Red Hot Pawn

>> Red Hot Pawn
I’ve never learnt to play chess, but this looks to me to be a really good way to play chess online:
“Play multiple games at once, with your friends or any other Red Hot Pawn users from all over the world, and manage it all from a single screen. When it is your turn to move, you will be notified by email. Just click the link in the email to make your next move.”
You decide if you want to play in real time or make your move by email at daily (or even weekly) intervals.

The Radio 2 Music Club

>> The Radio 2 Music Club
If you’ve been listening over the bank holiday weekend, you can’t have missed the range of special programmes broadcast to coincide with the launch of Radio 2’s new Music Club.
The Music Club is all about the music club is all about is celebrating all of the music you hear on Radio 2 in an atmosphere free of musical snobbery. Online you’ll find lots of exclusive audio: In the next seven days alone you can hear full gigs from the Pet Shop Boys and Cliff Richard, watch broadband video highlights of Dave Gilmour’s recent Radio 2 gig and hear three fantastic Motown documentaries from Radio 2’s archive.
You can check out playlists of the favourite current and classic tracks of a range of Radio 2 presenters and submit your own playlists for Jo Brand’s new programme. And most of all, you can talk about the music that means the most to you on the Music Club’s message boards.

France 4 Families

>> France 4 Familes
I’m off to France for the weekend for a family party to celebrate my cousin Angus’ birthday (Happy Birthday Angus!) – and I discovered this site by accident when planning my journey.
The site is a massively useful guide to every aspect of taking a family holday in France from booking, camping, getting there, eating, activities and much more.
It’s all put together by two families from Hertfordshire who’ve been holidaying in France for over 20 years. The vast majority of the listed attractions have been visited by one of the families or their friends, so you know that you’re getting the opinion (and advice) of people with first-hand knowledge.

BBC Virtual Museum

>> BBC Virtual Museum
This site ties in with BBC 2’s People’s Museum programme which is currently running as part of Museums and Galleries Month. The programme travels the UK in search of hidden treasures and lesser known exhibits from museums around the country.
All 73 artefacts showcased during the programme will feature in the virtual museum, but you get to vote on which exhibits get pride of place in the top-floor exclusive gallery.
Today’s shortlist includes a set of original designs for the Titanic and the actual couch used by Sigmund Freud to analyse all his patients!

Soccer Aid

Socceraid >> Official Soccer Aid
>> Soccer Aid on ITV
On Saturday evening at Old Trafford an England team captained by Robbie Williams will go up against a “Rest Of The World” team with Gordon Ramsey as skipper. Both teams feature a mix of World Cup legends and celebrities, and the whole exercise aims to raise funds for UNICEF’s work to provide financial help and support to children in the world’s poorest countries.
Between them these sites offer news updates and video clips from the TV coverage plus the facility to donate online, tips on organising your own fundraising event and information about how the money raised will be spent.

Springsteen, Eurovision, Da Vinci Code & BB7

>> Exclusive Bruce Springsteen Concert Video
From now until early on Sunday morning you can watch video highlights from The Boss’ recent Radio 2 gig on this very site and (for digital TV viewers) by pressing the red button on any BBC TV channel.

>> Eurovision 2006
The build-up continues towards tomorrow night’s final in Athens, with Daz Sampson flying the flag for the UK. Once again the site features broadband video of all finalists, a downloadable score card and the latest photos and diary updates from the British contingent.
There’s also a WAP service (text EURO to 81010) promising photos, interviews & quick facts, Teenage Life song lyrics, a quiz and live scores

>> The Da Vinci Code (official)
An impressively whizzy site to go with this year’s first big blockbuster. The Da Vinci Galley challenges you to find secret symbols hidden in each of 6 Da Vinci masterpieces in order to unlock a secret area of the site.

>> Big Brother 7: Official
>> Big Brother on Digital Spy
Say goodbye to your life for the next 13 weeks …

Stay Don’t Pay

Couchsurfing >> Couchsurfing
This is a kind of backpacking exchange, created to connect travellers in search of somewhere to sleep to friendly hosts with sofa-space to spare. The site’s philosophy is all about broadening your horizons by meeting a wider range of people.
Freeloading is discouraged – the most active couchsurfers are people who want to spend time with their hosts, do the washing up, or gardening and learn from spending time with new people who are equally open-minded, curious, and generous. Registration is free, you can search for people who welcome visitors in a particular country or region and contact them via the site.
It’s always completely optional to welcome backpackers, and you can choose to only stay see the details who have already been vouched for by other trusted members and verified by a security check. See also:
>> Stay Don’t Pay: UK Bed and Breakfast Exchange

Instant currency conversions for online shoppers

>> My Orbital
If you’ve ever ordered anything from an online store outside the UK, you’ll know that it can be a hassle to have to find a currency conversion site to ‘translate’ the price back into sterling. This handy site does the job for you by cleverly adjusting the price you see on the online store you’re already visiting and displaying it in the currency of your choice.
Bear in mind that not all international stores will post to the UK, and that you may be liable to pay VAT on goods worth more than £18. You’ll find more details about VAT and duty charges on goods purchased from outside the UK on the official Customs site:
>> HM Customs: Shopping On The Internet

Are you left or right brained?

>> Determine which side of your brain left or right is dominant
>> Tickle Tests: The Brain Test
Try these tests to see if you favour using the left side of your brain (which interprets details and reasoning) or the right side (which interprets information through visual or creative cues.)
Please note that (free) registration is required to view the results of Tickle Tests. The site will also offer you a detailed Brain Type report for $5 – we recommend that you avoid that report unless you are happy for your card to be charged an additional monthly subscription fee.
>> Go Create – Right Brain Workouts
If your test results show that you lean more towards reason than creativity, take a look at some of these mini-workouts to help stimulate creative thinking.

How to Clean Anything

Cleananything >> How to Clean Anything
Possibly the only place on the web with practical advice about how to cope if your pet is sprayed by a skunk. You’ll find comprehsive advice here on whether to soak, treat or rub almost every imaginable blemish or discolouration, usefully categorised into sections for indoors, outdoors, cars, pets and stains