Happy holidays! It’s time for MeanLaura’s annual collection of Online Things Which Can Prevent Work. You know, in case you needed help not getting work done.
- Listen to Wikipedia. No, not someone reading Wikipedia entries, aloud. Rather, this site plays notes every time changes are made and shows a nifty visualization. “Listen to the sound of Wikipedia’s recent changes feed. Bells indicate additions and string plucks indicate subtractions. Pitch changes according to the size of the edit; the larger the edit, the deeper the note.” It actually makes for rather nice background sound.
- Play Hex Invaders. Do you know your hexidecimal colors? If you don’t, you’ll learn quick. Shoot the correctly-colored alien after being given a hex color code.
- Write a better email away message. Westin Hotels & Resorts came up with a nifty tool to spice up those out-of-office email messages. An example:
Hello, and thanks for reaching out! Once I was like you, composing emails and wrestling with autocorrect. But as of 12/31 I’ve changed — not just my clothes (though I am wearing a 100 percent organic cotton bathrobe). I actually feel… healthy. It’s almost like I’m shoulder-deep in a pool of tranquility, when in fact I’m waist-deep in a mud bath. I’ll be enjoying this restoring sanctuary until 01/02 — until then, please contact ____________.
- Scroll slow and have fun. That’s actually the name (and the directions for) this website. Scroll slowly, and watch a pretty psychedelic animation. There, you’ve killed about…a minute.
- Play an adventure game made entirely out of tweets. File this creation under “Too Much Free Time Syndrome.” It’s kind of a choose-your-own-adventure thing, using only a multitude of Twitter accounts. The idea is incredibly creative, if nothing else. Try not to die.
- Play a game that looks like a spreadsheet. It’s a maze game that you play in the browser, but cleverly (sort of) disguised to look like the average spreadsheet. Whether or not this will fool your boss, however, might be arguable. Nah, it’s not. It won’t. But you might have fun playing it.
- Guess where the heck you are. Geoguessr is a guessing game using Google Maps. You’re “dropped” into a random location (and you have to guess where you are. You can use clues or just hazard a guess. There’s a single-player mode and a challenge mode, where you can play against others.
- Browse the Worst Things for Sale. This site bills itself as “The Internet’s most horrible items. A daily blog.” And, indeed, it’s awful. Probably not very SFW, just FYI.
- Turn your computer into a musical device. Type any key A-Z, watch, and listen. Patatap is strangely hypnotizing.
- Watch your trip before you take it. Put in your start and end destinations, and watch the player show, sequentially, every Google Street View image between those two points.
What does this mean to me, Laura?
Probably not much, unless I’ve left your favorite out. Let me know which fun and cool sites you found this year in the comments.
Want to see the 2014 List?
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Want to see the 2012 List?
Want to see the 2011 List?
Want to see the 2010 List?