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The Independent Online

Compass

Compass

Lost your Marbles? Track them down using the British Museum's new site, which will rapidly display informative pictures and text as well as a predictably robust defence of Lord Elgin and co. The BM has 2,000 treasures already online, with another 3,000 promised by the end of the year, and offers more detailed background context than many museum sites, as well as sophisticated search options. Objects are interlinked and there are thematic tours as well as an "object of the month", currently a rather fetching caribou-skin parka from early 19th-century Greenland. A bells-and-whistles 3D version will be available in the restored Reading Room, but the internet presence is commendably simple.

 

Direct Search

The individual contents of Compass may turn out to be part of the "invisible web", inaccessible to search engines directly, except of course via the front page of the site. Usually, though, this tantalising Lost Continent of information refers to more prosaic reference material, which for various reasons defeats the indexing spiders. Librarian Gary D Price at George Washington University has compiled a useful reference site listing over3,000 such databases, with sections for humanities and museum sites as well as bibliography, worldwide current events coverage, and more specialised directories.

 

Cold Turkey

This is brutal reality Web TV, as a group of two-packs-a-day volunteers face tobacco deprivation online. "The Cold Turkeys face their new smokeless world, and cry for your mercy." But will they, er, chicken out? All seven QuickTime mini-episodes of the saga are archived here: after a body search, "lockdown" begins and Kasey, Errolle, Julia, Will and David are left to grapple with their addiction. Viewers suggest various ordeals to test their resolve.

 

Torisukoshiro.com

The homepage of a Japanese graphic designer hoping to "make people extra smiling and cheerful". Which he does, in a twee but irresistible sort of way. Tori's Quality Anime Centre offers little Shockwave cartoons, cleverly achieved but with the charm of spontaneous doodles. Highlights include the Great Chef Shitake growing mushrooms out of the top of his head, and various spindly but winsome domestic pets. Latest collaborations include "Clock Din", a sound collage experiment using Tori's own voice samples. "I feel sooo good! ukikikiki!" he enthuses, and who could blame him?

 

websites@dircon.co.uk

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