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Domestic Violence Prevention

(991201) I'm Dreaming of a White Trash Christmas

@nti International
Redondo Beach, California, USA

This novel advent-style calendar starts out with pointers to sites related to, but not all about Elvis Presley. For my money it's off to a good start. Things may change during the next twenty four days, but it's certainly far too early to tell. A set of pages titled "I'm Dreaming of a White Trash Christmas" has such potential, but then again there is the looming threat that Jeff Foxworthy could poke his little red-nosed neck out at any time. I suppose we'll all just have to wait and see what happens.  (Back to top of page)

(991202) Mars Exploration Program

Jet Propulsion Laboratory
California Institute of Technology
Pasadena, California, USA

Scheduled for a landing on December 3rd near the South Pole of Mars, news of the Mars Polar Lander will probably be all over television that day. Several features of this mission should prove to be interesting enough to grab the attention of the world, most notably the Mars Microphone instrument sponsored by The Planetary Society in Pasadena. Count on it water is found, and if evidence of life, either past or present is turned up, it will be the biggest science story ever. When the lander and two microprobes reach their goal, clues about 100,000 years of Martian geology and climatology are expected to be transmitted back home. Landing humans on Mars still sounds like Science Fiction to most people, but with this and other missions the reality of such a things keeps getting closer.

On a side note, you can still Sign Up for Mars! ( (SdJotD 990510) by including your name on a CD-ROM to be included on the Mars 2001 Orbiter when it's launched in April 2001. A total of 932,816 people are going to land on Mars when the Mars Polar Lander settles in, it would be a shame to miss the next flight out.  (Back to top of page)

Secret Santa Gift-Exchange Group Management

Brainbow, Inc.
White Plains, New York, USA

If you've ever participated in a holiday gift-giving pool you know how much fun it can be. If you've ever been the wrangler for a holiday gift-giving pool you know the challenges such a task presents. takes all of the hard work out of the logistics of such an exchange and seems perfectly suited for groups at work, for clubs or organizations and even for extended families. By signing up a group and following simple instructions, almost anyone can put together a pool in no time flat. collects names and e-mail addresses, a minor limitation if members of the group do not have an e-mail address, matches up people either by random or shared interests, and gives group members a chance to drop some serious hints to whoever gets their name. A clever marketing ploy to get you to buy gifts from perhaps, but there is no longer a need for low-tech devices such as hats and little scraps of paper and you are not obligated to buy anything from One additional concern may be found in a company collecting e-mail addresses and light-weight personal information, but if that doesn't bother you or your group then have a look. The privacy statement posted at the site is pretty clear in the fact that data collected is not shared though.  (Back to top of page)

(991204) Torah Tots - The Site for Jewish children

Reuven A. Stone
R.A. Stone Design Associates
HI-TECH Computers, Inc.
Brooklyn, New York, USA

The commercialization of Chanukah is a disturbing event but was bound to happen sooner or later. Content and characters at this site, and the related merchandise available for purchase have a slight Disney feel to them and are all designed help younger children learn more about Jewish tradition and history. Visitors will meet Talmi D. Torah, The Torah Scroll; Beano Becher, The Kiddush Kup; HardyHar Sinai, The Mountain; and their mascot Tubby The Tevah, "Ark! Ark!" in addition to Baruch McBracha, the Mayor of Totsland. Baruch McBracha helps children to understand the concepts introduced along the way. Coloring pages and other games are included to entertain the kids, and during Chanukah you can play Dreidel with most current browsers. Purists may wish to stay away from this site, but for anyone who would like to learn more about the Jewish holidays, Torah Tots and the pointers it contains will make for a good start.

Happy Chanukah.  (Back to top of page)

(991205) Snowman.mpg

hosted by
NBC Internet, Inc.
San Francisco, California, USA

Someone is using free space at Xoom ( to facilitate the transfer of this short, but hilarious movie in MPEG format. No telling exactly how long it will be available so have a look as soon as possible. You might even want to save it to a local drive for later enjoyment just in case the file vaporizes in the spring. Pure magic.  (Back to top of page)

(991206) InterTran™ - translate between 676 language pairs!

Translation Experts Limited
London, England

Over the past few months, Site du Jour of the Day episodes have explored automated translation services and commercial software packages available on the Internet. While it is fast, Babelfish - AltaVista Translations ( (SdJotD 990922) provides mixed results and with any crucial translation, a knowledge of both languages being used is crucial. Human translators will probably always reign supreme over computers, and even that approach isn't perfect. For a list of sites to help translators, see Susan Larsson's Translators' Site du Jour ( (SdJotD 991008).

All things considered, InterTran™, looks like it has a higher accuracy rate and offers alternate translations for words and whole phrases, something that will help readers figure out original meaning a little bit better than without. A full commercial package is available but this version is free to use. Translate anything from single words to entire pages, working between 676 language pairs. Be sure to visit the rest of the Translation Experts Limited site ( for additional information about translation software packages and services. If you have found a better utility and would like to share it with other readers please let me know.

A true test may be considered translating to one language and then translating back. Granted, it's fairly complex, but here's what happened when the previous paragraph went from English to Icelandic and back to English:

Allur hlutur yfirvegaður, [InterTran™], útlit eins og það hefur [a] hár nákvæmni hlutfall og tilboð varamaður þýðing fyrir orð og heild orðtak, eitthvað þessi vilja hjálpa lesandi reikna út frumeintak merking [a] lítill hluti betri en án. A fullur auglýsing pakki er laus en [this] útgáfa er frjáls til nota. Þýða nokkuð frá einn orð til allur blaðsíða, vinnandi á milli 676 tungumál par. Vera viss til heimsókn [the] hvíla af [the] Þýðing Sérfræðingur Takmarkaður staður ( ) fyrir viðbótar- upplýsingar óður í þýðing hugbúnaður pakki og þjónusta. Ef þú hafa stofna [a] betri gagnsemi og vildi eins og til hluti það með annar lesandi þóknast láta mig vita.

Total thing well-balanced, [[InterTran™]], semblance as though there hast [[a]] [hár] precision ratio and offer substitute compilation pay lip service to [orð] and whole phrase, credit with ;l) wish succour reader calculate original meaning [[a]] small part better while [án]. A full advertisement parcel is loose while [[this]] version is at large to use. Translate some of single [orð] to total page, working in between 676 language pair. Be sure to visit [[the]] rest hvíla á with [[the]] Compilation Specialist Small-scale stead ( ) pay lip service to supplemental detail crazy about compilation software parcel and service. Maybe you á brjósti found [[a]] better utility and would as though to part there with allo- reader satisfy put myself know.  (Back to top of page)

(991207) LMP - A Century of Song

Ryan Bassler and Eric Haugen
Polyholiday Records
Evanston, Illinois, USA

Ryan Bassler and Eric Haugen have undertaken a tremendous project with LMP - A Century of Song. The studio outfit LMP has plans to record their own special versions of one hundred songs and release a ten CD set in the spring of 2000. In the mean while, the years between 1900 and 1999 are filling up on the table which points to pages explaining why a particular number was chosen, historical information about the original artist/author, plus MP3 and RealAudio downloads of the songs. The written content on each page is worth reading even if you have no interest in hearing the music, but you'll want to do both. This work in progress is something the folks at Polyholiday Records should be proud of, especially if LMP can pull it off. As we head into the last year of the century, etc.* it'll be nice to have a song from every year to listen to. Maybe not as grand a project as securing rights for original hit versions, but way cooler. Without a doubt, far more representative of recorded music and Popular Culture than a Best Of collection. When the full commercial set is released this site will probably change, so here's a chance to enjoy the music and memories of a century of songwriting. This is one of those things I hoped someone would put together and do well. It seems to be working.

*Have a look at Phil Konstantin's January 1, 2000 is NOT the first day of the new millennium ( page.  (Back to top of page)

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(991208) SpaceDaily.Com - Your Internet Space Portal

Simon Mansfield
Sydney South, New South Wales, Australia

As the possibility of contact with the Mars Polar Lander ( (SdJotD 991202) continues to diminish, there is much speculation about the reasons the mission has its current status. The people at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory have been optimistic since Friday, something that must be very difficult to do. In conversation, I've explained to people recently the complexity versus costs involved in the Mars Polar Lander mission whenever they start to, well, make fun of the folks involved. My science may be off, but the analogy of throwing a marble into a paper cup forty five miles away has worked pretty well. I'm not sure if I picked that up somewhere over the weekend or came up with on my own, but it seems to have changed an opinion or two in the past few days. As a point of reference, an article at SpaceDaily.Com - Your Internet Space Portal, written by Guy Clavel from AFP - Worldwide News Agency - Agence mondiale d'information ( states that "Since 1960, there have been 33 missions to fly by, orbit or land on Mars, but nearly two-thirds of them have ended in a major failure of some kind". Keep in mind that this is remote exploration and discovery, and there is plenty of it happening, especially with lower budget missions. SpaceDaily.Com is a wonderful source for the latest news and some opinion pertaining to that discovery and exploration, pulling stories from sources around the world. We are living in a great time, it's a shame that we will not be around a few hundred years from now to see treasure hunters harvest and salvage these fancy ships. Visit SpaceDaily.Com - Your Internet Space Portal or subscribe to the SpaceDaily Express e-mail list ( for the latest information.  (Back to top of page)

(991209) Dumb Laws
The largest and funniest collection of laws on the Internet!

Jeff Koon and Andy Powell
Bueno Technologies
Midland, Georgia, USA

If you look at the laws in many places, there are bound to be things which at one time or another made perfect sense. Years later, if they haven't been repealed, these laws become a matter of pride for the people who enforce them or a point of humor and are rarely ever upheld. Dumb Laws has a large collection of these oddities, from the United States and other countries around the world. A quick sample with an animal theme shows the following:

Alaska — It is considered an offense to push a live moose out of a moving airplane.
Georgia — Donkeys may not be kept in bathtubs.
South Bend, Indiana — It is illegal to make a monkey smoke a cigarette.
Montana — It is illegal to have a sheep in the cab of your truck without a chaperone.
Ohio — It is illegal to get a fish drunk.
Pennsylvania — You may not catch a fish by any body part except the mouth.
France — No pig may be addressed as Napoleon by its owner.

Again, they may be silly but it seems clear that if the cases above were to happen it could be considered cruelty. Cruelty to let some moron go unrewarded for doing something downright foolish. Give 'em a ticket or send 'em to jail for thirty days, and please do not forget to make fun of them every chance you have. Thanks to Soopafresh for the suggestion.  (Back to top of page)

(991210) OneLook Dictionaries
The Faster Finder

OneLook Dictionary and Glossary List

Robert K Ware
Englewood, Colorado, USA

rather than repeat
episodes both short and sweet
review in haiku

looking for a word?
should have milked the pointers here,
could well have for years!

 (Back to top of page)

(991211) Live Aloha!
It is a choice you have in every moment

Paul Klink
Honolulu, Hawaii, USA

on a real bright day
mele kalikimaka
is the thing to say

 (Back to top of page)

(991212) EverGlide - Never buy another mousepad!, Inc.
Blooming Tree Productions, Inc.
San Francisco, California, USA

On Friday night I received an early Christmas present from my buddy Soopafresh. Always one to give thoughtful and useful gifts, Soopafresh decided not to wait the fifteen days until Christmas to turn this one loose. After using the EverGlide Mousing Surface for less than the five minutes he suggested it might take to get used to it, the "compressed, extruded, thermoform, high density, polyethylene resin" tool proved its worth. More than just a mousepad, the non-skid feet keep the EverGlide Mousing Surface firmly on the desk while the mouse glides across the surface like grease through the proverbial Christmas Goose. With accuracy and control unlike any mousepad I've ever used, the EverGlide Mousing Surface is simply amazing. Available in two styles and colors, the EverGlide Mousing Surface is ideal for everyday use and the slightly wider, rounder EverGlide Attack Pad is better suited for game play. You'll probably never need to or want to use a regular mousepad again after using the EverGlide Mousing Surface. Readers outside of the US may have trouble receiving these by Christmas but there is no reason you shouldn't buy one for yourself or several as gifts. They can also be custom printed and ordered in bulk and would make a great promotional item or premium for your business or organization. The EverGlide Mousing Surface is a serious addition to any system used more than a couple of minutes a day. It's easily one of the best Christmas presents I've ever received.  (Back to top of page)

(991213) The Michaels Gingerbread Jar!

Michaels Holiday Projects

Michaels Stores, Inc.
Irving, Texas, USA

Here's a fun site for the kids at the office or the children at home. Michaels is the largest arts and crafts retailer in the world and every year they include a few activities at their site ( with a holiday theme. The Michaels Gingerbread Jar! lets visitors design and build Gingerbread structures and people, without the fuss and bother of mixing and rolling, baking and cleaning up. More or less a paint-by-numbers exercise, The Michaels Gingerbread Jar! is still entertaining enough to keep most people busy for a while. When you are done playing with the Michaels Gingerbread Jar! be sure to see the pages containing over eighty Michaels Holiday Projects ( ). It contains instructions and for decorative items you can make with supplies purchased at Michaels or from your local craft house. Some of my favorites here are Stained Glass Christmas Balls - project 99063 (, Holiday Glass Container - project 99119 (, Wooden Snowman Tote - project 99158 ( and Soap Making Basics - project 99136 (  (Back to top of page)

(991214) Jean Shepherd Page

Bob Kaye
New York, New York, USA

When Jean Shepherd passed away back in October it was big news here in Lee County, Florida. Jean Shepherd was originally from Indiana and had lived and worked in New York City for years. Captivating radio listeners and other audiences on record, in print and also on television with his wit and charm. He retired to Sanibel Island and only performed a couple of times after doing so. Probably best known for his late night radio show on WOR (, Shepherd was a true storyteller. His book In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash and other stories were the basis for the holiday classic A Christmas Story. Shepherd narration makes the movie which chronicles little Ralphie Parker's longing for the best Christmas present in the world as near to perfect as such things get. The picture has become an enduring tradition with a catch phrase so wonderful you've probably already said it out loud at least once this season. Visit this site to learn more about the man and his career, listen to RealAudio Streams from his radio show and follow quite a few pointers to other sites with tributes and information about Jean Shepherd.

On a side note, if there is a special dad or husband on your shopping list who needs a "Major Award," be sure to visit ONE LEG UP© LEG LAMPS ( after bookmarking the Jean Shepherd Page.  (Back to top of page)

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(991215) Time for Teletubbies! - Teletubby (Christmas) Postcards

London, England

The BBC's Time for Teletubbies! ( (SdJotD 980601) was Site du Jour of the Day on the first day of June in 1998, but this section of the site has changed with time, and is worthy of a mention. Especially during the holidays. Children of all ages can send out electronic postcards through the magic of Tubbytronic Technology. These brightly colored cards feature Tinky Winky, Dipsy, Laa Laa, Po, and even the Snow Tubby. Imagine the fun of sending one of these cards to the boss or the grandkids, they are perfectly suitable for either. The one limitation here is that custom messages are not an option, the producers may have figured that toddlers wouldn't notice or care. The cards stay up for a period of two weeks and an opportunity to send your own card is presented once you've seen the card sent to you. For a ready-made example and a special message, see the following URL:

 (Back to top of page)

(991216) The Center for Shopping Cart Abuse Prevention

Luke McDowell
Center for Shopping Cart Abuse Prevention
San Francisco, California, USA

The next time you are in the grocery store or Meg-A-Lo-Mart and you end up with a shopping cart which has a trick wheel, the kind that doesn't roll straight, have pity. That buggy, as it is known in the industry, has probably been through some rough times recently. Your kindness and consideration will make a world of difference in its rehabilitation. All too often carts are abducted and abused, taken far away from their homes and families and left on some lonely street corner to suffer with confusion and loneliness. The Center for Shopping Cart Abuse Prevention was established to educate consumers about the horrors of shopping cart abuse, and to expose the abusers. Parts of this site are not that pleasant to look at but the grim reality of shopping cart abuse is already a part of your environment — if you choose to see it. Please do what you can to prevent and discourage shopping cart abuse, in the end it may help to keep your prices low. That alone should be reason enough.  (Back to top of page)

(991217) The Snowmiser's Big Chill

Jason Clarke
Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA


The Heatmiser's Hot Spot

hosted by GeoCities
Santa Clara, California, USA

Last week CBS Television ( showed Rankin-Bass Productions' stop motion animated classic, The Year Without a Santa Claus. I sat down to watch it and by the time the Snowmiser/Heatmiser musical segment came around it dawned on me how under rated The Year Without a Santa Claus has turned out to be. The big musical number, and the animation are great even after nearly thirty years. These two sites celebrate two of the characters from the television special, created by the same folks who put together the Rudolph and Frosty specials. The Heatmiser's Hot Spot is the oldest and strongest of the two sites, with pictures and pointers to a bunch of stuff including sites devoted to Rankin-Bass Productions. Just one of the highlights here is the RealAudio stream lifted from The Badlees ( site. The Badlees charted a while back with a track called Angeline is Coming Home from their River Songs album, and they have just sent out a version of the Heatmiser song to radio that really rocks. Like the two Miser brothers, these sites are too much!  (Back to top of page)

(991218) PlanetChristmas
143,268 lights, 52 reindeer, 352 strobes, Santa in a helicopter, three singing penguins…

Chuck Smith
Franklin, Tennessee, USA

In 1973 Chuck Smith used the mechanical parts of an old coffee vending machine to add a chaser effect to the Christmas lights in front of his parents' house. Twenty six years later, a much larger lighting display is up in front of the home he shares with his tolerant wife Marla. Chuck Smith, an electrical engineer has even put up a low-power FM radio transmitter which broadcasts holiday tunes from Thanksgiving to Christmas Day. Through clever programming and experience gained over the years, this year's display will only use an estimated seventy five dollars worth of electricity. Smith explains this by pointing out that the lights are never all on at the same time, thus reducing the current draw and adding to the illusion. Visit PlanetChristmas to see photographs of the display, learn how it works and to read about the early days when the entire show ran on an Apple IIe computer. Pointers include very good articles on photographing Christmas lights and the history of Christmas lights, other Christmas sites, plus information about the Christmas Light Users Group (CLUG). To give some idea of the scale of this display, try to imagine scheduling your three week vacation to put it all up and then when all is said and done, spending five days to take it down for next year. An inspirational site for anyone who has ever strung outdoor lights for the holiday season, and perhaps motivational enough to prompt you to take them back down before the end of January. Or maybe not.  (Back to top of page)

(991219) Urban Legends Reference Pages: Christmas

Barbara and David P. Mikkelson
Maintained by The San Fernando Valley Folklore Society
Mountain View, California, USA

Revisiting the Urban Legends Reference Pages ( (SdJotD 970925) provided the answer to a question I was asked during the week. Having forgotten the reason why Xmas is an acceptable spelling for the holiday celebrated on December 25th, I faked the answer with something my youngest brother and I had been joking about the week before — "Because it's the day we celebrate Santa Clauses Birthday". "You don't know, do you?" was the response received. The Urban Legends Reference Pages: Christmas has the answer to the Xmas question and twenty others including the Donder - Donner mix up. A visit to this page may change a few things about the holidays for you. An extended visit to the Urban Legends Reference Pages could shatter a lot of other things held true.  (Back to top of page)

(991220) Christmas and New Year Greetings

Bill Caswell
Concord, New Hampshire, USA

If you have ever been interested in how people in other countries wish each other a Merry Christmas or Happy New Year in their native tongue then look no further. With the assistance of linguists and others, Bill Caswell has assembled appropriate holiday phrases into a comprehensive set of pages which even include a section using Cyrillic & Greek alphabets. That Christmas is a religious holiday not normally associated with certain languages and the culture of its speakers did not stand in the way of this project. Instead, "words that our sources, not all of whom are Christians, consider to be fit for a Goodwill Message" are used. Well over three hundred languages are represented here and the contributor list has almost ninety names on it, possibly making this greetings list one of the largest of its kind ever assembled. Grazie e Felice Natale to Soopafresh for the site suggestion.  (Back to top of page)

(991221) Ramadan on the Web at Capt'n Clint's Place

Clint Chamberlin
Mountaintop, Pennsylvania, USA

For an impressive collection of pointers to sites about and for the Islamic fast of Ramadan, this year having started on December eighth and running through January sixth. Of the winter festivals and celebrations, Ramadan is unusual in that excess is not the rule. If you only look at one of the pointers here, be sure to see Essentials of Ramadan, The Fasting Month ( written by Tajuddin B. Shu`aib and hosted on the University of Southern California Muslim Students Association Islamic Server (  (Back to top of page)

(991222) Kwanzaa: Resources At Flint Public Library

Compiled and annotated by Brenda Harris
The Flint Public Library
Flint, Michigan, USA

Not only does this have pointers to over a dozen Kwanzaa sites, it also contains an extensive list of Adult Non-Fiction, Youth Non-Fiction, Youth Fiction titles in addition to Audio and Video resources. Kwanzaa was founded in 1966 as a celebration of African-American heritage and culture by Dr. Ron Karenga. A literal translation of Kwanzaa is "the first fruits of the harvest" and that is certainly reflected here at this site. Kwanzaa runs for seven days, begining on December 26, but because of the library closing over the New Year weekend the server this page is on will be down from 9pm on December 29th through to 9am January 3rd. If you are reading this between those two dates please make a point of trying back later. Hopefully this page will remain up year-round.  (Back to top of page)

(991223) SantaTracker 1999

Santa Claus Enterprises, Inc.
North Pole

Sightings and reports of Santa Claus on Christmas Eve have become common enough over the past decade or so, but the Special Elf Technology (SET) used for SantaTracker makes a world of difference. Special Elf Technology allows children and adults to start following Santa at 12:01pm on Christmas Eve. Visit the SantaTracker site as soon as possible to make sure your Javascript, QuickTime, and Flash browser components are working properly and to explore the other goodies at the site. The coolest thing about SantaTracker is that they are based at the North Pole and have an exclusive — as if showing Santa's location during his trip wasn't enough, SantaTracker has an exclusive report scheduled to show Santa at the very beginning of his big night. Imagine seeing all of the reindeer and the sleigh slowly leaving the ground from the North Pole, all loaded up with toys for only the good girls and boys. I have it on good authority, from an Elf named Matt, that SantaTracker expects a lot of visitors on Christmas Eve so you'd better not pout or cry if you cannot get through right away. You may not be able to see him, but mama says he's coming.  (Back to top of page)

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Updated December 23, 1999

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