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Archive for May, 2008

IMDBHow do I use the Internet Movie Database? I chase the bunny trails, tying to discover how many degrees of Kevin Bacon is, say, Madonna. (Two. Her former brother-in-law, Chris Penn, was Bacon’s Footloose co-star. The entertainment industry turns out to be surprisingly incestuous.)

Other people use it for movie reviews, biographies, flim trailers, and videos. Oh, and the movie star trivia.

What are your favorite sources for entertainment news?

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Bloom'sMy goals as a parent are fairly simple: I want my kids to think clearly, serve God, and improve the world. The first of those goals is the easiest to impose upon them. I just ask tough questions that cause them to cogitate at a high level.

Bloom’s Taxonomy is a good model for formulating thought-provoking questions. You’ll find references to Bloom’s all all over the Internet, but this site at the University of Illinois makes the Taxonomy easy to understand and emulate.

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HowStuffWorksMy younger kids loved this one so much they made it their homepage. How Stuff Works explains how toilets flush, how telephones get sound, how your automobile turns gasoline to motion…and pretty much everything else you’ve ever wondered.

Spend some time considering the mechanics of animals, autos, business and money, communication, computers, electronics, entertainment, food & recipes, geography, health, history, home & garden, people, science, and travel. Fascinating.

How do you find answers to your questions? Tell me by clicking the Comments link below.

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Fact BookIf the CIA has experienced some bad PR over the years, perhaps the World Factbook will go some way toward fixing the agency’s rep.

World Factbook is the authoritative go-to place for in-depth information on every country on the planet, updated twice a month with new statistics, maps, and information that only the CIA has the resources to compile. The most interesting part of each country’s description is at the end, under the heading “Transnational Issues.” There you’ll get the skinny on the CIA’s opinion of what sorts of troubles are brewing in the nations of the world.

Where do you look for information before you travel? Share your favorites by clicking the Comments link.

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Rotten TomatoesSo, so tired of wasting twenty, thirty bucks — and a couple of hours of my life — on bad, unfunny, poorly made movies. Any more, I don’t see a movie unless Rotten Tomatoes says it’s worth my time.

Rotton Tomatoes surveys not just one or two critics; it surveys every critic under the sun, including my absolute favorite, Eric Snider. And it assembles all those critics’ ratings into a single score that’s far more reliable than any one person’s opinion.

Tell me how you decide what movies are worth seeing. Click the Comments link below.

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Motley FoolThere’s one born every minute…but those of us who invest Motley Foolishly aren’t among their ranks.

Click the Investing link to get started, then learn the basics of buying low and selling high. Pay yourself first, understand the power of compounding, start early, do something, and never turn down free money. Master the basics, and wealth will follow.

Share your favorite educational site by clicking that Comments link.

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CraigslistActually met someone the other day who’d never heard of Craigslist. And here I thought it was as ubiquitous as Ebay and Amazon. Ah, well. In case you’re the OTHER person who’s never heard of it, Craigslist is this decade’s new Pennysaver, the new Classified Ads, the new Yellow Pages.

Come join the rest of us who are using Craigslist to buy and sell our tchotchkes, find employment, advertise garage sales, hire a guy to fix the roof, and moan anonymously over lost love. See what you’re missing?

What websites are you shocked that people don’t know about? Tell me about ’em by clicking that Comments link below.

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