know the internet is an amazing resource. Don't let the internet
fool you into thinking you know everything about something, though—don't
forget to talk to people, too! This column uses a different format
than usual. It's a "Baker's Dozen" list of
tips and great web pages.
1. You can find phone numbers and addresses on google.com, using this
Firstname Lastname, City, ST. This will also link you to street-level
2. You can also easily get maps by entering a street address, or a
City, State combination into google.com.
3. Many search engines find phrases more easily if you use quotation
marks in your search term. For instance, "estrogenic hormone".
(A note on formatting for print: In the United States, punctuation
is generally required to go inside the quotation marks, "like
this." I make exceptions to that rule for items to be typed,
such as web search terms.)
4. Good key words for finding educational content on the web are, "syllabus" and "primer."
5. A9.com, a subsidiary of amazon.com,
is an interesting search engine. It can quickly show you your website's
traffic rank, and how
many sites link there. (This can be depressing or exhilarating depending
on the site!) Another neat feature shows you what sites "people
who visit this page also visit." A9.com also offers a website
review feature, similar to amazon.com book reviews. One reviewer of
a9.com on a9.com's own site calls to our attention that stored
a9.com data may "link a user's search history with his
or her purchasing history." The reviewer adds that "the
site can be used generically, without logging in, to avoid privacy
6. One of my favorite unusual search engines is KartOO.com.
(Those are two letter Os, as in "Orioles." Lower-case letters
will also work.) KartOO.com graphically
displays subtle relationships between found sites. For instance, a
search for "menstrual cramps" relates
the websites results to such topics as "dysmenorrhea" or "natural" (in
this case, effectively sorting out alternative health sites from allopathic
ones). I don't routinely use KartOO, because it's a little
slow, but it can be a very valuable tool; Do check it out. (You'll
need to have Flash installed to use it.)
7. dmoz.org is a collection of many of the best sites on the web, arranged
by topic. Check out: http://dmoz.org/Health/Women%27s_Health/, for
8. Here's a good list of additional search engines: http://www.lib.utexas.edu/refsites/search.html
9. Rhymezone.com is a terrific site for when you want to write a
poem. It can also help you to find synonyms, antonyms, and even
words. A related site, onelook.com, can help you cheat on crossword
10. Don't miss the Wayback Machine (http://www.archive.org),
the resource that will show you how almost any website looked in
the good old days (or possibly how it looked just last month). I'll
spend more time on this resource in a future column.
11. The Tampon Safety and Research Act never passed Congress. Neither
has its successor, the Robin Danielson Act (named for a 44-year old
woman who died of Toxic Shock Syndrome). Links to the bills are here:
http://www.frontiernet.net/~ruthb/HR2900.html. More info can be found
Representative Carolyn Maloney, primary sponsor of the two bills,
was told by the FDA that even she, a Congresswoman, was not entitled
know the level of dioxin found in tampons. The data is researched
by the manufacturer, but it's considered to be proprietary information.
The fox, she notes, is guarding the henhouse! Check the bills for
other sponsors—these are key folks in Congress who understand
the importance of environmental health. (I notice the SEAC.org Tampaction
site also features links to "Menstrual Art" websites.)
12. Here is a helpful discussion group for women who suffer from
menstrual cramps. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/dysmenorrhea_support.
links are also quite helpful:
The latter article focuses especially on magnesium, the atom in the
center of every molecule of chlorophyll. I sincerely wish doctors
had told me years ago about the value of magnesium in relieving cramps.
(Out of more than 14,000 Google results for "Primary Dysmenorrhea" only
66 mention the word "greens" and zero mention "organic
greens." Note, importantly, that organically-grown produce has
29% more magnesium than conventionally-grown produce.)
13. How could I not include a link to the Museum of Menstruation,
now only the web, since the building has closed.
It's a treasure-trove.
Congratulations to Alan Yurko and family! Readers: This may not be
news by the time you read this, but this is hot off the press as
I write it now: Yurko Murder Conviction Overturned; Goes Home Tonight.
More info at http://www.freeyurko.bizland.com/ on
a man wrongly convicted of Shaken Baby Syndrome—now free after 6 ½ years
in prison. Readers interested in understanding this case, will also
in my February/March 2003 Web Page Potpourri column on vaccination,
available at http://margieroswell.com/column.php?id=3 or http://www.townsendletter.com/FebMar_2003/webpotpourri0203.htm
Marjorie Roswell is a web developer at a health policy organization
3443 Guilford Terrace · Baltimore, MD 21218 USA
Phone: 410–467–3727 · Email: email@example.com