School's out, but Bart's still at the blackboard

John
John Gushue
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Another school year is ending this week. The books are put away, the lesson plans are back in the folder, and the chalkboards will be getting less of a workout until at least September.

One blackboard, though, is open for business all through the summer, and is the first stop on this week's web tour. We'll also take a break at one of the finest gardens in the province, learn how to convert your online clips, and have a laugh at pictures of people with little in common ... other than their remarkably similar facial expressions.

Surf's up -

Another school year is ending this week. The books are put away, the lesson plans are back in the folder, and the chalkboards will be getting less of a workout until at least September.

One blackboard, though, is open for business all through the summer, and is the first stop on this week's web tour. We'll also take a break at one of the finest gardens in the province, learn how to convert your online clips, and have a laugh at pictures of people with little in common ... other than their remarkably similar facial expressions.

Bart's Blackboard


bartsblackboard.com



Bart Simpson has written some pretty awesome things over the years, as seen in the opening seconds of "The Simpsons" each week for the last two decades. (One of my favourites? "Cursive writing does not mean what I think it does.") The show's writers have poked fun at everyone over the years, including themselves, and on Bart's Blackboard, you can look at every message of every show from every season. For new content, we'll just have to wait until Bart returns, yet again, to Springfield Elementary in September.

Botanical Garden


www.mun.ca/botgarden



Memorial University's Botanical Garden was founded almost four decades ago, and has become a haven in St. John's - whether or not you can identify the plant species as you go along the trails. It's a wonderful resource, and I can't get over how many people in the city area have never stopped by for a visit. The garden offers many programs and services (click on the Friends tab if you'd like to join FOG, or Friends of the Garden, the volunteers who help keep the garden going), and the site will be a good guide for planning a visit.

Clip Converter

www.clipconverter.cc



Let's say you have a link to a YouTube video, and you'd like to play it later, when it's convenient for you, but on a device that doesn't have web access. Clip Converter is a multi-purpose tool for turning such a clip into a Flash video, an mpeg, an MP3, or other products of your choice. It's easy to use, too.

Totally Looks Like

totallylookslike.com



In 1986, Spy magazine launched a regular feature called Separated At Birth, featuring photographs of two persons whose facial poses were more than just a little similar. (I still remember "SCTV's" Edith Prickley matched with Benazir Bhutto.) That was in the days (years, really) before digital imaging, so it was impressive that photo researchers spent that much time looking for pairs. The concept is what drives this user-generated project, in which readers submit two pictures in which A, you guessed it, totally looks like B. Some succeed far more than others.

"True Blood"

www.hbo.com/true-blood



HBO's hit series (which combines fangs, sex appeal and small-town politics in a show that is both hilarious and scary) is just a couple of episodes into its second season. Werewolves, Nazis (yes, really) and other dark creatures have joined the proceedings, which you can follow here, on the official website. Look for a link to Bloodcopy, a Twitter-powered community forum.

Five-note Vuvuzela

www.lovecreative.com/vuvuzela



Last week, I told you about an iPhone app that's become a surprise hit, as it mimics the annoying racket of the vuvuzela. Here's another way you can bring that World Cup cacophony into your personal space, if you so choose. This site offers five noise-making options, from "annoying" to "like eating glass" to "just kill me."

Snapbuzz

www.snapbuzz.com



There's a torrent of videos, images and curious things online - far more than any one person could manage (let alone want) to see. Snapbuzz is a time-saving option, as it sifts through what other people have seen and enjoyed. Now, whether it strikes your taste is quite another question ...

John Gushue is an online editor with CBC News in St. John's. Twitter: @johngushue. Blog: johngushue.typepad.com

Organizations: Botanical Garden, Spy magazine, CBC News

Geographic location: St. John's

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