Archive for December, 2009


December 18, 2009

Portsmouth has received its first snowfall of the season, so this site seems particulalry appropriate for today’s posting. Members of a web design and development company take it in turns to sit at a desk and have artificial snow blown over them by a machine controlled by you, apparently.

[Thanks to LB for this suggestion]

BBC Wildlife Finder

December 16, 2009

The BBC has launched an amazing archive of wildlife videos, sounds  and stories. The wildlife finder gives you access to an ever growing collection of BBC natural history programmes, with video clips from series such as: Planet Earth, Blue Planet, Life on Earth, Natural World, the Nature of Britain and many more.

TOTD’s favourite video is the Manta Rays which glide through the seas with such elegance and grace.

You’ll find a wealth of information on this wonderful new website from the BBC.


December 15, 2009

This website will find you words that rhyme,

with other words and save you time.

If poetry you long to write, 

Then try this site….

Ok, not very good but hopefully you get the idea!


December 14, 2009

Fotopedia is the photographic equivalent of Wikipedia. It’s creators want to build a photographic encyclopedia which will bring together photographers and showcase their talent. You can also upload your own work or  nominate photos from the Flickr Creative Commons licence section to go on appropriate articles.  So far there are over 20,000 entries – and some of the photographs are truly stunning.

Plain English Day

December 8, 2009

Hello there,

Thing of the Day is touching base with you to facilitate a deliverance of an initiative by the Plain English Campaign called ‘Plain English Day’. This is a proactive and not reactive vision to streamline deliverables, make communication more blue-sky thinking and action the enhancement of the core competancies and knowledge bases of both service users and human resources. This multidisciplinary empowering of clients can only provide a win-win situation for all holistics, particularly when the situation is mission-critical.

Did you get any of that? No? OK.

Today is Plain English Day where the Campaign for Plain English encourages people and organisations to stop talking in jargon, cliches and other kinds of drivel and, well, talk properly. Here is their website with some examples for you all to cringe at:

And here are a list of banned words from the Local Government Association:

Is It Christmas Yet?

December 7, 2009

For those living on the Continent, yesterday was Sinterklaas, or the Feast Day of St. Nicholas. In some countries it is traditional for children to leave their shoes out so Sinterklaas can put sweets in them… or twigs if they misbehave! (I have it on good authority that some children like to return the favour by leaving their Christmas lists in their parent’s shoes).

It’s at times like this, when the preparation for the Big Day is in full swing for children to get impatient and ask if it’s Christmas. If you find that happening to you, show them this website:

Have a check on Christmas Day too.

Thanks to CL for suggesting.

Autocomplete Me

December 4, 2009

When you begin typing text into the search box in Google it automatically makes suggestions for you. Type in “libraries are” and among the suggestions you’ll find “libraries are important” which, in terms of the number of results, happens to outnumber those for “libraries are obsolete” by more than 20:1, which is encouraging. Sometimes you get some quite bizarre and amusing results, as highlighted on this site.


December 3, 2009

Riverford is a purveyor of excellent organic fruit and veg, delivered direct to your door and used as fuel to keep this particular TOTD contributor alive while surfing for exciting web sites. Perhaps they’ll soon be leaving a box outside the door of the International Space Station if their sponsorship of experiments to deliver farinaceous tubers into the stratosphere prove successful. We look forward to seeing the photos from SPUDNIK2.

[Thanks to CL for this suggestion]


December 2, 2009

If you know someone who’s happy to spend about £30 on a box of metal balls then this could be just the thing for your Christmas list. Alternatively, just watch the video clips on this site and see how 216 small magnetic spheres can be arranged in all manner of remarkable shapes and patterns.


December 1, 2009

The International Dialects of English Archive (IDEA) is a collection of primary source dialect and accent recordings for the performing arts. You might want to submit your own recording if you have a dialect that’s not included on the site. Pompey, perhaps?

[Thanks to RW for this suggestion]