Nov. 30, 2001

Patron Saints
Did you know there was a patron saint just for Spanish airplane attendants? And for grocers? And comedians? Yup, it's true. Find a patron saint just for your profession, tragedy or hobby. Just about everyone seems to have a patron saint to suit them. Heck, even people house-shopping have their own saint. Browse this list and find your own.

Private Car and Garden
Autotuin is Dutch for "car garden." Not a garden of car parts, but a garden in the back seat of your car. It's quite the novel idea. If you're an obsessed plant freak like me, having a garden to tend to in traffic is kinda cool. Fokke van Katwijk understands this very concept. One day he "sawed off the roof of his Toyota Corolla, filled the car with one and a half cubic meters of fatty gardening soil, and subsequently furnished it according to his own taste with all the good stuff garden centres have to offer this season of the year." Think about it. This idea is brilliant. If you live in the city and don't have any yard to speak of, this may be the answer. Plus if you ever have problems with the plants you can drive over to your local plant store and have them look at your garden in person. Or if you plan on selling tomatoes at the neighborhood farmer's market, you can say your veggies are handpicked right off the vine. Imagine the possibilities.

Behold the Leaf Squad band that sings a tune called "Yatta." When I saw this hilarious Japanese music video I had to find out everything about it, and this is what I found out from the message board on "'Yatta' is more or less the work of a comedy duo called 'Ucchan-Nanchan' (after the two guys' names: Uchimura and Nanbara). The have a TV show that's sort of half variety-show, half sketch comedy, and 'Yatta' started out as a sketch on that show. The sketch was about a mythical music group called 'Happa-tai' (Leaf Squad, more or less - that's what it says between 'Yatta' and 'Pony Canyon' at the beginning of the video) where all the members wear only a leaf and sing this happy song called 'Yatta' (literally, 'I did it', figuratively 'Yeah' or 'All right!' It's what Chun-Li says when she wins). It was just absurdist, there's no deep meaning." But this video will make you laugh, and maybe even dance a jig. Yatta! (NOTE: You need Windows Media Player to see this video.)

Elvis In Concert
Elvis was a thing to behold onstage. Just in case you were too young, or not lucky enough, to witness the King in concert, now you can see him in his entire splendor in concert photos and hear him croon on various recordings. It's not quite the same thing as a live performance, but you can at least some candid moments caught in photos and tape. The best part of the site is the costumes section where you can see photos of Elvis wearing all his famous threads including the Chinese Dragon outfit or the black Sleek Tapestry sequined leisure suit. Now that's an entertainer who knew how to dress!

Society for the Advancement of Lobsters
Just because those little red fellas are bobbing around in the water tank waiting for you to make tasty bisque out of them, doesn't mean you have to. In fact, crustaceans need protecting just like any other creature, even if they do taste amazing with melted butter.

Loobylu is the brainchild (or is that cool inner child?) of the creative and talented illustrator Claire Robertson. Read her addictive journal entries about her decision to stop trudging around in an unfulfilling dotcom gig to become a happy freelance artist. She illustrates her diary with images of herself (or is that Loobylu?), her boyfriend and various people along the way. Now we just have to talk her into doing an animated movie! Be sure to snoop around her fun site for recipes, an illustration portfolio, online shopping finds and more.

Secret Santa
It's always nice to get a present from a Secret Santa, especially when it's something right off your Wish List. You just place a badge on your Web site to let folks know you're a Secret Santa. And of course you have to buy something for someone else as well. Not a very complicated process and you get a nifty gift. The site offers the choice to send a gift for Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza or "Secret Holiday Gift-Giving Robot Day."

World Toilet Organization
Have you ever visited a public restroom and wished you hadn't? Does the idea of urinating in a toilet where you have to step over heroin needles and crack pipes to get there your idea of hell? Then you'll be happy to know that the World Toilet Organization is on the case. This group, founded by Deputy Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong of Singapore, has some very simple yet honorable objectives that include "to continuously generate awareness for the importance of a good toilet environment" and "to propagate the need for better toilet standards in both the developed and developing economies of the world." The site not only lists the group's goals for a better restroom experience, but also has articles about its products, a support center and public education on the matter. You can also enter contests about toilet names and culture where you can win restroom jewelry.

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