD. (Back to top of page)
National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior
Keystone, South Dakota, USA
Site maintained by The State of South Dakota
"A monument's dimensions should be determined by the importance to civilization of the events commemorated... Let us place there, carved high, as close to heaven as we can, the words of our leaders, their faces, to show posterity what manner of men they were. Then breathe a prayer that these records will endure until the wind and the rain alone shall wear them away." - Sculptor Gutzon Borglum
The Mount Rushmore National Memorial, in the Black Hills of South Dakota is more than just a mountainside sculpture of four American Presidents. George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Teddy Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln are represented here as are their ideals and contributions to The United States of America. Being one of the most recognized monuments in the world, it is amazing how little the average person knows about the so called "Shrine of Democracy." The Official Mount Rushmore Home Page offers a detailed history of the monument, beautiful photographs and excellent tourist information pertaining to this American icon. Of course you know of it, but how much do you really know about it? (Back to top of page)
American Global Net, Inc.
Clearwater, Florida, USA
When Isaac Hayes was singing that song about Shaft and the women told him to shut his mouth, he was actually talking about Evel Knievel. No so much bad, but crazy. At least that's the way I've always heard that song. Evel Knievel performed so many daredevil stunts on motorcycles throughout the years that it's difficult not to make the association. His most famous was the Snake River Canyon jump with a rocket strapped to his back side. My friends and I couldn't wait to see him do it, we knew it was dangerous, he knew it was dangerous, but this was Evel Knievel. We would spend hours that Summer going over makeshift ramps on our bikes, emulating our hero's many successful and not so successful jumps. This influence on children has never escaped Mr. Knievel who advocates safety helmets for kids and adults. You'll know this site is the real thing when you see the items for sale. Evel Knievel's Bicycle Safety Helmet is here, along with photographs and other collectibles. According to the news section, Universal has secured the film rights for Evel's story, if Mr. Hayes somehow ends up on the soundtrack I'll know I'm not alone. (Back to top of page)
United States Federal Interagency Council on Statistical Policy
Washington, District of Columbia, USA
Fedstats: One Stop Shopping for Federal Statistics provides easy access to information from over seventy Federal Government agencies. The agencies represented here range from the Bureau of Economic Analysis to the US Geological Survey. Included are statistics from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Immigration and Naturalization Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention plus many other lesser known agencies, making this an extremely handy reference tool. A bookmark for sure. (Back to top of page)
Stanford, California, USA
Deb and Jen's Land O' Useless Facts is a necessary destination for trivia lovers everywhere. Mostly submitted by visitors to this site, the varied and often unusual nuggets should entertain most people. The information here is undocumented, but with additional research and verification it could be useful in any number of ways. Consider the following unconfirmed facts/opinions taken from this site:
The names of the three wise monkeys are: Mizaru: See no evil, Mikazaru: Hear no evil, and Mazaru: Speak no evil.
Shortest Intercontinental Commercial Flight in the world is from Gibraltar (Europe) to Tangier (Africa.) Distance 34 miles, flight time 20 minutes.
The reason firehouses have circular stairways is from the days of yore when the engines were pulled by horses. The horses were stabled on the ground floor and figured out how to walk up straight staircases.
Walt Disney named Mickey Mouse after Mickey Rooney, whose mother he dated for some time.
There are hundreds of similar entries on several pages as well as pointers to several other useless fact sites. Quick loading and well designed, Deb and Jen's Land O' Useless Facts is an outstanding site worth looking at. (Back to top of page)
Santa Cruz, California, USA
When Andy Warhol said that in the future everybody would be famous for fifteen minutes he must have known that his own fifteen minutes would stretch out that much longer. It was a brilliant thing to say for no other reason. Fifteen Minutes of Shame looks at the people who have become the fuel of tabloid television shows like Hard Copy. While it really isn't fair to make fun of such unfortunate and often stupid people, this site acts as a sort of Warhol timer ticking down the minutes these individuals have left in the public eye. Newer stories can be found in the category 11-15 Minutes, 6-10 Minutes indicates waning public or press interest and 1-5 Minutes is usually your last opportunity to get the dirt on that story you purposely avoided. Fifteen Minutes of Shame does this by showing a single photograph and brief description of why a person has been allowed time in the bright glow of television lights. We could be experiencing that future Warhol was talking about right now and boy howdy would it ever be a shame to miss. (Back to top of page)
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Copyright 1997 Edward J. Pelegrino. All rights reserved.
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This Archive has been opened times since July 22, 1997.