Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Some sites I've found.

I wanted to get down in writing some great sites I've heard about recently. I'm guessing someone might find them as interesting as I do. I'll go in the order I heard about them.

First, something called the gethuman database. Folks, this has got to be the greatest thing in a long time. Ever get so frustrated trying to find your way through the maze of automated customer service phone lines that you just want to scream? Just ask Wifey how it makes me feel. I've been known, from time to time, to start giving some pretty "interesting" answers to those systems that want you to talk to them. Ohforchristssake... if you can't even make the effort to answer the phone why would you make me talk to a computer. So, this is my new favorite web site.

Second, something I heard about today on the 'ol NPR. I've been wondering, ever since I started really paying attention to the "real news" why almost 100% of the stories were about death and destruction. And that was just the sports news! When I heard about this next site I was excited to make it a regular in my reader. What is this site that might bring us out of the doldrums of modern news? Let me introduce you to the GoodNewsNetwork. That's right folks, a site dedicated to bringing you real stories of all the good things that are actually happening out in the world. And from what I heard on the interview, these aren't just fluffy kitten and babies-type stories. This is real news that just happens to be about positive events. I know, I didn't understand at first either. Just go give it a chance okay? I'm sure the apocalypse will wait for you.

Finally, this is my holy-crap-this-is-awesome submission for this post. I've taken to reading through the Bits Blog from the New York Times and they recently ran a story on a very cool new tool put out by a company that I learned all about way back when I was teaching and mentoring the robotics team in PG County Schools - Autodesk. Autodesk is a company that makes 2D and 3D design software that we would use to design our robots before we built them. Their new free tool is called Autodesk Project Dragonfly and it allows you to design your own home and stock it with all sorts of cool accessories and products. For those of you out there that are just like me (read - poor and not able to actually buy the house you'd like to have) you can let your imagination run wild. I started my first project, just to see what it was really like, and I've already created a reasonable approximation of the first floor of the house I grew up in. I'd love to build a slightly better version of that house someday but for now, this will have to do.


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