Welcome to the Site du Jour of the Day Archive for February 1998, companion site for the original e-mail version of Site du Jour of the Day. Episodes are sent out seven times a week to people around the world.


Site du Jour of the Day

Archive for

February 1998































Featuring a special Site du Jour of the Day collection called 
They Come From A Land Down-Under

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(980201) International Curling Information Network Group (ICING)

International Curling Information Network Group (ICING)
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

For the first time in years I'm looking forward to the 1998 Winter Olympic Games which start this week in Nagano, Japan. The Olympics have become big business, and after the Jamaican Bobsled Team did so well and the amateur athlete status limitation has been ignored completely, there is little left in the way of excitement. Or so it would seem. For the first time ever, Curling is a Medal Sport. Exhibition games were held four years ago but this time it's for keeps. My money is riding on the Canadian Team and as the games unfold history will be made. Once the events in Japan have closed and the glory faded, the sport of Curling will continue to be enjoyed by participants and spectators of all ages. Similar to shuffleboard, large granite stones are maneuvered across the ice by two teams. The ice is swept with brooms to help direct a thrown stone into strategic positions or to bump the opponent's stone out of a desired spot. The International Curling Information Network Group (ICING) site has a slew of information and pointers about every aspect of the sport to include latest news and scores from championships in World, and Inter-continental play plus local standings and schedules for clubs in Africa, Asia, Australasia, Europe and the Americas. A rather complete history and description of the sport are here as well along with television schedules and special sections for Curlers and Non-curlers alike. Available in English and French, this is the site for everything Curling, including humor.  (Back to top of page)

(980202) This Old Souse
...the legendary This Old House and New Yankee Workshop Drinking Game

Scott "The Turtle" Wenzel
Baltimore, Maryland, USA


Dan's Princess Bride Drinking Game

Dan T. M. How
Canoga Park, California, USA


The Dukes of Hazzard Drinking Game

Jonathan D. Machen, Nathan A. Martin, & Aaron L. Wevodau
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA


The Mille Bornes Drinking Game

Barry and Shari
Victoria, Texas, USA


The Red Dwarf Drinking Game

Andrew Bennetts
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia


The "Strange Brew" Drinking Game

Real Beer, Inc.
San Francisco, California, USA


The Betty Ford Center

The Betty Ford Center
Rancho Mirage, California

Originally this was going to be another Site du Jour of the Day Theme Week, I thought better of it. Drinking games are most popular with college students and other people with vast amounts of time on their hands. Some of these sites have additional information about things other than drinking. In the case of The Betty Ford Center, there is very useful information for people who have an alcohol or other substance abuse problem. Presented here for entertainment purposes only, this six-pack (+1) of sites might help pass the long Winter months still to come. I didn't find a Xena Zima Drinking Game, but think it would be very funny and hope that someone has already thought of it.  (Back to top of page)

(980203) Weekly World News Internet Edition

Fredericks & Kulpa
Weekly World News, Inc.
Lantana, Florida, USA

"Waste not, want not" is an underlying credo in the tabloid newspaper business, so when the National Enquirer switched to four color printing presses in 1980 they were left with old printing equipment. The Weekly World News was born. Using a typewriter and stories too fantastic for anyone else, a handful of stock photographs and otherwise boring stuff from wire services the Editors created what would become an American institution. Much has changed in the world since the first time I picked up a (what was then) thirty five cent copy of the paper. Feeling the raw power of its ink on my hands and in my mind had me convinced that journalism was going to change forever. Bat Boy -- a half child half bat creature has become the spokesthing for the Weekly World News, the first human head transplant has been performed twice, a face found on mars, pictures taken of both very old looking Elvis and JFK, and then weeks later reports of exhumations for DNA reported. President Clinton was endorsed by aliens two times and won the elections and most recently, a mummy was pulled up from the wreck of the Titanic. Nothing much in the Weekly World News is as disturbing except the current cover price of one dollar and twenty five cents American. Sure they've added color (bad idea) and a Page Five Girl ever issue but the very idea of introducing more verifiable news stories to fill the darn thing up saddens me.

It was a long time coming, but the Weekly World News finally has a site they can call their own. No more missed issues because the Piggly-Wiggly was sold out or because your mom took your copy to the beauty salon and left it there. The headlines and columns you know and love are here with additional features not possible with rubber based inks and newsprint. The Animation Gallery and reader polls come to mind initially with the merchandize and subscription offers close behind. Designed and written by world-famous Artist, brilliant Graphic Designer and nationally syndicated Cartoonist Dick Kulpa along with the unstoppable New York City Writer and Website Designer Laura Fredericks, the Weekly World News Internet Edition is sure to become a favorite of both young and old. Assuming of course that they can read.  (Back to top of page)

(980204) Bozo Ruined My Life

Orbit Magazine
Popular Amusement, Incorporated
Detroit, Michigan, USA

As part of a feature story in January 1997, Orbit Magazine (http://www.rust.net/~torby/) in Detroit ran a piece on Bozo the Clown. Growing up during the sixties and seventies meant being able to see a Bozo Franchisee on television in almost any US market, and many places around the world. A Capitol Records project from the 1940s later bought out by Larry Harmon who found a regular home for the character on the tube in Chicago. By 1966 a version of the show was on 240 stations daily in 40 countries. Popularity peaked in the late 1970s, by then countless cry babies around the world would never lead normal lives again. Read the woeful tales of frightened adults telling tales of fractured childhoods because of a lost opportunities and poor sportsmanship. As a winner of Bozo's Treasure Chest I can safely say that most of these people would have something or someone else to blame for their miserable existences without Bozo The Clown. It might be easy to place blame for things in my own life on something as simple as a television show or a clown if I hadn't won, but I doubt it very much. In 1996 Bozo was touring with the Great Wallenda Circus, proving he has a better gig than half of the losers whining at Bozo Ruined My Life. My brother Joey wasn't even supposed to be on the show way back when, but decided that a walk-on appearance was better than nothing. He has a great job now, and for Joe, is pretty well adjusted. Stop blaming Bozo for how sad your lives turned out and get on with it.  (Back to top of page)

(980205) National Automated Highway System Consortium

National Automated Highway System Consortium
Troy, Michigan, USA

The National Automated Highway System Consortium is working toward the day when automated vehicles will whisk people to work and entire families will be able to play canasta on their way to visit the grandparents. Participants like Lockheed Martin and General Motors are developing technologies and products leading to this goal. Once Science Fiction, the automobile itself has undergone serious changes in the way of automation. Transmissions, steering, braking and even starting once required more effort from the operator than the machine. This site looks at the history of the field and current success stories. As every day passes, this fantastic vision of the future becomes closer to reality. Watch as history unfolds before your very eyes. In fifty years you just might be able to say that you remember when they figured out a solution to the roadkill problem.  (Back to top of page)

(980206) FlyBase
A Database of the Drosophila Genome

The Genetics Society of America
Indiana University
Bloomington, Indiana, USA

Acting as a clearinghouse for information about Drosophila, FlyBase is funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health, Washington and the British Medical Research Council, London with members at Harvard University, University of Cambridge, UK, and Indiana University. The thing that makes this mostly text site interesting is that Drosophila -- the Fruit Fly, is the single animal Science knows the most about and that the genetic similarities with this creature and most of the life on Earth are high. Aimed at people doing genetic research in laboratory settings, this widely mirrored site has enough going for it to interest almost everyone.  (Back to top of page)

(980207) Underwater Photos From Sicily

Gunnar Steinke
The Dive Center
Terrasini, Sicily

Underwater Photos From Sicily is a small gallery of well crafted photographs showing life below the surface. Located on a different server than its parent site Scuba School DIVE COMPANIE Terrasini (http://www.cyberworld.it/divecomp/), the eight images presented will hopefully be added to in time. The main site has a pop-up window with a regularly updated picture of an active volcano. Worth a look for that reason alone. Additional sections contain commercial information about the dive center and excursions. This is a growing site with text available in English, German, French, Spanish and oddly enough, Italian.  (Back to top of page)

(980208) megaConverter

Ben-Cam InterMedia
Irving, Texas, USA

megaConverter Uses Java to convert various weights and measures to conventional and sometimes archaic units. Different modules and pop-up windows combined with a fancy dial for navigation make quick work out of nearly any conversion problem you have. If something you have isn't available, the folks at Ben-Cam InterMedia are always taking suggestions. Minimum recommended browsers are Netscape Navigator 3.0 and Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.0 which might limit the availability of this outstanding set of converters to some. Most will find it quick and easy, always something to look for.

For just temperature conversions visit Perfectly Useless Software's Temperature Converter (http://www.wolfenet.com/~rpkyle/temp.html) (SdJotD 970417).

Thanks to Phil Konstantin who suggested this site. Phil's own site, This Week in American Indian History (https://members.tripod.com/~PHILKON/) (SdJotD 970728) displays the results of conversion to an extreme. Combining various calendars of Native Peoples and the historical events from those sources into a huge database could not have been easy. His list of pointers just keeps getting better as well.  (Back to top of page)

(980209) Doug Anderson's WebParody of the Month

Douglas C. Anderson
Land of Make 'em Believe
Chicagoland, Illinois, USA (?)

The current parody is a send up of Fred Rogers' long running PBS show for children, Mister Rogers' Neighborhood that will leave you in stitches on the floor and you might even laugh. Mister Rogers' Neighborhood Watch (http://www.geocities.com/SunsetStrip/Alley/7028/mrnw.htm) takes a close look at what would be a ratings giant if Anderson had his way. The parody of the official site presents an episode guide that sees Fred on some pretty heady adventures many of us would gladly pay good money to see. Parody of the Month is wishful thinking here, most stay up as current well past the thirty or so days in a month but the pages are so well crafted it's hard to imagine a fresh poke without somebody working forty hours a week on it. Not for small minds or small children, but far from offensive. Fred Rogers would probably enjoy this site.  (Back to top of page)

(980210) News of the Weird

Universal Press Syndicate
Chuck Shepherd
St. Petersburg, Florida, USA

Scouring sources from around the world, Chuck Shepherd presents some of the strangest true news stories you will ever see. His weekly column runs in print two to three weeks before appearing here. This text only archive of the weekly e-mail messages combines the most recent volume along with a trove of pieces going back, on average, six months. Some mighty odd things happen to (ir)regular people and Mr. Shepherd condenses them into bite-size nuggets, occasionally adding his own commentary. Take these two mild items for example (Copyright 1998 Universal Press Syndicate):

Adult subject matter is discussed and readers who are sensitive to the pain of others may wish to avoid News of the Weird as little is too weird. Also available by mail-order seven times a year directly from Shepherd, or by signing up for the Friday e-mail version (33,000 News of the Weird fans can't be wrong!). To subscribe, send a message to (notw-request@nine.org) with the word 'subscribe' as the subject. Many SdJotD readers are already aware of this weekly treat, but for those who haven't experienced it or do not subscribe, a visit to this site is highly recommended.  (Back to top of page)

(980211) The Discret Charme of the Lady of Fashion
http://www.pestiest.hu/fehernemu/e_index.htm (English)

A divathölgy diszkrét bája - Az elmúlt 100 év nõi fehérnemûi
http://www.pestiest.hu/fehernemu/ (Hungarian)

Pesti Est
Budapest OnLine
Budapest, Hungary

This is the only section in English of the very large Pesti Est (http://www.hir.hu/pestiest/) site. While my Hungarian is not very strong, I was able to determine that Pesti Est is an entertainment publication similar to the many English Language sites and newspapers with music and cinema listings, etc. The Discret Charme of the Lady of Fashion looks at the structure and style of ladies unmentionables and the evolution of such garments since the 1890s. Using images of museum displays, photographs and advertisements (in Hungarian) from the appropriate decade, a unique history is presented. Sponsors include the Municipality of Budapest City - Committee for Trade, Tourism and Consumers' Interest Protection, Municipality of the Third District, Ministry of Culture and Education, EuroTextil and Triumph International. A top drawer site.  (Back to top of page)

(980212) FindLaw: Internet Legal Resources

Martin Roscheisen, Tim Stanley and Stacy Stern
Palo Alto, California, USA

FindLaw originated in 1994 as a set of law pointers for the Northern California Law Librarians and has grown to include categories such as Law Schools, Legal Organizations, Law Firms & Lawyers, Laws: Cases & Codes, State Laws and Constitutions, U.S. Federal Government Resources, Foreign & International Resources, News & Reference and a particularly interesting section titled FindLaw: Supreme Court Opinions (http://www.findlaw.com/casecode/supreme.html). This database allows users to browse United States Supreme Court Decisions back to 1893. Search by year, volume number, citation, case or text string. There are even RealAudio streams of actual arguments and biographical summaries of Justices who have served on the highest court in the land. A fantastic starting point for finding just about anything law related and well worth a bookmark.  (Back to top of page)

(980213) BBC - The Really Useful Show

BBC Television
London, England

This site says a lot for the people behind The Really Useful Show. Many of us will never have the opportunity to look at the daily broadcast on BBC1, yet much of the information presented here has a practical application for everyone. The topics cover a wide range of useful things -- Entertainment and Technology, Household Repairs, Health and Relationships and so on. Without the heavy influence of advertisers, most of the tips have low implementation costs. How many consumer shows can you name that have aired a package called Television For Pets?

Only one comes to mind for me.  (Back to top of page)

They Come From A Land Down-Under

An Australian visitor to the Site du Jour of the Day Archives sent comments about the predominance of American sites being selected as Site du Jour of the Day. The suggestion was made to include more international sites, particularly those of Australian origin. With that in mind, here is another theme week.

(980214) USA vs. Australia: A Cynical Comparison of Life in Two Great Countries

John Bauer
Cottesloe, Western Australia, Australia

USA vs. Australia looks at the differences in culture and society of two of the best known English-speaking countries in the world. A dual national (born in the US and resident in Australia for several years), John Bauer puts forth opinions and examples to illustrate cultural contrasts. Being general in nature, John's summaries are of course open to debate. As Australian politics get closer to shaking remaining ties to England, things will probably get better.

On the other hand, they might get worse.  (Back to top of page)

(980215) Australian Music Web Site

Eva Zsigri
Australian Music Web Site
Blacktown, New South Wales, Australia

Australian Popular Culture, especially Popular music is presented to the world on a regular basis but factors like geographic isolation, promotion and touring keep some of the country's best kept secrets just that. Occasionally an act hits it big in the US which almost guarantees international success. This site, started in August 1994 has information about well over 1,500 Australian artists both new and old. Pointers to sites for over a third of these acts are available at the Australian Music Web Site. Some are official sites maintained by record labels and others fan sites. A few of the better known bands and performers represented here are AC/DC, Act Of Dog, Adam & Eve were Algae, Air Supply, Australian Crawl, Australian Symphony, The Badloves, Band Of Susans, The Bee Gees, Boom Crash Opera, The Church, Crowded House, Cyanide For Christmas, Disneyfist, The Easybeats, The Go-Betweens, Hoodoo Gurus, Icehouse, Jo Jo Zep and the Falcons, Paul Kelly, Little River Band, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Men At Work, Mental As Anything, Midnight Oil, Kylie Minogue, My Friend The Chocolate Cake, Olivia Newton-John, Nice, Johnny O'Keefe, Powderfinger, Rose Tattoo, The Saints, Savage Garden, The Screaming Tribesmen, Sidewinder, silverchair, Something For Kate, Rick Springfield, Billy Thorpe & The Aztecs, and Viva Los Chunkas. In the short list above there are bound to be a few names you didn't know were Australian -- unless of course you are in Australia and then it's a matter of national pride. Easy to navigate and so full of information that it's a wonder more people around the world aren't aware of this gem and the talent available through it.  (Back to top of page)

(980216) Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority [GBRMPA]

Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority
Townsville, Queensland, Australia

Established in 1976, the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority manages use of a portion of one of the world's greatest natural systems. The Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area is 2,000 kilometers long (1,242.74 miles), and covers an area as large as the States of Victoria and Tasmania combined. Protecting an area of 350,000 square kilometers (135,135 square miles) is no mean feat. At stake is the largest coral reef system on Earth. This complex system provides a billion dollar (AU) tourist industry and revenue totaling well over AU$250 million annually for the fishing industry. The Great Barrier Reef is home to hundreds of species of marine life, some of which have Endangered and Protected status. Nearly three hundred years of shipping in the waters around the Great Barrier Reef have left scars that may never recover. Education and regulation have helped to slow the destruction but much more is needed. Visit this site for a look at the research and government agency working to preserve an important part of Australia and the world.  (Back to top of page)

(980217) Australian Indigenous Languages
The Internet Guide to Australian Languages

Maintained by David Nathan
Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, Tokyo, Japan

Hosted by the Coombs Computing Unit, Research Schools of Social Sciences & Pacific and Asian Studies, Australian National University
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia

The Indigenous Peoples of the Great Southern Continent have hopefully survived a rather abrupt interuption of cultures, cultures that go back tens of thousands of years. This page on the Coombs Computing Unit, Research Schools of Social Sciences & Pacific and Asian Studies, at the Australian National University (http://coombs.anu.edu.au/CoombsHome.html) looks at some of these languages and cultures through an excellent collection of pointers.

The Gamilaraay/Kamilaroi Dictionary (http://coombs.anu.edu.au/WWWVLPages/AborigPages/LANG/GAMDICT/GAMDICT.HTM) maintained by D. Nathan & P. Austin explores words used by the Kamilaroi and Gamilaraay from what is now Northern New South Wales. The dictionary holds the distinction of being the first formatted hypertext dictionary to appear on the World Wide Web.

Bush Food and Medicine (http://www.kisser.net.au/roebourneps/culture/default.htm) is maintained by the Staff and Students of Roebourne Primary School. In addition to offering files in WAV and RealAudio formats of children and adults pronouncing traditional Yindjibarndi and Banyjima words, the main site has a terrific tour of the region and a special section on food -- notably the skinning of a kangaroo. This is only outdone by an older member of the community (jujuna or old folk) singing traditional songs or maybe the choir singing a number called "A Town called Yeeramagadu," sung in Yindjibarndi and lifted from Woody Guthrie's "This Land is Your Land".

Uniquely Australian Words (http://www.anu.edu.au/ANDC/Austwords/) from the Australian National Dictionary Centre, Australian National University and Oxford University Press lists the definitions and origins of phrases and words which have assimilated into English, many of which have been taken from Indigenous languages.

Future episodes of Site du Jour of the Day may explore some of the individual sites found here and the Indigenous Peoples of Australia, but the importance of this single page and all that can be found using it should not go unnoticed.  (Back to top of page)

(980218) Surfcam Australia on ninemsn

MSN Australia
ninemsn Pty Limited
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Microsoft Corporation
Redmond, Washington, USA

Surfcam Australia is a series of four cameras trained on Narrabeen, Manly, Bondi and Cronulla Beaches located in greater Sydney. A joint effort from Microsoft Corporation and the Nine Network (television), the graphics are well thought out and good looking. The Southern Hemisphere is still experiencing Summer, making a look at the weather reports for the individual beaches either an excellent tool for planning a day out if you live in Sydney, or a great opportunity for a little ten minute vacation for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere. Sydney is 16 - 20 hours ahead of most of North America, a little something to keep that in mind so that daylight shots can be seen. Catch a wave and you're sitting on the bottom of the world.  (Back to top of page)

(980219) Thursday Plantation - Phy'to-therapy: Medicine from Plants

Tea Tree Oil: The Tea Tree Oil Information Website

Thursday Plantation Laboratories Limited
Ballina, New South Wales, Australia

Given the geographic isolation of the Australian continent it's not hard to understand how natural selection found a unique playground there. Marsupials like the kangaroo and koala lead the hit parade when nature's little experiments are mentioned. On a larger scale, the fun has just started with animals, plants settled in well before and have been watching the show ever since. One plant in particular pretty much has it made, The Tea Tree (Melaleuca alternifolia). So named by Captain Cook at Botany Bay in 1770 after the leaves were boiled down and given to his crew to prevent scurvy. Aboriginal tribes knew the healing qualities of the oil found in the leaves all along, but it wasn't until the 1920s that serious scientific research began. Native to the area that is now Northern New South Wales, the Tea, Paper Bark or Melaleuca Tree (as they are sometimes called) was very popular with developers around the world eager to turn wetlands into saleable property during the early part of this century. The Tea Tree has an insatiable thirst for water and with relatively few natural enemies they continue to grow and spread at an alarming rate outside of Australia. While still considered an Exotic Pest in many parts of the world, the special qualities of its oil may grant the plant a reprieve eventually.

Recognizing the antiseptic and bactericidal properties of the tree, Thursday Plantation was the first modern commercial grower of this renewable oil. The company boasts about the strength of its oil in everything from killing fungus conditions, helping to heal coral cuts and nappy rash, clearing sinus blockage and even as treatment for dandruff. Widely used as a topical ointment by Australians for nearly seventy years (or more if you want to consider folk healing), Tea Tree Oil can be found in almost every home medicine cabinet. As natural medicine becomes more popular, the likelihood of Tea Tree Oil being as common in other countries increases. Always leery of "Wonder Cures," I have used several different formulations and now swear by it (thanks Carol!). These Thursday Plantation Laboratories Limited sites list the uses and products they grow/manufacture including, but not limited to Tea Tree Oil, and also include some impressive scientific data about the oil. For further information about the substance and/or products call Thursday Plantation Laboratories Limited on 800-029 000 in Australia or Thursday Plantation Inc. in the United States at 800 848-8966.  (Back to top of page)

(980220) International Museum of Surgical Science

International Museum of Surgical Science
The International College of Surgeons
Chicago, Illinois, USA

One year ago tonight (February 19, 1997) the first episode of Site du Jour of the Day went out to an official mailing list and this was the site. There were only a few individuals on the list at that time and to date, they are all still receiving this thing. You all know who you are -- Thank you kindly for your support and encouragement. With all that has happened in the past year it's almost ironic that to the best of my memory (it has been a whole year) not much has changed at the International Museum of Surgical Science site. You can still try your hand at surviving an 1800s Interactive Antique Illness but that's about it. Sure, the number of people to try has increased but beyond that it's all pretty much the same. Not to detract from the site, the pointers to other sites like The Museum of Questionable Medical Devices and The National Library of Medicine are great and there is plenty of interesting stuff here without visiting other sites. A visit is recommended if you haven't already seen it.

The first time this site went out to the list a certain Frère Jacques was mentioned. The French Lithotomists was quite proficient at removing stones from urinary systems, but became immortal in a childrens song. It is through trivial bits of information like this that the most enjoyment is culled from writing episodes of Site du Jour of the Day and this was the site to officially start it all. Watching the mailing list grow continues the satisfaction as well. The Archive site has seen an increase in traffic because of pointers back from sites profiled and of course, readers who are looking for a specific site they liked. A few days after the BBC's The Really Useful Show was Site du Jour of the Day (980213) the producers mentioned Site du Jour of the Day on their site and I think live on the air. Not too much traffic but still very cool. Currently working are several new pages that will have alphabetical and categorical listings, updated once a month there will be links to the full episode and the featured site. Maybe even a listing by country, which brings me to the point where I mention that the Australian theme week They Come From A Land Down-Under will conclude on Saturday. As always, if you have any comments or suggestions do not hesitate to send them along.

I appreciate you being a part of Site du Jour of the Day's first year.  (Back to top of page)

(980221) Countdown to Sydney 2000 Olympic Games


Stellar Group
Glebe, New South Wales, Australia


Sydney Olympic Park Progress Report


David Bates
BBA Software
Homebush, New South Wales, Australia


Skycam Australia

Skycam Australia
Pennant Hills, New South Wales, Australia


The Sydney 2000 Olympic Games

Sydney Organising Committee for the Olympic Games (SOCOG)
Homebush, New South Wales, Australia

The Sydney 2000 Olympic Games run between Friday, September 15, 2000 and Sunday, October 1, 2000 and the preparations are well under way. This sub-set of Australian sites will help you experience some of the excitement and anticipation Sydney residents get every day. Stelar Group's Countdown to Sydney 2000 Olympic Games is just that, a Common Gateway Interface (CGI) which gives the years, months, days, hours, minutes let until the games start. Sydney Olympic Park Progress Report from BBA Software contains pictures of the construction of Sydney Olympic Stadium, Sydney Showground, Olympic Transport systems and the completed Sydney International Aquatic Centre. Taken by David Bates with a Kodak DC40 digital camera on his way into work, their incorporation into this site is very well done. Next is Skycam Australia's beautiful aerial photography of the facilities at Homebush Bay and other points of interest in and around Sydney. The final site, hosted by IBM Corporation (http://www.ibm.com.au/IBM/2000.html) marks the company's fortieth year of Olympic involvement and has up to the minute press releases, ticket information and everything else an official site for such an event should have. On a side note, there are two misconceptions about the Olympic Games in Sydney -- Summer games will start a few days into Spring in the middle of September and they are not the first games of the new millennium, they are the last of the current. They should be interesting though, especially the opening ceremonies if those in Atlanta can be used as any kind of a gauge. I'm looking most forward to the dancing (singing?) Sydney Opera House.  (Back to top of page)

(980222) Millennium Tower - Portsmouth

Over The Top Productions
Portsmouth, England


The News On-Line

Portsmouth Publishing and Printing Ltd.
Portsmouth, England

The last episode of Site du Jour of the day looked at the work currently being undertaken in Sydney -- construction to showcase human athletic accomplishment. The Millennium Tower project's goal is the construction of a simple landmark. As the end result, it itself being the human accomplishment. Scheduled to open before the turn of the century in the Summer of the year 2000, the 500 foot tall tower is intended to become a symbol of the harbor at Portsmouth. Over The Top Productions' site will follow the stages of construction from the creation of shore from mudflats through the opening and probably beyond. As the project which began in 1995 advances, one of three proposed designs will be picked. These distinctly different towers can be seen through renderings at The News On-Line site. Either The Spinnaker, The Triple or The Globe will provide, when finished, a 360-degree view whereby the Isle of Wight, the Chichester and Winchester Cathedrals and other areas of interest will be in plain view from the top. Estimated cost comes in at 28 million pounds for the tower and is part of the larger Renaissance of Portsmouth Harbour Millennium Project. Local and international interest in the project can only be heightened by the fact that the design used will be selected by matter of public opinion. Not only can you witness a new landmark go up from anywhere on Earth, but until the 23rd of February you can participate in the selection by visiting The News On-Line site. Another case were the grandkids will get to hear to hear you tell them about how "they were going to make it from wood at first but so many of us urged them to plan for the future and use concrete".  (Back to top of page)

(980223) Ancient Bristlecone Pine

Leonard Miller
Sonoma County, California, USA

Growing at a place that only averages between ten and twelve inches of precipitation every year is a Bristlecone Pine called Methuselah. That anything could survive in the dry conditions of the White-Inyo mountain range is amazing but for it to be the oldest living thing on the planet is staggering. Surrounded by other Bristlecone Pines a quarter its age, the 4,764 year-old tree is still healthy enough to produce seeds. In addition to the facts and figures available, there is a large collection of images and quotations. This is an extremely nice site.  (Back to top of page)

(980224) The Evil Of Pippi
The red-haired harbinger of the Apocalypse

Hosted by AOL, so most likely... USA

The creation of Pippi Longstocking is credited to Astrid Lindgren. Dave maintains here that she is actually El Diablo in the flesh. Blaming the Germans and Swedes for a plot to help her gain world domination, Dave's findings will paint a whole new picture of the red-haired "little girl" of motion picture and literary fame. Not intended for the weak of will or mind, this site takes great risks to warn of impending doom. If the truth presented here isn't enough for you, visit Dave's Smoke & Be Cool pages (http://members.aol.com/rtvdave/smokecool.html) for strong language and opinions with a pro Tobacco Industry slant.  (Back to top of page)

(980225) Hot Wheels

Mattel Inc.
El Segundo, California, USA

For over thirty years Mattel Inc. has been selling what might be the coolest toy ever -- miniature hot rods that blow the doors off of Matchbox cars and countless cheaper imitations. Much has changed with Hot Wheels since they were first introduced but they are as enjoyable as ever. This site is aimed at children and responsibly declares right from the start that it "...contains product information and advertising materials". Once inside the memories start pouring back for anyone who has ever so much as played with one of the die-cast metal wonders. Even though we have all grown older, the market has changed (and Mattel Inc. has absorbed the Matchbox Company), these toys continue to be the most fun you can buy for under a buck.  (Back to top of page)

(980226) Wild World of Wonka

The Willy Wonka Candy Factory®
Itasca, Illinois, USA

Wild World of Wonka is another site aimed at kids, but presents an interesting marketing approach in the history of the company. In the 1950s a small Chicago confection company was manufacturing hot cinnamon jaw-breakers called "H-Bombs" (not to be confused with "Atomic Fireballs"). In 1965 they became a part of the Sunmark Companies and it was business as usual. In 1971 a film version of Roald Dahl's books, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator is released. It's hugely popular and the merchandizing tie-in is one that a candy maker dreams about, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory staring Gene Wilder puts words like "scrumdidlyumptious" on the tongues of kids everywhere. By licensing the name Willy Wonka, Breaker Confections cashes in on the Everlasting Gobstopper, a centerpiece of the film. This subsequently sends jaw-breaker sales to record levels, and gives Breaker a huge industry lead. by 1980, the very name of the company has changed to Willy Wonka Brands and eight years later the firm is owned by Swiss conglomerate Nestlé. 1993 Sees yet another name change for the Illinois based subsidiary as all stops are pulled out and The Willy Wonka Candy Factory appears on the brightly colored boxes.

The colors and activities at this site celebrate the wonder of Wonka and of course, all of the fine products made at the factory. Fans of the original stories will immediately notice the conspicuous lack of chocolate, ironic in that parent company Nestlé is synonymous with chocolate. Looking more like a visit to Seusssville than the quasi-Victorian feel originally presented in the movie, the site should entertain children of all ages. At least until the sugar coma kicks in.  (Back to top of page)

(980227) a brief history of banned music

Eric Nuzum
Kent, Ohio, USA

Since the beginnings of the Rock Era in the early 1950s so much has changed it becomes hard to imagine a place in time where Elvis Presley could get censors at the Columbia Broadcasting System so worried they threatened to immediately fire any camera operator who let the shot go below the King's belt. They were concerned that Sunday night audiences might not appreciate our boy from Tupelo shakin' his groove thang. How times have changed.

Even though it is small, a brief history of banned music may surprise you with items you were unaware of. I had never heard the story about Curtis Mayfield and his little problem with the producers of Soul Train until looking at this site, and some of the more recent controversies had passed me by as well. Holding fantastic potential so long as it remains neutral on the moral issues surrounding censorship and sticks to the facts, a brief history of banned music is already an excellent reference source regardless of the visitors personal opinion. It can only get better. The pointers to sites taking both sides of the censorship issue and to outside sources about particular acts round the site out nicely. RealAudio streams are a huge plus. Advertising is limited to direct connections to book and music retailers and if visitor purchases a listed title through one of them Nuzum stands to make a little money. It is only fitting in that many banned records started out as publicity stunts in the first place. This is a really nice marriage of commerce and content.  (Back to top of page)

(980228) Thermica

Thermica Ltd.
Stoneferry, Hull, England

The subject of Asbestos came up in a conversation the other day -- several of us were discussing how certain materials and devices that were once industry standards turned out to be not such great ideas after all. Somebody mentioned the old x-ray machines once common in shoe stores. They disappeared almost overnight after children and adults had been exposing their feet to low dosage radiation several times a year. The list went on and on, DDT, several colors of food-grade dye, medications, and our old friend asbestos. Asbestos was used as an insulator because of its high resistance to heat and flame. As health problems caused by the mineral started showing up, the dangers became clear. Small airborne particles get trapped in the lungs and cause cancerous cells to develop -- not such a good thing. To this day, many demolition and redevelopment projects are hindered by the fact that this substance once thought harmless requires complete removal under air-tight conditions. Construction still requires insulating and here is an alternative.

Thermica is a brand of vermiculite based products for use in place of asbestos. Combining aluminum-iron magnesium silicates into several moldable, sprayable compounds that meet or exceed safety guidelines and the properties of asbestos. The site for Thermica Ltd. is at once a catalog and a look at emerging technology. For a commercial site with a specialized target audience, items of interest to the end consumer are plentiful. Instead of simply ignoring that fact, Thermica Ltd. and the site designer present technical data in an easy to understand fashion. The look is clean and functional, something that in itself is nice to see. Plus it answers the question about what the industry is using since losing asbestos.  (Back to top of page)

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Copyright 1998 Edward J. Pelegrino. All rights reserved.
Trade and Service Marks used herein are the property of their respective owners.


Updated  March 1, 1998

This Archive has been opened counter times since February 9, 1998.

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