This week’s websites range from a chat with the guys who were in
charge of Phantom Menace’s animation and visual effects to how to
recover data erased by the latest computer virus.

The Stars And Stripes Online. Today’s Flag Day in the U.S.,
but at the United States Flag Page,
every day is flag day. Here’s the spot to discover the flag’s history
and how it evolved, why Francis Scott Key was near Fort McHenry on Sept. 18, 1814, how the
American flag got its nickname of Old Glory, all about flag etiquette,
how to fold a flag, what the gold fringe means, a biography of Betsy
Ross and much, much more.

Still in a flag-waving mood? Take a virtual tour
of Fort McHenry and view a copy of the lyrics to The
Star-Spangled Banner
in Key’s own handwriting.

Biiiig Flag. “Ski” Demski of Long Beach got his 3,000-pound flag in
the “Guinness Book of Records” (no, it’s not Guinness Book of
World Records, despite how many times you’ve read it that way;
trust a former copy editor on this one). Scroll down and see the
reflection of the flag in the water. Ski’s history of the flag is
accompanied by piano music of the national anthem, so you may want to
turn your speakers on.

Fun Error Messages. Those 404 error messages that pop up on
the Web are one of the most annoying parts of surfing. But some creative
webmasters have turned a boring what-you’re-looking-for-isn’t-here page
into something that might make you grin. The 404 Research Lab connects you to
dozens of examples of innovative and interesting 404 messages. One of my
favorites is at the University of
. It says, “Oops! You’ve ended up in Pluto!” It has color
pictures of the solar system with a little “you are here” arrow. Instead
of grinding your teeth that you landed at the wrong place, you have to

Business Resource Center. Searching the Web and not finding
what you need can be especially frustrating for busy professionals. A
new site, Professional City,
aims to change that. It plans to present well-researched and edited
listings of the most-valuable business links, arranged by category.
They’ve started with law,
Each has 500 well-organized links to valuable online resources in each
profession. The marketing section would be valuable for anyone who owns
a small business.

Marketplace Online. Do you listen to Marketplace’s business
news on the radio? Then you’ll want to check out its website, which offers interesting
features, a look at the people behind the voices and an archive of shows
dating back to October 1995.

Chat With Stars Wars Animators. Everyone says that the best
thing about “Star Wars, Episode I — The Phantom Menace” is the special
effects. Tomorrow (Tuesday, June 15), you can find out how they were
done when Dennis Muren, Episode I visual effects supervisor, and Rob
Coleman, animation supervisor, chat online. Head to Talk Cityat 6 p.m. PST (9 p.m.

Wacky Gifts For Dad. If dear old Dad has a sense of humor, and
you still haven’t decided what to buy him for Father’s Day Wonderfully
has some pretty off-the-wall suggestions: an inflatable deer
head, a talking spatula (for when he does grill duty), donut cologne,
the referee bop bag and baseball or football checkers sets.

Give Twice. At, you can order Dad’s
gift from online retailers such as,, 1-800- Flowers
and have at least 5 percent of your purchase price donated to the
charity of your choice.

How Bored Are You? Bored enough to watch paint peel? Bored enough to
watch grass grow? Here’s
your chance to find out.

The Latest On Office 2000. Want to find out the verdict on
Office 2000 before you plunk down several hundred dollars for the
upgrade? Head to ZDNet’s Office 2000 Super
. Along with reviews of the software, the guide explains the
differences among the various versions, shares tips and secrets, and
tells how to install and use the program.

Movie Trivia. Take the Summer Movie
Factoid Challenge
. Or spend time in Internet Movie Database’s
treasure-trove of movie
, which includes such stumpers as What was Dorothy’s last name
in “The Wizard of Oz”?

Zipping Through Your Hard Drive. You’ve read about the latest
e-mail virus or worm, called Worm.ExploreZip. Even Macs are subject to
this one, provided
they meet certain criteria.
Learn more about this worm at Symantec, which provides database
for infected Macs and PCs. The company also offers a utility to remove the
virus from memory. Trend Micro tells how to manually remove the
from e-mail servers.

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