Have fun wasting bandwidth

One of the things that makes the Internet so useful—and, at the same time, useless—is the plethora of time-wasting, bandwidth-consuming, ridiculous, and humorous sites online.
The basic premise of the Internet and the web is its egalitarian nature: with the right tools and a little knowledge, anyone can put, well, just about anything online.
This week, I’m going to tell you about some of the best wastes of time I’ve grown to love—or, that are so weird or off the wall that I can’t help but include them.
•Design a superhero
You’ve created the ultimate superhero—say, “Shadownose the Destroyer” or “Anya the Swordthrower”—in your head, but you don’t have the first clue how to draw him. Stand back and let the Heromachine do it for you!
The Heromachine (http://tinyurl.com/yrqmu) allows you to mix and match the standard superhero body shapes, clothing, capes, and weapons to create Shadownose with startling professionalism.
•Smack the Pingu
In this mesmerizing game (http://meph.eu.org/), you play a Yeti armed with a baseball bat. You have to hit a penguin falling from a rock above you and send him flying as far as possible.
Yes, I’m serious.
My best score was 539 (oh, the sacrifices I make for my column).
•Famous last words
For the more macbre in the crowd, how about a list of the last words of historical figures and celebrities?
BrainCandy (http://tinyurl.com/4j5x)—a site that has been online for more than 10 years—has a vast selection of other unique and funny turns of phrase.
My particular favourite last words are from Oscar Wilde: “Either that wallpaper goes, or I do.”
•Break out the shades
This one isn’t for the faint of heart. This frantic, heart-pounding, seizure-inducing game will hold your attention for as long as you can keep looking at the screen and keep the dolphin swimming.
It’s kind of like an underwater, spasmodic version of Super Mario Brothers
(http://tinyurl.com/3b9rg)
•Vicarious spam responses
Everyone gets spam. Some of us get a little, most of us get a lot. Jonathan Land gets a lot—and decided to start responding to spammers.
Check out some of the bizarre letters—and unwittingly ridiculous responses—that Jonathan has both sent and received (http://tinyurl.com/yuaej).
Warning: Some inappropriate language can be found within this site.
•Thou yeasty beef-witted joithead!
There are insults—and then there are Shakespearean insults. Taken from the vast works of The Bard himself, “The Shakespearean Insulter” will lambaste you with classics like, “Methink’st thou art a general offence and every man should beat thee.”
Try that one next time someone is driving you crazy (http://tinyurl.com/2l982).
•Horizontal Tetris
I received an e-mail from a friend one evening with the URL for TI-Collide attached. Four hours later, I blearily got up from the computer, coloured blocks firmly emblazoned on the back of my retinas.
This is a somewhat-bizarre version of Tetris where the blocks stack vertically, but they grow horizontally in depth (http://tinyurl.com/3e5yj).
•My name is Olo Hardbottle
For the “Lord of the Rings” fan in your household, Chris Wetherell has developed “The Hobbit Name Generator,” where you can discover what you’d be called if you lived in The Shire.
For those with a penchant for the elves of Middle Earth, there’s also “The Elvish Name Generator” available there (http://tinyurl.com/5gam).
What are your favourite wastes of time? E-mail them to me at lincoln@fortfrances.com and let the world know what you do in your spare time online!

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