Please note that I cannot take responsibility for the content of these websites, nor should their inclusion be taken to imply that I share or condone any views expressed.
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Informative Stuff

How Stuff Works
Does exactly what it says on the tin — providing the answer to almost anything!

ARKive
The Noah's Ark for the Internet era - the world's centralised digital library of films, photographs and sound recordings of species, accessible to all via the world wide web.

Encyclopedia Titanica
Over 2,100 individual passenger and crew biographies, regularly updated passenger and crew listings, exclusive research articles and ongoing discussions about the Titanic.

The Lost Club
Literary archeology featuring 'lost' authors.

Museum of Unworkable Devices
Describes the quest for perpetual motion and explains the physics that meant they couldn't work.

Ancient Egypt
This British Museum site is primarily aimed at kids, but it enlightening and entertaining nonetheless. Also see the emuseum exhibit.

However, for a truly stunning grown-up experience of the Valley of the Kings, go to the Theban Mapping Project.

Beagle 2 Project
British led effort to land on Mars as part of the European Space Agency's Mars Express Mission.

Intellectual Loafing
Online philosophical debate with links to over 300 philosophers.

Yucky!
Part of the Discovery Channel aimed at kids - learning through grossness!

Jerusalem Archeological Park

One of the oldest cities in the world and this site leads you through its timeline with lots of multimedia.

Pinhole Cameras
The simplest form of camera that can also produce the most interesting results. This site makes a spy game of it, while teaching you how to build your own. Also see this Czech site.

The Memory Hole
One of the more convincing conspiracy sites, for example the reportedly doctored photo of the scenes of celebration in Baghdad, a charge denied by the Evening Standard, though not on its website.

Conspiracy Planet
One way of making sense of the world is to put it all down to a conspiracy (like the moon landing was filmed in a studio.)

One of the most enduring is that the Illuminati have pursued a centuries old path towards a new World Order. If so, they're making a pretty poor fist of it!

This conspiracy is linked to Masonry, amongst other things, and Grand Lodge of British Columbia makes a spirited defence, as does Masonicinfo.

American Foreign Policy Council
For a supposedly isolationist nation, the US does like to meddle in the political affairs of other sovereign states! The AFPC was set up to influence that policy and, together with the Interhemispheric Resource Center, it has set up the think tank, Foreign Policy in Focus.

Institute for War and Peace Reporting

Seeks to promote peace and democracy in areas of conflict by supporting journalistic coverage of events.

Central Intelligence Agency

I like the idea of a secret service having a web presence. Of course you can also find the MI5 on the web.

However, a search for the "SAS" will lead you to SAS Cargo, the Society for Applied Spectroscopy, Surfers Against Sewage and umpteen others, but not necessarily the SAS you're looking for!

Guinness Book of Records
The world famous collection of the weird and wonderful available online. Such as Tom Leppard, the most tattoed man in the world with 99.9% of his body covered — as a leopard!

George Eastman House
Based at the University of Toronto is this fascinating collection of old photos, lantern slides and stereos.

Abebooks
Looking for an old or out of print book? Browse here.

Truth or Fiction
It is too easy to take what we read on the web at face value. This site does its best to sort out the facts from the fiction.

Commanding Heights
Economics has never been my strong suit, so sites like this are really welcome. Billed as 'The Battle for the World Economy,' it offers much more on the social and political history of the 20th century.

The Philosophers' Magazine
Not sure why philosophers should need their own magazine — I thought they just were! But they like to play games apparently, but not of the shoot-em-up variety.

History World
Excellent UK based history site with detailed articles on a myriad of subjects. You can also pit your wits against others in the Whizz Quizz.

Believe It Or Not
When Robert Ripley began his BION cartoons, he created a museum of the wierd wonderful, such as the man who smokes a pipe through his eye! The museum in Blackpool is one of the resort's better value attractions.

Social Issues Research Centre
A useful and informative site, particularly as it challenges with the media's obsession with miracle cures, breakthorughs and health scares.

Currency Converter
Voted by the Times as the second most useful website. Convert the Bahrain dinar to the Tanzanian shilling!

Eyewitness to History
Fascinating history site, from the ancient world to World War II. Includes historic recordings.

Open Democracy
Lots of informed commentary at this excellent global think tank site.

Hunkins Experiments
Having fun learning never stops!

Metcheck
The rest of the world has a climate — we have weather! A good way of checking up on our nations favourite obsession.

The Nizkor Project
Dedicated to the victims of the Holocaust. It includes features on the techniques of denial and tricks of logic. To see revisionism at work, try the Institute for Historical Review or Lebensraum.

Pepys Diary

Samuel Pepys historic work transcribed day by day.

Population Clock
A US census project. A constantly updated count of the world's population.

Insects
Been bothered by a wasp? Hate spiders in the bath? This probably isn't the place for you!

Smithsonian
The Smithsonian Institute's online presence. An eclectic mix of exhibits.

Guggenheim Museum
World famous, can I really say more.

Becoming Human

An impressive multimedia site that plots our our rise from simian to human over four million years. Recommended, although you will need Flash etc.

Brain Pop
Bills itself as 'world wide stimulus.' Possibly accurate as it lists most stuff you might be interested in. Your browser must be cookie enabled.

Invention at Play
The Lemelson Centre for the Study of Invention and Innovation. Mostly for kids, which means it's cool for us too!

Disinformation
An alternative view of world events. Although liberal by instinct, it does provide apparently balanced coverage. Also see the Agonist. For completely unbalanced news, try Scrappleface and that old stalwart The Onion!

Precautionary Tales
"Life is a contact sport" is this site's motto. Challenges health scare stories, such as SARS, through balanced news stories.

Federal Bureau of Investigation
I'm not sure what J Edgar Hoover would have made of the CIA website - probably that it was a commie plot!

King James VI & I
The king responsible for knighting a piece of beef, supposedly giving us 'Sir Loin.' This site gives comprehensive information about the man who instigated the King James Bible.

The site's author admires James' anti-Catholic views and these are mirrored on the main site, which also dismisses other faiths and beliefs. Beware — not only may you find these views uncomfortable, but the site also has music and you may want to mute your speakers to avoid the strains of When Thou Must Home by Thomas Campion.

Federation of American Scientists
Doesn't sound particularly interesting, and it certainly isn't the prettiest site, but it does contain a mass of information on WMDs, who's developing them and how their security services operate, such as MI6.

Planet Science
An excellent and fun teaching resource funded by NESTA (National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts) and the Department of Education and Skills. Good links page.

Jenner Museum
Smallpox was officially declared 'eradicated' in 1980, over 180 years after Edward Jenner discovered a vaccine. Compulsory vaccination began in the UK in 1853 and made a massive contribution to public health.

Butterflies and Wheels
A tongue in cheek debunking of fashionable arguments. It tells you how to argue like a sheep, a dictionary of psuedoscience and a test of your moral intuition. The site takes its name from an article by Mary Midgley attacking Richard Dawkins, author of the excellent 'The Blind Watchmaker.'

How to Construct an Argument
A guide to help you hold a logical, rational debate. And there was me thinking all arguments started with, "I told you you should have turned left!"

Molecular Expressions
Zoom from the Milky Way to the DNA of an oak tree.

The Skeptics Dictionary
A Collection of Strange Beliefs, Amusing Deceptions, and Dangerous Delusions and how to think critically about them.

Ingenius
A collection of 30,000 images from combined museums in the UK depicting different aspects of life.

Newseum
The interactive news museum with daily front pages from 260 newpapers in 33 countries.

Your Amazing Brain
Lots of information about how your brain works, including tests, such as recognising body language and facial expressions.

Symbols
An online encyclopaedia of 2,500 signs and symbols.

British Pathe News
Here you can previews the entire 3500 hour British Pathe Film Archive which covers news, sport, social history and entertainment from 1896 to 1970.

Newsplayer
Restricted access to footage of significant events, such as the Hindenburg disaster, Kennedy in Berlin and interviews with various notable people. Unrestricted access costs £4 a year, which isn't bad.

Latest

Eternal Eygpt
A stunning website that really makes the most of broadband. It is the culmination of a three year £1.4 million joint project between IBM and the Eygptian government to bring history to life.

The British Library
The world's knowledge online. Excellent site with such wonders as the Diamond Sutra, the earlest printed book about the Silk Road.

Museum of Hoaxes
The web has become the home of hoaxes. Find out more here, and also which well-trodden stories are true and false.

Quackwatch
A not-for-profit corporation whose purpose is to combat health-related frauds, myths, fads, and fallacies.

Geograph
Photographs for every square kilometre of the British Isles. (Eventually.)

Civil Wars
An interesting site analysing civil wars across the globe, both ancient and modern.

Vision of Britain
A useful site funded from Lottery money that paints a social picture of the UK based on information from the censuses from 1801 to 2001.

Signs of the Times
An alternative news site made popular by its thought provoking film on 9/11 and the Pentagon strike. See also Serendipity, Killtown and 9/11 Review for more conspiracy pages. And don't forget the hoax pages.

Urban Legends
Stories that aren't true, but ought to be, like a tooth left in a glass of coke will dissolve overnight. Also see Urban Legends and Folklore.

Why Files
The science behind the news, including some neat interactives.

Google Earth
An amazing free program that lets you zoom in from space to satellite images of where you live.
 
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