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The Midsummer Classic. While tomorrow night’s All-Star Game has
now turned into a three- or four-day extravaganza, it’s the game itself
that’s the focus for serious fans. The official site allows you to take a virtual tour of Atlanta’s
Turner Field, watch great moments from past games, view rosters, learn info
about players and listen to live game audio. Not as glitzy, but filled with
the kind of statistics and lists that baseball fanatics dearly love is the
All-Star Game section of
Baseball Almanac. Look up the 50
biggest baseball myths.
Finding a flick. Actually, locating a movie to see isn’t the
difficult part this time of year, when Hollywood releases what it hopes will
be the summer blockbusters. What can be hard is deciding on one film that
everybody in the group wants to see. Movie Critic promises that if you’ll
spend 10 minutes of your time rating how much you liked movies you’ve seen
in the past, it will recommend the ones you’ll like best of the current
crop. Rating Zone does the same thing,
but also predicts which books and music you’ll prefer.
Personally, I like to read a number of different reviews before heading
for the cineplex. The Movie Review Query
Engine allows you to access more than 145,000 reviews of 19,500 titles.
When I read one that compared “Rocky and Bullwinkle 2000” favorably to
“George of the Jungle” (the reviewer and I must be part of only a handful of
people who thought “George” was a funny movie), I knew I wasn’t wasting my
$8 to be disappointed by Moose and Squirrel. Turns out I loved it. (As with
“George,” it seems hardly anyone else did — I obviously have weird taste in
escapist fare. Ah, well.)
Oops! Lots of eagle-eyed viewers have contributed to the Big List of TV Mistakes (and trivia),
which points out the inconsistencies that often occur when scenes aren’t
shot in sequence. The site’s originator, Jon Sandys, also maintains Movie-Mistakes, which has more than
4,000 entries on 1,000-plus films.
Stuck in traffic. There’s nothing that will ruin a fine summer
vacation faster than crawling along an Interstate at 20 mph surrounded by
hulking 18-wheelers. Traffic
Station lets you check the traffic flow with real-time reports from 28
large cities in the U.S. and Canada (from Atlanta to Vancouver, and
including San Antonio and L.A./Orange County). The site also will send you
e-mailed traffic alerts or customized traffic reports — a practical idea
for easing the daily commute. Vacationers who would like to park the car and
use public transport to get around a big city can connect to general public
transportation sites of the 28 cites for details of routes, costs and so
It’s making this funny sound. When something’s wrong with your
car, but you’re not sure what’s causing it, head to Under the Hood. But
the site, which is subtitled Auto Mechanics 101, isn’t designed just for
folks like me who find that what’s under the hood is a complete mystery. It
has beginner and advanced sections, info on maintaining your car, advice on
troubleshooting every part of your vehicle that can malfunction, including
figuring out what’s wrong by the sounds or smells the problem produces. A
very thorough effort.
Keep on learning. Summer’s not just for sports, movies and travel.
It’s also a good time to take advantage of the opportunity to learn
something new. WannaLearn.com points
you to the “best free, family-safe online tutorials and instruction on the
Internet.” And we’re not talking academic subjects only, although there are
plenty of those. The topics run the gamut — computers and the Internet,
crafts and hobbies, home repair to cooking, business and careers, personal
enrichment and financial management and money.
Compare rates. If you live in a state that has deregulated
utilities, or if you’d just like to get a better deal on long distance or
cell phone costs, Lower My Bills
will help you compare rates in your area for electricity, gas, mortgages,
Internet service providers, car loans, insurance, even credit cards. Just
type in your ZIP Code to get started.
Up-to-the-minute news. Does the Web need another news site?
Probably not. But NewsHub does
as good a job as any at providing a quick look at the latest headlines. It
divides the news into categories — health, entertainment, spots,
technology, financial, U.S., world news and so forth. And it lets you delve
deeper into each topic through an easily accessed
archive of recent news on each subject.
Is that legal? In response to a request, here are the two most
comprehensive legal sites I know on the Net: Legal Engine and Find Law. They’re both very comprehensive
guides to legal resources, whether federal, international, state, county or