The Queen’s 80th Birthday

Queenbirthday >> Celebrating The Queen’s 80th Birthday
This new official site has been created as both an information source for events taking place to celebrate the Queen’s actual and official birthdays and as an online celebration of her life and times. A series of animated interactive galleries represent each decade of the Queen’s life: Each gallery showcases archive photographs, documents and news stories which place the Queen’s life in a broader social and cultural context.

Mailbigfile_1 >>
This is a useful one if you ever need to email large files like MP3s, videos, presentations or uncompressed photos.
Some Internet Service Providers impose file-size limits which stop you from sending files which are larger than a few MB’s in size. This service overcomes that restriction by allowing you to upload your file to a secure area of their site, and simply email the link which allows the recipient to download the file.
It’s especially useful for people on dial-up connections who find that large email attachments can completely block their email, sometimes taking more than an hour to download.

Nizlopi: Girls

Girlsvideo >>Nizlopi: Girls
Here’s the follow-up single to Nizlopi’s week-before-Christmas-number-one JCB which I first mentioned last September. Once again the whole video is available online but this one actually features the band (plus a tent and a frog) rather than exercise-book animation.
Girls is less immediate than JCB (no Bruce Lee hook this time) but it’s another beautiful song which deserves just as wide an audience as its predecessor. See them live if you get the chance!

ZeFrank’s online kaleidoscope

Kaleidoscope>> ZeFrank’s online kaleidoscope
Everyone should have a kaleidoscope to help bring a bit of instant colour and beauty into their lives. This virtual one works even without holding it up and pointing it towards the light. Just drag the shapes and colours onto the rotating wedge and you’ll see the kaleidoscopic patterns appear in (ahem) glorious Technicolor!

Date a Hot Scot

Hotscot >> Date a Hot Scot
Thanks to listener Susie Bachelor for her lovely email:
Miles, I’m quite keen on Website of the Day … it’s my 4th favourite feature on the programme, after Ask Elvis, the Old Woman, and The Big Quiz.
Now, one of my favourite things is men in kilts, but all the kilt sites I’ve found are trying to sell me kilts. What I really want is to admire a bunch of blokes in tartan, so can you recommend a good site for fans of men in kilts?
Well Susie, liking a challenge as I do, I set about finding something suitable: Date a Hot Scot presents profiles, photos and short videos of a bunch of eligible Scotsmen. If you’re in America or mainland Europe you can cast your vote for the hottest Scot to be in with a chance of winning a Highland holiday and a date with your choice of hot Scot. Sadly UK visitors aren’t eligible for the prize draw (which is presumably aimed at encouraging tourists from outside the UK) but you can still ogle and vote!

Trip Advisor

Tripadvisor >> Trip Advisor UK
There are plenty of sites which let Joe and Joan Public post their own reviews of hotels, resorts and attractions, but few of them can compete with Trip Advisor for breadth of coverage. This is one of the best ways to find the information they don’t give you in the brochure – and has quickly become my mum’s favourite site!
Trip Advisor’s US site already has reviews of over 200,000 hotels all submitted by the site’s 18 million visitors. You can search for any hotel or resort by name to find short honest reviews and ratings from tourists who’ve actually stayed there – and because the site has so many users, there’s a pretty good chance you’ll find a recent review of whatever you’re searching for.
The newly-launched UK site has all the reviews already submitted via its trans-Atlantic sibling, but has improved navigation to make it more relevant to UK users. You’ll still have to wade through a bunch of sponsored links on each page to get the really meaty content, but there’s so much useful stuff here, it’s well worth persevering.

Bubblesnaps (photographic e-cards with speech bubbles)

Bubblesnaps >> Bubblesnaps (photographic e-cards with speech bubbles)
I’m always on the look out for sites which breathe new life into the tired world of e-cards and online greetings, and Bubblesnaps certainly fits the bill. This is a bit like being able to create your own cover for Private Eye. Upload any digital photo, and then add speech or thought bubbles to put your words into their mouths. When you send your bubblesnap, your friends will see each speech bubble pop up on top of the photo, with an appropriate bursting-bubble sound effect. It’s simple but really nicely done – and could easily become addictive. To see it in action:
>> Here’s one we made earlier

BBC Planet Earth Explorer

Earthexplorer >> BBC Planet Earth Explorer
Confession time: I’ve yet to see BBC 1’s Planet Earth on Sunday nights (and golly it looks like I’m missing some top-notch telly). The good news for me, and other people who don’t find themselves near the telly at the right time, is that there’s a fabulous interactive video player on the programme’s official site. The Planet Earth explorer lets you zoom in on a spinning planet to select “hot-spots” and load video clips from the programme. You can also save your favourite clips, view them full-screen and email them to friends.
NB: You’ll need a broadband connection and a new-ish computer to run the Planet Explorer, but many of the video clips can also be viewed separately on a dial-up connection.
>> Planet Earth Video Clip Archive

St Patricks Day

Stpatricksday >> St Patricks Day on BBC Northern Ireland
While your local hostelry is the ideal venue for your Paddy’s day festivities, you can sample a virtual pint of stout at this guide to Ireland’s paron saint. You’ll find the story of his life, an interactive book of St Patrick facts, e-cards, a screensaver and downloadable desktop wallpaper, a snake-trapping game and a very handy phrasebook which tells you the irish for "Get your coat, you’ve pulled" and "Did I tell you that I’m Bono’s cousin!"

The 39 Dollar Experiment

39dollars >> The 39 Dollar Experiment
Long-term listeners will know that I like a site which tells the story of a pointless quest, so here’s one which treads that fine line between “entertaining ingenuity” and “way too much time on his hands”.
What we have here is an ordinary bloke somewhere in the States, who has a book of postage stamps worth 39 dollars. He decides to use his stamps to write to 100 different companies requesting free samples of their products.
Just a few weeks into the experiment, and he has so far received free stuff from 21 companies worth $137.41. The site carries the text of all 100 begging letters and tells you exactly which companies came up with the goods!