The weight of the world, measured in cats

John
John Gushue
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I've bookmarked a few helpful websites that handle conversions: you know, from metres to yards, pounds to dollars, centimetres to inches. But what about other, more creative conversions? Your weekly tour of the web starts there, and includes a site that plays with its words, some sources for scoping out quality photographs and a water cooler for the Jane Austen set.

Sensible Units

www.sensibleunits.com

A metre is just over three feet in length ... but did you know it's also the same length as 20 AA batteries, laid end to end? Did you know 10 square miles is the size of 13 Monacos? Or that 100 kilograms is equal to the weight of 20 average cats? Neither did I. The cool thing about Sensible Units is that it converts various units of measurement into things that may mean something more, say, realistic. For instance, 10 metres equals 5.1 Kobe Bryants, or 2.3 double-decker buses stacked on each other. That said, I was a bit surprised that units like litres and gallons didn't trigger anything. Doesn't volume count for anything anymore?

Surf's up - I've bookmarked a few helpful websites that handle conversions: you know, from metres to yards, pounds to dollars, centimetres to inches. But what about other, more creative conversions? Your weekly tour of the web starts there, and includes a site that plays with its words, some sources for scoping out quality photographs and a water cooler for the Jane Austen set.

Sensible Units

www.sensibleunits.com

A metre is just over three feet in length ... but did you know it's also the same length as 20 AA batteries, laid end to end? Did you know 10 square miles is the size of 13 Monacos? Or that 100 kilograms is equal to the weight of 20 average cats? Neither did I. The cool thing about Sensible Units is that it converts various units of measurement into things that may mean something more, say, realistic. For instance, 10 metres equals 5.1 Kobe Bryants, or 2.3 double-decker buses stacked on each other. That said, I was a bit surprised that units like litres and gallons didn't trigger anything. Doesn't volume count for anything anymore?

Will you

http://littlegreatideas.com/ willyou/index.php

"Your friends will betray you. Time will not wait for you." Those are two of the messages that float along the screen on this page, among many, many unusual groupings of words that have only two words in common. The game: you can create your own phrase. The idea is simple: you have two blank fields, with the words "will" and "you" parked alongside them, leaving you to be creative with the words you choose. Some of the submitted phrases are a bit tasteless, so be warned. One of my favourites: "Anonymous will annoy you."

PicApp

www.picapp.com/publicsite

Every Stock Photo

www.everystockphoto.com

Photographic sites and services abound on the web, and here are two that are aimed at people who publish their own blogs and sites. PicApp has a rich supply of images for you to consider. You don't download what you like, but rather copy some code into your file (if working with code frightens you, you may be deterred, but it's actually really easy). Every Stock Photo boasts a free service, but that doesn't mean everything on it is free for you to use. What is free is registration. From there, you'll be directed to a library, where the licensing terms may vary from one photo to the next. It pays to read the fine print, but if you're in the business of needing to source photographic materials, you probably (and hopefully!) know all that already.

Locate TV

www.locatetv.com

Here's a service that has some potential. It's still in beta, which is a fancy way of saying they're still testing it out, so don't get peeved when it doesn't work. The idea is simple: type in a TV show or an actor's name, and find out when you'll next see it on the air. The beta part is key for this limitation: you have to live in the U.S., the U.K or Ireland to get locally relevant listings.

That said, I liked poking around this clean and attractive site, even just to see which shows are now available on DVD.

The Republic of Pemberley

www.pemberley.com

How to explain the allure of Jane Austen? Apart from the often-lush film and TV adaptations of the last decade or so, Austen's novels hold up to this day, I think, because they are simply great reads.

"The Republic of Pemberley" is named after the home of the esteemed Mr. Darcy from "Pride and Prejudice," and it's a gathering ground for Austen fans ... and there's a lot of them, to judge from the activity here.

Two-bit explanation

www.jamesshuggins.com/h/tek1/how_big.htm

What's a bit? Why's a byte? What's a gig? They're all here. If you've always been curious.

John Gushue is a news writer for CBCNews.ca in St. John's. E-mail: surf@thetelegram.com. Read past Surf's Up columns and daily updates at his blog: johngushue.typepad.com.

Organizations: AA

Geographic location: Pemberley, U.S., Ireland St. John's

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