Acme Traditionals

A cyber-bazaar of unusual products from the ubiquitous Acme, perhaps best known as supplier of unreliable munitions to Wile E Coyote but founded (says the site) in the 19th century by a pedlar from Copenhagen. On sale here, items unavailable even in the most recherche sections of Exchange & Mart: the special, large egg timer for emu eggs; the Intellectual Hat, which adds five inches to the apparent diameter of the wearer's head; the Utah teapot, designed as a solution to the problem of waste pixels and made entirely from recycled GIF files; and the Antipodean corkscrew, whose counter-clockwise rotation is designed to preserve the subtle undertones of Australian wines. The site format allows the exceptionally naive to get as far as entering their credit card number before warning that none of these products actually exist. It's all a hoax designed to demonstrate Viaweb's online merchandising software.


The URL for the famous Welsh village sensibly follows the example of the inhabitants themselves and shortens the name to a couple of syllables, but for those wanting to show off, a sound file here articulates the entire mouthful. It comes as something of a disappointment to learn that the name was invented as late as the 19th century, by a local cobbler making a bid to encourage trade and tourism.

Poems on the Underground

Much prized by trophy-hunting tourists on the Piccadilly Line - and also purchasable from London Transport as legitimate souvenirs - these civilising cultural snippets celebrate their 37th edition with a dedicated Web site. Visitors are offered an advance preview of works to appear underground starting 15 June, together with brief bios of Pope, Masefield, Verlaine, Charles of Orleans and other contributors. The idea has caught on world- wide, but in cyberspace, the effect is rather muted: for best results view these pages over someone's dandruff-flecked shoulder, while being bisected by metal doors or trodden upon by oblivious commuters.

Veggies Unite

The first page reminds us that 10,000 chickens are killed every minute in the United States alone, but in general this is a positive, unpreachy vegetarian site with a sense of community and lots of interactive help for the converted.

A huge recipe database includes 2,000 vegan options, and lets visitors add their own comments and modifications. Select a few tempting dishes, and the site will automatically compile a shopping list for the ingredients and help create a personalised weekly meal plan.

The site's cosmopolitan menu options include banana and mushroom sandwich, "decadent oatmeal", bubble and squeak, black bean and sweet potato enchiladas and a tofu and chickpea concoction called "Indian French toast".

The Synchronicity Arkive

The title page - a Yin-Yang symbol floating within a bloodshot eyeball - may not be too auspicious, but "synchronicity" here is less about Jung, Koestler or even Sting, more about what happens when you play Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon and watch The Wizard of Oz at the same time. It really does seem that the best-selling album and the film complement each other with suspect accuracy, though 34 years and a generational gulf apart. So, when the famous alarms sound on the album, the Wicked Witch first appears in the movie; the song "Brain Damage" starts about the same time as the Scarecrow launches into "If I Only Had a Brain"; the beating heart at the end of the Floyd's opus coincides with Dorothy listening to the Tin Man's heartbeat. Et cetera. Dozens more such coincidences - not to mention the rainbow motif on the cover - make a persuasive case, though it's unclear precisely for what. Warning: it works only if you start the CD after the third roar of the MGM lion.