If health clubs became the premier membership clubs in the 1980s, could the 1990s see the rise of Internet clubs?
The Palos Verdes Peninsula will find out starting Saturday with the launch of Palos Verdes on the Net, a center equipped with 20 computers and super-fast T-1 lines ideal for surfing the Internet. The center, housed in a onetime recreation center next to Rancho Palos Verdes City Hall, aims to become self-sufficient by selling six-month memberships a la Gold's Gym. The charge is $50, although seniors, children and people with financial hardships may pay less.
Palos Verdes on the Net will be open for a test run next week. The grand opening is at 10 a.m. Saturday at 30940 Hawthorne Blvd. in Rancho Palos Verdes. For more information, call (310) 541-7992.
Web site marketing: Building a site on the World Wide Web is easy, but attracting visitors can be a real challenge. For help, attend "How to Market Your Website," sponsored by the International Interactive Communications Society. The seminar begins at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Conrad Hilton Center for Business on the campus of Loyola Marymount University, 7101 W. 80th St. in Westchester. The cost is $60 for the public, $45 for International Interactive Communications Society members and $25 for students. For more information, call (310) 313-5664.
Meeting face-to-face: Web Nation is a group of three conferences for entrepreneurs and Web designers taking place this week in San Francisco. For more information, check the Web site at (http://www.webinn.com) or call (800) 488-2883.
THE HOLIDAYS IN CYBERSPACE
* Hanukkah begins at sundown Thursday and lasts for eight days. For a thorough history of the holiday, visit the Jewish Communication Network's Hanukkah site at http://www.jcn18.com/ holiday/hanukkah/index.htm. The site also offers meditations for each night of candle lighting, a lighthearted collection of Hanukkah carols and a potato latke recipe exchange.
* At Virtual Jerusalem's Chanukah: The Festival of Lights (http://www.jer1.co.il/holidays /chanukah/chanukah.htm), you can read the text to the three blessings in English and Hebrew (or listen to them in RealAudio) and read up on the laws and customs of lighting the candles. There are also Chanukah Insights from assorted rabbis, Chanukah Mad Libs and plans for a Web cam so that cyber-celebrants can participate in the lighting of a menorah at Jerusalem's Western Wall.
* To spin a virtual dreidel and learn the rules of the popular Hanukkah game, point your browser to http://www.jcn18.com/spin-ns.htm
* Hanukkah? Channukkah? Because the name for the Jewish holiday is a Hebrew word, there is no official English transliteration. For an entertaining treatise on this spelling problem, visit Xappy Xanuka at http://www.comsynrye.org/xanuka.html
* The North Pole, hometown of Santa and Mrs. Claus, is online at http://www.town.hall.org/Santa. Boys and girls can send e-mail to the jolly bearded man and decorate digital Christmas trees. (Tinsel goes on one strand at a time.)
* Christmas.com (http://christmas.com) describes how the holiday is celebrated around the world. At the site's X-mas Files section, visitors can track reports of sightings of the elusive Mr. Claus.
* Kwanzaa, an African American spiritual holiday that begins Dec. 26, is a festive celebration of families and the goodness in life and is not tied to any religion. To learn more about the history and principles of Kwanzaa and how to celebrate the weeklong holiday, visit the Kwanzaa Information Center at http://www.melanet.com/kwanzaa
* For Kwanzaa recipes, including Southern fried okra, futari (African squash and yams), Benne cakes and tomato-avocado-buttermilk soup, turn to Sankofa at http://members.tripod.com/~Nancy_J/kwanzaa.htm
* Only 22 shopping days left till Christmas! If you don't know where to get started, check out Real Malls (http://www.realmalls.com) for a directory of shopping centers in the Southland. Once you've found the malls in your area, you can search through a directory of stores and save valuable shopping time.