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The Independent Online

Spoof Monopolyhttp://www.ms-monopoly.com/

Spoof Monopolyhttp://www.ms-monopoly.com/

A jolly jape from a group of designers calling themselves the Department of Jest, this remake of the classic board game features, instead of streets and properties, various companies and ventures in which Microsoft has an interest - Hotmail, Apple, WebTV ("the little revolution that couldn't"), and so on, with visitors able to submit new squares and descriptions. The cards show the kind of "dastardly deeds a software monopolist might be tempted to do to thwart the competition".

The rather self-conscious site explains patiently what a satire is, and features an online form to enable quick and easy legal action against itself by offended parties, with links to lawyers such as Bilkem, Gougem and Fleecam. Hasbro's real game is at http://www.monopoly.com/, and includes details of the Croatian version and the special Millennium edition with holographic foil game board.

Etch-A-Sketch http://www.etch-a-sketch.com/

The rectangular red box with the twiddly controls and silver-grey screen has been a favourite toy since 1960 and something of a design cult in recent years. Here's its history, since one Arthur Granjean invented something he called "L'Ecran Magique" in his garage, through to the pocket versions of today and the 1985 Executive model with silver screen and diamond and topaz accents.

The online Etch-a-Sketch is a pale shadow of the real thing - a monitor could never rival the original screen lining of aluminium powder and plastic beads - but there are galleries with some quite spectacular portraits, fun facts and useful advice: "Take a photo before erasing", being the most obvious, as well as "remain patient and calm", along with practical tips on negotiating tricky circles and diagonals.

For more retrographical amusements check out the virtual spirographs at http://www.motocafe.com/spiro.htm

The Hima Newshttp://www.myrtle.org/

"Printed as Written" is the title of Myrtle Shoupe's column for the Manchester Enterprise, the local news sheet for a small Kentucky town. It's also her guarantee of freedom from editorial intervention. Myrtle's idiosyncratic text goes out as submitted: "Seals Food Market still sell his good potatoes real cheap so go and pick you up some good fruit and potatoes for Christmas they are real good."

The column has been going since 1953 and has now been made available worldwide on the Web by a New York marketing consultant who perhaps shrewdly decided her style could develop a cult following outside Clay County: a book is to follow.

But Myrtle offers cold comfort for the approaching millennium: "The people don't believe what going to happen in year 2000 but when it come they sure will believe it then when it happen people sure will be sorry when it come."

The site also includes select items from the rest of the paper.

Send interesting, quirky or, at a pinch, cool site recommendations towebsites@dircon.co.uk

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