Features – Online College Blog and School Reviews http://www.online-college-blog.com Wed, 26 Jul 2017 18:10:05 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.8 The 10 Creepiest Social Media Features http://www.online-college-blog.com/features/the-10-creepiest-social-media-features/ Fri, 10 Jun 2011 04:05:44 +0000 http://www.online-college-blog.com/?p=793 Social media sites have become a staple of college life. Writing on friends’ walls, tweeting your every thought, and checking out up-and-coming bands may seem harmless, but these everyday social media features can also be dangerously invasive and downright weird. As fun as it is to "check-in" at your favorite bar or update your friends on your vacation status, information sharing through social media sites can put you at risk for identity theft, harassment and even stalking. Here are the 10 creepiest social media features:

  1. Facebook’s Facial Recognition Feature
    One of Facebook’s creepiest additions is the facial recognition feature, which suggests tags to friends in your photo albums through facial recognition technology. Although the facial recognition feature does come in handy when you’re tagging friends in your 200-picture albums, the technology and incorporation of the program is concerning. In fact, Facebook launched the facial recognition feature in December 2010 without notifying users.

  2. Facebook’s Places Feature
    Facebook’s Places feature may take the cake for the creepiest feature of all time. Places allows users to check-in on Facebook to local bars, restaurants, coffee shops or wherever they go, using the GPS on their mobile device. The idea is to let your friends know your exact location in case you want to meet up, but the feature also comes with a heap of security concerns, as well. Even if check-ins only appear on your friends’ news feeds, that doesn’t mean you aren’t at risk for uninvited guests.

  3. Facebook’s Breakup Notifier App
    Facebook’s Breakup Notifier has taken creepiness to a whole new level. No longer will you need to stalk your love interest’s profile because now you can get updates of their relationship status through e-mail. As if it wasn’t hard enough to change your status from "in a relationship" to "single" after a bad breakup, now users will have the joy of answering to eager date requests via Facebook.

  4. The Twitter Creepy App
    The Twitter Creepy app is just that – creepy! Similar to Facebook’s Places feature, Creepy allows users to track a person’s location on a map by typing in their Twitter or Flicker ID. If you’ve made a post that includes geocoded data of any sort, you’ll be traceable. So, unless you don’t mind everyone and their mom knowing your exact location, I’d watch what geocoded data you post on Twitter.

  5. Facebook’s Poke Feature
    It doesn’t get much creepier than receiving a poke from a stranger, even if they are your Facebook friend! The poke feature has been around for years, allowing users to poke their crush or start poke wars with their friends. Sure, it’s pretty harmless in nature, but virtual poking can definitely go too far and reach harassment levels quickly.

  6. Facebook News Feed
    Facebook’s news feed interface has truly raised the level of creepiness to an all-time high. Since 2006, Facebook users have been able to post their daily activities, political rants and professions of love for all of their friends to see. This streaming news feed also tells you when there has been a profile change, birthday notification, post to a friend’s wall and much more. The news feed feature has become a staple of Facebook, but that doesn’t make it any less creepy that you know exactly where your friends were last night, what they last posted on someone’s wall or that they just got out of the shower.

  7. Facebook Quizzes
    Facebook’s quizzes may seem harmless in the grand scheme of things, but these questionnaires could be divulging more personal information than you intended. Facebook quizzes can give developers access to your personal contact information, which could be used against you. Even though changing your Facebook privacy settings may help with this problem, your best defense is to avoid the quizzes altogether.

  8. Photo Sharing
    If it weren’t for the photo sharing features on social networking sites, most people probably wouldn’t even bother getting an account. Photo sharing is what makes Facebook, MySpace and Twitter so enjoyable to users. However, this amusing feature has also caused a boatload of problems for relationships, careers, self esteem and overall productiveness. Social media photos have also put users in danger of being stalked and harassed because it puts your face, locations and information out in the open for all to see.

  9. Facebook Groups
    Facebook groups are another seemingly harmless feature, but these sometimes exclusive groups can be very concerning. The Facebook feature started years ago with innocent groups like "I love Dogs" and "#1 Yankees Fan," but have expanded to more serious groups with a distinct purpose. In recent years, pro-anorexia and bulimia groups have made their way onto the social networking site, using clever names and effective marketing tactics. This is just one example of several creepy Facebook groups that seem to slip through the cracks.

  10. Video Sharing
    Video sharing features, such as MySpace’s Weird Stuff Video Charts, are some of the creepiest and most exploitive video-sharing forums online. Both Facebook and MySpace have a video sharing feature that lets users upload videos to share with friends or the whole online community. Even though the networking sites monitor video content, plenty of inappropriate and controversial videos find their way online.

Top 10 Travel Destinations for the Ultimate Movie Buff http://www.online-college-blog.com/features/top-10-travel-destinations-for-the-ultimate-movie-buff/ Thu, 02 Jun 2011 04:11:02 +0000 http://www.online-college-blog.com/?p=789 Traveling to far-flung movie locations is nothing new: there’s actually a whole field of people who dedicate themselves to such pursuits, and they’re usually called "set-jetters." The good news is that there are hundreds of great locations to visit; the bad news is that a lot of them are in New York or Los Angeles, two cities that are horribly overused in movies and overrated as tourist destinations. Yet it’s possible to see the world and get your pop culture fix at the same time, as long as you know where to look and what to watch. Some of these destinations can be reached via road trip, but the rest are going to take a serious plane ride (or two). Don’t let that stop you, though. They’re all worth the journey.

  1. Ft. William, Scotland: The Harry Potter universe has been an unstoppable cultural juggernaut since the first book hit shelves in 1997, and the arrival of the film series in 2001 only added to the public fervor. There are loads of tourist destinations tied to the movies — Platform 9 3/4 at King’s Cross Station remains a favorite — but your best bet for a great experience is to head to Fort William, Scotland, and board the Jacobite steam train. The round trip runs more than 80 miles through the countryside that was used to illustrate Harry’s annual journey to Hogwarts. so you get your blast of movie-fan nostalgia along with a scenic ride and lengthy trip.
  2. Kauai, Hawaii: That so many movies gravitate toward Hawaii isn’t a surprise, given the gorgeous beaches and jungles that can easily sub for any tropical or faraway location on film. Any trip to the islands will yield hundreds of film locations, but for sheer iconic value, you can’t beat the island of Kauai, which was used for the opening exteriors of Raiders of the Lost Ark, where Indiana Jones travels to find the golden statue. The island was also home to the bulk of filming for Jurassic Park, which makes it a gold mine for Spielberg fans.

  3. Timberline Lodge, Mount Hood, Oregon: There isn’t much in northern Oregon. The Timberline Lodge, on Mount Hood, is closest to the small city of Government Camp. But the lodge is a mecca for horror fans (and others) because its exterior was used to portray the Overlook Hotel in Stanley Kubrick’s classic The Shining. Visitors should be warned that the lodge isn’t the real (that is, fictional) hotel: there’s no giant hedge maze in which to run from a homicidal maniac, and the interiors seen in the film were all shot on a set in England. Still, for sheer size and beauty, it’s worth a visit. But just to be on the safe side, stay out of room 237.
  4. Downtown Chicago: Chicago: good sights, good music, and enough food to give you a heart attack (twice). The city’s been home to a number of film shoots over the years, but a pair of comedies takes the cake for movie buffs looking to make a pilgrimage to the Windy City. For starters, there’s The Blues Brothers, shot in and around Chicago, from Wrigley Field to the 95th Street bridge to the South Shore Cultural Center, the outside of which posed on film as the Palace Hotel Ballroom. Then there’s Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, which treated Chicago like a giant playground as it bounced between museums and restaurants. You can catch a Cubs game and relive the vicarious thrill of watching Ferris ditch gym class, or you can go to the Art Institute of Chicago and trip out on some Seurat. Or, if you’re up for it, you can hijack a parade. Your call.
  5. Philadelphia: Sure, it was once the nation’s capital, and it’s heralded as a birthplace of modern democracy. But more important than that: Rocky trained here! The steps leading up to the Philadelphia Museum of Art became national icons when Sylvester Stallone jogged up them triumphantly in Rocky, and the bronze statue of Rocky that was placed at the top of the steps for use in Rocky III is still around, just moved to the bottom. If Rocky isn’t your thing, you can cruise around the locations used in The Sixth Sense, as long as you don’t wear red.
  6. Seattle: You know you like Sleepless in Seattle. You know you do. It is pointless to pretend otherwise. A trip to Seattle will let you roam the same rainy streets once trod by Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan. True, the film’s climax takes place in New York, but give Seattle some love. The city’s been home to dozens of other films, as well. Cameron Crowe’s Gen-X-ish Singles shot all over town, and the apartment building that figures in the story is always worth a visit. The Pike Place Market is another classic landmark that’s appeared in several films.
  7. Vienna: No one needs convincing of Vienna’s place in world culture or history (major player in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, birthplace of Schubert, home of Falco). But the Austrian city has also seen its fair share of film productions, with The Third Man among the most cherished. The 1949 film starring Joseph Cotton and Orson Welles is a fantastic film and a classic of film noir, and since the story is set in Vienna, much of the action takes place against the backdrop of real places. True, it’s not like the movie is the excuse you needed to see Vienna — it’s a stunning city — but it’s always fun to explore landmark locations like this one and know that someone like Welles walked the same roads.
  8. Tunisia: Located on the northern coast of Africa, Tunisia has seen a variety of rulers in the past that have contributed to its eclectic cultural heritage, from the Romans to Spain and France. But the desert locations will be instantly familiar to anyone who’s seen the original Star Wars (in other words, everyone): the region doubled for the desert planet of Tatooine at the beginning of the film. Buildings in Matmata were used for Luke Skywalker’s home, where he spent his days whining and fixing things and whining, and a variety of dunes and canyons were used for the Jawa locations. Interestingly, the canyon where R2-D2 was captured was used again by another George Lucas production starring Harrison Ford, Raiders of the Lost Ark, for the scene in which Indy threatens to destroy the ark with a bazooka.
  9. Santa Barbara: Santa Barbara is an easy drive up the coast from Los Angeles, and though it’s only a couple hours away from the heart of the city, it might as well be a different world. The performing arts venues and tourist attractions have always brought in travelers, but the wine culture of the region got a big boost from the 2004 comedy Sideways, which is set in the area’s wineries and restaurants. The movie’s scenes play out in real places, too, like The Hitching Post II, a local steakhouse. The film’s success actually led to a spike in wine country tourism, though that’s settled a bit now, making a trip to the region much more manageable for oenophiles or Paul Giamatti groupies.

  10. The Phi Phi Islands: Danny Boyle’s 2000 film The Beach is a Gen-X reworking of Lord of the Flies, with techno music and militant pot farmers filling in for a wrecked airplane and murderous children. The tale revolves around a supposedly hidden paradise that’s almost impossible for tourists to reach, and the filmmakers brought the location to life on the Phi Phi Islands in Thailand. Shot on the island of Koh Phi Phi, the film makes a believable case for these islands as a paradise on Earth, albeit one that requires some work to get to. The island is less developed than those around it, and even the popularity of the film hasn’t done much to change the island, which is a good thing. Sometimes, it’s OK to preserve things just the way they are.

10 Autobiographies Every Comedy Buff Should Read http://www.online-college-blog.com/features/10-autobiographies-every-comedy-buff-should-read/ Wed, 20 Apr 2011 03:42:14 +0000 http://www.online-college-blog.com/?p=781 Being funny is one thing; writing funny is something else. Most stand-up comedians are gifted performers and improvisers who use speech and stagecraft to get their point across, but some of them are also skilled enough to shift gears and turn those stories into compelling literary narratives. These autobiographies aren’t just trranscripts of the performers’ best-known bits, nor are they cash-in attempts that just string together one-liners. They’re actual books, and it’s amazing to hear the voice of the comic you love coming through the page in a way that’s different from everything else they’ve done yet still instantly recognizable. The comedians who make good authors are the ones who can take their worldview and channel it into any medium. If you’ve ever wondered what made your favorite comic minds tick, these books are a must.

  1. Born Standing Up: A Comic’s Life, Steve Martin: Steve Martin seemed to walk away from live performances at the height of his popularity, but as his book details, it’s because his fame brought him all the things he never wanted. Devoted to doing progressive comedy that eschewed traditional set-ups and avoided typical punch lines altogether, Martin’s act became so huge that he was selling out stadiums and feeling stifled by the crowd’s demands. He quit stand-up in 1981 and devoted his time to writing, film work, and other pursuits. His autobiography is a fantastic companion piece to his early comedy albums, and he speaks honestly (if briefly) about his desire to do something different and the frustrations he felt trying to carve out a place for himself. Martin’s departure from comedy 30 years ago makes this book a welcome discussion of the stuff that got him started.
  2. Superstud: Or How I Became a 24-Year-Old Virgin, Paul Feig: Paul Feig took the terrors of puberty and mined them for comedy and heartache with Freaks and Geeks, and he went on to write a pair of memoirs detailing his awkward youth. Kick Me: Adventures in Adolescence will feel familiar to fans of Freaks, since many of Feig’s actual experiences (dodgeball, bad dates, etc.) were turned into stories on the show. But Superstud is a cut above, as Feig details his conservative upbringing and the ways it played havoc with his hormones and his abortive attempts to get a girlfriend in high school, college, and beyond. It’s a hilarious, painful, poignant memoir about a guy trying to figure himself out, and Feig doesn’t shy away from stories that paint him in an unflattering light. One chapter is composed of excerpts from his personal diary from 1981; another deals with his attempts to contort himself into a position that would enable a method of self-pleasure that’s definitely impossible. A great, honest read.
  3. Bossypants, Tina Fey: The cover art for Tina Fey’s Bossypants is definitely creepy, but it’s got a purpose: Fey has had to make her way to the top of a highly competitive field dominated by men while also juggling things men don’t have to think about (breastfeeding, the gender gap in the wordplace, etc.). Her memoir hit shelves in spring 2011, with 30 Rock closing in on the end of its fifth season. Fey’s got an amazing comedy career to draw on for her autobiography, including time at Chicago’s Second City and a decade at Saturday Night Live, where she was a writer (as well as the first female head writer in the show’s history) and performer as well as a "Weekend Update" anchor. She’s consistently funny, and her book follows her journey and digs into the eye-opening details of motherhood and professional scheduling.
  4. I Shouldn’t Even Be Doing This: And Other Things That Strike Me as Funny, Bob Newhart: This is how big Bob Newhart is: In 1960, he released a pair of comedy albums — The Button-Down Mind of Bob Newhart and The Button-Down Mind Strikes Back — that at one point occupied the top two spots on the Billboard charts at the same time. No one had ever done that before, and it wouldn’t happen again until Guns N’ Roses put out the Use Your Illusion albums in 1991. He’s been a legend for so long it’s easy to take his place in the comedy pantheon for granted, but his autobiography is a welcome reminder of how gifted he is and how much he’s done over the past 50-plus years. The book is a great mix of facts and observations that showcase his dry, straight-faced sense of humor, and it’s also full of wonderful insight into the origin of some of Newhart’s best-known sketches and bits.
  5. One More Time, Carol Burnett: One of the great things about Carol Burnett’s memoir is the hilarious and heartbreaking detail she brings to stories of her own childhood, including living with an unbalanced grandmother during the Depression. Comics in Burnett’s era, especially female ones, were far less focused on confessional comedy, so her autobiography adds an amazing layer to her already storied persona. It’s not a completely dark book, though: she’s still a funny and talented writer, and she mixes the good with the bad as she lays out the steps that took her from aspiring performer to host of one of the most popular variety/sketch shows of all time. It’s an amazing story.
  6. Sleepwalk with Me: and Other Painfully True Stories, Mike Birbiglia: Mike Birbiglia started out as a traditional stand-up comedian before transitioning into more long-form, confessional stories that mixed humor with autobiography. He later turned those stories into albums like My Secret Public Journal Live and the one-man show Sleepwalk With Me, a funny look at his sleep disorders. (He once jumped out a hotel window while sleepwalking.) His autobiographical book takes some of his stage material and fleshes out it, and he talks about his childhood misadventures, life as a road comic, and the weirdness of being a minor celebrity. The book is equal parts material and process, and the stories provide a nice backdrop for the performer people see on stage.
  7. American on Purpose: The Improbable Adventures of an Unlikely Patriot, Craig Ferguson: Craig Ferguson went largely ignored during the latest round of late-night wars, which is just the latest indication that not nearly enough people are aware of how funny Ferguson can be. As the host of CBS’ The Late Late Show, he’s taken the format in bold new directions; in 2010, he won a Peabody Award for a 2009 episode devoted entirely to guest Archbishop Desmond Tutu and a frank discussion of apartheid. He’s never without a sense of humor, but he’s also always willing to talk to his audience about the darker parts of his own life, like his younger battles with alcoholism. His memoir, American on Purpose, traces his life from Scotland to the U.S. as he bounces from one career to the next and succumbs to his own worst vices. The story sees him gain TV success in the states and eventually earn his citizenship. A truly wonderful read from a gifted humorist.
  8. Zombie Spaceship Wasteland, Patton Oswalt: Comedian Patton Oswalt has, against his better wishes and stated desires to the contrary, grown up a lot in recent years. His comedy is still mostly observational, but where it once focused on the absurdities of life, it’s now more concerned with the trials of modern fatherhood and what it means to live in a world as crazy as ours can be. Zombie Spaceship Wasteland is an essay collection that mostly deals with Oswalt’s formative years and experiences, beginning with the change that took him over as a child when he started reading books with a real desire to find good art. The title refers to the way young storytellers lean toward one of three basic worlds in which to set their tales — worlds of zombies, aliens, or empty wastes — and Oswalt uses his pet theory to discuss his own comedic journey with skill. Definitely one to read for fans of modern alternative comedy.
  9. Dear Mrs. Fitzsimmons: Tales of Redemption from an Irish Mailbox, Greg Fitzsimmons: Greg Fitzsimmons’ central premise — an inherent distrust of authority — makes for a great connective tissue in his autobiography, which reproduces a variety of letters, notes, and warnings he received growing up. He uses those notes, and his own writing, to tell his story of growing up in a highly dysfunctional family. He’s one of the few comics who isn’t afraid to go into detail or offer lengthy explanations of his background, which gives the book the weight and emotional heft of a real memoir and not a quickie cash-in. He’s quick to make fun of the traditions and rituals that define his heritage — the boom of Saint Patrick’s Day babies born around Christmas are summed up as "the result of drunken unprotected make-up sex after a slap fight at the Blarney Stone that day" — but he’s also possessed of a real sense of pride in where he came from. The book’s as honest as it is entertaining.
  10. Last Words: A Memoir, George Carlin: George Carlin’s autobiography was published posthumously, which makes it feel like a bonus parting gift from one of the comedic masters of the 20th century. He uses the book to tell the story of his life in full, or at least as full as can be boiled down to a simple narrative, and he also goes deep on the psychology of comedy and what he’s learned about everything from audience dynamics to joke construction. The book’s proof of the many reasons that a good autiobiography from an artist will always emotionally outstrip one by an athlete: while the latter are paid to forget who they are and perform physical feats of strength and coordination, the former are trained to always look inward and use their own experiences as material. Carlin’s career often focused on the power of words (dialogue in that clip extremely NSFW, by the way), and his life story makes for a fantastic memorial.
The 15 Best Food Festivals in the World http://www.online-college-blog.com/features/the-15-best-food-festivals-in-the-world/ Wed, 13 Apr 2011 03:43:46 +0000 http://www.online-college-blog.com/?p=777 A region’s culture is reflected in its cuisine. In this way, food has the amazing ability to illustrate certain intricacies about a country’s culture to those on the outside. For example, American cuisine tends to be fast and bold, emblematic of American ideals. With hundreds of festivals celebrating food throughout the world, there is a destination to appease even the pickiest of appetites. Attracting all different kinds of epicurean stars and enthusiasts, food festivals are a fabulous place to expand one’s mind and stretch one’s boundaries. The following is a list of 15 exciting and diverse festivals celebrating foods from every culture throughout the world:

  1. Maine Lobster Festival: Serving over twenty thousand pounds of lobster over the course of five days, Maine’s Lobster Festival is one of the premier food festivals in the world. Located in the small coastal town of Rockland, the Maine Lobster Festival celebrates Maine’s biggest export by boiling it alive and eating it — delicious. Thousands of volunteers work for the eleven months before the festival preparing for the upcoming activities. The festival includes a big parade, several cooking contests, the Sea Goddess Pageant, road races, arts and crafts, lobster crate races, and of course lots and lots of lobster.
  2. Cayman Cookout: Offering a glorious escape from harsh winter temperatures, the Cayman Cookout is a must-see destination for any food lover. Presented by award winning chef Eric Ripert, the festival features local dishes such as fresh ceviche and international favorites like fine chocolate and gourmet truffles. Each day of the festival offers something new and exciting to the guests. One day, swim with and feed the Southern Stingrays of Stingray City and the North Sound, and then enjoy Chef Eric’s boat-prepared ceviche. The next day, enjoy freshly baked pastries and brews from award winning chefs all over the world. As if the Cayman Islands weren’t an enticing enough vacation destination, the Cayman Cookout adds even more allure.
  3. Arcata Bay Oyster Festival: More than seventy percent of the oysters consumed in the state of California are cultivated in Arcata Bay on California’s northwest coast. It is here that the internationally known oyster festival takes place every June. Celebrating the local chefs of Humboldt County, the Arcata Bay Oyster Festival features vendors from the most popular restaurants in town. Preparing oysters roasted, fried, barbecued, raw, and more, the chefs display their creativity and zeal for the slimy delicacies. Vying for the coveted title of "Best Oyster of the Festival," each year chefs push the boundaries of traditional oyster flavor and preparation.
  4. Festival Gourmet International: Puerto Vallarta, Mexico’s reputation as a gastronomic Mecca owes much thanks to the Festival Gourmet International, a food festival celebrated in November every year. Promoting a different atmosphere than most other food festivals throughout the world, Festival Gourmet International is run on a non-competitive format. The festival boasts a dynamic combination of master chefs famous throughout the world and new chefs, wishing to display their immense talent. The festival works to blend Mexican traditions, wine tasting, parties, dinners, and cooking workshops over the course of ten luxurious days in one of the most beautiful places on Earth. Featuring over twenty international celebrity chefs, all of the proceeds from the event go to local charities in Puerto Vallarta.
  5. The World Gourmet Summit: Beginning in the end of April, The World Gourmet Summit (WGS) in Singapore offers five days of all things food. The WGS will feature traditional Chinese dishes, celebrity dinners, culinary master-classes, wine tastings, and gourmet cooking workshops in various national cuisines. The World Gourmet Summit is one of the most well known and highly regarded food festivals in the world. Featuring internationally acclaimed chefs and rare epicurean wines, The WGS is any foodies dream expedition.
  6. The Good Food and Wine Show: As one of the largest food celebrations in the world, The Good Food and Wine Show is a culinary showcase that spans three cities in South Africa (Cape Town, Durban, and Johannesburg) over a period of several months. With numerous Chef-in-Action theatres, featuring world renowned celebrity chefs, this festival offers a great learning experience for any food enthusiast or culinary wannabe. Celebrating delicacies special to South Africa, The Good Food and Wine Show highlights the finest of the South African coffee industry in the National Barista Championships. The festival also offers several other food competitions and classes, including a cocktail competition, wine tasting, and organic food forums.
  7. Moritz Gourmet Festival: Set in a winter oasis among clear skies and crystalline cold, St. Moritz, Switzerland has been a vacationing destination for centuries. This five-day long festival features celebrity guest chefs from around the world who fly in to create original dishes with top chefs from St. Moritz’s leading hotels. Opening with a five-course gourmet meal and the Grand Gourmet Opening Cocktail at the Carlton Hotel, this festival boasts nonstop entertainment and culinary delight. The Chocolate Cult, one of the highlight events of the festival, showcases personalized chocolate delicacies using local chili, pepper, saffron, and honey. Guests can also get in on the action, creating their own personalized chocolate under the supervision of the master chocolatier in Zurich. The experience at St. Moritz is truly unique and a dream escape for any culinary fanatic.
  8. Aspen Food and Wine Classic: Taking place in Aspen, CO, every summer, the Food and Wine Classic is one of the most notorious food festivals in the world. Made hugely well known by the popular reality television series Top Chef, the Classic offers a weekend full of gourmet cooking demonstrations and samplings prepared by some of the top names in the business. Featuring lessons from dozens of world renowned chefs, wine tastings, and cooking competitions, this event sells out every year. A portion of the proceeds from the ticket sales for the event is donated to the Grow for Good campaign sponsored by Food and Wine Magazine. Grow for Good is a nationwide initiative that supports local farms and encourages sustainable agriculture.
  9. Hokitika’s Wildfood Festival: A culinary extravaganza not for the weak at heart, this New Zealand event is filled with fun and excitement. Set in a destination on its own, the festival’s landscape includes scenic mountains, glaciers, rivers, rainforest, and wildlife. Celebrating the unique wilderness of New Zealand’s Southern Island, The Hokitika Wildfood Festival features exotic dishes like wasp larvae ice cream and barbequed Huhu grubs. This event has been happening for over two decades and hosts up to twenty three thousand guests from around the world each year. Wandering dancers, mimes, bands, and comedians, allow for no shortage in entertainment. With radical wild food innovations, visitors to the festival should expect to step out of their culinary comfort zone and try unique dishes including possum, earthworms, sweetbreads, and much more.
  10. Terra Madre and Salone del Gusto: These two events take place in Turin, Italy and are more than just festivals for food. Representing and celebrating the Slow Food Movement, Terra Madre and Salone del Gusto are two mega food events that happen each year. The Slow Food Movement is a global grassroots organization devoted to linking the pleasure of food with a commitment to community and the environment. Terra Madre showcases food producers, farmers, educators, and cooks from around the world. This four day festival focuses on workshops, meetings, and lectures, discussing eating locally and practicing sustainable agriculture. The Salone del Gusto festival focuses more on experiencing the slow food ideologies in practice. This event is an international food and wine extravaganza with thousands of wines and dishes cooked with the slow food technique. Individuals visiting either of these festivals will leave with empowering knowledge about slow food practices and beliefs.
  11. The International White Truffle Festival: The white truffle has a rich history in Italy and throughout the world. Found most famously in the countryside of the Italian city of Alba, Italian white truffles are highly esteemed in the culinary world. The International White Truffle Festival in Italy is typically held between September and December each year. This festival celebrates all aspects of the glorious tuber. Famous chefs from all over the world incorporate white truffle elements into their masterpieces, giving their dishes added elegance and flavor. However, because white truffles have such a pungent taste and are so rare, they are used sparingly in the culinary world. The Italian festival celebrates the existence of this culinary gem with events dedicated to the white truffle. Auctions take place each year, selling the truffles for thousands of dollars apiece. Any gastronomist should seek this festival to enrich their culinary repertoire.
  12. Kona Coffee Cultural Festival: Visitors from all over the world gather alongside island locals on the beaches of Hawaii for this festival of arts, food, and drinks to celebrate all things coffee. Since the early eighteen hundreds coffee has been cultivated in the Kona Districts of the Big Island of Hawaii. Kona Coffee is now one of the most highly regarded and expensive coffee blends in the world. This coffee festival generally lasts just under two weeks in the beginning of November. The festival boasts a variety of events, including pageants, tours, workshops, lectures, parades, tastings, competitions, dinners, art exhibits, and live entertainment. Hosting almost twenty thousand visitors each year, people from all over the world flock to the Island for its spectacular beauty, rich history, and outstanding caffeinated brews.
  13. International Mango Festival: While there are several mango festivals that take place throughout the world, the International Mango Festival in India is one of the largest. The festival exhibits more than five hundred different varieties of mangoes grown throughout India, celebrating the unique color, smell and taste particular to the Indian mango. While mangoes are traditionally eaten raw in India, the festival showcases various recipes from notable Indian chefs. Involving all things mango, the festival’s events include a mango eating competition, mango slogan writing, mango carving, and mango quizzes. If you’re not a huge mango fan then this is certainly a festival you can skip. For those who relish the small succulent fruits, visit the International Mango Festival to taste one-of-a-kind mango jams, pickles, fruit juices, and more.
  14. Iceland Food and Fun Festival: Focused on celebrating fresh Icelandic ingredients, the Food and Fun Festival in Iceland attracts crowds from all over the world. Taking place in the dead of Reykjavik’s frosty winter each year, this food festival is a unique and unforgettable experience. For the first four days of the festival, visiting chefs from other countries are paired with local host restaurants to prepare some of their signature dishes for the public. On the final day of festivities, the visiting chefs compete for the title of "Chef of the Year". During this competition, the chefs are given one hour to shop in the local markets and purchase only fresh Icelandic ingredients and then three hours to prepare a winning three course Icelandic meal. The results of this competition are then served as the final meal of the festival. Competitive zeal and culinary excellence make Iceland’s Food and Fun Festival hard to miss.
  15. Memphis in May Barbecue Festival: Bringing something unique to the table each year, the Memphis in May Barbeque Festival sets its culinary theme around a different country each year. While the festival lasts the entire month of May, one week each year is devoted to showcasing the local foods and entertainment of the country being honored that year. The goal of this international celebration is to educate local students in Tennessee on the different cultures and customs of the world. This BBQ celebration draws crowds from all over the world, hosting just under one hundred thousand visitors a year. With endless food competitions, food related activities, music, and more, Memphis in May is an event to behold for any food lover. The festival also hosts The World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest, which is one of the most popular barbecue contests in the country, and the Sunset Symphony, which is a night of classical music.
11 Insanely Insensitive Celebrity Quotes http://www.online-college-blog.com/features/11-insanely-insensitive-celebrity-quotes/ Wed, 06 Apr 2011 03:33:58 +0000 http://www.online-college-blog.com/?p=771 It should come as no surprise that celebrities say stupid things. To their credit, constantly being in the spotlight cannot look good on anyone. Everyone says stupid things. So, is it just that the everyday person doesn’t have someone recording their every word, or are celebrities really just prone to saying extremely insensitive and just plain stupid things? Regardless of the fact that the media doesn’t let anything slip through the cracks, one would still hope that a celebrity who is in the public eye at all times would be more careful about what they say. Any educated individual knows 9/11, the tsunami in Japan, earthquakes, and rape are not great topics to be taking on in an attempted comedic fashion — especially in a very public way. The following is a list of the 11 most insanely insensitive things celebrities have ever said.

  1. Mel Gibson: Mel Gibson has been in the tabloids for years now for losing his cool and letting his insanity run rampant. The at-one-time A-list actor is the craziest star out there (even post Charlie Sheen), with his numerous anti-Semitic rants, racist outbursts, and violent threats. In a recording that surfaced in 2010, Gibson purportedly berates his ex stating, "you’re an embarrassment to me, you look like a pig in heat, and if you get raped–" (we’re stopping the quote there). Sounding completely insane, Gibson’s remarks were insensitive on too many levels to list. But we can say calling a woman a pig and telling her that "it will be [her] fault if she is raped" means you’ve fallen off the deep end.
  2. 50 Cent: This one takes the cake for stupidity. Since the advent of Twitter, the internet has been a goldmine of terrible and inappropriate quotes from a-list celebrities. No one’s Twitter has been more horribly amazing than rapper 50 Cent’s. Mere hours after the recent tsunami devastated Japan, rapper 50 Cent tweeted, "Look this is very serious people I had to evacuate all my hoe’s from LA, Hawaii and Japan. I had to do it. Lol." Well, lol Mr. 50 Cent. We feel uncomfortable even sarcastically mocking your insensitive joke. It’s important to take things lightly in order to stay sane in a world so wrought with uncertainty; however, joking about a natural disaster that has completely devastated an entire country is probably not the best route to levity. And what’s worse, this tweet was "retweeted" by 100 people. Yikes.
  3. Gilbert Gottfried: Known for his obnoxious voice, comedian Gilbert Gottfried is no newcomer to statements that are "too soon". At the Comedy Central roast of Hugh Hefner in 2001 (only three weeks after 9/11), Gottfried joked, "I have to leave early tonight. I have to fly out to L.A. I couldn’t get a direct flight, I have to make a stop at the Empire State Building." The crowd was stunned. Comedy Central had considered postponing the roast because it was too soon after the tragic event at the World Trade Center. But, Gilbert Gottfried went for it — and sank for it.
  4. Gilbert Gottfried: Yes, again. Gottfried again made light of a very serious and devastating situation mere days after it occurred. Only days after the earthquake and tsunami devastated Japan, the comedian tweeted, "Japan is really advanced. They don’t go to the beach. The beach comes to them." As if the insensitivity and idiocy of this statement weren’t enough, Gottfried made nine more tweets making light (if you can even put it that way) of the deadly disaster. The comedian lost his job as the voice of the Aflac duck for his insanely insensitive remarks. The insurance company states that Japan is one their top customers. Aflac donated over one million dollars the International Red Cross for recovery efforts in Japan.
  5. Kenneth Cole: Twitter strikes again. Famous designer Kenneth Cole offended pretty much everyone with his Tweet in response to the political uprising in Egypt. When thousands of civilians in Cairo bravely came together to protest their corrupt dictator, classy designer Cole insinuated that his clothes sparked the excitement. He wrote (and sent out to the entire world), "millions are in uproar in #Cairo. Rumor is they heard our new spring collection is now available." While dark humor is sometimes the most successful kind, it must be done with some restraint and class. There are now numerous novelty twitter accounts dedicated to Kenneth Cole’s insensitive remark.
  6. Rush Limbaugh: it seems that many famous Americans just can’t seem to keep their mouths shut when an earthquake devastates another country. Conservative political commentator, Rush Limbaugh, stated on his radio show after the earthquake in Haiti, "We’ve already donated to Haiti. It’s called the U.S. income tax." His comment was outrageously insensitive and crude and that seemingly suggests that we do not need to help with relief effort in Haiti. Limbaugh received widespread criticism for his remarks. White House Press Secretary, Robert Gibbs, commented, "I don’t know how anybody could sit where [Limbaugh] does, having enjoyed the success that he has, and not feel some measure of sorrow for what has happened in Haiti." Limbaugh made other comments throughout this same radio segment stating that President Obama will "use" the Haiti disaster to his political advantage. Ill-informed and narrow minded comments can be expected from some people, but should not be tolerated from individuals who claim to be experts and who influence public opinion.
  7. Alec Sulkin: As a writer for the hit show Family Guy, Alec Sulkin is no newcomer to insulting and offensive material. But it gives him no excuse for his recent remarks about the disaster in Japan on his Twitter account. Just one day after the earthquake devastated Japan, Sulkin tweeted, "If you wanna feel better about this earthquake in Japan, google ‘Pearl Harbor death toll.’" Many were shocked by the insensitive remark and Sulkin later apologized. He wrote, "yesterday death toll = 200. Today = 10 thousand. I am sorry for my insensitive tweet. It’s gone." While this tweet seems sincere, we wonder when celebrities are going to learn to censor their idiocy from their social media accounts.
  8. Jerry Seinfeld: Actor and comedian, Jerry Seinfeld has said plenty of inappropriate things in his day. That’s what comedians do. They find the most ironic and insensitive thing they could possibly say and beat it to the ground with a hilarious nonchalance attitude. The trick to this type of humor is knowing when to use it. Comedians seem to struggle on this front. Jerry Seinfeld has attended autism benefits for several years. In 2009, to an audience at an autism benefit, Seinfeld stated, "having a girlfriend is like playing whiffle ball. Being married is the war in Iraq." While this may be a funny sentiment, it is certainly a bad place to bring it up. Let’s just hope that there were not too many military spouses in the audience desperately worried about the fate of their loved one overseas.
  9. Kanye West: It should come as no surprise that artist Kanye West makes this list. The singer never seems to make the tabloids for delivering a well thought out and intelligent remark. In February of 2011, West tweeted (editing out all foul language), "an abortion can cost a ballin’ [person] up to 50gs maybe a 100 —  Gold diggin’ [women] getting pregnant on purpose." Just great. Stupid enough with his use of racial slurs and derogatory terms, Kanye has also managed make light of a very serious and difficult circumstance for any woman. While Kanye claims that his comment was all in good fun, women’s rights groups around the country were outraged with the comments. His tweet was followed with the hatch tag "#STRAPUP". I guess we can applaud Kanye for at least trying to promote safe sex. Maybe.
  10. Kristen Stewart: Twilight star Kristen Stewart has been rejecting her stardom ever since anyone starting caring who she was. The young celebrity has been very vocal about how she dislikes the media attention the vampire saga has gained her. As if it’s not annoying enough to hear rich and famous celebrities complain about being rich and famous, Stewart has taken it to another level. Stewart discussed in a magazine interview the annoyances of the paparazzi stating, "what you don’t see are the cameras shoved in my face and the bizarre intrusive questions being asked, or the people falling over themselves, screaming and taunting to get a reaction. The photos are so… I feel like I’m looking at someone being raped." Rape victims’ advocacy groups were appalled by the comparison and were infuriated with her. To Stewart’s credit, however, she did instantly apologize for the statement, admitting that she used a poor choice of words.
  11. Kate Moss: As a world renowned fashion model and icon since the young age of sixteen, Kate Moss is now most well known for her striking looks, fashion sense, and controversial lifestyle. During a time when fashion modeling praised tall and curvaceous figures like Cindy Crawford and Naomi Campbell, Moss was the front runner for the "heroin chic" appearance in modeling. Regularly criticized for her weight and thin appearance, Moss was (and is) endlessly questioned about her eating habits. In an interview with Women’s Wear Daily, Kate Moss claims that the phrase, "nothing tastes as good as skinny feels" one of the many mottos that she lives by. Well, if this is the way that Moss denies having an eating disorder then it’s hard to fault people for questioning her. Seemingly endorsing anorexia, Moss took a lot of flak for her thin-litist comment. Making this statement in a publication that focuses on healthy ideals for women was less than sensitive of the star. In our opinion, a healthy and balanced diet is far better than keeping the weight off with a steady course of booze and nicotine.
10 Most Memorable NCAA Tourney Mid-Majors http://www.online-college-blog.com/features/10-most-memorable-ncaa-tourney-mid-majors/ Mon, 04 Apr 2011 03:41:13 +0000 http://www.online-college-blog.com/?p=768 There isn’t a rigid, universally accepted definition of the term "mid-major." Use of it has increased since the inception of the BCS, when the six major football conferences aligned, drawing the proverbial line in the sand between the "haves" and "have nots." Despite the fact that "BCS school" is technically a football designation, it serves as a differentiator between big-budget athletic programs and those that spend more modestly. Being a supposed "have not" in college basketball isn’t quite as difficult as being one in football, though, as one talented coach and one talented player can almost instantly transform a loser into a winner. Any hot team, regardless of its historical stature or lack thereof, is capable of pulling a shocking upset or two and/or making a deep run in the single-elimination NCAA tournament. The following teams emerged on the national stage in March during the modern era, adding to the mystique of college basketball’s most celebrated month. The order is subjective, of course, but more significant overall accomplishments tend to make a team more memorable. Also, we excluded teams such as 2008 Memphis and 1998 Utah because they featured major conference-level talent, and there wasn’t an element of surprise during their runs.

  1. 2010 Butler Bulldogs (Reached National Championship Game): If you don’t count the 1990 UNLV Runnin’ Rebels as a mid-major, then the Bulldogs hold the distinction of being furthest-advancing mid-major. Led by a proficient trio of Gordon Hayward, Shelvin Mack and Matt Howard and wunderkind 33-year-old coach Brad Stevens, they upset No. 1 seed Syracuse, No. 2 seed Kansas State and defending national runner-up Michigan State en route to their matchup against college basketball Goliath Duke. In what proved to be one of the most dramatic national championship games in tourney history, Duke outlasted the hometown team 61-59 in Indianapolis. The game culminated with Hayward’s desperation heave as time expired that almost won the game for the underdogs.
  2. 2006 George Mason Patriots (Reached Final Four): Here’s a team that truly used the tournament to catapult itself onto the national scene. George Mason, a school named after a "Father of the Bill of Rights" that opened its doors as a branch of the University Virginia in 1957, had never been ranked in basketball before the 2005-06 season. In one fell swoop, it was a national media darling, unexpectedly reaching the Final Four after beating four lofty opponents, including No. 2 seed Tennessee and No. 1 seed UConn in an enthralling overtime Washington DC Regional final. The dream ended in the national semifinal as eventual national champion Florida routed the Patriots — there was certainly no shame in losing to a team with Joakim Noah, Al Horford and Corey Brewer. George Mason was just the second No. 11 seed ever to reach the Final Four.
  3. 1999 Gonzaga Bulldogs (Reached Elite Eight): The poster child of successful mid-major programs, Gonzaga has appeared in the tournament an impressive 13 consecutive years. But its most successful effort during that run didn’t occur under the leadership of Dan Dickau or Adam Morrison or coach Mark Few — it occurred when Richie Frahm was anchoring the 1999 Dan Monson-coached squad. The slipper fit nicely as the Zags knocked off No. 7 seed Minnesota, No. 2 seed Stanford and No. 6 seed Florida on Casey Calvary’s game-winning tip-in with 4.4 seconds remaining. In the regional final against eventual national champion UConn, Quentin Hall’s three with 35 seconds left cut the lead to one, but the Zags eventually lost 67-62. If they had pulled that upset, it’s quite possible they would have been Butler before Butler.
  4. 2004 Saint Joseph’s Hawks (Reached Elite Eight): Entering the 2004 tournament, it was hard for many critics to fathom that an Atlantic 10 team, representing a school of fewer than 4,000 students, was deserving of a No. 1 seed. The Hawks, led by a potent backcourt consisting of Naismith College Player of the Year Jameer Nelson and Delonte West, completed the regular season 27-0 and suffered their first loss in the A-10 tournament. Their second and final loss came in the East Rutherford Regional final in a thriller against Oklahoma State, in which John Lucas III sunk the game-winning 18-footer along with the Final Four dreams of the Hawks. Nelson and West proceeded to enjoy good NBA careers, and the Hawks have appeared in the tournament only once since their departure.
  5. 2008 Davidson Wildcats (Reached Elite Eight): Stephen Curry, son of former NBA sharpshooter Dell Curry, memorably carried the Wildcats on his back to the cusp of the Final Four using many of the same skills his father once flashed on the court. Averaging 25.9 points per game and making more than four out of 10 threes per game during the regular season, Curry continued his magnificent play in the tournament. In the first round against Gonzaga, he scored 40 points — 30 in second half to lead the comeback — while hitting eight of 10 threes. Against No. 2 seed Georgetown, he rebounded from an unproductive first half in which he score just five points, scoring 25 in the second half. In the Sweet Sixteen versus No. 3 seed Wisconsin, he overcame the Badgers usually stingy defense to score 33 points in a convincing win. His 25 points in the Midwest Regional final, however, weren’t enough to upset eventual national champion Kansas — the Wildcats lost 59-57 in a game that came down to the wire. Davidson, a school of fewer than 2,000 students, also proved that size doesn’t always matter come tourney time.
  6. 2000 Tulsa Golden Hurricane (Reached Elite Eight): Tulsa has achieved quite a bit of success over the last three decades under coaches Nolan Richardson, Tubby Smith and Bill Self. In Self’s final and career-launching season, the 32-5 Golden Hurricane reached the program’s first Elite Eight, notably defeating No. 2 seed Cincinnati in the second round, which had spent much of the season ranked No. 1 in the polls. Despite losing Naismith College Player of the Year Kenyon Martin due to a broken leg prior to the tournament, the Bearcats featured talented freshmen guards DerMarr Johnson and Kenny Satterfield and senior forward Pete Mickeal. In the South Regional final, Tulsa was eliminated by North Carolina in a close-fought 59-55 battle. Tulsa exhibited true team play during the 1999-00 season — five players averaged more than 10 points per game and one other, Tony Heard, averaged 9.7 points per game.
  7. 2001 Temple Owls (Reached Elite Eight): Given its rich basketball tradition, it’s arguable as to whether Temple should be classified as a mid-major. Hall of Fame coach John Chaney ensured the Owls were a perennial tournament team, and 2001 might have been his best work. As a member of the A-10 conference, the 24-13 Owls weren’t expected to do much entering mid-March, but they defied expectations. As an 11 seed, they were one of the lowest seeds to reach the Elite Eight, culminating a run that included wins over No. 6 seed Texas and No. 3 seed Florida, the previous year’s national runner-up. Temple hung close with defending national champion and top-seeded Michigan State, but the Spartans’ talent, highlighted by underclassmen Jason Richardson and Zach Randolph, was too difficult to overcome.
  8. 2002 Kent State Golden Flashes (Reached Elite Eight): Under coach Stan Heath, the 30-6 Golden Flashes set MAC records in overall wins and conference wins, and reached the NCAA tournament for just the third time in their history. Riding an 18-game winning streak, they proceeded to defeat No. 7 seed Oklahoma State, SEC champion and No. 2 seed Alabama by 13 points and No. 3 seed Pittsburgh in a 78-73 overtime win. Eventual national runner-up Indiana ended their season and 21-game winning streak. Interesting and often forgotten fact: Kent State’s leading scorers for the season were guard Trevor Huffman and none other than Antonio Gates, forward and future NFL All-Pro tight end.
  9. 1999 Temple Owls (Reached Elite Eight): Overshadowed by Gonzaga’s Cinderella run, the 1999 Owls, led by Pepe Sanchez, Lamont Barnes, Mark Karcher and Rasheed Brokenborough, quietly fought their way to the Elite Eight where they fell to No. 1 seed and national title-favorite Duke. Up until that point, their path was a bit more favorable than those of other memorable mid-majors — they beat No. 11 seed Kent State in the first round and No. 10 seed Purdue in the Sweet Sixteen, the latter of which was attempting to make its own Cinderella run as a low seed. The Owls’ most impressive victory came in the second round when it defeated Pete Mickeal, Melvin Levett, Kenyon Martin and the rest of the No. 3-seeded Cincinnati Bearcats 64-54. Much to his chagrin, the 1999 NCAA tournament was John Chaney’s last, but he went out with a bang.
  10. 2004 Xavier Musketeers (Reached Elite Eight): Xavier, too, didn’t receive the attention it deserved for its deep run into March because of the accomplishments of its A-10 foe Saint Joe’s. The Musketeers, A-10 tournament champions, defeated the Hawks by 20 points in the A-10 tournament quarterfinals, handing them their first loss of the season. With star guards Lionel Chalmers and Romain Sato, Xavier carried the momentum all the way to the Elite Eight, beating No. 2 seed Mississippi State and No. 3 seed Texas in the process. The Atlanta Regional final versus Duke was a nerve-racking contest featuring 11 ties, 12 lead changes, and a margin between the teams that never exceeded six points, but freshman Luol Deng’s play down the stretch eventually propelled Duke to yet another Final Four — Xavier would return to the Elite Eight in 2008. Of course, it should be noted that, like Temple, you can debate whether or not Xavier should be considered a mid-major given its history of success, hence its placement on this list. Some might consider a few of the aforementioned teams "high majors," but that grey area could inspire an entirely different article.
10 Most Famous Bars in the World http://www.online-college-blog.com/features/10-most-famous-bars-in-the-world/ Thu, 24 Mar 2011 03:50:40 +0000 http://www.online-college-blog.com/?p=761 When traveling, visiting the local bars is just as important as exploring the local sights, museums, restaurants and cafes. It enables you to experience the area’s culture in an unfiltered manner, with, of course, the presence of a few brews or spirits unique to the establishment and region. Whether you’re a worldwide partier or the type who likes to kick back on the patio and absorb your surroundings, the following bars are worth adding to your agenda if you plan to visit the countries they serve.

  1. The Blind Beggar — London, England: The mystique of The Blind Beggar attracts patrons from all over the world. Built in 1894, it’s best remembered as the sight of the murder of The Richardson Gang’s George Cornell by Ronnie Kray, one of the Kray Twins. Fittingly, just prior to the ordeal, the barmaid changed the record in the jukebox to "The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore" by The Walker Brothers. After the incident, the record eerily repeated "anymore." Not a fan of spooky London gangland history? You may be comforted to know the bar sits where the Salvation Army was founded — certainly a more positive fact.
  2. OJ’s Restaurant and Beach Bar — Crab Hill Beach, Antigua: Unlike a few bars on this list, OJ’s isn’t trendy. Instead, it allows the views of the gleaming Crabb Hill beach and Montserrat’s active volcano to serve as its main attractions. Inside, it’s adorned with local artwork, artifacts and driftwood, encapsulating that calm and relaxed Caribbean feel. It’s a great place to unwind with a beer and/or cocktail and forget about the minutiae of everyday life.
  3. Rex Hotel’s Rooftop Garden — Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam: Four decades ago, it served as the spot for U.S. GIs, officers and journalists to hang out amid the Vietnam War. The qualities appreciated by previous generations remain today — it features picturesque scenery, boasting beautiful greenery and overlooking Ho Chi Minh City. It’s open 24 hours and serves a delicious array of cocktails, so you never have to leave. According to a tally by its website, Newsweek named it "One of the Best Bars Of South East Asia" and American Travel Writer Patricia Shultz listed it as one of "1,000 places to see before you die."
  4. Vertigo — Bangkok, Thailand: Another must-visit rooftop bar in Southeast Asia, Vertigo sits atop the Banyan Tree hotel, 61 floors above street level. Patrons enjoy breathtaking views of Bangkok’s cityscape as they sip on uniquely crafted cocktails and dine on savory seafood and steaks. If you’re afraid of heights, weather weary or don’t like dressing up before going out, you may have a better time elsewhere. It’s an experience in itself and not exactly a hole-in-the-wall type of place.
  5. Harry’s Bar — Venice, Italy: A who’s who of celebrities have frequented Harry’s Bar, including Alfred Hitchcock, Woody Allen, Orson Welles, Charlie Chaplin, Truman Capote and Barbara Hutton. Founder Giuseppe Cipriani credited its creation to Bostonian Harry Pickering, who gave Cipriani 30,000 Lira as a gift for loaning him 10,000 Lira after he had a falling out with his aunt. Most locals, however, simply recognize the bar as the home of the Bellini and Carpaccio.
  6. Harry’s New York Bar — Paris, France: Paris’s Harry’s Bar features equally famous clientele. This one isn’t related to the one in Venice — the best bars in the world aren’t franchised — but it’s just as popular, attracting patrons such as Jack Dempsey, Knute Rockne, Ernest Hemingway, Humphrey Bogart and Rita Hayworth. Acquired in 1911 by former American jockey Tod Sloan, the former bistro was transformed into New York Bar to serve American expatriates who desired the occasional comfort of home. Twelve years later, Harry MacElhone, its barman, purchased the place and renamed it Harry’s New York Bar, and the rest is Parisian-American history.
  7. White Horse Tavern — New York, New York: Since 1673, White Horse Tavern has served a diverse group of patrons, including the new Colony’s General Assembly, Criminal Court and City Council, and Jack Kerouac and Norman Mailer — not bad for an establishment once owned by a pirate. The meticulously preserved colonial house has been owned by just six people, and oozes of American history. In recent years, it has evolved into more of a place for dining, but remains conducive to mingling.
  8. Mary McBride’s — Chushenden, Northern Ireland: Mary McBride’s proves that size doesn’t matter. At one time it was considered the smallest pub in the world, but its mere closet size only adds to its folksiness. The founder, Mary McBride, who wasn’t a drinker herself, added to the atmosphere by dispensing Chushenden gossip. The bar’s biggest draw to outsiders, however, has always been its breathtaking view of the Antrim coast.
  9. The Long Bar at the Raffles Hotel — 1 Beach Road, Singapore: Occupying two levels of the 124-year-old colonial-style Raffles Hotel, The Long Bar serves "almost every alcoholic and non-alcoholic concoction imaginable," including the Singapore Sling, which consists of gin, Benedictine, Cherry Heering and Sarawak pineapple juice. The tasty drink was created in 1915 by bartender Ngiam Tong Boon and has been altered by other Singaporean bartenders through time, even those who’ve worked at The Long Bar. Regardless of how it has been tweaked, it’s something you’ve got to try at least once.
  10. Vesuvio — San Francisco, California: Perhaps this list has been a little America-centric, but we’d be remiss not to mention Vesuvio. A staple of San Francisco culture, the bar was frequented by the stars of the Beat Generation, including Dylan Thomas, Neal Cassady and Jack Kerouac, the latter of whom is permanently remembered with Jack Kerouac Alley — he knew his great American bars. Naturally, beautiful art is in residence and patrons can absorb it while sipping eco-friendly cocktails.
100+ Recommendation Engines for Great Discoveries and Saving Time http://www.online-college-blog.com/features/100-recommendation-engines-for-great-discoveries-and-saving-time/ Tue, 17 Mar 2009 11:01:44 +0000 http://www.online-college-blog.com/?p=620 By Amber Hensley

Just about everyone loves the convenience of having their own personalized interests delivered to them without much work. That’s exactly what recommendation engines do for Internet users. When you browse websites or make purchases, these engines remember your preferences and make suggestions for you based on your history. The following list offers over 100 recommendation engines to help you discover new possibilities or save you time when planning or browsing. With recommendations in movies, music, books, news, and many other great categories as well, you will find plenty of places to visit on the Internet to find new discoveries or save a bit of time.

Movies and TV

From selecting DVDs to watch at home to finding the perfect movie at a theater these sites will help you discover new movie and TV options.

  1. Netflix. This super popular movie rental site customizes recommendations for you based on how you rate other movies and even compares your recommendations against general ratings.
  2. Hollywood Video. Register with this movie rental site and rate movies to get personalized recommendations.
  3. Blockbuster. Connect with friends and family to share movie ratings and get recommendations for movies you may like.
  4. Starz. Register with MyStarz to get customized schedules, personalized reminders, and rate movies, shows, actors, and directors.
  5. HBO. Sign in at HBO to get customized schedules that reflect your viewing habits, connect with other fans, and have access to live events in which you may be interested.
  6. film.com. Find plenty of movies grouped by category or join the community for a tailored film-finding experience.
  7. Fandango. Not only can you rate movies and get recommendations when you join My Fandango, but you can also find where movies are playing near your location.
  8. MyFilmz. Share your favorites and discover other movies based on your preferences here.
  9. Clerkdogs. Competing to be the Last.fm of movies, Clerkdogs recommends movies based on your preferences.
  10. Criticker. Rank ten movies to start getting movie recommendations tailored to your tastes here.
  11. What to Rent! The first time you visit this site, you will need to select a user name and complete a short quiz. The next time you visit, you immediately get movie recommendations based on your personality and preferences.
  12. Fancast. Get many of your favorite TV shows here along with recommendations for others based on your preferences.
  13. Mefeedia. Plug into the community here to get recommendations on TV shows or just browse through those available to watch them on your computer.
  14. Hulu. Find TV shows grouped by collection, popularity, or recently added to get free TV easily.
  15. ShareTV.org. This online TV community lets you create a profile and keep track of your favorite shows and get related videos, links, and more.


Book lovers will enjoy these sites that will help find new and interesting reads.

  1. LibraryThing. Compare what you are reading with others, share your favorites, and find new books based on your reading taste.
  2. Shelfari. Share what you are reading, find out what others think about books you are interested in, and get recommendations for future books.
  3. Good Reads. Like Shelfari, you can connect with others and get recommendations for books here. You can also receive reviews from others based on your interest in books you would like to read.
  4. What Should I Read Next?. Enter a title of a favorite book to get recommendations for other books. If you sign up and list other books, the results become even more personalized.
  5. Barnes and Noble. Not only can you get recommendations on all sorts of reading material here, you can also get updates on local events, participate in online book groups, and more.
  6. Borders. Borders’ Magic Shelf customizes recommendations for books and more especially for you. Supplying your email address also provides you with coupons.


No matter what taste you have in music, these music recommendation engines will help you explore new possibilities.

  1. Last.fm. This popular site recommends music based on what you are listening to and comparing with other listeners with similar taste in order to create your perfect playlist.
  2. Pandora. Another popular music station, Pandora asks you for a favorite band to start off the recommendations that grow as you indicate more of your favorites. Matching is based on a computer-generated list that many find very accurate.
  3. Musicovery. Select from options in mood, decade, and type of music to find new as well as old favorites here.
  4. iLike. Not only can you find new music here, you can also get customized concert updates.
  5. Amie Street. As you browse and purchase music (for super low prices), Amie Street learns your preferences and will suggest other music that is similar to what you like.
  6. MeeMix. Create stations based on your selections, choose your current mood, and rate stations to find more music.
  7. Slacker. Select from almost 20 different stations, add your own, or choose music you recently listened to in order to hear what is playing on each station. You can also skip a limited number of songs you don’t like.
  8. MOG. Discover and share music here and get recommendations based on your taste when compared with other users.
  9. Play.it. You become the DJ here. Create your favorite playlists and get recommendations based on what you’ve done.
  10. Broadjam. Devoted to indie music, this site will help you discover new music and organize what you’ve already heard.
  11. Jamendo. Download and share free music (approved by the artists) and discover new music based on your preferences.
  12. Mufin. Search for a favorite or click on an available title to get music recommendations based on your selections.
  13. MyStrands. Not only can you get music recommendations here, but find out about music videos and music parties that you may enjoy.
  14. musicmesh. Visit this site and music from your browsing history pops up with information from all the albums of a particular artist. Look at playlists, read reviews, find out where to purchase the music, and even add it to your favorites list.


These sites offer suggestions on a variety of multimedia including music, videos, photos, websites, podcasts, and more.

  1. SeeqPod. Search for specific songs, videos, or webpages, select "discover" to find something new, or select from one of today’s playlists.
  2. YouTube. This ultra-popular site offers videos similar to the ones you watch. Find plenty of fun and random stuff here.
  3. imeem. Create audio, video, and photo playlists, which you can post and share, or check out others playlists. Through tags and groups, you can discover new content similar to your tastes.
  4. Zune. On Zune, you can find music, videos, podcasts, games, and audiobooks. Make playlists, discover new stuff, or shop for what you already love.
  5. inSuggest. Get websites, images, and bookmarks based on your preferences here.
  6. ulike. Make your list and compare with others to get recommendations on movies, music, books, games, art, and news.
  7. liveplasma. Music and movies are the focus of this site where you can get a "map" of recommendations.
  8. Streakr. Find videos, pictures, people, and websites at this site.
  9. Scouta. Get video and podcast recommendations based on your prior ratings.
  10. The Filter. Register to add your tastes and you will get recommendations for music, movies, and web videos.
  11. Joost. Watch TV, movies, music videos, and more at Joost and find others based on recommendations from what you are watching.
  12. Veoh. You can customize your Veoh experience, then download videos, movies, and TV shows and participate in the community as well.

Internet Discovery

The Internet holds an amazing amount of information just waiting to be discovered. Let these recommendation engines help direct you to what you find interesting and save you the time of wading through the other stuff.

  1. Xmarks. This new web discovery site is based on bookmarking and social ratings to provide you with tons of options to discover new places on the Internet.
  2. Juice. This Firefox add-on transforms your browser into a recommendation engine that also allows you to bookmark and organize your finds.
  3. StumbleUpon. StumbleUpon creates lists of sites that meet your selected criteria, and you can also choose to bookmark these for future use.
  4. Reddit. Not only can you bookmark your favorite sites here, but you can also get recommendations based on your preferences and see what others think of popular sites that they rate.
  5. Del.icio.us. This popular site allows you to save favorite sites, add notes to yourself, share with others, and get recommendations based on these preferences.
  6. Digg. Find news stories and various postings on the Internet based on user votes and matching your preferences.
  7. SpinSnap. Find news, videos, music, people, and more on the Internet by simply clicking a category of interest.
  8. FeedEachOther. Based on RSS feeds, this site sends you only the web content you will be interested in reading.
  9. Gnod. Search for books, music, movies and people with this recommendation engine. It remembers your interests and focuses the search results on those things you are more likely to enjoy.
  10. Rollyo. Select a search from several different categories such as reference, parenting, or the news and receive customized results based on criteria you set.
  11. Boxxet. Boxxet asks what you are a fan of and returns results from the "best of" news, blogs, videos, photos, and more.
  12. Twine. With Twine you can search for information, collect what you find, share with others, and get recommendations.
  13. Ujiko. This unusual recommendation engine allows you to customize web searches by eliminating results or tagging some as favorites and relies on your preferences for future searches.
  14. Technorati. Not only is this site a blog search engine, but you can create a watchlist that delivers blog posts with your favorite topics.
  15. Talk Digger. Find out what other people are saying about web sites, blogs, and specific topics that are customized to your interests.
  16. Kreeo. Enter information about your profession, interests, and more to get information relevant to your interests in this community-based site.


Not only will these sites help you find exactly what you want much faster than trying to do it yourself, many of them also work to save you money on your purchases.

  1. Amazon.com. Probably the most famous recommendation engine of all time, amazon.com allows you to shop for virtually anything and offers recommendations based on both your browsing and purchasing history.
  2. Overstock.com. Do your discount shopping here and get recommendations as well as reminders for important events such as birthdays and anniversaries.
  3. Yahoo!. Shop with Yahoo! and you can get notifications on price drops in addition to customizable searches.
  4. eBay. This popular person-to-person shopping experience remembers your past shopping history, logs ratings on your payment or selling activity, and get recommendations on upcoming auctions that match your past purchases.
  5. sfeed. This microblogging platform combines shopping preferences to recommend shopping that will likely appeal to your preferences.
  6. StyleFeeder. Get product recommendations based on your personal taste in everything from clothing to household goods. Browse celebrity lists too, if you want to shop like the Olsen twins or the members of Simple Plan.
  7. MyShoppingPal. Shopping with this site is not only customized by your taste, but also your specific sizes, color preferences, and more.
  8. 3LUXE. Enter the item for which you are shopping and get the three top matches based on best in class rather than popularity to help you discover the very best products available.
  9. Like.com. This recommendation engine has taken online shopping to a whole new level. The visual search allows you to choose details, color, pattern, or shape to determine how to search for exactly what you want.
  10. Slifter. If you are looking for a specific product and want to buy it locally, just enter your item and receive a listing of local stores that carry that item. Compare prices or set up Slifter to work on your mobile device.
  11. The Find. Search through hip boutiques, large department stores, and local shops all through this one recommendation engine that finds unique items, sales, and much more.


Customize your daily news sources to deliver only what you want to read about with these sites.

  1. DailyMe. Create your own customized news delivery with your choices for the type of content within several different categories–and laid out in newspaper format.
  2. Congoo. Get the latest world news right on your customized home page or use the search engine to look up whatever news topic in which you are interested.
  3. Fark. This news aggregator features unusual and downright bizarre news. If this is your thing, customize what you see with myFark.
  4. Slashdot. Not only can you get "nerd oriented news" here, you can also save preferences and participate in the community when you log in.
  5. Mahalo. From news to events to answers to questions, the categories here are diverse. Log in so Mahalo will offer content based on your preferences.
  6. Wikio. Customize your breaking news, headline news, blogs, and electronics shopping with Wikio.
  7. Daylife. Stay on top of breaking news with this global news aggregator where you can customize content as well as get photos, articles, quotes, and more.

Local Information

Whether you want to find a restaurant recommendation, a great concert in your area, a fantastic tailor, or want to keep an eye on the weather, these sites customize your search to your local area.

  1. Docoloco. Get recommendations for businesses, restaurants, and more or contribute your own favorites.
  2. Citysearch. Enter your city and get restaurants, events, night life, local shopping, hotels, and much more along with reviews and recommendations.
  3. Local.com. If you want to find a restaurant, place of business, or a service and you want to keep it local, try this recommendation site.
  4. Eventful. From food and wine to art openings to music concerts and everything in between, stay on top of what is happening in your area with Eventful’s tracking and management system that is totally customized to your preferences.
  5. Zvents. Discover what is going on in your area with recommendations on business events, arts and craft fairs, performances, and much more.
  6. Weather.com. Enter your zip code or city for local weather forecasts, severe weather alerts, and more all customized to your location.
  7. WeatherBug. Like Weather.com, WeatherBug also offers local forecasts and National alerts, but also streams local weather and provides local alerts as well.

Food and Cooking

From finding recipes based on your mood to discovering non-corporate cafes, these recommendation engines will have you eating what you want in no time.

  1. Cookthink. Find recipes based on such criteria as what you are craving, specific ingredients, a specific cuisine, or even your current mood.
  2. Nibbledish. Get delicious dishes here where users share recipes and photos of the dishes which then receive votes.
  3. Tasty Planner. Create, plan, and share recipes here. When you are ready to cook something, select that recipe, and you get a grocery list generated and emailed directly to you.
  4. BigOven. This site will help you discover recipes based on your preferences or provide recipes to help you in areas such as using up leftovers, cooking with a specific flavor, or using what is in season.
  5. Zagat. Enter your zip code or city and search for restaurants and reviews with this popular search tool.
  6. allthefood.com. Plug in your zip code or search by state to find restaurants.
  7. Delocator. Use your zip code to find non-corporate cafes in your area.
  8. DineSite.com. Find restaurants in your area and reviews with this recommendation engine.
  9. Food Finder.net. Not only can you find restaurants in your area, but get ratings and menu items as well.
  10. Food Finder. Enter your zip code and the type of food you want to receive a listing of all the restaurants in your area.
  11. The Vegetarian Resource Group Online Restaurant Guide. Find vegetarian, vegan, or vegetarian-friendly restaurants across the US and Canada.


These sites will anticipate and assist you with travel, physical activity, and gaming.

  1. TripIt. Email your travel plans to TripIt and you will receive an itinerary as well as recommendations for maps, restaurants, activities, and more as well as the ability to secure any reservations or make purchases online.
  2. Strands. Runners, cyclers, swimmers, hikers, and even walkers can get together here to find others like them and get recommendations on routes, gear, training programs, and much more.
  3. Active.com. If you enjoy an active, sporting lifestyle, this site provides recommendations, registration for events, and a community of others with your shared interests.
  4. GamerDNA. Enter a favorite video game and discover new games that may be of interest to you with this game discovery engine.
School Spirit: 50 Awesome iPhone Apps for College Sports Fanatics http://www.online-college-blog.com/features/school-spirit-50-awesome-iphone-apps-for-college-sports-fanatics/ Tue, 10 Mar 2009 10:55:01 +0000 http://www.online-college-blog.com/?p=616 By Amber Hensley

College sports fanatics are a special breed known to go to extraordinary lengths to show their school spirit. Now college sports fans can use their iPhones to have some fun as well. The following apps will keep you in the loop when it comes to news, scores, stats, schedules, and more or provide you with school songs, help you make sound predictions, test your knowledge, and even play tailgate games while you warm up during the pre-game.

Football and Basketball

Whether you love football, basketball, or both, these apps will help you learn the latest scores, connect with other fans, get stats, and much more.

  1. College Basketball Live!. Not only can you get the latest information on college basketball with this app, you can also track scores on live games, connect with other fans, and even boo or cheer teams.
  2. College Football Live!. Get live play-by-play action, scores, and more for your favorite teams with this app. Just like with the basketball version, you can boo, cheer, and talk smack with other fans.
  3. Fumble U. Stay updated with the latest happenings surrounding your favorite college football team by using this app.
  4. I Love College Football 2008. Get rankings, standings, news, and much more with this app that also provides support for both the big and smaller conferences.
  5. iFanNCAAB. Get all the latest information on Men’s Division 1 basketball leading up to March Madness with this app that only costs $0.99.
  6. QB Rater. Enter your favorite quarterback’s ratings into this app, then as the game is played, tap the correct button each time a pass is made to have automatically updated season and career stats immediately.
  7. StatFix. Get daily stats for all NCAA basketball teams with this app.
  8. NCAA Basketball – InGameNow. Get scores, analysis, and fan interaction with this app that will keep you updated with all the NCAA basketball information.
  9. NCAA Football Scores. This free app provides you with all the NCAA football scores with just a simple tap.

Specific Teams and Conferences

Here’s a sampling of the many apps for specific college teams available. If you want to find out about a specific conference, those apps are available too.

  1. Go Longhorns. University of Texas fans will get the latest information, news, and scores on football, men’s and women’s basketball, and baseball with this app.
  2. UNC Hoops. Tar Heels fans will love this app that provides schedule information, game results, TV information, and news.
  3. Duke Hoops. Find game dates and times in your local time zone, TV information, news, results, and more with this app especially for Duke basketball fans.
  4. KU Hoops. Jayhawk fans can also get these same benefits to stay on top of the latest KU basketball information.
  5. iFanACC. Don’t let any of the basketball news and scores coming out of the ACC pass you by when you use this app.
  6. iFanKentucky. Get news, scores, and the schedule for the Kentucky Wildcats as well as updated top 25 national rankings.
  7. iFanLouisville. This app will keep Louisville Cardinals fans updated on the latest news and information about the basketball season.
  8. Big Ten Highlights. Get 3-minute video highlights from all the Big Ten basketball games with this free app.


You will never miss out on any college sports news with these apps.

  1. College Sports News. This app offers real-time college sports news to bring you the latest on most sports from football to lacrosse to rowing.
  2. USA Today. USA Today allows you to filter your news to receive the latest on college football and basketball or even your favorite conference.
  3. College BasketBall Live. Get the latest NCAA college basketball news from Yahoo! Sports, ESPN, and Fox Sports with this app.
  4. College Football Live. Just like the basketball version, get NCAA news from these same sources to stay on top of what’s happening in college football.

College and Pro Apps

These apps provide scores, stats, news, links, and much more for fans who love both college and professional sports.

  1. ScoreMobile iPhone Edition. While this app doesn’t focus only on college sports, it does offer scores, stats, previews, recaps, and more on pro sports and college football and basketball.
  2. Sportacular. Get scores, standings, stats, and news for both college and pro teams with this free app.
  3. InGameNow. Not only can you get live sports scores for both professional and college sports, but you can also interact with other fans.
  4. Hockey Links. Use this app to get all the hockey links in one place for both college and professional leagues.

Predictions and Friendly Wagers

If you live for your March Madness bracket or predicting the bowl games, these apps are for you. There are also apps to help you get the leading edge on your friendly wagers with your buddies.

  1. iOdds. This app provides current scores refreshed every 30 seconds for live games as well as automatic updates every five minutes to get the latest information on lines and score before, during, and after the game.
  2. iBracket – March Madness Live Score Bracket Tracker. Import your bracket from popular sports sites or create your bracket with this app, then get real-time scores to track your picks and even share with others.
  3. Pocket Bracket: March Madness. Create and manage your bracket with this app so you will be ready for March Madness the easy way.
  4. Bowl Picks ’08. Although it’s a little too late for this version, download the updated version next year to be ready to track your bowl picks with this easy-to-use app that helps you track your picks and monitor your success.
  5. Fantell. College football fans predict winners, then Fantell.com averages these predictions and averages them out to provide live predicted data, predicted spreads, results, and much more.

Show Your Spirit

See if your school has an app that plays school songs, supports your side of a rivalry, or just makes strange sounds to help you support your team.

  1. Ball State University Chirper. This app lets Ball State fans "chirp" at the opponents with their iPhone.
  2. Boomer. Oklahoma Sooners will love this app that plays Boomer Sooner, Oklahoma, and the OU chant.
  3. Clemson Tigers. Listen to Tiger Rag with this app. It also includes the 2008 football schedule. Hopefully they will update with new information for 2009.
  4. GigEm. Texas Aggies can use this app to play War Hymn, Noble Men of Kyle, and Spirit of Aggieland. Future releases will have features such as background options from personal images and team schedules and rosters.
  5. HookEm. Not to be left out of the Texas A&M/University of Texas rivalry, UT also has an app to show their loyalty that can play the Texas Fight song, The Yellow Rose of Texas, The Eyes of Texas, and the Texas Chant.
  6. iRivalz-BYU. Here are two apps to show your support during the big game. BYU and Utah fans can register a vote for their team by downloading the appropriate app, then tap the school logo to hear your school’s fight song. If your team exceeds 100,000 votes, iRivalz will donate to your school’s athletic scholarship fund. Choose this app for BYU.
  7. iRivalz-Utah. Here’s the companion app. Choose this app for Utah.
  8. Go Pokes. Oklahoma State University fans can show their spirit and play Ride ’em Cowboys, The Waving Song, the OSU chant, and the OSU alma mater with this app.


Test your knowledge of college sports with these trivia apps.

  1. College Football 101- Quizner’s Sports Trivia. Find out how much you know about college football trivia with this quiz. For more fun, compete against friends or play together to find the answers.
  2. College Basketball 101 – Quizner’s Trivia. If you know more about college basketball than football, then give this freshman version of the quiz a try.
  3. College Basketball 201 – Quizner’s Trivia. After you have mastered Basketball 101, move up to the more difficult trivia in this quiz that’s rated a sophomore level.
  4. Absolutely Trivial – Football. This quiz will test your knowledge on college football as well as pro football with trivia ranging from bowl games to facts about stadiums to rules and regulations.
  5. Absolutely Trivial – Basketball. Test your basketball knowledge with this app that covers college and professional basketball facts.
  6. Buckeye Classics DVD Trivia Game. If you think you know all there is about Ohio State football, get this free app and test your knowledge.


These apps offer everything from wallpapers to help finding a radio station that airs your team’s games.

  1. iTeams.mobi. Create your own iPhone app at this website that will allow you to follow your favorite college sports team and even share with other fans.
  2. College Football Logos. Get your favorite team logos for your iPhone here. For $1.99 you can download four wallpapers.
  3. DaysTo Game. This straightforward app helps you count down the days until the big game.
  4. Air Ball!. Use these basketball sounds to enhance your game-watching experience.
  5. Local Radio Finder. If you like to listen to the college games on the radio and are on the road, use this app to find local radio stations. You will never miss a game on the air again.
  6. Tailgate Games. If you are too busy consuming your tailgate drinks and eats to actually participate in the tailgate games going on around you, use this app to play the same fun tailgate games on your iPhone.
100 Useful Web Tools to Help you Find Your Passion, Calling, or Career http://www.online-college-blog.com/features/100-useful-web-tools-to-help-you-find-your-passion-calling-or-career/ Mon, 09 Feb 2009 16:24:59 +0000 http://www.online-college-blog.com/?p=576 If you’re searching for your purpose in life, there’s lots of inspiration and help to be found online. Whether you’re contemplating a career change, or just need a change of pace, be sure to check out the wealth of resources available to you on the Internet. Read on, and you’ll find 100 of the best tools and resources for finding a way to live more passionately.


These resources are great for finding inspiration in doing what you love.

  1. Pursue the Passion Career Interviews: Watch these interviews to find out what people love about their careers.
  2. DIY Yahoo! Resignation Letter: Play with this fun tool to have fun writing your resignation letter to a job you’re happy to leave.
  3. What is Your Passion: Check out this discussion, and you’ll find out what other people enjoy doing.
  4. Steve Jobs’ Commencement Address: Read or listen to this commencement address delivered by Steve Jobs to learn why it’s so important to find what you love.
  5. Case Study-Anna: Anna took a career break to run a community development project, and now works as a volunteer coordinator at a community center.
  6. Daring Tales of Corporate Escape-His and Hers Edition: Here you’ll learn all about how this husband and wife team left corporate America.
  7. Top Inspirational Authors & Speakers: Here you’ll find inspirational quotes from well respected authors and speakers.
  8. Case Study-Short career break: Brian took a month off of work to write a script as a playwright.
  9. Turning Point Coaching and Consulting: This website is full of answers for people who are searching for a change in their career.
  10. Primetime Professions: Five Shows to Watch for Career Inspiration: This resource profiles 5 shows that can inspire you to find a career you love.
  11. A List: What’s Your Favorite Career Inspiration Movie?: This article and discussion will help you find inspirational career movies.
  12. A Job Worth Having: Read this resource to learn how to get more from your work.
  13. How Did You Find Your Passion?: Check out this discussion to find out how people have gone about finding their passions in life.
  14. Career Shifters: This website will help you find advice, inspiration, and more for making a career change.
  15. Planning for a Career Break with a Sabbatical: This article offers lots of great advice for taking time off of work to further your career.


These blogs offer ongoing guidance and ideas for pursuing your calling.

  1. Pursue the Passion Career and Entrepreneurship Blog: Check out this blog about the ups and downs of pursuing passion.
  2. Zen Habits: Leo Babuta’s blog can teach you about achieving goals, finding happiness, and staying motivated.
  3. The Happiness Project: Learn about the challenge of being happier on this blog.
  4. Careerealism: This blog will help you learn more about career progress.
  5. Right Reality: Get inspired by this blog that’s out to save the corporate soul.
  6. The Lazy Way to Success: This blog discusses "smart laziness" that allows you to do less and accomplish more.
  7. Kisses & Hearts Coaching and Personal Development: On this blog, you’ll find Q&A and more on getting more out of life.
  8. Dream Jobs Dialog: This blog will help you find your dream job and yourself.
  9. Escape from Corporate America: Check out this blog to get counseling for changing your career and your life.
  10. The Anti 9 to 5 Guide: In this blog, you’ll find practical career advice for working outside of a cubicle.
  11. Steve Pavlina: Steve Pavlina’s blog is all about personal development.

Career Profiles

If you’re searching for a new job, get ideas for what you might like to do from these sites that offer career profiles.

  1. Job Profiles: Job Profiles offers a guide to careers and education to start your career.
  2. Salary Tool: You can view national and state wage information for more than 800 occupations through this tool.
  3. Career Voyages: You can find information about the skills and education required for a variety of occupations through this website.
  4. Occupational Outlook Handbook: Read about occupations that interest you in this handbook.
  5. O*NET OnLine: This website will help you explore occupational knowledge and skill requirements to see how they match up with your abilities and what you like to do.
  6. Career Guide to Industries: Find out what different industries do and what kind of jobs you can obtain within them.
  7. CareerOneStop: Through this website, you can research your career options with occupation and industry information.
  8. Occupations by Education Level and Projected Growth: Find out which jobs are suitable for your level of education, or find out what kind of jobs you might be able to get if you go back to school.
  9. Career Videos: In these videos, you can watch people work in nearly 550 occupations.
  10. Employability Checkup: Use this tool to find out the likelihood that you can get a job in a specific occupation using this tool.


Take these assessments, and you’ll be able to find out about careers and life paths that are right for you.

  1. Skills Profiler: Use this skills profiler to find occupations that fit well with the skills you already have.
  2. Color Career Counselor: You can find good career paths by following this evaluation based on color preference.
  3. Small Business Administration Test: Find out whether or not you’re cut out for starting your own business by taking this test.
  4. Skills Profiler: Using this skills profiler, you can identify your skills, and find occupations that will allow you to use them.
  5. Kiersey Temperament Sorter: Use this test to learn more about yourself and your temperament.
  6. Career Explorer: This career explorer can help you identify careers that are a good match for your personality.
  7. Work Interest Quiz: This quiz will work to determine your interests for work.
  8. Transferable Skills Survey: Thinking about starting a new career? Find out how well your current skills will translate into your new job with this survey.
  9. Career Vision Job Satisfaction Survey: This survey will help you determine if you’re following the right career or not.
  10. What career will suit your personality?: This quiz will help you choose a career that is good for your personality.
  11. The right career break for you: Take this personality quiz to figure out what kind of career break might be the best for you.
  12. Career Planner Quiz: This quiz can help you find out what’s best for you in planning your career or a job switch.
  13. Jung Typology Test: Using this test, you can find out more about your best occupations and degrees to pursue.
  14. Discover Your Passion and Purpose Test: Take this test to learn about your values, passions, and your purpose in life.
  15. Work Importance Profiler: With the help of this profiler, you can learn what’s important to you in a job.


Check out this advice to get lots of great information for finding your passion in life.

  1. How to Find Your Passion: Here you’ll find a how-to guide for finding work that you love.
  2. Dream Job Process: Read this post to learn how to find your dream job.
  3. A Novel Way to Discover Life Purpose: Jerry Loper suggests a few methods for discovering your purpose in life.
  4. How to Find Your Passion: This article has great suggestions for things you can do to find out what you love to do.
  5. How to Find Your Dream Career: With the information in this resource, you can learn how to find the right career for you.
  6. Why it might not be helpful to ask yourself, "What’s my passion?": Follow this advice to out why you might not want to ask yourself about your passion.
  7. About Passionately Soaring in Life: Read this resource from Barbara Rose to get answers to burning questions about finding your passion.
  8. Finding Your Calling: Here you’ll learn the process for finding your calling.
  9. 25 Top Tips to Kick-Start Your Career Change: Here you’ll learn 25 smart tips for restarting your career in a job you really love.
  10. How to Do What You Love: Paul Graham explains why doing what you love isn’t such a strange concept.
  11. How to Find Your Calling After Forty: Craig Nathanson’s article has great advice for those looking for a new career after forty.
  12. Are You Living Your Dreams?: Read this advice from Deborah Brown-Volkman to find out how to move past your fears and live your dreams.
  13. Cheryl Richardson: Find Your Passion: Follow Cheryl Richardson’s advice to find out what you love.
  14. How to Enjoy Your Job: This article will help you put yourself in the right mindset for enjoying your job.
  15. How to Find Your Passion: Here you’ll find instructions for finding what you love to do.
  16. How to Find Your Passion (& What You Should Be Blogging About): This post will help you find things that you’re passionate writing about.
  17. Convert Your Hobbies to Lucrative Careers: Check out this article to see how you can make something you love make you money.
  18. How to Find Your Passion for Anything: In this blog post, you’ll learn how to create passion, even for things you don’t enjoy.
  19. Passion, Inspiration, and Getting Things Done: This blog post will help you learn what you can accomplish through passion.
  20. Find Work Outside Your Major: This article will help you understand how you can launch a career that isn’t traditionally in your major.
  21. Find Your Passion Compass: David Batstone offers great advice for bringing passion into your life.
  22. How to Find Your Passion and Make it Your Career: Here you’ll find great concepts that will help you find your passion.
  23. Ask Alana: Ask Alana will help you learn how to take on a life change.


Make use of these exercises for self-exploration and life improvement.

  1. Inspiration for Your Career Break: This website will help you get ideas for planning a break in your career.
  2. Create a Personal Development Plan: With this interactive tool, you can build a plan for personal development.
  3. Discover Your Life’s Purpose e-Course: Check out Colin Salisbury’s course to move closer to discovering why you’re here.
  4. Accident or On Purpose?: Here you’ll find an exercise that will help you learn what you love to do and more.
  5. Live Your Joy Home Study Program: Follow this program to life life more joyfully.
  6. 7 Great Questions for Discovering Your Passions: Ask yourself these questions to discover and articulate your passions.
  7. Personal Development Plan: This resource offers a great way to build your own personal development plan.
  8. Act As If Your Life Were Perfect: This exercise of imagination will help you design your perfect life.
  9. Discover What You Love to Do-And Do It With Passion: This hypnosis download can help you discover your passion.
  10. How to Discover Your Life Purpose in About 20 Minutes: Follow this exercise to find your life’s purpose.
  11. If You Only Had One Wish: Try this exercise each day to find motivation and inspiration for living passionately.
  12. 7 Questions to Finding Your True Passion: Answer these questions to find your true passion.
  13. Meditation Exercise: This exercise will help you visualize how to achieve your specific goals and dreams.
  14. 6 Questions to Ask Yourself to Get the Most Out of Life: Ask yourself these questions to find out how you can get more out of life.
  15. Fee Class: Find Your Passion: Follow these lessons, and you’ll be able to learn self discovery.
  16. A Quick Path to Self-Awareness: Learn to answer the question, "Who am I?"
  17. Your Mission Makes Itself Known Through Your Passions: Accept this mission to find your life’s purpose.


Here you’ll find links to lots of great resources for making a change in your life.

  1. Taking Time Out Resources: These resources will help you take time to reflect and recharge.
  2. 23 Sources for Career Inspiration: This list of resources will help you find lots of inspiration.
  3. Career Inspiration Resources: These resources are a great way to jump start your career inspiration.
  4. Top 100 Career Change Resources: Check out this resource guide to find career tests, creativity inspiration, and job resources.
  5. Career Coaches: This site is full of resources for finding a good career coach.
  6. Career Break Links: Here you’ll find a great collection of resources for taking a break in your career.
  7. Retraining Resources: The schools in this guide offer specialization in adult learning and education.
  8. US News and World Report’s Best Careers: US News profiles a variety of careers that offer a high level of job satisfaction and strong outlooks.
  9. Starting a Business Resources: Check out this page to find lots of resources that can help you start your own business.
Top 100 Botany Blogs http://www.online-college-blog.com/features/top-100-botany-blogs/ Mon, 02 Feb 2009 14:30:44 +0000 http://www.online-college-blog.com/?p=569 Students of botany and amateur plant enthusiasts alike can take advantage of the information offered up by these bloggers. From advice on getting your garden to grow to detailed explanations of plant genetics, these blogs run the gamut from covering the issues in your backyard to those occurring in research laboratories around the world. Give them a read to help in your studies, see beautiful photographs of flora, and get advice on all aspects of plant care.


These botany themed blogs cover a wide range of issues from the latest news to information about all kinds of plants.

  1. Botanical Electronic News: Sign up for the RSS feed of this blog. You’ll get all kinds of information on the latest developments and discoveries in the world of botany.
  2. Banstead Botany Blog: This blog is a relatively new addition to the blogosphere but is already looking like a promising source of information on plant species from the region of Surrey in the UK.
  3. Plant Science Blog: From algae to using plants for fuel, this blog is chock full of information on every aspect of plant biology and study.
  4. Get Your Botany On: Challenge your botany knowledge with this blog. You can read information posts and also take quizzes to make sure you know what you should about the topic.
  5. Plants and Botany: This blogger isn’t an expert on botany, but you can learn about her experiences growing, caring for and understanding plants on this blog.
  6. Flora of the Texas Rolling Plains: Get a region-specific look at botany from the posts on this blog.
  7. Learn Plants Now!: Check out this blog to learn the basics about plant biology as well as get some tips on where to find even more information.
  8. Plant Genetic Resources News: Here you’ll find posts about the evolution of plants as well as recent research on genetic research.
  9. Agricultural Biodiversity Weblog: Learn how plants have been domesticated as well as find posts of a host of other agricultural plant issues.
  10. Berry Go Round: This isn’t a blog per se, but a blog carnival that can be a great place to find all kinds of botany blogs and posts that can be of interest.
  11. Foothills Fancies: Here you’ll find posts about plants and animals native to Colorado accompanied by beautiful photos.
  12. Plants are the Strangest People: Check out this blog for loads of information on houseplants and plants commonly used in gardens and landscaping around the nation.
  13. The Fruit Blog: Many plants produce fruit as a means of reproduction. Learn about these fruits and their breeding for agricultural products in this blog.
  14. The Voltage Gate: While not botany-exclusive, this blog is full of information on ecology, conservation and of course, plants role in those.
  15. New York, Plants and Other Stuff: This blogger is a landscape architect and horticulturist. Her blog focuses on plants she encounters in her work.


Check out these blogs to get information about botany from professors, researchers and other plant experts.

  1. Trees, Climate and People: This blog addresses some important ecological issues related to trees and their impact on world climate.
  2. Niches: This biologist maintained blog focused on the Athens, GA area.
  3. Ptyxis Ecology: John and Clare O’Reilly have training in ecology, botany, bryology, and molecular biology. Their blog focuses on the plants they encounter in their native UK.
  4. Talking Plants: Blogger Tim is the Executive Director of the Botanic Gardens Trust in Sydney and has his PhD in plant biology. His blog provides information that will interest both the expert and amateur plant enthusiast.
  5. The Phytophactor: This blog is written by a professor and academic botanist studying everything from economic botany to rainforest ecology.
  6. Vaviblog: Want to take a botanical journey? This blog allows visitors to do just that as agricultural scientist and plant lover Gary Nabhan follows in the footsteps of botanist Nikolay Ivanovich Vavilov.
  7. Further Thoughts: Check out this blog written by a biologist working in Trinidad and Tobago focusing on plants and plant ecology.
  8. Anthrome: Spencer Woodard works in the forests of Panama researching plants and other parts of local ecology to build more environmentally friendly agriculture.
  9. Biofortified: Learn from the experts on the topics of plant genetics and genetic engineering from this blog.
  10. A Plant Ecology & Physiology Literature Guide: While this blog is no longer regularly updated, it is an essential resource for students or amateurs interested in botany and looking to read the best materials out there.
  11. Genetic Maize: This blog is focused on the science behind genetically engineering agricultural plants.
  12. Invasive Species Weblog: Local ecology is often a very fragile and carefully balanced system. This blog deals with the impact of invasive plant and animal species.
  13. Nuytsia’s Playlist: Here you’ll find posts on plants and more from a conservationist, horticulturist, and botanist.


These students blog about their research and studies in botany.

  1. Moss Plants and More: This evolutionary biology PhD student shares her research on mosses in this blog.
  2. James and the Giant Corn: Blogger James is working on his PhD in plant biology at Berkeley and his blog touches on a number of plant related topics.
  3. My Growing Passion: Focused on Australia, this blog by biology student Margaret Moran focuses on issues of ecology, especially in relation to flora.
  4. The Reluctant Botanist: Xavier Goldie is a Masters student at the University of Auckland. His blog focuses on plant research for his thesis, one he never thought he’d be pursuing, hence the name of the blog.
  5. Seeds Aside: This blogger is trained in plant evolution and ecology and is actively posting about a range of plant and animal related topics.
  6. Gravity’s Rainbow: This student and researcher is exploring issues of ecology in relation to pine forests.
  7. Ecology and Participatory Democracy: Check out this blog by PhD student Timothy who’s working on research related to plant growth promoting bacteria.
  8. Science and Sensibility: While this blog isn’t exclusively focused on botany, visitors will find it to be an invaluable source of information on new research, explanations about flora and fauna and more.
  9. The World of BotanicalGirl: This blog is maintained by a graduate student in plant biology.


If you’re looking to learn more about the great variety of plants out there these blogs can give you a head start.

  1. Midoria: Learn more about plants along with this blogger who posts regularly about species they found interesting.
  2. Fruit Species: If fruit is of interest to you, you’ll love this blog that goes through numerous types of fruit and tells you all about them.
  3. Botany Blog: Here you’ll find detailed posts about a variety of species from around the world.


These bloggers focus on on the giant of botanical studies, the tree, and provide information on forests and the individual species that make them up.

  1. Exploring the World of Trees: Here you’ll find information about specific tree species, post by post.
  2. Arboreality: From forests to the trees that make them up, this blog is dedicated to covering tree issues.
  3. Ten Thousand Trees: Celebrate the wide range of tree species out there with posts and photos from this blog.
  4. Trees, If You Please: This blogger simply loves trees and you’ll find posts about all kinds, big and small, on this site.
  5. Festival of the Trees: This blog carnival is all about the trees. You’ll find great posts and blogs related to arboreal interests.
  6. Treeblog: From tree diseases to beautiful tree photographs, this tree blog explains many issues relevant to UK tree-life.
  7. Tree Notes: Here you’ll find posts on all things related to trees, especially those found in North America.
  8. Take Cover: On this blog you’ll find tree-related news from around the world.
  9. Jill and Ted’s Tree-mendous Adventure: Husband and wife Ted and Jill document the wide variety of ancient trees in the UK in their blog.
  10. C’mon Let’s Plant a Tree: Join the movement to plant more trees and green up the environment along with this blog.
  11. Creature of the Shade: This American blogger talks about trees, ecology and more while he’s calling Sydney home.


If you want to study plants in a lab or just want to enjoy their beauty, you have to get them to grow first. These blogs give some helpful tips and advice.

  1. Shoot’s Blog: Interested in growing trees? This blogger explains how it’s done, from sequoias to junipers.
  2. Horticultural: Blogger Jane is an avid gardener and writer and you can get advice and information from her site.
  3. Oberle Botanical: This blog is focused on gardening food-producing plants the natural way.
  4. Hortcurious: Check out this site to learn more about beautiful garden design.
  5. Growing with Plants: Plant geeks will love this blog that features great photos, information and commentary.
  6. Garden Rant: Keep up with the latest news in the gardening world and get some alternative perspectives from this blog.
  7. A Way to Garden: Acclaimed by readers, this blog is a great place to learn more about being a skillful gardener.
  8. Pathway Horticulture: This blog is a great place to learn more about horticulture, plants of interest and more.
  9. Landscape Juice: Those who are into landscape design will find this blog to be of particular interest.
  10. Heavy Petal: Here you’ll find posts on gardening and growing, among a variety of more personal posts.
  11. I Like Plants: This blogger is super into plants, especially growing them organically. Check out his blog to learn more about the plants he likes best.
  12. Talking Plants: Check out this NPR blog to discuss a range of gardening and growing issues.
  13. Cool Plants: This Canadian blogger, gardner and nursery worker posts photos of plants he finds interesting and worth sharing on this blog.

Climate Focused

These blogs deal with both wet and dry climates and the vastly different plants that inhabit them.

  1. Mongabay: This blog focuses on the local ecology of the Amazonian rainforest, plants and animals alike.
  2. SwampThings: Get muddy along with this blogger who posts about the plants and animals that live in the swamps of North Carolina.
  3. A Neotropical Savanna: This blogger calls Panama home and posts about the large range of plants that call the savanna home.
  4. Tropical Biodiversity: The Amazon: Learn more about the plants that make up the remarkably diverse ecosystems of the Amazon.
  5. Flowers and More: Tropical flowers and other foliage form the bulk of the photos and posts on this site.
  6. Cactus Blog: Explore the world of the cactus through the photos and information on this blog.
  7. Desertification: Humans can have a big impact on the environment and the plants that call it home. Here you can read about how some regions are becoming more arid and how this is affecting the local ecology.
  8. Soekershof: This South African garden is home to loads of desert foliage and you can read about it here.
  9. Cactus and Succulents: Learn more about the wide range of cacti and succulents that exist out there from this blog.
  10. Cactus Lover: Those who are into desert foliage will love this blog that celebrates all kinds of cacti.


See beautiful, educational and interesting photos of plants on these blogs.

  1. UBC Botany Photo of the Day: Here you can find loads of beautiful photos from the UBC Botanical Gardens, with new updates every day.
  2. Drawing on Nature: While not exactly photos, here you can see lovely drawings of flowers and other plants.
  3. Digital Flower Pictures: If you love flowers, check out this photo site. You’ll be able to see photos as well as read information about each species.
  4. Muddy Boot Dreams: This city-dwelling plant enthusiast posts photos of plants she sees around her home.
  5. Early Forest: This site aims to educate people on reforestation and features tons of detailed photos of trees.
  6. The Wooden Branch: Visitors to this site can contribute photos of trees in their area or look at the photos taken by others.
  7. Flower QT: Check out this site to find some beautiful photos of flowers and other plants.
  8. pildiblog: The text on this blog isn’t in English, but you won’t need it to enjoy beautiful photos of plants and other wildlife.
  9. Tropical Plants Photo Blogs: Whether you are interested in tropical plants for around the house or for their biological properties you’ll enjoy these photos of tropical flora.
  10. Flora Incognito: The majority of these images focus on flowers, but you’ll find an assortment of other nature photography as well.
  11. The Green Fingered Photographer: Here you’ll find photos that celebrate nature and plants.

Plant Specific

Check out these focused blogs to learn more about specific species or types of plants.

  1. The Ginkgo Pages: If you just can’t get enough of Ginkgo, bookmark this blog that is totally dedicated to it.
  2. Eucalytologics: Here you can learn more about eucalyptus cultivation around the world.
  3. Slipper Orchid Blog: Written by an orchid breeder, this blog is full of useful tips for keeping orchids in good health.
  4. Joe’s Paphs and Orchid Blog: Want to know more about orchid species for growing and learning? Check out this blog.
  5. Beautiful Bamboo: CHeck out this site to learn all about the incredible uses of bamboo, how to grow it and much more.
  6. No Seeds, No Fruits, No Flowers: No Problem: Here you’ll find tons of information and fun facts about ferns of all kinds.
  7. Blue Aquarium: Create great underwater ecosystems with advice and inspiration from this aquatic garden blog.
  8. Eucalyptus: An Open Woodland: Love your eucalyptus? So do these bloggers. Read all about it here.
  9. Aquatic Eden: See lush gardens and learn about underwater plant species from this blog.
  10. Water Garden Blog: If gardening underwater is your thing, check out this blog to see great photos and inspiration.

Botanic Gardens

Enjoy the photos and information provided by these blogs, maintained by botanical gardens around the nation.

  1. Plant Talk: Pay this blog a visit to learn more about what’s going on at the New York Botanical Garden and get some in-depth info on some of the plants they grow.
  2. UBC Botanical Garden Blog: This active blog is a great place to not only find out more about these gardens but learn more about plants in general.
  3. Denver Botanic Garden: Learn about research, get seasonal photos, find out about events and more on this Denver Botanic Garden blog.
  4. The Garden Variety: The Cleveland Botanical Garden keeps readers up-to-date with events on this blog.
  5. Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden: Check out this site to learn more about the gardens and other botanical items of interest in the local community.
50 Fun, Free Web Games to Make Your Brain Smarter, Faster, Sharper http://www.online-college-blog.com/features/50-fun-free-web-games-to-make-your-brain-smarter-faster-sharper/ Wed, 10 Dec 2008 14:34:16 +0000 http://www.online-college-blog.com/?p=557 Keeping your brain in top shape doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to enroll in graduate classes or write a thesis. Crossword puzzles, word games, logic problems and other games can also help your brain stay fit and healthy, and there are plenty of fun ones to try online during your down time.

Crossword Puzzles

These crossword puzzles come in all sorts of difficulty levels, from The New York Times to British puzzles.

  1. USA Today Crossword: Take this daily crossword puzzle and dig through the archives for even more games.
  2. New York Times Learning Network: These NYT crosswords are organized according to theme, like Thanksgiving, the Civil Rights Movement, the Stock Market and others.
  3. Daily Mirror: Challenge yourself even further when you do a crossword from this British newspaper.
  4. Premium Crosswords: These premium crosswords from the NYT include the famous Sunday puzzles.
  5. Los Angeles Times Daily Crossword: Solve the crossword puzzle from the LA Times here.
  6. Thinks.com: Use the timer on this crossword puzzle to see how fast you can solve each one.

Memory Games

Sharpen your memory with these games, including flip card memory games and more.

  1. Fun Match: It looks like a kids’ game, but you’ll be surprised at how challenged you are.
  2. Don’t Forget! Playing Games with Memory: Play Memory Solitaire and other memory games here.
  3. Random Digits: See how many random digits you can remember in this game.
  4. Random Cards: This game asks you to remember random cards with numbers and letters.
  5. Concentration Memory Game: This game has four levels, so you can continue to challenge yourself.
  6. Flip Card: See how fast you can complete this game.
  7. Photo memory: Match pictures, colors or textures in this game.
  8. Are you smarter than a chimp?: Click squares in numeric order to beat the chimp in this game.
  9. Military Match: Showdown: Air Combat: This flip card memory game uses photos of different airplanes.
  10. Memory Chunks: You only have 15 seconds to remember a series of letters in order.

Brain Teasers

Here you’ll find riddles, logic problems and other challenging but addicting games for your brain.

  1. Hidden Word: Find the hidden word in each sentence and determine it’s category: texture, vegetable, animal, color, etc.
  2. Common Sayings Unscrambler: Unscrable each sentence and then find the missing word.
  3. Rubik’s cube: Answer questions about this Rubik’s cube.
  4. Brain Den: Here you’ll find logic problems, number puzzles and other brain teasers.
  5. Braingle: Head to Braingle to solve puzzle hunts, brain teasers, optical illusions and more.
  6. Riddle of the Day: Try solving a riddle every day to sharpen your brain.
  7. The Senses Challenge: This timed test teaches you all about your brain, including functions and feelings like breathing, sadness and self control.
  8. Focuset: Play fun brain teasers and logic games here.
  9. The Tower of Hanoi: This game exercises your frontal lobes and was "frequently used in neuropsychological evaluations."
  10. The Brain Teasers Network: Play games like cryptorithms and Connect Four here.

Educational Games

Besides helping your conversation skills, these educational games are great for improving your knowledge.

  1. Famous Women’s Faces: Identify each famous woman by only seeing a portion of her face.
  2. American History AP Quizzes: Here are over 110 multiple choice quizzes organized by categories like The Antebellum South, The Gilded Age and more.
  3. Science Vocabulary Hangman: Play against the computer by guessing the science word selected for hangman.
  4. Who Said It?: Match the famous quote to the person who said it in this game.
  5. Elemental Balancing Act: Balance chemical equations in this game.
  6. Fifteen Minutes of Fiction: This game helps you brush up on your creative writing skills and communication skills.
  7. History Quizzes: Challenge yourself to answer questions about the history of Canada or Oceania with these quizzes.

Planning and Strategy

From managing a business to solving crimes, these planning and strategy games are out there but can help you sharpen a lot of life skills.

  1. Law and Order–Vengeful Heart: This game based off the TV show Law and Order: Criminal Intent is free for one hour and challenges players to solve crimes, collect clues and more.
  2. Kebab Van: This game is great for Human Age: Rewrite history from the prehistoric age to the 21st century, solving problems and figuring out how to survive along the way.
  3. Freeciv: Freeciv is a free alternative to Sim Civilization. Players have to rely on their strategy and smarts to expand their empire.


Sudoku is an extremely popular game that requires players to use numbers, math skills, and logic.

  1. LA Times Sudoku: Play with hints mode or the conflict eliminator off for a more challenging game.
  2. Web Sudoku: It’s easy to get addicted to this game, even if you’ve never played before.
  3. Sudoku: Here you can find Sudoku for kids and for experienced players.
  4. The Daily Sudoku: Play games from the archive or play the daily game on the right.
  5. Sudoku Dragon: Play the daily game, read about the history of the game and get tips on strategy on this site.

Word Games

This list features word games that strengthen your vocabulary and keep your mind sharp.

  1. Word Analogies: Play this analogies game to sharpen your IQ.
  2. Word Games: Here you can play definetime, cryptoquote, wordsearch and others.
  3. Anagrams: This anagram tool can help build up your vocabulary.
  4. Word Vine: Find word pairs to arrange on the vine in this game.
  5. Scrabble: Play Scrabble online for free right here.
  6. Boggle: This popular word search game is now available online for free.
  7. Palindromes: Identify 12 palindromes to win this game.
  8. Kangaroo Words: This "fiendishly difficult word game" operates on the idea that kangaroo words "carry their own baby words with the same meanings." For example, illuminated’s kangaroo word is lit.
100 Useful Tips and Tools to Research the Deep Web http://www.online-college-blog.com/features/100-useful-tips-and-tools-to-research-the-deep-web/ Tue, 02 Dec 2008 15:25:42 +0000 http://www.online-college-blog.com/?p=543 By Alisa Miller

Experts say that typical search engines like Yahoo! and Google only pick up about 1% of the information available on the Internet. The rest of that information is considered to be hidden in the deep web, also referred to as the invisible web. So how can you find all the rest of this information? This list offers 100 tips and tools to help you get the most out of your Internet searches.

Meta-Search Engines

Meta-search engines use the resources of many different search engines to gather the most results possible. Many of these will also eliminate duplicates and classify results to enhance your search experience.

  1. SurfWax. This search engine works very well for reaching deep into the web for information.
  2. Academic Index. Created by the former chair of Texas Association of School Librarians, this meta-search engine only pulls from databases and resources that are approved by librarians and educators.
  3. Clusty. Clusty searches through top search engines, then clusters the results so that information that may have been hidden deep in the search results is now readily available.
  4. Dogpile. Dogpile searches rely on several top search engines for the results then removes duplicates and strives to present only relevant results.
  5. Turbo 10. This meta-search engine is specifically designed to search the deep web for information.
  6. Multiple Search. Save yourself the work by using this search engine that looks among major search engines, social networks, flickr, Wikipedia, and many more sites.
  7. Mamma. Click on the Power Search option to customize your search experience with this meta-search engine.
  8. World Curry Guide. This meta-search tool with a strong European influence has been around since 1997 and is still growing strong.
  9. Fazzle.com. Give this meta-search engine a try. It accesses a large number of databases and claims to have more access to information than Google.
  10. Icerocket. Search blogs as well as the general Internet, MySpace, the news, and more to receive results by posting date.
  11. iZito. Get results from a variety of major search engines that come to you clustered in groups. You can also receive only US website results or receive results with a more international perspective.
  12. Ujiko. This unusual meta-search tool allows for you to customize your searches by eliminating results or tagging some as favorites.

Semantic Search Tools and Databases

Semantic search tools depend on replicating the way the human brain thinks and categorizes information to ensure more relevant searches. Give some of these semantic tools and databases a try.

  1. Hakia. This popular semantic search engine only accesses websites that are recommended by librarians.
  2. Zotero. Firefox users will like this add-on that helps you organize your research material by collecting, managing, and citing any references from Internet research.
  3. Freebase. This community-powered database includes information on millions of topics.
  4. Powerset. Enter a topic, phrase, or question to find information from Wikipedia with this semantic application.
  5. Kartoo. Enter any keyword to receive a visual map of the topics that pertain to your keyword. Hover your mouse over each to get a thumbnail of the website.
  6. DBpedia. Another Wikipedia resource, ask complex questions with this semantic program to get results from within Wikipedia.
  7. Quintura. Entering your search term will create a cloud of related terms as well as a list of links. Hover over one of the words or phrases in the cloud to get an entirely different list of links.
  8. [true knowledge]. Help with current beta testing at this search engine or try their Quiz Bot that finds answers to your questions.
  9. Stumpedia. This search engine relies on its users to index, organize, and review information coming from the Internet.
  10. Evri. This search engine provides you with highly relevant results from articles, papers, blogs, images, audio, and video on the Internet.
  11. Gnod. When you search for books, music, movies and people on this search engine, it remembers your interests and focuses the search results in that direction.
  12. Boxxet. Search for what interests you and you will get results from the "best of" news, blogs, videos, photos, and more. Type in your keyword and in addition to the latest news on the topic, you will also receive search results, online collections, and more.

General Search Engines and Databases

These databases and search engines for databases will provide information from places on the Internet most typical search engines cannot.

  1. DeepDyve. One of the newest search engines specifically targeted at exploring the deep web, this one is available after you sign up for a free membership.
  2. OAIster. Search for digital items with this tool that provides 12 million resources from over 800 repositories.
  3. direct search. Search through all the direct search databases or select a specific one with this tool.
  4. CloserLook Search. Search for information on health, drugs and medicine, city guides, company profiles, and Canadian airfares with this customized search engine that specializes in the deep web.
  5. Northern Light Search. Find information with the quick search or browse through other search tools here.
  6. Yahoo! Search Subscriptions. Use this tool to combine a search on Yahoo! with searches in journals where you have subscriptions such as Wall Street Journal and New England Journal of Medicine.
  7. CompletePlanet. With over 70,000 databases and search engines at its disposal, this is an excellent resource for searching the deep web.
  8. The Scout Archives. This database is the culmination of nine years’ worth of compiling the best of the Internet.
  9. Daylife. Find news with this site that offers some of the best global news stories along with photos, articles, quotes, and more.
  10. Silobreaker. This tool shows how news and people in the news impacts the global culture with current news stories, corresponding maps, graphs of trends, networks of related people or topics, fact sheets, and more.
  11. spock. Find anyone on the web who might not normally show up on the surface web through blogs, pictures, social networks, and websites here.
  12. The WWW Virtual Library. One of the oldest databases of information available on the web, this site allows you to search by keyword or category.
  13. pipl. Specifically designed for searching the deep web for people, this search engine claims to be the most powerful for finding someone.

Academic Search Engines and Databases

The world of academia has many databases not accessible by Google and Yahoo!, so give these databases and search engines a try if you need scholarly information.

  1. Google Scholar. Find information among academic journals with this tool.
  2. WorldCat. Use this tool to find items in libraries including books, CDs, DVDs, and articles.
  3. getCITED. This database of academic journal articles and book chapters also includes a discussion forum.
  4. Microsoft Libra. If you are searching for computer science academic research, then Libra will help you find what you need.
  5. BASE – Bielefeld Academic Search Engine. This multi-disciplinary search engine focuses on academic research and is available in German, Polish, and Spanish as well as English.
  6. yovisto. This search engine is an academic video search tool that provides lectures and more.
  7. AJOL – African Journals Online. Search academic research published in AJOL with this search engine.
  8. HighWire Press. From Stanford, use this tool to access thousands of peer-reviewed journals and full-text articles.
  9. MetaPress. This tool claims to be the "world’s largest scholarly content host" and provides results from journals, books, reference material, and more.
  10. OpenJ-Gate. Access over 4500 open journals with this tool that allows you to restrict your search to peer-reviewed journals or professional and industry journals.
  11. Directory of Open Access Journals. This journal search tool provides access to over 3700 top "quality controlled" journals.
  12. Intute. The resources here are all hand-selected and specifically for education and research purposes.
  13. Virtual Learning Resource Center. This tool provides links to thousands of academic research sites to help students at any level find the best information for their Internet research projects.
  14. Gateway to 21st Century Skills. This resource for educators is sponsored by the US Department of Education and provides information from a variety of places on the Internet.
  15. MagBot. This search engine provides journal and magazine articles on topics relevant to students and their teachers.
  16. Michigan eLibrary. Find full-text articles as well as specialized databases available for searching.

Scientific Search Engines and Databases

The scientific community keeps many databases that can provide a huge amount of information but may not show up in searches through an ordinary search engine. Check these out to see if you can find what you need to know.

  1. Science.gov. This search engine offers specific categories including agriculture and food, biology and nature, Earth and ocean sciences, health and medicine, and more.
  2. WorldWideScience.org. Search for science information with this connection to international science databases and portals.
  3. CiteSeer.IST. This search engine and digital library will help you find information within scientific literature.
  4. Scirus. This science search engine moves beyond journal articles and also includes searches among such resources as scientists’ webpages, courseware, patents, and more.
  5. Scopus. Find academic information among science, technology, medicine, and social science categories.
  6. GoPubMed. Search for biomedical texts with this search engine that accesses PubMed articles.
  7. the Gene Ontology. Search the Gene Ontology database for genes, proteins, or Gene Ontology terms.
  8. PubFocus. This search engine searches Medline and PubMed for information on articles, authors, and publishing trends.
  9. Scitopia. This "deep federated search" brings the best information from the fields of science and technology.
  10. Scitation. Find over one million scientific papers from journals, conferences, magazines, and other sources with this tool.

Custom Search Engines

Custom search engines narrow your focus and eliminate quite a bit of the extra information usually contained in search results. Use these resources to find custom search engines or use the specific custom search engines listed below.

  1. CustomSearchEngine.com. This listing includes many of the Google custom search engines created.
  2. CustomSearchGuide.com. Find custom search engines here or create your own.
  3. CSE Links. Use this site to find Google Coop custom search engines.
  4. PGIS PPGIS Custom Search. This search engine is customized for those interested in the "practice and science" of PGIS/PPGIS.
  5. Files Tube. Search for files in file sharing and uploading sites with this search engine.
  6. Trailmonkey’s Custom Search Engine. This outdoor adventure search engine will help find information such as trails, maps, and wildlife around the world.
  7. Rollyo. "Roll your own search engine" at this site where you determine which sites will be included in your searches.
  8. Webhoker.com. Use this custom search engine to find information about Northern Ireland.
  9. Figure Skating Custom Search Engine. Use this search engine to learn about figure skating. The more this search engine is used, the better the results become.
  10. Custom Search Engines. There are three custom search engines here, two of which may be relevant for anyone interested in Utah constitution or juvenile justice.
  11. Go Pets America Custom Search Engine. This search engine will help you find information on pets and animals, their health and wellness, jobs in the field, and more.

Collaborative Information and Databases

One of the oldest forms of information dissemination is word-of-mouth, and the Internet is no different. With the popularity of bookmarking and other collaborative sites, obscure blogs and websites can gain plenty of attention. Follow these sites to see what others are reading.

  1. Del.icio.us. As readers find interesting articles or blog posts, they can tag, save, and share them so that others can enjoy the content as well.
  2. Digg. As people read blogs or websites, they can "digg" the ones they like, thus creating a network of user-selected sites on the Internet.
  3. Technorati. Not only is this site a blog search engine, but it is also a place for members to vote and share, thus increasing the visibility for blogs.
  4. StumbleUpon. As you read information on the Internet, you can Stumble it and give it a thumbs up or down. The more you Stumble, the more closely aligned to your taste will the content become.
  5. Reddit. Working similarly to StumbleUpon, Reddit asks you to vote on articles, then customizes content based on your preferences.
  6. Twine. With Twine you can search for information as well as share with others and get recommendations from Twine.
  7. Kreeo.com. This collaborative site offers shared knowledge from its members through forums, blogs, and shared websites.
  8. Talk Digger. Find information on the Internet based on what others are saying about it. Members discuss web sites, blogs, and specific topics here.

Tips and Strategies

Searching the deep web should be done a bit differently, so use these strategies to help you get started on your deep web searching.

  1. Don’t rely on old ways of searching. Become aware that approximately 99% of content on the Internet doesn’t show up on typical search engines, so think about other ways of searching.
  2. Search for databases. Using any search engine, enter your keyword alongside "database" to find any searchable databases (for example, "running database" or "woodworking database").
  3. Get a library card. Many public libraries offer access to research databases for users with an active library card.
  4. Stay informed. Reading blogs or other updated guides about Internet searches on a regular basis will ensure you are staying updated with the latest information on Internet searches.
  5. Search government databases. There are many government databases available that have plenty of information you may be seeking.
  6. Bookmark your databases. Once you find helpful databases, don’t forget to bookmark them so you can always come back to them again.
  7. Practice. Just like with other types of research, the more you practice searching the deep web, the better you will become at it.
  8. Don’t give up. Researchers agree that most of the information hidden in the deep web is some of the best quality information available.

Helpful Articles and Resources for Deep Searching

Take advice from the experts and read these articles, blogs, and other resources that can help you understand the deep web.

  1. Deep Web – Wikipedia. Get the basics about the deep web as well as links to some helpful resources with this article.
  2. Deep Web – AI3:::Adaptive Information. This assortment of articles from the co-coiner of the phrase "deep web," Michael Bergman offers a look at the current state of deep web perspectives.
  3. The Invisible Web. This article from About.com provides a very simple explanation of the deep web and offers suggestions for tackling it.
  4. ResourceShelf. Librarians and researchers come together to share their findings on fun, helpful, and sometimes unusual ways to gather information from the web.
  5. Docuticker. This blog offers the latest publications from government agencies, NGOs, think tanks, and other similar organizations. Many of these posts are links to databases and research statistics that may not appear so easily on typical web searches.
  6. TechDeepWeb.com. This site offers tips and tools for IT professionals to find the best deep web resources.
  7. Digital Image Resources on the Deep Web. This article includes links to many digital image resources that probably won’t show up on typical search engine results.
  8. Federated Search 101. Learn about federated search tools in this article that will be helpful to businesses thinking about purchasing a federated search product.
  9. Timeline of events related to the Deep Web. This timeline puts the entire history of the deep web into perspective as well as offers up some helpful links.
  10. The Deep Web. Learn terminology, get tips, and think about the future of the deep web with this article.