Not everyone can afford private tutoring, and even if they could, sitting next to a teacher with a limited set of time or patience is not always the best solution. This is where sites like Salman Khan’s Khan Academy come in handy.

What started out as an online math lesson to his 6 year old cousin, has quickly turned into an award winning website offering more than 2,200 free educational 10 minute videos and 100 self-paced exercises on mathematics, history, finance, physics, chemistry, biology, astronomy, and economics.

Whether you’re a pre-college student, an elementary schooler, or a senior citizen looking to broaden your general knowledge, Khan Academy offers you basic lessons and graded exercuse modules that will take you all the way from basic addition like 1+1 to trigonometry and more advanced mathematics. Parents can follow their kids’ advancement and teachers can receive real-time class reports on the amount of time spent, subjects covered and success rate of their students.

Personally speaking, I’m slightly excited about finally learning a bit of “Banking and Money”. Sounds like it could come in handy, and who knows? Maybe I’ll even be able to earn a “Black Hole badge” one day…


With all the multitasking and stress of modern day life, sometimes finding an encouraging book, a piece of guided imagery, meditation music, or spiritual teachings can be just about the last straw for maintaining sanity.

Here’s one great site I personally found to be helpful: Sounds True

Sounds True is an independent multimedia publishing company that produces, publishes, and distributes a wide range of spiritual, self-help and therapy related music, audio lessons, instructional DVDs, and books. The products address a wide range of common problems such as stress and anxiety, pain and disease, insomnia and fatigue. The prices are pretty fair, and you can listen to audio samples prior to purchasing.

Feeling a little overwhelmed? Just download an audio file, snuggle up in bed and start decompressing…


Advice Strong

28Apr11


Seems like award winning actress, TV series host, cooking book author and lately also singer Gwyneth Paltrow is everything but a Goop (look it up). However, this is precisely the title of her famous lifestyle site.

GOOP offers a free weekly newsletter by Paltrow, offering advice and recommendations in one of the following categories: Make (cooking), go (places to visit), get (shopping), do (activities and activism), be (relationships, psychology, spirituality) and see (books, websites, exhibitions, etc).

Lately Paltrow has received criticism for dispensing advice aimed mainly at the upper upper class, after replying to a working mom’s e-mail complaining about finding balance in her life, with a list of examples and advice including a daily personal trainer, a celebrity stylist, and a $2,000 coffeemaker.

True – some of the products and places recommended are a bit pricey, however, after reviewing the site myself I can honestly say the woman does have quite a few inspiring ideas and recommendations which she brings to life in a fun, colorful manner. I especially like the Be and Do sections where Paltrow offers health and recreation ideas and corresponds with leading therapists, spiritual leaders, activists and businessmen on various life situations.

Check it out!


 

Okay, let’s face it. There’s never going to be anything quite like curling up in bed with a good old fashioned paper book, feeling the smoothness and crinkles of the pages, smelling the dusty-old or newly-printed aroma (some may disagree), or showing off your great collection of books on the study’s shelves.

However, with that in mind, eBooks do have quite a few advantages – cheaper prices, more eco-friendly, easily accessed, stored and searched, and with the growing convenience of the latest  PDAs and eReaders (anti-glare, touch screen, light weight), eBooks are definitely becoming a power to be reckoned with.

Although eBooks still constitute less than 10% of all book sales, in July 2010, Amazon reported sales of its eBooks had outnumbered the sales of hardcover books for the first time ever during the second quarter of 2010.

In that spirit, here are some of the best places to get started on your eReading:

Project Gutenberg – A free selection of over 33,000 classic books, newsletters and articles available in a variety of downloadable formats.

Google eBook Store – Offers access to millions of online books. Purchases can be stored online and read or downloaded through the customer’s Google account with any web browser. Compatible with most smartphones and eReaders.

Amazon Kindle Store – Offers more than 850,000 books, newspapers, magazines, and blogs for electronic reading with fairly reasonable pricing. Most bestsellers and new releases starting at $9.99.

Barnes & Noble’s NookBook Store – With over 2 million eBooks, magazines, and newspapers. Also offers free eBook sample chapters and a nice selection of free classics. Most prices are competitive with Amazon.

Sony Reader Store – Offers a large selection of eBooks for purchase, with user friendly browsing options. Provides formats suitable for the Sony eBook Reader, other digital readers, smartphones, and PC and Mac reading.

eBooks.com – A popular digital bookstore with over 100,000 titles to choose from in a wide range of subjects, including academic books and digital textbooks.

Happy eReading!


I can’t tell you how many times I’ve stood in the middle of a department store holding a piece of “fashion”, mumbling to myself  “if only the fabric was a bit different”, or “I could’ve designed such a better shirt myself”!

If you can relate to these feelings then the following two sites are perfect for you:

Threadless is a community based company that manufactures T-shirts designed, submitted and rated by the public. Members of the Threadless community submit their T-shirt designs, which are then put to a public vote. A small percentage of the submitted designs are selected for printing and sold through the online store. Creators of the winning designs receive a prize of cash and store credit.

Spoonflower is a fabric printing service that lets you create and order your own textile designs, as well as earn 10% of the sale if your design is purchased by others. The site includes an enormous selection of creative and whimsical fabrics designed by its members, as well as a library of project ideas.

a community-centered online apparel store

My nephew loves cool facts, and he loves skyscrapers. “How tall is that building?” and “how many years did it take them to build it?” are frequent questions on our family trips.

This is why I was slightly thrilled to stumble across this website: skyscraperpage.com

The site includes a database of the world’s tallest buildings with unique diagram illustrations that let you compare their height and size on one scale. You can look up skyscrapers according to country or city and find many interesting facts like the construction dates, architect, floor count, number of elevators, materials, and more.

Now all I have to figure out is “how long would it take you to climb it?”


Ah, don’t you just love the hustle and bustle around Oscar Night. Each year I tell myself I’m probably not going to watch it, but end up seeing the whole thing, and catching up on the gossip the next day.

Especially the fashion gossip. What can I say? As a simple gal who usually dresses on a JC Penney budget, it’s kinda nice checking out once in a while how I could look in Dolce & Gabbana, Versace, Yves Saint Laurent or Oscar de la Renta if I had a few millions in the bank.

Here are a few of the best sites to catch Oscar fashion reviews, as well as all the other delicious nitty gritty of Hollywood:

BTW, here’s me, my fab Valentino dress and great date from last night (courtesy of a little Photoshop).


Lately, wherever you go, whatever you do, you can’t stop hearing the word: Apps.

With more than 1 billion smart-phones expected by 2013, mobile applications are an exploding market with predictions of reaching a staggering revenue of $21 billion by 2013.

Whether it’s fun games, music, social networking, photo editing, task management, instant translation of signs, business card scanning or even birth control, blood pressure and diabetes monitoring – they’ve got an app for it!

If you’re new to the mobile app scene, a good place to start would be these sites:

Appolicious – user and critic reviews and recommendations on the latest and best iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, and Android apps. The site also includes a directory of applications and application developers.

AppBrain – An online Android application directory and installations tool.

iPhone App Store – Apple’s iPhone app store includes over 350,000 apps for every purpose under the sun.

Android Market – An online store developed by Google for Android applications.

And just so we’ll know what the future has in store, IT research guru, Gartner, recently released its predictions of what would be the top 10 mobile application trends in 2012:

  • Location-based services (LBSs) – such as map navigation, local traffic jam, deals or service alerts.
  • Social networking – text, photo, video and game sharing online.
  • Mobile Search – website, product and price search and comparison.
  • Mobile Commerce – “checking in” to stores, or adding items to a shopping cart by taking a photo of an item or bar code.
  • Mobile Payment – paying for services and goods via mobile instead of cash, checks or credit card.
  • Context-aware Service – product and service suggestions according to personal interests and preferences.
  • Object Recognition (OR) – pointing your mobile towards an object – the Eiffel Tower, for example, and instantly seeing the admission price, working hours, and other information.
  • Mobile Instant messaging (MIM) – transferring the desktop messaging experience, such as Skype or MSN to the mobile arena.
  • Mobile e-mail
  • Mobile video

So, all that’s left to say is…app…app…app and away!

An online software store developed by Google for Android devices and applications.

Lately, coupon clippers and shopaholics alike have been lucky to enjoy a surge in the booming trend of group buying websites.

For those of you not yet familiar with this concept,  group buying websites offer attractive daily deals at large (sometime up to 90%) discounts off local products and services from businesses who are willing to provide them for a guaranteed number of buyers.

According to eMarketer, 2010′s top ten group buying websites in the US included Groupon, EversaveLivingSocial BuyWithMe, Tippr, DealOn, Crowd Cut, KGB Deals, BlackBoardEats and Half Off Depot.

So much has already been said about the big players in the field, that we thought we might recommend a few smaller, interesting niche-specific dealers:

Juice in the City, claimed to be “launched the day after Mother’s Day 2010 because neither of us got a damn thing we really wanted”, is a group buying site for moms by moms. Each daily deal offered on the site is meant to appeal to women with young children and does not require a certain number of people to sign up.

FamilyFinds is an online daily deal site exclusively focused on families. Interesting deals we found included discount summer art camp and rock climbing classes for the kids, and a photographed family portrait.

Roozt.com offers up to 80% discount on “green” products from environmentally responsible companies, and donates 1% of every purchase to the non-profit of your choice.


Once upon a time preparing school assignments meant spending a few good hours in the library, or looking up your home encyclopedia (which your parents were very proud of purchasing). Nowadays, with the internet revolution, kids can find the information they’re looking for at the tip of their fingers. However, quite often this information overflow can be quite overwhelming.

Springo Kids is a great tool to easily find all the best websites that will help kids do their homework. It provides a  start-page with links to the leading, safe, educational sites on the web in topics such as math and science, as well as an easy-to-maneuver website directory.

Let’s say you’re 10 years old, you need to prepare a science project and you have no idea where to begin.

All you need to do is enter Springo Kids, choose your age range – “Over 8″ (girl or boy) and then either click on the “science” section or one of its top website logos, or type the word “science” or any other free wording in the search box at the top of the page.

You will immediately see the closest topics in the directory and a visual display and short description of all relevant websites, ordered by ranking. One click on any of the websites will transfer you directly to them.

Check out a few of Springo Kids’ recommended science websites:NASA Science for Kids, National Geographic Kids, Science News for Kids, Discovery’s Science Homework Help.




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