Photo: Damir Spanic/ istock
Thanks to the Internet, we now have access to the globe at our fingertips, but wading through the digital dross is a veritable world wide web of trouble. So this month the techies here at curve are highlighting some of our favorite sites to help you separate the cyber wheat from the virtual chaff.
Shiny Shiny: There is a sea of technology out there—what with all the mobile phones, MP3 players, computers and personal massagers on the market—and tech grrls can only cover so much. Fortunately for those of you with plenty of techno-lust but less techno knowledge there is ShinyShiny.tv, the original tech site written by women for women. Taking a “female standpoint on the consumer technology world” the site offers news and reviews on “all things gadgety.” So if you have your eye on a new digital camera or an eco-friendly wind-up vibrator, but don’t want to plunk down your hard-earned cash without a little research (or just dig reading articles about gadgets that are free of all the techo-garble) the Shiny Shiny ladies have got you covered. The site is fun, irreverent and written in a language that is refreshingly accessible, by women who clearly know their stuff—and with an entire section dedicated to Hello Kitty tech, how can you not be in gadget heaven? (shinyshiny.tv) [Rachel Shatto]
DocuBank: For us queer women, it’s hard enough explaining to strangers that your “roommate” is actually your partner, that your child has not one, but two mommies and what your “female-bodied, male-identified transgender” boyfriend’s identity really means. Now try doing all of that when you’ve just been seriously injured in a car accident. DocuBank’s wallet-sized medical emergency cards ensure that you can spend less time explaining your sexuality to a team of EMTs, and more time getting your loved ones and yourself the emergency care you need.Through a click on the web or a quick phone call, DocuBank’s cards direct emergency personnel to a file containing all of your relevant medical information, including your medical history, doctor’s contact, living will, organ donation requests, next of kin, burial instructions and several emergency contacts. DocuBank’s website has an LGBT-specific section which ensures that their services will make it easier for partners to access your hospital room and that the people you choose will be speaking for you in an emergency. (docubank.com) [Yana Tallon-Hicks]
LTTR: If the Itty Bitty Titty Committee were to publish a queer feminist journal, it could not top LTTR (Lesbians Tend to Read). The annual compilation—which is now available online only—lost a bit on aesthetics by going all-digital but it’s still as enticing as it is politically engaging. Experimental in content and non-linear in its reading style, LTTR should be required reading for queers, high school students—oh, and Republicans. Visual graphics are more limited on the site than in the print journal, but those that remain still manage to both delight and shock in their creative, alternative techniques that demand your attention like a lover left in want. Enlightening, emotional and traumatic experiences bleed through the screen and crash headfirst into the reader. You’ll want to print out pages like ready-made sticky notes of clever, intelligent social justice propaganda. Editorial letters seething with rage add a laugh factor that undeniably send this journal from the intriguing to the must-have category. Unfortunately, the digital edition of this formerly infamous print journal used to come complete with a limited-edition glove made for LTTR by Liz Collins, a set of oracle coins by Nancy Brooks Brody and a silk-screened print from Xylor Jane and Ginger Brooks Takahashi—all products you’ll have to find on your own now. (lttr.org) [Colleen McCaffrey]
Dorothy Surrenders: If like me you’re looking for another way to slog through Mondays, how about the happy fact that it’s a day closer to “Tank Top Tuesdays.” This feature on Dorothy Surrenders offers hot photos accessorized with witty captions from AfterEllen blogger and sexy lady connoisseur Dorothy Snarker. It’s comforting to know that this smart, lusty writer is ever vigilantly keeping her sweaty fingers on the pop culture pulse and delivering it just the way we like it, from a gay gal’s point of view. (dorothysurrenders.blogspot.com) [Heather Robinson]
The Brain: In the oh-so-small, overlapping world of lesbian hook-ups, all of that girl-swapping can be hard to keep, well, straight. Now you can get all of your dykes in a row with The Brain. This virtual mind-mapping system, available for free download on the web, was originally conceived for business purposes, but looks remarkably similar to Alice Pieszecki’s OurChart creation, and fans of The L Word are going to find it hard to resist creating a hook-up chart of their own. The Brain promises to help you “see new relationships” and “discover connections” with its easy drag-and-drop format. So be sure to lock down your epicenter status as make-out master, before a real-life Papi tries to steal your title. (thebrain.com) [Yana Tallon-Hicks]