Sizing protons and other Web time-killers
Honolulu Star Bulletin, Curt Brandao, July 28, 2008
Of all the many Digital Slob creative gifts, few shine as bright during these
late-summer doldrums as our ability to combat boredom -- without stooping so low
as to engage in physical activity.
Just as the Dark Knight has a utility belt and Napoleon Dynamite had his dance
moves, we Slobs have our own tools that we can engage when the time is right:
bookmarked "junk drawer" Web sites.
So here are a few to share, in case you need them to limp across the Labor Day
finish line. But please, time-kill responsibly:
Universcale (tinyurl.com/592jkh): Feeling a bit insignificant ever since
your supervisor decided to use your cubicle to store all the used printer
cartridges? This interactive flash application will help you put him, along with
everything else, in perspective -- literally, by a factor of 10 every 30 seconds
The site measures everything from the entire universe (13.7 billion light-years
long) to an ostrich (2.5 meters long) to a proton (terribly, terribly tiny, trust
me). Still, the scale goes up to 100 billion light-years, making you wish you
could sketch out whatever we'll eventually map that will be bigger than everything
else. Three quick guesses: 1) God. 2) A giant elephant as in "Horton Hears a
Who." 3) Donald Trump's ego.
Criminalsearches.com: Ever look back on your checkered romantic past and think
about how many times you "dodged a bullet"? Ever wonder to what extent that might
have been literally true? This brand-new Web site offers a quick, free search of
state criminal records to help you see how well your intuition lines up with the
police blotter. I learned one ex-girlfriend was arrested on aggravated assault charges
in the summer of 2004. Maybe in 2001 that ill-timed "love tap" I got into oncoming
traffic while Rollerblading wasn't an "accident" after all.
Twitter.com: Nothing kills time more than "following" other people as they kill
time by expressing their whims, musings, rumors and links via miniblogs composed of 140
characters or less. Try it, it's easy. If you don't believe me, check out
twitter.com/digitalslob to see countless examples
of just how low the bar has been set. Example: "OK, how hard is it to get the buns
to line up on a Filet O' Fish? It rips if you try to move 'em. Do you need a doctorate
from Hamburger U?"
Hulu.com: From "The Daily Show" to "The Simpsons," this site has gotten raves
for the "premium content" it uploads to the Web. But it also features an even wider
selection of "premium also-rans," a AAA farm club of network TV shows that serves to
enlighten us all on the current rate of the decline of Western civilization.
For example, "Battle of the Bods" is a reality show that unleashes a quintet of
bikini-clad hotties who then rate their relative "hotness" (first through fifth) in
the hopes their opinions will line up with three random dudes oohing and aahing from
some secure, undisclosed location. Finally, a reality show that answers the age-old
question, Where do club girls go for performance evaluations?
Next week: More late summer time-killers.