Six Fun Websites to Waste Time On

It’s Friday so it’s list-y blog post time here on FalcondaleLife. To get you ready for a bit of chilling out over the bank holiday weekend, I thought I would share a few websites that have amused me. I’m easily amused, I hope you are too! And I hope your chilling time is relaxing and not actually, well, chilly. Best not to look out of the window. Eyes down then, let’s go.

websites to waste time on

1. Named, Map Your Surname Across the UK

Ever wondered if you belong to some kind of historic tribe? Or if your name is almost unique where you live? Perhaps you’re looking for a bit of circumstantial evidence of where your ancestors first settled in the UK? Or maybe you’re a bit curious about your colleague’s strange surname, which when you think about it, sounds a bit like a contagious disease? Whatever the reason, it’s quite fun to kill a bit of time mapping surnames in the UK, seeing where your name is concentrated and where it’s a rarity. The graphics are quite nice and website is simple to use.  Here’s the link: Named

2. Undiscovered Scotland

It’s a mere 2 hours drive to the Scottish border from my house and yet I’m ashamed to say I really don’t know where to go or what to visit when I get there. I know to avoid August if I don’t want to get bitten by midges – yeah, I got that memo – but I keep seeing beautiful photography, dramatic vistas and wild expanses and I wonder where to go to find all that? It’s a big, big country and the roads peter-out to mere tracks after a while so you need to have it planned! This website has the ultimate clickable map of Scotland; plan your next trip by playing with this to your hearts content. Click on a likely spot and and a comprehensive page of detail and further links pops up with photos, recommendations and accommodation. Here’s the link: Undiscovered Scotland

Websites to waste time on

3. Arty Bollocks Generator

A-hem. If one is in a creative role it’s really quite difficult to describe one’s work in a thorough and expressive manner and ascribe accurately the gathered influences which inform one’s artistic outpourings. In other words, it’s easy to sound like a pretentious twit if you’re talking about yourself as an artist. So why not throw caution to the wind, grasp the nettle, throw a curve or whatever idiom you like and let this website generate a nice descriptive paragraph to explain your creative output. And if you don’t like it, at least you know what NOT to say. Here’s the link: Instant Artist Statement: Arty Bollocks Generator

4. Ikea Hackers

There’s a good chance you have already heard of this but it’s a great recommendation for a bank holiday weekend of mooching because it’s so full of home updates and personalised furniture hacks. This independent website has come so far in recent years that there are now entry-level hacks for people who don’t want to crack open a garage full of power tools but would rather fit or alter or personalise something made from the cheap and accessible base that is Ikea furniture. The website is searchable so for example I’m struggling to know what to do with the damn piano keyboard which dominates our dining table, and I can search “keyboard” on Ikea Hackers and find fifty hacks which people have posted. I’m bound to find something inspirational. Here’s the link: Ikea Hackers

websites to waste time on

5. Music-Map

The guy who invented this has no idea how genius it is, I tried telling him once, but I’m glad to see he has kept it going and also made it mobile-friendly. I love new music but I only remember the names of a few of the bands I like. Enter a band or artist’s name and the music map will generate a scatter diagram of other bands and artists which have similar influences. They will float attractively around the screen and then settle at respectful distances from each other, hovering closest to the most similar bands. All the band and artist names are clickable, so you can move through to find more artists you like this way. I ALWAYS have music-map open on a tab on the desktop when I’m shopping for new music, it’s so helpful. Here’s the link: Music-Map – The Tourist Map of Music

6. GeoGuessr

This is a game played with Google Streetview and if your favourite quiz round is geography, then this is the game for you. If you haven’t tried it before I recommend starting with single player. There are five rounds, on each round you are plonked somewhere in the world on Google Streetview and have to guess where in the world you are. You can move along the road looking for signposts. Sometimes it can really seem like you’re in the middle of no-where and you think you will never work it out but the vegetation, the weather, the road markings, the other vehicles, the architecture and even the height of pine trees can give you some clue. I recommend always going downhill if you have a choice. Lately I’ve been finding that at least one map is Finland, one is the USA and one is Brazil! Here’s the link: GeoGuessr – Let’s Explore The World

There’s quite a mappish theme to this blog post. If you like this then why not take a look at my mappish Pinterest board?

Have a great weekend.

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