Some people might have noticed I find The Internet an immense gift. Not only am I able to get my virtual fill of the miniscule need I have for social interaction (enabling me to eschew actual social interaction), but it also provides me with exposure to things and information that a scant 10 years ago would have been near impossible for me to even hear about.
I am a G-Mail user, and at the beginning of every month I open a new e-mail with the subject “Links”, and I address it to myself. I then fill it with links for interesting stuff I come across, and at the end of each month I send it to myself. This then, presented in no particular order, is a short “Interesting Things from my 2010 Internet travels”.
I am an engineer, and when I came across this I was delighted. The Computer Museum has information about the history of computers through the ages, and on through to modern day. But the one I like the best is The Slide Rule. It has a brief history of the Slide Rule, instructions on how to use it, and . . . a Java applet that lets you try a virtual Slide Rule. You have to understand, I came into the workforce when computers were just beginning to make inroads in engineering jobs, and I still owned a couple of slide rulers. True, I did not actually use them at work, but once in a while I would take them out and work with them for old time sake.
The Slide Rule thing is an anomaly when it comes to my web surfing; it peripherally relates to work, whereas most of my web surfing studiously avoids anything to do with engineering. Most of the times I look for things relating to hobbies I have, such as writing and photography. The writing stuff is of no interest to anyone but me, but photography has universal appeal. One thing I thought spectacular was this Timescape Video. When I retire, I plan to get heavily into photography, and this is one of the things I want to try.
By the way, there may be people out there who are wondering “Hey, I really like Emilio; I should get him something as a gift with no strings attached, and no ulterior motives.” Well, OK, there is no one out there like that, but if there were, I would want them to get me . . . a Gigapan Epic Pro. Essentially it’s an automated system that takes huge pictures by taking and stitching multiple shots into a seamless mosaic you can zoom into, and see incredible detail. Here as some examples. Once there, zoom in and pan at will.
Cheaper, but just as high on my “to get” list . . . a real, honest-to-goodness Light Saber. And no, don’t worry; I will not poke my eye out.
Since the networks and cable channels switched to using idiots as newscasters, I also use the internet to keep informed with what is happening in the world. I should say “used to”; since I found this news report, it’s about the only news I watch.
To be honest, a large part of my surfing involves looking for entertainment, or entertaining things.
For instance, I like movies, so I tend to search out trailers of upcoming movies. Sadly, most of the stuff out there is pure rubbish. I then resort to generic trailers. Or, I search for trivia, such as this very interesting bit.
But I often come across real laugh-out-loud gems such as this tribute to old rock stars, or people with amazing talents such as this North Korean girl playing the guitar, or interesting facts about nature that surprise and amaze such as this ant city.
Sometimes I even come across life lessons presented in such as way as to make them impossible not to watch. This video is one of them.
Occasionally I come across videos that make me wish I were more adventuresome, more gregarious, more of a risk taker. This video is still one of my favorites; I watch it when I am down, and when I want to dream of one day having the balls to travel the world. I also watch it to remind myself people are the same all over . . . we all want a good life, and to have some fun along the way.
Along those lines, over the strenuous objections of my wife, I still want to someday travel this path.
But regardless if I eventually make it there or not, I will continue to explore, continue to learn, and continue to be entertained by what is surely one of the wonders of the modern world; The Internet.