Featured Websites

This is just a sample of the hundreds of interesting websites that have been reviewed in Computer Times.

Computer Times Editors' Choice logo

Several have earned the Computer Times Editors’ Choice award.

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If you would like to share your favorite website, send an e-mail to comptimes@aol.com with the subject GREAT WEBSITE, and we will review it to see if it earns an Editors’ Choice award.

ANIMALS

National Geographic Kids / Animals  Computer Times Editors' Choice logo

The National Geographic Kids / Animals website is loaded with features for kids and adults: videos, games, animal photos and information, uploaded photos, and badges for Nat Geo Kids. As you might expect from National Geographic, this is an extremely well designed and fun website for all.  http://kids.nationalgeographic.com/animals/

HorseCity.com  Computer Times Editors' Choice logo

Horse City’s tag line is “Keeping the horse world connected.”  This site has forums, blogs, videos, and articles on both English and Western riding, covering just about any interest that you might have about horses, from caring for your horse to barrel racing.  http://www.horsecity.com/

ASIAN SITES

Real Science Art

Artist Eric Heller has taken the mathematics of electron flows, quantum resonances and other physical phenomena and visualized it in digital fine art. One of our favorites is “Transport II” which features electron flow patterns riding over a bumpy landscape. Another, “Analyzed Collision” makes collisions between polyatomic and diatomic molecules (with acceleration vectors included) into what appears to be weaved colored hemp ropes lifting into the fog. The images are also for sale at this site. World Wide Web: http://ericjhellergallery.com

Looking for Images?

Fotosearch saves you time by allowing you to search over 700,000 images from over 50 stock photography, illustration, and video footage publishers at one website. The best photosearch on the web.  http://www.fotosearch.com

Asian Americans 101  Computer Times Editors' Choice logo

Sociology professor C.N. Le of the State University of New York at Albany has put together a site he describes as “an online version of Asian Americans 101 – something that everyone can learn from and use.” His site, “Asian-Nation: The Landscape of Asian America,” combines what the instructor describes as in-depth research, statistics, and “a casual, personal style.” The professor points out that Asian Americans make up about 5 percent of the U.S. population, but are the fastest-growing population segment. The site aims to educate those who would like to know more about the Asian American community. Le says the site will provide visitors information on topics and issues that affect the Asian American community, and will help users locate other information sources. World Wide Web: http://www.asian-nation.org

Shift

This Japanese E-zine is invariably on a Web designer’s list of the “Who’s Doing the Cool Stuff Right Now.” It has two great archives: past “covers” in Flash and the futuristic Tokyo Cutie Girls Archive. Life’s rich pageantry is revealed! World Wide Web: http://www.shift.jp.org

Hong Kong Observatory Speaks The Weather  Computer Times Editors' Choice logo

The Hong Kong Observatory has audio Web page. Content is provided by the Observatory’s Dial-a-Weather service and Telephone Information Enquiry System, and is specifically targeted at the visually impaired. Weather reports are provided in Web audio – visitors can access local and world cities weather reports, forecasts, tidal and astronomical information. Reports are provided in Chinese, English and Putonghua, and media briefings come online when tropical cyclone warnings are current. The site was developed in consultation with the Hong Kong Blind Union and other non-government organizations. World Wide Web: http://www.weather.gov.hk/audio/index.htm .

Experience The Wealth & Diversity Of Chinese Culture

The China Experience is an extensive gateway in to Chinese culture. This Web site provides visitors with links to many other sites covering all aspects of Chinese culture and its people’s way of life. Find out about the ancient art of calligraphy and the Chinese, discover the history behind Chinese festivals and how they continue today, or visit sites pertaining to ancient relics. Other interesting sections cover folk customs, where you can read about such things as dragon boat racing, camel trains in the desert and deities worshipped by farmers. Each accompanying site is packed full with cultural information. World Wide Web: http://www.chinavista.com/experience/index.html

COMPUTERS

Webpoedia

The tech world is so full of jargon that it’s nearly a full-time job trying to stay informed. Enter Webpoedia, an online encyclopedia and dictionary of tech terms, updated regularly with new words and new categories. Find out the difference between a service level agreement and an application service provider, or a dongle and a honeypot. And don’t forget the one-way hash function. It’s all here, defined in mostly understandable layman’s terms. World Wide Web: http://www.webopedia.com/

WhatTheFont

Upload a picture of a word(s) to this website and it determines the font type in the picture. World Wide Web: http://www.myfonts.com/WhatTheFont/

Apple Fritters Reunite

Engineer Joe Torzewski purchased an Apple 1 computer in 1977, not long after the machine was introduced. Soon after, he formed the Apple I owners club, a forum of information exchange between owners of the early PCs, which operated through a newsletter circulated among members. Now, the club is back and has a home on the Web. Applefritter.com is a veritable library of information on the Apple I, including archival articles, old photographs, photocopied original documents, histories, price lists (it cost $475 for an Apple I in April 1977), just about anything you could want. The Web site was years in the making and is said to contain more than 70 megabytes of data. World Wide Web: http://www.applefritter.com/apple1

EDUCATION

A Research Site That’s Safe for Kids  Computer Times Editors' Choice logo

The Internet Public Library Youth Division is a site available to kids that collects information from many disciplines, but that is safe for kids ages 4 to 11 to dig into and use for school projects. The site’s librarians follow a policy for including Internet resources and sites in the collection based on the level of appropriateness for kids and whether the material is written and maintained by authoritative sources. The resources do not have to be aimed specifically at children, according the site’s policy page, but they “should be of interest and useful to these age groups or to their parents and teachers.” The IPL Youth site is a full-on portal, with links grouped under categories such as “Reference,” “Our World,” “Math Whiz,” etc. World Wide Web: http://www.ipl.org/youth

Mensa Workout

All right, so you think you’re so smart? Try the Mensa Workout – a series of questions that takes a half hour and will determine just how smart you are. Should you answer them correctly, this elite society rolls out the red carpet and invites your membership. This is not an IQ test, just a series of brain teasers best approached by those who excel at mental gymnastics. Sample: If it takes two typists to type two pages in two minutes, how many typists does it take to type 16 pages in 6 minutes? World Wide Web: http://mensa.org/workout.html

Russia Before WW I

The U.S. Library of Congress is featuring an exhibit of the lost world that was Russia, pre-World War I, courtesy of images taken by photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863-1944). Using a view camera, Gorskii traveled throughout Russia documenting the life and work of Russia’s enormous and varied population, from hay farmers to carpet dealers, miners to nomads, 150 million citizens strong. The photos, originally shot in black and white but designed to be in color, have in fact been colorized here using a technique called “digichromatography.” The result is fresh and lifelike, as if the shots were just taken yesterday. World Wide Web: http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/empire

PBS Biography of Walt Disney

A website built by PBS as a companion to its documentary series “The American Experience” offers an interesting preview of the four-hour biography of Walt Disney. World Wide Web: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/films/walt-disney/video/

Barbed Wire

A museum devoted to … barbed wire? Yes, there is one. The Kansas Barbed Wire Museum in LaCrosse, Kan., is the only museum in the world devoted solely to the history and legend of what is often referred to as the “Devil’s Rope” or barbed wire. Believe it or not, this museum approaches the nasty twine from every conceivable angle. For instance, on exhibit are over 1,000 barbed wire varieties including samples manufactured between 1870 and 1890. The museum’s Web site also illustrates the more innovative uses for the steel fencing, including war, taming the West, and the building of nests by birds. World Wide Web: http://www.rushcounty.org/BarbedWireMuseum

Who Said That?

Quoth D.H. Lawrence: “We only seem to learn from Life that Life doesn’t matter so much as it seemed to do – it’s not so burningly important, after all, what happens.” Well, given that, there’s not really any good reason not to stop by Quotesandsayings.com, where you will find that bit of wisdom along with plenty of others. Obscure quotations are great to have in your bag when, for instance, you’re lecturing your teen-age kids and you want them to become silent and confused. And, of course, they’re good for writers and lecturers, too. The site contains what it claims is “the only quotations search portal on the internet for finding quotations, sayings and proverbs by keyword or author.” World Wide Web: http://www.quotesandsayings.com

FUN

 Hoax Museum  Computer Times Editors' Choice logo

Is there any limit to the ingenuity of the human drive to deceive? Apparently not, if the exhibits at this online Museum of Hoaxes are any indication. Here, hoaxes are categorized by date, rather than deed. In 2000 alone, there were quite a few innovative tricks pulled. One particularly amusing example was the 15th Annual New York City April Fool’s Day Parade: A news release sent to the media stated that the parade was scheduled to begin at noon on 59th Street and would proceed down to Fifth Avenue. According to the release, floats in the parade would include a “Beat ’em, Bust ’em, Book ’em” float created by the New York, Los Angeles, and Seattle police departments. CNN and Fox affiliate WNYW reportedly sent television news crews to cover the parade, which of course, was not there. Among hoaxes of the past, there is the celebrated trip Marco Polo took to China, which now, apparently, historians believe never happened. World Wide Web: http://www.museumofhoaxes.com

The Writer’s Almanac   Computer Times Editors' Choice logo

“A Prairie Home Companion’s” bard in residence, Garrison Keillor, reads poetry and profound thought each day on PBS on “The Writer’s Almanac.” But where to find those dulcet lines again? Track them down at Mr. Keillor’s companion Web site here. Even if you miss his program, this site offers the daily dose of bliss, birthdays and “this day in history” feature. Past shows are archived and can be heard in Realaudio format. http://writersalmanac.org

Comic Strip Creator

Make a comic strip for free. World Wide Web:  http://www.stripcreator.com

Welcome To Molossia

One of the questions journalists are inevitably asked is, “How do you know that what you read on the Internet is true?” Well, you don’t. We certainly have trouble separating fact from fiction on the Molossia.org, site but its creators appear convinced they are living within a foreign country inside the U.S. borders. It is the republic of Molossia, created in 1988 in Nevada. The country has its own history, flag, and diplomatic relations with the U.S., we’re informed, but it is not accepting immigrants. The country’s geographical boundaries are 1.3 acres. Special sections are devoted to Molossian culture and cuisine, which includes spaghetti and meatballs. World Wide Web: http://www.molossia.org/countryeng.html

HEALTH

MayoClinic.com’s Breath Of Fresh Air

MayoClinic.com has put up an online resource for asthma and allergy sufferers, the Allergy and Asthma Condition Center. The online reference connects people with information and personalized tools to help people manage their conditions. According to Mayo Clinic information, some 40 to 50 million American suffer from allergies to pollen, insect stings, food, what have you, though pinpointing the exact problem can sometimes be tricky, and the site suggests taking an allergy skin test to discover the cause of allergy symptoms. The site also has an adult-onset Asthma Self-Manager with tips for sufferers on getting a decent night’s sleep and getting enough exercise. World Wide Web: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/allergies/home/ovc-20270181

Health Canada

Health Canada is the Federal department responsible for helping Canadians maintain and improve their health, while respecting individual choices and circumstances.  Some of the most requested information and services available on their website include: Recalls & Safety Alerts, Eating Well with Canada’s Food Guide, Drug and Health Product Register, Canadian Immunization Guide, and Immunization & vaccines. World Wide Web: http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/index-eng.php

MUSIC

A Lizst-O-Maniac’s Dream  Computer Times Editors' Choice logo

If you can’t quite remember which composer it was that wrote “The Planets,” you could find out in a hurry at Dr. Estrella’s Incredibly Abridged Dictionary of Composers. The site contains basic and accurate biographical information on hundreds of composers with a growing number of biographical essays, plus links to additional information at other sites. It also has links to books about composers and CDs of the works, as well as to sheet music. You could also find a music-history timeline, a calendar of composers’ birthdays and essays on individual composers. World Wide Web: http://www.stevenestrella.com/composers

Play Piano On Your Keyboard

Piano Graphique is a clever synthesizer/keyboard application in Shockwave, that lets you play a variety of music types using the keys on your computer’s keyboard. Each sound or rhythm track is accompanied by graphic animations to keep one’s disco visually hopping. Wait for each piano/keyboard to load – it takes a few seconds, or minutes, depending on the speed of your connection. World Wide Web: http://www.pianographique.com

RESEARCH

Research Site That’s Safe For Kids

The Internet Public Library Youth Division is a site available to kids that collects information from many disciplines, but that is safe for kids ages 4 to 11 to dig into and use for school projects. The site’s librarians follow a policy for including Internet resources and sites in the collection based on the level of appropriateness for kids and whether the material is written and maintained by authoritative sources. The resources do not have to be aimed specifically at children, according the site’s policy page, but they “should be of interest and useful to these age groups or to their parents and teachers.” The IPL Youth site is a full-on portal, with links grouped under categories such as “Reference,” “Our World,” “Math Whiz,” etc. World Wide Web: http://www.ipl.org/youth

Who’s Hot And Who’s… Er, Cold  Computer Times Editors' Choice logo

Who’s Alive and Who’s Dead keeps track of famous people that have died and those who are still alive. The database is not confined to movie and TV stars, but also includes musicians, politicians, cartoonists, astronauts and other famous names. Individuals are grouped according to their accomplishments. World Wide Web: http://www.whosaliveandwhosdead.com

Free Lessons In Legal Research

Educational firms Kaplan Inc. and the West Group legal information concern are joining forces on a free Web site, DestinationLawSchool.com, which aims to provide insights into legal research typically used in law school and while practicing law. According to a press release, the site offers interactive modules that mimic steps that must be taken while researching a legal problem. The site also reportedly allows those interested to consider actual legal situations and then learn what research is required to solve the problems. This would enable students, for instance, to experience the very same steps lawyers typically undertake in real-world situations. Like Newsbytes, Kaplan is a wholly owned subsidiary of The Washington Post Company. World Wide Web: http://www.destinationlawschool.com

SCIENCE

Global Warming Hot Spots

In this map, fingerprints and harbingers of global warming are clickable markers, which open to full details on how global warming has affected that area. For instance, click on Wisconsin and a window opens to information about how ice cover on the lakes disappears faster in the spring; click on Bermuda where mangroves are dying due to rising sea levels; click on Monteverde Cloud Forest, Costa Rica where frogs and toads are disappearing. This map builds on work undertaken by the Sierra Club and is updated by researchers from the Environmental Defense Fund, the Union of Concerned Scientists, and The World Resources Institute. World Wide Web: http://www.climatehotmap.org

SPACE

Prelude To Mars

Check on the status of the world’s first Martian settlement simulation, taking place on Devon Island’s Haughton Crater, in the Canadian high arctic. Researchers are there, in one of the most inhospitable regions of the earth, to learn how to live and work on another planet. The prototype habitat is a key element in current human Mars mission planning. The crew has set up Webcams throughout their environment, and the pictures refresh every few minutes. World Wide Web: http://arctic.marssociety.org

Earth Observatory  Computer Times Editors' Choice logo

NASA is displaying images of the eruption of Mt. Aetna in Sicily, along with many other geographical observations at its Earth Observatory site. Satellite and spectroradiometer images from Terra, launched in December 1999, take pictures of the Earth at nine angles simultaneously, using nine separate cameras pointed forward, downward and backward along its flight path. The images of the earth’s surface and atmosphere are part of the latest research into hurricanes, volcanoes and ocean temperatures. A current animation explores the link between ocean warmth and vegetation growth on land across a span of a dozen years. Primarily set up for scientific research, the site’s images are nevertheless fascinating and beautiful, showing Earth as a living entity, constantly changing. World Wide Web: http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov

SPIRITUAL

Finding Your Twin Spirit

Soul mates, or twin spirits, can be a big help on our life journey. Many people turn to personal connection places to help find their twin spirits. To find out more about twin spirits, what they are and how to find yours, visit the Twin Spirit Web site. World Wide Web: http://www.twinspirit.com

TELEVISION

Spiderman Movie Footage Goes Online

Spidey is weaving his movie magic on the Web this weekend. Fans can get a sneak preview because Sony is uploading the first snippets of footage for the new movie, which went into production in January, this Friday. The movie is not due for release for some time. Peter Parker is to be played by Tobey Maguire. For those not in the know, the story centers on student Parker who, after being bitten by a mutant spider, gains superhuman strength and the spider-like ability to cling to any surface. He vows to a life fighting crime. World Wide Web: http://www.sony.com/spider-man .

TRAVEL

Hiking In America Begins On The Web

American Hiking is a national organization dedicated to serving hikers and protecting the nation’s hiking trails. The organization’s online Hiker’s Info Center provides resources for hikes, trail events and volunteer opportunities in your state. In California, for example, you can find a description of the Telescope Peak Trail with its spectacular views. The guide will tell you the best time of year to go, and how hard it is for the uninitiated. World Wide Web: http://www.americanhiking.org

A Web Guide To Pubs In England

Thirsty Brits and traveling foreigners may find this online pub guide invaluable. You can search for information about pubs by the region of England you’re in, or by services such as food, lodgings, and value. A brief description and the name of the road is returned. World Wide Web: http://www.goodguides.com/pubs/search.asp

WEATHER

Hurricane Central  Computer Times Editors' Choice logo

Weather junkies can get their fix on monster storms here, a new service of AccuWeather.com. The new Hurricane and Tropical Storm Center has forecasts and updates on the latest storms, as well as past storm histories, safety information, plotting maps and trivia. A good place to stop before that trip down to Baja. World Wide Web: http://hurricane.accuweather.com

Shoot the Breeze

Weather junkies take note! An alternative to the Weather Channel will stream your way at 7 p.m. Eastern time on Thursdays from Yahoo. “Shoot the Breeze” is a weekly live, one-hour interactive talk show hosted by Accuweather meteorologists. They will be taking questions phoned in from the audience or sent via e-mail to thebreeze@accuweather.com on any weather topic. World Wide Web: http://www.accuweather.com

WEB DEVELOPMENT

Webby Award Winners

The Oscars of the online world took place last night in San Francisco, and the results of the star-studded event are Available online. Not only is reading about the winning sites amusing, but so are the winners’ acceptance speeches which have been kept, by tradition, to five words or less. The winner for Best Humor Site was The Onion and the acceptance speech was short and sweet: “To advertise call Phil Meyer.” Accepting for OpenSecrets.org as Best Political Site, the winner’s words were: “Spy on Washington, it’s fun.” World Wide Web: http://www.webbyawards.com

InternetSeer.com

Need to be notified if your Web site goes down? This free service allows entry of two different URLs for constant monitoring, and notifies you by e-mail if either of the sites go down, and again, every 30 minutes, until the site is back up. The e-mail contains specific information on the outages, including DNS timeouts, connection refusals, socket timeouts, or errors in the path to the Web site. Once registered, a user gets their own “My Internetseer” control panel to change or add info. World Wide Web: http://www.internetseer.com