Eye on the Web, with Mary Westheimer

this month's shows

"The Internet brings a never-ending spectrum of gifts from our amazing world. I'm lucky enough to share some of them with the listeners of KNLS, a shortwave station that reaches all 50 U.S. states and 124 other countries. At KNLS, the show is in the very capable hands of Rob Scobey and Real Peloquin. This show also is made possible by our talented and charming sponsor, sculptor Kevin Caron.

"So please join us for some fun, surprises and lots of things you can find only online."

                    - Mary Westheimer

If you'd like to contribute sites for future shows,
please e-mail Mary at mary@kevincaron.com. Thanks!

S ometimes it takes seeing to believe. Now we all know that not everything we see online is real, but sometimes we get to see things that are made to look real, and they can be amazing. Such is the case with SandFantasy, the site of artist Ilana Yahav. Now this isn't a site you go to to be wowed by how wonderfully it's designed or organized, but one, rather, you visit to see what you'd otherwise have to travel to faraway places to experience. Fortunately for us, Web video allows us to see Yahav's incredible animated creations, which she makes using sand on a glass table. Using specific song lyrics and themes, she creates flowing stories that you can hardly believe are made with such simple tools. The site enables you to see six different videos, all performed to inspiring music. And that is definitely worth seeing.

Y ou can meet the most interesting people online. Not all of them, of course, are real. Take, for instance, Mary Woodbridge. Or perhaps she'll take you, because Mary is the brainchild of a very creative advertising campaign for a climbing gear company. This fabrication makes Mary Woodbridge's Everest Expedition that much more fun. This delightful English site introduces us to Mary, a charming 85-year-old woman who is preparing to climb Mt. Everest with her dachsund, Daisy. You can peek in on their training, learn about their route, find out more about Mary's idols and her fans, read some of Mary's tips and sign her guestbook. Mary even has a merchandising area, which, in the most gracious way, pokes fun at sites that sell advertising schlock. On every page, you can see an ad for her sponsor, which we really must thank for introducing us to such a lovely person!

S ay it's so! That's exactly what the site American Rhetoric does, in the most elegant of style. This graphically attractive, well-organized site speaks to "the power of oratory in the United States" in a variety of fascinating ways. I found the top 100 speeches, the most requested talks, movie speeches and short audio clips. And that was just on the homepage! The heart of the site, though, is its bank of more than 5,000 speeches in print, audio and video. You'll also find historic information about rhetoric, long and helpful lists of rhetoric publications and organizations, a rhetoric quiz and a fascinating account of an incident involving the flamboyant basketball player Dennis Rodman and a referee from different perspectives. That's worth a visit in itself! But once you're there, you'll see so much more to investigate. And that's worth shouting about!

T here's a new town in town. At least that's what it seems like when you visit TagWorld. It's an online community that has music, photos, blogs, video, Web sites, interactive classifieds - and 1.6 million inhabitants. Like MySpace before it, TagWorld is integrating various forms of media and technology, including, in its case, major record label power and Flickr photo capabilities, and attracting lots of people who are looking to connect. This online community touts tags - which it describes as ways to identify and organize items - as the glue that holds all of this together. The site is slick, and I'm sure attractive to a younger set, as evidenced by its posts, photos and music options. TagWorld's volume is metaphorically loud, and I suspect that's just the way its investors like it and its participants feel most at home.

Thanks for visiting, and come back next month for more fun from Eye on the Web.
Meanwhile, please visit our sponsor, sculptor Kevin Caron.

Click here to check out previous 2006 shows.

Click here to check out shows from 2005 and earlier.