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Friday, October 7, 2011

The 101 best Facebook applications in the world today

Facebook applications are the best thing since MySpace widgets sliced bread, as any fule kno. What's more, they're mushrooming by the day, as companies and individual developers alike catch on to the potential of having their content splashed over (potentially) millions of Facebook profiles.

But which are the ones worth adding? I've put together a big list of 101 of the best, most useful, most interesting and silliest Facebook apps below. And no, I haven't just worked my way down the 'Most Popular' list on the site - I've investigated every one to see what it does, and whether it's worth putting on your profile. And when you've read 'em, check our 101 MORE cool Facebook applications post...
1. Top Friends. Flatter your best mates by putting them in your Top Friends box (and insult all your others by leaving them out). Get it
2. Tetris Tournament. Play Tetris and reduce your friends' high scores to dust. Utterly, utterly addictive. Get it
3. Training. App that tracks your fitness regime, and compares it to your friends so you can offer mutual support (or laugh at the fat lazy donut-munchers in your group, obv). Get it
4. iLike. Barnstorming Music 2.0 application that lets you share music and show off your tune knowledge in the competition. Get it
5. Zombies. At first I was irritated by this, but so many people have signed up, it's actually fun infecting even more. Sorry. Get it
6. My Aquarium. Your own virtual fishtank, which can only be populated by friends sending you fish. I want an octopus... Get it
7. Beers. Buy virtual beers for friends. Not as much fun as buying real beers in the real world, but better for your waistline. Get it
8. SkypeMe. Make Skype calls from within Facebook, which makes you a bonafide Web 2.0 media node in your own right. Get it
9. What's Your Stripper Name? Note, if you're actually a stripper, this switches to 'What's Your Internetweb Geek Name?' Probably. Get it
10. Flixter Movies. Rate films, see what your friends are watching, and bitch about Optimus Prime not having the right shaped spoilers in the new Transformer film. Get it
11. Fantasy Hip-Hop (pictured). Live out your blingest dreams by running a virtual hip-hop label. Get it
12. Likeness. Find out which of your friends you most look like, or compare yourself to the most beautiful celebs around. Get it
13. Friends Organiser. Sort your friends into groups, like schoolfriends, work friends, sports friends, and people who you don't really like but they added you so you thought it would be rude to decline friends. Get it
14. Poker. Play Texas Hold'em with virtual money against other Facebook users. Just remember not to put 'I'm rubbish at bluffing' on your profile. Get it
15. Facebook app version of the existing blog widget that puts snippets of censored stuff on your profile. No, not pr0n - unfairly censored stuff.Get it
16. Horoscopes. Show everyone that you're a superstitious idiot who won't leave the house if Mystic Meg spooks you. And she does spook a lot of people. Get it
17. Graffiti. Let your mates scribble all over your profile in a Banksy stylee. Except not as arty. Get it
18. X Me. Replaces the restrictive 'poke' feature with an option to let your friends do Whatever They Want to you. Which, be warned, is usually filthy. Get it
19. Moods. Splatter emoticons on your profile to show whether you're sad, grumpy or joyful. Either way, you'll look like a round yellow acieeed face. Get it
20. Causes. Sign up for a good cause, and tell everyone else about it. Without demanding money like a chugger, obviously. Get it
21. Where I've Been (pictured). Show off your global travelling (i.e. how huge your carbon footprint is) with an interactive world map showing where you've been. Get it
22. Red Bull Roshambull. Like Rock Paper Scissors, except branded by bug-eyed energy drink. Get it
23. Cars. Boast about your collection of motors. Even the old bangers.Get it
24. Trackfeeder Track Of The Day. Find out about a new choon every day, with links to buy it. Get it
25. Facebook Carpool. Find people to share a lift with (but check their profile first to make sure they're not serial killers). Get it
26. I Have Never. Facebook version of that drinking game where you have to say things you've never done, then watch shamefaced friends 'fess up to them. Get it
27. Dogbook. Because man's best friend deserves his own Facebook profile, even if the Interests are the same on every one (wagging, barking, bum-sniffing). Get it
28. Super Wall. Like a normal wall, but super. Get it
29. My Questions. Pose lots of questions to your friends, and see if they bother to answer. One step up from those email forwards you've received 16 times, anyway. Get it
30. Hot Or Not (pictured). You know the score: upload your photo, find you're a 4.3, cry. Get it
31. Tag Cloud. Let your friends 'tag' you with whatever adjectives they want. Could lead to you getting rid of several friends, depending how rude they are. Get it
32. Fantasy Stock Exchange. You could make a million, if only you had the starting capital. Prove it here. Get it
33. Picnik. Edit your photos within Facebook. Ideal for cropping out former friends who you've just deleted from your profile. Get it
34. SuperPoke! Another way to spice up your poking with other actions.Get it
35. HotLists. Show your preferences (e.g. Heroes or 24, Canada v USA, crack v ketamine) via the medium of colourful logos. Get it
36. Football Fan. Put your team's badge on your profile. Sadly, there's no option to deface it with wildly sweary graffiti when they play like buffoons. Get it
37. Catbook. It's not fair to let the dogs have all the Facebook fun. Get it
38. Uber Music Player. Another music 2.0 application that's very customisable. Get it
39. Games. A decent collection of online games playable via Facebook. Be warned, this will waste hours of your day.Get it
40. Roomster. Find a new house-mate or lodger, while checking their profile first to ensure they don't list 'Playing Deathcore Grime at 3am' as one of their interests. Get it
41. Lego Man. Create your own blocky Lego avatar to represent you on Facebook. Get it
42. Awareness Ribbons. Show off a cause that's close to your heart (well, your lapels) with these virtual cause ribbons. Get it
43. SlideShare. Share your PowerPoint presentations with Facebook friends. Probably more useful for the ones you work with, if I'm honest. Get it
44. Rupture. Show off your World of Warcraft profile to all and sundry. So they can kill you next time you log on. Get it
45. Scrabulous. Play Scrabble within Facebook, with the advantage of having a separate Google window open to find words with Q, X and Z in. Get it
46. PopSugar 100. Show off your favourite celebs (Jordan, Timmy Mallett, That Woman Off Wife Swap) on your profile, and see who readers of celeb blog PopSugar think is cool. Clue: none of the three above. Get it
47. StyleFiles (pictured). Create your own catwalk outfits using bits from Marc Jacobs, Chloe and lots more labels that fashionistas will know and love (i.e. I haven't a clue who they are). Get it
48. Audio. Quick'n'easy way to share music files (and thus Kill Music).Get it
49. Twitter. Post updates to Twitter, assuming you haven't dumped it in favour of Facebook status updates. Get it
50. Music. Cool app based on everybody's favourite personalised streaming radio service. And everybody does have a favourite, since you ask. Get it
51. Booklist. Show off your literary library, complete with links to Amazon with your affiliate code to make a few quid.Get it
52. Fantasy Cricket. Much more fun now that England are good again. Get it
53. Console Identities. Display your Xbox Live Gamertag, PlayStation Network ID, or Wii Friend Code on your profile. Cool. Get it
54. The Compass. Nifty political tool made by the Washington Post that shows how much of a lentil-chewing hippie you are (or not). Get it
55. Simpsons Quotes. All your fave soundbites from the TV show, displayed on your profile for all to see. Get it
56. Jukebox. Neat Flash-based streaming music player that lets you subject friends to your collection of Kula ShakerB-sides when they come to your profile. Get it
57. (fluff)Friends. Put a cute pet on your profile. Be warned, this may have the same effect on potential love-partners as keeping seven teddybears on your bed. Get it
58. Weight Loss Tracker. Diet going well? Turn your slimming into a neat graph so that friends can encourage you. Not so much fun if you fall off the treadmillwagon and start stuffing yourself with Milky Bars, mind. Get it
59. YouTube Videos. Search the most popular vids on YouTube and watch them from within your profile. ChineseBackstreet Boys a-go-go! Get it
60. Justin Timberlake. The Trousersnake gets his own official Facebook application, gathering all manner of videos and other content. D'you think he poked Britney? Get it
61. Herban Tones. Convert your MP3s into ringtones then pimp them to your friends via your profile. Doesn't work so well if you only offer Cheeky Girls tones, mind. Get it
62. Friend Statistics. Work out the average age and gender of your mates. Then weep when they're all 37-year-old males who still live with their mums. Get it
63. Stuff I Hate. Because social networking profiles should have a place for vengeful bitterness. Get it
64. Fortune Cookie. Like the ones you get after a Chinese meal. Except you don't get to stuff your face with egg fried rice first. Hang on, that's no fun... Get it
65. Daily Bible Verse. Because you don't only find wisdom inside Chinese snacks. Get it
66. PuzzleBee. Turn your photos into jigsaw puzzles and share them with friends. Ideally used with drunken-night-out pics the morning after, just to mess with their hangovers even more. Get it
67. NES games. Play old-skool Nintendo classics in your browser. Just possibly not 100% legal, mind. Get it
68. Rockband. Create your own virtual rawk band, and fight your way to the top of the charts by signing up fans. I still don't understand where the virtual sex, drugs and rock'n'roll comes in though. Get it
69. Zipatrip. Part list of where you've been in the world, and part travelog with photos of all your holiday happenings (i.e. you, red as a lobster, licking vodka off an 18-30 rep's buttocks). Get it
70. Wikipedia. Search the planet's best Encyclopaedia 2.0 from within Facebook, while telling yourself that it's never inaccurate. Never. Get it
71. Pokedex. For Pokemon fans who've gotta catch 'em all (or at least look at them on Facebook). Get it
72. Friend Wheel. See the links between your friends in a colourful graph-wheel stylee. Get it
73. Web Sudoku. Pit your numerical wits against a series of Sudoku puzzles, then compare your times to friends. Get it
74. SlideShows. Turn your photos and vids into rolling slideshows that even your family will try not to watch. Get it
75. Honesty Box. Send anonymous messages to your friends telling them what you REALLY think. Isn't the point of friends that you can do this without needing anonymity? Get it
76. Food Fight! (pictured) Get daily lunch money to spend on food, then chuck it at your friends. In the real world, it's wasting the planet's natural resources, but on Facebook it's just wasting your work-time. Cool. Get it
77. Vampires. Like zombies, except even more bitey. Get it
78. Lending Club. Borrow money from a collective of Facebook users. Although the fact that someone spends their working day on Facebook may indicate that they soon might not have a salary to meet the repayments... Get it
79. Diner Dash. One of my fave ever web casual games goes Facebook, with you working as a waitress. Except more fun than that sounds, honest. Get it
80. Snooth. Get wine recommendations, helping you step up from your usual habit of buying whatever's got a couple of quid knocked off the price in Sainsburys. Or is that just me (hic)? Get it
81. Happiness Gauge. Show the world how grumpy you're feeling today. Get it
82. Tarot Cards. Your own personal set of Tarot cards, showing the influences that govern your entire life. Death, Death and Death isn't a great set, obviously. Get it
83. Russian Roulette. More death, in that you put a gun on your profile that friends can chance their arm (well, eye/brains) with. Get it
84. Pac-Man. Decidedly unofficial, but still retro-tastic gaming fun. Get it
85. Chess. Play chess against your Facebook friends, to show that you're intelligent enough to have progressed from draughts. Get it
86. I'm A Virgin??? Well, are you? This game lets you guess who's Done It and who hasn't. Just like your schooldays.Get it
87. myCrush. Tag friends who you'd secretly like a cheeky snog with, and then see if they tag you back. If they do, follow up with a good poke etc etc. Get it
88. My Flickr. Show your Flickr photos on your profile, sorted in a range of ways (Tags, Interesting, Photoset etc). Get it
89. YouTube Skins. Put a YouTube vid on your profile, then bling it up with some surrounding artwork (for example, a plasma screen). Very cool indeed. Get it
90. YouCams. Where Facebook and webcams collide. And not just for cybersex either. Honest. Get it
91. iPhone Owner. Perhaps the smuggest Facebook app in existence, this lets the world know that you've got Apple's new handset and they haven't. Unless they've added this app too, of course. Get it
92. Art (pictured). Put posh artworks on your profile, to show how cultured you are. Or if you're Prince William, to show which ones you own. Get it
93. Big Brother News. Who's whining at who in the latest pointless argument inside the Big Brother house? Find out here. Get it
94. Chizzat. Live chat to your Facebook friends on your profile. For those who are just TOO DAMN IMPATIENT to wait for wall-to-wall. Get it
95. Your Hottest Friend. Vote on which of your friends you'd most like to spoil the friendship with a slightly-taboo shagfest. Get it
96. Project Playlist. Simple and cool app that integrates with your playlist on Music 2.0 site Project Playlist. Get it
97. Girl On Bus. Suitably silly animated game where you have to stop a cartoon girl called Maggie from toppling over on the bus. Get it
98. Friend Tracker. Find out who's been reading your profile with this app, which lets friends click on a link to let you know they stopped by. Get it
99. Magnetic Words. Stick fridge poetry all over your profile, and see how many rude phrases people come up with.Get it
100. Virtual iPhone. Much less expensive than a real one, with no battery worries. Get it
101. Chuck Norris. Just because. Get it

The Incredible Life of Steve Jobs

Bill Weir reports on the life of the founder of Apple computers.

News from -

American Drones Are Infected with a Computer Virus

A virus has infected America's drone fleet, Wired's Noah Shachtman reports. It logs every keystroke operators type from their base in Creech Air Force Base in Nevada, but that hasn't halted their missions. Though the military hasn't found any incidents of the virus sending information to an outside source, they haven't been able to get rid of it. Shachtman explains:

"We keep wiping it off, and it keeps coming back," says a source familiar with the network infection, one of three that told Danger Room about the virus. "We think it's benign. But we just don't know."

Military network security specialists aren't sure whether the virus and its so-called "keylogger" payload were introduced intentionally or by accident; it may be a common piece of malware that just happened to make its way into these sensitive networks. The specialists don't know exactly how far the virus has spread. But they’re sure that the infection has hit both classified and unclassified machines at Creech.

The U.S. has increasingly relied on drones to carry out the war on terror in Afghanistan in recent years. Al Qaeda YouTube preacher Anwar al-Awlaki was killed last month by a drone strike in Yemen.

News from -

Chow Ciao!: Frittata – The Perfect Italian Omelet

Fabio explains eggs 101 with attitude and makes a creamy, salty prosciutto and ricotta frittata.

News from -

9 things you didn’t know about the life of Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs leans against his wife, Laurene Powell Jobs (Lea Suzuki/San Francisco Chronicle/Corbis)

For all of his years in the spotlight at the helm of Apple, Steve Jobs in many ways remains an inscrutable figure — even in his death. Fiercely private, Jobs concealed most specifics about his personal life, from his curious family life to the details of his battle with pancreatic cancer — a disease that ultimately claimed him on Wednesday, at the age of 56.
While the CEO and co-founder of Apple steered most interviews away from the public fascination with his private life, there's plenty we know about Jobs the person, beyond the Mac and the iPhone. If anything, the obscure details of his interior life paint a subtler, more nuanced portrait of how one of the finest technology minds of our time grew into the dynamo that we remember him as today.
1. Early life and childhood
Jobs was born in San Francisco on February 24, 1955. He was adopted shortly after his birth and reared near Mountain View, California by a couple named Clara and Paul Jobs. His adoptive father — a term that Jobs openly objected to — was a machinist for a laser company and his mother worked as an accountant.
Later in life, Jobs discovered the identities of his estranged parents. His birth mother, Joanne Simpson, was a graduate student at the time and later a speech pathologist; his biological father, Abdulfattah John Jandali, was a Syrian Muslim who left the country at age 18 and reportedly now serves as the vice president of a Reno, Nevada casino. While Jobs reconnected with Simpson in later years, he and his biological father remained estranged.
Reed College
2. College dropout
The lead mind behind the most successful company on the planet never graduated from college, in fact, he didn't even get close. After graduating from high school in Cupertino, California — a town now synonymous with 1 Infinite Loop, Apple's headquarters — Jobs enrolled in Reed College in 1972. Jobs stayed at Reed (a liberal arts university in Portland, Oregon) for only one semester, dropping out quickly due to the financial burden the private school's steep tuition placed on his parents.
In his famous 2005 commencement speech to Stanford University, Jobs said of his time at Reed: "It wasn't all romantic. I didn't have a dorm room, so I slept on the floor in friends' rooms, I returned coke bottles for the 5 cent deposits to buy food with, and I would walk the seven miles across town every Sunday night to get one good meal a week at the Hare Krishna temple."

Breakout for the Atari
3. Fibbed to his Apple co-founder about a job at Atari
Jobs is well known for his innovations in personal computing, mobile tech, and software, but he also helped create one of the best known video games of all-time. In 1975, Jobs was tapped by Atarito work on the Pong-like game Breakout.
He was reportedly offered $750 for his development work, with the possibility of an extra $100 for each chip eliminated from the game's final design. Jobs recruited Steve Wozniak (later one of Apple's other founders) to help him with the challenge. Wozniak managed to whittle the prototype's design down so much that Atari paid out a $5,000 bonus — but Jobs kept the bonus for himself, and paid his unsuspecting friend only $375, according to Wozniak's own autobiography.
4. The wife he leaves behind
Like the rest of his family life, Jobs kept his marriage out of the public eye. Thinking back on his legacy conjures images of him commanding the stage in his trademark black turtleneck and jeans, and those solo moments are his most iconic. But at home in Palo Alto, Jobs was raising a family with his wife, Laurene, an entrepreneur who attended the University of Pennsylvania's prestigious Wharton business school and later received her MBA at Stanford, where she first met her future husband.
For all of his single-minded dedication to the company he built from the ground up, Jobs actuallyskipped a meeting to take Laurene on their first date: "I was in the parking lot with the key in the car, and I thought to myself, 'If this is my last night on earth, would I rather spend it at a business meeting or with this woman?' I ran across the parking lot, asked her if she'd have dinner with me. She said yes, we walked into town and we've been together ever since."
In 1991, Jobs and Powell were married in the Ahwahnee Hotel at Yosemite National Park, and the marriage was officiated by Kobin Chino, a Zen Buddhist monk.
5. His sister is a famous author
Later in his life, Jobs crossed paths with his biological sister while seeking the identity of his birth parents. His sister, Mona Simpson (born Mona Jandali), is the well-known author of Anywhere But Here — a story about a mother and daughter that was later adapted into a film starring Natalie Portman and Susan Sarandon.
After reuniting, Jobs and Simpson developed a close relationship. Of his sister, he told a New York Times interviewer: "We're family. She's one of my best friends in the world. I call her and talk to her every couple of days.'' Anywhere But Here is dedicated to "my brother Steve."

Joan Baez
6. Celebrity romances
In The Second Coming of Steve Jobs, an unauthorized biography, a friend from Reed reveals that Jobs had a brief fling with folk singer Joan Baez. Baez confirmed the the two were close "briefly," though her romantic connection with Bob Dylan is much better known (Dylan was the Apple icon's favorite musician). The biography also notes that Jobs went out with actress Diane Keaton briefly.
7. His first daughter
When he was 23, Jobs and his high school girlfriend Chris Ann Brennan conceived a daughter, Lisa Brennan Jobs. She was born in 1978, just as Apple began picking up steam in the tech world. He and Brennan never married, and Jobs reportedly denied paternity for some time, going as far as stating that he was sterile in court documents. He went on to father three more children with Laurene Powell. After later mending their relationship, Jobs paid for his first daughter's education at Harvard. She graduated in 2000 and now works as a magazine writer.
8. Alternative lifestyle
In a few interviews, Jobs hinted at his early experience with the psychedelic drug LSD. Of Microsoft founder Bill Gates, Jobs said: "I wish him the best, I really do. I just think he and Microsoft are a bit narrow. He'd be a broader guy if he had dropped acid once or gone off to an ashram when he was younger."
The connection has enough weight that Albert Hofmann, the Swiss scientist who first synthesized (and took) LSD, appealed to Jobs for funding for research about the drug's therapeutic use.
In a book interview, Jobs called his experience with the drug "one of the two or three most important things I have done in my life." As Jobs himself has suggested, LSD may have contributed to the "think different" approach that still puts Apple's designs a head above the competition.
Jobs will forever be a visionary, and his personal life also reflects the forward-thinking, alternative approach that vaulted Apple to success. During a trip to India, Jobs visited a well-known ashram and returned to the U.S. as a Zen Buddhist.
Jobs was also a pescetarian who didn't consume most animal products, and didn't eat meat other than fish. A strong believer in Eastern medicine, he sought to treat his own cancer through alternative approaches and specialized diets before reluctantly seeking his first surgery for a cancerous tumor in 2004.
9. His fortune
As the CEO of the world's most valuable brand, Jobs pulled in a comically low annual salary of just $1. While the gesture isn't unheard of in the corporate world  — Google's Larry Page, Sergey Brin, and Eric Schmidt all pocketed the same 100 penny salary annually — Jobs has kept his salary at $1 since 1997, the year he became Apple's lead executive. Of his salary, Jobs joked in 2007: "I get 50 cents a year for showing up, and the other 50 cents is based on my performance."
In early 2011, Jobs owned 5.5 million shares of Apple. After his death, Apple shares were valued at $377.64 — a roughly 43-fold growth in valuation over the last 10 years that shows no signs of slowing down.
He may only have taken in a single dollar per year, but Jobs leaves behind a vast fortune. The largest chunk of that wealth is the roughly $7 billion from the sale of Pixar to Disney in 2006. In 2011, with an estimated net worth of $8.3 billion, he was the 110th richest person in the world, according toForbes. If Jobs hadn't sold his shares upon leaving Apple in 1985 (before returning to the company in 1996), he would be the world's fifth richest individual.
While there's no word yet on plans for his estate, Jobs leaves behind three children from his marriage to Laurene Jobs (Reed, Erin, and Eve), as well as his first daughter, Lisa Brennan-Jobs.

America's Most Beautiful College Campuses

Take a crash course in architecture at the country’s most beautiful college campuses.

More from Yahoo! Travel
"If you ask freshmen why they chose their colleges, they usually say one of two things,” says Baltimore architect Adam Gross, who’s worked on projects at the University of Virginia and Swarthmore. “Either they got a good financial aid package or they thought the campus was beautiful."
America’s most beautiful college campuses have the power not only to sway indecisive high school students, of course, but also to attract tourists. Their appeal comes through varying combinations of awe-inspiring architecture, landscaping, and surroundings. To choose among more than 2,600 four-year American colleges, we considered these three key factors as well as architects’ expert opinions.

"The most important thing to realize is that how landscaping and buildings interconnect is as important as the buildings themselves," explains Boston-based architect Mark deShong. At Princeton University, for example, “It’s really about landscape,” he says. The campus connects its ivy-covered gray stone buildings with footpaths, idyllic small greens, and courtyards that create an intimate village-like scale.

Architectural coherence also plays a role in making a campus beautiful. Take the University of San Diego, which sticks to one architectural style: the Spanish Renaissance, with its elaborate façades, delicate ironwork, and carved wood. Ocean views and palm-tree-lined courtyards are extra selling points.

So plan your own trip to check out these campus masterpieces.

Bard College: Annandale-on-Hudson, NY

Frank Gehry’s Fisher Center—an undulating work of glass and brushed stainless steel—showcases Bard’s thriving arts scene throughout the year (current college president Leon Botstein himself is an accomplished conductor). The center is on the contemporary side of the rural campus’s architectural spectrum, which goes back to the 19th-century Blithewood Mansion and its manicured Italian garden. Pathways make for easy exploring, with the Catskill Mountains visible in the distance. —Kate Appleton

Stanford University: Palo Alto, CA

The entryway to Stanford’s 8,180-acre campus is arguably the grandest of any college campus: a mile-long, tree-lined Palm Drive, which leads up to the expansive green Oval, red-clay-roof-tiled Main Quad, and the campus’s crown architectural jewel, Memorial Church, with its striking mosaic façade.

Photo-op: The view of campus—and all the way to San Francisco on a clear day—from the Hoover Tower observation platform.

To-Do List: The Cantor Arts Center’s collection of 170 bronzes by Auguste Rodin, among the largest outside Paris, includes the Gates of Hell and Burghers of Calais. —Ratha Tep

University of Notre Dame: South Bend, IN

It’s hard to miss the glistening golden dome of the university’s Main Building, not to mention the neo-Gothic Basilica of the Sacred Heart that defines this 150-year-old Catholic school. Besides gorgeous architecture, the campus is chock-full of lush quads, where students congregate to kick back when they’re not in class — or at the football stadium. —Joshua Pramis

Florida Southern University:Lakeland, FL

What do Ellis Island and Florida Southern University have in common? They’re among the 32 U.S. spots that have recently been put under watch by the World Monument Fund as endangered cultural sites. You might also be surprised to learn that Florida Southern—on a hillside overlooking Lake Hollingsworth—has the world’s largest collection of Frank Lloyd Wright buildings, including the Annie Pfeiffer Chapel with its colored pieces of glass and wrought-iron tower. —Ratha Tep

University of Cincinnati: Cincinnati, OH

A decades-long renewal topping $1 billion is paying dividends for Cincy, which has cultivated a strikingly modern look—and proven that “it doesn’t need ivy-covered brick walls” to be beautiful, as UC Magazine put it. Notable architects Michael Graves, Charles Gwathmey, Frank Gehry, and Peter Eisenman have each made their mark on the campus, whose Main Street leads to the prow-shaped Steger Student Life Center and the Tangeman University Center, which, in 2005, dramatically repositioned the original clock tower atop a skylight in a 90-foot atrium. —Kate Appleton

University of San Diego: San Diego, CA

Some campuses are an amalgam of styles; the University of San Diego sticks to just one, and what a glorious one it has chosen—the Spanish Renaissance, with its elaborate façades, delicate ironwork, and carved woodwork. Ocean views and palm-tree-lined courtyards only add to the paradise-on-campus appeal.

Photo-op: The Immaculata Chapel, with its piercingly blue dome, visible from much of the city.

To-Do List: A walk around the Garden of the Sea, behind the Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice, and its serene reflecting pool and gardens overlooking Mission Bay and the Pacific Ocean. —Ratha Tep

Berry College: Mount Berry, GA

This rural college holds a lofty record: it’s the world’s largest contiguous college campus in the world, with more than 26,000 acres of fields, lakes, forests, and mountains. Berry makes prime use of its setting too, with numerous reflecting pools and fountains situated nearby its beautiful English Gothic–inspired buildings like the Ford Dining Hall, Ford Auditorium, and Mary Hall, made possible by the school’s largest benefactor—Henry Ford. —Ratha Tep

Lewis & Clark College: Portland, OR

Six miles from downtown lies this 137-acre parklike campus of verdant forests, sweeping pathways, and stone walls. A tree walk with native species encountered by the two explorers for whom the college was named on their epic journey west surrounds the Frank Manor House—originally built as a 35-room private mansion.

Photo-op: The serene Reflecting Pool, bordered by a wall of wisteria, for a stellar view of Mount Hood.

To-Do List: A day hike through surrounding Tryon Creek State Park. Begin with coffee brewed with beans from Stumptown Coffee Roasters at the Lewis & Clark bookstore. —Ratha Tep

Rice University: Houston, TX

Don’t be fooled by Rice’s urban address. A double row of majestic oak trees encloses its perimeter—a harbinger of the lush 285-acre campus to come, divided into quadrangles and planted with 4,000-plus elms, hickories, maples, and other trees (a ratio of more than one for each undergrad). The oldest buildings, like the standout Lovett Hall, borrow elements of medieval southern European architecture, including grand, arched passageways and rose-hued brick. —Ratha Tep

Cornell University: Ithaca, NY

Ambitious campus planners wanted to create a main quad over dramatic Cayuga Lake, the longest of the Finger Lakes. “It’s the idea of putting education on a high platform,” says architect Mark deShong. That original plan evolved, and the beautiful setting now accommodates both historic structures (McGraw Tower) and contemporary ones like the I. M. Pei–designed Johnson Museum of Art—whose walls screen movies on summer evenings—and the new Milstein Hall by Rem Koolhaas.