Total Drek

Or, the thoughts of several frustrated intellectuals on Sociology, Gaming, Science, Politics, Science Fiction, Religion, and whatever the hell else strikes their fancy. There is absolutely no reason why you should read this blog. None. Seriously. Go hit your back button. It's up in the upper left-hand corner of your browser... it says "Back." Don't say we didn't warn you.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Slag's Interesting and/or Amusing Lynx to Waste Your Time

Welcome to the first in a hopefully-regularly-occasional series of posts, "Slag's Interesting and/or Amusing Lynx to Waste Your Time." Notice the amusing alternate spelling of "links," which must surely signify that these lynx are both Interesting and Amusing.

What are the qualifications for a site to be entered into Slag's Interesting and/or Amusing Lynx to Waste Your Time? They must interest and/or amuse me, and must waste my time. Does this seem like arbitrary criteria? Hells yeah. But I asked for your opinions last week, and I got eight responses, five of which were from the same shady character named "Anon Y. Moose," who may or may not be an actual moose. Um, where was I going with this? Who knows. Anyway, thanks to Mr. or Ms. Moose, Drek, and Julie.

Without further ado, here are this installment's lynx:

1) Google Maps (http://maps.google.com): Absolutely, without a doubt, the best freakin' map site on the Internet. Why? Enter a location anywhere in the U.S. or Canada in the "Search" bar at the top of the page (for example, try Albuquerque, NM). You can zoom in our out, just like Mapquest or Mappoint. But wait, are you ready to be impressed? Click and drag the map, or use the arrow keys. The map moves! The map moves! You could use the arrow keys to follow Interstate 5 from Canada to Mexico.

But wait... there's more! You can type in categories of services, and the tool will find matching services near the area you have mapped. For example, go back to the Albuquerque map. In place of "Albuquerque, NM" in the Search window, type "Brazilian restaurant." The page returns the top ten results, including Tucanos Brazilian Grill at 110 Central Ave. SW (the flag marked A). If you're ever in Albuquerque (and are not a vegetarian), you should consider going there - all the richly-flavored meat you can eat, plus lots more.

You can also get directions. Let's say you're in Key West, Florida, and you have a craving for Brazilian food, um, in New Mexico. Click the "Directions from here" button. The address appears in the "End Address" textbox. In the "Start Address" textbox, type "Key West, FL." Total distance: 2,273 miles. And check out that blue line marking your route on the map!

Is this not the coolest thing you have ever seen?

2) SignMaker (http://www.kurumi.com/roads/signmaker/signmaker.html): Somehow it's very comforting to know that there is a community of people on the Internet who are obsessed with the numbering system of U.S. highways. (For example, Interstates ending in -5 are major roads that run north-south.) Someone going by the handle of Kurumi has created SignMaker, a Java applet that makes realistic-looking highway signs, including the real road symbols for Interstates, U.S. Highways, and state roads for all 50 states. The applet is quite memory-intensive to run online, so some computers may not be able to run it. But it runs happily on my 2001-mint laptop if I download and install the applet.

I even made a sign to direct you to Total Drek.

There's lots of interesting stuff on the rest of Kurumi's site too. Did you know that the shortest interstate is I-878, which runs for only 0.7 miles to New York's JFK airport? Good luck finding it, though - there are no I-878 signs, only signs for New York state road 878, which is exactly the same road.

Also, don't you wonder what those Japanese symbols at the top of the main page mean?

3) The Josh Moose page (http://ourworld.cs.com/joshplushmoose/): Ever wonder what life looks like through the eyes of a small, cute stuffed moose? Take a look at Josh's home on the Internet. He's just a regular moose who lives with a human he calls "The Big Guy," has his own luxury accommodations, and enjoys fine cuisine.

Actually, the site started as a parody of every bad personal homepage ever created, but it's evolved into something of its own. Josh's site could have been totally ridiculous, but it's actually very cute and endearing.

Enjoy the lynx, and as always, let me know what you think.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Julie said...

Hooray! Now I can be "kissed by a moose," at least in the virtual sense, whenever I lack inspiration! Thumbs up to these Lynx ;)

Wednesday, March 23, 2005 12:25:00 AM  

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