News & Politics

5 Site Reviews from the NetNomad

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: Selling off Tuvali ... Photobetty ... Combating Hillbilly Stereotypes ... and more.
The Easter Egg Archive (www.eeggs.com)

The Easter Eggs in this case have nothing to do with a certain big-eared fellow. These Eggs are small surprises, such as a message or an image that have been hidden in computer programs or Webpages. The term has been expanded to include movies, music, tv programs, books and art. And one of the best collections is the Easter Egg Archive. Here you'll find 3257 Easter Eggs, some very interesting (Blur's Modern Life is Rubbish takes many digs at the expense of a former record exec) to the mildly interesting ("David Letterman is a member of the Sigma Chi fraternity and every time he has a guest that is a Sigma Chi, they can be seen giving each other the secret handshake and other gestures.") If you have your own Egg you can add it to the database.

dotTV (www.www.tv)

Just when you thought you'd heard your last Odder than Life Internet story, along come the fine folks at dotTV. The .tv domain name once belonged to the tiny, quiet Pacific island of Tuvalu. Since very few of the island's 10,600 residents had much use for an Internet domain name (they have survived for years by "selling stamps, fishing licenses and collecting foreign aid") they decided to sell the domain name for a cool $50 million. That's a lot of fish patties. Now, of course, the buyer is auctioning off the new addresses (china.tv, soapopera.tv and just about every other variation you can think of.) The reason for the excitement (if you are the company that now owns the domain) is that most of the .com names are already spoken for. It is expected that .tv might reap billions in profits.

Photobetty (www.photobetty.com)

The e-zine Photobetty was created as a resource for women photographers after the author went searching for "women" and "photography" on the Internet. She was dismayed, although not so surprised, to find mostly porn sites. The Photobetty site features a rather remarkable collection of highly original and compelling photographs with the Spotlight section featuring works of both professionals and students, while the Singles section allows just about anyone to submit their own work. And yes, men can submit their work to Photobetty, but they do suggest that such work should be centered on female issues, such as the birth of a child to a fashion shoot.

The Doug Sahm Memorial (members.aol.com/sirdoug)

It is true, after all is said and done, that sometimes you really don't know what you've got 'till it's gone. But of course when Doug Sahm died suddenly in November 1999, many people knew right away what they were going to miss. To say he was an original is like saying the sun sort of fosters life. This page has been set up as a memorial to Sahm and there are dozens of great email remembrances, some from fellow musicians, some from family members and plenty from just plain fans. All in all a very joyous celebration of a man who clearly brought great joy to a great many people.

MountainLit (www.mountainlit.com)

This site is sponsored by the Bridgeport Public Library in Bridgeport, West Virginia with a mandate of "serving as a vehicle for the collection and dissemination of information about past and present West Virginia authors and their writing." The opening essay, by Phyllis Wilson Moore is a wonderfully detailed overview of the lost literary traditions of the region. If "the rest of the nation believes we can't read or write," it states, then how can the people of West Virginia hope "to combat our omnipresent stereotype: poor, illiterate, white, Anglo-shoeless hillbillies." After visiting this site few such stereotypes will remain.