The 2011 List
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Because you’re not getting much work done anyway (2011 edition)

The 2011 List

It’s that time again–time for MeanLaura’s annual roundup of sites you can be wasting your time on, instead of actually working.  After all, the novelty of Angry Birds and Cityville does wear eventually.

DISCLAIMER:  There is probably no educational or CE value in this post anywhere.  Enjoy.

  • Incredibox:  By far, the most addictive music-making site I’ve run into in a while.  Create your own, unique choir using beatboxed sounds.  The more you play with it, the more “bonuses” you earn–pre-created animated mixes that are cute and entertaining.
  • The Kid Should See This:  I’m almost embarrassed to admit how much time I’ve let my son spend on this site, but it’s truly addicting for both kids and adults.  The site is self described as “Off the grid-for-little-kids videos and other smart stuff collected by Rion Nakaya and her three year old co-curator.”  Carefully-curated YouTube videos of unique visual and/or athletic feats or science experiments, appropriate for kids of all ages.
  • Flame Painter:  “Oooh, pretty!” Very cool Javascript painting tool that let s you make nifty psychedelic artwork.  Some of the tools are going to be more complex than little kids can handle, but let’s be honest–you’re going to be the one doing the playing, anyways.
  •  This is Why I’m Broke:  Bacon candy canes?  Check.  Google Nike sneakers?  Check.  Netflix for ties?  Yep, that too.  All real products (alas, costing real money).  Even if you’re already broke, you’ll be stunned and bewildered by just what you could buy if you had money.
  • God as Computer Programmer:  This one isn’t interactive, but anyone who has done any programming or scripting will get a kick out of this Q&A.  Some important theological questions can be answered, if you think of God in a different light.
  • Strange Maps:  Into cartography, but need something different?    Want to know where “pop” reigns in the U.S, versus “soda?”  Middle Earth in Russian?  This site will provide enough interesting maps to help you waste as much time as you need to.
  • Portable North Pole:  Make a custom video from Santa, that you can send to anyone, kid or adult.  I used this to send a video to my son (and, you get to choose which list the person is on–naughty or nice–and the video ends differently, depending).  The technology has advanced so far, the integration of your child’s data and even photos is practically seamless.  The production values are very good, and you even have the option to buy a high-quality version for  your own keepsake later.  My seven-year-old son watched this with no disbelief whatsoever and knew, of course, it was the real deal.  After all, Santa had pictures of him and knew all about him.  The only bad moment was when he discovered that Santa had him on the “naughty” list…

What does this mean to me, Laura?

Probably not much, unless I’ve left your favorite out.  Let us know what fun and cool sites you found this year in the comments!

Want to see the 2010 List?