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August 1997

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(970801) CD Universe
http://www.cduniverse.com/programs/cdubin.exe

CD Universe
Wallingford, Connecticut, USA

Complete with Real Audio streams, album artwork and a handy Recommended Artists section with almost every listing, independent CD Universe lives up to the name. The quick search engine here has the ability to locate songs by partial title, album or artist. Prices are fair to great (especially on older catalog titles), shipping charges are low as well. No record store has everything you are looking for, which will doubtless happen here, but it certainly is nice not to drive around town looking for something to be told that they might be able to get it in if you want to order it. Support your local independent music retailer whenever possible, but if you buy a lot of Compact Discs or cassettes and don't mind shopping with the computer check out this alternative to the large chains.  (Back to top of page)


(970802) The Psywar Society Home Page
http://www.kaymoore.demon.co.uk/psywarsoc.html

The Psywar Society
K.B. Moore, Hon. Publications Manager
Leeds, England

Life during wartime is often complicated by rumors and misinformation, the intentional use of this particular weapon predates recorded history. Often spread by word of mouth, inaccurate reports of battle casualty or enemy position can change the outcome of a conflict like no other method known to man. As the printed word became affordable, more and more people learned to read thus widening the audience for written propaganda. The added benefit of anonymity the printed page provided increased effectiveness and added to the covert beauty of the device. The risk of detection because of human contact became smaller but delivering and circulating such things behind enemy lines still meant that only limited success could be gained over dangerously long periods of time. Then someone had the brilliant idea of dropping pieces of paper from kites. When hot air balloons were invented they extended the range of delivery and by the time aeroplanes were used for the cause during World War I, this type of psychological warfare had become an exact science.

The Psywar Society is a group of individuals & psychological warfare historians who collect and study the use of aerial propaganda leaflets. Membership numbers vary and because the group has members around the globe no formal meetings are held. The Society has published a quarterly magazine called 'The Falling Leaf' since 1958 which contains news and articles of interest to Society members along with listings of propaganda pieces for sale. The Psywar Society Home Page details the various classifications of this weapon and contains pointers to other sites maintained by members. More text than image based, the pages load quickly and are packed with useful and interesting facts and figures, most of which are probably true. (Back to top of page)


(970803) Jeffrey's Educational Resources
http://frontpage.hypermall.com/jforrest/

Jeffrey Scott Forrest & Assoc., Inc.
Denver, Colorado, USA

From time to time it's nice to get away from the dancing bears and Pop culture sites we see every day. To sit back and dig into a scholarly work, maybe learning something along the way or improving our thinking skills. Few of us take the time to do such things once we are out of school. This site is a good place to start finding research and dissertation on subjects as diverse as Human Cognition, Instructional Design, Environmental Protection and Ore Deposits on Mars.

Intended for use by the students of Mr. Forrest but open to the public, Jeffrey's Educational Resources contains a series of papers he has written and pointers to many additional resources. Utilizing a background in Aerospace Technology, Education and Industrial Design the author has created pages that at once are easily navigated, informative and nice to look at. A far cry from the days of plain text articles shared by colleges and universities, this is a very interesting site.  (Back to top of page)


(970804) The Copyright Website
http://www.benedict.com/index.html

Benedict O'Mahoney
San Francisco, California, USA

_________________________________

U.S. Copyright Office
http://lcweb.loc.gov/copyright/

Library of Congress
Washington, District of Columbia, USA

Last week I attended a seminar on Copyright Law and Business which was remarkably disappointing. The individuals presenting the material were not lawyers and hardly knew what the law said. Mostly it was how to wiggle around in the law and protect a corporate entity by placing responsibility on the client. This lack of knowledge is almost understandable, the most recent copyright laws in the United States are like our Constitution to an extent; For an interpretation it takes a Judge and even that isn't the final word on the subject. What is easier to understand is how to go about registering a copyright. The Copyright Website presents the views of Attorney Benedict O'Mahoney along with examples and descriptions of copyright fundamentals, protection/infringement cases and news about these issues as it develops. For an introduction to the concept of copyright protection this site should not be missed.

There are several different forms of protection one can apply for in the country where you live. Available from the Copyright Office of the U.S. Library of Congress are the various forms for registering the work you have to protect. These files are in the Adobe Acrobat Portable Document Format (PDF) and can be retrieved and subsequently printed out once you have installed the free Acrobat Reader on your computer. A pointer to Adobe Systems and download options for forms are provided on the same page (http://lcweb.loc.gov/copyright/forms.html). Even though laws are different around the world basic conditions are in place which protect a work to varying degrees. Check with your government for additional information if you do not live in the United States.  (Back to top of page)


Teddy bear dressed as an angel with Elvis sideburns

(970805) Elvis: American David
http://www.owt.com/users/pleeker/U2Elvis1.html

Bono
Matt McGee
Kennewick, Washington, USA

_________________________________

Elvis in Latin: Frequently Asked Questions
http://www.cs.uoregon.edu/~bhelm/misc/elvis.html

B. Robert Helm
University of Oregon
Eugene, Oregon, USA

_________________________________

Dr. Ammondt's Home Page
http://www.jyu.fi/~thrafool/ammo.htm

Jukka Ammondt
University of Jyväskylä
Jyväskylä, Finland

Certain people maintain that the King of Rock and Roll is alive and well, hiding out in obscure places, enjoying his life as best he can. Others, myself included, are fairly certain that he died a bloated pig in the bathroom of his modest mansion called Graceland. Whichever theory you subscribe to one thing is certain, the music of Elvis Presley changed the lives of many a performer.

The sites that kick off Dead Elvis Week show that influence. Elvis: American David is a poem written by vocalist Bono from the Irish Rock band U2 and posted by Matt McGee who maintains a fan site about the band U2 (http://www.owt.com/users/pleeker/U2news.html). An English magazine called 'Q' asked several musicians about the single record that most changed their lives. Bono sent them this poem which pretty much sums up Elvis as we knew and loved him and then some.

Our second site got me thinking about where the God fearing, Mother loving Elvis ended up if his only choices were Heaven or Hell. Dogma has it that angels are not burdened by gender so it was probably a difficult choice, on one hand he could eventually catch up with his old buddies from Memphis -- Jerry Lee Lewis and maybe (but probably not) Johnny Cash. Watching fourteen year old girls wrestle might even be a sanctioned sport there. On the other hand Elvis was really rocking on all of those records with the Jordanaires, so that's my guess. He could be singing up a storm with the most bitchin' group of backup singers ever. Only problem being language, the old Catholic Church would have you believe that Latin is the Official Language of Heaven.

Not to worry, a Dr. Ammondt of Finland has released an album called "The Legend Lives Forever in Latin" with covers of such classic Elvis songs as "Nunc hic aut numquam" (It's Now or Never), "Cor ligneum" (Wooden Heart) and of course "Tenere me ama" (Love Me Tender). Recorded with the Finnish Broadcast Corporation Choir (see?) and available on the "Quality In Every Bite" label known as K-Tel. As sort of an introduction to Dr. Ammondt's Home Page one should probably see B. Robert Helm's Elvis in Latin: Frequently Asked Questions page. A visit here will prepare you for, and provide you with better information about Dr. Ammondt and his home page than you might get from the Finnish site.  (Back to top of page)


(970806) National Association of Amateur Elvis Impersonators
http://members.aol.com/nudeelvis/index.html

Nude Elvis
San Francisco, California, USA

The relatively recent rash of tribute bands, those musicians who tour performing the songs of an act, in the style of that artist or group can probably be traced back to the death of Elvis Presley. In the days of garage bands on every street it was not uncommon to find kids playing the local tavern, performing the hit songs of the day. It still happens that way in many towns and cities around the world. They simply enjoy the music and haven't written anything that they can call their own yet. What's disturbing about some of these outfits is that they will do anything to convince the audience that they really are, for example, Oasis.

Elvis impersonators have been around back to the start of the King's career, but after his death the sheer number of these artists has skyrocketed. Take Nude Elvis for example, in 1993 long time Fisherman's Wharf Elvis impersonator had a San Francisco Judge tell him it was alright to stop using his birth name. Ronald Sklar legally became known as Nude Elvis. After being voted into office by members of the National Association of Amateur Elvis Impersonators he made it a point to boost the number of members. By eliminating dues, organizing trips to Memphis and launching the Elvis Impersonating Mentor Program membership has almost doubled. He is also the webmaster for the organization and this is place to go to meet amateur Elvis impersonators. They are an almost fanatical group of people who come from all walks of life. A visit to this site will allow you to see photographs of members, get touring information and probably best of all, listen to them sing. Needless to say, Nude Elvis has his own set of pages. The Elvis art gallery here is an important one. A painting titled "Elvis in Space" by San Francisco artist David Jarvey opens the show by bringing you "the best of Star Trek and Elvis, his two great loves." Meet the Elvis Impersonator of the Month, read tales of Brushes with Elvis and look at Elvis collectibles as well.

Better than a fan site, these people keep the memory of Elvis alive by singing has songs, walking his walk and talking his talk. It's a lifestyle choice that few of us can say we don't enjoy witnessing every now and then.   (Back to top of page)


(970807) Elvis. Nixon. Farce and Concordance
http://www.trincoll.edu/~tj/tj3.21.96/articles/cover.html

Frank Sikernitsky
Trincoll Journal, Trinity College
Hartford, Connecticut, USA

_________________________________

Percodan (oxycodone, percs)
http://www.straightfacts.com/wwwpages/percodan.htm

Royal Canadian Mounted Police K-Division Drug Awareness Program
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Why Elvis Presley started eating prescription drugs could be debated for days without coming to a solid conclusion. Writing a letter to then U.S. President Richard Nixon, suggesting that it would be a good idea for the President to make him an honorary Narcotics Agent had all the markings of a junkie genius. The two men met at the White House and several photographs were taken of the event. Theses photographs are probably the most widely recognized photographs of any government official and entertainer together, so much for making a good impression on the youth of America as Nixon had hoped. The long and short of it was that Elvis could now travel through any airport in the U.S. without the inconvenience of being searched for contraband. While this event has more to do with the living Elvis, it clearly marks the point of no return leading to his death on the throne in Memphis. In addition to being the subject of this episode of Dead Elvis Week at Site du Jour of the Day, the encounter was skillfully analyzed and presented as the cover story of the Trincoll Journal from March of 1996. Mr. Sikernitsky draws the conclusion that in addition to helping further the careers of these men it may have secured legendary status for them both.

I couldn't help but add the second site. This page from the RCMP's Drug Awareness Program site (http://www.straightfacts.com) is meant to provide accurate information to children and teens who may encounter drugs such as Percodan on the streets and playgrounds of Canada. An informed choice is often better than blind lecturing. It is said that Elvis enjoyed percs almost as much as he did peanut butter and nanner sanniches, and after viewing the description of the effects the drug has plus the side effects ,it becomes obvious why the King was eating 'em by the handful leaving us with the legendary Dead Elvis who is by far more popular now than he ever was alive.

Remember that Elvis, Elvis Presley and Graceland are all registered trademarks of Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc. (EPE), and that the profits gleaned from the use of these trademarks and likenesses help Lisa Marie and her Momma stay beautiful. That's the way Elvis wanted it to be.   (Back to top of page)


(970808) ELVIS is still #1
http://www.KarenDerr.com/elvis

Robert Derr
Houston, Texas, USA

While researching Dead Elvis Week and looking at the various sites available I couldn't help but compare all of the Graceland related pages to this one. Originally Site du Jour of the Day on February 22, 1997 (970222), Big Bad Bob's ELVIS is still #1 continues to capture my attention in that it is the most subtle and well done site of them all. The 1997 Tourist Season in Memphis has been dominated by people traveling to tour Elvis' estate and little else. When the King purchased this property there was probably a degree of rural charm left in that part of town all but gobbled up by the shops and "museums" one now finds on Elvis Presley Boulevard. I personally think that Elvis would not appreciate the way the neighborhood has turned out, but would probably like Mr. Derr's site. What you will see here is a collection of excellent photographs taken inside and outside of Graceland of objects and at angles you might not experience even with a visit to Tennessee. The text offers a likewise unique look at the place, with Bob as your guide and no long lines, sobbing fans or security personnel to move you along you'll want to visit again and again.

Elvis, Elvis Presley and even Graceland are registered trademarks of Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc. (EPE) which doesn't change the fact that the poor fat bastard is still buried in the back yard.  (Back to top of page)


(970809) The Doghaus Collection.Elvis
http://www.doghaus.com/

E-Films
Berkeley, California, USA

_________________________________

Disgraceland: A Tim-Elvis Experience!
http://www.nwlink.com/~timelvis/

Tim-Elvis
A-HUNKA-HUNKA BURNIN-LUV & CO
Stone Circle Communications
Bellevue, Washington, USA

_________________________________

Holiday Rambler on the WWW
http://www.holidayrambler.com/

Holiday Rambler Recreational Vehicle
Monaco Coach Corporation
Coburg, Oregon, USA

Right up to the day that Elvis Presley died I never paid that much attention to his career. By the time I was old enough for records to catch my ear the Beatles were all but done, and the industry had moved on to other things. The comic King who had inadvertently changed the way the Columbia Broadcasting System sent the Ed Sullivan Show out on Sunday nights with his swinging pelvis, and broke a million hearts by joining the United States Army was a now fat, tired, soon to be dead parody of his former glory. It sure did beat driving a truck though. One week from today marks the Twentieth Anniversary of Elvis' death.

My interest in the career of Elvis A. Presley started that sixteenth day of August back in 1977. For several days a group of friends and I had planned on staying up all night in Wally Malkowski's Grandparent's Holiday Rambler trailer that was conveniently parked behind his house. This was the case every Summer, once or twice a month we would stay up all night doing the things that Jr. High School kids do. The trailer was eventually hauled down to Florida when it started to get too cold for the elder Malkowskis, but was ours all Summer long. That day was like many others, the sun was, as Elvis Costello once sang "like a light bulb being swallowed by a clown," and we were getting ready to dig in for the night. Just as Wally opened the door to the Holiday Rambler his Mother came out of the house crying. "Walter" she said through heavy tears, "you and the boys are not going to be able to sleep out here tonight -- Elvis is dead." Mrs. Malkowski was (and probably still is) a rabid Elvis fan and even at that age we knew not to question the seriousness of the event. What we didn't know is that our lives had been changed forever that night. The emotion we experienced was more than the disappointment from breaking up what would have turned out to be our last back yard camping trip, it was a certain sense of respect for the Mother of our friend. How the death of a washed up singer affected her so deeply, it was something that seemed very odd to me at the time and was crucial in my own appreciation of the King of Rock and Roll. I couldn't have cared less about him at the time, but during the past twenty years have grown to enjoy the part of our National culture known as the Dead Elvis. It is different than appreciation some fans have for the man who became a legend, it's more about the legend than the man. For a superb look at this phenomenon one should seek out 'Dead Elvis -- a Chronicle of a Cultural Obsession' by Greil Marcus, Doubleday, New York, 1991, ISBN 0-385-41718-7 and/or 'The King Is Dead -- Tales of Elvis Postmortem' edited by Paul M. Sammon, Delta, New York, 1994, ISBN 0-385-31253-9.

The final two sites for Dead Elvis Week at Site du Jour of the Day also explore the life and afterlife of Col. Tom's sneering puppet. Both take a long hard look at everything Elvis and would not be the splendor that they are if the King were still alive, reduced to playing the Oldies circuit out in Las Vegas. When visiting these sites be prepared to experience buckets full of tasteless images and parody plus pointers galore. If you are running a Windows compatible machine, downloading the desktop utility called Tiny Elvis is an absolute must. Similar to a bit on Saturday Night Live a few years ago where a miniature Elvis rode on the dashboard of a car through the miracle of blue screen photography, commenting on how big things were Tiny Elvis sits on your desktop until you trigger a reaction out of him... "Damn, look at the size of that cursor, it's huuuge!"

When August 16th, 1997 comes around keep Elvis in your mind. Try to imagine a world that is completely void of the Elvis influence and then be thankful he was here. Unless somebody dies, I'll be sleeping outside that night.

Elvis, Elvis Presley and Graceland are registered trademarks of Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc. (EPE) and thanks to RCA we can still get pieces of the pie. The King is gone but he's not forgotten.  (Back to top of page)


(970810) China Post Cards Collecting
http://www.fortunecity.com/victorian/hartford/37/index.html

Huang Ji
Shanghai, China

Most of the printed matter used in the world today comes from China. Especially in the Western Hemisphere we rarely see elements of Chinese culture in print. The most common type of printing we see is attached to product packaging -- header cards for novelty items, to be specific. It is safe to say that we recognize these more than other pieces because of the translation errors and that is not culture it is commercialism, somebody didn't check the translation. All of that aside, this site offers an opportunity to view small glimpses of the culture in China. Beautiful pictures both old and new are presented as postcards albums. China Post Cards Collecting is a new site and commercial venture without the nagging "Buy Me!" look of other sites you may have visited. The scans are sharp, the English is better than you would expect and when it comes right down to it, where else can you find ten postcards from China for only ten dollars U.S.? An ideal site for the postcard collector or armchair tourist.  (Back to top of page)


(970811) Hocus Pocus Palace
http://www.teleport.com/~jrolsen/

John Olsen
Portland, Oregon, USA

Even though this site is hosted by Mr. Olsen, The Great Mysto is the true star here. Mysto is an animated GIF who, through his magical powers and your browser can just about read your mind. Mysto can determine which one of the characters in the TV show The Simpsons you selected at the beginning of the trick. Mentalism ala Simpsons is just one of the variations of this deductive reasoning trick set up for you to enjoy. So unless you lie he'll guess it every time. Also at this site are resources for legitimate stage magic and information about old radio programs like Doc Savage and The Shadow plus a collection of premiums from sponsors of these shows. Almost all personal home pages are of limited interest even to their owners, but Mr. Olsen has transformed the Hocus Pocus Palace into a site that is very entertaining visit.  (Back to top of page)


(970812) Mo'o and Lolo's Hawaiian Dictionary Online
http://www.hisurf.com/cgi-bin/DM/dictionary.cgi

Find Your Hawaiian Name
http://www.hisurf.com/cgi-bin/DM/hawaiian_name.cgi

HI-Way Multimedia, Inc.
Honolulu, Hawaii

Mo'o and Lolo are two characters who welcome you to the Hawaiian dictionary on-line. They add a splash of color to the nearly five thousand word Hawaiian-English / English-Hawaiian dictionary referenced from a work by Mary Kawena Pukui and Samuel H. Elbert. Being an island nation, Hawaiians were able to resist the introduction of foreign words into their language a lot better than others in the Pacific Ocean. While this had plenty to do with the structure of the language, it is interesting to see how certain words were eventually changed to fit the speech patterns of the islanders. Within the limited scope of five thousand words, a decent understanding of common expressions and definitions can be acquired through the use of this tool even though it was designed for entertainment purposes.

Find Your Hawaiian Name is a similar utility which will take your name in English and present you with the Hawaiian version along with possible variations. Both are sub sections of the Internet Island site (http://www.hisurf.com/) which is the main site for Hisurf, an Internet Service Provider (ISP) on the Island of Hawaii.  (Back to top of page)


(970813) Web Use Survey
http://excellent.com.utk.edu/~bates/webintro.html

Dr. Benjamin J. Bates
The College of Communications at the University of Tennessee
Knoxville, Tennessee, USA

Working in conjunction with television stations throughout the United States, the folks at The College of Communications at the University of Tennessee have assembled a brief survey to collect data regarding World Wide Web usage. The pointer that directed me to this site was on a page at KCET in Los Angeles, California. The station is one of the many Public Television outlets across the U.S., so it wouldn't surprise me if the information gathered from this study was to be used for pre-production of a TV show or at the very least, help out PBS stations wondering where their viewers have gone. The survey takes less than ten minutes and is your opportunity to provide anonymous input about how and why you access the sites you do. There is no indication of how long this study will last so with that in mind I would speculate that if the survey results aren't being used for PBS they are being used for one of the classes taught at the University of Tennessee, either way your answers will help out.  (Back to top of page)


(970814) The Doctor Fun Page
http://sunsite.unc.edu/Dave/drfun.html

Dave Farley
University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA

It's hard not to initially compare Doctor Fun with Gary Larson's Far Side panels. Farley has a few things up on Larson though; Doctor Fun is in full color, designed and executed on a computer allowing for better colors and textures, they are often funnier than Far Side panels and most of all, Farley hasn't run out of gas and packed it in like Larson did a few years ago. Every weekday since 1993 these cartoons have been posted on the Internet which has allowed an immediacy that conventional publishing never can. Some of the panels are definitely funnier than others but hey, you try to come up with something fresh every day and see what happens. While not for everybody, most individuals who are allowed to read MAD and/or National Lampoon (when it used to be funny) should have no problem with anything here. Most are quite tame in nature although that big purple dinosaur Barney seems to be a favorite target so small children may wish to look when they are not going to be bothered by adults. File sizes are modest, ranging from 80 to 150k and are presented at 640 by 480 pixels in the JPEG format. One of the nicest things about this site is the Archive, all of the Doctor Fun cartoons are in it back to the beginning plus there are a few surprises to boot. Thumbnail images and a weekly cataloging system make for quick browsing and Mr. Farley kindly lets people use his work for personal purposes. Downloads are tolerated if not encouraged in order to advertise The Doctor Fun Page. A very fun site that should keep you laughing and maybe even thinking for days.  (Back to top of page)


(970815) RockOnTV
The Ultimate Guide To Music On Television
http://www.rockontv.com

Mischief New Media Inc.
New York, New York, USA

How many times have you learned after the fact that an act you really enjoy was on television? Unless you look at television a lot it probably has happened more times than you would like. Few of us have time to sift through the various listings one would normally use to set aside time to either tape or watch such appearances. RockOnTV makes looking through these often incomplete listings a thing of the past. Originally only for live broadcasts, RockOnTV now provides a no cost weekly guide to rock related shows to include movies, interviews, and even shows in syndication. Primarily for use by people in North America, interested parties in other parts of the world may be fortunate enough to receive the broadcasts either through local television stations or through the wonders of satellite technology -- check your local listings. The schedule is usually up by Sunday night (19:00 GMT) and updates occur at various times throughout the week, I've found checking every other day to be a good practice.

If looking at the site isn't something you'll remember to do, there is a free e-mail version available. To subscribe, send e-mail to (majordomo@communique.net) with (subscribe RockOnTV) in the body of your email message.  (Back to top of page)


(970816) Vive La Vie Magazine
http://VIVELAVIE.COM/

Metaxas Audio Systems
Prahran, Victoria, Australia

Metaxas Audio Systems is a manufacturer of high-end stereo equipment and to complement their product site (http://www.metaxas.com/) they have launched Vive La Vie Magazine. This on-line magazine is celebrates the luxurious things in life such as fashion, art, travel and conversation. The commercial slant of this site may put people off, especially if acquiring a $4,000 wrist watch isn't a priority, but if you enjoy glamour and tales of high society have a look. Perhaps intentionally garish, the design elements and typography (as allowed by the medium) have the same look and feel of that expensive time piece. One gets the impression that this site is more interested in being seen and remembered than a more functional organic looking site. But then again fashion and style are two different things. (Back to top of page)


(970817) Welcome To The White House
http://www.whitehouse.gov/WH/Welcome.html

Office of the Vice President, the Office of Communications, the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), the Office of Administration, the National Economic Council, and the Office of Correspondence and Presidential Messages
Washington, District of Columbia, USA

Perhaps the most photographed residence in the world, The White House is more than just the place where the President of the United States lives with his family. Contained within this gated address on Pennsylvania Avenue is the working environment shared by past and present individuals holding the highest elected position in this country. The historical significance of this building alone would warrant the attention it receives. It is less of the structure itself and more about the people who call it home. The President has the responsibility of leading the country and being a human face we can support or blame for how all three branches work together. In the minds of many people it is the Government.

Welcome to the White House is a site that should be explored by anyone interested in the U.S. Government. From this single site one can visit almost every other site related to the government. A popular site for school children and adults alike, this site must be experienced to even remotely understand the depth of coverage. Daily news and information, historical facts and political rhetoric are just a few of the things you will see. You can even send an e-mail message to the President, Vice President, and the First Lady here, how about that?  (Back to top of page)


(970818) Klein Dytham Architects
http://www2.gol.com/users/zapkdarc/index.html

Mark Dytham and Astrid Klein
Tokyo, Japan

You've got to love this pair, they start working for a firm in Japan and after two years they bail out to launch their own firm in Tokyo. They precede to design for the market and take it a step further -- to generate interest in their company and new home they put up a site that all but pokes fun at the unique Popular culture of Japan. Among the interesting business sections of the site you will find pages titled Can Of The Month, Fetish and Sold Out!

Can Of The Month presents product examples from the overly-competitive and fickle beverage industry/market in Japan, few of these drink flavors last longer than a year so there is always something new to choose. There are more than a couple cases of "just what were they thinking" here.

Fetish looks at that special brand of consumer products and gadgets only the Japanese can develop. Who in their right mind would ever buy a cassette tape player with no record feature or even speakers?

Sold Out! shows the rest of the world how our favorite actors and other such stars bow to the almighty Yen. See people who would never allow a U.S. company to convince them that pitching a product might actually help their career cheerfully champion a grocery item, the name of which they probably cannot say. Dennis Hopper, Jodie Foster and Ringo Starr lead the pack. Do these first two have no shame?  (Back to top of page)


(970819) The International Clearing House for Endangered Languages
http://www.tooyoo.L.u-tokyo.ac.jp/ichel.html (English)
http://www.tooyoo.L.u-tokyo.ac.jp/ichel-j.html (Japanese)

Department of Asian and Pacific Linguistics
Institute of Cross-Cultural Studies
Faculty of Letters
University of Tokyo
Tokyo, Japan

It has often been said that history is written by the victor. This is especially true when a culture and language are lost by encroachment. It is estimated that during the next fifty years, nearly half of written and spoken languages on Earth will be forever lost. There are no major battles being won or lost, at least not in the conventional sense. The new culprit is mobility and technology. As the major languages of the world are broadcast by various means to increasing numbers and our world gets smaller and children stop learning their parents tongue in order to fit into a changing society. Isolation no longer protects island cultures from the outside world and in the case of war, ethnic diversity is frequently discouraged by the dominant power. Some might say that this is simply linguistic evolution at work, that this sort of change has occurred since mankind began communicating. The number of languages on the verge of disappearing today is staggering, for detailed accounts and lists of cultures affected by this phenomenon The International Clearing House for Endangered Languages site cannot be missed. Utilizing linked sites around the globe for reports and statistics, this is an important site to visit for anyone interested in what is by no means a new loss of cultures, but perhaps an accelerated problem.  (Back to top of page)


(970819) Synchro Swimming USA Home Page
The Official Web site of U.S. Synchronized Swimming
http://www.usasynchro.org/

United States Synchronized Swimming
Indianapolis, Indiana, USA

There was a comedy bit that aired about twelve years ago with Martin Short in it parodying Synchronized Swimming. Short was one half of a Mens Synchro team practicing for an exhibition at the upcoming Olympics in Los Angeles. Wearing a life jacket and water wings, his character meekly revealed "Um... I'm not a very strong swimmer." It was a seriously funny piece of television, but far from the truth. Synchronized Swimming looks tougher than just about any other team sport and it is highly unlikely that you could put together a pickup team without a lot of effort. Tainted by images of Water Ballet and those silly movies from the forties, the organization known as U.S. Synchronized Swimming has made great strides in legitimizing the sport and seeing it finally become a Medal event at the 1996 Summer Olympics Games in Atlanta. The first demonstration of the sport at the Olympic Games dates back to 1952 in Helsinki, Finland where Beulah Gundling (solo) and the Detroit Synchronized Swimmers (duet and team) brought Synchro events to the highest level of international attention. Another thirty two years passed before it became official, and the team from the United States took home Gold Medals from Los Angeles. Incidentally, Martin Short was nowhere to be seen but there's always Sydney. This is a comprehensive site about an often misunderstood sport that "...is not for sissies!"  (Back to top of page)


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