Back this week on time, even though I am out of town and stayed up all night helping my brother write his ten-page English final (worth 20% of his grade, naturally). This week The Broke and The Bookish are asking us to step away from the books and share another slice of our cyber lives. I admit, when I get up and stumble to the computer each morning I have my “rounds”, a certain set of sites I check for the new and interesting before I move on to more productive endeavours (or get sucked into a game of Angry Birds).
This is a website that began its existence as Project Rungay: a gay couple blogging their thoughts on episodes of fashion reality-show Project Runway. As the site has become more popular (and its original inspiration has declined in quality), the boys have branched out into red-carpet fashion critique, blogging the latest designer collections, and detailed analysis of shows like Mad Men and Glee. Their Mad Fashion feature, analyzing the fashions worn in each episode of Mad Men in relation to the story, is a must-read for any fan. The site always has something pretty to look at, and something funny to read.
This long-running web-comic about Boston hipsters in a world with advanced artificial intelligence has come a long way since its early days of blocky art and indie band references. The diverse cast of characters have developed surprising depth over the years and the comic consistently strikes a nice balance between the sentimental, absurd, crude, and cerebral. It’s a soap opera for silly nerds. Bonus points for music nerds.
This social networking site for Printmakers might not catch the fancy of those not artistically-inclined, but I could spend hours checking out people’s projects and looking at their new work.
I need noise in the background while I’m working, to distract the racing part of my brain just enough to let me focus on what I’m doing. I like to stream trashy, easy-to-ignore dramas like Felicity and Desperate Housewives while I work (which isn’t to say I wasn’t totally rooting for Tom and Lynette to get back together).
5. A.V. Club
I’ve gone through a series of pop culture blogs, reading along and becoming an active member of the commentariat only to abandon ship when the site gets popular and becomes more about being in on all the jokes than discussing the site’s content. Former haunts include the Alternative Press Mosh Pit, Pajiba, and Jezebel. Lately I’ve been hanging around the A.V. Club’s music and TV pages, enjoying the sound reviews and fun features, and appreciating the lack of cooler-than-thou posturing.
Part of the gawker network of blogs, io9 streams up to-the-minute Science Fiction news. This might include show reviews, scientific studies, interviews with sci-fi darlings, or canon-inspired art. They also tend to post on a lot of Fantasy-related topics which is fine by me, they know their audience of gamer geeks and comic-book nerds.
Once upon a time, before I skipped off into the land of French and Art degrees, I was a Mechanical Engineering major. I had taken calculus and foregone free periods my senior year to take extra science just ‘cuz I liked it. Is it any suprise, then, that this science-and-math heavy comic still tickles my funny bone on a regular basis? I think not. A lot of people I know find it too technical, but my brother and I still dig it. It’s worth a look, and some of the featured comics at the bottom are the least scientific and most-memorable of the series.
Many of you have probably heard of Postsecret, but for those that haven’t I’ll explain. Artist Frank Warren created hundreds of blank postcards and left them in random public locations with directions to share a secret and mail them back to him. His art project went viral and now he receives hundreds of thousands of secrets every year. Each Sunday he posts a new curated batch online. Warren also publishes Postsecret books, gives artists talks at universities, has given a TED talk, and many secrets were featured in the All-American-Rejects video for “Dirty Little Secret”. Many of the secrets are beautifully presented, shocking, creative, mundane, or sad.
9. Dear Abby
I’m not sure why, but every night at ten PST I surf on over to see what advice Dear Abby is dispensing. I used to read her column before I read the comics in the Sunday paper.
10. Food 52
I love to cook and Food 52 is an amazing community of foodies creating and tweaking recipes and sharing their findings. Most of the recipes are time or labor-intensive, but the results are always worth it. I made a roasted tomato soup with rosemary infused oil from a recipe I found on the site which takes awhile but is nothing short of divine.