Online breath testing, Darwin online, Google Earth for charities and new features

Something Worthy
>> Google Earth Outreach
This new initiative aims to give charities and non-profit organisations the tools to showcase their fundraising activities to a mass audience via Google Maps and Google Earth.

Something New
>> The Complete Works of Charles Darwin Online
Until now Darwin’s original handwritten manuscripts were only available to scholars at Cambruidge University – Now his work has been put online from Voyage of the Beagle to the Theory of Evolution. Choose to view the scanned manuscripts or put the mp3 versions on your iPod!

>> Google Earth Updated
“New! in Google Earth 4.3

  • Photo-realistic buildings from cities around the world
  • Dawn to dusk views with the Sunlight feature
  • Swoop navigation from outer space to street-level"

Something funny
>> Test Your Breath
Laugh-out-loud funny: Breath into your computer’s microphone (or type in details of your last meal) to get an assessment of how fresh (or otherwise)your breath is.

Boat Race, British Summertime and Free Online Photo Editing

Something Sporty:
>> The Boat Race
All tributaries lead to the Thames this weekend for the Oxford and Cambridge University Boat Race. The event’s official site is a good ‘un with plenty of video and photos, tips on the best vantage points for spectators and links to reviews of all the pubs along the route.

Something Topical:
>> World Time Engine
Avert post clock-change transatlantic-call catastrophe with this definitive guide to what time it is in any city (or even village) worldwide. Just type in a location to find out whether their clocks have changed yet, or use the meeting planner to work out the best time to make that call.

Something Useful:
>> Photoshop Express
For over a decade Photoshop has been the tool of choice for professional photographers and designers for editing and enhancing digital photos. But at around £600 it’s not a realistic option for cash-strapped amateur photographers. This week Photoshop have launched a completely free online service which provides beginner-friendly online photo editing along with 2Gb of online photo storage for each user.

The Girl’s Guide To Travel

>> Wanderlust: The Girl’s Guide To Travel
>> Vote for your greatest woman traveller
These new features from independent travel magazine Wanderlust have launched to coincide with International Womens Day tomorrow. Find out why Camomile teabags and bicarbonate of soda should be in every woman traveller’s backpack in their downloadable guide. Then cast your vote for the Greatest Globe Trotting Girls of all time.

New BBC Homepage / James Cracknell

>> The new BBC homepage
When you go to bbc.co.uk the general appearance of the homepage hasn’t changed for the last few years. It’s done its job well, but has always been a bit of a compromise because the page had to offer something to everyone in the UK. One of the aims for a new-look homepage was to make the page flexible and allow people to customise both the content and appearance. A test version of the new homepage has been running alongside the old version for a few months, but this week it’s all-change with your personalised homepage replacing the old, static version.

It’s well worth having a play with the new page. Click below for links to a video tour of the new features and a more detailed guide to what has changed.

Highlights include an animated version of the old BBC 2 on-screen clock that appeared during continuity announcements, a choice of many colour schemes and up to 12 different promotional panels for your favourite content (including blogs, iPlayer, weather for your postcode, and much more).
>> Tour the new-look homepage
>> New BBC homepage: Full feature guide

Also today:

>> James Cracknell’s Sport Relief Challenge
Here’s something I had hoped to mention on air but we ran out of time. Last week we talked about the main Sport Relief site. This week I’ve been looking at the site for James Cracknell’s Cross-Continent Challenge in aid of Sport Relief. James is currently on the third day of the challenge, during which he aims to travel to Africa from the UK in less than a week – rowing the channel, cycling down through France and Spain then swimming to North Africa (accompanied by David Walliams.

James has already completed 412 miles out of his target of 1,434 miles. It’s a really impressive site, which uses sophisticated technology to track James’ exact location, and also features regular blog and video updates, a list of the music he’s listening to en route and the chance to sponsor James’s challenge.

Sport Relief, Magazine Covers and Long Things

Something worthy:
>> Sign up for the Sports Relief Mile
The big focus for this year’s fundraising effort is the Sports Relief mile on Sunday March 16th – in which anyone (regardless of fitness level) can participate in one of hundreds of different events at athletic tracks all over the country. Find your nearest track or register online at the official Sport Relief site.
Something fun:
>> Mag My Pic
Upload a photo of your choice and mock up a cover of one of 12 glossy magazines including Vogue, National Geographic, Cosmopolitan, Maxim and Rolling Stone. When you have created your magazine cover you can choose to post it straight to a blog, MySpace or Facebook – or to allow other people to rate it in an online gallery.

Something largely pointless but still oddly compulsive:
>> The longest list of the longest stuff at the longest domain name at long last
This site is a long alphabetical list of fairly random categories. (dog tongue, fjord, poker game, pizza etc etc). Simply click on a category name to learn about the longest thing in that category.

‘The world’s biggest free music service’

>> Last FM
I’ve been a fan of this site for a few years. It’s an interesting mixture of online radio, music recommendations and MySpace-ish social networking, but until now it’s tended to appeal mainly to younger users or music geeks. This week the site has had a major upgrade which is likely to make it much more appealing even to the least geeky of music fans
Site visitors in the UK, US and Germany can now play full-length tracks and entire albums for free on the Last.fm site. They now bill themselves as ‘the world’s biggest free music service’. You can listen to each track up to three times in full. After that, you can still access 30” clips, and find links to buy that track as a download or on CD.
In addition unsigned artists can upload their own music and get payed every time someone listens to their tracks via the site. If you choose to sign up and create a profile page, Last FM will track your listening habits, create an updating list your most listened-to songs and artists and generate lists of recommended tracks and artists based on your current favourites
Also mentioned today:

Yahoo Finds 2007

>> Yahoo Finds 2007
Search engine Yahoo’s selection of the most innovative and interesting sites of 2007 includes several past Website of the Day selections:
>> Move Me
>> Doggy Snaps (and Catster)
>> Do The Green Thing

Virtual tourism / escapism

On a damp and dismal British Friday, thoughts inevitably turn to beaches and other exotic destinations:

>> Fabsearch
This new travel site trawls glossy magazines like Vogue, Tatler, and Vanity Fair for their best travel tips and features and archives them online by source and location. Site visitors can peruse the features for free and "clip" interesting sections in a "my clippings" file.

>> AfterSunrise
This a great escapist stressbuster – Watch videos of the sunrise on Miami Beach. Each short clip features beautiful beach views, soothing sounds and feelgood quotes from Miami’s early risers talking about what they’re looking forward to doing on the day of that sunrise.

>> Friday Game: Mynci Beach Volleyball
Where turquoise cartoon animals take on brown cartoon animals in a battle for oceanside volleyball supremacy .

Free Rice

Freerice >> Freerice
I’ve always been keen on sites which offer innovative ways to support charities; One of my first ever selections on Website of The Day was The Hunger Site, which asks visitors to click a button on the site in order to generate a donation of a cup of food to feed a starving person. Many similar sites have sprung up since the launch of the Huger Site in 1999, but Freerice.com is just 3 months old and has already had more impact than most click-to-donate sites.
Rather than just a click-to-donate model, Freerice offers a simple game to improve your vocabulary. For each multiple choice question you get right, site sponsors donate 20 grains of rice to the UN World Food Program. In 3 months the site has already generated 13,388,082,990 grains of rice. The game automatically adjusts to your own vocabulary knowledge making it addictive as well as highly worthwhile.

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