Build ’em Up and Knock ’em Down

Posted on Monday, December 15th, 2008 by

YouTube Symphony – Why is YouTube featured on our Weekly Faves again? Simply because they have a new exciting initiative I thought I’d share with you: YouTube is offering an original and groundbreaking opportunity for professional and amateur musicians of all ages, locations and instruments. People are welcome to audition for the YouTube Symphony Orchestra by submitting 2 video performances displaying their talent. The best and bravest will join the YouTube Symphony Orchestra summit, and will play a new piece written for the occasion by the renowned Chinese composer Tan Dun at Carnegie Hall, under the direction of Michael Tilson Thomas . Statistically speaking, there isn’t an overwhelming number of musicians among the readers of this blog. So why should you be interested in this post? There is a number of reasons why: First, YouTube is a wonderful discovery and education tool. Although I wouldn’t necessarily describe myself as an avid classical music fan, I must admit that I find A Symphony for YouTube as particularly enjoyable and inspiring. Second, there’s a chance you might know or heard of a talented musician in your neighborhood or among the circle of your acquaintances. In this case, you could act as the grassroots music lobbyist of your community and let the said talented individuals in on the opportunity they’ve been waiting for. If you’re aware of such musicians, send them the link and urge them to practice and apply. Who knows? Maybe you will be the one who discovers the next Leonard Bernstein. Hurry! The deadline for all video submissions is January 28, 2009.

RadioBeta – It is quite remarkable that with the exponential rate in which advanced technology is developed these days, radio is still alive and kicking. After all, how many times in the passed couple of years have you spotted someone walking down the street with a walkman or a portable cd player? My personal assumption about radio is that many people (including myself) haven’t given up on the joy of listening just yet. Whatever you may think about radio in these visual and digital times, one thing is certain: the convergence of Internet with radio is giving the Hertz frequencies a global spin; the evolution we are witnessing stems from the way in which we ‘consume’ radio, and the internet is definitely changing our perspective. Thanks to RadioBeta, you have numerous radio stations around the globe at your disposal and these are just a click away. RadioBeta allows users to listen to and create their personal playlists comfortably and efficiently. The best part about RadioBeta is that all listed radio stations are public and free, as RadioBeta’s database of radio stations excludes those that charge you for listening. This is exactly how we want the internet to be: free and reliable. Another similar service that was previously featured on our Weekly Faves (although offering a different interface) is by RadioTime. Check both sites out and choose the one with the interface that you’re more comfortable with.

DailyFill – Yahoo has OMG, AOL has TMZ.  It shouldn’ t come as a surprise then that MySpace is challenging both. After all, celebrity gossip has become (whether you like it or not) a multi-billion dollar industry and it’s only fair that MySpace wants a piece of that sweet pie.The DailyFill is MySpace’s latest venture, a new celebrity gossip website. This concept (celebrity pictures and low-brow cynical headlines) isn’t new but we still feel that if Britney Spears is Yahoo’s top search for 2008, you would appreciate learning about a new celebrity site. I personally enjoyed it much more than the veteran ones. As a result, before this earns a permanent spot on our Entertainment page, AllMyFaves will follow it closely and see if it continues to provide high quality content. To conclude  – Enjoy what’s said (and shown) about Karolina Kurkova and Hugh Jackman!

SecretBuilders – SecretBuilders is a virtual world for children 5 to 14 years old, powered by a web 2.0 community of children, parents, educators, writers, artists and game developers. With SecretBuilders, children can explore virtual lands, undertake quests, play games, maintain a home, nurture a pet and interact with their friends. If you are wondering what the above actually means, I suggest you register and start exploring kids’ virtual worlds because I truly believe it might help you understand your kids a little bit better. If you have kids of your own you’re probably already familiar with Webkinz and Club Penguin. SecretBuilders is quite similar to these, although the former two require payment for a membership. SecretBuilders is free of charge and is just as enjoyable…

Spotted by Locals – Spotted By Locals is a series of city blogs for travelers who like to experience cities ‘the local way’. Paper guidebooks just can’t keep up with cities: the moment they are printed, they’re already outdated. And although there are many reviews of interesting spots in cities available on the internet, they are often elusive and don’t always have the seal of credibility. The Spotted By Locals’ authors or “Spotters” are selected following a frontal meeting with the site’s creators. The latter claim that this recruiting method ensures that Spotters are not only city savvies but also writers who create content out of passion for their city. I admire this concept and I appreciate the personal aspect of it. I thoroughly read some of the Spotters’ recommendations and it truly seems like they know all that their respective city has to offer. The site currently offers city blogs of only major European cities. I can only hope they will find the time to extend their variety to more cities around the globe.

Once Upon a Win – If you are under the age of 28, you probably won’t understand this site. It combines nostalgia with humor, making fun out of the once-cool trends of the past; from the Big Wheel to Pin Art and on to The A-Team Van – if it is ‘nostalgic’ it’s there. The site is brought to us from the same people who created the well-known icanhascheezburger and fail blog. Needless to say, just like these previous initiatives, Once Upon a Win is also based on user-generated content. So head to your garage or to wherever you store items of your past, find something you loved as a kid and submit it. I am sure you will find that you are not the only one who cherished it. Doesn’t it make you feel good? Living in the 80s as a kid rules!

Polyvore – Polyvore is a free application for mixing and matching images from anywhere on the web. With Polyvore you can create fashionable sets composed of individual images using an easy to use, drag and drop editor. Once you create a set you can then publish and share it with your friends and the Polyvore community. It is like making collages, but with things you adore or wish you had owned. Yours truly didn’t create his own set, but I found some interesting ones, like ‘I thought you might be worried‘ or ‘Cause if you’re a diva,’  created by others. BTW: the sets go on and on. If fashion is in your blood then this is the place for you.

Central City – Central City is a mystery game and its plot intro is this:”It’s late, and central city is locked in uneasy slumber. Tonight, while every politician, policeman, and union boss was at the big prize fight at the hotel ares, somebody pulled a heist at the Bulgari store. Now one man is dead, and no one knows why. In his hideout deep beneath Wildwood Cemetery, the two-fisted crime fighter known as The Spirit is sure something else was going down. Something bigger. Something he’ll try to stop. You’re a detective. You want the real story. You must solve the mystery!” the rest is in your hands. Good Luck!

DRAWMINOS – I always loved playing with real dominoes, both for being a strategy game enthusiast and for simply enjoying watching them fall neatly one by one after setting them up on their edge. Drawminos offers the latter kind of game, while it eliminates the frustration caused by falling Dominoes during the setup. This definitely captures the falling dominoes excitement and marvel. Build ’em up and knock ’em down. And if you are into world records, check out this over four million dominoes creation. Enjoy!

99 BricksThis game just looks like Tetris, but is actually different. Here you’ll need to build the highest stable tower rather than making complete lines! With 99 Bricks at your disposal, how high will your tower be? Writers tip: Don’t hesitate to discard some of the bricks. For more new games, check out our Weekly Games.

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