These are links to just a few Web sites I’ve found interesting or very funny during the 16 years I’ve wandered through cyberspace. There are also a couple of pages I copied and have installed on this site. If you find that any of the links below don’t work, or you have sites you’d like to suggest, please feel free to email me at email@example.com.
Studs Terkel :: For my money, Studs Terkel was and remains the greatest Chicagoan; Mike Royko, a close second.
Militia Watchdog :: I’ve always thought one of the most fascinating sites on the Web was Militia Watchdog, a guide to (mostly) right-wing hate groups and anti-government militias. Although Militia Watchdog stood on its own as a Web site for about five years, it has more recently been archived at the Anti-Defamation League site, with promises of periodic updates of its listings of hate groups.
Operation Clambake :: An interesting examination of Scientology is conducted by Andreas Heldal-Lund at this site. I’m personally more than a little skeptical of Scientology, a religion based on the works of a cyncial, second-rate science fiction writer, that requires payment up front in order to have access to their version of enlightenment. Would that we were all as wealthy as Tom Cruise or John Travolta, two of the most famous adherents of Scientology who can clearly afford the Scientology route. I’m not aware of another church or religion that holds trademark claims on its terminology.
Bartleby.com :: I have always told people that, to me, the World Wide Web is a huge library with a shopping mall right next door. For a few years, the mall grew and grew and grew — and then the bottom dropped out of the commercial “dot com” world. Well, the library is still standing and the best free literature site I know is Bartleby.com. There are separate sections for Reference, Verse, Fiction and Nonfiction works.
The Shakespeare Resource Center :: A great site. I share Harold Bloom’s view of Shakespeare’s central role in the development of Western literature (spelled out in his books The Western Canon and Shakespeare: The Invention of Human).
Eactivist.org :: Have you got an itch to become more active about an issue that concerns you? Eactivist.org has links to activist Web sites of all kinds.
The Alger Hiss spy trial :: Some stories just never die. This site dedicated to the case, is maintained by Hiss’ son. If you don’t know anything about the case, which grew out of the post-WWII American anti-Communist hysteria, this is a good place to start.
The Skeptic :: The Skeptic is a wonderful magazine that very properly calls into question all sorts of lame-brained ideas that are currently popular. I hope you enjoy it … I sure do.
The Internet Anagram Server :: Perhaps I’m too easily amused, but I like The Internet Anagram Server a great deal. My family may be interested to learn a two-word anagram for my name is Bicker Anyone. And I find it particularly amusing that a two-word anagram for New York Times is Monkeys Write.
The Monster That Ate Hollywood :: Do you like going to the movies? Have you found movies in recent years seem less and less interesting? Oh, current movies are full of “gee-whiz” special effects — but do the stories really engage you? Do you really care, even the least little bit, about the characters? PBS has put together this fascinating Frontline series that examines the current state of things in Hollywood.
Post Ranch Inn :: Without a doubt, the most relaxing, peaceful vacation I’ve ever taken in my life was at the the Post Ranch Inn in Big Sur, California. Talk about a beautiful place! My pictures from our visit can now be found in the Photographs section of this site. And if you like any of my pictures enough to … ahem … borrow them, I ask only that you tell me and give credit with a link to this site.
The Looming Retro Shortage :: This story was unattributed when I first received it in email years ago. I thought it was funny and clever then, and I still think it’s funny and clever. It’s from The Onion. Once again, I hope they don’t mind I’ve reposted it here.
The Unitarian Jihad :: Inspired goofiness (Unitarians are non-violent, have no fixed creed and favor rational discussion) that started with an April 8, 2005, column by Jon Carroll in the San Francisco Examiner. The movement grew quickly to include two random name generators to serve the needs of the faithful: the original Unitarian Jihad Name Generator and The First Reformed Unitarian Jihad Name Generator. There is also a LiveJournal community, as well as an entry at Wikipedia.org.
God holds a press conference :: Soon after Sept. 11, 2001, in an essay worthy of Jonathan Swift, The Onion hit just the right note. I hope they don’t mind I’ve reposted it here.