Random Internet Discovery of the Week

Okay, this is a little creepy. Are you absolutely desperate to talk to a real person, you absolutely can’t stand going through automated menus, even if it means having to talk in Spanish? This list is for you! If there are people so desperate that this list is useful to them, it makes me wonder why ANYone would have an automated menu…

Random Internet Discovery of the Week

I’m late on this RID and I didn’t get any votes on the Da Blog Poll anyway, so I’m extending the poll another week. Here are the topics I’m currently subscribed to, and which I would tentatively remain subscribed to if the poll decides I should pick the topics myself (I don’t know what a lot of these entail). I tried to pick as broad a cross-section as possible while also appealing to my own interests and trying to stick to the topic poll on the front page of the web site.


  • American History
  • Arts
  • Classical Studies
  • Dancing
  • Ethics
  • Fine Arts
  • History
  • Humanities
  • Live Theatre
  • Logic
  • Performing Arts
  • Philosophy


  • Business
  • Capitalism
  • Consumer Info


  • Computer Hardware
  • Computers
  • Cyberculture
  • Internet
  • Internet Tools
  • Multimedia
  • Online Games
  • Software
  • StumbleUpon
  • Video Games
  • Web Development
  • Weblogs


  • Health/Fitness
  • Medical Science
  • Self Improvement


  • Board Games
  • Card Games
  • Chess
  • Collecting
  • Humor
  • Poker
  • Roleplaying Games
  • Satire


  • Family
  • Food/Cooking
  • Kids
  • Married Life
  • Parenting
  • Pregnancy/Birth
  • Teen Life


  • Alternative News
  • Animation
  • Books
  • Comic Books
  • Fantasy Books
  • Journalism
  • Poetry
  • Radio Broadcasts
  • Science Fiction
  • Shakespeare
  • Television
  • Writing


  • Classic Films
  • Music
  • Movies
  • Agriculture
  • Animals
  • Nature
  • Outdoors


  • USA


  • Athiest-Agnostic
  • Religion
  • Spirituality


  • Alternative Energy
  • Anthropology
  • Astronomy
  • Aviation/Aerospace
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Civil Engineering
  • Cognitive Science
  • Ecology
  • Economics
  • Environment
  • Gadgets
  • Geography
  • Geoscience
  • Linguistics
  • Mathematics
  • Meteorology
  • Physics
  • Physiology
  • Political Science
  • Psychology
  • Science/Tech
  • Sociology
  • Space Exploration
  • Trains/Railroads
  • Transportation


  • Activism
  • Anarchism
  • Biographies
  • Career Planning
  • Communism
  • Conservative Politics
  • Counterculture
  • Culture/Ethnicity
  • Dating Tips
  • Feminism
  • Government
  • Hedonism
  • Int’l Development
  • Law
  • Liberal Politics
  • Liberties/Rights
  • Men’s Issues
  • Military
  • News (General)
  • Personal Sites
  • Politics
  • Socialism
  • University/College


  • American Football
  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Golf
  • Hockey
  • Martial Arts
  • Motor Sports
  • Soccer
  • Sports (General)
  • Tennis

This excludes a pretty significant number of topics that had been on before, despite the overall increase in topics, and most of them were not even considered for the new list. Just so you know how dire the situation was.

Of course, if the alternative is an ad-overloaded page trying to further or start an internet meme, I’m not sure it’s much of an improvement…

Random Internet Discovery of the Week

I’m linking to this even though I’m not sure how useful it would be (I use an Excel spreadsheet as a “checkbook” of sorts) and I’m announcing right now that this will be the last RID under the status quo. That sort of violates the Da Blog Poll, on which the only vote I received was the one I was least a fan of – “leave it as is” – but that’s no longer an option.

StumbleUpon has either radically broadened the choice of categories to the point that it now requires categorization of the categories, or has merely broadened the choice of categories available to me. There is a cap of 127 categories, and there are far more categories than that to choose from. The previous thesis of the Random Internet Discovery was that I was opening your horizons to stuff from every category.

If the RID is to continue, it will have to involve some sort of cap on topics, some form of selectiveness. I’d really rather not have my topics determined by the fact I was subscribed to them before getting a broadening of my options. That’s practically the same as having them determined at random. So I’m reopening the Da Blog Poll I conducted when the RID was just beginning. Selecting all the topics is not an option, so the question simply asks whether I should select the topics myself, poll you, discontinue the RID, or something else. (If I was scared at a potential 78-topic poll a year ago, imagine the chaos that would ensue with hundreds of topics! That may have to be a comment thread, not a poll!) The poll will run for two weeks and the topics will be self-selected next week, along with a list of the topics I would select.

Random Internet Discovery of the Week

Okay, right as I’m moved to ditch the RID entirely, I finally find something worth commenting on. Because this is pretty much pseudoscience.

First of all, I kind of doubt the underlying idea that cravings for certain types of food are really cravings for the things those foods contain. Especially when one of the claims is that if you’ve got a hankering for alcohol or drugs, it’s not because you have an addiction to the drugs themselves; you just need to find alternate sources of protein, calcium, and potassium! (Similarly, if you’ve got a hankering for tobacco, it’s not nicotine you’re craving, but silicon and tyrosine!) Second, that’s just one example of these people providing one thing and then a laundry list of things you might really be craving instead to the extent you wonder “Wouldn’t it be easier to give in to the craving and not have to pick one thing from column A and one from column B?”

Oh, and “bread” or “toast”? These people really believe in the Atkins diet and other low-carb diets, don’t they? Then again, they think “cool drinks” are a sign you need manganese and should gorge on things like walnuts instead of a sign you need, oh I don’t know, hydration or, say, to cool off

Speaking of hydration, if you have a preference for liquids rather than solids, what you need is water (and you should get it from flavored water? WTF?). On the other hand, if you have a preference for solids rather than liquids, you also need water because you’re so dehydrated you’ve lost your thirst!

Then again, it’s all coming from a naturopathy site preaching one guy’s back-to-nature New Age crap, so maybe I shouldn’t be surprised at the misinformation… (No, wait, it’s the mainstream that’s peddling misinformation! It all makes sense now!)

Random Internet Discovery of the Week

Experimenting with doing this from Friendbar’s “lucky site” button. As I’ll explain in a post later today, I might not keep it up even if it works. And because it’s “a site that is popular today” I’ll be late to the party instead of “discovering” anything.

Is the story in the headline – Google Analytics’ dominance – or in the first paragraph – we like to know how our info is being used?