BEST OF THE WEB for Thursday

By: Kathryn Blaze Carlson

In our daily feature, here is some of the best or coolest stuff from newspaper sites.

Mike Smith: Smith’s World
Las Vegas Sun
By Mike Smith

With the spotlight on Obama during his world tour, it’s no secret McCain developed a case of media envy — even creating “JV Squad” press passes for those “Left Behind to Report in America.” Hey, if McCain can poke fun at himself, so too can a talented cartoonist take a jab at the Arizona senator’s situation. Which is exactly what Mike Smith did in a recent cartoon. Check out the editorial animation and be sure to land a first-rate chuckle.

Melissa Swanson on Donating a Kidney
Shreveport Times

Red River Moms editor Melissa Swanson had a date with the camera and spilled the beans about what it’s like to donate a kidney to a stranger she found through a Web service. In the video, Swanson courageously answers some tough questions about the process. Ie: How did she decide on a kidney recipient? Does she feel like she’s playing God by picking the lucky winner? Is she scared of going under the knife? Is she worried how it will affect her life? What kinds of physical and mental tests were involved in ensuring she was a viable donor? With the surgery coming up on August 5, Swanson closed the video saying, “You can live with one kidney for the rest of your life?I’m looking forward to it.”

The Broncs Zoo Kicker Picker
The Rocky Mountain News
Animated Game
By Drew Litton and Rich Moyer

The opening of Broncos training camp is “treated a bit like a visit from the Pope,” joked Rocky Mountain News animation sensation Drew Litton. And what better way to ring in the big day and get the ball rolling than with an animated game where fans get a say in who makes the cut. With star kicker Jason Elam now kicking in Atlanta, the game allows users to choose from three replacements to narrow the field to one. In this game called the Broncs Zoo Kicker Picker, you never know where the ball’s going to go.

Deputies Remember Fallen K-9
The Miami Herald

They say a dog is a man’s best friend — and sometimes, he’s a man’s best co-worker. That’s why when Oozi, known by his Florida police officer handler as a “partner, friend, and warrior” passed on, more than 400 officers from across the state joined in mourning. With bagpipes abound, officers saluting, and Oozi fans in tears, the dog was celebrated as a “hero” and remembered by those who had the honor of working with him. Check out this video for glimpse of the funeral.

Affordable Carribbean
The New York Times
Online Feature
New York Times staff

Depending on where you live, you might find yourself someday needing a break from the rain, the snow, an annoying in-law, or the bustle of city life. If a sunny vacay in the sand is what you crave but your budget isn’t through the roof, then check out this New York Times online feature and sift effortlessly through a myriad of Carribbean options for the frugal traveler. Scroll over an island location for a selection of cheap hotels and cheap eats — the feature even includes Web links to these low-budget needles in the haystack.

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