Friday, August 31, 2001 Volume 67, Issue 8



Get your coffee information fix and compare your favorite movies online


Kristin Buchanan

Sometimes, college courses can be incredibly dull. With a core curriculum requiring a wide range of undesirable courses, it's hard to
find that motivation to learn.

If you find yourself becoming jaded and unable to transfer the plethora of unpractical facts, numbers and theories into the gray
matter, try learning something fun for a change.

The World Wide Web offers information on every subject imaginable, and some of it is actually from reliable sources.

Here's a little to get you started on the real road to a higher education:

You've read countless movie reviews, but actually gives interpretations of films, from box office hits to cult

This site goes far beyond contemporary criticisms and digs beyond the surface, explaining the symbolism and rhetoric involved in

In the interpretation of Tim Burton's Planet of the Apes, draws a parallel to the controversial films Birth of a Nation
and White Man's Burden.

Both movies were highly esteemed by the Ku Klux Klan and propagandized the concept of the helpless white minority and the
dangers of other races rising up in society.

The interpretation asserts that "Burton's Planet of the Apes fuels this exact kind of racial defensiveness."

Another profound interpretation compares Fight Club to Bill Watterson's Calvin and Hobbes cartoons, even bringing up similarities
between the minor characters in the movie and in the cartoon. This site includes good visuals and is well written.

Grade: A

If you've been lying awake all night trying to figure out the answers to questions like "What's the origin of 'yellow-bellied?'" and "Is it
possible to be addicted to Chap Stick?" there is hope for you.

Answers to common random questions, all from a single genius mind, are provided to the masses at

Someone out there really does "know it all" -- Cecil Adams, a syndicated columnist from The Chicago Reader who has been
"fighting ignorance since 1973." All the questions you can possibly ponder, and more, are included on this Web site. A list of
questions Adams refused to answer are also included. Among the list are "How can we have jumbo shrimp?" and "Why are boxing
rings square?"

This is a great site for inquisitive minds and for anyone who ever needed a quick answer. This site is mostly text, but there are some
interesting illustrations included in the responses.

Grade: B

Finally, every student needs to be well-informed about that wonderful substance that enables the right level of alertness for those
all-night cram sessions.

At, you can learn everything you could possibly want to know about java.

Try the origins, for example. Circa 800 A.D., an Ethiopian goatherd found his flock dancing among the coffee shrubs. After he had
tried it himself, news of the wonder drug spread fast.

Coffee's popularity grew rapidly and continues to the present, when Starbucks franchises are launching a diabolical plan for
worldwide beverage domination.

This site includes a map of major coffee producers around the world and how many bags each country produces each year, and a
thorough discussion of roasts.

If you haven't gotten your information fix yet, check out the online National Geographic article about the wonderbrew. The only thing
this site is missing is a coupon for a free Frappuccino.

Grade: A

In spite of the mundane nature of some college courses, students must never forget that learning can actually be fun sometimes.
After all, knowledge is power.

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