Young Bond Game / Google Chrome

>> Young Bond: The Shadow War

Free alternative reality online game based on Charlie Higson’s novels about James Bond’s school days at Eton College

>> Google Chrome

New from Google – a web broswer introduced as a possible alternative to Internet Explorer or Firefox and designed for maximum speed and simplicity when using video sites, web mail, or online office suites.
(Currently Windows only, but versions for Mac and Linux to follow.)

Cracking Ideas

Crackingideas >> Cracking Ideas
Wallace and Gromit front this excellent new educational site which aims to get primary school children enthused about inventing. There are school lesson plans, a UK-wide competition for kids to submit their best inventions, and a good series of interactive top 10 lists including Cracking Ideas, Idea Crackers, Crackpot ideas and Current Innovations
See also:
>> BBC News: Inventors in the frame
>> Wallace & Gromit Foundation: Wrong Trousers Day


Lazytown >> Lazytown: Official Site
>> Cbeebies: Sportacus’ Workout Game
>> Lazytown on Wikipedia
As well as my regular Website of the Day responsibilities, I also consider myself to be Steve Wright in the Afternoon’s pre-school telly correspondent.
One of the jewels in the crown of Cbeebies’ current schedule is the Icelandic import Lazytown – a high-octane mixture of live action, Max Headroom-style prosthetics, CGI and puppetry. The show’s lead character is Sportacus, a self-described "slightly-above-average hero" who is charged with persuading the kids of Lazytown to forgo junk food and video games in favour of fruit and exercise.
Find out more about the series on Wikipedia, or get a flavour of the show’s exhausting but highly infectious approach to healthy living by trying Sportacus’ Online Workout on the Cbeebies site.

Norad Tracks Santa 2006

Norad2005 >> Norad Tracks Santa 2006
So I’ve been let out early for good behaviour, hence today is my last day of term.

Long-standing listeners will know that my absolute favourite site of all time is the Norad Santa Tracker – It always has pride of place as the last Website of the Day before Christmas. You may also have heard NORAD talking to Chris Evans last week, but if this is new to you, do make a point of bookmarking the site now and returning before you go to bed on Christmas Eve.

The NORAD Santa Tracker uses satellite technology to track the infrared signature of Rudolph’s red nose and follow Father Christmas’ progress around the globe from the first moment the sleigh takes to the skies above the North Pole.

Throughout Christmas Eve, the sleigh’s position is illustrated on the site’s special interactive map. As soon as NORAD’s SantaCams capture images of Santa and the Reindeer, the photos or video are immediately sent to the site and the interactive map is updated with a flashing line illustrating the route already taken.

In previous years it has been possible to see the sleigh flying over Sydney Opera House, the Taj Mahal, the Pyramids and (if you stay up really late) Big Ben.


Website of the Day will return with Steve on January 8th 2007. Until then, why not take a look at some of the other Christmassy sites featured on the show since 2004:

Have a fabulous Christmas – May Santa bring you everything you wish for – Perhaps even a Website of the Day Book!

Those Scurvy Rascals

Scurvyrascals >> Those Scurvy Rascals
Usually we have to restrict any mention of buccaneers and plank-walking on Website of the Day to International Talk Like A Pirate Day. However 2006 is turning out to be a bumper year for pirate fans, with the release of Pirates of the Carribean: Dead Man’s Chest and now the arrival of pants-obsessed pirares Shark Bait, Sissy Le Poop and Smelly Pete.
This animated series is yet to reach TV but has made an impressive debut online and as a free video download for Sony PSP users. Site highligts include a virtual Pants Gallery in which you can create your own customised online pirate y-fronts, and Rescue Rename – a pirate name generator (Just call me Sword Slayer Miles the Boil.)

Gunpowder Plot

Guyfawkes >> The Gunpowder Plot
   Remember, remember the fifth of November
   Gunpowder treason and plot
   We see no reason
   Why gunpowder treason
   Should ever be forgot!

I’ve never seen a film recreating the events of the Gunpowder Plot, but a quick glance at the first sentance on this site – "Assassination, intrigue, persecution, spying, mass murder and finally a plot to blow up Parliament" – shows that this story has the all the makings of a historical Hollywood blockbuster! The site has been created to mark the 400th anniversary of the failed plot to blow up the Houses of Parliament. Using original documents from the period held in the archives of the Houses of Parliament, the site builds an interactive timeline of events leading up to the the plot.
It tells a good story very well, and does so in two versions – the normal adult site, and a special version aimed at 7-14 year olds (using mock-Elizabethan trading cards as illustrations!)

Pie World

Pieworld >> Pie World
As far as I know this is the first time I’ve ever featured a site designed and built by a twelve year old. Congratulations to Pie World webmaster Thomas Hasler on a stylish (if slightly surreal) site dedicated to his highly developed appreciation of the most noble of all pastry-derived foods.
The site includes a picture gallery of notable pies, pie factoids (“The average American eats six slices of pie every year”), a pie ball game – in which you score a point for every time your bat successfully repels an attack from a bouncing pie and a peculiar news report about the Czechoslovakian University of Pie’s recently published Theory of Pievolution.

Peppa Pig

Peppapig >> Peppa Pig
Yesterday at Website of the Day towers we were celebrating Ruby’s fourth birthday, so I promised that today’s site would be one of her favourites.
Peppa Pig currently airs on Channel Five and Nick Jr in the UK – it’s a hugely appealing (award-winning) cartoon series starring 5-year-old Peppa and her porcine friends and family (Mummy Pig, Daddy Pig, baby brother George and his favourite toy Mr Dinosaur).
The Pig family wear clothes, drive cars, go to school or work, watch telly and play on the computer, but they also retain a few piggy characteristics including snorting and (most-of-all) jumping in muddy puddles.
The music, bright colours and simple animation style make it very popular with under-fives, but it’s also got a nice tongue-in-cheek sense of humour which makes it a favourite with the kind of parents whose tolerance for most pre-school television is pretty limited.
The site is fully animated and has video clips from the show, character profiles, a gallery for toddlers to send in their own Peppa drawings to win a prize, and a range of games which are well-targeted at pre-schoolers. Ruby and I have spent many happy hours here!

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.


Kneebouncers >> Kneebouncers
Here’s a first for Website of the Day – A site aimed specifically at twos-and-unders. Every parent knows that babies love to hammer on a computer keyboard, so this site has been designed to make sure that a variety of colourful and noisy stuff happens whenever your small person hits the keyboard.
As parent your job is to get your baby in position, turn up the speakers, load up the site and select a feature – from Peek-a-Boo to All Aboard via Jump and Float. Then your baby takes control and the site bombards you with primary colours, cute characters and engaging whizzes, whistles and other noises!