Bill Pannifer finds cross-dressing bluegrass belles among blood, strife and wordplay
National Blood Service

Considering that some types of cardiac surgery require 20 separate blood donations to succeed, this online plea for more red cells, platelets and plasma can never be less than timely. Volunteer by e-mail and details of the next local session will arrive in your mailbox. There are sanguinary facts and factoids to sweeten the request - a bit like the tea and biscuits given out afterward. In ancient Rome, for instance, gladiators drank the blood of their opponents to rejuvenate themselves, while 300 years ago, "the blood of a calf was transferred into a man: unfortunately, the man died". No news of the calf, but the is still going strong and celebrating its 50th anniversary.

Main Sanitary Nag

Alternatively known as Anagram Insanity, this long-established but irresistable site deserves the quarter of a million or so hits logged so far this year. Feed friends and enemies to the Nag and see them exhaustively anagrammised; there are usually at least a couple of promising combinations among the hundreds sometimes generated for any name. Tony Blair, for instance, emerges as "brainy lot" or alternatively "rainy blot": Michael Howard could be "charm howl idea" or, more persuasively, "whole acid harm". For some reason, the Nag seems to balk at John Major, for whom, alas, "no anagrams are possible from this combination of letters".

Internet Corruption Ranking

The Web's obsession with top tens and hit parades of various kinds would seem to reach near-ludicrous levels with this nation-by-nation ranking of governmental graft and sleaze. But the meticulous German university- based site, backed by the anti-corruption business group Transparency International, has serious aims and methodology. Figures for what amounts to a global rating system for graft come from a poll of polls from 10 different sources, and there is now a detailed e-mail voting facility. But the data applies to international businessmen's perceptions of a country, not, it is insisted, a critique of the country's innate qualities. That said, here goes - impeccably "transparent": New Zealand at No 1. Murky depths: Nigeria (slipping off the chart at No 54). The UK is in 12th position, sleazier than Singapore or Denmark but three positions above the United States. The (possibly conflicting) aims are to "determine integrity performance" for investors to assess country risks but also to "raise public attention to the devasting effects of corruption". From a different perspective, emigre train robbers and drug barons on the run could also find such a list useful.

A Field Guide to the Drag Queens of the Commonwealth of Kentucky

Carrie, Twyla, Brandi, Cheyenne, Mahogany and their sisters strut their stuff in this cross-dressing site with a bluegrass twang. The "ladies" of Lexington, Louisville, and Glasgow (Glasgow, KY, that is) are on frame- indexed display, with portraits and short biographies, some with bells on - if you have a soundcard, Miss Gay Kentucky of 1967 will sing for you. There's also a sense of history: "Lorali was known as the dancin' toes and tappin' feet of Lexington. She was good people." For those wondering if it's all the fevered fantasy of of whoever at the University of Kentucky set up the site, there is a link to a recent press interview with Cammie, shown here reclining in black on a bed of Halloween pumpkins. This, though, is a seasonal special. "Normally," she explains, "I'm more voluptuous, like Jessica Rabbit"