Links to captivating, often useful websites

The websites listed below offer a wealth of stimulating and useful content. Collectively, they cover a broad range of subjects and services presented in an engaging manner. The selection of sites will be updated and expanded periodically. If you would like to suggest a site to be included here, please send the relevant information to robertsarner@gmail.com

(Please note that some links are included twice if they apply to more than one category.)

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INDEX TO CATEGORIES
You can click on each one to go directly to it

• JUST PICTURE IT
Photography for the ages

• CITY VIEWS
Urban reality from different angles

• FORM AND FUNCTION
Architecture and the edifice connection

• SAYING IT RIGHT
Quotes for every subject and context

• WRITE STUFF
Engaging the written word

• A WAY WITH WORDS
Get to know and use your language better

• COVER TO COVER
Books live here

• THE MOVEABLE KIOSK
Where magazines reign

• LIFE ON LINE
Taking stock of the Internet revolution

• THE BEAT GOES ON
Tuning in to matters of music

• ART ATTACK
A delight for the eyes

• VISUAL TREATS
Fine fonts, graphic design and illustration

• VOICES RAISED
Disappointment turns into dissent

• TASTES GOOD
Food glorious food

• ALL IN GOOD FUN
Humor to save the day

• RELIEF FOR THE LISTLESS
Lists to open your eyes and mind

• MAKING IT EASIER…
Nifty tips and practical help

• TREASURE TROVE
Valuable, useful resources and services

• LEARNING FROM OTHERS
Life lessons, deep thoughts and random insight

• ECLECTICA
A catch-all for a mix of other neat stuff

 

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JUST PICTURE IT
Photography for the ages.

Past/present
http://dearphotograph.com/
A blog that invites readers to “take a picture from the past in the present,” generating often poignant hybrid images

News in pictures
http://www.theatlantic.com/infocus/
Photography blog of The Atlantic magazine, showcasing strong images on an almost daily basis of breaking news, historical topics and culture high and low.

Face time
http://www.vanityfair.com/culture/features/incharacter-slideshow
A series of photographs featuring many of Hollywood’s most emotive stars making faces in reaction to short character prompts from photographer Howard Schatz.

The big picture
http://boston.com/bigpicture
The Boston Globe presents a large, single image from the day’s news.

Documentary photography
http://www.blueeyesmagazine.com
A quality online magazine publishing in-depth documentary photography projects.

American portraits
http://npg.si.edu/exhibit/hideseek/index.html
An exhibition at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery focusing on sexuality and gender in modern American portraiture.

Lasting images
http://iconicphotos.wordpress.com
A blog devoted to famous, infamous and iconic photographs and excellent links to other sites related to photojournalism.

Infrared photography
http://creativefan.com/26-incredible-examples-of-infrared-photography-with-description
This post at Creative Fan focuses on incredible examples of infrared photography.

Architectural photography
http://www.huntington.org/huntingtonlibrary.aspx?id=3970
The Huntington Library’s Maynard Parker collection features 58,000 negatives, transparencies and photographs by the acclaimed mid-century architectural photographer.

Fraction
http://www.fractionmag.com
An online photography magazine that promotes the work of established artists alongside emerging ones.

Emerging elders
http://expirationnotice.blogspot.com
Acting as a counterpoint to online publications that focus on emerging young photographers, Expiration Notice showcases work by those over the age of 35.

In contact
http://www.renaldi.com/photographs/index.html
For his “Touching Strangers” project, photographer Richard Renaldi coupled people who had never met before, asking them to touch each other as they posed for the camera.

A daily dose of imagery
http://www.topleftpixel.com
Each day, a new photo is showcased by Sam Javanrouh, an Iranian-born photographer now based in Toronto.

Wish you were here
http://www.johnhindecollection.com/johnhindecategories.html
An extensive collection of photographer John Hinde’s colorful, nostalgic postcards.

Photography tutorials
http://photo.tutsplus.com/articles/round-ups/100-helpful-photography-tutorials-for-beginners-and-professionals/
Photo Tuts lists 100 helpful photography tutorials for beginners and professionals.

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CITY VIEWS
Urban reality from different angles

Neon lights
http://projectneon.tumblr.com
Following Gotham’s glow, Project Neon scours the streets of New York City in search of the best neon signs and comes up with eye-catching finds

Old New York
http://citynoise.org/article/10506
Selections from the Charles Cushman collection of color photographs, taken in New York City of the early 1940s.

New York, New York
http://wirednewyork.com/forum/showthread.php?t=5010
A large collection of Big Apple photographs dating from as far back as the 1880s.

Paris
http://paris-in-photos.com/old-paris-1900-exhibition.htm
A collection of vintage photographs of Paris taken at the World’s Fair at the turn of the 20th century.

Toronto today
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9W6Jl3beOlY&feature=player_embedded
In its celebration of all things Toronto, R&B artist Kardinal Offishall’s music video for The Anthem is a treat for the eyes and ears.

Detroit in disrepair
http://www.marchandmeffre.com/detroit/index.html
French photographers Yves Marchand and Romain Meffre document ruins in Detroit, a once thriving industrial capital.

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FORM AND FUNCTION
Architecture and the edifice connection

Mies van der Rohe
www.moma.org/interactives/exhibitions/2001/mies/
Exploring the entirety of architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s oeuvre, this 2001 exhibition ran concurrently at the Museum of Modern Art and Whitney Museum.

Architectural views
http://www.huntington.org/huntingtonlibrary.aspx?id=3970
The Maynard Parker collection at the Huntington Library in California features 58,000 negatives, transparencies and photographs by the acclaimed mid-century architectural photographer.

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SAYING IT RIGHT
Quotes for every subject and context

The Quote Investigator
http://quoteinvestigator.com/
Garson O’Toole, the man behind Q.I., diligently traces the sources of quotations.

Samuel Johnson par excellence
http://www.samueljohnson.com
The most comprehensive collection of (more than 1,800) quotations by 18th-century essayist, lexicographer, poet and editor Samuel Johnson.

Anonymous women
www.yalealumnimagazine.com/issues/2011_01/anon4651.html
This Yale Alumni Magazine feature spotlights classic quotations penned by women and misattributed to men.

Misquotations
http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/List_of_misquotations
Wikiquotes’ List of Misquotations seeks to set things straight, retrieving the correct, original wording of quotes by such figures as Karl Marx and Winston Churchill.

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WRITE STUFF
Engaging the written word

Incredible  journalism
http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2011/05/nearly-100-fantastic-pieces-of-journalism/238230/
A collection of the best feature journalism published in 2010 in English as chosen by an editor at The Atlantic magazine. Nearly 100 articles to savor.

Writing right
http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2010/feb/20/ten-rules-for-writing-fiction-part-one
Inspired by Elmore Leonard’s “10 Rules of Writing,” The Guardian asked authors for their personal list of dos and don’ts.

Famous Writers  
http://iwl.me
Analyzing your word choice and writing style, this statistical analysis tool determines which famous writer you write like.

Routines
http://dailyroutines.typepad.com
Glimpses into the daily routines of writers and other interesting people.

Why we write
http://whywewriteseries.wordpress.com
A series of essays by prominent and not-so-prominent TV and film writers as well as aspiring scribes, who explain their reasons for writing.

BHL
www.bernard-henri-levy.com
France’s peripatetic Bernard-Henri Levy is a literary powerhouse whose written and spoken words and fight for human rights have made him an intellectual superstar on a global level.

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A WAY WITH WORDS
Get to know and use your language better

Idioms in color
www.starchamber.com/colors/color-idioms.html
Hundreds of color-related idioms in different languages, with literal English translations and meanings.

Words
http://www.niemanlab.org/2010/06/dont-get-apoplectic-the-nyts-most-looked-up-words-skew-more-than-a-little-dark-and-depressing/
The New York Times ranks the 50 words that have generated the most click-throughs to the dictionary on its web site.

New dictionary
www.nytimes.com/2010/09/13/opinion/13coupland.html?_r=1
Canadian novelist and artist Douglas Coupland coins a number of new terms to encapsulate our present moment.

Editors blog
http://www.learnersdictionary.com/blog.php
The centerpiece of Merriam-Webster’s Learner’s Dictionary web site, “Ask the Editors” offers sensible advice about English language and usage.

American rhetoric
http://www.americanrhetoric.com
Landmark American speeches by political, religious and cultural figures captured in print, audio and audiovisual formats.

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COVER TO COVER
Books live here

Weird books
http://www.abebooks.com/books/weird/index.shtml
“AbeBooks’s Weird Book Room” is a great source of everything that’s bizarre and odd in books.

The Guilty Plea
www.robertrotenberg.com
Toronto criminal lawyer and novelist Bobby Rotenberg’s latest, Stray Bullets, the third in his series of detective thrillers, has met with critical acclaim.

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THE MOVEABLE KIOSK
Where magazines reign

Controversial covers
http://www.webdesignerdepot.com/2009/09/the-most-controversial-magazine-covers-of-all-time
A selection of magazine covers that have stirred up controversy over the years.

Esquire’s best
http://www.esquire.com/features/page-75/greatest-stories
Celebrating its 75th anniversary, Esquire magazine has chosen its top seven stories, some of which are re-published online in their entirety for the first time.

Polar Inertia
http://www.polarinertia.com
Subtitled as a “journal of nomadic and popular culture,” Polar Inertia features essays and photographs focusing on contemporary life across the globe.

Nothing like the first
http://www.premiereissues.com
A collection of inaugural issues of a wide range of magazines

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LIFE ON LINE
Taking stock of the Internet revolution

Web phenomena
http://www.youshouldhaveseenthis.com
Greg Rutter’s definitive list of the 99 things you should have already encountered on the Internet.

Internet age
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/6133903/50-things-that-are-being-killed-by-the-inter net.html
This Telegraph feature looks at the positive and negative changes that the Internet has wrought on our lives in the last 15 years of its widespread use.

Web history
http://sixrevisions.com/resources/the-history-of-the-internet-in-a-nutshell
This article offers a brief history of the Internet, highlighting key milestones related to its growth and evolution from 1969 until today.

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THE BEAT GOES ON
Tuning in to matters of music

Visual side of rock
www.spinner.ca/category/picture-book/
An ongoing series of iconic photos from rock n’roll’s past and present accompanied by commentary.

Must-Hear Sounds
http://music.guardian.co.uk/1000albums
An exhaustive list of 1,000 albums to hear before you die, including brief descriptions compiled by music reviewers at The Guardian.

Top songs
http://www.joshhosler.biz/NumberOneInHistory/SelectMonth.htm
Find out what the No. 1 song was in the U.S. on any date of your choice, going all the way back to the 1890s.

Politics Go Pop
http://33revolutionsperminute.wordpress.com/
The blog for the book 33 Revolutions Per Minute: A History of Protest Songs by Dorian Lynskey looks at what happens when pop music meets politics.

Robert Zimmerman, if you please
http://www.bobdylan.com
The official online home of Mr. Dylan with a wealth of current and archival material including the lyrics to his 450-plus songs.

Dylan disembarks
http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/fifty-years-ago-today-bob-dylan-arrived-in-new-york-20110124
To mark the 50th anniversary of Dylan’s arrival in New York, Rolling Stone magazine pays tribute to the event and what happened in the days, months and years after.

Dylan-style messages
http://www.dylanmessaging.com/index.html
A promotional gimmick, this site allows you to substitute your own text for the famous title cards of Bob Dylan’s “Subterranean Homesick Blues” in the form of a message to your friends.

For the love of Leonard
http://www.leonardcohen.com
The official online home of Leonard Cohen, the Montreal-born singer-songwriter, musician, poet, artist and novelist.

Lady of the canyon
http://www.jonimitchell.com
The official online home of Joni Mitchell, the Alberta-born singer-songwriter, musician and painter, and one of the most important and influential female recording artists of the 20th century.

Pop muses
http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2008/dec/13/people-inspired-pop-songs-muses
Dave Simpson of The Guardian meets people who inspired pop songs, including Suzanne Verdal of Leonard Cohen’s “Suzanne” and Holly Woodlawn of Lou Reed’s “Walk on the Wild Side.”

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ART ATTACK
A delight for the eyes

Book art
http://picturebookreport.com
This project invites 15 illustrators to create pieces of art in response to some of their favorite books, from sci-fi to children’s books to serious novels.

Van Gogh manipulated
www.artcyclopedia.com/hot/tilt-shift-van-gogh.htm
Paintings by Van Gogh as you’ve never seen them before, thanks to visual manipulations associated with tilt-shift photography.

Minotaure
http://thenonist.com/index.php/thenonist/permalink/minotaure/
In the 1930s, some of the 20th century’s most influential artists designed the covers of Minotaure, a surrealist periodical that lasted for only 12 issues.

Artistic innovation
http://www.titlemagazine.net
A bimonthly online publication that explores innovative forms of art by a variety of artists working in the fields of visual art, design, music and fashion.

Picturing America
http://picturingamerica.neh.gov/index.php?sec=home
An initiative of the National Endowment for the Humanities, Picturing America seeks to expose children and adolescents to masterpieces of American art.

Ugly statues
http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2010/04/05/the_world_s_ugliest_statues
This list of the world’s ugliest statues shows what happens when bad art and bad politics meet.

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VISUAL TREATS
Fine fonts, graphic design and illustration

Google logos
www.google.com/logos/index.html
Has any one name ever before had so many artistic interpretations for such a massive audience as Google? An archive of holiday and event logos for the search engine powerhouse dating back to its earliest days.

Vintage record covers
www.projectthirtythree.com
A collection of vintage record jackets that use only basic geometric shapes (circles, squares, dots, triangles, rectangles) and typography to effectively evoke the music they’re representing.

Paul Rand
http://www.paul-rand.com/index.php
Devoted to the work of prolific graphic designer Paul Rand, this site features galleries of book designs, posters, logos alongside Rand’s writings and interviews.

Design
http://designwashere.com/50-excellent-posters-about-design
A collection of 50 thought-provoking posters about what constitutes (good) design.

Graphic design
http://grainedit.com/about
Featuring interviews, articles and designers’ libraries, Grain Edit is dedicated to graphic design work from the 1950-70s.

On the font lines
http://rockthatfont.com
Rock’n’roll and typography meet at this site, which explores the origins of particular fonts on favorite album covers.

Typography police
http://www.marksimonson.com
Graphic designer Mark Simonson blogs about typographic misdemeanors.

Drop cap
http://dailydropcap.com
Each workday, typographer Jessica Hische handcrafts a new decorative initial cap.

Basic typography
http://www.freddesign.co.uk/2009/12/archive/rules-for-good-typography
Most of what a non-expert needs to know about typography, all in a single easy-to-digest post.

Wheel of color
www.colourlovers.com/blog/2008/05/08/history-of-the-color-wheel/
This post at Colourlovers surveys the progression of color organization systems.

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VOICES RAISED
Disappointment turns into dissent

Taking to the street
http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2010/11/in_protest.html
Photographs of protests and demonstrations around the world taken over a two-week period in November 2010.

Protest songs
http://33revolutionsperminute.wordpress.com/
The blog for the book 33 Revolutions Per Minute: A History of Protest Songs by Dorian Lynskey takes a look at what happens when pop music meets politics.

Student protest
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/interactive/2008/apr/01/1968
An interactive audio-visual tour of the student protests of May 1968.

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TASTES GOOD
Food glorious food

Cab cuisine
www.taxigourmet.com
Layne Mosler chronicles her weekly search for delicious food, guided by taxi drivers from around the globe.

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ALL IN GOOD FUN
Humor to save the day

Jewish humor
http://www.awordinyoureye.com
A comprehensive site for all things related to Jewish humor that includes 2,000 Jewish jokes, a glossary of Hebrew and Yiddish terms, separate categories for children-friendly jokes and naughtier humor and more.

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RELIEF FOR THE LISTLESS
Lists to open your eyes and lift your spirits

Facual writing
http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2011/jun/14/100-greatest-non-fiction-books
A list compiled by The Guardian of the best factual writing in book form of all time, organized by category, then by date.

Lists
http://www.listropolis.com
Listropolis aggregates random lists found on the Web or submitted by readers.

More lists
http://theoatmeal.com
A lighthearted site that features dozens of amusing lists (Nine types of crappy handshakes) and quizzes (How addicted to Facebook are you?).

Awesome
http://1000awesomethings.com/
Updated every weekday, the blog 1,000 Awesome Things is a countdown of life’s little joys.

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MAKING IT EASIER…
Useful tips and practical help

Be done with it
www.lifehacker.com
A blog that offers tricks, tips and downloads for getting things done and saving time.

Photography tutorials
http://photo.tutsplus.com/articles/round-ups/100-helpful-photography-tutorials-for-beginners-and-professionals/
“Photo Tuts” lists 100 helpful photography tutorials for beginners and professionals.

Basic typography
http://www.freddesign.co.uk/2009/12/archive/rules-for-good-typography
Most of what a non-expert needs to know about typography, all in a single easy-to-digest post.

Editors blog
http://www.learnersdictionary.com/blog.php
The centerpiece of Merriam-Webster’s Learner’s Dictionary site, “Ask the Editors” offers sensible advice about English language and usage.

Special delivery
http://www.writeexpress.com
Letter writing made simple. Templates for all kinds of correspondence for both your private and professional life.

Won in translation
http://translation.babylon.com
How to convert what you want to say into dozens of languages

Urban etiquette
http://newyorkmetro.com/guides/etiquette/17332/index.html
New York magazine’s Urban Etiquette Handbook includes info on such things as proper cellular conduct, sex and more specifically, how to acknowledge obvious plastic surgery on your friend.

Dylan-style messages
http://www.dylanmessaging.com/index.html
A promotional gimmick, this site allows you to substitute your own text for the famous title cards of Bob Dylan’s “Subterranean Homesick Blues” in the form of a message to your friends.

Cleaning
http://www.howtocleanstuff.net
Hundreds of helpful hints for cleaning almost anything you can imagine – from silk ties to fake plants to linoleum floors.

Bicycle mentor
http://bicycletutor.com/
A self-professed bicycle geek, the site’s author has created dozens of very detailed video tutorials to help people learn how to fix their bikes.

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TREASURE TROVE
Valuable, useful resources and services

On the wild side
www.siwild.si.edu
Smithsonian Wild is a searchable collection of more than 200,000 pictures of animals taken by motion-triggered “camera traps.”

Opening credits
www.ifc.com/news/2011/02/the-50-greatest-opening-title.php?page=11
The Independent Film Channel ranks the 50 greatest opening title sequences of films of all time and includes links to watch them online.

Online museums
http://www.coudal.com/moom/
The Museum of Online Museums features links to online collections and exhibits covering a vast array of interests and obsessions.

MOMA at hand
www.moma.org/explore/multimedia
The multimedia page of New York’s Museum of Modern Art presents video, audio and interactive features related to MOMA exhibitions.

NY Public Library
http://digitalgallery.nypl.org/nypldigital
The NYPL’s 500,000 images include unique collections, from vintage postcards of Staten Island to Africana to early landscape photography of the American West.

Collage
http://collage.cityoflondon.gov.uk/collage/app
An online image database from the collections of the City of London Libraries and the Guildhall Art Gallery. Covering the past five centuries, images are grouped thematically in virtual exhibitions.

You don’t say
http://www.americanrhetoric.com
Landmark American speeches by political, religious and cultural figures captured in print, audio and audiovisual formats.

British cartoon archive
http://www.cartoons.ac.uk
More than 130,000 editorial, socio-political, and pocket cartoons from the early 20th century until the present, in addition to large collections of comic strips, newspaper cuttings, books and magazines.

Seek and you shall find
http://technorati.com/
The best Internet search engine for searching more than 120 million blogs and more than 250 million pieces of tagged social media.

Getting there
http://www.mapquest.com
No more reason to get lost, Mapquest guides you to where you want to go, almost anywhere.

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LEARNING FROM OTHERS
Life lessons, deep thoughts and random insight

Mysterious creative process
http://m.theatlantic.com/special-report/how-genius-works/
How does the spark of creativity find its way to the canvas, the page, the dinner plate, or the movie screen? This Atlantic magazine feature enlists American artists, including Chuck Close, Tim Burton and Paul Simon, to discuss the intricacies of inspiration and creativity.

How I Wrote
http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/series/how-i-wrote
An ongoing video series from The Guardian newspaper in which a range of musicians talk about the inspiration for their songs before performing an exclusive live session.

Expertise
www.bigthink.com
A global forum connecting people, ideas and practical info, Big Think features interviews, multimedia presentations and roundtable discussions with experts and prominent intellectuals from diverse fields.

This much I know
http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandhealth/series/thismuchiknow
Prominent figures such as Michael Caine, Yoko Ono, Malcolm Gladwell and Jane Fonda, share valuable lessons they’ve learned, sometimes the hard way, in this weekly newspaper feature.

Global thinkers
www.foreignpolicy.com/2010globalthinkers
Foreign Policy magazine lists the top 100 global thinkers of 2010.

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ECLECTICA
A catch-all for a mix of other neat stuff

Human planet
http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=2HiUMlOz4UQ&vq=large
A visual tour de force showing people in extraordinary situations in places you likely have never set foot and never will. Set on “full screen” for maximum impact.

Small country, big creativity
www.omanoot.com
A showcase of Israel’s prolific cultural and arts scene, featuring the work of both popular, prominent talents and emerging ones in the fields of film, music, literature and visual art.

Humanities par excellence
http://oedb.org/library/features/50-best-blogs-for-humanities-scholars
Fifty of the most interesting blogs for those interested in the field of humanities, the selection covers a wide range of subjects including art, philosophy, literature and other engaging topics.

Roots
http://www.roots.com
One of Canada’s top iconic brands and the maker of great leather goods and active apparel, it’s also where I work, with pride and pleasure, as the Director of Communication and Public Affairs.

Cool Hunter
http://www.thecoolhunter.net/
The Cool Hunter scans the globe to uncover everything hip in just about every field of interest — art, ads, fashion, music and much more.

Routines
http://dailyroutines.typepad.com
Glimpses into the daily routines of writers, artists and other interesting people.

Obsolete occupations
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=124251060
A National Public Radio feature devoted to endangered and extinct professions, from milkman to telegrapher.

Anne Frank House
http://www.annefrank.org
The Frank House in Amsterdam has created a virtual tour of the secret annex where Anne, her family and other occupants hid until being arrested by the Nazis in 1944.

Yo-Yo
http://www.theyoyomuseum.com
A well designed site focusing on the beloved yo-yo. As its name suggests, the Museum of Yo-Yo History includes exhibits and memorabilia, articles on the toy and much more.

Advertising
http://www.ibelieveinadv.com
A blog that showcases cutting-edge ad campaigns.

Prejudicial geography
http://alphadesigner.com/project-mapping-stereotypes.html
Artist and graphic designer Yanko Tsvetkov maps stereotypes of European countries.

Geography
http://www.onlineengineeringdegree.org/50-best-blogs-for-geography-geeks
A list of the 50 best blogs for geography geeks.

2011
www.abnormaluse.com/2010/12/views-of-2011-from-1931.html
In Sept. 1931, The New York Times celebrated its 80th anniversary by asking a few visionaries about their predictions for 2011 —  80 years in their future.

Photoshop disasters
http://photoshopdisasters.blogspot.com
This fun blog showcases the most egregious examples of Photoshop manipulation gone awry.

World news
http://www.newsworldmap.com/
A map of the world on which you simply click on any country and up pops several articles about the day’s major events in that area.

Creative eye
http://www.coupland.com
The official site of Douglas Coupland, the highly astute, multitalented and prolific Canadian painter, sculptor, novelist, non-fiction writer and filmmaker.

Fine design
http://www.brucemaudesign.com
Bruce Mau’s website testifies to his wealth of bold, fresh thinking and positive innovation, mixed with a keen sense of design in graphics, architecture, urban planning and other fields.

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