Better Sites Than This

In No Particular Order

THE RECENT FUTURE

The Recent Future

GraceLessLand’s foreign exchange sister site, in that it’s actualy somewhat serious in its take on current events.

RATIONALWIKI

Rationalwiki

I fell in love with this site upon reading the first sentence of the entry for “Ayn Rand”: Ayn Rand was a philandering, Russian atheist,[2] the author of vast doorstop-sized tomes like Atlas Shrugged and the ripped-off biography The Fountainhead, and other thick, boring books espousing, essentially, psychotic libertarian themes and ideology.

RETRONAUT

RetroNaut

Lots of old stuff – cool old publications and advertisements – see Leonard Nimoy meet Jimi Hendrix!

LIST OF X

List of X

This site is pretty-much just lists of ten items each. The trick part is what they are lists of.

KSAN: THE JIVE 95

KSAN Jive 95

Once there was a radio station like no other – a radio station that played entire album sides – a radio station that had a totally different take on the news – a radio station that smelled quite a bit like marijuana. This radio station was KSAN in San Francisco, and for a short time in the 1970s it made life a bit more tolerable for kids like me who were stranded in the suburban wasteland. I was once privileged to visit this temple of alternativeness and sit in the studio while Tony Kilbert broadcast coolness as he chugged German beer. It remains one of the highlights of my otherwise almost worthless existence.

SO MY ROOMMATE

SoMyRoommate

You really mustn’t worry what this blog is about. You must just accept that it is about something. Sometimes it is about the source of vomit you see on the sidewalk – but not always.

POLITIFACT
Politifact.com

A service of The St. Petersburg Times, Politifact checks all those statements politicians and news wonks make everyday – you know the ones: the “factoids” that slither through the media and into your face, each with its own flavor of “truthyness”. Interestingly, it seems that lying for a living is not the sovereign territory of any one political ideology or media outlet, but is endemic to pretty-much all political discourse, everywhere, all the time.

UNKNOWN HINSON

Unknown Hinson

Unknown Hinson bills himself as “The King Of The Country Western Troubadors”, and looks like a cross between Elvis, Dracula, and one of the “Beverly Hillbillies”. His bio states he was “Named after his father…on his birth certificate: Mama — Miss Hinson, Daddy — Unknown”. His CW tunes include such classics as “I Can’t Believe You’re Pregnant Again”, “Peace Love And Hard Liquor”, and “I Cleaned Out A Room (In My Trailer For You)”. In between these tongue-in-cheek novelty tunes he also plays some of the meanest, most searing lead guitar you’ve ever heard, and has an especially noteworthy Jimi Hendrix repertoire – although he doesn’t just copy Hendrix, he has his own unique style. Check out the “Videos” page most especially.

THE WUC

The Wuc

A blog that essentially makes a point of how grossly unfair reality can be, even when you’re enjoying it. Given this plug because the author “Likes” a lot of stuff posted here, and that’s strong evidence they need friends.

CRAWDADDY

Crawdaddy Magazine

During the late 1970s I was a young tad working for lunch in a used record store. During that time I morphed from a head banging metal nut into a streamlined new wave punk pogo freak. And “Crawdaddy” was my monthly rock-and-roll bible. Now just a crappy blog like this one.

CREEM

The source of the original “Boy Howdy Beer” ads, featuring the likes of Grace Slick in a public restroom stall sporting a can of “Boy Howdy” and an exposed breast. They aren’t quite as juvenile-style raucous these days – but still an interesting read.

BLURT

Blurt Online

One of the newer grandchildren of magazines like “Crawdaddy”. An old man such as myself needs magazines like this to appear to be slightly hip around the kids.

ESTES MODEL ROCKETRY

Estes Model Rocketry

The famed model rocket company. As a child I used to send in my dime to get their catalog, and then drool over it in absolute frustration because, even though there was plenty of open space to launch rockets where I lived, my parents wouldn’t let me have them because they were afraid I would start a fire, and then the county would make them pay for the job of putting it out. It was very hot and dry where I lived, and every year the whole place caught on fire anyway, so I didn’t see what the big deal was. Later in life I discovered that, yes, you can actually mount these on a car and shoot them at slow-asses ahead of you – the trick is to use over-sized engines and a long metal rod. You can leave-off the balsa nosecone and instead use a plastic bag with paint in it. Very difficult to aim, though.

NUKEY NUKEM

NukeyNukem

If you have any respect for yourself, women, children, the disabled, or the human race, DO NOT look at this blog.

The Semi-Regularly Updated Mass Media Manifesto

The Media Manifesto

A media madness blog by Xavier Yes, who writes pretty funny stuff and who also has really great hair.

WILL IT BLEND

Tom Dickson and his Blendtec Total Blender take-on everything from Silly Putty to the iPad in the never-ending quest to answer the question “Will It Blend?” I wonder how many people have asked to see Tom blend his toupee?

INSULTINGLY STUPID MOVIE PHYSICS

If it fell faster than it should, blew-up when it shouldn’t, or managed to jump too far, it’s probably here.

BLUE’S NEWS

The number one primo ultimo gaming news site on the Internet or any other thing. If it has to do with shooting, running, jumping, driving, crashing, exploding, bleeding, dying, or other stuff you can do with a computer or a gaming console or a cell phone or shadow puppets, you’ll find it here. Maybe not the shadow puppets.

THE COAST KOZT FM

KOZT FM 95.3 and 95.9 in Fort Bragg CA is an old school rock and roll radio station programmed by the staff and supported by local advertising. You’ll hear everything from Buddy Holly to Led Zeppelin to Jacob Dylan. They are aficianados of the classic three song set with short commercial breaks, all hosted by real people with real personalities from the California radio scene. This ain’t yer Clear Channel automated station. Live stream via all the usual media players.

NATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO

National Public Radio

NPR is probably going to lose its government funding now that the neanderthals are in power. Neanderthals don’t like public radio because it doesn’t play that music you hear in elevators. Neanderthals find that kind of music soothing. Interestingly, NPR doesn’t really need government funding, and can do very well on its own, thank you very much. But the local affiliate stations do need the subsidy, and since they control the NPR board of directors they are doing everything they can to suck-up to the neanderthals. NPR could really just dump the local affiliates and distribute its original, high-quality content via the Internet. The internal power struggle is on – hopefully everyone will find a way to survive. In the meantime, you can get their shows at the Web site.

THE DAILY SHOW

The Daily Show

Host Jon Stewart manages to do a better job of keeping you informed than all the other news channels combined – and unlike them you know when he’s lying.

THE COLBERT REPORT

The Colbert Report

Host Stephen Colbert manages to make you like him even though he is a witless neanderthal in the mold of Bill O’Reilly and Shawn Hannity. Or is he…?

FOX NEWS

Fox News

The original and still best comedy fake news network. Their hilarious send-up of right-wing pundits and politicians is unsurpassed, even by the likes of Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert. That’s because the actors at Fox are so good you actually believe they are conservative ideologues. The extravagant sets and phony blue-screen news stories from their “correspondents” are so well done you actually think they are interviewing Nancy Reagan or are covering a Tea Party rally. Add to this the number of fake “candidates” for President among their repertory company, and you have a biting satire of media-driven American politics.

TALES OF TOMORROW

Tales of Tomorrow

An early – very early live television program from the 1950s. See if you can spot the bit players who went on to stardom – hint: one of the guys in the image is Paul Newman. Brought to you by Hulu.com.

MOLESKINE U.S.

Moleskine US

I don’t usually hype products I don’t get for free (which is why I don’t ever hype products), but this is special. If you are a person who writes, draws, takes notes, composes music, or anything else that involves a notebook, this is the uber notebook. Not cheap, but quality never is. These are sewn bindings in a durable hardcover (“mole skin”), with a sewn-in book mark, and an elastic band to hold the book closed. And the pages lie flat; there’s none of that surfing your pen over the curve at the binding. Especially well-matched to a good fountain pen – I suggest a Waterman Carene or Charleston.

WATERMAN PENS

Waterman Pens

Another product I don’t get anything for telling you about. These are simply the finest writing instruments on the planet. You can pay more (I have) but you can’t get better. I’ve been using them for 30 years. Even Waterman’s budget models like the Phileas are superb, well-crafted, and made to last. The Charleston and Carene lines are the best fountain pens you can get for any amount of money. Yes, you will wear the point down eventually – a Phileas is good for five or six years if you write a lot every day like I used to. One thing to know: Waterman’s fine point pens make a somewhat thicker line than most other manufacturers’ fine point pens. A Waterman medium point is about half-way between a medium and bold. So don’t be afraid to get the fine point for daily writing – it makes a good dark line that is elegant and consistent. And the medium point will make your signature look like a work of art.

VISCONTI

Visconti Fine Pens

If you want to spend a lot of money on a fountain pen just to get something about as good as a Waterman, Visconti is the way to go. These guys will suck your wallet dry, but you won’t know anyone else who has a pen as cool and expensive as this. Pointlessly expensive, really – but isn’t that what being vain is all about: you being better than other people? Of course it is. So if you’re just an average person who wants a very fine writing instrument but doesn’t want to feel superior to anyone, get yourself a Waterman. If you’re a totally snooty asswipe, then spend as much on a pen as you would on a car and go with Visconti. Actually I’m kidding – Visconti’s low-end line is very competitive, price-wise. And their high-end line is competitive with organ transplants.

GRAYSON TIGHE

Grayson Tighe Pens

What’s that you say? Even Visconti doesn’t have enough snob appeal for you? You just won the lottery and you’re looking for a way to make everyone in the hemisphere look like a peasant? Well you’re just a total flesh-wick, aren’t you! Okay – try Grayson Tighe on for size. They’ll make any pen you want out of anything you want (how about fossilized wooly mammoth ivory?) just for you – personalized, customized, unique, one-of-a-kind, and about as costly as Moon rocks. Moon rocks made of gold, that is.

WIKIPEDIA LOGIC PORTAL

Wikipedia Logic Portal

I truly love the art and science of logic. Once you learn the fundamentals of symbolic logic you’ll wonder why people speak and write any other language. Well, reproduction is probably the reason. It’s tough to be romantic in propositional logic. Although if the object of your desires is in any way a reasoning person, you can use logic to prove to them they should knock boots with you.

PROJECT GUTENBERG

Project Gutenberg

EBooks free for the taking. Especially good for those of us who appreciate classic literature. Make sure you get the right file format for your reader. For the Kindle there is the Mobipocket format. Many of the eBooks availabe on Amazon.com for the Kindle for $0.99 are just Project Gutenberg files in disguise. Because of U.S. copyright laws that are designed to benefit corporations instead of authors, most of the titles on the U.S. site are from the 1920s or earlier (there are some great exceptions, though). Hint: there is an Australian Project Gutenberg site. Australia has much less draconian copyright laws than the U.S.

ESPERANZA SPALDING

Esperanza Spalding

She won this year’s Grammy for New Artist, making millions of little girls angry because she beat-out Justin Bieber. Spalding isn’t “new”. She’s been around a while and has made several albums, and was a music teacher at the Berklee College of Music. She plays the stand-up bass in a way no one has ever heard before, and has a voice that mixes jazz, blues, and rock into a compound that is technically articulate, acoustically sultry, and emotionally mature.

DOLLY PARTON ONLINE

Dolly Parton Online

No matter what else there’s too much of, there is no such thing as too much Dolly Parton.

ATOMIC ROCKETS

www.projectrho.com/rocket

If it’s about rockets (especially atomic ones) it’s here, or a link to it is here, or some idea of where to find it is here.

NOTEPAD++

A very advanced replacement for Windows Notepad text editor. This is targeted at the programming community, so if you don’t need the advanced features it’s probably more complicated than you want to deal with. But if you are editing program code, HTML, scripts, or a bunch of other stuff it supports, it’s great. And you can create new plugins for it. And it’s free. So what’s not to like?.

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