Transparent Government, Lie Detection, Price Protector

A survey written about in a recent AARP newspaper revealed that people 50 and up tend to use the internet for information gathering, whereas those under that age group are more prone to using their computers for entertainment. No surprise there. The former-mentioned demographic probably will like this week’s picks; yet this being an election year, some of these sites may help with  your decision-making no matter what your age when you vote.


Sunlight Foundation ( I consider this effort one of the higher uses for the internet. This foundation’s goal is to make the workings of our federal government as transparent as possible, so that we citizens can closely track what Congress is doing. The site’s goal is to foster the public’s trust in our government, and to help reduce corruption. You will find several major website links within the Sunshine Foundation, including Project Vote Smart, Legistorm, and Congresspedia. If you want to know who is getting those huge grants, what the salaries of legislative staff is, or what bill is currently being debated in committee (and by whom), you will find all that and more here. You can be sure Washington-beat journalists use it. This is a very useful cluster of websites for those who want first-hand, unbiased information.


Eyes for Lies ( Some people have an inborn knack for uncovering deception. Scientists have identified only 50 people who are able to spot deception with great accuracy and this individual (whose name I do not know) is one of them. He has some very interesting opinions about Drew Peterson, for example. Also, he believes that John Ramsey (Jon Benet) has not been entirely truthful. The blog is full of the writer’s insights about several suspects of high-exposure criminal cases, and he tells us his method for detecting falsities. Plus, the blog posts a record of hits and misses—more hits than misses, it appears. There is a link to a short quiz where you can attempt to pinpoint micromessages—facial expressions that can betray a speaker’s words and make one question the truth. I could have stayed at this site for another hour or so, just to read the insights about all the cases currently in the news. If you can follow these insights and practice them, then maybe you can detect the level of candor of our Presidential candidates. However, as of this writing, I have only seen comments about suspects or “persons of interest” in criminal investigations at this site.


Wild Mood Swings ( Be careful with assumptions—this website is a service offering surfing recommendations based on your current mood. A drop-down menu lets you click on a “mood,” which can be anything from “cute” to “the truth is out there.” So of course I picked a bunch of moods to sample to see where the site would send me. I was a little disappointed. “Cute” sent me to Cute Overload (baby animal pictures). “The Truth is Out There” sent me to the SETI (search for extraterrestrial intelligence) site. “Secretive” sent me to Post Secret (where people send in their deepest secrets). As I looked through the menu of moods, I started guessing where the link might send me, since I surf enough to know many of these websites. But then, you might like it.


Price Protector ( We all want to save money on our purchases, and this website can help with both online and regular store purchases. It will look up any price reductions for merchandise you’ve purchased with a price protection period, and notify you if the price has dropped. To find out, you copy and paste your online purchase from the page where you add the item to your shopping cart. The site also has coupon deals. I don’t know about you, but when I shop online I usually wonder if I’m missing some deal because I don’t always have a promotion code to lower the price. Anyway, more than 100 stores support the efforts of Price Protector, including Circuit City, Costco, Target, Gap, Sears, Old Navy, and dozens more. We all need to save a buck. This website can help us. And it’s nice to know that they promise not to spam you, either.


~ by IndianaDunesPoet on April 22, 2008.

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