The joy of the Internet is also its drawback: there is simply too much information, much of it excellent, for the mind to absorb. I hope that in making these suggestions for your web surfing I have singled out some of the best.

Many of you know of my love for contemporary architecture. Here are three projects, taken from Designboom, that are quite special:

1. A new library for Birmingham, England, designed by Mecanoo architects. (Note the central rotunda, the contemplation room, and the teenage area).

2. An egg-shaped mobile home, created by dai haifei in Beijiing, China, with its unusual ventilation and insulation.

3. A concotion by Gehry Partners for the University of Technology in Sydney, Australia. (Somehow I don't think this would be popular in earthquake-prone California.)

An exhibition in Paris called Golden Gates featured some striking contemporary work by Middle Eastern artists, ranging from the chilling to the spectacular.

"Death of the Individual" is the title of an intriguing article looking at some current explorations of being-in-the-world today. Those of you interested in pattern and design as well might want to look further into The Magazine, a quarterly magazine for the Design Museum Holon in Israel.

The Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam has grand ideas for presenting work to the public, including "Augmented Reality". This project will use smartphones to offer additional material to viewers as they roam the exhibitions and even if they visit the exhibition from their homes. Note: "Augmented Reality" is closer to us than Amsterdam. The New York Times reports on a new iPhone application called Word Lens that allows you to photograph a text and have it immediately translated into another language - still rather crude but intriguing.

An intriguing painting by Leonardo Da Vinci is being shown at the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy. "Adoration of the Magi" was commissioned but never finished for a monastery near Florence in 1481. It is also alluded to in Dan Brown's book, "The Da Vinci Code".

The Institute for the Study of the Ancient World at New York University in New York City is exhibiting "Before Pythagoras: The Culture of Old Babylonian Mathematics". The exhibit is the first to examine cuneiform tablets in depth, revealing their resemblance to contemporary number theory.

A project called Haltadefinizione aims to use sophisticated photographic techniques combined with digital technology to restore and present pieces from art history. Free online for six months, it offers close-up high resolution images of some of history's most acclaimed art works, including pieces by Botticelli, Caravaggio and Bronzino.

You Tube Play combines the efforts of Google, Intel, Hewlett Packard and the Guggenheim Museum to show some current works in the field of online video. The pieces were culled from 23,000 entries.

If you haven't heard about the Google Body Browser yet, you are in for a treat. Watch a demo on this You Tube video, and then read a description of how it operates and what makes it so unusual. Hold on to your seat belts.

c.Corinne Whitaker 2011