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Page last updated at 12:31 GMT, Thursday, 26 February 2009

Webscape

Kate Russell
By Kate Russell
Click Webscape-r

Kate Russell gives us her latest selection of the best sites on the World Wide Web.

MY-HORSE-CLUB (www.my-horse-club.com)

My Horse Club website logo

Every young girl would love to own a pony and I am pretty sure a lot of young boys would too.

If you don't have the stamina for early morning rides and mucking out a stable, you can experience it all online at my-horse-club.com.

After registering and choosing your avatar you can head to the stable to start working with your horse. When riding the interface and controls are quite hard to get to grips with. Use your mouse pointer to steer your horse, like reigns. and tap the up and down arrows to change speed.

The icons at the top of the riding view screen indicate how stable your horse is on rough terrain. If any of them go red, he will simply stop - so you need to ride carefully to keep them as balanced as possible.

There are chat boxes and you can add and invite people to be your friends. It is a wonderful way to explore the maps of Ireland and the USA you are offered to ride around.

I recommend this site with a massive caveat. It runs on java and the start up times are monstrously long, even on my powerful PC with broadband connection.

I advise you load up the page and then go do something else for a few minutes if you don't like staring at a loading screen.

However once the game is loaded in memory you shouldn't have too many problems other than the odd moment of lag - and the environment you have to explore is enormous, so if you have the patience it is a very rewarding experience.

PREVENT IT (www.prevent-it.ca)

Prevent it website

The internet is an amazing source of information that can even help save lives.

prevent-it.ca is a website created by the Workplace Safety & Insurance Board in Canada, and it is all about following proper safety procedures at work.

The instructions here are relevant the whole world over - and it is nicely produced.

From the opening page, clicking 'Find Out How' will load up the first interactive spot.

They do take a while to load up, but the spots themselves are stunning, each story outlining a particular area of danger in the workplace.

At the end you can move onto the next story, or click the links for further reading material including what you should expect from an employer.

Once you are into the website proper you can watch the TV spots they have been running.

These ads were designed to shock and scare people into taking the right precautions at work. Those with a nervous disposition should probably look the other way.

VILLAGE OF JOY (http://villageofjoy.com/)

Village of Joy website

The world is full of wonderful, amazing, funny and right weird stuff and at Village of Joy you can find out all about it.

From the sublime to the ridiculous, there are all sorts of subjects covered here.

There are unusual churches, crazy cars, and the world's most poisonous creatures. All posts are rich with pictures - a visual feast of all the oddities around the globe.

My personal favourite is the 50 strange buildings section. There is not actually a lot of descriptive text in these posts - but all the pictures are labelled up so if you want to know more about them you can always revert to your favourite search engine.

And if you see something out on your travels that you think would fit in, the website creators invite you to submit your own story using the link at the top of the page.

NHS UK (http://www.nhs.uk/)

NHS website

The NHS has been present on the internet for some time - but they have recently merged and revamped their main websites to create a single portal to all things involving the health service.

The NHS's new site brings the organisation bang up to date with a fresh new look that is easy to navigate and interesting to browse around.

Here you can find information about services, general advice on living well and staying healthy, or seek quick answers to your health concerns with a symptom checker, which offers alternative ways to get in touch with NHS Direct.

The Health A to Z covers everything from Arthritis to Yellow Fever, with information about the symptoms and advice about various treatments.

I particularly like the way many of the sections integrate blogs, patient comments & online guides & videos.

This is nothing like a long boring sit in the Accident & Emergency room and should be the very first place you head to if you're worried about your health.



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