This week’s Friday Freebies is all about free time. Spring is almost here, which means the lazy days of summer are right around the corner. When the yard work is done and the barbecue has been cleaned and put away, try one of these sites when you have some free time on your hands.
Full Books Thousands of free full-text books available online for you to read! Bear in mind this site has books listed by title, not author, so if you’re looking for books by a particular author you’ll want to research the books they’ve written first. The site is ad-supported by Google Adsense, so there is a brief area of ads at the top of the HTML page. If you want to read the book you’ve chosen directly on your computer, you can use your browser’s menu bar to save the file to your computer.
Google Books: That’s right, more free books! Google also has full text books available, many in downloadable PDF format. You can search by both title and author, so it might make it a little easier to find what you’re looking for. Be forewarned, though, that it might not be a walk in the park, so to speak. A search of full text books for “Stephen King” returned 642 results, and none of the first ten were by the present day author Stephen King. You can however choose the ‘Advanced Search’ option to narrow down publication dates. In case you’re wondering, none of Stephen King’s books were found even after narrowing the publication dates.
Brangle: Brain Teasers, Riddles, Trivia, Brain Exercises, Games, Forums and more…When it comes to your brain, you either use it or loose it. It’s true: studies have shown that people who solve puzzles and brain teasers remain more mentally agile. Why pay for one of the battery operated ‘brain exercisers’ you see advertised on TV when you can find all the puzzles you want for free? Brangle offers “12,000 brain teasers, riddles, logic problems, quizzes and mind puzzles submitted and ranked by users”. At one a day, that’s just over 3 years worth of puzzles! I think…
Craftster.org: Feeling crafty, but not quite drawn to the typical knit, crochet, or cross stitch you grew up with? Looking for unique gifts you can make with a funky flair? Got some junk lying around and looking for a neat way to use it up? Try Craftster.org, the Internet’s answer to crafts for the techie generation. Their motto? “No tea cozies without irony”. Crafts are exceptionally unique, and “special emphasis is placed on projects that involve recycling, reusing and re-purposing existing objects”. Examples of their current featured projects are an MP3 player made out of an Altoids tin, a floor-length dress made out of a thrift store table cloth, and lamp made out of an old Sunbeam deep-fryer. Who knew? Clicking the links for a featured project on the main page will take you into the site’s forums, which are arranged by craft type and chock full of pictures. But, when it comes to making a lamp out of a deep-fryer, you might want all the pictures you can get!
Web Sudoku: Doh! This site offers a randomly generated Sudoku puzzle at four difficulty levels (easy, medium, hard, and evil!). You click the ‘How am I Doing?’ button if you want the site to highlight your mistakes in red. Options include a timer, pencil marks, and how strict the ‘How am I Doing?’ button behaves. You can even pause the game, in case you need to use your time for something a little more productive. Just remember: puzzles are brain exercise!
Word Find Generator: I don’t know about you, but I loved word finds when I was younger. Actually, I had a love-hate relationship with them: I loved doing them, but hated the ones with backwards words! This puzzle generator lets you enter the words you would like to include, how big you want your puzzle, whether or not the words overlap, and what direction you want the words to appear (left-to-right only, no diagonals, or any direction). Once you click ‘Submit’, your puzzle is generated in plain text, ready for you to print out or copy and paste into a Word document to use later. Perfect for those with kids, or those like me that want to get back in touch with their youth!
Have a resource you’d like to share, or have you been unable to find the one tool you really need? Leave a comment and I’ll try to sniff it out for you.