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Among this week’s featured sites are really fast Web searching, no-bake
cakes and tracking the travels of dollar bills.
Safe Surfing. Many parents are concerned about what their kids
might encounter as they wend their way through the World Wide Web. One
way to solve this problem is for moms, dads, and children to work
together to understand the safety and privacy issues and what to do
about them. Get a good start with the information at Safe Kids.com and Safe Teens.com.
If you’ve had the experience of unsuitable sites turning up when your
children used a regular search engine, Safe Kids.com will link you to search engines that don’t
display objectionable material.
Time For Kids. Time magazine presents news of interest to
elementary school children in two Web editions for grades 2 and 3,
as well as grades 4-6.
Blazing Fast. Searching the Net can often be frustrating. Not
only do you often not get the info you’re looking for, but frequently
the search is time-consuming. At Fast
Search, you really do get the results much quicker than at any other
site I’ve tried. No guarantees that they’ll be the answers you need, of
course. For that, I prefer a search engine such as my favorite, Dogpile, which produces results from
multiple sites. If you’re not happy with your current search engine,
another one to try is Mamma, “the
mother of all search engines.”
Quarters And Dollars. Sure, it’s a marketing ploy by the U.S.
Mint, but the new state quarters are
fun to see in your change. Five will be released each year for the next
decade, in the order in which each state entered the Union. If you’re
artistic — and live somewhere that won’t get its special quarter for a
few more years — you can submit a design for your state’s coin.
Where has that dollar bill been before you got it, and where will it go
after you spend it? Finding the answers to those two questions is the
fun goal of Where’s George.
Enter the serial number, series and your Zip code and see if anyone else
has submitted info about that particular bill. Given the number of
greenbacks in circulation, it would seem the odds are small. But the
folks at Where’s George suggest that you write www.wheresgeorge.com in
the margin of the bill (it’s completely legal, they say) to increase the
chance that someone else will report the money’s later whereabouts. When
I visited, 18,344 people had entered 305,329 bills.
Super Site. The most popular sites with regular readers of this
column (well, those who get in touch, anyway) are ones that connect you
to hundreds of other useful sites. One of the best is Refdesk.com, which is much more than its
name implies. Sure, there are the obligatory links to encyclopedias and
grammar pages. But Bob Drudge has a page so filled with links that
anyone ought to find something of interest — from atlases to weights and
measures and including movies, music, animals and entertainment. You
could — and probably will — spend hours at Refdesk.
A Look Back. Popular culture of the 20th century is the beat of
Retro. This is the place to take
a closer look at pulp novels of the ’40s, 1920s bathrooms, Marcel waves
of the ’20s and ’30s, vintage rattan furniture and even how to resilver
an old mirror.
Time Flies. What time is it in London? Find the answer in a jiffy
at Time Zone Converter You
can also personalize a time-zone chart and look up zones by country.
Don’t Beat Around The Bush. Why do we use that phrase? Where did
it come from? One of the places to find answers is at Ye Olde English
Sayings. There you’ll discover why a jail is called a clink and how
the term “black market” dates back to medieval times.
For Gals. You might think something called Ask the Makeup Diva would appeal
mainly to teenage girls. But actually it gives sensible, brand-specific
advice on a number of topics of wide appeal to women of all ages,
including shopping for sunscreen or self-tanner and how to get lipstick
to stay on longer.
Cookies, Cakes And Pies, Oh My! When you’re looking for something
good to cook for any occasion, All
Recipes.com, the recipe network, has thousands of them on its main
site or any of the satellites: Cake
Recipe.com, Pie Recipe.com,
Bread Recipe.com, Soup Recipe.com, Pasta Recipe.com, Chicken Recipe.com and the latest
addition , Seafood Recipe.com.
Coming soon is a site devoted to vegetarian cooking. Since the heat
index was 106 yesterday where I live, I thought Cake Recipes.com’s
no-bake cakes sounded like the perfect ending to a summer meal.