Shortish interesting and fun things online to print and read offline
May 30, 2014 8:22 AM   Subscribe

A friend will be in hospital over shabbat and asked me if I could send her links of things she can print out this afternoon and read over shabbes. She is super smart but realized that the serious intellectual/political essays and articles she'd printed are not what she is feeling like. She wants short, fun, easy, diverting, distracting.

The catch is really that things can't be too long or too graphic-y, as that would make them less suitable for printing. This is what she says:

"Something light, non-violent, not about rape culture or #yesallwomen or #notallmen. I.e., something UNLIKE what I usually end up reading. Ideally, things that are online that I can print out. 2-3 page essays. My friend sent me two New York Times articles--one about cream cheese and one about kids growing peanuts in NYC. That sort of thing."

Please help with links!
posted by Salamandrous to Grab Bag (14 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
Adding that "visual stuff/comics/graphic novels kinds of things" are great too as long as it's easily print-formattable and legible in B&W. (She loves Hyperbole and a Half, but has already read it).
posted by Salamandrous at 8:25 AM on May 30, 2014

The Rats article recently FPP'd was fantastic, I think.
posted by maryr at 8:27 AM on May 30, 2014

The tl:dr wikipwdia
posted by timsteil at 8:30 AM on May 30, 2014

Here is a printifier for XKCD, though it might be arduous to do enough to make it worth while. Maybe tossing in a couple good ones would be fun.

The Feature is a function of Instapaper that has a collection of articles, some may be suitable.

And The Magazine often has good stuff, and makes one article per issue available for free.
posted by brentajones at 8:33 AM on May 30, 2014 [1 favorite]

I loved this New Yorker piece about the University of Chicago Scavenger Hunt

This piece on the man who is revolutionizing India's sanitary pad industry, and this one about a mechanic who invented a new way to help deliver babies (possibly not recommended if your friend will be in hospital for childbirth)

11 Fake Harry Potter books from China

And if she doesn't have the Bloggess's book already, this essay still makes me cry from laughing (frumkeit alert - bad language :)
posted by Mchelly at 9:06 AM on May 30, 2014 [1 favorite]

Light/fun will vary, but I've been working through the Caine Prize for African Writing and enjoying them.
posted by carrioncomfort at 9:24 AM on May 30, 2014

Ask the Bird Folks columns by Mike O'Connor. Very very funny Q&A column about birds. The link goes to a 14 year archive of the column.
posted by stampsgal at 9:34 AM on May 30, 2014

I am kind of fond of the poem The Chaos (pdf) which is also known by the name "English is Tough Stuff." It plays with the language in an educational and sometimes mind-boggling manner.
posted by Michele in California at 10:15 AM on May 30, 2014

If she has any interest in wonderfully absurd fan theories in essay form:

A New Sith, or Revenge of the Hope
Oldest and Fatherless: The Terrible Secret of Tom Bombadil

(Both by Keith Martin.)
posted by Shmuel510 at 10:39 AM on May 30, 2014

This Medium post about burritos is pretty funny.
posted by radioamy at 10:49 AM on May 30, 2014

Oh, and there's also the history of The Alameda-Weehawken Burrito Tunnel.
posted by Shmuel510 at 10:51 AM on May 30, 2014

Shmuel510's post reminded me of this one, too: The Pixar Theory
posted by Mchelly at 11:30 AM on May 30, 2014

Thank you all, really appreciated!
posted by Salamandrous at 1:56 PM on May 30, 2014

Mental Floss probably looks like BuzzFeed at first glance, but it's older and generally better. A few articles include
Why do students get summers off?
What's the difference between mostly sunny and partly cloudy?
8 insanely lucky flea market finds
posted by wintersweet at 5:30 PM on May 31, 2014

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