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Lost in Cyberspace

Bored? Try these sites ...

This article was originally published on September 14, 1999 by SignOn San Diego and Copley News Service.

Summer is over, school's back in session (which is always a downer except for the weirdest among us), and the fall holiday season doesn't start for another month.

Which means a heck of a lot of us are bored, bored out of our skulls, bored enough to create stuff like the Bunny Survival Tests Home Page. The purpose of this site is "To determine specific weaknesses and/or strengths possessed by 'Marshmallow Bunnies'."

Here you can get the latest test results of marshmallow bunnies being exposed to open flame, electricity, lasers, radiation, coyotes and hot tubs. The tests are available online, complete with color photographs of marshmallow bunnies in various states of disintegration.

Another mildly entertaining site for the terminally bored is The Dialectizer. From here, you can have your favorite Web sites translated into dialects like redneck, jive, Cockney, pig Latin and even Elmer Fudd. (One caveat: Some fire walls won't let you access sites through The Dialectizer. I, for instance, can use it from home but not work.)

(Editor's note: We became so terminally bored reading this column that, in an effort to stay awake, it became necessary to run the previous paragraph through the Dialectizer, translating the above paragraph into Fudd-ese:

"Anothew miwdwy entewtaining site fow the tewminawwy bowed is De Diawectizew. Oh, dat scwewy wabbit!. Fwom hewe, you can have youw favowite Web sites twanswated into diawects wike wedneck, jive, Cockney, pig Watin and even Ewmew Fudd. Huh, huh, huh.")

One of the most impressive Web site menu interfaces has to belong to Eye One, which is a subsidiary of a Scandinavian company that custom makes Java games to develop brands and generate Web traffic. Its fully animated Shockwave menu is fun, colorful and (best of all) useful. While entertaining, it's not so busy as to make it difficult to figure out. There's also a neat Java version of "Asteroids" that's nearly as good as the old Atari original.

If you're into computer gaming, check out the home page of the E3 Expo. E3 is the king trade show for companies that develop or distribute games for personal computers. Their Web site has information on both the most recent show and the next upcoming show. While the general public can't get in to the E3 shows, you can get a good feel for what's coming down the pike by browsing around here and following their links.

Finally, one of the first Web pages to track the creative, offbeat and/or weird on the Net remains one of the best. Online veterans who remember using Netscape 2 or older when the Web first opened up to the public will remember the "What's Cool" button on the toolbar. While that's no longer featured as prominently, Netscape's Netcenter still features a frequently updated "What's Cool" page.

Here, you'll find the latest and craziest in online sites, about a half-dozen a day. But they also keep old sites on file under the "Best of" and "Archive" sections, which remain fun browsing.