Welcome to Tangents!
This web site is devoted to the expression of ideas
on a variety of topicspolitics, philosophy,
religion, science, and social issues. The
approach varies from serious to humorous, and the
viewpoint is typically a bit apart from today's
mainstream. Most of the articles are fairly
brief. Nevertheless, in addressing
controversial themes, an effort has been made to
examine underlying issues in greater depth than
typical of parlor chat or pub banter.
This site is adult-oriented, in the
sense that it contains little of interest to youthful
web surfers, save perhaps the most precocious.
Its objective is to engage the active mind, not to
amuse and abuse the mass-market crowd. I hope
you enjoy it!
Like most personal web sites, this
one represents an expression of the owner's personal
interests and opinions. However, unlike many personal
sites which are essentially "output only,"
this site invites input from you, my esteemed
guest. I depend on your ideas to stimulate and
develop my own thoughts, to help me see things from
perspectives which I might not otherwise have
considered. Such a "feedback loop"
enables me to produce material for this site which
addresses your concerns as well as my own.
Communication tools are available on the FEEDBACK
menu at the top of the MAIN page.
I invite you to use them often,
whether to express agreement or disagreement, to ask
questions, or even to post an item of your own, be it
a single sentence or an entire essay. If there
is sufficient response, I may even post items of
exceptional interest (with the sender's permission)
on a MAIL BAG page.
This site is organized with your
convenience in mind. It is easy to find what you want
and to access related material, without having to dig
through stuff that doesn't interest you. The
first page you encounter is likely to be the WELCOME
page. Aside from Web Ring links, this page does not itself contain much of
interest; rather, it provides quick and easy access
to services addressing your individual needs, whether
you are a first-time guest, a regular
visitor, or a web-ring surfer.
THE MAIN PAGE & MENUS:
The MAIN page is the hub of the site, comprising
several menus, from which everything else on the site
is accessible with five or fewer mouse-clicks.
The Information and Feedback
menus at the top of the page, and the Search
tool immediately below, can be accessed by clicking
MAIN on most menus, or HOME on a main-page
menu. These are fairly intuitive, but are
explained below under the FEATURES heading.
The Issues menu is the central
access point for most of the material on this
site. It allows you to browse and select
various fields of interest.
The What's New menu alerts you to
any major changes on this site. If things seem
to have been rearranged since your previous visit,
this is the place to find out what has gone where.
The Links menu provides some ideas
for where to go when you're ready to leave this
site. In addition to direct links to other web
sites, here you will find access to web rings and
After choosing an area of interest from the Issues
menu, you will, in most cases, find yourself at a
section page for the category you have
selected. Here you will find listings of
related articles, data,
links, and perhaps some introductory notes.
Each section page also features quick access back to
the MAIN PAGE, as well as direct access to Links and
navigation is made easy by a hierarchy of
menus. As already mentioned, the ISSUES menu on
the MAIN page lists the major areas of interest, and
the SECTION (ISSUE) pages feature section menus
of articles, data, links, and notes. In
addition, almost every page features a site menu
at the top and / or bottom, such as this:
From these menus you
can instantly access the related Section page and menu, as
well as the Information, Feedback, and Search tools
at the top of the MAIN page, and the Issues, Links,
and Rings menus elsewhere. On many pages, clicking the
"modified" date (near the top right corner of the page) will take
you directly to the most recent addition or change on the current
On most long pages
there are also page menus, located either
down the left side (as on this page) or across the
screen between items. These allow you to skip quickly
up and down the current page. Besides links to specific items,
the symbols "«" and "»" link to the top and bottom of
the page, respectively. In addition, on
very long pages there may be detail menus to assist in
locating specific points.
Some menus (typically on the Main and Section
pages, as well as this one) contain graphic navigation arrows, which
may replace or augment the "«" and "»" symbols. As a rule,
up/down arrows link to the current page, while left/right arrows
link to other pages. These are fairly intuitive, but further
explanation is available in the HELP section under Menus.
When you are finished with a
document, access the site menu by clicking TOP (" "
or " « ") on the local menu, or by
pressing your HOME key or scrolling. From the
site menu you can go back to any previous menu, or
jump to the MAIN page, LINKS or RINGS.
A few pages have no menus, since
they are designed for limited access. To exit
such pages, press your BACKSPACE key or use your
browser's BACK feature.
and Feedback menus are located at
the top of the MAIN page. Information includes
particulars about the owner and the site,
including an alphabetical site index
of documents and features. Feedback features
include a guest book and e-mail.
The Site Search
tool is also near the top of the MAIN page. It
allows you to search the entire site for words or
phrases of your choosing. Located in this same
area are an Exit Frames button
(convenient if your browser is stuck in the frames
from another web site), and a Use Material
button, which explains the site copyright, and the
conditions under which material from this web site
may be legally copied and distributed.
The Issues menu on
the MAIN page displays a modification date for each
interest category, noting when the most recent
addition or update was made. This enables you to see
at a glance what has changed since your previous
Counters on some
pages are mainly to give me an idea of what is
popular and what is not. They do not tell me who
views a page or why, but only how many times a page
has been visited since the last reset of the counter.
(As a rule, I reset all counters, except the one on
the WELCOME page, on 1 January each year.) You
can use the counters, too, to get some idea of
whether you're "going with the flow" or
"blazing a new trail."
GRAPHICS AND FONTS
Because most of this web site is
text-oriented, I have avoided the use of garish
graphics where they might interfere with the
presentation of ideas. As a result, most of my pages
appear rather plain compared to the more eye-catching
works of the web's many graphic artists. Even so, I
have made use of menus to assist in site navigation,
tables to organize information, and backgrounds to
enhance visual appeal. Colors are selected to offer
variety while being easy on the eyes, and in some
instances also serve as visual keys to subject
There are some pages on this site
which feature photographs as well as text. But for
the most part, the emphasis here is on artistry of a
different sort, an artistry of words, wit, and
whimsy, with a dash of wistfulness, and perhaps a jot
of wisdom here and there.
The the following table shows the fonts used on
||menus and tables
|Comic Sans MS
|Imprint MT Shadow
|MS Sans Serif
|Old English Text MT
|Times New Roman
||controls, menus, text
Most of these fonts are standard on current Microsoft
systems, from Windows 95 to present. If your computer does not
have some of these fonts installed, in most cases text should still
be legible in your browser's default font. The exception is
the Symbol font, which contains the Greek alphabet, math and logic symbols,
and other characters not contained in most fonts. If your
computer does not have the full TrueType Symbol font installed, special
characters might display as something else in your default font, or
not at all.
Aside from the applications mentioned, preference is usually
given to the browser's default font for text documents. This
permits each guest to choose his or her favorite font for on-screen
reading. Guests are urged to bring to my attention any problems with
fonts—particularly if readability or site navigation is adversely
affected. (To report difficulties, select CONTACT on the
FEEDBACK menu at the top of the MAIN page. Please mention any
pertinent factors, such as the size, type (e.g., CRT/LCD,
color/monochrome), and resolution of your monitor, as well as any
vision problems I ought to consider.)
The Tangents web site was
established in August 2001 and opened officially on 1
September 2001. The terrorist attacks on the World
Trade Center and the Pentagon ten days later helped
solidify and direct the site's thrust.
Tangents is an outgrowth
of my original site, The Gent's Lounge
(established December 1998). Tangents has
absorbed and expanded upon most of the original
site's controversial and general-interest themes,
leaving the Lounge as an exclusively
This web site resides on facilities
provided by AT&T Worldnet. It was created and maintained using Microsoft®
FrontPage Express, with occasional applications of
brute force and colorful language. Commencing in January 2005,
Microsoft's standard FrontPage became the primary editing software.
The spelling- and hyperlink-checkers are welcome additions to my
toolbox, and should enhance guests' experience as well.
I am indebted to many for their
advice, services, and words of encouragement, and to
those who have generouslyand sometimes
unwittinglysupplied me with ideas and
materials. (Specific contributions are acknowledged
on the pages containing them.) Ultimately, however, I
must assume all blame for whatever you find here.
AWARDS & RECOGNITION
This web site's predecessor, The
Gent's Lounge, was the featured
"Lifestyles" community site for December
1999 - January 2000 in AT&T Worldnet's
Communities Showcase. My thanks to those visitors
(whoever they are) who enjoyed the site enough to
nominate it. I am grateful and honored—not to
mention utterly astonished.
There are no features on this web site which collect
personal data without your knowledge and consent. The
page-hit counters register only the number of times a
page is visited, not the identities of visitors. As a
general rule, however, you should regard e-mail,
guest books, message boards, chat rooms, and the like
as unsecure and subject to public scrutiny. The
provider (AT&T Worldnet) reserves the right to
monitor activity on its servers. In addition,
remember that it is possible for your published remarks to be
copied to other locations on the Internet without
your knowledge or consent.
Although some material on this web site might be
considered controversial or challenging, there is no
material here which might reasonably be construed as
harmful to any mature and stable person.
YOUR COMPUTER'S SAFETY: Currently
there are no features on this site which install software on your
computer. Software programs directly accessible from this site
are provided by AT&T Worldnet. This does not ensure they are
problem-free, but at least they are most unlikely to cause any harm.
no circumstances does the owner of this web site
accept responsibility for any use or misuse of
material or features contained herein, or for any
consequences of such use or misuse.
All material generated by me is
protected by copyright, unless specifically placed in
the public domain. In most (but not all) cases, the
copying of material from this site is permitted with
proper accreditation. A few pages (identified by
headers containing "special restriction"
statements) are intended strictly for viewing at this
web site and may not be copied, although the URLs may
be published or hyperlinked elsewhere.
would like to copy or distribute material from this
web site, please click here for details about
permissions, restrictions, and accreditation.