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Sites You Should Visit: Vol. I

It’s always interesting to see what you can find on the world wide web. Here are a few tools, places, and sites I’ve found on my travels.

Spritzlet

So, I do believe that reading is an enjoyable experience. Discovering a new book. Exploring its depths. Scanning its pages. The smell of ink and the sensation of paper upon your fingertips. But sometimes e-readers or online reading is just easier, quicker, and more efficient. Reading is an art, it shouldn’t simply be measured by how fast you can get through it or how hard it is to finish. But bridges are art. A newsletter can be art. A shoe can be art. And they can also all be efficient. Art and efficiency aren’t enemies– they just always best friends.

Well, Spritzlet and efficiency are best friends. This web tool is utterly amazing. It presents one word at a time to you in quick succession so that your eyes don’t have to go from word to word across the line, to the next line, from paragraph to paragraph– instead your eye stays still. From their website:

Check out this video of how still an eye can be using the Spritzlet tool.

This is what it looks as you use the tool. You can change the speed and other factors so that it works best for you.

I was amazed that when I used Spritzlet, I was able to read at 750 wpm! This gif is moving much slower– but the faster you go, the more fluid the information comes in. It’s like listening to someone talk normally versus. hearing. them. talk. one. word. at. a. time. Each person is different, so you can try different settings so that it works for you. You simply check out http://www.spritzlet.com/ and follow their instructions. 


They also have apps for Android, iOS and more. I’ve so far just used the webtool, but it is definitely worth trying out. Let me know what you think!

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The Wayback Machine

I have used this website for almost 10 years and I’m still telling people about it and enjoying their reactions: “Wow! You can do that? No way!”

The Wayback Machine is from the Internet Archive (archive.org) and they are essentially Google and Wikipedia and YouTube combined. They have old books, videos, articles and other resources over millions of subjects. From their home page: “Internet Archive is a non-profit library of millions of free books, movies, software, music, and more.” You could spend days looking at all they have. 

But with the Wayback Machine, you can plumb the depths of the Internet and see “just how far the rabbit hole goes.” If you go to https://archive.org/web/ you’ll be greeted by this statistic: “456 billion web pages saved over time.” The Wayback Machine lets you go back in time and see websites at different points in the past. For example, EvanWeppler.com once looked like this:

Click the link to see even more. Unfortunately, not every webpage and link is saved. You will often encounter this lovely phrase… 

But there are 456 billion other fish in the sea! You can check out how the White House website looked in 1999, see what Gmail.com was like before it was a Google product, and view websites on specific dates, like this CNN front page 3 days after 9/11. Or find your favorite website and see various incarnations over time.

You can often find pictures, stories, even videos that are no longer on current versions of websites– or websites that no longer exist! I found a whole bunch of camp pictures from my old camp before their host changed.

The Wayback Machine adds another dimension to internet browsing. Not only can you travel the width and breadth of the World Wide Web (dang, that sounds so 90s), but you can travel the depths of time as well. It’s basically a Tardis for the Internet. Enjoy!

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Five Labs

This one requires a Facebook account and a little trust. Some of you are anti-Facebook, so you can just skip this part. Some of you don’t let any apps access your info or posts, which is certainly safe– but this won’t give Five Labs your home address and Social Security Number. Or maybe it will. Live on the edge. (I’m 99% sure it won’t.)

If you go to http://labs.five.com/ you’ll see a button. 

Click the button. (You must be signed it to Facebook on your browser.) It will analyze your Facebook posts and determine your personality based on 5 different personality traits: Extraversion, Agreeableness, Conscientiousness, Neuroticism, and Openness. Then it will plot you out on a pentagonal diagram and reveal your “shape.” Here’s mine:

What you’ll see to the left is a chance to analyze your friends. If you click on a Facebook friend it will analyze their posts (level of trust, huh?) and show you their personality “shape”– and you can even compare it to yours to see how similar you are.

As I scroll through friends and see their shapes, it’s fascinating how I don’t get along with some of the people that I am supposedly most like– and how many of my best friends are completely unlike me. At least, according to Five Labs. But isn’t that the human experience? Sometimes love and friendship and kinship is irrational, unexpected, strange. But it’s enjoyable. Until AI hits a certain level and is able to take over humanity, computer algorithms will never fully understand human personalities and relationships.

But it’s interesting to explore, none the less. Read more here!

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Let me know what you think of these 3 sites– and I’ll cover 3 more sometime in the future! Later days!

Posted under: Fun, News

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