I don’t know that I agree with all of this. But it’s close—consider this a placeholder for a wealth of links on this topic.
A personal home page or a topical page. A collection of things, without respect to recency.
A travelogue culled from the ephemeral photos and tagged notes. Check out the NYT article on which the layout is based. (This notion of combining ephemeral things into more substantial texts is the aim of my hypertexting effort.)
A role-playing game that can be played with stones in a bag. Perfect for long hikes in the mountains.
“An interface for San Francisco.” Do I bother describing this? I’m trying to decide if I just let you do the homework on this one. I mean I’ve already made it so easy for you. But I don’t know if I can trust you. IM SORRy! I JUST DONT KNOW wYOU!! You can’t expect me to just have all this faith and confidence in your ability to actually click on these links and read anything!! Ok okokok I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I will describe it to you. I will.
Yes, there are a great many cat pages on the Internet. But this is the one for me. There are also ‘Vintage Dressed Dog Graphics’ and cat legends and folklore. There is simply nothing else that other cat sites can give you.
A fictocryptic institution in Portland, OR. In so many cities were I’ve lived, there have been junk art houses, clear plastic multi-story teepees or underground Catholic or Mormon museums. Let this link represent them for now. (In fact, the curator has a guide for starting your own museum. And, oh yeah, list of ‘sympathetic’ institutions.)
My 2018 interview with Jim Stewart of The Museum is here.
See, this is why I do this. I know people don’t like “everyone gets a trophy,” but this is one case where everyone really does. (Related: Slimy Spawn. Also NSFW? Has a shopping cart.)
A simple explanation of cuisine geometry. (Via John Philpin.)
Somewhere between Shopkins, Garbage Pail Kids and pornography—films and artworks that are grotesque and beautiful, a hellscape and a paradise, a beauty tip and a courageous quip just prior to an apocalypse. There is wax on the camera.
This annual award from Edinburgh’s Literary Review has a wealth of explicit excerpts that act as a kind of inverted zeitgeist—reaching around arousal to touch disgust—or horror, even. Awards like these, unintentional awards I suppose, are so valuable!
This is a placeholder for all things glistening, golden and resplendent. By ‘things’, I mean ‘pecs’, of course, and by ‘golden’, I mean ‘dude’. My friend Nate recommends The Real Wolverine—or is ‘Bronze Age Pervert’ the zenith of modern testosterone? The sentiments of Conan the Barbarian are preserved:
Mongol General: Conan! What is best in life?
Conan: To crush your enemies. See them driven before you. And to hear the lamentations of their women.
This definition of ‘satisfaction’ is brought to you by the actual John Maus.
Expert at wielding electric fans, scanning striped t-shirts with barcode readers and slapping TV screens. Also part of ELECTRONICOS FANTASTICOS.
An online stunt, pulled by Cards Against Humanity LLC, resulted in this group-owned island off the coast of Maine. Continue here: Visited Hawaii 2 - Pictures to follow on Reddit.
Illustrations of five-hundred-and-seven different mechanical pulleys, gears, cogs combos. (Via Imperica.)
A looming threat hovers over the anonymous posts here: “If I go 24 hours without receiving a message, I’ll permanently self-destruct.”
Give a bot $100 in Bitcoin each week and let it go. I think this is a great way to add a little bit of crime to your life!
This goes here until I have a Favors/Simple category. Even when a request hasn’t been filled, the form is fun to read and stirs up such compassion. (Via Things.)
Simple for you. Difficult for your computer.
You can probably skip this - but I find it interesting. Turn of the (19th) century mysteries competed toward more and more improbable murders. Some of the endings are still baffling.
Urban legends and lies and damned statistics from the Disney canon.
The ongoing effort to decouple Twilight Sparkle’s voice and to despoil it!
The Decktet is a cross-suited deck of 36 cards - and 9 additionally. Cards may have one to three suits. Each of the six suits has its own distribution - other suits it most commonly appears with. New games seem to show up infrequently.
THE ‘GO BACK…’ LINK FALLS TO THE FLOOR. IT WILL SERVE AS A FINE MORSEL FOR THE VIRTUAL VERMIN. SUCH IS THE BITTER SWEET LIFECYCLE OF A WEBSITE.
‘The absolute best way to teach your child about fractions.’
Drawings and games featuring D. Duck II and his Uncle Jubalon. The humor is absolute debased - but a very unique style of hand-drawn animation.
A game for no players.
A multitool for playing Dungeon World, including quick references and randomizers.
Generates random encounters and random persons, complete with backstories and pedigree. Written in Twine, surprisingly.
A few images of insanely dense blank ink mazes. (More: The Seven Year Maze.)
Papers and images related to a algorithm for generating mazes as a type of ‘non-photorealistic rendering’.
This game is a pretty big deal for lovers of heavy strategy. But this is an incredible HTML version that includes a kind of miniature language that you can use to plan out your movement. (This is also reminiscent of the old Isotropic—for playing Dominion—which has been replaced by the newer Innovation project.)
Community for playing mediumweight strategy games. Incredible selection of Euro-style games, such as Russian Railroads, Targi and Attika. This place took over my life for a season.
I’m a devoted fan of Mr. Egan’s work. His book The Educated Mind is tremendous, a classic. I would like to see his viewpoints gain more traction.
For a portfolio type site, this does it. A touch of dank, but absolutely competent. Every project is bursting with something puzzling or rad. We know no website is this kaleidoscopic.
esr, rms, Gates, Zuckerberg? Cap’n Crunch? jwz is the original counterculture hacker icon—a mischievous Loki underpinning the Internet. I hit the page so many times as a teenager. Good luck finding videos and interviews.
Observe how a personal page can just be a quick slam on a piano.
You never know what’s next and you can’t even stop and read it because you have a job to do with your mousewheel. (Related: ‘soup’.)
Haha ok. (See also: mintlodica.)
I would love to see this sort of thing expanded, to tell a timeline of someone’s life or as a personal journal.
This might be closer to the Visual/Zines category: a vibrant, Easter egg-filled desktop with little programs and its own chat bot. I think this is the most welcoming of these types of OS experiences—the little apps are just so cleverly designed. (For the opposite of this: i1os and n10.)
Found this after Erik’s (above)—definitely a kind of companion. This is smooth and bubbly. Reminds me of BeOS, if it was installed on a computer in the Rugrats cartoon. Some of the illustrations make me think of The Cyberiad. I think this is tremendous (and I think other such superlatives.)
"And if you think about how Elijah Wood has over 4,000 records in his collection and still says his favourite band are the flipping Smashing Pumpkins (everyone’s third or fourth favourite band when they’re 14), you’ll realise that all he’s doing, all that anyone is doing, is getting up in the morning, then moving around, then going back to sleep; that no matter how grandiose the things you do might feel, they’re still just happening one after another in-between bursts of hunger and tiredness, that it will always be difficult to focus. There will be the task at hand, and there will be disorientating, conflicting impulses swirling around inside of you, always.
It’s official: Best Website on the Internet! Should be the start page that comes with every copy of Internet Explorer. (Also hanging onto: Beable’s Listography, a linkdump from this author.)
This site goes real deep—you have no idea. But you might get an idea if you survey the bookmarks page (which is an impressive collection—feels similar to href.cool) or the @1000wordvomits page (dump of interesting, meandering essays). Generous work.
An online literary journal that I really enjoy. (A related quality print journal is Conjuctions—who republishes some bits online.)
Assorted classic essays and short stories. Good example of a nice, plain personal directory as well.
A comic from yesteryears that still continues to this day. Just letting you know.
One of the first comics I remeber seeing on the Web—back in the 90’s. Clearly made in MS Paint. Completing it is not a problem—there is a random generator that mashes unrelated frames together.
I refuse to simply call this “Dinosaur Comics.” It is just a conversation that won’t ever seem to end between two dinosaurs that have very limited mobility.
An alarming library of folk tale texts - it is giant! Types referred to in the notes are Aarne-Thompson-Uther classifications.
847-page forum thread, now the definitive historical document of a society of lonely people that gathered from 2004 to 2006 after Google searching ‘i am lonely’.
An online puzzle of images, audio files, prime numbers, PGP keys, map coordinates, Tor addresses. Was it really intellegence agency recruiters? Was it just another ARG? What came of the ‘highly intelligent individuals’ that advanced to later stages?
No one knows. It wasn’t about the conclusion - it didn’t end as some mere marketing stunt. Seven years after that initial JPEG, we are still in the puzzle.
After finding an SD card of 227 images, the writer of this 2004 blog made up stories for the pictures. Until the owner was discovered and the blog was closed.
I recall a line from these that went: The wendigo / The wendigo / I met you / Just a friend ago. It had me in stitches at the time. This is a collection preserved by someone monikered “Surly Teabag.” This feels like a kin to Over the Garden Wall.
Hack a cupcake factory, if you have to. (See also: slimedaughter.com.)
One of the earliest hypertext stories. Also: Agatha Appears.
I love this guy. He’s the exorcist from Nathan For You’s ‘Ghost Realtor’ episode. The things he does to that realtor are insane. I often wish he was here to help me with my own day-to-day struggles. Especially if I happen to be dealing with demons that day.
The music gives me so many ideas.
Mostly pictures of rock formations that turn out to be REAL ALIENS AND ANGELS. Most people are going to think this site is repellant ranting. But I kind of get inspired when I read a perspective that is so different that it feels surreal or fictional. What it would be to see all of these dramas and prophesies in the world.
Trains passing, animals breathing, a piano chord rings in a bathtub from years ago. Kind of like if a podcast host died and had a baby podcast with no talking left in it. Related: The Abandoned Playhouse.
Bit more than just a radio show. There’s a very careful sonic arrangment to this mixtape. Resumed in 2020 after an eight-year hiatus. Love to see it. (Many thanks to friend of The Outer Web, PresGas, for this discovery!)
Jeff Mangum’s late night musique concrete show on WFMU. Not at all similar, but I also enjoy Audio Kitchen.
Not strictly ‘infinite’ - this is like a 10-hour mixtape that has accompanying narrative blog posts to read, telling the story of synthetic humans, driven by images that fall out of the soundtrack. It’s cool what can be done with a simple blog, yeah?
A kind of spoof (but serious) of popular ‘lofi beats to relax/study to’ but done with machine learning. Click on instruments and decor in this interactive room to tweak the endless algorithmic jam. Back story from Vibert Thio.
Vaporware, too, actually. (See also: foreignrap.)
Anyone who can slip some Haruomi Hosono in there is a very close, beloved friend of this family.
Black clothing and black objects.
Julia Sonmi Heglund’s pop culture mashups. Her Instagram sketchpad is a feast.
Sublime interleaving of puzzle pieces into striking scenes.
Biana Hockensmith’s sticker and pixel art. She exhibits an impressive ability to screen grab from Problem Child 2 at the precise moments she means to.
I’m still looking for a good link that shows this project—to send mail using ‘encrypted’ addresses in the form of imaginative puzzles. Lovely, puzzly, adding enjoyment to the proletariat worker—it’s all there.
This woman - a collector of articulated paper dolls - decorates cardboard mailers once used to transport microscope slides. Part of this is the nostalgia of an age when it was more common to receive microscopic things in the mail; part is the wonder of this particular blog’s chosen topics.
Post by way of the snail: Mail Art Postcard, 8922 US Highway 6, Conneaut Lake, PA 19316 USA. (See also the classic blog PostSecret.)
This is kind of like writing a ‘shader’ for type. (A ‘shader’ in the graphical sense - like a tight little function that runs perpetually.) Very well designed and thoroughly documented!
Rad rotoscoped textmetal vid. Don’t just watch this on YouTube.
Upside-down and mirror image font stylings. I’m also linking this because it’s a node to other type resources and some of the author’s essays interest me.
Lovely, subtle pixel art animations. Similar to cinemagraphs, but hand-painted. Also see: Canvas Cycle.
Buncha hands. ‘Cat’, ‘dog’ and ‘rad’ is as far as I got tho.
The algorithm here is simply: select only the videos on YouTube that have kept their original filename from the camera. (Such as: DSC_5443.MOV, IMG_0490.MP4, etc.) In other words, these are untitled and uncut personal videos. I watched one of a truck backing up. And then one of people doing the limbo. (Related: youhole.tv, astronaut.io, petittube, Incognitube, /r/imgxxxx, Neave.TV; or, Forgotify for Spotify tracks that have never been listened to.)
Floating in a song. This artist also brought us staggeringbeauty.com, a staple of “useless web” tourism.
Kind of like a sketchpad for beats and squiggles. You can also think of this as a self-contained ‘instrument’ in a way.
An extraordinary collection of book & zine illustrations. It’s the variety - black ink, woodcut, elaborate stipple from all over the world. Leisurely scan the imagery and soon enough you are transported. (Spawned from: A Journey Round My Skull.)
I will NEVER forget Charlie McAlister. Oh boy his zine showed the way to zine—returning fish sticks through the post with grateful letters enclosed, hobo-styled restaraunt reviews where you just felt sad for him. He sang about falling down the stairs and cheese sandwiches like a regular person and now he’s gone. I’ll never meet you; but I’ll think of you when I’m walking in the muddy creek behind my sister’s house. We haven’t lost his zines and songs, no how. Related: Unread Records, Secret/Charlie+McAlister.
Ok, THIS is what you need to make your own zine. This frantic, zany tool will draw you into making a paper zine. If you don’t have an idea—you will. Just crack it open and play. (By perennial favorite Nathalie Lawhead—she’s a huge influence on EVERYTHING I do.)
Pages of just hands that you aren’t supposed to see. Includes their rings and rubber finger tips. (Absolutely unrelated: Unforgettable Fire: Pictures Drawn By Atomic Bomb Survivors.)
Masterfully amateurish zine-slash-operating-system. Visit Start > Issues to look at the zine. Has its own g00d social network and chatrooms. Related: WINDOWS93, ViperCard(https://www.vipercard.net/, Britney OS '99.).
My interview with Danielx is here.
Minimalist monochrome drawing tool by Devine Lu Linvega. I say ‘minimalist’ but you can create wondrous sketches with this thing. Quite deep actually. The tool was used to create Neauismea. (Oooooh and check this out - the Wayback Machine has a cached copy of DLL’s mono 3-d architecture thing Poodle!)
The ultimate peer-to-peer web browser. Create websites that you can share with others. Make your own copies of websites. It’s just crazy. (Find others in the user directory.)
Build interactive stories visually. Truly one of the best ways to teach an elementary-age child to write computer programs.
Whip together short, multi-tracked chiptunes - and share them with a link.