Sites of the Week: April 12, 2014

(To Neil Patrick Harris) “Now, there’s nothing wrong with being gay. Some of my best friends are going to hell. But you are also the biggest threat of all …You are a gay person I like. Your threat is that you make being gay seem non-threatening. It’s almost as if your happiness does not take mine away.”

– Stephen Colbert

Factoid: Through voucher programs, 14 states funnel nearly $1 billion a year in taxpayer money to private schools, including religious schools that teach that the world is 6,000 years old, Adam and Eve coexisted with dinosaurs, and most of modern biology, geology and cosmology is a lie.

REMINDER: The Heartbleed bug has affected roughly two-thirds of the world’s Web sites. If you haven’t already done so, protect yourself by updating your passwords for all important online sites.

Now on to this week’s sites. This week, I’m sending out three ‘Site of the Week’ recommendations.

Office for iPad (and Android) (iPad) (iPad and Android)

Last month, Microsoft released Office for iPad apps and reported downloads for the separate Word, Excel and PowerPoint apps reached a combined 12 million downloads in the first week. The mobile apps are also available for Android tablets. You can download the Office apps for free and read, view and present documents, spreadsheets and presentations. However, full creation and editing functions require an Office 365 subscription. If an annual cost of $99.95 is too steep for you, you may want to check out one of these FREE Office-compatible alternatives. Both apps connect to your cloud storage accounts such as Box, Dropbox, Google Drive and OneDrive (SkyDrive). HopTo also connects to your desktop with a desktop plugin.

Map: Income Taxes in Your County

For the USA readers, income taxes are due next Tuesday. Especially if you subscribe to the truism “Misery loves company”, then you may enjoy this site that comes to you via my friend, Ralph. This interactive map allows you to view the tax burden by county. You can view either average taxes paid in dollars or as a share of income.

Sundays Are the Worst

The ‘Sundays Are the Worst’ site was created by a pastor as a forum for servers to share their stories. It is intended to “challenge and encourage Christians to be aware of their behavior, mindful of their actions and attitudes.” If you’ve never worked in the food service industry, you may be unaware that the church-going crowd has unfortunately earned a very bad reputation for their behavior in restaurants following Sunday services. Complaints include tying up tables for hours, being rude and condescending to the wait staff, making unreasonable demands, leaving a mess and then leaving little or no tip. If you don’t like this site, please don’t shoot the messenger. I know this poor treat of wait staff isn’t universal, but it’s common enough that I first heard about it years ago. The people highlighted in these stories are what I call “hypo-Christians” (hypocrites) who undermine the reputations of those who are witnesses to their faith. Below are three story excerpts:

    • “The service was great this week, like always! That’s why we always ask for you, you take good care of us, unlike the other servers here. For that I saved your soul this morning, your tip went in the tithes and offerings plate at church. You’re welcome!”


    • “The last Sunday I worked, I had a pastor tap his knife against his glass when he wanted my attention. Didn’t matter if I was at another table, he tapped continuously until I went to HIS table. When I pre bussed his knife, he whistled at me as if I were a dog. He also left me a dollar on a $48 ticket. How do I know he was a pastor? He had on his nametag. You can bet that dollar I won’t ever visit his church.”


    • “On one occasion I waited on an elderly man, his wife and another man. They were difficult to wait on and constantly needed something, complained about many things. They said their food was good, I gave them great service and they sat for a long time after they were finished eating. They had plenty of refills, free bread and kindness from me. After they left, I went to the table to begin clearing it off and noticed what appeared to be a $20 bill. It was folded and had another dollar bill inside. I quickly grabbed it and opened it and discovered it was not a $20 bill. It was a paper that appeared to look just like a $20 bill and when you opened it, the bill said, “Disappointed? You won’t be if you ask Jesus to be your Lord and Savior and invite Him into your heart.” The bill inside of that was a folded up single dollar bill. I am a Christian and a believer in Christ, but this made me furious. This is NOT a way to get people to come to God. So for a $38 check, I was left a $1 tip and one of my 3 tables was tied up for almost 2 hours. It was very upsetting. People need to realize that servers only make about $2.13 per hour plus tips.”


    Ernie Orr sez “Check em out!”

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