This one is among the most insidious time sucks I have ever seen. My personal best, so far, is 19.95 seconds. I'm sure you all can do better.
I am told that fighter pilots are expected to be able to do it for at least 120 seconds but that 18 seconds for mere mortals is outstanding.
And now, without further ado: THE TIME SUCK OF THE DAY GAME.
Wow, no time sucks at all for months and then two, one right after the other. Today's time suck is the interactive British History Timeline put up by the BBC (an organization I normally hold in the higest disdain). They did a good job here and it is really pretty cool. You scroll through the historical periods and see what the BBC considered relevant or important in British history. My only problem with it is that it is way too light on the pre-Roman stuff. Still, more fun than not.
As the internet has grown, as sources and pages and material has continued to proliferate, the quality level of the output as dropped (and I don't spare myself with this evaluation, either) and websites that can qualify as being time sucks of the day have become fewer and fewer. In fact, I cannot recall the last time I found a really compelling choice. But now, I give you the word derivation index created by the nice people at Random House and I encourage you to go forth and waste some wonderful time there:
Warning: you will lose a lot of time with this time suck.
That is my suggestion for the day and I make it thanks to the excellent spot by Jeff . Things not happy for you? Kill the day by flipping through over 400 80's music videos. Bear in mind, if you are looking for any Twisted Sister or any of the outstanding 80's metal, this collection will leave you cold. If, however, you are (and I realize I reveal too much about myself with my selections, buuuuuut) excited to see any of the following, then go forth and explore:
*Echo and the Bunnymen, not to be confused with Pseudoecho and the Bunnyrabbits, not that anyone would do that, right?
The fun will last for hours.
The Time Suck of the Day, been a long time since I found a decent one is: Ask the Experts at Oxford about Language.
What word rhymes with orange in English? There isn't one. Know what the other color is that doesn't rhyme with anything? Go check out the link and find out. Find out what is so interesting about the word "bookkeeper". (Hint: oo-kk-ee).
Hours of fun, I tell you. Hours.
Today's Time Suck of the Day is the site that answers the question, inter alia, of whatever happened to Pam Dawber? Or Jessica Hahn? Or Eddie the Eagle (where you learn that there was a song "featuring him apparently charting in Finland in the late 80's") You can see why, just from that small sample, this site gets the Time Suck of the Day nod.
Tell me, looking at that picture, don't you think Jessica had some breast work done? I mean, really.
Ok, this is probably one of the single coolest things I have ever come across on the internet: The 10x10 interactive changing collage of images and news stories. Click on this link and prepare to lose loads of time as you explore it.
From their description of it:
Every hour, 10x10 collects the 100 words and pictures that matter most on a global scale, and presents them as a single image, taken to encapsulate that moment in time. Over the course of days, months, and years, 10x10 leaves a trail of these hourly statements which, stitched together side by side, form a continuous patchwork tapestry of human life.
10x10 is ever-changing, ever-growing, quietly observing the ways in which we live. It records our wars and crises, our triumphs and tragedies, our mistakes and milestones. When we make history, or at least the headlines, 10x10 takes note and remembers.
Each hour is presented as a picture postcard window, composed of 100 different frames, each of which holds the image of a single moment in time. Clicking on a single frame allows us to peer a bit deeper into the story that lies behind the image. In this way, we can dart in and out of the news, understanding both the individual stories and the ways in which they relate to each other.
Been awhile since I've done one of these. But today is a gray, rainy, gloomy day here in NYC and the heat is too high in my office and I'm sleepy and lacking in motivation to do anything substantive. So, I give you the time suck of the day with a word of caution, if you like games like Boggle, you could spend lots and lots of time playing this game:
Have you ever stopped to appreciate the design of the humble subway map? You probably consult them regularly, especially if you live in a big city with a sprawling transporation system. I think that, intentionally or accidentally, they are quite attractive. I was going to post a couple of pictures here, but then I found a way more comprehensive survey: The Subway Page of Maps. This is your definitive source of maps of all of the world's subways, from Almaty to Zurich. This could easily suck up way too much of your time today. Therefore, I dub it my time suck of the day. Go forth and get sucked in! If nothing else, it's a cheap way to armchair travel.
Today's Time Suck of the Day is brought to you by the busy little archivists at the Library of Congress where they have, online, all 65,000 documents in the complete George Washington Papers collection. This means you can go and read George's correspondence written in his own hand. It's fascinating and he had really nice handwriting.
Actually, the whole Online Collection in American Memory is mind blowing.
You will possibly well and truly disappear down the rabbit hole of time suckitude if you follow these links. Don't say I didn't warn ya!
A friend sent me this. It's an extract from a Christopher Hitchens article from the Weekly Standard:
"I used to play two subliterary games with Salman Rushdie. The first, not that you asked, was to re-title Shakespeare plays as if they had been written by Robert Ludlum. (Rushdie, who invented the game, came up with The Elsinore Vacillation, The Dunsinane Reforestation, The Kerchief Implication, and The Rialto Sanction.) The second was to recite Bob Dylan songs in a deadpan voice as though they were blank verse."
I feel inspired. Anyone want to play?
Inspired by the anniversary of William Jennings Bryan's famous "cross of gold" speech, given today in 1896, I ventured forth to look for the text of the speech and found this cool site: Great American Speeches (80 Years of Political Oratory). You will lose much time in here and probably quite profitably. Also, you might want to check out: Famous Speeches from USA Info.
In the meantime, check out this selection from the Bryan speech:
Ah, my friends, we say not one word against those who live upon the Atlantic Coast, but the hardy pioneers who have braved all the dangers of the wilderness, who have made the desert to blossom as the rose --the pioneers away out there [Bryan points westward], who rear their children, ear to Nature's heart, where they can mingle their voices with the voices of the birds--out there where they have erected school houses for the education of their young, churches where they praise their Creator, and cemeteries where they rest the ashes of their dead--these people, we say, are as deserving of the consideration of our party as any people in this country. It is for these people that we speak. We do not come as aggressors. Our war is not a war of conquest; we are fighting in the defense of our homes, our families, and our posterity. We have petitioned, and our petitions have been scorned; we have entreated, and our entreaties have been disregarded; we have begged, and they have mocked when our calamity came. We beg no longer; we entreat no more; we petition no more! We defy them!
and this, the conclusion:
No, my friends, that will never be the verdict of our people. Therefore, we care not upon what lines the battle is fought. If they say bi-metalism is good, but that we cannot have it until other nations help us, we reply that, instead of having a gold standard because England has, we will restore bi-metalism, and then let England have bi-metalism because the United States has it. If they dare to come out in the open field and defend the gold standard as a good thing, we will fight them to the uttermost. Having behind us the producing masses of this nation and the world, supported by the commercial interests, the laboring interests and the toilers everywhere, we will answer their demand for a gold standard by saying to them: "You shall not press down upon the brow of labor this crown of thorns! You shall not crucify mankind upon a cross of gold!"
This was funny. Go here and type in a url, like maybe a blog address, and check it out as Snoop'll "traaanslate it from tha shizzle to da shiznit". Official government websites come across as interesting, too. Hat tip to Amber who left us this little offering while she recharges on a short vacation. Thanks, Amber!
While I keep you waiting for something substantive, I give you this Ugly Pregnant Prom Dress to marvel at. It was emailed to me by a friend who takes great delight in such perversities.
Been awhile since I posted a good time suck, but I give you the Postmodernism Essay Generator. It will give you a different postmodern essay filled with the finest in scholarly gobbledygook with every visit or every time you hit refresh.
Jut think, you may get a gem like this:
If one examines the pretextual paradigm of discourse, one is faced with a choice: either reject the posttextual paradigm of reality or conclude that reality is unattainable, given that Debord's essay on the pretextual paradigm of discourse is invalid. However, the subject is contextualised into a capitalist materialism that includes consciousness as a whole. The characteristic theme of Bailey's analysis of neostructuralist depatriarchialism is not discourse, but subdiscourse. From "Expressions of Futility: Dialectic narrative, feminism and the pretextual paradigm of discourse", by Hans Tilton and Stefan D. de Selby.
I took this vocabulary test that I saw at a small victory while on a conference call yesterday. It was kind of fun. Beware though, my wife tried to access it and her corporate overlords had blocked that site.
Curious about my score? 167/200.
I give you the Guess the Dictator/Sitcom Character Game. This one is insidious. Great time suckage potential here. Enjoy!
I give you Fund Race, a site where you can punch an address in and see who gave how much to which Presidential candidate, where these people live, and what they do for a living. Very interesting and huge time suck potential. Where did that last half an hour go?
New York edition: on line "walking" tour of NYC. Very cool. Go explore and waste some time.
Whatever became of Psychoexgirlfriend.com or Kozmo? Go check out the ghost site articles and find out. Guaranteed time suckage. Especially if you are foolish enough to go listen to the old mp3's of the psycho ex-girlfriend voice-mails. Not that I did that. Nope. Not me.
I saw this at another blog during my travels and thought it a very amusing question. So, with thanks to Jen, who came up with it:
"If you had a theme song that would play as you walk down the street or enter a room, what would it be?
For me: Either, "Hey, hey we're the Monkees" or "Sympathy for the Devil".
South Park Scripts are the Time Suck of the Day. Go forth and waste time.