Monitor picks

That new-car (Bromine?) smell

Mention noxious car fumes and most people think tailpipes.,, a website launched this week by the nonprofit Ecology Center, maintains that in-cabin air quality is affected by the outgassing of materials – and that it varies by make and model. It tested some 200 cars (2006-07 models) and developed a ranking. Methodology and company background are disclosed.

Watch their steps

It's "American Idol" meets rotisserie-league baseball. Think Clyde "The Glide" Drexler will put up some all-star spin moves with Elena Grinenko? Register free for ABC's "Dancing with the Stars" contest ( and put your money where your mouth is. You might win a trip to Los Angeles, $500, and dance lessons (for two) with ballroom impresario Nick Kosovich.

Funny ha ha

No one does humor exactly like The New Yorker. Now, as part of a redesign of the magazine's website, a handful of artists have helped bring a few favorite New Yorker cartoons to life in short, streaming video clips. Log on to for more information, and keep an eye out for the talking dogs.

Heard a good book lately?

Harking back to the days of serialized novels, offers podcast installments of more than 100 books – mostly indie novels read by their authors. The MP3 chapters are free to download, and 75 percent of donations go directly to the writers. Also, if you like the concept but are looking for bigger titles, there's always Podio's corporate cousin:

Portal mashup

Rather than toggle between different search engines, bookmark Gahooyoogle, a new search engine that searches both Yahoo! and Google at the same time. Enter a search term and the site will display side-by-side results from the two competing portals. Thankfully, it's considerably easier to use than it is to pronounce.

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