The websites are divided by their categories, as I see them. All of the categories and websites links can be found on this page. For easier navigation, use the category links to jump between them. I will try to keep in pace with my tight daily schedule and add one new website every few weeks. If you have websites that you feel like might be worthy of inclusion, don't hesitate to Contact me. Enjoy!
This section is all about computer gaming resources. Online games, Flash, huge repositories of games for Linux, this sub-section treasures the best sites for gaming fans across all categories and genres. Finding these is not easy, but I'll keep them coming as I roam far and wide across the Web.
The general category covers pretty much anything. You can call it the default gateway. But it's really about big website with a wide scope of knowledge and topics. Be it literature, Linux, Windows, coding, or anything else, I've placed the best of the best here. Websites that should not only provide you with just a tremendous wealth of information; websites that you will enjoy immensely along the way and come back to many times over.
My humor revolves mainly around inane, pointless, dry, black British stuff, so that's what you mostly see in the hither sub-section. But not only. If you're into Maddox or fancy renting a German over the weekend or would like a painful, sado-masochistic perspective on Linux usage, then you've come to the right place.
The Security Hall of Fame is dedicated to computer security, as really good security websites are far and few in between. You won't find many entries, but you will definitely find useful resources that should help you achieve the desired goal while maintaining sanity and functionality.
This section is all about websites that dabble in science and para-science, but NOT scientology. Science can be great inventions, super geeky math stuff, world-end scenarios, anything that sparks the mind. As a man of science, I'm on a hunt after splendid science websites, so drop a line if you find any.
This section is all about unique websites. They do not have to be very functional or useful, just plain unique. Different from anything else you can find. Just as Zanger Bob, the fat Dutch singer kid is unique, not really talented or anything, simply unique. Um, did I say unique?
Briefly quoting the original About Us page, HeavenGames serves as a portal to over two dozen well-groomed sites covering mainly RTS and City-Building genres. With nearly 250,000 registered users, more than 35,000 downloadable content items, like game patches, mods, maps, scenarios, and addons, and highly detailed tutorials and guides on how to master some of the finest RTS titles of all time, HeavenGames is a precious gem for connoisseurs of classic strategy.
Over at HeavenGames, you will find a wealth of useful information and software for a handful of gaming masterpieces, including many Dedoimedo favorites like Caesar III, Age of Empires, Medieval 2: Total War, Empire Earth, Zeus, and many others. If you fancy a nostalgia chat with fellow gamers, a word or three on battle tactics, games fixes or perhaps utilities that extend the basic behavior, a handful of beautiful screenshots, or just plain good information, then you've come to the right place. You can't go wrong with HeavenGames. This should be your first mission in your strategy campaign. Highly recommended for any RTS fan or lover. A true paradise.
Steam is a digital gaming platform. Not the only one, for sure, but definitely among the most popular ones, and surely the best. Why, you may ask. Well, it's a combination of factors. Steam offers a nice blend of affordable content, flexiblity and fun. Last but not the least, Linux. Recently, the Valve Corporation has made a very bold move of supporting Linux, and finally, this means proper gaming for the users and fans of this operating system, or systems if you will, and possibly a real chance of leaving the world of Microsoft behind. Most commendable.
But Linux is only a small face of the whole story. In the several years I have been using the platform, I can list only good things. Ease of use, convenience, extra content, fast and reliable downloads, good security, the fact your games are not limited in the number of installs and uninstalls, the fact you can replicate them between computers as you please. Then, you get a wealth of new and old titles, continuous updates, patches and improvements, perks, goodies, giveaways, sales, and promitions. Steam has it all. If you're looking for a comprehensive management platform for your games, look no further.
My Robot Nation
While people are busy glorifying touchscreen devices, they seem to forget a super-awesome invention called 3D printing, first seen in the early 80s Sergio Bonelli's Martin Mystere Indiana Jones slash X Files style comic strip adventure, long before there was either Indiana Jones or X files. In one of the strips, the hero seems to have discovered some alien technology keys, and you could replicate them in this large 3D erosion device. Fast forward thirty some years, and you have 3D printing for real.
My Robot Nation encompasses all this sci-fi fun by allowing you to create your own robots using an interactive WebGL/HTML5 applet, where you can specify the size, body parts, shape, color, weapons, and all other little details, and then, once you are satisfied with your design, place an order for the robot to be printed in 3D! How more awesome can this get? Honestly, My Robot Nation is great fun. And an awesome idea for a holiday present.
Abandonia is a website dedicated to abandonware, software literally abandoned by their developers. The site's primary focus are MS-DOS era games. Abandonia lists more than 4,000 games, including screenshots and detailed reviews, game popularity rating, including user votes, as well as current market status, thus you can know whether a particular game title is still being sold, whether it's been abandoned and if there are any restrictions or IP protections still in place. Abandonia catalog lists only games that are no longer officially supported or sold by their vendors and avoids any material that could be considered warez, an all too blurry boundary in the realm of abandoned software. The website works on the non-profit basis, with volunteer community contributions from fans.
If you're a DOS gamer, apart from the DOSBox site, which offers the superb DOS emulator that allows you to play old games with ease on modern operating systems, Abandonia is the one place you want to visit. It will become your staging ground into the world of nostalgia and DOS games, with links and pointers to many other sister and brother sites offering similar content, more game reviews, tips and tricks, and other useful information. Abandonia is a rich, vibrant, high-quality site with a bottomless well of goodies. Must visit.
Armor Games is all about Flash. And games ... Flash games. Armor Games contains a wealth of Flash games that you can play inside any browser on any operating system, making it extremely appealing to non-Windows users, people who frequently travel and cannot lug along a case full of game installation discs or computer users with weak machines who cannot afford high-end graphics for classic, full-blown titles. Armor Games will also appeal to less avid gamers and hobbyist looking for simple entertainment.
What makes Armor Games special is the quantity and quality of content offered. You will have a choice of hundreds of games to play, across a range of genres. Most are done with style and care, with attention to details, including reasonable visual appeal and good sound effects. Armor Games has its own community of developers, making it more than just a hosting site.
I have discussed Armor Games in my sixth Linux gaming article, where I presented some of the many fine titles you can play, including the highly popular and addictive Crush The Castle, the War of the Worlds style, melancholic Arrow of Time, and the multiplayer Armor Wars. I would like to thank Searching_ _ _ for exposing me to Armor Games!
NationStates is a web-based nation-building simulation game. You begin playing by building a nation. The nation template asks a number of questions, upon which the principles of your fledgling state are based. You are allowed to choose the type of government you want, going from Liberal to Psychotic. You can also select the flag for your country, the national animal and the motto. After these, you are asked a few character questions, which will define the spirit of your country. And then, you begin to play.
The "play" consist of daily challenges, brought before your parliament. As the ruler, you need to decide what stance your government will take. The questions may be benign or even silly, asking for more rights for penguin vegetarians, but they can also concern serious matters of war, foreign policy, censorship, and much more. The way you handle these questions will reflect on all aspects of society of your country.
You can also apply for membership in the United Nations, ally with other countries and participate in the game forum. While NationStates is not the typical game, it is unique and interesting and will sweep you, even though you may spend only a few minutes pondering your daily issues.
What do you mean? A Linux guy recommending a website mostly dedicated to Windows? Yes. Established in 2005, Ghacks is a domain offering articles and tutorials on popular technology, many thousands of them. You may say so what, but what entitles is to being here is the consistency, quality and actual helpfulness of content.
I have deliberated for a while if Ghacks ought to be included here. But the result is quite simple. If it shows up in my short browser history of things actually worth reading online, then the answer is yes. Indeed, Ghacks is a pretty good, colorful resource of information on mostly Windows, but also all things browsery, with a pinch of Google and Android for good measure. Should keep you entertained on a rainy day. Well recommended.
If you read British car magazines, two things will have become apparent to you over the years. No matter what vehicle is being reviewed, nothing drives as good as Mini, and nothing is as refined as Jag. This national pride creeps in almost everywhere, making objective judgment difficult. Not so with What Car? That's not a question, the question mark is an essential part of the site's name. Ahem. Yes.
What Car? may be the least glamorous of them all, with few ads, in-depth data-laden articles, a very simple and unassuming website, and honest reviews. When cars ought to be slayed, they are slayed, regardless what country code the manufacturer bears. You get no-nonsense information when you need it, and it can be quite refreshing compared to the 100% supercar hyperbole in rival print. Plus, normal stuff for mortals, too. Extremely highly recommended for petrol heads, and people looking for simple, brutal, to-the-point car reviews that are low in bias and flash.
More foreign stuff so to speak. Another unimposing, visually spartan Linux portal that might warrant your attention and possible use of a translation engine is abclinuxu.cz, a Czech site dedicated to all things Linux. News, games, robotics, consumer hardware, software reviews. It's all there, pretty detailed, pretty elaborate, and quite interesting.
Abclinuxu could benefit from a stylistic refresh, but since its authors are busy writing for several other sites, it's unlikely the site will receive much aesthetic love any time soon. Let that not fool you. New articles spring to life daily, and all of it is very relevant. Again, if you're in a mood for more than just the expected spin from English sites, you should visit Abclinuxu, if only for an athropologic exercise in how people from different parts of the world and different culture perceive and use technology. A lesson in international e-wisdom.
If there's a site with a less imposing title and visual design, you might as well ping me, because I can't think of any. Yet, the quality of contents offered by LWN is inversely proportional to its humble and understated 1996 look and feel. In fact, LWN is where you go when you feel your mind needs a bit of challenge.
Yonder, you shall find a lot of gently boring stuff, like kernel versions, security vulnerability advistories and patches and nerdy discussion involving a lot of underscore and parentheses characters. But then, you will also find sharp, engaging stories on Linux ethics, politics and people, long reviews of software and operating systems, as well as thorough discussion about bleeding technologies and the future of Linux. Some of the content is available for subscribed users, but we can forgive that. Bottom line, with so much touch-enamored nonsense out there, LWN is one of the steadfast bastions of sanity, quality and top-notch nerdiness. Plus the stuff written there is actually useful, too. Take a peek.
Recently, I have decided to include non-English sites to this fine hall of fame, because, well, Internet. Why not. And this means I can proudly announce another great international resource of technology, heise.de. While The H, the Englishs-speaking site closely related to heise online has closed shopped a while back, the German-powered portal blodly marches on. So what is it all about?
Heise online offers colorful, in-depth, down-to-earth articles on popular technology, including cyber warfare and security agencies, mobile phones and their related operating systems, Windows, Linux, although in disguise, and tons of science. If you're interested in a non-usual spin on the comings and goings in the hi-tech world, without the PC smear and monotony, then you will not mind using some kind of software to get the meaning of those Umlauted words, in case German is not your native tongue. There.
Linux Za Sve
Up until now, the Greatest sites section has been reserved to English-language pages only. Not any more. I have decided to expand and include a variety of international cuisine, because a) success is not limited to the Commonwealth and former rebel colonies, and b) we will be having more such candidates soon. Our first one is Linux Za Sve, a Croatian domain dedicated to Linux.
Anyhow, Linux Za Sve is a portal dedicated to open-source news, Linux reviews, rumors and hot stories in the technology world, and other related topics. Not unlike so many other sites, but the content is written with style, dedication, accuracy, and significant length, indicating more than just a lukewarm attempt to grab views. There's real passion involved, and it shows. If you're looking for a refreshing new angle about Linux, without the usual Silicon Valley hype, then you might want to give this site its due look. Struggling? Use a translator. There.
AROnline is a very interesting and unique site about cars. Well, cars and politics. British cars and politics. Car politics. BMC really. MG. All that was British and motoring and slowly ended. So we're talking the glorious days of the empire, World War II and onwards, into the sunset that came about sometime in the 80s and 90s.
Sounds like a boring topic. But wait a momemt. Have you always been fascinated by magazine prints from the 70s, with their grainty look, retro-orange and brown coloring, and mini skirts? Have you always wondered what happened in the automotive world long before you born? AROnline brings you that olden feel, with tons of great info, reviews od classics long gone, and snippets of magnificent past. Jaguar, Triumph, Vauxhall, Hillman, Reliant, you will find them all here. A surprisingly well-tailored, non-pretentious and rich site for car enthusiasts.
This website has a mission. It asks you, boldly, Tired of crappy software? Indeed. Quite often, new versions of your favorite programs come out now and then, blessed with an extra dose of oligophrenia. So you get fidgety and start searching for your next best alternative software. Look no further.
AlternativeTo has one mission: helping you find the right software for your computer, mobile phone or tablet. The main focus of this nifty site is to give you alternatives to software you already know and want to replace, y'know, the annoying kind. The recommendations are based on a vast pool of user experience and participation, so you have the global, collective power of Internet smarts to your aid. AlternativeTo is very simple to navigate and use. For any selected software, you get likes, comments, questions, reviews, as well as suggestions to yet more alternatives. This is your one-stop software shop, mainsteam or not. Highly recommended.
You Are Not So Smart
The best way to annoy, abuse and dishearten the mediocre people is to point out just how average they are, tell them how they are drones in the beehive collective, members of the Borg collective, and so forth. Only you do it in a polite, sophisticated way that does not give them any time to raise their defensive barriers. Enter You Are Not So Smart.
The title might be a giveaway. But not so harshly worded to dissuade most. Then, you start reading, and the site elaborates into all those situations where people delude themselves about their uniqueness, their unwarranted self importance, the choices and compromises they make, self-convincing, fallacies, procrastination, and more. Quite a bit of food for thought, and if you happen to be above all those earthly matters, you will enjoy yourself oh so immensely reading about the plebes and their woes. A jolly good resource for mental exercise.
sffworld.com is a website dedicated to Science Fiction & fantasy. One of many, you might say. So what makes a reader flip, flip, flip web pages until they stumble upon one where something catches their eye and they stay? Chance? Perhaps. Either way, I am glad to have discovered sffworld.com.
If you're inclined to like any of the two genres listed above, then sffworld.com has quite a bit in store for you. Official reviews of books, stories, movies, and games, a comics section, blogs, a rich art gallery, a vibrant forum where you can discuss science and fiction and fantasy at length. For those enamored by the out-of-this world thrills, they will find a handsome dose of healthy entertainment yonder. Quite recommended.
Do you like cars? Sure. That's what Top Gear is for, right. But sometimes, just sometimes, you may want pure car facts without any of the humor. When you're in a mood for serious automotive info hunting, you need a reliable source of car reviews. This is where parkers.co.uk steps in.
The site may be oriented for British audience, therefore some of the car names, models and engines may never see sunlight in your native country, but overall, the site will be extremely useful and valuable for just about any motor head, as long as they don't mind reading proper English, with extra ous and such. Parkers is a very sober website, where you can find long and detailed reviews about cars. Articles stretch page after page of great information, comparisons to competition, tons of pictures, running costs, known issues, buying and selling tips and prices, and more. Extremely handy. Just ignore the righthand steering wheel and the GPB price tags and you'll be fine. Alongside Top Gear, the best car resource all around.
OSNews is a computing news web site, with a focus on operating systems and geeky technology. The site does not focus on any one particular platform, trying to cater to a wide audience of users. Most of OSNews followers are the so-called elite of the technology world, skilled computers users and people with a keen interest in new and future technologies. Read, geeks.
The site content is mostly written by a small group of regular editors, but it also contains lots of guest articles and numerous contributions from its readers. You will find pretty much anything you need, including news, humor, hardware, software and operating system reviews, software development, games, gifts, and more. The website also servers a special version for mobile devices.
OSNews offers a rich, varied and high-quality content on a wide range of topics. With lively discussion and a professional audience of writers and readers, you are bound to discover lots of new, exciting topics and learn about the computing world. Highly recommended for everyone, especially the more geeky inclined among you.
Disclaimer: I happen to write an occasional article or two for OSNews; if you smell bias, run away!
Working with media files can be a difficult task. Basically, you have music and video, but things get a little more complicated than that. There's MPEG-1/2/3/4, there's AVI. What's a difference between a container format and the actual codec? Is there any difference at all? What about OGG and MKV? How can you stream that raw video from your camera to your DVD player? Then, you have encryption, DRM, subtitles, shrinking, ripping, a ton of topics that are not as trivial as one might expect. What do you do? Visit Doom9, of course.
Doom9 is a website that specializes in providing media-related solutions to the user, from simple, basic understanding of formats, codecs and tools to complex, advanced stuff like audio-video editting and transcoding, digital TV, high-definition streaming, region-free playback, and more. This phenomenal site offers a wealth of knowledge and proven tips that should help you master and enjoy your media.
You will also find detailed guides and a plenty of examples on using a variety of media programs and utilities. If you have any questions related to your music and videos, you will find the answer over at Doom9.
NirSoft is an unassuming name of a wonderful online resource for Windows users, run by Nif Sofer. An experienced developer in a range of programming and Web languages, Nir Sofer started the website as a personal hobby, but it soon turned into a major portal for Windows owners worldwide.
What makes NirSoft unique is the range, quality and simplicity of small, powerful tools that you can use to significantly enhance your computer usage. Network sniffers, password recovery tools, Web browser utilities, uninstallers, command-line tools, audio/video programs, Nir has them all. Ask any semi-serious Windows user and they'll tell you that sooner or later, they've come across NirSoft programs and used them wisely.
Windows users looking for a rich repertoire of excellent, can-do-all, Swiss Army knife-style programs should definitely hop by NirSoft and download them all. There shall come a moment when you will need them.
Ever considering buying a piece of digital equipment of some sort? A camera, a laptop, maybe an extra stick of computer memory, or maybe a new hard disk? Ever wondered if that best-buy PC you have is any good? Or why your neighbor's seemingly weak graphic card outperforms yours? If you have, then you should have come to Tom's Hardware website for an enlightening glance or five. All your questions would have been answered.
Tom's Hardware is THE one website you should visit whenever and wherever you encounter even the slightest doubt about the usage, cost, performance, reliability, or compatibility of any hardware part of any computer-like device. The website offers a straggering multitude of articles of all kinds of hardware-related topics, including performance benchmarks, usage guides, troubleshooting tips and tricks, best buy offers, and more. And it's not all about plain ole computers, either. SSD drives, smart phones, future Web and computing technologies, all have their special corner at Tom's Hardware. Once you start browsing the maze of goodies, you'll never want to leave.
On top of all these, you get a newsletter, a rich forum, plety of whitepapers, and there's even shopping to be done, on numerous languages of the Planet. Tom's Hardware is so much more than just a hobbyist, enthusiastic benchmarking workshop. It's the shrine of hardware. It's where silicon parts live or die. A total must for anyone owning as little as a mobile phone.
Gizmo's Freeware Reviews
One of the biggest challenges that Windows users are facing daily is finding the right sources of information on the right topics. The online world of Windows data is prone to abuse. For every benevolent howto, there is a hundred others, either badly written or offering semi-tested advice or even deliberately proposing irrelevant suggestions, wrapped around allegedly free solutions and shady marketing. Being able to focus the information into a single, reliable channel is very difficult.
Gizmo's Freeware Review is a website that should solve this problem. It started as a site listing reviews on best freeware for Windows and expanded into a wiki-style operation with contributions from dozens of writers. The information is sorted into categories, like Games, System Tools, Programming, Security, Desktop & GUI, and others, usually featuring one or more "best XYZ" articles. Plus, there's a forum, too, where you can learn valuable information from a wide community of users.
If you're a Windows user and have a need for lots of useful tips and tricks, recommendations, reviews, and links, Gizmo's site is a good choice. The wide variety of articles on a range of topics will satisfy newbies and experts alike.
Disclaimer: I happen to be an editor for techsupportalert.com; if you smell bias, run away!
Raiden's Realm (alas, dead link)
Raiden's Realm is a community tech site dedicated to Linux, BSD and open source software. The website is geared toward all users, from beginners to pros. Among the featured material, you will find distro reviews, news articles and software recommendations, contributed by a number of authors. The site also has a forum, where you can share ideas with fellow members. Last but not the least, the site owner, Steve Lake is a self-proclaimed prose writer, just like me!
On Raiden's Realm, you will also find a wealth of short sci-fi stories and novel teasers, which gives you yet another reason beyond strictly technical and geeky stuff to stop by and visit. For open-minded people who like to take it easy and still learn something new, Raiden's Realm is an excellent choice.
DistroWatch is the de-facto UNIX/Linux portal. The website maintains a long comprehensive database on hundreds of UNIX-based operating systems, mainly Linux distributions, but also BSD, Solaris, and others. Each operating system is listed on a separate page, with links to the official site and forums, downloads, reviews by third parties, screenshots, documentation, and more. Additionally, a brief summary and a list of packages is given for each title. It is a tremendously valuable site, with tons of excellent information on just about anything to do with non-Microsoft systems.
DistroWatch also features a highly popular weekly news bulletin, bringing news on distro releases, development in software and the open-source world, and other interesting items. You can also buy software on DistroWatch, in case you do not have available Internet resources for big downloads. Furthermore, the DistroWatch Page Hit Ranking list is considered one of the most accurate popularity meters for UNIX/Linux distributions. If you like the world of open-source, Linux, BSD, and related, DistroWatch is the best source to start looking for help, information, and well-written, impartial reviews. The website is available in 20+ languages.
This may sound like a boring choice, but think about it. Many people spend hours of their life typing all kinds of documents. Quite often, many of us, even native English speakers, will reach for a dictionary to see if their choice of wording and phrasing is appropriate - or perhaps look up an alternative meaning for a word, to make their sentence sound posh - or even check if they made some horrible spelling mistake somewhere.
Dictionary.com is an excellent source of all this information, delivered in a simple and precise fashion. The site is effective and non-obtrusive. Furthermore, this online dictionary also offers a Thesaurus and encyclopedia entries, which makes it a very useful interactive tool for both improving your documents and learning new things ... in English.
Who said the Communism has lost? It's alive and kicking. But not in its original incarnation, though. Communism has been made true by the Open Source Community. SourceForge is the web's greatest development and download repository of open-source software. This is one place where money and greed are not the champions; rather, cooperation, transparency of information and just cause are.
SourceForge offers a huge choice of excellent, FREE software in virtually every field of computing. If you ever have a need for a certain application, your wisest choice would be to check out SourceForge first before heading off elsewhere and bleeding off your hard-earned money. Sometimes, quite often actually, small and out-of-spotlight little programs that you can find on SourceForge will prove worthier than the big, mainstream stereotype-ware we have been brainwashed to use. Great projects like a variety of Linux distributions, Mozilla, Open Office, and many others are the offspring of the Open Source Community.
W3Schools is one of the most comprehensive and user-friendly sources for learning web design. The site is well structures by topics, including HTML, XML, Browser scripting, Server scripting, Multimedia, and others. All of the categories are sorted in chapters, accompanied with rich tutorials, beginning with basic concepts and simple example, slowing evolving and becoming more complex, allowing novices and veterans alike to find the required material. I must confess that I have acquired a fair deal of my web design knowledge from the W3Schools.
Unlike many online tutorials trying to teach you web design, W3Schools aim at doing it right. Proper use of code and compliance with international standards is no less important than good layout and quality design. You will be surprised at the sheer number of sites that do NOT conform with W3C standards. Whether you merely wish to refresh your knowledge or start from the scratch, W3Schools is probably the best place to start building websites.
In a nutshell, OGLAF is a raunchy comic strip laced with sexual innuendo, fantasy-themed story lines, and good general humor that goes beyond squirrels, magical beasts, mythical tales, witchcraft, village gossip, fairytale bravery, and overall silliness.
Most episodes have their own plot, but some do follow an arching thread that span across many weeks and months of colorful pictures. Speaking of color, OGLAF is a beautifully styled piece of work, even if you may find your brain reacting defensively to some of the messages told on its crusty, laminated digital pages. Safely away from corporal proxies and a watchful eye of misunderstanding friends and family, OGLAF makes for a delightful, refreshing comic read.
The Daily Mash
The Daily Mash is unto the UK what The Onion is unto the USA. In other words, a satirical news site that takes parody to the extreme. However, the geopolitical affiliation does not mean you cannot appreciate the humor and tone, you just need the right mental frequency to tune in to the nonsense and fun.
In a world polluted by media feces that glorify the sensational and extrapolate on the bad, The Daily Mash is a pleasing, soul-soothing departure from the crap highway into the forest of sophistication, gentle intellectual superiority complexes, mild narcissism, and Monty Pythonesque frolicking. Quite recommended, especially if you are bored with real life. BTW, thanks Mark, for the suggestion!
If you have labored, no, slaved as a white-collar little borg in a large company, preferrably in the hi-tech sector, you will have sworn that the Dilbert comic is the product of one of your colleagues, because it rings oh so damn accurate and true. And this is because Scott Adams, the man behind this creation, is a genius, and has successfully managed to capture the life-withering spirit of large corporations in his work.
Dilbert parodies bureaucracy in all its ugly shapes and forms, be it stupud policies, pointless regulations, audits, or just silly activities for the sake of activities. You've seen them all, and you've hated them all, and Dibert is in fact you. There's a lot more to be said, but it is best if you just head over to the official site and start reading the strip. It will help you cope with the shrinking size of your cubicle. Bloody awesome.
Only Fools and Horses Appreciation Society
We have talked about Only Fools and Horses before. It was my first entry on this page, one of the first and very best websites talking about the very best sitcom in the world. However, sadly, for reasons unbeknownst to me, BBC decided to pull their jolly official page down, making the entry a dead one. No worries, there's a better one yet.
Only Fools and Horses Appreciation Society is a fans' website dedicated to the escapades of Del and Rodney and their chums. You get a bit of everything, news, media, fun and games, spin offs, talk about characters, and more. Even the search box is funny, and it reads: He Who Dares, Searches! Anyhow, if you are even a small fan of this most awesome sitcom, then you ought to browse ofah.net for a few hidden gems. Hopefully, this site will live on for much longer. Much recommended.
What if? is a subdomain of xkcd, a highly popular web comic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language. In theory, it should not classify as its own standalone site. However, I am most glad to see there are other people discussing stupid physical questions, akin to my fart levitation and the limits of human erection. And yonder, you will find a plenty of those.
Randall helps the common man figure out crucial things, discussing delicate and highly relevant topics like if it's possible to stop a train with bullets, hair dryer planetary risks and Intergallactic Cessna. All of these and more, backed up by a plenty of links to no-nonsense scientific articles hosted at various .gov sites, so you know they are badass. Anyhow, what if? is a most pleasant humoristic addition to my geek list, and you should definitely visit the site, even if your physics knowledge may not be that much improved after reading it.
Let's begin with a series of question? What makes for good satire? Where do you draw the line between sensationalism and emotional molestation? Did you know that professional trolling exists? All of these questions point to one answer: The Onion, America's Finest News Source, self-proclaimed that is. Indeed, if you're looking to enlighten your soul by watching some news, then you have come to the wrong place. The Onion is everything you don't want from your news. Bold, beautiful, trollful to the max, like yo.Having watched many of The Onion's fake news footage reports, I can only say I have utmost admiration for the no-limits way the site delivers its message. You get an ounce of truth all right, and then you get a free dose of wicked genius that makes even smart people like me wonder, even for a brief yoctosecond, what it is you're watching, why, and what the ultimate message is. You do know that you're being served a healthy dose of brain coitus, and it's delightful. Recommended for all those who perceive satire as the normal, accepted way of life.
Here's another encyclopedia-like site for you, this one called Uncyclopedia. While AE is best describes as the humor equivalent of a bit drill to your knee, Uncyclopedia is a more light-hearted variant approaching the sensation of a kneed groin, ten seconds after. A funny site you may even share with people of somewhat reduced intelligence.
The site was recommended by a reader, and upon further exploration, it does merit its own mention in this most hallowed of categories. Uncyclopedia's stated goal is to provide the world's misinformation in the least redeeming and most searingly sarcastic and humorous way possible, through satire. And it works quite well. You get a handsome dose of humor, sans the uber-shock of AE, so all parts of the spectrum are covered. Lovely, witty, entertaining, a definite stop on your autobahn to enlightenment. Or not.
After much pondering, I decided to include Encyclopedia Dramatica into the Hall of Fame. The simple reason is, it's too good not to be included, political correctness be damned. I've already given you a somewhat lengthy, prosaic explanation into the history and character of this site in my Trolling guide, so we can skip on some of the philosophy and focus on the good parts. Encyclopedia Dramatica is a mild shock site, designed to be funny and stupid and annoying all at the same time, with the ultimate goal of destabilizing everyone's mental state into a brown boson soup. Nothing is sacred.
The site is rude and coarse, parents be warned, intended for people with IQ over 9,000. Your initial reaction to reading most of the stuff will be synonymous to using DU sabot rounds against plush red teddies on the Valentine's Day, but if you look beyond the inane and grossly unfunny, you will discover uncanny levels of truth and wit that borderline on napalm genius. At the end of the day, if you can put your silly ego aside and focus on the fun stuff, you will have enjoyed yourself immensely, laughing at the absurdity of the collective human intelligence. Most importantly, don't take anything too seriously. And if you do appreciate a healthy dose of mind coitus now and then, Encyclopedia Dramatica is definitely for you.
Badmovies.org - A website to the detriment of good film
Badmovies.org is probably the first place you should go to for any movie review. Skip IMDB, skip Wikipedia, skip search engines, and go here. This website will tell you all you need to know about the flick you're about to watch, provided it's B class or higher, alphabetically. Quoting from the official FAQ, Badmovies.org is a review website dedicated to bad movies, b-movies, and cult films. It is maintained and almost exclusively written by Andrew Borntreger, Gunnery Sergeant USMC and champion of cinematic disasters, at your service. He kindly asks you not to worry about the watermelon.
So why bad movies, he persists. The reason is, he likes them. And you should do. We should feel lucky that he can spell Neanderthal. Now, he might not be able to write pretty reviews like some, but he can sure kick their ass, QFT - Quoted For Truth. There you go. On a serious note, the site is hilarious, good ole school fun all the way. Reviews are colorful, intelligent, witty, written with style well beyond the self-proclaimed modesty on behalf of the author and owner. A rare gem. Hurry before a giant antimatter space buzzard devours thee!
Men Are Better Than Women
If the very title of this website offenders you somehow in some way, then you probably suffer from a severe case of humor deficiency. Taking websites with such a clear, simple mission statement with nothing less than a healthy dose of amusement is the wrong way to approach life. MABTW is run by Dick Masterson, a guy with Top Gun aviator sunglasses and a mustache that comes straight from the Wild West rule book. His mission is to show the world of men the perils of women, so they can learn, avoid and live in a man-safe environment. Of course, he puts it more eloquently, using big words like tenets, squeamish, unequivocally, and such, and manages to dodge the man-woman paradox of can't live with them, can't live without them. If there ever were a man to epitomize the make me a sandwich phenomenon, it would be Dick Masterston.
Other than philisophy, the site offers religiously funny page after page of in-your-face QED of how Dick victored over women, as well as explaining in almost scientific terms all the things that bother him as well as the manrace. Not surprisingly, many a follower to be found yonder constitute women of all kinds and types, including those falling into the eternal troll trap, as well as those less bothered by outrageously insulting humor that the author aims at. However, being a Maddox's pal and buddy, he can't afford anything less. Quite joyful, and not at all wicked as you might suspect. The retro-mirror to society. And funny. Oh, there's a book too, if you want it all tightly compressed into one giant tome of wisdom and lulz.
David Thorne - Go away
Just when I thought Australia had nothing funny to offer, there cometh David Thorne, King Trolle Extraordinaire. This Ozzie guy is the most patient, most polite, most tiresome troll in the Universe, or at the very least, the southern hemisphere of our planet. So you may be wondering, what is this site all about and who the hell is David Thorne?
David Thorne is just a guy who likes to document his life's adventures in long, tedious emails with subjects running many iterations of Re: re:, to the very crushing defeat of his enemies. It started with an innocent overdue account paid with a seven-legged spider drawing. And so, the legend was born. Since, David is continuously challenging the world with his immaculate verbal torture, never one to raise his voice, never one to resort to simple, common insult. And for some reason, people never get the clue, sticking to their wooden performance, falling into the same trap over and over again. If you ever needed advice on how to handle sales reps, boring neighbors and people you don't like, you must visit David's site. Ultimately funny.
Dave Barry Official Site
The name Dave Barry may not strike you as familiar if you don't know who Harry Anderson is, if you do not live in Florida and read Miami Herald or if you happen not to have the right kind of humor to appreciate Dave's work. Beneath the rugged veneer of a hardcore journalist enjoying the dry and cool Miami summers beats the heart of a man who can best be described as Web 2.0 Woody Allen sans the depressive fatalism sans the hot young women clinging to his sleeve.
Dave Barry is a funny guy, first and foremost, and some of his character oozes onto the pages he writes. His humor has the lightweight cynicism kind you can easily script into TV series and movies, which has been done with quite some success. Best of all, even if you're not an American and don't really find your way down the local politics alley, you can still appreciate the subtle clash of Gator fans meet Russian nuclear weapons smugglers meet people who invented low-flow toilets. Gypsy fun, Miami style, wrapped in a total lack of reason. And if you think 4chan invented some of the coolest memes around, just Google Dave's OIYDWYMTTY(NY)G. Aha!
Weebl's Stuff is one of those rare gems that you discover by accident. It happened to me. Long ago, someone sent me a link to a funny, super-addictive Flash clip called Badger Badger Badger. OK, so it's a dozen cute furry things dancing, some mushrooms and a snake. Well, that's the genius of simplicity.
This cute animation is so popular that it even has its own wiki entry. But The Badger Song is only a tiny facet of Weebl's jolly repertoire. Cartoons, animations, games, web comics, and there are user contributions too, as well as wacky discussions in the forum. Most of the work includes catchy techno-like music, surreal dialogue, silly lyrics, and absurd topics, as you want it to be, that is.
For example, what would you think of a Flash clip called Turd Eating Cat? My thoughts exactly. Tons of unexpected enjoyment. On a serious note, Weebl's Stuff is a must. Whether you're in a mood for quirky music, psychodelic relaxation, brusque WTF fun, or just some cuddly spinning down after a long day of crunching your mental cogwheels, this cartoon gem will do the work. Enjoyski.
Hyperbole and a Half
To quote the About page ... BEGIN QUOTE Hi. I'm Allie. If I had to explain myself in six words, those words would be heroic, caring, alert and flammable. That's only four words. Oh well, I guess I should have thought of that before I started writing. Too late now. END QUOTE Yes, you get the idea.
Hyperbole and a Half is an extremely witty, enterntaining site discussing worldly topics through a series of long, on-purpose badly drawn cartoons. The article begin with a punchline, strays off in a random direction loosely following the general idea and then return with vengeance. Boom, you did not expect that. What makes the site unique is the writing style, borderline Asperger Syndrome and Pythonesque United States Mid-West styles mixed and shaken, not stirred, with a touch of mathematics and female geekiness.
There's no one-line that I could use to describe Hyperbole and a Half. But it's listed here for the sheer quality of humor, witty innocence laced with fluffy malevolence and the spicy art. In other words, you have to be a really good painter to draw a really bad one. Or just a bad one. But here, the first rule applies. When you're in a mood for tons of good humor in bright colors, Hyperbole and a Half delivers the goods.
Who said theology has to be boring? Well, quite a lot of people. But if you drop the somber, sin and punishment theme and focus on the actual content, dab it in some good humor and slang it heavily, you can actually create a universal topic that will cater to anyone. Name of the game: LOLCat Bible.
LOLCat Bible is a wiki-style site dedicated to translating the entire Old and New Testaments into the LOLCat speech. Common terms and proper grammar are replaced with the liberal LOLCat language, with some of the main characters in the scriptures replaced with feline counterparts. Sounds messy and might even be considered an insult, but if you look beyond the plain written, you might see a different picture.
In its unique, slightly offensive but unintended way, the LOLCat parody actually makes religion more accessible to those normally less inclined to practice it. Even if you read the LOLCat Bible for the sake of fun and mockery, you will still be exposed to religious texts, learning a bit about how things were in the olden days, translated into a sort of laidback Ally G lingo. The project's humor crosses the barrier between believers and atheists and makes everyone have a good read. Whatever you may think of the Bible, LOLCats is an excellent portal of history and humor combined.
Jumbo Joke is a very unassuming, very funny website. It's a massive collection of jokes, puns, funny stories, quirky ads, nerdy physics laced with folklore, and assorted humor stuff that will appeal to men, women and nerds alike. In fact, it's the very site that brought you the careful physics of Santa Claus, which earned it a dignified place in my science websites article, part two, and now landed it a cushy spot in the Hall of Fame.
Jumbo Joke is not easy to navigate, so you may struggle a bit finding your way around, but this should not stop you from enjoying this excellent portal. Tons of joke, heaped high, just waiting for you to discover them. And a discovery it shall be, considering the tricky site map. Throw in some nerdy physics and you surely get humor the way you like it, as the self proclaimed motto reads. Should keep you warm during those endless staff meetings.
xkcd is a web comic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language. In other words, it's a web comic that only people with a certain, borderline-personality mind set will find rather amusing. Geeks. Physicists. People like me. Not really a surprise, since the owner and author of xkcd.com is a physicist. Go figure.
On topic, xkcd is a wondrous creation. It's a phenomenal website, with tons of great comics. Mostly three-imagers, like Dilbert, with as much spice and wit. Not only will you appreciate the sheer, audacious simplicity of the artwork, you will be amazed by the punchline. Or rather, blowtorched through the guts. xkcd takes life and spins it into a crazy mesh of surreal, horrendous and insightful.
There's only one downside to the whole story; xkcd takes intelligence and a very special sense of humor to understand. Without those, you'll merely be staring at some rather plain sketches and wondering why comparisons between vi and emacs could be so hilarious. Geeks worldwide, this is your new portal. Come by and enjoy.
Rent A German
Fancy some international culture? So why not rent a German over the weekend? Yes, that's right. There's a website that lets you rent Germans. They don't come cheap, but they are definitely worth it.
rentagerman.de is a website that specializes in the German [sic] rental service. It offers a wide range of Germans for your personal and social needs. You can select Germans for all sorts of activities. You may want to take them to a party, take them to a hike in the mountains or lodge them over at your house. You can even bring them to your workplace and impress your co-workers. You may also rent entire families. Whatever you choose, you are in for a treat. Germans are curteous, punctual and great with anything mechanical. Your satisfaction is guranteed.
Native Germans who join the program as rentees will also receive a hefty discount in the rental fees. What more, Rent A German community is a happy and vibrant one and will come to your aid should you need any assistance with hosting your rented Germans. This includes tips and howtos, including a support package with poems and sauerkraut. The website also offers T-shirts for sale. Feel like being unique and friendly, buy one and wear one.
Top Gear is a British car show, the best rated and most popular in the world. For a very good reason. It's a blast. You get tons of great cars, truckloads of humor and stunning camera work. What more could a man ask for, except maybe studio audience composed entirely of hot women?
With the brick-faced charm of anti-environmentalist scousers, the show's three hosts, Jeremy, Richard and James do a fanastic job of roadtesting cars across the globe, with not a single boring moment. While most people may assume Top Gear is mainly about cars, the truth it is, it's mostly about cars. The show is, first and foremost, one titanic standup show. Imagine Monty Python, only done entirely in the back of Austin Metro. That's what I'm talking about.
Seriously, for any petrol/diesel head, Top Gear is the ultimate form of entertainment. Make sure you check out the official website. It has years of video footage and breathtaking imagery, lots of excellent reviews spiced with sophisticated humor and tons of tips for the international car driver. Must see.
Linux Hater's Blog
Sometimes, the best way to explain or prove something to someone is by showing them the exact opposite of what they are looking for. For instance, how do you explain white to someone? You show them black and tell them that white is the other way around.
Linux Hater's Blog is a website that deals in polarity. While most of us grumble about software we use, Linux Hater's Blog (LHB) categorically hates everything that has to do with Linux, which both makes it funny and offers an interesting perspective on what Linux is.
The LHB's anonymous editor (or editors) is mostly likely a diehard Linux fan who seeks to educate on peace by preaching war sermons. Furthermore, the radical attitude is also a tremendous traffic boost, as I have eloquently explained in my Website traffic guide, but the irony of this is lost of many excited and offended Linux users who simply can't refuse to take the bait.
Because of this, taking LHB seriously is somewhat difficult, although he raises many valid points overall. Better yet, the extreme tone turns the entire affair into an extremely pleasurable ordeal. Nevertheless, no matter what is said and how it is said, you have to give the author credit - and lots of it. Persisting in so much hatred takes a lot of effort and staying funny along the way even more so.
If you're looking into some politically incorrect education on Linux sprinkled with cunningly sophisticated humor bordering between lame and genius, LHB is the place you should go. You may get angry or learn little, but at least, you will laugh long and hard.
Monty Python is probably the main reason why British are the greatest nation on Earth. They have created the finest piece of comedy EVER - Monty Python. When the humble team of six smart British guys aired their first sketch of Flying Circus in 1969, the history was made. Monty Python became the pillarstone by which modern comedy was made and judged.
The Python guys also made a number of films, including Life of Brian and the Meaning of Life and also individually participated in dozens of other films, series and sketches, including legendary titles like Fawlty Towers (see below) and A Fish Called Wanda.
The heroic deeds of Monty Python across four decades of work are documented on the official site called Pythonline, maintained by Eric Idle. Pythonline has it all - most importantly links to most popular and highest rated Monty Python sketches like the Ministry of Silly Walks, Argument Clinic, Galaxy Song, the Parrot Sketch, and others, all of which you can also be downloaded from Youtube. Furthermore, there's lots of music, a crazy forum, and more superb stuff. If you consider yourself a member of human race, ergo ipso facto you like Monty Python, therefore you should visit Pythonline.
Fawlty Towers (alas, dead link)
John Cleese, one of the fantastic six of the Monty Python cast created new definitions for obnoxious and misanthrope when we created the character of Basil Fawlty, the owner of the Fawlty Towers hotel. The sheer snobbish stubbornness with which Basil gets into trouble every minute of every episode makes for some of the finest moments in human behavior ever screened. Three decades later, Fawlty Tower is undoubtedly one of the funniest British comedies, alongside 'Allo 'Allo, Only Fools and Horses, and Black Adder.
Fawlty Towers website pays tribute to this great show. The site details the history of how Fawlty Towers began , apparently based on a true story, details the episodes and casts, has an A-Z Fawlty guide, quizzes, trivia, and other interesting stuff. Like other websites dedicated to predominantly dark British humor featured on this page, Fawlty Towers is about self-indulgence, nostalgia and quite a bit of fun.
We must thank Charles Darwin for two things: one, his contribution to science; two, the above website, which probably would never have come into being without Charles Darwin. Well, what is it all about? Well, it's about Evolution, of course! Only, it takes a rather unorthodox approach to basic natural advancement of the most advanced species, homo sapiens.
Darwin Awards is dedicated to all those people unique enough to remove themselves from the evolutionary cycle by taking revolutionary actions. In other words, it is dedicated to people whose stupidity is only surpassed by their somewhat sad if humorous demise. If you still have no idea what I'm talking about, Darwin Awards documents deaths. However, not just any deaths. It chronicles the most bizarre, unbelievable and improbable deaths, so stupid that they actually border on genius. We are talking about people juggling live hand grenades, people falling off rooftops while engaged in intercourse (the so-called Luftwaffen Grotesque), people bringing the roof down while still inside the building, and other most merry occurrences.
So, if you're in for a treat that so politically incorrectly reminds us of our finality, you should step a few moments reading Darwin Awards. After that, you will realize that evolution also includes a by-product, the so-called regression, in which case the present exemplars only lived (or rather, died) to prove Darwin's theory even truer.
Cafe Rene is the first place you should go to if you have any questions or doubts regarding 'Allo 'Allo! Well, 'Allo 'Allo! is one of the great classic British comedies, which, like most others, came to life following the Monty Python revolution in the early 70s. Alongside Fawlty Towers, Only Fools and Horses, Black Adder, Yes Minister, and many others, 'Allo! 'Allo! dominated the humor scene of the 80s and still remains one of the wittiest and funniest pieces ever made. It tells the story of a cowardly French café owner, René Artois, who leads a very brave life. He cheats on his wife with both of his waitresses, promising both to marry them after the war - but he stays with his wife Edith because she owns the café. To make things even more complicated, René is fancied by the German lieutenant Gruber. He collaborates with the Germans, in trying to steal ancient paintings while simultaneously helping the French resistance rescue downed British pilots. And this is only the tip of the iceberg.
'Allo 'Allo! tells the war story in a very different light from what one might expect. The Germans are more interested in drinking and getting rich than actually fighting. The de Gaulle resistance hate the Communists more than the Germans. And the British are charmingly dumb. Don't forget the sex innuendo on almost every occasion.
The sit-com ran 9 series, with 82 episodes, plus numerous Christmas specials. Everything you might want to know about 'Allo 'Allo! can be read on Cafe Rene. It might not be the prettiest or the most up-to-date site, but it is definitely fun and well-written.
The Best Page in the Universe
This is truly one of the finer websites ever made, definitely not because of its crappy design but because of its excellent, masterpiece contents. The site is all about the personal, egocentric, egomaniacal, narcissistic super-obsession of one guy's love with himself, Mr. Maddox. However, every single work on his website is written with utter brilliance. It's raw, funny and extremely cunning. It's no small wonder it's one of the more popular websites out there. Be warned though, it's not for the feeble-hearted, overly-cultivated, extra-refined, weak, or enlightened souls.
Maddox thinks he's a pirate, although I cannot image what Utah has to do with pirates, unless they have found a way to sail a boat across the Salt Lake. He's recently written a book, called The Alphabet of Manliness, which has instantly become popular and ranks very high in book sales. So there you go, Maddox, you got a free spitshine from me, even though you never answered my emails. Sniff. EDIT: He did answer me, so I humbly retract my last sentence. You're the man.
Only Fools and Horses (alas, dead link)
Undoubtedly, this is one of the funniest British comedies of all times. It's about Del Boy and Rodney Trotter brothers, played by David Jason and Nicholas Lyndhurst, a pair of small-time, small-money crooks / peddlers living with their grandfather, and later, their uncle in a council flat in Peckham. The sit-com revolves about their fishy business endeavors as they try to get rich from one episode to another, usually inspired by Del's crazy ideas, but never quite succeeding.
The first series met with mediocre enthusiasm from the audience; nevertheless Only Fools and Horses quickly became one of the most influential TV show on British television, resulting in seven series and numerous Christmas features and becoming a social and cultural icon. The reason for this is that it had elements of everyday life that just about anyone could relate to. Apart from phenomenal, typically dark British humor, Only Fools and Horses mixes emotions and situations so well that it's become a timeless, priceless piece of art. If you even remotely like British comedy, Only Fools and Horses is a must.
CastleCops Security Forums (alas, dead link)
CastleCops is more than just a collection of forum rooms. It is an in-depth security central offering a variety of computer related services to a broad range of users, in several languages. However, I would like to focus on the forums. The forum offers a wealth of information so extensive that new users might find the navigation a bit daunting. CastleCops hosts a number of forums specially dedicated to specific products, like WinPatrol, Proximitron, Returnil and others, but it also deals in general subjects. Most of the topics are focused on the Windows operating system, but Linux users also have a place to share their ideas. Another upside of the CastleCops forums is the malware cleanup section, where unfortunate (Windows) users can ask for help, as well as the malware reporting and prevention forum. It's a good place to learn about computers and security.
Wilders Security Forums
Wilders Security Forums is probably one of the more versatile security forums on the net. It is rather quite balanced. On one hand, it offers quite a lot of useful information in a number of forum rooms; on the other, it does that without overwhelming and confusing clutter. The forum is clean, intuitive and easily navigable. Some of the sub-forum rooms on the site are official support forums for a number of leading computer security products, like Acronis, Eset, ewido, and more. Other rooms are dedicated to general security topics like firewalls, anti-virus software, privacy issues, and other. Wilders Security Forums has a great staff and a vibrant community that will offer help and advice to any newcomer. For a typical computer user - most of us really - it is probably the best overall security-conscious informative and support site on the web.
Wolfram Alpha new!
Warning, the following suite may be unsuitable for wider audiences due to its ultra-nerdy mathematical nature. What is it, pray, you may ask. It's a powerful computation engine that interprets natural language questions and instructions to do some really funky calculations. In other words, it blinded me with science!
Popular Mechanics new!
A site with the word popular in its name sounds like a paradox, or an oxymoron if you will, and you may immediately feel like it's designed for people who struggle with the basics of science, like amino acids or Quantum physics. The thing is, Popular Mechanics repository of science, tech and nerdy facts is worth an occasional dabble.
The site does profess its demographics to be mid-30 men in love with their gadgets and a decent income, so if you qualify and think of yourself as a (wo)man of the world, you might appreciate the content. Some of the stuff may be watered down for masses, but there's a plenty of good articles that are both deep and fun. The blend of historical, futuristc and factual is done with elegance with style, and this portal could keep you entertained on a rainy day. Or a sunny one, if you like your solar panels. You get the drift. Oh, the site has articles on cars, too. Hence, the drift.
The Committee for Skeptical Inquiry
More science. Well, sort of. This curiously titled website is dedicated to promote scientific inquiry and critical investigation. But what makes it really interesting is that it focuses on controversial, extraordinary, paranormal and fringe claims. If you believe in pixies and like to be dazzled by media, read no further.
CSI aims to debunk the rather ridiculous untruths circulating in the public, often enhanced by the constant need for shock value and ratings, which is where healthy science steps in and dropkicks the nonsense into submission. This site may underwhelm with its presentation layer, after all, it was made by people who value value, but it delivers a load of excellent articles and anectodes. Hence its place in this section.
As the site name claims, this domain is all about interesting, fascinating, mindboggling stories from science, history and philosophy, with occasional engineering. Which sounds like something practiced in dark alleys somewhere. The layout is unassuming, the frequency of updates quite low, but the deficiencies are more than compensated for with good content, and that's what matters.
Damn Interesting is a great place to visit when you feel like your mind needs a fresh dose of science, and if you're after humor, you'll find it, too. Dry, dark, geeky humor, but then, what did you expect. Anyhow, on a serious note, this ought to go into your bookmarks, with an occasionally engineered, pleasant read to stimulate your mind.
Improbable research is all about seemingly pointless research that makes people laugh and then think. But research it is. Seriously unserious stuff, including things like brassiere cum protective face masks, the relationships among height, penile length, and foot size, a comprehensive survey of human belly button lint, and no less importantly, the importance of giving cows names in order to produce more milk.
But the research would be for naught if not the Ig Nobel Prizes honor achievements. The association behind Improbable Research hands out these prizes in an annual ceremony, to the winners of all those who rose to the challenge, to celebrate the unusual, honor the imaginative. All in the name of science. It's as geeky as it gets. Highly recommended.
People like to watch other people suffering. It's a basic human trait, go figure. So what can be more satisfying than watching some dude trying, and succeeding, in electrocuting himself, for the sake of science and entertainment? Meet Mehdi, the guy running ElectroBoom.
He seems fascinated with electricity, and he actually knows what he is doing. Well, he works as an electrical engineer, so that should cover the professional side of risking your life for other people's merriment. Anyhow, what he likes to do is create videos of himself perfoming all kinds of rather dangerous experiments with live electricity, proving and disproving urban myths, as well as causing himself a gentle dose of genuine physical pain. All the ingredient for some pleasant, all-family fun. Inspiring, witty, educative. And yes, don't earn yourself a Darwin Award, don't try this at home.
When Oracle purchased Ksplice, this blog was already on my to-be-published list. But then, I started having second thoughts. And then I started having third thoughts. I realized that the fact the site owners have changed does not mean the site's quality has changed. So here it is. Ksplice Blog is a rather neat, colorful website where Ksplice developers ramble about thing they hope we will find interesting.
And we sure do. The blog is mainly dedicated to computer science problems, explained in thorough detail and presented with a surprising geek clarity and charm. Not your beginner's walk in the park I admit, but so well written that it will appeal even to moderately skilled administrators and code monkeys. Among many topics discussed, you will find entries on virtual memory, kernel, strace, memory corruption due to cosmic radiation, the pointer challenge, and many other exciting ideas that Linux people find so appealing. You should definitely check it out.
IEEE Spectrum: Technology, Engineering, and Science News
Quoting the official sources, IEEE Spectrum magazine is the flagship publication of the IEEE, the world's largest professional technology association. It is a monthly magazine for technology innovators, business leaders, and the intellectually curious. Spectrum explores future technology trends and the impact of those trends on society and business. I tend to agree.
IEEE Spectrum really goes into details. For example, for me reading about the Fukushima reactor accident or the birth of UNIX was a delight of detail, accuracy and somber yet casual approach to technical details. And that's just a sampling. There's a whole lot more in virtually every field, aerospace, biomedical, robotics, consumer electronics, even computer security. If you like technology, IEEE Spectrum offers a perfect blend of journalism, science and technology, without being geeky, boring or old-fashioned. Quite recommended.
If you're into science, quasi-science, demi-science, and pure nonsense that goes beyond the ordinary and have a taste for conspiracy theories, you may like anomalies-unlimited.com. The site offers insight into the world of crazy, scary and weird stuff taking place behind the curtains of the world. While authenticity of some of the content is a bit dubious, it makes for a fun reading nevertheless. You don't have to be into paranormal and alien abductions to enjoy the website.
The site seems to be no longer actively updated, but it has quite a bit of material to get you started into the occult. Or just plain enjoy the fact that some people really need an excuse to wear a tinfoil hat. Oh, it's not pure science per se, either, but it more or less broadly fits the category.
Exit Mundi: A Collection of End-of-World Scenarios
Exit Mundi is a very interesting site. The site is all about all possible ways to destroy Planet Earth. Sounds sinister, but it's actually written in a light, funny style that makes the threat of a Gamma Ray Bursts apocalypse and similar calamities sound rather melancholic. The scenarios are divided into groups, like space threats, technological threats, religion-related events etc. Each catastrophe is described with a good proportion of science, facts and humor and is accompanied with lots of nice images. If you like aliens, robots, huge explosions, doomsday thingies, and whatnot, you can surely enjoy yourself reading this website. The material on the site is written by Maarten Keulemans, a science and technology journalist from Holland (Netherlands).
One of the reasons we have websites and read all manner of stuff on the Internet is our curiosity. Just like energy and entropy are opposed, so are the laziness and curiosity, the two prevalent characteristics of the human nature. Without curiosity, we would still probably be living in caves. But as it is, we have CFC-free air conditioning, vaccination, online petitions, and lots of sites telling us how things work. One of the best such sites is definitely HowStuffWorks. There's very little you won't find on this remarkable site, dissected into tiny details, with simple explanations and lots of images. It's a great start on almost any subject, technical or humane.
MathWorld is a very extensive online source of mathematics. It was made by Wolfram Research, the creators of Mathematica scientific program. The site contains lectures, citations from books, thousands of terms and examples, 3D applets for interactive geometry, and more. The layout is simple, clean and intuitive.
This site might not appeal to someone who think of mathematics as forced labor, but it can be of great use for people with scientific background or inclinations. So, if you're into Partial Differential Equations, Mobius snails, Markov processes, Operator theories, and impressing girls, MathWorld is the right place to start pimping up your street credit.
Bent Objects is an extremely witty, extremely unique, hence filed here, website created and designed by one Terry Border, an arteest, not an artist. Whatever his fancy title may be in the neo-posh circles, the man knows his way around art and taking simple, mundane, everyday items and turning them into objects of quirky adoration.
Still not with me? Then imagine a potato performing live surgery on a tomato. With me so far? Imagine peeled bananas having sex. What do you think grim brulee is, excuse my lack of all them French apostrophe thingies. Think anything ordinary, organic and inorganic you can find in your home, add some wires, strike a pose, and you get brilliant art. Not words, no fancy declarations, no political statement, just simple visual pleasure by a great mind. As an aspiring artist wannabe, I can only only appreciate this kind of word. Lovely jubbly.
Urban Legends Reference Pages
snopes.com is a self-proclaimed definitive Internet reference source for urban legends, folklore, myths, rumors, and misinformation. While it sure can fit into either the Humor or Science section, I think the Unique label fits more. As its title says, if you want to learn more about all those stupid sayings and conspiracies and funny facts you hear all the time, you should go here first.
Don't be fooled by the site's mission. It may dabble in general ignorance and trivia, but there's quite a bit of interesting history, too. There's a lot of original and thorough research invested in each and every story featured, even if you may find the topic completely baffling, like whether an elephant sat on a car and squashed it or if the town of Paradise, California, was named after the Pair o' Dice saloon. However, if you like to read about the little things that add seasoning to the cuisine of life, this is your one stop shop. Besides, many of the facts and ideas make for such splendid ice-breakers. Unique, serious yet fun, thorough, colorful, quite recommended.
1337arts, or rather, Leet Arts, is a website created by a pair of MIT students, showing off their artistic aspects of science with others. And what a share it is. For a meager budger of about one high-end laptop, the two gentlemen assembled a high-altitude balloon and sent it flying int the space, strapped with a digital camera. Not really amazing, you might say.
Except their camera landed back safely. The two fellas had the smarts to equip the camera with a GPS beacon so it could be retrieved safely. Speaking of safety, they had to take into account lots of parameters, including the camera damage and the skull damage of innocent humans not expecting a camera falling on their head from high orbit. So the two diligent students created a crash-proof rentry capsule with low terminal velocity that was safe for both the electronics and human cranium. They tested with eggs tossed off the five-story building to make sure their package was gentle enough. On top of that, they made sure they complied with FAA regulations.
The end result? More than one hour of HD video and close to a thousand stills taken at about 30km altitude. Spectacular on so many levels. First the idea, then the implementation of the idea. Simply splendid. Hop by and drop them a word of encouragement. It's always refreshing to see such astute minds making good use of their potential. Reminds me of me.
The Tech Model Railroad Club of MIT
If you think Building a Balancing Scooter is a feat of geeks, then you should probably take an inhalation before you read this one. The Tech Model Railroad Club (TMRC) is a 60-year-old club dedicated to railroad funs and hackers, who together help create, maintain and improve the largest mini-scale railroad network in the world.
You all remember the three-box plastic model running on batteries that you all had in your childhood? Well, think about something a thousand times bigger. TMRC is all about running a realistic railroad network, with thousands of feet of tracks, hundreds of rail models, dozens of buildings, bridges and staging yards, all built to scale and in great detail and governed by a super-station computer programmed by the TMRC geeks.
If nothing, the website is worth visiting for hundreds of spectacular photos of the TMRC network. I also warmly recommend you spend time reading everything. The Wikipedia article will also give you more info on what to expect from TMRC. Best of all, you can visit TMRC and drive your own train around, be it diesel, steam or electric. Talk about boys with toys. TMRC is a must. It's an incredible accomplishment of history, dedication, cooperation, friendship, fun, and great skills.
Building a Balancing Scooter
I was thinking about adding this site to the Science section, but I thought it fits here better. Building a Balancing Scooter is a very simple, very unique site. It teaches you how to build a self-balancing scooter, i.e. a Segway like thingie, in about two weeks, using off-the-shelf parts, some C coding and less money that you would spend on buying the real thing.
Trevor Blackwell, the ultra-geek behind the contraption, demonstrates in fairly simple terms his work on the Scooter and its upgraded version 2. His Scooter Mark II is faster and lighter than Segway, by the way. Must see for anyone with even 1 part-per-million geekiness in their blood.
The Deep Sky Frontier (works again!)
Warning: this page will work properly ONLY in Mozilla Firefox or similar Gecko-based browsers. Now, this page has no special purpose, except one thing - it's absolutely huge. How huge, you ask. Well, I don't want to spoil you the experience of trying it for yourself, but if you used the arrow keys to scroll, it would take you 500,000 years from one end of the web page to another. Yes, I'm not joking. 500,000 friggin' years! The page is HUGE!
If for some reason, you have trouble getting started, here's the link to the site's How BIG is this page?. If you click on the scroll bars and move around, you will never be able to find that How BIG is this page again. I'll give you a little hint, the link to get back to the start position can be found in the right bottom corner of this webpage. Explore it and enjoy!
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