Most Tempting Island Destination Websites

Who doesn’t look around their cubicle every once in awhile and wish they were laying on a tropical island beach instead, drinking a frozen cocktail? If you’re like me, you might assuage this wanderlust by browsing the internet and staring at pictures of places much cooler than wherever you are. Assuming I’m not the only one who does this, the Most Tempting Island Destination Website awards were created to help guide your hopeful browsing and are guaranteed to make your current location seem drab and dull in comparison. These awards were given to the site in a given region that most makes you want to put on your swimsuit and sunglasses and hop on a plane. Pacific Islands: The Kingdom of Tonga Halfway across the world from my desk in the U.S., the website for Tonga makes me feel like I’ve been transported to the Pacific Islands and you’ll hear no complaints from me. The stunning pictures of islands and beaches are intermixed with photos of natives and wildlife that indicate there’s more to Tonga than the unspoiled stretches of sand. I’m particularly partial to the “10 Reasons to Discover the True South Pacific” – quite honestly they had me after three but the list is worth reading through. Do you think my boss would accept “I’m on Tonga Time” as an acceptable excuse for missing a deadline? Caribbean: Camana Bay, Grand Cayman When thinking of the Caribbean, the Cayman Islands weren’t usually first to come to mind as a vacation getaway – unless I was imagining I just completed an embezzlement scheme. However, the website for Camana Bay has completely changed that and made me want to “stay for a lifetime,” as their website so kindly invites. With the many things to do in Cayman Islands, a vacation there would not necessarily be idle but it would definitely be relaxing (except maybe when hanging out in Stingray City). Hawaiian Islands: Oahu If you don’t feel like getting a passport for this mental vacation of yours,...

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The Readers’ Resource Awards

Although reading is a pastime that has transcended the ages, the internet has nevertheless revolutionized the overall reading experience. Modern readers have many advantages that weren’t available to their predecessors, including instant access to classic books, highly accurate recommendations, and the ability to connect with people from all over the world who share their reading interests. Best Free Books Site: Project Gutenberg Project Gutenberg, named for the instigator of the European Printing Revolution, holds the title for being the first collection of free electronic books. The founder, Michael Hart, invented eBooks on 1971 and today Project Gutenberg boasts the largest single collection of free eBooks in the world. Comprised mostly of full texts of public domain books, the project is the premier resource for classics, such as The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle and Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, two of its top downloaded titles. Best Online Resource for Readers: What Should I Read Next For any reader has closed the last book in a series and immediately wished there was more, What Should I Read Next can provide the best remedy. When a title and author is input, the site returns with recommendations of what books the reader might enjoy as well. It is based on an expansive community of book lists and compiles recommendations based on the preferences of other readers who have also read that book. Best Social Network for Readers: GoodReads For book lovers everywhere, GoodReads is an invaluable resource on many levels. Calling itself the “largest book social network for readers in the world,” GoodReads allows readers to connect with each other from different corners of the globe. However, its usefulness doesn’t stop there; the network also provides a fantastic way to keep track of the reading habits of a lifetime. With an expansive database, a reader can find almost any book within the system and add it to one of their “shelves.”  Originally, these are simply “Read,” “Currently Reading,” and “To-Read,” but the user...

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Best Fictional Blog: Manka Bros. Studio

When searching online for information about any large Hollywood event or incident, it’s likely that the searcher will stumble on a blog about the topic by Khan Manka, Jr.  Whether he’s blogging about attending Chelsea Clinton’s wedding or being the keynote speaker at ComicCon, Manka is apparently present at some of the country’s most exclusive events.  His coverage of Herbert Allen’s annual (and very private) Sun Valley retreat features accounts of famous executives behaving in ridiculous manners, including drinking heavily and arguing over trivial matters.  Now if you’re thinking that these claims seem a little unlikely and wondering exactly who this Manka guy is, you’re not alone. Real coverage of these events never mention his name; he exists only in the blogosphere as the fictional chairman of the “world’s largest media company,” Manka Bros. Studio.  According to its website, the studio specializes in theatre, music, television, publishing, etc, but all of the projects seem destined for horrible failure, such as “Haunted Alligators: A Manka Classic Movie.”  In reality, Manka is a fictional media baron, son of Bulgarian immigrants, and the creation of John Perry, an executive at Warner Bros. Started in 1991, the blog may be one of the longest running inside-jokes, as Manka still posts almost daily and gets a few thousand visitors a month, mostly from Hollywood insiders. The blog often pokes fun at bad decisions made in the media industry, as well as the media moguls who make said decisions, with a precision that only comes from witnessing them firsthand.  The site details the operations of a company that is humorously similar to how a real media company is structured, with divisions for movies, TV, publishing, music, theater, religion, theme parks and children. Like any respectable media conglomerate, Manka Bros. has a plethora of projects in the works. It plans to launch an awards show where Manka productions are expected to secure several wins, despite the current upheaval as they fight off a hostile takeover by a larger rival. Runner Up:...

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