Real Buzz

Readlbuzz >> Real Buzz
I mentioned this as my first "new year, new you" type pick of 2007 – but it’s well worth revisiting as they’ve added so many new features in the last year.
The site bills itself as the UK’s biggest fitness and motivation site, with hundreds of pages aimed at ‘people want to take up a new challenge but don’t know where or how to start’. As before it should appeal equally to committed fit-freaks and textbook couch potatoes. New features this year include Map Your Passion (plot your runs and fitness regimes on a customisable Google Map) and Pitch Your Passion (Upload YouTube style videos of you evangelising about your favourite forms of exercise). Meanwhile for those (myself included) who find reaching for the remote control to be energetic work, the Virtual Workout invites you to choose an activity (from treadmill to rowing via aerobics or squash) and enter your weight to see how many calories you’d burn off if you were to try that particular form of exercise for half an hour.

Also mentioned today:
>> Radio 2 Music Club presents: exclusive Jack Johnson live video

Cold or Flu? (and Happy Days)

Fonz >> CNN: Cold & Flu Report
>> NHS Best Treatments: Flu
>> Wikipedia: Happy Days
>> Happy Days episode guide
On Sunday the Mendoza family are going to see Happy Days legend Henry Winkler in pantomime. In preparation, last night we watched an episode of Happy Days in which the Fonz had the flu, and was hallucinating that evil-doers were attempting to surgically remove his cool.
And all of that is why today’s sites encompass both Happy Days episode guides and how to tell whether you have a cold or flu, and how to prevent or treat either condition.
All together now – ‘He’s Behiiiiiiiiind You!!!!”

NHS Direct

Nhsdirect >> NHS Direct
One of the very first sites I featured on Website of the Day was this companion site to the NHS’ 24-hour telephone helpline.
In recent years NHS Direct has faced competition from some newer health portals, but a recent facelift and redesign have helped cement its position as one of the most comprehensive and easiest-to-use of all health sites.
There’s a searchable directory of local health services (including GPs, dentists and opticians) and a health encyclopaedia which explains even the most complex conditions in plain English.
The cornerstone of the site remains a self-help guide that uses a clickable interactive body map and a serried of flow charts to help you work out whether you should put your feet up, or dial 999.

The Inside Story of the Human Body

Humanbody >> The Inside Story of the Human Body
Aimed at 12-16 year olds (but with enough interactivity to engage a much broader age range and audience), this new site from the Institute of Physics and Medical Research Council uses animated multimedia tutorials and games to illustrate diverse aspects of human physics (Ranging from what happens to your brain when your football team scores to how to treat a tumour).
The site casts you as a medical specialist with state-of-the-art tools at your fingertips. You get to perform virtual MRI scans, or even practice targeting radiotherapy beams to destroy a lung tumour.

Vote for the worst sound in the world

Badvibes >> Bad Vibes
This popular science project from Salford University aims to examine people’s responses to various unpleasant sounds. The site will play you a selection of sounds from crying babies, distant low-pitched hums, domestic arguments, fingernails on black-boards and polystyrene cups being rubbed together. For each sound you’re asked to vote on whether it is merely unpleasant or truly horrible. You can also torture friends and colleagues by downloading several of the horrible sounds as ringtones for your mobile!


Skinema_1 >> Skinema
Although I doubt there’s much competition in this area, this is undoubtedly the web’s leading site devoted to dermatology in the cinema! Site creator Dr Vail Reese is a dermatologist by day and an avid film buff by night. The site explores the way Hollywood often uses skin complaints as a shorthand to show that a character is evil. You’ll also find a few examples of realistic cinematic depictions of skin conditions and a guide to the real-life dermatological blemishes of Tinseltown’s finest in sections like Stars with Scars, Brad Pitt’s Zits and Musicians with Conditions.

A Poem For Space

Spacepoetry >> Poetry Society: A Poem For Space vote
Eagle-eared listeners will recall that we recently told you how to get your name added to a roll of honour that will be taking off from NASA next year bound for Pluto. In a similar vein, this online vote from the Poetry Society invites you to enjoy 10 poems which share a loose theme of space or intergalactic exploration, then vote for your favourite. The winning poem will go on display at the National Space Centre in Leicester with the possibility of it ultimately being launched into space.

Send your name to Pluto

Pluto_mission >> Send your name to Pluto
Next year NASA is launching it’s first ever mission to Pluto – the ninth planet, and you can be on board (in name at least). Between now and September 15th, any web user can add their name to a CD-ROM which will be on board the space-craft, and print out a personalised certificate proving their involvement in the mission. This is the third time that NASA has opened its virtual doors and allowed the likes of us to send our names into space. Similar missions to Mars and the comet Tempel 1 have been hugely popular attracting over 3.5 million registrations.

Daily Diet Tracker

Website of the Day: Monday 10th January 2005

Diet>> Daily Diet Tracker
I’m sure I’m not the only one to have bloated up during the festive season, so this is a particularly useful bookmark when it comes to shedding the surplus pounds and inches. A bit like having a personal online nutritionist, Daily Diet Tracker is a massive database of the calorific content and nutritional value of loads of different foods.  You create a free account and enter details of your diet, lifestyle, exercise and dietary objectives: The site uses the details you provide to monitor your diet and exercise, and recommend improvements to your lifestyle.

BBC Fat Nation: The Big Challenge

Website of the Day: Thursday 23rd September

Fatnation>> BBC Fat Nation: The Big Challenge
Even if I didn’t work for the BBC, I’d think this is the kind of big interactive project that we do really well! If you’ve not gathered, The Big Challenge has been devised as an ongoing campaign to tackle obesity and motivate people to change their diet and exercise routine via a series of simple challenges. The website is a really fundamental part of the project. As well as a huge reference source for background info about healthy eating and exercise, it also acts as a kind of online personal trainer and nutritionist. You can track your weight and diet as you work through the show’s challenges, and sign up for SMS and email updates from the Birmingham locals who star in the TV series.