10 ways to waste time on the web

Want to idle away a few minutes--or hours? These sites will help you test your knowledge, name that tune, or write a haiku. You'll wonder where the time went.

  • Fail Blog

    What if you proposed to your sweetie on live television--and you got turned down? The perfect antidote to cuteness overload, Fail Blog features tons of still photos and videos of oops moments, such as this ticket on a police car.

    A paradise for New Yorker fans, offers a multitude of ways to search for present and past cartoons. Also check out those that were deemed too tasteless for publication.
  • Smalltime Industries

    The sophisticated pastimes housed at Smalltime Industries include a Dada server (submit personal info and receive a gibberish description), Haiku-O-Matic, and an app that guesses what sitcom character or dictator you're thinking of based on your answers to questions.
  • Kongregate

    Home of DesktopTower Defense, GemCraft, Sonny, and other free games, Kongregate has good community features, too. If you’re willing to pay, visit Big Fish Games, one of the largest of the casual game sites on the Web. You can spend hours there just checking out the vast array of 60-minute free demos.
  • StumbleUpon

    A fascinating time sink, StumbleUpon invites you to bump into unexpected treasures. Wander through scads of random sites that other Internet visitors have recommended, in whatever category you choose, simply by clicking a button.
  • is a great place to hang out if you want to identify songs that you’ve heard on "House," in the latest Target ad, or pretty much anyplace else in the television universe. I found it particularly useful for figuring out NBC's musical choices in its coverage of the recent Beijing Olympics.
  • Scrabble on

    Forget Scrabulous and the other non-Hasbro wannabes. has the real thing--if you're willing to put up with the Subway marketing.
  • MSN Encarta Quiz

    Have you secretly dreamed of winning big on "Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?" or on "Jeopardy"? Introduce your inner quiz-show contestant to the MSN Encarta quiz page. This Microsoft site provides dozens of self-scoring quizzes on topics of geography, biology, popular culture, and everything in between.
  • Homestar Runner

    Can you say "cult favorite"? Not only do the weird and wacky animated inhabitants of this site appear in a slew of exceedingly retro-style games (we're talking blocky graphics and text), but they also take on a life of their own in toons, podcasts, downloads, and even their own video bios. It's the sort of bizarre creativity that could thrive only online.
  • Spirograph

    Manipulate the math and colors at's Spirograph page to generate kaleidoscope-like patterns, ad nauseam.
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