I'm of two minds about the Web.
Starting our fourth decade: Al Fasoldt's reviews and commentaries, continuously online for 31 years


The Web's wonderful oddities

July 20, 2014

By Al Fasoldt
Copyright © 2014, Al Fasoldt
Copyright © 2014, The Post-Standard

The Web is a gigantic waste of time. Don't argue with me. Just accept it.

The Web is the coolest thing ever. Don't argue with me. Just accept it.

I'm of two minds about this, as my mom said when asked if she was ambivalent. Most of us do a lot of work on the Web, even if we don't call it work. We look things up, keep track of each other, shop for stuff, look for cat videos and do a lot more. All that stuff isn't fun. It's work. 21st Century work.

It's time for fun again. Here are some websites that will put some old fashioned pleasure back in the World Wide Web.

-- Wrong again. I wrote in December (www.technofileonline.com/texts/tec121513.html) about what you're probably doing wrong in various activities, and I must have started a trend. Here's a site that shows you how wrong you are in even more ways. Why is this fun? Because who cares if you're peeling potatoes wrong or eating cupcakes wrong? It's all good for a laugh.

-- Hello? Is this me? Why don't you sit right down and write yourself a letter? And make believe it came from the future. That's cool and fun. At www.futureme.org, you can write a note to yourself for delivery down the road. Tell yourself how you feel and include a picture. You can have it delivered in a few months or a few years -- or even 30 years from now. You might even forget you sent it. THAT would be a surprise on your 75th birthday!

-- Picture this! The Web seems to be made for photos, but most of them are dumb. Here's a site with nothing but awesome photo stories: www.pictorymag.com. You'll never want to look at your sister-in-law's flower photos ever again.

-- Gramps did what? Historians and genealogists have more fun than we do sometimes. Get back at them with a look at the federal government's census site for 1940. Go to 1940census.archives.gov/getting-started. Find out more about your dad's dad or your mom's mom. Or maybe see who lived in your old house so many years ago and left those baby pictures in the attic.

-- Rolling along. Bicycles are healthy and all that -- my wife and I love riding around town -- but what could be better on a rainy day than finding out about weird and crazy bikes? And maybe some cool ones like a bicycle built for seven? Put down your kickstand and head off for bicycleuniverse.info/eqp/.

-- Color isn't new. Another surprise for history buffs is the realization that color photography goes much further back than those dusty prints from the '60s in that old bookshelf. At www.worldwaronecolorphotos.com/index.html, you'll find dozens of photos of the people and places taken during World War 1. You'll get a chance to see back nearly 100 years, in stunning color, into what was called the "Great War."