The website PeanutizeMe.com lets you look like a character in the “Peanuts” comic strip. Choose a boy or girl and then select what he or she is wearing, and select a background. With brown hair and glasses, Joy’s Peanuts character looked something like her. This is a very clever use of an old programming routine and is being used to promote a new movie titled “The Peanuts Movie.” Likely we’ll see it used frequently now to create your own super hero, android, cowboy or whatever new show or movie is coming out.
YouTube.com/user/RoyalInstitution has lectures from Britain’s 216 year old Royal Institution, an organization founded for research and teaching in the sciences. Of particular note are their famous Christmas lectures. We recently watched “What a Wonderful World: One Man’s Attempt to Explain the Big Stuff,” by Marcus Chown. He spoke on “why babies are powered by rocket fuel, why slime molds have 13 sexes, and why 98% of the Universe is invisible.”
SmithsonianMag.com has an interactive map that lets you compare the New York City of 1836 to New York today. As you move an on-screen magnifying glass over the map, you can see the difference 179 years make. For instance, there’s no Central Park, everything past 14th Street is wild countryside, Manhattan has lots of hills, and there used to be docks where there are now buildings.
Gaming.YouTube.com is for people who like to watch other people play video games. It’s a competitor to a service called “Twitch.” Google is trying to make it easier to “livestream” your games, so people in galaxies far, far away can watch you zap aliens in real time. As we wrote, 621 people were watching someone play “Super Mario Maker.” Spectators can and do make comments on screen.
Seven Hobbies that Can Make You Smarter: Click those words to find out all seven. Top of the list is playing a musical instrument: It strengthens the connection between your brain hemispheres in ways other activities don’t. (An interesting sidelight to that is we have noticed that many of the best programmers are also musicians.) Other top hobbies for brain power include reading, exercising, working puzzles and meditating.
The World Economy Explained with Just Two Cows: For example, the dairy cow business in different countries: “A French Company: You have two cows. You go on strike, organize a riot and block the roads because you want three cows.” Or: “A Swiss Company. You have 5,000 cows. None of them belong to you. You charge the owners for storing them.”
The Obsessively Detailed Report of American Literature’s Most Epic Road Trips. Click on the link or visit AtlasObscura.com to retrace on the map, the journeys taken in “Wild,” “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance,” “Roughing It,” “The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test,” and many others.