sites: Roger Ridey launches a series on the best of the Web
Useful site: If you're already thinking about that next holiday, then TravelFile (http:// is a good place to start. It used to be available only to travel agents, and has more than 100,000 files of information on travel suppliers, tourism offices, holiday destinations and upcoming events. If you simply want to check on skiing conditions, look for http://tfsrvr.travelfile. com/www/tvl/ski_srch.html - this provides daily reports from 400 ski areas in Europe and North America. It also provides background information and tells you how many lifts are operating, mountain weather conditions, and so on.

Fascinating site: Cyberspace cadets will want to visit the Nasa home page (http://, which provides just about everything you could want to know about the agency. It has links to Nasa's research branches, such as the Kennedy Space Center, where you can find out about the latest space shuttle flight, or the Ames Research Center, which has the latest on the Galileo mission to Jupiter. It also has a searchable archive of film, audio files and photos, including Hubble Space Telescope images.

Entertaining site: Get a sneak preview of the latest films from Hollywood Online (, where you can download trailers (if you have the software, lots of spare memory and time) from movies that won't be released here for months. You can also catch up on the latest gossip, submit your Oscar nominations and play an interactive film trivia game. All that's missing is the popcorn.

Silly site: Calling itself the home of the world's most bizarre group of athletes, the Back Yard Wrestling Federation ( mgsst14) has recently entered cyberspace. BYWF fans can find out the latest results and download photos of their heroes (students from the University of Pittsburgh who have too much free time) applying the extremely painful Vulcan death grip to each other as entertainment-starved students, children and OAPs look on in amazement. Apparently, a recent title bout ended in chaos when an irate granny body-slammed the reigning champion after he had accidentally trampled her roses.

Business site: Fancy starting your own business? CleanMagic promises to be the "business opportunity of the Nineties" and "your "personal avenue to business success". CleanMagic is "the most effective system available for removing Odors and Stains from automobile interiors". Sounds irresistible.

Celebrity site: Why just surf the Net when you can become part of it by creating your own home page? Thousands of people are seeking their 15 minutes (or should it be 15k?) of fame on the Web. The actor Stephen Fry is already famous, but that hasn't stopped him from setting up his own home page ( His page includes links to his favourite Websites, information about himself and the chance to e-mail him. Unfortunately, it has not been updated since October. Anyone seen Stephen lately?

Pretty site: Let's face it, e-mail can be pretty boring. Fortunately, the wizards at the MIT Media Lab have created the Electric Postcard ( to brighten up a dull day. Pick a work of art and write your message and the address underneath. Your friends receive an ordinary e-mail telling them to look at the Web and to type in a code to retrieve their card. (The postcard at the top of this page features David Hockney's Pear Blossom Highway, courtesy of the Web Museum).

Please send suggestions of interesting sites to network@