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Aug. 12, 2003, 8:56AM

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Copyright 2003 Houston Chronicle

AMERICA SPEAKS -- Depending on the speaker and the topic, speeches can put you to sleep, inspire you or ignite your passion about something. American Rhetoric, at www.americanrhetoric.com, is the work of Michael E. Eidenmuller, who just happens to be in Tyler. On the site, you will find the text and often the audio for some of the greatest and most famous public speeches, sermons, legal proceedings, lectures, debates, interviews and other recorded media events. The audio clips are mainly samples of the different rhetorical devices used to induce an audience to cooperate with a speaker's purpose and are by actors, politicians, singers and athletes. You're sure to find words of wisdom and inspiration -- and maybe a few chuckles along the way.

HOOPLA -- Wham-O's Hula Hoop was introduced in 1958, and sales reached 100 million worldwide that first year. As is the nature of human beings, there were bound to be all manner of contests using the round rings of plastic. Hula Hoop World Records, at www.recordholders.org/en/list/hulahoop.html, is where you will find the records for the zany and seemingly impossible things that people have jumped through hoops to accomplish. In 1986, Tonya Lyn Mistal hula hooped for 88 hours without a break, and without it going above her shoulders or below her knees. Check out the numbers for the most hoops at once, the largest hoop, and running 100 meters while spinning a hoop.

BLACK AND WHITE -- Some people eat them just as they come. Others pull the chocolate discs apart and go after the filling. What are they? If you guessed Oreo cookies, you're correct. They've been around since 1912, and over the last couple of decades they've been offered in different versions. OreoStuf, at www.jeffmajor.com/oreos, is one man's vision of how the cookie can be taken to even greater heights. He proposes more filling and more versions of the product to satisfy the many ways that cookie lovers devour them. There is even a suggested commercial for you to chew on. Nicely covered are the misconceptions about the round temptations, such as what is actually in the center, and the proper way of downing the durable delights.

TRAVELING GEORGE -- Money, money, money. It's everywhere as it comes and goes each day. Have you ever wondered where your dollars came from or where they're going? Where's George, at www.wheresgeorge.com, offers a way for you to jump into the fray and find out where that dollar you spent on non-winning lottery ticket is headed. Of course, the people who get your dollar have to register the fact that they have received it, so it's not a perfect system. It is, however, interesting to see how many miles the already registered dollars have traveled, and how long it took them to get there. This might be for folks with a lot of time on their hands, but what a fun way to spend an hour!

TRACKING A LEGEND -- He was born in 1934, and over the next six years he took the world by storm, becoming the symbol of the underdog who could succeed. PBS's Seabiscuit, at www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/seabiscuit, tells the story of the little horse and the people around him. There are broadcasts of some of his races, a Flash version of what the Santa Anita Park was like in the 1930s, and a gallery of other winning horses throughout the years. A transcript of an interview with the author of the book that has reignited the story is also included. She wrote the book in 2001, even though she was suffering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and vertigo. The information is beautifully trotted out, and belongs in the winners circle.

Cay Dickson is a Web site designer in Houston. Her e-mail address is ocayd@ocay.com, and her site is www.ocay.com.

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