HISTORY, n. An account mostly false, of events mostly unimportant, which are brought about by rulers mostly knaves, and soldiers mostly fools.
[Ambrose Bierce - The Devil's Dictionary]
There's a lot of boring stuff out there on web, but there's also a heck of a lot of great sites. Here, then, are some places well worth a visit or two.
Maybe you know everything about how everything works. In that case, congratulations (though it must be a bit boring). If not, chances are you'll get the info here.
There's so much good stuff here, but I'll mention just a couple of neat features:
In the moving images archive, you'll find enough old commercials, newsreels and even complete feature films to keep you busy for a month.
In the wayback machine, you can browse archived versions of countless sites. Perhaps even the 1997 version of your own first attempt to make an impact online.
Bartleby.com, named after a Herman Melville story (without the .com), has an impressive selection of texts, encyclopaedic, poetical or fictional.
Classic novels, history, world facts, language, mythology - here's where it's at.
Classis texts online, from H.C. Anderson to Virginia Woolf. Get literature, man...
Quotes from The Simpsons, categorized by persons and themes. Almost guaranteed to brighten up your day.
» The Simpsons Quotes
If you think you're a skilled 3D artist, take a look at the art displayed at raph.com
Some very talented people have uploaded their 3D work here to be judged by a jury of no less than 20 international artists. The standards are, as you may guess, pretty high and it's as humbling as it is entertaining to browse the gallery.
If you think you're alone in realizing the Actual Meaning of a song, chances are this discussion site will disappoint you. Someone else has usually been struck by the same revelaion.
On the other hand, chances are that you'll find five more, equally interesting interpretations of that NiN / Smiths / Britney song.
This is, simply put, the Internet at its best. I'm sure you know about what is, arguably, the world's best encyclopedia but a link list would hardly be complete without it.
Edited by a vast user base, this online database of info (including media) holds articles on anything you might expect from a regular encyclopedia, but also the quite unexpected. Where else could you count on finding enlightening articles on Wuxia and the Shaw Brothers Studio, to name just a couple of examples.
There is of course a question of credibility when basically anyone can edit a page, but the quality of the encyclopedia is testament to both the intelligent editing system and, well the Internet community as a whole. Almost always, Wikipedia articles are both informative and accurate - and debatable issues are presented as such.
The dictionary where users help define slang words or expressions not included in the vocabulary of the unstreetwise. Or, mainly as it would seem, create new words.
Some of the definitions are very witty indeed, reminiscent of the Douglas Adams "Meaning of Liff" dictionaries. Many, however, are not suitable for "all readers" as the expression goes.
Or, as the disclaimer at the bottom puts it:
Urban Dictionary is not appropriate for all audiences
And some phrases are simply funnoying
» Urban Dictionary
Looking for the weird and wonderful things to complement your daily coffee ritual?
Couldn't put it better myself, so I just quoted them for the description.
» Dark Roasted Blend