Monday, February 23, 2009

CEN January 2009

Here is the archived copy of last month's Church of England Newspaper Web-watching column:

I found the registration of the birth of my aunt in the handwriting of a grandfather I never met. It was moving. Do have a look at the 1911 census now it is online. Other family tree linking services are hubbed at Findmypast.

School chaplains Mark Smith and David Owen blog a daily, Christian reflection at Lenterm. It has lectionary links and, although they don't like labels, is written from a liberal catholic perspective. Their main site – Daily Reflections – has poetry, prayers and a discussion forum.

If you want to convince people of the truth and beauty of the Gospel you really need to know what its opponents are saying or writing. Before embarking on, for instance, an Alpha talk, I like to browse a few of the latest comments from some of the more militant atheists. Apathy Sketchpad currently serves my purpose, although I'll probably be moving on now all you lot will be quoting from it. Latest two rants are about faith schools and MP's expenses. Thus Magazine also does a bit of snook cocking, not only at theism; most isms in the world takes a hit.

Topendsports is a wonderful sports science site. Amongst many goodies it has a reaction-time project. There is a simple online test and then you can chart your results against a large sample. Won't help me with my deadlines but useful for all sorts of skills as varied as braking time in a car and starting a sprint at the gun.

Tinyurl is a nice service. Often the URL (Uniform Resource Locator or web-address to you and me) of a piece of information can become very long and complicated. When you cut and paste it there is a danger of it splitting and becoming useless. Especially if you put it in an email. Tinyurl will take your long URL and make it into a shorter one that won't break. It's a free service. Many old video links are found through Tinyurl links such as The Beatles 1969 Rooftop Concert. You will see that the URL is half the length of the original YouTube URL.

If you inhabit the world of things-to-do lists and feel nervous if you don't have your list with you, try Rememberthemilk. You can use it to manage tasks, get reminders and you can add notes, maps, keyboard short-cuts and due dates. Great name too.

Regular Powerpoint users may like to check out 280slides. Create a presentation online and then you can download it to anywhere with an internet connection. The site is very sharp and includes multi-media possibilities. Very good auto-save facility too.

If you work for, or run, a company that provides a staff uniform, cost can be the major consideration. Sadly, essential uniform or not, cheap clothes can mean someone, somewhere has been exploited. Enter Cottonroots. They provide a '...range of company clothing made from Fairtrade certified cotton, organic and recycled fibres.' I love their strap-line, 'Corporate clothing with moral fibre.' This month I also discovered Adili (it's Swahili for 'ethical and just') which is a fair-trade, fashion-shopping site. Fairly funky.

Continuing a trade theme, your unwanted Christmas presents my be someone else's idea of fun. Look at Swapz and see if the day can be saved. Remember to invent a clever answer when your mother asks you what you did with the engraved cigar-cutter holders you've now traded for Die Hard 4.

I like sites where wisdom is collected. If your favourite Bible book is Proverbs you will love 1001 Rules for my Unborn Son which includes quotes, folk wisdom, music tips and wonderful illustrations. It makes me happy.

I must confess to always being fascinated by other people's lists such as you find left in a supermarket trolley by the previous user. If you can't spell croissants you don't deserve them – discuss. Or the sermon notes the previous speaker left in a pew Bible. Found Magazine is my heaven. It collates all these things. Poignant might be the word here.

If you are old enough to remember the days when video games first came out then Amog have collected a load of old ones such as Asteroids, Defender, Duck Hunt and Frogger. You can play them online, usually with arrow keys not mouse. These games are pre-mouse.

Go to Crashes all the time.


Mr Gnome said...

Prompted by you, I have just printed out the 1911 Census entry for 29 Bath Road Terrace, Stroud, Glos - and have seen the entry for grandaparents (aged 23 and 26) and my mother, aged 2.


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