Media Circus

From the highs of the late ‘90s, when we suspected the Internet would replace all forms of human communication, to the nadir of last winter, when uttering the phrase "dot-com" was accompanied by de rigueur spitting in the dirt, the Internet now seems more viable and less godlike. Some e-commerce sites actually make money, and all of us find it a handy tool even if we’ve given up hope that it’ll somehow put us all in MacMansions on the hill.

With that in mind, here are a few sites that someone should seriously consider launching before W declares the Internet part of the Axis of Evil: They’ve cost us billions while pocketing millions, but while they’re being hauled in front of special prosecutors and congressional subcommittees, those wily and despicable CEOs, CFOs, and accounting firm bigwigs have never uttered a word of apology. On this fun website, at least, you’ll hear everyone from Kenneth Lay to John Rigas weep and bleat poignant, Japanese-style apologies while announcing plans to donate all of their ill-gotten gains to community theater. Searching for the perfect crème brûlée couldn’t be easier than with this handy website, which enable brûlée fans to sort and search by restaurant, flavor and "crust-crunch" factor. Thrill as the click of the mouse tracks down a delicate, anisette-flavored dessert at the unlikeliest of spots in the South Dakota Badlands, or a ramekin-busting, agave-infused hybrid from Sonora. Quick links to travel sites enable you to charter your very own "Brûlée Cruise" to track down a favorite before the menu changes. The big moment is nigh but no birth control in sight? Log on to this site and a messenger will be at your door in 30 minutes or less with something to prevent issue! While you and your partner wait, the site plays Sinatra tunes whilst offering tips on "standing ready" and keeping your partner away from Friends reruns.

Cuba-whee!.com: Pretty simple: Lining up to buy Cuba once it becomes available. Bizarre instruments are IN, IN, IN! From the venerable sousaphone and the delicate glockenspiel to the hammered dulcimer and the ethereal zither, embattled Americans tired of the TV shouting at them and the CNN crawl are turning to eclectic instruments as a balm for their weary souls. On this site, musical dilettantes will get expert advice on everything from tuning that dobro to making your own Taiko drum. Pet rock redux, ’02 style. Order a kilo of Nile mud, a dram of Thames muck, or a pennyweight of moist Baffin Bay shale, all shipped in sealed containers with a U.S. Geological Survey seal of authenticity. Why? Because you can, of course.

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