WEEB - News/Talk 990 AM's
Web Site of the Day Page


Steve Leader's Picks :(just click on the links to go to the Web Sites)  If you have a site you think others might find interesting, please send me the web address by clicking here .

Important News and Information Links:

 Email address, snail address, fax and telephone numbers of every member in Congress
 The Declaration of Independence     The Constitution of the United States of America    The Bill of Rights
The Drudge Report (here you will find links to hundreds of news sources)

Click here to find out what our State Legislature is up to and to email your representatives your input (they sure need it)

Big Government says we have a tax surplus. If that is true then why is the National Debt going up? To see exactly what the national debt is moment by moment just click herehttp://www.babylontoday.com/national_debt_clock.htm


July 24:

The brain, untrained, goes mainly down the drain

It may be only that I'm weaning myself off Brain Age (for the time being, whie I wrap up another DS review), or that the piles of antihistamines required for successful vacationing are leaving me a little slappy, but I was terribly pleased to find the Brain Training site over the weekend -- lots of small tests to test your perception and reflexes. It's simple, but simple can be good -- and how do you not love a site that includes the phrase "It’s nice to be an athlete, but certainly it’s super nice to be a Mathlete?"

April 12: 

The Best Free PC Utilities

Michael Desmond

I'm old enough to remember the bad old days of Windows. I struggled with crashing programs and merciless 640K DOS memory limits that made running game software almost impossible. To keep your PC working in those days, you needed a host of utilities: memory managers, disk defragmenters, and system boot tuners that became crucial to your day-to-day work.

Times change, and yet they remain the same. Windows XP has helped sweep away the old frustrations, but it leaves new ones in its wake. Fortunately, there is a quiet army of programmers, developers, and software makers churning out utilities to fix what ails you and your current PC. Here, in alphabetical order, is a look at some of my favorite utilities--the ones I rely on every day.


AllSnap: I almost feel bad recommending AllSnap because it's so much simpler than the average utility. Install AllSnap and the program quietly makes program windows and dialog boxes click into place. No more slipping and sliding: windows snap cleanly to the edge of the screen or to each other.

Firefox Extensions: Over the years, Internet Explorer has inspired a raft of utilities, from pop-up blockers to cookie-management tools. The popular Firefox browser is getting similar treatment, but these utilities are packaged as Firefox Extensions--applets that plug into the browser. My two favorites are the Tab Mix extension for managing tabbed page behaviors, and the All-in-One Gestures extension for navigating with simple swipes of the mouse.


With Tab Mix, I can control where tabs appear and how they behave--adding a Close Tab icon to each tab, for instance, which makes it much easier to close individual tabs. All-in-One Gestures eliminates the need to click the browser's Forward and Back buttons. Instead, you just click the right mouse button while dragging the mouse left or right to move backward or forward. Very cool.


Folder Size: Windows Explorer's Detail view lets you see all sorts of information about files, including creation and modification date, and of course, file size. But folders in Explorer don't get the same treatment. The only way to see how much information is stored in a folder is to hover the cursor over it and wait for a balloon to pop up.


Folder Size is a tiny app that adds two columns to the Detail view--one displaying the size of the folder and another that lets you sort by size. It's not a perfect solution, but the added information really helps in some instances, such as when trying to figure out if the contents of my music directory will fit on one DVD-R disc.


JGoodies JDiskReport: The age of digital media means no disk is big enough. The Java-based JDiskReport utility scans your hard disk and then produces highly informative graphical displays. You can see exactly where most of your data is residing, and even explore data by file type, last modified date, and other criteria. It's a terrific tool for deciding what files you want to keep on your overcrowded hard disk, and what files might be good for saving to removable media.


IrfanView:IrfanView is the little app that could. Small, fast, and easy to use, it displays or plays back almost every type of media, including images, photos, music, and video files. Unlike hopeless media bloatware like Windows Media Player and RealNetworks RealPlayer, IrfanView also doubles as a lightweight photo editor. Perform red-eye removal, color and gamma tweaks, image resizing, and format conversions. There's even a useful set of batch operations--great for renaming files or applying an image change across a set of files.


Microsoft AntiSpyware: In a classic case of "better late than never," Microsoft last winter released a beta version of its free antispyware tool. Based on the respected Giant AntiSpyware product, Microsoft AntiSpyware offers a capable spyware scan and removal engine that has proven superior to popular freeware offerings like Ad-Aware and Spybot Search and Destroy. Microsoft AntiSpyware goes even further, letting you purge Internet caches, recently used file lists, and cookie files to better ensure your privacy.


NetStumbler: Wireless networking is great--until Windows XP gets confused and can't find your network. When Wi-Fi befuddlement strikes, I launch NetStumbler, a utility that uses your Wi-Fi adapter to listen for nearby networks and then display detailed information about each access point. Useful for sniffing out Wi-Fi hotspots and troubleshooting problems, NetStumbler displays information such as Wi-Fi protocol, encryption type, access point ID, and signal and noise levels. If you have a global positioning system, NetStumbler can even map out access-point locations. Very handy.


StatBar: Sometimes smaller is better--much better. The svelte StatBar monitoring utility provides a sleek and slim interface for checking on all sorts of stuff, from CPU workloads and memory usage, to network traffic, battery levels, and even WinAmp controls. Loads of customizations make this attractive program one of my must-install utilities.


Rainmeter: Another riff on the PC-monitoring theme, Rainmeter is eye-pleasing and boasts a sleek clock and a compact RSS feed display. The graphics are stunning, but they take up enough screen real estate that some users might opt for the more compact StatBar.


Real Alternative: RealNetworks' RealPlayer pushes the line between software and spyware, installing all sorts of unwanted stuff onto your PC. Unfortunately, other media players can't play back RealVideo and RealAudio files, forcing millions to bite the bullet and load the RealPlayer application.


Real Alternative ends the tough choice by letting users play back Real-format files inside a specially modified version of the "classic" Windows Media Player. Users can play both downloaded and streaming tracks, without worrying about the software reporting back on their viewing or listening preferences to Real's servers. There's also an alternative to the QuickTime viewer, called QuickTime Alternative.


Michael Desmond is publishing director at Bock Interactive, a Web commerce solutions and consulting firm in Burlington, Vermont. He drives his wife crazy with all the utilities he installs on her PC.

Feb 23:Cheapo Vegas
Plan your next trip to the Big Sleazy (okay, that’s a stretch these days, but why fight the pun?) with this highly enjoyable collection of reviews of hotels on and off the Strip. The site rates all the important amenities, from restaurants to the free toiletries, and goes into a surprising amount of detail. Toss your Zagat and stick with these guys.

Jan 18: Do You Speak American?
Real goodly-like! (OK, stop that.) This great site – a companion to the PBS series – will have you blurting out random words just for the fun of it as you sift through the lists, quizzes, articles and other fun stuff available here. We enjoyed the sections on slang and endured getting our butts kicked by the regional-terms quizzes, but we were beyond psyched to see an entire mini-essay on the linguistic contributions of Joss Whedon and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. About time someone recognized.

Jan 7:Sweepstakes Today
Feel lucky? In that case, you're definitely due for a visit to this helpful site, which keeps track of all sweepstakes in progress here, there and everywhere. Site proprietor Craig McDaniel genuinely loves keeping up with what's happening (and has the good luck, too – check out the Mr. Sweepy link for a history of the things he's won over the years), and his enthusiasm and good common sense shine through.

Jan 5, 2005 NOVA: Welcome To Mars
It wasn’t supposed to go this well: A year and a day ago, after a year for the space program that can only be described as depressing in the in the extreme, the good people of NASA managed to land the first of two astonishing rovers on the Red Planet. (Our headline that day: “We’ve got Spirit, yes we do.” We had an alternate hed in case the landing had failed. We’re pleased to say we can’t remember what it was.) The breadth of the discoveries they’ve made has been matched only by their unbelievable durability: A 90-day lifespan has stretched to 367 and counting. Catch up and celebrate at the PBS companion site to tonight’s edition of the flagship science show.

Dec 27: The Haggis-On-Whey World Of Unbelievable Brilliance
(And profound disturbance.) We wouldn’t spoil the joy of discovering this site for yourself, but we must insist that you visit the area called “The Books” and just … savor some of the lines in there. Not to take a single thing away from the blog entries, which should be scrutinized with great interest, but the list of Things Your Tongue Is Actually Saying is funnier than anything we’ve read in The Onion in months, simply months. And who knew about the giraffes and the mirrors?

Dec 22: The Kitchen Table Gang Trust
This self-described “rag-tag bunch of military types” is doing wonderful things for our hospitalized and homeless veterans, and it all started with a poker game. (They donated a portion of the pot to veterans and active-duty troops – are you doing anything that cool with your Texas Hold ‘Em obsession, hmm?) These great guys will tell you all about it on their site, and they’ve got lots of suggestions on how you can express your gratitude to our brave men and women during the holidays.

Dec 21:Winter Romance Ideas
Winter means cuddling by the fire with your beau (as opposed to a day on the beach or a nice stroll). Alas, ideas for keeping the flame alive seem to dwindle along with the temperature.; couples get cabin feverish from lounging inside and ordering out. This site gives some ideas for neat things to do with your partner to entertain yourselves. If you aren't too fond of their suggestions they may inspire you to add your own twist or think outside the box.

Dec 20: Get Wrapped
And we thought driving in Boston was tough enough with an actual car. This charming mini-game from the good folks at the Boston Globe lets you pilot a snowplow around the distressingly slippery streets of downtown Boston, attempting to shovel a pack and gather candies and presents without… well, we lost track of our travails right after we got hit by the M and slammed into the Globe building. Repeatedly. Silly fun.

Sept 20:RadioLovers
Most decent NPR stations have at least one evening each week of old-time radio comedies and dramas, but aficionados crave more. This site collects hundreds of copyright-expired recordings of radio broadcasts and offers them for your MP3 listening pleasure. It warms our heart and fills our digital-music player with goodness. — HSS

Sept. 8: The Software Patch If the past month hasn't convinced Windows users that keeping up to date on software patches is an important computer-maintenance priority for security reasons, we can't imagine what would. This site merits regular visits to be sure that your PC is in the best possible condition; security updates are covered, as are performance patches for mice, keyboards, and more.

Aug 26: How to copy a DVD: 

Copy Your DVDs
Thu Aug 21, 9:57 AM ET

Jim Louderback - ExtremeTech

I'm not in the habit of turning mild-mannered law-abiding citizens into criminals. I don't gamble, buy cigarettes for teenagers or employ illegal aliens to watch my kid. I don't even like gangsta rap. But I do like movies, and my passion for technology means I may have doomed my four-year-old to a life of crime. I might be about to do the same to you.

We're about to explore how to copy DVDs, a topic of murky legality, where shadowy bootleggers co-exist with upright citizens who wouldn't dream of exceeding the speed limit. School age children, and those with weak hearts are advised to stop reading now, click back to the main Yahoo page, and find a tamer article to read – perhaps one featuring JLo and Ben. For the rest of you, let's get started.


Just remember, I warned you.DVD movies, like music CDs, are stored digitally on that plastic disc, in a stream of zeroes and ones almost as long as War and Peace and Remembrance of Things Past combined. VCR and cassette recorders, by contrast, transcribe in an analog format –closer to what your eye and ear perceive.


Each time a cassette or VHS tape is copied, the music or video degrades. That's because the recording can't match the original source. That's why the "master" was so important in the pre-digital days, because only it could generate the best copies for sale or share.


But when you make a copy of a digital file – whether it's a Rolling Stones song, Harry Potter (news - web sites) movie or Excel spreadsheet – the copy is identical to the original. It's hard to mess up ones and zeros.


When Hollywood decided on a digital movie format – called DVDs – it decided to protect it with something called CSS, or the Content Scrambling System. Like Pig Latin – ere-whay vree- ay erd-way is-ay anslated-tray to-inay nother-ay (where every word is translated into another) – the ones and zeroes stored on a DVD are unintelligible garbage unless you have the key.


That key was jealously guarded, but like most secrets, it got out. Now anyone with a computer and DVD drive can easily strip off CSS in a process called "decrypting", and create a perfect copy of a DVD's video and audio content on a hard drive. And from there it's easy to create a DVD copy that's identical to the original.


Recordable DVDs are expensive though, and only hold about half the information of a store-bought movie. It takes hours and some real hassle to decrypt a movie, and then copy it over to two separate recordable DVDs.


In the end, you get a perfect copy, but at a cost of around $10, plus a few hours of labor. Compared to between $15 and $25 for a brand new one, or $5 to rent a movie, the economics just don't work out, at least not today.


You can also copy a DVD movie over to one or more recordable CDs. But you'll have to squeeze that video way down, because a CD holds but a tenth of a store-bought DVD's data. You'll end up with a movie you can watch only on a small TV or notebook computer. It'll look flawed on a larger TV or home theater – and it'll take much longer to make.


So why bother copying DVDs?


Like CDs, DVDs are not indestructible. Sam, my four-year old, has managed to kill our copies of Monsters Inc, and Toy Story 2. I had to buy them all over again, which doesn't make any sense to me at all. I really would have liked a back-up copy, even if it was imperfect.


We're also becoming used to consuming our media wherever and however we want. I listen to my favorite tunes at home on my CD player but also on my PC at work, and on my tiny Creative Labs MuVo MP3 player while traveling.


These days, I do the same things with movies. I've got the latest Harry Potter movie on my notebook's hard drive, stripped off of a store-bought DVD, ready for my next coast-to-coast flight. And you can bet I've got copies of Sam's favorite movies burned to backup DVDs, just in case.


How did I do it? I'll tell you in a minute. But first, a note on those legal questions I raised earlier. Hollywood and software makers are currently battling in court over whether you can make archival copies of your movies. Copyright laws include a provision called "fair use", which theoretically lets you make archival copies of media you've purchased, but several courts have ruled that it's illegal to circumvent copy protections to do so.


Are you at risk? According to intellectual property lawyer Lee Bromberg, "whether it's legal or illegal is unclear." But should you worry about going to jail for putting the Terminator on your Toshiba? "Though there is a small theoretical risk of criminal prosecution… the movie and recording industries typically pursue commercial users rather than consumers." In other words, if you' don't sell your copies, you're probably OK. But note that the music industry watchdog, the RIAA (news - web sites), is now going after consumers sharing music via KaZaA and other Napster (news - web sites)-like peer-to-peer sites.


So, now that we're clear about the murky legality of DVD copying, here's how it's done (last chance to click back to Yahoo's home page, and read more about JLo and Ben).

System Requirements: If you want to make copies of your DVDs, either to a recordable DVD or CD, you'll want a pretty brawny system. Although you can do it with an older processor, the faster the CPU, the quicker your DVD will be made. This is because in most cases you'll be compressing or otherwise processing the movie files. I recommend at least a 1.5 Gigahertz Pentium 4 or Athlon processor, and faster processors are even better.

You'll also need a lot of hard drive space. Most movies take up 7 or 8 gigabytes of storage or more – the latest Harry Potter movie needed 7.5 gigabytes of storage for the main movie alone. Since you'll need working room, too, plan on at least 15 gigabytes of free space.

You'll need at least one drive capable of reading DVDs – and either a CDR or DVD burner if you want to drop your movies onto disc. You can leave the movie on your PC's hard drive and watch it that way, but again, those movies take up a lot of space, When it comes to software, there are three different types of programs out there to help you along.

All-in-One: The first provides everything in one package. It rips, decrypts and burns. Simply stick a pre-recorded DVD into your DVD burner, press a button, and come back in a few hours to swap in a recordable DVD (if you have two separate drives -- a DVD reader and burner -- no swap is needed). If necessary, you'll have to come back and either flip the recordable DVD, or put another one in, to finish the copy. Despite testing a wide range of products, I've only found one that works consistently, – called DVD X Copy. I've uncovered another free package that'll help you make CD-based copies, but it's harder to use. You can read a more in-depth review of DVD X Copy, along with other tools in the companion article on software choices.

DVD Copiers Without Decrypters: There are three commercial software packages that I've found which will do a decent job copying DVDs. They won't rip, or decrypt CSS-encoded movies, but do a good job making DVDs and CD-based movies from your DVDs. They'll work with unencrypted movies, or those movies that you've decrypted with a separate ripping package (more on those in a minute).

These programs offer an interesting alternative, because they will also compress your movies down onto a single DVD-R or CD, which means no swapping. In addition, they'll also take a ripped DVD and turn it into a PC-playable file that's about 15% of the original size. This is great if you want to carry a bunch of movies around on your notebook when you travel.

I'm a big fan of this approach – my 20 gigabyte notebook hard drive typically holds 3-4 movies, which I watch while traveling or waiting for a meeting to start. But you better carry extra batteries – movies can really drain your notebook's power.

DVD Rippers (or Decrypters): These programs form the heart of lawsuits and legal actions. Because the courts are currently exploring the legality of stripping encryption off of a movie, most of these are open source and available for free. These tools typically copy over all content on a DVD, including foreign language tracks, subtitles, previews, the whole menuing system and more. The movies are stored on your PC's hard drive in a format that will probably need to be massaged by another program (like one of the DVD copiers discussed above) to be understood by most computer video players. After ripping, you'll then need one of the previously mentioned DVD copying programs to create a DVD, or CD version of the movie.

For more details about which tools I like best, check out our companion article on DVD Copying Tools. And for a round-up of free tools – which work well but require more expertise, read our sidebar on Recording DVDs For Free.

Want more information on making your own DVDs? Check out our DVD Creation Guide.

And whatever you do, remember that copying DVDs that you don't own is illegal, as is giving or selling copies to friends. If you like a movie enough to copy it, you should just buy it in the first place. I'd hate to think that I was responsible for leading you into a life of crime.


July 14: Snag a job Everyone knows the most popular Web sites for scouting out full-time jobs. (And we're willing to bet their traffic has skyrocketed in this economy.) But what if you're one of the throng searching for part-time and hourly employment? Good news: There's a site out there especially for you. Snagajob.com has an array of openings in retail and banking, as well as various positions perfect for teens or recent college grads looking for a part-time gig. Enter your zip code for local openings, or register your profile so employers can contact you.

June 30: You Must Choose We've all faced those tough decisions in life. You know, the really deep, really tough ones: Would you rather stub your baby toe or jam your pinky? Now you can make those decisions online with hours of mind-numbing pleasure on youmustchoose.com — and, even better, see how your choices stack up against others. (When last we checked, 64% of folks who answered the question were willing to sacrifice the baby toe to save the finger.) We must warn you that a number of the choices are downright crude, and a few are anatomically impossible, but where else can you weigh in on the virtual decision of listening to country music or having a lobotomy?

June 27: Paint Game We've all been there: You're ordering some hip new summer outfit online when you lurch into the color-select options, which are full of zany hues like Mosaic Scroll, Bongo Jazz or Party Surprise. (Whatever happened to red, white and blue?) Before you click the submit-your-order button and end up with a getup that would shame a colorblind circus clown, test your ability to interpret those inscrutable color names with this online paint game. Think Martian Skies would be a type of red? Guess again.

May 29: Mount Everest It's been exactly 50 years since the first successful ascent of the crown of the Himalayas. Celebrate the anniversary with one climber's panoramic view. Let moutaineer Roderick Mackenzie and your mouse take you to the brink of this literally breathtaking view. Just click and hold to spin around the mountain with his interactive 1989 photograph.

May 26: NASCAR race cars Original stock cars were raced on dirt tracks but were rarely tough enough to handle the abuse. They've come along, baby. Discover how the cars work — from frame to safety. HowStuffWorks walks you through the inner workings of the body, the tires and the engines. Even shop and compare prices.

May 12: MyExcercisePlan Get online support to reach your weight and fitness goals. Manage stress, improve your sports performance, and build your own workout plan — all online. Most importantly, learn how to stick with it.

May 6: Acronym Finder Forget being confused by alphabet soup. Find out what other meanings those letters have. Did you know that SARS stands for South African Revenue Service? Find other fun initialisms and submit your own.

May 5: Mother of All Inventions Do you have a bright idea? It could be a household gadget or an outdoor gizmo. BBC's Innovation Nation wants to know about it. Find out how to enter a contest that will see your idea from paper to patent to product.

April 10: Photo Journalism Not even the giants of the news reporting world can compete with the power and poignancy of one good photograph. Designed as a resource for professional photo journalists, this site features hundreds of pictures from around the world, ranging from the tear-jerkingly dramatic to the hauntingly human.

April 4: Tabloid Column Phil Spector and Robert Blake investigated for murder. The strange kidnapping of Elizabeth Smart. The Dixie Chicks' one-step-too-far war protest. There's no shortage of tabloid-headline fodder, and the Tabloid Column offers a handy means for keeping track of the latest news on these and other odd news stories.

April 1: Satellite Views Space.com brings you recent satellite-eye views of key locations in Iraq, including downtown Baghdad, Tikrit, and several Iraqi oil fields, too. The site's "Zoom Your View" feature also brings you close-up satellite images of North Korean nuclear reactor sites, and other newsworthy areas of the world.

March 28: 
Ways to Support the Troops
Operation USO Care Package accepts individual donations of $25 that go toward a package of personal items and snacks for a soldier. Those wishing to participate can go to the Web site or call 1-866-USO-GIVE.

Operation Uplink  allows people to donate calling cards so servicemembers can stay in touch with family and friends.

Operation Dear Abby offers the option of e-mailing greetings to troops.

Defend America allows people to sign a virtual thank-you card to soldiers.

The Army and Air Force Exchange allows people to give money for gift certificates which troops can redeem for merchandise. Visit the Web site or call 1-877-770-GIFT (4438).

The Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation provides higher education financial assistance to the sons and daughters of Marines and former Marines.

Operation Independence organizes and sends care packages to deployed troops.

Dear American Soldier offers a forum to compose and send letters to soldiers overseas.

Donations are also being accepted by the Army Emergency Relief, the Navy/Marine Relief Society; the Air Force Aid Society; the Coast Guard Mutual Assistance; the American Red Cross Armed Forces Emergency Services; and the Fisher House Foundation, which provides "comfort houses" for family members who have lost servicemembers.

March 17: Fresh Food You can't beat locally grown fruits and vegetables for freshness, and FoodRoutes.org wants to help you find the freshest meats and produce available in your area. Just enter your ZIP code, select the type of establishment you're looking for — farm, farm stand, etc. — and you'll be well on your way to good eating.

March 11: Vehicle Safety That new car in the showroom looks pretty, but how nice will it look after a crash? More to the point, what kind of shape will you be in? HwySafety.org shows you the latest crash test results for the vehicle of your choice, complete with post-smash-up photos of the crash test dummies involved

Feb 28: Organ Donation Last week's tragic loss of teen transplant recipient Jesica Santillan has inspired new interest in organ donation, along with questions concerning the position of one's religion on the practice of donation. The interfaith group Transplant for Life offers brief guidelines on the positions individual faiths take on the matter.

Feb 22: Al Hirschfeld Known throughout the world for his witty, whimsical caricatures of Hollywood's best and brightest, Al Hirschfeld died Monday at the age of 99. In this online exhibit, The Library of Congress features the master's artistic takes on Charlie Chaplin, Billy Graham, and Liza Minnelli, among others.

Feb 20: Windows Annoyances Taking one of the least controversial positions going, Annoyances.org highlights those Windows idiosyncrasies that have made Microsoft the beloved company it is worldwide. What's more, it offers advice for circumventing the worst of them, and links to third-party applications that ease the pain of the rest.

Feb 10: Security Alerts Planning a weekend outing? After consulting the latest weather reports, it might not hurt to check our nation's current terrorism threat level as well, conveniently provided in the upper-right-hand corner of the Department of Homeland Security's Web site. There, too, you'll find the appropriate level of panic you should be experiencing.

Feb 4: Parliament Live You've seen the U.S. government in action. Now sit back and watch the time-honored cabaret that is the British parliamentary system — live. See Prime Minister Tony Blair face tough questions in the House of Commons; see ministers of parliament heckle him; see the Speaker of the House call for order; see order remain elusive

Feb 3: Salary Comparison In the time it takes you to earn a lousy 7 cents, Friends star Lisa Kudrow's pocketed a cool $36.12; Michael Jordan's slam dunked $87.36; and Stephen King, $103.88. These are just some of the maddening insights you'll find courtesy of Monster.com's "Salary Timer."

Jan 31: Freedom Contest Dig freedom? Why not use your artistic skills to express what living in a free society means to you? The Institute for Humane Studies challenges you to create an advertisement for freedom in the Internet-friendly medium of your choice. You could win up to $3,000. (Contest deadline: March 15.)

Jan 30: Space Scene Simulator If you're of a certain age, you've realized that your chances of taking that package tour to Saturn are growing pretty slim. Fortunately, this NASA site lets you picture any celestial body — from any other celestial body — anytime.

Jan 27: Travel Itineraries Discover our shared past the next time you travel. These online itineraries, courtesy of the National Register of Historic Places, offer guided tours of some of the most historically significant sites in the country. Choose an individual location or explore itinerary collections that deal with the civil rights movement and women's history.

Jan 24: Nature Guide The National Wildlife Federation unleashes an astonishing amount of information via eNature.com. Includes several field guides to flora and fauna around the country, information on identifying animals by their tracks, and handy "ZIP Guides" that let you see what's living in your area based on your ZIP code.

Jan 14: Tax Calculator All this talk about changes to the tax law may leave you wondering how you yourself will fare under the president's plan. To that end, the slide-rule set at TurboTax have come up with an online calculator that will let you know if you should be rooting for or against this tax code revision.

Jan 13: Classic TV Those who've never seen Dragnet may want to catch an episode or two at LikeTelevision.com before viewing ABC's remake next month. Jack Webb's gutsy cop drama is just one of the classic TV shows available on this amazing site. Other offerings include The Jack Benny Program, One Step Beyond, and many more.

Jan 10: Pearl Harbor  In the days following Japan's bombing of Pearl Harbor, 'man on the street' interviews were conducted in different parts of the USA to capture for posterity the thoughts and feelings of the American people. This Library of Congress presentation allows you to review these historic audio recordings online.

Jan 7: Free Money Essentially, that's what NaughtyCodes.com boils down to if you're in the habit of buying things online. This clever site helps you track down the special digital coupons offered by e-commerce sites such as Amazon.com. Organized alphabetically by e-tailer.

Jan 6: Pentagon Memorial Peruse six designs under consideration for the Pentagon memorial, a work envisioned to commemorate the 184 lives lost at the Washington area site during the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. View artists' conceptions, read comments from the designers, and vote for the one you feel will best serve as a reminder of the fallen.

Jan 2, 2003: Julia Child's Kitchen After turning out culinary masterpieces for more than 40 years, the kitchen of Epicurean luminary Julia Child has found its way into the Smithsonian. Tour this custom made kitchen and listen to audio clips from Child herself.

Dec 19: Space Scene Simulator If you're of a certain age, you've realized that your chances of taking that package tour to Saturn are growing pretty slim. Fortunately, this NASA site lets you picture any celestial body — from any other celestial body — anytime.

Dec 17: Hydro Car Could GM's new hydrogen-powered concept vehicle be the beginning of the end of the oil-based economy? HowStuffWorks.com takes you under the hood of this groundbreaking automobile to not only illustrate how power can be wrung from hydrogen, but explain what exactly the car company means when it says 'fly by wire.'

Dec 16: Tree Sitter Perched 150 feet above Freshwater, Calif., eco-activist 'Remedy' has spent the past 8 months in a Redwood tree protesting the destruction of forests. And now, thanks to a wireless Net connection and a Linux-powered laptop (of course), you can read about her treetop battle against The Man first hand.

Dec 10: Star TV Schedules TVNow.com's searchable 'Stars on TV' database lets you know when and where your favorite movie and television actors and actresses will be popping up on network TV and cable. Includes schedules and episode summaries.

Dec 3: Celestial Phenomena Aiming to be no less than a complete map of the entire universe, the Sloan Digital Sky Survey lets you scroll through views of the northern sky, as well as (relatively) famous portions of outer space. On tap: spectacular views of meteors, galaxy clusters, and more.

Dec 2: Virtual Mars NASA's budget being what it is, chances are we won't be establishing a presence on Mars anytime soon. Yet that hasn't stopped the Mars Society from creating a fully-interactive environment portraying what life might be like on the Red Planet. A veritable Flash fun house of imaginary base stations, rovers, and more.

Nov 26: Geography Quiz In its semi-regular 'Our Children, Our Shame' feature, the media last week played up young people's misguided answers to a recent National Geographic quiz. Here you can take a shot at answering the very same geographical questions yourself, and see how you stack up against quiz-takers in other lands

Nov 18:The Bomb And with the rattling of sabers on the rise, talk of nuclear weapons is bound to increase as well. The Bomb Project site is a simple-but-effective guide to nuclear-related info on the Web. If you've ever suggested we 'nuke' our enemies, you owe it to yourself to peruse these informative and yes, (at times) disturbing sites.

Nov 12: Edgy Experiments Sure, your skin crawls when you accidentally microwave a metal-edged plate. Fortunately, there are folks who have no problem recklessly experimenting with this and other high-voltage devices, and are only too happy to post their results online. Read up on creating your own ball lightning, nuking CDs, and making your very own Quake railgun.

Nov 8:TV Tunes If a few bars of a TV theme get your nostalgic juices flowing, you'll be spending a lot of time at TV Tunes Online, a digital treasure trove of familiar tunes. From The Jack Benny Program to Xena (and one of the last sites to feature all the songs from Schoolhouse Rock).

Nov 5: London Churches Take a twilight stroll into the past with a site dedicated to the history and grandeur of London's places of worship. From St Bartholomew the Great, where Ben Franklin practiced the printing trade, to St Dunstan, where poet John Donne served as deacon, you're bound to find something of interest on this photo-packed tour.

Nov 4: Baby Boomer Awards MyGeneration.com introduces the 'Genny Awards,' the first in what it hopes to be an annual tribute to those people and things that shaped the Boomer generation. From Mad magazine to Muhammad Ali to denim. You also can submit your own nomination.

Oct 26: Nursing Home Alert Leaving a loved one in the care of a nursing home is never easy. However, this site can make the process a little less scary. Includes concise tips on assessing homes, paying for care, knowing your rights under the law and recognizing signs of abuse.

Oct 25: Bulfinch's Mythology Never again will you be at a loss telling the difference between your Minervas and your Myrmidons. Bulfinch's Mythology, that tried and true tome of myth and fable, awaits you online in all its hyperlinked glory.

Oct 24: Space Sounds It's not exactly Beethoven, but the Earth's magnetosphere does produce a music all its own. Listen to so-called 'natural radio,' preferably when you're in one of those 'I'm going to chuck it all in and buy a cabin in the woods' types of moods.

Oct 22: Photo JournalistasWith all the graphics one can whip-up online these days, nothing seems to catch the eye or captivate the mind quite like a simple photograph. With a pleasing blend of rich photography and you-are-there commentary, this site celebrates the little things in life with a wide-eyed idealism found few places outside of cyberspace

Oct 11: Seat Finder Sick of relying on dumb luck when booking a flight? SeatGuru.com deftly tackles the problem by supplying interactive seating charts that show you which seats will best suit your needs. Does your seat recline? Will you have access to Internet ports? The SeatGuru seems to know all, and is only too happy to tell you.

Oct 10: World's Fair Ah yes, New York's 1964-1965 World's Fair. The last moment in our nation's history when technology held the promise of a better life, a cleaner future — the space age. This online tribute to the fair includes aerial photos of the fairgrounds, as well as maps, exhibit descriptions, e-cards and more.

Oct 8: World Radio Curious as to how the rest of the outside world views our 'War on Terrorism' or a thousand other international topics? Click on to OneWorld Radio, an online collection of radio program MP3s originating from Alaska to Zimbabwe, and many points in between.

Oct 7: Sherlock Holmes Relive the clever — and at times macabre — adventures of legendary sleuth Sherlock Holmes (and the rather lackluster Dr. Watson) online courtesy of 221BakerStreet.org. Here you'll find 48 of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's original canon of 60 tales of mystery and detection. Also includes several of the original illustrations.

Oct 1: Word Origins It's a funny old language, English. Whether someone kicks the bucket or goes on and on about tech nerds, few know where these words and phrases originated. While not always conclusive, WordOrigins.org offers keen etymological insight into our language and how it got that way.

Sept 24: Web Stats Get a better idea of who your fellow Netizens are and just what it is they're surfing the Web for with Google's expanded 'Zeitgeist' site, which breaks down Web searches others have done recently by country, sub-categories such as sports, and more.

Sept 20: Blast Mapper The way the term 'weapons of mass destruction' has been thrown around lately, it's easy to lose sight of just how destructive a nuclear weapon can be. This PBS site lets you type in a hypothetical blast location (even a street address) to see how far the devastation would spread, and what forms it might take. Eerie but informative.

Sept 19: Name That Tune When the history of the Web is written, great minds may well agree that MelodyHound.com put the technology to humanity's greatest benefit. Have a particular tune wafting through your mind? Just sit down and whistle it into your PC's microphone and you just might find out what it is. Or add to the site's growing database.

Sept: 17: Genealogy Help Having trouble negotiating some of the trickier branches of your family tree? CousinConnect.com helps you appeal to the public directly with queries about specific relatives or family names. Search its extensive database or browse by state and country.

Sept. 13:007 Art James Bond's cinematic adventures may be the secret agent's claim to fame, but the stylish art from the 007 paperbacks, comic strips and other media are equally impressive. The Art of James Bond Web site is rich with sensual imagery celebrating fiction's most famous intelligence gatherer and, of course, the women he's known.

Sept 12: Online Literature You'd be amazed at the number of books awaiting your attention online, all free of charge. Page By Page Books features hundreds of titles, yours for the reading. From L. Frank Baum's Oz series to Sax Rohmer's Fu Manchu yarns of politically-incorrect adventure.

Sept 10:Idiom Site "I was gung ho about working the graveyard shift until I got a Charley horse.' Trying to understand some of our language's more colorful phrases can be a headache-inducing affair. Fortunately, IdiomSite.com offers concise explanations concerning the origins of our weirder words and expressions.

Sept 6:TV's Inventor Though he created television 75 years ago this month, Philo T. Farnsworth remains largely unknown today. This online archive features photos of the so-called 'invisible inventor,' as well as details on his patents, invention sketches, and accounts of how one man's idea changed the course of history.

Sept 3: Map Collections For those with a cartographic bent, the Library of Congress invites you to dive into a treasure trove of historical maps. This extensive online exhibit covers the European age of discovery, the evolution of U.S. cities, military battles, and a great deal more. A browser's delight.

Aug 30: Missing Kids CodeAmber.org brings the 'Amber Alert' — the growing system for alerting Americans to children missing in their area — to the online community. As soon as authorities issue an Amber Alert for a child, Code Amber tickers placed on participating Web sites flash that information around the world. Intriguing.

Aug 26: Psychic Test The International Society for Paranormal Research has a couple of job openings for clairvoyants. Just study the 20 photos that make up this online test and use your budding psychic abilities to determine a) if the subjects are haunted, b) by what, and — well, if you don't know the rest, you're probably not getting the job, are you?

Aug 23: Grand Illusions Our senses are cheats, it has been observed, and none more so than our eyes. Grand Illusions assembles an impress-your-friends collection of tricks and online optical illusions for your utter bewilderment, as well as an assortment of articles on some of history's grandest peeper-puzzlers.

Aug 12: Paper Trail There may be a lot of information on the Web, but some of the more controversial bits can be hard to find online. The Memory Hole is helping to change that by posting government reports, legal documents, articles and other material on its site. Its mission: To expose things 'we're not supposed to know (or that we're supposed to forget).'

Aug 6: Lyric Search Few things are as likely to drive you around the bend as a song stubbornly lodged in your head, the lyrics of which remain even more stubbornly elusive. Thank heaven for Get Lyrical, a search engine that allows you to find the song, artist and complete words to many songs, based solely on those lyrics you can remember.

Aug 1: Food Central If you're a food site with a name like Epicurious, you're already off to a winning start. Billing itself as 'the world's greatest recipe collection,' it doesn't disappoint, serving up a searchable recipe database, expert advice, online cooking classes, and a slideshow of mouthwatering masterpieces for those not to be trusted near the stove.

July 30: Truth or Fiction?  Well shoot. My shampoo's poisonous, Congress is set to tax my e-mail, and my Clorox bleach is doing unspeakable things to my lifespan. Thankfully, these worrisome bits have been labeled 'fiction' by the rumor verifying/debunking site TruthorFiction.com, but you might be surprised by those items that turned out to be the real deal.

July 29: First Superman In the what's-yours-is-mine world of the Web, we are frequently treated to glimpses of treasures we might never have seen in the real world. What better example than this scanned copy of what may be the most valuable 20th century publication on the planet: Action Comics No. 1, featuring the first appearance of Superman?

July 26: Public Records More and more state and local governments are making once-hard-to-find data available online. Hunt down public records — including tax data and real estate info— with this easy-to-use guide to government sites.

July 25: Early Journals Read, in their entirety, some of the most influential magazines of the 18th and 19th century by paying a visit to the Internet Library of Early Journals. Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, The Builder, and Gentleman's Magazine are just a few of the titles awaiting you.

July 18: WTC Site Review six different building concepts for the future of the World Trade Center site. Includes descriptions, site plans, 3-D renderings, and animations of what each design would look like set against the bustling metropolis of New York City.

July 16: Extreme Survival Not to be outdone by the Worst Case Scenarios craze, The Learning Channel takes you to the edge of life and death with an interactive look at your chances of surviving disaster, and profiles of those who have cheated death. The site also provides a quiz that measures your ability to beat the reaper.

July 15: Interactive Universe Explore the fun side of space with this collection of fully interactive activities. Build your own comet, go on a cosmic photo safari, dive into a black hole, shuffle through solar system trading cards, and more.

July 11; Web Stats -Get a better idea of who your fellow Netizens are and just what it is they're surfing the Web for with Google's expanded 'Zeitgeist' site, which breaks down Web searches others have done recently by country, sub-categories such as sports, and more.

July 9: Big Dig Tour Though Boston's 'Big Dig' tunnel, hailed as the largest public works project in history, is still closed to the public, you can take a virtual tour thanks to the Web. Explore different sections of the tunnel in full iPix 360-degree views, or take a Flash tour.

July 8: View the Wall For those who've been unable to visit the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., the Web offers an innovative (and profoundly moving) solution. Simply type in the name of the fallen military person you're searching for and this site brings up a photograph of their name as it appears on this legendary monument.

July 1:Cool Grandma Doing its best to dispel the stereotype of the technologically-clueless senior citizen, the Cool Grandma online community helps those in their twilight years find Internet destinations of interest to their demographic. From tutorials on building a root cellar to locating information on antiques and collectibles.

June 27: Hybrid Cars Something of a silent revolution is currently rumbling through the auto industry as an increasing number of combination gas/electric cars hit the road. Keep up on the latest news and information about this evolving technology with HybridCars.com.

June 25: Through the Years Though mankind has tried to predict future innovations since the very beginning, those predictions rarely seem to pan out. Exhibit A: More than 100 years of Popular Mechanics covers bound to spark your nostalgia, even as they baffle with such predictions as 'Moon power for the lights of Paris.'

June 24: Court Rulings The Supreme Court has issued a number of landmark opinions in the last few weeks, most of which can be read in their entirety online. Bring along an Adobe Acrobat PDF reader to explore recent rulings on student privacy, the death penalty as it applies to the mentally retarded, and other issues.

June21: Webby Awards Representing 'the very best that the Internet has to offer,' the winners of this year's Webby Awards run the gamut from the satirical tour de force The Onion to online mainstays such as Evite, Amazon and Google.

June 20 Network For Good Whether you're looking to make a charitable donation or volunteer a helping hand in your neighborhood, Network For Good will hook you up with just a few mouse clicks. Also you can search for volunteer opportunities by cause, city and state, or within a set distance from your home or office.

June 18: Teen Jobs Looking to make a few extra bucks during summer break? LocalTeenJobs.com offers an easy-to-use searchable database of employment opportunities, grouped by the high school closest to featured prospective employers.

June 14: Living Will Registry With the specter of mind-robbing mishaps and medical disorders ever present, many fear finishing out their lives in the limbo of a vegetative state. The U.S. Living Will Registry allows every American to make directions for their care in such situations available to health care workers online, all without charge.

June 13: Spaceship Watch According to NASA, this is a good week for skywatchers in North America to catch a glimpse of the International Space Station. Consult the space agency's Skywatch site for optimum times to spot this and other spacecraft and satellites.

June 11: Crash Test Data Before you spring for a new car or truck, take a moment to see how well it holds up in collisions at CrashTest.com. The site compares hundreds of vehicles categorized by make. Also includes info on recalls, rollover ratings and more.

June 10: Comics Online If the Spider-Man film's rekindled your interest in comics, web-swing on by Marvel's dotComics site, which features full online versions of Ultimate Spider-Man, The Incredible Hulk and other titles, all in beautiful — sometimes even breathtaking — Flash presentations. (Registration required.)

June 6: Scholarship Search Scrambling to pay for higher-education costs? Broke Scholar lets you search its database of more than 900,000 scholarships, and even provides a 'deadline calendar' of your most promising prospects sorted by their application due dates.

June 4: Religion Statistics The American Religion Data Archive helps researchers and novices alike draw a detailed picture of the faithful in the USA, providing information on churches and church membership, religious professionals and religious groups

June 2 : Heart Surgery Chances are you or someone you love will slip under the knife for open-heart surgery at some point. Shake some of that pre-scalpel apprehension by conducting the procedure yourself in this virtual operating theater.

May 31: Shrimpy Site Billed as one of the tiniest sites on the Web, Guimp.com lets you indulge in a relaxing game of Pong in an area smaller than your average Word document icon.

May 30: Missile Defense System It won't work; it will work but it'll cost a bundle — For all that's been said about the USA's proposed missile defense system, this BBC presentation is one of the first to actually give us a clear demonstration of how it might work. (Flash required.)

May 28: Ugliest Buildings 'The world is full of ugly buildings,' Forbes.com observes, and loses no time in showing you some ugggglly buildings. Britain's Millennium Dome and — ironically enough — the Yale School of Art and Architecture are just some of those hailed as intimates of the ugly stick.

May 23: Pinhole Cameras Build your own pinhole spy camera with the help of PinholeSpy.com. Blueprints, instructions and other information await you, all presented in an exciting, Mission: Impossible style. Cost of admission is a Flash plug-in.

May 22: Antigravity Research Gravity's proven to be a pretty stubborn force up 'til now, but have the folks at American Antigravity finally succeeded in getting something off the ground? This site provides video clips of recent antigravity tests, but we'll be darned if we can tell what they mean

May 17: Pen Spinning High school kids can do it, but somehow you never managed to spin a pen around your thumb, did you? Pentix feels your pain and offers video clips, diagrams and other instructions for mastering this intricate display of youthful nonchalance.

May 14: CD Covers You've just burned a new audio CD but it looks so tacky — so homemade — just sitting there in that jewel case. CDCovers.com lets you download and print out the cover art for more than 90,000 albums, and video game covers, too.

May 13: History Test Can't understand why the nation's school children had such a poor showing in the American history test results out this week? Thanks to the Web, you can at least review the questions yourself. The answers, however, aren't so readily available for some reason.

May 10: Visible Embryo Journey through the week-to-week development of a human fetus, from zygote to full-term baby, with Visembryo.com. Includes images, measurements, as well as a blow-by-blow report on the changes that take place during each stage.

May 9: Old Time Radio Nothing on TV tonight? Why not fire up the 'theater of the mind' with OTRNow, featuring Webcasts of old radio comedies, dramas and mysteries such as Inner Sanctum, The Jack Benny Show, and The Shadow.

March 26: Space Scene Simulator If you're of a certain age, you've realized that your chances of taking that package tour to Saturn are growing pretty slim. Fortunately, this NASA site lets you picture any celestial body — from any other celestial body — anytime.

March 22: E-books for Palm Swing on by the University of Virginia's online e-book library for (literally) millions of electronic texts ready to download to your Palm or MS Reader handheld device. Classic fiction, historical documents, and more.

March 21: Prehistoric Petting Zoo Frolic with the strange and wonderful beasts that roamed the Earth following the fall of the dinosaurs. The Discovery Channel introduces you to 18 fantastic beasts with stunning graphics, games and more.

March 19:Sky Chart You went to work, made dinner, and — forgot to look at the stars tonight ... again! For those who just don't have time for stargazing, Sky & Telescope offers a simulated view of the nighttime sky from any spot on Earth.

March 18: Old Computer Museum Does your heart leap up at the thought of a Sanyo PHC-33, palpitate when your fingers glide across the keys of a Kaypro? Well you're in for a treat/coronary when you enter this virtual museum of vintage PCs.

March 15: Nuclear Strategies Reports that the U.S. is reconsidering its nuclear war strategy makes the info at NuclearFiles.org a must read. Includes examinations of nuclear proliferation, disarmament, and various strategies employed in the past.

March 14: Picturing The Century The National Archives invites you on a photographic journey spanning 100 years and more than 60 images. From immigrants' first steps on Ellis Island to a gathering of the nation's First Ladies.

March 12 : Desktop Adventures On busy days when just grabbing a moment by the window seems a luxurious excursion, fire up AdventureTV.com, which stands ready to take you on streaming-video trips to jungles, deserts and other exotic spots worldwide.

March 11: Camp X-Ray The State Department offers a brief photo tour of Camp X-Ray, the area of the Guantanamo Bay naval base where Taliban and Al-Qaeda prisoners are being held. (Photos appear to predate recent detainee hunger strikes.)

March 8 :Movie Archives Cold War-era 'duck-and-cover' lessons intermingle with classic TV commercials and other oddities at this expansive Net movie archive. In all, nearly 1,000 movies are yours for the downloading in a variety of formats.

March 7: Lincoln's Papers Delve into the mind of our 16th president with the Library of Congress, which completes its online release of Lincoln's papers. Features thousands of documents, including drafts of the Emancipation Proclamation and more.

March 5: Kid Chef On occasion, even kids like to whip up something in the kitchen, and KidChef.com gives them the info to do it. Includes cooking tips, recipes, online expert advice, and even its own (relatively) rockin' theme song.

March 4: Ground Zero Cam For those still seeking any closure that might come from viewing the World Trade Center site, Earthcam provides live Webcam footage from the disaster area. Archives cover recovery efforts dating back to Sept. 26.

March 1: Brain Explorer The Web continues to prove the optimum medium for conveying the complexities of the brain and its workings. BrainExplorer.org displays each component of our '3-pound universe,' as well as illustrating areas affected by specific diseases.

Feb 28: Top Biography India's Top-Biography.com serves up a compelling smorgasbord of life stories, offering extensive studies on everyone from Napoleon to Bill Gates, all with eye-catching art, chronologies, quotations, screensavers and more.

Feb 26: What Happens Now? It's a question that plagues those who've lost their spouses prematurely, and one this site aims to answer in a simple, straightforward manner. Perhaps most importantly, it emphasizes that young widows/widowers are not alone.

Feb 25:Jigsaw Land It's lunchtime, you're bored, and one more hand of Windows solitaire may push you over the edge. Time to calm yourself with the online jigsaw puzzles at JigsawLand.com. From animals to cartoons, and three levels of difficulty.

Feb 22: Walk The Wall  President Bush this week tours China's Great Wall, and with a little help from the Web, you can follow in his footsteps. WalkTheWall.com takes you atop the famous fortification, offering a full 360-degree perspective.

Feb 21: Online Pet Cemetery Touching in its simplicity, the Virtual Pet Cemetery lets you share memories and photos of animal companions that have passed on. Chickens, geckos and bunnies are just some of those you'll find in this celestial menagerie.

Feb 19: Northern Lights  Few sites capture one of the world's mysteries as effectively as this study of the aurora borealis, the eerie northern lights that fill the skies in the northern hemisphere. Includes breathtaking images, video, and screensaver.

Feb 15: Secret Encouragement Could someone you know benefit from a kind word? Fire up the Karma Machine to send an anonymous message of cheer (with an appropriate picture) electronically, boosting someone's spirits (and your own karma).

Feb 14: Space Walk While nations continue to rattle their sabers down here, the International Space Station remains a model of cooperation above. Take an amazing 360-degree tour inside man's next step into the final frontier. (Ipix plug-in required.)

Feb 11: Pet-Friendly Places Can't bear to leave your pets behind over your next vacation? Cruise by this online listing of more than 25,000 hotels, resorts, and other travel destinations that have no problem treating Fido or Polly like one of the family.

Feb 8: Idea Bank Finally, a worldwide captive audience for all your brilliant (non-technological) ideas. Submit your own, or rate those posted by others. An annual cash award is given for the best ideas posted. Our vote goes to "speed dating." (Not for the easily offended.)

Feb 7: TV Tunes  If a few bars of a TV theme get your nostalgic juices flowing, you'll be spending a lot of time at TV Tunes Online, a digital treasure trove of familiar tunes. From The Jack Benny Program to Xena (and one of the last sites to feature all the songs from Schoolhouse Rock).

Feb 5: Living Internet A smart, concise look at what the Internet is, how it works, and who's responsible for online life as we know it. Hyperlinks are liberally used without being distracting. Includes detailed examination of e-mail, Usenet, and more. Proving the Internet is not only living, but self-aware.

Feb 4: Fido & Friends Refuse to inflict another ho-hum name on your latest pet? Head on over to Bow Wow Meow for names, a database of name meanings, and a perspective on what others are labeling their animals. (Hint: Lord of the Rings has much to answer for.)

Jan 31: Nursing Home Alert Leaving a loved one in the care of a nursing home is never easy. However, this site can make the process a little less scary. Includes concise tips on assessing homes, paying for care, knowing your rights under the law and recognizing signs of abuse.

Jan 29: Kids' Health It's a scary world when you're young and in pain. This site explains every ache and pain with a gentle touch. Bonus points for articles such as the one reassuring kids that one with a 'bleeding heart' isn't suffering a medical emergency, but is just 'generous.'

Jan 28: Faces of Rock Britain's Q music magazine offers a sampling from its "100 greatest rock n' roll photographs." From old-fashioned guitar smashing (courtesy of The Clash ) to one of Britney Spears' first envelope-pushing pouts.

Jan 25: Wild Kingdom They might not wrestle crocodiles like their competition, but Jim Fowler and Peter Gros return with the online edition of Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom. Fun facts, games, and a fond look back at the classic nature series.

Jan 24: Top secret recipes  Creating Kitchen Clones of America's Favorite Brand-Name Foods

Jan 22: Got ESP? Convinced you're psychic? Put your "psi" abilities through their paces with a variety of experiments. Score exceptionally well and you could wind up in the daily "hall of fame." (Requires registration.)

Jan 21: Crime Doesn't Pay As lawmakers continue to maintain that violent video games make for violent children, it's sobering to sample the ultra-violent (yet strangely appealing) crime comic books many of them grew up with. An impressive collection.

Jan 18: Cold Comfort Feeling a little under the weather? It may not ease your suffering any, but CommonCold.org should answer all your questions about the illness. From the latest cold remedies to recipes for chicken soup. (Gesundheit.)

Jan 15: Hands On HandSpeak.com provides a searchable dictionary of American Sign Language illustrated by freeze-frame video demonstrations of the proper techniques. Includes stories told in sign (with print subtitles).

Jan 14 Pop-Up Stopper Tired of those Web browser windows that seem to pop up from nowhere? This free Pop-Up Stopper software promises to help you control them. A virtual godsend.

Jan 11: Jupiter's Moon NASA's Galileo spacecraft adds Jupiter's moon Callisto to its gallery of breathtaking images. Described as a spiky landscape of bright ice and dark dust.

Jan 10: New 'Star Trek' The first captain. The first crew. The first mission. The Enterprise has returned, and you can get briefed on Star Trek's latest series at this galactic portal.

Jan 8: Presidential Tapes You're invited to explore a companion site to C-SPAN's broadcast of tapes of President Nixon from the years 1971 to 1973. You'll find a variety of illuminating audio excerpts on such things as the Vietnam war, relations with the Soviet Union and Supreme Court matters

Jan 7: Online Newsstand Turn your desktop into a newsstand, courtesy of the aptly named AllYouCanRead. A portal to magazines and newspapers from around the world. With featured links and lists of top publications.

Jan 4: Pearl Harbor History No need to see the movie if you want to delve into Pearl Harbor's dramatic history: This National Geographic multimedia retrospective presents photos, footage, firsthand accounts and online resources.

Dec 31: PandaCam You don't have to visit Washington's National Zoo to watch Mei Xiang and Tian Tian act vaguely existential. Motion-sensitive Web cameras track the pandas as they move about.

Dec: 28: Online Encyclopedia The sixth edition of the Columbia Encyclopedia contains 51,000 entries and more than 80,000 hypertext cross-references. A quick keyword search.

Dec 24: Nutrition Facts Consumers spend billions of dollars annually attempting to lose weight through various diet regimes. Nutrition.gov aims to help Americans better evaluate appropriate weight-loss strategies.

Dec 21: Drive Rescue For anyone who has deleted a file and then regretted it: Drive Rescue, a popular program that promises to resurrect lost and deleted data on your hard disk. And perhaps best of all, it's free.

Dec 20: Presidential Homes Add a presidential dimension to your holiday appreciation with a visit to this Presidential Home site. Brought to us by the White House, it includes replicas of presidents' homes, along with online tours and photo essays.

Dec 14: "Elf Bowling" easily lets people like me take out their frustration on elves. Just download the program, launch it, and play.

You play the role of Santa. Just press the space bar to release the bowling ball in the direction of the elvin bowling pins.

Is "Elf Bowling" a virus?

No. Last year several Internet rumors circulated about "Elf Bowling" carrying a virus or containing spyware. Any .exe file can contain a virus. You should never run a program if you can't be sure it's safe. However, I downloaded "Elf Bowling" and it didn't affect my system at all.. 

Is "Elf Bowling" spyware?

No. Spyware contains extra code that sends your personal information to a third party. I can't speak for any previous versions of "Elf Bowling," but I downloaded the one below and then I ran a spy-checker called Ad Aware </screensavers/downloadoftheday/story/0,24330,3327636,00.html>. It found no spyware on my system.

Dec 11: Census Finder Learn the statistical facts about our great country with the help of the American FactFinder from the U. S. Census Bureau. Packed with population, housing, economic and geographic data.

Dec 10: Online Climber Take a journey into the world of mountain climbing, courtesy of Climbing Online. You can browse through a selection of feature stories, tech tips and photo gallery.

Dec 7: Cyber Protection Identity theft can have some horrible consequences. But a victim of stolen identity, acting as an online Good Samaritan, offers some advice on how to prevent it and what to do if you become a victim.

Dec 6: Photography Tips Get better results from your camera with some help from PhotographyTips, which bills itself as the Net's number one guide to better photos. Find out such things as the best uses of light and flash, along with a section about "whacky tips that work."

Dec 4: Elephant Cam The world's largest living land mammal comes to a computer screen near you, thanks to the National Zoo's Elephant Cam. The featured performer is a way-cute 325-pound male Asian elephant born at the zoo on Nov. 25.

Dec 3: Free Info Info-maniac Matthew Lesko (aka "The Guru Of Government Giveaways") has been cataloging government programs for more than 25 years. Now he shares his knowledge about services with Sept. 11 attack victims, or anyone else facing an emergency. A huge collection of links.

Nov 30: Change IE's Spinning Globe 
Add your custom icon to Microsoft's Web browser.

Nov 29: Artist Finder Speaking of music, find out where your favorite recording artist is appearing with a visit to Pollstar. Now showing: More than 26,000 events and nearly 5,000 artists. Search by name, city or venue — or check out the updated Top 50 listings.

Nov 26: College Tours Prospective college students can take campus tours without leaving their homes. CollegeSurfing includes school overviews, maps and, in many cases, videos.

Nov 20: Tip: Stop hunting and pecking. Teach yourself typing for
free with KP Typing Tutor:

Nov 14: Reference Tools Almost like having a library on your desktop: The Best Free Reference Web Sites 2001 listings — online resources that are recognized as outstanding by the nation's librarians. A definite bookmark.

Nov 12: City Guides Before you take advantage of today's low-cost travel fares, visit the world's top destinations online with the help of this multi-faceted Cities Guide. Use an interactive map or a drop-down menu.

Nov 8: Thanksgiving Prep Get ready for a festive Thanksgiving with a visit to HGTV (Home & Garden Television), which serves up long lists of decorating guides, entertainment ideas, recipes and food tips.

Nov 6: Prairie Jokes When you need a good laugh, look no further than the Fifth Annual Joke Show, sponsored by the above-average Prairie Home Companion site. Hundreds of 'em, "painfully and painstakingly categorized."

Nov 5: America's Voice The Voice of America is definitely in its element these days, reporting on developments in the war on terror. But you don't have to live in a foreign country to catch the multilingual service's stories — as long as you have a Web connection.

Nov 2: Attack On America The respected defense consultant GlobalSecurity.org serves up an online compendium of info about the war on terrorism. The special report Attack on America includes satellite images, maps and military backgrounders.

Nov 1: Online Genealogy Although it boasts that it's already the largest and oldest free genealogy Web site, RootsWeb keeps adding more data — including social security, birth and census reports.

Oct 30: Internet Recipes RecipeSource is the new home of SOAR: The Searchable Online Archive of Recipes. You can search through tens of thousands of recipes by keyword, region and type.

Oct 26: Patriotic Photos Check out a digital collage of uplifting photos and stories spurred by the Sept. 11 terror attacks. The Tribute to American Spirit PhotoQuilt also invites you to share your own pictures and experiences.

Oct 25: Afghan Reports News junkies can get a daily fix of all things Afghan with this News Trove section focusing on Afghanistan News. Basically, the site scours online news sources and then summarizes and links to relevant stories.

Oct 19: Biothreat Protection Consumer Reports Online presents a free, user-friendly, non-hyped special report on how to help protect yourself from biothreats — a "consumer-oriented rather than a public-health perspective on the decisions we need to make today."

Oct 16: Comedy College Comedycollege.net is the online home of — you guessed it! — Comedy College. A radio program that's the brainchild of public radio's Garrison Keillor.

Oct 15: Nobel Prizes Explore the rich history of the Nobel Prizes at this e-Museum. User-friendly tabs let you browse through the five prize areas and learn about laureates, read articles they've written and take advantage of educational resources.

Oct 12: Spring Fashion Style.com, the online home of Vogue and W, serves up a virtual ringside seat to the Spring '02 fashion season. Chronicles the catwalks in New York, London, Milan and Paris with runway reviews, slideshows and trend reports.

Oct 11: Afghanistan Studies More than you may have ever thought you would one day want to know about Afghanistan: This Academic Info site presents a comprehensive hyperlinked index about the wild, remote nation that the whole world now intensely watches.

Oct 8: Compare Your Pay The Bureau of Labor Statistics serves up a new National Compensation Survey featuring a neat search function for Java-enabled Web browsers. You just pick a region, an occupation and an experience level — the app does the rest.

Oct 5: Military Facts The aptly named Defense Almanac helps citizens understand the breadth, mission and complexity of the U.S. military machine. Focuses on the people, organization, equipment and funding of the Department of Defense.

Oct 4: MaxMem   Have you ever noticed how your computer always seems to run better after rebooting? Do you wish it could be that peppy all day? Well, now it can be with a little help from AnalogX MaxMem! AnalogX MaxMem is a realtime physical memory management program that automatically ensures that you always have as much physical memory available as possible. It does this by allowing you to set minimum amounts of memory to be made available under certain circumstance, and then passively monitoring how much system resources are being used. It runs in the system tray, and also shows you exactly how much memory you have available, plus graphs how you've been using memory over the last 60 seconds!

Oct 2: New 'Star Trek' The first captain. The first crew. The first mission. The Enterprise has returned, and you can get briefed on Star Trek's latest series at this galactic portal.

Sept 21: 
World Map of Live Webcams - New York
The World Map of Live Webcams uses an excellent World Map interface. Go there live!

Sept 18: Homeschooling Some masochistic parents are trying to teach their children at home instead of sending them off to school. The Web is here to help.

Sept 17: Useful Sites

Whether it's to keep current on what the government is doing about Tuesday's terrorist attacks, find help in coping with grief or connect with community support, millions are turning to the Web for vital information. Following are some top online resources:




•The State Department's Response to Terrorism site is regularly updated with government briefings and statements, along with links to global terrorism studies and national security reports.

•Find out anything you may ever want to know about terrorists at the Terrorism Research Center, which maintains a network of terrorism and information-warfare specialists drawn from industry, government and academia in the USA and around the world.

•The FBI has set up an online resource for citizens to report any terrorism-related information. You'll find a toll-free telephone number and an online form to electronically submit your tips.

•You have virtually as much attack-related information at your fingertips as journalists do, thanks to this list of Web links from the trade organization Investigative Reporters & Editors. Subjects include everything from law enforcement and military intelligence to World Trade Center maps and aviation safety.


Relief Efforts


•The American Red Cross site helps you find out what you can do to assist attack victims. News updates report on relief efforts around the nation. Just type in a ZIP Code to locate a local Red Cross office.

Helping.org, a one-stop online resource to help people find volunteer and giving opportunities, spotlights an "American Tragedy." Includes links to numerous relief organizations and survivor reports.

•The Interactive Relief & Rescue Map offers a high-tech glimpse of the Manhattan disaster scene. Just click on a scalable map to find such things as blood-donation centers, grief-counseling services and shelters.


Coping and Healing


Get the facts on how to recover from traumatic events. The American Psychological Association presents some authoritative advice on what emotional reactions to expect and how to help yourself and your family. A link box helps you find a psychologist.

GriefNet is a highly visited site that aids people working through loss and grief issues of all kinds. You'll find 37 email support groups and an area where kids can help each other deal with their emotions.

The Trauma Information Pages is a huge portal to all things online having to do with emotional trauma and traumatic stress, whether following individual experiences or a large-scale disaster. Browse through a directory or search with keywords.

•The National Mental Health Association presents Time for Reassurance, advising that the unfolding tragedies can naturally cause children and adults to feel confused, afraid, angry or powerless. And the site lists nationwide resources that can provide help.


Community Support


•The Web site of New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton provides a long list of resources for attack victims and their families. It also includes Web links and phone numbers for charitable organizations, transportation agencies and elected officials.

•The idea behind Gift From Within is that people suffering the effects of traumatic stress deserve the same charitable support that sustains individuals and families suffering the impact of such things as cancer and heart disease. With links to inspirational stories, poetry and art works.

•When the initial shock of an air disaster subsides and the natural grieving process intensifies, ACCESS — the AirCraft Casualty Emotional Support Services — stands ready to help. Volunteers who have survived or lost a loved one in an air crash provide guidance and peer support.


Child-related Aid


•The American Academy of Pediatrics explains how to communicate with children about disasters. You find straightforward bulleted tips, along with a variety of background documents.

•Traumatic stress experts at ParentsTalk offer advice on helping children cope with emotionally difficult situations. A user-friendly bulleted list on how to recognize signs of stress in kids and what steps to take.

•The Compassionate Friends site aims to help families resolve their grief following the death of a child of any age, offering friendship and understanding to bereaved parents, grandparents and siblings. No religious affiliation and no membership fees.


Spiritual Guidance


•Add your prayers to a multi-faith prayer circle at Beliefnet, an e-community whose hallmark is a deep respect for a wide variety of faiths and traditions. You can also join discussions about the terrorist attacks and the ethics of retaliation.

•Crosswalk.com issues a National Call to Prayer in the aftermath of Tuesday's terrorist attack. You'll find prayer tracts, a prayer request form and online discussions.

•The Gospel Communications Network invites you to visit if you're looking for some spiritual answers to the question of why tragedies happen. Includes biblical references and links to religious resources.


Military Programs


DefenseLink, an online production of the U.S. Department of Defense, serves as a portal to the latest military reports and activities dealing with the terrorist attacks.

•Founded in 1971, No Greater Love is dedicated to providing annual programs of remembrance, friendship and care for families who have lost a loved one in the service of our country or by an act of terrorism. Includes a list of tributes and memorials.

•TAPS, the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors, addresses the needs of those who have lost a loved one while serving in the armed forces. Includes a military survivor peer support network, grief counseling referral and crisis information.




•Before you travel overseas, pay a visit to the State Department's Bureau of Consular Affairs site, which presents travel warnings, tips and a variety of helpful publications.

•The Federal Aviation Administration site features a Fly Smart Guide on a wide range of security issues — including everything from flight delay postings to dealing with aircraft evacuations.

•The National Transportation Safety Board is an online source for information about aviation incidents, safety improvements and descriptions of aviation accidents. Publications of reports and studies are available online.


Sept 10: Capitol Spotlight Help keep our government honest — or at least, somewhat more honest — by monitoring what they do on the job. Capitol Spotlight, a new political resource dedicated to reporting on key votes on Capitol Hill, is a joint production of Congressional Quarterly and C-SPAN.

Sept 7: Mr. Fix-it Thinking of a starting a new project around the house? Ask home-improvement guru Mr. Fix-it, whose interests range from laying tile to installing a tubular skylight.

Got a new Pocket PC and wondering what to do with it? Or maybe you've had one for a while and want to do some new things with it. Dale's Coffing's Pocket PC Passion is the site for you.

The meat of the site is its "General FAQs, Tips, and Tricks" section. This section has everything from how to convert DVD movies to an MPEG-format your Pocket PC can read to how to play your PDA's MP3s through your car stereo to changing your ActiveSync Pocket_PC Name.

The tips are filled with illustrations and tons of useful links to other Pocket PC articles and resources. Another nice feature of this section is how it includes input and tips from visitors to the site. Indeed, on his main page Coffing encourages people to send him Pocket PC info and tips.

If your particular Pocket PC question isn't in that section, there's a good chance you can get it answered on the site's Discussion Board. (There are more than 11,000 posts in the Compaq iPaq forum alone.) The site's front page features frequently updated Pocket PC news and reviews, as well as a survey, quote of the day, and other goodies.

If you're a Pocket PC owner, visit Pocket PC Passion <http://www.pocketpcpassion.com/> today.

June 21:News Gluttons Think getting the local paper delivered to your doorstep is a good way to keep informed about the news of the world? The Online Media Directory of Editor & Publisher lets you zoom in on papers, magazines, TV and radio stations around the world.

June 20:Language Translation And if you need some help deciphering what you see in those international reports, turn to BabelFish. Just drop in some text or type in the address of a Web site, and then choose what language you want translated.

June 19: eComplaint.com:   Whether it's an airline that's lost your luggage or a restaurant that gave you food poisoning, eComplaints.com gives you an outlet to vent your frustrations where it could do some good. Submit your consumer horror story to eComplaints.com, and they'll publish it on the Web and send a letter to the offending company.

June 15: American Writers C-SPAN invites you to take a journey through history. This online exhibit chronicles the lives and works of American Writers who have influenced the course of our nation. Handy drop-down menus let you select writers, works and places.

June 14: Grrlstories Acclaimed photojournalist Joanna B. Pinneo trains her lens on the bewildering experience of being a girl these days. Grrlstories is an engrossing continuation of her black-and-white documentary "Rites of Passage: American Girls Entering Adolescence Today."

June 13: Get Fit Speaking of summer, a visit to Fitness Online may help you look and feel your best on the beach or during outdoor activities. With articles, how-to features and tips.

June 12: Campfire Songbook Don't just stare blankly at the fire next time you head out on that family camping trip. Drop by Becky's Campfire Songbook and pick up a variety of things to sing about.

June 8: The Pentagon's Spies Why read spy novels when you can glimpse the real thing? The Pentagon's Spies, a digital briefing book from the non-profit National Security Archive, details the history of once-secret spy units. (PDF format.)

June 6: Human Rights Violations Published in Amnesty International's 40th anniversary year, the International Report 2001 documents human-rights violations in 149 countries and territories. Browse through regional summaries or country-specific indexes.

June 4: Tax Bill Intelligence Confused by the confusing bag of tricks that official Washington calls a tax cut? Stay informed about the federal government's budgetary shenanigans with help from the nonpartisan Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

June 1: Women's Health Learn about the Changing Face of Women's Health — risk, prevention, detection and control — at this interactive exhibit from the Women's Health Project. Includes a long list of links to online resources.

May 30: Creaky Joints is your one stop community for arthritis questions, answers and support.

May 24: Tourist Trap Sites


Fortunately, one site is kind enough to keep track of the strangest tourist destinations in the United States. Roadside America originally started as a book, then migrated over to the Web, which is a much better venue for its odd and hilarious wares.


The World's Largest Ball of Twine is here. Hmm, I thought it would be larger. Recently, the town of Darwin, Minnesota, whose tourist industry is single-handedly driven by the big ol' ball, added a suffix -- "Rolled By One Person" -- to its ball o' twine. This was in response to competing balls of twine in other locales, which, presumably, were group efforts.


You'll also find the World's Largest Thermometer. Standing 135 feet tall in the middle of the California desert, it's a stirring monument to, uh, mercury. Mercury and the power of the human spirit.


Size definitely seems to be a running theme throughout the tourist trap industry, as it seems people will come from miles around to gaze upon the World's Largest Catsup Bottle, the World's Largest Peanut, or the World's Largest, Ugliest Lincoln Statue. But there's also room for the very small and humble, such as the Spam Museum. It just wants to entertain.


You can browse these monuments by state, or, if you're truly time-challenged, you can take a Hypertour. It's the virtual vacation for beleaguered Web surfers. With pictures, text, and video, Roadside America takes you across the country in search of the tourist destinations that really matter. You can take a Hypertour from the Nicole Brown Simpson Townhouse in Los Angeles to the Wheel of Food in Keensburg, New Jersey here.


If you do decide to go, be sure to visit the famous, mysterious, baffling Mystery Spot. What is it, you ask? Well you're just going to have to click and find out.

May 23: Pearl Harbor History No need to wait for the upcoming movie if you want to delve into Pearl Harbor's dramatic history: This National Geographic multimedia retrospective presents photos, footage, firsthand accounts and online resources.

May 22: Converging TV NOW (AKA, Network of the World) aims to fuse the capabilities of TV, the PC and the Web. Choose your feed, speed and player. Channels range from sports and art to tech and gaming.

May 21: Backpacker Mecca Enthusiastic about the great outdoors? Get great tips on hiking, camping and wilderness adventures at Backpacker.com. Along with suggestions for such things as gear, nutrition and fitness training.

May 18:National Park Guide Before you set foot in a national park, pay a visit to the Park Guide. An extensive drop-down menu to individual parks lets you find details on everything from camping and lodging to fees and activities. With appropriately tempting scenic images.

May 17:The Dilberito Game Boss off snoozing somewhere? Then it's time for a little Dilberito: "Choose the right foods to help Dilbert increase his life expectancy, and he will dance on the grave of your nemesis!"

May 15:State Of The Air Need a reason to worry about the federal government backing off environmental protections? State of the Air 2001 provides statistical evidence that many more Americans today are breathing in unhealthy air. A clickable map lets you check your geographical area.

May 14:Spyware Checker The free software you're thinking of downloading may be "spyware," a program that secretly collects info from your PC and transmits it back to advertisers or other snoopers. Help protect your privacy with a visit to Spychecker.

May 10:Teen MothersLife Stories presents self-portraits of teenage mothers in words and pictures. An online multimedia documentary that seeks to help prevent teen pregnancies.

May 9:Legal LinksThe Law Library of Congress serves up a hypertext guide to sources of online information on government and law. A free service that strives to identify "the most useful and reliable sites" for worldwide legal info.

May 8:National ForestsEnjoy the really great outdoors: Our national forests. This Forest Service site offers an interactive map, phone directories and links to individual forest Web sites.

May 7:Rules Of The AirWhen the airline loses your baggage, wants to increase your fare, cancels your flight or subjects you to any of various other indignities, find out your rights at Rules of the Air. A plain-English version of your ticket's inscrutable "Contract of Carriage

May 3: Clinical Trials A new online program aims to assist people with health problems who wish to be matched to clinical trials that are sponsored by pharmaceutical companies.

May 1:Fred Astaire Fan This Fred Astaire fan site lets you take an online whirl back to a more graceful time. A work in progress that features photos, biographical info and memorabilia.

April 30:Directory Of Inns Wanna get away but don't care to stay at a corporate-style hotel? Finding a cozy bed-and-breakfast is a user-friendly experience at USinns.com, which boasts a database of more than 27,000 inns.

April 26:Online GamesSpeaking of gaming, Microsoft's Zone.com serves up an abundantly entertaining range of online playthings. From bridge and checkers to hearts and word search, many games free.

April 24:Online Legal HelpA site that answers that age-old question of whether there's life after OJ: LegalZoom, which promises to take care of common legal matters from your home or office. Brought to us by ex-Simpson lawyer Robert Shapiro.

April 19:Target Earth?Don't have enough to worry about? Visit the aptly named Asteroid and Comet Impact Hazards site, which dryly informs us that the Earth orbits "in a cosmic shooting gallery."

April 17:Kids GardeningIt doesn't matter what size that green thumb may be, as you'll see from the National Gardening Association's Kidsgardening.com. Includes activities and backgrounders.

April 12:Car And DriverRoad tests tell you what you need to know before you buy. And check out some previews or a look back at classics.

April 10:KidsHealth.orgGet extensive advice on what to do when kids have health problems and what to do to help keep them healthy in the first place.

April 9:Best Grad SchoolsUpgrade your education with some tips from this guide to Best Graduate Schools. The 2002 rankings include school comparisons

April 6:Interactive Masters The 2001 Masters goes interactive. With quizzes, daily polls and course cams that serve up images from the second nine holes.

April 5:Student GuideNearly 70% of all student aid comes from the programs discussed in the Student Guide, billed as the most comprehensive resource on student financial aid from the U.S. Department of Education.

April 4:Dental BackgrounderHere's the first thing to do if your dentist suggests a root canal, gum surgery, implant or other beastly procedure: Get an online backgrounder from IntelliHealth Dental.

April 3:Mensa WorkoutThink you're smart? Cultivate a little humility with a visit to the Mensa Workout. Wannabe geniuses have half an hour to sweat out 30 questions.

April 2:Who Are We?AmeriStat boasts that it's a one-stop source for U.S. population data. Everything from marriage and income to race and mortality.

March 29:Local EatsRoadfood.com dishes out drop-down menus to help you find tasty local fare on your asphalt adventures — or, as the site says, "the most memorable local eateries along the highways and back roads of America."

March 28:PandaCamYou don't have to visit Washington's National Zoo to watch Mei Xiang and Tian Tian act vaguely existential. Motion-sensitive Web cameras track the pandas as they move about.

March 27:Government DirectoryPut the U.S. government at your fingertips with the Blue Pages. A helpful search feature allows you to focus on local info.

March 26:Online EncyclopediaThe sixth edition of the Columbia Encyclopedia contains 51,000 entries and more than 80,000 hypertext cross-references. A quick keyword search

March 23:Legal AdviceWorldLawDirect says its automated system can give personalized answers to more than 6,000 commonly faced legal issues. Or sift backgrounders.

March 22:Top CarsAuto Hub presents an info-packed review of the top picks for 2001 from Consumer Reports. An interactive resource that includes used-car models.

March 20: Computer HelpSpeaking about community, protonic.com is an online community that provides free technical support to computer users. Staffed by volunteers.

March 19: Would you like to see the Space Shuttle when it goes by overhead. Well you can and any other satellite for that matter. Just go to http://liftoff.msfc.nasa.gov/RealTime/JPass/20/ .  Be sure to check out J-Track 3D while you are there.

March 16:KaZaA: Can't get the song on Napster? This peer-to-peer file-sharing program is similar to Gnutella. One selling point is that KaZaA finds the fastest download.

March 15:Recipe SearchSearching for a recipe that's (a) fast, (b) delicious, (c) low-cal or (d) all of the above? The Art of Cooking serves up a handy search engine.

March 14:Visual Search EngineThe self-described visual search engine Ditto says it is "far easier for people to find what they are looking for when they are looking at it." An index of nearly 6 million thumbnails.

March 13:Info WarA kind of portal for everything you may have always wanted to know about such things as cybercrime, economic espionage and computer cracking: the Information Warfare Site.

March 12:Free TutorialsDon't want to pay a lot to upgrade your computer-related skills? Try the aptly named FreeSkills. Tutorials can be viewed online or printed out.

March 8: Web GuidesIf you don't find a particular factoid on the Web after a visit to Guides To Specialized Search Engines, it may not exist. Lists thousands of search engines covering hundreds of subjects.

March 7:Industry BoycottSpeaking of the recording industry, some netizens are taking matters (if not CDs) into their own hands — again — and fomenting a boycott of the Big Five.

March 6:

Keep Using Napster With Napigator

Are you frantically downloading MP3s on Napster right now, trying to grab everything you can before the midnight, Friday cutoff? Getting all those songs you've been meaning to find all this time to complete your collection -- before a US District Court injunction shuts down Napster's servers?

Don't sweat it. When it comes to the Web, there's a way around every lame, feeble attempt by The Man and the Luddites alike to impede the march of technological progress. And it's no exception for Napster.

Bottom line: You still can enjoy the Napster experience with Napigator. A little program called Napigator will let you download to your heart's content, come Saturday. It's a tiny download that acts as a front-end launcher for Napster, and it essentially gives you control over what server you're downloading from.

In this case, the servers are independents that have no affiliation with Napster whatsoever, are faster than Napster's servers, and (theoretically) won't be touched by Friday's legal action. Bottom line: You still can enjoy the Napster experience with Napigator.

If you've ever used a launcher-type program for computer games such as Gamespy, Napigator follows the same idea. All the independently run Napster servers (on networks such as OpenNap) show up with their Napster-style statistics like ping time and number of users. You just click on the server you want to join and Napster connects to it. Since Napigator's a separate program, you can bring it up at any time to toggle between servers. This is particularly handy when you're looking for really obscure stuff and can't find it on one server. The switching process is painless and usually much, much faster than logging on to one of Napster's central servers (and a lot more effective than an unplugged, official Napster server).

Napigator claims 30,000 users now; the number will only grow after Napster gets unplugged. If word of mouth spreads, the entire Napster community could conceivably migrate to these open servers. Banned college students make up the primary user base for Napigator now, but the list of "banned" users (Napster claims some 20 million subscribers) is about to explode.

So if you're comfortable with the Napster interface and user experience, and don't want to learn one of the other music file-sharing programs, surf on over here <http://www.napigator.com> and download Napigator.

March 5: Topographical MapsPrint out a topographical view of your neighborhood, courtesy of Maptech MapServer. Includes a handy zoom feature, and it's free.

Feb 28:Personal SuccessYou're invited to ramp up your personal success quotient with a free download of Keys to Personal Effectiveness. Strategies to help you get more done in less time.

Feb 26: Health Directory The respected Hardin Meta Directory of Internet Health Sources keeps growing. Latest additions include sections on breast cancer and sexually transmitted diseases.

Feb 22: Net GamesAnother site that proves PCs were never intended for work-related activities: A classic game of Battleship. Or fire up your Asteroids blaster

Feb 20:Local Pollution How polluted is your environment? Are local plants and animals at risk? Type in a ZIP Code and find out at ForMyWorld.

Feb 19: Amazing HubbleNew Views of the Universe highlights the Hubble telescope's contributions to astronomy. Take a multimedia tour of this online exhibit.

Feb 16: Survival Of The FittestFrom Consumer Reports Online comes a list of stock funds that are steady long-term performers and that had their mettle tested by the volatile markets of 2000.

Feb 15: Best Cars 2001It's a great time to buy a new car, says Money.com, which sizes up the sets of wheels out there and offers its Top Picks and Great Deals.

Feb 14: Valentine's Day SpecialFind a road map to love and romance — and perhaps more importantly, directions on how to avoid those disturbing dead ends. Along with other Valentine's resources.

Feb 13: Olive Trees For PeaceA new grass-roots approach to making peace in the Middle East: Olive Trees for Peace, which aims to restart peacemaking through people-to-people contact.

Feb 12: Cell Phone AdvisorThe challenges of choosing cellular service are as formidable as ever, says Consumer Reports Online. Just type in your ZIP Code for comparisons.

Feb. 8: Have you ever searched for sites and found the links lead to websites in a different language? Even if you don't speak the language, it is still possible to understand the site.Use AltaVista's Babel Fish to translate the website into a language you can read. Babel Fish's translation is not always perfect, but it's good enough for you to understand the site.Babel Fish translates the following languages:

Feb 7: Unbound BibleBible study goes hyper at the Unbound Bible. You'll find 10 English versions and more than 40 in other languages. With a powerful search feature.

Feb 5: Managing Cancer PainCancer-Pain.org promises the latest and most accurate info on state-of-the-art management of cancer pain. Includes a caregiver's guide.

Feb 2: Privacy TipsRichard Smith, chief technology officer of the Privacy Foundation, shares tips on how to protect your privacy from telemarketers, Web snoops and other nosey parties.

Feb 1: Love LettersAs Valentine's Day approaches, do you find yourself uncomfortably at a loss for words? Love Letters shows you how the likes of Catherine of Aragon and Napoleon expressed affection.

Jan 31: Weather Station Set up a local weather station on your PC's Windows tray bar. WeatherBug is a free downloadable program that displays "hyper-local weather data" on your desktop.

Jan 29: Health Info A service of the National Library of Medicine, MEDLINEplus offers everything from health news and drug backgrounders to doctor directories and links to Web resources.

Jan 26: Wine AnswersHow popular is that particular zinfandel? What's that sediment you sometimes find in a bottle of wine? You got wine-related questions? Turn to wineanswers.com.

Jan 24: Healthy Pets VetCentric says it provides animal healthcare information from a team of veterinary medical experts, including general practitioners and board certified specialists.

Jan 23: Body Glove GirlSpeaking of photos, drop by Body Glove Girl and find out why the Web may be the best thing that ever happened to swimsuit fashions. Or vice versa.

Jan 22: Harmonica Lessons If you've ever tried to play the harmonica, you know it's not as easy as it sounds.

You think all it takes is a few toots, and you'll sound like Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, or even Toots Thielmann. But you wind up with a lot of spit, some noises that sound like a rhino in agony, and a near-fatal case of hyperventilation.

With a little help from today's Incredibly Useful Site, you may be a master of the mouth organ before too long. Just amble over to Harmonica Lessons.com , the perfect place to perfect your harping skills.

Beginners can learn how to hold the harmonica and breathe properly. A decent harmonica will cost you between $15 and $35 and you can comparison shop on the site, too. There's also a section with music. Y'know: scales, notes, the whole shebang.

So blow on over to this site. Before long you'll have Woody Guthrie spinning in his grave.

Jan 19: Lunar Images
In the age of the Web, you don't need a telescope to get a close-up of the moon. Lunar Orbiter Photographic Atlas of the Moon provides a huge index of images.

Jan 18:  Baseball Almanac 
If you already know everything about baseball then the aptly named Baseball Almanac is not for you. For the rest of us, there are such things as facts, stories, famous firsts, quotes, autographs and, of course, stats

Jan17: Nutrition Checklist
The Nutrition Screening Initiative — a coalition of national health, aging and medical organizations — offers a checklist to find out if you or someone you know is at nutritional risk.

Jan 16:Rate Converter
FXConverter (Foreign Exchange Currency Converter) boasts that it provides up-to-date exchange rates from leading market data contributors. For any of 164 currencies.

Jan 15: Academic Resources
High School Hub bills itself as a noncommercial gateway to free online academic resources for high school students. Comprehensive and user-friendly.

Jan 12:  Do It Yourself
Whether the project involves such things as landscaping, decorating or home improvement, the folks at the DIY Network say they have step-by-step instructions to help you out.

Jan 11: Free Web Tutorials 
Wish you could be more adept at navigating the World Wide Web? W3Schools.com offers step-by-step tutorials. And it's free.

Sept 19:  Useless Facts Feel like there's too much important knowledge cluttering up your brain? For a quick-click antidote, drop by Uselessfacts.net. Readily dispensable info in a wide variety of categories. http://www.uselessfacts.net/

Sept:18:  Early American ExplorerAnyone with an interest in early American history and culture - from architecture to literature, from politics to parlor manners - is invited to pay a visit to Common-place. Describes itself as a bit friendlier than a scholarly journal, a bit more scholarly than a popular magazine. http://www.common-place.org/

Sept 15:  Online Giveaways Like some free jelly beans? Or shampoo? Or a music CD? Those and other items can be found at GiveAwayTheFarm.com, which says it scours the Net for irresistibles such as giveaways, free-trial offers, samples and contests. http://giveawaythefarm.com/

Sept 13: Advances In Medicine 
Medical Breakthroughs aims to provide news about the latest advances in medicine. Includes daily news headlines along with weekly features on a broad range of health issues. http://www.ivanhoe.com/

Sept 12:  British Flicks British film fans can turn to the Web to stay ahead of the game on the latest flicks. The British Films Catalogue provides listings for many new feature films and shorts either in production or slated for release in 2000. Includes a brief synopsis and photo, along with names of cast and crew. http://www.britfilms.com/

Sept 9:  Workplace Humor The weekend is over and you are once again stuck in your cube. Look at the bright side with a visit to WorkHumor, which promises to tickle your corporate funny bone. http://www.workhumor.com/

Sept 8:  Fishing Tips Ken Schultz, fishing editor of Field & Stream, offers angling advice online at his own Web site, including tips on everything from tying a proper knot for your lure to how to accurately estimate the weight of that stupendous catch. http://www.kenschultz.com/.

Sept 7:    Historic Sounds Save Our Sounds, a joint project of the Smithsonian Institution and the Library of Congress, preserves the greatest historical recordings of America's spoken word and music. More than one million recordings of American roots music, songs, poems and speeches from 1890 to the present. http://www.saveoursounds.org/

Sept 6:  SeeingStarsIf you're a star gazer (the Hollywood kind, not the fiery balls of superheated gas kind-- wait, never mind) one way to find stars to gaze at is to catch them where they hang out.


Sept 5: Preserving National Heritage Back to Baseball Cards celebrates 200 years of efforts at the Library of Congress to preserve the nation's heritage. Far from just being about baseball cards, the online exhibit illustrates some of the most important preservation treatments that have been carried out on the Library's 119 million items, including newspapers, photos, drawings, books, film and music. http://lcweb.loc.gov/preserv/bachbase/

Sept 1: Financial Advice For Women Noted financial advisor Ginita Wall answers women's questions about money at Women's Institute for Financial Education. Along with a variety of features on such things as financing a small business, stretching dollars and income safety. http://www.wife.org/

August 31: Free math help from simple arithmetic to AP Calculus is available at http://www.askdrmath.com/ 

August 29: Moyers On Dying  Bill Moyers goes from the bedsides of the dying to the front lines of a movement to improve end-of-life care - the gripping subject of a new PBS series, On Our Own Terms, that premiers on Sept. 10. The companion site offers a powerful multimedia preview. http://www.pbs.org/wnet/onourownterms/index.html

August 2:Tired of simply shouting: "Kill the Ump!" Drop by the Baseball Heckle Depot and get a little more creative with your razzing. At last count, 675 choice heckles to choose from. http://www.heckledepot.com/

July 28:

Keep Using Napster With Napigator

Are you frantically downloading MP3s on Napster right now, trying to grab everything you can before the midnight, Friday cutoff? Getting all those songs you've been meaning to find all this time to complete your collection -- before a US District Court injunction shuts down Napster's servers?

Don't sweat it. When it comes to the Web, there's a way around every lame, feeble attempt by The Man and the Luddites alike to impede the march of technological progress. And it's no exception for Napster.

Bottom line: You still can enjoy the Napster experience with Napigator. A little program called Napigator will let you download to your heart's content, come Saturday. It's a tiny download that acts as a front-end launcher for Napster, and it essentially gives you control over what server you're downloading from.

In this case, the servers are independents that have no affiliation with Napster whatsoever, are faster than Napster's servers, and (theoretically) won't be touched by Friday's legal action. Bottom line: You still can enjoy the Napster experience with Napigator.

If you've ever used a launcher-type program for computer games such as Gamespy, Napigator follows the same idea. All the independently run Napster servers (on networks such as OpenNap) show up with their Napster-style statistics like ping time and number of users. You just click on the server you want to join and Napster connects to it. Since Napigator's a separate program, you can bring it up at any time to toggle between servers. This is particularly handy when you're looking for really obscure stuff and can't find it on one server. The switching process is painless and usually much, much faster than logging on to one of Napster's central servers (and a lot more effective than an unplugged, official Napster server).

Napigator claims 30,000 users now; the number will only grow after Napster gets unplugged. If word of mouth spreads, the entire Napster community could conceivably migrate to these open servers. Banned college students make up the primary user base for Napigator now, but the list of "banned" users (Napster claims some 20 million subscribers) is about to explode.

So if you're comfortable with the Napster interface and user experience, and don't want to learn one of the other music file-sharing programs, surf on over here <http://www.napigator.com> and download Napigator.

May 1:  Consumer Feedback <http://www.feedbackdirect.com>
Got a consumer beef? FeedbackDirect says it wants to make dealing with customer service departments as painless as possible. Just type in a company name in a search box to get contact info. Along with other useful services. http://www.feedbackdirect.com   or click  here.

April 27:  Holocaust Survivors <http://www.holocaustsurvivors.org/>
History is not about events but about lives, according to Holocaust Survivors. A labor of love, this site presents the personal stories of survivors of the Nazi killing machine. Hear their voices. Look at the faces in their family photographs. http://www.holocaustsurvivors.org/  or click  here.

April 26:  There's A Blockbuster Within Three Miles <http://www.formovies.com>
Now, if you're a movie buff, you know how hard it can be to sometimes track down that particular classic flick in your local movie rental store. Well, don't waste time buzzing around town. Check out this Incredibly Useful Site by clicking  here.

April 25:  Cyber Supremes ...Even the U.S. Supreme Court can't resist getting wired. This official site provides access to opinions, calendar, a photo gallery and historical backgrounders. http://www.supremecourtus.gov/  or click  here.

April 24:  Literary Audio ...MP3Lit.com says it has a simple purpose in cyberlife: to be a vehicle for writers and publishers to distribute their recorded work directly to the public. A chance to listen to writers instead of reading them. http://www.mp3lit.com/  or click here.

April 20:  Free Stuff Rules...Do you like to get things for free? Well, here's a web site worth bookmarking. It's a place to find almost all the freebies on the Web...just click  here.

April 19:  Stock Researcher ...If you like to do some homework before playing the stock market: InvestMove.com allows visitors to enter a ticker symbol into a search form and get back a customized page covering more than 30 major information categories about that company. http://www.investmove.com  or click  here.

April 18:  Occupational Handbook ...Want to tell your boss to kiss off - but don't have an exit strategy? Let the Dept. of Labor give you a hand, with the latest version of the Occupational Outlook Handbook. http://stats.bls.gov/ocohome.htm  or click  here.
April 17:  First Ladies Library   America's first ladies make the jump to cyberspace. A library site devoted to their lives and legacies, with photos and text. http://www.firstladies.org/ or click  here.

April 14:  Real-Time Reservations. OpenTable strives to provide real-time restaurant reservation capabilities from coast to coast. Or at least 10 cities, so far. If you don't have a particular restaurant in mind, you'll get some online help finding one. http://www.opentable.com/ or click  here.

April 13:  Need a Recipe? On the I Dunno Recipe & Requests Board, you'll find thousands of free recipes to browse through, plus a place to post your own questions or answers.  Just click here.

April 12:  Legal Portal ...Legal Engine describes itself as the starting point to online legal research. With a user-friendly format, the site's categories encompass federal, state and international areas. http://www.legalengine.com/  or click  here.

April 7:  Toy Business ...Toys are serious business, as well as fun, at this industry site. The Toy Manufacturers of America site offers listings of top-selling items, along with trivia and safety tips. http://www.toy-tma.com/index.html here.

April 6:  Scholarly Choices ..You don't need a Ph.D. to figure out the right college for you or your children. The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System collects institution-level data on such things as enrollments, program completions, faculty, staff and finances. An online link to 9,000 colleges and universities in the USA. <http://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/cool/>  or click  here.

April 5:  Online Storyteller The Moonlit Road is not just about the kind of ghost stories that haunt the dim backroads of the American South. It's also an online storehouse of Southern culture and folklore. With audio. http://www.themoonlitroad.com/  or click here.
April 4:  Name Generator ....And if you're looking for some help in coming up with that catchy name, let Nameboy give you a hand. Just type in some keywords and the site spits back possible combos. You may be plesantly surprised. http://www.nameboy.com/   or click  here. .

April 3:  Flirting How2 The Angel of Flirting has a mission in cyberlife - that is, to create worldwide culture of "clean, civilized adult flirting." And she offers plenty of advice. Be prepared, of course, for some mature themes. http://www.flirts.com/advice/angel/  or click  here.

March 31:  Financial Exercise MsMoney.com says its mission is to empower women to take control of their financial health. Promising a "two-minute a day" exercise for those who are short on time and need quick financial solutions, the site offers reports, tools and discussions. http://www.msmoney.com/   or click  here.

March 30:  Investment Club Services Investment clubs - groups of people who get together and pool some money to invest - are invited to visit Bivio, an online service that offers such things as free accounting, daily account updates and research resources. http://www.bivio.com/  or chick here.

March 29:  http://humor.about.com/entertainment/humor/msubemail.htm.....this is a good site for April fools jokes....just click  here.

March 20:  GardenGuides.com <http://www.gardenguides.com>
From beginner to expert, Garden Guides.com has everything that a gardener needs.  or click  here.

Want to by a surpluss travel trailor used for hurricaine Floyd victims. You can get a bid form from www.doa.state.nc.us/ssp/ssp.htm  or click

March 15:  Arthritis Help..........Board-certified rheumatologists say they created ArthritisCentral.com to help provide physicians and patients with up-to-date info. The site offers a wide range of articles on diagnosis and treatment. http://arthritiscentral.com/   or click  here.
March 7:  Virtual Mardi Gras ...Can't make it to New Orleans for Mardi Gras 2000? Fire up a Web cam and party virtually. Or listen to the carnival sounds with a Net radio broadcast. http://www.nolalive.com/mardigras/  or click  here.

March 3:  Minor League Action Don't just look to the majors for baseball action. MinorLeagueBaseball offers everything from team info and standings to schedules and players of the week. http://www.minorleaguebaseball.com/   or click  here.

March 2:  So you wanna know how to write an effective resume or how to make wine or anything in-between. This is a great how to site. http://www.soyouwanna.com/demo/index.html  or click here.

Feb 29:  Compare Phone Rates ...MyRatePlan.com helps you find out how your long-distance calling plan compares to others, as well as how various plans fit your calling patterns. The Time-A-Call app lets you use an online stopwatch to clock the differences. http://www.myrateplan.com/cgi-bin/ld/ldcalc.cgi  or click  here.

Feb 28:  Online Political Almanac ...Pump up your political IQ with a click to the Almanac Of American Politics 2000. Everything from profiles of elected reps to election results to campaign expenditures -- at a site that offers additional candidate resources. http://www.freedomchannel.com/almanac/almanac_of_amer_pol.cfm  or click  here.

Feb 24:  MP3 Music Guide ...MP3now.com aims to be a one-stop guide to the world of a revolutionary music format. With news, downloads, charts and technical info. http://www.mp3now.com/  here.

Feb 23:  Spy Photos ..Information that Soviet spies once would have killed for -- literally -- is only a few mouse clicks away. Including declassified spy photos of nuclear weapons facilities. http://www.fas.org/nuke/guide/russia/facility/nuke/index.html
or click  here.

Feb 22:  Run, Run Like the Wind ...If you're one of the 20 million people who are into running, cycling, and sports like that, check out this site, it's got lots of training info.   http://www.activeusa.com/  or click  here.

Feb 21:  Free Web Reader ...The IBM Home Page Reader describes itself as the voice of the Web. Designed for blind and visually impaired users, the reader orally communicates online info. A trial demo is free. http://www.austin.ibm.com/sns/hpr.html   or click here.

Feb 18:  Health Network ...Health info is only valuable if it's authoritative. Like the new CDC National Prevention Information Network, which bills itself as a national reference, referral and distribution service for information on HIV/AIDS, STDs, and TB. http://www.cdcnpin.org/  or click  here.

Feb 17:  Business Plans ...Some simple advice: If you're thinking of starting your own business, don't do it without a rock-solid business plan. Like those you'll find at Bplans.com. Interesting reading even if your start-up is just a dream at this point. http://www.bplans.com/   or click  here .

Feb 15:  Diabetes: Are You at Risk? Nearly one in 17 Americans suffers from Diabetes. Find out if you are at risk at Diabetes.com  or click  here.

Feb 14:  CIA Factbook ....Not everything that the CIA does is cloak and daggers. The agency's World Factbook 98 is a must read for anyone with an interest in the people and cultures of this planet. With reference maps. And it's free -- that is, our taxes pay for it. http://www.odci.gov/cia/publications/factbook/index.html    or click here.

Feb 11  Federal Budget ...See your tax money at work. Sort of. It's the Budget of the United States Government -- Fiscal Year 2000. Includes a "Citizen's Guide" to help decipher it. http://www.access.gpo.gov/omb/   or click  here.

Feb 10:  ~Opening Government Docs ...Freedom-of-information activists have long urged online access to studies by the Congressional Research Service, which serves as a kind of think tank for Congress. At last some reports, ranging from agriculture to technology, are beginning to emerge in cyberspace. http://www.senate.gov/~dpc/crs/reports/
reptsubj.html  or click  here .

Feb 9:  Stop Internet Intruders--This software provides a free firewall to protect you from hack attacks:
http://cgi.zdnet.com/slink?21391  or click  here.
Zone Guard.com

Feb 8:  Incredible Dogs...Here's a contest no self-respecting dog owner can pass up: The Purina Dog Chow Search For America's Most Incredible Dog. Check out past winners, or sign up for a free calendar.(You'll be asked some marketing questions if you submit an online entry.) http://www.dogchow.com/home.html or click  here.

Feb 7:  Get Into The Swing of Things ...BallroomDancers.com provides lesson plans for the competitive and the green dancer alike.  Just click  here.

Feb 3:  Secret Admirers ....With Valentine's Day approaching, it may be time to make your affections known. SecretAdmirer lets you know whether someone you like feels the same way about you. Confidentiality is promised. http://www.secretadmirer.com/   or click  here .

Feb 2:  Zeeks, It's What All the Kids Are Saying .  Zeeks.com is a place for kids to hang out while they're on the Net. It's got games, chat, and free email.  http://www.zeeks.com/  or click here .

Jan 25:  Not so Funny Stuff ...On this day in 1972, the world was saddened by the passing of Larry Fine, one third of the infamous trio The Three Stooges. http://www.threestooges.com/  or click here.

Jan 24:  Astronauts' Space Photos ...You may never get to fly the Space Shuttle, but you can get an astronaut's eye view of things. EarthRISE offers a database of photos taken by astronauts over the past 15 years. A search area lets you scout out your city or town. http://earthrise.sdsc.edu/earthrise  or click  here.

Jan 21:  Wheelchair Web Users ...Paralinks bills itself as the work of a loose collection of wheelchair users dedicated to providing "every conceivable bit and byte of information" available for people with spinal cord injuries. Looks like their mission's accomplished. http://www.paralinks.net/  or click  here.

Jan 20:  Devoted To Words ...Anyone who loves words will love World Wide Words. A site that describes itself as devoted to the English language -- its history, quirks, curiosities and evolution. There's even a Q&A to answer usage questions. http://www.quinion.com/words/ or click here here.

Jan 18:  Online Webmaster ...Want to try your hand at building Web pages but aren't sure where to turn for help? Turn to Joe Burns, whose HTML Goodies site takes you from the basics to tips for accomplished webmasters. http://www.htmlgoodies.com/  or click  here.

Jan 17:  Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go ...Mr. Wakeup is a free wake-up call service. You can use it to remind you of other things-- like meetings, or to turn over periodically while sunbathing, or to go back and pick up the grocery list you forgot.
http://mrwakeup.com/ or click  here.

Jan 14:  I Wish I Could Do That ...Travel writer Carla King is riding a motorcycle all over India and keeping an online journal with pictures and stuff.   http://www.indiansunset.com/   or click  here.

Jan 13:  Online Film Awards ...The Online Film Critics Society includes an international group of members who post their printed movie reviews exclusively or primarily online. Their motto: "You've Got Reviews."   http://www.ofcs.org/ofcs/   or click here.

Jan 12:  Tracking Congressional Cash ...Even as the new Congress convened, a new online resource offered to tell us how a member got his or her campaign money. The financial profile is extensive, with charts and figures. Search by name or browse around. http://www.crp.org/politicians/index.htm   or click  here.

Jan 10  Don't know your Compari from your Kir? Perhaps you need a course in Mixology. http://www.drinks101.com/  or click here .

Jan 7:  Learn how to play the axe on this site, it'll walk you through everything from frets to fingerings to scales to capos. A capo...isn't that a Mob boss?  http://www.guitar.com/  or click here .

Jan 6:  News reports say major strides are being made to deal with arthritis pain. You can get an online backgrounder on various medications and other treatment techniques, courtesy of the Arthritis Foundation. http://www.arthritis.org/at/archive/1998/11_12/drug_guide.shtml   or click  here .

Jan 5:  You may not be able to predict the weather after a visit to the Online Meteorology Guide. But there's little you won't understand about the fundamentals of atmospheric science -- whether it's optical effects or hurricanes. Brought to us by folks at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. http://ww2010.atmos.uiuc.edu/(Gh)/guides/mtr/home.rxml    or click  here .

Jan 4:  Books Online ....The Web offers many sites where you can find sample chapters of books. The National Academy Press Reading Room has a better idea: Full texts, first page to last. More than a thousand books. For free. http://www.nap.edu/readingroom/   or click  here .

Jan 3:  Need a Cake Recipe Fast? Look no further than cakerecipe.com. It's a recipe site for every cake you can imagine. We are talking every kind of cake. http://cakerecipe.com  or click here .

Dec 30:  The brainiacs at Britannica finally figured out how to stop their Web servers from crashing. No finer reference service in cyberspace than this. And it's free. http://www.britannica.com/   or click  here .

Dec 23:  Deal-Finder says it scours the Web each day for online bargains and deals. It also boasts that it filters out "fake deals" like free catalogs and e-mail newsletters. http://www.deal-finder.com/  or click  here .

Dec 22:  Now you've got no excuse to make one of those Common Errors in English. Not only will you find a huge list of everyday mistakes, there's also a list of non-errors that "people keep telling you are wrong but which are actually standard in English." http://www.wsu.edu/~brians/errors/errors.html or click  here .

Dec 21:  A wide range of federal agencies come together in a cooperative effort to help senior citizens learn about government services and info. From benefits and health to training and travel. http://www.seniors.gov/  or click  here

Dec 13:  Gettin' Crafty...Looking for a little something to make your home festive for the holiday season?
http://www.michaels.com/projects/pro-main.html  or click here .

Dec 10:  Lung Cancer Crusade...Faces of Lung Cancer adds a human dimension to the terrible statistics. Read personal accounts of what it's like to fight back. And then you can gain info on early detection and treatment options. http://www.lungcancer.org/    or click here .

Dec 9:  Unless You Give Me 100 Billion Dollars...Log onto a new site called Ask The White House, where you can get your questions answered by actual White House employees, and do your best Dr. Evil impersonation.
http://www.governmentguide.com/  or click  here .

Dec 8:  The Gates Estate....You may never own anything like this house, but you are invited to at least take a tour of it. The Bill Gates estate, that is. http://www.usnews.com/usnews/nycu/tech/billgate/gatehigh.htm     or click  here .

Dec 7:  Century Of Photos...Perhaps the best way to view our century is through the lens of a great photographer. American Photography displays images spanning art, war, politics and culture. http://www.pbs.org/ktca/americanphotography/  or click  here .

Dec 3:  Online Coupons...DirectCoupons Weekly boasts that it's sent to more than 250,000 subscribers. And you're invited to join the crowd, for listings of online coupons, freebies and savings. http://www.directcoupons.com/  or click  here .

Dec 2:  Want to make free longdistance telephone calls?   No strings attached.  Dialpad is the place to go and the site really works.  http://www.dialpad.com/ or click here .

Dec 1:  HTML Lessons...Anyone interested in learning about HTML -- the programming language that runs the Web -- can find no better resource than htmlcompendium.org. For anyone from novice to master.  http://www.htmlcompendium2.org/index.htm   or click  here .

Nov 30:  LegalDocs...LegalDocs.com provides Web surfers with something unique-- free legally binding documents. Everything from wills, to child care authorization, to a hunting lease http://www.legaldocs.com/misc-s.htm  or click  here .

Nov 29:  Earthlings will be able to hear the sounds of an alien world for this first time this Friday when a microphone placed on the surface of Mars will be activated for the first time.A spokesperson for the Planetary Society, which owns the
Martian microphone, believes the spacy sounds will most likely consist of wind, rolling pebbles and electrical discharges.
The society plans on transmitting the out-of-this-worldsounds on its website -- planetary.org  or click  here .  Don't bother with this link....the mars polar lander is officially "lost in space" (another 167million dollars of your money wasted).

Crime Maps...Wonder how safe your community is? Neighborhood Crime Check provides online maps; all you do is type in a ZIP code. http://www.apbnews.com/resourcecenter/datacenter/index.html   or click  here .

Nov 26:  Currency Converter...Are you planning a trip overseas, but you haven't a clue how much your money is worth? You better make pitstop at the Universal Currency Converter website before you leave.    http://www.xe.net/ucc/  or click here .

Nov 24:  Sermon Central...A new way that religion has found to take advantage of cyberspace: Sermon Central, lists more than 23,000 full-text sermons and sermon outlines, all indexed by Bible chapter. http://www.sermoncentral.com/   or click  here .

Nov 23:  Dime Novels...Take a ride on this online time machine to that long-gone era of "dime novels." More than 8,000 individual items grace this Stanford University site. http://www-sul.stanford.edu/depts/dp/pennies/home.html   or click  here .

Nov 22:  Going Bossless...Wanna go bossless in the new economy? The new inc.com can show you the ropes online. Learn how to write a business plan, run a virtual company and keep your customers happy. http://www.inc.com/   or click  here .

Nov 19:  Online Coupons...DirectCoupons Weekly boasts that it's sent to more than 250,000 subscribers. And you're invited to join the crowd, for listings of online coupons, freebies and savings. http://www.directcoupons.com/   or click here .

Nov 18:  Verbal Self-Defense...Learn How to Disagree Without Being Disagreeable at this verbal self-defense site. With some tips and examples that should come in handy in a variety of real-life situations. http://www.howstuffworks.com/vsd.htm   or click  here .

You can get your own personal trainer at Phys.com.  http://www.phys.com/   or click  here .

Nov 17:Photo Journey...Count 'em: 3,304 photos - one shot for every mile that Matthew Frondorf traveled from New York to San Francisco. This continental collage, called American Mile Markers, lets you see just how wide America is. There's even video. http://www.kodak.com/US/en/corp/features/onTheRoad/home/index.shtml    or click  here .

Nov 16:  Click For The Cure...Eactivism turns to the Web to help fight cancer. Site sponsors make a donation to the American Cancer Society when you drop by each day and click on their logo page. http://www.eactivism.com/clickcure.asp   or click  here .

Nov 15:  Missing Money....You're invited to tap into the national unclaimed-properties database. A free service, it includes such things as forgotten savings, stocks and rental receipts. Just type in your name (and ZIP code) and cross your fingers.  If you actually get money back please let me know by emailing me by clicking  here .  I thought this government run website looked suspicious.    http://www.missingmoney.com/ or click  here .

Product Ratings....ConsumerREVIEW says it wants to provide consumers the opportunity to review and learn about the products they use. Boasts 85,000 reviews on 15,000 products. http://www.consumerreview.com/   or click  here .

Nov 12:  Learn About Geography Online....Do your kids know how to read maps? If not, the US Department of Education can help.http://www.ed.gov:/pubs/parents/Geography/index.html   or click  here .

Nov 11:  Follow the money...A finical search engine from politics.com lets you follow the caampaign money in more ways than one.  Search by donor's last name or zip code.  http://www.politics.com/m1f.htm   or click  here .

Nov 10:  Get Creative with GoMo Mail...Draw and paint your own pictures, backgrounds and animation to add to your email.  No download or registration required and it's free. http://www.gomomail.com/ or click  here .

Nov 9:  Free Music Player...PHAT is a free downloadable music player that lets listeners tinker with their favorite MP3 files with dual mixing capabilities -- meaning enthusiasts can download songs from the Net, re-mix them and create custom presentations. http://www.visiosonic.com/    or click  here .

Nov 8:  Free Stuff...Many Web sites feature online freebies but 1Freestuff.com lets you check the newest offerings. You'll never know what you might find in this regularly updated list of various stuff. http://www.1freestuff.com/newest/index.shtml  or click here .

Nov 5:  Aikido Relaxation ... The Body, Mind and Modem site offers to show you how to use the principles of the martial art Aikido to help develop relaxation and positive thinking. http://www.bodymindandmodem.com/ or click  here .

  Puzzle Palace...Do something productive with your time online -- build a word puzzle. An exercise provided free of charge by the Internet Coach Puzzle Creator. Registration required. http://www.apte.com/puzzles/  or click  here .

Nov 4:  Online Naturalist....The idea behind 90-Second Naturalist is that a lot of people love to learn about nature but don't have time to crack a book. So this site tries to be two things to all people: fun and brief. Includes stories and audio. http://www.nsnaturalist.org/  or click  here .

Nov 3:  Free Anti-Virus Software...Microsoft has teamed up with leading anti-virus firms to offer free protective software in preparation for the Year 2000. The program will provide coverage for a 90-day period. http://www.microsoft.com/y2k/antivirus/AntiVirus.htm or click  here .

Nov 2:  Defeating Depression...The goal of this online Defeat Depression campaign is to help people distinguish between sadness and clinical depression. Concludes with a personal profile that alerts users as to whether or not treatment may be appropriate. http://www.mediconsult.com/defeatdepression...or click  here .

Oct 29:  There are many Web-connected cameras to explore in cyberspace. But Perceptual Robotics lets you actually take aim -- and in a variety of locations. http://www.perceptualrobotics.com/live/   or click  here .

Oct 28:  ExpertCentral serves as an online directory for more than 4,500 experts on everything from automobiles to travel. Many answers are free, as is membership. http://ExpertCentral.com/   or click  here .

Oct 27:  Used Computers
Got champagne computer tastes but a beer budget? The Used Computer Mall may be your, ahem, cup of tea. If nothing else, it's fun to browse. http://www.usedcomputer.com/    or click  here .

Files For Kids.......The goal of Tukids is to provide a fun, safe place where children and parents can download virus-free educational software. Includes thousands of files. http://tukids.tucows.com/   or click here .

Oct 26:  The Cooper Institute Virtual Patient Information Resource Center invites you to make a visit whether you're researching an illness, checking up on healthcare info or looking for a physician. http://www.cooperinstitute.org
or click  here .

Oct 25:  Alta Vista Translator...Get help translating those foreign correspondence with Babelfish.
http://babelfish.altavista.digital.com/cgi-bin/translate?   or click  here .

Oct 22:  Here's a chance to see just how little your money can buy in the area of kitchen remodeling. An interactive planner lets you choose a variety of options and then see how badly it hits your bank account. http://www.improvenet.com/plan/estimate/kp_index.html or click  here .

Oct 21:  The next best thing to playing computer games is getting them for free. Which is what you'll find in this big list of downloadable demo programs at eGames. http://www.egames.com/egames/categories/demos.htm or click  here .

Oct 19: Some folks devote their online energies to things like displaying great art or cataloging fine music. The Kentucky Fried Chicken Copycat Recipes site has a distinctly different mission. With a search engine, of course. http://soar.berkeley.edu/recipes/copycat/kfc/   or click   here  .

Oct 14:  AboutOurKids aims to be a central resource for kids, parents and educators -- a trusted place to find real-life solutions for childhood mental health issues. Includes examples of warning signs. http://AboutOurKids.org/   Or  click  here .

Oct  13:  Day Tracker. Everybody has good and bad days. Now this site boasts that you can use the Web to see if your ups and downs run in cycles. And see how you compare with people of different states, salaries, genders and ages. http://dailyrating.com/   or click  here .

Oct. 12:  Let Your Fingers Do the Surfing.  Get that elusive phone number you need online, with this web-based phonebook.  http://www.555-1212.com/  or click  here .

Oct 8:  Free Stuff: No, Really!Here's a site that really delivers in the low-cost department, in fact offering proof that there is such a thing as a free lunch.  http://www.thefreesite.com/     or click  here .

Oct 7:  About 24,000 people die every day from hunger or hunger-related causes. You may think there's very little one person can do about this tragedy, but we've got a nearly effortless way you can make a difference. A man named John Breen is using the power of Web advertising to combat hunger with The Hunger Site. Go to the site, click on the button donate free food and a donation is made to the United Nations World Food Program, courtesy of the sponsors you see on the page.   http://www.thehungersite.com/  or click  here .

Oct 5:  If you're an athlete, or just trying to get in shape, you can get help with your training and racing at the Race Gate website.  http://www.racegate.com/  or click  here .

Oct 4:  Over 76 million family members have dealt with alcoholism. Now there is a new source of help online.  http://www.recoveryconnection.com/   or click  here .

Oct 3:  If you've every wondered what our spooky friends at the CIA do when they're not doing the James Bond thing: They're working on the fact-filled (even for non-spies) annual Factbook. The 1999 version is available online even without a security clearance. http://www.odci.gov/cia/publications/factbook/index.html   or click  here .

Sept 30:  If you would like to have a CPU that runs about 10 degrees cooler you might consider installing the 100% FREE program called Rain.  I did, and my computer runs much better and cooler.To get Rain go to  www.HotFiles.com    and type "Rain" in the search box and click go.  When you download the program it will be in .zip format and you will need WinZip (part of Windows) to unzip the program.

Sept 29:  U.S. Commission on National Security/21st Century turned to the Web to promote an exchange of ideas with the American people. It's looking for a "fresh and bold way about how this nation should provide for its security in a radically changing world." Offer your thoughts at Debate Forums and check out a new security report. http://www.nssg.gov/   or click  here .

Sept 27:  HyperHistory presents 3,000 years of world history through a colorful combination of images, lifelines, timelines and maps. More than 1,200 files are interconnected in this far-too-absorbing historical display. http://www.hyperhistory.com./
or click  here .

Sept 21:  Summer's almost over. So it's time to start getting fit for next summer, with some online encouragement from JustWalk. The free service promises to keep track of your exercise and provide a progress report. http://www.justwalk.com  or click  here .

Sept. 20  Add some theatrical spice to your personal computer with Cinema Desktop Themes. Includes 1,281 desktop themes, 311 screen savers, 412 desktop wallpapers and more. http://cinemadesktopthemes.com/   or click  here .

Sept. 7:  Pet owners no longer have to wonder where to turn with questions great and small. Turn to Experts On Call. For dogs, cats, birds, reptiles, fish and other pets. http://www.petstore.com/petstore/experts/expert_list.asp  or click  here .

Sept 3:  Textbook sales are a growth industry on the Web, and Textbookprices.com hopes to help thrifty students by comparing offerings from different sellers. http://www.textbookprices.com/  or click  here .

Sept. 2:  Start planning for the Millennium New Year with this Random Party Generator. All you need to do is click on a few drop-down menus for some festive ideas. You can even create your own Web site to display party details to your friends. http://thePlunge.com/random.asp  or click  here .

Sept: 1:  Keeping your software programs current gets easier with a visit to the aptly named Updates.com. A free service that searches your PC for software that needs updating. http://updates.zdnet.com/  or click  here .

Don't let another NFL season go by without profiting from your coworkers. Score like the pros with NFL Office Pool. All you need is some office mates, their email addresses, and most importantly, their money. Oh, it's so easy. Once a week NFL Office Pool automatically downloads the latest team matchups and odds. Your job is to send the picksheets to all willing participants. Winners are automatically determined from downloaded results. After the Monday night game, email the results. You'll see how well you did against your office mates AND the odds makers. If your coworkers don't pay up, there's an option that sends their email to swim with the fishes.   http://hotfiles.zdnet.com/cgi-bin/texis/swlib/hotfiles/info.html?fcode=000SLD&b=ZDTV or click  here .

August 31:  The Virtual Hospital, a service of University of Iowa Health Care, contains hundreds of books and brochures for health care providers and patients. Information that, until recently, was usually available only in print form in far-away libraries. http://www.vh.org  or click here .

August 30:  Travelzoo boasts that its search engine can locate those sought-after but tough-to-find discounted airfares known as "netfares." Just type in your departure point. http://www.travelzoo.com   or click  here .

August 26:  http://www.learnthenet.com/english/index.html is the address to learn step by step how to use the internet. To go there just click  here .

August 25:  Got a complaint but just don't have the time to sit down and put it in writing? The automatic complaint-letter generator will even ask how many paragraphs you want it to generate. http://www-csag.cs.uiuc.edu/individual/pakin/complaint/
or click  here .

August 24:  Need Legal Advice?Get help at Nolo.com, a website created by two lawyers who were fed up with the fact that "normal" people couldn't find affordable legal information.   http://www.nolo.com/  or click  here .

August 23: Thinking of digging up your family's roots digitally? Get started with Cindi's List, a genealogical site that boasts links to 54,250 online resources. Most of them categorized and cross-referenced for your browsing convenience. http://www.cyndislist.com/  or click here .

August 19:  Challenge your movie-trivia savvy at Cinema Bytes. A low-stress game that gives you multiple chances to win. http://www.cinemabytes.com/   or click  here .

3 live webcams from New York's Times Square can be seen by clicking here.

August 18:  We have collected here the first lines of books we hope you will recognize as old acquaintances. Your challenge is to name the book given the first line. The books are divided into categories which may help you identify them.
http://www.people.cornell.edu/pages/jad22/   or click here.

August 17:  Welcome to mybytes.com, an interactive college community of students like you. Whether you are doing research, buying music, or looking for the best hotspot, mybytes.com is your guide.  Just click  here .

August 16:  The Web has numerous sites that let you send e-cards to a friend or loved one. But none is sweeter than this Ice Cream USA Virtual Dessert. Giving may be as much fun as getting. http://www.icecreamusa.com/    or click  here .

August 13:  The centennial edition of The Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy proves itself to be cyber-friendly: The world's most widely used general medical text is available free of charge on the Web. http://www.merck.com/pubs/mmanual/  or click  here .

August 11:  You always knew you were a genius, right? Well here's your chance to prove it, with a free IQ test from the Self Discovery Workshop. http://www.iqtest.com/welcometest.html      or click  here .

August 10:  U.S. National Debt Clock.  If you have a Java(tm) aware browser you will see a "running" accumulation of the National Debt and National Fiscal Spending.  http://www.toptips.com/debtclock.html or click  here .  By the way your family's share of the debt is currently $76,000.

On the Web, even the departed get to mingle, sort of. This Posthumous Reunions site hosts collections of gravesite images such as those of Saturday Night Live cast members. http://findagrave.com/tocs/reunions.html  or click  here .

August 9:  Maybe you'd like to pick up some training in how to build Web pages but don't know where to go or how much to spend. Training Tools is only a click away - and it's free. http://www.trainingtools.com/     or click here .

August 4:  You can prepare for August's solar eclipse by staring directly at your computer monitor, thanks to this Exploratorium site. Includes an upcoming live Webcast and historical info.  To see it just click  here .

July29:  Want to see what's going on in your neighbors back yard? Why not take a look from a satellite in space.
http://terraserver.microsoft.com/default.asp of click  here .

July 28:  The absolute worst part of travel is packing. The Ultimate Packing Guide wants to help, with an interactive packing list and tips on the little things that make traveling more enjoyable. Along with a travel calendar and planner. http://www.bhg.com/travel/  or click  here .

July 23:  Though more than 2,000 years old, the Great Wall remains one of the world's great wonders. And through the wonder of the Web, you can explore it without setting foot in China. http://www.discovery.com/stories/history/greatwall/
or click  here .

July 22:  Dr. Bernard S. Siegel, who has written extensively about the mind-body connection in medicine, offers some straight but compassionate advice on how to deal with painful life experiences. http://DrBernie.com   or click  here .

July 21:  Find your pet a name that matches its personality. This interactive tool guides you through the selection process with drop-down categories that range from actors to musicians to world leaders. http://www.ivillage.com/pets/petnames/
or click  here .

Ah memories... I wasted a lot of quarters on the
Lunar Lander in the arcades. Now you can play for
free on the net.  http://www.serve.com/wizjd/java/JDLunarLander/JDLunarLander.html   or click  here .

July 20:  Follow the excitement of this year's Tour de France at an info-packed site that offers an interactive map, trivia, photos and standings. http://www.letour.com/1999/us/index.html   or click here .

July 19:  Join the Apollo astronauts on the surface of the moon -- virtually. You'll find stunning 360-degree panoramas at this companion site to the PBS special that chronicles the untold science and engineering story of how we got there. (QuickTime plug-in required.) http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/tothemoon/   or click  here .

July 15:  The finest radio drama of the 1930's was the Mercury Theatre on the Air, famous for its notorious War of the Worlds broadcast. Relive some of those thrilling productions from yesteryear. http://www.unknown.nu/mercury/   or click  here.

July 13:  Lawyers, defendants and judges say the funniest things, according to Order in the Court. Allegedly taken from actual transcripts. http://www.best.com/~sirlou/court.html  or click here .

July 11: Theater lovers can browse through a 1999 Directory of Summer Productions, an online link to more than 1,000 productions throughout the country. With listings of theater Web sites for details. http://americantheaterweb.com/  or click  here .

July 8:  Stoke up the fire and get out the meat because Barbecue'n on the Internet is the place to find everything you need to know for a top-notch backyard cookout. Learn about equipment from wood smokers to gas grills. Barbecuing and grilling are two completely different cooking styles, and each produces its own unique flavor. For backyard chefs with an adventurous spirit, this site reveals championship cooking techniques.When you're trying out the new recipes, always be sure the cooking temperature is right. Don't forget to thoroughly clean all the equipment when you're finished so you can enjoy many successful cookouts in the future.
http://www.barbecuen.com/  or click  here

...updated every few minutes...press your browser's "reload" button to updated view .  http://www.nps.gov/caha/livecamnew.htm  or click  here .

July 6:  Whether you are looking for a nonstop view of the sun through the eyes of the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory or an up close and personal view of a Michigan ant colony, you'll find it at this Live Cams! site. http://www.discovery.com/cams/cams.html  or click  here .

July 2 :  You may never again wonder what time it is at some international destination, as long as you have a Web-connected computer. TimeTicker provides a user-friendly, interactive format. http://www.timeticker.com or just click  here .

June 30:  Use this  site  to locate convicted sex offenders who have been released from prison and are living in North Carolina. You can search by zip code, city, county, status or name. The registry may include a photo of the registered offender.

June 29:  This site is dedicated to providing the most up to date and accurate information regarding the Names on  The Wall  in Washington DC.

June 28:  Like many of us, you may have come close to flunking that course that required metric conversions. Here at last is a site that promises to "convert just about anything to anything." Fun to play with even if you're not facing a final exam. http://www.microimg.com/science or just click  here .

June 22:   National Geographic  invites parents and children to explore the world with a new series of fun and fact-filled geography activities.

June 21:  Have you ever been a "ticked-off tourist?" The you might enjoy a visit to  Ticked.com , where a group of experts offer advice on anything from passenger rights to online ticketing.

June 16:  Before you decide which beach to vacation at , visit  Best Beaches  first.  Beaches are ranked by categories of what you are looking for.

June 15:  Want ideas or reviews on good books to read?  Best Books will give you a lot of information.

June 14:  Tired of waiting on the phone for tech support?   Knowledge Base  4500 answers to common computer questions.

June 11:  You don't have to be a lawyer to find something interesting at the American Bar Association's  Online Journal .

June 10:  For anyone who's had an entrepreneurial dream but lacks the tools to turn it into a successful reality should check out  BizTools Surplus .

June 9:  Looking for a way to hold politicians more accountable?   USADemocracy  is a free e-mail service where you can vote for specific pieces of legislation and then monitor the voting record of your representative.  Registration required.

June 8:  People put bumper stickers on their cars to profess, protest and proclaim.  Now  Internet Bumper Stickers  offers a big assortment of the cyber variety.

June 7:  The University of Michigan has an interesting site called  Spy letters of the American Revolution  that has the actual letters (in digital form) along with the transcription.

June 4:  Need an answer to a legal question? There's a good chance the  Law Guru has the answer.  Over 4000 answers are in his database.  But if you can't find your answer, just ask because the service is free.

June 3:  Everything you need to know about beer, including how to make your own brew can be found at  Storey's Beer Page .

June 2:  Planning a wedding?  Check out The Knot  to help insure you know everything you need to know for that special day.

May 28:  Got a favorite photo?   Kodak's Picture Playground invites you to have some fun with it.  Turn it into a cartoon, make it look like an antique or choose other special effects.

May 27:  Want to read your hometown newspaper? News Links  brings all the newspapers in the Nation into one searchable online database.

May 26:  The  Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence  site says there is a small but captivating possibility that your computer will detect the faint murmur of a civilization beyond Earth.  In order to participate, you'll have to download and run a program that analyzes radio telescope data.

May 25:  This Serbian photographers association has turned to the Web to show the effects of NATO's bombing on their country.  These are the images that the nightly news may or may not  show you.  To take a look click  here .

May 24  (The following link has been corrected. I  thank the listener for pointing out the error.) Want to learn the anatomy of the human body?  Innerbody.com   is a fun interactive web site that you and students can learn a lot from.

May21:  Before you buy a car find out how it might fare in a collision at  Crashtest.com

May 20:  Think there is only one town with the name Pinehurst? WRONG!!!!  There are towns all across the US with that name, including two in NC.  To see a list of the all just click here , but keep in mind it's a loooooooooong list.

May 19:  The U.S. Government has over 1.17million web pages.  To help you sift through all that they now have a search site to assist you. That site is called  GovBot .

May 18:  Looking for relief from all that daily tension. Then check out  T-Bones Stress Relief Aquarium .  It's a guaranteed smile on your face.

May 17:  If your not sure what's for dinner let the Random Food Generator  decide.  Like how about some low-calorie Cheez-whiz custard.

Here's a serious use for your computer.  You can view online photos of what would happen if certain celebs mated  here .

May 14:  Former Surgeon General  Koop  has a nice site geared to address the health needs of seniors.

May 13:  Want to know how almost anything works, then check out  How Stuff Works .  From electric razors to computers, this site covers them all.

May 12:  Having trouble getting you home organized? All the declutter tips are at  Organized Home .

May 11:  Like to ride your bike?  Then let Bike Map  bee your guide to bike routes and bike events.

May 10:  If you are use to getting your garnering advice from your neighbor over the fence, then let  Virtual Gardener  be the your cyber neighbor with all the right answers.

May 7:   The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children launches a  Cyber Tipline  where people can report a sexual exploitation of children.  All it takes is a few mouse clicks to file an online report.

May 6:   Farmers swear by it, others are amazed by it.  It's the  Old Farmers Almanac , and it's wisdom and knowledge is now online.

May 5:  Going on a trip?  Then you might want to learn the local "slang" so you will fit right in with the locals. Slanguage  will teach you the local slang for cities across America and around the world.

May 4:  If you are a pet lover then  Petsville is a great site for you.  There you will find the latest pet news and links to report abuse.

May 3:  Health needs change with age,  and Senior Health provides helpful info on everything from caregivers and nutrition, to arthritis and heart disease.

April 30:  Here is an early Mother's Day present for moms.  It's a web site designed to help mom learn how to use the internet.   Ivillage will teach her in a fun and entertaining way the World Wide Web. Caution: we are not responsible if mom becomes an internet addict after visiting this site.

April 29:  If you are thinking about sending your kids to summer camp the   Summer Camp Directory & Resource  is a good place to start.  They have 2000+ camps, searchable by price, location, special needs, web sites and more.

April 28:  Have you ever looked up at the night sky and wondered exactly which planet that bright spot in the sky was? Sky Map  can help solve the mystery by showing you exactly where each planet is at any given time, along with many other interesting facts.

April 27:  The NC Dept. Of Corrections Victim's Services Web Site  provides information and services to victims.  It covers everything from sex offenders and release dates, to probation and parole.

April 26:  If you love the thrill of a roller coaster The American Midway  is the site for you.  It rates all roller coasters  and helps you plan a vacation by including park reviews, links to official park web sites, insider information, pictures, and links to weather forecasts.

April 21:  Looking for a job?  Let  Quintessential Careers  help.  This free site offers valuable advice from cover letter to salary negotiation as well as job and career sites.

April 20:  Ever been told to go fly a kite?  Well now there is a Web Site to teach you how to build and fly a variety of kites.   Anthony's Kite Workshop  will guide you through the thrill of creating your own personal kite adventure.

April 19:  Find lyrics  here of most of the songs that hit #1 from 1930 to 1999.  Search by year, artist, or title.

April 15:  The  Kyoto National Museum's Masterworks  collection includes detailed graphic and text introductions to more than 100 of the institution's finest masterpieces.  Multiple enlargements allow you to explore works in depth.

April 14:  Net Library  hopes to offer the world's most extensive collection of online eBooks and reference materials.  For a limited time, membership is free.  Sure beats watching TV.

April 13: If you enjoy fishing as much as I do, then FishSearch.com  is a must visit Web Site Search Engine.  This site makes it easy to find anything on the web you need to know about fishing .

April 9:  If your in Junior High, High School or College,  Homework Helper  may be of help.  It has a vast amount of information an a wide range of topics.   It's like a library online.

Live web cam site of the week goes to  Walkin With Walkman .  Here you'll not only get a view of Newport Beach Va., but also latest weather and surf conditions.

April 8: The Masters Golf Tournament begins today and to help you enjoy it to the fullest check out  The 1999 Masters Official Web Site . From course layout to tee times, this well done site has it all.

April 7:  Driveways don't sound very interesting, but how about   Driveways of the Rich and Famous  .  Believe it or not I found this site to be very well done and very interesting.  Be sure to check out Dolly Parton's driveway.  It looked to be the nicest, while Morgan Fairchild's looked to be the most boaring.

April 6:  Baseball season is here and if you are one of the many volunteers that will be called upon to umpire a baseball game, you might want to sharpen your skills at the  Amateur Baseball Umpire Home Page .  This free site will give you the knowledge to call them out and keep them out.

April 5:  Are you planning a vacation in the great outdoors this year?  If so,  Recreation.Gov  is a very useful site.  When you get to the site you simply check the type of activities you are interested in and the State you want to do it in, and it will list all the recreational opportunities available on Federal Lands.  It will also give you details on each site.  Since your taxes pay for it, you might as well use this Web Site and the Federal Lands.

April 2:  Would you like to get up close and personal with our Solar System?  You can at the  Planetary Photojournal  where you will find 1500+ pictures from various Solar System exploration programs. Enjoy your journey through the final frontier.

It's hard to understand why anyone would want to stare into a Web-connected cam from a  New York Taxi .  But it's pretty irresistible .The cam operates from 7am to 7pm.  You got a problem with that?

April 1:  Would like to save money every time you go grocery shopping?   ValuPage  will help you do it and it will not cost you a penny.  I save money every time I go to the grocery store, and now you can too.

March 31: Want to know more about your family history or search your family tree?  There is a lot of information on the Web to help you, from mailing lists to cemetery listings to census records. There are even special search engines to help you.  One site, Genealogy Today , lists a vast number of sites and information to get you started and keep you going in your family search, and they provide this help for free.  Happy trails!

March 30: Do you want to know more about how today's high-tech cars work and how to care for them?  Autoshop - Online offers knowledge and advice on the care and maintenance of all types of cars.  Most of the site is free, but for 29.95 you can get a guaranteed answer to a specific car problem.  Or you can get a free specific answer by listening to AutoTalk (the call and answers are free), heard every Saturday at noon here on News/Talk-99, WEEB.

March 29:  The  EServer has published writings online since 1990, and currently has over 20,000 works.  Topics range from history and fiction, to film and government.  If you like thought provoking reading check out this free site.

March 26:Want to view some of the greatest photographs ever taken for free? Now you can at  Time Inc. Picture Collection .  You have to register for the site but there is no charge to do so, and the viewing is worth the time to go through the registration.

March 25: Want to view a livecam shot of one of the Seven Wonders of the World on you computer while at work? To view Niagara Falls' livecam just click  here .

Radio B92 in Kosovo has been shut down by the government becasue they oppose the government there.  However they vow that as long as the phone lines work they will broadcast over the internet.  If you want to get their view of the events in Kosovo click  here .

March 24: Want to know how to make French Silk Chocolate Pie, Italian Soup, or how about Amish Cinnamon Bread?  Well AllRecipes.com   can tell you how to make those and hundreds of other great dishes for your family and friends.  The best part is all the recipes are free.

March 23: Need a new job?  . The National Business Employment Weekly  let job hunters browse free through a big cateorized collection of employment - related sites.  Descriptions include hyperlinks and number of job listings available.

March 22:  The New Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.0 Web Browser is now available and I find it to be the best and fastest browser I have ever tried.  Before you start downloading the free software you should read more about this browser by clicking  here .  If you choose to download this browser, keep in mind the full download is a large file and will take about 100mb of hard disk space, and will take about 4 hours to download at 56k. There are two sites that I trust to download this browser from.    Microsoft   and  HotFiles.com .  Because of the popularity of this new browser it may be difficult to access the actual download site.  I never could get on Microsoft's download site but it only took me four attempts to get on HotFiles' download server this past Saturday.  Good luck!

March 19:  If you're an experienced runner or just a beginner, Kicks is a must see. There you will find information on everything from running events to running tips.

If you want to see the best of the best from the Web, check out this year's winners of  The Webby Awards  (the Oscar for Web Sites).

March 18:  Light Your Fire offers advice on how to put fun, romance, excitement and communication into your relationships; along with a variety of tips on how to keep the fire lit (wink, wink).

March 17:  In honor of St. Patrick's Day, I'll point you to a site that will ensure you a green thumb.   Garden Guides calls itself a "growing resource for gardeners."  It's not an idle boast.  Several drop down menus offers guidance on everything from bulbs to herbs. 'Great site for ideas to add to the "honey do" list.

March 16: This is a great site for senior citizens!  It offers information and help with almost all government agencies and services. From benefits and health to training and travel, it can be found at one web site.  It's hard to believe the U.S.  Government actually came up with this site! Click here to check it out.

March 15: If your scientific curiosity spans everything from Stargazers to Starships, take a flight through cyberspace to this  NASA site.  If you're interested in seeing the best web sites nominated to win this year's Webby awards (the Web's equivalent to the Oscars) just click here .

March 12:  The Bureau of Missing Socks  is the first organization solely devoted to solving the age old question of what happens to your missing single socks.  We've all experienced putting two socks in the laundry only to have one sock remaining when the laundry is finished.  This site explores all aspects of this phenomena.

March 11:  Have you ever wondered what happens to spacecrafts after they're launched? NASA offers some answers, as well as simulated images of of spacecraft and where they are now - not to mention live spacecraft telemetry. Click here to check it out.

March10:  If you or your teenagers are college bound you might want to check out College Edge.  This site has thousands of available scholarships in its databanks.  All you do is fill out a questionnaire and it will list all the scholarships you qualify for and tell you how to apply each one.  And the best part is, this site is free!

March 9:  Want to play an Oscar Trivia game or just find out more about the 70 years of Oscar history?  Well, here's a site to do either.  Just click here !

March 8: Instead of spending too much time searching the Web, download a free program called Copernic. This program can consult up to 32 Internet search engines at once.  It doesn't just find information for you, it also stores the results on your disk, organizes them and removes duplicates.

March 3:  Online stores are open on the web, but you might want to get better informed before you buy.  BizRate  promises to provide online buyers' ratings of online merchants, and boasts that it accepts no money from merchants for evaluations or listings.

March 2: The Web offers many sites where you can find sample chapters of books.  The National Academy Press Reading Room has a better idea: Full texts, first page to last.  More than a thousand books for free. Just click here .

March 1: Billions of Asteroids orbit our sun and NASA has to find and identify those which are "Earth-approaching asteroids". Asteroids have collided with the Earth before and others will be on a collision course in the future.  NASA's  Near-Earth Asteroid Tracking (NEAT)   will update you on all we know (and don't know) about this potential threat to Earth's existance.

February 26: If you ever wanted to know how to do anything around the house from changing a light switch, to putting down new flooring, to pest control, to fixing your car, to choosing and installing new appliances, then check out DoItYourself.com. The step-by-step instructions at this site are well written and even novice do-it-yourselfers can get good results.

February 25: If you are a regular listener of my morning show, you know I strongly recommend satellite TV over regular cable, but if you insist on using cable you might find Ben's Cable Box useful.  It's a one stop shop for all your cable questions, from what happens if my cable gets hits by lighting to hooking up a computer game to your TV system.  A long list of FAQs are available or you can email Ben a question. Free.

February 23: Since the founding of our country, lawmakers have been passing laws with the best intentions behind them, but sometimes they forget to remove outdated laws.  If you would like a good laugh at those laws (State by State)  www.DumbLaws.com has an extensive list of them.