Have you ever needed to know exactly when an airplane flight was
going to land? Did you ever wonder just what those hand signals of
football referees mean? Would you like to find out how to shuck an
oyster? Find the answers on the Internet. Today’s column shows you

The Web’s Abuzz … About The New York Times’ new
ask-a-question and get-an-answer service, called Abuzz. Ask anything from where to get
supplies to make soap to how to find affordable skiing near San Jose.
Then wait for another Web denizen to come along and answer it.
Long-timers on the Net will recognize this as much like Usenet — but
without the difficulties in learning the system, the flames and the

How To. At eHow you
can find out how to lose weight, shuck an oyster, buy an airline ticket
or get answers to many other questions you’ve been wondering about.
These are already prepared answers, but in more detail than you’d
probably get at Abuzz. I clicked on “how to buy a cheap airline ticket”
and thought, Duh! I already know all this; pretty obvious. But then I
looked in the left frame and found some helpful links. Why they aren’t
incorporated into the story, I don’t understand. There’s useful
information here; you just have to work a bit to find it.

Counting Heads. I suppose this is the sort of information you
save up to casually mention during those lulls in conversation — but
it’s kinda interesting nevertheless. Headcount.com tells you who’s online
and where — by language, region and country (from Argentina, with 2.2
million connected to the Internet, to Vietnam, with only 15,000).

Did You Know That? In one sense, Did You Know? is trivia, doling out
such “fascinating facts” as “eating with a fork was once considered
scandalous.” But it also tells you interesting facts in the news —
like bees may be able to detect land mines.

Third Down And Three. You’re a non-football fan who’s headed
to a Super Bowl party and doesn’t want to sound too dumb. To the rescue
is First Base Sports, which
defines terms and phrases and gives diagrams and descriptions of
officials’ hand signals. And not just for the audibles and bump-and-runs
of American football, but also for soccer, ice hockey and basketball.

Up, Up And Away. With the Super Bowl in Atlanta this year, that
means anyone who’s attending and isn’t driving will end up going through
the city’s infamous Hartsfield International Airport. If you’d like to
know more about airport ground transportation or hotels and view
terminal maps not just for Hartsfield but for all the major airports in
the U.S., head to QuickAID
Airport Information
. If you travel a lot, this is definitely one to

If you want to find out arrival or departure info for any flight into
or out of Hartsfield, the
airport has a site that
provides the same details as on the monitors in the terminals — even to
the gate the plane will be coming into or leaving from.

Boston’s Logan Airport
has a similar site, where, in addition, you can click on parking,
traffic (always a biggie in Boston) and weather (which can cause the
closing of all but one runway). This site also offers a flight tracker
for any flight that’s en route to Boston or about to depart — very
handy if you need to meet someone at the airport.

And, finally, I know that I’ve given this one before, but I figure
not everyone saw it — and besides, I think it’s one of the neatest
tricks on the Net: The Trip.com’s Flight
. Follow a flight in transit and find its arrival time.
(Although the graphics version is fun, I recommend the text as more
useful.) A couple of weeks ago, my husband was flying to meet me and it
was snowing like crazy in the city where I was. Would they let the plane
he was on take off or would they hold it on the ground? Or would he make
it in at all? I pulled up Flight Tracker on my computer and kept going
back to it, hitting the refresh button, as I did other things, while the
afternoon progressed and the snow got deeper. I knew when his plane left
the originating airport, what speed it was traveling, what altitude it
had reached and where it was at any moment during the flight. Also when
it arrived. It saved me a lot of worry.

Storms Of The Century. The Weather Channel is conducting a
poll where you can vote for the top
storms of the century — from the Galveston Hurricane of 1900
through the ’30s Dust Bowl to 1989’s Hurricane Hugo. After you’ve voted,
you can see how others have ranked the disasters.

Take This Job. If you’re thinking of looking for a new job,
you’ve checked the big job-hunting sites, no doubt, but a couple that
aren’t as well-known may be helpful, too. If you have a job- or
career-related question, Ask Annie.
Annie Fisher dishes up sensible advice for real people.

My Job Search gathers not just
the usual resume and interviewing advice, but also provides links to
career advancement and relocation.

And, finally, if you need to make money but want to do it in
congenial surroundings, why not work at a ski resort, national or state
park, a guest ranch or an amusement park? Cool Works gives listings of seasonal
and career jobs at all those locations. It also lists jobs for RVers who
want to earn along the way.

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