The Internet is a dynamic, ever-changing entity. Some of the sites you have visited probably are now gone or have relocated to new addresses. Others have flourished and grown in content.
Most of the sites that have been mentioned in this column are listed on the "On the Web" page at http://members.telocity.com/aehodel/ontheweb.html. This page is periodically updated, and a few sites not mentioned in previous columns have been added. Of course, you are never guaranteed that any linked page will still be active when you want it.
The quickest way to find things on the Web seems to be through the popular search engines such as Google (www.google.com) and AlltheWeb (www.alltheweb.com). They are smart, fast and can be customized to match your preferences.
However, search engines are businesses. They are looking to make money. Some are even beginning to charge for answers to questions. For example, take a look at "Google Answers," https://answers.google.com/answers/main, where researchers will help you locate hard-to-find information for a price.
One way to check if a site is current is through Kaylon's "Powermarks" bookmark manager and personal search engine (www.kaylon.com/power.html), which can automatically check for changed or dead bookmarks.
A note of caution always is in order when searching the Internet for information. "Better Read That Again: Web Hoaxes and Misinformation" (www.infotoday.com/searcher/sep00/piper.htm), an article from the September 2000 issue of Searcher, caught my eye. The Searcher article continues to be a resource for links to sites dedicated to tracking Internet hoaxes such as "Hoaxbusters," http://hoaxbusters.ciac.org.
You might also want to take a look at the Search Engines Statistics: Relative Size Showdown, www.searchengineshowdown.com/stats/size.shtml, on the "Search Engine Showdown" site. It will give you an idea of how big the Internet has become and how many people are searching for information. The "Search Engine Showdown" site (www.searchengineshowdown.com), a creation of Greg Notess, is a guide to Web searching that compares and evaluates Internet search engines from the searcher's perspective.
You might want to read another viewpoint about the latest happenings in information acquisition on "The Virtual Acquisition Shelf & News Desk," http://resourceshelf.freepint.com. This "ResourceShelf," compiled and edited by Gary Price, will fill you in about the goings on in the world of information professionals and contains links to some other significant resources such as "direct search," www.freepint.com/gary/direct.htm. This resource, which was mentioned in this column in July 2001, moved to this new address just a few months ago.
As world leaders get ready for the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, South Africa, it might be a good time to look at environmental, health and safety (EH&S) issues. The University of Nebraska at Lincoln (UNL) Department of Chemistry has posted EH&S links (http://bifrost.unl.edu/ehs/Links/link.html) that lead to a core of sites spanning the entire arena of applicable issues. If you would like a review of reporting requirements, you could visit the "Industry Environmental Reporting Requirements" site at www.lectlaw.com/files/env08.htm at the Lectric Law Library.
Liquid containment (www.pumpschool.com/applications/contain.htm) is an environmental subtopic that is covered in one of a series of articles at the "Pump School" site. The "Pump School" site (www.pumpschool.com/index.htm) provides an introduction to positive-displacement rotary pumps. The liquid containment article includes a description of many of the factors that must be considered to arrive at the proper pump sealing solution. It also includes explanations and diagrams of shaft seal types. The "Pump School" site provides a wealth of information applicable to rotary pumps, as well as information about a variety of liquids commonly pumped by rotary pumps.
If you like refreshing educational sites, you might try "allatoms.com." This is a chemistry site by William Rushin, a high school chemistry teacher at Cary Academy (www.carya cademy.org in Cary, N.C. Included are chemical courses, experiments, links to chemistry resources and an interactive molecule gallery. CP
Hodel isChemical Processing's Internet columnist. Contact him at email@example.com.