Rooms with views, words with clues

John
John Gushue
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Get your scissors; time to clip a column with some sites to amuse, inform and tickle ... although, I'm guessing, not all at the same time.

Room Planner

roomplanner.icovia.com/bassett/

Bored with your living room? Planning a renovation? Here's a free, easy and kinda fun tool for letting your imagination have at it, without having to even touch pencil and paper. Mark out the dimensions of your room, and then select the ingredients (couches, chairs, tables, bookcases, rugs - even pets!) you'll find in it. Simple tools make it easy to rotate the position of furniture, or adjust the proportional sizes. Very cool. One drawback: I had wanted to play around with the kitchen that's been in our heads for years, and couldn't. Oh well. Registration is required, but it's no hassle.

Surf's up - Get your scissors; time to clip a column with some sites to amuse, inform and tickle ... although, I'm guessing, not all at the same time.

Room Planner

roomplanner.icovia.com/bassett/

Bored with your living room? Planning a renovation? Here's a free, easy and kinda fun tool for letting your imagination have at it, without having to even touch pencil and paper. Mark out the dimensions of your room, and then select the ingredients (couches, chairs, tables, bookcases, rugs - even pets!) you'll find in it. Simple tools make it easy to rotate the position of furniture, or adjust the proportional sizes. Very cool. One drawback: I had wanted to play around with the kitchen that's been in our heads for years, and couldn't. Oh well. Registration is required, but it's no hassle.

Budget 2009

www.budget.gov.nl.ca/budget2009/

If all goes to plan, Finance Minister Jerome Kennedy will bring down the budget today at Confederation Building. This is my bet of where you can find the budget documents after 2 p.m.; similar addresses have, at least, been used in previous years. As I write this, there's nothing there, although the government has been pretty good over the years in posting its budget materials online fairly quickly.

Septic's Companion

septicscompanion.com/

If you're going for some bubble and squeak at your mate's mum's flat, you're, well, British. (And you're having a cabbage dish at your friend's mom's apartment, don't you know.) Here's a guide to British slang, compiled by a Scottish expat. A few of the words and phrases are still used in our particular corner of the world.

Popword

www.eastoftheweb.com/games/Popword.html

Here's a word game that feels a little like Tetris. Instead of falling shapes, you have letters, and your goal is to spot the words as they appear on your screen. Mark a word by dragging your mouse across it (horizontally, vertically, diagonally, etc.). When you succeed, the letters disappear, reshaping the board every time. You'll need to think quickly and keep your eyes on the big picture to keep the game in play as long as possible.

Best of Photojournalism

bop.nppa.org/

Count me among those who take photojournalism as seriously as what's written with a keyboard or pen. Come here for the best news and feature photography anywhere. There's lots to explore, including a rich archive showcasing awards in numerous categories. Bookmark the site to check back later for winners of the most recent judging year.

Real Clear Markets

www.realclearmarkets.com/

Yep, it's often depressing, but keeping up with the business and economic news these days is arguably more important than ever. Will RCM, or Real Clear Markets, simplify your morning read of business news? Nah. It'll actually give you more choices than you need, but you will definitely not feel that you're out of the loop.

Drinks Are on Me

drinksareonme.net/

Or, "an almost daily account of what Dale Cruse likes to put in his mouth." Upfront, and largely about wine, you'll be glad to know. Funny and topical, this blog is, indeed, updated regularly enough to deserve recurring visits.

Silly Books

www.sillybooks.net/

Can any kid write a book? Yep ... here at least. Apart from offering aspiring writers a place to have their work posted, if not necessarily published, Silly Books has plenty else for kids to enjoy. Kids just learning to read and those well into elementary grades can browse through an online library of sorts.

Parents, as always, should look around first.

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: Confederation Building

Geographic location: St. John's

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