Reference sites

Judicious use of the following reference sites may answer a number of questions raised before posting to GQ:

The Straight Dope
The Straight Dope Archive: The One Perfect Source of All Knowledge (searchable)
SDMB Search: Search previous Straight Dope MB threads

Search Engines
Google: The de facto standard in search engines
Yahoo: The Internet organized by categories
dmoz Open Directory: Human-edited Internet directory which removes the chaff

General Information and Reference
Internet Search Tutorial: How to find information on the Internet
Reference Desk: Links to multiple reference sites
Library Spot: More links to more reference sites
Internet Public Library: Reference center laid out like a library
Librarian’s Index to the Internet: Another library reference center
Britannica Online: A complete online encyclopedia
Information Please: Online encyclopedia and almanac
Notes and Queries: General Q&A of a wide range of topics
Internet FAQ Consortium: Links to Usenet FAQs of all types

Urban Legends
Snopes: Comprehensive searchable list of urban legends
Urban Legends: alt.folklore.urban and urban legend archive

English Words, Language, and Literature
Merriam-Webster Dictionary and Thesaurus: Word spelling, usage, and origins
alt.usage.english FAQ: info on usage and word origins
Pseudodictionary: Slang and colloquialisms
Origin of English Sayings: Where English idioms and sayings come from (url updated 11/19/2006 tomndebb)
Word Oddities and Trivia: All sorts of odd and interesting word facts
Puzzle Depot: Anagrams, puzzles, and wordplay
Anagram Engine: Create anagrams, solve crosswords, etc.
Searchable Plays of Shakespeare: Search the works of the Bard
Quotations Page: Searchable quotations
Project Gutenburg: Complete texts of non-copyrighted books
Bibliomania: Free online literature
Babelfish translations: Back-and-forth translations among major world languages

Medicine and Health
Centers for Disease Control: Public health news and statistics
WebMD: Info on health and diseases
Go Ask Alice: Medical information and advice
PubMed Medline: Medical journals database

Science and Technology
The Last Word: Questions and answers on everyday science phenomena
Ask a Scientist: Search real answers to real science questions
How Stuff Works: Find out how all sorts of gadgets and processes really work
Mad Science Network: Online labs, science Q&A, and science info
Conversion of Units: Automatic unit converter
International System of Units: Introduction and information on SI units
Physical Constants: Numerous physical constant values & uncertainty
Web Elements: All about the elements
Bad Science: Debunking scientific fallacies
Bad Astronomy: Debunking astronomical fallacies
Heavens Above: Satellites and star charts
Hubble Telescope: Pictures from Hubble
Animal Diversity Web: All about animals

Eric Weisstein’s World of Mathematics: Tons of information all about mathematics
The Pi-Search Page: Search for a string in Pi + links to download billions of digits
The Integrator: Online integrator from the makers of Mathematica
Numbers in Over 4500 Languages: Count in any language you want
Online Calculators: Not just for mathematics: calculations in numerous subject areas

Internet Movie Database: Everything you wanted to know about the movies
Ultimate Band List: Search for all kinds of music
Big Cartoon Database: Searchable database of cartoons
Simpsons FAQ: FAQ of
Television Without Pity: Irreverent reviews of popular US television shows
The Baseball Archive: Stats and history of baseball

Catholic Encyclopedia: Information on Catholic teachings
Judaism 101: Information on Judaism
King James Bible: Searchable KJV Bible
Online Bibles: Links to multiple Bible versions

Skepticism and Debate
Skeptic’s Dictionary: Pseudoscience and the paranormal
Talk Origins Archive: Evolution v. Creation Science
Quackwatch: Guide to health frauds
Logic and Fallacies: Intro to arguments and logical fallacies

Government, Politics, and Law
Gov Spot: Links to hundreds of government entities
Vote Smart: Find out information about USA elected officials
UK Government Online: Links to all British government sites
Federal Government Central Directory: statistics gathered by USA government
US National Archives: Archives and records from all branches of the US government
Statistical Abstract of the US: USA Population census
Internet Guide to Law and Politics: Informative and current law-related Internet resources
Find Law: Law and legal resources

Places and Maps
CIA World Fact Book: Information on numerous countries
Find a Grave: Find graves for all sorts of people
Map Quest: Maps from all over
Terraserver: USGS satellite imagery and topographical maps

[sub]List of links thanks to Alphagene, Arnold Winkelried, Colibri, UncleBeer, flowbark, Crusoe, cainxinth, and zut.[/sub]

Wow! What a great list of resources.

That is indeed an incredible list of resources and hopefully this thread will be around for myself and others to reference for years to come but I have to ask - What’s the General Question here?

:.D&R:: :smiley:

Hey, hey! Don’t be mucking this one up like happened with the last one. :wink:

We’ll leave this thread open for a bit to take new suggestions for reference sites, report problems (if any) with the current list, etc. Then we’ll lock it up and leave it sticky until we get around to updating it.

Thank you Zut, for pulling all this stuff together for us. All of GQdom is grateful for your efforts in this regard.

Excellent resource list.

I do recommend adding the
Microsoft Help & Support Home Page

Excellent work **Zut[/]!

Here’s a good site I found about Islam: Islamicity’s Understanding Islam and Muslims

On Buddhism:

And Hindusim:

Oy. Could one of the mods fix my link, por favor?

How about a link to

Maybe we could steer some people over there to do their searching on old threads, saving bandwidth over here. You can even use their cache so you won’t load the trheads directly from the SDMB servers once you find them…

One more for the Religion category:

Great for answering basic questions about the beliefs of numerous religions.

When I went through this list above, I thought that the two biggest holes were in non-Christian religions (helpfully filled in already by Kyla and SpoilerVirgin) and computer-related answer sites. deathawk has a start on the latter, but it seems to me that we could use more.

Well, is an excellent Mac resource. For OS X, is invaluable. (Especially the “OS X Guidebook” which you can download as a PDF file)

Education reference (may be linked through one of the library sites above):

Tech sites you want? Tech sites you get!
Mainly Windows related.

General Help:
As noted above: Microsoft Support Homepage

Hardware Guides:
Tom’s Hardware - Which includes both reviews of current hardware & FAQ’s.
AnandTech - more of the same

Virus & Security issues:
Sophos Virus Database - An Excellent database of virus definitions, symptoms, etc.
Symantec (Norton) Virus Database - another excellent Virus DB - an excellent source to debunk virus myths
CERT - The granddaddy of all security threat sites.

Excellent list!
Additions to consider (go ahead, edit that post to insert them and delete this post :wink: ) :
English Words, Language, and Literature
The (Random House) Word Maven Word Origins
The Word Detective More Word Origins
Encyclopedia Mythica A compendium of mythology and legends from all the world’s cultures
Labyrinth Library Georgetown U’s links to Medieval Latin, English, French, Italian, German, Spanish & Iberian Texts

General Information and Reference
MegaConverter2 Convert units of measure: Imperial, Metric, Ancient, Astronomical, Kitchen, Finance, Fraction-to-decimal, and much more
The Calendar Zone Comprehensive categorized calendar catalog currently containing countless correlating connections & calzone recipes!
ANYDAY: Today in History Births, Deaths, Holidays, and events associated with each day of the year

Government, Politics, and Law
(U.S.) State and Local Government on the Net Links to most State and Local (by state) web sites, with additional Federal and Multi-state sites

Is there an online Koran better than this one?

Two more sites that I find that I link to in many of my replies:

The Calendar FAQ: Lots of information on any conceivable way of keeping track of time. (For those pesky easter questions and leap seconds).
WorldWideWords: Plenty of information on the English language, seen from a British viewpoint.

On an almost related subject: I think this forum should be renamed Great Questions.

I suggest for the skepticism section ; It’s “Project Gutenberg” ; Duplicate http in the Simpsons FAQ link.

Ahoy-hoy! Look what I found there:


This suggestion may run counter to the intent to list reference sites directly, but I have found that I use RefDesk nearly daily. It is a meta-reference site with links to the kinds of sites being compiled here.