Sarah Hagi calls herself “a Canadian writer on the loose.” We’re big fans of her funny, thoughtful writing. She’s currently based in the Netherlands and has contributed to numerous publications, including the one you’re reading right now. Here are some of her favorite places on the internet.
I once applied for a job at this very cool tech company that had one of those offices where every floor has a theme and all the snacks are unlimited. In the application, there was a section that asked to submit your favorite YouTube video—and without thinking this was my selection. I was severely under-qualified for the job, but I’d like to think this helped me at least get an interview.
The Jumping of the Eggs is a true 50-second masterpiece of a YouTube video, and I have been revisiting it every so often for the last three years. The video features some kind of old school new segment where I imagine average citizens get to show off their extraordinary talents. This guy claims to be able to jump on eggs and human noses without breaking them. I just adore how this all went wrong.
Clearly, nobody vetted this dude’s talent. Could you really question a dude who claims he “can jump on eggs and noses without breaking them?” Also, I love how he was wearing shorts! And his commentary throughout! God, this video is beautiful.
You guys, I promise you the dictionary website isn’t as boring as it sounds. It’s not like literally reading the dictionary—it’s full of word games and quizzes that legitimately have made me smarter. (OK, I have no proof of this but I feel smarter.) I get so embarrassed when I don’t know how to use words or have been pronouncing them incorrectly, and Merriam Webster is a safe space for people like me. It is also great if you’re in the mood to prove someone wrong. For example: Everyone says “irregardless” isn’t actually a word, but it is! This website is great if you’re procrastinating and don’t want to feel too bad about it because at least you’re learning, right?
Sometimes I like to think about what I used to do on the internet before social networking and YouTube. One of my most visited website pre-2005 was The Simpsons Archive (then known as SNPP).
Like a lot of people my age, I owe a large chunk of my sense of humor to being raised on classic episodes of The Simpsons. Some of my best memories are Simpsons Archive– related. Weekends spent with my brother reading dialogue from our favorite episodes, or my best friend and I memorizing the lines of “Homer’s Enemy” together. One of the best things about the archive is that the website looks nearly the exact same even after all these years; even though I can easily stream or download any episode, I still find myself reading my favorite episodes and chuckling to myself on the bus.
It always feels good to read something that makes you go, “I guess I’m not alone.” This essay by my friend Anupa, for The Hairpin, made me feel this exact way. Anupa explains the essay was supposed to be all about Kim Kardashian’s selfie book, Selfish, but instead prompted her write a deeply personal and relatable essay about beauty and self-esteem. There’s one specific part of the essay that made me reflect on my own relationship with beauty in a way that made me wish it had existed when I was a teenager:
“Feeling like I genetically lacked a more lucrative social currency, I became bright and curious instead. It didn’t result in many real world gains—I’m almost certain life would be easier if I had a smaller nose—but I developed an absurdly high level of confidence rooted entirely in understanding that I’ll always occupy a certain place on the hierarchy of attractiveness.”
Though I’m much more confident now than I was 10 years ago, I still have a long way to go. For me, this essay also helps me remember it’s not a race and hopefully—I’ll get there.
Every once in awhile, I am reminded this exists. It’s always so nice to come across a website that has literally not changed since it was made, and this is almost as old as they come. Unchanged since 1996, which is really an eternity in internet years, this belongs in a museum. What I love most about this site is how personal it all feels. Seriously, for a movie that grossed $250 million and starred one of the world’s most famous athletes, it looks almost like a school project. Not only that, it’s so detailed—likely because it was before DVD features—but still, it’s incredibly heartwarming to me.
I love Wikipedia lists, and this popular list is maybe the best Wikipedia hole to get sucked into. It’s also like being told there’s no Santa like a million times or having someone, “well, actually.” you for hours.
Neatly categorized for all your dream-crushing pleasure, this very detailed list has SO MANY FACTS. Things I’ve learned:
- Vikings never had horns on their helmets.
- A cup of coffee usually has more caffeine than a single shot of espresso.
- You don’t need to wait 24 hours before filing a missing-person report.
- “The” wasn’t actually pronounced “ye” in Old English.
- Vomitoriums were not special rooms where ancient Romans would vomit.
- Dogs mostly sweat through their footpads, not their tongues.
Of course, none of this will ever be super useful in your actual life—but BOY IS IT FUN! ♦