Navigation Bar
Navigation Bar


  • Go to Talk Central and let Linton Weeks know what you think

  The Navigator: Princess and the Pie
By Linton Weeks
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, September 3, 1998

    Exclusive Diana pie bird From the Pie Birds of England Web site
Princess Diana would be dismayed by all the fuss and furor over the anniversary of her death and burial. So said Rosa Monckton, president of Tiffany's operation in London and a close friend of the princess, according to the Associated Press.

"This whole Diana industry, which is so sordid, should stop and she should be allowed to rest in peace," Monckton said.

You don't have to travel to the fateful Paris tunnel or to Earl Charles Spencer's museum of Diana memorabilia north of London to get a taste of the industry that Monckton's mad about. Just log on to the Internet. For all of its marvels and wonders, the Web really knows how to exploit the late and the famous. On the Web, no one rests in peace.

From the home page of Tingle's Bait and Tackle in Rockton, Pa., you can purchase Diana-inspired stamps, plates, a screen saver and the Princess Diana Wedding Crown, a coin minted in 1981 that sells for about 10 bucks. Tingle employee Beverly A. Stormont says she has about 100 crowns left. The bait shop's site also offers memorial currency issued by obscure islands, countries and dependencies such as Guernsey, Kiribati and Tristan de Cunha. And replicas of Diana's "official British driver's license." The version for sale just happened to expire on Aug. 31, 1997.

"Everything we sell, I believe, has been authorized by the Princess Diana Memorial Fund," Sturmont says.

You can cop a Princess Diana commemorative pie bird-a bell-shaped little porcelain vent that you stick into the center of a just-baked pie-for free when you order a dozen of the cooling devices from the Pie Birds of England Web site. The pie birds, which come in various styles-including giraffes, pigs, witches and Little Black Sambos-sell for $40 or so apiece.

For $140 you can get a large mirror-with the princess's photo superimposed-from Ozelink Internet Services. Another capitalist is offering a caboodle of Diana Memorabilia-a sheet of 100 stamps, a pair of first-day stamps, a bottle of whiskey from the royal wedding, some kind of official wedding medallion, five Australian magazines, a publication of the poet laureate's poem and London Country Life's special wedding report-for a mere $10,000. Elsewhere you can find photos and videos and Elton John's tribute and special Princess Diana Beanie Babies. The Web is littered with debris from Diana's death.

But the Web is not just for junk. Hundreds of people have posted heartfelt tributes to Diana. More than 500 are stitched together on the Princess Diana Memorial Webring. And you can contribute to the charities the princess championed through the Official Diana, Princess of Wales Web site. So far the fund has pulled in some $133‚million. Oddly enough, about $20‚million of that comes from the sale of sanctioned souvenirs. Even odder, one of the members of the committee that is charged with dispensing monies made from the sale of souvenirs is ... Rosa Monckton.

Linton Weeks can be reached at

mouse CLICK: The Dialectizer   Ever wanted to talk like Gomer Pyle? Now anyone can type like a redneck at the Dialectizer. Just tap in a few words, click a button, and your previously perfect prose will sound just like any member of Bubba's 1992 presidential campaign. You can also enter the address of a Web site to have the Dialectizer translate the entire page (for kicks, enter Other dialects include Jive, Cockney, Elmer Fudd and my personal favorite, Moron. In the processed words of the Dialectizer, "now anyone can talk wid a speech ipedimin."Dan Pacheco

Perturbations, pleasures and predicaments on the I-way

Diving into the Reference Stacks
If the World Wide Web is an overflowing but disorderly library, LibrarySpot tries to provide users with pointers showing where books are stacked.

Organized more or less like a real-life library, LibrarySpot offers quick access to encyclopedias, dictionaries, thesauri, business information, maps, phone books, statistics and specialized libraries, including collections on law, medicine and music. It also links to magazines, newspapers, scholarly journals and other periodicals.

To be sure, you can never be certain of the reliability of Web-based information; for instance, LibrarySpot's acronym-explanation tools seemed a bit spotty, and its collection of subway maps was incomplete.

Still, LibrarySpot inspires some confidence by sticking to brand names you'd find at any library: Merriam-Webster, Roget's and Bartlett's.

Electronic libraries do have features you won't find in the bricks-and-mortar kind. You can download classical music directly into your computer or find encyclopedia articles on "impeachment" that provide links to Bill Clinton's political dilemmas, rather than just Richard Nixon's.
Louis Jacobson

For When You Feel Like a Nut
Are You Listed? Some folks are creative, and some are just plain nuts. The latter are celebrated in the Kooks Museum, featuring such exhibits as the Schizophrenic Wing, the Conspiracy Corridor, the Hall of Hate, the Library of Questionable Scholarship, the Gallery of the Gods, the Solution to the World Problem Exhibit, Monuments to Kookdom, and, of course, a gift shop.
Edward Mickolus

Found something intriguing, improbable, insane or especially useful on the Net? Write it up and send it to Joel Garreau or Robert Thomason.
© Copyright 1998 The Washington Post Company

Back to the top
Navigation Bar
Navigation Bar