Sunday 31 May 2009
HowJsay.com is a simple concept, presented simply. It is an English pronunciation dictionary with audio guide to make sure you get your "P's and Q's" spot on.
You will need sound, unsurprisingly, then just type the word you need help with in the box provided and type submit.
The closest match the website has will be presented below, and an audio file triggered automatically showing you how it is pronounced. To repeat the audio simply click the word again.
Saturday 30 May 2009
The first step is to create a penguin identity for yourself. Click Play Now to begin the registration process, then just follow the steps.
Because there is chat involved in this site it is heavily moderated. Parents can choose to moderate their child's online contact even more by limiting their chat capabilities to the preset dictionary of words and phrases.
Once registered you will need to activate your account from the email you are sent. The next thing to do is watch the tutorial as it will explain everything you need to know to enjoy your time at Club Penguin.
Here you can wander around, play games, explore the online world, and even chat to other penguins you happen to bump into. Great fun.
Friday 29 May 2009
At www.statcounter.com you can download a free and invisible stat counter which embeds into your webspace and provides you with detailed information about how people are using your site.
Click the live demo link underneath the registration button to get an idea of the kinds of stats you can collect.
When you are ready to sign up then you need to register, and the following page asks you to create a new project.
Follow the steps through, adding details of your web address where prompted. The final step is to configure and install your code.
Easy menus allow you to choose how the counter will look on your site - even down to choosing the colours of the button.
After making all the technical selections you are presented with a few lines of html code to place in your website.
From this moment on, StatCounter will be collecting data about your traffic, and displaying the results in your My Projects section of their website.
Thursday 28 May 2009
www.thebigpicturelibrary.com is the brainchild of two chaps called Jack and Matt, whose one burning desire is to give you a decent way to display your albums online.
On loading up the page, one cannot help but notice the fluid and professional design of the site.
After the introduction you can click any of the photos to access its menu area. Click the red picture with the pencil first to have a look at the templates you can choose from.
They look pretty professional, and loading your images up and using that template could not be simpler.
You will need an account, which is free for personal use, then go to the library manager to begin uploading your pics. You can display up to 250 images.
You can do this a number of ways, including using an FTP client, or with Internet Explorer you can simply drag and drop them into the browser window.
All you have to do now is hit the publish button and your pics will be displayed online using your user name as an extension after www.bigpicturelibrary.com
Wednesday 27 May 2009
This collaborative project aims to be a place for people to post step-by-step instructions on their latest cool DIY project.
Whether it is making a bird nest box with a webcam inside, or a battery-powered portable charger for your MP3 player, you will find dozens and dozens of step-by-step guides here, and if you register an account you can even add your own.
Search the topics by keyword or just click one of the thumbnails on the opening page. I love the Tupperware iPod boombox.
Each guide is accompanied by photos and explanations, and even if you never get round to building anything yourself, it is incredible to see what other people have thought of doing with a few bits and pieces they found lying around the house
Tuesday 26 May 2009
How do you keep up with all the latest youth fads and buy the right thing? You bookmark www.idealpresent.co.uk
After free registration the first job is to add a child. You will be asked some questions about the kinds of activities they enjoy, and the next page lets you add more details about their age, the occasion, and how much you want to spend.
This is a UK based website so the values are in pounds, but the ideas returned are good the whole world over. Continue filling in as many of the sections as you want, then click submit to return a list of suggestions from the huge database of presents that have been listed.
In some cases there are links to buy the product, but you do not have to go through this website.
Monday 25 May 2009
Enter http://jumpcut.com, a fantastically simple and totally free video editing tool that will have editing like a pro in no time.
You will need to register to start using the features, but why not take a look at the video tutorial first by clicking Try A Demo on the opening page.
The tutorial should sort you out with the basics, so I will just add a few tips. Uploaded clips can only be 50MB, so make sure you break them down before starting.
Do not forget you can add music too, but be wary of copyright issues if you are going to publish to the web.
Once finished you can choose to publish your work to the rest of the vibrant Jumpcut community, or save it to work on later.
Just click REMIX from the movie play screen to re-open the project at a later date
Sunday 24 May 2009
www.holidaysuncovered.co.uk is a holiday site with a difference.
There is information here about resorts all over the world and anyone who visits the site can add their own comments on any resort.
What this does is provide a very frank and varied set of opinions on a resort from a first hand perspective, allowing you to steer well clear of those that come up short.
Just use the drop-down menu in the top search box to choose the location you are thinking about, then scroll down to find the reviews.
To add your own review use the link in the bottom right-hand corner of the main frame. All the instructions on what to do follow.
You can also click the Search link at the bottom of the frame to create a more detailed search for reviews that are relevant to you.
This website is very simple in concept, but really demonstrates the power that the web can give us as consumers.
Saturday 23 May 2009
The next page shows the result of your search, laid out in a bar chart allowing you to quickly see what days you can get the best prices.
Make your selection on the bar chart for outbound and return flights, and the next page lists the flights in more details.
When you are happy with your choice, the final page offers you a button to click through to the airlines website to purchase your flight. Easy.
Friday 22 May 2009
www.rememory.com is all about remembering stuff - an online repository for all your favourite memories: a funny incident, a proud moment perhaps, or simply a commentary of a great game that your football team has won.
Here you can simply post them to the site, either to be viewed by you or your friends, or for all and sundry to enjoy.
And if you really are passionate about your memories you can turn them in to a good read, decorate it with few pictures and enter it to the competition to win some rememory bucks.
Do not expect them to worth too much in the outside world - though if you make enough of them you can at least console yourself with a prize.
Overall a nice website to take a trip down memory lane, socialise and learn a few things from people around the world along the way.
Thursday 21 May 2009
At www.pbs.org/independentlens/offthemap you can either start surfing by clicking Tour Backyard Paradises which will open up a separate flash page where you can look at different artists' works from around the world. This is quite fun as it is interactive but a bit more bandwidth-hungry.
The other option is to click See The Travelogue which goes to a list-style page with the same information on and will load quicker if you do not have a fast connection.
One of my personal favourites is Bottle Village by Tressa Prisbey. She started building it in 1956 when it began life as a single structure to house her collection of 17,000 pencils.
Since then it has grown to 13 structures which she has connected with mosaic flooring, simply using coloured disposed-of bottles. What is particularly cool about this section is the zoom-in feature, as it reveals the intricate details she went into in order to create her village.
And if you really feel inspired by these artists, well you are in luck, because the site creators have given you the opportunity to create your very own backyard paradise with the items they have selected for you. A really nice touch.
Wednesday 20 May 2009
Rather than famous actors lending their vocal talents to the readings, the audio books here are read out by volunteers.
All of the audio books are literary classics and are out of copyright so they can be downloaded and listened to free of charge.
You will not find any Dan Brown or John Grisham but classics like Jane Austen's Emma and Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland are all here.
At present there are nearly 650 audio titles to choose from.
Selecting Listen on the homepage leads to the catalogue. Titles can be searched by author or title or you can simply browse through the whole catalogue.
Once a title has been selected, there is a brief description of the work along with links to further information about the author. Scrolling down the page reveals the file format available for download; right click to save to your hard drive and you are away.
The list of titles is not as long as I would like, but it is growing all the time and the quality of the recordings is generally very good.
Tuesday 19 May 2009
Have you ever wondered when the captain of the enterprise said "stardate 47622.1" what that meant? Well here is a site that explains Star Trek stardates - and who said the web was pointless.
So if you want to know why the Star Trek original series had dates that were four characters long and the next generation five - this is the place to go. Oh and there are other resources for the interested reader - not least "A history of ships named Enterprise". Surely a must for everyone
Monday 18 May 2009
www.MailFreezr.com is a website which stores your mail for - wait for it - up to a century - and then finally pings it into cyberspace. All you do is fill out a few details on a basic form and voila, a missive ready to send in the future, so you never have to miss that cousin's anniversary ever again.
MailFreezr's creator says messages are secure and confidential and will be sent on time, though filling in e-mail addresses on the web does make you prey to spam harvesters.
Aside from the obvious problem that e-mail may well not be around in 50 or 100 years, the biggest drawback of Mailfreezr is that you can only freeze an e-mail in yearly increments.
Sunday 17 May 2009
Take a look at http://www.dna11.com Each person's DNA is completely unique, and the people behind this website are offering to make you an equally unique work of art from a sample of your own DNA.
Now, of course this comes with a price tag, but I think the website is quite interesting in its own right.
Click About Us and Overview to learn the basics. There is a nice report from CBC News streaming here that tells you all about it.
This is a really cool idea and was even featured in an episode of CSI: New York. Art meets science meets the building blocks of life - how very next century.
Saturday 16 May 2009
At http://readingtest.sytes.org you can read the classic bit of text that describes the theory. You have probably seen it as a viral, as I think this one did the rounds a year or so ago.
Well, now some clever spark has created an engine where you can test out the theory on any site you like. Just plug the URL in the box provided and see how it works.
Friday 15 May 2009
The basis of this website is will stuff blend? By that, we mean what will happen if you put something in a blender and hit the on button. We are not talking oranges and whipped cream here - we know they blend - but how about a Rubik's cube, a sports ball or even an iPhone? Take a look at www.willitblend.com
Crazy but true, these guys have blended them all and I watched the videos with nail-biting suspense. I particularly like the glow sticks blend for a bit of in-the-dark drama.
There is actually a Try This at Home section too for safe blends, like making chicken soup and grinding your own coffee beans. It is a bizarre collection of videos that I find strangely appealing. Amazing what you can find on the internet.
Thursday 14 May 2009
Dates are all Sundays and include May 17, June 21, July 5, and August 2.
Unity would like up to seven bands at each event and the earlier you contact the greater your chances of being booked.
Just phone 07811 837821 or email Unityismusic@aol.com
Families and music lovers are invited to come along to the Barrow Park bandstand on any of the dates – and bring a picnic with them – for a range of high quality acts to bop along to.
www.colourlovers.com is an online resource where you can find inspiration and talk openly about your love of colours with like-minded people.
Whether you are designing your website, considering re-decorating your home, or are a professional in need of a little inspiration - there are literally hundreds of colour palettes and patterns for you to view and download.
The trends tab at the top of the site is interesting, as it picks up on current trends in magazine and website design, which could help you keep up to date and have your design work looking 100% in style.
And if you are the creative type you can even add your own colours and palettes to the database.
Wednesday 13 May 2009
The NHS's new site brings the organisation bang up to date with a fresh new look that is easy to navigate and interesting to browse around.
At http://www.nhs.uk you can find information about services, general advice on living well and staying healthy, or seek quick answers to your health concerns with a symptom checker, which offers alternative ways to get in touch with NHS Direct.
The Health A to Z covers everything from Arthritis to Yellow Fever, with information about the symptoms and advice about various treatments.
I particularly like the way many of the sections integrate blogs, patient comments & online guides & videos.
This is nothing like a long boring sit in the Accident & Emergency room and should be the very first place you head to if you're worried about your health.
Tuesday 12 May 2009
From the sublime to the ridiculous, there are all sorts of subjects covered here.
There are unusual churches, crazy cars, and the world's most poisonous creatures. All posts are rich with pictures - a visual feast of all the oddities around the globe.
My personal favourite is the 50 strange buildings section. There is not actually a lot of descriptive text in these posts - but all the pictures are labelled up so if you want to know more about them you can always revert to your favourite search engine.
And if you see something out on your travels that you think would fit in, the website creators invite you to submit your own story using the link at the top of the page.
Monday 11 May 2009
www.prevent-it.ca is a website created by the Workplace Safety & Insurance Board in Canada, and it is all about following proper safety procedures at work.
The instructions here are relevant the whole world over - and it is nicely produced.
From the opening page, clicking 'Find Out How' will load up the first interactive spot.
They do take a while to load up, but the spots themselves are stunning, each story outlining a particular area of danger in the workplace.
At the end you can move onto the next story, or click the links for further reading material including what you should expect from an employer.
Once you are into the website proper you can watch the TV spots they have been running.
These ads were designed to shock and scare people into taking the right precautions at work. Those with a nervous disposition should probably look the other way.
Sunday 10 May 2009
Luckily I didn't need to sell my house to find out that it is not as easy as it looks!
At www.inspectd.com you can play the real market with imaginary moolah as you are presented with a series of historical stock graphs and asked if you would buy, sell or pass.
Each trade assumes a one month period, unless you click the link to Advanced Trading where you can control your portfolio day by day.
I have managed to lose more than half my money in just 60 trades.
I don't really know what the graphs mean - some form of explanation would have really helped make this site complete. But none the less it's an entertaining way to pass the lunch hour.
Saturday 9 May 2009
You might not agree with what some people have to say but at least you’ll get a chance to express your own opinions
Friday 8 May 2009
This new site features more than 160,000 high-quality images which you can license for about 50p per shot.
Other users can tag and comment on pictures to make the best ones easy to find, while search results can be sorted by date, relevance and price.
You can also earn money through the site by posting your own pictures and earning royalties each time one is purchased.
Thursday 7 May 2009
Wednesday 6 May 2009
Tuesday 5 May 2009
Monday 4 May 2009
Sunday 3 May 2009
Saturday 2 May 2009
There are a variety of styles featured, from abstract art to illustrations and photography. Each piece of work is displayed with links to the artists’ own websites so interested visitors and buyers can contact them directly.
The permanent collection is constantly refreshed with new work as new artists are actively sought out and added to the site daily.
Friday 1 May 2009
The site’s medically-inspired sections include the Accident & Emergency Department for expert queries and the Record Department for interesting facts.
The Family Planning section and Maternity Ward are useful for new gardeners but the most informative section is Operating Theatre, where you can find gardening calendars and advice on many elements of indoor and outdoor plant care.