The World Beard and Moustache Championships

>> The World Beard and Moustache Championships
>> The Handlebar Moustache Club
Tomorrow the UK hosts the World’s premiere competitive facial hair event for the first time in history. Find out more about the event and its organisers – The Handlebar Club of London (founded by legendary comedian Jimmy Edwards in 1947).

The Outdoor Swimming Society

>> The Outdoor Swimming Society
"We believe it’s time to get back to the joy of swimming under an open sky. Water needs no roof!
Our manifesto:
  • We believe swimmers have too long been held in chlorined captivity! Everyone with a set of bathers should be set free to immerse themselves in nature
  • We support all those keeping lidos open and lakes and rivers clean We promise to enlarge and celebrate the beauty of every day we can by going for a nice outdoor swim
  • We pledge to take our friends with us so they can join We embrace the rejuvenating effects of cold water and undertake to strip and dip wherever we can "
If you fancy yourself in a fetching striped Victorian bathing outfit, you can pledge your support for outdoor swimming, find the best lidos and rivers for practice, or even submit a late registration for this Saturday’s Breaststrokes swim in Lake Windermere (in aid of breast cancer research).

Can changing your search engine save energy?

>> Blackle: Energy saving Search
>> Google Blog: Is Black the New Green
>> explained by Wikipedia
>> Blackle: Energy Saving Tips
Earlier this year, a post on envrionmental blog called EcoIron pointed out that CRT computer monitors require more power to display a white (or light) screen than a black (or dark) screen. EcoIron went on to suggest that a black version of Google could “potentially save a fair bit of energy due to the popularity of the search engine”.
The creators of Blackle used Google’s own search results to create a customised black search engine which aims “to remind us all of the need to take small steps in our everyday lives to save energy."
There has been some criticism of the site’s premise (Read more on Wikipedia), but it remains a well-intentioned and thought-provoking exercise – which deserves praise for putting enviromentally-aware web browsing on the news agenda.

Friday Quick Links

>> DIY Fix-it
Extensive illustrated guides to loads of different DIY projects. For those intimidated by technical terms like wallpaper or plumbing, the beginner’s approach allows you to select which part of the house you want to do something to, and get a list of projects that you could do in that room.

>> Barbecue Bible
Recipes, "BBQ History" and the BBQ 10 Commandments (“Know when to baste, guage yor fuel, keep it lubricated and never desert your post”!)

Newsbreaker >> Newsbreaker
This variation on the classic arcade game Breakout rewards you for clearing lines of bricks by linking you to headlines for breaking news stories

>> YouTube clip of the week: Newbreaker Game
At the premiere of Spiderman 3 in LA, the cinema audience took part in a demo of a big-screen version of the afore-mentioned Newsbreaker game. The gameplay here was controlled by a motion sensor tracking the movements of the entire audience

>> BBC Music: Reading & Leeds Weekender
The Beeb’s summer music festival coverage concludes with extensive video highlights (both online and on the digital TV red button service) from the main stages at Reading and Leeds. Headliners include Razorlight, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Smashing Pumpkins, Kings Of Leon, Arcade Fire and Bloc Party

Also mentioned: Travel links for Notting Hill Carnival:
>> Transport for London Journey Planner
>> BBC London Travel News

The Pete Collective

>> The Pete Collective
The current world record for the largest public gathering of people who share the same name is held by over 1,500 "Mohammeds" who assembled in a park in Dubai in February 2005
The Pete Collective hopes to smash this record by recruiting at least 2,000 Peters, Petes or Petas or Pedros. This is the official website and fan club of anybody who shares that name, featuring news, photos, merchandise, event information, record updates and more.

Keep Moving

>> Keep Moving
Excellent though Radio 2’s travel news is, sometimes you just can’t wait half an hour until the next update. In which case Keep Moving could be just the thing. There’s a mobile service which is fine if you’re happy to pay 60p a minute for your call, but for me it’s the free online service which does the job.
Pick any A road or motorway to get a junction-by-juntcion list of any hold-ups, accidents or roadworks, often accompanied by audioclips with more information. And if you have a daily commute by road, you can sign up for free text and email alerts which will turn up before you leave the house or office, with details of any delays on your usual route.

Tourist Information Maps

>> Tourist Information Maps
You may recall a longstanding Website of the Day favourite called OnOneMap which uses Google Maps’ popular zoomy-inny technology to display all the houses for sale in a particular area on a handy interactive map. This site does much the same thing for UK tourist attractions, hotels and cottages. Effectively it’s a tourism search engine, with the results appearing on a easy-to-use map rather than just in a text-based list. You can click on the map to search by area, or look for specific types of attraction. For hotels you can even search by date in order to find hotels in a particular area who have availability for the date you want

Create your Simpsons Avatar

Simpsmiles >> Create your Simpsons Avatar
If you look at sites like Facebook or MySpace regularly you may have noticed a flurry of unfamiliar Simpsons cartoons replacing your friends’ photos in recent weeks.
This is all down to this excellent feature on the official site for The Simpsons Movie, which lets you create a customised Simpsons character in your own image, add it to any web page or blog or email to a friend.

Exam Results Links

Student_trafficcone >> Student Essentials on Radio 2
>> Student UK
>> Woody’s Web Watch
>> Jeremy Vine Show: ‘I failed my A levels and this is what happened
With 450 thousand families across England, Wales and Northern Ireland in nervous anticipation of tomorrow’s exam results, here are a bunch of links to help you or your children plan next steps.
There’s plenty of invaluable advice on Radio 2’s Student Essentials site and on the helpline on 0808 100 8000. You’ll find sections on the clearing system, student finance, and alternative qualifications, and experts are on hand to answer your questions on the message boards.
Student UK offers useful Dummies Guides to Clearing or Not Going To University, plus a bunch of 360 degree virtual tours of universities and lists compiled by students of the top 10 features at many of the UK’s colleges and univesities.
Finally, Woody’s Web Watch is a massive careers and further education portal site compiled by a careers advisor at a school in Coventry who happens to be a massive R2 fan. You’ll find links and advice on University, Gap Years, writing CVs and Interview Technique and much more.

Pirate Radio London

>> Radio London
40 years ago this week, the Marine Offences Bill became law – bringing to an end the reign over the UK’s airwaves of the offshore pirate stations.
This is one of the most comprehensive fan sites dedicated to the pirate ships – with a particular emphasis on Radio London whose star roster of DJs included Tony Blackburn, Dave Cash, Pete Drummond, Kenny Everett, John Peel, Keith Skues, Ed "Stewpot" Stewart and Tommy Vance.
A true labour of love, the site features over 1000 pages of enthusiastic and expert content. Highlights include a complete set of Radio London Fab Forty charts from 1965 – 67 featuring information and photographs which form a mini-history of the times and music.
Also recommended:
>> Listen again to Johnnie Walker’s special programme devoted to the last days of offshore pirate radio
>> Radio 2 60’s Season
>> The Pirate Radio Hall Of Fame