This week’s websites take you from a fast-food calorie counter to
getting answers to your gardening questions.

Take A Hike. If summer has you digging through the garage to
find the stakes to the pup tent, head to GORP — the Great Outdoor
Recreation Pages
to find out about all the fun you can have caving,
climbing, hang gliding, fishing, paddling, biking, camping and more.
They’re especially helpful if you’re heading to a national park or
popular recreation area.

The Backpacker
offers articles, collections of outstanding links, a beginner’s corner
and destination information divided into eight sections of the U.S. and

The Rails to Trails Conservancy
details the more than 10,000 miles of abandoned railway corridors that
have been converted to multipurpose public pathways. Interactive maps
help you find them and tell you what weather to expect when you get
there, as well as nearby B&Bs in which to stay along the way.

Hook, Line and Sinker. If it’s about fish or fishing, you’ll
find it among the links, news and message boards at Fish Search.

Fun With Food. Planning meals and cooking don’t have to be
boring. The Messy Gourmet takes
a lighthearted attitude toward food, while providing recipes and stain
removal advice for those times when you spill the Worcestershire sauce
on your shirt instead of in the Boeuf Bourguignonne.

Is It Sieze or Seize? You may not think that spelling matters,
but Mindy McAdams begs to differ. When she encounters bad spelling, she
thinks it makes the perpetrator look lazy. In the interest of improving
spelling skills, she’s put together a quick test of 50
commonly misspelled words.

When A URL Doesn’t Work. You’ve typed in a long Web address,
complete with dots, forward slashes and little squiggly lines (which are
called tildes) — and, instead of ending up at your desired destination,
you get the annoying “404 — Not Found” message. Don’t give up. Instead,
try these steps:

1. Check your typing, the source of most mistakes. Did you transpose
two letters? Did you put a slash before the com, instead of a dot? Did
you type in how you thought it should be spelled instead of how it
actually is?

2. If you’re copying the URL from a printed publication, a hyphen at
the end of a line of print may be part of the address, or it may have
been added by the computer as punctuation. Try it both ways to see which
works. Naturally you know to ignore commas and periods after URLs in a

3. If all else fails — and when clicking on a Web link has earned
you an error message instead of a trip to an interesting site — write
down the name of the site and do a search at Dogpile or Yahoo! That often turns up the correct

School’s Out. On rainy days, you can keep the kids entertained
by letting them visit fun and educational Web pages created by other
youngsters. Digby the Dog gives 4-paw ratings to 350 “best” sites
through Just for Kids.

Hold The Fries. Fast food is a way of life in the U.S. But if
you’re counting calories or fat grams, not to mention monitoring sodium
content, the drive-thru lane can be a confusing place. Is that chicken
sandwich really low-fat? Find the nutritional analysis of just about
every fast food at Food
. You might want to print out a list and stick it in your
glove compartment to help you resist temptation.

Bet You Didn’t Know That. If you could capture and bottle a
comet’s 10,000-mile vapor trail, the amount of vapor actually present in
the bottle would take up less than 1 cubic inch of space. So says
the Totally Trivia Search
, where you can browse 20 categories from animals to words and
numbers to come up with topnotch trivia.

Radio On The Net. Instead of the Internet leading to less
interest in radio, the new technology has actually enhanced the old. MIT
maintains a comprehensive list of more than 8,000
radio stations on the Internet. You can search for a specific one or
browse through categories such as format, AM, FM, U.S. states and
Canadian provinces and region or country of the world.

Don’t just read the news. At Listen to the News, you can
hear it delivered via BBC, CBC, Radio Nation, NPR, Radio Sweden
and many more sources around the world.

Just The Garden Facts. When you want to know more about a
particular plant or find out what to do about a bug or disease that’s
affecting your garden, Green
provides the facts straight from the best source, the
agricultural extension services around the country. I prefer to scroll
three-fourths of the way down the page and use Ohio State’s Web Garden
Factsheet Database, because it turns up information from all regions of
the country. If you’d like to access your state’s cooperative extension
website, you can find its URL in this listing
maintained by Oklahoma State.

Talking To Dan Rather. If you’re on AOL, you can chat tomorrow
with newsman Dan Rather at 6 p.m. PST (9 p.m. EST), longtime White House
correspondent Helen Thomas at 6:30 p.m. PST (9:30 EST) and rockers Def
Leppard at 7 p.m. PST (10 p.m. EST).

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