Date: Thu, 9 Apr 1998 14:36:31 -0500
Subject: TOURBUS -- 9 APRIL 1998 -- NET TEST / TROOPS / DHMO

This post contains inline ASCII graphics that look best in a monospace
font like Courier.  Text-to-speech readers should turn off punctuation
    _________ ____________ ________ __________ _____________ ___ _
   /         |            /        |          |             /   | \
  |     "Why | Surf When / You Can | Ride The | Bus?"      /    |  \
  |__________|__________/__________|__________|___________/     |   \
/                                                       /______|----\
|                                                        |//////|    |
|   It's a snap to order beautiful Spring and Easter     |//////|    |
|   flowers online.  FlowersFast has the best prices     |//////|    |
|   and worldwide delivery.  Satisfaction Guaranteed.    |//////|    |
|                                                        |//////|    |
|     Send an adorable Peter Rabbit Spring Bouquet!      |//////|    |
|       Order Here:          |//////|    |
    /   \  /   \                                             /   \
    \___/  \___/  T h e   I n t e r n e t   T o u r B u s    \___/


Howdy, y'all, and greetings from the Alamo (remember that?).  Yes,
today's TOURBUS is coming to you from high above the river walk in
sunny San Antonio, Texas (I'm here to speak at the National Business
Education Association Conference).  :)

We have a couple of things to talk about today, but before we embark
on the latest journey of our little bus of Internet happiness, I want
to take a second to thank today's TOURBUS sponsors.  Make sure you
stop by and make them feel appreciated.


   Experience these and more at Intel's Connected PC.
   Try out some of the exciting things you can do with your PC.


And now, on with the show ...


For the second year in a row, MCI (a long-distance telephone service
provider here in the United States) is conducting an online quiz to
measure the American public's ability to navigate and use the
Internet.  The test, called the "Great American Net Test," asks five
multiple-guess questions in the following categories:

     1. History;
     2. Arts and Literature;
     3. Pop Culture;
     4. World Geography; and
     5. Science and Technology.

The Great American Net Test is a lot like Rick Gates' old Internet
Hunts.  You are given a set of arcane questions, and then you have to
use the Internet to find the answers.  Unlike the old Internet Hunts,
though, the Great American Net Test doesn't require you to show how

you found your answers.

The Great American Net Test's front page can be found at

The folks at MCI seem to think that frames are the coolest Web
invention ever, so you are going to have to use a frames-capable Web
browser (like Netscape Navigator or Microsoft Internet Explorer) to
participate in the test.

Before you can actually participate in the Net Test, you need to fill
out a quick form identifying yourself to MCI.  Click on "Take the Net
Test" at the bottom of the Net Test's main page (this takes you to  Then click on the
words "New User link" on the next page (this takes you to

Amazingly, the form you have to fill out requires precious little
personal information.  All you have to do is type in a fake user name
(no spaces), a password, and a fake screen name (again, no spaces).
I suggest that you use the same fake user name and screen name.  Then,
enter your gender, age, and zip code (if you are not in the United
States but still want to take the test, pretend that you are an
honorary resident of the state of Alabama -- type in "35486" as your
zip code).  Then just click on the word "Submit" at the bottom of the

This takes you to an annoying page that doesn't really tell you
anything.  Click on the words "Now take the Net Test" at the top or
bottom of the page to start the test.  The next page shows you the
test's five categories (history, arts and literature, pop culture,
world geography, and science and technology).  Pick a category and
click on its icon.

That category's question and accompanying multiple choice answers will
appear on your screen.  After you have read the question, click on the
words "Begin search" on the left-hand side of the screen.  This takes
you to a page with links to several of the most popular search
engines.  Notice that in the top frame of the page are both the
question and the words "Answer it."  You need to click on "Answer it"
after you have used the search engines and are ready to answer a

The questions in each of the Net Test's five categories are actually
pretty challenging (and they change from person to person).
Fortunately, a good Dogpile search ( quickly
located the answer to four of the five questions I was asked.  The
only _really_ difficult question for me was, oddly, the science and
technology question (my question was about the depth of a particular
lake).  I cheated (sort of) by doing a search for each of the
multiple-choice answers and then eliminating the answers that were

By the way, in case any of you want to challenge your fearless bus
driver's Net Test performance, here are my results:

     Score:     100
     Time:      20 minutes, 20 seconds

The nation-wide average score is 83, and the average time is 4 hours
41 minutes and 39 seconds (the average score in Alabama is a higher-
than-average 89, but my state's time is a pretty embarrassing 8 hours
27 minutes and 28 seconds).


One of the hottest movies in Hollywood right now is a short film
called "Troops."  But you can't find Troops in any theatre and you
can't rent Troops at any video store.  The move is only available on
the Internet.

"Troops" is a hilarious spoof of COPS [the Fox network's reality-based
police show] set in the Star Wars Universe.  In other words, you get
to ride along as Darth Vader's Imperial Stormtroopers respond to
everyday police calls.  What is most amazing is that George Lucas, the
mind behind the Star Wars trilogy and the upcoming prequels, hasn't
slapped the producers of "Troops" with a cease-and-desist order.  In
fact, rumor has is that Lucas is a big fan of Troops.

Anyway, if you want to see what all the excitement is about, you're
going to have download the video over the Internet.  Like many of the
South Park episodes floating around the Net, the Troops video is
broken into several different sections (5, I think).  Just point your
Web browser to

to find out how to download the different sections.  If you have
QuickTime 3.0 installed on your computer, check out the Troops
QuickTime 3 page at

Both of these web pages are extremely popular, so expect download
times to be on the slow side.


Finally, I recently received a warning message that I thought you
should see:

     Ban Dihydrogen Monoxide!
     The Invisible Killer

     Dihydrogen monoxide is colorless, odorless, tasteless, and kills
     uncounted thousands of people every year. Most of these deaths
     are caused by accidental inhalation of DHMO, but the dangers of
     dihydrogen monoxide do not end there. Prolonged exposure to its
     solid form causes severe tissue damage. Symptoms of DHMO
     ingestion can include excessive sweating and urination, and
     possibly a bloated feeling, nausea, vomiting and body electrolyte
     imbalance. For those who have become dependent, DHMO withdrawal
     means certain death.

     Dihydrogen monoxide:

        * is also known as hydroxl acid, and is the major component of
          acid rain.
        * contributes to the "greenhouse effect."
        * may cause severe burns.
        * contributes to the erosion of our natural landscape.
        * accelerates corrosion and rusting of many metals.
        * may cause electrical failures and decreased effectiveness of
          automobile brakes.
        * has been found in excised tumors of terminal cancer

     Contamination Is Reaching Epidemic Proportions!

     Quantities of dihydrogen monoxide have been found in almost every
     stream, lake, and reservoir in America today. But the pollution
     is global, and the contaminant has even been found in Antarctic
     ice. DHMO has caused millions of dollars of property damage in
     the midwest, and recently California.

     Despite the danger, dihydrogen monoxide is often used:

        * as an industrial solvent and coolant.
        * in nuclear power plants.
        * in the production of styrofoam.
        * as a fire retardant.
        * in many forms of cruel animal research.
        * in the distribution of pesticides. Even after washing,
          produce remains contaminated by this chemical.
        * as an additive in certain "junk-foods" and other food

     Companies dump waste DHMO into rivers and the ocean, and nothing
     can be done to stop them because this practice is still legal.
     The impact on wildlife is extreme, and we cannot afford to ignore
     it any longer!

     The Horror Must Be Stopped!

     The American government has refused to ban the production,
     distribution, or use of this damaging chemical due to its
     "importance to the economic health of this nation." In fact, the
     navy and other military organizations are conducting experiments
     with DHMO, and designing multi-billion dollar devices to control
     and utilize it during warfare situations. Hundreds of military
     research facilities receive tons of it through a highly
     sophisticated underground distribution network. Many store large
     quantities for later use.

     It's Not Too Late!

     Act NOW to prevent further contamination. Find out more about
     this dangerous chemical. What you don't know can hurt you and
     others throughout the world.

What this little warning message doesn't tell you is that "dihydrogen"
just means "two hydrogen atoms," and "monoxide" means "one oxygen
atom."  Take a second and ask yourself a question: what do you get
when you put two hydrogen atoms with one oxygen atom?  Once you have
answered that question, go back and re-read the warning message.  I
think you'll get a good chuckle.  :)

That's it for this week.  Have a safe and happy weekend, and if you
are a TOURBUS Plus! subscriber (see for more
info) be looking for another post from me this weekend!



In light of the tornadoes that swept through Tuscaloosa and Jefferson
counties in Alabama last night, I'm going to hold off from posting a
Southern Word this week.  Instead, I want to offer my prayers and
thoughts for my fellow Alabamians who died in last night's storm.

    For info on my book "Atlas for the Information Superhighway"

=====================[ TOURBUS Rider Information ]===================
   The Internet TOURBUS - U.S. Library of Congress ISSN #1094-2238
      Copyright 1995-98, Rankin & Crispen - All rights reserved
            Archives on the Web at


            .~~~.  ))
  (\__/)  .'     )  ))       Patrick Douglas Crispen
  /o o  \/     .~
 {o_,    \    {      **NEW** **NEW**
   / ,  , )    \ 
   `~  '-' \    } ))
  _(    (   )_.'               Warning: squirrels.

, viruses, hoaxes, urban legends, search engines, cookies, cool sites
TOURBUS Site Search