Link articles

When only the rest will do.

Mother & Baby Yoga

Yoga is such a pleasant and healthy way to pass an hour or so. (If only pleasant and healthy went together more often.) It’s good for everyone — especially busy people, such as mothers of small babies. But what can mothers do with their babies when going to yoga? Well, they can take them along! Yoga is good for everyone, and that includes even tiny babies.

I’ve put up a web page for a Mother and Baby Yoga class near me because I think it’s such a great idea and I’d like it to catch on. It helps the baby to socialise as well as learn to use its body, and it’s also good for the mothers to have a fun play with their babies and have some relaxing exercise for themselves. I’m hoping that one day I will be able to go…

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How to tie your shoelaces

For years I have tied my shoelaces using a special knot that is easy to tie, but never comes undone accidentally. I can’t remember where I learned this — maybe I invented it myself — but I always planned to pass this knowledge on to my children (when I have them) as a valuable piece of family wisdom.

I recently discovered the excellent Ian’s Shoelace Site (“Fun, fashion & science in this quirky site about shoelaces”) as I was looking for more information on shoelace knots. He lists my knot, which is actually called the Better Bow. He seems to find it difficult to tie. Even when I first started using it, I found it as easy as an ordinary knot; that’s why I like it so much. In contrast, his own secure knot, Ian’s Secure Shoelace Knot, is more symmetrical than the Better Bow but quite fiddly to tie, especially if your laces are a bit short.

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More great BBC online music shows

Here’s some more of my favourite online radio, following on from my earlier list of great BBC online music shows.

There are several customised online radio stations out there now. These purport to divine your unique taste in music and give you what you really want to hear. Some of these are definitely worthwhile too, but there’s no substitute for a good human selector. These BBC shows have some of the best.

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A nice cup of tea and a sit down

“Well I think we should all sit down and have a nice cup of tea, and some biscuits, nice ones mind you. Oh and some cake would be nice as well. Lovely.”

That’s the mission statement of NiceCupOfTeaAndASitDown.com. The world needs more websites like this.

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Great BBC online music shows

I learned to love BBC radio when I lived in the UK last century; the shows covered every kind of music, and every week I would discover some new (or old) musical treasure. Now that I’m back on the other side of the world, I still listen in most days, thanks to their Radio On Demand — you can listen to any show up to seven days after it goes to air. Here I’ve put together notes and links to the shows that I listen to regularly.

Normally you’re supposed to use the built-in player on the BBC website to listen, but with a bit of poking around, you can get the RSTP URLs and listen using RealPlayer. This is much more convenient, since you can easily rewind, fast forward, and bookmark shows partway through. I have done the requisite poking around, and included the RSTP URLs in the notes below.

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Send your action figure on a tour of Italy

Have you ever wanted to go on a tour or Italy, but could never find the time? Well, why not send your barbie doll or garden gnome instead?

My friend Doug is auctioning “a trip of a lifetime for your favourite action figure“. Your action figure, stuffed animal, doll or gnome will tour several beautiful Italian destinations, pose for photgraphs, buy you some souvenirs, and send you postcards of gratitude.

Hurry! There are only nine days left for this eBay auction. eBay are listing it in their “Totally Bizarre” category, but as Doug says, “I guess I’m just blind as to why this auction is so outrageous… it’s just a nice, normal vacation. For an action figure. ;-)”

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REMO Global Community General Store

In the ’90s Remo was the coolest shop in Sydney. They disappeared for a while, but now they’re back and on the Web. The site is fun, because the people and the products are fun. Everyone should own at least one REMO item; their T-shirts are the best in the world. Tell ‘em I sent you.

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The Long Now Foundation

A group of people who care about the future, and who realise that the way we think about the future also affects how we live life in the present. From their website:

“Civilization is revving itself into a pathologically short attention span. The trend might be coming from the acceleration of technology, the short-horizon perspective of market-driven economics, the next-election perspective of democracies, or the distractions of personal multi-tasking. All are on the increase. Some sort of balancing corrective to the short-sightedness is needed – some mechanism or myth which encourages the long view and the taking of long-term responsibility, where ‘long-term’ is measured at least in centuries.”

The Long Now Foundation was established in 01996 to develop Clock and “Library” projects as well as to become the seed of a very long term cultural institution. It has been nearly 10,000 years since the end of the last ice age and the beginnings of civilization. Progress lately is often measured on a “faster/cheaper” scale. The Long Now Foundation seeks to promote “slower/better” thinking and to foster creativity in the framework of the next 10,000 years.”

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All Music Guide

An amazingly huge collection of music reviews and information. Search for an album, read about it, fins out what else the artist has done, who else has recorded the same song, the histiry of the genre, the album producer’s favourite icecream flavour, etc. The site has about a quarter of a million album reviews. Need I say more?

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Rock Paper Scissors

There’s a lot more to this game than meets the eye. Or so it says here.

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Newsblaster

A summary of all the news on the Web. The Newsblaster computer program reads news websites and creates summaries. Since they’re computer-generated, the summaries are sometimes a bit incoherent. So it’s just like reading CNN.com. An interesting idea, if nothing else…

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John Peel

Three shows a week of the best music radio show in the world. I want to be John Peel when I grow up.

The range of styles on this show is astonishing. Not all the artists sound good, but their names usually do – where else can you hear music by Monster Killed by Laser, When Ghosts Use Knives, or Cat On Form?

You can even play the John Peel game while you listen.

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Sheehan Brothers

The Sheehan Brothers’ website showcases a couple of their excellent comics. Long Man is surreal, cinematic in scope and otherwise hard to describe. In contrast, Go Gorillas features explosions and excessive coffee consumption as well as the antagonistic protagonists. I don’t think I have the ability to produce comics like this, but I would happily read them all day, every day.

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Lorem Ipsum

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Amazon.com

Huge, famous, but quite good for stuff you can’t buy locally. Of course, this is just a ploy to get you to buy stuff through my link so I get a commission. While you’re there, see if you can find my wish list and buy me a present. Thanks!

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h2g2

The Earth edition of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. It contains everything you never thought you wanted to know. You can even contribute, as I plan to, one day, when I have time.

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Lexical Freenet

This is a “connected thesaurus”. Start with a word, and find every other word that’s related to it in any possible way. I’m not sure what it’s for, but it’s fun to play with if you like words.

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Nietzsche’s Labyrinth

Where would be be today without Nietzsche? Maybe somewhere better than we are now, maybe not. This site has a lot of his writings and links to extensive commentary, so you can judge for yourself.

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Kate Brooks

The first of my friends to have a web site. You may find enlightenment here if you are an astronomer, as Kate is. (It’s not rocket science… but it’s close.)

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meatsicle!

meatsicle! is an all natural, frozen meat snack! We use only the freshest slaughtered and deboned cows, pigs, sheep, and chickens in our secret formula. No preservatives, no artificial colors. meatsicle! is the only frozen snack that contains the protein children need!”

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Word Perhect

This is a word processing program as designed by a Turner Prize-nominated artist. It is magnificent. If all computer programs were like this, the world would be a better place.

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Pointless Waste of Time

(No, not thunderguy.com.) This site is indeed entirely pointless, and quite silly, but you won’t find it a waste of time as long as you enjoy pointless silliness.

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Stardrive

This is way past the cutting edge, as far as I can tell. Is it science, or art, or mumbo-jumbo? Maybe this will be hailed as visionary stuff a hundred years from now. You never know.

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War of Words

“What is going on when some other person is so misguided as to disagree with us?”
Some interesting ideas on this site, a taster for a book:
War of Words: Women and Men Arguing.
“All you need to know about arguments to win”, as it says. Good book too!

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Karmavore

The Thinking Woman’s Guide to Film at karmavore.com is a bunch of capsule reviews of films that dare to portray women not as damsels in distress, love interests or other plot devices, but as characters in their own right. There are some excellent recommendations on this very nicely designed site. And they deserve a medal for coming up with that name.

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Gwen

Gwen is cute. Gwen is funky. Gwen has no arms and legs, but Gwen is fun to play with. (In real life, Gwen does have arms and legs, as well as a slightly less squeaky voice.)

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Babynamer

A nice idea. I’ve listed it here not because I have need of their services (yet), but because I contributed in my own small way to the site. (See if you can guess how.) Lots of information about thousands of names, including yours!

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Too Much Coffee Man

Linguistics, depression, Shakespeare, and German white chocolate with almonds. The comic strip that has it all.

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They Might Be Giants

Purveyors of clever, catchy, eclectic and thoughtful pop music. Listen, laugh and learn. (Disclaimer: I liked their old stuff better than their new stuff, etc.)

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UK Singles Chart

I used to buy a lot of CD singles when I lived in the UK. Now, at least I have this website. The commentary along with each single can yield valuable insights into UK popular culture, for all you sociologists out there.

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