Get your clicking fingers ready: it's time for our annual buffet of the best, most interesting or most fun sites we've mentioned in this space over the last year. Space is at a premium, so let's straight to it.
The sites are in no particular order. Have fun … and we'll see you next year.
Gadgets rule the universe, and Engadget tries to keep up with them all ― God love 'em.
* The Memory Hole
Public records are not always that public; the Memory Hole serves to push difficult or important information to the fore.
A contender to take on Google? Maybe. A9 ― launched by Amazon, a worthy web competitor ― is still finding its feet, but also some fans.
* Every Second
How good is your sense of time? Few people can accurately guess the passage of time ― even of just a few seconds. If you need proof, come here.
* Provincial Libraries
The Provincial Information and Library Resources Board's site provides a gateway to its holdings; reserve a book, renew it, browse and so on.
* Quebec Major Junior Hockey League
Ready for the Fog Devils? That question can be posed not only to local fans, but the rest of the Q.
* Footnote TV
Is television trivial? Of course. But there's still room for serious thought, including the links you'll find here to commentary and background on issues presented on popular TV shows.
* The Four Word Film Review
"Hard hobbit to break" is how Return of the King got summed up. Brilliant.
* This Land
A parody of Woody Guthrie's This Land Is Your Land put Jibjab on the map, with laugh-out-load political satire.
* RSS Readers
RSS ― a way to syndicate websites, so new content comes straight to you so you don't have to check back so much ― really took off this year. Here's a way to get started.
Talk like a wiseguy, or at least a character on The Sopranos.
Paste is the best music magazine I'm reading these days; the site is less sterling, but offers good music feeds.
* BBC Languages
Thank the BBC for coming through with cheat sheets in German, French, Italian and 30-odd other languages … among many other resources. A true keeper.
* St. John's Mapcentre
Look at your neighbourhood in a whole new way, courtesy of this city-sponsored resource.
* The Note
Must reading for political junkies.
* Mr. Picassohead
Be your own Picasso, with a project that deconstructs, teaches, mimics and mocks, all at once.
* Dig In Dirt
A resource for those whose dreams involve vegetables, borders and shady varieties: a blogging site for green thumbs. Registration is required, but browsing is free.
* Jamie Murphy tribute
The same day that a suicide bomber in Kabul took Jamie Murphy's life last January, this page was established in his honour.
* Newfoundland & Labrador Registered Heritage Properties
Planning your next vacation? Stop by here for details on about 200 buildings that have earned the right to be called a heritage property.
* The Van Morrison Website
One of my all-time favourite music sites, a shrine to everything that is Van the Man.
* Healthy Start for Life
Practical advice on adapting menus, grocery lists and exercise regimens to daily life.
* Explorer Spell Check
Speling on menny web cites is pour. Here's a tool to help keep crimes against the language to a minimum.
* Online Conversion
A great took for converting from metric to imperial, and for cooking conversions, too.
* Subservient Chicken
A wicked bit of viral marketing: an ad for Burger King that felt only slightly like advertising. Expect to see more of this in time.
* Election World
Somewhere, someone's getting ready to vote.
* Age Project
How good are you at guessing someone's age? Test yourself.
* One-Tonne Challenge
Ottawa is pushing consumers to cut down on energy use, to meet Kyoto Protocol standards. Take a test of your household's habits.
* TV Tome
TV Tome is hyperlinked to the hilt, making it easy to move around. And addictive.
Plain-spoken, but invaluable. There's a dedicated homework help page, but the entire site is useful.
* Internet Public Library
An online classic, and still going strong.
My favourite online radio station this year, from L.A.
Scratch a drawing, then click on Scribbler to fill in your artwork. Try it: bet you'll be impressed with yourself.
Not sure who's the god of what in which culture? Check your deity knowledge here.
* Agony Booth
Agony Booth offers revenge for the jilted movie buff; members pick apart, seemingly in great detail, the films that bored, annoyed or offended them.
* Gashlycrumb Tinies
Based on the (in)famous series of cartoons by the late Edward Gorey. Definitely not for young children.
If "the" is the most frequently used word in the English language, what ranks at 100? Or 10,000?
* Today in Literature
Book lovers will like this one: a today-in-history feature all about writers and their works.
An authoritative tone, not always deserved, but a must resource for music buffs. The site underwent a spiffier makeover this year.
* Geography IQ
For those at all curious about the world.
* Coolest Song Moments
Roger Daltrey's yell is just one of the coolest moments in rock music. Read the others here.
* Water Conservation Tips
Remember the summer? Dry to the bone. Here are some tips from southern California, where they're used to watering restrictions.
* Which Movie Villain Are You?
I'm Gollum, from the Lord of the Rings. Hmmm, my precious …
* Big Ben (live!)
Watch London live, or a see a cool bit of time-lapse photography by clicking on the button to see a whole day roll by in a few moments.
* Book-A-Minute Bedtime
Not for the kids, but a hilarious way to recall (very briefly) the stories of your youth.
* BMI Calculator
Plug in your height and weight and see if you need to make a resolution for the New Year.
* Natalie MacLean
Ottawa-based writer Natalie MacLean has earned wide praise for her no-nonsense approach to wine.
* Random Law & Order Plot Generator
Here’s a funny game, which spits out new (and not-so-new) plots of the long-running TV staple with great ease.
* What's Special About This Number?
Even those who say they "never got the new math" will pick up a few tidbits here, and math fiends will also be satisfied.
* My Jeeves, revamped
Ask Jeeves relaunched itself with a new premise: saved searches so you can save time with repeated queries. Registration required.
* Sports Central
Most of the content here is scribbled by die-hard fans, whose passion for their respective sports may certainly be stronger than their writing skills.
* Dictionary of Canadian Biography
A definitive reference work for decades, the print version would cost a mint and more than fill a shelf. Online, it's free. Quite a gift.
* Curry House
The billing, "the web magazine for curry fans," tells you all you need to know.
* Baseball Graphs
Baseball junkies may get a kick (or a fix) out of this: a seemingly never-ending series of charts based on baseball data. Bliss for hardcore hardball fans.
* Unusual X-rays
Here's more than you would have guessed would pass underneath an X-ray machine!
* Local sites
Looking for some Newfoundland reading? Bookmark this terrific list, maintained by the Centre for Newfoundland Studies at Memorial University.
* Forbes Lists
Forbes magazine has become famous ― maybe even infamous ― for its never-ending series of rankings of the wealthy and influential. Read them all here.
* Canadian Sport Information Resource Centre
A clearinghouse for news and information about sports and physical fitness. Even if you’re not a scoreboard junkie, you'll likely find something valuable here.
* Reality TV World
Why do they keep making reality TV shows? Because people keep watching them.
* Video ETA
A firm scratch for movie buffs, who just have to know when a favourite flick is coming out on DVD.
* New Yorker reviews
Anthony Lane alone is a reason to buy The New Yorker; the site's website now conveniently group all the critics together.
* Country Music Lyric Generator
And, just for fun, here’s a site that will pop out a few lines ready for cryin', howlin' or both, darnit.
* More Monopoly money
Running low on rent for those hotels on Park Avenue? No probs; fire up the printer and knock off some more cash, but stop here first.
* Literary Kicks
Broad-ranging and inquisitive, the site is for people who take their literature seriously, if not necessarily the rest of their lives. Registration is required, but is free.
Give Chairman Mao a haircut, or some suitably silly exercise. (For the most fun, look for the "Boredom" section, and take it from there.)
* Mad covers
What, me worry about wasting time looking at every cover Mad has published? Nah.
An electronic magazine that takes books seriously.
* Identity Theft Resource Centre
From California, notes on why identity theft is spooking the planet.