Mount Kinabalu Sunrise
Tempan Kinabalu
Sabah, Malaysia

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Unlike other 'Cool Site' pages, I don't promise to update this one every day,or even every week just whenever a surf session unearths--or someone submits--something striking.

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Neat Feat of the Moment

09 DEC 97 :: 12:44

Water a journey

Potentially the best writers of the '90s can be found online, keeping personal histories. They are often fresh, evocative, compelling, brash, and not run through the editing strainers of publishing houses. Some of the more gifted also display a keen sense for the visual (of which I am hopelessly jealous) and a sure hand with interface design. Sites such as these are not simply a good read, they are an encounter. I've browsed through a number of similar efforts, but something about Water moved me...and so it is here.

This is a story that's been around since the end of 1994. It's much older than that, of course, but that is when its writing began. Take it in at will, look at it as you would a picture... pick a spot, accustom yourself to it, then let your eye pull back and take in a bit more, a bit more... until the whole picture comes into focus. There is a beginning... there is a middle... there are some rough spots and some bumps and even some beautiful scenery in between..

.. Don't expect an ending. There is none.

Neat Feats of Moments Past

28 MAY 97 :: 00:00

VOICE OF THE SHUTTLE: Web Page for Humanities Research
Normally, I reserve this distinction for sites featuring content. However, the net being the net, indices are useful and, therefore, valuable. Those who are prone, as I am, to pondering reality, will find in VOICE OF THE SHUTTLE a most excellent resource.

I think Alan Liu, the 'weaver' of this marvellous resource has discovered a most poetic description of what he is attempting (and by my estimation, succeeding) to do.

Aristotle, in the Poetics (16.4), records a striking phrase from a play by Sophocles, since lost, on the theme of Tereus and Philomela. As you know, Tereus, having raped Philomela, cut out her tongue to prevent discovery. But she weaves a tell-tale account of her violation into a tapestry (or robe) which Sophocles calls "the voice of the shuttle." If metaphors as well as plots or myths could be archetypal, I would nominate Sophocles' voice of the shuttle for that distinction. . . .

There is always something that violates us, deprives our voice, and compells art toward an aesthetics of silence. "Les yeux seuls sont encore capable de pousser un cri," writes Char about his experiences in the second World War. And Nelly Sachs, alluding to the suffering of her people: "Wailing Wall Night / Carved in you are the psalms of silence."

Geoffrey H. Hartman, "The Voice of Shuttle: Language From the Point of View of Literature," in his Beyond Formalism: Literary Essays, 1958-1970 (Yale Univ. Press, 1970), pp. 337, 353

30 APR 97 :: 17:15

When the net was young, commercial enterprise paid it little heed. Good 'netizens', postmasters and system administrators diligently stamped out any small incursions by spammers and other unwelcome parasites in a domain devoted to the exchange of ideas and content free from the manipulation of corporate interests. (I don't want to romanticize this period: not all the content was particularly interesting, useful or pleasant.)

Then came Clinton & Gore's "Information Superhighway" and commercialising the internet, so "it will pay for itself" began in earnest. Race ahead to the present and we find internet tool designers bowing to commercial pressure, or in the case of some giants, the designers themselves apply the pressure. Tools could incorporate functionality which helps the end-user limit commercial access to their identity. Currently, web browsers pass any information entered in the configuration to each website visited.

For example, Netscape's mail program, conveniently bundled with its web browser, requires you to enter your email address as part of its configuration so it can interface with your ISP's mail server. In turn, this information is made available not only on every newsgroup posting or email you transmit, but also to the data-gathering programs at every website you visit. Direct marketers--spammers, the people who deliver junk mail to your inbox--and other commercial entities happily collect this address and other information, or purchase it from those who do collect it. Organisations in the business of obtaining your email address can add value to that information by accumulating data from a large number of web sites in order to deduce your interests. For some netwatchers, this is largely a privacy issue. However, there are more subtler concerns.

Part of the internet's hard sell by government and industry, its advantage over traditional media such as television and print, has been its 'interactivity'. User's, we are told, will be better able to choose what information they wish to acquire. However, it is increasingly obvious that the opposite is true: organisations with the gumption, know-how and dollars are better able to place the information they want you to see in your field of vision. As organisations grow more clever in their methods, and more effective in blocking technology which could enrich your ability to define the information you see and the information others collect, internet users become little more than receptacles for a flood-tide of messages.

Sometimes it seems there's nothing to be done about this process. I don't believe in this type of despair. Stephen L. Talbot, Editor of NETFUTURE, doesn't either, and is making a valiant, intelligent, insightful effort to do something.

Here is NETFUTURE's mission statement:

NETFUTURE is a newsletter with approximately weekly postings. It looks beyond the generally recognized "risks" of computer use such as privacy violations, unequal access, censorship, and dangerous computer glitches. It seeks especially to address those deep levels at which we half-consciously shape technology and are shaped by it. What is half-conscious can, after all, be made fully conscious, and can become material for public discussion and policy-making.

25 AUGUST 1996 :: 10:00

The Dao of Atheism :: The Shaman Atheist
The author of this site begins it with a quote from Religious atheism? (E. Story-Scientia: Gent,Belgium 1982), editors, Leo Apostel, Rik Pinxten, R. Thibau, F. VanDamme,
From the beginning [a] central problem [in discussing "Religion and Modernity" has]turned out to be the relation between atheism and religion, and more particularly the problem whether those terms are incompatible or not. If they are not, one may ask in what ways and under what conditions they can be combined and fertilize each other. To put it even stronger: is it true that atheism and religion are just two different appearances of the same phenomenon? ...
What follows the quote is potent thought.

25 FEBRUARY 1996 :: 10:00

Buy & Sell Online
"The world's No.1 Free-Ad Paper."
It may well be the #1 free-ad paper, but utility makes this page Neat. Using well-designed forms, place free classified ads for both the online and paper publications of Buy & Sell. Better than that are the features provided for those bro wsing the ads. While loggin in on your free account, structure and save searches for items of interest. It's an amazingly effective search engine; best on the net. Select the promising ads from those generated by the search, write some notes on individual ads and save the whole lot to your personal memo pad. The next time you login the memo-pad's there maintaining all your work. I'm never going back to the paper version.

Web designers, Buy & Sell Online is a must visit.

21 FEBRUARY 1996 :: 23:00

"McDonald's spends over $1.4 billion dollars a year broadcasting their glossy image to the whole world - this is a small space for alternatives to be heard."
This site provides perhaps the best nose-hair look at how multinationals protect their marketability. McSpotlight includes an extensive collection of McLibel trial notes (now the lengthiest civil trial in UK history). Since possibly every facet of McDonald's world-wide operation is subject to scrutiny within the trial, the site authors have collected an enormous quantity of supporting information on personel management, packaging, nutrition name it.

If the site suffers from a none too subtle lack of balance, it is matched by the often downright ridiculous claims of McDonald's executives. There is a sort-of balance in that.

17 JANUARY 1996 :: 19:30

TV Bytes: WWW TV Themes Home Page
I just couldn't decide whether this page was Neat or Absurd. So today, for the first time, we have a site that manages to be both.
If you weren't brought up on American Pop Culture -- you know, "Baseball™, Big Macs®, Hot Apple Pie™ and White Broncos®" -- then go directly to Theatre Absurd. Otherwise, fellow cultural scourge of the earth, this site's Neat because, well, it's

Note that this isn't an archive of lyrics but of sound files. There's everything from The Brady Bunch to Hill Street Blues; F-Troop to 60-minutes. You can relive "the agony of defeat" again, and again, just like you did every Saturday. He's even got some School House Rock! (Conjunction junction, what's your function?) So if you want to do a little culture surfing, this site's zeitgeist central.

15 JANUARY 1996 :: 03:00

Videonics Video Editing Resource Page
"The difference between an amateur and a professional is that an amateur shows you ALL his pictures."
Rare will be the occasion that a commercial page earns my nod as Neat. This page by Videonics, besides being a big ad for Videonics products, also happens to be the best instructional source for video editing I've found on the net. The author of this information even managed to avoid inserting plugs for Videonics gear in every paragraph -- though a few references do sneak their way in. Wouldn't it be nice if all commercial pages were this useful?

1 3 DECEMBER 1995 :: 21:00

Index for FAIR publications
FAIR: Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting
This is a huge index for an enormous number of articles challenging the accurracy of many 'facts' presented by the media, liberal, centrist or conservative. I've browsed this resource a few times in the past but a friend recently forwarded the URL for a FAIR article The way things aren't: Rush Limbaugh debates reality and reading that article motivated my inclusion of FAIR's work as a Neat Feat.

1 1 DECEMBER 1995 :: 24:00

Alan Watts: Lectures and Essays
Alan Watts (1915-1973), who held both a master's degree in theology and a doctorate of divinity, is best known asan interpreter of Zen Buddhism in particular, and Indian and Chinese philosophy in general.
It never hurts to take a good long think about the world from the perspective Watts presents.

1 0 DECEMBER 1995 :: 15:00

The Nobel Foundation
On December 10 of each year, The Nobel Foundation presents their awards.
While people such as Henry Kissinger have received this prize (Peace, 1973 in recognition for the quite cynical 1973 Paris Peace Agreement that lead to American withdrawal from Vietnam. Notably, Le Duc Tho, Kissinger's Vietnamese counterpart in negotiations and co-winner of the 1973 Peace Prize, declined the award.) usually the winners stand up to anyone's standards.

0 4 DECEMBER 1995 :: 14:00

Echoes of Incense: A Pilgrimage In Japan
Another traveller documents his pilgrimage through Japan. It's actually an ad for the photographer/writer's book, but the excerpted content on this page is compelling me to purchase it.
The route of the eighty-eight temples of Shikoku is the classic Japanese Buddhist pilgrimage. Its 1200 kilometers test the bodyand spirit and open the mind to an experience of its true nature. For over a thousand years, only Japanese followed this path tothe remote places of the Japanese island of Shikoku.

In 1992, the noted photographer Don Weiss walked this path. This book records what he experienced in deeply felt wordsand pictures.

2 9 NOVEMBER 1995 :: 23:00

Addicted to: Stuff
"One only needs two tools in life: WD-40 to make things go, and duct tape to make them stop."
On the web, interaction is WD-40, but it's often too well greased and too much information flows too haphazardly. Much of the material at this site is provided by net-vagabonds, maybe even you. The liberal application of duct tape here is the sure-minded editorial and creative effort of L. B. Abrams. Graphically sturdy pages complement witty, intelligent content that spans the range of life the universe and everything. Abrams even manages to make the obligatory "HTML: DIY" page interesting, and useful. Easy on the eyes, sometimes pointed, othertimes twisted.

2 6 NOVEMBER 1995 :: 13:00

Someone who appears to have spent as much time with Australian Aboriginals as I would like to have.
"For some time I was searching for an artistic representation of the infinite multiplicity of human perception and interpretation. Coincidentally ­ if there is any coincidence ­ my acronym XULURU found its analogue on the globe: Mount "Uluru", perhaps better known to many of you as Ayers Rock, in the heart of Australia."

2 4 NOVEMBER 1995 :: 02:00

The Surrealism Server.
Ever have the feeling you were wandering about lost inside a Dali painting with only Bill Burroughs -- or was that someone else...a cockroach? -- for company? You too!? Don't ya miss it? No need to with this site. If you don't like the way it looks, reload: it'll change. (It took me half an hour to get around to reading anything.)

2 3 NOVEMBER 1995 :: 00:00

Stories and images from New England.
A gorgeous page. Those of you who've read my bio will know that New Hampshire is one of the rest stops on my life-highway. . .One of the more important stops and these images and stories give some indication as to why.

2 2 NOVEMBER 1995 :: 06:00

Project Bartleby
The Public Library of the Internet
Shelley, Keats, Melville, Bartlett's Quotations. All available here.

2 1 NOVEMBER 1995 :: 10:00

The Internet Arts Museum for Free
Propelled by the belief that music, art and literature have become vacuous, disposable, commercial entities and that the age of technology as an important center of enlightenment is now;
Artists for Revolution through Technology on the Internet present the first exclusive on-line music, art and literature museum, the Internet Arts Museum for free (IAMfree).

2 1 NOVEMBER 1995 :: 01:00

The Classical MIDI Archives
More MIDI than you can shake a conductor's stick at. Pierre Shwob says this of his archive:
I am pleased and regret to say that some of these sequences are quite beautiful while others are rather atrocious...

1 5 NOVEMBER 1995 :: 17:00

The URL- minder:
Your Own Personal Web Robot!
Do you keep going back to that promising 'under-construction' page only to find nothing going on? Well, here's just the thing, and it's free!

0 2 NOVEMBER 1995 :: 13:00

Vance Bell's Homepage
A mighty compendium of socially relevant links. The graphic below says it pretty succinctly.

31 OCTOBER 1995 :: 03:00

An interdisciplinary journal of research on consciousness.
Wow! What a find!

28 OCTOBER 1995 :: 00:00

On Monday, October 30, 1995 the shit hit the fan in Quebec.
Quebec's still a part of the country, however there's a lot of work to be done to keep her there.

28 OCTOBER 1995 :: 00:00

Canada Federal Debt Clock
With every breath you take, the debt grows.
Also not a bad place to find stats and other Canadian info. There're even the lyrics for the National Anthem (both French and English) so you'll be able to sing along at the next hockey game you attend.

26 OCTOBER 1995 :: 14:00

Dennet's Dream
Paintings by Matthew Lewis
This guy spent far too much time in Dr. Caligari's Cabinet as this stuff's likely to make you want to scream. Still, an interesting presentation of an unusual vision.

26 OCTOBER 1995 :: 02:00

Yothu Yindi
A really nice looking page with Real Audio and plenty of Video.
While Katrin and I travelled cross-country through Australia last year, one of a couple Yothu Yindi tapes just never seemed to be far from the tape deck.

24 OCTOBER 1995 :: 06:00

What is the significance of calling your drawings and products " Schwa" ?
'I was looking for a title that would sound interesting and somehow express the vague and confusing nature of what I wanted to do. I was looking in the dictionary for the word or words related to " schism" or " schizoid" when I happened across the word " schwa." That was basically it; I remembered it from school and thought the definition, letters and sound were perfect for what I was doing. Kind of cute and strange-sounding at the same time, hard to remember how to spell. I didn't look any further.'

21 OCTOBER 1995 :: 02:00

Erik's Sketchbooks
Erik's sketchbooks began as a daily drawing assignment in design classes.

They continue to be a work in progress. A nice presentation of interesting images.

19 SEPTEMBER 1995 :: 10:00

The Farnsworth Chronicles
A Neat Feat that is all about a Neat Feat.
"While the great minds of science, financed by the biggest companies in the world, wrestled with 19th century answers to a 20th century problem, Philo T. Farnsworth, age 13, dreamed of trapping light in an empty jar and transmitting it, one line at a time, on a magnetically deflected beam of electrons."

12 SEPTEMBER 1995 :: 17:00

Prominent Anarchists and Left- Libertarians
A pretty thorough list of
"individuals who have distinguished themselves in the past and present by opposing variousforms of coercion, authority and injustice, political and economic, in true libertarian tradition."

10 SEPTEMBER 1995 :: 13:00

Oilbase 4.0
Midnight Oil is one of those bands writing important music that, sadly, receive little recognition. This site contains the most complete database of band information -- FAQs, lyrics, discographies, etc. -- I've seen on the net. The creators put much effort into unravelling the meaning underlying the songs, and setting the context for the lyrics.

6 SEPTEMBER 1995 :: 14:00

Fury's 4th-Way Page
Fury's page made The Unusual or Deep Site of the Day yesterday. Normally, I will try to uncover sites not already reported by the more popular 'Cool Site' pickers choices, but I submitted the nomination for this latest Deep Site. In fact, the Fourth Way Quote of the Day serves as my navigator's 'homepage' -- has for weeks. Here's what the Deepsite Editor had to say about Fury's page:
"The Fourth Way is a theory of psychology and a methodology for achieving higher states of consciousness, based mainly on the writings of Gurdjieff and Ouspensky." You know, I get around 30 suggestions for deep sites every week, and most of them are neither unusual or deep by any standard - but this site is deep. DEEP. As Fury says, "A person in 'normal' consciousness is not truly awake." So, wake up and smell the mind-coffee.- Deepsite Editor

Original Neat Feats

My Virtual Refrence Desk
God refers to this one, on occasion.

Net Tips for Writers and Designers
And this guy taught God how to design Web pages.

World Media's Noam Chomsky page and other things Chomskian
"...arguably the most important intellectual alive" NY Times.

Tribal Voice
What the net's really all about: having a voice.

Voxxen Worx
Men, put the cup in your athletic supporter before venturing in here.

World Transformation
Ending on a positive note.

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