Monday, November 7, 2011

Things to Do On the Internet When You're Bored

The internet can be a pretty overwhelming place. Sometimes you need to take time out and remind yourself it's not all serious.

1. Googlewhacking

The original procrastinator's nightmare, now made even more difficult by scallywags posting word lists everywhere. The idea is to type two words into Google that will produce from its store of billions of pages of indexed information, just one result. The words you type in must be in Google's own dictionary. If you've never come across Dave Gorman's Googlewhack Adventure then I suggest you investigate that as it's a lot less frustrating than the game itself.
Custom Search

2. Search for long lost friends

Who knows what could happen? A more dangerous variant is "search for long lost lovers"...

3. Find out whether you're hot or not

It's a simple concept - you upload a photo, people give you a score out of ten and you discover whether you're hot or indeed, not. I'm sure you're very hot. Or you can just vote on other people instead.

4. Search NASA's archives

There's a whole universe of incredible images and recordings here and they're free of copyright too. Lose yourself in the vastness of space.

5. Start a blog

Who's the most important person in the world? You are! Let everyone else know your thoughts by starting a blog. Try these - Blogger ; WordPress ; MySpace.

6. Treat yourself to a new phone

Bored with your current phone? Get yourself a nice new phone in the post. Quite often you can get a phone that's better than your current one for less money.

7. Take a journey through the random

There's a site called StumbleUpon that acts as a kind of randomizer. You press a button and it gives you a site that other people have recommended. It's a wonderful way to bump into something you never knew you wanted.

8. Download a new browser

Find out why Firefox is used by up to 40% of internet users - infinitely configurable with user-developed add-ons, fast, responsive and more secure. Another great offering is the best thing to come out of Norway since A-ha - Opera. Google's own Chrome has many fans too.

9. Find someone special

It's bad enough being on the internet and being bored, but if you're on the internet, bored AND single, then surely it's time you did something about it, no? There are many online dating sites around, but none has anything like the clout that eHarmony has. They do "scientific matching" you know!

10. Find your namesake

Unless you have a very rare or very common name, this can be quite a mind-opening experience. Maybe, get in touch with your namesake? Share your experiences of being your name with other people who are your name.
Custom Search

11. Learn good English

If your grammar, punctuation and spelling leave a lot to be desired, why not try and improve them?

12. Learn bad English

Alternitavely, if you're grammer and puncturation an speling our ferst class then why not see if you can kajoal sum pore sap into getting anoid with you?

13. Make anagrams of you and your friends

Entertain your friends and colleagues with this nifty anagram maker.

14. Marvel at Wikipedia

You could lose yourself for days and days in Wikipedia. Did you know for instance that Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo is a perfectly valid sentence in American English or that 0.999 recurring is actually equal to 1?

15. Download some serious software

Programmes like Maya 3D (used to make films like Toy Story) have trial versions you can download for free. Maybe they could unleash your creative genius. Of course, you'll need to spend a small fortune if you want to buy the full versions. Adobe's Creative Suite is available on trial too.

16. Broadcast yourself

How many videos have you watched on YouTube? Why not make one of your own?

17. Find out what happens to stuff when you microwave it

Gasp at the power of the microwave. Don't try this at home!

18. Watch a man age 8 years in 2 minutes

This gentleman photographed himself every day for 8 years and turned the results into a video. Intriguing.

19. Get some nice wallpaper

Get yourself a nice picture from the sky to give you a new perspective on life.

20. Tour the world

If you've never had a play with Google Earth, then it's about time you tried. You can fly from Manchester to Tokyo in 3 seconds. Not that you'd want to mind - Manchester's the best place on the planet. Ahem... If you need some direction (ho-ho-ho) while you're playing with it, you can play games like "who can find ten Russian towns beginning with 'C' first" and "find a lake shaped like a shampoo bottle" or more interesting variations of your own.

21. Plan out some meals for the next few days

There are oh so many recipe sites out there. My own favourite is the BBC's recipe finder but maybe that's because I'm British. For those of you who cook in "cups" and like "cilantro", there's but if - like me - you like a bit of adventure in the kitchen, the Flavour Thesaurus is a truly astonishing piece of kit.

22. Lose a few pounds

And if you've eaten too much lovely food why not join the UK’s biggest online dieting and healthy eating service?

23. Start a rumour

This is a competitive game. Play against a friend and see who can get the most people to believe the most ridiculous rumour. Try not to make it a vicious rumour though.
Start-a-Rumour Plus involves some groundwork. Use the internet to create a literature of disinformation to support your rumour, and THEN see how far it gets. Award yourself a gold star if your rumour ends up in any print or broadcast media.

24. Dialectize your page

Here you can turn your web page (or any text) into a variety of dialects. Redneck is the mostest fun!

25. Gasp at statistical art

That's what I've just Christened it anyway. The work of Chris Jordan reflects our consumerist society in jaw-dropping visual form.

26. Learn how to fold a shirt in two seconds

This is a skill that is great to get the hang of: folding shirts in about a second.
N.B. - makes noise when opened

27. Find out where you dead heroes live

If you've ever wanted to pay homage to your long lost hero, then you can find out where (or if) they're buried here.

28. Find out how tall your favourite celebrities are

Essential information that we all need: the height of our favourite celebrity.

29. Make a photo-fit of yourself or your friends

Pretend you're wanted by CID by making a photo-fit style picture of yourself. What, you really are wanted by CID?

30. Fun ways to learn where things are

Play Statetris, a variation on the theme of Tetris where the blocks are actually states (or counties).

31. Spend your money more ethically

Learn how "ethically challenged" your favourite retailer/manufacturer is and use your consumer choice to encourage them into caring for the environment and the communities in which they operate. I guess the "fun" part comes in seeing how ethical or otherwise the operations of these companies are.

32. Re-translate yourself

AltaVista's (now Yahoo's) fantastic Babelfish can badly translate any document to and from a variety of languages. A fun thing to do is translate into one language then use that translation to translate back into the original and see how much of a mess it's become.

33. Learn LOTS of things!

My favourite online video tutorial site is VideoJug. Their videos just seem to work and they're made with a little humour too.

34. Get some retail therapy

Go on, get some retail therapy with Amazon.

35. Find a cheaper phone number

If you're in the UK and using a mobile or home phone with an inclusive calls plan, you often find that 08* numbers are excluded from those plans. In addition, calling 08xx numbers from mobile phones is far more expensive than calling a geographical or even another mobile. With a lot of these numbers, the company you're calling gets a percentage of the proceeds of the call. So if, for instance, your gas company makes a billing mistake, when you ring them to get it sorted you're actually paying them for the privilege. It's why I consult Say No to 0870 before I call anyone with a non-geographical number.

36. The Wiki-Sex game

A competitive game. You and a friend must choose a topic for each other. The idea of the game is to start from the Wikipedia article for that topic and reach the article on Sex in as few clicks as possible. The person who achieves this wins the game.

37. Travel through space

This free space simulator is mindblowing once you get the hang of it.

38. Read the complete works of Shakespeare

There's an online repository of Shakespeare's complete works. Always good to know.

39. Appreciate the genius of Banksy

Not everyone's cup of tea, but at least when he does graffiti it means something.

40. Remember how much you like the moon

The occasional genius that is Joel Veitch produced probably the best song ever to contain the words marmot and spoon.
N.B. - makes noise when opened

41. Enjoy a giggle

The fabulous Joke Diary gives you something to chortle at every day.

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