Notable Websites

Like most people I’ve got literally hundreds of websites bookmarked in my “favorites” folder, but these are the ones that stand out as the most fun, useful or just downright interesting of the bunch.  Browse through the existing collection, or check back in from time to time for the latest additions.

To visit a featured website look for the blue text link or simply click on the image.

Click HERE if you don’t see the websites below

Published in: on March 28, 2013 at 10:13 am  Leave a Comment  
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Project Noah

project-noahIf Flickr had been designed from the ground up with a focus on plant & animal life then it might have turned out something like Project Noah.  Featuring user submitted photography spanning the spectrum of Earth’s biodiversity, this is one site that I could probably spend hours browsing through (and likely discovering many new, amazing things along the way).  It still takes my breath away that our precious planet is filled with such variety and abundant life.

Submit your own works, comment on others, or compile a collection of favorites.  As the tagline says, Project Noah is “a platform to harness the power of citizen scientists everywhere.”

Published in: on March 28, 2013 at 10:12 am  Leave a Comment  
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Notfound.org

Do you operate a website or know someone who does?  Does the website have 404 pages reserved for the occasional broken link or wayward visitor?

If it could help with rescuing a missing child, would you be willing to give up a portion of the screen real estate on those 404 pages?

Please visit Notfound.org to learn more.

Published in: on October 15, 2012 at 10:57 am  Leave a Comment  
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Terms of Service; Didn’t Read

Ok, this might be my new favorite website.  Instead of trying to explain what it does, click through the link and have a look.  It will all be very clear in less than a moment, after which I’m sure you’ll see the beauty and sheer brilliance of this idea.

Visit: Terms of Service; Didn’t Read website

Thanks Eric

Published in: on September 11, 2012 at 10:21 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Story of Stuff Project

Those not already plugged-in to the Story of Stuff Project will find a series of informative (rather straightforward) animated shorts that bring to life the realities of [unhealthy/unsustainable] consumerism.  Basically, there’s the way things are now, and the way we should be going about this business – in a manner that’s equitable to the poorer countries and low-wage workers…not to mention the long-term health of the planet.

The latest short is titled, “The Story of Change

But be sure to start with the original, “The Story of Stuff

and not to miss the “Story of Bottled Water

Published in: on August 10, 2012 at 10:34 am  Leave a Comment  
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Classic Cinema Online

Being a fan of old movies I was only too happy to discover Classic Cinema Online, a site dedicated exclusively to screening feature-length classics Free…no registration required.  Simply find a seat, allow the reel to buffer for a few minutes and wait for the show to begin.  Don’t forget the popcorn of course.  On any given day there is a featured selection of around seven films, although the entire database is searchable by title or genre.  And I do believe the site hosts classic “serials” as well.

I really love the aesthetic of this neat little site and hope it never changes.  All too often innovative projects like these start off doing one thing really well, then eventually – often in the pursuit of commercial interest – end up expanding in awkward ways.  My favorite design element are the movie posters, which do wonders for recreating the glamor of the classic cinema experience.

Published in: on March 11, 2012 at 10:42 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Windowfarms

To many urbanites and apartment dwellers gardening seems out-of-reach, something reserved for homeowners and community gardeners.  But this couldn’t be further from the truth.  As the global population continues to increase (often clustering in tightly packed urban settings) and environmental/sustainability concerns become ever more pressing, personal, small-scale gardening has gained relevance not only as a hobby, but a legitimate aspect of 21st Century lifestyle.  The latest trendsetters in the self-sufficiency movement are Windowfarmers, and they’re using new innovations along with web-based collaboration as a method for taking hydroponics to a new – more accessible – level.  What do you need to grow a healthy, organic garden in the comfort your own small living space?  It turns out not much.  You don’t even need that messy soil stuff.  With help and tutorials, videos, walkthroughs and plenty of support, Windowfarmers the world over can help you get your own home-grown vegetable garden up and thriving in no time.

Of course hydroponics isn’t the only solution for small spaces.  If you have even a small patio or balcony, a more conventional square-foot garden is another option.

Published in: on December 6, 2011 at 2:31 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Slavery Footprint

How many slaves work for you?  Alright…are you sure the number is accurate?  Hmm.  What if it turns out that we contribute to the slave trade, not only by physically keeping slaves, but by doing other things such as purchasing certain kinds of consumer goods [from certain, disreputable brands]?  Think about where everything you purchase and consume comes from.  That long process, from raw material to ‘finished goods’ is called the Supply Chain.  Well, it turns out that all along that supply chain men, women and children the world over are being used as slave labor so that the companies further up the chain can cut costs and undermine competition.   Do you purchase products from companies who are willing to allow slave labor in order to stay ahead of the competition?  What is their position?

Slavery Footprint isn’t about calling out specific organizations or brands, but it will give you an idea, based on your consumer habits, of how many slaves work for you indirectly.  And, although they don’t say it, the reason this system persists is because too few companies are taking the initiative to look down the supply chain and make changes where slavery comes into the picture.  This tacit consent of slavery is, unfortunately, pervasive.  Think of your favorite brand right now.  If you go to their website is it fairly easy to locate their Privacy Policy or their About page?  Ok, now what about a position statement concerning Slavery?  Do they have one?  Let’s pose the question another way.  Is it plausible to suggest that any competent organization not have a solid handle on each link in its supply chain?  Of course, any respectable organization would know where its raw materials come from and who assembles the parts or packages the food and what the working conditions are…because that would be good business, and the socially responsible thing to do.

I suggest a simple experiment.  If your favorite brand or organization doesn’t have a position statement on Slavery head over to the Contact page and submit the following inquiry.

“Hello, I’m concerned about the proliferation of slavery in the production of food and consumer goods.  Since your company does not have an official position on the subject I’d like to know what your policy is on Slavery in the Supply Chain.  What does your company do to ensure that no slaves are part of your supply chain?  Thank You.”

Then, wait and see how long it takes them to reply and what they say.  This should give a good indication about how serious the organization is really in eliminating slavery from their products and their brand.

Published in: on October 18, 2011 at 1:14 pm  Comments (1)  
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The Story of Cap and Trade

Annie Leonard is back friends, with another insightful look at an issue we all might do well to pay a little attention.  This time it’s Cap and Trade, one solution (scheme) making the rounds that seemingly attempts to address global climate change, but may in fact have little impact on the real problem.  I’ll leave it to Annie to fill in the details since that’s what she does best.  For those who haven’t heard of Annie Leonard, or her Stories, think of it as a short animated video that takes an otherwise complicated issue and breaks it down into really easy-to-understand terms using helpful visual aids, sort of the way someone might draw something out on a napkin to help explain it better.  If you’re even slightly curious to know what the government, with the help of Wall Street, is doing to address climate change, this short video will provide some insight.

Watch The Story of Cap and Trade

* Keep up the great work Annie

Published in: on May 24, 2011 at 5:29 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Homemade Toys

My wife and I have often remarked at how much joy we had as children doing creative things, such as making our own toys out of everyday stuff…rather than playing with toy ‘products.’  It seems like this isn’t done as much anymore, at least not here in wealthier (more consumer-driven countries).  While I do have some very fond memories of toy products, the specialness of creating something and then letting the imagination take over…well those are the memories to be cherished for a lifetime.

Arvind Gupta’s Do-It-Yourself “Toys from Trash” website reminded me of the kind of stuff we used to have a great time crafting and creating.  It’s broken down into categories, such as: Spinning Toys, Magic Miscellany, Air and Water, Flying Toys and of course the namesake category of Toys from Trash (which includes some pretty clever ideas).  His original focus is derived from a desire to provide children in poor countries with fun toys that inspire the imagination – and even educate along the way.

Published in: on May 10, 2011 at 10:20 pm  Leave a Comment  
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