Site du Jour of the Day

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February 1999































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(990201) Ad Council

The Advertising Council
New York, New York, USA
Washington, District of Columbia, USA

A part of the license renewal procedure radio and television broadcasters go through every year in the US has to do with the amount of community service they provide. This content can include announcements of local bake sales, school closings and the like. Frequently enough, it's a matter of running Public Service Announcements (PSAs) to fill unsold commercial time. Not limited to electronic media, campaigns for public awareness — "Only you can prevent forest fires," will appear in available space in print as well. The source for many of these items has been the Ad Council, an organization created in 1942 as The War Advertising Council to generate public interest in War Bonds, Victory Gardens and motivating women to join the work force. After the war ended the organization turned its attention to issues such as highway safety, literacy, medical research/disease prevention, etc. This site provides information about historical and current campaigns along with pointers to the appropriate organizations.Of interest to many will be guidelines for volunteering time and resources to the Ad Council and application procedures for gaining endorsed campaign status or Ad Council support. If you have a site of your own or are otherwise responsible for one, visit the Ad Council site and grab a banner or two to help out the many causes and campaigns. Starting with the February archive Site du Jour of the Day will be (see banner below).  (Back to top of page)

NACME banner

(990202) World Pinball Directory

David E. Grossman
Chicago, Illinois, USA

Pinball fans rejoice! David E. Grossman, who happens to work for Midway Games Inc. as Coordinator, Internet Development, has put together The World Pinball Directory. With listings of future tournaments and shows, news of new machines being released by the industry and a comprehensive guide — the directory itself, which details establishments and the tables they have including condition and pricing information. This is a great idea and like any directory, the more people who report in the better it becomes.  (Back to top of page)

(990203) World's Largest Roadside Attractions

Martin Ince
Flagstaff, Arizona, USA

They are often silly, cost way too much money to build these days but attract traffic and shutterbugs like nothing else known to mankind. Over-sized things, acting as beacons to the weary traveler of a bygone age. Lots of places have such works of art — whether it's a thirty foot high bowling pin in Indiana, or a mutant prawn in New South Wales. Through the collection of photographs, listings and pointers at World's Largest Roadside Attractions visitors can indirectly witness everything from an Alligator at Christmas, Florida to the Yoyo at Chico, California. Over two hundred items are here and Martin Ince is always looking for more.

You won't want to miss The Gallery of Huge Beings, it reminded me of not one, but two statues which were in the county here at one time. Our town's own Lumber Man was renamed for commercial reasons to "The Giant" and then we watched in horror as he gave up a cross-section of his neck to reduce either his surface area and/or height as a result of a change to a sign ordinance. He was later run out of town when the furniture retailer he stood watch over closed shop. In addition to several Big Johns, you'll see the famous Bikini Woman of Peoria, Illinois plus Gambrinus, the King of Beer at LaCrosse, Wisconsin.

If historical structures such as these interest you, be sure to visit Loren Eyrich's Two Lane Roads ( (SdJotD 980316) for a big helping of roadside nostalgia when you've seen everything the World's Largest Roadside Attractions has to offer.  (Back to top of page)

(990204) - live police & fire broadcasts

AudioNet, Inc.
Dallas, Texas, USA

Live radio transmissions from a few Police and Fire Departments in the US can be heard here using streaming audio plug-ins. These conversation between headquarters and field personnel usually consist of routine traffic stops and other hardly exciting events, but occasionally things do heat up, especially with fire calls. An ideal site for individuals interested in experiencing the behind the scenes workings of two vocations we sometimes take for granted. The cities currently covered are Dallas and Plano, Texas, Los Angeles and New York City. Pointers to rail and aviations feeds can also be found at  (Back to top of page)

(990205) The CAT User's Manual
User Installation and Maintenance Documentation
CAT v. 7.0: Completely Autonomous Tester
Manufactured by MOMCAT

Andreas Ramos
Palo Alto, California, USA

Bill Norman, a Site du Jour of the Day reader living in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma wrote to tell me about this very clever site, pointing out that CAT owners make up the majority of people who own PETS. The CAT User's Manual is such a well written document that everyone from beginners to experts will find it useful, even if you prefer the rival K9 Unit. Being a fan of the more BASIC K9 Unit, I found several parts of this manual entertaining to say the least. After reading it certain aspects of working with a CAT are starting to make more sense than ever before. The following is a mere sample of the wisdom shared:

"Your CAT should have a system name. The name may need to be reinitialized repeatedly until the system can read it correctly. This lets you issue voice commands to bring the unit to an online state…You can also get the CAT's attention by booting the system. While this is effective, it is discouraged…Do not attempt to open a CAT. There are no user serviceable parts inside. If a unit emits strange smells or sounds, it should be serviced immediately…"

Andreas Ramos' whole site ( is as good as The CAT User's Manual and should not be missed.  (Back to top of page)

(990206) EyeWitness

Ibis Communications, Inc.
Columbia, Maryland, USA

To really appreciate historical events one must live through them. While this is great if the event in question occurred during your own lifetime, learning about things from an earlier age or even a far away place can become a cloudy ordeal. Finding an account from a person or people who were there helps as long as you understand the context of such accounts. A vivid description of everyday life is often without description on a broader scale, but these reports are usually the beginning of history. These stories become compiled, and eventually we see minute detail and human emotion evaporate from them completely. We are ultimately left with versions in the third person and stuff gets worse from there. EyeWitness has put together original source reports starting with the Invasion of England in 1066 and continuing through an additional twenty five topics. Most are from the year 1838 forward and include a basic synopsis, photographs and pointers to additional resources. EyeWitness is a wonderful view back in time.  (Back to top of page)

(990207) The Vintage Vacuum Cleaner Museum

Charlie Lester
137 Technologies
Los Angeles, California, USA

Almost everything you've ever wanted to know about the vacuum cleaner is here plus a lot of information about industrial design and marketing. A word of caution though — if you plan on visiting this site from home, be sure to put the dog or cat in another room first.  (Back to top of page)

(990208) The American Council for Headache Education (ACHE)

The American Council for Headache Education
Mount Royal, New Jersey, USA

Sites like this one for The American Council for Headache Education are often the first step in finding relief for common illnesses. With the frequency most people experience the pain and discomfort a headache brings, a few minutes spent here should prove to be time well spent. Diagnosing the cause or causes which lead to a headache can be no mean feat. Changing things as simple as diet or how we deal with stress can be all it takes to end years of suffering. For others, over the counter treatments prove to be all it takes. What you will find here is a considerably large list of possible symptoms and methods to help deal with the pain. An added surprise is ACHE's Museum of Headache Art ( which houses many fine visual interpretations of a headache. At times surreal, these images provide a unique look at a subject most are familiar with but may have never seen in such a manner. As always, seek the advice of a trained medical professional or two before starting any treatment, something this serious could be just a symptom of a larger problem.  (Back to top of page)

(990209) The Federalist
The Internet's Conservative Journal of Record

Publius Press, Inc
Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA

The American political system must be an amazing show for citizens of other countries. Here we have the grandest of all experiments to date. Run depending on who you ask, by idiots and wise men, each of whom have an entirely different idea of how the whole show is supposed to play. (Un)fortunately, the majority of Americans never participate in the process, preferring instead to spout off with limited knowledge about something their friend on the TV news told them between commercial announcements. Like most large, free governments the United States of America is divided into two opposing camps. On the left you'll find liberals who feel good about listening to National Public Radio because they think it's the news, and on the right, conservatives who feel good about listening to Rush Limbaugh because they think it's the news. While this broad generalization covers a lot of ground it fails to consider the possibility of there being liberal conservatives and conservative liberals. In short, two slightly different viewpoints that as of late, boil down to a common feeling that there may be too many politicians, and that perhaps a Sonny Bono memorial skiing junket is in order before springtime rolls around.

The Federalist is a political week in review from a conservative side of the fence, Constitutional conservatives more or less interested in preserving our form of government before it hits the fan. Subscribe to the e-mail version or gather back issues as PDF files, both from the site. The Federalist was suggested by a long-time Site du Jour of the Day subscriber who lives right here in the Fort Myers area. Len was not raised here in the US so when he wrote about how he enjoyed the recently featured history site called EyeWitness ( (SdJotD 990206) and suggested that "People interested in it might also like (, it is full of good stuff about the basis of our governmental principles…" I had to take notice. You may wish to do the same, responsible freedom of speech is a beautiful thing.  (Back to top of page)


Pasadena, California, USA


NetZero "FREE" Internet Connection Services

NetZero, INC
Westlake Village, California, USA

Here's a pair of almost novel marketing strategies. the folks at idealab! are "giving away" 10,000 Compaq Presario Internet PCs with full connections to the Internet in exchange for some pretty serious demographic information. In return, select consumers will have the use of a top selling machine and see countless tailored advertisements from big spending companies. Two years is the time frame for the machine, and it would probably be a safe bet that the lucky few will have to sign away their lives and Internet service provider choices for the duration. But hey, it's free and if advertisers see you as a target why not run with it? Unfortunately, the children and adults who would benefit most from such a luxury are too poor to lure sponsors with. They will most likely stand less of a chance to qualify because of their socioeconomic status. In putting out 10,000 units with an estimated minimum cost of somewhere near $500 per machine, it looks like somebody has a lot of confidence in their plan. If you should apply for a machine and get it I would certainly appreciate hearing about it.

NetZero on the other hand offers free Internet access and e-mail for US residents owning a system with a minimum setup which includes a 486 processor, 16 MB of RAM, 12 MB of hard drive space available, Windows 95, a 14.4 modem and an SVGA monitor. A Mac version is still half a year away. The dial-up numbers are plentiful and as with, advertising will be delivered like it is going out of style. This can be tolerated for a long time if the service is quick and the ads don't become as annoying as those displayed by Juno ( (SdJotD 970403). Juno was originally a stand-alone e-mail client that many credit with starting the whole free e-mail/Internet access for watching commercials trend. Both services are owned by idealab! and the projects seem to have a few big investors poised to make a small fortune if these ideas take off. Like with the newspaper business, the end user isn't really the consumer — s/he's actually the product. What the heck, they're free.  (Back to top of page)

(990211) Naomi B.
Leather Art

Naomi Benheim
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Naomi Benheim's work is similar to fabric sculpting, the sort seen on contemporary quilts and other textile art. The big difference, and factor which makes it unique is leather. Working with colors tanned and dyed into skins during the manufacturing process, she adds no additional pigments. The resulting pieces are very interesting and as reader Phil Konstantin — On This Date In North American Indian History ( (SdJotD 970728) remarked in his message suggesting this site, the colors used are outstanding. Naomi Benheim uses ripping and cutting tools to enhance the shapes and textures leather allows. She states at the site that she never uses exotic skins and holds claim to being the first person to work in such a manner with leather. The images here have been beautifully scanned, allowing the three dimensional quality to come through. These "Murals in Leather" are very nice indeed.  (Back to top of page)

(990212) PL8S.COM
The most comprehensive site on the web for license plate collectors!

Drew Steitz
East Texas, Pennsylvania, USA

PL8S.COM is a great site for anyone interested in licence plates as issued around the world for automobiles, motorcycles and bicycles. Plate collecting can be a rewarding hobby, starting perhaps with a birth year Set — rounding up at least one plate which was in use when you were born from each state/province/territory of interest. Drew Steitz is a license plate collector and has put this site together using images of plates, history, and a host of facts and figures for quite a few places. Pointers to related sites help expand the content available and the classifieds section is a dream come true for people looking for specific items. Note: Some of the pages here are missing but don't let that discourage you. If you enjoy this site you will also want to visit Leon Poon's Vanity License Plates ( (SdJotD 980822) for a look at some of the odd and funny things people have put on license plates. A gold star goes out to Site du Jour of the Day reader Stu Casper of North Carolina for recommending PL8S.COM.  (Back to top of page)

(990213) PC Mechanic

David Risley and M.A. Dockter
Tampa, Florida, USA

Twenty year-old Management Information Systems student David Risley is the PC Mechanic at PC Mechanic. With the editing assistance of M.A. Dockter, this site has an abundance of helpful information pertaining to building a computer from the case on up. They cover everything here, from rounding up the individual components to installing the operating system and beyond. Building or upgrading a machine can be a simple matter of installing a new sound card or as complicated as gutting an existing box to build the ultimate in customization. The detailed instructions at PC Mechanic will give you an idea of the skill level needed to work on a machine yourself, and as pointed out in the chapter about configuring the BIOS (more or less the computer's base level identity), following specific installation instructions is crucial to the success of your project — "Please bear in mind that this serves as an outline. Your actual settings and names may vary for different BIOS versions." PC Mechanic has been undergoing constant evolution since its April 1997 debut and it shows in the quality of the site. A special thank you goes out to Cara Filipeli who's site called Cara's Poetry Cove ( (SdJotD 981025) was featured back in October. Cara wrote that PC Mechanic helped her learn about a new video card she needed, and that the site "…has all kinds of very useful info on that spooky placed called the inside of the PC." It does too.  (Back to top of page)

(990214) The Town of Cupids

Stephen Dawe
and the Cupids Historical Society
Cupids, Newfoundland, Canada

Cupids, Newfoundland was the first official colony for England in what is now Canada. No hearts or flowers here, just a modest site describing the town, with images showing an archeological dig and several more showing off what was at the time of Cupids' 300th anniversary, the largest Union Jack to fly over the British Empire. The restored flag from 1910 hangs in the museum and a reproduction flies over the town on weekends and holidays. A page with a pointers to other sites related to the Town of Cupids and Newfoundland tourism will give visitors additional sources to explore.  (Back to top of page)

(990215) Science à GoGo
Science with knobs on!

JuJu Media Ltd.
London, England

Science in the daily news can often be difficult to turn up. All too often it's buried in the newspaper or on a broadcast news program, edified down to nothing, or blown completely out of proportion. Most of the time though it's completely ignored. Heavy duty real science can be found on the Internet but occasionally it is too vivid in detail. Science à GoGo comes to the rescue with a daily story about real life stuff, suitable for almost everyone regardless of scientific training or education. A month of stories and pointers to original sources make this site a recommended bookmark and launch pad for anyone with even a casual interest in science.  (Back to top of page)

(990216) Display & Design Ideas

Shore-Varrone, Inc.
Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Display & Design Ideas is a trade publication for visual merchandisers, fixture manufacturers and companies operating retail stores. Consumers will find it equally as interesting if for no other reason than the coverage of trends and news of the mass-marketing industry. Huge retailers such as Wal-Mart, K-Mart and Target have led the way, bringing consumer goods to places normally dominated by small family owned variety and department stores. This looming shadow of doom has caused many a chain to reinvent themselves and the way they do business. By modernizing displays and lighting and changing demographic focus, companies like Sears have "saved the farm" and have experienced growth in markets which were still zoned agricultural when reorganization began. Other chains have failed at bankruptcy reorganization attempts that must have included the wrong combination of things. Display & Design Ideas has an excellent news section at this site where early reports of such failures and successes are regularly reported. Current editorial content contains views and analysis of the last ten years in the industry, an industry far different than it was a decade ago when the magazine started publication. After reading a few of the articles here, one comes away with a better understanding of how retail establishments cook up different ways to get us to bite. An interesting look at the art and science of retail sales that will increase the awareness level you experience the next time you are in the mall or down at the gargantuan Meg-A-Lo Mart.  (Back to top of page)

(990217) Plumb Design Visual Thesaurus

Plumb Design Inc.
New York, New York, USA

Visual Thesaurus from Plumb Design, Inc. uses the company's ThinkMap™ technology to create a stunning user interface and graphic representation to show relationships between words. In this particular case, Princeton University's Cognitive Science's WordNet database comes to life in a user selected two or three dimensional display. Selecting a particular word dissolves those leading up to it and manifests similarly connected words. Suggested by Site du Jour of the Day reader Jim Reeve who wrote "Check this one out. It is really dramatic…" and is it ever! Visual Thesaurus looks like someone loaded mortars with words and a skein or two of yarn and then shot them off like a huge fireworks display.

Not all visitors will be able to experience Visual Thesaurus though, system requirements are to a point unforgiving. Java application capability is a must, and if you are using a Macintosh 68k machine, AOL for Macintosh, or AOL for Windows 3.1 there is no support. WebTV users could run into problems and firewalls can present difficulties too. No matter, have a look see the rest of the site, if for no other reason than to learn about how it works. This site is so cool that you should to do what you can to see it, even if it means finding a stronger machine to use. Either way, give yourself at least an hour or two to explore.  (Back to top of page)

(990218) TipWorld

PC World Communications, Inc.
International Data Group, Inc.
San Francisco, California, USA

Subscribing to free e-mail newsletters is an excellent method of gaining new skills and information, especially when it comes to highly specific topics. The folks at PC World Communications, Inc. offer seventy five newsletters on subjects which include daily messages about shareware, Windows 95, 98 and NT, different browsers, Year 2000 hype, and a whole lot more. Branded newsletters are available from the publisher of the For Dummies series of books and they include America Online from Dummies Daily, Internet Search Tips from Dummies Daily and Online Shopping Tips from Dummies Daily. You can also subscribe to Universal Serial Bus Tips, Pregnancy and Baby Tips from BabyCenter, Baseball Tips, Cheat Codes from Games.Net and a selection of other game related newsletters. A visit to TipWorld is almost like receiving an envelope in the mail from the firms specializing in print magazine subscriptions without the exaggerated claims of big prizes and complicated instructions. Ordering e-mail newsletters here is easy and free. There is something for everyone, including free e-mail accounts should you need (another) one.  (Back to top of page)

(990219) Russia's Weather

Hydrometeorological Center of Russia (of Rosgidromet)
and Space Monitoring Information Support laboratory, Space Research Institute (IKI)
Moscow, Russia

For accurate weather forecasts and condition reports in all of Russia, former Soviet states, portions of Europe, Turkey and Japan look no further. Russia's Weather uses data from over five hundred stations maintained by the Hydrometeorological Center of Russia, and the site is updated every three hours. Register to use Russia's Weather and see six day forecasts with an estimated accuracy ranging from 94% reliable on the first day to 85% reliable on the fourth day. Unfortunately the forecasts are not updated on weekends and given the size of the area, much can change over the course of a day or two. Of special interest will be the sections with reports from beaches, surface readings from Crimea, the Black Sea and Caspian Sea plus a whole batch of satellite images. Follow the pointers to the Space Monitoring Information Support laboratory (SMIS) of Space Research Institute (IKI RAN) ( for more on the equipment and science used to put a project like this together.  (Back to top of page)

(990220) Search the Site du Jour of the Day Archives

Edward J. Pelegrino
Fort Myers, Florida, USA


PinPoint Site Search Tool

NetCreations, Inc.
New York, New York, USA

Two years ago the first episode of Site du Jour of the Day went out to a very small "official" list of people. What was intended to be a section of a much larger e-zine/site took on a life of its own. I'm not exactly sure how many sites have been profiled and explored during the past 730 days, but my best guess is 700. In that same time, the number of subscribers has grown from 3 to just shy of 500. Due to featured sites including pointers to the Archive, people forwarding episodes to friends and folks simply happening upon the Archive site through search engines, the number of readers continues to increase and amaze. To everyone who has helped spread the word about Site du Jour of the Day, contributed site suggestions and provided encouragement and advice, Thank You! In the past two years you all have helped to make this project a pleasure and I look forward to starting the third year of Site du Jour of the Day, glad to have you aboard.

The single most asked questions about Site du Jour of the Day is about the redundancy in the title, specifically whether or not I am aware of it. Yes I am. It came as a result of something at the first site to appear in an episode, the International Museum of Surgical Science ( (SdJotD 970220). See if you can find it. While on the subject of finding things, the second most asked question has to do with a search engine at the Archive site. After trying several on for size over the past few months I am proud to announce that there is one in place. Although the HTML needs to be refined on pages in the Archive site, you can now take advantage of the fine utility known as the PinPoint Site Search Tool provided by NetCreations, Inc. Instructions for use are included at the Archive search page listed above. If you run a site of your own you'll probably want to look into using this free service yourself. NetCreations, Inc. offers additional marketing solutions and if you like what you see at the PinPoint Site Search Tool sign-up page be sure to visit the main site at ( Happy searching.  (Back to top of page)

(990221) Cool Jargon of the Day

Stephen Jazdzewski and Charles Jazdzewski
Business Innovation Technology, Inc.
Portland, Oregon, USA

Computer use has added a lot of words and meanings to languages of the world, probably more than any other single source in such a short time. Cool Jargon of the Day has been delivering word definitions and history to visitors since January 1995 and the geek-speaking Jazdzewski duo welcome suggestions and additions. As these words see more common usage their novelty and charm will begin to fade but rest assured, there are a lot more where these came from.  (Back to top of page)

Review in Haiku

a week of reviews
inspired by headline site*
quick and to the point

* Haiku Headlines of the Week ( (SdJotD 990123)

(990222) COMPASS
Freeway Traffic Management System

Ontario Ministry of Transportation (MTO)
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Ontario roads
have Big Brother watching them
see how it works, live

(Back to top of page)

(990223) Livesights ThamesCam!

Livesights International
London, England

thanks to Mike Bateman
for his first Haiku ever
site is a gem too:

"Homesick for Blighty
or enjoy naval-gazing?
See bridge rise and fall

(Back to top of page)

(990224) OOK
Observing Obscure Kulture

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA

with its funky name
an eclectic bonanza
bring your brain along

(Back to top of page)

(990225) Oliver Sacks' Homepage

Created by Sheryl A. Carter
Oliver Sacks, M.D.
New York, New York, USA

prolific author
Hollywood has filmed his stuff
top neurologist

(Back to top of page)

(990226) The Fabulous Ruins of Detroit

Lowell Boileau
Highland Park, Michigan, USA

industrial hub
quite quickly going to hell
it's really a shame

(Back to top of page)

(990227) StampsOnline

U.S. Postal Service
Raleigh, North Carolina, USA

price went up a cent
still the best deal anywhere
see all the new stamps

(Back to top of page)


The Great Fredini
New York, New York, USA

just like being there
see Coney Island's odd side
admission is free

(Back to top of page)

Site du Jour of the Day episodes will resume in mid-March


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Copyright 1999 Edward J. Pelegrino. All rights reserved.
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Updated  February 28, 1999

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