From:         Patrick Douglas Crispen 
Subject:      TOURBUS - 29 NOV 2005 - The Top 22 - Part 6


The Internet Tourbus - U.S. Library of Congress ISSN #1094-2239
Copyright © Bob Rankin and Patrick Crispen - All rights reserved

Howdy, y'all, and greetings once again from deep behind the orange curtain in beautiful Irvine, California, where we forget what eight is for. :P

On with the show... Each year or so I create a handout titled "The Internet Tourbus Guide to the Most Useful Sites in the World." Today's post is the sixth and final post in the series [YAY! It's OVER!], and you can find all of my previous posts in the Tourbus archives at

19. KCRW Music

Arguably the most influential radio station in America, listener- supported KCRW is the station Hollywood television and motion picture soundtrack supervisors listen to. Do you like the soundtrack for the Sopranos ... or CSI ... or the OC ... or pretty much any other popular television show or movie? Thank KCRW.

Unlike most public radio stations which play classical music, KCRW plays a free-form collection of modern, "eclectic" music. According to the station's web site,

The station's eclectic mix combines world beat, pop, jazz, rap, hip-hop, reggae, African, new wave, classical and new music with numerous live in-studio interviews and performances.

Because KCRW's playlist is completely created by its staff, not by a committee of corporate lackeys, KCRW is one of the best places in the world to find new music, music that no other radio station in the world is playing...yet. I say "yet" because KCRW has a knack of launching the music careers of unknown artists. For example, KCRW was the first radio station in the world to play Norah Jones, Dido and Coldplay [all went on to win multiple Grammy awards.] Best of all, you can listen to KCRW online. Just point your web browser to

KCRW's Music stream is available in four formats: Real Player, Windows Media Player, SHOUTcast streaming MP3, and iTunes. [To listen to KCRW's music stream in iTunes, click on "Radio" on the left side of your iTunes screen and then go to Eclectic > KCRW Music.] All of KCRW's music shows are great, but I want to put in a plug for one show in particular: "Morning Becomes Eclectic" at

Hosted by Nic Harcourt, KCRW's music director, Morning Becomes Eclectic is KCRW's flagship music show. You can hear the show live from 9:00 AM to Noon Pacific [GMT -8] each weekday and the show is rebroadcast [or is it "re-Streamed?"] a couple times a day. There is even a podcast that lets you "listen to live sessions performed by unsigned and independent artists."

20. Metacritic

How can you find the REALLY good movies among all the dreck in your local movie theater or video shop? Or, better still, how can you tell if that heavily-advertised computer game you've heard about is actually worth buying? Well, you can always read the review column in your local newspaper or national magazine ... but that'll just show you one person's opinion. That's where Metacritic comes in.

and you'll find

a place where movie fans easily find the most important reviews for each new movie at a glance. In addition to quotes from reviews from major critics on each movie page, you will find links to each of the full reviews. We also wanted to design a system for comparing reviews between critics and between movies. To accomplish this goal, we developed our Metascore formula. Each movie is assigned a Metascore, which is a weighted average of each of the individual reviews for that film. This number, on a 0-100 scale, lets you know how each movie is reviewed.

The site offers reviews of films, DVDs, television shows, music, books, and games. And here's the coolest part: the numbers and the colors next to the title of each movie/DVD/show/CD/book/game show you that item's average score on a scale from 1 to 100, quickly showing you if that item has received good reviews or poor ones. Red means bad, green means good. With the holiday season rapidly approaching, Metacritic is a must-visit site before you make any media purchases.

21. The Internet Tourbus

What sort of list of useful sites would this be if I didn't mention Tourbus? On the off chance you aren't yet subscribed and instead received today's post from a friend or colleague [hint hint], Tourbus is a free, semi-weekly internet newsletter written by Dr. Bob Rankin [in New York] and Patrick Crispen [in Southern California.]

Distributed via an email list, the Tourbus newsletter focuses on technology news, tips, advice, and tours of new or unusual web resources. [And squirrels.] Tourbus celebrated its tenth anniversary in the Summer of 2005, and PC World recently rated Tourbus as one of the Internet's 15 best newsletters. [No, really.] To join the 100,000 other riders in 130 countries who read Tourbus each week, just point your web browser to

and sign up in the green box in the center of the page. The subscription is free, and your email address will be kept completely confidential. No spam.


Yeah, I know. Both 21 and 22 are shameless self-promotion. I apologize. Named in honor of the squirrels at the University of Alabama who so bravely [and routinely] gave their lives to disrupt power to the campus, is my personal web site. If you haven't checked out recently, you might like to know that the site now offers:

  • Half a dozen articles on how to make your computer happier and
  • safer [ ]

  • Over two dozen free PowerPoint presentations you are welcome to

  • download and reuse [ ]

  • Show notes from over 40 "Website Wednesday Night" shows on WGN

  • Radio in Chicago [ ]

    Wait. There's more. You'll also find a complete list of every one of Tourbus' "Southern Words of the Day" from 1995 to 2002. Enjoy! :)

    The Next Best Thing

    Linda from Marlinton, West Virginia recently wrote and said "The next best thing to Tourbus is the Smart Computing magazine that you guys recommend. I've been getting it since last summer and it has solved numerous problems for me and my friends." Thanks, Linda!

    We hope other Tourbus riders will discover the Plain English answers to their computing questions that Smart Computing delivers every month. Do you want to speed up your PC? Eliminate the threat of computer viruses? Get rid of spyware and keep hackers out? Try Smart Computing today -- get your FREE TRIAL issue NOW!

    That's it for today. Have a safe and happy week, and we'll talk again soon.

    .~~~. )) (\__/) .' ) )) Patrick Douglas Crispen /o o \/ .~ {o_, \ { / , , ) \ `~ -' \ } )) AOL Instant Messenger: Squirrel2K _( ( )_.' ---..{____} Warning: squirrels.

    The Internet Tourbus - U.S. Library of Congress ISSN #1094-2239
    Copyright © Bob Rankin and Patrick Crispen - All rights reserved
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