Posted by: Staff | 11.30.2009

Top 5 Wastes of Time That Aren’t Wastes of Time


Let’s face it. We can waste a WHOLE mess of time with our laptops. From incessant IMing, to marathon sessions of Farmville–one begins to wonder if technology improves our lives or if, indeed, Google is just making us stoopid.

How can one hope to cut through all this online detritus and find worthwhile content? Well, wise reader, logging on to The Beaver Reader was a clever move in the right direction. Now, check out these top five YouTube wastes of times that really aren’t a waste of time at all.

#5 – The Daily Monster
Graphic artist, Stephan G. Bucher, shows how web 2.0 tools can easily bring clever ideas to the masses. He creates a whimsical new monster every day, and these time-lapsed videos quickly show how each unique creature is born.

“Monster 205″…With only 1,272 views you can feel like you’re truly one of the first to discover this gem…

If you liked that monster, see Bucher’s complete menagerie at The Monster Archive

#4 – JK Rowling’s Commencement Speech at Harvard
Yes, J.K. Rowling does indeed have more money than the Queen of England. She’s still humble and hard-working and hilarious, though. Her commencement speech at Harvard University reveals the surprisingly empathetic worldview behind the magical world of Harry Potter and Hogwarts.

92,330 Gryffindor fans have tuned in to this bit of muggle magic…

#3 – Strong Bad Email
As one of the classic online comedy destinations,, deserves a return visit. Brother Mike and Matt Chapman have, since 1999, been using quirky flash animations to carve out a very sizeable following–and a very comfortable living–in cyberspace.

Turning down several big offers from TV stations, they’ve maintained their independence and produced truly original cartoons.  “Teen Girl Squad” shorts are great, but, without a doubt, the most popular feature is Strong Bad Email:

Join the 503,781 other people that have viewed Strong Bad Email “Techno”…

#2 – PS 22 Chorus
OK, Ashton Kutcher has twittered about this group, so that makes this entry–by association–a whole lot less cool. Yet, the pure joy on these students’ faces is infectious and worth a view.

NYC District PS 22 Choir teacher, Gregg Breinberg, posted videos of his students’ performances on YouTube and discovered how online media has truly changed the game. The group went viral and are now some of the most famous singers to emerge from the Big Apple in recent years, bypassing all the mainstream media routes.

“Just Dance” by Lady Gaga has 1,293,471 views…

See more videos by visiting the PS22 Blog at

#1 – Playing For Change
This last entry shows how a simple idea can really begin to change the world…at least that’s the hope of Playing For Change creator, Mark Johnson. His crew records songs in a truly unique way.

They find a talented street performer–say, in New Orleans–and record an initial track. They then travel the globe, asking various artists they find on the way to add to the first recording. Sometimes they find an other-worldly guitarist in Timbuktu. Sometimes they run into U2’s Bono. The results are stunning.

Join the 15,179,206 other people who have “wasted” a bit of time listening to this version of “Stand By Me”

Mark Johnson explains the goals of this interesting enterprise here…



  1. Robin,

    This is wonderful! I loved everything.

  2. Strong Bad should be first on this list, he is one of the most accomplished online cartoon characters in the history of the internet.

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