It’s Friday afternoon and work is a ghost town, but you can’t leave until 5:00. So you decide to make good use of your blissful respite from incoming service tickets.
Maybe you start out with good intentions, like organizing your email inbox, but that doesn’t last long.
Here are 9 cool and amazing things to do with your browser, from reasonably productive to totally time-wasting.
1. Prepare for the “Where Do You Want to Go?” Conversation
We’ve all been on both sides of this debate. You’re going out to eat with a friend or date, and one of you says, “Where do you want to go?” The other responds, “I don’t care. What’s close by?” Next time be ready. Go to the Google Map page of your location and type “restaurants” into the search bar. Or, just type “restaurants loc:XXXXX” where XXXXX is the zip code you’re interested in, to learn your nearby options.
2. Spice Up Your Google Hangout
Hangouts now has over 800 emojis, which you can use to add emphasis, convey emotion, or simply annoy. Maybe take it a step further by typing in the Konami Code (up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A, enter) and change your background. Or, you could type these strings into your dialog box to add visual effects:
• /Pitchforks – unleashes angry townspeople carrying pitchforks across the window
• /ShyDino – causes a green dinosaur to peek from behind a small house in your chat window
• /BikeShed – changes your background color
• /Ponies – makes animated ponies cross the window
In Google+ chat, you can type in the Nyan Cat emoticon (9^^__^^9), and watch the text turn into an animated Nyan Cat.
3. Play a Game
Open Google Image Search and search on “Atari Breakout.” A playable version of the game shows up in the image results. Or go to the website daskeyboard.com, scroll to the bottom, and click on “Destroy this site.” Voilà: Space Invaders! Or try a regular Google search on Zerg Rush.
4. Speaking of the Konami Code …
If someone’s left a Google Doc open and unattended, and is in need of being pranked, type in the Konami code and the document will reverse to a mirror image of itself.
Or, open Buzzfeed and type in the Konami Code (trigger warning for anyone over age 13).
What has been seen cannot be unseen.
5. View Some Tasty ASCII Art
Go to KitKat.com, right click, then click “View Page Source” (or its equivalent in a non-Chrome browser). Mmm … delicious ASCII art …
6. Make That Boring YouTube Video More Exciting
You promised your brother you’d watch the video of his kid’s violin recital, and you’re bored, stuck at work, and there’s nothing else to do, so you bring up the video on YouTube to make good on your promise. You could “accidentally” click on the white space to the right of the video, and “accidentally” type 1980 on your numeric keypad. Then you could “accidentally” play Missile Command instead of watching little Braden screeching out “Crunchy Cookies” in the key of J.
7. Appreciate the Beauty of Numbers
Go to YouTube and type “Fibonacci” into the search bar. The results come up in Fibonacci sequence order. Nod and chuckle knowingly upon remembering what a Fibonacci sequence is.
8. Go to Facebook and Pretend You’re in Australia
Log into Facebook and go to your Settings. Under the drop-down menu for choosing your language, choose “English (upside down)” to turn the text upside down. Bonus if there are actual Australians in your office, because this will annoy them to no end.
9. Give Peg Man a Makeover
Right now, when you go to Street View on Google Maps, Peg Man is dressed in his football gear due to the 2014 World Cup. However, once the World Cup is over, there are ways to make him take on different looks:
• If you click the time rewind icon (it looks like a clock) to look at older Street View information, Peg Man turns into Back to the Future’s Doc Brown.
• Find the “roads” on Half Moon Island in Antarctica and drag Peg Man to this spot. He’ll turn into a penguin.
• Bring Peg Man to Telegraph Avenue in Berkeley, California and he wears a tie-dye t-shirt.
• During Christmas week, he is a snowman.
• Put him in LegoLand in Carlsbad, California, and he becomes a LEGO Minifigure.
• In Sun Valley, Idaho, he’s a skier.
• In Arthur Ashe Stadium in Flushing Meadows, he’s a tennis player.
• At Kennedy Space Center, he’s an astronaut.