Friday, March 23, 2007

Cool Sites for March 2007

Word games. We play them. We share them. We get phone calls about them. To help guide us, Gerry provides MoreWords, at At MoreWords, you can find dictionary words for crossword puzzles, code words and word games like Scrabble®, Upwords® and Jamble. Use a hyphen (dash) to give the location of a missing letter: w-rd or -are. Use an asterisk (star) for any number of unknown letters: lett* or *gry or ar*ct. Exclude words containing the letters that follow a caret (hat): ma-e ^kt. Or enter a few letters (without hyphens or asterisks) to see if they make any words.

Kim offers Google's patent search service in beta: The following information is reproduced from an email sent to the PubLib email list in December 2006: You can search the full text of, and retrieve the text and drawings of, seven-million-odd U.S. patents from the 1790s to mid 2006. Be sure to click on "About Google Patent Search" down at the bottom to learn about special search features. If you want to try it out, type "Joseph C. Schallan" on the search line. You should get just one hit, for U.S. Patent 1,549,386, for a revolutionary new milking-hopple design. This nifty gizmo clamps onto Bessie's leg tendons, which renders vigorous tail-swishing unpleasant for her. It keeps Bessie from slapping you in the face with her tail while you are milking her (and from bringing other interesting but objectionable matter to your cheek depending on what Bessie has been eating). American agricultural ingenuity at work! When I wanted a copy of this patent back in the 1970s, I had to trek all the way to the Los Angeles Public Library, which maintained a complete collection, on paper, of U.S. patents. So I'm in a position to appreciate, and marvel at, delivery of U.S. patent documents directly to my home desk, in the blink of an eye, for free. For twenty-something librarians this is nothing special, but, believe me, it is. The last 15 years have seen a fundamental shift in information acquisition -- toward the instantaneous and non-intermediated -- that is unprecedented and revolutionary.

And finally, Margaret offers If I dig a very deep hole, where I go to stop?, at, subtitled "another stupid application for Google Maps". Are you concerned about where you're going to arrive if you dig a very deep straight infinitous hole on Earth? Your problems are solved! "If I dig a very deep hole" provides an interactive map. Click where you will dig your hole and "dig here!" Find out where you will end up if you dig a hole in your backyard and go all the way through the earth. You can imagine the practical applications! As Margaret says, "someone may ask about this sometime ... and if they don't, it's still fun anyway." (Also at this site: If I walk in a straight line around the world, where will I pass?)

Thanks to Gerry, Kim, and Margaret for our March sites. Feel free to comment on any of these or to add new sites that are related or just interesting. REALLY, feel MORE THAN FREE!