Web browser becomes goldfish bowl - or shark tank - at the new site for the Scottish tourist attraction Deep-Sea World (http://www.deepseaworld.com/). The stripy red specimen flitting across the title page has serious screensaver potential, but this cheerfully educational site offers more active immersion in the wonders of the deep. One section puts up schoolkids' artwork, with prizes - "Gemma from Dundee wins a Deep-Sea Goody Bag!" - and there's also a quiz and a guided tour of the aquarium. For those with QuickTime software, a film clip is available (in Sharkvision, of course). An illustrated directory gives pride of place to a Fish of the Month pin-up, but among the other inmates, barrier reef exotica are outnumbered by edible pug- uglies such as plaice, flounder, cod and monkfish, and along with the conservation-mindedness comes a bracing acceptance that the food chain extends as far as the local chippie.
Today is Evelyn Waugh's birthday (1903). The vulgar democracy of the Internet would have appalled him, of course, but thanks to the Waterstones site (http://www. waterstones.co.uk/index.htm ), we can at least acknowledge the occasion, look up his books (39 available either by or about him), and join in the other literary anniversaries and festivals listed on the diary page. There's a Web version of the store's in-house magazine, a service for finding rare and out-of-print works, plans for online chats with various authors, and much tongue-in-cheek transmuting of poetry into sales pitches: when Eliot wrote "We shall not cease from exploration", for instance, it seems he meant exploration of the searchable book database.
Look in the picture. Can you see the bull looking at you? That's Pablo Picasso, almost literally on the horns of a dilemma, according to art historian Mark Harris's campaign to authenticate a recently discovered 1934 drawing. A portrait of the artist torn between wife and mistress, Picasso's Black Painting (http://web.org.uk/ black/) is presented as an exercise in seeing, the same enigmatic image screened a dozen times to highlight hidden continuities with the painter's acknowledged masterworks.
Probably more fun than the upcoming Merchant Ivory version, the hidden revelations mount up with melodramatic flair: turn the drawing upside down and see Frankenstein; use a mirror to find demons lurking.
A play on the limits of interpretation, the site offers exactly the convincing biographical and Jungian connections any self-respecting forger would think up to fool people. Harris's other site (http://web.org.uk/ picasso/), however, also offers hard circumstantial evidence, including a fingerprint, to suggest an artworld conspiracy to disavow this lost predecessor of Guernica. As co-owner of the drawing, the author may be several million pounds richer if his thesis is proved correct.
Jargon, buzzwords and obscure acronyms are all part of the fun of the Internet, and in most cases a knowledgeable nod will convey familiarity. If pressed, repair post haste to Whatis.com (http://whatis.com), an Internet glossary offering a "word-oriented view of the Web universe".
The frame-based site gives concise, intelligent layperson's accounts of archie, aplets, bitmaps, boolean operators and many hundreds more. Plus a fascinating link to the Nepohualtzitzin, or 7-row, 13-column abacus used by the Aztecs.
Five thousand new hotel rooms are planned for this year, bullfrog exports are up and only the terrorism of the "Florida-based Cuban-American mafia" disturbs the mild Caribbean breezes of this tropical pariah/paradise.
Resolving contradictions by ignoring them, the Official National Site of Cuba (http://www.cubaweb.cu/) seems primarily designed as an investment and tourism magnet. Details are provided - in English, German and Spanish - of Cuban flights and package holidays, and there are sections on geography, culture, cuisine and the arts, including an account of a Franco-Cuban update of Shakespeare's El Macbeth.
An online magazine is aimed at foreign businesspeople, but more interesting is the Internet edition of the official Cuban paper, Granma.
The Castro speeches that apparently make up most of the local version get less prominence here, but those remaining inveigh persuasively enough against the Helms-Burton Act (the one excluding from the United States those with interests in property appropriated during the revolution), and there is a thoughtful piece on the way overseas journalism has misrepresented the rise of prostitution in the country.
Meanwhile, Marxism may be on the way out, but internationalism remains: this site originates in Ontario, Canada, where it is currently being sponsored by an exporter of used cars.Reuse content