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Roger Ridey's trawl through the Web captures swaying coral, diehard Deadheads and a techno romeo
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Indy Lifestyle Online
Campaign sites: In the United States, the race for the White House is in full swing and there is enough information available on the Net to satisfy even the most hardcore political junkie. There are numerous sites that can help you to decipher - and even participate in - the bizarre and bewildering political process that is a presidential election. They include: ElectionLine (http://www.electionline.com) offering coverage from ABC News and the Washington Post; All Politics (http://allpolitics.com), a combined effort of CNN and Time magazine; PoliticsUSA (http://www.politicsusa.com) from the National Journal and the American Political Network; Decision 96 (http://www.decision96.msn.com) from NBC News and the Microsoft Network; and Campaign 96 Online (http://campaign. 96.com/), a guide to online politics.

Last week's New Hampshire primary narrowed the field to three Republican candidates, each of whom is represented on the Web. Pat Buchanan, the surprise winner, whose politics are somewhere to the right of Genghis Khan, has an extensive campaign headquarters (http://www. buchanan.org). Some say that Senator Bob Dole is too old to be the president, but he proves you are never too old for cyberspace (http://www. dole96.com). Not to be outdone is Lamar Alexander (http://www.Nashville.Net/lamar), who came third in New Hampshire and so lives to fight another day. On the Democrats' side, President Bill Clinton is an old hand when it comes to the Web (http://www.whitehouse. gov). However, he is not allowed to use this site for campaigning as it is an official government site and is supported by the taxpayer. His campaign details can be found at the Democratic National Committee's site (http://www.democrats.org). In the interest of fairness, I am obliged to tell you that the Republican National Committee (http://www.rnc.org) also has a Web site. May the best man win, or, failing that, Clinton.

Scuba site: If you have been having trouble keeping your head above water, you will enjoy the Living Reef Multi-Part Image Theatres (http://www.qltec.com/livingreef.html). This amazing site allows you to take a dive in the waters off Coral Gables, Florida. Its Fisheye View Camera gives a real-time image of a brightly coloured coral bed. The images are updated rapidly and, provided you have a fast connection, you can actually see the coral swaying in the ocean currents. But even with a slow connection it is fascinating viewing. You can also download QuickTime movies of the undersea world and there are loads of links to other scuba-related sites. Take the plunge.

Speed site: With another Formula One season fast approaching, Ferrari fans will want to make a pit stop at the Official Shell-Ferrari Formula One Web site (http://www.shell-ferrari.com/). It provides biographical information on the new boys at Ferrari, drivers Michael Schumacher and Eddie Irvine, and other members of the F1 team, photographs of the new car, and a race schedule that includes layouts for all the grand prix circuits. A heritage section details Ferrari's F1 successes and includes a gallery of past Ferrari drivers in action. Race reports will be provided once the season begins.

Shooting star site: Have you been looking for a special gift for the man or woman who has everything? The Swiss Meteorite Lab home page (http://www.meteorite.ch) has a few items that are out of this world - literally. The lab specialises in selling meteorites to universities for research purposes, as well as to private collectors. So if a solid-gold Rolex won't do, how about a limited-edition wristwatch made out of meteorites? It is priced at a mere 4,300 Swiss francs (pounds 2,356), so no one into heavy metal will want to be without one.

Deadhead site: If you are still in a deep funk about Jerry Garcia's untimely demise, cheer up. Franklin's Tower (http://dspace.dial.pipex.com/ town/square/ad630/dead.htm), the UK's very own Grateful Dead site, is up and truckin'. This site, perhaps best viewed through a herbal haze, includes access to the Eyes of the World newsletter, Deadhead newsgroups, information on what the surviving band members are up to, tour dates for GD tribute bands and links to other Dead-related sites around the world. The band may be no more, but the spirit lives on in cyberspace.

Silly site: In what could well be another Internet first, the I Love You Heather page (http:// www.lookup.com/Homepages/84281/home.html) brings the fine art of proposing marriage to cyberspace. The site was set up by an unidentified techno romeo who wants to spend the rest of his life with Heather, and wants everyone in the world with a modem to know it. You can see a photo of the happy couple and read a poem that the wannabe groom has penned to his would-be bride. Here is a sample: "In the morning light/ To see you wake up next to me/ It's a beautiful sight/ Now everything's all right/ Yeah".

Eat your heart out, Shakespeare.

If you know of any interesting sites, e-mail details to: network@independent.co.uk

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