Sunday, Jun 24, 2018
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Nothing but 'Net: Bob Hope is honored as a national treasure

An entire generation knows Bob Hope only as the frail, 97-year-old celebrity with watery eyes and a halting gait, whose recent hospitalization made headlines. Several older generations remember him much differently, as one of the funniest and most vital performers of the 20th century.

He is a comedian who entertained hundreds of millions of people in vaudeville, on radio and television, in movies, and on USO stages behind the front lines before huge crowds of combat soldiers dating back to World War II. Hope is given his due at a Library of Congress exhibit, "Bob Hope and American Variety." The tribute is beautifully capsulized on a Web site describing the Library's new Bob Hope Gallery of American Entertainment.

The site chronicles his entire career, and in so doing manages to convey much of his boundless energy and deft delivery as America's favorite standup comic for most of the century. A highlight is the page devoted to his Joke File, a monumental collection of jokes filling 85,000 pages. Digitally scanned and indexed according to categories, they are now preserved for the ages.

Highly classified info

How many times have you wished you could fry chicken the way they do at KFC, complete with all 11 secret ingredients? Can you really duplicate the recipe for Girl Scout Thin Mints, or Wendy's Chili? That special sauce on McDonald's Big Macs - can it be made at home? And how in the world do they create those big bloomin' onions? The answers to these and hundreds of other questions concerning well-known restaurant foods is a mere click away.

Top Secret is a wondrous site for junk-food junkies and everybody else who dotes on favorites served at restaurants ranging from Applebee's to the Hard Rock Cafe, as well as grocery items like Heinz 57's Steak Sauce and the defunct Smurfberry Crunch cereal. A fellow named Todd Wilbur wrote several best-selling books about secret recipes and eventually went global with this Web site.

Here you can check out thousands of supposedly secret recipes that Wilbur and legions of contributors to the site's message boards have tried to replicate in their own kitchens. Not only that, but there's a "Dead Food" board where cooks pine over food once available in restaurants and on old TV shows such as The Frugal Gourmet and Justin Wilson's cajun cooking program. With Windows Media Player, you can also tune in to video executions of various recipes by Todd.

Now if I could only find the recipe for the fabulous enchiladas at Toledo's late, lamented Acapulco Restaurant ...

Gold Dollar

Have you yet laid eyes on one of the new gold dollar coins, let alone had the chance to jingle one in your pocket? Me neither. Ditto for friends of mine who are still waiting to receive one of the much-hyped gold coins in change. Does this mean that, despite the release of millions and millions of the gold dollars into the economy, they are being hoarded just as the failed Susan B. Anthony coins were? Rather than wait indefinitely to see one, you're probably better off going to the U.S. Mint's Web Site, which devotes several fancy color pages to the coin's creation, physical properties, and design, along with a history of the woman whose face graces the Gold Dollar. She is Sacagawea, the Shoshone Indian who trail-blazed for the Lewis and Clark expedition from 1804 to 1806. Hope we get a chance to meet her in person someday.

Remembering D-Day

The National D-Day Museum opened in New Orleans last week, commemorating the massive assault on five Normandy beaches by 34,000 Allied troops on June 6, 1944. In the first waves of the invasion, 2,400 troops died. The museum honors the dead and the living, and its fledgling Web site gives browsers a look at what's contained therein. It also features links to other D-Day-related Internet pages, and promises much more to come in coming weeks and months. One of its more ambitious undertakings is a massive photo database, and to that end the museum is soliciting digital pictures that can be e-mailed for inclusion on the site, with descriptions and photographer credit.

If you have a Web site to recommend, send an e-mail to

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