By JULES ALLEN
© St. Petersburg Times, published November 27, 2000
Feel free to browse...
Old chestnuts like the Onion and News of the Weird are required reading in my house because the content is, well, just strange. And sometimes I'm lucky enough to find real, live truth-is-stranger-than-fiction treats in the form of camel wrestling, pumpkin cannons and that sort of thing. Seeking out these events rather than bumping into them is, frankly, rather hard work. So imagine my delight at finding this site, a central repository that lists out of the ordinary events. Life is good.
Clearly these folks really have nothing better to do with their spare time, other than brush up on their Photoshop skills and make me split my sides with laughter. Hats of Meat is a daft collection of photos and made-up stories guaranteed to annoy vegetarians and those without a sense of humor. The idea, if you can be as flattering as to call the thing an idea, is that you wander around with meat strapped to your head in the shape of a hat. Dumb, brilliant and hysterical.
Think somebody's misappropriating your Web site content? Sleuthing down that kind of stuff is a hard job if you're not sure exactly who's doing it. But, armed with this site, your life just got a lot easier as it searches by content rather than keywords. Just for fun, I took a few articles from back issues of Tech Times, fed them into this site and was surprised by how many online publications quote and link to stories. In addition to copy and pasting text, you can give this search engine complete URLs. It didn't work quite as well because it was confused by extra information on the pages such as headers, footers and navigation elements. It's either fabulous or totally dismal. For the life of me I can't figure out how to tweak it, but I'm hooked anyway.
Some of the stranger stuff
Editorial cartoonist Scott Bateman's work might be familiar to you. You might not know who he is, but you may have seen his wares at MTV.com or any newspaper that runs goodies from syndication giant King Features (and a lot of them do). It seems that his site contains more of the edgy stuff that mainstream media might not jump at. And, of course, that's always much more interesting than the lowest common denominator that might run the risk of offending somebody who's got nothing better to do than complain about it.
Love Dennis the Menace but can't stand Dilbert? Wish you could get Wired, Slashdot and the Standard all in one gulp? Well, you'll love Quick Browse, one of the first, and still one of the best, metabrowsers. This free site will allow you to conglomerate either preselected content or your choices. If you have decent public transport as a route to get to work in the morning, you could virtually print up-to-the-second custom news and read it on the bus or train. A few pages of paper and printer toner is much cheaper than a Palm handheld with AvantGo. And you'll never run out of batteries just as you get to the interesting bits.
© 2006 • All Rights Reserved • Tampa Bay Times
490 First Avenue South St. Petersburg, FL 33701 727-893-8111