Jim West won’t like this (“food for dilettantes” he’ll probably call it) but if (like me) you are a visual and/or kinesthetic learner and you want a really quick rough overview of some new topic Qwiki hits the spot. It offers a mashup of Wikipedia extracts read aloud by a computer, with images and other resources, to give a first glimpse of some unfamiliar subject.
It sounds daft, but the wonder is it works! The search feature seems brilliant, and the collages do usually give many significant points about a topic, and for me are much more rich and memorable for having the images. This is not a research tool, but it is a really good 21st C equivalent of the one volume encyclopedia for those times when you need to feed your inner dilettante ;)
The screenshot features Rudyard Kipling bedcause having just finished a PG Wodehouse (Their Mutual Child) I’m again reading Kipling for Librivox :)