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NetNomad 14

Five offbeat, timely reviews of Web sites on the arts, politics and news -- with a dash of the absurd thrown in for good measure. This week: 500 Question Purity Test ... Making the Band É John Wilkes Booth É and more.
 
 
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500 Question Purity Test(xeno.phobic.org/purity/)At first we weren't quite sure what to make of this site and we were somewhat fearful that it might be on the level. We should have known better. Oh sure, you'll find a test here all right, and there are 500 questions pertaining to your purity (it starts out "tame and gets progressively worse -- or better, depending on your viewpoint") but then we noticed that the author of the page suggests that the best way to "utilize this test is to hold a Purity Test Party." Just print off one copy of the test, hand out some writing utensils, and let the party begin. Not a bad idea at all.Lore Fitzgerald Sjoberg for President ( www.angelfire.com/pa3/lore2000/index.html)While we promise not to bore you with an endless series of Presidential sites from now 'till November, we did find this site to be very funny. Lore Fitzgerald Sjoberg is under 35 years old, you see, and therefore prevented by the U.S. Constitution from running for President. Which is indeed the reason that he is running for President. Why? Because "an unelectable president is an unimpeachable president," thereby guaranteeing that he will never "sully the Presidency with arousing tales of my steaming virility." Which is not to say that he does not deliver policy papers on important issues from Education (learn how to share your toys) to Big Government (require warning labels on all our laws) and Health Care (have the CIA monitor your health for only $19.95 a month!). Making the Band ( www.asylum.com/tv/m/making_the_band/)Okay, we have to say out front that just about every generation has had a singer or group who were more fabrication that actual entertainers. A list of recent entries would include the early Beach Boys and Monkees all the way to the Backstreet Boys and *NSYNC. While most of those imposters were created behind the scenes, the ABC TV program Making the Band has brought the entire process into the open. The idea is to take a handful of young men and turn them into a group. The Svengali for this new group (to be called O-Town once they have finished basic training) is none other than Lou Pearlman, the man "credited" with creating Backstreet Boys and *NSYNC. The program professes to show us "just what it takes to cut it in the tough world of entertainment." What it takes, you might be surprised to learn, is "vocal coaches, stylists, writers, choreographers, publicists and managers." Talent is apparently not a prerequisite. If it sounds hokey as all get out, it is, but it is also one of the most telling reflections on our society you're likely to find. Kozmo.com (Kozmo.com/)If you live in Atlanta, Chicago, New York, Boston, San Francisco, Seattle, Los Angeles or Washington, D.C and pine for the day when you never have to leave home, the dream is quickly becoming a reality. Kozmo.com is "the first company to deliver all of your entertainment and convenience needs directly from the Internet to your door, desk or dorm in less than an hour." You order it, buy it or rent it, and a bicycle-riding courier will deliver the video, magazine, snack or whatever, right to your door. There is no additional charge for delivery and the CEO has been known to hop on a scooter himself to make deliveries to customers on a busy night. (If you want to see how Kozmo works but do not live in one of the areas listed above, just click on either of the GO buttons and then click on an active city.)John Wilkes Booth (foia.fbi.gov/booth.htm)There was a time, not so very long ago, when crimes were committed, people were charged or not charged, and we moved on to the next crime. Times have changes, ladies and gentlemen. With advances in various technologies, it is now possible to reopen -- and sometimes even solve -- crimes from decades ago. A case in point is that of John Wilkes Booth, a name we know today only because he assassinated President Lincoln. Thanks to the Freedom of Information Act, we lowly ones are now privy to FBI records that show correspondence dated 1922-23 of William J. Burns, former Director of the Bureau of Investigation. The documents are in regards to a theory that Booth lived for many years following the assassination. Also included are a 1948 examination of a boot and a 1977 examination of Booth's diary. The documents are presented using Acrobat Reader so we see the copies of the actual documents. Well, most of the documents, at least.