Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Internet Diversions for February

Now that the snow has ended and won't be returning until 2015, I thought it would be a good time to mention a few fun places on the Internet. As we slog trough the snow on our way back to work, it's important to be able to have things to do at the office instead of work. After all, we're so used to having endless free time on our hands (when we're not shoveling); the transition from resting to working should be as slow and gradual as possible.

If you discover any good Internet diversions, please send them my way. This won't be the last column about the Internet and work avoidance.

Take The Idiot Test. (That's what it's called. I'm not implying anything about you.) The test is at . It's hard to describe this Internet-based game, but it starts off simply (and colorfully) and then gets progressively more complicated and ornery. It's strangely addicting and lots of fun. Warning: Don't try it if you're making the switch to decaf.

Radio Paradise is the best streaming Internet radio station on the planet: Tune it in and turn up the volume. Radio Paradise may inspire you to get better computer speakers. Pandora,, is my second favorite streaming Internet station. Pandora lets you create playlists based on the kind of music you like. I'm constantly discovering new music though Radio Paradise and Pandora.

If you haven't been saving computer magazines since 1980, take a look at this website with old computer ads: Don't miss the 1984 Macintosh advertisement:

RecordTripping, One of the most enjoyable and beautifully games designed I've ever found. While Alice in Wonderland is being narrated you use your mouse as a DJ uses her hands to scratch a record forward and backwards, solving five different puzzles.

Do you want to see what's going on around the world? Visit WorldWebCam,, and look at one of the hundreds of webcams of mountains, traffic, animals (go right to the source and view a pandacam in China), beaches (there's a beach on Australia's east coast that I so want to be on right now), and more.

The Onion, Need I say more?

Pick the Perp,, challenges your deepest knee-jerk assumptions and impulses. We all make instant and thoughtless judgments about people based simply on how they look. In Pick the Perp you try and guess which person out of five has been accused of a crime, based on nothing other than photos. It's eye-opening.,, is basically online training for becoming a five day Jeopardy champion. From world capitals to dog breeds to the periodic table of the elements to wine facts and more, makes it fun and easy to learn and remember stuff. It's flash cards with spunk. has "cards" for thousands of subjects. Instead of working, go ahead and memorize something useful like poker hands or Twitter terms.

Possibly the most amazing storm photos are at Be sure to check out the lightning photographs. They're so powerful, so potent that they make you want to run inside for cover even if you're looking at them from the safety of the indoors.

How many different kind of snowflakes are there? Is it true that no two flakes are ever alike? What kind of weather produces different kinds of flakes? You might have thought that you're an expert on snowflakes after the storms of 2009-2010, but there's a lot more to learn at And you can download a free snowflake wallpaper there, too.

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