When we were kids

NET GAINS
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The Independent Culture
If your heart doesn't sink when you're at a party and someone says something like, "Remember Bagpuss?", then you will doubtless enjoy the goodtime memories available at various old children's TV programmes sites scattered about the web. Start at Smallfilms (www.smallfilms. connectfree.co.uk), where you can reminisce with the original makers of Noggin the Nog, Bagpuss and Ivor the Engine. John Fletcher's brilliant Clangers site (clangers.co.uk), which has loads of great stills and audio clips from the series, plus detailed descriptions of their home planet and staple diet (blue-string pudding and green soup). Essential reading.

As If By Magic (www.doc-h.demon.co.uk/benn.htm) is the place for all Mr Benn fanatics. If you can be patient with the slow download, the screenshots and incidental music will transport you back to Benn's fantastical, sub- psychedelic voyages through time. If you still have the energy, why not embark on a virtual tour of Trumptonshire (above), taking in the delights of Trumpton itself, as well as neighbouring Chigley and the swarming urban metropolis that is Camberwick Green? There's an extensive catalogue of lyrics featured in the shows (a la Smash Hits), so you can learn all the words off by heart, plus all the trivia that makes these sites worth the visit. I can now state with some authority that Trumpton's firemen were Pugh, Pugh, Barney McGrew, Cuthbert, Dibble and Grubb and that the two Pughs were, in fact, twins. Of course.

Radio freedom

radio-on-the-internet.com

Once ISPs give us unmetered access to the web, one of the great benefits will be unlimited access to radio stations around the world. Even now, providing you have the right software, and don't mind a large phone bill, you have the choice of literally thousands of stations. Handy netradio lists exist (try internetradiolist.com, radio-on-the-internet.com or goan.com/radio.html) which offer a staggering diversity of specialist music and speech-based stations.

The political importance of some international netradio stations has already been demonstrated with the battle to keep Belgrade's B92 radio (www.freeb92.net/) on air throughout the recent conflict. With a choice ranging from the Vatican City's unique schedules (wrn.org/vatican-radio/) to Chinese radio broadcasts in English (audio2.cri.com.cn:7070/ramgen/live.ra) there's no excuse not to be truly in touch with all the broadcasting voices of the world.

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