Working hard or hardly working? Websites offer multitude of time-wasting opportunities

Odi Opole, Web Editor

micromarching.com:

Time-Waster Rating: 4/5

MicroMarching.com makes it possible for anyone to be a band kid.

On the site, you can choreograph marching shows, share them and watch other shows people create — and gain a new respect for the people who come up with marching shows in reality.

The main goal is to create a show that is visually dynamic and entertaining — which is hard to do when your only tools are visual.

You are given a “football field” to work with, along with however many marchers your show requires. In addition to the choreography, you are in charge of the uniform and flag colors, any extra props (columns, small arches, etc.), and the instruments represented in your marching corps. Once you create and publish your show, it can be judged by other people on the site, or it can be entered in a tour, where it can be seen by more people.

Although there is no music provided, MicroMarching.com is a cute and entertaining way to waste your time.

TED.com

Time-Waster Rating: 0/5

TED.com, Technology, Entertainment, Design, is a website dedicated to the spread of ideas. TED is a nonprofit organization that started in 1984 and originally commissioned speakers for its annual conferences.

Each speaker had roughly 20 minutes to cover anything from parenting to sociology in modern civilizations, and the goal was simply to spread knowledge to as many people as possible.  Once the Internet became more widely used, TED.com was added by the organization as another way to bring discussions and speeches to people around the world for free.

In addition to speeches from the biannual TED conferences, speeches are pulled from other events and from corporations like RSA Animate, which plays the speech in the background while a cartoonist illustrates the speech as you watch.

TED.com is a great way to spend time, but it’s not a time waster. If you’re on this website, you’re thinking about something important, whether you know it or not.

unhearit.com

Time-Waster Rating: 2/5

Unhearit.com is a life-saver for people who listen to music too much — or those of us who have heard Spongebob’s F.U.N. song one time too many.

If there’s an obnoxious song stuck in your head, Unhearit.com will play you another track to get rid of it — one guaranteed to be equally or more obnoxious than the first.

The site does what it says it will, but it won’t have you spending hours online. It will, however, come in handy after a marathon of your favorite children’s TV show.

MLIA.com

Time-Waster Rating: 3/5

MLIA. MLIA. MLIA. Who knew one acronym could be so fun? MLIA.com, My Life Is Average, is a site full of hilarious stories about people who have lives that are just, well … average.

MLIA also caused the birth of spin-off sites like My Life Is Harry Potter, My Life is Twilight and, yes, My Life Is Justin Bieber. While not everyone will like every spin-off site, most people can find something to laugh at ­— whether they’re looking at MLIA or MLIT.

stumbleupon.com

Time-Waster Rating: 5/5

StumbleUpon is a website that becomes your own personal Narnia — there’s something for everyone.

Once you create a profile on the site, a toolbar pops up. It has a stumble button, a like or dislike button and topic options. The topic preferences help you narrow the range of websites the site offers you. You can pick from topics such as animals, oddities, online games and web development. Once you set your topic preferences, you start “stumbling.”

You can stumble onto sites like ThisDayinMusic.com, which tells you the number one song on any day in any year from 1946 to now.

From there you could skip over to designboom.com and learn exactly how the Dentsu creative studio teamed up with photographers to “paint with sound.”

You have no idea what you’ll find until you find it, and the site keeps you guessing. StumbleUpon is a great time-waster because there’s always something new for you to see.