TOURBUS archives -- May 1999, week 1 (#2)

Date:         Fri, 7 May 1999 00:56:39 -0500
Sender:       The Internet TourBus - A virtual tour of cyberspace
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Comments:     Originally-From: Patrick Douglas Crispen <>
From:         Patrick Douglas Crispen <crispen@NETSQUIRREL.COM>
Subject:      TOURBUS -- 6 MAY 1999 -- TOP 10 WEB MISTAKES / TORNADOES!
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TODAY'S TOURBUS STOP(S): Top Ten Mistakes in Web Design / Tornadoes! TODAY'S TOURBUS ADDRESSES:

Howdy, y'all! :)

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On with the show ...

------------------------------------------ Top Ten Mistakes in Web Design -- Take Two ------------------------------------------

Despite what you might have heard, creating a basic Web page is easy. Heck, if you own a recent copy of Microsoft Word, you can turn *any* of your Word documents into a Web page simply by choosing "Save as HTML ..." in your "File" menu. That's it.

Creating a GOOD Web page, however, is a little more complicated. That's where today's first TOURBUS stop comes in.

You may not have heard of Jacob Neilsen, but his influence extends to almost every major commercial Web site you have ever visited. According to the New York Times, Neilsen is

the guru of Web page "usability," a man for whom Web design is not a matter of taste or aesthetics -- it's a matter of science. For more than a decade, Nielsen has studied how software companies can make their programs more user-friendly -- and in the past few years, he's made a name for himself applying this expertise to the Web.

[Quote from articles/13usability.html

In fact, Neilsen's May 1996 article on the "Top Ten Mistakes in Web Design" rapidly became a must-read in the Web design community. You can still find that article online at

<a href=""> </a>.

Well, four days ago Neilsen wrote a new article titled the "'Top Ten Mistakes' Revisited Three Years Later" in which he asks the question 'are the Web design mistakes of three years ago still wrong?' You can find Neilsen's new article at

<a href=""> </a>.

Surprisingly, all ten mistakes from 1996 are still mistakes in 1999, and nine of the ten mistakes still cause significant usability problems and should be avoided in modern Web sites. In other words, before you choose "File --> Save as HTML ..." in Word, you really should take a look a Neilsen's latest article.

Neilsen offers a regular series of columns on Web usability at

<a href=""> </a>.

If you plan to create a Web page sometime in the future, or if you already have a Web page or two online, you really owe it to yourself to scour Neilsen's archives for tips on how to make your pages more user-friendly. And even if you don't have time to scour the archives, make a note to visit Neilsen's site again in a few weeks: his next two scheduled articles are

Who commits the "Top Ten Mistakes"? [look for this sometime after Sunday, 16 May, 1999]

The Top Ten New Mistakes of Web Design [look for this sometime after Sunday, 30 May, 1999]

My guess is that you will be hearing a LOT about these two articles over the next couple of weeks.

--------- Tornadoes ---------

Approximately 1,000 tornadoes hit the United States every year. On Monday, May 3rd, approximately forty-five tornadoes touched down in Oklahoma, and an additional fourteen tornadoes touched down in Kansas. At least fifty people are confirmed dead, an additional fifty-five people are still missing, and between 2,000 and 3,000 homes have been destroyed.

As we mentioned in our 16 April 1998 post, Tornadoes are measured using a scale that measures the amount of damage the tornado causes. The scale is known as the "Fujita Tornado Intensity Scale":

F0 (Gale tornado) 40-72 mph Some damage to chimneys; breaks branches off trees; pushes over shallow-rooted trees; damages sign boards.

F1 (Moderate tornado) 73-112 mph The lower limit is the beginning of hurricane wind speed; peels surface off roofs; mobile homes pushed off foundations or overturned; moving autos pushed off the roads; attached garages may be destroyed.

F2 (Significant tornado) 113-157 mph Considerable damage. Roofs torn off frame houses; mobile homes demolished; boxcars pushed over; large trees snapped or uprooted; light object missiles generated.

F3 (Severe tornado) 158-206 mph Roof and some walls torn off well constructed houses; trains overturned; most trees in forest uprooted

F4 (Devastating tornado) 207-260 mph Well-constructed houses leveled; structures with weak foundations blown off some distance; cars thrown and large missiles generated.

F5 (Incredible tornado) 261-318 mph Strong frame houses lifted off foundations and carried considerable distances to disintegrate; automobile sized missiles fly through the air in excess of 100 meters; trees debarked; steel reinforced concrete structures badly damaged.

F6 (Inconceivable tornado) 319-379 mph These winds are very unlikely. The small area of damage they might produce would probably not be recognizable along with the mess produced by F4 and F5 wind that would surround the F6 winds. Missiles, such as cars and refrigerators would do serious secondary damage that could not be directly identified as F6 damage. If this level is ever achieved, evidence for it might only be found in some manner of ground swirl pattern, for it may never be identifiable through engineering studies

[quoted from fscale.htm#top]

Between 1950 and 1994, 74% of all of the tornadoes that touched down in the United States were "weak" (F0 or F1), 25% were "strong" (F2 or F3), and only 1% were "violent" (F4 or F5). In fact, growing up in Oklahoma, I remember learning in school that there were only one or two F5 tornadoes in the United States each year. Unfortunately, the tornado that ripped through a densely populated area of southern Oklahoma City Monday night was an F5.

Obviously, it is going to take the people in Oklahoma and Kansas years to recover from these storms and rebuild. For information on how *you* can help the relief efforts in Oklahoma, point your Web browser to

<a href=""> </a>.

For information on helping the relief efforts in Kansas, visit

<a href=""> </a>.

Finally, let me repeat something I shared with you back on April 16th of last year:

Tornadoes aren't limited solely to the United States! In fact, Australia has the second highest incidence of tornadoes, and hundreds of other countries around the world experience tornadoes every year. So how can you protect yourself?

If you are at home when a tornado is sighted:

* Go at once to the basement, storm cellar, or the lowest level of the building.

* If there is no basement, go to an inner hallway or a smaller inner room without windows, such as a bathroom or closet. Get away from the windows. [When I was a kid in Oklahoma, we were taught to open all windows to "equalize the pressure." It turns out that the only thing that this does is get your carpet wet. In other words, KEEP YOUR WINDOWS CLOSED ... and STAY AWAY FROM THEM!]

* Go to the center of the room. Stay away from corners because they tend to attract debris.

* Get under a piece of sturdy furniture such as a workbench or heavy table or desk and hold on to it.

* Use arms to protect head and neck. [Remember all those movies where the airplane is about to crash and everyone is told to "assume crash positions?" That's what you need to do.]

* If in a mobile home, get out and find shelter elsewhere. [It sounds silly, but you'll be a heck of a lot safer lying outside in a soggy ditch.]

All of these tips come from the United States Federal Emergency Management Agency's Tornado fact sheet at

<a href=""> </a>.

READ THIS WEB PAGE! PRINT IT OUT! This page tells you what to do before, during, and after a tornado, as well as what you should do if you are caught in a tornado at work or school, outdoors, or in a car. We don't pull our little bus of Internet happiness into too many Web sites that can save your life. This one can. Read it.

TODAY'S TOURBUS STOP(S): Top Ten Mistakes in Web Design / Tornadoes! TODAY'S TOURBUS ADDRESSES:

--------------------------------- TODAY'S SOUTHERN WORD OF THE WEEK ---------------------------------

SPATIAL (Adjective). Something that is extraordinary. Usage: "Bubba just graduated kindergarten, and he's only 23. Ain't he spatial?!"

[Special thanks to Ana Maria Springer for today's wurd]

You can find all of the old Southern Words of the day at <a href=""> </a>

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