New Balls Please Doctor…

Website of the Day: Wednesday June 30th

tardistennis>> Tardis Tennis
It may be many years since we last had a British Wimbledon champion, but this fantastic online game aims to help restore our national pride, by pitting Great Britons John Lennon, William Shakespeare, Winston Churchill and Queen Victoria against one another on Centre Court! No other game combines vintage Sci-fi, the thrill of a well executed backhand volley and the great figures in British history.

>> Tennis For Free
This is a campaign spearheaded by comedian, author and tennis enthusiast Tony Hawks, to make all publicly managed tennis courts in the UK available for use by all, free of charge. The site lists all the local councils which have already opened up access to local courts, and also has information about free coaching and donating equipment.

wimbledon>> Official Wimbledon site
The world’s biggest tennis grand-slam has always had an excellent online presence, and the official site for this year’s tournament is the best yet. Look out for player profiles, a real-time scoreboard, excellent zoomable webcams, virtual tours and much more.

macenroe>> BBC Desktop MacEnroe
Another excellent download from BBC Sport – Like Mini Motty for football, this animated desktop character pops up regularly with tennis newsflashes and pre-match reminders.

Baby Name Idol

Website of the Day: Tuesday June 29th

nameourbaby>> Name Our Baby
When Chris (“out of Coldplay”) Martin and Gwyneth Paltrow decided to name their child Apple a few weeks ago, I mentioned a site called Inch or the Institute of Naming Children Humanely (click here for more info).
The couple behind Name Our Baby have obviously ignored Inch’s warnings, as they’re inviting visitors to their site to nominate possible names for their unborn son. In true Pop Idol-style, the nominations will be whittled down to a final 10 on September 1st, when you can return to the site and vote for your favourite name. Current frontrunners include Amazing Pants, Barney Rubble, The San Diego Chicken, Nigel and DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince.

New specs for the ref…

rosetintedursAs I may have mentioned before, I know nothing about football, so I was one of the few people who didn’t bother watching England’s Euro 2004 swansong.

However, I couldn’t miss the fact that referee Urs Meier’s decision to disallow Sol Campbell’s header on Thursday evening was not very well received.

I had a number of emails the next day pointing out that Urs Meier has his own website on which he welcomes comments and emails. His official site was unavailable earlier today, presumably due to what Sally Boazman likes to call “sheer volume of traffic”, but if you want to try for yourself, you’ll find the link below.

In the meantime a collection of sites protesting about Mr Meier’s decisions have emerged over the weekend. Best of those is We Were Robbed which includes a page of the best Euro 2004 viral emails currently in circulation but Dodgy Refs is also worth a look.

STOP PRESS: (Tuesday June 29th) Thanks to Sandy McDermott who emailed me to tip me off about – a new petition site to vote for Video Replay facilities in football, (as we already have in Rugby, Hockey and American Football) to allowing the official to look at the incident at pitch side and make an informed decision on whether to allow a particular point.

Finally, if you’re quick, Ebay are currently taking bids on Urs Meier’s Rose Tinted Spectacles.


>> Urs Meier: Official Site
>> We Were Robbed
>> Bid on Urs Meier’s rose-tinted spectacles

Glastonbury on your desktop

Website of the Day: Friday June 25th

Glasto >> Glastonbury on
By now Britain’s music lovers have pitched their tents and are already enjoying the huge range of music on offer at Worthy Farm. BBC 2, BBC 3, Radio 1, 6 Music and Radio 4 are all covering different elements of this year’s festival, and this BBC site is your definitive guide to the weekend’s events in Pilton. For the first time ever, you’ll be able to watch the pick of the performances streamed live on the BBC site, plus there are versions of the site optimised for WAP and for PDAs. Of course you’ll also find full line-up details and TV & Radio schedules for all the BBC’s Glastonbury coverage.

Too many toasters?

Website of the Day: Thursday June 24th

toaster>> The Alternative Wedding List
As more and more newly married couple find that they already have all the toasters or kettles they need, this is a very worthy alternative. Instead of asking your wedding guests to buy you a bunch of household items which will never get used, you create an online wedding list of charitable donations – A £30 gift might buy school meals for a year for a Mongolian child, a cataract operation for a child in Bangladesh or a training lecture for a cancer nurse. The site is non-profit, ensuring that the full value of your guests’ donations go to the selected charities

How to have your words spoken by a woman with a French accent!

Website of the Day: Wednesday June 23rd

language>> The Interactive Multi Lingual Demo
Although this site doesn’t have much practical use it’s great fun! It’s a text-to-voice generator which lets you type in any text and hear it spoken back to you in a variety of accents. There are a range of American and British accents plus French, German and Latin-American.
Click on the following links to hear our customised Steve Wright in the Afternoon idents created by the site:
Rosa from Mexico | Reiner from Germany | Juliette from France

More Football!

Website of the Day: Monday June 21st

As England prepare to storm through to the quarter-finals of Euro 2004, here’s our second round-up of football sites recommended by listeners to Steve Wright in the Afternoon:

virtualreplay>> BBC Sport Virtual Replay
Thanks to Su Cummings of Newcastle Upon Tyne for recommending this fantastic feature from BBC Sport. Virtual Replay offers animated reconstructions of every goal in the tournament. You select which goal you want to view, and then choose from one of eight different camera angles. You can also view each goal from the viewpoint of specific players on the pitch, so you can relive Wayne Rooney’s goals from his position on the pitch, or from that of Beckham, Owen, Neville or several other players.

>> Up4theCup
Of all the sites nominated by Steve Wright in the Afternoon listeners, by far the most votes and recommendations were received for this tournament score prediction game. Unfortunately most of the people who voted for it failed to mention that the deadline for entering was the opening day of Euro 2004, which means that if (like me) you’ve not already registered, you’re too late!

>> Link Up Football
A new football directory, with links to hundreds of different football sites categorised into areas like news and results, kit, memorabilia, players, teams, fantasy leagues and many others.

whatthefaro>> What The Faro
Nominated by Alex McBeath. Just because Scotland missed out on making the journey to Portugal, they don’t have to miss out on the Euro 2004 frenzy – This excellent tongue-in-cheek site bills itself as “Scotland’s staying at home page during Euro 2004” – and features sections like Find Your 2nd Team” – a multiple choice quiz to find out if your subconsciously cheering for Sweden.

roadtolisbon>> The Road To Lisbon
Recommended by listener Dean Lipscombe. This site from Adidas accompanies their current TV campaign featuring most of Europe’s finest players riding customised scooters down through Europe towards Lisbon. You can watch the full-length mini-film and interviews with the filmmakers and players, plus there’s a competition to win David Beckham’s scooter.

>> Full details of all football and Euro 2004 sites featured by Miles

Weather Forecast for school fetes!

Website of the Day: Friday June 18th

>> BBC Weather
>> Weather Pixie

Good luck to all School Fetes taking place this weekend. In spite of our requests for excellent weather across the board, the best we can hope for tomorrow is variable. Check your local forecast at BBC Weather or for a more picturesque local forecast try Weather Pixie which automatically generates a cartoon of a boy or girl suitably dressed for the current weather conditions at your nearest airport! The picture on the left of this text is called WeatherGoth 3 – He’s currently dressed according to the latest forecast from London City Airport!

>> Raglan VC Primary School
Good luck to nearly-10-year-old Josh Williams of Tregare, South Wales, who is singing Tom Jones’ Delilah in the grand final of his school’s Pop Idol competition tomorrow. As I understand it, what Josh lacks in tunefulness, he more than makes up for in charisma! We’re hoping that the school site will have pictures of the final available some time next week!

STOP PRESS: News just in on Monday June 22nd: It seems that Josh was indeeed the inner of Raglan VC Primary Pop Idol 2004, and has won a singing lesson, to go with his yellow belt in Judo! We’re still hoping to find photos of the competition on the school website at some point later this week.

Your Euro 2004 site suggestions

euro2004_2Website of the Day: Thursday June 17th

Last Friday on the Eve of Euro 2004 I featured the tournament’s official site, the BBC’s Mini Motty download and a couple of other football-friendly sites.
>> Miles’ previous Euro 2004 recommendations

We also asked you to email me with your suggestions for the best Euro 2004 sites. With just minutes to go until the kick-off between England and Switzerland, here are a few of your suggestions:

>> Fantasy League
Nominated bv Ian Spencer. You can compete in the main big prize league, and also create your own mini league for friends and colleagues.

svensation>> Svensation
Nominated by Jonathan Lawton who optimistically describes this reworded cover of Heaven 17’s Tempatation as “the best unofficial euro 2004 anthem”

>> Games by Mail: Tough at the Top
Recommended by listener Nathan Spong as the premier Play By Mail football game on the market. Tough at the Top is described as “a top class management simulation based on real-life football that is played through the post. You don’t need any special equipment such as a computer or games console to play this game; just a pen, some stamps, some envelopes and a great sense of enjoyment and escapism.”

givemefootball>> Give Me Football
Jerry Werrett recommends this site from The Professional Footballers Association
The Pride.Passion.Belief poject asks fans to send their own Euro 2004 stories and experiences – The best will be selected and published in an official “by the fans for the fans” publication.

>> Play For Your Club
This online free kick game comes recommended by Gavin Williams – who said that “it started out as a little bit of lunchtime entertainment and has turned into a fulltime mission to save Wycombe from Relegation from the 3rd division of the volley league!”
You choose your team (in this case England) and your scores in the online game influence the result in a virtual cup. Hence we can rewrite history and get an altogether more satisfactory result for last Sunday’s England- France game!

Indispensable advice for Dads-to-be

Website of the Day: Wednesday June 16th

>> Dad Cafedadcafe
There are loads of good parenting sites, but not that many which aim specifically to provide useful guidance for the first-time dad. Dad Cafe breaks the mould by combining sections on living with a mum-to-be and saving for parenthood, with a definitive list of useful phrases for when labour starts, like
“What, now? Can’t you wait till Top Gear’s finished?”.