Owl Reading a Book
Quick Facts from the Web --
My Quick Reference Bookshelf
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Hint: Try these and bookmark your favorites or bookmark this page.  If you don't like these or would like to see what else is available do a search in GOOGLE (Last updated  4/13/06 12:20pm ADA)

Dictionaries-Encyclopedias
Libraries,  References-Information
Search Engines
General Info (time, exchange rates..)
Maps
Government(s)
Rumors-Political, etc.
Consumer Info
News (My current Favorites)


Dictionaries-Encyclopedias
http://www.m-w.com/: The "Marriam-Webster" dictionary. Great for spelling checks, just type the approximate spelling and you get all similar words correctly spelled.

http://www.Bartleby.com/: Language usage books, encyclopedias and literary works such as "Columbia Encyclopedia" of quotations, "Gray's Anatomy", "King James Bible", works of William Shakespeare, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Plato, Ulysses S. grant, etc.

http://whatis.techtarget.com/definition/0,,sid9_gci211943_top1,00.html Tech dictionary and links to other dictionaries and encyclopedias

http://www.webopedia.com/ "The only online dictionary and search engine you need for computer and Internet technology definitions".

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ "the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit."

http://www.encyclopedia.com/ Access to a number of dictionary, almanac, encyclopedia resources

http://encarta.msn.com/ Microsoft's online access to a dictionary, encyclopedia, etc.

http://www.britannica.com/ Have to sign up for more comprehensive information

http://www.bartleby.com/65/  Columbia Encyclopedia "Containing nearly 51,000 entries (marshalling six and one-half million words on a vast range of topics), and with more than 80,000 hypertext cross-references, the current Sixth Edition is among the most complete and up-to-date encyclopedias ever produced"


Libraries,  References-Information

http://www.lib.csub.edu/ Best source for CSUB people.  Need RunnerCard Id for access to some resources.  I particularly like the Live access to a librarian

http://www.libraryspot.com/: Access to wide range of library resources. Includes access to online libraries, references, encyclopedias, maps, almanacs, dictionaries, calendars.

http://www.dictionaries.travlang.com/ Language translation dictionaries as well as language instruction.  Watch out for all the ad banners--very intrusive.

http://libraries.ucsd.edu/refshelf/refshelf-bio.html "Biographies, links to dozens of  Web pages. Search for a particular person or field of   study, or test your memory with lists of presidents, popes,  kings and queens at this UC San Diego Web site."

http://www.google.com/language_tools?hl=en Google provides a translation tool: type in a word phrase or page or enter a URL and Google will translate into one of fourteen languages at my last count.


Search Engines
http://www.google.com/ My favorite search engine.  Check more for many possibilities such as http://scholar.google.com/ which searches only scholarly (peer reviewed) publications

http://yahoo.com or http://yahooligans.com (for kids) a web directory organized much like the yellow pages phone directory.  The kid's version is filtered and focused on links of interest to kids

http://www.ask.com/ or  http://www.askforkids.com/ (for kids)  The first performs a search like Google (but less  sites and does not seem as accurate.  The kids site (which I like tries to answer questions)

http://www.altavista.com/ An oldie but goodie "During the spring of 1995, scientists at Digital Equipment Corporation's Research lab in Palo Alto, CA, devised a way to store every word of every HTML page on the Internet in a fast, searchable index. This led to AltaVista's development of the first searchable, full-text database on the World Wide Web."  Also has a translation at http://babelfish.altavista.com/


General Info time, measurement, exchange rates, zip codes, phone numbers
http://nist.time.gov/ The National Institute of Standards and Technology web page. Find the "real" correct time and download software to automatically set your computer's clock.

http://www.usps.com/ncsc/lookups/lookup_zip+4.html: Zip codes available for all parts of the country. Type in a city and find the zip codes.

http://www.digitaldutch.com/unitconverter/ "..converts area, density, energy, force, length, mass, power, pressure, speed, temperature  volume and bits and bytes." Also "..standard atmosphere calculator computes atmospheric properties like density, temperature, pressure and speed of sound up to 86 kilometers altitude."

http://www.oanda.com/convert/classic: $ converter with current exchange rates for 164 currencies


Maps
http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/srtm/ NASA has begun releasing the  most accurate global map ever created -- 3-D images of  mountains, valleys, etc.

http://earth.google.com/ Google Satellite view of many locations

http://www.terraserver.microsoft.com/ Satellite Maps from Microsoft.  Views of many locations

http://www.mapquest.com Reportedly the "best" and "easiest" to use map source. You can also get driving directions to a location

http://maps.yahoo.com/  Yahoo maps and directions--pretty good for locations and directions as well. I currently use this.

http://maps.google.com/ Google's maps and directions----pretty good as well, I also use this

www.mapblast.com/  Microsoft's maps and directions

http://plasma.nationalgeographic.com/mapmachine/ Generate maps of world climates, political and cultural, etc.


Government(s)
http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/: Fantastic information on 266 nations and world regions. Seems to be pretty much the same material as in the published version but is possibly more current.  

http://factfinder.census.gov Source for population, housing, economic and geographic data.

http://www.firstgov.gov/ "An online search tool for federal government  Web sites. It promises to search every word of every U.S.  government document online -- 30 million pages -- in a   quarter of a second or less."

http://www.ca.gov/state/portal/myca_homepage.jsp  Information and links on California government, business, recreation, etc.


Rumors-Political, etc.
Factcheck.org "...monitor(s) the factual accuracy of what is said by major U.S. political players in the form of TV ads, debates, speeches, interviews, and news releases. Our goal is to apply the best practices of both journalism and scholarship, and to increase public knowledge and understanding."

http://www.truthorfiction.com/ "Inspirational stories, virus warnings, humorous tales, pleas for help, urban legends, prayer requests and calls to action to see if they are TRUTH! or FICTION! "

 http://www.cjrdaily.org/   "CJR's mission is to promote better journalism. We do that by helping working journalists to figure out and execute their mission in a difficult and shifting environment. And as a media monitor, CJR is also a resource for all Americans who want the best possible version of their free press."  


Consumer Info
http://www.consumerreports.org/
"Consumer Reports® and ConsumerReports.org® are published by Consumers Union, an expert, independent nonprofit organization whose mission is to work for a fair, just, and safe marketplace for all consumers and to empower consumers to protect themselves."  My main source of information about items I might want to purchase.  Requires monthly fee but CSUB people can access published material at  this library address Consumer Reports as long as you have your RunnerID.  Click Academic Search Elite is suggested as the easiest search source.

http://www.kbb.com/ Kelly Blue Book give car prices (dealer, private seller) for specific cars, accessories and locations.  Great site for determining what is a fair price.

http://www.cartalk.com/menus/info.html "Actual car information from Click & Clack the "Car Talk" guys on NPR.  Also check their home page of more info http://www.cartalk.com/
"Everybody wants a new car. But from a purely financial point of view, there is no question that buying a used car is always cheaper, even in the long run. To learn more, order Tom and Ray's pamphlet How to Buy a Used Car: Things That Detroit and Tokyo Don't Want You to Know. To order, send (check or money order) to Ruin, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475. You can also order online


News (My current Favorites)
http://www.npr.org/  National Public Radio a good source for US and world news
http://www.latimes.com/  Los Angelas Times, a good source for LA, California, US and world news
http://www.nytimes.com/  New York Times, a good source for New York, US and world news
http://www.sfgate.com/  San Francisco Chronicle, a good source for LA, California, US and world news

Etc.

http://WWW.FACTMONSTER.COM/ "It's one of the most  helpful sites we've come across for reference data and arcane trivia alike.  Fact Monster would deserve praise just for its math section -- a quick reminder of basic math concepts, presented clearly and offered without embarrassment. Fact Monster gets much of its reference data from the  unimpeachable Information Please almanac."

How Things Work


The beginning source for many of these was  the San Francisco Chronicle "Web making space -hogging reference tomes obsolete"  8/5/01 and "ONLINE GUIDE  Quick Facts 2" 8/12/01 by John Batteiger, Chronicle Staff Writer