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The Friday Five

Just a Flight of Fancy

By The Editors

It’s Friday. (Pfew!) Time to take a time-out from tedium and flex a few fun muscles to get in shape for the weekend. Be careful, though, some of this week’s Friday Five links can suck the time right out of your work day. So here we go, from the sublime to the ridiculous!

1. Shakespeare goes Hollywood. Sometimes impressions of famous people aren’t all that entertaining after the first moment or two. But Jim Meskimen reciting Clarence’s speech from Richard III as, say, Christopher Walken or George Bush or Craig Ferguson? Well, you’ve just got to see this.

2. You vs. the computer. If Rock-Paper-Scissors is your decision-making method of choice, then you’re going to love this interactive version from the New York Times online “Smarter Than You Think” series. It may teach you a thing or two about … er … losing. Go on, choose “veteran.” We dare you!

3. Can you wiggle your ears? Ever listen to Radiolab on NPR? To illustrate “The Obsessive Pleasures of ‘Radiolab,’” the New York Times Sweet Sounds of Science page posted some striking sound effects used to create big ideas. Warning: You’ll want to turn down your speakers before clicking on “The Big Bang!” (And will someone please explain the “hook” maneuver to us?)

4. A whale of a good time. Now, while you’re in the listening mode, how about using your computer keyboard to sing to the humpback whales? “F, F, F, J” seemed to strike the right … umm … chord with our whale. (Do watch Optus’s whale song inspiration video. Very cool.)

5. “So we drove on toward death through the cooling twilight.” And now for something completely silly: The Great Gatsby Game. Yeah, we know. But how can you resist an antic dash through the Gatsby mansion? Just remember that space jumps, z shoots and arrow keys move right and left. Hit the f key for full screen. (Note that in full-screen mode, tab shoots. Weird.) And look out for Dr. Ecklenberg’s glasses!

Categories: Daily Dispatch, Friday Five, Innovation, Playtime
Originally published August 12, 2011
Last updated August 15, 2011
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