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Net's own trail mix is a site for sore feet

Do you know what gorp is? It's a hiker's favorite snack, made up of raisins, dried fruits, nuts and carob, that is easy to carry and a good source of instant protein and energy. It's also an acronym for a Web site called the Great Outdoor Recreation Page (http://www.gorp.com), designed for all of you hardy types who like to scale peaks, master rushing rivers, ride horses and mules, and forgo five-star ccommodations and gourmet restaurants to sleep under the stars and cook over a campfire. The site is a wealth of information on outdoor adventures, from America' s Wild West to Alaska to Canada to the Galapagos Islands to Africa. It also contains advertising for books and videos on hiking and adventures, and advertising for travel accessories and other gear. There is also a corner devoted to cowboy humor and wisdom, provided by one advertiser, a dude ranch, with myriad sayings that would have Roy Rogers slappin' his knee. My favorite axiom on the page is the one that every Jewish mother should take to heart: "Worry is like a rockin' horse. It's something to do that don't get you nowhere."

SPEAKING OF roughing it, it is high season for new soldiers entering the IDF, and hundreds are suffering the rigors of basic training in the August heat even as we speak. We know all about the sacrifices the army requires, but what about the benefits? The Association for the Well-Being of Israel's Soldiers has a Web site (http://www.netvision. net.il/~hayal/) that keeps new recruits updated regarding discounts to which they are entitled, hostels in which they can stay, other bargains meant for soldiers, and how to make donations.You can also download an audio version of the organization's catchy theme song which many of us know backwards and forwards from its repetition on the radio. The language of the main home page is in English, but most of the information is in Hebrew.

HERE'S SOMETHING that can come in handy if you are searching for the number of a company or a service in the US: AT&T's on-line directory of all its toll-free numbers. This would be especially helpful if you're planning a trip to the US, because it includes all the toll- free numbers of hotel chains, airlines and car rental companies. The site is at (http://www.tollfree.att.net).

A FRIEND told me recently that this column is the only part of The Jerusalem Post that her husband reads. This is not a commentary on the quality of the rest of the paper heaven forbid! but testimony to the extent that said husband is occupied with the Internet, she says. She sounds justifiably fed up with the fact that so much of his attention is directed toward his computer. Now, that should warm the heart of any columnist, but frankly, it' s a little worrying. I'm going to refer her husband to a Web page devoted to helping on-line addicts like him, (http://members.gnn.com/acbaird/index.htm).

It's a page that takes the Alchoholics Anonymous 12-step approach to those who spend far too much time in cyberspace. Speaking right to them, the site says, "You'll feel better when you accept the fact that you're probably spending too much time plugged in. We've all overdone it at one time or another and we're here to support you. What you have to do is stand up, look everyone in the eye and say: 'MY NAME IS AND I HAVE NO LIFE!'Ê" We'll see if it does my friend' s marriage any good.

AND NOW for a bit of shameless American-childhood nostalgia, focusing on the question, "Can you tell me how to get to Sesame Street?" OK, I admit it. Forget Power Rangers, Barney, our Disney friends or any other current kids' favorite. In my book, there is no replacement for the show's original Muppets: Ernie and Bert, Kermit the Frog, Big Bird and the rest.

Now there's a site where we Sesame Street fans can wallow in all the lyrics to all of our favorite Sesame Street songs (http://www. enterprise.ca/~rhonda/sesame1.html). Fans won't be disappointed; all of the classics are there, including Kermit's plaintive ballad, "It's Not Easy Being Green," the Cookie Monster's refrain "C is for Cookie; that's good enough for me." And my personal favorite, "I Love Trash," sung by Oscar the Grouch, which any rat would hold close to his heart:

I have here some newspaper 13 months old  I wrapped fish inside it: it's smelly and cold But I wouldn't trade it for a big pot o' gold I love it because it's trash I've a clock that won't work And an old telephone,

A broken umbrella, a rusty trombone, And I am delighted to call them my own! I love them because they're trash Oh, I love trash! Anything dirty or dingy or dusty, Anything ragged or rotten or rusty. Yes, I love, I love, I love trash!

CURIOUSLY ENOUGH, the next site I investigated, devoted to the collection of completely useless facts, started out with a useless fact about Sesame Street the names of Bert's goldfish. What? You don't remember? Neither do I. Apparently their names were Lyle and Talbot.  This item is just the beginning of a` litany of mildly interesting but utterly useless factoids collected by two women who apparently have very little to do with their time. The formal title of the site is "Deb and Jen's Land O' Useless Facts" at (http://www-leland.stanford. edu/~jenkg/useless.html).

WEB-SAVVY admirers of celebrities have gone to great lengths to pay homage to their idols. They tirelessly collect every scrap of information, every photograph available, anything to do with their much-adored movie stars or athletes or rock idols, and put it into cyberspace to share with fellow fanatics and anyone who might stumble across the site. Some fans go a step further and try to be more creative. Such is the case of two students at the University of Virginia, Brett Tiaden and Glenn Wasson, who, for some inexplicable reason, have a thing for actor Kevin Bacon. He's a respectable actor of some accomplishment, to be sure, but nothing to write home about. Anyway, whatever their motives, these two lads have created a complex site called "The Oracle of Bacon"  http://www.cs.virginia.edu/~bct7m/bacon.html).

What you do is plug in the name of any other movie actor, and the actor is given a "Bacon Number" his or her rating in relation to professional connections with Bacon. Actress Julia Roberts, for example, has a "Bacon Number" of 1 she costarred with Bacon in Flatliners. Put in the name of a performer a little further removed, say, Charlie Chaplin and you get a higher figure. Chaplin has a"Bacon Number" of 3. How do you arrive at the number? Well, Chaplin directed and acted in Countess from Hong Kong with Marlon Brando. Brando was in The Missouri Breaks with Jack Nicholson. And Nicholson performed in A Few Good Men with, you guessed it, Mr. Bacon himself.

IT USED to be that to experience intensive Torah learning with the greatest minds one had to relocate to Jerusalem, Bnei Brak or Monsey, New York. Now, through technology, intensive Jewish studies can travel through all over the world, and a new program seems to hit the Internet every month. There is so much that a novice may be confused about where to start. A good starting point is the fairly comprehensive Jewish Learning Index, at (http://www.torah.org/programs. html). The list includes home pages for study programs for yeshivot here and the US, as well as on-line learning programs and other Web publications.

ne publication had a title that caught my eye: a weekly publication called "Torah From Dixie Plantation," (http://www.tfdixie.com). This Atlanta-based newsletter runs a myriad of commentaries about passages from the Torah. A strict requirement for inclusion: one has to be from the American South, presumably to inject one's scholarly comments with a properly deep-fried flavor.

Copyright 1996 Jerusalem Post. All Rights Reserved

Fishkoff, Sue, Net's own trail mix is a site for sore feet ., Jerusalem Post, 08-09-1996, pp 07.