Tid Bits, Downtime Edition

One common feature of bench work is downtime. Some activity, such as cutting and pasting DNA, require the researcher to incubate their samples for various periods of time. What to do? Well ideally the scientist in question should take advantage of this time to either, perform other experiments, make reagents such as buffers, or catch up on the scientific literature. I tend to use Google Reader to scan the RSS feeds from various journals.

i-35340ac2d97222e156ab4251d15a15bb-google reader.jpg

Of course I scan through blogs as well. Sometimes though your day is filled with some brain-draining activity, such as microinjecting tissue culture cells. The fuel level in my tank sinks during these events and afterwards I no longer have the capability to concentrate. At this point I visit brainless websites to help kill time as I wait for my restriction enzymes to finish digesting my PCR product.

Many of these sites have been pillaged from chat boards and fellow Sciblings. Here are a few that I've been pointed to recently.

On of the greatest waste sites (probably known to many of you) is the YTMND webpage emporium. Started by a fellow who created a webpage featuring Sean Connery's tiled image and a clip of him stating "You're the man now, dog!", the site provides links to all sorts of stand alone websites. If you visit one YTMND site, click here. To read more about such sites (also called Single Service Sites) here are two essays on the history of this phenomenon:


Is This Your Paper On Single Serving Sites.com
I Can Has Rezearch Papar

Next up ...

Most of you probably know about LOLCats, but a more creative take would be Яolcats - English Translations of Eastern Bloc Lolcats.

If that's not enough feline-inspired creativity, try Chairman Meow.

Another great find was a blog named Zero out of Five. Here's the description:

Since high school I have always answered every question on every test, even if that meant making something up. I always hoped for, but never received sympathy marks. This blog is my collection of tests from other people that tried the same.

Here's an example:


But sometimes the test takers try to employ more drastic measures, here's an example:


Baymate enjoyed this letter sent to the parent of a rebellious student.

Another great blog is Abstract City by Christoph Niemann whose illustrations have appeared in the NY Times. Here's a sample from his I Lego NY post:


And a snip from his coffee post:


Last, I'll end with WebUrbanist. Here's a description of the website:

... from urban design to subversive art and strange architecture. We scour the net to find neat new stuff to pack it into an article with relevant images and links, as exhaustive as we can manage within a single subject area. Our team is comprised of web designers, bloggers, architects and other curious urbanists.

And of course the obligate sampling of their posts.

First from the Incredible Art Made From Food entry:



And from The Private Lives of Your Favorite Toys:



OK I'll end it there. If you have other great time-wasting sites, let us know.

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A note: translations of Russian lolcats are very remote from real translations. That makes them doubly funny for Russian-speaking readers. Thanks!

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