News & Politics

NetNomad 21

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: Soviet Calculators Collection... Rickie Lee Jones … The Ultimate Collection of Murphy's Laws … and more.
The Ultimate Collection of Murphy's Laws //www.bugcomputer.com/cpuidle/murphy.htm

The original Murphy's law states that "if there are two or more ways to do something, and one of those ways can result in a catastrophe, then someone will do it." Over the years, a number of variants have surfaced, most stating in one way another that "anything that can go wrong, will." There are in fact more than 1250 Laws, Postulates, Axioms and Corollaries listed here, although you might have to remain rather vigilant to find the various lists. Click on By Topic at the top of the page for the list, including variations on Murphy's Laws for Frequent Flyers (no flight ever leaves on time unless you are running late and need the delay to make the flight), Murphy's Driving Laws (there's always room to merge behind a diesel bus) and of course the old standbys (you can lead a horticulture, but you can't make her think). That last one might not be a Murphy's law, but it probably is a law in some state or other.

Soviet Calculators Collection //www.geocities.com/SiliconValley/1061/calcolle.htm

Say what you will about the former Soviet Union, their consumer products were not always the most stylish. In fact, their calculators were downright dreadful! Honestly, there are 117 models here, each more unappealing than the last. For example, take a look at the Elektronika B3-04, the first Soviet pocket calculator (1973). We have a feeling that the photo does not do it justice. But the Elektronika MC 1103, with its processes control module and analogue to digital converter is captured in all its former glory. If you were to ask us why someone would be compelled to amass such a collection, we would have to honestly reply that we have no idea, except to note that the site is part of something called The Calculator Collecting Ring.

BeachFreak.com //www.beachfreak.com

Summertime, and the living is easy. Especially if you're a beach freak. The BeachFreak directory lists vital information on over 1000 beaches, fully searchable via a map or keywords. Drop into the Freak Club where you'll find a selection of Freak products and Web cams or the Publications section for hot summer bestsellers and beach publications. Coming soon are beach jobs, real estate info, family trips and more. This is a fairly new site, no doubt set up to be ready for the summer season, but it is already very detailed.

Koyaanisqatsi, Powaqqatsi and the Triumph of Substance //www.koyaanisqatsi.org/

One could be forgiven for thinking that a filmmaker, having completed two very well received films, would have little difficulty in securing funding for the third part of the trilogy. As Godfrey Reggio has discovered, such is not necessarily the case. Reggio's first films include the first two parts of the QATSI trilogy, namely Koyaanisqatsi and Powaqqatsi, called here "essays of visual images and sound which chronicle the destructive impact of the modern world on the environment." Reggio, who we also learn, spent 14 years in silence and prayer while studying to be a monk, is currently awaiting the arrival of an "angel/investor" so that he might begin work on the third part of the trilogy, entitled Naqoyqatsi. We can only hope that there is some sort of intervention on his behalf, divine or otherwise.

Rickie Lee Jones//www.rickieleejones.com/

She hit the national scene in a big way with her hit, "Chuck E.'s in Love." As fans know, the next 20 years have been spent on a musical odyssey that seems to know no bounds. She can rock the house or bring it to a standstill. Her official site, long-delayed, is finally up and it was worth the wait. It is a fitting continuation of her straight-forward persona, replete with stories behind the songs, biographies, reviews, photos, poetry and essays. She has set up an online Record Store as well, selling MP3s of songs featured in concerts in Europe '82, LA '92 and NY '99. You can buy the songs (all profits go to the artist) or listen to them via RealPlayer. The songs are real treats, including the wonderful covers of Little Feat's "Long Distance Operator" and Randy Newman's "Texas Girl at the Funeral of Her Father."
Sign Up!
Get AlterNet's Daily Newsletter in Your Inbox
+ sign up for additional lists
[x]
Select additional lists by selecting the checkboxes below before clicking Subscribe:
Activism
Drugs
Economy
Education
Election 2018
Environment
Food
Media
World