As of 2010, scientists have managed to find and catalog 1.7 million different species of life. Sounds like a lot, right? Not when you consider that the very same lab geeks feel it’s possible that there may still be another five million species out there that we haven’t stumbled across yet. Before depriving anymore of those lifeforms of their habitats for the sake of a new strip mall or a few rolls of toilet paper, maybe we’d do well to get to know them a little bit better (you know, just in case the planet finally decides to rise up and rebel against us). To this end, we’re declaring Encyclopedia of Life our Cool Site of the Week.
Against all odds, you’ve got some extra cash on hand that you’re able to use to invest in a gadget, computer or other snazzy new piece of hardware. Unfortunately, thanks to the unscrupulous technobabble employed by marketers, similar feature sets and the constantly shifting topography of the technological landscape, shopping for the piece of hardware that’s best suited to your needs can be a nightmare. Fortunately, The Wirecutter is here to wake you up, stroke your hair and whisper that everything’s gonna be OK.
When it comes to cloud storage, consumers have a lot of options to choose from. For many people, Dropbox is their go-to service. Others prefer SkyDrive, Amazon Cloud Drive or Sugarsync. They’re all great ways to go, with each one offering it’s own particular perks and quirks. While it might be one of the newest kids on the file storage and sharing block, Minus has enough going for it that we felt it worthy of being our Cool Site of the Week.
Ask an economist what a recession is, and you’ll be told that it’s a period of contraction during a given business cycle, often signaled by a slow down in economic activity. Now, ask the same question of members of your family, your neighbors or friends. Chances are, you’ll find there’s at least someone you know who’ll say a recession was responsible for their being laid off, the loss of their retirement funds or even their homes. As if the these fiscal hard times the world is going through weren’t already rough enough, unscrupulous financial vultures have been licking their chops in anticipation over the possibility of getting their rat claws on our hard-earned assets at the first sign of our weakness or despair. While it’s not capable of outright saving your home, the National Fair Housing Alliance’s QuestionsProtect.org arms consumers with the tools they need to defend it.
Picking the films for a movie night is much like making an awesome playlist (or for our readers of a certain age, a mix-tape). Unless you plan on whiling away the hours watching all of the films in a single franchise, care, thought and a sense of balance must be brought into the movie selection process. One feature-length misstep and what could have been a runaway train of time well wasted can be turned into a bogged down truck full of Howard the Duck. No one needs that sort of pain. If you’re serious about your movie watching, but have a hard time picking a flick, we recommend giving YourNextFilm a try. It’s free, easy to use and also happens to be our Cool Site of the Week.
With subscription services like Netflix and Hulu Plus, downloadable content from iTunes and Amazon, and freebies from Crackle or YouTube It’s getting harder to justify paying for cable. For those of us who prefer our time in front of the tube stimulate, rather than rot our brains, DocumentaryHeaven may be the final push we need to usher our cable TV and satellite subscriptions out the door.
There’s nothing better than finding out your favorite artist is coming to town on tour. There are few things worse than finding out that tickets for said artist’s show were sold out before you ever even heard about it. The same goes for sporting events, and if you must, the touring version of Broadway musicals, both modern and classic. Today’s edition of Cool Site of the Week makes it a little harder to overlook who’s coming to town and a heck of a lot easier to snag tickets for when they do.
We think it’s fair to say that the majority of people in the world today take technology for granted. We drive to work without understanding how an internal combustion engine works. Our leftovers are mysteriously re-heated in the microwave without any knowledge of how its non-ionizing radiation affects what the food we’re about to put into our mouths. The same goes for computers: We turn our PCs on and get down to the serious business of checking our mail, paying a few bills online and wasting what’s left of our lives on Twitter without so much as a thought to how any of these services operate. (Well, maybe not Maximum PC readers, but...) While ignorance can be bliss, knowledge is pretty sweet, too. That’s why Codecademy is our Cool Site of the Week.
As vast as the internet can be, there comes a time in every web surfer’s life when there’s just nothing left to browse. Well, nothing interesting at least. After visiting your favourite online haunts, playing a few web games, chatting it up on Twitter or Google+ and seeking out behind-the-scenes dirt and spoilers for a few of your favorite films, it’s easy to run out of ideas as to what you should scope out next. In such a dire situation, you could take the quitter’s way out and head outside to enjoy everything that Mother Earth has to offer, or you can buckle in for a trip to the Museum of Online Museums, our Cool Site of the Week.
Playing host to an infinite number of cat videos, game demo downloads, poker portals and celebrity gossip sites as it does, it’s easy to forget that the internet can also be a bastion of knowledge, education and innovation. Fortunately for web surfers interested in leveraging the online universe for more than rocking a fews choice memes, Zooniverse has got you covered.