I have needed a site to help with word choice in poetry. I found https://www.rhymezone.com and use it frequently.
Although RhymeZone starts as a rhyming dictionary, it is much more. I actually use it as a thesaurus rather than a rhyming dictionary because it includes an index of synonyms and antonyms.
When you need them, it will find homophones and similar sounding words. The similar sounding word lists include a rating of the closeness of the similarity and the options’ popularity. It will also search for a word in the titles of Wikipedia articles. It has examples of words in the context of lyrics and poems. It also provides several definitions for a word.
One query I made showed that “harsh” has the same consonants as the surnames “Harsch,” “Hirsche” and “Horsch”. This is one example of how it is integrated with a table of surnames. For “book,” there are 46 different words with the same consonants including dictionary words, surnames and rare words.
There are many uses for the web site. It’s presented in a well made design that integrates its features conveniently. Their article RhymeZone Turns 20 (with updates aplenty) describes features of the site.
If you’re a writer, it definitely is worthwhile to add this site to your favorite bookmark list.
A couple of years ago, my clothes dryer needed some maintenance. I had workers come and replace the heating element and main bearing.
When they opened it up, dozens and dozens of buttons fell out. I’ve lost many buttons from my shirts over the years and there they all were! I resolved to do something about it.
I decided to change how I did my laundry. I’ve always turned printed t-shirts inside out to preserve the inked design. Now, for my button-down shirts, I do the same. I button them up completely and turn them inside out before putting them in the wash. I also invert the cuffs and collar.
It takes a little extra work to prep the shirts for the laundry. When they come out of the dryer, I turn them right side out and unbutton them.
It’s been a roaring success. In the two years since I started this, I haven’t lost a single button in my laundry. I wear a lot of button down shirts, especially in cold weather, and I know that the effort at prevention is worth it.
Image origin buttons by bptakoma. Image license
Here are my impressions of the Kindle Fire’s Alexa implementation. It has some features that a smart speaker can’t provide.
It shows what it understands. When you ask a question, the service displays the text of your query. It also shows the text that it speaks back to you.
I was surprised that the Fire also shows a graphic relevant to your question. A question about cheese shows a graphic of cheese on a cutting board. I asked for the name of the mayor of Auburn, Indiana and it displayed the Auburn city logo. My search for the mayor of Indianapolis retrieved a photo of him.
I didn’t explore the quirky questions that you can ask. I also haven’t used it enough for the software to dial in on recognizing my voice, so I was frustrated with some errors when I tried to use it as a calculator.
It isn’t clear how much curation of the answers is done by a human analyst. My search for the mayor of Auburn, Indiana returned with the wrong name. The display shows that the name came from Wikipedia and I just corrected the Wikipedia page. It will be interesting to see how long it takes Alexa’s data repository to reflect that. Will someone need to check the citations first?
I am interested in where the information came from. I’ve seen the results explain that information came from Reuters, reference.com, Getty or Wikipedia. Sometimes the attribution is spoken in the answer. At other times, it is in a small note on the display.
Unfortunately, the results can attribute information to Wikipedia that is not available there. For example, the sodium content of Velveeta cheese is not available on Wikipedia, even though the answer claims it is.
Alexa on the Fire is useful. I’ve been hesitant to get a smart speaker and this is a demo of some of what I could have. The most consistently useful feature I found so far is the weather.