18 awesome news, reference and factoid websites

Sometimes the most obscure websites are the ones that deliver the most. We give you are favorite web destinations for learning about the vagaries of life.

The weird and the wonderful

We're a curious bunch at PCWorld, and our interests stretch way beyond the world of computers, Windows, and machinations at Microsoft. In the following 18 slides, we present the websites we visit most to learn more about the world, and find answers to our most esoteric—and random—questions.

Blank on Blank

Relive the heyday of Mad Magazine with cartoonist Al Jaffe, or hear Dave Brubeck talk about fighting communism with jazz. At this awesome online resource, journalists provide old interview recordings, which are refashioned into fresh, compelling audio and video productions.

Amazing Things in the World

This great Facebook page will fill your news feed with spectacular photos of nature, luxury resorts, and other must-see spectacles of planet Earth.

Astrobiology Magazine

Where better to turn for fascinating information about earth, the origins of life, and the search for life across the solar system than NASA, which sponsors this site?


This Fast Company site reports on groundbreaking innovations, from 3D-printed houses to paint-on solar panels.

It has a clean, simple design, and a continuous scroll of news stories with beautiful photography.

Compost This

When you need to know which materials you can compost, this British site has all the answers. (Pasta is a no, because it might attract rats.)

The British humor might fly over your head, but you will find quick answers to all your composting questions.

Film School Rejects

Most publications about the film industry focus more on celebrities than the cinematic arts. But the editors at FilmSchoolRejects love movies as much as you do, and it shows in their writing.


A must-visit site for video game fans, Gamasutra features in-depth articles on the art, audio, design, production, and business of making games. You simply won't find a more cerebral or sophisticated take on electronic

God Checker

Here’s a place where you can meet your maker without giving up the ghost. This mythology encyclopedia boasts some 4000 entries on supreme beings, demons, and deities from nearly every culture.

Google Street View Gallery

You know about Google Street View, but did you know that Google organizes these photos into galleries?

Travel to breathtaking spots the world over from the comfort of your armchair.

Lapham's Quarterly

This highbrow quarterly compiles historical writings on topics relevant to today.

Curated by Lewis H. Lapham, editor emeritus of Harper’s, the site offers an always surprising, always eclectic mix of essays on politics, religion, and social issues.


Social media is the bane of every politician, making for oh-so-public screw-ups. But thanks to the Sunlight Foundation’s Politwoops, even deleted tweets remain in public view.

Realtalk From Your Editor

This Tumblr page features animated GIFs discussing problems familiar to all editors and writers. One of our favorites is “When nobody clicks on a piece I think is really, really good,” paired with Steve Buscemi's Ghost World freakout: “I can't relate to 99 percent of humanity.”

Science is Awesome

This Facebook page showcases the funny, playful side of science. Read about an ancient continent buried under the Indian Ocean, or subject yourself to a stream of chemistry puns. And it only gets wackier from there.


"No clicks. No shares. No Likes. Just reading." That's the mission statement of Scoopinion, a browser extension that tracks the articles you read, then suggests more stories that match your tastes. You may not find a more helpful reading advisor.


SideReel surfaces streaming video links for just about every season of every modern TV show. It links to major streaming services, but also accepts user-submitted links (which might come from not-quite-legal sources).


Not to be outdone by Google’s mapping project, the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History’s Panoramic Virtual Tour lets users explore the museum, room by room, in stunning photos.

Stack Exchange

This network of 100 Q&A sites, including developer site Stack Overflow, offers expert answers on topics ranging from mathematics to bicycles to home brewing.

Virtual Globetrotting

Armchair travelers can roam freely via user-submitted satellite, aerial, and street-view photos from Google Maps, Bing Maps, and Yahoo Maps.

Browse by category, location, or popularity.

10 must-have March Madness iPhone apps

It's that time of year again. Prepare to weep for your well thought out bracket.

Stay up to date with all the most current March Madness news with these awesome apps for the iPhone.

Click here to check them out!

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