Five For Friday: Mega-Preferred Timewasters, Internet edition

Men and women and boys and girls of a certain age go down the World Wide wormhole for hours on end on a daily basis.  Here, FR share their own personal online crackpipes.

Travis: Sporcle

The Web’s ultimate trivia quiz site will suck you in, no matter what your interest, with quizzes on everything from sports to geography. Recommended post: St. Louis Cardinals opening day lineups between 1991 and 2010.

Tyler: Twitter

It ain’t for me, but if you like quick snappy updates on sports, news and/or the lives of pretty people by whom you’re droolingly fascinated, Twitter is necessary.  It’s stream-of-consciousness, but, like, for the digital age.

Nathan: Spotify

I used to preview music samples on Amazon, but since Spotify came out, I’ve been using it extensively to listen to new albums. It sort of takes the joy out of blind-buying albums, but it helps my wallet a lot and keeps my music collection “all killer, no filler”.

Travis: Stuff You Will Hate

Stuff You Will Hate is the blog of Sergeant D, who takes on the things “kids these days” are into from the perspective of someone who grew up in the uptight, overly-PC hardcore scene of the 1990s. The site’s healthy mix of sarcasm and genuine enjoyment of teen scene music of all types is amusing, though most of the music D recommends couldn’t be farther from my taste (unless he’s writing about regretcore). Recommended post: D interviews Dennis Lyxzen, lead singer of Refused and The (International Noise Conspiracy, and has him review some new music that’s hip with trendy teens. (SPOILER: he doesn’t like it).


If you adopt and use Twitter wisely, you can abandon forever.  Take the plunge. is a very good site, but Sports Illustrated has adapted to new media with grace, effectiveness, and the necessary chip on the shoulder that Internet sports reporting requires.  They write articles.

Nathan: Facebook

I like to know the most random, inconsequential thoughts of all my friends. And I like to share mine once in a while, too. Facebook is a joke, but it’s a good one.

Travis: White Whine

This one’s long been a favorite “collection of first world problems.” Recommended post: from the night it was announced Bin Laden had been killed.

Tyler: Google News

Not lately, sadly, as it’s had nothing happy or enjoyable to offer.  Still, Google News is an elaborate, simple and addictive modern version of the kind of glass-bubble ticker-machine (whatever) you see in screwball comedies.

Nathan: ESPN

I’m a casual sports fan, so ESPN is my place to go for all the score reports and recaps of my favorite Detroit teams. The site also manages to keep me abreast on sports I don’t really care about, which is why I know that Tiger Woods’ old caddy won some tournament with his new guy and is being a little pissant about it.

Travis: Deadspin

Many will argue that Deadspin have ruined sports journalism. While they can tend towards the sensationalistic, and the fart-and-poop obsessed mailbags that have nothing to do with sports or journalism get old real fast, I’d say for the most part they’re just trying to keep it honest. Recommended post: Lengthy corrections for ESPN’s new Bill Simmons-led prestige project, Grantland.

Tyler: Hotmail

I check my e-mail roughly seven thousand times a day.  No.  I’m not switching to GMail.  I don’t care about GChat.

Nathan: Film Blogs

Because I don’t spend an inordinate amount of time on any one film blog, I’m lumping them all together. My favorites are Jim Emerson’s “Scanners” blog, David Bordwell’s Website on Cinema, and Sergio Leone and the Infield Fly Rule. They are all intelligent blogs that veer away from the film journalism that you read in papers; subjects can be varied and unpredictable at times.

Travis: VBS.TV

The Web TV arm of Vice Magazine began mostly showcasing the sort of hipster-approved porn/fashion/music the Magazine itself was known for, but quickly turned into something else: an actual place for ballsy, real journalism online. Their “Vice Guide to” series is so well-done that, rather than actually go there themselves, runs their pieces on Liberia and other war-ravaged places no one wants to visit. Recommended post: The Vice Guide to Liberia.

Tyler: Facebook

It’s like Twitter, but more conducive to conversation.  And links.  And photos.  And friends you actually know, somewhat, anyway.

Nathan: Mubi

Mubi is a movie site. The name of the site is totally inexplicable, so don’t ask me to explain. There’s a bunch of stuff to do on it. You can watch movies, some for free; you can read all sorts of articles, reviews, and look at frame grabs; and you can participate in the forum discussions, which are both throughly annoying and educational at the same time. The forum is where I waste most of my time, circling through the same old arguments about “art v. entertainment”, “favorite directors”, blah blah blah. The key for me has been to find some people that aren’t total jerks and also offer interesting things to say along the way. My relationship with mubi has been up and down; I’ve left and come back three times now. I’ll probably leave the site again by the end of the year only to be tempted back early 2012.


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