Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Thing 64: One-hit wonders

Vintage image of students in classroom
It's September, so we're back in our places with bright, shining faces, right? Or maybe we're just exhausted after a long, hot summer. Well, those of us in North America, anyway.

I always liked it best when the first few days of school were easy days - no homework, not too much to wrap my head around, just basic stuff I'd rely on all year. In that spirit, here's a list of websites I discovered to be really useful this summer. I hope you'll find one or two of them helpful.

Site: CopyPasteCharacter.com
Why it's so great: You never knew how much you needed this. Say you're writing about the Norwegian city Amoy. Except that's not really the name ... how do I make that A with the single dot again, much less the o with the slash? Find the character you need at CopyPasteCharacter.com, and, well, copy and paste it. (It's Åmøy, BTW.)

Site: Kuku Klok
Why it's so great: It's an online alarm clock that promises to work even if your internet connection goes down. Set the clock (using military time), click "Set," and choose from one of 4 alarm sounds. Done. The alarm will go off until you flip back to that page and make it stop.

Why it's so great: Tracks Atlantic tropical storms and hurricanes and their projected tracks, a virtual obsession in the PLCMC part of the world this time of year. Clear graphic interface, but loads quickly.

Site: Pixadus
Why it's so great: Social-ranking for pictures. Post a photo; other users rank it, and the ones given the best ranking show up on the front page. The top pictures are usually astounding.

Why it's so great: There's lots of times you need a fake ID on the internet, when you think about it. Maybe it's the thirteenth time you've signed up for a Yahoo! email account because they keep changing the process and you need to be able to explain the new way to patrons. Maybe you just want to hide your real self. No matter what your reason, Fake Name Generator sets you up with a fake name, complete with details like postal address, mother's maiden name, a disposable email address, and so forth, from pretty much any country you'd like. (I'm Rebecca W. Hewitt of Heronsgate, born in 1961, BTW.)

Site: PicApp
Why it's so great: Search for photos (artsy or news-related) to use in your blog posts, all perfectly legal. You can create an account, but there's no need to unless you want to create a lightbox to save your favorites into. (PicApp is the source of the vintage classroom photo above and the picture of Steve Jobs introducing the new iPod Nano below, which I'm posting only a few hours after the photograph was actually taken.)

Apple Introduces New Products

Discovery Exercise
  1. Visit each of the sites listed in this post. Which ones will be useful for you?
  2. Use the comments section of this blog to share your newly-discovered useful sites.
  3. Use Regator (this might be a good place to start) or any other news reader to find one or two more potentially useful websites. Visit and evaluate them in your blog. (It's okay if you decide they aren't worth it; just let us know why.)


A computer study said...

Online alarm clocks ? I guess im old and dont have a PC in my room.. do college kids? I have seen other clocks too like http://nakedalarmclock.com and then the one that wakes you to information, http://Sleep.FM.

Interesting tools, but not useful to me. Still using the alarm by my bedside. Annoying, but it gets me up...

Online Alarm Clock said...

OnlineClock.net just released the world's first-ever Online Clock Radio:


Technogeekboy said...

I'd also recommend Generator Land's Character Name Generator (http://www.generatorland.com).

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Anonymous said...

Children's Librarian's might enjoy Lookybook (http://www.lookybook.com). Similar to LibrayThing but exclusively for Childrens' Picturebooks. Search by subject, author, or genre. Honored by Time Magazine as one of the top 50 websites of 2008.

Mathway - Step by Step Math Problem Solver (http://www.mathway.com/). Great for students in need of a math tutor. Over 4,305,881 problems solved!

MEDTING - Have a student who has to have an image of a disease or condition and it is no where to be found? Give MEDTING at try. (http://medting.com/) Only physicians can upload and share these medical images and videos.