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GifCities: Over 4.5 Million Searchable, Old-School, Animated Gifs

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In celebration of its 20th anniversary of archiving the web, the Internet Archive has released GifCities. It’s an animated GIF search engine that has indexed millions of animated GIFs from the obsolete GeoCities websites.

Geocities was an early web hosting service, started in 1994 and acquired by Yahoo in 1999, with which users could create their own custom websites. The platform hosted over 38 million user-built pages and was at one time the third most visited site on the web. In 2009, Yahoo announced it was closing down the service, at which point the Internet Archive attempted to archive as much of the content as possible.

Mining this collection, we extracted over 4,500,000 animated GIFs (1,600,000 unique images) and then used the filenames and directory path text to build a best-effort “full text” search engine. Each GIF also links back to the original Geocities page on which it was embedded (and some of these pages are even more awesome than the GIFs).

Head over there to relive a classic era of the World Wide Web. And please, go notify all your readers that your site is still under construction.

Crocheted On TV

As Crocheted On TV

Crocheted On TV

The Crochet Time blog has an entire category that discusses crocheted blankets seen on TV. The blog’s author figures out the patterns and yarn types used in all kinds of throws and blankets from tv shows like Roseanne, Mad Men, Taxi (as seen above), and It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia. Most of the afghans use a variation of the basic granny square but there is great variation in color, style and stitch.

If you google around you’ll find all kinds of people replicating blankets from their favorite tv shows. Things like this are why I love the internet.

Chance The Rapper

A Collection Of Thousands Of Hip Hop Mixtapes

Chance The Rapper

Jason Scott has uploaded thousands and thousands of hip-hop mixtapes to the Internet Archive (almost 6,000 to date). He says he has access to over 17,000 tapes and somewhere close to that number might end up on the Archive over the next few months. There is obviously a ton of hip-hop culture to dig through here. Jason notes:

There’s a lot coded into the covers of these mixtapes (not to even mention the stuff coded into the lyrics themselves) – there’s stressing of riches, drug use, sexual drive, and oppression. I’m personally fascinated at the amount of reference to codeine and the purple color of “Purple Drank”, which, if you’ve missed that subject matter up to now… good for you.

If you’re new to the world of hip-hop mixtapes (as I am) the links below should get your discovery started

This is a great time to point out that the Internet Archive is an invaluable resource. In these times of link rot and the haphazard closing of essential web services (we miss you Google Reader) the Internet Archive is, well, archiving the web. The Wayback Machine now indexes over 435 billion webpages going back nearly 20 years.

The end goal here, like all the things I do in this realm, is simple: Providing free access to huge amounts of culture, so people can reference, contextualize, enjoy and delight over material in an easy-to-reach, linkable, usable manner. Apparently it’s already taken off, but here you go too.

Bookslut Is Dead. Long Live Bookslut

RIP Bookslut. It has published its final issue. I’m sad to see it go. I was never a heavy reader the site but I always had an affinity for it. See, my foray into the blogging world started fourteen years ago with a book blog that started just a month after Bookslut. So I have always considered Bookslut to be a much more worthwhile, articulate, entertaining and much smarter stepsister-blog to my little “I Love You Too” book blog.

There is an excellent interview in Vulture with Jessa Crispin, the site’s founder and editor. Here’s a favorite pull-quote to get you salivating:

There’s always space to do whatever you want. You won’t get as much attention, but fuck attention. Fight for integrity. Now everyone has a TinyLetter instead of a blog. As soon as the first writer got a book deal for a TinyLetter, everyone’s TinyLetter just became book-deal bait, written the same way. This weird conformity just takes over as soon as the possibility of money or access or respectability comes up. That’s disappointing.

Hamburger Helper Album Cover

Hamburger Helper Wins April Fools

Yeah yeah yeah, I know, you think April Fools Day on the internet sucks. I get it, most attempts at authentic humor by major brands fall flat, are completely annoying, or even potentially harmful. And Paul Ford is right when he says, “As the number of users (of a service or product) increases, humor opportunities approach zero.” It’s true, laughter does not scale. And most attempts by major brands to appear to be authentically funny on funny day, just end up not being that funny.

However, that doesn’t mean all attempts aren’t funny, or at least enjoyable, even by the most jaded of internet denizens. Comedy is hard. Very hard. But if it’s good it doesn’t matter the size of the audience. This year, General Mill’s Hamburger Helper bucked the trend by dropping a surprisingly great mix on SoundCloud. I love this. Yo Glove, turn up!!

Acrobats far from their mountain home -- grizzly bears in a street at Jacksonville, Florida. [1905] 1870?-1906?

New York Public Library Has Over 670,000 Digitized Items And Some Very Cool Tools To Access Them

Acrobats far from their mountain home -- grizzly bears in a street at Jacksonville, Florida. [1905] 1870?-1906?Acrobats far from their mountain home — grizzly bears in a street at Jacksonville, Florida. [1905] 1870?-1906? via NYPL stereograph collection

Earlier this week the New York Public Library enhanced access to over 670,000 digitized files in its massive database of digital collections. This includes access to free books, paintings, newspaper clippings, digitized streaming video, prints, botanical illustrations, photographs, maps, manuscripts, sheet music, menus, hundreds of thousands of public domain images, and more. Some of the documents date back as far as the 11th century

Best of all, NYPL has created some really cool tools to search, access and utilize the collection.

All of the Public Domain items are “No permission required. No restrictions on use.” They digitized these items specifically so that people will reuse and remix for your personal projects. So much so that NYPL announced the NYPL Labs PAID Remix Residency for artists, information designers, and software developers that is designed to spur transformative and interesting new uses for their digital collections. If that isn’t enough NYPL is adding high-quality machine-readable metadata to the hundreds of thousands of assets and providing an API!

Well done, NYPL. Go forth and reuse!

via Coudal

Definitive List Of Things You Should Have Already Experienced On The Internet Part 2015

Greg Rutter is at it again with his annual Definitive List Of Things You Should Have Already Experienced On The Internet. The lists seem to get shorter and short as the years go by with this list clocking in at only 47 entries (I’ll try to add some deserving entries when I get the time). However, like earlier years, every link is a worthwhile link. A great way to waste away your winter break.

01) Dover Police Dash Cam Confessional
02) Ship Your Enemies Glitter
03) Selena Gomez Prom Invite
04) RC Millennium Falcon
05) Cat Jumps Through Snowbank
06) Dr. Phil With No Dialogue
07) Cantore Thundersnow
08) What Color Is The Dress
09) Llama Drama
10) Justin Bieber’s Carpool Karaoke
11) Himalayas From 20,000 Feet
12) Hype Man Duties
13) Zoolander at Valentino Show
14) Robert Downey Jr. Delivers A Bionic Arm
15) Earl Sinclair Performs “Hypnotize”
16) Left hanging when you need the answers on a test
17) Why the f*ck you lying
18) Drake’s Hotline Bling
19) Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch
20) Father Invites Stepfather Down The Aisle
21) Attention Kmart Shoppers
22) Rejected Pepto Bismol Superbowl Ad
23) Man In The Giant Waterballoon
24) Babboon With Computer
25) Duck Army
26) Father Daughter Beatbox Battle
27) Chuck Esterly’s Stand Up Debut
28) Peanut Butter Baby
29) Obama Reads Mean Tweets
30) Tee Ball Bat Flip
31) Later That Same Life
32) The Dancing Doge
33) An Irishman In Las Vegas
34) Pizza Rat
35) Company is coming
36) Holy Mother Nikki
37) Adele At Adele Impersonation Contest
38) Chairbacca
39) The Last Message Received
40) Pelican Learns To Fish
41) U2 Busks On The Subway
42) Silento- Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae)
43) Plastic Ball Prank
44) Guy Has Seisure While Skydiving
45) Merry Christmas Starbucks
46) This Damn Ass Rock
47) Cats Vs Cucumbers