Break Away From Your Internet Rut

The Internet is a massive and wonderful tool. You can connect with old friends, get the most current information on almost any subject, and find endless sources of cheap entertainment. Yet, those who use the Internet for that last list item, I am sure, often quickly find themselves in a rut. Let’s face it, we are creatures of habit. So even when given unlimited options for entertain ourselves, we are still more likely to continue to peruse the same few sites over and over again. I am no different. And so, I have decided to share a few of my favorite Internet locales in the hopes that this broadens some people’s scope of entertainment and encourages them to suggest a few back.

1. Listverse – How could I start a list about fun websites and not include the one that lists everything else? Listverse.com is the massive compilation of hundreds of lists pertaining to everything from art and literature to health to the bizarre. It provides an excellent time waster as well as a way to learn a fun fact or two. Just beware of the subject/list you choose. Some can be fairly creepy of graphic while others have images that are definitely NSFW.

2. Foodgawker – Looking though a 2-inch thick recipe book with nothing but recipe titles and finely printed ingredients/instruction can get old. Welcome to foodgawker.com. Both inspiring and mouth-watering, this website allows you to choose your recipe based upon the image of its end result. You may also narrow your search to one of the multiple categories (my favorite is “desserts” of course) or use the handy search tool to look for a specific main ingredient. All results look absolutely delicious. The hardest part will be choose just one! (An incredibly similar site to this is tastespotting.com)

3. People of Walmart – If you are a frequent Walmart shopper, I apologize in advance if this you find this site offensive. But COME ON! It is absolutely amazing how many train wrecks walk the aisles of that store. Peopleofwalmart.com provides hilarious photos, contests, stories, and videos of the shoppers of said discount store. I would try to describe some of them but you are really better off just going to the site yourself. There is also a book and a merchandise store. A merchandise store for a website about a store! Really?! Really.

4. Tucker Max – Perhaps some will remember the film “I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell” from a few years back. I personally never saw it. I couldn’t tear myself away from Tucker Max’s website long enough to buy myself a ticket. This site is definitely not for those easily offended or disgusted. Seriously. However, if you are looking for some hilarious and raunchy alcohol fueled (quite well written I might add) then give tuckermax.com a try. Just don’t say I didn’t warn you if you end up vomiting (whether from laughter or disgust) on your computer screen.

5. Postsecret – The only downside to this site is that you only see a new post once a week. Nevertheless, the vulnerability you recognize from reading the cards on postsecret.com is both chilling and amazing. Reading these secrets brings out so many feeling for me personally. I have been furious at the writer. I have been furious at the person that hurt them. I have smiled and laughed aloud. I have felt deep empathy and pity. I have thanked God I know some secrets don’t pertain to me and sometime look at others and wonder if they do. The most incredible feeling is when you see a card, a secret, and you KNOW you share the same one.

This is, by far, not all the places I stop on my way about the web, but certainly some of the most common and memorable. Hope you enjoy a site or tow from this list and please feel free to recommend your own.

Flash

This past weekend I experienced the first of 3 flash animation workshops I am taking this term. After months of fascination (and 8 hours trying to figure the program out for myself) I decided it would be a good skill to have as I head out into the advertising world. Sure, I may never become a genius at it, but the basic skills and understanding of the program will be a big help in determining what can and cannot be done in animation, interaction, etc. (That and the program is just so darn cool!)

Flash is everywhere today. From the scroll down menus on websites, to the funny videos we find when we should be working, to the games we play when we REALLY should be working… Okay, aside from the procrastination factor, flash does add a lot of special nuances to the digital world. It can be used to make complex animation in a small file size, digital buttons, video animation, motion, interactivity, layering, and more. In addition it is very universal.  Over 90% of all web browsers are compatible with flash programming.

So what have I done so far? Well, as flash is a fairly complex program I am still working on the most basic movement animations. But here is the in-class work we did as well as the assignment I just finished for the next class. Below, you can also find some links to much more advanced (or just fun) flash creations I have found on the web.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Green Olive, Brown Bowl on Vimeo“, posted with vodpod

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “flea “, posted with vodpod

http://flash.abunawaf.com/2005/10/whackboss.swf

http://www.albinoblacksheep.com/flash/end

http://www.beonlineb.com/

http://www.mono-1.com/monoface/main.html