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5 Online Tools for Web Development

Sure, Firebug and Web Developer extensions for Firefox can do a lot of tricks. However, I have found that these web services are very useful in common web development tasks, and solve common tasks not accomplished by the extensions mentioned above.

Visual PageRank: PageRank is the measure of the popularity of a page used by Google – everybody wants high PageRank because it means that the page can generate lots of traffic from Google. You can view individual PageRanks with Google Toolbar, but it is daunting to check every pages in your website with the toolbar. Visual Pagerank provides an overlay on top of your website, showing the Pagerank of pages linked from a specified URL. Read more »

Fractals, the Splendor of Mathematics

'White Swords'

Some people though that mathematics is fun, challenging, or brain-tearing, but how about beautiful?

Some of you may have already know about fractals – a geometry so elaborate that in any scale of magnification, the shape is still basically the same. A non-ideal example is trees: zooming in (looking at the branches) gives you a “mini-tree” shape; do that again and you get more mini-mini-trees, and so on. Real fractal trees look like trees even when you zoom in infinitely many times. Read more »

Squashed Philosophers

Do you want to look smart, but you do not have the time or motivation to read books about philosophy? Now you can!

Squashed Philosophers is a condensed version of all those magnificent philosophy books: it preserves the thoughts present in the books but removes any unnecessary readings. The removal can be up to 90% high, so a book that needed 10 hours reading time before can now be read in just 1 hour! The website has summaries for philosophers ranging from Plato to Alan Turing.

I personally recommend you reading Rene Descartes’ Meditations on First Philosophy, Adam Smith’s The Wealth of Nations, and Alan Turing’s Computing Machinery & Intelligence. If you browse further into the site, you can also find more summaries about those popular-but-you-never-read stories, such as Shakespeare’s works, Don Quixote, and the Bhagavad-Gita (the best part of Mahabharata, the most popular Indian epic). Read more »

New Website Slogan

I just changed the slogan of the website into something more purposeful:

Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated – Confucius

I got this saying from World of Inspiration. It is such a good website for quotations that I could not easily judge which quotation to use. Some other candidates that I considered are these wonderful verses…

What do we live for, if it is not to make life less difficult for each other? – George Eliot

It is well to remember that the entire universe, with one trifling exception, is composed of others – John Andrew Holmes

If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion – Dalai Lama

In the long run, men hit only what they aim at. Therefore, they had better aim at something high. – Henry David Thoreau

However, most of them are too long to fit in the slogan or just doesn’t really me, so in the end, Confucius’ is my choice.

I thought it is also good for you to take a look on those beautiful words on the website. Probably one could inspire you…

Visuwords Online Graphical Dictionary

Looking up the word “splendour”, and this is what I got…

Visuwords™ online graphical dictionary — Look up words to find their meanings and associations with other words and concepts. Produce diagrams reminiscent of a neural net. Learn how words associate.

Enter words into the search box to look them up or double-click a node to expand the tree. Click and drag the background to pan around and use the mouse wheel to zoom. Hover over nodes to see the definition and click and drag individual nodes to move them around to help clarify connections.

In short, Visuwords is an interactive dictionary and thesaurus with a nice flash front end. Much more easier to the eyes than the usual diction listings, and you can play by budging the words to each other! Opening dictionaries can never be this fun…

Do You Like Reading?

Project Gutenberg can be your heaven. The project consists of publishing public domain literatures – that is, books not covered by copyright law (actually, copyrights expire in about 20 years, so you can consider anything 20 years old yours). The great thing is that you can also download a lot of famous classics, e.g. Iliad (Odyssey’s adventure), Beowulf, or Oliver Twist. There are also some technical books there, and an outdated dictionary. Read more »

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