Archive for the ‘Websites and Blogs’ Category

Noodle and Friends

Today’s website is Noodle and Friends, an online retailer specializing in products designed specially for miniature dachshunds.

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Photos above:  Examples of some of the products from Noodle and Friends that are designed and sized for miniature dachshunds.

To go to Noodle and Friends, click here.  You can also become a fan of Noodle and Friends on Facebook.

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World’s Best Bars

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Today’s website is “World’s Best Bars,” a site that ranks the world’s best bars, based on user input.  The site includes a list of the top-rated bars in most major cities around the world, together with user comments and links to the official websites.  Of the top 100 bars, London has the most bars with 12, and Shanghai follows with eight bars.  Eight bars across the USA are included in the Top 100, with Purdy Lounge, in Miami, FL, as the only USA bar in the Top 10 (at #7).

Here’s an excerpt from the Top 100 Bars, showing the 20 top-ranked bars.  The honor of #1 Bar in the World goes to A21 Cocktail Lounge in Helsinki.

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I’ve only been to two of the Top 20 Bars listed above and just five of the Top 100 Bars.  (I’ve got some bar hopping to do, I think!)

To explore World’s Best Bars website, click here.   To view a list of the Top 100 Bars, click here.

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Blessed Damien

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Today’s website is FatherDamien.com, which was launched this week by the Diocese of Honolulu as the official website for the Canonization of Blessed Damien.  Blessed Damien (Damien de Veuster, 1840-1889) is the venerated and beloved Roman Catholic priest who won worldwide praise and admiration for his ministry to the native Hawaiians that were resettled in Kalawao on the remote Kalaupapa Peninsula on the Island of Molokai, Hawaii, after contracting Hansen’s Disease (aka “leprosy”).  He served the residents in the Kalaupapa settlement between May 1873 and  April 1889, before contracting the disease which claimed his life on April 15, 1889.  He was 49.

Father Damien was beatified in June 1995 by Pope John Paul II and was given the official spiritual titled of “Blessed.”  On October 11, 2009, Blessed Damien will be elevated to sainthood, completing the canonization process, and the culmination of a campaign that has been underway in Hawaii and Damien’s own native Belgium for decades.  For many Catholic and non-Catholic residents of Hawaii, this is an important event in Hawaiian history and the realization of many efforts to recognize the extraordinary humanitarian works of Father Damien de Veuster.

For more information on Blessed Damien, go to a previous post on Jankenpon.com by clicking here.  If you want to learn more about the upcoming canonization, visit the official website for Blessed Damien from the Diocese of Honolulu by clicking here.

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Get a White Knot

Today’s website is WhiteKnot.org, the official website for White Knot for Equality, a non-profit organization founded by Frank Voci in November 2008, in response to the passing of California’s Proposition 8 which modified the California Constitution by defining marriage as between a man and woman only and the other bans on same-sex marriage and denial of equal rights across the country.

According to their website, White Knot for Equality’s mission is to achieve equal rights by:

   *  educating people on the importance of Marriage Equality;
   *  engaging people in conversations needed to change hearts and minds;
   *  and showing the widespread support Marriage Equality truly has.

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You can request a FREE white knot by mail from the WhiteKnot.org website by clicking here.

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Above:  Oscar-winning Screenwriter Dustin Lance Black (left) and Cleve Jones, pictured at the 2009 Academy Awards Show, wearing white knots.  Black won the Oscar for his original screenplay for the film, Milk, starring Sean Penn and directed by Gus Van Sant.

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iDrink on iPhone

Today’s iPhone application is iDrink, a convenient service that provides recipes for hundreds of popular cocktails.  In addition to showing the recipe for the cocktail, iDrink allows you to add notes, tag favorite recipes, and email the recipes directly from your iPhone.  The application is available to download for $1.99.

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Here’s a short video that explains how iDrinks works on your iPhone.

To go to a previous post containing my list of Top 10 Favorite iPhone Apps, click here.

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Today’s Website

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Today’s website/blog is Cute Things Falling Asleep, which recently was featured on NBC’s Today Show.  The site’s owner, Nick Malis, created the site as a form of entertainment for himself and his friends, with a collection of short videos showing dogs, cats, other animals, and babies falling asleep.  Each video is rated on a scale of 1 to 5 for both “cuteness” and “sleepiness.”

The overwhelming success of this site encouraged Malis to create another entertaining site using a similar concept of rating short videos– Cute Things Laughing.

Here’s an example of one of the many delightful short videos from Cute Things Falling Asleep.

To go to Cute Things Falling Asleep, click here.

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Try The Perrin Post

Today’s website/blog is The Perrin Post, a travel blog written by industry veteran Wendy Perrin, who also is the Consumer News Editor of Conde Nast Traveler Magazine, one of my favorite travel publications for over 20 years.  In her blog, Ms. Perrin provides interesting and often humorous observations on the joys, challenges, and periodic frustrations of leisure and business-related travel.

The blog is a light, easy read and I almost always find something that is both entertaining and useful in some way.

To go to the Perrin Post, click here.  To order a new subscription to Conde Nast Traveler, click here.

 

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Travelers Choice ‘09

TripAdvisor.com, which is one of my favorite travel websites, recently published its 2009 Travelers’ Choice List.  The list identifies the results of user ratings in the following categories, as examples:

*  Best Bargains
*  Best Hidden Gems
*  Best Luxury
*  Best Service

I’ve used TripAdvisor.com extensively and regularly when planning trips to unfamiliar locations.  I previously stayed at properties based on their top ranking in this annual survey and have not been disappointed.

To view or download and print or save the full 2009 Travelers Choice List in PDF, click here.   Sign up with Tripadvisor– it’s free– and you can read reviews from other travelers or post your own ratings and comments.  To sign up, click here.

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Skype, Calling

I recently started using Skype, an online Voice-over-Internet-Protocol (VoIP) software provider that offers users free Skype-to-Skype calls and low-cost calls to landlines and cell phones worldwide.  With Skype, you can:

*  initiate calls from your computer to any land line or cell phone worldwide;
*  place FREE calls from your computer to another Skype user anywhere;
*  send text messages from Skype;
*  use Voicemail to retrieve incoming missed Skype calls;
*  obtain your own, unique Skype phone number in your desired country;
*  forward incoming Skype calls to your cell phone when you’re unavailable;
*  do more…

Skype is particularly useful when traveling in other countries and you want to initiate or receive calls from your home country using your laptop and a high-speed Internet connection.  Skype allows you to eliminate costly overseas roaming charges on your cell phone.  In order to use Skype on your PC, you need to download and install software from the Skype website.

Here are the key Skype features, as listed on the Skype website…

 

Skype was founded in 2003 by Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis, in Estonia, and was purchased by eBay in October 2005 for $2.6 billion.  As of year-end 2008, Skype had over 405 million user accounts worldwide.

To learn more about Skype and to sign-up, go to the official Skype website by clicking here.

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Giving Made Easy

Today’s website is JustGive.org, a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to simplify charitable giving by matching donors with appropriate charitable organizations through effective and easy-to-use tools.  For the holiday season, JustGive.org provides an excellent, convenient way to purchase a gift card (e-card or printed and mailed) that allows the recipient to select their own charitable organization from a list of over 1.5 million charities from Just Give’s database.  The purchaser of the gift card receives the benefit of a tax deduction and the recipient is able to make a contribution to his/her favorite charity.  It’s a win for everyone, including the charitable organization!

A reasonable fee of $5.00 is charged to the purchaser of the gift card.

To learn more about JustGive.org, visit their official website by clicking here.  To purchase a Just Give gift card for the holiday season, click here.  And to learn about the JustGive.org mission, board and sponsors, click here.

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World Hum

Today’s website/blog is World Hum, a site that I discovered a few weeks ago and am now viewing on a regular basis. 

Here’s a brief description of World Hum from website Editors Jim Benning and Michael Yessis:

“World Hum is for the travel-addicted.  It’s dedicated to harnessing the power of the internet to tell great travel stories—through writing, conversation, slideshows and video. Its focus is the geography of wanderlust.

Most travel publications focus on destinations, offering tips on where to go, where to stay, what to do.  We started World Hum in May 2001 because we wanted to focus not only on destinations but also on the journey, on travel in the broadest sense of the word.

We don’t see travel only as a way to spend a couple weeks’ vacation every year.  For us, travel is a way to see the world when we’re abroad, but also a way to see the world when we’re at home.  Travel is a state of mind.

World Hum is dedicated to exploring travel in all its facets: how it changes us, how it changes the way we see the world, and finally, how travel itself is changing the world.

As for the name, “World Hum” is a phrase from Don DeLillo’s novel “The Names,” and it describes the rush we feel when we travel: a surge of adrenaline, electricity, glee and, sometimes, on this ever-shrinking planet, connection.”

Click here to check out World Hum.

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Get on Board

Today’s website/blog is Boarding Area, a portal site designed to provide business and frequent travelers with easy access to a selection of blogs from industry experts and other seasoned travelers. 

Boarding Area gives you quick, free access to some leading tavel blogs, including View from the Wing, The Gate, The CrankyFlier, One Mile at a Time, and others.  Most of the blogs focus on providing tips, recommendations and insights to frequent fliers, including information on maximizing the value of airline loyalty programs. 

Boarding Area is a nice way to get a quick view of the latest posts from the leading blogs and to quickly click your way to the details. 

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White People Stuff

Today’s website/blog is Stuff White People Like, a wildly popular blog launched in January 2009 by Christian Lander of Los Angeles.   According to published reports, Lander was joking with his roommate about all the things white people like - organic food, ’80s night, grad school, “awareness,” Apple products and diversity, to name a few.  This discussion led to Lander’s now-famous blog, which has been viewed over 50 million times and counting. 

As a result of the popularity of his blog, Lander recently published a book, called “Stuff White People Like: A Definitive Guide to the Unique Taste of Millions,” which retails for $14.00, and is available from amazon.com (where it is ranked #318 as of 12/1/08) and bookstores nationwide. 

Lander concluded his national book-signing tour in San Francisco on 10/24/08.

 

To visit the blog, click here.  To order the paperback book from amazon.com, click here.

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Broadway Cares

      

Today’s website is the Online Holiday Store of Broadway Cares Equity Fights AIDS (BC/EFA), the country’s leading industry-based, non-profit AIDS fundraising and grant-making organization.  BC/EFA is the ongoing response from the American Theatre community to the worldwide HIV health crisis, which has raised over $140 million for urgently-needed services for people with AIDS, HIV or HIV-related illnesses.

BC/EFA is the major supporter of six programs at The Actors Fund - including The AIDS Initiative, The Phyllis Newman Women’s Health Initiative, two supportive housing residences and the Al Hirschfeld Free Health Clinic at The Aurora in NYC – and awards grants to over 400 AIDS and family service organizations yearly.

You can purchase a wide variety of products from the Online Store, such as:

* Signature “Broadway Cares” products;
* Books;
* Clothing;
* DVDs;
* Calendars;
* Holiday cards, decorations and ornaments;
* Red ribbon merchandise; and much, much more.

Proceeds from the Online Store are used to support BC/EFA efforts.  This online store provides a great way to buy affordable holiday gifts for friends and family while supporting an outstanding cause.

Visit the Broadway Cares Equity Fights AIDS main website by clicking here.  To make a donation to BC/EFA via their secure site, click here.

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Carve for Obama

Today’s website is called YesWeCarve.com, a non-commercial site focused on Halloween pumpkins that support the Barack Obama Presidential campaign.  The site includes photos of Obama-themed jack-o-lanterns made by everyday folks across the country.  The site also provides a downloadable stencil that you can use to carve your own Obama pumpkin for Halloween.

To view the website, click here or use the link above.

Here’s a sample photo submitted by a group from Lander, WY that is displayed on the website.  To see other photos submitted by site visitors to the Yes We Carve website, click on the tab called “Photos” in their top navigation.

Here’s a whoo-hoo to the team behind Yes We Carve for creating a fun, whimsical and season-appropriate website!

 

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Palin as President

The website PalinAsPresident.com has become an overnight Internet sensation by offering an animated spoof of Governor Sarah Palin in the White House.  The site consists of a single interactive frame where you can click on images to activate animation or sound.  Simply roll your mouse over different objects within the image and click.  To go there, click here.  TIP: Click on the photos on the wall, the windows, and the bridge model on the desk, as examples.

NOTE:  The image below is static; use the link to get to the actual website.

 

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Try TripKick.com

 

Today I visited a website called TripKick, which was launched in May 2008 and named one the 50 Best Websites by Time Magazine for 2008.  The site’s mission is to provide travelers with tips and insights on rooms to request (or avoid) at specific hotels.  Although TripKick currently covers only about 250 hotels in 12 cities, it is adding more hotels to its list each month.  Using TripKick, you can identify which rooms have the best views, most noise, or best features.  Plus, you can add your own reviews to the site.

Here’s more information taken directly from the TripKick site:

“TripKick is designed to make your hotel experience an effortless one. We prepare you with the little known facts about each hotel room so you can make an educated decision when choosing your perfect room.  Each hotel page on our site offers a variety of helpful information. You can use us before you’ve chosen your hotel, or once you’ve already booked your reservation.  First, Choose your hotel by City, Personality or Features. Once you’ve located your hotel of choice, we will provide the following information on 5 Tabs: Rooms to Request, Your Experience, Compare Rooms, Hotel Basics and Transportation.”

For those of you who are familiar with SeatGuru.com, a website that I consider indispensable, I think TripKick is trying to provide for hotel guests what SeatGuru has done for commercial air travelers.

Good luck to TripKick and thanks for offering this much-needed service!

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Trippin’ with TripIt.com

About six months ago, I started using a website called TripIt.com, a free online service that aggregates your travel plans and details into a single, well-organized and easy-to-read portal.   The website was launched in September ‘07 by Tripit, a private San Francisco-based company.

After using the site for a few months, I’ve concluded that it really is as easy to use as they claim.  Once you enroll in the free service, you simply forward your confirmation emails of flights, hotels, car rentals, etc. to plans@tripit.com, as shown in the steps outlined below.  The website then immediately aggregates and organizes your travel details for you, together with weather and other useful information on your destination city, for each of your itineraries.  The consolidated itinerary from tripit.com includes links to the airlines, hotels, car rental companies and others, so you can easily manage or change your reservations from this single point of entry.

 

Thumbs up to tripit.com for delivering a simple, functional and useful online tool for travelers!   

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Equality for All

The Equality for All campaign, a coalition comprised of over 50 civil rights, faith, choice, labor and community of color organizations, is working to defeat the November ballot measure to amend California’s constitution to only recognize marriages between “a man and a woman.” 

In May, the California Supreme Court struck down the state’s discriminatory marriage laws banning marriage for lesbian and gay couples.  That landmark decision was a huge victory for all Californians who cherish fairness and opportunity.  The November ballot initiative is attempting to nullify that court decision.

Conservative groups, including ProtectMarriage.com and the National Marriage and Focus on the Family, one of the largest and most well-funded anti-LGBT organizations in the country, are prepared to spend millions of dollars to influence public opinion and enshrine discrimination into the State’s consitution.

Equality for All is committed to helping defeat the ballot initiative and needs your financial support.  To make a donation, click here.

 

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Matt is Still Dancing

Matt Harding, the guy who dances his distinctive (and endearing) dance all around the world, returned in June with an all-new video featuring a compilation of his latest visit to 42 countries, filmed over a period of 14 months.  [Update: As of 8/25/08, this video on YouTube.com has been viewed over 9 million times.]

And, here’s a link to his landmark second video in 2006 which has been viewed over 11 million times on youtube.com, called Where the Hell is Matt?   In 2007, Jawed Karim, one of the founders of Youtube, is reported to have stated that Harding’s video is his favorite video posted to Youtube.

For those of you who love the music from his 2006 video, you can purchase Sweet Lullaby from the Deep Forest CD from amazon.com.

I have been so thoroughly captivated with and moved by Matt Harding’s videos and his worldwide dancing quest, as well the simplicity and purity of the message contained in his videos.  I think we all must dance and see the world!

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ASPCA Safety Pack for Pet Owners

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) is offering a FREE Pet Safety Pack for pet owners that includes a window decal to alert safety and rescue workers that there is a pet/pets in your home. The pack also includes an ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center magnet—a great way to keep the APCC’s toll-free emergency number handy at all times!

To order your FREE Pet Safety Pack just go to the ASPCA website and enter your mailing address.  You’ll receive your safety pack by mail in 6-8 weeks.

If you’d like to make a donation to the ASPCA, click here.

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