Was 2021 marginally better than 2020? Maybe? At any rate, I’m sure that we all could use some fun distractions. Here are some of my favorites from this year. Happy holidays.
- Type like a hacker. Just start typing, and this does all the work. Impress your friends with the scary green text that appears on the screen and makes it look like you’re possibly trying to hack the Pentagon or something.
- Convert watts into T-Rex bites. Or find out how many Harry Potter books tall you are. This wacky units calculator will do a large range of entertaining (and real) calculations for you.
- Create jazz as you type. Each keypress is translated into a piano note, which the software strings together in a vague improvisation, in real time. Fun to start, although it might drive you crazy if you have a long paper to write.
- How NPRcore are you? You’ll need a Spotify account for this one. Log in, and this fun algorithm figures out how much of what you listen to matches up to what NPR plays. Thanks to my teenaged son’s takeover of my Spotify, I am currently a 0% match.
- I really suck at drawing monsters. Google’s Chimera Project uses AI to take what you draw and create a CGI-rendered monster out of it. Pixar has nothing to fear from me.
- Compose with the Blob Opera Singers. Another Google AI project; this one allows you to use four “blobs” to compose and record your own little opera. Funny to watch, fun to play with, and right now it has a cute feature that gives the blobs Santa hats and adds snow.
- The safer alternative to your favorite bar. The pandemic has made going out a riskier business, so get the ambiance without the germs. Control how much noise the bartender and patrons make, the street sounds and more.
Have one to share? Please do!
Want to see past lists?