I don't know about you, but I enjoy the Internet from time to time. There is some pretty fun stuff out there, but sometimes it can get to be too much. I was pretty relieved to find a link to
the cure for information overload.. Had to dig a bit for it, but it was well worth it. I was amused with the link to it from the Jedi Librarian, so I had to include that, too.
I also like music. One blog I was looking at the other day steered me towards The Music Genome Project. The link I've given here is actually the practical result of that project, a very fine-tuned internet radio station. You tell it songs you like, and it plays other songs that are like it. Sounds like some other internet radio stations, especially Yahoo's. At Yahoo Music you can give a zero to five star rating for artist, song and album. I'm not sure how they connect things, but they suggest some pretty good stuff. Unfortunately, they have to make money, so they also suggest crap, sometimes things that made me cringe. That's fine from time to time if you like to have your horizons expanded in odd directions. I figure that if ten songs are suggested to me out of the blue and I don't like nine of them, number ten might be a serious winner.
But sometimes I don't want those kind of odds. Plus Yahoo music plays ads between some songs. Annoying ads. You can get rid of them if you pay for it, but I am cheap.
Pandora is different. For starters, it's free. You have to register, but so far I haven't been spammed or anything. They say on the site that eventually the free version will have ads, but it doesn't have them yet. You can set up 100 different stations if you like, though I only have two so far. My computer at work is too lame to play this, but it tended to get logjammed on the Yahoo Music, too.
Anyway, I highly recommend giving it a shot if you've got a full-time internet connection, you like music, and you love the idea of categorizing songs the same way biologists categorize life. These people are more serious about their music than I am, and I enjoy that sort of obsessiveness from time to time.
And at this time of year it's a good way to pipe in some Christmas music. I've got a station programed with a wide variety of artists. I've labeled it "Christmas with Rob". You can't go to it yourself, but I can email you a link to it, if you're interested. Just send me an email, and I will do so.
Next link: On the right side of this page I have a link to Natalie D. I really enjoy her little drawings, though some of them have naughty words (Belgium!), and a few of them are sort of out of my reach, like the Far Side used to be. She also has a site that she does with her husband called Married to the Sea. (The site is Married to the Sea. Her husband is called Drew. Just in case anyone needed clarification there.) Drew also has his own website with an amusing comic, but not amusing enough for me to link to here. But this MttS is something else. They take very old illustrations and put their own captions with them. Once again, the language gets pretty naughty in about half the strips, so don't just buzz over there and show it to your kids.
The internet is also an awesome place to get a new hobby. Roblogging is pretty cool I guess, but I've got my eyes on a better prize, Destroying the Earth. If you are like me, and think it's about time this planet got what's coming for it, you may want to check out this site. It is actually a serious (well, scientifically rigorous anyway) forum on methods for doing away with this planet we call home. Not destroying humanity (too easy!) or wiping out all life on Earth (piece of cake!), but actually doing away with the planet itself. If this sounds like not such a big deal to you, I suggest you take a look at this site, because whoever actually manages the job has some serious planning to do. And this is the place to start.
For what it's worth, if you click the link at the top of his page, you will find other things of interest. His fiction is not too bad, and his games are quite interesting. I haven't looked at everything there, but it's worth spending a bit of time.
For word processing, it is hard to beat OpenOffice.org. It can work with all of Microsoft Office's documents, as well as many others. It gives me great joy to use it for two reasons:
#1 It is free. No money needed. Download and use. Register if you like, but you don't need to. Send a donation if you like, but there is no pressure to do so. It is free, free, free. And unlike many free things, you get much more than you pay for. Probably because of #2.
#2 It is not shoveling money towards Microsoft. In fact, it is openly opposing the monopolistic policies of Microsoft. If you use computer documents at all, you are either aware of how widespread MSOffice is, or unaware of it because you just assume that there is nothing else out there. MS makes it difficult for other programs to access documents created by their software.
It's a big issue in some circles, but to me the two reasons listed above are as deep into it as I need to get. At their website you can find links to lots more if you want to read up on it.
And last, I would like to leave you with something that makes all the other links on this post look incredibly intelligent: Stupid.com has the most entertaining selection of stuff that you could hope for. Looking for a keychain to tell you exactly how much time President Bush has left in office (assuming no coup)? Want a wall calendar featuring pictures of dog poop? Wacky candy in many odd shapes and flavors? A 1950's style phone handset that plugs into your cell phone? How about a variety of animals that poop candy? I tell you, if this site doesn't have it, it isn't stupid enough for your discerning tastes.
And there are some of my web interests.