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This week’s websites feature great grilling recipes for your next
cookout, an online art museum and tracing your roots around the world.
Ronald Reagan. I have no idea what tonight’s American Experience
(PBS) special on Ronald Reagan will be like. But the online accompaniment presents a
virtual tour of the Reagan Presidential Library, sound and video clips of
the former president, transcripts of 17 speeches, interviews with wife Nancy
and Mikhail Gorbachev and the contents of Reagan’s final public letter.
Something’s fishy. A reader wrote recommending websites of several
large aquariums around the country, theNational
Aquarium in Baltimore and the New England
Aquarium in Boston. And I’d like to add two more good ones to the list,
the Monterey Bay Aquarium in California
and the Tennessee Aquarium in Chattanooga,
which is the world’s largest aquarium devoted to freshwater fish.
For parents. The end of the school year is a good time to assess
what your son or daughter accomplished academically this year, suggests ParentSmart, which provides a
downloadable checklist for just that purpose. Devoted to helping you help
your child succeed in school, the site has reviewed and rated more than
50,000 parent-useful articles and gathered them into a searchable database.
Alternative country. If you know what alternative country music
is, you might enjoy No Depression.
It’s a bimonthly print magazine covering the genre. The archive of the online
version lets you read interesting interviews and articles from past issues.
Word play. When you’re stumped, do a crossword clue search or find
an anagram at One Across. At Acrophobia
you play against others to create witty phrases from letters displayed on
your computer screen.
More play. You can also play a variety of card and board games —
spades, poker, Pachisi, backgammon, pinochle and many more — online at Hoyle.
Search site. Everyone on the Web has a favorite search engine, a
starting point to finding the information you know is out there. Direct Hit promises more accurate results
on the first try. The way they do that is that they base the search results
on popularity, ranking recommendations according to whether previous
searchers clicked on them or not. This may work well for popular information
— finding a hotel in Orlando or shopping for a new computer — but what
about esoteric facts? Still, in the never-ending search for better searches,
you may want to give Direct hit a try.
Art at your fingertips. Actually visiting a museum is the best way
to view paintings and other art, but if you’re far from the city in which
the exhibit is being shown or you just plain missed the exhibition, the
online ArtMuseum.net provides the next
best thing. The current trio of shows features “Bill Viola” (from the San
Francisco Museum of Modern Art), “The American Century” from the Whitney
Museum of Modern Art and “Van Gogh’s Van Goghs” from — where else? — the
Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. (By the way, the American Century online
exhibition requires Shockwave and Flash and comes with a warning that it’s
not for everyone.) I really enjoyed the Van Goghs, having seen them in
person on a visit to Holland.
Smoke gets in your eyes. Currently featured at Meals.com are grilling recipes for
memorable summer cookouts. If you’re looking for something beyond the usual
burgers and ribs, check out grilling summer veggies. The site also has a
featured recipe, top 20 recipes and a search function for its collection of
10,000 recipes. Can’t decide what to have for dinner tonight? An interactive
feature lets you choose a main dish from recommendations, then a side dish
and dessert to go with it, view the recipes and have the ingredients added
to your shopping list. If you become a member of the site, you can set up a
cookbook, shopping list and meal plan.
Finding family. There are thousands of websites devoted to helping
you trace your roots. But if your search leads you beyond the soil of the
U.S., the WorldGenWeb Project is the
place to head. It directs you to the resources you need whether they’re in
Central America or Southeast Asia.
One place to share your search results with the rest of the family is at
FamilyBeat.com. You can also post
photos and have private chat on your own free, easy-to-create family Web
Monkeying around. When you’re the new kid on the Net, everything
seems a bit confusing. It doesn’t take long to get your bearings, if you
stick with it, but acclimation is easier and quicker with a guide. Web Monkey Guides show you how to
get the most out of your beginning Web experience. It walks you through the
basics, then lets you use the Web to find a job, plan a trip, buy a home or
car, manage your money, play games, or find and play MP3 music.