Weekend Distraction: Can You Find the Animals in these Pictures?

These are wonderful photographs of nature at its best.

Here is a sample:

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So sit back, relax, (it’s the weekend!), and see if you can find the animals in all of the photos of this wonderful slideshow. (I found all but two….. love the giraffe!)

Enjoy!!!!

http://www.weather.com/news/science/vanishing-act-can-you-find-animals-hidden-these-photos-20140626

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Weekend Distraction: iOrnament (beautiful AND relaxing)

Screen Shot 2014-01-03 at 2.47.08 PMSometimes I enjoy mindless entertainment on my iPad. I like to sit down with something that requires not too much thought, and is relaxing to use. iOrnament is all that. Relaxing, fun, productive, AND creative. :)

Although iOrnament is ‘do-able’ as soon as you download it, if you want to get better at it, there are some things to learn.

There is a very handy pop-up tutorial that appears as you go, and this is quite helpful as you learn how to get the most enjoyment from this creative design delight.

I included here a picture of my very FIRST doodle with this app. I really love how you can zoom in to add detail. Then…… zoom back out. Wow. When that detail is repeated all over your pattern, you look like a design genius.

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If you like to doodle, this is a doodler’s delight.

You can save your creation as a photo, use it as wallpaper, send it to others or publish it on social media.

Enjoy! (and have a relaxing weekend :) )

iOrnament is 99¢ in the iTunes store.

(there is also a free version, but it does not include the glow feature and it does not allow you to save your creations to photos or share with others)

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Weekend Distraction: TanZen for iPad or iPhone

Screen shot 2013-09-27 at 5.23.46 PMIt’s the weekend, and you want to relax. Find your zen.

TanZen is a classic tangram game. It is so well done, that you can just lose yourself in the solving. It works smoothly and the controls are very intuitive. Just slide the pieces in place. Tap to flip, spin to rotate. There is even some soothing background music if you care to enjoy that, too.

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I have had the TanZen game on my iPhone since the day I got my first iPhone. (The iPad hadn’t been invented yet. :lol: Obviously I’ve had this game for a long time, and it has never crashed or given me grief in any way.)

There are several versions of the game available. One for the iPhone, and another HD version for the iPad. In both cases there is a free version (I’ll provide links to the free ones). If you enjoy it, and want more puzzles, you always have the option to buy more.

But the free versions give you close to 50 puzzles, so you can thoroughly enjoy TanZen without laying out any $$$$$$. :)

TanZen HD Lite for the iPad is Free in the iTunes store

TanZen Free for the iPhone is free in the iTunes store.

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Weekend Distraction: SpiroDoodle for iPhone and iPad

Screen shot 2013-09-06 at 5.57.34 PMWith SpiroDoodle you, well, you doodle lovely spirograph-type designs.

The learning curve is as I like it. Very small.

You get one screen, and you doodle within the circle. You can vary the thickness of your lines, and the number of them as well. You can choose colors for your lines, you can change the background color or fill in spots with colors. The more you fiddle with it doodle, the more variety you will add to your design.

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It’s simple and surprisingly relaxing.

SpiroDoodle is 99¢ in the iTunes store

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Weekend Distraction: Jar of Marbles for iPhone and iPad

Screen shot 2013-02-22 at 8.42.16 AMThis is a special kind of game.

You don’t have to think.

You just kind of zone-out. Seriously. I often play this on my iPad before I go to sleep. It’s downright relaxing. zzzzzzzzzzzz

Not boring. Relaxing.

The basic premise is that you are given a jar full of marbles, and presented with one marble at a time to drop into the jar. Every time you click three marbles together, they drop out of the jar. Your goal? Empty the jar. Yawn, right? Surprisingly addicting!

There are LOTS of options, of course. Difficulty level, free style or timed … and the shapes of the bowls can be altered, also, to make it a bit more challenging.

This is a Big Fish game, and those who are familiar with Big Fish know that they are known for excellent graphics and solid design.

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Jar of Marbles is a free download in the iTunes store. There is an in-app purchase (if you like it) to unlock the entire game for $1.99. This works on the iPhone or iPad.

Weekend Distraction: Finger Piano for iPad

Screen shot 2013-02-08 at 10.42.40 AMThis app is just plain fun. It turns your iPad into a piano … and a darn good one, at that!

And you don’t have to know how to play the piano (actually, it’s probably really only fun for those who DON’T play the piano in real-life. :) )

It comes with many Classic songs to play, with the option of using your right hand, left hand, and sometimes the option for two hands (if you are very talented).

The screen opens to the piano, and you have a few controls across the top. Tap ‘Songs’ and a large number of choices drop down.

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Select your song and play away … or listen. If you tap the ‘play’ button, you can hear how the song should sound. Of course, your goal is to sound just as good. I’ll confess, I NEVER hit the play button. I just choose songs, and tap merrily on the keys. To my ears, I’m doing fine.

To play, scrolling guides come down from the top of the screen. Your job is to tap the key as the scroll-guide passes by it. A short note will be indicated by a tiny guide, while a longggggg note will have a longgggg guide.

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Quite easy to follow, yet challenging enough to feel great when you get it right.

Truly this app deserves to be tagged a “distraction.” Quite absorbing!

There are a few other tweaks. You can select different instrument sounds, and you can alter the piano key size.

For even more fun, connect your iPad to a speaker, and you will be amazed at the music coming from your efforts on your own little (loud) electric piano.

I’m linking to the preview for Finger Piano for iPad, because this is the one that I have on my iPad and have used for a very long time. There are, however several other similar options available in the iTunes store by the same developer. Some of the other options put the Finger Piano on the iPhone, or allow you to buy other music ‘packs’. But since I have not personally experienced those other versions, I’ll only link to the one I’ve used. If you are interested in the others, just visit iTunes and do a simple search for “Finger Piano” (by the developer Junpei Wada).

Finger Piano is $2.99 in the iTunes store.

Twitter Lights Up the World

Screen shot 2013-02-03 at 6.25.31 PMI came across this on the internet the other day and I thought it was really

interesting

cool

awesome.

A web designer, using a map of the world, displays a bright pixel for EVERY tweet, as it happens. When you open the page, the world is basically dark. But as the tweets fly, it gets brighter and brighter.

There are bunches of statistics at the bottom of the page, too, and if you are interested in learning more, you can stick around on his website to take it all in.

I just enjoyed leaving the image on my screen and watching as the tweets made the planet brighter and brighter. Remember, it’s dark at first, because the tweets are counted from the moment YOU access the page. The longer you stick around, the brighter it gets.

(When you first open the page, tap the center arrow to drop the statistics down to the bottom.)

Then prepare to be mesmerized as you watch the Tweets light up the world at:

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Weekend Distraction: Montezuma Puzzle for iPhone and iPad

Screen shot 2012-12-14 at 8.50.55 AMAt this time of year, everyone is busy doing something. Decorating, shopping, baking, visiting, partying, traveling … whew.

No time to “learn” a new game. That’s too much effort.

But how about a real distraction? You already know what to do.

NO learning curve.

Montezuma Puzzle.

Pretty, colorful, and responds nicely to your touch.

Fit the shapes on the screen. That’s it.

Gradually gets harder, but not crazy.

Go ahead .. Zone out … but don’t forget those cookies in the oven!

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Montezuma Puzzle is free in the iTunes store.

Watch YouTube Videos Offline with VideoTube

**** update: This app no longer allows you to download videos. :( However, there is another! Go to this post to find an app that will download videos to play offline: Watch YouTube Videos Offline on your iPhone or iPad.

Several years ago, I installed a program on my computer that would allow me to download YouTube videos. For a while I was like a kid in a candy shop, downloading favorite music videos, scenes from movies, comedy sketches …. I was giddy with glee. (until it stopped working. :( )

Fast forward to Life as we know it, with our portable devices taking center stage.

When traveling with my iPad, I have often thought how cool it would be to load it up with downloaded YouTube videos. How great to be in the car, or plane or bus, and be able to watch a favorite clip.

To my delight, a friend recently told me about the app that she uses to do this deed! (Thanks, Margo!! :) )

With VideoTube you can download many most videos and watch them later. (Some videos are not available for download). It’s easy … and wildly wonderful if you plan to be offline for a while.

Once you have the app VideoTube on your iPad (or phone), here is all you do:

Search for a video that you would like to download.

Touch the upper right hand corner of the screen, and (if it is allowed) the video will begin downloading.

As it is downloading, you will see this screen:

And then this:

When you want to go back and look at any of the videos you have downloaded, and watch them in some place (planes, trains, automobiles) that does not have internet, all you do is tap the “downloads” symbol at the bottom of the app. You will be taken to a screen with thumbnails of all your videos. Just tap one to watch. Easy, breezy. :)

The only thing that saddens me about this app is that the videos are stored as part of the app, not separately. So if you trash the app, you lose your videos. But this isn’t a big issue, and it does not interfere with my happiness that I am now able to watch offline.

Offline! That’s the Bottom Line. And I am delighted.

VideoTube is available in the iTunes store for free (with ads).

You can also purchase VideoTube for $2.99 (without ads).

Weekend Distraction: Blockwick

This Weekend Distraction requires a bit of thinking. Not too much (you won’t strain your brain), but some thought is required.

It is a simple game, yet … not.

Highly reviewed, mostly 5 star ratings.

It looks beautiful on the iPad.

It starts off with several blue blocks. These blocks are moveable, and so are various other blocks on the screen. Your job: move the blocks around so that similar colored blocks can touch each other.

Each screen gets a tad harder. You’ll see more blue blocks, and other color blocks are added to match as well. The screens also get more complicated with obstacles that don’t move at all.

When you have done your job, and the appropriate blocks touch, they light up, they glow, and pleasantly let you know that you succeeded and it’s time to move on to the next screen.

Blockwick is designed for both the iPhone and the iPad and is FREE in the iTunes store (for the first 60 levels).

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