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© St. Petersburg Times, published October 25, 1999

From little acorns

Web site affiliate programs, such as's, hold the promise of making a little money from selling the wares of the affiliate host on one's Web site. In reality, hardly anybody gets rich off this scheme. Of the people I know who have joined these programs, they say it's mostly not worth the effort. Either I've got to get new friends with busier Web sites or they should donate their pittance to some of the sites listed on A quick rearrange of HTML on your site and, before you know it, places including the ACLU, Mothers Against Drunk Driving or the World Wildlife Fund can benefit from your effortless generosity.

They have to be kidding

Doesn't the old song go something like, "If you're happy and you know it, clap your hands"? So why would you have a stealth society for happy people? This and other important questions are glossed over within the Secret Society of Happy People's Web pages. But they're more than happy to take your $35 for a T-shirt and a year's membership. If somebody would like to explain this to me, I'm all ears. Just like that happy little Texas guy.

If you build it, they might come

Who'd have thunk it? Something as simple as a lust for the right time brought the National Institute of Standards and Technology's Web-time interface to a halt. When this site was launched, it had a nifty Java applet that would display the time to an accuracy of one second. A few days later, the site slowed to a crawl and on a couple of occasions wouldn't load at all. As I wrote this, the applet had been yanked off and replaced with a static page. Let's hope it's back up by the time you read this, because it's pretty cool. Either way, if you've got 10 clocks in your house and they're all marching to the beat of their own drum, this site's for you.

A lot of zeros

It might not be news to you, but the Pentagon churns through a phenomenal amount of money at an alarming rate. This site advocates trimming a slice of that money and giving it to education, health care and other arguably worthy areas of government. Agree or disagree with the message, this site is very well built, runs on any browser and takes advantage of Macromedia's Flash, if your browser supports it. If not, it still looks good.

Brainy Coffee

I knew there was a reason for my brainiac chums' ability to devour thick technical books and then remember a high percentage of the content. It's coffee! The beverage of choice for low-stress and easygoing jobs such as software development, air traffic control, law enforcement and so forth. Java-powered dendritic spines deep within your skull elongate when fed with caffeine and enhance long-term memory. Sadly, a short-term solution for finding your car keys and why you were going to the store in the first place has yet to be solved.

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