Web sites

Click to follow
The Independent Online
Real Fridge Cam



In the search for the ultimate cool site, it was only a matter of time before someone put a Webcam inside a fridge. The Essen family from Stockholm - Daddy Tom, Mum, Maria, Markus, Thomas, Anika, Pirrko and the cat Porri - open their Electrolux model at regular intervals, to be captured digitally here, framed by yoghurt cartons, tomatoes, crispbread and various interesting Swedish groceries. June 13th seems to have been Anika's birthday, judging by the cakes and trifle on the shelves and her own delighted expression. "Are you a family of performance artists?" somebody cheekily inquires by e-mail. These are white-goods-positive pages from an official manufacturer, so no rotting vegetables or interesting detritus, though young Thomas sticks out his tongue occasionally.



A polemical look, with clever Shockwaved vignettes, at society's response to epilepsy, especially in women - those affected have been seen as "touched" by God, but stigmatised at the same time. The male medical establishment and multinational drug companies are criticised, but there is humour as well: little animations send up Breughel's Epileptic Women of Molenbeek, or depict pills rattling to to the sound of a cash register, while one contributor compares her first seizure to "one of those nightmare raves". Jo Pearson, a film-maker and herself epileptic, created the site to avoid stereotyped TV formats, and now seeks further input from other writers and artists with the condition. The piercing, repetitive shriek accompanying the images is part of the confrontational strategy, but can also be turned off.

Knowhere Guide to the UK


A travel site with a difference, giving the lowdown from locals on 500 or so towns and cities. All information is supplied by the public, and is of a streetwise rather than tourist board variety: where else to find the neighbourhood hook-up spot ("That hallowed spot where everyone hangs around with their mates dreaming of the time when they can get into the pubs or clubs"), details of buskers and street entertainers, and local examples of the "cringing cult of celebrity" (ie, Faye Dunaway once lived in Chiswick). A message board lets people communicate with others in the region. Contributions sometimes veer off into tirades, like the yobs-vs- snobs rhetoric on the Cambridge page, but overall it is a genuinely useful resource.

The Gardener's Labyrinth


This benign celebration of the English garden opens with with an animated mediaeval woodcut, leading to a range of Java-assisted "experiences": microcosmic movies of butterflies and seed planting, a 360-degree pan round the author's back yard, accompanied by bird song, and an online paintbox complete with gallery to display the visitor's own artistic endeavours. A "bug game" is still under construction. Labyrinthine only in its lack of labelling on the front page, but still a fertile blending of fine art, video and Web design sensibilities.



"Do you know the rules of horror films? You'll need to if you're to survive." This promotional site for Wes Craven's latest makes everyone a genre critic - on pain of death. A wrong move means not only a swift dispatch but also a personalised ticking off, as a spectral figure asks, accusingly, "Haven't you ever seen a scary movie?". Other pages extend Scream's own knowingness into cyberspace, as in a high school "Web site" complete with a mock browser featuring Kill, Destroy and Eviscerate buttons instead of the normal toolbar. With a film quiz and a quest-for-the-killer competition, this inventive UK site is good clean homicidal fun, complementing as well as hyping the movie itself.