Mindless entertainment on the Internet
If you’re like me, you’ll be sitting at home with nothing to do. You don’t have any new books to read, no bills to pay, no errands to run, no meals to cook. Just a sudden two-hour block of time between now and when you have to go to bed.
Or maybe not. Maybe you’re so freakishly busy that that doesn’t happen to you – I find that it’s happening to me less and less as I get older and have more responsibilities. But if it does, and you’re not interested in watching television, you can hop on the Internet and see where that takes you.
The Internet has a lot to offer. You can download e-books and music, you can blog, you can surf the newswires. However, sometimes, you just need something to fill the time. With that, I present my favorite time-waster Web sites.
The Warehouse23 Basement (www.warehouse23.com/basement) – This Web site was, as far as I can tell, originally made for use with a tabletop RPG’s similar to Dungeons and Dragons and Vampire: The Masquerade, for items. However, it’s endless, random fun to go to the various levels of the Basement and “open” boxes full of stuff.
The Line Rider Game (www.funmansion.com/html/fm-Line-Rider-Game.html) – This is easily the best time-waster I’ve ever had the pleasure to play with. It’s a flash game where you use a digital “pencil” to draw a line. This line can be curly, straight, bumpy – pretty much anything your mind decides to do. When you’re done, you press play, and a little guy in a sled rides the line that you drew as if it were a hill.
The Straight Dope (www.straightdope.com) – The Straight Dope, written by “The World’s Smartest Human Being,” Cecil Adams, is the online version of a syndicated Q&A column about, well, everything. Delving through the archives of this monstrosity (which spans back to the 1970s) can burn up hours, but at least you’ll (hopefully) learn something.
The Urban Legends Reference Page (www.snopes.com) – Ever heard the one about Bloody Mary? When I was a little kid, urban legends like that abounded the school playground. Nowadays, the Internet is far worse than the playground, and the fine people at Snopes exist solely to put these legends to rest. Whenever you get an e-mail forward, go to Snopes and verify it first. It’s also fun just to see what you can find.
Fanfiction.net and Fictionpress.org (www.fanfiction.net and http://www.fictionpress.org) – If you’re a fan of fanfiction or random original fiction, these are the Web sites for you. These sites, both run by the same people, are set up solely to display others’ fanfiction and original fiction. If you like reading, this is definitely a place you should check out. You’d be amazed how many awesome writers exist on the Internet that aren’t published. You do have to sort through piles of not-so-good writing before you get to the good stuff. FF.net and FP.org both have strict no-sexual-content policies, but it’s still a good idea to monitor young children when they’re exploring the site.
• If you have a favorite time-waster, let me know – I’m always looking for stuff to do when I’m bored. You can e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit my blog at http://techtasha.wordpress.com.