TOURBUS: Thursday, October 10, 1996
DRIVER: Patrick Crispin
TODAY'S TOURBUS STOP:
SQUIRRELS and INFOSEEK
Okay. I'll admit it. I was wrong -- not nearly as wrong as Rich Garcia was when he blew that home run call in last night's American League (baseball) Championship Series game, but nonetheless I was still wrong. For the record, let me set the record straight by saying that not only is Toronto *NOT* a frozen tundra, it is perhaps one of the most charming cities I have ever visited.
Before I start this week's tour, however, there is one thing from my recent trek into the not-really-a-tundra-no-matter-how-much-Patrick- may-have-said-so land that the veteran bus riders and the many Roadmap graduates on the bus may enjoy. Across the street from my hotel in Toronto was a really cool grocery store. In the store's pastry display was something called, I swear I am not making this up, a "Squirrel Tart." Of course, I bought it. Fortunately, the squirrel tart was neither ... unless, of course, Toronto's squirrels taste like peanut butter.
Now if only I could find some squirrel pasta ...*---------------------( THE NOODLES ARE COMING!! )-------------------* The Flying Noodle has a cool collection of gourmet pastas and sauces. Mention The TOURBUS and we'll take $5 off your first order over $20. *--------------------( http://www.flyingnoodle.com )-----------------*Our little bus of Internet happiness is going to make two stops today. The first stop is going to be for our new riders who may not understand my fascination with squirrels, and the second stop is going to be for the folks at the back of the bus who are looking for an alternative to Yahoo!
SQUIRRELS!Most of you should know by now that the squirrels living in the trees on the campus of the University of Alabama have developed quite a taste for power lines -- especially for the power lines leading into the University's mainframe computer center. Since squirrels and power lines do not mix well, and since our mainframe doesn't seem to work too well without power (IBM mainframes are funny that way), I decided that I should warn everyone about Alabama's "squirrel problem" (hence the "Warning: squirrels" quote in my signature).
The reason for this 'warning' is entirely selfish. With all of the stuff that I am currently doing on the Net, if I ever 'disappeared' from the Net for a day or two I would be FLOODED with e-mail from thousands of people wondering where I was. By telling everyone about Alabama's power-line-chomping squirrels, people are less likely to panic if I disappear. In fact, I have discovered that many people around the world are actually rooting for Alabama's squirrels [between you and me, I root for them too -- that's why my license plate is "SQUIRRL"].
Well, it seems that I am not the only person interested in these tree-dwelling 'self-propelled short circuits.' Herman Miller has created the definitive library of squirrel information on the Net at http://www.io.com/~hmiller/squirrel.html
Miller's squirrel page has links to more information about squirrels than anyone could possibly ever want to know. However, those of you with bird feeders may appreciate The Squirrel Page's link to the article "How to outwit bird-feeder squirrels without going nuts." Also, if you enjoyed last week's TOURBUS stops at a few of the Dave Barry sites on the Net, I strongly recommend that you check out The Squirrel Page's "disgruntled woodchucks" link. :)
Sadly, despite the wealth of squirrel information on the Net, there are still a few people on our little bus of Internet happiness who have never even seen a squirrel (GASP!). Fortunately, Mr. Miller was kind enough to put a picture of a gray squirrel (the kind that love Alabama's power lines) on the Web at http://www.io.com/~hmiller/graysqr1.jpg
The picture is only 24 K in size, so it should not take long to download. :)
INFOSEEKWe've visited Infoseek a couple of times in the past (the last time we were there was on May 23), but Infoseek has made so many changes to their site recently that I thought we should pay them another visit. Infoseek can be found on the Web at http://www.infoseek.com/ or http://guide.infoseek.com/
Infoseek is a combination search engine (like Alta Vista) and Web directory (like Yahoo!). What's really cool about Infoseek is that it is available in English, German [Deutsch], Spanish [Espanol], and French [Francais]. I'm not sure when Infoseek's "Southern" version will be available, but I am sure they are working on it. :)
The folks at Infoseek are probably not going to appreciate my saying this, but Infoseek's main homepage looks an awful lot like Yahoo's. The similarities end there, however. For those of you used to using Yahoo, Infoseek may be a little confusing at first. The best way to explain how Infoseek works is to actually take you on a tour.
On Infoseek's main page, click on the topic "News." You will be taken to a new page which has a bunch of links to "Infoseek Select" sites. The Infoseek Select sites are the sites that Infoseek feels are the most "valuable" in that particular topic. For example, one of the Infoseek Select sites in the "News" topic is the New York Times.
Notice that under the New York Times link is another link called "similar pages." If you click on this, you will be taken to a list of sites that are similar to the New York Times. "Similar pages" links can be found beneath each of the Infoseek Select sites.
Also notice that additional subtopics can be found on the left-hand side of the page. For example, in the "News" page, the subtopics include "technology news," "current political issues," and "international relations."
You can also bypass all of these topic and subtopic pages by typing in a keyword in Infoseek's search box. Infoseek's search engine is pretty much like all of the rest, although I often find stuff through Infoseek that I cannot find through the other search engines.
That's about it for this week. Take a look at Infoseek and see what you think. It takes a little while to figure the site out, but if you have been looking for an alternative to Yahoo this may be just the site you have been looking for!
Have a safe and happy weekend ... and watch out for squirrels!-------------------------------- TODAY'S SOUTHERN WORD OF THE DAY -------------------------------- FRAIZIN - noun . Not warm. Usage: "Shud dat dar winda, it's frazin in har!" (Special thanks goes to "Sierrelda Johnson" for today's wurd) YOU CAN FIND ALL OF THE OLD SOUTHERN WORDS OF THE DAY ON THE SOUTHERN WORD HOMEPAGE AT http://ua1vm.ua.edu/~crispen/word.html