Eye on the Web, with Mary Westheimer


this month's shows


"The Internet brings a never-ending spectrum of gifts from our amazing world. I'm lucky enough to share some of them with the listeners of KNLS, a shortwave station that reaches all 50 U.S. states and 124 other countries. At KNLS, the show is in the very capable hands of Rob Scobey. This show also is made possible by our talented and charming sponsor, sculptor Kevin Caron.

"So please join us for some fun, surprises and lots of things you can find only online."

                    - Mary Westheimer


If you'd like to contribute sites for future shows,
please email Mary at mary@kevincaron.com. Thanks!


B ased on a true story." How many times have you seen that as a movie begins? Well, the site ChasingtheFrog is the place to go to determine which movies are really based on fact and which are simply fiction. The site offers the story behind the story of more than 50 movies. My first stop was the page on "The Social Network," based on the development of Facebook. I enjoyed seeing photos of the actors and the real people they portrayed, as well as reading what founder Mark Zuckerberg thought of the movie and answers about some of the burning questions raised by it. Other movies that receive this in-depth treatment include "The Devil Wears Prada," "Erin Brokovich," "Schindler's List" and "A League of Their Own." There's also a section about movies based on books, forums for discussion and an area where you can catalog your own DVDs. As for the name of the site, we may never know the true story behind it.

A re you sure about that? If you have a question, the best place to get an answer just might be Quora. This collaborative site starts off by asking to you choose some subjects that interest you, such as books, movies, sports, technology, food and fitness. Once you've chosen five or more, the site offers refinements on those choices. For instance, are you interested in fiction? Recipes? Exercise? Once you've chosen your interests, you're thrown right into the fray, with comments on topics from other Quorians. Anyone can ask, answer or even edit the questions. You also can search and add queries, or just browse around your feed. You can look at top stories, the most recent ones and open questions. You're able to "upvote" a question, make or read others' comments, and even start your own board, making me sure Quora is a great source for answers.

hen in Rome... We've always heard that it's best to emulate the locals, and Touristlink lets you do that with the help of residents of wherever you're heading. The site's focus is connecting tourists with more than 5,000 experts so you can get to know firsthand what the locals have known all along, whether you want to get off the beaten path or just plan your own trip. Like many sites now, you can sign up with Facebook or use your email address like we did in the "good old days." Next, set up your profile with your personal information, photo and interests such as hiking, cooking, museums and yoga. Then complete your page on the site, telling people a little more about yourself. You can share the places you've been, those you still want to visit, and memories of your travels. You also can get involved in discussions, make friends, and, finally, request information about travel plans, all just like the Romans might do.

J ust who is Richard Wiseman, anyway? This quirky British psychologist is everywhere, and his blog will tell you why you care and where to find his stuff. For a man who started his professional life as a magician, Wiseman has had a whirlwind of careers, some concurrently. For instance, he's written a half-dozen books, some of them best sellers that have been translated into 30 languages. He also has YouTube videos that have more 40 million views, and has worked as a creative consultant to television and live shows including "Mythbusters" and "The Mentalist." On a more serious note, he's published more than 60 research papers in respected academic journals including "Nature" and "Science." This site links all of it together, from his investigations of the paranormal, magic, humor, deception and lying to his videos and books. Yes, Wiseman makes learning fun, and that makes you want to know him.

W hat's another term for rutabaga? You're bound to find the answer at The Cook's Thesaurus. This site doesn't waste time with fancy designs; it's all about the content. It is, in essence, a cooking encyclopedia that offers information about thousands of ingredients and kitchen tools. Entries go into great depth, including photos, descriptions, synonyms, pronunciations and suggested substitutions for pretty much any type of food you can think of. You can search for anything, or simply browse through the categories of fruits, vegetables, dairy, flavorings, liquids, baked goods, legumes and nuts, meats and fish, fats and oils, baking supplies and equipment, and more. Click on a category, and you find photos and explanations that will help make you a better cook -- and consumer! Sections are full of surprises, such as an international smorgasbord of condiments. Anyone who likes cooking will enjoy the fruit of the labors on this meaty site.

Thanks for visiting. This concludes this run of Eye on the Web with Mary Westheimer. We hope you've enjoyed almost 20 years of stories about sites on the Web.

Meanwhile, please visit our sponsor, sculptor Kevin Caron.


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