Stuff I Found On The Web: Explain XKCD, Lego James Bond, Star Wars Logo and more
With the retiring of MUO Directory, I decided there was a sudden niche for a regular article showcasing stuff I find on the web each week. As part of my job, I visit countless websites, test countless apps and install countless pieces of software. But one thing I have noticed while trawling the Web is this – there is a lot of stuff out there that should be highlighted more. Maybe it isn’t enough for a full post all on its own, but it should still be mentioned somewhere – and that’s where Stuff I Found On The Web comes in.
Each week (or maybe more often if you’re interested), I will present to you things I found on the web that you should check out. Maybe I saw it on another blog, maybe the link was sent to me or maybe I found it while using StumbleUpon. But it will be guaranteed to be interesting to me, so hopefully you will like it too. It could be a piece of software, a website, a YouTube video…you never know. Just like the lottery, it will be totally random.
XKCD is one of my favourite sources of humour on the web, but sometimes I don’t get the joke. Not because I am stupid by any means, but simply because sometimes XKCD delves into scientific topics or programming topics that I either don’t have an education in or I have no interest in.
If an XKCD punchline is eluding you, and it bothers you that you’re not getting it while others around you are rolling about on the floor, then check out Explain XKCD, a user-generated Wiki which explains in detail what each XKCD comic is about and what the punchline is. You also get a transcript of the comic, as well as any associated information you may need to understand the bigger picture behind what the comic is saying.
According to the wiki, only 2% of the XKCD comics remain to be listed and explained. So this wiki is on course to be a comprehensive explanation to all things XKCD.
When it comes to laughs, The Oatmeal is definitely one of my favourite websites. Some of his comics have had the tears rolling down my face as I laugh my bottom off, and this one about working from home, just hit all my buttons at once.
I identified right away with all of the supposed traits of working from home – but I am yet to experience the hidden delights of nude laser tag with lingerie models. Maybe we could make that an editor perk?
The James Bond franchise got a much needed reboot back in 2006, with the Daniel Craig movie, Casino Royale. What I like about this YouTube video is that it combines my all-time favourite 007 movie, with something else I am really fond of – Lego.
What you will be watching above is a flawless recreation of the opening sequence of Casino Royale, when Bond goes to assassinate a traitor – and in the process gain his 00 status.
As well as James Bond, my favourite film franchise has to be Star Wars, and as we head towards the much anticipated sequels, this website shows a lot of original Star Wars artwork, how the logo evolved, and one of the fonts used as a basis for the famous Star Wars logo.
This is a definite must-read for all Star Wars fans, as well as anyone with an interest in graphic design and art.
Do you like Google Maps and Google Street View? If so, this is a great website to visit, if you are bored and / or have a few minutes to waste. GeoGuessr gives you a Street View picture and you have to guess where in the world it is. If you think you know, place your marker on the Google map, and it will tell you how far away from the actual location you are. The closer you are, the more points you get.
Save Publishing – Tweet Everything
Are you often on a webpage, wanting to tweet about it, but you can never get the 140 characters you need? This bookmarklet, when pressed on a webpage, will highlight in red, all the “tweetable sentences” and give you a word count, so you can see right away what you can tweet and not tweet with those 140 characters.
It’s one of those things where you have to give it a test run to grasp how really useful it is. So give it a go and let us know in the comments what you think of it.
I have been learning how to play the guitar now for the past 13 years – and failing pretty badly. Part of why I fail so much is learning all of the chords and when in the song to switch chords. Chordify is a brilliant website which will give you the chords to any song, when you enter the YouTube or Soundcloud URL of that song, or you can also upload a MP3 file.
Since Van Morrison is my singer of choice right now when strumming the guitar, I entered the YouTube URL for “Brown Eyed Girl”. You can then play the video and as the song plays, the chords underneath move with the music, enabling you to follow along.
If you would like your site / app / YouTube video to be included in a future “Stuff on the Web”, then email me at mark AT makeuseof.com .
Let us know in the comments what you think of these sites? Should nude laser tag with lingerie models be a standard perk for all work-at-home employees? What songs have got you rocking and rolling on Chordify? And have you beaten the pants off me on GeoGuessr? I am standing by to reply to your comments.