Get Smart

Reliable Resources ( A listing of 25 online resources will lead you to trusted information—helpful when you are doing research or writing a term paper. Several of the listings have been mentioned previously in this column. One that was new to me is Intute (, which I briefly scanned. With online movies and quick bytes of this-and-that proliferating on the Web, I truly wonder how many people use their computers for educational purposes.

Visual Arts Data Service ( Since I have an interest in digital scrapbooking, I am usually looking around for copyright-free images. Several gallery archives are posted at VADS, as this service is called. I found myself drawn to the “Posters of Conflict” gallery, which focuses on WWI and WWII, and contains over 7,000 images. I figure that visual learners can absorb a decent understanding of the effects the two world wars had on people. The images are not in chronological order, however. You must be willing to look through pages and pages of images, which can eat away a good chunk of time. There are some disturbing images of Hitler’s propaganda, and some curious ones about the need to eat potatoes, not bread, gather rags, metals, buy war bonds, etc. You’ll come away understanding the many hardships people lived through during each war.

Dante’s Inferno ( Throw away the Cliff Notes, students. This flash presentation is much more enlightening than dry reading.

String Theory ( This flash presentation and explanation makes it so much easier to grasp the concepts of the fourth-through-tenth dimensions, especially for slugs such as myself. It will give your brain a good workout and keep senility at bay. If you dig what you experience, then head over to the forum page and read the remarks of the many people who appear to easily understand these concepts.

Jeopardy Questions ( Remember superstar Ken Jennings? You too can become just as brainy by plowing through the questions (oops! I mean “answers”) from Seasons 1 through 24. It’s a lot of reading, but your brain will love you for the challenge.

Only in Russia ( This one is for Charley McElvey, our foreign correspondent who fell in love with the country of my ancestors. This site has posted about a dozen photos of strange circumstances that might be found in a “backward” nation. I particularly liked the bales of hay stacked haphazardly on the back of a compact truck. Enjoy, Charley!

 Artist or Ape? ( Measure your ability to recognize true abstract art from an ape’s painting. I was pleased with my perfect score. I don’t know if that means that the quiz was too easy, or that I can thank our local artists for teaching me some things. When you have finished that quiz, you will find lots more about literature, poetry, music and even politics.


~ by IndianaDunesPoet on March 6, 2008.

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