08/05/2003-Updated02:57 PMET
Ask The Web Librarian

Tips from the USA TODAY Library

Our research specialists guide readers to helpful online information.

Today's Question

A family friend left me some of her jewelry in her will. Is there a Web site that appraises jewels?

Hot Sites

American Rhetoric
What do King's "I Have A Dream," MacArthur's farewell address to Congress, and an 1983 commencement speech by Ursula K. LeGuin have in common? They're among the top 100 American speeches of the century as selected by American Rhetoric, a site designed to showcase the very best public debates and arguments and, perhaps, cause a few as well. The site also includes a large collection of other speeches given in contexts from murder trials to the movies, and includes a nifty multimedia reference guide to over 200 rhetorical devices and figures of speech.

From pimples to alcohol to job interviews, is the one-stop destination for teens who just need to chat. (And let’s face it, what teen doesn’t need to chat?) The site is easy to use and completely anonymous, and thanks to frank discussions on practically every topic of general interest (everything from dating disasters to college visits to health), teens can feel a little less alone with those dismal dilemmas.

Ghost Sites
Hey, whatever happened to that one site? Remember that one Web site? It seemed like everything was possible online in the mid-to-late '90s, and that no topic was too odd or obscure for digital success. Ghost Sites, itself an early product of the boom, continues to document those great lost creative moments. Browse more than 1,200 screens captured from about 900 defunct Web projects; from to the virtual pages of Yahoo! Internet Life, read ‘em and weep.


  • Monday: Smithsonian Education, The 1900 House, crazy fads.
  • Friday: Dr. Seuss' political cartoons, SwitchZoo, speak your mind.
  • Thursday: Pilot project, Save SURGE, EFF subpoenas.
  • Wednesday: Playtarot, pay raise calculator, All Look Same?
  • Tuesday: Hot Sites takes a very short summer vacation.


  • Tech life
    Man of Steel, auction of eBay.
    Around the Net

    Web savvy can cut college costs.

    Netting wayward spouses.

    Astrology sites sparkle online.


    Congress moving on Net gambling ban.

    Senate looks to make moratorium permanent.

    Former WorldCom in current mess.


    Offering companionship on ho(me) page.

    Web kids

    Interactive program teaches kids safety basics.

    School to broadcast over Net.