My head is exploding. The other day, I was sitting at my computer looking at a tornado on Mars! Unbelievable. I really had to pinch myself. The immense impact of this incredible experience literally took my breath away. Surfing the web is akin to being in the movie, 2001: A Space Odyssey, alongside Keir Dullea, flying through a torrent of flashing images and bursts of colour. The Web has opened up a world of adventure, intergalactic travel, mystery and mind-blowing knowledge about science, medicine and world affairs. I feel like an astronaut, heading straight for the stars through a universe full of excitement and thrills. Or a new age Magellan, with a ringside seat on the planet.
I am an Internet junkie. It is an addiction, a web high as I surf into volcanos, rain forests and up Everest at 4 a.m. in the morning. Thank God that I am a writer. My boss never sees me bleary-eyed and hung over in the morning from my wild Internet party the night before. My very first foray into the World Wide Web was not to seek out the words of famous visionaries, inventors or world leaders. No, I checked out the latest photograph of Russell Crowe, half naked and standing beside a eucalyptus tree in Australia. Since then, I have become a citizen of the world. The Internet has kept me attuned to everything from stem cell therapy to how to make my face look fatter for my friends.
Here are a few of my faves: That delicious real life tornado on Mars is at www.universe today.com, complete with a computerized animation. Nail-biting scenes keep me riveted in a Mount Everest Virtual Climb on YouTube. Zentangle is my new passion at www.Zentangle.com. The videos of this doodling art are beautifully calming and relaxing. One of the most spectacular places on earth is the Hermitage Museum in Russia. With www.hernitagemuseum.org, you are right there, spellbound on a virtual video tour. For an alternative view on political events that is not coloured by any agenda, you can't beat the Tyee at www.thetyee.ca.
Let's be honest: the Web is a slice. There is so much amazing knowledge at our fingertips on world affairs, science, the arts, medicine and much more. When people are armed with knowledge, they are smarter and more compassionate human beings. Empowered with information, they can act to make changes in this world. Web-savvy environmental activists know where to focus their attention. With keen awareness of injustices around the planet, citizens can mobilize to effect progressive changes. Egypt is a glowing example. Activist Wael Ghonim is a marketing manager for Google. In an article in the Huffington Post, he applauds the Internet: "This (Egyptian) revolution started online. This revolution started on Facebook. I have always said that if you want to liberate a society, just give them the Internet." Internet resources help people to be more productive in their jobs and careers and help them to make informed decisions in their lives. The web is an overarching blessing to many of us.
However, with such an unfettered window on our world, there has to be a dark side. Tune in to my next blog where I will tackle the downside of this heady mind-bending trip at the click of a mouse.
In the meantime, what are your brilliant thoughts, dear readers, on what the web has to offer? And what is the meaning of that darn obelisk in Space Odyssey? That question has been driving me crazy since 1968!
By Doreen Marion Gee
Photo and Graphic Design by Doreen Marion Gee. COREL Paint Shop Pro Ultimate Photo X2 was used for the design work.
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