READ ‘EM AND WEEP

The refined grist of hundreds of conversations has taught us that everybody wants to be a writer. Now they can. You and you and your Uncle Max can publish their fiction and non-fiction on WattPad, an online site. It also has hundreds of free classics, such as “Jane Eyre,” “The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War.” The web site, Wattpad.com, draws15 million readers a month. And posts more than 1.5 million new stories. Some are from best-selling writers, like Margaret Atwood, author of “The Handmaid’s Tale.” But most seem to be from teenagers, who display an inordinate interest in sex. Who knew? Random example: “I’m the SuperModel in a BoysBoarding School.” Not only are these […]

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55 MUST-READ CLEANING TIPS

“55 Must-Read Cleaning Tips” Type that phrase into Google or your favorite search engine. Example: Put LEGO pieces into a laundry bag and wash in the washing machine or dish washer.

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SITTER CITY

SitterCity helps you find a babysitter. It claims it runs background checks on a database of over 150,000 caregivers. Our niece got a nanny job in New York City this way and friends say it does a good job of finding babysitters, nannies and pet sitters.

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GREAT TIPS

Trusper, a free app for Android or iPhone/iPad has tips from the public, like how to make a cookie in a mug, and tips from your family and friends if they’ve signed up.

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SHARING A CALENDAR

UpTo Calendar, free for iPhone/iPad using the iOS 7 operating system, lets you see your friends’ calendars and they can see yours. If you don’t mind sharing this info, it makes it easy to plan events. Friends’ calendars are hidden under yours. Swipe to add events from theirs to yours. Calendars you follow can include a huge variety of events: Facebook events, TV schedules, concerts coming to your city, and calendars you create for clubs you belong to.

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TIDY DOG

“Tidy Dog” trains a dog to put away his own toys. It’s not for sale yet, but if enough people back it on Kickstarter.com, the crowd-funding site, you’ll see it in stores.

It’s worth watching the Tidy Dog video. A dog figures out that every time he drops a toy into the bin, it dispenses a treat. Smart dogs will soon figure out that they can drop in your shoes, wallet, newspaper and anything else lying around. Some people will be ecstatic over a tidy home; others will notice their dog getting fat. Of course, lazy dogs may not care about the treats. In that case, if you want the toys picked up, you do it.

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SAT TEST PREPARATION

KhanAcademy.org has free preparation for the SAT college entrance exam and other tests. They’re offering hundreds of previously unreleased math, reading and writing questions from old SAT tests, and 200 videos showing step-by-step solutions to each question.

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ELEVEN STEPS TO A PERFECT LOGO

“Eleven Steps to a Perfect Logo” has good tips.

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DOLPHIN ASKS FOR HUMAN HELP AND GETS IT

” Dolphin Asks a Diver for Help, Diver Lends a Hand.” In this amazing video, a dolphin gets untangled from a fishing line by swimming to a diver for help and staying with him until he’s freed.

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THE 22 MOST BEAUTIFULLY SECLUDED PLACES IN THE WORLD

“The 22 Most Beautifully Secluded Places In The World” are lovely beyond belief, including an island in Iceland, the steppes of Kazakhstan, the Peak District in England, Mount Shuksan of Washington state, parts of Ireland and all over the world.

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