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Archive for

October 1997

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(971001) The Gumbo Pages
http://www.gumbopages.com/index.html

Chuck Taggart
Santa Monica, California, USA

Originally just a home page for a Roots music program hosted by Mr. Taggart on a radio station in Santa Monica, California, The Gumbo Pages continue to grow and spotlight the music and culture of his native New Orleans. Various sections dedicated to non-commercial radio, including RealAudio streams of the show compliment Creole and Cajun recipes, a special events calendar and information about Acadiana, one of the most culturally unique places in America. For a true insiders guide to Louisiana this site should not be missed. If you enjoy Ethnic music similar to that found on Pat Conte's The Secret Museum of Mankind series -- Site du Jour of the Day (970624), take a look at The Gumbo Pages. If your ears don't draw you in, your appetite most certainly will.  (Back to top of page)


(971002) Near-Real-Time Earthquake Bulletin
http://gldss7.cr.usgs.gov/neis/bulletin/bulletin.html

National Earthquake Information Service (NEIS) of the U. S. Geological Survey
Washington, District of Columbia, USA

_________________________________

Earthquake Information
http://civeng.carleton.ca/cgi-bin2/quakes

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Carleton University
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Using The Global Seismographic Network to collect data from around the world, the National Earthquake Information Service (NEIS) of the U. S. Geological Survey maintains the most up to date listing of such occurrences. While not the only source for this information, the NEIS site is the most visually pleasing which is nice for the casual observer. For a less colorful and faster loading display of current earthquake readings (not to mention the whole Canadian Content thing), see the site at Carleton University in Ottawa. The Canadian site contains pointers to the PARC Map Web Server provided by Xerox instead of loading up a map every time, and to the NEIS site as well. Both sites have pointers to their associated agencies/departments and additional earthquake information. One of the most interesting aspects of both sites is the evidence that earthquakes occur in places not usually thought of as quake zones -- the usual hot-spots are listed plus a few places that might surprise you.  (Back to top of page)


(971003) Sounds Of The World's Animals
http://www.georgetown.edu/cball/animals/animals.html

Catherine N. Ball
Associate Professor, Department of Linguistics
Georgetown University
Washington, District of Columbia, USA

Sounds Of The World's Animals explores one of the most entertaining facets of cross-linguistic study -- the formation of words that have basis in the imitation of sound, or onomatopoeia. In different parts of the world domesticated and wild animals look and sound more or less the same. A pig in Mexico will make the same noises even if it is in Russia. Mexicans and Russians however have different words for what that creature is called, how it looks and how it sounds. If your computer is set up to play sounds there are short recordings available along with images of specific animals here. The fun starts when you see words from more than twenty-three distinct language sets that describe these noises without completely making them. Anyone interested in language study should set aside several hours to explore this site and the others created by Ms. Ball. While this site is aimed at younger students, following the pointers listed will probably take you to something you will find to be the noise a feline makes.  (Back to top of page)


(971004) MMF Hall of Humiliation
http://ga.to/mmf/

Rolf
Washington, District of Columbia, USA?

MAKE MONEY FAST! help me MAKE MONEY FAST! help me MAKE MONEY FAST!

Here is the easiest method for making money using your computer I have ever found, please read this message through before deciding that this isn't for you.

I USED TO THINK THAT THIS SORT OF POST WAS ILLEGAL

It is not illegal in the Republic of Barnumski where this message originated.

FORWARD THIS MESSAGE TO EVERYONE YOU HAVE AN E-MAIL ADDRESS FOR

All I'm asking is that you send me currency equivalent to the cost of a box of floppy disks from the country where you live, In return I will send you absolutely nothing.

Sound too good to be true? Here's the best part -- you can mail this out after sending me the money and not put your own name and address on it. I'm the International Currency Baron not you! You must send cash to me within three days of the date above or run the risk of having a fair amount of common sense in your head.

The newsgroups are often full of spams like this but as I stated before, this is completely legal. Not a court in the world could find me guilty of doing something against the law -- look it up if you'd like, right there under idiot. You send me money and I send you absolutely nothing -- it'd be just like losing your lunch money back in the 3rd grade.

I look forward too finding tons of mail this week and remember, send only cash please.

Visit the MMF Hall of Humiliation and learn all about how Rolf has helped shut down many people who were not smart enough to offer absolutely nothing in return for your money. It's an interesting site and it will show you, friend, how to avoid losing your money to criminals offering the world.

REMEMBER -- YOU SEND ME THE MONEY AND I SEND YOU NOTHING

It's the fastest way I've found to make a ton of money with a computer!

You may never get a message like this from Site du Jour of the Day offering such an opportunity again.

DON'T DELAY -- ACT TODAY!  (Back to top of page)


(971005) Guess the Dictator and/or Television Sit-Com Character
http://www.smalltime.com/nowhere/dictator/

smalltime industries
Richmond, California, USA

The object of this game is to beat previous players by becoming your favorite situation character and/or dictator. By surviving a barrage of yes or no questions you win and get to submit the identity of the person you were along with a question that might help the machine stop the next person who has adopted the same individual. As the subsequent database increases, the game will become that much more difficult. I was able to beat it with the character Clint Howard (Ron's kid Brother) played in Gentle Ben on a technicality. I was asked if I was the son of a Sheriff, in the show dad was a Park Ranger in the Everglades and saved Ben from poachers after they shot the mom bear. Produced by the same people who brought us Flipper, Gentle Ben ran a short season. A fun way to beat a computer (for now).  (Back to top of page)


(971006) Farmer's Bookshelf
http://Agrss.sherman.Hawaii.Edu/bookshelf/fb.shtml

Department of Horticulture
College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources
University of Hawaii
Manoa, Hawaii

Primarily for residents and growers in Hawaii, the Farmer's Bookshelf offers a slew of advice about growing things in a Tropical climate such as that in Hawaii. Many of us do not live in the middle of the Pacific Ocean but do have house plants. House plants in more temperate climates often grow in the wild or are cultivated to larger sizes in warmer climates and the tips presented here can successfully be adapted for container growing. Part of the larger site at the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources at the University of Hawaii, Manoa, this is as good a spot as any to start exploring the history and cultivation of species you may only be familiar with from the table.   (Back to top of page)


(971007) Adobe Magazine
http://www.adobe.com/publications/adobemag.html

Adobe Systems Incorporated
San Jose, California, USA

Adobe Magazine is more than just the standard propaganda catalog many software publishers send out. It has decent articles and how-to sections for users of Photoshop, PageMaker, Illustrator, Streamline, etc. It also contains work-arounds for problems their products have. Customer support and product information in a nice package that is available either free, or for money at your local newsstand. Whether you use Adobe products or not, you are bound to find something in this quarterly magazine you can use.

So how do you become a registered user of an Adobe product and qualify for a free subscription in North America or Europe? You can download an Acrobat Reader at (http://www.adobe.com/prodindex/acrobat/readstep.html). The Acrobat Distiller is a product they sell which allows publishers to send out files allowing end users to view documents as intended, no missing fonts (substituted or rendered maybe), compact graphics and portable -- hence the extension used; PDF. Portable Document Format files are used to send out files from almost any application which supports Postscript (another Adobe product) printers. The registration process after installation of the Reader will qualify you and enter your subscription.

The Adobe Magazine page is no where near as interesting as the actual magazine but files and tricks mentioned in articles can be found here. The entire Adobe site is worth looking at (http://www.adobe.com/), in particular the download page (http://www.adobe.com/supportservice/custsupport/download.html) with patches, trial and beta  test versions galore.  (Back to top of page)


(971008) Bowling's Automotive Programs
http://sura1.jlab.org/~bowling/auto_noframe.html (no frames)
http://sura1.jlab.org/~bowling/auto.html (frames)

Bruce A. Bowling
Hampton Roades, Virginia, USA

Bruce Bowling is a consultant to the automotive industry, and over the course of the past ten years has collected and developed several programs to aid in his computations. While not for everybody, this site is perfect for those interested in the engineering and science used to design automobiles. Through the use of Common Gateway Interface (CGI) files, figuring out speedometer calibration, fuel injector sizing, driveshaft RPM computation and miles-per-gallon estimates have never been easier. Over thirty tools make this free site a definite must see. The equations and/or algorithms used are also available for a lot of the programs, Mr. Bowling makes them available whenever professionally possible. A tremendous amount of work went into this site and it is nice to see such varied and otherwise expensive utilities in one place. A Geek site for sure and a good one at that.   (Back to top of page)


(971009) Canadian Consulate General, Dallas
Consulat Général du Canada à Dallas

http://www.canada-dallas.org/

The Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade
Dallas, Texas, USA

This site struck me as incredibly odd the first time I saw it -- Canadian tax dollars hard at work in Texas. As I explored, it became clear why there is a Canadian presence in Dallas. Originally established to bolster international trade in the U.S. Southwest (Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, New Mexico, and of course Texas), the Canadian Consulate General in Dallas also performs other functions. Encouraging both tourism and investment, international relations and with the North American Free Trade Agreement in place I'd bet that this is a stop along the way home for more than a few Canadians who have been caught sneaking into Mexico to find jobs. Information provided about Canada and the Southwestern USA at this site is a good read and pointers to other missions in the USA and around the world help give those of us not on the border a better understanding of our neighbors to the North. It would be a wise idea for any Canadian student headed to Texas for Spring Break to visit this site for the phone number alone. Texas is a different place and you never know when you might need the power of your government to help get those public drunkenness charges dropped. This is a fine starting point for learning more about the Canadian Government and its role as a world power.   (Back to top of page)


(971010) National Address Server
http://www.cedar.buffalo.edu/adserv.html

Ajay Shekhawat
Buffalo, New York, USA

I've always wondered why people complain about how much it costs to mail a letter. Considering that your thirty two cent stamp will get a standard letter across town often over night or across the country in just a few days, door to door, it's a wonder that they don't brag about how the United States Postal Service is the best in the world. Businesses and individuals sending bulk mail pay even less and can even dictate when their mailings will be delivered. It is something that many of us take for granted, understanding little about the technologies used. If you have the time, call your local Post Office and inquire about taking a tour of a mail sorting facility, it will be one of the most educational experiences you will ever have.

The single most useful device the U.S.P.S. has ever utilized is the ZIP Code. This five digit code at the end of your address made such a huge impact when introduced in the late 1960s that it held postage rates back longer than anticipated at the time and expedited mail delivery to boot. To further speed the mail, automation in the sorting process was introduced and the ZIP+4 was rolled out. Now letters could be sorted down to a particular side of a street or building, anywhere in the country with just nine digits.

By entering a valid mailing address (or even a part of one) this server will give you the ZIP+4 and attempt to fix any problems with the data you enter. If mistakenly enter Road instead of Street it will be corrected and abbreviated to meet recommended Postal guidelines. The coolest part about the site is that once you have a winner, Postscript code is available to print that address on a Postscript printer or as a black and white GIF that you can download and use. This file will include the pattern of lines read by the optical scanners the Post Office uses to read the ZIP+4. Pointers to the United States Postal Service, map creating sites and look-up sites for names, addresses and even another ZIP Code finder. Similar sites for the postal services in countries other than the USA can be found through the pointers as well. The National Address Server is part of the site at the Center of Excellence for Document Analysis and Recognition (CEDAR) at the State University of New York at Buffalo. Mr. Shekhawat not only maintains this site, but is working on new ways to improve mail delivery with CEDAR. Look at the stuff here, call to arrange a tour and when you are at the Post Office, send Mr. Shekhawat a post card -- it's all he asks for the service.   (Back to top of page)


(971011) Christian Deer Hunters Association
http://www.christiandeerhunters.org

Dr. Tom C. Rakow - Founder and Executive President
Silver Lake, Minnesota, USA

One would imagine that this association has difficulty recruiting new members. Keeping the members they have out of harm's way might even be tougher. If there is any truth behind stereotypes, deer hunting usually means beer, and lots of it. Evangelism usually consists of a whole lot of salesmanship. Somehow the whole idea of mixing two of America's favorite elements of the Constitution sounds like a difficult task at best.   (Back to top of page)


(971012) How to be Obnoxious in French
http://yoyo.cc.monash.edu.au/~mongoose/french/

Conrad Leviston
Melbourne, Australia

When the original Site du Jour of the Day message was sent out in February, 1997 it was to one person. With very little promotion, the mailing list has grown to include over fifty people in the United States, Canada, Brazil, England, Germany, China and Australia. As you are reading this message, please accept my gratitude for your being a part of Site du Jour of the Day. During the past several months, the question I have been asked the most about Site du Jour of the Day is whether or not I know that the title is redundant, that 'du jour' and 'of the day' mean the same thing. Sure I do, but would prefer to be difficult and argue that the two phrases mean different things. One is French and the other is English. So while the translation may mean the same thing, they are different on that point alone. I know the difference with such things, but many people may not as evidenced by menu listings such as 'special au jus sauce' and that which inspired me to call this whole project what I did. Yes, English speaking restaurateurs have included 'soup du jour of the day' in their menus despite being advised that it is incorrect, or just out of ignorance. Invitations are another sore spot, R.S.V.P. does not need to be preceded by the word 'Please' -- look it up.

With this in mind it can be argued that French speaking people protect their language to a fault, and that the government in France and parts of Canada are uptight about English intruding on their tongue. The sheer volume of French words now used by English speakers correctly and incorrectly might make dropping the use of these words impractical but suppose we did stop. In dropping any suggestion of French from our language we could send a message to French speaking people around the world -- Lighten Up! Certainly there would be a need to speak French some of the time and Conrad Leviston's site is a good place to start toward that goal. How to be Obnoxious in French has tips and tricks for abusing the French language while speaking and writing it. We would leave the people alone but mount a formidable attack on the words and phrases. If you would rather go after a person, Write an Obnoxious letter in French at this site will allow you to select certain words and phrases in English while the machine converts it all into French for you. Other pages provide instructions for abusing phrase books, a history of the language, a section on pronunciation, and insulting French phrases. There are pointers to serious sites about French as well. It is sites like this one that leave me wondering why can't we all just get along? Maybe this way we could and have a little fun on the way.   (Back to top of page)


(971013) G. Finkenbeiner Inc.
http://www.finkenbeiner.com/index.html

G. Finkenbeiner Inc.
Waltham, Massachusetts, USA

Anyone who has ever found the resonant frequency of a piece of fine crystal by rubbing a wet finger around the rim has a decent idea of what the Glass Harmonica sounds like. Imagine several quartz crystal cups all correctly tuned, nested but not touching, rotating on a shaft. Sounding like a combination of a string section and steel drums, the Glass Harmonica (also referred to as an Armonica, Glasharmonika or Harmonika) was wildly popular after its invention by none other than Benjamin Franklin in 1761. Parts for the Glass Harmonica were written by W. A. Mozart, Müller and Beethoven and the instrument was used extensively by Dr. Franz Anton Mesmer in the late 1700s to hypnotize patients. The association many people made between Mesmer and the Glass Harmonica, led to a certain amount of fear. Said to raise the dead if played late into the night, and the certain probability that many players and audiences grew ill due to the high lead content of the glass and paint used at the time, the instrument fell out of use.

G. Finkenbeiner Inc. continues the tradition of manufacturing Glass Harmonicas and produces several different models using 99.99 per cent pure quartz crystal. This site explains the history of both the original instrument and the vastly improved units of today. Audio files of contemporary pieces along with classical selections are available for your listening enjoyment plus information and prices for the models in current production and Compact Disc recordings. It is nice to see that somebody is preserving this wonderful part of music history by manufacturing and promoting a nearly dead instrument.   (Back to top of page)


(971014) AT&T Toll-Free Internet Directory
http://att.net/dir800/

AT&T EasyLink Services
Parsippany, New Jersey, USA

Recently I heard a first-hand horror story from someone who was charged almost four dollars for a call to Toll-Free Directory Assistance (1-800-555-1212). The call was placed from a cellular phone. The local cellular provider eventually backed down on the charge, but imagine how often they don't.

Here is a free alternative to using the phone to find vendors who use Wide Area Telephone Service (WATS) lines. Searchable by city, state or product category, toll-free numbers (800/888) for over 150,000 businesses in the US and Canada can be found using this excellent tool. Updated twice a month, the information is accurate and fresh which sets this directory apart from most others.   (Back to top of page)


(971015) It's Not Big & It's Not Clever
The virtual stupidity homepage
http://easyweb.easynet.co.uk/~dave.g/index.htm

Dave Gregory
Somewhere in England... where they take Holiday Snaps

True, it isn't that big, nor is it very clever, but for a "don't try this at home" site it's very entertaining. If Mr. Gregory's suggested time killers aren't enough, you can always check out the pointers to other sites of similar flavor, he has assembled a fine collection here. It is highly likely that this site isn't for you if you do not like firecrackers (for instance) or if colorful language gets you down. Ideal for the Junior High School kid left inside but remember -- don't come running to me if someone gets hurt.   (Back to top of page)


(971016) The Byron Shire Echo
http://www.echo.net.au/

Echo Publications Pty Ltd
Byron Bay, New South Wales, Australia

Recently I had a phone call from a gentleman that I used to work for at a small daily newspaper. When we finished with business, I asked him how business was going for him. "Not so good" he complained and then went on about how paper prices were still going up and blah, blah, blah. Thinking out loud, I observed that for over 250 years in this country newspapers have been losing money. You'd think that people would shut them down if it was so bad. He went on to say that television and the Internet were also affecting circulation and revenues. I don't think it's nearly as bad as publishers would have you believe, almost every major newspaper in the world has a site up. It's probably safe to speculate that with this new medium, people who wouldn't turn to a newspaper for information are more inclined to do so after seeing a paper's site. The single most important development of papers and the Internet is that your potential exposure is now global in scale.

Take the Byron Shire Echo for example, a small weekly published in the northern part of New South Wales. With a year-round population of under 30,000 living in an area that could probably be best described as the Australian version of Woodstock, New York -- both topographically and with similar cultural conditions. Heavy development and tourism encroaching on quiet farms and homes provide the local paper with additional circulation and editorial material. Now that The Byron Shire Echo has an electronic presence, an individual clear on the other side of the world can read about issues and people making the news that s/he would otherwise be unaware of. If that isn't enough, the publication can benefit through additional advertisement sales and maybe even international subscriptions. In the end, huge corporate entities may control the Internet, but for now the local news from some place you may have never heard of and that from New York City have an almost equal chance at getting your attention. Business isn't bad, it's just real nervous.Sites like The Byron Shire Echo contribute to that uncertainty and are helping to keep the Newspaper Industry fresh. This site has a definite Do It Yourself feel with a whole lot of Home Grown effort thrown in for good measure. If you are one to think that Australia has a certain unique charm, visit this site and enjoy.   (Back to top of page)


(971017) Ranger Home Page of Hill City South Dakota
http://hillcity.tie.net/

Hill City High School
Hill City, South Dakota, USA

Located in the Black Hills of South Dakota, Hill City is a small community with a whole lot of Civic Pride. This site is very small but what it lacks in volume it makes up for in pointers to the area around Mount Rushmore --see Site du Jour of the Day (970626).Probably the most interesting thing about this site is that it explains how the Hill City Rangers are the only team allowed to use the Spokesbear for the National Forest Service as their team mascot. Smokey The Bear is a part of American culture, "Because only you can prevent forrest fires".   (Back to top of page)


(971018) American Memory from the Library of Congress
http://lcweb2.loc.gov/ammem/ammemhome.html

The United States Library of Congress
Washington, District of Columbia, USA

Nostalgia reigns supreme at the American Memory exhibit. This permanent collection of over 25 exhibits takes a look at the late 19th and early 20th centuries through period images, descriptions and even sounds. The sounds impress me the most here, some of the earliest sound recordings in the Library of Congress are available as downloads. The photography on display here is brilliant and was often the best of its kind when shot. Nostalgia gets old, but this is more than just a collection of artifacts.The curators have mastered the translation to screen and make it work at a level rarely seen elsewhere. The Archives are full of wonderful things just waiting to be discovered, a definite bookmark.   (Back to top of page)


(971019) The Grammar Lady
http://www.grammarlady.com/index.html

Mary Newton Bruder
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA

This companion site to the weekly Grammar Lady column in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette assembles common real-life grammar questions and attempts to answer new ones.While your local library is a good source for finding answers to certain questions, this site has them beat because it is all they do. There are pointers to other resources including the lively Grammar Lady Message Board (http://www.InsideTheWeb.com/messageboard/mbs.cgi/mb2581) and telephone numbers for Grammar Hotlines throughout the country. English speakers around the world will enjoy this site and may learn from it as well, especially if English isn't a first language.   (Back to top of page)


(971020) Chicken Farmers of Canada Home Page
http://www.chicken.ca

Chicken Farmers of Canada
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Chicken Farmers of Canada is a trade organization run by farmers. Funded by members based on the amount of chicken they market, the group's primary goal is that of supply management. Feeding a whole country is never an easy task and with the current shift away from traditional Canadian foods like pork, these folks have their hands full. Available in both English and French, this site offers a look at modern farming techniques and the farmers using them. For a trade site it is very good looking and well laid out. It presents the opportunity for the visitor to learn about an industry undergoing tremendous growth from the perspective of nearly three thousand Canadian men and women feeding a nation.   (Back to top of page)


(971021) Joe & Lorie's Comedy-O-Rama
http://www.comedyorama.com/

Joe Bevilacqua and Lorie Kellogg
Los Angeles, California, USA

Joe & Lorie's Comedy-O-Rama use of RealAudio streams makes this site a terribly fun place. The radio comedy is chock full of original programs and parodies of shows from Radio's Golden Age. Not content with just audio humor, there are two comic strips to be enjoyed here as well. If that weren't enough, the page with pointers to sites honoring the comedy greats Joe and Lorie admire may very well be one of the finest you will ever see. These factors alone make this a very entertaining site to visit. Considering that the official Daws Butler (the voice of Yogi Bear) pages are also here, one is left wondering what's next for these two.   (Back to top of page)


(971022) ThrustSSC Project
http://www.thrustssc.digital.co.uk/

ThrustSSC Internet Team
Digital Equipment Corporation
Palo Alto, California, USA

It's all over but the shouting as they say, and there's plenty to shout about. On the 15th of October the World Land Speed Record was broken at a speed of 763.035mph. Two days earlier Andy Green and the ThrustSSC crew exceeded the speed of sound for the first time ever on land. Media coverage was weak for this event and entire project, but not because of a lack of available information. Sponsored by Digital Equipment Corporation, this site has supplied daily coverage including pre-written articles, press releases, interviews, over 800 photographs and a 5 minute Thrust Global Radio report every day -- all copyright free. Fortunately it's all still there for anyone interested in having a look. It's difficult to say how long this site will remain available now that the Record has been broken. It would be nice to see it kept up for a long time in honor of the feat and the people involved. At least until they break the record again.   (Back to top of page)


(971023) Count Floyd's Movie News
http://www.amused.com/cfloyd.html

Hosted by
Centre for the Easily Amused
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

Halloween is fast approaching and with it comes classic horror movies on television in abundance. It's not like it used to be when every market, regardless of size had a horror movie host(ess) who had a Prime-Time Special in addition to their usual Saturday night program. Once a year they would have a special day in the sun... er, moonlight to get all prettied up for a big audience. Most likely basing the character Count Floyd on these (un)talented individuals, Joe Flaherty and the writers at Second City Television created the best of the lot. Originally broadcast on CBC throughout Canada and later picked up by NBC in the U.S., SCTV episodes are still hilarious nearly twenty years later. Count Floyd was just one of the roles played by Mr. Flaherty on the show but stands alone better than any other. For my money, immortality was gained with "Christmas Eve In Transylvania" on the Count Floyd Extended Play record.

Count Floyd's Movie News presents contests and the latest movie news on a monthly basis in addition to special themes like Halloween. Written & Produced by the Count himself, this is the ideal site for people who refuse to take the horror genre too seriously. If you have no idea who Count Floyd is you are in for a real treat. If you do know who he is then you'll want to visit because it's a scary scary site.   (Back to top of page)


(971024) Romance Novel Database
http://www.sils.umich.edu/~sooty/romance/romance.html

Christina K. Powell
Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA

With no particular interest in this type of writing, this episode of Site du Jour of the Day could have easily been peppered with sarcastic remarks. A huge portion of the income certain publishers generate comes from the sale of these often racy, quick-reading stories about fantastic lives and people. It has always seemed a little odd to me that these books are as popular as they are, but then again I've only read a dozen or so pages of one and that was to have a look at what a high school teacher was churning out over Summer Vacations.

Ms. Powell has assembled a database with full details and reviews of over 240 Romance Novels with the assistance and contributions of others. While not recently updated, there is enough information to keep you going until real-life starts treating Powell a little better. Searchable by plot summaries, authors, titles and with pointers to other Romance sites the Romance Novel Database is nicely done. I'm left trying to recall the name that teacher used to write under all because of this site.   (Back to top of page)


(971025) Bell Labs Text-to-Speech Synthesis
http://www.bell-labs.com/project/tts/index.html

Lucent Technologies
Murray Hill, New Jersey, USA

The Bell Labs research facilities are probably among the coolest in the world. One of the developments released for public use is the Text-to-Speech system. This site allows the user to experience a highly sophisticated speech engine not only in English, but Mandarin Chinese, Spanish and even several flavors of Pig Latin. With sound hardware installed, you can enter text into a form at this site and have your text returned in one of several voices. Much better than the software that came bundled with your sound card, this tool must be seen (and heard) to be fully appreciated.   (Back to top of page)


(971026) How to Tie a Tie
http://www.landsend.com/spawn.cgi?KNOTTIES1994&GRAPHIC&ESSATIES

Lands' End, Inc.
Dodgeville, Wisconsin, USA

If you are over the age of say, eight and the need to wear a necktie arises a handy clip-on simply will not do. While many adults have been known to wear clip-ons, especially when it comes to bow ties, there is no excuse for not being able to tie a necktie. If you can tie your own shoes there should be no problem. Many of us only know one knot though and we stick with it though. This page at the Land's End site may add a little variety to your knot skills with concise directions utilizing images and text. Here you can find the Windsor Half-Knot, the Windsor Knot, Four-in-Hand Knot and the not really as difficult as you would imagine Bow Tie.

Why is this page up? Land's End is a clothing company that happens to sell neck ties through this site along with other garments for men, women and children. The editorial content here makes for good reading and by offering more than just a standard product catalog they hope that you will buy something from them. Secure ordering and a whole lot more make visiting this site a pleasant shopping experience. You can learn how a necktie works to boot.   (Back to top of page)


(971027) Don't Hang Out In The No-Zone
http://www.nozone.org/

Federal Highway Administration
United States Department of Transportation
Washington, District of Columbia, USA

The Zone Ranger (in so many words) explained to me how it is not politically correct to refer to the areas that driver persons in large vehicles cannot see as blind-spots. They are now officially called No-Zones and I feel better about knowing that. This site and the whole campaign will most likely save lives otherwise lost in traffic accidents, that is a good thing. On the other hand, my tax dollars went into this program, and as a Peace Officer once told me after the driver behind me at a light thought the light had changed to green well before it actually had, "We don't call them accidents any more because someone usually messes up." Except he didn't really use the word messes. We've all seen large commercial vehicles and busses careen through, or side-swipe passenger vehicles in the movies and maybe even real life. It isn't pretty, but it's a mighty good lesson for the driver not paying attention to the large object with the mass equivalent to about thirty Dodge Darts. Aiming a portion of this site at children is a great idea too, "Mommy, get out of the No-Zone! Mommymommymommy! You are in the No-Zone!" How in the world is that parent going to stifle her child and look out for the cement mixer at the same time? Instead of spending all that money on Public Service Announcements and the like, why not offer drivers of large trucks and busses a bounty for tagging idiots driving too close. I'd bet good money that the "accident" statistics would look a whole lot different after say a month of the Stay Out of My Blind-Spot Program. After that we could mount James Bond-type laser cannons on Emergency vehicles -- "Sorry you didn't see or hear us behind you for half a mile. Let's have a look at that nasty burn".   (Back to top of page)


(971028) Ari's Today-page
http://www.iki.fi/aku/today.html (English)

Arin Tänään-sivu
http://www.iki.fi/aku/tanaan.html (Finnish)

Ari Kukkonen
Tampere, Finland

Updated every time it's midnight in Finland (and Israel, and South Africa) +2 GMT, Ari's Today-page provides a quick look at the day ahead. Almost entirely fast loading text, this site provides a world of information at a glance. The current day and date, special days and events occurring during the next thirty days, space projects, sporting events of note, birthdays, sunrise and sunset times for over 30 places around the world, things in the night sky, and a whole lot more. The Finnish and English language versions contain vastly different content, and the Finnish and International daily links add a nice touch to this site. This would make a great home page for your browser for any number of reasons, the least of which are that it has been in operation since April 1995, and that significant event suggestions are always welcome. A very nice service.   (Back to top of page)


(971029) MacTips from The Macintosh Guy
http://www.themacintoshguy.com/

MacTips from The Macintosh Guy on MacNN!
http://www.macnn.com/mactips/

Eric Prentice
Portland, Oregon, USA

Site du Jour of the Day episodes are kept intentionally free of platform mention. Unless there is a noteworthy piece of software available like Tiny Elvis (SdJotD 970809), different computers and/or operating systems are rarely mentioned. There are enough sites out there that computer brands/operating systems don't even need to be talked about. Several readers are Mac users, and I figured that this site in particular would be useful for them. Non-Mac users might like to have a look as well if for no other reason than to see the pesky troubles Apple users have to deal with. Mr. Prentice is a Mac Consultant and shares his knowledge through the MacTips at this site. The tips are not always commonly known solutions, and with the new OS-8 out many users may not fully understand how things work. Updated a couple times a month, MacTips from The Macintosh Guy isn't designed to provide the latest breaking reports. What you will find are well written solutions and techniques to make using you Mac a little more productive and at times, less frustrating.   (Back to top of page)


(971030) Shirshov Institute of Oceanology
http://www.sio.rssi.ru/

P.P.Shirshov Institute of Oceanology
Russian Academy of Sciences
Moscow, Russia

Since 1941 the former USSR Academy of Sciences Laboratory of Oceanology has been exploring the world's oceans and seas by investigating the complex processes which make them one body. Here you will find the history of the people and projects associated with the Institute. Some of the more detailed publications are only in Russian, but for the most part the site is in both English and Russian. Of particular note is the section celebrating the tenth anniversary of MIR-1 and MIR-2, two deep manned submersibles used in a great deal of modern exploration. These pages include photographs and findings about many missions, but the most impressive might just be the ones pertaining to dives on hydrothermal fields and the filming of "Titanik". For so many years these scientific findings have been relatively unavailable to civilians. So much so that visitors to this site are in for a splendid and enlightening experience.   (Back to top of page)


(971031) The Driver Guides
http://www.driverguide.com

CD-MAX Enterprises
Carson, California, USA

By the time you have purchased and installed a peripheral such as a CD-ROM reader or sound card, the software used to help the new equipment and your computer work together may be outdated and superseded by at least one newer version. Shelf life on software is very short. Sometimes the installation of a new driver can make a world of difference in performance or even repair a problem. More often than not, the manufacturer of a card or device has a site with downloads available and the URL is included in the package. Sometimes that unfortunately is not the case, and a great deal of searching is required to locate a simple upgrade.

Recognizing the frustration involved with such a quest, the folks at CD-MAX Enterprises have assembled an excellent resource for locating a large variety of drivers from different manufacturers at this site. Pointers and discussion forums take some of the work out of locating the correct driver. The Sound Card Driver Guide has a four step process with over sixty manufacturers / vendors and third party sources. The CD-ROM Driver Guide requires that a form be filled out first and promises instructions in an e-mail message. Future Driver Guides include The Graphics Card Driver Guide, The Printer Driver Guide and The Modem Driver Guide with no indication of their opening. This is a large project and based on the information included in the The Sound Card Driver Guide, the entire site should prove to be very popular upon completion.

It is always a good idea to perform a full system backup whenever adding new software or hardware (let me tell you) just in case something doesn't work correctly. Updating a driver is one of the easiest improvements that can be made to a machine and certainly worth looking into.   (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.

http://members.tripod.com/~SdJotD/9710.htm

Updated November 1, 1997
This Archive has been opened counter times since October 7, 1997.

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