I've always been a sucker for dropping by HowStuffWorks to see entertaining how-to's. After all, you never know when you might be called upon to build a straw bale house or explain to your 7-year-old how a Star Wars light saber appears to be real in a movie but she's not going to see a working version in Wal-Mart any time soon. Certainly not in time for Christmas! The short articles offer a clear picture of how something functions, is put together, or its history. Designed by Discovery Channel and its spinoffs, the information is sound, the speculations are reasonable, and the information is presented in an entertaining way. (The accompaning ads that allow it to be a free site are clearly marked and easy to skim over.)
On the other end of the spectrum, I enjoy exploring the more serious LibGuides collection of guides by research librarians, whether they're subject guides, information portals, or focused research tip sheets. These reliable explorations were originally written for their individual library, so not all resources listed are available for free, but there always seems to be some valuable content in each topic I've opened so far.
Now How Stuff Works has joined the LibGuides community with their own collection of research guide topics at HowStuffWorks LibGuiides . They combine HowStuffWorks' entertaining outlook with LibGuides' research orientation. The topics run from cooking to dinosaurs to elections & politics, each with videos, articles, questions and links to other informative sites. One of the features I particularly liked is the ability to pull up the most recently written guides. For an intriguing introductory meander through a new broad topic area, browse through HowStuffWorks' LibGuides.