Surf's up -
A tourism app for your smartphone is the first step on this week's hop around the web. The next stops include a tribute to a beloved scientist and friend; a tool that shows how multiple translations can veer far, far away from the original message; and a collection of photographs that imagine what celebrities would look like if they lived in a low-key suburb near Toronto.
Let's get started.
St. John's app
Through Destination St. John's, here's a way to get more out of the city on your iPhone or BlackBerry. You'll find restaurant listings, points of interest, where to go for a hike, where to grab a beer ... it goes on. If you know someone coming for a visit, this would be a great tip to send along. If your phone is GPS-enabled, the mapping functions will become a whole lot more useful.
When Jon Lien died last week, Newfoundland and Labrador lost not only one of its best-known scientists, but one of its key voices in conservation, not to mention a farmer, a wildlife advocate and a good friend to many. This page was created days later, to collect tributes to Lien.
The phrase "lost in translation" is often apt when we move from just one language to another. When you zig and zag between multiple languages, well, hilarity can ensue. Bad Translator takes some wording of your choice, runs it between a mini-Babel of options (at least 10, but you can select more), and presents you with a finished product that will no doubt be far away from your starting point. To try it out, I typed in Brian Peckford's oft-used aphorism - "Some day the sun will shine, and have-not will be no more" - and wound up with this: "One day, sunny, most will not."
Celebrities of Barrie, Ont.
This hilarious collection of photoshopped faces has been making the rounds on Facebook, which means you'll have to be a member to see it. Let me put it this way: it's so funny, it's worth joining Facebook, if you haven't already signed up. Someone took pictures of John Travolta, Tom Cruise, Gwen Stefani and many others, and morphed their facial features into the bodies of some particularly average people.
Beck, a mainstay of alternative rock for more than 15 years, evidently has lots of friends - or at least acquaintances willing to show up at his studio, jam on a tune, and allow the results to be posted here. Record Club includes collaborations with Feist, Devandra Bernhardt, Wilco's Jeff Tweedy and others, taking on various covers, including hits by INXS. As the stakes are pretty low, the willingness to take chances (already pretty high with Beck, anyway) is pretty high.
Browser market share
If you're like, well, almost everybody, the browser you're currently using to surf the web has changed in the last eight years. This interactive graphic cleanly and clearly shows the shifts in browser choices, from January 2002 up until last summer. Once upon not that long ago, we were in the AOL and Netscape universe; looking at this graphic, you'll see how much things have changed.
Create Your Own Motivational Poster
One of the most popular memes on the Internet for years has been the motivational poster - not the earnest, up-with-people posters that you'll find on actual office walls, but the ironic or sarcastic or just plain old hilarious sendups you'll want to share with friends. Here's a tool that will help you make your own. You need to add your own picture ... and something clever to say.
John Gushue is a writer and editor with CBCNews.ca in St. John's. Twitter: @johngushue. Blog: johngushue.typepad.com.