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.

Friday Quick Links

>> National Flea week
Improve your flea awareness with extensive flea factoids, or sign up for free email or SMS reminders to de-flea your pets

>> Change Your World
Pledge to make one less car journey next week … If all UK drivers do the same car traffic will be reduced by 10%. The aim is to show that even small changes in behaviour can make a big difference

>> Shrek the Third: Shrek Sudoko
Why play with numbers when you can play with ogres, donkeys and pusses-in-bootses?

>> YouTube Clip of the Week: Fainting Goats
According to Wikipedia, a fainting goat is a breed of domestic goat whose external muscles freeze for roughly 10 seconds when the goat is startled. See them in action here.

BBC New Music / The Silver Surfer

>> BBC Introducing
This new BBC site is the Beeb’s ‘biggest-ever initiative for unsigned British artists’ pulling together Listen Again links and podcasts for new music shows across all BBC radio – whether national or local. There’s also advice for unsigned bands about how to submit your music to BBC shows
Nice to see the official site for a big blockbuster film do something a bit different: If you have a webcam you can film yourself and the Flame On site will turn you into a virtual Human Torch. Who Is The Silver Surfer is a wiki, meaning anyone can add to or edit the text to create a definitive guide to Marvel’s super heroes whether in comics or on film.

Friday Quick Links

>> Ultimate Dallas
The official site for the definitive glossy soap. Includes preview clips from Justin Lee Collins’ Bring Back Dallas show.

>> Visual Complexity

“A visual exploration on mapping complex networks” – This comes across like a cross between an arts installation and a post-grad dissertation. I can’t pretend to understand it, but it looks pretty, and helps me feel marginally more intelligent just for looking at it!

>> DIY Fixit
Because it’s compulsory for all British citizens to either barbecue or put up shelves on a bank holiday weekend

>> Pirates of the Carribbean: Official
>> The Pirate’s Realm: Online Pirate games
Ahoy me hearties!

Spiderman, Gumball & Pinball

>> Take part in the Spiderman 3 web photo mosaic
Spiderman 3 opens a week today. In the run-up to the film’s launch you’re invited to upload a photo to webshots.com for inclusion in a web-based photo-mosaic that will appear on the film’s official site.

>> Gumball 3000
This event (which starts in London on Sunday) is a 3000 mile drive across 3 continents featuring what organisers describe as “the who’s who of international society and pop culture” – In practice that seems to mean a few supermodels, Jay Kay and Huey from Fun Lovin Criminals. Video clips of the participants will be posted regularly on a dedicated Gumball channel of video sharing site Metacafe

>> Starsky and Hutch Pinball
>> Superdudes Extreme Pinball
Just like real pinball, but free – and online. Remember – flip, but don’t tilt!!

Summer Blockbusters

We’re into the big summer movie season now, so here’s a collection of links to tide you over:

Pirates_1 Pirates of the Carribbean – Dead Man’s Chest

>> Official Site
>> Download this week’s Steve Wright podcast to hear Tim’s interview with Kiera Knightly
>> Listen again to Thursday’s show featuring Steve’s interview with Bill Nighy
(available for 7 days only from approx 1705 on 06/07/06)

Supes Superman Returns
>> Official Site
>> Blue Tights Network
Definitive fan-site featuring video diaries from director Bryan Singer
>> Save Metropolis Game
Playing as the man of steel you have to catch the debris tumbling from the Daily Planet building, and protect passing pedestrians.

Cars
Ratty >> Official Site

Finally take a look at the trailer for a 2007 family blockbuster from the director of The Incredibles:
>> Ratatouoille: View the Trailer

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 …

The Lost World of Friese-Greene

>> Watch full episodes of The Lost World of Friese-Greene
>> The Open Road: Interactive Video Archive
Last night I finally got around to watching the first episode of BBC Two’ fascinating new social history programme The Lost World of Friese-Greene in which Dan Cruickshank travels from Lands End to John O’ Groats retracing the steps of pioneering 1920s filmmaker Claude Friese-Greene.
If you enjoyed Who Do You Think You Are you should like this too. The companion site is a fantastic multimedia resource, which makes the whole of Friese-Green’s film archive available via an interactive video player similar to the Planet Earth Explorer created for BBC One’s Planet Earth series.

30 Second Bunny Theatre

>> 30 Second Bunny Theatre
I was rummaging around for a site with a loose Easter theme, when Mrs Website of the Day mentioned bunnies. So here we go, with the web’s quintessential collection of iconic films, re-enacted entirely by cartoon bunnies in 30 seconds or less.
From Jaws to Star Wars, Brokeback Mountain to Reservoir Dogs each film gains a new lease of life with the benefit of floppy ears and a carrot obsession.
One word of warning: Some of the animations have the same certificate as the films which inspired them, so keep junior surfers away from the un-bleeped Reservoir Dogs

Ice Age 2 Games

Iceage2 >> ScratJump
>> Bling My Sid
>> Ice Age: The Meltdown (official)
>> Ice Age – The original film (official)
>> BBC Films review Ice Age 2
So straight after yesterday’s show, I hopped on a train to meet Mrs Website of the Day and Henry (10) & George (5) at a South London multiplex, where we spent a highly enjoyable 90 minutes in the company of a computer animated sloth, squirrel, sabre-toothed tiger plus bunch of mammoths and possums. Ice Age 2 isn’t high art, but it looks fabulous, has some very funny set pieces and (most importantly) our boys loved it.
As with the first film, highlights of the (painfully slow-to-load) official site are the games: There’s a pre-historic snowboarding reflex test in the shape of ScratJump and the highly entertaining Bling My Sid in which Sid the Sloth can be superimposed on a cityscape and dressed up in styles ranging from lounge-lizard to chav. The results can be saved and sent to friends – who are invited to rate your creations on a Bling scale of 1 to 10.