Sports leagues are still learning to use the Web to enhance conventional broadcasts of games, but the National Basketball Assn.'s site represents the state of the art. The site, run for the league by Starwave and ESPN, offers a free fantasy basketball league and tons of statistics, including running box scores for games in progress. The neatest feature is a Java applet that keeps track of games with play-by-play information, running statistics, and a shots-missed-and-made diagram. With a $12.95 subscription, you can get a live audio feed of every game. Three games a week are offered free. I was able to get the service easily, but it will be interesting to see whether the site bogs down with heavy traffic during the playoffs.
Original online work is a form growing in popularity with avant-garde artists. For some interesting examples of the genre, check out The Laboratory, an online gallery operated by Oxford University's Ruskin School of Drawing & Fine Art. I found two interactive exhibits of particular interest: Jake Tilson's witty ''The Cooker'' and David Bickerstaff's enigmatic ''Ubiquity.''
The deadline for high school seniors to pick a college is just about here. Now, how to pay the bills? Web resources include the site operated by the National Association of School Financial Aid Administrators, offering what is probably the most comprehensive set of links to useful sites. If you are hoping to get financial aid, including federally subsidized Stafford loans, you should have filled out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by now. But if you want to get started for next year, the FinAid page will link you to a site where you can complete the FAFSA online. Another helpful site, www.salliemae.com., contains lots of information on student loans and a handy aid-eligibility calculator.
Who played Mia in Ingmar Bergman's The Seventh Seal? How many Oscars did Howard Hawks's The Big Sleep win? The answers (Bibi Andersson and none) to these and just about any other questions you might have about movies can be found in the Internet Movie Database (IMDB). It includes cast lists and other credits for thousands of movies, plot summaries (a neat trick for the notoriously incomprehensible The Big Sleep), technical information, and ratings based on votes cast by IMDB visitors.