As anyone who bought airline tickets before 1997 knows, the internet has made life better. The malstrom of information that is the web has improved our standards of living in uncountable ways. Never again, thanks to our new media, need a bar bet be left unsettled, an original term paper be written, or a passing urge to purchase something from a catalog go unindulged.
But for all of those practical applications, the highest use of the internet lies elsewhere. I speak, of course, of goofing off. Where once goofing off was an activity sadly confined to homes and schools, the modern computer owner can goof off nearly anyplace and, with only the sacrifice of a good night's sleep, any time.
Perhaps you, dear reader, are wondering "But how could ~I~ use the internet to goof off?" Or maybe you are an experienced internet goofoff, but still on the lookout for fresh ways to sacrifice your valuable time. Well, you're in luck. Today, the L&TM5K is proud to bring you:
Michael5000's Favorite Internet Wastes of Time
Since YouTube by now probably hosts more videos than there are atoms in the universe, it would be sheer folly to pick out two for special note. But nevertheless, these are the two that have made me, as we say here on the internet, "LMAO" this week.
1. Here's a new take on U2's classic anthem "Sunday Bloody Sunday," as rendered through the unmistakeable vocal stylings of our 43rd President.
2. And here's a new take on Sir Mix-a-lot's classic paeon to the female buttocks, "Baby Got Back," except retooled for the higher moral good.
(#1 recommended by extremely occasional reader DrSchnell, #2 stolen off of Kadonkadonk's blog without so much as a how-do-you-do.)
Or, if you're feeling more intellectual-like, you could check out these animations of the poetry of Billy Collins. They're pretty cool, too.
Dicewars: If you've ever accidentally stayed up all night playing Civilization, Alpha Centauri, or Masters of Orion, you'll be happy with this game. It distills the basic logic of the "4x" game to about 10 minutes of mouse clicking. Easy to learn, easy to master, but great replayability. You'll spend many happy minutes conquering the world for the purple team, and you are actually saving time, in that you aren't playing Civ.
Mindfields or especially Launchball: Well-designed puzzle solving games. Mindfields has a tank-combat theme, but that's window-dressing pure and simple. Launchball is sweet sweet mind candy for engineer wannabe geeks, and suffers only from having too few levels.
Zeta Flow is pure adrenilin shoot-em-up, if you're into that kind of thing.
Boomshine is a soporific little jewel of a game with no particular element of skill. It's very gentle and lulling, although you can pretend you are the kid from Ender's Game destroying an entire alien civilization, if you want to.
And finally, the computer game meets the alternative arts scene in gamegame6, the only (non-)game that I've ever managed to interest Mrs.5000 in for even a moment. Come on and meet your maker!
III: Internet Toys!
Ah, internet toys. You see them, you think they're really cool, you play with them for 25 seconds, you are ready to move on. But it was a good 25 seconds.
Spell with Flickr!
A flower garden!
Allright, enough of that.
IV. And then there's Blogs
Careful readers may have noticed that I updated the blogroll last week, dividing it into The Greater L&TM5K Community, the blogs of my "readers" (inclusively defined as anyone that I have reason to believe has ever visited this blog even once) and Other Worthy Bloggage, which is just that. Needless to say, pretty much any link you hit in either list will bring you hours of potential diversion and enlightenment.
(I really shouldn't point anybody out individually here, but Vice Dork fingerstothebone has certainly been doing some strange things with her food.)
V. Your Turn
So, those were MY suggestions. What are YOUR suggestions?