News, Cool Info, and Educational Links

News Links

link to google news News aggregator from mainstream media sources. A favorite because there are no ads.
link to broadcastify

5000+ live audio/scanner streams from fire, police, EMS, aircraft, rail.

link to Good News Network

Good News Network, a "clearinghouse" of positive news from a multitude of sources around the world.

link to realclearpolitics

Known for being a political news aggregator, but offers news from technology, science, sports, and other areas.

Cool Info

link to citydata "Informative profiles of all cities in the United States. From crime rates to weather patterns." link to charity ratings A Consumer Reports article explaining charity ratings with links to the top 3 ratings sites.

link to snopes

"...the definitive internet reference source for urban legends, folklore, myths, rumors, and misinformation."

link to print friendly
link to print friendly how-to video

Input the URL(web address) of any web page to print. PrintFriendly will clear out ads and other "junk" for a clean, reformated print.

link to mooseroots

Free to use! " is a leading genealogy research website that provides detailed information on more than 1 billion historical genealogical records." ~MooseRoots
link to alexa Get global and U.S. rankings and audience stats for individual web sites. ranks #1.

Educational And Reference Links

link to wikipedia Wikipedia is a free online encyclopedia with informative articles on millions of subjects. link to science daily "ScienceDaily is one of the Internet’s most popular science news web sites." -ScienceDaily

link to free books online

A list of 100 legal sites to download literature. Scroll down a ways before the list (with clickable links) begins.

link to youtube

A great site for anything you want to know, with tutorials and videos on every subject. Best known for music videos.

link to open culture

"The best free cultural & educational media on the web." -openculture. Free movies, ebooks, education courses.

link to video lectures

Educational video lectures by "distinguished scholars and scientists… from many fields of science."

link to free online courses

35,000 self-paced online video courses offered by Udemy, many are free. Photography, yoga, music, personal development, computers, etc.

Weather, Hazards, and Space Exploration

Many of the links here are interactive maps/charts. Explore their settings and options. There are many ways you can customize the info to see exactly what interests you. You can't hurt anything. If you get stuck, just "refresh" or "reload" the page.


link to weather U.S. National Weather Service, NOAA Forecasts, alerts, air quality, and flooding info. link to wunderground weather Alternative weather site. Excellent interactive radar maps and weather event list.

link to intellicast weather

Local, national, global weather forecasts, airport delays.

link to U.S. wind map

Animated U.S. wind map. Mouse over an area to see current wind speed.

link to lightning map

Live lightning maps for U.S., Europe, and Oceania (Australia).

link to global wind map

Animated world wind map, and so much more! Click on "Earth" to see map settings. Hold left mouse button down and move to turn the globe.

link to U.S. drought map

The U.S. Drought Monitor is a weekly map of drought conditions produced jointly by multiple gov't agencies.

link to storm chasers

Watch live video from U.S storm chasers. Cars on the map will glow green when video from driver is available, just click on car. Primarily for the Midwest, East, and SE U.S.

link to CA reservoir levels

California major reservoir levels in a colorful chart format.

link to CA NV rainfall

California and Nevada rainfall totals. Updated daily.


link to US fires Current info on active U.S. fires and other incidents. An interagency gov't system to inform the public. link to USGS earthquake map U.S. Geological Survey map 4.5+ worldwide and all earthquakes for the U.S. Click on the quake for details, and on the settings gear for options.

link to volcano discovery

Volcano news, active volcanoes, photos, web cams of all major volcanoes, maps, tours, and more.

link to earthquake safety article

Article: "Safest Place During an Earthquake? Not Where You Think!" Worth a read by the Piedmont,CA Civic Assoc.

link to global buoy map

Interactive global ocean buoy map from the Nat'l Data Buoy Center. Click on buoys for details. Great site for tsunami tracking.

link to pacific NW tremor map

Pacific Northwest Seismic Network interactive tremor maps. Tremors are too small to register as quakes, but still worth a look.

Space Exploration

link to 3D solar system model A 3D Solar System Simulator. Lots of controls and options to customize your view. link to SOHO sun images Solar & Heliospheric Observatory mission provides real time images of our sun from various instruments.

link to international space station webcam

Live view of the earth from the Int'l Space Station NASA web cam.

link to NASA images

NASA image galleries from various missions.

link to NASA images

Cool animated map of meteor showers in our solar system.

link to MUFON UFO network

MUFON, the Mutual UFO Network, offers latest UFO info and searchable reporting database.

Live Web Cams And Tracking


link to flight radar Live, animated, interactive, global flight tracker. Zoom in/out. Click on any plane for flight details. Click on blue pins for airport details. link to marine traffic Global ship tracker. Interactive, live map. Similar to the Flight Radar site. Zoom in to see individual ships you click on for details.

link to internet attack map

Live tracking map of worldwide internet attacks.

Live Web Cams

link to live traffic cams Live traffic web cams from TrafficLand for most U.S. states. Also for U.K., Canada, New Zealand, and Denmark. link to web cams 100s of web cams from around the world. Great cam at N.Y. Times Square.

link to wildlife webcams

Live cams of wild and domestic animals. Also includes photos, blogs, and videos.

link to world webcams

More web cams from around the world. Tourist spots, city views, nat'l parks, beaches, foreign countries, and special events right from your chair.

link to Monterey Bay Aquarium webcams

8 different web cams: kelp forest, sharks, jellyfish, open sea, penguins, sea otters, avairy and beautiful Monterey Bay. Fun to visit during feeding time.

link to Yellowstone webcam

Several live cams at Yellowstone Nat'l Park including Old Faithful geyser.

link to bird webcams

Birdfeeder web cam links from around the world. Link to a "nesting birds" cam site too.

link to Whiskeytown Lake, CA webcam

Whiskeytown Lake, a Shasta County, CA reservoir and recreation area.

Creative Shopping, Graphics, Music, and Writing

Creative Shopping

link to Zazzle Zazzle has quality personalizable gift items, décor, apparel, accessories, and more, with art work designed by independent graphic designers and artists. link to BTHQ at Zazzle Visit our BreakTime HQ store at Zazzle to see all our designs available on 200+ items from home decor to apparel and games.

link to Disney gifts at Zazzle

Officially licensed Disney store on Zazzle filled with hundreds of Disney images on gifts you can personalize and customize.

link to Hallmark gifts at Zazzle

Beautiful designs and sayings from Hallmark on cards, buttons, shirts, and other gifts you can personalize at their official store on Zazzle.

link to National Geographic gifts at Zazzle

Thousands of National Geographic's nature images available on many gift items at Zazzle you can personalize.


link to kaleidoscope painter Kaleidoscope Painter makes it easy to be an artist. Set the color of the background, brush color and width, then click-and-hold your mouse button down while moving it around on the painting canvas area to create colorful kaleidoscopes that you can save. link to open clipart Free clipart for you to use, for personal or commercial use. 1000s of images for any use like business cards, greeting cards, invitations, and more.

link to wiki commons images

A listing of sources for free images and photos from Wikipedia Commons on just about any topic that you can use anywhere.

link to w3school's HTML color codes

Color names for 140 colors along with their computer hex codes. Click on "shades" to see detailed color gradients.

link to mobile paint charts

Scroll through the list of hundreds of colors and related shades available from various paint companies. Mouse-over any color for info on name and manufacturer. Mobile Paint Charts has apps available for cell phones.


link to pandora music radio "Pandora is free, personalized radio that plays music you'll love. Discover new music and enjoy old favorites. Start with your favorite artist, song or composer..." ~Pandora link to soundcloud "SoundCloud is a global online audio distribution platform that enables its users to upload, record, promote, and share their originally-created sounds." ~Wikipedia

link to virtual piano

Virtual Piano is a free online web site for you to experience playing the Piano online, using your computer. No piano keyboard necessary.

link to piano chord chart

A super site for anyone wanting to learn to play the piano. Nicely presented chord charts, video lessons and excellent diagrams.


link to - easy to use. Click on the speaker icon next to the word to hear proper pronunciation. Includes word origin. link to - easy to use. Includes synonyms and antonyms. Has speaker icon to hear word.

link to

"Goodreads is the world’s largest site for readers and book recommendations. Our mission is to help people find and share books they love. " ~Goodreads

link to ebook selfpublishing article

An excellent article with basic tips for self-publishing an online eBook.

link to brainyquotes

BrainyQuotes is the world's largest site for quotations, with quotes from historical to current prominent people.

Free Online Games

link to pogo games 100+ free games. High quality graphics and animation. You do have to endure the ads if you're not a paid member, but it's not a big deal. link to jigidi jigsaw puzzles Everyone loves jigsaw puzzles! Now you can do them online, and create puzzles for others to solve. 1000's of puzzles from 9 to 540 pieces.

link to free online slots

You're sure to find a casino-style slot machine to suit your liking here. Many to choose from. Really nice graphics. One favorite is "Nemo's Voyage."

link to washington post's games

60+ high quality games: arcade, card, strategy, word, trivia, and puzzles. Easy to navigate site.

link to nitrotype

"Improve your typing skills while competing in fast-paced races with typers from around the world. Compete against your friends,earn new cars, track your scores, and so much more. All 100% free." -NT

link to google games

Google's collection of online games. Solitaire, word search, and many more. TankiOnline is a favorite for live action and war game buffs.

link to

While not really a game, makes typing lessons so fun the time will fly by, and you will be a better typist.

link to pbs kids

Videos and games with characters from the PBS kid's shows including Daniel Tiger and Curious George. A safe place to entertain youngsters.

link to hoodamath games

Lots of fun, silly animated games using basic math and science concepts. Geared for kids, but fun for anyone who wants to stay sharp. Red Remover, in their physics games collection, is a favorite.

Free Software

Productivity Tools

link to libreoffice Free open-source competitor to Microsoft Office with word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, graphics, and database. Compatible with other file formats. link to openoffice The leading open-source office software suite for word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, graphics, databases, etc. Can also read/write files from other common office software packages.

link to google apps

Lots of apps, links, and tools. There's an app to translate web pages or text in over 50 languages. Multimedia, home and office apps, social and shopping links. And many others.

link to online dictation

An online dictation application. Microphone needed (laptops should have them internally). Save your dictation in a text file. Not 100% accurate so be sure to proofread.


link to ms paint video on youtube If you have a Windows operating system, you have MS Paint graphics software. This Youtube "how to" video shows the basics so you can have fun, edit photos, create flyers, etc. link to flaming text logo maker No program to download ,and no skills required to make 100s of cool logos from your text. Great tool for creating business cards, flyers, letterhead or just to have some fun.

link to sumopaint

Sumo Paint is an online photo editor and painting application that works in a browser. No need to install anything. "You can open and save images from your hard drive or save it to cloud." - Sumo Paint
link to gimp

link to gimp how-to videos on youtube
A free and open-source image editor/creator. Edit photos, create original artwork and graphic designs. We use Gimp to create some of our graphics for this website.

link to inkscape

Inkscape is a free vector graphics editor. Create drawings, diagrams, logos, original art, and edit photos. See Youtube for "how to" videos. Some of the graphics on this website are made with Inkscape.

link to blender graphics software

Free open source 3D graphics and animation software. For more advanced users. Visit Youtube for "how to" videos.


link to audacity

"Audacity® is free, open-source, cross-platform software for recording and editing sounds." -Audacity. Extremely easy to learn, and fun.

link to scratch

Create games using a snap-together instruction set that others will be able to play. "Scratch is a free programming language and online community where you can create your own interactive stories, games, and animations." -scratch

Technology Resources

link to isitdownrightnow " helps you find whether the website you are trying to browse is down or not...All you have to do is type the name of the website you want to check…" ~isitdownrightnow link to computerhope tips and tricks A great site for all kinds of computer tips and tricks.

link to anti-virus testing site

A nice comparison chart for all the major anti-virus software.

link to windows 10 course
Free, self-paced, 3.5 hr online course on the basics of Windows 10. This site is also listed under educatioinal listings for its many free and low-cost online courses.

link to computer vs tablet article

Article with a great chart format comparing laptop computers to tablets.

link to computer article

Article: "5 Reasons Why Windows 10 Might Make You Switch To Linux"

link to distrowatch

If you're interested in switching from Windows operating system to Linux, then Distro Watch is an excellent resource. Discover and compare your Linux options.

Welcome to BreakTime HQ's collection of Cool Links.

These links have been gathered during our many hours online. They may be especially interesting to senior citizens and retired folks, especially those who are new to computers, as well as students and others looking for something new.

Bookmark/Favorite this page so whenever you have a few minutes and wonder what there is to see and do with your computer for enjoyment, give us a visit. We hope you find something here that makes you smile.

Click on the checkered spheres above.

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