Monday, October 29, 2007

Michael5000's Internet Funhouse!!

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

I: Video

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.

II: Games!

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!

Jackson Pollack!


Pattern Game!

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?


fingerstothebone said...

I'm happy to be singled out. And really, who would've thunk that nutella and balsamic vinegar, or nutella and ketchup, would be this yummy, and so printer-friendly?

And allow me this moment for some self-promotion (there isn't any other kind, is there?) -- you too can do strange things with your food, right now (on Tuesday), right here (in Portland), by signing up for this class at IPRC.

No, really, please come. Or I'll have to eat all this food myself.

PS -- Go Dorks!

fingerstothebone said...

I forgot to add that this class is of course an excellent way to goof off, in a non-internet sort of a way...

And also, Mr. Fingers knew the Tom Waiits questions...

Anonymous said...

I've already said it once: Lonelygirl15. I won't even bother to provide the link since it's REALLY not worth watching.

I'm also a fan of—very fun to use the Symptom Checker to see if you're going to die. Sometimes I add symptoms I don't actually have but sound interesting like "craving to eat ice, dirt or paper" or "headache (worst ever)" or "foul smelling stools" just to read more about the conditions I've never heard about. In fact, while searching for these interesting symptoms I wasted a full 20-30 minutes reading all about sleep apnea, sleep deprivation, brain aneurysms, excessive daytime sleepiness, hypersomnia, vertigo, frozen shoulder, psuedogout and bone spurs.

I'll think about this some more tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

...add Facebook and Scrabulous to the list.

d said...

craigslist. seriously. there are TONS of freaks out there and they love expressing it in personals ads.

it's truly awesome.

Anonymous said...

This morning my students told me to go here:
Not sure I'd recommend it highly, but it's what all the kids are doing nowadays.

fingerstothebone said...

...and of course, icanhascheezburger...everybody needs this, everyday!

Rebel said...

You are soooo gonna get me fired!

Kritkrat said...

I feel so honored! Next stop: dice wars!

The [Cherry] Ride said...

Wow, this is awesome. My productivity has just plummeted to zero. WHich is bad when you work for yourself.

blythe said...

freaks, d? i'm planning to meet my husband on craigslist.

Rebel said...

"blythe said...

freaks, d? i'm planning to meet my husband on craigslist.

1:42 PM, October 31, 2007"

Yeah, I was going to object to that comment too... but then I realized that the guys I've met on craigslist are, more often than not, freaks. =(

But a friend of mine has been in a relationship for a year with a guy she met through CL, so ....

Michael5000 said...

@fingers: Go Dorks!

@mydog: You know, stools are kind of ~supposed~ to be foul-smelling....

@d: When I read this, I thought "yeah, but it's not like there's a 'freaks' section on Craigslist. Where will I find the good ones?" But then I tried it out. You don't really have to turn over too many rocks, do you.

@Sandy: Not terrible, not terrible.

@fingers: Well, if we're going to bring lolcats into what had been a perfectly civilized discussion*, I see no reason to stop short of this. I find the image in Gen 3 particularly amusing.

*except for the parts about stools.

@rebel: Shit, you scared me. I was trying to think of how I had leaked secrets about you. But now I've got it figured out.

@kadonkadonk: Gotta play DiceWars every day when I get home from work. It's a little palette cleanser.

@[Cherry]: I feel just... awful. You aren't out on the streets, are you?

@Blythe, Rebel: See note to d, above. And this from a man who lured in his wife with a personal ad.