Websites That Will Enlighten and Entertain You - Issue 15

World Wide Web
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Each month you'll find a new list of fascinating Web sites that you may not encounter. With millions of sites out there, even a Google search won't help you find many of them. You'd have to know exactly what you are looking for to find some of these sites and even then you get only sites that Google thinks you should find. That's true of any search engine, of course, not just Google. No worries, though!

Just check back every month to find the new list of interesting Web sites I found for you. Follow me on Twitter and like my Facebook page, too. You'll be informed when the list is ready and posted!

101 Thoughts on Life: A Letter of Lessons for My Son

I love this letter. It has so much wonderful advice and tips that most of us share with our children anyway, but it's great to have it all in one place. It's hard to pick favorites out of all of them. But a few I especially like are these:

  1. If you’re sad, it’s okay to cry. It really is.
  2. Always take responsibility for your own actions. If you screw up, OWN IT. The more time you spend blaming others or making excuses, the longer it will take you to learn from it and move on.
  3. Don’t try to be something you’re not for someone else, no matter who it is. ALWAYS BE YOU.
  4. Don’t let the fear of failure stop you from doing something you want to do. The scariest things are usually the ones that are most worth it in the end.

    The Periodic Table of Storytelling

    If your child is interested in writing and has a scientific nature, this site will appeal to him. It is a chart that looks like the periodic table. But instead of elements, the table is filled with elements that are part of a story. The first column in the table is for the structure of the story.

    Other columns include those for plot devices, heroes, villains, and more. Each cell in the table is a link to an explanation of that "element." There is also an explanation on how to combine these elements to create story molecules. 

    Language is a virus

    This is a really fun and educational site for anyone interested in writing. When you first land on the page, you'll get a writing prompt for the day. But don't fret if you don't like it. You can generate a new one. Here are a couple examples: "Describe the best day you've ever had" and "I am disgusted by... "  The idea behind the site is to help get past writer's block, but the writer's prompts can do much more than that. There are plenty of other things to do on the site as well. There are also numerous writing exercises and what the site refers to as writing gizmos. One of those gizmos allow you to create Madlibs using famous poems. But there are many more, too many to describe.

    8 Great Philosophical Questions That We'll Never Solve

    If you have a older child who likes to ponder tough questions, this might be a fun site to visit.

    The first question is "Why is there something rather than nothing?" It doesn't mean that we don't have answers, but it does mean that we can never know the answers for sure. That's what all the questions are like. Another question is about whether God exists, so if you don't want your child pondering that one, then you might want to stay away. Again, though, the questions are those that can't be definitively answered. In other words, we can't say for sure that God does exist, but we can't say he doesn't either, so people are free to believe as they choose.

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