Arlington National Cemetery. Memorial Day seems a fitting time
to pay a virtual visit to what’s been called “America’s most hallowed
ground.” The Arlington National
Cemetery Website has evocative photos, interesting epitaphs and a
reverent feel. Arlington National
Cemetery: The Final Post includes the history of the famous burial
grounds, as well as pictures and info on the Tomb of the Unknown
Soldier, numerous memorials and JFK’s gravesite.
The News For The Past 30 years. If you’ve ever had a need to
find out what the news was on a certain date, you’ve probably headed for
your local library’s microfiche machine. While that’s still the best way
to get a handle on all the news for a particular date, another
possibility is the TV News
Archive of Vanderbilt University, which has a searchable archive of
network TV news broadcasts beginning Aug. 5, 1968. The university has
collected more than 30,000 hours of regular news shows and 9,000 hours
of special news programs. Any of these can be ordered for a fee, but
what’s wonderful about the website is how easy it is to find what
happened on any date back to 1968 through the abstracts.
Great Art. If you enjoy art, but don’t live in a big city,
it’s not always easy to see the latest traveling exhibits. Second best
to being there in person is the website Art Museum.Net. It offers rotating
exhibits such as the van Gogh exhibit that was in the nation’s capital.
Currently on view is the Whitney Museum’s “The American Century, Part I:
Art & Culture 1900-1950.” Since this exhibition was just panned by “The
New Yorker,” another good use of this site is to check an exhibit out
online, to see if you want to attend in person. In order to view the
art, you must have a 4.0 or higher browser, Shockwave and Real Audio
(which can be downloaded free from the site).
Barbecuing. Memorial Day weekend is considered the kickoff of
the grilling season, although more and more Americans, particularly
those in mild climates, fire up the grill all year long. Some of my
favorite sites are Tabasco Pepper
Fest, Flavors of the
South, Barbecuin’ on the
Internet, Bar-b-clues and The Internet
A Quiet Neighborhood. The website for Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood is just
like the long-running TV show — understated and peaceful, with all the
favorite characters on hand — from King Friday and X the Owl to Daniel
Tiger and Henrietta the Pussycat. Kids can take part in activities in
the Neighborhood of Make Believe and parents can click on a tour about
meaningful and educational ways to use the pages. Adults who remember
the show from their own childhoods will enjoy the fun facts: Did you
know that Mr. Rogers has worn 25 sweaters on the show, most of them
knitted by his mother?
Government Statistics. Where else but Fedstats can you
quickly find out that 3,891,494 babies were born in 1996 or that there
were 41.2 incidents of flu per 100 Americans in 1995? The government
keeps statistics on practically everything, and here’s where you can
easily look up the ones gathered by 70 federal agencies. It includes
weekly earnings, marriages and divorces, life expectancy, and an index
of house prices, plus thousands more figures.
Six Billion Human Beings. Speaking of statistics, the U.N.
estimates that the world’s population will hit that figure on Oct. 12 of
this year. An exhibit called 6 billion human beings, put
on the Web by the Museede l’Homme of Paris (part of the natural history
museum), is counting the current world population and — kinda fun —
lets you guess who many people were on Earth when you were born. Type in
your age and it gives the population in that year, then you can figure
out how many people have been born since you.
Watch The Sun Rise Over Waikiki Beach. Many Netizens consider
webcams to be old hat. It’s true that there are so many of these cameras
that transmit live to websites that they sort of blur together, but if
you’re stressed out, using your computer to watch a live waterfall or
the sun slowly setting behind some mountains can restore your sanity.
(On the other hand, viewing the
streets of Belgrade will probably send you back to fretting.) When
I need a vacation, I always try to find faraway places to visit
vicariously via webcam (London is a fave as I hoard frequent-flier
miles). At DCN, the webcam lists are
divided into Around the World, in the USA, Explorations and webcams of
the day. At Earth Camyou can click
on news and events, as well as “Star Wars” lines (or lack thereof).
Since it’s a federal holiday, why not visit the Statue of Liberty today?
When visiting any webcam page, you may need to click on your
browser’s “reload” or “refresh” button to update the picture.