World Wide Web: 10 BEST SITES OF THE WEEK
Moss, Robert, The Independent (London, England)
This is a small family business that restores the sounds on old homemade reel-to-reel tapes and other "dead" media - recovering the voices of friends and relatives from the past. Recent press coverage has brought precious-voices some interesting work, including a Danish family recording from 1945! Why do old recordings need rescuing? Old magnetic tape and vinyl are damaged over time and, once gone, unique recordings are lost forever. This is the only UK company offering such a service to the public at present.
Download more than 300 desktop wallpapers for your PC or Mac, if that's what you're into. The site also contains stories about college pranks and funny summer jobs, plus letters to and from Netscape and UPS's lawyers, a letter from a porn webmaster, and advice on dealing with spammers. You'll even find an Osama bin Laden urinal mat - well, it is an American site. The drawback is that you have to pay $2 (pounds 1.30) to access the site.
Ibiza isn't perhaps the first place that springs to mind if you are planning a relaxing holiday, but this company runs dynamic Ashtanga Yoga holidays and courses just 100 metres from Benirras beach. With proceedings running well into October, when the weather is still very pleasant, you can learn at your own pace under expert tuition, training for up to three hours a day. The rest of the time is your own.
According to its American manufacturers, the once all- conquering pinball machine is in terminal decline, with worldwide revenue falling from $2bn to a measly $1bn in just a few years. Still, you can always buy a little piece of history at this site, which also provides the parts and technical information you'll need to operate a pinball machine in your own home.
If you want something with a bit more style than a semi-detached house in Hampstead or a flat in Crouch End, then you could try the Architectural Heritage Web Pages provided by Pavilions of Splendour, the listed buildings specialists. Many of the buildings shown are listed properties and require restoration, so in certain cases you can expect to invest far more than the purchase price. But if you have the money, or are a handy Andy, you might find the lure of a Victorian folly or an 18th-century millhouse too much to resist. …