Being the random thoughts of Greg Tito, age 29.

Announcements for my standup comedy gigs are here at gregtito.com.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

The Best of the Web, Vol. 1

Because I have such a mind-taxing and extremely busy job, I don't get very much time to partake in the wonders of the Interweb very much. So when I do get the rare chance to spend all day browsing, I want the content of the websites I visit to be the best that my salary can pay me to slack by visiting. Here's a list of some of the best stuff that I've come across:

Savetoby.com. This site was actually on the news last night. Some guys are threatening to kill their pet rabbit, Toby, and eat him. That is, unless they receive $50,000 in their PayPal account by June 30th, 2005. The site is quite funny, complete with recipes whose directions include, "After quartering, brown Toby at medium-high heat." After being protested by PETA and most animal rights activists, the PayPal donation link is cut off but you can still buy merchandise with the SaveToby logo. I'm going to get a trucker hat.

Snopes.com. Subtitled "Urban Legend Reference Pages," this site has a plethora of interesting stories, anecdotes, email scams and urban legends all organized by category. Snopes is run by Barbara and David P. Mikkelson and the couple do a great job not only reporting the story but analyzing what the legend might mean in a sociological context. There is a convenient color-coding system of the veracity of each legend, not dissimilar to our nation's homeland security warnings. I've read maybe 50% of the site (there's a lot of content believe me) and some of my favorties include Was Fanta Created By Nazis? and the truth behind that ghost in Three Men and A Baby. Don't forget to check out the picture gallery, I only click on the ones that say "Disturbing Images Warning."

Webcomics rule. Probably the greatest thing to come out of the Interweb, in my humble opinion or IMHO, is the prevalance of Comic strips that are only available online. There is somewhat of a movement for cartoonists to break free of the Syndicate System (a cartoonist is hired by a syndicate which then has a contract with newspapers) which has controlled comics for years. One artist, Scott Kurtz of the wildly popular PvP, has tried to subvert this system by offering his comic free to newspapers, which pen and paper comics scoff at. (If you're interested here's a forum thread in which Kurtz and his counterparts debate said topic.) Anyway, webcomics are great because they are an inexpensive way for artists to directly publish their work in a way easily accessible to readers. The more popular comics have a way to fund themselves as well by offering merchandise through online storefronts like Cafepress and Thinkgeek.

My favorite webcomics (the ones i check at least once a week) in no particular order:
  • Penny Arcade. Gabe and Tycho are my heroes. They can make comics about games, the gaming industry, or country line dancing and it will always be funny.
  • The Order of the Stick. If you like dungeons and dragons, you'll like this comic. If you don't, you'll also like it. I have foreseen it. This one actually has an ongoing story so you might want to go back a few panels to see what's going on.
  • Ctrl+Alt+Del. Also ostensibly about video games, this comic is more about the human condition. Or something.
  • Mac Hall. This comic is apparently drawn by someone who plays WOW on Sargeras (my server) and who is in college. It definitely has the best art of any of the other selections.
  • Poor Mark. A long, long time ago, this artist was my boss. He writes this low-tech comic as a way to investigate himself and I think it embodies everything great about the interweb and it's capacity for self-expression. And it's funny.

Something Awful. If you like absurdist and irreverant comedy, then this is a site you should consider reading 5 times a day. It has amazing features that often make me laugh out loud at work and then disguise the laugh as a coughing fit or sneeze so as to avoid notice. The topics range incredibly from ranking the best hot sauces to describing why blogs suck. And if you want to get in on the action, you can submit doctored photos every week for their Photoshop Phridays.

So that's my obligatory link blog. I've got more links stored up and I discover more all the time(when I'm not working my mandatory 47 minutes per day.) I don't know how much more I can put up without giving away too much of my perverse proclivities but I'll see what I can do.

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