Michael J. Fox hopes the Web helps win the war against Parkinson's
To raise awareness about Parkinson's disease, Michael J. Fox hit spin city mode back in 1998, making the rounds of talk shows and chatting up reporters. But launching michaeljfox.org last May, he says, "was the first thing we did" to publicize his Foundation for Parkinson's Research, which he started last year. "You need a place for people to go to get their questions answered, links to information they need," he says. "The Internet has been a tremendous tool for us." The site is elegantly high-tech, with an animated fox (the animal, not the actor) skittering across the home page, video clips of Fox (the actor, not the animal) in a public service announcement, an online donation form and basic facts about the illness. Still, the actor, who was diagnosed with Parkinson's in 1991, would happily shut down the site—if a cure came along. "We would like," he says, "to be out of work in a decade."
My Favorite Sites
Members of the girl group selected by The WB's Popstars possess varying levels of dot-comfort. Maile Misajon buys CDs on blockbuster.com. Nicole Scherzinger gets plane tickets on priceline.com. Rosanna Tavarez likes bluemountain.com e-cards. Ana Maria Lombo translates foreign fan mail at www.babel.fish.com But Ivette Sosa's first and only chat-room foray ended, she says, with a message from "a scary guy."
I'm active in my church and often use e-mail to send "Thinking of you" or "Get well soon" notes. Almost all of them go unanswered. Shouldn't recipients at least acknowledge they got my message?
Yes, because etiquette's commandments include "Thou shalt say thank you, even for small gestures." A "Thanks!" reply or warm smile after the next week's sermon would do. That's assuming your missives are original material, not forwarded Net flotsam. If the latter, recipients may be sending you a message with their silence.
When you are chatting online, can others always read what you write? A friend insists that any chat can be read by anyone.
Many sites and online services host public chat rooms that are open to all. But with the private chats offered by instant-message programs and services such as AOL and MSN, only users you invite in can see your words. Most services pledge not to monitor private chat or e-mail without a court order or a report of harassment. But remember your employer can monitor anything you do on an office computer.
Hairstyles of the Rich and Shameless
Next to the mohawk, the once fashionable '80s hairstyle most likely to shame those who wore it is the mullet—short and spiky on top, long and flowing in back. (See David Spade in the new comedy Joe Dirt for the textbook case.) No surprise then that a slew of Web sites have sprung up to chronicle the terrible tresses of yesteryear and the celebs who wore them. "It's more than a haircut," says Kurt Page, 34, the founder of mulletlovers.com, one of the oldest sites dedicated to the coif, also known as the ape drape. "The mullet is a lifestyle. It's a mind-set. Where you'll find monster trucks or professional wrestling, you'll find mullets." (For the record, Page, a software specialist from Albany, Ore., admits he sported one himself in the 1980s.)
Page's favorite celebrity mullets are Mel Gibson's Lethal Weapon-era. look—for, he says, its "understated simplicity"—and Jerry Seinfeld's early '90s do. But Page gives the lifetime achievement award to "Achy Breaky Heart" singer Billy Ray Cyrus, "the man who took mullets to a new level. When it comes to length, he had it. No one else could pull that off." As for Michael Bolton's once long locks, "It was just a mess," he says. "It looked like a dead mullet—as in the fish."