K95.5 Internet Minute

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Sept 1 Gaazetter This site provides information about current population of countries, their administrative divisions, cities and towns as well as images of the current national flags. You can access the data by clicking on a specific country on the left site. Summary statistics like the largest cities, additional information and help can be accessed by clicking here.

Sept 2 America's Best Colleges 2004
Annual ranking by U.S. News and World Report of colleges and universities in the U.S. according to the programs they offer and the quality of those programs. In addition to this year's college rankings, site offers a detailed school directory, interactive tools, a step-by-step college admissions guide, articles, and more.

Sept 3 Shedd Aquarium
When the curators of Shedd Aquarium say they can take you on a journey through the past, they're not seahorsing around. Pushing 75, this Chicago aquarium is one of the oldest public aquariums in the world. Currently the aquarium is home to nearly 8,000 aquatic animals representing some 650 species of fish, reptiles, amphibians, invertebrates, birds and mammals.

Sept 4 Calendars through the Ages
Calendars have always been based on astronomical events and their effects (real or perceived) on human activity. Calendars through the Ages documents the structures humankind has attempts to place on these celestial movements. Learn what the names of the days of the week mean, find out why so many calendars group days in sets of seven.

Sept 5 Strange Matter
This online version of an Ontario museum exhibit invites you to examine, transform, improve or even destroy common household objects to find out more about them. The site lets you get up close and personal with aluminum atoms inside a soda can; discover new and fascinating ways to electrify catsup

Sept 8 Travel Pets
So it's after Labor Day and you're probably at your wits' end with the idea of planes, trains, automobiles, people movers, subways or anything of the like. Soon, however, you'll be ready to do it all again, and you may want to bring your pet along as you hit the highway. But before you pack up Fluffy and head for the open road or friendly skies, ease some of your sightseeing stresses with travelpets.com.

Sept 9 Ask Dr. Universe
What do worms eat? Do identical twins have the same fingerprints? Do trees ever stop growing? Why does the Hot Sites column consistently rock? OK, so Dr. Universe may not have the answers to all of life's most pressing questions, but she sure does know a lot.

Sept 10 Bar Code Art
You may not want to print a picture of Bill Gates and plaster it to your bedroom wall, but you have to admit that his mug in bar code is at least amusing and somewhat intriguing. See more of the wonderful world of aesthetically enchanting bar codes at barcodeart.com. Oprah, Jesus, Elvis, Marilyn Monroe and Madonna are just a few of the art subjects who have been immortalized in bar code. Get creative and bar code yourself.

Sept 11 The September 11 Digital Archive
The September 11 Digital Archive uses electronic media to collect, preserve, and present the history of the September 11, 2001 attacks in New York, Virginia, and Pennsylvania and the public responses to them. Related site: Portraits of Grief.

Sept 12 Moron Salt
Many years ago, Topps (the baseball-card company) put out a series of product-parody stickers called Wacky Packages. The stickers, currently a Gen-X collectible, are kindly little parodies with much less ill will, than, say, the mutated brand logos popular with rave kids a generation later. But neither the stickers' sweet nature nor America's First Amendment protection of parodies seems to faze the grumps at Morton Salt, who for 35 years have been waving lawyers at anyone who dares to buy, sell or trade this particular item. This site has the details, including a shameful example of eBay "just following orders."

Sept 15 JOHNNY CASH but to truly understand the genius of Cash you need to connect with his official site. It's full of great biographical information and clips of dozens of his best songs (including the "Hurt" cover), but frankly even just the main-page audio greeting, in which we hear the Man in Black utter the phrase "dot-com," is worth the trip.

Sept 16 Hall of Technical Documentation Weirdness
For anyone who's ever read a set of Ikea assembly direction and been more confused afterwards than before you started, this site's for you: a Hall of Shame of confusing, bizarre or simply odd technical instructions. We're not saying that we'd necessarily be able to do a world-class job of nonverbally conveying complex instructions, but it's simply got to get better than the angry light bulb and the… well, we think it's a snake coming out of a computer box and attacking some guy's foot. We just can't be sure.

Sept 17 Hubble site
You can't get enough of Mars in its close-up phase. The press (including this publication) can't get enough of those gorgeous Mars photos. We sense a synergy here, and the Hubble Site - normally populated with the latest and most stunning images from the beloved telescope

Sept 18 Prayer of the Day
An overwhelming majority of Americans consider themselves religious, so the idea of a prayer each day is probably not foreign to most readers. What's terrific about BeliefNet's daily feature is that it gives visitors a sense of the sheer beauty of the formal and semi-formal of the world's faiths. Recent offerings have included a Jewish prayer for a newborn child, an African prayer for peace, and an Aztec blessing over food. Let the words of other faiths resonate with you, or simply enjoy the cross-cultural variety.

Sept 19 Vintage Computer Ads
Before the Gateway cow, before Apple's "Think Different" blitz, computer advertising tended to be less iconic but very, very earnest. Wander down Memory Lane (gee, what did I do with that old Commodore 64?!) at Steve Browning's charming archive, but remember: If you hadn't replaced that beloved old 64, you probably wouldn't be able to see this.

Sept 22 Camera Watch
Who watches the watchmen? Hey, might as well be you. The Camera Watch site, part of the Surveillance of Surveillance project, aims to catalog the disquieting number of publicly accessible Webcams that are pointing at public spaces. In theory, any such Webcam ought to be accompanied by warnings notifying passersby of its presence; in fact, the sheer volume of such cameras, most of them unmarked and monitored by heaven-knows-who, may well make you feel less (not more) secure on the streets of your city.

Sept 23 yourDictionary.com
What's the one thing everyone reading this sentence has in common? Language, of course - we all have words. Maybe the love of language in all its forms is one of the roots of universal brotherhood, in which case a visit to this wide-ranging site could be flat-out good for your soul.

Sept 24 Television Without Pity
For those who take their TV viewing with a heavy dose of snark, Television Without Pity is quite possibly better than the real thing. The site's writers cover in loving detail the weekly goings-on in the O.C., the Fisher & Diaz funeral home, or those impossible apartments on Sex in the City, while fans and detractors engage in smarter-than-average discussion and speculation about plotlines and characters. If you haven't got time to actually watch TV, the site's a wonderful way to keep up with your shows

Sept 25 At cookierecipe.com, a presentation from the good folks at allrecipes.com, you’ll find recipes to please both the laziest chef and pickiest eater. Tempt your palate with brownies, peanut butter cookies and, er, fried cookies. Whip up a few batches of your own, then cruise on back to rate the top recipes.

Sept 26 S.W.A.T. hand signals
Never again be confused by those subtle hand signals when you’re at the center of a major drug bust or hostage situation. After diligently studying this guide to S.W.A.T. hand signals, you’ll know exactly when the officer is trying to convey to his colleagues that he’s out of ammunition (a swaying motion around the gun) or that you’re a crybaby (wiping near the eyes) or that he’s near-sighted (the peephole signal with his fingers.) We can’t guarantee that this data will get you out of a sticky situation, but at least you’ll know what they’re saying about you. (Some strong language included; reader beware.)

Sept 29 Compendium of Lost Words
Next time you’re in the mood to insult someone and don't necessarily want the victim to know he's been hit, just call him a foppotee. That’s simpleton for those of you not well versed in these 400 English-language words teetering on the brink of oblivion. These phrases aren't just rare, they’re lost — unknown to Modern English or Google and essentially consigned to a lingering death in the tombs of the Oxford English Dictionary. Browse the Compendium for an A-to-Z list of these terms forgotten by Father Time.

Sept 30 Park of the Week
Most folk can probably name a few of our National Parks — Yellowstone, of course, and most likely one or two in their general vicinity — but this charming new National Park Service site is likely to introduce you to vistas you might not have realized we had. The design is simple, the pictures are lovely, and the realization that America's got such beauty in it may make you yearn for one more summer road trip.


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