Saturday, May 31, 2008

Help the world by clicking (part 1)

Today I would like to draw your attention to a specific kind of websites - the "click-to-donate" ones.
They are about contributing to a just cause by simply clicking on a link. What is special about them? When clicking on a link, one can see advertisements.
They are being put there by sponsors,
who help the nature and the society with money or any other products. 
 At first, I admit I was quite sceptic about how
my click helps the rainforests or slows the global warming.
It is all in the ads one sees - as we know, ads cost money and this money is sent right away to starving people, animals and trees.

These are some of the websites.

1. Freerice
A website that trains one's vocabulary by a simple test.
One has 1 words and 4 options to choose from.
You should click on the synonym. For each word, you gain 20 grains of rice.
You can play as long as you wish.
Freerice is a non-profit organisation, working with .
A small disadvantage for me is  that there is no ability to keep track of all the rice donated.
Yet, it is a just cause and is worth.
Give it a try, you may come across some new words and phrases :)

2. Freepoverty
This is an organization which goal is to stop the poverty.
Freepoverty donates cups of water to people in need - like the ones in Myanmar or Sichuan.
One plays a geography game - to locate the exact place of a certain town or celebrity.
There are 4 levels - easy, medium, hard and extra hard.
The closer to its actual whereabouts you locate a town, the more cups of water will you donate.
The maximum is 10 cups, the minimum - 1.
You can make 5 mistakes, after which the game ends.
The website remembers the IP and keeps record of donated cups.

3.  Freeflour
This is a website, that tests one's knowledge in geography.
For each correct answer, Freeflour donates the amount of money,
needed for a spoon of flour to Bread for the World.  
10 spoons of flour make up a bun, 100 - a loaf of bread. 
This means - the more you play, the more you help cure world hunger.
A small minus for me is the big presense of ads.
I know they are the money generator, yet this makes the website rather slow sometimes.
As with Freepoverty, Freeflour keeps track of the number of breads donated.


Sunday, May 11, 2008

5 places to store some files

I'm sure of it. Each and every of us has searched for some decent website, where one can upload all kinds of documents, one's favourite music or some video file. Yes, there are some places present, where you can store a picture or two, but ... what happens to the 2 gb (for example) .rar file, containing some important text files,
some albums of the favourite band and a directory full of pictures, that you can't upload one by one? Read below :


This is a nice storage website with stylish, easy and fast design.
You can upload files up to 100 mb each, yet there is no place restriction. The registration goes
fast and easy and gives some privileges - a catalogue of uploaded files and an opportunity for file-sharing level - whether the files/folders are accessible for everyone or they are private.
There is no time limit for keeping the files. Try it out!

One of the best of its kind. After a short registration, one's granted some 5 gb place for storage.
If you need more, you can always upgrade - there are several options at a variable price.
The upload goes through a Flash based virtual drive that resembles Windows Explorer and provides various security options.
The upload limit for a single file is 100 mb, yet there is a possibility for multi-upload. 
Easy interface, plenty of gigabytes ... a very good storage place.

This is a "light" version of 4shared. There is no need to register.
The file size in once again limited to 100mb.
When you upload a file, you get a download link and an administration link.
You can use it to set a password, a description or simply to delete the uploaded file.
2shared has a pretty nice design -  fast, stylish, easy to use.
There is also a search bar, if you are looking for something. 
A fast and useful website. Give it a try!

Another good option for fast and secure file storage.
You get 2 gb free and some upgrade options - pretty advantageous, I think.
Diino has a multilangual support and interface.
The upload goes through special free diino software.
One can upload not just imple files, but folders, which is very convenient.
In the end - you can access it via your mobile phone.
You also get a free e-mail account.
Diino is a nice option when you have to backup big packs of data.

Ever been in need to send a file to a friend? will help you.
One can upload up to 2 gb file. Filetac sends an e-mail to the user.
He receives a download link that can be used 10 times.
You can include some short text to the e-mail.
The files remain stored as long as you wish. If there is no download for 12 months, they get automatically deleted.
Very convenient and fast website. See for yourself.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Nine Inch Nails - The Slip

Let's face the facts. The year is 2008 ,the 21 st century.
A place where the "so many fools with so much money, we can take some of it" idea has evolved into lifestyle for the showbusiness.

But there are some people, who simply can't accept this. One of them are the NIN.
I guess it should be more accurate to say "is the NIN", since the amazing Trent Reznor is the
only official member. I won't talk about his past projects (some of them quite impressive, by the way), even if they are worth of.

Let's focus on The Slip - NIN's last project. First of all, it's completely free to have.
You should simply follow the link and get your download started.
Reznor has ensured a brilliant mp3 quality
(256-320 kbps variable) and a secure server who can maintain the constant download without crashing.

The Slip has it - the typical NIN feeling, the industrial rock sound, the lyrics, that exert influence on the listener ... 10 songs, completely different in their sound.
The furious, oldschool "1,000,000 ", the ambient sound of "Corona Radiata" and "The Four Of Us AreDying", making you feel released,  havig overleapt the boundaries...

You want to feel it? Go ahead, I'm sure you will enjoy it.
If you like it, take a look at another project - Ghosts.
The first disk is free, the whole collection costs 5$ only, giving you 36 ambient tracks.

Thanks again, Trent.

Friday, May 9, 2008

The Dark Side of the Moon(s)

Dark night. Or maybe too early in the morning. It depends on one's point of view and the way one accepts the idea of staying up to 2 a.m., with a cigarette in the hand, looking at the sombre sky with some thoughts flowing through his mind.What shall this fellow see? Let's put aside the stars (and the complicated combinations some people think they make) and there it is - The Moon! 
I should admit I've always admired the Moon. There's something very special about it.
I mean, we see the Moon every day, some contemplate it with some absent-minded look, others - through telescopes, satellites and so on, 
and yet - we can't say we know all about it.

These days I came across an interesting theory - "The Earth once had multiple moons".
Yes,  at first glimpse it sounds insane. But this theory is worth thinking of. 
We know that scientists think the Moon was created when Earth was struck by a Mars-sized object some 4.5 billion years ago.
They have proof of it - the probes they took from our Earth and from the surface of the Moon, show a big similarity in the chemical substance they are built of.
Some scientists believe that the Earth should have been bigger back these days -
to endure a clash with an object with the size of contemporary Earth is not an easy task, you know.
Using this, they claim that some smaller parts, except the Moon, have also taken a flight
into the open space.  The scientists call them "Troyan satellites".
Because of gravitation, some of these parts remained as a natural satellite,
alongside with the Moon.
They remained there for some 100 million years ( I know it sounds crazy, but this is a rather small period for astronomy) 
and with some changes, that occured in Earth's gravitation, 
they themselves crashed into our planet or the Moon. 
Matija Cuk, an astrophysicist at the University of British Columbia in Canada, suggests small, asteroid-sized objects a few tens of kilometres across would have lasted the longest as Trojan satellites. Cuk estimates these 'lost moons' might have circled Earth for a billion years or more after the Moon's formation.

Interesting theory. It can't be neither accepted, nor neglected. 
Astronomy is developing quite fast these days.
In 2003, new satellites of Jupiter have been discovered.  
Even, a new planet was discovered and accepted as part of the solar system in 2006.
Some further proof will be needed, I think.

As the X-Files state, the truth is out there.  And there is a chance not to see it until some moment. I hope this moment is closing...

The Maltese Falcon (1941)

If you have ever been interested in detective stories,  crime movies and unsolved murders, there is a
great chance that you might have come across the
"film noir" genre. If you haven't, I should admit I envy you - you have the chance of diving in the sweet and deadly world of these films. 
What is a film noir? A black-and-white crime drama, with a femme fatale and a "typical" man - showing no feelings, knowing what and how something needs to be done, being a cynic and yet having a complex moral code, hidden inside him.

I would like to turn your attention to "The Maltese Falcon" - one of the masterpieces in the film noir genre. 
There is no sense of retelling the film, yet this is what happens in a few words.
  First of all,  there is the enormous Humphrey Bogart - 
one of the symbols of the American cinema 
and film noir in particular during the 40s and 50s. He plays Sam Spade - a popular, yet fictional character of some crime stories, private investigator.
Miss Ruth Wonderly ( the "femme fatale" in this film) is a customer, who shows up at his office, trying to find her sister. The same day Spade's partner (Miles Archer)  gets killed.
 After some rumble, a man of spectacular manners and speech, called Joel Cairo (played by Peter Lorre - another Hollywood star in these years) offers Spade 5000$ to find "the Maltese falcon" - a black figure of a bird, lost in the time of the Templars.
Murder and vice pursue our private detective in his search. 
At last, after some very unexpected events and disclosures, Sam finds out who is the one 
that killed his partner. 

This film is spectacular - you can watch it over and over again for many times and never get bored. Apart from the thrilling story, the actors' crew is really good. 
Bogart puts out a great performance, playing Sam Spade -the tough guy so deep in cynicism that nobody could hope to put anything past him. This is a milestone movie for Bogie - his rise to fame begins with it. 
The movie itself wrote the book of the crime and mystery drama story. Probably the best written plot in its genre. No doubt that Bogart makes the character come alive, with that easy voice and his uncompromising demeanor. But the movie itself is, to say the least, great. The ending just does it for me. The last couple of lines are some of the best in film history.

A 40's classics definitely worth seeing!

English Football 07/08

The 2007-2008 football season in England has come to its end. There are some hopes, there are some disappointments, but there are no big surprises. If we make a quick tour through the four stages of professional English football, we could highlight some interesting details.
Of course, we shall start with Barclay's Premier Legaue. Here we have millions of pound and euro changing their holders, the best players of the contemporary generation defending the colours of their clubs, huge sums are being paid by TV programs to broadcast the football matches ...
There is one round left and   nobody can tell for sure who will win the trophey.
The rivalry is, of course, between 2 of the "big 4" competitors of English top class football - Manchester United and Chelsea. Both have collected 84 points so far. In the last round, both teams face rivals, that seem to be easily beaten. Man United boys travel to the city of Wigan and Bolton pay a visit to Chelsea's Stamford Bridge. This final clash will decide who will be the next champion.
Both Sir Alex Ferguson and Avram Grant are confident of winning the title.
Sir A. Ferguson, who's managing his team since 1986, 
knows the way to victory and hopes to find it one more time. Since he was appointed coach of the Manchester team, the "Red Devils" have won 9 Premier League titles, 5 FA Cups,  2 League Cups and 7 times the Community Shield. And these are the domestic achievements only. The Scottsman is pretty well aware of his team, knows what great potential is concentrated in each player and has the right key to unlock it. 

On the other hand we have Avram Grant. Not many things were known about him until September 2007. A personal friend of Chelsea's owner Roman Abramovich, after the departure of Jose Mourinho, he was appointed Coach. In the beginning it was hard. Several players protested against Grant replacing Mourinho, Chelsea played badly and started losing points. The hope of a UEFA qualification place was alive, but no dreams of the title were present. Avram Grant made it possible. He worked hard, despite all the critisicm, lead Chelsea through the Champions League up to the final, managed a 16-game unbeaten run,added some figures like Nicholas Anelka to the team, gained valuable points and threatened Manchester United's and Arsenal's title claim.
Curious about this is a certain fact - the two teams shall clash once again, but this time it will be on an European Stage - the Champions League final. Will one of those teams have the self-confidence and strength, needed to make a "double" - winning both tropheys? Only time will show.