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July 1997

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(970701) Dwindling Empire
http://www.stardem.com/ap/world/0602empire.html

A page from The Star Democrat Online
http://www.stardem.com/

The Star Democrat
Easton, Maryland, USA

They British Government must dread the month of July. England lost her colonies in America, Canada (Happy Dominion... er Canada Day) and now Hong Kong, all in the first week of the month! Perhaps the Queen had a nice Birthday in spite of the fact that she gave away far more than she received. While watching the Hong Kong hand-off on live television, a few of us wondered how much of the Empire was left for the sun to set upon. All we could come up with were the British Virgin and Falkland Islands. That must really hurt.

The Star Democrat has given an Associated Press story excellent treatment at the online version of their daily newspaper. This page lists British colonies both former and current in a comprehensive layout not usually seen on web pages. You'll have to visit this site for a list of the territories left, but according to this article the remaining colonies only support 180,000 subjects. At least they still have the Spice Girls.  (Back to top of page)


(970702) ACDelco's Know Your Vehicle
http://www.apaa.org/delco/kyv/vob1.htm

ACDelco
Flint, Michigan, USA

ACDelco is a division of General Motors that manufactures factory installed and aftermarket parts such as spark plugs and air filters -- sixty five thousand different parts to be exact. ACDelco's Know Your Vehicle site is set up to offer a basic technical understanding of how your automobile works, and perhaps more importantly, to tell you which parts need changing, at what intervals and why they need replacing. Explanations used are straightforward and comprehensive, illustrations are simple and quick loading. The site never comes right out and says "you should buy our products because they are great," but does suggest you refer to the Owner's Manual for specific parts. This makes perfect sense, especially if you are driving a GM vehicle -- ACDelco parts will be listed in your GM manual. Oddly, ACDelco's Know Your Vehicle is hosted by the Automotive Parts and Accessories Association, a trade group which consists of manufacturers and resellers of automotive aftermarket parts based in Bethesda, Maryland, USA (http://www.apaa.org/). Even if the car you drive is not manufactured by GM, this site should prove to be a worthwhile visit. (Back to top of page)


(970703) Bert Is Evil !
http://www.fractalcow.com/bert/

Dino Ignacio
Fractal Cow Studio
Manila, Philippines

Ernie and Bert are two of the mainstays on the television show Sesame Street. Ernie is a short, round-headed, Chairman Moe haired, hamburger bun shaped head puppet with an obnoxious laugh. Bert is a pear-headed, tuft-o-hair, bulbous nosed, joker and cry baby who also has an irritating laugh. Reportedly named after two characters from the film It's A Wonderful Life, Ernie and Bert were created by the late Jim Henson of Muppets fame. The show is produced by The Children's Television Workshop (http://www.ctw.org/). Most of us know the characters and the show, but few are aware of the information Mr. Ignacio presents at this site. Using photographic evidence and interviews with residents on Sesame Street, Bert's true nature is revealed -- Bert is evil. Personally, I could not and would not believe it at first. After looking at the facts there is no question in my mind as to the validity of these claims and allegations. The details are gory and you will have to decide for yourself if you can face looking at this site. Doing the Pigeon takes on a whole new meaning now doesn't it?

It's a parody. Most children and some adults will not understand. Others will find it very amusing.  (Back to top of page)


(970704) CreatAbiliToys
http://www.toymuseum.com

CreatAbility
Miami, Florida, USA

Originally mailed February 20, 1997 (970220)

The nostalgia is galore at this shrine housing images of over 650 advertising icons from the past and present. This is the electronic version of the physical museum which has on display toys ranging from Mr. Bubble dolls to that thing from Zebra Stripe Gum. Well worth a visit to shock the kid in you into going out and buying a new set of tires or to simply ponder why Mrs. Butterworth looked so good through your tired little eyes every morning on pancake day.  (Back to top of page)


(970705) The Bowler's Web!
(formerly The Cyberspace Bowling Hall of Fame)
http://members.aol.com/bowlerweb/index.htm

Note: This is a new URL. The Bowler's Web! has been added to and improved upon since February.

Don Lawrence

Originally mailed February 27, 1997 (970227)

Bowling is one of those sports that people either really like or they don't. Before dismissing that broad generalization ask yourself "When was the last time I bowled?".

If you enjoy the sport enough to know exactly when you last bowled (and how well you did) this site and its links will probably end up as bookmarks in your browser.

If a vague recollection of your last bowling excursion comes to mind, you should visit this site but only if you remember having fun that night over at "Tuxedo Lanes".

If you can't stand the thought of bowling you should lighten up and try it again, but this time as an adult (they serve beer there you know).

The Bowler's Web! is maintained by Don Lawrence who enjoys the game and it shows through and through. Along with other things, he has put up the probabilities of knocking down certain pin combinations (that may surprise you) and scoring accomplishments for some of the greatest individuals the sport has ever seen. This site has many links and pages and there's even bowling trivia (in two parts) that will keep you entertained for hours, because after all, bowling is fun!  (Back to top of page)


(970706) Bullwnkl's Arcade Classic C-64 Fan Page
http://home.ptd.net/~faethor/c64class/c64class.htm

Originally mailed February 28, 1997 (970228)

Video games have come a very long way in the past fifteen years haven't they? Today it's a simple as going out to the Wal-Mart or Target, plunking down a couple of bucks and bringing home one of those fancy new Intendo 64 consoles that all the kids are so keen on these days. A few years ago you would have gone out and bought an IBM compatible only to hear a Macintosh user comment about how nice it was that you wanted a "game machine." Sure, you bought MYST and got a copy of DOOM but doesn't it feel like something is missing?

Harken back a little further, to the days when 64 meant something completely different. It meant three things; 1. How much memory your machine had, not in megabytes but kilobytes. 2. How many minutes you'd have to wait for a game to load onto your computer (from a cassette tape!) and 3. How many years we thought it would take to get a machine that would be able to run those really cool games from the amusement arcade. Yes indeed, the Commodore 64 was quite a computer and sure enough things changed quickly during its relatively short life-span. Popular arcade games such as Asteroids, Centipede, Defender, Dig Dug, Frogger, Joust, Omega Race, Space Invaders, and Xevious eventually all became available in versions for the C=64. Loading times were cut drastically with plug-in cartridges and the introduction of the 1541 5.25 inch floppy disk drive. In most cases the games were the same versions as those you would chunk quarter after quarter in the coin slot to play.

So why a site dedicated to these obsolete machines and the old games that they used to run? Because they were fun! That thing you may be missing while playing "Super Speedy Almost Real Looking Chase the Fake Things Around Part IX" games of today might be your imagination. The graphics were simpler then, you had to walk to school in the snow with no shoes because it was your brother's turn to wear them, and in spite of it all we were entertained by the little sprites dancing across a low(er) resolution screen.

Emulators have been written for IBM machines and the programs have been ported over so you can once again play these games. Sometimes the games may not work as well as they did and a refresher course in the operation of our old friend might be handy, but the games are here and with links to various sites with shareware emulators you should be on your way.

If you never owned a C=64 and instead spent every spare quarter at the arcade you should still visit Bullwnkl's Arcade Classic C-64 Fan Page. Be prepared for a blast from the past.   (Back to top of page)


(970707) Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE)
http://www.globe.gov/

NOAA National Geophysical Data Center
Boulder, Colorado, USA

Many television stations around the world have viewers who monitor weather conditions with rain gauges and call in their readings on a daily basis. The official statistics for a location are often from a single spot like an airport or university, so the additional data from weather watchers helps to round out the picture. GLOBE does this on a much larger scale. Using information from over four thousand schools in fifty eight countries, a core set of readings are compiled on a daily basis, giving a truly global view of such items as maximum temperatures, precipitation, etc. Students who participate in this program acquire first hand experience in the environmental sciences and often share these skills with others. The ability to see how the data they have contributed correlates with that from around the world may be the best part of the program. The graphs and maps are not as flashy as those on the usual weather sites, however the sheer volume and scope of reported conditions presented here makes for a most interesting look at the world around us.

After visiting the main site, readers in countries other than the USA may wish to look at GLOBE's list of international home pages. The list can be found at (http://globe.fsl.noaa.gov/INTL/Virtual.html?table).   (Back to top of page)


(970708) Mambo -- Caught In The Net 1997
http://www.mambo.com.au/mambo/index.html

Mambo Graphics Pty. Ltd.
Rushcutters Bay, New South Wales, Australia

Mambo sells surf wear in a country known for surfing. To say that Mambo is just another surf wear company would be like saying that the surfing in Australia is pretty good. Disgusted by the corporate face of the industry, a small group of rather sick individuals started designing and selling garments best described as odd. Most notorious of this group is one Reg Mombassa, a founding member of the Australian pop music sensation called Mental As Anything (http://www.amws.com.au/m/mentals/mentals-i.html). Those familiar with the Mentals already have a good idea what the images used on Mambo gear look like; Mr. Mombassa and the other guys in the band have been designing artwork used on their albums for years. The rest of the design staff at Mambo share a similar lack of taste and talent, making Mambo designs the freshest thing available in surf wear. Almost unheard of in North America, Mambo has an extensive line of quality designs under the original moniker, plus new numbers showing up almost daily as Mambo Goddess for the ladies and Mambo Watersports for folks who can tell time. The web site provides a wonderful look at the company and people who are Mambo. A very entertaining site.  (Back to top of page)


(970709) Beer Can Crafts' Home Page
http://members.aol.com/bccrafts/bcc.html

Masters
Bayonne, New Jersey, USA

This site isn't that great on technical merit, the pictures take a long time to load, the text is minimal and the site covers just a single subject -- beer can crafts. The only plans offered for sale right now are those for model ships. With a few simple hand tools, an empty case of twelve ounce aluminum beverage cans, the illustrated how-to manual being sold at this site and a whole lot of time on your hands, you too can create a marvelous clipper ship that is really quite nice.

The author of this page claims to have sold hundreds of these things during the past ten years. They make great projects for the kids and even better Christmas presents. Also available are completely assembled versions of three different ships, all at reasonable prices. This site has great potential, I can think of several different craft ideas that empty beer containers are perfect for, the first one that comes to mind is a snazzy vest I saw once, it was made from discarded pull tabs.  (Back to top of page)


(970710) Question Of the Day
http://www.qod.com/

AB Software
Norwood, Massachusetts, USA

Question Of the Day is an interactive site offering a new, reader submitted question every day. These are often garden variety trivia questions, but the fun starts when you guess the correct answer. Your name will be on the next page if you entered it before clicking one of the multiple choice radio buttons. Names are not all that show up on the winner page; statistics showing how others answered and text other than names appear. This is the most entertaining part of the site, to read what others have to say about the question that day, each other, etc. The answer page gets busy, so it might be wise to turn image viewing off on your browser before answering the question... you'll see why.  (Back to top of page)


(970711) Canadian Space Agency -- Agence spatiale canadienne
http://www.space.gc.ca/

Canadian Space Agency
Saint-Hubert, Quebec, Canada

The United States sending robots to Mars struck me as extremely ironic the other day. Russia's parking problem with MIR, their giant camper in space did as well. These two countries are the big boys on the block when it comes to outer space. While looking at sites detailing smaller programs, Canada's Space Agency site became an obvious choice for a Site du Jour of the Day listing. In 1962 Canada became the third country to have a satellite in space and ten years later, the first to have a commercial geostationary communications network operating. Canadian technology is even used on the US Space Shuttle Fleet, the Canadarm is used to retrieve satellites through the cargo bay of the shuttles. A visit to this site made it clear that Canada has a very advanced and productive space program. They may currently be doing some of the most interesting work in the world.  (Back to top of page)


(970712) Fruit-of-the-Day
http://www.cs.umd.edu/users/mike/fruit-of-the-day.html

Mike Steele
Madison, Wisconsin, USA

In the Frequently Asked Questions section of this site an interesting question is asked, how many different fruits can you name? Different varieties don't count, an orange is an orange. The folks at Fruit-of-the-Day have come up with just over one hundred, which isn't bad for computer scientists. A visit to this site provides a brief description and (sometimes) photograph of a randomly selected fruit. For information about subscribing to the e-mail version, send a message to (fotd-request@cs.umd.edu). Keep the subject blank and include the word "info" in message. An added bonus here is the fruit-related links page with pointers to reference and commercial sites about fruit.  (Back to top of page)


(970713) The Virtual Vivarium
http://www.esd113.wednet.edu/frogs/

Ms. Jouper's 5th Grade Class
Raymond, Washington, USA

The Virtual Vivarium is all about frogs and in its many pages and sections you will discover information about different frog species, environmental concerns, the anatomy of frogs and even frog games. The most charming part about this site has to be the art and illustrations -- these fifth graders are very talented and even though this site is filled with images it is quick loading. It's difficult not to learn at a site like this one no matter how old you are, these students and Ms. Jouper have made learning about frogs so much fun it's as easy as falling off a log.  (Back to top of page)


(970714) What's Inside Jeremy's Wallet
http://www.inforamp.net/~xeno/wallet/

Jeremy Wilson
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Mr. Wilson assembled this site together during a fit of work place boredom and updates it infrequently. New items are not added to his wallet very often so why should he bother. What's Inside Jeremy's Wallet is intentionally useless, but for anybody who has ever wondered what an Ontario driving license looks like or would like to know what a stranger carries around, this is the site. It's like finding a lost wallet with no money in it and then having the owner explain the significance of each item inside to you once it is returned. Fortunately, Mr. Wilson has a new job that he seems to enjoy so What's Inside Jeremy's Desk might be a long time away.  (Back to top of page)


(970715) Am I in PI?
http://www.facade.com/Fun/amiinpi/

Facade Market Concepts, Inc.
Encino, California, USA

There are many sites about the numeric oddity PI, some of them list it out incredibly far. Few are as interesting as Am I in PI? which checks to 1,254,543 digits for the first instance of a string you enter. Finding your Birthday is the intended search criteria here, but it works for other dates as well, and why not? July 15, 1997, entered as 71597 showed up at 34,868 into PI. The same date in the numbering system used for SdJotD (970715) showed up at 198,805. A very practical use for this novelty would be generating passwords or Personal Identification Numbers used with Automated Teller Machines. Facade Market Concepts, Inc. doesn't list this at their regular site (http://www.facade.com), but do provide free Tarot, Runes, I Ching, and Biorhythms readings/reports making the main site worth looking at as well.  (Back to top of page)


(970716) Funny Town
http://www.funnytown.com/

Funny Town
Buskirk, New York, USA

Funny Town is where those zany e-mail messages constantly being forwarded either start out or end up. There are humorous lists and stories around every turn, some you may have seen and others that you may not have seen. Recognizing the fact that this information is ideal for forwarding, the folks at Funny Town have installed FunEmail, making it possible to mail individual pieces directly from the page they are on. When it arrives, the e-mail message clearly states that somebody mailed it from the site and includes a sort of Funny Town postmark at the end of the message complete with the URL for the site. This feature alone makes visiting Funny Town worthwhile but it's the quality of the content will keep you coming back. (Back to top of page)


(970717) The Unofficial Sid & Marty Krofft Home Page
http://www.west.net/~popomatic/Krofft.html

David Holifield
Santa Barbara, California, USA

Sid & Marty Krofft have created so much in the world of entertainment that it would be difficult to imagine a world without their influence. The Brothers Krofft are probably best known for the Saturday morning television shows they created and produced: H.R. Pufnstuf, The Bugaloos, Lidsville, Sigmund & the Sea Monsters, Land of the Lost, Far Out Space Nuts, Lost Saucer, The Bay City Rollers Show and Wonderbug to name a few. Between 1969 and 1976, these fifth generation puppeteers captivated millions of us with programming unmatched in quality and creativity even to this day. The Unofficial Sid & Marty Krofft Home Page continues that tradition of craftsmanship and entertainment level with cast member interviews, photographs, episode guides, downloadable theme songs and much more. Fan sites like this one are a rare find, it is fast loading, good looking and well written while never getting overly nostalgic or sentimental. A fine supplement to the wonderful memories you may have of these shows.  (Back to top of page)


(970718) The Web In Pig Latin
http://voyager.cns.ohiou.edu/~jrantane/menu/pig.html

Josh Rantane
Athens, Ohio, USA

Here is another site that uses a Common Gateway Interface (CGI) filter to view other pages. As with !sdrawkcaB (http://smeg.com/backwards/) -- Site du Jour of the Day (970622), the layout of the page called up shows as intended, but this time the text is all converted to Pig Latin for you. Imagine looking at historical documents or transcripts of famous speeches in Pig Latin. No longer is there a need to tax your brain trying to figure out how to say something -- if it's out there you can get a translation using this site (most of the time). Mr. Rantane is a Computer Science student at Ohio University, hopefully he will find a home for this useful site after graduation. For a very strange demonstration of this tool, enter the URL for Gabe Lopez's The Book of Genesis in Pig Latin! (http://www.annex.com/glopez/bookof.htm) into The Web In Pig Latin and then stand back  (Back to top of page)


(970719) The Unicycle Page
http://www.unicycling.org/

Unicyclers Unlimited
Eagan, Minnesota, USA

When I hear the song from the TV show Sesame Street, that one about the people in your neighborhood, unicycles come to mind. The street where I lived as a kid had three or four families who were in a local unicycle club. They would be in parades and be on television several times a year. These were not small families either, and anywhere from two to five kids from each family rode. Every Summer for a few years it was not uncommon to see several young people riding up and down the street together on Schwinn or custom made unicycles. Many of the subjects and activities on The Unicycle Page occurred on a regular basis where I grew up, and of course almost all of the kids on the block tried at least once to master the fine art of riding a one wheel bike. If you can remember the thrill of riding a regular bicycle unassisted for the first time, imagine the feeling of riding on one wheel. While never members of the club, many of us developed skills we probably still have. According to this site there are ten unicycling skill levels, based on the divisions listed I can proudly say that I mastered Level 3. This site is interesting in same way the sport is, the participants are eager to offer an explanation, demonstration or lesson to the novice whenever possible. Unicycles are much more than a mode of transportation for juggling clowns, they are fun to watch and even more fun to ride as evidenced by the stories and photographs at this site. Heck, I may just have to finally go out and buy myself one, they are some fun.  (Back to top of page)


(970720) Foam Bath Fish Time
http://www.northcoast.com/savetz/fish/fishtime.cgi

Kevin Savetz
Humboldt County, California, USA

Foam Bath Fish Time is a simple site that shows the current time in Military format (24 hours). The numerals are displayed using scanned photographs of foam counting fish, the sort used to teach children how to count in the bath tub(?). Once the page loads, you select a time zone in North America or manually re-enter the URL using a variable that depends on your relationship to Greenwich Mean Time. Sure it's easier to look at your watch or a clock, but this is fun. The site also has links to a page that allows the user to play with Mr. Savetz' refrigerator magnets, leaving messages for all who visit, and pointers to other time related sites. Letters to Mr. Savetz are also here, they are ripe with fish puns making them mildly amusing and entertaining.  (Back to top of page)


(970721) The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Australia
http://www.dfat.gov.au/

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Barton, Australian Capital Territory, Australia

Acting as sort of a world wide Australian Chamber of Commerce, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade site offers links to travel and immigration information, economic development programs, education opportunities, environmental concerns and policies, United Nations reports and about eight zillion other things that are of interest to individuals and organizations both in Australia and around the world. One of the fastest loading Australian sites you will probably ever see, the sheer quantity of useful information here will keep you coming back again and again. Because of geographic isolation, much of Australian culture is filtered through movies and television, so by the time the rest of the world gets it a certain degree of authenticity is missing. This site may provide you with a nuts and bolts look at how the Australian Government sees the rest of the world, and more importantly how they wish to be perceived by others.  (Back to top of page)


(970722) Florida Museum of Natural History
http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/

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

When most people think of Florida it's usually vacations to the beaches or the big theme parks in Orlando. A short drive from the second most visited place in the world is a college town called Gainesville. Gainesville is home to The University of Florida and The Florida Museum of Natural History. The Museum is the largest of its kind in the Southern United States and worth visiting on your next trip. Florida has one of the richest fossil records in the world, and because much of the state remained uninhabitable until as recently as a hundred years ago, the research in Archaeology, Paleontology and Anthropology has proven highly productive. The content at this site is equally as rich, with photographs and text outlining current, future and past programs. A look at this site could help convince you that a trip to The Museum of Natural History is more fun than putting cash into the icy clutches of Uncle Walt.  (Back to top of page)


(970723) Radio Caroline
http://www.radiocaroline.co.uk/

Radio Caroline
London, England

This is the Official site for what is probably the most famous of all Pirate Radio stations to have ever existed. Scorned by some and adored by others, Radio Caroline first shook up the broadcasting industry in England and Northern Europe on Easter Sunday 1964. With the legendary words "This is Radio Caroline on 199, your all day music station," and a record by the Rolling Stones, a whole new type of entertainment was born. The founder of Radio Caroline, Ronan O'Rahilly put a ship with a studio and transmitter far enough out to sea to be in International waters thus annoying the folks at the BBC and Radio Luxembourg beyond words. This site houses photographs, an extremely detailed history of the station and Real Audio streams of the jingles and singles that helped to define Radio Caroline. You will also find CDs and cassettes for sale here along other assorted merchandize. For a look at an important and often neglected part of modern media history check out this site before it gets shut down.  (Back to top of page)


(970724) www.emailme-tee.com
http://www.emailme-tee.com/

Ad-Sert Group, Inc.
Los Angeles, California, USA

It's a simple enough idea, print up a bunch of cotton tee shirts with the words "E-MAIL ME" in large red capital letters on the front and send along an indelible marker so folks can write their own e-mail addresses on the backs. The best part is that there are people who will pay $24 a piece for these shirts. Probably just a little safer than writing your telephone number on your forehead, but not nearly as fun if a Sharpie is involved.  (Back to top of page)


(970725) Wormfarm.com
http://www.wormfarm.com/

Viscor Distribution Inc.
Maple Ridge, British Columbia, Canada

First came the Ant Farm, then the Roach Motel and now you can purchase the Australian made Can-O-Worms™. The fine folks at Viscor Distribution Inc. suggest you keep this sectional composting wonder under a constant temperature of about 70ºF which is conveniently enough room temperature. The sleek styling and pleasant rainforest scent both combine to add that missing design element to your home plus there's the added benefit of enough highly fertile worm castings and liquid run-off to keep your house plants happy and green the whole year round. Worm composting is a highly efficient method of converting yard and household waste into an excellent plant fertilizer that you would otherwise need to buy. It also reduces the amount you contribute to the problem of full land fills. Visit this site for information about starting your own worm farm and purchasing the Can-O-Worms™. The links to other worm sites and descriptions of the principles behind the product make for fine reading. If the special offers like the free tee shirt and starter bag of worms don't convince you, the classroom program just might. I didn't see a price tag for this item, but can you really put a price on your very own worm farm? Another thing not mentioned is the fact that once your farm reaches full production you needn't buy another package of bacon again.  (Back to top of page)


(970726) Milk. Where's Your Mustache?
http://www.whymilk.com/

National Fluid Milk Processor Promotion Board
Bozell Public Relations
Chicago, Illinois, USA

This site is part of the National Fluid Milk Processor Promotion Board's "Milk. Where's Your Mustache?" Campaign. The advertising consists of celebrities sporting that oh so charming "I can't drink milk without getting it all over my face" look in print and television spots, and now at this site. As if in a sort of friendly competition with the American Dairy Association's "Got Milk?" series, this site turns blatant product propaganda into something fun and as wholesome as, well... milk.

You can download a Windows screensaver, enter contests and sign up for free stuff after learning about the different flavors of dairy milk. There is even a database search toy called the Milk Mystic that is either a poor attempt at surrealism or just not smart enough for Mystic status. When asked the somewhat unconventional question "How long does it take for milk to get from teat to table?" The Milk Mystic answered "Do you really need me to answer that?" Even with the question simplified it had no idea what I was asking. In a last ditch attempt to find an answer to my question I called 1-800-WHY-MILK (1-800-949-6455) "For more surprising facts about milk" which is "open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week." It was just a machine and I left no message. Nonetheless, Milk Mystic is entertaining the first few times you try it and is probably the perfect speed for the milk industry's biggest demographic -- children. This site is otherwise well done, and should be seen at least once if you recognize the "Milk. Where's Your Mustache?" tag line.  (Back to top of page)


(970727) American Naive Paintings
http://www.williams.edu:803/WCMA/exhibitions/naive/index.html

Williams College Museum of Art
Williamstown, Massachusetts, USA

On loan from the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., this collection of thirty five paintings will remain on exhibit at the Williams College Museum of Art through November 2, 1997. Based on other pages at this site, the electronic version should remain indefinitely. American Naive Paintings is a sampling of folk or primitive artwork from the period between the late 1700s and the end of the American Civil War. Portraits, landscapes, historical events and most impressive, views of daily middle-class American life are captured on everything from canvas to cardboard and can be seen along with a detailed analysis. Such paintings were created at a point in history where photography was about to be introduced, and the American public began to find things to do with the new luxury of disposable income. Many of the artists will probably remain unidentified, but look for works by Edward Hicks and Erastus Salisbury Field as a starting point for exploring this unique look at everyday life in the United States from decades past.  (Back to top of page)


(970728) This Week In American Indian History
http://members.tripod.com/~PHILKON/index.html

Phil Konstantin
San Diego, California, USA

Phil Konstantin is a member of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, his many hours of research on this project show in the quality of this site. As is the case when many cultures are involved, the method of tracking the passing of time varies immensely. When written language is non-existent for a particular culture, their historical events are that much more difficult to verify and date. Based on the information available to him, Phil Konstantin has assembled what can be considered a site that is the best of its kind. The amount of effort and attention to detail in the weekly listings combined with explanations of various calendars and words used by tribes make this a fantastic place for both the casual visitor and serious student alike.  (Back to top of page)


(970729) Melbourne Museum of Printing
http://yarra.vicnet.net.au/~typo/

Australian Type Company
Footscray, Victoria, Australia

_________________________________

Monkeys typing Shakespeare
http://bronte.cs.utas.edu.au/monkey/

Lee J. Arnould
Kingston, Tasmania

Whenever I see one of those old wooden box things with all of the compartments on the wall of a house, filled with trinkets and the obligatory miniature Coke bottle it makes me laugh. Here is a piece of history bolted to the wall, holding trivial items its current owner finds of interest. If this box could talk, or better yet if it was able to repeat the swear words used by all of the Printer's Devils it has known... These boxes are type cases, the capital letters would be put back into the upper portion and the small ones in the larger lower spaces. The young man or woman doing this was often an apprentice, tearing down a completed job or worse, resetting half a page because a typographical error was missed and a deadline was getting closer.

Much of the craftsmanship of typesetting and printing has been lost with computers and Desktop Publishing. In this age of WYSIWYG -- ¡pronounced "what you see is what you get"! page layout programs and xerographic duplication, people are more concerned with design and image and less about the actual letter forms. It's certainly more productive now than it was back in the old wooden type days, almost to a fault. The old adage about giving a monkey a typewriter comes to mind when I see a flyer or advertisement in some hideous type face, maybe in all caps, maybe not. Monkeys typing Shakespeare is that theory in practice. Mr. Arnould has programmed a computer to simulate a monkey at a typewriter attempting to duplicate a famous line from an old play. When the monkey gets closer, the page is updated. A look once a week is fun and the rest of the site is also worth visiting (http://bronte.cs.utas.edu.au/).

The Melbourne Museum of Printing is part of the Australian Type Company, the last typefoundry in Australia. In an effort to preserve the collection and business, Michael Isaachsen turned the outfit into a non-profit museum. Classes in typography and other arts are offered as well as participation in actual commercial production runs. Not afraid of the future, they also work with computers and other modern techniques but the focus of the museum and shop remains hot and movable type. If you have no idea why the space between lines of type is called "leading" look at this site immediately. Should you have that knowledge, a visit to this site will reconfirm exactly why we use computers most of the time but might leave you with the desire to set type by hand again.  (Back to top of page)


(970730) Country Music Miniature Donkeys
http://www.minidonk.com/

Rhetta McAlister
Houston, Texas, USA

National Champion and Herd Sire George Jones is just the beginning of these miniature donkeys with the same names as living and dead Country music stars. See a photograph of Willie Nelson pulling a buggy and Clay Walker wrestling a kid in near Greco-Roman style, plus a whole lot more. These small creatures look mighty cute and would make a nice pet for someone with a few thousand dollars to spare. As the folks at Country Music Miniature Donkeys boast "Quality Breeds Quality, Temperament, Intelligence, Conformation & Performance." It shows. A small new site that hopefully will continue to provide photographs and information about unusual animals with familiar names.  (Back to top of page)


(970731) Kelley Blue Book New Car Pricing and Bluebook Values
http://www.kbb.com/index.html

Kelley Blue Book
Irvine, California, USA

Originally produced to aid in the acquisition of used vehicles from dealers and banks in the early 1920s, the Kelley Blue Book has become the reference tool of choice for individuals and dealers in the United States looking to purchase a new or used car. For those curious about the deal they are making that involves a trade-in, this has been the definitive source of pricing information for decades. This site offers the same tables and condition guidelines found in the printed versions of several Kelley Blue Books. New and used, great shape or not, almost every make and model sold in the US going back to 1977 can be found here. The Kelley History section by itself makes fine reading, and the pointers to new car manufacturers and pricing round out this site.  (Back to top of page)


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Copyright 1997 Edward J. Pelegrino. All rights reserved.
Trade and Service Marks used herein are the property of their respective owners.

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