The Best of the Web: 2015

A list of some of the best quality content I’ve seen on the web in the past several years. You might be aware of these, but if not do take a look:

For ideas and inspiration: TED Talks

Ted Talks are presentations by people with ideas. TED stands for Technology, Education, and Design, but the talks themselves cover all sorts of topics including environmentalism, entrepreneurship, science, society, and quite a few others as well. Not every talk is awe-inspiring, but enough of them are to warrant an occasional visit. Many of the talks are worth re-watching periodically. A few of my personal favorites are from: Alain de Botton, Tim Ferris, and Louie Schwartzberg.

For the latest in science, technology and internet news: Ars Technica

Ars Technica is a niche news website. They focus on their topics and rarely stray. As a result the site tends to draw very well versed readers. One of my favorite aspects of Ars Technica is the fact that the comments threads are usually as informative as the articles themselves. Experts in their fields discuss the news, point out errors, discrepancies, and the like quickly and with a limited form of peer review. Comments are typically down-voted for their inaccuracy, or irrelevancy rather than because the thing they said was unpopular. That’s not universally true, but certainly more-so than your typical public-facing comments thread.

For visual inspiration and motivation: Zen Pencils

Gavin Aung Than is an extremely talented comic artist that took a simple idea and made it shine: illustrated quotes. He chooses eloquent, motivational, and important words from figures throughout history and gives them new life and often new interpretations through his medium of choice, comics. On my wish-list are canvas mounted versions of the following: A Meditation, Press On, and of course Thousands of Candles.

For film appreciation: Every Frame a Painting

Tony Zhou makes video essays about films and film making. His analysis is sharp, his videos are great and enjoyable, and his voice is remarkably pleasant to listen to. The simplicity and focus of his videos is a big draw for me and the attention to aesthetics is a refreshing change compared to the majority of self-published content I see. His library of videos is not super big yet, so you should watch them all, but a personal favorite covering one of my favorite directors ever, Satoshi Kon.

For a window into geek life and socialization: Tabletop

Wil Wheaton hosts this show which gives video instructions and reviews on tabletop games. While most people are familiar with games like Monopoly, Life, and Scrabble, this show takes us to a deeper level and brings on board many geek personalities from gaming, science-fiction, and technology circles as co-hosts. The episodes are extremely well edited, humorous, and educational. They also provide a leaping point for my own social groups to acquire new games to meet up and play together. Thanks to Tabletop as a group we’ve discovered: Takenoko, Lords of Waterdeep, and Five Tribes, among many others.

For cats: I am Maru

The internet is for cats. You’re welcome: まるです

That’s all I’ve got for now, by all means tell me what you think. I’m probably missing out on some great parts of the interwebs.

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