A labor of love
By JULES ALLEN
© St. Petersburg Times, published September 14, 1998
t never fails to amaze me how many cool Internet sites continue to spring up out of nowhere. The Big Guns have a great deal of money to make these things happen. But, for many, it's a labor of love.
While text search engines continue to diversify, others spring up and specialize in a specific non-text media type: In Scour's case, this media would be graphics and sound files. It is extra fast, is largely accurate and, as the holiday season approaches at cable modem speed, might make a good bookmark to help spice up your announcement e-mails. Feel free to use this one from the office, too. The most profitable Internet businesses to date deal in skin, and Scour isn't going to get you into trouble. It doesn't seem to index lewd images at all and the Office Thought Police will have to troll elsewhere to get you out of that expansive corner office.
Macintosh users are a loyal bunch and they have recently e-mailed to suggest that Tech Times doesn't give the Mac the attention it truly deserves. Being one who always gives in to pressure from readers, court orders, the IRS, etc., I'm more than happy to start giving the iMac just the attention I think it deserves. Oh sure, from a technology point of view it's probably worth the money. But it looks so weird, just as the new VW Beetle is probably a great car but looks like a Jell-O mold. (My editor hinted that if I did start poking fun at a vocal group he would publish my home phone number. Call late! Call often!)
You don't know what it's like being British. The one common thing that traverses the class system over there is embarrassment: saying or doing the wrong thing and looking a fool. Even when we have been living out of the country for quite some time, we will revert back to our stiff-upper-lip selves at a moment's notice. So, it's comedy to the rescue. If you do make a donkey of yourself, at least chuckle at the moment. John Cleese, of Monty Python fame, has combined both leading elements of being a Brit and, in the linked article, encourages us all to screw up a lot more.
Hey Geek Girl looks a lot like an Agony Niece for the digital age. Aunt didn't seem appropriate in this case as stereotypical aunties don't dress up in black and run around San Francisco looking like Madonna from the '80s. Sartorial elegance aside, this site takes interesting Internet-influenced lifestyle questions from readers and answers them with hyperlinked sprinkled sassiness. Both fun and mildly educational.
In the family-friendly, conservative corner, we have Not in my Back Yard, an online comic strip about a bunch of clean-living, humorous dogs. Your kids could recite the antics to your favorite member of the clergy with nary a red face in sight. In the weirdo, Birkenstock-wearing corner, we have Red Meat, a surreal strip that touches on the humorous yet dark side of life. Hopefully your life isn't anything like Red Meat. If it is, I would love to come over for dinner. Strangely enough, I thoroughly enjoyed both of these online cartoons.