Tips and links, things to do when you’re isolated during the COVID-19 outbreak. Anyway: the site is dope. This is how to do a home page in 2020.
Warehouses full of links. A directory!
A catalog of missing persons. You can view recent updates to cases and look for cases in your area. The maintainer also writes for Executed Today.
Lenny’s phone number is 1-347-514-7296. And the subreddit above collects phone conversations with Lenny - some lasting up to an hour - until the other caller realizes that Lenny isn’t real. (See also: Lenny’s history.)
Geometric and mathy things, in the tradition of Martin Gardner. The site is several years stale—see the right-hand side: the archives and games. (For further puzzles, see The Griddle.)
I mostly visit here for the cryptic crosswords directory, but the other clubs and journals linked here are also rabbitholes. I think I like this page because it is as basic as they come, but it is tremendously rich as portal. (See also: interview with the author.)
A directory that links to old New York Magazine crosswords by way of Google Books. (Also going to put this video about David Astle here—I don’t want too many crossword sections.)
There are a wealth of real-time scenic videos from a first-person perspective out there. You can search “scenic train ride” or “walking tour” on YouTube to find hours-long footage. This is a placeholder for a directory in this vein. (I guess webcam channels along the lines of Virtual Railfan are in this vein.)
Methodical videos of old machinery being oiled, cleaned and repainted. (Via Imperica.)
The personal website of Gwern Branwen. A rare flavor of hypertext, riffing on Wikipedia, but exuding the same feeling I get when I’m reading Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell or the works of Flann O’Brien with its novel use of footnotes and annotations.
Interviews with all kinds of subcultural figureheads—from pseudonymous dominatrices to Communist podcasters and all the most devoted Twitter trolls. This seems like a directory to mental dumps. In a way, you can’t be sure what’s ‘real’ here—but it all certainly resonates as ‘real’. It might be better than ‘real’.
Layers upon layers of shifting, spawning hypertext. I think among aesthetic CSS/HTML experiments, this has to be my fave—in part because it changes over time and, in part, because it is simultaneously so new and so old. (The earliest snapshot on the Wayback Machine is in JUNE OF 1997!)
Hypertext stories and, yep, diagrams!! I like that links are red and not underlined. And some other things are red and not underlined. So I end up reading and passing my mouse over everything. It’s like I’m really touching the pages with my finger. Amateur braille experience. “WE VALUE the insides of things, vivisection, urgency, risk, elegance, flamboyance…” (Oh got this one from Nathan, my friend who you will need to like.)
This is such a fun, forgotten genre—I think of it as the spiritual ancestor to fanfic. Stacey Levine’s Frances Johnson was inspired by the literary style of these.
A bright yellow nexus of hot, HTML hate concentrate—hates Girl Scouts, hates the cops, hates Reptilians, against Crown Masonic ‘pedos’/‘paedos’—seems to be on the hunt for Pizzagates the world over. Anyway, this is a portal to that world and I just have a totally morbid curiosity, I’m sorry.
A complete collection of every possible written English page.
Primer on Saharan music - sweet pictures of Tuaregs with guitars and the backstory on how this genre came to light. You should have to be forty years in the desert to make music like this. It’s right. (See also: ‘tuareg’ tag on Bandcamp. My fave is Super Onze.)
Reissues of one-of-a-kind recordings from Africa. Some are hifi and masterful; others are experimental and fresh. If you aren’t convinced that a web directory can still be fascinating to explore, wander through this.
I love Broadcast. The first time I saw them/her, it was exactly like being in a vintage Star Trek episode, but with fantastic drums. I also love Stereolab—so this entire directory of offshoots and distant cousins is rich.
Telephone recordings, party lines and such from the 90s. I do need to satisfy a voyeuristic urge sometimes.
‘…an algorithmically-generated, readability-adjusted scatter-plot of the musical genre-space, based on data tracked and analyzed for 3,295 genres by Spotify as of 2019-08-03. The calibration is fuzzy, but in general down is more organic, up is more mechanical and electric; left is denser and more atmospheric, right is spikier and bouncier.’
Nearly continual beat tape releases in the chill, lofi vein.
I know, I know. This isn’t supposed to just be a collection of weird links. But go look! This is just an honestly fantastic list of films. Like [Barthelme’s Syllabus], life can be guided by this. (See also: The Weirdest Band in the World.)
MeFi thread. Turns out to be a good intro to animated shorts and music vids. (Via Things.)
A secret library of rare films and audio. See also: Cinemaggedon.
‘The Found Photos Archives consist of my filtered view from thousands of images downloaded via peer to peer filesharing networks.’ I had no idea there were filesharing networks of photos. This is a pretty wild collection. I love it. (Via Linkport; see also Some Photos of That Day.)
Experimental, beautiful, amateur—yet seemingly random—dithered pics from the CD-ROM era. Scanlines, dot matrix.
Now this is an impressive realization of a webzine. Every subtle touch—right down to the mouse cursor—draws you in. The author of this is also working on Pixel Art Academy, a game that teaches you how to make pixel art.
Not just pixel screencaps—if you scroll back, there are neat, compact pixel art animation tutorials. Kind of like zine pages.
(If you can’t get the Flash video working, see YouTube.) This link is quite elusive for me. I like the idea of a poem read by a computer. I like that the piece sits somewhere between Radiohead’s TTS experiments and Murder of the Universe. I like that this is almost 20 years old now. It’s also interesting that this has spawned a derivative: Ten Minute Painting. I wonder what else is on this thread.
An abundance of careful zine reviews. An obvious inspiration for this directory. Read the latest issues; people still mail each other.
Dozens (third of a hundred, maybe) of issues of unpredictable photos from the Bay area. Heh, wouldn’t be much of a zine directory without this. (See also: Vermillion and One.)
A small directory of minimalist web sites and things.
I only include this as an example of a directory with a single button. (See also: The Useless Web.)
The most minimal and still very sweet way to participate in The Web. The child of watershed linksite Delicious, same conceit: post your bookmarks publicly, add a little note, a few tags. It’s like having your own href.cool! $11/year, but the real deal is $25/year and it’ll archive all the pages you link to.
The tilde.club was a 2014 resurgence of tilde-style user directories. You used to get these free at your university or with your home Internet connection in the '90s.
Flash, GIF, MIDI and porn collections from the early Web. (Similar: WWWTXT—quotes from Usenet, CompuServe and such. Cool design.)
The central directory of the community surrounding Hundred Rabbits. Generally monochrome, generally brutalist and high quality stuff imo.
I mention Brad Enslen in Web/Blog—this is his directory. While href.cool is more about pointless and intriguing links, Indieseek is mostly rock-solid useful or prominent links. And a very good blog about linking and surfing.
It’s difficult to capture the spirit of innovative design that existed on the Old Web. This small directory certainly captures some of it.