“Laziness is the mother of all invention”
-Garfield [Jim Davis]
The school year is once again upon us and if you’re anything like me, you’ll try to procrastinate your way through it while doing as little work as possible. And luckily for people like us the internet has various resources besides Google, to help us che…errr…I mean, learn more effectively…yeah, that’s the ticket.
Okay, I mean who hasn’t heard of sparknotes.com…wait…you mean you’ve actually been reading the tripe they’ve assigned you? What? You actually came to university to enrich your mind? Well, for the rest of us, sparknotes.com has summaries and analyses of a lot of the books you’ll encounter at university. Besides that, it has study guides and cheat sheets for nearly all topics.
Wikimedia deserves an entire column devoted to it. Wikimedia maintains and develops various ‘free-content’ websites with articles that can be modified by anyone. The foremost of these projects is Wikipedia, an encyclopaedia with over 1 million entries, many of which are far more detailed than what is offered by other free encyclopaedias. Some of Wikimedia’s other projects useful to students include:
Wiktionary: a dictionary and thesaurus.
Wikibooks: free textbooks and manuals.
Wikiquote: a collection of quotes.
Wikimedia Commons: a repository for free images, music, sound and video clips used in any other Wikimedia project.
While ratemyprofessors.ca won’t help you with your work, it does serve at least three useful purposes. First, it allows you to gain valuable insight into the personality and teaching style of professors through ratings and brief reviews written by other students. In other words, you can find out which teachers are easy markers. Second, it lets you get some passive-aggressive revenge on any teacher that doesn’t give you the mark you expected. Finally, the most important and noble feature of the website is that it allows you to know beforehand if your fellow students would describe a professor as ‘hot’. At this time there are 1542 Concordia professors reviewed.
Concordia Libraries Database Finder allows you to access 368 separate databases, so chances are there’s at least one dealing with whatever your latest term paper is about. Since a lot of the material was originally in hardcopy form you can cite it without worry of a professor accusing you of using too many online sources…it’ll be our little secret…and that of anyone else who happens to read this column.
According to the Google Scholar website: “Google Scholar enables you to search specifically for scholarly literature, including peer-reviewed papers, theses, books, preprints, abstracts and technical reports from all broad areas of research.”
Yeah…they lost me somewhere around ‘enables’. All I know is that when I type a topic in the search bar I get bunch of crap that I can cite on the next page. Beware of abstracts to articles from pay websites.
There you have it, all the resources you need to work less. Now get to work…later…maybe in about 12 weeks.
Link O’ the Week:
Home Star Runner
Home to some of the best flash movies on the internet including the famous Strong Bad Email.
Webcomic O’ the Week: Scary Go Round by John Allison
Plotlines include zombies, sexy super spies, a time travelling teapot and Man-O-War jellyfish with plans for world domination.
Free Application O’ the Week: Nmap
Perhaps the best port scanner in existence. For any nerds who have watched Takedown or Anti-Trust a few too many times.