'Random Useful Websites' Will Find You Random Useful Websites, So Here Are 8 Nifty Ones To Get You Started
Confession: I'm a sucker for any sort of engine that involves clicking a button and seeing a different result each time. That's probably why I'm so taken with the idea of Random Useful Websites, which does pretty much exactly what it says — all you have to do is push the “Let's Go” button, and it will open up a new tab with a random, useful website in it. Suffice to say, it's my new favorite thing on the Internet.
Created by Dan Walker and Matthew Carpenter — who you might remember from the insanity that was Ship Your Enemies Glitter — Random Useful Websites is one of those ideas that's so simple and elegant, and yet so useful, that it makes you wonder why it took so long for someone to invent it in the first place. True, variations on the theme have existed for a while — Google's “I'm Feeling Lucky” button, for example, and the entire premise of StumbleUpon — but this one? It fills a very specific void that most prior versions lacked: The search not just for a random activity to keep you entertained or occupied, but one which also results in something truly useful.
And the sites in Random Useful Websites' database are useful. In just a few minutes of experimentation, I found online tools that do everything from helping you learn a new language to letting you know how well your Wi-Fi is working. And I'm sure that if I continued to spend even more time with it, I'd eventually end up with more productivity tools at my beck and call than I could possibly know what to do with. I'm content to stick with what I have for now — at least, until I find myself with some time to fill that I don't feel like wasting completely — but still. The possibilities are literally endless.
Want a taste of what it can do? Here are eight random, useful websites I found through Random Useful Websites:
OK, so yes, if you have a device that allows you to get online and access this website, odds are it's got an alarm clock function of its own — but this one does a whole bunch of other things those other devices don't: A page that plays relaxing rain noises nonstop while it's performing its other timekeeping functions, for example, and games to keep you occupied if you can't sleep.
Remember Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing? Or Mario Teaches Typing? Well, these days, we have Typing.com instead. Whether you could use a few typing lessons or you just want to find out how quickly you type, it's got you covered. Fun fact: I just learned that I type 106 words per minute with 99 percent accuracy. I mean, yes, that makes sense, given that I pretty much type for a living — but still. How's that for a bold addition to my resume?
Admittedly I was already aware of Duolingo, thanks to numerous AskReddit threads about free or cheap stuff on the Internet everyone should take advantage of — but Random Useful Websites just gave me a good reminder about it. If you want to pick up a foreign language, but don't have the cash to shell out for something like Rosetta Stone, Duolingo can get you started on standards like French, German, and Spanish, as well as some less common ones like Irish and Esperonto (for reals).
4. Hours Of
Struck by the world's most intense Oreo craving in the wee hours of the morning? Hours Of can tell you what grocery stores nearby are open so you can nip it in the bud. It also works for more practical things, like banks and gas stations. Always knowing when stores are open? Heck. And Yes.
If you don't have Amazon Prime, then you know the struggle that is being two bucks short of free delivery and not knowing what you toss in your cart to meet that $35 minimum. That's what Amazon Filler Item Finder is for: You tell it how much you need to spend in order to get free shipping, and it will tell you what items fit that bill (literally). I don't know about you guys, but I would totally shell out $2.29 for The Poky Little Puppy or The Monster at the End of This Book.
We've all been there: You're planning on getting together with a group of friends you haven't seen in a while… but you all live in different locations. How do you decide where the best place to meet up is such that no one person has to travel significantly further than the others? That's what Midway Meetup is for. All you have to do is input the starting address of where each person is coming from, then specify the kind of place you'd like to meet up — a coffee shop, a movie theater, whatever. Using that information, Midway Meetup will calculate the most convenient place for everyone.
The fact that most hotels come with Wi-Fi these days is a beautiful thing. The fact that a lot of hotels have sub-par Wi-Fi, however, tarnishes the beauty a little bit. If you're having trouble connecting to the Internet, Hotel WiFi Test will do exactly what it says — test out your Wi-Fi to see how it's performing. That way at least you know whether it's the Wi-Fi or your computer that's having issues — and as an added bonus, you don't necessarily have to be in a hotel for it to work. Oh, and did I mention that it can also find hotels with good Wi-Fi for you? Seriously, you guys. Bookmark this one.
Not sure what to make for dinner? Tell MyFridgeFood what you have on hand and it will tell you what you can make with those ingredients. Easy-peasy — and healthy and wallet-friendly, too.
Images: Pexels; Websites (9)