Moving on up to Movember

John
John Gushue
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According to legend from ancient times (that is, in 2003), Movember started as a bar chat in Australia among a bunch of friends. It’s November, one noted, so why not grow a moustache?

Not long after that, Movember became a movement, and a way of raising funds to fight prostate cancer, one of the deadliest cancers affecting men.

Now, in 2010, it’s everywhere, although I don’t think I’ve ever seen as much Mo-mentum and related activity online.

Movember Canada

ca.movember.com

Hockey playoff beards? Oh, they’ll be back in the spring, but for now, the facial hair of choice is the moustache. If you see a fellow trying to get that caterpillar to evolve into a handlebar, give him a pat on the back … and be prepared to donate. The official site for Movember in Canada has background information, online tools and everything you’ll need to get involved.

A Newfoundland Movember

nlmovember.posterous.com

Participant Jon Duke of St. John’s is one of the people pitching in, and using social media to get friends and others to donate. He shaved off his beloved beard and is posting pictures as his Movember grows in. Best wishes!

Elsewhere this week

Scale of the Universe

www.htwins.net/scale

Here’s something that amazed my son when I showed it to him this week. It’s a feature that delves into the relative scale of things, allowing you to zoom in and out a wide variety of things. You move surprisingly quickly from, say, viruses to human beings to planets. It’s when you look at the micro and macro ends of the spectrum that your mind gets quite the workout. Now that I know what quantum foam is, I will think very differently about what it means to be very, very small. An eye-popper.

Music Time Machine

upchucky.org/TimeMachine.htm

Would youngsters today even recognize a jukebox? Perhaps you need to be of a certain age to appreciate the Music Time Machine, not just for the jukebox setting, but also for the vintage tunes you can select from the year of your choice. I had a lot of fun with this one recent evening while I was working away, and kept tapping for tunes to keep me going. Even better, it was a whole lot cheaper than jukeboxes used to be.

Balloon popper

www.boxofchocolates.nl/flashtrash/

stayhappy.swf

What is the appeal of mindlessly popping balloons? In a virtual setting, there are no broken bits, no needles flying about, and you can turn the volume off if you like, too. This simple page flows balloons continually, in diagonal lines. Your job (to use a word very loosely indeed) is to glide your mouse around, earning one weirdly satisfying pop after another.

Park seasons

www.cleoag.ru/labs/flex/parkseasons/Main.swf

With the seasons changing before our eyes, this site is a nice amusement for a spare moment: spin your mouse, and see an animated park transform as rapidly as you desire.

Google Blogoscoped

blogoscoped.com

Google has an incredible amount of influence over the daily habits of tens of millions of people, and yet many of us don’t think that much about how Google itself operates. (That may be because Google usually offers us a clean white slate when we go to look something up.) Google Blogoscoped follows the company and its services as, say, a car blogger would cover Honda or Ford. For web enthusiasts, it’s always a revealing read.

Past Life Analysis

www.thebigview.com/pastlife

How’s this for some time-passing hooey? You type in the day you were born, and you’re presented with an “analysis” of what you were like in a prior life. I, evidently, was a shepherd or horseman in Labrador in the 13th century with a “revolutionary” streak who inspired many changes. Too bad the journals I ought to have written have evidently been lost for the ages.

John Gushue is an online editor with CBC News in St. John’s. Twitter: @johngushue. Empire Avenue: (e)gushue.

Organizations: Google, CBC News

Geographic location: Canada, Australia, Labrador

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