I have always thought that if I changed my name to "Harley Expert" I would get a lot of free publicity in the newspapers. For example, just about every day you see a headline like "Expert Predicts Economy Will Rebound in Next Quarter," or "Expert Says Children Are Using the Internet More Than Their Grandparents Did." I could be famous. However, until then, you and your kids will have to be satisfied with regular, run-of-the-mill experts. Here are some links to such people, who have volunteered to answer questions in areas such as science and technology, health and medicine, computing, the Internet, the economy, and so on. Be aware, though, that questions asked of experts over the Net are similar to prayers addressed to a supreme being: they are not always answered.
How Stuff Works
I always like to know how stuff works, and I bet you do too. Learn how car engines, televisions, cell phones, telephones, refrigerators and smoke detectors work (and even more), and it won't be long before you are the most popular pedant in your ever-increasing circle of friends.
How-To Tips and Advice
There are a lot of things to understand in this world, and if you are like me, you'd like to understand them all. Of course, it isn't possible to know everything (when would you find time to play with your cat?), but you can make a good stab at it. Start with these Web sites, where you'll find all kinds of useful and interesting information about all kinds of useful and interesting topics.
It's easy to get lots of email. However, how often do you get interesting email? Sign up for one of these free services and, before you can calculate the square root of 991 in your head, you'll be receiving all kinds of cool stuff in your mailbox: information of all types, jokes, useful tips, trivia, quotations, recipes, sports scores, soap opera updates, and on and on and on. (By the way, the square root of 991 is approximately 31.48015247739.)
Knowledge by Topic
Imagine you had your own research staff: a group of people, each one an expert in one particular area, who searched the Net just for you. Well, these Web guides are the next best thing. A large number of experts write articles and find resources for different categories of information. All you need to do is sit back, let someone else do the work, and pick and choose what you want. Not bad work if you can get it.
Do you have a question? Submit it to one of these sites and watch people as smart as you and I do their best to answer it. If you feel like assisting other people, you can answer their questions and help them out. (Actually, no one else is as smart as you and I. I just said that so they won't feel bad.)
Here are places where you can find all kinds of online courses for free. Study information technology, business, humanities, math, education, science, social sciences, and more. Just the way to pass the day when the kids are at school and your computer is just begging to be used.
So You Wanna
Here is an effervescent collection of articles on how to do all kinds of handy stuff they don't teach you at school: how to change your name, go skydiving, choose a good Scotch, be a movie extra, or read tea leaves. And there's lots more where that came from.
Enjoy the online version of a column in which the writer answers questions about words and their origins. If you enjoy learning about language and words, you will like this site. Here are some examples. (1) One guy wrote a letter because he and his girlfriend had been having an argument about whether to say "have your cake and eat it too" or "eat your cake and have it too". (2) Another person asked if "busting someone's chop" and "busting someone's hump" are the same thing. (3) A third reader who mentioned the term "old fogey" wanted to know if there were such a thing as a "young fogey". (4) And finally, there is a link to an answer to the question "Aside from 'angry' and 'hungry', what well-known English word ends in 'gry'?" By the way, the answers to these questions are (1) It doesn't matter. (2) No. (3) Yes, but people don't use the expression. (4) There are no other common words that end in "gry". The question is a well-known hoax.
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