News & Politics

NetNomad 8

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: Who Wants to be a President ... The 10 Commandments of Travel ... Six Billion Miles and Counting ... and more.
Reverend Billy you ever tire of shopping until you drop why not take a coffee break at The Church of Stop Shopping, the place where Reverend Billy and the Macky Dees Gospel Choir put on "comic church services on community activist themes." Each service ends with a political action whereupon the gospel choir is called upon to leave the "Salon in search of logical Quality of Life violation." One recent action saw Reverend Billy and his gang descend upon the Times Square Disney at which point the anointed performed a dance number atop the stores' three main cash registers while singing "Whistle while you work, for 15 cents an hour!" The store was effectively shut down for 45 minutes, resulting in the arrest of Reverend Billy and his congregation. Say Amen, somebody.Who Wants to be a President, surely most of us would rather be a millionaire than a president, but if you'd still like to see if you have the right -- or is that wrong?-- stuff, you might want to take this informative and very amusing test. Fashioned after that TV show with Regis, contestants (you) answer multiple-choice questions to determine if you can "exaggerate like Al Gore, dodge pop quizzes like George W. Bush or charm reporters like John McCain." Points are awarded for each right answer, and re-dos are offered. Shockwave is required to play this game, but it is free for the asking.The 10 Commandments of Travel people are like wine: They either travel well or they don't. There are no hard and fast rules, but there are some commandments. Ten of them to be exact. Follow these rules, brothers and sisters, and the next time you travel it will be as though you were you sipping a fine Beaujolais on a warm summer day. We won't give away all of the secrets (part of the charm here is the unexpected) but we will pass on a few tidbits. "When the cocktail tray comes around remember, somewhere in the world it is noon!" "For maximum success and easy spotting travel with sturdy luggage wrapped in duct tape." "Dress as if you were fleeing the country." You were expecting the Martha Stewart of travel tips, weren't you? Call this the Mary Matalin school of travel.Color Stereo Stereograms stereogram is a flat two dimensional image viewed in such a fashion as to produce a three-dimensional effect. The ability to 'see' one is based on one's ability to merge multiple objects into one image. There are only two ways in which stereograms can be viewed, and while some people take to it quite quickly, others will have to work on seeing the images as they are meant to be seen. When done properly, it is possible to look at double impressions of one picture and see only one image. By relaxing your eyes and bringing your head slowly back, you can see a 3D effect. This site offers plenty of samples and tips on how to best view the wonderful online stereograms.Six Billion Miles and Counting how many billions of hamburgers have been sold; here's a tally that's really worth remembering. On March 2, 1972 an Atlas Centaur rocket was launched from Cape Kennedy bound for Jupiter. It is now 28 years later and the probe it delivered, Pioneer 10, is still plugging away, steady as she goes, and is currently about 6.9 billion miles from Earth. The probe is now about twice as far from the Sun as Pluto, well on its way to interstellar space at 13 km/s (28,000 miles per hour) heading in the general direction of the first magnitude star Aldebaran. The spacecraft's 8-watt signal is equal to the power of a tiny night light and now reaches NASA's Deep Space Network antennas with the strength of .3 billionths of a trillionth of a watt! Ah, they don't make 'em like they used to!