Planning your virtual week? Here are cyberlinks to help you keep ahead of the real-time news. Please remember that Internet sites can be ephemeral. So, if you can't find one listed here, well ... that's cyberspace.
The Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal holds the second World Skeptics Conference through Sunday in Heidelberg, Germany. The theme for this year's skeptical gathering: "Facing Armageddon."
Presumably, this has nothing to do with how one should watch the new Bruce Willis film, but a visit to the group's Web site at www.csicop.org does find some mentions of "The X-Files" and "Men In Black." There's also an article about a recent Roper Poll offering the revelation that nearly 4 million Americans have had certain "indicator" experiences and therefore had probably been abducted by aliens.
Follow the site's many links to such continually useful Web pages as How to Make Fake Photos of Ghosts at www3.sympatico.caroddyghost-front-door.html, the online home of England's Crop Circle Makers at www.head-space.com/circlemakers/ or the always authoritative Quackwatch: Your Guide to Health Fraud, Quackery, and Intelligent Decision Making at www.quackwatch.com.
The Garlic Capital of the World, Gilroy, Calif., holds its annual Garlicfest through the weekend. According to folks in Gilroy, there's no limit to what you can do with those little white cloves.
Garlic ice cream? Sure.
Garlic beer? No sweat.
Check out their Web site at www.garlicfest.com for info on all the festivities and the three winning recipes in last year's garlic cook-off. (The Sizzling Garlic and Citrus Shrimp look mighty delectable.) Gilroy's near the central California coast and real easy to find. (Just follow your nose.)
Do you know that as well as making food taste great, garlic has a history of medical applications dating back to the ancient Egyptians? Learn more from Garlic the Great Protector at www.botanical.com/botanical/article/garlic.html. The Garlic Information Centre at www.mistral.co.uk/garlic offers a lot more medical info, including the illuminating fact that long before Viagra some men turned to garlic (and their women turned away).
In the folklore of Eastern Europe, garlic has long had a reputation for repelling vampires, but some legitimate and obscure research reveals that -- when combined with ale and sour cream -- it also holds a fatal attraction for those other bloodsuckers, leeches. The Ig-Nobel winning study awaits your perusal at www.uib.no/isf/surprise.htm.