By and Marge: How well do you know Springfield?

John
John Gushue
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How well do you know the people in your neighbourhood? More than five dozen faces appear before you and you have a limited time in which to name each one ... including some you've only seen once. The upside: Some are world famous. They're also yellow.

Simpsons character quiz

www.sporcle.com/games/simpsons.php

Finally! A quiz to reward the many, many half-hours I have invested (yes, I use the word advisedly) in watching the Simpsons over the years. The setup is easy: You have 10 minutes to identify 63 faces, which hardcore fans will know is far from a complete list of characters who have appeared on the show over almost two decades of production. I was pleased (relieved, in some ways, shamed in others) to have gotten them all correct, which at least proves I've been paying attention.

Surf's up - How well do you know the people in your neighbourhood? More than five dozen faces appear before you and you have a limited time in which to name each one ... including some you've only seen once. The upside: Some are world famous. They're also yellow.

Simpsons character quiz

www.sporcle.com/games/simpsons.php

Finally! A quiz to reward the many, many half-hours I have invested (yes, I use the word advisedly) in watching the Simpsons over the years. The setup is easy: You have 10 minutes to identify 63 faces, which hardcore fans will know is far from a complete list of characters who have appeared on the show over almost two decades of production. I was pleased (relieved, in some ways, shamed in others) to have gotten them all correct, which at least proves I've been paying attention.

Elsewhere this week:

How Google Works

tinyurl.com/2u77ja

Google has been so huge, for so long, we take it for granted.

At least one in every two searches on the web uses Google, which also dominates in other areas, from news delivery to e-mail clients to blogging software. How Google Works is a slight scan of how your search works, with a brief timeline about how Google has kept growing over the last decade.

Square Foot Gardening

www.squarefootgardening.com/

Container gardening has become a popular alternative for gardeners who want fresh vegetables on the deck.

Square-foot gardening applies that minimal way of thinking to the soil, with very small plots for each plant.

You'll find plenty of ideas at this site administered by Mel Bartholomew; the site's look is pretty outdated, and even though he's selling products here, you don't have to do any shopping at all to pick up some great ideas.

Express Scribe

www.nch.com.au/scribe/

Ever had the joy of transcribing a lot of audio? You'll know, then, that I'm being facetious. Transcribing is drudgery. Express Scribe is a downloadable program that attempts to speed up the process. It has the special advantage of being free. (It also hooks up to various foot pedals, which experienced transcribers will recognize as very helpful indeed.)

Redesign Me

www.redesignme.com/

Ever picked something up and thought you could do a better job? I'll cop to thinking that when reading something, but I don't have a clue about product design. Redesign Me is aimed at people who do, and moreover is built on the philosophy (quite a trendy one at the moment) that the crowd knows more than you do. The site only launched last fall, and its RDM Challenges launched just this month. That said, registered users may get a kick out of chipping in. Some obstacles seem obvious: Companies will need to trust their designs with an open-source flavour, and contributors may resent their ideas floating out without remuneration. Still, this is the sort of web venture that may find niche followings.

This Next

www.thisnext.com/activity/map/

What are people buying online? You won't find much economic data here. In fact, none ... other than seemingly random tidbits of information about items that people have been picking up through online shopping sites. There are plenty of sites that are basically mashups with Google Earth; this one is one of the more frivolous, and yet I bet plenty of people would find it entertaining to sit back and watch for a few minutes.

The Pixar Process

www.pixar.com/howwedoit/

With "Toy Story", "Cars", "Ratatouille" and especially with "The Incredibles," Pixar has made some stunningly good films, and not just compared with other animated features. This feature on the Pixar site explains the basics of a film (in this case, Monsters Inc.) gets made. The main problem? It's all too brief.

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: hngushue.typepad.com.

Organizations: Google, Pixar, Incredibles Monsters

Geographic location: St. John's

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