Email and web skills for complete beginners

>> BBC Computer Tutor: Email and web skills for complete beginners
About 18 months ago we introduced you to Computer Tutor. This excellent series of friendly video tutorials is designed to help those with no computing experience get comfortable using a mouse and keyboard, and finding their way around a computer screen. It’s a really good way to help technophobes get over any nerves about using a computer.
Now the original version is joined by another series of animated games which aim to help users get the hang of email, web browsing, making CDs and pulling photos off digital cameras. Recommended.

The Man in Seat 61

Seat61 >> The Man in Seat 61
I don’t often come accross a site brimming with passion and expertise in equal measure, but this hugely comprehensive personal guide to travelling the world by rail and sea is an unexpected pleasure. What could have been a dull read appealing only to text-book trainspotters is actually the web’s best resource for personal information on overseas rail travel.
The Man in Seat 61 is Mark Smith – a self-proclaimed career railwayman who has travelled most of the world’s great rail journeys, and successfully evokes the golden era of foreign travel, where the ultimate thrill was being invited to dine on the Captain’s table, and it wasn’t a proper holiday if you didn’t bump into Hercule Poirot or Miss Marple at some point during the journey!

Ugly animals, Life on Mars video clip, Trumpton Quiz & 24 game

Uglyoverload >> Ugly Overload
Last month we drew your attention to Cutecore – a site devoted to photos of various adorable fluffy, furry and downy animals.
Ugly Overload is the yin to Cutecore’s yang – it’s the web’s premier collection of photos of creatures more likely to make you go ‘eurgh’ than ‘aaah’.

>> Media Guardian: Kids Classic Spoofed for Life On Mars
>> Watch the Life on Mars/Chigley spoof clip (Windows Media format)
>> Life on Mars: Official site
BBC One’s terrific time-travel cop show returns for a second (and final) series this spring. Fans of the show will love this clip which turns John Simm’s character DI Sam Tyler into a Chigley/Camberwick Green-style puppet

Chigley >> Trumptonshire Quiz
Most people who grew up on Camberwick Green, Trumpton and Chigley will recall Windy Miller, Mrs Honeyman and firemen Pugh, Pugh, Barney McGrew, Cuthbert, Dibble & Grubb – But can you name Mrs Dingle’s dog, Chippy Minton’s wife, or the very first character ever to appear on Camberwick Green?

>> 24: CTU Agent.com
Sky have created a terrific site to promote the new series of Kiefer Sutherland’s real-time anti-terrorist thriller 24. Enter your mobile number, email address and the access code 99K36F. You will then receive emails and texts from Sutherland’s character Jack Bauer and other characters from the show, who apparently need your help to apprehend their terrorist nemeses!

Skiing on a Shoestring

Skiing >> Skiing on a Shoestring
I’ve never been skiing, partially because I lack the basic co-ordination required to avoid breaking a number of limbs and partially because I’ve always assumed that you needed the income of an investment banker before even contemplating a skiing holiday.
This useful (and well written) site shows that it is possible to go skiing or snow-boarding on a tight-ish budget. It’s packed with useful independent information for both novices and experienced ‘powder freaks’ to help you choose the right resort and find cheap clothing and equipment.

Website of the Day Book: Page by page links

If you’ve bought (or been given) my Website of the Day book you may have noticed a plug for www.websiteofthedaybook.com which is intended as a kind of online index for the book providing quick easily-clickable links to all of the sites featured in the book.

This online index was put together by the smashing people at the Friday Project (my publishers). Anyway the reason for this post is to apologise for the unavailability of the online index for a few weeks while the Friday Project site is temporarily offline.

The index will be back soon along with a new redesigned Friday Books site for 2007. I’ll update links from this page as soon as the new-look site launches. In the meantime, try using the search box on the right of this page – Around half of the sites in the book feature somewhere on this site!

And if you want to know more about the book, have a look here!

Tedfest 07

Tedfest >> Friends of Ted: Tedfest 07
>> Inis Oirr: Official tourist site
>> Wikipedia: Aran Islands
You may have read about the row that’s broken out between rival Aran Islands off the coast of Galway about who is best qualified to host a celebration of the ecumenical sit-com Father Ted. TedFest is taking place next month on Inis Mor, but residents of Inis Oirr say that their island featured in the programme’s credits and Inis Mor is just cashing in. Either way, the organisers of TedFest 07 are clearly massive fans of Father Ted and the itinerary for the event is highly entertaining with highlights including Ludo Aerobics, Hide a Nun and Seek and the Priest and Nun’s Five-a-Side Football Tournament.

Five Live: Back to Square One

>> Five Live: Back to Square One
This Sunday, singer and Manchester United fan David Gray fulfils a long-held ambition to try his hand as a Five Live football commentator. To celebrate 80 years of football commentary, Five Live Sports Extra’s coverage of Sunday’s match will emulate the commentary style of the 1920s and 1930’s, describing the ball’s position according to a numbered grid.

Operation Slaps

Slaps >> Operation Slaps
By popular demand here’s a reminder of one of my favourite tongue-in-cheek online games of recent years.
Operation Slaps is an online version of the popular playground game Slapsies. As with the real life version, this is a test of nerve in which strategy is the key to slap without being slapped. If you flinch from a fake attack, your opponent gets a free slap.
Choose a character (from an SAS guerrilla to a US Marine) then play against the computer or a friend. The winner is the last person to reach his or her virtual pain threshold.

100 Jobs

Hats off to Oliver Davies of Middleborough, who spent 5 months “getting turned down for a whole range of jobs that I’m perfectly qualified for, so I decided to apply for 100 jobs that I’m clearly not suited for and see what happens”. Oliver’s blog chronicles the success (or otherwise) of his applications for roles including:
• Male Escort
• Head of Programme Acquisition at Chanenl 4
• Chief Executive of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts
• Artistic Director for the International Dance Festival Ireland.
• Guitarist in Thrash Metal band Bleed The Sky.
• Part-time Antelope Keeper with the Oregon Wildlife Foundation

Vet Help Direct

>> Vet Help Direct
Interactive flow-charts to help you establish if (and when) your pet cat, dog or rabbit may need to see a vet.