I’m feeling rather helpful today. Not quite the “go tell it on the mountain” level of personal calling, but at least to spread the good werd, anyway. Thought I’d make a lil’ list of websites I have found particularly helpful throughout the years. Maybe you’ve heard of some of them, maybe you haven’t. Regardless, get your click on and enjoy…
(Note: these are in no particular order other than that which they came to mind.)
Site: soma.fm. (Yes, without the “www”. Sophisticated, huh?) (Update 09-22-2017: you’ll be automatically redirected to their player, at least when you try to pull up the mobile site. Since I’m editing this via mobile, that’s where the link goes.)
Why the site rules: This page is home to 14 different FREE, internet radio stations dedicated to playing a wide variety of eclectic, independent music. Bonus: they’re also commercial free, save for the occasional FYI that they are donation-supported and the un-annoying suggestion to donate.
Site: consumerist.org. (Also without the “www”.) (Update 09-22-2017: their site was completely destroyed following a DOS attack, so the link points to their post-2012 site, the dot-com version.)
Why the site rules: Despite its sometimes slow-and-desperate news days and their pointed lack of verification of information sources (attributes which some could argue are part of its candid charm) this site offers a good host of information about different companies from a consumer point of view. Whether a company screwed them over as a customer, or a disgruntled ex-employee decided to bear all, the site is at least a good entertainment source, and it can even offer the public some “don’t let this happen to you” advice about how not to get suckered into the increasingly scummy practices of some of the most mischievous of the Fortune 500.
Site: failblog.org. (OK, I’m getting creeped out now.) (Update 09-22-2017: this site’s URL has also changed, as it was brought under the Cheezburger umbrella since the time of the original writing.)
Why the site rules: Capitalizing shamelessly on the misfortune and naivety of others and armed with the substandard megapixel-quality cellphone insta-cameras to prove it, this site lists photos and videos of likely candidates of Darwin awards. Awesome for a good laugh. Refreshingly non-political.
Site: www.bodyworkonline.com. (Update 09-22-2017: I’m not sure when, but my beloved BWOL has “crashed” and “needs repair”. Seriously, it actually says that.)
Why the site rules: This is a serious professional internet message forum specifically for massage therapists. If you’re an MT of any type (or you’re at all considering entering the field) and you haven’t yet heard of this site or visited, you really need to. Be sure to plan several hours, because the threads are organized as all get out, and the site is very addicting. For best results, you’ll want to start at the beginning of the archives, which means digging deep and working backwards, but it’s worth it. If you’re not an MT or interested in the field, don’t feel left out. If you’re a client or a hobbyist, there’s even a section for you. Don’t worry, registration is always free and you won’t receive any spam.
Why the site rules: No one has done more to change the financial outlook of more people in this country than Dave Ramsey. Nobody talks more sense than he does. He has a refreshing lack of covert agenda or absence of hard sales of any product or service. He’s in it simply to share information and help people out and you can tell right away. Implementing his ideas has already changed our lives. On his site, you can find financial and business professionals in your city that think like he does. The site also has anecdotes of people who fell into traps, and they post their stories so others don’t fall into their footsteps.
Site: http://www.classstuff.net. (Update 09-22-2017: alas, this site expired about a year or two after I had learned about it. It is no longer.)
Why the site rules: If you’ve ever considered becoming a chiropractic doctor, know that you are not alone in your fruitless search for candid information about what it’s really like in chiropractic school. Wouldn’t it be nice to hear from someone without an agenda? Honestly, there is very little actual objective information publically available. This website contains the archives of writings by one person in one class at one school who chronicled the experiences of the class from Day 1 up until graduation. These are recent grads, too; they walked the stage in December 2008, so you know you’re not getting the testimony of someone who graduated in the 1970s when chiropractic education seemed, overall, much better. While your usage mileage may vary, it’s still well-written and worth several great laughs.
Why the site rules: If you’ve started researching the chiropractic field, chances are, you came across this site first, but in case you haven’t, here’s the lowdown: it is chalk full of good information–anything from well-written serious articles to a good selection of classified ads. Definitely don’t make any final decisions about chiropractic (becoming one) until you’ve seen this site.
Site: www. kakophone.com. (Update 09-22-2017: It appears that this site, too, is not what it was. Google still lists it, but the description reads something about music generation. And when I click on the search result, the site doesn’t load.)
Why the site rules: You can find out what was going on the day of your birth, and your various signs according to a gazillion different astrological systems. While it’s not brimming with pragmatic information like insider stock tips or anything, but it IS a delicious time-waster that is definitely worth the visit. Just enter in your birthday and presto: apparently I’m the Pine sign in Celtic astrology, and the Eagle in Aztec astrology. My partner tried it too–in Aztec terms, he’s the sign of Death.
Why the site rules: You probably already know about this site, but if not…if you’ve ever wanted a wealth of information on all kinds of health topics and natural remedies for your most mysterious and frustrating conditions, this is definitely a good place to start. It even has a searchable database; the only drawback is that to view some articles you have to register. Never fear, registration is free, and the information is worth it. Unfortunately there is still a lack of mention of adjustments, which is surprising considering Mercola is a DO (Doctor of Osteopathy, the field of which was also, like chiropractic, found on naturopathic principles, self-healing philosophies, and manual spinal adjusting).
Site: http://www.ambient.us. (Update 09-22-2017: Alas, this site doesn’t exist anymore, either; it’s been taken over by an art outfit selling ridiculously-high-priced paintings.)
Why the site rules: Ready to expand your musical horizons? Ready to travel around the world instrumentally, and reach new depths or heights of the art of chilling out? Craving a change, a shakedown, an upheaval in the same ol’ same ol’? Look no further. The only drawback is that it doesn’t seem to have been updated in a while; most of the music is from 3-5 years ago. But then again, much of the music that came out during that time remains a Gold Standard of sorts today. So dilate your mind and crank up the Ipod…
Why the site rules: If the Ambient.us site whets your appetite, this site will satisfy your palette all the better. It ventures more in-depth, and it’s much better organized and updated.
Why the site rules: Crank the big stacks, people! Spawned from the brainchild of geniuses, this is a FREE music genome project. Pull up the site and simply punch in a song title or artist, and this gem of a site will actually create an entire radio station around the properties and nature of that song, delivering songs both known and unknown and injecting fresh blood into the stale contemporary music landscape. A delicious tool for work or at home. Better yet, create a free account and they will save your station(s)–yes, you can have as many as you want, as far as I know–and your preferences. You can even vote individual songs up or down, so if something they anticipated you’d like misses the mark, they learn from their mistake and they never play that song again.
Why the site rules: This is another music site, but it’s different. This one is a die-hard-altern80s-fan-driven resource for All Things (Genuinely) Alternative, even before the word “alternative” came to be associated with that type of formerly-underground music. Neat feature: the “Song ID” link that serves as a Godsend when trying to identify the artist of the really bitchin’ snippet you caught the very end of after dosing off at 3am during another insomniac attack.
That’s all I can think of for now. There may very well be more to come. Feel free to add your own!