The Internet? Is That Thing Still Around?
In case you haven't gotten the picture yet, I truly have a lot of time to kill at work. I won't get into it, but let's just say that I spend more hours surfing the web than I do anything else in my life. Pretty sad statement, true. But, in these cyber travels, I do happen upon quite a few things that reaffirm my belief that the Internet is the coolest thing in the world.
So, in the spirit of the upcoming Academy Awards, welcome to the First Annual Wade's Most Visited Website Awards! The red carpet has been laid out, and celebrities are streaming in to see which sites walk away with the coveted URLie statuette. Oh no. Oh hell. Bono is here. Let's hope he doesn't get called up to the podium to speak.
Best Search Engine
Golly, do I love Google. I swear they get one-third of their daily traffic from my computer. I try to stay away from how search algorithms work-- but whatever Google does puts them at the head of the class. Do those other search engines still exist? Lycos? Infoseek? AltaVista? Anyone?
Whew, gotta quit playing my nerd card so often. Anyway, if you're looking for lost high school classmates, answers to odd trivia questions, or pictures of the older sister from "Seventh Heaven" (gotta love the Google image search), this is the only place you should go.
Best Daily Audio Stream
Tony Kornheiser, ESPN Radio
True, he's mildly annoying. He's got a sizeable ego. And there are so many people on air that the flow is sometimes difficult to follow. But Tony K. has got the best gig going for my daily sports talk jones. Because of his affiliation with ESPN, Kornheiser is able to feature many of the network's personalities along with top-tier guests from the sporting world. Dan "the Duke" Davis enhances the show with his tongue-in-cheek hourly sports updates.
One of the great aspects of this show is that they (usually) leave the microphones open during the radio commercial breaks so that Internet listeners can hear "off-air" comments by Kornheiser and his cohorts. This lets the radio folks to be as politically incorrect as they like, and often features Kornheisers true colors about current issues and guests. Recently Kornheiser and columnist Michael Wilbon got into a shouting match about the appropriateness of foul language used in the movie "Season on the Brink," themselves using multiple examples of blue language.
Incidentally, local host Dan "The Common Man" Cole's stream held this post for me until several weeks ago, when all of his bitterness caused him to jump the shark. Speaking of...
Best TV-Related Site
Jump The Shark
I stumbled upon this site for the first time last week. Basically, it lists EVERY show ever to appear on network television-- and then, based on user votes, what event made the show become unwatchable (jumping the shark; Alex explains that this dates back to the Happy Days episode where the Fonz jumped his motorcycle over a shark tank...Ayyyyyyyyyy.) Certain common themes have come up enough in their research that the sites founders have set up special categories for them. They include (category and representative show):
- Same Character, Different Actor (Aunt Vivan from "Fresh Prince of Bel Aire")
- Death (Phil Hartman from "News Radio")
- Puberty (Kevin from "Wonder Years")
- They Did It (Tony and Angela from "Whos The Boss")
- Ted McGinley ("Happy Days," "The Love Boat," "The John Larroquette Show," "Dynasty," "Married... With Children," "Sports Night," "The Practice"...)
Best Site to See the Sad Depravity of the Human Race
Yahoo Most Emailed Content
Sigh.... Just when I think that that the loss of morality on this planet is confined to Jerry Springer, I take a gander at this page (well aware that this makes me a hypocrite.) If you are unfamiliar, you have the option to e-mail all news articles and photos found on yahoo.com. Yahoo, smartly, collects data on the frequency of the e-mails and compiles the totals on this page. Basically, you can see what pictures and stories are found interesting enough to pass along. Maybe it's a bad sociological method, but I generally extrapolate this information to reflect on society in general. The results are... well...
As we speak, the top e-mailed story is "Woman Bites Off Husband's Genitals." This has been e-mailed 4,240 times within the last six hours. The #2 story is "Penises of Every Kind Adorn Museum Walls." Not all stories on the most-sent list are like this-- lower articles range in subject from car seats to .NET technology to the new Knight Rider movie. But you can lay money that the top story will be, well, something that could be featured on Ricki Lake. Similarly, the top-sent photos show a similar trend. The second most-sent picture is one of a giant whale penis. Number five is a shot of Britney Spears, looking more surgically-enhanced than ever. Further down the list we see a model presenting a rear-end view of a pair of pink silk Italian underwear.
Ain't that America... you and me? Ain't that America... home of the free? Digital pink underwear photos for you and me-eee!!
Best Sports Column
Bill Simmons (The Sports Guy), ESPN Page 2
I can't recall if it was Alex or wadE who turned me onto SG (as we affectionately call him) last fall. Either way, nothing perks my day up more than returning from lunch to find a new Simmons column posted on the Page 2 site. SG seems to perceive sporting (and many other) issues through the eyes of my friends and me-- he seems like the kind of person that would fit into our clique seamlessly. Maybe that's why he's so appealing. Maybe it's because he's got the ability like no one else I've ever read to set the scene of wherever he's writing from-- while not ignoring the sporting event either.
Maybe it's something you need to read yourself to get into. As soon as you start, though, I bet you're addicted. And then you'll not only relish each new SG column, but you'll also be able to use phrases like "Ewing Theory," "Aikman Face," "Trancendent Comedy," "Pantheon Level," and "Jump the Shark" with ease.
Well, the orchestra is starting up and Bono still hasn't wrapped up his damn speech. We're going to cut away before they use that giant cane to yank him off of the stage. We hope you enjoyed the First Annual URLies. See you next year!