Welcome to the 138th issue of the Cool Tricks and Trinkets Newsletter offering weekly insights into new, cool, useful, fun, unusual and interesting sites on the Internet.
In this issue:
- Becoming Human
- Tracking your Email
- The Filmmaker's Craft
- Short Takes
- Live Manuals
- Around the World in 80 Clicks
- The Sports Cliche List
- The Sacred Narghile
- Diets and Nutrition
- Subscribers' Sites
No matter how much scientific evidence we receive, it still boggles the mind to imagine that human beings, with all of our technology and ability, evolved from an ancient species of apes. BecomingHuman.org is the home for a new 'interactive documentary' that traces the multi-million year process that brought us out of pre-historic trees and into modern skyscrapers.
Narrated by renowned paleontologist Donald Johansen, it traces the development of human activity to its origins. It is broken down into several sections, Evidence, Anatomy, Lineages, and Culture, and is as instructional and interesting as any PBS documentary.
Tracking your Email
ReadNotify.com is a neat tool for tracking your emails, and the best part is that it's currently provided free of charge! (This will change soon so take advantage of it while you can). It enables senders to not only know when their email was opened, but also how long it was read for and if it was forwarded to others.
It is easy to use and doesn't require any software or plug-ins. Simply add an extension (the recipient will not see it) to your recipient's address and let the tracking begin. You will be notified via email once you message has been opened.
The Filmmaker's Craft
The last fifteen years has seen a big increase in the popularity of independent and 'guerilla' films, with young directors and writers producing some of the most memorable movies to date. The advent of the Internet and digital technology has opened this creative avenue even further, giving the power of filmmaking to those with a lot of ideas and only a little bit of money.
AFIFilm.com is a website that focuses on filmmakers, the art they create, and the many topics relating to the industry. Visitors can watch digital movies from a long list of directors, learn about the people currently making waves (and great films) in the industry or read articles about subjects such as 'Cinematography', 'Directing', and 'Production Design'. This is a great site for anybody who makes, is interested in making, or simply appreciates independent films. Cut!!
Partying and getting drunk may seem like a lot of fun at the time, but most of us cannot avoid the capital punishment of the morning after. Hangovers are cruel and ruthless, penalties to be paid for a night of imbibed revelry that went just a bit too far.
Thanks to Hungover.net, sufferers can now limp online for help. With a top ten list of 'Cures' that includes dried eel and Vitamin B1, this is a godsend for those in need of some fast relief.
The Awful Truth
For years Michael Moore has been a pain in the side of large corporations, government, and any other institution that endangers the common citizen. He is the educated everyman, having espoused the truth about politics and big business for years through books, films and his own television series.
'The Awful Truth' is filled with sarcastic and poignant episodes that expose purveyors of injustice in American Society for what they are, politicians, corporate types and cops. Those who aren't familiar with his work are in for a wild ride, while those who are already fans can enjoy his incisive humor and commentary.
As the dust begins to settle over the "dotbomb" disasters, it is interesting to note which sites have been able to weather the storm and survive and which have gone to the great www in the sky.
CyberRebate.com provides great deals for visitors who are willing to wait for substantial rebates. Offering everything from Lincoln Logs to Sony Walkman's for free after rebate, it's hard to resist this site and the savings it offers. The drawback: You have to wait 10-14 weeks to receive your rebate, but for some, it's time well spent. Impatient customers may track the status of their rebates online as well.
How often have you bought an electronic product like a stereo, brought it home, confidently opened it up, only to find yourself desperately befuddled by the indecipherable instructions in 'the manual'? LiveManuals.com will clear up any confusion brought on by that pesky pamphlet, allowing you to quickly and easily set-up a variety of electronic toys.
This is one of those websites that will remind you that the true value of the Web lies in its ability to supply practical solutions to problems that exist offline. Live Manuals lets you access 'support information' for all your products, see 'interactive user manuals' that will guide through the set-up process, and provide visual simulations of how the product works.
Around the World in 80 Clicks
Computer programmer turned flight attendant, Boris Kester, has taken on a third endeavor; documenting his travels around the world through his website TravelAdventures.org. Despite the thousands of miles he has traveled, the hundred countries he has visited, and the countless number of tourist attractions he has seen, Boris manages to report on these exotic places with the innocent excitement of a first-time traveler.
He shares his journeys through photographs and personal stories, usually focusing on a piece of art or architecture in each city. The site is self-funded, which empowers it with a quality of sincerity that makes visiting it so special.
The Sports Cliche List
We've all witnessed the post game interview from the losing team's locker room and heard the oft -repeated killer clichés like, "we beat ourselves", "we didn't get the job done" and the classic, "they wanted it more than we did".
This searchable list has been accumulated from countless interviews by sports writers and announcers, and is divided into sections including Pre-Game, During the Game, Post-Game, Losing Locker Room and Fired Coaches. After visiting you will not be at a loss for words or excuses.
The Sacred Narghile
Smoking tobacco through the sacred narghile, otherwise known as a hookah, is a daily ritual enjoyed by over a hundred million people (primarily in Europe, Asia and Northern Africa.) The ancient water pipe, despite its popularity and history in the East, is essentially obsolete here in America.
This fascinating website pays tribute to the holy hookah, exploring the debate over its origins, the international diversity of the pipe and even its presence as a fixture in art and society. It is an extremely detailed look into its traditions and functions, accompanied with photographs, which reveals the narghile as not only a tool for smoking tobacco, but as an exotic instrument of conversation and custom all over the world.
Diets and Nutrition
More than anyone else, Americans have become consumed with the idea of 'healthy living'. This includes eating a proper diet, losing weight, exercising regularly and easing your mind of tension and stress. Many of us aspire toward a healthier lifestyle (and a smaller tummy), yet it is often difficult to find the information and inspiration that will enable us to achieve such a goal.
Nutrio.com has one goal for its customers, to 'look and feel great'. While the company mainly heralds its customized weight-loss programs, the site also includes a ton of great articles and tips relating to general health, diets facts, exercise, vitamins and healthy practices.
SUBSCRIBERS' SITES - Many of our subscribers have fascinating on-line projects. This weekly section will introduce you to some of these sites. Please let me know about your project so that I might mention it in this section. Write me at firstname.lastname@example.org
~ HappyKipper - Index of cartoons and games on the net.
~ Lilabet's Photo Travel Journal
~ Home Business Solutions - The catalog mail order industry is HOT!
~ Franklin and Friends - The events of a small village in southern Tasmania.
~ Electroweb - Electro Web Animation
~ The Black Shadows - Rock and Roll is here to
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