It has been forever and a day since I posted a list of cool web sites that I had del.icio.us bookmarked, etc., thinking that they would make a good blog post. So here goes.
- Opus - This first one is a rediscovered treasure. Back when Berkeley Breathed announced that Opus the penguin (of Bloom County and Outland fame) was finally returning to the funny papers, some controversy arose because the strips weren’t available online, and the Washington Post’s lawyers tenaciously pursued those who tried to post them. Anyone remember the “DRM ink” urban legend? After most of the scofflaws gave up, I forgot about Opus until I stumbled upon the flightless waterfowl by accident. Apparently, the Washington Post had finally relented and started posting Opus online.
- Statler & Waldorf From the Balcony - Speaking of flashes from the past, those two acerbic, crotchety geezers from the balcony of The Muppet Show have a new career as movie reviewers. The webcasted reviews are actually kind of funny as they rip on the movies, pop culture icons, and each other. Pepe the Prawn reviews DVDs.
- Top Secret Recipes - Speaking of shellfish, have you ever wondered how to make your own Red Lobster Chedder Bay Biscuits, or Girl Scout Thin Mint cookies, or Soup Nazi’s Mulligatawny Soup, or a Starbucks Mocha Coconut Frappuccino? Author Todd Wilbur has made it his life’s mission to figure out these food concoctions in his laboratory and expose them to the world. To pay the bills, he sells his books, his spice rubs, and many of the individual recipes. However, dozens of the recipes are free (a new limited-time free recipe each week). One downside to this site is that the Flash interface is a bit slow-loading, but you can print the recipes to PDF.
- Before & After magazine - Speaking of giving away free samples to sell content, Before & After (an expensive but amazing design magazine) has this page of incredible design tutorials. You can view each one as a slideshow or print them to assemble into a booklet. Only three of them are free to non-subscribers. However, they provide a form for subscribers that allows them to send an e-mail link for any of the individual tutorials to a friend or colleague. So if you knew of such a person, and you asked him nicely about one or two specific tutorials, he might fill out that form on your behalf. Refreshingly, these tutorials are not product-based; they are based on design fundamentals like color-theory, negative and positive space, etc.
- Lynda.com - Speaking of product-based tutorials (and free samples), Lynda Weinman, who has legally changed her name to Lynda dot Com (no, not really) has an extensive online training library. If you check out the pop-up menu in the left column of the main page, you can browse the titles. The full titles require that you whip out your credit card, but almost every single title has the first half-hour to an hour of video content for free. I think when I get back from vacation, I’ll convince my manager to buy the new PHP one.
- The Post Office - Speaking of going on vacation, I just found out that you can fill out this online form and the Post Office will hold your mail until you come back. This one comes thanks to LifeHacker (one of my daily reads) and Eszter Hargittai, who is doing an awesome job as guest editor of LifeHacker all this week (and she was the very first non-spam commenter besides me on notMike.com over five hundred comments ago). Cool. I will be filling that form out this afternoon!
- Speaking of filling stuff out, I have a few more bills to pay before I go to bed.
Update: No cheesy segue or anything (okay…uh, it has a PDF version), but I realized I forgot a link. This “public service pamphlet” about What everyone should know about Blog Depression made me laugh out loud. This skillfully executed homage to those colorful pamphlets that once adorned every high school guidance counselor office is genius.