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Listen up — In an era in which nearly every historical event is documented, recorded and distributed in dozens of ways, it’s hard to consider that, someday, they might all be lost. Audio and video, in particular, have the feel of permanence. But when one medium overtakes another, maintenance of those things recorded in the previous medium is often abandoned until it’s too late. That’s what appears to be happening to the earliest sound recordings. Sounds captured on Thomas Edison’s wire and wax cylinders, on old phonograph records and even on reel-to-reel tape are in danger of being lost as these media age and fall apart. Save Our Sounds at http://www.saveoursounds.org/ is a joint project of the Library of Congress and the Smithsonian Institution. Bring your RealPlayer plug-in, and you can listen to Langston Hughes recite his poetry; a 1964 recording of We Shall Overcome; John F. Kennedy talk about the poet Robert Frost; or the beep-beep of Sputnik, the first man-made satellite. The samples page will be periodically updated with new sounds as they are digitized, so visit often.

You’re blind, ump! — Baseball is full of small, simple pleasures, from hot dogs eaten outdoors to the acrobatic beauty of a perfectly executed triple play. But few aspects of baseball are as joyous as artful heckling. Sure, any slob can yell epithets at the opposing players or complain about the umpire’s eyesight. It takes talent to come up with heckles that will get the attention of those on the field and leave those in the stands helpless with laughter. For inspiration, try the Baseball Heckle Depot at https://www.heckledepot.com/. Not only will you find literally hundreds of hilarious heckles, they are thoughtfully organized by recipient. You can find heckles for pitchers, batters, fielders, the bullpen and, of course, umpires. The umpire’s section begins with a bit of history (the first recorded usage of “Kill the Umpire” is from the 1888 poem Casey at the Bat). You then get dozens of much more original gems, such as: “How about asking the audience?”; “It sure sounded like a strike!”; “How’d you get a square head in that round mask?”; “Do you take Visa or American Express?”; and “I thought only horses slept standing up.”

Rate ’em — Is the notion of using a computer over a network of computers to shop for more computers something that makes your hardware-geek heart skip a beat? It all kind of fits together, doesn’t it — almost like a nifty way for PCs to replicate. There’s one problem, though — buying hardware online can be a nerve-wracking experience if you’re unfamiliar with the merchant’s site. A bargain is only a bargain if it actually arrives at your door quickly and in one piece. For peace of mind, try ResellerRatings.com at https://www.resellerratings.com/. This site lets you read how actual customers rated their experiences with dozens of online computer merchants. And, of course, you can offer your own evaluation, which is factored into the ratings.

Draw it — For board-game fans, Pictionary is one of the most popular party past-times. It’s similar to charades, only you draw a picture to inspire other players to guess a word. Now this concept has been brought to the Web in an addictive game called iSketch at http://www.isketch.net/. Make sure you have the latest Macromedia Flash plug-in, then pick a user name and play. You start in a chat room that features a drawing area. A player is given a word by the computer and draws online while others watch and try to guess the word. Whoever guesses the word is next to draw. About a dozen people can be in a room at any given time, and there are rooms set up for specific languages.

The simple life — Now here’s an incongruity for you: a Web site that sells nonelectric household implements to the Amish. While you may think that Lehman’s Non-electric Catalog at https://www.lehmans.com/ is the ultimate contradiction in terms, it also has some pretty cool things to sell. While there are not likely to be many members of the Amish sect clicking here to order butter churns, those who are interested in living a simpler lifestyle will definitely find it intriguing. Among the things you’ll find — wood-burning stoves, composting toilets, gas-powered refrigerators, wooden and leather buckets, beeswax furniture polish, corn brooms, flour-sack towels, oil lamps and battery-less flashlights.

— Dwight Silverman