This and That

Warning: Don’t click above to go to any “next blog.” It’s my understanding that spyware is tracking those clicks…

While I’m surfing to do research for this column, I come across a bunch of interesting sites that don’t necessarily fit into one neat category, or maybe ones that do fit into neat categories but without enough time for me to research them in more depth. If I don’t tell you about these now, I’m bound to lose track and never mention them. And before I forget, I need to mention that the Michiana Amateur Computer Society will host its next meeting on March 15 at 7pm. They meet at Michigan City High School and the March meeting will be all about spreadsheets. Now, on to some interesting websites:

Dark Secrets . Here is a site where you are invited to send in your darkest, deepest secrets (anonymously, of course) and have them read by thousands, maybe millions of people. But, the catch is that you have to mail in your secret to the address listed. You cannot post online. Now, after reading a list of other peoples’ sneaky, snarky, or otherwise weird, hush-hush actions, you might feel right at home. Or not. There is no way of knowing for sure if the people who have volunteered their confidential quirks have had a catharsis and ended up feeling better for revealing their “dark” stuff. Most of the postings sound real, at least to me.

Dr. Unheimlich’s Disease Registry . Want your name to outlive your (totally made-up) illness? Fill in a few blanks and you can print out an official-looking certificate to post on your wall. A great gift for hypochondriacs.

Food Sculpture . A few weeks ago in this column I featured Cake Art. Now you have a chance to view some incredible, edible sculptures made of chocolate, butter, and cheese. The artist, Jim Victor, started out as a wood sculptor and has completed some plaster and bronze works, too. But when he answered an ad for a butter sculptor, his new career took off. His online gallery has photos of life size cows and people, a cheese bust of Christopher Columbus, replica of the U.S. Capitol building in Washington made of 400 pounds of cheese, a butter sculpture of a reclining woman in a bikini, and chocolate likenesses of Mickey Rooney and Anne Miller, among many, many others.

Ecological Footprint . This serious website probably does not belong in this week’s column, but here it is, anyway. A 15-question Footprint Quiz estimates how much productive land and water you need to support what you use and what you discard. You will be able to compare your score with others around the globe to determine how much acreage you currently “consume.” The answers will surprise you, and possibly urge you to make some positive changes. Which is the point of the quiz.

Modern Coasters . I could do an entire column on the category of rollercoasters, old and new. I am not a fan of the thrill rides, but for any readers out there who are, this website is a must. Detailed descriptions and a fair amount of photos add to the sense of being on the ride. I became dizzy reading some of the reviews, which includes the Big Shot in Las Vegas, the fiery Volcano, the Exterminator, and at least a dozen more. This site does not include any woodies, just the newest, fastest, scariest of the recent breeds. Also on the website is a place to download a free trial of a 3-D coaster ride, in case you can’t make it to an amusement park or need an immediate fix of scariness. The trial download also lets you create your own ride, if I read the information correctly. True coaster nuts probably own the software already. But, just in case you did not know about it, you do now.

Carousel Music . Go ahead, I dare you to laugh. We know that you can download the latest Rap tunes, Hip-Hop, Country, and other popular genres regularly heard on radio. But how many people know that you can download samples of calliope, caliola, band organ and fair organ tunes? Listening to these old-fashioned sounds of the carnival midway will put you in a summery, happy mood. Perfect listening on a drizzly, dreary February day.

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~ by IndianaDunesPoet on February 22, 2005.

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