Surf's up -
They're so regular, you can practically set your watch by them. I saw them yesterday morning, running in batches along the trail in the park by our house, heading toward the Virginia River and down (I presume) to Quidi Vidi Lake. They fly by at pretty much the same time.
Actually, we see countless groups of runners, from the pair of neighbours who share a morning run, to the all-out Sunday morning squadrons who start in Churchill Square and whose crisscross of the city takes them by our yard.
St. John's running routes
From Run.com, here's a list of 13 routes of varying lengths and difficulty that will take you around the St. John's area. The options range from a two-lap jog around Burton's Pond and the Memorial University campus to a much more intensive 20-mile run from Cape Spear to Cabot Tower.
There's room for more than just the routes listed, of course, and as a user-generated feature, you can contribute your own favourite route. Run.com uses a mashup with Google Maps, with standard plotting tools.
Also look for the link to other running routes around the province. Again, there's plenty of room for new contributions, although a busy beaver in Marystown has been mapping out the routes there.
Elsewhere this week
Got a Mac? Apple Bodega is an online app store - not for iPhones, but for the laptops or desktop models. Download the software, and have the Bodega (we'd call it a Groc & Conf, if it had been made in Newfoundland) show you cool programs and tools that will let you get your work done faster, indulge a hobby or have some fun. Some are free, others come at a cost.
Face Your Pockets
There's something eerie and wonderful about Face Your Pockets, which asks a simple task of its readers worldwide: empty your pockets, drop them on a scanner, fit your face into the shot somehow, make an image and e-mail it to the site. In many of the submissions, things like cash, a phone, some identification and the odds and ends of our lives all seem to float as if in space, anchored by a face that often has its eyes closed. Very curious.
Gateway I and II
Developed by Swedish gamesmeister Anders Gustafsson, Gateway and its more complicated successor are online games that make you think. I came across the sequel first, and it took me a good few minutes to get the hang of it. The job? Move a small robot around a surreal series of corridors and rooms, while solving one mini-puzzle after another. It can be confounding; if you get stumped, Google "Gateway walkthrough" to see how things can be solved. That said, you'll want to challenge yourself to figure out each little mystery.
Plenty of search engines will help you find images (that's because, duh, of popular demand), but not nearly as many will help you find sound. This site can be useful, not to mention a lot of whiz-bang-crash fun.
Flickr Tag Browser
Here's a fun way to sift through the millions of photographs on Flickr, the photo sharing site. A tag is a word that a user applies to an image to help describe it, so this browser helps locate images that have various tags in common. For instance, type in words like "family" and "vacation" (you have to separate them by commas) and you'll see a wide variety of pictures that have been tagged that way.
The David Caruso Acting Method
From Cracked, a graphic explanation that says quite briefly what any number of words would spell out: it all comes down to the sunglasses.
John Gushue is a writer in St. John's. Blog: johngushue.typepad.com. Twitter: twitter.com/JohnGushue.