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Indy Lifestyle Online
The International Centre for Life

http://www.life-secret.co.uk

Lottery addicts wondering where their money goes might want to visit this site announcing Newcastle-upon-Tyne's pounds 54m "vision for the new millennium". A sort of Crick and Watson theme park, the centre envisions DNA as an interactive experience. Impressionistic advance sketches here of the planned "Helix" exhibit, divided into various zones and including a botanical garden, a mini-musical performed by singing chemicals, and a River of Life tour starting with a primeval slime section. There will be a flight- simulator ride to the centre of a cell, a play molecule for toddlers and a chance to "watch scientists at work" next door - the underlying aim is to boost the city's reputation for genetics research. Add a wraparound movie of the human brain, and everything seems to be on board except Raquel Welch in a miniature submarine.

Documenta X

http://www.documenta.de/english/frm_home.htm

A range of Net-specific and multimedia artworks are hosted by this bilingual site, for a modern art exhibition in Kessel, Germany. Many of the pieces, such as Without Addresses and A Description of the Equator, generate their own form interactively from visitor participation, and others - such as Jodi's mammoth 350-page assembly of bits of code, windows, cursors, and images seemingly layered at random - revel in a carefully programmed effect of instability which is also a visual delight. Each work is accompanied by the usual gobbet of theory, much of which seems rather dated, as though the quotes from Roland Barthes and meditations on space and authorship are just catching up with what comes naturally to the average Net-head. Still, a mix of visual candy and the more austerely engaging, with a welcome sense of experiment uncontaminated by coolness and commercial promotion.

Ain't It Cool!!!

http://www.aint-it-cool-news.com/

This manic movie-buff site has become the bane of Hollywood studios and earned itself a front page trade paper mention last week. Author Harry Knowles acknowledges the tribute in his usual understated fashion: "Holy shit, Dad, I'm on the cover of Variety!" The site's gun-jumping critiques of pre-release and workprint versions of forthcoming films are the cause of industry dismay. For Harry, a large, jovial-looking Texan obsessive, a review is more of a grand narrative which includes an account of travelling to the cinema, having coffee and waiting to get in with his fellow "line people" at sneak previews and test screenings - and hoping he's not recognised and booted out. Perhaps less enticing for UK readers doomed to wait months for US releases anyway.

Good vs Evil - both sides of the news

http://www.goodvs.evil.org/

What do you most want to read about over breakfast? The Queen Mum's 97th, or a nuclear waste scandal? The fact that Apple is giving away free memory, or a mischievous proposal to beat teenage smoking by making it compulsory in high schools? This site juxtaposes the relentlessly upbeat Positive Press, dedicated to bringing only the good news, with jaded and cynical Daily Outrage, and asks visitors to choose between them: does the public agree with "if it bleeds, it leads" policy of news editors? Apparently so, by about 20 per cent, according to the results so far. This would seem to be inescapably bad news for good-news-mongers the Athens Institute, who both created Positive Press and set up the comparison. The Outrage can't really help but be more interesting, though its accounts of criminals going unpunished, the follies of equal opportunity programmes and the sillier side of political correctness, seem more jaded in some directions than others.

No Back Roads: the Internet meets rural America

http://www.nobackroads.com

The map of Jim Heid's 26-state trip, coast to coast and back again, might suggest some sort of American road epic in the Kerouac tradition. Pictorially, it's all there - lonely blacktops stretching to infinity - but Jim is probably on his way to a Mac-users group to discuss HTML and his new book about Web publishing. En route, descriptions of the wind in wheatfields and the Big Sur surf alternate with the examples he finds of the Internet's impact on rural USA - Becky in Washington State setting up her AgSisters page for women in agriculture, Idaho high school pupils going online to defeat algae pollution in a local lake. The overall picture, of course, is that there are no back roads, thanks to the superhighway.

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