HE'S BAD TO THE BONE

He's strong and silent. He's tattooed. He rides a speeder across the desert. Chicks dig him. Okay, he also has yellow pupils and horns on his head. But true love overlooks these things. He's Darth Maul, the enfant terrible of "The Phantom Menace," and the Darth Maul Estrogen Brigade [www.darthmauleb.cjb.net] is dedicated to letting you know just how sexy he is. The DMEB describes themselves as "obsessed, devoted, a little on the odd side, but we can also be described as normal people with a hobby." Sure. Darth Maul is just James Dean with a light saber.

-- RICHARD HSU

richard@davincisnotebook.com

TAKING THE HERBAL ROUTE

Now that the allergy season extends year round, indoors and out, it's no wonder folks go to the herbal universe for help. The section on Your Health at AllHerb -- www.allherb.com -- matches particular ailments to herbal remedies and the information is free, although AllHerb is in the business of selling herbal products. The American Botanical Council publishes HerbalGram, a quarterly herb journal and offers a calendar of herbal events around the globe at www.herbalgram.org. At the Herb Research Foundation Web site, www.herbs.org, the focus is on the latest in scientific, political and business news on the herbal front, from allergies to prostate health. In case you're worried about inadvertently doing yourself harm, check out www.ex.ac.uk/phytonet/, where the European Scientific Cooperative on Phytomedicine reports adverse reactions to herbal products in five languages. Ah -- whatever herb -- choo take, don't -- choo -- lose that box of tissues.

-- L. PEAT O'NEIL

oneilp@washpost.com