Category: Research (Page 1 of 2)

Santa Tracking

This time of year, some of you want to keep tabs on the Big Guy. If anyone in your house absolutely needs to know Santa’s status, check out these tracker sites:

  • NORAD Tracks Santa – this is the classic program, started by NORAD in the 50’s. Also check this site for links to all their social media pages.
  • Google Santa Tracker – if you want something with more bells and whistles, Google has you covered. Besides a live map of Santa’s whereabouts, there’s games, music, stories and activities for your smol person to enjoy.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Time Zone Converter Tools

Need to figure out what time it is in a different part of the world? Don’t strain your brain; check out these handy sites:

Time and Date


Dateful Time Zone Converter

World Time Buddy


I find myself using these more and more, as I schedule with clients across the country and the ocean. I’d be mortified if I called someone at the wrong time, due to time zone ignorance!

Some of these sites are extra-nice, because they allow you to create a login and save your setup info. If you are frequently scheduling meetings with people in specific time zones, maybe this will help streamline your efforts.

PS: it is possible to do this sort of thing in the World Time section of the Clock app of your Windows or Mac computer. But check them all out and you may find that one works better for you. Each site and tool has a certain look and customization level. Bookmark or shortcut your favorite for easy reuse!

This website helps you find places that don’t charge to use their automobile air pump. gives you a map of locations near you (or a specific address or zip code) where you can fill your tires for free.

This site is powered by user-submitted info. If you know of a store offering free use of an air pump, and it isn’t shown on the FreeAirPump map, make sure to send it in!

The Google Dictionary Browser Extension

The Google Dictionary browser extension makes it easier than ever to learn word definitions. Once you’ve installed this freebie, you can simply double-click any plain-text word on the internet, and immediately see its definition.

I’m sure that this tool is going to save you many clicks and help keep up your reading comprehension. No more opening a second tab, just to go to!

This extension is free to install into Google Chrome on any computer. And now that Microsoft Edge is built on Chromium, it should install in that browser, as well. Get it free here.

Free Apps for Identifying Plants

Wondering if that volunteer plant in your garden is a weed or not? Curious about that gorgeous tree at the park? I know there’s some of you who won’t rest until you know the exact name of the mystery plant you’ve just spotted. And while it’s so easy to jump on social media to ask, it’s often easier and quicker to use better tools.

Powered by AI and plant photography catalogs, free apps can identify plants for you immediately! Take a picture of a plant using the app, and you’ll get detailed info on the spot. There are many such apps, and here a few reputable ones:

There are also websites for this as well, like Pl@ntNet and!

The Wayback Machine

The Internet Archive is more than just a free online library. Another great resource of theirs is the The Wayback Machine.

The Wayback Machine is crawling the internet, constantly, like Google and other search engines. But this creation backs up archival copies of websites as it crawls. And you may use it yourself, to see what a website looked like at some time in the past.

You might just use this for the novelty of seeing a website (Amazon? eBay?) from many years ago. But the research possibilities here can get serious. Some people use The Wayback Machine to find info that was changed or removed. You can copy the URL from any website, and paste it in to the Wayback Machine’s search field, to see what’s available from back in time.

And if you come to use this tool a lot, know that they also offer an Android and iOS app, as well as various browser extensions, also free for all to use.

National Day Calendar

Did you know today (December 17) is National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day? It’s also National Maple Syrup Day and National Underdog Day.

With only 366 days in the year, every day is a recognized day to celebrate or remember something serious or silly. Or many things, depending on the day. Check out the National Day Calendar website to see what’s special about today!

The Native Land Website

Happy Indigenous Peoples Day! I’ve got another glorious mapping website for you, for anyone interested in Native American or Indigenous Tribes of the world:

Native Land Digital

This website lets you explore the globe (or enter an address) to find a wealth of information about Indigenous Peoples and their history. You can find tribe names, boundary information, treaty-related history and links to modern websites of many tribes.

Whether you’re researching your own family history or teaching a future generation, this website may hold a ton of valuable information for you!

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