one of my new favourite things is delicious library, a database for your books, music, dvds, and games brought to you by the fine swiss cheese plants at delicious monster. each item of your library is easily added by typing in the title or barcode, or even better, by pointing a handheld scanner or firewire digital video camera to the item's barcode; information from all of amazon's international databases (us, uk, germany, france, canada and japan) is accessed and downloaded. you can display your library as a database or as these nifty shelves, which can be browsed, searched, or sorted. i've just started, but i've already got a better grasp of my cookbook collection, which in the real world is strewn across various rooms, flats, even continents. and huzzah! book covers are also downloaded, so i have my entire fiction collection at my fingertips (which as many of you know, is organized in a most unorthodox manner).
unfortunately for many people, delicious library is optimized for macs; for the mac user, it is christmas in a (window)box: you can use your built in iSite for scanning, there is a lending library synchronized with your address book and iCal, there's a widget for easy access to your database, which can also be stored on your iPod. iImpressed. it's a solid US$40 investment.
appetites.us is one of the first food blogs i'd ever read, and continues to be a favourite; for a food blog it has remarkably few photos, but remains evocative and appealing--chalk that up to robert peyton's excellent writing skills. it was also a prime source of information about new orleans during the katrina crisis, and continues to enlighten me on what life is like for a typical citizen in the aftermath. a recent post mentioned a new (beta) website, rouxbe, which features detailed instructional videos by real chefs cooking real recipes. it, alas, does not provide this as a free service, but from the free preview you can see the videos are attractive, thorough, and most importantly, all about the food. if all that dreck on the food network bugs you as much as it bugs me, this could be for you. no mucking about.
however, if the US$49/year ($99 lifetime) membership is too steep--yet you still managed to blow $299 on a video iPod--epicurious.com offers free video podcasts of various cooking and entertaining techniques (no, not how to not spill a drink on someone--think napkin folding). these one to two minute segments look not unlike rouxbe's videos, but deal with the basics: how to sharpen a knife, how to julienne, how to poach an egg, la la. there are currently 36 free episodes (search "epicurious food and drink" in the iTunes directory), 14 of which i've seen and digested. i honestly was always vexed by how to dice celery in a uniform manner until recently. now i can rest easy at night, knowing The Truth About Mirepoix. you can, too.
and finally, not a techie toy, not even a toy. just toyed: a gummy bear rug. you know you want it.
tagged! software podcasts videos library fun with gelatinous substances