Mouse-pad hunt

Of all the Web sites for collectibles, the one that makes the most sense is Adriaan van der Hek's First Virtual Mouse Pad Museum (www.expa.hvu.nl/ajvdhek).

Hey, they're more practical to hoard than keyboards, monitors or motherboards.

A resident of Utrecht, the Netherlands, van der Hek created the site after scarfing up 45 free mouse pads at a trade show. On a friend's suggestion, he first used them as wallpaper, but he found them more practical as collectibles.

"A lot of people from all over the world send me mouse pads or make virtual donations" via a scanned image, said van der Hek, who has received more than 400 pads from France, Japan, Germany, Spain, the United Kingdom, Canada, Sweden and the United States.

Van der Hek's site includes a gallery of his collection, documentation of the first patented mouse pad and a look at what he calls the best mouse pad.

Souped up

If copycat cook Todd Wilbur were to order at Al Yeganeh's Soup Kitchen International in Manhattan, he'd likely get the dreaded "NO SOUP FOR YOU!"

Wilbur, author of several books that duplicate brand-name recipes, has apparently cracked the soup recipes made by Yeganeh, the New York restaurateur who was immortalized on "Seinfeld" as the "Soup Nazi."

On Wilbur's Top Secret Recipes site (www.topsecretrecipes.com), he has posted recipes for Yega-neh's crab bisque, cream of sweet potato and indian mulliga-tawny.

Hit the beach

Count Encyclopaedia Britannica as a partner in this summer's movie bonanza. The encyclopedia's site, Britannica Online (www.eb.com), has developed a virtual march through the D-Day invasion of 1944 to accompany Steven Spielberg's upcoming film, "Saving Private Ryan."

The Normandy site includes articles, essays, interactive maps, audio and video clips and transcripts of first-person accounts.