Brave New World
By David O. Dabney
July 8, 1997: There are many mysteries we just shouldn't know about, like exactly what sort of meat is used in carne adovada. But sometimes your curiosity gets the better of you. This week's "Brave New World" is dedicated to finding those sites that help you with three essential mysteries. In ascending order: "Does that girl (or guy) have a secret crush on me?"; Is there really a bloodsucking alien presence on our earth?", and "Exactly what does Spam look like after sitting six weeks in the open air?"
Please, Mr. Postman: If you're over five years old and reading this column, you've probably experienced that usual cycle: get a crush, tell the crushee, get squashed like a bug (hence "crush?"). Now there is a way to see if that certain someone feels the same way about you, without sticking your proverbial neck out. It works in three easy steps. First you go to the Web site and plug your crush's e-mail address. The site will then send a letter to your crush explaining what the Secret Admirer site is about and that someone has a crush on them, without revealing your name. If your crush is interested, they will then go to the Secret Admirer site and then all will be revealed! (http://www.secretadmirer.com/about.htm)
At the Chupa, Chupacabra: If you listen to as much late night talk radio as I do, you've probably heard about this phenomenon already. After starting in Puerto Rico, the legend of the Chupacabra (Goatsucker) spread first to Mexico, and now it's arrived here in the United States. These creatures supposedly appear at the same time as UFOs and leave mutilated animals behind. The creepy part is, they suck all the blood out of the poor goats, cows, chickens, etc. The Chupacabra supposedly has red eyes, is very strong and looks like a cross between those aliens in that autopsy tape and a regular human. Ewwww.
Now a site has arrived that puts all this "important" knowledge in one place. The "Chupaplooza" site is sponsored by Parascope, an online conspiracy magazine. This place has everything: history of the sightings, proposed Puerto Rican government actions, sightings in Mexico and the United States, supposed pictures of the creature as well as artist's renditions, links to other Chupacabra sites and even lyrics to songs about the creature! (http://www.parascope.com/en/1096/chupa/chupa.htm)
Spam in a Cam: This site is best viewed before you eat anything. Really. It all started off as an experiment to see how Spam would decay over long periods of time if exposed to air. "But," you say, "that happens in my house every week!" The difference here is that, for your amusement and viewing pleasure, they take a picture of it every so often and post it on their Web site. So far they've done four experiments with various types of Spam and are now on their fifth, adding animal crackers, donuts, a potato and mac and cheese to the ubiquitous Spam. You can view close-ups of the ongoing experiment or fondly review the experiments of the past, complete with "lab notes" and incremental pictures. You're also encouraged to send in your suggestions of what should rot next as well as pictures of your own experiments in rot. (http://www.fright.com/cgi-bin/spamcam)
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