Web sites worth the click

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Most visitors to Thailand remark on the appealing disposition of those who live there. For a chance to learn more about what's behind the “Land of Smiles,� visit that country's National Statistical Office's Web site, the official source for statistical information. The site provides census and survey data as well as free analytical reports. Most pages are available in English (Thai is available for those with the ability and the fonts). The site includes basics, such as information on population, housing, agriculture and industry. It also presents more specialized material, like the “High Qualified Manpower Survey,� which examines the number of individuals attaining higher education and vocational training, and “Home Work in Thailand,� which tracks the labor of contract workers and other employees working from home. Most of the information can be downloaded in either PDF or Excel formats.


The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, part of the Department of Transportation, sets safety standards for vehicles, funds local and national safety programs, and researches driver behavior and traffic safety. Its Web site, divided roughly into two parts, allows visitors to read safety studies about various car features and economic studies about crashes, fuel efficiency and insurance. One helpful feature, “Buying a Safer Car,� produces search results of crash test rankings by car class, model or year. The second half of the site focuses less on cars and more on drivers. There are hundreds of data-laden research reports, organized by categories such as alcohol intake, older drivers and motorcycles.


Did you know that the average amount of money spent on food per year, per person, adjusted for inflation, declined about 7 percent between 1990 and 1998, from $2,189 to $2,037? For those who have a consuming interest in what Americans eat, how much they spend on food or even their vitamin intake, the Food Surveys Web site of the Food and Nutrition Information Center, is the place to start. This clearinghouse for government-based data and reports is part of the Department of Agriculture and the Agricultural Research Service. Users can research dietary guidelines or find USDA survey data on food intake, as well as find links to sites that analyze the nutritional content of their latest meals. Bon appétit!

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