Websites: 151and.com, dot-store.com, thriftdeluxe.com and others

The 10 Best Websites of the Week
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The Independent Online

One of the great things about Flash is that it lends itself well to offbeat storytelling. As one shape morphs smoothly into another, the tale unfolds in a stream of consciousness, without the flow of the animation being undermined. This technique is employed with great success in the stories contained within 151and.com (including Dibujos, right, a collection of drawings by Alberto Montero Parajuá), all of which are presented in clear and attractive graphics.

www.151and.com

One of the great things about Flash is that it lends itself well to offbeat storytelling. As one shape morphs smoothly into another, the tale unfolds in a stream of consciousness, without the flow of the animation being undermined. This technique is employed with great success in the stories contained within 151and.com (including Dibujos, right, a collection of drawings by Alberto Montero Parajuá), all of which are presented in clear and attractive graphics.

www.dot-store.com

Since the dot.com crash, many of the investors crippled by their losses have used humour to deal with their situation – as, of course, have those who are predisposed to laugh at the misfortunes of others. Designed by the artists Thomson & Craighead, Dot-Store stocks fun merchandise on a mickey-taking, cyber-economy theme, ranging from "Under Construction gif" temporary tattoos to Google towels.

www.rooknet.com/beatpage/index.html

There's never a bad time to get back into the Beats, those often-mimicked, but rarely surpassed, writers and artists of the Fifties and Sixties who celebrated the rhythms of living for the moment. This site is for cool cats who want to explore the main players of the scene, which gave rise to alternative lifestyles and subcultures worldwide.

www.thriftdeluxe.com

Thrift Deluxe describes itself as a "non-commercial contemporary DIY zine which strives to enthuse and arouse creativity by providing easy and cheap but damn cool projects that anyone can make." I couldn't put it any better myself. The now-grown-up Blue Peter generation will surely rush to this slick site, where they can learn such things as how to make a lamp out of a cheese grater.

www.ubu.com/aspen/index.html

This site is a worthy re-creation of the late-Sixties Aspen Magazine, a multimedia publication that predated the net by 30-odd years. It provides a fascinating record of a unique experiment in publishing history, which sent out printed matter, phonographic recordings and super-8 films in a box to its subscribers.

www.opendemocracy.net

Opendemocracy.net is a useful news portal for those who are interested in investigative, even-handed journalism on current affairs. It proclaims itself to be "independent, intelligent and innovative", and its incisive coverage, coupled with a global reach, is certainly welcome. In the current political climate of incessant change and potential threat, it's a vital resource.

www.skateboardingsucks.com

The potential self-publishing arsenal that is the net finds an energetic voice on "sucks" sites such as this one. These radical skateboarders are "here to report, discuss and make fun of all of the bullshit and media surrounding skateboarders and our self-built industry". The wide sweep of their radar will surely locate any corporate big cheeses trying to do the dirty on their subculture.

http://looneytunes.warnerbros.com

From that bizarre noise at the start of their animations, to the "That's all Folks!" at the end, Warners have introduced cartoon fans to many loveable characters over the years. The capers of Bugs, Daffy and all the rest are celebrated at this bright, busy and colourful toons site.

www.googlefight.com

More humour to alleviate tedium in the data trenches: googlefight turns obsessive info-mining into a fun game. The war of the search terms pits such luminaries as George W Bush against Osama bin Laden, McDonald's against Burger King, and Luke Skywalker against Darth Vadar. The winner is whoever scores the most hits from a typical Google search.

www.nobodyhere.com

The creator of this site announces on his splash page that he would like to "apologise for all this" – but it's too late for him to back away from his scrolling wordwheel, which offers delightful Flash essays on subjects such as "rat", "force" and "itch". Spin it and see if you can find "nose", which features some oddly pleasurable cyber nostril-tweaking.

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