Cool Sites

American Express and Walmart Team Up to Create Bluebird

????? ‘Tis The Season to Spend Money, fah lah lah lah, lah lah lah lah… ????? What could be better than an entire season dedicated to separating you from your money? I’m kidding but still, this is the season when money seems to flow more heavily than usual. Having a safe, convenient and secure way to spend can be a huge help. It turns out that American Express and Walmart have teamed up to offer a way to do just that – Bluebird. Bluebird lets you make direct deposits, pay bills online, deposit checks with your iPhone or Android device,…


ArchetypeMe Makes Finding New Content Fun and Personal

Finding new things to read online can be remarkably difficult. Everyone has their “usual” websites, via RSS, or Flipboard, or Twitter. And there are sites like Stumbleupon that give you fun random ideas. But it can be hard to set the parameters for new sources just right — either you’re looking in too broad an area, or you get so focused on a narrow niche that you miss out on finding anything new and different. That’s where ArchetypeMe.com steps in to make your morning news and coffee routine that much more interesting. What is ArchetypeMe? It’s an approach to content…


Cool Story Behind a Great Picture

Chances are if you or anyone you know is into running, you have since the picture above this week. Running clubs and individuals have picked it up everywhere, but as so often happens it was done without attribution or a link to the original source. Today on my own local Facebook running group there was a link to the original source. In case the image isn’t clear, it says: 50 Fat Diabetic Ahead of you Turns out the picture was taken by a woman who blogs as the ‘T-Rex Runner’, and she tracked down the guy wearing the shirt and…


‘Jazz On The Tube’ Delivers Curated Classic Jazz Videos

Last week I wrote about a long-lost video from the Jazz Goes to College series. That series is all but unknown now, and the only reason I came upon it was that someone in a Facebook Pat Metheny fan group posted a link to a audio-only YouTube video of a 1976 Gary Burton group show featuring Pat Metheny, and one of the related links was of Gary Burton as part of the Stan Getz quartet. As most people know, YouTube is often like that – while we often go there for a specific video or song, we tend to keep…


Tracking Fresh Seafood with Track Your Fish on MyGulfWild.com

Red Snapper photo courtesy of myGulfWild.com I love Red Snapper, but if the truth be known, I haven’t always put a lot of thought into where the fish came from when I was about to eat it; I probably should have been a little more careful. But now I have a new appreciation for not only where my Snapper comes from, but for the people who catch it and the process involved. I recently purchased two whole Gulf Red Snappers from HEB, a grocery store in nearby San Angelo. I noticed that the Red Snapper in the seafood case had…


Babbel and LiveMocha, the Next Generation of Online Language Learning

Long time readers of this site may remember that in the past, I have reviewed many different sites, apps and solutions to assist with learning a foreign language. Now I’m looking at some newer language learning sites, namely Babbel and LiveMocha, that offer some interesting and unique things. In addition to the sites, Babbel offers companion apps for both iOS devices and Android devices.  LiveMocha offers over-the-counter learning kits that you can purchase at brick and mortar stores like Barnes and Noble. Babbel takes a slick and professional look, feel, and approach, but only offers a few languages.  LiveMocha takes a…


McSweeney’s Guide to Airline Passenger Profiling

You’ve heard about racial profiling, but how about pants profiling? Oh, you hadn’t heard of it? That’s okay, neither had I … until I found myself nodding and chuckling as I read the list of what to expect from other passengers on a flight — based on the type of pants they were wearing! Wool Suit Pants: Will board before you. Wool Hunting Pants: Will board after you. Pleated Dockers: Will loudly talk on cell phone about ROIs and vertical markets. Pajama Bottoms: Will be flying either to or from a city with a Señor Frog’s. Sweatpants with Dallas Mavericks Logo: Will clog one or…


Frank Warren’s TED Talk on Half a Million Secrets

There is not a Sunday morning that goes by where I don’t check out the latest offerings from PostSecret, a project started after its creator, Frank Warren, had a dream while visiting Paris in 2003. The idea behind the site is that people send in their secrets anonymously, on 4×6 postcards that they have created themselves. Senders are told to “Reveal anything – as long as it is true and you have never shared it with anyone before.” The beauty of Frank’s project is that sometimes the secrets shared are secrets that could be yours, or they are secrets that will relate…


Final Reminder to Support Dan on Zinio and Help Foundation Beyond Belief Charity!

As you might have read here, Dan is entered into the ‘Biggest Influencer’ contest at Zinio. Each day (well, 24 hour period) you can enter a new vote at Zinio and help him win the vote and by doing so gain a $2500 donation to the Foundation Beyond Belief Charity! Great cause, great way to help out – and all you need to do is click a link! And now we are into the final week – so this is a reminder to hop on to Zinio every day this week and support Dan! Here are his details: Here Is…


Best Google Easter Egg Ever?

I love what Google does to have fun; just look at their April Fools stuff from this year.  But now they have what may be the best Easter Egg ever!  Just Google the Following and the egg you see above will be revealed. Google this(or just click it): 1.2+(sqrt(1-(sqrt(x^2+y^2))^2) + 1 – x^2-y^2) * (sin (10000 * (x*3+y/5+7))+1/4) from -1.6 to 1.6 I just hope someone spent their 20 percent time on this.  Hopefully they start spending some of it on Android, too. Happy Easter!


The Cure for a Bad Day

I had a bad day today. Nothing terrible, but it started with a dog that popped out of nowhere to harass me during my run, continued with me nearly falling over trying to avoid the dog, followed up with severe traffic on my way to work, and of course, computer problems in the office. Plus my ankle is a bit sore from the dog incident. Poor Sarah has gotten the bulk of my complaints about today, and when I got home from work she presented me with this list from Buzzfeed, “Thirteen Simple Steps To Get You Through A Rough…


How Big is Big? How Small is Small? Find Out on The Scale of the Universe 2 Website

 “Space is big. You just won’t believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it’s a long way down the road to the chemist’s, but that’s just peanuts to space.” –  The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy Yes, space IS big, but that is only one side of the coin of the known Universe—there are items known and believed to exist that are incredibly small. Cary and Michael Huang have created a fascinating web page, The Scale of the Universe 2 that permits the scientifically voyeuristic to view a large number of items in the Universe…


Want to Know the Difference Between Two Things? DifferenceBetween.net Can Help

This morning I wanted to make sure that I was straight about what the difference between clams and oysters was, beyond taste; I must have slept through that lesson in Biology. As I often do, I turned to Google and posed my question in the search bar. The first site that popped up answered my question perfectly, and when I took a look at the site which had provided my answer, I was pleasantly surprised to find that what it does is answer questions about the differences between things. As they explain … Differencebetween.net not only facilitates your understanding of a topic, but it also…


Google’s Brilliant Tribute to Les Paul, Instrumental Inventor

Mitchell Oke left me a message asking if I had seen Google yet this morning. Of course, he left it last night, since he is hours ahead of me in Australia. I took a look, and he is correct … it’s brilliant. From the Google Blog: The electric guitar brings back memories for me of exchanging riffs with friends and wearing out cassette tapes as I meticulously learned songs. Today, we’re attempting to recreate that experience with a doodle celebrating the birthday of musician and inventor Les Paul. For the next 24 hours on the Google homepage, you’ll find an…


GD Quickie: Speed Painting Jack Sparrow

We all know Photoshop is a great product.  While I may be partial to the open source program called the Gimp, Photoshop is still the king of editing programs.  When you really know your stuff, you can do some pretty amazing things with Photoshop. A co-worker and teacher of mine, Gene Strickland, has done something pretty amazing, and he’s posted it on YouTube for all to see. The above video is Gene painting Captain Jack Sparrow.  The results are fantastic!  The video has been greatly speeded up so you can see him paint the picture in what seems like mere minutes….


“The Final Edition” Looks at the End of the New York Times

Plenty of bloggers have ranted about the death of publishing and the end of newspapers…but did you ever consider what the newspaper might look like for that final run of the presses? It probably will look an awful lot like the brilliant website “The Final Edition“. The Final Edition is a satire, clearly, but it takes mocking to a whole new level. For example, check out their prose in the headline article “The New York Times, World’s Newspaper of Record, Closes Its Doors Forever“: The New York Times, since 1851 a chronicler of world history spanning three centuries has turned…


Philanthroper Offers a New Twist on Giving

There is an old story about an illiterate man who was walking along when he saw a rock with a perfect hole drilled right through it. Amazed, the man stopped and looked a bit closer. Upon examination he realized that every few minutes a drop of water fell from the top of a cliff far above and landed on the exact spot where the hole was. It was then that he realized what had happened. One drop of water had little impact on something as hard as the rock, but one drop of water, followed by another and then by…


Kickstarter Project Focus- The Vere Sandal Company

I’m really digging this whole Kickstarter concept. If you are not familiar with Kickstarter, it is an online threshold pledge system for funding creative projects. Kickstarter has funded a diverse array of endeavors,ranging from indie film and music to journalism and food-related projects. One of a new set of fundraising platforms dubbed “crowdfunding”, Kickstarter facilitates gathering monetary resources from the general public, a model which circumvents many traditional avenues of investment. Project owners choose a deadline and a target minimum of funds to raise. If the chosen target is not gathered by the deadline, no funds are collected (this is…


Get Added to Orange UK’s Secret Portrait Twitter Gallery

I’ve always loved watching caricature artists quickly plot out their exaggerated perception of their subjects, but this new offering from Orange UK’s The Feed takes the art to a whole new level. They are offering “secret portraits” of twitter users based on a tweeted self-description. I am about to enter mine, and I thought you might want to give it a try, too. Describe yourself in a tweet – and don’t forget the #secretportraits hashtag If your tweet intrigues us, our illustrators will dive into your Twitter profile to find out more about you They’ll draw a secret portrait based on…


ShirtsMyWay – Custom Shirts Designed and Ordered From Home Review

A few years ago I lost a good bit of weight thanks to the South Beach Diet. From a health perspective it was good. From a wardrobe perspective however… well that was a different story. Suddenly none of my suits fit. It was the same story with my dress shirts, and replacing them was going to be an expensive proposition. I happened to mention my need to go shopping to a co-worker, and she told me that her father gets all of his clothes custom-made and often for far less than he would if he were shopping “off the rack”….


I Have A Confession: I’m Addicted to Sporcle

I first heard about Sporcle on the Howard Stern show.  Howard was joking that his crew spends most of their time, time when they should all be working, playing on the site. What’s Sporcle? Sporcle is a trivia based web site and not only is it super addicting, it’s super fun.  Well of course it is right?  I mean what’s addicting that’s not fun … at least in the beginning? The site features a ton of short user and site created “quizzes” where you have to name as many of the correct answers as you can in the given time…