From books to music: Explore your favourite activities online

17 February,2024 08:45 AM IST |  Mumbai  |  Christalle Fernandes

But what if we could train our thumbs on a website that took us on long journeys through the Earth, teaching us about its many wonders within minutes?

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For most of us, the endless smartphone scroll has become an everyday reality as we catch up on group chats and make our way through Instagram and X. But what if we could train our thumbs on a website that took us on long journeys through the Earth, teaching us about its many wonders within minutes? The Deep Sea and Space Elevator by coder Neal Agarwal are akin to escapes into nature and the sky, just a few clicks away. As you scroll down The Deep Sea, you discover the depths at which familiar animals such as the polar bear and giants like the killer whale swim. Agarwal also marks the furthest point that a human being has dived to - 332 m underwater. Thereon begins the fascinating territory of deep sea creatures in the midnight zone, where there are no traces of sunlight. The Space Elevator is exactly that - a way to ride up the many floors of the atmosphere, where monarch butterflies soar over the average sky diver. Look out for the cute human widget on the left-hand side which switches to a scarf and then a space suit, as the elevator crosses the summit of Mt Everest into the stratosphere and mesosphere.

Tote-ally cool

You can never have too many totes. At least, that's what we tell ourselves whenever we spot an ultra-cool one, such as Motherland's striped creations. Meant for heavy lifting, these totes (R849) are patterned with stripes of yellow and green and are made of 100 per cent twill cotton. The indie clothing store also has a tiranga-themed tote and a bright red one that is inspired by Mumbai's iconic BEST buses. Their collection includes minimalistic tees, dark-blue journals that resemble an Indian passport, and magazine collections on esoteric topics such as Gurugram, the Northeast, and the transition of Bombay to Mumbai. We tote-ally approve.

A dose of Nancy Drew nostalgia

Ask any reader how they started off in their journey with books, and, nine times out of 10, the answer is, "Nancy Drew or Hardy Boys." Getting to choose one of the yellow-bound or bright-blue editions every time one went to a library or bookstore is a core memory, at least for this writer. So imagine our guilty delight when we discovered this website specially for Nancy Drew books available in the public domain: The website has the entire series, including spin-off series such as the Nancy Drew files, the Nancy Drew Diaries, and the Nancy Drew Notebooks. A dose of nostalgia, and the perfect way to indulge a long lost childhood. The website also has the Hardy Boys series, books by Enid Blyton, and Sherlock Holmes mysteries.

Back to the keyboard

For those who've learned music at some point during their childhood and then left off, you can't ever escape the niggling feeling that you ought to have been a musical prodigy. Time spent away from the guitar strings or piano keys dulls the memory, and you suddenly find your fingers hovering over the instrument in uncertainty. This writer discovered Music Theory while experiencing the same predicament. The simply-designed site has an interactive design that allows you to identify notes on the staff - the five horizontal lines of sheet music - and brush up on your memory of sharps, flats, and naturals. It also has a feature that shows you how to construct a chord and train your ears to identify single notes. For those learning for the first time as well, it's useful for the basic music theory lessons it offers - along with an online pop-up keyboard on your screen, if you don't have one on hand. The site also allows you to print music sheets for your own use. The site also allows you to print music sheets for your own use and get acquainted with different types of chords.

Spin away

Streaming services may have brought great music - classic and contemporary - to our ears, but sometimes we miss the lively feel of concerts and vintage quality of vinyl records. If you're a vinyl enthusiast and have ever wondered how a new artist or album may sound on a record pressing, head to Needledrop, a website that recreates the experience of a turntable down to the very last detail. On US-based software developer Thomas Park's sleek interface, you can input the link of any song on YouTube to make the record spin. Using the tonearm on the right side, you can drop the needle to listen to your favourite part of a song, enhanced by the texture that defines old records. We recommend tracks such as Herbie Hancock's Watermelon Man.

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