Vegetarian Advocacy Website

“why i don’t eat meat …” is a Blogspot blog that shows us once again how the blog format can very easily give people a way to express views on subjects about which they are passionate. The site is well-written and attractive, and deserves a visit, especially if you are sympathetic to vegetarian or vegan views or would like to know more about them.

I was impressed at the way in which every single post has multiple reference links to authoritative websites, thereby reinforcing the site’s arguments for eating less meat, or none at all. Another critical element of the site is its liberal use of high quality images, which only serve to increase readers’ engagement. There are advertisements on the site, but since they fit perfectly with the subject matter they are unobtrusive; vegetarians and vegans will probably even find them useful.

As indicated by post titles such as “A vegan diet drastically reduces asthma symptoms” and “Daily consumption of red meat can rob the body of calcium”, this site appeals more to our rational, scientific sensibilities instead of relying only on ethical arguments, strong as those arguments might be. Much of the focus here is on the negative effects that eating meat have on our health, and even carnivores might just find that this blog makes a very compelling case for not eating meat.

“why i don’t eat meat …” would be an excellent site to bookmark or put in your RSS feed reader if you have been thinking about making the switch to a plant-base diet, or to forward to someone whose health might be improved by doing so. And, if you’ve been thinking about creating your own website around a topic that’s important to you, you should take a look at it as an example of really superior execution on every front.why i don’t eat meat

Review 3578

There’s only one way to say it: Mutant Panda is one of the most interesting blogs we’ve had the pleasure of reviewing here at The Weblog Review in a long, long time. It is not for everyone, but if you are drawn to writing that is brutally honest and which takes as its subject matter a part of life about which you might have little awareness, you should take a look at Mutant Panda (though perhaps not when you are at work).

The site’s creator, Lex, uses his site to explore and write about complexities deriving from being an openly bisexual, happily married man. This is not a website about gratuitous, sensationalized sex, though it is frequently quite graphic; Lex also writes about the interpersonal dynamics and emotional attachments between his wife and himself, and various other people who pass through their lives.

Lex’s writing style is the strong point of Mutant Panda. He dares to simply convey the raw truth of his life as he sees it, and by no means does he attempt to project himself as a heroic–or necessarily even attractive–protagonist. This is a website for grown-ups, and it is to Lex’s credit that he does not attempt to sanitize or excise content that might be a little too honest for some readers, even his wife. The tone has a confessional quality about it, or as Lex puts it in an introduction to one of his posts: “I wrote it to externalize this thing that is in my head and to exorcise it from my psyche.”

Mutant Panda is another example of how blogging gives people in need of self-expression a format in which they can share whatever they like, without needing to be championed by a publisher whose motives are largely commercial.

The website is constructed using WordPress, and overseen by a first-rate, distinctive panda logo that serves to successfully brand the site. The real star is Lex and his writing however, and further embellishment would be extraneous.

The blog would be invaluable to anyone grappling with some of the specific life challenges Lex faces. But even for people who have no direct connection with these issues or the subculture Lex describes, Mutant Panda is a fascinating, well-written look into a man who pulls no punches as he plumbs his depths in public. Literature has a long tradition of this sort of audacious, sincere introspection, and if Mutant Panda is any indication, blogging looks to be an ideal platform to further the genre. NULL

Review 3492

I don’t know about you but the world of high finance has always intrigued me. Still, I never really understood things like commodities and stock options. I ran across stock options explained, where it was claimed that I would fully understand stock options in 10 minutes or less. I read through the entire run-through of stock options twice in about 15 minutes and while I can’t say that I completely understand options well now, I certainly understand them better than I did before and at any rate, it may not be the fault of the site. Options are complicated!

This site is pretty simple and I think I understand why: they realize that any distractions at all would only detract from the explanation of options that they are trying to get across to readers. The design really could not be simpler. It is a single column blog theme (the Thesis Theme) with not one image on the site, nor any ads at all when I visited. It seems like it’s just one guy who took it as his mission to give a thorough, clear explanation of these financial instruments.

I give the writer some credit because it seems like the subject matter is pretty complex for laymen. There were a lot of terms that were new to me, all helpfully in bold, and they were explained pretty well. I think the writer understood options himself (herself?). And, I also would not say that the explanation tried to cut corners or was too brief. I did get a little bit confused when it came to intrinsic value versus time value of options, but I got the explanation of the various scenarios that could play out if you bought an options contract.

Another thing I will give the creator of stockoptionsexplained.com credit for is that he succeeded in impressing upon me just how dangerous trying to trade stock options can be. in fact after reading through the entire explanation twice I am pretty sure that I don’t want to trade stock options anytime soon! But as the author of the site says, a little more financial education should never be a bad thing.

If you need or want stock options explained to you, you could probably do a lot worse than checking out this website. If you’re motivated you might find it easier than I did to actually “get” options. I can say that it got me closer than any other lesson on options I can ever recall reading.NULL

Review 3529

Mandarin Consulting is a a website devoted to the problem of acid reflux, billing itself as “your health consultant” in this area. There are dozens of articles on this increasingly common health problem and though I personally do not suffer from it, I frankly found it very informative as I read several acid reflux treatment articles.

The website has several articles on the causes and symptoms of acid reflux, and covers different medicines one can use to attack the problem, with an emphasis on natural treatments for the ailment. I had no idea for instance that apple cider vinegar could be used to cure or at least treat this disease, and I certainly never would’ve guessed that there was such a thing as an acid reflux pillow, which helps sufferers by elevating their head several inches above the bed so that stomach acids do not drift the wrong way up the esophagus.

As you might expect there are several articles on foods that cause acid reflux and foods that can lessen the severity of its symptoms. Related articles have information on reflux when one is pregnant and even information on the ailment in infants.

As you might expect from a blog or website that only wants to pass along information on a specific health problem, the design of this site doesn’t aim to be too flashy. The information is clearly presented, with many articles featured on the sidebar so that someone looking for more information can easily get started learning about acid reflux.

Mandarin Consulting is a site that does a good job as it attempts to give comprehensive information on one fairly narrow field in the name of helping people explore their options is they suffer from this disease. No website can ever take the place of a visit to your doctor of course, but I’d certainly recommend taking a look at it if you have chronic, recurring heartburn.NULL

Review 3449

ToyTalk is a product/review style website written by freelance journalist David Smith. He started the blog in 2006 when two young children arrived in his life and he thought it would be a good idea to study, review and share information on toys that his boys (and your kids) may want to get their hands on. The blog is published by UK-based Huckleberry Media, which is also supports a sister blog about children’s books.

Unlike most product/review style blogs, this blog is a bit different because it isn’t just a list of item after item and the relevant stats for consumers to consider. There are interviews with toy manufacturers, editorial opinion pieces, and a toy tracker for those who cannot wait for the next American Girl or British Child release. The content is so well rounded that the site is interesting even if you aren’t an industry insider. I suppose that is because it is done up by an actual writer who sees a toy not just as a toy but a slice in a much larger environment. It is incredibly informative and well done.

The blog is very colorful and interesting, easy to navigate and filled with information. The bright pink header contains site navigation tabs, and the three columns below are chock full of stuff. Far right is kind of the Advertising House — lots of big colorful graphics that take you to places to shop for the toys. Far left is the site categories and navigation information. And the middle is where you find the entries.

Another point that I’d like to raise about this blog is that I do not get the feeling that it is a pay-per-review blog. I think the “advertising” section of the site speaks volumes when it outlines that graphics of a certain size and links and rates are all that there is to the back-end angle of money making on this site. A lot of blogs like this are not real honest review sites because the writers are getting paid for their opinion, so they’ll write a favorable review of a cruddy product. The “Special Coverage” portion of the advertising page is as close to pay-per-review as I think the site gets. I honestly get the feeling in my reading through of this blog that Huckleberry Media isn’t being paid for positive reviews and their opinions. And that is refreshing in a blog for cash kind of universe. If I’m wrong, they sure hide it well.

The only thing missing is a calendar to jump back to previous entries. When I review a site like this, I don’t like to read through the categories… I like a linear walk through from beginning to today’s date. Instead I went through the tabs at the top of the screen for news/reviews/features/interviews, focusing on those topics independent from one another. A walk through from the new High School Musical product to an editorial on whether or not we should pay more for toys if they’re made safer for our kids would be interesting.

Overall, this is a great industry blog. If I were a buyer for a toy store, I’d be in here all the time. As a parent, my kids are older, but I do have younger nieces, nephews and children of dear friends who may be looking for something as a gift, and this site is helpful in the category breakdown. I rate it a 4.0 and hail it as probably the best product-review style business site I’ve seen yet during my tenure here at The Weblog Review. NULL