Doug Stickney's Silver Screen Siren Website
This is the hard evidence of the spellbinding qualities of nearly 100 Hollywood sensations of yesteryear. A wonderfully rich collection of high quality promotional photographs, mostly B&W, along with a few biographies and classic movie posters, presented simply and effectively. Immortality is guaranteed via the magnificent lighting and makeup of the day, capturing the timeless beauty and character of these highly exalted individuals. Click away through the extensive galleries and savour the beauty that lasts well after the hormone replacement therapy began, beyond the third or fourth hip operation, and even beyond the grave.
Verdict: Screen sirens are calling, and my cyber boat is crashing at their feet. --SS
Net Worth: ****
There's one thing better than dying, and that's being born. In celebration of the beginning of everyone's corporeal existence, Famous Birthdays have conjured up a very comprehensive tribute to the annual remembrance of the natal experience. Quite a grand effort, too. The old "celebrity-born on your day" caper is taken a step further with a direct link to a Yahoo search for each one. A cool area is the section dedicated to you, where all manner of self-obsessed pursuits are there like name meanings, anagrams of your name, a personality test and much more. There are also message posting and greeting card facilities. There's even a code to put "today's birthdays" on your own web page.
Verdict: If only all special interest web sites were as thorough as this. Try it and see! --SS
Net Worth: *****
The University Of New Orleans Drama and Communication Dept. graciously dishes out this wonderful photo album of over 2,000 pics of hundreds of silent movie actresses. Although there isn't too much in the way of background information, there is the odd link or two. It's a tad "studentish" in design, the pics themselves however, do speak volumes, as the silent ladies pull you into those heady early days of motion pictures. Each one trying as best as she can in each photo to sell her vast talents to the casting agents and producers. One might laugh at some of them, but these babes had at least as much sex-appeal as any Sharon Stone or Gwenyth Paltrow today.
Verdict: A jpeg paints a thousand silent words. --SS
Timothy Leary's Home Page
From the initial animation of Tim smoking the eternal (herbal?) cigarette in front of a spinning lightshow, one gets the impression that he is actually right there at home in his virtual world. Through simple but very clever use of graphics, a quasi-VRML space is created, where you navigate his actual home, spinning around and moving from the library to read his letters and works, to the lounge room for a chat with other Leary-ites. This posthumous creation is growing at a rapid pace, and shows how aligned the web can be with the 60's revolution. Take the time to get comfortable here, it's worth it.
Verdict: Putting the "home" in homepage. Break on through from the other side!! --SS
Tribute to Timothy Leary
What this site lacks in content, it makes up for in vacuity. However, beneath the seeming failure of this obvious techno head to deliver what you might expect a fitting tribute to be, there lies the spark of meaningful effort to reflect a legacy. Two shockwave items and a link back to www.leary.com are all there is. There is a twisting vortex of Tim's head, which, if you watch it long enough, you'll swear he's actually there, and a fast paced, heavily effected, trance-inducing expression of the famous "think for yourself, question authority" slogan. Mr Melloy is a believer, but he's too busy with his own stuff to do any more than this.
Verdict: Tune out, turn off, and drop in. --SS
Net Worth: ***
Tribute To Allen Ginsberg
Anne Waldman, 'spiritual wife', among other things, of the late Mr Ginsberg delivers a very intimate tribute on this delicately simple page, which is part of the Ginsberg Memorial. The more you read Anne's writing, the more you are drawn into their world of creative intellect and sensitive living. It's no wonder his death was so newsworthy, even though he wasn't a movie star, rock star or model. He was a writer, philosopher, teacher, and iconoclast. It is through this site, and the Naropa Institute that the work will live on - well beyond the profound experience of death described here.
Verdict: A personal account of deeply moving times. --SS
INXS - Elegantly Wasted
This, besides being the official INXS web site is, of course, the official Michael Hutchence memorial page. After such a sudden and shocking end to our greatest rock celebrity's life, one would expect nothing less than what you will find here. The site is professional and discreet, with official press statements, a warmly written biography, a poem headed by a great photo of the man himself, and some links. It's all done in the highest regard for the fans and duty to the media, as well as the utmost respect for Michael and his family (band included). The links put you one click away from the official site and into the world of Michael's fans. Countless tribute sites, dedications, photo's, chat rooms and personal accounts, interviews and news reports all add up to give you a fulfilling sense of connection with the man and the legend that is Michael Hutchence. Shove it, tabloids, just keep clicking!
Verdict: Elegantly Tasteful. This is what you need. --SS
Who Will Speak For Me? - A Poem for John Denver
E. Fay Dyer-Austin is a poet who feels compelled to create a tribute page to John Denver. It's hard to tell where the tribute ends and the self promotion begins…well not that hard. A couple of bad photo's of Mr Denver followed by links to all of E. Fay's poetry and web design pages kinda turn the tribute into more of an excuse to get more hits to the page. There is a poem that tries to pack in a few of Johnny's song titles, and the rest of the site is nice enough, but somehow, I think Mr Denver is looking down from the Rocky Mountain, wishing he'd flown Qantas.
Verdict: You're speakin', so where's Johnny? --SS
The Official Website of Marylin Monroe
CMG worldwide, in association with the estate of Marylin Monroe present this arm of the global beast that is "dead celebrity" marketing. It surely is a big earner, so CMG, who don't need to be so sensitive and caring, since more time has passed, give us a brief overview of the life of Hollywood's favourite female. The main objective is to convince you to add to her estate, and please CMG's clients. There is just enough info to keep you amused for a few moments, but CMG would be much happier if you signed up to be a licensed Monroe merchandiser.
Verdict: It's official… this site sucks. Marylin deserves better. --SS
Americans for Cloning Elvis - ACE
It's about time someone did something like this! Forget about mourning the loss of our beloved celebrities, just bring them back to life again! We have the technology, and it will take the efforts of people like Bob Meyer to get the laws passed. So far, nearly 2,000 people have signed the petition, and this reviewer was one of them, thank-you-very-much.
Verdict: Clone that toe-nail clipping and refill those blue suede shoes! --SS
Elvis Presley's Graceland
Elvis Presley Enterprises, have decided that although he's dead, we all love him anyway, so what the hey, let's just go to town on the guy. Elvis' already well established posthumous career has merely taken the natural progression any living star might take, and added a web department to the business. You do, however, get the impression that E.P.E. actually love the guy. Unlike Marylin's management company, who seem to see her as a "good little earner", Elvis' site has more information, and is generally better presented. I think the King would be quite happy with the way things are going, even if he has left the building.
Verdict: His truth is marching on.--SS
Louise Brooks Society
You'd have to be about 80 years old to remember Louise Brooks in her hey day (1925-38). The silent film actress has somehow managed to capture the hearts of some very capable web programmers, who, in their admiration have built a cyber-shrine that any dead celebrity would be proud of. From her biography to trivia questions, archives to interviews, this pandoras box is well worth opening.
Verdict: Tribute sites take note, this is how it's done. --SS
It seems the more time passes since the moment of death, the more "OK" we become about a person's passing. Forget about touching poetry tributes, let's have jigsaw puzzles, screen savers and Napoleonic re-enactments. Napoleon is such a legendary figure, that all over the world people get together to relive the great battles and pretend the 20th century never happened. There are also some good links to museums and historical collections for those who are interested in studying history, rather than re-living it.
Verdict: Bring him back for the browser wars. --SS
Being actually produced by the surviving members of The Doors, this site is automatically elevated a few notches above the rest. Being alive allows you to continue being productive, to carry on the vision that may have crystallised in four young mens' minds all those years ago. Real Audio samples of classic tunes, a neat photo gallery with blocks of thumbnails to sort through, full lyrics for every album, individual bio's and various other presentations combine to make this a satisfying visit.
Verdict: This is not the end, beautiful friend. --SS
Jerry Garcia 1942-1995
Rather than go for a page that a funeral director might put together as part of an overall death package, this site is a collection of articles drawn from the San Francisco Chronicle and SF Examiner. It manages, by the diversity of writing, to really pay tribute to the man. It's part news, part obituary, part historical account, part editorial, and it farewells an era as much as it farewells the departed Jerry Garcia.
Verdict: If the dead could be grateful, he would. --SS
Richard's Princess Diana Tribute
Richard makes a personal effort to express his love and grief for Lady Di. Not much here that I could see, except one nice pic and some now very worn sentiments. Really, unless you are going to reveal another conspiracy theory, or take a real stand about something, pages like this are purely for the creator to look at. I would rather see a page in memory of children killed by landmines, and so would Diana, probably. This is under construction, so maybe there are plans..
Verdict: Not much to see, yet. --SS
Goodbye! -The Journal Of Contemporary Obituaries
Comedy is usually about pain and suffering, and it helps us come to terms with our own shortcomings if we can laugh at others. This site cuts it pretty close to the quick by delivering highly irreverent obituaries for famous people well before the grieving process is complete. In a way it is liberating, since we do seem to assume somehow that dead people care about what we say, when perhaps they don't. This is very funny stuff, regardless of how sacred you feel humans are. The price of fame is high, but the reward is immortality. Surely they are all laughing now anyway - at us!
Verdict: Die laughing --SS
The Death Clock
A simple little concept, but quite funny and scary at the same time. Enter in your date of birth, and the Death Clock will calculate the date of your death how many seconds you have to live, and counting. You can set it to be normal, pessimistic, or downright sadistic. The creators claim that the site is getting major numbers of hits, and is asking for advertisers. Tobacco companies? Alcohol companies? Funeral directors? For some strange reason, they haven't had a single bite, yet.
Verdict: I'm dying, very slowly, and so are you. --SS
Cleveland Wheeler hosts this cute site dedicated to your dead dog. Many warm and fuzzy sentiments about dogs, coupled with cute photos of dogs with wings on clouds, entice you to pay the $12.95 to get your ex-pooch on the site. The site is very well put together with honesty and thoughtfulness, and bridges the gap between what is free and what's not on the web. I don't know how many people are actually using the site, though. I typed in "Fido", "Rover" and "Spot" and didn't get any responses. Maybe all dogs in heaven should be listed rather than searched for. This site has won a truck-load of awards.
Verdict: What next? Gerbil heaven? Tadpole heaven? --SS
A Question Of Life And Death
This is an on-line referendum on the death penalty in South Africa. Through your input direct to the site, opinions and ideas about whether or not to kill someone for not obeying the law can be uncovered. Periodically, the net result of everyone's input, collated and analysed are sent to the government for consideration. I'd imagine that they wouldn't be considered that deeply, but this kind of site is pointing to the future of politics.
Verdict: All those who want blood, say "aye" --SS
Deliverance -Voluntary Euthanasia in the Northern Territory
We have all seen and heard the euthanasia debate on the TV and in print, but those old fashioned media rarely give anyone a chance to actually delve much further than the sound bytes or column spaces allow. Here is the whole thing laid out in glowing pixels, albeit unstylish in design, but the issues and arguments are all there. A researcher or student will find all the information they need to inject into a project and get the job done. You can also become involved by either giving them some feedback, or joining the mailing list. It would be nice to see a voting page.
Verdict: People are dying to check out this web site, you should too. --SS
Be warned right up front. This is gruesome! The wonderful people at Deathnet strive to desensitise the world through portraits of corpses in various states of mutilation and lifelessness, along with a selection of "ugly" shots of various diseases and human suffering. There is a preview area, and a member's area, where you can see everything they've got on file. After seeing what's in the preview area, it is very hard to imagine why anyone would want to become a member! Let's just hope this site is being run by a team of psychologists, so they can track the activities of the sick and twisted among us. Sadly, I think the real sicko's are Deathnet themselves.
Verdict: See it once out of curiosity. See it twice, and you need help. --SS
In cyberspace, as in real life, death can strike. Web sites are being afflicted with such ailments as disinterest, 404 fever, severe authoritis, venture capital decay, search engine alzheimers and plain old obsolescence. In an attempt to artificially sustain the life of some of these patients, Ghostsites reminds us of such continuing sites as the Atlanta Games camera, Club NYC's guide to new years Eve 1997 and the Russian CrazyWEB from 1995. We need a real museum for this stuff, but this is pretty cool.
Verdict: Call in the exorcist, these sites are ready to move on. --SS
Ghost Web - International Ghost Hunters Society - Ghost Hunters Gallery
It's hard to believe there could be so much "information" about something that not one person has been able to prove conclusively, but here it is. Thousands of photographs, stories, investigation reports and local "ghost club" news pad out this site by serious believers. They even have weekend retreats in haunted houses, and besides purchasing books, CD's and t-shirts, you can also order ghost-detecting equipment. If you have no life, like the ghosts, this could be for you.
Verdict: Half a million suckers can't be wrong (?) --SS
Top 10 Causes of Death
This simple but thought provoking site is worth looking at if nothing else than to understand just how stupid human beings are. Based on American statistics, you can see just how many poor souls are shaking off their mortal coil in totally preventable ways. This is the top 10, remember, and by the evidence, millions of people are smoking, drinking, eating and couch-potato-ing their way to an early demise. It's almost laughable, but the ones laughing loudest would have to be the pharmaceutical companies and the medical professionals. Follow the links to some good healthy advice.
Verdict: Can the miracle of life be that miserable? Maybe religion's marketing of the afterlife is just too successful. --SS
The Natural Death Handbook - on the 'Net
In line with the natural birth movement, the natural death movement has a firm belief in the organic process of life, and the desire to minimise intrusion into very private and sacred moments by governments and institutions. This stirring web site draws on historical accounts of the deaths of famous people and descriptions of other cultures death rituals to elucidate their attitude towards death. All in all a fascinating read, and one that will surely leave you pondering your own choices when the unrepeatable moment of dying arrives. Some good links, too.
Verdict: Pass me my crystals and herbal tea, the not-so-grim reaper is here. --SS
The Tibetan Book Of The Dead
The University Of Virginia Library is lucky enough to be the curators of a large amount of Tibetan literature. We are all very lucky, too, since it is their aim to understand the Tibetan Buddhist ethos and help disseminate the concepts to the world, in the belief that within the philosophies lie some keys to Western society's spiritual progression. The biggest aspect here is the coming to grips with death and our exaggerated fear of it. There is a lot of information, and it is well worth the read.
Verdict: Better than the American book of the top 10 causes of death! --SS
Growth House: Guide To Death, Dying, Grief, Bereavement, and End Of Life Resources
Proclaimed as the "Yahoo of Death and Dying", Growth House lives up to the claim well. You name it, it's here. If you are facing the death of a loved one, dealing with the spectre of death yourself, or even realising that you have unresolved issues about death from some time in your past, this is the place to come. Every possible area is covered - grief, hospice care, AIDS, estate planning - the list goes on. There is even a chat room with casual and scheduled chats. You can even get their "Web Angels Brigade" to help put your own non-profit site together.
Verdict: Bookmark this! It's a matter of Life and Death! --SS
Dying With Dignity
A Canadian society dedicated to helping mature human beings gain control of their death. It seems absurd that such a society should even need to exist, but some people do like to play God when it comes to "moral" issues. Providing a selected reading list, quality links, and an overview of the law in Canada relating to dying (which is pretty lame) it's a site worth visiting, if only to get an idea of how many others are thinking about this stuff.
Verdict: What do we want? Dignity! When do we want it? When we die! --SS
Life After Death - Religious Perspectives
This is a nice little excursion into the various notions of the afterlife of a few major religions. The creators are of the Bahá'í faith, but seem quite non-judgemental of other faiths, and rather convergent with many of the basic premises. The Christianity link was dead at the time of review, but no doubt most of us have a fair idea about that one.
Verdict: Interesting reading, as we ponder the unponderable. --SS
Religious Traditions Of The Afterlife - Near Death Experiences
Before you go too much into this site, perhaps you should read about the author. It will help you understand the motivation for creating it, before you make up your mind. Kevin Williams is a born again Christian, but is trying to transcend the religious boundaries and spread a message of "God" to the world regardless of your faith. Near Death Experiences, Williams ascertains, are the evidence with which we can verify all the religions of the world. Perhaps that's how they all came about, all these wise men flat-lining through history… read on and find out the "truth"
Verdict: I had a Near Disbelief Experience --SS
Afterlife Secrets Revealed - Near Death Experiences, Death, Near-Death, NDES, Suicide
Here is the companion site to the "Religious Traditions of the Afterlife" site. It is solely concerned with N.D.E.'s and discusses many facets of the subject, including hidden secrets, what to expect when you die, and the difference between a heavenly and a hellish N.D.E.. Angie Fenimore's description of her suicide attempt is certainly worth reading, as are the excerpts from the book "Embraced by The Light".
Verdict: You'll be riveted to your deathbed. --SS
International Association for Near-Death Studies
Designed as a resource for all things "near death", this site delivers nicely. If you want colour and movement, you'd better try flat-lining. Text is all you get here, however there is one link to someone's site that has a whole bunch of cool N.D.E. sites. Enough material here to get an essay in for school by the deadline.
Verdict: Near death is the kind of experience one has, rather than reads about, but this is much safer. --SS
If you have ever been close to someone at the end stages of their life, or you think you will at some point (that's just about everyone on the planet), this site will be of interest to you. It is a call-to-action, to ask people to work towards making the dying process as dignified and loving as possible. There are many who work with the dying who become thick-skinned over time. Last Acts is working to raise understanding of palliative care in the dying process.
Verdict: You wouldn't ask for anything less. --SS
Urban Legends - Death
Drawn from a newsgroup, this amazing collection of stories will shock and astound you. It's up to you whether to believe any of them. That is why they are legends. Tales of the macabre and morbid are delivered by the truckload, and can only help to fuel the speculation of their authenticity. Death by vending machine, asteroid strike and Disneyland ride are just some of the legends depicted.
Verdict: Believe it or not….. --SS
A "Monkeyburger" is the Dutch equivalent of an Urban Legend. Here you will find more tall tales and true, as you delve in searching for bizarre stories to blurt out at cocktail parties and corporate luncheons. Besides the tragic death stories, there are quite a few non-violent tales and anecdotes, so your repertoire will be slightly broader.
Verdict: True or False? You decide. It could reveal more about you than you'd like.
Infidels - Life After Death
The big questions everyone asks, and seeks answers for, are dealt with here. In a totally unbiased fashion, with no particular affiliation, the infidels work at digging up the notions and philosophies that abound throughout the world, and seek to come closer to some real understanding of what this "existence" thing is all about. Literally thousands of documents and texts sit here in the library, and you are welcome to add to the pile. It's all nicely sorted though, so some sense can be made of the big mysteries.
Verdict: You could spend the rest of your life here. At least you'll die intelligently confused. --SS
Kearl's Guide to Sociological Thanatology
Professor Kearl has been working himself into the ground here to produce an amazingly comprehensive site about death. It is virtually an entire degree course on the subject, and you can write your own thesis and send it to the good professor, for inclusion on the site. Sociological, philosophical, statistical and medical angles are all covered. This is a thorough job, and the research is detailed. Links abound. It is even part of the web ring of death, so you can go round and round the internet chasing your fears away.
Verdict: Killing me softly with information overload. --SS