Those of a certain age and counter-cultural bent will not be fazed to find Carlos Castaneda in cyberspace. The anthropologist and populariser of shamanism for the flower-power generation (or academic fraud and literary hoaxer, according to the non-romantic view of his work) is most famous for his apprenticeship with the Yaqui Indian Don Juan from 1961 to 1970. His book The Teachings Of Don Juan caught the spirit of the times - altered states, hallucinogens, mysticism and sorcery. But in the 26 years since then, matters New Age have become big business and the focus has shifted from magic mushrooms to things like "Tensegrity", which is "a modernised version of some movements called `magical passes' developed by Indian shamans who lived in Mexico in times prior to the Spanish Conquest". If you want to catch up with the spirit of Castaneda, this site is a good place to start.
Honours for coming up with the best system yet devised for creating music files that are small, yet capable of playing for hours goes to Koan and its eponymous software. It's ideal for online use because downloading times are kept to a minimum, but it's got more potential than a mere replacement for Midi loops playing in the background as Web pages load. Brian Eno used its capabilities to generate ever-changing sounds last year in his Generative Music project and others have taken it up as a performance medium. Tim Didymus, for one. Details of his Float "a KoanMusic installation" are on SSEYO's site, along with free plug-ins to Koan-enable your browser. You can buy Float online, but if you first want to experience it in the real world you can at Bexhill-on-Sea's De La Warr Pavilion from 2-10 August.
Harry Hill On The Web
If you find Friday night on Channel 4 less palatable since the Harry Hill show ended, there's a measure of relief to be had in these pages, which, although unofficial, have been produced with the co-operation of Channel 4. The man with the unfeasibly large shirt collars comes in for some serious hero worship with glowing reviews from the archives jostling for space among the biographical details and some spirited attempts to explain the appeal of his brand of comedy, which is an odd hybrid of surrealism and classic gags in the vein of Morecambe and Wise. Trademark soundbites such as "You can tell a lot about someone's personality from what they're like" are there for downloading and deconstructing, as is a desktop theme pack complete with screen saver.
Great Glen Cycle Hire
When work becomes too much and you feel the need to blow the office out of your system, a thrash on a mountain bike is the thing. This Inverness- based outfit can help out with equipment to tackle the Great Glen Cycle Route from Fort William to Inverness. The route uses the Caledonian Canal towpaths and forestry trails above Loch Ness. For the less ambitious, day tours are available around Loch Ness or Culloden Battlefield and Cawdor Castle. Even if you never get round to putting foot to pedal, pages like this are ideal for fuelling heavy-duty daydreams. A shame that neither Netscape nor Internet Explorer support pine-scented air plug-ins.
With gems such as "Fat Guy Goes Nutzoid", "A Nymphoid Barbarian in Dinosaur Hell", "The Toxic Avenger", "Chopper Chicks In Zombie Town" and "Blondes Have More Guns" on the roll of honour, tacky and tasteless are not terms of abuse for this film company. Troma is independent in spirit as well as in corporate structure. Proud of it, too. Besides QuickTime movie clips and photos of its cult stars, there are some splendid outbursts of rancour aimed at the American political establishment and the major movie corporationsn
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