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29th January 1999 at 00:00
TRINIDAD amp; TOBAGO: Carnival 1999. www.visitTNT.comToDoeventsCarnivaldefault.htm

How pleasant to consider on another grey morning in England that just a few thousand miles across the Atlantic the carnival season is building fast towards its climax on February 16 - Mardi Gras.

There are plenty of Web sites covering carnivals, but Trinidad, being the birthplace of thisart form, makes a good starting point.

Here you can read about the carnival's Roman origins, how it took root in the Carib-bean, and the blend of cultural influences which gave birth to enduring carnival characters such as Jab Molassie.

There are lists of events, explanations of its rich language and archives. Links to other carnival sources include the Web sites of individual Mas bands and costume designers. You can browse through pages of outrageous outfits - and even buy them.

10 DOWNING STREET. www.number-10.gov.uk index.html

The Prime Minister's official residence on the Internet has been redecorated by the cool school of Web design. It's now much more stylish: lots of white space, spiky icons and severe graphics in shades of grey and ochre.

It is not, however, a case of style over content. Here you can read Tony Blair's speeches - posted on the day of delivery - and find out why he doesn't have a key to Number 10.

It's an attractive mix of hard news, propaganda, folklore and history. You can even take part in e-mail discussions kicked off by Mr Blair.

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