Hanging out on the internet doesn’t have to be all work and no play. The web we’re chained to is a conduit for all types of content, and the links provided here have a little bit of magic in them.
If you’re looking for music to settle the nerves, design to inspire the soul, or photography to transport the mind, you’ll find something to take the edge off the day. Enough about rich content and bandwidth. This stuff’s just neat. Best with wideband unless noted.
K-Jazz, KKJZ, is Cal State’s Long Beach campus outlet for jazz you don’t hear anywhere else. At least, I don’t. No MSG, no Kenny G, no Michael Bolton outscreaming Howard Dean, just music so great you can’t bear to miss a minute. But you gotta’ sleep sometime. More’s the pity.
Tryin’ to remember the feeling at Teen Town? Feet can’t dance no mo ’cause you can’t find the beat? Feel beachy but don’t know where the surfs breaking? Then head for Simply Shaggin, where they’re playing Beach Music 24-7 out of Charlotte, North Carolina. Part of live365.com, the page isn’t so hot but the tunes are smokin’. If this doesn’t put your toes to tappin’, better have someone check your pulse.
Mariscal Studio, Estudio Mariscal, is a Spanish fountain of inspired graphic, industrial, and architectural outpourings. Unique style and a real sense of innocence are the hallmark of this internet gem, the product of a prolific studio that’s also found the time to design a web site of magnificent proportions.
Always wanted to see Brazil like a native? Canto do Brazil is a remarkable tribute project compiled by photojournalist Geoffrey Hiller that lets you listen to the music and soak up the sights in an elegantly produced Flash format. Beautifully matched to some dripping wet sounds, this used to be referred to as multi-media. How quaint — see how its evolved.
If you’re into the annual Burning Man festival in Black Rock, Nevada, this web site offers an amazing first-person account of the activites that make this spiritual event truly unique. There’s a lot of QuickTime video available.
Know someone you’d like to help quit smoking? Check out BobQuits.com. Here’s sample dialogue from actual person Bob, as he rationalizes the problems smokers have trying to quit: “You can’t possibly say you love smoking; yes, I really love my breath after a cigarette; I really love these broken blood vessels on my face — if smoking didn’t give them to me, I would get them put on by a plastic surgeon; and, don’t these yellow teeth match my shirt well?” You get the idea. If you or someone you know is already motivated to quit, this might boost them over the threshold.
UPDATE: Pair this site with "Thank You For Smoking", the ’05 pic that skewered the tobacco lobby. "We sell cigarettes. And they’re cool. And available. And addictive. The job’s almost done for us."
Can’t come up with a recipe for tonight’s special occasion? Aren’t up to speed on why French cuisine occupies the high ground, culinarily speaking? Then visit Peter Hertzmann’s à la carte, an easy to follow, content-rich site that serves up one tasty dish after another, with relatively simple instructions and digestable cultural musings on what makes haute cuisine extraordinary. I particularly enjoy the site graphics and photography.
More food, this time the domestic version of the international Slow Food movement. The concept is hard to explain, but easy to understand. Basically, its down with corporate chemfood mantra is manifest through links to regional culinary artforms. Slow your own self down, and learn how to eat a whole lot better, at Slow Food USA.
For sheer involvement, take a look at Agent Provocateur’s maze-like interactive site. This British lingerie shop raises the bar for over-the-top indulgence. A visual treat, especially if you find Victoria’s Secret a bit underwhelming. Rated RK for Really Kool.
And there’s this. The Parma Bapistry is part of a world wide virtual reality collection of panoramas, some coupled with sound, that deliver an exciting new point of view. This particular set of documents is a near spirtual experience.
I dunno’, I guess I’m just a sucker for tube-topped, dancehall elephant freaks. Like peanut butter snack bars? You can play, and replay, Skippy’s homage to computer generated rasta-pachyderms here. Stomp and hoot to the Nutshells as they crowd surf, dancehall style.
The American Museum of the Moving Image web site The Living Room Candidate hosts a fascinating collection of television derived political ads from 1952 - 2008. Take your pick, from both sides of the spectrum. My interest is in the power of media to drive opinion, and how it’s created. See if, by clicking on the thumbnails, you can guess the year the bridge from b&w to color tv was crossed.