Online Tutorials. Want to know how to get your resume
together? How to check your credit history? How to remember people's
names? Even how to transform a jack-o' lantern into pumpkin bread? The
answers are at How2.com. The site has
an interesting variety of information under four headings:
Home, which includes such
subjects as kids and teens, cars, health and safety, holidays, cooking
and nutrition and health. Shopping, which provides advice
on saving money when you shop (common car-buying mistakes, for example).
Play, which covers sports,
fitness, recreation, food, arts and crafts, entertainment and travel.
And, finally, Work, which
tackles finances, career, home office, computers, technology and more.
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New Map Machine. Maps are one of the handiest things on the
Net. If you want to know how to get somewhere, you can easily find an
online road map that shows you. But the Net is also replacing the atlas,
with geographic maps that are more up-to-date than those in print.
National Geographic Society -- which has long set the standard for
international maps -- has just spent millions to redraw all of its maps.
And while they'll show up in a pricey new hardcover atlas, you can also
access them on the society's map machine. The
easy-to-navigate pages provide dynamic maps of satellite imagery,
mineral resources, earthquakes, elevation, the political world (much
like the globe in your elementary school classroom), the physical world
and much more. Nicest of all, the map machine creates instant maps
according to your specifications. Just what kids need for school
What Are They Singing? At the Archive of Misheard Lyrics, more
than 1,700 bungled lyrics are cataloged. You can access them by artist,
by song or by most recent additions. You'll get a chuckle over some of
the misunderstood words, and may think that not a few make more sense
than the originals. Then there's the person who misheard the Bee Gee's
line in Stayin' Alive, "We can try to understand The New York Times'
effect on man" as "We can try to understand, we knew your ties were
The Political Season. Guess how much money has been raised for
the 2000 federal elections so far. Then access Politics.com and see how close you came. The site
also provides FEC data on who gave and got how much and lets you type in
a ZIP code and find everyone in that geographic area who has contributed
to a 2000 federal campaign committee.
WebSrFr. Vanity license plates celebrate everything else, why
not someone's interest in the Internet? At the License Plate Internet
Gallery, you can find MRMODEM, HTTP ME, NET DUDE and more. My
favorite: EMAIL IT.
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Web Research. The Internet is a treasure-trove of information
waiting to be tapped. But some of it's not worth the megabytes it takes
up. If you'd like to learn how to evaluate the quality of Internet
resources and how to find trustworthy information, invest two hours (it
doesn't have to be all at once) at the Internet
Past Lives. A student or even anyone who needs quick
information on someone noteworthy should start at Lives, the Biography
Resource. It presents links to thousands of biographies, memoirs,
letters, oral histories, etc. An especially interesting aspect of the
site is links to groups of people who share a common bond -- biographies
of dancers, photographers, and Maine writers, for instance.
Minding Your Money. Do women and minorities need different
financial advice than anyone else? I can see that single moms (or dads),
widows (or widowers), small-business owners and lots of other people in
particular circumstances have need of advice that matches the aspects of
their lives. But I fail to see that being a woman (or even a redhead, to
carry this to its illogical conclusion), I should handle my money any
differently than a man should. (We all know the routine: Sock everything
you can into a 401k or IRA, buy low-sell high, pay off credit card debt,
That said, I'm still suggesting that you check out Minorityfinance.com, which has
investigated and carefully chosen more than 100 links on the Web for its
sites. Should you happen to be female or a member of a minority, the
site can also help link you up with venture capital.
Six Billion Drawings. When the planet's population hit 6
billion, it was all over the news (although you read about it in this
column quite some time before) and the Web. One of the more quirky ideas
surrounding this milestone for our planet is the You Draw project. Its goal, the organizers
say, is to show humanity at human proportions. Their way of doing this
is to collect 500,000 drawings of people (done by Web surfers), collect
them in a book, then print 12,000 copies of the book. (500,000 times
12,000 equals 6 billion). What interested me was the information that if
you drew one stick figure every second for 24 hours a day, it would take
you to 200 years to make 6 billion drawings.