Zoom Quilt - Infinitely zooming image of patched together fantasy images. Use your up and down arrow keys to control your journey.
How to make a T. rex origami dinosaur - Courtesy of the Natural History Museum in London, here are instructions to create an origami T. Rex. You can use either plain paper you decorate yourself or they provide PDFs of patterned paper you can use instead. RAWR!
8-Bit Video Game Dress - I found this while looking for something themed to wear to an arcade/pinball convention. I never got around to making it but this is such a cool idea!
Free Coloring Pages from 100+ Museums - this is such a cool idea. Over 100 institutions (libraries and museums) have created free adult coloring books and coloring pages for download. There is something for everyone - examples of the types of coloring pages can be found at this link. I kind of like the illustration from 1550 of a sea monster eating a man.
(added 3/5/23) How to Crochet a Cat Hat - no, not a hat with cat ears. This is a hat for your cat, with spaces for their little ears to poke out. I can crochet a chain - that's as far as I've gotten with that particular skill. If you crochet a hat for your cat, please send me a picture!
(added 3/12/23) National Parks Crochet Patterns - yes, you read that correctly. The United States National Park Service has created 4 crochet patterns! They have a halibut, a walleye, my personal favorite, a triops and a Lava Flow Crochet Pillow.
Pool Suite - Another one I'm not sure how to describe, other than fun! Click buttons, play different tunes. I thought this website might have been all in jest but apparently it was created by someone who lives in a dreary place and needed a virtual getaway. All About PoolSuite FM . If you're an iPhone user, you can even get this as a retro styled app.
Museum of Endangered Sounds - 33 samples of sounds from the technological past. The creator made this site "as a way to preserve the sounds made famous by my favorite old technologies and electronics equipment." That rotary phone dial was a blast from the past - remember having to dial a number with a lot of 0s or 9s, messing up and having to start all over?
Nightwave Plaza - Windows 95 themed website with vaporwave tunes. You can select from a bunch of different appearance settings - I've clicked through 40 of them and haven't reached the end yet. Just like Pool Suite, there are mobile apps available.
tree.fm - Listen to forests around the world. People have recorded a few minutes of sound from their local forests. This is such a relaxing site!
radio.garden - listen to radio stations from around the world!
(added 3/5/23) John Roache's Ragtime Midi Library - Massive collection of ragtime music midis. This is what I used to love about the old web and I'm so glad this is still around. This is such a specific genre of music and there are almost 3 dozen midis here. I've got to make a confession - I was that weird kid growing up. My mom had a Scott Joplin album, Heliotrope Bouquet, and I loved listening to it. I am quite fond of the Maple Leaf Rag.
(added 3/5/23) Primeline Midi Library - classical music midis! Either left click to listen to the midi or right click to save. Scroll down towards the bottom of the page to see the list of midis - the link towards the top for "midi files" does not take you anywhere.
Dogs in Elk - I first read this a million years ago and thought both A) this is funny as hell and B) I am so very glad I don't own dogs. At least not these dogs. This is a message thread from 1999 regarding one woman's effort to get her dogs out of an elk carcass. I know, it sounds gross but give it a read. Hi-larious!
Dumb Cuneiform - Send them $20 and a favorite tweet or quote and they will transliterate it into Old Persian cuneiform. I have actually used this service. I know someone who often uses this Marshawn Lynch quote at work: I'm only here so I don't get fined. I had that turned into a little cuneiform tablet. Awesome deep nerd kind of present.
De visdeurbel - "The Fish Doorbell" - this is located on a canal in Utrecht, the Netherlands. The website is in Dutch but you can use Google translate. The locks on the canal prevent the fish from getting to where they need to go. There is a camera situated at this particular set of locks and anyone who sees fish waiting to pass can ring the doorbell. This alerts the lock keeper to check out the fish situation. If there is a large group waiting to pass, the lock keeper will let them through! Here's an article about how the fish doorbell was created.
ACME Label Maker - Do you remember those old label makers from the 60s and 70s that had a plastic tape and a click wheel that let you emboss letters on it? I remember getting my hands on those as a kid and all of a sudden everything needed a label. They were so fun! This is a label generator - you can go old school or fancy it up with some effects and other fonts. I used it to make the Website Credits link on the home page. What a blast from the past!
Old Web and Retro
404PageFound - Active Vintage Websites, Old Webpages and Web 1.0 - Great collection of websites that are still up and mostly running but haven't been updated in a couple of decades. It's like walking through an old abandoned house, peeking into the bedrooms and checking out who used to live there. You will find the occasional site that has (disappointingly) been updated.
TV-signoffs.com - What a cool page this is! This is an archive of TV signoffs from around the country. Yes, back in the day TV stations used to end their programming at some point. Nicely categorized by state and also a section for cable station sign-offs.
Rick's Cafe - Rick started his webpage in 1998 primarily for his band but he became known as an html help site - you can read his about section and he explains how that happened. This site is still going and is still being updated (at least with concert dates for his band).
(added 3/12/23)How to Send an International E-Mail (1984) - this is an interesting piece of technical nostalgia. You are shown the amazing convergence of communications and technology when the presenter uses an acoustic-coupled modem and rotary telephone to send an e-mail.
(added 3/5/23) Wanderment - this game is a Particle-based 3D platformer. You are a blind kitten making your way across town to find your friend. This was made for a game jam and at the website there are links for both the original game and a longer version that was commissioned by the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival. This is a very sweet, gentle, relaxing game. Enjoy!
This to That (Glue Advice) - this site is great if you want to stick something to something else but aren't sure which sticking substance to use. You choose the type of material you want to attach and what material you are attaching it to and the website will come up with some options for you.
(added 3/12/23) Ian's Shoelace Site - this site has a listing of over 100 ways to lace your shoes. Who knew there were that many ways to tie a shoelace? Well, apparently Ian did and he made a whole site about it. Really nice with step-by-step tutorials and all the information you need to become a lacing fiend.
earth: a global map of wind, weather and ocean conditions - This is so cool. You can choose layers to view - wind speed, particulates, wave speed, wave height, temperatures, ocean currents. There are so many different ways to view this map. Data points are updated every 30 minutes to 5 days, depending on which one it is. I find this really interesting to track hurricanes. If you spot a hurricane on the globe, you can zoom into it and put the cursor on different points and it will give you the windspeed. I always get a kick out of seeing the windspeed drop in the eye of the hurricane.
A Visual Guide to the Aztec Pantheon - Oh man, this was so cool. A wonderful description of Aztec gods and how their symbology defines their attributes. Goes into what specific elements represent - for example, a moon-shaped noseplug is a symbol of fertility and femininity. Incredibly interesting, beautiful artwork, go check this out!
CrowTrax - this is a map to plot and track crow attacks in Vancouver. Why are the crows attacking? During the spring they get aggressive while protecting fledglings. Clicking on a crow icon on the map will give details of the attack.
Physics Special Topics Journal - From the University of Leicester's site,"Physics Special Topics is a journal of short, often fun and quirky, quantitative science articles that are written, refereed and edited by undergraduate students as part of their MPhys degree. The journal is designed to help students develop transferable skills in communication, team work, problem solving and critical reviewing. This is a really cool concept. These are real articles postulating on problems using real science. But, with a twist. You'll find articles on topics like Charlie and the Fizzy Lifting Drink (2021), Could Bruce Willis Save the World? (2011) and The Perfect Cuppa: The Search for the Best Place in the Solar System to Brew a Cup of Tea (2013).
Dark Tourism - This site is fascinating. There is a definition of dark tourism on his site but basically it is places that have to do with death and destruction. Entries in the US run the gamut: various museums, penitentiaries, cemetaries and all kinds of other sites. There are numerous entries for countries around the world. Even if you can't actually get to these places, it might make for a very interesting time of internet rabbit holes and armchair travel.
Found in a Library Book - Librarians at Oakland Public Library have been posting images of the items they have found over the years that have been left inside books. Lists, stickers, photos, even a crochet hook! What do you use as bookmarks? I like to use old hotel keycards.
Museum of Failure - A collection of failed products and services from around the world. Includes items such as the Betamax, purple Heinz ketchup and New Coke. Head to the virtual tour to see these items. It asks for an email but you can make one up if you don't want to be on their mailing list.
(added 3/5/23) Chicken pdf file - I've had this sitting in my bookmarks forever and I'm not even sure where I found it. I think this is funny because my son and I have a running chicken thing going on between us- I got mad one day, stamped my foot and exclaimed something to which he replied, Mom, you sound like a chicken! and now he has made it his life goal to work chickens into our conversations. Like, if we were to hear a chicken he'd say Mom! Your people are calling you! and stuff like that. I pretend annoyance but, you know, secretly I would miss it. Anyway, this is a whole report, complete with graphs, images, footnotes, formulas - and all it says is "chicken."