John Gosling: Freelance Writer

Internet Reviews

I have written reviews and round-ups of various Internet sites for a number of publications. For Net magazine, I wrote numerous site reviews, requiring me to search the web for the best example of specific categories and then write concise and authoritative texts on each. Prior to this, I wrote a column about science fiction sites for a British magazine, and also summarised Japanese travel sites for the inflight magazine of Sabana Airlines. Most recently, I provided a usability report for a newly launched e-commerce site serving the engineering industry.

As both a reviewer and a researcher, I have an in-depth knowledge and appreciation of the Internet, and am available to do more work of this type.

 

The following is the text and links from a piece in Net Magazine about Cold War sites.

Deep Cold

http://www.deepcold.com

In space, the cold war could be very cold indeed, but if the Superpowers had succeeded in perfecting their most grandiose plans, it could have heated up significantly. This flawlessly designed site lifts the lid on a number of abandoned space projects from both sides of the Iron Curtain, bringing these stillborn ideas to stunning life through a combination of beautifully rendered images and some outstanding quicktime movies. An unrivalled visual feast that should serve to wet your appetite for further research.

Cold War International History Project

http://cwihp.si.edu/

Want to know about "Warsaw Pact Military Planning in Central Europe" or perhaps "Soviet Policy During the Polish Crisis" sounds particularly riveting? OK, so going by those deadly titles, the CWIHP maintains the sort of site that has crusty old historians drooling like Homer Simpson, but honestly, the material offered here is not nearly as dreary as you might imagine. In fact, it makes for rather compelling reading.

14 Days In October

http://library.thinkquest.org/11046/

As one would expect of an event of such terrifying renown, the Cuban Missile Crisis is well represented on the web, but this site does a particularly fine job of explaining exactly how we came so close to the brink of nuclear war. Packed with audio commentaries, maps and documents, the quality and clarity of presentation makes this a particularly fine resource for younger people.

Atomic Archive

http://www.atomicarchive.com/

While the Cuban Missile crisis was one flashpoint during the cold war, the spectre of a nuclear conflict was ever-present, and this site provides a comprehensive overview of the entire subject, ranging from the physics of the weapons to the treaties that attempted to restrict their use. Particularly unsettling are the accounts of nuclear accidents or "broken arrows", including the one that almost vapourised East Anglia!

CNN: Cold War

http://www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/cold.war/

CNN pioneered the idea of 24 hour global news coverage, but as this enormous site clearly demonstrates, they have a talent for reporting history as well as making it. A companion piece to an equally superb television series, you can find a mass of detail here, and even test your knowledge by attempting to make life and death decisions based on authentic cold war scenarios.

Nuclear Tourism

With the cold war over, sun seekers in the US of A can now choose to catch some rays of an entirely different sort, though if standing at ground zero of the Trinity nuclear test site seems like a scary alternative to Disneyland, an illuminating visit to www.atomictourist.com will explain both the dangers and directions. For a more sedate experience, try www.greenbrier.com, an exclusive West Virginian hotel beneath which was built a secret bombproof bolt hole for the US Congress. Tours cost 25 dollars, but budget conscious travelers can explore a decommissioned missile silo on-line at www.xvt.com/users/kevink/silo/, a distinctly spooky experience given the intended use of this now rusting facility. (note, the last link seems to have now died since this article was published.)

For the full list of sites reviewed for Net magazine, please see the CV portion of this site.

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Contact me at jd.gosling@btinternet.com