Report cards. Your mom always told you that cleanliness was
next to godliness, and health departments tend to agree. If you’re
heading to the Big Apple on vacation this summer, check out the New York
City Department of Health’s restaurant
inspection reports. You can search by restaurant name or location.
And the Los Angeles Times recently posted the Centers for Disease
ship sanitation scores for those of you planning to sail the high
Millennial lemons. We’ve all had a lemon of a car that was so
bad you wondered if it might have been built of sawdust. Anyway, the
guys at Car Talk asked readers, listeners and website visitors to vote
for the worst car of
the millennium. Some of the comments from previous owners of these
duds are pretty funny.
Dumb, dumber. … Did you hear the one about the would-be
bank robber who was caught in the act by five FBI agents who were in
line behind him? Turns out the crook didn’t happen to notice that the
FBI had its office two doors away from the bank (and the agents were in
there on their lunch hour cashing their checks). That’s only one of the
tales you’ll find at Dumb
Criminal Acts. Also maintained by the same company is Dumb Laws, which brings to our
attention such statutes as the supposed one in Burlingame, Calif., which
makes it illegal to spit unless you’re on a baseball diamond.
Game reviews. Before you spend big bucks on that new computer
game, check out the reviews at Game
Rankings. It’s a catalog of reviews from print sources and major
online reviews. That way you can compare what the reviewers liked and
didn’t like about new Dreamcast, Play Station, Nintendo and PC games.
You @ niceguy.com Free, Web-based e-mail isn’t anything special
anymore, but Mail.com does have one
thing that sets it apart from the others. It lets you choose your e-mail
address according to your hobby or interests (artlover.com,
gardener.com), places (paris.com, usa.com) or profession
(accountant.com, engineer.com, musician.com).
Get a college degree. Whether you want to get a master’s
degree or just need to complete work on your bachelor’s, you’ve probably
considered distance learning and wondered about getting your degree via
computer. But there are a lot of charlatans out there, and even
legitimate companies may not offer degrees accredited by an acceptable
organization. But Dr. John Bear keeps up with the best and worst of
distance learning. At his site, Degree
Net, he spreads the latest news and gossip and lists complete info
on 100 colleges that offer accredited bachelor’s and master’s degrees or
Is it a Mars Bar or a Snickers? Well, if you bit into that
oh-so-sweet mouthful of chocolate, you could tell right away. But the
Science Museum of Minnesota has made it hard. These diabolical people
have put cross-sections of poplar candy bars on their website and asked
us to name that
candy bar. A perfect way to waste a little time on a warm June day.
How bright I am. If you passed the chocolate “exam” with
flying colors, you may be congratulating yourself on how smart you are.
Not so fast. To really put your wits to the test, take the Mensa workout. You’ll have 30
minutes to answer 30 questions. Sample: If you count from 1 to 100, how
many 7s will you pass along the way?
Fun for kids. Parents and kids know Scholastic Books, so there
aren’t any surprises at the online site — just all the old friends,
from Harry Potter to Goosebumps to the Magic School Bus. Read a book,
take a quiz, play a game and have fun. There are also sections for
parents and teachers.
What’s your opinion? When you’re ready to purchase something,
often you check out what Consumer Reports had to say about it, or maybe
you ask a friend who’s also bought the same item. But what if you can’t
find any information that way? You may want to try Epinions. There Netizens give their
opinions on a variety of items — from binoculars to travel. You can
also earn credits by posting your own opinions on the site.
Teen-age sports training. In launching Training For Sport.com, Adidas
has pulled out the heavy hitters: the Boston Red Sox’ Nomar Garciaparra,
U.S. Women’s Soccer star Kristine Lilly and Tennessee Titans running
back Eddie George, not to mention Peyton Manning, Eddie Pope,
Tennessee’s Pat Summitt, Nebraska’s Boyd Epley and New York Yankees’
trainer Jeff Mangold. The goal, the company says, is to help young
athletes improve their on-field performance with the proper off-field
Athletes are asked about their sport, age, and gender, and to perform
a series of four performance evaluation drills — vertical jump, 40-yard
dash, 10-yard dash, and the 5-10-5 agility run. The athlete’s results
are entered into an evaluation form to help identify strengths and
weaknesses and prescribe personalized drills, which can be viewed via
QuickTime video and animation.