Friday, March 30, 2007

Creative slacking

Thanks to a vexing problem that has rendered my beloved Netscape 7.2 increasingly unstable on my increasingly unstable new HP computer, I have been forced to convert to the FireFox browser. And I like it.

FireFox has all these little doodads you can add, some useful, some not. But I am charmed by this little feature I stumbled upon, called, perfectly appropriately, StumbleUpon.

Basically it is a random website finder that adds a little tool bar to the browser. When you first sign up, you pick from a long list of general topics that interest you. Then you press the little button and up pops a randomly selected website matching one of those interests.

My expectations were low, and I mostly suspected this was some twisted way to sell me something (probably is, actually, though it's not clear yet how), but I have been highly entertained by the results.

In the first five minutes, up popped a world map that shows the current sunlight coverage (need to know how bright it is in Alma Ata? This is your baby), a graphical thesaurus that displays the relationship of various words (hard to explain. Completely useless), a website that somehow combines Young Earth Creationism with a belief in Ancient Astronauts (equally hard to explain and equally useless), a website that gives the top ten reasons why fundamentalists are hypocrites (funny, if a little harsh), and a website with the 10 most powerful American photos of the 20th century. Sadly, I popped through without saving the links. So you'll just have to try this little game yourself.

Now this is a good use of time. I am hooked.

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