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From AJR,   September 1999  issue

AJR Asks: What is your favorite Web discovery?   


By AJR Staff
     



TODD HANSON, head writer at the Onion, a satirical newspaper:
The Muffler Men Homepage, www.roadsideamerica.com/ muffler/index.html, an effort to find and photograph these giant sentinels of the American road (in all their many disguises). "People change his gender, or he's dressed up in all these different costumes--they've made some of them into Paul Bunyan or Pecos Bill. But if you look beneath the paint, you can tell that he's the muffler man, because his arms are still in this position of cradling a muffler."


LESLIE WALKER, the Washington Post's e-commerce columnist:
"Given how much time I spend clicking through financial, business and e-tailing sites, imagine my delight in discovering the Centre for the Easily Amused at www.amused.com. Run by Cathie Walker, a former secretary turned Webmistress in Victoria, Canada, it is the Yahoo! of the Net's nuttier side.... She links to thousands of hilarious, pointless and entertaining Web sites, including more than 100 dancing animal pages."


CHIP BROWN, a contributing editor at Esquire:
The Elizabethan Curse Generator, www.tower.org/insult/ insult.html, which issues an olde English curse to any fobbing canker-blossom foolish enough to push its button. But alas, even the good olde days aren't what they used to be. "It used to be any mammering beefwit could get as many Elizabethan curses as he wanted with just one click--10 or 20 or 50. But...now if you want 50 curses, you have to click your mouse 50 times--which may explain the repetitive strain injuries in people partial to phrases like tottering maltworm."


CHIP ROWE, an associate editor at Playboy magazine:
ASJA Contracts Watch, www.asja.org/cw/cwpage.htm, "a newsletter that details disputes between editors and freelance writers over rights. Lots of juicy gossip and tips. I like sites like Bibliofind at www.bibliofind.com, because I'm always on the lookout for these obscure sex books and some book dealer never fails to have a copy cheap.... I love the idea behind Driveways of the Rich & Famous (www.driveways.com)--hey, this is as close as we can get, and we accept that."


NANCIE MENG, senior programming manager for community development at America Online:
"Co-browsers" such as Third Voice, Gooey and Odigo, which let Web surfers post messages on any Web site or chat with others using the same plug-ins. "It's very controversial. Some designers feel like it litters their site…. [But] it's nice because it allows you to see what other people are thinking." For a laugh, Meng suggests downloading Third Voice from www.thirdvoice.com and then reading the messages on the "Say No to Third Voice" page at www.saynotothirdvoice.com.

--Compiled by Kevin McNulty