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Date:         Fri, 11 Feb 2000 00:36:39 -0600
Sender:       The Internet TourBus - A virtual tour of cyberspace
From:         Patrick Douglas Crispen 
Subject:      TOURBUS -- 10 FEB 00 -- V-DAY / 21 ESSENTIAL SITES (PART ONE)
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            TOURBUS Volume 5, Number 66 -- 10 February 2000
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     \___/  \___/  T h e   I n t e r n e t   T o u r B u s    \___/
  Free Greeting Cards, Polls and more fun at !
    Valentines Day / Crispen's 21 Essential Sites (Part One)
    Yep ... there are plenty of addresses.
Howdy, y'all, and greetings once again from beautiful Tuscaloosa,
Alabama.  :)
TOURBUS is made possible by the kind support of our sponsors.  I thank
the folks at "," "," and
"" for making today's post possible.  As always,
please visit our wonderful sponsors and thank them for keeping the bus
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On with the show ...
Happy Valentines Day!
Since Monday is Valentines Day, I have a present for you: an online
greeting card from our friends at Blue Mountain Arts.  You can pick it
up (for free) at .
And if no one else has said this to you yet, let me be the first:
Happy Valentines Day!  :)
Crispen's 21 Essential Web Sites
For the past couple of weeks, I have had the privilege of spending a
day at each of the schools in the Tuscaloosa County School system,
helping their teachers learn a little bit more about how to use the
Internet in the classroom.  In the process, I have developed a list of
21 "essential" Web sites.  I have always believed that once someone
gives you a list of really good Web sites to start off with, you
become a heck of a lot more confident online.  And once you have
confidence, you start using the Internet more and more.
Of course, if you read TOURBUS you are already smarter and
significantly better looking than the rest of your online brethren.
You also already know about most of the sites on my list -- we've
talked about them in TOURBUS.  Still, on the off chance that you might
be helping a friend or family member start their journeys on the Net,
I thought you'd like to see my list of essential Web sites.  Today's
post contains my top ten (in no particular order).  I send you the
remaining eleven next week.
Oh, and feel free to rewrite, edit, modify, and redistribute this list
... it is my Valentines Day gift to you.  :)
1) Yahoo
One of the Net's most popular search engines, even though it really
isn't a search engine -- it is a directory (like a phone book).  Yahoo
only archives the title and one-paragraph descriptions of Web pages.
Since Yahoo is a directory, it is a great resource to help you
*locate* something -- like Boeing's homepage, a time schedule for the
London Underground, or a collection of links to pages for people who
like platypuses -- but it is not so good for "encyclopedia" or
"research" questions like "who said 'I regret that I have but one wife
to give my country?'"  [It was Bob Dole.]
2) Yahooligans
Yahoo for kids.  GREAT for elementary school (K-6) students, as well
as for adults looking for 'simple' information (for example,
information about spider monkeys).  Yahooligans is SPECTACULAR for
biographical searches (Rosa Parks, Garrett Augustus Morgan, and so on).
3) Altavista
A very powerful search engine with a HUGE database.  You can also use
AltaVista to search for pictures -- just click on AltaVista's "Images"
COMMENT: to teach someone how to search the Net, I usually go to Yahoo
and do a vanity search for me: Patrick Crispen.  Yahoo returns seven
hits.  I then do the same search at AltaVista, which usually results
in excess of 750,000 hits.  Even though that number is staggering, I
point out that the first page of hits -- the "top 10" -- usually
contains what you are looking for.  Never underestimate the importance
of the top 10!
Why does AV display 750,000+ hits for me?  Well, AV is looking for
every page with the word Patrick on it and/or every page with the word
Crispen on it, regardless of where those words are located on the
page.  You could conceivably have a page that says "Patrick Henry said
'give me liberty or give me death,' and to make great chicken you have
to crispen it."
This is a good point to introduce search engine math -- using quotes
for phrases, using minus signs to exclude words ("Patrick Crispen"
-Roadmap), and using plus signs to require words ("Patrick Crispen"
-Roadmap +TOURBUS).
This, of course, leads us to ...
4) Search Engine Watch
The best place to learn EVERYTHING you need to know about search
engines.  To learn how to search the Web, click on "Web Searching
Tips" and then choose either "Search Engine Math" or "Power Searching
for Anyone."
COMMENT: When you search Yahoo, that's all you are searching: Yahoo.
When you search AltaVista, that's all you are searching: AltaVista.
Wouldn't it be great to be able to search ALL of the search engines at
once?  Well, you can ...
5) Dogpile
Your new favorite search engine.  Dogpile sends your searches to over
a dozen search engines, showing you the first ten hits from each
(which, we already know, are the strongest hits).
COMMENT: Of course, this brings up a problem: most search engines will
link to ANYTHING, regardless of whether or not it is good.  How can we
limit our searches to just the good stuff?  Well, one way is to visit
6) Google
A "popularity" search engine.  Google sorts your hits based on the how
popular they are -- in other words, how many other sites point to that
particular hit.
COMMENT: Of course, while using a mathematical algorithm to determine
which pages are the best is a nice way to weed out the garbage,
nothing beats a human editor.  So, in steps ...
7) Britannica
The Encyclopedia Britannica's Web site.  The site includes the
Britannica Internet Guide, all of the articles in the Encyclopedia
Britannica, and much more.  (And don't forget to read about Kim
8) Ditto
A family-friendly image search engine.  The folks at ditto look at
each image before adding it to their database, and they do not link to
any offensive imagery.
9) Gateway to Educational Materials
A search engine for high quality lesson plans, curriculum units, and
other education resources on the Internet.  Think of it as the Dogpile
of lesson plans -- it searches EVERYTHING.  (Try doing a search for
11th grade lesson plans for The Crucible.)
10) Intellicast
The BEST Weather site on the Net.  Intellicast's radar imagery is
fantastic, and their forecasts use both Fahrenheit and Celsius.
BONUS: The Southern Word Homepage
The single most important Web site in the entire world.  :)
That's it for this week!  Have a safe and happy weekend, and we'll
talk again next week.
    Valentines Day / Crispen's 21 Essential Sites
    Yep ... there are plenty of addresses.
WAND AND DONNED (phrase).  To entertain.
Usage: "Me and Bubba wand and donned at Doe's Eat Place in Little
[Special thanks to Nancy Couch for today's wurd]
You can find all of the old Southern Words of the day at 
The Internet Tourbus - U.S. Library of Congress ISSN #1094-2239
Copyright © Bob Rankin and Patrick Crispen - All rights reserved
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