sites

This week trace your family tree, plan a pub crawl in Dublin, and learn how to survive an earthquake ...

Family Site: Tracing your family tree and need some help? The Family History Research Register (http://www.symbcon.co.uk/fhistory/) is the place to go. Punch in the name you are researching and the server will give you a list of anyone else in its records who is following that name, with the time period they are covering and the country. A hypertext link allows you to e-mail them there and then. You can also register the surnames you are researching. The register claims to have 92,000 surnames in its database, submitted by more than 6,000 genealogists around the world.

Campaign Site: By the time you read this, The Land Is Ours (http://www.globalnet.co.uk/weaver/index.html) should be making headlines with its mass occupation of an empty land site in London, which it is planning to turn into a "sustainable village".

Their Web site has been set up to explain their aims and to call for volunteers. Like many of the radical pressure groups that have emerged in the past few years, The Land is Ours does not "exist" anywhere or have an identifiable leader. Using the Web allows them to promote their cause without any risk of a knock at the door (although they can't stop anyone switching off the server).

Dublin Drinkers' Site: The creator of the Dublin Pub Review (http://www.dsg.cs. tcd.ie/dsg_people/czimmern /pubs.htm) cites James Joyce as his inspiration. Apparently, the writer once said: "It is quite impossible to walk through Dublin without passing a pub, not because Dublin is so small but because there are so many pubs around."

The Review does not claim to have visited every Guinness joint in the city, but there are more drinking holes on the list than most people could cover in a month of pub crawls. The site has a slightly clunky feel, but that makes it more appealing and convincing than some slick offering from a tourist agency. Divided up into pub and nightclub sections, there is a comment on each one, plus ratings by general atmosphere and by the price of "a unit of basic nutrition" - a pint of Guinness. There is a serious side to the Review as well. Its pages are black in protest at the IRA's abandonment of its ceasefire.

The King's Site: No, not Elvis, not Mike Tyson's manager, not even Spain's Juan Carlos. Eric is the King now. Eric who? Where have you been? If you want to find out what all the fuss is about, head for his throne in cyberspace (http://cpca3.uea.ac.uk/u9320113/ec.html) "Congratulations to Eric Cantona 1996 Footballer of the Year", it begins and the flow of gushing adoration gets thicker. You can enjoy "the life and times of Eric the King", or you can marvel at the ever-so-occasional pearls of wisdom that he utters for his subjects, including that famous sardines and trawler line. There are also a series of pictures, including one with his top-half naked - this is serious idolatry. Just in case you had any doubts, the site's creator has added a disclaimer saying "I am not Eric Cantona."

Free Speech Site: A conspiracy theorists' delight this one. Free Speech (http://com. primenet.com/callme) is the name of a Web newspaper devoted to uncovering all those government, corporate and institutional abuses that the mainstream media won't touch.

Stories on offer include the Whitewater/Vince Foster affair, "Fear & Loathing at Microsoft", Montana drug scandals, the Oklahoma City bombing, the so-called Temple Murders, apparently "the most heinous crime in 2,500 years of Buddhism", articles on the Unabomber, miscellaneous conspiracies and financial scandals and, of course, the "Yogurt Shop Murders". You can submit your own scandals for publication, too.

Shake Site: Earthquakes are probably not your main concern as you read this. But we do get the odd tremor in Britain, and you never know what is going to happen tomorrow. The Earthquake Information page (http:// www.clark.net/showcase/shake.htm) should increase your chances of survival. It provides a free "No-Nonsense Earthquake Prevention Guide", although the title implies a need for God-like powers. There are also links to a whole range of US earthquake information and monitoring centres and statistics on the biggest quakes of all time.

ANDREW NORTH

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