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interesting sites

(news and comment)

New translation, the Magna Carta

abelard visits many other sites while researching data to include in documents being written for the site. The lighter fruits of this research are gathered on this page.

The sites shown on this page are presented only when they are fun and/or interesting, and of good quality.
Prime information source links are collected together at Information Resources.

Inclusion amounts to an endorsement by abelard, an endorsement that is supported by the GoldenYak™ Award . There is further information on this growing award system here. Sites are not included because of payment in cash or in kind (reciprocal links).






Automated translators on the net

Two-and-a-half GoldenYak (tm) Award
(six languages, including Russian)

Two-and-a-half GoldenYak (tm) Award
(eight European languages)

One GoldenYak (tm) Award babelfish (altavista)
(eight languages, including chinese, japanese and korean)

One GoldenYak (tm) Award Google
(seven European languages)

Here at, we investigate websites in various languages. When outside translation is needed, one or more net-based automatic translators are sometimes used. Then the results are compared and refined with a dictionary. (We also use 350,000-word French-English and Spanish-English dictionaries.)

google and babelfish both give similar levels of barely intelligible translation quality, freetranslation generally gives a clear translation, and online-translator appears to be the most fluent.
(Currently, these comments are based mainly on translating Spanish.)

Four GoldenYak (tm) award

Clockarium Art Deco clock Museum, BrusselsThe Clockarium - the Museum of the Art Deco Ceramic Clock in Brussels.

Displaying more than a thousand Art Deco mantel clocks, on three floors of a Belgian Art Deco house. The website includes many images, information and links to mirror pages in French, German, Italian and Polish. [Note that faience means ceramic in French.]

 and a half Four GoldenYak (tm) award

DAISIE - Delivering Alien Invasive Species In Europe project

So far, DAISIE has illustrated information on the 8996 alien species occurring in Europe, contributed by 1598 experts on biological invasions in Europe. There is information from 63 countries/regions (including islands) and 39 coastal and marine areas.

“Biological invasions by alien species can have far-reaching and often harmful effects on biological diversity and function of invaded ecosystems and cause significant losses in economic values. Alien species can act as vectors for new diseases, alter ecosystem processes, reduce biodiversity, disrupt the cultural landscape, reduce the value of land and water for human activities and cause other socioeconomic consequences for humans.”

[Also see this news item:
fauna and flora alien list for europe

Five GoldenYak (tm) award

Technology Entertainment Design conferences and talks - Technology, Entertainment, Design

“TED began in 1984 as a conference devoted to the converging fields of technology, entertainment and design. Over the years, the scope has broadened. But the formula remains the same: Gather the world's leading thinkers and doers; offer them four days of rapid-fire stimulation”

talks themes speakers

 and a half Four GoldenYak (tm) award

Fashion EraFashion Era

This is an impressive site on fashion, with sections on fashion from many historical periods. Detailed period data starts from the 18th century, continuing to the present day (2008). There are also sections on topics such as undergarments, pattern-making and wardrobe planning.

Four and a half GoldenYak (tm) award

a useful, readable picture of prices over a century

Part of the 1997 Annual Report of the Dallas Fed [Federal reserve Bank], the annual report taking up the final third of the document.

The first two-thirds of this document is an fascinating 1897-2007 survey of price and quality changes, highly illustrated and a cornucopia of facts!

“The cost of living is indeed going up— in money terms. What really matters, though, isn’t what something costs in money; it’s what it costs in time. Making money takes time, so when we shop, we’re really spending time. The real cost of living isn’t measured in dollars and cents but in the hours and minutes we must work to live”.

A 1911 washing machine cost 553 workhours. Today, a washing machine costs 26 workhours.
A 1911 washing machine cost 553 workhours.
Today, a washing machine costs 26 workhours.

For the cost of cars in labour-hours over the past century.

Each year, the Dallas Fed. includes in the first part of their annual report a themed, generally optimistic survey of how that theme area has changed and improved.

Here some more examples:

2006: Globalizing the Knowledge Economy. How the spread of information throughout the world is raising living standards.

2004: Lifetime education. How salaries are closely related to education and experience.

2002: The American journey to better working conditions - safety, physical comfort, mental interest..

Five GoldenYak (tm) award

gapminder illustrated statistics
Excellent graphing tools using many free-access data banks. For the tool imaged above, the data shown on both axes (horizontal and vertical) can be changed, and the resulting graph can be ‘run’ to shows how it changed from about 1975 to 2004.

Four GoldenYak (tm) award to play with as you strive over the hot computer
A children’s singalong site, from the US government!
The songs are grouped under the topics:
  • Children's
  • Patriotic [from this page, you can print a flag image to fix to a stick for suitable audience participation.]
  • Favorites
  • Movies/Musicals
  • Holidays/Sounds
  • There are also quizzes.
    Four GoldenYak (tm) award

    Watchismo web-site logo. THE WATCHISMO TIMES
    “Unusual vintage & modern watches curated by WATCHISMO.COM. A reliquary of obscure timepieces from bygone eras, as well as the cutting-edge designs of today.”

    As well as showing the watches’ exteriors, the blog shows clear photos of many mechanical watch workings.

    Two and a half GoldenYak award (tm) engadget
    “new news of the goings on in the world of gadgets and consumer electronics, [...] also a resource for readers to find out about the products and services out there that they never knew existed.”
    Five GoldenYak (tm) award Per-Andre Hoffmann
    A world-wide travel photographer whose work is well worth a look.
    Unusually, Per-Andre knows how to use a camera. A sample photo is here at
    Five GoldenYak (tm) award
    “web magazine, dedicated to everything that has a modern aesthetic yet is environmentally responsible”

    return to main site news and comment at documents on alternative energies documents on alternative energies Japan zone sum will set you free art gallery the web pilot - mastering the Internet short briefings documents on energy and society Link to's RSS newsfeed
    Three and a half GoldenYak award (tm) butterflyutopia
    Brilliant website for rather unusual, pretty presents. This site sells acrylic-embedded colourful, exotic butterflies.
    Two and a half GoldenYak award (tm) flickr
    Similar to, contributors add photos, collections of photos, on a myriad subjects. (Search function is crude, being limited to working with one word only and in an unintelligent fashion.)
    Three GoldenYak award (tm)
    This large website has many subject areas, from birds to sailing, each with good photos. At last look, the site held over 300 million images.

    Three GoldenYak (tm) award

    Fred’s Airshow Journal
    (Link provided is to 2003 Edwards Air Force Base Air Show page)

    Stunning and pretty photographs taken at US airshows.
    Full list of links to other airshows and special flights, such as SpaceshipOne, at the page bottom.

    Four GoldenYak (tm) award

    NASA scores again!

    “The purpose of NASA's Visible Earth is to provide a consistently updated, central point of access to the superset of NASA's Earth science-related images, animations, and data visualizations.”

    A rich visual scientific resource. Images are catalogued by subject, satellite/sensor and location. The Browse page has a complete list of categories and sub-categories with links.

    [For further sites from NASA]            SSLink thanks to mII.

    Three GoldenYak (tm) award

    John James Audubon
    The Birds of America

    from the Museum of civilisation, collection of the Seminary de Quebec.

    by John James Audubon by John James Audubon by John James Audubon
    Catalogue of all 435 images from Audubon’s great work of illustration: The Birds of America. The linked page gives English, French and Latin names of the birds, leading to Audabon's drawings and descriptions.
    Three GoldenYak (tm) award

    stonehenge (part of english heritage stonehenge area)

    A virtual 360° tour of this ancient historic site – spin round on your ‘heel’ and have a close-to panoramic view of the stones..

    There is also an interactive map and an interesting timeline of when Stonehenge was built.

    Three GoldenYak (tm) award

    diary of the auroran sunset

    new, impressive blog [note that the author finds that term unaesthetic]

    Three GoldenYak (tm) award

    gems site

    alphabetical listing of gemstones, both familiar and obscure. Descriptions, illustrations and links to further related sites.

    Three and half GoldenYak (tm) award

    How stuff works

    One of the better encyclopedia-type sites on the net, with information on different types of engines, and much more. This is a useful site for mechanical and gadgetry basics in many areas, but is less interesting elsewhere.

    For instance, watch the animations of engines cycling: petrol, diesel

    And there is much basic information and explanation on the site, for instance on petrol.

    Animations of various other engine types can be found at another site.

    Five GoldenYak (tm) Award

    NASA (homepage)

    Excellent educational resource.
    Many access points are available.
    We have provided several.


    Daily interesting satellite photos/photographs
    Eclipse page
    Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (Soho)
    Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA)
       Science Investigation
    Earth Sciences and Image Analysis
       Laboratory, NASA Johnson Space Center
        vast numbers of satellite images available
    this clickable map gives access to “astronaut
        photographs of the Earth from 1961 through the
        present [sic.] ”. The page can be overloaded but
        there is also, which offers links to  “387,033 Shuttle
        images of Earth”, listed mostly by geographical
        area and place name.

    Three GoldenYak (tm) award

    Major statistics site.


    [Lead from Limbic]

    A wide range of conveniently accessible statistics.
    Link to list of all statistics available at this site.

    flag of Saint Pierre and Miquelon - image credit: flag of Niue - image credit:
    The Flags of the World page provides links to stats for the different countries.

    Five GoldenYak (tm) Award

    California Coastline

    The site documents a fascinating project to map and photograph the whole Californian coast for erosion monitoring.

    three and half GoldenYak (tm) award

    [upgraded from three GoldenYaks]

    the increasingly useful political weblog of Lord Limbic

    Limbic provides links to many sites of interest, as well as commentary. The most interesting blog i have yet seen. Good to see someone adventurous and creative working in this recent form.
    Four GoldenYak (tm) award

    when cars were works of art

    Gorgeous, fine quality, coloured illustrations taken from magazines (the example here is much reduced).

    American ephemera from the ’40s, ’50s, ’60s —a golden age of graphic art illustration. In several sections, including cars, wagons, trucks, decor, old ads.

    (Lead from Limbic)

    Three GoldenYak (tm) award

    Andy Capp

    Hard-working, chivalrous, wealthy—not!

    There are a variety of sites showing Andy Capp strip cartoons. This one provides cartoons for the previous 30 days.

    There are also sites providing background, both to Andy himself and to his chronicler, such as this one.

    This site provides a useful specialist search results on many comic strips and cartoons, including our lovable reprobate.


    See also this item in abelard’s news zone.

    Mr Capp has cleaned up his act in this more moral age. He no longer appears with a fag permanently stuck to his lower lip.

    three GoldenYak (tm) award

    Exhibition showing satellite pictures of the Earth

    Library of Congress, James Madison Building, Washington,
    until July 23, 2003.

    the Ganges deltaThis is a seriously pretty range of images from around the world. The link provided is to the lead-in page for the 40 enlargeable thumbnails of the images in the exhibition.
    three and a half GoldenYak (tm) award

    Seafood Watch

    This is an interesting developing resource, with much information for those concerned with the current state of sea fishing and its ecological impacts.

    seafood factsheetUse the All Fish List to find factsheets. These give information on a sea-critter’s fishing status, as well as conservation notes and links to related offsite resources.

    The ‘Regional Cards’ page provides access to the factsheets, but in a more awkward fashion. Advice on printing a wallet-sized copy of the Regional Card is available here.

    two GoldenYak (tm) award Electron microscope image gallery colourised micrographs of common and not so common insects and creepies. Pretty in a weird sort of way.
    [site indicated by Limbic]
    four GoldenYak (tm) award

    Skyscraper page

    a great search facility. Type in the city that interests you. Class drawings of each building.
    [site indicated by Limbic]
    four GoldenYak (tm) award

    The Sea Slug Forum


    part of the Australian Museum online

    This site is helpful in responding to queries.

    four GoldenYak (tm) award

    All Womens’ Fashion Collection

    photos of collections from about 200 top fashion designers
    three GoldenYak (tm) award


    sound photos of flowers
    three and a half  GoldenYak (tm) award

    This is the page on Barnett Newman.

    a fine arts repro poster site with comprehensive stock

    three and a half  GoldenYak (tm) award

    Ford model T

    gallery of Ford model T cars
    articles by ... articles by camilla cavendish Increasingly, Camilla Cavendish shows promise. She is remarkably rational, thoughtful and steady in what I have read so far.
    There is a considerable sample of her articles at the link given.
    articles by christopher hitchens Long part of the socialist establishment, Christopher Hitchens has, like a few others, discovered that his integrity will not allow him to go along with the intellectual dishonesty of the cult.
    articles by charles krauthammer a clear thinker who is usually worth a read
    articles by Samuel Brittan   economics articles of some competence
    articles by Malcolm Gladwell psycho-social articles of some competence
    one Golden Yak (tm) award Historical Atlas of the Twentieth Century interesting, if limited, collections of events and other items relating to the twentieth century. Which war killed most people? Which regime?
    [site indicated by the auroran sunset]

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    all rights reserved

    the address for this document is

    ... words
    prints as 1 A4 pages (on my printer and set-up)

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