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Useful sites

01 Jan 12

This is a very cool online application that has many features. You can fill in your whole family tree going backwards and outwards. In addition, you can set up profiles and set reminders. It’s like a private social network for your family! Use your tree to collaborate with others online, share family photos, videos and historical records and merge profiles with other trees that overlap. Joining the site is free and also gives you access to public genealogy discussions and genealogy news from around the world.
If you are a compulsive list maker like me, you’ll appreciate this awesome online wizard that helps you with your packing for any vacation. The site takes into consideration the length of the trip, climate of the destination, your gender, accommodation, number of people (and kids) travelling, transportation and a number of other factors to create the perfect packing list for virtually any trip. Sounds like a great excuse to book a vacation!
I think the name says it all...
If you love watching crime shows on TV, you can now feel like a part of one! This site links to over 41,000 searchable public record databases. Although New Zealand is not included yet, you can search records across Australia, Europe, USA and Canada. The site brags it has "worked for 14 years to find, evaluate and organise links to public agency and private databases worldwide to get you the information you need to make critical decisions.”
Discover new music according to mood, energy level, genre and more. Very cool interface with results displayed in a mindmap format. The site lets you play your mood, search for artists and share your music via social media sites like Twitter and Facebook. You don’t have to be a muso to enjoy this tool!
MAKE Magazine brings the DIY mindset to all of the technology in your life. MAKE is loaded with cool DIY projects that help you make the most of the technology you already own. You can read articles, watch videos and podcasts, participate in the online community, shop in the "Maker Shed” or search the seemingly endless list of projects, which includes a homemade carbon fiber violin, electromagnetic noise machine, Charlie’s RFID teddy bear, steam powered boilerbot and many more imaginative creations.
It is the New Year after all – the perfect time to get cracking on some new DIY projects!
While not totally comprehensive, here is a list of 50 things everyone should know how to do.  It’s a great starting point to learn new skills. The list includes how to build a fire, operate a computer, use Google effectively, drive a manual transmission vehicle, perform CPR and the Heimlich Manoeuvre, change a tire, win or avoid a fist fight, jump start a car and navigate with a map and compass . If you accomplish all 50 of the things on this list, you may just become a real life super hero!
Learn to improve your memory by playing a series of fun and educational brain training games. Lumosity partners with researchers at Stanford, UCSF, Harvard and Columbia, among other prestigious universities. They also work with numerous health care organisations to provide cognitive training services. By playing their series of "brain games”, Lumosity promises to improve memory, problem solving, flexibility, attention and speed. Well, it’s worth a shot next time you’re bored at work!
If you’ve ever wanted to learn sign language, there’s no time like the present! Make it a New Year’s resolution this year and teach yourself sign language online. This site by Michigan State University offers an online American Sign Language (ASL) browser where you can look up video of thousands of ASL signs and learn interesting things about them.

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