It is the gatekeeper for some of the most valuable information in the world, a hub where pressing inquiries finally become answers. But for the moment, in act of protest against the controversial SOPA and PIPA bills, a particular website, among other high-profile sites, has gone into blackout mode. On Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2012, for an entire day, we would simply have to go without knowing… Is Michael Fassbender a Shark?
Okay, so it’s likely the blackout from Wikipedia, as well as Reddit, Boing Boing, and O’Reilly Radar, are the shut-downs that really had the Internet buzzing. (On still-functioning websites, that is.) But the amusing Fassbender Tumblr, as well as the always-important Lolcats, have also joined in the fight against these bills, which many fear would introduce censorship and regulation on the web. (These sites, along with Google, WordPress, Wired, and Mozilla haven’t blacked out their websites entirely, but rather put up messages and banners informing visitors of their opposition of SOPA and PIPA and what they could do to take action themselves.)
But if you’ve already heeded these websites’ calls to reach out to your leaders in Congress to put a stop to SOPA and PIPA and you still want to find out things like, say, the likelihood that the Shame star is actually a very attractive land shark, don’t fret: PopWatchers, there are still some options. Plus, some of the websites participating are just as amusing as they were without the blackout. (Well done, TheOatmeal.com!)
While some of your favorite websites (besides, of course, EW.com) are down for the next few hours, you can still:
- Check the actual encyclopedia. Sure, there probably won’t be an extensive rundown/detailed history of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles like you would find on Wikipedia, but there’s still plenty of other fascinating topics to research. (Also see: Turtles, pizza.)
- Watch cat videos on YouTube! Better known as, Internet fuel. (Heck, some of the cats even provide their own Lolcat dialogue.)
- Catch up on Downton Abbey to research how people lived without Internet. Then, go get your news and talk to people other than the Web for a little while. (Hey, if Brad Pitt says it possible, it must be true!)
- Get your Internet geek on off-line by reading Walter Isaacson’s Steve Jobs, re-watching The Social Network, and writing a letter to MySpace to ask how its doing these days.
What have you been doing during today’s Internet blackout, PopWatchers? Share in the comments section below!