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Poppy Appeal 1998

http://www.britishlegion.org.uk

Those unable to take part in the two-minutes' silence on Armistice Day next week are offered an alternative at this year's appeal site: one minute of evocative black-and-white photographs from the trenches and D-Day, with bugles sounding the Last Post in the background. Poppies flutter down across the images, to quite haunting effect, and following a cinematic credit crawl of sponsors, the two minutes are made up with a firework display to mark the end of hostilities. Some 12,000 service men and women have been killed or injured in action since 1945, and the "One Veteran's Story" here profiles a sufferer of Gulf War syndrome. Secure online donations will be rewarded with a special British Legion screensaver.

The Centre for Fawkesian Pursuits

http://www.bcpl.lib.md.us/ cbladey/guy/html/center. html

More fireworks here, along with a "You Too Can Be Guy Fawkes" section, where clicking repeatedly on an image of Big Ben causes its rapid collapse. A Web search rapidly reveals that Bonfire Night means all things to all men, but this sprawling construction is perhaps the oddest of such sites, enlisting the Catholic conspirator in the service of William of Orange. Our hero is praised as "a symbol of our ability to challenge institutions" (!) but also for being found out - the result, it is claimed, of a divinely inspired move to protect us from "Catholic tyranny". Links to a variety of Orange Order sites confirm the partisan nature of things here, but the weirdness continues with a Midi soundtrack of music by Thomas Campion (1567-1620) and, on a related page, an unfinished and inscrutable VRML visual allegory of the roles of Roman Catholicism and the Nation State.

The London Film Festival

http://www.lff.org.uk/

This year's site for the London Film Festival, which starts on Friday, lacks the Shockwave pyrotechnics of the Leeds effort, but it does offer a user-friendly and accomplished guide to the complex details of hundreds of festival screenings. There are a few video clips from selected films, and planned webcasts of interviews with Michael Caine, John Waters and others, as well as a message board, preoccupied so far with Kate Winslet's dietary concerns. The most useful thing here, however, may be the personalised festival planner. This is the best LFF site so far - with only an online booking facility notable for its absence.

The Tech Museum of Innovation

http://www.thetech.org/

Silicon Valley celebrates itself at this site for San Jose's newly rehoused hi-tech museum, which opened last week. As well as a guided tour, these pages offer online tasters for the youth-oriented, exploratorium-style exhibits. These include a simulated earthquake, a robot zoo with giant metallic chameleons and rhinos, and the chance to dabble in a simulated editing suite or experiment with texture-mapping a human head. More advanced computer frolics which are available to actual visitors to the museum will be saved for subsequent retrieval on their home PCs. Meanwhile, the most immediately useful thing here may be a searchable, 4,000-entry "Webopaedia" of computer terms. Local geeks-made-good have pumped millions into the facility, and some are no doubt celebrated here in the "Revolutionaries" section.

Send interesting, quirky or, at a pinch, cool site recommendations to websites@dircon.co.uk

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