Wednesday, July 22, 2009

How to Waste Time Online

There comes a time each day when one needs or wants to step away from their work for a time. The mind grows weary, the fingers seem to hit every key but the one you want, the brain waves refuse to cooperate.

Sometimes you just need to set aside a few moments, or even hours, to get your creative energy flowing again.

After you take a physical break, i.e., get away from the computer, grab your favorite beverage, walk around for a while, then come back to the computer and - procrastinate.

I probably know better than most anyone how to waste time on, and off (Freecell anyone?), the internet. Here are a few of my favorites:

  • Visit various network or cable network sites and read about the actors or actresses. If they have a forum, all the better.

  • Sign-up for newsletters on any topic. Have the newsletter sent to your main email account and really clog it up. You can spend hours reading newsletters.

  • RSS to your Google Reader or any other reader you would like so that you can get the latest blog post from your favorite websites.

  • Endlessly read the latest news. With new headlines popping up all day long, you will never run out of ways to waste time and gain knowledge at the same time.

  • Leave comments on the articles that you read. Many times you can leave an anonymous comment and speak your mind with abandon.

  • Visit any forum that interests you. I've signed up for more than I can even remember, and every once in a while I check out one I haven't visited lately.

  • Work online crossword puzzles and other games.

  • Check out Yahoo! Answers and have a blast responding to the numerous questions. I can't even tell you how much time I spent one night on a thread that discussed baby names and asked for suggestions. What fun!

  • Read free online books from DailyLit. I love the classics.

  • Visit YouTube. One of my favorites. One day I caught up with a whole bunch of Y&R clips. Katherine looks better at 80 than she did 20 years ago. And, there are the great videos like the dancing prisoners, my son-in-laws fishing trip, and all kinds of other ways to waste a couple of hours.

  • Keep an eye on all the entertainment sites such as TMZ, Perez Hilton, E! Online. They update all day long so there is always new information coming along that you just wouldn't be able to live without knowing. Right?

  • Create as many Squidoo lens and HubPages as possible. Well, that might not be such a waste as you can earn some money, but if you pick enough crazy topics you will actually have fun and make money too.

  • Go to photo sites like Fotosearch and Flickr, and have a blast looking at all the crazy and cool pictures people take. Wikimedia has some great photos as well, and I subscribed to their photo of the day so that I can see the best images they offer. I especially am enthralled with the closeup photos of insects. Fascinating.

As you check out the list above, I wanted to share one that I saw quite some time ago, then forgot about. I'm shocked that I haven't returned to the site because it is one of the all time best time wasters.

Remember bubble wrap?

Remember when you were a kid and your mom let you pop the bubble wrap? Maybe you even pop it now. The all time time-waster website has to be the bubble wrap popper site. Click on the link and you can spend hours popping bubble wrap to your hearts content.

I'm sure you can think up lots more ways to waste time online, but this list will get you started.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Women Under Pressure - Sotomayor and Palin

News in recent months highlights the pressure women are under when involved in politics, and how being in the spotlight can affect their personal and public life.

This past week I watched portions of the grueling questioning of Judge Sonia Sotomayor. I was very impressed with the way Judge Sotomayor conducted herself under extreme pressure.

The white male establishment did their best to undermine and derail Sotomayor's obvious march to become the first Latina and third woman on the Supreme Court.

It was interesting to watch as the older white men (OWM) struggled to find any nugget that they could grab onto (much like a dog grabs a bone or piece of meat and hangs on for dear life) in order to see how many ways they could ask the same question.

It appeared to me that some of those OWMs are afraid of the Judge, specifically replacing a man (Souter) with a woman. OMG, what will the world come to if there is another woman on the highest court in the land? And a Latina, at that!

What cracked me up was that they clung to a phrase uttered in 2001, and they worried that her ethnic background might somehow play a role in her decisions.

Well, what part does being an older white male play in their decisions?

No matter where one is in life, the longer they live the more their background, ethnicity, and gender is going to play a role in the decisions they make. Come on guys, you know that. Isn't that why you were so worried? Are you afraid she won't play by your rules?

Good! We need another voice on the Court. We need someone who might have a different view of life and the law than an OWM. We need change and we need it now.

Here's hoping that Judge Sotomayor's advancement to the Supreme Court goes as quickly, and more smoothly, as the hearings this week. Congratulations for a job well done.

As for Sarah Palin...

Many will not agree with her decision to step down as Governor of Alaska, or the way Sarah Palin quit mid-term, but there is a valid reason why she did what she did that most men will not understand.

First of all, the so-called joke by David Letterman was too horrendous for words. That the 62-year-old male (Letterman) never did get that joking about a 33-year-old baseball player (Rodriguez) having inappropriate sex with a teenager (whether Bristol or Willow) is sick and disgusting shows how out of touch Letterman is with decency and good taste.

His half-baked so-called apology proves he is clueless when it comes to the lack of appropriateness of sick sexual jokes about female teenagers.

Secondly, Palin said in her announcement about stepping down from the Governorship that adults had been making inappropriate remarks about her young son who has Downs Syndrome. Inexplicable!

No wonder the mother of five was tired of the spotlight! What kind of society do we live in where senior-citizen talk show hosts and other adults can blast a public figures family and think their behavior is funny or appropriate?

No wonder this mother of five who loves her family decided to leave the spotlight for a time.

Those of us who have a sensitivity for how loving mothers, teenagers, and those who are handicapped should be treated, understand Governor Palin's desire to step out of the public eye for a season and concentrate on her family.

The David Letterman's of this world should be ashamed of their behavior. Unfortunately, he still doesn't "get it" and probably never will.

Review: Historical Twitter

Going by the premise that Twitter did not begin in 2006 as believed, but has actually been around for centuries, Historical Twitter shares what tweets might have come across the airwaves in the past.

The site was started in October 2008, and you should start reading from the beginning so as not to miss anything. Although some people may find a few of the tweets inappropriate, the posts are hilarious!

Historical Tweet examples

For example, if Abraham Lincoln had Twittered it might have read like this:

"Anyone got a more creative way of saying '87 years'?"

Or, Anne Boleyn to Henry the VIII:

"Sorry I lost my head the other night."

Most historical tweets are accompanied by related photos, that are often themselves very entertaining.

Not only does the site allow you to read the alleged historical tweets, but you can submit your own examples.

Twitter defined

For those who don't know, according to the definition in Wikipedia, "Twitter is a free social networking...service that enables its users to send and read messages known as tweets. Tweets are text-based posts of up to 140 characters."

Check out this great site, and leave a tweet or two of your own.

Do you have a favorite humorous site you would like to share? Just let us know.