Web sites worth the click

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HUD-E-MAPS is a free mapping device that marries House and Human Services data with information from the Environmental Protection Agency. The resultant user-friendly maps highlight what the government is doing to foster community and environmental development, where the EPA is monitoring potential risks, and where HUD is considering new developments. Users can check out whether toxic release sites mar their child's walk home from school or where hazardous waste generators blemish their county's landscape. The map also highlights community development projects, Superfund sites, Brownfields tax incentive zones, multifamily housing and public housing units, as well as standard landmarks such as national parks, cemeteries, golf courses, and military outposts.


Anyone with a medical question can find answers at the MEDLINEplus Web site, which offers health care information from the world's largest medical library — the National Library of Medicine at the National Institutes of Health. Click on health topics to learn about the complication rate linked to laser eye surgery, the difference between a cold and the flu, or what to expect when you undergo a liver transplant. To learn the side effects associated with your meds, link to a listing of generic and brand-name drugs. Directories guide you to substance abuse treatment facilities and assisted-living facilities. The site also links to online medical dictionaries, lists of licensed doctors, health-related organizations, and clinical trials.


If you're planning your next trip or just day dreaming, the World Travel Guide Web site offers everything you ever wanted to know about your next destination. Click on a map of the world to link to articles on customs and visa requirements, and exchange rates for your selected locale. The site offers background on countries that will not only help you find your way, but avoid insulting the locals. For example, did you know that refusing a glass of fermented mare's milk, the national specialty of Kazakhstan, may be viewed as rude? If you're thinking of visiting Qatar, and are in a betting mood, this site can direct you to the main camel racetrack. It also features reviews of festivals, events, and attractions worldwide. Check out the comprehensive world airport guide, which offers tips so you'll know what to expect when you arrive at the other end.

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