Web sites

Painless fire-eating, down the Tube, true to type and that old voodoo magic. By Bill Pannifer

Fire on the Net

http://www.jellynet.co.uk/clients/fire/index.html

Among the many things not to try at home this Christmas, amateur fire- eating comes high on the list. This site offers a warning on every page, and the tone is blunter than usual: "If you injure yourself, that's your problem." For the undeterred, basic information and advice are on offer. Remember to tilt your head back as far as possible (to prevent burning the hairs in your nose), drink some full-fat milk to line your throat and stomach beforehand and be especially careful when doing the Hiroshima, or Mushroom, a trick which involves breathing out a mouthful of paraffin through a lit cigarette. Here, the wisdom is Clintonesque: "Never inhale."

Myanmar Home Page

http://www.myanmar.com/

This official page for the dictatorship formerly known as Burma allows token bits of dissent to nibble at its edges, as though to preempt howls of protest emanating from Net neigbours. So slogans against the military junta (Slorc) are allowed to stand in the online guest book, followed by other entries praising the guest book for its lack of censorship. You might do better to try some of the extraordinary tirades in the Selected News Articles about the "traitor puppet girl" Aung San Suu Kyi. Most of the material is tourism and investment bait: lots of colourful pagodas and accounts of luxury cruises on the Ayeyawady River, with reassuring descriptions of a happy workforce with a minimum wage, social security and limited working hours. There are links to the Lonely Planet guide but not to the opposition site - Free Burma (http://sunsite.unc.edu/freeburma/), with its detailed accounts of slave-labour practices.

typoGRAPHIC

http://www.razorfish.com/bluedot/typo/index.cgi

National newspapers contemplating a makeover should visit this technically advanced celebration of typography and font design. On display is a range of exotic alphabets with names such as Platelet, Volt, OCB and Omega, some of which, with appropriate plug-ins, can be made to dance. There are attempts to show how characters and spacing influence tone, and although some of the observations are clumsy, there is also some effective campaigning for better text presentation on the Web itself.

London Transport

http://www.londontransport.co.uk/

Those familiar red-and-white graphics greet the visitor to LT's site, and the famous roundel provides the links. A little animated Tube train scuttles back and forth on the title page; otherwise, presentation is resolutely textual. Press releases, details of campaigns against ticket touting and fare dodging, details of the London Transport Museum and other facilities are all on offer, though much of this large site is still being worked on, especially bus information. There are sections in French and German to introduce the system to visitors, and useful details on the closure of the Bakerloo line, but the site seems caught between offering general company and historical background, and specific travel advice. We are also told there are 302 escalators on the system, but not how many of them actually work.

Voodoo Information Pages

http://www.vmedia.com/shannon/voodoo/voodoo.html

Seasonal festivities in full swing over at the voodoo site include ceremonial bonfires for the enjoyment of the spirits, or "loa"; the dispatch of various pigs and goats; and a little talismanic magic and medicinal leaf-rubbing. Turkeys, too, are sacrificed, although it's unclear if they end up on the dinner table. A ritual calendar is just one part of this detailed survey, which tries to defeat sensationalism with scholarship but, perhaps happily, doesn't quite succeed. There is lots of background on the slave- trade roots of the religion, and the author is careful to differentiate "real" voodoo from fringe black magic such as the Cochon Gris (Grey Pig) society and its cannibalistic tendencies. The mainstream cast, though, is impressive enough, and we are introduced to a pantheon of interesting characters including Damballah, Baron Samedi, Erzulie, and Papa Legba, the gatekeeper between the astral and physical worlds who was last seen lurking on a Talking Heads album in the mid-Eighties.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookA wonderful selection of salads, starters and mains featuring venison, grouse and other game
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Account Manager (Junior)

    Negotiable: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Account Manager (Junior) Account ...

    Solar Business Development Manager – M&A

    £50000 - £60000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: The Green Recruitmen...

    Accountant,Reconciliations,Bristol,Bank,£260/day

    £200 - £260 per day + competitive: Orgtel: Accountant, Reconciliations, Bristo...

    Test Analyst

    £20000 - £30000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: An experienced Tes...

    Day In a Page

    A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

    A new Russian revolution

    Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
    Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

    Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

    The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
    Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

    Standing my ground

    If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
    Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

    Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

    Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
    Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

    Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

    The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
    The man who dared to go on holiday

    The man who dared to go on holiday

    New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
    Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

    Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

    For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
    The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

    The Guest List 2014

    Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
    Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

    Jokes on Hollywood

    With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
    It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

    It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

    Voted for by the British public, the artworks on Art Everywhere posters may be the only place where they can be seen
    Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

    Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

    Blanche Marvin reveals how Tennessee Williams used her name and an off-the-cuff remark to create an iconic character
    Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

    Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

    Websites offering your ebooks for nothing is only the latest disrespect the modern writer is subjected to, says DJ Taylor
    Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

    Edinburgh Fringe 2014

    The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
    Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

    Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

    The woman stepping down as chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund is worried