Tuesday 09 September 1997
The term "tribal", on the Web, tends to be an excuse for an all-night rave somewhere, but this Native American site promotes authentic tribal art, while linking remote communities to "the great meeting place of people who have not yet met" - the Internet. Turtle Heart, a human being of the Ojibway people, updates the tradition by offering his own digital artwork for sale here, and there's also a "Song Line of the Week", a gallery and road journal of his travels among the Hopi of Arizona. The site explicitly seeks funding from the wider world for its computer literacy campaign but is scathing about the misuse by outsiders of the culture represented here: a display of sacred pipes, for instance, has sharp words for New Age dabblers, calling them "deeply misguided `shamans' (a liar's word)".
Piercing may be all the rage, but neck bolts will never be sexy. Catherine Sellars' comprehensive site traces the legend from Mary Shelley to Herman Munster and beyond, but grudgingly concedes the higher profile of Frankie's popular rival, Dracula. The Count started off just as ugly, but his sinister suavity now hypnotises a generation of Goths, whereas "no modern audience would fantasise about Frankenstein entering their bedrooms at night". There's also a plea for the book to be approached as a popular novel rather than a literary classic. Postmodern Prometheans will find a link to the Creature Designer site (http://www.technosphere. org.uk/technosphere/ designer.htm), where they can create their own rather twee little monster from a range of body parts, let it loose in a specified environment and see what happens. Carnivore or herbivore options available.
The Daguerreian Society
Amazingly, photographers are still working in this early 19th-century medium. The gallery sections here, all easy downloads, show stiff Victorian families, city panoramas, a greenhorn 49er en route to the California goldrush - but also images taken this year, of everything from Golden Gate Park to a Campbell's soup can. All retain Daguerre's trademark luminosity even via a monitor, and there are full details of the process itself, an alchemically-tinged ritual of iodine, mercury and silver. "Time, space, both are annihilated, and we identify the semblance with the reality," enthused Walt Whitman in 1846. Visitors even have a choice of background music for their browsing - period or contemporary.
How Are you Feeling Today?
A UK business consultancy invites visitors to make the most of their mood by selecting from a range of 70 emotional categories, from Adaptable and Aggressive, through Paranoid, Perplexed and Prudish, to Uncertain and Undecided. Each state has a pithy quotation or two attached, from sources as various as Ambrose Bierce and Shelley Winters, followed by a little homily from the firm. Not all the emotions have relevant sayings, as yet: reader contributions are invited and failing that a standard text is supplied, from (inevitably) Oscar Wilde: "The secret of life is never to have an emotion which is unbecoming."
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