This week we take a peek at sneakers (a.k.a. “athletic shoes”),
ancient myths, foreign films, football and personalized TV listings,
among other Web offerings.
Cheaper textbooks. It’s time to head back to college, but —
ouch! — the price of books. The college bookstore may or may not have
what you or your student needs in used editions — but you increase your
chance of finding it by 20 when you use TextBookHound. You set the search
criteria — author, title, keyword, ISBN — and it searches the stock of
20 online college bookstore merchants to let you know what’s available
and at what price.
SkipClass.com is a free site to
match up students who have used textbooks to trade or sell with those
who need them. Click on a state, enter a subject and key words in the
book’s title, and see if what you need is available. This was set up by
an Atlanta-area community college student for those who are “tired of
being overcharged for textbooks.”
“72 channels and nothing’s on.” That’s the way it seems
sometimes when you’re clicking through the cable offerings at a
lightning pace. Instead, find what you want to watch courtesy of Click TV, which promises the most
accurate and up-to-date TV listing info on the Web. Enter your ZIP Code
and type of connection to get two weeks’ worth of satellite, broadcast
or cable lineups. You can also search for shows by type (sports,
cooking, kids, movies) and, if you register, customize your listings.
What’s your ideal vacation? I know, summer’s almost over —
but not quite. And who says you can’t begin thinking about your next
getaway? Before you begin planning, take Third Age’s personality
quiz. Answer a few questions and they’ll tell you the type of
holiday that will make you happiest. (It worked pretty well when I gave
it a try — they pegged me pretty closely, even though I found a few of
the multiple-choice questions impossible to answer.)
For kids. The British Broadcasting Corp. has several websites
for children and while they’re heavy on the BBC’s children’s TV shows,
there’s still enough there to keep American youngsters interested. BBC Online Kids is for preteens and
Little Kids is for
Pigskin time. It’s almost fall and that means football. Get
your fix of NFL and NCAA games through video or audio, as well as
up-to-the-minute reports at Maxfootball.com.
Or, if you insist, there’s always the official site of the NFL,
which offers everything from films to
fantasy football and features to polls. One of the most interesting
sections is the NFL classics.
Very sneaky. Once upon a time, boys and girls, going to school
in the fall meant buying a new pair of sneakers, not deciding among 20
different kinds of “athletic shoes” that can be pumped up to perform
miracles. Charlie’s Sneaker
Pages looks at the history of sneakers (1908 Converses, 1917 Keds,
1960s Adidas, 1970s Nikes and other pioneering models) and just about
anything else you can imagine on the subject, including technology (Nike
AIR technology explained), jokes, the top-10 sneakers (as well as the
biggest duds) and “a dissertation on the size of sneakers.” Fun.
Live like a king. I’m house-hunting at the moment, and I can
tell you I sure haven’t been shown anything like Balmoral Castle, originally
the Scottish home of Queen Victoria (not that I could afford it anyway).
The last time I had the privilege of visiting Balmoral in person, I
devoted quite a bit of time to imagining what it would cost to heat to
American standards, but on the website, you can spend time admiring the
estate’s red deer, summertime pony trekking and wondering what Queen
Elizabeth does with the honey produced by the 450 hives of bees.
Cupid and Pandora. I confess that mythology was not one of my
favorite subjects when I was in school back in the Dark Ages. But much
of mythology has entered literature and our common consciousness — Hero
and Leander, Minerva, the original Hercules, Pandora’s box, Psyche, the
Golden Fleece — so it’s good to know where you can go to look up more.
The best place is the online version of Bulfinch’s
Subtitles included. If you’re a fan of foreign films, head to
ForeignFilms.com. You can search
for a film (by name, country or genre), discuss the latest releases to
reach these shores and rate films by category. It also links to the
top-10 independent or foreign film pages.