An Online Escape for Relaxation (Seriously)

Whether you're battling a case of the Wednesdays or want to punch someone after watching last night's presidential debate, there's a web address that will clear your mind for two to ten minutes at a time. is described simply as a "place to relax."

Visitors can choose from a variety of relaxing locations -- a beach, a lake, a grassy field, a stream -- as well as musical backgrounds and whether or not they'd like a soothing voiceover to guide them through short intervals of breathing. Is it cheesy? Of course. But if you don't have time to get outside for a walk or hit your head on the copy machine a few times, here's your free, online escape.

See also:
- WTF NASA: A Collection of NASA-Born Ideas That Have Made Life Awesome
- How to Get Ready for the Apocalypse
- Is Mercury in Retrograde?

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WTF NASA: A Collection of NASA-Born Ideas That Have Made Life Awesome

Jacob Mulligan is an undergrad student at Northeastern who just kicked off a website with a simple question: "What the fuck has NASA done to make your life awesome?"

The creative is a self-taught developer whose projects include Notely, PerkStreet Financial, and Readable, which simplifies and "cleans up" content on a few major publications and blogs.

His latest venture is WTF Nasa. With the push of a button, Mulligan's audience is exposed to a new, interesting idea, development, invention, or study from NASA headquarters that has made life on earth a little more easy ... and a little more awesome.

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WTF Nasa

Is Mercury in Retrograde?

Now, we're not big believers in signs and superstition, but the abundance of bizarre in our own town (of course) and nationwide had us wondering... What's up with people claiming we'll be immortal by 2045?, Why does there seem to be a sudden, freakish interest in Haboobs?, Since when were DickHats a good idea?, And who the hell is going to kill all of the jumping cockroaches?

Thanks to this website, the mystery is solved.

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Is Mercury in Retrograde?

Now, we're not big believers in signs and superstition, but the abundance of bizarre in our own town (of course) and nationwide had us wondering... What's up with iPad apps for cats? Huff-able caffeine? The Executive Director of the Arizona Commission on the Arts allegedly defacing another artist's work during a gallery show? The headache we've all had since downloading Instagram?

Thanks to this website, the mystery is solved.

Carry on.

"Not Just Scraps of Paper" Documents the Importance of a Good Bookmark

Have you ever wondered what your bookmark says about you? You're not alone. 

Not Just Scraps of Paper  is a local blog that's summed up in its tag line: because what you use to mark your place is as important as what you're reading. It features photos of books lying next to the bookmarks that were chosen to mark their spots. 

"My friends and I were surprised to find that we all like to match our bookmarks to our books," says the blog's creator, Sari Philipps. 

We caught up with Philipps to ask a few bookish questions. 

When did you first notice you were choosing bookmarks intentionally to go with books you were reading? 
I think I've always intentionally chosen bookmarks to go with my books, but it's only been somewhat recently that I've realized it. If I'm reading a book and I'm using the "wrong" bookmark, it just feels unsatisfying every time I use it, and I have to switch it until it's right. 

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Mesa's Evermore Nevermore Resurfaces as an Online Resource for Alternative Artists and Events

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When Bob and Debbie Leeper closed the doors of their quirky Evermore Nevermore in December, they promised they'd be back (in one form or another). Two months later, the couple is back in action. 

There's no storefront for what used to house locally crafted comic books, leather bracers and chain maille, Steampunk sculptures, corsets, T-shirts and accessories in downtown Mesa. Instead, the Leepers are storing their support for the geek community and occasional merchandise sales online.

"Our new webpage is our first step towards continuing our support of the Arizona alternative art community," the two write. "Utilizing our accumulated network of web and social media resources, Evermore Nevermore lives on as Arizona's Pop Culture & Alternative Art Network!"

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yes--butno: An Anti-Assumption Project

Christine Chen
​Two weeks ago, Christine Chen added a shout-out to Arizona to her project, y

The collection, which she writes was "created break assumptions and stereotypes that everyone makes about various cultures, genders, sexualities, etc.," takes submissions from readers around the country in a "yes -- but no" format. She simply puts the words into a template and distributes. 

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Pantonism: The Art of Matching Influences

Ever since the color gods at Pantone crowned Tangerine Tango their color of 2012, we've been a little color obsessed. 

Websites including Pinterest and Tumblr -- even Facebook albums -- allow users to curate and categorize inspirations by subject matter, sentiment, and color. Pantonism (not officially associated with the Pantone empire) is our current favorite.

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xkcd: What Your Favorite Map Projection Says About You

This week, our love for all things mapped was shared by Randall Munroe

The physicist-turned web comic illustrator created xkcd in 2005, and has since expressed daily scenarios and dilemmas in doodles. 

 On Monday, in celebration of mathematician and creator of the Waterman "Butterfly" World Map Projection creator Steve Waterman, Munroe proposed and drew a guide to: What Your Favorite Map Projection Says About You. 

Get your answer after the jump ...

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Awful Library Books: Two Librarians' Guide to Odd, Outdated Treasures

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All right bibliophiles, hold on to your book jackets. We've all been told not to judge a book by its cover, but Awful Library Books is breaking the rules. 

​The online catalog is maintained and narrated by two librarians from Michigan, whose only criteria is that the books, found in actual library holdings, are amusing and/or contain questionable content (not for bad taste so much as not being current or containing relevant information).

We can't stop looking at the obsolete ugly cousins of the book world that are showcased including one of their latest entries, The Shy Man's Guide to Success with Women. The guide, written in 1994, is complete with a Starting Conversations section, which includes the line: "You sure have large breasts. Can we have sex right now?" 

​Just when you thought you couldn't make this stuff up, someone did -- and managed to get it published. 

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