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).

Flickrvision

Flickrvision >> Flickrvision
We’ve talked about hugely popular photo-sharing site Flickr before on the programme. Flickrvision takes advantage of Flickr’s mapping features to display the site’s most recently uploaded photos on a zoomable world map or 3D spinning globe.
If you want to search for a photo of a specific thing in an equally specific location, it’s worth watching this simple video tutorial to work out how to track down pictures of Brie in Brussels
See also:
>> Miles’ original review of Flickr

Trash the Dress

Trashjthedress >> Trash the Dress
Last week’s slot devoted to online photo makeovers prompted this email from Mike Bryant:
Miles, You mentioned websites which make your photos look better and Janey asked for something that worked in real life. This doesn’t work for long but hopefully you think some of the real-life photos on Trash the Dress are better than your average wedding day photo.
Trash The Dress is a photoblog devoted to stunning photos of brides and grooms romping around in sea, sand, jungle and industrial estates! The site suggests that after the big day, rather than keeping a wedding dress languishing pristine in a cupboard, brides should consider trashing their dress:
“Get it dirty. Get it wet. Roll around in the mud. Drench it in the ocean. Show your husband how committed you are by trashing the dress, and get some great fun pictures while you do it!”
In practice, not many brides will get the opportunity to take their wedding dress for a dip in the rainforest or the pacific, but the photos on show here are as life-affirming as they are aspirational. Well worth a look. (Also mentioned today: my favourite life-affirming photography site: Balloon Hat.com)

PS – Shameless plug alert: You won’t find this linked on the Radio 2 site, but if you need a fine wedding photographer, take a look at my friend Neil’s site. If you like the kind of vibrant wedding pics showcased on Trash The Dress, you’d be hard pushed to find a better exponent in the UK:

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!

Online Photo Makeovers

>> LookWow
For high-end picture desk Editors and professional photographers, there’s Photoshop. For home digital photo enthusiasts there is a massive range of cheap or free photo management or editing software (my favourite photo software is Google’s Picassa because it’s so easy to use – More about Picassa here).
But if you want to do a quick makeover on a digital photo when you’re away from your usual computer then an online photo enhancer like LookWow is just the ticket. It’s quick and easy to use and allows you to apply a range of effects to improve your photo including Sun-tan, Enhance Lips, Candle-light, and Brighten Smile. For those of us beyond help, all we need is a digital Paper-Bag-Over-Head effect.

The Best Stuff In The World

Cheeseontoast >> The Best Stuff In The World
This time yesterday I’d never set eyes on this site; Today it’s my new online addiction! At the top of the homepage is a box labelled “What do you think is the Best Stuff in the world?”
You’ll need to register to start adding ‘best things’. (Which is worth doing as you then get to save and share a page showcasing all your favourite stuff – Mine is here)
Type one of your favourite things into the box and then (optionally) add a photo and category for your newly chosen best thing. If it’s already somebody else’s best thing, you’ll be able to see who else rates it and what other things that person approves of. Make sure you don’t have anything important to do before playing on this site – you’ll be hooked in no time!

Wikihow

Wikihow >> WikiHow
First things first … a wiki is defined here as "a web site that anyone can write and anyone can edit". You’ll doubtless already be aware of Wikipedia – which now has over 7 million articles and ranks among the top twenty most-visited websites worldwide.
If Wikipedia is a living, breathing encyclopedia with as much detail on popular culture as it has on science, history and philosophy, then WikiHow is like an instruction book for everyday life.
WikiHow’s 18 thousand (and counting) ‘How To’ guides aim to explain and demystify the kind of bizarre but routine challenges or chores we face every day – from tiling a shower to wiggling your ears via playing guitar like Eddie Van Halen. Keep an eye on this one – it’s well on the way to becoming indispensible.

Ballroom Dancers

Ballroom >> Ballroom Dancers
Here’s one for everyone who’s feeling a hole in their life while Strictly Come Dancing is off the air. This site offers extensive information about the world of ballroom dancing, with a focus on video tutorials to help you get the hang of complex moves ranging from waltz to paso doble via lindy, salsa and mambo. You’ll find diagrams of foot positions, advice on posture, a dance dictionary and lots of music for you and your partner use for practice.

Tate Modern & how to create your own Modern Art online

>> Tate Modern: Gilbert and George
>> Explore Tate Modern
>> The Warholizer: Turn your photo into a Pop Art masterpiece
>> Jackson Pollock.org
We don’t do a lot of art on Website of the Day, but Gilbert and George’s appearance on today’s show inspired me to take a look at the Tate Modern site. Explore Tate Modern is an excellent virtual tour of the gallery, which uses a mixture of animated 3D floorplans and an interactive timeline to bring the exhibits to life.
The Warholizer lets you upload a photo and give it the Andy Warhol treatment – automatically creating a Celebrity Squares-style montage of 9 pastel-shaded high-contrast paintings.
At first glance, Jackson Pollock.org appears to be a completely blank site, but start to move your mouse across the screen and it will leave a series of Pollock-style splodges and squiggles in it’s wake, creating your own online work of art.

Geograph

Geograph >> Geograph
Today is the second birthday of this interesting and rather addictive site, which aims to assemble a photographic archive of the whole of the UK, comprising photos submitted entirely by site visitors.
The nation is broken down into square kilometre grids and the first photo submitted to represent each grid is known as a geograph. More than 50% of the grids are already represented and the site now boasts over 350,000 images of local landmarks submitted by 3750 photographers.
Geograph was (deservedly) voted Best Travel Site in Yahoo’s “Finds Of The Year 2006” awards.