Westlife, Popmaster, Andy Murray and Robin Hood

>> MyWestlife
Star in a customized version of the video for Westlife’s current single The Rose: Just type in your name, to see it appear in several scenes of the video (on a wedding invitation and in a text message

>> Popmaster Score Counter
An unofficial site to help you play along with Ken Bruce’s massively popular Popmaster Quiz in real time and keep track of your scores

>> Andy Murray (Official)
The official site for the ‘British Tennis Sensation’ gets a big thumbs up at Website of the Day Towers, for lots of lively interactive features. This week site regulars have been voting on what kind of haircut Andy should have in time for the Aberdeen Cup. ‘Short at the back, messy on top’ was the surprise winner with 43% of the vote, trouncing ‘Grade 4 all over’, ‘Trimmed and thinned but keep it longish’ and ‘Cut it myself (again)’

>> Robin Hood Games
Practice your swordsmanship and retrieve the strong box from Nottingham Castle in the latest game to accompany the BBC 1 series.

AQA (Any questions answered)

Q: How many people in the world have a cold today?
A: 86,191,000 people in the world have a cold right now. Adults get 2-4 colds a year, children get 6-8 colds a year, and women get more colds than men.

Q: Why is the brain all wrinkly?
A: Brain wrinkles allow considerably more ‘storage place’ than would a smooth cortex. Completely stretched out, the cortex spans 2500 squared centimeters.

Q: Should I kiss Angus? He’s really fit.
A: Yes, clearly you should kiss Angus for 1 minute, which will also burn 26 calories. The average person spends 20,160 minutes kissing in their lifetime.

I’ve been aware of this fantastically useful text-message based service for a while now, but frankly I’ve been too tight to shell out a quid each time I’ve wanted to find the answer to a niggly question. So I’m particularly pleased that AQA are now offering to answer one question completely free to anybody who submits questions via their site. The AQA team have already successfully answered over 4 million questions, on a massive range of (serious and daft) subjects. Their expertly-researched answer will be sent to your mobile.
(NB Questions submitted by text message still incur a £1 charge)

Spend A Million

Spendamillion >> Spend A Million
We’ve all wondered how we’d spend our first million if we won the lottery. This site gives you a virtual million and offers suggestions for your millionaire’s shopping list. You might start with clearing the mortgage and the credit card bills, but things get more interesting when you start looking at the site’s portfolio of speedboats, Caribbean Villas, investment opportunities and state-of-the-art gadgetry.
You can choose from 233 high-end purchases in 15 categories, to create an exclusive wish-list, then publish the list on a blog or personal site or just email it to friends. Day-dreaming has never been such fun!

Gunpowder Plot

Guyfawkes >> The Gunpowder Plot
   Remember, remember the fifth of November
   Gunpowder treason and plot
   We see no reason
   Why gunpowder treason
   Should ever be forgot!

I’ve never seen a film recreating the events of the Gunpowder Plot, but a quick glance at the first sentance on this site – "Assassination, intrigue, persecution, spying, mass murder and finally a plot to blow up Parliament" – shows that this story has the all the makings of a historical Hollywood blockbuster! The site has been created to mark the 400th anniversary of the failed plot to blow up the Houses of Parliament. Using original documents from the period held in the archives of the Houses of Parliament, the site builds an interactive timeline of events leading up to the the plot.
It tells a good story very well, and does so in two versions – the normal adult site, and a special version aimed at 7-14 year olds (using mock-Elizabethan trading cards as illustrations!)

Bonfire Night Links

FireworksThis year I’ve not been able to find one definitive site with a complete list of all the big firework displays taking place around the UK, but one of the better lists can be found at Fireworks magazine’s site. It’s also worth doing a postcode search on the BBC Where I Live site as many BBC local pages are carrying details of organised displays. If you’re planning on hosting your own fireworks event, then safety is paramount, so be sure to check out fireworksafety.co.uk.

The UK Firework Review has comprehensive info for anyone arranging their own display, with impartial reviews of a huge range of foreworks, extensive advice on safety (going beyond the fireworks code) and a space to exchange information with like-minded fireworks enthusiasts.

The BBC H2G2 site has a useful feature on the origins of Bonfire Night and the Gunpowder plot.

Hookery Cookery provides Bonfire Night Recipes including Houses of Parliament Soup, Treason Toffee and Creamy Ember Jackets

Or If you prefer staying home and keeping warm, Cyber Fireworks has a range of virtual displays set at various American landmarks: Just click around the screen to launch different fireworks – very pretty and a lot quieter than the real thing!

BBC Climate Change Experiment

Climatechange >> BBC Climate Change Experiment
This is a nice use of personal computers and the web to help calculate the probable rate of climate change over the next century. Like Oxford University’s Screensaver Lifesaver project, a software download (which doubles as a screensaver) helps harness your computer’s unused processing power to spread the computing research load between millions of computers across the globe. Find out more, and download the software from ClimatePrediction.net

Social Networking for Anglers

>> Perch Engine
Even if there was nothing more to this site than the name it would deserve an honourable mention, but there’s enough here to support their claim that this is “the future of fishing”.
This is truly a MySpace for anglers, offering comprehensive piscine search results, angling news, personal profile pages, fishing blogs, chat and instant messaging, the chance to befriend fellow online fish fans and areas to upload photos and videos of your proudest catches