WebWatch: 15th September, 2009

 
 

With all the hubbub about The Pirate Bay being blocked off by Eircom and the imminent Death Of Music™, it’s worth remembering that this isn’t the first time human greed has (allegedly) expedited the downfall of the music industry. Step forward, then, Information is Beautiful (http://short.ie/uo1), with its impressive – and, it must be said, quite beautiful – visual portrayals of bizarre but inevitably spot-on statistics, in this case the life cycles of vinyl, cassettes, CDs and mp3s (http://short.ie/uo2). The site’s not just limited to newsworthy statistics, though, there’s also nuggets of brilliance in the size comparison of classic movie monsters (http://short.ie/uo3) and a timeline of TV time travel (http://short.ie/uo4 – sadly degraded by the absence of Futurama).

Of equally time-wasting potential is the fabulous Ze Frank (http://short.ie/uo5), an “online performance artist” who spends his days creating Flash-based distraction tools of such indescribable addictiveness that if you’re a first year, first-time laptop owner, you might as well pre-emptively drop out of college now. His Kaleidoscope, (http://short.ie/uo6) is the perfect example – just drag and drop the supplied shapes onto the window, and hey presto! Instant hallucinations! The Matrix tool (http://short.ie/uo7) is worth a quick visit, although just to be on the safe side, we supply the latter with an epilepsy warning.

Of course, if neither of these two sites catch your imagination, and you’re looking for something a little more inane, then you’re probably looking for something in the meme variety. We prescribe this page of 25 demotivational posters – http://short.ie/uo8, best described as equal parts hilarity, buffoonery and just plain WTF. If that tickles your fancy, check out the Motivate This! Flickr pool – http://short.ie/uo9 – and another compilation of our favourites, at http://short.ie/uo10.

And, alas, if none of the above are of any interest whatsoever, here’s a random assortment of junk: a guy gets bored and creates transparent wallpaper for his computer (http://short.ie/uo11), a disturbing but oddly compelling collection of drawings done by a drug user at various stages of an acid trip (http://short.ie/uo12), the full list of problems solved by MacGyver (http://short.ie/uo14) – wow, there are some weird people online – a sobering look at how planet Earth would react if the human race were to disappear (http://short.ie/uo15), and finally the one-click response to the inevitable drama that another college year will bring (http://short.ie/uo16).

If you find anything worth sharing, share it with us – email web@universityobserver.ie or leave your comments below.

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