Sites to See

Echo of the Bunnywomen

( The Ex-Playboy Bunnies site describes itself as an online resource “for all former Playboy Bunnies and Playboy Club employees,” but you don’t need to have been a Bunny, a Keyholder or even a past Playboy subscriber (just for the articles, right?) to find this site fascinating. The handful of Playboy Clubs now operating at the Palms—and in Cancun, London and Macau—are a slight, strange echo of Hugh Hefner’s original empire, which stretched from Detroit to Japan. Love ’em or hate ’em, the Playboy Clubs were part of an era, and there’s perhaps no better way to consider them than through the perspective of the women who donned the cottontails and worked in the trenches. Ex-Playboy Bunnies includes a complete history of the clubs, a list of former Bunnies with a few famous names on it (I knew about Gloria Steinem, but not about Deborah Harry), and most engrossing of all, an actual employee’s manual from 1968. I never knew that the head Bunny was called the “Bunny Mother,” but it’s right there in the table of contents. There may be a Bunny Mother overseeing the operation at the Palms instead of a fully lawyered human relations department, but I doubt it. Different times.


( You’ve been there. You’ve schlepped out to Costa Mesa, Calif., in a borrowed truck, found the warehouse, grabbed two carts and loaded up on Malm, Pax Uggdal, Ängsnäva—a veritable Sigur Rós of clashing letters and gratuitous umlauts that somehow adds up to a living room set. But once you’ve gotten all that IKEA furniture back home (via the snack bar, of course; goddamn, but those Swedish Meatballs are tasty), assembled it and placed it, you can’t help but feel as if there’s something intrinsically wrong with your purchases; it’s as if IKEA withheld a handful of woodscrews or maybe some all-purpose widget to make the furniture look like it actually belonged in your home. As it turns out, that missing widget is IKEA Hackers—a website that invites you to rip apart your Swedish pressboard and re-assemble it into furnishings that actually look good and serve a complete function. Closet doors are transformed into room dividers; glass-top coffee tables are hollowed to contain train sets; desks and dressers are simply made to look attractive and personal. Everything is accompanied by photos and step-by-step instructions, and much of it is dirt-simple to do.

Your Mother Should Know

( “Hello, Mom/Dad. I’m really shocked/impressed/worried/jazzed that you’ve been using your computer these days.” Thus begins the fill-in-the-blanks letter that’s the centerpiece of Teach Parents Tech, a Google-created site that does exactly as advertised. Remember when you were a kid and your dad forbid you from messing with his stereo because “you might break it?” Little did he know that the day would come when he loaded up his own computer with viruses and spyware, and that he would need to call on you to fix it. Shoe’s on the other foot, innit, Pops? Anyway, Teach Parents Tech saves you the potential aggravation of having to explain basic Web and computing processes by providing instructional videos of those processes narrated by patient and kind-faced Google nerds. Just check the appropriate boxes on the form letter and your folks will learn how to create strong passwords, change their desktop background and even start a blog. There’s no space on the form letter to chide your old man over the stereo thing, but y’know, it’s implied.