This page contains
our first year of Websites of the Month picks in chronological order of
ending with the first in November of 2003.
So you wanna: buy an air conditioner, make your own beer, find cheap airline
tickets, organize your
closet, be a human guinea pig, buy a DVD player, buy a laptop, lower your
cholesterol, throw a
Christmas party, donate to charity, fake being a wine expert, get laser eye
surgery, go skydiving, have
a well-behaved cat, check out this site.
NASA's Solar System Exploration Website
As some of you long time visitors to our old website know, I had (and still
have) an affinity for space
exploration. I came across this site a while back and have been meaning to post
it here. Well, I've
"rediscovered" it and found that they have enhanced their excellent website: 40
years ago last month,
Mariner 4, lifted off and successfully accomplished it's Mars flyby mission. 30
years ago this month,
Pioneer 11 followed Pioneer 10 as the second spacecraft to visit Jupiter and the
outer solar system.
Also, 5 years ago this month, the Mars Polar Lander was lost during entry of the
You can also explore more of NASA on the web with a drop-down menu located near
the bottom of the
page. Keep your feet on the ground and reach for the stars!
Screen savers, card games, cheats and hints for PC systems, cheats and hints for
PC games, 3D
terrain scenes and flybys from USGS digital elevation models, 62 Freecell Games
Simulation Game á la SimCity, Universally and permanently fix the Windows
2000/XP refresh bug,
Speed Up Windows XP, over 120 pages of games, utilities, screensavers/wallpapers
and freeware to
chose from. As always, when downloading freeware/shareware, always read the
Terms and Conditions
to see what else they may be installing on your PC. Better yet, do a web search
on the program you
are downloading and see what other users have to say about it. Click on
Browse by Topic to choose
the areas the you'd be interested in. My favorites are the
screensavers/wallpaper section. Have fun!
No, this is not military related. If you are reading this then you are using a
PC and every now and then
you need to maintain your PC almost better than your car. If you are looking for
a software site,
whether it be utilities for your PC, programs to make your life productive or to
while your time away.
This site has it all. From newbies to oldies, from lite surfers to heavy
surfers, from the occaisional PC
user to the power user, you will find this site to be extremely useful.
Misc and a Real Time Wasting Activity.
This guy is something else. He decorates his house with lights during Horrorween
and Christmas and
webcams it on the internet. He must have a lot of time on his hands.
When you watch the news, every now and then you'll see a segment where they
implode a bridge or
a building with explosives. Wish you could see more? Well, now you can. On the
left column on the
home page, click on Cinema Explosip and you will find 26 selections of short
video clips to chose
from. If you click on Implosion Live, you'll find 13 longer videos. You must
have RealPlayer to view
these. You can download the player from a link on either page. Elsewhere on this
site are some
interesting reading about the implosion industry.
HDTV and Closed Captions
As most of you folks know, I used to repair all kinds of electronic devices and
with the advent of
Closed Captions included inside of TV sets, it made me wonder which HDTV sets
mandated captioning circuitry. I found the Zenith C34W23 to be the only set
available (as of this
writing) to be ideal for us Deafies, according to the Zenith webpage: (Click
here and type in
in the search box).
As in the past with analog televisions, Zenith has worked closely with
to make Closed
Captions work with HDTV. So if you like to have HDTV with Closed Captions and
and pay the cheap
price of $1500, I'd say test it out at the store and go for it!
If you want to know more about HDTV in general click
Fun, Fun, Fun and other time wasting activities:
Can you see through these optical illusions? Can you tell what is real and what
your mind is
imagining? Go through these optical illusions and see if you past the test.
A well-rounded collection of optical illusions from all over the world for you,
including the ever-famous
old lady/young woman picture! I challenge you try the optical illusions for
yourself. Have fun!
Famous Deaf People
Every one knows some famous Deaf people and us Deafies knows quite a few more,
but did you
know that the "father of the Internet" happens to be hard of hearing? How about
the fact that the
founder of the Girl Scouts in America was deafened as well as being one of the
few deaf people who
have been honored on a postage stamp? I don't remember how I
came across this About site, but it
does contain a lot of links to other Deaf related articles, issues, and
This website is kind of neat. If you have a new found friend that wants to learn
ASL or a young
that is fascinated with your signing, you should show them this site. It has an
index for you
words as well as letters to see it signed.
Go to the middle of this page to make sure you have Quicktime 5.0 so you can
watch the videos. If
you don't have it, click on the Download link for the free install and return to
this page so you can
click on "Take me to the ASL Browser".
Lee McDaniel sent me some redneck pictures from this site. After I recovered
from laughing, I went
this site myself and found some more crazy pictures. They also have other
"strange" sites related to
Dangers, Politics, Military and 3 more. The main page usually deals with funny
events and is usually updated every couple of days, so once a week I visit and
This television archive site is quirky but effective. To make good use of it,
click on the Search link on
the left after you click on the picture at the home page and type in a keyword
of a TV show you are
interested in. I typed in "leap" for Quantum Leap and the results mostly found
articles on Dr. Samuel
"Sam" Becker (Scott Bakula, currently as Capt. Archer in Star Trek: Enterprise).
Later I tried
to find the TV series "Alien Nation" (FOX 1989-91). BOOM! The search result give
I was hoping for. Example: Clicking on the first link at the search result, you
will come to
called "Outer Space Aliens". Go to the bottom of this l o n g paragraph, and
& PHRASES". On this page go down to the 7th paragraph to "Bobby Ewing
As I said,
quirky but effective.
This site was sent in by Lee McDaniel pointing to the Billboards section which I
really enjoyed. This
site also has hilarious pictures in the Funny Photos and do click on "Pictures"
at the bottom left of
the top banner. I also enjoyed the Trivia and Fallacies section under What's
New. Be warned though,
other areas of the site has some suggestive content but no worst than what you
see on HBO,
Showtime, or DVD rentals.
Yeah, the Guinness Book of World Records has a website. This website is very
those books of old, I could not leave some some sections till I was finished
with it. Even the
I was never interested in, I ended up reading those, too.
Picture is Worth a 1000 Words
There's two ways to do this. Um....there's a perspective here, which side of
the lens do you want
to believe? This is one of the few sites out there where you will have to
to visit. The
who contributed their work spent a lot of time working
on these surrealistic
photos in all
categories. The premise is that an artist would take
photograph and using their
photo editor(s) and edit that photo
within the rules of the
contest. Every time I visit this site,
fails to amaze me. A thousand
words will not be
enough to praise the artists or the photos
in this site.
Take A Walk Through Time; An illustrated history of timekeeping from
ancient to modern methods.
Check out the Calendars through the ages; A short overview of our current
calendar, as well as other
ethnic and historical calendars. Discover the fascinating stories behind the
invention of the quartz
watch. Daylight saving time, its history and why we use it. This site is
gonna take a lot of your time.
I watch a lot of television, who doesn't? It's a habit, good, bad, or is
it a forced habit? There's a
TV set in every room of my house. (Of course, I didn't buy any of them,
remember, I used to work
on them. These were TV sets that customers never returned to pick up).
Anyway, the TV Guide
magazine we received every week was almost never used because near each TV
is a computer
that if I wanted to see what program I was interested in, it was easier
for me to go to their
bookmarked website than to hunt down the magazine. So I just click on the
presto, the evening's program grid is there for me to see what's on.
To get yourself set up, you must register, but it's free. After you set up
your preferences, you will
eventually come to your TV grid page so bookmark that and you are good to
A cool game site where you can waste time getting addicted to catching
bees, delivering toys,
or even shoot cannonballs at falling rocks and dragons. My favorite is
trying to capture a UFO
on a video camera and watching the results. Lots of fun interactive games.
The Museum of Unnatural History
Yes, you read this right, the Museum of Unnatural History, not Natural
History. This is a virtual
museum of various alternate subjects not taught in school, well....not in
my days. Anyhow, I spent
hours on this site. This site has tons of information. It has a section
about the Devil's Tower which
was featured in the movie, "Close
Encounters of the Third Kind". A section on the seven (ten)
the World. Man eating plants, the Hindenburg Disaster - accident or
Edison really invented the light bulb? Was the Star of
Bethlehem actually a comet? Is there a 10th
planet in our solar system?
They also have graphic novel based on Jules Verne's famous story "20,000
Leagues Under the
This month starts with chapter one. I have never
read the book so I'm going to get started.
After clicking on this site, click on Main Museum Entrance:
Yes, the daughter of our own Classmate, Lewis, owns a writing service business.
about that? She provides a wealth of writing services for the
Deaf as well as for the public. Trudy has
the expertise for letter writing and
e-mails, both personal and business. On her website, you will find
that she has
a wide range of services which includes writing articles, presentations,
everything in between. You will also see that Trudy has done work
for some of the well known Deaf
publications and Deaf service providers. Oh, yeah, did I mention that she's Deaf and
proud of it? She
has done Lewis proud. Congrats to Trudy for doing what no Deafie
has done before.
Let Trudy take care of your words. You'll be glad you did.
Did you know?
There are 388 National Parks in the good ole US of A? What's your favorites?
My favorites are the Blue Ridge Parkway and the Great Smokey Mountains. I made
trips up there. One year I took a whole week and a half, starting at the
beginning of the Blue Ridge
Parkway which is called Skyland Drive near
Washington, DC and finished the trip with a blast at
http://www.blueridgeparkway.org/linncove.htm Don't forget to click on
April Showers brings May Flowers?
Well, I prefer April Showers brings Summer Vegetables....
I have a BIG green
thumb and I plant veggies in the spring and do not use a tiller except to
garden so I'll have less grass to cut. I pull back the mulch a bit,
plant my seeds or young plants, put
the mulch back and harvest in the summer.
What dies out in the summer, fall planting goes in it's
place. Whatever you do,
don't plant morning glory, it's a stubborn weed as far as I'm concerned.
Yeah, you guessed it, a gardening website is one of the sites of the month for
April. But there's
a catch. I grow roses, pansies, borage, tulips, nasturtiums and plenty of gem
marigolds from my
tomato plants area, pull the flowers, grab me some lettuces and make me a salad.
double duty by acting as an insect repellant for the tomato plants. Mmm, mmm, good! You think I'm
nuts, don't you? Check out this site, it might
make you hungry.
No, it's not a shoot 'em up on the web. This site has a gallery of pictures
available for downloading, but
in order to use it you will need to download
Webshots which is free, of course. Not only that, this
program does two things:
It will automatically change the background on your desktop and it will also
serve as a screensaver which provides you with a slide show when your computer
is idle. (Don't forget
to go to your Windows screensaver settings and select
Webshots to activate the Wait box and select
how long you want your system to
wait before going into screen saving mode).
You can set up the Webshots program to automatically download one picture
everyday and/or you
could also browse through the gallery and download them yourself but you are
limited to 5 downloads
a day. No problem here, you can also add your own
pictures and create your own gallery.
I've been using this program for years. I've accumulated enough pictures where I
go to the program's
Photo Manager every few weeks and select different groups of
pictures to display.
Webshots.....give it a shot!
Huh? Digital what? Draws your attention, does it? This site is my companion to
Webshots has real life pictures, this site provides surreal
images. I like Tropical Moon of Thetis which
is found in Planetarium in the Pick
a Gallery menu. Try the Night Scenery and Day scenery sections.
When you find an image you like, click on it and the next screen will have a
selection of screen
resolutions to choose from. I always pick 1024 x 769 even though I'm using 800 x
600. Your PC will
automatically reset your pictures to your current
I just might change my PC settings to 1024 x 769 one day and if I do I'm set.
Check out the site
and go blasphemy your computer!
The Closed Captioning
Debate - The Final Word
Website of the Month
featured the fact that Closed Captioning was not going away. The
editor of the
national e-mail newsletter,
DeafDigest, said it best:
"And do not blame President Bush for the curtailing of captioning funds. It
was President Clinton that
started it all! The TV industry, one way or other,
will have to cough up captioning funds to comply with
the ADA regulations. This
is why DEAFDIGEST
editor refuses to panic."
DeafDigest Blue - March 7, 2004
Read The Paper!
Have you ever wanted to read newspapers from a town you use to live in or maybe
just wanted to see
what was going on in other cities? This Cool Site gives you
an extensive collection of links to almost
every newspaper, TV Station, and
Radio station in virtually every area of the United States.
This site boasts, “Unseen worlds of change will be revealed. You will see time
sped up and slowed
down, and behold the beauty of change. Time will be in your
hands to witness, replay, and even
create. You never know...you might not look at things quite the same way again.”
Having spent a couple of hours at the site, I will say that they have their
bragging rights on this one. It's
fabulous. Choose the To See and Do section and start your journey through
You can visit the Gallery and flit through their time experiments. Or you can
choose Activities and get
creative. In the Activities section there are three
challenges that let you get your hands on time. Give
them a try, and become
masters of time. I particularly enjoyed the Fractal Tree challenge in the
Activity section. I’m sure you will too.
Library of Photography
Welcome to Picture.com! A site filled with photos, photos, and more photos.
What’s it about? Well
here’s what they say in their "About Us" section:
“The International Library of Photography was founded to provide a vehicle for
to gain exposure through publication of their photos in
our hardbound anthologies and on our Internet
site (www.picture.com). Our
philosophy has always been that photography is a form of artistic
that is shared and enjoyed by many people, and should be available to everyone.”
Why am I recommending this site?
A: The photography is fantastic.
B: They have a puzzle contest in which you are entered to win $50.
C: They have a photography contest for those of you amateurs who’d like to win
D: You can send free e-cards to all your friends.
I love this photography site. I hope you enjoy it too!
All above three Websites of the month selections are courtesy of Steve at
In response to the many e-mail fads and hoaxes that I have received in the last
6 weeks, I am
these sites. It seems that these chain e-mail letters and
e-mail letters saying "e-mail this to
of your friends and you will
receive something back" or "forward this to at least 5 people
and see what
on your screen", is ever so rampant. No wonder the internet is slow at times.
Urban Legends Reference Page
I have referred this site many times to check if a chain letter e-mail is
true or not, but that’s just one
the many uses for this site. Because Urban
Legends cover so many different categories they have
nicely divided it into
sections for your easy viewing. I particularly enjoyed the Disney and Critter
Country sections of this site.
here to go straight to the e-mail hoax page (Inbox Rebellion)
Click here to go straight to the Computer/Internet hoax page
Truth or Fiction - that is the question…
This is another site where you can find out whether that rumor you got in your
e-mail is true, find out
there is merit to a warning, find out if it’s really a virus or a virus
hoax, and so much more.
If you start by reading the ‘About Us’ section of this site you can find out
about their labeling
system, Truth, Fiction, Reported Truth or Reported Fiction, Unproven,
Disputed, Truth & Fiction,
Previously Truth Now Ended or Now Resolved, which is a tremendous help in
each category means.
So when you run across that next burning question like, “ Is this really a
virus?” You can find that
out here, or if you receive that ever-popular plea, “Help me find my missing
child.” You can find out if
that child is truly missing or if it is a money
ploy. Check it out.
Captioning Is NOT Going Away!
There was a recent email I received this week (January 30, 2004) regarding a
NAD press release
the Department of
Education was going to withdraw or cease funding for about 200 TV shows. I
could understand what the uproar was about. The FCC mandate is that there will
Closed Captions. As a matter of fact, there will be Closed
Captions for Spanish Deafies.
about it here at the FCC website:
Regarding the lost of federal funding for Closed Captioning, I watched the
beginning and ending
in Closed Captioning of all the shows I watched in the 4 days
since I received that e-mail.
what I found that was Closed Captioned
without federal funds:
ALL 4 local channel newscasts.
2 old movies on TNT.
At least 4 programs on PBS.
2 dramas and 4 comedies on 3 different networks.
2 syndicated comedies.
See for yourself. There is no need for me to list here any Closed Captioned
shows that were not
funded by the US Department of Education because you can check for yourself on
your own TV.
Even the Superbowl Closed Captioned programming on CBS all day was not
federal funded! There's
bunch of shows that are Closed Captioned without
federal funds! Get over it! Why worry? Enjoy!
To quell the rumors: Captioning Is NOT Going Away
http://www.robson.org/gary/captioning/rumor-killer.html June 2004 -
page not available.
Feb. 25, 2004
As of October 1, 2003, due to changes in federal legislation, funds from the
U.S. Department of
Education are no longer allowed to be used to caption shows that are not
included in this measure ranged from major network
series such as Law and Order, Malcolm
Middle, JAG and The Simpsons, as
well as many cable series on A&E, American Movie
Nick at Nite/TV Land
and others. Many sports programs were also included such as NFL
football on FOX; major league baseball on FOX, ESPN and ABC; NASCAR racing on
NBA/NCAA basketball and PGA golf on ABC and ESPN.
These changes in federal legislation do not mean that these shows will not be
captioned; rather, it
means that the distributors of the programs will not be
able to use federal funding for their shows. In
order for the program to be
captioned, the money will have to come out of their own budget.
It is important that to know that while the Department of Education is
discontinuing funding of the
captioning of some programming, it will not affect the captioning mandate. Most
networks still have
caption 1,350 hours per quarter (about 15 hours/day) as
of January of this year.
I suggest you contact the U.S. Department of Education to find out more about
this decision and
how they reached it. They can be reached at:
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202
Fax: (202) 401-0689
I hope this information is helpful. Please don't hesitate to contact me further
if you have
additional questions or feedback.
Help Desk Coordinator
On a lighter note, I give you this:
Astronomy Picture of the Day
Every day see a different part of the cosmos. See an image or photograph of
the universe, with an
explanation given by an astronomer. Beautiful photographs
with interesting explanations. Check it out.
About Famous People
As a kid in school, I had a hard time finding women in history, this site
has a fabulous collection of
information of famous women throughout history. From First Ladies to
Spies, you'll find it all here,
to mention famous men as well.
Get information on the Presidents, and their first ladies, homes and
monuments that were erected to
honor famous people, what days of the year are dedicated to famous men and
women around the
globe. All in all I was fascinated and captivated by this site for several
hours. Check it out!
Live Manuals -
site not available - April 2007
You can find a manual for just about anything on this site. You can search
by manufacturer or by
product or you can just look through all the categories. This site rated
in Yahoo's top 50 for useful
sites. I think this one is a favorite, so bookmark it now.
I looked up my digital camera, because I've been having trouble with the
pictures coming out very
badly. And its not like you can retake the photos of graduation or
weddings or other important
wanted to get a handle on it for my sisters graduation.
I searched by category, choosing photography, and then the brand name of
my camera. Clicking on
Vivitar Digital Products, I found my camera's manual just waiting for me.
I clicked manual and there it
was, my answers right there and I didn't have to spend hours searching for
Easy and useful, how great is that? Enjoy!
Optical Illusions -
site not available - June 2004
Can you see through these optical illusions? Can you tell what is real and
what your mind is
imagining? Go through these optical illusions and see if you past the
A well-rounded collection of optical illusions from all over the world for
you, including the ever-famous
old lady/young woman picture! I challenge you try the optical illusions
for yourself. Have fun!
All above three Websites of the month selections are courtesy of Steve at
Movies for the Deaf
(Open-Captioned Movies for Deaf) -
Site not available - June 2004
This is a great site, but only if there is a Movies for the Deaf theater
near you. In North Carolina there
is only one theater, in Morrisville, a small town nested in the heart of
the Research Triangle Park,
outside of the reach of the Deaf population of the state. Doesn't make
any sense to me.
But other states has more than one Movies for the Deaf theater,
hopefully they're located near the
North Carolina Roads
The Highways of North Carolina
You've heard.....I mean read about Dead Man's Curve haven't you? I'm not
talking about the infamous
"Dead Man's Curve" on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles, California made
infamous in song and
movies. I am referring to North Carolina's own "Dead Man's Curve" near
Mocksville and Wilson.
Back in the late 60's, before the stretch of I-40 was completely open
around Mocksville, NC, my
parents transported me from Raleigh to NCSD and vice-versa on US 64 from
Statesville to Hickory.
East or west of Mocksville, there was a dangerous stretch of road that
we called Dead Man's Curve,
because every time we rode it, there was a wreck or evidence of a wreck.
Anyway, to make a long story short, for the past three years, I have
been trying to locate this
of road. This year, during my research, I found this website,
I spent nearly a
half a day
looking around at this site.
This site even has historical information on roads where the roads'
route number(s) has changed. It
even has an "Interchange Museum" featuring some of North Carolina's most
It's a very informative website, that is if you are interested on the
various trivia of North Carolina's
Please note that as of January 2004, mapquest has ceased the Aerial
Photos tab on their maps.
I have a love/hate relationship with this site. I despise it because
it's not always accurate. When I
used it back around 1998, it directed me to a middle of farm land when I
was looking for a store
shopping center. As recent as October 2003, it directed me 6 miles short
of my target address
last month, in November, the site pointed me 4 miles pass the address I
was looking for.
OK, enough of the negatives, what I really like about mapquest are the
aerial photos they provide. To
see where Dead Man's Curve used to be in Wilson, follow these
In the Address bar, type in Jonesey Rd., in the City bar, Wilson and in
State/Prov. bar type in NC, then click on Get Map.
On the upper left side, you will see 264A and BYP264 intersecting
outside the map. Move your
mouse pointer as close as you can towards this intersection but away from Jonesey Rd. and click.
This will move the intersection near the middle of the map.
Now here comes the fun part. Click on the Aerial Photo button at the top
of the map. What you
should see is the aerial photo of the interchange.
At the right of the bridge is the off ramp from US 264 westbound (the
road from the bottom of the
map (south)) to the to US 264A eastbound (the road going east).
Look closely now, from the middle of this off-ramp curving up towards
the upper right to the
eastbound lane of US 264A going towards Wilson is the grassy path of
what used to be the Dead
Man's Curve of Wilson.
Dead Man's Curve of Wilson started under that bridge and then curved to
the east. Back then, the
speed limit was 65 and there was warning signs to slow down to 35 before
entering the curve, then
resuming speed to 55.
Now, click on the Zoom In (+) button and you can get a close up view.
You should be able to see
vehicles on the road. You can also click your mouse to a point of
interest and it will recenter itself.
And no, I still haven't found that peculiar stretch of US 64 near
Mocksville. I think the road has been
straightened out and erased from history. If anyone out there in
cyberspace can be of help, do
Through several newsletters I receive as well as surfing, I find that
there are still all kinds of websites
developing everyday. Some are sensible, some are excellent researching
resources, some are kind
of wacky, some brings back old memories, and anyway you look at it, all
are very informative. There
are, millions if not billions of websites out there
to choose from for whatever
interest that suits you.
This month, we are starting a new feature, Websites of the Month. We'll
select 2 or 3 sites of interest.
We had relatives over Sunday afternoon after Horrorween and the subject of
different kinds of
and gums came up. I brought up the Teaberry brand chewing gum which is my
favorite that I
been able to locate around here for about 12 years now. Our young
relatives had never heard
of it so
I went to my favorite search engine and did a search so I can show them a
picture what the
And guess what? I found a groovy candy store website that not only sells
Teaberry gum, but also
sells all kinds of candy that we haven't seen in years.
Do click on
and go down the list on the left column and see if you
find your favorite candy.
In my opinion, this is the mother of all search engines. I have it
integrated in my browser's
toolbar. And about two months ago, I also took advantage of the new built
in pop-up blocker. It has a
little indicator that lets you know how many pop-ups it has blocked. As of
this writing (11/06/03),
2,300 pop-ups has been blocked by the google toolbar. As of 10/03/04,
12,700 pop-ups has been
Go to the
and click on more >>. Go towards the bottom of this page and
click on Google Toolbar. Follow the instructions and you'll be googling in
Fun, Fun, Fun and other time wasting activities:
On This Day...
I thought this website was cool (worthless, but cool). You can enter
your birth date and find out how
old you are compared to famous people. It also will tell you about how
old you were when certain
world events were going on.
For example, I'm only 6 years younger than our Current President, and I
was only about a 7 years
when Hawaii was admitted as 50th state. Oops, I think my age is
Please report any dead links, your comments (hopefully good, but I will
welcome and accept any
criticism, with the right to reprint your comments,
elsewhere on this website) to make your webpage
the best class website on the web. You can contact me on the Contacts page
from the left column.
Links to other sites do not necessarily represent endorsement by NCSD
Class of 1970 or Latkowski
Web Design. These pages look best when viewed on my computer over at my house.