Things to do when you're bored
#1 Play with translation pages
One good example of a translation page is This translation page, or try this one: Bad Translator . Enter a common English phrase (or short paragraph) into the translation window, have it translate it into, say, French or German, then copy the resulting text into your clipboard, paste it back into the translation window and then have it translate that back into English. Now compare the retranslated English to the original English. The results can be hillarious!
Some phrases you might try:
"gh" can have an "ef" sound at the end of a word but not at the beginning of a word.
Ride to live and you will live to ride.
The British are coming, run for your lives!
Note that with many languages Google translate will also say both the original and the translated text, teenaged boys are bound to have fun with that!
#2 Check out current internet searches
Metaspy seems to be down for the count:(,
but you can look at recent searches at Infotiger Voyeur, which shows searches on Infotiger. It has both filtered and unfiltered results, it doesn't auto refresh though, so you will have to reload to see fresh results. Google Trends does automatically refresh, however, it only shows the current "hot" search terms, so you don't get those interesting individual results that used to be on Metaspy.
This may have uses besides amusement, it can give you some ideas for keywords and even whole new webpage concepts for your own site!
You won't believe what some people are looking for!
#3 Do your own searches
Try entering some nonsensical phrase such as "frog juice" into a search engine and see what happens. You'll be surprised at what comes up!
You should be aware, though, that seemingly innocent phrases like "cat pictures" often lead to adult web sites, so watch where you're going. You can do it by going to YAHOO or GOOGLE or numerous other search engines.
#4 Look up your own name
Unless you are pretty famous, or have pages of your own, you probably won't find a webpage about you, but you probably will find several about people who have the same name. You might even find that some of them are related to you! For a beter idea of how many people there are with the same name as you, look in a white page directory such as Bigfoot.
#5 Play some online games
Think that BBS games are dead? Think again! Far from being replaced by the internet, many BBSs have installed Telnet ports so they can be accessed over the net. Now it is possible for people from all over the world to play in the same game without paying Long distance charges! Where can you find such BBSs? Well, I have a List of telnetable BBSs, including The Loonie Bin .These all have Legend Of the Red Dragon as well as many other online games. To access these you'll need a Telnet application. The current version of Netscape has one built in, but it's not very good. I recommend installing a third party program such as Netterm.
#6 View some webcams
The amusement potential depends on what is going on at the moment where the camera is mounted. Try the Camzone cams, and you've gotta see The Kitten Cam!
Also try the TC homecams , Maui Man Kai , View out window in Germany (with sound) , HD Diamond Head Hawaii ,
Looking for more? Check out Webcam Central!
Looking for a better way to watch webcams? Try Webcam Watcher (it's free!)
It should be noted that unless you are paying for access, don't expect to see young vixens "au naturel", you're much more likely to see a grown man typing into a laptop while in his underwear!
#7 Surf at random
Just open your browser and put a random word or phrase (no spaces!) between "www" and ".com". For example, "www.tomdoit.com", and then have your browser go there. You'll be surprised where this leads you! Just be aware that, as with searches, seemingly innocent domain names often belong to adult websites! For instance, archie.com, which now reddirects to archiecomics.com used to go to an adult site, and if you think that facials.com is about makeup, guess again!
#8 Check out Newsgroups!
This is not part of the World Wide Web, it is another service that is carried over the internet. For those not familiar with newsgroups, it is kind of like email, except that it's public. Messages posted on news groups are intended for public consumption and can be read by anyone who has access to a news server, most ISPs have their own, and news reader software. Although many browsers and email programs have newsgroup (NNTP) support, you may find that specialized newsreaders, such as Free Agent and News Xpress do a better job.
As with email, you can send files as well as messages and there are newsgroups, such as the newsgroup I started, alt.binaries.pictures.stereo which specialize in files. Just about about every kind of file you can imagine is sent over binary groups both legally and otherwise. Just be aware that some groups specialize in material that may be unsuitable for general audiences and even groups that have harmless themes are sometimes spammed with commerical porn.
#9 Put up your own webpage!
If you're not satisfied with the typical "cookie cutter" sites that so many other people have put up, and you can't think of anything important to put make a website about, then try to think of the stupidest topic imaginable and put up a "parody" site that treats it as if it were serious. If this is done well, the results can be hillarious! Some of the Web's most popular and celebrated sites, such as bert is evil, a furby autopsy , stick death, etc., resulted from just this kind of endeavor.
You probably have webspace already from your ISP, you can also get ad free domain hosting for less than $10 a month or you can get free webhosting from places such as Black Apple Host.
#10 Look at some pictures
Of course, I have a lot of these on my site, especially in the Stereoscopic (3D) Gallery and the Microscopic Gallery. There are many other sources of images on the interenet, such as Google's image search, and, of course, newsgroups. For freely licensed media usable in your own projects check out Wikimedia Commons. Most search engines have image searches, some are better than others. The search engines don't have an algorithm that can look at a picture and automatically generate a description/keywords so they rely on the image title and surrounding text. This results in a lot of strange connections! The way you describe something isn't necessarily how someone else would describe it and there may be a lot of other things that might be described the same way, so if you are looking for something specific you may have to wade through a lot of undesired results.
#11 Go Shopping!
I know "shameless plug" but seriously, you can get just about anything at Amazon! Aside from the usual clothing and jewelry, Computer stuff, and toys and games, you can also find a lot of unusual items such as fulgurites, Nazi coins, Israeli coins (how's that for contrast!) and even trilobites! There are some other things you might be looking for that I won't mention here, but if you type it in the search box on this page you'll probably find it. (I did!)

You can also trade in your iPhone, video games and other stuff to get what you want or to get a gift card for someone else!
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In Association with Amazon.com
#12 Solve the mystery of googletestad
While you're at it you might look into what happened to the German Kaiser after WWI, where does the term "WiFi" come from and why people hang pairs of shoes on power lines.
#13 Check up on your neighbors
You might look up other people in your apartment complex, those seemingly nice people next door or the creepy couple who just moved in accross the street. One place is the National Sex Offender Public Website or you're local/state website such as California's site. Be advised, however, that there are probably dozens, possibly hundreds of people with the same name so don't go by the name alone! Other government and commerical sites allow you to look for outstanding warrants, do background checks and find out other things they aren't telling you.
#14 Comment on your favorite sitcoms
While you're at it, you can read what other people have to say at Sitcoms Online. Especially on hot topics such as The Simpsons, The Brady Bunch and All in the family.

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John Alan Elson
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