November 8, 2019


Despite my best intentions I have barely managed to read more than a recipe this week. It’s the peak of the semester, so it’s been a flood of class visits and citation checks and hopping from one student’s computer to the next. Truly, it’s taken me two hours to write this paragraph. So I thought I’d fall back on a post I’d been thinking about for a while. Here are 5 websites that I use a lot and recommend; they do their jobs and do ‘em well!

  1. I started using this website when Davey and I were long distance — I used to use it to calculate how long it had been since I’d seen him, or how long til the next visit (*awwww*). But I also use it to calculate vacation time occasionally, because time math continues to elude me. There are all kinds of calculators and countdowns on this website, but the one I use the most is the Date Duration Calculator.
  2. They describe their site as “crowdsourced emotional spoilers for movies, tv, books, and more.” It’s a simple search box where you can look up a movie to see what upsetting material might appear in it. Obviously the original yes/no question is in the title of the website, but over the years they’ve incorporated other triggering events and topics, such as abuse and common phobias like needles or clowns. If you’re picky about spoilers, this might bother you. But for me, personal comfort > spoilers any day. I don’t like to be blindsided by something that upsets me (I call these my “bugaboos,” like from Stepbrothers), and so I very much appreciate this website. It helps me to go into a piece of media with informed consent, or to opt out of it if I want to. Extremely grateful this tool exists.
  3. Poetry Foundation. This is the website of the publisher of Poetry magazine, and I like their site for its browsing functions. You can browse by topic, form, region, and it’s very student friendly. I like coming here for their collections too; this month they have a Thanksgiving-themed collection (“Cranberry Cantos”), and Veteran’s Day poems, for example. There’s a poem out there for every moment and every one.
  4. Unsplash. I use this website to find free, high quality images I can use without permission or attribution (although I do try to attribute whenever possible). It’s a great source for photographs for this blog as well as the graphic designish stuff I do in librarianship. It’s one of those “a community on the internet being generous with their art” things, and I think it’s rad.
  5. J! Archive. This is a fan-run archive of Jeopardy! game answers, organized by season. Yeah, you could consult this for exactly who got what question and who what which game, but I prefer to use it to quiz myself on how many questions I could get from the comfort of my desk chair, with no buzzer or pressure. I am very good at Jeopardy! under these circumstances.

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