Network: Websites

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The Independent Culture
Coffee Science Information Centre

http://www.cosic.org/

Cappuccino addicts will be comforted by this new site for an Oxford-based, pan-European body which offers an overview of research into coffee and health. In particular, it explores the effects of 1,3,7-trimethylxanthine (that's caffeine), with a useful chart showing caffeine levels in anything from cooking chocolate to a mug of Java. Overall, it's upbeat: in moderation it's safe, no threat to health, and can even have medicinal benefits for asthma sufferers and those with gallstones or colon cancer. It's hard to discern that the site is funded by European coffee manufacturers. For a different perspective try the US comic Too Much Coffee Man, http:// www.tmcm.com/

FreeLoop Project - Art Travel for the Masses

http://www.freeloop.com/

Yet more pranksters travelling round the US in a decorated 1963 bus. There's a sense of deja vu here, but unlike Kesey and Co, this husband and wife, painter and sculptor team have a Nineties approach to the venture. Apart from relaying their progress on the Web, they are seeking corporate sponsorship for logo space on the billboard-style roof rack of their VW bus. Last week they were in Lowell, Mass, for the anniversary of Jack Kerouac's death. "I got out my flute and jammed along with one of the guys from Berlin while he read passages from On the Road in German."

Regrets Only

http://www.regretsonly. com/

Without doubt the most the most regrettable site on the Web, this is chockful of laments for missed opportunities and roads not taken. Visitors are invited to submit their own regrets after reading the samples, which range from the trite - "I regret not liking the taste of butter" - to heartrending tales of bad luck, poverty and Vietnam. A historical section includes Oscar Wilde: "The only things one never regrets are one's mistakes." The site's creator is going to put it all in a book, hoping for a millennial overview of the "collective psyche".

Whimsicalia

http://sites.netscape. net/whimsicalia

A Disney/Dali medium-brow experience is promised, refreshingly, by this Canadian painter and cartoonist. The 50 or so oils here portray absurd juxtapositions and strange creatures whose titles - Elodil, Pilotia, Urthaa - won't help with definition. For once, the world "surreal" might be appropriate, though their creator is happy to call them "basically whimsical nonsense".

Christian Guide to Small Arms

www.frii.com/gosplow/ cgsa.html

This sinister site exists to bring religion with a sword. It's aimed at "the Christian who rejects the false theology that requires him to be a pacifistic patsy in the face of heathen hordes". Biblical, constitutional and historical apologetics, with discussion about the "sword" the disciples were told to obtain after the Last Supper, plus details of local rifle associations. "The most useful arm to the Christian warrior is probably the rifle or the carbine." Something called the Bulgarian SLR95 - no, not a camera - is also rated highly.

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