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.
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!
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.)
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.
Illustrations of five-hundred-and-seven different mechanical pulleys, gears, cogs combos. (Via Imperica.)
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 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 absolute best way to teach your child about fractions.’
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.
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: spoon.nagoya.)
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.)
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.)
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) or his master list of his own Twitter threads, which is just much better than it sounds. Generous work.
An online literary journal that I really enjoy. (A related quality print journal is Conjuctions—who republishes some bits online.)
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.
This is it—the playlist of the 300 most important videos on YouTube! (See also: a condensed version.)
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.
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.
Jeff Mangum’s late night musique concrete show on WFMU. Not at all similar, but I also enjoy Audio Kitchen.
Vaporware, too, actually. (See also: foreignrap.)
Anyone who can slip some Haruomi Hosono in there is a very close, beloved friend of this family.
Julia Sonmi Heglund’s pop culture mashups. Her Instagram sketchpad is a feast.
Sublime interleaving of puzzle pieces into striking scenes.
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.)
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.
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.
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.)
My interview with Danielx is here.
Build interactive stories visually. Truly one of the best ways to teach an elementary-age child to write computer programs.