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Fit for a King
By Linton Weeks
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, January 14, 1999

  The Navigator

This article contains links which take you outside washingtonpost.com.

Despite all the glitzy ritziness of the commercial Internet, the real power and passion is still found in personal home pages.Suppose you are intrigued by Martin Luther King Jr.

There are piles of corporate shrines to the man who is arguably the most influential American leader of the 20th century. Life magazine, for instance, offers a sterling site called Martin Luther King Jr.: A Life Tribute. Here you can see a gallery of old photos – King getting arrested in Montgomery; leading a demonstration in Chicago; hugging his wife, Coretta, and speaking to demonstrators in Washington. There are other forceful pictures with captions, such as King marching to Montgomery in 1965. The photo is accompanied by his words: "The sooner our society admits that the Negro Revolution is no momentary outburst soon to subside into placid passivity, the easier the future will be for all of us."

The Cable News Network site also has a package built around Martin Luther King Jr. Day, which will be celebrated on Monday. The CNN site links to related ones, including the Martin Luther King Jr. Papers Project at Stanford University. Here you can pore over King's letters and other writings including the "I Have a Dream" speech and his last sermon.

Some folks will be celebrating at the site called Martin Luther King Day on the Net.

School kids around the world have posted tributes to King. One cool spot is the Dr. King Timeline Page, a chronological account of King's life illustrated by kids from Buckman Elementary School in Portland, Ore.

But the most interesting sites are those that seem to come from the heart, like the site dedicated to the Memory of King created by an America Online member from Paris named Stephanie Rolland. This is an elegant, simply stated site. There's a biography of King here and more photos. Particularly impressive is the guestbook. For example, Roselyn Northcross from Pontiac, Mich., wrote: "In the privacy of my home, I was really able to reflect on the importance of Dr. King's life to me and my family. The pictures and speeches were so moving that I found it difficult to pull myself away."

And an electric, eclectic group called the New Savanna Syncopators has designed an online homage called Free at Last. Inspired by the drawings of the Buckman Elementary children, a designer named Bill Benzon dreamed of juxtaposing illustrations against the words of King's speeches. "It seemed only appropriate to make it a communal project," Benzon writes, "thus demonstrating the power of the Internet for supporting new forms of collaboration."

The message: More than 30 years after his death, King is still bringing people together.

Please join me today on Navigator – Live at 2 p.m. Eastern at Washingtonpost.com. My guest, Todd McIntyre of Microvision Inc., will answer your questions about the ways cutting-edge technology – such as his company's device, which uses your retina for a display screen – might change our lives.

Linton Weeks can be reached at weeksl@washpost.com

mouse CLICK: Kite Ariel Photography     Ever wonder what a genuine nut like Benjamin Franklin would do with today's technology? How about attaching a camera to a kite, taking a picture of himself from hundreds of feet above, and then posting the photo on the Internet? Kite aerial photographers do just that on dozens of sites, such as this one run out of Berkeley. If you're jealous (and who wouldn't be?), the author shows you how to make your own flying studio with an old Minolta and some spare fabric. Dan Pacheco

Surfing
Perturbations, pleasures and predicaments on the I-way

NEVER FORGET A FACE?
The Daily Babe Test tests your recognition of facial photos of 15 supermodels, actresses and other female celebrities against a database of 941. You can compare your score against those of the thousands of other contestants for the day. If you need to study more, check out The Supermodel Home Page. A similar test of "Star Trek: The Next Generation" episode photos is also available.— EDWARD MICKOLUS

ART TO CRY OVER ...
Vito Salvatore loves art. Not just any art, however. Salvatore loves the dregs of artistic society – the crying clown who appears slightly insane, the portrait of Lady Di possibly sporting two black eyes, the abstract reclining nude who looks as though her (his?) skin has been peeled away. It's all part of a collection of the most horrific paintings you've ever seen, the barren fruit of misspent artistic labors.

Salvatore's site is so out there it's tough to discern what's sincere. (Is he really trying to get $50,000 for the "wretched nude"? Does he really own a work by serial killer John Wayne Gacy?) In the end, though, the only thing that truly matters is that his Web site showcases some of the worst art you'll ever see, anywhere. And for that we must be grateful.— JAKE TAPPER


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

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