NETSURFER DIGEST

Sunday, September 14, 1997 - Volume 03, Issue 29


"More Signal, Less Noise"


SURFING SITES

Laura's Interesting New York City Tales
Morning Sickness, the Father, and Other Discomforts
Mars Attacks!... Common Sense
Perfectly Nice Places with Not So Nice Names
The Craziest Sites on the Planet
A Funny Guy
Hyperhistory
World War II Air Combat Training Films
Volunteer-Based Free Tech Support
Nick at Net
Taking the Mystery out of Mystery TV
Basehit.com's Search Engine Starting Point
Quick, Gimme 100 Shares of Jose Cruz
Quebec, Spain, and Sundry Other Mail

ONLINE TRAVEL

Getting Down in Hip Manhattan Town
An Appreciation of Israeli Culture
Take a Hike, California-style

FLOTSAM & JETSAM

College Rankings Pull No Punches
Tintin
Virus Alert Page
Cat House
Silly Fun
Oodles of Fake Awards

SOFTWARE

How to Get Your Bookmarks from Far Away
Automatic Web Page Monitor

CORRECTIONS

The Paperwork Glossary
Mixing Meters and Miles
Ron Reil Treks to a New Server

CONTACT INFORMATION

BOOK REVIEWS

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

CREDITS


SURFING SITES


The best places to netsurf this week

LAURA'S INTERESTING NEW YORK CITY TALES

Laura's life is certainly worth a Web site, even if it's just to post her hot tips on washing cashmere sweaters (we're still saving) and whitening bathroom grout. She's no Heloise, though. Her boyfriend disasters reflect an attractively flippant approach to relationships, from the pastrami burger that ended one (she's a vegetarian) to the one with a guy who had no fridge or oven (he sounded sweet nevertheless). With her advice on good thrift stores, fun stuff in NYC, and meeting men through the classifieds, Laura appeals to the lovelorn and bargain-hunting fanatics alike. <http://www.laurasnyctales.com/>

MORNING SICKNESS, THE FATHER, AND OTHER DISCOMFORTS

It's Just Another Baby is not just another pretty Web site. Sure, it's got a minimalist grace to it, but the real star of the site is the wry, bright, and often hilarious journal kept by Chris Rywalt during his wife's pregnancy. If you've had kids, you'll have a chance to revisit some of the strangeness that becomes conventional during those odd nine months, and, if you're expecting, you might learn why Chris counsels parents-to-be to expect nothing. Chris's last gift to the Web was the Virtual Mr. Spud Head page. He's got two new ones now: a son and a tale well told. <http://www.westnet.com/~crywalt/pregnancy/contents.html>

MARS ATTACKS!... COMMON SENSE

Before Pathfinder's exciting sojourn on Mars this summer is replaced in our focus by new Martian events, there's one last site we want to bring you. The LittleGreenMartians site lampoons the Pathfinder mission with a variety of wildly inaccurate news and information on Martians and the lands they inhabit. The light and pleasant, fluffy humour takes mild jabs at a wide variety of institutions, including the Pathfinder scientists and the cute names they've assigned to Martian rocks: "The large, distinct Martian rock known as "the couch" has been determined yesterday to be an actual couch." Beware, Earthlings. Mars needs bandwidth, right now. <http://www.outofservice.com/mars/>

PERFECTLY NICE PLACES WITH NOT SO NICE NAMES

With a home that looks like the cover of a B-grade horror movie, the gallery has a huge selection of weird stuff such as the S and M Variety Shop in North Carolina - no it's not a smut house, it's a G-rated general store. Likewise, the Morphine Boutique in Taiwan and the Ronald McDonald Funeral Home are perfectly harmless. If you know of one, you can contribute your own absurdity to this collection. We're thinking of adding a photo of "Family Planning, use rear entry" found at an Australian clinic. <http://www.nlci.com/users/royal/absurd.htm>

THE CRAZIEST SITES ON THE PLANET

The designers of this site want to entertain you with a tour of wacky places on the Web. You can wend through the designated sites with special Crazy navigation buttons. There's plenty of funny stuff on this launch site with a simple premise: don't be serious. You'll want to check out "The 100 Most Classic Guestbook Entries Ever", which provides offbeat comments about offbeat comments; pretty soon you'll want to start adding your own. Others stops include "The White Trash Cafe," "Lee's (Useless) Super-Hero Generator," "WWW Burp-a-thon!", "Psychic Chicken Network".... You get the idea. The photo gallery is thin but has potential. This is one of those sites you love to show co-workers but through which you wouldn't want your boss to catch you surfing. <http://www.verycrazy.com/crazysites/>

A FUNNY GUY

Jim Rosenberg believes he's a funny guy and fortunately for the Net community, he is. With his columns, he's redefined a man's role by being able to laugh at himself and his whole family without (apparently) offending anyone. From comments obout his mother who gave him a Norm Sloan jacket resembling his "dazzle" screensaver to debunking awkward social interactions by imagining sexual relations - it's a "devastating leveller" - his insights are dry and unflagging. With essays on everything from Play-doh masochism to how to create your own daytime talkshow, Jim's got the answer to most dilemmas, with some gags that just ache for a rimshot. <http://www.geocities.com/SoHo/Lofts/7901/>

HYPERHISTORY

HyperHistory Online is a free complement to the static World History Chart praised by celebrity intellectuals such as Isaac Asimov, James Michener, and Carl Sagan for its 3,000-year history-at-a-glance view of human endeavor. Its maps, graphics, and other visuals let you see what was happening simultaneously in different parts of the world. For example, "Special Lifelines" charts the history of science and visual arts with name buttons (Francis Bacon, Bernoulli, Descartes, and so forth) arrayed on a timeline. The buttons aren't clickable yet - this is a work in progress. Other "Special Lifelines" will include culture, literature, philosophy, music, religion, and politics. "Connections" are summaries about interconnected events, like those in encyclopedias. This is a site to be watched. <http://www.hyperhistory.com/>

WORLD WAR II AIR COMBAT TRAINING FILMS

Visitors to Zeno's Warbird Video Drive-In will find a treasure trove of vintage World War II aviation training film footage. Armed with the RealPlayer player (is that redundant?), netsurfers touching down on this page will benefit from training films from the 1940s, back when the universe was in black and white and everyone moved just a little too quickly. The streaming videos, complete with audio, instruct pilots on flying such old American workhorses as the P-40, the P-38, and the F4U. As a special treat, Zeno offers us "Target for Today", a WWII documentary about a bombing raid over Germany. <http://members.aol.com/zeno303/Pages/ZenosDrive-In.html>

VOLUNTEER-BASED FREE TECH SUPPORT

No Wonder provides free computer support for MacOS, Windows, Be, Solaris, and OS/2 users. The service, using volunteers from all over the world, promises to deliver help within 24 hours, but of course there's no money back guarantee. We asked some baffling techy questions and got a reply within five minutes. Top marks to the whole team. <http://www.nowonder.com/>

NICK AT NET

This typically weird site from Nickelodeon, the kid TV juggernaut that has something for all ages, still has a few kinks to work out, but even in its present state is worth a visit. Juicy, by kids for kids, features a diary by Veronica, who pours out her heart over her best buddy Betty, boys, friends, and enemies (no, this isn't an Archie comic). Community volunteering through the Big Help program lifts up the site from a colorful kids' place into something more vital and intelligent, while the Games section's Turbo Trivia entranced us while we notched a few hours on the ISP bill. <http://www.nick.com/>

TAKING THE MYSTERY OUT OF MYSTERY TV

Everyone loves a mystery, but with the abundance of police/detective/mystery shows currently playing on the tube, the mystery is often figuring out the air dates and times of these episodes. Armchair sleuths now have a reason to rejoice, with the introduction of the Mysteries on TV web site, a compendium of the many television series that have formed the TV mystery genre. The site has listings both by air date and by show, be it first-run, a repeat, or in syndication; a trivia section; and an interesting profile area that provides a decade-by-decade summary of the great mystery television shows starting back in 1949 with "Martin Kane, Private Eye". <http://www.MysteryNet.com/TV/>

BASEHIT.COM'S SEARCH ENGINE STARTING POINT

Are your bookmarks threatening to turn into a ten-volume edition? A neat solution to "I knew where it was but now I've lost it" syndrome is to use Basehit.com. This fast loading site links to 24 major search engines plus specialized searches for shareware, the Bible, e-mail addresses, and travel. A further selection of drop-down menus features lists of sites roughly grouped under headings like health, news, and downloads. Other drop-down menus include a direct link to Win95.com and an electronic Internet auction service. The news is American oriented as are the financial and business sections, however Basehit.com is a useful place for anyone to initiate a search for information, and a great place to start a random surf. <http://www.basehit.com/>

QUICK, GIMME 100 SHARES OF JOSE CRUZ

Wall Street Sports (WSS) recently launched a simulated sports stock market in which athletes are transformed into virtual securities. So far, Ken Griffey, Jr. (WSS: GRIF) and Michael Jordan (WSS: JORD) have been among the most actively traded stocks. Members of WSS have access to scouting reports for all listed athletes, an online trading desk with real-time confirmation, and free trading for a limited time. By managing a successful portfolio, you can win money, prizes and, of course, the admiration of your peers. <http://www.wallstreetsports.com/>

QUEBEC, SPAIN, AND SUNDRY OTHER MAIL

A marathon session at the old keyboard has finally produced a Letters to the Editor to deal with the great volume of mail criticizing our article on the Quebec government's Net policy. Other complaints argue against our Basque article. We're not expecting a grant from the UN anytime soon. For another point of view on Quebec language laws, pay attention to "60 Minutes". Though no date has been set for the broadcast, the CBS newsjournal is working on a segment on the issue. <http://www.netsurf.com/nsd/letters/letter.03.29.html>

Top

ONLINE TRAVEL


Click your mouse and see the world

GETTING DOWN IN HIP MANHATTAN TOWN

It's hard to ignore a site with come-on introductory links such as "Picking Up Chicks: 10 tips for meeting downtown babes" and "Up All Night: 24 Hour Shopping", so stay a while at GoldenNYC: New York City's Downtown Authority, and find out how to thrive in downtown Manhattan. Its nightlife guide, After Dark, lets you search for clubs, restaurants, and downtown happenings. Click on an image map to pull up photographs and thumbnail reviews of restaurants. In FabAdvice, which teaches you how to be young and fabulous on an entry-level salary, you can "Ask Ann", find an apartment, and find out what to wear. Eight Million Stories is a collection of offbeat first-person pieces such as a young writer's account of his interview for a porn mag editorial position. The intended audience of GoldenNYC is 20-somethings. If you take away anything, it might be this reminder in "Picking Up Chicks": Babe Ruth led the league in strikeouts as well as in home runs. <http://www.goldennyc.com/>

AN APPRECIATION OF ISRAELI CULTURE

To assist in exposing netizenry at large to the contemporary culture of Israel, the Mining Company, that cornucopia of specialty sites that often hijacks your browser, is hosting an Israeli culture page. Netsurfers looking for insight into modern Hebrew culture will find articles of interest on more than just current events, taking place both in Israel and elsewhere. Updated on a weekly basis, the Israeli Culture pages endeavor to cover stories varying from a meeting between Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Israel's top Rabbi to belly dancing to the plight of conservative Masorti Jews inside Israel. <http://israeliculture.miningco.com/>

TAKE A HIKE, CALIFORNIA-STYLE

CyberPath provides access to a virtual hiking experience, for both famous and lesser-known California hiking trails. Photos and maps take you through the landscape step-by-step. <http://www.cyberhikes.com/cyberpth/>

Top

FLOTSAM & JETSAM


Random acts of online reality

COLLEGE RANKINGS PULL NO PUNCHES

Skip those glossy brochures the colleges send out. Critical Comparisons of American Colleges and Universities dishes out the real dirt on whether that expensive education is really that much better than your state college. Details on everything from crime rates to college ratings. <http://www.memex-press.com/cc/>

TINTIN

For all dedicated fans of Herge's Tintin cartoon series, here is a site with pictures of original drawings by Herge, erudite analysis of the left-handedness of the hero, a discussion forum, and a quiz section. Blue Blistering Barnacles! <http://www.daimi.aau.dk/~jjuhne/COT/cot_home.html>

VIRUS ALERT PAGE

Catch the latest news about computer viruses transmitted by e-mail and other nefarious means. <http://www.why-not.com/virus/>

CAT HOUSE

This brightly colored site is packed with cat facts, complete with site search facility. The site gives a comprehensive selection of short articles, competitions, and trivia. If you like mammals called Tiddles, you'll love this site. <http://www.petcat.com/>

SILLY FUN

The Gameboard Home Page offers such gems as Cracked Crosswords and Spuzzles for those who like a sense of humor with their gaming pleasure. They're easy fun for family entertainment. Does this sound like a commercial or what? <http://www.primenet.com/~omnibus/>

OODLES OF FAKE AWARDS

If you're cursed (blessed?) with a Web page whose counter is still in double digits after 12 months, why not get honest and grace your page with a Bottom 95% of the Web award? This and more bogus awards, ludicrous software buttons, and other silly gew-gaws can be picked up here. <http://www.jwp.bc.ca/saulm/html/award.htm>

Top

SOFTWARE


Online related software notices and mini-reviews

HOW TO GET YOUR BOOKMARKS FROM FAR AWAY

Browsers store your bookmarks on your hard disk, so you can't access them from another computer unless you copy them to a floppy disk or access your computer through a networked peer. This can be a problem when you're surfing in a library or other place far from your computer. What to do? Register at the Online Bookmark Manager. You'll be able to access bookmarks of your choice on the Web. Submit URLs by e-mail to your free account, and they'll be added automatically to your centralized hotlist which by default is a list open to the public, though you can make it so that you're the only one who can view it. Creator Jason Frankovitz is refining management tools that will let you copy the hotlist on your hard disk to this site. Why didn't Yahoo, Netscape, or other companies with lots of traffic and advertisers think of this innovation years ago, when one particular Netsurfer was in Paris and his bookmarks were in the Midwest? <http://www.itlis! ! t.com/>

AUTOMATIC WEB PAGE MONITOR

You probably have a list of regular Web watering-holes, such as law sites, download sites, and commercial analysis reports. Javelink offers lawyers, netsurfers, and executives (and anyone else) a new service which will make monitoring Web updates a one-stop shop. Javelink creates a page with your sites. It then monitors each selected page for any change, however minuscule. The site has an intuitive graphic interface that's easy to use and full of detailed information, and runs clean and fast without the aid of ActiveX, Java, plug-ins, or a safety net. Up to 20 sites will be monitored free of charge, and a commercial version can be purchased to watch more sites. Javelink is a well designed and valuable time-saver for anyone who needs to keep in touch with what's happening in their industry. <http://www.javelink.com/>

Top

CORRECTIONS


What can we say? We goofed...

THE PAPERWORK GLOSSARY

In last issue's "Twenty-Something E-Zine for Women", we wrote that if you didn't understand the phrase "if you hork chocolate milk in your cush mobile while wallowing in bummage" you should check the glossary in Diane Patterson's "Paperwork" for clarification. We neglected - not because we're spiteful, but because we're senile - to include a URL for said oeuvre. Far be it for us to suffer from Silicon Valley Disease (we had shots). Here 'tis. <http://www.spies.com/~diane/Diary/>

MIXING METERS AND MILES

Also in the last issue, "Next Year's Invasion of Mars: Mars Surveyor '98" stated that the probes would slam into Mars at 200 mi/s. We were wrong - the actual speed is a mere 200 m/s. Sorry about that.

RON REIL TREKS TO A NEW SERVER

Once upon a time, we featured the home page of intrepid earth science teacher and geologist Ron Reil (The Interesting Adventures of Mr. Reil, NSD 2.22). He's added more of his adventure-filled life to the Web, as well as changed servers. His page is now at the following URL. <http://www.webpak.net/~rreil/>

CONTACT INFORMATION


Netsurfer Digest Home Page: http://www.netsurf.com/nsd/index.html
Netsurfer Digest FTP Site: ftp://ftp.netsurf.com/pub/nsd/

Subscribe WWW form: http://www.netsurf.com/nsd/subscribe.html
Subscribe E-mail: nsdigest-request@netsurf.com
Include one of the following commands in the BODY of the message:
HTML Format version: subscribe nsdigest-html
Plain ASCII version: subscribe nsdigest-text

Unsubscribe and other FAQ info: http://www.netsurf.com/nsd/ndfaq.html

Submission of Newsworthy Items: pressrm@netsurf.com
Letters to the Editor: editor@netsurf.com
Advertiser and Sponsor inquiries to: sales@netsurf.com

Netsurfer Communications: http://www.netsurf.com/
General Information: info@netsurf.com

Letters to the editor may be printed unless you explicitly tell us not to.

CREDITS


Publisher: Arthur Bebak
Editor: Lawrence Nyveen
Production Manager: Bill Woodcock
Copy Editor: Elvi Dalgaard

Writers and Netsurfers

Netsurfer Communications, Inc.

NETSURFER DIGEST © 1997 Netsurfer Communications, Inc. All rights reserved.
NETSURFER DIGEST is a trademark of Netsurfer Communications, Inc.