Found on the Web
We Surf So You Don't Have To


If you want to introduce more romance into your marriage or relationships, you might want to check out Gregory J.P. Godek, author of many books on the subject. I’ve bought his most famous book, “1001 Ways To Be Romantic,” and I think it’s a great start. His website, similarly titled, also has a bunch of helpful suggestions.There’s a lot of fluff, but you’ve got to expect that with any 1000+ things type book. What’s really great about this book, in my experience, is that it is an excellent springboard for more ideas. I can read a tip that spurs my thinking to other ideas. If you’re a man, get this book and do the stuff. If you’re a woman, get this book and surprise your man. There’s absolutely no downside to more romance!P.S. If you need more suggestions, try the Google Directory on the subject.


I must confess that I am something of a lexical collector. I enjoy words. I collect interesting ones. Well, I don’t exactly print them out and hang them up around the house. I just enjoy vocabulary and acquiring neat ones. The Web is a great source for offers Buzzwords of the Day. Today’s entry is “krudzu“, a word that describes a management fad that takes over a company and is derived from the word kudzu, a type of plant. Another good site is appropriately named for people like me: Fun With Words. I also like Word Spy and PseudoDictionary. If you like more technology-oriented words, check out Jargon Scout or the Jargon File.


Funny site, needs Flash.

Today’s entry falls into the way-too-much-time-on-their-hands category, but it’s still so neat that I wish I had thought of it. I am talking about Dictionaraoke. The premise is simple: go to Merriam-Webster’s dictionary site, download word pronunciations that correspond to song lyrics, and set them to MIDI-like background music. The result is hilarious!I first listened to the dictionary version of Smash Mouth‘s “All Star” and got hooked. Other great selections include Queen‘s “Bohemian Rhapsody” or Los Del Rio’s “Macarena“.


If you like neat and interesting pictures, I’d recommend you check out Astronomy Picture of the Day. You don’t have to like astronomy (though it obviously helps) to appreciate the magnitude of some of these shots. Yesterday’s picture featured the recent Leonid meteor shower. Sometimes, these guys can even get wacky.Updated daily by NASA with pictures taken from observatories, the Hubble Space Telescope, and other spacecraft and accompanied by explanatory text from a professional astronomer, the Astronomy Picture of the Day is one of the better sites produced by our government. Remember, this is your tax dollars at work!

I apologize for the sporadic postings this weekend. I’ve been pretty sick and surfing the Web has not been foremost on my mind. I’m still sick, but I’ll try to put something up.

The Urban Legends Reference site has a section on Christmas that debunks many of the myths surrounding the holiday, like that Jesus was born on Christmas Day or that some guy dressed up like Santa and got stuck in a chimney.


After this incredible movie-viewing weekend, you may be wondering what’s coming up. has all of the answers. This amazing site is maintained by one guy by hand. It must consist of thousands of pages, lovingly categorized and alphabetized. Some casual browsing yields some interesting results.

I’m posting today’s entry during our All Nighter, where intrepid painters can paint all night. We only do these every now and then because they’re really hard on us.Health is important. But where can you go for useful and accurate health information? There are many options, but we here at Found On The Web really like Dr. Dean Edell. He’s got a lot of content on his site, respects the intelligence of his readers, and comes off as very objective. We also like his contrarian conclusions. He also has a widely syndicated radio talk show that conveys great health information too. His book–Eat, Drink, and Be Merry–is a bestseller.


When you think of people’s names in Hong Kong, what do you think of? Well, perhaps when is too strong of a word. If you ever thought of people’s names in Hong Kong, what sort of names would you think of?Me? I’m thinking Jackie Chan, Chin Lee, Qui-Gon Jinn, etc. The Hong Kong Monikers site proves how wrong I am. I guess I just haven’t run into many Hong Kongers (Hong Kongese?!), because I’m sure that I’d remember someone named Unique, Bunty, or Princeton. The site catalogs tons of funky names in many categories.

Do you like photography? Visit PixelPile, a hangout for photographers both digital and analog. Its unique and innovative interface makes surfing through great photographs a breeze. Read the photographer’s comments, click on a picture, enjoy the aesthetics, and then click on the picture and it closes! It’s updated daily (sometimes several times a day) and offers a great resource.


You may not want to admit it, but I think I can safely say that you have yelled at the TV about the stupidity of a sitcom character. We’ve all got characters that we can’t stand.Lash out in non-violent ways by visiting Who Would You Kill?, a site where you can vote someone dead on a host of sitcoms. They even allow you to fantasize about the character’s demise. The site could just as easily have been called Who Would You Get Rid Of?, but it really loses its punch that way.


If you’ve got a fast connection or are willing to wait a little bit and have QuickTime or Windows Media Player installed, be sure to check out the Lego version of Monty Python and the Search for the Holy Grail. On second thought, ’tis a silly place!

We’ve all heard urban legends. You know, the one about the lady who kills her poodle by trying to dry him off in the microwave. Or the one about the ax murderer in the back seat of someone’s car. Or crocodiles living in the sewer. Or the one about the man who married his dog.Okay, I made that last one up. It was actually a girl. Hmm, what was my point? Oh yes, there’s a great resource on the Web that catalogs these urban legends and then debunks them. It’s got a great section on the 9/11 tragedy which takes up, among other rumors, the frequently retold story of a tourist stuck on the observation deck of the World Trade Center whose picture was taken moments before impact.Enterprising Web artists took this picture and subjected it to some PhotoShop manipulation. Suddenly, this guy started appearing in lots of other famous scenes. Very creative stuff.


Amazingly, it appears that the bombing campaigns in Afghanistan have been good for the Afghan people. That is, unless you happen to be an Afghan member of the Taliban. I don’t think that we really care about them, though.


It amazes me how far some people will go to grab some limelight for their message and agenda. Anti-Coke protesters (that’s Anti-Coca Cola protesters; I don’t know that there is enough support for the other type of Coke to generate protesters) from the Center for Science in the Public Interest recently seized upon the Harry Potter mania to put forth their message. is the source for their online efforts while you may see their offline efforts at the movie theater. Principally, they object to Coca-Cola’s multimillion dollar endorsement deal with Harry Potter, but they also cite the supposed ill effects of avid Coke drinking on children.This recent campaign reminds me of some other ill-conceived campaigns: Got Beer?; Rat Pack Bites Back; or Rip It Out. Many organizations have been able to get attention that they couldn’t otherwise obtain by piggybacking.It’s neat that all of this is available online, even years after the fact.

It’s amazing what businesses get started on the Internet. With a business model circa the dot-com frenzy, Loving Pup Productions brings us Timeless Mail. This great service allows you to generate emails for loved ones that Loving Pup Productions will then email when you expire. That’s right, you write the emails, die, and they’ll send them to your next of kin.You’d think that this service would be free, but only the business model comes from the dot-com boom. Without venture capitalists and banner advertising to support it, they expect you to fork over an annual fee to cover storage. Uh huh, I think I might just use the old standby: ten cents in paper and fifty cents in envelopes. Mark them with “Don’t Open Until I’m Dead” and you’ve got a low-tech solution that doesn’t depend on server uptime, unfailing businesses, and obsolescence.


Where do you get your online news? CNN? MSNBC? Or one of the several other networks out there?Wherever you currently get your news, might I suggest you look at Yahoo’s offerings? It not only offers your standard fare, it gives you a glimpse into what others find interesting with its most-emailed content and most-viewed content sections. What’s more, it offers all of this in a very compact though readable style. The pages load very fast, even over a dial-up connection. You may not think of Yahoo when you think of news, but you may want to reconsider.

Today’s entry is neat, but not particularly useful. That characterization fits about 75% of the Web, so I’m going to include it here.It’s really hard to describe this site. Skeletal Puppet? Waste of time? Those are definitely two good options. Essentially, you first drag the marionette pointers around until you’ve got the skeleton situated as you’d like him. Then you can click on walk and watch him stumble around. It’s very well done and pretty sophisticated. Enjoy it as you like!


For those of you not familiar with the Teletubbies, they are a group of bloated, primary-colored giggling humanoids imported from England with televisions in their bellies and variously-shaped antennae on their heads. Some speculate that they are the mutations resulting from a future nuclear holocaust while others just really enjoy them.In case you hadn’t guessed, I am not among the fans. If hearing “Time for Teletubbies! Time for Teletubbies!” or “Again, again!” makes you want to grab a gun and blow out your TV like Elvis, then go to the Teletubbies Shooting Gallery and blast away. It requires Flash and you might not want to visit it with your house’s Teletubbies fans watching.


The World Wide Web has been around since 1993, but has only been commercially available since maybe 1995. At nearly the dawn of the Web, someone had the foresight to capture pages for posterity. The Internet Archive is dedicated to storing all of the Web.Their Wayback Machine, recently unveiled, lets you enter a web site’s address and it will give you links to nearly complete versions as far back as 1996, if available. It’s got versions of Painting in the Park since February of this year. Yahoo and Google’s early offerings look quite amateurish compared to their modern versions.So go check it out and see when your favorite sites came about and what they used to look like. It really gives one a sense of how far the Web has come.


Since we began this column, I have tried to focus on sites that feature interesting things that you might not otherwise encounter.This aim is not unique to Found On The Web. Our reach is the entire Web, but other sites are more focused or specialized.eBay and other auction sites are really microcosms of the Web and host auctions ranging from the mundane to the arcane. Two sites, and Who Would Buy That?, tackle the latter.DisturbingAuctions doesn’t have the quantity of entries of Who Would Buy That? and doesn’t offer live links to the auctions, but it does offer some organization. Who Would Buy That?, on the other hand, offers pithy commentary on each item and represents an approach closer to Found On The Web. It’s also updated much more frequently.

I apologize for Saturday and Sunday’s site outage. Our hosting provider decided to move the servers across two states without notifying us. Don’t worry, we’re looking to re-locate our site to another, more reliable host.Everyone’s familiar with the events of September 11th. One of the people who perished in the tragedy was Bill Biggart, a photojournalist who was taking pictures at the scene. Amazingly, his digital camera was recently recovered and its images downloaded. Click on the small pictures section if you’ve got a slow connection or the large pictures section if you’ve got a cable connection or DSL.The pictures aren’t nearly as incredible as the story behind them.


Just to show you that Found On The Web is not just about the weird and wacky, today we direct you to the Library of Congress’ American Memory site. The site boasts over 100 collections and more than 7 million items. This is one serious museum.I could easily spend pages discussing the best of the site. Instead, I’ll highlight five of the best—in my humble opinion.One of its most celebrated collections is Matthew Brady’s Civil War photographs. The online exhibit includes plenty of context and covers all aspects of the war. Be careful when viewing with children as there are some gruesome battle scenes.Other collections house the papers of famous men like Alexander Graham Bell, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, Samuel Morse, and George Washington.Overall, the exhibit personalizes history and American culture in a way that high school history courses just can’t. Whether it’s a picture of Abraham Lincoln and his son Thomas looking at an album together or a family crossing a stream, we can realize that people in the past were much like ourselves.

You’re probably familiar with Successories, those suppliers of posters and knick-knacks that feature a pretty picture and chide us that “A bright attitude is the right attitude.”If you’ve always found those somewhat insipid and uninspiring, you might enjoy Despair Inc.‘s parodies. Their Demotivators series is hilarious in its mockery: its Underachievement poster notes that “The tallest blade of grass is the first to be cut by the lawnmower.”If you’re feeling punchy and you work in an office, these products and Dilbert are helpful coping strategies.


Everyone’s favorite anti-terrorism campaign is now a set of trading cards! That’s right, you can get Topps’ Enduring Freedom set of 91 trading cards. You and your friends can exchange George Bush for Osama bin Laden or Colin Powell for Rudolph Giuliani. Imagine the fun you’ll have!

In other car news, the 2001 Tokyo Motor Show recently took place. Winner of the Oddest Concept Car, in my mind, is the Honda Unibox. This car (minivan? SUV?) sports wood flooring, no body paneling, and integrated mopeds. Uh huh, something tells me this one will never see production.

You’ve seen those cars whose owners have spent who-knows-how-much on garishly modifying their cars. You’ve wondered what could possess someone to add a huge spoiler or neon lights on their undercarriage. One of today’s sites showcases some of the worst of the worst in BMW modifications. It’s called, appropriately, BMW Nightmares.

It doesn’t offer any special insight into why someone might do this, but the lengths to which people go is astounding. Later galleries on the site show non-BMWs that have been modified to look like BMWs.


The Duct Tape Guys have made a nice living educating Americans about the multiple uses of duct tape. No, it’s not just stuff like putting it over someone’s mouth to shut them up—Hollywood’s educated us about that use quite enough, thank you.

Part of their site—the part that made me want to share it with you—highlights duct tape’s versatility as a fabric for fashion. Somehow they have accumulated seven (!) galleries worth of duct tape fashion, incredibly including a complete prom dress and tuxedo made out of duct tape.

This site illustrates the wonderments that can be Found on the Web. The Web gives these people, who probably have always existed, an international audience.


“Jumping the shark” is a great concept denoting that point in many television shows’ existences when they resort to gimmicks to attract viewers. It’s the climax of the show. After a show has jumped the shark, it’s all downhill. chronicles this turning point for over 2000 television shows. Plus, surfers are invited to vote on when a given show “jumped the shark” and comment.

The term, incidentally, comes from the Happy Days episode where Fonzi water-ski jumps over a shark for publicity.