Perfecting Procrastination

It’s getting late. You have a paper due tomorrow, a problem set and a ton of reading. What you want more than anything is an excuse to avoid all of it. Fear not – the internet is bursting with interesting methods of procrastination, and we sample some prime examples below. Disclaimer: We take no responsibility for the effect these sites will have on your productivity.

Sporcle.com
Do you know all the U.S. presidents in reverse order? Can you come up with the names of all of the original 150 Pokemon in under 12 minutes? Whether you’re a trivia fanatic or just curious to see if you can name all the countries in South America, this is the site for you. Sporcle will keep you occupied with round after round of quizzes about everything from geography to sports to random bits of miscellaneous knowledge. Some of the quizzes are conventional, asking you to name the U.S. capitals, the teams in the NFL or the elements on the periodic table. Others ask for more obscure information, like the ingredients in Boston cream pie, parts of the body that are spelled with only three letters or the most popular baby names in 1975. There is no better site for acquiring useless information.

Cracked.com
Cracked.com is a humor website that offers a plethora of entertaining articles and videos to keep you amused no matter how much stress you’re under. Many of the articles are written in the form of lists, such as, “6 Ridiculous History Myths (You Probably Think Are True),” “15 Unintentionally Perverted Toys for Children” and “The 7 Most Soul-Crushing Series Finales in TV History.” Yet Cracked is far more than just entertaining articles. There are videos of every sort, a public forum under the title of “pointlesswasteoftime,” Craptions (ridiculous photos with even more ridiculous captions) and topics including “All you really need to know about ….” This is a Web site that will put a smile on your face even at 2 a.m. before a final exam.

Text Twist
Though not a web site itself, this online game may be found on many entertainment sites and is good for hours of distraction. The game involves making as many words as possible with six given letters, and the player must make at least one word using all six letters in order to move on to the next round. For those who are especially wise with words, an extra-challenging downloadable version of this game exists called Super Text Twist. You’ll scramble, you’ll jumble and you’ll discover words you never knew existed. Get a few friends helping out over your shoulder and the fun can go on forever.

Googlefight.com
Googlefight lets you compare the number of Google search results for any two keywords of your choice. After a brief animation of two stick figures battling each other, Googlefight shows how many hits each of the two entered keywords has received, and the keyword with the most hits is declared the winner. The site also gives suggestions for pairings that would make interesting “fights,” such as Luke Skywalker vs. Darth Vader, McDonalds vs. Burger King, and pen vs. sword. Which is more popular: Yankees or Red Sox? Harry Potter or Twilight? Williams or Amherst? Or, you can watch two completely unrelated subjects battle it out: wooly mammoth or lumberjack? Britney Spears or hovercrafts? Platypus or octopus? The more hilarious the pairing, the better.

Awkwardfamilyphotos.com
Everyone has a few embarrassing family photos lying around. Why not spend a little time chuckling at the awkwardness of complete strangers? Awkwardfamilyphotos.com has an impressive collection of family photos, each paired with a caption that only increases the absurdity of the picture. If you’re looking for a little study break, glancing through these photos will make you laugh, cringe and realize that your family is not nearly as bizarre as it could be.