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MIT student blogger Paul B. '11

Distractions by Paul B. '11

Don't stress out!

It’s a stressful time. Finals are starting, decisions are coming out in less than twenty four hours… Doesn’t it just make you wish you could take your mind off of things for a while?

Just in time, the blogs shall provide. This list is not intended to be comprehensive by any means – if you have suggestions, let me know!

The classic.

Questionable Content
Angst abounds in this comic about an indie boy, his robot, and some friends. You have been warned.

A beautifully-drawn dystopia set in post-apocalyptic England.

Penny Arcade
For, by, and about video game nerds.

Order of the Stick
D&D comes to life, basically.

PhD Comics
Can’t believe I originally forgot this gem! Called to my attention by Nick ’12.


Armor Games
I recommend GemCraft, among others.

Addicting Games


But at least it’s an informative distraction, right?

One of the most addicting and hilarious sites I have yet been exposed to. Don’t blame me if you fail your classes.

Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along-Blog


Neil Gaiman Quotes
…I couldn’t resist throwing this one in here.

In Real Life…


Cleaning Your Room
My friend Ternus ’10 comments, “Insidiously distracting things you can do include doing your laundry, cleaning and reorganizing your room, etc. This makes you feel like you’re accomplishing something (because you are!), but it is, of course, not what you’re supposed to be accomplishing.”


Not Stressing About MIT!
Best of luck to all of you. As the countdown clock gets closer to zero, our thoughts are all with you.

35 responses to “Distractions”

  1. haha, thanks paul! =D those links will help me.

    oh man…I”m kinda scared to log in and see what I got….

  2. Sam ('13?) says:

    Don’t forget about the best webcomic ever,pictures for sad children!

  3. Karen says:

    You forgot videogames! Logical Journey of the Zoombinis is still the best game ever. Get your friendly neighborhood RCC (mine is Donald) to help you install them for double the procrastination! smile

  4. Errina says:

    “Looking for Group” is a fun comic too, if only because of Richard.

  5. Derek says:

    Did no one mention the infamous LOLcats?!!? How could one ever be stressed looking at those adorable felines?

  6. Shannon says:

    Truth. Our room has literally never been cleaner.

  7. Frittos says:

    Hi Paul,

    I am a mum of an applicant and I have been frantically cooking- Sizzlers, Palak Paneer, Veggie Panini Sandwich and all sorts of fatty foods. Also, I relate this like when I was in the labour room the first time, after all that pain everything ends well.

    Best regards,


  8. Justin says:

    Thanks for your good wishes. It is definitely a stressful time!

  9. donaldGuy says:

    I’ve found that one way to pass the time is to calculate arbitrary integers using basic arithmetic operations and only the numbers 5 and 7.

    For example, did you know that
    391 = (5^7 – 7^5 – 7*7*7*5*5*5) / (7*5) –
    7*5*5 + 5*7 + 7 – (7-5)


    991 = (5^7 – 7^5 – 7*5) / (7*5) – 7*7*5*5 +
    (5+7)*(5+7) + 7*5*(7+(7-5)) + 5 + (7-5)

    If you are curious about context (and this is still a lame excuse) compare this Wikipedia article section:

    and any article about how Tupac isn’t really dead based on suspicious things having to do with the number 7 (try googling “Tupac seven day theory”).

    Then note that the Tupac album The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory came out on November 5th, 1996 … exactly 391 years after the foiling of the Gunpowder Plot on November 5, 1605. Coincidence? I think not!!!!!5!!!!!!!7

    Crazily yours,
    ~Donald Guy

    P.S. good luck to all of us with exams, and extra good luck to those awaiting EA decisions.

  10. donaldGuy says:

    also note that these equalities are based on the C-style definition of integer division

    … though an actually equality could be constructed, I leave this as an exercise for the reader ^_^

  11. Bridger says:

    Tomorrow is going to be a very long day… I am so nervous! I guess I have finals to keep me busy until 7pm (my time) tomorrow!

  12. Kiran says:

    Thank you … .and that’s straight from the heart smile Questionable content is awesome :D

  13. Brandon says:

    19 hours, 21 minutes, 36 seconds!

  14. Raymond says:

    Uncyclopedia is hilarious. Look it up.

  15. Andrew says:


    /has fond childhood memories of LJoZ.
    wait? RCCs are supposed to have received Zoombini training?

    The Jargon file is also interesting.

  16. anonymous says: this site isn’t bad for a hilarious distraction as well (:

  17. JieMin says:

    I’ve tried. I’ve reread all the xkcd comics three times in a row, and am going through my entire online archive of manga bookmarks.

    Moving to old Bill Nye episodes next, if nothing else.

    And it’s 2:30 in the morning right now, and I’m no where near asleep.

    …G’luck to you all.

    *knocks on wood

  18. Benjamin says:

    Dr. Horrible is awesome. You should all see it!!

  19. Brittany says:

    Thank you for the encouragement. smile
    Yes, I have in fact been obsessively cleaning and reading… Nothing seems to help. I keep finding myself at :D
    4 hours, 15 minutes!! XD

  20. sleepy. says:

    I second the PhD comics.
    and the Neil Gaiman. start with Sandman.

    ~not the first Kiran.

  21. Brandon says:

    EA Applicants!
    I updated the site to include a few new goodies.
    Check it out, I think you’ll like it.

  22. donaldGuy says:

    For the record, I helped Karen install VMWare because Vista is too fail to handle LJoZ … its not my fault she needed it for such purposes

  23. DWay says:


    I commend you for that site. This is not the first time Mika has actually come in handy, haha.

  24. Cathy says:

    Hey, I’ll add the Shrek version of Twelve Days Christmas…

  25. Colton says:

    Good luck to everybody suffering (or the few enjoying) finals and the MIT’13 hopefuls!

    Just 13 hours and 50 minutes until decisions are posted.

  26. Suril says:

    Decisions page says:

    Think about how you answered question 3a on our application (“what do you do purely for fun?”). Try to fill your days with that, and decisions will be here before you know it.

    — Not bad!

  27. Liz says:

    Hi guys.
    Don’t panic!!
    And don’t forget a towel.
    I highly recommend waiting for decisions with a towel on hand.
    I know I’ll have one when I’m in the same metaphorical boat next year as you are in now. smile
    Good luck to all applicants/and MITers studying for finals and to all a good night!
    Also, David Sedaris books = good/fun/awesome books to pass the time and make you laugh.

  28. Ryan says:

    Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along-Blog was a sweet way to kill 45 minutes. I’d recommend it.

  29. Dan says:

    don’t forget vgcats!!!

  30. Anonymous says:

    Well, is it?


  31. laurie says:

    paul, you wrote this on my birthday! man, lots of stuff has happened in the past year. my favorite way to distract myself is reading… it’s bad. because i’ll get into a book and then i can’t stop. last year during winter finals i read the “his dark materials” trilogy (for the first time!), but this year i told myself i shouldn’t read because it’s too distracting.. so i’ve read 3 books since term ended to make up for it. smile

    lololaolaoasdfalskfaw we need coffee over iap