DEAD MAN TALKIN'

From his 4-by-lO-foot cell, Dean Carter describes everyday life on San Quentin's death row: the meals, the noise, the strip searches. Alex Bennett, a San Francisco radio morning show host, has posted 11 columns by Carter on his Web site (http://monkey.hooked.net/monkey/m/hut/deadman/deadman.html), dubbing the appeal-awaiting inmate Dead Man Talkin'. A death-penalty opponent, he hopes Carter's words remind readers that the condemned are "human beings with thoughts and feelings."

But Carter never details his crimes or even reveals his last name, blanks George Cullins can fill in all too easily. Among the four victims of Carter's 1984 murder spree was the Oceanside, Calif., retired Marine's daughter Janette. In March, Cullins launched Citizens for Law and Order Talking (http://users.deltanet.com/ users/ghc), urging users to protest the Carter site. If prison life is so bad, he says, Carter can "swap places with my daughter. He can have her pine box, and I'll go see Janette on death row."

Counters Bennett: "In all the things [Carter] writes, he's never asked for sympathy, mercy, understanding or anything else. He's just asked that you know what it's like to live on death row."

Whatever possesses a person to create an online photo gallery of more than 300 neatly coiffed, blazer-clad TV newswomen? For Jeffrey McManus, a 29-year-old San Francisco computer consultant and "curator" of the News Babe page (http://www.well.com/user/jeffreyp/newsbabe1.html), it took a taste for irony, a case of insomnia and—he deadpans—"a healthy red-blooded American interest in extremely tidy women." The photos, all gathered from TV stations' Web sites, are identified only by first names and icons revealing marital status and any past beauty-queen credentials. "I like to make it ambiguous whether I'm celebrating or gently raising an eyebrow at the whole phenomenon," McManus says. "I refuse to indicate my real feelings because, you know, it's art."

TERM-PAPER CAPERS

College-age Bart Simpsons might welcome School Sucks, but this new Web site—a free repository of term papers and exam questions—is causing an online uproar among academics who fear a flood of plagiarized papers.

Florida International University journalism student Kenny Sahr says his brainchild (http://www.school-sucks.com) will put traditional term-paper mills out of business and "force lazy faculty members to come up with more creative and specific assignments." But teachers aren't buying his good intentions or his "for research only" disclaimers. "You are teaching people that thievery is an acceptable method of accomplishing one's goals," a detractor wrote on the Net.

But Sahr, a 24-year-old Miami native who once worked for the Israeli army, is no pushover. Neither the 500 angry e-mails he has answered nor the D-minus quality of some of the site's papers faze him. If students "can't figure out the difference between good and bad," he says, "it's their problem."

  • Contributors:
  • Stanley Young,
  • Samantha Miller,
  • Greg Aunapu.