Posts Tagged ‘widgets’

Hail to the Chief

Monday, May 19th, 2008

“The nation’s founders originally intended the presidency to be a narrowly restricted institution,” says the Encyclopaedia Britannica about the highest political office in the United States.

Those founders would, to say the least, be surprised if they could see what has happened to the presidency since then.

The office, whose occupant the article goes on to say is “arguably the most powerful elected official in the world,” has undergone significant changes since George Washington took the oath in 1789.  Today, as Americans prepare to elect the country’s 44th chief executive, you can get extensive background on the presidency and its history from Britannica, and, if you have a Web site of your own, provide those same resources to your readers with links to Britannica’s material. 


You can link from your own site to any of these features, or download this widget, with a collection of Britannica articles on the presidency, and post it on your site.  Your visitors will be able to click on the links and access the articles in their entirety.  

A Man for All Seasons

Tuesday, May 13th, 2008

April would have been a good time to talk about Shakespeare, it being the month both of his birth and death, but, alas, April’s lease has expired. Fortunately, however, the Bard is never out of season, so for those of you who want to delve into the life and work of the great playwright and poet or read up on him in preparation for summer stock, here goes.

Britannica has an extensive article on Shakespeare that covers his life and work and place in literary history. It also takes up the intriguing question of whether Shakespeare actually wrote his own plays, a hot topic among these days. Principal contributors to the article Shakespeare scholars John Russell Brown, Terence John Bew Spencer, and David Bevington.

We also have a The Encyclopaedia Britannica Guide to Shakespeare, a special multimedia site devoted entirely to Shakespeare and his work. It has additional articles and audio and video clips of performances.

And, of course, this widget that you can put on your own site, which has links to Britannica’s coverage of Shakespeare and related topics.
On the Web:

The Shakespeare Authorship Page. These folks believe Shakespeare really wrote Shakespeare.

The Electronic Text Center. Various editions available in digital form.

Shakespeare Resource Center. Large collection of links to Shakespeare material around the Web.

Folger Shakespeare Library. Washington, D.C.-based center for research on the Bard and his times.

Poetry? Yes, Poetry

Wednesday, April 30th, 2008

You might not know it unless you tripped over the news by accident, but April is National Poetry Month in the United States. So before the celebration ends at midnight tonight, let’s tip our hat to that wonderful but under-appreciated form of literature that so enriches the people who choose to make it part of their lives.

One of the great things about streaming video on the Web is that if you can’t make it to poetry readings in person you can see and hear readings at places like Favorite Poem Project. . . . If you’d like to cultivate a love of poetry in your kids but are afraid they’ll just run away from it, try Giggle Poetry, which will meet them more than halfway. . . . Want the latest news from across the poetic world, as it were?  Try the Poetry Foundation and its house organ, Poetry magazine.  If there is any such thing as a poetry portal, these sites are it. . . . If you’d just like to find something to read, check out the Poetry Archives. . . . The Museum of American Poetics seems to have some edgy stuff on its site, and while for me its pages took awhile to load you may decide it’s worth the wait.

Of course Britannica has an extensive article on poetry, which you are welcome to read and link to if you have a Web site.  And if your interest in the form extends beyond April, or you simply want to add some class and culture to your site, you can download and post the widget above, which has a collection of Britannica articles on poetry and poets.

“The Roof of the World”

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2008


According to the Encyclopaedia Britannica, Tibet is an “historic region and autonomous region of China that is often called ‘the roof of the world.’”

A picturesque description, but how did Tibet come to be in the middle of a firestorm of controversy over the 2008 Olympics?  And why have Tibetan monks clashed with Chinese security forces in the streets of the capital?

After declaring its independence from China following the Chinese revolution of 1911-12, “Tibet functioned as an independent government until 1951 and defended its frontier against China in occasional fighting as late as 1931,” the encyclopedia goes on to say. “In 1949, however, the ‘liberation’ of Tibet was heralded, and in October 1950 the Chinese invaded eastern Tibet, overwhelming the poorly equipped Tibetan troops. An appeal by the Dalai Lama to the United Nations was denied, and support from India and Britain was not forthcoming. A Tibetan delegation summoned to China in 1951 had to sign a treaty dictated by the conquerors. It professed to guarantee Tibetan autonomy and religion but also allowed the establishment at Lhasa of Chinese civil and military headquarters.”

There is much more to the story, of course, and you can read the entire article or download the above Britannica widget on Tibet to your Web site or blog. It has this article and a number of others, all of which are available to visitors of any site that hosts the widget. While you’re at it consider grabbing the widgets on China, Buddhism, or the Olympics.

Widgets: One Size Fits All

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2008

At the risk of prattling on endlessly about our widgets, let me add one more thing that may not be obvious: they scale in size—downward if necessary.

Here on our site they look wide because that’s their default size, but you can post them in the narrow side columns of most blogs, and they will adjust to the size of the column.   Here’s an example of one that appears in a Blogger blog, in a side column of average width for those sites. 

In this situation there do seem to be some display problems when the widget is viewed in Internet Explorer 6.  The widget can look chopped in certain environments.  We’re trying to fix the problem.


Britannica Widgets

Friday, April 18th, 2008

Britannica Widgets are here, and with them you can instantly post an entire cluster of related Encyclopaedia Britannica articles on your blog or Web site.  Just follow the instructions and copy and paste the several lines of code associated with each widget as html into the appropriate place on your site.  Any readers who click on a link will get the entire Britannica article on the subject, even if access to the article normally requires a subscription.  Really. Try it.

So let’s say you have a site about philosophy, or astronomy, or basketball.  Stick one of the widgets below on your site and your readers will instantly have access to Britannica’s coverage of the subject.  And if you haven’t signed up yet for your free subscription to Britannica online, which is available to all Web publishers, please go here.

Go here for more widgets, and please come back because we plan to add many more in the weeks to come.