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[ Cool Gecko ] Peter Conrad's Best of the Web


 Last Updated: Wednesday, October 04, 2006 02:56:52 PM
Home: Index: Politics:



The Electronic Policy Network
HMO, BCCI, NGO, HUD... the flood of acronyms at The Electronic Policy Network (EPN) bodes well for those in search of substantive political reportage. Article after article is packed with hard-hitting leftist analysis of just about every political issue on the map -- ready to waylay conservatives with in-depth research and good old-fashioned common sense. There are four sections at the site: Economics & Politics, Welfare & Families, Civic Participation and Health Policy. Each addresses the myriad issues central to the current political, economic and social state of our country, that go generally underreported in the mainstream media. The depth, density, and quality of the information at EPN suggests that it will remain outside the ken of most Americans. "Providing you with timely information and leading ideas about national policy and politics," EPN leaves no stone unturned, no myth intact.
Fidel `96
Funnier than an exploding cigar, the Fidel `96 site hinges its running political satire on one simple platform: Elect Fidel Castro President of the United States. And while Castro hasn't announced his candidacy yet, you can join the campaign or even support the cause with your dollars: check out campaign merchandise, especially the colorful Fidel `96 bubble gum cigars.
Hawai'i -- Independent and Sovereign
For anyone interested in online activism, nationalism, direct democracy, or even just the land under their feet -- the "aina" as Native Hawaiians call it -- this site is a required stop. The case and the cause are stated here in no uncertain terms: "In 1893, the United States illegally overthrew the Hawaiian government. Until today, the Hawaiian people lack a recognized form of self-governance. In 1996, we have a choice. The Native Hawaiian Vote asks all Hawaiians, 18 and over, in Hawaii`i and oversees - 'Shall the Hawaiian people elect delegates to propose a native Hawaiian Government?'"



UPDATED Court TV Home Page
Court TV's Internet entrant, the Court TV Law Center, is a good source of law information. The site's basic utilities are a search engine and a glossary of legal terms.The home page, like any good table of contents, organizes the site by departments and features. Also featured is a special area on the Telecom bill, containing many articles about various aspects of the legislation and what it would mean to Internet users. It has various historical cases in which you are invited to identify the facts, make arguments, and decide the case. This is the kind of stuff that law students live for. The library section isn't Harvard Law, you couldn't use it as a substitute for Lexis, but it does have articles and files on cases that would be of interest to casual users. Under the Newsmakers reference, you can find out the legal gossip on your favorite stars.
Editor and Publisher Interactive
The site combines an online version of Editor & Publisher , the print magazine, with links to a wide array of reference sites, accessed from a Research page. You'll find home pages for newspaper companies, free news services, research facilities, press associations, wire services, major online services,.... If it has to do with news, it's here. The E&P Interactive Online Newspaper database comprises over 1500 entries. The News Page features lead stories from the E & P print edition, and a summary of news items on information technology from Educom, a Washington, DC-based consortium of colleges and universities seeking to transform education through the use of information technology.
First Monday
First Monday is a peer-reviewed journal about the Internet, on the Internet, covering a breadth of issues as they relate to the new technology. The touchstone of every article is the Internet and the "Global Information Infrastructure." Past issues of First Monday are archived in the Index. The site also features relevant book reviews and interviews. The journal is available in three forms: monthly, via the First Monday listserver; as an annual CD-ROM containing all articles published that year; and, of course, at the Web site, where you can subscribe, read the journal, and submit manuscripts for publication. Paper versions are available upon request.
This Italian architectural zine is an eye-catcher that makes good use of the latest in new media, while at the same time keeping its design clean and simple. The table of contents is laid out on a colorful checkerboard image-map with shockwave elements built-in. News headlines and alternating images flash on and off in the squares. The calendar is laid out in horizontal frames, so that you can browse the competition timeline, say, then tabulate over to the events schedule with a click on the menu. Interviews with architects are the mainstay of Totem's original material. Downloadable audio files allow you to listen to them when you please. The Forum is a platform for discussing ideas online and the Archive stores back issues.



Today's Calendar and Clock Page
This site is nearly graphically barren, but infinitely compelling. As soon as you enter, you're hit with a barrage of numerical data to help you set your bearings across the space-time-history continuum. Once you digest the date stamps -- 25 of them roll out as soon as you load the page -- you can move downward to 62 different links designed to put time into historical, cultural, religious, and even astronomical perspective. Some links serve purely utilitarian purposes. For example, IslamicTimer 2.1 is designed to help the Muslim faithful plan their days around times of prayer and The Moon Phase Page, provides you with an image of how the moon will look from earth based on time coordinates of your choice. Other links predict impending doom. The National Debt Clock keeps a running tally of the depth of our monetary mire. The World Population Clock tells us that the globe is burgeoning to the tune of 6 billion souls, and by 2050, 9.5 billion earthlings may be jockeying for elbow room.



Christ in the Desert
Home page to a Benedictine cloister in northwestern New Mexico, the Christ in the Desert site is like an oasis. The artwork alone makes this site worth a stop, from the Santa Fe-style illustrations to the tremendous exhibit by photojournalist, Tony O'Brien. There are brief asides on monastic topics such as Gregorian Chants, psalms, liturgies, and scriptoria, as well as a look at the various handicrafts produced by the brothers. Links also connect to scholarly resources. In the news section, visitors can keep up with the monastery's straw bale house construction project. Workshops are being conducted simultaneously in "sustainable building." Visitors who wish to stay at the Abbey are encouraged to e-mail for reservation materials, and there's ample information provided online as to costs, rules, schedules, and the like. The most surprising feature of the site has to be "scriptorium@christdesert," the registered trademark of the monastery's fledgling Web design business.
Not your old time religion, by any means, but The Church of the Subgenius is what! The Campus Crusade for Bob! The Campaign for World Wide Slack! Take a drive into the mind of Bob Dobbs; learn all about the fictitious former salesman turned deified, disembodied head; discover for yourself the hypnotic thrall of the slack ethic; bombard yourself with strange, twisted images that have no apparent connection to anything; visit the "Things to Want and Buy" catalog for the latest in DobbsWear and Slack Threads; send checks, if you must, to the First Stangian Orthodox MegaFisTemple Lodge of the Wrath of Dobbs Yeti, Resurrected.




Last Updated: Wednesday, October 04, 2006 02:56:52 PM