THE FRIDAY FIVE
It’s the weekend and time to give in to a little fun. If you can’t get out because it’s still too snowy—or you blew through your entertainment budget last weekend—here’s a list of online places to chill you out, cheer you up or inspire you to try something new. (Caution: Some of these were responsible for seriously missed deadlines by Attorney-at-Workers.)
1. Make marvelous things. Sodaplay has been around for years but recently relaunched. There is something to please everyone here. Essentially, you design and build two-dimensional things and then animate them. Even if you don’t see yourself as the artsy builder type, you can check out thousands of models made by other Sodaplayers and mess with their gravity, friction and springiness. Post your work on your blog or website if you make something stupendous.
2. Enter the world of 3D! (Otherwise known as reality, for you couch spuds.) MakeProjects is a living library for makers—a how-to community hosted by Make magazine. You can build something from their “cookbook” of projects, tweak existing projects to improve them or share your own step-by-step. Explore the projects posted by others and you’ll find everything from a Pull Tab Picture Hanger to an Earthquake Detector.
3. More into words? Then see what kind of trouble you can get into with anagrams. You know, reorganizing the letters in a word or phrase to make another new word or phrase. Though lots of sites do this automatically, we like Wordsmith best. There’s an Anagram Hall of Fame for those who just want a good belly laugh.
4. Relax and enjoy a truly beautiful movie. Made by French designer Joanna Lurie, Le Silence Sous L’ecirce or The Silence Beneath the Bark is quiet, gorgeous, funny and quite moving. If you want to know more, you can find a documentary about how the film was made at Lurie’s website. A perfect tribute to a late Winter’s eve.
5. Eat it up! Cabin fever is bound to strike eventually. For something new to try outside your four walls, google “restaurant week” deals in your city. To help drum up business, restaurants participating in these annual events offer deep discounts on prix fixe lunches and dinners. Restaurant week is coming up in Chicago (February 18-27), Denver (February 26-March 11), Atlantic City ( February 27-March 5), Minneapolis/St. Paul (February 27-March 4), Maine (March 1-12), Boston (March 6-11), Albuquerque (March 13-20), New York’s Hudson Valley (March 14-27), and National Harbor (D.C. area) (March 14-27). Winter can be especially tough on restaurants, so really it’s your duty to dine. (Sign up for Opentable.com and you’ll always know when restaurant week deals hit your town.)